A potpourri of education, politics, family matters, and current events.
Saturday, October 23, 2004
Friday, October 22, 2004
- In 1992 Bush I had pulled even with Clinton in many polls by the last week of the campaign, but Lawrence Walsh rode to the rescue by unsealing the indictment of Cap Weinberger, Reagan's defense secretary, for Iran-Contra, the Friday before the election.
- In 2000, of course, Bush II was hit by a thirty-year old DUI arrest. The Democrats have shown so far in this election that they will:
- Shoot guns at Republican headquarters;
- Break into and steal computers from Republican headquarters;
- Invade Republican state headquarters;
- Steal or deface Republican yard signs;
- Pay felons to register voters;
- Pay crack addicts in crack to register voters;
- Forge National Guard documents and air national news stories based on the forgeries;
- Out a lesbian, Mary Cheney, just because she happens to be the daughter of a Republican Vice-President;
- Claim "miracle cures" are on the horizon through stem-cell research, if only Kerry is elected;
- Demogogue the draft, social security, the War in Iraq, you name it, with shameful misrepresentations and out-and-out lies;
I could go on and on.
What makes you think that they won't drop a bombshell on the Friday before the election again? Obviously, they will. So what will it be? I'm going to make some guesses over the next two weeks.
Here we go again. If you thought the aftermath of the 2000 election was messy, this year's Presidential contest may well make Afghanistan's recent vote look like ancient Athens. A major problem--or opportunity, if you're a lawyer--is something called "provisional balloting," as we'll explain below.
Let's first stipulate that both parties plan to fight over votes, and that both sides have some scoundrels who will cheat. But in the run-up to this Election Day, by far most of the accusations and the lawsuits have come from the Democrats. Even before votes are cast, they're accusing state ballot officials of conspiring to deny voters access to the polls.
Newsweek--hardly a Republican organ--reports that nearly every big battleground state "is being hit with a crush of Democratic Party lawsuits charging that the application [of antifraud laws] is arbitrary and unfair." In Florida, Democrats have filed no fewer than 10 suits against GOP officials. In New Mexico, Democrats managed to overturn a token photo ID requirement.
Vodkapundit has another link, with more information about 'Spirit of America': http://vodkapundit.com/archives/006969.php You have to scroll down a bit... WSJ Online also has an editorial by Daniel Henninger, http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/dhenninger/?id=110005794
with even more background information.
Iraq Democracy Project:
“Friends of Democracy” – The Iraq Democracy Project We are supporting efforts by Iraqis inside Iraq that have two main goals: (1) increase voter participation in Iraq’s January 2 election; and (2) encourage the Iraqi people to make informed decisions on the candidates. Some of the projects that will be supported (with direct funding, equipment and technical assistance) under this initiative include:
Production of radio and television Public Service Announcements by the Iraq Ministry of Women’s Affairs to encourage women to vote.
Securing the rights to and subtitling in Arabic documentaries about elections in post-dictatorship countries for broadcast in Iraq. For example, “Milosevic: Bringing Down a Dictator.”
Providing $1,000 microgrants to 150 Iraqi women community leaders identified by the Iraqi Women’s
Educational Institute. The grants will be used for grass roots pro-democracy projects created by the women.
Production and broadcast of citizen roundtables and townhall meetings.
Support for Iraqi intellectuals who wish to publish and create public dialog on constitutionalism and the new Iraqi constitution. This is similar to the role of the Federalist Papers in the development of the United States.
Creation and hosting of an Arabic blogging tool to enable more free voices to be heard.
Support of a network of pro-democracy student groups and community organizations called “Friends of
Democracy” by providing Internet access, blog hosting, copiers and paper.In many cases we will not be able to publicize the specifics of the projects or people we are supporting as part of this effort. We will need to work quietly and we won’t be able to provide our normal level of transparency. Those who are visibly associated with Americans are much bigger targets for the terrorists. This makes a difficult situation for you – our donors. In the near term we won’t be able to tell you about some of the best things your donations make possible. Unfortunately, there is no other way. Otherwise we would get the brave Iraqis we are supporting kidnapped or killed.
Help repeat the miracle of the Afghanistan elections.
LET'S drop the partisan fighting and the ideologi cal battling for a moment to step back, take a look around, and then ask:
Has there ever, ever, ever been an election as exciting as this one?
The answer, after some consideration, is: No way, not by a long shot.
My own feeling is that this has been so carefully scripted, THK aside, that those of us that do follow politics closely, can almost tell where the camps will move to. What I can't figure out is where the 'people' are going and that is making me very nervous.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
I think those of us who think about such things, have thought this for a long time:
If my Michael Moore-obsessed fellow German countrymen were honest, they would admit that what really frightens them is this dangerous new century we have just entered and the scary glimpses we have had of it so far. Throughout the Cold War, many Germans were used to having it easy and both ways: staging demonstrations against "U.S. imperialism" while at the same time enjoying the protection of the Pax Americana. Wealth and security were guaranteed, and the United States footed most of the security bill. What a wonderful world. Now the future does not look so wonderful any longer: global terrorism, nuclear weapons, Islamist extremism and failing states just across the Mediterranean Sea.
Deep in their hearts most Germans feel that they are out of their depth and that their country cannot cope. Small wonder they would rather close their eyes and simply make the 21st century go away. Hardly surprising that many of them are angry about a man who refuses to trade in illusions and forces them to face the real world like President Bush. That is what the presidential election of 2004 is about: facing the real world. I still remember the elation I felt when reading for the first time those lines in one of Mr. Bush's stirring speeches in the weeks and months after September 11: "We' re enforcing the doctrine that says this: If you harbor the terrorists, you're guilty of terror. And like the terrorists you will be held responsible." The Bush doctrine had been overdue for almost 30 years.
[...] Read the whole thing
Red Sox Win
I do hope people get themselves involved, only intellectually excercise is or at least should be required, we are the players in this game. Only 12 days to go and only one game should be allowed.
