Thursday, February 28, 2008

 

McCain vs. Obama re: Iraq and al Queda, Part 2



I made this clip partly as an opportunity to learn the video editing software that comes built into Vista ... and I have to say, it ain't all that.

I also made this clip partly because I feel strongly about this. This is just a five minute video version of the post directly below, including news clips and evidence that I believe supports my point of view:


Update: Read more here.

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McCain vs. Obama re: Iraq and al Queda



I've started keeping an eye on Barrack Obama now that I've actually done some research and realize that I strongly disagree with him on a number of issues.

Yesterday, John McCain poked at Obama a bit, referencing Obama's insistence that we should be fighting al Queda instead of fighting a war in Iraq. McCain said
"I have news for Senator Obama. Al Qaeda is in Iraq. And that's why we're fighting in Iraq, and that's why we're succeeding in Iraq."

Obama responded ... but I don't think his response was particularly strong:
"I have some news for John McCain. And that is that there was no such thing as al-Qaida in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq..."

Of course a line like that is going to draw huge applause from a Democratic audience, and it did. But the argument is debatable at best. In fact, from what I've read, what Obama implies with his argument is simply untrue. I'll concede that the specific entity known as al Queda in Iraq didn't exist prior to the war ... but there is ample evidence that Saddam and al Queda shared goals and worked together. Click here and hereto read a more thorough examination of Saddam's regime and it's connections to al Queda.

Iraq's first post-Saddam Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, certainly disagrees with Obama:
"I believe very strongly that Saddam had relations with al-Qaida. And these relations started in Sudan. We know Saddam had relationships with a lot of terrorists and international terrorism. Now, whether he is directly connected to the September — atrocities or not, I can’t — vouch for this. But definitely I know he has connections with extremism and terrorists."

Obama continued:
"I've got news for John McCain. He took us into a war along with George Bush that should never have been authorized and never should have been waged."

I just have to sigh when Obama says this kind of thing. As I've posted before, Obama admits that he held the same beliefs about Iraq as practically everyone else in the world prior to the invasion. Obama wrote:
"Like most analysts, I assumed that Saddam had chemical and biological weapons and coveted nuclear arms... I believed that he had repeatedly flouted UN resolutions and weapons inspectors and that such behavior had to have consequences."

To believe that Saddam posed that kind of threat and still oppose the war is simply irresponsible.

Obama has been generating a lot of fawning applause with his liberal base as he stumps for the Democratic nomination. But his positions are often reckless and sometimes simply indefensible. He hasn't had to defend those positions in debate yet because Hillary Clinton holds essentially the same positions. He won't have it that easy when he debates John McCain. If McCain comes to those debates prepared, he should win them easily.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

 

Rest In Peace, William F. Buckley



This is from the piece that Joseph Lieberman wrote at National Review Online regarding the death today of William F. Buckley:

I think it most fitting to end with a quote from President Reagan on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of National Review in 1985. Reagan said that when he picked up his first issue of National Review, he received it in a plain brown wrapper. Later on, he still anxiously awaited his biweekly edition, but no longer in a plain brown wrapper. But this is what Reagan said of Buckley: "You didn't just part the Red Sea. You rolled it back, dried it up and left exposed, for all the world to see, the naked desert that is statism. And then, as if that were not enough, you gave the world something different, something, in its weariness, it desperately needed — the sound of laughter and the sight of the rich, green uplands of freedom."

I've only been reading National Review for five years or so. In that five year period, Buckley's magazine has raised my standards as a reader. Turn to practically any page of any issue of the National Review and you'll find ideas that are worth considering and writing that's worth reading. The National Review is concise, clear, thoughtful, sometimes profound, and frequently funny. It has been the barometer of conservative thought in America since 1955. I don't know of a better publication.

National Review was Buckley's baby. Over the last few years, and particularly since the death of his wife last April, Buckley wrote less and less frequently for the magazine. He died today at the age of 82. I'm sure that his distinctive voice will always have a presence in the style and thought of those he influenced, in the pages of National Review and elsewhere.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

 

When Clintonites Attack




Jose Ortiz is a Hillary Clinton supporter from Montgomery County, Pennyslvania. Sean Shurelds, Ortiz's brother-in-law, supports Barack Obama. Thursday night the two men began arguing politics in the townhouse they share. The argument ended with Ortiz stabbing Shurelds in the stomach, then hiding the evidence:
When police arrived, they found Shurelds, the Obama supporter, bleeding heavily. Ortiz, the Clinton backer, was all wet because authorities say he had washed the bloody knife and put in the dishwasher. Shurelds was airlifted to Hahnemann Hospital in critical condition. Ortiz is charged with aggravated and simple assault and reckless endangerment.

