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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

So You Support the Troops?

I'm not sure if Russ intended for me to post this. I am posting it until I get confirmation and it will go down if he didn't intend it as a post. It seems this piece either has already or will be soon posted on Real Clear Politics. Pretty soon Russ is gonna be too famous to send in submissions to the likes of E*D. I say good for Russ!
So You Support the Troops?

Since writing the poem "Fightin' Words," I've had some emails and posted comments indicating the belief that I'm just another rightwing, media-hating nutcase with an ax to grind. Actually, I'm more of a moderately conservative nut case and I'm not against the media as a whole, just some segments; nor am I against all combat reporters; Kevin Sites, a reporter of recent notoriety, has one of my poems, "The Sheepdogs," on his website and I have seen a few comments on various blogs that the very presence of my poem, which is a tribute to our warrior class, is evidence that Kevin truly does support the troops. I also have written a piece quoting a reporter embedded with the 101st Airborne during the invasion of Iraq that is quite respectful of his wisdom and insight, entitled "That's The Way They Were Raised," which can be found on many websites such as this one.

But, yes, it is true; I do have an ax to grind although it would give me greater satisfaction to bury it in a few carefully coiffed talking heads. You see, what I'm wholeheartedly for is the troops, and not in the sense that most liberal Americans profess to be, in that they believe they are demonstrating their support of the troops by calling for them to be brought home and removed from harm's way. If that's what you call supporting the troops, then take it from an old trooper who's been there and done that, the troops don't see you as supportive at all; they see you as undermining their mission, which is to go in harm's way, with deliberate intent to prevail by force of arms. What the troops perceive as support is hearing you cheering not jeering when they are seriously kicking the butts of jihadi terrorists. So, on behalf of the troops you support, it's with you peace-at-any-price liberals and your synergistic media pals that I have an ax to grind.

Warriors don't train endlessly and exhaustively to be withdrawn ignominiously from the battlefield before they can implement that training and achieve victory, simply because a well-intentioned but weak-willed segment of the citizenry can't abide the losses that the warriors themselves understand as necessary and sustainable. Not infrequently, troops are killed in the course of their rigorous training programs. Do you not suppose that if they are able to accept the deaths of comrades during training and continue to soldier on, that they probably suspect that they and others may well perish in the accomplishment of the mission for which they trained? Anyone who's ever served with such men knows the easy answer to that; and unlike certain weak-willed civilians, warriors do not shrink from this reality.

So yes, our troops do expect losses, and while they indeed mourn their dead, they accept those deaths and honor the fallen by completing the mission and killing those who killed their brothers in arms; and that includes making sure, very sure, absolutely certain that there is no question the bad guys are truly dead, totally, completely, 100 percent dead, on the highway to their hedonistic Hell, where multitudes of virgins await them, but, alas, no Viagra. They want to die for Allah? Then by all means, help them observe their faith; and if a bullet to the brain is needed to insure their fealty, so be it.

What warriors can't accept is the constant, backbiting hyper-criticism by puerile pundits who have no idea of what it is to be in the midst of an intense firefight. These elitist expositors, pontificating from their safe havens, have the temerity to admonish the troops for failing to adhere to the media's interpretation of the Geneva accords and some silly, schoolboy sense of fair play they harbor. Guess what, girlie-men; in ground combat, there is little time to think about inapplicable treaties or the rules of fair play learned by gentlemen, “on the playing fields of Eton,” or wherever. Fair play in war is a construct of fools who think of combat as sport, fools who have never faced uncontrolled mayhem in which their lives can be snatched from them in the first moment of weakness.

In a firefight what you desire most is fire superiority; you want to be throwing so much s**t at them they can’t possibly throw any thing back without getting hit. You want it to be totally one-sided for your side; there isn’t anything fair about it at all and there shouldn’t be. Of course, it is seldom that easy, that one-sided, but you can damn well bet that’s the way the troops and their commanders want it to be. You try your best to make the rules all work your way, so it’s Chuck out of luck, not you. Tactical rules of engagement are fluid and ultimately determined by those immediately engaged and those in control of the battlefield, not some snide network know-it-all or some corrosive columnist at the New York Times.

My poem, "Fightin' Words," is about those in the media who report on war but have little understanding of the intensity and immediacy of ground combat. Hell, most of them never gain enough understanding of the military system to get the military ranks and unit structures reported correctly. Yet these blow-dried blowhards want to tell the professional warriors how to fight?

