Thursday, September 30, 2004

Debate #1

Well, I'd have to say that it was a draw. Both made good points and both missed oppurtunities. Well, I'd give the President 55% to Kerrys 45%.

Kerry did well in showing some of the weak points of the Bush Administration and Bush did a good job in hitting on Kerry's inconsistancies.

Nothing new came out of this debate which, hurt Kerry more than Bush. He could have taken much more advantage of some of the questions and failed to. Kerry should have used this oppurtunity to push more of his platform, which is what a debate is for, but, he didn't. He used the same pat lines he's used for the last few months. He could have attacked more, which would have done him some good, he didn't.

Both men came off good but I have to give the advantage to Kerry on this, he seemed much more comfortable.

The one thing that really stood out in my mind was on the Kyoto Protocol. Kerry basically blamed Bush for not signing it. Um, Senator Kerry, did you forget that you voted against them yourself?

I have to say, if you were undecided before the debate, you probably still are.

The transcript of the debate can be found here.

Too little, too late

George Will has an article out today that goes straight to the heart of this election.

If ever an administration, in a reelection season properly dominated by a single issue of the administration's choosing, has earned an electoral rebuke, it is this one. And if ever there has been a challenger who, together with his party, seemed perfectly designed to dissuade the electorate from administering such a rebuke, it is this one.

He nails it. Both these candidates have been inept at putting forth a coherent message to the detrement of themselves. Kerry should have been on the attack, when it comes to Iraq, since day 1. He wasted a perfect chance by only starting this 2 weeks ago.
Every successful candidate has a basic stump speech, the incessant reiteration of which drives the traveling media into insane lip-syncing of it. It is 15 minutes long -- five minutes on the problems, five on the candidate's solutions, five on the contrast with his opponent. It is 33 days before Election Day, and Kerry still has no such speech. So he must make the most of these parallel news conferences that we laughably call "debates."

As I mentioned here, how? How are you going to accomplish anything? I think it's too little too late for Kerry.
Kerry's problem is that he does not have either the ideas or the courage to take the debate where it needs to go: to an uncomfortable confrontation with some comfortable American attitudes. Bush believes, as most Americans always have, in natural rights: He believes a particular kind of civic order -- democracy, representation, the rule of law, a large sphere of privacy and individual autonomy -- is right for the fulfillment of human nature. But Bush also seems to believe -- at least the slapdash non-planning for the Iraq project suggests this belief -- that a natural right implies a natural (meaning a spontaneous and omnipresent) capacity.

Does Kerry differ from Bush concerning this consequential idea? Kerry's differences about Iraq are mostly retrospective (what he would have done differently) or his own kind of wishful thinking ("the world" riding to the rescue).

Exactly! There are many places that Kerry can attack Bush, will he have the courage to do it? I somehow doubt it. He offers us nothing and expects us to rise up and vote for him. Um, okay?

Kerry says he has a profoundly different opinion on how the War on Teror should go. He has yet to tell us, ya know, the people who vote, how he differs.

Tonight he gets that oppurtunity. Will it make a difference? I don't know but, I doubt it. Too little, too late.

Kerry to clarify position

BAL HARBOUR, Fla. - Calling President Bush "a very clever debater," Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry says their first appearance together Thursday night will give him the opportunity to be clear with people about where he stands on issues.

Correct me if I'm wrong but, hasn't Kerry been campaigning for at least a year? Why does he need the debates to clarify where he stands?
Asked why polls show Bush gaining support among women voters, Kerry said: "George Bush is scaring America. He's talking terror every day, and people see terrible images of what's happening in the world, and they're real."

This is the problem in a nut shell. Kerry thinks Bush is scaring people what he doesn't seem to grasp is, the world is scaring people. I honestly don't think this man understands what is going on in the world.

Kerry went on to say
"I know how to fight a more effective war on terror, and by the end of this campaign America will make that decision and that's why I'm going to win."

I've asked this on numerous occasions, HOW? You say you can do this and that and I still see nowhere where you give me any detail.

I don't know, it seems a little too late to figure out where you stand. Maybe this will work for him but, I doubt it. We'll se tonight just what he has to say.

CBS does it again

Bill at INDC Journal has interviewd a few CBS employees over the coverage of the draft issue. GO read it, it's very interesting. The thing that interested me most were Bill's conclusions,

1. The story was aired almost immediately following recent Kerry-Edwards talking points that were expressly designed to elicit unrealistic fear of a draft reinstatement for political purposes.

2. The story failed to disclose Ms. Cocco's political activism.

3. Even if the veracity of the e-mails wasn't central to the narrative of the segment, it was surely egregiously irresponsible to report their existence without disclosing their fundamental inaccuracy.

4. The use of inaccurate supporting material and the selective use of highly relevant facts mirrored many of the exact flaws that crippled the recent 60 Minutes story about George Bush's National Guard service.

It seems that the mindset of CBS is, the whole story doesn't matter, it's just the part we want on, that is.

Why is this?

The only conclusion that can be drawn is that CBS wants Bush gone. I'm sorry but, if you can give me a better explanation I'll gladly look it over and agree if it makes sense. I just don't see another explanation

African-Americans "afraid to vote

An African-American civil rights spokeswoman said on Wednesday that the new computerized voting machines "terrify" her, and that blacks are "afraid of machines like that."

Joanne Bland, the director and co-founder of the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute in Selma, Ala., told CNSNews.com on Wednesday that the new computerized voting machines are going to intimidate black voters in Florida and elsewhere and surpress their vote in the November presidential election because many blacks are not "technologically savvy."

Tell me something please, why isn' the African-American community up in arms over a statement like this? Bland basically said the blacks are too stupid to learn how to use a machine.
"The computers really terrify me. The electronic voting -- the new machines -- I think it will turn off a segment in my community, particularly the elderly. We are not as technically savvy, and we are afraid of machines like that, and they (African-Americans) probably won't go [to the polls] and they probably won't ask for assistance, said Bland, who spent the last week in Florida.

"It is going to turn them off totally and I want that to stop," said Bland, who also serves as a spokeswoman for the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Public Accuracy, which predicts that "several million voters" may be "deprived of voting rights again" in 2004.
Ahhh, it starts already. Charges of disenfranchisement. Most communities using these new computer voting systems are having clinics for their community to learn how to use the machines. There are also poll workers who are more than willing to help ANY voter with the machines. Now tell me, how is it anyones but the person who decides not to vote faul,t that they don't vote?

Voting is a duty of every American so get off of your lazy ass and do it. Stop making excuses of why you can't. If YOU decide not to vote because a machine scares you, good, you're an idiot and don't deserve to vote and have no say so in American politics.

I am utterly tired of listening to people bitch about the state of this country when they won't take the time to be a part of the system to change it. If you stay at home on November 2, shut up, I don't want to listen to you. YOU decided it wasn't worth it, YOU decided a machine was too "scary", YOU decided it was easier to whine than to make a change. SHUT UP.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Your drivers license picture is online

I was bored and was searching through the web and came across a website. You put your name city and state in and it brings up you dirvers license. Go here and check it out.
















Gotcha!!!! Thought is was funny.

Uninformed Americans

If matching presidential candidates to their positions on basic issues were like a "Jeopardy!" category, most Americans wouldn't earn a single dollar.

More than half of those polled by the National Annenberg Election Survey didn't know President Bush alone favors allowing private investments of some Social Security money. Nearly as many didn't know that only Democratic candidate John Kerry proposes getting rid of tax breaks for the overseas profits of U.S. companies.

Importing drugs from Canada? That's a Kerry issue, but nearly half either didn't know or thought Bush also supported changing federal law to allow for drug imports from Canada.

Making abortions more difficult to obtain? Nearly one-third of those surveyed didn't know Bush alone supports more restrictions on abortion.

Eliminating the tax on estates? Two-thirds didn't know that's a Bush proposal.

After two years of presidential campaigning and hundreds of millions of dollars in political ads, many voters remained clueless about those and other policies, according to the survey. Annenberg analyst Kate Kenski blamed the candidates for not stressing their points of view and the news media for focusing on character assessments and the race itself.

Excuse me but, bullshit. If people don't know where the candidates stand, it's because they are too lazy to get off their butts and find out. There is absolutely no reason for not knowing where a candidate stands, well, with Kerry, he stands all over but, you can still get a feeling on where he stands.

There are websites, libraries have free internet access, there are pamphlets both candidates have put out and on and on. If you can't figure something as easy as where a candidate stands, I hope to God you don't vote because you are an idiot.

One of my pet peeves

The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to hear a case on eminent domain. While I understand the need for cities to expand their tax base, I will never agree that using eminent domain is the way to go.

The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to consider reining in the power of cities to seize private homes to make way for business development.

Cities and states, armed with constitutional power to take private property for "public use," traditionally have used it to build roads, schools and airports.

But in recent years, many cities began using their land-use authority to condemn older homes to clear the way for shopping malls, hotels, apartments and business complexes. Officials say these private developments bring public benefits, including jobs and more tax revenue.

So, cities are stealing the land of some, to give to others. They use the excuse that it will create more jobs. So, theft is okay as long as it helps everyone, except the person you are stealing from? I don't know about that.
The justices voted to hear an appeal brought on behalf of several families in a working-class neighborhood of New London, Conn. Taking homes for private developments, they argue, is not what the Constitution means by "public use."

