Thursday, October 28, 2004
DRUDGE REPORT: CIA, FBI AUTHENTICATE NEW QAEDA TERROR TAPE Given that the person on the tape warns that the attack is in retribution for "electing George Bush who has made war on Islam by destroying the Taliban and making war on Al Qaeda", I suspect that the attack is not planned for before the election. Bush didn't destroy the Taliban or make war on AQ until AFTER 9/11. The tape was probably intended to be aired after the election in the event of a Bush victory. The tape may have been inadvertently released early. Or maybe not. Perhaps the intent in releasing it now is to warn that IF we re-elect Bush, there will be an attack. (There doesn't seem to be a promise of peace if we elect Kerry, however.) Little matter. We expect them to try again, and our homeland security is oriented toward the threat. Memo to AQ: The US is not Spain.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Yahoo! News - Pilot Error Blamed for Flight 587 Crash Seems to me this is a problem with the flight-control software. The Airbus is a fly-by-wire machine. The pilot's controls are not directly connected to the control surfaces. The pilot's control inputs are evaluated by a computer (a voting troika, actually), which then moves the control surfaces. So the flight-control software should be able to prevent overcontrolling in all flight regimes. But it's far easier to blame the pilot. He's dead, after all.
Monday, October 25, 2004
Security Council members deny meeting Kerry - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - October 24, 2004 So this is the big story? What's the big deal? Kerry met with the Security Council over lunch at all those Washington restaurants where he met with the other foreign leaders who told him to win.
Friday, October 22, 2004
The Daily Recycler: Oh My Reagan's famous "Bear" ad, and the new Bush "Wolves" ad. I think Bear was far more powerful. The visuals in Wolves are terrific - especially the final shot where the pack gets up and moves toward the camera - but the script is poor IMO. UPDATE: Inspiration struck when I read whay Jeff had to say over at Shape of Days. Here's my alternate script: We all know they exist. But what are they, really? Some say they're dangerous, vicious brutes who attack without warning. They must be exterminated before they attack us - or our children. Others say they're merely misunderstood, that we must learn to live together. That we can be friends. [shot of pack moving toward camera] Nice doggy...? Whaddya think?
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Yahoo! News - ACLU Turns Down $1.15 Million in Funding Hm. The ACLU turns down $1.5 million because the grant stipulates that the money cannot be used to "directly or indirectly engage in, promote, or support other organizations or individuals who engage in or promote terrorist activity." At least they're being honest.
Hugh Hewitt has another symposium question: Why vote for Bush, and what's wrong with Kerry? Just to be contrarian, I'm going to turn it around. Also, I recall what a wise friend once told me - you don't really understand an argument until you can argue both sides. So. Why vote for Kerry, and What's wrong with Bush? Vote for Kerry because: 1. He's not Bush (see list of Bush's faults below) 2. He will make America better-liked by other countries 3. He has a plan for dealing with the looming health care crisis 4. He promised not to raise my taxes unless I more than triple my income 5. He's been in combat, so he knows what it's like to be ordered into battle What's wrong with Bush: 1. He can't say 'nuclear', or give an extemporaneous speech 2. He's so focused on Iraq that our armed forces are spread too thin 3. He didn't have a plan to secure Iraq after Saddam was driven from power 4. He spends too much 5. He doesn't care what other countries think of America OK, I tried. Really, I did.
The Washington Monthly Stuff on the flu vaccine shortage. As is expected in the blogosphere, there's a lot of meat in the comments (about 50% meat, 50% fat, same as a decent rack of ribs). I'm not sure where I stand on the issue. I got my shot with no waiting, and YES, I'm in a high-risk group. Should it be a campaign issue? Maybe, if the election were 90 days away, since that's how long it would take to adequately disseminate the detailed technical information needed to make an informed opinion of the administration's handling of the situation. (See the comments to the post above.) As it is, there's only enough time for the Democrats to cry, "Bush's focus on Iraq is going to make Grandma and Baby Jane die of the flu!" How do YOU spell 'desperate'?
