Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog

 
Tuesday, November 05, 2002

The loons on the left

I was curious. I wanted to know what the hard line democrats would have to say about the killing of Al Qaeda members in Yemen, so I went to the Democratic Underground forums, the habitat of choice for the fringe left. Not too surprisingly, I hit the mother load.

Here's a sampling:
  • Is this now our MO to use unmanned drones to bomb anywhere at anytime? What kind of international law does this violate? Are we proud of this? What a sterile way to have a war. That way we don't even have to see the innocent people we kill.
  • We should've arrested these people and sent them to the UN High Court if they were truly terrorists.

    It is time we get in line and stop pretending that we can decide what is right and wrong. The rest of the World is doing it...why cant we meet them.

    Because of some document written two hundred F*ckin years ago? Please. This is either a planet of progressive laws that we all submit to and support or it is chaos. I choose the former.

    I am ashamed to be called an American today.

(I'm also ashamed that you're called an American.)
  • If you make of notice that document
    of which you make speaking of makes not such an authorization. We have in fact of such no war declaration in Yemen. This is of such meaning then that it is of rogue actions by Bush from outside of such the Constitution. If indeed these dead are of to be suspect then capture and trial is of course proper. But making for discard of Constitution is not of such that it is right because our own within American Constitution makes for not this act. Evil makes for this act. It is such of like Bush and evil in that there are making no trials for these men. Please make for no blaming of Constitution.


What?
  • My guess is that this was a blown mass murder. With no evidense of military or political position, we have slaughtered undefended civilians. Credible witnesses must have blown the hit. If there was no attempt to detain, there should be murder charges.
    This reflects a high degree of racism on our part. Aribic people are human.
    Those of you giving approval to this must not be thinking of attending an "illigal" anti war rally. Well, you're probably okay if you're white.
  • So you think...
    ...that the timing of this is just coincidental? The night before an election?
    These guys didnt jump in a car until now?

    Bullsh*t! If they were criminals they should've been arrested. Not blown away with a damned missile.

I was wondering how long it would take for this charge to appear. Shades of Clinton's cruise missile attack.
  • Who gives a f*&@, eh? After all, they were suspects! No evidence is needed nowadays. Besides, they were brown skinned. Everyone knows that brown skinned people are savages. If they weren't guilty, they would surely someday be! Now stop ypur liberal whining! We have a master race to create! Plus, history has proven that the CIA are above suspicion! They are clean cut, All American patriots! They would never do anything so insidious as eliminating loose strings that could come back to unravel their web of lies. Never!
    Oh say does that star spangled hit man yet inform on his neighbors?

    O'er the land of the enslaved, and the home of the cowardly state police apologists.


Posted by Rich
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Thank you for that brilliant analysis, sir!

This from the Washington Times
Mr. McBride's 36-hour weekend sweep of southeast Florida with former President Bill Clinton over the weekend drew lower-than-expected crowds.
Still, Mr. McBride yesterday promised his supporters a victory if turnout is sufficient.
"If we get the vote out, we'll win this election," he said at an Opa-locka rally alongside former Vice President Al Gore.


Tell that to Mr Gore....

Posted by Rich
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Monday, November 04, 2002

New Polling data

SKBubba has the latest polling data on the Tennessee races.
He always gets the best info....

Posted by Rich
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Deadlock in the Senate

Jesse Ventura appointed an Independant to fill Sen. Wellstone's seat in the Senate until the elections are over, which brings the Senate back to a tie; 49-49-2.
Of course, the Democrats still control all the committees, so I don't expect anything to get done, particularly in the area of judicial appointments, which is too bad.

Posted by Rich
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Thursday, October 31, 2002

Jesse slaps around Minnesota Dems

Jesse Ventura may nominate an Independant to fill Paul Wellstones seat until after the elections.
Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura was so offended by the political rally that evolved out of a memorial service to honor Wellstone that he said he will try to appoint an independent instead of a Democrat to fill out Wellstone's term until a replacement is certified.

"I feel used. I feel violated and duped over the fact that that turned into nothing more than a political rally ... I think the Democrats should hang their heads in shame," Ventura told Fox News on Wednesday.

