To read the tribute to SFC Marcus Muralles, please click here
Thursday, September 30, 2004
So, there was this debate...
In all honesty, there weren't any great moments in this debate. Both candidates had some good jabs. But, in the end, if you're a Kerry supporter, you were happy with what you heard. If you're a Bush supporter, you are happy with what you heard. If you're undecided this late in the game... good luck.
Is it too much to ask that these guys say something news (and blog) worthy?
An assignment for everyone
Why we love our President (part 2)
He said, 'If it's okay with you, we'll take care of the prayer right now. Would you pray with me?'To have a man like that as our president is truly a blessing. (to be fair- truthorfiction says that this has been confirmed, and Snopes has it listed as "research in progress".)
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
The Presidential Debate Drinking Game!
To play the game, you need a few things: a shot glass, a television, access to the Loyal Citizens chatroom (accessible via the Rottie), and a designated sober person for either making sure you don't miss a reference during the game or the toilet afterward.I would also like to add a paper copy of the shot-inducers, so you don't have to try to jump back and forth between sites. And I'd like to add one more shot-inducer: anytime the little "debate facts" box at the top of my page goes off.
Personally, I think I shall be using Diet Rite Tangerine as my beverage of choice. (Yeah, I know... for all my adult beverage talk, I'm drinking diet soda during a drinking game. I think it's just smart. And I don't want to get smashed.)
UPDATE: The grocery store was out of Tangerine Diet Rite, so I grabbed some Diet Vernors. It's not a ginger ale for the faint of heart, but it's good stuff. Hope I bought enough...
The Outrage! The Horror!
The latest talking point
Here's a list of current Democratic talking points/words:
out of context
smarter and tougher war
alienate our allies
a chance for change
different and new direction
tax cuts for the richest Americans
Bush Lied, People Died
If you can think of any more, add them in the comments.
And they worry about my kids eating cookies?
So, now where's the final frontier?
Yes, this is really cool. And really big. Virgin Galactic has already signed a contract to make this commercial. Science is moving so fast, you'd better not blink- you might miss something important.
Will someone give a speech or something?
A judge in Yemen sentenced two men to death for the attack on the USS Cole. Four other men were sentenced to prision terms as well. Nice to know someone over there is on our side.
Two Italian charity workers were released by their captors in Iraq and have returned to Italy. There is still speculation about whether or not a ransom was paid. The women said that they were treated well and that their captors were teaching them about Islam. Conversion at gunpoint?
John Walker Lindh wants President Bush to commute his 20 year sentence. He thinks that because the US released Hamdi that they should release him, too. But I don't see Lindh's family agreeing to the whole "go away, denounce Al Qaeda and never come back" deal Hamdi struck. I could be wrong, but...
Now for the lightning round... Election coverage in a nutshell... Fasten your seatbelts...
Kerry needs to win the "persuadable" vote. (I can't help but think that if you don't know by now, you're not going to figure it out in the next month. One in five voters are persuadable? Yikes!) John Edwards tries to appeal to Security Moms (any takers besides the Moms on a Mission? Didn't think so.) Veterans for Kerry tried to deliver a letter to Mrs. Bush at a rally in Oregon, but were turned away (oh, yeah... the Secret Service is just gonna hand something over to Mrs. Bush... they're not the USPS, folks!) Kerry is giving up on Missouri (woohoo!). George Soros is on a mission, a mission from... well, not God. Networks are not happy with some of the debate rules, and they have no intention of obeying them (while I can see their point, I can also see why those rules are a good idea... we'll see what happens). Al Gore offers some advice on debating the President (Great idea! Getting debate advice from a tree!)(good luck accessing the article with BugMeNot- ed). This on the other hand is a great op-ed on the debate (funny, and I agree with it. Can you get any better than that?) Psychic dogs have predicted a Bush victory by 15% (don't laugh [much]! They've got it right before...) Cox & Forkum takes on the draft and the election (and hits it dead on, as usual.)The Bush/Cheney campaign is going to make bloggers' jobs a little easier Thursday night (makes me wish I could live blog the debate!) Florida officials call former President Jimmah Carter a liar because of his accusations ( I don't know that I'd call them "paranoid fantasies"- I think delusional mental wanderings is a bit kinder.) Soldiers on the ground in Iraq are "terrified of a Kerry presidency" (them and us, both). And, finally, MadTV has its take on the debates (ok, I really dislike them making Bush out to be a dunce... but it was REALLY funny...)
OK... back to the stuff I need a little more room to comment on...
Kerry tried to explain his "I voted for it before I voted against it" statement. If I understand him (yeah, right!), his "no" vote was a protest. He knew it would pass, so he felt safe to vote "no" to show his displeasure with the funding. So... he was making a statement and it came back to bite him in the rump. OK. (For the record, this is another reason I could never be a politician. I would vote my conviction, no matter what. Guess I'm not nuanced enough. )
One last election item... a candidate for Congress from Illinois is taking a stand. Not only does he believe that Islam is the enemy, he's actually saying it out loud. He probably won't win, but cudos to him for having the guts to say what many people feel.
Now... for everything else...
The Barenaked Ladies are going to do a variety show. This could either be terribly funny or terribly horrible. I'm leaning toward the latter rather than the former.
IBM's latest supercomputer, Blue Gene, has broken the speed record with a brain-straining 36 terraflops. [As a reference, the laptop I'm using right now is probably doing 600 million flops- "floating point operations" per second. This blue beast of a machine can maintain 36 TRILLION (36,000,000,000,000) flops. In comparison, the human brain handles (a rough estimate here) over 10 quadrillion flops (add 3 more zeros)] Hubby plans on having one just as fast on his desktop within 20 years. I doubt it will take that long.
A laser injured a pilot on approach to SLC International Airport. At first, I thought this was a "black helicopter/ aliens are coming to get us" kind of article, but it's real. Evidently, pilots can get zapped from laser light shows and stuff like that. Or aliens are conducting experiments on the poor guy.
A five foot tall statue of Jesus washed up on a sandbar in the Rio Grande is being called "miraculous." People are calling the statue "The Christ of the Undocumented." If it really was the "Christ of the Undocumented" it wouldn't be sitting in a police department- the police never would have picked him up. (was that bad? can't say I'm sorry.)
A town in Mexico is advertising for an army... of cats.
Marge Simpson will be giving a Christmas message on BBC Channel 4 at the same time that the Queen will give her Christmas address. I can't make stuff like this up, people.
Where's the coffee? I need a refill...
Annoying Commercials (a continuing series?)
What's up with that? A group of four boys will not break out in song, serenading the girl down the street, for a Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie? And an entire cafeteria belting out a song made famous five years before I was born? Not gonna happen.
Yeah, I know... it's a commercial... it doesn't have to be real. But still... they still bug me everytime I see them.
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
A trip to our zoo
This is Mike. (He's a lab/huskie mix). Our other dog is Snort- she's a corgi. The two bearded dragons are Pappy and Gunny. No, I don't know which one is which in the pictures.
They call him Flipper, Flipper, Flipper
Juvenile? Yup. Funny? Oh, yeah!
When Inspiration Flees
I'm sure I'll have plenty to say after the debate Thursday night (I'd love to live blog it, but I won't be home until the debate begins, so I'll probably hang out at the Rott chat room until it's over, then post something.)
Here are a few tidbits I found that did catch my eye:
Senator Kerry wants all the attack ads to just go away. I guess it was ok when they were attacking the President, but it's just mean when they attack him. Funny thing is... the Left attacks Bush with lies, and the Right attacks Kerry with facts. But they're all just mean and not fair, right, Senator?
More on Senator Kerry... evidently the Democratic candidate for president spent a little too much time in the sun (or under a sun light) recently. I'm not sure if this photo was airbrushed or if the video I saw had a bad filter, but he looked sunburned in the video. SPF 30 is a beautiful thing, Senator. Sun cancer is not fun. I may not like your politics, but I don't want you dead, either.
In other campaign news... Senator Kennedy thinks that President Bush has made a nuclear attack on US soil more likely. You just keep telling yourself that, Senator. While I agree that every moment that any Islamofacist is still sucking air increases our chances of some sort of terrorist attack, I can't agree that it's all President Bush's fault (except for not turning the ME into one gigantic black glass coffee table- but I think our ally Israel might not be too happy with that idea.) Democrats must not believe in the theory of multitasking. You can do more than one thing at once, especially militarily. Just ask the WWII vets- they managed to win the war in the Pacific and the war in Europe at the same time.
