Observations on the world today.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

How Dare You Do That Thing We Made You Do 

Blogs for Bush: Caged, Like Animals:
Protesters of the Democrat's Convention next week are being pushed out of view from the convention in a caged off area. These caged off areas have been given such euphemisms as "demonstration zone" and "free speech zone."
With protesters out of sight, one can only wonder how much media attention will be given to them compared to the protesters who will be at the Republican Convention.
Holy crap! Do they really not realize that this is the current policy as created by the Bush administration. Even the euphemisms "demonstration zone" and "free speech zone" are their creation.
When Bush travels around the United States, the Secret Service visits the location ahead of time and orders local police to set up “free speech zones” or “protest zones” where people opposed to Bush policies (and sometimes sign-carrying supporters) are quarantined. These zones routinely succeed in keeping protesters out of presidential sight and outside the view of media covering the event.
This is like that scene in the cartoons where the big cat eats the canary and then sticks feathers in the mouth of the little cat so that the little cat will get in trouble for it.

UPDATE: To see more on "free speech zones," click here.



Friday, July 23, 2004

Kerry 285 Bush 242 

Current Electoral Vote Predictor 2004

Some new state polls have changed the tally on electoral-vote.com. Unfortunately, both Ohio and Florida have shifted red, but only slightly. The good news, however, is that even with both Ohio and Florida going to Bush, Kerry still wins.

Of course, it could all still change, and I will feel much better after the post-convention bounce. Unless, that is, Bush pulls Osama out of his ass sometime next week.



Does the Name Fawn Hall Ring a Bell? 

One Sandy Berger and a side of lies on The Review Appeal
Stuffing classified documents in his socks, his pants, his coat pockets, Sandy Berger, the former Clinton national security adviser, is in serious trouble. He has admitted taking classified documents from the National Archives prior to the 9/11 Commission’s investigation into the intelligence breakdown that led to the attacks.
What this After-Action Review apparently reveals is the fact that al-Qaida cells penetrated America during Berger’s watch and the Clinton administration did relatively little about it. This runs contrary to what the former president and his close advisers have been telling us.
Okay, so apparently, the Republicans believe that if an underling pilfers documents by secreting them out of their proper location shoved in somebody’s undergarments, and then "disappears" those documents, this is an indictment of that underling's boss.

The fact is that the 9/11 Commission members have stated categorically that there was nothing in those missing papers that they hadn't seen before, and that besides there were copies. So obviously, this wasn't done as an obfuscation.

But since the Right is now on record saying that this behavior as they have described it is unforgivable, one has to ask if this applies to other situations in the past where the Right was not so quick to demonize either the party who did the purloining of documents and the destruction of same,
nor were they even willing to entertain the idea that his boss might be in any way culpable.
Worse still is the suggestion that John Kerry might be in some way involved.
Two Republican senators yesterday demanded presidential candidate John Kerry explain the role of Sandy Berger in his campaign, following revelations the Justice Department is investigating the former national security adviser for taking highly classified documents related to the Sept. 11 terrorism investigation out of the National Archives.
This is patently ridiculous. Some accusations work, others are simply idiotic. Let's apply the Miller Analogies model to these comparisons, shall we?
is to

is to
It's a stretch, but this analogy works. However:
is to

is to...
Oh, I don't know. Maybe:



Thursday, July 22, 2004

Why Tora Bora Was No Tora Tora Tora. 

Asia Times Online - The best news coverage from South Asia:
A recent report by US think-tank Strategic Forecasting suggested that since "sovereignty" had now been transferred to Iraq, the United States would give its full attention to the problem of al-Qaeda fugitives in Pakistan's rugged tribal areas. Already this year, at the instigation of Washington, the Pakistani army has launched two military offensives into South Waziristan to track down foreign elements, with marginal success.

All signs now point to another offensive, but this time Islamabad and Washington have agreed that US troops stationed across the border in Afghanistan will take an active part in the action on Pakistani soil, rather than wait for suspects to be flushed out into their waiting arms. Similarly, Pakistani troops will be able to engage in hot-pursuit operations into Afghan territory.


Given these developments, it is only a matter of time before Pakistani and US forces swing into action
I'm guessing that swing will be sometime around July 26 - 29.


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Spoiler Alert! 

No, this is not a post about Nader.

