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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Friday, October 29, 2004


More On Abortion

Continuing my thoughts from before...

I've been trying to decide what I learned from the What is Choice? panel. Beforehand, I already knew their stances on abortion and the 'right' to choose. I did, however, learn two things. The first thing I learned added to my understanding of the 'other side' in a quantitative sense.

This first new understanding came out of the statement from the elder abortion provider that I mentioned in my previous post: The fetus derives its right from the consent of the mother until birth. While I knew that Planned Parenthood (and similar groups) drive towards the goal of making abortion legal and accessible for any woman at any time for any reason, I did not realize just how deeply that attitude was entrenched in the mindset of the run-of-the-mill abortion supporter. That blanket statement did not seem to surprise or upset anyone other than me in the room (and I was watching for reactions).

The second bit of enlightenment I picked up was the fact that of three experienced, pro-abortion physicians there were zero who seemed to have any awareness of or belief in negative future outcomes for women who have abortions. Their answer to my question really surprised me. All they mentioned was that the link to breast cancer had been debunked. This may be true (although it's very hard to prove the nonexistence of a thing), but they did not seem to be aware of the studies that claim (links to this one and more can be found at After Abortion):

"...the risk of dying within a year after an abortion is several times higher than the risk of dying after miscarriage or childbirth."
Whether or not such links are accurate, these pro-abortion docs seem to take the stance that: All medical procedures have risks and abortion is no different. While true I don't think this is a defense in favor of abortion. The way to argue this point (from either side) is to find the studies that do or do not link abortion to higher risk than full term delivery.

In the end, all of the specific arguments are, in my opinion, moot. The fact is that the pro-Life side of the argument believes 100% in a woman's right to choose. The only question is when that right is applicable. Since our side defines life as beginning at Conception, then there is no way one can defend abortion because it is, quite simply, the murder of an innocent human being. That, as I have said before, is the ground on which the argument must be won. Anything else is just semantics and relatively unimportant details.


Treating Terrorists

Here are four examples of how various countries and leaders deal with Terrorists:

Saddam's Iraq

Chirac's France

Bill's USA


Telling, no?


Speaking of Choice

Real Guy vs. Breck Girl

Raw Hide.

Definitely have the sound on when you watch this.

(link via Michelle)


Thursday, October 28, 2004


Medical Students For Choice

I just returned from the MSFC panel discussion What is Choice? which I had mentioned earlier and then promptly buried. It's late and I'm ready to get home, but I wanted to get my initial reaction posted.

The panel consisted of two physicians who provide abortions (both OB/GYNs, one ~60yo and the other ~40yo), a pediatrician and a minister. All were, of course, pro-abortion. The discussion started with opening statements from each of the panelists about what Choice means to them. The general theme was that a woman's right to choose is a fundamental right and should not be abridged for any reason. As a matter of fact, the elder abortion provider stated at one point that: The fetus derives its right from the consent of the mother until birth.

That, to me, is a truly telling statement. Essentially, this doctor is stating that a woman can choose to terminate a pregnancy right up until the moment prior to the actual event of Birth. That means the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimester right up and into the contractions of labor a life can be snuffed out.

I asked only one question and it was whether or not any of the panelists had any knowledge of the physical and/or emotional effects following an abortion. Their answers (to a wo/man) indicated that they all believed that any purported association of negative physical outcomes following an abortion were 'muddy science' or a concoction of the 'current administration.' I have not gone deeply into the literature on this myself, but Emily and Annie over at After Abortion might disagree with these conclusions.

For what it's worth, that's all I've got time for right now. If anything else comes to me I'll be back.


Brain Terminal

Evan has a great article at Brain Terminal summarizing our choice on the 2nd. Here are some great points:

If you read the rhetoric of radical Islam--you have to search for it yourself, because our media seems disinterested in telling us much about the true aims of our enemy--you realize that the ultimate goal is the complete destruction of Western society. If you think the annihilation of Israel would satisfy the militants, you're not paying attention. If you think America is the only target, perhaps you're a self-deluding European. Each and every nation that values liberty is an enemy of the Islamo-fascists. Anywhere women are free to venture outside their homes without a family escort or without wearing a shroud from head to toe is a target. In other words, any nation that is not a strict Muslim state is in their crosshairs.


Say what you want about either candidate, the contrast couldn't be more stark. George W. Bush is a radical in the sense that after September 11th, he looked at our default foreign policy stance, one very much rooted in the Cold War, and decided it was obsolete against our new enemy. He's a classical liberal in the sense that "the transformative power of liberty," as he puts it, is his rallying cry for reforming the Middle East. Oddly, John Kerry is a conservative in that he can't let go of our old way of doing business. To Kerry, the institutions built as responses to World War II and the Cold War are sufficient for handling the War on Terror. But those slow-moving debating societies were created when the only actors on the world stage were nation-states; they were not designed to battle worldwide networks of loosely-tied terror cells. John Kerry wants to fight this war with the weapons of the last one.
Hard to argue. I only wish the Left would be honest with us and with themselves. Vote for whom ever you want...just admit why.


New It's Getting Interesting


ABC withheld the final 15 minutes of the tape from the CIA, where the alleged terrorist warns about Bush, Cheney, federal sources tell DRUDGE... MORE


Into The Belly Of The Beast

I have decided to attend a panel discussion hosted by a newly-fromed group called Medical Students for Choice. The panel discussion is billed as "What is Choice?"

A panel discussion about what it means to be pro-choice. Four panelists (a minister, an ob/gyn, an abortion provider, and a primary care physician) will present a spectrum of opinions on why supporting reproductive rights is so important to them, and how they have integrated these beliefs into their daily lives.
Should be interesting, not to mention potentially hostile. Should anyone be interested, I plan to share what I 'learn' when I get back.


Tape Authenticated

Drudge is reporting that the Terror tape has been authenticated by the FBI and CIA. Although we don't know the identity of the scumbag on the tape...

The U.S. is actively seeking to identify the individual. Adam Gadhan - aka Adam Pearlman of Southern California - remains the chief candidate but another still unknown individual may be possible.

US intelligence officials say the danger is that if this individual is an American citizen, he will be immersed in the culture and customs and have the ability to travel in America freely and unnoticed.


More On The Explosives

The Command Post has two stories about the explosives today:

Did The Russians Take The Missing Explosives?
Iraqis May Have Overstated Amount Of Missing Explosives


And more from Drudge:

GERTZ // THURSDAY // WASH TIMES: Russian special forces troops moved many of Saddam Hussein's weapons and related goods out of Iraq and into Syria in the weeks before the March 2003 U.S. military operation, The Washington Times has learned. John A. Shaw, the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, said in an interview that he believes the Russian troops, working with Iraqi intelligence, “almost certainly” removed the high-explosive material that went missing from the Al-Qaqaa facility, south of Baghdad.
What? Oh my heavens! You mean to tell me that weapons might have been moved from Iraq to Syria before we got there? Jeeze, I wonder how they had time to do that.

The Gertz article (Don't be lazy...read the whole thing, you won't be disappointed):

A second defense official said documents on the Russian support to Iraq reveal that Saddam's government paid the Kremlin for the special forces to provide security for Iraq's Russian arms and to conduct counterintelligence activities designed to prevent U.S. and Western intelligence services from learning about the arms pipeline through Syria.


Mr. Shaw said he believes that the withdrawal of Russian-made weapons and explosives from Iraq was part of plan by Saddam to set up a "redoubt" in Syria that could be used as a base for launching pro-Saddam insurgency operations in Iraq.


Documents reviewed by the official included itineraries of military units involved in the truck shipments to Syria. The materials outlined in the documents included missile components, MiG jet parts, tank parts and chemicals used to make chemical weapons, the official said.
With friends like these...

I hope this happens soon:

Defense officials said the Russians can provide information on what happened to the Iraqi weapons and explosives that were transported out of the country. Officials believe the Russians also can explain what happened to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs.
So all of this time, with all the crap Bush has had to put up with, it's Vlady Putin who's been stabbing us in the back. Truly disappointing.

Oh, and do I even need to mention that Kerry’s plan of let the sanctions work has now been proven to be a loser? How could they have worked when one of our strongest ‘allies’ is in bed with the enemy?


Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Changing Attitudes?

In the past, the mainstream media have refered to Matt Drudge alternatively as a "muckraking reporter" or as a "gossip" type. Now, it appears, that he is an "Internet columnist". Maybe I'm reading too much into this...but this could be a sign of things to come.


Moral Relativism And Democracy

Absolutely wonderful post over at The Wandering Mind:

As the Democrat Party and their power brokers and strategists gird themselves for the three ring circus of post election court fights and charges and counter charges, it might behoove them to think of what we look like to the rest of the world-- especially in countries where democracy is new or still young. We need not be teaching by example how to subvert a vote and make it appear 'legal.' In most countries, the legal system can easily be used to manipulate a populace. Is this the message we need to send? Do we need to set an example that contrived racial divides, concocted so as to further a political agenda, are accpetable? In countries where real discrimination exists, how credible are we if we engage is such practices?

At some point, the ideals of democracy must trump the personal ambitions and agendas of politicians and political parties.
I think Alex is right on. I'm not going to hold my breath...but I do hope that in the near future our political types can learn that there are more important things that just obtaining power.


Breaking News At Drudge

[See Update 2 below for story quoting unIDed CIA types.]

Matt Drudge is claiming to have information indicating that ABC News is holding on to a tape warning of a huge Terrorist attack that will "dwarf 9/11". ABC apparently claims that the tape has been shown to the CIA and everyone is working to prove its authenticity.

Obviously, there are political implications here...although I suppose they could go either way. The scumbag on the tape apparently says:

America has brought this on itself for electing George Bush who has made war on Islam by destroying the Taliban and making war on Al Qaeda.
Such a claim, if authenticated, is not going to make anyone sleep better at night. The question is whether or not the American voters are going to see this threat as providing evidence that George Bush is still needed as President to fight Terror...or...that Bush really has brought this down on us all by fighting Al Qaida and Saddam.

Obviously, there is an answer here that is irrefutable. To arrive at the correct answer all you have to do is ask: What battles did George W. Bush initiate on or prior to September 10th, 2001?

The answer is zero. So, we did not bring 9/11 on ourselves in any sense and, therefore, there is no way to blame Bush. If voters want to blame him for fighting back instead of just rolling over and asking What did we do wrong? I would argue those voters don't deserve to be American Citizens and should immediately leave the country for a destination more in tune with that philosophy (read: Spain).

Either way, I'm sure if there is truth in this report by Drudge it will be all over the news and we'll quickly find out how solid our backbone has remained since that fateful morning just over three years ago.


Michelle's got some good background links. (Not to mention a nice pre-emptive strike against the inevitable anti-racial profiling arguments.)

Update 2:

Apparently the CIA is unable to confirm the authenticity of the tape. Whether or not the tape is authentic, the political ramifications of its existance (and any involvement of a news organization with holding it or not) are still of interest.


I Knew It!

Bloggers beware:

The most recent explosion occurred just two days ago at Instapundit, when Glenn Reynolds' skull burst but his blog kept on updating itself oblivious to Mr. Reynold's absence. Documents unsealed in Washington today, disclosed that fading blogger Andrew Sullivan's head actually exploded in early 2004, but duct tape, chewing gum, and love has kept that blog's keyboard humming in the grisly aftermath.
Really answers a lot of quesitons, doesn't it?

(Link via Daniel W. Casey's Blog)


Media Study

This story on a study of media coverage of Bush and Kerry is only marginally interesting. From the sounds of it there seems be a general lack of useful information due to the limited scope of the study. However, the last line caught my attention:

The study also examined five popular political blogs: Eschaton, Andrew Sullivan, Instapundit, Talking Points Memo, and ABC's The Note.
Since this 'study' appears to be pretty weak, I don't suppose that we'd get any useful info out of the blog section. However, I thought it was good to see that this group had included some blogs. Now all we need is to get more coverage of blogs not run by major media groups (ABC) and preformed syndicated columnists (Glenn, Andrew, etc.). But hey, baby steps.


News Flash

For anyone out there wondering what the Terrorists in Iraq might be fighting for, I hope this puts the issue to rest:

BAGHDAD — Leaders and supporters of the anti-U.S. insurgency say their attacks in recent weeks have a clear objective: The greater the violence, the greater the chances that President Bush will be defeated on Tuesday and the Americans will go home.
They say politics is preception, and it seems that the preception among Terrorists in Iraq is that Kerry is their guy. So, I guess the idea that a vote for Kerry is a vote for the Terrorists isn't really that far off afterall.

So the question is: Which side are you on?


Tuesday, October 26, 2004


Bloggin' For Dubah

Matt Margolis of Blogs for Bush has posted his interview with Richard Miniter, author of Shadow War. From what I've read tonight, it's a good discussion about how we are winning the War on Terror:

RICHARD MINITER: In my book, Shadow War, I argue that, on balance, America is winning the war on terror.

Here's the key statistic: More 3,000 al Qaeda fighters have been seized or slain since 9-11 in 102 different countries. That shows that the effort is larger than the public has been told--3,000 may be equal to one-quarter of al Qaeda's total strength--and far more global than the public believes. If you destroy a division of the enemy and it does not score a comparable victory against you, you are winning. That is the position of the U.S. today.
Check it out.


Cable Race

I love this! Check out Drudge's rating summary:

MONDAY, OCT., 25, 2004

Note my emphasis. The Daily Show is beating Aaron, Paula, all of MSNBC and CNBC. I love it!


Explosive New Ad

Or is it New Explosive Ad? Either way, I am dumbfounded (by which I mean I found Kerry...and he's dumb) that anyone would be stupid enough to make an ad like this. Has he not read the Drudge Report lately? NBC has come out with fact that those weapons were missing before we ever got there. So what, exactly, is the President supposed to do? Is Mr. Kerry suggesting that the President appologize for not going into Iraq sooner? That's really the only way we might have gotten these explosives (not to mention any of those 'things' that 'didn't' cross over into Syria).

Again, if there's anyone to blame for missing weapons it's the smucks who held up our Liberation of Iraq in the first place. Mr. Kerry, any ideas as to whom might fit that bill?


High Explosive Egg On Face?

It would appear that not only has the Media distorted the actual amount of 'missing' explosives (dang those metric tonnes, or is it tons)...but it may actually be that the weapons went missing before our troops even got there during the act of Liberation!

But tonight, NBCNEWS reported: The 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives were already missing back in April 10, 2003 -- when U.S. troops arrived at the installation south of Baghdad!

An NBCNEWS crew embedded with troops moved in to secure the Al-Qaqaa weapons facility on April 10, 2003, one day after the liberation of Iraq.

According to NBCNEWS, the HMX and RDX explosives were already missing when the American troops arrived.

"The U.S. Army was at the site one day after the liberation and the weapons were already gone," a top Republican blasted from Washington late Monday.
If this is true, I've got to believe that some heads are going to have to roll. Somewhere, someone must be responsible for this ridiculous distortion. If it's a mistake, then it's a pretty bad one considering the timing. If it's deliberate, then someone needs to be canned (hopefully it'll be Kerry's bit for the Presidency)...considering the timing.

This sort of thing is truly disturbing because it's (apparently) so false and so close to the election. Fortunately, there was time to set the record straight on this one. I'm just wondering what the Left is holding back to release at a time close enough to the election that there isn't time to refute it (recalling the low blow of publicizing Bush's multi-decade-old DWI just a few hours before the polls opened in 2000).


Ah yes, the link I was looking for:

So let's keep in mind that when we're talking about 380 tons of ammunition it represents 0.019% of the estimated amount of explosive and munitions that confronted the US at the beginning of the invasion [a total of 2 million tons].
So, not only did we not lose it...but even if we had lost the ammo it would have been about like losing track of a single page from one bank statement over a 100 year lifetime when the IRS comes looking.* Then, it turns out, the bank never sent it to you in the first place.

Yeah, blame Bush first (and by 'first' I mean 'before any evidence of wrongdoing even surfaces').

