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Friday, October 29, 2004

Kerry is Imploding

NBCNEWS Brokaw interviewed John Kerry Thursday evening.

Brokaw: "If you had been President, Saddam Hussein would be in power."
Kerry: "Not necessarily."
Brokaw: "You said you wouldn't go to war against him."
Kerry: "That's not true. Because under the inspection process, Saddam Hussein was required to destroy those kinds of materials and weapons."
Brokaw: "But he wasn't destroying them."
Kerry: "That's what you have inspectors for. That's why I voted for the threat of force, because he only does things when you have a legitimate threat of force. It's irresponsible to suggest that if I were President, he wouldn't be gone. He might be gone, because if he hadn't complied, we might have had to go to war, but if we did, we would have gone with allies, so the American people weren't carrying the entire burden. And the entire world would understand why we did it."

The world did understand why we did what we did. Some of them didn't like it. The allies Kerry wishes were with us (basically only France, Germany, and Russia) would never have gone with us, no matter how many inspectors were in-country in Iraq and no matter what they did or did not find.

Kerry voted for the "threat of force"? No, he voted to authorize the President to decide when force was necessary. Period. If he thought he was authorizing only the threat of force, he is completely incompetent to be Commander in Chief. We - and the UN - had threatened force for 12 years. Threatening anything without the will to back it up is the worst kind of foreign policy. "Peace through strength" or "peace at all costs"...they may be opposites, but at least both are legitimate stands. "Peace through threats" is a ridiculous, dangerous, and completely irresponsible thing for a Presidential candidate to say.

"That is what you have inspectors for", Mr. Kerry? Really? Because, Hans Blix and his UN inspection process had identified (tagged, supposedly) these very weapons you are complaining about in 1995, but decided they were safe enough to leave in Saddam's hands. They didn't destroy them or even move them (which is what we did when we entered Iraq, by the way), they just trusted Saddam (and the Russians, and the Syrians, apparently) to "do the right thing." Perhaps they should have "threatened force" to make their point.

When Kerry says, "Because under the inspection process, Saddam Hussein was required to destroy those kinds of materials and weapons" then turns around and says after 12 years of this "process" weapons were laying around and could have been stolen by insurgents, he's making the case FOR THE WAR!

In this same interview, Kerry latches onto the NYTimes fraudulent reporting to accuse President Bush of "not having a plan" and "incompetence". As the press conference at the Pentagon today shows, the military did have a plan, and they executed it. Kerry's claims of incompetence are irresponsible, and come terribly close to the types of claims he made about the military after the Vietnam War.

Additional Reading:
Iraqi officials may be overstating the amount of explosives reported to have disappeared from a weapons depot

Urgent Warning on Iraqi Cache Issued in 1995

I love the visual on this one... Posted by Hello

Thursday, October 28, 2004

More on Missing Weapons

Bill Gertz is like a lone voice crying out in the wilderness. Russia tied to Iraq's missing arms.

Russian special forces troops moved many of Saddam Hussein's weapons and related goods out of Iraq and into Syria in the weeks before the March 2003 U.S. military operation, The Washington Times has learned.

John A. Shaw, the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, said in an interview that he believes the Russian troops, working with Iraqi intelligence, "almost certainly" removed the high-explosive material that went missing from the Al-Qaqaa facility, south of Baghdad.

"The Russians brought in, just before the war got started, a whole series of military units," Mr. Shaw said. "Their main job was to shred all evidence of any of the contractual arrangements they had with the Iraqis. The others were transportation units."

The Russians saw the fruits of their labors when terrorists killed school children and teachers. That may have been their September 11th. Perhaps they will join us in preventing such things from happening in the future.

Pick a Date

Do we have a 9/10 or 9/12 mindset? Article at Catholic Exchange:

At other times, however, Kerry dismisses the war and its importance. In January
2004, after acknowledging that the war on terror is “occasionally military… and it will continue to be for a long time,” he described it as “primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation.” He has reiterated this point about the conflict not really being a war several times since, and most memorably in an interview earlier this month.

An amazing statement considering how anti-intelligence he has been throughout his Senate career. Even if we take his pathetically low view of terror, he fails the test of being able to protect us, because of his own legislative agenda to gut and leave for dead the intelligence infrastructure. If he really believed in this, he would have a detailed plan for using some (a large portion, actually) of the trillions of dollars of new spending he wants to repair, improve, and support our intel efforts.

The utopian healthcare/retirement/education/every worker a millionaire world he promises (where the lame will walk again) is worthless if we have thousands or even millions of our fellow citizens destroyed by terrorists.

“We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they’re a nuisance. As a former law-enforcement person, I know we’re never going to end prostitution. We’re never going to end illegal gambling. But we’re going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn’t on the rise. It isn’t threatening people’s lives every day, and fundamentally, it’s something that you continue to fight, but it’s not threatening the fabric of your life.”

And the way to "get back to the place we were" is not to allow terror to become commonplace. Kerry's words here betray a complete lack of connection to the reality we face. Can you imagine turning a blind eye to prostitution and gambling if the result was the mass murder of our neighbors? Would you re-elect a County Prosecutor who said, "Well, we haven't caught that guy who's been gutting pizza delivery dudes, but we have to look at that as a kind of nuisance. I mean, he lives in the next state over, and only comes in here occassionally to kill our pizza guys, and that's kind of a nuisance, but we have to focus on redecorating the office and we're trying to get a lower deductible on our health insurance and my secretary is retiring so we have to have a party for her, so we haven't made the pizza-guy-killer a priority. We'll catch him in the act sometime, and boy-howdy, when we do, he'll be sorry!!!"

As for Kerry’s terrorism-as-nuisance idea, Bush impatiently says he “couldn’t disagree more” with it and comments: “Our goal is not to reduce terror to some acceptable level of nuisance. Our goal is to defeat terror by staying on the offensive, destroying terrorists, and spreading freedom and liberty around the world.” More broadly, he says, Kerry “fundamentally misunderstands the war on terror.”

Others in Kerry’s camp also disdain the war concept. Richard Holbrooke, touted as the Democrat’s possible secretary of state, says that “We’re not in a war on terror, in the literal sense. The war on terror is like saying ‘the war on poverty.’ It’s just a metaphor.” To which Bush replies, “Anyone who thinks we are fighting a metaphor does not understand the enemy we face and has no idea how to win the war and keep America secure.”

