Friday, August 27, 2004

 

Hostile Waters

My buddy Saul sent me a link to this six year old story at CNN… as always, it’s curious to really examine how much support we received from the international community when we struck against Iraq during the Clinton administration, and when the strike was entirely symbolic and pointless. Our pals at the UN love grand gestures… as long as they don’t involve a concerted effort.

I’ve been wading into hostile waters lately, and finding them not really that hostile. I got involved in a heated exchange at blog critics about the left’s hatred of Bush. I got involved a bit late, though… and while I posted my comments, it seems that response was dying off by then. Nobody ever responded to what I said.

A fellow who goes by Cachorrito stopped by to comment on my remarks about the Iraqi soccer team. So I found my way to his blog and made some comments of my own. Again, hostile waters haven’t really been particularly hostile. Cachorrito’s responses have been polite and friendly, even while we disagree on a lot of what we’ve been discussing.

Another blogger with the handle Donkey2004 invited me to his blog, and as the name implies, he’s a Democrat. I got involved in a debate in the comments section of one of his posts… and, again, was pleased to see that the debate didn’t get ugly. The blogging community seems to be a bit more civil than the old usenet debaters of bygone days. Remember the old newsgroup flame wars? Do you miss them? Me neither.

I think this kind of exchange of ideas is good for us all, and if you're of a mind to hear a bit of what the other side is saying, I encourage you to check out either of the blogs mentioned above. They're wrong (wink), but they still seem to be good guys.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

 

The Hornet's Nest

There's a vacant lot that adjoins my property. I don't own it, but I mow it because.... well, someone has to. August has been rather dry in this neck of the woods, so I've not had to mow that lot for almost three weeks. I mowed it today and, as it turns out, almost three weeks is just enough time for a nest of hornets to build up under one of the bushes that I have to mow under. I managed to make it out of there with only four stings... but I think the worst thing about the incident, worse even than the physical pain, was standing in my underwear in my basement, carefully sorting through my hastily removed clothing and looking for more bees.

I have to wonder if that's how the John Kerry feels right now.

In his finest novel, The Shining, Stephen King uses a hornet's nest as a symbol for the problems we stir up for ourselves with our own destructive behavior. I was thinking about that today, after the hornet incident, as I finished mowing. I have four swelling, painful bee stings, and the reason is that I managed to stir up a hornet's nest because of what I did (mowing under that particular bush) and what I didn't do (mowing frequently enough, dry weather or not, to keep the hornets from nesting).

John Kerry is in a hornet's nest of his own making right now. The veterans aren't going to let up on him, and I don't suppose they feel that they should. The other day I posted an entry saying that I hoped they would drop their campaign so we could focus on the real issues, but I don't think that's going to happen. On top of that, more and more people are questioning the links between Kerry's campaign and the anti-Bush 527 groups. His hypocrisy is becoming more and more transparent. His voting record in the Senate remains indefensible. In fact, he's not even trying to defend it, having decided nstead to focus on his long ago past. And his lies, especially recent ones, like how he found out about Martin Luther King's assassination, are revealing more about his true character. This is a man without substance... a politician in the worst sense of the word... who cares more about how he's perceived than he does about the well being of this country.

The stings keep coming. Kerry is in a hornet's nest of his own making.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

 

Playing the Pity Card

A few weeks ago I noted that John Kerry had attacked the president over those all-important seven minutes on September 11th. I insinuated that Michael Moore must be managing the Kerry campaign now. Well, I was wrong. After today’s stunt, it’s clear that Jerry Springer is managing the Kerry campaign.


Max Cleland in Crawford
Today, as if you didn’t know, John Kerry sent Vietnam vet Max Cleland (who lost both legs and one arm in the war) to Crawford, Texas. Cleland’s mission: to deliver to the president a letter asking that Bush denounce (now for a second time) the 527 ads that attack Kerry. The Bush camp authorized Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson to receive the letter on behalf of Bush and to give to Cleland a letter to Kerry; a letter critical of Kerry’s attempts to silence the veterans group that opposes his campaign. Cleland refused to give the letter to Patterson and refused to accept the letter that he was being asked to deliver in kind to Kerry. Cleland then spoke to the press and attacked the president in a speech that was probably written before the letter to Bush itself was.

What would Franklin Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson think of their party now? Speaking for myself (and I'm no Democrat), the disgust I feel is the kind that lingers with me for days. I’m disgusted that the Kerry campaign would result to this kind of desperate, transparent, ugly gimmick. I am disgusted that Kerry either dreamt this up himself or, at the very least, signed off on it. Unfortunately, this type of empty soap-opera display is exactly and only what we should expect from today’s Democratic party. Obviously, the Democratic party is still capable of turning out fine, honorable men who want the best for their country. Zel Miller, Joe Lieberman, and Evan Bayh come to mind. Why in the name of God are those men held in relative obscurity while their party offers us mandarin, hollow, artificial people like Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and John Kerry as their presidential candidates?

Reading about today's events, it's hard not to remember Bill Clinton's famously grand gestures and show-biz moments. Nobody knew how to milk the boob tube like Slick Willie. I can't help but think about Clinton's fake photo op at Normandy and the faked tears for Ron Brown and the smug way he congratulated himself while promoting his book, and I just bristle. I wouldn't be surprised if today's stunt in Crawford was actually invented by someone with ties to the Clinton White House.

