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Sunday, November 30, 2003

The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler fisks Senator Clinton's Bush bashing from Iraq.

"We Have Bred Monsters"
On November 30, 2003, Dr. Muhammad Talal Al-Rasheed, columnist for the English language daily The Saudi Gazette, wrote an article titled "Senseless Violence, Senseless Death." The article is in reaction to the murder of Saudi Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Rasheed of Hail by 'Islamists' in Algeria.
"We have bred monsters. We alone are responsible for it. I have written as much before my personal tragedy and will continue to do so for as long as it takes. We are the problem and not America or the penguins of the North Pole or those who live in caves in Afghanistan. We are it, and those who cannot see this are the ones to blame.

"Castrated as we are, we look to America. Why? Because they went into Iraq and made a difference. Better or worse is another point. Once America has demonstrated its willingness to do something, the moral imperative is that it should not stop at the first station along the road. The majority of us are sick and tired of this carnage and President Bush, wrong on just about everything else, is right on this one. Does he have the (courage) to finish the job? I wonder. "


Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:20 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
Damn Bengals!

Getting my hopes up. Next week's showdown for 1st place in the AFC North will be the biggest game the Bengals have played in over a decade.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:15 PM in Cincinnati
An interesting idea

I wouldn't rule out it being a bad idea, but I certainly find it interesting nonetheless.

Worried that left-wing professors are using college classrooms to bully those who don't toe the liberal line, a Colorado politician says it might be time to pass a law protecting students who hold more conservative or religious views. ... Students have complained of being forced to attend abortion-rights rallies, of being required to write essays critical of the Bush administration and of having a strident anti-religion agenda pushed on them.

Some who protested have said they received poor grades or were asked to leave the class.

--Santa Fe New Mexican

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:05 PM in Politics/Government
Something to warm the heart

Protestors took Jesse Jackson to task at a Rainbow Push rally in Chicago.

[S]ome of the speakers were quickly drowned out by boos, bullhorns, and verbal jabs from a group called VOTE, ex-offenders, community activists, church leaders, and Muslims, tired of what they call the rhetoric in the African-American community.

"We are tired of coming here to voice our opinion when we got African-American people sitting at the table and saying they represent our interests and playing this puppet game," said one protester.
"What has he sacrificed for his beliefs? Us. We've been sacrificed. On the altar of his political ambition our people have been destroyed" Protesters turn on Jesse Jackson during rally

"This all happened under your watch, Jesse!" screamed one young man. "We can't find jobs and you have done nothing! Go find a TV camera to talk into, Jesse!"

--Chicago Tribune

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:28 PM in Politics/Government

Friday, November 28, 2003
Reading the editorial page

Reading the editorials in the Dayton Daily News and i've come across a couple things.

1. Once again someone is telling us that the partial-birth abortion law has no exceptions for the mother. This is just untrue.

2. In an editorial lambasting the Bush adminstration for not having a clue as to what to expect in Iraq they say this:

"Last week, the Bush campaign--tired of being lambasted there by the mob of Democratic candidates--started running its own television commercials. Those ads said that the Democrats were criticizing the president for taking on the terrorists." -- DDN

The problem is that the Bush campaign didn't run this ad. It was a Republican National Committee ad. As is said at the end of the ad:

"The Republican National Committee paid for and is responsible for the content of this advertising. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee." -- Herald Sun

The editorial pages are free to express whatever opinions they like, but it would be nice if they could at least get the facts straight.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 8:41 PM in Politics/Government
Stupid criminal news

Teen given probation for setting a building on fire... "consumed marijuana" which is against the rules of his probation... has to go in for a drug test... fears he'll fail... uses an adult relative's urine's discovered that he faked the drug test and he has to retake it... new test is positive for marijuana...

Now, how did they find out he faked the first test? (This isn't in the linked article but was in the Columbus Dispatch)

The urine from his relative tested positive for cocaine.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:28 AM in Miscellaneous
Ahhh, the Democratic Underground, always good for some whacko comments

I imagine you have some idea how I feel on the issue of President Bush's surprise Iraq visit. It's really rather amazing that the President of the United States can show up 11 time zones and 7329 miles from where everybody thinks he is.

But what is the Democratic Underground's reaction to the President’s Thanksgiving Sneakapalooza? (I think it’s safe for you to assume they took it less cheerfully than the troops in the room with the President.)

Bush is going to spend Thanksgiving in Texas and call the troops in Iraq?
Bush is a coward.
Why isn't Cheney at least visiting troops in Iraq?
No soldier would want to talk to him.
A real president would go to Iraq like Clinton went to Kosovo.

Bush shows up in Iraq and spends 2 1/2 hours with the troops?

Still a coward. No compassion for troops who support him.
If Hillary hadn't been over there he'd be lounging at home.
A waste of time for US forces and the provisional government.
Just a photo-op, he's a disgrace.
"A pathetic hanger-on because Hillary is over there".
A waste of money.
Unbelievable that a sitting president is allowed in a war zone.
"2 hour coward".
Proves he's expendable.
He's a coward and he shamed the US.
And the coupe de gracie...

Now just to be fair the vast majority of Dems don't agree (i.e. Kirk), and there are even DUers who don't. But I think it's a useful reminder of just how much some people detest the President.

The most amazing thing about the trip was how they were able to keep it secret. With the recent security problems I'm guessing that memos were kept to a minimum.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:55 AM in Politics/Government

Thursday, November 27, 2003
Orson Scott Card takes on lying...

...and Michael Moore... and Al Franken... and the 2000 Florida fracas... and the Dems arguments against President Bush in general.

Dang, I wish I could just copy and paste the whole thing. Stupid copyright laws... so before I get started with the quoting I'll just get a preemptive "go read the whole thing right now" link in.

The Democratic Party, which made an obvious attempt to steal the 2000 presidential election by manipulating the vote count in selected solidly-Democratic voting districts, has spent the last three years accusing the Republicans of trying to steal the election in Florida -- even though there has been no serious accusation of a deliberate attempt by Republicans to manipulate the outcome.

Likewise, it was the leftist, activist Florida state supreme court that attempted, by overturning settled law and making up new election rules after the fact, to massage the recount until the desired outcome was achieved. This activist court was prevented from throwing a presidential election through blatant disregard for law only by the intervention of the U.S. Supreme Court, which blocked the Florida Court's manipulative actions. But those who almost got away with using the courts to steal a presidential election are incessant in their charge that it was the U.S. Supreme Court that stole the election.

This is like the burglar accusing the homeowner of theft for having snatched the sack into which the burglar had stuffed the homeowner's valuables.

But this pattern of accusing others of one's own crimes or attempted crimes is perfectly understandable.

After all, we never really know other people's motives.

So when someone else does something we think is bad, it is natural for us to assume that they act out of motives just like our own.

So when someone like Michael Moore accuses his opponents of lying about or manipulating or misrepresenting the facts, he probably believes that they're being dishonest, because he can only assume that they are acting no differently from himself.

--War Watch by Orson Scott Card

And now the postemptive (it's my blog and I'll use whatever made-up words I like) "go read the whole thing right now" link. Seriously, there's a lot of good stuff there and the above quote doesn't do it justice, really.

Oh, and did I mention that you should go and read the whole thing right now? I did? Sorry, go about your business then.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:02 AM in Politics/Government
Happy Turkey Day!

Or Ham Day, or Tofurky Day, or Turducken Day, or whatever it is that your eat.

Mmmmm, aluminum can shaped cranberry sauce...

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:34 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, November 26, 2003
Bush appointee to Commission on International Religious Freedom blasts Bush
Unfortunately, because of shortsightedness and ignorance, the Islamic organizations helped Bush reach the White House. I met with many leaders of these organizations and I told them that I have known Bush well since he was governor of Texas, where I live, and I am familiar with his bad policy, which does not bode well.


That's all well and good, I don't really give a damn whether he supports or even likes President Bush. The problem is that an appointee to the Commission on International Religious Freedom is making statements like this...

In the field, Bush permitted missionaries into Iraq before medicines. He is the first president in the history of America whose policy includes supporting Christian missionaries and applying pressure through them on some countries. He links them with continued American aid to some countries.


It seems to me that someone on the Commission on International Religious Freedom should at the very least actually support religious freedom. Bush isn't requiring that people actually convert to Christianity, simply that there be religious freedom enough that these missionaries can do their work. Shouldn't an appointee to the Commission on International Religious Freedom support religious freedom everywhere, even in Muslim countries? Religious freedom isn't a one-way street; it doesn't simply mean that Muslims can practice their faith in Christian dominated countries, there needs to be rights for people of every religion in every country.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:43 PM in Politics/Government

Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Stupid criminal
Police said Tuesday they are investigating a woman's allegations that she was raped in the oceanfront home where MTV is filming the latest season of its "Real World" reality program.

