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Friday, April 30, 2004
Couple comments

First the apparent torture.

It should be investigated. If it's true then those who took part in it should be prosecuted to the fullest extent. This is not something we will stand for and those few responsible, again assuming it's true, will be held accountable.

Secondly, Nightline.

So much of whether it's right or wrong depends on context and tone that I don't think it can be properly judged beforehand, so I won't.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:22 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
A note to the players on my fantasy baseball team...


I'm talking to you Pettitte, Nomar, Kearns, and LaRue!

That is all.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:09 AM in Baseball

Thursday, April 29, 2004
Zell Miller wants to repeal the 17th Amendment

The story from WorldNetDaily.

I'm all for it. The 17th Amendment would the the one that ended the prectice of state legislatures appointing Senators and changed it to popular elections.

The Constitution was a balancing act to ensure that big states couldn't dominate little states and to ensure that the federal government could never dominate the states. The 17th Amendment knocked that balance out of whack. The states no longer have any real power in Congress and have been relegated to beggers looking for highway funds and other bread crumbs. At some point the people started to believe this country is a Democracy and not a Republic and the rights of the individual states have been going downhill ever since.

Plus, can you imagine if Senators no longer needed to pander to the public for their votes and instead could just do the work of their state?

(On the opposite side of the spectrum in this argument would be the fools who believe that the Electoral College should be done away with. Never mind that there are very good reasons for keeping the EC. For example, to ensure that there won't be nationwide chaos in the event of a tight Presidential vote and to ensure that the larger states don't have too much influence in choosing the President. Can you imagine the chaos that would have happened in 2000 if they had had to recount every vote instead of just those in Florida?)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:32 PM in Politics/Government
Party for the President

Back from a Party for the President. It was a good event. Didn't quite go as planned, State Senator Steve Austria didn't show up as he might have and there was some confusion and we didn't get into the Vice President's conference call, but all in all it was a good party. About 30 people showed up. WKEF Channel 22 was there. It was good to see so many people excited about re-electing President Bush this year and even more exciting to know that across the country over 5,200 more parties just like ours were taking place.


Got about 2 seconds of screen time in the background on WKEF. Unfortunately I was holding a cup of pop and my clapping came off much more half-hearted than I wish it had.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:11 PM in Politics/Government
First people charged under CAN-SPAM

Four people in Detroit have been charged with hiding their identities in hundreds of thousands of pieces of spam which they bounced through unprotected computers on the net.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:36 PM in Technology/Internet
Iraqi army/militia/vigilantes taking on al-Sadr's army
In a deadly expression of feelings that until now were kept quiet, a group representing local residents is said to have killed at least five militiamen in the last four days.

The murders are the first sign of organised Iraqi opposition to Sadr’s presence and come amid simmering discontent at the havoc their lawless presence has wreaked.

The group calls itself the Thulfiqar Army, after a twin-bladed sword said to be used by the Shiite martyr Imam Ali, to whom Najaf’s vast central mosque is dedicated.

Residents say leaflets bearing that name have been circulated in the city in the last week, urging Sadr’s al-Mahdi army to leave immediately or face imminent death.

"I haven’t seen the leaflets myself, but I heard about it when I was down there two days ago," said Ahmed Abbas, a carpenter from Najaf who visited Baghdad yesterday.

"It has got some of the Mahdi guys quite worried, I tell you. They are banding together more, when normally you would see them happily walking on the streets alone. I think their commanders have ordered them to do that."

As is the case with most fledgling resistance groups, further details are sketchy. Nobody knows yet who is really behind the group, if the deaths of Mahdi men are its handiwork or, indeed, if it really exists.

--The Scotsman (via Instapundit)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:27 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
A plea for help from a Marine in Iraq
It seems that despite the tremendous and heroic efforts of the men and women serving here in Iraq to bring much needed peace and stability to this region, we are losing the war of perception with the media and American people. Our enemy has learned that the key to defeating the mighty American military is by swaying public opinion at home and abroad. ... I am asking for your support. Become a voice of truth in your community. Wherever you are fight the lies of the enemy. Don't buy into the pessimism and apathy that says, "It's hopeless," "They hate us too much," "That part of the world is just too messed up," "It's our fault anyway," "We're to blame," and so forth. Whether you're in middle school, working at a 9-5 job, retired, or a stay-at-home mom you can make a huge difference! There is nothing more powerful than the truth.... No one is poised to make such an amazing contribution to the everyday lives of Iraqis and the rest of the Arab world than the American Armed Forces. By making this a place where liberty can finally grow, we are making the whole world safer. Your efforts at home are directly tied to our success. You are the soldiers at home fighting the war of perception. So I'm asking you as a fellow fighting man: Do your duty. Stop the attempts of the enemy wherever you are. You are a mighty force for good, because truth is on your side. Together we will win this fight and ensure a better world for the future.

--FrontPage (via Instapundit)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:17 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
Pat Tillman "got what was coming to him"

A truly astounding article.

Matters are a little clearer for those living outside the American borders. Tillman got himself killed in a country other than his own without having been forced to go over to that country to kill its people. After all, whether we like them or not, the Taliban is more Afghani than we are. Their resistance is more legitimate than our invasion, regardless of the fact that our social values are probably more enlightened than theirs. For that, he shouldn't be hailed as a hero, he should be used as a poster boy for the dangerous consequences of too much "America is #1," frat boy, propaganda bull. It might just make a regular man irrationally drop $3.6 million to go fight in a conflict that was anything but "self-defense."

-- The Daily Collegian

Everything else aside, that last sentence is the biggest problem with this guy's thought process. For some unfathomable reason this guy doesn't think that the fight against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan is self defense.

To the Daily Collegian's credit they have a counter-point article.



UMass president Jack Wilson issued a statement saying Rene Gonzalez' comments in The Daily Collegian "are a disgusting, arrogant and intellectually immature attack on a human being who died in service to his country."
While recognizing Gonzalez' right to free speech, Wilson said the student owes Tillman a "debt of gratitude," and said he should apologize to Tillman's friends and family.

The state Senate on Thursday approved a resolution of condemnation, with one member, Sen. Robert Hedlund, R-Weymouth, calling Gonzalez a "nitwit."

Jared Nokes, president of the Student Government Association, also issued a statement condemning Gonzalez' column.
In a response to the controversy generated by the column, the paper's editorial board ran a letter to readers in Thursday's edition saying Gonzalez's views do not reflect The Collegian's opinion.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:44 AM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
Attacking Kerry on substance

Brian Griffin has taken notice of this post in which I relay John Podhoretz's belief that John Kerry is a "terrible, terrible, terrible candidate". Brian is upset that John Kerry isn't being attacked more substantive issues than flip-flops and his voting record.

