Thursday, September 30, 2004

Bad News

Col. Ollie and I watched the debate tonight, and the Col. was ready to jump off a cliff when I left. At the time I left, Ollie was watching Chris Matthews, so I fully suspect that by morning I'll have learned that he really did jump off a cliff, or, at the very least, bounce his head off his basement wall a good half dozen times.

As for me, I'm disappointed in Bush's performance tonight. I had this feeling that Rove and/or Hughes reigned him in, telling him to play safe, and putting certain things off the table. I'm a believer that style wins debates more often than substance. Kerry came off calm, confident, and assertive. Pay no attention to the fact that he did nothing to dispell the belief that he is a vague flip flopper. It's all about perception. Ollie and I have a one man focus group. We can predict the polls by how this person's opinions change. I suspect that we will come to find that this person will come away convinced Kerry is back in the driver's seat, and with that, the polls will go back to about even.

When it comes to substance, Bush "stayed the course", pushing his core message that he is a reliable leader. He did it very uneloquently most of the time, however. Kerry's message was riddled with opportunities for Bush to destroy him, and Bush rarely seized the opportunity. For example, Bush had a prime chance to eviscerate Kerry when Bush talked about the 5 party talks in North Korea, and Kerry took the position of bilateral talks. Right there, Bush should have responded with something along the lines of, "I don't understand my oponent. He says that I do not do enough to build coalitions, and now he wants to tear down one of my most effective coalitions, requiring us to go it alone in talks, which we'd prefer not to do." I turned to Col. Ollie and mentioned this, and he was thinking the exact same thing. Holes opened up in Kerry's defenses several times, and Bush did not capitalize on them. Another opening was when Kerry twice said we guarded the oil ministry in Baghdad, but not the nuclear facilities. What in God's name was he talking about? Iraq does not have nuclear energy facilities, so that could only mean that he was referring to nuclear weapons facilities. What nuclear weapons facility? That one may have been difficult for Bush to jump on, but a pithy statement may have worked.

As for Kerry, his words will fall apart upon further scrutiny. The problem for Bush is that by that time, it won't matter. When you get passed his confident, forceful style, you see that he said nothing of substance. In fact, the administration should be able to make cannon fodder of Kerry with his own words. The perception is reality, though, and this campaign just tightened back up.

Enjoy the debate

I'm off to Col. Ollie's place to enjoy the debate over a few Coors. I will be back with post debate coverage later this evening. In the mean time, enjoy the debate fact feature in the left sidebar.

The Draft, Part II

Well, I feel a lot better about this draft story now. Several blogs are on it, plus Rush, plus Dayside with Linda Vester. And that's just the outlets I've seen. Oh yeah, and the New York Post.

This is a terribly fear mongering myth of a story, and I'm glad it is being refuted.

When our nation's intelligence works

The CIA and FBI catch ample amounts of flack when they fail, as well they should. They do not get nearly the credit they deserve for their successes, though. In August I wrote of a foiled plot to blow up a Federal Building in Chicago. Today comes news of a foiled plot in Milwaukee. Like the Chicago case, it was domestic terror. Granted, cases like these hinge on the luck of an inmate reporting the individual, but any foiled terror plot deserves kudos be given to those that do the foiling.

18 or 21?

I'm in the process of fleshing out whether I support 18 or 21 to be the age of majority. I lean heavily towards 18, and I don't think there should be any 21 minimum age laws on the books as long as 18 year olds can go to war and vote. Just the same, this draft rumor crap has gotten me thinking more about the benefits of moving the age of majority back to 21.

I look largely back on my own experience. When I was 18, I was very anti-military. I was a smart kid, and I was pretty mature for my age, but I was still pretty foolish. At 18, I feared putting my life on the line in the event of war. If a terrible attack were perpetrated on the United States, I'd have probably been against war out of my own fears. At age 21, I was still foolish. But I was a wee bit wiser. I was still anti-military (I was in the process of being mugged by reality at that time. The transition was not yet complete), but I'm pretty sure I had gained enough maturity to put my life on the line for my country.

The process of growing up is taking longer and longer these days. I'm convinced that this is because people get married and start families at a later age these days. Three of the biggest maturing factors in life are getting married, having kids, and buying a house. I've done two of the three, and I've learned that as you do each one, you become more fully vested in America. As long as 18 year olds are in the majority, I believe that we will have trouble in times of crisis, times when we really do need to implement a draft (now would not be one of those moments).

Now, before I get angry emails and comments, let me qualify a couple of things. First, there are 18 year olds who are better than I at that age. It amazes me the bravery that many 18 year olds display. It makes me proud of this country. It is the minority of 18 year olds that are the problem. In a volunteer military, 18 year olds who volunteer is just fine by me. In fact, even with an age of majority at 21, I'd still support 18 year olds being allowed to volunteer for service. But when it would come to a possible draft in times of crisis, I think we'd be better off with an age span of 21 to 29 year olds. I might be able to support a 21 year old drinking age in such a stituation. Maybe. I will not toy with the voting age in this particular post. That is a Pandora's Box I'd just as soon leave to Jonah Goldberg to address.

Your comments are very welcome on this issue. I'm still open to the thoughts of others on this topic. Let me know what you think.

Baseball in DC

Why did Major League baseball bother to move the Expos to Washington? They solved exactly zero problems. Will the Washington team draw more than Montreal. Yes, of course they will. Will they draw better than your average small market team? After the first couple of years, highly doubtful. I know Baseball was desperate to get the Expos out of Montreal. It was foolish of them to expand to a francophone, anglophobic society to begin with. And I also know that Latin America is probably not capable of supporting a Major League baseball club yet. Las Vegas presented numerous problems with baseball's longtime nemesis, gambling. Unfortunately, DC isn't the solution. It will be socially popular to attend the games at first, but political Washington is fickle. Unless that team wins and wins big quickly, the fan base will fall off quickly. This isn't the NFL where you only need to sell 8 games a year. 81 games is a tough sell to most markets, let alone D.C.'s.

I roll my eyes at Selig plenty. I appreciate him for bringing baseball back to my home state, but I've done my fair share of questioning him. I'm ecstatic that the team is being sold, although I think it was overpaid for and bought by the wrong guy. Just the same, I fully supported Selig's untenable position of contraction. Baseball is overstretched for the time being. The Expos and the Devil Rays need to go.

The Draft

This little weblog is like a pebble tossed into the ocean. I don't make a huge splash. I feel very strongly that the blogosphere needs to tackle this hideous draft rumor that is being pushed by CBS. As you can see by reading my exchange with RPM, I strongly believe that there is little chance the draft will be coming back, and if it does, it will be the result of truly extraordinary circumstances. Still, the MSM is taking this urban legend and spinning it out to scare young voters, which nearly everyone thinks will turn out en force this year. Case in point, CBS. One would thing that CBS, with their tail already in the fire, would play their news coverage safe for while. Quite the contrary. CBS is apparently willing to sell out any possibility that they are objective in order to get Kerry elected. If you've ever read anything on CBS, then you know that Dan Rather probably has some influence in this.

The next job of the blogosphere is to let go of Memogate and fully debunk this draft rumor. The draft rumor is politically motivated, period. Why else would legislation proposed by two partisan Democrats be used against Republicans? Lie, cheat, and steal. That is the slogan the Donks should have used as Kerry's campaign slogan.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

NYT picks up the ball on the comeback

Just in case you doubted that the MSM would run with the 'Comeback Kid' story, here is the New York Times, whoring itself out in all its glory.

As we sit here, less than 24 hours from the first debat, remember this, fellow bloggers: The winner of the debate will not be the man who makes the better case for himself, it will be the man the media crowns as the winner. If Bush loses the debate, then call a spade a spade. If he does not lose the debate, be very vigilant, because the MSM wants to crown Kerry.

I will not be live blogging tomorrow's debate, but I will be posting my thoughts afterwards.

Exclusive: Jiblog Uncovers Secret Bush Plan to Hurt Dairy Farmers

Exclusive! After extensive research, Jiblog has uncovered the nefarious Bush "secret plan" to hurt dairy farmers, which John Kerry discussed in Wisconsin over the past weekend.

Unnamed sources in the Kerry campaign say the Senator was crawling around a woods outside of Washington DC, hunting "big bucks" when he overheard two Bush staffers discussing the secret plan. It seems Bush does plan to invade Iran after his re-election, and he plans to do it with dairy cows!

As this blog mentioned recently, there are now available robots with built in shot guns, which someday may take infantry work off of human soldiers. Since the current models are not yet sophisticated enough, Bush plans to draft Holsteins to do our dirty work. The unnamed Kerry staffer had this to say about the unnamed plan outlined by the unnamed Bush operatives:

"Apparently, the super duper ultra secret Bush people are planning to get back into the good graces of France by opening up the US market to French Dairy products. To do this, Bush must stomp all over the American Dairy Farmer. Bush remembered how mean and nasty dairy cows can be if you do not successfully tip them. In fact, he holds a grudge against cows for one kick he received after a particularly rowdy night with his frat brothers. He decided this was the best way to kill three or four birds with one stone."

