Observations on the world today.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Typing 101 

Yahoo! News - Questions Surface About Bush Memos
Independent document examiner Sandra Ramsey Lines said the memos looked like they had been produced on a computer using Microsoft Word software. Lines, a document expert and fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, pointed to a superscript — a smaller, raised "th" in "111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron" — as evidence indicating forgery.

Microsoft Word automatically inserts superscripts in the same style as the two on the memos obtained by CBS, she said.
Many on the left have been commenting on this idiotic non-story, but I have a different observation to make specifically about this claim.

On the documents, there are two instances where the superscripted "th" appear. Here on page two:

...and here on page four:

There is another opportunity for the superscript to appear here on page two:

...but it is not used. However, the significant thing to note is that there are also three instances of the letters "st" being used on the document. At no time are they superscripted. They appear twice on page one:


...as well as on page three:

If this was something MSWord did automatically, it would have also done it on these three occasions. I suspect that the problem was that the typewriter in question had only the "th" character available, and that the Lt. Colonel only used it intermittently. Frankly, I think this explanation is a lot more in keeping with logic than the conspiracy theory or the hoax theory.



Why, Ralph? Why? 

ONN. Ohio News Now: Ralph Nader Will Be on Ohio Ballot
Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell has certified a Nov. 2 ballot that includes independent candidate Ralph Nader and a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.


However, Blackwell spokesman Carlo LoParo said the certification deadline was technical and that if either the same-sex marriage amendment or Nader do not qualify, they will be removed from the ballot.

"While candidates and issues can be removed from the ballot, they cannot be placed on the ballot after Sept. 8," he said.


The Ohio Democratic Party has launched a formal challenge of Nader's candidacy with Blackwell's office. Three Columbus lawyers filed a lawsuit last week in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, alleging fraud and misrepresentation in the campaign to get Nader on the ballot.

Nader supporters submitted 14,473 names on a petition; 5,000 are needed to place him on the ballot. The secretary of state logged 6,464 valid signatures, pending legal challenges.
It is absolutely critical that we keep Nader off the Ohio ballot. How critical? This critical:

Nader doesn't even have a chance to get enough votes to qualify for matching funds, and he can do nothing to help any political parties in future election, which was part of the argument used for voting for him in 2000. This time, the only two possible outcomes of a Nader vote in Ohio are that your vote makes no difference, or that your vote tips the scale in favor of Bush. It really is as simple as that.



Ommision Report 

Guerrilla News Network
Today’s panel also included John Judge, co-founder of 9/11 Citizens Watch and chief author of the coming "9/11 Omissions Report,” a detailed of counter-narrative to the best-selling official 9/11 Commission report. As Judge explained, the official report was more than just a cover-up, it was an “exoneration” - each chapter draft was sent to the White House to be vetted before it was set to print. There are no redacted passages in the final report, he said, because it had, in a sense, been pre-redacted. Judge told the audience of about 300 that the report could be considered to be at least partially written by the very people it was investigating.


DeWitt recommends everyone read Edmonds in her own words here, from when this past June, Edmonds sued the Justice Department and desperately fought an eventual gag order. But before being silenced and having all her material re-classified, she accused the Attorney General Ashcroft of hiding "serious criminal activities…complicity in covering up."



Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Die Nasty Dynasty 

Daily Kos :: Closing Time
"There's been a George Bush on every Republican ticket since 1980. That's six of the last seven elections!. The president's dad was on the ticket in 1980, 1984, 1988 and 1992. After taking a brief family hiatus, George W. Bush was on the ticket in 2000 and again this year. And if you think the reason Jeb Bush was quiet at this year's convention means the mantle is going to be passed next to Rudy Giuliani or John McCain, folks, you're not paying attention to how the Bushes run the family monarchy. Maybe George Bush slept through his American history classes at Yale, but I seem to recall that we fought a war 200 years ago to free ourselves from a monarchy led by a guy named George."
You know, I knew this, but until I saw it worded in exactly this way it had never really sunk in.