Update 2:

Now it appears that this was a concerted (and fortunately failed) attempt by CBS News to smear our sitting President while were are at War on the eve of the election! At best this is terrible partisanship from a 'respected' (laugh) media outlet and at worst it is (dare I say it?) Treason (and if you think this is too harsh may you should reread the story).


*For those of you keeping track, that would be 100 years x 12months/year x 4 pages/month = 4800 pages. 1/4800 = 0.02% And if you think the IRS is less dangerous than explosives you've never been audited.


Monday, October 25, 2004


Evolution vs. Creationism: Round 8

In my last post on this topic (Round 7), I promised to take a look at a few of the papers cited by Elsberry and friends that were not mentioned in the rebuttal written by people at the Discovery Institute. Since I've got a number of pressing things to do that pay the bills, I have had to limit my outside reading and have only gotten through one of the papers I linked to in Round 7. I'll do what I can do summarize and put the paper into context, but anyone with access to encouraged to take a look for yourself.

The paper I'll be discussing here is by Laszlo Patthy in Genetica (2003) 118: 217-231 and is entitled Modular assembly of genes and the evolution of new functions. This is a review that discusses the organization of genetic information and the resulting protein configuration across most of life. As with most scientific papers on this topic, evolution is taken for granted and ID is neither mentioned nor eluded to. However, I think that this paper provides some information that the people at the Discovery Institute would rather not discuss...and so have chosen not to.

Patthy begins by establishing the fact that the sequencing of the human genome has surprised scientists with its relatively low number of total genes. We had originally thought there must be at least 100,000 genes to make a human work, but the new estimates are closer to 30,000 (depending on whom you talk to). To put this number in context, bacteria have approximately 3,000 genes while the tiny worm, C. elegans, gets by with 19,000. Patthy goes on to point out that while the number of genes (i.e., "coding DNA" because it codes for protein) varies less than one might predict, the overall size of the genome increases at a much greater rate as one moves up the evolutionary ladder. While humans have only 10 times the number of genes compared to bacteria, our total genome (i.e., the total amount of DNA we have) is nearly 1000 times greater in size.

The significance of the different ratios of coding to noncoding DNA is significant in that there are data which suggest the noncoding DNA allows for large rearrangements of genes (i.e., "exon shuffling"). These rearrangements are obvious when sequences are compared among related proteins with different functions. So, if one takes that fact and fits it into the framework of Evolution, it is reasonable to suggest that noncoding DNA was selected for by virtue of its ability to provide the substrate of natural selection, namely: variation. The reason I mention this here is that ID proponents (specifically Meyers and his friends) would have us believe that Evolution only had a very little variation to work with...and can therefore not account for Life as we know it. I would suggest that there are actually many mechanisms by which variation can been generated aside from 'simple' mutation during DNA replication. Exon shuffling is one example, and there are more that I will not get into here.

Interestingly, I think there is a very important implication here that few (to my knowledge) have addressed. We know that bacteria can adapt much better (which is to say, faster) than we humans can. Why? The answer is that there are more of them and they reproduce faster. A bacterial population can be reduced a thousand-fold and regenerate to its initial numbers overnight (literally). A human population, on the other hand, obviously will take longer. So, it does make a certain amount of sense that if life did indeed Evolve (as opposed to ID-ed) then higher, more complex, organisms would need a way to provide variation at a great rate/generation than do bacteria. Put more simply, a bacterial population has so many members that there are bound to be a few that are well suited for whatever environmental change just occurred. Higher organisms, on the other hand, have far fewer members in a population and therefore must be able to generate variation some other way in order to survive. While this may seem like the ramblings of a pro-Evolution nutjob, I think this argument is supported by a paper by Earl and Deem entitled Evolvability is a selectable trait.

After discussing this issue of the gene-number to genome-size ratio, Platthy gets into a really interesting discussion of protein modules. Proteins are composed of strings of amino acids that fold into three-dimensional shapes. The exact shape of a protein is determined (for the most part) by its amino acid sequence (for some background see this). 'We' (structural biologists) have the ability to determine the exact three-dimensional shape of proteins. Since we can often determine the function of the same protein, we can compare the structure and function of protein A with that of protein B. In this way we begin to understand the essence of protein function.

As 'we' have solved the structure and determined the functions of a lot proteins it has become clear that many proteins with very different functions share common three-dimensional shapes (i.e., 'folds'). The folds that have been found to be common over and over again can be called 'modules' because they exist as little building blocks in multiple proteins. So, just as proteins are composed of a string of building blocks called amino acids, we can also think of proteins as composed of building blocks called 'modules' (which are, in turn, made up of specific sequences of amino acids). The interesting thing, is that many of these modules are found across nearly all multicellular life. To be specific, these modules appear with increasing frequency as one moves up from the relatively simple worm (C. elegans) to humans.

So, what I take away from Patthy's discussion of protein modules is that (again, within the framework of Evolution) as Life evolved from simple multicellularity to complex multicellularity this change was mediated by an increase in preexisting protein modules. This, to some extent, helps provide a simplifying explanation as to how increasingly complex cell-cell interactions may have come to be.

The question still remains as to how one goes from the single celled bacteria to 'higher' multicellular organisms. I think that this issue has been a bit misrepresented...mostly due to a lack of scientific knowledge.

For the majority of the time microorganisms have been studied, it has been assumed that bacteria live solitary lives. This assumption has been put to the test in recent years with the discovery of biofilms. Biofilms are made of sticky molecules that are released by bacteria and function to hold them onto a surface (Cystic Fibrosis is a good but tragic example of biofilms' usefulness). Additionally, bacteria have been shown to communicate with each other and work in collaboration with one another (sometimes even across species lines). So, the idea that some truly 'new thing' had to develop in order for cell-cell interactions to take place is somewhat misplaced. However, since this post is getting a little long we'll have to save that discussion for another time.

I hope I have managed to provide a bit of information that makes the process of Evolution seem more plausible that it did before. In summary, proponents of ID have suggested that Evolution could not possibly have produced Life as we know it because there is no way the necessary variation could have been generated for Nature to select. I would argue that the IDers have misrepresented the actual range of variation-generating-processes that are known to exist. Additionally, protein diversity is not dependent only on slow, nucleotide by nucleotide, mutation of DNA. Rather, independently folding amino acid modules can be "shuffled" to produce proteins with novel overall structure and function by modular rearrangement.

I hope anyone interested in this topic will check back both here at MuD&PHuD and at A Physicist's Perspective in the near future for lots more fun.


Electoral College

I have never liked the EC. I think it's a holdover from a time when communication was slow enough that it made sense to vote in blocks by state and then send Electors to Washington to cast a vote. Today, however, this seems unnecessary.

The problem I have with the EC is not that it counts any given vote from California or New York less heavily than one from Wyoming. The difference is pretty minor and outweighed by the sheer number of votes from populous states. My issue is that the EC effectively disregards my vote entirely. Since I am Conservative and have lived in two traditionally liberal states, my vote for President has never counted.

I bring this up now because I just ran across an interesting article at NRO by Gary Gregg arguing that the EC saved us in 2000. As you might not imagine, Mr. Gregg is not thanking his lucky stars that the EC got Bush elected while losing the national popular vote. Rather, he argues that:

The electoral-college system serves to focus our political battles into state-by-state contests for the most votes. In 2000, the post-election battle centered on Florida and stayed there because the electoral college worked to give the winner of the Sunshine State the presidency. If a national plurality were allowed to choose the president, and the election were as close as it was in 2000, Gore and Bush being separated by less than one half of one percent, how would the post-election contest have been different?
I think this is an interesting point. However, this supposed purpose for the EC is only made necessary by the combination of bad vote counting and extremely close elections. While the latter is not 'correctable' the former certainly is.

Although it is true that any large measurement (voting included) will involve error, it should be possible to get the magnitude of the error to a level that would allow us to determine the winner by simple popular vote. To do otherwise is to accept that the system is at least partly broken (i.e., we can't count the votes accurately...or even precisely) and, in doing so, relegate our method of electing a president to state-by-state litigation in favor of nation-wide litigation.

Unfortunately, I doubt that we'll be able to take the necessary steps to improve our vote counting apparatus and so, I suppose, the EC may very well continue to provide us with at least a measure of comfort in a country where politics seems to be ever more contentious and downright nasty.


