Slight address change. New address is:



Moving Day

I've Moved!!!

Update your links. By this evening, this site will refer to the new location.

October 8, 2004 at 03:51 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

What's Missing From Kerry's Vocabulary?


Once upon a time, someone told me that nothing ever happens in a movie by accident. Every frame is planned, everything that ends up on the screen in the final print is there because someone wrote the scene, someone acted it, someone directed the scene and finally someone edited it. What you see on the screen is a manufactured vision. If you are watching a movie and a small detail occurs at the beginnging, it will almost always relate to something later.

Campaigns for elective office are also like movies, everything you see is a manufactured vision. To see the truth behind the candidate, you have to learn to keep you eyes open for the little details. One thing I like to do is just listen to the candidates. I mean really listen. What words do they choose?, how often do they repeat them. What is it that gets them emotionally engaged?

So for about 9 months, I've been listening to Kerry. I've been trying to put my finger on something thats been bothering me about Kerrys vocabulary and I think I finally figured it out what it was.

Earlier this evening I noticed a parallel between Kerrys Senate testimony in 1971 and something he said today.

In 1971, he said this:

"we cannot fight communism all over the world, and I think we should have learned that lesson by now.

Now, bear in mind that when he said this, this was the prevailing world opinion. Communism was something to be tolerated. We had to maintain the status quo.

A great many learned men believed that this was so. It took one man of faith and another of conviction to free the world of the foolish idea that Communism was something that should be tolerated. Today we accept it as a given that Communism has as much relevance in the world as does zoroastianism, but it wasn't always that way.

Today, Kerry said this:

There are 60 countries around the world with al-queda cells in them. Many of these countries have clearer ties to alqueda than did Iraq. Did we invade Russia? Did we Invade China?

Now, to my mind what Kerry was trying to say was obvious. What Kerry said in that little line was the 2004 version of his 1971 defeatist statement.

To paraphrase:
We can't fight Terrorists, and I would have thought we would have learned that by now

Kerry went on to say that sanctions were working and that they did not have to be lifted if we had used the "right diplomacy".

"Right Diplomacy", who talks like that?

And then it hit me, the little nagging thing that had been bothering me for 9 months. It was the word I never heard Kerry use in the context of the Jihadi War.

Kerry does not talk about Victory.

Oh sure, He uses it it terms of himself prevailing over "the evil Bush", but Kerry never discusses the word or the concept of Victory by the Western Democracies. Kerry has said that he would "fight the Terrorists", but Kerry does not use the word "Victory". He has given up before he has started.

Kerry - doesn't believe in Victory. Kerry doesn't believe in us!

This post features a picture of one of my heroes. The man who saved western civilization, Mr. Winston Churchill. He is flashing the "V for Victory" sign. Winston Churchill and his country stood alone against the dark night of fascism, while my country, the beacon of freedom sat on its hands allowing half the world to become engulfed in flames. Churchill stood on the rubble of his capitol and flashed the V for Victory, While Men like Charles Lindberg and Teddy Kennedys father talked at length about our eventual defeat by the superior forces of fascism. Churchill didnt listen to the voices of defeat, and people hated him for it. The adulation that the world feels for him now happened after Victory was assured, I suspect the same will be true of President Bush, after Victory is assured, everyone will say he was always their hero. For now, he lives in the cold exile that results whenever you do the right thing instead of the popular thing.

Back then, Churchill didn't listen to the voices of defeat, Churchill believed in Victory. Today President Bush is not taking council to the voices of defeat, He believes only in Victory.

Kerry believes only in Kerry and says so with his every breath. To Kerry, There's no enemy of America worth fighting and no virtue in America worth defending.

From now till election day, We need to buck up our spirits by playing the first few notes of "Beethovens fifth" we need to flash the "V for Victory". We need to remind everyone what our goal is, and that is Victory. It is only by being victorious over the Jihadis that can we have peace. There is no co-existance possible with these murdering parasites. Senator Kerry has said his strategy is to have a "Summit". I say the only "summit" we should have is on the deck of the USS New York after the last Islamic country has had a free election.

Then, and only then, can we have peace.

I need to find some paratooper crickets, I'm getting a real "Longest Day " vibe going here. Bumper stickers? I want to go into a grocery store and hear paratrooper crickets from every corner, and know what it means while the democrat defeatists shake their heads and wonder what that sound means.

dot-dot-dot-dash. It means your ass, Mr Kerry.

October 8, 2004 at 01:32 AM in Election 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (3)

What Do Winners Act Like?


Now, A few people have written me asking if I'm still confident in a Bush Victory as I was back when I wrote the now famous "Farewell John Kerry" Post.

Oh, you could say that. You could also say that any doubt I may have had, as been erased, not by Bush but by the Democrats themselves.

Allow me to illustrate:

This week Union thugs and Democrat Party Muscle have begun a campaign of terror against Republican voters in several states.

Huntington, W.Va.
Orlando, Fla.
Tampa, Fla.
Seattle, Wa.

Now, Why would you do this? Frustration? Anger? Righteous Indignation?

Nahhh. There's a better answer if you think about it, and its obvious if you send anytime looking at polls in detail.

These attacks are designed to do one thing, and one thing only, and it's the one thing that Kerry has never managed to do, and that is suppress the Republican vote. Kerry, a candidate who was picked by the Democrats as their second choice, based purely on their belief that as a former military man, he would be found acceptible by the Republican faithful. Talk about your "Stalingrad" sized miscalculations, this one goes in the books.

All they had to do was ask us, we would have told them, give us a Tony Blair, a Joe Lieberman Democrat, and yeah maybe. But this guy. Are you serious? While we may disagree with those other men, we know that both Tony and Joe are on "our side". In the test of his life, Kerry switched sides, and sided with the murdering thugs that took over Vietnam, and no, we havent forgiven him for that, and no, it wasn't heroic, it was opportunistic and dishonest.

Now The question of the day would be this:

"If the Democrats were winning, why would they need to suppress the Republican voters by threats of violence?"

They arent. They aren't even close, and they know it. What used to be a clear Democrat majority in this country has changed to a Republican majority. Since 1994, there has been a "Sea Change" underway. There are still a good number of people who would never announce publically that they have voted Republican, but they do. Since 1994, in Election after Election, we see polls that say " too close to call", but very often after its all said and done its the Republican who shows up the victor. Lori Byrd of Polipundit, makes this clear with her data in this Post

Theres more going in the this election that most of us realize. Whats happening below are very feet is that the political power in this country is about to change places. This election is the last chance by the Democrats to remain relevant as a political power. Their only hope now is to suppress the vote of a party that used to be weak and incapable of winning offices most anywhere. That does not describe the Republican party of today, but its is increasingly a good way to describe the Democrat party.

If you remember the O.J. Simpson Murder Case Verdict, just remember the faces of the white audiences. That is exactly what the faces of the Democrats will look like on November 3rd.

Yeah, I'm confident. I have one other reason why:

Kerry Then:


"we cannot fight communism all over the world, and I think we should have learned that lesson by now. "

Kerry Now:


On Sudan:
While on BET, Kerry said:

"the United States would have to be in a position in Iraq and Afghanistan to allow that to happen". He also said his options as president would be limited because President Bush has overextended U.S. forces.

"Our flexibility is less than it was," he said. "Our moral leadership is not what it ought to be."

"I don't want to be a country that allows a second genocide in a decade to take place," Kerry said.

But on September 9th, Kerry said:

"The United States should ensure the immediate deployment of an effective international force to disarm militia, protect civilians and facilitate delivery of humanitarian assistance in Darfur," he told the meeting of black Protestant churches here.

"If I were president, I would act now. As I've said for months, I would not sit idly by," Kerry told the group.

On Iraq:
"Kerry said he still believes Saddam was a threat, but that dozens of other countries are capable of producing nuclear weapons or are home to al-Qaida operatives. "Did we invade Russia? Did we invade China?" he said. "

Kerry has decided that Terrorism and Genocide are just too hard to fight, just as Communism was too hard to fight.

To Kerry, There's no enemy of America worth fighting and no virtue in America worth defending.

October 7, 2004 at 07:35 PM in Election 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Construction Dust II


The new varifrank Moveable Type site is coming along nicely, and to quote Stephen Green on the use of Sekimori Design, "She Rocks!.

I dont want to give away the whole show here, but the new look and feel is pretty-damn-cool. One problem is that my oh-so-cutsey masthead " Forget it Jake, It's Chinatown" doesnt really work with the new motif.

So we had to come up with a new masthead, heres a sample on how that conversation went:

Hm. The tagline is too long for that space on the bottom right, so I've had to adjust the bars a bit. See what you think (attached).

Ok let me think, how bout this: "Exterminate The Brutes"

No, that's a bit over the top. Too much English Lit. Besides, it sounds like something for a blog based in Hayden Lake, Idaho. You don't want to give people the wrong idea here.

How about this: "You either surf or you fight".

Well I like it, but I don't think anyone else will get it. That's as bad as the "Chinatown" reference.

Ok, what about: "An epic drama of adventure and exploration"

Come on man, its a blog, written by a guy who can barely spell and got a D+ in English every year in school . Yes its a "2001" reference, but we already had a problem with the length of the Chinatown line and this is even longer. Come back into the light, Frank...

Ok, quickly say the first three words you'd use to describe your personal wish for the world:

Liberty, Freedom , Victory.

Ok, that's better. Let's go with that. Its almost jingoistic enough to put on a flag like "don't tread on me". Simple and to the point.

Stay tuned. (And she does Rock!).

October 6, 2004 at 09:30 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Selective Memory


Golly, I remember the hordes of Democrats that were saying in 2003 that there were "No WMD's in Iraq", because they were the ones saying that "thousands of soldiers were at risk of attack by "Iraq chemical and biological weapons". I also remember the Democrats saying that because they all still voted for the action against Iraq. Clearly all those brave policy makers were just intimidated by the evil Bush administration who holds the puppet strings of government in the US.

I also remember the French, Russian and German Foreign ministers and intelligence services saying that there were "no WMD's in Iraq". I remember because they also issued memos at the time stating the risk to civilian populations from Chemical and Biological Weapons. Why did they do that? Because those three countries still had the receipts for selling Iraq the equipment to build WMD's.

I'm sure the UN said something about WMD's at the time, but I'm also sure the memo started with a rebuke of Israel and its nuclear weapons, so I just tuned it right out.

