Tuesday, August 31, 2004

But he was that close

Now that Kerry's Vietnam bloviations have cost him not only credibility but likely actual votes, we see the entrenchment at the fallback position. Whenever someone brings up the fallacy of his Christmas in Cambodia story, we are now told that Kerry was "very near" Cambodia. He wanted us to think he had been illegally ordered into Cambodia by Richard Nixon over Christmas of 1968, creating a dramatic irony-- President Nixon saying there were no troops in Cambodia, while Kerry listened to Nixon's words on a radio... in Cambodia.

To most of us, the distinction between "actually illegal" and "almost illegal" is rather important. If you go 69 in a 70 mph zone, and a cop's radar clocks you at 69, he won't bother to stop you. But, Kerry is a former prosecutor from Massachusetts-- proud home of the Amirault case of prosecutorial misconduct-- and actual criminality is not strictly important, nor facts or other inconvenient details. In Kerry's case, the only important thing is the political value of irony.

So, the Kerry campaign would have us believe that being in Vietnam perhaps 50 miles from the border on Christmas of 1968 is just as significant as actually being in Cambodia. Oh, and the fact that Nixon was not president at that time is apparently an irrelevant detail. Almost pregnant. Practically a virgin.

Now John Forbes Kerry assumes the hapless posture of Maxwell Smart, holding up his forefinger and thumb, nearly pinched together, nasally intoning, "I was that close."

In any case, the facts of the matter blew by Kerry, completely unnoticed. Remember, Bush is the dolt and Kerry the intellectual one.

Now there is irony.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The meltdown begins

Drudge says Kerry called one of the swifties directly, apparently reaching out either for help or mercy. Amazing! I would never have imagined Kerry would take such a risk. What if the candidate gets snubbed? How embarrassing could that get?

Well, according to Drudge, the snub is pretty much what happened. After a 10 minute chat with retired Navy Commander Robert Brant, in which Kerry was unable to fathom why the swifties hate him so, he asked to meet the Brant in person. He was turned down. Brant said Kerry was obviously not prepared to correct the record.

What do they say is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing repeatedly, yet expecting different results? Kerry is having a real hard time catching on to the lessons of his own history.

The real story today is how all this happened, given that the New York Times and other mainstream press did not even report the story until the Kerry campaign forced the issue with legal action.

I said it before: the Democrats think they invented the Internet, but the Republicans have definitely put it to best use.

Howard Dean became well-known largely because he used the web to raise lots of money. Radical stuff. Rock the vote, and all that. Except he had to learn the hard way that kids don't vote. Thank God they don't, but that's another article.

The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth raised peanuts-- a couple of hundred thousand dollars, compared to $15 million from George Soros to MoveOn and Media Fund alone. Then, they produced a highly credible, yet relatively inexpensive commercial and announced they would run it in just a few states.

That announcement got all the attention, including screams and shouts from the Kerry camp, forcing his broadcast and print waterboys to at least mention the story. I have not seen that ad, nor its recent successor, on my local television stations. It only shows up on news stories, in the context of the related controversy over Kerry's medals. You can't help but notice it now, if you watch the news at all. Even if you ignore the ad clips, you cannot help but realize that 1) there are real questions about Kerry's presumed heroism and 2) Kerry is scared.

And the Democrats cried foul, filed suits, hurled charges. The only video you saw of Bush on the subject is when he said John Kerry served honorably, and that all the 527 organizations should stop and that they are not helping the election process. And the Democrats cried foul over that, they want only the swifties renounced, certainly not MoveOn.org and their fellow travelers.

Then the blogs took over. All the argument and discourse begins, expands and propagates from there. Television is stuck with sound bites that do not penetrate the issue. The Internet blog world is one giant editorial page, with every opinion known to humanity, so readers can compare thoughts and ideas. Not everyone reads blogs, of course, but lots of people do and their opinions matter to others. Indirectly, everyone is learning from the blogs.

And what we have learned is what Charles Krauthammer taught us, that while conservatives think liberals are stupid, liberals are convinced conservatives are evil. It shows up in the blogs, particularly in the comments. Just peek at the various comments in this tiny blog. You will see "anonymous" posts attacking my obviously conservative point of view. But look at what they say. It is never logical, only personal. And look at other weblogs. La Shawn Barber has a great article on personal invective on blogs. And Michelle Malkin is an obvious and frequent target, both on her web site and by left-wing "journalists".

