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Thursday, January 29, 2004

Blogging will be light to none over the next couple days as I'll be in Columbus for a funeral.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:51 PM in Miscellaneous
And while I'm linking to RealPolitik

I like the first cartoon displaying "people who were led to believe Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction".

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:00 PM in Politics/Government
Some interesting maps

Fundrace has some interesting maps outlining the geographic patterns of presidential fundraising. President Bush seems to by far have the most national pattern of fundraising.

(via RealPolitik)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:58 AM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
John Kerry knows how to take a stand

The problem is that back in '91 at least he hadn't figured out you should only do it on one side of the issue.

"Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition ... to the early use of military force by the US against Iraq. I share your concerns. On January 11, I voted in favor of a resolution that would have insisted that economic sanctions be given more time to work and against a resolution giving the president the immediate authority to go to war."

--letter from Senator John Kerry to Wallace Carter of Newton Centre, Massachusetts, dated January 22 [1991]

"Thank you very much for contacting me to express your support for the actions of President Bush in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. From the outset of the invasion, I have strongly and unequivocally supported President Bush's response to the crisis and the policy goals he has established with our military deployment in the Persian Gulf."

--Senator Kerry to Wallace Carter, January 31 [1991]

--The New Republic Online

A real master of the principled stand, isn't he?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:40 AM in Politics/Government

Wednesday, January 28, 2004
"Don't you know there's a war on?"
    Listening to all the aspiring commanders in chief (except for Joe Lieberman), I don't hear any campaign promises related to winning the war on terrorism. They make a few obligatory references to getting Osama bin Laden rather than wasting our time with Saddam Hussein, and then they get on to their real campaign message, which is the conventional, peacetime Democratic argument to tax the rich and give the proceeds to their likely voters. I am tempted to respond to these candidates with the snappy WWII-era retort to complainers: "Don't you know there's a war on?"
    Of course domestic life and politics goes on today as it did during 1941-1945. But it is striking that the challengers for president have virtually nothing to say about the central event of our time. If they think President Bush is fighting the war badly (and they could do a better job), they should be shouting both their criticism and their better plan from the rooftops.
I don't get the feeling that any of them (again, except for Mr. Lieberman) sit up at night worrying how they will protect America from the terrorist threat if they get elected president.
    Rather, I get the sense that, as [witer Raoul de Roussy de Salles] described too many Americans 60 years ago at the beginning of WWII, today's candidates for commander in chief still think the war is optional. They still think they can select "how much war they would accept." They let the confusion of the situation "serve as an excuse for recommending a policy of aloofness."

--Washington Times

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:40 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
It's been a good week for Blair

He won his vote yesterday and today the Hutton report basically clears Downing Street and criticizes the BBC, who's Chairman stepped down today.

  • Editorial system at BBC was defective in allowing Mr Gilligan's report to go to air without editors seeing a script
  • BBC management failed to make an examination of Mr Gilligan's notes of the interview with Dr Kelly

  • There was a defect in the BBC's management system relating to the way complaints were investigated
  • BBC governors failed to investigate Mr Gilligan's actions properly
  • The Prime Minister's desire to have as compelling a dossier as possible may have subconsciously influenced the JIC to make the language of the dossier stronger than they would otherwise have done
  • The JIC and its chairman, John Scarlett, were concerned to ensure that the contents of the dossier were consistent with the intelligence available to the JIC
  • The dossier could be said to be "sexed up" if this term is taken to mean it was drafted to make the case against Saddam as strong as intelligence permitted
  • But in the context of Mr Gilligan's report, "sexed up" would be understood to mean the dossier was embellished with items of intelligence known or believed to be false or unreliable. This allegation is unfounded
  • --BBC NEWS: Key points: The Hutton report

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:47 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
    Google: crime-fighter

    LaShawn Pettus-Brown had been on the run for over a year. He was to rehabilitate the 90-year old Empire Theater in Cincinnati but that didn't happen and $93,000 of the money the city paid Pettus Brown is missing.

    The Enquirer reports he was caught last week in New York because he went on a date. The prospective date got curious and decided to google him. That led to the FBI. The woman then contacted the FBI and he was picked up at an Applebee's on Long Island.

    Score one for Google.

    (via Cincy Blog)

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:07 PM in Cincinnati

    Tuesday, January 27, 2004
    Republicans for Dean

    From the "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" files...

    Last month, a Republican lawyer in Mississippi... infiltrated a Howard Dean for President "meet-up" in Jackson. He took charge of more than the meeting.
    "I'm basically now head of Central Mississippians for Dean," J. Kevin Broughton tells Inside the Beltway.
    "I disclosed that I was a Republican, interested in seeing Dean take Mississippi's delegates and win the nomination. I had to take charge of the meeting," he explains. "They were all talking about how [President] Bush lied about WMDs [weapons of mass destruction] and how sick it was that Arnold [Schwarzenegger] got elected [governor] in California.
    " 'Listen,' I said, 'it'll be a four-man race at most by Super Tuesday. Dean will be one ... [but] we'll have an incredibly low turnout. We need 25 percent of the black vote, and that will get us the 30 [percent] to 32 percent plurality that will take the delegates.'
    "Blank stares," Mr. Broughton recalls. "I'm trying to walk them through the mechanics of winning a primary. 'Look, let's divide up the counties in the middle third of Mississippi. Each of us can contact the Democrat county chairs, and get the voter and donor lists.'
    "The retired colonel said, 'Kevin, tell us what it is that has disaffected you with the current administration.'
    " 'Not a darn thing,' I said, finally getting through. 'My motivation may be different than yours, but our goal is the same, at least until next summer. Your guy can't be president if he doesn't win the nomination. I want him to get the nomination.' "
    Wouldn't you know, Mr. Broughton was crowned chairman of the Dean club. They meet again next week.

    --Inside the Beltway - The Washington Times (via BOTW)

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:41 PM in Politics/Government
    Just a reminder

    I need a job. If anyone might be needing or knows of a company that may need a Computer Science graduate with co-op experience in quality assurance, intranet portal design/maintenance and web application design/maintenance let me know and I can send my resume.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:45 AM in Miscellaneous
    Call me whatever you want, just don't call me Saddam
    Being named after the Iraqi president meant respect and power, but that was before the dictator was overthrown and pulled out of a spider hole.

    Now the nation's thousands of Saddams are queuing up to change their once illustrious moniker to something more in tune with the times.

    More than 300 are in the process of changing their names, and each day several forlorn-looking Saddams visit Baghdad's directorate of citizenship, where deed polls are granted. Many more are too scared to own up in public and have quietly adopted a new identity.

    "It's the most depressing thing in the world to be called Saddam Hussein," said Saddam Hussein Karim as he completed the final paperwork for his name change.
    Saddam Hadi said: "It is just plain embarrassing. Whenever I think of the name Saddam I see a dirty old man living in a hole.