Let's see how this works. In 1990's Afghanistan was an infected host state giving sancturary and support for a set of bloodthirsty murdering parasitical thugs who attacked the US in Manhattan in 1993, again in Saudi Arabia, and the USS Cole in 2000. What did the US do in the 1990s to stop the terrorist threat from Afghanistan in the 1990's? Did anyone acknowledge that there was a threat? Nope, not a thing and not a word. Why, the're just funny little people, they might blow up a car here and there, but no real threat to the country.. The Result? The terrorist parasites living on the host body of Afghanistan go on to kill 5,000 civilians by using nothing more sophisticated than 19 suicidal dupes and a stack of box knives.

9th Century religious death cult + box knives = mass death : Ergo - WMD's.

Nope, no WMDs here. move along...

In 2003, we have a thugocracy in charge of Iraq that has threatened or attacked every single one of its neighbors and committed genocide in its own country, and is clearly judged by every country in the world to be a terrorist state. It also has a large capacity for the creation of chemical and biological weapons and with their clear demonstrated ability to use them against their own civilian populations they are very dangerous indeed. Iraq also has access to vast amounts of cash. It has also violated every-single-agreement with the UN in regards to abiding by the armistace of 1992 and threw out UN weapons inspectors in 1998, leading everyone to believe that they must have them.

And the answer the Democrats seem to give today is that despite the recent experience that 9/11 taught us, despite Bali and Beslan, we should have just looked the other way when it come to action on Iraq. The Iraq action was a Preemptive War. It was meant to stop Iraq from becoming a bigger threat than it already was. We failed to take action on Afghanistan when we could've stopped 9/11. Afghanistan had no infrastructure, it could only provide sanctuary. Iraq could not only provide sanctuary but access to capital and industrial infrastructure. Should we just let it fall into the hands of the Jihadis? Should we allow its assets to fall into the hands of the Iranians?

19 fanatics and box cutters. Thats the low end of the spectrum for WMD's.

19 fanatics with access to not much more technology and cash than the average crack or meth house has in it and you can kill millions with anthrax bacilli. thats the middle spectrum for WMD's

19 fanatics with access to billions of dollars, access to inport/export facilities, multinational trade agreements, intelligence services/infrastructure/data, aircraft and shipping, international banking letters of credit with the a host state. A host state with an active chemical industry. Thats the high end of the spectrum of WMD's.

Thats what we took preemptive action to stop. The potential threat was there, the expressed threat was there. If you wait for the threat to become a real threat, you are already dead. We learned that on 9/11.

Did Iraq have WMD's? probably not. Do I care?, no. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I didn't need WMD's to decide to take action in Iraq, and whatever reasons I may have put on the table before the invasion, the reality of "Childrens Prisons" removed any other prerequisite. Only people who have lost their moral compass and a good portion of their brain needed the WMD's to be sitting in a big warehouse just waiting to be captured by US forces. By every measure of decency and strategy, Iraq needed to be liberated. From just a strategic sense, Iraq made all the sense in the world as it provides wide access to the border with the next threat, the far more sophisticated and dangerous Jihadi host state - Iran.

Those who decry the invasion and liberation of Iraq are also those who are wondering why we arent in Iran or North Korea. Look at a map, tell me what surrounds Iran? American Troops are on the eastern border, the northern Border and the Western Iraninan Border. We control the seas of their southern ports . Now, Look at a map and tell me what type of geographical feature that is Korea. Korea, is a pennisula. American Troops are on the Southern Korean DMZ against North Korea, side by side with their South Korean Allies. The American Navy has a defacto blockade underway around the Korean shoreline. The Chinese, following a long standing tradition is building large physical barriers ( some might even say its a "wall") on the northern border of their one time client state.

If Bush was "lying about WMD's", dontcha think he could also plant some WMD's? Would it be that hard?
Why didnt he order Iraq to be salted with WMD's? Because, he, like me, didn't care. It wasnt the WMD's, it was the place and the people that needed to be turned into assets against the Jihadis instead of a waiting for it to become a real threat against us.

Bush didnt lie. Some people just didnt hear what he was saying. Afganistan was a threat, it is no longer. Iraq was a threat, it is no longer. The Bush Doctrine says " If you are a terrorist, or if you harbor terrorists, we will make no distinction". The only question you have to ask yourself about the future is how many people have to die before you take action to stop it?

UPDATE: In Response To A Reader of this post, I also wrote this, following a theme on a couple of earlier posts:

Thanks, I appreciate the review and the link.

As far as why people find the Iraq situation so much different than I do, I have no idea. 60 years ago, we got attacked in Hawaii and the first country we invaded in response was Morocco. Why? Because it fit the larger strategy of ending fascist power in Europe. 60 years ago, the smartest man on earth( Einstein ) said we should build an atomic bomb before the Nazis did, it turned out the Nazis didnt even come close to building an atomic bomb. If FDR can be wrong, If Einstien can be wrong, then what can we really expect of the rest of us. There's two ways that history could've come out, One way the Nazis do get the bomb, at which point this email would be written in German or the other way, were we are wrong but alive to say so. I prefer the second version, which is what happened then, and its what happened now in Iraq.

But it also turned out that the Nazis were killing their own citizens, ( albeit an unpopular religious minority, but German citizens none-the-less) so fast that they had to develop new technology to dispose of the bodies. Genocide wasnt why we went to war, but in the end its why everyone fought so hard. The people who fought that war on our side didn't fight for peace, they fought for Unconditional Surrender and Total Victory. We had 7,000 KIA and 18,000 wounded in Iwo Jima, just one battle in the Pacific Theatre of War, in a bigger world war where 52 million people lost their lives, nobody got weepy and said that we needed a damn "summit" with our allies or that we were sustaining all of the casualities.

How that generation survived the great depression, then fought both the Nazis and the Japanese empire then came home and raised an entire generation of whiny little piss-pants quitters, I'll never know. My personal "pet theory" is that this is what really happened when they put fluoride in the water back in the 1950's.

We are at war, thats not conjecture, its a fact. We didnt start the war, but we damn well better win it. Winning does not mean quitting and hoping for the best. Winning means ensuring that the word "Jihadi" has the same resonance as "Nazi" or "Klansman" or any of the other losers in the humanities hall of shame.

October 6, 2004 at 03:30 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Not Watching


I'm not watching the debate tonight. I just want to ask why anyone else is watching? Did anyone ever watch a debate and walk away saying " Gosh , I thought I liked Candidate X, but Candidate Y really showed me his stuff last night ". Sorry, to my knoweldge thats never happened. It's the Sasquatch of water cooler life. Youve heard of it, you know people who swear that they know somebody who knows somebody who... but it just aint so.

Look at what happened last week. Kerry gives the performance of his life, Bush is now at a higher job approval than before the debate. Do you know anyone, anywhere who after last weeks show has now said " I can now switch my vote for Kerry". If you do, just ask them for me what is Kerrys position on the War? Because I've watched the debate, and I've read the transcript 3 times and I still can't tell if he wants to leave Iraq altogether or wants to increase troops and spend more money or give Nuclear weapons to Iran and unilaterally disarm. I can't tell.

My guess is Kerry can't tell either, but it doesnt matter because "he's not Bush", and to about 47% of the electorate and just about every Jihadi on the planet, thats all that matters. Kerry or Edwards could walk out on stage in a chiffon dress, with a string of pearls, and there would be many in the TBM who would accuse any of us that point out that "real men dont wear Chiffon", as just another right wing attack on their patriotism.

Let's be honest. The contest is over, everyone who can breathe has now made up their mind, so all of this outgassing in the last 28 days is for nothing. If you still don't know who you are going to vote for by now, nothing anyone says in the next 28 days will make you go " Oh, THATS a good point, Now I'm definitely all for Mr. fill-in-the-blank, oh Honey! get my checkbook, I'm writing a check to that guy tonight".

And all this stuff about "new voters" is also crap. People dont vote out of a sense of duty, they vote out of habit. Kids ( I was one myself once, so I speak from experience) only have bad habits and are usually so self-absorbed and soaking in bong-water that they hardly ever notice that there's an election going on till after its over anyway. Those that do notice are usually pretentious little do-gooders, who will most likely vote for Nader( as long as the ballot is on biodegradeable stock and only if they can use vegetable based ink and the polling station is "cleansed" before the election by a taoist monk)

The TBM need a good horserace, or you'll be like me, watching whatever else is on, what you've stored on your Tivo or reading "blogs" on that danged computer fer-gods-sake. The TBM will make news even if there is none to report, there has never been a news broadcast in the history of mankind that ended early because there was a general lack of anything interesting going on. Why do I like blogs? - Reason #24: Because if a blogger doesn't have anything to say, they say so, they dont crank out a piece every M-W-F just to keep their editor and publisher happy.

The candidates have made their case and the election is actually over. We are just waiting for the Polls to open so we can get on with it. If the polls opened tommorow are there any of you who would say " I need a little more time to make up my mind"?


We've reached the point in the battle where the 'signal to noise' ratio is so high that weve all reached down into the dashboards in our mental cockpits to turn off our radios and missle warning systems. There's just too much chaff in the air, so it's time to get back to our "seat of the pants" instincts. Most of us made up our minds months ago. Some of us made up our mind on Sept 12, 2001.

The Republic will survive no matter who takes the office of President. If Kerry wins, He gets a Congress where half of it is solidly Republican and the other half is still a majority Republican. This means that a Democrat president will get bubkus done. If this was peacetime, the Conservative in me would be ok with that, but since were not, I'm not. Presidents always enter office all spry and "happening", but Kerry is gasping for air already and he's not through with the campaign ( or is he...?). I would be amazed if he simply survives the first 4 years, but he's not getting anything done during that time anyway, so enjor the ride. I can't wait for Kerry to face the actual need to send troops 'into-harms-way' during his tenure in office. As Spock said in Star Trek, "only Nixon can go to China", but its my guess that "only Kerry can restart the Draft".

If Bush wins, He's going to have to remove about half of his cabinet, as they clearly seem to have left the reservation. Rumsfield, as much as I love the guy, is getting a bit old. Powell looks to me like he is screaming face down into his sofa cushions during most evenings. So, While I still think Bush will win, It hardly means that everything is going to be "happy fun time". The left in this country and the world is not going to roll out the red carpet and support him no matter how many people he liberates and brings freedom. Bush will never get nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, while Arafat has one on his mantle. Bush will always be seen as the devil himself, despite the 25 million people who live in freedom today that didnt before he took office. How many people did Carter liberate? Arafat?. Compare and contrast, Reagan and Bush "The Great Liberators", Carter and Clinton, "The Great Prevaricators". Who is more loved and by whom? If I were a Pole, whos father spent 60 days in the Gdansk shipyard, against a tryannical murdering government my answer might be different than that of the spoiled babies in in this country. If being attacked and going to war can't get your oppostion party to back you up, theres not much thats ever going to do it.