It's all okay. The truth will out. Just ask John Kerry.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Vietnam redux

Setting all the swift-boat-purple-heart kerfuffle aside, I continue to wonder-- why is John Kerry still fighting the Vietnam War? We all know he served in Vietnam, however honorably. We also know perfectly well what he did after he returned. There is a museum in Ho Chi Minh City with a photo of John Kerry, in appreciation of his assistance of the communist cause, to remind us.

So why, after thirty or more years, would Kerry insist on making his Vietnam years the very centerpiece of his campaign? Really, the American voters aren't particularly anxious to relive that dark episode in our nation's history. But after months of incessantly telling us that 4 months in a war zone 35 years ago somehow qualifies him to be Commander-in-Chief, it was inevitable that resentful Vietnam veterans would strike back, hard.

And Kerry says, once more, "Bring it on".

What is behind his obsession with Vietnam? Did he not do enough, personally, to bring about his nation's first war defeat? Is he really trying to tell us that he will, indeed, conduct his foreign policy along the lines of his Vietnam-era anti-American utterings? That the United States should never go to war without the guidance and supervision of the United Nations? That we can never strike an enemy unless we are first attacked? That being liked by the international community is more important than the security of his nation's people?

We have been told by Kerry that his anti-war activities were the product of his youth. While he does not exactly disavow his actions and words, he certainly won't publicly embrace them. He wants us to judge him on his record, however.

Not his Senate record, mind you. Nor his post-Vietnam anti-war record. Just the 4 months he spent, serving ever so honorably in Vietnam.

So we are to suppose he was 1) an officer and a gentleman, a patriot through-and-through for 4 months, then 2) a forgivably irresponsible youth for a few years, then 3) suddenly responsible and patriotic once again as a United States Senator.

Never mind the voting record, please. He was too busy negotiating with foreign leaders, crafting alliances and treaties. From his description, essentially conducting foreign policy from a Senate seat. Of course, the United States Constitution (see Article II, Section 2) makes foreign policy the exclusive domain of the President. Ignore that detail, please.

So I ask again, why Vietnam? What he sees as his main strength could well be his biggest weakness. Even if he could convince us that 4 months in a combat zone qualifies him as Command-in-Chief, George Bush's nearly 4 years as the actual Commander-in-Chief is certainly a more obvious qualification. He can't win that horse race.

So why, then, is he fighting the Vietnam War all over again?

Friday, August 20, 2004

Kerry calls for censorship

The Kerry campaign insists that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is strongly linked to the Bush campaign. A Republican "front". Yet, Kerry's left-wing buddies at MoveOn.org are somehow completely independent from the Democratic Party.

Hmm... let's see.

A single Republican donor gives the swifties a couple hundred thousand dollars. The rest of their money comes from small, individual donations. Total take is hundreds of thousands, not millions.

The co-author of the allegation-supporting book, Unfit for Command, John O'Neill, gave $7,000 to Republican candidates over time. But, he gave more then $20,000 to Democrats. Plus, he was a primarily a John Edwards supporter, not a Bush supporter.

The book itself is replete with details and external references. Many eyewitness interviews and comparisons to actual, official records.

On the other hand...

MoveOn.org had $5 million pledged by George Soros, who said his goal is to defeat George Bush. “IT IS THE central focus of my life”. He has also pledged more than $10 million dollars to other anti-Bush groups.

MoveOn describes itself as a "family of entities", including a Political Action Committee and the infamous 527 "independent" organization. 527 organizations, created under the McCain Feingold campaign finance reform act, are not allowed to ask you to vote "for" anyone. They are simply issue-based.

MoveOn PAC, on the other hand, can and does ask you to vote for Kerry. They, and the other MoveOn sites are linked on the same page, accessible with a single mouse click. Yet the Kerry campaign insists the 527 is independent and there is nothing they can do about it. So Kerry refuses to repudiate the smears of MoveOn.org, other than to say some statements are "inappropriate".

In the same breath, they insist the swifties are a Republican front, because they accepted some money from Republican donors. And Kerry now calls for the book to be banned.

Al Gore's August 7, 2003 speech at New York University was a MoveOn-funded event. The former vice president, then-ostensible leader of the Democratic Party speaks before a MoveOn.org crowd, and we are to believe the Democrats and MoveOn.org are not linked.

