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  • June 30, 2004

    The Flag Should Fly High

    [Posted by ]

    When a sitting or former President dies, the custom is for the flag to fly at half staff for 30 days. Such is the case for Ronald Reagan. However, the timing of this means that the flag will be at half staff until July 5th.

    Of course we should mourn Ronald Reagan, but I can't help but think he wouldn't want the American flag sagging under the weight of sorrow on July 4th. He'd want the flag flying high & proudly. He'd want sunrise on the 4th to truly be morning in America, and no longer mourning in America. It's President Bush's ultimate decision on how long the flag is flown at half staff. On the 4th of July, he should raise it for the Gipper.

    Posted by at 09:46 PM | Comments (0)

     

    Hillary Hullabaloo

    [Posted by james]

    Drudge is reporting:


    Official Washington and the entire press corps will be rocked when Hillary Rodham Clinton is picked as Kerry's VP and a massive love fest will begin!

    So predicts a top D.C. insider, who spoke to the DRUDGE REPORT on condition he not be named.

    I don't believe it for one second, and you shouldn't either. Kerry wants Hillary for a running mate about as much as he wants to lower your taxes and start slashing federal entitlement programs.

    First, I think that a lot of the "reasoning" in that Drudge article is hogwash. To cite one example:


    "Kerry believes that no one is better on national security than he is, he served in Vietnam after all, so he has that covered and the suggestion that he needs to strengthen the ticket with someone who has national security credentials is dismissed as foolish."

    There is no way that John Kerry thinks that. If John Kerry really thought that, he'd be way more foolish that I'd ever imagined. Every single poll that I've ever seen (sorry for the lack of a cite - I need to go to bed) shows Bush just plain killing Kerry on National Security issues.

    Second, Kerry doesn't really have anything to gain. Kerry needs the Southeast and the so called industrial states of the North and Midwest (Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan). The addition of Hillary to the ticket won't do anything to help in that area. John Edwards is the clear choice to help deliver those states. (and, considering that Kerry and Edwards are diametrically opposed on issues that those folks really care about, like the Second Amendment and NAFTA, it would fit perfectly in to his flip-flop and waffle strategies.) What's Hillary going to do, shore up Long Island?

    But wait, you say, "the addition of Hillary brings out the female vote!" That's true, to an extent. The addition of Hillary will get some people who wouldn't otherwise vote to get to the polls and cast a vote for Kerry solely because they want to see a woman in the White House. But it will bring voters out on the other side, too, those who would vote just to keep a woman, or, more specifically, Hillary, out of the White House. Hillary is not well liked outside of the universe of "people who are going to get out and vote for whatever Dummocrat runs, no matter who it is." Sure, you'd see the media falling all over themselves talking about how excited they are that Hillary is running, but who do you think they'd vote for if she wasn't?

    Besides, even if I'm wrong about the "counter effect," and the addition of Hillary does indeed cause support for the dums to skyrocket, that effect can be "equalized" by the good guys if need be.

    Third, do you really think that Kerry wants Bill Clinton in his life?

    Fourth, as for Hillary, she stands to gain little and lose a lot. If Hillary Clinton wanted to run for President, the nomination was (and technically still is) hers for the asking. Why would she "settle" for VP?

    I stand by my earlier assertion that John Edwards is the best choice for Kerry, and that Edwards would lose too much if he accepted. All this Hillary hullabaloo is directed at getting Edwards to accept the invitation to join. See, Edwards knows that if Kerry loses in 2004, then it's him in 2008. But, if Kerry wins in 2004, it's Kerry in 2008, effectively cutting Edwards out while he's in his prime.

    I don't think he will fall for it. My VP guess is Dick Gephardt.

    But what do I know, I'm just some guy on the internet.

    Posted by jkhat at 09:46 PM | Comments (4)

     

    Kerry defends taking more liberties than most

    [Posted by james]

    CNN reports that John F'n Kerry has "ruled out" opening his 1988 divorce records, saying that they were "old history that had nothing to do with anyone else."

    This comes hot on the heels of the recent unsealing of Illinois candidate Jack Ryan's divorce records. As you likely know, those records revealed allegations by his ex-wife that he was "in to" certain things that many would call kinky or depraved.

    I agree with John Kerry that his divorce is a private matter, and that it shouldn't be of anyone's concern except for his and his ex-wife's. But the issue here isn't his divorce, it's the public records pertaining to his divorce, and there is a difference. Now, before you get all worked up and accuse me of making a distinction that is but a distinction without a difference, let me explain.

    Here in the good ol' USA, we place a high value on maintaining open access to all public records. Open records help to ensure that the judicial system retains integrity and that public confidence in the system remains intact. Maintaining public confidence in the judicial system is of such paramount importance that the Cannons of Judicial conduct require that judges recuse themselves not only from cases in which they have a material conflict of interest, but also from cases in which there could be any perception of impropriety, regardless of whether a conflict actually exists and not putting a lot of weight on how reasonable that perception actually is.

    I'm not citing all of this to make some convoluted argument that divulging the details of John Kerry's divorce will make America a stronger nation - instead, I cite it as an explanation as to why ALL divorce records, are, by default, open records.

    That's right, if you, me, or any of 99.9% of the other 280 million people in this great nation (god forbid) got a divorce, then those records would be "open records," freely available to anyone who asked. Divorce records are no different from any other type of public record, be it civil or criminal. Like it or not, this is the way the America is and how it has always been.

    I know more than a few people that were outraged to learn that records of their past traffic violations, DUI convictions, misdemeanors, criminal violations, etc., are just a mouse click away. See, for example, Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (CCAP). And it doesn't stop there - know anyone who is public employee? Did you know that information as personal as his salary is freely available, as a public record? (So are property tax records, assessor records, etc.)

    I know of people who found information about themselves in one of the two above mentioned databases and tried, unsuccessfully, to have the record "sealed" or "removed" from the system. Their efforts were futile, because public records are just too important to the American system.

    Of course, it is possible to get divorce records sealed in "extreme circumstances," (or if you "know someone.") In Jack Ryan's case, a judge initially ruled that given the content of the records, and given the high profile of the couple, the records should be sealed to protect Ryan's son Alex, who is now 9 years old. However, the records didn't stay sealed; as we all now know, the Chicago Tribune sued, claiming that the public interest outweighed the Ryans' concerns about their privacy and any possible effect on their now 9-year-old son. The judge in that proceeding agreed with the Tribune, and ordered the records unsealed.

    I wonder, if a Judge has already ruled that the public interest in the disclosure of a Senatorial candidate's divorce records outweighs concerns over privacy re: allegations of kinky sex practices and protecting a 9 year old, then how can a court possibly find that the public interest doesn't outweigh the privacy interests of a Presidential candidate with no young children, whatever the records may contain?

    I don't fault John Kerry for wanting to keep a personal issue out of the public spotlight. If it were me, I'd want to do the same thing. That's want, not do.) But, mind you, if it was me, my records wouldn't be sealed in the first place - not by my choice, I just wouldn't have a say in the matter.

    See, I'm not rich. I'm not powerful. I don't know many people in high places.

    In net, I'm not John Kerry, man of the people.

    Posted by jkhat at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

     

    It's Wictory Wednesday!

    [Posted by ]

    Hillary Clinton says, "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." Don't give her and the rest of the dummocrats that chance. Spend your money before they can: donate to the Bush campaign!

    Even if you can't donate, you can give your time by volunteering. At the very least, register to vote and visit other like-minded sites.


    Posted by at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

     

    June 29, 2004

    France makes it easy like a Sunday morning

    [Posted by ]

    You gotta love the French. Does any country make itself so easy to mock? Jacques Chirac lashed out at President Bush for urging the E.U. to get cookin' on Turkey's entry to the E.U:

    "If President Bush really said that the way I read it, well, not only did he go too far but he went into a domain which is not his own," Chirac told reporters at the summit.
    "It is like me trying to tell the United States how it should manage its relations with Mexico," he added.

    Actually, I think it's more like telling the United States how it should manage relations with Iraq. Or, better yet, telling Poland or the Czech Republic how to manage relations with America & Iraq. But Chirac wouldn't do that. Or would he?:

    The French president, in an unusually emotional outburst in Brussels after the European Union meeting on Monday about Iraq, derided the Central and Eastern European countries that have signed letters expressing their support for the American policy on Iraq for being "badly brought up," and having missed "an opportunity to keep quiet."

    What's French for "hypocrisy"?

    Posted by at 07:44 AM | Comments (2)

     

    June 28, 2004

    Well Done, Mr. President

    [Posted by james]



     

    Posted by jkhat at 06:30 PM | Comments (0)

     

    Nasty Right Wingers Pick on Poor, Helpless Media (again)

    [Posted by ]

    Folks, some meanies in the Bush administration are picking on journalists like Claude Salhani. Well, Claude is ready to fight back:

    When monarchs, princes and potentates in days of old received news to their disliking they would kill the messenger. Human emotions have undergone little change over the centuries, and today, many are those who would, current legislation not withstanding, gladly continue that practice.

    Read that again. Claude is implying that members of the administration would "gladly" kill journalists that write unflattering stories. Really? I mean, I'm sure they'd all like to punch Ted Rall in the face, but isn't it taking it just a bit far to claim they'd want to kill him (where undoubtably he'd turn crispy brown in hell).

    But Claude isn't finished:

    Anyone offering an ounce of criticism of the war in Iraq, the way the war on terrorism is being conducted, the economy, the USA Patriot Act, extending tours of duty for the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, stem cell research, the separation of church and state, or any other hot topic of the day, is immediately labeled "unpatriotic."

    First of all, when and where is anyone disagreeing with government policy "immediately" called unpatriotic? That's a liberal fantasy. Second, who is calling them unpatriotic? Is the government saying that, or are ordinary citizens expressing their own 1st Amendment rights to criticize the media? Finally, when someone says, for example, "I'm sorry, but the majority of Americans supported this war once it began and, sadly, that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe -- just maybe -- God and the Iraqi people will forgive us in the end.", is it really a stretch, really inaccurate to call them unpatriotic? I don't think so.

    Claude condemns Cheney for "lashing out" about the NY Times headline proclaiming that the 9/11 Commission "finds no Qaida-Iraq Tie." But, that's all he says. If a reader didn't know any better they wouldn't know that Cheney was upset because the 9/11 Commission didn't find that and, indeed, the NY Times had in their hands at this time documents proving even more ties between al-Qaida and Iraq. In other words, Cheney wasn't upset because the media was criticizing the administration, he was upset because they weren't telling the truth.

    Claude, not surprisingly, still doesn't get it:

    Blaming the media for news we don't agree with has become an all too common practice. And there have been no lack of topics for the citizens of this good country to disagree with. Take your pick: the presidential election campaign, or whether the war in Iraq has diverted attention from the real danger -- the war on terrorism. Now even the CIA has jumped into the fray.

    Don't you like how Claude slips in a huge bit of bias here as if it's fact. "whether the war in Iraq has diverted attention from the real danger -- the war on terrorism"? Claude accuses critics of wanting to "shoot the messenger" rather than "analyze the message". But the media is guilty of the exact same thing. In their rush to shoot down the Bush presidency, they're refusing to analyze facts that don't mesh with their agenda. Like how Claude himself refuses to actually, you know, analyze the 9/11 Commission report and numerous other documents and opinions from this administration as well as the Clinton adminstration supporting the assertation that Iraq has been in bed with terrorists for years.

    I'm sick of journalists like Claude and politicians like Al Gore trying to demonize any criticism of the press. They whine night and day about being labeled "unpatriotic" while at the same time they label their critics as fascists bent on crushing their noble dissent. This is just a bunch of tripe and I refuse to swallow it.

    Posted by at 03:02 PM | Comments (2)

     

    Should Bush Respond?

    [Posted by ]

    This weekend, Fahrenheit 911 took in a record amount at the box office for a "documentary". I did not contribute a single dime to this $21.8 million. But, those who did say things like "every American should see this movie" or "I dreamed about it all night and still woke up angry".

    I agree with those, like Ann Althouse, that have said that this film "appeals to people who are already committed to your side". But, I don't necessarily agree with the rest of her argument, that it

    makes other people not want to listen to you at all. People interested in rational arguments will choose not to engage with you, which you might wrongly read as agreement, leading you to become complacent about the correctness and persuasiveness of your beliefs.