For Bush, its another 4 years of sitting at the top of a cultural civil war. For just $225,000 a year, to be called "Worse than Nixon or Hitler", to have every single movement you make scruitinzied, to go to bed every single night knowing what most of us never will know about the ongoing of covert and overt actions around the world, it's no wonder Presidents always look like freshly hammered dog crap after they leave office.

We will survive, we will prevail. Let's not get our knickers in a twist. I dont care how you dress these guys up, they all sound like the Honorable Gov. William J. Lepetomaine so Let's not try to deify these guys too much.

Favorite quote: "Gentleman!, We've got to do something to save our Phony Baloney Jobs !"

So tonight, I see theres a new show called "Wing Nuts" on Discovery channel. I Guess I'll have to check that out. Why the rest of you are watching a "debate", I have no idea. Life is too short for that much bile production.

UPDATE: A lot of people have written to tell me "Conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan hasn't made up his mind, so theres still alot of people who havent made up their mind about Bush." . Ok kids, I like Andrew Sullivan, He is a fine writer and his thoughtful on many things he says. He's changed my mind on more than a few things. but those of you who think that he hasn't made up his mind also think that Andy is still just waiting for the right girl to come along. Andy is a one issue voter, and he sees Bush and Cheney on the wrong side of that issue, no debate is going to change his mind on that.

October 5, 2004 at 06:08 PM in Election 2004 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (3)

Construction Dust

That noise you hear in the background is the great Sekimori Design studios at work on the new Site.

Stay Tuned. Regular speed-blogging to resume as just soon as the paint is dry.

October 5, 2004 at 12:20 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Week To Be

History will record this week as one of the busiest and most significant in recent history.

October 4th - SpaceShipOne to take the X Prize

My heart and mind will be glued to the TV monday morning. That "Pilot Induced Roll" that we've now seen twice has me more than a bit concerned. Mr. Melville, Just get up there in one piece and get back in one piece, I dont give a damn about the prize.

Update I Success. On the anniversary of the Sputnik launch!

Update II Gordon Cooper, One of the Mercury 7 Astronauts, died today.

Update III Best quote:
Mr. Rutan said he had not decided how many more times to fly SpaceShipOne and its carrier plane, White Knight, before donating it to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, which has asked for the spaceship. He did say that he planned to focus his efforts on designing and building Mr. Branson's planes, which he called SpaceShipTwo. "Innovation is what we do here," he said, "because there's not much else to do in Mojave."

October 5th - Vice Presidential Debate

Outgoing Senator John "silky pony" Edwards meets Older-than-dirt Vice President Dick "Big time" Cheney. Corporate CEO vs. Southern Trial Lawyer. Cheney has socks that are older than Edwards. Edwards is used to getting a Jury that he helped seat and he's used to getting a follow on chance to make his case at the "court of appeal". I find Cheney to be the adult in world of infantile children and I didnt think Edwards every held up well under fire during the Democrat nomination campaign. I wont miss this WWF event for the world.

Update I: Not Blogging it.

October 5th - Supreme Court back in action.

Oh, so THAT'S why this election is important!

Update II: Rodney Dangerfield has died. It's got nothing to do with a historical week, but I like Rodney and its my blog.

October 8th - Last Employment Report Prior to Election.

Last test before the election. I expect it to be a disaster,nor because it is, but because so many people need it to be.
Will 3 Hurricanes hitting the south effect the jobs situation?
Does $50.00 a barrel for oil put any sort of drag on the economy?
We shall see.

October 8th - 2nd Presidential Debate.

The second presidential debate will use the town meeting format in which undecided voters, selected by the Gallup Organization, will question the candidates.

Will the audience stuffed with DemocraticUnderground readers? Will there be one "mother of a dead soldier" there to hang around the neck of President Bush like an albatross? Will Bush surprise everyone since having lowered expectations on his ability to deliver, make a strong stand on Kerrys Democrat home turf, the "economy"? We shall see....

October 9th - Australia/Afghanistan Vote.

Will Australia go the way of Spain? Will Afghanistan complete the vote, thus making the most backward of islamic countries also into the most free? Will the people of Pakistan catch the irony? Can it then be argued that since Terrorists were so busy with Iraq that they were spread too thin for Afghanistan?

Oh by the way, theres a volcano about to blow on the west coast of the US. If it is sufficiently strong, it could spread ash clear across the country.

This is a great time to be alive. Take notes, 20 years from now, this will be a week in history that is studied like the movements of the armies at Gettysburg in the summer of 1863.

October 3, 2004 at 09:56 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Teachers Pet?


So, What do we have here?

Senator Kerry pulling what appears to be a sheet of paper out of his pocket and putting it on the podium?

Ok, so what are you saying, Frank?

That Kerry may have received a list of questions prior to the debate, and this is his prepared "Cheat Sheet".

Oh, Come on, Jim Lerher wouldn't do that...

Who said anything about Jim Lerher? However, Jim doesnt work in a "fortress of solitude". Is it impossible to think that one of his PBS staff either helped someone else get the questions or got careless and left themselves open to compromise?

Jeez, do you really think they would go that far to win?

Are you kidding me? What are you, 12 years old?

Come on man, what other evidence is there that Kerry got an early look at the questions in the "debate?"

The only real evidence we will ever have is the debate itself. So, let's go back and watch and listen closely to his answers:

Did Kerry ever give an answer before the question was fully asked?

Did Kerry seem better prepared that is possible in situation where the question being asked is unknown?

Did Kerry give different answers in this session than in previous sessions where similar questions have been asked?

Did Kerry give any indication at all of precognition about what was going to be asked and what point in the debate a question would be asked?

I take my normal stance of remaining skeptical in situations like this, but it does answer what someone said in the initial moments after the debate " Boy, He sure looks polished...".

Yeah he sure did, the question is, did PBS Staff provide the cloth and silver cleaner for the tin man of Massachusetts?

( Mark Metcalf appears in the role of the Metaphysical Senator Kerry, courtesy of his Website, get this man some work people!)

October 3, 2004 at 01:38 PM in Kerry File | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Debate I: After Action Report


Kerry's job for the past 20 years has been to do what he did last night. Talk, followed by more talk, followed by a polite photo op for the folks back home. He's good at it, and as talk goes, it doesn't have any consequences, if it did, he would have been run out of town on a rail a long time ago because of his long standing tradition of consistently being on the losing side of history in every opportunity that history has provided him during his tenure as a Senator.

For all the skill of talking that Kerry has honed over the past 20 years in the forge of the Senate floor, I found Kerry to be almost as incomprehensible as Bush. It's the next day, and I've read the transcripts twice, and I'll be damned if I can figure out what the hell Kerry is talking about.

Bush didn't say very much, and what he did say he didnt say well. If I wanted a company spokesman for president, Kerry would have a shot. However, these are serious times, and serious times aren't times for talk, they are times for action.

I'd give anything for Bush to be able to inspire with a good speech and stagecraft, but Im not willing to trade a man of action for a man of words at this stage in the Jihadi War. Our problem in the West isn't that we dont sound good to the other countries of the world, it's that for too long we have neglected to take action.

Kerrys action plan is a "summit". Wheeee! Doesn't that make your heart just swell up? I'm old enough to remember decades of "summits", and not a damn thing ever changed in the world as a result. Once a President took action to end the Soviet Union rather than try to get along with it, the world changed and it changed for the better.

Oh, and by the way, President Reagan took that action against the advice of the rest of the world, many of his advisors and other countries governments, but he did it anyway, because it was the right thing to do. The lesson was clear, You don't accomodate evil, you end it.

Take Action Now. This is what I want from a president.

( Thanks Punch and Jeff for the Inspiration)

Update: In what is surely a sign of the coming end times, David Brooks of The New York Times covers the same subject, and comes up with another angle but seems to reach the same conclusion.

The Money Quote:

" I suspect that the reason Bush's approval ratings hover around 50 percent, despite a year of carnage in Iraq, is because of the reason many of us in the commentariat don't like to talk about: in a faithful and moralistic nation, Bush's language has a resonance with people who know that he is not always competent, and who know that he doesn't always dominate every argument, but who can sense a shared cast of mind. "

In that simple sentence, David Brooks brings into stark reality the true nature of the American voter versus the European voter. We see polls that constantly say that if it were up to the voters of France or even Europe as a whole, Kerry would win by a wide margin.

Many people in the press, effected by the malarial fever of the Vietnam infection that has ruined the minds of so many of his generation cannot understand how any president taking what he deems to be "great losses" is at 50% approval ratings. Here we are in what he feels is an illegal war, losing troops every day, oil at $50.00 a barrel, everyone hates us around the world, and Bush is at roughly the same point now as the beloved President Clinton was in 1996.

David Brooks puts his finger on one of the key differences between America and the rest of the world, and also puts his finger on why it is that President Bush is also hated by the left. America, despite its obvious decadence, is actually quite a religious nation, much more so than Europe. President Bush is also an expressly religious man. The expression of a religious belief by a politican is anathema to many in the liberal world and the leftist mindset, but to a wide majority of Americans, the expression of religion is a central part of their lives.

I offer by way of a parallel this observation: There are constant jokes about Wal-Mart in the media and our culture at large, but the thing that everyone is missing when they laugh at Wal-Mart is that every Wal-Mart you ever see if chock full of people, and these people tend to think about the world the same way that George W. Bush thinks about the world. Everytime the "commentariat" laugh and deride President Bush, they are really laughing at a large portion of American voters. What must also be truly shocking to those of the left, is that 20 years ago, these same people were reliable Democrat voters, but today, 'Democrats at Wal-Mart' are far and few between. Worse still, Wal-Mart is the fastest growing business is America. What does that tell you about election trends in the long run for Republicans and Democrats? More Wal-Marts equals more Republicans? It sure looks like that to me.

One other cultural difference that I've noted over the years is that in America, we are told repeatedly when we are kids that "Someday, you can grow up to be the President'. The effect of this simple tale is to teach every generation to look at the President as being "just one of us". All Americans get uneasy about a Presidential candidate who is somehow is not a 'Regular Guy". Europeans are taught that there is another class of people who take care of you, the average European is certainly not raised with the phrase "someday son, you too can grow up to be Prime Minister". The result is that "haughtly and snotty" is actually a selling point for a candidate in europe as is shows that the candidate is part of the ruling class, where its a serious drawback here in the US. Most Americans live in dread fear of speaking in public and empathize with President Bush and his inability to put on a good show, while the patrician upper class pacing of John Kerry voice grates on the ears and nerves of many who live in "Wal-Mart America".

