Archive for October, 2004

One Last Time

Sunday, October 31st, 2004

Okay, Okay. This article written by Donald Rumsfeld is the last I have to say about the whole draft thing — straight from the horses mouth. If after reading that you still believe Bush will reinstate a draft, there’s nothing I can do for ya.

Hot Air, pt. 3

Tuesday, October 26th, 2004

Update 27 Oct 04: I changed the name of this entry, as it is more relevant to media bias (Which I’ve been calling “Hot Air”) than shamelessly lying politicians (“Lying Bastards”).

Here they go again.

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the story at the New York Times where they tell all about Bush losing 350 tons of high explosive because he didn’t bother to guard it?

Oopsie. Turns out NBC had reporters embedded in the Army unit that originally checked the place out in the early days of the war, and the stuff was already gone when we got there (CNN also has an article). Seems Saddam (or someone else?) spirited it all away while were were spinning our wheels at the UN.

Now Kerry is beating the pulpit and decrying the utter failure of Bush to protect these weapons and keep them out of the hands of terrorists. Surely he’s not suggesting we should have gone in sooner??? — which is the only possible way we could have prevented the disappearance of weapons that were gone before we got there.

Now where the hell did I leave my pitchfork? Ah, there it is, right next to that flaming torch….

Hat Tip: The Truth Laid Bear.

Post Script: Don’t be surprised if one more “fake but accurate” damning story about Bush comes out just before election day.

Take Yer Pick

Friday, October 22nd, 2004

Please choose one:

…and Proud of it!

Friday, October 22nd, 2004

A gentleman by the name of George J. Esseff, Sr. has paid $104, 655.60 out of his own pocket for a full page ad in the Washington Post.

Worth every penny, I say.

Hat Tip: Peeve Farm

The War of Perceptions

Wednesday, October 20th, 2004

The candidates’ stated tactics in the War on Terror are basically these:

Bush will continue to take the fight to the enemy. He will force them to fight us there so they can’t as easily attack us here.

Kerry (according to his statements — well some of them…) will pull out and hope they don’t attack us again. If they do attack us again, then he feels it is legitimate to strike back at the specific group that made the attack before pulling back again.

It’s offense versus defense.

Even assuming (for the sake of argument) that either candidate, as President, would execute the war in an identical manner (*ahem*) an important consideration would still be this:

A Bush loss will be seen worldwide as a statement that America doesn’t have the stomach to fight this war. In the Middle East such perceptions are everything. 9/11 happened largely because those who hate us believed we were too weak (weak willed, not militarily) and decadent to strike back effectively. At the first sight of blood we would tuck tail and beg for mercy rather than fight.

Kerry has made prominent public statements that he will pull out of Iraq, and that he will fight a defensive war. Even if his actions would in reality be different, the perception itself would be a victory for our enemies.

Insta-Update: after writing this, but before posting, I came across a similar argument on Chrenkoff’s blog, coached in terms of the Reagan/ Mondale campaigns of 1984.

Lying Bastards

Tuesday, October 19th, 2004

Okay, let’s take care of this “Bush will Bring Back the Draft” lie once and for all.

First off, the only people even mentioning bringing back the draft are the Democrats. The only people who have brought up the possibility of it during this entire war have been the Democrats. That “bring back the draft” bill (H.R. 163) that was in Congress recently? The Democrats (six of them) introduced it, and only Democrats (two of them) voted for it. Please note, if you haven’t already, that the Democrats have a vested interest in you thinking that the draft might come back if Bush is re-elected.

When the bill was introduced, the vote in the House of Representatives was 402 to 2 against it. You see, the President can’t just wave his hand and bring back the draft, even if he wants to (which Bush doesn’t). Only Congress can do that, and when they voted on that very question, 99.75% of the Representatives in the House voted against it.

Unless fully half of the Representatives in the House change their mind, it can’t happen (and I repeat, even if the President wanted it to, which he doesn’t).

