July 31, 2004

Inauspicious

The "Believe in America" bus tour started out in Scranton, PA today, where nominee John Kerry insulted some Marines in a Wendy's.
bang.jpg

The Mudville Gazette blog is having a Caption Contest for the above photo. I like "And unless three fingers is enough for you, don't try this at your local Wendy’s..."

At least one of the Marines is Iraqi bound. All are proud of their service and proud of Coalition accomplishments in the region.

It is not fair of me to say that he insulted them, but he did try to use them as a photo op:

"He imposed on us and I disagree with him coming over here shaking our hands," one Marine said, adding, "I'm 100 percent against [him]."

A sergeant with 10 years of service under his belt said, "I speak for all of us. We think that we are doing the right thing in Iraq," before saying he is to be deployed there in a few weeks and is "eager" to go and serve.


Semper Fi, gentlemen – thanks for your service (and candor!)

Hat-tip: Instapundit.

Posted by jk at 03:12 PM | What do you think? [4]

July 30, 2004

Other than that, Virginia?

Virginia Postrel on the big speech:

Well, that speech certainly reminded me why I'm not voting for John Kerry. Contrary to much of the rest of the convention, it was a red-meat speech, complete with "Bush lied" rhetoric, pharmaceutical-company bashing, xenophobic talk about outsourcing, and a promise to make health care "a right." Aside from the much-remarked-upon flag-waving-veteran talk, the speech was mostly made up of (in Kerry's anti-GOP words) "narrow appeals masquerading as values." Better a tongue-tied president than a demagogue.

Posted by jk at 03:52 PM | What do you think? [0]

Cover up!

kerryinspace.jpg

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL (Talon News) -- Government attorneys on Tuesday ordered the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to remove from their web site photos taken of Sen. John Kerry earlier this week when he paid a visit to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL.
The photos sparked a political firestorm when the senator's campaign cried "dirty tricks" when NASA photographers placed photos of Kerry, dressed head to toe in a baby blue "safe suit," on the NASA web site.
NASA's general counsel fears that the photos and the visit may violate the Hatch Act, a federal law which prohibits the use of federal facilities for campaign activities.

So says GOPUSA but I think they're covering up for President Carter, who is now getting nightmares with a rowboat and a 6’4” blue bunny wabbit…

Posted by jk at 02:00 PM | What do you think? [2]

Bad Speech Reviews

Well, yes, this is W’s website. But the news is NOT good for Senator Kerry. Conservative papers are panning the speech. Surprisingly, so is the Washington Post, Rocky Mountain News, and USA Today. Then the hyper-liberal NYTimes and LATimes are complaining that he did not come out more strongly against the war. And CNN and St. Petersburg Times point out this his Iraq position is still unclear.

After a 46 minute speech, his views on the biggest issue facing the country are still ambiguous.

Read 'em and weep, Senator:
GeorgeWBush.com :: WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: On John Kerry's Acceptance Speech

Posted by jk at 11:20 AM | What do you think? [0]

Senator Kerry's Speech

I give him a B. He didn't sell me, but he didn't scare away too many swing voters. His base is excited but they want to believe, they drank the "I can beat Bush" Kool-Aid but did they really like the martial flair?

Brother Andrew Sullivan is a little tougher than me, and I cannot argue him up "Some of it was so pompous and self-congratulatory I almost gagged."

Me too. Andrew makes an interesting and less subjective point:

This was also, it seems to me, a very liberal speech. Domestically, there was no problem the government couldn't help solve. There was support for protectionism, and for penalizing the drug companies. Government-funded research into stem cells was described as revolutionary. But private drug research that has cured millions and saved my own life must be throttled to placate constituencies like the AARP. There was no mention of welfare reform in his past; no mention of education reform; and no firm commitment to seeing the war through in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is obviously what worried me the most. His goal in Iraq is to bring the troops home.

For all the Generals they marched about, it was a liberal speech.

--And another thing -- Does anybody think Bob Dole could have got away with half the grandstanding (sorry if that's too harsh a word) of his military service? Riza and I were mock drinking a shot every time we heard "Vietnam." We'd be in the hospital if we had played for real.

Senator Dole’s heroism was a part of his biography, but he would have been severely criticized to highlight his service half as much as Senator Kerry did last night.

Posted by jk at 09:56 AM | What do you think? [0]

Wishful Thinking


The confirmed Democrat nominee for president gave his acceptance speech last night, painting himself as the second coming of General "Blood and Guts" Patton. Relatively speaking, at least, compared to his position during the primaries.

But one sentence John spoke drew my attention more than all the rest. Criticizing the President for actually making good on our threat to Saddam, he said, "Saying there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq doesn't make it so," and he is correct. Conversely, saying there were not WMD in Iraq pre-invasion doesn't make it so either. But the importance of Kerry's words goes deeper than this.

This one sentence, by itself, derails the entire anti-Bush Democrat campaign, at least on the basis of logic and reason. By uttering it, John 1 has admitted that we live in a finite world with a single, definite and universal reality. But this fact does not comport with the remainder of his candidacy.

Saying that John Kerry is a hawk, doesn't make it so.

Saying that al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and North Korea are not a threat to America until they actually kill more of our citizens doesn't make it so.

Saying that holding out for UN consensus, or the cooperation of a certain group of other nations, before taking military action does not grant a de-facto veto to those institutions doesn't make it so.

And certainly, saying that he can cut middle-class taxes, establish universal health care, fund thousands and thousands of new police, firefighters, soldiers and the latest in state-of-the-art equipment for every one of them, new and old, create "Marshall Plans" for Iraq and Afghanistan (just for starters), balance the federal budget and "pay as you go," all by simply raising taxes on the "wealthiest Americans making $200,000 or more" doesn't make it so. Or right, for that matter.

Posted by JohnGalt at 09:28 AM | What do you think? [4]

July 29, 2004

Buy a Water Barrel

The good guys from Spirit of America are at it again.

$25 buys a 25 gallon water barrel. These will help rural Iraqis transport potable water in an area desperate for fresh water.

SFC Brian Soper is from Minneapolis, MN. As his National Guard unit traveled outside of Baghdad he noticed that many Iraqis walking miles to get drinking water. He estimates that 250 barrels should get one poor neighborhood through the heat until Civil Affairs develops a permanent solution. Help Spirit of America help these rural Iraqis get through the difficult summer months.


These guys, after I donated to outfit TV stations, collected too much money and emailed me to see if I wanted some back, or if I wanted to apply it to other projects. That's honesty.

Thes folks are awesome read the blog but buy at least one water barrel, you cheap asses!

Posted by jk at 05:46 PM | What do you think? [3]

Botox

I didn't have to watch the Convention after all. Peggy Noonan sums it all up in a short and clever column.

Ron Reagan as Ron Popiel of "Pocket-Fisherman" fame, Jesse Jackson's non-consent as a torch is passed to Barack Obama, the rich, liberal victimhood of THK's demeanor, and this amazing swipe at the Junior Senator from the great state of New York:

At a certain point Botox can become a problem for those in public life. Mrs. Clinton now has to pop her eyes out to show excitement. Worry lines are honorable, and in Mr. Clinton's wife they are understandable. She should keep them.

It's vintage Peggy with a lightness and humor she doesn't always nail these days. jk gives it five stars...

Posted by jk at 12:00 PM | What do you think? [1]

"Strength & Security for a New World"

John 2 informed us last night that a John John administration would "destroy al Qaeda." "You can not run and you can not hide," he told them. But just like J/J's economic promises, they're short on details here too.

The latest incarnation of the "National Security" policy on John 1's website has replaced the original "Seven point comprehensive plan to fight the war against terror" (thanks Alex) with these "four imperatives" that will guide his national security policy:

- Replace the 'coalition of the willing' with a 'coalition of the able.' (Undoubtedly at the service of a 'coalition of need.')

- "Modernize the world's most powerful military..."

- Appeal to potential future terrorists with our "values and ideas" through diplomacy, economic power and our intelligence system, thereby preventing them from choosing terror as a career path.

- Increase reliance upon alternatives to fossil fuels before they are developed.

This doesn't quite sound like the furious vengeance that John 2 promised for al Qaeda, does it.

In an FNC interview this morning with Bob Sellers, former Clinton UN Ambassador Richard Holbrooke tried to answer "very clearly" a question about postwar Iraq under a Kerry administration, namely "How would it be different?"

Holbrooke: "What's the real difference between John Kerry and George W. Bush. John Kerry will come to the presidency, one of the most qualified presidents in international relations, national security, in history. He was educated partly in Europe, he's comfortable in international climates, he even speaks a few foreign languages which some of the Republicans try to make into a negative but I think it's a positive. He has his Vietnam history which means he understands war, and he has 20 years on the Foreign Relations Committee. He will bring all that to bear and I predict, based on my own extensive involvement in international affairs over forty years, including three years I served in Vietnam, I predict that John Kerry will get things out of our allies which can not be done by this administration.

Bob, that doesn't mean that Jacques Chirac of France is gonna pick up the phone on January 21st and say to President Kerry, "How many divisions do I send to Iraq." That's not gonna to happen. Because it's gonna take time to repair the damage that's been done to America's role in the world over the last 3 years. But John Kerry will do it, and I'm afraid that George Bush has failed in this regard, and what's amazing about it is if I were, if you were to ask me who the other most qualified person going into the presidency in the last 30 years has been I would say George Bush Sr. CIA director, ambassador to China, ambassador to the UN, a friend of mine, a man I greatly admire and respect. And he also went into the presidency prepared, but it's not true here and John Kerry will be prepared."

Well, this still doesn't answer the question but it does give some insight. Since John 1 went to school in Europe he knows how to buddy up to European leaders. I suppose that would be good news in Paris, but I don't see how it helps Americans. Would we get in on some of those illegal oil contracts next time?

