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:: Tuesday, August 31, 2004 ::

Convention Update

All Schwarzenegger

The Governator rocked the house; the twins should fire their publicists and/or writers*; Laura was characteristically upbeat, sincere and ladylike; Stuart Smalley imploded** (a good sign the Kerry apologists are showing a little buyer's remorse); all in all, a solid win for Team Bush.

Here's a transcript of Ahnuld's speech [>]

*(o.k., o.k....the hamster line made me chuckle)

**Some of the dems really are freaking-out. Geez girly-men guys, look on the bright side; if Kerry loses you've got a Hillary/Obama ticket to look forward to in 08!

:: Max 11:01 PM [+] ::
Kerry Camp in Rejigger Mode

"If there is a change--Sen. Kerry privately is said to be "bouncing off the walls" in frustration--it has to be imminent as the eight-week campaign is in full swing by Labor Day. "We have 48 hours," acknowledges an insider.

The Kerry campaign, like most, ultimately reflects the candidate. The cautious indecisiveness and occasional vacillations have become Kerry trademarks.

Leading Democrats describe a command structure often frozen--or at least tempered-- by too many chefs, a too-heavy reliance on polls or focus groups and an aversion to risks. As a result, the message often is muddled and the reaction to hard-hitting attacks from Republicans often is slow and unconvincing.

Wow...deja vu all over again. It appears it's extreme makeover time for the French speaking candidate--somebody get Naomi Wolf on the horn.

WSJ Online Via NRO's the Kerry Spot [>]

:: Max 5:14 PM [+] ::
Freedom Fighters? Insurgents?

Ann Althouse comments on Radio Dijla's debate on the word "terrorist":

Sabrina Tavernise writes, on the front page of the NYT, about Dijla, the first all-talk radio in the new Iraq. Huge numbers of people call in, many simply to express frustration about the lack of garbage collection and things of that kind. But there is also the torrent of political opinion that flows when the radio host poses a question. What should be done with Saddam Hussein? "Most people wanted him executed." I found this striking:

The program director and host, Majid Salim ... asked listeners what they thought about the insurgency that has roiled Iraq, claiming most of the energies of the new interim government of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and putting the American occupation in danger of failure.

"We asked them, is it terrorism or is it resistance," he said. "A very large proportion, almost 100 percent, said terrorism. They did not like it."

Interesting. The American media always seem to speak of "rebels" and the "resistance" or, as in this Times article, the "insurgency." How different it would sound if the reports were of "terrorists" and "terrorism" in Iraq. If "almost 100 percent" of the Iraqis perceive the violence as terrorism, maybe our reporters, who seem to care about Iraqi self-determination, should adopt the Iraqis' terminology.

I'm surprised MSM hasn't picked up Michael Moore's description: Minutemen

:: Max 3:07 PM [+] ::

A dozen unshaven young people in batik gathered at the entrance to the Sheep's Meadow to play tambourines and bongos and sing anti-war songs. Trouble is, no-one could remember any words beyond the chorus, so the whole thing devolved into a lot of nah-nah-nahing, interrupted occasionally by an enthusiastic burst of "Stop, children, what's that sound" or the like. Keeping time with a bongo or tambourine must also be tougher than I thought, judging from the many abortive starts ("Okay, one, two...Jingle-chuchunga-jingle...no, that's not right, let Mary start off with the bongo...one, two...chuchunga-jingle...no, that's not right either...") I was also amused by the dozen or so sad-looking middle aged women who mustered at Strawberry Fields to sing "Imagine". I can only admire their commitment to diversity--which extended even to the key(s) in which they sang--but from the look of the group I couldn't help thinking that "Eleanor Rigby" would have been more appropriate.

Bet they wish they still had their short-term memories--it comes in handy if you're the bongo guy.

Adeimantus via Dean's World [>]

:: Max 2:18 PM [+] ::
Stating the Obvious

BuzzMachine is suprised at the "minor dustup" over Bush's statement that the war on terror is unwinable--of course it's 'unwinable'. Here's Jarvis' take:

"In all fairness to Bush, he's right and it's right to say so: We will never be able to rest from this war. We will be on guard always. We can work not only to make sure the rest of the world rejects these evil slime, we can also tear apart their nests and replace them with lands of freedom and democracy. But these slime are the cockroaches of humankind. They will hide and they will morph. We will prevail. We will survive. We will succeed. But we won't "win" against every terrorist and we should not fool ourselves to think that that day at the surrender table will ever come."

When the Democratic team seizes on such a remark and attempts to leverage it into political hay it offends because every rational person knows, as Jarvis points out, 'winning' this war isn't possible. By implying that it is, Kerry and Edwards look foolish, grasping and insincere.

Unfortunately, Bush's plain-spokeness is routinely and intentionally misconstrued by his detractors and their willing accomplices in the press and the gullible continue to fall for it.

:: Max 12:03 PM [+] ::

On Camels

I liberated this photo from Powerline shot by Captain Ed on blogrow at the 2004 Republican National Convention. It depicts, from left to right, John Hindraker (rocket man), novelist Roger L. Simon, and Tom Bevan of RealClearPolitics. I can't look at this photo and not think we are wittnessing a pivotal moment in the history of the written word. Nothing less than the birth of an outrageous new media, a distributed media, in which the power of the 'press' has finally been returned to the people for which it was intended to serve--all the people.

There is something else depicted in the photo; if you look closely, you will see a rather large camel who has breeched the proverbial tent-walls entirely and is now wreaking havoc in its inner sanctum. In fact, there are more camels on the way--a hord of camels that media's small, private tent is plainly unable to accommodate.

Main-stream pundits, if they are to remain viable at all (which is, at this juncture, an open-ended question) must now find a way to coexist with these unruly, spitting beasts because they ain't going away anytime soon.

Ironically, What is so bizarre about this whole situation is that the preening talking-heads and their their effete, print-media peers seem to be missing what may be the biggest story of their entire professional careers; here's a clue guys--it's camels stupid!

:: Max 11:35 AM [+] ::
Mooks Accoust RNC Delagates

I rather doubt Kerry will denounce the appalling behaviour of his 'mook' constituency--he looks rather cowardly and impotent these days.

:: Max 12:55 AM [+] ::
"You know the Republicans have had a good night"

when Chris Mathews wakes up with a hangover and Andrea Mitchell...

(Republicans are kicking ass)

:: Max 12:39 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, August 30, 2004 ::
Convention Info

If you're interested in the schedule or want to 'rewind' any of the prime-time speeches, here's the official GOP Convention website.

If you prefer to read the speeches, here's a transcript of Giuliani's speech; go here for a transcript of John McCains remarks.

:: Max 11:33 PM [+] ::
Multiple Revisions

Here it is; the side by side comparison of the multiple revisions of Kerry's Silver Star citation. (Blogosphere scoops MSM again).

Via Florida Cracker [>]

:: Max 6:59 PM [+] ::

Protest Warriors

Glenn Reynolds just posted on Protest Warrior--(I always forget about these guys). In any case, If the 'mooks' are getting you down, hop on over to the Protest Warrior site for a little neo-con agitprop that puts the competition to shame.

(where do I sign up?)

:: Max 4:42 PM [+] ::
Navy Investigating Kerry Citation?

Powerline posts a letter it received by Chicago Sun Times reporter Thomas Lipscomb which basically says the US Navy is unable to confirm provenance of Kerry's 'valor' citation or the author of the "flowery language" that accompanies it; Lipscomb says:

"This is straight HARD NEWS not editorial advocacy...The war between the Swiftees and the Kerry Campaign has just entered a new phase...

The US Navy vs John Kerry.

Now it isn't a question of conflicting reminiscences of sexagenarians... about whether there was or wasn't 2 1/2 miles of riverbank gunfire on March 12, 1969, and how many men were in the boat with Kerry when he claimed to be wounded under enemy fire, that may or may not have been present. It is a question of the official Navy records Kerry has asked us to look at.

We did..."

It'll be interesting to see if this report surfaces given all the convention coverage this week--I'm certainly not holding my breath.

