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Tuesday, December 30, 2003
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City - 10,000 times worse than molesting a child...

So says Christopher Byron of the NY Post.

You can kill a cop, steal his gun, and then use it to shoot someone else. Or you can pick up a prostitute and have sex with her in the back of your stolen car, then beat her to death - or shoot her, bludgeon her, whatever you want.

In fact, "whatever you want" is what the game is all about. Thanks to its artful and complex programming and its incredibly realistic graphics, the game creates the impression of being inside a totally unscripted, live-action drama in which you can manufacture your mayhem as you go along.

People, this is insane. This is 10,000 times worse than the worst thing anybody thinks Michael Jackson ever did to a little boy - or than any lie the feds think Martha Stewart ever told them, or any line in any song that Bruce Springsteen ever sang that rankled a cop in the Meadowlands.

--New York Post Online

Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:42 PM in
I've said it before and I'll say it again.

The phrase "Big & Tall" in relation to a clothing store is a misnomer. What they really mean is "Big or Tall". The vast majority of their merchandise is made for the tall and skinny or the short and tubby.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:47 PM in Miscellaneous
16 questions for Howard Dean
-- You say the United States shouldn't have fought the Iraq War because Saddam did not present "an imminent threat" to the United States. Yet you supported wars in the 1990s in Bosnia and Kosovo. How exactly did Slobodan Milosevic pose an imminent threat to the United States?

-- You say that it was a mistake for the United States to go to war without the "permission" of the United Nations. For what other sovereign acts of the United States would you require U.N. "permission"?

-- You have said at various times that it would be irresponsible not to support President Bush's $87 billion funding request for the troops and reconstruction in Iraq, and that you opposed the $87 billion. What is your position right at this moment on the $87 billion? How about now? And ... now?

-- You quit the Episcopal Church because you thought its position on a Burlington, Vt., bike path was "not very Godlike." What is God's position on bike paths? Scriptural references would be helpful.

--Rich Lowry: 16 questions for Dean

Check out is column for the rest.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:44 PM in Politics/Government

Sunday, December 28, 2003
"The bus they were riding in exploded in downtown Jerusalem"

Check out today's Pearls Before Swine.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:05 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, December 25, 2003
Quotes of 2003

Tim Blair has an excellent roundup of quotes spanning the past year.

Realpolitik has a summary of some of the best.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:36 PM in Politics/Government
Merry Christmas!

That's it, just Merry Christmas... see ya later.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:00 AM in Religion

Wednesday, December 24, 2003
On religion in the public domain

Brian Griffin of Cincinnati Blog has a post primarily bashing Fox News for not being fair and balanced but along the way he takes some awfully broad swipes at religion and public religious displays that I just can't help but comment on.

Now, first, it is not intolerant to keep religion out of public areas, that is a biased statement. It is intolerant when you feel the need to push your religion on others, just because they don't comply with your religious code.

I would argue that it is intolerant to keep religion out of public areas. The exclusion of religion from the public arena is simply taking another side in the religious debate. Putting up a big cross, nativity scene, menorah, Star of David or a giant Torah doesn't push your religion on others because they don't comply with that religious code. It doesn't say "join our religion and follow our beliefs or something bad will happen to you" it says "this is a symbol of what we hold dear and we want to share it." Opposing religious expression is as much a statement of religious beliefs as anything else.

Second, what is wrong with freedom from religion? Why should I have to have my tax dollars go toward anyone else's religion practices?

What is wrong with freedom from religion?

For starters it is essentially a government endorsement of atheism. When they government isn't even allowed to say "hey, these beliefs exist" it's really no better than saying "God doesn't exist" and the government that is not to endorse any religion is suddenly an atheistic government. And since Atheism is no less a belief system than any religion. Religions believe that there is a god. Atheism believes that there is no god. Both are systems of faith with no real proof to back up either argument.

Secondly a freedom from religion goes against the basic free speech tenets of the First Amendment. We have a right to free speech in this country. There is no right to not be offended. You don't have a right to go about your life without hearing about the religious beliefs of others. Lord knows I've heard plenty about Brian's anti-religious beliefs. Freedom from religion is a 180 degree turn from freedom of religion. Instead of saying that you have the right to hold whatever beliefs you want and to express them however you like it instead tells you that whatever you believe you are under no circumstances to express these views to anyone. It says "if you choose to believe there is a god you'd better be careful of what you say and where and when you say it." Ever since 9/11 the Left has been complaining that Americans' civil rights are being abridged and that they're being told to watch what they say in public. Whether they've actually been told that or not, that is exactly what the idea of freedom from religion does. It makes the religious person a second class citizen that has to hide their beliefs.

Thirdly, whether it's right or wrong it's just not in the Constitution. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". Nowhere in there does it say that anybody should be protected from religion. In fact it says exactly the opposite; it says quite clearly that Congress cannot make a law prohibiting the FREE EXERCISE of religion. If you want to run around town yelling "JESUS SAVES!" or "PRAISE BE TO ALLAH!" or even "THERE IS NO GOD!" you're perfectly welcome to and the First Amendment ensures your right to do it.

What is the purpose of religious displays?

I would say to celebrate the beliefs that those people hold dear. They care for those beliefs so much that they want to share it with others. Nobody's holding a gun to anybodies head and telling them they must agree.

The purpose and the intent are to promote the religion and gain followers, money and power. Why should certain groups be allowed to do that? I just don't understand what logical reason there would be to push religion in public areas other than to try and instill a theocracy.

That is the most cynical, contemptuous and derisive explanation I've ever heard for it. Brian puts forth a stereotype of the religious that I have just never personally seen to be true. There's the occasional televangelist and other public blowhard in it for the money and the power but the vast majority of the religious aren't trying to convert anybody; they aren't trying simply to get more money or power for their denomination. They do it because their religion is an important part of who they are and they simply want to share what has brought them so much joy, especially with those who already believe as they do. The nativity scenes and menorahs are aimed much more at fellow Christians or Jews than atheists and other non-believers.

It is entirely possible to allow people to freely express their religious beliefs without creating a theocracy. Saying that nobody can express any religious belief doesn't do that, it simply creates a theocracy in the name of atheism. What we need is a representative expression of everybody's beliefs. If the Christians want to throw up a nativity during Christmas, let them. If the Jewish want to put up a menorah during Chanukah, let them. If the Muslim want to put up something over Ramadan, let them. If Buddhists want to cart in a giant Buddha for some holiday, let them. If the atheists want to put up a sign right next to these saying "There is no god", let them.

