Tuesday, August 31, 2004

A touching speech

If you wonder why we went into Iraq. If you think what we did was for no reason. If you think all of the people of Iraq hate us. Please read the following speech given by Zainab al-Suwaij.

Thank you for your kind welcome.

From my heart, I offer you the traditional Muslim greeting: As Salam Alaikum-- Peace be upon you.

I am honored to stand here tonight. When I came to the United States from Iraq 12 years ago, I would never have imagined myself speaking to a group like this.

Living under Saddam Hussein, we could not gather as we do now to discuss things like democracy and freedom. We could only dream of a day when we could speak freely, and worship God in ways of our own choosing.

Instead, we lived under a murderer who used every weapon in his arsenal against us-- from tanks to torture chambers to poison gas.

When people talk about the war in Iraq -- I want to remind them that there has been a war raging in Iraq for the last 3 decades.

A war waged by Saddam against his own people.

I lived through it. I saw it brutalize my friends and my family.

But today, I come to tell you that Iraq enjoys a new day.

Yes, there is still bloodshed and uncertainty -- but America, under the strong, compassionate leadership of President Bush, has given Iraqis the most precious gift any nation has ever given another --- the gift of democracy and the freedom to determine its own future.

Already, the seeds of democracy are bearing fruit --- with popular elections recently held for local officials. And we know our children face a brighter future.

So as I grieve for the courageous Americans and Iraqis who were killed and injured during Iraq's liberation, I tell you proudly that their noble sacrifice was not in vain.

As Iraqis assume full sovereignty, they embrace the American people in friendship and gratitude.

I promise you: we will never forget what your sons and daughters did for us.

Thank you.

A sad loss

CONCORD, N.C. -- Indian Larry, a master motorcycle mechanic and stunt man, passed away Monday morning following an accident while performing Saturday at the Liquid Steel Classic and Custom Bike Series show at Cabarrus Arena and Events Center in Concord.

He was best known for his appearances on Discovery Channel's Great Biker Build-Off show.

"Cabarrus County along with the staff at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center sends its sincere condolences to the family of Indian Larry," said Robert M. Freeman, chairman of the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners.

"Indian Larry was a man with great skill and talent as a mechanic and metal sculptor. He will be truly missed by his fans here in Cabarrus County and throughout the nation."

I had the pleasure of meeting Indian Larry on a number of occasions. He was one of the sweetest most gentle men you would ever meet. He'll be sadly missed.

Setting the record straight

I decided that it was unfair of me to just think of Kerry by his Vietnam record so, I decided to see where he stands on the issues. So, I went to Vote Smart to see where he was on different issues. Vote smart uses the National Political Awareness Test, found here. The results:


CBS News
Cox Newspapers
Knight Ridder
National Journal
New Hampshire Public Broadcasting
Tucson Citizen
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Portsmouth Herald
Nashua Telegraph
Iowa Public Radio
Ames Daily Tribune
Cedar Rapids Gazette
Iowa City Press
The State (SC)
WYY Philadelphia
San Jose Mercury News
Geraldine Ferraro, Former Democratic Congresswoman
Michael Dukakis, Fomer Democratic Congressman
Bill Frenzel, Former Republican Congressman
Jim Leach, Republican Congressman
Richard Kimball, Project Vote Smart President

Well, he's a whole load of help, isn't he?

If interested, his voting record can be found here.

He gets it too

John Podhoretz has a good article out about the medias fears of being left behind because of new forms of "media". While I like what he wrote, I want to concentrate on the first few paragraphs of his column.

THERE'S a lot of argle- bargle about how this election will be about who has the best plan for the future. You'll hear President Bush on Thursday lay out a detailed agenda for his second term, in part to address that argle-bargle.

And it won't matter a whit.

This election is about one thing and one thing only: Which of the two candidates is best suited to be this nation's commander in chief.

John wins the Cupie Doll. As I said yesterday, all the other problems in this country will work themselves out, no matter who is President. The only serious thing that should hold your attention is, who will lead this country against terrorism. This is a strange time we're living in and we need to pay attention to those things that are important. Putting your head in the ground and pretending what's going on isn't really going on, isn't going to work anymore.

And as we speak, a 2004 election plotline is developing among those who wish to see George W. Bush defeated. The plotline is this: The efforts by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth to cast doubt on John Kerry's war record may be the tipping point of this campaign in Bush's favor. And if indeed that is so, the rage that liberals and Democrats will direct toward Bush will be something terrible to see.

At a panel discussion yesterday on the press and the election at the Harvard Club, two media doyens — Joe Klein of Time and David Gergen of U.S. News — pronounced themselves frightened by this prospect and the damage it might do to our democracy.

Others on the panel — Al Hunt of the Wall Street Journal and Jill Abramson of The New York Times — fretted about the capacity of the mainstream media to play the role of fact-finding truth-teller in an age dominated by cable news and the Internet.