I wish I could attack him on something more substantial, but there isn't anything substantial about this guy's positions, at least not that he's laid out so far. He can't decide whether the war in Iraq would have happened if he were President. When asked to introduce himself to the country he launches into screeds about President Bush. When asked what he'd do differently in the war in Iraq he lays out the same plan that the President is using; stay in Iraq until the job is done and continue trying to get other countries to help. He can’t seem to come up with a more substantial reason to elect him than the fact that he’s not President Bush.

The man has not given us anything close to a coherent platform. He is trying to be everything to everyone. You can't attack a candidate like Kerry on the issues because if you wait a day he won't have the same stand on the issues. Those votes that Brian doesn't want attacked are as close to a stand on issues as Kerry comes.

Let John Kerry clearly set out what issues he believes in and I'll attack him on those. Until then he's a black hole of a candidate who's only distinguishing feature seems to be his complete lack of distinguishing features.

As for this:

Now, where are those WMD??? Where was the threat from Iraq (note one that could have hurt someone in Saddam's lifetime)? Where is the Iraq - al Qaeda connection?

Why not ask the 2002 version of John Kerry?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:47 AM in Politics/Government

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Orson Scott Card takes on male-bashing in a recent episode of E.R.

In fact, there are a lot of things wrong with our society today that might be solved if a few more people had recognized, before discarding men, how vital it is to have a good man as husband and father in every family.

But given the moral universe these E.R. writers live in, there was no course of action this male buffoon character could have chosen that would not have provided ample excuse for the audience to have a good laugh at the uselessness of men.

If your response to that statement is, "Well, men deserve it," then you have my contempt -- the contempt I feel toward all bigots who scorn people solely for the group they belong to, who perpetuate false stereotypes, and who delight in shaming people who can't fight back.

And if your answer is that women suffered such abuse from "men" for a long time, so it's only fair for them to lash out in return, then I must point out that this is an "excuse" that most child abusers could use, since they too were once victims, and they repay the victimization upon the innocent. "Someone did it to me once" is a defense of nothing. If an action is wrong when it's done to you, then it's still wrong when you do it to someone else.

-- Uncle Orson Reviews Everything

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:27 PM in Miscellaneous
Wictory Wednesday

I'm not a big fan of the name, but I'm going to do it anyway. This is Wictory Wednesday. This is the weekly post where I encourage you to volunteer to help the President win reelection. Consider yourself encouraged.

This week I'll also point out that tomorrow over 5,100 Parties for the President are taking place across the nation and encourage you to take part. The Enquirer has an article on these parties. Turns out Ohio, with 430, has more parties planned than any other state.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:45 PM in Politics/Government
I don't get spammers

Do they really think a subject line like "calypso embraceable paraffin bentham lithology asparagus haggard hereinabove cozy companionway seaweed corporeal crap necessitate marine gibraltar atrophy brimstone expansible midge compendia cominform execrate estimable impeccable gibby boyish bonito imprison reptile chopin elastomer bisect immunization" is going to get me to open up their message? There's not a chance in hell that I'm going to open that message and you would think they'd be able to figure that out.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:25 PM in Technology/Internet
Note to Elton John: You're an idiot

He thinks the American Idol voting is "incredibly racist" because Jennifer Hudson was voted off last week and she and other black female contestants had been in the bottom three previously.

Never mind that the first 5 finalists voted out were non-black.

Never mind that 3 of the final 6 finalists are black.

And don't get me started on the judges cries of "this is a talent search, not a popularity contest!" It is a popularity contest. It isn't "American Singer", it's American Idol. A singing voice alone does not a pop star make. It's not enough to sing well, they have to have a connection to their audience. If they don't, they're going to be voted out no matter how good a singer they are.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:25 PM in TV

Tuesday, April 27, 2004
A real quick arithmetic lesson for John Kerry
The first thing John Kerry will do is fight his heart out to bring back the three million jobs that have been lost under George W. Bush.

January 2001 Nonfarm employment:132,129,000
March 2004 Nonfarm employment:130,548,000

132,129,000 - 130,548,000 = 1,581,000

1,581,000 ≠ 3,000,000

And if you'd like to look at the Household survey instead of the payroll I can add another 3.88 million which would flip the 1.581 mill deficit to a gain.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:33 PM in Politics/Government
"Kerry is a terrible, terrible, terrible candidate."
THE conventional wisdom is that the presidential election will be close. It's a 50-50 country, so the CW goes, just as it was in the year 2000. The problem is that the conventional wisdom hasn't taken a proper accounting of John Kerry. Here's the truth that Democrats don't want to admit and that Republicans are fearful of speaking openly because they don't want to jinx things:

Kerry is a terrible, terrible, terrible candidate.

It's not so much the policies he proposes, although they don't add up to all that much. The problem is Kerry himself. He no sooner opens his mouth than he sticks first one foot and then the other right in there.
The issue isn't Bush or his campaign. The issue is Kerry and a series of statements he made on the record in the media dating back more than 30 years. Trying to change the topic to Bush's service simply smacks of cornered desperation.

And that is Kerry's great weakness as a candidate - a weakness that will be hard for him to overcome, because it appears to be a character trait. The man who said "I voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it" is a man filled with the conviction that he can talk himself out of a tough situation.

Sometimes, it's better just to be silent, take the hit and move on. But Kerry seems constitutionally incapable of doing that.

--New York Post Online

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:07 PM in Politics/Government
Sure, the BBC's unbiased... /sarcasm

The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler takes apart a BBC story in which US forces are accused of shooting ambulances in Fallujah.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:00 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Monday, April 26, 2004
This is pretty cool

A crystal chandelier that can recieve and display SMS text messages.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:45 PM in Technology/Internet
5 myths of the Iraq war

Victor Davis Hanson over at NRO debunks 5 myths being perpetuated about the Iraq war. (via Boortz)

They 5 myths: America turned off its allies; Democracy cannot be implemented by force; Lies got us into this war; Profit-making led to this war; Israel has caused the United States untold headaches in the Arab world by its intransigent policies.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:20 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
Finally getting around to this

US soldiers are re-enlisting in numbers that exceed the Pentagon's goals.