This nation is founded on the basis of a free exchange of ideas, not on a censoring of one side of the debate. Barring obscenity or a threat to public safety let everybody express their ideas.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:11 AM in Religion
I hate to bring facts into an argument but...

For those arguing that Libya's decision to play nice is all about decades of sanctions and international cooperation and blah, blah, blah... and that it has nothing to do with the policies of the Bush administration I just offer this.

"I will do whatever the Americans want, because I saw what happened in Iraq, and I was afraid."

--Colonel Moammar Gadhafi -

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:04 AM in Politics/Government
Because you can never have enough examples
The country was really taken over. It was a coup. This man was not elected, he sits in the White House and he's declaring war. That's a coup d'état. America should be in the streets picketing. And our boys and our girls, our teenagers and 20- year-olds, are off there killing people. And war begets war. ... You know, I don't believe George Bush is a bad man, but I do think he is dangerous for this nation and the world.

--Rosie O'Donnell(via Andrew Sullivan)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:55 AM in Politics/Government
Some UC sports thoughts
First of all, congratulations and best of luck to Mark Dantonio, defensive coordinator for the Buckeyes and new Cincinnati head football coach. The next few seasons should be exciting with the move to the Big East.

The 12th, 13th, or 14th ranked (depending on what poll you go by) Bearcats beat down the 23rd ranked Flyers 82-53. The Cats are now 6-0, never having won by fewer than 19 points. This is the best Bearcats team I’ve seen in quite some time.

Something that occurred to me during the game, I don't so much like the idea of the Ed Jucker court in Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker Center. They've got the place named after two different people and additionally have got a company to sponsor it. Geez, just pick a name and go with it.

One last thing:

"Coach (Bob Huggins) said our press is like Prairie View," Cincinnati guard Tony Bobbitt said. "That was kind of rude. It kind of crushed us. I mean, Prairie View? We took that personally."


Just a note to the Dayton Daily News, the coach referred to in the preceding quote was actually Dayton coach Brian Gregory, not Hugs.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:44 AM in Cincinnati

Tuesday, December 23, 2003
Dang Australians!

The "they flew in a fake turkey" myth is spreading.

AND ABOUT THAT FAKE TURKEY: The "decorative turkey" in George W. Bush's hands in the Thanksgiving pictures from Baghdad should in fact make people angry. Hundreds of American dead, thousands of Iraqi dead, and the White House is staging phony photos on Iraqi soil? The occupation of Iraq may be justified, but White House use of the war as a political prop is becoming unseemly. And think: somebody had to fly a fake turkey to Iraq. Voters are not stupid; this sort of thing may backfire on Bush.

--Gregg Easterbrook

It was a proud moment in American history. Almost as proud as when Dubya secretly flew to Iraq a few weeks back to spend 2.5 hours pretending to serve a fake, inedible plastic turkey to that handful of carefully selected, prescreened soldiers for that Thanksgiving PR stunt that will forever embarrass anyone with any sense of decency and pride -- which is, according to Bush's instant surge in the polls after the photo op, fewer and fewer of us.

--Mike Morford - SF Gate (via Tim Blair)

MATT TAIBBI: It was a plastic turkey.

AMY GOODMAN: Was it actually plastic?

MATT TAIBBI: Yes. Apparently it was a plastic turkey.

AMY GOODMAN: It was plastic?

MATT TAIBBI: Yes. That was actually reported in the -- in another part of The Nation, in the daily outrage column online. But, yeah it was a plastic turkey, apparently. Which is even funnier. The famous shot where he's holding the big turkey, apparently that's a plastic turkey.

--Democracy Now (again, via Blair)

Criminy people! With the whole flu scare do we really need to invent things that can spread like a virus?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:33 AM in Politics/Government

Saturday, December 20, 2003
Libya's decision to scrap WMD deals blow to Iran, North Korea

The Sunday Herald has a piece in which they say Iran and North Korea had been counting on pieces of Libya's WMD technology to complete their own nukes.

Iran, which is now in the final stages of uranium enrichment for its program, is badly hit, having counted on fitting into place key parts of its WMD project made in Libya. North Korea may also be forced to scale back the production of nuclear devices as well as counting the loss of a lucrative source of income for its Scuds and nuclear technology.

--The Sunday Herald

Posted by Rob Bernard at 8:28 PM in Politics/Government

Friday, December 19, 2003
George Bush: Liberator of Baghdad

Saudi daily Arab News columnist Dr. Muhammad Al-Rasheed:

"The jubilation in Baghdad put the Arab media to shame. America, for this brief moment at least… is a liberator and not an occupier. I can't help being smug, since what I saw gave me back some confidence in the possibility of justice in this world. I had almost lost hope. It took George Bush to give me that back. I don't agree with him on many things, and while many Americans share my stand, I'll give the man his due. He will go down in Arab history as the liberator of Baghdad, even if the whole mission in Iraq comes to nothing more than this.

"… The reality we have to face is the fact that it took Americans to relieve Baghdad of its dictator. Arab impotence recorded a new low. I might sound naive but I would like to ask where the 'freedom fighters,' 'the resistance,' 'the strugglers for the freedom of Iraq' were when that man ran amok. Having delivered Saddam, the Americans will have to deliver Iraq. Shouldn't we now be wise enough to give them at least a chance, if not a real helping hand?


Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:06 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
That's what you get when you terrorize the entire population of a country

Saddam's daughter doesn't think he can get a fair trial in Iraq. Imagine that, the people in the country you brutalized for decades don't like you. There's a surprise.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:57 AM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Thursday, December 18, 2003
Holy cow. PETA to kids: "Your Mommy kills animals!"
PETA activists - including cuddly, costumed raccoons and foxes - are making guest appearances outside performances of The Nutcracker across the country this holiday season with a cheeky message of compassion. As children arrive to see the "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy," some will be unaware that their mothers are already starring in a real-life horror story! PETA will be there to greet any fur-clad moms and their children with their newest anti-fur leaflet-PETA Comics presents..."Your Mommy Kills Animals!"