(BTW I'm in Chicago area, why am I feeling sorry for a Yankee fan? d'oh!) :-)
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Senator John Kerry has been declared the winner of Nickelodeon's "Kids' Vote" according to kids nationwide who exercised their voting power in the network's presidential poll held online Oct. 19. . . . In this year's vote, Sen. John Kerry received 57% of the vote, and President George W. Bush received 43%.
But Scholastic, a children's publishing company, gives victory to Bush:
In the 2004 Scholastic Election Poll, George W. Bush received 52 percent of the votes and the Democratic contender, John F. Kerry, received 47 percent. Rounding out the vote, 1 percent of students.
Apparently kids who read favor Bush, while those who watch TV prefer Kerry. Hmm, whose parents are more likely to vote?
Control: Last week, I quoted reports from the Association of National Advertisers confab, in which many realized that they're not in control anymore; the shift of control that has happened to the rest of media is now coming to advertising. This week, Ad Age Editor Scott Donaton says, Amen. (And, of course, the online editor over there puts the boss' column online!):
General Motors' Roger Adams... said, "The consumer wants to be in control, and we want to put them in control." Echoed Saatchi & Saatchi chief Kevin Roberts, "The consumer now has absolute power."
"It is not your goddamn brand," he told marketers.
This consumer empowerment is at the heart of everything. End users are now in control of how, whether and where they consume information and entertainment. Whatever they don't want to interact with is gone. That upends the intrusive model the advertising business has been sustained by for decades.
Shouldn't be necessary to say that there are links to check out. With that said, wouldn't it be great if the MSM understood that end users ARE in control?
Ok, Maybe It's Me
2004? Probably Safe for 2005
You know you're living in 2004 when...
1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.
2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.
6. You go home after a long day at work and you still answer the phone in a business manner.
7. You make phone calls from home and you accidentally dial "9" to get an outside line.
8. You've sat at the same desk for four years and worked for three different companies.
9. You learn about your redundancy on the 11 o'clock news.
10. Your boss doesn't have the ability to do your job.
11. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home.
12. Every commercial on television has a website at the bottom of the screen.
13. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or > 60) years of
your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
14. You get up in the morning and go online before getting your coffee.
15. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. :)
16. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
17. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
18. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
19. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list. AND NOW YOU ARE LAUGHING AT YOURSELF. (Sadder, I fixed the numeration).
The idea of 'prosecuting' terrorists, never made sense to me. I guess I needed a Harvard professor to spell out the details, an excerpt of the conclusion:
And criminal prosecutions are not a promising option. No one is willing to wait for a nuclear weapon to blow away an American city and then prosecute the conspirators who survived the blast. Nor does it make sense to devote massive resources to building cases for small-potatoes crimes that will put away would-be murderers for a year or two, after which they can resume their homicidal careers.
Perhaps that is why military and intelligence services have played such a large role in the war on terrorism. Some crime problems are intractable. Seen as a crime problem, terrorism is intractable too. It makes sense to redefine the problem, to look for other tools. This war needs to be fought by the Army and the CIA, not merely the Justice Department.
Therein lies the real problem with Kerry's comments. Kerry thinks America's seventy-year-long battle against the Mafia was a success story. He is wrong. Tolerating Mob bosses (which is what we did for most of those seventy years) was very costly. Tolerating terrorism -- or leaving it to police and prosecutors, which amounts to the same thing -- would be a disaster.
William J. Stuntz is a Professor at Harvard Law School.
This LA Times article chronicles the special relationship between Blair and Bush, addressing some of the issues I mentioned in the previous post. It is an unequal alliance, but perhaps loyalty and conviction are what it comes down to:
On Sept. 11, 2001, an electric shock transformed the relationship. It was as if it had been forged in a furnace and was now unbreakable.Through everything that followed, Blair was determined to preserve that relationship. His critics — some of them in his own Cabinet — believed that he sacrificed judgment for it. When Blair's hopes of a negotiated solution to the Iraq crisis through the United Nations faltered and died in the winter 2002, part of his mind was already reconciled to war. In conversation, he comes back again and again to 9/11. It was the moment leaders had to think the unthinkable. He lost friends, ministers and many voters by the way he aligned himself with Bush.
I have had problems with the administration's policies from time to time however. I admit that by the late summer of 2001, I've written about this before, I was disappointed that it seemed to be so isolationist. We were failing to give comfort to the Iranian students who were really making a pain of themselves to the mullahs.
Part of me wasn't surprised, I had listened to this Republican presidential candidate who strove to be Ronald Reagan-like, speaking of 'no nation building' and 'compassionate conservativism' at home. The campaign was full of the 'third rail' of Social Security partial investments for the younger workers and No Child Left Behind. Yet I believed that with people like Cheney, Powell, Rice, and Rumsfeld meaningful foreign policy would begin. Maybe it would have, 9/11 happened and everything changed. Whatever was decided, it would be in light of what had happened leading up to that day.
9/11 did happen and to some degree a Bush tin ear helped Chirac with his plans when the NATO offer of the invokation of Article Five was rejected. With that possible exception, GW did work within the international framework for Afghanistan and later Iraq. Iraq was going to be dealt with, we had been in a holding pattern there, along with the UK for over 12 years. Both the broader WOT and the immediate Afghanistan conflict, removed any hope for a continuation of the status quo. Chirac DID understand that, I'm not sure that Putin or Schroeder did, I'm certain that Saddam did not.
That brings us to today and our 'special relationship' with the Brits. The Telegraph article linked to above may well be a whistle worth listening to. England, led by Blair, has been magnificent in their aid to the US, in the face of some very machiavellian machinations on the part of the UN and the French in particular. Blair has done this at a high political cost to himself. It's important that the adminstration not only acknowledge this, which they did with State Dinners and trips to Texas, but also in real acknowledgement of the concerns of the British citizens, by giving a better explanation of how this situation really is different than the problems they have dealt with for many years, via the IRA.
Perhaps most importantly, the people of the UK and the people of the US are not hearing, much less understanding each other, in spite of the great relationship our leaders might have. The 'Clark County Project' of The Guardian is one example of their not understanding us. By the same token, many in the US do not realize that most British citizens, do not want their troops in Iraq and do not understand why they would be deployed there. Blair has done his best to make it clear, it would not hurt GW to reinforce this message, which I truly hope he does after the election.
