All the news that's fit to forge
My God, Dan... just stop
, already. It's like he can't help himself
Three weeks after he denounced the internet as being "filled with rumors," the embattled CBS anchor ran a story on his Tuesday "Evening News" program hoping to stir up fear of an impending military draft.
In a story that was a textbook example of slipshod reporting, CBS reporter Richard Schlesinger used debunked internet hoax emails and an unlabeled interest group member to scare elderly "Evening" viewers into believing that the U.S. government is poised to resume the draft.
"My name's Dan, and I'm a hoaxaholic"
The good news is that the technology used to produce those e-mails apparently existed when they were claimed to have been written.
Not buying it
James Kopp, convicted assassin, has decided that he doesn't want to be in prison after all
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- James Kopp only confessed to shooting an abortion provider to win the release of a woman who helped him evade capture, his attorney said Monday, arguing the government should not be allowed to use the confession at Kopp's upcoming trial.
Attorney John Humann said the confession was the result of a deal between Kopp's former attorney and the government that trampled on Kopp's rights. The former attorney, Bruce Barket, was also representing the woman, Loretta Marra, at the time Kopp made the statements to reporters, Humann said.
Then the deal also trampled on the rights of The People, so Loretta Marra should go back in the clink.
Barket had an obvious conflict of interest, Humann said, and the government knew it.
"They were involved up to their eyeballs," the lawyer said. "We'll give her an out-of-jail free card if he'll confess."
Ditch the "defense counsel's misconduct was the government's fault" crap, John (what is
it with lawyers named John?). Did the prosecution really have an obligation to do anything more than notify the defendants that their lawyer's position was ethically challenged? I don't know - but assuming they did that, the rest was just doing their job. Barket's conflict of interest trampled on the rights of his clients, so he should probably have a cell right between them.
"The truth is not that I regret shooting Dr. Slepian. I regret that he died," Kopp, a militant known as "Atomic Dog" in anti-abortion circles, said in the 2002 jailhouse interview with The Buffalo News. "I aimed at his shoulder."
The truth is that you shot and killed the man, you psychotic freakshow
. You went to his home, aimed a high-powered rifle through the window of his home, fired and killed him in front of his wife. I don't need to detail what you did to him
or why, but what exactly is it that she
did to deserve having the sanctity of her home violated by delusional vermin like you?
Kopp became one of the FBI's Most Wanted fugitives during 2 1/2 years on the run after the shooting, spending time in Ireland and elsewhere before being captured in France in March 2001.
Of course he was captured in France; France is like a zoo for depraved sociopaths like Kopp. He's not even a featured attraction amidst the likes of Baby Doc Duvalier and Jean Bedel Bokassa. You scrape the slime off the bottom of the gene pool, and it crawls to France every time.
Who would have thought we'd ever see the day? Presidential candidates helping their opponents compete for office... I can't help but feel that the world is on track to a warm and fuzzy place. Bush-Cheney '04 has written a briefing book to help the tragically conflicted Senator Kerry prep for the debates. Oh - oh, that does it, now I'm verklempt - read amongst yourselves
Your Current Position
The removal of Saddam Hussein has left America less secure. You are currently against the war and wouldn't have gone to war, but you used to be for the war before you were against the war before you were for the war.
You voted for “the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.” Now you say the war you voted for made us “less safe.”
You said voting against the funding for the war would be “irresponsible.” That was before you voted against the funds.
You said “it would be naïve to the point of grave danger” not to confront Saddam Hussein.
During the Democrat primaries, you said, “I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein, and when the President made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him.” That was before the surge of Howard Dean led you to declare yourself an “anti-war” candidate.
You are saying your vote for the war was a vote to “authorize” war so America could send a united message to Saddam. But don't forget in 1991 you said, “This is not a vote about a message. It is a vote about war.”
You are saying the removal of Saddam Hussein has left America “less secure.” Unfortunately, you also told Howard Dean, “Those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein, and those who believe we are not safer with his capture, don't have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president.”
You are saying the U.S. is spending too much money on Iraq, but in August 2003, you said we need to increase funding for Iraq “by whatever number of billions of dollars it takes to win.”
You refused to take a position on whether or not the war you voted for was “illegal.”
You have said knowing everything you know now, you still would have voted for the war but knowing everything we know now the war was a mistake.
Pretend like no position you have ever taken matters. Political opportunity, pessimism and the implication of inevitable defeat is the key here. Nobody knows what you really believe anyway.
Nothing new here, really - but I imagine that Kerry would find the compiled reference work valuable.
Who'd vote for Bush?
Jane profiles the Bush voter
at Armies of Liberation. Profiling 150 million people is bound to be a little messy, but I'd say she got this Bush voter by better than 75% - not bad!
Holy Zionist conspiracy, Batman!
If you're fond of theories which feature 'the Jews' controlling something (or everything, as the case may be), here's the story you've been waiting for
Israeli millionaire to purchase 50% of Al-Jazeera shares
Israeli businessman Haim Shiban intends to acquire 50% of shares of Qatar-based satellite TV channel Al-Jazeera. The channel has gained reputation after the September 11 attack in the US; it has become one of the world's leading channels providing coverage of the latest news of the Arab world. The information has been reported Saturday by a Lebanese newspaper Al-Mustakbal with reference to Israeli sources.
According to the Lebanese newspaper, for the last several months, the Israeli businessman has been having talks with the channel's owner Sheikh Khamad ben Khalifa al Tani regarding this matter.
The offer has first been made to emir about six months ago during his visit to Qatar along with American ex-president Bill Clinton. The newspaper reports that emir took the offer seriously. Both men began negotiating. However, their talks ended after emir decided to audit the channel.
According to the newspaper, Shiban has purchased a portion of American company Fox for $1.5 billion USD. In addition, last year he's become a shareholder of a German company Bru Sat 1 for 225 million Euro. He also owns 23% of shares of second Israel's channel, reports RIA "Novosti".
Let's overlook the Pravda element to enjoy this prospect for just a moment - 50% of Al-Jazeera in the hands of a Jew
. I can hear it now... the frothing, the ranting, the wailing and moaning. Isn't it beautiful?