Kids will see the bloody truth behind their moms’ pretentious pelts. Accompanied by graphic photographs of skinned carcasses and animals languishing on fur farms, children will read: "Lots of wonderful foxes, raccoons, and other animals are kept by mean farmers who squish them into cages so small that they can hardly move. They never get to play or swim or have fun. All they can do is cry-just so your greedy mommy can have that fur coat to show off in when she walks the streets." > Nutcracker fur

Just outrageous.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:40 PM in Politics/Government

Stupid Return of the King sellouts...

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:31 PM in Movies
Some thoughts on early flight

I've been watching some documentaries on the Wright Brothers tonight and what really got my attention was the inventiveness, entrepreneurship and courage of those involved in the race for the First Flight. These people were pretty much doing this all on their own. They didn’t depend on government programs to design a flying machine. They didn’t wait for an association to come up with standards for what a plane should be. They got out there, built their own planes and flew them themselves. They were in it as much for the pride of inventing it as anything else.

There was real danger in flying those first flights. Quite a few people died in the early days. The third official passenger of the Wrights, Lt. Thomas Selfridge, died in a crash where Orville Wright himself was the pilot. Many of the best pilots on the Wrights’ exhibition team died trying to do the others one better. You don’t see the daring and spirit exhibited by those early pioneers much these days.

You certainly don’t see it in places like NASA where an accident shuts down the entire program for years. Where you see it is still with the little people. Not the big government departments, not with the multi-billion dollar corporations, but with the likes of the creators of SpaceShipOne who yesterday achieved the “first manned supersonic flight by an aircraft developed by a small company's private, non-government effort.”

True innovation doesn’t come from million or billion dollar government grants. It doesn’t come in regulations on an industry. It comes from the thirst for discovery and adventure in those willing to take the risks.

In a time where any sacrifice at all is seen as too much, where 500 men is seen as too high a price to liberate 26 million people, where we’d rather do just about anything but go back to the moon or on to Mars, maybe now is the perfect time to rediscover the sense of daring, ingenuity, and sacrifice shared by those first pioneers in flight.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:37 AM in Dayton

Wednesday, December 17, 2003
John Rhys-Davies on Tolkein's point in Lord of the Rings

Andrew Sullivan comes through with this gem of a quote from the man who plays Gimli.

"I'm burying my career so substantially in these interviews that it's painful. But I think that there are some questions that demand honest answers. I think that Tolkien says that some generations will be challenged. And if they do not rise to meet that challenge, they will lose their civilization. That does have a real resonance with me... What is unconscionable is that too many of your fellow journalists do not understand how precarious Western civilization is and what a jewel it is.
How did we get the sort of real democracy, how did we get the level of tolerance that allows me to propound something that may be completely alien to you around this table, and yet you will take it and you will think about it and you’ll say no you're wrong because of this and this and this. And I'll listen and I'll say, "Well, actually, maybe I am wrong because of this and this."
[He points at a female reporter and adopts an authoritarian voice, to play a militant-Islam character:] ‘You should not be in this room. Because your husband or your father is not here to guide you. You could only be here in this room with these strange men for immoral purposes.'
I mean ... the abolition of slavery comes from Western democracy. True Democracy comes from our Greco-Judeo-Christian-Western experience. If we lose these things, then this is a catastrophe for the world.

--Andrew Sullivan

Posted by Rob Bernard at 8:01 PM in Movies
Geez, all that damn good news from Iraq

Janet Daley has a very good piece on the Telegraph's site dealing with the reaction of the anti-war crowd to the capture of Saddam and a guide to how they can react to further "irritatingly good news" from Iraq.

What To Say If:

Saddam refuses to co-operate with his interrogators.
The arrest of this man is a sideshow. He clearly knows nothing about the current state of resistance and has played no role in the planning of insurgency. His trial will simply be an exercise in vengeance with no constructive outcome for Iraq.

Saddam sings like a canary, identifying the perpetrators of insurgency.
Saddam is obviously being tortured by his American captors. Or else, they are lying about his testimony and justifying their own persecution of innocent Iraqis on the basis of his alleged "confession". (Note to broadcasters: these hypotheses need not be stated baldly. They can simply be hinted at or implied by leading questions and incredulous facial expressions.)

Saddam admits to having had weapons of mass destruction all along and gives a detailed account of a) where they can be found, b) how and when he destroyed them.
If a) then switch the focus immediately to the role that America (with particular reference to Donald Rumsfeld personally) played in the past in allowing Saddam to develop these arms. Avoid if possible any tactless references to the much more recent contributions of our European partners in building Saddam's armoury. If b), float the idea that Saddam is lying - simply telling his captors what it would suit their political purposes to hear, in the hopes of cutting a deal for himself.

--The Telegraph

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:55 PM in Politics/Government
New Iraq taking the UN to task

Iraq's new Foreign Minister spoke to the UN Security Council today.

"The UN as an organisation failed to help rescue the Iraqi people from a murderous tyranny of 35 years," he said. "The UN must not fail the Iraqi people again."


“We ask you today, please put aside your differences, pull together and work with us”, for all of those who sacrificed so much to realize the shared objective of a sovereign, united and democratic Iraq, he said.


This caused Secretary General Kofi Annan to whine that "it was 'no time to pin blame and point fingers' over the past." (AFP)

This seems to me like a scene out of Atlas Shrugged. Iraq asks for help in moving forward and rebuilding Iraq and all the UN can do is complain that now isn't the time to be placing blame on anyone.

(Links via BOTW)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:37 PM in Politics/Government
At the movies with the Pope.

The Pope approves of Mel Gibson's new movie The Passion of the Christ saying "It is as it was."

Why is this news? Not only because John Paul has, it seems, broken free of the Vatican apparatus to see the film, and not only, obviously, because of who he is, but also because of his history, the facts of his life. He is a scholar, a poet and former playwright who loves the drama and himself considered acting on and writing for the stage professionally. And no pope has done more for Jewish-Christian relations than he. He has had a profound engagement with Jews and Judaism both since his elevation and before it. He would know cheap when he sees it, and he would know anti-Semitic, too. His approbation would not be given lightly.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:14 PM in Movies
Happy 100th Anniversary of Flight

Yep, 100 years since the Wright Brothers and we've been to the moon, have flown faster than 3 times the speed of sound, and can transport over 500 passengers over 7,000 miles.