It is important, not just for the country and the world, but for the Democratic party itself that John Kerry loses this election. It is important that the Democrats see that a continuation of Clinton-styled show-business politics aren’t going to get them back in the White House. I hope that, four years from now, the Democrats will have reversed the course they are on and will get back to actually caring about the country. We need a Democratic party with ideas formed in the here and now, based on reality as it is and not as they’d like it to be. We need Democratic candidates with NO INTEREST in catering to people who hate America... be they Arab, French, or simply idiot movie director's from Michigan. We need a Democratic party that isn’t ashamed to be unabashedly patriotic and that cares more about national interest than it cares about the way we’re perceived by the EU. We need a Democratic party that focuses it’s emotional anger on the people who actually CAUSED September 11th instead of directing that anger at everyone who doesn’t agree with them politically. In short, we need a Democratic party with something to contribute other than high taxes, hair gel, and haughty self perception.

WAKE UP, DEMOCRATS. You could be working toward this country’s well being instead of just stirring the shit and congratulating yourselves on how progressive you think you are. Accept the way the world is, now. The idea of the US as one more multicultural patch in a beautiful international quilt DID NOT WORK. There are people out there who hate us, ALL OF US, Democrats included. They’re happy to kill ANY American, and the fact that you have a “Pro-Choice” bumper sticker and roll your eyes at Fox News doesn’t make you any different in their eyes. TERRORISTS DO NOT CARE HOW PROGRESSIVE YOU ARE. We are fighting a war against ONE PEOPLE, they are fascists of the Islamic persuasion, and they are spread out over several countries. This is NOT a land war in Asia. This is a war that was brought to us. This is a war we have to win.

I'd like to believe, like many of you, that Saddam had nothing to do with Al Qaeda. By believing that, you allow yourself to perceive a smaller, more manageable enemy. The problem is, it's naive. A Few Democrats know that. Your man Richard Clark knew that. Hell, Slick Willie himself knew the connection was there. But you people hate Bush so much that you're willing to convince yourselves of anything to try to get him out of office.

The war is the main issue, and you have nothing to offer us in that area. There are other issues as well. We have an economy that is on the slow turn-around after the screeching halt of the internet boom. We have legitimate social issues here at home, like teen pregnancy, drug abuse, and teachers who don't teach. We also have serious abuses of many of the programs originally designed to treat those particular ills. We have race relations problems that are only getting worse and not better because of twenty years of unchecked, incendiary rhetoric from minority leaders who should know better. We are in NO POSITION to return to the grandiose, self-important, experimental Clinton years. Democrats, if you don’t have anything real to offer, given everything we now face, STOP TRYING TO DISTRACT THE RESTS OF US WITH SIDESHOWS LIKE MAX CLELAND’S TRIP TO TEXAS.

Now, if you'll excuse me, my head and my fingers hurt.


Tuesday, August 24, 2004

 

Swift Boat Ads Have Run Their Course

I’m going to say this as carefully as I can, because God knows I don’t want to disrespect any of the veterans associated with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. God knows they’ve earned the right to have their say and I am grateful to them for their service to their country. Nonetheless, I think that it’s time for the Swift Boat Vet’s to stop their ad campaign about John Kerry’s deceits and duplicities. The ads have served their purpose.

I agree with the vets; John Kerry is certainly unfit for command. However, I think that there is plenty of evidence to that end in Kerry’s senate record. His four months in Vietnam aren’t relevant beyond the fact that they are the only part of his public life that is (arguably) respectable. Kerry is campaigning on his war record because it’s all he has. He’s trying to distract us. By arguing with him, the Swift Boat Vets are playing into his hands.

I think there are two kinds of potential voters in the country right now, discounting undecideds. Those two types are people who want Bush to serve four more years and people who want ANYONE but Bush to be elected. Neither of these groups is really influenced in any way by Kerry’s war record.

Those of us who want to see Bush reelected don’t really need to be told what a fraud Kerry is. We know it based on his Senate record and his constant waffling. We know it based on his behavior after he came home from the war. We know that voting for Kerry because you believe him to be a war hero is akin to voting for Clinton because you believe him to be a devoted husband. It’s just laughable. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel qualified to say that Kerry didn’t earn his medals and ribbons as respectably as any other fighting man. But I do have the right to say that anyone who comes home and discards those medals, speaks out in an attempt to weaken the war effort, and then spends 20 years in the senate with no firm positions on anything is not presidential material. If Kerry was a genuine hero in the war, I respect him for that and I admire his bravery. In the senate, however, Kerry has been anything but a hero. And he’s fit to be anything but president.

As to the other people, the ones who want anyone but Bush, I don’t think they really care about Kerry’s war record, either. Kerry stood up at the DNC and presented himself as a Vietnam war hero and all his supporters heard him say was “I’m not Bush!” He could have proclaimed himself a hero in World War I … hell, he could have proclaimed himself a hero in the war against tooth decay and all his supporters would have heard was “Vote for me, I’m not Bush!” And that’s all they care to hear. The truth is, they don’t give any more of a rat’s hindquarters about Kerry’s war record than we do.