Assuming this is Haim Saban
, half-owner of Fox Family Worldwide, things may be a little less rosy than that image. True, he moved to Israel young and served in the IDF, but whats he been doing since then? After a few years in France, he shuffled over to California where he's been shovelling out campaign contributions
. So far this year he and his wife have racked up over $100k to Democratic congressional general funds, and nearly another $60k to Democratic nominee hopefuls and both House and Senate Democratic congressmen across the nation (Ed Markey
, Tom Daschle
, Evan Bayh
, Wesley Clark
, Harry Reid
, Patty Murray
, John Edwards
, John Kerry
, Dick Gephardt
, Adam Schiff
, Joe Lieberman
, Tom Lantos
, Pat Leahy
, Jane Harman
, and Howard Dean
- although they hedged their bets with a max contribution each to George W. Bush
I suppose that what this could mean for Al-Jazeera depends on whether he's just part of the traditionally Democratic Jewish base, or he's a genuine brother of the American Order of Appeasemonkeys. After all, he's no stranger to targetting civilians with atrocities - it was Media Group Saban Entertainment which unleashed the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers on an unsuspecting world. I'd be torn by a choice between a bomb on my bus and an afternoon of the Big Bad Beetleborgs.
Calling Delta Fliers (and others)
via Armies of Liberation
- if you could help out with securing U.S. visas for a medical emergency, or even some Delta Skymiles, please read on.
Hello folks, we still have a ways to go in saving this wonderful little girl from Iraq. We have been asked to call her "Tabby" from now on and so we will.
When we last brought you up to day, a wonderful group of doctors in South Carolina has volunteered to handle her care. Let me tell you, they have been a joy to work with and invaluable in keeping the process going.
Unfortunately, there are still some things to do.
First, getting visas for Tabby and those coming with her! This is a huge hurdle to cross. We have been in contact with Senator Hatch's office and they working on the situation. If ANY ONE out there has ideas or ways to help with getting visas, PLEASE CONTACT US IMMEDIATELY.
Next, we will need to fly Tabby and those with her out commercially. Folks, flying from the middle east isn't a cheap proposition. The doctors helping us have used donated frequent flyer miles in the past to help bring patients to the US. We are hoping to do the same. If you have some frequent flyer miles you would be willing to donate, it would be of immense help.
Here are the instructions:
Go to UnitedWayAtlanta.org
Go to PROGRAMS
Got to Delta SkyWish
Fill out the form and under Comments write :
"For The Hemangioma Treatment Foundation, attention Ms Mcdaniel"
Ms. Mcdaniel will be sorting our the miles and ANY that come in with the above instructions will go to help bring Tabby and her family here.
We are looking at 5 people needing to come to the US, so we will need as many frequent flyer miles as possible.
I have personally cleaned out my frequent flyer mile account this AM and donated them all to help Tabby and her family. Your help will be greatly appreciated.
Please spread the word!!!
UPDATE: At this current time, it seems to be Delta Skymiles only. I will check on this and get back to you.
Real issues? Whose issues?
Ace of Spades has racked up a must-read post
for anyone who finds themself asking "What're they on about?" whenever they hear people gripe about "the liberal media". It takes a run up and down identification bias, and dead nails the selection bias I've been whining about forever, but stops short of criticising the herd-like behavior that allows it to take place.
No, the worst form of media bias is simple bias in story selection. The media gets to decide which stories get front-page play for weeks at a time (Abu Ghraib) and which get virtually no mention whatsoever (Sarin shells discovered in Iraq).
I have less and less interest in what the media thinks the "real issues" in this campaign are, because, coincidentally enough I'm sure, the "real issue" always turns out to be the issue that can most damage Bush and most help John Kerry.
When we captured Saddam Hussein in December, and it seemed as if Iraq would become a less dangerous place, the media was quite insistent that the economy -- the slow job growth -- was the "real issue."
Trouble is, from January through May we had explosive job growth, and yet the media -- previously deeming this the "real issue," remember -- suddenly wasn't so terribly interested at all in job growth. The better the economy got, the less of a "real issue" it suddenly seemed.
Of course, the economy went through a soft patch, and became a "real issue" again; but now job growth seems back on track, and the economy seems to have regained its "traction" (according to Fed Chair Greenspan), and guess what? It's not a "real issue" anymore.
"Real issues" indeed.
John's lookin' out for you
I've been steering clear of tech issues on this blog, but scaremonger John's got some info on the latest Internet Explorer exploit
that Internet Explorer users might want to have a look at. Don't poke around much though, it's a scary place, all full of Mac stuff.
The most devastating evidence yet
There are some blogs so good that they make me feel guilty for not visiting them often enough. One such is Samizdata, as I am now reminded
I'll have more of this, please
An item from the Ottowa Citizen, via The Last Amazon
: Defining terrorism
Newspapers are supposed to report the news, not be the news. Yet we became the story yesterday when CBC Radio aired an item critical of the way we cover the Middle East. The unfair criticism deserves a response.
The chief complaint is that this newspaper freely uses the word "terrorist" to describe certain groups and acts. The CBC and some wire services prefer terms such as "activist," "militant" or "gunmen." These media organizations argue that "terrorist" is a subjective term, laden with too much emotion, and that the imperative to be impartial prohibits journalists from using it.
We reject the argument. Terrorism is a technical term. It describes a modus operandi, a tactic. We side with security professionals who define terrorism as the deliberate targeting of civilians in pursuit of a political goal. Those who bombed the nightclub in Bali were terrorists. Suicide bombers who strap explosives to their bodies and blow up people eating in a pizza parlour are terrorists. The men and women who took a school full of hostages in Beslan, Russia, and shot some of the children in the back as they tried to flee to safety were terrorists. We as journalists do not violate our impartiality by describing them as such.
Ironically, it is supposedly neutral terms like "militant" that betray a bias, insofar as they have a sanitizing effect. Activists for various political causes can be "militant," but they don't take children hostage.
There is a popular misconception that violence committed for a legitimate cause cannot be terrorism. That's incorrect. Sikhs may, or may not, have legitimate complaints against the Indian government, but the 1985 Air India bombing was a terrorist act, because it deliberately targeted civilians. Journalists betray neither a pro- nor anti-Sikh bias to report it as such.
A newspaper's mandate is to present accurate reports. The Citizen receives wire service reports from many news organizations; in order to ensure consistency in the terms used by these various sources, editors sometimes change words such as "militant" to "terrorist," if it more accurately describes the person committing a violent act. Anyone who deliberately targets civilians in pursuit of a political goal is a terrorist, and we use that term.
