A Strategy for Success in Iraq To establish security and move forward with the transition to Iraqi sovereignty, the President must show true leadership in going to the major powers to secure their support of Lakhdar Brahimi’s mission, the establishment of a high commissioner for governance and reconstruction, and the creation of a NATO mission for Iraq. These steps are critical to creating a stable Iraq with a representative government and secure in its borders. Meeting this objective is in the interests of NATO member states, Iraq’s neighbors and all members of the international community. True leadership means sharing authority and responsibility for Iraq with others who have an interest in Iraq’s success. Sharing responsibility is the only way to gain new military and financial commitments, allowing America to truly share the burden and the risk.
I. Make Iraq a Part of NATO’s Global Mission
NATO is now a global security organization and creating a stable and secure environment in Iraq must be one of its global missions. Every member of NATO has a huge stake in Iraq’s future. NATO agreement to take on this mission should be reached no later than the NATO summit in late June. NATO can take on this mission in phases, beginning with taking control of Iraq’s border security, and taking over responsibility for northern Iraq and/or the Polish sector, and the training of Iraqi security forces. This would free up as many as 20,000 American troops, open the door to participation by non-NATO countries like India and Pakistan, and send an important message to the American people that we are not bearing the security burden in Iraq virtually alone.
Well, if you have been paying attention to the news recently you may have read this:
Bush Wins EU Support for NATO Aid to Iraq
ANKARA, Turkey June 26, 2004 — With European Union support in hand, President Bush looked to seal an agreement for NATO to help stabilize Iraq as its fledgling government takes over this week. He shrugged off lingering European resentment of the war, saying "We'll just let the chips fall where they may."
NATO announced an initial agreement to help train Iraq's armed forces hours after Bush won support Saturday from the 25-nation European Union. Nineteen of NATO's 26 members overlap in the EU.
Uh oh, looks like Kerry lost another issue... So, how is he dealing with it?
Senator John Kerry has blamed President George W. Bush for making the world "far more tattered and volatile" as a result of the U.S.-led war and occupation in Iraq and he chided his rival for "trying to save face" during meetings this week with European leaders.
.... Kerry wished Bush luck at recruiting NATO aid for improving security and rebuilding Iraq, but made clear he did not think much of that diplomacy. He argued that Bush was showing signs of desperation in reaching out to France, Germany, and other opponents of the Iraq war.
Kerry said NATO now appeared willing to undertake a mission in Iraq, including border security and training security forces, but he said it may take a new U.S. president - namely, him - to bring along allies like France and Germany to do even more.
So, Kerry made it clear he "did not think much of that diplomacy." That very same diplomacy which he advocates on his website! Bush pulling in more international support, via NATO, is described by Kerry as an act of desperation ... but Kerry would see his fulfillment of this same role as a 'Strategy for Success' and a method of 'Winning the Peace in Iraq'
Call this what to you will... Waffling, Doublespeak, Flipping... it doesn't matter, Kerry is talking in so many circles that my head is starting to spin!
There were a few stories lately associating Kerry with Waffles, and where as I cannot take credit for that, I can get a kick out of the stories and share them with the folks who read Esoteric * Diatribe.
These stories / excerpts are posted in no particular order:
Then there's Kerry. He must start out every morning eating waffles. He'd have a tough time deciding between heaven and hell. ("Would it be too cold up there?"). He should never have committed to the mayors' speech, knowing full well of the chance for a picket line. Once the picket became obvious, he should have pulled out last week. Instead, he did his "maybe, maybe not" thing, right up until Sunday night, when he acted like his decision was obvious all along.
The Arizona Bush-Cheney Campaign hosted a breakfast Thursday with local Bush supporters, and the menu had nothing but waffles.
That's because, as the Republicans contend, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry "waffles" on the issues. The event at Coco's Restaurant off South Plaza Way represents the more grassroots approach to campaigning for the GOP.
There, Flagstaff Mayor Joe Donaldson spoke about how he supports Bush in this year's election, and he shared GOP contentions on how Kerry waffles on the issues. About 25 people turned out for the waffle breakfast.
Nice! A Kerry apologist. Of course people change their mind on issues, and that is totally a normal thing to do.... BUT, Kerry isn't changing his mind so much as seeing what position is most politically advantageous for him and then taking that option. Kerry has taken both sides of just about every issue... but there are a few issues where he does not waver: More taxes, less privatization, less military, more social welfare programs, etc.
As Sen. John Kerry waffles his way to the Democratic nomination for president, it's fairly forgotten that U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio still wants the spot.
Tough luck for Kucinich, cause we are all stuck with Waffle Boy.
In reality, George Bush is running for re-election against a candidate aptly named, “Not Bush” which doesn’t say a lot for his competition. I have to confess that every time I hear the name “John Kerry” I find it very difficult to take at all seriously the idea that he is the Democratic candidate for president in the 2004 election. The man has no original ideas and he waffles on everything. No, he is more of a silhouette used when there is no photo available of a person that is the focus of interest. But lest we forget, he is a Vietnam War hero!
Alright, we have all likely read the news stories about Vice Presidet Cheney's remarks to Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy. We have all likely read the stories because they are in every newspaper and all over cable news. Cheney's remarks have even "sparked debates about the civility of the political tone in Washington."
All this media attention over this exchange has made me wonder, again, about how the media covers stories. For instance, if you pay attention to the news, or at least this website, you may have read that John Kerry gave a Vietnam Veteran, who was protesting Kerry for his actions after the Vietnam War, the middle finger on Memorial Day near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The story broke on News Max and was covered by a few other news outlets which did not do independant research on the story. I wanted to know if the story was legit and you can read about what I uncovered here.
That story made virtualy no waves at all, but it wasn't the only time Kerry has acted profanely while running for President. Kerry also said, in an interview for Rolling Stone, early in the primaries, "Did I expect George Bush to fuck it up as badly as he did? I don't think anybody did."
When Kerry said that, there was quite a bit of media attetion granted to it, but nowhere even close to the amount Cheney's remarks have recieved. I personally think that whether you are a Senator running for President or the President of the Senate and next in the line of succession, you should act in a manner above all the petty profanity and vulgarity, so both should be condemned for their actions; but this bring us back to the media coverage. Is it fair to make a bigger deal about Cheney's remarks than Kerry's remarks and actions while running for President?
On the one hand, Cheney represents the current administration and is the second highest ranking politician in office, but on the other hand, Kerry has been a Senator for what, 20 years? Kerry is also the presumptive Democratic nominee and is therefore a representative of the entire Democratic Party. Is it fair to give one more press than the other? I think this is a legitimate question and I'd really like the media to examine how they have covered each of these incidents.
[T]he excitement is being generated by the debate. Not between Bush and Kerry, not between Cheney and the yet-unnamed ticket-filler (a debate between Cheney and Patrick Leahy might be fun, though), but the debate between John Kerry and John Kerry.
It is unfair to call Kerry a "waffler," which suggests that he can't make up his mind. What has become clear is that he has made up his mind, and he has decided he is for whatever will get him elected; he just hasn't figured out what that is yet. The man the National Journal described as the most liberal member of the Senate has spent the entirety of this campaign trying to decide not what he thinks, but what to tell the people he thinks. In the latest incarnation, he has become "a pragmatic centrist." It is a political truism, perhaps, that candidates campaign to the left (or right) in the primaries and to the center in the general election, and if that's the way it works, John Kerry has proven to be a master of the art. One may dismiss this public zigzag, this search for a position the voters will buy, by saying "that's just the way politics works," but that's a sad commentary, since it implies that expediency should be counted on to trump principle.
Kerry gives no reason to believe he finds the practice offensive. And that, in the end, is what is so fascinating this year. Bush will have to run against somebody -- a liberal Kerry, a centrist Kerry, a strong-on-defense Kerry, a let-the-UN-decide Kerry -- and it will be fun waiting to see which Kerry eventually emerges.
See, I whole heartedly agree with everything except the idea that it is unfair to call Kerry a waffler. To call him anything other than a waffler, or possibly Flipper, is a bit silly. You can't say he has made up his mind and then say he just hasn't decided what it is yet. Yes we know he is dead set on saying anything to get elected and he has no qualms with his appearance as a waffler, but that doesn't mean he doesn't waffle on the issues.
To say that Kerry has made up his mind to say anything to get elected, and that he doesn't know what to say yet is tantamount to saying Kerry has made up his mind to be a waffler... so calling him on it is totally fair.