When asked, one unnamed local dairy farmer had this to say. "I don't think its right. No milk for oil, I always say."

Further investigation reveals that American Bull Semen in Wisconsin stands to get a major kick back from all of this, as the few remaining 4F cows will need to be bred to restock the US dairy cow population.

"We have documents that we got from a mystery woman that say Bush plans to decimate the Argentine beef business after the Iran-Bovine war by flooding the market with beef gained by a genocide of our dairy soldiers. Its criminal. ABS in Wisconsin stands to make a lot of money off of this. It is just another sickening example of Bush enriching his rich cronies."

In other news, John Kerry today said in Massachusetts that he stands by the Northeast Dairy compact, which provides higher milk prices to producers the farther they are from Eau Claire Wisconsin, contradicting his own statement in Wisconsin that he would create a new compact more fair to them.

The above is satire, and not very good satire at that. If you did not enjoy this piece, please tell someone else.

Jimmy Carter, nuts

Ya know, there was a couple year period in the 1990's when I allowed myself to be hoodwinked. I was a young college student, I was in Habitat for Humanity (yep, I'm a humanitarian, too. Plus the girls were cute), and I actually started to develop a bit of respect for Jimmy Carter. Those days are long gone now. He stands behind the Venezuelan recount outcome when evidence indicated that he should have waited more than 2 hours to verify, and now he treats Florida like it is a Soviet Republic, calling for international observors.

What is the deal with you, Jimmy? If you had just been a nice, uncontroversial former President, history would have softened its view of your terrible Presidency. Instead, you insist on continuing on being in the spotlight, and you continue to display your horrible judgement. You are locking your Presidency into that rarefied air as one of the 5 worst Presidencies in this nation's history. Before long, people are going to start wondering if you've been senile-since 1970 or so.

The Wisconsin Vote

This could be an unusual election for Wisconsin. We have a bit of a maverick political spirit in this state that goes back to Robert M. Lafollete and beyond, but for whatever reason, the state reliably votes Democrat in Presidential elections. Right now, polls indicate that Bush may have a solid lead. If he can hold it, he'll be the first Republican Presidential candidate to take Wisconsin since Reagan in 1984.

Wisconsin has also been pretty Democratic in Senate races in recent years. This year, Russ Feingold could actually end up with a fight on his hands. Tim Michels came from behind to win the Republican primary in Wisconsin, and if Bush continues strong in the state, he stands a decent chance of ousting Feingold. I'd go into further detail, but Jeff Wagner does a great job covering Feingold v. Michels.

And for those of you who have followed this blog through out the summer, I fully support Tim Michels.

Conan and the Tonight Show

Uh-oh. Last night, Jay Leno said that he wanted a smooth transition for the next host of the Tonight Show, so that person, Conan O'Brien, would not have to suffer through what he did. Well, Conan won't have to suffer through exactly what Jay did, but I have a sneaking suspicion that one snarky comment by Leno ensured that a lot of media know it alls are going to loading their guns and taking aim at O'Brien.

Leno's odd comment was, "They came to me and said, 'We don't want to lose Conan O'Brien.' I said, 'Oh, OK, what does that mean?" Leno was otherwise very gracious, but that comment was very out of place. He didn't say it in that Leno-I'm-pulling-your-leg style. He had a tone in his voice. Slate's Sufer Girl, who I can pretty much do without ever reading, picked up on it as well, and she is already writing darkly about O'Brien.

I am a fan of O'Brien's. That has not always been the case. I watched his first show, and I hated it. I don't think I watched him again until I got to college. Over the years, he has earned my respect by being a showman in the spirit of Allen, Paar, and Carson. Leno has never been that. He's been a stand up comedian who does interviews. His skits are not all that good. I think the media elite has made the Tonight Show into some dignified comedic experience, however. What is acceptable for O'Brien to do at the irreverant 12:30 hour is going to draw their fury on the Tonight Show. Unfortunately, if that does occur, I think it is going to be 90% Leno's fault for making one stupid comment.

France and Germany will not help Kerry in Iraq

I wanted to link directly to the article in the Financial Times, but it is apparently only available to subscribers now. Instead, read the post at Blogs for Bush. To make a long story short, France and Germany are saying that there is no way they'll be helping us, regardless of who is President in January.

This is hardly surprising news for those of us on the right side of the political spectrum. First, these two nations plus Russia do not have enough of a standing military to hold off a Swiss invasion force, let alone assist in a modern war effort. Second, France and Germany are straining under the wieght of their nanny states, and they do not have the funds for active military endeavors. Third, France and Russia were up to their elbows in the oil for food scandal, and have been dead set against any thought of upsetting the apple cart. Too bad for them people are starting look close, only to see the apples were lemons.

You will not see this story in the MSM. It would further crack the Kerry story, which is already about as winding as a hedgerow maze. If anyone would like to read the text of the article, let me know. I have the text saved on another computer.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Weekly Standard picks up on Jiblog thought

Shortly after the Republican Convention, I warned of the coming "Kerry Comeback", and J.Rice added a nice comment to fill out the thought. Well, the Weekly Standard is picking up on the idea you saw here first. They believe the media will use the first debate as the launching point of the "comeback". Keep your eyes peeled for this one.

Problem Solved

Okay, I think the problem with the archives and also with posting comments is solved. Sorry for any inconveniences.

Jiblog Maintenance

I seem to be having some trouble with the archives. I apologize if the site goes down as I try to work this out.

Kerry & Humor

The AP today is marveling at Kerry's new found sense of humor. I've always said that a sense of humor is important in politics, especially well timed self deprecating humor (see W's acceptance speech). The problem is, fooling around with humor is terribly dangerous when done by someone not skilled at it. Kerry does not seem to be skilled at it. Humor can sometimes be easily misunderstood and taken wrong, and if you don't know how to use it, you'll shoot yourself in the foot sooner or later. That's why I welcome Kerry's new position as stand up comedian.

He may be safe though, as I suspect others are writing safe jokes for him. The problem is, they don't seem very funny.
Kerry said the occupation of Iraq is riddled with problems, "yet today, President Bush tells us that he would do everything all over again, the same way." Kerry paused for affect before asking sarcastically, "How can he possibly be serious?"

That is very low on the funny scale. It's more bitter sarcasm that only plays when preached to the choir.

"You're going to hear all this talk, `Oh, we've turned the corner, we're doing better, blah, blah,'" he said, running on the phrase as his Wisconsin audience erupted in laughter. "You know, blah and blah and blah."

Only Jerry Seinfeld can make something like blah, blah, blah funny. Mr. Kerry, you are no Jerry Seinfeld. Keep playing with fire. You'll get burned by it.


I'm pleased to see Conan O'Brien will be taking over the Tonight Show in 2009. After a rough start, he's turned Late Night into a very entertaining hour, and I think he'll put some of the zest back into the Tonight Show.

Reagan Movie

This weekend was a banner weekend for email to this little blog. Since my email flow is light, I try to accomodate most emails. I received one which asked for help promoting the new movie In the Face of Evil, which chronicals Reagan's battle with the Evil Empire. I'm sure the email went out to everyone on the Blogroll for Bush, but I'm happy to help nonetheless.

I suspect this movie is going to rely on a groundswell of word of mouth. I know it received complimentary mentions at The Corner. You can learn a little more about the movie at and you can view trailors at

In the interest of complete disclosure, I received absolutely nothing for promoting this movie.

Answer to "Landing Air Force One"

Last week I ruminated on how they could land Air Force One at all of these regional airports in small cities. I received an email from someone in the know (will credit later if he would like). Apparently, landing at regional airports is no sweat. The runway in Janesville, WI, for instance, is 7300 feet long. Compare that to 7000 feet at LaGuardia. So the answer is that they aren't such small airports after all-at least their runways.

Thanks for the help with a bleg.

Kerry & God's Nectar

I guess I now know why I am so opposed to John Kerry. He's a pantywaist beer drinker. Look at this disgraceful sipping. HT The Corner.

ARRRRGGGHHHH! HE WAS SIPPING LEINENKUGEL'S! Can he get under my skin any more?! This is a beer that was originally brewed to meet the hardy thirst of lumberjacks. I hope this doesn't get out. I'd hate for my beloved Leinie's to be hurt by this.

I wonder how many snickers of Lambert Field were made behind his back. Also, I now know why the Packers lost-Kerry was a fan for the day.

Thursday Night

I'm looking forward to Thursday night. My esteemable colleague Col. Ollie and I will be sitting down to watch and analyze the debate. The good Col. is always good for insight that I miss, and for a couple of funny sound bites. I'll be posting after the debate, hopefully with a few good Col. Ollie quotes.

In another matter all together, I wonder if anyone in the bologsphere has gone on a blogging marathon. I'm pondering going on like a 12 hour posting spree, but I'm wondering if I can score enough good material to do so. I don't ever want to write just for writing's sake. All that pointless typing makes it tough to hold a beer.