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."
This has been Mr. Annan's chief response so far to the extensive documentation cited in the recent Iraq Survey Group report, from the CIA's Charles Duelfer, that under cover of the U.N.'s Oil for Food relief program Saddam was trying to buy up pals on the U.N. Security Council. Mr. Duelfer tells us that under the leaky U.N. sanctions and corrupt Oil for Food program, Saddam had already built the networks and was amassing the resources to rearm himself with weapons of mass destruction as soon as U.N. sanctions were entirely gone.
With the aim of shedding sanctions, Saddam, according to his regime's own records, was throwing billions in business and millions in bribes to France, Russia and, to a lesser extent, China, all veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council. As it happened, sanctions were indeed eroding, and these three nations opposed the decision of the U.S. and Britain that Saddam either had to shape up or be shipped out.
But in Mr. Annan's view, Saddam's oil money had nothing to do with it. Nobody buys the officials of France, Russia and China. They are serious and important.
Sen. John Kerry has a simple strategy if the presidential race is in doubt on Nov. 3, the day after the election: Do not repeat Al Gore's mistakes.
Unlike the former vice president, who lost a recount fight and the 2000 election, Kerry will be quick to declare victory on election night and begin defending it. He also will be prepared to name a national security team before knowing whether he's secured the presidency.
``Right now, we have 10,000 lawyers out in the battleground states on Election Day, and that number is growing by the day,'' said Michael Whouley, a Kerry confidant who is running election operations at the Democratic National Committee.
While the lawyers litigate, political operatives will try to shape public perception. Their goal would be to persuade voters that Kerry has the best claim to the presidency and that Republicans are trying to steal it.
Democrats are already laying the public relations groundwork by pointing to every possible voting irregularity before the Nov. 2 election and accusing Republicans of wrongdoing.
On Election Day, Whouley will head the so-called ``boiler room,'' probably in Washington, that tracks vote counts and ensures Kerry doesn't concede too soon. Whouley was the aide who, after noticing Florida was too close to call in 2000, called Gore's team in Tennessee and told them to put the brakes on the concession speech.
Campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill will be with Kerry in Boston, where they will field Whouley's calls.
Jim Johnson, who headed Kerry's vice presidential search team, former Labor Secretary Alexis Herman and longtime Kerry aide David McKean lead the team planning Kerry's transition to the White House.
Aides say the transition process is behind schedule, but Kerry will be ready to name a national security team shortly after the election. They say he has candidates in mind, but is reluctant to discuss the transition while campaigning.
The advisers spoke on condition of anonymity because Kerry wants the focus to be on his campaign for now.
The plan to quickly name a national security team is partly practical (at a time of war, continuity is necessary) and political, aides said, because if there is another recount Kerry will want to show he's ready to take power.
You an oldster? The fearmongers' pitch is that President Bush is plotting to snatch your Social Security check. Bush's sound idea of setting aside a small portion of your payroll tax as a personal nest egg for your retirement is twisted by the fearmongers into the dread word "privatization." Many older Americans safely covered by Social Security now needlessly worry about being thrust out into the snow.
You a youngster? The fearmongers noticed an urban legend floating around the Internet about a "January surprise" to bring back the draft and throw you into the first wave into Falluja. Never mind that it won't happen, because the military knows that a volunteer army works best; the scare tactic is sure to whip up the old fears in the young voters.
You got a cough? The Fear Room says it is probably the flu and that anti-health Bush stole your vaccine. With the shortage caused partly by drug companies' concern about punitive lawsuits, millions who never bothered with flu shots last year now have to have them. By pushing the panic button, the Fear Room pushes up demand and worsens the shortage.
The fearmongers used the death of Christopher Reeve as a news peg for its stem cell desk. Kerry had been gloomily denouncing Bush's "ban" on such embryonic research when there isn't a federal prohibition - indeed, some federal funding has begun, and Harvard is likely to compete with the State of California and others to develop new cell lines. Meanwhile, John Edwards outrageously used Reeve's death to offer false hope that paralyzed people like him would "get up out of that wheelchair and walk again."
After approving ads that strike fear into U.S. television viewers by exploiting terrorist beheadings of Americans, John Kerry had the chutzpah to say of Bush's reminders of 9/11: "He's scaring people." That was a classic Fear Room maneuver: as soon as editorial revulsion at scare tactics breaks into print, direct that reaction at the other side.
Ethicists, pundits and other goo-goos can all tut-tut about scare tactics, but the big question for political strategists is: do they work? We'll know in two weeks.
A similar question faces journalists and judges: will fear of jail force reporters to reveal their sources, and will such fear dry up leaks from whistle-blowers?
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Mr. President, thank you. It‘s an honor to have you on.
JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you Chris, good to be with you and your folks.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you the question about—this is going to cause some trouble with people—but as an historian now and studying the Revolutionary War as it was fought out in the South in those last years of the War, insurgency against a powerful British force, do you see any parallels between the fighting that we did on our side and the fighting that is going on in Iraq today?
CARTER: Well, one parallel is that the Revolutionary War, more than any other war up until recently, has been the most bloody war we‘ve fought. I think another parallel is that in some ways the Revolutionary War could have been avoided. It was an unnecessary war.
Had the British Parliament been a little more sensitive to the colonial‘s really legitimate complaints and requests the war could have been avoided completely, and of course now we would have been a free country now as is Canada and India and Australia, having gotten our independence in a nonviolent way.
I think in many ways the British were very misled in going to war against America and in trying to enforce their will on people who were quite different from them at the time.
MATTHEWS: The president has said he had miscalculated in terms of not realizing how the war would proceed from the initial knockout of Saddam‘s forces, including the Revolutionary Guard, and then what he faced on the ground in terms of the insurgency.
