Saturday, July 31, 2004
What a lovely letter...
What a lovely letter... let us fisk it!
The RNC is happening in 33 days,
Wow, you can actually count that far?
and I've talked to a lot of you about going down to NYC,
9/11 happened there, did you forget? You remember the 2000 election quite well, but do you remember 9/11?
joining the protests,
Did you run out and protest Al Qaeda when they slammed planes into our office buildings and vaporized 3000 people?
making or voices heard,
Are you capable of proofreading?
and basically stirring shit up.
Please wash your hands afterwards.
The Bush administration seems
Seems? You're insinuating because you have no solid facts. You've got no choice but to use weasel words like "seems."
to be actively hostile towards democracy,
Yeah, that's why he brought democracy to 50 million people on the other side of the planet -- or do those 50 million people mean nothing to you?
towards our basic freedoms,
Yes, of course, he's trampling over our basic freedoms. That's why we're now living in a police state, right?
and toward what America has meant since it was founded.
Whereas the flip-flopper John F. Kerry and the rich trial lawyer John Edwards perfectly embody the American tradition....
They walked all over our votes in 2000,
Yes, the vast right-wing conspiracy fixed the national elections... go on thinking that.
they disregarded and dismantled 4th amendment protections,
You're referring to PATRIOT, right? Notice how many terrorist attacks we've had on American soil since PATRIOT... that's right: none.
they've failed us on national security,
Yup, that's why we're having terrorist attacks on American soil, day after day...
and now they're talking of possibly postponing our elections?!?!?
No, actually, you're the one who's talking about that.
I'm fucking sick of it,
You took the words right outta my mouth.
and I'm fucking sick of them thinking they can silence America's conscience
The only people who are being silenced are terrorists. If you think America's conscience is the same thing as Al Qaeda, well then I guess you're right.
with bullshit like "free speech" zones and empty terrorist warnings.
Empty terrorist warnings? You've actually got access to our nation's top-secret intelligence reports on a daily basis? No you don't. You're pulling that clever turn of phrase, "empty terrorist warnings," out of your ass.
I want my fucking country back
Dude, where's my country?
before I don't have one,
You could always move to Canada... or France....
and protesting, while not direct action,
So what is direct action? Joining the Taliban?
will let everyone else in America know how we feel,
Did you ever get that feeling that no one cares? That you're nothing more than the whispering winds of irrelevancy?
and make them ask themselves how they feel.
Inflation is low, unemployment is low, the economy is good, the nation and the world is much safer than it was on 9/10/01... I don't know about you, but I feel pretty damn good.
So, if you've gotten this far in my email, you're probably not a Bush supporter.
You know what they say: when you ASSUME, you make an ASS out of U and ME. Except in this case, you're the jackass, I'm the elephant.
You probably want him to hear America stand up against him, and to get him out of office as much as I do.
See: French Revolution, 1789, guillotine, beheadings.
And you probably want to come down to NYC to protest against what he has done in our names as much as I do.
Mmmh hmmm... sure... we're all as psycho as you.
Email me back if you want in.
Sure you're ready to handle the unexpected deluge of emails?
The RNC takes place August 29-September 2.
Same time as the Yale freshmen orientation and the first two days of classes. We've got our priorities straight, haven't we?
You won't be missing classes, but you will be back in New Haven.
Just like those "missing" WMD....
I want to get as many people down to New York as possible,
Swing by Ground Zero while you're in NY and inhale the air there. It contains the vaporized bodies of 3000 people killed due to your failed policies of national security.
and I'm going to try to coordinate events, housing, travel, etc.
Try. We'll be right here, cheering you on.
I'd really appreciate anyone willing to help with this, anyone who has a car, or a place to stay, or any suggestions or ideas.
People like you have ideas besides new ways of bashing Bush? Who'd've thunk it?
Again, let me know if you want in. Hope your summer's going well. For all you out on the campaign trail, keep up the good work.
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
The New McCarthy
Mr. Scott Simon, host of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, explains how Michael Moore is "more McCarthy than Murrow."
Michael Moore has won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and may win an Oscar for the kind of work that got Stephen Glass, Jayson Blair, and Jack Kelly fired.