As far as the undecideds go, I think it’s up to the president now. I hope he knocks it out of the park at the convention and really focuses the attention of the country on the here and now. Vietnam was a painful time, but it exists only in our memory now. Even if it is seared – SEARED – in our minds. We have a war to win in the here and now. It’s a war against one enemy, being fought on many fronts, and it must not be lost. George W. Bush inherited an economic time bomb at home and a foreign policy time bomb abroad from his predecessor. Given time, hard work, and determination, those bombs will be defused and replaced with promise. This is a critical time for the nation. We must move forward, under the guidance of a president who’s earned our trust and respect. We must not be distracted by a candidate with so little to offer that he can only base his campaign on the one time in his life, 35 years ago, when he actually did behave honorably. And although the Swift Boat Vets have every right to take his duplicity personally, we must not be distracted for much longer by their justified indignation.

This is the last time I’ll write about John Kerry’s service in the Navy. I’m through working for free for his hollow campaign.

 

Reservoir Republicans

I love this image:



Mostly because it reminds me of this image:



How cool would it be to hear Condi give the Madonna speech? Or see Cheney act out the "bathroom story"?

The problem with a film like Reservoir Dogs is that there's only one first time you see it. As well as it holds up to subsequent viewing, it never again quite blows you away like the first time. And, by the way, if there's a better Mexican Stand-off scene in any movie, I've never seen it.

Anyway, back to my usual subjects...

Thank you, Mr. Minority, for pointing me towards a WONDERFUL op-ed piece by Jessie Jackson. Yes, that Jessie Jackson Jesse Peterson. I could have SWORN this editoral was credited to Jesse Jackson... I really dropped the ball on this one. Thanks for the heads up in the comments section. Regardless of my gaffe, it's a great editorial:

(Will) Smith's contempt for white Americans is ... shocking. Smith has white Americans to thank for his success. White Americans go to his films and buy his compact discs. And yet, Smith speaks of having "a constant feeling of unease." I am unsure what constant unease must be felt while driving a Bentley, starring in multimillion-dollar blockbuster films, and topping album charts. I could go for some of that unease.

Yesterday, the president insisted that the Swift Boat Vets, along with all other third party, soft money groups, should stop running their ads. Of course, the Vets refused to do so. And, of course, Bush's stance still wasn't good enough for the Kerry campaign:

"The moment of truth came and went and the President still couldn't bring himself to do the right thing," Senator Edwards said in a statement. "Instead of hiding behind a front group, George Bush needs to take responsibility and demand that the ad come off the air."

If Kerry wants to silence the Swift Boat Vets, he could do it himself by signing a 180 form and allowing full disclosure of his Navy records. Why won't he do that? I'm not asking rhetorically. What the hell is he hiding?

If you haven't yet, read Kerry's Soggy Tall Tale at Front Page Mag.

I think it's obvious why Kerry is trying to hang blame for the Swift Boat Vet ads on Bush. Bush has, up til now, been nothing but complementary of Kerry's military service record. Kerry, on the other hand, has been critical of the president's own service in the national guard. On April 26th, while being interviewed on Good Morning America about the way he disgraced his medals... or ribbons... or whatever he now claims he did, he hammered Bush again and again:

"This comes from a president and a Republican party that can't even answer whether or not he showed up for duty in the National Guard. I'm not going to stand for it."

"The Republicans are running $10 million this week to attack my credentials on defense. This comes from a president who can't even show or prove that he showed up for duty in the National Guard. . . ."

"George Bush has yet to explain to America whether or not, and tell the truth, about whether he showed up for duty. I'm not going to get attacked on something that I did, that is a matter of record, that the press saw, that I did in front of the entire nation, and everyone then understood."


Isn't it obvious what he's doing? Bush is entirely positive about Kerry's service in the Navy. Other's attack Kerry because of discrepancies with regard to his service. Kerry then blames Bush for those attacks, which retroactively justifies his past attacks on Bush's own service, and gives him all the excuse he'll need to attack Bush's service in the future! Could this be the slimiest Democrat ever? I think he just may be!

And on top of that, Kerry, who is campaigning on his war record, has the nerve to call for the Republicans to get back on message at their convention:

"The world will listen to what the Republicans say when they come here, but words, slogans and personal attacks cannot disguise what they have done and left undone," Kerry said in remarks prepared for delivery Tuesday. "I will be a champion for the middle class and those struggling to join it. This administration has weakened our middle class."

The hypocrisy is suffocating.

Monday, August 23, 2004

 

Clues: Some Have 'em, Some Don't


Alicia Silverstone
People for the Ethical Treatment of Appetizers Animals should be very happy with Alicia Silverstone. Remember her? She was an actress who had a career ten or so years ago. Made a movie called Clueless. Nowadays she’s promoting Peaceable Kingdom, a farm-animal rights documentary that she describes as "'Fahrenheit 9/11' meets 'Babe.'" She’s also weighing in on the 2004 presidential election. Fellow bloggers, we might as well hang it up. With eloquent and concise commentary like this out there, who needs us?

Q: Who's more animal-friendly, Bush or Kerry?

A: Definitely Kerry. I don't know actually. I don't know how Kerry feels about animals. I know the destruction of the environment continues to go on in this country. And the last four years there's been more.

Q: You gave up meat six years ago; do you feel any difference?

A: …It's a kind of goodness I feel. It's so contagious…What I had before was (choices of) chicken, fish or beef. Now it's like, which grain should I use? Which bean? I have 8 million choices now.

I learned how to really taste food. I'm like a total food snob now. If I was not doing what I do, I would be a food columnist.


