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Monday, May 31, 2004
Note to the BBC...


In 4 years of the show they've made a grand total of 29 episodes. That may be 4 seasons worth over there, but over on this side of the pond we'd call that one good sized season.

I can't think of a funnier series on TV right now. The Season 3 finale that was on ton(And to head off the obvious comment, The Office hasn't made me laugh once.)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:47 AM in TV

Sunday, May 30, 2004
From the "not taking responsibility for your own actions" file:

Student who plagerized and was kicked out of school sues the school because he says they should have caught him earlier and saved him a couple years of tuition.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:21 PM in Miscellaneous
New poll of Ohio shows Bush lead

The Plain Dealer has a new poll President Bush leading Kerry 47% to 41% with Nader running a close third with 3%. The poll shows that 62% of Kerry's support is of the "Anything but Bush" variety.

Some recent polls have shown President Bush trailing Kerry by 4.5-7%. It should be noted that the Zogby poll is an internet poll of people who have signed up as interested in being polled, thus possibley skewing the numbers and the ARG poll sampled only 600 people compared to the Plain Dealer's 1,500. Looking at the polls rounded up over at RealClear Politics I note that polls of Ohio with samples in the thousands seem to show a Bush lead while those with smaller 500-650 person samples seem to show a Kerry lead. Take that for what you will.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:06 AM in Politics/Government

Saturday, May 29, 2004
Some more on "Cops"

"Cops" creator/executive producer John Langley's take on the situation:

"Cops" is designed as a realistic view of police officers' everyday duties, Langley said. From his perspective, City Council members distorted the show's purpose in a blatant effort at appealing to certain voters.

"It seems like it got politicized, like it was an agenda on someone's part on City Council," Langley said. "I found it ignorant, misinformed or both.

"It's a documentary, for God's sake. It's not some perverse reality TV game show where things are distorted or manipulated. It's pretty straightforward and simple."

With Cincinnati police undergoing dozens of reforms in a multi-year process sparked by a U.S. Justice Department agreement and a racial profiling lawsuit settlement, City Council has often talked about making its operations more transparent to citizens.

That's why Langley is puzzled by the cancellation.

"It smacks of hypocrisy to say you want to have an open police department, then say you don't want to be taped," he said. "I think (Council is) trying to appeal to some constituency and make it racial, when it's not.

"I just thought (the footage) would be interesting, raw and a good piece of cinema verite."

--The Cincinnati Post

I hope the silent majority on the Council will follow through and show some backbone here.

Despite a few members' vocal criticism, the majority sentiment on City Council is to allow the taping. Some members who spoke privately said Mayor Charlie Luken told the chief to call it off, and they hope to persuade "Cops" to return.

"I don't think we should be bullied so quickly," one member said.

Luken couldn't be reached for comment Friday night.

Council Member Sam Malone said Friday he will introduce a measure next week to his colleagues seeking to again roll out the welcome mat to the show.

"This is a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Police Department positively," Malone said in a statement, "and we need to take advantage of this opportunity so the nation can see that Cincinnati is a world class city."

Malone said Langley assured him the opportunity is still there for Cincinnati officers to be on the show.

"The door is wide open," Malone said Langley wrote him in an e-mail. "We would be delighted to film with the Cincinnati Police Department."

--The Cincinnati Post

A poll at WLWT is running 83%-17% with those opposed to scrapping "Cops" on the winning side.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:15 AM in Cincinnati
Did the books, might as well do the movies

This time drawing from AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies list. Once again, the ones I've seen are in bold.

I do much better with movies than with books, having seen 61 100 out of the top 100.

1. CITIZEN KANE (1941)

2. CASABLANCA (1942)



5. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962) -- Every time I see it on the TV grid I think about recording it, but it's soooo freakin long! A decent movie, but I stand by the "soooo freakin long" comment. [added 6/9/04]

6. THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)

7. THE GRADUATE (1967)



10. SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952) -- Bits & pieces, won't count it. [added 5/31/04]


12. SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950) [added 11/08/04]


14. SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)

15. STAR WARS (1977)

16. ALL ABOUT EVE (1950) [added 10/25/04]

17. THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1951) -- Recorded it several times, but I never quite get around to watching it. [added 6/9/04]

18. PSYCHO (1960)

19. CHINATOWN (1974)


21. THE GRAPES OF WRATH (1940) [added 6/1/04]

22. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) [added 9/7/04]


24. RAGING BULL (1980)


26. DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)

27. BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967) [added 6/27/04]

28. APOCALYPSE NOW (1979) -- Egads, it starts out fine but towards the end it just comes to a screeching halt.



31. ANNIE HALL (1977)


33. HIGH NOON (1952)


35. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934) [added 9/7/04]


37. THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946) [added 7/8/04]


39. DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965) [added 7/5/04]


41. WEST SIDE STORY (1961) [added 7/1/04]

42. REAR WINDOW (1954)

43. KING KONG (1933)

44. THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915) -- The first half isn't all that racist, a bit pro-Confederacy but the racism isn't too bad but then you get to that second part and that racism just comes on full bore. [added 5/30/04]



47. TAXI DRIVER (1976)

48. JAWS (1975)



51. THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940) [added 6/20/04]

52. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953) [added 11/01/04]

53. AMADEUS (1984) -- I suppose my feelings can best be described as mixed. I seemed to really like it, but the entire time I just had this feeling that there's some reason I shouldn't be liking it as much as I did... I don't know... [added 8/30/04]

54. ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930) [added 9/20/04]


56. M*A*S*H (1970) -- The series is better.

57. THE THIRD MAN (1949) [added 9/9/04]

58. FANTASIA (1940)



61. VERTIGO (1958)

62. TOOTSIE (1982)[added 6/15/04]

63. STAGECOACH (1939)[added 6/15/04]



66. NETWORK (1976) [added 7/8/04]

67. THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962) [added 6/5/04]

68. AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (1951) [added 10/27/04]

69. SHANE (1953)-- Had to see it after I saw Bruce Campbell playing Shane in a production at the local outdoor theater.

70. THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971) [added 6/20/04]

71. FORREST GUMP (1994)

72. BEN-HUR (1959)

73. WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939) [added 6/27/04]

74. THE GOLD RUSH (1925) [added 8/30/04]


76. CITY LIGHTS (1931) [added 9/2/04]


78. ROCKY (1976)

79. THE DEER HUNTER (1978)-- Thought it spent far too much time getting started with the wedding stuff.

80. THE WILD BUNCH (1969) [added 10/27/04]

81. MODERN TIMES (1936) [added 9/03/04]

82. GIANT (1956) [added 7/16/04]

83. PLATOON (1986)

84. FARGO (1996)

85. DUCK SOUP (1933)

86. MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935) [added 10/28/04]


88. EASY RIDER (1969)

89. PATTON (1970)

90. THE JAZZ SINGER (1927) [added 9/04/04]

91. MY FAIR LADY (1964)

92. A PLACE IN THE SUN (1951) [added 11/10/04]

93. THE APARTMENT (1960) [added 6/29/04]

94. GOODFELLAS (1990)

95. PULP FICTION (1994)

96. THE SEARCHERS (1956) [added 9/01/04]

97. BRINGING UP BABY (1938) [added 6/10/04]

98. UNFORGIVEN (1992)

99. GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER (1967)--We've still got some problems left today, but I think it's amazing how much things have changed in 37 years. [added 10/31/04]

100. YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942) [added 6/21/04]

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:55 AM in Movies

Friday, May 28, 2004
"How dare Al Gore disgrace this nation"
He never mentioned Nicholas Berg. Or Daniel Pearl. Or a single person killed in the World Trade Center. Nor did former Vice President Al Gore talk of any soldier by name who has given his life in Iraq. And he has the audacity to condemn the Bush administration for having "twisted values?'' Gore spent the bulk of a speech before the liberal group Wednesday bemoaning Abu Ghraib and denouncing President Bush's departure from the ``long successful strategy of containment.'' Yes, the very same strategy that, under Gore's leadership, allowed al-Qaeda operatives to plan the horror of Sept. 11 for years, while moving freely within our borders. ... How dare Gore say that Americans have an "innate vulnerability to temptation... to use power to abuse others.'' And that our own "internal system of checks and balances cannot be relied upon'' to curb such abuse. And this man - who apparently has so much disdain for the nature of the American people - wanted to be elected to lead it? It is Gore who has brought dishonor to his party and to his party's nominee. The real disgrace is that this repugnant human being once held the second highest office in this great land.

--Boston Herald

JunkYardBlog has a good homemade political ad on Gore.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:44 PM in Politics/Government
Maybe "Cops" isn't out

WLW is reporting that "Cops" isn't done with the Cincinnati area. They'll be taping in Norwood tonight and Sherrif Si Leis and the officials in Covington have invited "Cops" to follow their officers. They also report that Council Member Sam Malone will push City Council to reinvite "Cops" to film with Cincinnati Police.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:42 PM in Cincinnati
*grumble* "Cops" out


My thoughts from yesterday.