Powerful Post from Iraq

Wow, I was most impressed by this post by Combat Doc at Candle in the Dark. Very powerful, passionate.

For those of you who haven't checked out Candle in the Dark, Combat Doc is currently deployed in Iraq. A very fascinating read.

Butter me up

Good lord. Say something nice about the Jiblog and I become all a twitter. I stumbled upon the fact that nosuchblog said that he/she enjoyed reading the site, and now I want to plaster links to them all over the Jiblog. Go here and check out nosuchblog, or check out the links to the left.

Monday, September 27, 2004

In Re RPM's Question

Well, that bill did get a little light attention when Hollings and Rangel were rumbling about the draft around the beginning of that year. Media attention did not blossom for several reasons. First, the bill had no chance in hell of passing. Outside of a current crisis, there is no way Congress could re-instate the draft. If they did, it would be hugely unpopular, and a lot of politicians would be looking for new jobs at the end of there term. That begs another question: Why would Rangel and Hollings introduce a bill they knew had no chance of passing.

The answer would seem to be political maneuvering. Hollings and Rangel are huge practitioners of racial and class warfare politics. By merely introducing the bill, they can argue that the War on Terror is being fought disproportionally by the poor, and disproportionally by blacks, and that the cost of war should be spread out by the government to all social classes. Both those claims were refuted by the blogosphere. Also, look at the timing. It was shortly before we went into Iraq. I'm sure Hollings and Rangel were trying to engineer a new generation of anti-war protestors (ala Vietnam) by hanging the spector a potential draft over the heads of America's youth. Oh, and one more thing-despite the fact that it was introduced by Democrats, the rumor of a draft could be hung around George Bush's neck in the upcoming election.

Why did the media not give it a lot of airtime and column inches? Well, Hollings' and Rangel's plan was transparently political. It was also tough to make news out of a bill that stood no chance of ever making it to a vote. Third, Hollings' and Rangel's politics are so shrill that it doesn't play to 98% of the country. Finally, if you were a liberal reporter, would you want to cover a story about two Democrats trying to bring back one of the things you hate the most? Porbably not, because it reflects negatively on your party, and thereby yourself.

To read more, you can go here, here, here, here, and here.

Re-post of I can only shake my head

My earlier post "I can only shake my head" seems to have some significant problems, so I am posting it again. After the post you will find a comment that RPM wanted to post to it.

I can only shake my head

Kerry Says Draft May Return Under Bush.

Where do I start. How about this: Jiblog says Shadrack, Meshack, and Abendigo may return under Bush. Woo hoo. What evidence do I have? None, just a hunch. What evidence is Kerry presenting? None. Next:

Kerry said he would not bring back the draft and questioned how fairly it was administered in the past.

Oh, Johnny boy, never say never. The fact of the matter is that we have been fortunate to get by without a draft for quite some time now because we have not faced an overwhelming war effort in quite some time. If, say, North Korea were to lob a nuke at LA and Iran simultaneuously attacked Iraq, I 'd bet my bottom dollar you'd have a draft in place quick like. Want a fair plan? I have a starting point for ya.

It is unpleasant to watch a thrashing, gasping death of any living being. It is likewise unpleasant to watch this dying campaign.

RPM Says:

I wanted to make a comment with a link to my blog where I mentioned

that no one noticed the bill in Congress:
Yea, it has been introduced by Dems, but it is something that did not

get much press. Why?

Information Technology

Modern information technology is a wonderful thing-except when a server goes down and leaves you paralyzed when trying to work.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

America the Conservative

Okay, back to Professor Glaesor's article in the LA Times. I'm going to dabble in the speculative art of reading between the lines to show why the Supreme Court has become such a battle ground for liberals, and why liberals wouldn't necessarily be opposed to our defeat in war by a foreign power.

First, we have the good Professor telling us how evil and conservative the Supreme Court has been.
The powerful, unelected Supreme Court has supported conservatism at many critical periods in our history. For example, in the late-19th century, it declared the income tax unconstitutional; in the 1930s, the court ruled that the New Deal was unlawful; and in 2000, it intervened to decide the presidential election.

Interesting logic here. The Supreme Court is conservative whenever it makes a decision liberals don't like. Nevermind the fact that FDR did his own flirt with authoritarianism by trying to short circuit the Constitution in order to get the New Deal passed. Nevermind the income tax was unconstitutional at the time. And nevermind the only thing conservative about the Court's decision in 2000 was the man who became president. The real key here is the Supreme Court is powerful and unelected. That means if they can control the Court, they, like FDR tried to do, can do an end run around the Constitution and implement any damn thing they choose. Right now, it pisses them off that they do not control it, and it occasionally makes decisions they dislike.

Next, we look at why some liberals may not be opposed to the U.S. losing a destructive war, right here at home. For liberals in this category, the socialist state is the pinnacle of human governance. Nothing bad happens in socialist governments, everybody's happy (Look at Sweden! Look at Sweden! they cry.) But why hasn't the U.S. embraced this yet? It is obvious to them that it is part due to our racisim and greed, but there is another factor:
Some small nations introduced proportional representation before World War I in response to uprisings that threatened their governments' stability, but the war was a watershed for great powers like Germany, Russia and Austro-Hungary. These nations' armies had traditionally checked militant labor unrest, just as in the United States, but during World War I, mass mobilizations and steady demoralization broke the armies' will to fire on rioters. As the armies' policing power vanished, empires were upended by left-wing revolutions. The new constitutions of these countries were written by socialist leaders like Friedrich Ebert, who were determined to craft institutions, like proportional representation, that would entrench socialist power. France had a constitution drafted by a socialist-heavy group, but this had to wait until after its defeat in World War II.

By contrast, the U.S. has not lost a war on its home soil and thus has never faced the internal disruptions caused by such a collapse.

There you have it, folks. We need to die at home in large numbers, to have our homes, belongings, and lives destroyed. Why? Because most of us are too friggin' dumb to see what the good Professor knows-that socialism is best for all. So we all need to be made miserable to see this. ENDS JUSTIFY MEANS. Think of this next time you see a liberal oppose our war against terror. There may very well be a deeper reason for their opposition. They think we need to lose for our own good.

MSM Political Persuasion, Volume One

Is the LA Times a liberal member of the MSM? Well, I'll let you decide. For your perusal, I offer you the following LA Times articles:

America Conservative. Harvard Professor Edward L. Glaeser takes a look at why America is more conservative than Europe. Here's a brief synapsis. Glaeser believes it largely a racial issue. Because blacks are poor, whites don't want to help them. Because of that, we oppose perfectly good socialist programs adopted in Europe. Oh yeah, the Supreme Court is mean and nasty. I'll get to this article in more depth in my next post, but I will leave you with the sub-headline: Europe is in the 21st century, but we remain locked in the 18th.

Next up for consideration is Pouty White People. According to this article, whites are the most pessimistic racial group in the state. This is not because they recognize the real and significant problems the Golden State is facing, it is because they are wealthy white people who aren't willing to give new immigrants the same opportunities that were provided to the white immigrants to the state. In fairness, they do mention a group of whities that weren't welcome.
With the exception of the much-maligned "Oakies" and "Arkies" in the 1930s, native-born white migrants were generally welcomed to California by the state's establishment. The new arrivals' enthusiasm was not greeted with dread.

Hmmm. So, if you were reasonably well off or if you were resourceful, you were a welcome white person. But if you were a poor and unsophisticated white person, you were unwelcome. Seems to shoot the racial theory right in the ole butt, and turns it into another issue altogether. But that doesn't fit the liberal racial inequity obsession.

Ah yes, these are but two examples. And it obviously it just looks lefty because my rich, elitist, righty mind can't see that this is the mainstream (media).

2006 will be a fun year

2006 is going to be a fun year for historians and possibly for the rest of us, as well. Why? 20 million emails from the Clinton years will become available to researchers. Seeing these emails will be fascinating on so many levels. First, since this is the first major email administration, it will be interesting to see if people used email without thinking of the lasting record they were making. Second, this is going to shed a lot of light on the inner working of the Clinton administration. I'm sure that by 1998 or 1999, political CYA had been learned by everyone in the administration, but I'm willing to bet there is some good stuff from the mid 1990's. Thirdly, I anticipate a fair amount of comic relief mixed in there.


This %$&@# Packer defense sucks! Indy just cut through them like a hot knife through butter. Dammit!

Election Prediction Update

I'm sticking with my thought that Bush will win the popular vote by 4-6 points and will cruise to victory in the electoral college. I just don't believe that all of these Kerry supports will turn out to vote. To wit:
In La Crosse, Mayor John Medinger is a lifelong Democrat who cut his teeth on John Kennedy's campaign. He's backing Kerry but offers some reservations. "I think a lot of people wish Kerry would inspire them," he said. "A lot of people feel like 'I'm voting for Kerry, I wish I felt better about it.'"

Medlinger will vote because politics is his life. Others will not because careers, families, hobbies are their life, and when you feel that way, you just don't make the effort to get to the poles and wait in line to vote.