Esoteric * Diatribe has had a fair amount of ink in its short time as a website, this due to the popularity and success of the Waffles Campaign. The Waffles Google Bomb has been mentioned in about 6 or 7 different stories, which appeared in a few dozen different newspapers and magazines, some published in Spanish, Japaneese, and Portuguese.
Occasionally reporters peruse this site and occasionally they contact me for an interview. To the reporters who occasionally stop by this site: This is a story that should be covered. I want to read about Operation Tiger Claw in a newspaper or magazine. Bryan Henderson deserves his 15 minutes, because he is an inspiration to young conservatives everywhere. He is a calm, intelligent, conservative on the front lines of an ongoing battle over public opinion on the major issues of our time. The way this kid handled himself is to be commended.
If none of the reporters who occasionally stop by want to cover this one, that's fine; but I wanted to try and help get the word out about this kid.
Found this story while visiting the one and only Dizzy Girl
Ghosts of the Past: Civil War Amendments and Hanoi John
From the 14th Amendment:
Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
So, did John Kerry really comfort the enemy when he came back from Vietnam? If so, he has been a member of the Senate illegally and he cannot legally become President of this Union. So what did Kerry do after Vietnam?
Well for starters he said this:
I would like to talk on behalf of all those veterans and say that several months ago in Detroit we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged, and many very highly decorated, veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia. These were not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command. It is impossible to describe to you exactly what did happen in Detroit - the emotions in the room and the feelings of the men who were reliving their experiences in Vietnam. They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do.
They told stories that at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Ghengis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.
We call this investigation the Winter Soldier Investigation. The term Winter Soldier is a play on words of Thomas Paine's in 1776 when he spoke of the Sunshine Patriots and summertime soldiers who deserted at Valley Forge because the going was rough.
We who have come here to Washington have come here because we feel we have to be winter soldiers now. We could come back to this country, we could be quiet, we could hold our silence, we could not tell what went on in Vietnam, but we feel because of what threatens this country, not the reds, but the crimes which we are committing that threaten it, that we have to speak out....
In our opinion and from our experience, there is nothing in South Vietnam which could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America. And to attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom, which those misfits supposedly abuse, is to us the height of criminal hypocrisy, and it is that kind of hypocrisy which we feel has torn this country apart.
We found that not only was it a civil war, an effort by a people who had for years been seeking their liberation from any colonial influence whatsoever, but also we found that the Vietnamese whom we had enthusiastically molded after our own image were hard put to take up the fight against the threat we were supposedly saving them from.
We found most people didn't even know the difference between communism and democracy. They only wanted to work in rice paddies without helicopters strafing them and bombs with napalm burning their villages and tearing their country apart. They wanted everything to do with the war, particularly with this foreign presence of the United States of America, to leave them alone in peace, and they practiced the art of survival by siding with whichever military force was present at a particular time, be it Viet Cong, North Vietnamese or American.
We found also that all too often American men were dying in those rice paddies for want of support from their allies. We saw first hand how monies from American taxes were used for a corrupt dictatorial regime. We saw that many people in this country had a one-sided idea of who was kept free by the flag, and blacks provided the highest percentage of casualties. We saw Vietnam ravaged equally by American bombs and search and destroy missions, as well as by Viet Cong terrorism - and yet we listened while this country tried to blame all of the havoc on the Viet Cong.
We rationalized destroying villages in order to save them. We saw America lose her sense of morality as she accepted very coolly a My Lai and refused to give up the image of American soldiers who hand out chocolate bars and chewing gum.
We learned the meaning of free fire zones, shooting anything that moves, and we watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of orientals.
We watched the United States falsification of body counts, in fact the glorification of body counts. We listened while month after month we were told the back of the enemy was about to break. We fought using weapons against "oriental human beings." We fought using weapons against those people which I do not believe this country would dream of using were we fighting in the European theater. We watched while men charged up hills because a general said that hill has to be taken, and after losing one platoon or two platoons they marched away to leave the hill for reoccupation by the North Vietnamese. We watched pride allow the most unimportant battles to be blown into extravaganzas, because we couldn't lose, and we couldn't retreat, and because it didn't matter how many American bodies were lost to prove that point, and so there were Hamburger Hills and Khe Sanhs and Hill 81s and Fire Base 6s, and so many others.
Now we are told that the men who fought there must watch quietly while American lives are lost so that we can exercise the incredible arrogance of Vietnamizing the Vietnamese.
Each day to facilitate the process by which the United States washes her hands of Vietnam someone has to give up his life so that the United States doesn't have to admit something that the entire world already knows, so that we can't say that we have made a mistake. Someone has to die so that President Nixon won't be, and these are his words, "the first President to lose a war."
We are asking Americans to think about that because how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?....We are here in Washington to say that the problem of this war is not just a question of war and diplomacy. It is part and parcel of everything that we are trying as human beings to communicate to people in this country - the question of racism which is rampant in the military, and so many other questions such as the use of weapons; the hypocrisy in our taking umbrage at the Geneva Conventions and using that as justification for a continuation of this war when we are more guilty than any other body of violations of those Geneva Conventions; in the use of free fire zones, harassment interdiction fire, search and destroy missions, the bombings, the torture of prisoners, all accepted policy by many units in South Vietnam. That is what we are trying to say. It is part and parcel of everything.
An American Indian friend of mine who lives in the Indian Nation of Alcatraz put it to me very succinctly. He told me how as a boy on an Indian reservation he had watched television and he used to cheer the cowboys when they came in and shot the Indians, and then suddenly one day he stopped in Vietnam and he said, "my God, I am doing to these people the very same thing that was done to my people," and he stopped. And that is what we are trying to say, that we think this thing has to end.
We are here to ask, and we are here to ask vehemently, where are the leaders of our country? Where is the leadership? We're here to ask where are McNamara, Rostow, Bundy, Gilpatrick, and so many others? Where are they now that we, the men they sent off to war, have returned? These are the commanders who have deserted their troops. And there is no more serious crime in the laws of war. The Army says they never leave their wounded. The marines say they never even leave their dead. These men have left all the casualties and retreated behind a pious shield of public rectitude. They've left the real stuff of their reputations bleaching behind them in the sun in this country....
We wish that a merciful God could wipe away our own memories of that service as easily as this administration has wiped away their memories of us. But all that they have done and all that they can do by this denial is to make more clear than ever our own determination to undertake one last mission - to search out and destroy the last vestige of this barbaric war, to pacify our own hearts, to conquer the hate and fear that have driven this country these last ten years and more. And more. And so when thirty years from now our brothers go down the street without a leg, without an arm, or a face, and small boys ask why, we will be able to say "Vietnam" and not mean a desert, not a filthy obscene memory, but mean instead where America finally turned and where soldiers like us helped it in the turning.
This is not all that John Kerry did... this is just what he said to the Senate. So, does that really constitute aid and comfort? I think reasonable men could disagree. I think many would say Kerry's actions against the war, at least fell into a gray area... and I think that is enough to at least attempt a legal battle to have John Kerry removed from the office of Senate. Maybe a long shot, but if nothing else it could draw more attention and awareness to Kerry's betrayal of his fellow soldiers following his early return from the war.
I was reading an article this evening that I believed would serve as an invaluable example in how to think critically:
Ethics Group Says Nader Violates FEC Laws
By SAM HANANEL, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - A watchdog group filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Ralph Nader on Friday, saying the independent presidential candidate is violating federal campaign laws by accepting office space and telephone service from a public charity he created.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington alleges that Nader's campaign is renting valuable space at below-market prices from Citizen Works, an activist group that supports progressive causes.
The watchdog group also filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service alleging that Citizen Works is violating its status as a charitable organization by benefiting the Nader campaign. The IRS complaint asks the agency to enjoin Citizen Works from offering any further assistance to the campaign.
The lessons begins....... now. Whenever you read ANY news story, be aware of 'Buzz Words'. For instance, in this piece, the first thing that jumped out at me were the words "A watchdog group." Watchdog groups are always groups devoted to finding dirt against people they disagree with. For instance, a conservative watchdog group is generally looking for liberals to make a mistake. A conservative group is not likely to pounce on a fellow conservative and vice versa.
The target of the watchdog group is also of particular interest because of the aforementioned likelihood of targeting political enemies; in this case Nader is the target, so the question becomes: Who sees Nader as the 'enemy.' The obvious culprit, of course, is the Democrats, who have on several occasions requested that Nader not run in this campaign because they believe Nader pulls votes away from their guy, John Kerry.