And finally, it comes down to a matter of personal experience. Asked how 9/11 had changed him, Kerry replies, “it didn’t change me much at all.” In contrast, Bush stresses how profoundly that day has changed his outlook and his sense of purpose: “I made the pledge to myself and to people that I'm not going to forget what happened on September the 11th.”

As Fred Barnes succinctly puts it, “George W. Bush is a September 12 person. John Kerry is a September 10 person.” The American electorate will make a profound choice next week, deciding whether to turn back the clock to the law enforcement model in place before 9/11 or whether to continue with the war mode in place since that day.

Going back to September 10th, means a September 11th is just around the corner. That isn't a world I particularly want to live in.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Flush the Johns indeed! Posted by Hello

Trying to upload this again: network errors=democrat cyber censors!!! Posted by Hello


An interesting exercise in confronting the idea that Dubbya should apologize for anything (SOMETHING) because the USA is a big bully and surely he has something he regrets or did in error or should otherwise apologize for: Apologize, George W. Bush!

The first paragraph:

Apologize for fighting an unwinable war. Apologize for failing to win that unwinable war before the All-Star break. Apologize for fighting the insurgents too aggressively, and apologize for showing them too much mercy. Apologize for forcing democracy and freedom upon the mere 85% of Iraqis who desire them. Apologize for ignoring the thoughtful and nuanced objections of some civilian-bombing terrorists in the Sunni Triangle. Apologize for not sending enough troops and apologize for taking too many troops away from their homes and families. Apologize for…oh, apologize for something. It really doesn't matter what. Just admit that you were wrong about something important. It's ever so much easier to defeat your arguments when you concede them to us first.
But the first couple lines of the next paragraph really kind of sum it all up:

Apologize, George W. Bush, because there's something delicious about watching righteous men eat their words. You won't be so quick to dismiss nuances and overtones and penumbras when you have a shame-faced apology sticking in your craw. And when we've neutralized your moralizing tone, it will be vastly easier to neutralize the popular, we're-the-good-guys morality that you propound.

Dewey Defeats Truman?

Pretty intersting article comparing this election with the famous Dewey-Truman contest of '48.

An incumbent President from the heartland faces a strong, experienced challenger from the Northeast. The challenger is strong in part because the incumbent seems weak -- inarticulate and gaffe-prone. But not too weak: Insiders make jokes about him, but he seems to connect with ordinary voters outside the Boston-New
York-Washington, D.C. corridor. (Within that corridor he is plainly unpopular, and the Northeastern media overwhelmingly oppose his reelection.) When he came to office, the incumbent had only modest experience. No one had thought of him as a major player in American government during the decade before he moved to the White House, and what experience he had prepared him for domestic policymaking, not foreign affairs. But foreign policy has dominated his presidency -- especially a shadowy not-quite-war, not-quite-peace with an adversary who has agents scattered across the globe. Within the administration, cabinet officers have openly battled over the country's foreign policy. One cabinet member has already been fired; after his dismissal the ex-cabinet member went public with scathing criticism of the President. The Secretary of Defense has not been fired -- yet -- but is a source of major controversy.

Read the whole thing, it's interesting stuff.

NYTimes: Kerry PR Firm

The American Thinker has an interesting read on the "October Surprise" that the NY Times and CBS are hawking as news:

Bottom Line:

Not only are the NYT, and apparently CBS News (again!), attempting to influence a US Presidential election, they have become the public relations firm of a corrupt UN and its nuclear inspection agency that allowed a madman to keep materials and equipment in violation of a treaty that the UN was duty-bound toenforce.

And John Kerry wants to entrust our national security to these same people.

Other Quotes:

The latest slam of the Bush Administration by the combined forces of the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the New York Times, CBS, and the Kerry campaign, repeats on old pattern. The leading lights of the legacy media have their own agenda, one that considerably overlaps that of the Kerry forces. But the IAEA is not merely driven by animus towards Bush.

That United Nations agency also needs to cover up its own ineffectiveness and incompetence by shifting attention and blame to the Bush Administration, while waiting for a more congenial President of the United States to take office, one who won’t be tempted to investigate its numerous inadequacies, nor pursue the investigations of the criminality within its parent.

The “disappearing explosives” incident, in other words, is simply the latest firefight between the US and the IAEA over the UN’s complete and utter failure to enforce the provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) with the nations of the Axis of Evil.

Iraq is essentially one big ammo dump. The collection and destruction of all of Saddam’s munitions are proceeding apace under the occupation. So far almost 248,000 tons of ammo have been destroyed or captured, out of an estimated 600,000 tons. This is no small feat. Before the war and during the initial occupation, it was thought Iraq’s munitions were scattered among ammo storage dumps numbering over 130 sites. However, by June of this year, Charles Duelfer and the Iraqi Survey Group (ISG) had determined that there were approximately 8,700 ammo dumps in Iraq!

What is known is that the IAEA allowed Saddam and his scientists to retain hundreds of tons of nuclear raw material, supposedly monitored by the UN and under “IAEA seal and control.” Left unexamined was the rationale allowing the Iraqis to keep this massive stockpile, since both of the Iraqi reactors and the Italian-built enrichment facility had been destroyed and never repaired.

Just more evidence that the sanctions of the UN were not working, and that Saddam represented a threat that could be dealt with now, rather than waiting until he had killed 3,000 of our fellow citizens and went into hiding in caves.

Kerry's insistance on latching onto a suspect "news" story from his PR firm (the NY Times and Dan Rather) means he deserves this little pic. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Some Other Times

After attempting, in ever-more Comrade Dan Rather-like fashion, to write whatever the hell they think the news ought to be yesterday (see the Breaking News? post below) the NY Times is at it again:

Kerry’s Pamphleteer: The Times is pulling out all the stops.

Thus, this morning's page-one screamer reports that the administration has reversed itself and is denying the protections of the Geneva Conventions to some
of the fighters captured in Iraq — which, for example, justifies permitting them to be removed from the country for interrogation purposes.

This may be the most transparent example yet (at least this week) of the Times's trying to make something out of nothing at Bush's expense. Members of the international network of Islamic terrorists against whom we are at war are not entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 whether they are captured in Iraq or Afghanistan or Pittsburgh.

Now, lets get something off the table: I don't condone torture or other degradations of the type that went on at Abu-Gharib. Basic human rights (food, water, etc.) should be extended to any prisoner. What happened at Abu-Gharib is a black-eye for our country, but has also (through the trial and punishment of those involved) been an opportunity to show the world how our system of justice works.

