Knight Of The Mind

I'll do my best to present a philosophical and generally conservative look at current events and life, the universe and everything. Readers are invited to take all that's posted herein with a grain of salt. or if they prefer, a grain of salt, a slice of lime and a shot of tequila.

Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Greetings and welcome. My name is Steve, I'm 35 years old and I work for the US Army as an Operations Research Analyst. Hence my blog title Knight Of The Mind.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Ars Vitae: Art as a Weapon

Not all great men of history are good men. Some are evil and are malefactors of mighty magnitude. Vladimir Lenin certainly exemplifies that description in every aspect. His life did more to bring misery to the 20th Century than anyone else who existed, even including Hitler. Tragically, his evil lives on in ways even he himself could never have schemed for or even imagined.

Historians argue over what makes individuals heroic. Some argue for circumstance, positing that if Julius Caesar had grown up illiterate in 640 A.D., no one alive today would even know his name. Others would counter that if Thomas Edison had grown up illiterate in 640 A.D., the printing press would have been invented nine centuries or so earlier.

I take the Oprah Winfrey approach to heroes in history, and argue that greatness emerges where opportunity meets with preparation. This involves both a deterministic and a volitional component. The preconditions have to exist for a hero, or an antihero, to make a difference. Also, that individual has to combine unflagging will, with a broad, imaginative vision and a certain morality of altitude and distance so that personal conscience can be turned off and on whenever necessary. Lenin certainly exhibited all three of these traits to an outlying extreme.

Lenin decided early on that he would remake Russia in the image of Marx. He would endure humiliation, ridicule, imprisonment and even Civil War in order to achieve his ends. Nothing, not even intervention by the US Marine Corps, would deny Vladimir Lenin a Communist State in Russia.

Along his path to victory and power, Lenin remade the world around him in whatever way he needed to in order to advance his ideals and secure his power. Though his empire fell by the wayside, his influence has touched every society in the world. He has reached us all through agitprop, disguised as artistic vision. Vladimir Lenin's pointed and vile truism "Art, is a weapon." has become the guiding principal of most modern and post-modern artistic movements.

This effect swept through every major genre of art. This takeover started in the 1920's and pervaded every facet of the avant garde by the 1930's. Filmmaking provided the initial burst of normative artistic content. Russian filmmakers, such as Kuleshov and Eisenstien, reinvented how films got edited and produced in order to amplify political messages directed to the audience.

Montage editing became the principal black art of the propaganda filmmaker. The movie "Battleship Potempkin" best exemplifies this technique. "The Odessa Steps" scene brilliantly uses a reordered sequence of events to amplify human emotions of empathy, fear and sadness to make the audience sympathize with the filmmaker's point of view.

Painters and writers fell in line with Lenin's movement in short order as well. Picasso's masterwork "Guernica" tells the story of Franco's despotism through the manipulation of Expressionistic Techniques. Kirchner's criticisms of German Society abound in painting such "Street with Red Coquette". Paul Klee's "Twittering Machine" and Munch's "Scream" exemplify the contempt these artists held for the mainstream of contemporary society and expressed a deep and primal desire to see that world destroyed. They provided a visual outlet for the war cry of the barbarian who wanted nothing more than to watch Rome burn.

Authors such as Alan Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac brought this artistic movement to the United States and infected popular music and literature with a mordant hatred of modernism, industry and progress. Behind the Dionysian call to revelry and the utopian dream of Socialist brotherhood, there was always the implied desire to overturn the current order and supplant the social certitudes upon which it rested. Lenin's nihilistic and almost martial vision of art became the unabashed driving vision of Rage Against the Machine and other members of the modern counterculture.

This is why "Roger and Me" and "Fahrenheit 9/11" are seen as works of art as well as political speech. This is the only reason they are accorded any more respect than "Some Dude Mouthing Off on the Internet; 30 July 2004."

Art was once a philosophical search for the truth. It has now become hopelessly politicized and dragged through the mud at the behest of Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin. We learn nothing from it now except to hate even more ferociously what Marx and his followers have done to modern humanity.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Habitat For Asininity: Carter's Latest Foray Into Tackiness

Jimmy Carter provides us all with moments that make us wonder about what was in the drinking water back in 1976. The funeral of a stricken child in Maryland provided yet one more infamy to add to that list. The encounter went as follows:

Mattie J.T. Stepanek, a 13-year-old Rockville, Md., boy who "wrote books of inspirational poems that climbed the bestseller charts," died last week of muscular dystrophy. Among those attending his funeral, the Washington Post reports, was Jimmy Carter...

Why would Jimmy Carter go to such trouble?

To hurl more invective at President Bush.

The man has stooped where maggots would fear to tread. The man used the ocassion of a young boy's funeral oration to offer us his hackneyed, knee-jerk insights on the issues of the day. The young boy had written about how the war had made him sad. Jimmy used this as a jumping off point for his hateful stream of bile.

The young boy felt President Bush should have spent more time and energy planning for peace. For a child to say that is understandable and even touching in its niavete. From a responsible adult who leads the second largest democracy in the world, this gets lots of people killed.

Maybe Carter should have spent more time and energy pulling his head out of his butt. His failures in Iran, Nicaraugua and Afghanistan may very well have resulted from the peace at all costs foreign policy of Carter's failed presidency.

I'll agree with poor, deceased Mattie that George W. Bush should spend more time and energy planning for peace. Our president should accomplish this by spending his entire second term getting SDI to the field and adding two additional divisions to the US Army.

Executing Maupin Doesn't Make Them Impressive

We're all now suppossed to be scared. Those Al Quaida guys must be tough. They're so tough they just executed a U.S. POW. This impresses me to no end.

The execution of Keith M. Maupin has to constitute about the most stupid thing Al Quaida could have done. The one moral advantage these thugs still had was that in the aftermath of Abu Ghraib Prison, they could claim the Americans were barbarians for how they treated prisoners.

Well, that argument is gone. There could be no more cowardly or pathetic an act than executing a person who has surrendered himself and who stopped fighting back three months ago. The thugs can't beat our military, but when they get a POW, they act like they just took down Mike Tyson in his prime.

People throughout the Islamnic world who are sick of these people had to have cringed. Cutting someone's head off while yelling "Allah Akbar!!" at the top of one's lungs does not constitute smooth salesmanship. People all over the world look at these people and no doubt feel the contempt.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Ars Vitae III: Rush's 2112 - Life Under Wahabbi Rule?

With the general downfall of album oriented rock as a successful money-spinner, the grandiose concept albums that are now Sunday Morning rock show classics are no longer being made and released in large numbers. This comes as no surprise. Getting into a CD like The Wall, Court of The Crimson King, or 2112 doesn't always appeal to a wide audience.

2112 never got the acclaim it really deserved for two reasons. Rush played hard rock at that point in their careers. The sort of music that would headline The Castle Donnington Festival, but would never make the playlist for an AM station. Like drinking everclear straight, without chaser, early Rush was not for the faint-of-heart.

Secondly, the album's feature track, "2112 Overture", ran for over 10 minutes, and told a Science Fiction story about a dystopic future. The concept was a potent witch's brew of Ayn Rand's novel Anthem and the popular Science Fiction involving star travel beyond the Earth.

The Earth was ruled by a despotic Temple of Syrinx that stifled all originality, thought and creativity for the sake of equality for all of mankind. The main character is a musical and artistic version of Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron, who discovers an old guitar. The character figures out how to play and decides to introduce his discovery to The Priests of Syrinx.

The priests at the temple revile this discovery. Like the wise men in Rand's novel, they rebuke the discoverer and tell him to leave and never bring any new discoveries back. This is, of course, done in the name of equality.

So why is any of this story relevant? With Communism utterly discredited, who in the modern world of today would be stupid enough to step on all music, flair and creativity, in the name of equality and brother love?

The answer lies in the woebegotten Middle East. The teachings of radical Islam often parallel the attitudes of the characters in Rand's novels and Rush's Heavy Metal Sci-Fi. Leaders such as Osauma Bin Ladin and Ayatollah Khomeni made the call for constant sacrifice and drudgery a centerpiece of their religious teachings and philosophy.

The Templars of Syrinx call musical instruments "Foolish Toys" and claim that they helped destroy the previous people on Earth. Ayatollah Khomeni so distrusted mirth and casual happiness, that he made it illegal for anyone in Iran to display a picture of him laughing or smiling.

In Rush Drummer and Song-Writer Niel Peart's dark future and in Modern Wahabbiism, suffering is seen as the proper role of modern humanity. Sacrifice gets held up as the ideal measure of devotion. Nowhere in either vision, are people encouraged to engage in the pursuit of happiness. Nowhere is there room for any hope of Earthly joy or pleasure.

Thus, Rush's "2112 Overture" may have accurately predicted what life would hold in store for the benighted millions that fall under the sway of radical Islam like that preached by Mullah Omar. This does not have to be the future.