So, it is likely that the Democrats have an interest in not seeing Nader in this race, and suddenly a "watchdog group" files a series of complaints against Nader. Lets think critically about this for a moment... if the "watchdog group" were conservative, and there was a likelihood of Kerry suffering less votes with Nader in the race, would the conservative group lodge a complaint? Of course not. Conservative would likely see Nader as a Hinder to Kerry and therefore a benefit to Bush; thus the so called "watchdog group" must be leftists (libs).
Was this group identified as a liberal, or even a Democratic, watchdog group? No. This group was only mentioned as a 'watchdog group'. Does this make a difference? Well, all watchdog groups are looking for dirt on someone, and unless they don't discriminate, then they are a biased group, so yes, it does matter. A watchdog group should be identified as republican or democrat, or conservative or liberal; unless, of course, the group truly is independent or neutral.
The question now becomes, is the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington Group an independent group? Well, we should look to their website to see if we can find the truth.
Their site declares:
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-partisan legal watchdog group working to force our government officials to behave responsibly and ethically. CREW's mission is to use the legal system to expose government officials who betray the public interest by serving special interests.
CREW aims to counterbalance the conservative legal watchdog groups that made such a strong impact over the past decade. These groups focused their attention on their left-wing adversaries, leaving the right relatively free from scrutiny. CREW focuses equal attention on misconduct by all, including the right.
CREW differs from other good government groups in that it sues offending politicians directly. There are already many fine organizations working to make government better. Their focus, however, tends to be on passing legislation or publishing information. There is no mainstream group dedicated to taking direct legal action against offending politicians. CREW fills that void.
So this so called "non-partisan group" targets "misconduct by all, including the right" while seeking to "counterbalance conservative watchdog groups." Let me put this into plain English: this group only targets republicans, particularly the conservative ones. Need proof? Lets look at who they have targeted:
Rep. Nick Smith (R-MI) House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R) Attorney General John Ashcroft (R) Vice President Cheney (R) Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform and Bush-Cheney '04
Department of Justice / the White House
Roger France, former top aide to United States Representative Charles Taylor (R-NC) Tom DeLay (R-TX), Billy Tauzin (R-LA) and Joe Barton (R-TX) Curt Weldon (R-PA) Vice President Richard Cheney (R) Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) Martinez(R-Fla) for Senate and the U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC (R) Senator Lincoln Chaffee (R) and Majority Leader Frist (R)... are you starting to notice a pattern in who this so called non-partisan group targets? Did you see any libs or dems in the mix? The answer: No. This is a democratic/liberal watchdog group which is breaking from their mold of attacking exclusively Republicans to attack Independent Nader, who they see as a threat to their man, John Kerry.
So the final piece of this puzzle, as I see it, is the question, "Why was the group only identified as a 'watchdog group' instead of a liberal or democratic run watchdog group? For the same reason the group can say it is non-partisan and then claim it is seeking to counterbalance conservative watchdog groups... Liberals care neither for consistency nor do they recognize that they are as far away from the center as the right with they seek to "balance." Liberal reporters almost never identify fellow liberals as liberals, but they NEVER fail to mention if a group is run by conservatives. Generally conservative groups will be identified as right-wing or the new term, which seems to be growing in popularity, neocons.
NYTs Declares Kerry is Pragmatic Centrist - Lies, Lies, and More Lies
I am seriously considering starting my own newspaper... I don't have the assets required to buy or start a newspaper, but the press has gone too far in this country. The press is lying to the public. NYT Lies! There, let them sue me. They are lying liars. I know it is easy to make accusations and much more difficult to back them up, but consider the following story from the NYTs:
Leaning toward center, eh? From where is it leaning towards the center... where is the campaign rooted? Howabout the Far Left... the farthest left in Washington. Farther Left than Hillary Clinton! Farther Left than Ted Kennedy! But don't worry where Kerry actually stands, when the media is done with him he will be the epitome of cetrism in politics... regardless of the truth.
The actual link to the story says, "Kerry Message Begins Leaning Towards Center," which is a far cry from saying "Kerry's Campaign Theme is Leaning Towards Center" but the folks over at NYTs must have realized that by reporting that Kerry is just now beginning to lean towards the center would be an admission that Kerry is not naturally in the center of American Politics but is actually far out in left field.
Leaning towards the center? Seriously... where do the folks over at the NYTs think the center is? This is not a subjective thing, there is a center, and Kerry does not represent it. Back to the article:
WASHINGTON, June 24 — Senator John Kerry has yet to produce a popular catchphrase for his political philosophy, like Gov. Bill Clinton's 1992 promise of a "third way" or Gov. George W. Bush's pledge in 2000 of "compassionate conservatism."
But Mr. Kerry's Democratic message for the general election campaign is emerging, many Democrats say — on the campaign trail, in the party platform now being written and in the major speeches he has delivered in recent weeks.
His message, in part, is a return to the promise of Clintonian centrism: reducing the deficit, spurring economic growth, trying to ease "the squeeze on middle-class America," as Mr. Kerry puts it, from things like the cost of health insurance and college tuition.
Kerry's message is a return to the promise of Clintonian centrism?!?!?!?
Bruce Reed, president of the Democratic Leadership Council and a longtime Clinton aide, fretted openly during the heyday of Howard Dean last year that the party was moving to the left. Today, Mr. Reed describes Mr. Kerry approvingly as "a pragmatic centrist in the Clinton mode."
Kerry is a "pragmatic centrist in the Clinton mode"!!!!! Honestly, my first reaction to this story was to laugh... laugh really loud and really hard. But then I remembered that the press can print whatever they want... and that over time the truth can be completely overrun by spin... and that the average American only reads the headlines and trusts the media. You cannot trust the media in America anymore. The NYTs is calling Kerry a pragmatic centrist of the Clinton mode! Now I know what you are thinking (if you are smart), you are thinking, "Now hold on a second, they are simply reporting what other people are saying! They are reporting that some democrats think he is starting to send a message that appeals to the center and that one in particular thinks he is 'a pragmatic centrist of the Clinton mode'" Well the reason I am right is because they are only reporting that message. They don't follow that up with the facts, the truth, or even a differing opinion. They give one perspective and print it without regard for the truth and without regard for any voice of dissent; therefore in this piece Mr. Reed becomes the voice of the NYTs.
Familiar faces from the Clinton years, like the economic adviser Gene Sperling, are now at Mr. Kerry's side; James P. Rubin, a State Department spokesman in the Clinton years who advised Gen. Wesley K. Clark during the primaries, is now traveling with Mr. Kerry full time.
But Mr. Kerry's message also reflects a very different time from the 1990's, framed by three unsettling years of terrorism, war and political division. Mr. Kerry's favorite refrain these days is a plea to "let America be America again." It is a quotation from a Langston Hughes poem that he uses to evoke the idea of restoration - for the economy, for a tax code that he asserts is increasingly unjust, for the dreams of the middle class and, perhaps most of all, for the country's foreign policy.
Where is the quoting someone else here to cover the obvious bias? The quote, "restoration - for the economy, for a tax code that he asserts is increasingly unjust, for the dreams of the middle class and, perhaps most of all, for the country's foreign policy" is so built on lies that I don't know where to begin. I started this post saying "The press has gone too far in this country. The press is lying to the public" and it couldn't be any more evident than in that last quote from the article. Resotration for the economy? The Bush Economy is stronger than Clinton's. This isn't a opinion, it is a fact. It is a fact the media refuses to report. Here is the proof:
Nationwide, the economy has posted steady job gains for each of the last nine months – creating more than 1.4 million new jobs since August. The national unemployment rate stood at 5.6% in May – down 0.7 percentage point from a peak of 6.3% in June 2003 – and below the average of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
Nearly 1 million new jobs have been created in the last 100 days alone.
Across the country, 248,000 new jobs were created in May according to the payroll survey – and the increases in April and March were revised upward by 58,000 and 16,000, respectively, for a combined upward revision of 74,000 new jobs.
On average, over 237,000 jobs per month have been created since the beginning of this year.
The household survey also shows a big increase in jobs, up 1.5 million since August.
National manufacturing employment has risen for four consecutive months, with over 90,000 new jobs created. Manufacturing employment increased 32,000 in May and was revised upward by 22,000 jobs for March and April. The ISM Manufacturing survey reached a 30-year high in May, indicating further strength in manufacturing employment.