Here's Mr. Lipscomb's Sun Times column on the matter [>]

:: Max 7:10 AM [+] ::
:: Sunday, August 29, 2004 ::
Polling Update

"Wargaming the Electoral College"

Vodkapundit's Stephen Green has compiled the latest polling data and extrapolated the EV tallies for red and blue states. At this point, it looks as though Red's on top.

The Iowa Electronic Market shows a dramatic split with Bush gaining nearly nine points over Kerry in the last 10 days.

RCP 'poll average' has Bush up 5 points.

:: Max 11:50 PM [+] ::
In case you missed it, here's another Kerry 'stretcher' that didn't make the nightly news.

Via N.Z. Bear [>]

:: Max 11:39 PM [+] ::
"Daddy, are you a Republican?"

It's impossible for Democrats to be bigoted because they are so inclusive and tolerant...aren't they?

:: Max 10:35 PM [+] ::
Is Falluja worth one American life? Of course not--Arthur Chrenkoff tells us why.

:: Max 10:04 PM [+] ::

Just caught a video clip of the protest and--for the life of me--in that whole sea of humanity, I couldn't pick-out single 'VOTE FOR KERRY' sign--curious.

:: Max 9:38 PM [+] ::
Convention Blogging

Conservative bloggers covering the convention from the floor include Roger L. Simon, Capt'n Ed Morrisey, Hugh Hewitt and Tim Blair. Also, NROs Rick Brookhiser and Kathryn Lopez are convention-blogging over at The Corner--they're in the thick of it and have already posted on their impressions of today's protest march:

KJL: "Looks like someone dumped out the most disenchanted, dissheveled youth out of the leftest-wing of college campuses, right out of bed this morning, hung over. Lots of crass plays on the president and vice presidents names. Lots of brilliance, like: "Some are less dumb for president." It had a real amateur-hour feel to it, at least in large spurts: lots of handmade signs and t-shirts. Lots of the likes of "Jersey City Peace Movements."

If you want even more, check-out RNCBloggers "an aggregation point for blog coverage of the RNC in New York" for ongoing coverage of 'credentialed' and non-credential convention bloggers.

As noted below, Blogs of War is keeping tabs on events outside the convention hall, and of course, Glenn Reynolds will bring his unique punditry to bear on the proceedings.

Update: Oops...forgot to add Blogs for Bush and Robert Cox's The National Debate. Incidentally, The National Debate is an absoulute conservative blog clearing-house. Last I checked, Robert had stopped by the CNN Diner and was talking his way into a studio tour! I keep forgetting about Mr. Cox but have belatedly remedied the situation--just placed him on the Prairie Fire blogroll under the MasterBlogger heading.

On the other side of the fence (way on the other side), NYC IndyMedia is is apparently fascilitating protesters by acting as a clearinghouse of information on police/protester interaction. Coincidentally, Drudge has reported that the Justice Department is investigating 'a liberal Internet site' for publishing the names and addresses of 2000 of the Republican Delagates on their website.

And don't forget to drop into the Democratic Underground Forum for a few laughs--they're crawling out of the woodwork.

:: Max 8:01 PM [+] ::
"It's like fuggin' 9-11 never happened"

Roger is in the belly of the beast. Given his background (and to some extent my own) it must feel like he's landed in a parallel universe: "hey, hey, LBJ..."

:: Max 6:06 PM [+] ::
Loonies for Kerry

Blogs of War is remote-blogging the NRC convention protesters. Last I checked, media sluts Michael Moore and Jesse Jackson were jostling for the limelight while some goofball in the background set his 'float' on fire (!?). It's gonna be a long week--wonder if BoW can keep up the pace?

Update: Looks like we all forgot to take our meds this morning...tsk tsk...we know what happens when we forget to take our meds....

:: Max 3:52 PM [+] ::

Roger L. Simon goes to the Republican Convention

:: Max 1:26 PM [+] ::
"just ask the men who served with him in Vietnam."

"JOHN MCCAIN WARNED John Kerry, a fellow Vietnam vet, not to emphasize the Vietnam war in his presidential campaign. No good would come of it. It would only reopen old wounds. Kerry ignored McCain's advice. The Democratic convention made Kerry's Vietnam record the focus of his candidacy. To know the real Kerry, vice presidential running mate John Edwards said, "just ask the men who served with him in Vietnam." Now dozens of ex-Navy men who did serve alongside Kerry, calling themselves Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, have challenged his account of his months in Vietnam. It has ignited a furious debate and distracted Kerry from his campaign plan.,

Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard; RTWT [>]

:: Max 11:30 AM [+] ::
Case Study

Powerline chronicles their ongoing manhandling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune's deputy editorial page editor Jim Boyd. It's a graphic, blow-by-blow illustration of how Kerry apologists in the liberal media are unable to respond with intellectual honesty when presented with undeniable facts that unequivocally challenge their twisted reportage. To make matters worse for Mr. Boyd and the Star Tribune, Powerline not only has a broad-band internet connection, it has an AM radio transmitter at its disposal as well--so much for all those barrels of ink.

Related: Tim Blair has one eye on the Democratic Underground and their reaction to the Swiftboat fiasco:

"Kerry had momentum," sobs some stupid kid, "and now it's gone, all because of a Rove-engineered lie." There, there, little one. The ways of grown-ups are a mystery to you.

Also related: Dave Kopel, writing in the Rocky Mountain News also comments on big-media's handling of the Swiftboat scandal. Curiously, aside from Hewitt, no mention of the mega-bloggers who kept the issue front and center of the debate--an excerpt:

"The avalanche of traditional media articles denouncing the Swift Vets as a pure smear is itself a smear, as the traditional media flails in rage at the loss of its ability to control public discourse.

Read the whole thing [>]

:: Max 8:03 AM [+] ::
:: Saturday, August 28, 2004 ::
What Just Happened

A newsworthy story, potentially damaging to the Democratic candidate for President was ignored by the main-stream media. The blogosphere, including bloggers Instapundit, Powerline, Hugh Hewitt, JustOneMinute, Belmont Club and many lesser-known blogjockies shoved the story down big-journalism's throat, much as the mother who pinches the nose of her child while forcing foul tasting medicine into its mouth; and big-media was forced to swallow.

Today, Powerline, posts a Mac Owens column that chronicles the whole fine mess--a must read for anyone interested in how new media is changing the landscape of contemporary journalism. Here's the final paragraph:

"John Hinderaker, one of the bloggers behind Powerline, summed up the mood of the blogosphere by comparing journalism with brain surgery: "A bunch of amateurs, no matter how smart and enthusiastic, could never outperform professional neurosurgeons, because they lack the specialized training and experience necessary for that field," he said. "But what qualifications, exactly, does it take to be a journalist? What can they do that we can't? Nothing."

Ironically, rather than leveraging the powerful new research tools at their fingertips--in order to get at some kind of truth--old media cries foul and besmirches those who would use those tools to challenge what old-media perceive's as their private franchise on news and opinion--and they're really miffed about it.

Maybe it's time the blogosphere focuses some of its abundant journalistic energy on the Pulitzer Prize committee--(suppose they've ever heard of Instapundit?)

Related: Tom, over at the Media Drop weighs in on the question of how much influence blogs have on the news cycle; check it out.

:: Max 4:45 PM [+] ::
Test Your Skills

Check-out the newfangeled, digitized, world-wide-web, electro-guesstimatator. No cheating!

Via Daniel Drezner [>]

:: Max 3:28 PM [+] ::

How they see us--how we see them

Granta, a literary magazine founded in 1889 by Cambridge University students asked writers across the globe to consider America. Originally published in March of '02 and titled "what we think of America", the compiled essays run the gamut of political thought and serve as a broad-banded insight into how the world views us. In a subsequent issue, Granta 84 published in January of this year, editors reversed the question and asked American writers to consider how America views the rest of the world. The results of this literary experiment are as surprising as they are compelling and are well worth a few minutes of your time.

:: Max 10:07 AM [+] ::
Apparently, this is a whole lot easier when you're a rich white guy from Massachusetts.

:: Max 9:15 AM [+] ::
Radical Islamists move to reverse the oppression of women.

Not so sure this is a positive move, but I guess if it's good for the goose, it ought to be good for the gander.

OK...now I'm confused on the 72 virgins thingy. Help me out here folks.