The Enquirer article even tells us that Chief Streicher would have had final approval of anything that went on the air.

On Smitherman and Reece at least Keith Fangman's making sense.

Fangman said Smitherman, Vice Mayor Alicia Reece and Councilman Pat DeWine objected because they knew the program would show police in a positive light - and therefore wouldn't fit with their anti-police agendas.

"Any imbecile who has watched the Cops show knows that they go out of their way to portray police in a very positive light,'' Fangman said. "These three remind us of some schoolyard crybabies who, if all the attention isn't focused on them, throw a temper tantrum and ruin it for everyone.''

Smitherman and Reece are bad enough, but Streicher deserves a good deal of the blaim himself for caving so easily.

Again I think Pepper takes a sensible stance.

Councilman David Pepper said he's concerned that canceling the show is sending the message that the city is embarrassed by its police officers. He has ridden on patrol with many officers and said he's been impressed with their work.

"You see professionals doing a very hard job that not very many people want to do,'' said Pepper, chairman of council's Law and Public Safety Committee.

Said Smitherman:

"Sensationalizing a small part of what good police officers do on a daily basis is not helpful for our community-police relations,''

Well not unless you have a pro-police agenda. I could imagine how bad showing good cops doing good things would be for someone like Smitherman.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:59 PM in Cincinnati
What the heck, all the cool kids seem to be doing it

The 101 Great Books as listed by the College Board. Books I've read are in bold.

Achebe, Chinua - Things Fall Apart
Agee, James - A Death in the Family
Austin, Jane - Pride and Prejudice --Ughh!
Baldwin, James - Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel - Waiting for Godot -- Borrrring.
Bellow, Saul - The Adventures of Augie March
Bronte, Charlotte - Jane Eyre
Bronte, Emily - Wuthering Heights
Camus, Albert - The Stranger
Cather, Willa - Death Comes for the Archbishop
Cervantes, Miguel de - Don Quixote
Chaucer, Geoffrey - The Canterbury Tales -- Excerpts only
Chekhov, Anton - The Cherry Orchard
Chopin, Kate - The Awakening
Conrad, Joseph - Heart of Darkness -- I feel like I've read it, it seems every movie ever made has been based on it.
Cooper, James Fenimore - The Last of the Mohicans -- Saw the movie.
Crane, Stephen - The Red Badge of Courage
Dante - Inferno -- Cliff's Notes
Defoe, Daniel - Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles - A Tale of Two Cities -- Dickens always seemed a very slow read, but the stories were just interesting enough to keep them barely on the positive side of the spectrum.
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor - Crime and Punishment -- Slightly on the negative side of the scale. It had its good points but then there'd be decent sized chunks that just made no sense whatsoever.
Douglass, Frederick - Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass -- Did a book report on it. Can't say it really made much of an impact at all.
Dreiser, Theodore - An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexandre - The Three Musketeers
Eliot, George - The Mill on the Floss
Ellison, Ralph - Invisible Man -- I HATED, HATED, HATED, HATED this book. Most boring book I have ever read.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo - Selected Essays
Faulkner, William - As I Lay Dying
Faulkner, William - The Sound and the Fury
Fielding, Henry - Tom Jones
Fitzgerald, F. Scott - The Great Gatsby -- Meh.
Flaubert, Gustave - Madame Bovary
Ford, Ford Madox - The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von - Faust
Golding, William - Lord of the Flies -- Decent book. Suffered from having it assigned by the English Teacher From Hell.
Hardy, Thomas - Tess of the d'Urbervilles
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - The Scarlet Letter -- Meh. Not interesting enough to really form an opinion one way or the other.
Heller, Joseph - Catch 22 -- It's no M*A*S*H.
Hemingway, Ernest - A Farewell to Arms
Homer - The Iliad
Homer - The Odyssey -- An ok read as far as 2,000+ year old books go. The stories are good, the prose resulting from the translation can do you in though.
Hugo, Victor - The Hunchback of Notre Dame -- Read Les Mis.
Hurston, Zora Neale - Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous - Brave New World
Ibsen, Henrik - A Doll's House -- I had completely forgotten about this one. Can't say I cared for it.
James, Henry - The Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry - The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James - A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Kafka, Franz - The Metamorphosis
Kingston, Maxine Hong - The Woman Warrior
Lee, Harper - To Kill a Mockingbird -- Good book, probably not as good as it's made out to be though.
Lewis, Sinclair - Babbitt -- Meh. I read it, can't say any of it stuck with me. I think it may have started with something about a skyscraper.
London, Jack - The Call of the Wild -- Wasn't really good, wasn't really bad.
Mann, Thomas - The Magic Mountain
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia - One Hundred Years of Solitude
Melville, Herman - Bartleby the Scrivener
Melville, Herman - Moby Dick -- Very long. I was like 10 and I got the book-on-tape and was quite determined to make it through the whole thing. For the life of me I don't know why though.
Miller, Arthur - The Crucible -- Meh
Morrison, Toni - Beloved
O'Connor, Flannery - A Good Man is Hard to Find
O'Neill, Eugene - Long Day's Journey into Night
Orwell, George - Animal Farm -- One of the better books on the list that I've read. A good enough read that you don't find yourself slogging through it like so many books on this list.
Pasternak, Boris - Doctor Zhivago
Plath, Sylvia - The Bell Jar
Poe, Edgar Allen - Selected Tales -- I'll count this one. I've read the great majority of his stories.
Proust, Marcel - Swann's Way
Pynchon, Thomas - The Crying of Lot 49
Remarque, Erich Maria - All Quiet on the Western Front
Rostand, Edmond - Cyrano de Bergerac
Roth, Henry - Call It Sleep
Salinger, J.D. - The Catcher in the Rye
Shakespeare, William - Hamlet -- All of Shakespeare's stuff is pretty hard to properly comprehend nowadays.
Shakespeare, William - Macbeth
Shakespeare, William - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakespeare, William - Romeo and Juliet
Shaw, George Bernard - Pygmalion
Shelley, Mary - Frankenstein
Silko, Leslie Marmon - Ceremony
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander - One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles - Antigone -- Meh
Sophocles - Oedipus Rex -- Meh
Steinbeck, John - The Grapes of Wrath -- An ok book, I did find myself struggling to keep going at times.
Stevenson, Robert Louis - Treasure Island
Stowe, Harriet Beecher - Uncle Tom's Cabin
Swift, Jonathan - Gulliver's Travels -- An ok book.
Thackeray, William - Vanity Fair
Thoreau, Henry David - Walden
Tolstoy, Leo - War and Peace
Turgenev, Ivan - Fathers and Sons
Twain, Mark - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- An ok read.
Voltaire - Candide
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. - Slaughterhouse-Five
Walker, Alice - The Color Purple
Warton, Edith - The House of Mirth
Welty, Eudora - Collected Stories
Whitman, Walt - Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar - The Picture of Dorian Gray
Williams, Tennessee - The Glass Menagerie -- Decent, didn't really find anything spectacular about it though.
Woolf, Virginia - To the Lighthouse
Wright, Richard - Native Son

I'm actually a fairly prolific reader in my free time. Read pretty much all of Orson Scott Card's non-Biblical/Mormon stuff. Been trying to work my way through some of the more important stuff recently (at least the important stuff that piques my curiosity), some of Asimov's robot stuff, Stranger in a Strange Land, most of Rand's stuff.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:23 AM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, May 27, 2004
Link between Iraq and 9/11?
We realize that even raising this subject now is politically incorrect. It is an article of faith among war opponents that there were no links whatsoever--that "secular" Saddam and fundamentalist Islamic terrorists didn't mix. But John Ashcroft's press conference yesterday reminds us that the terror threat remains, and it seems especially irresponsible for journalists not to be open to new evidence. If the CIA was wrong about WMD, couldn't it have also missed Saddam's terror links?

One striking bit of new evidence is that the name Ahmed Hikmat Shakir appears on three captured rosters of officers in Saddam Fedayeen, the elite paramilitary group run by Saddam's son Uday and entrusted with doing much of the regime's dirty work. Our government sources, who have seen translations of the documents, say Shakir is listed with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

This matters because if Shakir was an officer in the Fedayeen, it would establish a direct link between Iraq and the al Qaeda operatives who planned 9/11. Shakir was present at the January 2000 al Qaeda "summit" in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at which the 9/11 attacks were planned. The U.S. has never been sure whether he was there on behalf of the Iraqi regime or whether he was an Iraqi Islamicist who hooked up with al Qaeda on his own.

It is possible that the Ahmed Hikmat Shakir listed on the Fedayeen rosters is a different man from the Iraqi of the same name with the proven al Qaeda connections. His identity awaits confirmation by al Qaeda operatives in U.S. custody or perhaps by other captured documents. But our sources tell us there is no questioning the authenticity of the three Fedayeen rosters. The chain of control is impeccable. The documents were captured by the U.S. military and have been in U.S. hands ever since.
In his new book, "The Connection," Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard puts together all of the many strands of intriguing evidence that the two did do business together. There's no single "smoking gun," but there sure is a lot of smoke.