Economic growth over the last year has been the fastest in nearly 20 years.
After-tax incomes are up by 11% since December 2000—substantially faster growth than following the last recession, and household wealth is near an all-time high.
Inflation is low and interest rates and mortgage rates are near historic lows.
Homeownership rates are near record highs. Minority homeownership is at its highest rate ever.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 25% in 2003, and the NASDAQ rose by 50%. Source.
Restoration for the dreams of the middle class? Are we to believe that somehow George W. stole away the dreams of the middle class? What did George W. do to the Middle class except give them a tax cut and wage a war to protect them? This sort of empty rhetoric ought not find it's way into ANY reporting, even reporting as biased and dishonest as the NYTs.
Restoration of America's Foreign Policy? Another attack at President Bush built on media lies and distortion. Bush effectively used Foreign Policy to his advantage. He has been responsible for two unanimous UN votes. One that called for serious consequences if Saddam did not comply, and one dealing with the turn over of sovereignty in Iraq. When it because clear that France wouldn't be on board for enforcing the first resolution, Bush created a coalition that has almost never been mentioned in the US press. Some info about this coalition that you likely have not read in the NYTs:
Contributions from Coalition member nations range from: direct military participation, logistical and intelligence support, specialized chemical/biological response teams, over-flight rights, humanitarian and reconstruction aid, to political support.
Forty-nine countries are publicly committed to the Coalition, including:
This number is still growing, and it is no accident that many member nations of the Coalition recently escaped from the boot of a tyrant or have felt the scourge of terrorism. All Coalition member nations understand the threat Saddam Hussein's weapons pose to the world and the devastation his regime has wreaked on the Iraqi people.
The population of Coalition countries is approximately 1.23 billion people.
Coalition countries have a combined GDP of approximately $22 trillion.
Every major race, religion, ethnicity in the world is represented.
The Coalition includes nations from every continent on the globe. Source.
So because France and Germany aren't on board we have a major Foreign Relations problem? Riight.
Mr. Kerry's basic campaign speech has a distinctive edge, reflecting the Democratic Party's fury at President Bush and his handling of an increasingly unpopular war.
Maybe the war wouldn't be so unpopular if the Press would cover any of our accomplishments. Maybe the war wouldn't be so unpopular is the NYT's ever took the time to mention all the other countries with soldiers on the ground. Maybe the war on Iraq would be more popular is all participants in the coalition of the willing were reported. Maybe the war wouldn't be so unpopular if the NYTs printed the truth.
Who will be John Kerry's pick for the second spot on the Democrats' 2004 ticket? Will it be Dick Gephardt? John Edwards? Wesley Clark? Some dark horse?
It hardly matters because the all-but-coronated Democratic presidential nominee already has a running mate. It's Eeyore from the great state of "Gloomy Place" in author A.A. Milne's world of Pooh Corner.
Eeyore's a gray, sawdust-stuffed donkey (perfect for the Democratic Party), and he's every bit as depressed, downcast and dejected about the state of the world as Kerry is these days. Indeed, only gloomy Eeyore the donkey can possibly match the Massachusetts senator inch for inch when it comes to having a long face.
This is no easy feat when Kerry opines on the U.S. economy. He says the economy is moving "backward," and we're in "a wage recession." He blasts the "status quo" Bush administration for creating a "middle-class squeeze." Although he's dropped his "jobless recovery" talk, he still pooh-poohs recent job gains. Not content with the traditional "misery index," Kerry, according to FactCheck.org, "invented a new 'misery index' that makes Bush's economic record look, well, miserable.' " The old index now shows President Bush doing better than any incumbent up for re-election, so it's easy to see why Kerry wanted a new one. But the way Kerry's new misery index is calculated would give Jimmy Carter's economic record -- a record that included high interest rates, high unemployment, high taxes and long gas lines -- a better grade than Ronald Reagan's.
The Aussie's heard a prediction of what would occur under a Kerry Economy- you won't be reading this in the NYT's.
...[I]f John Kerry is elected president – and he is about six points ahead in the polls – then corporate America will freeze.
In the second half of 2005 there will be a sharp downturn in economic activity, which will affect the rest of the world. Share markets will suffer a severe blow.
But if Bush is returned, there's a 75 per cent chance the world will have a business boom lasting two or three years, driven partly by the US but also reflecting the strength of Japan, India and China.
... the China slowdown will be mild, but Europe will remain sluggish, even if Bush wins.
If Kerry wins, the situation in Europe could get very serious with unemployment in Germany and France likely to rise to 12 to 15 per cent – which could have serious political and social ramifications.
... while Kerry hasn't enunciated a detailed policy, his rhetoric so far is directed towards redistributing wealth from the so-called richer groups to the poorer.
That's likely to include a change in dividend and capital gains taxes, a possible rise in marginal tax rates and abandoning the Bush tax cuts that go through to 2009.
He would greatly increase government regulations and promote a much more anti-business environment.
Kerry would make global outsourcing much more difficult, but ... global outsourcing is needed to keep the lid on US inflation and interest rates.
This election is certainly one of the most important elections, not only in American History, but World History. There is a LOT riding on this election, otherwise Esoteric * Diatribe wouldn't exist in it's current state.
This site is a reaction to a serious situation. We are living in historic times... these are the days upon which the world as we know it depends. We are at war with fundamentalist religious separatists; we have a domestic crisis in which our ability to practice free speech, religion in public, and the right to carry guns is being threatened; we have a political party that has embraced the tenets of socialism and communism; we have an education crisis brought on by communist/socialist influences (think group work... think no posting of an Honor Roll, think no displaying of art or the 10 Commandments); We have a media crisis of unprecedented proportions... I am not talking about mere opinion and slant (bias) working there way into stories, I am talking about the all out refusal of the media to run stories that they don't want us to read.
Every day there are stories that are not covered: Putin refutes US Media misrepresentations about 9/11 commission findings... Iraq Prime Minister Thanks George Bush for liberating Iraq... WMD Found in Iraq... WMD From Iraq Found in Jordan... France and Germany linked to Oil for Food Scandal... Economy Booming (Better than Clinton Economy)... Kerry Poll Numbers Stagnate... etc. Sites like this wouldn't exist if I could turn on the nightly news and not be told what to think. Sites like this wouldn't exist if I could get an educated Iraqi's perspective on the liberation of Iraq (instead of only hearing from Iraqi's who express disapproval of Bush's policies.
Sheesh... this certainly did turn into a rant. Sorry 'bout that.
While I Nodded, Nearly Napping, Suddenly There Came A Tapping
A Democratic group crucial to John Kerry's presidential campaign has paid felons — some convicted of sex offenses, assault and burglary — to conduct door-to-door voter registration drives in at least three election swing states.
America Coming Together, contending that convicted criminals deserve a second chance in society, employs felons as voter canvassers in major metropolitan areas in Missouri, Florida, Ohio and perhaps in other states among the 17 it is targeting in its drive. Some of the felons lived in halfway houses, and at least four returned to prison.
ACT canvassers ask residents which issues are important to them and, if they are not registered, sign them up as voters. They gather telephone numbers and other personal information, such as driver's license numbers or partial Social Security numbers, depending on what a state requires for voter registration.
I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. Ladies and Gentlemen... Vote for Kerry and you too could be the victim of Identity Theft (applause). Just make sure you keep an eye on your children when the friendly sex offender the Democrats paid to visit is walking through your neighborhood.
I came across this gem while reading through various news stories. It looks like the Dems are running into some dissent in the ranks, provided are some excerpts:
I read the news today, oh boy...
It's been months since Kerry has effectively been the Democratic candidate and I don't know any plan he has for America. All he's running on is undoing Bush's policies. How does that help? His only plan is to send us back four years? Are you kidding?
His whole agenda is based on undoing rather than doing. And everything else is just empty rhetoric. Here, I'll show you what I mean: (Taken from Johnkerry.com - on the issues)
1. On the economy: "John Kerry is unveiling a comprehensive economic agenda that will unleash the productive potential of America's economy to help it create 10 million jobs in his first term as President."
-Thanks John, let me know when it's actually unveiled okay?
2. Winning the Peace in Iraq: "What’s needed now is leadership – to finish the job in Iraq the right way – because America can and must do better."
-I know it's fun to guess and all, but could you be a little more specific about what the right way is? Oh wait, here it is: "the establishment of a high commissioner for governance and reconstruction, and the creation of a NATO mission for Iraq."