    I think that the hype of F911 has given the movie an audience far beyond hardcore leftists, far beyond committed Democrats and into the realm of the undecideds. People who have seen the film, believe it. And they're spreading the word. Because of that, I think the President or at the very least, his campaign team, needs to directly respond to it.

    Sure, there are plenty of websites devoted to debunking Moore. But, these websites appeal to the same kind of hardcore audience (albeit a righty one) as Moore's movies do. The mainstream media will never critically examine the film. That leaves it up to the rest of us to combat Moore. But we need the weight of the White House behind us.

    By remaining silent, the White House perpetuates the myth that Moore is some kind of courageus voice crying out in the wilderness. I'm sure some will say that the White House should take the highroad and not bestow any legitmacy on Moore by bothering to respond to him. But, it's too late for that. He's been given legitmacy by the media and by all of the people who went to see the film. If the Kerry campaign made these allegations, the Bush team would be working overtime to refute them. Why treat Moore any differently?

    Posted by at 10:39 AM | Comments (0)

     

    Presidential Leadership

    [Posted by ]

    I'm a big fan of the Wall Street Opinion Journal. If you don't already receive Best of the Web Today, I strongly encourage you to sign up.

    The editor of that feature, James Taranto, along with Leonard Leo, have put together Presidential Leadership, which rates all of our Presidents. In addition to ratings, short essays on each President are written by the likes of John McCain, Robert Bork and Peggy Noonan.

    I like the book, but it's hit or miss. The essays on Presidents from the mid-twentieth century on suffer from one-sidedness. For example, Robert Bork's essay on FDR concentrates on his domestic failures and frankly, glosses over his leadership in WWII. Similarly, the essay on Reagan rather begrudgingly praises him for winning the Cold War, but completely ignores his domestic tax cuts that set the stage for a 20-year boom. FDR and Reagan are the two giants of the 20th century. Their records deserved to be examined by people who could at least pretend to be objective, otherwise their high rankings just look misguided at best.

    The essays on some of our more regrettable and/or forgetable Presidents are more enlightening. My favorite passage in the book relates to Herbert Hoover (ranked 29th, by the way):

    Hoover's image was slightly rehabilitated by Harry Truman in 1945. Learning that Hoover was in Washington, staying in a hotel, Truman telephoned and asked if he would come and see his "old home." Hoover accepted, so Truman sent a car. Hoover walked into the White House and broke into tears when he was asked to survey world food supplies. "Mr. President," he said, "since 1932 no one has asked me to do anything for my country. You are the first one."

    Hoover's administration wasn't a success, but that doesn't mean he was evil, an idiot or didn't have good ideas. I liked the Hoover essay because, what I wanted to read about, in addition to an evaluation of the President, was an evaluation of the man. But, too many of the profiles deal with specific policy decisions and results. But, leadership isn't just about results. No one really writes about the intangible qualities of leadership, yet, most of the highly ranked Presidents had it.

    The essays on various aspects of Presidential leadership are better than the individual profiles, particularly the essay on leadership in economic policy by the late Robert L. Bartley. With a few exceptions, he argues that either Presidents didn't believe they were in the business of setting economic policy or they were grand failures at it.

    All in all, it's an interesting read, but it could have been so much more. I'd give it a 6.5 out of 10.

    Posted by at 08:22 AM | Comments (0)

     

    June 27, 2004

    The More Things Change...

    [Posted by ]

    I'm in the middle of reading "Presidential Leadership" and some of the passages remind that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Presidents are often seen very differently with the benefit of hindsight. Who does this passage refer to:

    "There is a cowardly imbecile at the head of our government," warned one newspaper. "Disgust with our government is universal," said another critic. In one of the unkindest cuts of all, the dapper Massachusetts senator [I'm removing the names to keep you guessing] called him a "dictator", while another senator XX of Ohio, speaking for the elites of Washington society, wrote him off as "poor white trash."

    This is what some people thought of Abraham Lincoln in the 1860s, yet, it certainly sounds similiar to criticisms leveled at George W. Bush today. It's far, far too early to compare Bush to Lincoln, but both Presidents have certainly remained steadfast in their goals (saving the Union and defeating Islamofacism respectively) while those around them wanted to take the easy way out.

    I thank God America was blessed with leaders like Washington & Lincoln. I thank God that when Roosevelt died, a man like Truman was in place to follow him. I thank God Ronald Reagan was there to lead us out of the 70s malaise. And, I thank God Bush defeated Gore. I can't imagine what America would look like with President Gore nearly 3 years removed from 9/11, but I can't help but think it'd be a far, far worse place, both in terms of terrorist threats and economic downturns.

    Posted by at 09:06 AM | Comments (0)

     

    June 26, 2004

    No Jew Bullets

    [Posted by james]

    It seems that the US government has decided to adopt a policy that can only lend validity to the Arab world's widespread policy of ignorance and hatred. Actually, I shouldn't blame the whole US government, this is coming from these two bozos. Reuters reports:


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Israeli-made bullets bought by the U.S. Army to plug a shortfall should be used for training only, not to fight Muslim guerrillas in Iraq (news - web sites) and Afghanistan (news - web sites), U.S. lawmakers told Army generals on Thursday.

    Yep, that's really from Reuters, not from The Onion, The Borowitz Report, or any other satire or fictional news source. When we first registered the domain "dummocrats.com" we thought that we'd have no trouble always finding material to post about. But never did I think that we'd ever find something as patently idiotic as this.

    Res Ipsa

    Though one does have to wonder what the PC police would do if we had a Jewish president. Would they demand that he 'recuse' himself from the war? On that note, perhaps we should be keeping all of our Jewish soldiers on the sidelines of this war as well?

    Anyway, the only way to react to such idiocy is to make fun of it, and others have done a fine job of that already.


    Allah Pundit has a couple of great banners prepared to help get the word out. (each image links to allah)

        

    Protein Wisdom has a pretty funny entry on it.

    And Spoons expresses some very appropriate outrage in an RCOB moment.

    As a side note, does anyone think that Reuters is trying to be cutesy by using the term "plug?"

    Posted by jkhat at 04:45 PM | Comments (3)

     

    June 25, 2004

    Digital Brownshirts, Al Gore has had a traumatic life

    [Posted by james]

    Slant/Point pointed me to sharp as a marble, where you can get your own, actual, Gore-inspired digital brownshirt.




    It seems that there are other competing images out there as well, for example this one at Jessica's Well.

    And it's not just images: Avoca Pundit has uncovered the digital brown shirt underground.

    In case you have no idea what a "digital brown shirt" is, it's a (what else?) Nazi Reference of the type that the left is so fond of making when attacking their political opponents. Is it just me or does this constant likening of anything that they disagree with to Hitler trivialize the unspeakable horror and very real suffering of the Second World War?

    So Bush is Hitler. Anyone who disagrees with the Dummocrats is a Nazi. Anyone who is sick and tired of hearing their constant whining and tells them to shut the hell up is a Fascist. Now bloggers that have dissenting opinions are "Brown Shirts."

    You know, when the Allies liberated my grandmother from a Nazi death camp she weighed about 80 pounds. She spent the next 5 years living in a relocation camp waiting for the opportunity to come to America. In case you don't know what a relocation camp looks like, think of a dirt-filled shanty town with sheets as doors and communal showers, only even worse. Believe me, I've seen pictures. I've also seen pictures that she'd taken in the aftermath of the war - piles of bones, piles of bodies, piles of teeth, 20 feet high. She keeps the picture book in a plastic bag buried in her backyard. I guess that she doesn't want to get rid of it, but she also doesnt want to keep it. Does that make any sense to you?

    It doesn't make much sense to me; but then I know that I can't fully understand it, because I didn't live through it. I wasn't taken from my parents when I was in 7th grade, never to see them again. The last image that I have of my mother isn't a Nazi guard kicking her in the face when she tried to get close enough to the flatbed truck to say goodbye to me. I didn't endure years of hell on earth through which I was starved and beaten, forced to work like a slave, and had god-only-knows-what-else happen to me.

    And you know, despite all of that happening to her, my grandmother stayed there after the War, by choice, for five long years, living in abject poverty, waiting for a chance to come to America. She recently told me that she and my grandfather could have gone to Canada two years earlier, but they held out for America. She said that it didn't matter how long it took, they would have waited forever, just to come to America.

    I am not sure exactly what it was that made the "idea" of America worth that extra two years of suffering, but I think that I have an inkling.

    One thing that I am sure of, though, is that it wasn't because she wanted to hear useless idiots like Al Gore and Michael Moore compare the situation in the most free, most prosperous, most opportunity-laden nation in the history of the world to that of Nazi Germany, circa 1945.

    Posted by jkhat at 05:32 PM | Comments (4)

     

    Contribution Solutions

    [Posted by ]

    Too often, conservatives are reviled for not caring about the poor. Liberals point to budget cuts to try to prove that conservatives don't care about the poor, the old, or the children. In their minds, to prove you care about these people, you must support the government spending money on them. In a recent press release, John Kerry says:

    We can and must do better. We must raise the minimum wage to ensure that people working hard and playing by the rules can earn enough to put food on the table. We must use existing government programs more effectively in order to end hunger first among children and seniors. We must form real partnerships between the government and community-based nonprofit groups to help feed more people and improve local nutrition. And across the board, we must have create economic policies that give low-income families hope and opportunity.

    Kerry, like a typical liberal, believes government is the solution to all of life's problems. But, the thing is, conservatives don't hate the downtrodden. They just don't believe government programs are the most effective way to help them.

    Personally, I've always believed that the flip side of voting for small government is that you're obliged to give generously when you're able. Conservatives believe government isn't the solution, not that there are not problems. We just believe individuals and local groups are better at solving those problems.

    Americans do give a lot. Just yesterday, the Goodman brothers jewelers in Madison, WI gave $2 million towards a city pool. The Goodmans have always been generous members of the community:

    The brothers have already provided help to more than 60 groups, including orchestras, hospitals, churches, arts groups and more, including the 154-acre Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Jewish Community Campus with aquatic center in the town of Verona and UW-Madison's Goodman Diamond softball stadium.

    I don't know whether the Goodmans are liberals or conservatives (but, they're from Madison so I suspect they're liberals), but in any case, the Goodmans have the power to give their money to whatever causes they believe in. They're not worrying about their tax dollars supporting some inefficient or nonsensical program.

    Kerry wants to create and fund elaborate government programs. He wants the government to decide who gets what. Bush wants to create an economy that makes it possible for Americans to be successful and to have the ability to decide for themselves what charitable causes they want to support. What system do you think will work better?

    Posted by at 09:47 AM | Comments (0)

     

    June 24, 2004

    CNN's on, but who's watching?

    [Posted by james]

    This post on cablenewser.com links picks up on a Washington Post story about CNN losing audio for 20 mins yesterday. The Post reports:

    After CNN lost audio, its audience plunged by nearly 300,000 viewers from the 420,000 who had been watching between 12:30 and 1 p.m., when the network was still offering the convenience of sound.

    Still, from 1 to 1:30 p.m., CNN averaged 121,000 viewers; simultaneously, 139,000 people watched "MSNBC Live" with anchors Alison Stewart, Laurie Jennings and Sam Shane talking about former president Bill Clinton's autobiography, the South Korean then held hostage in Iraq, and the murder trial of Scott Peterson.

    Ok, so CNN lost 300,000 viewers, and this article points out that they *still* had about as many viewers as MSNBC. Very cute. But is the following “lesson learned” being cited in jest or in seriousness?”

    Among the lessons learned: It appears 18-to-34-year-olds would rather watch CNN without sound than MSNBC with sound. In that Monday half-hour, about twice as many viewers in that demographic were tuned to CNN as MSNBC.

    Is this really the lesson learned? Why isn’t the "lesson learned" instead “it appears that about 100,000 CNN viewers aren’t even actually ‘viewing’ CNN - instead they flip on CNN then leave for the day.” I know that CNN is on all day long at airports, restaurants, lobbies, etc. Is anyone actually watching?

    I ask the question in all seriousness, especially in light of the recent newspaper circulation scandals at Newsday and the Chicago Sun Times. In case you haven’t been keeping up, it seems that both of those papers, and possibly others, have been grossly over-reporting (e.g. lying about) their circulation numbers. If CNN loses sound and 100,000 people still watch, isn’t that the same thing as a newspaper putting out a blank edition and still claiming 100,000 “readers?”