Niel Peart may yet be proven wrong and I'm sure he would be much happier that way. This is why our troops are in Iraq and Afghanistan. We need to make sure "2112" and Anthem both remain the stuff of literary fantasy.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Ruck'd: Only Capt. Bligh Had It Worse.

OMG! England has now played 3 games against AUS-NZ-SA. The score line reads Southern Hemisphere 3 wins, 111 points - England 0 wins, 24 points. The autopsy report follows below....

Wallabies cut England to pieces 26/06/04
Australia notch up a half-century of points
Australia secured their first win over England since 1999 - and the Cook Cup - by recording an impressive 51-15 victory in Brisbane on Saturday, with Clyde Rathbone making the most of a very late call-up by collecting a hat-trick of tries.

The South African-born flyer was asked to start the match after wing Wendell Sailor pulled up injured during the warm-up, and the replacement went on to show England a clean pair of heels on three occasion.

Despite the frightening symmetry of the final scoreline, England were full of industry, and played reasonably well in patches.

Whether their overall performance was an improvement on their games in New Zealand is a matter of debate, but they manage to play some effective forward-dominated rugby that kept Australia in reverse gear for long periods of the match.

Not that it seemed to worry the Wallabies too much.

Each time England lost the ball in attack - and there were numerous occasions of this - the yellows seized on the opportunity and countered from deep with peerless verve, instinct and imagination.

England - in their 18th Test of the season - looked positively geriatric in comparison to the fleet-footed Australian backs, and had no answers to their opponents' scything breaks.

Australia fullback Joe Roff got the scoreboard ticking with a penalty after his opposite number, Josh Lewsey, failed to release -and he added another soon after for an England infringement at the line-out.

England fly-half Charlie Hodgson reduced the deficit from in front of the posts, but the home side replied with the first of their six tries.

Fly-half Stephen Larkham's long pass from a line-out on the half-way line found Matt Giteau, who released Lote Tuqiri, who sent Rathbone over in the right corner.

England responded with some tight rugby and got themselves back into the game with their first try of their three-Test tour on the 30-minute mark.

A wave of English attacks broke down in the Australian 22 and winger Ben Cohen reacted quickly, swapping passes with Tom Voyce before sending the supporting Richard Hill over in the left corner for an unconverted try.

The five-pointer sparked England's confidence, but the Wallabies soon burst the tourists' balloon with another long-range try.

Larkham's cut-out pass found Roff steaming up the middle. The veteran No.15 sold Cohen a dummy and sent Rathbone in for his second at the stroke of half-time.

Despite Rathbone's brace, England went into the break with a game to win - trailed as they did by only 21-8.

Their optimism was evident early in the second half when the arrival of Matt Dawson and Olly Barkley added a little initiative to the England backs, and they were soon rewarded with a try.

Dawson was at his spiky best, and two quick tap-penalties saw the Wallabies chasing backwards, and they failed to grips with England skipper Lawrence Dallaglio who went over from close range.

Hodgson converted to make it 24-15, and England were eyeing up a shock victory to close out their season - but it was not to be.

Rathbone opened the Australian floodgates by collected his own kick ahead to complete his hat-trick, and three more tries followed in a devastating 15-minute spell.

Roff showed his class to scythe through and send replacement hooker Jeremy Paul over a try, and the hooker collected his second score moments later when England's defence was caught short out wide.

Tuqiri then jinked his way through a demoralised field of English defenders to notch up Australia's sixth try, before Roff delivered the coup de grace by bring up the half-century with a penalty in the final minute.

This was England's fourth successive loss - equalling their worst sequence of results since coach Sir Clive Woodward took charge almost seven years ago.

England - like their footballing counterparts - will now return to the UK for a thankful rest, and a chance to work out where it all went so horribly wrong.

Tim Henman, it's over to you! Heaven help us.

Man of the match: Of course, Clyde Rathbone deserves a stout thump on the back for seizing the initiative and three tries - but it was the outstanding Joe Roff who masterminded the breaks and marshalled the Australian attack. What England would do to have such a thinker behind the scrum.

Moment of the match: Rathbone's speed and Samo Radike's athleticism combined to dizzying effect early in the second half during a break down the wing, but it was Lote Tuqiri's try that will live longest in the memory.

Villain of the match: Wallaby captain George Gregan may deserve a slap on the wrists for deciding to go for the poles in the last minute of the game - he was simply effectively a bucket of salt into a very painful English wound. But the 50 points were all well deserved, and it will only add to this fixture's rich pageantry - we'll let him off with a warning!

The scorers:

For Austalia:
Tries: Rathbone 3, Paul 2, Tuqiri,
Cons: Roff 3
Pens: Roff 5

For England:
Try: Hill, Dallaglio
Con: Hodgson
Pen: Hodgson

The teams:

Australia: 15 Joe Roff, 20 Clyde Rathbone, 13 Stirling Mortlock, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Lote Tuqiri, 10 Stephen Larkham (vice-captain), 9 George Gregan (captain), 8 David Lyons, 7 Phil Waugh, 6 Radike Samo, 5 Nathan Sharpe (vice-captain), 4 Justin Harrison, 3 Alastair Baxter, 2 Brendan Cannon, 1 Bill Young.
Replacements: 16 Jeremy Paul, 17 Matt Dunning, 18 Daniel Vickerman, 19 George Smith, 21 Matt Henjak, 22 Chris Latham.

England: 15 Josh Lewsey, 14 Tom Voyce, 13 Mike Catt, 12 Mike Tindall, 11 Ben Cohen, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Andy Gomarsall, 8 Lawrence Dallaglio (captain), 7 Richard Hill, 6 Joe Worsley, 5 Steve Borthwick, 4 Simon Shaw, 3 Julian White, 2 Mark Regan, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Steve Thompson, 17 Will Green/Mike Worsley, 18 Martin Corry, 19 Michael Lipman, 20 Matt Dawson, 21 Fraser Waters, Ollie Barkley.

Al Gore's Worst Nightmare!

We blog so that this man and those like him are never forgotten!

Did Al Gore say it? Or was it the Unabomber?

This speaks for itself....The man is a whacked-out Lefty Fruit Bat!

Did Al Gore say it? Or was it the Unabomber?

Here are the quotes along with the source information:

1. "The twentieth century has not been kind to the constant human striving
for a sense of purpose in life. Two world wars, the Holocaust, the
invention of nuclear weapons, and now the global environmental crises
have led many of us to wonder if survival - much less enlightened, joyous,
and hopeful living - is possible. We retreat into the seductive tools and
technologies of industrial civilization, but that only creates new problems
as we become increasingly isolated from one another and disconnected from
our roots."

SOURCE: Al Gore "Earth in the Balance" P. 366


2. "Again, we must not forget the lessons of World War II. The Resistance
slowed the advance of fascism and scored important victories, but fascism
continued its relentless march to domination until the rest of the world
finally awoke and made the difference and made the defeat of fascism its
central organizing principle from 1941 through 1945."

SOURCE: Al Gore "Earth in the Balance" P. 294


3. "It is not necessary for the sake of nature to set up some chimerical utopia
or any new kind of social order. Nature takes care of itself: It was a
spontaneous creation that existed long before any human society, and for
countless centuries, many different kinds of human societies coexisted with
nature without doing it an excessive amount of damage. Only with the
Industrial Revolution did the effect of human society on nature become
really devastating."

SOURCE: "Unabomber Manefesto" Paragraph 184


4. "Modern industrial civilization, as presently organized, is colliding
violently with our planet's ecological system. The ferocity of its assault
on the earth is breathtaking, and the horrific consequences are occurring
so quickly as to defy our capacity to recognize them, comprehend their
global implications, and organize an appropriate and timely response.
Isolated pockets of resistance fighters who have experienced this
juggernaut at first hand have begun to fight back in inspiring but, in the
final analysis, woefully inadequate ways."

SOURCE: Al Gore "Earth in the Balance" P. 269


5. "Among the abnormal conditions present in modern industrial society are
excessive density of population, isolation of man from nature, excessive
rapidity of social change and the breakdown of natural small-scale
communities such as the extended family, the village or the tribe.

SOURCE: "Unabomber Manefesto" Paragraph 47


6. " All pre-industrial societies were predominantly rural. The Industrial
Revolution vastly increased the size of cities and the proportion of the
population that lives in them, and modern agricultural technology has made
it possible for the Earth to support a far denser population than it ever
did before."

SOURCE: "Unabomber Manefesto" Paragraph 48


7. "The positive ideal that is proposed is Nature. That is, wild nature: those
aspects of the functioning of the Earth and its living things that are
independent of human management and free of human interference and

SOURCE: "Unabomber Manefesto" Paragraph 183


8. "Any child born into the hugely consumptionist way of life so common in
the industrial world will have an impact that is, on average, many times
more destructive than that of a child born in the developing world."

SOURCE: Al Gore "Earth in the Balance" P. 308


9. "And tragically, since the onset of the scientific and technological
revolution, it has become all too easy for ultrarational minds to create
an elaborate edifice of clockwork efficiency capable of nightmarish cruelty
on an industrial scale. The atrocities of Hitler and Stalin, and the
mechanical sins of all who helped them, might have been inconceivable
except for the separation of facts from values and knowledge from morality."

