Wednesday, November 10, 2004

CONFESSIONS OF A CULTURAL ELITIST

There's been a lot of discussion in the blogosphere about the reasons why John Kerry lost. One of the funnier memes is "blame the voters". Here's an incredibly funny Op/Ed I ran across this morning.


So our guy lost the election. Why shouldn't those of us on the coasts feel superior? We eat better, travel more, dress better, watch cooler movies, earn better salaries, meet more interesting people, listen to better music and know more about what's going on in the world. If you voted for Bush, we accept that we have to share the country with you. We're adjusting to the possibility that there may be more of you than there are of us. But don't demand our respect. You lost it on November 2.

Heh.

This 'we should be in charge because we're smarter than you' is so funny, because if 'they' are so much smarter than us here in the 'fly-over country', wouldn't they be smart enough to hide their disdain enough to get elected?

The irony kills me...

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Values Voters & the Discussion of Moral Issues

I was about to respond to a post on David Schraub's blog The Debate Link, but I'm tired of writing all my good posts on other people's blogs. David is a self proclaimed Left-Centrist who does a pretty good job presenting rational left arguments.

In his blog, David says:

All of this, I think, only reaffirms my point though. The "moral values" issues probably have the least substantive discussion of any major campaign issue. You never see a real debate about gay marriage or abortion.

David is right. There really isn't a substantive discussion about these issues. Both sides draw their lines, quote their sound bites and try to get as many people on their side as possible.

This is because I believe that America is in the midst of a moral/legal cognitive dissonance on "values issues".

What do I mean?

I mean, there are moral issues in this country where what is accepted as normal and lawful does not match professed moral beliefs.

Let me explain...

Marriage.

There are many on the right who believe that marriage should be restricted to one man and one woman. A reasonable and traditional expectation. But the cold hard truth in America is, marriage has lost all meaning as an institution except as means for distributing property. My friends on the right will get fired up to pass laws prohibiting gay marriage, but are lackluster (legally speaking) about adultery, divorce, or cohabitation. I mean, if marriage is such a big deal that it must be "protected", then why not protect it from these things that also cause it to lose meaning.

This can also be illustrated through bigamy and polygamy. It is perfectly legal (and more or less socially acceptable) for a guy to sleep with three women, keep houses for them, have children with them, share property with them. BUT, if he marries more than one of them... THEN it becomes illegal.


Abortion.

The left has been adamant about protecting a "woman's right to choose". But at the same time, people are charged with murder, if they kill an unborn fetus. That is... unless they are a doctor... performing an abortion. If a woman is on her way to the clinic to abort her child and the fetus is shot on the trip over, is it murder? Legally speaking, it is. Why isn't the left working to make sure that anytime a fetus is killed, that it is legal?


Prostitution.

I once had a blind date with a woman who told me that she was propositioned by an upper level executive. He offered to set her up with an apartment, monthly allowance, a car, all just for a few "visits" a month. Is that legal? I think something like that would be difficult to prosecute as prostitution. I mean, how is that different from a woman who moves in with a man?

What about women who use sex or the promise of sex to receive gifts?

A woman can be paid to have sex on camera. Is that prostitution? (in a legal sense)


Until both the left and the right come to terms with these moral/legal questions themselves, it is going to be exceedingly difficult for us to come to terms with them as a nation.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Chemical Weapons in Falluja?

(via Mudville Gazette)

According to the Times Online insurgents say they will use chemical weapons in Falluja.

INSURGENTS in the rebel Iraqi city of Falluja claimed yesterday that they had added chemicals to mortar rounds and missiles that they intend to fire at American forces preparing for an all-out assault.

Cell commanders said some of the weapons could cause high-temperature fireballs and others were filled with cyanide.

I am definately no expert, but I tend to think this one is a bluff. First, who would be stupid enough to handle chemical weapons in a war zone without protection. If they want to, more power to 'em. They're just as likely to kill as many of themselves with the weapons as they are Americans.

Secondly, its one thing to have chemical weapons, it is totally a different thing to deliver them effectively. I seem to recall that improvised chemical weapons in mortars are pretty ineffective.