Man, I hate to see Hillary's backers resorting to the same kind of tactics that Hillary herself uses.

Oh, well. Coulda been worse. Just ask Vince Foster's widow.

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Links



Just a bunch of stuff that caught my eye:



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Monday, February 25, 2008

 

Springsteen and Oscars and Vista, Oh My



I intended to do an Oscars post today, even though I'm generally ambivalent about that whole dog-and-pony show. I thought I'd write something this year, though, because I actually saw a number of the nominated films this year ... and because I thought that the big Oscar-sweeping movie this year really was the best movie I saw in 2007.

But it ain't gonna happen (the post I'd planned) and I'll tell you why:

For one thing, I decided for some reason or another to sit here tonight at the computer and listen to Bruce Springsteen ... and it seems that the Springsteen songs that I enjoy most (like this one and this one, by far my two favorites) all come off like suicide notes if you actually pay attention to the lyrics ... which I don't recommend because it'll really throw a wet blanket on your good friggin' mood.

And for another thing, we bit the bullet and got a new computer and it runs Windows Vista, which is clearly an operating system that was created by crack-addicted, satan-worshiping monkeys. Rather than write a whole blog post about how much I hate Vista, I'll just cut and paste from the haphazard e-mail I sent to the Governor and Jamie earlier today:
I just want to say, totally off topic, that WINDOWS VISTA SUCKS. That calls for all caps, too. We got a new PC yesterday and I've spent the past twenty four hours trying to use Windows Vista and it is the worst OS I've ever used. Windows ME was better. This damn thing locks up every couple of minutes. This compuer came with three gigs of memory and it's like I'm trying to run Doom 3 on an old 32 mghz system. Plus, for some damn reason, It will only allow file names that are fewer than a certain number of characters. This TOTALLY f--ks up my MP3 file naming system. I really despise Vista after one day of use and I'm thinking about going to get a copy of XP and installing it on this thing. This PC has three gighz of memory and a 320 gig hard drive, it would absolutely HUM with XP. Vista seems to be far more trouble than all it's pretty little bells and whistles are worth.

Thank you, Bruce and Bill Gates, for screwing up my evening. Clearly I'm the victim of some sort of Redmond-via-Asbury Park conspiracy.

So I guess what I'm trying to say, as I do this time every year, is screw the Oscars.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

 

Pet Perks



I'm home, sick, from work today (really sick, not Oscar sick), and thinking about how attached we get to our pets and how much it sucks when they pass on.

The topic has been on my mind lately. The Unseen One and Rhodester both recently lost well-loved pets, and MCF recently had a close call.

Pets are important to many of the bloggers I read. Lorna has her cat and B13 and Cube and Otis have their dogs, and here at Darwen.us headquarters we're a two-dog house. We have our principal dog, Tilda ... and in the event that Tilda is for any reason unable to fulfill her canine duties, we have our relief dog, Chester.

Wendy would probably insist that I have the order backwards; that Chester is the principal dog. She'd be wrong for a number of reasons. For one thing, Tilda was here first. She has seniority. And besides, Tilda understands what the garbage truck is for.

Chester, on the other hand, has a terribly dysfunctional relationship with the garbage truck. He's figured out that every Thursday morning these guys in a big white truck come down the alley and ... gasp! ... STEAL OUR GARBAGE. He's bound and determined to put a stop to this weekly theft, so every Wednesday night when we take the trash out, Chester insists on sleeping outside, just inside the fence from the trash cans. Then every Thursday morning when the garbage truck comes, Chester goes into full scale terror alert mode, doing everything he can to get us to come outside and catch those garbage-stealing bastards in the act. And every Thursday morning after the truck is gone he comes back in the house and spends another day formulating a better plan for next week.

The other day I came home from work and showered, and then sat on the couch petting Tilda while Wendy used the PC beside me. Wendy asked me "Why do you love that dumb dog so much?"

"Well," I responded in my most self-pitying voice, "Tilda is the only body here who's ever happy to see me when I get home from work."

Wendy was indignant: "Oh, you KNOW that's not true! BOTH dogs are happy to see you when you get home!"

And she's right. So I have that going for me, which is nice.