SOURCE: Al Gore "Earth in the Balance" P. 256


10. "The modern individual on the other hand is threatened by many things
against which he is helpless: nuclear accidents, carcinogens in food,
environmental pollution, war, increasing taxes, invasion of his privacy
by large organizations, and nationwide social or economic phenomena that
may disrupt his way of life."

SOURCE: "Unabomber Manefesto" Paragraph 68


11. "Industrial society seems likely to be entering a period of severe stress,
due in part to problems of human behavior and in part to economic and
environmental problems."

SOURCE: "Unabomber Manefesto" Paragraph 150


12. "What does it say about our culture that personality is now considered a
technology, a tool of the trade, not only in politics but in business and
the professions? Has everyone been forced to become an actor? In sixteenth
century England, actors were not allowed to be buried in the same cemeteries
as 'God-fearing folk,' because anyone willing to manipulate his personality
for the sake of artifice, even to entertain, was considered spiritually

SOURCE: Al Gore "Earth in the Balance" P. 168

Friday, June 25, 2004

The True Digital Brownshirts

A click can send you to jail.

Abdul Rahman Al-Shaghfoory, a 32 year old Syrian citizen was arrested a year ago and yesterday he was sentenced to two and a half years in jail because he was found guilty of downloading “forbidden” pages (run by Syrian exiles) and forwarding e-mails containing parts of those pages.

The authorities described his activity as “spreading false news that weaken the morale of the Syrian people”. Four other men are facing similar charges.

I know it’s still early for a new round of comments from the BBC ARABIC forum but this is a very important topic that one can not ignore and I found that the responses worth reading, as a matter of fact I read the whole section twice.

You know that freedom of speech (especially through the internet) is something that we in Iraq began to enjoy only after the 9th of April, so I found myself concerned a lot about this issue. Some of the comments made me remember the days under Saddam’s regime when I used to find myself viewing a political page and there would be a poll that I want to give my voice in or entering a forum where I want to post an idea but I often failed to *click* on the vote button or to post my idea even anonymously. It may sound ridiculous but I was afraid of being tracked down and identified.

The situation in Syria now is much like what we experienced before the 9th of April and that’s why I feel that the comments coming from inside Syria that agree with the government’s policy are either posted by agents of the Syrian intelligence or by ordinary people who are so scared and misled.

I used to feel sorry for Arabs in other countries because I believe that we have much more freedom than they can dream of and my friends sometimes laughed at me especially when I mention Saudi Arabia or other gulf countries because my friends took only the economic aspect in their consideration.

Now, after reading hundreds of Arabs’ comments, I can see jealousy in their words and they frankly envy us for what we have.
I’m sitting now in my living room expressing my feelings, posting my thoughts about any subject and criticizing anyone without fear while our neighbors still encounter serious risks when they want to *read* what someone else wrote in the internet.

Some people still doubt the effect of establishing democracy in Iraq on the region and I would like to point out that if this is what liberating Iraq has accomplished in opening some Arab's eyes (some of them wish the change to happen now!)even with all the difficulties Iraq is facing then what would it be like, say in five years, when Iraq becomes a prosperous and stable democracy!?

There were about 60 comments at the time when I viewed the forum, all of which came from Syrians, Iraqis, Saudis, and Egyptians from inside and outside their countries except for a small percentage that came from Sudan, Lebanon, U.A.E. and other Arab and Muslim countries.

I made some simple calculations and found that :
69 % of the posts were against punishing people for accessing certain websites.
20 % were with the punishment decision.
7 % denied that this incident really happened.
3 % were unsure of their opinion.

Most of the positive comments ( against punishment) were from Iraq, Sandia Arabia and Egypt. The worst came from Syrians *inside* Syria.

The BBC Arabic radio opened a live discussion this afternoon for more than an hour and received many phone calls from different Arab countries.

Here are some of the comments that I have translated:

“It’s really saddening that we’re living under governments that think with such mentalities but I’d like to direct their attention to the fact that the world has become much smaller than they can imagine and what you want to prevent us from seeing (due to your narrow horizon) is known, declared and easy to find on satellite channels, foreign papers, etc.
Aymen Lewez-Cairo/Egypt.

“Such irresponsible doings were always a habit for the dictatorial Baáthist regime.
I’m a Syrian man but I live outside Syria and I don’t dare to sign with my real name to protect my family, let alone those poor people who live inside!!
I can’t but pray for that poor prisoner who’s going to see things like those we saw happen in Abu Ghraib. God help him”.

“The regime in Syria is another Taliban reign. The only difference is that Syrians wear suits.
Why is it that when the west talks about bringing real democracy to the Arab nations, the people respond by cheering the names of the leaders and they curse the democracy of “evil and infidels”?!
Sameer Khaleel-Cairo.

“Governments have no right to prohibit visiting any specific website”
Mohammed Hamid-KSA.

“When you live in an Arabic country and you hear such news coming from regimes that are least described as retarded and handicapped, you sometimes wish that Allah would send a catastrophe on those regimes and they sometimes give the right for the Americans or other powers to topple them”.
Imad Abdul Noor-Beirut/Lebanon.

“I say that the Syrian regime is exactly the same as Saddam’s regime in Iraq; everything is forbidden. I’m a journalist and I ask the Syrian government : Why do you stand against freedom of speech and why are you afraid of the people and the intellectuals. I add my voice to the Amnesty International’s plead to release Abdul Rahman. And thanks”
Husam Munaf-Baghdad/Iraq.

“Let’s shut down our PC’s for a moment of grieve to mourn our freedom of speech inside our Arab societies”

“I am Abdul Rahman’s cousin. I grew up with him and I know him like a brother. I was among those who received political articles by e-mails from him; there were nine of us; me and my four brothers, his brother and three other relatives. Abdul Rahman is not a member in any political or religious organization. He’s just a smart young man who loves reading in his house and discussing the world events with his friends and relatives. He knows the details about what’s happening in Malaysia, Mexico and China. So how could he not care about what’s going on in the Arab world or his country. I feel sad because some of you don’t believe the news and some of you are with punishing internet users. My cousin didn’t take his friends' warnings seriously but he paid a high price for his curiosity and for his feeling that we’ve passed an old era. I wish that Bashar Al-Asad would meet him in person to know whom he’s thrown in prison. If we’re still living under the regime of the one and only leader, then at least this leader should visit his prisons and know the kind of youths staying there. We were taught to be honest even to those we oppose in opinion, so the politicians can trust us more than they trust their guards because we refuse to make violence or treason our way in changing the society. These are Abdul Rahman’s ideas too and he’s still hanging on to his non-violence. The Arab world is not going to change unless we rejected violence and got prepared to pay for what we want to change”
Afraa’ Chalabi-Montreal/Canada.

“The time has come for an end to such environment that produces such a sentence.
The Syrian who reported Abdul Rahman, the Syrian who broke into his house and had him hand-cuffed, and the Syrian who took him from his wife and children to throw him in the darkness of prison; all those did it for an apparent motivation that is obeying the regime out of a parayzing fear while actually they’re hiding a desperate scream that asks for help from the world. They’re all crying out: People, come over here, Iraq was not a worse place than here. Please save us from this prison of humiliation and poverty”
Khalid Khlaiwi Al-Riyadh/KSA.

“We use the internet to get knowledge and science, not to contact the enemies of our homeland or those who threat the presence of our Arab nation.”
Jab Allah Mansour-Libya.

“I’m not surprised to hear such lies being told about the regime in Syria. Who attempts to spread such false news is trying to spread chaos to weaken the Syrian position”
Baraa’Asseda-A Syrian.

“I’m a Syrian and I live in Syria but I’m unaware of such an incident, neither did any of my relatives hear of it.
Still I agree with closing and forbidding some websites that might harm the Arab governments and those who access such sites must be punished because they’re messing with the general security of the country. We need websites that unite us together, not split our minds.”

"I’m not surprised by theses oppressive “laws” made by the Ba’athists, as if it wasn’t for such oppression the Ba’athists wouldn't have survived this long."
Ahmed Ghazi Hamad-Baghdad/Iraq.

"I think the Syrian government have every right to do this because this citizen, and by opening such pages has started to think and use his own brain and this is totally unaccepted by the Ba’athists, the only thinkers of humanity!"
Wakaas Asad Ali-Kirkuk/Iraq.

"I want to say to some of the Syrian posters: No wonder you haven’t heard of this and anyone who thinks that a human being should be put in jail just for visiting some sites that oppose his government, is in a bigger jail than that of Abdul-Rahman, and may God help us."
Saad Mohammed-Damascus/Syria.

Al Gore's Second Thoughts

See, I'm not the only one who thinks AlGore (Version 8.5) has popped a few circuits and leaked all the oil he puts in his hair! It seems our Digital Thomas Edison is now having second thoughts about his prized invention: The AlGoreNet. Not that his handiwork wasn't as terrifically brilliant as he was, it's just been taken over by Digital Brownshirts. The Horror!