And no matter what North Carolina or their stupid quarter tries to tell you, the true birthplace of aviation is Dayton, Ohio.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:44 PM in Dayton

Tuesday, December 16, 2003
And now for Congressman McDermott's Saddam quote
"I'm sure they could have found him a long time ago if they wanted to." ... "I've been surprised they waited, but then I thought, well, politically, it probably doesn't make much sense to find him just yet," he said.

"There's too much by happenstance for it to be just a coincidental thing that it happened on this particular day," he continued.
State Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance quickly launched a statement condemning McDermott's earlier statements. "Once again McDermott has embarrassed this state with his irresponsible ranting."
--Seattle Times

What can you say about this? It pretty much criticizes itself.

BOTW on Dean's Saddam quote
"The capture of Saddam has not made America safer." ... Give Dean this: He is, in a certain perverse way, eloquent. It's not easy to cram so much idiocy, mendacity and arrogance into nine little words, but he did it.

--OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today

It's also nice to see OpinionJournal reprinting one of Orson Scott Card's articles I linked earlier.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:18 PM in Politics/Government

Monday, December 15, 2003
Sure Saddam's capture is largely symbolic...

...but the regime officials captured and rebel cells uncovered as a result of his capture are very much a practical victory.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:36 PM in Politics/Government

Apparently the Australian press have invented and are reporting as fact the idea that not-for-consumption turkey the president picked up over Thanksgiving was actually plastic and according to who you get it from it may also have been a Christmas plastic turkey or a plastic turkey he actually carried from Air Force One to the mess hall.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:26 PM in Politics/Government
Extreme-anti-war roundup

Andrew Sullivan has a good roundup of the extreme-anti-war response to the capture of Saddam. (The posts labeled "Galloway Award Nominee", all 11 or so of them.)

Because it's not good to go too long without a reminder

We didn't go to war in Iraq because they had WMD, we went to war in Iraq because Saddam and the Iraqi government were ignoring and disobeying UN resolutions that were part of the agreement that got us to stop kicking their butts the first time.

Well that's not good for Kerry

The unofficial Kerry For President blog has withdrawn its support of John Kerry.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:37 PM in Politics/Government

Sunday, December 14, 2003
Now what do we do with the $750,000 found with Saddam?

Does the money go towards rebuilding Iraq?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:54 PM in Politics/Government
An interesting representation

Each dot here represents one person buried in an Iraq mass grave because of Saddam Hussein.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:01 PM in Politics/Government
To call this great news is an understatement

Saddam Hussein captured near Tikrit.

Bush's statement can be seen at Fox News.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:45 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Saturday, December 13, 2003
Ya know what?

You search through a few thousand job postings and they all just start to blur together...

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:55 AM in Miscellaneous

Friday, December 12, 2003
On the Halliburton dealie...
The Pentagon audit has raised questions about whether a subsidiary of Halliburton overcharged the U.S. government $61 million for gasoline imported from Kuwait to Iraq.

The Pentagon said Thursday a routine review turned up the potential overcharge by subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root, which was awarded a no-bid contract in March to rebuild Iraq's oil industry.

But there is no allegation that Halliburton unduly profited from the overpriced gas.

The audit questions if Halliburton paid above-market rates to a Kuwaiti subcontractor when it paid $2.27 per gallon for the gas. Another supplier bought gas at $1.18 per gallon from Turkey.

The response from the left?

Some of the Democratic presidential candidates have said the awarding of several no-bid contracts to Halliburton appears to be a political payoff to a firm whose executives were Bush campaign donors.

Rep. Dick Gephardt said the administration's "policy in Iraq of putting the corporate special interests first is unacceptable." And retired Gen. Wesley Clark said Bush is "more concerned about the success of Halliburton than having a success strategy in Iraq."

Never mind that there's no proof whatsoever that any political operative had anything to do with the awarding of contracts or that anybody is supporting Halliburton overcharging the government.

"I appreciate the Pentagon looking out after the taxpayers money. They felt like there was an overcharge issue, they put the issue right out there on the table for everybody to see, and they're doing good work," Bush said.

"We're going to make sure that as we spend the money in Iraq, it's spent well and spent wisely. Their investigation will lay the facts out for everybody to see, and if there's an overcharge, like we think there is, we expect that money to be repaid," he said.

Of course Halliburton shouldn't overcharge the government but a) it doesn't look like they profited from it and b) the administration isn't standing by them. Attacking the administration over this is simply political opportunism. The left has developed this phony idea that the administration's oil friends are profiting from Bush & Cheney being in office and no facts or lack of proof is going to make them think differently.

"AP: U.N. May Have to Abandon Afghan Effort"

Except that isn't true.

The United Nations may be forced to abandon its two-year effort to stabilize Afghanistan because of rising violence blamed on the resurgent Taliban, its top official here warned Friday in an interview with The Associated Press.

--Yahoo! News - AP: U.N. May Have to Abandon Afghan Effort

There's a difference between "having to" and "deciding to". The UN doesn't have to pull out of Afghanistan, they're close to choosing to. The UN hardly has the reputation of hanging around during the rough spots lately.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:10 PM in Politics/Government
Lileks on the Dems
Think of the GOP at the peak of its pique in the '90s. ... Republicans didn't want revenge so much as they wanted to win.

But the Democrats want revenge. For Florida. For Bush's refusal to let France and Germany decide American foreign policy. For invading poor, helpless, never-hurt-a-fly Iraq. For making the Dixie Chicks feel uncomfortable. Not for drilling in ANWR, but for wanting to. For this and a thousand other sins, Bush must pay -- and if al-Qaida detonates a nuke in the Baltimore harbor during President Dean's term, it'll be Bush's fault for toppling the fascists of Iraq without the approval of Syria and China.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:33 AM in Politics/Government

Thursday, December 11, 2003
2 days ago it was "teens are more conservative"... it's college students are more religious.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:49 PM in Miscellaneous
Rob's first law of condiments

The number of ketchup packets you recieve at the drive-thru window is inversely proportional to the size of the fries you ordered.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:21 PM in Miscellaneous
Oooh, my first piece of comment spam

Oddly enough it was on an entry from way back in September. You'd think they'd do a more current one.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:03 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Imagine that

The people being barred from bidding on contracts in Iraq are against barring countries from bidding on contracts.