-Ahhh, more beauracracy - thanks Kerry, that's exactly what we need more red tape and paper pushers. Let me know how that works out for you. Sure seems to be working pretty well for the environment.
3. Access to Affordable Health Care: "John Kerry believes that your family’s health is just as important as any politician's in Washington. Our nation needs a leader who has the courage to take on the big insurance and drug companies to make that same health care plan affordable for every American."
-Agreed, but if only we had, oh I don't know, a specific plan to achieve that.
4. Education: "By supporting teachers, reducing class sizes, rebuilding crumbling schools, and standing up for high standards in our public education system, John Kerry has the courage to fight for our children’s future every day."
-Is this a policy or an answer from a Ms. America pageant? And where does this money come from during a war?
5. "John Kerry is for the children of America."
-Thank God! With all those Anti-children candidates out there I think it's great that Kerry sets himself apart.
[A]nd it goes on like that. I'm not trying to bash Kerry, but why should I vote for a guy with hollow policy ideas who tells our country that for four years we've been wrong. His only specific policies are in direct opposition to Bush's policies.
[I]f this is the best they can come up with I'd rather spend my vote elsewhere. You want me to vote for a Democrat give me someone I can believe in. I'm not voting for Kerry simply because I don't like Bush - that's not enough of a reason for me. I'm a voter not an anti-voter.
Well this gives me hope for Democrats. I am glad they can see the mess they have gotten themselves into by picking a lib like Kerry. Between this piece and Zell Miller's (Dem Sen. Ga) comments this afternoon on Sean Hannity's Radio Show (I am looking for a transcript) I am feeling pretty good about this election in November.
It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to
You would cry too if it happened to you
If you look down a few posts you will see that John Waffles Kerry decided to take a day out of his busy schedule of campaigning for President to actually fulfill his duty as a Senator and vote on legislation. Well, it turns out that the vote was delayed (perhaps in honor of his triumphant return to his duties as a Senator) and Kerry missed out on the vote.
Despite the fact that Bush does not control the agenda and day to day happening on the Hill, Kerry has lashed out with a barage of childish accusations leading the folks here at Esoteric * Diatribe to sing
It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to
You would cry too if it happened to you
So lets take a look at as article dealing with The Waffler's remarks:
Democrat John Kerry criticized Republicans on Wednesday for denying him a chance to cast a Senate vote, blaming a partisan culture created by President Bush and calling his rival "the greatest divider as a president in the modern history of this country."
"But oh, no," Kerry said at the fund-raiser. "Oh, no. Not in this Senate, not with these people. Once again, it's my way or the highway, shut the door, lock the people out, don't let them take part in the democracy, don't respect the institution. Don't show the common courtesies that actually bring people together to find the common ground. So they found a way all day to twiddle their thumbs, do very little, attend a reception at the White House, but not let John Kerry vote.
"That's the way the play," Kerry continued. "That's what's at stake in this race. George Bush talked about being a uniter, not a divider. But he's been the greatest divider as a president in the modern history of this country. And we need to change."
Bush spokesman Steve Schmidt said Kerry's lashing out at Bush for being denied an opportunity to vote is "baseless" when Kerry has been absent for more than 80 percent of the votes this year, including others to improve veterans benefits and financially support the troops in Iraq.
Several Republicans, speaking on condition of anonymity, said GOP senators were in no mood to rearrange the Senate's schedule on Tuesday to accommodate the Democratic presidential contender. Meeting at their weekly lunch, several Republican senators said the GOP, as the majority party, should not go out of its way to assist Kerry.
"These people are so petty, so sad, so political, that all they could do is spend the whole day finding a way not to let John Kerry vote," Kerry said in a speech to the Service Employees International Union.
Russ Vaughn has made another contribution to Esoteric * Diatribe.
The simultaneous arrival in my mailbox of several Nigerian scams and a John Kerry solicitation resulted in the following. I know it’s long but it’s hard to stop when you’re having fun.
The Nigerian Candidate
It is with the utmost pleasure that I have this opportunity to inform you of the good fortune that awaits you. Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Solicitor Zhanif Kiri, mighty warrior and sitting member of the High Council at Wazshi Dun, representing the great province of Masi Kuzats. I am tribal kinsman to most honorable Adwar Dkindi, he of the fabulously rich Dkindi clan of Masi Kuzats and most honorable Mahri Okwomo, former chief of the province of Nuyuk, home of the wisest and most elite members of our tribe, and site of our most sacred oracle, the Taimz. They, and clan leaders such as Tomas Dazeel, Nzeepi Lozee, Chaz al-Shumar, Ho Wadeen and many others, are supporting me as the 2004 Nigerian Candidate and leader of our tribe, the Dmuk a-Ratz. On behalf of our tribe, I now proffer this opportunity to participate in the salvation of our most sacred tribal practice, Libr al-Ism, which has fallen from favor among the unenlightened and is in grave danger of becoming extinct in the Motherland. We of the Dkindi, Okwomo, and other clans, once omnipotent and controlling all high courts and councils, have endured many ignominious losses to the fiercely dedicated Kon Zur Fateef tribe led by their treacherous master, that dark prince of deceit, the despised despot, George Dabaya.
I do not boast idly when I say that I have seen battle and led warriors, although I did so but briefly. Fearing for my well being, I invoked a little known convention of battle allowing me to return to the safety of Masi Kuzats, bathed in glory and adorned with many medals or ribbons (whatever) attesting to my bravery and the harsh wounds I thrice suffered. I boasted mightily of my valor to the maidens and the virgins but found them indifferent. For you see, in my absence, the youthful members of the tribe, especially those in study at the lyceums and academies in our province capitols, had embraced our practice of Libr al-Ism with a fervor that had heretofore been unseen in the young. With that headstrong self-righteousness so common to our youth, they followed those agent provocateurs lecturing in their academies and began protesting the conflict then raging between our provinces of V’Nam Nord and V’Nam Sur. They unquestioningly embraced the philosophies of that barbaric tribe far to the north, the pale Rusi and the even larger tribe to the faraway east, the yellow Cheena, practitioners of an advanced form of our own beliefs which they call Zosh al-Ism. And truly, it was if the adherents of Libr al-Ism and Zosh al-Ism began to speak with one voice, so similar were their goals, demands and proclamations. Thus did our students, our maidens and the callow youth of our tribes become the unwitting but impassioned vanguard of the Rusi and the Cheena, the veritable tip of the spear of Zosh al-Ism.
A cunning lad I, (Zhanif means hyena in our dialect), I readily perceived the value to be gained by joining this movement; and so, with alacrity, did I alter my views as to be once again in favor with the maidens and the virgins, in spite of having a face resembling that of my namesake. As a former warrior quite willing to shamelessly denounce those still in battle and now out of favor, I was soon elevated to leadership among these insurrectionists, a position almost equal that of Princess Zhanafonda, the most celebrated and strident voice among us. I served on their councils and became a favored spokesman for their cause. I went before the High Council at Wazshi Dun, and with cunning, audacious sophistry, delivered the words of the Rusi and the Cheena as if they were my own. I negotiated with emissaries of V’Nam Nord, willfully abetting them in their quest for dominance over their benighted southern cousins. Here I must pause to confess my admiration for the bravado of Princess Zhanafonda, who dared above all others, to enter into the lair of the war chiefs of V’Nam Nord, there to strike defiant poses inspiring to all true believers of Libr al-Ism, posturing for photographers while draped in battle raiment and manning armaments of that peace-loving province. However, while I admired such exuberance, I shrewdly did not emulate it; for I wisely feared it would draw the enduring wrath of the Kon Zur Fateefs, who, to this very day believe as one, that Princess Zhanafonda’s behavior was symptomatic of her terrible infection with that dread malady, Duduinduh Bahrain, which, for some reason, is quite prevalent and extremely contagious among the true believers.