I, for one, hope she becomes a columnist. The world shouldn’t be deprived of her ability to, like, definitely put sentences together. The very idea makes me feel a kind of goodness.

Other browsing finds...

Geoff Metcalf examines the effect the Swift Boat Vets are having on the Kerry campaign:

One poll found that more than half the voters questioned had seen or heard of an ad by Swift Boat Veterans For Truth that accuses Kerry of lying about events that earned him five medals in Vietnam a generation ago. The University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey also found that 44 percent of self-described independent voters found the ad very or somewhat believable.

Joanne Ostrow looks at the positive side of those negative ads:

Before we lament the nastiness quotient, consider. Maybe this is not a bad way to go.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a TV interview: "A lot of attack is ... legitimate and important discourse. ... Pundits and the press and academics say, 'Oh they're going negative,' when in fact what individuals are doing is making legitimate, fair attacks that are accurate and relevant to governance.


CK Rairden brought a smile to my face with comparisons between Apocalypse Now Redux and John Kerry’s Vietnam Redux:

“I asked for a mission… and for my sins, they gave me one. And when it was over, I'd never want another.” It was like Déjà vu all over again. In fact if John Kerry had the Democratic National convention to do all over again, he may have wanted to lead with that classic Martin Sheen line instead of his now troublesome “reporting for duty” mantra.

Lastly, my living hero, Bob Dole, finally spoke out about Kerry the... ahem... war hero:

"One day [Kerry]'s saying that we were shooting civilians, cutting off their ears, cutting off their heads, throwing away his medals or his ribbons," Dole exclaimed on CNN, referring to the militant anti-war protests Kerry participated in after returning from Vietnam.

"The next day he's standing there, 'I want to be president because I'm a Vietnam veteran,'" Dole stated.

Dole said Kerry needs to make up his mind about whether he was proud of his service in Vietnam or if he loathed it.


And don't forget, there's a new best of issue up at Homespun Bloggers.

___________________

WOW. How could I have forgotten to mention this? Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, has managed to dream up a bizarro version of John Kerry that, were he real, I'd be proud to vote for. Read this, liberals, and lament what could have been. Kerry talked about taking the high road. Glenn shows him how he might have done it.


Saturday, August 21, 2004

 

Olympic Politics

Isn’t democracy a wonderful thing?

Members of the Iraqi Olympic soccer team branded US President George Bush a “criminal” and called for American troops to pull out of the war-torn country.

Speaking after winning their group stage at the Games in Greece, one player said he would take up arms against US troops in his country.

The team was glad that Iraq’s former Olympic committee head Uday Hussein, who was responsible for the serial torture of Iraqi athletes, was no longer in power. He was killed in a firefight with US forces after the invasion.


I suppose it goes without saying that they’re glad to be rid of Uday. They wouldn’t be enjoying this kind of freedom of speech if Uday were around… and they’d be on their way home to steel masks and torture if they didn’t perform up to his standards.

President Bush’s campaign still manages to find something positive in the Iraqi participation in the Olympics… and, of course, he’s catching hell for it:

President Bush's re-election campaign will continue to run a television ad that mentions the Olympics by name, despite objections from the U.S. Olympic Committee, a spokesman said Friday.

"We are on firm legal ground to mention the Olympics and make a factual point in a political advertisement," said Scott Stanzel.

The ad shows a swimmer and the flags of Iraq and Afghanistan.

"In 1972, there were 40 democracies in the world. Today, 120," an announcer says. "Freedom is spreading throughout the world like a sunrise. And this Olympics there will be two more free nations. And two fewer terrorist regimes."


Now, I admit, I’m biased. I think Bush’s ad mentioning the Olympics qualifies as taking the high road and running on a positive message, much like Reagan did, and just like Kerry urged both parties to do at the DNC. Of course, Bush can do nothing right.

Sigh.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

 

Old Joke, Worth Retelling

I’m not saying I endorse this joke, mind you. I’m just saying it made me laugh when I heard it at work the other night…

There was a competition between the CIA, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Los Angeles police department to see which one was the more elite unit. It was decided that the issue would be decided by way of a contest.

A single white bunny rabbit was released into the forest. All three agencies were sent into the woods to retrieve it. The agency that returned with the rabbit would be the winner.

A week after going into the woods, the CIA emerged empty handed and filed a report officially denying the existence of the rabbit.

Two weeks later, there was a major fire in the woods. The ATF emerged from the flames claiming that the rabbit had started the fire himself and had unfortunately burned to death in the blaze.

Three days after that, the Los Angeles Police Department came out of the woods, dragging a grizzly bear. The bear was badly beaten, bruised, and bloody… and it was screaming “I’m a little white bunny rabbit! Oh, dear God I SWEAR I’m a little white bunny rabbit!”

_______

By the way, thanks to everyone who's made my evolution at TTLB possible. Today I went from "Slithering Reptile" to "Flappy Bird!" That ranks me equal to former MTV VeeJay Adam Curry! I feel so upper-crust! I wonder if he could get Julie Brown's autograph for me.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

 

Wind Power Isn't For The Birds

There’s just no pleasing some people.

MONTEREY, Va. -- Plans for a large commercial wind farm are drawing complaints from some residents who say towering windmills will mar stunning vistas that gave Highland County the nickname "Virginia's Switzerland."

(County Board of Supervisors) Chairman Robin Sullenberger said the supervisors will have to balance the potential revenues the farm could bring to the cash-strapped locality against the impact on the magnificent vistas that attracts visitors.