Of course, the organizers claim it was an accident that the memorial turned into a political rally, but the state Republican party is now asking for equal time.
Here's a nice bit of p[olitical hypocrisy to add to the mix:
Polls appearing in Wednesday's Minneapolis Star Tribune showed Mondale leading Coleman 47 percent to 39 percent, a wider margin than separated Wellstone and Mondale. The poll of 639 adults conducted on Monday, the same day Republicans conducted an internal poll that was criticized by Democrats as callous, found that 98 percent of Minnesotans recognized Mondale's name and 66 percent had a favorable image of him, including several Republicans surveyed. [Emphasis mine]

Of course, it goes without saying that the legal wrangling over absentee ballots will carry on long past election day.

I don't know how the race will turn out. It depends on how long the sympathy bounce lasts.

Posted by Rich
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More typecasting

No comment needed:
Futurama returns November 10, with former Vice President Al Gore appearing in cartoon form as a preserved head in a jar.


Posted by Rich
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More new math

According to this story, the economy grew at 3.1% in the third quarter, pushed by strong consumer spending. This is good news, right?
Not according to this story. The bulk of the column continues to ptell how bad things are, and that they are going to get worse. Let's see, unemployment is around 6%, and the economy is growing at about 2%. Yep, times sure are tough!
The article also brings up this piece of garbage:
Democrats, however, point to the tax cut as a key reason why the federal government posted a $159 billion deficit in the 2002 fiscal year, ending four straight years of surpluses.

The war on terror and Sept 11 had absolutely nothing to do with that, right?
Another quick question: If we had four years of surpluses, how come the National debt kept going up? Does Arthur Andersen do the government's accounting?

Posted by Rich
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UN = useless nitwits

The US drafted resolkution on Iraq is running into a stone wall in the UN Security Council.
The three veto-holding Security Council members want to ensure that Iraq is given a chance to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors before any military action is authorized — and they're now waiting to see what the United States and Britain are going to do to address their concerns.


After a third meeting council session Wednesday on the U.S. proposal, Russia's deputy U.N. ambassador Gennady Gatilov said Moscow still has "quite a number of problems" with the U.S. draft, centered on the automatic authorization to use force.

I keep hearing people ask us to justify going to war with Iraq. When we point out that Iraq is in violation of the cease fire accords, these people dismiss that as irrelevant, and ask for further justification. In thier minds, since Iraq has ignored the resolutions for so long, they must be null and void. In fact, some members of the coucil object to the fact that the US brings up the old resolutionsin the text of the new. I guess they don't like being reminded of their own spinelessness.
The UN, by their own actions, are proving their irrelevance. What good is a resolution when you've demonstrated repeatedly that you don't have the will to back it up?

Posted by Rich
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Hooray for New Math!

From the mail bag (she hates it when I call her that):
Teaching Math in 1950: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

Teaching Math in 1960: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

Teaching Math in 1970: A logger exchanges a set "L" of lumber for a set "M" of money. The cardinality of set "M" is 100. Each element is worth one dollar. Make 100 dots representing the elements of the set "M." The set "C", the cost of production contains 20 fewer points than set "M." Represent the set "C" as a subset of set "M" and answer the following question: What is the cardinality of the set "P" of profits?

Teaching Math in 1980: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment:
Underline the number 20.

Teaching Math in 1990: By cutting down beautiful forest trees, the logger makes $20. What do you think of this way of making a living?
Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the forest birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down the trees?
There are no wrong answers.

Teaching Math in 2000: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $120. How does Arthur Andersen determine
that his profit margin is $60?

Teaching Math in 2010: El hachero vende un camion carga por $100. La cuesta de production es...

Posted by Rich
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Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Voting

The early voting period is a great convenience for me. Between my wrok schedule (doubles every Tuesday) and my commute (from Sevierville to Johnson City) the chances of my being able to vote on election day are roughly the same as John J Hooker's chances of being elected governor. Or Senator.

Yep, he's on the ballot twice.