The reason to care goes beyond the prewar justification for toppling Saddam and relates directly to our current security. U.S. officials believe that American civilian Nicholas Berg was beheaded in Iraq recently by Abu Musab al-Zarkawi, who is closely linked to al Qaeda and was given high-level medical treatment and sanctuary by Saddam's government. The Baathists killing U.S. soldiers are clearly working with al Qaeda now; Saddam's files might show us how they linked up in the first place.

--OpinionJournal (Coverage at NewsMax) (Hat-tip)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:47 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Ted Rall finally manages a well thought-out and unobjectionable column and what does he do? He titles it in such a way as to compare people to Nazis. He was sooooo close....

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:12 AM in Politics/Government
Problems with "Cops"

Cincinnati City Council, and specifically Alicia Reece are upset with Police Chief Tom Streicher's decision to allow the television show "Cops" to ride along with police and tape for the show.

Letting the program showcase Cincinnati's crime problems while the city grapples with improving strained police-community relations -- as well as try to attract more business and conventions in wake of a boycott by local civil rights groups -- is counter-productive, Reece and others said.

"While we're working on these issues internally, I don't see the advantage of bringing 'Cops' in to see people getting shot, to see people getting arrested," Reece said. "Is this the image we want for Cincinnati?"
"What in the world were we thinking bringing 'Cops' to Cincinnati when we've certainly had our share of negative press?" the vice mayor asked. "I am appalled. I am upset about it."

--The Cincinnati Post

Yes, the Cincinnati Police have had more than their share of bad press. Maybe it's time to get some positive press. "Cops" isn't a pro-criminal show. They don't make their money exposing problems with police departments. They make their living following police around. I imagine they'll sensationalize things a bit, the chases make for good TV, but if they start making bad stuff up about the people they follow around every day then they're going to have trouble getting permission to follow police around in the future.

The only time the Cincinnati police get any publicity is when some criminal is accusing them of being racists. It'll be nice having someone show what they go through every day. If they pull up to a Nathaniel Jones while the crews are here there'll be somebody taping everything from start to finish. There'll be no missing 90 seconds. No cries of "the police provoked him before they turned the cameras on!" Unless you actually think that the police ARE racists and routinely victimize blacks I'm not sure how you can say this would be a bad thing.

Councilman Christopher Smitherman:

"People are trying to work, we're trying to have racial reconciliation and rebuild Cincinnati, and now we have the 'Cops' program coming to town and hog-tying African-American men on TV."

I don't know what to make of that. Firstly I doubt that the film crew will be personally doing much African-American man hog-tying. Secondly I doubt that the Police will be doing much African-American man hog-tying. Thirdly I think Smitherman is either confusing hand-cuffing a criminal in the process of restraining him with "hog-tying African-American men" or using provocative language to appease the black community and either way I find it rather sad.

David Pepper at least takes a sensible approach to having qualms about the issue.

"My hope is our police will look and be professional, like I know them to be, and impress the country," said Council Member David Pepper. "There is an unnecessary risk here. We don't control how they edit the footage. I'm confident about our officers, not the show."

From their quotes I'm not seeing that same confidence in the officers from Council Members like Reece and Smitherman.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:35 AM in Cincinnati

Wednesday, May 26, 2004
No tie between al Qaeda and Iraq before the war?
During the 1990s, Zarqawi trained under bin Laden in Afghanistan. After the fall of the Taliban, he fled to northwestern Iraq and worked with poisons for use in potential attacks, officials say.

During the summer of 2002, he underwent nasal surgery at a Baghdad hospital, officials say. They mistakenly originally thought, however, that Zarqawi had his leg amputated due to an injury.

In late 2002, officials say, Zarqawi began establishing sleeper cells in Baghdad and acquiring weapons from Iraqi intelligence officials.

--ABC News (Hat tip Hobbs)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:37 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
"al-Sadr is not one of us"

An example of Iraqis rejecting their enemy, they type of thing that must happen for the terror and violence in Iraq to end.

It was unclear which side was responsible for causing the minor damage to the Imam Ali mosque, but a high-ranking cleric accused Sadr’s militia of deliberately attacking the revered shrine.

Ayatollah Mohammed Baqr al-Mehri, the Kuwaiti representative of Iraq’s most powerful Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, said the Sadr militia fired a mortar shell at the dome of the shrine but missed it and hit a wall instead.

Ayatollah Mehri called the attack "a cowardly act" and said Sadr loyalists should not use the shrine for storing their weapons and as a sanctuary.

"We want to tell the world, and America, that Muqtada al-Sadr is not one of us, and this is a conspiracy against Shiites so that we don’t get any [political] rights," Ayatollah Mehri said, referring to Shiite demands for greater political representation in the new Iraq.
Ayatollah Mehri said the Sadr militia was "trying to agitate world opinion against the coalition" by claiming that coalition forces attacked the shrine. He said the militia include Saddam loyalists.

--The Scotsman (via Instapundit)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:07 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
Please indulge me in a short bit of lyrics quoting...
Who needs sleep?
(well you're never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep?
(tell me what's that for)
Who needs sleep?
(be happy with what you're getting
There's a guy who's been awake
since the Second World War)

--"Who Needs Sleep?" - Barenaked Ladies

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:14 AM in Miscellaneous
Wictory Wednesday

This is Wictory Wednesday. Please volunteer or donate to help the President win reelection.

You might also consider giving to Republican 527s, such as The Club for Growth, GOPAC, Progress for America, the College Republican National Committee and The Dems have a big lead in the 527 area thanks to the likes of George Soros so the Conservative 527s need all the help we can give them.

You can also sign up to get e-mail from the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign.

If you are an Ohioan who supports the President please consider joining the Ohioans for Bush-Cheney Yahoo! Group.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:48 AM in Politics/Government

Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Real Clear Politics on the CBS poll
Thanks to the fact that two other polls were conducted over the same time period and released on the same day, we can get a better idea of just how the CBS poll compares...

...the bias isn't pro-Kerry, it's anti-Bush. As we've mentioned before, CBS News/NY Times usually undersamples Republicans and oversamples Democrats and Independents, leading to weaker numbers all around for the President.
In every instance except one this year (and a very iffy one at that), CBS/NYT produced the worst job approval number of any of the three polls during a comparative time period.
CBS/NYT is spitting out job approval numbers that run, on average, about 4.25% lower than their competitors and a full 3% lower than the average of all 29 polls taken by the three groups this year.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:18 PM in Politics/Government
*Insert standard Instalanche post here*

Welcome and all the usual stuff.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:18 AM in Miscellaneous

Monday, May 24, 2004
My one thought on the post-speech reaction

Cued up the Reds game on the DVR so I didn't see too much of the post-speech spin. Anyway...

Senator Lieberman was on CNN... I think... He is probably the Democrat I respect the most. The easy, party-endorsed thing to do would have been for him to go on TV and spew forth the talking points of how President Bush has no plan in Iraq… that he lied... that he has no record to run on... that he kicks puppies and eats babies for breakfast. Instead he comes out and talks about how this is a fight that must be won, that we have to be steady and see the situation in Iraq through to a successful conclusion.

It’s a shame that the Democrats are so blinded by hatred that they can so thoroughly ignore the few members of their party talking sense. If a Democrat had to be President I would want it to be someone like Senator Lieberman.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:44 PM in Politics/Government
President Bush's speech

Full text is here. I liked it. (I'll pause while you gasp.... done? Ok.) Was it perfect, no. He could have been more at ease. (Though for a serious speech like this I wouldn't want him too at ease.) I kind of wonder whether the speech might not have achieved its purpose better had it been from the Oval Office and spoken straight to the camera rather to the audience. All things considered though he got his point across quite well.

The less important points. Sovereignty by 7/30, elections by the end of '05. Sovereign leaders should be announced in the next week. Abu-Ghraib to be razed, with the new government's permission. (Yeah, like they're going to want to keep it around...) Won't decrease troop levels. Willing to increase troop levels if needed.

The most important part of the speech though is the plan for extinguishing the opposition. This isn't a fight that will be won by American generals sending American troops into Iraqi neighborhoods. This isn't a fight that will be won by American generals sending Iraqi troops into Iraqi neighborhoods. This is a fight that will be won by Iraqi generals sending Iraqi troops into Iraqi neighborhoods. This is a fight that will be won by helping the Iraqi government secure the country.

This is not a situation to be quelled with more troops, it's not to be avoided with less troops. It is a situation that will be solved by THEIR troops, and THEIR leaders, and THEIR people. We will help however we can, but it is imperative that Iraqi people know that they are fighting for themselves, not for the United States of America.

Iraqis will know that when they build a school or repair a bridge, they're not working for the Coalition Provisional Authority, they are working for themselves. And when they patrol the streets of Baghdad, or engage radical militias, they will be fighting for their own country.
Working as allies, we will defend Iraq and defeat these enemies.

America will provide forces and support necessary for achieving these goals.