NY State Democratic Party Chairman Herman Farrell thinks that President Bush is "simple." Assemblyman Farrell, why make things difficult when they can be simple? Why use big words to prove your intelligence if your viewpoint, your plans, your vision can be explained in simple words that everyone understands? Why insist on nuance when clarity and directness are wanted and dare I say needed? But, you go on ahead and continue to misunderestimate W. That's quite alright with me.
Bill O'Reilly interviewed President Bush last week, and the interview is being aired on O'Reilly's tv show this week. Part 1 aired last night. Good start- the President looked relaxed, was joking with O'Reilly. I had two... shall we say "issues"?... with the President's answers. First, he said that he has no idea where Iraq's WMDs are. One of his generals is pretty sure he knows where they went... I guess W can't just come out and say," oh, yeah... they're in Syria... we're going after them next." Oh, well... Second, O'Reilly asked W about the US/Mexican border and the sheer number of illegal aliens (no, they're not "undocumented aliens"- they're illegal...they're breaking the law) crossing the border daily. It was bad enough when the people crossing the border in the dead of night just wanted a better life for their families, but now we probably have bad guy splodydopes sneaking in to wreck havock on US soil. Put up an electric fence, mine the border, do something!!!
Looks like the plans for a draft dodger statue in Canada have been squashed. Looks like some of the people in Nelson, B.C., aren't very happy about all the press they've received.
In our last piece of serious news, a man wanted for questioning concerning threats against the President has disappeared. He has cancelled his credit cards and closed his bank accounts. He even gave the keys to his house to a neighbor. The guy doesn't want to be found, which is why the Secret Service needs to find him.
On to the "lighter" stuff... sort of...
Mount St. Helens seems to be having a little rumbly in the tumbly. I have family in Washington, and my uncle was a geology major when it blew it's side out in '80 (ok, and I was/am/always will be a news/science junkie), so I really paid attention to this. I even had some rock and ash from the eruption, but I donated it to my grade school when I graduated. When I was 10, this was just cool- that my great aunt had to dust off her car in Spokane was amazing to me. Now that I'm older and I can see the ramifications of a volcanic eruption on the continental US , while it's still cool, it's kind of scary. People die during these things. (After all, from a purely scientific point of view, 4 hurricanes in 1 year hitting the same peninsula is pretty cool, too. Unless you live there. Or you died there.) One interesting quote:
<>While the chopper was near the dome, the pilot was in radio contact with Bobbie Myers, another geophysicist who during the 1980 blast learned to detect subtle changes in seismic monitors. "She's known to be able to predict explosive events up to a couple of minutes ahead of time," Winn said.>I'm sorry, but if I lived near Mt. St. Helens, I'd want a little more than a couple of minutes warning. Know what I mean?
Now on to the real "lighter" news... Hugh Hefner thinks he's a pretty moral guy. Is this another case of "it depends on what your definition of 'is' is" moment? I'm not going to judge the man- his soul's condition is between him and his Maker, but... based on what he said in the article... it's that kind of moral relativism that gets you into trouble in the afterlife.
Rosie O'Donnell might try her hand at talk radio. Go for it! I'm sure there's plenty of airtime available on Air America. If you can find a sponsor. (sorry... had to get that jab in). Seriously, I have to question Westwood One's judgement if they offer her a show. She would have a limited audience (her tv audience has dispersed- probably both from her coming out of the closet and her unpopular political stands, and liberal radio is just not working). Talk radio pretty much belongs to conservatives, in the same way that Hollywood and MSM belongs to the liberals (yes, there are exceptions... Alan Colmes is doing fairly well on the radio, and FoxNews is gaining ground in the MSM). It just doesn't make economic sense to back her (even if you like her annoying voice and caustic humor.)
In Prague, they're offering beer for blood. No, really. You donate blood, you get beer and a magazine subscription. Where do I sign up?
A library book was returned... 100 years late. How did they determine the £5000 (~$9000 US) fine? And who in the world do they think will pay it?
Finally... a Romanian shepherd was saved from a bear attack... by his Pekinese. You know that bear will never live this down back at the pub... or where ever it is that bears congregate to tell tales and mead.
Monday, September 27, 2004
Adult Beverage Survey, Part 2
"The English-language term for a brew made with a top-fermenting yeast, which should impart to it a distinctive fruitiness. Ales are produced to a wide variety of colours, palates and strengths."So, that can be taken to mean almost anything that isn't a lager, a pilsner or a lambic. For the sake of our discussion, let's keep it that way. If you like a Stout, fine by me. If it's a Trappist that you reach for, let me know. Hefewiesen? Fine by me.
Because of the range we're working with, you may nominate one from any/all categories of ales (i.e. 1 stout, one pale, one Scotch ale, etc. No, you can't nominate Guiness Stout and Young's Oatmeal Stout.)
My selections? hmmm... Abita Turbo Dog (Stout) and Shiner's Hefewiesen. I know it's only two- but those are the two I'd reach for first.
A computer game I can appreciate
And what is this piece of programming genius that can turn the eye of this self-professed computer game-a-phobe? It's The Political Machine. Yes, you, in the comfort of your own home, can launch a presidential campaign against Lurch.
The first time I play, I think I'm going to do a straight forward Bush/Kerry race. Then, I'll try to make a candidate that's a lot like me and see if I have a snowball's chance of getting elected. Better yet, I'll make a candidate like Hubby and see if I can get him elected as his campaign manager. (He did pretty well on his own during his first try- he lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College.)
Isn't technology a beautiful thing?
Sunday, September 26, 2004
A brief Stroll Around the News
Israel has no problem admitting to targeting (and killing) a Hamas operative. You know... I like that about them.
A plane enroute to the US from Greece made an emergency landing at London's Stansted Airport after a bomb threat was called in. No report as of yet whether or not anything suspicious was found on-board.
A former inmate of Gitmo is presumed dead after a firefight in Afghanistan. Nope, there was no reason to keep a Taliban commander at Gitmo. No reason at all.
NewsMax finally figured out that terrorists use the internet to communicate. Welcome to the 21st century! These guys have been translating Islamic extremist sites for quite a while now!
There was a pro-democracy rally at Tehran University. I'm sure these guys will probably have the 411 for anyone interested in more details.
Texans for Truth might be in trouble for campaign finance violations. I'm about fed up with the whole 527 debacle, anyway. The whole finance reform law was a fiasco, and it should have been struck down as unconstitutional. But, oh, well... more fun for lawyers.
Speaking of lawyers... it's doctors v. lawyers at the ballot box. I think that we have the right to sue, and we should, if there's legitimate malpractice. But these lawyers have gone totally insane, and they need to be reined in. Now.
An officer in the Iraqi National Guard has been arrested for spying for the insurgents. If he's found guilty, give him to the mothers of the men killed by the insurgents who used the information given to them by this piece of trash. They'll know what to do with him.
In other Iraqi news... an Iraqi official said that Saddam will be executed because that's what the people want. One question: will it be on pay-per-view?
In even other Iraqi news, there's a new commando unit hunting al-Zarqawi. It's about frickin' time!
And, oh, yeah... we probably know where all the WMDs are. Can we liberate them next? Please?
Hmmm.... Teresa Heinz Kerry has an "emasculating" effect on Senator Kerry. Ya think?
John "Two Americas" Edwards thinks that the Republican party intends to divide America. That's rich. I'm not sure which bothers me more: that he said that, or that he said it from the pulpit of a church. I'd like to see Cheney do that and not get one ounce of bad press for it. Don't worry- I'm not holding my breath. That shade of blue just isn't my color.
President Bush and Senator Kerry are prepping for the presidential debates. Makes me glad I was never on the debate team- yelling at your opponent isn't an option. Oh, well, I'll take Bush's "folksy manner" to Kerry's "nuanced world view." any day. And we can really get rid of the word "nuance" for a while. It's this election's "gravitas" and it can go away now.
In other election news, 6 out of 8 Klingons living in the Portland, Oregon, area prefer Kerry. The other 2 are writing in their candidate of choice- Satan.