Friday, October 15, 2004
Hugh Hewitt's weekend symposium #3 How deep a hole have John Kerry, Mary Beth Cahill and the Edwards dug for themselves? How lasting the damage? There are two ways to hit bottom. One, of course, is to simply stop digging. The other is when things get worse faster than you can lower your standards. Democrats have this key principle backwards. The Democrat's standards of decency are plummeting towards the core, and show no signs of slowing, much less stopping. As they realize that they are losing votes on the issues that really matter to most Americans, they embrace the politics of personal destruction they hypocritically claim to decry. Kerry and Edwards' pathetic, desparate, and despicable attempt to score cheap political points from Mary Cheney's private life is just one more example of how low the Democratic Party and its supporters have sunk. Today's Cleveland Plain Dealer reveals that the Democrat sleaze machine is once again attempting to drag the private life of a top-shelf Republican candidate - Congressman Steve LaTourette - through the mud. This is reminiscent of how Democrat operatives managed to get access to Illinois Senate candidate Jack Ryan's sealed divorce files, forcing him to drop out of the race amid strongly denied, unproven charges that he wanted to have sex with his wife. In a strip bar full of likewise consenting adults, yes. So what if it's kinky? They're married. The people who dug up and publicized these charges cheer men in pink tutus French-kissing each other in public on Gay Pride Day, and maintained that the President getting oral sex from an intern, and then lying about it to a grand jury and the American people, is a "personal matter". But a Republican who might want to add some zing to his marriage is tres outre'. They embraced sleazeball filmmaker Michael Moore, who calls his films "documentaries" until the lies are documented, then hides behind the label "artist". They did their damndest to once again dredge up the spurious story of Bush's service in the Air National Guard. Having exhausted all the real evidence (Bush's teeth showed up for duty, but he did net, apparently), they ran a prime-time story based on laughably bad forgeries. They've slimed and smeared the honorable men of the Swift Boat Veterans and POWs for Truth, who have much to lose by coming forward and telling their side of the story, but nothing to gain - except their dignity. They've organized terror attacks on Republican campaign offices, using union muscle to intimidate, vandalize, and assault. They've lied about a draft. They've made fun of kids with developmental disabilities. And so on, and so on. I'm sick of it. I'm no dyed-in-the-wool conservative. I rejected my father's support of Nixon and Goldwater. I opposed Reagan's arms buildup. I worked on Paul Wellstone's first Senate campaign. I voted for Bill Clinton. I was lukewarm about Bush in 2000, though I slightly preferred him to Gore. I thought we went into Iraq too soon, though I have changed my mind as the evidence has come to light. I disagree with a number of the President's domestic policies, though he is clearly the better choice for Commander in Chief in this war. I have never voted a straight-party ticket in my life. This year, I will. The Democrats have proven that they do not deserve to be elected to County Dead Skunk Scooper, much less any higher office. They smell worse than the skunks.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Michelle Malkin: MORE DESPICABLE DEMOCRAT BIGOTRY This is about the wretched hate piece being distributed by Democrats in Tennesee. It shows Bush's face photoshopped onto the body of kid running a footrace. The caption reads, "Voting for Bush is like running in the Special Olympics - even if you win, you're still retarded." I've seen something similar in Internet discussion forums, but it's "Arguing on the Internet is like..." I have a step-brother with Down's. A party this despicable deserves to lose and lose soundly. This piece says three things to me: 1. The supposed party of inclusiveness, the ones who fight for the little guy, who champion the disenfranchised, will not hesitate for a moment to callously exploit them them for political gain. 2. They know they are going to lose, and lose big. This ad cannot possibly convince a voter who is somehow still on the fence to come over to their side. 3. They are totally out of arguments on the issues, so they are left with nothing but personal insults for their opponents. They remind me of the picture of a mouse giving the finger to the eagle swooping down on him. The mouse may be defiant, but he's still lunch.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Monday, October 11, 2004
Yahoo! News - UN: Iraqi Nuclear-Related Materials Have Vanished Well, this is troubling. If whole buildings and outdoor stockpiles have vanished under the noses of the CPA, that's ammo for Kerry, no doubt. Of course, it's also possible that the materials were removed by the CPA but simply not reported to the IAEA. However - if these stockpiles and equipment are so valuable for making nuclear weapons, then Saddam's nuclear capability must have been a real threat, right? But if Saddam's nuclear capability was NOT a threat, then the missing materials must not be very important. If that's so, what's the fuss?
Friday, October 08, 2004
Red Daddie Steve has a very apt analogy of Kerry as a parent who blusters but never follows through. "If I'd been president, I'd have wanted the same threat of force." This is a bit more of his underlying strategy showing; I want to be able to threaten them and they WILL comply. He mentioned it during the debate of the NBB "that we would EVEN CONSIDER using." stating that he would never even consider using the ones already in stock. This is the strategy of a 'repeating, threatening parent' You've seen them "if you don't stop I'm gunna" ten times in the grocery store, and that is just on aisle one, the poor child gets yelled at but never learns to do what is right. Early on with my own kids, I used the "one... two..." routine. One day my eldest, then about 5ish, was doing something he shouldn't. I "oned" him. He just looked at me and continued to do whatever he was doing. "TWO!" He stopped, looked at me, looked back at his activity. I leaned in, looked him in the eye, and said softly but firmly, "Do you know what happens when I get to three?" He hadn't really thought about it. You could see him working it over. "No, Daddy." He seemed a little concerned at the prospect. I continued to look him right in the eye. I spoke slowly, softly, clearly. "Do you want to find out?" His eyes got big. He shook his head. "No..." We clearly told Saddam what would happen if we counted to three. He didn't believe us. Qaddafi saw what happened. He didn't wait for us to look at him and say, "TWO!"