The 22-year-old woman, who is not a cast member of the television show, said she believes she was assaulted while unconscious by a man who is also not a "Real World" cast or crew member.

Now, working on the assumption (which of course may not be correct) that it actually happenid... tell me, if you were thinking of committing a crime of any kind, wouldn't you want to do it in a place that DIDN'T have dozens of cameras watching people's every move?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:57 PM in Miscellaneous
Good news - Bad news

The good news: People want to come here at record levels. 1.4 million per year.

The bad news: 1/2 a million of those are illegal.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:03 PM in Miscellaneous
At least as a state we're consistent

Cincinnati, Youngstown, and Cleveland the 17th, 18th, and 19th most dangerous cities respectively, with Dayton 7th and Columbus 6th in the 500k+ category.

Go Ohio!

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:29 PM in Cincinnati , Dayton
A pretty good summation of the debates
Dean: Something somewhat sensible and aimed at labor and minorities.

Gephardt and Kerry (in unison): Dean is wrong and cut funding for babies and puppies in Vermont

Edwards: Can't we all just get along?

Kucinich: Some wacky lefto spiel (go Kucinich!)

Liebermann: Why am I still here?

Sharpton: Clever rhetoric

Clark: I am for Iraq! I am against Iraq!

Braun: The man doesn't want me to win! (of course not, bribes are bad).

--Left of the Middle: Why do they bother with debates anymore?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:23 PM in Politics/Government

I've heard it argued today that the great economic numbers for Q3 are simply fueled by rebates and that since the rebates won't be there next quarter the economy will simply "drop like a rock".

The rebates may have been at least largely responsible for the growth in Q3, but what is going to carry forward into Q4 and beyond are things like the 18.4% growth in equipment and software investments (a sign that businesses are spending, and thus eventually hiring) and the increase in consumer confidence. The real point of the rebates was to get people and businesses spending again, and everything seems to indicate that it has.

What I find really interesting is that the argument that Q3 was based solely on rebates is being made by the same type of person that was arguing against tax cuts because they simply wouldn't help the economy since people would simply pay off debt or save their rebates.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:49 PM in Politics/Government
PC run amok
Equipment vendors who do business with Los Angeles County received a message in November 2003 from the county's Internal Services Department (ISD) informing them that "based on the cultural diversity and sensitivity of Los Angeles County," labeling or describing equipment with the term 'master/slave' is no longer acceptable.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:29 PM in Miscellaneous

Economy's up... Republicans give seniors prescription drugs... the only way I can think of for today to get worse for the Democrat candidates is if today they decided to internationalize the forces in Iraq.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:59 PM in Politics/Government

Monday, November 24, 2003
Everyone's linking to the Ann Coulter doll and whatnot...

Nobody seems to have mentioned that there's a George Bush Naval Aviator "action figure".

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:10 PM in Politics/Government

Sunday, November 23, 2003
Allow me to direct your attention to...

...this article. I've been playing since '98 and it really has been fun.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:49 PM in Movies

Saturday, November 22, 2003
Comments on the London protests from another Iraqi
I was ashamed and depressed watching those brainwashed and deluded demonstrators in London carrying signs calling for abandoning Iraq and for an end to aggression. While I can understand people who hold peaceful principles against wars in general but nevertheless wish to see Iraq free and prosperous, I fail to understand the logic behind the thinking that appeasing and understanding terrorists will make this world a better place. It was all the same 'No blood for oil', 'Not in my name', 'Bush is Hitler', 'Stop the war', 'End the occupation', 'Bring the troops home' nonsense over and over again. It was almost like one of our masira's in the dark times of the previous regime. If those people truly dislike Bush they should have kept their mouths shout about other issues which they can never understand and sticked to anti-Bush slogans... I'm sure Saddam is proud of you and clapping his hands in glee watching from whatever gutter he is hiding in right now. The fact that Al-Arabiyah station decicated two whole hours covering these demonstration while not a single subtitle about the anti-terrorism crowds marching in Iraq only disgusted me the more.

--Healing Iraq

He also has news of "large nationwide demonstrations condemning terrorism in Iraq on December 10th."

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:44 PM in Politics/Government
Afghan poll
Some 83 percent of the Afghans surveyed said they feel safer than they did three years ago, when the hard-line Taliban regime was in power. More than three-quarters of those questioned said Afghanistan (news - web sites) will be safer still in another year.

--Yahoo! News

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:37 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
Filibustering Medicare

Senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry say they'll filibuster the Medicare prescription drug bill. Filibustering judicial nominees may or may not help the Republicans pick up seats in the Senate, but I can only imagine the political damage done by a successful filibuster of a prescription drug bill supported by the AARP.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:29 PM in Politics/Government

Friday, November 21, 2003
Lileks and Salam Pax

Lileks isn't at all pleased by a letter from blogger Salam Pax printed in the Guardian.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:31 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
"Waking up to the Age of Terror"
Many Europeans have been astonishingly slow to understand the impact of what happened on September 11. Yesterday's atrocities are yet another reminder that the West and its allies, and moderate Muslims throughout the world, are up against a foe, who, blasphemously, given that God is the creator of life, glorify their deaths and the innocent people they kill as a passport to Paradise. They represent a radically new and ever-present danger. And the sooner we wake up to it, the better.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:54 AM in Politics/Government
*sigh* What is France coming to?
The Chief Rabbi of France, Rabbi Joseph Sitruk, called on that country's Jewish community to wear baseball caps instead of skullcaps while not in their homes, in order "to prevent being attacked in the street."


Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:41 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, November 20, 2003
A terrible tragedy in Turkey...

And not only is it Bush's fault, but apparently the more wacko of the lefties think America's the one doing the bombing to get back at Turkey and the terrorists are only "mythical".

George Bush: Turning European wisdom on it's head
A summary of that wisdom would go like this: (a) terrorism cannot be defeated in the long run, its perpetrators sooner or later have to be treated with, and their legitimate demands met in some form or other; (b) the Muslim world, and specifically the Arab portion of it, is culturally unsuited to freedom and democracy; (c) the Arab-Israeli dispute lies at the heart of the ills of the Middle East; (d) Israel is principally at fault in that conflict and must be pressured into making most concessions; (e) it is the EU that has played the lead role in bringing about the peace and prosperity of the Continent since 1945; (f) wongdoers on the international scene should be treated with via multilateral forums such as the UN and associated bodies such as the International Atomic Energy Agency; (g) endless discussion in such bodies is therapeutic in and of itself, and is invariably preferable to the use of force.

President Bush wants to turn all that on its head. He believes that terrorism and rogue states can be vanquished on the West's terms: unlike the exhausted European empires of the post-war era, which lost almost every insurgency that they fought, America is fighting this battle at the height of its powers. Above all, it is doing so convinced of the rightness of its cause, namely the spread of liberty from which no one should be excluded.

He believes that the misery of many millions in the vast Muslim world cannot mainly be ascribed to the wrongdoings of Israel, but rather to the rottenness of their own rulers. That includes the Palestinian people, whom EU politicians have ill-served by indulging Yasser Arafat's corruption. And, in a fascinating mea culpa for years of Western policy to the region, he made clear that it was no longer enough to turn a blind eye to the depredations of tyrannical ``allies'' for the sake of stability. Such an approach turned out not only to be morally wrong, but also failed to bring geopolitical equilibrium, as evidenced by September 11.

--Telegraph (Registration required)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:20 PM in Politics/Government
Guess I should tackle the Massachusetts gay marriage ruling

Where to start, where to start…

I guess to start off I guess I need to include the obligatory link to a story on the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision ruling a ban on gay marriage in Massachusetts unconstitutional. (According to the Massachusetts constitution anyway.)

Secondly I have to admit that I’d be very hard-pressed to spell Massachusetts without a spell-checker. You’d think there’d be some popular mnemonic (just to be clear, a word which I can spell easily) device or song for Massachusetts like there is with Mississippi. Maybe you need a river too in order to get a mnemonic device.

Anyway, back to the gay thing… let’s start off with some background.

I’m a Christian, a member of one of the more liberal protestant denominations: the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). (And this quiz agrees with my affiliation) Not every Disciple thinks the same way on the issue, but as a church the Disciples have managed to be fairly open on the issue of homosexuality. The Disciples of Christ have encouraged enactment of "legislation on local, state and national levels which will end the denial of civil rights and the violation of civil liberties for reasons of sexual orientation."

The way I figure, the big reason for the stigma against homosexuality in ancient times was the need for procreation. In an age when people died young and you needed more people than you had to keep your small, isolated community functioning you couldn’t afford to have a bunch of non-reproductive people around, they were a drain on the community’s resources. In this day and age with the world’s population as high as it is a person’s contribution to society has more to do with the work they do than how many additional people they can produce. I guess this paragraph is really just my way of explaining why the morality of homosexuality can evolve over time and how just because certain opinions were held in the past doesn’t automatically make them proper now.