But this issue isn't torture and treating soldiers like sex-toys or mannequins to be positioned and posed. Why?

During wartime, combatants are privileged to employ military force if they are members of a national army, or of a militia that is part of such an army and that conducts itself accordingly — meaning that its members are subject to a formal chain of command, wear uniforms, carry their weapons openly, and conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

What are those laws and customs? In the Fall 2003 issue of the National Interest, the eminent scholars David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey usefully summarized those long ago accepted "by all civilized states":
only sovereign states have the right to make war;
civilians cannot be deliberately attacked;
combatants can be attacked either en masse or individually;
quarter is to be granted when sought;
lawful combatants, when taken prisoner or otherwise incapacitated by wounds, are to be accorded the respect and privileges due prisoners of war (POW's);
and while all forms of force can be deployed in combat, certain weapons designed to cause unnecessary suffering are proscribed.
Does this sound like Al Queda or any of the other insurgents pouring into Iraq from various hiding holes around the globe?

Not to me either.

Terrorists flip these laws on their heads: They are not state actors; they intentionally target civilians; they torture, behead, and otherwise execute their prisoners; and, when not crashing airliners into skyscrapers, they actively seek chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons to maximize carnage. As a matter of law they are patently not entitled to Geneva protections. As a matter of common sense, it would be suicidal to accord them such protections because that would reward and legitimize their tactics.

Unlike my friend Wes (who, by the way I respect greatly, and whos support of Kerry is a constant brain-bender for me) I don't see the treatment of Al-Queda and other illegitimate combatants (terrorists) as a blow to our future ability to claim Geneva Convention rights for our captured servicemen and women.

First, in a war with terrorists, we have seen that pleas regarding treatment of prisoners are fruitless anyway. How many heads must be lopped off before we conclude they have no desire to adhere to any "rules"? (And, this has gone on long before a hand-full of rogue servicemen and -women decided to play human pyramid with naked Iraqi soldiers.)

Second, our servicemen and -women who might become POWs would be covered under the Geneva Convention because they would be acting as legitimate combatants under the flag of a sovereign nation, and would be held responsible for reasonable prosecution of the war (if there is such a thing). The legitimacy of our claims for Geneva protections for some future POW does not depend on the morality (or obvious lack of morality) of the Abu-Gharib Prison perpetrators.

That, however, is all beside the point for present purposes. The administration has not contended that those [legitimate] Iraqi fighters are without Geneva protections regardless of what international law technically mandates. At issue now are the thousands of non-Iraqi terrorists who have moved their barbarous ways into Iraq.

Al Qaeda terrorists do not have any more right to stay in Iraq under benevolent captivity than they had to enter to country and begin murdering civilians and our troops — not to mention trying to foment civil war between Sunnis and Shiites. Under existing international law, they may not be tortured; and unlike their own practices, we won't be beheading them and beaming the tape over to al-Jezeera.

Sorry, Wes, but I just don't see the issue the way you do.

I still respect you though.

The Clinton-Gore-Albright Unilateral Strike on Iraq

The thesis of this article:

Democrats behave completely differently when a Republican is in the Oval Office. They’ve mindlessly done a total reversal—from unilateralists to multilateralists, from hawks to doves—because of partisan politics. The case of Iraq is a tragic example.

The evidence sited:

On the weekend of June 25-27, 1993, military retaliation followed. The Clinton administration struck hard with a volley of missiles on Baghdad. The strike killed a number of Iraqis but left Saddam in power and unscathed.

The Clinton administration did not seek U.N. approval for the strike, and some U.N. Security Council members were quite annoyed, including France’s representative, Jean-Bernard Merimee. They were bothered that the Clinton team proceeded on its own evidence, prior to the end of the trial of the saboteurs. However, Madeleine Albright, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, strongly objected, insisting that classified American intelligence confirmed that Saddam’s regime was behind the plot. According to Albright, U.S. evidence alone was sufficient for U.S. unilateral action; U.N. approval was not necessary, and neither was any type of U.N. investigation. Albright, Clinton, and Gore were adamant: the United States did not need U.N. approval to use force against Iraq.

In almost every respect, Madeleine Albright and Al Gore in particular acted contrary to the angry public position they later staked during the presidency of George W. Bush.

Political expedience has taken over the Democrat party. And then they wonder why folks don't trust them on national security issues?

Breaking News?

This is apparently what the New York Times considers "breaking news".

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 24 - The Iraqi interim government has warned the United States and international nuclear inspectors that nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives - used to demolish buildings, make missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons - are missing from one of Iraq's most sensitive former military installations.

The huge facility, called Al Qaqaa, was supposed to be under American military control but is now a no man's land, still picked over by looters as recently as Sunday. United Nations weapons inspectors had monitored the explosives for many years, but White House and Pentagon officials acknowledge that the explosives vanished sometime after the American-led invasion last year.

If this were true, it would be a major blow to our efforts in Iraq.

However, this is false. This is a story that happened over 18-months ago, BEFORE American troops got there. It is an 18-month old story, conviniently reported as current (notice the dateline, notice the implication of American negligence) the week before a presidential election.

What actually happened?

Matt Drudge sums it up:


urgently reported on Monday
in an apprent October Surprise: The Iraqi interim government and the U.N. nuclear agency have warned the United States that nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives are now missing from one of Iraq's most sensitive former military installations.

[The source behind the NYT story first went to CBSNEWS' 60 MINUTES last wednesday, but the beleaguered network wasn't able to get the piece on the air as fast as the newspaper could print. Executive producer Jeff Fager hoped to break the story during a high-impact election eve broadcast of 60 MINS on October 31.]

Jumping on the TIMES exclusive, Dem presidential candidate John Kerry blasted the Bush administration for its failure to "guard those stockpiles."

"This is one of the great blunders of Iraq, one of the great blunders of this administration," Kerry said.

Again, Kerry would be right, if the report were true. Notice, though, just how quickly (you might even say "coordinated") Kerry was ready with a sound bite to exploit the NYTimes article. Almost as if he had advanced notice?!?

In an election week rush:
**ABCNEWS Mentioned The Iraq Explosives Depot At Least 4 Times
**CBSNEWS Mentioned The Iraq Explosives Depot At Least 7 Times
**MSNBC Mentioned The Iraq Explosives Depot At Least 37 Times
**CNN Mentioned The Iraq Explosives Depot At Least 50 Times

Ah, the dutiful partisan media (who has promised to give Kerry 5 points in the election via their biased coverage), reporting the news then transcribing Kerry's canned response, verbatim, just in case you weren't listening, they'll mention it over and over and over (especially for those of us stoopid folk in fly-over country).