Allawi, Kerry, the Press and Bush

I was stunned this week. Not an unusual thing for me this year. First, I was stunned that Kerry, who should have been in his seat in Congress for the Allawi speech, basically crapped all over Allawi. It was terribly undiplomatic for a man who talks incessantly about restoring relations with our allies. What? He doesn't consider a free Iraq an ally?

Second, my jaw dropped and locked as I watched the press ignore Allawi and instead ask Bush terribly politically motivated questions. I guess it can't be called a Left Wing Conspiracy because they are so open about it. Can't have a conspiracy when you aren't secretive about it.

Landing Air Force One

I have a question that is really bugging the hell out of me. On Friday, I was driving back from Illinois as Air Force One was landing at the Rock County Regional Airport in Janesville, WI. The question that popped in my brain was, "How do they land Air Force One at these small, regional airports that aren't built for 747's?" Are the runway lengths the same as the larger national and international airports, even though these regionals usually only handle smaller planes?

This post comes from the "wandering mind while driving" files.

RNC and the Bible Banning Mailer in WV

I get what the RNC is trying to say in the direct mail piece sent to West Virginia voters. They are saying that liberals will walk over Christian values if voted into the executive. Equating the Liberals anti-Christian values with Bible banning was a bit over the top, however. I have been very supportive of Republican campaigning this year, including the 527's. I feel that they have been above board, based on fact, and fair. This one is not. In today's information environment, I believe you have to be above board or it will hurt you. This'll hurt them a little in West Virginia.

Friday, September 24, 2004


I submit my 9/21 post "Common sense in Colorado" as exhibit A that my brain has been overloaded with work concerns this week. The post now has the correct title, as the original title "Common Sense in California" was completely wrong. Apologies to any who may have thought common sense was breaking out in California.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

The line between bad and evil

A couple of weeks ago, Islamists shot children in the back. Those individuals were evil. No doubt, moral relativists all over this country cringed to hear 'evil' bandied about. Well, there are some pretty thick lines between evil and merely bad, and most of us with an ounce of common sense can see that. I give you an example.

A jewelry store in Milwaukee was being robbed recently when a father walked in with his 3 year old daughter. He needed to have a bracelet repaired for his wife. All indications are the thiefs were going to kill the employees. The child presented the thieves with a choice, though. Bad, or evil. Here's what the thieves chose:
He said he was tied up for about a minute and then heard one robber say, "Come on, man. Not any kids. We can't do this."

And they didn't. Everyone walked out alive. The men who robbed the store did something very bad, but they did not have evil in their hearts.

Moral relativists are who they are because they do not have morals. They float on the winds of hedonism. They live a life of ends justifying means. They are born of if it feels good then do it ethics. If things like the concept of evil makes them cringe, I say good. Maybe a few will have enough strength to do a little introspection and see where they themselves come up lacking.

I have to give the father of the three year old some kudos. He refused to be identified for the story. Its unfortunate his child had to experience that, but it is nice to see he is shielding her from a media spotlight.


I miss another opportunity to go to a Bush rally. Tomorrow, Bush will be 20 minutes from my home. I'll be galavanting around Northern Illinois, trying to contribute my part to the economy.

Apparently, John Kerry will be lounging about an hour and a half from here in Spring Green, WI, for 4 days prior to the first debate. I'm still a little baffled as to why he chose Wisconsin. Maybe he just feels comfortable being near the People's Socialist Democratic Republic of Madison.

Moscow Times making sense

I'm not sure I've actually ever thought that before, but this Moscow Times editorial is close to spot on. They call Russia the weak link in the War on Terror, they speak out against the centralization of power in Moscow, and they call for an alliance between Russia and the United States not based on mutual adoration, but based on common needs. I bristle at their suggestion of further US aid to Russia, but it may be necessary. There are so many dangerous weapons in Russia that we cannot afford to see the collapse of the Russian Fedoration.

Quote of the Week

Normally, I'm not much of a Naomi Wolf guy. She had what is the quote of the week in this article, however.
Let’s start with “Heinz.” By retaining her dead husband’s name—there is no genteel way to put this—she is publicly, subliminally cuckolding Kerry with the power of another man—a dead Republican man, at that.

That line killed me.


Sorry to anyone who stopped by this evening. I tried to make a small technical change to my template, and I apparently botched it up. I think it's fixed, but let me know if you have problems by emailing ojibway7rj-at-yahoo-dot-com. Thanks.

I can only shake my head

Kerry Says Draft May Return Under Bush.

Where do I start. How about this: Jiblog says Shadrack, Meshack, and Abendigo may return under Bush. Woo hoo. What evidence do I have? None, just a hunch. What evidence is Kerry presenting? None. Next:
Kerry said he would not bring back the draft and questioned how fairly it was administered in the past.

Oh, Johnny boy, never say never. The fact of the matter is that we have been fortunate to get by without a draft for quite some time now because we have not faced an overwhelming war effort in quite some time. If, say, North Korea were to lob a nuke at LA and Iran simultaneuously attacked Iraq, I 'd bet my bottom dollar you'd have a draft in place quick like. Want a fair plan? I have a starting point for ya.

It is unpleasant to watch a thrashing, gasping death of any living being. It is likewise unpleasant to watch this dying campaign.

Blogging vs. Journalism

I was slogging through the Christian Science Monitor today when I came across this article about bloggers. I read through it, thought it was a decent article, and then I got to this quote:
"We can't be too quick to equate the bona fides and journalistic chops of a blogger with that of any mainstream media organization," says Christopher Klein, a former executive vice president of CBS News. "The bloggers do not have any system of checks and balances. My issue is simply when we start elevating these journals of opinion to the level of newspapers of record, so to speak."

If CBS is the standard for journalism, I'd prefer not being compared to journalists.

Speaking of drafts

Can anyone say Crappy Left Wing Conspiracy? I'm not saying that there is a coordination between John Kerry and the authors of this chain email urban legend. Rather, I think this nasty suggestion is growing organically amongst the nuts on the left. Hence, Crappy Left Wing Conspiracy.

Another reason to believe that Kerry's chances are dying. His latest charge will be nothing more than an urban legend. What's next? If Bush gets relected, there will be a surge of AIDS infected needles hidden in theater seats?

Snopes, by the way, is covering the draft urban legend.

Monday, September 20, 2004


I saw Rather's performance at 6:30 tonight. Something tells me that their is more to this story yet. Rather has never been shy about displaying his anger on camera. On the news tonight, he just looked plain sheepish.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Time to come clean

I admit it. This blogger has it all right. I get a call from George W. Bush every morning. Well, actually, I'm not supposed to remember the call, but I have a hazy recollection of them. Anyway, in a soothing, calming voice, W. informs me what I need to write about that day. Before he hangs up, he snaps his fingers, and I'm left wondering why I'm holding the phone in my hand.

Dang, that guy has us all figured out. HT Hugh Hewitt.


I am currently of the opinion that civil war is unlikely in Iraq. I could change my mind on that if the Kurds are made regular victims of video beheadings. The Kurds are a group which have been reliable and quiet, but they could be the "spark" that ignites something much worse in Iraq if goaded into action by events such as these.

To the audience of 5

Thanks for the visits the last couple of days, and I apologize for the lack of posts. The absence of posts has been the result of three things: Work, personal life, and a brain that is a bit overloaded (aka writers block). I figure that no one cares to read posts that are inane. Hopefully I'll break out of my little doldrum here quickly.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

John Kerry-Secrets.

It's hard not to chuckle when reading news out of the Kerry camp these days. The guy is in such a deep hole that he has to resort flinging unsubstantiated claims like a monkey flings its own feces. Now that we know Kerry has a secret plan for the war in Iraq (just like Nixon), we also learn from the delusional Gentleman from Massachusetts that Bush has a secret troop call up plan for after the election.

Desperation is such a painful thing to watch.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Kerry News Release

In an unprecedented event, presidential candidate John Kerry, D-MA, will debate himself on October 3. The debate, moderated by Dan Rather, will air on CBS immediately following NFL coverage.

If you enjoyed this humorous post by Col. Ollie, hit the comment link and let Jiblog know. He's expensive, and we ain't payin' him if you don't like.

Bleg on pings

Anyone know a way to ping besides blogroll?

Northeast Pennsylvania

Speaking from experience, Notheast Pennsylvania is a beautiful area of this country. Unless, of course, your name is Ted Kennedy.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Bleg! Please help!

Anyone know anything about the Moscow Times? What is the ownership structure, where are the reporters based, and why do most of them have very non-Russian names? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!