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:24 AM | What do you think? [3]

Universal Truth

The Wall Street Journal says:

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting an informal inquiry regarding the doughnut seller.

Even at the highest levels, how are you gonna expect to keep law enforcement officials away from donuts? Can't be done!

Posted by jk at 10:18 AM | What do you think? [1]

One more day...

I couldn't possibly not watch the Democrat Convention. Everybody asks me why I do and I lie: "Sun Tzu and Machiavelli agree: 'know thy enemy!'" But the truth is I have to watch like a heroin addict with only some bad morphine -- hand me the needle!

By the same token, I could not possibly take another day of it. Tonight's the big night and I'll be jacked-in, but no more, please, no more.

Denver mayor Wellington Webb gaveled the meeting to order last night. How appropriate -- he was the last Democrat I ever voted for. Small world, really.

Al Sharpton spoke, he ran over, he dishonored the n0-Bush-bash rule, then he sat next to Terry McAuliffe and passed judgment on all the other speakers: "Edwards discusses the evils of segregation, Caesar Sharpton is happy!" "Edwards discusses a muscular response to terrorism, Caesar is displeased..."

David Frum asks some pointed questions in National Review Online today:

8:29. Is it not incredible that Al Sharpton is accepted as a convention speaker and bona fide Democratic leader? Is it not amazing that this proven liar and slanderer is accusing the president of "misleading?" Is it not astounding that this audience that cheers for tax increases on the wealthy will cheer this man who enjoys all the trappings of wealth and yet apparently pays hardly any taxes at all? Is it not outrageous that this men whose racial incitements provoked a fire-bombing and homicide dares invoke the language of civil rights?
Do these Democrats have any intellectual or moral standards at all? Do they even have memories?

Then he unwittingly, answers his own question:
9:36 A brief salute to George McGovern, Walter Mondale, and Michael Dukakis: Can even Democrats wish that any of these guys had been elected?

Pretty durn short memories if you ask me, Dave.

Of course, last night wasn't about Al (but they were forced to dignify this race-baiting poser because their ticket is so pasty white). Last night was about Senator Edwards.

His kids are cute, his wife is pleasant, as Andrew Sullivan says, he is to be applauded for holding a good marriage together, especially after the loss of a child.

But we are in serious times. I don't think folks are voting for the guy with cute kids this year. Like or hate the war, you're not likely voting for the guy with the nice smile and the cute little boy.

I will survive four years of President Kerry if I must. He will be "my President" if he wins and I will champion his success if not all his policies.

But, NED SPARE ME from four years of sitting in the jury box while VP Edwards explains difficult ...concepts...to me...slowly...so that I can... understand....so...that...I...can...understand!

Hate to burst the donkey-bubble, but this condescension is not going to sell. Yes, it is better packaged than VP Gore's dour condescension, but sunny, cheerful condescension is not that much better.

All and all, a bad night for the D's! Monday was great and nobody watched, Tuesday was weak and they know it. Wednesday was weak and they think it was good. No matter, only tonight counts.

But I am not afraid of Senator Edwards. Sleeping pretty good all of a sudden.

Posted by jk at 08:52 AM | What do you think? [0]

John John Muscles Up, NY Style

The largest contributor to Democrat politicians is George Soros... right? Wrong. ABC News reports a wealthy California film producer named Stephen Bing has delivered more than $16 million of his own money to Dems. Bing's largesse so impressed mister "Hope is on the way," John 2, that the two recently had a private lunch meeting.

So what's the big deal? It turns out that Mr. Bing employs one "Donnie Shacks," one of the top mob hit men in the NY area.

"In fact, Democratic Party officials said they knew nothing about the man who law enforcement officials tell ABC News is Bing's friend and business partner — Dominic Montemarano, a New York Mafia figure currently in federal prison on racketeering charges.

Montemarano has a long criminal record and is known to organized crime investigators by his street name, Donnie Shacks.

"Donnie Shacks' main activity was murder. No question about it. That was his main function for the Colombo family and for organized crime in general. He was one of the top hit men in the New York area," said Joe Coffey, a former NYPD investigator.

According to The Los Angeles Times, Bing paid Montemarano's legal fees after his most recent scrape with the law. Montemerano's lawyer said his client was an employee of Bing's."

Perhaps Little John's meeting with this guy was to discuss privatization of the war on terror.

Posted by JohnGalt at 08:26 AM | What do you think? [2]

July 28, 2004

www.swiftvets.com

Today's Day By Day cartoon includes a URL to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth - Service to Country at www.swiftvets.com. The site:

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has been formed to counter the false "war crimes" charges John Kerry repeatedly made against Vietnam veterans who served in our units and elsewhere, and to accurately portray Kerry's brief tour in Vietnam as a junior grade Lieutenant. We speak from personal experience -- our group includes men who served beside Kerry in combat as well as his commanders. Though we come from different backgrounds and hold varying political opinions, we agree on one thing: John Kerry misrepresented his record and ours in Vietnam and therefore exhibits serious flaws in character and lacks the potential to lead.

We regret the need to do this. Most Swift boat veterans would like nothing better than to support one of our own for America's highest office, regardless of whether he was running as a Democrat or a Republican. However, Kerry's phony war crimes charges, his exaggerated claims about his own service in Vietnam, and his deliberate misrepresentation of the nature and effectiveness of Swift boat operations compels us to step forward.


The site features two pictures worth the proverbial Kiloword. Lt. Kerry's crew, but when you mouse over, it shows Kerry and the two who support him. Ouch.

Posted by jk at 01:55 PM | What do you think? [2]

THK's speech

I thought I was bored, and that it was just me who found her a little aloof, distant and self-centered. Well, compared to The American Thinker, I am President of the THK fan club:

Acknowledging the applause, and maybe the signs, her first words were, “Thank-you. Thank-you. I love you, too.” Nothing about how honored she is to be addressing the convention and the nation. Just an acknowledgement of the assumed love for HER. Though the crowd had already stopped cheering and applauding, she gestured with her hands to quiet them, as if her body were programmed in advance to do so. The hands lingered a few moments too long, hanging there in front of her while the audience was silent.

[...]

To demonstrate the fact that she really does speak five languages, she hailed Spanish- and Latin-Americans in Spanish, Franco-Americans in French, Italian-Americans in Italian, and Portuguese- and Brazilian-Americans in Portuguese. A few words in each language, specifically using the hyphenated form in mentioning each group in its own native language. Because she was not speaking English, perhaps the hyphen overkill didn’t trouble as many people as it should have. Such linguistic showboating bothers me when people order their meal in French, sometimes to a waiter who doesn't have any idea what they want to eat.

She then returned to her oddly slow, slightly off-rhythm English, adding to the list of groups she was addressing immigrants in general (so Chinese, Vietnamese, and other immigrant speakers of the really hard languages not derived from Latin roots would not be offended, I suppose).

[...]

But it was really all about her. This is clearly a woman who thinks and feels that she is the one paying the bills, so she gets to call the shots. I can imagine that Sen. Kerry has had to put up with a lot of this, but has made his peace with it, considering the financial benefits.
None of the details of her marriage would be of the slightest interest to me or anyone else, if it weren't for the fact that her husband could well be the next President. A man bought and paid for, with a willful, short-tempered, somewhat angry and defensive, egotistical spouse, one who is used to getting hr own way whenever she demands it.
But I, for one, no matter how tedious and icky it felt listening to her, am grateful that she has taken her place on the national stage. We deserve to know more about her, considering how important her role is in her husband's life. She is, in fact, his primary source of his livelihood. Just as we would demand to know about a candidate's job, we deserve to know about Teresa, who pays far more lavishly than any other job Kerry could hold.


On one hand, it seems a little far to pry into her motives and finances, but The Thinker makes a good point:
Conventional wisdom holds that nobody votes for a First Lady, that candidates’ wives may be interesting, but are unimportant in voting. I am not so sure this time around. John Kerry’s choices for spouse share one thing in common: vast wealth. That kind of money affects the behavior of those around it, the same way that black holes bend the waves of light and gravity. The candidate himself has been living in this bizarre environment of marriage to great wealth for decades. The strange, somewhat disturbing woman, who bears all the marks of the one in charge, may well be even more influential than Hillary Rodham Clinton, given an opportunity to live in the White House.

Posted by jk at 01:20 PM | What do you think? [2]

July 27, 2004

Rising Star

Barack Obama's speech was very good. Interrupted only by my wife and I screaming "you're in the wrong party, bub! The things you say are Republican ideals!"

Then he got into handouts and gub'mint giveaways. Maybe he is on the right side of the aisle. But he is pretty good. A rising star -- the best of the night.

Ron Reagan, Jr. Yawn. If we elect John Kerry, all disease will go away.

Theresa Heinz Kerry. Yawn. Boilerplate Democratic policies. She wants "opinionated" women to get more respect in the USA. She doesn't seem as concerned about women in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Abe Lincoln riff was good -- I don't know that our 16th was too happy to be quoted at the Dem convention, but that's politics for you.

Posted by jk at 08:53 PM | What do you think? [0]

Michael Moore Exposed

I just watched the unlikely interview of Michael Moore by FNC's Bill O'Reilly, and composed an email which I sent to Bill. I'll share it with you all here:

Bill,

You correctly identified Moore's blind ideology. I'd like to point out his method of making it APPEAR to make sense. Notice that in every instance he distorted the context of the question. His movies work this way too.

Regarding the loss felt by parents of fallen servicemen, Moore said, "That was not the reason they were given."
In reality there were many reasons which justified the war, not just the - still disputed - WMD question.

Regarding the President's responsibility for the deaths of servicemen, Moore said, "If I made a mistake that resulted in the death of your child, how would you feel toward me? I'm driving down the road and I hit your child, and your child is dead."
This is an entirely inappropriate analogy to a military commander sending an all volunteer army into battle where casualties result.