    I realize that there are differences in the reporting mechanisms, and that CNN at least still had video, but really, it begs the question. Philosophers contemplate the age old question, "If a tree falls in the forest, and there's no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?" Similarly, if CNN falls silent on 100,000 TV sets, and no one bothers to change the channel, is anyone really "watching?"

    If I were an advertiser, I'd sure like to know.

    Posted by jkhat at 11:35 AM | Comments (4)

     

    Activists: 'If democracy in Iraq is anything like it is here, they are better off without it.'

    [Posted by ]

    The headline in today's Capital Times (Madison, WI) says it all "Peace activists find no peace in visit to Iraq." Could this be, perhaps, because there's a war going on?

    Marion Stuenkel, of the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, comes back from Iraq full of sound and fury. She says Fallujah was her "My Lai":

    We were committing a massacre in Fallujah," she said.
    "The soldiers are going to come home after doing terrible things. They are going to come home to us broken."

    If we were killing terrorists in Fallujah, is that a bad thing? At all? In any case, the activists go on to accuse American soldiers of looting and, worst of all, of causing Iraqi children to not be able to sleep at night! They offer no proof other than their hysterical rantings and allegations that the media is lying. I'll agree with them about the media, but I sincerely doubt they're making the situation in Iraq look better than it is.

    Here's the worst part of the article:

    During a question-and-answer session, a young man in the crowd asked what to make of the idea that America is exporting democracy to Iraq.
    Activist and Vietnam veteran Will Williams, sitting in the back of the room, piped up.
    America is governed by powerful corporations that pull the strings of its politicians, he said. Before the war in Iraq there were protests around the world, and the people were ignored.
    "If democracy in Iraq is anything like it is here, they are better off without it."

    "The people" were ignored before the war? Uh, no. Most Americans agreed with the decision to go to war. Just because you disagree with the majority doesn't mean that democracy doesn't work. It means you were overruled. Plus, the "around the world" part of that sentence doesn't cut it. France & Germany don't control our foreign policy. Thank God.

    Like most leftists, these activists only see democracy as working when they get their own way. They deny that any individual can honestly disagree with them. When somone does disagree, they're dismissed as a tool of "corporations". They remind me of nothing so much as whiny children denied their demands. So, instead, they stamp their feet and hold their breaths until they get their way.

    These people hate America. They think America is an awful place. So awful that, in fact, they believe an Iraq abandoned to terrorists, mullahs and Saddam's henchmen would be a better place than America. Seriously.

    What's almost funny is that if, God forbid, one of them would have been captured by terrorists, the terrorists would still hate them. The terrorists would still kill them. And, the Americans they so despise would still be filled with anger. The Americans they despise would want to avenge their deaths. The Americans they despise are the ones who will make Iraq free enough that someday, Iraqi leftists can follow in their footsteps.


    Posted by at 09:20 AM | Comments (3)

     

    June 23, 2004

    What's in a Name?

    [Posted by ]

    The Associated Press has taken to calling members of al-Qaida in Iraq and Saudi Arabia "militants". For example, today "Militants focused their anger on Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and his government" or "Saudis offer Militants One Month-Amnesty". What's the big deal. Well, here are the definitions of "militant" and "terrorist" (actually "terrorism" too). Read them and try to tell me that the AP isn't making a statement with their naming convention. Tell me that "terrorist" isn't the far more accurate label.

    Militant: A fighting, warring, or aggressive person or party.

    Terrorist: One that engages in acts or an act of terrorism.

    Terrorism: The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

    Posted by at 10:07 PM | Comments (1)

     

    Let Freedom Ring

    [Posted by ]

    I think Americans are afraid to love their country. For every man, woman or child that proudly waves a flag or proclaims a love of country, it seems there's another man, woman or child sneering behind their back at what a simpleton they are or, worse yet, attacking them for being a jingoistic nazi.

    But lately, some Americans aren't afraid. Some, like John Hawkins today at Right Wing News are proud to shout out the virtues of this great nation:

    Before you rip America...

    -- Name a country that has freed more people from tyranny?
    -- Name another country that powers the world economy the way we do?
    -- Name another country that has had our level of military superiority over the rest of the world that hasn't used it for conquest?
    -- Remember which nation is standing between the Chinese and Taiwan?
    -- Remember which nation is standing between South & North Korea?
    -- Remember who's sticking with Israel against its genocidal neighbors?
    -- Ask yourself which nation is the heart and soul of NATO?
    -- Ask yourself which nation has done more to fight Communism or terrorism?
    -- Name a country that has done more for the world than the United States?

    The truth is that the United States has done more make this planet a better place to live than any other 10 nations combined.

    Damn straight. But when you say things like that today, you have to be prepared for the inevitable backlash:

    But, that doesn't faze the sort of people who seem to believe that freedom & democracy is something civilized people talk about over caviar with Kofi Annan, not something you're supposed to risk blood and treasure for. America doesn't look at it like that and that's why they call us "cowboys".
    Well let me tell ya something pard, not only are we cowboys, we're every character Clint Eastwood & John Wayne ever played all rolled into one. While "shopkeeper nations" talk the talk, but hide like rabbits when there's trouble, our country, and our "posse", nations like Britain, Australia, Italy, & Poland, are out walking the walk.

    These days, proclamations like this are few and far between, even in times of war. As Michelle Malkin points out:

    Once upon a time, there were people in Hollywood who loved America. And when America came under attack from enemies abroad, these actors, producers, screenwriters and directors put aside their partisan differences and created movies that -- unlike Michael Moore's new schlockumentary, "Fahrenheit 9/11" -- made all moviegoers proud to be Americans.

    Too often, our citizens learn to hate America. Teachers are all too quick to point out the flaws and mistakes of America and are almost embarrassed to talk about the millions of good things we've done in our history. Our movies are afraid to show our enemies as evil and liberal democracy as good.

    Even our Olympians are warned against displaying patriotism. Hopefully, younger Americans, like Elizabeth Cochran, raised in the age of Reagan, will help turn the tide. We're proud to be Americans. We shouldn't be ashamed of our country and we shouldn't let our enemies (within and abroad) let us think we're somehow to blame for their barbarity.

    Posted by at 02:52 PM | Comments (6)

     

    June 22, 2004

    I Heart GWB

    [Posted by ]


    She's young. She's a fashion designer. She lives in New York City. And, she's a conservative. What??

    Talon News reports on Elizabeth Cochran, who has launched a line of pro-Bush products, just in time for the Republican National Convention.

    "Young people need to know that it's 'cool' to vote and that they do count -- but most of all, that it's even 'cooler' to vote Republican," Cochran explained.

    Cochran told Talon News that she regularly meets Bush supporters who approach her, identify themselves as fellow Republicans, and assure her "We're out here. Don't worry," as she wears her own clothing line around the city.

    She's right. Conservatives are out there. They just don't whine and make noise like the liberals do. Cochran sells her clothes on the web at iheartgwb.com.

    Posted by at 06:01 PM | Comments (1)

     

    The 9/11 Soap Opera

    [Posted by ]

    I’ve always felt like a Wisconsite first and an American second. I love my state and take great pride in it. On the morning of September 11, however, I felt like an American. Before then, I couldn't have cared less about the people of New York City or Washington, DC. I mean, obviously, I didn’t hate them and want them to die, but I felt no more connection to them than I would have to someone in Dublin or Toronto or Madrid.

    September 11th changed that. America was attacked. The people in the Pentagon or in the World Trade Center or on those planes died simply because they were Americans (or working in America). They died because of our way of life. How could I not feel like, even though I was lucky enough to be out of danger that day, this was an attack on me, everything I care about and everyone I love.

    I wasn’t the only one. For an all-too brief moment, America was united. Now however, the events of 9/11 are being used to divide America up into partisan little blame boxes. The WSJ’s Opinion Journal features a column today by Debra Burlingame. Her brother was the pilot of Flight 77. She eloquently expresses the same fears about the 9/11 Commission and the way their findings are being reported. It’s worth reposting some of it here:

    As the 9/11 Commission puts the finishing touches on its findings and recommendations due next month, I am steeling myself for the media's breathless rush to publish all the shocking revelations that show how incompetent we are as a nation. While I am skeptical of the commission's stated determination to keep politics out of its final report, I have no doubt whatsoever that with the presidential election just months away, those editors and producers who package the news will find it impossible not to do what they've done since Watergate changed the face of journalism: find a smoking gun, present it to the American people, and congratulate the effort as "what distinguishes us from our enemies." Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden and his murdering tribe will sit back with satisfaction as they watch the infidels tear themselves apart.

    Yes, let's have a debate, but let's stop this self-battering, which is weakening us in the only place where al Qaeda can never penetrate, the core of who we are. Instead of pulling together at such a crucial time to prevent even more lethal attacks in the future, we are displaying a divisiveness that energizes our adversaries. They know us better than we know them. Their strategic kills in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and beyond are aimed at breaking our resolve to root them out at home and hunt them down abroad before they can do us more harm. We will not win every battle, but we will only prevail in the war on terror when we unite, not as Republicans and Democrats, but as Americans.

    Amen.

    Posted by at 04:04 PM | Comments (1)

     

    Nuances

    [Posted by james]

    "We shall make no distinction between those who commit these terrorist acts and those who televise them."

    Let’s make something clear: these terrorist whack jobs that keep murdering "infidels" in the name of “Allah” are playing to the television cameras. They want a platform to spread their message of hate, and these arab "news" stations are giving them that platform by televising their statements, demands, and cold-blooded murders. It’s high time that we do something to stop these killings. It’s high time that we take away their soapbox.

    "We shall make no distinction between those who commit these terrorist acts and those who televise them."

    By not acting now, here is the message that we’re sending: if you do something shocking enough, something crazy enough, we’ll put you on TV. We’ll help you get your message out. By not acting now, we’re aiding and abetting terrorists everywhere. By not acting now, our hands are stained red with blood.

    What is wrong with knocking Al-Jazeera or Al-Arabiya off of the air? Critics will say that "free speech" and "free press" principles forbid such action. Why? This has nothing to do with free speech. This has nothing to do with the so-called fourth estate. This is about taking the tools of terror away from those who abuse them. Adopting a media policy that prohibits coverage of events like these is no different than developing a policy that prohibits bludgeoning another to death with a television camera.

    It is indeed a sad and telling time when we allow these people to use western technology, technology that is capable of beaming their message around the world to a billion eager viewers in under a second, to rage against the west and preach their backwards system that wouldn’t allow for enough "progress" to build a tin-can treehouse telephone.

    We shall make no distinction between those who commit these terrorist acts and those who televise them.

    President Bush, it’s time to get the message out.

    Posted by jkhat at 02:27 PM | Comments (0)

     

    Measuring Media Bias

    [Posted by ]

    Tim Groseclose, a Professor at UCLA and Stanford and Jeff Milyo at the University of Chicago set out to statistical show whether or not major media outlets exhibited a conservative or liberal bias.

    Their method was to count the number of times members of Congress cited various think tanks as "as if it were a disinterested expert on the topic at hand" and then compare it to the number of times major media cited these think tanks.

    To compute our measure, we count the times that a media outlet cites various think tanks. We compare this with the times that members of Congress cite the same think tanks in their speeches on the floor of the House and Senate. By comparing the citation patterns we can construct an ADA score (a standard measure of political liberalism) for each media outlet.

    As a simplified example, imagine that there were only two think tanks, one liberal and one conservative. Suppose that the New York Times cited the liberal think tank twice as often as the conservative one. Our method asks: What is the estimated ADA score of a member of Congress who exhibits the same frequency (2:1) in his or her speeches? This is the score that our method would assign to the New York Times.

    So what were the results?

    Although we expected to find that most media lean left, we were astounded by the degree. A norm among journalists is to present both sides of the issue. Consequently, while we expected members of Congress to cite primarily think tanks that are on the same side of the ideological spectrum as they are, we expected journalists to practice a much more balanced citation practice, even if the journalist's own ideology opposed the think tanks that he or she is sometimes citing. This was not always the case. Most of the mainstream media outlets that we examined (ie all those besides Drudge Report and Fox News Special Report) were closer to the average Democrat in Congress than they were to the median member of the House.