Big Al is officially off his meds
Kevin at Wizbang! has the AlGore moment of the day:

According to Al Gore, exercising your free speech on the internet makes you a "digital brown shirt" if you happen to think that, for example, Al Gore is demonstrably off his rocker and that Michael Moore would prefer more Americans would be beheaded by terrorists to put Ted Kennedy in charge of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Of course, there's a "digital brown shorts" joke there, but hey, not even I'M going to go that low...

(editor: you already did, you numbskull!)


So this raises the question: what does Al really mean? And, where can you find these "digital Brown shirts?"

The answer, of course, is here, at the Brown University Bookstore website, which has a quite extensive selection of, er, digital Brown shirts. Which leads us to the type of cheap shot Big Al must be talking about.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

This Judge Hands Out One Stiff Sentence!

Three more years of that, and he really would have epitomized blind justice!!

It Seems There's A Controling Legal Authority After All

It gets easier everyday to tell that Al Gore and Bill Clinton have had a permanent parting of the ways. Heck, I'm fairly convinced that Mr. Gore and reason have called it quits and won't be in the same zip code with eachother. During today's bizarre example of his lithium-deprived behavior, Mr. Sore from the Sore Loserman Ticket offered us this rhetorical gem.

"We cannot depend up on a debased department of Justice given over to the hands of zealots. "Congressional oversight" and "special prosecution" are words that should hang in the air."

This passage would never have remained in an Al Gore Polemic Special back in his highbinding Veep days. He just could never find that controlling legal authority when he was selling nuclear weapon designs to the PLA in return for campaign dollars.

Perhaps now that Gore has retired from serious adulthood and now lacks a fiefdom to collosally misgovern, he's found the spare time to actually read a copy of The US Constitution. He certainly drops plenty of names belonging to The Founding Fathers. It could be that Al Gore's mental condition involves delusional fantasies of these people visiting his father's manor house and sipping mint juleps together. I guess it takes a guy who's smart enough to invent the internet to understand what James Madison was really thinking.

As an avid supporter of President Bush's reelection in 2004, I should probably find encouragement and great humor in watching a prominent Democratic Politician undergo devolution until anthropologists get a real time look at the missing link primate. However, I'm not callous enough to enjoy this spectacle twice. Someone should invoke the Little League Baseball Smear Rule and yank Al Gore before the score becomes Logic and Reason 500 - MoveOn.Gore 0.

Even failed Presidential candidates have a set of duties based upon decorum. Al Gore lacks the decorum of mule in horse harness. He may actually help Bush by becoming such a caricature of a stereotype that he scares undecided voters away from the Democratic Party. But even if this is true, letting this crazy man loose in public with an active microphone is an embarassment to modern America.

Al Gore Seems To Have Flushed The Pills Again.

Berkeley's New Source of Revenue

Berkeley does have an exhorbitant cost of living......

The Realpolitik of Iraqi WMD.

Why hasn't Bush put the recent discovery of what happened to Iraqi WMD on the frontburner of every aspect of his Iraq press releases? Steel Wolf, a poster, takes a swipe at expalining it. Interesting stuff and well thought out.

The American Angle

1. Iraqi WMD is a dead issue. Except in very small doses, we won't find any in Iraq. Neither the left nor the right really cares, at this point, because both sides already feel vindicated in their beliefs about the value of this war. Thus, neither side will make more than passing reference to Saddam's WMD.

2. Bush is willing to let himself and the intelligence agencies take the hit on the WMD issue. Why? Because WMD was a means to an end. So long as Bush can push for the results he wants, he'll let peripherial issues go.

3. The end result, which has not been stated, but is clear to anyone who cares to look, is this: Bush intends to remake the political and cultural landscape of the Middle East into a place where Islamic fanatacism and WMD are hard to come by, or at least, unable to colocate. This goal cannot be attained by military might alone.

4. Bush realizes that MAD is not a deterrent against religious fanatics. In choosing to attack the social structure of the Middle East as a means to keep WMD out of the hands of terrorists, Bush's strategy appears to be long term and visionary. If his sights are indeed on a different target, that would explain why he seems unconcerned about short term setbacks.

5. Bush's true interest is not in Iraqi WMD but Iraq itself. Iraq is soon going to change from being a political liability to a political weapon. It will soon be generating internal pressure against every dictator and theocrat in the Middle East. The example of a modern, prosperous Arab state with a relatively liberal government will be a better destabilizing force for the region than another 10 divisions of the U.S. Army.

6. If we fail to either remake Iraq, or remake the Middle East, then Saddam's WMD is a non issue. If we succeed, it's a non issue. It's only an issue to Bush's credibility. If he's willing to take the hit, which apparently he is, then it will be chalked up to 'weak intelligence' and 'overzealous advisors'. Bush appears to have made his choice, and is sticking to it.

The Syrian Angle

1. Syria had every reason to help Saddam hide his WMD. Knowing that he'd be stuck between Israel on one side, and the U.S. on the other, Assad had to realize that his regime was in danger. He also knew that he had no effective direct courses of action to take. Still, he had to do something. America and Israel were clearly hostile powers intent on destroying his regime. So, what would his best options for resistance be?

2. Simply put, Syria's best course of action would be to attack the legitimacy of the war itself. He could easily hide Saddams WMD in with his own, and doing so would rob us of our legitimate objective. It would be next to impossible for us to prove otherwise.

3. Assad's hope may have been to lay low and wait for the pressure to force us out. So long as he didn't do anything overtly provocative, he knew that we wouldn't risk going after Syria as well. No one at the time could have forseen how easily we would have won the war, or how much resove we would show against the Fedayeen (who's preparations for a Vietnam like guerilla war against the U.S. Assad almost certainly knew about) or against the foriegn fighters (who Assad still sends in against us).

4. At the time that the decisions would have been made, I think that it would have been both feasible and desirable for Syria to hide Saddam's WMDs. Going on the very reasonable assumptions that the war would be difficult, that U.S. public opinion would disintigrate in the face of no WMDs and Vietnam like high casualties, and that world pressure would mount against the 'illegitimate war', the potential benefits far outweighed the risks.

The Final Word

One day, at some point down the road, the truth may come out. Or, it may be dumped in the ocean and forgotten. Either way, that battle for Iraqi WMDs is over. Bush's actions reveal that he likely had other intents for Iraq than to simply purge it of WMDs. Those intents are reflected in his interest in the new government and the potential it holds for the region.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Welcome To The Blogsphere

The Washington Times has been an online favorite of mine for years. Now they've added a blog to their news coverage. Bravo and Well Done!

Monday, June 21, 2004

The Final Frontier

Another technological barrier just fell by the wayside. A man named Mike Melville has flown "Spaceship One", the first entirely private spaceship, into space. It rode into the heavens aboard a carrier aircraft called "White Knight".

The mission itself won't drop any jaws or break new technical ground. The significant fact is that this is the first time private industry has ever launched man into space. This begins an entire new era of expansion into the final frontier.

Paul G. Allen, who leads Vulcan Inc., sponsored and financed the effort. Chief Engineer Burt Rutan has successfully developed the first ever spacecraft that did not require government funding. With Melville's success, Rutan also makes history. He understands this well and lays it out brilliantly below.

“Since Yuri Gagarin and Al Shepard’s epic flights in 1961, all space missions have been flown only under large, expensive Government efforts. By contrast, our program involves a few, dedicated individuals who are focused entirely on making spaceflight affordable,” said Burt Rutan. “Without the entrepreneur approach, space access would continue to be out of reach for ordinary citizens. The SpaceShipOne flights will change all that and encourage others to usher in a new, low-cost era in space travel.”

With today's unabashed success, mankind's exploration of space will open up like never before. The power of private industry has the power to put us on the moon or Mars decades before a similar, publicly financed effort. The US government can want our nation in space with all its heart, but only our scientists and engineers that work in our corporate sector can put us there.

This parallels the colonization of North America by England and France. Both countries wanted to plant colonies abroad, but it was the English Joint Stock Companies and the French fur trading outfits that could afford to launch the truly large emigrations that eventually settled the North American continent. Business built America even when we were still just a series of colonies.

The same will eventually hold true for space. The technology may not exist yet to make star travel a part of anyone's 401K portfolio, but the impetus will soon be there. "Spaceship One" and "White Knight" will both provide barrels of short term red ink. They are, however, a phenomenal investment in the future of space commerce. A future that many of us got to watch start unfolding today.

Which Greek God Are You?

Follow the link, take the quiz, amaze yourself. Ok, maybe not amaze yourself, but it's a good time-killer. Originally, I misspelled the title, perhaps suggesting that I was Bacchus!

Saturday, June 19, 2004

The Biggest Benedict Arnold CEO of Them All

The latest economic plank in John F Kerry's platform offers both good news and bad news. The good news involves the fact that John F. Kerry lacks the creative ability to invent new ways to screw up the economy. The bad is that he has no problems with pulling stupid old ideas out of mothballs.