Really, it is nice. And if you're not a pet-owner, you'd never understand. On the other hand, judging from the pet-lovers in my blogroll, I'd say I'm in pretty good company.



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Thursday, February 21, 2008

 

Obama, News, Etc



Clear Thinking About Obama



In Other News

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Monday, February 18, 2008

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom (Etc)



Hole. Lee. Crap.


I'm not a gun guy but ... Hole. Lee. Crap. I feel sorry for the bad guys.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

 

B-Ball Champs



Congratulations to the Dawson Ford Garby team, who've been named the best team of the season in the Lynchburg area's Timbrook Youth Basketball league.


The team finished with a league best 9-1 record, and featured a number of fine players, including the young man in the picture to the left. I happen to be that young man's dad, and I'm pretty darn proud of him.


My son had one particularly memorable game, scoring the basket that put the game into overtime and then scoring the game-winning shot while in overtime. Wow!

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Friday, February 15, 2008

 

Content Theft



I wonder if any of the other bloggers who read my site have ever had any trouble with content theft.

I've had trouble for some time now with bandwidth theft, hotlinking, and sometimes I check my server details and try to change code so that my hosted images aren't easily stolen.

But imagine my surprise when I followed this URL and saw that someone was not only hotlinking to my images, but actually stealing whole posts.

(I wrote that kitten-stomping bit as a farcical commentary about my tendency to be offensive two and a half years ago. This post and this one have been hijacked, too.)

Man. Man, oh man.

I gotta invest in some code that prevents hotlinking ... and maybe I should think about copyrighting, too.

By the way, with '08 a PotUS election year, it's probably not surprising that, as of now, my most commonly hotlinked image is this one:


I happen to think that's a pretty funny graphic, so I left it up with the original file name ... albeit with the URL tag you see above. If people are going to be sharing the "Hillary Clinton Is Batboy's Mom" image, I guess I deserve credit for it.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

 

Zebra



Rather than actually writing anything today, I'll just encourage you to check out The John Butler Trio and their super-catchy song, Zebra.


I'm still trying to figure out where and why and how my taste in music took a radical turn a few months ago and ended up in Hippyville. Oh, well. Jam on, brother. Jam on.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

 

Ted Koppel On The Ten Commandments



Ted Koppel gave an interesting commencement speech at Duke University some years ago, and someone sent me an excerpt from the speech today. Snopes verifies the authenticity of the following, and you can read the entire speech at MediaWatch. The speech is largely concerned with the Ten Commandments.

I'll bold the good stuff. In part, Koppel said:

Look at MTV or Good Morning America and watch the images and ideas flash past in a blur of impressionistic appetizers. No, there is not much room on TV for complexity. You can partake of our daily banquet without drawing on any intellectual resources; without either physical or moral discipline. We require nothing of you; only that you watch; or say that you were watching if Mr. Nielsen's representative should call. And gradually, it must be said, we are beginning to make our mark on the American psyche. We have actually convinced ourselves that slogans will save us. "Shoot up if you must; but use a clean needle." "Enjoy sex whenever with whomever you wish; but wear a condom."

No. The answer is no. Not no because it isn't cool or smart or because you might end up in jail or dying in an AIDS ward -- but no, because it's wrong. Because we have spent 5,000 years as a race of rational human being trying to drag ourselves out of the primeval slime by searching for truth and moral absolutes. In the place of Truth we have discovered facts; for moral absolutes we have substituted moral ambiguity. We now communicate with everyone and say absolutely nothing. We have reconstructed the Tower of Babel and it is a television antenna. A thousand voices producing a daily parody of democracy; in which everyone's opinion is afforded equal weight, regardless of substance or merit. Indeed, it can even be argued that opinions of real weight tend to sink with barely a trace of television's ocean banalities.

Our society finds Truth too strong a medicine to digest undiluted. In its purest form Truth is not a polite tap on the shoulder; it is a hallowing reproach.

What Moses brought down from Mt. Sinai were not the Ten Suggestions, they are Commandments. Are, not were.

The sheer brilliance of the Ten Commandments is that they codify, in a handful of words, acceptable human behavior. Not just for then or now but for all time. Language evolves, power shifts from nation to nation, messages are transmitted with the speed of light, man erases one frontier after another; and yet we and our behavior, and the Commandments which govern that behavior, remain the same. The tension between those Commandments and our baser instincts provide the grist for journalism's daily mill. What a huge, gaping void there would be in our informational flow and in our entertainment without routine violation of the Sixth Commandment. Thou shalt not murder.

