October 31, 2004
Syphilitic Camel Monkey's Message To America
i think this latest video by Osama bin Laden is very unusual. As far as i know this is the first time he has directed an entire message to the American people. i've heard a lot of analysis about what exactly he was trying to accomplish, and i disagree with pretty much all that i've heard.
The radio and TV pundits i've heard seem to have missed two important points that are obvious to me. One, why did bin Laden send a videotaped message instead of attacking? To me, this was very much out of character for al Qaeda. Although there are still two days left (and i hope i'm not proven wrong), it seems logical to me that bin Laden chose to send a video message because he was unable to attack us.
If that's true, all the credit goes to our law enforcement, intelligence and military communities. i think the War on Terror, as it has been prosecuted so far, has done so much damage to al Qaeda that they simply have not been able to do to us what they did to Spain. i've no doubt that al Qaeda wanted to attack us before our election. Nor do i doubt that they misunderstand Americans so much that they probably thought an attack might achieve the same outcome. But instead we got this message from OBL.
The other thing the pundits seem to have misinterpreted is the intent of bin Laden's message. Most pundits insist on analyzing the message through the prism of this question: "Will the bin Laden video help George Bush or will it help John Kerry?" The question misses the point completely because it assumes that bin Laden has a preference for one candidate over the other. And here i will probably be departing from the Republican party line, but i don't think bin Laden gives a rat's ass who wins.
He said so himself:
Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or al Qaeda.Why would bin Laden say this if he wanted Kerry to win, as the right argues, or if he wanted Bush to win, as the left contends? i don't believe bin Laden has a preference, but he wants whoever wins to know where he stands. He will continue to try to kill Americans as long as we don't do as he says. The final line is the key:
Your security is in your own hands, and each state that does not harm our security will remain safe.George Bush is a known quantity to Osama bin Laden. If Bush is re-elected, bin Laden wants us to know that we should expect continued belligerence from al Qaeda. But bin Laden is also under the impression that much of this country is ready to reject Bush because people believe that a more dovish Kerry administration will make us more secure.* OBL's message is intended to remind those voters, and Kerry too, that rejecting Bush is not enough to keep us safe. In other words "dovishness" means nothing to OBL unless we do exactly as he says. Translated into plain language, bin Laden is saying:
If you people think you will be safer under a Kerry administration than with Bush, think again. The only thing that will keep you safe is for your leader, whoever he is, to do as I say.That being, as i understand it, for America to 1) get out of every Islamic nation, and 2) abandon Israel to the wolves.
If Kerry wins, the world might see America withdraw from Iraq sooner than otherwise. And some have surmised that Kerry would indeed be less supportive of Israel, not because of al Qaeda, but to placate the Europeans and the U.N. But whatever happens, OBL probably won't be around to watch. Because much as i dislike Kerry, i'm still pretty certain that even with his "more sensitive" War on Terror, that Syphilitic Camel Monkey is gonna be toast.
(But Kerry's not going to win. And you'll see how confident i am about that tomorrow when i discuss issue number three: the polls.)
* If OBL really thinks John Kerry won't go after al Qaeda, he's mistaken. Although his national security policy is weak, misguided and wrong for America, Kerry is not dovish on getting OBL. But since so many of Kerry's supporters are hate-America cut-and-run wackos, it's easy to see where OBL might get that impression.
You Should Be a Martini for Halloween!
Well, since i'm not dressing up, i believe i'll just have a martini.
SlagleRock has a holiday safety warning for all parents. When i was little, my parents took me around to malls for trick or treat, but even then, i rarely got to eat any candy. Halloween was mostly about the dress up for me.
Last night both myself and Matt Scofield had something to cheer about. Cal humiliated ASU by a score of 27 to nothing. (Matt's a Wildcat fan.) Cal is playing great. Too bad USC is too, but the Rose Bowl is a definite possibility for the Golden Bears this year. If it can't be Cal, i'd love to see USC and Auburn in the Orange Bowl because i think Auburn will spank the Trojans.
i'm not doing anything for Halloween this year. Since i took Saturday off, i need to study today. i had planned to go to the game with Francine and some other Cal friends, except i fucked up my ankle on Friday. i didn't want to walk on it yesterday, since Memorial Stadium requires so much hiking. Thankfully, it's feeling much better this morning.
October 30, 2004
Who knows whether the explosives were there or not? i do know that the mainstream media and Kerry rushed to judgment on this story, when the facts were still hotly disputed. What do you expect? Kerry's losing, and the liberals are desperate for some kind of last minute surprise scandal that will keep them within the "cheater's margin" in a couple of battleground states.
Assuming the truth of the charge - that the explosives were there after our troops arrived and we somehow allowed them to be spirited away under our noses - i don't see that as the huge scandal the left seems to think it is. It's certainly not a reason to reject George Bush this Tuesday.