:: Max 8:54 AM [+] ::
Pink Hearts, Yellow Moons and Green Clovers

Looks like Senator Kerry has some more splainin to do. You'd think after all this media scrutiny he'd have sanitized his website by now. Guess not.

:: Max 1:36 AM [+] ::
Progressive Icon Ruminates on Civil Disobedience

Norman Mailer reaches back to 'the good old days' when protesters kind of knew what it was they were protesting. Mailer's son interviews his father:

JBM Are you going to come protest with me?

NM No. Even if I believed in the efficacy of the protest, I wouldn't go. I can't walk anymore without two canes. Standing in place is worse. It drives me nuts. Two arthritic knees. So, I'm out of it. I won't go in a wheelchair. I want to be able to defend myself if things go wrong.

Hmmm...seems like the 'progressives' are spending an inordinate amount of time lately reliving their glory days; wonder what ever happened to that 'bridge to the 21st century?'

:: Max 12:14 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, August 27, 2004 ::

"there are some places that are simply hopeless"

"Sixty years after Paris was seized by the "Allies," and the beginning of the American occupation, France remains a failed nation, mired in political corruption and beset by vast pockets of Muslim extremism and anti-semitism, into which the gendarmerie fear to tread. The economy continues to struggle under economic policies driven by failed ideologies, and many of its best and brightest continue to flow out of the country, with only ex-dictators and their families, and hysterical movie stars willing to move there."

No Pasaran has more [>]

:: Max 11:15 PM [+] ::
Kerry's Drags Media Into Vietnam Quagmire

The web is patiently assessing the how the Kerry campaign and the media are reacting to the fallout from the Swiftboat fiasco. Powerline's Hindrocket comments on the NYTs meltdown:

"Speaking of sinking, Kerry's poll numbers have nosedived since the Swifties began to dominate the news. For the Times to report with a straight face the claim that the Vets are good for the Kerry campaign shows either cluelessness or loyalty to the Democratic Party that is astonishing even for that thoroughly-discredited newspaper.

Mark Steyn has a typically brilliant column on the whole affair, focusing largely on Kerry's mishandling of it:

"The flaw in the Senator's strategy to run for president as a plucky 24-year-old Swift boat lieutenant was an obvious one. The argument that his Swift boat command demonstrates his superb qualities of leadership falls apart once you notice his striking lack of the first ingredient of leadership: followers. Aside from the three or four Swiftees who've been persuaded to travel around the country with him, all the hundreds of other Swiftvets loathe him, and many of them are determined to stick to him like DNA to Monica's dress. This was entirely foreseeable..."

The WSJ features a John O'Neill column. In his characteristicly understated tone, Mr. O'Neill requests that Kerry refrain from continuing to malign veterans and simply respond to their charges:

"Mr. Kerry, we ask you not to repeat the same mistake you made when you returned from war: Please stop maligning your fellow veterans. Dealing with us should be easy. Just answer our charges. Produce your Vietnam journal and notes, and execute Standard Form 180 so the American people can see your complete military record--not just the few forms you put on your website or show to campaign biographers.

Instapundit comments on Admiral Schachte's belated confirmation that he was, in fact, present for Kerry's self-inflicted injury:

"KERRY REQUESTED A PURPLE HEART," says Admiral Schachte. The wound was accidentally self-inflicted, he says. ("'Kerry nicked himself with a M-79 (grenade launcher),' Schachte said in a telephone interview from his home in Charleston, S.C. He said, 'Kerry requested a Purple Heart.'")

Brett Bozell's Media Research Center is keeping an eye on big media and has a gut-wrenching, blow-by-blow account of their over-the-top coverage of Max Clelands letter- delivery 'stunt'.

It's becoming clear, Kerry's ineptitude in handling the Swiftboat veterans coupled with big-media's blatant distortion of the facts is grating on the American public. At this juncture, it seems that unless Bush flubs the convention or bombs in the debates, Kerry's done for.

:: Max 8:45 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, August 26, 2004 ::
Media From Hell

Omar has some thoughts on the twisted media coverage of the situation in Iraq:

"You sit in a restaurant like this one and see families relaxing with their children playing and having fun late at night and you feel that there's 'something' wrong in the way MSM is dealing with the Iraqi issue. I watch TV and I see hell breaking around me then I go outside and see enough normalcy AND progress to make me believe that the people in the media are not here to report how's life going but rather they are here reporting pre-prepared stories and to be faced with something that contradicts the picture they have in their minds would be really annoying and will mean more hard work to try to find the truth or something close to it.

So let me see, I'm a reporter in Iraq and I'm here to tell stories that sell from a land that has been invaded, as everyone is saying it was invaded and not liberated. God, that must be awful! Ok so I need destruction, death, fear, clashes in the streets, angry mob...etc. Where do families having dinner in a place they couldn't afford before the war, or a father buying a new car for his son which he also couldn't afford before, or a man renewing his house which was falling apart, or free speech and flourishing business, where does all this fit in such a frame?! It doesn't! Besides, where's the action in such boring stories!? Moreover, there are pictures of death and destruction and they only need some 'further clarification', and that's easier than making a whole new story. So why bother! I already have frames for good stories and I've worked hard in that and it would be a shame to waste all that effort and start all over again. So let's get the story we worked on and get the hell out of here.

The media is entirely out of control. Anymore, I spend almost zero time with main-stream punditry; it's far more informative to access primary sources such as Iraq the Model. I've got to think the networks and cable news outlets have got to be taking major ratings hits--they're no longer reliable.

:: Max 9:20 PM [+] ::

Instapundit points to N.Z. Bear's comprehensive 527 update. Bear's blog is so outstanding I've added it to the Prairie Fire MasterBlogger blogroll.

:: Max 9:32 AM [+] ::
QUESTION: "Should George W. Bush win reelection, you know who is going to be pissed off the most?


Related: Here's today's IEM Chart--Yikes!

:: Max 9:24 AM [+] ::
Have you seen these Abu Ghraib photos?

With Kerry's poll numbers tanking, MSM scores an assist by resurecting Abu Ghraib. They're so predictable.

:: Max 9:04 AM [+] ::

Sadr's militia hits Iraqi pipelines

CNN's Money is reporting terrorists hit eight twenty oil pipelines near the city of Basrah--this on the heels of yesterdays report that oil prices "fell sharply" due to the "optimistic Iraq export picture" Think they're not watching CNN?

As predicted by this blogger, terrorists of all stripes will increasingly target oil production infrastructure effectively imposing a 'terrorism tax' on the global economy. Get used to it.

Related: It's not just terrorism putting upward pressure on oil prices; corrupt international bankers, politicians and UN officials are getting their cut too.

Also related: Emailer Bob Carlson just sent me this (wow):

"here's the IAGS summary of "attacks on Iraqi pipelines, oil installations, and oil personnel" for 2003:2004. Thought you might be interested."

:: Max 7:36 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, August 25, 2004 ::
American Enterprise Institute on "the ad that worked"

"The people who keep track of these things expect 2004 to be the first billion-dollar election in American history. Yet the single most effective ad campaign of the election cycle has thus far cost only about $500,000: the campaign launched at the beginning of this month by the new anti-Kerry group, Swiftboat Veterans for Truth.

Within less than a week, polls found that half of all registered voters had heard about the Swiftboat vets' advertisements. Close to half, 44%, of all independent voters surveyed say they find the ads "credible." In the two weeks since the ads first aired, Kerry's support among veterans has collapsed by some 19 points: President Bush has now gained a 55-37 lead in this group.

You can see for yourself how effective the Swiftboat ads are. Both are posted at www.swiftvets.com. But be prepared for a bit of a wait: According to some reports, the Swiftboat vets' site is now drawing more traffic than the official Kerry-Edwards Web site, and the little group's servers have been overwhelmed."

Betting all his chips on his Vietnam service, and by extention his vocal opposition to it, was a mistake of epic proportions. Not only has he rekindled the flames of the most contentious war in American history but piqued the ire of hundreds of thousands of veterans, service men and women and their families. Even if he nails the debates, it's difficult to imagine him recovering from this self-inflicted 'quagmire'--and blaming the Swifties ad ain't helping matters any either.

