Saturday, October 15, 2005

"George's War"

Yep Stef... we just wanted their oil, big old contracts for Haliburton and death, death, death.

Assuming that's true - Bushitler is really an asocial maniac who cares not a whit for the young men and women he sends into harms way - this whole defeating a fascist dictator, killing terrorists away from the US, helping a country move toward being a democratic republic are some pretty sweet unintended consequences.

Some photos of the latest attrocities. Damn those long lines at the polls! The humanity of it all.

On the down side, at some point soon they're bound to have an Iraqi version of Tim Russert. Well, freedom isn't free.

DMR Discovers Verb

Bork: "to destroy a judicial nominee through a concerted attack on his character, background and philosophy".

The Des Moines register is defending a Bush SCOTUS nominee. Whoo, if this isn't a reason to be concerned about the Miers nomination, I don't know what is.
Internet bloggers, radio talk-show hosts, syndicated columnists and other members of the conservative commentariat have savaged her in the most demeaning terms, not just for a lack of judicial experience but for general intellectual shortcomings. At least the Bork critics confined their criticism to his constitutional philosophy without questioning his IQ.
I don't listen to talk radio, so I can't speak to that. However, I haven't seen anything in "Internet Blogs" (are there other kinds...?) that have demeaned Miers. Have they questioned her qualifications? Yes. Have they questioned her conservative bona fides? Yes. Have they questioned Bush's tactic of picking a "stealth" nominee instead of a Janice Rogers Brown? Yes. But I've read nothing in The Corner, for example that went after her personally. The discussion has been civil, balanced and thoughtful.

Does the REB even remember the Bork hearings? You want some demeaning, distorting, intellectually bankrupt demagoguery? Read what this savage had to say:
"Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, children could not be taught about evolution," - Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-MA
Wow... looks like Teddy took a big handful of hyperbole pills with his gin that day. I've seen nor heard nothing about Miers (from the right or left) that even comes close.

Maybe I'm not being enough of a pragmatist. The REB's editorial reaction could be exactly what Bush had in mind for the left. Not so the reaction from certain corners on the right. I'm sorry, but the fact that James Dobson has given his seal of approval to Miers does not exactly make me feel positive.

As a small-government social liberal, I fear that Miers will be the worst of both worlds - e.g. a pro-Affirmative Action / anti-stem cell research religious Luddite who plays the judicial activism game to promote her idea of "progress".

I expect the committee hearings (there's no way Bush is going to pull the nomination...) to be interesting. Not for Miers' responses - I expect her to reveal absolutely nothing if she can help it - but for the conduct of the Senators. Given the deference shown to Miers by Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, the dynamic should be fascinating.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

If these are Iowa's "best and brightest"...

I weep for our future.

Ramsey Tesdel - Germany's new Chancellor is gonna turn that country around. Why...? Of course!!! Because she's a girl.

Beth McKiernan - The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

Kathryn Skilton - Hey Government! You tell me all about avian flu so I can... can... Well, I can tell Beth and she can freak out even more! That's always fun.

Bryce Bauer - Don't build new refineries. Forget about oil shale. Forget about research that confirms the theory that petroleum is itself a renewable resource. Wear a sweater, turn your car into a greenhouse and flush prosperity down the toilet.

Heidi Schnakenberg - Hey men... You know the way you are. Stop being like that. We women will show you how to behave.

Mike McGinn - Hey Beth... Have you heard about peanut butter?


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Hey, I'm a Barbarian!!!

But, you already knew that. From State 29 - An anti-bowhunting letters to the Cedar Rapids Gazette:
Since commissioners who approved this plan don't think the hunt is cruel, I suggest they be chased through the woods and shot with arrows. Perhaps this will give them much needed insight into the pain and suffering this hunt will inflict on these helpless, gentle creatures of God.

Several does live on our wooded lot. Each year we wait with anticipation to see the new fawns. The city's hunters will not be allowed on our property, and I encourage everyone opposing this slaughter to contact the City Council and ask them to stop this barbaric hunt.
Yes, they're "creatures of God"... So are we, by the way. And those deer sure is tasty!

And, there's way to many of them around here. And did I mention that you can eat them and they're tasty...?

Gotta go now. I'm off to my friend's property in Madison County to stalk and hopefully kill the big doe I missed last Saturday. (hey... bow hunting is anything but a sure thing) She has two beautiful fawns with her. I saw them frolic and spar with each other that evening. It was very, very cool.

If I kill the doe, I will make every effort to kill and eat them as well. Ummmm... veal deer.

Ponder that. I found them beautiful and I'm ready to kill and eat them. Call me a barbarian, but I find that life affirming.
"Anyone who judges a man by the group is a peawit".