Mistakes happen in war. Nobody who's not been on the ground during offensive combat - least of all those effete nattering nabobs of negativity, the reporters - can truly understand what is called "the fog of war." Hell, i certainly don't. i only know it exists, and that's only from seven years of studying history and a lifetime of reading books and watching war movies.
In war, especially during fast moving offensive operations, there are no time outs. Not everything that you'd want to get done, actually gets done. Kerry ought to know this, since he's such a big military man. i'm not saying i believe the charges, i actually don't. Today's U.S. armed forces are the most professional in the history of the world. But even if the story were true, Kerry's criticism of George Bush for not sufficiently micromanaging this war makes me worry more about what he'd do at the reins.
Civil war example: Abraham Lincoln's military expertise was negligible when he took office. He was president during our worst war, our biggest crisis, when the actual existence of our country hung in the balance. Lincoln made plenty of mistakes as a wartime commander-in-chief. i can name a dozen off the top of my head. If John Kerry had been around back then, i can imagine the rhetoric:
Lincoln rushed to war without a plan for reconstruction!i could go on, but others have made the Civil War analogy before, so you get the idea.
He ignored the advice of General McClellan who said we needed more troops!*
He failed to provide the troops with the latest quick firing weapons!
He allowed General Lee to join the secession, and then he let General Lee escape when we had him in our grasp at Malvern Hill!
The bottom line is that Lincoln won the war, and despite all the criticism leveled at him during the war, he's now widely considered our greatest president. And my point is, that like FDR and both George Bushs, Lincoln was a great wartime president because he did not micromanage the war.
By contrast, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was proud of his military background. After graduating from West Point, he served as a lieutenant in the cavalry with a modest record. After a short retirement and marriage,** Davis fought in the Mexican War where he was wounded and returned home as a hero. Later he served in the U.S. Senate*** and as Secretary of War.
Yet despite his military training and expertise, and arguably because of it, Jefferson Davis was a horrible wartime president. His micromanagement of the war cost the Confederacy too many brave and valuable soldiers, ensuring their defeat. Davis often rejected the advice of his generals, believing that his military background made him their equal. And his insistence on offensive Napoleonic tactics at a time when the rifle had made those tactics obsolete, increased casualties and lost the war for the South. Not that that's a bad thing mind you, but it's absolutely true.****
Back to our day. Kerry criticizes our President for not making sure that some bunkers on the tip of the spear were not secured and placed under guard as soon as we got there? Would Kerry have ordered that all offensive operations proceed only after every "i" was dotted and "t" crossed? i remember the ruckus in the media after the so-called "operational pause." You'd think we had lost the war, the way the media carried on about that. How many more "operational pauses" would there have been under a Kerry presidency?
Oh, that's right, none. Because it was the wrong war, wrong place, wrong time. Kerry would rather have left Saddam in control over all his explosives.
* McClellan, the only general i know of who managed to lose consistently when his force outnumbered the enemy's by almost two to one.
** Like Kerry, ambition might have led Jefferson Davis to marry "up." His first wife was the daughter of President Zachary Taylor.
*** Interestingly, Jefferson Davis was a Senator before he became a traitor, while John Kerry did it the other way around.
**** For more on how Davis's micromanagement of the war lost it for the South, i highly recommend this book.
October 28, 2004
First up is my recent interview with Munuvian iconoclast Publicola, which i'll try to have up later today. Stay tuned.
October 27, 2004
annikagyrl: the curse is over
annikagyrl: long live the curse
leaky: nah, they're still cursed
leaky: John Kerry is from their state
Captain Stratton's Fancy
Oh some are fond of red wine, and some are fond of white,
And some are all for dancing by the pale moonlight;
But rum alone's the tipple, and the heart's delight
Of the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.
Oh some are fond of Spanish wine, and some are fond of French,
And some'll swallow tay and stuff fit only for a wench;
But I'm for right Jamaica till I roll beneath the bench,
Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.
Oh some are for the lily, and some are for the rose,
But I am for the sugar-cane that in Jamaica grows;
For it's that that makes the bonny drink to warm my copper nose,
Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.
Oh some are fond of fiddles, and a song well sung,
And some are all for music for to lilt upon the tongue;
But mouths were made for tankards, and for sucking at the bung,
Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.
Oh some are fond of dancing, and some are fond of dice,
And some are all for red lips, and pretty lasses' eyes;
But a right Jamaica puncheon is a finer prize
To the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.
Oh some that's good and godly ones they hold that it's a sin
To troll the jolly bowl around, and let the dollars spin;
But I'm for toleration and for drinking at an inn,
Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.