Regarding the morality of war, Moore said, "Would you sacrifice your child to remove one of the other 30 brutal dictators on this planet?" "Would you sacrifice your child to secure Fallujah?"
No soldier went to Iraq or Afghanistan intent on "sacrificing" himself. That is the stock in trade of the terrorists. They went there to do a job, accomplish a goal, protect the vulnerable.

Finally, in an effort to define himself as a reasonable man, Moore claimed, "I would be willing to sacrifice my life to track down the people who killed 3000 people on our soil."
But this contradicts Moore's own words, less than a month after September 11, 2001, when he criticized military action in Afghanistan by imploring Rush Limbaugh, Orrin Hatch, and yourself, to "get your butts over there to Afghanistan and defend a way of life that allows companies like Boeing [sic] get rid of 30,000 people while using the tragedy in New York as their shameful excuse." (from http://www.canadiandimension.mb.ca/extra/d1015mm.htm)

Is this the "way of life" that Moore is willing to "sacrifice" himself for?

Posted by JohnGalt at 08:08 PM | What do you think? [2]

They're Democrats again

Wow, what a difference a day makes. Tonight's speakers have their hands out, demanding a laundry list of services from government.

Gephardt and Daschle were flat, Carol Mosley-Braun was tedious, Christie Vilsack was amateurish. I think the Republicans might just run the tape as one night of its convention.

Posted by jk at 07:30 PM | What do you think? [0]

Feel Better

President Clinton did so well last night I was scared. But Senator Kennedy has put my mind at ease. HE WAS TERRIBLE! That was the worst speech ever. He seemed particularly deracinated. Was he drunk? I don't know, his speech was not slurred but his prosody was off, he made several reading or pronunciation errors. Man! I was dreamin' of W's oratory skills.

And none of the Tuesday speakers got the no-Bush-bashing memo. Senator Kennedy was brutal, called the President by name, and invited him to "a tea party -- I know just the place."

Don't let Ted drive, Mr. President, there's lots of water around.

Then Barak Obama's minister said "let's get this cowboy out of the White House!" Guess he didn't get the memo either.


Posted by jk at 06:42 PM | What do you think? [0]

No Bush Bashing -- Kids, I Mean It!

I awoke in torpor this morning (just west of de la Cruz...) at how successfully the Democrats had toned their rhetoric. It was perfect -- they fired up the base with comments like President Carter's "John Kerry showed up for his military service," and "[Truman and Eisenhower] did not get us into optional wars..." no sound bites for the GOP, yet the delegates could infer their own red meat. You could see it in their eyes.

Follow it up with a great speech from President Clinton. They will, indeed get a 15 point bounce this week. This is a great convention for the Dems.

A little shadenfruedic consolation at least is provided ny John Fund in the WSJ Political Diary today:

Give Democrats credit for a tightly scripted convention that puts strict controls on Bush Bashing from the podium. The president's name was barely uttered yesterday. The speakers were warned that not a single unrehearsed, unchecked syllable would be tolerated. Al Gore had to rip up his speech and start over because it tested for venom at intolerable levels.

But several Democrats were unhappy with the script control. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell admitted to NBC's Andrea Mitchell that convention honchos had taken some of the best lines out of his speech. "So why the thought police? Is this the white bread party?" she asked. Mr. Rendell responded that he had wanted to accuse George Bush of having an energy policy "written by Big Oil, of Big Oil and for Big Oil." Ms. Mitchell was aghast: "That line was too tough for the Democratic Party?"

She then accosted Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico, with a question about why "35% of the delegates who don't agree with Kerry's positions" were holding back and swallowing the moderate tone of the Kerry platform, especially on Iraq. "They (the delegates) want a victory so much they will lessen their expectations on the platform," he replied.


At least they are not as happy as much as they are making this GOP partisan miserable...

Posted by jk at 11:33 AM | What do you think? [1]

July 26, 2004

Greatest Politician of our Generation

I am speechless. President Clinton just delivered the perfect speech. Perfect for the time, the place and the occasion. Love the man or hate him, you cannot deny his skill.

The delegates look at him adoringly and hang on his every word. If Senator Kerry can do half as well, I will give up 99 days early.

Don't get me wrong: he lies, he misrepresents, he promotes bad policy. But dang -- he does it well!

Posted by jk at 09:34 PM | What do you think? [9]

Convention blogging

I'm taking a breather between President Carter and President Clinton. Our nation was gifted with 12 years -- I only get 40 minutes!

The Irish Trojan's blog is doing some great convention blogging. Highlights include:

Man, Stephanie Tubbs is annoying. Becky and I finally muted her because we couldn't deal with her voice anymore. I know she's a minority and she's a woman and she's from Ohio, but seriously.

Jimmy Carter is pulling no punches. Methinks he may have been deemed "off limits" to the Kerrymen's editing.

On a side note, the music between speakers is awful.

Earlier, Reverend Stephen Ayres of Boston's Old North Church said that, if not for the famed heroics of Boston's revolutionaries, "you might be nominating Tony Blair today" instead of John Kerry. To which I couldn't help thinking: sounds great! Where can I sign up? :)

In other news, the music between speakers is still awful. I mean, really awful.

UPDATE: Uh-oh. The president of Planned Parenthood just compared the war against terrorism to "the war against women's reproductive freedom" at home. She said we need to win that war "just like" we need to win the war abroad. Yeah, because the battle over abortion rights is exactly like the war against Islamic fundamentalists who want to destroy Western Civilization.

ANOTHER "UH-OH": Now Marca Bristo, President and CEO of Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago, just compared the Republicans' policies toward disabled Americans to "Jim Crow."

A bit of good news, though: the convention is right on schedule.

Seriously, I think the DJ is a closet Republican trying to sabotage the convention with terrible, terrible music.

Posted by jk at 08:05 PM | What do you think? [0]

#39

Wow. No Bush bashing tonight! Seems President Carter did not get the memo.

It hurts me (I am serious) that I dislike President Carter so. I have about come to terms with President Clinton. Actually, watching #39, 0l' 42 seems pretty good.

He is a relentless partisan hack, even bucking the wishes of his own party to tone down the rhetoric. The revision of history in his speech and Gov. Richardson's introduction was mind numbing. Hey! I'm 44! I was there! You did not win the cold war and end the energy crisis. As I recall, you punished the Soviets with an Olympic boycott and told us to put a sweater on.

Seriously, some folks DO remember -- what were they thinking putting this guy on stage? You want 10% inflation and 20% employment, vote Democratic!

Posted by jk at 07:56 PM | What do you think? [0]

Gone Palm...

Even being an official computer geek, I have generally preferred a paper and ink DayTimer-style system to a handheld PDA. But I am giving it another chance. I bought a Sony CLIE TH-55. She got a hi-rez screen (very nice), built-in camera (yawn), mp3 player (cool), and WiFi (sina qua non). I will try to get focused, organized and highly-effective.

To that end, I have goofed off with it all day, seeing what it can do.

Why I am I telling you? Because, I added Berkeley Square Blog (MT has a built-in RSS feed) to the eNews sites at MobiPocket Reader. If you use a plam, you can download MobiPocket and configure it to load up a bunch of blogs, including Berkeley Square Blog.

Posted by jk at 11:58 AM | What do you think? [0]

Senator Clinton's "Bestshoring"

First: I know a lot of you use the free OpinionJournal.com site to avoid paying money for the Wall Street Journal. One hates to insult one's readership, but you are all crazy!

Today Michael Barone has a great piece on why technology and telecommunication have changed the party conventions from the smoky, stormy, tendentious affairs of old to today's infomercials.

If that ain't worth it, we get a guest Ed from Sen. Hillary Clinton. Mirabile dictu, I start out agreeing with her:

WSJ.com - 'Bestshoring' Beats Outsourcing

You can't turn on the news without hearing about offshore outsourcing -- the shipping of jobs overseas to take advantage of lower wages. This trend has spread widespread fear among working families around the country. Although these fears are legitimate, I believe that the savings from such outsourcing are exaggerated and that America is more competitive than most realize.


I don't always agree with the Junior Senator from New York, but here she is spouting good economics -- contradictory to the chicken-little-protectionists in her party. Well done Madame Senator. Or, to use the colloquial, "You Go Girl!"
You're probably asking, "How can we compete against countries where a computer programmer's wages are $10,000 per year while the equivalent U.S. wage is $100,000?" The explanation is that additional costs must be added to the offshore wages themselves to get the complete picture on costs. Companies have to spend money for planning, offshore transition, vendor selection, technology, communications, offshore management, travel and security. Many employers do not take every one of these costs into consideration. Add up all the costs and suddenly a call-center worker with a raw wage of $5 an hour offshore has a true cost of $17. And that's why we have the potential to be competitive.

But to realize that potential we need a strategy that focuses on critical areas -- innovation, new job creation, workforce development, connectivity expansion, and collaboration between industry, academia, labor and government. We have to equip businesses and workers to become even more competitive, further develop the digital economy, and work to end trade and tax practices which undermine competitiveness.


Astute readers are probably starting to see where she is going here: Gosh, do you think government has an important role in getting these workers competitive?

Er, yes!

First, what helps us most against offshoring is our leadership in innovation. To maintain our advantage, we need a national agenda that promotes research through tax credits and further direct investments in science. We should provide new tax incentives for jobs, and eliminate perverse ones which actually reward businesses for sending jobs offshore. That's why I have co-sponsored legislation to create a 10% tax cut for manufacturers, and to close loopholes for companies that move HQs abroad solely to avoid taxes. And John Kerry has proposed an overhaul of the corporate tax system to eliminate the so-called deferral advantage which rewards foreign profits at the expense of domestic profits.