But tonight, NBCNEWS reported: The 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives were already missing back in April 10, 2003 -- when U.S. troops arrived at the installation south of Baghdad!

An NBCNEWS crew embedded with troops moved in to secure the Al-Qaqaa weapons facility on April 10, 2003, one day after the liberation of Iraq. According to NBCNEWS, the HMX and RDX explosives were already missing when the American troops arrived.

"The U.S. Army was at the site one day after the liberation and the weapons were already gone," a top Republican blasted from Washington late Monday.
But, wait, that was a long time ago, you might say. We couldn't be blamed for that, you might add. The news media's answer would be to just play the story again, until you believe it.

Well that's the media, right? They are irresponsible sometimes. Surely a statesman like Kerry and/or Edwards will realize that and just let this issue slide. Right? Right?

Yeah, right.

The International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors last saw the explosives in January 2003 when they took an inventory and placed fresh seals on the bunkers.

Dem vp hopeful John Edwards blasted Bush for not securing the explosives:
"It is reckless and irresponsible to fail to protect and safeguard one of the largest weapons sites in the country. And by either ignoring these mistakes or being clueless about them, George Bush has failed. He has failed as our commander in chief; he has failed as president."
Edwards must be taking lessons from Gore. Couldn't you just see Gorebaby frothing at the mouth and spewing out these lines like a Southern Holy Roller Preacher gone horribly wrong? "He beeeeetraaaaayed this country...he lieeed to us...reeeepennnt and be baptized!"

A senior Bush official e-mailed DRUDGE late Monday: "Let me get this straight, are Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards now saying we did not go into Iraq soon enough? We should have invaded and liberated Iraq sooner?"
Well, it actually WAS one of Kerry's positions, back in the late 90's, that we should have invaded Iraq then. But, you know, he's such a big improvement over Bush...

Top Kerry adviser Joe Lockhart fired back Monday night: "In a shameless attempt to cover up its failure to secure 380 tons of highly explosive material in Iraq, the White House is desperately flailing in an effort to escape blame. Instead of distorting John Kerry’s words, the Bush campaign is now falsely and deliberately twisting the reports of journalists. It is the latest pathetic excuse from an administration that never admits a mistake, no matter how disastrous.
Joe Lockhart has no moral or ethical center. He has no credibility or statesmanship. "Deliberately twisting the reports of journalists"???? The only candidates guilty of that are YOUR candidates, Joe! Have you lost all sense of reality?!?

"Why is the U.N. nuclear agency suddenly warning now that insurgents in Iraq may have obtained nearly 400 tons of missing explosives -- in early 2003?

NBCNEWS Jim Miklaszewski quoted one official: "Recent disagreements between the administration and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency makes
this announcement appear highly political."
The UN is not our friend.
The UN is not our friend.
The UN is not our friend.

All of this shows the underlying lack of ethics, lack of a moral compass, and a "do anything, say anything, be anything for power" mindset that has been the backbone of the Democrat party since Bill Clinton rose to power. Joe Lockhart and the Clintonistas who have taken over the Kerry campaign are the lifeblood of that philosophy, and hopefully the American people can see through it.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Washington Times Articles

Saddam's Business Deals Surface

Security Council Members Deny Meeting Kerry

Kerry's Record

1. The UN was ineffective and Kerry's reluctance to act outside of Kofi Annan's blessing would be a disaster for our security.

2. What? Kerry lied in the debate in order to make himself look like a great leader who has international sway? "I have spoken with leaders around the world..." turns out to be the same as his post-vietnam testimony "I have spoken with soldiers who raped, pilliaged, cut off heads, burned sheep..." etc. Both were lies. Both undermine the country he wants to lead.

3. Thinking like a prosecutor may not be the best way to run the war on terror...

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Kofi Annan's Shrinking Credibility

Article about Kofi Annan:


Annan firmly rejected accusations in the report that Saddam attempted to bribe members of the U.N. Security Council through the Oil-for-Food

"I don't think the Russian or the French or the Chinese
government would allow itself to be bought because some of his companies are getting relative contracts of the Iraqi authorities. I don't believe that at all. I think it's inconceivable, these are very serious and important governments. You are not dealing with banana republics."

This is an incredible statement, even for Annan. Only "banana republics" are capable of being bribed? Puh-leez. Pretty good diplomacy, by the way. I wonder what all those countries that aren't "serious and important governments" think of such words. What leadership! What pizzaz!

What a dolt.

Wonder why Annan would say something so silly, in light of the overwhelming evidence of corruption with the program?

In a recent development, the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the role of Kojo Annan, Kofi’s son, in connection to his role as a paid consultant to Cotecna Inspection SA, a Swiss-based company that received a contract for inspecting goods shipped to Iraq under the Oil-for-Food program.

Yes, yes. No one would do such a thing. My son told me so!

And while I'm at it, forget about how much of an international criminal Saddam was...

Significantly, Annan’s remarks to ITV Newsregarding Oil for Food were coupled with a thinly veiled attack on the Bush Administration just two weeks before the U.S. presidential election. Annan again criticized the decision of the U.S. government to go to war against Iraq, firmly rejecting the notion that the world is a safer place with Saddam Hussein out of power:

"I cannot say the world is safer when you consider the violence around us, when you look around you and see the terrorist attacks around the world and you see what is going on in Iraq."

Even John Kerry said anyone who doesn't think the world is safer without Saddam is unworthy to hold office. I hope he remembers that if he is elected, and immediately calls for Annan to step down from the U.N. Presidency.

Kofi Annan’s latest comment is a reflection not only of the U.N. Secretary General’s stunning lack of diplomatic skill, but also his deep-seated resentment of the United States’ decision to go to war against Iraq without his blessing. The U.S. public, which currently funds 22 percent of the U.N. budget, deserves better than a spectacularly undistinguished Secretary-General who can barely hide his contempt for U.S. foreign policy and has steadfastly refused to acknowledge that Saddam Hussein attempted to manipulate the U.N. Security Council.

John Kerry's insistence on utilizing a Worldwide Test and his admiration for the U.N. worries me. If by some chance he is elected, I hope we will be on guard for an undermining of our own national soverignty.