Sometimes, an editor will insert a sentence into a wire service report to ensure readers have the full context of the story. For example, some wire reports will describe Hamas or some like-minded group as fighting Israeli "occupation." In fact, Hamas is openly dedicated to the destruction of the entire Jewish state. An editor is quite right to contextualize the story by adding that Hamas views all of Israel as "occupied" land.
There can be, of course, no hard rule on changing the word "militant'' to "terrorist." In Iraq, for example, rebel fighters are hitting both civilian and military targets. On Sept. 9, the Citizen edited an Associated Press report and the resulting story wrongly suggested that all armed men in Fallujah are "terrorists." The Citizen has acknowledged that this change was not in accordance with our policy and was made in error.
Osama bin Laden would have us believe that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Nonsense. If you deliberately target civilians in pursuit of a political goal, you are a terrorist. Journalists should not, and the Citizen will not, be afraid to say so.
All I could add was the emphasis, really.
Please, no more, I can't take it
I'm begging you, STOP making it so easy. When you persist in blathering visibly false rubbish as though you had a point, and people keep buying it
, it grinds my faith in my species to paste. STOP IT. You know who you are.
JOHN Kerry's campaign has warned Australians that the Howard Government's support for the US in Iraq has made them a bigger target for international terrorists.
Diana Kerry, younger sister of the Democrat presidential candidate, told The Weekend Australian that the Bali bombing and the recent attack on the Australian embassy in Jakarta clearly showed the danger to Australians had increased.
"Australia has kept faith with the US and we are endangering the Australians now by this wanton disregard for international law and multilateral channels," she said, referring to the invasion of Iraq.
I see two possibilities here, Ms. Kerry - I wanted to list them in order of likelyhood, but couldn't rank them. You might be so uninformed on the issues you attempt to address as to buttress my belief that the electorate should be licensed to vote. I don't know what other mechanism might protect us all from the likes of you. Alternatively, you just don't care. You'll say anything if you think it might work.
1) You made these remarks
2) The Bali bombing took place in October 2002
3) Iraq was invaded in March 2003
I don't know what other conclusions could lend themselves to these facts. Any suggestions?
For that matter, are there any takers for bets on how the Kerry campaign might respond? I'm putting the farm in favor of "Ms. Kerry's reasoning was fake, but accurate."
Tom at Redhunter points out a glaring flaw
in the overall message, and Captain Ed questions the wisdom
of undermining our alliances in the war on terror. Both good points. And no, Captain - she doesn't credit Australians with having memories any better than those she credits
Note to John Kerry
Stop alienating our allies. I'm not referring to the two countries who call themselves "Europe", fancy themselves to be "the world", and pass the days dreaming of ways to engineer American embarassment and failure without having to do anything. I'm talking about the people who choose to stand alongside us, or at the very least do not choose to actively undermine us. It's not a very nuanced definition of 'ally', but it's one that works.
For decades now, the reward you've reserved for anyone showing fidelity to our country is your expectoration. Is there no one whose conduct could be so loyal or noble as to evade your scorn? Or is it such conduct which draws your deprication? What else can you imagine you're doing when you dismiss as nonexistant every ally who has helped us in Iraq, is still helping us in Iraq, when you insist that we chose to "go it alone" in Iraq? You're throwing away international goodwill as if it were
Every time you insist that we chose to "go it alone", you dismiss thousands of allied soldiers serving honorably in Iraq
. With that casual omission, you odiously -- and repeatedly
-- cast off dozens who have died in service to their countries, representing them as our allies
. Even Tonga, whose contribution of 45 good troops is (as calculated by Mark Steyn
) proportionally equal to a contribution of 13,500 from Canada, becomes non-existant with a wave of your haughty hand. Exactly how did you come to be so worthy of waving it? And at whom do you think you wave it?
When it came time to reup it's commitment of 360 troops, El Salvador raised it to 380
. They're not just sending whatever dregs of the barracks they'll be pleased to be rid of for a while either - have a look
at the people whose existance you won't deign to acknowledge.
One of his friends was dead, 12 others lay wounded and the four soldiers still left standing were surrounded and out of ammunition. So Salvadoran Cpl. Samuel Toloza said a prayer, whipped out his switchblade knife and charged the Iraqi gunmen.
In one of the few known instances of hand-to-hand combat in the Iraq conflict, Toloza stabbed several attackers who were swarming around a comrade. The stunned assailants backed away momentarily, just as a relief column came to the Salvadorans' rescue.
"We never considered surrender. I was trained to fight until the end," said the 25-year-old Toloza, one of 380 El Salvador soldiers whose heroism is being cited just as criticism is leveled against other members of the multinational force in Iraq.
"My immediate reaction was that I had to defend my friend, and the only thing I had in my hands was a knife," Cpl. Toloza said.
This may be unfamiliar to you. In case you've been curious for the last 30-some years what a couple of the words describing the medals you cited yourself for mean -- 'gallantry', 'valor' -- now you know. I'll wager Cpl. Toloza didn't wind up in Iraq because he was refused another deferment.
"We didn't come here to fire a single shot. Our rifles were just part of our equipment and uniforms. But we were prepared to repel an attack," said Col. Hugo Omar Orellana Calidonio, a 27-year army veteran who commands the Cuscatlan Battalion.
"Our country came out of a similar situation as in Iraq 12 years ago, so people in El Salvador can understand what is happening here," said Calidonio, referring to a civil war between the U.S.-backed government and leftist guerrillas that left some 75,000 dead. The military was held responsible for widespread abuses.
"We came here to help and we were helping. Our relationship with the people was excellent. They were happy with what we were doing," Calidonio says.
are allies; regardless of the onerous task and times -- or perhaps even because of them -- they're there helping both us and the Iraqi people, and doing so with pride. How did you become posessed of the notion that you might be large enough to diminish such men at a whim? I believe Cpl. Toloza is due an apology. I'm looking squarely at you.
OUTNUMBERED British soldiers killed 35 Iraqi attackers in the Army’s first bayonet charge since the Falklands War 22 years ago. The fearless Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders stormed rebel positions after being ambushed and pinned down.