Forgive me but I must boast openly now, for we were, through our sly and skillful exploitation of that dated practice the Kon Zur Fateefs call “Tuhrooth,” a premise long out of favor among the Dmuk a-Ratz, at last triumphant. We watched with unbridled joy the cinematic accounts of the remaining warriors fleeing for their lives, abandoning the hapless tribes in the south to their fate at the hands of their new northern masters. Together with the Rusi and Cheena, whose leaders graciously praised the vital importance of our contribution to this endeavor, we exulted in our triumph and watched with great satisfaction as the commoners greeted the returning warriors with scorn and contempt. And while those warriors were met with disdain, great honor and fame soon attached to the name of this great warrior, Zhanif Kiri. My tribal kinsman, Adwar Dkindi, and his clan chose me to serve as loyal lieutenant to the province chief of Masi Kuzats, Mik al-Dookakiz, a true believer and unsuccessful Nigerian Candidate in 1988. Ultimately my kinsmen permitted me to sit on the High Council at Wazshi Dun, representing my home province while furthering the interests of the Dkindis, the Dmuk a-Ratz and Libr al-Ism. There I was so steadfast in my support of Libr al-Ism that I soon surpassed the feats of our hitherto champion, my own tribal brother, Adwar Dkindi. And for my stalwart opposition to the Kon Zur Fateefs and their chief, Rhan al-Ragn, I was awarded a bride from a respected Nuyuk clan, a woman who brought to her new master a considerable dowry. A person of privilege from birth, I became, with the aid of this newfound wealth, accustomed to living in even greater comfort, far above the means, or even dreams, of mere commoners. Though, naturally, even while enjoying such privilege and being the master of many servants, I continued to espouse the cause of my inferiors, deploring their plight vociferously at every opportunity, a behavior quite common among the many affluent adherents to Libr al-Ism. Regrettably, my highbred wife, after many years of my use of her body and her dowry, did come to displease me; so much so in fact, that, weary of her company, I renounced my vows and banished her back to her clan.
Being unskilled and unpracticed in providing for my own comfort and well being, I found it necessary to take another wife, this time the widow of a rival leader who had sat with me upon the High Council at Wazshi Dun, and whose clan, the Hyn Dzuh, had amassed great wealth from village markets, though I suspect still less than the Dkindis, whom I fear I am forever doomed to emulate and envy. This new wife, Tooh Rasa, mindful of my ambition to become the Nigerian Candidate, willingly forsook her husband’s tribe and summarily converted to Libr al-Ism, quickly becoming one of the most zealous of true believers. I know there are many who scoff at the sincerity of her conversion, but I dare not share such doubts, for it is indeed a costly venture to be the Nigerian Candidate. While dutifully obedient and attentive to my present needs, Tooh Rasa engages in a practice quite contrary to those of our clan in that she retains ownership of all property she brought to our marital consociation. I must admit, in moments of contemplation, an uncertain presentiment does make me wonder if this strange behavior could have some import. Do you suppose Tooh Rasa is perhaps more nuanced than even I?
Whatever then, I submit to you that these are my credentials to be the anointed leader and favored designee of the Dkindi and Okwomo-led Dmuk a-Ratz. And despite the unvoiced but widely known desire of the former Nigerian Candidate, Nutti al-Gor, to reprise his role, I am now the chosen one. I must confess that my greatest fear is that Nutti will actually embrace me and openly champion my cause. That most surely would be the kiss of the viper, as deadly for my ambitions as it was for Ho Wadeen’s, or promoters of the Kyoto protocol. One cannot help but ponder the thought that perhaps Nutti misguidedly chews Kat or smokes ganja before mounting a podium. As for Ho Wadeen, I know that I must break bread with that treacherous little monkey to maintain tribal solidarity, knowing all the while that diminutive imp covets my leadership. And though the followers of Libr al-Ism are not much given to worship, I have heard it said that my health is the subject of Ho Wadeen’s frequent and fervent prayers, as well as those of his intractable acolytes. Why is it, do you suppose, that I am unable to take comfort from their implorations?
But, all that aside, it is only due and proper that I now inform you that great rewards await you, if you but assist me in my quest to be Chief of the Motherland and help me dethrone that usurper, George Dabaya, the dark prince of deceit (or defeat if you’re Nutti) and that gaggle of bandits who protect him, like that scheming sorcerer, Kar al-Rov, and that warmongering, Dun al-Rumzf al-Dah. Only with your help can I achieve my goal of sending them in full flight from our councils so that true believers of Libr al-Ism are able to recapture our rightful place in Wazshi Dun, there to impose our enlightened governance and high tariffs on all tribes. Should you elect to become a devoted and generous servant to our mission, you will be selected to be among the elite of the Dmuk a-Ratz and join us in deciding what is beneficial to the lesser of our people. Together we will impose many great tithes and tariffs to support the generous public programs of Libr al-Ism, no doubt causing some revisionists to protest our progressive ways. But we will heed them not; for they are but benighted commoners who should be grateful to dwell in the peace we shall bring them. I vow to you now that I will avoid all conflict and engage only in talks of conciliation, which I will conduct with the nuanced skills that permit me to support both sides of any issue, a talent much envied by Nutti al-Gor and Ho Wadeen, both of whom equate discourse with decibels. And while some among the Kon Zur Fateefs may snidely criticize the unusual length of my countenance, I prefer to view it as a priceless political gift to have, at any given time, more than enough face to effect a concurrent but conflicting pair.
I must caution that high position in the Dmuk a-Ratz is awarded only to those who make substantial contributions to our cause. Word of your munificence has come to my attention; thus, this moment of enormous opportunity is being offered you. As indication of your acceptance, we require nothing more than the following items: account numbers for all bank, credit card and investment accounts with usernames, passwords, your mother’s maiden name and the name of your first pet. And while not an absolute requirement, suspension of common sense is suggested as well. It will certainly facilitate your acceptance by, and interaction with, other true believers. For such generous support of my great quest and the greater glory of Libr al-Ism, you will be rewarded with a much-coveted position in my entourage and the charms of fifty virgins.
Your Most Exalted Leader,
The Nigerian Candidate
Alas, an aide cautions that I must regretfully retract the offer of virgins. Due to the practices of Libr al-Ism, he informs me we no longer have any.
Do you suppose if I win, the true believers in Ha al-Iwud will create a cinema of my triumph? “The Nigerian Candidate” has a rather catchy ring to it don’t you think?
Did I mention that I served in V’Nam Sur with great distinction, won many honors, and was thrice wounded
Interesting concept, mixing a contribution solicitation and a Nigerian Scam email. It did run a bit long though and was a little hard to follow at times, but Esoteric * Diatribe fans always enjoy Russ's contributions.
A seemingly confused John Waffles Kerry apparently forgot he was a Senator representing Mass. but remembered in time to make his 14th vote out of a possible 132, according to AP. The Waffle King had already scheduled campaign events in New Mexico when he changed his mind, or waffled as we like to say... maybe even flip-flopped. Here is what the AP had to say:
Kerry had planned to fly from Denver to New Mexico Monday night, then deliver a speech describing his plan for federal investments in science and technology on Tuesday morning in Albuquerque. But about an hour before Kerry was scheduled to leave Denver, his campaign announced that he was flying back to Washington instead.
Kerry has missed the vast majority of votes this year, including other votes to increase veterans benefits.
Of 132 votes in the Senate this year, Kerry has voted just 14 times, according to an Associated Press tally. Massachusetts Republican Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey last week called on Kerry to resign from the Senate because he's missed so many votes, but Kerry said he's serving his constituents well by running for president.
In other news we have another John Waffles Kerry story to report:
Kerry is now attacking President Bush (and Conservatism) as being unscientific.
Kerry charged, "We need a president who will once again embrace our tradition of looking toward the future and new discoveries with hope based on scientific facts, not fear."
AP Reporter Nedra Pickler wrote:
In those remarks, Kerry said Bush's anti-science initiatives included limiting stem cell research; removing information about the global warming threat from a 2003 Environmental Protection Agency report; ordering changes to a report that described damage that would be caused by oil-drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and deleting information about condoms from government Web sites.
Ok.... Here we go: There are alternative sources for stem cells... we do no need to, nor should we harvest embryos and murder/mutilate the corpses of undeveloped human beings in the name of science when these cells can be found in bone marrow. If the scientists want stem cells so badly, let them give their own marrow for science and not rely on frozen embryos and aborted fetuses.
As for global warming... with any luck this ridiculous theory will one day be taught as theory in our schools... and not as fact.
...there’s no credible evidence humans are altering global climate in any measurable way and, to the extent that global climate is changing - as it always has and always will - there’s nothing that humans can do about that change except to adapt.
Global warming is a theory.... and a bad one at that. With every breath you take you are part of the problem, so if you are serious about global warming, why don't you do your part and stop breathing.