Iraq is Part of a Larger Puzzle

From Rush Limbaugh's website, a transcript of a segment from Friday:

Ladies and gentlemen, if George Bush were a pro-choice Democrat, what do you think would be said about his Iraq strategy today? In other words, if a pro-choice Democrat were doing exactly what we've done in Iraq and it was going exactly as it's going, what would The New York Times and the mainstream press be saying about Iraq today? It would be calling the Iraq strategy brilliant.

We would be hearing stories about how emancipated women are in Iraq, if a pro-choice Democrat were running this war, and everything was going exactly as it is. If George Bush were a pro-choice Democrat, they would say Iraq was progressing slowly but progressing steadily, and this pro-choice Democrat, George Bush, would be applauded for his steadfastness and fortitude in sticking to the road.

You think Iraq was a mistake? How many of you think that? I don't. I think it was brilliant. Let's just look at the news. Iran is hell bent on a nuclear bomb. Bombs. Read that, nuclear bombs. Read that nuclear missiles. Iran is hell bent on nuclear missiles. Iran right now is defying the United Nations. Iran right now is defying deals offered by France and Germany and England. The same people that John Kerry and little Ricky Holbrook want to invest all of our hopes in.

The French and the Germans and the Brits and the UN, even The New York Times, are looking to us to do something in Iran. They're demanding that we do something. They're getting nukes! Wait. Wait. The French and the Germans and the UN, even New York Times want us to be the worlds policemen in Iran, but not with Iraq? What's happening in Iraq is a plan, a strategy. We are squeezing Iran by
fixing Iraq.

As it becomes more apparent to you that sooner or later you have to do something, a blockade, an embargo, whatever, every time you read or hear a story about the threat of Iran, every time these people talk about how Iran's building nukes: "We've got to do something about it." Have you noticed it's in the New York Times every day? The press, "We've got to do something about Iran. We've got to do something. Why can't we do something? They're getting nukes, they're getting nukes."

But they refuse to see at the same time how their disgraceful template on Iraq will taint them for generations, putting their policies over national interest, their politics. On what basis are we going to go to Iran based on what John Kerry said about Iraq? His allies [France and Germany] are already there, and they're incompetent.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Preach on Father!


One of the things that bothers me most about Kerry's "stance" on abortion is his complete lack of a legitimate defense for ignoring the teachings of the Catholic Church, the church he claims to love and honor as his spiritual home.

The tired "I don't want to impose my morals on anyone else" is pure, unadulterated B.S. The text of this NYTimes article addresses just that when Archbishop Chaput says:

"Lawmaking inevitably involves some group imposing its beliefs on the rest of us. That's the nature of the democratic process. If we say that we "ought" to do something, we are making a moral judgment. When our legislators turn that judgment into law, somebody's ought becomes a "must" for the whole of society. This is not inherently dangerous; it's how pluralism works."

"People who support permissive abortion laws have no qualms about imposing their views on society. Often working against popular opinion, they have tried to block any effort to change permissive abortion laws since the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. That's fair. That's their right. But why should the rules of engagement be different for citizens who oppose those laws?"

"Catholics have an obligation to work for the common good and the dignity of every person. We see abortion as a matter of civil rights and human dignity, not simply as a matter of religious teaching. We are doubly unfaithful - both to our religious convictions and to our democratic responsibilities - if we fail to support the right to life of the unborn child. Our duties to social justice by no means end there. But they do always begin there, because the right to life is foundational."
Foundational. Period.

On the surface, I could say that I could never vote for Kerry just because of his record on abortion (and some folks, even some friends of mine, would consider that naive and narrow). But the reality is that the underlying impotence of his own belief damns him more in my eyes than even his public stand on behalf of unlimited, unfettered, unimpeded destruction of human life.

If you say, "I believe strongly" in something, you should have the balls to actually stand up for it. He certainly doesn't blanche at imposing his values upon us when it comes to medical issues. Imagine if Kerry said, "I really believe seniors deserve free medications, but I don't want to impose that view upon those who don't share it."

Where would African-Americans be today if the Civil Rights leaders of the 50's and 60's had said, "Well, we think black folks should be able to work and vote and go to good schools and not fear those bastards with the white hoods and burning crosses, but we shouldn't impose our morals on those who disagree with us...good people can come to different conclusions after all."

But that is what John Kerry is saying: "Well, I think abortion is awful, personally, and it is sad that every day more and more real, live, human beings are being ripped apart limb-by-limb by those bastards with the white masks and surgical tools, and mothers are being left with emotional and physical scars, but I can't impose my moral conviction that abortion is wrong on those who disagree...good people can come to different conclusions after all."

Any American born since Roe v. Wade should look at John Kerry with the same incredulous, blank stare that an African-American would have had someone advocated the position above.

"Crap! I didn't get anything for John!" T.H. Kerry exclaims at a recent "rub elbows with THOSE people" event in some state that isn't on a coast (unless you count the Great Lakes as having a "coast" which obviously you wouldn't). Posted by Hello

Yep. That's about right. Posted by Hello

More Positions than the Kama Sutra

I think that would have been a funnier ending to this "Ultimate John Kerry" advertisement.

Check it out.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Last for Today

Somebody needs to tell the service men and women in Iraq (and their families) how bad a job President Bush is doing.

These folks have not yet been assimilated. More fake documents needed, stat!

Poll: GIs, Families Trust Bush Over Kerry

WASHINGTON (AP) - When asked who they would trust as commander in chief,
in military service and their families chose President Bush over
Kerry, a decorated Vietnam veteran, by almost a 3-to-1


One of the frustrating things about the uproar over the Mary Cheney lines from the final Presidential debate, to me, is that a discussion about what is basically a non-issue is obscuring what actually was said that might influence our safety and our daily lives.

There were three points (listed here in order of importance, not in chronological order) where I thought Kerry had serious flaws in his debate arguement:

1. Medical plan - the long list of "details" combined with hand gestures designed to hypnotize me like a cobra coming up out of a wicker basket made my head hurt and my stomach churn.

The fact is that my health-care plan, America, is very simple. It gives you the choice. I don't force you to do anything. It's not a government
plan. The government doesn't require you to do anything. You choose your doctor. You choose your plan. If you don't want to take the offer
of the plan that I want to put forward, you don't have do. You can keep
what you have today, keep a high deductible, keep high premiums, keep a high co-pay, keep low benefits. But I got a better plan. And I don't think a lot of people are going to want to keep what they have today.