Some argue that the Bible clearly speaks against homosexuality however I can’t reconcile discrimination against gays with the commandment to love your neighbor. My personal views put more emphasis on “Love your neighbor as yourself” than “you shall not lie with a male as with a woman”.

There is pain among gay and lesbian people, pain among those who feel that further discussion may compromise their faith, pain among congregations divided over the issue of homosexuality.

--Curt Miller, Executive Director of the Disciples office of Communication Ministries

I think blocking homosexuals from legally committing themselves to one another causes more pain and trouble than it cures. Even if you think homosexuality isn’t genetic but rather a choice then saying that homosexuals can’t marry isn’t going to cause them to not be gay. Denying them the legal rights granted to married couples doesn’t mean they won’t still be gay, it doesn’t mean that they won’t still live together. All it really does is mean that they don’t get the same legal benefits as married couples: employer benefits, inheritance, etc… I see their desire to commit themselves to one partner refreshing in a world where people are more and more promiscuous and fewer and fewer heterosexual couples give marriage its proper respect.

The current debate doesn’t even require that the unions be recognized by churches. (Though I think that’s something churches need to give serious thought to; can they really do God’s work while excluding gays?) All that’s required from the government is equal rights under the law for all committed couples, whether you want to call that marriage, civil union, or some made-up Seussian word like “flurschnozzle.” In a country based on religious freedom I’m not sure how you can refuse 2 people the legal ability to commit themselves to each other.

So to sum it up, I guess you can count me among the 53% of those aged 18-29 who support gay marriage, though I do personally prefer the “civil union” terminology.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:53 PM in Politics/Government , Religion

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
David Frum on why the London protests are "deeply shameful"
The war on terror has glaringly exposed the moral contradictions of contemporary political radicalism: a politics that champions the rights of women and minorities, but only when those rights are threatened by white Europeans; a politics that celebrates creative non-violence at home but condones deadly extremism abroad; and, perhaps above all, a politics that traces its origins to the Enlightenment - and today raises its voice to protect militantly unenlightened terrorists from the justice dispensed by their victims. ... [T]he context of this week's events is that many thousands of British people intend to converge on central London to protest against the overthrow of one of the most cruel and murderous dictators of the 20th century - and to wave placards calling the American president who ordered the dictator's overthrow "the world's number one terrorist".

It's a deeply shameful context, and though I would not quite endorse the verdict of the taxi driver with the poppy stuck in his dashboard who dropped me off at the demos ("Not many of them traitors out tonight, I see"), he at least saw something that they, with all their apparently abundant education could not: that the two leaders they most scorn are the latest in the long line of Anglo-American statesmen whose willingness to use force to defeat evil secured them their right to make bloody fools of themselves in Lincoln's Inn Fields and through the streets of London to Grosvenor Square.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:49 PM in Politics/Government
Understatement of the day

Jacko's Career May Be in Trouble.

May? MAY BE IN TROUBLE?! He hasn't had a true bona fide hit record since at least 1995, and there's a good case to be made for 1991.

Isn't this kind of like saying that John Rocker's baseball career may be in trouble?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:30 PM in Miscellaneous
Opposition to Medicare prescription coverage

Boortz sums up the Democrats' opposition to the new Medicare prescription drug bill quite concisely.

Democrats are looking for a way to demonize this bill for two basic reasons:

1. The bill is the creation of a Republican House and a Republican Senate, and it will be signed by a Republican President. Democrats know that Republicans will be telling the wrinkled class: "Hey, the Democrats never did this for you! But we did!"

2. The bill allows private companies to step in and compete with Medicare in six cities ... but not until 2010! Democrats have relied on "Mediscare" tactics for years to frighten seniors into voting against Republicans. If these seniors find out that private sector options might be preferable to a government-run system Democrats will have lost much of their control over the votes of this segment of society ... a segment that votes hard.

So, how are Democrats going to kill the bill? They'll lie about it! They'll say, for instance, that corporations will kick seniors off their retiree insurance programs. Sorry, that's not so! There are federal (taxpayer) subsidies in the bill to corporations to keep them from doing just that!

--Nealz Nuze

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:13 PM in Politics/Government
This is good
Because of an editing error, a story on the front page yesterday misattributed a quote from the speaker on an audiotape purportedly of Saddam Hussein as coming from Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota. It was the speaker on the tape, not Daschle, who said, "The evil ones now find themselves in crisis, and this is God's will for them." The only solution for Iraq was for "the zealous Iraqi sons, who ran its affairs and brought it out of backwardness . . . to return . . . to run its affairs anew," the speaker on the tape said, referring to the Baath leadership.

--The Plain Dealer

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:27 PM in Miscellaneous
On fatwas
Sheikh Ali al-Khudair said he has withdrawn his support for Islamic militants suspected of having links with al-Qaeda. ... Sheikh Ali al-Khudair was arrested earlier this year for supporting Islamic extremists.

In a string of fatwas - or religious edicts - he had given legitimacy to their violent struggle against the Saudi state.

But in a TV interview on Monday, the sheikh withdrew the fatwas and urged militants who are still on the run to give themselves up.


Withdrawing the fatwas against the good guys is all well and good, but it would be nice if a cleric or two would throw a fatwa out against the Islamic extremists now and then.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:24 PM in Politics/Government
Carnival of the Vanities

This week's Carnival of the Vanities is up over at Peaktalk.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:58 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, November 18, 2003
John Leo on the medias move away from the left

He talks about the rise of Fox News, talk radio, young and funny conservative commentators, and the blogosphere which he says "tilts strongly to the right".

It was obvious that the democratization of the media would bring new voices into the field, but who knew that so many of those voices would be conservative, libertarian, or just cantankerously opposed to entrenched liberal doctrine? The conservative side is far from winning the culture wars, but the debate is broader and fairer now. The near monopoly is over.

--U.S. News: John Leo on a surprising jog to the right(11/24/03)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 8:26 PM in Politics/Government
Gay marriage poll

I'll probably be commenting on the Massachusetts gay marriage decision a little later, but until then Salon has the results ofan interesting poll from the Pew Research Center showing that young people (20-30) are evenly split on the idea of gay marriage while the older population (60+) were opposed to it at a 4-1 clip.
(via Instapundit)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 8:19 PM in Politics/Government
Reviewing my referrer logs...

...I get the feeling that there are a lot of people looking for the Paris Hilton tape who are coming away disappointed.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:38 AM in Miscellaneous
His third post ever and it's all over the blogosphere

Omar of Iraq The Model offers up a condemnation of the West's unwillingness to deal with Saddam.

I don’t know really know why Saddam’s regime lasted for over three decades, but I am sure as an Iraqi who survived that period that there’re no legal or moral justifications
for it to remain.
I was counting days and hours waiting to see an end to that regime, just like all those who suffered the cruelty of that brutal regime.
It’s been really a disgrace chasing the world ,the world of the 21st. century, reminding it how incapable it was to aid the oppressed and to sue those who dispised all the
values of humanity.
Through out these decades I lost trust in the world governments and international committees.
Terms like (human rights, democracy and liberty..etc.)became hallow and meaningless and those who keep repeating these words are liars..liars..liars.
I hated the U.N and the security council and Russia and France and Germany and the arab nations and the islamic conference.
I’ve hated George Gallawy and all those marched in the millionic demonstrations against the war .It is I who was oppressed and I don’t want any one to talk on behalf of me,
I, who was eager to see rockets falling on Saddam’s nest to set me free, and it is I who desired to die gentlemen, because it’s more merciful than humiliation as it puts an end
to my suffer, while humiliation lives with me reminding me every moment that I couldn’t defend myself against those who ill-treated me.
We were not even human, Saddam wiped off our humanity , we were just numbers and a lot of Identity cards that we had to show wherever we went.
The Baath idea was this:
Believe me , we were living in the” kingdom of horror”.
Please tell me how could the world that claims to be civilized let Saddam launch chemical weapons on his own un-armed people?
Can anyone tell me why the world let Saddam remain and stood against America’s will to topple him?

Iraq The Model

Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:28 AM in Politics/Government
A salute to the media

From the soldier in the middle.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 8:37 AM in Media

Monday, November 17, 2003
"Why I say welcome"

The British are all riled up over President Bush's visit this week. David Aaronovitch of The Observer explains why they should welcome him.