Concerning drilling in the "Arctic National Wildlife Refuge"... I ask you to picture in your mind what you think this Wildlife Refuge looks like... I know what you are seeing: crystal clear lakes, thick lush green forests, elk, deer, moose, caribou, squirrels, birds, mountains, valleys, maybe a small log cabin somewhere with a single small stream of smoke rising from its chimney. Now I'd like to interrupt this delusional orgy of earth friendly thoughts with a reality check: The area where they want to drill in the "Arctic National Wildlife Refuge" is a barren wasteland. There is nothing but ice, rocks, and snow in the area where they want to drill. There are some animals which roam the barren wastelands, just as there are animals that roam the deserts, but this is not like drilling in Yellowstone National Park. The actual name, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, is analogous to communist doublespeak in a title like the "People's Republic of China" Where exactly is the People's Republic aspect of China's government? My guess is in the same place as the wildlife in Alaska's Arctic Wildlife Refuge.
As for condoms... here is some Science for the Kerry Camp: Abstinence has been scientifically proven 100% effective in reducing the spread of sexually transmitted disease and in reducing teenage pregnancy. Abstinence can stop the spread of HIV and a condom cannot. Here is a novel idea... rather than giving kids condoms and sending the message that it is ok for them to start having sex, why not tell them that it is better to wait and send a message that they might not be ready for sex. Bush's choice that teaching abstinence is preferable over just handing out condoms seems to be scientifically sound... no?
This email has been making the rounds. I recieved it from a civilian contractor for the Navy, but it has been reported on NavySeals.com and elsewhere. Without further ado:
30 May 2004
This is my third letter from Iraq. I have been working myself into the right mood to do this. Today is the day. In my last two letters I have leaned toward being as upbeat as possible. This time will be different; today I want to talk about Memorial Day, but I will start off by giving my perspective on the Abu Ghraib prison problem.
First off, the investigation into the abuses at Abu Ghraib began back in January. That is why the first court martial was ready for trial in May. The senior people here knew about the investigation; the rest of us didn't. By the time the media "broke" the story, the investigation was almost done and the soldiers who had committed the abuses had already been rotated home.
Second, I (we) don't see all the news coverage that you in the states see. I do see some Fox News and CNN. Fox editorializes toward the right wing; CNN is the voice of the anti-war movement. I wonder that if CNN had been around in 1942 we might all be speaking German and Japanese. I can tell you this, everything I have heard on CNN is so biased, negative, and out-of-touch that I will never watch CNN for the rest of my life. That being said, when the rest of us found out about the abuses we were shocked and sickened. I think maybe more so than people back home because we are here; these are the people I see every day. The people I see every day who are going out to fix: schools, hospitals, reservoirs, power plants, and sewer systems. They do these things risking sniper fire and hidden explosives. These soldiers are not a handful of bad apples like those at Abu Ghraib, these soldiers number into the thousands. Now think for a second, how much have you seen about that on the news? I believe Abu Ghraib should have been reported, but when I see the fixation of the media on the actions of a few, when the courage shown in reconstruction and the restraint shown in combat by thousands of our people is never shown, I believe this is inexcusable. For the real story of what our people are doing here, go to www.cjtf7.com/index.htm. Click on Coalition News and then Humanitarian Efforts.
Third, what happened on that cellblock of Abu Ghraib is what happens when leadership is not out walking around. That is true in the military or in college dorms. I haven't seen it reported in the news, but other soldiers turned in the soldiers who did this. If the dirt bags that committed those abuses had been turned loose among the troops here it would've been ugly. I haven't heard any comments about them coming from soldiers that didn't express a hope that they would get the maximum punishment. A few leaders need to get demoted too.
As per the "outrage", if you were "outraged" by this, good. I was. However, I would like to ask Arab governments and our own media elites, "Were you just as outraged by what happened under Saddam? If so, you didn't show it."
Here is what people need to understand: the interrogation of prisoners of war is a little tougher than what the typical thug gets by the local police. I went to Survival, Evasion, Rescue, and Escape (SERE) School back in 1995. I am more proud of completing that course than anything I have ever done. Also, I would never do it again. After playing hide and seek with "bad guys" in California in March, we all got caught, knocked around, froze, went hungry, sleep deprived, threatened with worse, and then interrogated.
Here's the deal: when interrogation is done correctly, people don't break so much as they leak. (The purpose of SERE is to teach you how not to leak. That is the classified part of the school.) The interrogator wants them to leak in a way so that the prisoner doesn't even know he is leaking. When someone breaks, as opposed to leaking, they usually give out a data dump of gibberish and then physiologically shuts down. A good interrogator avoids that. If you hurt them or scare them too badly, they quit leaking.
Interrogators ask the same question about ten times, ten different ways. Disoriented people leak and they don't even know it. What most Americans think of when they think of POWs being interrogated is what they remember of our pilots in North Vietnam. The abuse our people went through in Vietnam wasn't to get intelligence; it was to exploit them for propaganda purposes. I mention this to put the term "abuse" in context. When a terrorist here in Iraq or jaywalkers back in the states report jailhouse "abuse," what does it mean? When we catch a guy red-handed restocking his weapons stock and question him, withholding his TV privileges isn't enough. He won't be happy, but neither will he be destroyed or scared for life. He will tell his buddies, "I didn't tell them anything." In fact he will have told us a lot.
As I said, I had to work myself into a mindset to talk about this. To work around horror without out letting the horror seep into your soul is a spiritual battle. This week I worked with a National Guard soldier who had to clean up after a convoy of civilian aid workers were killed when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) went off on the road into Baghdad. He is a carpenter in civilian life, but this week he was out on a highway picking up arms and legs while watching out for snipers. He was cleaning up after monsters. Some other young Americans were put in charge of guarding monsters and then became monsters. Care of the soul is serious business.
That is part of the reason why I became a Navy Chaplain.
The other reason is the people. The folks I have known in the military are more interesting to be around than anybody else I know. This leads me to Memorial Day. Earlier this month I went to Camp Cooke at Taji. (To lend perspective, Taji is really north Baghdad; I am in west Baghdad.) The 39th Brigade (Arkansas National Guard) is stationed there. I didn't know any of them, but I wanted to see my home-state Guard here in Iraq. So I badgered my way into flying up there for two days. They are stationed in the old Iraqi army air defense school. Unlike downtown Baghdad, the old air defense school was turned into rubble. It is getting better, but it was like living in a junkyard.
Their first month in Iraq was tough. These soldiers patrol the roughest part of Baghdad. While I was there, the Chaplain of the 39th told me this story: One of the old troopers who came was a 52 year-old Sgt. who had already done his 20+ years and had retired. But his son was in the 39th, and when the father found out they were coming over here, he reenlisted. On their first week in country, Camp Cooke was attacked by rockets and the first rocket that landed killed the father.
I was born in 1958 and came of age when the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement were both in full swing. It has taken me years to put this into words, but I believe that as bad as that war was, the legacy of the anti-war movement was worse.
The anti-war movement gave rise to the moral superiority of non-involvement and non-commitment. While that may have worked to help draft-dodgers sleep at night, it's not much of a strategy of how to go through life. Taken to its logical conclusion the message is: don't commit to your county, don't commit to your spouse, and don't commit to your kids, church, or community. Don't commit to cleaning up your own mess or any cause that demands any more from you than rhetoric. This was the mindset in which our country was firmly stuck. Until 9/11, some woke up.
Kids came down and joined the service. To the dismay of some of their teachers, parents, and the media elites, they came down here and raised their hand in front of the flag. And they are still coming to the shock of the non-committers. The Marines have more enlisting than their two boot camps can handle.
And we are all here together for Memorial Day 2004. Old National Guardsmen, grandfathers, and single moms, Texans and Mexicans, Surfers and Rednecks. A few weeks ago an Illinois National Guardsman, mother of three, was hit six times, saved by her body armor, but lost part of her nose. She stayed on her 50 caliber, firing on the bad guys, protecting the convoy. She said she was thinking of her kids and the guys she was with.
Commitment is love acted out. It is sad that the non-committers missed that. They and their moral high-ground haven't been near a mass grave. The kids I see and eat with every day still want to help this country, in spite of getting shot at while doing it. That is love acted out. You either get it, or you don't.
During my time in Iraq I won't be able to see any of the Biblical sites that are here. But a few weeks ago in Taji I got to stand on some holy ground, where a father died when he went to war just to be with his son.
