Saturday, September 04, 2004

children and terrorists

I've been debating whether to write about the slaughter in Russia. The grief and frustration become overwhelming, and it's easier for me just not to think about it. But that can't be the right response. If everyone just ignored these things, nothing would be done to stop them. There is one thing I can do to help prevent this from happening again: vote for George Bush.

The Democrats have accused Republicans of exploiting the 9/11 tragedy for political gain. I expect that if any Republicans mention this crisis they will do the same over it. But is it cynical to point to the problems that you want to solve? Is it heartless to talk about tragedies when your point is how you are going to prevent them from being repeated?

Suppose there were two politicians running for mayor. One wants to modernize the fire department and the other doesn't. A tall building catches fire during the election and dozens of people are killed because the fire department doesn't have ladders that reach the top floors. Is the politician that has been arguing for modernizing the fire department exploiting the tragedy when he brings it up? Only in the most pickwickian sense. He has a right --no, a responsibility-- to point to the consequences of ignoring his recommendations.

John Kerry doesn't want to modernize the fire department. Well, he does, but what he means by that isn't better equipment. John Kerry wants to hire more women fire fighters so the proportions are fair. He wants to landscape the fire houses so they aren't such an eye sore in the neighborhood. He wants to give sensitivity training to the firefighters so they are better-liked. John Kerry wants to make things nice. George Bush wants to make things work.

And that's why the Republicans should bring up the tragedy in Russia. This is visceral stuff. It reminds us of the forgotten outrage of September 11. The Republicans need to remind the country that the Islamists want to do the same thing to your kids. Al Qaeda would like nothing better than to slaughter a nursery-school-full of American toddlers. That's who we are fighting.

John Kerry wants us to be sensitive. He doesn't want us to annoy the French over this. He doesn't want people to resent us. Well you know what? If the French would rather side with child-killers to get cheaper oil, then screw them. Why should I want to be liked by people that I have nothing but contempt for?

This is who we are fighting people. They celebrate when one of their own children dies and takes a few Jewish children with him. They danced in the streets when three thousand Americans were slaughtered. They shouted in outrage when thirty million Iraqis were liberated. They cheered when hundreds of Spaniards were slaughtered. And now they've sent people to gun down hundreds of Russian children.

We don't need a president who'll try to make friends with these people. We need a president who'll stop them.

Friday, September 03, 2004

the persecution never ended

It was suppressed for a while, but there has never really been a time since Christ walked the Earth when his followers somewhere were not being persecuted. It's happening in Pakistan today.

The rest of the Christian Carnival is a bit less depressing.

Kerry's speech

SpaceMonkey on Kerry's speech:
After the president gave his acceptance speech, Vietnam vet John Kerry who is also a US Senator and Democratic nominee for president responded to the the speech he didn't hear.

story blogging

Back of the Envelope is thinking of starting a story-blogging carnival. I hope he does it.

Mostly Cajun has moved

Well, it looks like Mostly Cajun has abandoned Blogger for the big time. First La Shawn, then Back of the Envelope, and now Cajun. I'm starting to feel lonely. Sigh.

Maybe this weekend I'll spend some time looking into blog services.

I'm not looking forward to it.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Darfur and the UN

Neil Uchitel is upset at the UN:
Wait, I thought the U.N. was going to slap sanctions on the Sudanese government? Guess not. Oh well, it sucks to be you, poor Darfur refugee. I get to eat my Lime Sherbet ice cream while you sit on a mound of someone else’s filth and starve, because your own government wants you dead, and the U.N. won’t do a thing about it.

prosecutorial misconduct?

It seems that the prosecutor has dropped the case against Kobe Bryant. Roscoe comments:
As a former prosecutor, I agree. The prosecutor took a weak case because the suspect was famous and allowed it to drag on for months and months, only to dismiss it on the eve of trial, when the time came to put up or shut up. The alleged victim has had her reputation dragged through the mud, Kobe has spent an ungodly amount of money in legal fees and nobody has anything to show for it (well, I guess the defense lawyers did all right).
I wonder if he isn't being too nice to the prosecutor. Maybe the prosecutor really hoped to exclude the evidence of the woman's sexual history and of her other sexual encounters near the time she was with Bryant. If so, he could have made a name for himself convicting a very rich and famous (if regrettably innocent) man.

Kerry's brain

Instapundit recently wondered at the Democrat assumption that John Kerry is more intelligent than Bush.

I don't know what evidence they have for this but whatever it is, it will have to be pretty strong evidence to counter this amazing fact: John Kerry fragged himself with a grenade, not once but twice. This folks, doesn't strike me as a sign of genius.

I'm no expert --I've fired a grenade launcher a grand total of one time-- but they really aren't that complicated. You set the range indicator, you aim, you pull the trigger -- pop ... BOOM. Good fun is had by all (except those at the BOOM end). Very importantly, if it's dark and you don't know how far away the target is, and there is no emergency, don't shoot at it. Kerry seems to have failed to grasp this important rule.