This teacher needs help. Or something. This was uncalled for. Why would you humiliate a first grader like that?
MIT has found a creative use for spinach. Well, since my kids don't eat it, might as well use it for something!
A group of brainiacs have gathered to discuss Michael Jackson. Yes, I read the article. No, I still can't understand why anyone would WANT to talk about him.
Native Americans don't think the 'Skins' name is offensive. I may not like the 'Skins, but I'm happy that they don't have to change their name. In the article it mentions that many schools have changed their team names. What they don't mention is that they did so because they're wimpy and afraid of the almighty lawsuit.
Authorities in Israel seized a bunch of dogfood that was labeled as paté. Question is: how could they tell the difference?
Let's take a look at traffic.... yikes! Major collision! That's gonna cause a traffic jam! (sorry- couldn't help it)
In closing, Al Qaeda plans on disrupting the Afghan Elections as well as the US elections, men and women are different, the sky is blue, grass is green, and my favorite NFL coach is being demolished by his old team. But, that's ok. My favorite QB got his 4000th completion and his 50th game with at least 3 TD passes and his 28th game in a row with at least one TD pass.
Come as you are
The first song ever played at my church was "Losing My Religion" by REM. We do things a little different. I remember the theme from Sesame Street played during offering one Sunday. Today the band did Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide." We have a rock band on stage that rivals anything the live music scene in Austin (the Live Music Capitol) has to offer. (In fact, if I'm not mistaken, several of our musicians play in other bands). Our music minister has a gold record.and a Grammy nomination. Not bad, eh? A lot of people say they came for the music, but stayed for the message.
Ah, yes, the message. I'll use today as an example. How many pastors have you heard of who will reference Jimmy Buffett and quote Socrates (as well as Jesus and the apostle Paul) in the same sermon? And have it make perfect sense? Just another Sunday morning for us.
Then there's the church motto: "Come as you are." That's actually what prompted me to write this. Sitting in the first service this morning (I volunteer with the production team, so I was at all three services today), I noticed a woman wearing a "Mike's Hard Lemonade" t-shirt. I commented to the production team that it's great that we go to a church where she'd feel perfectly comfortable wearing that t-shirt to church. Turns out, she volunteers with the ushers, and she collected the offering during that service. Talk about taking "come as you are" to a new level.
Actually, it's not that big of a stretch for us. The "official" uniform of the production team is either shorts or jeans and a team t-shirt (team members get new ones as a Christmas gift each year from the staff). This year's shirt has plastic "army guys" on the front wielding our "weapons"- lights, cameras, boom mics. The back reads "We do more before 11:11 than most people do all day Sunday." Last years said "It's amazing what you can do with duct tape and doughnuts." Geez... our pastors even wear jeans. (I did see the pastor in a tie once... weird... very weird...)
What's amazing and awe inspiring is how God has used this group of people. In the almost 6 years that this church has been meeting, literally hundreds of people have come to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. People who have never been a church or who were burned by church have found a place to seek answers. And that's what it's all about.
Livin' the (football) dream
Saturday, September 25, 2004
Chief Wiggles needs your help!
Friday, September 24, 2004
Why we love our President ...
President Bush, after a campaign appearance in Bangor, held his plane on the tarmac when he heard an MD-11 carrying 292 Army reservists and National Guard members was about to refuel here. For the troops, grimly heading toward an 18-to-24-month assignment in Iraq, it was a welcome lift. For Bush, who has been accusing his Democratic presidential opponent, Sen. John F. Kerry, of demoralizing the troops in Iraq by criticizing the war effort, it was a chance to demonstrate his devotion to the troops.
"May God bless you all," the commander in chief said over the plane's public address system. "May God keep you safe." As he worked his way up and down the plane's aisles, posing for photographs, signing autographs and shaking hands, the happily surprised troops called out to him.
"That's my president, hooah!" shouted Sgt. Wanda Dabbs, 22, a member of the 230th Area Support Group, a Guard unit from Tennessee. Others seconded her cheer.
A Side by Side Comparison
A Call to Prayer
So, here's my idea. Let's take a page from Nike's handbook and JUST DO IT! Every day up to and including November 2nd, we need to take a couple of minutes to pray for this aspect of our country's future.
- Pray for the candidates (from all offices up for election -dog catcher to President- from both parties!) that they will allow themselves to be led by God, that they will be humble in victory and gracious in defeat, and for their safety.
- Pray for the volunteers, that they will work with integrity and decency, and for their safety, as well.
- Pray for the process, that nothing like the recount of 2000 or any type of voter irregularities this time around.
- Pray that anyone trying to violate election laws will be caught and prevented from succeeding. (ok, I'll admit it- it's one of my pet peeves.)
- Pray for the voters, that they will seriously consider the issues and the candidates, and they will actually take the time to vote.
- Pray that we will be One Nation under God, no matter who's elected.
Also, if you feel so inclined, get involved. Volunteer for a local candidate or for your local political party. Put up yard signs or put bumper stickers on your car (use magnets if you don't want them there after Nov. 2nd). Ask friends if they're registered- if they're not and you can still register in your state, encourage them to get registered AND to vote. If you know someone is unable to get to the polls on Nov. 2nd, either offer to drive them, or suggest an absentee ballot.
If you'll notice, I didn't once mention a particular political party. There's a reason. God's non-partisan. Pray for God's best in this election, and He'll take care of the rest.
We have weird kids (adventures in parenting, a continuing series)
And this is bad why?
- Teresa Heinz-Kerry thinks OBL will probably be captured in the next month.
- Drudge is reporting the the EU might split up over its constitution.
- The House approved extending tex relief. (In related news, if you read the whole article, Senator Kerry showed up and voted for this one. He voted in favor. And then slammed the President for his tax policies. Typical.)
- More Democrats are "threatening" to leave if President Bush is re-elected.
- There's an evangelical Christian in the finals for American Candidate. Read the article, visit his site, and vote with every phone you can get your grubby little fingers on!
- A judge ordered IBC to keep making Twinkies!
Thursday, September 23, 2004
We don't get mad...
We don't need to recruit- we grow our own!
"Surfer Dude" ad makes waves
He could have blown it off- "hey! At least they didn't get me wiping out"or something like that. But, noooo.... he had to make a big deal out of it. Does America really want a president who can't appreciate a joke? I know the issues aren't jokes... duh, we all know that. But sometimes you have to laugh so you don't go nuts. Come on, John... laugh it off. Just this once.
He's too sexy for his... goat?
News... "important" and "not so important"
From the "real news" file:
Congressional negotiators have reached a compromise which should make those pesky tax cuts permanent. How much ya want to bet that Kerry and Edwards will make their way back to DC for that vote?
In Iraq, US authorities said that they have no plans to release "Dr. Germ" and "Mrs. Anthrax." Earlier, Iraqi officials said that one of the women would be released. The British hostage, Kenneth Bigley, was shown on a videotape begging Tony Blair to help him by pressuring the US to release "female prisioners" so they could return to their families. The problem is that there are only two females in US custody, and there's no way they're going free anytime soon. Bigley's brother accused the US of thwarting efforts to free his brother. He also claims to have been negotiating in the background in the Middle East. How exactly does one do that? I'm sorry for what they're going through, and I wish there was a way to make it better. Negotiating with terrorist isn't that way.
Yusef Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, returned to London after being denied entry into the US. He hopes it was all a big mistake. An official with Homeland Security said they had received information that made Islam more of a security concern. So... what's he been saying and/or who's he been funding?
Leaders of developing nations played the "fight poverty or we'll turn terrorist" card at the UN General Assembly's ministerial meeting yesterday. They claim that the root of terrorism lies in poverty and hunger. No, it lies in radical, rabid Islam. I can see where they'd get those confused. Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf also commented on the need of a resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. He forgot to mention that the standard UN resolution on it is "Israel must disappear from the face of the Earth." I'm sure that was just an oversight on his part.
Back in US politics, Senator Kerry threw down the draft card. It's just a shame that he didn't get the facts straight before he opened his mouth. A Democrat sponsored the bill, Senator.
Rathergate updates: Helen Thomas defends Rather. No, Helen, the issue isn't why the president doesn't tell the truth- he already did, and you just couldn't handle the truth. Rupert Murdock, one of the men the Left loves to hate, correctly points out that FNC would have been smashed if this had happened in their organization.