Steven P. Unger
LCDR, CHC, USN
Multi National Corps-Iraq
Bill O'Reilly Sets Record Straight: Media Misreporting
I haven't watched O'Reilly since he apologized to the public, thereby renouncing his claim that there were WMD in Iraq, but he may be finding his way back into my good graces with this Memo being reported here. Some excerpts:
Once again we are mislead by some in the press.
The New York Times wrote: "Panel Finds No Qaeda-Iraq tie."
The Washington Post put forth: "Al Qaeda-Hussein Link Is Dismissed."
The Los Angeles Times opined: "No Signs of Iraq-Al Qaeda Ties Found."
And even the conservative Wall Street Journal trumpeted: "No Iraq-al Qaeda Link."
But if you read below the headlines you see the Commission said something a bit different: That there was no a collaborative relationship between Saddam and Al Qaeda regarding Sept. 11. That's true, but there were certainly links and ties between Saddam and Al Qaeda and that's provable.
The smoking gun is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (search), an Al Qaeda leader who found his way to Baghdad after being severely wounded fighting against American forces in Afghanistan.
Zarqawi arrived in Iraq in May of 2002 and had surgery in an Iraqi hospital, run by -- are you ready -- Uday Hussein. I believe that might be a tie, but there's more.
Zarqawi wound up back in Iraq after the assassination of Foley and met up with the Ansar al-Islam group, which operated in Northern Iraq and is affiliated with Al Qaeda.
In January 2003, several Ansar terrorists were arrested in Britain and charged with planning to put Ricin in the military food supply. Some of those terrorists fingered Zarqawi in the plot.
Right now, Zarqawi is believed to be in Fallujah working with some of Saddam's former generals in planning terror attacks. Just last week he took credit for killing 13 people in a bombing.
Faced with the misleading headlines ... President Bush said this Thursday:
“The reason that I keep insisting that there’s was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and Al Qaeda, because there was a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda. This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and Al Qaeda.”
... the press used the Commission's report -- which is accurate -- to suggest Bush mislead the public about Saddam and Al Qaeda.
Good job, O'Reilly, but there are far more connections than Zarqawi... he is certainly a smoking gun, but there is far more evidence than that, next time have another segment run shorter so you can give a bit more evidence in the talking points...
Holy cow... I was just getting ready to write a post about John Waffles Kerry wanting to raise the minimum wage to $7 an hour (which would hurt small businesses and inevitably lead to more inflation) and in the AP article I read this:
The Sept. 11 commission's found this week that Saddam Hussein did not have ties to al-Qaida, disputing a central justification Bush used for invading Iraq and toppling the former Iraqi regime.
I am confused... what does this BS have to do with Kerry Proposing to raise the minimum wage?
So first off we have that this blurb was totally unrelated to the story and was thrown in after the real story was complete. Second, the 9/11 commission found there was no credible link between Saddam and Al Qaeda in regards to the Sept 11th attacks, not that there were no ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda at all. Third, Bush did not use as a central justification for invading Iraq a link between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks... we went into Iraq because Saddam openly supported terrorism and if he were to provide WMDs to Al Qaeda, who has been trying to obtain WMDs, then 9/11 would have been a small prelude of things to come. This sort of sloppy reporting out to be dealt with by AP... but instead they will probably offer this reporter an award.
I've not been keeping up to date on John Waffles Kerry lately, and for that I appologize. I have been working on an update chronicling his various waffling and shifting messages about the economy, which, btw, is still booming, and I hope to finish the research for it in the next day or so.
In the mean time, I wanted to mention that Pretty Boy John Edwards, the only Democrat with a somewhat sunny disposition throughout the Democratic Primaries, seems to be trying to get in the Waffler's good graces through an e-mail campaign to get Dems to support Kerry... so I thought I'd have a little fun with it.
You and I together can change this country by helping John Kerry win back the White House. If we want to build an America where equal opportunity and the chance to build something for your family are a priority of our government and reality in our lives, then we need to reach deep down and work non-stop to support John Kerry.
Yes, you can change this country by voting Kerry into office... it would look something like this:
Every four years, Americans are blessed with the chance to make this country stronger. We get the chance to look at our President in Washington and ask, "Is that guy really working for us? Is he really thinking about creating better jobs here in America? Does he understand how expensive health care is for middle class families? What's his plan to make us energy independent from Middle East oil? And will he make America more respected in the world?"
Is Bush working for us? Two words: Tax Cuts... or two more words: Education Reform... or two more words: Homeland Security. Yeah, I think it would be fair to say he is working for us.
As for Jobs... 1.4 million jobs have been created in the past nine months, and I think it is appropriate to say, as American Icon Ronald Reagan is remembered as saying, "All in all, not bad, not bad at all."
A good question for Edwards would be, "Can Kerry even relate to middle class families?" This son of fortune was well to do and then married money... billionaire money!"
Bush has increased funding for alternate fuel research, like Hydrogen powered automobiles, and his efforts to allow drilling in Barren Alaskan Wastelands was halted by environmentalist whackos on the left... a better question is how is Kerry gonna completely liberate the American Economy from foreign-fuel dependence? What difference does it make if France doesn't like Bush's policies? The UN voted unanimously to support the hand over of sovereignty to the new Iraqi Government...
You and I know that when it comes to George W. Bush, the answer to each one of those questions is "no," but we know that with John Kerry the answer to these questions will be "yes."
Johnny Boy... do Democrats really need you to think for them?
During the campaign, I got to know John Kerry very well, and I saw up-close what he's made of.
I imagine it looked like this:
He showed in this campaign exactly what he's shown in his entire life - courage and strength. He served our country in Vietnam, and he put his life on the line to defend our freedoms. It took great character and resolve. When you listen to the men who served with him in Vietnam, they tell you how much they respect him and that they know that he is a natural leader. This is the same kind of leadership he brought to the United States Senate.
John Kerry Served in Vietnam? I'd never heard that... Oh yeah, that's where he earned all of those ribbons... I mean medals... medals ribbons, they are interchangeable, you know. You know, I distinctly remember Kerry saying something about his time in Vietnam.
John Kerry will fight for the things that all of us believe in: more jobs, better health care, cleaner air, cleaner water, a safer world. These are the causes of our party, and the causes of this country. And they are the reasons why John Kerry will prevail in November.
It is time to change this country - a country that you and I love. With so much at stake in this election, I am asking every single one of my friends to do everything you can to help elect John Kerry.
Any amount you are able to contribute will make a real difference. Please visit John Kerry's website, and contribute today!
I received an email from our good friends over at Kerry Waffles that I thought I'd share with visitors to this site:
We at kerrywaffles.com are calling for a boycott on Time magazine for revealing the Vice President's secret underground bunker as reported on the Drudge Report. Time magazine has put our national security at risk to sell magazines. If we can get the Kerry Campaign to spend money defending waffles on google, we can have an effect with all the blogs on our side. Instead of doing everything in their power to undermine this war and our national security, they should be pulling for our troops and efforts to rid the world of terrorism. We're the good guys right?? So no more Time!
I agree. We were able make an impact on a political campaign, we can certainly try to do the same to an unscrupulous magazine that undermines America's National Security.
The Waffles Campaign has been mentioned again. Jonathan Sidener of the San Diego Union-Tribune interviewed me about the Waffles Campaign a week or two ago. This is an excellent article, one of the best I've read, about political Google bombs. I still think Google completely misses the point about the seriousness of Google bombs (who cares if someone bombs 'cell phone'? I am more worried about non commercial bombs, like 'human rights' or 'Iraq War' or 'Hilla Massacre'... these guys keep focusing only on the commercial potential of Google Bombs... I have seen no concern whatsoever about the usefulness of Google Bombing to disseminate propaganda for misinformation about major world events and social issues, or just spreading messages of hate like Jew Watch had successfully done.
As for Political Scientist Gary Jacobson (no relation to yours truly) of the University of California San Diego, who is quoted in the article as saying of Google Bombs like waffles "It's not going to have any political impact." I respectfully disagree; for instance, some see this response:
as indicative proof that they can have a political impact. Kerry's campaign spent money on Google Ads, Google saw additional revenue because of this Google bomb, and this story has been mentioned in print many times. Is this ground breaking, earth shattering, going to sway the election one way or the other sort of stuff? No... but it has had an impact...
Drops of water, by continually falling, hone their passage through the hardest of rocks but the hasty torrent rushes over it with hideous uproar and leaves no trace behind.
- Og Mandino