I Completely Agree

It's good to know I'm not the only one feeling this way.


More election comics =).

I think all potential Kerry voters should stick to their flowers (because they don't believe in guns...unless it's an election year) and vote for Nader.


Arthur's Good News

Chrenkoff's got some more Good News From Iraq (and it's apparently his longest yet...woa). Check it out and keep faith in our ability to do Good in the world.


Kerry Lied Through His Long White Teeth

A simple fact: John Kerry is a liar.

At the second presidential debate earlier this month, Mr. Kerry said he was more attuned to international concerns on Iraq than President Bush, citing his meeting with the entire Security Council.

"This president hasn't listened. I went to meet with the members of the Security Council in the week before we voted. I went to New York. I talked to all of them, to find out how serious they were about really holding Saddam Hussein accountable," Mr. Kerry said of the Iraqi dictator.


The former ambassadors who said on the record they had never met Mr. Kerry included the representatives of Mexico, Colombia and Bulgaria. The ambassador of a fourth country gave a similar account on the condition that his country not be identified.
The article does say that it's possible that he met with a few members of the Security Council, but he most certainly did not (as he has claimed multiple times) meet with the entire Council. This is a bald-faced lie, no two ways about it.

Will this spell the end of a meaningful race? I'm pretty sure it would if Bush were caught in such a lie...but for Kerry we'll just have wait and see.

(via The Command Post)


Sunday, October 24, 2004


Evolution vs. Intelligent Design

I am pleased to see that David (A Physicist's Perspective and fellow Homespun Blogger) has decided to take on the Evolution vs. Creationism/Intelligent Design debate. His first post is a nice introduction to the debate complete with definitions of Evolution and Intelligent Design.

I suggest that anyone interested in this debate take a look at his post and watch for future discussion both here and at David's blog.

Before getting back to currently more pressing matters (the impending victory of the BoSox =)) I would like to make one comment on David's post. He said:

So Tom is correct in pointing out that, at some level, it all boils down to belief. And that's why this is so controversial -- the evolution camp, committed as many scientists are to materialism, thinks that the ID/Creationism camp is practicing bad science because it's allowing God into the game. There's no fundamental reason that science can't allow God into the game -- after all, many of the most famous scientists until the 1900s were devout Christians, like Newton and others -- but most modern scientists are scientific materialists, so they won't stand for this.
Without a doubt, many scientists are committed to materialism (although I am not one in the absolute sense). However, Evolution does not necessitate that God be entirely shut out of the game (as I pointed out in Round 2). Rather, Evolution is the mechanism that I choose to explain the origin and diversity of life I see around me. That does not mean, however, that I would dare suppose that the very existence of matter can be explained without the supernatural. Far from it, I believe (a la Miller) that God got it all started and then let the chips fall as they would (which is to say as He found acceptable through the creation of His Laws of Physics).

So, I guess I'm trying to reaffirm the point that Evolution is not in any way incongruent with religious belief or the existence of God. Evolution is incongruent with the idea that a supernatural being is required to directly cause the existence of each and every living thing on Earth.

I belabor this point for a very important reason. As we continue this debate we must all bear in mind that this is not necessarily a battle between Science and Religion. Rather, this is a debate pitting a well-established scientific hypothesis against a very old idea that has been revamped in an attempt to give it scientific legitimacy. Whichever side wins the debate, religion will not vanquish science, nor vice versa. Rather, when this debate is resolved (and I don't suggest holding one's breath) the only loser will be flawed reasoning.


Best Of Homespun Is Up.

I just posted the latest edition of Homespun's Best Of. As always, a good set of posts.


Diarrhea Of The Mouth

Drudge has some fun stuff on Rosie. Apparently, she was the headliner at a Kerry rally (although Kerry wasn't there) and the turnout was like one of those minor league baseball games where everyone gets a foul ball. In this case, everyone just got foul:

Rosie continued: "Every single thing this White House has done goes against the foundation of what our country was built on. For us to tell the United Nations we would ignore their doctrine and their resolutions, for us to say that we will not adhere to the Geneva Convention during this war. We are America, we are better than that. We were built on the foundation of freedom and truth and equality for all people. And the rich, corporate, horrible, horrible people who have been destructing and ruining everything this country was made on has been really unbelievably damaging to all of us spiritually, emotionally, monetarily."
I think that perhaps Rosie has absolutely no idea what the "foundation" of our country is. Sure, she says things like "freedom and truth and equality for all people." Her problem (well, one of her problems anyway) is that she has no idea how those very important virtues are obtained in the first place and maintained over time. She, like most of the Left, has a huge problem connecting the War on Terror with the maintenance of our Liberties.

That's her philosophical problem. Her practical problems include that she thinks our country was "built" on 1) the United Nations and their (meaningless resolutions) and 2) the Geneva Convention. Further, she thinks that this country was even exist without "rich, corporate, horrible, horrible people" who, by the way, are the ones who pay the salaries of audience (broad generalization...but you get the point).

I don't know why I bother even commenting on people like Rosie. I guess she just pisses me off enough that it's either blog about it or drive people around me crazy. At least you've got the option to just surf on =).


Saturday, October 23, 2004


UK Guardian

Amazing. I wonder if the Secert Service is listening to this (via Drudge):

On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?
Absolutely amazing. I know that the 'world' generally hates Bush (by which I mean Europe and Terrorists)...but this is just beyond the pale.


Stolen Honor

The video about Kerry's misdeeds is now freely avaliable online. Check it out and help spread the word.

(via The Royal Flush via Yoshi's Blog Spot)


Friday, October 22, 2004


Saddam And Terror

Are you one of those people who don't believe Saddam had anything to do with Terror? Try this on for size:

As the May 8, 2003 New York Post and other news outlets reported, Baer ruled that Saddam Hussein’s government was complicit in the September 11 attacks and that the Baathist government owed the plaintiffs a judgment of $104 million.

As Baer stated on May 7, 2003:

“I conclude that plaintiffs have shown, albeit barely, ‘by evidence satisfactory to the court’ that Iraq provided material support to bin Laden and al Qaeda.” 22
Don't believe it? Check out this site (there's lots more) and then let me know where Mr. Murdock when wrong.

(Link via Wandering Mind via Paulie World via Amy)


Thursday, October 21, 2004


THK Steps In It Again

If you're not convinced that the Left looks down on 'normal people' you should be after these classy comments from the wife of an ever-popular soon-to-be-an-also-ran presidential candidate:

Q: You'd be different from Laura Bush?

A: Well, you know, I don't know Laura Bush. But she seems to be calm, and she has a sparkle in her eye, which is good. But I don't know that she's ever had a real job — I mean, since she's been grown up. (Related story: Heinz Kerry apologizes for comments) So her experience and her validation comes from important things, but different things. And I'm older, and my validation of what I do and what I believe and my experience is a little bit bigger — because I'm older, and I've had different experiences. And it's not a criticism of her. It's just, you know, what life is about.
Of course, Captain's Quarters points out that not only is THK being exceedingly snobby here...but she's also dead wrong:

Laura Bush was born on November 4, 1946, in Midland, Texas, to Harold and Jenna Welch. Inspired by her second grade teacher, she earned a bachelor of science degree in education from Southern Methodist University in 1968. She then taught in public schools in Dallas and Houston. In 1973 she earned a master of library science degree from the University of Texas at Austin and worked as a public school librarian in Austin. In 1977 she met and married George Walker Bush. They are the parents of twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, who are named for their grandmothers.
The 'related story' is that THK has apologized for her comments:

In a statement issued Wednesday, Heinz Kerry said: "I had forgotten that Mrs. Bush had worked as a school teacher and librarian, and there couldn't be a more important job than teaching our children. As someone who has been both a full-time mom and full-time in work force, I know we all have valuable experiences that shape who we are. I appreciate and honor Mrs. Bush's service to the country as first lady and am sincerely sorry I had not remembered her important work in the past."