As for hand grenades, I've also tossed a total of one (not counting trainers). The sequence for proper grenade chucking goes like this: (1) get behind something that will protect you. (2) pull the pin and throw the grenade. Kerry got the steps backwards. Just to be clear: the correct order is 1, 2. Kerry did 2, 1. Unfortunately he was not quite able to complete 1 before the grenade went off. It is this very potential that makes 1, 2 the proper order. There are plenty of men of below-genius caliber who have been able to grasp the significance of this order of grenade operation. Kerry's failure to do so does not speak well of his intelligence.

I imagine that in combat situations it's easy to aim wrong or panic and throw a grenade first, then look for cover (sometimes that's even a good idea). But Kerry didn't frag himself under emergency conditions. The first time he wounded himself with his own grenade he was blasting some suspicious rocks. The second time he was destroying a threatening rice bin.

That's not all, of course. Ann Althouse points out that Kerry couldn't get into Yale or Harvard (search for "YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Instapundit") even with some of the most remarkable political credentials ever for a man of that age. Until he releases his grades and test scores, we have to assume they were pretty dismal.

And let's not forget his political acumen during that time. By all accounts he was extremely ambitious, even from that time planning to be president some day. And he thought abusing and slandering American military forces was a good move? How dumb is that? Sure, he was surrounded by military-haters and this would color his opinion, but a smart guy would have been able to think a little outside the box. A smart guy would think about the effect on his national popularity when he accused hundreds of thousands of young American men of being brigands, rapists, and murderers.

Of course, all of that was a long time ago. Maybe he used to be dumb but he got smart from all that time he spent in the Senate and in the social circles of New York looking to bag a rich wife. What smooth moves has he made lately?

Well, he started his presidential campaign by slandering his fellow vets again. Some of whom had supported him in the past. This time he attacked them in a more personal way, accusing individual commanders by name of being savages. Is that the action of a smart guy?

He's been a prick to random citizens. Is that smart for any politician? Who knows when one of your victims may be a humor columnist?

He made American dependence on foreign oil a campaign theme while owning a collection of gas-guzzlers. Is that smart?

He wanted to run for president yet apparently didn't even try do anything about the fact that he
1. was a senator (most recent presidents have been former governors, not senators)
2. was from a small state
3. was from a state known for its extremists
4. had no executive experience
These are all bad points for a presidential candidate, and he did nothing to try to alleviate any of them.

And what do his fellow Democrat Senators think of him? We have a clue from the fact that they haven't given him any important leadership roles even though he has seniority and he's a perfect team player. The only explanation I can think of is that they don't want to give him any responsibility because they think he's an idiot.

Finally, he apparently thought that Democrat control of the media would let him ride out the Sift Boat issue (see the quote from WaPo). Sure, the reaction of the mainstream press showed that he would have been right if not for talk radio, cable news, and the Internet, but if he hasn't caught on to the existence of these news sources yet, how smart can he be?

So, OK. What evidence do we have for his brilliance that can overcome all this evidence to the contrary?

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

time for Ralph to get tough

Well, the Democrats have gotten Nader off the ballet in two states. The Democrats who harped for two years on how everyone deserves a vote after Florida/2000, who got Torricelli illegally replaced on the ballet on the grounds that everyone deserves a chance to vote for their candidate, those Democrats, have denied the citizens of Pennsylvania and Missouri the opportunity to vote for Ralph Nader in 2004.

If I were Ralph Nader, I'd campaign for Bush in those states. I'd go around bashing the Democrats for being part of the Establishment who only want to remain in power. I'd ask everyone who is disappointed in the Democrat party this year (practically everyone) to vote for Bush in protest for their actions.

It would really send a message to the Democrats, and I think Nader is curmudgeon-enough to do it. (Serous curmudgeonlyness is one of the few things he and I have in common.)

Go Ralph!

Media Matters for America on the Swift Boat Vets

Media matters for America has decided on their strategy for handling the Swift Boat Veterans accusations: rather than investigating to see what's true and what's not, they will just convince everyone that the Vets have been shamed and discredited. It's so much easier to just say it --over and over and over and over... -- than to actually prove it.

From Will conservative media Swift Boat apologists now apologize?:
Due to reports by numerous credible news sources in recent days, many of the stories told in Unfit are falling apart, and the partisan ties of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are proving to run even deeper than previously known.
The body of the post lists several articles that you might assume, given the title of this post and the sentence I quoted, provide evidence to discredit the Swift Boaters. Your assumption would be misguided.

Two articles discuss the citation that was given to Larry Thurlow for the same action. The citation says there was an ambush. But since the Swiftvets claim this citation was based on a false report by Kerry, it still amounts to no more than Kerry's word against the Swiftvets. That's hardly "evidence". All of the people on Kerry's boat think there was an ambush, most of the people on the other boats seem to think there wasn't. Could that be because Kerry's people were reacting to the panic of their commander? At this point I guess we'll never know, but one thing is certain: this story has not even been damaged by the text of Thurlow's citation, much less discredited.