That is the important aspect of this speech. The defeat of the Baathists and terrorists in Iraq cannot be accomplished by an occupying force. It can be, must be, and will be accomplished by the Iraqi people themselves. We will supply them with everything we can to ensure they are able to defeat the enemy but in the end it will be the Iraqis' own resolve that will secure their freedom from violence and tyranny.

This strikes me as funny

And I'm not really sure why.

Bush was wearing his bike helmet and a mouth guard when the mishap occurred. Duffy said he didn't know exactly how the accident happened.

"It's been raining a lot and the topsoil is loose," the spokesman said. "You know this president. He likes to go all out. Suffice it to say he wasn't whistling show tunes." (emphasis added)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:47 PM in Politics/Government
Boston Herald on Kerry
He had it right the first time. Or was it the third time?

Sen. John Kerry told the Associated Press last week that he wouldn't impose a pro-abortion litmus test on his judicial selections should he become president. Flip.

After a bevy of women's groups complained, Kerry said he would impose such a litmus test on candidates for the Supreme Court. Flop.

But he's actually voted the other way. Flip.

Pro-litmus test Kerry, by the way, was simply reverting back to a position he espoused to win the hearts of Democratic activists during the primary season. Flop.

But it wasn't Kerry's position during his early tenure in the Senate when he decried ``the systematic targeting of any judicial nominee who does not meet the requirements of a litmus test.'' Flip.

And, of course, Kerry voted in 1986 to confirm anti-abortion Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Flop.

In almost the same breath last week, Kerry pointed to the Scalia vote as evidence that he would ``appoint somebody to some court who has a different point of view. I've already voted for people like that.''

Soon after, Kerry bemoaned his Scalia support as one of the biggest mistakes he's made in the Senate. Flip and Flop.


Kerry makes it maddeningly easy for the Bush campaign to portray him as the consummate spineless, unprincipled Washington politician.

It's not that politicians aren't entitled to change their minds. That happens.

John Kerry goes way beyond that. He changes or shades or outright contradicts statements he's made or votes he's taken in the past, when taking a different view is advantageous.

And he does it as smoothly as any salesman.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:08 PM in Politics/Government
The Telegraph on Michael Moore
It must have been a gruesome sight: the elite of the Cannes film festival applauding someone even more self-regarding than themselves. Michael Moore, portly archpriest of the anti-Bush cult, premiered his film Fahrenheit 9/11 at the festival this week.
Many of the claims made in Bowling for Columbine, his Oscar-winning film about America's gun culture, have unravelled spectacularly under scrutiny. His target audience of 20-year-old slackers will not hear a word against him, but many American commentators - including Left-wing ones - are embarrassed by the crudity of his rhetoric, the unreliability of his "facts" and the gulf between his claim to represent blue-collar America and his personal lifestyle.
The simple truth about Michael Moore is that this self-righteous critic of corporate America is one of its most bloated beneficiaries. It is time someone made a film about him - and, we are pleased to report, someone is. Forget Fahrenheit 9/11: later this year, a young film-maker called Mike Wilson will unveil a documentary entitled Michael Moore Hates America, in which the self-proclaimed "slob in a baseball cap" will find his techniques turned on himself. Don't miss it.

--Daily Telegraph

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:58 AM in Movies
"Help! Help! I'm being repressed!... Did you see him repressing me? You saw it, didn't you?"
E.L. Doctorow, one of the most celebrated writers in America, was nearly booed off the stage at Hofstra University Sunday when he gave a commencement address lambasting President George W. Bush and effectively calling him a liar.

Booing that came mainly from the crowd in the stands became so intense that Doctorow stopped speaking at one point, showing no emotion as he stood silently and listened to the jeers. Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz intervened, and called on the audience to allow him to finish. He did, although some booing persisted.

Doctorow, who spent virtually all of his 20-minute address in Hempstead criticizing Bush, told the crowd that like himself the president is a storyteller. But "sadly they are not good stories this president tells," he said. "They are not good stories because they are not true." That line provoked the first boos, along with scattered cheers.
"Another story was that the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, was in league with the terrorists of al-Qaida," he said. "And that turned out to be not true. But anyway we went off to war on the basis of these stories."

Those lines provoked an outburst of boos so loud the "Ragtime" author stopped the speech. Rabinowitz approached the podium and called for calm. "We value open discussion and debate," he said. "For the sake of your graduates, please let him finish."

Some students and most of the faculty responded with a standing ovation, and Doctorow resumed speaking. He attacked Bush for giving the rich tax breaks, doing "a very poor job of combating terrorism" and allowing the government to subpoena libraries "to see what books you've been taking out."

Many parents and relatives of the more than 1,300 undergraduates were livid over the address, saying afterward that a college graduation was not the place for a political speech. "If this would have happened in Florida, we would have taken him out" of the stadium, said Frank Mallafre, who traveled from Miami for his granddaughter's graduation.
Many students also called Doctorow's speech inappropriate. Peter Hulse, 24, of Manchester, England, said, "He's a bit like Michael Moore," the documentary director who provoked booing at last year's Oscars' ceremony by criticizing the war in Iraq.

But some defended Doctorow's speech. "I think he's entitled to his opinion and he's as American as anyone else," said a Hempstead resident who identified himself only as Frank and whose daughter was graduating.

Of course he's entitled to his opinion. That is not however the same as being entitled to force his opinion on graduating students on a day that should be about them. And it's certainly not the same as being able to express those opinions without his audience expressing their own opinions on the subject. He has a right to say and think whatever the hell he wants, he does not however have the right to say the wrong thing in the wrong place at the wrong time and not be taken to task by those he has chosen to speak to. He has his opinions, the people who booed him made theirs quite evident.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:32 AM in Politics/Government

Sunday, May 23, 2004
On the Bush graduations

Because some actually thought President Bush deciding not to attend his daughters' graduation ceremonies was proof that he didn't love his daughters I'll just point out that Jenna Bush didn't even attend her own graduation.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:11 PM in Politics/Government
Back from the Reds game

A great game tonight.

I have to give credit to the sound crew. When Clemens intentionally walked LaRue in the 3rd they came back with the Simpsons line "Clemens is in no condition to pitch sir, he thinks he's a chicken". It was brilliant in its appropriateness. They've also gotten much better at timing the boings and glass breaks that follow fowl balls than they were back at Cinergy.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:10 AM in Baseball , Cincinnati

Saturday, May 22, 2004
For the "Barry Bonds will never slow down and cannot possibly fail to crush Aaron's record" crowd:

Bonds has hit a grand total of 1 Home Run in the past month. By my calculations, if he continues at this pace he should pass Babe Ruth early in the 2012 season and break Aaron's record about 3/4 of the way through the 2018 season.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:49 AM in Miscellaneous

Friday, May 21, 2004
Cosby said, according to Leiby: "Ladies and gentlemen, the lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids – $500 sneakers for what? And won't spend $200 for 'Hooked on Phonics.'

He added: "They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English. I can't even talk the way these people talk: 'Why you ain't,' 'Where you is' ... And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk. ... Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. ... You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth!"

The Post said Cosby also targeted imprisoned blacks.

"These are not political criminals," he said. "These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake and then we run out and we are outraged, [saying] 'The cops shouldn't have shot him.' What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?"


This is something that needs to be said by someone in the black community. You can bitch about racism and prejudice all you like, but eventually it needs to be understood that while there are certain things stacked against you it doesn't help that you keep stacking things up against yourself. Responsibility for your own actions must be taken. It is possible for anybody to succeed in this society, but to do so it has to be understood that dropping out of school, fathering multiple children with multiple women, and joining a gang and going to prison isn't the way to go about it. It won't allow you to succeed and it won't allow your children to succeed.

Many in the black community don't seem to understand this, and no number of outsiders telling them is going to get the point across. Outsiders who call for personal responsibility are racists and bigots. It's important that leaders within the community push the idea because they're really the only ones who stand a chance at convincing those who need to be convinced.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:40 PM in Miscellaneous

Thursday, May 20, 2004
The end of Call for Help

Sad day. Call for Help taped its last show yesterday. G4 is shopping Call for Help to other networks, but the only thing Leo will be doing on G4TechTv is his pretaped tip segments on The Screensavers.

I suppose my ideal situation given the end of Call for Help would be for Leo to take back over The Screen Savers from Kevin, but I won't be holding my breath.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:00 PM in Technology/Internet

Wednesday, May 19, 2004
This should make things easier for Democratic Underground posters

The George W. Bush Conspiracy Theory Generator

Now they no longer have to go through all the hard work of coming up with insane theories and accusations on their own. Just select the event, co-conspirators, victim and goal and it'll whip up a conspiracy theory for ya.

(Hat tip: WMD)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:31 PM in Politics/Government
This is just not right

Crunch 'n Munch has replaced Cracker Jacks at Yankee Stadium. Have they no sense of tradition? Next thing you know they'll be wanting to but advertising on the bases.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:54 PM in Miscellaneous
New look

At the time of my last redesign I mentioned that I'd thought about changing the colors but hadn't felt like redoing all the graphics. Now I've finally gotten around to it. While I liked the red, white and blue motif, I got to feeling that the difference between the red and the blue was a bit too stark. I think the lighter blue works better.