I'm a pilot and a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilot's Association, a terrific lobbying and service organization dedicated to general aviation. This month's AOPA Pilot (the monthly magazine for members) contains a Q&A with Bush and Kerry on issues related to general aviation. It's telling. I wish I could link the text of the article, but it's not online. If you're interested in direct quotes rather than the paraphrase here, leave a comment and I'll transcribe. Each candidate was asked the same questions. When asked about their experience with GA, Bush notes his ANG flight time, then explains how as a private businessman he used GA to build his business, and how as governor of Texas he used the state's air fleet to help him get around the vast state. Good, detailed answer that shows he understands the benefits of general aviation. Kerry just says, "I've been a pilot for thirty years, so I'm obviously very familiar with general aviation." Riiight. No mention of his ratings or experience. Just trust him when he says he's very familiar with GA. Both candidates agree that the current system of how GA services are funded (a combination of fuel taxes and general revenues supporting the FAA, with some other things thrown in) should not be changed. (There's a move afoot in some quarters to move to a pay-for-service scheme, where pilots would be charged for getting a weather briefing or to file a flight plan. That would have a truly chilling effect on safety.) Bush's answer is much more detailed, laying out the different funding avenues of the current system. Asked to list some recent pro-aviation government activity they've been a part of, Bush lists a bill he signed this year that ups the federal budget for needed improvements at small airports, and supports upgrades to the Flight Service System. Kerry notes the 1994 General Aviation Revitalization Act, which he says he supported. (We should fact-check that claim, since the Act limited tort exposure for airplane manufacturers.) He also mentions his support for a more recent bill that has some tenuous connection to aviation. Again, Bush gives a clear, detailed answer. Kerry speaks in non-sequiturs. On the subject of privatizing air traffic control, Kerry just says he's against it. Bush again lays out the issues, notes that there are no plans to "privatize" ATC, but that the current system of contracting for services at low-volume airfields would continue. As to who would lead the FAA, Bush praises current FAA boss Marion Blakely, who by all acocunts has indeed done a superb job over the past several years. Kerry gives the ususal spiel about the position requiring someone with experience, integrity, blah, blah, blah. Overall: For a nuanced fellow pilot, Kerry gives the impression that he doesn't know a whole lot about GA. Bush comes across as a thoroughly competent administrator who has a good grasp of the issues related to this small-but-important part of the enterprise he leads.
Hugh Hewitt asks bloggers, "What do Kerry's answers to [yesterday's] press inquiries tell us about Kerry's worldview and character?" Nothing that we [the sensible center-right who haven't drunk Moore's ABB koolaid] didn't already know. The Democrats desperately want anyone but Bush in the Oval Office, so Kerry is trying to please them by being anybody but Bush. Except, of course, when he has to be Bush, as for example, promising that he'll allocate troops to Iraq according to what the commanders on the ground ask for. [DUH!] Kerry is not a bad man, he's simply delusional. I don't mean that mean-ly, it gives me no pleasure to say that, it's just that he seems to have been living in a parallel universe that only occasionally intersects the real one the rest of us inhabit. The Cambodia stories, the Magic Hat, no link between Saddam and WMDs - he truly believes this stuff, it appears. (The fact that he's a licensed pilot makes this a little scary; the possibility of his becoming President is alarming.) It's me-first-who's-next. And that me-first attitude certainly applies to his approach to doing the hard work of keeping America safe. He reminds me of John Rhys-Davies' character in Indiana Jones: He and Indiana stumble across a pit of vipers. They look in. "Snakes," he says. "Very dangerous. You go first." That'd be fine, if France and Germany had half the backbone of Indy Jones. But they don't, they've admitted it, but Kerry persists in his delusional belief that he could have overcome Saddam's coercion and bribery with his diplomacy. The French and Germans may not understand a lot of things Texan, but do understand this: "Money talks, and bullsh!t walks." Saddam was talking loud and clear - "Bling, bling," he said - and Annan, Chrirac, Schroeder listened closely. That Kerry equivocates Russia and China with North Korea and Pakistan further demonstrates the danger of electing this man. The other bloggers who've responded to Hugh have already said this more eloquently than I could; I don't have anything to add.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
NRO: THE TORA BORA LINE - CHENEY DIDN'T REFUTE IT, SO I WILL Money line: "Yeah, John Kerry, you tell the commander of the Special Forces Group that he did his job wrong. And that you - Mr. Magic Hat in Cambodia - would do it better. Throw a medal or a ribbon at him while you're at it, too." OWWWTCH!