Here's something else for you to chew on. Beginning with Charlemagne and moving forward exactly forty generations, we get the following bloodline:
Louis I, king of France, Germany and Italy
Princess Gisele
Princess Hatwige
Otto the Illustrious
Henry I (the Fowler) Emperor of Germany
Gerberga of Saxony
Gerberga of Lorraine
Herbert III (count of Vermandois)
Otto ,Count of Vermandois
Adelaide de Vermandois
Isabel de Vermandois
Adelaide de Warren
William I, "the Lion" king of Scotland
Princess Isabella
William de Roos
William de Roos II
Lucy Roos
Sir Willaim de Plumpton
Alice Plumpton
Alice Botelar
Constance Gerard
Oliver Standish
Grace Standish-Faircloth
Lawrence Faircloth
Thomas Faircloth
Mary Faircloth-Allen
Jane Allen-Bulkely
Peter Bulkely
Rebecca Bulkely-Prescott
Abel Prescott
Lucy Prescott-Fay
Samuel Fay
Samuel Howard Fay
Harriet Fay-Bush
Samuel Prescott Bush
Prescott Sheldon Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush
George W. Bush
Moreover, Charlemagne was the son of Pepin the Short who had usurped his Frankish throne from Childeric of the Merovingian Dynasty, and Charlemagne was rumored to have both been an illigitimate member of the family, and he also married a Merovingian princess. Thus Bush may believe he has a bloodline which follows back to a truly whacked out royal family that claimed to have been directly descended from Jesus Christ through his marriage to Mary Magdeline and their daughter Sarah.

Frankly, this would explain a lot.



Monday, September 06, 2004

Shame Shame Nobody Knows Your Name 

I am just doing my part to assure that everybody sees this woman's face plastered all over the Internet and scorns her for her callous disregard for the sacrifices of our men and woman in service to our country.



Omission Hearings 

9/11 CitizensWatch
Why: A new Zogby poll (http://www.zogby.com/news) shows that 49.3% of New York City residents believe some government leaders "consciously failed" on 9/11.

Two/thirds (66%) call for a re-opening of the investigation. Given the pivotal historical significance of 9/11, the investigation must proceed to full disclosure and examination of as yet unfollowed lines of inquiry. Common citizens, scholars, and whistleblowers must take, and are taking, this into their own hands.

When: Thursday, September 9, 1-7 pm [+ evening showings of documentary re. 9/11]


Where: The Symphony Space, Peter Jay Sharp Theater; 2537 Broadway at 95th St.

What: 9/11 Citizens' Commission: "The Omission Hearings"; co-chaired by Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and former Bush Sr. official Catherine Austin Fitts, who are set to hear testimony from Ashcroft-gagged whistleblower Sibel Edmonds recently featured on 60 Minutes, Paul Thompson, author of The Terror Timeline (Harper-Collins),Michael Ruppert (author, Crossing the Rubicon, whose newsletter is read by 35 members/staffs in Congress) and 9/11 victim family members.

PRESS CONFERENCE to precede event.
I'm not really sure what this is. It seems as though it will be a mock hearing to make public that which Sibel Edmonds has been silenced about. Should be interesting.



Anti-choice Voting 

The following is the text of a letter to the editor which I have sent to my local paper. It is what I wanted to say to the students gathered against Kerry at the rally on Saturday, only I couldn't because I had my kids with me.
To the editor:

On Saturday, Sept. 4, I attended the John Kerry rally at the Old Ft. Steuben. I would like to address the contingent of anti-choice protesters who were also in attendance (HS - Pro-life groups protest 09-05-04). Many of them carried signs reading, "You can’t be Catholic and pro-abortion."

First, I would like to let them know that I too am pro-life. As I understand his position, John Kerry is also pro-life. All of us - he, I and those who protested him - believe that the moment when life begins is ultimately at conception. And all of us believe that to indifferently abort that life prematurely is a morally objectionable decision. None of us would ever council a woman who had asked our advice that she should casually have an abortion when options like adoption and foster care exist in the world. At least for myself, not unless there were extreme circumstances such as rape or danger to her life involved.