Oh, those big bad blogs, what will we do? How about doing your JOB! Do you folks remember what an investigative reporter is? Jeebus. Your job is to report the news. Do it, for Gods sake, and stop whining

The convention

Last night was the first night of the RNC convention. Rudy Giuliani and John McCain were the featured speakers.

Let's look at what these John McCain had to say.

It's a fight between a just regard for human dignity and a malevolent force that defiles an honorable religion by disputing God's love for every soul on earth. It's a fight between right and wrong, good and evil.

And my friends, should our enemies acquire for their arsenal the chemical, biological and nuclear weapons they seek, this war will become a much bigger thing.

So it is, whether we wished it or not, that we have come to the test of our generation, to our rendezvous with destiny. And much is expected of us.

The media must be going mad. John McCain just agreed with the President. I have to say, this is the best part of the speech. It was a fantastic speech but this gets to the heart of what is going on in the world.
Only the most deluded of us could doubt the necessity of this war. Like all wars, this one will have its ups and downs. But we must fight. We must.

You hear the democrats, you're deluded. AS I said yesterday we have choices. What choice do you want to make?
The years of keeping Saddam in a box were coming to a close. The international consensus that he be kept isolated and unarmed had eroded to the point that many critics of military action had decided the time had come again to do business with Saddam, despite his near daily attacks on our pilots, and his refusal, until his last day in power, to allow the unrestricted inspection of his arsenal.

Our choice wasn't between a benign status quo and the bloodshed of war. It was between war and a graver threat. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Not our political opponents. And certainly -- and certainly not a disingenuous filmmaker who would have us believe...

That line was so good, I'll use it again. Certainly not a disingenuous filmmaker who would have us believe, my friends, who would have us believe that Saddam's Iraq was an oasis of peace, when in fact -- when in fact it was a place of indescribable cruelty, torture chambers, mass graves and prisons that destroyed the lives of the small children inside their walls.

Whether or not Saddam possessed the terrible weapons he once had and used, freed from international pressure and the threat of military action, he would have acquired them again.

ZING!!!!!!! The really good part, Michael Moore was in the audience as a columnist for USA Today.

The last sentence is the most important. It doesn't matter if Hussien had the weapons at the time of the invasion. What is important is that he HAD used them in the past and he would get them and use them again.
Keep that faith. Keep your courage. Stick together. Stay strong. Do not yield. Do not flinch. Stand up. Stand up with our president and fight.

We're Americans. We're Americans, and we'll never surrender. They will.

Okay, I lied earlier, THIS is the most important part of this speech. What a wonderful ending to a fantastic speech.

As I said yesterday, you can stand or wilt. I choose to stand.

The complete text of John McCains speech can be found here.

Money Money Money

You may have noticed that I have added ads and a Google search bar to the blog. The reason, MONEY, every time you click on an ad or use the Google search, I get paid. Feel free to use them as often as you like.

Isn't free enterprise wonderful?

Monday, August 30, 2004

Ed Koch gets it

The whole story is here.

"I've never before supported a Republican for president," Koch told me last week. "But I'm doing so this time because of the one issue that trumps everything else: international terrorism. In my judgment, the Democratic Party just doesn't have the stomach to stand up to the terrorists. But Bush is a fighter."

Koch was surprised and impressed by Bush's resolve after Sept. 11. "He announced the Bush Doctrine -- he said we would go after the terrorists and the countries that harbor them. And he's kept his word." Koch doubts that the leadership of his own party could have mustered the grit to topple the Taliban or drive Saddam Hussein from power, let alone to press on in what is going to be a long and grinding conflict.

"Already, most of the world is caving. If you didn't have Bush standing there, you'd have everybody following Spain and the Philippines" in retreat, he says, trying to appease the terrorists instead of fighting them.

I always knew I liked this man for some reason. He hit it dead on. The most important thing is not the economy, it will work itself out. It's not anything but terrorism.

Most of the problems facing this country aren't really problems at all, they are bumps in the road. While they may be hard on the tires they don't really do anything to the car. What we are facing now is a corrosive that can destroy not only the paint but rust out the whole body. Let me get off this metaphor before I drive us all crazy. You see my point though.

We need to be a little far seeing in this. We have 2 choices.

1. We can withdraw our troops, and ignore what is going on in the world. We can open ourselves up to another 9/11 and whine when it happens, and again, sit and do nothing.

2. We can continue down the road we're on. We can work with countries who are willing to try and, if need be, attack those who want our destruction.

It's that easy. There is no middle ground because the people who want us dead are TRUE BELIEVERS. They don't want words, they want surrender. They will stop at nothing short of our giving up. Unfortunately half the country doesn't see it this way. They are blind. They think that soft words and understanding will change things, sorry to disappoint but, neither will work. It sometimes takes a strong arm. No one likes to use that arm but in some cases, a good ass beating is what is needed.