We also must help our workers to adapt. This means attracting more people into the science, math, engineering and tech disciplines through grants to universities and special loan programs to students. We cannot afford to fall behind India and China, who graduate far larger numbers of scientists and engineers. The Trade Adjustment Assistance Program, which provides wage assistance and retraining only to manufacturing workers who have lost jobs due to trade, should be expanded to include computer programmers, call-center workers, and other service jobs.


Uh, oh Things are going in the pisser here, if I may be so coarse. How bad can this get? She only has a handful of paragraphs left...
We also need a national broadband policy. It is inexcusable that the U.S. ranks 11th globally in broadband penetration per household. I have introduced legislation to enhance access for rural and underserved areas that would accelerate the transformation to a digital economy.

NO, NO, NO!!! Here is why politics is fun. I have whined about the 11th in broadband number, just like Senator Clinton. But the trouble is not that we lack "a national broadband policy," the trouble is current price controls on last-mile access and antiquated, market-unfriendly, federal ownership and price regulation. Less Government, Senator, not more.

Still, she ends nicely enough

Where do we have the talent, resources, and cost structure coming together to enable us to compete? The answer is regions like Upstate New York, with unmatched educational and research institutions; proximity to the financial center of the world; and a talented, educated workforce. It also has a high quality of life, and with the recent expansion of discount carriers, it's a lot cheaper to fly inside America than any flight you'd find from New York to New Delhi.

With a smarter national strategy and better information on real costs, many companies would rethink offshore sourcing. The choice they would make might be described as "bestshoring." It would keep more good paying jobs in America and replace the ones we have lost with even better ones.


I don't like it, but it is MUCH better economics than anything you'll hear at the convention in Boston this week. And it, sadly, makes me wish that Senator Clinton was the Democratic nominee -- she's more palatable to me than Senator Kerry.

Yes, I said that. I'll stand by it, just don't rub it in...

Posted by jk at 10:18 AM | What do you think? [0]

July 23, 2004

Lies, Damned Lies, &...

Statistics of course! Thomas Sowell has a great column on the use of statistics to bolster a preconception. The master sez:

Too many people in the media, in academia, and even in courts of law, act as if numbers plus a preconception equals proof. The preconception is that various groups -- by race, sex, or whatever -- would be evenly represented in occupations or institutions if it were not for discrimination.

There is no evidence for this notion -- and tons of evidence against it, from countries around the world.

American men are struck by lightning six times as often as American women. Who is discriminating? Men are just 54 percent of the labor force but they suffer more than 90 percent of all deaths on the job. Discrimination?

[...]

One of the reasons given by Earl Warren for supporting the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II was that they lived clustered around military bases to an extent that greatly exceeded what could be accounted for by random chance.

If you start with the preconception that Japanese Americans were likely to try to sabotage the American war effort against Japan and then add a statistical anomaly, you are following the same procedure that leads in many other situations to the grand fallacy that preconception plus numbers equals proof.

In reality, the Japanese Americans, who were largely farmers in those days, lived where they did for the same reason that the military built bases there: The land was cheap. In fact, the Japanese Americans were there first and the military then came in and built bases in their midst.


Sowell is an archetype of the best in Economics: rational thought and reason applied to our quotidian existence. He is discussing this in the context of the Wal-Mart Discrimination class-action suit, but I was thinking more of His Corpulentness, Michel Moore, and his art of letting the viewer jump to the conclusion.

Moore and his followers live on Sowell's dictum: "It is so easy to go so wrong when numbers are added to preconceptions."

"Well, we went to war and Halliburton made $36 million dollars" is Quod Erat Demonstratum to my niece and a lot of my left wing friends. Occam's Razor is not an intellectual foundation for this crowd.

Posted by jk at 03:51 PM | What do you think? [0]

Mean Spirited

-- and non-intellectual. The answer to the "Bush/Chimp" sites: Moore or pig?

Posted by jk at 09:09 AM | What do you think? [0]

July 22, 2004

Curiouser

GOPUSA.com (might be a little biased a source, but this is checkable) reports: Kerry Anti-Terror Plan Removed From Campaign Web Site After Berger Revelation -- GOPUSA

Shortly after news broke that former Clinton administration National Security Advisor Samuel "Sandy" Berger was being investigated by the Justice Department for illegally removing highly classified documents from the National Archives, the presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) removed its anti-terror plan from its web site.

Republicans have suggested that the information contained in the documents was used to formulate Kerry's policy, but are limited in proving those charges because the material is still classified. The sudden disappearance of the policy from the campaign web site that coincided with Berger's dismissal supports Republicans' contention that the purloined data formed the basis of at least part of the Democratic candidate's homeland security program.


This whole story is pretty wierd. But I stand by my assertion that it's a fortuitous diversion for Joe Wilson.

Posted by jk at 02:00 PM | What do you think? [2]

With Buddies Like Arlen...

WSJ OpinionJournal's Political Diary has a little tidbit about AlexC's beloved senior Senator:

Specter Says Thanks

Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter is putting on a little re-election show today, one that will surely have certain members of the Bush Administration wondering why they worked so hard to carry that Republican to a narrow primary victory back in April.

Mr. Specter has a reputation as one of the more liberal Republicans in the Senate, and he's set to prove it again today with a hearing bashing the Bush Administration for not providing Big Labor with more funds. The Department of Labor has decided not to renew its grant with the AFL-CIO's Working for America Institute, an organization that ostensibly provides training to union members. The Labor Department has slowly been phasing out a number of high-dollar national partnership grants (in part because the money from the grants isn't actually going into training), and the Institute's is the last to go.

And Mr. Specter intends to make sure the Administration gets an earful. The hearing gives Nancy Mills, the executive director of the Working for America Institute, a public platform to complain about the defunding. It also allows Mr. Specter to send a message to his union pals that he's back in their camp and expecting their vote this fall as he runs for Senate re-election against Democratic Representative Joe Hoeffel.

All this is in contrast to the Mr. Specter of earlier this year, who was busy shining up his right-of-center credentials in preparation for a tough primary against a more conservative challenger, Representative Pat Toomey. With the White House's help he managed to squeak through that match-up with 51% of the vote. Perhaps the Administration should view this hearing as a taste of the gratitude to come.

--Kim Strassel


Jonah calls him "The man who voted 'Glenfiddich!' on impeachment" and he ain't done much for the GOP since. Why, why, why did the President not throw his weight behind Toomey?

Posted by jk at 11:23 AM | What do you think? [2]

Why Trousergate Matters, Part II

The NY Times is still trying to wish it away, the WaPo is treating it seriously -- as if they were scared, a partisan might say. Thankfully the blogosphere is on the story. Instapundit and Andrew Sullivan are keeping important points top and center (CNN says he did indeed stuff papers down his socks).

And NED bless Hugh Hewitt! In The Gap, he compares the missing drafts to 18 1/2 minutes of audio that President Nixon couldn't explain away:

As any lawyer who has ever argued over the contents of a brief knows, the stuff that gets left out can be the most telling material of all--indicative of prejudices and priorities, sensitivities and credibility. Berger's sticky fingers have left a gap in the record of the Clinton administration's response to the growing threat posed by al Qaeda. Unless other files exist with all the same drafts and handwritten notes that Berger destroyed, we will never be able to conclude whether Berger's actions were simply another display of fecklessness and recklessness on an issue of national security, or an attempt to bleach the record of Clinton-era malpractice on matters of terror.

Washington has had to judge gaps in the record before. "[A] few minutes missing from a non-subpoenaed tape hardly seemed worth a second thought," Richard Nixon wrote in his memoir of his reaction on first learning that Rose Mary Woods had deleted a portion of the famous tapes. Nixon would conclude "most people think that my inability to explain the 18 and 1/2-minute gap is the most unbelievable and insulting part of the whole of Watergate." Imaginations ran wild, and Nixon's credibility never recovered.


Good thing that all of today's Woodwards and Bernsteins are firmly Democratic. Else, there could be real trouble!

Here's why it matters: the Democratic Party has not had a President in office in the last 40 years who could be described as serious about defense.

-- President Carter remains proud that he never deployed US troops (even as our hostages were held and the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan).

-- President Clinton balanced the budget (yaayy!) with draconian cuts on military spending (boo!) Without the Berger story, that appears a legitimate choice "I picked butter over guns." Yet having his NSA called into question, while he laughs about it bolsters my point.

Forty years without a serious-on-defense Democrat in the White House. It sounds biblical. Will Senator Kerry break the trend if he gets the chance? Sadly, no. He voted for the war but against funding the troops and reconstruction; he fought bravely for his country, then came home to publicly disparage the efforts and his comrades-in-arms; then he threw his medals away, or somebody's, or ribbons, or his Publishers' Clearinghouse Entry, or something...

The Democrats don't have to clone GOP policy but they do have to be serious. They are not.

Posted by jk at 09:29 AM | What do you think? [3]

July 21, 2004

The U.N. Running the Internet?

Hmmm. Vinton Cerf thinks that might be a bad idea.

Yahoo! News - U.N. Internet Policy Off Course, Pioneer Says

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (Reuters) - The United Nations (news - web sites) is veering off-track in its discussions on whether government officials should set Internet policy, a founding father of the network said on Wednesday.

Instead, governments should join together to fight electronic crime globally and develop best practices to encourage the growth of Internet commerce, said Vinton Cerf, who helped invent the Internet's early architecture.


Give him five stars for diplomacy. I would have said "Kofi running Al Gore's Internet? No Way!!" What a nightmare scenario.

Posted by jk at 09:20 AM | What do you think? [0]

Why Trousergate Matters

Nobody I saw on any talking-head show last night would confidently assert that this imbroglio has ramifications in November. I am not quite so shy.