Hurricane warnings vs. tornados and earthquakes

Hurricanes have dominated the news for the last month, and that has lead me to some meandering thoughts. I live in tornado territory. Wisconsin is no tornado alley, but we're good for about 100 or so tornados a year. What if tornado prediction got so good that the National Weather Service could issue a tornado warning for a county 24 hours in advance. Would we be better off? Think of economic activity that could be curtailed all across the midsection of this country as people just shut down or get out as the warning time approached. Would we be better off? Would the lives saved outstrip the economic loss of people shuttering up in advance of a tornado? What about earthquakes. If we could predict an earthquake and its strength in advance, it would be worth it. But what if we could only predict that there would be an earthquake? Would that be worth it, with people evacuating, not knowing if it were a 3.4 or a 7.6 earthquake.

Just one of those daydream thoughts.

Cancel California

Cancel my California bleg. I guess I'm going to Minnesota, instead, and I am well acquainted with Minnesota (unfortunately).

Kerry Emails

Some wise ass in our office signed a friend of mine (who I'll refer to as Col. Ollie) up to Kerry's email list. Today, Col. Ollie received his umpteenth email from the Kerry campaign, after asking many times to be removed from the list (too bad this failure doesn't violate congress's latest SPAM law). He replied again. This time he said, and I quote:
I was going to read this email, before I decided to delete it.


Okay, okay...

I know I just said tonight that we need to start looking forward in this election, but I admit, it is soooo much fun to stay on Bush's TANG service. I read this article at Editor & Publisher, and this image popped into my brain of the MSM as Don Quixote, tilting at windmills.

The polls are getting pretty whacky, with Gallup up to a 13% lead for Bush, and Pew showing a tie. To clarify my previous post, I think we should continue to make TANG the topic of the day, but be prepared for TANG losing its effectiveness.

Weird, ain't it? The Bush TANG service questions have worked for him, rather than against him.

The 21 year old drinking age

Here's a topic I haven't thought since, well, I turned 21. I agree with Andrew Stuttaford's Mad about Madd post at The Corner. The 21 year old age limit is a bit silly in a day and age when the age of majority is 18. It used to be said that if you can die for your country, you should be able to vote. I've always thought that if you can die for your country, you sure as hell better have the right to drink a beer. Maybe it is just because I'm from Wisconsin, the land of beer, milk, and honey. Maybe it is because even my rather strict father softened on alcohol consumption after I turned 18. I just think it is a law which encourages as much irresponisble behavior as it tries to stem.

For the record, I'm on the opposite side of the debate as Stuttaford when it comes to pot, however.

The Apprentice

Wow. I don't believe Trump fired Bradford. Bradford had every right to be confident enough to give up his immunity. He had performed well up to that point. There were two very firable people in that room. Bradford wasn't one of them. It hastens the question, is this a contest of the best business person, or is this pure Trump entertainment now? Because that seemed like a "make people talk, keep the ratings up" decision.

Why I don't respect the left

Go here.

Look forward, conservatives, Rather than back

We are moving into our second week of memogate. While I am all for pinning Dan Rather to the wall on this story, we need to start looking forward again, toward the coming day when this story dies down. This has been a heady time for conservatives and conservative blogs, starting with the RNC and leading into memogate. There are a few gray clouds forming on the horizon, though. I think the NIC report that has received broad coverage today is going to fade away, but some of the issues in it will play in this election. For instance, violence is going to continue to escalate in Iraq as we get closer and closer to possible elections. This is going to make Iraq look like a terrible mess again for Bush. With that, we are going to get back into the news cycle where the media wail and gnash their teeth over the "quagmire".

In a similar vein, civil war will be the catch phrase for the next month and a half. My suspicion is that civil war in Iraq is exactly what the NIC report calls it, a worst case scenario, and often worst case scenarios do not come to pass. Civil War requires two very well defined, opposing groups, with high levels of passionate anger towards one another. What we have in Iraq is one relatively small group of insurgents, led by foreigners, and a larger, fairly passive populace. I just don't see all the ingredients of civil war coming together. Still, we are going to get pounded and pounded with horror stories of possible civil war.

I still think that Bush is going to walk in this election. The Donks have just nominated too big a buffoon to win this election, barring some major, historic event between now and November 2. But this election is not over, and perhaps we best turn our attention towards things other than Rather.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Kerry Spot

Jim Geraghty has done a wonderful job at the Kerry Spot. I'm particularly fond of his new term, the pajamahadeen.

Kaus doesn't get it

Mickey Kaus doesn't get it. Writing on CBS's latest statement standing behind the memos, he theorizes that this may hurt Bush by keeping his guard duty in the news.
Does this ongoing story hurt Bush in the polls even if it focuses on forgery and possible CBS malpractice? After all, it keeps the subject of Bush and the Guard in the news, which might not help the president. Without the forgery issue the whole story might have disappeared days ago. ... Maybe that's why Rather has seemingly insanely dug in his heels: He knows that by dragging out his and CBS's agony he's also dragging out Bush's agony.

He misses a big point. The Bush team doesn't care if this stays in the news. They don't care because America doesn't care. Only anti-war, left wing baby boomers who themselves avoided the war care, and they aren't voting for Bush anyway. We all learned with Dan Quayle in 1988, Bill Clinton in 1992, and Bush in 2000 that avoiding service in Vietnam is not a hot button issue for voters. The longer this dominates the news, the less time Kerry has to mount any kind of effective comeback. Right now, Kerry's day to day campaigning is obscured by the CBS controversy. Normally, I'd say that is good for Kerry, because his poll numbers always seem to rise when he is out of the spotlight. Right now, Kerry being out of the spotlight only allows the momentum Bush earned at the Republican convention to continue to roll.

Kaus does get one other thing right, though. This will be good for CBS's ratings. The MSM will also learn something from this: Naked partisanship is going to be much more profitable than this sneaky partisanship the MSM partakes in now.

Editor & Publisher takes on the blogosphere

My first impression is that Editor & Publisher looks down its nose at blogs. I guess that's to be expected. After all, blogs are just another threat faced by their industry, the print media. They are only short changing themselves if they underestimate the influence blogs are going to continue to play in the dissemination of news and opinion. Right now, the blogosphere is in a rather pure form-disorganized, rough and tumble, and very low barriers to entry. Some blogs have begun to pull away from the pack, though. Their page views dwarf that of most blogs, they have young financial models for profitability, and they've earned a certain level of respectability. The next stage will be a split in the blogosphere. There will be the amateur blogs with small followings, like this one. There will also be the corporate blogs. The corporate blogs will lose much of the spirit that currently exists in the blogosphere, but they will be outlets that will seriously compete with the MSM.

Just a question...

..I've not seen anyone ask in regards to memogate. Why in the hell would someone hold onto another person's personal CYA memos for 19 years after that other person died? Maybe if the file originated from that person's family I could see it. But if a co-worker of mine gave me his CYA files (and I don't know why anyone would do that, either), I certainly wouldn't still have them 19 years after that person passed away.

18-29 voting block

For those interested in further discussion on this voter block, please see the NYT today. This article doesn't break a whole lot of new ground except to say that this age group is about as active this year as they have been since 18-20 year olds were first given the right to vote.

Uff da!

I appreciate the free hosting by Blogger, but little things get under my skin, like posts that take 20 minutes to actually post. Ah well, for a free service it is pretty good, I guess.

CBS to release memo statement shortly

Don't expect it to be anything substantial, though.


If that last post doesn't earn me some angry comments or emails, I don't know what will. Let me hear your thoughts, though. If I'm wrong, educate me.

Define irony

I'm watching Dennis Miller right now, and he has his all star panel on . The two liberal panel members (Lawrence O'Donnell & Leslie Marshall) just accused 18 to 29 year olds of being ignorant of the issues, of being ignorant as to why the baby boomers had to stop the Vietnam War, and of not being being able to point at Vietnam on a map. As a member of that age group, I'm a touch offended by that assertion, but I'm more amazed by their arrogance. I'm not sure if O'Donnell & Marshall are old enough to have voted during the Vietnam War, but what they are asserting is that the youth of their generation were intelligent and versed on the politics of the day, and they stood up to do a great thing (I disagree, I think they were spoiled quitters who actively helped lose that war), but the youth of today are stupid, obedient dogs who support this war and Bush because we are nothing but a bunch of followers. I respectfully disagree. I don't think this group of young people is very much less versed on the topics of the day than the Vietnam generation. I do think we are, by and large, much more questioning of the information we see and much more responsible in how we go about our activism. May the baby boom generation remember that right now we are basically where they were 35 years ago. We aren't getting drafted, but it is we who are volunteering for service. It is our friends, our brothers and sisters and cousins who are getting killed and maimed in this fight, just like them. It is our age group that is shedding the blood for this effort, just like there's. We are closest to the action, just as they were. After viewing what we are viewing, the majority of us support this president and this war, despite the human cost to us and our peers. And that isn't because of ignorance. The majority of the ignorance that I see from this age group actually comes from the anti-Bush side, chanting idiotic statements like no blood for oil. These people are preaching at us, but they forget that 35 years ago they launched a full out rebellion against an older generation that preached against them. Youth ruled, youth knew it all in 1969. In 2003, those same people preach that they know best, and the youth are nothing but lap dogs. More proof to me that some of the most self absorbed people this country has ever produced were born from 1946 to 1960. (No offense to all baby boomers, just those of you who can't let the hippy years go).