So, in my opinion, it is unfair to try to paint John Kerry as pro-abortion. He is not. Where he and I part ways from the protesters is that he and I believe in choice. A woman’s uterus does not belong to the government. Therefore, it is not the government’s right to force a woman to incubate a fetus for nine months if she chooses not to.

Other’s who share this view are Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor Pataki, Rudy Giuliani and Tom Ridge; all Republicans and all Catholics. In fact, 73% of all Republican voters and 80% of all Americans say that they are pro-choice (Newsweek - A Fight for the GOP’s ‘Heart and Soul’ 09-02-04). George Bush may personally be anti-choice, but he is having little sway on the American people or his own party in this regard.

The one small gain Bush made toward repealing the right of a woman to choose in this last four years, his bill to outlaw so-called partial birth abortion, was challenged as unconstitutional by several states because there was no provision for protecting the life of a woman who might need to abort in this way in order to survive. And statistically, that is the only time that such a procedure is ever used. Logic alone is enough to send up that flag. What woman would ever choose this procedure contraceptively? In all likelihood, the law will probably be overturned by the supreme court.

In closing, the Catholic church has other issues too. The pope opposed the war in Iraq, and they oppose the death penalty. Knowing that George Bush flouted the pope on the first issue and that as Governor of Texas he routinely scorned the second, how can you be Catholic and vote for Bush? In fact, his brother Jeb, the Governor of Florida, actually is a Catholic, and he too supported the war and favors the death penalty. Considering that the Florida delegation at the GOP convention carried signs touting Jeb in ’08, I am forced to wonder if you one-issue Catholics will remain one-issue voters, or will you be as vociferous in your opposition to his potential candidacy?

I think that about sums it up.



Which Steubenville Rally Was That? 

Blogs for Bush: Ohio Bucks John Kerry

Blogs for Bush is repeating a post from another blog about the Steubenville rally which I attended. It is an email from a Franciscan University alum.
The Kerry campaign first scheduled a visit to Steubenville two weeks ago but "scheduling conflicts" came up at the last minute. Oh, and did I mention that Kerry wanted to use a local gun range as a campaign stop, but the owner turned him down?
Not exactly true. The owner said that Kerry could use the gun range, but that he could not use it as a photo op as the owner was a Bush supporter. Kerry then got permission to use the private property of a supporter since he didn't want to inconvenience the range owner. I know this for a fact because I spoke with the niece of the person who owns the property. He also decided not to use it as a photo op.
And that the Fire Department Union President told the Kerry campaign that not only would he not organize the union to support Kerry at the rally, but that he was supporting President Bush!
And yet several of them were there anyway.
The Kerry campaign took for granted that this area was sown up. Mistake number one. So they rescheduled the campaign trip when Franciscan University was back in session. Mistake number two.

Before Kerry arrived there was a huge pro-life march led by Franciscan University students, 500 strong. "You can't be Catholic and pro-abortion", read some of their signs. Students and members of local Catholic parishes were full of energy and FoxNews reported that this was the largest protest against Kerry outside of the Democratic Convention. Just picture 500 pro-lifers marching from their college campus to meet Kerry. Where else but in Steubenville, Ohio!
First, I don't think they took for granted that the area was "sown up." (Incidentally, I think she means "sewn up," unless she's making some obscure farming reference that I am not aware of. A wonderful thing that Franciscan education.) I think both Kerry and Bush realize that this is an area at the juncture of three toss-up states. That's why Bush came to Wheeling last week.

As for the march, I doubt that there were 500 of them, and I know that they were not all Franciscan students. Many of them were from nearby Wheeling Jesuit and some came from Columbus. Also the paper reports that the march was only 400 strong, and I doubt even that number.