But Karen Hughes, an adviser to President Bush, said Heinz Kerry's apology "made it worse because she left out the very important real job of a mother. Clearly she knows Laura Bush was a mother ... who chose to stay home and rear her family. That's a noble choice that should be celebrated not denigrated."
Karen, Karen, Karen. The reason THK didn't apologize for not mentioning Laura's job of raising children is that she obviously had not forgotten about that when she made the comments. It's easy to understand that someone might not know Laura Bush was a teacher and librarian. But to 'forget' that she was a mother? Nope, not likely. So...it's important to be a teacher but it's not important to be a mother. It's certainly not a real job. For this attitude, we can thank the Feminists.


Wednesday, October 20, 2004



Welcome to 1982 (that would be just a little while before 1984 fully kicks in):

Disturbingly, HR 10 creates a de facto national ID card by mandating new federal requirements that standardize state-issued drivers licenses and birth certificates and even require including biometric identifiers in such documents. State drivers license information will be stored in a national database, which will include information about an individual's driving record!
Where will it end?

(via Weapon of Mass Distraction)


It's All About Vietnam

I know this is old hat, but it's worth noting that the Kerry people just can't get past his service in Vietnam.

"I don't believe it," the vice president said. "I don't think there's any evidence to support the proposition that he would, in fact, do it."

The Democrats called Cheney's comments ironic.

"He has the audacity to question whether a decorated combat veteran who has bled on the battlefield is tough and aggressive enough to keep America safe," said Mark Kitchens, Kerry campaign national security spokesman. "He wants to scare Americans about a possible nuclear 9/11 while the Bush administration has been on the sidelines while the nuclear threats from North Korea and Iran - the word's leading sponsor of terrorism - have increased."
Let's say, for the sake of argument, that Kerry earned all his medals and is a bona fide war hero. Does that mean that he will be a wonderful President with the drive necessary to fight and win the War on Terror? Look, as Cheney suggested, at the record. A few months in Vietnam followed by a few years of America-Hating BS followed by 20+ years in the Senate. Does anyone honestly think that the months in Vietnam should trump the subsequent 20+ years?

The answer is obviously Yes...but I'll never understand it.


Tuesday, October 19, 2004


All Right...

...I just couldn't resist linking to this (via Firebrand via Blogexplosion)


The Right Kind of Hatred

Michelle Malkin does a great job of wrapping up a number of the acts of violence perpetrated by the Left in the past few days (I've got a few links here).

As usual, she's absolutely right:

Liberals promise to do "whatever it takes" — "by any means necessary" — to win this election. If conservatives were mouthing those slogans as glass shattered and lawns burned, Karl Rove would be under federal investigation. Jimmy Carter would seek U.N. assistance. And the New York Times would be calling for a National Day of Reconciliation.
What's that I hear from the Left? The deafening silence of guilt?


Oooohhhh...He's So Cute!

I'm sure that plenty of people fuss with thier hair before going on TV...but I still find this funny. From a preliminary viewing, I think there are actually more Americas than there are hairs out of place on Little John's head.


Monday, October 18, 2004


Liberal Sees The (Northern) Light?

I was listening to my usual radio station out of Massachusetts today (WRNX) and heard the Liberal-John-Kerry-Loving-afternoon guys talking about a recent trip one of them took to Alaska. While there he asked a local woman what she thought about drilling in ANWAR. She said (and I (para)quote):

Everyone up here thinks we should drill. I really wish you liberal, tree-huggers in Massachusetts would mind your own business.
Apparently this DJ learned (among other things) that ANWAR is a frozen tundra about which the locals say: No one goes there, nothing grows there. He also related to his attentive listeners that ANWAR encompasses 19 million acres and only 2,000 of those acres would be developed (big news...for anyone not paying attention).

Of course, he wouldn't quite go as far as saying that we should go ahead and drill up there...but at least he did manage to get the facts right.

If you're interested in more information check out the government's site, a pro-development site (and their flash video) and the Sierra Club site (as if I need to tell you which side they're on).


Iraq --> Syria

Interesting info from Mr. Duelfer:

"A lot of materials left Iraq and went to Syria," Duelfer said. "There was certainly a lot of traffic across the border points. We've got a lot of data to support that, including people discussing it. But whether in fact in any of these trucks there was WMD-related materials, I cannot say."
If I were a bettin' man I'd put my money on 'We're going to find out that WMDs were transported from Iraq to Syria.'

I think it's just a matter of time. The problem is that we will almost certainly not find out for sure until after the elections. It's really amazing. Kerry says that it's Bush's fault there are all these weapons out there (conventional ones) that are being used to attack our troops.

Well Mr. Kerry, when we find out just how much WMD material got into Syria before we invaded all of that will be laid at your feet and those of your friends in the UN, France and Germany. Why? Remember Bush's 9-month "rush to war"? Yeah, if it had really been a "rush to war" we might have gotten in there in time to stop all this. And which is worse? Some AK-47s in the hands of bad guys in Iraq trying to kill our troops and Iraqis, or nuclear/chemical/biological weapons material in the hands of bad guys trying to kill us at home?

Neither one is good, but if you had to choose...


This Says Volumes

Terrorists Back Kerry...

...Police do not.


Another quality foreign endorsement.


Friday, October 15, 2004



The other day Drudge provided us with this:


**World Exclusive**

The Kerry/Edwards campaign and the Democratic National Committee are advising election operatives to declare voter intimidation -- even if none exists, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal.

A 66-page mobilization plan to be issued by the Kerry/Edwards campaign and the Democratic National Committee states: "If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a 'pre-emptive strike.'"


The provocative Dem battle plan is to be distributed in dozens of states, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

One top DNC official confirmed the manual's authenticity, but claimed the notion of crying wolf on any voter intimidation is "absurd."

"We all know the Republicans are going to try to steal the election by scaring people and confusing people," the top DNC source explained.

Now the DNC comes back with this:

Cabrera On Drudge Report: GOP Offers Up Red Herring to Cover Up Shameful Record of Voter Intimidation
Blah, blah, blah...

2. If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a "pre-emptive strike" (particularly well-suited to states in which there techniques have been tried in the past).

• Issue a press release

i. Reviewing Republican tactic used in the past in your area or state

ii. Quoting party/minority/civil rights leadership as denouncing tactics that discourage people from voting

• Prime minority leadership to discuss the issue in the media; provide talking points

• Place stories in which minority leadership expresses concern about the threat of intimidation tactics

• Warn local newspapers not to accept advertising that is not properly disclaimed or that contains false warnings about voting requirements and/or about what will happen at the polls

3. Train field staff, precinct workers, and your own poll watchers thoroughly in the rules they need to know for election day.

4. Plan and completely prepare for possible legal action well in advance of election day

5. Have Secretary of State record public service announcements about election day – when polls are open, who is eligible, etc.
Just Getting The People Ready? Or perhaps planting the seeds that will grow into the beautiful flower of baseless-but-disruptive-and-smearing allegations of Republican misconduct? You be the judge.


Thursday, October 14, 2004


Evolution vs. Creationism: Round 7

As promised, I have read the three articles that have resulted from Meyer's peer-reviewed ID paper. My initial conclusion regarding these re-re-responses is that the specifics of the evolutionary science are going to go over most people's heads (including my own). However, I do think that a few things can be learned from a brief discussion of the rather uncivil discourse.

First off, after reading all of this back and forth it becomes painfully obvious that, considering the huge amount of data in the literature, each of us has three options:
1) Figure you're never going to understand the science and that you'll never trust either side and just forget the whole thing.
2) Believe whichever side you already agree with and call it a day.
3) Disbelieve every side and delve into the literature yourself.

If you're up for #1 you're probably not reading this right now...and #2 isn't all that great either. I suppose there is a fourth option that I'm going to take. The fact is that few of us have the time for #3. However, I do think I can make this last option work. If you're up for it, try this.

The ID people have critiqued a number of the Darwin people's references. So, let's just take the ID people at the word and assume that their critiques are valid. We can then busy ourselves with what the ID people did not say and see if those unmentioned references shed any light on the situation. Obviously, this same exercise could be done in the other direction, looking at Meyer's references that The Panda's Thumb article ignores. However, since I am far more skeptical of ID than of Evolution, I'm going to do it my way. If anyone it out there who might be on the other side of the fence (I'm thinking of you, David =)) please feel free to take the opposite approach.