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


If you're part of my audience of five, you know that I've been moving, and my posting suffered a bit. Thank you for continuing to stop by here. After a full week of being exhausted, I'm starting to get back into a posting rhythm. Tonight I'm content and happy. Here I sit in my own home. I'm confident the country will choose the right man in November. And I'm singing Billy Joel and Simon and Garfunkel tunes at the top of my lungs, without worrying about upsetting the neighbors.

The cat has disappeared since I started the singing, though.


My goodness. I'm going back through recent posts, and I suddenly feel like I'm some Cold War warrior. I feel like I've wafted back through time, to some point prior to Reagan's evil empire speech. I always thought that my birth in the 1970's was an accident, that I was meant to have come of age during the 1940's, but this is ridiculous

Castro and the Cubans

I'm not sure aid would have been forthcoming anyway, but it's good to see Castro has the best interests of his people at heart (please note my sarcasm):
Cuban President Fidel Castro has said he would not accept any aid from the United States to repair damage caused by the hurricane.

"We won't accept a penny from them," the communist leader said Monday on state television.

This quote summed up Castro for me. He rules a country just rich enough to keep himself and his cronies living in luxury while the rest of the country suffers. After his countrymen suffer from Ivan, he preemptively refuses any aid from the one source Cuba could get the most from, the United States. Hopefully, for the sake of the Cubans affected by Ivan, US Cuban nationals will be allowed to send money and aid to their relatives and friends on the island.

I think studying Castro in a college was a turning point for me. Up until that time, I tried to tow the Donk line. I had bought into the myth-liberals were compassionate, for the poor, minorities, the working man, etc, etc. Still, many of my professors made me bristle at how far left they were. Then I had the opportunity to study with Professor Seth Meisel. He leaned left, but he allowed more debate in his classroom than any professor I ever had. As we studied and debated Castro, I was astounded at how many people supported this dictator who obviously had no regard for his people what so ever. He brought literacy to the island, they would say. The fact that he used literacy to indoctrinate made no difference. He ended corruption in the Cuban government created by US influence, they'd shout. Never mind that Castro has lived a very good life while everyday Cubans live in squalor. It was at this point I began to question if I really was a Donk, because my beliefs did not seem to be falling in line with my 'peers'.

Tim Michels victorious

Congratulations to Tim Michels, who will go on to challenge Russ Feingold in November. All told, Michels will probably be the best choice for the Republican party. Although I think Darrow could have possibly defeated Feingold, I think he'd have been bad for the party. While Bob Welch was probably the most conservative of the three, I don't think he had very much chance against Feingold. He has too much baggage, and he's, well, not very telegenic, which doesn't help. Good luck, Tim Michels. I'll be voting straight ticket, after all.

WI GOP senate primary update

With 43% of precincts reporting, Michels leads with 43.5% of the vote to 29.7% for Darrow and 23.1% for Welch. I'm a little surprised at the early numbers. Michels is the new kid on the block, and what I've seen so far, he isn't a terribly savvy politician yet. At the same time, he carries virtually no baggage, he's young and fresh, he has a young family, and he's a veteran. If his numbers hold up, I'm not sure if he can beat Feingold, but he may be able to give him a run for his money.

Bob Novak and revelation of sources

Bob Novak is coming under some scrutiny for saying CBS should reveal their source of the disputed memos from last week's 60 Minutes II. Some news outlets are latching onto this story because Novak refused to reveal his source in the Valerie Plame story earlier this year. I'd like to make a clear distinction here, and I know others have already said this, but it can't be said enough. Novak's source deserves protection because that person gave him a legitimate story. CBS's source gave them a bum story. Because of that, CBS would have every right to burn the source. Protection of sources by reporters has never been done because of some noble cause; it is done because future sources will likely not give you a story if they know that you regularly reveal your sources. In the case of a bad source, however, that is exactly the message you want to send: give me a fraudulent story, and I will reveal you.

Only three things, or a combination thereof, can explain why CBS is sticking by this story and sticking by their source. One, they are holding out hope that this story will be soon forgotten, and they can get away with not admitting guilt. Two, they are so arrogant as to believe that amateur journalists (i.e. the blogosphere) has no right to question their reports. Three, revealing their source will even make them look worse, or they were actively in cahoots with a source well placed in a political campaign. My guess right now is that it is a combination of all three.

Wisconsin Primary today

Today is Wisconsin's fall primary. One of the more significant races is for the right to face Russ Feingold for one of Wisconsin's Senate seats. The three biggest contenders are state legislator Bob Whelch, car dealership owner Russ Darrow, and small businessman Tim Michels. The three have debated several times, with none moving out to a commanding lead. Only seven precincts have reported thus far, so I'll be updating the race again later.

Russian democracy and American Reality

The last week has been a huge step backwards for freedom and democracy in Russia. In an effort to strengthen the Russian government against Chechan/Islamist terror, Putin has proposed reforms that would conveniently solidify his seat of power. The Christian Science Monitor has a run down of (mostly left wing) response to the reforms here. While Putin is largely to blame, there are some larger historical issues at play as well.

Russia is not a nation used to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, the right to vote in honest elections, etc. Authoritarianism is woven tightly into the national fabric. These freedoms were quite literally thrust upon them in the early 1990’s, and they have not had the chance to grow strong roots. This is not to say that Russians do not love these freedoms, or even to say that there are Russians who will sacrifice for these rights. Instead, for the common Russian, democracy is part and parcel with capitalism. Capitalism is very tightly wound to organized crime. Organized crime is in the shadows with government. The entire thing has a bit of a dirty patina to it. This slide back to authoritarianism likely seems very natural to many Russians, and that means Putin’s attempts at consolidation of power are very low risk, because he likely will not face retribution from the Russian people.

If anyone is to blame for the shallow roots of freedom and democracy in Russia, it is Boris Yeltsin. When Yeltsin first became a household name across the country, he looked like a strong and heroic leader who would plant a strong oak of freedom in Russia. After he stood up to the Soviet coup attempt, he became a shining light of hope. After the USSR dissolved, however, and Yeltsin became the most powerful man of the former Societ Republics, that all began to change. He introduced new freedoms to Russia, but he did so too quickly, he did not back it up with sufficient authority. Crime, black markets, and organized crime quickly blossomed as the Russian economy struggled to adapt to capitalism. Yeltsin himself became a caricature and a joke with his drinking problems and his frequent health problems. The man who looked like he may be his country’s George Washington instead became its George Thurogood (One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer).

The Russian slide may be too advanced to halt now. In regards to Russia, we may have to resort back to a policy of realpolitik. Since we can’t stop power consolidation without the outrage of the Russian populace, then we need to look at how we can benefit from this. The way we will is by developing a tight ally in the war on terror. That means that we will have to silently endure a lot of things inside Russia that we as Americans find abhorrent. I close this post by referring to the serenity prayer. As Americans in regards to Russia, we need the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Justice and closure for Vietnam Vets

In the big picture, I think the Swift Boat Vets are receiving some justice due them after thirty plus years. In the early 1970’s, John Kerry was the bane of their existence. He slandered them, he libeled them, he put their lives at risk with his behavior at home, and generally behaved in a manner that would have been deemed treasonous in previous eras of American History. Now that John Kerry has built an entire political career off of his behavior as a self absorbed member of the self absorbed wing of the Baby Boom generation, it is all coming around full circle. Veterans, after all these years, finally have a national forum at which to address their legitimate grievances against Kerry. The critical spotlight is finally on Kerry, and his actions of his youth are not standing up well to the light. I say hurrah to the vets, and I hope this helps offer them some closure to what was a difficult time in their lives-risking life and limb abroad, being spit upon and berated at home by their peers.

Kerry, terrorists, and the assault weapon ban

Well, John Kerry is bashing Bush today on the expiration of the assault weapons ban:
"In fact," the Democratic presidential candidate went on, "an Al Qaeda training manual recovered in Afghanistan included a chapter urging terrorists to get assault weapons in the United States. Why is George Bush making the job of the terrorists easier and making the job for America's police officers harder?"

I just have one question to ask Mr. Kerry. Does he actually think al Qaeda is going to buy assault weapons at a reputable gun dealer? There is nothing to keep that gun dealer from reporting suspicious requests to authorities. No, al Qaeda is much more likely to purchase those weapons on the black market, where the seller has as much to lose as the buyer does. The black market exists in an environment where these weapons are allowed as well as where they are banned. I'll take the chance that a reputable gun dealer is more likely to report a suspicious inquiry than the black market dealer any day.

Personally, it makes me a little queasy knowing that automatic weapons are readily available to anyone who wants one (almost). The legislation that had banned assault weapons was not only terribly written, it was unconstitutional in my opinion. Because of that, I support the lifting of the ban, despite my misgivings. Kerry stretched again today to equate it to the war on terror, though.