Environmentalists have voiced concerns about the windmills' potential danger to flying wildlife. Other opponents simply don't like the idea of them dotting the landscape.

Patty Reum said the windmills would tower over the vistas from Bear Mountain Farm and Wilderness Retreat, a tourism and education business she runs with husband, Tom Brody.

"This is not the place to do it," Reum said. "We're just not industrial out here."



At what point do the concerns of environmentalists cross the line from legitimate to… well, kooky? I’d suggest that making the argument that “We’re just not industrial out here” is a bit kooky. If you have electricity, running water, and a computer, you’re industrial. Patty Reum and Tom Brody have all these things. I know because I found some of their activity on the internet:

At 09:57 PM last October 26th, Bear Mountain Farm and Wilderness Retreat posted the following at Freelists.com:

We are looking for assistance and support for opposition to the planned "wind farm" on Allegheny Mountain in Highland County. Developers have plans to construct over 30 units- 400'+ wind towers and generators with strobe lights and rotor lights and substations along ridges that include Bear Mountain along Co, Rd. 601. Many birders and outdoor enthusiasts are familiar with this road along the VA/WV border. Views from this road extend to the north past Spruce Knob, WV and to the south and east past Shenandoah Mtn, and beyond. Our farm sits at 4400' in elevation in direct view of the proposed project. We are currently a site on the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail and our business offers an educational venue for the outdoor enthusiast in a remote and unspoiled setting as well as the opportunity to experience the unique mountain ecology, flora and fauna of this region of the Allegheny Front above 4000'.

I admit, Bear Mountain Farm sounds nice. I'd like to visit sometime. But developing industry in a cash-strapped locality sounds better to me. I’m sure Bear Mountain Farms attracts some business to Monterey… but not enough to keep the area from being “cash strapped,” it would seem.

So, how serious are the environmental concerns about the Wind Farm? I looked into that, too, and didn’t find much. I DID find more internet activity involving Patti and Tom, and someone named Nathan Dias, who posted the following at virtualbirder.com:

As a former San Francisco Bay area resident, I can attest to how improperly placed wind power projects (like Altamont Pass) can kill hundreds of migrating Raptors each year… I shudder to think how many birds would be killed by TWENTY 400-foot wind turbines on Allegheny Mountain!

Good God! Is this really a case of giant bird blenders, potentially spraying the Virginia country side with avian entrails? I looked into that, too. At the Renewable Energy Policy Project website, I learned the following:

Concerns arose when studies in the early 1990’s documented the death of raptors from collisions with wind turbines in Altamont Pass, California. It was discovered that these turbines had been sited in the middle of prime raptor habitat. Extensive studies performed subsequently at sites around the US measured only one or two bird deaths per turbine per year.

Well, that’s not so bad, is it? Especially if the birds can see the turbines and avoid them. Right? The main problem with birds flying into turbines is that they can’t see them. Make the turbines highly visible and that takes care of that. No more birds boinking into giant windmills and falling to the ground after holding up comical cartoon signs that say OUCH! Problem solved. Right? Not so fast, bucko. Making the turbines visible is a problem, too, according to Patti and Tom.

This is an area of unspoiled scenic vistas, no light pollution, which is unique on the East Coast.

I wasn’t really familiar with the concept of light pollution, so I looked into it. Turns out that, in this case, it’s just a matter of aesthetics. Light Pollution (to the degree that light can be called "pollution") causes a problem for astronomers... but for the average person, it’s just a matter of whether or not they find it displeasing. So I wondered if maybe Tom and Patti were astronomers. They’re not:

Tom Brody and Patti Reum are your hosts at the Bear Mountain Farm, located in one of the most beautiful areas in the east. Both of them are biologists, naturalists, science teachers, gardeners, builders and musicians.

Oh, okay. I gotcha:

That's right, they're hippies.

Look, I wish Tom and Patti the best, I really do. But I think this comes down to a case of the NIMBYs and I think they’re jumping the gun. Plus, I think their priorities are out of order. The economic needs of the area are more important than the needs of their Bed and Breakfast. Besides, it’s possible that the wind farm might prove to be a tourist draw. Let’s hope for the best. And let’s hope that the wind farm gets a go from the County Board of Supervisors. In the south, we can’t afford to balk at opportunity simply because “we’re not industrial out here.”

Friday, August 13, 2004

 

Michael Moore is a Fat Liar



Just a bit ago I posted an entry saying that I'd not have time for any of my usual tirades... but that turns out not to be the case. I do have time for one little rant, inspired by my favorite subject, that idiot Michael Moore.

According to what he said while discussing his favorite books at Oprah's website, Mike's weight problem isn't his fault. It's the result of economic struggles earlier in his life:

"I grew up in a Midwestern industrial city: Flint, Michigan. If you were to fly there today, get off the plane, and walk out of the airport, you would say to me, "Mike, you're one of the skinniest people here." I wasn't an overweight kid, but in the mid to late 1980s I was collecting unemployment, about $99 a week. When you are on such a low income, you end up eating foods that are cheap, fast and starchy because they fill you up. I put on the bulk of my weight during that time, and it didn't come off."

That's right, Mike... cheap, fast, starchy food is filling... and if you eat it by the metric ton and refuse to exercise, it's filling enough to turn you into a huge, fat lying bastard!