The libertarian Institute for Justice, which represents the homeowners, is urging the Supreme Court to call a halt to what it sees as a dangerous trend.

"If jobs and taxes can be a justification for taking someone's home or business, then no property in America is safe," said Dana Berliner, a lawyer for the group. "Anyone's home can create more jobs if it is replaced by a business, and any small business can generate greater taxes if replaced by a bigger one."

Ask Wal-Mart. They have a habit of doing this to people. And I want you to really listen to what Berliner said, NO PROPERTY IS IN AMERICA IS SAFE.

You get a job, get married, have kids, and buy a home. All of a sudden the city NEEDS your property to open a new chain store. In what way does this benefit you? You say no, you don't want to sell, it's your home. They decide your home needs to go and, they seize it, BY FORCE, because it would benefit society. UM, aren't you a member of society?
The Constitution says people whose property is taken are entitled to "just compensation." But the New London homeowners say the government is not entitled to take private property in the first place unless it is needed for a "public use." The recent trend "raises the specter that eminent domain authority is now being used to favor purely private interests," their lawyers said.

In their response, city officials said New London had been economically depressed since the closing of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in 1996.

"New London was a city desperate for economic rejuvenation," they said. When Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company, opened a research center there in 1998, the city announced plans for a 90-acre economic development in the nearby Fort Trumbull section. It envisioned a waterfront hotel and conference center, a retail complex and a new office park.

So, they kick 12 families out of their homes to build stores and a hotel. How is this for public use? The city will turn around and sell this property to PRIVATE ENTERPRISES. That is not public use. It's a way for the city to line it's coffers and it is wrong.

Are you unsure?

Are you unsure of who to vote for? Can't make up your mind where the candidates stand? John Kerry has the answer. Here is the site for you. Turn your volumn up.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The JOY of democracy

SHIBERGHAN, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of people gathered in a northern Afghan town on Tuesday to hear General Abdul Rashid Dostum launch his bid for the presidency, as a slow election campaign began to gather pace.

Crammed into a sports stadium in Shiberghan, Dostum's bastion, the crowd was largely from the minority ethnic Uzbek clan to which the former Communist commander belongs.

"Afghanistan is going through one of its difficult stages," the burly, mustachioed candidate told the crowd, 12 days ahead of Afghanistan's first direct presidential vote.

"You need to know who you want to vote for," he added, as thousands of supporters clapped in bright morning sunshine.

I won't comment on the candidate but man, this is good news. To those who say democracy can't take root in that part of the world, tell it to these people. They want and hunger for it. Maybe if you actually took the time to LISTEN to what these folks are saying instead of running your mouths about what they can't do, it would make it easier.

Duct Tape?

DUNLAP, Ind. - The father of a seventh-grader claims an assistant principal came up with a bizarre way to keep his son's pants from sagging in school: duct tape.

Scott Allison told the Concord School Board earlier this month that his 12-year-old son, Spencer, was ordered by a teacher to lift his shirt after she noticed the boy's underwear was showing above his pants, a violation of Concord Junior High School's dress code.

She sent him to Assistant Principal Patricia Walters, who told Spencer to pull up his pants and tuck in his shirt, Allison said.

"She then proceeded to duct tape his waist, three times around the waist," said Allison. "Then she sent him back to class, in front of his peers."

He said he worried his son would be mocked by his classmates at the school in the town about 20 miles east of South Bend.

"This outrages me and shocks me," Allison said.

Oh, cry me a frigging river. Maybe if you bought clothing that actually fit your child, this wouldn't have happened. No one wants to look at your kids ass. Buy him a belt and shut the hell up.

Voters rolls are up

New voters are flooding local election offices with paperwork, registering in significantly higher numbers than four years ago as attention to the presidential election runs high and an array of activist groups recruit would-be voters who could prove critical come Nov. 2.

Cleveland has seen nearly twice as many new voters register so far as compared with 2000; Philadelphia is having its biggest boom in new voters in 20 years; and counties are bringing in temporary workers and employees from other agencies to help process all the new registration forms.

This is a great thing. The more people who vote, the better it is to know how the country stands as a whole.

Let's just hope there isn't too much of this going on.

Jimmy Carter

In the Washington Post yesterday Jimmy Carter said,

It was obvious that in 2000 these basic standards were not met in Florida, and there are disturbing signs that once again, as we prepare for a presidential election, some of the state's leading officials hold strong political biases that prevent necessary reforms.

Tell me Mr. Carter, how would you know this? I mean, you never bothered speaking to anyone in the Secretary of States office.
Alia Faraj, a spokesman for the Florida secretary of state, who oversees elections in the state, said Mr. Carter's column appeared to be based on out-of-date information about the state's progress in reforming its voting system.
"Former President Carter has been a statesman," Miss Faraj said, "but in this case, he did not reach out to the secretary of state to have a conversation with her and doesn't recognize all the reforms that we do have in place and have had in place since the 2000 election."

So, he didn't talk to the person or anyone in the department that runs elections in Florida and he ignored reforms that are already in place.

Let's see what else Mr.Carter said.
Four years ago, the top election official, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, was also the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney state campaign committee. The same strong bias has become evident in her successor, Glenda Hood, who was a highly partisan elector for George W. Bush in 2000. Several thousand ballots of African Americans were thrown out on technicalities in 2000, and a fumbling attempt has been made recently to disqualify 22,000 African Americans (likely Democrats), but only 61 Hispanics (likely Republicans), as alleged felons.

Now that seems bad but, what do those who run the elections have to say?
Miss Faraj said the state began a process to purge felons from the voter rolls, but the process was flawed and eventually abandoned.

Ah, so, they came up with a process to purge felons from the voters roll found out it was flawed and stopped using that process. Did Mr. Carter mention this in his article? No, he didn't.

He also said
The top election official has also played a leading role in qualifying Ralph Nader as a candidate, knowing that two-thirds of his votes in the previous election came at the expense of Al Gore. She ordered Nader's name be included on absentee ballots even before the state Supreme Court ruled on the controversial issue.

Yep, he's right. But let's look at it like a smart person would. Glenda Hood has a job to do. Her job is to make sure elections go off. A third party wanted their candidate on the ballot. There were questions as to whether that party had any legal standing in the state of Florida. She, doing her job, put said candidate on the candidate roll until it was resolved by the Florida Supreme Court. What did they say, put him on. Now, if Mr. Carter really has a problem with Nader being on the ballots, why didn't he criticise the FSC? Oh, wait, maybe it's because the FSC is a bastion of Democrats.
HE then says
It is unconscionable to perpetuate fraudulent or biased electoral practices in any nation.

He is absolutely right but this is the same man who was a monitor in Venezuela. Chavez was losing 58% to 41%. The exit polling showed the same percentage. What happens? Chavez wins with 58% of the vote. What did Carter have to say? He said that the polling data was "erroneous information" and that the election was conducted fairly. Hmmmmm, okay.

Now, let's have an overview. He doesn't speak to those in charge of the elections. He makes inaccurate assertions about those same people. And he turned his head while someone the people didn't want as their leader became their leader again, through fraudelent means.

Tell me, I should take what this man says serious, why?

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Here we go again.

We have yet another hurricane coming at us. I'm outta here. Be good and be safe.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Blog note

I'm leaving in a few moments to take my father to have a couple of procedures done at the hospital. While not serious, anything with done to my father is life threatening. Please keep him in your thoughts this morning. I'll let you know how things went when I return later today. Thank you.

UPDATE: Everything went fine. Dad is good and at home. Two half hour procedures turned into 6 and a half hour procedures. Fun Fun.

Tax breaks will remain

Legislation extending three popular middle-class tax cuts for the rest of the decade sailed through Congress by lopsided votes in both the House and Senate, giving President Bush a major legislative victory on his signature economic issue, tax relief.

Many Democrats complained during debate Thursday that the majority Republicans who control Congress should have offset the lost revenue to keep the nation's soaring deficits from getting worse.

But in the end large numbers of Democrats supported the package, something that Republican tax-cut proponents had counted on occurring with a congressional election only 40 days away.

The $145.9 billion tax cut package was approved in the House by a 339-65 vote, with 125 Democrats joining 213 Republicans and one independent in voting for the proposal. In the Senate, the measure passed by a 92-3 vote.

Good news!! I do, however, agree with the democrats on one issue. Savings by the government need to offset this. We can not depend on the President to say no to any proposal so, it is up to Congress to find ways to cut spending.

It's quite simple really. If you only make so much a year, if you are smart, you don't spend morre than you have so, you cut the fat out. Congress needs to do the same thing.

Terri Schiavo

I'll probably catch some heat for my beliefs on this.

Dealing a defeat to Gov. Jeb Bush, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that was rushed through the Legislature last fall to keep a severely brain-damaged woman hooked to a feeding tube.

The seven-member court unanimously said Bush and lawmakers improperly tried to pull an end run around the court system in the case of Terri Schiavo, who has been at the center of a long and bitter right-to-die dispute that pits her husband against his in-laws.