    That's pretty damning stuff. You can see all the tables in the report, but I think it's most interesting to compare the estimated ADAs of various news outlets with specific members of Congress we all know (and er, love). Note, the ADA is based on 2002 voting and the higher the score, the more liberal.

     Subject
    ADA Score
    Senator Frist
    0
    Republican Mean 11.2
    Senator McCain
    20
    Senator Snowe
    30
    Representative Paul
    30
    Senator Spector
    35
    Fox News
    35.6
    Congressional Mean
    42.2
    Senator Chafee
    45
    Drudge
    54.7
    ABC World News Tonight
    58.7
    USA Today
    61.7
    Senator Breaux
    65
    LA Times
    66,4
    New York Times
    67.6
    CBS Evening News
    70
    Democratic Mean
    74.1
    Senator Kerry
    85
    Senator Clinton
    95
    Senator Kennedy
    100

    Posted by at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

     

    It takes a fake grassroots organization of tens of thousands to hold him down

    [Posted by ]

    e-Claire delivers a world class fisking of a whiny Michael Moore letter that ended up on al-Jazeerah. My favorite part:

    A Republican PR firm has formed a fake grassroots front group called "Move America Forward" to harass and intimidate theater owners into not showing "Fahrenheit 9/11."

    Ya mean a firm owned and/or employed by a Republican? Or is the firm a branch of the GOP? Fake 100,000 members?

    ...And they are spending a ton of money this week to threaten movie theaters who even think about showing our movie.

    Threats consisting of "I won't spend money in your theater to see this pile of crap lies." O vile and vicious right, insisting on veracity! [and they can read your thoughts, too.]

    The post goes on to point out the hypocrisy of men like Moore. When they disagree with someone, they're expressing a dissenting opinion. When we disagree with them, it's censorship.

    Exactly.

    Posted by at 07:08 AM | Comments (3)

     

    June 21, 2004

    A Thinking Democrat

    [Posted by james]

    According to Volokh, John F'n Kerry, as quoted in Time Magazine, Feb. 9 2004:

    Question: What kind of Democrat are you?

    Answer: A thinking Democrat.

    We're not surprised that Hanoi John publicly demonstrated what we here at dummocrats.com have been saying for years: that Dummocrats, by and large, do so little thinking that when one actually does let the hamster take a few laps he feels obliged to immediately point it out, presumably to distinguish himself from the rest of the dolts in his party.

    Don't hurt yourself, John.

    Those Waffles they are a-burnin'...

    Posted by jkhat at 08:08 PM | Comments (2)

     

    It's a good thing he has experience

    [Posted by ]

    A great blurb on Kerry's campaign:

    John Kerry is spending money almost as fast as he's collecting it, leaving him with less than half the cash reserves of President Bush and under pressure to continue a record-breaking fund-raising spree.

    I, for one, have complete confidence in Kerry's ability to raise money and spend it. After all, he's been a tax and Spendator for the past 20 years!

    Posted by at 07:42 PM | Comments (1)

     

    Two random thoughts

    [Posted by ]

    1. Where are the "peaceful" Muslims denouncing the now almost commonplace beheadings of Westerners, Christians, Jews, etc.? Where are the moderate clerics? Are they afraid of the extremists or do they just not really exist?

    2. The Bush administration can't get a fair shake in the media, whether it's on what's really in the 9/11 Commission's report or on the economy. Bloggers galore have posted on the studies revealing (surprise!) the media's own liberal leanings, but how much blame should the administration itself take? They're not getting their message out. I wish that Ari Fleischer was back. Sure, Bush was in a post 9/11 honeymoon period, but his press coverage was far more favorable in the Fleischer era. I think he was a popular guy and, ideology aside, the press will write more flattering stories if they're dealing with someone they like. It's human nature.

    Posted by at 07:31 PM | Comments (0)

     

    The never ending drive to give everyone and everything the "right" to vote

    [Posted by james]

    Will the madness never end?

    Today, out of San Francisco:S.F.proposes limited non-citizen voting

    A plan is being considered that allow non-citizens, including illegal immigrants, to vote in San Francisco school board elections.

    In the past month or two, we've seen stories out of California about drives to let 17 year olds vote in primary elections and to let FOURTEEN YEAR OLDS vote.

    Californians: What in the holy hell is wrong with you people? Hey, I have an idea, why don't we start letting the Chinese vote in our elections. You know, like actual inhabitants of China. After all, California's economy is so tied in to the world's that I'm sure China has a valid interest in the outcome of the election, right? While we're at it, let's let our dogs vote, too. At least in city elections. I mean, after all, who is more affected by leash laws than dogs? They should have a bigger say. And don't even get me started on the Redwoods! Surely they are a suspect class traditionally discriminated against. REDWOOD SUFFRAGE, THE TIME IS NOW!

    Posted by jkhat at 05:32 PM | Comments (0)

     

    Where were you hiding when the storm broke?

    [Posted by ]

    Anyone get the reference? Anyway, we found this on A Small Victory and want to play too.

    1. Where were you when you heard that Ronald Reagan died?

    fedora: at my sister's house watching the races leading up to the Belmont Stakes.
    hat: driving a friend to BWI. i had heard the announcement that his health was failing earlier in the day; in fact, i believe that i posted about it. having grown tired of hearing the same 3 soundclips repeated again and again on the radio, i turned the radio off and spent the drive back to washington in silence, contemplating Ronald Reagan and all that he did for America. it's hard to explain, but i remember being overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude, sadness, and awe at all that he had accomplished. also, i felt and still do feel somewhat lost knowing that he's gone.

    2. Where were you on September 11, 2001?

    fedora: getting ready for work. i didn't have my contacts in so at first all i could see was a building with smoke coming out. my first thought was that maybe the pope died and they had elected a new one (yes, i realize that's a strange thought, i can't explain it). then, i saw the second plane hit. my drive to work was about 45 minutes so in that time the pentagon was hit and at least one tower fell.
    hat: getting up, getting ready to go to work. the radio dj first reported that a "small plane" had hit the WTC. like a cessna or something. that was the
    report as it came over the wire. eventually, he said: look at that smoke. that can't be from a small plane. seriously, all of you at out there, if you're near a tv, turn it on. i stayed home from work that day.

    3. Where were you when you heard that Princess Diana died?

    fedora: at my parent's house for Labor Day weekend.
    hat: no idea.

    4. Do you remember where you were when you heard Kurt Cobain had died?

    fedora: no idea. all i remember about is courtney love reading his suicide note to crowds.
    hat: no idea?

    5. Take one for The Gipper: What's your favorite flavor of jelly bean?

    fedora: grape
    hat: apple

    6. Where were you when Magic Johnson announced he was retiring from the NBA due to AIDS?

    fedora: no idea.
    hat: no idea.

    7. Where were you when Reagan was shot?

    fedora: don't remember, i was still pretty young.
    hat: i was 4.

    8.Where were you when the Challenger exploded?

    fedora: at school. the nuns told us about it but at first they wouldn't let us see it. i remember being stunned to actually see it explode. i had thought it'd
    be way up in space.
    hat: at school. they called us all into the library and we watched. they made a big school function out of it. i think that was an appropriate way to handle it.


    9. Where were you when the 0J verdict was announced?

    fedora: at work. everything stopped. i was shocked and then angered. Angry at O.J. and angry at the people who were cheering for him.
    hat: no idea.

    10. What, no Rodney King? Okay, we're going to add it.

    fedora: in the lounge in my dorm writing a political philosophy paper.
    hat: no idea

    Posted by at 08:53 AM | Comments (2)

     

    June 20, 2004

    The Lost Party of 2004

    [Posted by james]

    Reprinted, in full, from Democrats for Bush/Cheney 2004, a seemingly dead blog with no "permalink" feature:


    Friday, March 26, 2004
    The Lost party of 2004

    Can you imagine a Democrat saying these words today?

    Slowly but surely we are weaving a world fabric of international security and growing prosperity.

    We are aided by all who wish to live in freedom from fear--even by those who live today in fear under their own governments.

    We are aided by all who want relief from lies and propaganda--those who desire truth and sincerity.

    We are aided by all who desire self-government and a voice in deciding their own affairs.

    We are aided by all who long for economic security--for the security and abundance that men in free societies can enjoy.

    We are aided by all who desire freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom to live their own lives for useful ends.

    Our allies are the millions who hunger and thirst after righteousness.

    In due time, as our stability becomes manifest, as more and more nations come to know the benefits of democracy and to participate in growing abundance, I believe that those countries which now oppose us will abandon their delusions and join with the free nations of the world in a just settlement of international differences.

    Events have brought our American democracy to new influence and new responsibilities. They will test our courage, our devotion to duty, and our concept of liberty.

    But I say to all men, what we have achieved in liberty, we will surpass in greater liberty.

    Steadfast in our faith in the Almighty, we will advance toward a world where man's freedom is secure.

    To that end we will devote our strength, our resources, and our firmness of resolve. With God's help, the future of mankind will be assured in a world of justice, harmony, and peace.


    Or these words?

    We in this country, in this generation, are--by destiny rather than choice--the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of "peace on earth, good will toward men." That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago: 'except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.'

    The first excerpt is from Harry Truman, during his 1948 Inaugural Address. The second, from John F. Kennedy, given in Dallas the day of his death.
    Both timeless speeches that are relevent to America's philosophies. Both ideas that have been abandoned by our current party leaders.

    Posted by jkhat at 08:05 PM | Comments (0)

     

    What the hell are 'knowledge workers?'

    [Posted by ]

    Last week, the NY Times ran an editorial comparing and contrasting the two "aristocratic classes" of Americans: the "professionals" (journalists, lawyers, artists, professors) and "managers" (bankers, builders). The professionals were knowledgable Democrats while managers were money grubbing Republicans.

    I couldn't articulate why the article made me angry, but e-Claire certainly can. Hop on over there for the entire post. It's long but it's worth it. It's a great illustration of the subtle digs and loaded words the so-called "moderate" media uses.

    Posted by at 04:49 PM | Comments (0)

     

    More Islamofascist Monsters

    [Posted by ]

    Terrorists have been using the prison abuse scandal to justify beheading Nick Berg and Paul Johnson, so what's their excuse for threatening to do the same to this South Korean?

    These monsters are simply testing nation after nation fighting against them. Who will cower in the face of terrorism (Spain) and who won't. So far we haven't. I hope the South Koreans don't. I hope every single of these monsters get a nasty surprise soon.

    Posted by at 04:43 PM | Comments (0)

     

    Terrorists playing Summerfest?

    [Posted by james]

    What is Madison Newspapers trying to say here?
    Is Al-Qaida playing at Summerfest?
    Or is the head of Al-Qaida selling real estate for Century 21 now?


    Posted by jkhat at 12:51 PM | Comments (1)

     

    A Wolf in the Hen House

    [Posted by james]

    The Washington Post reports: Special checks on Muslims at border to end

    What I find most disturbing about this article are the following six words: "senior homeland security official Asa Hutchinson"

    WHAT? Asa Hutchinson is a "senior homeland security advisor?"

    I suppose that he did such a bang up job at keeping illegal things out of the country in his tenure as Director of DEA. .... Yeah, that guy down the street from me isn't selling REAL drugs...

    Maybe it's just me, but I'd think that if I were to ask for advice on how to effectively secure the borders, I'd ask someone who's actually, oh, i don't know, secured the borders?

    What's next, are we going to get Michael Jackson as an advisor on children's issues to the Department of Health and Human Services?

    Posted by jkhat at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

     

    The the U.S. economy stands at the front end of an economic boom

    [Posted by james]

    Right Voices reports: Economic boom? They better blame it on GW - - It's all his fault.

    Add yet another story about how the economy is doing great to the pile. (as we reported here and in countless Daily Page links.)

    How long until this is front page news? How long until Dan Rather comes on TV and says "The Economy continues to soar!" ? Lord knows he had no qualms about trumpeting the alleged "failure" of the Bush tax cuts every night.

    Posted by jkhat at 11:25 AM | Comments (1)

     

    June 19, 2004

    If Cheney was out, who would be in?

    [Posted by ]

    Daniel Drezner has an interesting article about restocking the Cabinet.