Again, you have a choice, stand firm or wilt. I choose to stand.

McCain meltdown

The Federal Election Commission leadership is "corrupt" and should resign for refusing to regulate political groups that are spending millions of dollars to attack both presidential candidates, Sen. John McCain said yesterday.
The Arizona Republican and co-author of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law called the FEC "disgraceful and despicable in its conduct" for allowing independent groups to exploit the Section 527 tax designation and raise millions of donations in soft money.

Whine,whine,whine. You should have written the law the way you wanted it Senator. You left loopholes and people are going to take advantage of those.
"We've got to reform the Federal Election Commission," Mr. McCain said on CBS' "Face the Nation."
The FEC voted Aug. 19 to restrict funds collected by the tax-exempt "527 groups," but not until the next election cycle.

Oh, so they re actually going to do what you want but not until after this election cycle? How is that unfair? YOU screwed up, it's too late to change the rules in the middle of the race.
Mr. McCain said commission Vice Chairman Ellen Weintraub is an "apparatchik"

Well Senator, you went on to make a good point but, I'm going to ignore it, seeing how you chose to call people names instead of just making a point. Hmmmmmmm, isn't that what you want to happen with your law?
"I say shame on you, Mr. Soros, and shame on all of the people who are funding these, both from the Republican side as well as the Democrat side," Mr. McCain said.
"We're not trying to shut you up. We're saying live by the same rules. In other words, the hard money that funds my campaign," Mr. McCain said.

YEAH!! Screw freedom of speech, do what I say!!!!!

Listen Senator, you wrote a crappy peice of legislation. The only reason it passed is because our President didn't have enough balls to say, no, hell, he hasn't said no to anything. The Supremes have their heads stuck up someones backside so, it became law.By writing this, you have done just what you said you're not trying to do, shut people up.

I'm sorry but, I will NEVER see how political debate is a bad thing. By passing this law, you are "shuting up" those who have something to say.

The whole story can be found here.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Operation Raw

A lot has been said about how John Kerry was not indicting all soldiers in Vietnam,McQ, does a damn fine job of debunking that.

AS McQ says,

There was a reason they formed an “infantry unit of company strength”. It was so they could portray American infantrymen, every day soldiers, as brutal butchers. Now, the words sound hyperbolic, but they’re not. As Operation RAW moved through each town they enacted their version of a “search and destroy” operation”. As described in one of the flyers, the purpose of this unit was to “dramatize as authentic a picture of a US Army search and destroy mission to the American people as practical."

Sounds like an indictment to me.

He voted for it but, he didn't

John Kerry had just pumped up a huge crowd in downtown West Palm Beach, promising to make the state a battleground for his quest to oust President Bush, when a local television journalist posed the question that any candidate with Florida ambitions should expect:

What will you do about Cuba?

As the presumptive Democratic nominee, Kerry was ready with the bravado appropriate for a challenger who knows that every answer carries magnified importance in the state that put President Bush into office by just 537 votes.

''I'm pretty tough on Castro, because I think he's running one of the last vestiges of a Stalinist secret police government in the world,'' Kerry told WPLG-ABC 10 reporter Michael Putney in an interview to be aired at 11:30 this morning.

Then, reaching back eight years to one of the more significant efforts to toughen sanctions on the communist island, Kerry volunteered: ``And I voted for the Helms-Burton legislation to be tough on companies that deal with him.''

It seemed the correct answer in a year in which Democratic strategists think they can make a play for at least a portion of the important Cuban-American vote -- as they did in 1996 when more than three in 10 backed President Clinton's reelection after he signed the sanctions measure written by Sen. Jesse Helms and Rep. Dan Burton.

The problem? Well, he actually voted against Helms-Burton.
Asked Friday to explain the discrepancy, Kerry aides said the senator cast one of the 22 nays that day in 1996 because he disagreed with some of the final technical aspects. But, said spokesman David Wade, Kerry supported the legislation in its purer form -- and voted for it months earlier.

OH, that makes things SO much clearer.

This is the problem that Kerry has. He tells people he really agreed with the peice of legislation but, "technical" reasons kept him from voting for it. Does anyone else see a pattern here?

Yes, I understand that sometimes things are thrown into a peice of legislation at the last minute, which cause Senators and Congressmen to vote against it but, did he think that no one would actually check the record to see how he voted?

Kerry really needs to watch what he says and how he says things when talking about the Cuban situation in Florida. There is a very large Cuban population in southern Florida and the 27 Florida delegates can be swayed by those people.

Bomb plot

NEW YORK -- Two men were arrested Friday night, a little more than two days before the start of the Republican National Convention, accused of conspiring to bomb a subway station and other high-profile targets here.