As early as 2000, lower courts had ruled that Michael Schiavo could have his wife's feeding tube removed. But last October, the Legislature passed "Terri's Law" to override the courts, and Bush quickly invoked it to order the tube reinserted, six days after it had been withdrawn.

It's not often I will agree with the Florida Supreme Court but, in this case, I do."Terri's law", while noble, was a bad idea. It can be used to override the wishes of the person it was meant to "protect". In this specific case, the husband, Michael, says it was his wifes wish not to be kept alive by extra human efforts. The parents say she never expressed thoise wishes to them.

While I understand the parents not wanting to lose their child, they lost her 14 years ago. They can not bring her back, no matter how much they may want to. They say she never expressed these wishes to them. I don't find this strange at all. She was married, married couples usually discuss things with each other that they wouldn't discuss with others, for the simple reason that, they are married. My parents do not know what my wishes are if something like this were to happen to me. Another person does and has written instructions from me on it. Why don't my parents know? Think about this a moment. What parent wants to listen to their child talk about their, basically, dying? That may sound too simple but, it is true. Try talking to your parents about your wishes if something like this were to happen to you. They will either try and change the subject, or say it will never happen. It is a parents nature.

While I truly do feel sorry for the parents, it's time to let this woman rest.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

The U.N.

Victor Davis Hanson has a good article on the U.N. I just want to touch on a small part of it. Why the silence at the Presidents speech?

First, the U.N. is not the idealistic postwar organization of our collective Unicef and Unesco nostalgia, the old perpetual force for good that we once associated with hunger relief and peacekeeping. Its membership is instead rife with tyrannies, theocracies and Stalinist regimes. Many of them, like Algeria, Cuba, Iran, Vietnam and Zimbabwe, have served on the U.N.'s 53-member Commission on Human Rights. The Libyan lunocracy--infamous for its dirty war with Chad and cash bounties to mass murderers--chaired the 2003 session. For Mr. Bush to talk to such folk about the need to spread liberty means removing from power, or indeed jailing, many of the oppressors sitting in his audience.

This goes right to the heart of the matter. How can you talk about liberty when a good amount of the people you are talking to, do not want it? More than half of the population of the world lives under tyranical regimes and yet, we let the leaders of those countries head the Commision on Human Rights and make votes about liberty in the U.N. Does this make any sense whatsoever?
Second, urging democratic reforms in Palestine, as Mr. Bush also outlined, is antithetical to the very stuff of the U.N., an embarrassing reminder that nearly half of its resolutions in the past half-century have been aimed at punishing tiny democratic Israel at the behest of its larger,more populous--and dictatorial--Arab neighbors. The contemporary U.N., then, has become not only hypocritical, but also a bully that hectors Israel about the West Bank while it gives a pass to a nuclear, billion-person China after swallowing Tibet; wants nothing to do with the two present dangers to world peace, a nuclear North Korea and soon to follow theocratic Iran; and idles while thousands die in the Sudan.

Embarrassing? To the U.N.? I'd have to say no to this. They think most of the woes in the Middle East are the fault of one tiny country. Here's a thought. Since Israel is the only democracy in the area and all the other countries around it are controlled by nut jobs, who want to destroy them, don't you think it's the other countries fault that the region is so unbalanced? We're talking about a country that is at it's widest point maybe 70 miles wide and 240 miles long. It's all their fault?

And, do we really need to take an orginisation serious when they will condemn Israel and ignore Rwanda and Sudan?
Third, the present secretary-general, Kofi Annan, is himself a symbol of all that is wrong with the U.N. A multibillion dollar oil-for-food fraud, replete with kickbacks (perhaps involving a company that his own son worked for), grew unchecked on his watch, as a sordid array of Baathist killers, international hustlers and even terrorists milked the national petroleum treasure of Iraq while its own people went hungry. In response, Mr. Annan stonewalls, counting on exemption from the New York press on grounds of his unimpeachable liberal credentials. Meanwhile, he prefers to denigrate the toppling of Saddam Hussein as "illegal," but neither advocates reinstitution of a "legal" Saddam nor offers any concrete help to Iraqis crafting consensual society. Like the U.N. membership itself, he enjoys the freedom, affluence and security of a New York, but never stops to ask why that is so or how it might be extended to others less fortunate.

Victor is all over it today, isn't he? What has the U.N. done in regards to Iraq? Well, for 12 years they ignored it. All they managed to do was make 17 resolutions, that they promply ignored. When someone finally decides to do something, it's called illegal, although if Mr. Annan took the time to read resolution 1441, he would know that the invasion of Iraq was not only legal, but that it was called for by Hussiens own actions.

We then find out that member states not only ignored those resolutions but were making money OFF THE BACKS OF THE IRAQI PEOPLE. What's done about that? Nothing, at first, Annan doesn't want his poor boy to be tried, now does he? Then, we get an investigation that can do nothing because it isn't given the proper tools to do anything.

You may think I'm going to call for the U.S. to leave the U.N. You'd be wrong. I think one of two things need to happen. Either the U.N. starts to take it's role seriously, by getting rid of member states who do not believe in freedom and actually doing what it says it will do. Or, just call itself a debate society, that's what it is now, and be done with it.

If, and only if, one those things aren't done, the U.S. should pull out of it and maybe broaden the scope of the NATO alliance or form a new style of the U.N. The old way is not working.

Oh, and I think the U.N. should go to Geneva.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Blog note

it gets better and better. Yesterday, I didn't have electric for part of the day, the other part of the day I didn't have cable hence, no blogging. When I finally got both working at the same time, I couldn't sign in to blogger. Now, gotta take dad to the docs. More tonight.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Go, Read

Now!
The names at the top of the article should be familiar to you, if not. Go here and here.
I'll even give you a teaser.

WHEN John Kerry "reported for duty" at the Democratic Na tional Convention and pres ented himself as qualified to lead by virtue of his service in Vietnam, he opened up for public scrutiny his actions in Vietnam and, later, as an antiwar activist. Kerry's critics, including the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, promptly responded with a critique of Kerry's record. The charges and counter-charges have left many confused, especially as some issues seem to turn on obscure, if not arcane, facts.

What follows is a primer on the main issues, the evidence and open questions.

That's all I'll give you, go read the rest.

Just to make you laugh

A Spanish man tried to have his wife charged with domestic abuse because she refused to have sex with him on five consecutive days, Spanish newspaper El Sur reported on Friday.

The middle-aged man from Seville -- the city of Don Juan and Carmen -- said her refusals amounted to "degrading treatment" and domestic abuse, a term used more often to describe wife-battering.

The judge shelved the case, Andalusia-based El Sur reported.

I'll bet a lot of husbands will want to see the eventual verdict on this.

Dan Rather makes a statement

Last week, amid increasing questions about the authenticity of documents used in support of a "60 Minutes Wednesday" story about President Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard, CBS News vowed to re-examine the documents in question-and their source-vigorously. And we promised that we would let the American public know what this examination turned up, whatever the outcome.

Now, after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically. I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers. That, combined with some of the questions that have been raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where-if I knew then what I know now-I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question.

But we did use the documents. We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry. It was an error that was made, however, in good faith and in the spirit of trying to carry on a CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism.

Please know that nothing is more important to us than people's trust in our ability and our commitment to report fairly and truthfully.

I don't buy it. They did not make a mistake in judgment, they jumped on a story without completely checking it out. And why did more extensive interviews need to be done? Shouldn't they have been done to begin with? Isn't that what jouranlism is all about? Talk about CYA. the last sentence made me laugh.
Please know that nothing is more important to us than people's trust in our ability and our commitment to report fairly and truthfully.

Yeah, right, they are scared to death that their sponsors are going to jump ship. With the ratings they recieved last week, I can't blame them.

CBS went on to say
'60 Minutes Wednesday' had full confidence in the original report or it would not have aired. However, in the wake of serious and disturbing questions that came up after the broadcast, CBS News has done extensive additional reporting in an effort to confirm the documents’ authenticity.

Shouldn't that investigation have taken place BEFORE you went on air?
Based on what we now know, CBS News cannot prove that the documents are authentic, which is the only acceptable journalistic standard to justify using them in the report. We should not have used them. That was a mistake, which we deeply regret. Nothing is more important to us than our credibility and keeping faith with the millions of people who count on us for fair, accurate, reliable, and independent reporting. We will continue to work tirelessly to be worthy of that trust.”

Well, you lost mine. It is things like this that make people believe that there is a bias in the media. You jumped on a story without vetting it and expect us to think there wasn't an agenda behind it? Come on, we aren't stupid here.
Bill Burkett, in a weekend interview with CBS News Anchor and Correspondent Dan Rather, has acknowledged that he provided the now-disputed documents used in the Sept. 8 "60 Minutes Wednesday" report on President Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard.

Burkett, a retired National Guard lieutenant colonel, also admits that he deliberately misled the CBS News producer working on the report, giving her a false account of the documents’ origins to protect a promise of confidentiality to the actual source.

Burkett originally said he obtained the documents from another former Guardsman. Now he says he got them from a different source whose connection to the documents and identity CBS News has been unable to verify to this point. Burkett’s interview will be featured in a full report on tonight’s CBS Evening News with Dan Rather

Don't buy this either. Yes, Burkett has things against Bush but, I think he called CBS and said, I got the goods, and CBS bought it. There was no misleading, there was a rush to put on a story that CBS knew would hurt Bush without checking it out. That's it, plain and simple.