Translation: You're dumber than Theresa thinks you are if you don't buy into this.

Here's what I do: We take over Medicaid children from the states so that every child in America is covered. And in exchange, if the states want to -- they're not forced to, they can choose to -- they cover individuals up to 300 percent of poverty. It's their choice.

I think they'll choose it, because it's a net plus of $5 billion to them.
We allow you -- if you choose to, you don't have to -- but we give you broader competition to allow you to buy into the same health care plan that senators and congressmen give themselves. If it's good enough for us, it's good enough for every American. I believe that your health care is just as important as any politician in Washington, D.C.
You want to buy into it, you can. We give you broader competition. That helps lower prices.

In addition to that, we're going to allow people 55 to 64 to buy into Medicare early. And most importantly, we give small business a 50 percent tax credit so that after we lower the costs of health care, they also get, whether they're self-employed or a small business, a lower cost to be able to cover their employees.

Now, what happens is when you begin to get people covered
like that -- for instance in diabetes, if you diagnose diabetes early, you could save $50 billion in the health care system of America by avoiding surgery and dialysis. It works. And I'm going to offer it to America.

Frankly, by the second sentence I was comatose (which I HOPE is covered under Kerry's "plan"). But, rereading it after the fact isn't much better. I sometimes wonder if my command of the English language is as good as I thought it was.

2. Social Security - President Bush didn't do a very good job on this one. Kerry did even worse.

And that's what we're going to do. We're going to protect Social
Security. I will not privatize it. I will not cut the benefits. And we're going to be fiscally responsible. And we will take care of Social Security.

Just like AlGore talking about some freaking "lock-box" no one with a half a brain cell still active believes that Social Security can be saved without some sort of major overhaul (unless they eat nine gin-soaked white raisins a day for "arthritis"). What the partial privitization does is insure there is SOMETHING remaining once I'm old enough to reap the rewards of the thousands of dollars I will have put into the system. I'm not 100% sold on the president's plan, but I have 0% confidence in the Congress and any President being able to keep benefits up, keep the retirement age down, and keep the program solvent.

3. Security - Retina/iris scans and thumb-print scans at the borders to identify terrorists?

The fact is that we now have people from the Middle East, allegedly, coming across the border.

And we're not doing what we ought to do in terms of the
technology. We have iris-identification technology. We have
thumbprint, fingerprint technology today. We can know who the people are, that they're really the people they say they are when the cross the border.

How many terrorists, recruited throughout the muslim world, would we have a retina/iris scan of? Even a good thumb-print scan for that matter?

Beyond that, in the very next breath he says:

We could speed it up. There are huge delays.

Speed is important? Let me get this straight, President Bush is failing because people are coming over willy-nilly, and one of Kerry's priorities is going to be speeding up the process to come into the country?

I'm not a big fan of the President's stand on the worker visa and some other issues, but Kerry offered me nothing in the way of a legitimate alternative.

Please Don't Do For Our Seniors...

...What you did for our children!

The news about a drastic shortage of flu vaccinations came as no surprise to anyone who realizes the danger of relying on another country for a vital product. While I'm a proponent of open trade - as a way to keep our market honest, for starters - I also think we should constantly be looking for ways to keep production of vital products and services here in the United States.

(For the record, calling tech support because your Sims game isn't working right isn't vital, and therefore can be done by someone from a non-English speaking country...however, the consumer backlash of this outsourcing of tech-support will come back to bite the American software and hardware manufacturers in the near future.)

Anyway, back to flu shots...

What we are seeing in the flu shot scenario is a microcosm of where many on the left who want a more socialized healthcare system would want us to go in general. Universal Drug Benefit sounds wonderful. Everyone should have access to every drug ever made that could not only save their life, but improve the "quality" of life, right? I mean, people shouldn't have to live without the ability to "get it up", so Viagra all around, right? (Part of this fascination with the "quality" of life is the preoccupation of some with infanticide and euthanasia, but that's for another post.)

Everyone having access to a medication sounds like a great idea, except that reality diverges from the idyllic Universal Drug Plan in so many ways.

The flu situation demonstrates what I mean.

The genesis of the flu shot shortage comes from the same thinking as what appears in the above. Here are some key reasons behind a program called the Government Vaccine Buying Program:
  1. Every child should have access to a flu shot.
  2. Flu shots should be available cheap enough that economic status isn't a barrier to receiving the shot.
  3. If the Flu shots are cheaper (or even free), we will have greater numbers of children who are given the shot.
  4. The way to ensure more children get the shot is to use the purchasing power of the Federal Government to buy the vaccine on behalf of children.
  5. The way to ensure the governement doesn't break the bank in buying up all this vaccine is to impose price caps and regulations to limit the profit the "greedy" drug companies make (those bastards!).

So, how did the plan implemented based on the above guidelines work out?

For starters, we learned that not every child will get a flu shot, even if they are cheap or free. The percentage of children covered tops out around 75%. Providing a child with an immunization is a noble and compassionate goal. But, even if given on a proverbial silver platter, not every parent wants a flu shot for their child.

We also learned that when the Federal Government imposes price caps and profit caps on American drug companies, there comes a time when the motivation to research, develop, test, produce, and market a drug is no longer there. Tiny profits (or even, in this case, actual losses) combined with an ever-increasing threat of gigantic liability rewards for sometimes-ridiculous lawsuits cause the American companies to throw up their hands and say, "Enough. We aren't in the business of producing things to give them away for free."

So, we were left to depend upon a foreign manufacturer of an important product. That supplier made a mistake, and WE are paying for it. We are paying for it because in an effort to do something good, we ignored the reality of how the world works. And, if we aren't careful, it won't just be flu vaccine that we have to worry about, it will end up being all of our prescription drugs.

It is a fine line to balance: on one hand, it seems "greedy" to charge $30 or $40 per dose for a drug it costs only pennies to manufacture. On the other hand, the cost of production is only one small part of the actual cost of a drug. The money spent on research, development, and testing over the sometimes-several-decades it takes to develop a new medication is staggering. To undercut that profit margin which allows for continual development of new prescriptions is a ticket to a stagnated industry, and ultimately, if there is no profit, to the end of the industry altogether.

Imagine, if you will, the idea of everyone owning their own car. A new car, even, because the old cars that some poor people drive are gas-guzzling, foul-smelling, death traps without modern safety features. Think of the number of lives we could save every year by providing everyone with a brand new car, not to mention to cleaner air and less dependence upon foreign oil!!!