    "I'm sure that's what people think when they say my name - that's why I need a new one."

    Yassen Taher al-Yassery, the citizenship director, said: "I once knew someone called Zbaal. It means rubbish in Arabic. That's what the name Saddam means to us now."

    --Telegraph (via Tim Blair)

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:37 AM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

    Monday, January 26, 2004
    This is where we invoke Godwin's law, right?

    Sullivan links to Harley Sorensen's latest column which compares modern-day America to Nazi Germany, 9/11 to the burning of the Reichstag, the Super Bowl the the 1936 Olympics and stating flat out that Guantenamo Bay is the equal of a Nazi concentration camp.

    In 1933, the Reichstag, Germany's parliament building, was burned to the ground. Nobody knows for sure who set the fire. The Nazis blamed communists. "This incident prompted Hitler[,then Germany's chancellor,] to convince [German President Paul von] Hindenburg to issue a Decree for the Protection of People and State that granted Nazis sweeping power to deal with the so-called emergency."

    The Reichstag fire parallels the Sept. 11 attacks here, and Hindenburg's decree parallels our USA Patriot Act.

    Soon after Hitler took power, the concentration camp at Dachau was created and "the Nazis began arresting Communists, Socialists and labor leaders ... . Parliamentary democracy ended with the Reichstag passage of the Enabling Act, which allowed the government to issue laws without the Reichstag."

    With Bush leading all branches of government around by the nose, there's a question whether parliamentary democracy still exists here. Certainly, concentration camps exist, if we're willing to call the lockup at Guanténamo Bay what it really is. And the USA Patriot Act allows the president to effectively take citizenship rights from any American-born criminal suspect.

    "Nazi anti-Semitic legislation and propaganda against 'Non-Aryans' was a thinly disguised attack against anyone who had Jewish parents or grandparents. Jews felt increasingly isolated from the rest of German society."

    How comfortable do American-born Arabs feel in the United States today?

    While the German concentration camps were being built and Jews were being persecuted, in 1936 Nazi Germany hosted the Olympic Games and put its best face forward to the world. We have the Super Bowl.

    It's worth keeping in mind that this is the same Harley Sorensen who was so astoundingly wrong on the issue of being lied to about deaths of those wounded in Iraq. The same guy who was either so lazy or so incompetent as to take his failure to follow a link at the bottom of the very same page he linked to as proof that the government was lying to us. His is about as far from a trustworthy opinion as you can get.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:29 PM in Politics/Government
    Was Bush AWOL?

    Bill Hobbs has taken a look at the Left's Bush AWOL allegation and written a series of detailed posts examining and refuting the oft-repeated AWOL Bush meme.

    Check it out.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:29 PM in Politics/Government
    A question for the liberals

    I keep seeing comments like "Bush lied!" and "He misled us!" so I'd like to get something straight...

    Do you believe that at the time they were making the case for war that the administration knew or believed that Iraq had no stockpiles of WMD?

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:22 PM in Politics/Government
    An interesting approach to homelessness

    Columbus seems to be having luck with an innovative solution to homelessness: give them homes.

    Columbus, Ohio, is at the forefront of a trend gaining momentum in cities: housing the chronically homeless - not those who need just a nudge toward self-sufficiency, but those who, like Bingham, have been homeless for much of their lives, who may never have been independent, and who often struggle with addiction or mental illness.
    [U of Pennsylvania professor Dennis Culhane] found that although the long-term homeless made up only 10 percent of the homeless population over three years, they were using half of all shelter beds on any given night. And when Culhane compared the costs of supporting those with and without permanent housing, he discovered that it cost a city just $1,000 more annually per person to offer supportive housing - with services for mental health, addictions, employment, and other needs - than to care for the chronically homeless.
    [F]or the most part, the program has been successful. More than 370 units have been built, and 165 more will be ready this year. And Columbus's approach is now part of a blueprint for cities fighting homelessness nationwide.
    "The tenants are very protective of the building," says Marla Taylor, the manager at North High. "They watch the building, keep the yard clean, take out the trash, and don't let people who shouldn't be here in."

    Sounds like a good idea to me. It's not simply a giveaway. A great many of the homeless given a place to stay seem to be proud enough to work for it and I'd imagine the simple dignity of having a permanent place of their own is the biggest factor of all. It's not just a hand out, it's a hand up.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:51 AM in Miscellaneous
    Oooh look, snow!

    You know, snow's a lot more exciting when you have something to go to that could be cancelled.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:42 AM in Miscellaneous
    Kay on WMD
    "We led this search to find the truth, not to find the weapons. The fact that we found so far the weapons do not exist, we've got to deal with that difference and understand why," Kay said Sunday on the National Public Radio program "Weekend Edition."

    Asked whether he feels President Bush owes the American people an apology for starting the war on the basis of apparently flawed intelligence, Kay said: "I actually think the intelligence community owes the president rather than the president owing the American people.

    "You have to remember that this view of Iraq was held during the Clinton administration and didn't change in the Bush administration. It is not a political `got you' issue. It is a serious issue of how you could come to the conclusion that is not matched by the future."

    "It's not a political issue. Its an issue of the capabilities of one's intelligence service to collect valid, truthful information."

    Since Kay's resignation Friday as the top U.S. weapons investigator in Iraq, Kay has said Iraq had no large-scale weapons production program during the 1990s, after it lost the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and no large numbers of mass destruction weapons were available for "imminent action."

    Still, "that is not the same thing as saying it was not a serious, imminent threat," he said Sunday. "That is a political judgment," he said, "not a technical judgment."
    "I must say I actually think Iraq — what we learned during the inspections — made Iraq a more dangerous place potentially than in fact we thought it was even before the war," Kay added. Blogs4Bush)

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:13 AM in Politics/Government

    Sunday, January 25, 2004
    Kay: "unspecified materials" moved to Syria before war
    In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Dr Kay, who last week resigned as head of the Iraq Survey Group, said that he had uncovered evidence that unspecified materials had been moved to Syria shortly before last year's war to overthrow Saddam.

    "We are not talking about a large stockpile of weapons," he said. "But we know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam's WMD programme. Precisely what went to Syria, and what has happened to it, is a major issue that needs to be resolved."

    And then there's this gem of a quote from a "Syrian official": "These allegations have been raised many times in the past by Israeli officials, which proves that they are false."

    That's one whacked out sense of logic there. I hear the Israelis think the Earth circles the Sun, I guess that's proof that it's not true.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:49 PM in Politics/Government
    A good day on Mars

    Opportunity is safely on Mars and talking and they now think Spirit's problem is bad flash memory which can be bypassed.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:36 AM in Technology/Internet

    Saturday, January 24, 2004
    Reposting my own comment

    Responding to a comment (On this post) to the effect of "Sure Bush had the same info as Clinton, but Clinton didn't use it to go to war":

    No body tried to use this intelligence before to go to war, but likewise nobody had to face this intelligence in the light of 9/11 either.