Magdi Ahmad Hussein, the Secretary-General of the Egyptian Labor (Islamist) Party, recently appeared on Al-Jazeera TV, declaring that attacks against U.S. troops and civilians in Iraq are legitimate, and that hostage taking is permitted by Islam. He also called for clerics and fighters to go to fight in Iraq, defended the bombings in Taba, andargued that the American attack on Fallujah legitimizes a future terror attack in Los Angeles. To view the MEMRI TV clip of Hussein's statements, visit http://memritv.org/Search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=292.
The following are excerpts from the program: 
'Legitimate Violence' in Iraq and the Taba Attacks
"The violence is currently directed at the occupation. This is legitimate violence. This is Jihad against occupiers. 99% of the violent operations target the foreign occupation of the Arab and Islamic nation. Therefore, they are not included in the conflict with the [Arab] rulers.
"From the strategic perspective, the vast majority of operations are proper. As for Taba, as I've said, the entire Egyptian nation demands that tourists be banned from entering Egypt. It is inconceivable that Egypt has become a resort for the Israeli army.
"The Israeli army kills in Palestine in the morning and then comes to relax and gamble in Taba. Abominations that are forbidden in Israel, such as gambling, are allowed in Egypt. But the main issue is that Egypt has become a resort for the Zionist army."
'The Prisoners in Iraq - 99% of the Cases are Proper, According to Islamic Law'
"As for the hostages you spoke of, they are not hostages, sir, but prisoners. According to Islamic law, hostages can be redeemed, set free, or killed. When you are weak - you kill. The prisoners in Iraq, sir – 99% of the cases are proper, according to Islamic law. All those who were killed were agents and partners of the occupation. 75% of the hostages were released in exchange for political gains.
"So how come some voices in the Islamic movement and official clerics tell us that killing prisoners is un-Islamic? No, both the Koran and the Prophet's biography permit the killing of prisoners. This exists in our Islamic law and in the laws of all nations.
"Second, the war effort is not restricted to those who actually carry weapons. The war effort includes transporting supplies. Aren't supply lines part of military activity? The Halliburton company and its efforts to steal the Iraqi oil – aren't they part of the war effort, whose goal is to steal Iraq's resources? The war effort isn't simply carrying weapons. An Iraqi interpreter working for an American soldier – isn't this part of the war effort? Undoubtedly, all those killed, as far as we know, were non-civilians.
"We are witnessing a stroke of genius. Because they are weak and cannot defeat the occupation right away, they have used this weapon of prisoners - not 'hostages.' The Italian women were released and we demand the release of the French journalists. No one demands they be killed. But as for those who work for American companies and those who came to exploit Iraqi resources, they are part of the American plan and aren't innocent civilians.
"50 years ago, even before the American army arrived in Iraq, Sheik Shaltout said, 'Anyone working in the enemies' military camps and factories is one of them. He's an enemy and he may be killed.' This is what Sheik Shaltout, the great imam and Sheik of Al-Azhar in the mid-20th century, said. Whoever allies himself with the infidels and polytheists becomes one of them."
'The Mujahid Should be There [in Iraq], and the Cleric Should be There'
"The American casualties reach 47,000 dead and wounded, according to the American Veterans Association. 20% of the American forces were hurt, but the media only reports the Iraqi and Arab casualties.
"I've seen a film of the so-called 'Monotheism and the Jihad,' which is believed to be the organization of Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi. In the film, I saw that they neutralized a bomb because an Iraqi woman passed by the tank. Out of concern for one Iraqi woman's life they neutralized a bomb and this appears in a film on the Internet and anyone can watch it. I'm not claiming that there are no mistakes. There are different opinions among the Iraqi resistance. But if you want to have an opinion, you should be with them, not us, sitting in air-conditioned rooms and telling them to do this that.
"The mujahid should be there, and the cleric should be there, like Ibn Taymiyya, who set out with the mujahideen to the front lines. But we want to issue fatwas telling them not to do this or that, not to attack so and so. It's like us telling Hamas: 'don't attack buses lest an Israeli child be killed.' Do you have another means? When the Americans bomb [in Iraq] they say they are looking for Abu Mus'ab and the casualties were killed by accident. The Americans have the right to kill civilians accidentally, while the Qassam rockets and the [suicide] martyrs should target only adults, men and women working in the Israeli army, and should tell the children to get off the bus!?"
'If We had Missiles We should have Bombed Los Angeles'
"We are the weak ones. They make demands on us that don't exist in international law. There must be reciprocity. If your city is being bombed… Those who bomb Fallujah cannot prevent me from bombing Los Angeles. Why Fallujah? Why do we always feel inferior to them? What is the meaning of this inferiority complex? If we had missiles we should have bombed Los Angeles or any other city until they stopped bombing Fallujah, Samarra, and Ramadi.
"Sir, why do the government clerics ignore the killing of the prisoners during the time of the Prophet? 600-700 prisoners were killed in the raid on the Qurayza tribe.
"Why do they conceal this? Why do they hide the fact that the Prophet gave the order to assassinate some poets – to assassinate! Not in military operations, but rather by individual assassination.
"Why did he order the assassination of K'ab Ibn Ashraf, the Jew, leader of Khaybar ? And then he ordered the assassination of the leader who successive him. As a result, the Jews became fearful and terrified."
 Al-Jazeera TV (Qatar), October 17, 2004
WASHINGTON - FBI (news - web sites), Justice Department (news - web sites) and Homeland Security Department officials aren't talking much about the threat of a terrorist attack to disrupt the election in two weeks.
It hasn't gone away; they're just wary of saying anything in public that could prompt Democrats to charge the administration is playing up a terror threat to frighten voters...
Democrat Presidential nominee John Kerry delivered a speech today condemning President Bush for failing to invade Iraq in the follow-up of military action against the Talaban and Al Qaeda in Afghanastan. "Leaving this tyrant in power in contravention of numerous United Nations resolutions is unconscionable," Kerry told the Veterans of Foreign Wars. "He has left available a base of operations and a source of supply and money."
Kerry went on to criticize the war against terror as "stalled" while the real threat to America, "Saddam Hussein’s Iraq goes untouched." Kerry said, "People are murdered daily in Baghdad and throughout the country. Rape rooms are a tragic reality. Torture chambers are full as Saddam’s sons carry out their sadistic impulses on the helpless and hapless victims of this regime. President Bush has done nothing as this brutal dictator takes the money from the Oil for Food to build palaces while his people go without food...