The insurgency's days are numbered in Falluja.

If you like surveys

The University of Tennessee Knoxville is asking internet users to take this survey about Politics and the Internet.

Just another way to kill 20 minutes...

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Osama Threat more Sinister

In typical herd mentality of the Main Stream Media, we find that it looks like they got it wrong once again.

According to The Middle East Media Research Institute, the MSM has run with a faulty interpretation of Osama bin Laden's most recent video that may prove it to be much more sinister than originally thought.

The tape of Osama bin Laden that was aired on Al-Jazeera(1) on Friday, October 29th included a specific threat to "each U.S. state," designed to influence the outcome of the upcoming election against George W. Bush. The U.S. media in general mistranslated the words "ay wilaya" (which means "each U.S. state")(2) to mean a "country" or "nation" other than the U.S., while in fact the threat was directed specifically at each individual U.S. state. This suggests some knowledge by bin Laden of the U.S. electoral college system. In a section of his speech in which he harshly criticized George W. Bush, bin Laden stated: "Any U.S. state that does not toy with our security automatically guarantees its own security."


So, for any state that bows down to Al-Qaida and turns blue November 2, Osama and company promises to remove it from its hit list. For those states that have the courage to vote for President Bush and face down terrorism, Osama promises retribution.

In this obvious attempt to divide the United States between state and party lines, we are left with one question...

Do we as a nation stand together against terrorism, or do we stand divided?

Saturday, October 30, 2004


What's that on his shirt? Posted by Hello

Terms of Surrender

Osama Bin Laden has laid out his terms for an American Surrender.

First he explains his reasons for the war against America.

But we fought you because we are free people, we don't sleep on our oppression. We want to regain the freedom of our Muslim nation as you spill our security, we spill your security.

In other words, there are those of us who seek to establish a Pan-Arabic nation in the model of Wahabism, similar to, and more powerful than the Taliban. Where we are free to oppress those who do not share our views, and are free to oppress our women who are similarly inferior to Arab men.

But after we were so fed up, and we saw the oppression of the American Israeli oalition on our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it came to my mind, and the incidents that really touched me directly goes back to 1982 and the following incidents. When the U.S. permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon with the assistance of the 6th fleet.

Because you supported your ally, Israel, in its fight against the indiscriminate killing perpertrated by our Palestinian brothers (who by the way we kicked out of Jordan into Lebanon), we set our minds against you.

Next he meanders into a rehash of Fahrenheit 9/11.

We didn't find difficulty dealing with Bush and his administration due to the imilarity of his regime and the regimes in our countries. Which half of them are ruled by military and the other half by sons of kings and presidents and our experience with them is long.

Both parties are arrogant and stubborn and the greediness and taking money without right and that similarity appeared during the visits of Bush to the region while people from our side were impressed by the U.S. and hoped that these visits
would influence our countries.

Here he is being influenced by these regimes, royal and military. And was feeling jealous they were staying for decades in power stealing the nations' finances without anybody overseeing them. So he transferred the oppression of freedom and tyranny to his son, and they call it the Patriot Law to fight terrorism. He was bright in putting his sons as governors in states, and he didn't forget to transfer his experience from the rulers of our region to Florida to falsify elections to benefit from it in critical times.


George H. W. Bush came over and kicked Saddam's ass and we thought it might make our job easier in bringing down the other rulers in our region, but that didn't happen. Instead, he helped his sons get elected as governors and moved the Democratic Party closer to our distorted world view. So, now we are appealing to Michael Moore and the Democratic Party to continue our fight against America by spreading our version of the truth.

And finally, he lays down his terms for an American Surrender.

He should tell us why we didn't hit Sweden for instance.

Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or al-Qaida. Your security is in your hands. Each state that doesn't mess with our security has automatically secured their security.


Look at the mighty world leader nation of Sweden. You would do well to emulate their role in world politics. Leave us alone to destroy the nation of Israel and establish Taliban like rule over the portion of the world that holds such sway over your national economy. Allow us to determine who we want to receive oil and who shouldn't. And we promise to never ever attack your country again. No... really... Cross my heart and hope to die.