Via Powerline [>]

:: Max 10:32 PM [+] ::

Uh-oh...now there's a dog...

Hugh Hewitt got it:

In a 2004 presidential candidate questionnaire for Humane USA, Mr. Kerry was asked whether any pets have had an impact on his life.

"I have always had pets in my life, and there are a few that I remember very fondly," Mr. Kerry replied. "When I was serving on a Swift Boat in Vietnam, my crewmates and I had a dog we called VC.

"One day as our Swift Boat was heading up a river, a mine exploded hard under our boat," he continued. "After picking ourselves up, we discovered VC was MIA (missing in action). Several minutes of frantic search followed, after which we thought we'd lost him. We were relieved when another boat called asking if we were missing a dog."

Said Mr. Kerry: "It turns out VC was catapulted from the deck of our boat and landed, confused but unhurt, on the deck of another boat in our patrol." J.J. Scheele, program director of Humane USA, confirmed yesterday that her organization did, in fact, receive the above statement from the Kerry campaign.

OK...I don't believe this story...it's totally implausible...he made it up...he needs help...seriously.

Oh pleeeze Tim, ya gotta ask Kerry about VC the dog--I want to see him tell the dog-catapult story on Meet the Press--c'mon Tim, ya just gotta.

:: Max 9:16 PM [+] ::

Free Speech VS 527s

Washington Post's Robert J. Samuelson comments on McCain-Feingold's deconstruction of the First Amendment:

"The presidential campaign has confirmed that, under the guise of "campaign finance reform," Congress and the Supreme Court have repealed large parts of the First Amendment. They have simply discarded what were once considered constitutional rights of free speech and political association. It is not that these rights have vanished. But they are no longer constitutional guarantees. They're governed by limits and qualifications imposed by Congress, the courts, state legislatures, regulatory agencies -- and lawyers' interpretations of all of the above.

The 527 loophole in McCain-Feingold has had the exact opposite effect of reducing money in politics while simultaneously eroding the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech. Mr. Samuelson says rightly, that should Americans be forced to choose between a bad law and the constitution, they'll pick the constitution every time. Read the whole thing [>]

Related: Senator Kerry apparently has no regard for the first amendment to the constitution. According to him, the swifties don't have a right to speak their mind--surprising given they risked their lives to defend that right. Unbelievable.

:: Max 7:38 AM [+] ::
Iran to the front burner

USA Today's Youssef M. Ibrahim, lays out the course of nuclear appeasment:

Iran rejects the charge that it is making nuclear weapons. It has accepted international inspection of its nuclear facilities, but has defiantly declared that it will continue its uranium-enrichment program for scientific purposes. Russia, which is cooperating with Iran's nuclear efforts, supports that position.

There is room here for more talks and compromise. Translation: There is no need to lunge, again, into war, now or a year from now.

Neocons, be they Republicans or Democrats, ought to ponder the consequences of taunting Iran and opt instead for a dialogue. [emphasis mine, ed]

Of course, 'talks and compromise...opting for a dialogue'--appeasement--is John Kerry's position as well; postpone dealing with the issue until the Ayatollahs have a nuclear warhead pointed at Isreal (or anyone else within range). If Iran is allowed to develop WMDs, it's a whole new ballgame.

:: Max 6:45 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, August 24, 2004 ::
Nobody Reads Blogs

Just in case Dan, Tom and Peter are wondering where their viewers are going, Instapundit hit a new mile marker yesterday with 260,000 hits. That's just under 11,000 page views per hour or 180 readers per minute--24 hours per day; an extraordinary achievement for a lone, Tennessee blogger.

Congratulations Glenn.

(I bet three of those 260,000 hits came from Dan, Tom and Peter...heh)

:: Max 2:00 PM [+] ::

Main-Stream Media Meltdown

Mark Steyn in the UK Telegraph Opinion:
The other day it was CNN host James Carville, former skinhead-in-chief to Bill Clinton, yelling and howling all over O'Neill's answers before brushing him aside with, "I've got no use for this man."

Meanwhile, the grandees at the New York Times, having studiously ignored the story for two weeks, decided that, with the Kerry campaign all but paralysed by the issue, they'd have to sully their lily-white hands with the ghastly business and kill it themselves. Maureen Dowd, the paper's elderly schoolgirl columnist, dismissed the dissenting Swiftees as "creepy-crawly", "stomach-turning", "sleazoids".


I said a couple of weeks back that John Kerry was too strange to be President, and a week or two earlier that he was too stuck-up to be President. Since I'm on an alliterative roll, let me add that he's too stupid to be President. What sort of idiot would make the centrepiece of his presidential campaign four months of proud service in a war he's best known for opposing?


How cocooned from reality do you have to be to think you can transform one of the most divisive periods in American history--in which you were largely responsible for much of the divisiveness--into a sappy, happy-clappy, soft-focus patriotic blur without anybody objecting? Most Vietnam veterans of my acquaintance loathe John Kerry, and, if he wasn't aware of that, he's too out of it to be President.

Kerry's three purple hearts, bronze and silver stars make him the most decorated soldier in the shortest period of combat in the history of the United States Military; all he's missing is are green-clovers, yellow-moons and pink-hearts. That the media accepts this outlandish fantasy is beyond unbelievable--it's become truly offensive. Both Kerry and the media are going to be damaged by this Pravda-like disinformation campaign--they both come off as cowardly, dishonest and undependable.

Related: Hugh Hewitt quotes this mornings WSJ lead editorial:

"We've tried to avoid the medals-and-ribbons fight ourselves, except to warn Mr. Kerry that he was courting precisely such scrutiny (" Kerry's Medals Strategy ," February 9). But now that the Senator is demanding that the Federal Election Commission stifle his opponents' free speech, this one is too rich to ignore.

What did Mr. Kerry expect, anyway? That claiming to be a hero himself while accusing other veterans of "war crimes"--as he did back in 1971 and has refused to take back ever since--would somehow go unanswered? That when he raised the subject of one of America's most contentious modern events, no one would meet him at the barricades? Mr. Kerry brought the whole thing up; why is it Mr. Bush's obligation now to shut it down?"

By refusing to confront the allegations head-on, Kerry is making the situation much worse; and it will fester until he can summon the courage to answer the charges forthrightly. As always, it's the coverup, not the crime that matters.

Update: Powerline congratulates Cap't Ed as the first source to reveal Kerry's first Purple Heart was bogus, a story which is just now breaking in MSM. Apparently, the Kerry team is trying to find a way to back-out of this mess but it ain't gonna happen. Score yet another win for the blogosphere.

:: Max 8:44 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, August 23, 2004 ::
Gathering Storm

Lines are being drawn in the sand over Iraq's nuclear program:
"That moment of decision, when the West either accepts the inevitability of a nuclear-armed Iran or launches a military strike to pre-empt it, is looming ominously closer. And such an attack, while rallying Iranian opinion behind the ayatollahs, is unlikely to do more than buy a few years of delay. Already, anxious officials in London, Berlin and Paris are trying to assess how long it will be before the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran inspires Turkey, Kazakhstan or even Saudi Arabia to follow suit.

It's interesting, the "anxious officials" in Europe seem to be doing little beyond hand-wringing over the possibility of nuclearized shi'itism on their back doorstep while simutaneously doing everything in their power to undermine Bush's attempt to democratize Iraq. Should the middle-east become nuclearized, they'll pray for good old days of a singular, democratic/capitalistic, American hegemony.

Update: Kerry to Iran: I will "provide you the fuel that you need if Russia fails to provide it." (?!)

Thought I remembered something about this but it took me a minute to find it--yikes!

:: Max 10:00 PM [+] ::
More on Dem 527s

Patterico points to Blogs for Bush for a graphic depiction of how closely Democrat 527s are linked to the Kerry campaign. As Patterico says, the Dem 527 appears to be a lot closer to the Kerry campaign than the Swiftvet 527 is to the Bush campaign(not to mention the breathtaking differences in their respective bank accounts).