There is, I think, a widely shared fantasy which you might call the No-America Dream. In this happy place we have somehow done away with the economic and military superpower. We watch sophisticated French films or Ealing studio reruns, our thin citizens dine out on organic Brie, there is no Israel to over-excite the populations of the Middle East, and everyone signs up to stop climate change. If only the Yanks would go home. If only we could stop Bush.
But our enemy is not America. It isn't America that gives the most effective support to Sharonic intransigence - it's Israeli insecurity that does that. It isn't America that sends ambulances to blow up aid workers or Istanbul synagogues. It is America, above all, that is bearing the cost of helping to create a new Iraq - a new Iraq which, despite the violence, is being born in towns such as Hilla and cities such as Basra. And yet some of our writers and protesters - betraying their own professed ideals - identify with bombers and not teachers, administrators and policemen who are building the country.

Where is the red paint to protest against the blasts at Najaf, of the UN in Baghdad, of the Red Cross, of the synagogues, of the Bali night-club, of the Arab-Jewish restaurant in Haifa? Where are the 'No Suicide Bombings' posters in the Muswell Hill windows? Or do you really believe we can save ourselves by constructing a huge wall around these islands, or around America, and painting it with smileys? That maybe then the ills of the world will leave us alone?

Nonsense. So, Mr Bush, not for yourself necessarily, but in your capacity as head of state of a liberal democracy, and as representative of a people that we admire, and whose help we have needed in the past and may need again, I say welcome.

--The Observer

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:44 AM in Politics/Government
International control in Iraq

So now it looks like US troops might end up under international control in Iraq. Assuming it's true and actually happens, and assuming things don't go horribly astray... International help in Iraq, end of occupation by next June, economy going strong... how exactly would the Dems run against that next year?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:43 AM in Politics/Government
Just a tad more on the Select Intelligence Committee memo
Partisan animosity that has brought operations of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to a standstill reached new depths on the early evening of Nov. 5. The committee's Democratic vice chairman, Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, went on Lou Dobbs's CNN program to say flatly he had not ordered the staff memorandum outlining a confrontational election-year strategy on Iraq.

The Republican chairman, Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, was startled. He informed his staff that Rockefeller had told him that he personally ordered aides to give him "options" -- an order that produced the now infamous memo. To the plainspoken ex-Marine from Dodge City, trust had been breached. His committee will remain dormant, conducting no hearings, until some Democrat on the committee -- preferably Rockefeller -- disavows the memo's contents. That is not about to happen.

--Robert Novak: Ruining the Intelligence Committee

The part I found noteworthy was that Roberts is taking this seriously and that the committee "will remain dormant" until a Dem does the right thing.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:43 AM in Politics/Government
Youth and politics

Jonah Goldberg takes on the recent CNN Rock The Vote debate, youth in politics, and the stereotypical perceptions of youth.

But where CNN really messed up was in buying into this youth politics junk in the first place. The premise of groups like Rock the Vote is that young people are somehow united politically as an identity-politics group, that being young is like being black or poor or gay.

First of all, this all nonsense. Young people are not members of the Coalition of the Oppressed, and, save for a few specific issues like Social Security reform, there's no issue that remotely speaks to the interests of all young people everywhere.
What's funny is that those who fetishize youth in politics consistently complain that young people are stereotyped and not taken seriously, even as they appeal to young people by stereotyping them.

The CNN debate was festooned with tiresome buzz phrases and stereotypes. Several candidates provided rap videos to introduce themselves, and Anderson Cooper even used the phrase "keep it real" within the first five minutes of the show.

That's bad enough. But this time the producers went even further. In a debate designed to "reach out" to the youth, they persuaded a young woman to act like the cliché rather than to keep it real.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:37 AM in Politics/Government
Oooh, the Bengals win, the Bengals win! *yawn*

I'm sorry, but I've been hurt by the Bengals far too many times. Get back to me when they're in the playoffs. 13 years since their last winning season... it's going to take a lot more than a 5-5 record to get me excited.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:24 AM in Cincinnati

Sunday, November 16, 2003
Defense Department memo links Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein

To sum it all up:

OSAMA BIN LADEN and Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003 that involved training in explosives and weapons of mass destruction, logistical support for terrorist attacks, al Qaeda training camps and safe haven in Iraq, and Iraqi financial support for al Qaeda--perhaps even for Mohamed Atta--according to a top secret U.S. government memorandum obtained by THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

The memo, dated October 27, 2003, was sent from Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith to Senators Pat Roberts and Jay Rockefeller, the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

--Case Closed - The Weekly Standard

Now there's no way to know if this is connected to the recent Intelligence Committee memo - there are several offices this leak could have come from - but it's notable that this is the second memo leaked in the past 2 weeks that's connected to Senator Jay Rockefeller's office.

Now what does this mean? Well for starters it either means that Iraq really was connected to Al Qaeda or our intelligence services are just plain horrible. Can you imagine how improbable it would be that 50 pieces of information could be strung together to support an Iraq-Al Qaeda link if it weren't true?

Hopefully this will put to rest the ideas that a) Operation Iraqi Freedom isn't part of the war on terror and b) that Iraq was free of terrorists until we invaded. Will it? Probably not, but I can always hope.

Government officials should also consider this: if you want to keep something secret DON'T PUT IT IN A MEMO! This memo, the Intelligence Committee memo, the Rumsfeld memo... When transferring really secret stuff let’s consider using terms such as “brief”, “note”, “message”, “letter”, or “communiqué”. Because “memo” certainly doesn’t seem to be cutting it.

It does make you wonder about what the administration is thinking though. If they keep getting beat up on the issue of whether Iraq and Al-Qaeda were connected why wouldn't they release to the public at least some of this info? There are secrecy and source issues, but you'd think they could have put out some kind of briefing at some point.

This post is probably best concluded in the same way as the Weekly Standard column.

[T]here can no longer be any serious argument about whether Saddam Hussein's Iraq worked with Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda to plot against Americans.

--Case Closed - The Weekly Standard

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:24 AM in Politics/Government

Saturday, November 15, 2003
The Paris Hilton sex tape

Watching O'Reilly and they're going on about how she's going to be labeled a bimbo for the rest of her life and she could have ruined her life with this and how it's going to take so much time for her to come back from this...

What are they talking about? She's famous for being rich, being hot, and partying... With that kind of resume does having a sex tape released really do that much harm? She flaunted her body and played it up for the cameras beforehand and the tape just reinforces it. It's pretty much a lateral move.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:50 AM in Miscellaneous

Friday, November 14, 2003
Goldberg on federalism

Jonah Goldberg has a good Goldberg file up on federalism and how it relates to the EU, complete with Simpsons reference.

The problem in America is that we have a vast, multicultural nation in which certain people want to live one way and other people — who live thousands of miles away — want to live another way. But we have a central government that increasingly believes its way is the only way.
Real federalism may be a profoundly dull topic, but it also happens to be the greatest system conceived for maximizing the most happiness for the most people.

Pure democracy, for example, says that 51 percent of the people can pee in the cornflakes of 49 percent of the people. But under federalism, national minorities can still live like majorities in their own communities. Almost all left-right arguments get settled by pushing democracy to the lowest level possible. But no one is much interested in doing that.

--Goldberg File

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:00 PM in Politics/Government
Good stuff from Lileks
Show Michael Moore a man in jeans holding a rake and a man in a suit with a briefcase, and he will not only automatically side with the guy who has the rake, he will assume that the briefcase contains plans to move the rake factory to Mexico, as well as documents that prove the company knew that its rakes gave people painful splinters at a rate 150% above EU standards. That’s what Moore sees. ... Then Ted Rall wrote a column called “Why We Fight” in the voice of an Iraqi “resistance” fighter. I suppose it’s intended to help us understand the mindset of the enemy. Eh. The French have a saying: his head, it is filled with urine. Or they should have such a saying; I’m sure it would sound elegant and dismissive. These people aren’t the loyal opposition anymore; they’re just the opposition. They may say they love America, but they love some idealized nonexistent America that can never exist as long as there’s individuality and free will.

--LILEKS (James) The Bleat

Plenty more good stuff there.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:52 PM in Politics/Government
Write 'em a letter

Whatever your feelings on the judiciary debate, now would be a good time to contact your Senator.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:49 PM in Politics/Government

Thursday, November 13, 2003
Challenging the filibuster

Senators Lindsay Graham and Saxby Chambliss are filing a lawsuit against the Senate challenging the use of the filibuster.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:24 PM in Politics/Government
Marathon debate update

Senator Zell Miller's speech from last night can be read, seen, and heard here.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:14 PM in Politics/Government
Baseball to start testing for steroids

More than 5 percent of the players in the majors tested positive for steroids this year leading to automatic testing next year. It's about time. The players who play by the rules shouldn't be punished for not going the route of the Bonds's of the sport.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:10 PM in Baseball
Al-Qaida commander foreshadows attack during Ramadan resulting in 100,000 deaths
In regard to rumors about a large-scale attack against the U.S. during the month of Ramadan, Al-Hijazi said that "a huge and very courageous strike" will take place and that the number of infidels expected to be killed in this attack, according to primary estimates, exceeds 100,000. He added that he "anticipates, but will not swear, that the attack will happen during Ramadan." He further stated that the attack will be carried out in a way that will "amaze the world and turn Al-Qai'da into [an organization that] horrifies the world until the law of Allah is implemented, actually implemented, and not just in words, on His land... You wait and see that the balance of power between Al-Qai'da and its rivals will change, all of a sudden, Allah willing."