FYI- Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi is addressing a joint session of Congress right now (9am CST). HUGE standing O for him. His first 2 points: #1- we're winning. #2- thank you, America. Another standing O for that. update: "The world is better off without Saddam Hussein"- another standing O.
On to the "lighter" news fare:
A dj in Moscow is handing out a phone number for women to give pushy guys at night clubs. When the guy calls the number, it gives him the brush-off. While I think the women should have the backbone to say "no" to the guys, if they just won't take "no" for an answer, then this is a brilliant idea.
Evidently, in Pennsylvania, a horse is not a vehicle.
On average, adults in Ireland spend almost $2400 a year on alcohol. Can you finance that?
And, from the "Things that make you say,"EEEWWWWW" file: Nekkid yoga is legal in SanFran. Go figure. Public nudity is ok in San Francisco. Does this surprise anyone?
OK, now try to get that image out of your mind. Good luck!
Reaching the end
But we can be pushed. When the World Trade Center was bombed in '93, we, the reasonable people said, "Those nuts! Catch them and put them in jail." There was no war- there were only kooks.
After the USS Cole was attacked, we looked to the US government and said, "you really need to do something about these nuts."
When they killed 3000 innocent people on 9/11, we said, "Hunt down those who did this and those who support them, and bring them to justice." Whatever that means.
Recently, we see that they seek to destroy us, one by one, if necessary. Americans are slowly coming to realize that Moderate Muslims are few and far between, if they exist at all. Justice is no longer enough.
Now, they revel in their evil. They are actually selling dvds of the beheadings at an open air market in Bagdhad. Bagdhad! The capitol of the country we're trying to liberate. This is insane. If anyone still sat on the fence about Islam, this should do it for them. The things that perpetrate these acts of evil are not fit to be called human. They are animals. Rabid animals who do nothing but infect others with their filth and spread their vileness. And rabid animals should be put down.
Before anyone gets on me for being unChristian about this, let me set the record straight on my opinion. Every person is born in the image and likeness of God. But these souls have been corrupted by an evil so intense that, in my opinion, it comes from Satan himself. There is no peace, no light, no love in their lives- there is only hatred and violence. Romans 12:9 says "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good." I realize that, later in that chapter, it also says that we are not to take revenge, but leave room for God's wrath. But in the next chapter, it states "For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer." (and if you want to argue that Paul is talking about the police, let me remind you that we are a big part of the police force in Iraq right now.)
As I've said in previous posts, it is the job of the righteous to stand between evil and innocence.
And we are the righteous.
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Disenfranchised my ....
Done? Have you calmed down yet? Let's ignore the obvious Reuter's bias- we all should be used to that by now. Let's look at what's been presented:
The largest category of those legally disenfranchised consists of almost 5 million former felons who have served prison sentences and been released.Let's see... legally prohibited from voting because THEY BROKE THE LAW. If they didn't have the decency to obey the law, then why should the government give them the priviledge of voting. According to the article, the black community feels that their political clout has been weakened by this. Maybe they should teach their young men not to pursue lives of crime.
"In elections in Baltimore in 2002 and in Georgia last year, black voters were sent fliers saying anyone who hadn't paid utility bills or had outstanding parking tickets or were behind on their rent would be arrested at polling stations. It happens in every election cycle," she said.And I suppose those flyers were sent into the FEC and a formal complaint was issued? No? Oh, well... I'm sorry, but if people don't understand election law, then maybe they shouldn't vote. (too callous? Drat.)
Minority voters may be deterred from voting simply by election officials demanding to see drivers' licenses before handing them a ballot, according to Spencer Overton, who teaches law at George Washington University. "African Americans are four to five times less likely than whites to have a photo ID," Overton said at a recent briefing on minority disenfranchisement.I'm not sure I understand this one. Even if you don't have a driver's license (not everyone wants or needs one), you can get a state photo id for next to nothing. It just makes sense in society today. Later in the article, they say that you don't need to show an id in order to vote... well, you should have to. Maybe then we'd have less voter fraud.
... black voters had been 10 times more likely than non-black voters to have their ballots rejected and were often prevented from voting because their names were erroneously purged from registration lists....registrars across the country often claimed not to have received voter registration forms or rejected them for technical reasons that could have been corrected easily before voting day if the applicant had known there was a problem.....Well... let's see... when I registered to vote, I got a voter's registration id card in the mail. AND, I called the county to make sure there were no problems. Did I want to vote? You bet. Did I make sure I was registered? Sure did. Did I have any problems? Not a one. The lesson- if you don't get confirmation of your registration... double check. It was a 5 minute phone call. Don't tell me you don't have time for a 5 minute phone call.
This entire article is an exposé on victimhood. No one in this article was willing to take responsibility for what happened. "Ex-felons" broke the law (and why are they "ex"- I thought it was once a felon, always a felon, but maybe I'm wrong). People aren't willing to take the time to confirm their registration don't really care about voting. The people I feel sorry for are the few who were genuinely denied the right to vote through no fault of their own. Those instances need to be addressed.
Not everyone who got their feelings hurt.
The Warrior Voter
I was surfing... going from one blog to another... a stop at Steve's led to Aaron's which led to The Irish Lass (who's now on the blogroll!) She has a great new blogroll, Chicks for Bush. (I've asked if I can join in. If so, that button will go in my gutter ASAP.) Going through that blogroll, I found this link, and I've decided that I'd like to join the Eowyn Voters League.
To be an Eowyn Voter, you must be a woman (check), must feel that security is the main if not only important issue in this election (yup, that's me), and are more than willing to the point of death to defend that which is theirs (amen, sister!) To quote Katie -"Terrorists would do well to remember the old adage, "If captured, don't let them give you to the women." Because we will protect ourselves and our families, and it won't be pretty."
An Iranian woman, beaten every day by her husband, asked a court to tell him only to beat her once a week. Maryam, the middle-age woman, said she did not want to divorce her husband because she loved him.
Surprisingly, the Tehran court found him guilty. He's now banned from beating his wife. Here's what her loving husband had to say:
"If I do not beat her, she will not be scared enough to obey me," the husband said. Then maybe you'll have to find ways of getting her love you instead of fear you. Just a thought...
ok... let's scare the uninformed college kids
But will college kids bother to investigate and find out if this is true? Doubt it.
I hope this is a magnet!
Maybe he should stick with windsurfing...
About an hour after the interview, Jon Scott announced that the Hensley family had contacted them, and the White House had called to let the family know that they confirmed Jack's death. Today would have been his 49th birthday.
A trust has been set up by friends of the family to help with Sara's college fund.
May God bless and keep the Hensley family during this time of grief.
More nut-job toys
I first posted on this here. L&M Import and Export say they got the toys from a Chinese company and that they will stop doing business with them. I'd love to know who's behind it.
Climb on... the deportment train?
For those of you who don't know much about Cat Stevens, he became famous in the late 60s and early 70s as a folk singer. Some of his "greatest hits" include "Morning has Broken," "Moonshadow", and "Peace Train." He converted to Islam and changed his name. His brother claims he is a moderate, but he has given support to several radical Islamic organizations and "persons of interest." Iran has officially approved the sale of his music in their country, and have invited him to visit.
So, I'm guessing the Peace Train doesn't roll through Dulles anymore...
President Bush gave a good speech, but you could tell he probably didn't want to be there. He warned that the UN risked becoming irrelevent. [They already are, in many Americans' opinions-ed.] He suggested the creation of a "Democracy Fund."
He proposed establishing a Democracy Fund in the United Nations, pledging an initial unspecified contribution and urging other nations to donate to the fund, which would help countries lay the foundations of democracy by instituting the rule of law, independent courts, a free press, political parties and trade unions.Sir, I'm not sure if you've noticed this, but most of the member nations aren't real happy with the idea of democracy- it tends to get in the way of their dictatorships. Those pesky freedoms intrude on their scare tactics and domination of the poor masses. Not sure they'll give you're idea more than lip service (if that, even), but good-on-ya for mentioning it.