You know, it's odd... from everything you hear in the media you'd think that every soldier over there wanted to get out of the service as fast as they could.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:03 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
New $50 bill

The design of the new $50 bill is out. I think it looks pretty good, I like the American flag in the background. Though, I've said this before and I'll say it again, pretty soon here they're going to need to redesign the $1 bill so that it looks at least something like every other piece of US currency.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:01 PM in Miscellaneous

Sunday, April 25, 2004
John Kerry: I never even implied that I threw away my medals
"I gave back, I can't remember, 6, 7, 8, 9 medals," Kerry said in an interview on a Washington, D.C. news program on WRC-TV's called Viewpoints on November 6, 1971, according to a tape obtained by ABCNEWS.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Kerry has denied that he threw away any of his 11 medals during an anti-war protest in April, 1971.

His campaign Web site calls it a "right wing fiction" and a smear. And in an interview with ABCNEWS' Peter Jennings last December, he said it was a "myth."

But Kerry told a much different story on Viewpoints. Asked about the anti-war veterans who threw their medals away, Kerry said "they decided to give them back to their country."

Kerry was asked if he gave back the Bronze Star, Silver Star and three Purple Hearts he was awarded for combat duty as a Navy lieutenant in Vietnam. "Well, and above that, [I] gave back the others," he said.

The statement directly contradicts Kerry's most recent claims on the disputed subject to the Los Angeles Times last Friday. "I never ever implied that I did it, " Kerry told the newspaper, responding to the question of whether he threw away his medals in protest. (via Instapundit)

So remember, when he says he never even implied that he gave his medals back what he really means is that he directly said that he gave every medal back.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:38 PM in Politics/Government

Funny ep tonight, lot of Dayton stuff.

Not very realistic though. Everybody knows Dayton-area tornados hit Xenia and not downtown.

"Dayton: 2 exits of fun!"

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:11 PM in Dayton
Thoughts on the new Iron Chef America

I'm liking the new Iron Chef America. It has a couple problems, but I think they could be worked out and it could become a series. It's 10x better than the show that was in New York which had terrible production values and it's 100x better than Shatner's version. Shatner's version's biggest problem was the crowd it was huge and it made an unbelieveable amout of noise. You could barely hear the commentators.

Couple things they should they change about the show...

1)Bring in somebody to sit beside Alton Brown. Brown's done a good job, he's got the Hattori role down, but he needs a Fukui-san. He's the brains and without someone to talk to he ends up having to ask himself questions so he can answer them. That could just mean bringing the floor reporter, who knows and does nothing, up to sit with AB.

2)Have a small crowd of supporters. Just 20 or so. It shouldn't be open to the public, but the chefs should have a small cheering section.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:34 AM in Media

Saturday, April 24, 2004
Boston Herald on Kerry's gas guzzling
Rising gas prices are the latest John Kerry campaign theme, so naturally the senator was asked this week about his personal vehicle usage. Kerry insisted, ``I don't own an SUV.'' When pressed about a Chevrolet Suburban, the mother of all SUVs, kept at the Heinz Kerry abode in Idaho, Kerry said: ``The family has it. I don't have it.'' Kerry has now closed the distance between nuance and flat-out deception. And that's without mentioning the other gas-guzzlers this candidate and his family enjoy, all the while posturing about reducing the nation's dependence on foreign oil and fuel efficiency. At last count, there were eight ``family'' cars and SUVs, including the 1995 Suburban (15 mpg highway, 12 mpg city), a 1993 Land Rover Defender (12 mpg highway, 10 mpg city), a 1989 Jeep Cherokee (20 mpg highway, 16 mpg city), a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee (20 mpg highway, 15 mpg city), a 2001 Audi Allroad (21 mpg highway, 15 mpg city), a 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser (25 mpg highway, 20 mpg city), a 1985 Dodge 600 Convertible (26 mpg highway, 23 mpg city), and a 2002 Chrysler 300M (26 mpg highway, 18 mpg city). Kerry, however, only owns up to the latter two. Then there's the 2002 Harley Davidson (his), two powerboats (one his, one hers), a power inflatable 2001 Novurania (his), and a Gulfstream II private jet (hers). President Kerry would have to open his own pipeline in Saudi Arabia just to meet family fuel demand. ... [If] voters can't trust John Kerry to play it straight on the little things, how can they trust him on the big things?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:45 PM in Politics/Government
Calling on John Kerry to tell the truth

"I'm going to try and change the discussion and just tell the truth to the American people. I never ran one negative advertisement against my opponents in the primaries. And I haven't run negative advertising yet."

John Kerry now wants to pretend that he has never run a negative ad in this campaign. The Bush team has a new video calling them on it.

57% of his ads have directly attacked the President. 73% of his ad budget has gone towards negative ads. Over $17 million spent on these ads. They've run more than 28,285 times.

So remember, when he says he hasn't run a negative ad what he really means is that he's run them more than 28,000 times.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:32 AM in Politics/Government

Friday, April 23, 2004
Thank You
Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:33 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
John Kerry: "I don't own an SUV"

By that he of course means "My family owns some SUVs."

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:07 PM in Politics/Government

Thursday, April 22, 2004
John Kerry: Fluent in French... or maybe not

Bad news, it looks like John Kerry may have lost his ability to understand French and speak it fluently since the primaries. Perhaps he used up all his linguistic brain cells in learning Dolphin.

During [Kerry's] primary campaign, he was noted for engaging French journalists in French.

"He was quite accessible in Iowa and New Hampshire," [France 2 Washington bureau chief Alain de Chalvron] told the New Yorker.
De Chalvron recalls recently asking Kerry about Iraq. Kerry just stood there mute.

"He didn't answer. In front of the American journalists, he didn't want to take a question that was not in English," de Chalvron said.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:57 PM in Politics/Government
Nice to finally see some help from the clerics

Responding to yesterday's bombing in Riyadh which killed 10 and has been claimed by a group linked to al Qaeda:

"God has promised wrath, damnation, painful torture and an eternity burning in hell for he who deliberately kills a Muslim... Unjustly killing a Muslim is the gravest crime which cannot be atoned," said the kingdom's highest religious authority, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh.

"I tell all Muslims that this act is a sin, it is one of the greatest sins," he said in a statement. "Aiding, calling for, or facilitating the murder of a Muslim is tantamount to involvement in murder and all who do so will be thrown by God into the flames of hell, for so dear is the sanctity of Muslim blood."

It's so nice to see a cleric take a stand against terrorism that for now I'll just ignore the part where he's only upset about Muslim blood being spilled.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:48 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
What happens with the House of Reps if a terrorist wipes them out?