There's more there on the Riyadh bombing and who Al-Qaida is targetting.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:06 PM in Politics/Government
Maybe things don't even need to get better in Iraq to take the issue away from the Dems

The conventional wisdom says that if things don't get better in Iraq it'll be the big issue against Bush in next year's election. Maybe the administration just needs to be realistic.

I've found it difficult to write about Iraq for the last few days because, in a sense, there seems little to say. A good part of what I've written on the subject in recent months has been intended to challenge the attitude of denial that has characterized so many public pronouncements on the state of the war --- the sort of militant up-is-downism, for instance, which was on display when the president said the recent wave of attacks was a sign of how good things were going.

Now, though, that denial (or at least one aspect of it) seems to be evaporating rapidly. And there's little to push back against. The CIA report on the situation in Iraq, which got so much play on Wednesday after its existence was revealed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, was apparently even more bleak than the article suggested. And if you read the article, you know that's gotta mean it was pretty damn bleak.

--Talking Points Memo

Spam busting
OK .. Internet taxes are one thing, but would a continuation of my ban mean that we have to abandon my spam-buster idea? It's simple, just charge everyone five cents for every email message they send. That five cents doesn't go to government, and it doesn't go to Internet Service Providers. That five cents goes to the person to whom the email was sent. If you send me an email five cents is added to your account at your ISP and is credited to my account at my ISP. If it isn't worth five cents for you to be sending the message then maybe you shouldn't be sending it in the first place.

What's the purpose? Busting spam, that's what. That nickel isn't going to hurt you for the five or six email messages you send every day ... but it's going to break the bank for spammers. What about free newsletters? They would be exempted for all emails sent to those who requested them.


Now, why won't this work? First off not all e-mail is ISP based. There are plenty of free web-based e-mail services (i.e. Yahoo,, and hotmail) that would either be put out of business by this or forced to start charging.

Secondly, a U.S.-based 5-cent per e-mail charge would still leave the problem of foreign-based spammers. I doubt you’re going to be able to control the ISPs in China or the like.

Additionally the suggestion that you exempt free newsletters isn't very practical. How do you go about proving that everybody on those lists actually wants to be on them? There are millions of mailing lists in existence and I would imagine the effort to make sure that every one of them is a bona fide mailing list and not a spam list would be quite prohibitive.

I would suggest that the better solution is simply to change the e-mail system so that from-addresses can’t be faked. Once it’s impossible to fake the address that the e-mail is coming from it’s possible to create a “do-not-e-mail” list that you can actually enforce.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:57 PM in Technology/Internet
What if 99% were good enough?
Democrats are running around here wearing buttons that say, "98%" - meaning that 98% of President Bush's nominees have been approved by the U.S. Senate. Here are some interesting facts that would be true if 99% were good enough (sources: Insight, Syncrude Canada Ltd., Communications Division & Motorola Inc.): * 22,000 cheques will be deducted from the wrong bank accounts in the next 60 minutes. * 1,314 phone calls will be misplaced by telecommunication services each minute. * Twelve babies will be given to the wrong parents each day. * 2,488,200 cases of soft drinks produced in the next 12 months will be flatter than a bad tire. * Two plane landings in a single day at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago will be unsafe. * 18,322 pieces of mail will be mishandled in the next hour. * 880,000 credit cards in circulation will turn out to have incorrect cardholder information on their magnetic strips. * 107 incorrect medical procedures will be performed by the end of the day today. * At least 200,000 incorrect drug prescriptions will be filled each year * We'd have unsafe drinking water almost four days per year and no electricity, water, or heat for about 15 minutes each day.

--Justice For Judges

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:32 PM in Politics/Government
Antireligious bigotry

Democrat and Clinton ambassador to the Vatican Raymond Flynn isn't too pleased with how the Democrats are handling the judicial nominations.

"The process for placing qualified judges on the federal bench has descended into a quagmire that has gone beyond ideological differences," Mr. Flynn said in a memo yesterday to senators. "It has become focused on the nominees' personal values and beliefs, which has created a disturbing tone of antireligious and, in some cases, anti-Catholic bigotry," he said. "When senators use words to disqualify nominees (people whose qualifications for the federal bench are excellent) based on so-called 'strongly held beliefs' we all know what these code words mean. Antireligious code words are just as painful as racial code words. "For example, the refusal to permit a full and fair vote on the Senate floor for Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor, as well as other well-suited nominees, goes against everything we stand for as public servants. The only strike against Mr. Pryor seems to be that he is a man of devout religious faith. Intolerance of people of faith by certain members of the Senate is a stain on our nation," said Mr. Flynn, president of Your Catholic Voice, which he described as the nation's largest grass-roots Catholic organization.

--Inside Politics - The Washington Times: Inside Politics

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:24 PM in Politics/Government , Religion
The quagmire that was D-Day

Or not. It's a good read over at Right Wing News.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:34 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
Commentary on the TV season so far

Now that we're solidly into the new TV season (except for stupid Fox) I thought I'd write up my impressions of how the shows I pay any attention to have fared so far.


8 Simple Rules

I think they've dealt with John Ritter's death very well. I think they've managed to show the proper amount of respect and grief while maintaining the funny.


They probably could have stood to go more than 6 months between storyline resets but I think they've managed to make it work. I really don't think the show's suffered from it.

I'm With Her

In my opinion probably the best new comedy of the season. It makes me laugh and the effort to put the "situation" in "sitcom" doesn't seem like a stretch.

Karen Sisco

Some people would flog me for even suggesting that this isn't the greatest show ever but it just doesn't manage to grab my attention for 60 minutes a week. I want to like it but it's just missing a certain something.


Joan of Arcadia

I'll give Joan the best new drama nod. It's dramatic, it's funny (but not in that "dramady" way). It's well-written, good character development. Just all around a very good show.


Survivor's been very good this season. My interest had been waning the past few seasons, kept losing interest before they were halfway through the season. Rupert's great and he and the Drake tribe have kept the show very interesting.



I enjoyed the show, but the best part of it was that it got me watching the British version on BBC America.


Loved it the first season then drifted away with the gray-haired principil/love interest for Carol. Have gotten into it more this season and I’ve liked what they’ve done. I think they’ve realized that the show needs to be able to evolve.


Completely lost interest.


It’s been funny so far this season, but once this season’s over I do agree that it’s time for it to go.

Good Morning Miami

I had a higher opinion of this than most other’s last year but this year I’ve just dropped it. It was towards the bottom of my list of shows to watch last season and new shows this year have just pushed it off the list.

Happy Family

It’s an ok show. I watch it, but it’s not a great show, just good.

Las Vegas

Ooh, I already gave away my best new drama award, didn’t I... Ok, let’s just say it’s in the top 2 among new shows this season.

The Lyon's Den

I was willing to give it a shot, but it didn’t take me long to realize that it was essentially a Grisham novel. The senior lawyers try to corrupt the younger lawyers. Neverending fight between the evil of the older lawyers and the idealism of the younger ones. *yawn*


Consistently one of the funniest shows on television. NBC keeps looking for a replacement for Friends, they just don’t realize that they already have it.


They’ve gotten rid of most of the comedians that I thought were dragging the show down (do you hear me Kattan and Ferrel?) so I guess the only excuse for it still sucking has to be the writers.

The West Wing

It’s shown a bit of promise the past week or two, but the first few eps were pretty bad. Sorkin’s wit is sorely missed and possibly most offsetting is how different the show just looks. For the love of God, would somebody on set go out and buy some freakin’ light bulbs?!?!


It’s a decent comedy. It gets extra points for making an effort to not be PC while at the same time not really going for the shock value.



Best drama on TV the past two years, so far it’s definitely living up to its previous seasons.

Arrested Development

I like it, but it suffers from the same problem as Karen Sisco, it just doesn’t really grab me the way it should.

Joe Millionaire

Probably not quite as good as last season, but it’s a plus that the women seem a lot more money-grubbing. They’ve really thinned out the girls very quickly though. Here it is, only November and they’re already down to 3 girls. (An especially difficult feat considering this is Fox and Baseball rules the schedule well into October.)

A Minute with Stan Hooper

It’s a funny show. The verdict’s not entirely in on it yet. It is funny but the situation does seem a tad forced. We’ll just have to wait and see.

The Simpsons

Favorite show of all time. The two new eps so far this season have impressed me. The non-THOH ep seemed a lot less crazy-antic-driven than a lot of episodes over the past few years. I hope they keep it up.