Trying to track the unproven innuendoes and conspiracies in a Michael Moore film or book is as futile as trying to count the flatulence jokes in one by Adam Sandler. Some journalists and critics have acted as if his wrenching of facts is no more serious than a movie continuity problem, like showing a 1963 Chevy in 1956 Santa Monica.
A documentary film doesn't have to be fair and balanced, to coin a phrase. But it ought to make an attempt to be accurate. It can certainly be pointed and opinionated. But it should not knowingly misrepresent the truth. Much of Michael Moore's films and books, however entertaining to his fans and enraging to his critics, seems to regard facts as mere nuisances to the story he wants to tell.
Back in 1991 that sharpest of film critics, the New Yorker's Pauline Kael, blunted some of the raves for Mr. Moore's "Roger and Me" by pointing out how the film misrepresented many facts about plant closings in Flint, Mich., and caricatured people it purported to feel for. "The film I saw was shallow and facetious," said Kael, "a piece of gonzo demagoguery that made me feel cheap for laughing."
His methods remain unrefined in "Fahrenheit 9/11." Mr. Moore ignores or misrepresents the truth, prefers innuendo to fact, edits with poetic license rather than accuracy, and strips existing news footage of its context to make events and real people say what he wants, even if they don't. As Kael observed back then, Mr. Moore's method is no more high-minded than "the work of a slick ad exec."
The main premise of Mr. Moore's recent work is that both Presidents Bush have been what amounts to Manchurian Candidates of the Saudi royal family. Mr. Moore suggests (he depends so much on innuendo that a simple, declarative verb like "says" is usually impossible) the Saudi government, having soured on their pawns for unstated reasons, launched the attacks of Sept. 11.
"What if these weren't wacko terrorists, but military pilots who signed onto a suicide mission?" Moore asks in the best-selling "Dude, Where's My Country?" "What if they were doing this at the behest of either the Saudi government or certain disgruntled members of the Saudi royal family?" Central to Mr. Moore's indictment of the current President Bush is his charge that the U.S. government secretly assisted the evacuation of bin Laden family members from the U.S. in the hours following the Sept. 11 attacks, when all other flights nationwide were grounded. He supports this with grainy images of indecipherable documents.
But on our show on Saturday, Richard Clarke, the government's former counter-terrorism adviser and no apologist for the Bush administration, told us that he had authorized those flights, but only after air travel had been restored and all the Saudis had been questioned. "I think Moore's making a mountain of a molehill," he said. Moreover, said Mr. Clarke, "He never interviewed me." Instead, Mr. Moore had simply lifted a clip from an ABC interview. Perhaps Mr. Moore just didn't want to get an answer that he didn't want to hear. (See how useful innuendoes can be?)
In what is perhaps the most wrenching scene in the film, an Iraqi woman is shown wailing amid the rubble caused by a bomb that killed members of her family. I do not doubt her account, or her sorrow. I have interviewed Iraqis about U.S. bombs that killed civilians. People who agree to wars should see the human damage bombs can do.
But reporters who were taken around to see the sites of civilian deaths during the bombing of Baghdad also observed that some of those errant bombs were fired by Iraqi anti-aircraft crews. Mr. Moore doesn't let the audience know when and where this bomb was dropped, or otherwise try to identify the culprit of the tragedy.
Mr. Moore tries hard to identify himself with U.S. troops and their concerns. But he spends an awful lot of effort depicting them as dupes and brutes. At one point in "Fahrenheit 9/11," someone off-camera prods a U.S. soldier into singing a favorite hip-hop song with profane lyrics. Mr. Moore then runs the soldier's voice over combat footage, to make it seem as if the soldier were insensitively singing along with the destruction.
In another scene, U.S. soldiers make savage jokes about the awkward effects of rigor mortis on one part of the corpse of an Iraqi soldier. I do not doubt the authenticity of those pictures. But I also have no particular reason to trust it. A few basic details, like where and when the video was shot, are considered traditional reporting techniques (especially after the front-page photos of British soldiers brutalizing Iraqi prisoners turned out to be frauds). A few other basic facts might have informed the audience. Was the Iraqi killed in battle? By a suicide bomb? Moore says the U.S. soldiers are good boys turned coarse in an immoral war. But I have also heard those kind of ugly and anxious jokes about corpses from overstressed emergency room physicians.