Of course the people that did everything they could to oppose the coalition are going to be left out later. If they don't like it they're more than welcome to help us with the military and security aspects of restoring Iraq and then we can talk about contracts.

Anti-Terror rallies in Iraq

Iraq the Model and Healing Iraq cover them.

after 2 hours, the crowd was so big, I couldn't guess the number, but it seemed like the whole Iraq was there, men, women, children, young and elderly of different socio-economic levels, cheering the same slogans in different languages(Arabic, Kurdish, Turkomen, Assyrian). They looked very happy and free, despite the risks of being targeted.
No body seemed to be afraid, in fact today I felt safer than ever.


The rallies today proved to be a major success. I didn't expect anything even close to this. It was probably the largest demonstration in Baghdad for months. It wasn't just against terrorism. It was against Arab media, against the interference of neighbouring countries, against dictatorships, against Wahhabism, against oppression, and of course against the Ba'ath and Saddam.

--Healing Iraq

Healing Iraq also has pictures up.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:26 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Tuesday, December 9, 2003
Anti-terror rallies in Iraq tomorrow
I just got word today that the anti-terror rallies are confirmed on Dec 10th. The Anti-terror Popular Committee is organizing them together with the ministry of interior and political parties from the GC. They are to be held all over Iraq

--Healing Iraq

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:35 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
Teens more... conservative... than adults?

So says Gallup.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:37 PM in Politics/Government
Brooks on Dean
My moment of illumination about Howard Dean came one day in Iowa when I saw him lean into a crowd and begin a sentence with, "Us rural people. . . ."

Dean grew up on Park Avenue and in East Hampton. If he's a rural person, I'm the Queen of Sheba. Yet he said it with conviction. He said it uninhibited by any fear that someone might laugh at or contradict him.

It was then that I saw how Dean had liberated himself from his past, liberated himself from his record and liberated himself from the restraints that bind conventional politicians. He has freed himself to say anything, to be anybody.
The newly liberated Dean doesn't worry about having a coherent political philosophy. There is a parlor game among Washington pundits called How Liberal Is Howard Dean? One group pores over his speeches, picks out the things no liberal could say and argues that he's actually a centrist. Another group picks out the things no centrist could say and argues that he's quite liberal.

But the liberated Dean is beyond categories like liberal and centrist because he is beyond coherence. He'll make a string of outspoken comments over a period of weeks — on "re-regulating" the economy or gay marriage — but none of them have any relation to the others. When you actually try to pin him down on a policy, you often find there is nothing there.

--NY Times

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:00 PM in Politics/Government
Gore's Dean endorsement

There seems to be a lot of chatter about why Gore would endorse Dean over Lieberman. Let me just simplify it for you.

Gore thought Dean had the best chance of winning.

Gore knew Lieberman wasn't going to get nominated. Gore's political capitol is low enough as it is, he didn't need to go out and endorse somebody who would lose.

Feel free to expound from there.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:31 AM in Politics/Government
A note to ESPN

No, I do not want to download ESPN Motion! Stop making me click an extra time to get to the top stories!

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:11 AM in Miscellaneous
It's about freakin' time!

Somebody's finally stepping up to the plate and moving forward with authenticating e-mail.

A scheme for fighting spam by authenticating the sender of every email is being developed by the Yahoo!, a US internet portal.

The project would involve revamping the email system by building a worldwide database of digital domain name "keys" - a string of characters associated with a domain.

Under the proposal, email messages would be automatically signed by the email server from which they are sent. Using a cryptographic scheme known as public key cryptography the receiving server could then check to see if the message really came from a valid system.

Yahoo! believes this would prevent spammers from using forged email addresses - a common trick used to defeat anti-spam filters.

"What we're proposing here is to re-engineer the way the internet works with regard to the authentication of e-mail," Yahoo! spokesman Brad Garlinghouse told Reuters.

--New Scientist

It's things like that that will defeat spam. Until you can know for sure who the spam is coming from you can't effectively end it.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:03 AM in Technology/Internet

Monday, December 8, 2003
Spinsanity takes on MoveOn
In short, with The Daily Mislead, MoveOn has become the leader of a new school of liberal criticism that seeks to brand every policy disagreement with President Bush as a broken promise or lie. These loose accusations trivialize charges of dishonesty, reducing them to little more than another partisan spin tactic. ... Another favorite tactic of the Mislead has been to blast the administration for promises it was unable to fulfill or policy plans that changed due to altered circumstances. In essence, these supposed examples of dishonesty actually consist of outcomes the Bush administration cannot realistically control. ... Worst of all, the Mislead occasionally engages in deception of its own, citing inaccurate or misleading evidence or publishing articles that do not even include accusations of dishonesty by the Bush administration.

--Spinsanity - The liberal who cried wolf

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:09 PM in Politics/Government
No matter what you may have heard...

...there are not... I repeat, NOT 14 dwarves who only eat macaroni living in the old citadel of the birthplace of Ayatollah Khomeini.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:42 PM in Miscellaneous
Gotta take exception to an ESPN article here...
Congratulations, Bud Selig, you're off the hook for the All-Star Game tie.

The baseball commissioner is looking like Winston Churchill next to the six commissioners responsible for concocting a system that prevented the No. 1 team in college football from playing in the national championship game.
Bud Selig will never... NEVER be off the hook for that monstrosity of an All Star Game.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:15 PM in Baseball
Dick Morris quote

"Howard Dean is convincing evidence that the Lord supports George Bush."

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:43 PM in Politics/Government

Saturday, December 6, 2003

The man WDTN reported as having a heart attack after a struggle with police has died.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:55 PM in Dayton

Friday, December 5, 2003
Protestors call Cunningham racist; call on him to resign
They accused the host and the station of being racist based on comments and spots that aired in response to the death of Nathaniel Jones.
Protesters with the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for Justice are angry about WLW spots like one that parodied a song saying: "The fat man ever after has a martyr's place/ Let's all ignore whatever drugs he had/ His friends are on the news and all up in our face/ saying he was a charming guy and splendid dad/ His death was unrelated to his injuries but still we hear the people sing police brutality/ lies go on bro la la how the lies go on."


Now go back and read through those lyrics again. They're calling Cunningham racist for stuff like that.