    While his post focuses on Defense, State, etc., it also brings up some interesting points about Cheney. Should Cheney be on the ticket? Honestly, I don't think so. Cheney's speech at Reagan's state funeral was the first time I could remember seeing postive coverage of him. That's not enough. Plus, Cheney won't be running for President in 2008. I worry a lot about a rift in the party then. Having a strong sitting VP as a candidate would go a long ways toward preventing that.

    So, if not Cheney, who?

    1. John McCain. He's the obvious choice. With McCain on the ticket, Bush/McCain would win in a landslide of Mondalian proportions. We can go on and on about how Bush & McCain hate each other, but Bush wants to win and McCain can give him that and for McCain being the VP for the next 4 years means he's got at least a 75% chance of being the next President. It'd for hard to give that up for a feud.

    2. Rudy Guiliani. A popular figure that would again probably guarantee a Bush win. However, I can't see Rudy satisfied as a VP. I think he'd serve the Party better defeating Hillary in two years or in a Cabinet position.

    3. Tommy Thompson. Don't laugh. Tommy has some serious positives: he would bring Wisconsin firmly in the fold (and in a close race, Wisconsin will be absolutely pivotal), while Cheney is defense-oriented, Thompson's appeal is on domestic issues. People still care about those issues and it'd be a message that Bush is, for better or worse, not just about the War on Terror. On the downside, Thompson wants to get the hell out of DC and back to Wisconsin (who wouldn't?). I suspect the VP position would make him stay, but it's not going to happen.

    4. Condi Rice. A black woman on a Republican ticket? But, but, but, those Republicans are all women-hating racists!?!? Yes, her star has seriously fallen, but she could be rescued on the ticket. With her, though, it's less about what she can give Bush and more about positioning her as a top candidate for 2008.

    Anyone have more candidates? I'm sure I'm missing 4 or 5 obvious choices.

    Posted by at 11:46 AM | Comments (1)

     

    June 18, 2004

    Flipper Seal of Approval

    [Posted by ]

    Does this give anyone ideas for a great giveaway at the DNC?

    Posted by at 04:15 PM | Comments (1)

     

    Flipper Joins Kerry on the Campaign Trail

    [Posted by james]

    From the CRNC June Update email newsletter:

    When John Kerry went to Ohio to campaign among local union workers, America's favorite dolphin Flipper joined him. Although Kerry didn't really invite Flipper to the event, the Ohio College Republicans did by broadcasting the classic Flipper theme song with two large speaker systems from a neighborhood Bush supporter's lawn. The CRs drew ample attention to the Kerry-Flipper relationship, grabbing much of the attention of the 2,000 Kerry attendees. If those in attendance didn't know that Kerry's policies and Flipper's name have a lot in common, they do now!

    Posted by jkhat at 11:58 AM | Comments (3)

     

    June 17, 2004

    Downfall of Dean

    [Posted by ]

    Patio Pundit writes on the rise and fall of Howard Dean:

    When you have ten people in the race and you can attract 15-20% hardcore support that's enough for first place. Once you become the front-runner and the race starts to weed out candidates you have to build on top of your core support. The trouble for Dean is that the same qualities that attracted his core supporters frightened most everyone else. Making the transition to front-runner is difficult for any politican, but it that much harder for one whose support base is very different from the rest of the electorate.

    So what could Dean have done?

    The only way Dean could have won the nomination would have been for him to be two different people. He would have needed to run the exact same campaign that he did up until the primaries were about to begin, and them morph into a normal politician a month before Iowa.

    I think this is especially funny in light of the ongoing jokes about the constant Kerry flip flopping and waffling. But, Kerry probably does have the right strategy, the strategy Dean didn't use. As Right Wing News so eloquently put it: if John Kerry told people the truth, he'd lose the election.

    Posted by at 03:33 PM | Comments (0)

     

    Job Market is Hot

    [Posted by james]

    Guess what? The Job Market in Northern Virginia is Hot


    "Everybody is now finding the labor market very competitive, very much like it was in 1998," says Steven Fuller, a public policy professor at George Mason University who studies the area's economy.

    Fuller says all sectors of the economy are looking for employees.

    Well knock me over with a feather! To hear the media tell it, you'd think half of the friggin country was livin' in a box. Be sure to see joefish on this one, too. Shhhh! ...Dirty Little Secret - The Economy is Doing Great

    Posted by jkhat at 02:12 PM | Comments (0)

     

    Spend & Spend Conservatives

    [Posted by ]

    I support George W. Bush for President. I'll vote for George W. Bush. I'll even encourage others to vote for him (or else work to get them drunk enough so they'll forget to vote for the other guy).

    However, he's not perfect. He's far from it. The American Institute runs a piece today that shows how Bush is certainly not a budget-cutter in the mold of Reagan.

    Ronald Reagan sought--and won--more spending cuts than any other modern president. He is the only president in the last forty years to cut inflation-adjusted nondefense outlays, which fell by 9.7 percent during his first term. George W. Bush, in contrast, increased real nondefense spending by at least 25.3 percent during his first term.

    And, lest we forget, Bush has a Republican Congress behind him. But still, his veto sword has remained sheathed. Why is this? I think the answer is that, sadly, fiscal conservatives have almost disappeared from the political landscape.

    Andrew Sullivan asks, in light of Bush's spending record, "Why are fiscal conservatives still supporting him?" I think the obvious answer is that the alternative is even worse. Given the option between a tax & spender and just a spender, we'll take the spender.

    But once again this makes me worry about the future of the Republican Party. The fiscal conservatives and those with a libertarian bent are being pushed to the fringes by the social conservatives. All of this points to a rough, bitter struggle in the 2008 primary season. It's going to get ugly out there.

    Posted by at 12:13 PM | Comments (9)

     

    June 16, 2004

    Farewell President Reagan, from Briscoe.org

    [Posted by james]

    Sad but true, from briscoe.org

    Posted by jkhat at 08:34 PM | Comments (1)

     

    What Would Reagan Do?

    [Posted by ]

    Right-Thinking reports that a conservative group has prepared an ad comparing and contrasting Bush and Kerry with Ronald Reagan.

    It's about time. I realize the Bush camp was under tremendous pressure to not "politicize" the death of Ronald Reagan, but the parallels between the War on Terror and the Cold War are difficult to ignore.

    In the 80s, Reagan made the then revolutionary decision to not live "peacefully" with communisim. Communism was evil and it was in our long term interests to defeat it. That flew in the face of a decade worth of detente. In hindsight, Reagan was oh so right, but back in 1980 some people were seriously worried that his election would lead to a nuclear confrontation with the Soviets.

    After 9/11, Bush made the decision that we couldn't afford to "peacefully" live with Islamofascist monsters. And even now, with 9/11 still fresh in our minds, some people disagree with that decision. Some people like John Kerry. Back in the 70s and 80s he wasn't willing to confront communism. Now, he's not willing to confront terrorism. He is, however, willing to put his head in the sand and pretend the problems we face don't exist.

    Ronald Reagan was an optimist, but not in the dolty way the media has tried to portray it. Instead, he was optimistic because he believed in the greatness of America. However, he was also a realist. He saw the reality of the evil of the Soviet Union. His combination of optimism and realism was just what America needed.

    Kerry is his opposite. He's both pessimistic and unrealistic. Not only does he believe America is no longer capable of great things, I think he also thinks great things are no longer required of America.

    Posted by at 10:22 AM | Comments (4)

     

    June 15, 2004

    California Dummocrats would likely let Redwood trees vote if they could get away with it

    [Posted by james]

    Remember when dummocrats.com brought you this story about how some California lawmakers wanted to let 14 year olds vote in general elections?

    Well, So Cal Law Blog brings a similar (and admittedly less asinine, if only by a bit) story to our attention:


    Assembly members rejected a proposed constitutional amendment Monday that would have allowed 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections, if they would be 18 by the general election.
    --sacbee

    The lawmakers that proposed this retarded idea must not understand that a primary election is still an election, and under the law citizens don't have the requisite mental capacity to vote in an election until age 18. That it's a primary election doesn't matter, and that the voter would be 18 at the time of the general election matters even less - after all, would you let a 8 year old enter into a binding agreement to enter a contract upon turning 18? Would you let a 14 year girl old consent to have sex with a man in 4 years, on her 18th birthday?

    Of course not. Well, let me clarify - _you_ wouldn't allow it, But would a dummocrat allow it? Sometimes I wonder.

    Posted by jkhat at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

     

    Liberal Media Bias...Rides Again!

    [Posted by ]

    Massachusetts Lt. Governor Kerry Healey is calling on John Kerry to resign from the Senate.

    I scan the Yahoo! headlines throughout the day to get a quick idea of what is going on and I'd expect to find something like this there. But alas, no such luck. Currently, much more important stories like Michael Moore seeking a PG-13 rating for his latest pack of lies are taking up that valuable front page real estate.

    Now, my Journalism degree is from Wisconsin, not Missouri or some hoity toity Ivy League school, but I can't believe my newshound instincts are that far out of whack. When the Lt. Governor of Massachusetts calls for the soon-to-be Presidential nominee to step down because he isn't doing his job, that's news.

    The news article itself is equally damning to those who pretend the media has no bias. The article is framed as a Republican plot to snatch Kerry's seat and replace him with an interim Republican Senator.

    Those who disagree with me will point out that in the second paragraph it's noted that "Of the 112 Senate votes this year, Kerry has voted just 14 times, according to an Associated Press tally." But, I'll trump them again because the article fails to note the consequences of Kerry's absences. For example, Kerry missed a vote on extending unemployment benefits. The measure failed by one vote.

    This is what he calls, "serving the citizens of Massachusetts and the country in the proposals that I've laid out."? Now, you can disagree or agree with extending unemployment benefits, but you can't debate where Kerry stands on that issue. You know what he would have voted for. Maybe a Kerry presidency wouldn't be so bad after all, since he can't even be counted on to push forward his own agenda.

    Posted by at 03:03 PM | Comments (2)

     

    Unintentional Comedy

    [Posted by ]

    Activists are training protestors for the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City. But, these protestors are fairly savvy. One trainer, John Sellers, says:

    "The Republicans would love to have images coming out of New York City that make them look like the reasonable ones, like they're about responsibility and law and order and creating a safe society, and that the left was unreasonable and violent," Sellers said. "If we don't recognize that, then we're not being very strategic."

    The instruction includes skills for responding to rogue protesters intent on causing lawlessness. Veterans expect thousands of untrained demonstrators to swarm city streets.

    However, the rest of the article is where the comedy begins. "Sellers' group, the Ruckus Society, founded in 1995, will hold at least one weekend training camp this summer. "

    Ruckus Society? Hmm...let's see, ruckus: the act of making a noisy disturbance. That doesn't sound overly reasonable. And, it gets worse.

    Organizers won't publicly disclose their plans for civil disobedience. But activists describe sit-ins and blockades at delegate hotels, pie-throwing at high-level officials, and street theater outside Broadway shows attended by convention-goers. A man who calls himself Jonny America plans to mimic Paul Revere's ride along Lexington Avenue, shouting "the Republicans are coming, the Republicans are coming!"

    Oh yeah, middle America is definitely going to think these people are the reasonable ones. Hee! I can't wait.

    Posted by at 03:00 PM | Comments (0)

     

    Election Quest

    [Posted by ]

    On one hand, Election Quest is pretty geeky.

    But on the other hand, this Slick Willie card is absolutely hilarious

    See, that's the problem with Clinton. You could laugh about his shortcomings so he was endearing. I suspect that's a key to his popularity. People could relate to him on a human, rather than ideological, level. And even now, you can't do that with Kerry or Bush. If I was advising either campaign, I'd recommend they spend some of their millions on one or two "human interest" ads. For example, I could see just an ad of Bush in his truck, talking about his vision of the country as he's driving around the ranch. People would like that. A lot.

    Posted by at 02:42 PM | Comments (0)

     

    100% of Kerry supporters polled do not support Bush

    [Posted by james]

    Drudge is reporting:

    TWISTED: LA Times Poll Had Sample With 38% Democrats, 25% Republicans Tue Jun 15 2004 10:13:47 ET

    Sen. John Kerry "has taken big lead," according "to an L.A. Times poll."

    But the Times poll that showed Kerry "beating Bush by 7 points" has created a controversy over whether the poll's sample accurately reflects the population as whole, ROLL CALL reports on Tuesday.