In America, anyone can be President, Bill Clinton and George Bush are both proof of that.

October 1, 2004 at 03:36 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

James Lileks, Master Of His Domain


In the two months since I started blogging I've noticed that although I dont have deadlines, I do have competition. I dont mean to say that I'm anywhere as good as James Lileks or Stephen Green, its just that if I get an idea on which to blog, I know I have to finish it fast, or those guys will clock me in the head like Cassius Clay, and they are two full hours ahead of me in timezone and light years in writing ability. I stand in awe sometimes by what they write and how they write it.

Tonight, James Lileks lays it down for everyone to see.

The money quote:

"If the rightness of a cause is measured by the number of one’s allies, would Britain have been right if the US had stayed neutral in World War Two?".

Damn. Maybe I should take up whittling?

September 30, 2004 at 10:27 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Boy, Is This Gonna Be Great!


Dontcha just dig this? I mean, here we are, in the worlds greatest Democracy, the worlds only Nuclear Superpower, and here it is, willingly putting its entire executive branch of government in the hands of people, who are sitting in living rooms all across America, watching two guys beat each other to death for the chance to get a job that will leave the winner weak and infirmed for the rest of his short post-presidency life. You ever look at a President when they start the job and after they are done with their time in office? They all come in like Steve Mcqueen but they all leave like freshly hammered dog crap. Anyone who is or was the President deserves our respect, just for surviving the experience. Imagine what its like to go to bed every night knowing there are billions of people who want to kill you and your country. Imagine what its like to read the intelligence reports that the President gets every day. Imagine what its like having to trust the commanders of every nuclear submarine, every carrier, every bomber pilot, all the while knowing that they are both commanded and flown by men, and all men have flaws.

Tonight, Kerry did fine and Bush did fine but "We, The People", did great. Thank God Kerry put up a good fight. Thank God Bush did as well, but the real winners were the American people. What did I like the most about tonight? It was a fair fight well played. No snot nosed cheap shots, no fascists street theater in the audience. Just two guys on opposite ends of the political argument banging on each other to determine the truth. We are all well served by the contest displayed tonight. At the end, they shook hands and their wives joked about wearing the same dress. It was a great scene.

All I want for Christmas is for those who lose on Election day to accept the loss and remember that you are all Americans and we are all on the same team. No one is served by undermining this contest by saying its illegitimate. Try to remember that our contribution to mankind as Americans isnt the strength of our armies but that we willingly and regularly put that military under the command of a civilian, who is chosen by average folks.

That, is a miracle, and we live in it every day.

I just love democracy. I just love election season but I think I really need to get a hobby.

UPDATE: later tonight, The old man weighed in:

"I don't understand a damn thing that Bush says, but I sure as hell know what He's doing and why, where with Kerry, what He says sounds good enough but what He does don't make no damn sense at all".

I couldn't agree more. I wonder if the simple eloquence of that statement can be translated into French?

September 30, 2004 at 08:19 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

Miami Ham Festival


I know the papers are full of talk about how there is going to be a debate tonight. As I've said before, this is not a debate, its a jointly paid campaign advertisement. That being said, we can still have fun. Following the great college tradtion of the Bob Newhart game, let's try this:

Varifrank announces The First 'Miami Ham Festival' Contest:

Commentors who leave their guesses in the comments section of this post who come closest to predicting the most correct answers with the earliest post will win the contents of my desktop "penny jar". My "panel of experts" will help me determine the correct answers.

You must post a real email address, and your answers must be in prior to the beginning of the "debates"

1. Total number of times Vietnam is mentioned :
- By Kerry
- By Bush

2. The number of minutes into the debate that Kerry mentions "This Administration" in a condescending fashion.

3. The total number of times Kerry uses "This administration".

4. The number of minutes into the debate Bush issues the first "Presidential Malaprop".

5. The number of minutes before " changing positions" is mentioned by Bush.

6. The total number of times "the Economy" will be mentioned.
- By Bush
- By Kerry

7. The number of times Israel will be mentioned.
- By Kerry
- By Bush

8. Will Jim Lehrer make his bias obvious?

9. Will there be a Bernie Shaw "kitty dukakis " question?

10. The total Number of times "evil" is mentioned
- By Bush
- By Kerry

11. Which candidate gets the first laugh?

12. Which candidate gets the best takeaway line of the evening?

13. Which candidate makes the first " Poland is not communist" type gaffe.

14. Who mentions Osama first?

15. Who mentions Saddam First?

16. Who mentions France first?

17. Who says "compassion" or "failure" first?
- Kerry?
- Bush?

18. Who sucks up to:

- Florida hurricaine survivors
- Elderly voters
- African American voters
- Hispanic voters
- The "kids today"
- soccer moms


19. Which candidate first uses his wife and kids to score points with the audience?

20. Who makes the biggest surprise statement of the evening, and on what subject.

The winner will be announced tommorow as I will be at a soccer game this evening with my daughter. Interesting parallel, 3 years ago I was at a soccer game with my son listening to the Gore/Bush debates. It's been a very busy 3 years, I look back on that time like it was a billion years ago,

September 30, 2004 at 09:50 AM in Kerry File | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Holocaust Denial


Once upon a time, there used to be a clique of crazed self-loathing people called "Holocaust deniers". These people were from all walks of life, some were your average trailer park trash but there were even some who were accredited academics. The Historian David Irving serves as the poster boy for the "I'm so smart I'm stupid" movement.

Their like has died out somewhat, I'm not sure why, whether its a generational thing with the passing of the WWII generation the experience of the Jewish holocaust is somewhat lower on the bigots playlists of something that needs to be perverted, since fewer people remember what the holocaust was and what it meant to the world.

Anyone in the world today who stands up and says "The holocaust didn't happen" or "Hitler wasnt a threat to the United States" is considered, and rightfully so, a self centered bigot.

Now, just to be clear, We didnt declare war on Nazi Germany to save the Jews of Europe and we didnt even declare war on Nazi Germany until after Hitler, in one of the true turning points of history, declared war on the United States. . Frankly we did very little to save the Jews. It is to our eternal shame that we stood by and did nothing. You could argue in the 1940's that no one would believe that such things were possible, but not after the 1940's. We know, We all know how far men can go in the search for power.

It was towards the end of the war that we confronted the horror of what happened in Europe, not the beginning. General Eisenhower took explicit and exacting steps to ensure that a record was kept of the holocaust. The world took steps to make sure that everyone understood what happened in places like Dachau and Treblinka, if we didn't, its entirely likely that no one would believe it. How could anyone believe that such evil exists unless confronted by the filmed evidence. The bodies stacked like cordwood, the boxes of teeth, extracted for their gold, nevermind the innocent mouths they were ripped from.

After the war was over, after the world began to put itself back together, the UN, in one of its few moments of decency, helped create the modern state of Israel out of recognition that the Jewish people of the world could not be expected to live on the "kindness of strangers" any longer. They would have one state on earth where they would not be victims by being an automatic racial and religious minority.

The collective world opinion has been and should always be that the Jewish Holocaust happened, that it was bad, and that the world should feel ashamed for not doing more to stop it. Everyone in the intelligencia looked at the holocaust and gasped at the horror, and we all learned to say "Never Again". Well, atleast we learned to use the words.

Now, Here's what I'm grappling with.

It occurs to me that today's academic intelligencia, today's media and today's Democrat party are operating in regards to Iraq almost exactly the way that the holocaust deniers did in regards to the Jewish Holocaust.

First, They deny that evil actually exists.

Today, Kerry said this to Dianne Sawyer:

"We should not have gone to war knowing the information that we know today."

Now, I'm not going to get into the time-twisting illogical connection that this statement is attempting to make, but when Kerry says something like this, he is saying it with full knowledge of the situation in Iraq before we arrived. Kerry is a Senator, he sits on the Intelligence Committee. Kerry has seen things we will never see about Iraq and lots of other places.. Frankly, He knows better. We know Michael Moore would like everyone to believe that Iraq was the world's kite flying capital before we screwed it up, but we know better. Death came easy in Iraq long before we arrived. It came in large numbers, entire towns were gassed in the Kurdistan areas, and the Shia civil war that occured after the first Gulf war was particularly bloody. Saddams security forces kept order by killing entire families at a time. I've always said that the entire run up for the Iraq Invasion, the WMD search, or any other justification went away when on the 4th day of the invasion we liberated the first of many "Childrens Prisons".

Once I heard about "Childrens Prisons", the whole reason for being there changed for me, it no longer mattered about sovereignty, or any other justifications, theres just some things that are not right and should not be allowed.

But to many in the Democrat party, the existence of such horrors is simply said to be "none of our business". It's as if to say that because it's not in the United States we have no right to say that its wrong and should be stopped. What's worse, to many more people in the Democrat party, the only evil involved is our cultural imperialism for wanting to stop the Iraqis from practing their institutions ( like Childrens Prisions ) in what ever way they see fit.

Second, Excuse the crime as misinterpretation of data.

I actually had someone argue with me that the "Childrens Prisons" were actually the Iraqi governments way of ensuring the welfare of children while their parents were incarcerated. They went on to argue that it was we here in the west that didnt understand the ways of life in the middle east and that if we in America would only try to understand the Islamic world, we wouldnt get into so much trouble misunderstanding things like the "Childrens Prision".

I was reminded of when Senator Patty Murray of Washington said that Osama Bin Laden was a hero to the Islamic world because he was building "day care centers" in the middle east. Now, for just a second, think about that and remember that in the middle east, women are routinely stoned to death for disobeying their husbands commands and ritualistic "honor killings" dont even make the news because they are such common occurances. Women are not "fast talkin career gals" in the middle east, they are farm animals that get to eat at the kids table.

Third, Misdirect the crime to other crimes that fit their agenda.

You can tell you are making headway with your argument when you get someone who says "well it was America who gave them weapons of mass distruction in the first place."

Now by way of analogy I usually have to offer this up:

OK, Let's say Dr. Frankenstein has created his monster. Suddenly, Igor gets careless and the monster gets loose and begins to ravage the the town below the castle.

Should Dr. Frankenstein:

A) Take a seat and enjoy an Martini while the townsfolk deal with the monster?


B) Grab a pitchfork and help put the monster out of his misery, side by side with the townsfolk?

Dr. Frankenstein created the monster. That means that Dr. Frankenstein has a responsibility to get rid of the monster! Doing nothing is not an option! Doing nothing would be W-R-O-N-G.