The current, central allegation of MoveOn.org is simply this: the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are liars and are funded by Republicans.

That's it. No real refutation of facts, just the attack on the swifties themselves. Mostly, the swift boat veterans themselves are decorated war heroes, but that does not matter. On the other hand, MoveOn is funded by leftist Democrats, therefore their words are to be accepted at face value, without question. And only John Kerry's version of Vietnam-related events is to be acknowledged and believed.

Now the Kerry campaign is calling for the critical book Unfit for Command to be banned. This, from the very people who insist they are the sole true defenders of free speech.

I'll give the Kerry folks a hint: it's not the Republican Party. It's the bloggers. Grassroots politics at its best. You guys may think you invented the internet, but the right-wing blogosphere is perfecting its use.

Here is the kicker: if Kerry is indeed being truthful about his war record, this swift boat fiasco would fly back into Bush's face. Regardless of connections-- or not-- between Bush and the swifties, Kerry would look great and Bush would look bad. All Kerry has to do is fill out the Pentagon form-- standard form 180, I am told-- and release all his military records to the public. Same as was demanded of Bush when MoveOn tried to make him out a deserter.

So, why doesn't Kerry release the records and clear the air? A straight shot to the White House, I would think. Unless the swifties tell the truth, I guess.

Does anyone else get the feeling that Kerry is his own worst enemy? "Bring it on", he said. Kerry made his four months in Vietnam the very centerpiece of his campaign, hoping to obscure his subsequent aid and abetment of the enemy, as well as 19 pointless years in the Senate. Now it comes back around to bite him in the ass and he has the gall to demand a critical book be banned from public eyes? Is this not censorship?

This swift boat mess really is not good for the Bush campaign, either way. Bush will win on the issues of security, defense and the economy, not by reliving an ancient war. Vietnam is Kerry's mental bog, not Bush's. Still, as much as Kerry has been avoiding a true debate on his Vietnam-era antics, by failing to answer the actual charges of the swifties, the bloggers of the world may now force upon him his own wish.

Bring it on!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

The face of abortion

Just read an article on WorldNetDaily, about a woman in the United Kingdom who, for some presumably good reason, got an abortion. Some time later, something "slipped out", which turned out to be a fragment of the head of her aborted child. She could see a bit of bone, covered by tissue. Eyes, nose and mouth clearly visible on a 4 centimeter face.

This blew her mind.

"I feel as if I'm going insane now", she said. Now she wants to have a funeral.

What blows my mind is how abortion has been so over-hyped, many of us just think of it as just another medical procedure. No big deal. Yet, when women are brought face-to-face with the reality of what they have done, their emotional distress may be unending. Of course she feels guilty-- it is baked right into our DNA to instinctively avoid killing our young. No telling what the long term consequences to this woman will be. Will she feel better about it in, say, 20 years?

How much emotional and spiritual damage is done to women, and society at large, by the millions of abortions performed each year? I think the least we can do it to raise awareness. Let's call it what this woman obviously realized too late: the destruction of human life.

If we could do that much-- call abortion what it is-- some tragic episodes as this might be avoided.

In the meantime, she is consulting a lawyer to decide what to do next.

No word on any pending legal action by the baby.

Paz Venezolana

Huge Chavez, Venezuela's Marxist president, underwent a referendum last weekend. With poverty rising, along with malnutrition, there seemed to be a chance the Venezuelan people might finally oust him from power.

Indeed, exit polls showed he had lost 58% to 41%-- a landslide my most standards. Opposition members were elated. Then shocked, when the officially announced result was exactly the opposite-- 58% in favor of Chavez.

Later, Chavez send his goons to break up the protestors' rally. Weapons in hand, they began shooting at the crowd, killing and wounding some. The Wall Street Journal has an op-ed piece describing this. (subscription required)

This was captured on video tape, but Chavez insisted the shooters were themselves of the opposition. Right.

Naturally, Jimmy Carter certified the election "fair".

Thursday, August 12, 2004

But think of the children!

Just read the news, that the California Supreme Court ruled all those recent gay marriages "invalid". Oh my! How scandalous! Al those gay people suddenly finding themselves living in sin!