I've got to remember to make sure I keep my Photoshop .psd files. The hardest part was redoing the stupid dividing bar from scratch. I do feel good though for remembering to do a full backup. Accidently wrote over my About Me file but even though I ended up downloading a 240 meg backup file with the 138 meg backup file I wanted zipped up inside I managed to get it back.

Let me know what you think and/or if you've found anything that didn't get switched over.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:55 AM in Miscellaneous
Wictory Wednesday

This is Wictory Wednesday. Please volunteer or donate to help the President win reelection. This week I'll also throw Republican 527, such as The Club for Growth into the mix. The Dems have a big lead in the 527 area thanks to the likes of George Soros so the Conservative 527s need all the help we can give them.

You can also sign up to get e-mail from the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign.

If you are an Ohioan who supports the President please consider joining the Ohioans for Bush-Cheney Yahoo! Group.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:07 AM in Politics/Government
Iraqi good news roundup

Lots of stuff over at Chrenkoff, check it out. (via Instapundit)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:07 AM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Tuesday, May 18, 2004
The danger of Iraq

George Neumayr has a good piece over at The American Spectator explaining how dangerous Iraq was before the war.

Monday's news confirms what Kay reported to an indifferent Congress: "We know that terrorists were passing through Iraq. And now we know that there was little control over Iraq's weapons capabilities. I think it shows that Iraq was a very dangerous place. The country had the technology, the ability to produce, and there were terrorist groups passing through the country -- and no central control."

The Democrats seized upon elements of Kay's report to advance their claim that Iraq under Saddam Hussein was less dangerous than assumed. But Kay was trying to explain to them that Iraq was more dangerous than even Bush's pre-war picture allowed: "I actually think what we learned during the inspection made Iraq a more dangerous place, potentially, than, in fact, we thought it was even before the war."

Bush's pre-war point holds up: terrorists were operating in Iraq, and they did have access to Saddam Hussein's powder keg. The constant claim that the war in Iraq is irrelevant to the war on terrorism is impossible to sustain when U.S. forces keep capturing terrorists Hussein harbored. Just like the antiwar Democrats refused to acknowledge Central America as a link in the Communist chain, so they deny that Iraq under Hussein was a link in the chain of Islamic terror.

--The American Spectator

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:38 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
The immoral argument against the war

Michael Totten takes on a Paul Savoy piece in The Nation.

Since innocents always die in war, he explicitly states freedom is not worth fighting for under any circumstances because the death of some innocents is morally worse than slavery for everybody.
He fails, at this point in the piece anyway, to take into account that Saddam Hussein killed more Iraqis by orders of magnitude than the U.S. has or ever will.... He apparently thinks - he must think on some level - that it’s morally better if a lot of people die by someone else’s hand than if a few die by ours. This is nothing if not an abrogation of responsibility and a total lack of regard for the well-being of the people in question. The same rationale would tell us to let Slobodan Milosovic put the Muslim population of Europe to the sword. The same rationale excuses our (and everyone else’s) refusal to stop the past genocide in Rwanda and the current one in Sudan. It’s a great and terrible shrug. The post-Holocaust notion of “Never Again” doesn’t even enter in the equation. Did anyone who said “never again” mean a tyrant has to be exactly as bad as Hitler to be worth stopping? No.... In his view, genocide can only be resisted by the victims. Never by a well-armed third party.

--Michael J. Totten: The (Im)moral Case Against the War

Plenty more there, check it out.

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

Further tests have confirmed what the field test showed, that there were 3-4 liters of Sarin in the shell exploded yesterday.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:06 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Cicadaville: Cincinnati's Cicada Authority

What do Cicadas eat?
Human children are the primary source of nutrition for Cicadas.

Are Cicadas poisonous?
Yes, Cicadas have a deadly venom that is injected through a small bone like tube known as the "Cicada deadly venom tube". The venom can kill a human being instantly. In 1987, the last time the Cicadas emerged in Cincinnati, over 7 million people died from Cicada injections. Many people escaped but most perished.
With the right makeup and some minor surgery can a large Cicada be made to resemble Ryan Seacrest?
Yes, there are many documented cases of Cicadas being successfully altered to look like Ryan Seacrest.

How large are Cicadas?
Many of the Cicadas in this year's strain stand over 3 feet tall and weigh over 50 pounds. The largest Cicada to appear in Cincinnati is shown to the left causing several hours of downtown traffic congestion while it searched for food in the form of human children. This giant Cicada was eventually shot by Cincinnati Police who mistook a spot of shiny tree sap on its leg for a gun.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:35 PM in Cincinnati
Holy cow

The Reds have a new way for you to buy tickets. Before you had to have them shipped to you, pick them up at Will Call, or pick them up at a outlet. They now have a service called Tickets@Home where you can print out your own tickets on your own printer and bring them to the ballpark.

To pick your tickets up at Will Call or an outlet costs $2.50 for Order Processing.

Now what do you think it would be to print them out yourself? Probably less, right? Considering that you have to use your own paper and ink and they don't have to have one of their people handle the tickets and hand them to you, that would make sense.

Is it the case?

NO! They charge $4.25 to print out your own tickets!

How can that be? In what conceivable way could it cost them more to have you print your own tickets than to have them print them themselves and pay a person to stand at a window and hand them to you?!

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:39 AM in Baseball , Cincinnati

Monday, May 17, 2004
The Emergency Alert System

I've noticed tonight that they're doing something differently with the Emergency Alert System. Now when a Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued they run a crawl on the screen and you get those modem-like noises that interrupt the sound from the show we're watching.


We've gotten along perfectly well for years with maps of colored in counties taking up 1/4 of the screen. We don't need our programs broken into for a lousy Thunderstorm Warning. Unless it's a Tornado I'm fine with just getting the info from the map and any silent crawls they run, the blaring modem is not necessary.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:45 PM in Miscellaneous
WMD found in Iraq

What appears to be a Sarin gas shell exploded with little effect today and a Mustard gas shell was found 10 days ago.

Citizen Smash has a good roundup, including the always entertaining Democratic Undergound conspiracy theories.

The same day the president of the Iraqi governing council is killed AND the stock market tanks, we find WMD!!!! WOW! what a surprise! Gotta get those war approval ratings up!


Of course we've known for months that Iraq was in material breach of UN resolutions. Go read the Kay Report from last October again. It lays out how they'd found just about everything short of actual stockpiles.

To make Brian happy. (Yeah right, like that'll happen...)

Why we went to war when we did.

And I covered his "blood lust" stuff in the comments here.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:32 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
What do John Kerry and Cicadas have in common?

The GOP has a web video which explains.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:33 PM in Politics/Government
Michael Moore: Victim of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
Controversial film-maker Michael Moore has accused President George W. Bush's government of trying to thwart the creation and release of his documentary Fahrenheit 9/11.... According to Moore, "someone connected to the White House, a top Republican" has put pressure on film companies not to release the movie. Moore explains, "The potential for this film to have an impact on the election was much larger than they thought. It is certainly something the Bush administration does not want people to see."

I expect he's being about as truthful here as when he complained about Disney springing their refusal to distribute it on him. Can you say manufactured controversy?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:12 PM in Movies , Politics/Government

Sunday, May 16, 2004
Responses to Zogby

Pollster John Zogby recently predicted that the Presidential race is John Kerry's to lose.

Horace Cooper in the Washington Times disagrees, saying Kerry will come out of the convention "unlikely to win and possibly headed for a thumping in November."

Scott Rasmussen meanwhile argues that at worst the election has gone from Bush's to lose to a tossup.

What little movement we have seen suggests that the President loses a couple of points every time a new level of bad news comes from Iraq. After a few days or a week, however, the numbers return to the toss-up range. Senator Kerry loses a few points every time the spotlight focuses on him. Kerry's numbers bounce back when the focus returns to the President.

Also, a key part of the Zogby analysis is that "The President’s problem is further compounded by the fact that he is now at the mercy of situations that are out of his control." It's absolutely true that the economy and Iraq are out of the President's control. But, they are also out of Senator Kerry's control.

When all is said and done, it is the reality in Iraq and the economy will determine the election. If Iraq stabilizes in any way and the economy improves, the President will be hard to beat. If Iraq deteriorates significantly and the economy fails to improve, the Senator will have the edge.
While the polls have shown an incredibly tight race for months, I don't believe it will be that close on Election Day in November. I'm not envisioning a landslide, but believe the most likely scenario is for one candidate or the other to win a modestly comfortable victory.

Why do I say this? Because events in Iraq and the economy will determine the outcome. Those situations will change for better or worse and voters will decide accordingly. If they go one direction, Bush wins. If they go the other way, Kerry wins.