The townfolk arent going to look at Dr. Frankenstien and say "well I guess since he created the monster, hes too politically impure to help us get rid of it, I guess he has to remain neutral". Hardly. The townsfolk are going to make their decision on whether Dr. Frankenstien gets fitted for a rope afterwards based solely on whether or not he gets his ass up and helps get rid of the monster.

Fourth, Blame it on the Jews.

Today, when you hear the word "neocon", try to remind yourself, that this is the left media polite way of saying "Jew". When the first name you hear in a complaint about the Administration is "Wolfowitz", guess what? You're talking to a Bigot! A real life, sheet wearing, knuckle dragging bigot, and it doesnt matter if the person saying it has a latte in one hand and this weeks "New Yorker" in the other. The home of Bigotry can be found in every zip code.

Ask yourself this. In this election year, has anyone in the Democrat party made a clear unequivocal statement in support of Israel? Why would this be controversial? Senator Lieberman is practically a pariah in his own party for his stance on the war, and for his stance on Israel. When did this happen? If Republicans were not necessarily supporting israel, it would follow a historical norm, but Democrats?

This - is something new.

I find it hard to understand why one of our political parties is talking about the war in Iraq, as if it hasn't happened yet. There was a war, its over, we won, the Iraqis won and there are no more "Childrens Prisons", and we should all be happy. Iraq was once a net exporter of terror, and its now become a net importer. The Imported terrorists are not to coming to restablish an Islamic cultural Capitol, but to return Iraq and its resources back to the people who would use those resources to re-enslave the region. Where once was a tribe of madmen who used profits from oil to spread terror and disease throught the world, now is a burgeoning Democracy. Where once the countries surrounding Iraq lived in fear and blackmail from the head of the tribe in Tikrit, The people of Kuwait, Turkey, Jordan and yes, Syria and Iran have nothing to fear from Iraq because the head of the tribe is now an inmate awaiting trial for his crimes against humanity and his two evil sons are dead.

I find it impossible to understand why one political party is not excited at the fact that Afghanistan is less than 30 days from engaging in a free election, one in which women are given equal rights, as if it can't possibly happen. Afghanistan will soon have more rights than Russians are afforded in their country. Imagine that! Afghanistan is soon to be arguably more free than Pakistan. Imagine that! Now try to imagine the level of hate you have to have in your heart to go out that far out of your way to ignore the good news of freedom in a place thats never seen it before by a people who have known nothing but war.

I find it impossible to believe how one political party with a major constituency of Jewish people hasn't made one-single-statement about Israel. Not even to bring the awful phrase "Peace process" into the game. Israel has made a fence to keep the peace with its neighbors, but you would think that Israelis were putting Palestinians up on pikes like Vlad Dracula. Support from Democrat party for Israel? Only Crushing Silence comes from the Democrats about Israel and when Republicans give unequivocal support, Democrats only sneer in response.

So, it appears to me that there is a new generation of Holocaust Revisionists. Only its not the Jews of Europe being exterminated thats being denied, but the Shia, The Kurds, The North Koreans, and now Darfur. Apparently to the left and the current Democrat party, the color of the skin of the victim determines the level of indignity one should shed towards the crime. But even if it were the Jews of Europe being exterminated, would the left of today call Treblinka and Dachau a crime, or just an unfortunate cultural misunderstanding with "Middle Europe"?

September 30, 2004 at 01:28 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

I've Got A Bad Feeling About This...

If you live east of the Washington or Oregon, Its time to get your plastic sheeting out and get your cars in the garage. Mt. St Helens looks like she's going to give us another example of how the earth is not as solid as it looks.

Add this to the 6.0 quake in Parkfield Ca and the recent uptick in volcanic activity in Mammoth Lakes Ca, and I'd say we are probably going to get some ash out of this.

UPDATE: Thar she blows!

September 29, 2004 at 11:45 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


Real Work has interfered to keep me out of Mojave this morning. Im hoping to make the next launch in the next two weeks.

( I'm not happy about it, but I am employed, so its a good news, good news thing)

September 29, 2004 at 07:25 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The New Model Office


So, here I am, in the middle of the busiest month in a very long time at the paying job, and I take this week to tear down my office and re-invent the whole home office concept. I am one of those people in the rapidly expanding ranks of the "Remote Worker" revolution and with that has come quite a bit of stuff. Once upon a time I wouldve been happy just to get a separate phone line, now its gone well beyond that.

One of my ongoing complaints has been monitor size. Those who work a few hours a day at a PC, a 17 inch monitor is sufficient, but those of us who work at a PC for upwards of 18 hours a day, you just can't get enough real estate on which to work. Now, of course if youre usinga traditional monitor, you will soon discover that large monitor also means large amounts of heat. Since I already live on the edge of a geographic area we call "God's Catbox", heat is the last thing I want to generate.

So, obviously, that leads us towards the LCD monitor. Now, They are nice, but let's get serious, for a 21 inch LCD monitor, you are talking about 700 to 800 bucks. For something that only serves as a monitor, it's a bit hard to justfy that for the home budget.

I also have a major beef with my office chair. Again, a few hours a day, its fine, but modern computer science is hard on the fanny. Im not saying it compares to "black lung" disease or being shot at by criminals, but there are some things about this industry that are just tough on the body.

It all started this summer when I had a chance to work in Seattle. I had to take my office essentials with me to work at the other location, it was a working vacation sort of thing, one of the real perks of being a "remote worker", your work is where you are, not the other way around. In Seattle, I was given access to an small room with a sofa, and a desk at a wonderful house on Puget Sound. After some basic work and imagination, I found myself working comfortably but without my traditional office desk setup.

That started me thinking, and I then realized that the only function that the desk served was holding up my monitor. I rarely write by hand, and when I do, its on a clipboard. Everything else is done on the keyboard. After the number of times I've broken my arms, my hardwriting is simply indecipherable,so I dont use it. If I didn't need to mount my monitor on a desk, I could work from a recliner or a sofa/recliner or any of a dozen other more comfortable locations.

That was when I read about Projectors. Of course, as your basic Demo-whore I was all too familiar with Projectors, but what I wasnt familiar with is how much the technology has changed in the last two years and both lowered the cost and increased the quality of the device.

It turns out for not much more than a big LCD monitor, I could have a good serviceable Data Projector, that could also serve as an HDTV Monitor, which would make my media PC into a very useful device.

What does this do? By having a projector as my monitor, I can have a monitor that is 72 inches wide. Since its a projector, I dont need a desk for the monitor, that allows me to replace the desk with recliner.

So, I picked up an Infocus projector and screen at Sams Club. The biggest criteria was "return policy", since there is no real way to tell how this is going to work until you actually get it into the real life work environment. The result of this little experiment? It works terrific, much better than expected or hoped it would.

So thats what I'm doing now, I'm replacing my traditional office desk and PC monitor with a Sofa/Recliner and Wall Projector. Right now, My office and the Linux LAN and all the telecomm has all been pulled out and I am sitting on boxes while I decide what goes and what stays in the "New Model Office".

September 28, 2004 at 01:20 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Another Saturday Night


It is 38 days till election day. To Western Civilization, election day is the day we order our government to meet the challenges of the current day. We, the citizens of a democracy have our say in who shall lead us and to what the nations agenda should be. We hold our leaders accountable, we hold our public treasure under the accounting of the average common folk who decide en masse what is and what is not the right use of our public commons.

It is a miracle in history that we choose to do this. We have decided to collectively abide by the ruling of common everyday people who is best to provide the executive leadership of this Democracy. We do not serve our leaders, Our leaders serve us.

For far too much of the world, this is an upside down idea. The idea that the lowest caste of society can command those at the top is simply not done in the polite societies abroad. There are far too many in the world who believe that order is more important than enfranchisement of its subjects. There are many in this country that believe that leaving Saddam Hussien in power was a more righteous position than fighting to return the Kurds and the Shia to the brotherhood of civilization.

One person who feels this way is running for President in this country, He has the relative support of 50% of his countrymen. The other Candidate disagrees, he has the support of the other 50% of this country. Ours is a nation at war with the world and at war with itself. What is different about our country over others is that we will argure complain and throw a fit, but on election day, all the bull stops. We vote, we have our say and life goes on.

On Election day, we will choose and we will abide by the better judgement of the majority of voters in this country. They will be answering the question of should a man who cannot make up his mind about the rights and freedom of others, should be fit to sit at the desk of an office that has freed billions of people from tyranny. The man elected to the office of President during this election will be taking office to sit at a desk that once held the likes of men like Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.

Each man, faced with the horrors of war, chose to support the rights and liberty of mankind. Each man was not seen as a great and loved man in his time, but was seen by later generations to be the great men that they surely were.

What our Democracy has shown us over its history is that citizens of a Democracy are also good stewards of their Democracy. During times of strife and times of diffculty, Americans are willing to forgo the narcotic of comfort for the sacrifice and hard work that is required of maintaining our Democracy. America is not like the rest of the world. In America, we are citizens of, not subject of the government. On both sides of the political aisle We believe the words of another great President who said "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country".

Tonight is the 38th night until the night we engage in our duty for our country by the simple act of voting. We will tuck our children in, we will sit in our living rooms and talk the quiet talk of adults. We will instinctively look out at the horizon, like our ancestors did, watching for signs of an oncoming enemy.

But our enemies arent coming. Our enemies are already here.

Tonight throught this country sit the agents of anti-democracy. Men and women planted into our open society well in advance of their being used. They are not obvious, they do not wear costumes like henchmen in "batman'. More precisely, they have been chosen specifically because of their ability to blend in with average folk.

These agents sit quietly in non descript cars at the end of airport runways and calculate the distance and speed of aircraft in landing. They watch to see if the areas around the edges of airports are being watched. They work for custodial supply companies working after hours in our cities biggest buildings and our airports. They sit outside of schools and watch to see how secure they may be, they work for school bus companies. They watch and take notes and pictures and report back to their handlers. Their work goes on for years. They are patient, cool and reserved, they are not amatures, they believe that God is on their side and will reward them for helping kill the infidels, the people who until recently were their neighbors.

These agents sit at kitchen tables, creating bombs with chemicals purchased at any hardware store, wrapped in nails and rat poison, for the exact purpose of killing civilians, perferably women and children civilians. They go into the countryside to practice firing weapons, guns bought at any wal-mart with ammunition from any hardware store. They communicate on computer sytems made in Texas, on software created in Washington, on phone connections supported by satellites launched into space by rockets from Florida.

Their targets are not Airports, Airliners, Navy Ships, Air Force Bombers or Army Tanks. Their target is us.