The disgusting part of this whole thing is that John F’ing Kerry and everyone else who has brought up the specter of a potential draft, knows it’s not going to happen, but is saying it anyways. That, Ladies and Gentlemen, is fraud, plain and simple. He is so desperate to demonize his opponent that he is looking us dead in the eye and lying his ass off.

H.R. 163 was introduced in January of 2003. There was so little support for it that the Democrats knew it had no chance of passing — so why did they introduce it? To bring the issue into existence. Now they had something to point to, an excuse to say “some people tried to bring back the draft — it could happen!” In essence, they planted evidence, planning to use it later. If you find that hard to believe, I will point out (as mentioned above) that six Democrats introduced the bill, but only two voted for it — why introduce a bill you don’t want to pass?

Remember that, every time you read another op-ed in the paper about the potential for a draft. Every time John Kerry or John Edwards stand up on another podium and say, “We won’t bring back the draft, but Bush might,” they are trying to win your vote by frightening you with a flat out-lie.

There is absolutely nothing John Kerry will not do or say to get into the White House. There is nothing his party won’t do to put him there. That is precisely why he must never get there.

Update: Z asked me why I wrote this, as he said it is “pretty much a dead issue in the Internet”. I wrote it because I have recently had two separate conversations with friends who were convinced that the Draft was coming back. If I reach one person who didn’t see it elsewhere, it was worth the time it took to write.

How come I’m never invited to the good parties?

Wednesday, October 6th, 2004

From James Lileks:

Spent the night at the Patriot Forum, sponsored by The Patriot radio station, AM 1280. Who was there? Patriots! What did we discuss? Patriotism! We all faced a giant picture of Arnold (black and white, strategically lit from below) and toasted Our Secret Fuhrer with wine served in the hollowed-out skulls of our enemies. Then we sing!

Rove Rove Rove your vote
Harshly â??till they scream
Hatefully hatefully hatefully hatefully
Life is just an unending opportunity to maximize global inequities and convert the resources of the third world into profits for a thin stratum of our plutocracy and meaningless diversionary consumer products for a bloated spoonfed sheeple whose obsequience and inability to apprehend our true agenda ensures the perpetuation of injustice

Itâ??s fun when we do it as a round, because people really have to get that last line out fast. But we practice at home for just such moments.

Jim! Buddy! Give me a call next time — I can do the harmony part!

Thank You for Not Smoking Voting

Wednesday, October 6th, 2004

Every where you look these days you see people trying to get you to register to vote. There are ads on television extolling the virtues of voting, and there are even plans such as this one trying to convince everyone, everywhere, to vote. Although voting is the cornerstone of Civil participation in this country, and the single definitive aspect of representative government, not everyone should vote simply because they can. It’s actually bad for democracy.

The “Motor Voter” law passed by Clinton twelve years ago was meant to encourage people to vote by making it very easy to register. When you go to renew you driver’s license, they can register you with the swipe of a pen. There are voter drives at colleges, celebrities telling people to vote (and usually for whom to vote), and a general message being aggressively pressed upon the public conscience: “it is your duty to vote”.

As stated, it is a lie.

Back in high school (that’s before the Motor Voter law and the current “get out the vote” push), a Vietnam vet, the father of a student, came in to talk to us about his experiences in the war. He did not speak of rape and pillage à la Genghis Khan, but he spoke of hardship, and fear, and things that no doubt haunt the nightmares of many thousands of men who went “Over There”. To be honest, most of what he said is lost to my memory, but there are distinct images I carry to this day (including an embarrassing bit of personal ignorance that I telegraphed, “Jeopardy”-style, in the form of a question — but that’s a tale for another day…). When he finished, he made a strong final statement. “When you turn 18,” he said, “Vote. I don’t care who you vote for, but Vote!” It took me time to find the problem with this blanket exhortation; but although I could not immediately articulate it, I knew there was a problem.

