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Wednesday, April 30, 2003

I actually just heard this in a debate on taxes."All pay equally, which is unfair."

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:10 PM in Politics/Government

Monday, April 28, 2003

Tomorrow a man will be executed for brutally murdering a woman less than 2 miles from where a 5 year old me was living at the time.

Now I'm not all gung-ho about the death penalty, but I have no qualms with this case. I have serious concerns about it being applied when we can't be 100% sure the suspect did it. In the cases where there is DNA evidence, clear eyewitness evidence, or a confession however I see absolutely no reason why brutal murderers should be kept alive longer than it takes for the legal system to be certain of their guilt.

David Brewer lured the wife of a friend to a motel, raped her (though he claims it was consenual), drove through six counties while she held a sign reading "Help Me Please" out of the trunk and then strangled her until her neck snapped and then stabbed her 15 times and slit her throat. He later confessed to his wife and to police. This ended a woman's life and ruined the lives of those who loved her and I have no problem with him being executed tomorrow.

Were there any room for ambiguity however it would be a different story.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:08 PM in Dayton

Friday, April 25, 2003

Bud Selig is quitting after 2006. This just makes my day.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:48 PM in Miscellaneous

You can pick up your very own deck of Iraqi 'Most-Wanted' cards here. They're by the same company that supplied the cards to the troops.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:57 AM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Thursday, April 24, 2003

For real this time. How was this guy only the eight of spades? He was the freakin' deputy prime minister.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:01 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

The interview in question.

First off let me just say that on homosexuality I'm not one of those fire and brimstone they're all going to hell types. I'm not exactly on the other side though. I just kind of fall somewhere in the "it's icky" category. They can do what they want; I'd just prefer that I didn't have to spend too much time thinking about the fact that there are guys making out with other guys.

That being said, I'm kind of torn about what I think of the specific case before the Supreme Court that Santorum mentions about sodomy laws. Part of me says that an individual should be able to do just about anything they please within reason and that the government shouldn't be able to regulate how people have sex. There's a nagging part of me however that says that if the state or local governments want to make up a rule about it they also have that right and that if people don't like it they should either move or try to change it in their state or locality. I'm not a huge proponent of the right to privacy that took the abortion issue out of the hands of the states, and that's pretty much what's being used in this particular case as well. Long story short, I guess I just haven't worked out where I come down on this issue, but in my mind it's much more about states rights vs. individual rights, and not about the morality of sodomy and all that.

I do however very much enjoy this line by the AP guy in the interview:

AP: I'm sorry, I didn't think I was going to talk about "man on dog" with a United States senator, it's sort of freaking me out.

In a related note, I think Brian Griffin takes his condemnation of Santorum's moral relativism too far. Santorum obviously doesn't see "moral relativism" as being about each person making up their own minds, I would presume he instead sees it from the "we're not allowed to judge anybody because we're not in their shoes" angle. Certain moral issues have to be universally applied in order to have a society. Things like not having sex with 4 year olds and not shooting every third person you meet on the street. Moral relativism as I think Santorum sees it says that you're not allowed to pass judgment on people for doing these things. Brian is pretty much redefining the term "moral relativism" and then calling Sen. Santorum a hypocrite for not following Griffin's definition of the word.

You can think Sen. Santorum is wrong all you want and if you want to vent on religion in general that’s fine too, but I don’t think you can honestly say that he’s being a hypocrite just because he doesn't define moral relativism the same as you.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:38 PM in Politics/Government

Monday, April 21, 2003

1. There is no jelly bean better than the Starburst Jelly Bean.
2. The best overall candy is the Reese's Peanut Butter Egg.
3. Peeps are not nearly as bad as they're said to be.
4. Chocolate bunnies should not be hollow.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:08 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Conspiracies are everywhere. He's now accusing CNN of doctoring the tape of his Oscar speech to make the boos seem louder.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:46 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Hollywood Idiots -- Exposing Celebrity Idiots and Anti-Americans

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:35 PM in Miscellaneous
A coalition of lawyers and human rights groups yesterday unveiled a bid to use the UN's new International Criminal Court as a tool to restrain American military power.

In a move Washington said vindicated U.S. claims that the court would be used for political purposes, the rights activists are working to compile war crimes cases against the United States and its chief ally in Iraq, Britain.
But the fact that Britain is a member has given the rights activists a springboard for a case that argues U.S. air raids that killed civilians were war crimes.

"The U.S. used bombers that took off from England ... and from Diego Garcia, also U.K. territory," said Mr. Ratner, referring to a British Indian Ocean island possession.

Britain, as an ICC member, could be prosecuted on a much wider array of activities that resulted in civilian deaths, the activists said.