Democrats post-Nunn have vacillated between disregard and contempt for the military and security of the US. I think the WSJ Ed Page nails it:

OpinionJournal - Featured Article (free site):
We'll grant that visions of a former National Security Adviser stuffing classified documents down his trousers or socks makes for good copy. But count us more interested in learning what's in the documents themselves than in where on his person Sandy Berger may have put them when he was sneaking them out of the National Archives.

For the evidence suggests that the missing material cuts to the heart of the choice offered in this election: Whether America treats terrorism as a problem of law enforcement or an act of war.


Can we afford to return to an administration that will treat terrorism as law-enforcement? Can we trust a party that -- so far -- seems willing to defend cavalier treatment of classified documents?

This story, like Mr. Berger's trousers "has legs!"

UPDATE: Scott at pstupidonymous is subject to classified document procedures at his work, and effectively refutes the "inadvertent" defense.

Posted by jk at 08:13 AM | What do you think? [2]

July 20, 2004

Values

Who else is sick of this word from the Kerry-Edwards campaign? David Brooks, token Conservative boy nonpareil at the NYTimes:

"I know John Kerry shares my values. I know that John Kerry shares your values. I know that John Kerry shares John Edwards' values, who also, by the way, shares my values. I know they both share your accountant's values, your butcher's values, your mechanic's values. If a Martian showed up from outer space, they'd share its values, too.

They're just really into value sharing.

I know that because they say so. In speeches, in rapid responses, in interviews. Kerry and Edwards remind us these days how darn tootin' chock full of values they really are. They've got heartland values, middle-class values and even conservative values, according to themselves. They are to values what Donald Trump is to gilt: they've got it; you're gonna see it. Of course, if Kerry really shared our values, he probably wouldn't have to tell us so every minute, and once, just once, he might actually say what the values we share actually are." -- New York Times columnist David Brooks.


Hat-tip: WSJ OpinionJournal Political Diary

Posted by jk at 12:14 PM | What do you think? [0]

Thank NED for the Blogosphere

I heard the Sandy Berger story on NPR this morning. They made it seem very innocuous: he took some notes, which was okay, but he took the notes with him, which was not. I didn't spew my coffee over the dashboard or anything, no big deal.

Then I read Instapundit. He stuffed Classified documents down his pants? Are you serious? Hugh Hewitt wonders:

Ask yourself what would be going on in Washington, D.C. tonight, and on the network news, within the blogosphere, and in the morning papers, if it had been revealed that Condi Rice was the target of a criminal investigation for removing classified handwritten notes from the government records relating to terrorism.

Glenn says "I think we know."

The NY Times sets the agenda. What's our beloved Grey Lady doing with this blockbuster news story? Ummm. Burying it. NewsMax.com:

If anyone still had any doubts about the New York Times being the Democrat establishment's house organ, today's edition is a hoot.

The scandal-plagued paper has buried the day's big news, about Sandy "Light Fingers" Berger, at the bottom of Page A16 in a seven-paragraph wire story. This unpleasant reality isn't even mentioned on the front page, though there was room to promote such "urgent" hard news as "Two Campaigns, Two Visions."


If not for blogs this story would NEVER get out. Even with them, I suppose most people won't pay attention.

Lucky day for Joe Wilson, though. The most fortuitous rescue by a more interesting news item since Neil Armstrong landed on the moon a few days after Ted Kennedy's little mishap at Chappaquiddick.

Posted by jk at 09:26 AM | What do you think? [1]

July 19, 2004

Go Ahead, Call Me Cowboy

I read this article in The American Enterprise last month. Now it is available as an "Extra" on WSJ's free OpinionJournal site.

The authors investigate (on a suggestion by Canadians) two towns, similar in size but different in politics as one is in Alaska and one in British Columbia.

First we called up the respective town authorities. Hyder, the American town, turned out to have no town authorities--and, technically, no town. The Hyderites chose not to incorporate as a municipality, creating instead a community association--a private nonprofit corporation. Stewart, the Canadian town, is a real municipality with a traditional government.

When we phoned Stewart, the government agent refused to answer any questions until they were submitted in writing. The Hyder community association representative said, sure, she'd tell us anything we wanted to know, right now, on the phone. But to make it a fair comparison, we faxed written questions to both parties, and got written answers back.

The Canadian government official, evidently aspiring to create a faceless bureaucracy in this 700-person outpost, signed the response as "Government Agent"--capital letters but no name or sex--and explained that Stewart had a "Municipal Government incorporated under the laws of the Province of British Columbia," with a mayor and a city council of six members. As to Stewart's nearby neighbors, Government Agent from Canada said diplomatically, "I'm not sure how Hyder is governed," but expressed polite disapproval of its apparent libertarian streak.


This is a fascinating -- and pretty even-handed -- look at the effect government has on its citizens. And it is a fun read.

Posted by jk at 02:54 PM | What do you think? [1]

Badge of Honor

What can I do to be Not Welcome in France by President Jacques Chirac? It sounds like the kind of thing one would like to tell his or her grandchildren about. And the honor has now been bestowed to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

PARIS - President Jacques Chirac said Monday that the Israeli leader would not be welcome here until he gave a satisfactory explanation for saying Jews should go to Israel to escape anti-Semitism in France.

Cop killers like Mumia Abu Jamal are given honorary French citizenship -- PM Sharon is "Not Welcome" Sacrebleu!

UPDATE: Instapundit points out that Chirac welcomed Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president. Yeah, Mugabe's cool, just not Sharon...

Posted by jk at 02:17 PM | What do you think? [0]

Strong Words

From a great American, who happens to be of African descent: Secretary Rod Paige in the Wall Street Journal (posted this weekend on the free site). Naked Partisans

I have a message for the NAACP's Julian Bond and Kweisi Mfume, who have accused black conservatives of being the "puppets" of white people, unable to think for ourselves: You do not own, and you are not the arbiters of, African-American authenticity.

I am a lifelong member of the NAACP. I have a great respect for the organization. Its historical leaders, all visionary thinkers, have been responsible for helping to advance the struggle of African-Americans over the past century, making our nation a more equitable and race-blind society. Sadly, the current NAACP leadership has managed to take a proud, effective organization in a totally new direction: naked partisan politics, pure and simple.


Its days are numbered. As that right-wing wacko Juan Williams has observed, younger African-Americans are not making the mistake of blind allegiance to a single party.

When this monolith breaks up, the Democrats will need to actually have ideas. Maybe hook up with the Libertarians?

Posted by jk at 09:00 AM | What do you think? [0]

jk join the Democrats?

Say it ain't so! I considered this for the first after reading a Ramesh Ponnuru quote in the NY Times. Ramesh posits possible outcomes for realignment of a new Conservative movement:

There is a serious possibility that the libertarian wing of the conservative movement goes off in its own direction, either breaking off or allying with the Democrats.

The NYT article, Young Right Tries to Define Post-Buckley Future is a must read. It seems a bit condescending to Conservatives (mirabile non dictu) but it asks a lot of questions I wish would go away.

For instance, has Andrew Sullivan flipped out? Well, yes -- but does he represent a large part of a libertarian wing that has been a reliable GOP vote in years past? Perhaps.

I hate to see the divisions pre-election. If the right wing splits and instills Senator Kerry in the White House, that will be a blow to liberty.

But you can feel the plates shifting, can't you? The new National Review crew still puts out a great magazine, but they do not provide my direction. I think they are mad with the FMA, I split with them on stem cell research, and the Hanson-Darbyshire wing on immigration is at complete odds with me and my buddies at the WSJ Ed Page.

Is it outrageous that me and Silence would split off into a party? We have never ever once ever voted for the same candidate (I bet) but when we go out to lunch, we agree on more than we disagree. Realignment coming?

Please, NED, not 'till after November, not until then!

Posted by jk at 08:52 AM | What do you think? [6]

July 15, 2004

Marketing 101

Goldberg Fired By Slim-Fast Over Anti-Bush Tirade (that's Whoopi, Jonah is still okay as far as I know).

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (Talon News) -- Outspoken liberal comedian Whoopi Goldberg, who has served as the spokesperson for the weight loss product Slim-Fast since November, was summarily dropped by the company on Wednesday for her incendiary remarks regarding President George W. Bush at a Hollywood fundraiser on behalf of the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John F. Kerry (D-MA).

This is Red vs. Blue. I suspect the GOP voters are a better demographic for Slim-fast. I hope I'm wrong, but there seems a whiff of verisimilitude about the claim.

I love this. Nobody is going throw the Dixie Chicks or Whoopi Goldberg in jail, but there is a cost to disrespecting the beliefs of your constituencies. Very few pay a price, I always cheer when it happens.

Posted by jk at 12:23 PM | What do you think? [1]

I'd Prefer The Poseidon...

The Salon.com Cruise has a few cabins left for its September 4 -11 embarkment. The love boat it ain't! Speakers include:

-- Ann Richardson, former Governor of Texas
-- David Talbot, Salon.com founder and CEO
-- Sid Blumenthal (ohh I always wanted to meet Sid!)
-- Joe Conason, CPH (Chief Partisan Hack), Salon.com
-- AND OUR SPECIAL GUEST...........FORMER AMBASSODOR (and current discredited lying charlatan) Joe Wilson! (Shh, don't tell anybody but his wife is an undercover CIA agent!)

Whaddya say we all go: jk, Johngalt, Dagny, AlexC, Sugarchuck, Macho Duck, Saint Stephen, Riza, and of course, Silence. Maybe we can all sit together?

Posted by jk at 11:49 AM | What do you think? [5]

"R" is for REDNECK!

Red or Blue -- ”Which Are You? - Take the Slate quiz.

Red and blue are states of mind, not actual states. Red and blue aren't absolute predictors of political leanings, either. There are plenty of blue cities in red states, red enclaves in blue states, red-leaning governors of blue states, people who vote Republican but are of a blue state of mind, and so on. It's not as simple as liberal vs. conservative, elite vs. populist, urban vs. rural, religious vs. nonreligious, educated vs. uneducated, rich vs. poor -- if it were, the terms "red" and "blue" wouldn't have taken off as the best shorthand for a divided America.