Despite being outnumbered five to one, they suffered only three minor wounds in the hand-to-hand fighting near the city of Amara. The battle erupted after Land Rovers carrying 20 Argylls came under attack on a highway.After radioing for back-up, they fixed bayonets and charged at 100 rebels using tactics learned in drills. When the fighting ended bodies lay all over the highway — and more were floating in a nearby river. Nine rebels were captured.
An Army spokesman said: “This was an intense engagement.” The last bayonet charge was by the Scots Guards and the Paras against Argentinian positions. (Source)
And the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders aren't even there
in your version of the world - we're "going it alone". I'm sick of watching you shun or denigrate the honor of your betters, John, and there are far more of them than you seem to think. These men deserve better, even from a self-professed war criminal. All of our allies deserve better - stop spitting on them.
America's shadow darkens London
In Decorous Mayfair These Days, the U.S. Is Out of Place
LONDON, Sept. 16 - It is impossible to miss the American Embassy, hulking menacingly in genteel Mayfair with all the subtlety of a man wearing sunglasses and body armor to tea at the Ritz. The embassy is, for instance, the only building in the immediate area surrounded by chain-link fences, patrolled by guards with automatic weapons, and protected by the sort of concrete barriers that Darth Vader might select for his own headquarters.
Sarah would seem to be one of the Times' more seasoned writers, as evidenced by the use of 'Darth Vader' in lieu of the more modish 'Lord Valdemort'. We're sorry Sarah, you're right - what a nasty eyesore. We'll just replace the armed guards and truck bomb barriers with land mines, and make everyting all tidy, shall we?
I'd Rather have heard this a week ago
Finally - a Rather overdue mea culpa
"That, combined with some of the questions that have been raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where if I knew then what I know now I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question," he said.
What he did not know then was that he'd get busted.
"Please know that nothing is more important to us than people's trust in our ability and our commitment to report fairly and truthfully," he added.
"Not even our capacity
to report fairly and truthfully."
CBS said Burkett acknowledged he provided the documents and said he deliberately misled a CBS producer, giving her a false account of their origin to protect a promise of confidentiality to a source.
Praise be to Allah
Still squandering goodwill
As I'm sure everyone is well aware, George W. Bush so alienated our allies by spending a year and a half asking them to respect their own UN edicts that they won't even consider multilateralism
Underscoring Democrat John Kerry's claim last spring that some world leaders said they'd prefer that President Bush be turned out of office, well-equipped powers like Russia, China, France and Germany won't offer to send troops to protect UN officials working to hold elections in Iraq in January.
"There is no way anybody is going to step up before the [American] election. It's personal enmity toward the President. They can't stand him," said the official, who asked not to be named.
If you are perhaps not convinced that snubbing multilateral institutions is a principled response to ultra-reactionary extremist cowboys, just ask the world (which of course consists of the two countries which call themselves 'Europe', and sundry leftist activists).
"Somebody should step up and protect the UN election officials as they try to promote democratic elections in a sovereign nation that had been run by a despot. ... It's a shame, regardless of how we got there," the official added.
Wait... but... protecting UN officials in the Iraqi elections sounds like real
principle - not that completely unsupportable bunk that eurotwinks usually
call principle. That could only mean...
"They are spinning for domestic political reasons," the official said. "If Kerry is elected we wouldn't send troops either. We don't need more targets in Iraq."
... that the New York Daily News actually found
a genuine French official whose assesment does not begin with the question "How did the evil stupidity of Bush create tragedy?" I wonder if Snopes has seen this yet...
Canada celebrates cowardice
The CBC, like Canada itself, is far too ignored by the blogsphere.
Draft-dodger memorial to be built in B.C.
NELSON, B.C. - B.C. activists plan to erect a bronze sculpture honouring draft dodgers, four decades after Americans opposed to the Vietnam War sought refuge in Canada.
The memorial, created by artists in Nelson, B.C., ties into a two-day celebration planned for July 2006 that pays tribute to as many as 125,000 Americans who fled to Canada between 1964 and 1977.
"This will mark the courageous legacy of Vietnam War resisters and the Canadians who helped them resettle in this country during that tumultuous era," Isaac Romano, the director of the Our Way Home festival told a news conference in Nelson Tuesday.
No, Isaac, there was nothing courageous there. The courageous resistors were people like Mohammed Ali
who stayed and faced prison, or Australia's Bob McMullan
who stood by their convictions and took their objection to court. A requisite condition of courage is the presence of risk you see, and the defining characteristic of courage is a willingness to face that risk. The draftees who ran were averting risk, not facing it, but you weren't really building that monument for them, were you? Despite the attempt at validating the enterprise as an altruistic tribute to others, this Canadian monument after all is for Canada; for Canadians. You're not celebrating the flight of the draftees, but the warm embrace that Canada extended.
However, before your arm faces the risks inherent to the act of patting yourself on the back, you should note that the Canadians who helped them faced no risk at all
, a condition which qualifies them as demonstrating no courage at all
. Building a monument to yourself commending yourself for qualities you do not posess or exhibit... there's a word for that, isn't there?
A word? Hell, I think there are whole branches of psychiatry devoted to it.
There has already been a momument built
to people who did exhibit bravery during the period of the Vietnam draft; it bears the names of people who took the place of those who ran away to teach you courage, Isaac. A larger-than-life tribute to your courage would be a small thing indeed.
No word on when we can expect a monument to the courage of the boat people.
Looks like I owe an apology to CBC Watch
which, in my oh-so-typical Kerry-like American arrogance, I implied does not exist. When my French arrogance kicks in, I'll pretend they did not give attention to this article first
The campaign drags on
Kerry Denies Claims That He Has A Health Care Plan
(2004-09-17) -- John Forbes Kerry, the Democrat presidential candidate, today denied allegations by President George Bush that Mr. Kerry has a plan for a "huge" government-controlled health care system.
"George W. Bush can only wish that I had a plan so he could have something to attack," said Mr. Kerry, who is also a U.S. Senator. "But if I had a health care plan, don't you think I would have introduced it during my 19 years in the Senate? After all, the legislative branch is where legislation starts, not the executive. I could have written a health care bill, rallied support among my senate colleagues and used my ample leadership skills to push it through with a veto-proof majority."
Mr. Kerry acknowledged that he does "have a plan to blame Mr. Bush for the shortcomings of America's health care system. And I also have a plan to talk about having a plan. But to accuse me of actually having a health care plan that I plan to put in place during my presidency is cynical at best."