Personally I side with Rasmussen here. Zogby seems to take for granted that the economy and Iraq will continue going badly through November. If both those things continue to get worse than sure it's John Kerry's to lose, but I certainly don't think you can go making that assumption at this point. It's a pretty big assumption, especially given the increase we've already seen in job creation and the fact that June 30 will be a turning point in Iraq. It's not inevitably a positive turning point, but it's certainly likely that events in Iraq will be different after that date than before. You can't be basing predictions on world events being exactly the same 6 months from now and expect to be right.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:07 PM in Politics/Government
I was promised flying cars. I don't see any flying cars!

Oh wait, there's one.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:47 PM in Technology/Internet

Friday, May 14, 2004
Who killed Nick Berg

More insanity from the Democratic Underground.

They have a poll: Who killed Nick Berg.

"People working for the U.S. Government": 73%
"People working for Al Qaeda": 27%

(Hat tip to ML)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:06 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
MT 3.0

Movable Type 3.0 is out and it's created quite an uproar over the pay structure. If you want to have more than 3 weblogs or more than 1 author you need to pay $70 and the prices go up to $149 for the Personal edition. I only have one weblog and one author, but still I don't know that I like it. I don't know that the can really call the free version a "fully-functional" version if they're going to limit how many authors you can have.

That being said, I imagine I'll upgrade at some point in the future.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:44 PM in Technology/Internet
Geez, do you think this is in response to gmail?

Yahoo's upgrading e-mail storage to 100MB.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:19 PM in Technology/Internet
Fair use

Currently the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) makes it illegal for you to make a backup copy of any copy protected digital media you have legally purchased, including software, music, and movies. You know that copy of The Lion King you just bought your kid? You're not allowed to make a copy of it for when your kid bends it, breaks it, steps on it or does any of the number of things kids do to small shiny discs that can be scratched.

Rep. Rick Boucher of Virginia has introduced the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act (H. R. 107). This bill would change the law so that you can get past the copy protection legally and companies can make software that allows you to do this.

It's just common sense that you should be able to make backup copies of digital media for your own personal use if you've paid for the right to use it.

Please consider writing to your Representative and encouraging him or her to support the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:43 AM in Movies , Politics/Government , Technology/Internet

Thursday, May 13, 2004
Media Bias
The other day, while taking a break by the Al-Hamra Hotel pool, fringed with the usual cast of tattooed defence contractors, I was accosted by an American magazine journalist of serious accomplishment and impeccable liberal credentials.

She had been disturbed by my argument that Iraqis were better off than they had been under Saddam and I was now — there was no choice about this — going to have to justify my bizarre and dangerous views.
But then she came to the point. Not only had she ‘known’ the Iraq war would fail but she considered it essential that it did so because this would ensure that the ‘evil’ George W. Bush would no longer be running her country. Her editors back on the East Coast were giggling, she said, over what a disaster Iraq had turned out to be. ‘Lots of us talk about how awful it would be if this worked out.’ Startled by her candour, I asked whether thousands more dead Iraqis would be a good thing.

She nodded and mumbled something about Bush needing to go. By this logic, I ventured, another September 11 on, say, September 11 would be perfect for pushing up John Kerry’s poll numbers. ‘Well, that’s different — that would be Americans,’ she said, haltingly. ‘I guess I’m a bit of an isolationist.’ That’s one way of putting it.

--The Spectator (via Instapundit)
And people wonder how anybody could think the media has a liberal bias....

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:28 PM in Media , War/Terrorism/Middle East
Kerry up a mere 1 point in California

According to a KABC Poll.

Bush 45%, Kerry 46%, Other 6%.

Take it for what you will.

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

Wednesday, May 12, 2004
The CIA/Americans/Whites/Bush killed Nick Berg

More insane conspiracy theories from the loonies at the Democratic Underground.

Yep. It had to be those terraists who hate freedom and gas puppies!

And they just happen to cover themselves from head to toe.

And they just happen to wrap towels over their ski masks like they wanted to be hired as extras for The Return of the Mummy.

And they just happen to have a US-issued orange jumpsuit on hand.

And they just happen to pick up the most innocent, non-military, non-defense contractor guy they can find -- a guy who had just been detained in US prison for two weeks and who was released only after his parents filed suit.

And they just happen to film his execution using the most out of focus and blurry video camera imaginable.

And they just happen to use the newest Microsoft WMV codecs for their video.

And they just happen to release this video on their website (play that over in your head a few times) and then they just happen to get all the major news outlets to release it as legitimate "breaking news" before any Western intelligence can confirm it as such.

And this video release just happens to serve as the most potent possible counter-propaganda to the video images of US-run prison abuse at the best possible time for Bush apologists.

Just look at the picture and try not to be such Gomers about it:


It's kind of hard to nail down...

..the physical way they stand and hold themselves (I know that sounds vague), their hand gestures are very white...Arabs tend to be very expressive with their hands, these guys simply hang them at their sides...The way that they hold their weapons is VERY 'western' IMHO...

They are definitely not ARABS doing this....

The whole thing looks like setup....The one guy (on the rightside of the screen) was very fidgety and nervous...almost anxious...he kept looking to his right to see if the fella in the middle was done reading....If he spoke the language wouldn't he know when his 'leader' was done...

The more I think about it, the more this just doesn't sit right....


These people make the Art Bell folks look good.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:42 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
Generation X (Or Y) in Iraq

NRO has an interesting piece on nonmilitary twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings working in Iraq. Just to nitpick though, I think many of the twenty-somethings they mention in the article are actually Generation Y, not X as the title of the article implies.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:00 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
Air America losing advertisors

The NY Daily News has a story on the hatred and vitriol flowing out of Air America radio. It ends with the mention that advertisers are refusing to buy spots on Air America affiliates.

During a day of torture by radio, I heard ads for Hewlett-Packard, Greyhound and, especially, General Motors. I asked GM why it appeared in such shows.

Ryndee Carney, GM's manager of marketing communications, said the ads were wrongly picked up from an earlier deal with WLIB. She said the station was ordered to "cease and desist" yesterday, and added: "GM will not advertise on any Air America affiliates."

--NY Daily News (via Matt Margolis)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:30 PM in Politics/Government
Wictory Wednesday

This is Wictory Wednesday. Please volunteer or donate to help the President win reelection.

You can also sign up to get e-mail from the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign.

If you are an Ohioan who supports the President please consider joining the Ohioans for Bush-Cheney Yahoo! Group.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:02 PM in Politics/Government

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Those who abused prisoners at Abu Ghraib should and will face justice, but I find it hard to get too worked up about stacking prisoners in pyramids and simulating sexual acts when the other side is decapitating American civilians on video.

After some effort I've seen the video and words really can't describe it. It's the most horrendous and sickening thing I've seen. Evil exists in this world. If it is something we think we can choose to fight then we're already losing the fight because the ability to choose to fight it implies that we can also choose to ignore it. It is essential that we know that Evil MUST be fought. There is no moral equivalence here. What these monsters do on a daily basis is far worse than what we as a nation, a culture, and a civilization do in worst moments. There must be no mistaking who is fighting the good fight here.

May God bless and watch over Nick Berg's soul.

(The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler has links to mirrors of the video.)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:45 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
Back from an interview

Had a job interview today. It went pretty well. The interviewer said he planned to have the first round of interviews done by Friday and then he'd call me next week and most likely schedule a second interview where I'd meet the company Vice President and the rest of the staff. Said he'd liked what he'd seen so far so it looks like I passed the second test. (The first being that I made the cut amongst the hundreds of thousands of resumes.)

"Passed the second test" is actually quite literally true. Had the standard interview sitdown and then I was given a 4 page test. Several pages of written questions asking for pseudocode and stuff like that and I was given a laptop on which to write 3 ASP pages that take a username and password, validate them from a db, and then output all the entries in another db associated with that username.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:06 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, May 10, 2004
Who's calling people unpatriotic?

The Democrats constantly moan and whine that every time Republicans mention National Defense they're quesitoning the Democrat's patriotism.

Never mind that no Republican bigwig has called anybody unpatriotic.

Never mind that it's only the Democrats who are actually calling people unpatriotic.

From Teresa Heinz Kerry:

To have a couple of people, who escaped four, five, six times and deferred and deferred and deferred calling him anything regarding his service is in and of itself unpatriotic. Unpatriotic.

--Yahoo! News

Posted by Rob Bernard at 6:24 PM in Politics/Government

Sunday, May 9, 2004
My one Survivor comment


Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:42 PM in TV
Escaped hostage Thomas Hamill: "President Bush has made me proud to be an American."
COSBY: Would you go back to Iraq?

HAMILL: Yes, I would go back. I don't have a problem. You know what it's like. There’s nothing that's being hidden. I've got to make a little peace with my wife and my kids over this. I don't want any problems with them in the future; I don't want my kids worrying about this. It was different when I went over there. They really weren't worried. But since this has happened, I don't want to affect their lives.

COSBY: What would you like to say to President Bush? Do you think you'll get a chance to meet him?

HAMILL: That was the main reason I went over there. President Bush has made me proud to be an American. We're making a stand and we're doing the right thing.