Secretary-General Annon laid into the US (again), accusing us of civil right violations and violations of the rule of law (both refer to Iraqi prisoners and the Abu Graib scandal). By no means do I believe that the US is perfect, with perfect policy and an unblemished record. But it's the best out there, and we're getting sick and tired of our imperfections being put on display to the exclusion of murderous thugs and tyrants. I'm not saying brush our problems under the rug... just put them in the proper light. But that will never happen, especially since the Iraqi war could have very well ended a good scam for several of the high level members.
In this particular article, what I found interesting (in a car-accident kind of way) is the comments of President Abel Pacheco de la Espriella of Costa Rica, who called for a "fairer economic system" and complained that the world needs to know that security lies in more loaves of bread, not more weapons. No, Mr. President. I'll take the "walk softly and carry a big stick" policy. The enemies we face (not the masses that sometimes follow them, but the core) don't care about loaves of bread. They are on a religious mission, and food will not sway them.
One other comment of note was from Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva. He's concerned about the disparity in the per capita income of rich and poor countries. We cannot help these poorer countries if their governments will not work with us. Sir, as long as there are totalitarian regimes, you will have that disparity.
So... to recap... according to the UN... we're bad; they're good; we need to fork over more money. Yup... that about covers it.
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Take me out to the ballgame...
Two questions for the soldiers of the 1ID: #1- are there nachos involved? and #2- once you get them all enrolled in Little League Baseball, then will you move on to some football? Just a thought... flag equipment would be pretty inexpensive...
Not much news is...
Had to search high and low for these tidbits. Well, that is... I had to search to find things that had nothing to do with Rathergate. You can get that info anywhere.
First up... Kerry was on Letterman last night. I've heard mixed reviews on the appearance. I don't watch Letterman, so I'll have to tell you what I heard. The audience wanted to love him, but instead of some good self-deprecating humor, he went into talking points. Tried to make some jokes, but supposedly they fell flat. Oh, well... you know you're in a bad way when Gore does a better job than you on Letterman.
OK. I lied. I just saw Joe Lockhart on FoxNews, and I just have to mention something about the whole memo thing. As you might know, CBS says that they gave Burkett's phone number to Lockhart, and he admits that he called Burkett. Although he doesn't expressly say it, he leads you to believe that he thought Burkett was just another guy who wanted to talk to the campaign. Everyone in election politics remember him from the 2000 election. Lockhart's still hiding something.
Senator Lincoln Chafee (RINO, RI) might not vote for Bush on Nov. 2. Does that surprise anyone? Didn't think so.
Intelligence indicates that al Qaeda is planning something big between now and Inauguration Day, with the biggest concerns being close to the election and near or on Jan.20th.
OK- this is just gross. 13% of airliners have contaminated water. [Memo to self:next time I fly... take bottled water and wet wipes...]
How long will the appeals take for this guy? How long before they deport an Imam for providing false information on his citizenship application? And, considering what he falsified, why isn't that a terrorist issue? The man offered support to terrorist organizations.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia lamented the Courts' deciding morally divisive issues that are best left to legislators.
Jaques Chirac is supporting an international tax to fight poverty. Oh, yeah, that's gonna do the trick.
US civil engineer Eugene Armstrong was beheaded in Iraq. When are the powers that be going to realize that you can't compromise with, negotiate with, or understand these monsters. They've turned their backs on their humanity and have become nothing more than animals. Rabid animals that must be put down. There is no rehabilitation for these goons- Abu Musab al-Zarqawi will not see the error of his ways until he has to answer for his crimes when he meets his Maker (and he'll be shocked to learn there are no virgins in his eternal future).
On to happier news... Lt. General Mikhail Kalashnikov (anyone know what he's famous for? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?) has launched a brand of vodka bearing his name. It's 82 proof. I wonder how long it will be before we can import it into Texas? Hmmm... need to look into that. [according to one site, the bottle shaped like an AK-47 costs $200... oh, well... maybe when I win the Lotto... add it to my "shopping list", I guess... very cool bottle, though...]
uh... one last thing...watching President Bush's speech to the UN right now... they showed a shot of Secretary Powell, listening to the President. Why, oh why, is he wearing the goofy translator earphone? I'm pretty sure they speak the same language.
Monday, September 20, 2004
This can't be legal!
In vote-pairing, swing-state progressives whose first instinct might have been to vote for Nader or Cobb announce their strategic decision to vote for Kerry-Edwards instead; Democrats (and others) in "safe" states whose first instinct might have been to vote for Kerry instead announce their strategic decision to vote for Nader or Cobb as part of the VotePair movement.Like I said, can't be legal. I went to the web site, put in my state (Texas), and it asked me which candidate I would be most inclined to vote for (Bush wasn't an option). The reply was:
Unfortunately, there's no third-party candidate in Texas to vote for! It's unlikely that either Cobb or Nader will obtain ballot status. However, it's possible that we'll assign pairs (at the end of October) that involve write-in votes. If you'd still like to register, please indicate who you'd be willing to vote for in that case.Can you legally swap votes like that? Doesn't seem right. And I don't have time to research it right now... anyone want to take that on for me? Please?
UPDATE: Hubby says that this is legal. Well, alrighty then. Doesn't mean I have to like it.
Once again, she takes the high road
Makes me wonder what Laura Bush would call her detractors? Oh, yeah... she doesn't have any.
UPDATE: OK, so maybe she didn't call her detractors "scumbags." I'm sorry that we were all so willing to accept this as fact.
Let's honor the ... draft dodgers?
I saw this on FoxNews this morning. They interviewed a Marine who had been in Viet Nam. I have to paraphrase his statement (sorry). "Over 50,000 took their place. Their names are on a wall in D.C."
I can't say anymore than what that Marine already said. If this was in the States, I'd tell you to protest, call your congressman, whatever. But this is north of the border. Write them and tell them you won't go on vacation there? For some reason, I doubt they really care.
Kerry gives major policy speech
I'm not going to go through the whole thing- he droned on and on and... well, you get the idea. He spent what seemed like 2/3 of the time criticizing the President, then the last few minutes giving something that vaguely resembled plans if HE was POTUS. We join the speech, already in progress...
This election is about choices. The most important choices a President makes are about protecting America… at home and around the world. A president’s first obligation is to make America safer, stronger and truer to our ideals.
Only a few blocks from here, three years ago, the events of September 11 reminded every American of that obligation. That day brought to our shores the defining struggle of our times: the struggle between freedom and radical fundamentalism. And it made clear that our most important task is to fight… and to win… the war on terrorism.
OK, so far it's a Bush campaign speech. The President is clearly truer to our ideals than Kerry would ever dream of being. And the President firmly believes that our most important task is to win the war on terrorism.
With us today is a remarkable group of women who lost loved ones on September 11th … and whose support I am honored to have. Not only did they suffer an unbearable loss – they helped us learn the lessons of that terrible time by insisting on the creation of the 9/11 Commission. I ask them to stand. And I thank them on behalf of our country -- and I pledge to them and to you that I will implement the 9-11 recommendations.
Oh, geez. Not them. You know who I'm talking about... the three or four 9/11 widows who made the morning show circuit and raised a big stink when they weren't accurately informed on the subject. I am truly sorry for their loss. And I'm even more sorry that, in their grief, they choose to lash out at people who had nothing to do with their loss.
In fighting the war on terrorism, my principles are straight forward. The terrorists are beyond reason. We must destroy them. As president, I will do whatever it takes, as long as it takes, to defeat our enemies. But billions of people around the world yearning for a better life are open to America’s ideals. We must reach them.
Unfortunately, our enemies aren't open to American ideals. They want to destroy this way of life. And, many of those billions yearning for a better life are either already on our side, or are willing to get that better life by any means possible. If radical Islam can somehow portray a better life for them, they'll jump at that.
To win, America must be strong. And America must be smart. The greatest threat we face is the possibility Al Qaeda or other terrorists will get their hands on a nuclear weapon.
To prevent that from happening, we must call on the totality of America’s strength. Strong alliances, to help us stop the world’s most lethal weapons from falling into the most dangerous hands. A powerful military, transformed to meet the new threats of terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction. And all of America’s power – our diplomacy, our intelligence system, our economic power, the appeal of our values – each of which is critical to making America more secure and preventing a new generation of terrorists from emerging.
Yet, more of the Bush campaign speech. Carry on... let's skip over a bit... I'm falling asleep already...