Both U.S. and British officials have repeatedly said their forces make maximum efforts to avoid civilian casualties and never target civilians, which would violate the 1949 Geneva Conventions.
Mr. Shiner said the activists' case will probe the coalition's use, or suspected use, of cluster bombs, depleted uranium ammunition and fuel-air explosives.

These weapons are unauthorized, he claimed, because they "can't distinguish between civilian or military" targets.
The Bush administration official said: "This is a baseless accusation and we'll treat it as such."

--NATIONAL POST (via Bill Herbert)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:06 AM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

I was watching The Simpsons this afternoon (Just like about 50% of my waking life.) and the episode "The Old Man and the Lisa" was on. This is the episode where Burns loses his fortune, and goes to Lisa to help him get it back. He then builds a "recycling plant" that's really an evil fish slurry plant. Well, when Burns loses everything his house is sold and the following passes between the real estate agent and the potential buyer, a famous wrestler named "Hitman".

Agent: And you wouldn't even be the only wrestler in the neighborhood. The Shrieking Sheik lives just three doors away.

You hear the Sheik shrieking.

Hitman: [looking around] Hey hey! I'll take it!

In the version I saw today there was no shrieking, just Hitman looking around in silence.

It could simply be some kind of cut for time, but I think it does beg the question of whether the Simpsons folks took it out in an effort to be more PC given the current climate...

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:34 PM in TV

Monday, April 14, 2003

We went into Iraq not because we had proof that they still had WMDs. We went in because they refused to prove in any way that they didn't. I'm not saying they didn't have WMDs, but that it's theoretically possible that they destroyed them and then took the most boneheaded position possible, or maybe that they moved them out of the country. My point is that finding WMDs within the borders of Iraq is not the end-all and be-all of whether what we did in Iraq was right. We went in because Saddam refused to account for the weapons he had. The burden of proof was on them.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:06 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Prime Minister John Howard wants to reform the United Nations, saying the presence of France as a permanent member of the Security Council "distorts" the council.

He wants Japan, a South American country and India to be represented on the Security Council. France was there only because it was a global power at the end of World War II, he said.

Asking France or any other permanent member of the Security Council to voluntarily surrender their seat was "a major undertaking", he conceded.


Mr Howard offered a compromise, which he said would make the UN more representative of the modern world - three levels of Security Council members, the permanent members, the rotating members and a new group of permanent members that had no veto. It would be "a far better expression of world opinion", he said.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:47 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Good stuff from Cold Fury.

I’d just like to get this all in early to help out the antiwar extremists a bit in advance:

-Syria has never attacked the US directly, so we have no reason to be harassing them.

-Shrub just wants to loot the treasure of Damascus for his E-ville™ corporate pals.

-There is no proof that Syria has weapons of mass destruction.

-Regime change here in America is what we really need.

-If we attack Syria, it will turn out to be a Vietnam-like quagmire that we can’t possibly win, with millions of civilian casualties.

-Taking forceful and effective action to end Syria’s support for terrorism will be an unconscionable distraction from the War on Terror.

-Look how awfully the whole thing in Iraq has turned out.

-Shrub is a cowboy.

-The brutal Syrian summer/winter/spring/fall will be too harsh for our troops to operate effectively in.

-Ending Syria’s support for terrorism will be too expensive. Our economy will suffer.

-The Syrian military is made up almost entirely of elite units that will bravely fight to the last drop of unjustly-shed blood they possess.

-The Syrian dictator Assad is not so bad. And hey, we supported the contras, soooo.…

-Doing anything about Syria will inflame the Arab street against us and create bazillions of new Al Qaeda members eager to launch new terror attacks against US targets. Speaking of which, there is no credible evidence of a connection between Syria and Osama.

-At least Assad was elected. Not so with our Commander In Thief, the Resident of the US, President-select Shrub.


-And last but not least, it’s all about oooiiiiilll!!!

There. You can all drop your NYT subscriptions now. No need to thank me, I’m happy to help out here.
--Cold Fury

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:42 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
BAGHDAD, 13 April 2003 — Iraqi Muslims came to the aid of Baghdad’s tiny Jewish community yesterday, chasing out looters trying to sack its cultural center in the heart of the capital.

“At 3:00 a.m., I saw two men, one with a beard, on the roof of the Jewish community house and I cried out to my friend, ‘Hossam, bring the Kalashnikovs!” said Hassam Kassam, 21.

Neither Hassan nor Hossam, who is the guard at the center, was armed at the time but the threat worked in scaring off the intruders. Two hours later, the looters returned again and Hassan Kassem used the trick once more.

The center is located in a freshly painted white house on a lane off Rashid Street in Baghdad’s old town. Two days ago, amid rampant looting in the capital, neighbors removed the sign reading “Special Committee for the Religious Affairs of Ezra Menahem Daniel” to make the premises less conspicuous.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:33 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Sunday, April 13, 2003

We didn't go into Iraq because they had WMDs, we went in because they MIGHT have WMDs.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:58 AM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Saturday, April 12, 2003

"And I don;t mean to defend saddam, afterall he was a CIA asset in his growing years."
--They don't hate Saddam because he repressed his people, or killed millions of muslims but rather because he was once connected to the US government...