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, announcing the arrests at a press conference yesterday, said that the suspects -- one a Pakistani national, the other a U.S. citizen -- had been under surveillance for a year.

"Their motive was generally hatred for America," Commissioner Kelly said. He added that one of the men had also made anti-Semitic statements.

The depths people will go to to assuge their "hatred" is scary.

Let's set aside the fact that these two people were willing to kill thousands of innocents, for just a moment. One man was a Pakistani national. I can almost understand why this man would want to bomb people. He has no understanding of how the U.S. works, he's been taught that we are evil and must be destroyed at all costs so, I can give this man a pass, not really but, you understand what I'm saying.

The other man was a U.S. citizen. This man has had all the oppurtunities that come with being a citizen of this country. Now, I know that this country isn't perfect. I know that our government does things to anger people all the time, myself included. What I don't understand is how a person who has more freedom here than any other country, more oppurtunity, than any other country, can decide that it's okay to kill thousands of people.

Now, let's look t what these people were going to do. They were going to set off bombs in subways and "other high-profile targets". These other targets were probably places tourists would be. Why were they going to do it now, the Republican National Convention is starting soon. Impact. They didn't care who they killed, they wanted as much impact as posible.

Can someone please tell me why I should be against capital punishment again? I seem to have forgotten.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Happy Blogiversary

Tomorrow is QandO's 1 year blogiversary. It's hard to believe Jon has been doing this for a year. I remember him first telling me he was starting a blog, I asked " What the hell is a blog?". I also remember him WHINING to me that he was getting no traffic, I know the feeling.

Today, with the addition of McQ and Dale, QandO is a very popular blog and, a rather busy one. All three are very good at what they do and if you haven't read them, DO IT NOW. Link to the right.


WASHINGTON — President Bush and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., joined forces yesterday to seek legal action to reduce the influence of "527" political organizations, but the two remained in disagreement over whether Bush should condemn a television ad attacking John Kerry's Vietnam service.

Bush called McCain en route to a campaign event in New Mexico to say his campaign would go into federal court in an effort to force the Federal Election Commission to prevent groups such as the anti-Kerry Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, named "527s" for the section of the tax code that governs their activities, from raising and spending money in unlimited amounts.

I have a problem with this. First we had McCain-Feingold, which to some degree supressed free speech. Now, we have this. Whether I agree with the message or tactics some of these groups use, they have, and should have, the right to say what they want. Bush is biting himself in the butt on this one. People are saying that the Patriot Act is taking away rights, and they blame Bush for this, while I disagree with them on that, they now have ammunition to use in showing that he does want to supress rights.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

School's out for Summer

I had to laugh when I read the following quote from Alice Cooper.

"If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal."

While I agree with him that anyone who listens to a rock star about politics is a moron, I do have to disagree with him being a moron. A moron would not have made the above statment. A moron would have said " Vote for my guy because I'm rich and famous".

Good on ya Alice.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Kerry and the Swiftboat vets

This has been the big news story for the last couple of weeks so, I figure I'll throw my 2 cents in and see what happens over the next couple of weeks.

I hear a lot of criticism about the vets making these claims. To me, these claims go to the very foundation of who John Kerry is. If true, I could never, and
this would be true no matter what party he belonged to, vote for him.
It's about honor , a lot of people don't understand how important
that word is to a person who has been in the military is. It is not
just a word or an adjective, it is a way of life. And if he has lied for the past 30
years, I want no part of him. And that's why I think it is important
for him to bring ALL of his papers forward. Prove them wrong, and I
honestly hope they are wrong. I in no way doubt the mans bravery, he
was in a shithole and deserves our admiration for that. If, however, these claims are true, nothing he could do or say would gain my support. He, if true, has dishonored everything that I stand for and have fought for.

Many people will say that this happened 35 years ago and should not be held against him. The problem with this is that he, not anyone else, has brought his record to the forefront of his run for office. If he is going to run on that platform than, it is his own fault if people may disagree with the way he saw things, and it is their right to stand up and say something.

Okay, for now that is all I have to say on this. We'll see what happens over the next week or so. I do have a feeling that something is being held back, I just don't know what. IT ought to be a fun few weeks.

What a horrible couple of weeks

Well, I haven't posted in I don't know how long. Let's see, I had to put my father in the hospital, he had an infection in the cath they use for his dialysis. Oh, I was in the hospital for a couple of days. And, to top off a perfect time, my sisters house was destroyed in last weeks hurricane. No one was hurt but, she doesn't have a home anymore. I'm back now and will hopefully have a little more time to post.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Blog Note

Due to some physical problems on my part and other family illnesses, I have ben unable to blog lately. I'm still not in the best of shape but will try and do a better job than I have over the las week or so.