That means we must have a great honest national debate on Iraq. The President claims it is the centerpiece of his war on terror. In fact, Iraq was a profound diversion from that war and the battle against our greatest enemy, Osama bin Laden and the terrorists.
This month, we passed a cruel milestone: more than 1,000 Americans lost in Iraq.You know... for being in country as long as we have, 1k lost is a testiment to US military training and vast superiority.
Their sacrifice reminds us that Iraq remains, overwhelmingly, an American burden. Nearly 90 percent of the troops – and nearly 90 percent of the casualties – are American. Despite the President’s claims, this is not a grand coalition.
When you're the world's only superpower, you tend to have more to give to a situation. And thanks for yet once again belittling our allies' efforts. They do what they can, Senator.
Our troops have served with extraordinary bravery, skill and resolve. Their service humbles all of us.Especially since they don't cut and run, Senator?
When I speak to them… when I look into the eyes of their families, I know this: we owe them the truth about what we have asked them to do… and what is still to be done. In June, the President declared, “The Iraqi people have their country back.” Just last week, he told us: “This country is headed toward democracy… Freedom is on the march.”
But the administration’s own official intelligence estimate, given to the President last July, tells a very different story. According to press reports, the intelligence estimate totally contradicts what the President is saying to the American people.
And we've seen recently just how reliable press reports can be, haven't we?
So do the facts on the ground. Security is deteriorating, for us and for the Iraqis.
42 Americans died in Iraq in June -- the month before the handover. But 54 died in July…66 in August… and already 54 halfway through September.
And more than 1,100 Americans were wounded in August – more than in any other month since the invasion.
Hate to be callous, sir, but we're at war... injuries happen. Death happens. Especially when the enemy gets desperate as see their future getting more and more bleak.
We are fighting a growing insurgency in an ever widening war-zone. In March, insurgents attacked our forces 700 times. In August, they attacked 2,700 times – a 400% increase.
So, are you saying that, if you were president, you'd go after the countries that are sending the insurgents? Would you put Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran on your "to bomb" list?
Falluja…Ramadi… Samarra … even parts of Baghdad – are now “no go zones”… breeding grounds for terrorists who are free to plot and launch attacks against our soldiers. The radical Shi’a cleric, Moktada al-Sadr, who’s accused of complicity in the murder of Americans, holds more sway in the suburbs of Baghdad.
Violence against Iraqis… from bombings to kidnappings to intimidation … is on the rise.
Because, due to PC politicians back in the States, our forces aren't allowed to engage them unless fired on, and they have to get super-special permission before bombing "holy sites."
Basic living conditions are also deteriorating.
Residents of Baghdad are suffering electricity blackouts lasting up to 14 hours a day.
Considering how bad it was pre-invasion, that's an improvement.
Raw sewage fills the streets, rising above the hubcaps of our Humvees. Children wade through garbage on their way to school.
Unemployment is over 50 percent. Insurgents are able to find plenty of people willing to take $150 for tossing grenades at passing U.S. convoys.
The people willing to take the money are the same ones who would love to see us fail anyway. The money is just bonus for them. Hmmm... maybe the new Iraqi government (who is actually in charge of the country now) should hire some of those grenade throwers to do some trash detail. Just a thought...
Yes, there has been some progress, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of our soldiers and civilians in Iraq. Schools, shops and hospitals have been opened. In parts of Iraq, normalcy actually prevails.
Go right ahead, Mr. Kerry. Belittle the good that has happened. Expect everything to go from bad to perfect overnight. Disregard the work of aid groups and soldiers who have offered to help in their spare time.
But most Iraqis have lost faith in our ability to deliver meaningful improvements to their lives. So they’re sitting on the fence… instead of siding with us against the insurgents.
That is the truth. The truth that the Commander in Chief owes to our troops and the American people.
Tell that to the Iraqi woman who spoke at the GOP convention. Tell that to the millions whose lives are better now, who no longer live in fear, who now have hope for a better tomorrow.
It is never easy to discuss what has gone wrong while our troops are in constant danger.That didn't stop you back in '71. Why should it stop you now?
But it’s essential if we want to correct our course and do what’s right for our troops instead of repeating the same mistakes over and over again. I know this dilemma first-hand. After serving in war, I returned home to offer my own personal voice of dissent. I did so because I believed strongly that we owed it those risking their lives to speak truth to power. We still do.That has to hurt, Senator. You really hoped everyone would forget all the things you said "back in the day," didn't you? You didn't offer a voice of dissent, sir; you endangered hundreds if not thousands of POWs by your lies.
Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator who deserves his own special place in hell.Dang. I like that quote. Wish I'd thought of it.
But that was not, in itself, a reason to go to war. The satisfaction we take in his downfall does not hide this fact: we have traded a dictator for a chaos that has left America less secure.
The President has said that he “miscalculated” in Iraq and that it was a “catastrophic success.” In fact, the President has made a series of catastrophic decisions … from the beginning … in Iraq. At every fork in the road, he has taken the wrong turn and led us in the wrong direction.
The first and most fundamental mistake was the President’s failure to tell the truth to the American people.
His two main rationales – weapons of mass destruction and the Al Qaeda/September 11 connection – have been proved false… by the President’s own weapons inspectors… and by the 9/11 Commission. Just last week, Secretary of State Powell acknowledged the facts. Only Vice President Cheney still insists that the earth is flat.
Hmmm... there are links between Saddam's Iraq and al Qaeda. That's been established, Senator. Did you forget that part of the 9/11 Commission's report? And, thanks to your friends in *spit* France *spit*, we thought there were WMDs.
The President also failed to level with the American people about what it would take to prevail in Iraq.
He didn’t tell us that well over 100,000 troops would be needed, for years, not months. He didn’t tell us that he wouldn’t take the time to assemble a broad and strong coalition of allies. He didn’t tell us that the cost would exceed $200 billion. He didn’t tell us that even after paying such a heavy price, success was far from assured.
Is it the President's responsibility to tell the public every detail of an operation? Uhhh, no.
And America will pay an even heavier price for the President’s lack of candor. At home, the American people are less likely to trust this administration if it needs to summon their support to meet real and pressing threats to our security.
No, sir. Most Americans are behind our military, and behind the Commander in Chief. Hussein needed to be taken out- he was a menace to the Middle East, and he harbored and offered material support to our enemies.
Abroad, other countries will be reluctant to follow America when we seek to rally them against a common menace -- as they are today. Our credibility in the world has plummeted.
We don't really care what Kofi Annon and his gang of merry idiots think of us.
In the dark days of the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy sent former Secretary of State Dean Acheson to Europe to build support. Acheson explained the situation to French President de Gaulle. Then he offered to show him highly classified satellite photos, as proof. De Gaulle waved the photos away, saying: “The word of the President of the United States is good enough for me.”
Maybe if de Gaulle were the President of France right now, we wouldn't have as many problems with them. Or maybe we would. But the point is... *spit* France *spit* didn't want us to invade Iraq... why? Because they were getting money from Iraq (from arms sales and the "Food for Oil" fiasco).
How many world leaders have that same trust in America’s president, today?
The ones who matter.
This President’s failure to tell the truth to us before the war has been exceeded by fundamental errors of judgment during and after the war. The President now admits to “miscalculations” in Iraq.
That is one of the greatest understatements in recent American history. His were not the equivalent of accounting errors. They were colossal failures of judgment – and judgment is what we look for in a president.
This is all the more stunning because we’re not talking about 20/20 hindsight. Before the war, before he chose to go to war, bi-partisan Congressional hearings… major outside studies… and even some in the administration itself… predicted virtually every problem we now face in Iraq.
I'm sorry. I must have missed those reports. The Iraqi army was going to roll over, hide, then start a terrorist/ guerilla-style attack? Hundreds of Islamic mujahadeen would come over the border to fight? Al Qaeda operatives would take up residence? Insurgents would resort to kidnapping and murder (which is against their RoP(MA), if I remember correctly) to try to sway opinion in Coalition countries? Nope... don't remember hearing about those possibilities.
This President was in denial. He hitched his wagon to the ideologues who surround him, filtering out those who disagreed, including leaders of his own party and the uniformed military. The result is a long litany of misjudgments with terrible consequences. The administration told us we’d be greeted as liberators. They were wrong.
