Thursday, July 29, 2004

Fish in the Wrong Bowl

There are some real oddities at this year's Democratic National Convention.

We're not just talking about Teresa Heinz Kerry. I lived in Pennsylvania at the time Senator Heinz was killed, not that far from the school where the crash occurred -- tragically killing some kids as well as the pilots and passengers of the aircraft involved -- and she was hardly a liberal scion back then. I for one take her at her superficial appearance -- a unique person, with many talents, and a lot of money. But while she's not on the ticket and I think much of the talk about her personality is just ludicrous, political spouses do play a traditional role at a convention, and she's now at least a registered democrat (having finally made the leap from Republican just two years ago.)

What on earth is Maria Shriver doing there? Just because she's a "Kennedy" doesn't mean she's not helping Bush's agenda via her hubby the Governator. Or is it because she's a "journalist"? If she's going to be an honored guest at the Republican Convention, that sort of makes any pretense at journalistic objectivity silly.

Bono, aka Paul Hewson, the lead singer for U2, is also annoyingly there, and not on the entertainment bill. I realize as a former citizen of Boston that the city is still half in County Cork in spirit and in head count, but Bono is an Irish citizen. Why we should care what he has to say about our own democratic process is as much a mystery as where the weapons of mass destruction got to. Let him apply for an immigrant's visa under the quota system and get citizenship first. I'm not entirely sure that the internal workings of a US party are the proper place for lobbying by a foreigner. Then again, I'm pretty sure we won't see any Saudis at the Republican convention, but that doesn't mean they're not lobbying their man.

Michael Moore isn't playing a role in the convention, but has been shown on camera in the audience, and the "audience" requires security clearances and invitations. Moore is an independent who's been a fierce critic of democrats and republicans alike on his issues. He has insisted that Fahrenheit 9/11 is about Bush, not a pro-Kerry ad as some conservatives have charged, and I believe him. But showing up at a party convention for a party to which he does not belong is absurd. Then again, so is Ralph Nader showing up at the Green Party convention asking for its endorsement when he refuses to join.

Ron Reagan, of course, is the most visible fish in the wrong gold fish bowl here, giving a prime time speech about his issuue, stem cell research. He is also a political independent, and one out of conviction, taking advantage of the platform the Democrats have given him to make a pitch on a personal issue. Oddly enough, the substance of the speech got to the real differences between Bush and predecessor administrations, a hypothetical President Gore, and in all likelihood a hypothetical President Kerry: the sacrifice of science and reason for ideology that underpins the anti-stem-cell research stance of the Bushites. It's too bad reason vs. superstition can't be made into a more saleable political issue, but that won't work as long as we have too much TV and not enough books in the lives of Americans. And putting it the way Reagan did isn't likely to win him brownie points for being diect:

Whatever else you do come Nov. 2, I urge you, please, cast a vote for embryonic stem cell research.

Thank you for your time.

I just hope "Stem Cell Research" isn't listed under "Pat Buchanan" on my ballot.

Then of course we have the "liberal" media out in force. CNN's analysis team on Larry King consists of a Republican (Tucker Carlson) and a Republican (David Gergen), punctuated occasionally by commentary on what the Democrats should be doing from a Republican (Bob Dole!) They invite in a periodic actual democrat (last night Senator Landrieu of Louisiana), and do silly things like ask her where the extremists are -- you know, sodomites demanding the right to marry naked on main street, environmentalists who want to ban the light bulb, etc.

I caught Ron Reagan briefly on MSNBC with Joe Scarborough, and that was a bizarre sequence. I'm going to have to wait for a transcript because it was hard to describe accurately...

Speaking of fish out of the tank, Comedy Central's The Daily Show has some hilarious pictures on their convention photo-blog.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

A Divided America Comes Together at Last

This is a heart-warming story: nutcases from both the left and right united in bizarre murder conspiracies involving John Kerry. I use "left" and "right" very lightly, since these people are so far around the bend as to defy accurate positioning on a political chart. Maybe on a medical chart.

From the people who brought you the charges that the Clintons whacked over 70 people, Free, we have insinuations that John Kerry conspired to kill members of the US Senate.