In the New York Times, Paul Krugman wrote that, "Viewers may come away from Moore's movie believing some things that probably aren't true," and that he "uses association and innuendo to create false impressions." Try to imagine those phrases on a marquee. But that is his rave review! He lauds "Fahrenheit 9/11" for its "appeal to working-class Americans." Do we really want to believe that only innuendo, untruths, and conspiracy theories can reach working-class Americans?
Governments of both parties have assuaged Saudi interests for more than 50 years. (I wonder if Mr. Moore grasps how much the jobs of auto workers in Flint depended on cheap oil.) Sound questions about the course, costs, and grounds for the war in Iraq have been raised by voices across the political spectrum.
But when 9/11 Commission Chairman Kean has to take a minute at a press conference, as he did last Thursday, to knock down a proven falsehood like the secret flights of the bin Laden family, you wonder if those who urge people to see Moore's film are informing or contaminating the debate. I see more McCarthy than Murrow in the work of Michael Moore. No matter how hot a blowtorch burns, it doesn't shed much light.
Saturday, July 24, 2004
Dan S., if you get this, can you get me the article from the most recent TNR about Bob Shrum? I don't know if you're registered but here's the URL:
Thank you for any help.
Friday, July 23, 2004
The Democrats are dead -- long live the Republicans!
Mahmoud, the Weasel requested that I post the following on his behalf, as he's away for a couple of days:
On the eve of the Democratic convention, Matt Bai delivers a Sunday New York Times Magazine must-read on the demise of the Democratic party and those wealthy individuals looking far beyond November investing in the future of the party.
Bai explores the electoral trends for the Democrats in recent decades and declares the party all but dead.
Here's a sneak preview of what will be tucked inside your Sunday New York Times: "As the old union bosses and factional leaders who dominated the Democratic Party in the 20th century file into the FleetCenter this week, waving signs and hooting for their heroes, be sure to take a long, last look. The Democratic Party of the machine age, so long dominant in American politics, could be holding its own Irish wake near Boston's North End. The power is already shifting -- not just within the party, but away from it altogether."
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
TOP KERRY ADVISOR SUBJECT OF ESPIONAGE PROBE
WASHINGTON -- Sandy Berger, former President Clinton's national security adviser, is under criminal investigation by the Justice Department after highly classified terrorism documents disappeared while he was reviewing what should be turned over to the Sept. 11 commission.
Well, isn't that convenient?
While wandering through the blogosphere, I happened upon the fourth rail, from where I decided to shamelessly steal a small selection of links to include in our links menu:
- Democrats for Bush
- Election Projection
- the fourth rail
- little green footballs
- USS Clueless
- Winds of Change
- American Enterprise Institute
- American Foreign Policy Council
- Brookings Institute
- CATO Institute
- Center for Strategic and International Studies
- Council on Foreign Relations
- The Heritage Foundation
- The Hoover Institute
- National Defense University
- Project for the New American Century
- RAND Corporation
PDWatch: Day 6
Friday, July 16, 2004
A vote for Kerry is a vote for...
In 1995, Kerry was one of 29 senators who voted against lifting an arms embargo on Bosnia. He argued the congressional action was unacceptably unilateral and had not been coordinated with European allies. Kerry, in this instance, supported the view of the Clinton administration, but he did not automatically provide his support, according to a White House official involved in legislative strategy on the vote.
While I disagreed with the Yugoslav campaigns on reasons of inconsistency with American Security interests, I respected the efforts of the Clinton Administration to stop another ethnic cleansing in Europe along Europe's sectarian fault lines. However, this...gives alot of insight as to what a vote for Kerry is really about:
A vote for Kerry is a vote for unsound isolationism. Thank you.
Tax Fraud Klaims Kerry _on_ubine
The tax fraud surrounding Teresa Heinz-Kerry continues to grow...