The House is looking at legislation that will lay out what happens if a terrorist attack manages to kill a great number of its members. The current legislation looks to require special elections within 45 days if 100 or more of the 435 Representatives are killed. (Yahoo! News)

This seems reasonable to me, but I worry about what would happen if a great deal more than 100 were killed. If something like 400, or even all 435 of them were killed might it not be a good idea to have a system of backups in place? Whether it be successors chosen by the Reps or appointed by each state's Governor it seems a good idea to me to that kind of system in place. They're planning for a moderate-to-large tragedy here, but while they're at it I think they should include the worst tragedy in their planning and I worry that their current plan wouldn't work for the worst of the worst.

If a nuke went off in DC I'd like to know that we won't be without a House of Representatives for 45 days.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:35 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
9 reasons the race looks good for Bush

Good article from Howard Fineman. His reasons include "Richard Ben-Veniste & Co.", "Fallujah and Najaf", "Resolve", "Bob Woodward's blessing", "Tony [Soprano] & [Donald] Trump", "Fifty million bucks worth of ads", "The Economy", "Nader", and "Kerry, of course". Read his explanations.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:18 PM in Politics/Government
John Kerry: Fluent in Dolphin
"He thinks that empty slogans like the 'Clear Skies' initiative and the 'Healthy Forest' initiative -- that somehow names that would make George Orwell rise up and cheer -- that those names will make people forget what is really happening in our country."

Almost on cue, a dolphin slipped through the water. "There he is over there," Kerry said. "He says, 'help, help, help."'

--Yahoo! News

I'll also point out that since George Orwell was not a proponent of Doublespeak that "names that would make George Orwell rise up and cheer" would thus be names that are straightforward and to the point.

So to sum it up, John Kerry talks to dolphins and thinks George Bush is straightforward and to the point.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:14 PM in Politics/Government

Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Prime Minister of Swaziland fired with text message
Swaziland's King Mswati fired former Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini last year via a text message on his cellphone, enraged local lawmakers say.

"This was an embarrassment," said Magwagwa Mdluli, a former natural resources minister now serving in parliament.

Attorney General Phesheya Dlamini, reportedly acting on instructions from the king, sent Dlamini an SMS message in September informing him he was being replaced as part of a wider government shake-up ahead of parliamentary elections.

--Yahoo! News

Looks like somebody forgot to teach the king that your supposed to break up with people in person.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:27 PM in Technology/Internet

Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Does combat kill a proportionally higher number of minorities?

Rep. Charlie Rangel says so, calling the Iraq war a "death tax" on the poor and minorities. He complains that 26% of the soldiers who have died in Iraq have been black or hispanic.

Realpolitik points out that blacks and hispanics account for 24.8% of the total population. That puts Iraq war minority deaths a mere 1.2% higher than their actual representation in the general population. If you're going to get in an uproar over this shouldn't the deviation be closer to 10% than 0%?

Now remember, Charlie Rangel wants to reinstate the draft because of this.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:41 PM in Politics/Government
John Kerry: I will release all my military records.

And by that he of course means: I will not be releasing all my military records and in fact will not release ANY new military records.

Kerry, in an interview Sunday on NBC's "Meet The Press," was asked whether he would follow President Bush's example and release all of his military records. "I have," Kerry said. "I've shown them -- they're available for you to come and look at." He added that "people can come and see them at headquarters."

But when a reporter showed up yesterday morning to review the documents, the campaign staff declined, saying all requests must go through the press spokesman, Michael Meehan. Late yesterday, Meehan said the only records available would be those already released to this newspaper.

"He is releasing all military records he has released to The Boston Globe," Meehan said in a telephone interview. In a follow-up e-mail, Meehan said it was those particular records to which Kerry was referring on "Meet the Press."

Here's the transcript from Meet the Press.

Here's a gem:

Now, we're in a position now to be able to respond and introduce myself to the country. I look forward to that. I look forward to Americans getting to know who I really am.

Let me give you an example.

--NBC News' Meet the Press

He then launches into 133 words on what's wrong with President Bush. Sooooo... his plan to introduce himself to the country is to talk about President Bush....

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:35 PM in Politics/Government

Monday, April 19, 2004
Good news

Just noticed this. Leo Laporte, who was fired from Tech Tv earlier this month has been rehired thanks to fan support.

Welcome back Leo.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:43 PM in Technology/Internet
Corey Dillon traded

Good riddance. The Pats should look into putting a good cancer specialist on their medical staff. I can't imagine he'll be helping team chemistry.

Favorite quote I heard today on the situation: "Million dollar legs, fifty cent brain."

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:32 PM in Cincinnati
On the death of Hamas' leader

Abdelaziz Rantissi, leader of Hamas for the past month, was killed Saturday. The Palestinians are now vowing a "volcano of revenge".

I'm sorry but... wait, scratch that, I'm not the least bit sorry. This was not some great Palestinian leader. This was not the Palestinian head of state. This was not a man striving for peace in the Middle East. This was the leader of a vicious terrorist organization. This was the Israelis' bin Laden, or if you figure they got their bin Laden last month then their Ayman al-Zawahiri.

If they were killing leaders of the PLO left and right it might be different. The members of Hamas are not statesmen. They are not peace loving people. They are not interested in living side-by-side with the Israelis; they want nothing less than the elimination of Israel. Hamas is not the good guy in this situation. It is a terrorist organization and I have no problem with what happened.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:42 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
The LA Times' David Shaw on Air America
My fellow liberals have long argued that they haven't been able to match the conservative success on talk radio because the medium is ideally suited to conservatives. According to this self-serving argument, conservatives are more willing than liberals to engage in nasty name-calling and to see everything in black and white, while liberals — concerned with nuance and complexity — are inevitably reasonable, willing to consider both sides of an issue. But President W's policies — especially in Iraq — have now so enraged liberals that they are willing to play dirty too. Hence, Air America.


Not, at least, during the 17 hours I listened. Oh sure, the new network's assorted hosts, guests and callers did engage in a bit of obligatory name-calling. Henry Kissinger was "a war criminal." Rice was "reptilian," "a liar" and "a perjurer." President Bush was "an idiot," "a liar," a "lazy sack of crap," "a fake Christian," "a murdering scumbag" and — amid a discussion of Janet Jackson and the Super Bowl — "the biggest boob of all."

But Limbaugh does his name-calling so creatively and hilariously that it usually winds up being entertaining. As repellent as I find his politics, Limbaugh is an entertainer as well as a polemicist, and after liberal talk-show experiments with such policy wonks as former Govs. Jerry Brown of California and Mario Cuomo of New York all failed, the folks behind Air America promised that they'd learned their lesson. They too would find ideologues who are funny.