It seems impossible to me that John Kerry would not remember whether he was at the meeting where he personally quite the organization which catapulted him to national fame. FBI records say he was there, other people say he was there: they recall because he gave an extended speech attacking Al Hubbard, another leader of the group, and then delivered a dramatic personal resignation. Why wouldn’t he remember? Given this stunning lapse of memory why isn’t the media, which spent several years spreading every hint of a lie about George W. Bush’s supposed “drug use” looking into the question of just how many drugs the French-looking Senator was doing at the time?

Think about this for a moment: we had weeks of acrimony over charges that President Bush blew off a few National Guard drills in 1972. The media (and the left) demanded “answers” and “evidence.” Now we have a case where the presumptive Democratic nominee for the august office of President of the United States, himself a United States Senator, may have actually debated the merits of and then voted upon a resolution which would have, effectively, authorized the assassination of a number of members of the United States Senate. Even accepting the accounts of those who say that Kerry voted, “no” on the motion, this is still a deeply alarming issue. After all, there’s no evidence that Kerry, on hearing deadly serious talk about assassinating officials of the Untied States, reported it to the proper authorities. If he did, let him say so: and let the proof in the matter be produced.

Mon dieu! "French-looking!" What a canard!

Not to be outdone, an anti-semitic LaRoucheian named Randy Crow is hawking murder-conspiracy theories surrounding the death of John Heinz pointing the finger at you know who:

Odds are there are many, many fine people who went/go to Yale. Two people come to my mind as very fine people who went to Yale. But good grief, there are some bad apples who went to Yale. An article on the Internet states John Kerry's wife's former husband died in a plane crash when the plane he was riding with two pilots crashed with a helicopter and I think four pilots and Heinz died. The crash seemed out of the CIA fantasy department. (Not everyone believes everything they see in James' Bond movies' is logical and happens in real life.) Mr. Heinz easily could have been set up and murdered in the crash. Actually I will call Mr. Heinz's death murder. It is not logical pilots in a helicopter would be asked to check to see if the landing gear on a plane is down unless something fishy is/was going on. Heinz's plane logically would have flown over or beside people on the ground or in the tower, with or without binoculars, to check to see if the landing gear was down.

There was a big motive out there to kill Heinz. He hated NAFTA about like I hate zioni$t communi$t$ and we know Yalie's can't make it without NAFTA affirmative action. John, I believe I heard you favor NAFTA. The Yalie gang didn't chit chat with you and it was determined that the only way to get NAFTA passed was for your wife's deceased husband gone? Then you married his widow? Can't we hear the Skull & Bones frat guys now. We killed ole Heinz and then John married Heinz's widow. Ha. Ha. Ho. Ho. Ho. Cool. Neat. Good BS.

Kerry is a Yalie and I certainty hope he is a good Yalie. However, what is the need to choose him to run against Little George before the Democratic Convention in July? The Administration is up to no good in the Mid East and the Republicans not knowing who the Democrats will run against them for sure may save lives because the Administration should fear a real Democratic anti war candidate may emerge if the Administration's operation "Lent Blood" kills many people in the MId East between now and the Democratic Convention.

That damn flouride in the water! It's interfering with the satellite signals the CIA is sending to my brain!

I would not be shocked to see this kind of dreck dredged out for a Kerry Presidency, of course. The age of innuendo and out the other is too firmly entrenched.

Monday, July 26, 2004

'ucker 'arlson

Ah, Tucker Carlson, what a memory he has for an elephant. On CNN tonight, he criticized Bill Clinton for making "too partisan a speech"for a former President. Funny me, I tought a PARTy convention was to be PARTIsan. At least that's what Ronald Reagan thought in 1992 when he skewered the democrats. Even when he's trying to say something nice about Bill Clinton he can't bring himself to use a truthful parallel.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Full Undisclosure

Is it just me, or does the undislosed location look a lot like the lair John Connor ends up in at the end of Terminator 3?
900 dead. Nearly 6000 wounded, with a rate of severity of wounds higher than any war since the Civil War. Suicide rate among the troops who's served in Iraq at least 35% over the norm. Over 1000 total coalition deaths.

But John Kerry isn't fit to be commander in chief. He can't decide whether or not he drives an SUV.

Whacha Driving at?

Resident Bush has attacked John Kerry for being hypocritical about owning SUVs.