    The intelligence said Iraq had WMD under Clinton as well as Bush, but under the Clinton administration there was a sense of security that isn't present after 9/11. 9/11 emphasized that there are people out there who want to kill us and when they try it isn't going to be in the form of an army massing at our border, it's going to be one guy in a downtown somewhere. In a world where we recognize that that threat exists you have to look at enemy nations with a severe hatred of you, a history of whimsical decision making, and (according to your intelligence) WMD differently than you did before.

    Sure Clinton didn't start a war based on that intelligence, but he didn't seriously face the threat of Al-Qaeda either. Things change. In this case it wasn't the intelligence that changed but rather the perceived threat if the intelligence was right.

    Friday, January 23, 2004
    Gonna try updating to mt-2.661 now

    So if things go terribly wrong you'll know why.

    --Seems to have worked. That wasn't hard.

    -- 11:10 PM --Hmm, comments aren't working, guess it wasn't as easy as I thought.

    -- 11:29 PM -- Ok, comments are working again. A note to future upgraders. If you get an error something like "An error occurred: Global symbol "$body" requires explicit package name at lib/MT/App/ line 251." try making sure you uploaded your .pm files as ascii and that your ftp program didn't default to binary.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:48 PM in Technology/Internet
    My "first six"

    Jay Solo listed the top six blogs that he checks first and foremost and called for others to do the same. Here's mine.

    Andrew Sullivan
    American RealPolitik
    Neal Boortz
    Jay Solo
    Cincinnati Blog

    Then I throw in daybyday, Penny Arcade(MWF) and PvP, Left of the Middle(to see if it's been updated) and a few more random ones from the blogroll.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:15 PM in Miscellaneous
    Is Edwards breaking campaign spending limits?

    He is according to Drudge.

    [T]hrough January 20, 2004, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned, Edwards has spent $950,915 in New Hampshire -- already busting the state's "spending cap by over $220,000! [The state "spending cap" for New Hampshire is $729,600.] MORE Senator Edwards has also spent $682,517 on ads in Boston, bringing his total ad spending aimed at New Hampshire audiences to $1,633,432 more than double the New Hampshire state spending limit... Before he broke the spending limits in New Hampshire, Edwards explained: "I'm a strong believer in the campaign-finance system. I think it brings integrity to the process."

    --Drudge Report

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:52 PM in Politics/Government
    Some interesting numbers

    Troop figures from the Korean War and Iraq.

    Korea: 303,000 US - 39,474 Foreign - 339,474 Total - 88% US

    Iraq: 130,000 US - 21,350 Foreign - 151,350 Total - 86% US

    --The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: U.S. Coalitions - Now With Less Unilateralism

    The "unilateral war" has a higher percentage of non-US troops than the UN-led Korean war did.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:34 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
    Your source for Howard Dean concession speech remixes...

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:57 PM in Politics/Government
    Good Mars news

    Spirit is kinda talking again, and there's officially water on Mars.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:13 PM in Technology/Internet

    Thursday, January 22, 2004
    You know about the white African running for "Distinguished African American Student", right?

    If not you do now.

    A small group of Westside High School students plastered the school Monday with posters advocating that a white student from South Africa receive the "Distinguished African American Student Award" next year.

    The students' actions on Martin Luther King Jr. Day upset several students and have led administrators to discipline four students.

    The posters, placed on about 150 doors and lockers, included a picture of the junior student smiling and giving a thumbs up. The posters encouraged votes for him.
    Karen Richards said her son and his friends were not trying to hurt anyone.

    "My son is not a racist," she said. "He has black friends, friends from Bangladesh and Egypt. Color has never been an issue in our home."

    "It was a very innocent thing," she said.

    Richards said her family moved to Omaha from Johannesburg six years ago. Trevor, she said, "is as African as anyone."

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 8:40 PM in Miscellaneous
    On "WMD-related program activities"

    I've seen some criticism of Bush's use of the term "WMD-related program activities" as if he's making up some make-believe term to mislead people into believing we've found WMD.

    It should be pointed out that this is the exact same wording put forth in the Kay report.

    We have discovered dozens of WMD-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002. The discovery of these deliberate concealment efforts have come about both through the admissions of Iraqi scientists and officials concerning information they deliberately withheld and through physical evidence of equipment and activities that ISG has discovered that should have been declared to the U.N.

    --Text of the Kay Report (emphasis added)

    And just because the Kay report doesn't get as fully reported as it should...

    Examples of concealment
    Let me just give you a few examples of these concealment efforts, some of which I will elaborate on later:

    – A clandestine network of laboratories and safehouses within the Iraqi Intelligence Service that contained equipment subject to U.N. monitoring and suitable for continuing CBW (chemical biological weapons) research.

    – A prison laboratory complex, possibly used in human testing of BW (bioweapons) agents, that Iraqi officials working to prepare for U.N. inspections were explicitly ordered not to declare to the U.N.

    – Reference strains of biological organisms concealed in a scientist's home, one of which can be used to produce biological weapons.

    – New research on BW-applicable agents, brucella and Congo Crimean hemorrhagic fever, and continuing work on ricin and aflatoxin were not declared to the U.N.

    – Documents and equipment, hidden in scientists' homes, that would have been useful in resuming uranium enrichment by centrifuge and electromagnetic isotope separation.

    – A line of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) not fully declared at an undeclared production facility and an admission that they had tested one of their declared UAVs out to a range of 500 km, 350 km beyond the permissible limit.

    – Continuing covert capability to manufacture fuel propellant useful only for prohibited SCUD-variant missiles, a capability that was maintained at least until the end of 2001 and that cooperating Iraqi scientists have said they were told to conceal from the U.N.

    – Plans and advanced design work for new long-range missiles with ranges up to at least 1,000 km – well beyond the 150-km range limit imposed by the U.N. Missiles of a 1000 km range would have allowed Iraq to threaten targets throughout the Middle East, including Ankara, Cairo, and Abu Dhabi.

    – Clandestine attempts between late-1999 and 2002 to obtain from North Korea technology related to 1,300-km range ballistic missiles – probably the No Dong – 300-km range anti-ship cruise missiles and other prohibited military equipment.
    3. In the chemical and biological weapons area we have confidence that there were at a minimum clandestine ongoing research and development activities that were embedded in the Iraqi Intelligence Service.
    --Text of the Kay Report

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 8:36 PM in Politics/Government
    Damn Martians and their probe destroying ways!!