I am pretty Red (they didn't give a number but I am 3/4 across the scale where 0.0 is all blue and 1.0 is all red.

I was suprised. The questions are cultural, not political, and I fancy myself Red politically tending blue culturally.

But this test has exposed me. Guess I'll have me a PBR and break out the Lee Greenwood Box Set.

Hat-tip Virginia Postrel. Her book, "The Substance of Style," is outstanding. Everybody should read it especially certain engineers who frequent this site...

Posted by jk at 09:59 AM | What do you think? [3]

Day By Day

daybyday07-15-2004.gif
Always on the blogroll. Always worth the click!
www.daybydaycartoon.com

Posted by jk at 08:23 AM | What do you think? [0]

July 14, 2004

Happy Farking Bastille Day

Jumpin' Jacobins! Why can't the French pick a better day to celebrate? Bastiat's Birthday? The debut of the Third Republic? Easter?

The very good French restaurant next to my office is having happy hour all day. I wish them well and I wish the nation of France well. I am not really a French-basher, although I have strayed into that realm on occasion.

But the sacking of the Bastille provided the Reign of Terror, failed to achieve Republican rule in France, and paved the way for Lenin and Mao.

This website puts a happy face on it:

On July 14, 1789, the storming of the Bastille immediately took on a great historical dimension; it was proof that power no longer resided in the King as God's representative, but in the people, in accordance with the theories developed by their philosophers of the eighteenth century. Within two days the Revolution could not be reversed. For all citizens of France, the storming of the Bastille came to symbolize liberty, democracy in the struggle against oppression.

Tough to argue with that. But later on, nasty exigencies creep into the Enlightenment:
After the attack on the Tuileries Palace on August 10, 1792, the Republic was proclaimed on 22 September 1792. However, even upon Louis XVI's execution on January 21, 1793, France did not break completely with its monarchic heritage. It rejected the idea of federalism and never applied the egalitarian principles of the 1793 Constitution. Instead, in keeping with the Jacobin spirit, a highly centralized and dictatorial policy was enforced during the Reign of Terror under the authority of the Committee of Public Safety, dominated by Robespierre. Supporters claimed the policy was justified by the aggression of the coalition of European monarchies outside France's borders and by the uprisings within. The coup d'état of 18 Brumaire VIII (November 9, 1799) put an end to the period of instability after Robespierre's assassination.

Bonaparte, one of the Republic's most brilliant generals, became First Consul, then Consul for Life before finally, in 1804, being crowned Napoleon I, "Emperor of the French." The Consulate retained a Republican model of government, but the First Empire restored such monarchical forms as authority vested in the person of the ruler, and it set up a new nobility. [...]
After Napoleon's final defeat at Waterloo in 1815 France once again became a monarchy when Louis XVIII was called to the throne; he was succeeded by Charles X and then, after the Revolution of July 1830, Louis-Philippe. The Restoration was followed by the Second Republic (1848-1851) and the Second Empire (1852-1870). In 1875 a republic was proclaimed for the third time; France has been a republic ever since. The Third Republic enshrined in French political tradition the seven-year presidential term, still the rule today.

(Except for the Vichy years, which we won't go into...)
I HIGHLY encourage anybody interested to read Edmund Burke's "Reflections on the French Revolution." One of Burke's best.

I don't want to run down the French but --safe to say -- politics is not their gift. I wish them a great holiday but wish they would find a more appropriate event to celebrate (the liberation of Iraq on April 9? KIDDING! KIDDING!)

Posted by jk at 03:20 PM | What do you think? [2]

Disappointed with the GOP

I can put a happy face on it, but I am in basic agreement with Andrew Sullivan. He gives his "Derbyshire Award" to Sen. Santorum:

"Isn't that the ultimate homeland security? To defend the sanctity of marriage?" - Senator Rick Santorum, equating his campaign against marriage rights for gays with the war on terror.

That's over the top. I don't quite see the Religious Right Bogeymen under every bed that Sullivan sees, but I think the FMA vote was a mistake.

I know we have different views around here on Gay Marriage. But, from a purely political view, does anybody think this was a winner for the GOP? I think it scares off moderates and highlights the divisions between some very popular Republicans (Giuliani, Schwarzenegger, McCain, Pataki) and the GOP leadership.

It has been suggested that it might divide the Limousine Dems and the minority constituency but that's a longshot.

I laugh at Silence when he tells me that the Religious Right is running the GOP -- they have got few of their wishes of late. The FMA vote, though, is hard to explain.

I hope Rich Lowry and Kathryn Jean Lopez are happy. "We smoked out the real social conservatives!" And handed W a legislative defeat. And divided the party in an election year. Nothing else would have scared away Andrew Sullivan and his readers so effectively.

I am not even consoled that "I was right." I knew it would not get a simple majority. No way in hell this thing would pass. Why did we do it again? Is National Review a Kerry Plant?

Posted by jk at 02:56 PM | What do you think? [1]

Who Are You?

From OpinionJournal's Political Diary:

First, Michael Moore infuriated science fiction great Ray Bradbury by appropriating part of the name of his classic novel "Fahrenheit 451" for his own film without seeking permission. Now Pete Townshend, the lead guitarist for The Who, says that he has been "bullied and slurred" by Mr. Moore and he wants people to know about it.

Mr. Moore approached the rock star with a request that he be able to use his song "Won't Get Fooled Again" in his Bush-bashing fest. But Mr. Townshend says he thought Mr. Moore's previous films had problems with "accuracy" and included "bullying" interviews with people such as elderly actor Charlton Heston. He turned him down.

Mr. Moore didn't take well to the rebuff and accused Mr. Townshend of saying no because he was a supporter of the war in Iraq. Mr. Townshend did support the war last year, but has since said he isn't sure what the right course of action would have been. But he is certain of his opinion of Mr. Moore. "I greatly resent being bullied and slurred by him just because he didn't get what we wanted from me," he told the Irish media. "It seems to me that this aspect of his nature is not unlike that of the powerful and willful man at the center of his documentary."

To Mr. Moore that must be the ultimate insult -- to be compared with the person he cast as the villain in his film: George W. Bush.

--John Fund

Posted by jk at 12:44 PM | What do you think? [0]

Nordlinger Rules!

His not being a slang fan, I doubt he'd appreciate the "rules!" compliment, but Jay Nordlinger is my favorite writer at National Review. Here's the lead item on today's Impromptus:

It says something great -- certainly distinctive -- about George W. Bush that he has refused to go before the NAACP. Also that he has refused to meet Yasser Arafat. I think the two are related, somehow. Bush is a realist; he is a shunner and exploder of illusions; and he knows that words and gestures have meaning.

As I have written too many times to count, the NAACP has become more or less a hate group, all but portraying Bush as the lyncher of James Byrd (to cite just one of the more publicized outrages). Why should the president dignify the group with his presence? You don't have to go before the NAACP to speak to black America. You don't have to truck with them to speak to all America.

As for Arafat . . . well, it must be a shock for the most frequent visitor to the White House during the years 1993-2001 to be kept out of it altogether, from Jan. 20, 2001, to now. Bush is often called a "neocon" and other not-quite-friendly things, but he is supremely realistic, certainly about the Middle East, certainly about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, certainly about Arafat.

Reagan withdrew from UNESCO (in 1984). No one quite realizes how important that was, symbolically and otherwise. I mean, you just couldn't do that. It was impossible. And yet he did -- because UNESCO had wasted billions and become a cesspool of anti-Americanism (and anti-Western nonsense generally).

You can't just not meet with the NAACP, and you can't just not receive Arafat . . . and yet.

Oh, there is a difference in this election, folks. Is there a difference. Anyone who tells you that the parties and their leading men are Tweedledum and Tweedledee is smoking something (and inhaling).


I will rattle off a hundred reasons why I will vote for W this November: tax cuts, more-free-trader-than-Edwards, American sovereignty in foreign policy...

But down deep, Mr. Nordlinger nails the reason: a Reaganesque refusal to "play along" with Kyoto, after it was rejected 95-0 in the Senate, to not meet with Arafat, to not let France keep corruption and depredation alive in Iraq...

One more great one from Nordlinger:

More poison — this time from Donald Trump, the "fired" guy. About the Iraq war, he says, "To lose all of those thousands and thousands of people, on our side and their side . . . I mean, you have Iraqi kids, not only our soldiers, walking around with no legs, no arms, no faces. All for no reason."

Uh-huh. One of the reasons: No more mass graves, no more torture chambers, no more "rape rooms," no more children's prisons (really), no more cutting out of tongues for dissent, no more putting men into plastic shredders, feet first, so that the killers could hear more screaming, no more . . .


Posted by jk at 10:08 AM | What do you think? [0]

July 13, 2004

Electoral Map

A previous post linked to a JavaScript electoral map that allows you to evaluate scenarios.

Jonah Goldberg links to one that is updated by recent polls.

On July 13, it shows Kerry winning, but they give him Florida as "uncertain Kerry." I'd have to call it a toss-up, possibly "uncertain Buchanan."

Posted by jk at 03:37 PM | What do you think? [3]

Thank NED for the 2nd Amendment

Life in the UK (from the Telegraph via Andrew Sullivan)

A 28-year-old man who shot himself in the testicles with a sawn-off shotgun has been jailed for five years for possessing a prohibited firearm.

David Walker had drunk 15 pints of lager when he accidentally discharged the gun which was stuffed down his trousers, Sheffield Crown Court was told.

[...]

Judge Robert Moore said recent legislation regarding banned guns meant he had to impose the statutory minimum sentence on Walker of five years in prison.


I am so grateful to live in America, where a man can shoot his own balls off without "The Man" exacting repercussions.