His latest attempt at stirring up popular rebellion involves his proposal to hike the minimum wage to $7.00 per hour. At first blush, this sounds reasonable. The Consumer Price Index (CPI)has risen about 3% this year. This makes it harder to live day to day. The higher minimum wage sounds like an easy quick fix.

This logic holds until The Law of Unintended Consequences engages it in violent combat. A Minimum Wage Law can make an employer pay the workers more, but it can't force an employer to keep all the workers employed. In fact, the raise in wages lowers employer demand for the services of low skill workers.

Studies have projected that a 10% increase in the minimum wage cost destroys approximately 100,000 existing jobs. The current minimum wage is $5.15. A raise to $7.00, comprises about a 40% raise in the floor. This fires 400,000 workers who would otherwise have earned at least a portion of an honest living.

This does not necessarily mean 400,000 people would starve. In fact only 2% of the adult workforce works for the minimum. The real problem occurs when teenagers try and get early work experience and training on how to successfully navigate the working world.

According to the 1981 Report of the Minimum Waqe Study Commission, the 46 percent rise in the minimum wage between 1977 and 1981 destroyed 644,000 jobs among teenagers alone. "The evidence is now in, and the findings of dozens of major economic studies show that the damage done by the minimum wage has been far more severe than even the critics . . . predicted." [8] A 1983 survey, "Time-Series Evidence of the Effect of the Minimum Wage on Youth Employment," found that studies conducted between 1973 and 1983 generally agreed that a 10 percent increase in the minimum wage would result in a 1 to 3 percent reduction in teenage employment.[9] Given these findings, the proposal to raise the minimum wage by nearly 40 percent could result in a 4 to 12 percent drop in the employment of teens. Cato Policy Analysis No. 106

Thus, if John F. Kerry were elceted and then succeeded in passing a $7.00 minimum wage, he would cause more problems than he claims he would solve. Even worse, studies prove the children would bear the brunt of these cold-hearted policies. This would make John F. Kerry the biggest Benedict Arnold CEO that ever was.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Who Profits From The Fallujah Circus

All things happen for a reason. That reason sometimes embodies God's plan. Other times it involves grubby people doing grubby things for filthy lucre. Despite the involvement of religious leaders in the Iraqi Resistance, the circus being played out in Fallujah, Iraq couldn't be more secular.

Fallujah represents the probable wellspring of nearly every hostile element opposing the US presence and the formation of a new, Democratic government in Iraq. The recent public hanging of four American contractors in Fallujah demonstrates that their dislike of Americans expands far beyond rational disagreement.

The emotion and the incitement of religious leaders such as Muqtada Al Sadr aside, someone makes a pile of money out of this entire fiasco. Al Sadr himself, got into this for the power. His activities in the Iraqi Resistance have more to do with his desires to supplant Ayatollah Al-Sistani atop the local religious hierarchy than they do with any love of God and country.

Al Sadr, and the resistors in Fallujah, have attracted the interest of outside investors. People who expect a return on their investment. Iran has dispatched their thuggie errand boys Hezbollah to support the Fallujah uprising. This assists then in expanding their power in Iraq. Particularly in the oil rich Shiite Hinterlands.

Al Qaida has gotten active in Fallujah. Intelligence reports have identified Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi as present in the city. Fallujah provides Al Qaida with a beachhead in otherwise increasingly hostile territory.

The international media comprises the last and most disgusting of the Fallujah profiteers. Iraq The Model blogger Ali recounts the efforts of Al Jazeera reporters to produce pro-Saddam footage from Fallujah.

"Soon after Saddam was captured, a reporter from one of the Arab satellite channels, and I don’t want to mention its name, came downtown, gathered a bunch of teenagers, handed each one of them 20US $ and gave them some pictures of Saddam. He then asked them to shout and dance and made a great report out of it. The same thing happened again in exactly the same manner!"

Fallujah has proven nettlesome to the US Marines sent to pacify the city. So much so that they have turned over day-to-day patrolling operations to local Iraqi forces and assumed the role of a large quick reaction force that comes when the local regulars need back up. This situation is a dead weight loss to the Iraqis stuck living there.

However, not everyone loses sleep or even money, over the travails of pacifying Fallujah. Until violence and killing stops paying off in Fallujah, running a funeral parlor in that city will be a business that never dies.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Further Proof That The 9-11 Commission Engages in Errorism

The list of Links below was composed by Free Republic poster Peach. It pretty much mocks the sophistry put forth by the 9-11 commission.

List of newspaper article in the 90's which mention the world's concern regarding the growing relationship between OBL and Saddam:

Son of Saddam coordinates OBL activities:

The AQ connection (excellent):

Western Nightmare:,12469,798270,00.html

Saddam's link to OBL:

NYT: Iraq and AQ agree to cooperate:

Document linking them:

Iraq and terrorism - no doubt about it:

A federal judge rules there are links:

Wall Street Journal on Iraq and AQ:

Iraq and Iran contact OBL:

More evidence:

Saddam's AQ connection:

Further connections:

What a court of law said about the connections:

Some miscellaneous stuff on connections:

Saddam's Ambassador to Al Qaeda: (February 2004, Weekly Standard)

Yes - it's NewsMax but loaded with interesting bullet points.

Saddam's Fingerprints on NY Bombing (Wall Street Journal, June 1993)

Colin Powell: Iraq and AQ Partners for Years (CNN, February 2003)

The Iraq-Al Qaeda Connections (September 2003, Richard Miniter)

Oil for Food Scandal Ties Iraq and Al Qaeda (June 2003)

Saddam and OBL Make a Pact (The New Yorker, February 2003):

Al Qaeda's Poison Gas (Wall Street Journal, April 2004):

Wolfowitz Says Saddam behind 9/11 Attacks:

Saddam behind first WTC attack - PBS, Laurie Mylroie:

Growing Evidence of Saddam and Al Qaeda Link, The Weekly Standard, July 2003:

Qusay Hussein Coordinated Iraq special operations with Bin Laden Terrorist Activities, Yossef Bodansky, National Press Club

The Western Nightmare: Saddam and Bin Laden vs. the Rest of the World, The Guardian Unlimited:,12469,798270,00.html

Saddam Link to Bin Laden, Julian Borger, The Guardian, February 1999

The Al Qaeda Connection, The Weekly Standard, July 2003
Cheney lectures Russert on Iraq/911 Link, September 2003:

No Question About It, National Review, September 2003

Iraq: A Federal Judges Point of View

Mohammed's Account links Iraq to 9/11 and OKC:

Free Republic Thread that mentions so me books Freepers might be interested in on this topic:

The Proof that Saddam Worked with AQ, The Telegraph, April 2003:

Saddam's AQ Connection, The Weekly Standard, September 2003

September 11 Victims Sue Iraq:

Osama's Best Friend: The Further Connections Between Al Qaeda and Saddam, The Weekly Standard, November 2003

Terrorist Behind 9/11 Attacks Trained by Saddam, The Telegraph, December 2003

James Woolsey Links Iraq and AQ, CNN Interview, March 2004, Also see Posts #34 and #35

A Geocities Interesting Web Site with maps and connections:

Bin Laden indicted in federal court, read down to find information that Bin Laden agreed to not attack Iraq and to work cooperatively with Iraq:

Case Closed, The Weekly Standard, November 03

CBS - Lawsuit: Iraq involved in 9/11:

Exploring Iraq's Involvement in pre-9/11 Acts, The Indianapolis Star:

The Iraq/AQ Connection: Richard Minister again

Militia Defector says Baghdad trained Al Qaeda fighters in chemical weapons, July 2002

The Clinton View of Iraq/AQ Ties, The Weekly Standard, December 2003

Saddam Controlled the Camps (Iraq/AQ Ties): The London Observer, November 01

Saddam's Terror Ties that Critics Ignore, National Review, October 2003:

Tape Shows General Wesley Clark linking Iraq and AQ:

Freeper list of links between AQ and Iraq:

Salman Pak (Aviation Weekly)

Another freeper resource - list of links between OBL and Saddam:

Saddam/911 Link (FrontPage Magazine, Laurie Mylroie, May 2004):

Bush says Zarqawi killed Berg, cites Saddam ties (Reuters, May 2004)

The Connections (May 2004, The Weekly Standard)
New Information:

Saddam's role in 9/11. (Freeper book, May 2004)

Entire link and Post #5 - Clinton mentioned how AQ was developing a relationship with Iraq.

The House of Representatives read into the congressional record the ties that Saddam had to Osama bin Laden (read down and open links in the record): June 2004

Exploring the links between 9/11 and Iraq (Richard Miniter, June 2004)

The Terrorist behind 9/11 was trained by Saddam (The Telegraph, 12/03)

New Iraqi Chief Links 9/11 to Saddam (June 2004, NewsMax)

Increasing evidence of Saddam's ties to 9/11 and AQ (National Review, June 2004)

Pre Bush Timeline of Saddam/OBL Ties (Freeper research):

Cheney claims Iraq/AQ connections (June 2004)

Update 18 June 2004:

What Turns Freedom Fries French?