Alright, what I said in the previous paragraph was mean and spiteful, I admit that. And I'm just getting warmed up.

Classic liberal thought: Moore blames his weight problem on having been unemployed, not on his own actions. He readily absolves himself of accountability and shifts blame to that Regan era phantom villain, unemployment. It was supply-side economics that made Mike fat, not the Doritos he was shoveling into his gorge with both fists. And even if it was the Doritos, it damn sure wasn't a result of Mike's personal decision to buy them and eat them! He was poor, after all! He couldn't afford luxuries like lettuce and canned tuna!

The subtext is palpable. Michael Moore blames Ronald Reagan for making him fat.

And besides all that, there's another Michael Moore flat-out lie here. It's a trivial lie by his standards, but a lie nonetheless:

"In the mid to late 1980s I was collecting unemployment ... I put on the bulk of my weight during that time."

OK, Mike bulked up in the mid to late 80's, right? Let's examine that claim briefly. Here's Michael Moore on the poster for Roger & Me, which was released in 1989:

Thinner Mike

He's not rail thin by any means... nobody is going to mistake him for Kate Moss... but he's no whale, either.

Now, let's look at a picture of him from the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year...

Fatter Mike

Obviously, in the late 80's, Moore was a shadow of the huge, bloated behemoth he's become since he became wealthy. Michael Moore probably really did put on most of his weight by eating cheap, starchy food... but it was a wealthy film maker who ate the junk, not an unemployed guy in Michigan.

None of this should surprise me. Moore's movies and books are collections of lies and dillusions. I guess he defines himself personally with the same tainted logic that shapes his world view.

Look, my own weight has gone up and down my whole adult life. When I'm lazy and eat junk food I get fat, and when I exercise regularly and eat well, I get thinner and healthier. Nobody gets the blame or the credit but me. I struggled to support myself and my family while working a cruddy service job during the late 90's and at that time I was the skinniest I've been in my adult life. Nowadays I have a secure job that pays well and my weight is up. I've gotten fat. And the reason I've gotten fat is because I've made bad decisions. If I can take the credit and blame for my own actions, why can't a rich dude like Michael Moore do the same thing?

Michael Moore is a fat liar, and that's the straight skinny.
_________

Oh, yeah...

I got so worked up above that I forgot to mention the first and most obvious lie in Mike's argument about his weight. Michael Moore did not grow up in Flint, Michigan. He grew up in the wealthier, non-industrial suburb of Davidson. Besides, while I can't disprove his claim that he'd be perceived as one of the skinniest people in Flint, it's obvious BS. If the people in Flint have been pounding back so many cheese fries and Slurpies that a man Mike's size is skinny in comparison, then THAT is the story of the year. Not Iraq. If Flint has gotten that fat, Mike needs to do his next movie about THAT subject. Call it Fahrenheit 7-11 .

The image links above weren't working, so I put the pictures on my own server space and changed the layout of the post. Each of the images above is a link to something relevant... Thinner Mike takes you to the IMdB's Roger & Me page. Fatter Mike takes you to the MSNBC article where I found the image.


Thursday, August 12, 2004

 

Light Blogging, Heavy Canning

Click here to read about home canning.
It’s vegetable canning season. For the first time in a couple of months, every inch of counter space in our house is not lined with tomatoes, peppers, etc. Instead, gradually, the counter tops are getting lined with hot mason jars filled with homegrown veggies, each one announcing it’s successful seal with that distinctive popping sound. If you’ve never grown and canned your own vegetables, you’re missing out on one of life’s great joys.

My point is, my light blogging over the past several days is due to having my hands full… and it’s likely to continue through the late summer. I did want to take a minute to post a few links, though. I still have time to read a bit and obsess over the presidential race, the war, and the news in general… even if I don’t have time to sit down and type up my tirades about it all right now.

Employment in America: Just how many jobs are there in the US right now, really? Can we know for sure? Is the payroll surveying system reliable? The Heritage Foundation has some ideas and information.

Swift Boats, Kerry, and Bush: Here’s a fairly unique point of view… an anti-Kerry, anti-Bush, anti-Swift-Boat-Vets-For-Truth republican. I suppose William McTavish is actually in favor of something, but I’m not sure what.

Sacrifice and Service: Jeff Bergner has more interesting things to say about the Moore/O'Reilly debate than either of them actually said during the debacle...uh, I mean, the debate.

Cuddle Parties: I heard Neil Boortz talking about this the other day:

“At the outset, participants form a circle where they establish their personal boundaries - "I won't touch you anywhere adult, if you don't touch me anywhere adult" - and then the cuddling begins, with little interference by the host, who plays New Age tunes from his laptop.”

If there’s one phrase I hope to never utter to another human being as long as I live, it has to be “Let’s touch each other in a non-adult way while we listen to that new age music coming out of that guy’s laptop computer.”

Rick James: Did the GOP have him taken out to keep him from endorsing Kerry? Well, of course they did. And, in doing so, they caused us all to miss the chance to see Teresa dancing to Super Freak at Kerry’s inaugural party. Oh, how I hate that Dick Cheney!