The choice is ours... do we accept Osama's terms of Surrender?

Friday, October 29, 2004

Great Minds Think Alike


It never occurred to us that the commander in chief of the American forces would leave 50,000 citizens in the two towers to face those horrors alone at a time when they most needed him because he thought listening to a child discussing her goat and its ramming was more important than the planes and their ramming of the skyscrapers. This gave us three times the time needed to carry out the operations, thanks be to God. . . .




When the plane hit the first World Trade Center tower a lot of people thought it was an accident. People didn't automatically think terrorism. But if you're the president of the United States, wouldn't your mind immediately go, Hmm, a plane has run into the only building in America ever attacked by foreigners in an act of terrorism. This could well be another attack. Maybe I had better get on this. Bush didn't. He continued to sit for another 10 minutes reading My Pet Goat to the kids in some classroom before he and his people decided this was an attack.




Had I been reading to children and had my top aide whisper in my ear that America is under attack, I would have told those kids very nicely and politely that the president of the United States has something that he needs to attend to.

Oops... except...

I was in the Capitol. We'd just had a meeting -- we'd just come into a leadership meeting in Tom Daschle's office, looking out at the Capitol. And as I came in, Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid were standing there, and we watched the second plane come in to the building. And we shortly thereafter sat down at the table and then we just realized nobody could think, and then boom, right behind us, we saw the cloud of explosion at the Pentagon. And then word came from the White House, they were evacuating, and we were to evacuate, and so we immediately began the evacuation.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Democratic Consultant: "If Bush Wins, We Will Make This Country Ungovernable By Christmas"

Ungovernable, indeed.

But the real news was Fund's report of a conversation he had with a Democratic consultant, whose name, he said, we'd all know. He didn't say the guy's name, but he said he had spoken to him in the green room during the taping of a recent show.

Fund asked what he thought of the election, and this man said, "Off the record, I think Kerry just might lose." But he then continued (paraphrased): "That doesn't mean it's over, though. Democrats will protest and fight so strongly that Bush won't have a win even if he wins. We will obstruct so much that this country will be ungovernable by Christmas."
Coming from the party that has made filibustering a well worn tool of politics, I can't say that this suprises me at all.

I am old enough to remember when the Democratic Party was firmly entrenched in the congress. I remember when Republican initiatives were routinely routed/minimalized by those who held the reigns of power.

In some ways, a split government is good because that is when they spend the least amount of money. But I have to wonder if 'making the country ungovernable' is a sign of a party that has the country's best interest in mind, or their own quest for power.

Perhaps this is just the view of one man... at least I hope so...

Hair

What can you tell about a man by the amount of effort he puts into the way his hair looks?

It's 'Real Men' vs. Metrosexuals!

A funny little spoof. With, of course, the appropriate political bent.

Humalia Akrawy: An Iraqi Woman Speaks Out

(via Winds of Change)

Robin Burk interviews an amazing Iraqi woman.

What would you do if you were a 22 year old Kurdish Muslim woman in March of 2003, when an army drawn from several countries invaded your homeland?

If you were Humalia Akrawy you would remember your brother, killed under Saddam -- and remember how they sent back just one leg and part of an arm to demonstrate his death and their power to your family. You would look at your father, who no longer has full use of his hands after being tortured by Saddam.

And then, despite the disapproval of many but with the blessing and support of your family, on 23 March you would volunteer to become a translator for the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army.

But what would you do when Ba'athists and jihadists ambushed your car, injuring your brother and trying to kill you, and when they later killed your 24 year old sister thinking she was you -- pumping 60 AK47 bullets into her body? Or when you received a letter saying, "We know we missed killing you, but we will be back" and then your home was blown up, injuring another brother and killing the Iraqi policeman guarding it?

If you were the remarkable Ms. Akrawy you would help your remaining family members move to a safe area in the far north of the country and then return to your job. And this time, instead of insisting on a lower profile role, you would eagerly agree to become the translator for Lieutenant General Petraeus himself, the commander of the 101st - despite all the media exposure that entailed - and you would proudly do that job in the face of continued death threats against you.


Read more about this amazing woman.

Blogger's Head Explodes

Heh.