PollingReport.com - Public Opinion Online
Q. Al Gore won 17 of the 18 states (including D.C.) where President Clinton's job rating was at or above the national average of 57%. Which state didn't fit this pattern?
That question is on the pollingreport.com front-page today. The answer to the question is included in an article on the site:

*SPOILER* Do not read if you are still trying to guess the answer.
No surprise. Florida (where Clinton’s positive rating was 58%) was the one state that Gore didn’t "carry" when the rating of Clinton’s job performance was at or above the national 57% average.
I declare a foul. Gore won all of the states where Clinton’s job rating was at or above the national average of 57%. The question says "won." The article says "carry" and even puts the word carry in quotes.

Anyway, I agree with the premise of the article. Gore should not have run away from Clinton's legacy.



I'm a War Peace President 

Top News Article | Reuters.com
After launching two wars, President Bush said on Tuesday he wanted to be a "peace president" and took swipes at his Democratic rivals for being lawyers and weak on defense.
Bush has called himself a "war president" in leading the United States in a battle against terrorism brought about by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America. "I'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind," he said in February.
Here are the two quotes in context:
"I'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind." -- George W. Bush, 2/8/04

"I want to be the peace president." -- George W. Bush, 7/20/04


But this isn't the first time Bush has flipped his position. Sure, today he wants to be a peace president, but what did he want to be in 2001?

"I want to be a cowboy."

And then came May, 2003.

"I want to be a pilot."

Make up your damned mind!



Bush 211, Kerry 327  

Election Projection - 2004 Edition

That's the electoral vote count as it presently stands at Election Projection. This site is maintained by a Bush supporter, and even he has Bush losing using his formula. And the best part is that on his map, both Florida and Ohio are blue.



Tuesday, July 20, 2004

WMD Game Over! 

Boston.com / News / World / U.N. weapons inspectors will return to Iraq within days, IAEA chief says
''The return of U.N. inspectors to Iraq is an urgent necessity; not to search for weapons of mass destruction but to write the final report about the nonexistence of (such) weapons ... in Iraq, which will enable the lifting of sanctions,'' Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told reporters in Cairo.
Once more with feeing!
''The return of U.N. inspectors to Iraq is an urgent necessity; not to search for weapons of mass destruction but to write the final report about the nonexistence of (such) weapons ... in Iraq, which will enable the lifting of sanctions,'' Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told reporters in Cairo.
Hey, wadda ya know? Bush was wrong all along. Whoda thunkit?



Monday, July 19, 2004

And Screw You Too, Newdow 

That is the America we believe in. That is the America we are fighting for. That is the America we will build together – one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
So I'm reading the democratic platform for 2004, and I stumble upon this little gem. Now I realize that a platform is just a pretense at policy, but come on! Who exactly do they think they need to pander to with this? Morons who think this stuff matters won't vote democratic anyway.



Blaming Sol 

Hotter-burning sun warming the planet - The Washington Times: World - July 19, 2004
The sun is burning hotter than usual, offering a possible explanation for global warming that needs to be weighed when proceeding with expensive efforts to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, Swiss and German scientists say.
Correlation is not necessarily causality. This argument is true whether the question is are sun-spots the cause or is the increase in carbon emissions more to blame? Perhaps an increase in solar activity is the primary cause in the increase in the earth's temperature. Perhaps not. However, logic still dictates that if there is something that we might be able to do to lessen the effects, we should do it.

Actually, a more precise phrasing might be this: if we are doing something to exaggerate the effects of increased solar temps, then we should stop.

If it is true that the sun is getting hotter and also true that CO2 emissions create a greenhouse effect, then it is all that much more important that we stop spewing out greenhouse gases.

One has no guarantee that one will not be struck by lightening even if one is not holding a lightening rod. Is that a good argument for golfing during a thunder storm?


Meanwhile in Pakistan...  

...they are reading about how here in America we are not reading about the alleged Allawi incident.

Daily Times - Site Edition
The US media has surprisingly failed to pick up the shocking disclosure by Sydney Morning Herald, Australia’s leading newspaper, that the Irqai Prime Minister Iyad Allawi personally executed six suspected insurgents in a Baghdad police station.
I'm reminded of how everyone in Europe and the Middle East and much of Asia was reading about how the Kurds may actually have captured Saddam Hussein while the American media just pretended the story wasn't even happening.

Note to American media, if president Kerry does something monumentally hypocritical during his tenure between next January and 2010, please feel free to report on it. I'd rather know the truth than have you keep me in the jingoistic dark-ages.

After all, it is your freakin' job!



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