You knew I was a crooner
How could I pass by Steyn Online's John Kerry songbook
? The longer "The Wreck of the Johnny Fitzgerald" by Gordon Swiftfoot brought a tear to my eye, but "Unelectable" just grabs me in a whole other way.
(sung to the tune of "Unforgettable")
That’s what you are
Thought you’d go far
Thought they’d all just bow down to you
Thought you didn’t have much to do
Has someone been more…
In every way
And getting more so
With each passing day
That’s why John, it’s delectable
That one so unelectable
What’s so apparently true.
Take a lady at her word
We finally have a less cumbersome name for First Lady candidate Theresa Heinz Kerry, candidate approved
When the audience gave her a standing ovation, she declared, "You can call me Mama T anytime." That prompted chants of "Mama T."
Mama T it is. Thanks, Terry!
Memogate: Rathergate continued
Today I've tripped over another of the episodes in American journalism that will never again slip past the public: The Wall Within
, a CBS program on Vietnam Vets that aired in 1988.
One of the most ingrained stereotypes that plague the 3.3 million Americans who served in Vietnam is the tainted image of the Vietnam vet as scruffy, jobless, homeless, mentally unstable, addicted, suicidal, and stranded on the fringes of society. It is an image that has been reinforced by innumerable TV dramas, movies, and newscasts. It is also usually tied to stories about the horrors of war, atrocities, and other dark deeds that, allegedly, have caused these personal problems for the tragic vet.
The highly hyped 1988 CBS program, "The Wall Within," purporting to tackle the issue of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is a perfect example of the lies and distortions about Vietnam that have been fed to three generations of Americans. The program profiled six pathetic victims who it claimed were "representative" of those who served in Vietnam. It claimed that the symptoms suffered by these men were shared by hundreds of thousands of other veterans. The Dan Rather "documentary" became part of the CBS video history series on Vietnam and is graced with a formal introduction by liberal-left one-worlder Walter Cronkite.
This is how Dan Rather introduced his TV audience to one of his prize victims: "At age 16, Steve was a Navy SEAL, trained to assassinate. For almost two years, he operated behind enemy lines, then he broke. He came home in a straightjacket, addicted to alcohol and drugs."
According to the CBS propaganda piece, "Steve" had been trained to massacre and mutilate Vietnamese civilians and then blame the atrocities on the Communists. "You’re telling me that you went into the village, killed people, burned part of the village, then made it appear that the other side had done this?" Rather asked. "Yeah," Steve responded. "For propaganda purposes at home," Rather added. "That’s correct," Steve confirmed.
Terry Bradley, another supposed Vietnam vet suffering from PTSD, told a grisly tale of having, on one occasion, skinned alive up to 50 Vietnamese men, women and children. He told of cutting out hearts and eyeballs, of mangling and stacking their bloody bodies. The CBS program showed the mentally tormented vet at night in a dark forest howling at the sky.
Another PTSD victim, George Greul, told the CBS team that he had been traumatized by witnessing his friend’s gruesome death on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier while the ship was on a "secret mission" off the coast of Vietnam. He had seen his buddy accidentally walk into a spinning propeller blade and had been spattered with his blood.
That's right - Dan Rather sat there on-air and presented the adventures of a 16 year old Navy Seal
without batting an eye. This kind of fastens my assertion that the left discussing what they know about war is like chimpanzees discussing architecture. With fingerpaints. When they wail and screech that they don't understand what our troops are doing or why they're doing it, they're not kidding
- they really are without a clue. I think it should be explained to them, but where do you start? I don't know, but I do know that they understand it about as well as coral understands aerodynamics, and should not be allowed to talk about it. Hiring Dan Rather to talk about war is like hiring Michael Moore as a physical trainer.
The critically acclaimed "Wall Within" was a colossal fraud. The man identified as "Steve" turned out to be one Steve Southards, and through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, Burkett obtained his military records. The truth, he found, was that "Southards was not a SEAL, nor had he taken any SEAL training.... In reality, Southards was an ‘internal communications repairman,’ assigned to rear area bases and had no combat decorations. His only special training was a ‘motion picture operation course (16mm),’ at Subic Bay in the Philippines." What’s more, he had spent time in the brig for going AWOL six times. According to Burkett’s research, "Little that Southards had told Rather was true except that he had been in the Navy, and that his first name was Steve."
Terry Bradley was not a "fighting sergeant," as Dan Rather had described him, but another storytelling misfit who had spent 300 days either AWOL or in the stockade. No evidence was provided by CBS, and Burkett could find none either, from official sources or otherwise, to verify Bradley’s tales of mass atrocities.
George Greul’s carrier, the Ticonderoga, was deployed on a training mission off the coast of California, not a "secret mission" off the coast of Vietnam, when the fatal propeller accident he referred to took place. But Greul was not present when the accident happened; he was merely repeating what he had heard. However, his story had convinced the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that he had been sufficiently traumatized to receive a couple thousand dollars a month in compensation.
Having for some years contended that the stained images of both the war and the men who fought it were fashioned by the left and the left-leaning media, I can't claim to be less than intrigued by Stolen Valor
either. Gosh, how could I have failed to have heard about this book? Maybe it was buried in all the Operation Tailwind
coverage? MSM- your day is done.
Open letter to the mainstream media
I'm not a top tier blogger; I'm not a middle tier blogger; on my best days, I might be a lower tier blogger (I'll not confess to "bottom"). What I think I probably have in common with the top-notch folks that occupy those upper tiers though is that a letter like this one resonates deeply. This is it - if anyone was still at this point confused, this is the reason people blog.
We have watched you for years try to tell us how to think, what to think, who to vote for and what to believe based solely on your own agenda. In past years, you have come to think of yourselves as the fourth branch of government, the movers and shapers of opinion and the arbiters of truth.
In case you have not been watching, America is sick and tired of you. We are turning away from you in record numbers. Your audience and readership is declining faster than you can say the word 'bias', and instead of recognizing the trend, you have only become further entrenched and determined to force society to play by your rules.
Technology has allowed us to ignore you, and in many cases, replace you altogether. I grew up watching Walter Cronkite every night, not yet aware of his agenda, his bias and his overwhelming desire to turn the nation against its leaders unless they agreed with him. I saw him replaced by the most dishonest, agenda-driven anchorman this nation has ever produced. That Dan Rather is one of you should be enough to make you feel dirty.