You nailed it! Kerry's House O' Ketchup. Part XV, like an Edgar Rice Burroughs story.


The new John Kerry misery index is out!

Hezbollah Goes To The Movies!!

Now we really know why they hate us. I had figured that they didn't really hate us, they just figured we were a bunch of overfed pussies. My theory was that terrorists terrorize for the same reason that conquerors conquer and bullies bully. Because they can.

The real reason they hate us, we just don't pay homage to their favorite movie director. Well now we are aware of the Hezbollah pick for next year's Academy Awards. It's none other than our very own Jabba The Haw-Haw, Michael Moore.

In an amazingly bad attempt at propaganda, Hezbollah picked up the phone and gave Michael Moore's agent a call. They offered their support in distributing the film. Maybe they aren't quite as lovable as the boys from The Magic Kingdom, but they are willing to give it go. Think of it has Michael Eisner's business ethics minus the support for Gay Day.

I'm sure the crafty agent was non-committal. He probably gave them the typical "We'll get back to you." This is Hollywood Lingo for f--k off.

While no one associated with the film has any comments, an endorsement like the one they received from Hezbollah certainly puts the newest Michael Moore crockumentary "Fahrenhiet 9/11" in a new light. Michael Moore has proven that at least some of America is loved by every person in the world. Even the die-hard zealots of Hezbollah.

The question now is no longer "Why do they hate us?" The new question should be "Can we make Hezbollah take this disgusting slob on a full time basis?"

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The Onion Nails Another One


Bush Needs To Flip Kerry's Script

For every election since Martin Luther King Jr. endorsed John F. Kennedy, black voters have voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party. It's not just coincidence that leads GOP activists and even some individuals outside the Republican Party to urge George W. Bush to attempt to connect with African-American voters. Several reasons factors collude to make this so practical that it almost becomes imperative.

These reasons include the likelihood that Election 2004 will prove very close, the high concentrations of African-Americans in several large states that pollsters project to be toss-ups (e.g. Florida, Ohio), the rise of powerful African-Americans in the GOP ranks, and finally there is the Democratic Candidate President Bush faces in the election. If it were possible for a major candidate to bleach himself whiter than I am, Senator Kerry has actually managed.

The newest election polls auger a tight finish. Electoral vote counts currently show incumbent George W. Bush with anywhere from 175 - 225. Senator Kerry is polling within a range of 190 to 285. This suggests the President has fallen slightly behind his challenger and needs to get on his horse and ride.

The question becomes one of where should he ride. There are fewer undecided voters in most surveys than during past election campaigns. The average voter has decided and those decisions are running at close to a 50-50 split. The President cannot pull well ahead of his opponent unless he changes the electoral dynamics. Going into a solid Democratic Party bailiwick and carving out even a small niche of his own would change the game in his favor.

This would particularly hold true in states such as Florida, Michigan, Virginia and Ohio. Each state carries at least 12 Electoral Votes and each state has an African American population that exceeds the national median as a percentage of the overall state population. If Bush could carry about 25% of the African-American vote in all four of those states, he would improve his performance in each location by 1.5 to 2 percent.

People say these things every election cycle, and each time in the past they have been true, but not actionable. This time, however, important things have changed. President Bush has entrusted some of the most important functions of the Legislative Branch to African-American Secretaries.

Democratic Presidents may include a certain quota of African-Americans to produce a cabinet that looks like America. President Bush has placed General Powell and Dr. Rice in positions where they actually make important decisions about America. If Colin Powell were Secretary of State in a Democratic Administration, this would have been advertised far and wide as a Civil Rights triumph.

In a Republican administration, there is no need to advertise. If an African-American carries an impressive portfolio of personal and professional achievements and has the President's endorsement, the assumption is that that person can perform. No special status need be attached to that individual's race.

Intelligent African-Americans will sense the obvious difference. Republicans assume properly-qualified blacks should hold responsible positions, the Democrats feel we all should still be amazed when a black professional lands a top-flight job. Mature adults don't require adulation for doing what is required of them at their jobs. They are smart enough to realize that high expectations are a compliment. That, right there, should swing a certain number of votes in the direction of George Bush.

Then there is the candidate attempting to unseat President Bush. The man makes me wonder whether his chemical treatments involved Botox or Chlorox. He has no sense of what motivates anybody who isn't Caucasian, professional and worth over $40 million. He has held the African-American community at arm's length. He wants their votes, he wants their swag, but he doesn't want them around to lower his property values.

John Kerry embodies limousine liberal condescension. He wants to help African-Americans, but he seems to want to wash after he shakes hands with one. He campaigns to them like an over-eager Peace Corps volunteer. He loves them to death as long as they accept his implicit superiority and stay in their place. This has grated.

President Bush should open shop in several traditionally black communities. When extremely liberal activists such as Bakari Kitwana are inviting Ralph Nader to speak because the Democrats don't seem to care, that is a sign that portions of the African-American vote have gone back in play. Even making the Democrats condescend to a few extra visits to their fiefdoms would take away a little more time and money from their campaigns.

The Bush campaign will probably still fail to crack 20% nationwide among African-Americans. Some of his own supporters will prove crass enough to suggest that any time and money spent in black America neglects the GOP base. He should ignore this chorus of doubt and campaign to African-Americans anyway. He should know John Kerry will win the overall popular vote if Bush wins no better than 8% of the black vote.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Why Is The LA Times Considered a Major Newspaper?

The most recent LA Times Poll has me absolutely convinced. Absolutely convinced that John Kerry will have a huge election day victory; in LA County. After all, Kerry steamrollered his way to a 51-44 advantage, with a mere 5% being undecided. However, before sending the Senator your resume, I advise you that this had to be one of the most poorly conducted propaganda polls in 2004.

The poll has raised my hackles in ire for two reasons. First, the sampling technique came straight out of the Propaganda Warrior's Handbook. Secondly, the poll had a release date contrived to strongly influence the direction of the election momentum. This poll was not an informational product. It was a bandwagon propaganda sales pitch.

The sample from which the poll was taken included 25% Republicans, 37% Independent or Third Party voters and 38% Democrats. In a nation consisting of approximately 35% Republicans, 35% Democrats and 30% Independent voters, the likelihood of this happening at random goes to zero if more than maybe 300 voters are called for the poll. This result was an intentional attempt at distortion.

Assuming other recent polling from Quinnipiac U. holds water, President Bush should take 90% of the GOP vote. Kerry will steal about 10%. Among Democrats, Kerry takes home 80% of the bacon, Bush steals about 10% and 10% stay undecided. Where Bush gets hammered is among independents who are currently about 45% Kerry, 40% Bush and 15% undecided.

Among the LA Times sample, we can thus compose the following figures:

Bush: 22.5 from GOP base + 3.8 stolen from Dem base + 14.8 from Independent voters. This gives President Bush 41.3%.

Kerry: 2.5 stolen from GOP base + 30.6 from the Dem base + 16.7 from Independent voters. This gives Kerry 49.8.

Absent Ralph Nader, approximately 9% of the electorate remains up for grabs. The statistical noise present seems to favor President Bush slightly, but the choice of sample clearly has driven the result.

Given a more representative national example, again assuming Quinnipiac nailed their result fairly well, we can predict the following.

Bush: 31.5% from GOP base + 3.5% stolen from Dem. base + 12% from Independent voters. This gives the President 47%.

Kerry: 3.5% stolen from the GOP base + 28% from the Dem. base + 13.5% from independent voters. This gives the Senator 45%. Approximately 8% of the voters remain undecided.

In light of the fact that undecided voters traditionally go 2 to 1 for the challenger, my revised sample still suggests President Bush has work to do if he really wants that second term. However, this is probably a far more accurate gauge of where the country stands than what the LA Times put out the day before Ronald Reagan's funeral service.

And let's mention the timing of the LA Times release. Surely, everyone expected a Bush bounce in the days of Reagan Remembrance. This was not what the editorial staff at the LA Times wanted.

Certainly, the LA Times had planned a poll on this date well in advance. Certainly, given the success of The Times in predicting the California Recall Election, a rational mind would expect them to shank the poll a wee bit to the left.

However, given the past behavior of this particular 'news' outlet, I can't help but believe they dumped a little extra sauce on this one. As a result, the only thing they barbequed successfully, was their own reputation for fairness and objectivity.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Water or Coke: Urban Legend Heat Check

This! is really an eye opener.... Water or Coke?
We all know that water is important but I've never seen
it written down like this before.


1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.

2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so
weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.

3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's
metabolism as much as 3%.

4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger
pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a
University of Washington study.

5. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses
of water a day could significantly ease back and
joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.

7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy
short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and
difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a
printed page.

8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the
risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the
risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less
likely to develop bladder cancer.

And now for the properties of COKE:

1. In many states (in the USA) the highway patrol
carries two gallons of coke in the truck to remove
blood from the highway after a car accident.