Nice try.
I laugh easily, and I didn't get a single laugh from Franken, Garofalo or Rhodes — or from any of the other Air America hosts I listened to. Rhodes is the best of them, but unlike Limbaugh — who has a rich, mellifluous voice — her voice is so grating that I found myself wincing, no matter how vigorously I agreed with what she said. (Even Rhodes says, "I hate my voice.")
In a country in which 64% of the public say they attend weekend worship services at least once a month, mocking religion might not be the most effective way to win converts — and yet, on Good Friday no less, that's exactly what the various Air America hosts repeatedly did.

Two of the hosts gratuitously announced that they're Jewish, and one — Marc Maron of the network's "Morning Sedition" program — went on to make fun of Easter and Christmas rituals. Then, in a segment he called "morning devotional," Maron began his prayer for divine guidance on behalf of President Bush by saying, "Dear Lord, what the hell is going on up there?"

--LA Times

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:26 PM in Media , Politics/Government

Friday, April 16, 2004
Are you brain damaged?

University of Cincinnati Professor of Marketing James Kellaris: Those who use random shuffle when listening to music and the "MTV generation" in general have "short attention spans" and "are likely 'brain damaged.'"

James Kellaris, a professor of marketing at the University of Cincinnati and author of a study about tunes that stick in your head, said the appeal of random shuffle is likely generational.

Kellaris said random shuffle likely appeals to the MTV generation -- kids with short attention spans who are likely "brain damaged."

"Personally, and I believe I speak for many old farts here, I appreciate listening to music, be it an opera or a pop album, in the sequence in which the artist decided to present it," he said.

"Temporal order is an important element of how a work unfolds dynamically over time, an important factor underlying the aesthetic effect. Random shuffle pretty much flushes that down the toilet."

--Wired News

Yep, that's right, if you listen to songs as songs rather than parts of an album you're likely brain damaged.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:02 PM in Cincinnati
Taking Moore apart

Right Thinking From the Left Coast rips apart a recent comment from Michael Moore. It's really quite a screed. I'd suggest giving it a look just for the sheer idiotic lunacy of it.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:12 PM in Politics/Government

Thursday, April 15, 2004
Nice to see
European politicians have ruled out negotiations with Osama bin Laden after a tape that the CIA says is likely to be the al Qaeda leader offered a truce to European nations if they pulled troops out of Muslim countries.

"It is completely unthinkable that we could start negotiations with bin Laden. Everyone understands that," Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told reporters.

European Commission President Romano Prodi said there could be no negotiating under a "terrorist threat."

It goes on to give similar reactions from European heads of state, but I note that nowhere is Spain mentioned.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:23 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Wednesday, April 14, 2004
Boy, that Air America sure is a high-class outfit

Their statement on the charge that they bounced a check and owe Arthur Liu of Multicultural Broadcasting $1 million:

Normally we’d let this go because “habitual liars” like Drudge are laughable, and ridicule is our business.

But Arthur Liu --- not funny. He lied to us, he ripped us off and now we’re chasing him down with a pipe wrench. It’s a metaphor.

Here’s what really happened:

This Liu-ser was ripping off our boss Evan Cohen big time (he can’t do that, that’s our job). Evan found out about it and he stopped payment on a check to keep Liu-cifer from ripping him off even more. You can touch Evan for the occasional meal or drinks but a million bucks is crossing the line. And if we ever get low on cash, we can always call Barbra Streisand. Or any of the
Baldwins. Except Stephen.

So we got screwed, Liu’d, and tattooed. How Liu can you get? In Liu of payment. Liu’d and lascivious behavior. These write themselves. What we’re getting at is that we hate him.

--Air America Radio

--Update-- Once again highlighting their integrity and class they've deleted the page, as if it never happened. Realpolitik has a pdf of the page.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 8:09 PM in Politics/Government
You hear that? It's the sound of Air America checks bouncing.

Realpolitik has the story from the Chicago Tribune that the owner of Air America's stations in Chicago and LA has pulled the network because a check bounced and he is holding over $1 million in checks that he's been asked not to cash.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:50 PM in
More questioning of Clarke's book
Washington lawyer Frank Duggan, until last year the chairman of the National Mediation Board, offers a sharp critique of former White House counterterrorism czar Richard A. Clarke's new book, "Against All Enemies."

"This is a crock," says Mr. Duggan, who served on the 1989 to 1990 Presidential Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism.

Mr. Clarke, who thrust himself into the spotlight with his March 24 testimony before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States by saying President Bush did not take the terrorism threat seriously, recalls in his book his role in the aftermath of the bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland.

"We met with the families. We heard their stories, and we put pictures of their fallen children on our desks," Mr. Clarke writes of the December 1988 bombing. "The town [of Lockerbie] had opened its hearts to the families of all of the victims. Lockerbie had donated stones for a cairn, a Scottish memorial rock pile, one rock for every victim. Joined by my colleague Randy Beers, we drove to the cemetery and selected a site for the cairn."

"He is a phony," Mr. Duggan says. "I know something about this, and no family member ever dealt with Clarke. We dealt with Randy Beers long after the cairn was built. The NSC staffer assigned to the Pan Am families was Richard Canas.

"Clark and Beers never 'selected the site' — I did, and attached my site drawings to the legislation the families were proposing to erect the cairn," Mr. Duggan tells Inside the Beltway.

The counsel adds: "The Pan Am 103 cairn in Arlington Cemetery is not a 'rock pile,' but a monument of 270 large stones, carefully cut so they fit together to memorialize each of the victims. He obviously never even saw a photo of the cairn, nor did he have photos of the victims' children on his desk."

--Inside the Beltway

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:36 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
I should mention this

This is the memo that set up the seperation between the CIA and the FBI. It is written by one Jamie S. Gorelick. Jamie S. Gorelick is a commissioner on the 9/11 Commission. Someone care to explain how the person that wrote that memo is investigating intelligence failures and not being investigated for them?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:21 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
"They should be ashamed"
Bush's tough talk - and the action it's backed up with - will do much to convince the enemy of the futility of their attacks. That may prompt some to give up.

The enemies of freedom have surely taken heart from the language of some folks right here in America - folks who are intent on attacking the president and his efforts in Iraq.

Last night, for instance, reporters questioning Bush couldn't have been more hostile.

Why won't Bush admit failure? Why did he get it so wrong in Iraq? Wasn't he responsible for 9/11? Isn't Iraq another Vietnam?

They should be ashamed.