If John Kerry wins the presidency, his household will be the richest ever to occupy the White House. Kerry's wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, controls a vast fortune estimated by a Los Angeles Times study to fall somewhere between $900 million to $3.2 billion. Through a series of entirely legal maneuvers, Kerry is attempting to conceal from American voters the full extent of his wife's wealth and her corporate holdings — and the fact that she apparently manages to pay a remarkably small amount of taxes.
Let's put this in terms that people of less extreme wealth can relate to. If you had $100,000 invested last year and your investment income was only $500 — the same percentage as Mrs. Kerry's income — then something would be very much out of whack.
We can't know exactly what is out of whack with Mrs. Kerry's income, if anything, because she and her husband have always chosen to file separate tax returns. Mrs. Kerry's separate returns have never been made part of the public record.
Do you notice something odd?
On June 5, 2005 the draft machine that has been kept in storage since 1973
Ended when Nixon/Ford was President.
is being dusted off and possibly switched on if 2 bills in the House and the Senate pass.
51-48-1, that is the Republican majority in the Senate. I think the House majority is by 20. That means two things: one, this stunt is destined to die. And two...read below.
These bills were proposed in January of 2003 by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)
THE DEMOCRAT FROM NEW YORK
and Senator Ernest Hollings (D-SC)
THE DEMOCRAT FROM SOUTH CAROLINA
and will allow women to be drafted, with no deferments.
Proving once more that the Democrats are the Party of Slavery.
Update: Thanks to Dan Kimerling: "and i will tell you that in the house there are 222 rep's, 211 dem's and 1 independnet"
The margin is 11, not 20, but I am including Texas redistricting.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
The Yellowcake Con
So now the British government has published its own inquiry into the intelligence behind the invasion of Iraq, with equally devastating implications for the credibility of the Bush-Blair "lied" crowd. Like last week's 511-page document from the Senate Intelligence Committee, the exhaustive British study found some flawed intelligence but no evidence of "deliberate distortion." Inquiry leader Lord Butler told reporters that Prime Minister Tony Blair had "acted in good faith."
What's more, Lord Butler was not ready to dismiss Saddam Hussein as a threat merely because no large "stockpiles" of weapons of mass destruction have been found. The report concludes that Saddam probably intended to pursue his banned programs, including the nuclear one, if and when U.N. sanctions were lifted; that research, development and procurement continued so WMD capabilities could be sustained; and that he was pursuing the development of WMD delivery systems--missiles--of longer range than the U.N. permitted.
But the part that may prove most salient in the U.S. is that, like the Senate Intelligence findings, the Butler report vindicates President Bush on the allegedly misleading "16 words" regarding uranium from Africa: "We conclude also that the statement in President Bush's State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that 'The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa' was well-founded."
We're awaiting apologies from former Ambassador Joe Wilson, and all those who championed him....
All of this matters because Mr. Wilson's disinformation became the vanguard of a year-long assault on Mr. Bush's credibility. The political goal was to portray the President as a "liar," regardless of the facts. Now that we know those facts, Americans can decide who the real liars are.
And those liars owe their audience an apology.... Thus, I am starting the PDWatch: every day, until ProgressiveDecision admits on their blog that they lied about the facts vis-a-vis the Yellowcake Con, I will be posting daily reminders that the folks at ProgressiveDecision are liars.
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Your moment of Zen
Twenty-eight-year-old David Walker of South Yorkshire, England, "was arguing with a friend at a pub" after drinking 15 pints of beer, Reuters reports. Walker "went home to get his sawed-off shotgun, which he jammed into his trousers":
But as he walked back to the pub, the gun went off, blasting pellets into his testicles. Doctors later removed what remained of his testicles during emergency surgery.
Believe it or not, that wasn't the end of Walker's misfortune. On Tuesday a court sentenced him to five years behind bars for possessing an illegal firearm. Some might sneer at his stupidity, but we'd like to salute him for doing his part, at great personal cost, to improve the gene pool.
Hat tip: Opinion Journal's Best of the Web Today. Subscribe Today!
The tyranny of crying wolf
On the right, particularly the far right libertarians, there is a propensity to cry wolf - that every action of the State is, inevitably, moving us closer to the Road to Serfdom.