Also, if this was the largest protest outside the DNCC, Kerry has had it pretty easy compared to Bush. Except that Bush remains insulated against the protests.
….The Kerry campaign not only made a mistake in their timing, but they also chose to hold the rally in a public park which should be open to all the public. Mistake number three. The police chief, sheriff, and mayor all agreed with me that protesters and their signs would be allowed inside the Kerry rally site. Freedom of speech is alive and well here in Ohio. The Kerry campaign flipped out!
Huh? Was there another Kerry rally in Steubenville on Saturday that I wasn't told about? It's true that the protesters were allowed in the park, but they were also corralled at the back. Furthermore, how does this writer know that the Kerry campaign staff "flipped out?" Perhaps the secret service people were a little more guarded, but the "reported in the paper was that the local authorities wanted the people to be allowed to bring in their own signs and the Kerry camp wanted only their signs - which they freely distributed. They reached a compromise, and as a result, I could have brought in an anti-Bush sign. Something which normally would not be allowed at a Kerry rally, and certainly would not be allowed at a Bush rally.
So, now add another 500 local Bush supporters to the Kerry rally.
Yes, because for sure they were all Kerry supporters before. Give me a break.
They tried to turn up the music but they could not drown us out.
Ahh, so that's why the rally had music which is otherwise unheard of at a rally. Sheesh!
According to the Herald Star (local press), "The crowd, estimated by officials as 3,500 strong, was almost split in half with people for and against the Massachusetts senator." John Kerry must know he has a problem when over 15% of his audience was booing him.
I think the paper was being somewhat hyperbolic in their assertion that the audience was split 50/50. Consider, they broke us into three sections based on the color of ticket we held. The blue and red tickets were all pro-Kerry as they had been given to friends of the local democratic committee chair. And the white ticket line (which I was originally in) was also spilt, and it seemed to be to be predominantly pro-Kerry as well.

Furthermore, once inside, it was obvious that most of the people there, were eager to cheer for Kerry.
Kerry was visibly shaken when he received boos from the audience. You may not see this outside of FoxNews, and the AP is falsely reporting that only a few dozen protesters met Kerry.
I never saw Kerry visibly shaken at all. Quite the contrary, when one protester (not a Franciscan student) flipped him the bird, Kerry waved to him and told the crowd that the young man had gestured to him and he wanted to acknowledge it.



Sunday, September 05, 2004

I Can See the Presidency From Here 

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry spoke before a crowd of approximately 3,500 people Saturday at Old Fort Steuben in Steubenville. During his speech, Kerry reiterated his support for workers and was critical of the Medicare reform bill.
Now, I could be wrong, but I think that orange blurry blob is my daughter on my shoulders waving her sign.

It’s not a very good likeness.



Rally In My Valley 

Last evening, I took my two oldest kids to the Kerry rally. I wanted to take all three, but circumstances prevented me from taking my youngest daughter.

It was hot. We arrived at three o’clock and were ordered to stand in a line based on the color of ticket we held. Apparently, white ticket holders were considered fringe. I had gotten my tickets on the Internet, so my ticket was a white ticket. Others had gotten theirs directly from Jefferson County democratic headquarters or from the business owned by the chairman of the county democratic party.

As a consequence. We ended up waiting with the Kerry protesters who had come from Franciscan University with their "You Can’t Be Catholic and Pro-Abortion" signs. At one point, the Franciscan kids handed out apples to curry favor with the hungry masses of Kerry supporters. This led me to quip to those around me not to eat the forbidden fruit. I think the biblical allusion escaped the Charismatics. - Well, probably it didn’t, but they generously let it slide.

At about four-thirty or so the rain started. It was annoying at first, but when it passed, it actually served to make the day much more agreeable temperature-wise. Anyway, it was pouring buckets when we made it through the security perimeter and into the rally site. Once inside, we were once again marginalized by the color of our tickets. We were instructed to move to the left, which led us to the holding pen which they had designated for the not-so-silent minority. At first, since I had become so accustomed to seeing their faces, I didn’t make the connection, but then I noticed a gentleman on the other side of the barrier (a railing) who was trying to coerce the unreceptive assembled to purchase his "Asses of Evil" pins. It was then that I realized where we were.