We are free people. We are citizens of our country, not subjects of a king or caliphate. We live the way we want, believe what we want and we allow all the rights afforded to men to also be afforded equally to women and we dont even blink an eye at the blasphemy that this represents to the Jihadis.

The problem for the Jihadis isn't just that we are are free, but that our freedom is spreading. On October 9th, The people of Afghanistan, men AND women will vote. A country once known as the "meatgrinder of europe" is becoming a moderate Islamic state where women are given the enfranchisement to vote. In January 2005, Iraq, home to the cradle of civilization, recently ruled by the clan of a madman, will also vote. For those of us born and raised in the west, the simple act of voting doesnt seem like much, but to those who are not enfranchised with the liberating power of Democracy it is unlike anything we can imagine. It is like a prisoners first day outside the prison gates after a life sentence that has been commuted. Those of us living in freedom do not understand what it means to those about to be liberated to know the day is coming when they will live free. Those that control these places, the Jihadi tyrants are fully aware of what is coming and they will do anything the need to do to stop it. They will kill as many of us as it takes to break our will and if need be kill themselves in the process.

In Madrid, The Jihadis and their socialist allies succeeded in subverting an election. "One down- three to go" they said. 300 people were killed, but a Democracy was crushed with not much more than a few backpacks full of explosives. Spain gave up, and now the rest of us will pay the price.

"One down- three to go" they said. We are next. Between now and election day, this country is effectively under attack. In the last war against tyranny, Citizens of this Democracy took action to help in any way they could to hold off the enemy. Some served in the Military, Some served in factories, but all did something.

Citizens - It is now time to do something.

If you are a former seaman or crewmember or if you are on a coastal area, you should join the Coast Guard Auxillary

If you are a pilot, you should join the Civil Air Patrol

If you are anyone, anywhere you should join and work with the American Red Cross

If you are a former police officer or a fireman, check with your local police department. many of these organizations have been hit hard by deployments overseas, since many police officers are also in the national guard. Many police and fire departments have civilian auxillaries that are created to help in a time of emergency.

Join a Community Emergency Response Team

If you are a Medical Professional or you have had training in the medical field, Join the Medical Reserve Corps

It is virtually certain that this country will be attacked in the next 38 days. If you knew before 9/11 what was coming what would you have done differently from what you did? Then get up and do it now. The next attack is being planned tonight. Are you prepared to respond?

Update: My thanks to Leelu for the CERT Tip. Keep em coming guys.

September 25, 2004 at 08:44 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Apparently, The "F" Stands For "Fredo"


Today was a low point in American politics and a low point in the prestige of the country. Today, an American Senator skipped a joint session of Congress that was being addressed by a visiting head of state, a Guest of the American people. If that was all that had happened you could say it was a scheduling problem or that an illness had occured, forgiveable and understandable at some human level. Unfortunately, it didn't and it wasn't. 30 minutes after our guest spoke, the Senator, a petty little man, who seems to be getting smaller by the minute, broke with protocol and tradition and chose to dress down the man while he was visiting our country. Our guest is a man who 2 years ago lived under a death sentence, a man who who's life is at risk every day for simply standing in oppositon to those who want to turn his country into a charnel house. He is a man who has put everything at risk for just the hope of a better future.

The Senator did not offer praise for the personal bravery our guest has exhibited. He did not offer to meet with the man, to offer suggestions or even offer any support for his struggle. He just snarled in his little smarmy way and talked the big talk about "needing allies",while showing the Iraqi people that he didn't mean them. To people like the Senator, all Arabs are terrorists, and how foolish we are for thinking otherwise. How foolish we are for thinking that the little brown people of the middle east would want to be free. How foolish we are for trusting the "little wogs".

While the Senator and the Democrats talk the big talk about wanting rights for women and minorities, our guest is doing it, he's doing it while being shot at, while being reviled by many in his own country by many in his religion, and most certainly, he's doing it while being reviled by the leftists around the world and in this country. Leftists, who always scream about their own rights and how they are being violated seem very quiet when the rights of others are in jeopardy. While Democrats talk about "government helping people", our guest is doing it. While the Democrats and the Senator talk about America being an example to the world, our guest is being an example to all of us of grace under pressure, of selflessness, not selfishness, of putting the needs of the many ahead of the pride and desires for power of the one. Our guest could declare himself dictatior tommorow and no one would be surprised. Instead, our guest works against the advice and counsel of the world to bring his country, in the cradle of western civilization into the modern age and civility with the cooling salve of democracy.

When I watched our guest speak to our countries government, I felt a sense of pride, in my country, in our civilization, and I felt a certain pride for our guest. 30 minutes later, I felt a sense of shame that our country could treat this man and his culture so shabbily. When the Senator talked afterwards I was just watching a small man get smaller by using every life event as a chance to bloviate about his great ideas on what he would do for the world 'if only we would let him'. It was as if all that matters to the 'Incredibly Shrinking Senator' is that his craving for attention, his fixation on "the self" is satisfied.

His words, which could be used to elevate, educate and inspire are instead used as indictment against his country and his culture. His words have given strength to those who kill captives by beheading, who deny children the use of bathrooms while they hold them hostage, only to shoot them in the back later. At every opportunity where the Senator has had a chance to be clear about the resolve of this country in the defense of liberty, the Senator has chosen instead to spread confusion, fear, uncertainty and doubt. By doing so, he's put the world at risk. He's given hope to the monsters that our will can be broken and their goals can be met.

Once upon a time, another Democratic Senator from Massachusetts ran his campaign in West Virginia Appalachian country and was inspired to help the people he found there. Todays Democratic Senator from Massachusetts sneers down his nose at the little people who foolishly hold on to their small town values. Once, a Democratic Senator from Massachusetts would say words like " pay any price, bear any burden in the defense of freedom", todays Democratic Senator from Massachusets says "The wrong war, wrong time, wrong way". He offers no plan, no solution, no direction, only critique. Much like the weak screenwriter or incompetent actor who finds great pleasure and validation in becoming a theater critic, the Senator seems incapable of leadership, but finds great pleasure at providing critique for those who show it. What is that phrase we say behind their backs? "Those who can - do - those who cant..."

It would appear that the quality of Democratic Senators from Massachusetts is not a constant in the universe. It would appear that we will not find that the current crop of Democratic Senators from Massachusets being men who will go on to inspire the world. There will be no "let them come to Berlin" moment, no "Ask not what your country can do for you" inspiration leading a generation to take up the cause of freedom around the world.

What I saw happen today was the Senator do something I never expected. The Senator has decided he will not run from the firm liberal traditions of the Democratic party, a party whos theme song was once "happy days are here again", and ran from a solid pro-american positive future platform. The Senator has decided that he will run against the United States of America.

In the movie "the Godfather" is a moment when Michael Corleone tells his brother Fredo to "never take sides against the family". Today, The Senator took sides against the family.

Today, John F. Kerry became John "Fredo" Kerry, and our world is poorer for it. At at time when our world is struggling to survive, the Senator put his own interests ahead of the interests of the country and the world. By saying what he said and the way he said it he's become a smaller man as every day goes by. Every interview, every chance to be a bigger man he's instead shown us all what a small petty creature he is. This could've been an election that showed the world the best in our country , two political parties in open debate both with positive visions of the world to be. Instead, one party openly hopes for failure of the economy, failure of armed services, failure and defeat at every turn. The people who belong to that party are so deep in hate that to show any signs of happiness or joy is seen as potentially being "good for Bush" and thus must be stopped. Shhhh, dont talk about that, It would be good for Bush...

The Senator could stop all of it, he could inspire all of us, but instead he bathes in it. Worse still, he thrives on it. He could do so much, but instead has chosen to do so little. But worse of all, he's chosen to go against the family.

In my opinion, There are a great number of people in the world who dont like Mr. Bush, but I believe there are a great number of people who do respect him. Some out of fear, some out of admiration, some even out of inspiration. I also think there are a great number of people who do like Senator Kerry, but don't actually respect him. They certainly don't fear him, I doubt that even people in his own State admire him and I have yet to find anyone who has been inspired by him.

"Fredo" does not get to lead the family. Despite his best hopes, The Don knew this would be the case.

September 23, 2004 at 11:43 PM in Kerry File | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack (2)

My Guess is Hale-Bopp Is Coming Back Early.


So, first I hear that Joe Lockhart is joining the Kerry team as a communication director.

Then Kerry says this, and I think " Hey wait a minute, I think I've smelled that kind of bizarre, pointless, circular logic "coast-to-coast AM" driven claptrap from an aged and neutered cult leader once before".

and then I remembered this guy:


and it all came together. I guess this means I have to wheel the telescope out again.

September 22, 2004 at 09:06 PM in Kerry File | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

When Stars Go Bad...


I think weve found our new picture to add to the aghanistan leaflet drops. The story can be found here.

UPDATE: I wonder if "her man takes Levitra". To quote H.L. Menken " a face like that makes you want to burn every bed in the world."

September 22, 2004 at 09:36 AM in Making fun of people | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Bush to UN: Yeah, I'm talkin' to you Sonny...


President Bush went to the UN today and gave a speech to the General Assembly.

The Key points of this speech are this:

"Terrorists and their allies believe the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the American Bill of Rights and every charter of liberty ever written are lies to be burned and destroyed and forgotten."

"We're determined to end the state sponsorship of terror, and my nation is grateful to all that participated in the liberation of Afghanistan"

"Our wider goal is to promote hope and progress as the alternatives to hatred and violence. "

"The desire for freedom resides in every human heart. And that desire cannot be contained forever by prison walls or martial laws or secret police; over time and across the Earth, freedom will find a way"

"More than 10 million Afghan citizens, over 4 million of them women, are now registered to vote in next month's presidential election. To any who still would question whether Muslim societies can be democratic societies, the Afghan people are giving their answer. "

commitment to democratic reform is essential to resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict. Peace will not be achieved by Palestinian rulers who intimidate opposition, tolerate corruption and maintain ties to terrorist groups.

Because I believe the advance of liberty is the path to both a safer and better world, today I propose establishing a democracy fund within the United Nations.

President Bush has effectively brought an end to the fantasy that makes up one of the pillars behind the construction of the UN, that is that all countries are of equal value and no one has the right to say what is and what is not a valid government. Democracy and totalitarian governments have always stood side by side in the UN, despite the obvious asininity that such a thing creates, for example when Syria and Lybia sat on the UN Human Rights Commission and US and Israel are called violators of Human Rights.