CBS is playing the ultimate CYA and people will believe them. I don't. You may, it's your choice but, CBS has proven they are not trustworthy.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a slogan

After months of struggling to find a theme to capture the essence of his candidacy, Sen. John F. Kerry has settled on one: The election, he says, boils down to a decision between four more years of "wrong choices" or a "new direction."

Seeing that Kerry changes direction every 20 minutes, which way is he going to go?
To some Democrats unnerved by President Bush's recent surge in the polls, Kerry's adoption of a clearly defined theme to draw contrasts with the Republican incumbent offers a measure of hope.

It only took him until Labor day to come up with a theme. how long do you think it will take before he actually defines his agenda?
The question for Kerry is whether this new approach to framing the election comes too late to matter.

"He's shifting the game plan in the fourth quarter here," said Joe Tuman, a San Francisco State University political communications professor. "It's coming very late, and that doesn't speak well for how they're managing their campaign."

It also doesn't speak well for how he will run the country.
One of the most visible results is the change in rhetoric. Earlier attempts by the Massachusetts senator at clarifying his message — among his slogans were "Let America Be America Again" and "Stronger at Home, Respected in the World" — had little effect, analysts say.

"You had a lot of mush," said Tim Hibbitts, an independent Oregon pollster.

With the election a little more than six weeks away and debates looming as the last predictable milestone of the race, he added, "they don't have a lot more time to try out new themes."

Actually, they're out of time.

We have a change in slogans, a change in theme, a change in operatives and a a change of mind, every 20 minutes. Kerry needs to get it together quickly and hope it isn't too late.

Kofi Annan

This says it all. No need for commentary.

Last we checked, U.N. chief Kofi Annan was promising to help the U.S. rebuild Iraq. But pressed by a BBC interviewer last week, the Secretary-General stated flat out that the liberation of Iraq was "illegal" and a violation of the U.N. Charter. He had already opined that "there should have been a second resolution" authorizing the invasion, and that "I hope we do not see another Iraq-type operation for a long time."

These thoughts could certainly stand a little parsing. Mr. Annan seems to be saying that the only way force can be used legitimately in the modern world is with the unanimous permission of the U.N. Security Council. So perhaps we should remind him of some recent history.

For example, there was that splendidly legitimate U.N. operation in Bosnia, where its blue-helmeted peacekeepers watched with indifference as Serbian soldiers rounded up for slaughter thousands of Muslim men in the so-called U.N. "safe haven" of Srebrenica. Or Rwanda in 1994, where Mr. Annan--then head of the U.N. peacekeeping office--shrugged off panicked warning calls from the U.N. commander on the ground, thereby allowing the slaughter of 800,000.

And if liberating Iraq was wrong, Mr. Annan must also believe it was wrong for NATO to have intervened in Kosovo, where Russia once again prevented Security Council unanimity. How about the recent French intervention in the Ivory Coast, which the Security Council got around to blessing only after it was a fait accompli? And notwithstanding the latest U.N. promises, what if Gallic and Chinese oil interests block international action in Sudan, allowing the continued attacks on Darfurians? It would appear, on this evidence, that Security Council unanimity isn't exactly the gold standard of legitimacy, much less of morality.

And what's this business about a "second" Iraq resolution? U.N. Resolution 1441 was the 17th resolution demanding that Saddam verifiably disarm, behave with some modicum of respect for the rights of his own citizens, and otherwise comply with conditions of the ceasefire following the end of the 1991 Gulf War. From firing at American planes patrolling the no-fly zones, to widespread sanctions busting, to a banned long-range missile program, the Iraqi dictator was in undeniable breach in March 2003 of the terms under which his regime was spared back in 1991. In other words, there was never any legal need for even Resolution 1441.

It only took them 2 weeks

This falls in the category of, well, DUH.

After days of expressing confidence about the documents used in a "60 Minutes'' report that raised new questions about President Bush's National Guard service, CBS News officials have grave doubts about the authenticity of the material, network officials said last night.

The officials, who asked not to be identified, said CBS News would most likely make an announcement as early as today that it had been deceived about the documents' origins. CBS News has already begun intensive reporting on where they came from, and people at the network said it was now possible that officials would open an internal inquiry into how it moved forward with the report. Officials say they are now beginning to believe the report was too flawed to have gone on the air.

In other words, after 2 weeks of being brow beaten, made fun of, and proven wrong, over and over again, we think it's time to say what everyone knew already.

They say they now believe the documents were too flawed to go forward with. Where was the due diligence we expect from the news media? I'm not one who believes that there is a liberal bias in the media, I think everyone is biased, but, this really has me wondering about CBS.

UPDATE:
Take a look at this. It shows copies of the CBS memos and actual memos out of Killians Files. Very big difference.

Charter Schools are working

Expect a big lash back from the teachers unions on this one.

The vast majority of children attending the nation's 1,146 charter schools with at least 10 students are more proficient in reading and math than their nearest regular public school with a similar racial composition, a Harvard University study found.
"In states where charter schools are well-established, charter school as students' advantage in proficiency tends to be greater," economics researcher Caroline M. Hoxby concluded.
The study, just completed, compared test scores of 46,000 charter school students in 20 states and the District — almost every student attending the special schools with fewer restrictions than traditional public schools.

Interesting. Read the rest here.

He listened to me

It seems that John Kerry has taken some of my advice. He's now going to start directing more attention to Iraq. From Newsweek.

Sitting in his black-leather swivel chair, with his trusty world atlas beside him, John Kerry huddled with his aides in the executive-style cabin at the front of his campaign jet. Kerry was preparing to accuse the president of failing to tell the truth about "the mess in Iraq"—part of an aggressive fall strategy to challenge George W. Bush on the war. But before he spoke to the National Guard convention in Las Vegas, Kerry sought the advice of yet another sounding board on his plane: former four-star general Wes Clark. Kerry knew from Vietnam what it felt like to face the bullets without the support of the folks back home. So how, one of his senior staff wanted to know, would Kerry's attacks go down now with the troops in Iraq? "Look, the soldiers are debating it themselves on the ground," Clark reassured Kerry's inner circle. "They're coming back and they're incredibly critical. You have to call it like it is."

After many months of trying to find some topic to beat Bush on, he chooses Iraq. Not a bad move, as, there are some problems there. The worry for them is, how will the people react to attacks about Iraq with soldies on the ground.

Smart thinking, attacking at this point can actually do more bad than good for Kerry. A lot of people do not want to hear such attacks while we have people there. Clark has a point though, many of the soldiers coming back are questioning our being there. What he fails to take into consideration is, in every war, soldiers question whether we should be there or not. This isn't anything new.
After the summer's phony war over Vietnam medals and memos, the 2004 election has landed in the real-world battleground of Iraq. For Camp Kerry, it's a liberating feeling to engage in straight talk about Iraq, shaking off debate about the candidate's Senate votes.

Did you read that? Let me put that down again.
shaking off debate about the candidate's Senate votes.

Lord knows we don't want to talk about where a candidate has stood on issues over the last 20 years. They have to be kidding, right? If this is the attitude thay plan to take, they can pack their bags and go home, they will get destroyed.
"I'm thrilled," said one of Kerry's longtime loyalists, "because it's the John Kerry I know and love." Kerry's gambit: to revive his campaign—trailing by anywhere between one and 13 points in new polls—by questioning Bush's credibility on the conflict, his management of postwar Iraq and the no-bid contracts won by his veep's old firm, Halliburton. Kerry is betting that the hard truths of Iraq will undercut Bush's soft-focus picture of a liberated nation, and ultimately the president's image as a war leader.

While questioning some of the problems faced in Iraq may be a good thing, going after Bush as a war leader is going to back fire on them. People will look at that as an attack on the troops, even though it isn't meant as one.
The reaction from Camp Bush was gleeful. "Good," said one senior Bush aide. "We're glad he's talking about Iraq." It remains Exhibit A in the flip-flopping case against Kerry, built around his prewar nuances and his postwar votes. Moreover, the Bush campaign sees Kerry's attacks as a sign of weakness and as an attempt to shore up his base—a leftward tilt that could alienate "persuadables" in battleground states. Bush's advisers are confident that their candidate can win any contest of straight talk, pointing to a series of polls that give him a big lead on questions of honesty and consistency. And Bush is certainly bullish on the subject on the stump. "We'll help them get their elections, we'll get them on the path to stability and democracy as quickly as possible, and then our troops will return home with the honor they have earned," he told one rally in St. Cloud, Minn., last week. Yet back in Washington, Bush quietly receives considerably less glossy weekly national-security briefings on Iraq. In their candid moments, the president's aides concede they have struggled to convince voters about the mission in Iraq now that Saddam Hussein is sitting in jail. "Well, no, I don't think they know what it is," said one senior Bush strategist.

Can you blame the Bush campaign for being happy? We're what, 44 days out and the Keery camp has just figured this out? And, this really may be a loser for Kerry because his position has changed so many times. It will be interesting to watch.