The grizzled old Irish sergeant Kilrain says this in Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels. In conversations on group identity politics, I refer to this as "Kilrain's Law". You deal with people - regardless of background and station - one at a time with respect and the benefit of the doubt as best you can.

However, denying that group differences exist is anti-scientific idiocy. Charles Murray (remember The Bell Curve...?) breaks years of silence to challenge the Phrases of Blank Slate Political Correctness on the science of race, gender and group outcome.

He starts with the Larry Summers Harvard Women in Science debacle and goes from there. There is going to be much wailing and gnashing of teeth over this. Man, I love it when "progressives" go after the religious right for being anti-science. On this one, lefties live in a big old glass house.

"Anyone who does not evaluate the group as a group is just as big a peawit." As far as I know, I made that up. Well... at least I made of the saying. As for theory and practice - talk to anyone who understands the insurance industry about actuarial tables.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Bring Civility Back to Politics John Kerry - Report for Duty and Sue the Bastards

Dick Doak has a humdinger of an opinion piece in the Des Moines Daily Fishwrap. He wants some payback and has a plan. He wants John Kerry to sue the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth for libel.

John Kerry is scheduling appearances in Iowa again, leaving little doubt he harbors hopes of another shot at the presidency in 2008.

Forget it. Democrats are unlikely to give another chance to a candidate who they think should have been able to beat George Bush, but didn't.

But there is a significant public service Kerry could perform without running for office. He could sue the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth for libel.
Of course, Doak camouflages his partisan objectives in terms like:
A few well-chosen libel suits might give pause to the well-funded smear campaigns that are taking over American politics on both the left and right.
Okay then Mr. Doak, where'’s your example of libelous campaign shenanigans from the Left? Anything at all Dick...?

Hey, I can think of one example - and it wasn't even perpetrated by one of those dreaded 527 groups. It was "reported"” by that paragon of nonpartisan journalism, Dan Rather. Any clue..?

And while we'’re at it, would you care to offer any background on the Swift Boat Vets. Do you say anything about founder John O'Neil - including the fact that he is anything but a partisan Republican shill? Do you mention anything about John Kerry's despicable - and I think treasonous - actions while still a commissioned officer in the Naval Reserve? Uh... anything on Kerry'’s Christmas in Cambodia fairy story that he told numerous times including on the floor of the US Senate? Or Kerry's Magic Hat...? And have you heard about his Flying Dog?

Nah... I didn'’t think so.

Here's what we get from Doak regarding the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth:

The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth was the group that, among other charges, asserted that Kerry did not deserve the combat medals he was awarded by the Navy in Vietnam. The available evidence indicated the Swift Boat assertions were false.
And why must Doak use the term available evidence? Because, despite promises to do so and claims to the contrary, Kerry has not released all of his service records. If he did, we could find out - as some have reasonably speculated - that he received a less than honorable discharge for his dealings with our enemy during the course of a war.

Look, Kerry brought all this down upon his own head. The cornerstone of his campaign was his heroic service in Vietnam. He couldn't run on his record in the Senate after all... Somehow he neglected to mention the whole Winter Soldier thing - which is what the Swift Boat Vets are really steamed about.

Kerry took a poorly advised risk - run as a "warrior" presidential candidate in a time of war as if he had no involvement in Vietnam Veterans Against the War. The Swift Boat Vets along with the alternative media (including the Blogosphere) caused it to blow up in his face.

And that wimply little Shirley Temple salute he "snapped" at the Democratic Convention didn't help either.

Doak then goes on to propose that a libel suit could be brought against the Swift Boat Vets and that Kerry could win. I'm not an attorney (Random???) so I'll refrain from commenting on the likelihood of a successful libel suit against the group. I'm also not sure which of the Swift Boat Vet's accusations about Kerry's combat record directly contradict their previous comments. I've seen this site, but nothing from a source that does not lead back to Media Matters or some other left-wing partisan outlet.

And there's no disputing that Kerry unjustly accused his brothers in arms of butchery and conspired with the enemy. If that doesn't make one unfit to be Commander in Chief, then what does?

But it was the hilarious and clueless irony below that got me out of my apathy and write a response:
Of course, most negative-campaigning techniques would be immune from libel law because they don't require out-and-out lies. The half truth, the innuendo, the information out of context, the invention of straw men - the stock in trade of negative campaigns - could continue unfazed.

For them, there is only one remedy - an educated citizenry with a low tolerance for being fed propaganda dung and a willingness to shun politicians and their surrogates who spoon it out.
Oh boy... that's rich Mr. Doak. Fortunately for you, an "educated citizenry" is as elusive as a balanced Edtorial - one without half truths, innuendo, information out of context and the invention of straw men - in your newspaper.

Were it not... Well, you get the idea.