Russia and Putin

Since I feel it is very important to further the discussion on this issue, I'm pulling a link from the comments section and posting it here, even though I generally prefer to keep the comments in the comment section. At the Moderate Voice, Joe Gandelman addresses Putin's actions. I don't see 100% eye to eye with Joe, but I think now is the best time to debate this before sides are taken by political default. Please also see J.Rice's comment on my "Putin to consolidate power?" post, and stop by her site Taking Notes. I'm sure she'll be touching on the story as it develops.

Credit where credit is due

I dog the media with the best of them, so it is only fair that when a news organization does something small but significant that I give them credit for it. In a little noticed story, UPI tells of being fed a tip by the Democratic Underground and The tip was that an award worn by Bush on his ANG uniform was not legit, and he could have been dishonorably discharged for wearing it. UPI, showing a professionalism beyond that of CBS, followed up on the tip, only to find that Bush had earned the award during basic duty. Kudos to UPI for doing something small but vital to there trade-verifying a story. I'm especially fond of UPI's jab at CBS in the final paragraph:
The news of the Air Force and White House disproving the allegations about the Bush medal came Friday, as CBS News and other news organizations were reeling from the disclosure that they had published or aired possibly forged documents about Bush's military service record.

The source of the CBS story has not been disclosed, but CBS is conducting an internal investigation into the controversy.

UPI did name their source, by the way.

A special thank you to reader Gene Koprowski who sent me the link. Good luck with your new book in the spring. [The Genius of Imitation: How to Profit by Using Others' Ideas in New Ways. Seven Imitation Strategies That Drive the Success of Marketplace Leaders (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., Spring 2005,]

Monday, September 13, 2004

A good evening

A couple of beers, a Packer victory to open the season, an 8 point lead for Bush in Wisconsin. Can't think of a much better evening.


It looks like I'll be in California next week on business. Anyone in the L.A. or San Diego have any suggestions for good restaurants or attractions I should see in the evenings? Post a comment or send me an email. Thanks.

This story is news?

Colin Powell says that it's unlikely we'll find stockpiles of WMD in Iraq. This story has created several headlines around the net news serices today. I say, so what? This is news? I'm not sure anyone is expecting we're going to stumble onto some pile of WMD in Iraq at this late date. I've been much more convinced that what WMD Saddam had were transported to Syria's Bekka Valley. The Federalist (no link, but here's one at Free Republic) made a convincing case for this during the height of the news media's tizzy over WMD. It ain't news, but it can be used to chip away support for Bush, which is the MO of many news organizations right now.

Putin to consolidate power?

I've been watching the Russian situation as American news has been consumed by hurricanes, Bush Guard service, and memogate at CBS. It has been interesting to watch various media and organizations to bend this to their politics. The more liberal an outlet is, the more likely they have been to scold that Russia should not employ military force, and instead negotiate with these Chechen beasts. I would expect liberals to be sympathetic for children, but they've pinned themselves into anti-war positions when it comes to responding to horrific terror. The State Department, not surprisingly, was formost amongst this side. Conservative outlets, however, have lined up with Putin and his vow to fight terrorism anywhere. I myself tentatively come down in favor of freedom of action for Russia. As I mentioned last week, however, I remain deeply concerned that Putin will use this to his own advantage. News from Voice of America would seem to confirm that. Putin is looking to gain authority to name regional Governors. That authority currently sits with voters. I understand Putin wanting loyal regional Governors, but at the same time, this goes a long way toward consolidating power and eliminating competition. I'm also a little nervous about aligning with a man who is former KGB and who has displayed the willingness to take more and more power from the Russian people. Much like in World War II, however, I'm not sure we have a choice but to support an ally who is working for his own good.

Packers 2004

I'm excited. After waiting through an entire weekend of NFL Football, I now can watch my beloved Green Bay Packers. I have an uneasy feeling about this year's team, however, and my gut has been rather accurate the last 10 years. But for tonight, I'm going to enjoy the hope of a new season, enjoy Al Michaels' call of the game, and grit through Madden's.

Kerry and Korea

One of John Kerry’s favorite talking points this year is that the Bush administration has not done enough to quell the nuclear threat posed by North Korea. What, pray tell, would he do better? The record would indicate he would follow the lead of previous Democrats. Previous Democrats who have had experience dealing with North Korea would be Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Those two did a wonderful job back in 1996, essentially giving away the farm and putting us in the predicament we are currently. So, let’s toss out give and take negotiations of Clinton/Carter, because it turns into North Korea taking, and the United States giving, and North Korea developing nuclear technology, anyway. Next, let’s toss out the military option. Nobody really wants to go that route. We are sufficiently stretched that we’d prefer not to have to 500,000 troops to protect the South, and the South is understandably twitchy since their capital is within artillery range of the North. Besides, the military will never be an option for Kerry, anyway. What does that leave? Multilateral pressure, which is what is being exerted right now. It is most crucial that Chinese pressure is brought to bear on the North. Which is what we are trying to do.

I know that Kerry has no interest in sending out a truthful message right now. His goal is to criticize without offering solutions, to keep the attention off of himself by staying on the offensive at all times, to clutter the airwaves with junk in an effort to dilute charges against himself, and to generally fool as much of the electorate as possible. Too bad. Al Gore had more substance and was 100 hundred times a better presidential candidate for the Democrats than Kerry. Instead of any kind of meaningful debate during a period when we need it, all we are getting from Kerry is junk politics.

Kerry-A tradition of decisions gone bad

John Kerry’s record is replete with bad decisions. From opposing weapons systems to cutting intelligence budgets to the bone, and from voting against a war the entire world was on board with to voting for the one he would have been expected to vote against, John Kerry has made decisions his entire life that haven’t turned out the way he expected. One could say that trend goes all the way back to the day he enlisted in the Navy.

It’s clear that John Kerry did not want to face combat in Vietnam, despite the fact that he likes to talk about how great a man he was for volunteering for service. At his Yale Graduation ceremony, he gave a speech critical of US foreign policy. Before he enlisted, Kerry tried to get a one-year deferment. He was turned down. At that point, the young Kerry faced a choice. Go about his life and hope that he didn’t get drafted, or enlist. Kerry puts a lot of emphasis on the fact that he enlisted, but he doesn’t into the why part of it very much. I can tell you why, as could B.G. Burkett, author of Stolen Valor (read early in the book as Burkett tells of his difficulty getting assigned to Vietnam as an enlisted man, duty he actually wanted and volunteered for). By enlisting, Kerry stood a much better chance of never going to Vietnam. By enlisting in the Navy, he reduced his odds of getting dirty in country even more. Kerry had to have been smugly confidant that he was going to put a nice entry onto his resume without ever getting dirty. Why? Because if you were drafted, you most likely were going to be a grunt on the ground for the Army in Vietnam. As an enlisted man, the military tried to use your talents in a variety of ways, many of which were not in combat in Vietnam. Kerry would have known this. By choosing the Navy, he protected his backside even more. If sent to Vietnam, he’d have the chance of doing his duty aboard a ship off the shore of Vietnam, which would be a much safer place than on the ground in country.

The decision backfired, though. The duties of Swiftboats were changed. No longer just patrolling the shores of Vietnam, they were now patrolling the rivers and rice paddies in country. The Navy needed junior officers to command these boats. Kerry was part of the pool of available Junior officers to pull this duty.

Kerry clearly wanted no part of the mess he found himself in. He requested a non-combat role. Once he found himself in combat, he did everything in his power to get the hell out ASAP, which is where those three purple hearts that dog him today come from. He showed no loyalty to his fellow soldiers. Instead, he used those 3 Purple Hearts as his get out of jail free card, coming home to piss all over the reputations of those soldiers he had just abandoned.

Kerry has highlighted his Vietnam service because he desperately wants to avoid talking about his record. If his record in the Senate becomes the centerpiece of his campaign, then the truth that he is extremely liberal will surely doom his campaign. It is very possible to keep the topic on Vietnam while still looking at Kerry’s long history of having his decisions backfire on him. It is a little amazing that John Kerry has come this far, to be his party’s nominee for the Presidency, given his poor judgement over the years. Voters need to here even more of Kerry’s poor decision making skills. A man with this bad of a record, with no signs of ever having straightened it our and making better decisions, is not qualified for the office of Commander in Chief during a time of war.

Easy Resolution to Memogate

There seems to be a fairly easy way for CBS to exonerate itself: Do a little research. All they need to do is go back to their source and obtain the original memos. If the source doesn't have it, start tracking backwards through the chain of people who put it in his hands until you find the original. That original will easily prove legitimacy or forgery. The fact that they are unwilling to do this tells me that they suspect these memos are fake as well, and that they really don't care.

Sunday, September 12, 2004


I am amazed by Mark Steyn. Growing up, I was a big reader of Mike Royko columns. Since he passed, I've devoured every book I could on him. One thing that came up a lot was how amazed his colleagues were that he insisted on writing 5 columns a week. I always thought 5 columns, no big deal. Until I started this blog, that is. I developed an appreciation for those who can write 5 fresh columns a week. Steyn approaches, if not eclipses, Royko's ability to pump out high quantities of high quality work, writing for newspapers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, as well as a bi-weekly column in National Review.