Not everyone should vote.

No, I’m not referring to *insert candidate you don’t like here*-supporters. This is not specific to a particular party, or constituency, or ideology, but to a particular category of voters. The categories of voters are:

Joe Voter
These are the run-of-the-mill citizens. They generally have a couple different issues on which they make their decision, though these considerations do not generally run the entire gamut of issues forwarded in any given campaign. Joe Voter is usually pretty consistent in their voting (in party terms) but not absolute.
These people pore over the platforms of all the candidates (including some of the minor candidates), and selectively balance the subjective importance of their various stands in issues to come up with the person they will vote for. This group is split into two sub-categories: those willing to vote on principle for a candidate who matches their ideology but has no chance of winning, and those who will settle for one of the (generally two) candidates who might actually win.
One-Issue Wonders
Whether abortion, gun rights, or something else, these people vote based on the candidates’ stand on a single issue, disregarding all other considerations. If the candidates agree on that issue, these voters will tend to pick a second issue and vote based on that.
Party Die-Hards
These folks vote straight down the party line, every time. The other party is, clearly, evil and/or stupid; and in their entire lives, these voters have never even considered voting for the other party’s candidate. Specific candidates are not an issue to them, as they already know without looking who is right and who is wrong.

“Joe Voter”s are the bread and butter of the voting public. They are Middle America, and the primary strength behind any successful candidate. Their tendency to vote reasonably consistently is the reason that the political landscape does not swing wildly from election to election — the reason that major politics tends to move slowly. This is a good thing. Go forth and vote.

Researchers are largely responsible for major shakeups, though these only really happen rarely. Ross Perot voters in 1992 are a perfect example of this phenomenon, as they are widely credited with handing the victory to Bill Clinton over Bush the Elder. A more controversial call is the consideration that Bush the Younger beat Al Gore because of those who voted for Nader (or was it Buchanan?). These voters are actually quite healthy for the system as well, as they make it more difficult (or more damaging) for one of the two major parties to get complacent. They insure that the major parties pay better attention to the voters’ desires than they would otherwise.

The One-Issue wonders are both good and bad for the system. On one hand they tend to define the major issues that are discussed over the course of the campaigns. On the other hand, they have a strong polarizing influence, which pushes other important issues down below the radar. If both candidates agree on the issue in question, then these voters tend to resemble Joe Voter. These people would do far more good if they would make their particular “litmus test” a strong consideration instead of an absolute one.

Party Die-Hards have no clue what they’re actually voting for, except in the broadest possible sense. They hear only what their guy says about the other guy, and therefore never get anything even resembling a comprehensive understanding of what is at stake in the election. These people will vote right down the ticket, even in the smaller races where they haven’t actually heard of either of the candidates. Party die-hards are bad for the election process, as their vote is not based on candidates or issues, but blind adherence to a comfortable affiliation.

They say it is your duty to vote. As stated, it is a lie. It is your right to vote (assuming you’re over 18, and a citizen, and not a felon, among other considerations…), but your vote only does some good if you know what you are voting for. So, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I kindly request that you peruse the the list presented above and identify your personal Voter Category. If you should so happen to fall into the classification of “Party Die-Hard”, you would do us all a great service if you would simply stay home on election day. Thank you.

The Plan for Peace™

Friday, October 1st, 2004

I’ve got it! A sure fire Plan for Peace™ in Iraq!

It’s easy. We just need to declare all guns illegal throughout the country. Then the insurgents won’t have guns to fight with, and we’ll have peace. (Okay, there are still bombs, but I’ve got a cunning plan for those too….)

Why didn’t anyone think of this sooner?

Wait, wait, I’ve got an even better idea! Rather than declaring them illegal outright, we should simply institute mandatory gun registration, which must be done in person. When the insurgents come in to register their guns, we can grab them (the insurgents, not the guns) (well, okay, the guns too)!

It’s all so clear.

I feel better now.