2. You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of Coke and
it will be gone in two days.

3. To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into
the toilet bowl and let the "real thing" sit for one
hour, then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke
removes stains from vitreous China.

4. To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub
the bumper with a rumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap
aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola.

5. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals:
Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble
away the corrosion.

6. To loosen a rusted bolt: Applying a cloth soaked
in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes.

7. To bake a moist ham: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into
the baking pan, wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and
bake. Thirty minutes before the ham is finished,
remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix
with the Coke for a sumptuous brown gravy.

8. To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of coke
into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run
through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help
loosen grease stains.

9. It will also clean road haze from your windshield.

For Your Info:

1. The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid.
Its pH is 2.8. It will dissolve a nail in about 4 days.
Phosphoric acid also leaches calcium from bones
and is a major contributor to the rising increase in

2. To carry Coca-Cola syrup (the concentrate) the
commercial truck must use the Hazardous material
place cards reserved for Highly corrosive materials.

3. The distributors of Coke have been using it to
clean the engines of their trucks for about 20 years!
Now the question is, would you like a coke or a glass
of water?

Democrat Rules of The Road

Since some genius in sunny Ca. posted a list of why it's tough to be a Republican, I felt it was only fair to complete this brilliant man's "thought" for him and explain why it was easy being a Democrat.

YOU CAN BE A DEMOCRAT - Virtually anyone can be a Democrat: just quit thinking and vote that way. But if you want to be a GOOD Democrat, there are some necessary prerequisites. Compare the list below and see how you rate.

1. You have to believe the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.

2. You have to believe that the same teacher who can't teach 4th graders
how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.

3. You have to believe that guns, in the hands of law-abiding Americans, are more of a threat than U. S. nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese communists.

4. You have to believe that there was no art before Federal funding.

5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical, documented changes in the earth's climate, and more affected by yuppies driving SUVs.

6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being homosexual is natural.

7. You have to be against capital punishment but support abortion on demand.

8. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.

9. You have to believe that hunters don't care about nature, but loony activists from Seattle do.

10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.

11. You have to believe the military, not corrupt politicians, start wars.

12. You have to believe the NRA is bad, because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good, because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.

13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.

14. You ! have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, George Washington or Thomas Edison.

15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides aren't.

16. You have to believe that Hillary Clinton is really a lady.

17. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried, is because the right people haven't been in charge.

18. You have to believe conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and sex offender belongs in the White House.

19. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag, transvestites and bestiality should be constitutionally protected and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.

20. You have to believe that illegal Democratic Party funding by the Chinese is somehow in the best interest of the United States.

VOTE DEMOCRATIC......... It's easier than getting a job!

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Ars Vitae: They Still Have a "Pulse"

These guys are as old as my dad. No kidding, they almost really are. They also play one of the best live shows that goes on the road. These geritol giants are none other than the original Pipers At The Gates of Dawn; Pink Floyd.

If you haven't been fortunate enough to catch them live, you can now enjoy the second best thing. It seems a mobile recording unit has caught them in the act and the glorious results are available on a new double CD. The compilation, entitled P.U.L.S.E, is an absolute winner.

The first CD features a reel to reel performance of Dark Side. A remarkable performance of Dark Side. It amazes me the extent to which Pink Floyd was able to completely reproduce the album. They completely reproduced it down to each bit of dialogue and every sound effect. To achieve that without the services of Roger Waters; amazing.

The second CD extensively featured work off of Momentary Lapse of Reason and Division Bell. These songs provide ample evidence Gilmour has emerged from the shadows of Syd Barrett and Roger Waters. Gilmour probably shows some of the best technical guitar work of anyone in rock. Gilmour can't play fast, like Eddie Van Halen. He just performs in a totally dominant fashion. He makes haste slowly.

Tracks from The Wall and Wish You Were Here round out both CDs and sound really well done. My only quibbles, and these would be minor quibbles, would be with "Run Like H---" on the first CD and "Astronomy Domine" in the second. The group needed to edit or master these two tracks better. There was too much random stadium noise on each. With a CD player, you can just skip each. Everything else, on either CD, sounds exemplary.

P.U.L.S.E. lacks the fanfare it deserves. It will probably sell under 1 Million. I doubt it will ever reach Platinum Record status. This is unfortunate. P.U.L.S.E. almost sounds as good track for track as any live album that's been released, with the exception of Frampton Comes Alive.

Ruck'd - What A Letdown! NZ 36 - Eng -3

Some rugby matches hurt just to watch. This one fell squarely into that category. New Zealand ended England's 12 game Southern Hemisphere winning streak the way Attila The Hun ended Rome's reputation for military dominance. will tend to hyperbolize match reports. This time they ran short of superlatives and their metaphors grew fatigued long before the The All Blacks had finished brutalizing England's tight five.

The stunned fans of the RWC 2003 Champions will make much ado over the fact that England went to war minus Johnnie Wilkinson, Martin Johnson and the bulk of their fire and determination. I'm guessing this will be the last time they leave home without their star fly-half.

However, when the opposition runs the opening kick-off 30 or so meters down your gullet, having the best #10 on the planet will only help you if the opposition is stupid enough to foul. The All Blacks were not, the score was 7-nil very early on in the proceedings. England took that a bit personally and managed a retaliatory sortie which culminated with Charlie Hodgson scoring 3. Little did Clive Woodward know, this would close the book for "The Pommies".

The All Blacks scored two tries in the next seven minutes. This utterly broke England's fighting spirit. Their Captain should have vented his frustrations at his players rather than the refs. His example proved terrible and was regrettably emulated by others on his squad.

Ben Cohen qualifies for the inaugural Knight of The Mind Prop's Rear End Award for his shameful display. Cohen further humiliated England with the following display of grade-school tantrum throwing.

"But we bring Ben Cohen to trial for deciding to have a whinge at referee Jonathan Kaplin after England WON a penalty in front of the post with the scores standing at 17-3. The decision - quite correctly - was immediately reversed. You what, Ben?"

You what? Is an excellent question to pose Clive Woodward and the entire shell-shocked English side. At this game's after-party, the Brits certainly drank so that they could forget.

It looks as if The Zurich World Rankings had it dead to rights. They've been dropping England like a millstone in a well for about the last month. This no longer appears premature or biased. Perhaps someone could lend a few lines of that software code to the geniuses in charge of the BCS.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

They Knew It Was Coming And Stood By And Watched

Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division recently detained three members of an undisclosed media outlet. They took them back to their encampment and asked them several hours of questions regarding a recent roadside bombing that took place near Mosul.

This type of Draconian military behavior should have spawned days of accusatory headlines in 80 font type. Seymour Hersh should have donned the tin-foil hat weeks ago and told us the story behind the story. This should dominate the antiwar outlets of the US media.

This time, that isn't going to happen. Why no outrage? The reason is simple. The media don't want the entire story told on this one.

The media feels this recalcitrance because this story would embarass them as knaves if all the fulsome and scurvy details ever came to light. To the point, these media members knew the time and location of an IED attack aimed at US soldiers, and did nothing to warn our troops. Instead, they sat there with cameras rolling when the bomb went off. God rode with the convoy of soldiers and the bomb failed to strike it's target.

What the IED accomplished, was the stark revelation of exactly how anti-american our major media outlets have truly become. These reporters and photographers wanted some good, gruesome lead footage and were quite content to let their own country lose soldiers.

Incidents such as this could change public perceptions of the media in a way they would never want to see happen. It wouldn't take Protest Warrior long to march with the signs reading "No Blood For Footage".

A Vile and Repugnant Little Man

The passing of Ronald Reagan brought grief to many people who knew him well. To nearly everyone with an emotional commitment to conservative politics, President Reagan towered above most other politicians in the modern era. The contrast between Reagan and Carter has continued to influence how I view the differences between conservatives and liberals.

Not everyone holds this view of Reagan's presidency. Intelligent people should be able to respectfully disagree, without failing to express sympathy and condolences to the family of the deceased. Senator Kerry, despite or perhaps because of his current Presidential candidacy, provided an excellent example of how to express this difference of opinion in a respectful way. He was able to decently eulogize the dead without necessarily endorsing all of that person's actions while living. Even Senator Edward Kennedy, who fought Reagan tooth and nail during the 1980s, offered very decent and complimentary sentiments, upon learning of the former President's demise.

The same, however, can not be said for the "Not the Reagan Democrats" who opine more vociferously on issues of the day. Chic liberal gadfly Theodore Rall offers us the opinion "I'm sure he's turning toasty brown right about now." Perhaps theological insights from the terminally agnostic should be judged facially invalid. Maybe this should pass without mention, like a flatulent cloud at a cotillion dance.

Except that for Ted Rall, this appears to have become a pattern. The man goes after the recently deceased in hopes of making his points. That, regardless of whether Mr. Rall has anything to point out of merit, should disgust decent human beings of every political orientation.

The ghoulish, mordant Rall had plenty of aspersions to cast on the corpse of Pat Tillman, as well. He called him a dupe and a simpleton. He waited until after the friendly-fire incident that took Ranger Tillman's life rendered Mr. Tillman incapable of any response.