Go read it all!
(2004-10-18) -- The editorial board of The New York Times Monday issued its second endorsement of John Forbes Kerry in as many days.
The Times said the latest endorsement is part of a periodic series of articles which have appeared in various sections of the newspaper throughout the campaign.
Here are some excerpts from the latest Times editorial titled "John Forbes Kerry: Decidedly Different":
"In the journalistic tradition of full disclosure, we need to acknowledge the political bias of the editorial staff at The New York Times. A recent in-house poll shows that 97 percent of our news department tried to vote for Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election, but they were disenfranchised because of trifling concerns about their criminal records and other nonsense about being at the wrong polling place or not having genuine identification. (Although it should be noted that our staff had no trouble using their IDs to buy some fine, vintage Chinese communist automatic weapons at a local gun show.) The Bush administration and its co-conspirators at local polling places have a dark record of treating felons as if they're criminals."
"We believe John Forbes Kerry has the experience it will take to sit at the table with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and acquire the necessary permissions for America to carry out her foreign policy objectives."
"One wrestles with how best to describe Mr. Kerry; a seasoned, steady, accomplished man who cuts a dashing figure as he snowboards and bikes across the American political landscape. He's a career Vietnam veteran, distinguished war protestor, protector and resuscitator of family rodents, loving husband of two women with whom he shared the burden of enormous wealth, friend of downtrodden trial lawyers and, to a certain extent, he is also a U.S. Senator."
"He's a profoundly moral man, yet a man who never lets his morality dictate his policies. Like John F. Kennedy, Mr. Kerry won't be a Roman Catholic president, he'll be a president who says that he's a Roman Catholic."
"Perhaps the most impressive feature of Mr. Kerry's campaign can be encapsulated in a single sentence: 'I have a plan.' With that uncharacteristically succinct quartet of monosyllabic words, he has captured the imagination of the nation in a fashion reminiscent of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."
Future President Kerry has a plan for every aspect of American life, including...
We ended up with a US video player and needed a US video, so we took my buddy Dennis Pintor's home video and recorded the skit on the end of the recording of his daughter Rhea collecting Easter eggs around the house.
When it came time to show the video, we had re-wound it too far, so we had the entire Brigade of officers watching Dennis Pintor's cute little daughter run around looking for Easter eggs and waving at her father far away. It was actually pretty cute, because Dennis narrated the whole time, and because everyone with kids missed theirs too. "There she is, ladies and gentlemen, Rhea Pintor, waving at her daddy," he said.
Captain Dennis Pintor was killed with his entire vehicle crew a few nights ago, just a kilometer from the base camp at 10:52 PM. You guys will miss him even though you never knew him, because he believed in defending his country, and he knew that a lot of the bad guys he captured here were out to kill Americans wherever they could find them, and he therefore believed in this mission.
A declaration of war.This morning my uncle who’s a highschool principal found a post signed by Al Tawheed Wal Jihad group on the door of his school. It seems that they are distributing a poster throughout Baghdad demanding all government employees to stop going to work, threatening to behead anyone who disobey! It reads:
In the name of God most merciful most gracious A threat to all government institutes and all government employees. Why do you keep going to work and schools and keep silent about the occupation? We will behead anyone who commits to work in government institutes.Allah Akbar Allah Akbarwal yakhsa’a Il khasi’oon*Al Tawheed Wal Jihad group.
(I don’t know how this phrase can be translated but it’s the one Saddam used to end his speeches with for the last few years before the war! A close translation might be, "Let the doomed ones be doomed"!!)
Here’s a picture I took for the poster. (Go to his site!) I apologize for the bad quality.
I must say that this was expected. These enemies of humanity see us as their true enemies. They were hoping in the beginning that we might resist the “occupation” but that didn’t happen. They were also considering the consequences of frankly declaring war against the Iraqi people, as this would make them loose a lot of ground and would not help the propaganda that tries to show them as freedom fighters. However, and as a result of the brave stand of the Iraqi people, these terrorists are seeing that it has got late and elections are about to take place with the majority of Iraqis obviously willing to participate. Killing IP, ING and American soldiers won’t do, attacking infra structure won’t stop the process. So what’s left to do?
It has become clear that we are their worst nightmare, that ‘their people’ might open their eyes and work for a better future, that we embrace freedom, peace and a better life instead of hatred and death. This would mean that they have lost the war against the world because they have no *people* to support them and believe in their sick dreams. Now they wish they can kill us all, but they can’t, so the best thing they can do is to terrorize us, kill some of us randomly hoping that this would scare us enough to stop doing what we are doing, to stop living and join their craziness. Will they succeed? The answer is so clear to me but I hope that our allies see what our enemies have seen.
Am I being too dramatic here? Ok, let’s get a bit more practical. The government with the help of America and the rest of the coalition is preparing for elections in a long plan to transfer Iraq into a democratic country. Iraqis are living and working to support their families and seem to approve of the democratic process. Some of them are actively helping while the majority only follow with approval. Isn’t that what we all want; People who reject dictatorship, work for a better future for themselves and their families and want to live peacefully with the others instead of loading themselves with explosives or carrying AK47 and murdering anyone who don’t follow their beliefs? This, in my mind, is what will make terror lose and freedom prevail in Iraq; our love for life, peace and freedom and our rejection for terrorism and dictatorship.
Have you seen this campaign the Guardian's been running? They identified Clark County, Ohio as one of the swingiest counties in one of the most critical swing states, so they got hold of the electoral roll and are telling their readers to bombard the county's voters with reasons not to vote for Bush.
This is excellent news for the President, who in recent days had been looking a little wobbly in Ohio. But there's nothing like a barrage of mail from condescending Guardian readers to send the locals stampeding into the Bush camp. If the editor of the Guardian's up for it, fifty quid says Bush will win a higher proportion of the vote in Clark County on November 2 than he did last time.