Of course, it is quite normal that many married couples have children right away. I wonder how, down the road, these gay couples are going to explain their limbo status to their young chil-- oh wait... they're gay.

Never mind.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Born-again abortion

I just heard part of an NPR interview with actress Meryl Streep this morning. She is in a new movie, a politicized remake of The Manchurian Candidate, where some company resembling Halliburton conspires... well, never mind all that. It's political, of course.

The interviewer asked about her political "profile". She said she had been reading the New Testament lately and wondered how Jesus would regard the bombing of children, and speculated on the necessity and moral acceptability of collateral damage. Apparently, Ms. Streep is rather devout these days, and presumably she imagines Jesus would be against the Iraq invasion.

What the interviewer did not ask, and I would love to know, is what she thinks Jesus would have to say about abortion?

Say it ain't so, John

So here we are, mid-August already. Kerry has spent an amazing amount of money and energy building a campaign based almost entirely on his 16 weeks in Vietnam. In case you had not heard, John Kerry served in Vietnam. Never mind that most tours of duty in that war were twelve months in duration and Kerry got home in four. The point is, he was there. He served.

And he was a hero, in his own mind at least. Frankly, I had never heard of "applying" for a medal. My father served in World War II as well as Vietnam. Rather heroically, I might add. He also got a number of medals, although he never talked about them. I know he never "applied" for one. But John Kerry did, and succeeded. He described events he experienced in combat and was awarded several medals as a result. I guess you can do that, if medals are important to you.

Now comes a group of his fellow officers with whom he served. His peers and superiors as well as enlisted men. These are the people who knew him and had to depend on him in combat, and they say events did not happen as Kerry described them. In fact, according to them, he was not only unreliable, but ran from battle.

It's really hard to blame someone for being overcome by fear in combat. I have never faced such a situation — my draft lottery number was 345, good enough for a pass on that one. But, to apply for a medal for a self-inflicted wound? Man, that is low.

Okay, so maybe the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are lying. Maybe Kerry really did all these heroic things and they are the liars. Some 250 of them, many retired senior officers, versus a few guys who served under Kerry for a few weeks. Okay.

Kerry and Edwards sent forth their lawyers to attack. Not to attack the arguments, but the character of the critics. They attack the source of funding of their project, as being of right-wing Republicans. No matter that George Soros funds Moveon.org to the tune of millions — that is simply free speech. When criticism comes from the right, it is a conspiracy.

The simple way to settle this: release military records. They demanded it of Bush, and succeeded. Bush put the rumors of his National Guard service to rest once and for all. Now, Kerry can release his records and put this matter to rest.

Unless the truth would hurt, of course.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Back in the saddle

Just returned from an eight day week, traveling the Colorado Rockies, with a quick stopover in South Dakota. Beautiful country, great to drive at 12,000 feet and breathe the cold, thin air. Took the long, scenic route home via Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, the Badlands and the beautiful Niobrara valley.

Through brilliant timing, we managed to miss both the annual Sturgis biker fest and the televised Boston narcissism event. We caught a couple of news clips in the evenings, but were lucky enough to be riding horses instead of listening to horses... well, you know.

As we caught up on the interviews over the weekend, I was repeatedly struck by one thing: the Democrats really don't take this war at all seriously. It's just another thing to harp on, but not to act on. Take Kerry's "secret" plan to make us safer. C'mon. If he really had a plan that might make us safer, he surely would not keep it secret. He would hightail it to the White House and share his wisdom freely, in the interest of the security of the American people.

He would put America first, politics second. If his plan had any merit at all, we might well elect him president, just for acting presidential for a change. But no.

The fact that he so blithely insisted on keeping his hand to himself tells us he does not expect American voters to take him seriously either. He blows smoke and knows we know it. And still does not care. Isn't he just a little embarrassed? Aren't the Democrats just a bit embarrassed?

I think so, given the "unbounce" over the weekend. Note the Gallup poll, which is narrowly targeted to likely voters, as opposed to all registered voters. It shows a 1 point decline for Kerry and a 4 point bump for Bush. Moreover, all of Bush's recent strength has come from the previously-undecided "swing" voters. Scrappleface has Edwards suing the DNC over this.

Are the non-leftist Democrats even paying attention to their demise? Is there any hope at all for this once great political party, now hijacked by the heirs of the Weather Faction and the New Left?

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