Oh, yeah. Those guys who pulled down Saddam's statue only paused in their stone-throwing to work with the soldiers to get rid of the statue. That's right. Our soldiers weren't cheered as they rolled in. We just imagined that.
[snip- more comments about how bad we're doing in Iraq that are only loosely based on reality] In Iraq, this administration has consistently over-promised and under-performed. This policy has been plagued by a lack of planning, an absence of candor, arrogance and outright incompetence. And the President has held no one accountable, including himself.
In fact, the only officials who lost their jobs over Iraq were the ones who told the truth.
General Shinseki said it would take several hundred thousand troops to secure Iraq. He was retired. Economic adviser Larry Lindsey said that Iraq would cost as much as $200 billion. He was fired.
After the successful entry into Baghdad, George Bush was offered help from the UN -- and he rejected it. He even prohibited any nation from participating in reconstruction efforts that wasn’t part of the original coalition – pushing reluctant countries even farther away.Why should he allow countries who weren't willing to pay the price to reap the benefits? That just doesn't make sense.
As we continue to fight this war almost alone, it is hard to estimate how costly that arrogant decision was. Can anyone seriously say this President has handled Iraq in a way that makes us stronger in the war on terrorism?
Yes, I can. This shows the world that we're willing to make the sacrifice with only the support of the willing. We don't need approval from the world to do the right thing.
By any measure, the answer is no. Nuclear dangers have mounted across the globe. The international terrorist club has expanded. Radicalism in the Middle East is on the rise. We have divided our friends and united our enemies. And our standing in the world is at an all time low.
You can thank Clinton for some of the new nuclear dangers around the globe. Terrorism appeals to the egomaniacs of the world. Radicalism is not on the rise- it's just more visible- they don't hide it anymore. And, if what you mean by "standing in the world" our standing in the UN, why should we care about what a bunch of 2 bit dictators think about us?
Think about it for a minute. Consider where we were… and where we are. After the events of September 11, we had an opportunity to bring our country and the world together in the struggle against the terrorists. On September 12th, headlines in newspapers abroad declared “we are all Americans now.” But through his policy in Iraq, the President squandered that moment and rather than isolating the terrorists, left America isolated from the world. We now know that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and posed no imminent threat to our security. It had not, as the Vice President claimed, “reconstituted nuclear weapons.”Maybe if we hadn't taken the time to go through the motions with the UN, we would have found WMDs in Iraq. By taking the steps to go to the UN, we gave Hussein time to hide/move those weapons to safer locations (in Syria, perhaps?)
The President’s policy in Iraq took our attention and resources away from other, more serious threats to America.Threats like North Korea, which actually has weapons of mass destruction, including a nuclear arsenal, and is building more under this President’s watch…The emerging nuclear danger from Iran…The tons and kilotons of unsecured chemical and nuclear weapons in Russia... And the increasing instability in Afghanistan.
So evidently the US military is incapable of multi-tasking. We can only do one thing at a time. Glad no one told us that during WWII.
Today... the Taliban is regrouping, opium production is at an all time high and the Al Qaeda leadership still plots and plans... Instead of using U.S. forces, we relied on the warlords to capture Osama bin Laden when he was cornered in the mountains. He slipped away.We relied on warlords because we didn't know the cave networks in the area. They did. It made sense at the time.
We then diverted our focus and forces from the hunt for those responsible for September 11th in order invade Iraq . We know Iraq played no part in September 11 and had no operational ties to Al Qaeda.
Iraq provided material... oh, never mind. They don't listen anyway.
The President’s policy in Iraq precipitated the very problem he said he was trying to prevent. Secretary of State Powell admits that Iraq was not a magnet for international terrorists before the war. Now it is, and they are operating against our troops. Iraq is becoming a sanctuary for a new generation of terrorists who someday could hit the United States. We know that while Iraq was a source of friction, it was not previously a source of serious disagreement with our allies in Europe and countries in the Muslim world.
Iraq was hated throughout the Middle East. Saddam is a muslim in name only, so he upset the radicals. He persecuted certain sects of Islam, which enraged some. He was a threat to everyone around him. No matter what they say, they're glad he's gone. And Iraq is a magnet for terrorism because that's where we are and they want to get us. Easy as that.
The President’s policy in Iraq divided our oldest alliance and sent our standing in the Muslim world into free fall. Three years after 9/11, even in many moderate Muslim countries like Jordan, Morocco and Turkey, Osama bin Laden is more popular than the United States of America.
Then maybe they're not as moderate as they claim.
Let me put it plainly: The President’s policy in Iraq has not strengthened our national security. It has weakened it. Two years ago, Congress was right to give the President the authority to use force to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. This President… any President… would have needed the threat of force to act effectively. This President misused that authority.
The power entrusted to the President gave him a strong hand to play in the international community. The idea was simple. We would get the weapons inspectors back in to verify whether or not Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. And we would convince the world to speak with one voice to Saddam: disarm or be disarmed.
Hmmm... we tried that. They were stonewalled and prevented from truly inspecting sites.
A month before the war, President Bush told the nation: “If we have to act, we will take every precaution that is possible. We will plan carefully. We will act with the full power of the United States military. We will act with allies at our side and we will prevail.” He said that military action wasn’t “unavoidable.”
Instead, the President rushed to war without letting the weapons inspectors finish their work. He went without a broad and deep coalition of allies.
Like I said... they couldn't do their job. And thanks for alienating our friends... again.
He acted without making sure our troops had enough body armor. And he plunged ahead without understanding or preparing for the consequences of the post-war. None of which I would have done.Senator, you're the one who kept voting against that armor. The President sent them in with everything he could give them. [Side note... if you want to support some of the soldiers, Kim has the Walter-Adam Fund, and he buys scopes, etc. for this group of soldiers as he's able. Just a thought...]
Yet today, President Bush tells us that he would do everything all over again, the same way. How can he possibly be serious? Is he really saying that if we knew there were no imminent threat, no weapons of mass destruction, no ties to Al Qaeda, the United States should have invaded Iraq?My answer is no – because a Commander-in-Chief’s first responsibility is to make a wise and responsible decision to keep America safe.
Oops. Another flip-flop. Didn't Kerry say that he would have voted for the invasion, knowing what he knows now?
Now the president, in looking for a new reason, tries to hang his hat on the “capability” to acquire weapons. But that was not the reason given to the nation; it was not the reason Congress voted on; it’s not a reason, it’s an excuse. Thirty-five to forty countries have greater capability to build a nuclear bomb than Iraq did in 2003. Is President Bush saying we should invade them?
Well... whose side are they on?
I would have concentrated our power and resources on defeating global terrorism and capturing or killing Osama bin Laden.Our resources are being used toward that end, so... (and there was a report that we've almost got OBL. Hmmm... if God has a sense of humor and an appreciation for timing, we'll nab OBL just before Halloween.)
I would have tightened the noose and continued to pressure and isolate Saddam Hussein – who was weak and getting weaker -- so that he would pose no threat to the region or America.
Oh, yeah, Senator. That would work really well... especially with your friends sneaking Saddam money and weapons. Oh, yeah... he'd be shaking in his boots.
The President’s insistence that he would do the same thing all over again in Iraq is a clear warning for the future.... If George W. Bush is re-elected, he will cling to the same failed policies in Iraq -- and he will repeat, somewhere else, the same reckless mistakes that have made America less secure than we can or should be.
With the true face of Islam showing its ugly head, I agree with the Senator, but for different reasons. To defeat Radical Islam and free the oppressed people who live under its thumb, I'm just about to the point where I'm willing to say "Kill 'em all and let God sort them out." If you harbor terrorists, then you are a terrorist. If you are a terrorist, you are our enemy and must be destroyed. May God have mercy on your soul.
In Iraq, we have a mess on our hands... All across this country people ask me what we should do now... I have set out specific recommendations about how we should and should not proceed. (really, missed those- ed.) But over and over, when this administration has been presented with a reasonable alternative, they have rejected it and gone their own way. This is stubborn incompetence.
Is it incompetance to continue to reject plans doomed to failure? Don't think so...