President Bush has now set the agenda that says there is truly a difference between Democracy, Liberty and freedom and Totalitarianism. Bush is signalling that the US will begin to push the UN to accept the new reality.

There are 192 Countries in the UN General Assembly. While President Bush gave this speech today, a Speech every bit as eloquent and as moving as anything uttered by President Kennedy,in the audience sat the ambassadors of Cuba, Sudan, North Korea, China, Syria and Iran. I imagine they sat there with their fingers in their ears chanting "LALALALALALALA-NOT LISTENING". I also imagine that President Bush was looking direectly at them when he gave this speech. Its no wonder they hate this guy, he's out to change things. It's one of the few truly universal human traits, everyone hates change.

Would anyone care to guess the number of actual democracies that are within that august world governing body?

What percentage of the worlds population lives today within the umbrella of Democracy?

My answers will be provided tommorow after a marathon session of google-banging for the facts and figures. .

September 21, 2004 at 11:01 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Do We Deserve To Win?


Air Vice Marshal Arthur "Bomber" Harris.
RAF Bomber Command.

One the best resources available to a blogger is your readers. They are the worlds best editors and fact checkers. They are also one other thing, they are a great source for inspiration for ideas.

One reader left a comment the other day that has been rattling around in my head. In essence, the reader was saying that: "Unless we remain true to our ideas, we don't deserve to win"

There's a part of what the reader was saying that I understand, and at a basic level I agree with. But theres a deeper truth that I think they might be missing.

We are not in an idealogical cultural competition with the Jihadis, we are in a fight for our lives.

We start off each and every war by saying that we won't become like "them", but to survive, you often do what you have to do in order that you survive.

At the beginning of WWII, RAF Bomber Command would only allow bombing of German cities with propaganda notes, by 1942 the concept of "total war" had been adapted by the allied powers. By 1945, we had gone to the process of accepting as normal the the firebombing of civilian populations of Hamburg, Dresden, Berlin, Tokyo and the Atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

1939 - We drop paper.
1944 - We drop incendiaries from "1000 plane" raids that last three days.
1945 - We drop Atomic bombs.

Did the methods we engaged in to expedite the war "spoil" the victory? No. An enemy civilian population that engaged in and abetted the open genocide of 6 million of their former schoolmates and next door neighbors, as well as gave material support to an Army that engaged the "scorched earth" polices across the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe can hardly expect to be afforded the kind of protection given to true non-combatants. In the modern world, the designation of "civilian" does not hold the same weight as it did in the middle ages. In the modern world, you are either a combatant or a target, it would seem that a civilian today is simply someone who just didn't "get the memo".

Did we "deserve" to win World War II because we managed to remain idealogically pure? No. Quite frankly, we didn't remain idealogically "pure", but I'm damn glad we won all the same. I do not- for one second - think that in the area of atrocities that we were the equals of the fascists, but that is not to say that we executed the war in a completely clean civilized fashion, thereby "holding true to our ideas" . We didn't target civilians if we could aviod it and there are many cases where our servicemens lives were lost in the attempt to remain within the parameters of civilized war. American Daylight Bombing Strategy had a terrible cost for American Air Corps personnel, yet it continued throught the war. The strategy was used because "targeted/strategic" bombing was acceptible to American Military command and civilian authorities, while the "area bombing" of our allies in the UK was not. However, in events like the Dresden bombing, a combination of US and UK aircraft and aircrews were used to do the job over a three day period. To cling to belief that we were clean and they were not, overlooks the basic facts of the execution of the war, that both allies engaged in activities that they felt stood the best chance to win the war, and took whatever steps they felt necessary to complete the task,even if the other allies considered them reprehensible. In those days, they both recognized what we cannot yet see, that is, the consequences of losing were understood and made very real by their enemies daily actions.

To put it more simply, We "deserved" to win only because we were able through force of action to compel our enemies to capitulate by being willing to whatever was necessary to get an "Unconditional Surrender". There is only one end to any war, and that is when your enemy is compelled to stop fighting and calls out to say " no more", everything else that may be offered by your enemies is just an "armistice" or a polite version of slow rearming which will eventually lead to a more bloody rematch between the aggrieved still warring parties.

What were the Fascists willing to do to win? Everything they could get away with and more. To expect an enemy to fight within written parameters of a legal agreement is the first admission that you haven't really accepted the reality of war. If warring parties could agree to comply to written conditions in the first place, war would have likely not have happened. Parties are in the condition of war because they are no longer able to work within the confines of the process of law. The lesson of history is absolutely clear, War is truly hell on earth and should not entered into lightly. Getting into a war is always easier than getting out, for getting out means that someone has to lose.

There is probably only one greater shame than entering into war, and that is failing to prosecute the war to its full conclusion, thus ensuring that the war goes on for another generation. It's bad enough when war visits one generation, but its inexcuseable to allow the bloodletting to go on to the next generation simply because of ones personal desire to satisfy the need for closure. I always felt the best reason that was ever expressed for a war was used often by soldiers of WWII, when asked why they were fighting, they would simply say " I'm fighting, so my kids wont have to come back and finish the job".

In our war with the Jihadis, it is not clear whether we are willing to do all it will take to win. Our culture and civilization is still not collectively sure that we are actually "at war", and cannot decide if they should take the Jihadi threat as serious as some of us feel it is. Many people in the world believe the greatest threat to the world is in fact, the United States, rather than those who's openly stated goal is the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate unto the world. A world where men like myself and you too , dear reader, will be killed outright and all women will be reduced to a status lower than that of "favored farm animal". Our future under their "Islamic Caliphate" is that of enslavement or death, nothing more, nothing less. If you think I'm overstating it, try convincing the members of the Beslan PTA that I'm just "over the top". For those of you who still feel that your leftist progressive sentiments will save you under their mercy, try to remember that while you consider yourselves separate from people like me, the only difference they will make between us is the order in which we are marched into an open trench to be shot in the back of the head. Jihadis don't look at us as "Democrats" and "Republicans", we are all blasphemous infidels. We are all Americans. We all wear the "yellow star of David".

Any strategy to fight the Jihadis that says "we will fight this far and no further" is a strategy that will surely result in our losing this war. The consequences of the Western World losing this war is beyond the comprehension of people living in the modern age. We must understand the horror that the war has forced us to embrace, we must be capable of not just withstanding the terror acts made against us but we must also be capable of administering a credible, horrific response that will eventually lead to the breaking of their will.

Falluja Delenda Est...

Let it also be clear, that our enemies are not supermen, they are mortal men, as are we, and they too have a spirit and a will that can be broken by our actions. It will take time and it will take effort, but it can be done. That is, as long as we are willing to do it.

Arthur Harris said this about his predicament:

"The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw, and half a dozen other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind."

Since 9/11, I've often thought about that last phrase. The words are "old testament" and are not the kind of words that are thrown around lightly by real adults. "Bomber" Harris did not fight this far no further, he clearly established that it was his enemies that set the terms of war, not he. He simply responded in kind.

I've had the feeling lately that Vladimir Putin knows the Russian translation of the phrase and is about to start using it. I hope we are prepared for what I think he is likely to do.

September 21, 2004 at 12:40 AM in History file | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (2)

What does a "blogger" look like?


The picture is from a series of paintings that were created during World War II. Norman Rockwells "The Four Freedoms" give a graphic interpretation to what was the real reason we were being asked to sacrifice so much of our lives and property.

The man, a common every day joe, is standing and speaking his mind in a town hall meeting. He is standing and speaking without fear of retribution, from either his neighbors or his government.

The freedom to speak is a simple idea and a fundamental truth within the civilized world. The painting is that of a miracle in human history, captured with oils on canvas. With the rise of blogosphere, normal people are confused as to what a "blogger " is or what we look like. Are we an evil cabal of "right wing crazies", the new milleniums version of the "Montana Militia", the "Digital David Koreshes", out to take over the minds of the children like some "silicon svengalis"?

No. Were 'just folks", nothing more, nothing less.

This painting is what a "blogger" looks like. We are just people, average joes( and josephines), having our say on the affairs of the world without fear from neighbors or our government. The only difference between ourselves and the man in the painting is that the method for speaking our minds has moved from the cold wooden walls of the Elks Lodge to the cold wiring of the internet.

As they say in the street theater protests " This is what a Democracy looks like...".

I couldn't agree more.

September 19, 2004 at 08:56 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Wapo - Graphic Comparison


Washington Post Provides One Stop Shopping for all your memogate comparison needs.

September 19, 2004 at 07:47 PM in Dan Rather | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Camera Never Lies...


But truth often exists only in the eye of the beholder.

Today, the man who took this picture, a picture that defined to many people, the horror that was Vietnam, died.

Pulitzer Winning Photographer Eddie Adams was 71.

Most people who know anything at all about Vietnam have seen this picture. In the eyes of the layman, this is street justice being meted out by a monstorous regime that is wholly supported by the United States.

But that is not the truth of what is going on in this picture. To quote the great film Director Samuel Fuller " The camera lies like a sonofabitch".

From Eddie Adams Obit:

But fame — instant, enduring and discomforting — resulted from a single photo taken Feb. 1, 1968, the second day of the communists' Tet Offensive, in the embattled streets of Cholon, Saigon's Chinese quarter.

Drawn by gunfire, Adams and an NBC film crew watched South Vietnamese soldiers bring a handcuffed Viet Cong captive to a street corner, where they assumed he would be interrogated. Instead, South Vietnam's police chief, Lt. Col. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, strode up, wordlessly drew a pistol and shot the man in the head.

Adams caught the instant of death in a photo that made front pages around the world. It would became one of the Vietnam's War's most indelible images, shocking the American public and used by critics to dispute official claims that the war was being won.

In later years, Adams found himself so defined — and haunted — by the picture that he would not display it at his studio. He also felt it unfairly maligned Loan, who lived in Virginia after the war and died in 1998.

"The guy was a hero," Adams said, recalling Loan's explanation that the man he executed was a Viet Cong captain, responsible for murdering the family of Loan's closest aide a few hours earlier.

"Sometimes a picture can be misleading because it does not tell the whole story," Adams said in an interview for a 1972 AP photo book. "I don't say what he did was right, but he was fighting a war and he was up against some pretty bad people."

Or as a friend of mine once said: 'context is everything'.

September 19, 2004 at 05:01 PM in Vietnam | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (2)

PhotoBlogging: Lessons Learned


Submitted for your approval, The 2004 Reno Air Races.

This is my first time out covering an event for the web. I used my normal around-the-house Sony Mavica, thinking it would be fine( how hard could it be?).