Finally, we re-watched the movie Three Kings on DVD the other night. Ten bucks at Best Buy, and well worth every penny. I remember enjoying the film when it was new, mostly for it’s cinematography and action sequences… but the movie is downright resonant in a post-Saddam world. If you haven’t seen it, rent it or pick it up on DVD. It’s the story of some Desert Storm soldiers who turn down a chance to abscond with some of Saddam’s ill gotten gold, and, instead, help some Iraqi refugees escape the dictator. I’m sure that liberal Hollywood didn’t intend to make a film that, in retrospect, is now very sympathetic to the American cause in Iraq… but that’s how Three Kings plays now, and it’s enjoyable on many levels.

Oh, yeah... if you’ll excuse a totally irrelevant aside… I have to say that the more I hear Nickleback, the more I realize I was far too hard on Creed.

Friday, August 06, 2004

 

And Then, There's This...

Thanks (thanks??!) to my pal Derek at Weapons of Mass Distraction for leading me to this, Courtesy of Someone Named Fathiepoo.

I'd just gotten that damned tune out of my head a couple of years ago, too.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

 

Still Running On Empty

In yesterday’s New York Daily News, Zev Chafets wrote the following:

It is possible that no Democrat could beat Bush this year….despite the polls, I don't think this election will be close, and this time the Democratic establishment won't be able to blame the Supreme Court…. John Kerry is not a bad man. He probably wouldn't make a bad President. But he is a bad candidate in a terrible situation. He represents the wing of the Democratic Party that is imbued with a sense of its own moral, intellectual, cultural and social superiority. In short, he is the standard bearer for the unbearable….

My friend in Kansas predicts a big Bush win, too. In fact, he predicts that Kerry will only carry the District of Columbia, with the rest of the nation going to Bush. I like the sound of that, but I’m not as optimistic. I think Kerry will sweep some of New England. I think he’ll also get New York and California. I think Californians will vote for him for the same reasons they elected Arnold: One, Californians like to “throw the bum out.” Two, Californians like the glamorous candidate. I think Bush will carry Florida, though. A lot of liberals seem to think that only other liberals were energized by the debacle of the 2000 presidential election. That’s not the case. I think Florida conservatives will vote for Bush in droves.

Some of this I’m right about, some of it I’m wrong about, and we’ll find out on election day.

Although I’m not ready to predict a Bush sweep in November, I do expect a decisive win, and I agree with Chafets that the far-left elitists in the Democratic party are grooming their boy for disaster. For one thing, he’s made a list of promises that is absurd. And, the more I watch the campaign, the more I become convinced that the elites really believe that those promise are valid and will be kept. They seem to really believe that getting rid of Dubya is the answer to all their prayers, and that if Kerry is elected, the world will turn into a magic land of sunshine for minorities, women, peaceniks, hippies, artists and ketchup heiresses everywhere. As Penn and Teller might say, bu!!s#it.

From CNN:

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Thursday he would have handled news of the al Qaeda attacks on New York and the Pentagon differently than did President Bush.

Bush was told of the suicide hijackings while he was in a Florida school classroom.

"Had I been reading to children and had my top aide whispered in my ear, 'America is under attack,' I would have told those kids very politely and nicely that the president of the United States had something that he needed to attend to -- and I would have attended to it," Kerry told the Unity conference of minority journalists in response to a question about what he would done.”


Who’s handling the Kerry campaign now, Michael Moore? From what I’ve heard, the seven minutes Bush spent reading to those children was a major point of Moore’s anti-Bush movie. I think that’s why Kerry responded the way he did. And I think that if Kerry had anything real to offer the voters, he’d have answered the question differently. He’d have said something like ”Look, quibbling about how the President spent seven minutes of the worst day in national history is splitting hairs. I’m not going to dignify that kind of partisan distraction. I’m campaigning on real issues and I have real ideas.”

Of course, Kerry doesn’t have real ideas. That’s why the elites handling his campaign are ready to split hairs. They think that the box office take of Moore’s film translates into movie goers who are ready to vote their way. I think they’re wrong.

From MSNBC:

In Washington, Kerry spoke to minority journalists at their quadrennial Unity convention. He was "warmly accepted throughout his speech and he drew big applause with his comments about the lack of minority journalists and ownership of television stations and newspapers," MSNBC.com's Darrell Bowling reported. "He says when he's president he would make sure to bring in an FCC chairman who would fight to increase minority ownership of broadcast outlets."

Who at the Kerry campaign thinks this is going to play in the heartland? Do they think that NASCAR dads (full disclosure: I am one) and the other people who work 40 hour weeks in the fly-over states really care about the owners of broadcast outlets? For starters, we see most of them as liberal. Secondly, any idiot can put two and two together and equate “media owner” with “wealthy liberal.” Most of us in the heartland hear a remark like that as Kerry promising to make more opportunities for minorities to become wealthy liberals like he is.

Besides, if you mention the FCC to most Americans these days, they’ll probably be more curious about what the Commission has done about Janet Jackson’s nipple than what it’s done for elite journalists, minority or otherwise.

The Kerry campaign is digging it’s own hole, folks. I don’t know how deep it’s going to end up being, but it seems pretty clear that it’s going to be just deep enough.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

 

Michael Moore Links



Here are some items I've written about the evil
that is Michael Moore:



It's All In The Editing

Oh, Dear Sweet Jesus!

Michael Moore Hates Everything

Moore's Strange Concession

Thanks, Mike!