Here's an excerpt from his speech:

THE PRESIDENT: He's been in Washington for quite a long time. He's been there long enough to take both sides of just about every issue. (Applause.) He voted for the Patriot Act. He voted for NAFTA. He voted for No Child Left Behind. And he voted for the use of force in Iraq. Now he opposes the Patriot Act, NAFTA, the No Child Left Behind Act, and the liberation of Iraq.


THE PRESIDENT: He's been on both sides of big issues. And if he could find a third side -- (laughter and applause.) He recently gave us another example of his technique. Last winter, my opponent was in Michigan and somebody asked him about the cars he had. (Laughter.) Here in the great auto-producing state, he said, quote, "We have some SUVs." He was talking about having a couple of mini-vans and a big Suburban. Last month, on Earth Day, Senator Kerry had a different description of his fleet. (Laughter.) He said, and I quote, "I don't own an SUV." To clear up the confusion he said, "The family has it. I don't have it." (Laughter.) In other words, he doesn't have an SUV except when he's in Michigan. (Laughter.) Now, there's a fellow who's getting a lot of mileage out of his Suburban. (Laughter and applause.)

Whatever he drives, the voters this year will have a clear choice.

So, W., what do you drive? To criticize somebody else for hypocrisy, one ought not to be hypocritical yourself. What has the country done to wean its dependence on oil during the last four years? What ever happened to that network of hydrogen cars, ignoring the fact it's the least favorable of any of the alternatives and would likely benefit (gasp) existing oil companies?

What kind of gas mileage does a Presidential limo get? How about that power boat y'all use off Kennebunkport?

Ha ha, Al Gore said he invented the internet but he didn't. Remember how important that issue turned out to be.

So let's look at SUBSTANCE, issues: here's what Kerry is actually proposing -- helping speed Hybrid SUVs to market. This would seem to be recognizing the fact Americans like their big cars, and using the government in cooperation with the private sector to move the market towards something that would be acceptable to consumers and help solve the problem of overconsumption of oil.

Kerry: U.S. Needs to Lead in Auto Innovation

April 23, 2004

Associated Press

by John McCarthy
Columbus, OH

America's automakers should take the lead in developing hybrid-powered cars, a move that would create good jobs and save families at the gas pump, Sen. John Kerry said on Thursday.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, in a conference call with reporters in four states he plans to visit next week, said development of vehicles that run on alternative fuels will restore some of the hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs lost during President Bush's administration.

Hybrids draw power from two energy sources, typically a gas or diesel engine combined with an electric motor. Small cars made by Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. are the only versions available in the United States, but nearly every automaker is investing in hybrid technology.

"I would like American companies to be competitive globally and I would like American companies to be first and foremost in the marketplace with these innovations," Kerry said from Houston. "We can in fact grow more jobs and save families a heck of a lot of money on fuel bills."

The Honda and Toyota models cost more than comparable gas-only cars, but they get more than 45 miles per gallon.

Ford Motor Co. plans to introduce a hybrid version of its Escape sport utility vehicle this summer, while Lexus also plans a hybrid SUV. Ford says the hybrid front-wheel-drive escape would get 35 to 40 miles per gallon in city driving compared with 20 miles per gallon for the gas-only version.

So, spend a billion dollars on research that will go to big oil companies and may or may not produce technology 20 years from now...or work now to build American factories to build hybrids using present-day technology AND work towards alternative fuels from many sources, not just the dubious hydrogen proposal?

But John Kerry drives an SUV! Then he doesn't! Don't you see the REAL issue?

Monday, July 12, 2004

Democracy at Work

Listen up, Iraqis, and learn how democracy is supposed to work.

Rudy Giuliani's first political act the week of 9/11 was to see to annul the impending New York mayoral elections and assume a third term (despite term limits forbidding him from doing so) without the benefit of an election. One might forgive him from one perspective, given the local emergency, but it was chilling how readily he suggested that democracy and the orderly succession of power wasn't enough on its own to take the city through a crisis. In other words, in Giuliani's estimation at the time, he and only he could head New York in its time of need, democracy be damned. The major problem for Giuliani at the time was there was utterly no way to circumvent the laws on the books saying an election must be held.