Interestingly, the ID people have picked apart all of The Panda's Thumb article's references concerning "Morphological novelty" (the second set of boxed references in the paper). They have, on the other hand, totally ignored the first set of references in the paper under the heading "The origin of novel genes/proteins".

So here's the new plan. I'm going to read at least a few of these neglected papers and ask whether or not they satisfactorily support the claims made in The Panda's Thumb article.

I should also reiterate, however, that although I am going to engage in this little academic exercise I still see absolutely zero evidence to support the Intelligent Design 'theory.' Meyer's paper, and Behe's for that matter, are full of negative reasoning. The point out the problems with Evolution and the poof, a miracle occurs. So...whether or not it turns out that their criticisms of Evolution are correct, they have yet to prove their own theory...or even provide any data whatsoever.

If you are interested in reading these papers, I'll save you the time of looking them all up (although you will likely not have access to any number of them unless you're at a research institution). Here are the links to PubMed:

Patthy: Modular assembly of genes and the evolution of new functions
Ranz et al: Origin and evolution of a new gene...
Seffernick and Wackett: Rapid evolution of bacterial catabolic enzymes...
Copley: Evolution of a metabolic pathway...
Harding et al.: 'Antifreeze' glycoproteins...
Johnson et al.: Origins of the 2,4-dinitrotoluene pathway
Long et al.: The origin of new genes...
Nurminsky et al.: Chromosomal effects of rapid gene evolution...
Prijambada et al: Emergence of nylon oligomer degradation enzymes...

As for when I'll get around to reading these...I really don't know. Please be patient (because I'm sure you're all just foaming at the mouth with anticipation). I'll get to it when I can.


Republican's Stand Up

Ask yourself a question: What would a typical Democrat do if his or her John/John signs were being stolen in the middle of the night?

I think we'd hear a whole bunch of whining and complaining about the meany Republicans out there, most likely members of the VRWC, who were acting as The Man and keeping them down.

I suppose that's just my speculation. But here's what some real, live, Republicans did when confronted with my thus-far-hypothetical situation:

According to two Mercer Island men, signs supporting President Bush are an endangered species. Within days of going up in the affluent neighborhood, the signs disappear.

So there the men were this week, camped in the dark woods with lawn chairs and a video camera, waiting for the thieves to strike.

It only took three hours. At about 10 p.m. Tuesday, a 25-year-old Mercer Island man walked to a grassy area along the 6700 block of Island Crest Way and began to pull up Bush signs installed by the two men, police said.

The amateur detectives burst out of the woods and confronted the man, who was apologetic. The men detained him until police arrived.
I love it. Given the fact that the police have better things to do at night than protect campaign signs, I love the fact these guys took the issue (peacefully) into their own hands.

I just wish the would-be thief's name had gotten into the paper. At the very least this guy should have been embarrassed in front of his neighbors. On the other hand, I suppose that no few among those neighbors would at least silently condone what this crusading Democrat was trying to do.

Well, here's to dirty politics.


Medical Microchips

This scares the living you-know-what out of me:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Medical milestone or privacy invasion? A tiny computer chip approved Wednesday for implantation in a patient's arm can speed vital information about a patient's medical history to doctors and hospitals. But critics warn that it could open new ways to imperil the confidentiality of medical records.


"If privacy protections aren't built in at the outset, there could be harmful consequences for patients," said Emily Stewart, a policy analyst at the Health Privacy Project.

To protect patient privacy, the devices should reveal only vital medical information, like blood type and allergic reactions, needed for health care workers to do their jobs, Stewart said.
This is one of those technological advances that will surely save lives. Unfortunately it also moves us closer to some crazy 1984-type scenario. The thing is that it's not all that crazy. Who would have thought 50 years ago that we would be installing camera systems, monitored by computer, in major US cities. Or...who would have thought 150 years ago that someday the government would make it a crime to not register your gun?

The point is that we move along in society towards more and more restriction and invasion of privacy. Now we've got this great new tool that will allow doctors to obtain vital (and don't worry, they say...only vital) medical information from a nameless, unconscious patient. However, I guarantee that if/when this sort of thing becomes widespread we will simply come to accept the initial level of information available and eventually acquiesce to more information (but, of course, vital info) being made available in this way. And what, might I ask, is to keep these chips from being fitted with a transmitter that would allow you to be tracked. Of course, this feature would only be activated if you were missing in the wilderness, of course. And who could say no to a safety device that just might save you life?

At this point I'm sure many people have stopped reading this post, condemning me as some sort of anti-technology, conspiracy nutjob. I suppose it's possible that I tend to overreact to these sorts of these things. It's just that I wonder where we're headed. The amount of attention that the majority of our citizens appear to pay to things other than their own entertainment does not give me much hope that people will even realize what's going on, let alone draw a line in the sand and help keep themselves free.


Wednesday, October 13, 2004


Making Fun Of The Handicapped

I saw this on a blog earlier today (I don't remember where) and I honestly thought it was a spoof. It appears, however, that it's the real thing. Absolutely disgusting...and once again raising the old question:

Which group, the Conservatives or the Liberals, really practices dirty and divisive politics?

Courtesy of Democrat Craig Fitzhugh Posted by Hello


Knitting A Conundrum points out in the comments that there is more here. Make sure to read the comments at the linked post. Interesting, although not unexpected.


Dishonorable Discharge?

Did Kerry recieve a Dishonorable Discharge from the Navy, only to have it later changed to Honorable? I know that plenty Kerry sympathesizers out there will want to label me a Conspiracy Theory Nut for even posting this. To that I will only say that Kerry could stop all this talk by just releasing all his military records. That is, if there's nothing to hide...

Anyway, here's the story (via The Command Post):

Mystery Surrounds Kerry's Navy Discharge
BY THOMAS LIPSCOMB - Special to the Sun
October 13, 2004

An official Navy document on Senator Kerry's campaign Web site listed as Mr. Kerry's "Honorable Discharge from the Reserves" opens a door on a well kept secret about his military service.

The document is a form cover letter in the name of the Carter administration's secretary of the Navy, W. Graham Claytor. It describes Mr. Kerry's discharge as being subsequent to the review of "a board of officers." This in it self is unusual. There is nothing about an ordinary honorable discharge action in the Navy that requires a review by a board of officers.


If Mr. Kerry was the victim of a Nixon "enemies list" hit, one might have expected him to wear it like a badge of honor, like many others such as his friend Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, CBS's Daniel Schorr, or the actor Paul Newman, who had made Mr. Colson's original list of 20 "enemies."
Makes a blogger wonder...


Is Hamas Going Soft?

It would appear so. I hope they get some useful information out of this guy. If not, then my only regret will be that the IDF didn't blow his Terrorist head off when they had the chance.


But It's Not Even Loaded

This is so typical:

LONDONDERRY, N.H. -- The school board has voted to ban a photo of a student from the senior section of his high school yearbook because he is posed with a shotgun.
And of course I'm sure this won't help:

Dean cited a statement on student publications in the board's policy manual: "We encourage the use of school sponsored publications to express students' points of view. They shall be free from all policy restrictions outside the normal rules for responsible journalism."
I guess the implication is that they encourage students to express their points of view so long as those POVs don't involve firearms. What a bunch of liberal wusses. And in NH too...I'm disappointed in the Libertarian State.

Live Free Or Die...As Long As It Doesn't Involve Guns.


Gulf War Part 1 vs. Part 2

Email question from my Dad:

Kerry lauds Gulf War I because there were so many coalition partners. But he criticizes GWII because the members of the coalition don't contribute a lot of weaponry and manpower. Has anyone done the homework to add up the contribution of the smaller members of the GWI coalition? Did not most of the members of GWI coalition make small contributions in terms of stuff and people? And yet they were valuable and these are not. Was the sacrifice greater then?
I think this is a fair question and one that the Media is not going to ask or answer. So I ask you, faithful blog-readers. Does anyone out there know how the troop and material support of Gulf War Part 1 compares to Gulf War Part 2?