The Sage Advice of Michael Moore

Michael Moore is a Fat Liar

My Fahrenheit Experience

Mike's Big Weekend

Bowling for Complicity


Here are some important links to other websites where Moore
is exposed for the evil troll that he is:


59 Deceits in F911:
If you've seen the movie and believed a single word of it, you MUST read this information. You have been duped.

Bowling for Truth

Moore Lies

Moore Watch

Michael Moore Hates America

Moore Exposed


Monday, August 02, 2004

 

Amused To Death

Just doing a little blog browsing...


Amused To Death
Bill's Big Bloviating Blog takes issue with Roger Waters (late of Pink Floyd) and his politics. I agree with Bill on the issue, but I guess I'm a rock-star sympathizer. I just don't expect these guys to really know what the hell they're talking (singing) about. It comes with the turf. Waters' album Amused To Death is one of my favorites of the past decade... and, politically, the album is somewhere to the left of Jerry Brown.

Arthur Chrenkoff is probably the MVP of blogspot. His latest round-up of good news from Iraq provides perspective you won't get anywhere else. Watch the news, read the papers... but then check out Chrenkoff for the whole picture.

And MuD & PHuD has good news for America, as well.

Weapon of Mass Distraction found some interesting info from Matt Drudge. Do Republicans want to do away with the IRS? I'm not entirely libertarian, but I am open to considering the idea.

Let me go ahead and come out of the closet on this issue, too: Yeah, I'm one of those nutcase right-to-lifers. No, I don't stand on the street screaming at people as they go into Planned Parenthood, and yes, I can conceive of hypothetical instances where abortion makes sense... nonetheless, abortion as birth control strikes me as inherently evil. I do believe strongly in the right to choose, though. If you aren't at a point in your life where you could provide for a baby if one is conceived, exercise your right to choose not to have sex. Anyway, this item at Say Anything really fired me up. No, I'm not ready to bomb a clinic, but as a parent and a human being, I am pissed off.

Is Michael Moore a Republican mole? The Therapy Sessions has an interesting argument. Not saying I buy it, mind you... but I did stroke my chin and frown and raise my eyebrows while reading it. That's gotta count for something.

I found some good reading for us P.J. fans at The Commons.

And there's a new "Best Of" edition out at Homespun as well.


Sunday, August 01, 2004

 

Running On Empty



Leaving the DNC with a full head of steam, the Kerry-Edwards campaign is crossing the nation, making every effort to promise their way into the White House. For those of us who’ve wondered exactly what it is that Kerry has to offer the nation, we now have an answer. He has promises to offer. And lots of them. Kerry has more promises than Carter has liver pills.

Kerry closed the convention by promising a stronger defense, more international respect, lower taxes for working Americans, a better economy, the destruction of Al Qaeda, a bright future, fewer missing pregnant mothers, more staring roles for Parker Posey, and that he personally would put a chocolate mint on the pillow of every American every night of his presidency. OK, I made up the part about Parker Posey. But if we’re gonna shoot for the moon, why hold back? Besides, I love Parker Posey.

Like all campaign promises, Kerry’s were designed to sound good and mean nothing. The problem is, like in everything else, Kerry doesn’t know what he’s doing in the empty promises department, either. By over-extending his reach to the point of satire, Kerry made so many promises that they don’t even sound good. They sound transparently empty. Even academic economists and the Boston Herald don’t buy it:

“Kerry's suggestions that he will seek to close corporate tax loopholes and end corporate welfare are political pandering with little chance of success. More troubling is Kerry's pronouncement that he will not privatize or cut Social Security benefits for retirees - without detailing how to pay for the explosion of costs associated with retiring baby boomers.”

So what does Kerry really have to offer? How about better rhetoric? Make no mistake, on this Kerry is clear. As he told a job-hungry crowd in Pennsylvania, John Kerry’s metaphors are better than George W. Bush’s metaphors. He just isn't impressed with Bush's talk of having "turned a corner."

"Let me tell you something, folks: The last time we had a president who talked about turning a corner, and ran on the slogan of turning the corner, was Herbert Hoover, and he ran on the prospect that 'prosperity is just around the corner.' I don't want to run talking about turning the corner, I'm running to climb the mountain and get to the top. And that's what I'm going to do."

I guess that makes it obvious why the Democrats are more unified than ever before. After all, theirs is a candidate who’s been there and done that:

"Kerry is not your typical Democrat challenger," said his foreign policy advisor Susan Rice. "He is a decorated, battle-hardened veteran. He understands war."

Yep, and he’s still battle-weary after all these years. After all, John Kerry spent more than three months in Vietnam. Almost four whole months, man! He lived it and breathed it for damn near half of one whole tour of duty. Yet, somehow, he emerged from all of that with his ability to speak in metaphors still in tact. And he suffered, too. As Democrats go, he’s practically John-Friggin’-McCain! He suffered three wounds, none of which required hospitalization, and then came home to continue the fight. Of course, when he got home, he was fighting against the soldiers he left behind, but that’s not the point. He’s a fighter. That’s the point. And he’s rested, ready, and raring to go. It’s August, the election is three months away. John Kerry has thousands of miles to cross, millions of hearts to reach, and God knows how many promises to make.

_________________

(Don't Miss Words make the Party by Ken Hughes.)

(By the way, the movie-intensive posts of the last few days were the result of a weekend Wendy and I had without the kids. Being movie geeks, we saw a bunch of movies and I felt compelled to write about them. It's out of my system now. I promise to return to irresponsible liberal baiting.)

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