So last week we had the Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, issue a completely non-specific warning -- without raising the terror alert (which would cost money) -- about the possibility terrorists would try to disrupt our election. Nothing concrete, of course, or any indication as to how the powers that be know this.

And this morning we hear the administration has been working behind the scenes to rectify for President Bush the problem Giuliani had. They're looking into ways they can cancel the Presidential election, or at least delay it to a time more favorable to the President's slim chances of re-election. The rationale, of course, is that terrorists might try to launch attacks that will change the course of the election.

What better way to give the terrorists a victory -- they're already modifying the democratic process, without even having to launch an attack.

The Madrid attacks two days before an election were alleged to have turned the election away from a Bush-friendly conservative administration to a liberal faction pledging to get out of Iraq. That the opposition party was leading in the polls already, or that 85% of Spaniards opposed involvement in Iraq prior to the bombings, seems to have been lost on the administration wags claiming Al Qaeda changed the election outcome. But if you think about this, it's an incredibly dim view of the electorate anywhere, to suggest democracy can be manipulated by violence in this manner. Not holding the elections would be changing the outcome of an election.

I'm not so conspiracy minded that I think the Bush administration would allow a terrorist attack right before the election. What I think they're doing is putting the possibility into people's minds for two reasons. First is so they can trump up any possible chance of one to make fear work in their favor. And the second is to scare people away from the polls, making them think that the very process of having an election is inherently dangerous.

But if you're conspiracy-minded, it's a great day for you, since they're now actively planning for a way to suspend our own elections. This is the worst thing I've heard out of Washington in four miserable years of awful, anti-democratic, anti-American government.

So if you want an idea of how the Bush re-election team is taking the high ground, take a gander at the latest Bush attack ad on Kerry (click on the one called 'Priorities'.) In it, the President takes aim at the fact Kerry's had to miss a lot of votes to campaign for President, ignoring all the taxpayer money and time he's spent on the road campaigning himself. In it, he claims Kerry failed to vote to lower health care costs (the bill in question was actually a tort reform bill to prevent patients from suing doctors for medical malpractice claims), that he failed to vote to fund troops in combat (ignoring all the times he has), but that "he found time to vote against the Laci Peterson law" which would 'protect pregnant women against violence'. Ignoring again the fact the so-called Laci Peterson law federalized yet another crime for utterly no reason -- it was already illegal and a separate crime to kill a fetus, and Scott Peterson is in fact charged with two murders -- the message they're trying to convey is: Kerry voted in favor of murdering women and unborn children! I think this may be the worst, lowest political ad since Willie Horton, and it's worse in a way. There are lots of legitimate differences the President could take with Kerry's voting record. But why highlight those when you can say Kerry's in favor of killing pregnant women and against supporting our troops and lowering health care costs?

So take note, Iraqis, as you ponder your unelected ruling council's decisions. This is how we do democracy in America.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Another Reason to Play El Capitan

It took ten years after the Gulf War for Jarhead to appear, but we've already got a college boy writing his war memoirs for the current Global War on Terrorism. I had an amusing time listening to the Terri Gross interview on NPR, so I decided to go over to Amazon to see what the reviews were like to see how full of stuffing this kid actually was. Here's the book and the reviews.

There was a bonus at the site from an anonymous reviewer, who deserves a battle star or two -- bear in mind the book is actually about the soldier's experiences in Afghanistan:

***** When the Roses Bloom Again, June 19, 2004
Reviewer: A reader from Cambridge, MA United States
Follow Mr. Exum, "Tough Ike," "Metropolitan Bill," "The Dude" and all the rest, a melange of haughty Harvard-boys and some real Reubens from the hinterlands, as they battle the vicious Spaniard. THIS MAN'S ARMY is a gripping account of the recent and splendid Spanish-American War. Mr. Exum writes with sympathy and hardihood and offers the occasional chortle, like the time he finally had a moment to settle into his tent after several strenuous and unhygienic days, only to have the tent blown away by a Cuban windstorm. There he sat, bewildered in his skivvies! More seriously, THIS MAN'S ARMY tells of the peril that our young men face, a peril which, remarkably, is reported by neither the Populist nor the Mugwump press. For instance, any reader of this book will up and petition his President to equip our soldiers with smokeless powder. If such superior technology is available to the Spaniard, why not to the Yankee?