How many times was it say he was overweight because he was black? 0

How many times did it say he did drugs because he was black? 0

How many times did it say that anything anyone did was influenced by their race? 0

How many times in there was it even mentioned that he or any of his friends were black? 0

At what point did cries of racism no longer have to involve the supposed racist actually making judgments based on race? Criticizing somebody of another race is not racism. It's called criticism.

Is there real racism out there? Sure, but calling this racism just minimizes the real instances of racism.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:54 PM in Cincinnati
Man has heart attack after struggle with police

This time in Dayton.

A Dayton police officer tries to subdue a man and then the man ends up having a heart attack. He was then rushed to the hospital.
Witnesses say he was trying to break into a car, so they called police.

When police got there, he was sitting on a porch, and that's when the struggle started.

The struggle ended with an officer with a black eye, and his suspect having a heart attack. Police had been able to handcuff him, then restrain his ankles.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:38 PM in Dayton
You think America's bad?

When was the last time we executed a 10-year-old because he wouldn't bribe a soldier and shot 80 of the people who showed up to protest it? This all happened in Iran today.

Then to top it all off it appears the hospital has been ordered not to treat protestors and that "security forces went to the hospital and killed people in their rooms".

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:32 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
More on Miley

I'm happy he got the job. Good teacher, good with our young guys, history of winning, knows the system, etc... I'm very leary though of the argument that "he's been in the system for 24 years so deserves it". Being in the system for a long time doesn't equate to deserving the job. Being good at the job does. Giving jobs to people just because they "deserve" it isn't how you put a winning team on the field. There are a lot of good reasons for Miley to be the Reds manager. Having earned it by being around for a long time isn't one of them.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:00 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati vs. Cunningham didn’t like Bill Cunningham's take on the Nathaniel Jones incident.

"At the end of the day, this man died of heart failure because he was a blimp and a poor imitation of Notorious B.I.G." insisted Cunningham. Meanwhile, his own radio station reported: "The coroner is expected to release an official cause of death in the next several days."

Whether the cause of death turns out to be related to the beating or not, Cunningham's comments were premature and deceptive. Instead of seeking more information so an accurate determination could be made, Cunningham jumped to the conclusion that no police misconduct had occurred, despite numerous recent deaths in Cincinnati's African-American neighborhoods. Conservative radio host deceives Fox viewers

While I said before that he needs a little depth to his argument MoveOn's argument strikes me as disingenuous. Firstly it totally ignores the fact that a large part of the reason for Jones’ death was his weight and that even before the report came out it was logical to assume so. Secondly, I don’t think that they care that his comments were “premature and deceptive”. Every single person commenting on national TV about the case (excluding police experts and such) has been making premature and deceptive comments. They don’t give a rat’s ass that someone is making premature and deceptive comments about the Jones case, they care that a conservative is making premature and deceptive comments.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:47 AM in Cincinnati
Ohio is delaying electronic voting
Ohio's sweeping review of electronic voting machines turned up so many potential security flaws in the systems that the state's top elections official has called off deploying them in March.

Blackwell said he will seek a waiver under the Help America Vote Act to give Ohio until 2006 to implement the technology.

He hopes, however, that many of the problems will be addressed within as few as 60 days, allowing machines to be in place by next August's special election.

--Plain Dealer

Logically I'm sure this is truly in the interest of the voters of Ohio and it's being done for good and noble reasons and all that, but there's just this nagging little part of me that harbors the tiniest possibility that it's some form of spotlight grabbing maneuver by Blackwell similar to his "send me petitions to repeal the tax hike" drive.

Though it is the Plain Dealer so it's always possible that the man talking was actually Saddam Hussein... you never know.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:42 AM in Politics/Government
What's the world coming to?

What's the world coming to when cautionary tales of the evils of consumerism and greed can't be trusted?

While other Wal-Mart shoppers were looking to save big on a DVD player, Patricia VanLester may have been trying to make big money on a lawsuit.

VanLester, 41 - who was allegedly trampled by Wal-Mart shoppers in Orange City, Fla., the day after Thanksgiving - has filed 16 previous injury claims against employers and businesses, a Florida TV station said yesterday.
A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said [VanLester] and her sister have filed 10 other injury claims against the company.

--NY Post

Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:29 AM in Miscellaneous
Brief movie comment: Final Destination 2

Just saw it for the first time and Final Destination 2 is a very fast paced, fun, engrossing movie. It felt so fast that it probably could have used another half hour to feel long enough, but the Rube Goldbergesque deaths are just a lot of fun.

3 out of 4 stars.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:26 AM in Movies

Just saw a segment on Greta Van Susteren's show about the Nathaniel Jones incident. Wow. Let's just say it was a travesty. The most one-sided segment I've seen on it yet, and that's saying something. It was a bunch of defense attorneys and Greta and the closest they came to being fair about the incident was when Greta said that the coroner may not be a "friend of the police".

As before, in summation...

The family shouldn't get another autopsy because the medical examiner gave them enough ammo. The family should get another autopsy to further show that the cops killed him. He was walking around just fine and then they beat him and he was dead. He didn't die of an enlarged heart or the drugs, it was the beating. The M.E. determined he died from the beating. They were hitting him on the skull.

Those last two are just demonstrably untrue. The M.E. did not find that Jones died from the beating, he found that Jones died because of the struggle with the police.

The fight outside a North Avondale White Castle caused Jones to have a "fight or flight" reaction, which led to cardiac dysrhythmia, or changes in the way his heart was beating. Parrott said.
--The Post

The M.E. also found no head trauma on Mr. Jones. The injuries from the nightsticks were "confined to Jones' lower body".

It was just horribly, horribly one-sided. It's bad enough that the Jones family lawyer is making assumptions and quite breathtaking leaps in logic; do we really need to bring in more defense lawyers to misinterpret and misrepresent?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:09 AM in Cincinnati

Thursday, December 4, 2003
'Bout time.

Reds name Dave Miley new manager.

I'm happy with this. The Reds are a young team and Miley's good with the youngsters. He knows the organization and has a history of winning as a managager.

On a side note, Paula Faris from the press conference video is pretty cute.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:35 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati
Jones' aunt and Lawson on GMA

Just saw the appearance of Nathaniel Jones' aunt and the family's money-grubbing lawyer Ken Lawson on this morning's Good Morning America.

To sum it up...

The police must have done something to change him from the fun-loving guy who was dancing in a restaurant.