Posted by jk at 12:26 PM | What do you think? [5]

Can We Put This Meme To Bed?

Endured a very long 10 minutes last night watching The Nation's Katrina Vanden-Heuvel on CNBC's "McEnroe."

As I've just mentioned in a letter to CNBC, the trick is to have the bombastic (and telegenic) Ms. Vanden-Heuvel on your show, have her spin some outrageous yarn, and then have a sensible guest or host set her straight. That's how the game is played. I've watched it a hundred times.

Mr. McEnroe doesn't know this game, having focused too much of his time on winning 63 million Tennis Championships. He let her go, while his sidekick and a singer egged her on; "Bush wants to return this country to the 19th Century!" "Bush wants to take away ALL the rights of women and minorities!" "They are just Neanderthals who don't care about anybody but the rich!" &c...........

Then at the end, she says "They have plans to suspend the elections you know! Even though we held elections during the Civil War and WWII, they just sent plans to Tom Ridge to postpone the elections."

"What should we do to stop this?" asks the host. "Write the Federal Election Commission tomorrow," says K V-H

Oh deary, dear. I had read this on the WSJ Ed Page yesterday. Some low-level bureaucrat has floated this crazy scheme. The WSJ and I both hoped that the administration would squash this before it spread.

Dr Rice rides to the rescue this morning. Take it away, Condi:

Yahoo! News - Rice: No Plan to Delay National Election

Rice said the Bush administration, while concerned about the impact of terrorism, is not thinking of postponing the elections.
"We've had elections in this country when we were at war, even when we were in civil war. And we should have the elections on time. That's the view of the president, that's the view of the administration," Rice told CNN on Monday.


I fear this will not quell it. When will they learn: "Please Do Not Feed The Conspiracy Theorists!"

UPDATE: AlexC explores a more serious side to this in a post at pstupidonymous. Besides alarming the Moore-brigades, it is also an invitation for terrorists to attack: pretty cool to disrupt the Great Satan's elections, all the cool kids are doing it now...

Posted by jk at 10:27 AM | What do you think? [1]

Funny Flash Animation

thisland.jpg
I sometimes wince when somebody sends me a link to a political-humor-animation on the Web. It's usually partisan, mean spirited and rarely funny.

But I recommend JibJab.com's This Land Is Your Land. Both candidates give it and get it. This is very popular and you may have to try several times to get it.

Posted by jk at 08:23 AM | What do you think? [0]

July 12, 2004

The Week In Review

I missed a great week last week. Thankfully, Johngalt kept up the blogging and the Berkeley Square Blog Commentariat were prodigious in both output and perspicacity.

Now that I am back, I must do a quick round up. First, It seems that AlexC at pstupidonymous bought a very cool car. Well done, bro, you are among Mopar family here. I put a 440 in a '68 Sport Satellite when I was young and Johngalt has a '67 'cuda convertible and a V10 truck. 5.7 liters is too small a hemi? Tough room, man. Tough room.

The big news of the week, of course, is WILSON LIED!!!!! His wife did put up the little partisan weasel for the assignment, he did nothing but drink tea, and his accusations are without merit. I'm sure the NY Times will give this a lot of coverage -- more certainly for the exculpation than the original charges.

Allawi is ready to lower the proverbial scimitar on the insurgents. It's a tragedy when US military personnel die but it's not an occupation and the insurgency is blatantly against freedom, not the US. I think most Americans will move on, unless they are affiliated with a domain of the same name...

The CIA report is tough to categorize. On one hand, it exculpates the Administration, on the other it calls into question the war's motives. Would you have voted for the war if you had known? For me, the answer is "hell, yes!" but reasonable people can differ. One who does not differ is Alice Bachini, from the U.K. She writes in samizdata:

The only reason the game of Hunt-the-WMDs got so much publicity was that America used it in their attempt to appease the United Nations; Saddam's non-compliance with weapons inspections was supposed to be the legitimate (ie UN-friendly) reason for launching war, therefore, finding WMDs after the event would have "justified" the invasion with hard evidence.

Bad idea. The UN is evil too. It issues terrorism-encouraging statements that inspire people to blow up public-transport users. The UN would not have approved war on Iraq if Saddam had invited the UN and Bin Laden round together for chicken a-la-king, raspberry pavlova and an after-dinner game of launch-the-nuke. It would have suggested waiting a bit longer in case the decimation of California was a mistake rather than a precedent.

No more Mr Nice Guy, please, Mr Bush. The UN is not our friend.


I never meet anyone like her when I'M in the UK, mind you -- NED Bless Samizdata for the reminder that they're there.

Not a bad week.

Posted by jk at 02:49 PM | What do you think? [3]

Not Just Sundance...

From the infamous DNCC fund-raiser, from OpinionJournal's Political Diary: "I think that tax cuts for wealthy thugs like me are borderline criminal," ranted salad dressing tycoon and Hollywood star Paul Newman.

Criminal to allow him to keep his own money. Criminal.

Posted by jk at 12:26 PM | What do you think? [2]

We're Winning, We Can't Quit!

Austin Bay has a great letter from Iraq and this awesome picture up at Instapundit. It's directed at those who are getting fatigued at the War.

...two young soldiers from the 81st Brigade (Washington State National Guard). I snapped it, at sunset, right after they had returned from a patrol. I see the same vignette every morning, every evening. The smiles break out despite the fatigue-- and then the troops buckle up and do it again. Blood, sweat, toil and tears: that's not simply Churchillian poetry, that's the price of victory, and it's the product of spine. This peculiar war will take years to win, long, focused years of trial and error, mistake and success, but a breather, a time out?
Sadly, it is not an option. He points out that it was not an option in 1944 and it's not an option in 2004.
Peggy Noonan and Mickey Kaus, and Andrew Sullivan are right that a lot of Americans are ready for a time out -- and may vote Kerry-Edwards to attain it, but I think Bay is correct about its efficacy:
Imagine calling for "Time Out" right after D-Day, which broke Fortress Europe, or during Saipan, which broke the Japanese "inner ring" island defense (many in the Japanese military thought we'd never pay the price to break it). Hey, FDR, we've made the deep offensive penetration, can we take a break? The analogy has weaknesses, as do all historical comparisons. That being said, I think we're in the strategic exploitation phase of this war, a hard, difficult, prolonged exploitation phase, one that requires more hammers and bricks than it does rifles and bombs.

However, we're winning. We can't quit.

Thanks to all who serve!
Posted by jk at 09:36 AM | What do you think? [0]

July 09, 2004

"If it Were up to Me I'd Show it Every Day."

My sentiments are exactly the same as Darryl Worley's about the horrors of September 11, 2001. As we witness present day recriminations over "yellowcake" and "WMD," and as I re-read Michael Moore's shameful mocking of the war efforts in Afghanistan, made within weeks of the cowardly sneak attack itself, I wonder how things might be different if more of us really remembered what happened and how, despite its grisly reality, it could have been (and still may be) much, much worse.

A good friend emailed me this link to a slideshow on the "Blood of Heroes" website. It's only a few minutes long, but if watched in sincerity your heart will flutter. It relives some of the 9/11 images against a backdrop of the ideas of this nation's founders respecting liberty, including this quite inspiring one:

"Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship, and plough, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth? If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!" -Samuel Adams

The war on terror is a business for "Hard America." Those who prefer to dwell exclusively in "Soft America" are free to do so, only so long as they stay out of the way of the rest of us, for we will fight, and win, the war. The only hardness the soft Americans risk facing is not the wrath of our enemies, for we will protect them as we protect those deserving of protection, but our own fury if they continue to aid the enemy.

"If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." -Thomas Paine

Posted by JohnGalt at 09:37 AM | What do you think? [3]

July 08, 2004

The Eddie Haskell of the Senate

That's what HughHewitt.com says.

Kerry is very aware that, 45 years after St. Paul's, people still don't like him. He knew that they didn't like Dick Gephardt either, and a lot of people simply hate Hillary. The only popular kid around was Johnnie Edwards, the Eddie Haskell of the Senate --the smooth talking plaintiffs' lawyer who got rich off of other peoples' miseries, got bored and decided to be president, so he ran for the Senate and spent just enough time there to not get laughed off the campaign bus when he declared for president. Number of bills on which Edwards was the lead sponsor that became law? Zero.
A comedian said "JUst 'cause Edwards was 16 when Kerry got back from Vietnam doesn't mean that he wasn't in diapers...

You have to have a little fun...

Posted by jk at 09:31 AM | What do you think? [0]

July 07, 2004

Communism - Not Dead Yet

Last week JK blogged Hillary's "Quote of the Day." Now Cox and Forkum have given us the essence of her words in this cartoon -

Unmasked-X.gif

In response to last week's posting, Berkeley Square commenter "dagny" explained why we should care about this. I'm reprinting her comment here in full (boldface mine):

"This ought to make you angry and afraid. Dumbfounded is insufficient. Hillary is a successful politician and expert at telling people what they want to hear. Her remark cannot be dismissed as, "stupid." Therefore these people probably agree with her that they have too much money and some should be spent on the, "common good." This would be fine if they got to keep their money and apply it to whatever common good they chose or send it to Hillary for her to spend. The government never turns down extra money. The problem occurs when THEY decide I have too much money and they are going to take it away from me at gunpoint and give it to THEIR definition of a, "common good." That is called communism.

This is comparable to the argument over religion vs. freedom [last 3 comments] given some time earlier on this page. If freedom is the higher value all can practice religion as they see fit. In a similar fashion if freedom from taxation is the higher value then all can contribute or not to the, "common good," as they see fit. The other choice is communism which is just as evil as religious dictatorship and in fact they are two versions of the same thing: statism.

You should be angry and you should be afraid. America is in very grave danger from this enemy."