    Spirit's Spirit's stopped talking. Look on the bright side though, we've got another one landing Saturday.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:53 PM in Technology/Internet

    Wednesday, January 21, 2004
    Go UC!
    Tonight's #5 Cincinnati at #6 Louisville game should be a very good one.
    Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:27 PM in Cincinnati
    Why Dean lost Iowa

    Daily Kos blames it on ill-prepared Dean precinct captains.

    The basic gist was that the general laid down an excellent strategy, but the execution didn't happen. Those who arrived at the caucus as the Dean Precinct captains were unprepared; there was not enough input into training them, not enough holding them through process of what was going to happen the night of the caucus. In comparison, Kerry and Edwards were ready.

    For example, when it became apparent that Gephardt was unviable, the Kerry and Edwards folks went after them for their support. 70% of the Gephardt supporters went to Edwards, 10% to Dean, and the others stayed uncommitted.

    As an example for Dean's lack, in the 8th precinct, forty something 1's were expected to show up, only ten did. Precinct captains didn't know how to play their role; they were newbie's in the process. In the 11th and 16th, Kucinich supporters came over to Dean, but in the 8th, Kucinich supporters outnumbered Dean by 19-17.

    Kerry's folks were calling the shots, with one woman who was running the poll wearing a "Real Deal" sticker. Kerry's caucus night strategy worked, because there was an institutional base there for him to use, an inside straight. The question is whether that's applicable to other caucus states. It's really Kerry that has the burden of proof now on his shoulders.

    --Daily Kos

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:15 AM in Politics/Government
    State of the Union

    Transcript here.

    It wasn't the best speech ever but I thought it was good. I think they missed an opportunity for a good turn of phrase in the part about Iraq's new place in the middle east. They could have gotten a lot more uplifting with that part throw in a "beacon of freedom in the Middle East" or something.

    I think I'm against his stance on gay marriage, but it's kind of hard to tell. He says he supports limiting marriage to being between a man and a woman and the people's voice should be heard and whatnot, but he still (to my knowledge) hasn't come anywhere near stating a position to equivalents of gay marriage. So far I just get the feeling that his stance is more railing against judicial activism than an actual stand on whether people of the same sex should be allowed to be legally joined.

    I think we can all agree that Tom Daschle is a much better speaker than Nancy Pelosi. Daschle was laid back and fairly warm; Pelosi to me seemed to be rather bug-eyed with a weird sort of strained, gritted teeth grimace/smile. I think their message probably would have gotten out better with just Daschle.

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

    Tuesday, January 20, 2004
    Damn spammers!

    Just got hit by a comment flood so I suppose it's time to upgrade to Movabletype Version 2.661. Hopefully it'll go smoothly, but if it goes kerblooey that'll be why.

    On a related note, I highly recommend mt-blacklist. I can't imagine what a pain it would have been to clean up the flood without it.

    --15:45--Well ok, maybe I'll hold off until mt-blacklist has a new version that plays well with the new version of mt...

    --16:02--Holy cow, in the past 45 minutes blacklist has rejected over 400 attempted spam comments, this is just insane.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:39 PM in Technology/Internet
    More from John Rhys-Davies

    He's apparently caught quite a bit of flak over in Europe for his earlier remarks. All kinds of groups have been calling him racist and whatnot. Oddly enough one seems to be saying that living off in Hollywood has made him lose touch with reality and become too conservative. You don't see that claim too often.

    Rhys-Davies responds thusly...

    I BELIEVE in racial equality not racial discrimination. All I was commenting on was that there are cultural changes taking place in Europe that I consider to be unacceptable.
    I am really proud to be living in a society that accepts women as our equals, that accepts civilised discourse that allows people to hold different opinions without coming to any act of violence.

    Here in America when that earthquake happened in Iran the reaction of everyone I knew was horror and dismay, the reaction of everyone when they heard that the old woman had been brought out alive long after they thought there was anyone there was absolute awe at the extraordinary capacity of the human spirit to survive. Contrast that with people jumping up and down and clapping at the 9/11 disaster in certain countries.

    I don't think that Western society is opposed to Islamic society at all. I think a very important part of Islamic society is opposed to Western society.
    The greatest act of racism is to expect that other people will not behave according to your values and standards.

    Yes, I am for dead, (traditional) white male culture. It's pretty damn good, pretty damn marvellous, pretty wonderful. That's not to exclude other cultures, but it's not to diminish mine.

    I'm sorry that might be perceived as infringing some sort of racial taboo, it's certainly not intended to be a racial remark.
    But I will stand by this: Western Christianised Europe has values and experience that is worth defending.

    --ic Wales - Welsh star in race row

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:02 PM in Politics/Government
    The 2003 Vaporware Awards are out

    And believe it or not, the #1 spot didn't go to Duke Nukem Forever... but only because it beat the others so badly that they just gave it the "Lifetime Achievement Award".

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:37 PM in Miscellaneous
    Ya wanna see biased reporting?

    Check it out.

    232: Number of American combat deaths in Iraq between May 2003 and January 2004

    501: Number of American servicemen to die in Iraq from the beginning of the war - so far

    0: Number of American combat deaths in Germany after the Nazi surrender to the Allies in May 1945

    0: Number of coffins of dead soldiers returning home from Iraq that the Bush administration has allowed to be photographed

    0: Number of funerals or memorials that President Bush has attended for soldiers killed in Iraq

    100: Number of fund-raisers attended by Bush or Vice-President Dick Cheney in 2003

    13: Number of meetings between Bush and Tony Blair since he became President

    10 million: Estimated number of people worldwide who took to the streets in opposition to the invasion of Iraq, setting an all-time record for simultaneous protest

    2: Number of nations that Bush has attacked and taken over since coming into the White House

    --The Independent

    It goes on like that for quite a bit. Not even an attempt to include a good number.

    (I'd also point out that while 0 may be the number of Americans killed after the Nazis surrendered, it's also currently the number of Americans killed after the Baathists surrendered.)

    It's also the number of terrorist attacks on US (or British for that matter) soil.

    And then there's -2: the change in the number of countries trying to obtain WMD.

    And -2 again for the change in the number of governments harboring terrorists.

    And one more time for the change in the number of Saddam's evil sons still alive.

    49: the number of nations that supported the war in Iraq.

    48,000,000+: the number of humans liberated from brutal, totalitarian governments.

    5: how many fewer military funerals/memorials Bush has attended than Nixon, Carter, Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Clinton combined.

    Churchill's parrot still curses the Nazis

    A story too strange not to blog.

    SHE WAS at Winston Churchill's side during Britain's darkest hour. And now Charlie the parrot is 104 years old...and still cursing the Nazis.