But, those greedy car companies charge between $20,000 and $35,000 for a modern, American-made car. And you know the actual cost of the metal and aluminum and fiberglass for a car is probably less than $2,000. If cars only cost $2,000, almost everyone could afford a new one, and those who can't, we could buy them one!

Of course, we wouldn't FORCE anyone to take one of the cars we provide for them. They could buy some other car, if they wanted to waste their money. We wouldn't FORCE them to join up with our Universal Car Coverage plan, but who in their right mind wouldn't choose to?

Yeah, the car companies will complain that we aren't considering the labor costs of tooling the parts, then assembling them. And we aren't thinking through the fact that they pay people to design and refine the cars. Or the cost of having an HR department, and a payroll staff, and a legal staff who deal with all of the regulations imposed by the Department of Labor, the EPA, and various other Federal Agencies. They will balk at losing $15,000 or more, per car (and under our plan, that's PER AMERICAN) but they are just being greedy.

And we'll all be surprised when they close their doors, right? How greedy.

Hopefully, this event will produce a corrective action within the healthcare industry.

But I'm not holding my breath.

The Respect of Other Nations

The Myth of 'Squandered Sympathy'

Of course we want to be liked...but not at the expense of our own interests as a nation, especially when it is so apparent that the U.N. model is more prone to corruption and destruction than our own (deeply flawed) system. "If they don't like us, how can we lead them in future conflicts?"

Yes, in order to lead, on a long-term basis, you have to have the respect of those you want to lead. But there is another, more basic, step in aquiring the ability to lead: You have to prove yourself to be true to your word, fair, and honest. You have to establish credibility. In our case, we had to re-establish credibility.

For years, the United States has been shown to be impotent when faced with dealing with terror. That credibility had to be reestablished. "If you harbor a terrorist (or fund them, or train them, or give them young girls from the poor neighborhoods to use as sex toys) we will consider YOU a terrorist." Back up those words, or don't use them. President Bush has been good to his word.

Of course, that need to establish credibility alone isn't sufficient reason to conduct a war. But, a proper response to a threat WAS needed, and it has been taken. People in other countries may not like it, but I wonder if they would doubt the sincerity of the President the next time he says, "You know, if we have to, we'll take military action."

But back to the point: Kerry thinks it is a catestrophic failure that we don't have "the rest of the World" on the front lines with us in Iraq. He ignores the allies we have had in this battle, and focuses on those who decided not to stand up to Saddam.
In short, upon closer inspection, it turns out that "the world" of which the
Democrats speak consists, not surprisingly, of just Germany and France and their
inner-European satellites such as fractious Belgium and mighty Luxembourg. This
makes all the more odd Ted Kennedy's exhortation to the effect that "we should
have strengthened, not scorned, the alliances that won two world wars and the
Cold War." Has Senator Kennedy forgotten that America fought the two world wars
against Germany?

The bottom line is that we are missing three significant allies: Germany, France, and Russia. We know that France and Ru$$ia were profiting from breaking military sanctions in Iraq, and all three were profiting from the Oil for Food scheme (along with Kofi Anon's family). So why should I cry in my Mt. Dew?

This is the problem I have, not only with the Democrats, but with the Vatican regarding this issue: Offer me some reasonable choice besides war, and I would have been happy to listen to it, even advocate trying it. But the option was more of the same: bogus sanctions, illegitimate diplomacy, and bite-less barking. That is the way the U.N. had operated in Iraq for over a decade. Since I was in High School!

I've posted here before, but I'll repeat it: As much as I respect the Vatican's position (and in fact expect that position to be peaceful at the core) I can't imagine choosing to continue to ignore the threat in Iraq when the "alternative" offered was more of the corruption at the U.N. posing as International Advocates of Peace and Prosperity.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Interesting Take on Government's Role

I was flipping through my copy of Governing magazine (I get it because I'm a darn important cog in the Big Machine that is our government, don't you know?!?) and I read this article.

Some interesting things here about how Kerry and Bush envision government, including:

Bush has steadily been ramping up his push for “the ownership society.” Much of
government today, he argues, treats individual citizens like this: “We’ll give
you the orders and you pay the bills.” Instead, he says, “government ought to be
empowering people by giving them more control over their lives.”
ownership society means a simpler, flatter tax code, incentives for people to
buy their own health insurance, and personal savings accounts to replace part of
Social Security. As Bush told one audience, his policies are “all aimed at
encouraging people to help themselves and eventually being able to own


Bush is seeking to transform the “reformer with results” theme he used in the
2000 campaign into a generation-long vision for a very different — and smaller —
government. If he succeeds even in part, he will go a long way toward fulfilling
the dreams of conservatives who have labored for a generation to dismantle the
welfare state.
For state and local governments, this means stronger
performance requirements in education, block grants for Medicaid, and more
vouchers rather than categorical assistance for housing. It means pushing state
and local governments to the role of junior partners in the federal


The emerging Bush domestic strategy is the first one since the Hoover
administration that does not envision a major role for state and local
governments. Kerry, on the other hand, sees reestablishment of federal funding
across an even broader array of fronts as the key to the “new direction” that he
says must replace Bush’s “policies of failure.” It’s impossible to miss the
paradox of the former governor shrinking the role of the states while the U.S.
senator seeks to increase it.

As someone who has differences with the President on the Medicare Drug Benefit and some of the No Child Left Behind act, as well as his immigration/border/worker-visa policy, I take some comfort in the view of Donald Kettl's article.

And, in case I haven't chanted it in your presence: "Four more years!"

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Back to Politics

I am working on a complete Foreign Policy screed for the blog, but it has turned into an incredibly long, multi-faceted post.

In the mean time, I'll post this link to an article that I think summed up the first debate perfectly: http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=7190

I was originally going to use this as part of my longer treatment of the issue, but it is sufficient to stand alone, and shouldn't get lost in the clutter of the other post (hopefully up by this weekend).

It would be impossible to quote from this article, other than just reprinting it. It is all relevant.

So, I'll just post the text below:

Kerry's Global Warming
By George Neumayr
Published 10/1/2004 12:47:36 AM

John Kerry, the undecided candidate appealing to undecided voters, said last night to President Bush that "certainty can get you into trouble."