Eject! Eject! Eject!: "And all of this rage and fury and spitting and tearing up of signs, all of these insults and spinmeisters and forgeries and all the rest, seem to come down to the fact that about half the country thinks you deter this sort of thing by being nice, while the other half thinks you deter this by being mean. It's really just that simple. " Read the Whole Thing ht:HH
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
TCS: Tech Central Station - Space Warfare: On the Way? Ben Bova, where are you?
WorldNetDaily: Is this one of Saddam's mobile bio-weapons labs? But, but, but, everyone knows that Iraq had no WMD capabilities! Right? Riiiight...
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Yahoo! News - Amendment Banning La. Gay Marriage Tossed Millions of voters overwhelmingly approve a law, and one man tosses it out. Someone explain to me how this is not an example of tyrrany? This could be a law banning billboards, and the issue would be the same. This isn't a case of constitutional checks and balances. This is the will of the people being squelched.
Monday, October 04, 2004
Exclusive: Saddam Possessed WMD, Had Extensive Terror Ties -- 10/04/2004 This could be - COULD be - vital news. We need PDFs of the originals, a chain of custody, and some more independent translations. If these check out, it's Bush in a landslide.
Yahoo! News - Fox News Channel admits reporter posted fake story about Kerry Not exactly a fake story, but rather an obvious spoof, along the lines of Reagan's famous "I have just signed legislation outlawing the Soviet Union" mike check. A "fake story" is what CBS broadcast, or the AP saying a pro-Bush crowd booed at the news of Clinton's heart problems. THOSE are fake stories. This was an obvious spoof, and not deliberately intended to mislead.
Friday, October 01, 2004
TCS: Tech Central Station - Will Hutton's Fecund Suggestions Very funny. Author Tim Worstall seems to be channeling Lileks at one point: The UK, which is much less accommodating to the needs of mothers and their children, has [a fertility rate] of 1.65 [children per woman]. You might also be interested in noting that the USA, a place where people work the longest hours of any rich country, where anything more than a few days off for the stitches to take after parturition is regarded as malingering, where paid paternity leave is almost unheard of once it is confirmed that the babbie can work out how to suck on a teat, that hellhole of family unfriendly policies has a fertility rate of 2.07. It might just be different immigration rates of course, as first generation such are known to be more philoprogenitive but then Sweden has a higher rate than the UK, 5.4% to 4%, of foreign born residents. So there seems to be something empirically wrong with the suggested solution. We cannot see that actually having more of these sorts of policies does in fact increase the birth rate. We might have known that there was indeed something wrong with the analysis as Mr Hutton gravely informs us that Italy's exceptionally low number of children, (1.12% fertility rate) is actually caused by the Catholic Church. No, don't laugh, Will Hutton is a highly respected liberal intellectual and commentator, former editor of The Observer (The Guardian's sister paper), chief executive of The Work Foundation (formerly the Industrial Society) and a Governor of the London School of Economics. If he says that a Church which outlaws both abortion and contraception, one which regards any sexual act which does not contain the possibility of conception as sinful, if he says that this Church and its teachings are leading to underpopulation, well then, it is so and no sniggering at the back there. Given the growing Islamicsization of Europe, Mr. Hutton just might get his wish. Of course, one should be be careful what one wishes for.