    "Not counting independents, the Times' results were calculated on a sample made up of 38 percent Democrats and 25 percent Republicans -- a huge and unheard-of margin," ROLL CALL claims.

    Developing...

    What, the media lies and distorts facts for political purposes? NO! Surely you jest!

    Posted by jkhat at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

     

    Freedom

    [Posted by ]

    In light of yesterday's discussions about the "under God" issue in the Pledge, I think it's worth reviewing a few things. The Bill of Rights guarantees us free speech and that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". Nowhere in the Bill of Rights is there anything about a right to not be offended or a right to not feel bad.

    Additionally, of course we have free speech. However, that doesn't mean we can say whatever we want without fear of consequences. For example, while secret government police can't swoop out of black helicopters and beat these people to a bloody pulp. You or I could find out who they are, send these pictures to their bosses and hope, if they're at will employees, that they'll get fired. Oh, sweet consequences.

    The Constitution is a beautiful thing.

    Posted by at 08:21 AM | Comments (0)

     

    June 14, 2004

    Site Format

    [Posted by james]

    Yeah, the site formatting is all screwy.
    We're working on it.

    The daily links page is here

    Posted by jkhat at 08:11 PM | Comments (0)

     

    Silence on the Pledge Issue

    [Posted by james]

    I was eating lunch at Subway today and the news came over CNN that the Court had reversed the Ninth Circuit's decision in the Pledge of Allegiance case on procedural grounds (as Ms. Fedora previously noted.) One excited couple actually yelled out “yes!” and gave each other a “high-five” in celebration. Looking at these folks, I came to the conclusion that they were not lawyers, and likely had no idea what this decision really means.

    I didn’t tell them that this is a huge blow for parental rights everywhere. I didn’t tell them that since the court ruled that Mr. Newdow lacked legal standing to sue solely because he didn’t have full-time custody of his child, that they were actually taking rights away from a whole lot of people out there. That’s right, if you and your kids' other parent are divorced, and if your spouse has custody of the kids, and your spouse wants to raise them as pagans, wiccans, athiests, satanists, whatever, you have no say in the matter. I didn’t tell them that by dismissing the case, they were "copping out," and that hundreds of eager constitutional law lawyers would soon file hordes of similar cases, hoping that their case is the one that gets picked to go to the court next time around. I didn’t even tell them that there would inevitably be a next time around. I guess I didn’t want to ruin their celebration. I guess some things are better left unsaid.

    Posted by jkhat at 01:55 PM | Comments (3)

     

    Flag Day

    [Posted by ]

    Happy Flag Day! 50 years ago, the words "under God" were added to our Pledge of Allegiance. Back then, the words were important to differentiate America from "godless communism".

    Today, the Supreme Court preserved those same words in Pledge. Well, kind of. Actually, they ruled that the individual sueing to have those words removed had no right to do so because he did not have legal authority to speak for his daughter.

    I'm a little angry at the Supreme Court for, in my opinion, wussing out on deciding the larger question here. Do the words "under God" violate separation of Church and State. For me, the Pledge case is a no brainer. "Under God" was put in 50 years ago for a decidedly religious purpose. Take it out and be done with it. No harm done. But, the question isn't just being asked here. It's also being asked in Los Angeles County and numerous other places. Sooner or later, the Court needs to decide what the limits of separation of Church and State are.

    More and more, court cases and decisions are starting to look more like a persecution of Christianity rather than denying government endorsement of it. For someone to think that a small cross on a county seal endorses Christianity while a large pagan goddess on that same seal doesn't do the same for pagans is just ridiculous.

    I don't want any single religion shoved down my throat. But I feel like we've swung too far in the other direction. We are developing a state-sponsored religion, and it's called Atheism. And that's just as bad as if it were Catholicism, Islam or any Protestant faith. Isn't the point of separation of Church and State that we live together harmiously, rather than pretend religion doesn't exist?

    Posted by at 10:30 AM | Comments (10)

     

    June 13, 2004

    Kerryopoly

    [Posted by james]

    From the GOP, an amusing little toy that plays some music and shares a few select facts about Kerry's wealth and the things he uses it for. Don't get me wrong, I don't fault the man for being wealthy, but I do take issue with his trying to paint himself as a "man of the people."

    Posted by jkhat at 06:32 PM | Comments (0)

     

    June 12, 2004

    Class of '44

    [Posted by ]

    How cool is this?

    For a handful of seniors from the Lincoln High School Class of 1944, the term took on a different meaning at graduation Sunday at the school's fieldhouse.

    After 60 years -on the anniversary of D-Day and their original high school graduation, members of the class got to do something they hadn't done six decades earlier. They had enlisted in the army, and although they had earned the right to graduate, they could not be at the school to participate in the ceremony.

    I'm proud to claim two of the 14 "new" graduates as uncles. Bob fought with the Marines in Pelileu and Guadalcanal, while Jim served on a landing craft crew in the Pacific.

    Why did it take so long for WWII to get their due? It took nearly 60 years for a Memorial and 60 years for someone to figure out that these guys deserved a graduation ceremony. I'm inclined to blame it on baby boomers, most of whom can't be bothered to think about anything other than the 60s and themselves. Now, as other generations get more political power, things are changing. I especially like the reactions of the Class of 2004 graduates:

    While the veterans were more than appreciative of the opportunity to participate in the ceremony, members of the Class of 2004 felt equally honored to escort the class to the podium.

    "(I'm) very much honored to serve as an escort," said Alex Wilkes, 18, of Wisconsin Rapids. He said the veterans served our country, and put their lives on the line for Americans, and this was just a small way to show appreciation.

    I hope these kids can hold on to their values and aren't too corrupted by their commie Professors next year.

    Posted by at 10:54 PM | Comments (1)

     

    June 11, 2004

    WMD Update

    [Posted by ]

    UN inspectors now believe Saddam Hussein shipped WMDs out of Iraq before, after and during the war.

    Dog Snot Diaries reacts to the news as I did initially: "Spin that, bitches".

    But, you and I both know exactly how this will be spinned, if it's even reported. The administration is going to be criticized for allowed WMDs to proliferate. In other words, if we didn't go in Iraq the weapons would still be "safely" accounted for in Saddam's hands.

    Mark my words. Just wait and see.

    Posted by at 04:19 PM | Comments (1)

     

    Assholes

    [Posted by ]

    Look at these people:

    This is the left in America today. Remember the outrage (and rightfully so) over this Matthew Shepherd website? How is this any different?

    I don't know how Reagan maintained his optimism and faith in the face of such monsters from both sides of the political spectrum.

    Posted by at 01:06 PM | Comments (4)

     

    American (Conservative) Woman

    [Posted by ]

    I am a conservative woman. I am not:

    1. a librarian with her hair in a bun.
    2. uneducated or unsophisticated.
    3. Ann Coulter or Margaret Thatcher.
    4. concerned about what you do in the bedroom (unless you're doing it with me).
    5. about to miss out on cheap drinks.
    6. a tube-top wearing NASCAR fan.
    7. from old money.
    8. in Church on Sunday.
    9. an advocate for the nanny state.
    10. the only one.

    Posted by at 11:54 AM | Comments (3)

     

    President Reagan Procession Flyover Background Images

    [Posted by james]

    I took the following two pictures on Wednesday, June 9, 2004, the day of President Reagan's final trip to Washington. After the procession from the ellipse to the Capitol, President Reagan was honored with a flyover by 21 fighter jets. The flyovers were in done in successive groups of 4 jets apiece, with each group in the missing man formation, sans the actual missing man that usually flies far above.

    In the final group, one jet broke from formation and symbolicaly flew skyward towards the heavens.

    Fortunately, I was able to catch both a formation and the solo plane on camera. Unortunately, I didn't use a better camera, and the planes look a bit undefined in the resulting pictures. Believe me, I'm going to be kicking myself over this for a long time to come.

    Despite the disappointing quality of the resulting photos, I still think they make pretty cool background images.

    Each of the following images is a thumbnail that links to a full sized image (about 500k each). To set one as your background, first click on one of the images below, then right click on the picture that comes up and choose "set as wallpaper."

    In case you're wondering, these planes are flying from south to north, from Virginia, over the District, towards Maryland. I was standing on the mall, my body facing southward, pretty much directly north of the Smithsonian Castle, when I took them.

    Posted by jkhat at 12:25 AM | Comments (0)

     

    June 10, 2004

    Reagan front pages from around the world

    [Posted by james]

    Newseum keeps a daily archive of newspaper front pages from newspapers around the world. They put together this archive of Reagan Announcement pages.


    See the complete archive at newseum.org

    Posted by jkhat at 09:35 PM | Comments (0)

     

    Political Futures

    [Posted by ]

    The University of Iowa Tippie College of Business runs the Iowa Electronic Markets. The markets "are real-money futures markets in which contract payoffs depend on economic and political events such as elections."

    On June 1st, wagering opened on the 2004 Presidential Election. And the results so far? The market is bullish for Bush.

    To date, the futures have been a good predictor of electoral success, especially in Presidential elections. It's early, but it is interesting given, for example, the latest L.A. Times poll that shows Kerry leading with 51% of the vote.

    I think the Times poll is clearly flawed. They have Bush leading by double digits in Missouri and even with Kerry in Ohio and Wisconsin. Looking at the Opinion Journal's Electoral College Calculator, it's hard to imagine how Kerry could win without those states. More tellingly, the Times survey registered, rather than likely, voters. Personally, I think this poll was done, and given front page treatment, specifically to boost Kerry's campaign. But what do I know, I'm just some flyover state idiot.

    Posted by at 07:44 PM | Comments (0)

     

    Reagan Graphic

    [Posted by james]

    image found at fuckfrance.com

    Posted by jkhat at 07:36 PM | Comments (0)

     

    Where's Kerry?

    [Posted by ]

    John Kerry has received undue praise for taking the week off from the campaign to honor Ronald Reagan. So, what's Kerry doing with his time off? Apparently not actually working as a Senator as he missed 3 more votes yesterday, including a resolution, ironically enough, to honor Reagan.

    Viking Pundit updates his Kerry Vote Watch and shows that Hanoi John has worked a grand total of 3 days this session and voted 13% of the time.

    Bush's lastest ad proclaims that "pessimism never created a job". That's true, but it's also worth noting that elected officials who don't actually work probably won't create many new jobs either. I wonder when the Bush/Cheney campaign is going to make an issue of Kerry's continued absences? The Kerry campaign hasn't hesitated to make similar charges against Bush. Remember back in February:

    Kerry, who has a commanding lead in the race to oppose Bush this fall, chided the president for taking time out Sunday to attend the Daytona 500, saying the country was bleeding jobs while he posed for a "photo opportunity." Bush had donned a racing jacket to officially open NASCAR's most prestigious event in front of some 180,000 fans.

    "We don't need a president who just says, `Gentlemen start your engines,'" Kerry said. "We need a president who says, `America, let's start our economy and put people back to work.'"

    Posted by at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

     

    June 09, 2004

    Ronald Reagan Procession to the Capitol

    [Posted by james]

    I went down to Constitution and took some pics of the procession to the Capitol. I was standing across from the EPA, which is, ironically, opposite the Ronald Reagan Building. Click each thumbnail to view a big version.











    UPDATE 2004-06-11: I made 2 of my favorite images available as full-sized downloads. check out President Reagan Procession Flyover Background Images

    Posted by jkhat at 09:55 PM | Comments (2)

     

    Herd Mentality

    [Posted by ]

    The media is mad as hell and they're not going to take it anymore. Who are they mad at? Why, it's you and me: the American people. We have an insatiable appetite for all things Reagan. I mean, really, how dare we. It's not like he was one of the most influential Americans of the 20th century or anything? Says Dan Rather:

    "Even though everybody is respectful and wants to pay homage to the president, life does go on," Rather told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

    "There is other news, like the reality of Iraq," said the "CBS Evening News" anchor. "It got very short shrift this weekend."

    Networks have been going almost wall-to-wall with coverage since Reagan passed away Saturday at the age of 93. The former president was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease nearly 10 years ago.

    "Once the herd starts moving in one direction, it's very hard to turn it, even slightly," Rather said. "Nationally, the herd has grown tremendously."

    It's ironic, is it not, that Rather credits a "herd mentality" for the Reagan coverage? Now, it's not as if there's any herd mentality at all regarding the media's coverage of Iraq (Abu Ghairab 24/7 anyone?).