The reason is advice like this, from Guardian reader Richard Dawkins, Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. Dawkins begins his missive to the Clark County swing voter with a little light Bushophobia: "An idiot he may be, but he is also sly, mendacious and vindictive... thuggish ideologues. pariah state. brazenly lying. cynical mendacity" yada-yada.
But then he goes on: "Now that all other justifications for the war are known to be lies, the warmongers are thrown back on one, endlessly repeated: the world is a better place without Saddam. No doubt it is. But that's the Tony Martin school of foreign policy."
At this point, the Guardian's editors intervene with an explanatory parenthesis: "[Martin was a householder who shot dead a burglar who had broken into his house in 1999]." And then Dawkins continues: "It's not how civilised countries, who follow the rule of law, behave. The world would be a better place without George Bush, but that doesn't justify an assassination attempt."
You just blew it big-time in Clark County, prof. Voters may be divided on Bush and on the Iraq war but, in the American heartland, they're generally agreed on a homeowner's right to take out a burglar. Insofar as the name "Tony Martin" is known to Americans – and to older ones it means Cyd Charisse's husband, who sang More Than You Know very nicely in the 1955 MGM version of Hit The Deck...
The cease-fire that Spain bought with Islamists with their capitulation after the Madrid bombings appears to have been an illusion, as predicted. Spain announced that it captured seven terrorists plotting to bonb their High Court, according to Reuters:
Police arrested seven suspected Islamic militants in raids across Spain on Monday to foil a planned bomb attack on the High Court, judicial sources said. The arrests came seven months after train bombs killed 191 people in Madrid.
The seven suspects, including four Algerians and one Moroccan, were arrested in the southern region of Andalusia, the Mediterranean city of Valencia and Madrid.
Further arrests could be made in the coming hours as part of the operation against a radical and violent Muslim network, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
Perhaps the Spanish electorate will understand now that appeasing terrorists only leads to more terrorism, a lesson that Europeans learned the hard way 60 years ago...
Guess Where I Will Be Spending Election Night?
Now it's not as good as the invitation I had in 2000 to the 'Campaign Victory Party,' but that ended up to be more of an ulcer producer instead of a 'party'. In November of 2000, I got a call asking if I'd be willing to spend the long Thanksgiving weekend down in FL county chads. Because of my kids, I had to say, "No."
Working on my Master's has taken too many hours that would have gone towards the campaign. I did some hours on the phone banks a few months back and will be walking the area the weekend before the election, but that's all I had to give this cycle. I wonder how much more people would cherish their rights and our system, if they chose to get involved? Want to walk for GW? Go visit http://www.georgewbush.com
Here's an excerpt:
Our editors also feel severely chafed by the accusation that many of our front-page articles are not really news at all but rather illustrations of our editorial-page arguments. Yes, we have run many articles showing that Americans are poorer, stouter, more psychotic, less well dressed, and more prone to hangnails and paper cuts since Bush took office. But these reports are legitimate news. For example, our report last week, “Sure, Country is Divided, but Bush Country, Too?” conveyed our wonderment that even in Crawford, Texas, Bush’s hometown, some folks intend to vote for Kerry. This was news. If we discover that several people in Boston intend to vote for Bush, I’m sure we will run that story on our front page, too.
To the casual reader, many of our front-page articles may look a bit like editorials. Last week, one article took a stern look at President Bush’s foreign policy, and another more or less said that Republicans feared that Mr. Bush looked like a loser in the debates. We call this interpretive journalism, and if our reporters interpret things the way the owner and editors of this paper do, well, that’s just a coincidence. For instance, in his front-page analysis after the third presidential debate, the Cocoon reporter said the debates were “a rough passage for Mr. Bush,” who “occasionally seemed agitated,” whereas, Mr. Kerry “delivered a consistent set of assertive, collected performances.” Some readers believe the headline should have said “Reporter is Voting For Kerry” instead of “A Crucial Test, But Not Final.”
Be warned: not gory, but extremely, extremely disturbing. You can see the three blasts (the third one is specially big). Later, while police and paramedics where assisting the wounded, there was an alert because somebody thought that another artifact was going to blow up (something that in the end didn't happen, fortunately).
And that's precisely the most unsettling moment, at least the one that impressed me most: seeing all those doctors and policemen leaving the wounded and running away to shield themselves from what they thought was going to be another explosion, leaving the wounded unattended. I just can't imagine what would have been in my mind if I had been one of the people on the floor, with serious injuries, or how helpless I would've felt seeing all these guys running away. On the other hand, of course, I can't judge; fortunately I haven't found myself in such a situation, and it's impossible to know what would be my, or anyone else's, reaction in a moment like that. But as far as I know, the NYFD guys kept going up on the second WTC tower after the first one had already fallen, knowing that it meant they would probably die too: they simply were trying to save as many lives as possible and as long as they could...
"First, take Mr. Kerry's contention that we "had an opportunity to capture or kill Osama bin Laden" and that "we had him surrounded." We don't know to this day whether Mr. bin Laden was at Tora Bora in December 2001. Some intelligence sources said he was; others indicated he was in Pakistan at the time; still others suggested he was in Kashmir. Tora Bora was teeming with Taliban and Qaeda operatives, many of whom were killed or captured, but Mr. bin Laden was never within our grasp.
Second, we did not "outsource" military action. We did rely heavily on Afghans because they knew Tora Bora, a mountainous, geographically difficult region on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is where Afghan mujahedeen holed up for years, keeping alive their resistance to the Soviet Union. Killing and capturing Taliban and Qaeda fighters was best done by the Afghan fighters who already knew the caves and tunnels.
Third, the Afghans weren't left to do the job alone. Special forces from the United States and several other countries were there, providing tactical leadership and calling in air strikes. Pakistani troops also provided significant help - as many as 100,000 sealed the border and rounded up hundreds of Qaeda and Taliban fighters.
Contrary to Senator Kerry, President Bush never "took his eye off the ball" when it came to Osama bin Laden. The war on terrorism has a global focus. It cannot be divided into separate and unrelated wars, one in Afghanistan and another in Iraq. Both are part of the same effort to capture and kill terrorists before they are able to strike America again, potentially with weapons of mass destruction. Terrorist cells are operating in some 60 countries, and the United States, in coordination with dozens of allies, is waging this war on many fronts.