While it is comforting to generalize all actions of the State, there is a difference between a massively bloated farm bill and the invasion of the Ukraine for their wheat fields.
Libertarians, take notice next time you call a Conservative a fascist-in-training.
Update: This is why the Libertarians are more of a cult than a political party, always bound to lose.
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Even a dead cat will bounce if thrown from a sufficiently high roof...
The selection of John Edwards as John Kerry's running mate was supposed to put North Carolina in play for the Democrats, or at the very least, cause President Bush to have to spend more time and resources to secure the state. But if the latest USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll is to be believed, the Bush-Cheney campaign still has quite the advantage in the state. In a two-way race, Bush-Cheney leads Kerry-Edwards 51%-44% among registered voters, and 56%-41% among likely voters. When Nader is thrown into the mix, the margin among registered voters becomes 49%-43%-4% favoring Bush-Cheney, and 54%-39%-4% among likely voters favoring the incumbents.
Hat tip: Pejman at Redstate
Monday, July 12, 2004
Your moment of Zen
In re: Edwards' experience, Kerry said this: "Does [Edwards] have as much experience as me? No. But I am running for president; he's running for vice president."
On gay marriage — is this an answer or not? "'Let's be very firm about it. Both John and I believe firmly and absolutely that marriage is between a man and a woman,' Kerry said. 'But we also believe that you don't play with the Constitution of the United States for political purposes and amend the Bill of Rights when you don't need to when states are adequately addressing this issue.'"
"Kerry, who recently said he agrees with the Roman Catholic Church that life begins at conception, said he disagrees with his church's teaching that homosexuality is a sin. Edwards twice did not respond when asked if he, too, believes life begins at conception."
Hat tip: ABCNews the Note.
A Local Name on the National News
MSNBC has an exclusive report on Election Day Worries... and while the article itself is quite interesting, I was particularly intrigued by the mention of DeForest B. Soaries Jr., who is now the chairman of the newly created U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Reverend "Buster" Soaries ran for Representative (NJ, 12th district) against Rush Holt two years ago... and unfortunately lost.
Plamegate: Another DEMOCRATIC Scandal
Looks like Plamegate is another Democratic scandal:
In fact, the [bipartisan Senate] report shows that one of the first allegations of false intelligence was itself a distortion: Mr. Bush's allegedly misleading claim in the 2003 State of the Union address that Iraq had been seeking uranium ore from Africa. The Senate report notes that Presidential accuser and former CIA consultant Joe Wilson returned from his trip to Africa with no information that cast serious doubt on such a claim; and that, contrary to Mr. Wilson's public claims, his wife (a CIA employee) was involved in helping arrange his mission.
"When coordinating the State of the Union, no Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analysts or officials told the National Security Council (NSC) to remove the '16 words' or that there were concerns about the credibility of the Iraq-Niger Uranium reporting," the report says. In short, Joe Wilson is a partisan fraud whose trip disproved nothing, and what CIA doubts there were on Niger weren't shared with the White House.
"The Committee did not find any evidence that Administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities."
So reads Conclusion 83 of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on prewar intelligence on Iraq. The Committee likewise found no evidence of pressure to link Iraq to al Qaeda. So it appears that some of the claims about WMD used by the Bush Administration and others to argue for war in Iraq were mistaken because they were based on erroneous information provided by the CIA.
A few apologies would seem to be in order. Allegations of lying or misleading the nation to war are about the most serious charge that can be leveled against a President. But according to this unanimous study, signed by Jay Rockefeller and seven other Democrats, those frequent charges from prominent Democrats and the media are without merit.
Or to put it more directly, if President Bush was "lying" about WMD, then so was Mr. Rockefeller when he relied on CIA evidence to claim in October 2002 that Saddam Hussein's weapons "pose a very real threat to America." Also lying at the time were John Kerry, John Edwards, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and so on.
Sunday, July 11, 2004
So how was dinner, Ms. Lincoln?