:: Max 11:28 AM [+] ::
Cut off your nose to spite your face ears [>]

Via Drudge

:: Max 11:03 AM [+] ::
German Reaction to US Troop Redeployment

Instapundit wrings this quote out of the German media:

Just a year and a half ago the majority of Germans were certain the USA and its President represented a greater danger to world peace than Saddam Hussein, and the US armed forces were considered fearsome executors of the sinister US plans for world domination. Now, however, German politicians and union people, who marched at the very front of the peace demonstrations, are pouting and grimacing like children who feel they have been left in the lurch by Daddy because the number one war-monger wants to deny us the trusted presence of our uniformed American friends.

Reynolds also has a nice round-up of Kerry-Team PR missteps and back-peddling on the Swiftboat controversy--Go [>]

:: Max 8:56 AM [+] ::
:: Sunday, August 22, 2004 ::
Kerry Then--Kerry Now

JustOneMinute has a comprehensive juxtaposition of Kerry quotes from his days protesting the war to his current "reporting for duty" puffery. He also has a few sharp quotes from the 'band of brothers'--here's one that caught my eye:

"John Kerry gave the enemy for free what I and many of my comrades in the North Vietnam prison camps took torture to avoid saying" says Paul Galanti, identified on screen as a prisoner of war from January 1966 to February, 1973.

Hop on over and read the whole bizarre thing [>]

:: Max 11:38 PM [+] ::

He's a Republican!?

"When I was a kid and my parents started talking about politics, I'd run to my room and put on the Rolling Stones as loud as I could. So when I see all these rock stars up there talking politics, it makes me sick.

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

Alice Cooper on Rock Stars campaigning for Kerry.

Edmonton Sun via the Corner

:: Max 11:14 PM [+] ::
IOC Bans Blogs

The International Olympic Committee has banned "competitors, as well as coaches, support personnel and other officials, from writing firsthand accounts for news and other Web sites" (i.e. blogging).

This radical move should tell you everything you ever wanted to know about blogs--and the IOC. Soon to come: blog-bans in other arenas as well.

Via the Corner [>]

:: Max 10:27 PM [+] ::
Kerry in a wickett?

Bob Dole on Kerry's predicament:

"I think this can hurt Kerry more than all the medal controversy. I mean, one day he's saying that we were shooting civilians, cutting off their ears, cutting off their heads, throwing away his medals or his ribbons. The next day he's standing there, "I want to be president because I'm a Vietnam veteran." And I think he's -- I said months ago, "John, don't go too far." And I think he's got himself into this wicket now where he can't extricate himself because not every one of these people can be Republican liars. There's got to be some truth to the charges. But this is on tape. This is on television. This is before the Senate committee......Maybe he should apologize to all the other 2.5 million veterans who served. He wasn't the only one in Vietnam. And here's, you know, a good guy, good friend. I respect his record. But three Purple Hearts and never bled that I know of. I mean, they're all superficial wounds. Three Purple Hearts and you're out. "

No matter the accuracy of anyone's memory--be it Kerry or the Swifties--3 Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and a Bronze Star in three months an 12 days? It's simply not plausible.

Via Real Clear Politics [>]

Sidebar: My father was very proud of his single Purple Heart which he received after catching a German handgrenade in WWII. When we were kids, we'd ask Dad to roll up his pant-leg and show us the three-foot scar that ran from his heel to his ass-cheek and tell us about how they reconnected the tendons to his toes--while he was awake--in a field hospital in France. After he was done with the story we'd beg him to see the Purple Heart. I don't know why, maybe it's because he didn't want to brag but he never showed it to us--we had to ask mom to dig it out of the sock drawer if we wanted to see Dad's Purple Heart.

It's poseurs like John Kerry who sadly devalue the medal's historic significance for all the people who have genuine, life-altering disabilities from serving their country selflessly.

The oldest military decoration in the world:

The PURPLE HEART is awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S. who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. It is specifically a combat decoration.

:: Max 9:07 PM [+] ::
Round up the usual suspects [>]

Update: While you're at it [>]

:: Max 6:18 PM [+] ::

Nuclear Extortion

With the announcement that Russia will supply Iran with nuclear reactor(s), the Kremlin increases tensions in middle east while simutaneously throwing a wrench into efforts by the State Department and the IAEA to defang the Iranian WMD threat. Of course, in principle, this move is all about blocking 'American hegemony' but underneath it all, Putin's intentions are venal--payola; if Bush doesn't like it, he can buy-out the Iranian reactor contracts.

This method of international extortion is getting old. Bush should follow the Isreali model and allow Iran to purchase and build the Russian reactors; as they near completion bomb them to rubble. This approach transfers the loss from US taxpayers to the Russians and Iranians and forstalls indefinitely another WMD crisis.

Related: A. Q. Kahn, the Typhoid Mary of nuclear arms proliferation, may have given Iran a leg up in their quest for WMDs.

Also Related:
"Iran conducted a successful test Wednesday of its ballistic missile, the Defense Ministry said. The missile is capable of reaching U.S. Forces in the Middle East and was produced in response to Isreali efforts to improve its own missle power.

The missle, the Shahab-3, which Iran last successfully tested in 2002 before equipping its elite Revolutionary Guards with it in July 2003, is its longest-range ballistic missle, with a range of 1,300 kilometers, or 800 miles."

Monday morning update: Toss a little Chinese missle technology into the pot for good measure and the only thing missing from the stew is a pinch of Chirac and a splash of Schroeder. (with this much action, the hyenas are circling--I can feel it)

Obviously, what the US needs right now is a little measured, nuanced, metrosexual diplomacy from the French-speaking John Kerry...he has all these European connections you know...

:: Max 11:38 AM [+] ::
Tony Blaire Rock Star

This is an unfortunate turn of events. Blaire's visit to the US would create a sensation rivaled only by the Beatles first visit in 64. I guess if Kerry loses in November, Blaire won't have an excuse to reject the citation.

:: Max 9:29 AM [+] ::
BRAC Attack

Blogs of War considers how US base closures will affect the German economy while back home, small towns accross America grapple with the same tough reality:

Communities throughout the United States are bracing for what is expected to be the largest round of base closures and consolidations of the Base Realignment and Closure process, or BRAC. The Secretary of Defense has said that nearly a quarter of the country's military installations, about 100, are unnecessary and could save billions if closed.

The histrionic press is speculating Bush announced the redeployment to 'punish' Germany for not supporting the Iraq effort and that Bush's "radical" move "will further damage international relations with our closest allies", blah, blah, blah. Well, his timing was impecable, but these changes have been in the works for years; Bush just collapsed the timeline to reflect the evolution of new strategic alliances and unfortunate political realities.

Note: Blogs of War is an outstanding resource and belatedly appears on the Prairie Fire blogroll under the 'warblogging' heading.

:: Max 8:08 AM [+] ::
Out of the park

Powerline's Hindrocket tears the cover off with this post. I think he's right; the blogosphere is on fire and the media can't keep up. They're ossified like Daniel Shore's toenails and simply can't seem to get ahead of the blogs. Anymore, thinking people have already absorbed the background on most of the big stories and by the time Brokaw or Rather sit down to the anchor desk to spin it, the story's been laid bare on the world wide web. As soon as they open their mouths they come-off like pompous buffoons. I think they're slowly catching on but the train has definately left the station.

Bye bye...

:: Max 1:02 AM [+] ::
America Manipulating IOC for Ratings Gold?

Scott Burgess examines the addition of 'new' olympic sports, like women's beach volleyball, which some observers maintain have been included in the games merely to boost US medal tallies and television ratings; his findings may surprise you.

:: Max 12:08 AM [+] ::
:: Saturday, August 21, 2004 ::
Unfortunately, I'm not part of this problem:

Came across this and then I came across this. Now, I'm no ecologist but I think it's way too soon to write off the dwindling lobster population to global warming when 60 million pounds of lobsters were consumed in the United States last year! That's 4.8 lbs of lobster for every man woman and child in the country!

(Umm...I didn't eat any Lobster last year; that means somebody else ate 9.6 lbs.....d'oh)

:: Max 10:57 PM [+] ::
The Stars and Bars

Jeff Jarvis comments on the symbol that unites us:

"I never but never was a flag-waver or -wearer before 9/11. I started afterwards. My view: Evil swine killed thousands around me and tried to kill me that day just because I am American. So, of course, I will wear my flag as the tiniest sign of defiance. I know that wearing the flag confuses people (flag=right) but I don't care. I want to reclaim the flag from partisans and apologists and terrorists. I wish we all wore the flag. I wish we were all united enough to do so.