Anyway, even though I already voted, I'm still following the elections, particularly the commercials. Last night I saw a couple of Phil Bredesen's latest ads, and I have to wonder: Is he running against Van Hilleary or Don Sundquist? The tag line on his latest ads goes something like "After 8 years of Don Sundquist, we can't afford Van Hilleary."
Now, if Hilleary had been Sundquist's right hand man over the last eight years, then I could see the comparison. Or if Hilleary had been a vocal supported of Sundquist, then too, the comparison would be apt. But Hilleary has been an extremely vocal opponent of the centerpiece of the last four years of the Sundquist administration: the income tax. In fact, it would be difficult to find a person in the legislature more adamantly opposed to the governor's agenda.

Ah well, all's fair in love and war, and even more so in politics.

Posted by Rich
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Voter Fraud in Wisconsin

Check out this story in the WSJ Opinion Journal:
The progressive citizens of Wisconsin have reason to worry that Chicago-style vote-buying is creeping north from Illinois. The NBC affiliate in Milwaukee has just filmed Democratic campaign workers handing out small amounts of money and free food to residents at a home for the mentally ill in Kenosha after which the patients were shepherded into a separate room and given absentee ballots. One of the Democratic Party workers fled when she saw the NBC camera. The local district attorney is investigating.

Continuing:
Robert Jambois, the Kenosha County District Attorney, says the case is a headache for him because he has endorsed Jim Doyle, the Democratic candidate for governor, and because the Democratic worker who fled the scene was an intern in his own office. He will decide later if he needs to recuse himself.

That should be a pretty easy decision.

Bribing developmentally disabled folks to vote democratic.
Buying cigarettes for the homeless to get them to vote democratic.
Scamming votes in the old folks home.

Are the Democrats that desperate? Shouldn't they be able to win elections based on the merits of their platform?

I guess I'm just too naive.

Posted by Rich
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Monday, October 28, 2002

EU wants to defend themselves

Cool! According to the Telegraph, there is a proposal afoot to design an EU mutual defense force which will replace NATO, although those involved deny that this would occur.
Under the plan the new defence force will have its responsibilities extended from those backed by Mr Blair - peacekeeping and crisis management in neighbouring states - to include full-scale defence of the EU.

Any terrorist or military attack on one member of the Union would enable that country to invoke an EU version of Nato's Article 5, calling member states' military forces to its aid.

Although the European force is supposed to be coordinated with Nato, and to be drawn from the same pool of troops, it will be separately commanded.


This is nothing less than a repudiation of NATO. There's no need for a separate mutual defense pact unless you plan to withdraw from the present one. Europe was happy to be a part of NATO when it was their butts on the line, when the threat was primarily to them, but now that the threat seems to be mostly aimed at the US, we can see European gratitude in action; they are distancing themselves from the US. Since Islamic terrorism is aimed primarily at the US and US interests, the EU figures the best way to avoid getting drawn in is to step aside.

Posted by Rich
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Sunday, October 27, 2002

A little FL news

Jeb Bush and Bill McBride are in a close race for governor of FL. As seen in this post from SKBubba, McBride's campaign just started using footage of Bush praising McBride as a counter to attack ads by Bush.
This is a tactic which will quickly be emulated by other campaigns, resulting in even less civility in our government. What pol is going to praise a potential future rival for office when he knows those words may come back during a hard fought campaign?
Bubba quotes from the first section of the article, but fails to include the Bush response:
The Bush campaign is ready with its own, Nov. 15, 1999, St. Petersburg Times dispatch from Jerusalem covering McBride's travel then with Bush on a trade mission to Israel. McBride praised Bush then as "a person who cares for people," and said the governor had used his first year in office to "boldly tackle problems."

McBride described traveling with Bush as similar to being in the company of a rock star, the newspaper reported at the time. "There is gravity and substance to this governor," McBride was quoted as saying. "He knows how to do the right thing."

Politicians must get along once the campaign is done. They have to work together, and support each other. That becomes a little more difficult now that anything said outside of the campaign is fair game.

In an ironic twist, Bush can now crow that McBride's hometown newspaper has chosen to endorse the republican for governor.
Bill McBride is a quality person and candidate, but Bush has kept his word to the people of Florida and deserves a second term. For governor of Florida, the Tribune endorses Jeb Bush.