Tru Calling

It’s an entertaining show, but we’re only 2 episodes in and already I think it’s going to have longevity issues. I just don’t know how long they can keep essentially telling the same story twice in an hour. Also, there’s all the drama leading up to the moment when the dead person asks for help. We know they’re going to ask for help every time. They either need to take the suspense out of it or they need to have some episodes where it doesn’t actually happen. You can’t have the scene where Tru hesitantly walks towards the bank of dead people and pulls them out so they can ask for help every single episode. It just takes up far too much screen time.

The WB


Last season had its problems. This season though they’ve dumped Conner and Cordy and they’ve really gotten back to the feel of the earlier seasons. You had to be a bit concerned with Spike coming back and them taking over W&H, but they’ve really handled it superbly. Most improved show this season.

Like Family

It’s your typical sitcom, nothing all that special, but it really does make me laugh. What can I say, that’s what a comedy’s supposed to do.


Star Trek: Enterprise

I was worried that by going into the expanse they were just making it another Voyager, but it seems to have worked pretty well.

Scrolling up, it now occurs to me that I watch far too much TV.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:23 PM in TV
Must see/listen to/read

Must see... must read... terms like that are thrown around an awful lot. Make sure you take heed this time. You absolutely must either see, read, or listen to this morning's senate speeches by Zell Miller and Rick Santorum. Shades of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:19 AM in Politics/Government
Oniony goodness

Mom Finds Out About Blog.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:45 AM in Miscellaneous
Yet more from the "Ted Rall's a bleepin' idiot" file

Though there probably should be "treasonous" and/or "anti-American" between "bleepin'" and "idiot". He's got yet another despicable article.

In this vein we must also take action against our own Iraqi citizens who choose to collaborate with the enemy. Bush wants to put an "Iraqi face" on the occupation. If we allow the Americans to corrupt our friends and neighbors by turning them into puppet policemen and sellouts, our independence will be lost forever. If someone you know is considering taking a job with the Americans, tell him that he is engaging in treason and encourage him to seek honest work instead. If he refuses, you must kill him as a warning to other weak-minded individuals.

So to sum up: “bleepin’ idiot”, “treasonous”, “anti-American”, and “despicable”.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:40 AM in Politics/Government

Wednesday, November 12, 2003
Bud Selig is evil

I haven't mentioned it in some time so I just want to reiterate... Yes, Bud Selig is still evil.

That is all.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:35 PM in Cincinnati
More from the battle of the warbloggers vs. Tom Tomorrow

Exit Zero has posted a This Modern World parody.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:31 PM in Politics/Government
A win in the battle against zero-tolerance
The Fulton County school board Tuesday largely exonerated a Roswell High School freshman who was expelled last month over an entry she made in a personal journal that was confiscated in class.

Rachel Boim, 14, was expelled after a teacher confiscated her journal, which contained a story about a student who dreams of killing a teacher. School officials determined that the entry constituted a threat against her teacher.

The school board overturned the expulsion and erased it from her record. Her record will show a 10-day suspension, which she already has served. Rachel, who has been attending another Fulton County school, is free to return to Roswell High if she chooses, a school official said.

--Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:22 PM in Politics/Government
Rookie of the Year

I just voted for Rookie of the Year at's This Year in Baseball Awards site and I didn't vote for Hideki Matsui. Does this mean that I can be expecting a tirade against me from George Steinbrenner soon?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:57 AM in Baseball

Tuesday, November 11, 2003
LT Smash vs. Tom Tomorrow

LT Smash hasn't taken too well to Tom Tomorrow's latest comic taking on "chickenhawk bloggers".

You know, apparently I've missed the news reports of all the bloggers dodging the draft and blogging instead.

Now on the chickenhawk argument in general... If only those who have been to war are allowed to have an opinion on war then our decisions would be made by a mere 2.7 million of our 288 million citizens. And on top of that I kind of doubt the decisions made in that situation would be to the liking of people like Tom Tomorrow either.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:54 PM in Politics/Government
Sullivan fisks Clark on war justification
Let's go back here. Clark essentially concedes that the war in Kosovo was, under international law, indistinguishable from the war in Iraq. Actually, even that's not entirely true. It should be recalled that the United States and its allies, particularly Great Britain, secured a 15-0 Security Council Resolution demanding complete and unfettered access to potential sites of WMD development--or else--in Iraq. The "else" was subject to debate, but the notion that it ruled out any military action is one only Dominique de Villepin would argue with a straight face. No such 15-0 vote occurred at any time before the Kosovo war. So, if anything, the war against Iraq had more international legitimacy than the war in Kosovo. If viewed as a continuation of the 1991 war--the terms of which cease-fire Saddam had grotesquely and systematically violated--it was impeccably legitimate. The 1991 war, after all, was one of very few post-World War II conflicts that had unimpeachable U.N. credentials.

--The New Republic

I just don't see how Iraq could be unjustified if Kosovo was justified.

Threat posed by Milosevic: eradication of an ethnic group within his country.

Threat posed by Saddam: Desire to acquire WMD, programs to acquire WMD, willingness to use WMD, support of terrorists, and the possibility of giving afore mentioned WMD to terrorists. Oh, and let's not forget the eradication of an ethnic group within his country.

(Note: This isn't meant to minimize the threat of ethnic cleansing. Milosevic and his people did truly horrible things and I think we were right to step in and put an end to hundreds of thousands of murders, just as the hundreds of thousands of murders served as one of many reasons that Saddam needed to be removed and not simply contained.)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:33 PM in Politics/Government
BOTW on what Clark thinks justifies war
In a speech at the University of Iowa College of Law, on September 19th, Clark had declared that chief among America's mistakes was that it had gone to war in Iraq without "the mantle of authority" bestowed by United Nations approval. But hadn't the Kosovo war also been conducted without the endorsement of the U.N. Security Council? Yes, Clark allowed, and in that regard the Kosovo war was "technically illegal." He went on, "The Russians and the Chinese said they would both veto it. There was never a chance that it would be authorized."

That situation did not seem entirely dissimilar from the prewar maneuverings regarding Iraq, when France and Germany said that they would oppose any Security Council resolution authorizing an immediate war; Bush bypassed the U.N. and resorted to an alliance with Prime Minister Tony Blair's Britain and sundry lesser members of the "coalition of the willing." But there was one more important difference, Clark said: the war against Serbia was waged to stop the imminent threat of ethnic cleansing in the disputed province of Kosovo; the war in Iraq, he said, was waged under false pretenses.

Got that? It was OK to wage an "illegal" war in Kosovo because of an "imminent threat" not to America or its allies but to the civilian population there--as if Saddam Hussein didn't pose an imminent threat to Iraqis.

--Best of the Web

It's about frickin' time
Weary of Senate Democrats' continued efforts to block President Bush's judicial nominees, Republicans have planned a 30-hour, all-night session Wednesday to force a marathon debate about Democratic stalling tactics that have left several nominations in limbo.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:27 PM in Politics/Government
CNN planting questions

It appears that CNN planted the PC vs. Mac question of the recent Rock The Vote debate.

The alleged reasons for this question to be used was her other question was not "lighthearted." If this is true I see a small trend in the media growing: editors think people under 35 are shallow and stupid.

--Cincinnati Blog

Not that that's anything new. The media's thought of people under 35 as shallow and stupid for quite some time. That was partially how the Gen X stereotype came about.

And that's not to say that they aren't at least partially correct. There is a certain shallowness and stupidity inherent in being younger.

That being said, I think if Rock the Vote wanted to play it up to the stupid and shallow sector of the under 35 crowd they should have considered running it on MTV instead of CNN.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:06 PM in Media

Monday, November 10, 2003
Correction duely noted

Last week I wrote about how wrong Harley Sorensen's latest article at was.

This week he offers a correction. A rather left-handed correction, but a correction nonetheless.

When you stick your neck out as often as I do, every once in a while you'll get your head chopped off.

I wouldn't say this week's "clarification" of last week's column rises to the level of a head-in-the-basket case, but I'd be happier if I didn't have to write it.

Last week's column did something I would have thought impossible: It falsely maligned the Bush administration.

An administration starring a serial liar and a supporting cast of persistent prevaricators, obdurate obfuscators and downright double-talkers is hard to bum rap, but somehow I managed to do it.

-- "Shooting myself in the foot" -

As wrong as he may have been and as much as he bashes the administration while doing it I have to give him credit for standing up and correcting himself.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:10 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

If you want to watch a liberal's opinion of you plummet before your very eyes, try telling them your autographed copy of Ann Coulter's Treason came in the mail today.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:10 PM in Politics/Government
Swedish shoes

If you found 70 pairs of shoes in the middle of the woods that would be pretty weird right? Now imagine if they were all filled with butter.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:06 AM in Miscellaneous
More on the Intelligence Committee Memo

Calpundit has a post that's basically along the lines of "The Democrats are doing the upright and moral thing by standing up to the evil Republicans and aren't they just soooo noble for it?"