Sometimes I think the flag is about the only thing Americans have in common and I wouldn't have it any other way. I'll start worrying about this country when, as a an act of protest, either nobody wants to burn the flag anymore or they get arrested for doing so.

:: Max 9:27 PM [+] ::
Desperation in the Kerry Camp?

Blogs of War says Kerry's demanding the FEC award him some kinda Presidential Campaign citation for injuries he's suffered during the commission of high-puffery in the service of his country.

See for yourself [>]

Via Florida Cracker [>]

:: Max 8:06 PM [+] ::
Advanced Chrenkulus

Application of the Sieve of Chrenkoff derives 40 blogs in a single post--ponderous man, ponderous.

:: Max 7:29 PM [+] ::
How the Media Works

Joe Gandelman has some interesting observations on how big-time editors move news stories from the back-burner to the forefront of our collective consciousness. Mr. Gandelman has a degree in journalism and has worked on a bunch of newspapers so he can share a little inside baseball with the blogosphere. In view of the ongoing media lock-out/pretzl-twist of O'Neill's Unfit for Command allegations, Gandelman's post on the matter is relevant and insightful.

Via Dean's World, Dean's World, Dean's World [>]

:: Max 7:00 PM [+] ::
Team Iraq

For the first time since 1964, the Iraq soccer team moves to the Olympic semi-finals. Via Hammorabi [>]


Update: Here's more from VoA [>]

:: Max 4:51 PM [+] ::
Briefs or Boxers?; Mac or PC?; Kerry or Bush?

Wired News on Errol Morris' new Kerry ad campaign:

"His new advertising campaign features Republicans who voted for President Bush in 2000 explaining why they now intend to vote for Sen. John Kerry.

Scheduled to run during the Republican National Convention later this month, MoveOn.org's political action committee, MoveOnPAC, will air Morris' aesthetically stark 30-second interviews with ordinary citizens about why they won't vote for Bush again in November."

Not sure this strategy helped Apple any more than it'll probably help Kerry but it's a nice branding move by the Kerry team. Bush could use a little of this kind of thinking in his campaign advertising--to this point, Bush's ads seem kinda flat and predictable to me.

:: Max 4:18 PM [+] ::
Welcome to Prairie Fire Roger L. Simon fans. If you haven't been there already, make sure to drop by No Pasaran for the Svane link among, well...other things.

(Thanks for the link Roger).

:: Max 1:59 PM [+] ::

Geez...the liberal media is hyperventilating over the little Republican 527 funding the Swifties ads while ignoring entirely the Democrat Mega527s funded by billionaire loon George Soros! Main Stream Media's selective omission of the facts is now becoming comical. But don't despair, Hugh Hewitt points to Slings and Arrows, a great blog that fleshes-out the Democrat 527s and their relationship to the Kerry Campaign. Just keep scrolling.

Related: CNET News.com is reporting Moveon.org's subscriber's list has been compomised via Drudge [>]

:: Max 1:06 PM [+] ::
Europe's "classic dependency"

As a counterpoint to recent progressive handwringing over Bush's foreign policy, Victor Davis Hanson has a definitive column on the long overdue redeployment of US Troops.

Via RealClearPolitics [>]

:: Max 12:26 PM [+] ::
Blog Notes

Tom, over at The Media Drop, points to NameProtect, a company that scans the net for trademark infringements and suggests web-loggers mind their Ps&Qs. In a related post, he highlights Intelliseek's BrandPulse Internet that has upgraded to include blogs to "track buzz about a product or brand from a variety of places on the Internet and use it for market research and analysis purposes - almost like a real live test kitchen or focus group". This is a wise move for Intelliseek given the blogosphere seems to move a lot faster than the "other" world wide web.

:: Max 11:58 AM [+] ::
The real reason for the war in Iraq?

No Pasaran has linked to an elaborate shakedown of the Oil-for-Food scandal. Eric Svane has gone to some real trouble to put together this HUGE, link-filled chronical of the international graft that was Oil-for-Food. An excerpt:

It's looking more and more as if one of the best reasons to get rid of Saddam Hussein was that it was probably the only way to get rid of Oil-for-Food. The problem wasn't simply that this huge United Nations relief program for Iraq became a gala of graft, theft, fraud, palace-building and global influence-peddling--though all that was quite bad enough. The picture now emerging is that under U.N. management the Oil-for-Food program, which ran from 1996-2003, served as a cover not only for Saddam's regime to cheat the Iraqi people, but to set up a vast and intricate global network of illicit finance.

Mr. Svane observes that the nations that went into Iraq with the US were not merely the "coalition of the willing" but the coalition of the honest. Almost without exception, those who opposed the war, including Koffi Annan were lavishly benefitting from the scheme that enabled Saddam Hussein's brutal regime. Svane's well-researched site is a compendium of the facts and conjectures on Oil-for-Food--bookmark it for future reference.

(somebody get Simon on the phone)

:: Max 7:26 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, August 20, 2004 ::
Swiftboat Update

I'm still way out in the middle of Kansas but thought I'd drop in to see what's happening in the blogosphere--looks like Kerry-Swiftboat is still the hot topic.

Here's the latest: Drudge was claiming Kerry's Lawyers were attempting to get some kind of cease-and-desist order on the publisher of Unfit for Command but the headline has now completely vanished (Hindrocket saw it too). I've seen this happen a couple of times on Drudge--maybe he's fact-checking the story or somebody fed him some garbage; in any case, the headline is no longer on his page. Of course, Instapundit is jam-packed as is Hugh Hewitt who looks at how Kerry's polling among vetrans. Roger Simon's is also posting on Kerry's Great Vietnam Adventure and has the interesting observation:

"the Blair Affair was about some extreme neurotic making up stories in a newspaper and getting away with it. Pathetic, but oddly excusable if you think about the nightmare of trying to get a giant paper to bed every night. The partisan obscurantist reaction to the Kerry/Swift Boat affair is completely different because it is deliberate. The mask is off the "impartiality" of the mainstream media as never before. The meetings in the editorial rooms of NYT, WaPo and LAT are not hard to imagine, the coded discussions. A war is on, ladies and gentlemen, and as with most semi-normal people involved in a war, I don't feel particularly comfortable in it - and not, obviously in this case, because I might get shot. I have friends and colleagues at those institutions. I wish them to remain so. But that cannot stop me from telling the truth. They are wrong. Their avoidance of this story was unconscionable. Their treatment of it now... as if the messenger were more important than the message... is worse.

If it turns out the Swift Boat Veterans were right in many of their accusations... and there probably will be more, stronger ones, to come... and Kerry does get elected anyway because the truth was blunted... that same truth will come out eventually and we all (on every side of the tetrahedon-like political spectrum)will pay for it.

The obscurantist mask may be off MSM in the blogosphere but millions still rely on the talking heads for their news. I hadn't watched ratherbrokawjennings for awhile but tuned in last night in my hotel room just for laughs--the contrast between the two media (internet and television)is stark. I figure the vast majority of people are still entirely uniformed.

:: Max 2:38 PM [+] ::
:: Thursday, August 19, 2004 ::
Young Warrior

Next time you find yourself mincing words because you are afraid to tell a Liberal moonbat where to get-off, just remember this name: Bryan Henderson. Repeat his name like a mantra and it'll give you all the courage you need to smack-down the loons.

This is now one of my all-time favorite sites on the internet. Mr. Henderson is quite an individual and it will be interesting to see where he goes. Just so I won't lose track, I've placed him on the blogroll under the MasterBlogger heading.

Congratulations Bryan, you out-smarted the seditious, pedantic dinosaur!

Hat-tip Grantings (NEW!) via Powerline [>]

:: Max 5:30 PM [+] ::
It's still Basrah, Basrah, Basrah, stupid...