There's 1 minute 37 seconds of the police tape that's been erased.

I don't see why everybody keeps coming back to whether he was on drugs, the real issue whether the police should beat innocent people to death.

He'd committed no crime.

The other side is only choosing to see what they want to see.

Yeah, we're the ones choosing to see what we want to see. It seems to me that it's the side wanting to make millions of dollars off of this that has the greater reason to see only what they want to see.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:27 PM in Cincinnati
The idea that higher speed limits lead to more deaths?

According to Stephen Moore of the Cato Institute, it's not true.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:38 PM in Miscellaneous
Bad news for Californians

You won't be able to get your genetically modified fluorescent zebra fish when they go on sale in the rest of the country.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:25 PM in Miscellaneous
Fly me to the moon...

Looks like President Bush wants to go back to the Moon. I like it. I'd personally like to see more of an emphasis on Mars, but the space program is seriously lacking in goals and direction. They haven't really had a clear goal since 1969 and it shows. The shuttle program is stagnant, there's no desire to replace them. The space station's a bust, victim to the vagaries of internationalization. No matter what year it is it seems a trip to Mars is still 20 years off.

We went to the moon more than 30 years ago in the days of transistors and the first integrated circuits. I don’t see why we can’t do it even better today. Just think how much technology has advanced since then. All we’ve been lacking is the leadership to give us a direction.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:21 PM in Politics/Government
Oh... my... God...

Could their problems with Bush get any more asinine?

The President held a turkey that wasn't actually eaten? The BA pilot was talking to ATC instead of Air Force One? Who gives a crap?!

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:56 PM in Politics/Government

Wednesday, December 3, 2003
Cunningham and Lawson on Hannity & Colmes

Bill Cunningham of 700 WLW and Ken Lawson, the attorney for Nathaniel Jones' family, appeared on Hannity and Colmes tonight.

First off, Cunningham and Lawson should never have been in the same room. They would clearly be on different sides of the argument and it just made it awkward that they were 3 inches apart.

Secondly, Cunningham really needs to lay off the fat issue a little. He seems to take glee in finding new ways to express how Jones was fat. Jones being overweight certainly is part of the issue but I think he's really doing a disservice to the "there was no excessive force" argument when he puts an inordinate amount of emphasis on the fat issue compared to the fact that he was hopped up on drugs, had a heart condition, and attacked police officers.

The guy had a heart condition, was on drugs that made him aggressive and aggravated the heart condition and he attacked police officers. The officers did what they had to do to subdue him. You don't need to go after the dead guy and harp on how he ate too many White Castles or Krispy Kremes, it doesn’t help make the case that the force used was justified and it just seems crass.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:01 PM in Cincinnati
New stuff from Orson Scott Card
And the most vile part of this campaign against Bush is that the Terrorist War is being used as a tool to try to defeat him -- which means that if Bush does not win, we will certainly lose the war.

Indeed, the anti-Bush campaign threatens to undermine our war effort, give encouragement to our enemies, and cost American lives during the long year of campaigning that lies ahead of us.
Am I saying that critics of the war aren't patriotic?

Not at all -- I'm a critic of some aspects of the war. What I'm saying is that those who try to paint the bleakest, most anti-American, and most anti-Bush picture of the war, whose purpose is not criticism but deception in order to gain temporary political advantage, those people are indeed not patriotic. They have placed their own or their party's political gain ahead of the national struggle to destroy the power base of the terrorists who attacked Americans abroad and on American soil.

Patriots place their loyalty to their country in time of war ahead of their personal and party ambitions. And they can wrap themselves in the flag and say they "support our troops" all they like -- but it doesn't change the fact that their program is to promote our defeat at the hands of our enemies for their temporary political advantage.
The goal of our troops in Iraq is not to protect themselves so completely that none of our soldiers die.

The goal of our troops is to destroy the enemy, some of whom you do not find except when they emerge to attack our forces and, yes, sometimes inflict casualties.

Our national media are covering this war as if we were "losing the peace" -- even though we are not at peace and we are not losing.

--War Watch - November 16, 2003

And then there's another article...

But how often before have the national media been so totally committed to advancing the cause of the most extremist wing of one of the parties? What will happen to America if a deceived electorate hands over its safety and its liberty to a party committed to ignoring both national security and the principle of majority rule?

I hope we don't have to find out.

I hope that when the nominating conventions are over next summer, the Democrats will have chosen none of the current slate of candidates, so that in this crucial time in our history, the American people will have two rational choices, not just one, for the Presidency.

--War Watch - November 23, 2003

Witnesses: Police didn't provoke Nathaniel Jones
"They were just acting calmly, like 'Sir. Sir. Calm down. Calm down," she said. "What's going on? What's the problem?"

The Garys said the situation got out of control quickly as the officers moved in to make an arrest and Jones became enraged.

"I couldn't believe my eyes," Anna Gary said. "I'm like, 'I don't believe this is happening.'"

Paolello asked Anna Gary if the police provoked Jones, and she said no.

"Not in my mind," she said.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:48 PM in Cincinnati
I'm sorry but...

...Nicole Richie is far too close to a mix of Rachel Dratch and Sandra Bernhard to be hot.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:37 PM in Miscellaneous
What happened before the tape

This powerpoint file offers a good walkthrough of what happened before the police got to the scene and before the camera was turned back on.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:50 PM in Cincinnati
This version's a little better
A lethal combination of obesity, heart disease, drug use and a physical struggle caused the death of a man shortly after a struggle with police officers. ... The official classification listed on Jones' death certificate is homicide, but the coroner warned against reading into that label, saying that Ohio offers four choices for classifying deaths: homicide, suicide, natural and accidental.

"A lot of people confuse the word homicide with murder or manslaughter," Parrott said. "(This ruling) should not be interpreted as implying inappropriate behavior or the use of excessive force by police."

Classifying the death as accidental would not be appropriate, he added.

"I really don't have a lot of choice but to call it a homicide," Parrott said. "(The police) didn't accidentally try to restrain him. It fits the logic. That's the logical construct within which we operate."

The coroner said Jones did not suffer internal injuries from his scuffle with police.

"The external injuries were confined to the lower part of the man's body," he said. "He had some scrapes on his arms that were trivial."