It was not fine, it was awful. There are two things to take into extreme consideration when working in the field. First, always check you batteries youself, and always test the camera prior to being at the event.

The camera died about 30 minutes of arriving at the Races, so coverage of any actual "air races" became impossible. What was covered was grossly inadequate, because what makes a good house camera does not make a good field camera. The Mavica has a big LCD display, which is nice around the house, but is basically unuseable in outdoors light, so you end up taking pictures like your granny did with the old brownie camera of the past, you just point and hope at the composition of the scene.

I also had to rethink the whole process of covering the show as opposed to just watching as an audience member. Next event I will cover is the Launch of SpaceShipOne in Mojave on September 29th. So, I guess its off to 'Best Buy' for camera tryouts and product reviews, and more than a little bit of practice.

Overall, I enjoyed the experience of trying to catpure the scene and get it on the web. I think theres a number of things I can do next time to make it worthwhile for the audience.

Oh, what did I think of the event? I loved it. But you knew that anyway. I love Reno, the whole vibe is unlike anything else there is in aviation. While most of aviation is a culture of squeaky clean choir boys, the Air Races represent the latent badass part of our little culture. Theres large amounts of greasy food, beer, loose women, "smokeless tobacco", big reciprocating engines and smell of jet fuel and the magical sound of a dozen Mustangs going all out overhead. All sense of "politically correct" is dumped in the trash outside the entrance to the races like cartons of milk past its 'drink before' date.

This is not an event for the sierra club or greenpeace types, there is no reformation in the offing for these types, no discussion of 'greener fuels' or "noise abatement". This is the aviations version of what the pirates had at "Port Royal". After hours, you go back to the Reno casinos and give the knowing glance and thumbs up across the blackjack table with pilots and crew of aircraft you only wish you could sit in, much less ever hope to fly.

September 18, 2004 at 09:13 PM in Photoblogging | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Iraq: It's not for us.


There's a few things I want to get a few things cleared up here before I set off on my photoblogging adventure at the Reno Air Races.


War is not limited to just Iraq. The world is at War. When we talk about "The War", some of us are talking about the Iraq Theatre of Operations in the First Jihadi War. Some of us are talking about Americas Unilateral Aggression in Iraq as an "illegal war". I hope to persuade the latter of the reality of the former.

Let's be clear here. Battles in this war have been fought on every continent in every country in the world. In the last three years the Jihadi madmen have killed in:

Saudi Arabia
Washington D.C.

There is a clearly a war going on, but it is a "world war". Iraq is just a small part of it. Iraq is just one of many "Theater of Operations". And in case you havent been paying attention to the headlines, unlike WWII, we in the US are living in a "theater of operations". America is an active battleground. There is no safe place for us to hide, no organization with which we can sign a peace treaty, no border to respect.

Second. I want us all to understand something that I think we are missing in the debate over Iraq.

We are not in Iraq for ourselves. We don't give a damn one way or the other how Iraq goes. But the Iraqis had better care, and the Islamic world had better care. Iraq is not just a country, Iraq is the Islamic worlds last chance. If Iraq falls, our response to terrorists will no longer involve our putting our men and women at risk for the hope of bringing property and human rights to the native populations. Our response so far has been to allow our men to die in defense of greater ideas, in the belief that the people of Islam, if given a choice, would choose Democracy over Tyranny. We've given them a choice. The choice is simple, Change, adapt, or you will die. Not necessarily by our hands, but most certainly by their own. The Islamic world is so far behind in every meaasureable metric that without the accident of geology that is middle eastern oil reserves, it is entirely likely that Islam would have already died out like the ancient world believers in Marduk.

We have a choice in how we fight the Jihadis. Our men are not losing their lives because the enemy is effective, our men are dying because we wish to be humane. We will not continue to do this if we feel that the Islamic world would prefer to live in Tyranny. We can destroy people in mass numbers if we choose to. For now, we simply choose not to. Our respect for other nations and cultures is not a suicide pact. We will defend ourselves and we have been known to kill in mass numbers in the past to defend our lives and liberties.

Islam has the choice in what its future will be, not us. We can leave if we choose to. I would caution those who think that is best to remember that our leaving will not only not bring peace, to us or the Iraqis. It will very likely lead indirectly to the deaths of millions of innocent Iraqis due to the terror that would certainly follow in the rush for power and directly in the war with us that would surely follow.

Why are we in Iraq? To preempt a far larger and more deadly war.

Why should we stay in Iraq? Because to do otherwise would be inhumane.

Who gains if we stay? Islam will survive as a pillar of culture in that part of the world.

Who loses if we stay? All of the Jihadi Tyranny systems that exist. The power structures of the middle east have existed largely out of a power vacuum. By prodiving a strong alternative to the Jihadi leaders, we can lower their importance.

Who gains if we leave? The powerful who prey on the weak, those who wish to enslave people and treat women as farm anmials.

Who loses if we leave? Billions of innocent people who want nothing more than to live their lives in freedom.

Iraq is an experiment in which we can only hope that it will work. No one really knows how it will turn out. We've run this experiment before, in Europe and in Japan. While we were successful with those two, it would be best to remember that the world laughed at us when we ran that experiment in Germany and Japan. Once people are enfranchised with Democracy, they have proven again and again to be a powerful force, one that will very possibly overthrow the Jihadi Tyranny that exists in the middle eastern islamic world.

Knowing what the alternatives are in the world that "might be", I think betting Iraqi Democracy is worth the risk.

Third: The war is not our idea. This is not a border dispute or a trade problem or some cultural greivance in which we have transgressed the values of other people. We are hated for no other reason than we exist. Our women wear nearly nothing and live a life of freedom and privledge unfound even for men in the best Islamic countries. We are the living embodiment of blasphemy to the Jihadi madmen, as were black men to the klan and jews to the Nazis. It's not just our territory or our prosperity that threatens them, our every existence threatens these ghouls. You don't negotiate with the Klan, and you dont sign treaties with Nazis. You dont try to understand their anger or accomodate their needs in the world. You hunt them down and kill them.

The war has been brought to us, by the Jihadis. We've been trying to avoid it at least since 1979. We've tried every other method there is to not fight it, but its here and in the final irony, the best way to get the war over is not to avoid it, but to fight it to its conclusion. They must capitulate.

Those that think we can live peacefully 'side by side' with the Jihadis in brotherly understanding and respect simply havent been reading their books. Weve only been given one choice in this war, "submit to islam or die".

I'm not ready to do either. All wars are fought until someone capitulates. If you're not ready to surrender to the Jihadis, then I suggest you shut the hell up about seeking peace. We didn't seek peace with Hitler, we wanted him dead, at the end of a rope, or under city sized rubble and millions of bodies of his own countrymen, we didn't care.


How do you fight an idea? We don't have a Jihadi Navy to attack, Jihadi Air Forces to shoot down, Jihadi Armies in uniform all marching in neat rows to capture or their territory to command. Our enemy lives in the back alleyways of thousands of towns and cities throught the world. It lives on the soiled resentment of the loser in life who believes that their lot is the fault of someone else. "the jews' they used to say, and now they say "the americans".

How do you fight an idea? First, you defend your own. We are an important and valuable culture that has a lot to offer the rest of the world. Our culture has roots that go back 4,000 years and have been under assault in every generation since the Athenians thought up the idea of asking their citizens to participate in decision making. Every generation in 4,000 years has had to add to the tradition of laying down their lives for the freedom of others. Every generation finds a way to expand the offerings of liberty to mankind. Freedom is not free and liberty is essential to life.

How do you fight an idea? Do you stay home and hide? Ask the "freedom riders" who lost their lives in pursuit of other peoples right to vote in the backwoods of Alabama, Missisippi and Georgia. Ask them if that was only something that was important only for African Americans. Then ask them if the same rights they fought to secure in the south should not be extended towards the lives of the people of Iraq or Afghanistan. Ask them if the cause that Martin Luther King believed in and died in pursuit of, ends at our shoreline.

How do you fight an idea? Ask the men of the Union buried in Gettysburg. And then, go thank God that they did.

September 17, 2004 at 09:33 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack (3)

Anyone Got the Link?




I've been hearing alot about the need for an 'exit plan' for Iraq. I decided I might help the President by spending my valuable broadband allotment looking up previous 'exit plans' on the internet. In particular, I thought I'd look up what the Democrats have offered in the past in the way of "exit plans' for their wars.

After half a day of google-banging, I can't find any sort of "plan" from any one of these guys!

Wilson runs on a campaign slogan of "He Kept us out of war". He then turns right around and sends us off to Europe. He hardly had a plan to get in the war, much less get out of it.

I'll be darned if I can find any actual plan that FDR put up in 1941 when he entered into the war. Roosevelt and Truman may have "won the war" but they clearly failed to win the peace because they failed to have an exit strategy. One that included our allies, the Soviet Union. Why did it take a full 2 years after the so called "end of the war" in Europe to propose the "Marshall Plan"? A plan that entitled the famers and businessmen of the former regime in Germany to better benefits than the farmers of Kansas. It also appears that he didn't even bother to ask our allies Like France and the United Kingdom to help fund this program, which is as arrogant and unilateral. Why did Presidents Roosevelt and his "Selected, not Elected" heir apparent Vice-President, Mr. Truman go out of their way to not get help from our allies, like the Soviet Union? A truly enlightened President would have not asked the entire burden of rebuilding Europe and Japan to fall on the backs of the American Taxpayer.

Truman lets our situation in Europe degrade to such a low point that our military forces were forced to fly food into Berlin, rather than work with our allies in the Soviet Union. While America thought nothing of sending arms to the Soviets during the war, they didn't raise of finger to help our former allies, the russian people, after the war.

Worse still, Truman tries to distract us, to take our minds off the fact that Hitler hadn't been captured in Germany, he engages in a war against a country on the other side of the planet, that was never a threat to the United States. Yes its true that Truman went to the UN to get aid, but he neglected to get the approval of our greatest friend in the Second World War, the Soviet Union.

And yet, despite all my searching I can't find any plan to win the peace in Korea. I also found that we still have troops in Korea! So many years! When will we win the peace?

It seems to me that the unilateral actions and foolish foreign policies of Wilson, Roosevelt and Truman is what has lead to the current state of anti-americanism that is sweeping the world. It's no wonder we fell into a needless and unneccessary "cold war" with such a foolhardy foreign policy.

UPDATE: I forgot to put my editor in "snark-mode=off" when I typed this. Sorry.

September 17, 2004 at 07:46 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (3)

Look, Up in the Sky!


Click Here and laugh.

September 16, 2004 at 10:42 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)