Redhunter got it pretty dang close to right in the Comments. Here's where Kerry stood in 1991:

He joined most Senate Democrats in voting against use of U.S. military forces in 1991 after Saddam Hussein’s army invaded Kuwait. Kerry preferred relying on an economic embargo against Iraq to put pressure on Saddam to pull his troops out of Kuwait.

“We think we can get it over with an acceptable level of casualties,” Kerry said during the 1991 Senate debate. “We seem willing to act ... with more bravado than patience.”

Kerry called it a “war for pride, not for vital interests” and said that “our impatience with (economic) sanctions and diplomacy does not yet warrant that horror." He also complained that "there is a rush to war here."
Hey, at least he's consistent. Consistently wrong...but consistent.

Or…not even all that consistent:

“Rather than take a side--albeit the one he thought was most expedient--Kerry actually stood on both sides of the first Gulf war, much like he did this time around.

Consider this ‘Notebook’ item from TNR’s March 25, 1991 issue, which ran under the headline ‘Same Senator, Same Constituent’: "Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition ... to the early use of military force by the US against Iraq. I share your concerns. On January 11, I voted in favor of a resolution that would have insisted that economic sanctions be given more time to work and against a resolution giving the president the immediate authority to go to war." --letter from Senator John Kerry to Wallace Carter of Newton Centre, Massachusetts, dated January 22 [1991]

"Thank you very much for contacting me to express your support for the actions of President Bush in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. From the outset of the invasion, I have strongly and unequivocally supported President Bush’s response to the crisis and the policy goals he has established with our military deployment in the Persian Gulf." --Senator Kerry to Wallace Carter of Newton Centre, Mass., January 31 [1991]” (Noam Scheiber, “Noam Scheiber’s Daily Journal of Politics, The New Republic Online, 1/28/04)

Update 2:

Here's some more.


Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Modes Of Transportation: Right vs. Left

Since I can't stand to watch the Boston LosSox continue to take the beating of a lifetime at the hands of the HatedYanks, I'd like to ask a question of you all.

Over the past few months, as the Presidential race has heated up, I've noticed something interesting and I'd like to know if I'm the only one and/or if I'm imagining things. I have noticed a fair number of Bush/Cheney and Kerry/Edwards bumper stickers. I have also seen a lot of patriotic bumper stickers (e.g., Support Our Troops, God Bless America, These Colors Don't Run, etc.).

The interesting observation is that the Bush/Cheney stickers are quite often on the same vehicle as the patriotic ones...but I have yet to see a single Kerry/Edwards sticker on the same vehicle as a pro-American one. If there is a correlation between Kerry/Edwards bumper stickers and anything (aside from anti-Bush stickers, of course) it's things like I may be a dreamer but I'm not the only one and anti-war stickers.

Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon, or am I the only dreamer?


Evolution vs. Creationism

Since David (of A Physicist's Perspective fame) (among some others) seems to be at least somewhat interested in my thoughts on the Evolution vs. Creationsism/ID debate, I thought I'd see what the Discovery Institute had to offer these days. Apparently there is a bit of back and forth going on between the aformentioned Discoery people and a group at the National Center for Science Education.

Let me just say that this 'discussion' that has developed is both healthy and indicitive of some underlying problem. First, it's healthy because this is what scientists do. One group publishes contraversial data and their competitors jump all over it with a Comment, usually in the same journal issue. In this case, however, the problem I see is that the 'discussion' is somewhat personal and not all that civil (note the use of "scare quotes" and overtly emotional language such as militantly pro-Darwin). The reason behind this, I think, are the religious implications of the Discovery Institutes' theories. The only thing more volitol than religion and science is religion and politics.

Anyway. Here are three things I plan to read (in this order) when I have the time:

Meyer's Hopless Monster
This article is in response to Dr. Meyer's article that got me going on this topic in the first place.
One Long Bluff

Neo-Darwinism’s Unsolved Problem of the Origin of Morphological Novelty

So...check them out if you're interested and be ready to take on all comers in the comments when I get around to posting about this again.

Gentlepeople (ah yes, PC)...start your thinkin' machines!



I find it absolutely amazing how stupid journalists can be. Read this article and then come back and read the rest of this post.


Notice anything? How about these two lines in the same article:

The American analyst, who is a professor at Arizona State University and a researcher at the Federal Reserve (news - web sites) Bank of Minneapolis, said a large tax cut in 1986 had lowered rates while collecting the same revenue.

Bush, who is fighting to get re-elected November 2, has cut taxes by about 1.7 trillion dollars during his term. (emphasis added)
Now, I'm no economist, but does it seem just a little stupid to say that Bush cut taxes to the tune of an absolute dollar amount when a Nobel Laureate says that lowered rates in 1986 ended up "collecting the same revenue"?

Just another example of the BS foisted on us by professional journalists who don't get it...but pretend they do.


Is That A Threat?

Sure sounds like one (although it's empty, since Kerry has a snowball's chance in Hades):


Kerry Senior Advisor Chad Clanton: 'They better hope we don't win' [said on FOX NEWS's Dayside with Linda Vester]...
So...what you're saying is that if (shiver) Kerry gets elected that Sinclair had better watch out because we're going to sic the Federal attack dogs on your well-balanced arse...

Yeah, that sounds about right for democrats.


War Or Crime

Those of us on the Right side of things tend to think that Terrorism is a force against which we are at War. Those on the Left seem all to often to classify Terrorism as a Crime. Obviously, I think the Left is wrong.

However, this story raises at least some problems for the War interpretation of our response to Terrorism:

Rights group lists Al-Qaeda suspects in secret CIA custody

NEW YORK (AFP) - Human Rights Watch listed the names of 11 senior Al-Qaeda suspects it said were held by the CIA (news - web sites) in secret locations overseas, where some had reportedly been tortured.

The suspects were detained with no notification to their families, no Red Cross access and, in some cases, no acknowledgement that they are even being held, the New York-based watchdog said in a 46-page report.
My immediate reaction is, What do I care? They're Al-Qaeda, right? The problem arises when one considers potential future developments if this sort of thing continues. We know that the Government has detained 'enemy combatants' and even American citizens without due process. In the former case, I don't really care since non-American citizens shouldn't be covered by the Constitution in all cases.

The thing that gets that annoying little voice going in my head is that we really do need a way to prove that someone is associated with Al-Qaeda before we make them 'disappear' or torture them*. Along those lines we can either trust the Government's word, or we'll have to insist on open court proceedings. The problem is that we can't always pin a specific crime on a Terrorist, and there is often sensitive information that cannot be revealed. So what's a country to do?

I think the ideal thing would be to create a whole new type of court procedure. The point of this Court would not be to determine guilt or innocence of a crime...but only whether or not someone can be held/questioned based on his/her association with a Terrorist group. I suppose that such legal structures might already exist and I'm just not aware of them...but it would certainly seem that if they do exist they're either not being used enough or they are being used but not in public.

One way or the other, we must catch Terrorists before they hurt us. That means that we have to stop them when they are technically innocent of a crime. Not an easy thing to do if we're going to stick with our current methods of law enforcement and criminal prosecutions. Not easy, but absolutely necessary to prevent the sudden development of a large smoking hole in a major American city.


*That's right, I said torture them. You have a problem with torturing the very people who would kill you, your spouse, your children, your parents and everyone you know in their sleep. And if not in their sleep, maybe at work. So get over the squeamishness and get behind the forces of Good.


Duelfer Report

Since there is no way you're going to hear this anywhere in the Media, check out INDC's key findings (via Right Moment):

• The introduction of the Oil-For-Food program (OFF) in late 1996 was a key turning point for the Regime. OFF rescued Baghdad’s economy from a terminal decline created by sanctions. The Regime quickly came to see that OFF could be corrupted to acquire foreign exchange both to further undermine sanctions and to provide the means to enhance dual-use infrastructure and potential WMD-related development.
There are plenty more. Read them. Then decide if Kerry was right in the debate about the conclusions of this report.


Monday, October 11, 2004


Watch Out World

Now that I've taken the quiz Jeremy at Pacetown suggested, I finally know where I stand. I'm a huge, hulking, Right-of-Center, Libertarian. And here I always thought I was a founding member of the VRWC. Dang.