COSBY: What do you want to say to all the other folks? Of course, you know there's a few others still being held there.

HAMILL: I'm praying for the families ... The ones that are going over, these soldiers, if there any hostages in the future that they can resist and they can pray and they can come home like I did. (via Matt Margolis)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:59 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Drove to West Virginia and back this weekend with a band-aid on my arm. 3 1/2 hours each way. Now I've got a band-aid shaped white spot in the middle of my moderately sunburnt left arm.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:29 PM in Miscellaneous

Friday, May 7, 2004
Good stuff from Hobbs today
Job Seeker Saddened By Latest Job Growth Data

Massachussetts job-seeker John Kerry today said he laments that latest data showing strong jobs growth last month, saying it makes it harder for people like him to advance to the next level in their careers.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:26 PM in Politics/Government
Air America misses payroll
In yet another sign of trouble for Air America Radio, the liberal talk network entering its fifth chaotic week on the air, co-founder and chairman Evan Cohen resigned Thursday, as did vice-chairman and investor Rex Sorensen.

The CHICAGO TRIBUNE is planning to report in fresh editions: The company also failed to make its scheduled payroll, leaving its staff roughly 100 radio personalities, writers, and producers unpaid until Thursday.

The departures of Cohen, a former political operative from Guam who was among the network's initial investors, and Sorenson, an investor who owns radio stations in Guam, mark the second executive shake-up at the fledgling network in as many weeks.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:14 PM in Politics/Government
Who's on First for the computer age

From any number of places on the net:

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den, and I'm thinking about buying a computer.
COSTELLO: No, the names Lou.
ABBOTT: Your computer?
COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.
COSTELLO: I told you, my names Lou.
ABBOTT: What about Windows?
COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?
ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?
COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look in the windows?
ABBOTT: Wallpaper.
COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.
ABBOTT: Software for Windows?
COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What have you got?
ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?
ABBOTT: I just did.
COSTELLO: You just did what?
ABBOTT: Recommend something.
COSTELLO: Y ou recommended something?
COSTELLO: For my office?
COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?
ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!
ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.
COSTELLO: I already have an office and it has windows! OK, let's just say, I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: Word in Office.
COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?
ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue w.
COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue w if you don't start with some straight answers. OK, forget that. Can I watch movies on the Internet?
ABBOTT: Yes, you want RealOne.
COSTELLO: Maybe a real one, maybe a cartoon. What I watch is none of your business. Just tell me what I need!
ABBOTT: RealOne.
COSTELLO: If it's a long movie I also want to see reels 2, 3 & 4. Can I watch them?
ABBOTT: Of course.
COSTELLO: Great, with what?
ABBOTT: RealOne.
COSTELLO; OK, I'm at my computer and I want to watch a movie. What do I do?
ABBOTT: You click the blue 1.
COSTELLO: I click the blue one what?
ABBOTT: The blue 1.
COSTELLO: Is that different from the blue w?
ABBOTT: The blue 1 is RealOne and the blue w is Word.
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: But there's three words in office for windows!
ABBOTT: No, just one. But it's the most popular Word in the world.
ABBOTT: Yes, but to be fair, there aren't many other words left. It pretty much wiped out all the other words out there.
COSTELLO: And that word is real one?
ABBOTT: RealOne has nothing to do with Word. RealOne isn't even part of Office.
COSTELLO: Stop! Don't start that again. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?
ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.
COSTELLO: What's bundled to my computer?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?
ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.
COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?
ABBOTT: One copy.
COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?
ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.
COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?
ABBOTT: Why not, they own it.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:36 PM in Technology/Internet

Employment Situation Summary

Another 288,000 jobs created last month, more than 1 2/3 the expected number of 173,000. It was also a month of increasing, though still modest-to-small, growth in Manufacturing jobs. The biggest increase was amongst Professional and business services with 123,000 new jobs. The previous month's numbers were also adjusted up by 29,000. 1.1 million jobs have been created in the last 8 months.

The decrease in the number of jobs since President Bush took office is now down to 1,227,000. (And let's just keep in mind that we're lucky it wasn't more with how hard 9/11 could have hit the economy.)

Can I assume John Kerry's site will be quickly updated to reflect the new number. Yeah right. He keeps using that 3 million job loss figure. It was never true to begin with and it certainly isn't true now.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:09 PM in Politics/Government
Bushes not attending daughters' graduations

President Bush and Laura Bush will not be attending the graduations of their two daughters this spring because they want to avoid disruptions for the other families and graduates.

They want the focus to be on the graduates and their families and not how long they're going to have to wait to go through the metal detectors.


This is basically the same reason President Bush gives for not attending the funerals of soldiers. The Left gets up in arms over that and says the President doesn't care about the dead soldiers.

Can we then assume that the Left believes this is proof that President Bush doesn't care about his daughters?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:03 AM in Politics/Government
Moore admits Disney told him a year ago they wouldn't distribute film
Less than 24 hours after accusing the Walt Disney Company of pulling the plug on his latest documentary in a blatant attempt at political censorship, the rabble-rousing film-maker Michael Moore has admitted he knew a year ago that Disney had no intention of distributing it.

The admission, during an interview with CNN, undermined Moore's claim that Disney was trying to sabotage the US release of Fahrenheit 911 just days before its world premiere at the Cannes film festival.

Instead, it lent credence to a growing suspicion that Moore was manufacturing a controversy to help publicise the film, a full-bore attack on the Bush administration and its handling of national security since the attacks of 11 September 2001.

In an indignant letter to his supporters, Moore said he had learnt only on Monday that Disney had put the kibosh on distributing the film, which has been financed by the semi-independent Disney subsidiary Miramax.

But in the CNN interview he said: "Almost a year ago, after we'd started making the film, the chairman of Disney, Michael Eisner, told my agent he was upset Miramax had made the film and he will not distribute it."


Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:56 AM in Movies
Entire Tech TV staff fired

Looks like Comcast is moving the operation to L.A. and has thus fired everybody at Tech TV (giving them 60 days notice) and is posting 100 of the jobs for those willing to move to L.A. No real idea how this affects programming and/or on-air talent other than that if the stars don't want to move to L.A. they won't have a job.

This from Leo Laporte's blog.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:37 AM in TV , Technology/Internet

Thursday, May 6, 2004
Ohio Bush supporters stand by him
Worries about war and jobs may have taken their toll on President Bush's popularity elsewhere, but in this Republican stronghold in the swing state of Ohio his followers are standing by their man.

Support for Bush remains rock solid along Lebanon's tidy main street of antique shops and general stores, where few voters question his decision to go to war in Iraq or blame him for a slumping economy.

"I have been very impressed with him. He's proven himself to be much more intelligent and capable than anyone gave him credit for," said Melissa Applegate, a registered nurse from nearby Milford who was shopping in Lebanon's historic district the day after Bush's campaign bus tour made a stop.

"I think he's a steady leader," she said, repeating a phrase that has blared endlessly at Ohio residents from their television sets during a cascade of Bush campaign commercials.

--Wired News

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:35 PM in Cincinnati , Politics/Government
A note to NBC (Or "You bleeping sons of bleeps!")

When you say the finale of Friends is going to end at 9:59 YOU HAD BETTER BLEEPING WELL END THE BLEEPING SHOW AT 9:59, NOT 5 MINUTES LATER!!!! Every person with a DVR and everybody who taped it according to the times you gave them missed the end of the series finale of Friends.

A quote from September that illustrates NBC's feelings towards their customers with DVRs:

But NBC Entertainment prexy Jeff Zucker doesn't feel your TiVo pain.

"I guess the 10 people who own TiVo have now been informed," he sniffed. "I'm glad they're helping us out."


Way to go NBC, way to go. You just ticked off and alienated the ever-growing number of TV viewers who have DVRs.

I realize the disdain NBC execs have for Tivo, but do you really need to go out of the way to piss people with DVRs off? I guess so. In a world where more and more viewers are transitioning to cable can you really afford to keep ticking off your fans at every turn?

*sigh* My hatred for Network Execs has once again been reinforced. May you all spend eternity being forced to watch episodes of The Swan.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:01 PM in TV , Technology/Internet
President Bush pauses to comfort daughter of 9/11 victim

Lynn Faulkner, his daughter, Ashley, and their neighbor, Linda Prince, eagerly waited to shake the president's hand Tuesday at the Golden Lamb Inn. He worked the line at a steady campaign pace, smiling, nodding and signing autographs until Prince spoke:

"This girl lost her mom in the World Trade Center on 9-11."

Bush stopped and turned back.

"He changed from being the leader of the free world to being a father, a husband and a man," Faulkner said. "He looked right at her and said, 'How are you doing?' He reached out with his hand and pulled her into his chest."

Faulkner snapped one frame with his camera.

"I could hear her say, 'I'm OK,' " he said. "That's more emotion than she has shown in 21/2 years. Then he said, 'I can see you have a father who loves you very much.' "

"And I said, 'I do, Mr. President, but I miss her mother every day.' It was a special moment."