Bush's answer was 100 percent correct, by the way, about the comparison to Vietnam, which comes courtesy of Sen. Ted Kennedy, on behalf of the John Kerry-for-President campaign.

"The analogy is false," he said. And it "sends the wrong message to our troops and . . . to the enemy."

No matter.

Nothing will shake this president.

Not the terrorists.

Nor his reckless critics at home.

And hallelujah for that.

--New York Post Editorial


Revamped design

"I woke up this morning and said 'Barney, you're not going to lick that man's windows'..."

Hadn't planned on rolling it out tonight, had planned to head upstairs about 4 hours ago, but one thing just led to another and before I knew it I had gotten the kinks worked out of my design, finalized it, transferred it to the mt templates, worked out all the newly discovered kinks, rebuilt it all and it was done.

For comparisons I offer up the old style 404 page.

I considered changing the colors around, but that would have meant redoing a bunch of graphics and I wasn't quite up for going through all that trouble. This new setup I believe allows me to put the top of the page to better use. Extending the sidebar up allows me to cram more relevant data into the above-the-scroll area and puts some heretofore wasted prime web real estate to use. The link bar along the top also includes a few things I didn't have before. I've had categories since I moved to mt, but now you the reader can actually see them too. There's also a "contact me" link that you can *gasp* click unlike my previous images, and an "About Me" page that should eventually have stuff... about me...

All that aside, I just think it looks sleeker, it's no longer just a white box and a blue box on a red background, it's now a kind of rounded white box and a kind of rounded blue box with a rounded diving board-type-thingy sticking out of it on a red background. That's like 3 more rounded things than I had before, and as we all know, rounded is better. Wheels, baseballs, PT Cruisers, monkeys... you don't see any of those things with sharp corners, nope, all rounded.

Anyway, let me know what you think, and if you happen to come across a page that wasn't revamped like the rest of them let me know.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:34 AM in Miscellaneous

Tuesday, April 13, 2004
New Miss USA plans to use position to defend Iraq decision
A Republican, [newly crowned Miss USA, Shandi Finnessey] told Reuters she would use her position to help explain America's involvement in Iraq. "What needed to be done had to be done," she said.

--Yahoo! News (via Joshua Claybourn's Domain)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 8:24 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
Campaign 2004 turns extreme in Florida with the placement of a newspaper ad calling for physical retribution against Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld!

"We should put this S.O.B. up against a wall and say 'This is one of our bad days,' and pull the trigger," the ad reads.

The call-to-arms fundraising ad, placed by the St. Petersburg Democratic Club in the current issue of the GABBER, a local St. Petersburg paper, asks readers to make an urgent donation to the John Kerry campaign.


Drudge has a copy of the ad here.

Another line from the ad that's worth paying attention to: "The Bush Bunch calls the Iraqis insurgents.... The Iraqis aren't insurgents. They're Iraqi patriates[sic] who want us the hell out of their country and we should get the hell out of their country now!"

Posted by Rob Bernard at 8:13 PM in Politics/Government
Misery Index

While they're cherry-picking data to gin up a new Misery Index, I'll point you to the MLB Misery Index. The Reds are 24th out of 30.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:48 PM in Politics/Government
Clarke errors

The Seattle Times exposes several errors in Richard Clarke's book.

Clarke, who worked for both Clinton and Bush, said he convened the Counter-terrorism Security Group, which he chaired, and sent out warnings both overseas and to local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies around the country to be on heightened alert for suspicious activity. "And then we waited," he wrote.

"The break came in an unlikely location," Clarke wrote, describing Ressam's arrest by customs agents during a "routine screening."

According to a former customs agent who was involved, Clarke's version, laid out in one chapter of his book, wrongly implies they were on "heightened alert" and somehow looking for terrorists.

"No," was the terse reply of Michael Chapman, one of the customs agents who arrested Ressam, when asked if he was aware of a security alert.

"We were on no more alert than we're always on. That is a matter of public record," said Chapman, now a Clallam County commissioner.

--The Seattle Times

There are several more errors that seem to make the efforts in 1999 appear more effective than thay really were which is at least slightly relevant when you consider that his point lately seems to be how badly things were handeled post 1/01 compared to the previous administration.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:41 PM in Politics/Government

Monday, April 12, 2004

Congrats and best wishes to Kirk on the new arrival. :)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:29 PM in Miscellaneous

I've been fiddling around with a reworking of the site design (nothing terribly drastic, mostly it's just curvier) off and on for the past month or so. This post will hopefully push me to get my butt in gear and get it done in the next week or so.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:47 AM in Miscellaneous
Tony Blair on Iraq
We are locked in a historic struggle in Iraq. On its outcome hangs more than the fate of the Iraqi people. Were we to fail, which we will not, it is more than 'the power of America' that would be defeated. The hope of freedom and religious tolerance in Iraq would be snuffed out. Dictators would rejoice; fanatics and terrorists would be triumphant. Every nascent strand of moderate Arab opinion, knowing full well that the future should not belong to fundamentalist religion, would be set back in bitter disappointment.

The terrorists prey on ethnic or religious discord....

Of course they use Iraq. It is vital to them. As each attack brings about American attempts to restore order, so they then characterise it as American brutality. As each piece of chaos menaces the very path toward peace and democracy along which most Iraqis want to travel, they use it to try to make the coalition lose heart, and bring about the retreat that is the fanatics' victory.

They know it is a historic struggle. They know their victory would do far more than defeat America or Britain. It would defeat civilisation and democracy everywhere. They know it, but do we? The truth is, faced with this struggle, on which our own fate hangs, a significant part of Western opinion is sitting back, if not half-hoping we fail, certainly replete with schadenfreude at the difficulty we find.

So what exactly is the nature of the battle inside Iraq itself? This is not a 'civil war', though the purpose of the terrorism is undoubtedly to try to provoke one. The current upsurge in violence has not spread throughout Iraq. Much of Iraq is unaffected and most Iraqis reject it. The insurgents are former Saddam sympathisers, angry that their status as 'boss' has been removed, terrorist groups linked to al-Qaeda and, most recently, followers of the Shia cleric, Muqtada-al-Sadr.

There you have it. On the one side, outside terrorists, an extremist who has created his own militia, and remnants of a brutal dictatorship which murdered hundreds of thousands of its own people and enslaved the rest. On the other side, people of immense courage and humanity who dare to believe that basic human rights and liberty are not alien to Arab and Middle Eastern culture, but are their salvation.

--The Observer (via Sullivan)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:33 AM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
Not even giving them a chance

Phillies fans were letting their pitchers know they stink even before they'd thrown their first pitch.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:15 AM in Baseball , Miscellaneous
Some interesting religious polling data

From Rasmussen.