Five months ago, in Fulton, Missouri, I said that the President was close to his last chance to get it right. Every day, this President makes it more difficult to deal with Iraq – harder than it was five months ago, harder than it was a year ago. It is time to recognize what is – and what is not – happening in Iraq today. And we must act with urgency.Just this weekend, a leading Republican, Chuck Hagel, (RINO extraordinaire) said we’re “in deep trouble in Iraq … it doesn’t add up … to a pretty picture [and] … we’re going to have to look at a recalibration of our policy.” Republican leaders like Dick Lugar and John McCain have offered similar assessments (more RINOs).
Nice try, using "Republican" opinions to try to sway undecided voters. Too bad those "Republicans" are in-name-only and tend to use their party-affiliation only when it's beneficial for them- like around elections.
We need to turn the page and make a fresh start in Iraq. First, the President has to get the promised international support so our men and women in uniform don’t have to go it alone. It is late; the President must respond by moving this week to gain and regain international support.
You hard-headed twit- we HAVE international support.
Last spring, after too many months of resistance and delay, the President finally went back to the U.N. which passed Resolution 1546. It was the right thing to do – but it was late. That resolution calls on U.N. members to help in Iraq by providing troops… trainers for Iraq’s security forces… a special brigade to protect the U.N. mission… more financial assistance… and real debt relief.Three months later, not a single country has answered that call. And the president acts as if it doesn’t matter. And of the $13 billion previously pledged to Iraq by other countries, only $1.2 billion has been delivered.
Could that be that most of the money that the UN has they get from the US. And we're already spending our money in Iraq. And, does it surprise you that no other country is answering the call to help- everyone that wants to already is.
The President should convene a summit meeting of the world’s major powers and Iraq’s neighbors, this week, in New York, where many leaders will attend the U.N. General Assembly. He should insist that they make good on that U.N. resolution. He should offer potential troop contributors specific, but critical roles, in training Iraqi security personnel and securing Iraq’s borders.Why should they make good on the resolution? What will the UN do to them? Pass another resolution?
He should give other countries a stake in Iraq’s future by encouraging them to help develop Iraq’s oil resources and by letting them bid on contracts instead of locking them out of the reconstruction process.
Why should we allow these other counties to develop the oil resources and give OPEC more control than they already have?
This will be difficult. I and others have repeatedly recommended this from the very beginning. Delay has made only made it harder. After insulting allies and shredding alliances(uh... you did that, Senator, not the President- ed.), this President may not have the trust and confidence to bring others to our side in Iraq.
Then we continue to succeed without them.
Second, the President must get serious about training Iraqi security forces.The President should urgently expand the security forces training program inside and outside Iraq. He should strengthen the vetting of recruits, double classroom training time, and require follow-on field training. He should recruit thousands of qualified trainers from our allies, especially those who have no troops in Iraq. He should press our NATO allies to open training centers in their countries. And he should stop misleading the American people with phony, inflated numbers.
Does he really think that NATO will get involved when *spit* France*spit* and Germany want this to fail?
Third, the President must carry out a reconstruction plan that finally brings tangible benefits to the Iraqi people.
Last week, the administration admitted that its plan was a failure when it asked Congress for permission to radically revise spending priorities in Iraq. It took 17 months for them to understand that security is a priority … 17 months to figure out that boosting oil production is critical … 17 months to conclude that an Iraqi with a job is less likely to shoot at our soldiers.
No, Senator, it took 17 months to fully assess the situation. It took 17 months to see where the long-term problems would be. It took 17 months to determine just how poorly Saddam had been treating his people and prioritizing rebuilding plans.
One year ago, the administration asked for and received $18 billion to help the Iraqis and relieve the conditions that contribute to the insurgency. Today, less than a $1 billion of those funds have actually been spent.Maybe we should send a group of Democrats over there. They'd figure out how to spend the other $17 billion in short order. Wouldn't be fiscally sound or responsible, but if Senator Kerry's worry is that it hasn't been spent, I'm sure you get the right Dems over there and it would be gone before you could blink.
I said at the time that we had to rethink our policies and set standards of accountability. Now we’re paying the price.
Now, the President should look at the whole reconstruction package…draw up a list of high visibility, quick impact projects… and cut through the red tape.
He did that and got blasted for playing favorites.
He should use more Iraqi contractors and workers, instead of big corporations like Halliburton.He used Halliburton because they were one of three companies on the planet who could do the job, and the only one available at the time. Live with it, Senator.
He should stop paying companies under investigation for fraud or corruption. And he should fire the civilians in the Pentagon responsible for mismanaging the reconstruction effort.
So, we should stop paying Congress? Works for me! And... has he ever tried to get through the redtape of trying to fire a government employee?
Fourth, the President must take immediate, urgent, essential steps to guarantee the promised elections can be held next year.
Credible elections are key to producing an Iraqi government that enjoys the support of the Iraqi people and an assembly to write a Constitution that yields a viable power sharing arrangement.
Because Iraqis have no experience holding free and fair elections, the President agreed six months ago that the U.N. must play a central role. Yet today, just four months before Iraqis are supposed to go to the polls, the U.N. Secretary General and administration officials themselves say the elections are in grave doubt.
The UN would like nothing better than for Iraq to fail as a democracy, because democracy and freedom are things that many nations in the UN know nothing about.
Because the security situation is so bad… and because not a single country has offered troops to protect the U.N. elections mission… the U.N. has less than 25 percent of the staff it needs in Iraq to get the job done.
Go figure... not one nation volunteered... can't the UN assign duties like that? And isn't there an outside organization who monitors elections? Once they're done here, just ship them off to Iraq.
The President should recruit troops from our friends and allies for a U.N. protection force. This won’t be easy. But even countries that refused to put boots on the ground in Iraq should still help protect the U.N.Wait. Hold on. Isn't this the same recommendation he made in points one and two? He's rehashing the same stuff... I call foul!
We should also intensify the training of Iraqis to manage and guard the polling places that need to be opened. Otherwise, U.S forces would end up bearing those burdens alone.
And this is a rehash of number three! The little sneak!
[snip through boring rehash of all he's said so far] This is what has to be done. This is what I would do as President today. But we cannot afford to wait until January. President Bush owes it to the American people to tell the truth and put Iraq on the right track. Even more, he owes it to our troops and their families, whose sacrifice is a testament to the best of America.
The President is putting Iraq on the right track. It will take more than 17 months to fix all the problems there. It's irresponsible to think otherwise.
The principles that should guide American policy in Iraq now and in the future are clear: We must make Iraq the world’s responsibility, because the world has a stake in the outcome and others should share the burden.The world doesn't want that reponsiblity.
We must effectively train Iraqis, because they should be responsible for their own security. We must move forward with reconstruction, because that’s essential to stop the spread of terror. And we must help Iraqis achieve a viable government, because it’s up to them to run their own country. That’s the right way to get the job done and bring our troops home.
Which is what we're doing, Senator.
[snip through a whole bunch of "W stands for Wrong!"] At every critical juncture in Iraq, and in the war on terrorism, the President has made the wrong choice. I have a plan to make America stronger.
Which plan? The plan from this week? Last week? The secret plan you're not telling anyone?
The President often says that in a post 9-11 world, we can’t hesitate to act. I agree. But we should not act just for the sake of acting. I believe we have to act wisely and responsibly.Is that the strategy where you vote for the troops? Or the one where you vote not to fund them? I keep getting those confused.
George Bush has no strategy for Iraq. I do.
George Bush has not told the truth to the American people about why we went to war and how the war is going. I have and I will continue to do so.
Today, because of George Bush’s policy in Iraq, the world is a more dangerous place for America and Americans.
No, the world is not a dangerous place because of Bush's policy- it's a dangerous place because dangerous people want to spread their vision to the rest of the world.
If you share my conviction that we can not go on as we are …that we can make America stronger and safer than it is… then November 2 is your chance to speak... and to be heard. It is not a question of staying the course, but of changing the course.
No, sir, the election is not about change... it's about having the right man for the job in the office. And he's in office right now, and he's going to stay there.
I’m convinced that with the right leadership, we can create a fresh start and move more effectively to accomplish our goals.We don't need a fresh start. We need people to help or get out of the way. We already know who will help. We just need to get everyone else to move.
Our troops have served with extraordinary courage and commitment. For their sake, and America’s sake, we must get this right. We must do everything in our power to complete the mission and make America stronger at home and respected again in the world.
And that is why we must re-elect President George W. Bush.