I'm back!

Okay, the move is complete. My friends were very good to me, giving a part of their Saturday to help me do some heavy lifting. I'm exhausted, but I'll be back to a regular schedule of posting now.

Some cheese for the media whine

I wanted to comment on this story earlier this week, but didn't have the chance. In it, some members of the press complain about having to provide their race for background checks for their access to the presidential debates. Those who are complaining have obviously led a sheltered life. Most police departments, when they run a warrant check on a subject, will run them through the FBI's National Criminal Information Center. Obviously, most of us share our name with a lot of other Americans. When information is entered into NCIC's database, race is used to help narrow down what 'John Smith' a warrant may actually be issued for. Reporters who are actually concerned about this are either ignorant, race obsessed, or they are looking to use race to push a non-story into a story. They do not ask for race so they can "Ah ha! A black male! Flag him." They do it because it helps them determine whether John Smith from the New York Times is the John Smith who has 30 warrants or not.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

America's common character

The following is my 9/11 post at Blogs For Bush:

On September 10, 2001 I started a miserable temp job at a meat processing plant. I was the guy who came in at 9 PM to clean all of the slop off of the machinery. By 5 am on September 11th, I was embarrassed that I had to do this job, I was miserable, and I was very absorbed in self-pity. I slunk home and crawled into bed, dreading having to wake in 8 hours, just to think about my second night at this job.

Shortly after noon, the telephone rang. I considered ignoring it and going back to sleep, but thought better of it. It was my mother, and I was the first person she called on her lunch break.

"Are you watching TV."

"No, I'm sleeping. Why?"

"The Twin Towers are gone."

I was stunned and confused. I think she had to repeat it to me a couple of times as I tried to grasp it, and she was struggling a bit to find the right words. I turned on the television as they replayed the first tower fall and then the second. I don't remember much else in the conversation except for making sure that I told her I loved her.

The rest of the afternoon was a confusing attempt to understand what was happening. Even then, hours after the attacks, understanding exactly what had happened, and what may still may have been happening, was difficult. My only personal tie to what was happening half the country away was my Uncle, who we thought might have been at the Pentagon. It would be three days before we knew he was safe.

I went to work not exactly knowing what to expect. This was a job that some say that regular Americans don't take. To a certain extent, they were right. A lot of the people on my shift were recent immigrants, and some of them, including my trainer, were Eastern European Muslims. I wasn't really sure what the environment was going to be like, because there were also some rural white Americans on my shift. I was very proud of what I saw. The Eastern European Muslims seemed to be very nervous, scared even. The Latino employees were very quiet. With a lighthearted statement here and a pat on the back there, the rural white employees put them back at ease. That night, my fellow country folk coworkers very easily could have made life miserable for these recent American immigrants, especially the Muslims. Instead they reached out to them, included them, and made them feel like they really were Americans.

I don't have any poignant stories of being at Ground Zero. So many people were in pain that day as they feared the fate of loved ones. What I do have is a memory of a terrible day for all of America, a day when "traditional" Americans, born and raised in this country, could have easily ostracized people who had recently come here to earn their right to be Americans. What I did see was the very generous spirit of America. Despite their own fears of that day, naturalized citizens reached out to new citizens, making them truly feel like they were as American as the rest of us. Many people showed extraordinary courage on September 11th, and for that they deserved our eternal gratefulness as a nation. There were countless other small displays of the goodness of the American heart that day, though, and I considered myself privileged to have witnessed some of that myself. Through the tragedy of that day, I became convinced of the unique basic goodness of the American character.

Friday, September 10, 2004

9/11 Tributes

Here we are, on the eve of the third anniversary of one of the worst days in this nation's history, a day in which many Americans were at their best. We've now seen two of these anniversaries come and go, and every year the tributes become a little more muted; this year it will be even more subdued, as the date falls on a weekend. I encourage you to go to Blogs for Bush through out the course of the day, though. Bloggers on their 1000 plus blogroll will be giving their personal tributes all day. You will not likely see a post there from this blog, as my contribution was a personal view of how common Americans were inclusionary of recent immigrants on that day, and it is not of the emotional or historically significant impact that many of the other contributions will be. Still, go to Blogs for Bush, even if you aren't a Bush supporter. Go, remember that day, and those who passed away.

Blogosphere in a state of euphoria

Blogosphere is truly in a state of euphoria today, and rightly so. Sites like Power Line and Little Green Footballs have done a tremendous job of rightly questioning documents of dubious origin. Whether the documents prove to be real or fake, many blogs have performed a service in the name of freedom of speech that would make the Founding Fathers proud. But here I am to rain on the parade. The MSM is not going to give up its crown easily or any time soon. The blogosphere is finding its place right now amongst legitimate news sources. Unlike radio vs. the newspaper, or the TV vs. the radio, the blogosphere will not supplant TV as America's news source. We will have a place, an increasingly prominent place, but as long as we are individuals fighting what we see as the good fight, we will be vulnerable to MSM charges of bias and inaccuracy. Unless we can coalesce into some sort of organized unit, we will continue to be seasoning to the MSM's entree.

Power Line and the memos

Okay. Maybe another comment on this topic. Power Line has done a fine job of pushing to verify the legitamcy of the memos CBS used the other night on 60 Minutes II. I suspect they got a little too caught up in this when they declared this debate the end of Dan Rather, though. If this is proven to be fraud, Rather will live and other heads will roll. If the memos prove to be authentic (which I do doubt), their traffic and legitamcy will take a hit proportional to that CBS would take if the memos prove to be forged. High stakes for Power Line right now.

The memos

Okay, I lied. I do have a comment on the memos. The dating of the memos may be more damning than things like the superscript, the spacing, the apostrophe, and the kernaling. Google memos forges if you aren't up on this story. cBS hit back tonight, but the story has a long way to go yet.

Poll numbers

I fully subscribe to the opinion of a Bush strategist, which Rich Lowry posted tonight over at The Corner. The strategist says that there was no reason to panic when Bush fell behind several months ago, and, in a week, Bush's lead will be down to 3 points, so there is no reason for the euphoria right now. I agree, but I also think Kerry's base will be demoralized by November and will stay at home in droves, leading to a Bush victory going away. Still, a nice, even calm from the right would make me feel better than the high everyone is going through right now.

The Memos

I have been following memogate the last couple of days and I am completely fascintated. I work in a segment of publishing, but I have learned more about fonts and spacing than I have in the last 3 years. I'm not going to comment too much on it, though. I just can't add a lot of original thought to the issue. For the latest and greatest, click on Powerline in my links section.

Germany not all bad

Germany's economic minister claims beer should be available by prescription through the German health care system. Maybe Germany isn't so bad after all. Can you imagine this conversation with your doctor?

"Okay, I'm going to write you a prescription for a quarter barrel of Spaten. I want you to take 4 glasses a day until it is all gone, and try to take it with a heavy food like wienerschnitzel."

Thursday, September 09, 2004

World Poll or worthless poll?

Well, a new poll is out, and according to it, the world would vote for John Kerry as our next President. So what? Do we not teach history, civics, and social studies in school anymore? Anyone with a rudimentary education on these three subjects knows that on the international stage, nation-states are always jostling for power and influence-yes, even today. Because of this, Americans would do well to pay little consideration to silly polls such as this. Do you think vineyard worker in France would want to see America elect the better man? Hardly. That vineyard worker knows that a poorly run, less secure United States means more difficulty for California wine producers to compete, which means more business for him. Do you think the German factory worker wants to see America strong with competent leadership? Probably not-national pride would lead him to desire a greater German influence in the world, even though that has rarely been good for the world. How about the civil servant in a third world country. That person wants a higher standard of living, and is probably jealous of the American civil servant who owns a house and two cars. Do you think that person wants to see continued American strength. Not hardly.

The fact of the matter is individuals as well as nation-states act out of self interest in 99.9% of all cases. Most of the world take for granted the safety American power affords them. Instead they just see that they aren't as rich, powerful, or influential as us, and they resent it. Because of that, my first conclusion is that they would want to see the weakest of two people lead this country, and that's how I take this inconsequential little poll. Other Americans should avoid the "I want to be popular" mindset as well. Popularity does not put food on the table in a nice house in a neighborhood safe from war and strife. National strength does. John Kerry does not project the image of American strength at all, and that's why he is popular amongst non-Americans.

One side of the story

AP Headline:

Kerry Links Iraq War, U.S. Economic Woes

That is a factual headline which is still slanted. Another headline could just as easily be written that, combined with the above, would create a full picture. That headline would be:

Bush links War on Terror, Economic Security.

This article epitomizes why so many of us complain about media bias. At every mention of Kerry, they tell what he is doing. At every mention of Bush, there is something negative tossed in. I'm sure this is an example of the reporter not even realizing the bias he shows, but it doesn't change the fact that it is this type of reporting that drives people to Fox News, radio, and certain websites and blogs for their news.