July 11, 2004
Our regressive friend wrote three days ago:
Well, we got an invitation to the white house for one of Bush's dinners. Not sure if I'm allowed to go to it but hopefully I can. Just had to make you guys jealous. :)
Posted by Kansas
Well, I was invited to the same dinner,
Will wonders never cease?
probably a mass invite,
Precisely the Republican strategy - invite absolutely everyone, create a massive logistics nightmare and then with the inexorable cancellations, run over-budget! Brilliant, Holmes, how do you do it?
to find tax-avoiding richies
You mean like Edwards (estimated worth 40 million dollars) or John Kerry (estimated worth 600 million dollars)? Hypocrite.
A solid Republican state.
who would donate the max 2,000 for a 300,000 tax-break at our expense.
Our expense who? What tax bracket are you in, Dan? You're amongst the wealthiest of the wealthy, you should watch what you say ... or at least, back it up by giving away your rich tax cuts.
Well they got me, the tax loving richie, who wrote back, scribbled on their reply card (and why shouldn't I, if they're willing to pay the buiseness reply) , "YOU CAN EAT MY FAT ASS FOR DESSERT, JOHN KERRY '04, BITCHES",
Wow, that's real political discourse there...dear God, do you think before things spew from your ass or are you mindlessly following al-Franken's line?
Just to make you jealous. :(
Of clinical dementia.
Posted by Dan at 12:58 AM | Dan's Website | TrackBack (0)
Awsome!! I might go just so I could get close to Bush and moon him with Kerry 04 written on my ass
And when the Secret Service shoots you...
Posted by Ben (Website) at July 11, 2004 11:11 AM
nah, don't do that, you'd waste 2000 big ones. (but there would be immense satisfaction...)
It's OK, just ask Clinton Pollster Dick Morris about immense satisfaction and 2000 big ones...
Posted by Dan (Website) at July 11, 2004 12:40 PM
Does Kerry still consider Arafat to be a statesman?
The Catholic Church condemned anti-Zionism as a cover for anti-Semitism by means of a joint statement issued by a forum of Catholic-Jewish intellectuals this week. The announcement was made at a gathering of religious, academic and other leading Jewish and Catholic figures in Buenos Aires. "We oppose anti-Semitism in any way and form, including anti-Zionism that has become of late a manifestation of anti-Semitism," the statement said. This is the first time that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism have been equated by the Catholic Church. The statement also includes a stern condemnation of terrorism, particularly terror in the name of faith. "Terror is a sin against man and against God. Fundamentalist terrorism in the name of God has no justification and cannot be justified."
Hat tip: Rantburg, LGF
Thursday, July 08, 2004
Bush dinner at the White House
Well, we got an invitation to the white house for one of Bush's dinners. Not sure if I'm allowed to go to it but hopefully I can. Just had to make you guys jealous. :)
New site design!
Those who frequent this site may well notice a new site design in place here at the Regressive Decision! Hope you like it! :-)
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Why did Kerry pick Edwards? Not for his experience and depth.
"As an articulate Southerner, Mr. Edwards also reminds many nostalgic Democrats/reporters of Bill Clinton without the character flaws.
"But to continue that comparison, Mr. Edwards is also Mr. Clinton without the experience and depth. By the time he ran for national office, Mr. Clinton could drill down several levels into education, welfare, trade and other policy debates. Mr. Edwards is known around the Senate as a smooth talker of no particular expertise. He is smart enough to quickly grasp talking points, but the doubt is whether he knows enough to be an asset in White House counsels if the ticket is elected.
"Among recent Vice Presidential candidates, Mr. Edwards compares in experience to Geraldine Ferraro (1984) and Spiro Agnew (1968) but knows much less about defense than Dan Quayle (1988). Compared to Joe Lieberman, Dick Gephardt or Dick Cheney, Mr. Edwards will require on-the-job training, especially in foreign policy. In a year when national security is once more at the top of voter concerns, this strikes us as a mistake in judgment by Mr. Kerry, and perhaps also a political error.
"If a ticket composed of a rich trial lawyer and a rich Senator who married the Heinz fortune can make this faux populism sound credible, they're bound to win. If they can't, Mr. Kerry may regret he chose sizzle in a year when the voters are looking for substance."
Kerry-Edwards 2004: Make America Nice.