If I felt like calling someone an idiot, I'd call that person an idiot to his face. That way the idiot in question could respond and verify his status.

Ted Rall lacks the manhood to take his opponents straight-up, mano-a-mano. He waits until Reagan has passed beyond hearing and then tells us what he really "thinks".

Ted Rall knows Reagan would have dismantled him the second that he rose to a level of stature to be worthy of being dismantled by a gentleman such as Ronald Reagan. He knows this and waits until Reagan lies in state to publish his venomous insults for the consumption of his deracinated followers.

Senator Edward Kennedy frequently let Ronald Reagan have it with both barrels of the insult shotgun. He said things about Reagan's intellect and moral stature that probably made Reagan want to beat Senator Kennedy like a recalcitrant, red-headed stepchild. But there is a key and fundamental difference between even Edward Kennedy's most vulgar vituperations and the calumny of Ted Rall's vile postmortem.

Kennedy said what he had to say while Reagan was alive and still had possession of his mental faculties. Kennedy felt ready to accept whatever counterpunch Reagan felt condign in throwing his way. He could forget the political battles and show Nancy Reagan a measure of decency, once the former president had died.

I never believed what I'm about to say would be true of any human being. However, in the case of Ted Rall, the shoe fits and the little creep should wear it. Ted Rall lacks the basic class and dignity to shine Edward Kennedy's Senatorial penny-loafers.

Friday, June 04, 2004

It's Tough Listening Sophisty As Well

A moderator on the truly fair and balanced DeSoto Times posted this cutey in one their discussion rooms. It's quite a piece of work and merits a response in kind.

Tough Being a Republican

It is very tough to be a Republican in 2004, because somehow, you have to believe concurrently that:

1. Jesus loves you, but shares your deep hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

Answer - I know plenty of conservatives who are agnostic, if not atheist. I've met bhuddists and muslims who aren't particularly crazy about the feminist, environmentalist or the consumer protection movements. Religion is not a litmus test for GOP affiliation or conservative philosophical beliefs.

2. The United States should get out of the United Nations, but our highest national priority is enforcing U. N. resolutions against Iraq.

Answer: Our highest moral calling is defeating terrorism, which is currently employed, bankrolled and enjoys the political and popular support of a number of countries in the Middle East. Several of which are under UN resolutions which the UN lacks the resolve and intestinal fortitude to support.

3 . "Standing Tall for America" means firing your workers and moving their jobs to India.

Answer: Hard-core Jingo Conservatives like Larry Ellison, Ceo of Oracle and major contributer to MoveOn.Org, really need to stop off-shoring their high-paying computer programmer jobs. It's a crying shame.

4. A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all humankind without regulation.

Answer: If a woman has a five-year old brat that drives her crazy, should she be allowed to blow it's face off in order to perserve her mental health? Allowing her to make decisions regarding her mental sanity should be at least as fundamental a right as taking care of her body.

Multi-national corporation lack the fundamental power to make any decisions that effect all of mankind. I have yet to ever hear of a country where that corporation would be completely unregulated.

5. Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.

Answer: If we're not obligated to offer our prayers to criminals, why is it considered a moral sin to execute someone who has murdered his fellow man? If OJ Simpson was innocent until proven guilty, why does Rush Limbaugh face a different standard of proof?

6. The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

Answer: A $1.8 Billion budgetary increase is not a cut. If it causes the salaries and benefits to increase at a greater rate than the rate of inflation, it is an increase.

7. Group sex and drug use are degenerate sins, unless you someday run for governor of California as a Republican.

Answer: After 8 years of the so-called Clinton Presidency, a man with an iota of shame would quietly edit this list and remove item #7. It's a good thing liberals consider what once was shame to now just be publicity. Perhaps that explains Arnold's high volume of crossover votes.

Also, why is it that a President can hire interns for the express purpose of slobbing his knob, but the dutiful liberal demands a Vestal Virgin's oath of chastity from Governers of California. It also seems that a lot of these liberals that want Arnold to star as Conan the Cloistered had no strong objections to Governor Moonbeam flagrantly boning Linda Ronstadt during his tenure in office.

8. If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

Answer: So liberals want them in schools so that they'll screw like minks on Levitra? One pathetic strawman deserves another.

9. A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, but then demand their cooperation and money.

Answer: An even better way to fight it is to kow who your allies are and to behave accordingly. When these so-called allies a)resent the presence of your soldiers on their soil and accuse you of occupying them and b) are financially bankrolling a leader who in turn hands that money over to a lot of the same terrorists you are fighting, these countries are tergivorates. They are not allies.

10. HMOs and insurance companies make profits and have the interest of the public at heart.

Answer: No corporation has any more concern about your intrest than you have about their's. Either you like their products and buy them or you don't like them and don't buy them. Either they like your resume and hire you, or they don't like your resume but are at least congenial enough not to call you the pathetic loser that you probably are, if you're whinning about corporations instead of finding a job and performing a valuable service.

11. Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

Answer: There are functional hospitals that can provide these services in the US. Some of them, despite the best efforts of liberals, remain private, rather than Federally owned.

12. Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

Answer: I apologize for ever doubting the scientific validity of anything that Internet Inventor, Thomas Edison Gore would ever set down to paper. I, for one, believe creationism should be taught at school. Sunday School. I don't smoke and have no plans of voting for Nader. Again, for a bunch of people who believe profiling is a bad policy, you liberals traffic heavily in profoundly misguiding stereotypes.

P.S. Creationist blowhard William Jennings Bryant ran as a Democrat until he was laughed out of the commune and represented parties that were further to the left.

13. It is okay that the Bush family's "Carlisle Group" has done millions of business with the Bin Laden family.

Answer: Sure, Armand Hammer should have done more business with Brehznev as well.

14. Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him and Rumsfeld reassured him he was our buddy, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him, but then a bad guy again when Bush junior
needed a prop for his re-election campaign as the "war president"

Answer: You're on drugs. He was an a--hole the entire time. He was less of an a--hole than Khomeni. More of an a--hole than King Fahd and the Sultan of Brunei, less of an a--hole than the UN Oil For Food Commisars who fed him the $$$ he later payed to Cheney, and only slightly more of an a--hole than Hans Blix. His stock rose and fall just like the Asian currencies that George Soros made his fortune off of. If this makes no sense, reread what it was writeen in response to. It's tough arguing with a manic depressive who's flushed the lithium pills.

15. A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense. A president lying about WMD existence, to enlist support for an unprovoked, undeclared war and occupation, in which thousands of soldiers and civilians die, is, somehow, solid "defense" policy in a "War against Terrorism".

Answer: A) Bush didn't lie. B) Bush wasn't under oath. C) Sarin and mustard gas currently remain classified as WMD. This was the rationale of the US Armed forces destroying our stockpiles of both under President Clinton. Unlike Saddam Hussein, the US actually destroys the weapons we say we will destroy.

If I were to play as fast and loose with the truth as the person who wrote this list, I could argue that Saddam lied about destroying these weapons under oath and therefore the 4th ID impeached him with a slightly stronger emphasis.

16. Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution and promote states rights, which should include "banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet".

Liberals believe the government should abolish the digital devide by taxing the internet; thereby making the access fees charged for its use to skyrocket. If liberals hate bible-thumpers so much, why would they ever bring their life partners to a non-denominational Church of What's Happening Now for a hitching party?

17. The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's Harken Oil stock trade should be sealed in his Daddy's library, and is none of our business.

George Bush wasn't meeting his margin calls out of other people's accounts. So you're right, it's nobody's business regardless of where he stores the trade data.

18. What Bill Clinton or John Kerry did in the 1960s was of vital national interest but what Bush did in the '80's is irrelevant.

Bill Clinton and John kerry shouldn't flatter themselves.

19. Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a "spirit of international harmony".

Tienamen Square was a human rights tradgedy, Castro's five death camps are merely reeducation centers or correctional facilities. For a bunch of people with chapped arses over tobacco abuse, these liberals sure have a hankering for Cuban Tobacco. China has never had the capability to place a nuclear missile 90 miles away from our shores.

20. Affirmative Action is wrong, but that it is OK for your Daddy and His friends (here and in Saudi Arabia) to get you to graduate from Yale without studying much, to dodge the draft in the Texas Air National Guard, to bail out your company Harken Oil and the Texas Rangers, to get the Governorship of Texas and then to have the Supreme Court appoint you President of the USA.

Answer: Affirmative Action is wonderful, until I need a presidential campaign staff. In that case, showing up for an NAACP speaking engagement 3 hours late has no message content whatsoever.

21. You are a conservative, but it is OK to spend like there is no tomorrow and run up deficits that your grandchildren will have to pay, while at the same refunding as much tax money as possible to rich people who do not need it.

Answer: Ok, you list the programs you want cut, I'll list the ones I want cut. We'll disagree and government spending will continue to increase like there's no tommorrow. I also have yet to talk to liberal who sent that tax refund back and demanded bigger government either.


As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.
Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

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