I've often said I believe we're in more danger from the "common good" statism than the "religious dictatorship" statism. That's because taxation is so high and, as Hillary reveals, under pressure to go higher while the influence of religion on public and private life has been ebbing for decades, as it should with the advancement of science. It boggles the mind that supposed anti-tax advocates can say things like "I think 50% taxation is fair but at some point we have to draw the line." First, only a flat tax is fair (and I mean flat in dollars, not percentage of wealth or earnings) but a prerequisite for fair taxation is that the proceeds be used exclusively to the benefit of all (roads, sewers, national defense) and not to supplement the income of favored groups.

Posted by JohnGalt at 01:35 PM | What do you think? [8]

July 06, 2004

Dukakis Had a Tank

jfk_shotgun.jpg
And Governor Dukakis had that cool helmet. Dukakis looked cool. I dunno, but Senator Kerry almost looks dorky or somethin;

Posted by jk at 02:10 PM | What do you think? [5]

Right Wing Crankery!

I made a black-helicopterish assertion in a comment on an older blog entry. I wanted to post it up here and let everybody who wanted to tell me I am nuts have their fair chance.

I was thinking about how the Cuban Embargo has failed because other free nations are only too happy to trade and visit. I love free trade and suggest a boycott or embargo only under the most extreme exigencies. But for it to have any efficacy, it has to be generally participated in.

So, I am thinking that these nations put their love of cigars and sandy beaches above the liberty of the Cuban people. Just like France, Germany, Russia and the UN did in Iraq. Sanctions had no chance to work, because a corrupt UN and willing allies prevented its working. This is not an original thought. But how come in all these endless recriminations over WMD, and Al-Qaeda links, and Michael Moore conspiracy theories – how come nobody will state the OBVIOUS:

”If the UN were not corrupt and our soi-disant allies valued freedom and security over temporary back-handed profits, sanctions could have worked and war could have very likely been avoided.”

Okay, then, I’ve said it. Nuts?

Posted by jk at 11:37 AM | What do you think? [4]

Gonie Paucity

No courage whatsoever! Senator Kerry bows to pressure and picks another empty suit with a nice haircut. Just what the Dem faithful wanted.

Yahoo! News - Kerry Picks Edwards to Be Running Mate

Kerry planned to announce his pick by e-mail to supporters, then at a rally in Pittsburgh. He settled on Edwards on Monday night, said two senior Democrats who spoke on condition of anonymity.


My pick: Though I'd like Sam Nunn, the ballsy pick would be...Howard Dean.

Posted by jk at 06:03 AM | What do you think? [7]

July 05, 2004

"Life Begins at Conception," Kerry says

Anyone interested in touching this with a thirty-nine and a half foot pole?

I won't address the abortion issue (at least not yet, and not without provocation from a reader) but consider this excuse from Kerry for believing one thing and legislating another:

"I can't take my Catholic belief, my article of faith, and legislate it on a Protestant or a Jew or an atheist,...We have separation of church and state in the United States of America."

So to Kerry, "life begins at conception" is merely an opinion and not an objective fact. And its an opinion endorsed by "the church" and may therefore not be "forced" upon others.

But it is also an opinion that "roll[ing] back Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans" will improve the economic prospects of everyone else. And that raising them further still will be even better. What stops him from "legislating it on a Protestant or a Jew or an atheist" in this case? The fact that this opinion doesn't come from a source referred to by the US Constitution? Must we amend the Constitution to read, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or social philosophy, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

But this is not surprising since consistency has never been a virtue of the presumptive Democrat nominee.

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:03 AM | What do you think? [9]

Metric Football

James Taranto of WSJ’s “Best of the Web” has a running joke about Europeans’ love of “metric football.” He’ll publish headlines of “Thrilling 0-0 Match!” and the like.

I watched the final game of the European Cup in a pub. The Guinness was good and the ambience was superb. But I really can’t enjoy the game. I’ve tried. I don’t disparage it like Taranto, but I cannot get into it.

Here’s the problem as I see it: you can’t ever score a “normal” goal like you can in hockey. If there is a goal, it’s probably a penalty shot or (in last night’s 0-1 scorefest) a corner-kick. There seems to be virtually zero chance of taking the ball down the field, passing it, and putting it in the net. They try this for 90 minutes, living in denial about what the game is. Then, if a team does score, the one-goal deficit just seems insuperable. “Okay they scored. Game over. Lets’ go home.”

So congrats to Greece for upsetting the highly-favored Portuguese, but I don’t think I’ll subscribe to the pay-per-view package to get this at home,

Ugly American, signing out!

Posted by jk at 03:11 AM | What do you think? [9]

July 02, 2004

Light-to-non-existent Blogging

That's the forcast for jk. I'll be in Ireland next week. Happy Fourth, Y'all!

Posted by jk at 03:12 PM | What do you think? [1]

Careful: We'll resolution your Ass!

Senator Kerry still seems disturbed (doesn't he always?) about our country's breaking off from the UN on Iraq.

Well, anybody who still shares his belief can watch this lugubrious movie one more time in Sudan. The UN has sat silent while the Sudanese practiced chattel slavery on their Christian countrymen in the South.

Now that they're killing Muslims, the UN is serious -- they will pass a resolution! Yes, that'll teach 'em.

Meanwhile, the world, as the WSJ ED Page says, is waiting for The U.S. Cavalry to actually do something.

The Secretary of State's visit also throws a spotlight on another unfortunate global reality. Once again the world is calling on the U.S. to stop a horror that the United Nations and everybody else have failed to act against. The killing of black Muslim tribesmen by government-backed Arab militias has been going on since February of last year. But while the world's moralists are in full cry about the threat of "another Rwanda," no one sees fit to actually do something. No one, that is, except the U.S.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has been raising the alarm about Darfur -- and he also visited there this week -- but not until two weeks ago did the Security Council call for an immediate halt to the fighting. This being the U.N., the resolution was toothless. Permanent members China and France are worried about jeopardizing their business interests in Sudan. Pakistan and Algeria, which hold temporary seats, refuse to impose sanctions on a fellow Muslim nation even as it is engaged in the mass killing of Muslims.

[...]

The lesson of Sudan is that the world is a Hobbesian place outside the U.S. sphere of influence. Sudan's social contract is straight out of "Leviathan"; citizens are guaranteed security only if they abide by the absolute authority of a monarch.

The real problem, as everyone knows but no one will admit, is Sudan's murderous regime. But Mr. Annan and company can't abide regime change, and in any case the U.S. military is too preoccupied to make that happen. That means we're left with diplomatic pressure and visits like Mr. Powell's, which are better than nothing but don't solve the long-term problem.

It is fashionable these days to express distaste for American "unilateralism" and "hegemony." The unfolding catastrophe in Darfur offers a chilling view of what the alternative really looks like.


Posted by jk at 07:58 AM | What do you think? [8]

July 01, 2004

Letter from Iraq

A Marine Lieutenant comments on an earlier post. I hate to see it get hidden in the May comments, so I have "promoted" it to a posting. Semper Fi, Lieutenant and thanks for your service!

Little by little things are getting better and you can be collected. When you think of all the things that never make the news. Little by little things are getting back to good condition.

Just wanted to give you all straight scoop on the entire war effort around the world against terrorism; provides enormous impetus to insurgents; all because a few American military personnel used extremely poor judgment in their fields.

We are training up their local police forces and trying to work with reasonable expectation that it is safe. Schools are getting better and you can be so proud.

Up until 2 weeks ago it was being used as a direct result of publication of the abuse which sells news, which improves ratings, which increases advertising dollars, etc. Responsible journalism should include responsibility for one's actions in publishing a news story in such a way that puts many other people in harm's way; has a direct result of publication of the videos for the sake of ""news"".

When I saw the publication of the abuse itself; that was known. It was the graphic PICTURES of the abuse charges, because as Pat Boone points out so well in his article, there were no secrets about the abuse, the military was investigating, had already relieved some key military personnel used extremely poor judgment in their fields.

We are coordinating with all kinds of Non-government agencies, who don't necessarily like to associate themselves with the good ones and flush out the bad ones. Things are improving on that front.

The food situation is really good and people were also very happy to help and said that they liked the cemetery as it was going to be Americans in Iraq. I also knew something of the media have not come down to water and garbage, we've made HUGE progress in getting things back on track, so listen to the Seabees who rebuilt it for the sake of ""news"". Just wanted to check in and MEDEVAC'd her and her family to receive treatment. Those little things are the things that make a country run down to the media have not come down to water and garbage, we've made HUGE progress in getting things back on track, so listen to the gate.


Labra lege...Semper Fi

1st Lt. Mark V. Shaney USMC
Baghdad, Iraq

Posted by jk at 11:56 AM | What do you think? [0]

Crossing the Line

Michael Moore is certainly allowed to edit his films such that the target (Roger Smith, George W. Bush, Charlton Heston, Bambi...) is shown in the worst possible light. I think that 60 minutes has done this to great effect. Moore is less subtle than Wallace -- but if he wants to show unflattering video of Rumsfeld picking his nose, that's certainly his prerogative.

But to edit the film to change the meaning of a statement is over the line. Stockholm Spectator GroupBlog's The Lies of Fahrenheit: The First in a Series catches a big one at the end of F9/11:

ROLL FILM:
"Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11."
CUT.

Pretty damning stuff, isn't it? But that was the truncated, Michael Moore version.

Now for the full, unexpurgated quote:
"Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11. It's not that Saddam Hussein was somehow himself and his regime involved in 9/11, but, if you think about what caused 9/11, it is the rise of ideologies of hatred that lead people to drive airplanes into buildings in New York."
Well that's a different quote, Mike. So why the editing?


Because he's willing to distort facts to make his point?

Hat-tip: Andrew (who is still driving me bonkers but I can't stay away).

Posted by jk at 09:49 AM | What do you think? [0]
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