The last sentence of that paragraph is the most important for Bush. They have not been good at explaining what our mission is in Iraq. Is it too late to start explaining now? No, this is one of the main issues Bush should consintrate on. Get your message out about Iraq, make it simple and help Americans understand where it is you're coming from.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Um, you fired the wrong person

SEATTLE -- A radio talk-show host said Saturday he has been fired for criticizing CBS newsman Dan Rather's handling of challenges to the authenticity of memos about President Bush's National Guard service.

"On the talk show that I host, or hosted, I said I felt Rather should either retire or be forced out over this," said Brian Maloney, whose weekly "The Brian Maloney Show" aired for three years on KIRO-AM Radio, a CBS affiliate here.

Maloney says he made that statement on his Sept. 12 program. He was fired Friday, he said.

"What they have expressed is essentially that my show went in a direction they're not comfortable with," Maloney said.

KIRO Radio's general manager, Ken Berry, did not return a call seeking comment. A staff member at the station said Berry would not comment because it is a personnel matter.

He would not comment because they did something completely stupid and thought that no one would hear about it. SURPRISE!!!!!

Now we're starting to hear exactly how CBS works. First, they try to blame the White House for their screw up and now this.

As in my post about fat folks, this comes down to personal responsibility. Firing someone because they called you out, well, it seems like your trying to hide something. The problem, everyone knows you screwed up. Admit it.

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin

Old site new design

The new QandO is up and running. Go take a look at it and enjoy. Dale has worked hard to make it a more interactive site and, I think it's a good way for more people to voice their opinions.

Are you fat? Wwhy not sue?

When does personal choice come into play?

BOSTON -- A single lawsuit against the food industry is not enough to reduce the number of overweight and obese Americans, according to panelists at a weekend health law conference.
It will take numerous suits, federal laws and government regulations sweeping across the food and several nonfood industries to make a significant impact.
That message was the underlying theme for the conference on legal approaches to obesity that commenced here yesterday, sponsored by the Public Health Advocacy Institute. The second annual conference, made up of trial lawyers, dietitians and public-health advocates, follows a year in which several obesity-related suits have been filed against food manufacturers and fast-food chains.

Of course, not stuffing your face full of food every chance you get may work too.

This is utterly ridiculous. Most overweight people are that way because they lack control. It is no ones fault but their own and to sue, because you can't control yourself, is wrong. It's lawsuits like this that make people see what a joke our judicial system is.
"We know that litigation ultimately wins," said George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf III, one of the leaders for the obesity lawsuits. But Mr. Banzhaf pushed the 90 or so participants at Sherman Hall at Northeastern University yesterday to think beyond suing the food industry.
Mr. Banzhaf said he plans to talk at today's panel about potential lawsuits such as suing doctors who do not warn and counsel obese patients at risk for triggering other chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, gallbladder disease and various cancers.

Yes, it's the doctors fault too. Let me tell you, every time I go to the doctors, she tells me 2 things, quit smoking and lose weight. EVERY doctor does the same thing. Really, how about skipping the fourth and fifth plates of food?
"What we see as a hallmark of addiction is loss of control and we see that in a lot of obese people who have lost control with eating," said William Jacobs, anesthesiology and assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Florida.
Mr. Jacobs, who works in the university's brain institute, said obese subjects in his studies often demonstrate addiction symptoms such as preoccupation, relapses, narrowness of interests, loss of control and continued detrimental behaviors despite knowing the harm associated with excessive weight gain.

So, the answer is to sue restaraunts? How about going to the root of the problem, the persons own mind? I mean, wouldn't that actually solve the problem?
Marshall Manson, spokesman for an Alexandria nonprofit advocacy group promoting individual freedoms, said the talk of more obesity-based lawsuits is troubling.
"We are worried that there has been some progress toward limiting choice and waving goodbye to personal responsibility," said Mr. Manson with the Center for Individual Freedom. "It seems as if this group is running the same play book the tobacco lawyers did, except they're dealing with a perfectly legal and healthy -- if consumed in moderate proportions -- product."

How completely unfeeling. How dare he place the blame on the person ingesting 5 tons of food. They can't help but to keep ordering and ordering. No, no, personal responsibility shouldn't come into play in this. It's all those big bad Big Macs fault.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

I'm LAZY

I don't feel like blogging. I may later tonight, check back.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Hmmmmmmm

President Bush has surged to a 13-point lead over Sen. John Kerry among likely voters, a new Gallup Poll shows. The 55%-42% match-up is the first statistically significant edge either candidate has held this year

Article found here.

What does this imply? This early in the cycle, although it's getting later everyday, polls don't mean much. But, this is quite a significant lead and, Gallup has a reputation of accuracy. Although I don't think it really means much, it is a flash point in time and Kerry is taking them serious in that he has changed a goodly portion of his staff.

Kerry's main problem, in my opinion, is, he is even more wooden than Gore. He comes off as a rich, snobby white guy. While he is all of those, he needs to change the appearence that he is. His stump speeches are boring and do not grip the audience. While I do not intend on voting for him, there are some things that I agree with Kerry on but, he isn't giving me anything. He has yet to tell us how he plans to do any of the things he says he is going to do. On some things, he just says he'd do it better than Bush. His story changes from city to city. None of this inspires confidence.

So, I have some tips for John Kerry

1. Animate yourself. Monotone is fine but, it puts people to sleep.

2. While no one votes for someone because of their pick for VP. you need to use Edwards more. He is an engaging speaker, let's face it, it's how he made his money, he's charismatic, and he is, oh, so cute.

3. Talk about the economy. While we have the fastest growing economy in almost 30 years, people are to blind to see it. BTW, use actual facts and not the poo you've been saying, it's too easy to debunk

4. Talk about Iraq. Even though things are going much better than the MSM would have us believe, people still, for some reason, believe them. Use the word quagmire a lot, it makes people think of Vietnam.

5. On that topic, STOP, for God's sweet sake, STOP, talking about Vietnam, it is a loser for you.

6. Lastly, do not, under any circumstance, allow your wife to open her mouth. She comes off a a domineering rich bitch. 2 of you is far too many.

Poor CBS Part 2

It seems that ABC News has done something CBS should have done from the begining, find Retired Col. Walter Staudt and ask him about Bush. So, what did the Colonel have to say?

Retired Col. Walter Staudt, who was brigadier general of Bush's unit in Texas, interviewed Bush for the Guard position and retired in March 1972. He was mentioned in one of the memos allegedly written by Lt. Col. Jerry Killian as having pressured Killian to assist Bush, though Bush supposedly was not meeting Guard standards.

"I never pressured anybody about George Bush because I had no reason to," Staudt told ABC News in his first interview since the documents were made public.

The memo stated that "Staudt is pushing to sugar coat" a review of Bush's performance.

Staudt said he decided to come forward because he saw erroneous reports on television. CBS News first reported on the memos, which have come under scrutiny by document experts who question whether they are authentic. Killian, the purported author of the documents, died in 1984.

Staudt insisted Bush did not use connections to avoid being sent to Vietnam.

"He didn't use political influence to get into the Air National Guard," Staudt said, adding, "I don't know how they would know that, because I was the one who did it and I was the one who was there and I didn't talk to any of them."

Can you hear the moans from the CBS newsroom?
During his time in charge of the unit, Staudt decided whether to accept those who applied for pilot training. He recalled Bush as a standout candidate.

"He was highly qualified," he said. "He passed all the scrutiny and tests he was given."

Staudt said he never tried to influence Killian or other Guardsmen, and added that he never came under any pressure himself to accept Bush. "No one called me about taking George Bush into the Air National Guard," he said. "It was my decision. I swore him in. I never heard anything from anybody."

Well, now you know he's lying because Ben Barnes said he helped get Bush in. It doesn't matter that Staudt actually tested and qualified Bush, Ben Barnes said he helped and we know he would have no reason to lie.

As for Staudt putting pressure on Killian after he retired
"I didn't check in with anybody — I had no reason to," he said. "I was busy with my civilian endeavors, and they were busy with their military options. I had no reason to talk to them, and I didn't."

What a tangled web. Not only are the documents fake, but the contents are false. Doesn't your heart bleed for CBS?

Why are they so scared?

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., urged the Florida Supreme Court to allow Ralph Nader on the state ballot after it hears an appeal Friday by the independent presidential candidate.

A state judge rejected Nader's efforts to be on the ballot as the candidate of the Reform Party, which the judge said is no longer a legitimate national party under state law. The state supreme court said it will issue a ruling shortly after hearing the appeal.

"I believe it would be a mistake to let a set of inequitable ballot rules keep a legitimate presidential candidate off the ballot," McCain said in a statement released Thursday night by The Reform Institute, a political and educational organization he chairs.

"These obstacles discourage public participation in elections by denying voters the right to vote for their preferred candidate. Keeping Nader off the ballot in the hope that his voters will be forced to support another candidate is patently unfair to those Floridians who, for whatever reason, have decided he's their man," McCain said.

Democrats have challenged efforts by Nader to be listed on the ballots in more than a dozen states. Many blame Nader for Democrat Al Gore's loss to Republican George W. Bush in the 2000 election, especially in Florida, where Bush won by just 537 votes. Nader drew more than 97,000 votes in the state.