    What is going on is that media doesn't like Reagan and doesn't want to talk about him, so they'll blame the public and just say they're giving us what we are demanding, but that we shouldn't really want it. They are pandering to us. When they overcover something they want to (for example, every bad thing that happens in Iraq), it's because it's the news, dammit, and we need to hear about it for our own good.

    It's amazing how delusional the media is. It makes me ashamed to hold a journalism degree.

    Posted by at 09:33 AM | Comments (1)

     

    Reagan Remembrances Around the Country

    [Posted by ]

    Ronald Reagan is being honored all over the country, not just in Washington, DC and Los Angeles:

    Plans were also underway to remember Reagan in his boyhood home of Dixon, Illinois, a town of 16,000. Dixon Mayor Jim Burke said the city would hold a candlelight service on Wednesday night, followed by a memorial on Thursday at the First Christian Church, where Reagan was baptized and taught Sunday school.

    Reaganvigil.com has been set up a list of even more local vigils to the Great Communicator.

    We'd love to see pictures of any local celebrations, tributes or vigils to Reagan. If you have any, please e-mail them to either me or jkhat. We'll happy to credit you and post them here too.

    Posted by at 09:18 AM | Comments (0)

     

    June 08, 2004

    Horse with a Name

    [Posted by ]

    Surely one of the most vivid images tomorrow will be the riderless horse following Reagan's flag-draped coffin. Who is that beautiful black horse? His name is Sgt. York, a black retired Standardbred pacer. In his racing days, Sgt. York was known as Allaboard Jules and he won 5 races and earned almost $15,000 in the mid-90s.

    I'm sure Yorky will do a fantastic job, but don't you think Reagan should have a white horse? He was a white horse kind of man.

    Update: Dummocrats.com covered the procession to the Capital Wednesday. See the pictures.

    Posted by at 09:04 PM | Comments (0)

     

    41@80

    [Posted by ]

    Former President Bush, perhaps still trying to shake the wimp image (just kidding!), is parachuting this weekend for his 80th birthday.

    I think it's great, and I don't understand why authorities put up such a fuss about letting D-Day vets parachute into St. Mere Eglise last weekend. When you're 80 plus and you've made it through a war AND the next 60 years, even if, god forbid, the chute didn't open, wouldn't it be a great way to go?

    But back to Bush. I was never a huge fan, but I do love how crotchety he's become as evidenced in an interview with William F. Buckley, Jr. My favorite excerpt:

    "Life is simpler if I don't have to stop in when summoned to that messy room where they (the grandchildren) hang out to give my views on Madonna, P. Diddy or Eminem. I have no views on those people. I am happily disconnected from hip-hop, dirty-talking screen performers and science fiction. I love my grandchildren, all of them. But I no longer want to get their views on Hollywood celebrities or even hear how much they enjoyed the Dave Matthews concert way the hell up near the Canadian border."

    The older Bush gets, the more it seems like The Simpsons may have had him dead on.

    Posted by at 08:25 PM | Comments (0)

     

    Who is the New Greatest Living American?

    [Posted by ]

    With the death of Ronald Reagan, the title of "Greatest Living American" is back up for grabs (as an aside, is it wrong that this reminds me of the whole "best golfer never to win a Major thing"?).

    To me, the Greatest Living American, should have individual accomplishments, but also have a lastest influence on America and/or the world. These are three candidates I can think of off the top of my head, but who else should be in the mix? I'm sure I'm missing worthy people in fields I have no knowledge of.

    1. Norman Borlaug is a Nobel Peace Prize winning agronomist. He sparked the "Green Revolution" which helped Pakistan, India and other countries greatly improve their agricultural production. He's credited with saving millions from starvation.

    2. Milton Friedman, the top modern advocate for the power of free markets.

    3. Stephen Spielberg. I'm surprised at myself for having an entertainer on here, but he spearheaded a return of fun movies that an entire family can enjoy together, he's given much to charity. For example, after Schindler's List, he founded Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, an organization devoted to collecting videotaped testimony from Holocaust survivors around the world. Similarily, after his involvement with Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers, he got involved with helping to found the new WWII Memorial. What I like about having Spielberg on this list is that everyone doesn't have the hard scientific talent to cure a disease or send a rocket to Mars. Spielberg is a great example of an American using his or her unique talents to make a difference.

    Posted by at 08:13 AM | Comments (4)

     

    June 07, 2004

    Stop Hanoi John

    [Posted by james]




    "This photograph of John Kerry with 19 other Coastal Division 11 Swift boat officers is featured in a new Kerry campaign ad called Lifetime. Swift Boat Veterans for Truth contacted surviving members of this group to find out how many actually support Kerry. Click on the photo to see the results."

    there's more at stopjohn.com

    Posted by jkhat at 10:46 PM | Comments (2)

     

    June 06, 2004

    70% tax rate

    [Posted by james]

    I was reading an Andrew Sullivan post from 3 years ago (via Kerry Haters) and I thought that it would be prudent to call something to the attention of those too young to remember the malaise of the Carter years:

    Reagan stood for two simple but indisputably big things: the expansion of freedom at home and the extinction of tyranny abroad. He achieved both. When he came to office, top tax rates in the United States were in the 70 percent range. Against the odds, Reagan slashed the top rate to 28 percent and ignited an economic boom that, in some respects, is still with us. Bill Clinton nudged taxes up a little, but to nowhere near the levels of the Carter's America, and all signs now point to a reduction this year back to Reagan levels.

    Yes, kids, that's not a typo. 70 Percent

    And if you think that's bad, you should take a look at this table that summarizes the federal tax rate data over the last century. Make no mistake, if Reagan hadn't been elected, if he had never cut taxes like he did, you wouldn't be sitting in front of that nifty personal computer right now.

    It's a great article, check it out. Reagan was right about almost everything.

    Posted by jkhat at 07:23 PM | Comments (1)

     

    Our Truly Gallant Allies

    [Posted by ]

    To be sure, I'm proud to be an American. But I'm also proud to be an American of Polish descent. I'm filled with pride to live in country that can produce men like Ronald Reagan, but I'm also filled with pride when our President mentions all the nations who together invaded the Normandy beaches 60 years ago today and one of them is Poland.

    On D-Day according to Stephen Ambrose's D-Day, "the lead destroyer for the lead flotilla on minesweepers came from the first nation Hitler had overrun; it was Polish, named Slazak, commanded by Capt. Romuald Nalecz-Tyminski". Over half a million Poles contribute to the liberation of Western Europe.

    Think for a moment about the gallantry of the Poles. Their country was overrun in 1939 by both Germans & Russians. The Russians murdered over 4,500 Polish officers in the Katyn Forest. The Polish soldiers that could fled east and eventually fought in North Africa, Italy, Russia, France and the Netherlands. Additionally, Polish pilots fought as part of the RAF in the Battle of Britain and more.

    But after all of these sacrifices, what did they gain? Their country was controlled by the Russians, and heroes like Stanislaw Skalski faced a grim fate when (and in many cases, if) they returned home.

    Stanislaw Skalski was the most successful Polish ace of WW II, with a record of 22 confirmed victories, 1 probable, and 1 damaged enemy aircraft. Three times he was awarded the British DFC, and he received many other medals. Following his return to Poland after the war, he was imprisoned by the Communist regime in 1949, on a charge of espionage for the West. He spent 6 long years in a jail, waiting for execution. That was his "reward" from the communists, a fate he shared with many other Polish soldiers returning from the West for their heroic and sacrificing duty. In 1956, Skalski was finally released from prison.

    Even in the waning days of WWII, the Poles continued to get screwed. As the Russians approached Warsaw, Poles rose up against the Germans.

    During the sixty-three days of fighting the Red Army, encamped within sight across the Vistula, never attempted assistance. The Soviets refused permission to the Americans and British to use their airfields to drop ammunition and relief supplies. In September, when a German victory seemed certain, the Russians allowed a small amount of ammunition to be dropped in, but it was useless: it was made for Soviet armaments and did not fit the Poles' weapons.

    When hostilities ceased, eighty-five percent of the city was razed, and the Polish Home Army annihilated . The Germans deported the remaining population. When the Germans were eventually defeated there were no forces left to oppose Soviet political domination in Poland.

    But future generations of Poles were just as gallant. In the 80s they started the Solidarity movement and endured martial law under the Soviet's thumb. With the raising of the Iron Curtain, Poland has become both a member of the EU and NATO. But, more importantly, she's continued her committment to freedom all over the world. Polish troops number around 2,500 in Iraq and command a force in South-Central Iraq.

    Today we heard a lot of talk about the importance of allies and the alleged eternal alliance between America & France. The French are fond of reminding Americans that they fought on our side in the Revolutionary War. But so did the Poles as members of the Pulaski Legion. Perhaps we need to spend less time wringing our hands over outdated alliances and more time honoring and cultivating true alliances like the ones we've forged with Poland and other Eastern European nations.


    Posted by at 07:14 PM | Comments (1)

     

    999 days

    [Posted by james]

    Today is:


  • The 60th anniversary of D-Day
  • The day after Reagan died
  • 999 days since September 11th
  • I'm almost afraid to get out of bed in the morning...

    Posted by jkhat at 05:44 PM | Comments (0)

     

    Kilroy was here' engraved on the WWII memorial

    [Posted by james]

    I've learned that the famous Kilroy character is professionally engraved on the WWII memorial.

    To those that don't know the history of Kilroy, the engraving, at first glance, seems entirely inappropriate for a memorial honoring America's fallen soldiers. I admit, that was my first reaction. But after doing a little research, I've done a complete 180 - the engraving is entirely appropriate, and I think it's pretty cool that it was included.

    From kilroywashere.org: There was one person who led or participated in every combat, training or occupation operation during WWII and the Korean War. This person could always be depended on. GI's began to consider him the "super GI." He was one who always got there first or who was always there when they left. I am, of course, referring to Kilroy Was Here. Somehow, this simple graffiti captured the imagination of GI's everywhere they went. The scribbled cartoon face and words showed up everywhere - worldwide. Stories (some even true) abound.

    Kilroy became the US super-GI who always got there first — wherever GI's went. It became a challenge to place the logo in the most unlikely places. It was said to be atop Mt. Everest, the Statue of Liberty, the underside of the Arch de Triumphe, and scrawled in the dust on the moon. An outhouse was built for the exclusive use of Truman, Stalin, and Churchill who were there for the Potsdam conference. The first person to use it was Stalin. He emerged and asked his aide (in Russian), "Who is Kilroy?"

    WWII UDT (Under Water Demolition - later Navy Seals) divers swam ashore on Japanese held islands in the Pacific to prepare the beaches for the coming landings by US troops. They were sure to be the first GIs there! On more than one occasion, they reported seeing "Kilroy was here" scrawled on make shift signs or as graffiti on enemy pillboxes. They, in turn, often left similar signs for the next incoming GIs.

    The tradition continued in every US military theater of operations throughout and following WWII.

    One of my complaints about the WWII memorial has been that it doesn't seem to pay tribute to the individual soldiers like the Vietnam and Korean Memorials do. Finding out about the inclusion of the Kilroy figure has somewhat lessened that sentiment. I think that the engraving is a fitting tribute to the heroes who fought and died in the second world war.

    Posted by jkhat at 04:26 PM | Comments (0)

     

    Live Free or Die

    [Posted by james]

    An oldie from Cox and Forkum

    Indeed.

    Posted by jkhat at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)

     

    June 05, 2004

    Reagan & Freedom II

    [Posted by ]

    Tomorrow world leaders will gather in Normandy to commemorate those who fought to free Western Europe.

    Today, tomorrow and for the rest of the week, the world will honor the man who freed the rest of Europe: Ronald Reagan.

    It's no coincidence that some of the impromptu memorials to Reagan include cowboy hats. He was our Cowboy President. The European and Ivy League intellectuals may regard that title with contempt, but Americans understand what it means and it's one of the reasons we love Reagan. He saw the Soviet Union for the evil empire it was. He called a spade a spade. He accepted the challenge of defeating that evil. He fought the battle and won. And today millions of people in Eastern Europe owe their very freedom to him. I'll be surprised if we don't see an outpouring of love for Reagan from the free people of the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, etc. this week.