As we planned for potential military action in Iraq and conducted counterterrorist operations in several other countries in the region, Afghanistan remained a center of focus. Neither attention nor manpower was diverted from Afghanistan to Iraq. When we started Operation Iraqi Freedom we had about 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, and by the time we finished major combat operations in Iraq last May we had more than 10,000 troops in Afghanistan."
To examine the attitudes of veterans more closely, Gallup combined the results of nine surveys* conducted at four different points in time: two surveys taken in the spring (March and May); two surveys conducted in late July and August after the Democratic convention and before the Republicans' convention; two polls following the Republican convention in September; and the three most recent surveys from October. Taken together, these surveys contained 1,512 people who identified themselves as veterans who are registered to vote in this year's election.
Come with me on a trip through the last six days. Here's what the Democratic campaign has hammered home:
* Dick Cheney has a lesbian daughter, who is (says Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill) "fair game" for discussion.
* President Bush is secretly planning to institute a draft.
* Bush is deliberately going to destroy Social Security in order — why else? — to enrich his fat-cat contributors.
* If you get the flu this winter, it will be George W. Bush's fault.
Monday, October 18, 2004
Back to the point of this post, Blackfive manages to hit the Trib endorsement of Bush, an Ohio Democratic mayor for Bush, and the Kerry lie of the FOP endorsement, all in one post!
Earlier in the year, I linked to and read a blog called "the View from Baghdad," written by a young, anonymous administrator with the Coalition Provisional Authority. After dropping out of site, he resurfaced yesterday and wrote me:
You may recall a blog about six months back "The View from Baghdad," written by an anonymous guy working with budding democrats in Bagdad, that disappeared suddenly in April. It posted a lot of photos and gave personal accounts of what was going on with every day Iraqis. Well, I am back and no longer anonymous. I was in Bagdad for nine months, from July of last year through April of this year, doing about a dozen polls and seventy focus groups, advising Ambassador Bremer on Iraqi public opinion. Check out my new website at http://www.thetruthaboutiraq.org
I came back from Iraq in May, and got disgusted with how the media was portraying events in Iraq, and thoroughly nauseated by Michael Moore ... and the lies he is propagating, so I started The Truth About Iraq.org. I've decided to use the polling information from Iraq to debunk some of the myths that have been created by the media.
Domestically, our organization also did a poll of swing state media markets- Columbus, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Philly- and found out that a lot of the messages we have on our site about how life is improving for Iraqis move voters. 6% of voters change to Bush in Cleveland and Columbus, and 4% in the Philly suburbs change to Bush when given our message.
Since more than 7 million people watched Dan Rather last night, and Fahrenheit 9/11 has sold some 13 million tickets, I figure the only way to counter such massive disinformation is through paid television commercials.
We are airing the attached commercial starting on the 16th.
I'd appreciate it if you could help get the word out. Feel free to email me with any questions or comments.
/smSteven MooreFounderThe Truth About Iraq.org
Bill at INDC Journal has more on Steven Moore, well worth checking out both Moore's and INDC's blogs.
Eight months ago the Bush administration withdrew all support for Mr Aristide and made it clear he should leave Haiti.
John Kerry called that "short-sighted" and said he would have sent troops to protect Mr Aristide, who was an elected leader.
Now General Heleno, says those comments have offered hope to Aristide's supporters that should Mr Kerry win the US election in November the former Haitian president might be restored to power.
General Heleno said any hopes of an Aristide comeback were "completely unfounded".
Speaking to Brazil's state news agency the UN commander was trying to explain the recent upsurge in violence in Haiti.
General Heleno insisted the peacekeepers, most of whom are Brazilian, were doing the maximum possible to restore order...
Michelle Malkin has much more, http://michellemalkin.com/archives/000675.htm
Let me insert something here, written by Zeyad at Healing Iraq.
Remember that you are completely blocked from the outside world, you only read newspapers and books allowed by the government, the rest are censored. You only watch state-sponspored tv channels. Websites that are 'unacceptable' are blocked by state-sponspored Internet providers. The government tells you that 'this is for your own good', they protect you from 'the other' which is trying to poison your thoughts, undermine your faith, and destroy your traditions. Your fellow countrymen who inadvertently step over the lines are strictly 'punished' by the state because they have become 'spies' and 'agents'. Anyone else who dares to ask for more liberties, reforms, who criticises or acts against the ruler/government/state is an enemy acting on behalf of Zionists and imperialists, or is part of a grand plan (that has been planned for centuries) against 'the revolution' or the historical role of the ummah/Caliph/Sultan/ruler/government/state.
The above situation is not out of George Orwell's 1984, it is what all Iraqis for the last 50 years had to endure.
Perhaps the good people of the Iraq photo project could go tell Zeyad that they are sorry he and his family no longer have to live like that.
Here is something, via Vodkapundit, http://vodkapundit.com/archives/006933.php that may give the Democrats pause, from i-imagery, linked in title:
...which may have prejudiced me when I was, the better part of a decade later, sitting in the reception room of the little day-spa here in South Florida. I was idly chatting with the receptionist while the massage therapist was performing her healing magic on my wife. Invariably, the proximity of the upcoming election demanded its share of attention. As the conversation took a tack in that direction, I prepared myself to defend my opinion of both Bush and Kerry in the least offensive manner possible and look for a way to change the topic. Of course, the receptionist immediately announced her disdain for President Bush. It looked like I was going to be right. When the conversation turned towards Kerry, however, I was surprised to see that she had even less of a palatable impression of *him*. I dared to edge the conversation towards some of the challenges we face in the world: Terrorism, the war in Iraq, our economy.
This is where the story ends, folks. She confessed to me that almost all of her friends were voting for Bush.
I was floored.
Wendy revealed to me later that her massage therapist seemed to be preoccupied with voter fraud here in Florida, which surprisingly enough was the Democratic Whine-du-Jour that day.