Posted by Rich
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Tuesday, October 15, 2002

I’ve been slumming over at WarbloggerWatch

I've been slumming over at WarbloggerWatch and I ran across the most amusing piece by Philip Shropshire. In it, he challenges warbloggers to send him on an all expense paid trip to Iraq. This is apparently an extension of the tired "chickenhawk" argument, where the extreme left criticizes anybody who supports a war against Iraq if they aren't currently enlisted in the armed forces. He "proves" his own validity by volunteering to go to Iraq, buth then insists on so many restrictions and provision to ensure that nobody takes him seriously. The whole exchange reminds me of Usenet flamewars, where one idiot threatens another idiot with an ass whipping, even though they may be separated by 1000 miles. Easy to brag when you know the chances are good you won't get called on to put up or shut up.

The hilarity really gets going with this bit:
It takes a certain amount of wealth to be a rebel. The upper middle class people who threw their planes into buildings didn’t think like Americans. True, they had wealth and privilege but they didn’t think of themselves as rich because, unlike Americans—the bestest greatest keenest group of folks in the world who wouldn’t dream of killing 1 or 2 million peasants in Guatemala or East Timor—they probably thought I’m not rich unless my people are rich.


Yep, the Sauds are known throughout the world for their generousity. The Royal Family is dedicated to ensuring that their vast wealth is distributed equitably among their people. Of course, the gap between the rich and poor in Saudi Arabia is approximately 100 times the gap in the US, but who's counting? Besides, it's the US's fault that the gap is so wide; after all, we keep insisting on giving the Saudi princes more oil money. The princes just can't give it away fast enough. So, in a remarkable generous move, they spend it all on cars, and palaces, and limos, and trips, distributing that wealth the best way they can. Sadly, most of what they purchase comes from outside the country, so the peasants really don't feel the benefit of this income redistribution, but I'm sure they appreciate the gesture. What wonderful people these wealthy rebels are!

Not content with this howler, Philip continues:
Let's assume for a moment that our country is run by oilman and let us assume that maybe they've concluded that the biggest threat to their Crack-like oil supply is not the Arab countries, but a country that has over 400 nuclear weapons. Now, Sharon has said that he'll retaliate if Saddam attacks Israel with germ warfare. I'm making the assumption that Sharon means nuclear weapons. But what if the US doesn't let him? What if they decide to attack Israel preemptively in order to protect the oil supply?

So Philip finds it conceivable that the US would launch a pre-emptive strike against Israel, to prevent them from launching a counter strike against Iraq, which would attack Israel in response to a pre-emptive strike from the US. I haven't laughed that hard since the first time I heard Abbott and Costello perform "Who's on First?"

Philip continues with this bit of fluff:
I just don't think that force creates longterm peace or stability...

Define "long term peace and stability," Philip, then tell us how disputes may be settled without the application of force.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Force, or the threat of force is the ultimate arbiter of all disputes. It ranges from a parent withholding privileges from a naughty child all the way to full scale war. Even diplomacy is the application of force, albeit implicitly rather than directly.

Peace is not the natural state of man, as any student of human history, or biology for that matter, can tell you. Coexistence involves a balance of power, and that balance is constantly shifting. Every group seeks an advantage, utilizing all available resources to get ahead. Groups which do not do so quickly fall behind, and die out. This is a natural consequence of the evolutionary process, and man is the ultimate result (so far) of this process. To expect the species to abandon the strategy which has proven so successful is like a child wishing for the moon. It ain't gonna happen. And if by some strange chance it does happen, then it will be another species' time to go for the gold. ( My bet would be on dogs. They aren't all that smart, but their evolutionary path has mimicked that of man. No other species of animal has adapted to such a wide range of environments while maintain species integrity.) What pacifists call peace is a temporary condition when all interacting forces are at equilibrium, and the system is at rest. This is also known as stagnation. Not a good thing, evolutioanally speaking. Fortunately, the real definition of peace has more in common with Ambrose Bierce's definition:
In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.

In other words, the game continues, we just put our guns under the table for awhile. However, all diplomacy is bolstered b those guns, even when they are under the table. Come to the game unarmed, and you are guaranteed to walk out a loser.

Philip finishes up with a little gratuitous name calling, but we'll let that slide.

Posted by Rich
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