    Her favourite sayings were "F*** Hitler" and "F*** the Nazis". And even today, 39 years after the great man's death, she can still be coaxed into repeating them with that unmistakable Churchillian inflection.
    James Humes, an expert on the late PM, said: "Churchill may no longer be with us but that spirit and those words of defiance and resolve continue." (via Realpolitik)

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:22 AM in Miscellaneous
    A few thoughts (3 to be precise) on Kerry's speech

  • First off I would point out to Senator Kerry that today wasn't actually Martin Luther King's birthday, that was actually last Thursday back when President Bush was at King's grave.
  • Ooooh, you're going to deliver us from all those evil special interests that Bush has. Like you're not beholden to your own special interests like the unions and the teachers.
  • Thirdly, he brings up the bad economy and jobs a lot. He never actually explains why Bush is to blame for it though. It's "Bush's recession" but I don't see anyone saying what they would've or what Bush should've done to avoid it. He also seems to be blaming Enron an other similar situations on Bush. Nevermind that the fraud was going on for years and years during the Clinton administration and came to light only 11 months into Bush's. Damn facts getting in the way of irrational blame!
  • Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:56 AM in Politics/Government
    Looks like the next month & a half should be interesting

    Kerry picks up 17 delegates to Edwards' 15 and Dean's 7.

    With his 17 delegates Kerry is now .79% of the way towards the 2,162 delegates needed to be nominated.

    If you add tonight's to the endorsements of the superdelegates (which can change) Dean still leads in with 87 to Kerry's 67, Edwards' 30, Clark's 22 and George Bush's 1.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:23 AM in Politics/Government

    Monday, January 19, 2004
    Boortz on Judge Pickering

    Neal explains the cross burning case the Dems keep harping on.

    Now .. about Pickering. In a statement last week John Kerry called Pickering "a forceful advocate for a cross burner." Is that the case, or is Kerry playing a big race card here?

    Here's your reader's digest version of the story. Three men get snockered and decide to burn a cross in the yard of a racially mixed couple in Mississippi. Here's your cast of characters:

  • Mickey Herbert Thomas. 25-year-old with less than a room-temperature IQ

  • An unnamed 17-year old with a history of racial hatred. He was the ringleader for the cross burning incident and had previously been arrested for firing a gun into the home of the same mixed-race couiple.

  • Daniel Swan, a 20-year-old with no previous problems with the law and no history of racial hatred.

  • The actual cross-burning was the work of Thomas and the 17-year-old juvenile. Swan sat in the truck and did not participate.

    Thomas and the 17-year-old accepted a plea bargain and pled guilty. They were sentenced to probation. Swan claimed that he was drunk and was not didn't really know what was happening. He wanted a trial. He was found guilty at the trial. Federal sentencing guidelines said that Swan should get seven and one-half years in federal prison.

    So ... here is Pickering's crime. The ringleader gets probation. The other person who helped to erect the cross, douse it with gasoline and set it on fire ... probation. The man who sat in the truck, seven and one-half years. Pickering merely talked to the Justice Department about bypassing the sentencing guidelines to get the truck driver a lesser sentence. This is what Charles Schumer calls "glaring racial insensitivity". This is what John Kerry describes as being a "forceful advocate for cross burners."

    By the way, do you know that immediately after Mississippi schools were desegregated Charles Pickering took his kids out of a majority white school and made a point of sending them to a majority black newly integrated school? How's that for a display of Pickering's " glaring racial insensitivity."

    --Nealz Nuze

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:47 PM in Politics/Government
    Let the caucusing begin

    Should be interesting to see how Gephardt and Dean's much ballyhooed organizations work out. If they work like they say they will the "likely voter" polls could be way off.

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict Bush wins the Iowa caucus in a landslide.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:30 PM in Politics/Government

    Sunday, January 18, 2004
    I just don't get it
    Today's Dayton Daily News devoted a full third of a page in their sports section to the 9-7 Buckeyes. Meanwhile the 13-0, 7th ranked UC Bearcats (who are closer to Dayton than OSU is) got a total of 14 lines. The box score alone for OSU's game was as big as the total coverage of the Bearcats' game.

    It wouldn’t be so bad if they didn't expend so much effort on OSU. UC's closer than OSU and has a much more prestigious basketball program, would it kill them to pick up a full AP story on UC every once in a while?

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:59 PM in Cincinnati
    Let me get this straight...

    You've got not just one, but TWO singers hosting Saturday Night Live tonight in Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey. Do they really need to bring in FOUR COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PEOPLE to be the musical guest? For Pete’s sake, you’d think that between the two singers they had to begin with they could have cobbled together a musical performance of some kind.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:53 AM in TV

    Saturday, January 17, 2004
    Goldberg on "Bush lied!"
    Unfortunately, there are too many anti-Bush slanders out there to count, let alone debunk, but they are all premised on the "fact" that Bush lied.

    But nobody has made a remotely persuasive case that Bush lied. The German, Russian, French, Israeli, British, Chinese and U.S. governments all agreed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. The German assessment was even more dire than our own. They were convinced Saddam would have a nuclear weapon by 2005.

    Bill Clinton and his entire administration believed Saddam had WMDs. In 2002 Robert Einhorn, Clinton's point man on WMDs, testified to Congress, "Today, or at most within a few months, Iraq could launch missile attacks with chemical or biological weapons against its neighbors" including our 100,000 troops in Saudi Arabia.

    The threat - chemical, biological and nuclear - against U.S. territory proper was only a few years away, according to Einhorn. Dick Gephardt, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, Wesley Clark, Joe Lieberman, Tony Blair, Hillary Clinton, Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schroeder: all of these people believed Iraq had major stockpiles of WMDs.

    Were they all "liars" like President Bush? No? Why not?

    You can't have it both ways. You can't say Bush lied while others who said the same thing were being honest. The White House was operating with fundamentally identical information to that of Clinton, Pollack and Einhorn. What was different was that this White House needed to deal with the post-9/11 world.

    Maybe that clouded Bush's judgment - or opened his eyes. Let's have that argument. I certainly believe mistakes were made (though I still believe the war was right and just). But if you start from Kennedy's premise that the WMD thing was made up, I can't take you seriously.

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

    Thursday, January 15, 2004
    Wesley Clark v1.0 on Iraq
    [I]t was a signal warning about Saddam Hussein: he is not only malevolent and violent, but also unpredictable. He retains his chemical and biological warfare capabilities and is actively pursuing nuclear capabilities. Were he to acquire such capabilities, we and our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks. Saddam might use such weapons as a deterrent while launching attacks against Israel or his neighbors, he might threaten American forces in the region, he might strike directly against Israel, or Israel, weighing the possibilities of nuclear blackmail or aggression, might feel compelled to strike Iraq first.
    In addition, Saddam Hussein’s current retention of chemical and biological weapons and their respective delivery systems violates the UN resolutions themselves, which carry the weight of international law.