Who da thunk it? Posted by Hello


Homespun Bloggers Best Of

Homespun's Best Of is up. Check it out. As always, lot's of great stuff.


Kerry Cheating The System?


Middle Class Said To Pay Higher Tax Rate Than Heinz Kerry And Kerry
Mon Oct 11 2004 10:22:17 ET

Stephen Moore, president of the Club for Growth, writes in the WALL STREET JOURNAL on Monday: "According to the Kerrys' own tax records, and they have not released all of them, the couple had a combined income of $6.8 million in income last year and paid $725,000 in income taxes. That means their effective tax rate was a whopping 12.8%.... "Under the current tax system the middle class pays far more than the Kerry tax rate. In fact, the average federal tax rate -- combined payroll and income tax -- for a middle-class family is closer to 20% or more. George W. and Laura Bush, who had an income one- tenth of the Kerrys', paid a tax rate of 30%. ...

"Here is the man who finds clever ways to reduce his own tax liability while voting for higher taxes on the middle class dozens of times in his Senate career. He even voted against the Bush tax cut that saves each middle-class family about $1,000." The Kerrys "have unwittingly made the case for what George W. Bush says he wants to do: radically simplify and flatten out the tax code. ... So before John Kerry is given the opportunity to raise taxes again on American workers, shouldn't he and Teresa at least pay their fair share?"


THK, Please Explain Something...

You know, she certainly is independent...but she's not all that smart:

"John will never send a boy or girl in a uniform anywhere in the world because of our need and greed for oil," Teresa Heinz Kerry told about 1,200 supporters at the McAllen Civic Center.
If we went to Iraq for oil...where the hell is it? Why are oil prices soaring? Are Bush and his cronies holding out on us? Maybe they're in with some worldwide cabal that's hoping to keep oil prices up so they can make huge profits. Wait, that would be OPEC. Humm...Guess I'm just confused.


On Sheeps and Sheepdogs

If you read nothing else today, read this (via Bloodletting):

On Sheep, Sheepdogs, and Wolves
By Dave Grossman

If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.


Good News From Iraq: Part 12

Arthur does another great job of pulling together buried stories of hope and success in Iraq:

I struggled to find some good news.

The picture painted by the news stories was bleak: another suicide attack, a shoot-out with armed militants, soldiers dying in an ambush, a man accused of collaborating with the hated occupiers executed by parties unknown, property destruction causing resentment among the locals, hostile noises from the neighbors, another condemnation from international community, and at home political instability and accusations of corruption at the highest level. There was hardly anything about economy and enterprise, nothing about culture and civil society, barely a glimpse of any positive development or an indication that something, somewhere might be going right.

After about ten minutes I gave up trying to find some good news from Israel.
Check it out and remember, the Mainstream Media does not tell you the whole story.


Sunday, October 10, 2004


Proof Kerry Cannot Be President

And I quote:

We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance.
There are so many things wrong with this statement, but I'll limit myself to just a few.

First. This is ridiculous. He is basically saying that we need to go back to our pre-9/11 mindset. Hello? Mr. Kerry? Anybody home? That mindset got over 3,000 of your fellow citizens killed in NY, PA and VA. Or have you forgotten?

Second. Try telling any victim of a Terror attack (or those who survive the victim) that Terrorism was ever a "nuisance." How about the Marines in Beirut? Or perhaps the unfortunate souls in the Khobar Towers? On the USS Cole? In the streets of Ireland and Israel? In Russia? And in the World Trade Center Towers, in the fields of Pennsylvania and in the outer ring of the Pentagon?

I'll leave it at that because those two points make enough of a case that no one in his or her right mind could possibly vote for this idiot. It's really amazing that people can hate the President so much that they would settle for this over-polished Liberal from Taxachuettes and his slimy lawyer buddy with the big plastic smile.


The Running Conservative

The Running Conservative is a blog I just ran into (via Snugg Harbor's suggestion). The blogger behind is site is a 15-year old named Kate. Let's just say that reading TRC has totally and completely humbled me. I'm not sure I write as well as she does right now...and I know she has me beat in an age-adjusted match up. And...on top of all that she's an extremely bright, motivated and confident Conservative. Here's my favorite post so far:

All right. I'm breaking the "don't talk about school because it's boring" pact I made with myself. Today was certainly not boring.



Biology. We were talking about animal cells, and somehow the conversation slid over to cancer.

Out of nowhere, Mr. Mackerley said, "Wouldn't it be nice if instead of wasting money over in Iraq we were using it for cancer research?"

Excuse me?

Calmly I raised my hand, and luckily I got called on.

"Are you saying that it's not worth it to fight terrorism?"

"Well, Iraq didn't have the terrorists, heck, Saddam didn't even have the weapons of mass destruction."

I. Was. Livid.
Read the rest. Not only does she challenge her teacher in the middle of class (when he threw out an off-hand comment completely off-topic), but she also takes it to him with (tada!) facts.

There are very few things that give me more hope for the future of this country than finding a young adult ready and willing to stand up to challenges from anyone, anywhere, anytime. Go check out her blog and help get those pesky SiteMeter stats up where they belong.


Friday, October 08, 2004



Bottom line: Bush did absolutely great.

Kerry came across as smooth as always...but Bush did great.

Amazing last question, huh? Something like: Mr. Bush, please list and explain to me and the country three instances in which you F-ing-Kerry-ed up.

For the record, Bush knocked that totally unfair and BS question out of the proverbial park. First he said: Yes, I make a lot of decisions that affect a lot of people. Then he said: Of course I am will to take responsibility for any mistakes I've made. Then he show perfect insight and took the fight to the enemy with the best response of the night: When people ask questions like that I think they're trying to get at the big decisions I've made, Iraq and tax cuts. I don't regret them at all. As a matter of fact I stand by them and believe strongly that they were correct. In other words, while I am going to address your question, I reject the premise of it as unbelievably biased and totally unbalanced with a similar question posed to the long-faced dude to my Left...and so I'm going to reiterate my stances on those very important issues...bite me.

I have a few questions of my own. First, who the hell ok'ed that question? Second, who decided it would be the last question of the night? Third, who decided that this questions not be asked: Sen. Kerry, please describe three instances in your 20-year Senate career in which you made a decision you regret.

Does anyone want to argue that the last question was not horribly biased?! Anyone?

Fortunately, Bush really did use that particular instance of adversity to show how quickly and perfectly he can rise to a challenge. Although there were plenty of great answers (most of which I'm too tired to go into right now, I would say that for his response of the last question alone, he won the debate.

And before I hit the sack I have to mention my favorite line of the night (and there were a few): "That response almost made me want to scowl." He had me rolling on the floor =).

(And need I mention the contrast between that and Kerry's painfully lame attempt Red Sox humor in St. Louis? I didn't think so.).


Life in the Dumpster

Great blog I just ran across a few minutes ago. Read this post:

Liberals and Conservatives: Everything you need to know

The division of the human family into its two distinct branches occurred some 10,000 years ago, a few hundred years after the flood. Humans coexisted as members of small bands of nomadic hunter/gatherers. In the pivotal event of societal evolution, beer was invented. This epochal innovation was both the foundation of modern civilization and the occasion of the great bifurcation of humanity into its two distinct subgroups: Liberals and Conservatives.
Want to learn more? Go take a class in the Dumpster.

He's going on my blogroll.


Vote Often

That was the message from THK while in Minneapolis:

"I am so proud of what you guys are doing," she told them.

The only political statement she made was to a small group of adults involved in the program.

"Vote often and vote well," she said with a smile as she departed.
I originally saw this at Museum of Left Wing Lunancy, which directed me to Newsmax...and I still had a hard time believing it...but there it is in black and white pixles.

Now I am fully aware that she is almost certainly trying to encourage people to "vote often" over the course of their lives or some such thing. No one (not even THK) is stupid enough to publically encourage vote fraud. The point I want to make is that it's not just President Bush who has the audacity to make dumb statements (remember THK's other gaffs --> shove it, let them go naked, idiots).

If the Left where honest with themselves about human nature they'd lay off Bush's occasional mistatements and focus on actual fact. I know, I know...it's a long shot, but a guy can dream, can't he?


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