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
LOKESH: do u think kerry blew the election
r00troute: No, I think Kerry will bounce for a while from this.
r00troute: New blood, constant focus
LOKESH: yeah thats what i was saying to my uncle, but all i hear from tv and papers is that kerry blew it
Monday, July 05, 2004
From the previous post. Go ahead, Dan, tell me how you feel about Lila now.
Moore exploits the grief of Lila Lipscomb, the mother of a soldier who died in Iraq. She denounces Bush and the War. But there are many mothers and relatives of US soldiers, alive and dead, who served there who don’t agree with her. Don’t look for them in this agit-prop “film.”
Fahrenheit wallows in pity for Mrs. Lipscomb. “I was tired of seeing people like Mrs. Lipscomb suffer,” he claims. Yet Moore’s website takes a different view:
I’m sorry, but the majority of Americans supported this war once it began and, sadly, that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe -- just maybe -- God and the Iraqi people will forgive us in the end.
Michael Moore, “Heads Up... from Michael Moore,” MichaelMoore.com, April 14, 2004
Overheard yet not overlooked
Go Graham! Some words from my pal: "If our citizens have certain inalienable rights (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness)
The difference between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution is the difference between what is the goal for America and the foundational framework to effectuate such ends.
...How come nearly 900 have lost those rights in an alien country,
Now now, you stupid American - Iraq isn't alien. It's right over there.
for an unjustified conflict,
Unjustified? How so? Or is it one of those thought provoking, yet meaningless pleonasms?
on the account of an ungrateful people?"
It's ok, those A-rabs deserve what they get, right?
Sunday, July 04, 2004
Happy Fourth of July
May God bless and keep the United States of America. May our gift of liberty, both political and economic, liberate the world.
Friday, July 02, 2004
Carter's meddling in Central America led to a civil war that killed 40,000 people, left 100,000 homeless, and installed a Soviet-supported totalitarian government that for ten years was a source of unrest in the region. On November 4, 1979, a group of Khomeini's progressive moderates stormed the embassy in Tehran and held Americans hostage for the next fourteen months. The regime that replaced the disposed shah became a major backer of the fundamentalist terrorist movement. As a reward for his efforts to wind down the arms race, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan--astounding the president, who nonetheless told a group of moderate Democrats that current events would do nothing to alter his policies. Carter had done more in three years to weaken the country and destabilize the world than all the other presidents since the Cold War had started. It was Senator Moynihan who gave him his epitaph: "Unable to distinguish between our friends and our enemies, he has adopted our enemies' view of the world."
Reflect on this
A Winning Combination
From “Notes & Asides”
By William F. Buckley Jr.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following appeared in the "Notes & Asides" section of the May 1, 1981, issue of National Review.
Dear Mrs. Wells:
I had a most engaging letter from Barnaby Conrad (III), the gist of which is that I must give you a recipe for your new book. I have been reluctant to do so not so much from any fear for my reputation, but for yours, since no red-blooded American would buy a book including a recipe by me without demanding his money back. The fact of it is that I am 55 years old, that I cooked feverishly during two summers, age 14 and 15, that I made a considerable sum of money from my cooking — something on the order of $24 or $25 per summer. I produced a most delicious fudge, which I sold via an old ladies' institution in Sharon, Connecticut at 65 cents per pound (with nuts, 75 cents). My father was so unkind as to point out, somewhere along the line, that the economic model after which I had fashioned my enterprise was unrealistic inasmuch as I used exclusively ingredients provided gratis by my father's kitchen. Anyway (for a double portion): 11/2 cups of milk, 4 squares of Baker's chocolate, 1/2 pound of butter, 2 cups of sugar. Stir until you see what looks like discrete globlets. Test these by dripping, by teaspoon, a drop or two. If they come down fragmented, you must leave the mixture under boil. If they come down whole, you are ready to lift the mess off the stove. (On no account should you pass by stage two from inattention, because the effect of this is a granular fudge.) At this moment, you should add a teaspoon of salt and, a minute or two later, two or three teaspoons of vanilla extract. The point of waiting this long is that you must not allow the vanilla to evaporate. If you are living in the post-industrial revolution you may submit the whole to a blender, adding nuts or not, according to market demands, always assuming you are not a supply-sider: in which case you should add the nuts malgré soi. The beating should continue until the stuff is very nearly cool, and only then pour it into a plate. Beyond that, I know only how to make a stew composed of ingredients from the Democratic platform, but that would be coprophagous.