    Our President has emphasized the urgency of eliminating these weapons and weapons programs. I strongly support his efforts to encourage the United Nations to act on this problem. And in taking this to the United Nations, the President’s clear determination to act if the United Nations can’t provides strong leverage undergirding further diplomatic efforts.

    Wednesday, January 14, 2004
    Carnival of the Vanities

    This week's Carnival of the Vanities is up over at Snooze Button Dreams.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:09 PM in Miscellaneous
    That's a big patriotic rock

    This comes in the e-mail.

    There is a huge rock near a gravel pit on Hwy. 25 in rural Iowa. For generations, kids have painted slogans, names, and obscenities on this
    rock, changing its character many times.

    A few months back, the rock received its latest paint job, and since then it has been left completely undisturbed. It's quite an impressive sight.

    The pics of the rock are here.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:08 PM in Miscellaneous
    Penn back in Iraq

    Sean Penn's back in Baghdad and surprisingly his reports are much more even-handed than you may have expected after the hullabaloo over his last trip.

    If the Hussein regime could be credited with anything, it would be with keeping obsessively complete records of the atrocities the regime itself committed. (Pol Pot and Hitler shared this habit.) Many of the death warrants are signed by Hussein. Our tour ends in a room of moldy documents piled head-high and wall to wall, representing some of the lives claimed under this horrific regime. Our guide makes the point simply: "We will put all these names in a museum as a way to say thank you to all those who sacrificed their lives on the long road to reach freedom." It's a reminder that it wasn't only the Americans and coalition forces that "liberated" the country. There were tens of thousands of Iraqis who lost their lives opposing the regime as well.
    For Iraqis, there was no pro-war or anti-war movement last spring when the United States invaded their country. That, in their view, was a predominantly Western debate. They're used to war; they're used to gunshots. What's new is this tiny seed and taste of freedom. It is a compelling experience to have been in Baghdad just one year ago, where not a single Iraqi expressed to me opinions outside Baathist party lines, and just one year later, when so many express their opinions and so many opinions compete for attention. Where the debate is similar to that in the United States is over the way in which the business of war will administer the opportunity for peace and freedom, and the reasonable expectation of Iraqi self-rule.
    The presence of Syrian businessmen and Iranian tourists highlights the irony of the Iraqi situation. Syria and Iran each want their piece of the Iraqi pie. Fundamentalist Syrians send suicide bombers to distract the United States from a regime-change policy in Syria, while fundamentalist Iranians want to impose a theocracy in Iraq through puppet Iraqi political leaders. To look across this restaurant at all the floor-length black Islamic dress (they are referred to as BMOs, "black moving objects") is to view Iraq as Iran would like to see it.


    Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:48 PM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, January 13, 2004
    "Why I Am a Democrat"

    Very good stuff.

    I am a Democrat because I believe in the equality of all people, regardless of their race. That is why I think we should give free medical degrees to minorities because, well, duh. Like any of those types are going to make it through medical school.
    I am a Democrat because I believe in a strong military. Strong, yes, but caring and thoughtful too, and ready to face new challenges. A military that enjoys long strolls on the beach, cuddling in front of a warm fire, unafraid to show its vulnerable side. Must be NS/DDF.
    I am a Democrat because I believe in the environment and conservation. For instance, we must raise the price of gasoline, like they do in Europe, to increase conservation. If we don't, there will soon be a big gas shortage, and this will mean higher gasoline prices for you and me.

    --iowahawk: Why I Am a Democrat (via Darthvob)

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:08 AM in Politics/Government
    Oh no! That dastardly President Bush started planning to remove Saddam as soon as he took office!

    I now offer you further proof of O'Neil's damning claims from a super-secret, nationally televised presidential debate held on 10/11/00.

    BUSH: The coalition against Saddam has fallen apart or it’s unraveling, let’s put it that way. The sanctions are being violated. We don’t know whether he’s developing weapons of mass destruction. He better not be or there’s going to be a consequence, should I be the president.

    Q: You could get him out of there?

    BUSH: I’d like to, of course. But it’s going to be important to rebuild that coalition to keep the pressure on him.

    Q: You feel that as a failure of the Clinton administration?

    BUSH: I do.

    We've been tricked! If Bush wanted to remove Saddam he should have told us so before we elected him, not kept it a secret until 27 days before we voted for him!

    Oh great, now I've got sarcasm all over the place. This will take forever to clean up...

    Sunday, January 11, 2004
    Bush in 30 Seconds

    MoveOn of course has this contest where they choose the smarmiest... no I mean most Bush-hating... no I mean best... nope I'd better go back to Bush-hating... ad and they'll run it on TV.

    The ads mostly look quite nice and professional, but I just have to marvel at the sheer amount of bullshit they contain. The chief piece being that "Bush lied", it's in most of them. For some reason they seem to think that not finding WMD when the intelligence said there was WMD retroactively makes the claims based on that intelligence a lie.

    The polygraph ad features 3 "lies". The problem is that the 3rd "lie", that Iraq "aids and protects terrorists" is 100% true, just see the case of Abu Nidal.

    They lie and say that the war was "declared over" by Bush and then blast Bush for lying.

    Oh look! The children are saying these awful things! They must be true!

    Oh no! Only 3 countries at the UN like us! ...wait a minute... didn't we have like 40 nations helping us in Iraq?

    The biggest problem with these ads for the Dems is that that they're very personal attacks. They don't lay out policy disagreements, they just blast Bush. They’re not trying to convince you that the Dems have better policies, they’re trying to convince you that Bush is an Ogre that wants to eat your babies and gets a thrill out of being deceitful. The problem is the American people seem to like Bush as a person. You might rile up your own base some, but these aren't generally the types of ads that are going to convince your everyday undecided voter. If anything I see the public at large seeing right through most of these ads in a second, they won’t need the full 30.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:29 PM in Politics/Government
    Goldberg on immigration
    I'm not furious about the president's plan. In fact, I think he should be commended to a certain extent for even going at it. He may not always follow through in time, but this president has an almost unprecedented knack for proposing to actually fix problems (Iraq, Social Security) instead of just throwing new coats of paint on condemned buildings. Immigration is such an unholy mess, to propose fixing it at all is like agreeing to fix a big wood chipper by sticking your arm into it while all the parts are still moving. ... Once you accept that these eight million illegals are here and that — contrary to dreams of a few on the far right — there's no way we're going to be able to bounce them out of the country en masse, your spectrum of policy options shrinks mightily. The majority of these folks have jobs here. Suddenly yanking them from their jobs isn't a realistic option. Even less realistic is the expectation that an already overextended government could do it even if it wanted to. And even less realistic than that is the notion that any politician would ever try.