I really wonder if the DoD or CPA pays any attention to the Iraqi bloggers. Alaa the Messopotamian warned about this situation a week ago. No doubt he has his his ear to the ground. This week, Alaa warns about a much greater danger [>]

:: Max 5:12 PM [+] ::
Colorado Electoral Vote Referendum Update

Bruce Bartlett has an update on the Democrat move to alter the electoral voting system in Colorado:

"The proposed Colorado system, which will be on the ballot for voter approval in November, is quite different. It would prorate all of the state's electoral votes on the basis of the popular vote. In practice, this means that the loser will always get at least four of Colorado's nine electoral votes.

To see how this system would have worked in 2000, Bush won all eight of Colorado's electoral votes (it received another in the 2000 census) and got 271 nationwide, compared to Gore's 266. If Bush had only gotten five electoral votes in Colorado and Gore had gotten the other three, then Gore would have won the election with 269 electoral votes to Bush's 268. (The total does not add to 538 because one elector from the District of Columbia apparently did not vote.)

Although there are legitimate criticisms to make of the Electoral College, the Colorado effort is nothing but a transparently partisan effort to give Kerry a couple of extra electoral votes. If the election this year is as close as the polls suggest that it will be, it could mean the margin of victory."

Well, like Hugh says, If it's not close, they can't cheat.

:: Max 4:46 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, August 18, 2004 ::
Free iPod? No Way


I was just scanning Wired News and came across an article on a legitimate, if not surprising offer for free iPods. I went for it because people are apparently receiving their iPods with few if any strings attached.

Here's the deal: All Free iPods requires is that a) you participate in some push advertising; b) refer the Free iPod site to five of your friends; and c) participate in at least one of their advertiser's programs, (CD/MP3 clubs etc.) All of these programs have some nominal shipping and handling fees (mine was $6.95) but their little commitments are easy to get out of if you remember to cancel in the prescribed time period!

In any case, as soon as I receive my "free CD's", I'll immediately cancel the "club membership" and wait for my almost-free iPod. If you're interested, here's the link [>]

Get through fast:

1) Answer "No" to first 6 "push ads" they have no impact on your application (don't do the poem!). 2) refer 5 friends--it appears 5 legit references will get you the iPod. 3) Review all final "program" ads for their cancellation policies--choose at least one program (the easiest escape seems to be PC Learning CDs). Copy and paste program cancellation policy for future reference. By clicking through the first six ads, the whole thing takes about 5 minutes. I emailed my five friends--four went for it--working on fifth.

:: Max 10:23 PM [+] ::
Off to Lindsborg

Won't be blogging much in the next 48 hours unless I can find internet access in the Lindsborg, Kansas library. Yes, I'll be stranded WAY out in the middle of the flint-hills with a bunch of Swedes --Lake Wobegon without the lake--for a little job. Back sometime Friday. In the meantime, just hit any of the links on the blogroll and you'll be transported to blog heaven--promise.

Who knows, maybe I'll bump into Anatoly Karpov.

Update: Oh Joy...The Lindsborg Kansas "Bibliotheque" has high-speed Internet access...feel right at home.

:: Max 4:07 PM [+] ::
Ali and Mohammed Running for Iraq National Congress

Baghdad, IRAQ August 18th, 2004 -- Two popular Iraqi webloggers, Ali Fadhil and Mohammed Fadhil, today announced their candidacies for the Iraqi National Assembly.

The bloggers, who are brothers, have been writing their popular weblog www.IraqTheModel.com since November of 2003. Their weblog has been quoted in major world media, including the BBC, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, National Review, Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Bulletin, Dallas Morning, and New York Post.

We believe that we represent an important segment of the Iraqi people that was never organized before under any category as a result of the oppression of the past regime. Now this segment has come to see the necessity to contribute to the building of a new Iraq in a way that is entirely different from the old ways that are still dominant in the Middle East and that are governed by religious fanaticism and pan-Arab nationalism.

We see that remaining silent is not an option in our battle towards democracy and freedom and that everyone who seeks a better future should take part in this battle.

(Ali Fadhil)

Way to go guys--your country needs you more than we do (and besides, there's a movie deal in this-I can feel it).

:: Max 3:33 PM [+] ::
Bereuter [R Neb] says it was "mistake to launch that military action" in Iraq.

Doug R. Bereuter's biography.

Mr. Bereuter was obviously no Congressional lightweight and he's a Washington veteran--wonder why he's chosen this particular time to undermine the administration's efforts in Iraq.


:: Max 1:43 PM [+] ::
Scott Burgess is in rare form-- Don't miss this one [>]

:: Max 12:09 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, August 17, 2004 ::
Shut up and sing update

NY Senate longshot candidate, Marilyn O'Grady is appearing in commercials airing on NY area Fox affiliates asking voters to dump the Boss:

"Bruce Springsteen is doing a concert tour to dump President Bush," the ad says. "What's new? Springsteen criticized Reagan, bashed the New York police and said Bush should be impeached. He thinks making millions with a song-and-dance routine allows him to tell you how to vote. Here's my vote: Boycott the Boss. If you don't buy his politics, don't buy his music."

Other bands participating in the Moveon.org/ACT sponsored Bash-Bush series, include Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, the Dixie Chicks, R.E.M., John Fogerty and Bright Eyes.

I'm in.

:: Max 9:24 PM [+] ::
"This victory is maybe making them happy."

Iraq beats Costa Rica 2-0. "Vagabond's" advance to quarter finals.


:: Max 8:56 PM [+] ::
Troop Redeploy Ploy

Interesting this story would be breaking on the heels of the US troop redeployment announcement--think maybe there's a connection?

Looks like Bush and Blaire got fed up with the Eurabian, metro-sexual amateur-hour and made themselves some new friends like Australia, Poland, Italy, Turkey and China.

France and Germany--because they've been less than forthcoming, particularly on their questionable financial entanglements with Saddam Hussein and the UN--are now relegated to "nominal ally" status. And contrary to the opinions of the New York Times and John Kerry, America and Britain now have much stronger international alliances that properly reflect the evolution of these nation states.

However, should Kerry win the Presidency in November, look for a return to America's Euro-groveling, reinstating France and Germany as primary "allies" in the fight against terrorism. God forbid it should happen...

:: Max 6:01 PM [+] ::
Basrah, Basrah, Basrah?

In a previous post, I linked to Messopotamian who warned about Al-Sadrs thugs infiltrating Basrah. Unfortunately, it appears he was right [>]

:: Max 4:45 PM [+] ::
NYT Knocks Troop Withdrawl: Will Strain "Crucial Alliances"

"The troop redeployment plan announced yesterday by President Bush makes little long-term strategic sense. It is certain to strain crucial alliances, increase overall costs and dangerously weaken deterrence on the Korean peninsula at the worst possible moment. Meanwhile, it will do nothing to address the military's most pressing current need: relieving the chronic strain on ground forces that has resulted from failing to anticipate the long, and largely unilateral, American occupation of Iraq.

"makes little long-term strategic sense...is certain to strain crucial alliances"?! Are these guys living under a rock?

The venerable Times, the "old Gray Lady" has obviously become punch-drunk from the relentless neocon bitch-slapping she's been subjected to for the last three and a half years. Having fallen for yet another Bush rope-a-dope, she's gone all wobbly legged--she's not out of the ring yet--but with such a predictable, superficial assesment as this, one wonders if she's not going down for the count. Kind of sad to see the champ take such a brutal pummeling.

In case you missed it, here's a replay of that last left hook.

:: Max 2:53 PM [+] ::
Nose for News?

If Al Jazeera shows up in your neck of the woods, you'd be well advised to leave the area immediately. Eurosoc has more [>]

I noticed you have a new...umm...bumper-sticker:

Regarding the redeployment of US Troops, Eurosoc also points to this terrific quote from Mark Steyn:

"European countries now have attitudes in inverse proportion to the likelihood of their acting upon them. They're like my hippy-dippy Vermont neighbours who drive around with "Free Tibet" bumper stickers. Every couple of years, they trade in the Volvo for a Subaru, and painstakingly paste a new "Free Tibet" sticker on the back.

What are they doing to free Tibet? Nothing. Tibet is as unfree now as it was when they started advertising their commitment to a free Tibet. And it will be just as unfree when they buy their next car and slap on the old sticker one mo' time. If Don Rumsfeld were to say, 'Free Tibet'? That's a great idea! The Third Infantry Division go in on Thursday', all the 'Free Tibet' crowd would be driving around with 'War is not the answer' stickers. When entire nations embrace self congratulatory holier-than-thou moral poseurdom as a way of life, it's even less attractive."