Oh some are sad and wretched folk that go in silken suits,
And there's a mort of wicked rogues that live in good reputes;
So I'm for drinking honestly, and dying in my boots,
Like an old bold mate of Henry Morgan.
Sucking at the bung? Not sure i'm down with that image, lol.
i have no evidence to support this theory, but i blame the lying, hateful, disgusting, race-baiting video, which has been circulating on the internet (which i will not link to), and which demonizes Katherine Harris so severely that it literally made me wince.
And this creep, true to liberal form, says he was merely exercising his right to political expression.
Something has been bothering your Maximum Leader for WEEKS now about Annika's site. That damned Fash-ism poll near the top of the sidebar. What the hell are some of those things?Well, for the last word on women's fashion, especially footwear, i should refer all inquiries to the girls at Candied Ginger, who are the real experts. But, i thought that i might be able to help Maximum Leader out in my own way, with the following tutorial, complete with visual aids. i was unable to find enough examples solely from my own closet, since it's a complete mess, and half of my shoes are still back at my parents (including a very fine example of the t-strap pump). At any rate, what i didn't have, i googled. So read on, and learn, dear Maximum Leader: more...
Your Maximum Leader knows they are all footwear. He understands basic pumps and boots. But what for the love of your Maximum Leader are: Mary Janes, d'Orsay pumps, t-straps (which sound quite sexy btw), peep toes, slingbacks, strappy sandals (which sound sexy in a granola-crunchy-Greatful-Dead-chicka way), kitten slides, and mules (which don't sound sexy at all).
. . .
So your Maximum Leader asks you... What are these other things?
Your Maximum Leader will inquire of Annika as well. But he is befuddled.
October 26, 2004
If voters pay as close attention to a president's record as I think they do, Bush will likely sink on Nov. 2. Like Taft, Bush is vulnerable to charges of being in the pockets of corporate interests. Like Hoover, he has presided over an administration that has lost jobs. Not since the Great Depression has any other president had to run on a record of shrinking rather than expanding employment. However mindful he has been about the economic causes of his father's defeat, Bush does not seem well positioned to avoid his father's political fate.Repeat after me Bob: "Bush will win re-election. Bush will win re-election." If you start saying it now, you may get used to the idea before it happens next week.
Dallek conveniently cherry-picks his analogies to justify his own wishful thinking, and reveals his typical liberal Democrat myopia:
Like Ford, who unrealistically denied Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and Carter, who could not manage to rescue American hostages from Tehran or control rising oil prices, Bush's blundering policy in Iraq, alienation of so many other governments and peoples around the globe, and uncertain formula for dealing with terrorists raise doubts about his stewardship of foreign policy, which can work to deny him a second term.Comparing Bush to Ford or Carter is simply bad historical analysis. Ford lost because of his predecessor, not because of anything he said at the debate. And Carter ran this country's economy into the ground and made the US an international laughing stock. Like it or not, while the US may have lost a few friends around the world under Bush, no one can say we're not respected in a Machiavellian sense. That's just fine with me, and i suspect it's fine with the majority of American voters too.
i also thought it was funny how Dallek ended his column by hedging his historical bet, with this bit of prospective sour-grapes:
That a president with so questionable a record is still running a competitive race is a little startling. If Bush wins the election, it would seem to represent the triumph of spin politics.Funny, i might say the same thing if Kerry wins. But since Kerry is not going to win, i won't have to, lol.
What really pisses me off about the new Helen Hunt political TV spot is the arrogant assumption that all single women are lock-step liberals. i can tell you, we are not.
However, i do agree that "We can make the difference. We are the difference." In fact, i think the unholy alliance of media-entertainment-academic elites may be surprised at the difference we make, when women voters help deliver the election to George W. Bush next week. Perhaps very surprised.
While i still think that overall, Kerry will win a majority of the female vote, i don't think it will be by the Clintonian margins Democrats took for granted in the 90's. The Christian Science Monitor noted in September:
Democrats have long held an edge among women voters, a slight majority of the electorate, and grown to count on them to offset the Republicans' persistent advantage among men. Traditionally, women have given extra care to issues that favor Democrats, such as healthcare, education, and Social Security. Now, the war on terror - and the way Bush is playing it - appears to have shifted that calculation somewhat.Time Magazine originally had the female vote split evenly before the first debate, then gave Kerry a dubious 14 point post debate bounce among women. A swing like that doesn't seem credible to me, and i'm inclined to believe that the final result will show a pretty striking gain for the GOP among women voters. If anyone has more up-to-date polling info, feel free to let me know in the comments.
'Bush is trying to reassure them on healthcare and education, saying those things are important, but really it's security,' says Democratic pollster Celinda Lake. 'Women give him a 23-point advantage on security, and that's what's really driving their vote.'