But, but, if Kerry is THE MAN for right now, why are the Democrats running so scared when it comes to Nader? They don't want to draw off voters from their man. Aww, poor babies, scared of a little guy like Nader. Maybe they should have put up a better candidate. Ya think?

The White House makes a stand

The White House has finally said something on the documents shown by CBS. I say finally, only because it's been more than a week, I did not and still do not feel that the President should defend himself against false documents.

Ending a weeklong reluctance to wade into the debate over whether Mr. Rather used forged documents to criticize Mr. Bush's service in the National Guard, White House press secretary Scott McClellan adopted a more aggressive stance yesterday.
"CBS has now acknowledged that the crux of their story may have been based of forged documents," he told reporters aboard Air Force One.
The spokesman also fired back at Mr. Rather for challenging the president to "answer the questions" raised in his widely discredited report, which aired Sept. 8 on "60 Minutes II." The anchorman told an interviewer on Tuesday that such presidential candor would help Bush win re-election.
"It's always best for journalists to stick to reporting the facts and not try to dispense campaign advice," Mr. McClellan said.

Facts, we don't need no stinking facts. We tell you what you should talk about and you damn well better like it.

I find it interesting that CBS or Dan Rather won't ask John Kerry these questions, but want Bush to answer questions based on false documents. Bias? Hmmmmmmmm.
He also commented on Mr. Rather's attempt to salvage the story by interviewing an 86-year-old Bush critic on Wednesday's edition of "60 Minutes II." The anchorman asked Marian Knox, a secretary for a National Guard unit more than 30 years ago, whether Mr. Bush received preferential treatment.
"I feel that he did," she replied.
To which Mr. McClellan answered, "So now some are looking at feelings and not the facts. We don't have to rely on the feelings of a nice woman who has firmly stated her opposition to the president."

Mclellan would be speaking of Mrs. knox's statements that Bush was "unfit for office" and that he was "selected, not elected". Do those sound familiar? They should, they've been Democratic talking points since the 2000 election. Hey, do you think that Mrs. Knox was coached by the DNC before the interviews? Just a thought.
Mr. McClellan said CBS has been slow to investigate its own story and did so only after other news outlets launched their own probes.
"They have determined that they will follow other news organizations and look into the serious questions that have been raised," he said. "A number of media organizations have been doing that. And now CBS has decided to do so, as well."

But of course, they want to "break" the story.

On this, le's get into the blogosphere's role in this. The blogosphere did what we did because we are a bunch of anal folks. We look to detail in everything and in a lot of cases, we seek the whole truth of a given topic. In most cases, only one side is given and we look, and this goes for blogs on both sides of the aisle, for, to quote a famous guy, "the rest of the story". It isn't, in most cases, to take the MSM down, it is to keep them honest. We are not the "new media", we are a bunch of folks who hate one sidedness and we have big ego's, let's be honest now, blogs are ego driven, and want to say, hey, you're full of it, this is the REAL story.

This is a pretty good discription of the blogosphere.
I think everyone misses the point of Blogs entirely.

The blogsphere is a giant B.S. filter of what is fed to us from the MSM. Instead of one reporter getting some information, then disseminating it to us through his biased mind, and then feeding it to us as he sees it, we have Blogs which consist of millions (?) of people that have more combined knowledge on the subjects the reporter is giving us and thoroughly disecting it to find out what the -REAL- truth is.

Hat tip to McQ on that quote.

For a far better discription of the blogospheres role in today's world, go here.

Back to the topic at hand. CBS is in some trouble. We, the consumer want answers, and ae getting a run around instead. I think Bernard Goldberg put it best.
He doesn't have to give us the guy's name and address, just tell us what motivated him to leak the documents to CBS News. It's a common journalistic practice, after all, to shed as much light on an unnamed source as possible. That's why we often read "a source close to the administration" or "a police source involved in the investigation" said such and such. No name. But enough info so the news consumer understands, as they say, where the source is coming from. In the case of the leaked memos, does the source have any connection to the Democrats? How about the Kerry campaign? If Dan told us that, he'd still be faithful to his source, but at least as importantly, he'd be showing good faith to his viewers by giving them a clue as to the source's motives, whatever they might be.

Instead, Dan and CBS News do what they'd never tolerate in a crooked politician: They circle the wagons. First we get a statement about how there's no internal investigation going on at CBS; then we get a bunch of stories by CBS News backing up the original "60 Minutes" piece that are so one-sided they'd get a junior-high journalism student an "F" for lack of balance; then on "60 Minutes" we did get a former secretary, "a credible voice" as Dan Rather put it, who told him that "she believes the documents we obtained are not authentic. But . . . she told us she believes what the documents actually say is exactly as we reported." Put plainly: The memos may be fake, but "We stand by our story."

We're the ones who have a right to be angry with CBS News, but it turns out that Dan Rather is the one who's really fuming. Not at the source who got him into all of this, but at those "partisans" who are fanning the flames. The Washington Post quotes him as saying: "I don't cave when the pressure gets too great from these partisan political forces." He's absolutely right that some of his critics are partisans. But how about Dan's source? Is he also a partisan?

Very telling.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

It isn't a big deal

NEW YORK - Teresa Heinz Kerry, encouraging volunteers as they busily packed supplies Wednesday for hurricane relief efforts in the Caribbean, said she was concerned the effort was too focused on sending clothes instead of essentials like water and electric generators.

"Clothing is wonderful, but let them go naked for a while, at least the kids," said Heinz Kerry, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (news - web sites). "Water is necessary, and then generators, and then food, and then clothes."

Okay folks, get off of those high horses of yours. She may have said it in a bad way but, she is absolutely correct.

Clothes aren't the most important things these people need. Water, food and electric are far more important. Listen, I think this woman is kind of scary but, get over yourselves.

Proof

Jeff at Shape of Days has an exclusive that I pretty much shows that the CBS documents could nit have been done on a IBM Executive. Good scoop Jeff. The post can be found here.

20 questions

Well, actually it's 40. Peter Kirsanow has some questions he'd like John Kerry to ansewr. The first 10 are,

1. You've repeatedly demanded Donald Rumsfeld's resignation over Abu Ghraib prison abuse. In light of such demand, please respond to the following:

a. Given your confession that you committed atrocities in Vietnam, including burning villages and using 50-caliber machine guns on people, shouldn't you, then, withdraw from presidential consideration?

b. If your answer is "no," please explain why a secretary of Defense should be held to a higher standard than an aspiring president who personally committed atrocities objectively more horrific than the abuses for which you hold Rumsfeld accountable.

2. You now state that Iraq was "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time," yet just a few weeks ago you stated that knowing what you know now you'd still authorize the war. Why would you still vote for a war that is wrong?

a. If the war was wrong, do you maintain Saddam should still be in power? If not, how would you remove him?

b. Which of the following is your primary objection to the Iraq war:

(1) that it shouldn't have been fought?
(2) that it was in the wrong location?
(3) that the timing was bad?

c. If your answer's either (2) or (3) above, where should the war have been fought and when?

3. During your eight-year tenure on the Senate Intelligence Committee, you missed more than three-fourths of its public meetings. You refuse to release your attendance reports for the committee's closed classified briefings. Why shouldn't voters infer that disclosure of these attendance reports would reveal that you neglected to attend numerous classified briefings?

a. If you did miss any classified briefings, what duties were you tending to that were more important than attending the briefings?

4. Let's assume for the sake of argument that the president lied about the reasons for going into Iraq. Presumably, this means that the intelligence data didn't support the reasons given by the president. You had the same intelligence data on Iraq as the president, yet you voted to authorize the war. Why, then, did you knowingly vote for a lie?

a. By doing so, didn't you also lie to the American people?

b. If so, will you, therefore, urge your supporters to stop running ads declaring that "Bush Lied"?

c. If you maintain that you didn't lie, is it because you neglected to read the intelligence reports prior to the vote?

5. Assuming your definition of a lie is the same as Webster's, i.e., a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive, please specifically identify which of the following statements in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address are lies:

a. Saddam aids and protects terrorists;

b. Saddam has used weapons of mass destruction;

c. Saddam deceived weapons inspectors;

d. Saddam sought uranium from Africa;

e. Saddam has pursued chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.

6. What do you consider to be your most important accomplishment as lt. governor to Michael Dukakis?

7. You've criticized the president for acting "unilaterally." As president, would you have gone into Afghanistan without France's approval?

a. Would you have gone into Afghanistan without the approval of France, Germany, and Russia?

b. Please describe your criteria for going to war.

8. You've stated you would appoint only pro-choice judges to the federal bench. Would you agree that, even if it's not your intent, such a litmus test could disproportionately disqualify Catholic nominees?

a. What would you do to ensure that your abortion litmus test wouldn't have a disparate impact against Catholics?

9. Do you think there's waste in the federal government? If so, could you kindly identify ten wasteful government programs that you'd eliminate and why?

10. What do you consider to be your most important accomplishment during your nearly 20 years as a senator?

The remainder can be found here and here.

All good questions I think deserve an answer. How much would you like to bet they never get answered?

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I missed this

It seems CBS did put out a statement.