You believe yourselves to be solely qualified to pontificate on the day-to-day events going on around the world as if journalism school gives you a special insight into the truth. When I was in college, people went to J-school only if they flunked out of business school and did not want to become teachers.
Well guess what?
The world is on to you.
Before the internet, no one had a forum to say to the media "Are you insane??" Before blogs, the average person could not call "bullshit". This is what the internet ushered in; this is what threatens the media; this is what will shortly challenge the socialist establishments of Europe. The mainstream media is only one of the world's establishments which relied on being the arbiters of truth; it isn't the only one threatened as this thing continues to roll forward. Ain't technology grand? Read the rest here
What were they thinking
Every so often I find myself confonted by a person whose thinking seems so far removed from any reality I know that I just completely fail to grasp them. The only thing more alarming than the fact that they exist is the rapidity with which I encounter them. Usually, when I look for insight into just what in God's name was happening in their heads, I'm limited in my search for answers to the slim number of people I encounter in my daily life. Maybe the miracle of the Internet can deliver enlightenment to me.
The latest such involves someone who, for the sake of discussion, we'll call Marsha*. Marsha worked in the office of an aquaintance of mine, filling the role of office manager on a temporary basis for perhaps 4 weeks. The office was recently relieved of her, and now in her wake an even more fascinating glimpse of Marsha's world has come to light.
Let me make clear, Marsha is not uneducated. She is not, by familiar definitions, a person most others would call stupid. She is not necessarily someone you would call incompetant, though viewed from a distance you might be hard pressed to make that argument. As best as I can define her condition, she is a person whose priorities are completely opaque, and simply cannot be understod through mundane observation.
The incident which prompts this post is the recent discovery of a hidden cache of phone messages she had taken, which she seemingly accumulated over a period of weeks. To glance at these messages is to be instilled with admiration for their professionalism - the sharp, neat script; the complete array of included details; the thoroughly intelligible record of the intended message. In fact, to look over these messages is to look on a pristine collection of examples of what phone messages are intended to be, with the exception of a single detail: not a single one
ever made it to it's intended recipient.
And this is the essence of Marsha. Every pedantic detail of the ritual of message-taking was strictly observed - the time of day is precise to the minute, the appropriate salutation is indicated in every message, a means of return contact and any special instructions are included with each one. With that done, the message goes onto a pile behind the petty cash box and the matter is apparently considered settled. The last little item, the thing that most people would consider the whole point of the enterprise of message-taking
, is a matter so trivial as to not occupy her attention. This office employs no more than 8 people at any given time, who trip over each other all day long - there's just no explanation for never delivering the messages other than considering delivery an insignificant detail.
And this is the thing that perplexes me. It's interesting enough to write about because it's a phenomenon not limited to Marsha - she is perhaps more of a symptom than a disease. Time and again I encounter people to whom following the ritual is the ultimate priority, while they may seem not to even recognize that there is an intended result
of the ritual. What does this signify? Is there that wide a lapse in critical thinking? Is it the CYA mentality of bureaucracy infecting society at large? What is it about the notion of an ultimate goal being irrelevant in the face of a process to reach it that makes me think of Sudan... oh, damn! I forgot all about that article. Coming right up.
* I believe in changing names only to protect the innocent. Her name is Marsha.
Never again... unless it happens again
Clearing the slate today - this is an older story, but no less relevant.
UN Adopts Sudan Resolution, Arabs Suspicious
UNITED NATIONS, July 30 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) - The UN Security Council Friday, July30 , adopted a US-drafted resolution threatening Sudan with 'measures' unless it reigned in militias responsible for atrocities in Darfur, as Arabs expressed fear the move could lead to American-led invasion of yet another country in their region.
Look out, Sudan! If you don't start acting like a marginally civilized nation, you'll face measures
! Well, that is in the event that a majority of security council members can agree that perhaps maybe there's a possibility that measures conceivably could be called for, as long as they're not too specific. Provided that Sudan isn't perchance enjoying France's protection racket, it's imaginable that measures
might be somewhere on Sudan's horizon at some indeterminate and speculative point in the future, pending further consideration.
The 13 - 0 vote, with abstentions from China and Pakistan, came after the United States, facing considerable opposition, deleted the word "sanctions" and substituted a reference to a section of the U.N. Charter permitting punitive measures.
Now, why would the word "sanctions" need to be removed? Because even if no implement of torture could make them say it out loud, a majority of Security Council members are aware of what eurotwinks and several former US presidents won't admit either: that if effective resolution is the desired result, sanctions are just one step in a process. This process requires you to recognize when sanctions have failed
, and step up to measures of greater consequence in a squeezing progression - something anathema to both the milquetoast nations who would be called upon to realize the progressing measures, as well as oppressive regimes who could easily find themselves with the shoe on the other foot at some point in the future. If you're keeping score at home, you'll have noted that puts most of the UN at odds with the entire concept of being effective.
This provision, called Article 41, allows the "interruption" of economic, transport, communications or diplomatic measures, which amounts to sanctions, according to Reuters.
The resolution, co-sponsored by Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Chile and Romania, demands that Khartoum disarm and prosecute within 30 days militia known as Janjaweed or the Security Council will consider punitive measures under Article41.
Yes, they should not be called "sanctions" as that removes the option of denying that sanctions were ever the idea in the first place. To determined oppressive tyrants, sanctions are hardly a speed bump. Sanctions seem to seldom hit the regime; the regime tends to duck and the people behind them get hit. Since sanctions will likely fail to accomplish anything but the amplification of misery, that means that once you've declared santions you should be on the path to actually doing
something. In other words, if you're willing to go to sanctions, you need to be open to the eventuality that troops will be required for resolution. If you're utterly unwilling to go that route, sanctions typically accomplish squat
Words are infinitely preferable to the UN, even if words have casualty rates hundreds of times higher than peacekeeping or war. Operating on the premise that scowling discontent ought to be pressure enough to bring about change, it does not recognize decades of evidence that this is an ineffective approach. The greatest abusers of human rights simply do not share this view. Looking askance at Sudan has only prompted Sudan to ask "And what are you
looking at?". The Times urges the UN to cast it's gaze downward and answer "Nothing".
The UN, in it's "international governance as popularity contest" mode, is a perfect mechanism for amplifying human misery.