The only "anti-war" movement that matters is the Iraqi people and them protesting probably means even less than we do if that's possible.
Bomb the living shit out them, kill all the uniforms you can."

--This one kinda speaks for itself.

"It's very interesting that [Condi Rice] seems to have suddenly disappeared. Maybe she dared to disagree with ShrubCo over the invasion, and is paying the price?"
--Yeah, that would make sense except that Powell quite publicly disagreed with everyone else and for the most part suffered no ill effects.

"Where [were] their flags were on Sept. 10th?
Why haven't they "supported our troops" with yellow ribbons when there isno war on? We kill more troops during training exercises than you will ever know. Don't troops need our "support" 24/7?"

--Gotta admire this one. They've cleverly managed to chastise those currently supporint our troops for not showing that support 24/7 while at the same time making the argument that they shouldn't be showing their support now. Nice.

Texas newspaper encourages people to kill protesters...
Is this online poll legal or a threat?
What would you do if an anti-war protester stopped you on the way home in rush hour?

1 Introduce them to the grill of my car!
2 Ignore them.
3 Join them.

--I thought it was the Republicans who didn't have a sense of humor.

People around me that I thought were"good" people seem to love war, especially if we are "winning". They seem to have no empathy or thought for others because they have always lived a very safe, cushy life and cannot imagine the suffering and lack of humanity that has been afforded others. Why is it that so many american conservatives and others care so little for other people? They are all so religious. Did they not learn the lessons that were taught to me in my religion about caring for and helping all others, not mstter who they were or where they came from?
--Yeah, the conservatives care nothing about people, yet it's the liberals that would prefer that the Iraqi people were still living under a ruthless dictator. We may kill thousands of Iraqis, but at least when we're done it will be over instead of dragging on into infinity as it would under Saddam and his sons.

I want to see if the God that I fear was represented by the zealots of the far right. They enslaved the Blacks, they hounded Gays, they attack the anyone who doesn't agree with them. I want to see them judged by the compassionate Jesus Christ, who died so that they could force their perverse ways upon all of us.
--Not taking time to disput the "facts", I'll just say that it takes a special kind of person to complain about judging people just because they don't agree with you while they themselves are judging people who don't agree with them.

Ok, that's enough for now. Soooo tired.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:23 AM in Politics/Government

Thursday, April 10, 2003
A-10 PICS has some pretty cool pics of how many hits an A-10 can take and still make it home. (via Boortz)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 8:49 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

With Iraq out it seems we have an open slot in the Axis of Evil. Will Syria step up?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 8:37 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Wednesday, April 9, 2003

If you had $3.91 you could have had all of them. (via Boortz)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:41 PM in Miscellaneous

In images showed live across the Arab world, Iraqis danced in the streets, waving rifles, palm fronds and flags, and defaced posters of the longtime Iraqi president.

American troops moving through the Iraqi capital drew instant crowds. One unit was swarmed by cheering Iraqis, with women lifting their babies for the soldiers to kiss. Young men shouted, "Bush No. 1, Bush No. 1."

It should really get interesting when the rest of the Arab world sees that it's possible to be both free and Muslim. I can't help but think that if some other regimes don't change their ways they might be in trouble.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:26 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Tuesday, April 8, 2003
Nobel peace prize laureate Elie Wiesel said the war on Iraq is justified and blamed unnamed European countries for failing to prevent it through pressuring President Saddam Hussein.

"If some European countries put as much pressure on Saddam Hussein as on (US President George W.) Bush, there would have been no war," he told a press conference in Montreal.

"Saddam Hussein had to be disarmed (and) there were no other means," said the Nazi concentration camp survivor and author who was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1986 for his message "of peace, atonement and human dignity."
He added: "You can accuse me of being naive, but I think in all conscience that this war was necessary."

--Elie Wiesel (via Instapundit)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:27 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

"It's as if a bad Saturday Night Live skit is playing in Baghdad."

I happen to think it's a pretty darn good SNL skit.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:24 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Monday, April 7, 2003

As of last night, the airport is once again receiving flights but it remains a risky business to fly here. The first incoming flight, organised by the CIA, was welcomed with desultory bursts of anti-aircraft fire. Half-a-dozen Iraqi artillery shells have hit over the past 24 hours.

But things are changing and, as the days pass, minds are changing too.

A captured Iraqi colonel being held in one of the hangars listened in astonishment as his information minister praised Republican Guard soldiers for recapturing the airport.

He looked at his captors and, as he realised that what he had heard was palpably untrue, his eye filled with tears. Turning to a translator, he asked: "How long have they been lying like this?"