75% of voters believe Jesus rose from the dead. 88% of self-identified Christians believe so. This one surprised me, 46% of non-Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead while 35% don't believe that.

Also surprising to me, only 85% of voters believe the historical figure known as Jesus walked the face of the earth.

49% of non-Christians believe Jesus was the son of God compared to 89% of Christians and 77% overall.

Overall, 70% of voters identified themselves as Christians.

Again, from Rasmussen.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:09 AM in Religion

Sunday, April 11, 2004
Ok, quick before the day's over...

Happy Easter.

Luke 24
1But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they went in, they did not find the body. 4While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 5The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. 6Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.’ 8Then they remembered his words, 9and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:24 PM in Religion
Iran and Hezbollah aiding outlaw cleric al-Sadr?

So says the NY Post.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards and the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah are secretly providing outlawed Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr with money, training and logistical support for his violent campaign against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq, The Post has learned.

U.S. and Israeli intelligence officials said last night there is evidence that Iran's Revolutionary Guards, the security services loyal to Iran's hard-line religious leader Ayatollah al Khameini, have funneled as much as $80 million into Shiite charities established by al-Sadr's influential family that have been diverted to fund his fanatic al-Mahdi militia.

Intelligence sources also said operatives from the Lebanese Hezbollah, a Shiite terror group created by Iran, have trained 800 to 1,200 al-Mahdi fighters in guerrilla warfare and terrorist techniques at three camps in Iran near the Iraq border.

Al-Sadr's group is also believed to have been recently provided with 800 satellite phones and new radio broadcasting equipment by diplomats at the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad, sources told The Post.

--New York Post

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:19 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Saturday, April 10, 2004
Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.

Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate Bin Ladensince 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the U.S. Bin Laden implied in U.S. television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and "bringthe fighting to America."

After U.S. missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, Bin Ladentold followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a [deleted text] service.

An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told [deleted text] serviceat the same time that Bin Laden was planning to exploit the operative'saccess to the U.S. to mount a terrorist strike.

The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of Bin Laden's first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the U.S. Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that BinLaden lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate theoperation. Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning hisown U.S. attack.

Ressam says Bin Laden was aware of the Los Angeles operation.

Although Bin Laden has not succeeded, his attacks against the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 demonstrate that he preparesoperations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks. Bin Laden associates surveilled our Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam as early as 1993, and some members of the Nairobi cell planning the bombings were arrested and deported in 1997.

AI Qaeda members — including same who are U.S. citizens — have resided in and traveled to the U.S. for years, and the group apparently maintains asupport structure that could aid attacks.

Two Al Qaeda members found guiltyin the conspiracy to bomb our embassies in East Africa were U.S. citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s.

A clandestine sourcesaid in 1998 that a Bin Laden cell in New Yorkwas recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks.

We havenot been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a [deleted text] service in 1998 saying that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Shaykh" 'Umar' Abd aI-Rahman and other U.S.-held extremists.

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns ofsuspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations forhijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance offederal buildings in New York.

The FBI is conducting approximately 70 investigations throughout the U.S. that it considers Bin Laden-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our embassy in the UAE in May sayingthat a group or Bin Laden supporters was in the U.S. planning attacks with explosives.

So we've got a memo which says that a guy we knew wanted to attack here wanted to attack here, that they wanted to hijack planes so they could trade the hostages and that they might be looking to attack federal buildings.

Someone care to point out how a memo full of threats that didn't come to pass is proof that President Bush was lax on terrorism before 9/11?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:11 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
The topsy-turvy world of the first week of baseball

The current first place teams are Tampa Bay, Detroit, Anaheim/Oakland, Florida, Cincinnati, and Los Angeles. Oakland was the only team to finish in first in their division last year. All together they finished a combined 148.5 games out of first and an average of 21.2 games back.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:05 AM in Baseball

Friday, April 9, 2004
A note to Howard Stern...

You call the fines against you a "witch hunt" by the Bush Administration for criticizing President Bush.

Have you seen the Congressional vote for H. R. 3717, which raised the fines for indecency? It passed 391-22. 218 Republicans voted for it, joined by 172 Democrats and 1 Independent. This was not a close vote. This was not a party lines vote. It may be a "witch hunt" by politicians at large, but it's certainly not limited to the Bush administration and has a lot more to do with Janet Jackson's breast than anything you've ever said about President Bush.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:20 AM in Media
A great letter on Andrew Sullivan's page

From a Marine writing home...

Things have been busy here. You know I can't say much about it. However, I do know two things. One, POTUS has given us the green light to do whatever we needed to do to win this thing so we have that going for us. Two, and my opinion only, this battle is going to have far reaching effects on not only the war here in Iraq but in the overall war on terrorism. We have to be very precise in our application of combat power. We cannot kill a lot of innocent folks (though they are few and far between in Fallujah). There will be no shock and awe. There will be plenty of bloodshed at the lowest levels. This battle is the Marine Corps' Belleau Wood for this war. 2/1 and 1/5 will be leading the way. We have to find a way to kill the bad guys only. The Fallujahans are fired up and ready for a fight (or so they think). A lot of terrorists and foreign fighters are holed up in Fallujah. It has been a sanctuary for them. If they have not left town they are going to die. I'm hoping they stay and fight.

This way we won't have to track them down one by one.

This battle is going to be talked about for a long time. The Marine Corps will either reaffirm its place in history as one of the greatest fighting organizations in the world or we will die trying. The Marines are fired up. I'm nervous for them though because I know how much is riding on this fight (the war in Iraq, the view of the war at home, the length of the war on terror and the reputation of the Marine Corps to name a few). However, every time I've been nervous during my career about the outcome of events when young Marines were involved they have ALWAYS exceeded my expectations. I'm praying this is one of those times.

--Daily Dish

This is a fight that had to happen. These are enemies that must be destroyed if we are to have a peaceful Iraq. Fallujah cannot remain a haven for terrorists, foreign fighters and Baathists. Sadr cannot rule his own territory, have his own army, be free to advocate violence and kill his enemies. These are not people who can be negotiated with; these are not people we can appease. This is not a battle of choice; this is a battle of necessity. This is a battle that must be fought to ensure a free Iraq, an Iraq that is not a threat to the rest of the world.