Karl Rove hard at work
Sudan denies possessing chemical weapons
, and strenuously
denies that the weapons they don't have came from Syria. After all, where would Syria ever get such weapons?
Sudan denies an allegation by Die Welt, a German newspaper, that "Syria tested chemical weapons on the Darfur public in the western part of Sudan, causing the deaths of tens of thousands of people."
The German newspaper said that their story was based on intelligence reports from European countries. The Sudanese believe that such information is part of a US campaign to undermine Syria's international influence.
So let me get this straight... the US seeded intelligence into various European countries (quite against their will, it would seem) in order to maneuver Die Welt into publishing this outright falsehood. Wow
. Folks, I had no idea that this administration was that good
; I can't possibly vote to discard them in November, they're a national treasure.
I can't finish without noting that this claim seems to be meeting considerable opposition from no less than the United States
. I don't expect that to be the final word. Warm up your pipes, Mondhieb - "Die Welt lied! No one died!"
Terrorism hits the blogsphere
My funk is finally broken, I'll write a bit about it soon (for both of you with a passing interest). All it took was for a blogger that I respect to be touched by terrorism
(Sept. 15 entry). This is not the work of anyone with the interests of Iraqis at heart - this is the work of subhuman criminal filth.
The Path to School Number One
I'm not sure how I neglected to post this yesterday, but overlook my oversight and stop in at Armies of Liberation for one fantastic read: The Path to School Number One
. Unsurprisingly, a lot of bloggers have had a lot to say about the recent tragedy in Russia, but Jane absolutely nails it from start to end.
When is a child expendable for the sake of a political statement? Line up ten toddlers in a row and the world will disagree. Some people will say none should be targeted. Others will point to one and say a bullet in her head is not terrorism.
Finish reading here
Earth shattered: film at 11:00
In a startling development, sources reveal that Arabs may be linked to Chechen
terrorists insurgents rebels
Ten of Ossetia hostage-takers come from Arab states - FSB
BESLAN. Sept 3 (Interfax) - Ten of the 20 hostage-takers who set off a major crisis in North Ossetia on Wednesday and were killed by Russian troops on Friday came from Arab countries, a Federal Security Service (FSB) official said.
I know, I know - it's hard to get your head around. You may want to catch your breath before proceeding, because as it happens we might have known something about that already.
But surely, if there was any reason to suspect that these might be murderous islamist butchers seeking to impose tyranny, rather than disgruntled victims of oppression, the world's faithful news services would report them as such? Let's see just how far back suggestions of islamist terror might go -
Apr. 19, 2004
MOSCOW - Russian troops have killed four Chechen rebels linked to guerrilla leader Shamil Basayev near Chechnya this weekend, capping a week-long crackdown on separatists in the turbulent Caucasus region. The leader of Arab fighters in Muslim Chechnya, Saudi-born Abu al-Waleed al-Ghamdi with close links to Basayev, was among those killed there in recent days, his brother said on Sunday. More than 10 rebels, including Wahhabi militants, were killed in planned "special operations" by Russian troops in the mountainous region last week, news agencies reported. Wahhabism is a strict Islamic sect dominant in Saudi Arabia.Feb. 19, 2004
MOSCOW - Russia has evidence that this month's terrorist attack on the Moscow metro was organised by Arab mercenary Abu al-Valid who is believed to have succeeded the notorious Khattab, eliminated by special services in 2002. According to intelligence reports, Al-Valid was paid $4.5 million for the attack and has already left Chechnya for one of the Persian Gulf states.February 21, 2003
The U.S. State Department added three Chechen rebel groups to its list of designated foreign terrorist organizations. The designation makes it illegal under U.S. law to provide material support to the organization, and requires banks to freeze its assets. Members of the group can be denied U.S. visas.Dec. 29, 2002
Military intelligence, he says, recently learned that Abu Al Walid was ordering a series of terrorists attacks on Grozny. The attacks are being financed by several Arab countries, which were not named.Oct. 27, 2002
The Russian authorities in Chechnya have said that a substantial number of the female rebels were of Middle Eastern origin.
Feb. 9, 2001
This echoes President Vladimir Putin's recent suggestion that there were Arabs and Afghans among the hostage-takers.
The Russian security service later said that it had intercepted intensive exchanges over mobile telephones between the hostage-takers and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey.
Russia-s military intelligence officers have found videotapes showing the details of criminal acts perpetrated Chechen rebels and foreign mercenaries. Most of the rebels on the tapes come from Arab countries, officials at the Federal Security Service told Interfax on Friday. Rebels are known to make such video accounts for their bosses who guide and finance their operations in Chechnya and also provide a propaganda cover, the officials are quoted as saying. The tapes are now being thoroughly examined. "Special equipment allows one to determine with absolute precision the date and time of filming and make accurate portraits of all participants in terrorist acts," they added.June 29, 2000
The Russian special forces destroyed a large rebel group, comprising mainly Arab mercenaries, during a reconnaissance operation in South Chechnya on Wednesday, the Interfax news agency reported.
Oct. 26, 1999
Sixty militants, 55 of whom were identified as Arab mercenaries, were killed by federal air strikes. Now a mopping-up action is underway in the combat area, the center was quoted as saying.
"Today, we have good positions, good weapons, and we can fight successfully," said Khattab, an Arab warlord commanding Chechen fighters, at a rebel stronghold just west of Gudermes. Khattab, who goes only by his first name, helped lead the militant incursions into Dagestan earlier this year.
Ok, my ADD is kicking in, but I think I have my answer: long enough for Reuters et. al to know better. The next time I see or hear a straight-faced report of Chechen millitants, insurgents, rebels, or -- my new favorite -- mercenaries
directing death and misery at civilians, we may find out just how quickly I can chisel the word "terrorist" into a brick facade.
Signs of life
To offset the Republican bounce (or double-bounce, if you count Bush as getting one from the DNC) the Kerry
campaign kicks into high gear with the release of a dignified message of inspiration
Now it makes sense!
I probably wasn't alone in wondering what in the world Kerry
was thinking when he posed for the bunny suit photo op
at NASA. If this was the alternative, I get it now. Keep your eyes on the ball, John.
-- thanks to John D. for the pictures.
But… C'est Injuste!