I turned to my daughter and said, "Whoops, we don’t want to be here," and we started out. At that point, a gentleman noticed me and in a conspiratorial tone whispered, "Kerry supporter?" I said yes, and he slipped me three blue tickets.


We shimmied out of the holding pen and made our way into the daylight. Literally as well as figuratively, as it was at that point that the rain had begun to subside. At this point, I should also note that the holding pen was also the only location at the rally with actual seats. If we democrats were going to treat them as pariah, at least we were going to make them comfortable pariah.

As we entered the pro-Kerry world for the first time that afternoon, I was told that I would have to surrender my sign. I had a simple cardboard Kerry/Edwards placard which I had bought for $5 and which I had hoped to take home and place in my front lawn. But it was a small price to pay for the chance to get closer - not for my sake; but for the kids. However, soon after we arrived inside. My son noticed a young girl holding a handmade sign on blue cardboard. He pointed it out to me wondering why she was allowed to have a sign. I looked and noticed that she was holding it close to the vest - actually close to her lap. And I then noticed that her sign was doubled over to keep anyone from reading it, but I clearly saw letters from the word "ABORTION" flick in an unguarded moment as she readjusted for comfort.

I excused myself and found a volunteer. "Excuse me," I said. "When I came in they told me that I was not allowed to bring in an outside sign." I was told that it was true, and proceeded to tell him about the agitators. He followed me to them, and I had them ejected.

My son was disgusted. Not by them, but by me. "All’s fair in love and war and politics," I explained, but he was having none of it.

"They should be allowed to be heard," he said.

"Not here. Not today," I explained. But to be honest, he had a point. Which is all moot anyway, because cooler heads prevailed, and within minutes they had returned - signs in hand. And it turns out the rule was bogus anyway; because a few minutes later, union members and Kerry volunteers were handing out free signs to anyone who wanted one. We were given one that said "Believe in America." I think possibly, the real reason for the rule was to keep the sea of signs uniform. It probably is less distracting for the cameras that way. Unfortunately, it is also less personal.

Soon - after one false alarm - Kerry had arrived. His bus pulled in to the blaring sounds of John Mellencamp. I forget which song. I know for sure it wasn’t Authority Song. Mr. Kerry was accompanied by John Glen and Dennis Kucinich as well as Ted Strickland. Edwards was absent. Strickland and Glen both spoke. For some reason, Kucinich was no where near the microphone.

At about twenty after six, John Kerry began to speak. He began by running off some things he’d been told about Steubenville "the city of murals." "Home of the Big Red," he said. "One of the winningest football teams in all of Ohio." He then noted that it was also the home of Dean Martin and home of Naples (a local Italian restaurant). "I hear they make the best meatball sub around," Kerry said. To which I loudly quipped, "Capri’s not bad." Capri is another local Italian sandwich shop. A few people in ear shot of me laughed.

There was one other moment where I tried to make a sort-of-joke, but it fell like a rock. Kerry was talking about how Bush had been against steel tariffs, but had then been for them and then against them again. He was clearly speaking the part of the speech tailored for this valley. So during a dramatic pause, I began waving my arm and shouting "flip!" (arm waved to one side) "flop!" (arm waved to the other side.) It was an effort to use the divisive gesture invented by Bush supporters and employed during Cheney’s vitriolic speech against them. But the crowd either didn’t catch on -or they hadn’t seen the GOP convention. At any rate, it didn’t work and only embarrassed my daughter.

For much of the speech, I held my daughter on one shoulder so she could better see the celebrities and better wave our placard. But she is eleven and is just heavy enough that I was about to suffer an aneurysm from having her thighs cutting off the flow of blood to my brain, so I had to set her down.

Anyway, those are all my rally stories. It was a lot of fun. My daughter actually enjoyed it, and even helped in the chanting of "Ker-ry! Ker-ry!" My son - not so much.



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