We established to our satisfaction that the memos were accurate or we would not have put them on television. There was a great deal of coroborating [sic] evidence from people in a position to know. Having said that, given all the questions about them, we believe we should redouble our efforts to answer those questions, so that's what we are doing

This from Andrew Heyward, President of CBS News.

"That's what we're doing"? Have I missed something? All I've heard from CBS over the last week is...... nothing. They been trying to cover their butts and all their "experts" are abandoning them. I also notice that they say the memos are "accurate" but they say nothing about the authenticity of them. Again I'll ask, how can something be accurate when it comes from a false source? Okay, maybe that's a silly question, let me change it. Why should I believe that the documents are accurate when they are forgeries? How can I trust your "source" when they offered you false papers?

One last question. If you are the President of a major news company, shouldn't you be able to spell, "corroborating"?

And they said.........nothing

I just wasted 30 minutes of my life watching the CBS Evening News. I, for some reason, expected them to give me a little info on why they are still standing behind the documents they showed on 60 Minutes last Wednesday. What did I get, part of an interview with Marion Carr Knox which, from the looks of it, is a rehash of what she told the Dallas Morning Star and which I talked about here which will be shown on tonights 60 Minutes.

This is totally unbelievable. If for no other reason than to try and protect their name, CBS should be out therre every minute they can defending themselves. What we do get is things like, even if the papers are forgeries, the content should stand on its own. Well, no, if the documents are false, how do you come to the conclusion that what's inside of them is legit?

On another side of this issue. Since a rumor has come out that a member of John Kerry's staff is the one who gave these papers to CBS, don't you think it is in Kerrys best interest to make a statement on this? By CBS standing behind them and Kerry saying nothing, it WILL make people think that there is a connection. Just a thought.

I guess I'll waste some more time tonight and see what they have to say on 6o minutes.

Kudos to John Kerry

DETROIT — Democrat John Kerry has a new campaign worker helping him drum up support in Alabama after hiring a woman who was fired for displaying the presidential candidate's bumper sticker on her car.

Kerry called Lynne Gobbell on Tuesday after reading a newspaper story describing how she had been fired last Thursday from her job packing cellulose insulation at a Moulton, Ala., plant.

Gobbell said her former employer had told her she could either work for him or Kerry. She said Kerry told her, "Let him know that as of today, you're working for John Kerry."

"He was proud of me for standing up for what I believe in," the newly employed, 41-year-old said of her quick phone call with the candidate.

Gobbell said Kerry didn't offer too many details about her new position. She will be helping the campaign and may be traveling a little as it gets closer to the election.

I know he did this for political gain but hey, when you do something good, I'll give you credit.

I want to say this, if you fire an employee because they share a differing political belief than you, you are an ass. This woman wasn't going around trying to get people to vote for Kerry, she had a bumper sicker. Unless what she was doing was affecting her job performance, he shouldn't have fired her.

When it comes to the point where things like this happen, it's time to step back and take a look at ourselves. Is this really what we want? I don't think so. Let's use some common sense here folks.

Could it be pay back?

Reading around the internet this morning I came upon Neals Nuze, the radio notes of Neal Boortz. In todays notes Boortz wonders if Rather is holding a grudge against the Bush family.

Where were you on January 25, 1988? Were you watching Dan Rather interview Vice President George Bush on CBS? This interview is so infamous that C-SPAN still sells tapes of the interview on its website. The interview was supposed to be a simple profile of candidates in the 1988 presidential election. CBS saved Bush for last. Rather had another agenda, however. He was bound and determined to use that interview to somehow tie George Bush 41 to the Iran-Contral mess. Dan Rather's grilling of Vice President Bush was so over-the-top that Walter Cronkite said that he would have fired him. Sam Donaldson said that "Rather went too far." Mike Wallace, a CBS colleague, said that "Dan lost his cool."

At one point in that interview George Bush 41 finally reached the point where he had had quite enough, thank you very much. Bush finally delivered the following zinger to Rather:

RATHER: I don't want to be argumentative, Mr. Vice President.

BUSH: You do, Dan.

RATHER: No...no, sir, I don't.

BUSH: This is not a great night, because I want to talk about why I want to be president, why those 41 percent of the people are supporting me. And I don't think it's fair...

RATHER: And Mr. Vice President, if these questions are --

BUSH: ...to judge my whole career by a rehash on Iran. How would you like it if I judged your career by those seven minutes when you walked off the set in New York? [Note: Rather actually was in Miami and he was off the set for six minutes.

There are those inside CBS who will tell you that Bush's reference to Rather's 7-minute walk-off created a blinding hatred in Rather that exists to this day.

The whole interview can be found here.

Interesting. Could this be a 16 year old grudge?

Read the transcript, it shows just what kind of journalist Rather really is. As an anchor you expect some civility, just from reading the transcript, I found that there was none. Rather went on attack mode from the begining without allowing Bush to answer the question or overriding the answers. He then got his backside embarrased.

Is this what it's all about?

I'm just asking.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The MSM, can they get anything right?

I was watching Paula Zahn's show on CNN earlier and couldn't help but be a little disappointed. Instead of having the people who actually broke the story on CBS, they had Glenn Reynolds on. I know Glenn is the Blogsfather and all but, he did not break this story. While Glenn has done a good job of keeping everyone abreast of new developments, Powerline was the group that broke it. Ah, well.

Another thing bothered me about the show. Right after Glenns segment they did another story on blogs, they chose to talk to Wonkette. Again, while I have nothing against Ana, they could have chosen a serious blogger and not a satirist.

I'm just in a crappy mood I guess.

Poor CBS

Not only has the blogosphere outed them, now the experts they used are saying that that didn't even listen to them.

Emily Will, a veteran document examiner from North Carolina, told ABC News she saw problems right away with the one document CBS hired her to check the weekend before the broadcast.

"I found five significant differences in the questioned handwriting, and I found problems with the printing itself as to whether it could have been produced by a typewriter," she said.

Will says she sent the CBS producer an e-mail message about her concerns and strongly urged the network the night before the broadcast not to use the documents.

"I told them that all the questions I was asking them on Tuesday night, they were going to be asked by hundreds of other document examiners on Thursday if they ran that story," Will said.

But the documents became a key part of the 60 Minutes II broadcast questioning President Bush's National Guard service in 1972. CBS made no mention that any expert disputed the authenticity.

Don't you find it funny how CBS didn't bother to mention that their own experts had doubts about the documents?

But, that's not all,
A second document examiner hired by CBS News, Linda James of Plano, Texas, also told ABC News she had concerns about the documents and could not authenticate them.

"I did not authenticate anything and I don't want it to be misunderstood that I did," James said. "And that's why I have come forth to talk about it because I don't want anybody to think I did authenticate these documents."

"I did not feel that they wanted to investigate it very deeply," Will told ABC News.

Hmmmm, so not only does the expert have doubts about the documents but didn't feel CBS wanted them investigated.

But, that's not all,
At the heart of the dispute is whether any typewriter existed in 1972 that could have produced the documents, with their distinct type style, even spacing, and the tiny raised "th" known as superscript.

Two experts told ABC News today there was no such machine, not even the IBM Selectric Composer, the most advanced typewriter available in 1972.

"This machine is not the culprit for these documents," said software engineer Gerry Kaplan.

So not only do the experts doubt the validity of the documents but other experts say they couldn't be done by typewriter and not just any typewriter, the most advanced one out at the time.

But, that's not all, it seems Killians former secretary, Marion Carr Knox, agrees that they are forgeries.
I did not type these particular memos. I typed memos like these," Knox told the DRUDGE REPORT from her home in Houston.

"I typed memos that had this information in them, but I did not type these memos. There are terms in these memos that are not Guard terms but that are Army terms. They use the word 'Billets'. I think they were using that to refer to the slot. That would be a non-flying slot the way we would use it. And the style... they are sloppy looking.

But Marion Carr Knox stands by the accusations contained in the allegedly fraudulent documents that Bush skirted a medical and flight exam without suffering institutional repercussions.

But Carr does agree with what the documenat say.
"The information in these memos is correct -- like Killian's dealing with the problems."

"It was General Staudt, not then Lt. Colonel Hodges [who succeeded Staudt], that was putting on the pressure to whitewash Bush. For instance he didnt take his flight examination or his physical. And the pilots had to take them by their birthdays. Once in a while there would be a reason why a pilot would miss these things because some of them were commercial pilots. But they had to make arrangements to take their exams."


But Killians son Gary disagrees.
I know Marion Carr. I remember her as a sweet lady who reminded me then of a dear aunt."

"But if Staudt had put pressure on my dad, there would have been a blow-up -- instantly. It was one of the reasons they got along so well. They had a mutual respect for one another."

"As has been pointed out by so many others, then Col Staudt had been out of the unit for 18 months. And I stand by my previous comments regarding my dad's admiration for Lt. Bush and his regard for him as an officer and pilot -- which was exemplary.

This is real easy to take care of. All CBS has to do is say, hey, we jumped to soon, these documents need to be looked into more carefully but, what does CBS say,
CBS News did not rely on either Emily Will or Linda James for a final assessment of the documents regarding George Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard. Ms. Will and Ms. James were among a group of experts we consulted to assess one of the four documents used in the report and they did not render definitive judgment on that document. Ultimately, they played a peripheral role and deferred to another expert who examined all four of the documents used

It's become RATHER apparent that CBS doesn't want the truth so, what is their reasoning for standing behind this? It isn't to save face because, even if these documents turn out to be legit, CBS has screwed themselves by not even bothering to make sure they are. So, again, I ask, what is the reasoning?