It will be a cold day in hell the day that a staunch liberal Democrat will drop the party line (or their ultra-conservative counterparts for that matter) but I was still stunned to see the reaction of this receptionist. When she admitted that to me, I could almost see the loose shingles on the roof of the Democratic house.
Here in Florida, that's a sign of certain trouble when a storm is on the way...
Jordan has charged 13 suspected militants, including fugitive Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, for an al Qaida-linked terror plot in the kingdom.
Prosecutors in Amman said the group conspired to use chemical and conventional weapons to attack government sites, the U.S. Embassy and other targets.
Fifteen days to go, and much of John Kerry's "debate bounce" has faded away. RealClearPolitics' "poll average" gives President Bush a 3.6% lead, 48.8% to 45.2%, with Ralph Nader grabbing 1.7%. Without Nader, Bush picks up 0.2%, giving him a 3.8% lead.
This is close enough that Republicans are in no position to get cocky, but with every poll now showing a Bush lead (except Time without Nader and Zogby with, which both have a tie), the Kerry camp has reason to be nervous. Their man did about as well as could be expected in the debates, and still he trails.
An Agence France-Presse photo suggests the Kerry campaign is a "dead end." We wouldn't go that far--but with no more debates, what can Kerry do to come back? Blogger Rodger Morrow suggests that he is being forced to resort to a "Hail Mary" approach--attempting to score via a series of long passes that have little chance of connecting:
In the past 10 days or so, the Kedwards campaign has:
Accused the Bush administration of planning to reinstitute a military draft.
Recycled the "no blood for oil" canard of the looney left.
Alleged that the Bush administration is somehow in the pocket of the Saudi royal family.
Told voters that, if they elect John Kerry, "people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again."
Suggested that President Bush was planning a "January surprise" to privatize Social Security.
Advised Democratic campaign workers to launch a "pre-emptive strike" charging voter "intimidation" on election day even if no evidence exists.
Warned Florida voters that Republicans are "trying to keep people from voting."
Blamed the flu vaccine shortage on President Bush.
Twice called attention to the fact that Mary Cheney is a lesbian.
If you didn't know better, you might think they were getting desperate.
Of course, the problem with a Hail Mary pass is that there's always the danger of being intercepted, which is what appears to have happened with the Mary Cheney Hail Mary. On the surface, it was actually a very clever play, a way of gay-baiting while also appealing to gays (who saw it as a way of exposing what they see as Republican cruelty or hypocrisy on same-sex marriage)...
Which Foreign Endorsement Would You Prefer?
The Palestinian Authority made its first open statement Monday expressing support for US democratic presidential candidate John Kerry...
And for Bush, and his rationale, http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe/10/18/putin.iraq/
MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin says terrorist attacks in Iraq are aimed at preventing the re-election of U.S. President George W. Bush and that a Bush defeat "could lead to the spread of terrorism to other parts of the world."
Putin, speaking Central Asian Cooperation Organization summit in Tajikistan Monday, made his most overt comments of support so far for the re-election of Bush for a second term.
"Any unbiased observer understands that attacks of international terrorist organizations in Iraq, especially nowadays, are targeted not only and not so much against the international coalition as against President Bush," Putin said.
"International terrorists have set as their goal inflicting the maximum damage to Bush, to prevent his election to a second term.
"If they succeed in doing that, they will celebrate a victory over America and over the entire anti-terror coalition," Putin said...
Soros Responds: "Technical Error" Responsible for Posting's Disappearance
(By Ray D.)
We recently received a reply to our inquiry as to why our exchange disappeared from the Soros website. As promised in my open letter to Mr. Soros, I am posting his reply in full here on Medienkritik for all to see. You can also find the following on Mr. Soros' site:
Monday, October 18, 2004 Medienkritik Clarification
On October 13th I posted a comment from Ray D. of Davids Medienkritik with my response. Due to a technical error, the exchange fell off of my blog archive, although it has always been available on my website at its permanent link. I have been extremely forward in my opinions with the explicit goal of fostering a dialogue about the policies of the current administration on Iraq. I would not intentionally remove a post from my website. The administrators of the website are working to resolve the technical issue, and in the meantime I encourage readers to look at the original post.
posted by George Soros @ 10/18/2004 11:07:02 AM EST
Fair enough. I just wonder what sort of "technical error" could have selectively erased my email and not the others surrounding it and why my email, after appearing on Mr. Soros' site for several days, just happened to be removed by the "technical error" when this story got noticed in a big way through Instapundit.
Whatever. What I would really appreciate is if Mr. Soros would address my response to his reply.
October 18, 2004 at 05:49 PM
Sunday, October 17, 2004
Just because he can, Sean Gleeson has taken to doctoring some of the signs, which is actually a vast improvement, http://blog.gleeson.us/sean/2004/10/16/apologizing_to_saddam_is_groovy . Sean has also started a 'page of atonement,' which you will most definately not want to miss, http://blog.gleeson.us/sean/2004/10/17/page_of_atonement .
BTW, I found the links via Instapundit, who gave very good advice, "Put down all liquids before following this link."
Ray has been good enough to offer another chance to Mr. Soro's to engage in meaningful discourse in this very important election year, http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2004/10/an_open_letter_.html , here is the letter he sent:
Dear Mr. Soros,
Recently I emailed you about comments you made regarding democracy. You were kind enough to post my email along with your response on your website. I subsequently posted a response on Davids Medienkritik. Our story was linked by Instapundit.com. Not long after, I noticed that my email and your response disappeared from your website. I think that is unfortunate.
We are fast approaching an election and should be engaged in an open discussion on relevant issues that impact the outcome. How does erasing a highly relevant discussion on foreign policy and world affairs from your blog contribute to that discussion Mr. Soros? That is hardly the action of someone who is convinced of his arguments.
Perhaps this was all a misunderstanding. I invite you to take a look at my most recent reply. Should you choose to respond to my argument, I would gladly post your response in full on this website.
My own feelings about Mr. Soro's are not positive, in light of everything I've read, most recently I've already posted about here: http://teachersramblings.blogspot.com/2004/10/horowitz-on-shadow-party.html