Special for Lynn Faulkner because the Golden Lamb was the place he and his wife, Wendy Faulkner, celebrated their anniversary every year until she died in the south tower of the World Trade Center, where she had traveled for business.
"I'm a pretty cynical and jaded guy at this point in my life," Faulkner said of the moment with the president. "But this was the real deal. I was really impressed. It was genuine and from the heart."

--Cincinnati Enquirer.

Some Libs of course are up in arms over the propaganda and can't believe that such an evil man could possibly be heartfelt and sincere in comforting a child. Their blind hatred of Bush by some can't even accommodate the event of him showing compassion to the victim of a tragedy.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:18 PM in Cincinnati , Politics/Government
Goldberg on staying in Iraq
"Good Lord! You sliced that man open from his neck to his belly! You've cut out his heart! You're sucking out his blood, you ghoul!" These are just some of the things you might say if you stumbled on a surgeon conducting a heart transplant.

Of course, you wouldn't actually say it because you'd see the men and women in their gowns and masks, along with all the medical doodads including "the machine that goes 'ping'" — as they say in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.

But the important thing to keep in mind is that in a major operation — on a person or a nation — the patient is the most vulnerable, and looks the most horrible, halfway into the procedure, not at the beginning or the end. And if, in your horror, you screamed, "Stop what you're doing right now!" you'd be saying you want the patient to die.

--National Review Online

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:23 AM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

You don't get attacks tougher than this from

(via Instapundit)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:16 AM in Politics/Government

Wednesday, May 5, 2004
Quote of the [yester]day
I'm thinking that there's something the matter with you Mr. Rall.

There's something the matter with you.

--Bill O'Reilly

The best way to fight Ted Rall is to give him 10 minutes on national television.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:58 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
Wictory Wednesday

This is Wictory Wednesday. Please volunteer or donate to help the President win reelection.

You can also sign up to get e-mail from the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign.

If you are an Ohioan who supports the President please consider joining the Ohioans for Bush-Cheney Yahoo! Group.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:44 PM in Politics/Government

Tuesday, May 4, 2004

The idiot rioters are getting more efficient. Only 23 minutes between false reports of something that MAY have been a black criminal being shot by the police and shots being fired at the police.

I expect preemptive rioting next time.
People rioting just because they know that in half an hour the police will do something they can interpret as racist to stop their criminal activity.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:02 PM in Cincinnati
The deficit cut by a quarter already?
What's more, there's been a surge in withheld income taxes in the last two months.

``As the withholding story goes, so goes the revenue side of the budget ledger,'' Wiegand said.

And that's the second part of the story. The 2004 federal budget deficit, which is forecast at $477 billion by the Congressional Budget Office and $521 billion by the Office of Management and Budget, could come in at $370 billion, or 3.1 percent of gross domestic product, according to a new Citigroup forecast.

The Treasury confirmed its improving fiscal position yesterday when it announced plans to borrow a net $38 billion in the April-to-June quarter, half the amount estimated three months ago. (via Instapundit)

A drop in the deficit from $521 billion or $477 billion to $370 billion would be a decrease of 22%-29%.

The story also point to good news in the labor market.

But back to the implications for the labor market. In the last two months, ``withheld receipts jumped 12.5 percent annualized,'' Wiegand said. ``The message is, there is no way that you can see withheld income taxes rising unless there's a decisive turn in labor market conditions, including payrolls, hours and compensation.''

Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:52 PM in Politics/Government

Monday, May 3, 2004
John Kerry v.1971

The story's a couple weeks old, but what the heck...

John Kerry, the presumed Democratic nominee for president, was quoted by a student newspaper at West Virginia's Bethany College in 1971 as saying, "Our democracy is a farce; it is not the best in the world."

Kerry made the remarks on Nov. 2, 1971, according to the Bethany College student newspaper, The Tower. has obtained a copy of the article written by John Majors, which details Kerry's visit to the college and appeared in the Nov. 11, 1971 issue of the newspaper. At the time, Kerry was still a leader of the anti-war group, Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW).
During his speech to Bethany College students, Kerry was quoted as saying that communism did not pose any kind of threat to the United States.

"The soldier went to Vietnam to defend the country from aggressive communism in the tradition of World War II," Kerry reportedly said. "But the soldier learned he was not fighting communism. Communism was not a threat to our country and the war was not moral," he added.

One of my brothers will be starting at Bethany College next year. The other is already at Bethany and is actually the current Business Manager of The Tower.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:16 PM in Politics/Government
Once again from the files marked "Ted Rall's a blooming idiot"

Pat Tillman: Idiot and sap.

From Andrew Sullivan: "But I'm particularly struck by how someone like Tillman would offend Ralls so much. Tillman was a true patriot, a quiet hero, an American to his core: of course Ralls had to smear him. Tillman represents all that the far left hates about America, and fears might be true."

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:06 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
Kerry doesn't even have a campaign office in Ohio
In Ohio, the state that strategists for Mr. Kerry and Mr. Bush view as perhaps the most critical battleground, Mr. Kerry has yet to hire a state director or open a campaign office. His operation is relying so far on the work of committees working independent of the Kerry campaign.

By contrast, Mr. Bush appointed an Ohio state director on Jan. 1, and opened a headquarters in Columbus, staffed by 13 people, three months ago, his aides said.

The Kerry campaign has yet to open its own full-fledged campaign "war room" — staffed with researchers, tacticians and press aides — to deal with Republican attacks and systematically marshal surrogates to make Mr. Kerry's case.
--New York Times

Also in the article...

At a recent meeting of senior staff members, Democrats said, Mr. Kerry's aides became entangled in a lengthy debate over what might seem to be a less than urgent issue: whether they should send a Democratic operative to Bush rallies dressed as Pinocchio, a chicken or a mule, to illustrate various lines of attacks Democrats want to use against Mr. Bush. (They say they want to portray him as a liar, a draft avoider and stubborn.)

--New York Times

Hmmm, they want to send people to Bush rallies dressed as Pinocchio, a chicken or a mule... and yet when people show up waving flip-flops John Kerry complains and calls it it proof that "they're very rude and they have no manners".

Yep, people dressed as chickens and mules are sooooooooo much more well-mannered than people holding flip-flops.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:46 PM in Politics/Government
Kerry: "Unfit to be Commander-in-Chief"

So say hundreds of veterans.

Hundreds of former commanders and military colleagues of presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry are set to declare in a signed letter that he is "unfit to be commander-in-chief." They will do so at a press conference in Washington on Tuesday.

"What is going to happen on Tuesday is an event that is really historical in dimension," John O'Neill, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Navy as a PCF (Patrol Craft Fast) boat commander, told The event, which is expected to draw about 25 of the letter-signers, is being organized by a newly formed group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

"We have 19 of 23 officers who served with [Kerry]. We have every commanding officer he ever had in Vietnam. They all signed a letter that says he is unfit to be commander-in-chief," O'Neill said.
B. G. Burkett, author of the book Stolen Valor and a military researcher, believes that Tuesday's event will not be dismissed easily by Kerry's campaign as a "partisan" attack.

"There are probably just as many Democrats amongst sailors who sailed swift boats as there are Republicans. What Kerry fails to realize is this has nothing to do with politics -- this has to with Vietnam Veterans who served, who have a beef with John Kerry's service, both during and after the war," Burkett told

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:08 PM in Politics/Government

Sunday, May 2, 2004
Democrats as the new conservatives

Feces Flinging Monkey points out that the Democrats aren't exactly winning the war of new ideas of late.

There is no innovation [in the Democrats' issues], no new plan or new future, nothing bold or risky or daring. It's a gigantic holding action. The only real change ever discussed is an increase in scale, an increase of quantity rather than kind. You can run the same speeches from the 1980 race and nobody would notice the difference.

What about real reform, new ideas that might work or that might not? School vouchers, tort reform, individual Social Security accounts, eliminating subsidies, basing affirmative action on need rather than race - these are big ideas, things that just might take off and really work out well. These are not illiberal ideas, but they challenge the status quo and the Democrats generally oppose them.

Now, don't get me wrong, the Republicans are not exactly great innovators either, but they are supposed to be conservative. When these folks are beating you at the new ideas game, you know you got some serious problems.

--Feces Flinging Monkey (via AlphaPatriot)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:55 AM in Politics/Government

Saturday, May 1, 2004
Does fighting back create terrorists?

King of Fools takes on the idea that by fighting back against the terrorists we're just creating more.

An analogy: When it rains down here in Southeast Texas, piles of red earth magically appear in most lawns. A closer look reveals a few small ants scurrying around the vicinity of the mound. If the mound is disturbed (either intentionally or on accident), the situation changes immediately. Fire ants pour out of the earth and swarm the surrounding area. They ruthlessly attack every blade of grass and any insect or animal or human they come across.

The act of disturbing the mound did not "create more ants". It exposed the ants which already existed. Exposure is the first step toward elimination, and elimination works. Case in point: the number of terror attacks against Israeli civilians has dropped significantly since Israel has "taken the gloves off".

--King of Fools

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:40 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East


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