Go see Erik do what he does so well
. A tease:
Let's see, what have we got here?…
"The Kidnappers of French Journalists Renew Their Blackmail…"
"Paris Tries to Isolate the Terrorists…"
Wow. "Odious blackmail"! "Terrorists"! Quite different from the bland and straightforward headlines when Americans and other nationalities are kidnapped, huh?
No rightfully angered locals here, no members of the "Iraqi rebellion", no "insurgents", no justification, no "executions", no "Ils l'ont bien mérité" (they deserved it, they had it coming)… Au contraire! Au contraire, as it turns out…
Take a look at Paris Tries to Isolate the Terrorists By Orchestrating Arab Disapproval:
"Maybe [Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot] were kidnapped by mistake [wonders Malbrunot's editor.] Maybe the kidnappers didn't know they were journalists and French citizens."
It's only a matter of time before France overcomes enough bureaucratic inertia to make Erik illegal. Since "French" is apparently a race when you want it to be
, he can probably already be fined for "race hate", Brigitte Bardot-style
It's the standards, stupid
Both of America's major political parties like to lay claim to having the highest standards, and to one extent or another they perpetually battle over their claim. Yesterday in the wake of Zell Miller's RNC speech we were shown yet again that only one party can claim to have the highest number of
standards - our dear old Democrat party.
Democrats were as confused, hurt, and angry as children slapped without cause today, from one end of the dial to the other. You see, Miller actually had the audacity to tell Republicans that his party has become a disappointment to him; this was as bewildering to Democrats as it is manifest to anyone who's left the party in the last 10-15 years. Nevermind that Democrats have spent the months since the release of his book
salving themselves by chanting that he wasn't really
a Democrat anymore; nevermind that it's been public knowledge that he was booked as RNC keynote speaker for weeks; the fact that he'd actually do what he said
and continue saying what he's been saying
came as a bolt out of the blue to them.
When Jumpin' Jim Jeffords left the Republican party to become unaffiliated, that was an action that had Democrat support. Leaving the party after 35 years over a tax cut was a perfectly principled decision, they said. The fact that he tipped the scales of the party balance (and therefore budgeting) in the Senate was merely fortuitous, and any highly prized Democratic committeeships he might have obtained were fair barter for mutual benefit. It wasn't as if he was bought
with those committeeships - after all, he didn't actually become a Democrat. He only promised to vote with the Democrat party in every procedural vote, so what? He's still a man of integrity! Zell Miller refused to leave the Democrat party because his ideals haven't changed, and they screech that he's a traitor. His castigators find no hypocrisy in calling him a "Zellout", even though he receives nothing in exchange for simply maintaining the scruples he's held for years.
Folks - if you call bartering your allegience "probity" and sticking to your principles "selling out", it's time to explore yourself for a bit. I don't claim to say this as a friend - it's a statement of fact.
Odd notions of what constitutes betrayal aren't what have aroused the most Democratic ire, however. The most common complaint of the affronted today was an inflamed disappointment with Zell's "anger". Read that again if you need to - the raging, red-faced, ranting party of Al Gore, Howard Dean, and Robert Byrd denounces Zell's anger. When the right
Democrat does it, it's righteous indignation; when the wrong
Democrat does it, it's bitter anger. I guess the only thing we disagree on then is who the right and wrong Democrats are.
Not so long ago, model of composure Hillary "I AM SICK AND TIRED!" Clinton penciled time into her busy schedule of assaulting her own Secret Service protection in order to grace the
adoring little urchins
Young Democrats of my own humble city with an opportunity to worship her rhetorical clarity and wisdom. After informing them that "This is the most radical, reactionary administration we've ever had in Washington" (which is akin to a sopping, parched towel, I suppose), she went on to fume that "President Bush may not be on our list of America's best presidents but he should be on anyone's list of America's best magicians. The budget surplus - then you saw it, now you won't. Good jobs - then we had them, now we don't. George Bush's disappearing act is getting a little old to me." Conspicuously forgetting whole swathes of American history, she declared "This administration risks becoming the first generation of American leaders to leave our country worse off than when they found it." Jimmy Carter must have been pleased to hear that his administration had officially gone down the memory hole.
However, she eventually got to the thrust of her incensed oration: "I think we have to ask ourselves - do we want an angry minority to reverse the result of a legitimate election?". The context? She was expressing her disdain for democracy in the impending recall of California Governor Gray "22% Job Approval" Davis. The "angry minority" of Californians who did not approve of the way he made jobs and budget surpluses disappear was polled at 58% in favor of recall. The angry minority who actually voted to recall was 54%. That's like the angry minority of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in this country who think there's nothing wrong with the phrase "under God", but get overruled by the overwhelming majority of the 9th circuit and ACLU. So to parse St. Hillary's message: we should respect constitutionally enacted democracy, but constitutional electoral processes are illigitimate, voters are wrong to get mad about jobs and budgets going sour (but they should also get mad about it), more than half can be a minority, and the same administration occupies both polar extremes of the political spectrum.
No wonder kids today are so messed up; we keep exposing them to liberals. If you didn't know to expect doublethink, it could get confusing. Maybe we need to stick warning labels on them - for the children.
We should probably also apply some kind of rating system to protect impressionable kids from Democrats. Cheney and Kerry have each once dropped the f-bomb, but decorum incarnate Pete "You Whore!" Stark has embraced execration as a way of life. The relish with which he blares discourtesies draws the admiration of dockworkers. For brazenly attempting to vote on a bill, he challenged Scott McInnis to a fight, taunting him with a litany containing "wimp", three instances of "fruitcake", and a slur that sounds similar to "rocksucker". This is the Pete Stark who once called Secretary Louis Sullivan "a disgrace to his race" for having a differing opinion on health care, said welfare director Eloise Anderson would "kill children if she had her way" when she disagreed with his vision of entitlements, and routinely refers to President Bush as "a recovering alcoholic" (he's never reserved the same for Ted Kennedy, though admittedly Ted may not qualify as "recovering"). I can't but imagine that ordering lunch is an NC-17 experience with Pete Stark. And Democrats think Zell was angry?
Yesterday was another day of affirming my suspicion that liberals reject the notion of an objectively knowable reality. I don't know another way you could maintain the rich array of standards liberals enjoy without considering all of creation to be a completely subjective experience. Those who recognize that A is A, and that A continues to be A regardless of their opinions, have trouble managing more than one set of standards at a time. Democrats - once again, you're the champs.