The official cause of death listed on Jones' death certificate is an irregular heartbeat because of a stress reaction from the violent physical struggle.


It really does seem to me that if it's the irregular heartbeat that killed him it would be natural causes.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:41 PM in Cincinnati
Well that tells us pretty much nothing
The Hamilton County coroner said Wednesday that a struggle with police was the primary cause of the death of a suspect this past weekend in Cincinnati. Dr. Carl Parrott added that if suspect Nathaniel Jones hadn't been using cocaine and other drugs, and if he hadn't had heart disease that may have resulted from drug use, he probably would have survived the struggle.

"An event caused his death. It was a purposeful effort on the part of the police officers to subdue him. That resulted in the struggle that resulted in the death. I don't really have a choice other than to call it a homicide," Parrott said.


We pretty much knew he died from the struggle. The question was whether he died from the force used or from the simple fact that a 350 pound guy with a heart condition and who was hopped up on goofballs was exerting himself while struggling with police. It kind a sounds like the latter, but they didn't make it at all clear.

And if it is the latter then I don't get the use of the term homocide. It's homocide if a guy picks a fight with someone and in the process of exerting himself in that fight he has a coronary? If this is a homocide does that mean that if you get someone excited and they have an everyday, common heart attack then that's homocided too?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:22 PM in Cincinnati
COTV #63

This week's Carnival of the Vanities is up over at Begging To Differ.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:09 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, December 2, 2003

Somebody came to this site from the Islamic Republic Of Iran on a google search for "fusion reactor". Is there someone at the UN I need to report this to?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:54 PM in Miscellaneous
Got some bad news folks

According to Howard Dean it seems that the Soviets are back.

On yesterday's "Hardball," Dean was asked by Joseph Nye, dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, what he would do about Iran. Here's what he said:

The key, I believe, to Iran, is pressure through the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union is supplying much of the equipment that Iran I believe mostly likely is using to set itself along the path of developing nuclear weapons. We need to use that leverage with the Soviet Union, and it may require us buying the equipment the Soviet Union was ultimately going to sell to Iran, to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

That's four times Dean mentioned the Soviet Union--a country that hasn't existed for almost 12 years.

--Best of the Web

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:40 PM in Politics/Government

Monday, December 1, 2003
Minter out at UC
I think I'll be sad to see him go. UC isn't a football powerhouse but we were coming around.

Oh well, here's hoping they can get someone good to replace him.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:52 PM in Cincinnati
Cincinnati "Police Brutality" tape

"My Momma taught me this." The words of Nathaniel Jones as he attacked police officers on Saturday. That saddens me somehow.

The full, raw video is here.

Everything seems to indicate that the police on scene used the proper amount of force. Jones attacks the two police officers. The officers tackle him to the ground. They order him to put his arms behind his back and as he doesn't they start hitting him with their batons. He still doesn't stop resisting and in fact gets up to his knees and trys to take the officer's baton.

They never struck his head. They never drew their guns. They never called him names. (Well, they may have called him "Biggie", but the only racial names used were by Jones: "white boy" and "redneck".) And it's a little hard to tell, the video kind of makes all the officers look like Smurfs, but at least one of the officers responding was black.

The FOP president may not be helping things, but I think the media in regards to the video is doing worse. Does WHIO-AM say the tape shows two officers striking the suspect while trying to restrain him? No, they say the tape shows 6 officers beating the suspect. The TV, especially the national cable channels, are showing a two second clip of the officer hitting Jones over and over again. Not the clip where Jones attacks the officer or anything like that, just the part where the officer is hitting Jones with terms like "Excessive Force" or "Police Brutality" in the chyron.

We now know that Jones was hopped up on coke and pcp. We also know that the force from the nightsticks didn't damage his internal organs, leaving only bruises.

The guy's hopped up on drugs and attacking the police. We still don't know for sure why exactly he died but we know it wasn't directly related to the blows from the police. I imagine the most likely scenario is that (and we're now leaving the land of facts and entering Conjecture County) the weight, enlarged heart, Drug 1 and Drug 2, and strain from resisting arrest made his heart go kerblooey. It's regrettable that anybody should die but in this case it seems the blame lies mostly on the guy instigating the fight with the police. The blows left only bruises, and people don't generally die from bruises.

If you attack a cop they're going to subdue and arrest you. Once Jones was subdued they stopped using force. There's no way the police could have expected that the force they were using would lead to death. I just don't see the case for excessive force here.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:11 PM in Cincinnati
Why isn't the President attending all those funerals?

John Cole points out with help from the History News Network that not attending a bunch of soldiers' funerals is nothing out of the ordinary.

Lyndon Baines Johnson - According to the Johnson Library, LBJ attended two funerals for soldiers who died during the Vietnam War. The first funeral was for Captain Albert Smith, son of White House correspondent Merriman Smith, which was held February 28, 1966. The second was for Major General Keith R. Ware, held September 17, 1968. LBJ had met Ware while visiting Vietnam.

Richard Nixon - Richard Nixon does not appear to have attended the funerals of any soldiers killed in Vietnam. He did award posthumous medals of honor to the families of several soldiers on 22 April 1971 and on several other occasions. On Veterans day in 1971 he visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery. In 1973 he met with the family of Colonel William Nolde after the colonel was buried in Arlington Cemetery. Colonel Nolde was killed on January 27th, the night before the cease-fire went into effect.

Jimmy Carter - According to the New York Times, Jimmy Carter attended a memorial service for the soldiers killed in the failed rescue of America hostages in Iran in 1980.

Ronald Reagan - Ronald Reagan attended memorial services on several occasions for American soldiers. In 1983 he attended a service at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in connection with the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, which cost the lives of 241 people. In 1987 he attended a service at Mayport Naval Station in Florida for the sailors killed on the USS Stark.

George H.W. Bush - President George Herbert Walker Bush does not appear to have attended any funerals for American soldiers. (The NYT, citing Marlin Fitzwater as a source, indicated that the president did attend several such funerals. But no details were provided.)

Bill Clinton - Bill Clinton attended a service in October 2000 in memory of the 17 sailors killed in the attack on the USS Cole.

After the terrorist bombing the Murrah building in downtown Oklahoma City he publicly grieved with the families of the victims at an event that was regarded at the time as a turning point in his presidency.

--Meme-Killing Time

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:11 AM in Politics/Government


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