Did Kerry write own report of disputed clash? I've been wondering about this for a while. A faded 35-year-old operations order recovered from the Naval Historical Center in Washington bears directly on the ongoing dispute between Sen. John Kerry and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth about who wrote the key after-action report that ended Kerry's service in Vietnam. The report appears in the official Navy records and is posted on Kerry's presidential campaign Web site. The report details Kerry's participation in a naval operation on the Bay Hap River on March 13, 1969, in such glowing terms that he was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for pulling Special Forces officer James Rassmann out of the water while under heavy enemy fire. This third Purple Heart allowed Kerry to cut short his Vietnam tour after only four months. ... So according to this report, which now stands as the official Navy record, this swift boat mission concluded by running a three-mile gantlet of enemy fire from both banks, the detonation of three mines, and yet the only casualties occurred on the boat that hit the first mine. The boats managed to escape and, even more miraculously, retrieve the sinking boat, PCF-3, without getting a single bullet hole in any vessel or crew member. "It is miraculous all right because it never happened," recalls Larry Thurlow, a Kerry critic who commanded the mission. "PCF-3 hit a mine; all of my boats directed suppressing fire on both banks, expecting the mine to be followed up by gunfire. But after a couple of minutes, we ceased firing and took steps to aid the sinking PCF-3 and its injured crew members. There was never a shot fired at us, and no additional mines went off, either. And if we had been facing gunfire from both sides of three miles of riverbank, I would have called in the standby air support. I didn't." ... As the commander of the mission, normally Thurlow would have filed the disputed after-action report. But he denies writing it. And the after-action report supports his denial. It was written by someone designated "TE 126.96.36.199/1." ... "TE" refers to a "task element," which is defined by the numbers to the right, which show the command structure over the task element in action. "194" is Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, commander of U.S. naval forces in Vietnam; "5" is Hoffman's swift boat command; "4" is Lonsdale's command, and the last "4" is Capt. George Elliot's swift boat base at An Thoi, where the boats on this mission were based. The last "1" indicates someone other than the commander of the mission. ... According to a Navy communications expert, Chief Petty Officer Troy Jenkins, who has examined the message traffic, the report in question was sent from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Spencer, Lonsdale's command ship, at 11:20 that night. Only three of the officers on the mission that day were on the Spencer, John Kerry, Dick Pease and Donald Droz. Droz took the wounded from the mine explosion to be examined and treated at the Spencer, including the third officer, the severely wounded Dick Pease. Since the Spencer had no helipad for the evacuation of the wounded, Droz then had to return to the USS Washtenaw County, stationed about 25 nautical miles away, leaving only Kerry aboard the Spencer at the time the message was sent at 11:20 p.m. Could Droz have somehow written the report? Lonsdale says command precedence of days in swift boat service alone rules this out. "According to the command procedure I set down, Kerry would have been the only logical candidate." ... The head of the Operational Archives Branch of the Naval Historical Center in Washington, Kathy Lloyd, has verified Hoffman's operations order. Neither Kerry's campaign nor his swift boat veteran critics contest the validity of the after-action report by "TE 188.8.131.52/1." Kerry spokesmen have repeatedly insisted that Kerry denies writing the report and that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were arguing with the official Navy record. But if "the official Navy record" now turns out to have been written by Kerry himself, the principal beneficiary of its glowing references to his performance, the swift boat critics' charges look far more consequential. After all, the report completely leaves out how Kerry's own boat, PCF-94, ran down river leaving James Rassmann overboard and the other three boats to deal with the ambush and the sinking PCF-3. All of the living boat commanders on that mission are in firm agreement on that action by Kerry and agree that the report is a fraudulent misrepresentation of an action they remember well. The Kerry campaign didn't return calls for this article. But members of Kerry's crew have said Kerry is telling the truth. And Rassmann said he has vivid memories of enemies firing at him from both banks. So Kerry and some men from Kerry's crew - are they on the campaign payroll? - say there was enemy fire. Rassman, who says he spent most of the incident under water and has told different stories about which boat he was knocked off of, says so too, though he doesn't seem to have been in much of a position to know. Everyone else who was there says there was no enemy fire, and the damage reports on the boats seem to bear that out. Jooohhhneeeee?!?!! You got some 'splainin' to do!
HughHewitt.com This post underscores why Hewitt is rapidly becoming one of the most influential people in politics. Clear and incisive. Read especially his notes to his producer about what audio clips to put together for the radio show. For example, In the exchange I numbered 5, Bush slams Kerry for inconsistency and talks about leading as Commander-in-Chief. Take the whole thing. This is also, I think, where Bush rips Joe Lockhart for calling Allawi a "puppet." (Try and get the C-SPAN clip of Lockhart calling the debate a draw, and marry it to Lockhart telling Carl Cameron --TiVoed around 7:45-8:00 that Kerry won going away. Marry that as well with Terry McAuliffe with us at the DNC admitting he'll lie every time he has to.) and "In exchange 12, Lehrer says to Kerry that he has accused the president of lying. Kerry says he never used that "harshest" word. After he says that, marry the clip from spring "these guys are the ..." " My favorite line is this: "Gallup says viewers gave Kerry the win 53 to 37%. Heh. That's like saying the horse thief who sold rope to the posse was a good businessman. "