Wm. F. Buckley Jr.
Thursday, July 01, 2004
IT'S NOT ALIVE
Scans uncover secrets of the womb
Baby 'walking' in the womb
A new type of ultrasound scan has produced vivid pictures of a 12 week-old foetus "walking" in the womb.
The new images also show foetuses apparently yawning and rubbing its eyes.
The scans, pioneered by Professor Stuart Campbell at London's Create Health Clinic, are much more detailed than conventional ultrasound.
Professor Campbell has previously released images of unborn babies appearing to smile.
He has compiled a book of the images called Watch Me Grow.
Conventional ultrasound, usually offered to mothers at 12 and 20 weeks, produces 2D images of the developing foetus.
These are very useful for helping doctors to measure and assess the growth of the foetus, but convey very little information about behaviour.
More pictures of developing foetuses
Professor Campbell has perfected a technique which not only produces detailed 3D images, but records foetal movement in real time.
He says his work has been able to show for the first time that the unborn baby engages in complex behaviour from an early stage of its development.
Professor Campbell told the BBC: "This is a new science for understanding and mapping out the behaviour of the baby.
"Maybe in the future it will help us understand and diagnose genetic disease, maybe even conditions like cerebral palsy which puzzles the medical profession as to why it occurs."
The images have shown:
From 12 weeks, unborn babies can stretch, kick and leap around the womb - well before the mother can feel movement
From 18 weeks, they can open their eyes although most doctors thought eyelids were fused until 26 weeks
From 26 weeks, they appear to exhibit a whole range of typical baby behaviour and moods, including scratching, smiling, crying, hiccuping, and sucking.
Until recently it was thought that smiling did not start until six weeks after birth.
An hour long session using the new technology, which is not yet available on the NHS, costs £275.
Polarization and nastiness are not side effects. They are the game. You feel good about yourself because the other side is so fanatical, misguided, corrupt and dishonest. Because real differences between party programs have narrowed, remaining differences are exaggerated. Drab policy debates become sensational showdowns -- one side or the other is "destroying" the schools, the environment or the economy. Every investigation aims to expose the other side's depravity: One side's Whitewater becomes the other's Halliburton.
"My feelings haven't changed," said Brown, who lives in Apple Valley. "Being there was a great experience and now I'm excited for the Iraqis.
On Sept. 11, 2001, I stood across the Hudson River, watching the Twin Towers burn, knowing that if the plane had struck at 9:46 a.m. instead of 8:46 a.m., I would be dead. As a survivor and witness to the attack on the World Trade Center, I am more than insulted by this film. I am outraged. This film is based on conjecture, hearsay and propaganda. At a time when this country desperately needs to rally in support of our brave soldiers and our strong leaders, Moore is content to spread discord and divisiveness. The base of his argument is that the Bush administration had strong ties with the bin Laden family. However, sound facts are conspicuously absent from this "documentary."
Strategy: In classical game theory, players have strategy sets from which they choose particular strategies. In biology, species have startegy sets (genotypic variants), of which individuals inherit one or another variant (perhaps mutated), which they then play in their strategic interactions. This extends nicely to the treatment of culture in human society. We say that society has the strategy set (the set of alternative cultural forms) and individuals inherit or choose among them.
Equilibrium: In place of the Nash equilibrium, Maynard Smith and Price used the evolutionary stable strategy (ESS) concept. A strategy is evolutionary stabel if a whole population using that strategy cannot be invaded by a small group with a mutant genotype. Similarly, a cultural form is evolutionary stable if, upon being adopted by all members of a society (firm, family, etc.), no small group of individuals using an alternative cultural form can invade. We thus move from explaining the actions of individuals to modeling the difusion of forms of behavior (strategies) in society.
Player Interactions: In place of the one-shot and repeated games of classical game theory, Maynard Smith introduced the notion of the repeated, random paring of agents who play strategies based on their genome but not on the previous history of play.1