Professor Bainbridge responds in a slightly less pro-Democrat way.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:52 AM in Politics/Government
Illegal immigrants sue Wal-Mart

9 illegal immigrants arrested during the recent nationwide raids at Wal-Marts are suing Wal-Mart of discrimination.

The nine say they were paid lower wages and offered fewer benefit because they are Mexicans, and they accuse Wal-Mart and its cleaning contractors of failing to pay for overtime, withhold taxes or make required workers' compensation contributions.


No, you were paid lower wages, offered fewer benefits and didn't get overtime because you are in the country ILLEGALLY! They don’t give a crap what race or nationality you are. You broke the law when you entered this country and you’re not supposed to be here. What right do you have to get all self-righteous when you get caught and realize the company giving you money was breaking the law too?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:15 AM in Politics/Government
America's Voices

I enjoy Frank Luntz's new show on MSNBC, but there's a problem. It's taped too far before it airs.

I don't remember what exactly (though I think it too had to do with the economy), but on last week's show there was something that was true earlier in the week, but that wasn't true by airtime. This week the show starts off with "If the economy's doing so well and stocks are rising why isn't unemployment falling?" You could say this earlier in the week but by the time the show aired on Saturday the increase in jobs and drop in unemployment had been announced. They really need to find a way to reduce the delay between taping an airing on this show.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:56 AM in Politics/Government

Sunday, November 9, 2003
On imminent threats

Josh Marshall has a bunch of quotes that he says prove that the administration made the case that Iraq is an imminent threat.

Andrew Sullivan counters:

[T]o my mind, he comes up completely empty. No administration official used that term. None. The best Marshall can come up with are reporters' off-the-cuff formulations in questions to Ari Fleischer which evinced the response "yes."
So we have no administration reference to an "imminent threat" and a chief spokesman saying that the threat could be as much as years away and, at the least, months. We have the president himself saying explicitly that "Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words and all recriminations would come too late."
--Andrew Sullivan

Saturday, November 8, 2003
Looking on the bright side...

... of the Saudi bombing, it looks like our intelligence finally got something right.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:47 PM in Politics/Government

Friday, November 7, 2003
Boy it's a good thing for the Dems that this is a jobless recovery

Oh, wait... It's notable that even the lower 50k+ gain that was revised was originally expected to be a 20k+ loss.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:07 PM in Politics/Government
Lileks on The Matrix and Harry Knowles

James Lileks talks about the new Matrix Revolutions, and the trilogy in general. He also fisks Harry Knowles' mentally deficient review of the movie.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:54 PM in Movies v2.0: Exactly the same but completely different!

Yep, I'm now running on Movable Type instead of Blogger so the Movable Type elitists can rejoice and comment and TrackBack away. Gotta say that the template transfer is hardly a trivial matter, but all in all the hardest part of the switchover was the router going bonkers and messing up my FTP and Instant Messenger.

Fun fact: the word "monkey" has been used in more posts than "Dean" and "Gore" combined.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:12 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, November 6, 2003

They've got this new anti-piracy ad playing before movies with a stuntman instead of the set painter we'd been seeing. I think the stuntman makes a much more reasonable case against piracy. The set painter's argument seemed to be that piracy would make the studios make fewer movies and thus get him less work. I just didn't buy that theory. The stuntman's argument is that people poured their hearts and souls and even risked their lives for their work and that pirating their work disrespects them. That I think is a much stronger argument. The money argument, whether the money is for the little guy or not, just comes off as self-serving.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 8:44 PM in Movies

From Boortz:

Now ... listen to this statement from Janice Rogers Brown. As you're listening remember that Teddy Kennedy has pronounced that this woman shall NOT become an appeals court judge. The case was San Remo Hotel v. City and County of San Francisco. The case was about San Francisco's broad range of restrictions on the way a private individual could use his own property. In a dissent Justice Brown wrote 'Theft is still theft even when the government approves of the thievery. The right to express one's individuality and essential human dignity through the free use of property is just as important as the right to do so through speech, the press or the free exercise of religion.'

Did you hear that? Justice Janice Rogers Brown was putting property rights up there on the same level with freedom of speech! Democrats have an innate belief that all property belongs to government, and that the government will allow you to control some of that property -- some of that wealth -- if you act in ways Democrats approve of and if you are deemed worthy of the privilege. Are you beginning to see why the Democrats just don't want this woman on a federal appeals court?

Janice Rogers Brown is heading to a lynching. Hers. Ted Kennedy will tell you that she's 'out of the mainstream.' Well, to a Democrat, anybody who stands by the concept of individualism and individual rights is out of the mainstream. Remember, it was Ted Kennedy who praised the war against individuality in a speech in early 2002.

So ... when are YOU going to start getting upset by these Democratic filibusters of judicial nominees? Is it as important to you as tonight's TV lineup? These things aren't going to change, folks, until you get upset and until you start letting your political controllers know how you feel.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:26 PM in Politics/Government
Mr. Sharpton echoed the concerns of many conservatives — especially black conservatives — that Justice Brown is being opposed because she doesn't conform to the Democratic ideology that many blacks espouse. 'We've got to stop this monolith in black America because it impedes the freedom of expression for all of us,' Mr. Sharpton said in a television interview conducted by Sinclair Broadcasting yesterday. 'I don't think she should be opposed because she doesn't come from some assumed club.' Mr. Sharpton compared the filibusters to the same sort of 'pocket vetoes' used for so long against blacks. Wade Henderson, director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, who attended the anti-Brown press conference, was later asked about Mr. Sharpton's remarks. 'I don't believe it. That can't be true,' he said as he headed to a meeting in the Democratic leadership office. 'It would be shockingly surprising.'

-- Washington Times

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:15 PM in Politics/Government

Talking about Rumsfeld:

He's not supposed to be asking questions, he's supposed to be giving answers to those questions.

Oh good, our leaders are no longer allowed to ask questions.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:04 AM in Politics/Government

Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Can be found here. Yep, nothing says "We're a party serious about national security" better than playing politics with national security.

Zell Miller's response to the memo:

“Of all the committees, this is the one single committee that should unquestionably be above partisan politics. The information it deals with should never, never be distorted, compromised or politicized in any shape, form or fashion. For it involves the lives of our soldiers and our citizens. Its actions should always be above reproach; its words never politicized.

“If what has happened here is not treason, it is its first cousin. The ones responsible - be they staff or elected or both should be dealt with quickly and severely sending a lesson to all that this kind of action will not be tolerated, ignored or excused.

“Heads should roll!”

--Zell Miller

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:00 PM in Politics/Government

The Partial Birth Abortion bill that President Bush signed into law today isn't something that would have happened if the Democrats running for president were now in office. Polls say that 70% or more of the American public agree that the partial birth abortion procedure should be illegal, yet there's not a Democrat candidate in sight willing to stand up and support it. Dean, Edwards, Kerry, Lieberman, Moseley Braun, and Kucinich all support partial birth abortion. Clark opposes "restrictions on abortion", and Sharpton is something of an enigma on the partial birth abortion front.

The closest the Democrat candidates get to supporting the partial birth abortion ban is Dick Gephardt. He claims to support a ban on partial birth abortions and has voted for the ban in the past, but when it came time to actually do it this year he wussed out and didn't vote.

Not one Democrat candidate has sided with the 70% of Americans who want partial birth abortion illegal by supporting the bill signed into law today. Even Gephardt who says he supports a partial birth abortion ban is too beholden to the pro-choice movement to make a stand on the issue. It just shows that a Democrat can't get nominated for president without being out of the mainstream when it comes to abortion.

And that's one of the reasons why President Bush needs to be reelected next year.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:43 PM in Politics/Government

You know that poll you keep hearing about? The one where more say they'll vote against Bush than for him? The one that all the media are saying is big trouble for Bush? When you actually look at it the poll also shows that none of the Democrats running would beat Bush. In none of the matchups between Bush and Gephardt, Kerry, Dean, Lieberman, and Clark does the President get less than 48% of the vote and in none of these matchups does the Democrat get more than 43% of the vote.

Kind of makes you wonder about that 44% number when not one Democrat actually get's that much support.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:33 PM in Politics/Government
Just how different are today's young voters from older voters? A recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll examined the attitudes of the youngest voters in the country and finds a mixed picture; 18- to 29-year-olds' attitudes significantly differ from the attitudes of those aged 30 and older in many ways, but also are quite similar in others. Young Americans are more likely than older Americans to describe their views on economic issues as liberal, to identify themselves as independents rather than Republicans or Democrats, and to the rate government and the president positively. They also follow news about politics less closely than older people do and are much less enthusiastic about voting. On specific issues facing the country, they are more supportive of homosexual marriages, Social Security privatization, and the maintenance of different cultures in the country. Despite more liberal views on some moral issues, younger Americans and older Americans have similar views on abortion.