Another article they link to is a transcript of Chris Mathews badgering Thurlow. Mathews demands a source for a rumor that Thurlow heard thirty-five years ago. He demands that Thurlow swear under oath that he knew Kerry's report was the source for his citation (while Thurlow repeatedly tried to provide the evidence for his belief instead). In this and several other places, it was clear that Mathews was just trying to get Thurlow to make irresponsible and absolute statements that could be discredited. He wasn't interested in drawing out Thurlow's side of the story.

In fact, Mathews acted like he was representing the Democratic party, not his viewers. And he failed to get Thurlow to say anything irresponsible, so this article hardly supports the Media Matters fantasy.

Other articles (1) show John Kasich badgering Thurlow for not giving back his medal, (2) explain that one of the Swift Boat Vets did not witness the incidents in question (he never claimed to), (3) propose conspiracy theories about evil Bush Republicans and Swift Boat Vets, (4) recycle the old news of George Eliot's second thoughts about some of the more inflammatory language in the affidavit as a "retraction".

I should point out that I never actually thought all 260-some of the members of the Swift Boat Vets were there to see Kerry blow up a rice bin and get rice in his butt. It should have been obvious to everyone that not all of these men claimed to be eye witnesses to Kerry's in-Vietnam activity. The very idea that this is news is, well, sadly typical.

I should also point out that I've seen about ten articles investigating the funding and motivations of the Swift Boat Vets for every zero I've seen investigating how much Kerry's Band Of Brothers are making or what their political affiliations are. And I'd really like to know that. Wouldn't anyone who really wants to know the truth about these allegations want to know that?

In their continuing efforts to smear the Swift Boat Vets, Media Matters suggest that Steve Gardner has lied about being present for the events leading to Kerry's medals:
Gardner has questioned Kerry's integrity; has claimed personal knowledge of the circumstances leading to Kerry's first Purple Heart; and has spoken with authority about the events leading to Kerry's Bronze Star.
Of course no honest person ever speaks with authority about events he didn't personally witness --an odd position for Media Matters to take, since they also don't seem to consider eye witnesses very trustworthy. Not when it's bad for Democrats, anyway.

Throughout the post, Media Matters gives the impression that Gardner has made claims to knowledge he didn't have, and that somehow he has been found out. Yet when you read past the first paragraph and pay attention, you find that they are reporting nothing even remotely like this.

What do they report? Well, they give several quotes from interviewers who said that Gardner served on the same boat with Kerry and was a witness to Kerry's service in Vietnam. None of them implied that he witnessed any of the medal incidents.

Then we get a couple of examples of Gardner making some statement about the medal incidents and then in the very same interview pointing out that he was not present at the incident and so cannot be considered an eyewitness.

The only quote where Gardner even remotely seems to be speaking as an eye witness is this:
Gardner himself claimed that all of the wounds for which Kerry received Purple Hearts "were superficial wounds, and I mean very superficial, scratches. The very first one is the only one that I can actually attest to because I was there when that wound happened." But Gardner was not there when Kerry sustained that wound; as noted above, Gardner went on to admit: "I was not on the boat with him but I -- in the next three days following that, I was with him on the boat..."
Notice how they toss in that commentary to make it seem like two different quotes. Like Gardner made a claim and then was forced to retract it. Now try it without the commentary:
The very first one is the only one that I can actually attest to because I was there when that wound happened. I was not on the boat with him but I -- in the next three days following that, I was with him on the boat...
Is Gardner trying to deceive anyone here? Is Media Matters for America?

Do they assume it wasn't well-known that Kerry had applied for a Purple Heart for a scratch? I'll bet things like that get around on a military base. And I'll bet Kerry was the subject of a lot of ridicule over it --the kind of ridicule that people remember. Gardner was there to hear the stories and to see Kerry's Band-Aid. That's what he means when he said he was there. Yes, it would have been deceptive if he didn't elaborate, but he did elaborate, didn't he?

Here's another deceptive post by Media Matters (you can pretty much pick 'em by throwing darts at a list). In this one, they say that O'Neill contradicted himself. O'Neill was talking to Nixon and dropped a shocking statement: "I was in Cambodia". Then he qualified that he was actually near the border. This is a rhetorical device. It is simply false to say that he told Nixon he was in Cambodia. By the next sentence, he made sure that Nixon understood he only meant he was on the border.

Yes, there was a minor rhetorical deception. It would have been a real deception if he didn't elaborate, but he did elaborate, didn't he? Again, Media Matters is taking the a quote out of context to make it false.

So I have a question for people who read Media Matters for America: Why? Why do you see value in a news organization that deceives its readers? Is it because you want to be deceived?

Monday, August 30, 2004


I have about ten posts I'd like to write, so today I didn't manage to write anything. Why is it that the more you have to do, the less you seem to get around to?

Picture taking went so-so. I don't think I got any really good shots but I haven't downloaded them yet. Hopefully tomorrow.