    --The Goldberg File

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:32 AM in Politics/Government
    One more thing from Dean
    The South people do integrate religion openly, easily into their life, both black southerners and white southerners. I understand that if I'm going to campaign for the presidency of the United States I have to be comfortable in the milieu that other Americans are comfortable in. Not just for my own region but for everywhere else.

    --Howard Dean

    I find it rather amusing that in the process of saying that he wants to fit in with everyone he goes and uses a word like "milieu". Yep, that'll make him fit right in with the types of southerners that he's trying to attract.

    (BTW, both this and the preceeding quote come from clips from this week's Beltway Boys on Fox News.)

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:50 AM in Politics/Government
    Is there such a thing as a "Deanism"?

    "Iowa's a great place for people like me who have didn't start out with no money and now have a good message." --Howard Dean

    I post this not because I think people should be expected to speak correctly 100% of the time but rather to point out that if it were Bush it'd be shown as proof of stupidity and would be on a calender somewhere.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:33 AM in Politics/Government

    Saturday, January 10, 2004
    Wesley Clark and abortion

    The Union Leader's got a mighty big problem with Clarks stand on abortion.

    In an interview with The Union Leader on Wednesday, Clark said that “life begins with the mother’s decision.” He said he would place no restrictions on abortion even up to the moment of birth. He went on to say that neither science nor religion nor law has any role to play in abortion decisions.
    Asked whether he would appoint a judge who happened to hold pro-life views, Clark first said he had “no litmus test” for the federal bench. Shortly after the interview ended, he phoned back to say he would never appoint a pro-life person as a federal judge because people with pro-life views cannot be trusted to uphold existing law.

    Well. That automatically eliminates every traditional Catholic from qualification for the federal bench. It also eliminates many Jews and untold numbers of Muslims, many of whom believe that abortion is proscribed either completely or before a certain point in the pregnancy.

    If pro-lifers are not to be trusted to uphold Roe v. Wade as judges, we suppose they also aren’t to be trusted with writing the laws or administering the federal government, which means that they should never be elected to any federal office. Sorry, Catholics, you’re just too nutty to be given the reins of government.
    Medical science has found that babies in the womb feel pain and are even aware of what is happening to them during some of the second trimester, in which the law allows them to be killed. Technology has advanced to the point that abortable babies now can survive outside the womb. None of this sways Clark to consider that perhaps it might be wrong to kill these infants. And that sways us to consider that Clark is either too ill-informed or too cold-hearted to be trusted with the Presidency.
    --The Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:54 PM in Politics/Government

    Dean's got a site up blasting Bush's tax policy.

    Blogs for Bush takes 'em on.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:48 PM in Politics/Government

    Friday, January 9, 2004
    The new immigration rules

    You know, I feel like I should be up in arms over the newly proposed immigration rules but I just don't feel it. Something obviously needs to be done about our immigration policies but as much as people are complaining about Bush's plan nobody seems to be offering a better one. Nobody seriously suggests that we're going to be able to deport all the illegals who are here already. There are some ideas about keeping people out; beefed up border patrols, sticking the army on the border, etc... There is not however a serious plan out there for what to do with the illegals who are already here.

    Bush's idea of allowing foreigners to come to the US for a short time to fill jobs that Americans won't take is certainly a step in the right direction. There ARE jobs that aren't going to be filled by Americans and this creates a demand for illegal immigrants. If this plan's visas and jobs web site will help decrease the demand for illegals by allowing people to come and take those jobs legally then that's at least a good first step.

    And complain as much as you want about giving illegals the opportunity to become legal but I don’t see any better plans being put forth.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:08 AM in Politics/Government

    Thursday, January 8, 2004
    Well imagine that...

    The woman who claims she lost the $162 million lottery ticket now admits she lied.

    A woman admitted through tears Thursday that she lied about losing the winning ticket for a $162 million lottery prize, saying: "I wanted to win so badly for my kids and my family."

    Elecia Battle, 40, is dropping her lawsuit to block payment of the 11-state Mega Millions jackpot to the certified winner, her lawyer Sheldon Starke said.

    "I wanted to win," Battle said. "The numbers were so overwhelming. I did buy a ticket and I lost it. I wanted to win so bad for my kids and my family. I apologize."

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:11 PM in Miscellaneous
    From Liberal to Conservative

    Over at Tech Central Station Keith Burgess-Jackson has a good article on his journey from liberal to conservative.

    I thought Ronald Reagan was a national embarrassment: a smiling, well-coiffed dolt. Now I consider him one of our greatest presidents and thank goodness for his strength, leadership, and vision. I defended redistributive taxation. Now I oppose anything more than a Nozickian minimal state. I shared the feminist belief that women are oppressed by men. Now I think men are just as oppressed as women, albeit in different ways. I also think that feminism has done real damage to women, despite its protestations to the contrary.

    What changed? How did I go from left to right on the political spectrum? My critics (including several former friends from whom I've grown apart -- in some cases because of political differences) will say that I became meaner. I got mine, they will say, and closed the door behind me. I lost my compassion, my decency, my sense of fairness, my very humanity. I became a misanthrope. I smile at these insults, because I know I didn't get meaner. I got wiser. I grew up. They didn't. Maybe they will -- I hope they will -- but they haven't yet. The good news is that as long as one lives, one can be saved into conservatism. It is never too late to let the heart be ruled by the brain.

    --Tech Central Station

    Oddly enough over at Tech Central Station there's also an article by Ken Silber fisking Burgess-Jackson's article.

    Silber, a "libertarian with neoconservative inclinations in foreign policy" tries to reveal the "weaknesses and contradictions of current conservative thought" but IMO he doesn't do a very good job of it. There seems to be a lot of setting up and knocking down of straw men; twisting general statements into absolutes and blasting Burgess-Jackson for the absolutes.

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

    Wednesday, January 7, 2004
    Cable - the root of all evil
    Cable TV made a West Bend man addicted to TV, caused his wife to be overweight and his kids to be lazy, he says.

    And he’s threatening to sue the cable company.

    Timothy Dumouchel of West Bend wants $5,000 or three computers, and a lifetime supply of free Internet service from Charter Communications to settle what he says will be a small claims suit.
    According to the [police] report, Dumouchel told Charter employees he plans to sue because his cable connection remained intact four years after he tried to get it canceled.

    The result was that he and his family got free cable from August of 1999 to Dec. 23, 2003.

    “I believe that the reason I smoke and drink every day and my wife is overweight is because we watched TV every day for the last four years,” Dumouchel stated in a written complaint against the company, included in a Fond du Lac police report.

    “But the reason I am suing Charter is they did not let me make a decision as to what was best for myself and my family and (they have been) keeping cable (coming) into my home for four years after I asked them to turn it off.”