They also have a much higher approval rating of the President and are slightly more likely to vote for Bush than those 30 or older.

All-in-all some interesting stuff there.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:20 PM in Politics/Government

I've watched TV and listened to the radio for maybe 45 minutes today and already I've heard probably half a dozen times that the new partial-birth abortion law has no exception for the health or life of the mother. This is flat out not true and I don't see why somebody isn't pointing this out to these people.

`(a) Any physician who, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion and thereby kills a human fetus shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both. This subsection does not apply to a partial-birth abortion that is necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself. This subsection takes effect 1 day after the enactment.


Emphasis added.

The law clearly has an exception for the life of the mother. Those who say differently are either lying to you or ill-informed of what the law actually contains.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:59 PM in Politics/Government

I'm going through the motions of possibly moving over to Movabletype and one thing strikes me. I was exceedingly bad at closing my bold tags in the early days of this blog.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:28 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, November 4, 2003
CNN ran a clip of the mother of one of our men killed in the destruction of that Chinook helicopter in Iraq on Sunday. The lady, obviously in great pain and anguish, said: 'The people over there are telling out American leaders that they don't want us over there, and they will continue to kill our American soldiers. They are telling our leaders -- so why aren't our leaders listening? And bring our babies home.'

Yeah .. that's the ticket. Let's just quit. The terrorists are fighting, so let's quit. Who knew they were going to fight back? Who knew? Let's get our men and women out of there now! Yeah ... let's send a message to every terrorist who dreams of the destruction of the United States that all they have to do is fight back and we will succumb. Just kill some of our soldiers and we'll let you have your way.

Let's say this poor lady's son was a police officer who was killed trying to apprehend a murderous drug dealer. Would this woman say 'Those drug dealers are telling our police that they don't want us in their neighborhood, and they will continue to kill police officers. Why aren't our police officers listening? Let's bring out police out of there.'


Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:17 PM in Politics/Government
The Enquirer's got a good piece on the leap and what it means to the alma mater and the city of Cincinnati in general.

This makes me happy.

--Addendum-- ESPN has a piece on how this makes the Big East the #1 conference when it comes to basketball.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:01 PM in Cincinnati

This isn't the defeat of free speech that some are making it out to be. The Republicans didn't think it showed the Reagans in a fair light. CBS agreed.

"Although the miniseries features impressive production values and acting performances, and although the producers have sources to verify each scene in the script, we believe it does not present a balanced portrayal of the Reagans for CBS and its audience,"

This wasn't a documentary shining light on the truth of the Reagans that was he was a fundamentalist Christian homophobe, that Nancy ran things, that he said he was the Antichrist and that he had serious symptoms of Alzheimers while President. This was a movie made by Reagan haters that made stuff up to make Reagan look bad. This isn't Primary Colors. This isn't written by sombody close to the Reagans. The Reagans aren't being played by staunch conservatives.

Conservatives have every right to get upset when people start making stuff up to disparage one of their own. Likewise CBS has every right not to air a movie so unbalanced that it may hurt them. Personally I think they could have gone ahead and aired it with a few disclaimers and if they had followed it with the forum containing both viewpoints that Showtime plans to run. It may show CBS to be a bit weak, but I can't fault them for not wanting to air something they don't think is "a balanced portrayal".

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:30 PM in Media , Politics/Government

Or so says Harley Sorensen of the

Common sense tells us we're being lied to again.

If you follow the news even loosely, you know that American soldiers and Marines are killed and wounded on a daily basis in Iraq. Just offhand, the number of wounded appears to be three times the number killed. So, roughly -- very roughly -- one can estimate about 1,000 troops wounded in Iraq. It could be twice that, or more. I think it's a lot more.
But, judging from press reports, none of these wounded ever dies. Maybe I don't know where to look, but I haven't been able to find one single report of a soldier who died later of his or her injuries.

Not one. Isn't that curious?
If you go to the Department of Defense news Web site, you can find the names of newly killed GIs: 46 reported in the month of October. A few of those casualties died before October. No explanation is given for the delay in reporting.

I was unable to find any listings that said someone died recently from injuries or wounds suffered some time ago.
President George W. Bush has asked Congress for $87 billion to run his war in Iraq, and apparently he's going to get it. But that money is just a small portion of the cost of his war.
The broken bodies and shattered lives of our GIs add immeasurably to that cost.

But our government doesn't want us to know about that. We've gradually become a secret society. The military news blackout is not a new phenomenon.

--"The wounded who never die " -

Ooooh, the military's imposed a "blackout" and is trying to keep the number of wounded in Iraq a secret. Nobody must ever know!

There's a problem with this idea. He links to the web site You go to the bottom of that page and what do you find under "Current Information"? A link titled "OIF Casualty Update". And if you click on that? Why, it's a pdf listing that super secret exact number of wounded in Iraq as of 10AM yesterday at 2176. (1836 WIA, 340 non-hostile) That's 217.6% higher than Sorensen's "very rough" estimate of 1000.

Those that had been evacuated and then die don't get reported by the DOD? How about Spc. Craig S. Ivory or Lt. Col. Paul W. Kimbrough or Spc. Jarrett B. Thompson or Pfc. David M. Kirchhoff or Spc. Zeferino E. Colunga? Those are the deaths reported after evacuation since August 1 by the very same DOD web site Sorensen linked.

This isn't exactly Pulitzer Prize winning reporting on Sorensen's part. He gets his understanding of how our wounded are treated from a letter from a soldier, he quickly peruses the DOD news website, and gives up after one phone call and one e-mail go unanswered by a military spokesperson. Hell, I probably did more research for this post than he did for his column. This is plain and simple crappy reporting. This shouldn't be a column on the site of a major newspaper; this shouldn't even be a blog post.

If the DOD really is trying to hide this stuff from the public and a guy sitting in his kitchen at 3 in the morning in Ohio can find it all then it's really time for the DOD to reconsider its conspiracy procedures, before you know it we'll be able to find pictures of the aliens they've got hidden in Roswell.

Just for a little background on military medical evacuation, this from Lawrence Kaplan of The New Republic:

Horrifying as it is, the number [of wounded] contains a silver lining as well. The wounded have been maimed. But they have also been saved. During the Second World War, on in every three casualties died. During the Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf wars, the figure declined to one in four. In the present conflict, that number has nearly been halved, to one in eight.
In a war where nothing else has proceeded according to plan, the medical-evacuation system has worked exactly as intended.
Among those who die on the battlefield, roughly half die within 30 minutes of being wounded. By contrast, if an injured soldier makes it to even a field hospital, the likelihood he or she will survive improves exponentially.

--Lawrence Kaplan

So to sum up: Harley Sorensen and his latest column are full of crap.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:21 AM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Monday, November 3, 2003

The Center for Public Integrity says "yes". Slate says their study is full of it.

The conclusion of the report, "Windfalls of War," is that a clear quid pro quo exists between government procurement and campaign contributions to George W. Bush. Charles Lewis, the group's executive director, released a statement arguing that the report reveals "a stench of political favoritism and cronyism surrounding the contracting process in both Iraq and Afghanistan."

There's just one problem: The CPI has no evidence to support its allegations.


This is a president who understands the price of freedom. He understands that leaders throughout history often have had to choose between good and evil, tyranny and freedom. And the choice they make can reverberate for generations to come. This is a president who has some Churchill in him and who does not flinch when the going gets tough. This is a president who can make a decision and does not suffer from "paralysis analysis." This is a president who can look America in the eye and say on Iraq, "We're not leaving." And you know he means it. ... Believe me, I looked hard at the other choices. And what I saw was that the Democratic candidates who want to be president in the worst way are running for office in the worst way. Look closely, there's not much difference among them. I can't say there's "not a dime's worth of difference" because there's actually billions of dollars' worth of difference among them. Some want to raise our taxes a trillion, while the others want to raise our taxes by several hundred billion. But, make no mistake, they all want to raise our taxes. They also, to varying degrees, want us to quit and get out of Iraq. They don't want us to stay the course in this fight between tyranny and freedom. This is our best chance to change the course of history in the Middle East. So I cannot vote for a candidate who wants us to cut and run with our shirttails at half-mast.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:13 PM in Politics/Government

"The Simpsons" has apologized, saying that the comments by Matt Groening saying that Fox News almost sued Fox over a Fox News sendup on "The Simpsons" were simply satire.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:11 PM in Media

Sunday, November 2, 2003

The Yankees may bring Jim Bowden on as "minor-league director".

Which would mean that within 5 years the Yankees' system would be nothing but failed 5-tool outfielders.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 8:06 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati


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