There have always been imperfect role models; false gods of material success and shallow fame; but now their influence is magnified by television. I caution you, as one who performs daily on that flickering altar, to set your sights beyond what you can see. There is true majesty in the concept of an unseen power which can neither be measured nor weighed. There is harmony and inner peace to be found in following a moral compass that points in the same direction, regardless of fashion or trend.


It's a thought-provoking speech. I'd almost call it a sermon, and a good one. Read it all at Media Watch, at the bottom of the page.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

 

Vote For Whatever



Virginia's primary is Tuesday. I'm probably gonna vote, as soon as I figure out who I want to vote for … and why.

In Virginia, you don't have to register as a member of a political party. When primary time rolls around, you can vote in either the Democratic primary or the Republican primary, but not in both.

I can see pros and cons to a number of options.

I could opt to vote in the Democratic primary and vote for Hillary Clinton. She's plainly the weaker Democratic candidate, and would be easier for the GOP Candidate (read: John McCain) to beat in November. A vote for Hillary is, in a way, a vote for an easier November battle for McCain.

But what if I vote for Hillary in the primary and then she ends up in the White House? And I have to live with it on my conscious that I played a role in that? I don't know how I'd hold up under the guilt.

I could opt to vote in the Democratic primary and vote for Barack Obama. The big advantage of Obama winning the Democratic nomination is that his victory would surely be the political death of the Clintons. It would be such a relief to finally be rid of those people. Plus, I like the idea of helping to get Obama nominated. Even though I disagree with him on damn near everything, I can't help but like and respect the guy. He deserves to be his party's nominee because he's easily their strongest candidate.

But, then again, what if I vote for him and he ends up in the White House? As far as I can tell, I only agree with Obama on two things: He's opposed to the death penalty, and he believes that Americans (specifically, Christians) have a moral obligation to welcome decent, hardworking immigrants to this country. I agree with him on both counts. But I disagree with him on pretty much every other issue, including most of the hows, whens and whys of welcoming those immigrants. I like the guy, I really do … but I just can't bring myself to support his candidacy. He's just too far to the left for me.

I'll say this, though: If it comes down to McCain and Obama in November, either way we'll end up electing a president that I admire and trust. It's just that one of them has more bad ideas than the other.

Ah, McCain. I could vote in the Republican primary and cast my vote for John McCain … but why? He's already got the GOP nomination locked up, he doesn't need any help from me. Voting for him would be sending the message that I support him and that I'm more enthusiastic about his campaign than I really am. He's only marginally more conservative than Obama. I'll vote for him in November because he's tougher on terrorism than any of the Democrats and because I respect and admire much about John McCain. He is, after all, a war hero. But I disagree with him on a number of issues, too, and I can't come up with a reason to go vote for him in the primary, considering that I think Romney was by far the better candidate.

Then again, if I vote for McCain on Tuesday, I'm actually voting for the guy that I expect to vote for in November. So I suppose it would be the honest primary option for me.

I could vote for Ron Paul or Duncan Donut or Mike Huckleberry … but I don't like any of them and I don't trust them and I don't even agree with them about many more issues than I agree with McCain about. So why waste my vote by voting for one of them?

Or I could stay home and say "screw it." Just veg on the couch and play the 360.

Hey, I think I found my option.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

 

The BS Vote



Why is Romney out of the race while Obama and Hillary and Huck hang in there? Here's why:


Watch it twice. The second time just to read the crawl along the bottom of the screen.

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

 

Dang!



Most years I don't really care at all about NFL football until the post season. If then. Frequently I don't care much about the NFL until the Super Bowl itself. This year I didn't care at all until the last 35 seconds of the season.

Congrats to the New York Giants for an amazing upset. I'm happy for 'em and their fans. And the Patriots sure don't have anything to be ashamed of, either. Heck, I like them, too. All around this was a heck of a game, and both teams really gave everyone their money's worth this year.

The best thing about this game was in the post-game stuff, when FOX was running those station promos that said "Congratulations, New York Giants! You just wont the Super Bowl!" I have this image in my head of producers behind the scenes at FOX, dumping the "Congratulations, New England Patriots!" promo and yelling "We need the other one! We need the other one!" That's the kind of thing that used to happen in radio all the time.

I have to work twelve hour shifts this week and won't be blogging much. You guys be good, I'll talk to you soon.

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

 

Politickery



Just a few thoughtlets about current events...

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