    --The Fond Du Lac Reporter

    Yeah, and I'm sure Charter posted armed guards to make sure the little black cable comeing out of the wall remained attached to his TV. Boy I can just imagine how horrible it must have been getting cable for free for four years.

    Imagine if Charter caved and gave hime the computers and internet. It'd just be a matter of time before he realized that the internet's addictive too and sued them for giving it to him for free.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:58 PM in TV
    I love it
    UC rolls over Tulane, winning by 27 points and they're still pissed off over how badly they played.
    Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:45 PM in Cincinnati
    Carnival of the Vanities

    This week's Carnival of the Vanities is up over at RealPolitik. Check it out.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:24 PM in Miscellaneous
    Mmmm, pie....
    Kucinich Shows Pie Chart on Radio Debate ... Federal spending was the topic and Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich came prepared with a pie chart to argue his point about a bloated Pentagon budget.

    But although many listened to Tuesday's presidential debate, few could see the Ohio congressman's prop.

    The debate was broadcast only on National Public Radio.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:20 PM in Politics/Government

    Tuesday, January 6, 2004
    Quote of the day
    So we went ahead and did the whole thing and we got back to the room and we decided that's when we need to tell everbody what we done did and that's when all hell broke loose and we realized that what we did wasn't probably the right thing we should have done...

    --Jason Allen Alexander

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:43 PM in Miscellaneous
    The Enquirer's coverage of the Pete Rose situation

    Pete Rose admits to betting on baseball. How does the Cincinnati Enquirer cover it? They've got one story by the Enquirer, one with opinions from Fay Vincent, the LA Daily News and 2 from Knight-Ridder and one story from The (Fort Myers, Fla.) News-Press.

    This is the Cincinnati Enquirer, you know, the big paper in the city where Rose spent the great majority of his career as a player and manager. Would it have killed them to do a little more of the coverage of the story themselves.

    The Dayton Daily News meanwhile managed to do 4 different stories themselves with 2 more from the Cox News Service.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:16 AM in Baseball , Cincinnati
    OSC on the war and November's election

    Some really great stuff from Orson Scott Card on the war on terror and the upcoming election.

    Our enemy at this time is the enemy of all of civilization, as surely as during World War II or during the Cold War. We are in the right, and when our soldiers die, they die not just to protect Americans, but to protect all human beings who love peace and freedom; and when they kill, it is for that same national motive.
    It is easy to charge America with imperialistic motives, but any rational assessment of our behavior as a nation in the past century, when we clearly stood astride the world as an economic and military colossus, would show that we behaved with historically unprecedented restraint.
    Germany, once conquered by us in a far bloodier war than the one we waged in Iraq, should know that being conquered by Americans is the best thing that ever happened to them in their painful history. France, whose own soldiers and government melted away once they were outmaneuvered by Hitler's military, owes its freedom -- both from Nazism and Communism -- to American troops and nuclear weapons that sheltered them in their surly resentment. It was not America that ended the greatness of France -- that was something the French accomplished for themselves -- but it was America that preserved the freedom and independence of France.

    Above all nations on this planet, France and Germany should recognize a war of liberation when they see it. It is to their shame, not ours, that they do not.
    [I]n 2004, we will be making the ultimate decision about whether or not to win the decisive victory. The first campaign will take place entirely on American soil, as we must choose between the current administration, which shows every sign of intending to pursue victory, and the Democratic Party, which so far seems grimly determined to nominate candidates that will undo all our gains so far and leave us permanently exposed to enemies that are emboldened by American weakness.
    This election, more than any other in recent memory, will give us the chance to decide, with greater clarity than in most elections, what the future of our nation and the world will be.
    The burden of decision has been placed on this generation of American voters, who have inherited a nation made great by the actions of their forebears. Now we will decide whether America will remain great and good, or wither away like so many other nations that have lacked the will to make the national and personal sacrifices that greatness and goodness require.

    --War Watch - The Ornery American

    OSC on comedians

    He tells the truth.

    The best political comics working today are Dennis Miller and Chris Rock. Because they both jab at stupidity from every part of the political spectrum, I have seen them both tagged as "conservative" by some commentators, but they're not. They're truly middle-of-the-road snipers at the idiocies of political life; I think they're funny and intelligent even when I disagree with them. It breaks my heart that HBO dumped both their shows.

    Above all, Miller and Rock are both honest, which is more than you can say for the worst political comics working today: Michael Moore and Al Franken. To his credit, Franken was once funny -- one thinks of Stuart Smalley and of his bits as a one-man TV reporting team during the first Gulf War. But today, both Franken and Moore loudly proclaim that their political enemies are liars -- and both are quite willing to lie or misrepresent or distort the facts in order to "prove" their point. Dishonesty might be a tiny bit excusable if they were even slightly funny.

    --Uncle Orson Reviews Everything

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:39 AM in Miscellaneous

    Monday, January 5, 2004
    And then Job walked up to Jesus and...
    Dean, whose wife is Jewish, said he had thought more about what it meant to be a Christian as he got older and was comfortable with the role of faith in his personal life.

    He said a trip to Israel in December 2002, when he had already been to Iowa a couple of times looking into a possible presidential bid, had a particularly dramatic effect on him.

    "If you know much about the Bible -- which I do -- to see and be in the place where Christ was and understand the intimate history of what was going on 2000 years ago is an exceptional experience," he said.

    Asked to name his favorite book in the New Testament, Dean cited Job -- which is in the Old Testament -- because "it's such an allegory." More than an hour later, he came back to correct himself, telling reporters he had misspoken.

    --Reuters (via BOTW)

    Yep, just about ready to graduate from seminary there isn't he?

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:58 PM in Politics/Government , Religion
    Pffft! And Dean complains when his opponents say he can't beat Bush

    Imagine the tantrum he'd throw if he were compared to Hitler like Bush.

    Heck, I say bring it on, nothing will lose you votes faster than comparing the guy with a 60+% approval rating to the most despicable war criminal and mass murderer of the past century. It doesn’t quite rope in the undecided voters like the DNC might like.

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

    Sunday, January 4, 2004
    Howard Dean: Bush doing a fine job in war on terror
    Rate President Bush.

    He's doing a fine job on the war on terrorism.

    --Is It 2004 Yet?

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:07 PM in Politics/Government

    We're back on Mars.

    The best part of it all is all the giddy nerds on TV.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:59 AM in Technology/Internet

    Friday, January 2, 2004
    Some days I feel almost normal

    Then there are days like today where I realize just how geeky I am.

    I'm getting far too much enjoyment out of this coding I'm doing.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:11 AM in Technology/Internet

    Thursday, January 1, 2004
    Ack! They cancelled The Brak Show!



    Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:45 AM in Media
    Happy New Year!

    Have a nice 2004.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:00 AM in Miscellaneous


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