October 25, 2004
The Broncos are playing in Cincinnati, and are favored by seven points on the road. They have a five and one record, as opposed to the Bengals' one and four record. Jake Plummer's been decent, with ten touchdowns and an 87.4 rating.
Contrast that with Carson Palmer's stats: four TDs against eight interceptions, with a 59.6 rating. He sucks. But you should already know that, since he went to USC.
So, basically, there is no good reason for me to pick the Bengals tonight. But i will anyway, and hope that Denver wins by less than seven points.
Update: Cincinnati actually created the ilusion of a good team tonight, i was surprised. With tonight's Bengals win, i improved my record to 3 and 3 on the year. (Last week was my bye week, due to the computer glich.)
October 24, 2004
Half-Wit, How I Love To Hate The Word
Only a couple hundred came out to see Cher Friday night at Miami Beach's CROBAR disco, but that did not stop the legendary diva from issuing an election warning against Republican control.Actually i'm a fan of Cher's, but that's just fucking stupid. She really believes that that's true?
. . .
Cher warned moveon.org clubgoers to fight Bush, before 'it's too late':
'All the gay guys, all my friends, all my gay friends, you guys you have got to vote, alright? Because it would only be a matter of time before you guys would be so screwed, I cannot tell you. Because, you know, the people, like, in the very right wing of this party, of these Republicans, the very very right wing, the Jerry Falwell element, if they get any more power, you guys are going to be living in some state by yourselves. So, I hate scare tactics, but I really believe that that's true.'
i never thought i'd hear a celebrity say something more idiotic than Cameroon Diaz telling Ofrah Winfrey's audience "If you think that rape should be legal, then don't vote," but Cher's comment comes pretty close.
October 23, 2004
John Kerry will strengthen and expand the middle class and help working women by strengthening the economy. In todays economy, too many hard-working women are falling further and further behind. Instead of offering help, George Bush has turned his back, broken his promises and in some cases, taken no action at all.This is one reason why Democrats make me queasy. It's never about Americans. It's always about classifications.
Wouldn't strengthening the economy help all Americans, not just "working women?" And wouldn't strengthening the economy help non-working women too? You know, the kind Kerry's wife insulted the other day?
This type of pandering, supposedly directed at me, is a complete turn off. Someone in the campaign reads a poll that says Kerry needs more points from the "working women" category, and so they take out their economy template and plug the words "working women" into it.
i'm sorry, but i don't buy it. i know that a Kerry administration would lose jobs by increasing the minimum wage and increasing taxes on the entrepreneurial class that creates jobs. And i plan to be looking for a job in about three years, just when the effects of a Kerry economic downturn will take effect.
So i don't appreciate the shameless pandering, as if women were all idiots who got all goose pimply, saying: "Oooh Kerry just mentioned our interest group! Isn't he the dreamiest?"
John Kerry says he wants to 'rejoin the community of nations.' There is no issue on which the United States more consistently fails the global test of international consensus than Israel. In July, the U.N. General Assembly declared Israel's defensive fence illegal by a vote of 150 to 6. In defending Israel, America stood almost alone.What are Kerry's plans regarding American support for Israel? Krauthammer has a theory, and it's not very comforting.
Hat tip to commenter Shelly.
October 22, 2004
'My friends always said I had an incredibly long tongue - I could make lots of money with it one day,' said Annika.*coughs*
'I'm just proud that now people everywhere can read about me and my tongue,' she said.Well, yah. That goes without saying.
'On my first day at school I had to stick my tongue out for everyone.'But it was worth it, i guess.
Just so you know, different Annika . . .
Via You're Ugly.
Brian Boitano: athlete
Catherine Deneuve: beauty
Joan Fontaine: "Rebecca"
Annette Funicello: Mouseketeer
Jeff Goldblum: fly
Curly Howard: Comedian with a capital C
Alan Ladd, Jr.: mogul
Timothy Leary: shaman
Franz Liszt, virtuoso: maestro
Christopher Lloyd: time traveller, cab driver, klingon
Tony Pierce: celebrity blogger, and deservedly so
Tony Roberts: Woody Allen foil
Shaggy: Jamaican, reggae singer, USMC, Desert Storm veteran
N.C. Wyeth: artist, illustrator
All were born on this date.
Just my way of saying Happy Birthday, Tony!
October 20, 2004
Red Sox owner John Henry . . .
. . . and Odo from Deep Space Nine.
Update: i'm not the only one who's quick with the Sox-Sci-Fi gag.
If George W. Bush wins, the left will spend the next four years complaining, they will remain as obstructionist as ever, and they will blame everything on Bush.We now return you to our regularly scheduled election coverage.
If John Kerry wins, the left will spend the next four years complaining, they will remain as obstructionist as ever, and they will blame everything on the Republican congress.
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