    My fervent hope is that someday when George W. Bush is laid to rest, he'll be similarly honored by the free people of Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria and more. We honor our WWII veterans and we honor Ronald Reagan because they engaged in the most noble of causes-liberation. Let's not lose sight of the nobility of our current campaigns: liberating millions from the noose of islamofascism.

    Posted by at 08:48 PM | Comments (0)

     

    Reagan and Freedom

    [Posted by james]

    via FoxNews

    Newt Gingrich: "All free people stand on Reagan's shoulders. His principled policies proved that free markets create wealth, that the rule of law sustains freedom, and that all people everywhere deserve the right to dream, to pursue their dreams, and to govern themselves."

    Posted by jkhat at 06:19 PM | Comments (0)

     

    Ronald Reagan and D-Day

    [Posted by ]

    Word from California is that Ronald Reagan's health is quickly slipping away. While I'll be sad to see him go, I will also be a little relieved. He's lived an amazing life, but it's hard to imagine the toll the last ten years have taken on him and his family.

    In his honor, as well as in the honor of all the brave men and women that contributed to D-Day, I want to post his fantastic speech on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day. This is from Free Republic and is apparently the unabridged version.

    It's interesting to note, in light of the warnings to Bush to not draw comparisons to the war in Iraq in his speech tomorrow, how much of Reagan's speech dealt with the Soviet Union. He did a fantastic job of honoring the vets before him, but also talked about the continuing struggle we must endure to remain free. I see no reason why Bush couldn't do the same. Anyway, here's the speech. Godspeed Mr. President.

    We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.


    We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but forty years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs. Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.


    The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers on the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machine guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting only ninety could still bear arms.


    Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there.


    These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.


    Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender's poem. You are men who in your "lives fought for life...and left the vivid air signed with your honor."


    I think I know what you may be thinking right now--thinking "we were just part of a bigger effort; everyone was brave that day." Well, everyone was. Do you remember the story of Bill Millin of the 51st Highlanders? Forty years ago today, British troops were pinned down near a bridge, waiting desperately for help. Suddenly, they heard the sound of bagpipes, and some thought they were dreaming. Well, they weren't. They looked up and saw Bill Millin with his bagpipes, leading the reinforcements and ignoring the smack of the bullets into the ground around him.


    Lord Lovat was with him--Lord Lovat of Scotland, who calmly announced when he got to the bridge, "Sorry I'm a few minutes late," as if he'd been delayed by a traffic jam, when in truth he'd just come from the bloody fighting on Sword Beach, which he and his men had just taken.


    There was the impossible valor of the Poles who threw themselves between the enemy and the rest of Europe as the invasion took hold, and the unsurpassed courage of the canadians who had already seen the horrors of war on this coast. They knew what awaited them there, but they would not be deterred. And once they hit Juno Beach, they never looked back.


    All of these men were part of a roll call of honor with names that spoke of a pride as bright as the colors they bore: the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Poland's 24th Lancers, the Royal Scots Fusiliers, the Screaming Eagles, the Yeomen of England's armored divisions, the forces of Free France, the Coast Guard's "Matchbox Fleet" and you, the American Rangers.


    Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith, and belief; it was loyalty and love.


    The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.


    You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you. people of your countries were behind you.


    The Americans who fought here that morning knew word of the invasion was spreading through the darkness back home. They thought--or felt in their hearts, though they couldn't know in fact, that in Georgia they were filling the churches at 4 a.m., in Kansas they were kneeling on their porches and praying, and in Philadelphia they were ringing the Liberty Bell.


    Something else helped the men of D-Day: their rock hard belief that Providence would have a great hand in the events that would unfold here; that God was an ally in this great cause. And so, the night before the invasion, when Colonel Wolverton asked his parachute troops to kneel with him in prayer he told them: Do not bow your heads, but look up so you can see God and ask His blessing in what we're about to do. Also that night, General matthew Ridgway on his cot, listening in the darkness for the promise God made to Joshua: "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee."


    These are the things that impelled them; these are the things that shaped the unity of the Allies.


    When the war was over, there were lives to be rebuilt and governments to be returned to the people. There were nations to be reborn. Above all, there was a new peace to be assured. These were huge and daunting tasks. But the Allies summoned strength from the faith, belief, loyalty, and love of those who fell here. They rebuilt a new Europe together.


    There was first a great reconciliation among those who had been enemies, all of whom had suffered so greatly. The United States did its part, creating the Marshall plan to help rebuild our allies and our former enemies. The marshall plan led to the Atlantic alliance--a great alliance that serves to this day as our shield for freedom, for prosperity, and for peace.


    In spite of our great efforts and successes, not all that followed the end of the war was happy or planned. Some liberated countries were lost. The great sadness of this loss echoes down to our own time in the streets of Warsaw, Prague, and East Berlin. Soviet troops that came to the center of this continent did not leave when peace came. They're still there, uninvited, unwanted, unyielding, almost forty years after the war. Because of this, allied forces still stand on this continent. Today, as forty years ago, our armies are here for only one purpose--to protect and defend democracy. The only territories we hold are memorials like this one and graveyards where our heroes rest.


    We in America have learned bitter lessons from two World Wars: It is better to be here ready to protect the peace, than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost. We've learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent.


    But we try always to be prepared for peace; prepared to deter aggression; prepared to negotiate the reduction of arms; and, yes, prepared to reach out again in the spirit of reconciliation. In truth, there is no reconciliation we would welcome more than a reconciliation with the Soviet Union, so, together, we can lessen the risks of war, now and forever.


    it is fitting to remember here the great losses also suffered by the Russian people during World War II: twenty million perished, a terrible price that testifies to all the world the necessity of ending war. I tell you from my heart that we in the united States do not want war. We want to wipe from the face of the Earth the terrible weapons that man now has in his hands. And I tell you, we are ready to seize that beachhead. We look for some sign from the Soviet Union that they are willing to move forward, that they share our desire and love for peace, and that they will give up the ways of conquest. There must be a changing there that will allow us to turn our hope into action.


    We will pray forever that some day that changing will come. But for now, particularly today, it is good and fitting to renew our commitment to each other, to our freedom, and to the alliance that protects it.


    We are bound today by what bound us forty years ago, the same loyalties, traditions, and beliefs. We are bound by reality. The strength of America's allies is vital to the United States, and the American security guarantee is essential to the continued freedom of Europe's democracies. We were with you then; we are with you now. Your hopes are our hopes, and your destiny is our destiny.


    Here, in this place where the West held together, let us make a vow to our dead. Let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for. Let our actions say to them the words for which Matthew Ridgway listened: "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee."


    Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their valor, and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.


    Thank you very much, and God bless you all.


    Posted by at 01:26 PM | Comments (0)

     

    June 04, 2004

    Italy-New France?

    [Posted by ]

    The Washington Times reports that Italians are turning out in force to protest Bush and coalition actions in Iraq. Let's have some fun with the Italians.

    Tens of thousands of Italian anti-war demonstrators marched through central Rome amid tight security to protest President Bush's visit, many waving peace banners and calling for the pullout of Italian troops in Iraq.

    Tens of thousands? Wow, doesn’t that sound like just a ton of Italians? Too bad that police estimates put the crowd at 25,000. That’d be 2 tens of thousands. Thanks, AP, for the hysterical headline.

    Most Italians opposed the Iraq war. Berlusconi, however, insisted that the cause was just, and his government sent 3,000 troops to help rebuild Iraq after Saddam Hussein's ouster.

    "The war in Iraq was launched on the basis of mistaken assumptions and it's useless that Italy, with its little contingent, be there at America's side," said Luca Galassi, a 33-year-old student with a rainbow-colored peace flag around his waist.

    We’ll see how useless Galassi thinks it is when Islamofascist terrorists continue to go after low hanging fruit, i.e., terror targets in Spain, Italy, Greece, etc. Also, a 33-year old student? Isn’t it time to grow up and get a job honey?

    Bush arrived Friday to mark the 60th anniversary of the Allied liberation of Rome and to meet with Italian leaders and Pope John Paul II. He was to leave Saturday for Paris.

    Critics questioned whether Americans should still be called "liberators" decades after World War II.

    "Their credit as liberators was lost in Vietnam," 40-year-old Mario Bucci said.

    Hmmm…well, I personally question whether Italy should still be called a “liberated” country rather than a conquered one. I seem to recall some guy named Mussolini and that the Axis consisted of Germany, Japan and Italy.

    So, yeah, Mario, don’t call us your liberators. Call us your conquerors. That has a much better ring to it anyway.

    "It's difficult to forget that the world would be different if 60 years ago, this great international alliance of forces hadn't formed against Nazism," said Romano Prodi, the European Commission president and a top opposition Italian leader, who visited an Allied cemetery outside Bologna.

    Really? Seems like lots of Europeans have no difficulty in forgetting. Nice way to put the emphasis on international alliance of forces. Keep in mind that U.S and UK forces accounted for 85% of the troops invading France on D-Day and so really, the US, UK and Soviet Union defeated these forces of evil. The coalition back then was no bigger than it is in Iraq now. Funny how few countries show up when the job gets tough, isn’t it?

    Posted by at 02:04 PM | Comments (0)

     

    June 01, 2004

    My Dream President

    [Posted by ]

    My dream presidential candidate would:

    1. Be from the so-called “fly over” states. Besides being friendlier, more open and more optimistic than most of the folks on the coast, he or she would also have learned how to deal with an extreme climate (well below zero in the winter and well into the 90s in the summer) from an early age. Think about it, wouldn’t you want a leader who has mastered driving in snow, knows what to do in a tornado and can deal with a heat wave even without AC? Nothing toughens a person like living through 100 plus degree temperature swings in a calendar year.

    2. Played a team sport growing up, but also has an individual sport or hobby they’re passionate about now. Participating in the team sport means they know how to work with others, how to accept coaching, how to belong to something bigger than themselves and how to represent someone else, whether it’s their school or a local bar. By participating in an individual sport or hobby, I’d hope my ideal candidate would learn that the buck stops with them and that, as they still participate today, they have an outlet for those times they need to clear their head before making a difficult decision.

    3. Attended a large public university. This way, they’d know what it’s like to be a little fish in a big, big pond. They’d get to experience the “joys” of bureaucracy. And, they’d have a slighter better chance to avoid being poisoned by anti-American leftist professors.

    4. Worked outside of a traditional office for at least 3 months. They could have worked in a factory, in a hospital, on a road crew. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that they’ve had the American experience that the vast majority of their constituents have had. They need to understand that there’s more to life than the inside of law firms.

    5. Express a deep love of nature. To me, one of the things that makes America, America is our wide open spaces. It’s not the space so much as the spirit, but in any case, my ideal candidate should love the outdoors. This isn’t to say that I want a freaky environmentalist. I don’t. You can respect & love nature without worshipping it above humans. On the other hand, you can also place making it easy for businesses above what’s right for the land. I don’t want that either. I want a healthy middle.

    6. Be a self-made person. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with being born rich, lots of great leaders were, it’s that if you’re self made, you’re already successful. You’ve already proven you can make good decisions. It’s like betting on the horse with the best past performance: they don’t always win, but the odds are lower.

    7. Has some skeletons in the closet. I don’t mean killing someone or being a smack addict, but frankly, I don’t care if my President smoked pot in college. I don’t care they get 5 speeding tickets a year. I really don’t even care if they had a one night stand. I don’t want the person who stayed inside their dorm room and studied all night for President. I don’t want a President who never made a mistake. A good leader should have experience doing something stupid and dealing with the consequences.

    8. Still have friends from nearly every era of their life. It’s a pretty good sign when people care enough to stay in touch with you for 20, 30 or even 40 years. People who can do that know how to make and keep a connection. The payoff is that they acquire an extended group that are there when they need them. They can count on their honest advice and firsthand knowledge in countless areas. I want my ideal President to have such a group.

    9. Has a passport and isn’t afraid to use it. Hell, maybe it’s just that they have a car or a motorcycle and aren’t afraid to use it. The point is that they’ve traveled. They’ve seen things firsthand. They aren’t shy. They talk to people and see people rather than just read about them.

    10. Has experienced evil firsthand. Maybe they were a victim of racism or witnessed a beating or helped liberate people from a tyrant. No matter what happened, the important thing is that it made my ideal President believe in good and evil. There are a million shades of grey, but black & white exist too.

    Posted by at 02:12 PM | Comments (0)

     


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