--ThisisLondon (via Realpolitik)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:37 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
U.S. forces near Baghdad found a weapons cache of around 20 medium-range missiles equipped with potent chemical weapons, the U.S. news station National Public Radio reported on Monday.

NPR, which attributed the report to a top official with the 1st Marine Division, said the rockets, BM-21 missiles, were equipped with sarin and mustard gas and were "ready to fire." It quoted the source as saying new U.S. intelligence data showed the chemicals were "not just trace elements."

--Washington Post

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:46 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Sunday, April 6, 2003

Today was my first trip to a flea market. Gotta say, the scene from Mallrats turned out to be a fairly accurate representation.

Somehow just the act of being in a flea market makes things seem less expensive. Do you really need metal pop signs? No, but they're 2 for $13. Do you need a laser pointer? No, but it's just $4 (24 more lenses for $2 more). A pair of the world's smallest dice? Just 50 cents.

It is however rather depressing to see all the old toys I used to have priced at like $50 now. The Optimus Prime Transformer I used to have before my dad stepped on it and broke it? Labeled at $45. *sigh*

Posted by Rob Bernard at 8:44 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, April 3, 2003
Martin Savidge of CNN, embedded with the 1st Marine battalion, was talking with 4 young Marines near his foxhole this morning live on CNN. He had been telling the story of how well the Marines had been looking out for and taking care of him since the war started. He went on to tell about the many hardships the Marines had endured since the war began and how they all look after one another.

He turned to the four and said he had cleared it with their commanders and they could use his video phone to call home.

The 19 year old Marine next to him asked Martin if he would allow his platoon sergeant to use his call to call his pregnant wife back home whom he had not been able to talk to in three months. A stunned Savidge who was visibly moved by the request shook his head and the young Marine ran off to get the sergeant.

Savidge recovered after a few seconds and turned back to the three young Marines still sitting with him and asked which one of them would like to call home first, the Marine closest to him responded with out a moments hesitation "Sir, if is all the same to you we would like to call the parents of a buddy of ours, Lance Cpl Brian Buesing of Cedar Key, Florida who was killed on 3-23-03 near Nasiriya to see how they are doing."

At that Martin Savidge totally broke down and was unable to speak. All he could get out before signing off was "Where do they get young men like this?"

--BOTW/L.T. Smash

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:38 AM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Quite heroic for a supply clerk.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:26 AM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

"I object to war because I believe that it is impossible to achieve peace through violence."

What the hell did this guy expect? They're the freakin' Marines!

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:21 AM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Wednesday, April 2, 2003

I've done some movie watching the past couple days and it occurs to me that the best way to avoid being stuck in a horror movie situation is probably good car maintenance.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:45 PM in Movies

A good story from Newsday about an Iraqi soldier surrendering:

The soldier covered his face and wept.
It was a deep, sudden sobbing he couldn't control. His shoulders heaved. Tears wet the frayed cuffs of his green Iraqi army sweater.
He cried because he was alive. He cried because his family may think he's dead. He cried for his country. He cried because -- for him -- the war was over.
"I'm so sorry. Excuse me. I just can't stop," wept the soldier who fled Saddam Hussein's army and was taken Monday into the hands of U.S.-allied Iraqi Kurdish fighters. "Could this terrible time be over soon? Please, tell me."
"I can say now what I always felt: Saddam led to this war," Ali said. "We don't want to fight America. We don't want to fight for Saddam. We just want an end to all this."
Ali agreed. No one dares to speak out against Saddam while Baath party forces still have footholds, he said.
"The people know that any uprising against Saddam now would mean terrible things to them and their family. They force them to chant `Down with America,' but not everyone means it. Saddam's people are afraid for the future."
That's when he started to cry. Moments later came the thud of a U.S. bomb hitting the ridge just across the river. (via The Greatest Jeneration)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:28 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

A despicable desecration of cemetary in Etaples, France where the men who lost their lives in WWI and WWII are buried. Roughly translated it reads "Dig up your dead, it's polluting our soil" and "Saddam will win and make your blood run" and "Death to Yankees."

Thanks to The Greatest Jeneration for the pic.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:20 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Tuesday, April 1, 2003

Attended the first ever Opening Day at Great American Ball Park yesterday. Very few bad things to say about it. The first base concourse was impossibly crowded, but that will be fixed when the rest of the complex is completed, and the scoreboard was awfully hard to see from the 1st base side starting at about 6. I'm also not a huge fan of the new Mr. Reds race, guess I kinda preferred the old low-tech way, and it's kinda hard to find the Big Red Smokeys. Other than that I really have nothing bad to say about the stadium. It's pretty much better than Cinergy Field in every area I can think of. Took something like 100 pictures. May have some of them up later.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:20 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati

Good news.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:18 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:53 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East


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