We either surrender the country to the enemy or we defeat them. Some in this country hope for the former (Thankfully not many, but they do exist.), some would just rather that than see our soldiers die. There are a lot of brave men and women over there working to ensure the latter and for that I offer my heartfelt gratitude for their bravery and dedication. I pray that as few of them as possible must give their lives ensure victory and a free and safe Iraq.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:56 AM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Thursday, April 8, 2004
The coincidences of comics

Have you every noticed that quite often comics have similar subjects on the same day? Today both FoxTrot and The Buckets have characters playing rock, paper, scissors and the losing player says they didn't lose because their object is something other than rock, paper or scissors. It's kind of freaky just how often you come across this type of thing reading the comics.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:32 PM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, April 7, 2004
On Dodd

Dodd on Byrd:

In words that Republicans believe sound awfully similar to the comments that knocked Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) out of the GOP leadership, Dodd said, “It has often been said that the man and the moment come together. I do not think it is an exaggeration at all to say to my friend from West Virginia that he would have been a great Senator at any moment. Some were right for the time. Robert C. Byrd, in my view, would have been right at any time.”

Despite the charges of racial insensitivity that have been lobbed at Byrd over the years, Dodd added that his colleague “would have been right during the great conflict of Civil War in this nation” and at other key times. “I cannot think of a single moment in this nation’s 220-plus-year history where he would not have been a valuable asset to this country,” said Dodd. “Certainly today that is not any less true.”

--Roll Call

Dodd on Lott:

"If Tom Daschle or another Democratic leader were to have made similar statements, the reaction would have been very swift," Dodd said. "I don't think several hours would have gone by without there being an almost unanimous call for the leader to step aside."
Dodd agreed that the Republicans should make the decision about Lott but added that if the senator were to stay, a move to censure him "takes on more of a reality."

"But it ought to be bipartisan," he said. "It ought not to be Democrats versus Republicans."

--Croooow Blog (More on the subject.)

I'll agree with Dodd on that last point. It shouldn't be Democrats vs. Republicans. Plenty of Republicans took Lott to task for his statements, along with the Democrats. Now where is the Democrat outrage over Dodd's blunder?

I'm sure the outrage from the party that seems to think it's virginally pure on racial issues will be forthcoming in no time and that they won't simply fall back on the excuse that Dodd isn't their leader.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:38 PM in Politics/Government

Tuesday, April 6, 2004
New cell phone

Got a new cell phone yesterday. So far I'm quite happy with it. It's GSM, has internet, IR, Bluetooth, MMS, speakerphone, and has an optional camera attachment. It's 4"x1.7"x.7" and just 3 ounces. They just keep getting smaller. I worry that the next cell phone I buy will actually be microscopic.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:55 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, April 5, 2004
Beautiful day for a ball game

Aside from being maybe a few degrees warmer you couldn't ask for better weather for Opening Day. Off to the Great American Ballpark...

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:34 AM in Cincinnati

Sunday, April 4, 2004
First Wonderfalls, now this

Leo Laporte has been fired from TechTV. Looks like the current owners of TechTV owed him some stock and tried to get him to give it all up for nothing.

It's a damn shame. On the plus side, the problem seems to be with the current owners so there's still the possibility that when Comcast takes over they can make the right decision and hire him back.

Are there any network execs out there who'd like to kick some puppies just to keep the streak going?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:40 PM in Media
Well, they cancelled Wonderfalls

It was a great show so of course it couldn't last. Damn Fox. This makes me sad.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:42 AM in Media

Friday, April 2, 2004

Kos of Daily Kos on the recent mutilation deaths of civilian contractors in Iraq:

I feel nothing over the death of merceneries. They aren't in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them.

--Daily Kos

Instapundit has a post with plenty of links to just about every take on the subject.

--Update -- (Somehow different from an addendum, I think it has to do with time...)
Weapons of Mass Discussion points out that Jane Mitakides, who is running against Mike Turner for US Congress in the 3rd District (That'd basically be Dayton and points south and east for the less numerically inclined.), is a prominent advertiser on Daily Kos.

I hope that Jane has the sense to sever her campaigns relationship with Kos. Mainstream Democrats aren't really like least not the few sane Democrats I know. There are a few hamster Democrats I know who would stand up and cheer this sort of thing. I think that is just disgusting.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:35 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
Jobs, jobs, and more jobs

Non-farm payrolls increased by 308,000 in March, more than two and a half times the 123,000 that had been expected. Additionally, the January and February numbers were revised up from a combined 118,000 to a combined 205,000.

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

Thursday, April 1, 2004
Good stuff from Lileks

John Kerry quotes are in italics.

I mean, there are countless numbers of things that we could be doing to enhance the world's view of us and to minimize the kind of anger and ... almost recruitment that has taken place in terrorist organizations as a result of the way the administration has behaved.

...We stopped pretending we would ratify Kyoto. We only spent $15 billion on AIDS in Africa. We did not take dictation from Paris. If we had done these things, it would minimize the world’s anger.

Is the world angry at Russia, which spends nothing on AIDS and rebuffed Kyoto? Is the world angry at China, which got a pass on Kyoto and spends nothing on AIDS for other countries?

Is the world angry at North Korea for killings its people? Angry at Iran for smothering that vibrant nation with corrupt and thuggish mullocracy? Angry at Syria for occupying Lebanon? Angry at Saudi Arabia for its denial of women’s rights? Angry at Russia for corrupt elections? Is the world angry at China for threatening Taiwan, or angry at France for joining the Chinese in joint military exercises that threatened the island on the eve of an election? Is the world angry at Zimbabwe for stealing land and starving people? Is the world angry at Pakistan for selling nuclear secrets? Is the world angry at Libya for having an NBC program?

Is the world angry at the thugs of Fallujah?

Is the world angry at anyone besides America and Israel?

But even if you admit that the world is angry at America - so angry that the poorest of them can’t wait to come here and stake a claim – you have to stand in awe at the sheer political idiocy of Kerry’s conclusion. Boiled down:

There are countless numbers of things that we could be do minimize the kind of anger and ... almost recruitment that has taken place in terrorist organizations as a result of the way the administration has behaved.

By toppling the fascists in Baghdad without French seal of approval, we have encouraged recruitment in terrorist organizations. It’s not the invasion that ticked off the Man in the Arab Street, it’s the lack of a 17th UN resolution on Iraq. Right now in a café in Beirut an educated man, a chemist by trade, schooled in the ways of the West, is reading an article about how the US will only spent $15 billion on AIDS and probably won’t reduce its carbon emissions to 1817 levels, and he throws down the paper in disgust: bastards! I must join Al Qaeda, move to Iraq and kill the contractors who are upgrading their outmoded infrastructure!

--James Lileks

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:53 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East


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