Monday, September 13, 2004

They'll never be national contenders

A while back, I wrote a post on the problems with the Libertarian Party.

Doug MacEachern has an article on another of their problems.

It seems that their candidate, Michael Badnarik, is, for lack of a better word, nuts.

Franklin D. Roosevelt knew about the impending Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and "allowed that to happen." Bardnarik says he's fairly certain that Lee Harvey Oswald wasn't operating as a lone gunman. And he doesn't know what really happened in Oklahoma City, but he's happy to imply that someone planted four bombs inside the Murrah building. "The official federal reports just don't seem quite right to me," he says.


If the Libertarian party wants to be taken seriously, stop putting idiots up as your pick for President. It's one thing to run on a platform on drugs, it's quite another to pick a screwball conspiracy theorist as your Presidential candidate.



Left out

I'm feeling kind of left out. Because I haven't covered the CBS forgery story I haven't been offered my set of pajamas.

Listen, I can't help I didn't have electric for 5 days. Stupid hurricanes keep wanting to hit my house. I think I should be offered a set just because people feel sorry for me.

Just so I don't feel completely like an undeserving bum, it seems a document has surfaced that may prove Dan Rather correct, take a look.

Sacrilege?

BURLEY, Idaho -- An Idaho English teacher is in trouble for ripping up a Bible in class.

Burley High's Karen Christenson said she was trying to illustrate a point about censorship, as her sophomore students read Ray Bradbury's novel "Fahrenheit 451," which is set in a future society that commands all literature be burned.

Principal Jeff Harrah said Christenson isn't a Bible hater. He said she tore up the Bible in an effort to get her students to think about how it feels to have something they consider sacred destroyed.

He added the idea behind the controversial lesson was a good one, but with a bad result.

Christenson was disciplined but officials would not say what action was being taken against her.

Harrah called Christenson a "great teacher."

Why is she being disciplined?

First, she tore a book that she isn't allowed to teach out of so, what difference does it make?

Second, it was a good way to make a point and I agree with the princaple that she is a good teacher. She made her students think about what she did, and God knows, children today need to do more thinking.

Thirdly, the Bible is a book. As a Christian the destruction of that book doesn't change the meaning of that book. It doesn't change the story. If you're a Christian, the meaning of that book should be in your heart, not on it's pages.

Leave this woman alone, she didn't hurt anyone and she was doing her job.

Connection?

DETROIT (AP) -- Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards on Sunday accused President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney of misleading Americans by implying a link between deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"Today, Secretary of State (Colin) Powell made clear that there is no connection between Saddam Hussein and the attacks on September the 11th," Edwards said before an AFL-CIO rally. "From this day forward, this administration should never suggest that there is."
Maybe I missed it but, I never felt that the administration tried to link Iraq and Al-queda. What they did say was that Iraq supported terrorism, this has been proven over and over again. The President made it clear that the was a war against TERRORISM, not just Al-queda. You really have had to have had your head, well, somewhere, to even believe there was an implication.

TIME's interview with Kerry

The complete interview can be found here.

TIME
What do you need to do to make this race about what you want it to be about?

KERRY
Draw the contrast; be crystal clear about it. That's what I've been doing every day. George Bush has made the wrong choices for America. He's leading the country in the wrong direction. John Edwards and I have better choices. We have a health-care plan for all Americans. We're going to stop subsidizing jobs that go overseas and create jobs here in America. We're going to fund education and not leave millions of children behind every day. The trail of broken promises and reversed decisions of this Administration is unlike any I have ever seen at any time that I have been in public life, and I'm going to draw that picture as clear as a bell.
The problem is Senator Kerry, you have yet to tell anyone how you will do any of the things you're talking about. We know what you say you want to do. How will you do it?
TIME
Speaking of clarity, a number of your allies have said that you haven't drawn a clear contrast between yourself and President Bush on Iraq.

KERRY
The contrast could not be clearer. They spent a lot of money trying to confuse people, but I have been consistent.
You have been consistant? You changed your mind on Iraq at least 4 times over the last 45 days. You say one thing in Dearborn and another in Tampa. Consistant? I don't think so Senator.
TIME
What did you think of the speech of your Democratic colleague Zell Miller at the Republican Convention?

KERRY
Everybody has the right to give a speech. I didn't see it, and I haven't read it. I didn't see one minute of the convention.
Hmmmmmmm, that's interesting. Seems I saw you watching the Republican convention in a documentary I watched on the Discovery Channel last night. Care to change your answer Senator?
TIME
It sounds as if you think the Bush strategy is based on scaring the country.

KERRY
I think they are trying to do everything possible to divert attention from the real issues in front of the country, and their entire strategy for six months has been distorting my record and attacking me because they don't have a record to run on.
"Divert attention from the real issues" This is exactly the problem. Russia found out last week just what happens when you ignore that most important problem facing the world today. They have changed their tune, don't you think you should Senator?

Go read it, it's more of the same, answer without answering. If you are looking for answers on where Kerry stands on any given issue, don't bother reading. It's about what I've come to expect from him, vague and elusive answers.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Okaaaaaaaaaaay

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Having sex with corpses is now officially illegal in California after Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill barring necrophilia, a spokeswoman says.

The new legislation marks the culmination of a two-year drive to outlaw necrophilia in the state and will help prosecutors who have been stymied by the lack of an official ban on the practice, according to experts.


The scary part, if they made a law about it, it must have been happening.

Supressing the African-American vote?

John Kerry in a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus said ;

"We are not going to stand by and allow another million African American votes to go uncounted in this election,"

In what election were a million African Americans votes not counted?
We are not going to stand by and allow acts of voter suppression, and we're hearing those things again in this election.

Please name just one name from the 2000 election where a vote was suppressed.
What they did in Florida in 2000, some say they may be planning to do this year in battleground states all across this country. Well, we are here to let them know that we will fight tooth and nail to make sure that this time, every vote is counted and every vote counts.

Who did what in Florida? It makes me laugh. All over the state people voted with no problem at all. In south Florida, supposedly the "smart" part of Florida, people couldn't read a ballot made by a Democrat and it was all the Republicans fault. And he goes back to the "make every vote count" line, except of course, you happen to cast your vote via the military then, your vote shouldn't count.

Right after the 2000 election the U.S Commission on Civil Rights found absolutely no evidence of disenfranchisement of the African American vote. As a matter of fact there was no proof the ANY Floridian was intentionally denied their right to vote.

What they did find was that many Floridians made mistakes on their ballots. Mistakes do not equal disenfranchisement. They also found violations of the Voting Rights Act in three counties. It seems that some poll workers had been hostile to Hispanic voters, bilingual assistance hadn't been provided to two Haitian voters and some Hispanic voters had been denied bilingual assistance. Oh, this happened in counties controlled by democrats.

You have been proven wrong over and over again by groups that support you. 4 years folks, get over it.

CBS news flap

You may have noticed I haven't done anything on this story. By the time I got back on line, most had been covered by others here, here and here.

All I can sa to this is, Are you people really surprised Rather and CBS would do this? I really hope not.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

A day of remembrence

Today is the 3rd anniversary of 9/11. I think it should be a day that all Americans use for introspection. It's a day we should remember that a fight was brought to our shores but it's also a day to remember the heroism that was shown and the true unity that this country can have.

Today is also a "where were you" day so, I'll share mine with you.

I was sitting right here, talking to a friend of mine on IM. She told me that a plane had crashed into a building in New York so, I yelled for my father to put the news on in the living room, I don't have a television in my office. A few minutes later my nephew yelled for me to come look at the TV, I got there just in time to watch the second plane hit. Shock is the only word I can use, although it really doesn't describe how I felt. I turned to my dad and said " terrorists". For the rest of the day all of our eyes stayed glued to the TV. Many tears were shed as we watched the Towers fall. We heard of the plane hitting the Pentegon, I have friends there, thankfully, none were there at the time. We heard of the plane hitting the ground in Penn., that scared me the most, as my daughter lives not far from there. Anger began to grow as I watched these images flash across the screen. A feeling of utter helplessness also came. What could we do to help? How can we show those whose family members were lost that we shared their grief?

An amazing thing began to happen over the next few days, the true spirit of America began to show itself. Funds began pouring into the coffers of every charity you could think of. People began flying their flags again, some think this was just the fanatisism of the moment, I truly believe it was the only way many people felt that they could show we were united. It truly was an awe inspiring thing to seee this country, even if only for a moment, stand as one.

Democrat and Republican. Liberal and conservative. Black and white. It didn't matter what or who you were, for one brief moment, far to brief, we were one. Nothing and no one can come against us when we unite as truly one people. It's time we remember that. Yes, we may disagree on some things but, we are all Americans and the deviseness in this country does nothing to make us stronger. The anger we see in todays election cycle is wrong and it is bad. We do not honor those who died with it.

Let's remember those who died today and remember the unity we all felt.

The list of those who died on 9/11 can be found here.

Read this list. Remember.

NEVER FORGET