For Kerry, uncertainty is a virtue, and it was on ample display throughout the debate. He wasn't certain about Saddam Hussein, saying he posed no danger to the U.S., then saying by the end of the debate that "he was a threat." Kerry wasn't certain about multilateralism, touting it in Iraq, then condemning Bush for applying it to North Korea. Suddenly multilateralist Kerry was rebuking Bush for not being "bilateral" enough and for bringing too many nations into the confrontation.

Kerry wasn't certain about war, opposing sending troops to end the genocide of Saddam Hussein, then suggesting he would send troops to end the genocide in Sudan. Notice how quickly Kerry is willing to use the American military when America's security isn't at stake. His "Darfur" babble was more than just pandering to the Jesse Jacksons of the Democratic party; it revealed Kerry's view of the U.S. military as nothing more than a humanitarian errand boy for the United Nations.

Kerry gave away the game when he said America must "meet the global test" before using force in the world. There it is: Kerry trusts "the world" and mistrusts the United States.

In one respect Kerry is amazingly consistent: he is still the 1960s liberal who wants U.S. troops only "dispersed," as he once put it, under the direction of that global proctor, the U.N.Kerry returned to the rhetoric of his youth often. He talked about a "back-door draft." He spoke disparagingly of American troops whose first act was to protect an Iraqi building dedicated to "oil" -- as if that were as shameful as razing a Vietnamese village.

He made the usual McGovernite bring-the-troops-home noises, even though he used the vacuous phrase "win the peace" repeatedly. Which raises a question: If there was no threat that justified entering Iraq, according to him, what threat would we face by leaving it?

For whatever reason Kerry's not yet ready to unveil a four-month withdrawal plan.

Kerry was forensically steady, but he spent much of the evening on empty bragging and name-dropping, itemizing endorsements from generals, a laughably hypocritical practice for a pol who began his career with pride at opposing them. It was also absurd to hear him brag about being the first U.S. politician to root around the KGB building after the Soviet Union dissolved. What was he doing down there? Perusing the files on his Paris meetings with the Viet Cong?

Gerald Ford was famously lambasted for his ludicrous statement in a debate that "there is no Soviet domination" of Poland. Kerry didn't stumble on that scale, though his knowledge of Polish politics isn't much better: as Bush pointed out, Kerry "forgot Poland" when enumerating America's allies at the start of the war in Iraq. Bush seemed peeved, perturbed, just flat-out irritated at having to knock down MoveOn.org-style propaganda.

The repetitive use of platitudes makes these debates incredibly boring. Kerry had trouble keeping his canned lines straight, invoking Colin Powell's "Pottery Barn" principle. "If you break it, you fix it," Kerry said. If you break it, you fix it? That would be an interesting policy for Pottery Barn to adopt: require clueless customers not to buy broken goods but fix them in the warehouse for hours on end.

Kerry offers the American people a foreign policy based on Pottery Barn principles and "global tests." America, he said, must "earn" the respect of the world again. He reminded the audience that there once was a glorious age when France trusted America so much that De Gaulle didn't even have to verify our satellite photography. "How many leaders" would say the same today? Kerry asked.

America has also lost the respect of Osama bin Laden. Kerry says that America confirmed the validity of his propaganda with "the invasion of Iraq" as he spoke of our troops as shameful occupiers on sacred Islamic soil.America, Kerry said when endorsing military action in Sudan, has a "moral responsibility in the world." But somehow removing the most savage dictator in the Middle East didn't meet it.

George Neumayr is executive editor of The American Spectator.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004


I'm not used to visitors here at my blog.

Should I get out the fine china and real silver?

Should I chill the better bottle of wine?

Finger foods or a full meal?

If you are coming over from Shane's wonderful Kudzu, thanks for stopping by.

My blog has been more politics than photographs lately, so I posted a couple photos below for you photo buffs.

If you want more photos than politics, you can visit my fotopages f-log at http://ericswyatt.fotopages.com (there's only one post out of over a hundred that features a prominent political candidate).

Thanks for stoppin' in!


Centered Posted by Hello

One Drop Posted by Hello

Friday, October 01, 2004

Long Time, No Blog

Yikes, it's been a while, eh?

With so much going on, you'd think I would be blooging at every opportunity. But, with so much going on there's little time to blog. Writing and producing radio commercials, designing a brochure for a candidate, coordinating media buys, interpreting poll results to try to gain an edge here and an advantage there...

Plus, I was stunned into silence by the circus under the 60 Minutes Big Top, with Rangling Dan Rather as the ringmaster...literally, silent. I mean, I still can't even begin to put into words the unbelievable nature of it all.

Then, this morning, a co-worker said he was watching 60 Minutes this past weekend, and the ever-enlightened Andy Looney Rooney commented that people who don't watch the news, read the papers, and such shouldn't even bother to vote, because they are too un-informed. I laughed and said, well, then, I guess I shouldn't vote.

I haven't watched a Network Newscast in over 7 years, and I stopped watching the talking-heads shows, for the most part, 5 years ago (though I will watch Hannity and Combs for 10 or 15 minutes occasionally, the same with O'Reilly, Mathews, Fox Sunday, and very rarely Russert). I havent' watched the "local" (Indy) news since we moved back to Indiana in '98, except on a few occasions where something specific is supposed to be broadcast that either featured me or my job, or featured something related to my job. I don't pick up any print edition of a newspaper, and rarely actually read news stories from any paper, even online. The few times I have purchased a newspaper in the last four years has been to either get the Sunday Sale Ads, or to read some half-assed, one-sided, poorly-reported, disengenuous hit-piece of fluffy bullsh** aimed at me, my boss, our fire department, or our political candidates.

But I'm not bitter. No, no...of course not.

I do, however, read lots of articles that appear in online journals, magazines, and even online editions of sydicated columns and such. Plus, I peruse the vast resources available via the web, including regular visits (some more regular than others) to about a dozen or so blogs, 5 or 6 conservative web sites, and various other portals of news and comment.

And, that's the reason I don't watch Andy Looney and his Rangling Brothers Circus. I don't learn anything from what passes for "news". News now, in the words of the editor of the local "paper", is "not so much about reporting the facts, but more about reporting perspectives on the story."

Or, if you are Dan Rather, reporting the one perspective you wish to discuss on a story you made up "documents" to substantiate.

So Andy R. can go pound sand, in the words of my boss. Of course he doesn't think anyone who doesn't watch network news and read the corporate drivel that passes for newspaper reporting shouldn't vote. People who don't conform to the media circus shouldn't be allowed to think for themselves or find alternative sources of information. Why, if folks did that, then just who would control what they see, hear, and read?