Precisely...get the entire Steyn column here [>]

:: Max 2:15 PM [+] ::
The Horse is Out of the Barn

Lee Cearnal of the Houston Chronical utters the magic words:

Where's my colleagues' interest in Kerry's war records?

Even when he's caught in a lie, media aren't scrutinizing him same way they did Bush

The same news media that demanded George W. Bush release his National Guard records--and went over them with a microscope--have shown an appalling lack of interest in John Kerry's military service. And as it turns out, there are far more legitimate questions about the latter than the former.


As to the truth of this tale, there is only Kerry's word, which the press seems quite willing to take, to the extent of not reporting on the controversy at all. It is not a trivial matter. Kerry has pimped the story repeatedly in an effort to paint himself as a stand-up eyewitness to events that were both illegal and, in his view, immoral.

And that's not the only issue that reporters are curiously incurious about. At least one of Kerry's Purple Hearts has been challenged by his unit's medical officer, who notes that the wound was barely visible and was treated with a Band-Aid. Some questions should also be asked about his Silver Star: Should shooting a wounded, fleeing Viet Cong in the back--as justifiable as it was as an act of war--be worthy of the nation's third-highest award for courage?


Media's reluctance to follow up on Kerry's Great Cambodia Adventure is as bad for main-stream pundits and news sources as it is for their candidate. The horse is out of the barn and, at this juncture, shutting the door makes them all look foolish. Mr. Cearnal is one of a handful of journalists who understands persuing the horse is the proper course of action.

Via RCP [>]

:: Max 7:04 AM [+] ::
Oh, That Liberal Media contrasts LA Times Bush AWOL coverage to the Kerry Swiftboat coverage with predictable results:

What sort of coverage has the Times given to the "Bush was AWOL" story? In summary, the paper has run at least seven stories mentioning the controversy, including two stories on the front page. The stories consistently emphasized the contrast between Bush's service in the National Guard and Kerry's award-winning and allegedly heroic service in Vietnam. The stories frequently quoted John Kerry's complaints that he didn't know all the facts behind Bush's military record. Finally, the stories downplayed the partisan motivations behind the AWOL accusations.

The contrast between the coverage of the "Bush was AWOL" story and the Swift Boat Vets' accusations could not be clearer.

This insidious form of journalism is boring. If they'd just tell the truth, they'd sell twice as many papers and then they wouldn't have to lie about their circulation stats as well.

Besides, the truth just makes a better story anyway: both John Kerry and George Bush have equally sketchy resumes.

:: Max 12:11 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, August 16, 2004 ::
USA Today reports Saudi's are mounting a US PR campaign; cite the 9-11 commission report [>]

:: Max 11:28 PM [+] ::
Goodnight Walter

:: Max 11:04 PM [+] ::
"A breach in progressive solidarity"

St. Louis Oracle, a 3rd party progressive blog has a very nice recap of how Missouri's blacks broke ranks with their party on the issue of gay marriage, supporting the constitutional ban:

Betrayal?: Blacks backed Amendment 2


The 13 black wards that backed the measure did so with over 55% of the vote. The five county black townships doing so posted a 64% majority for the amendment. Both figures are well ahead of the support percentages for the entire city (where the amendment lost) and the entire county (60%).

Both major African American weekly newspapers, the St. Louis American and the St. Louis Argus, had remained editorially silent on the ballot measure.

Doug Gray, campaign manager for the Constitutional Defense League, told St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Bill Smith that he was disappointed that those people who historically have supported civil rights issues -- labor unions, African Americans and Democrats -- largely decided to sit out the Amendment 2 election. "Being silent and saying nothing is no longer good enough."

St. Louis Oracle is an insightful glimpse into 3rd party, progressive politics maintained by a self-described "grassroots veteran with a mature, progressive anti-establishment perspective.." Drop in and see what the other other-side is thinking [>]

:: Max 10:03 PM [+] ::
"dampening" of dissent"

I'm no fan of "Moore's moonbats" who show up to protest at the drop of a hat, but I begin to get worried when the FBI tracks down and harasses protesters when no crime has been committed:

...federal agents and city police are keeping tabs on activists and others they believe might try to cause trouble. They are making unannounced visits to people's homes, conducting interviews and monitoring Web sites and meetings.

This questionable tactic is obviously designed to chill political dissent and free-speech and sets a very dangerous legal precedent. Mr. Ashcroft should concern himself less with naked statues, bongs and puppet-headed, flag-burning loons and devote more of his valuable time tracking down Arab terrorists.

I'm certain there are many conservatives/libertarians who wouldn't be particularly heartbroken if Ashcroft were asked to step down--too often he comes off as an anachronistic crank and is an anchor on the Bush/Chaney ticket.

Update: And then there is this, appearing in the China's Xinhuanet, which sends a conflicting message to the Falun Gong and other courageous dissidents fighting for freedom and democracy in China--America's approach to quashing dissent and political speech is not unlike the Communist's--jail them.

Update: Here's more [>]

:: Max 9:11 PM [+] ::
Troop Reorganization Threatents US Hegemony (heh)

Samizdata has an interesting take on Bush's troop recall:

President Bush has announced, and not a moment too soon, that the US will undertake a massive reorganization of its overseas deployment, moving troops out of theatres where war no longer threatens (e.g., Europe). Apparently, most of the troops would be brought home to the US.

As I have noted before, the security guarantee that the US extends to its nominal allies can be counterproductive, encouraging irresponsibility and anti-American attitudes in such allies. For nations, as for individuals, there is no substitute for self-defence.

It is awfully strange behaviour for an imperial hyperpower, though, isn't it? Surely the evil Bushchimpler realizes that bringing troops home is no way to expand global hegemony. Whatever could he (or his puppetmaster Karl Rove) be thinking?

What could they be thinking...hmmm..

:: Max 4:46 PM [+] ::
North Carolina's Healthcare Crisis

Tort lawyer John Edwards targeted ObGyn's and neurosurgeons causing many to fold their tents and leave the state. The upshot is thousands of North Carolinians have lost their healthcare. Here's an excerpt from the American Thinker:

"The John Edwards we know crushed [obstetrics, gynecology] and neurosurgery in North Carolina," said Dr. Craig VanDerVeer, a Charlotte neurosurgeon. "As a result, thousands of patients lost their health care."

"And all of this for the little people?" he asked, a reference to Mr. Edwards' argument that he represented regular people against mighty foes such as prosperous doctors and big insurance companies. "How many little people do you know who will supply you with $60 million in legal fees over a couple of years?"

The national press is largely uninterested in the story of what happens when junk science is used to persuade gullible juries to award millions to sympathetic victims of health problems. But there are real world consequences. The money has to come from somewhere, and it does subtract resources from actual health care services.

Edwards' sleazy technique damages the practice of two great professions--law and medicine and increases healthcare costs for everyone. Look for more Edwards 'outings' as the campaign progresses.

:: Max 4:03 PM [+] ::
Oil Futures "Tumbling"?

Crooked Timber on the Venezuelan referendum:

Of course there is now a fairly substantial Catch-22 situation. Part of the reason why Chavez was able to win was that in recent months he's been throwing around money like water on social programs. He was able to do this because oil was up above $40 a barrel, generating vast profits for the state oil company. A lot of the reason why oil prices were so high was that there was significant uncertainty about supply from Venezuela because of the impending referendum. Now that some of the uncertainty has been resolved, oil futures have already started tumbling, meaning that it's going to be that little bit more dfficult to deliver on these promises; if I were a Venezuelan, I wouldn't be assuming that we were out of the woods yet.

Prediction: Long term political uncertainty in the middle east and South America combined with increasing energy demands from China will continue to constrain world oil production and distribution. Save for temporary dips from speculators shorting the market on passing issues such as Chavez' re-election, oil prices will hover at or near $40.00/+bbl for the forseeable future. Look for prices to spike sharply if Global Guerrillas successfully target oil production infrastructure.

Daniel Drezner has more [>]

:: Max 2:57 PM [+] ::

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