Look at it this way: if they were sports reporters covering a football game for their local paper or station, they might second-guess some of their home team's play-calling, but they wouldn't be complaining if their team was getting away with holding on every play, or tripping, or face-masking, or committing other fouls against the opposing team, would they? Nope, they’d keep their mouths shut and hope the officials didn’t call the infractions. Nor would they be demanding their team be pulled back into the locker room and forfeit the game just because of a few blown plays or a few serious injuries to some of the key players. Hell no, they'd be exhorting those players to stay out there and fight, to get tough, play hard, play rough and not come off that field with anything less than a victory.

Now that’s supporting the team, right? So why can't these oh-so-smart liberals and the see-all, know-all, decide-all-for-you media, see it’s the same way for the troops? No wonder they lose elections.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66

Monday, November 29, 2004

Still Waiting for the Muslim Outrage

Fallujah's mosques hid arms, militants
Tom Squitieri, USA TODAY

The U.S. military captured at least 15 portable surface-to-air missiles capable of shooting down aircraft, dozens of mortar tubes and sophisticated anti-tank weapons among hundreds of weapons caches found in the Iraqi militant stronghold of Fallujah, according to a classified military report.

The report said that one out of every two mosques in Fallujah were used to hide fighters or weapons during a recent offensive. Fallujah is called the "city of mosques" because it has at least 100 such houses of worship.
If I am counting correctly that means over 50 mosques in Fallujah were used to store weapons, terrorists, or both.
"The amount of weapons was in no way just to protect a city," said Maj. James West, a Marine intelligence officer. "There was enough to mount an insurgency across the country."
... still waiting for the outrage from Muslims over the use of their holy sites as weapons storage facilities/bunkers for terrorists

Lefties Politely "Warn" Righties

Beware perils of overreaching, GOP is warned.

Libs must think we conservatives are complete idiots. Honestly, do they expect us to buy this kind of BS...
Political analysts warn that overly aggressive efforts to push a conservative agenda could leave Bush and his allies vulnerable to charges of political overreaching, and ultimately cause a voter backlash.
First off we have to question who are these political analysts? Obviously they are not conservatives. No right-minded conservative would say, "You have a mandate, now just be sure not to take advantage of it; we wouldn't want to reward the people who voted for us with an agenda that matches the conservative platforms on which you ran." To say such a thing would be utter nonsense. Maybe a liberal republican (see wolf in sheep's clothing) might give such an absurd piece of advice to the conservatives in the party, but this is clearly desperate libs trying to use fear and panic to sway conservatives from their agenda. The article continues:
So far, no such backlash is in sight.
Duh! We just had an election. Bush is in power for 4 more years. We won't likely lose control of the house and senate in the mean time. We have between 2 and 4 years to pass as much conservative legislation as possible... and there is no reason not to; it's what the people voted for!
Democrats hope that Bush and congressional Republicans overplay their hand so the Democrats will have a better chance of making a comeback in the 2006 and 2008 elections. Already Democrats are saying that Republicans are emphasizing an ideological rather than a middle-of-the-road approach to governing.
See, this is how stupid the libs think we are... they think they can use a little reverse-psychology to overwhelm our fragile conservative minds. So sad are the libs that they think we would fall for so poorly a laid trap.

Liberal Democrat: Boy, I suuuure do hope you conservatives press your conservative agenda! That will result in a voter backlash, angry Deaniacs will pour out of the woodwork, and we will throw you conservatives out on your butts.

Conservative Republican: Good Idea! We are going ahead with our conservative agenda in order that we represent the will of the people who voted to give us this mandate.

Liberal: Shoot-No, see, we Democrats "want" you to have a conservative agenda and to go forward with it.

Conservative: Ok. Good. We want the same thing.

Liberal: Yeah, but you guys disagree with us on just about everything. If we want you to vote conservative, maybe you should rethink your vote.

Conservative: No, that's okay. We have core positions. We don't flip-flop just to spite you.

Liberal: Hey man, I am just trying to help you out. I am giving you a heads up that if you vote conservative you are going to lose power. I am helping you.

Conservative: How stupid do you think we are? We...

Liberal: - Pretty stupid...

Conservative: -know that you aren't going to actually give us any advice that is going to help us. You have lost. Miserably. We have won. Decisively. Now you are trying to do everything you can think of to get us to be "inclusive" and act as if we have no majority whatsoever. Why on earth would we win all the power only to let it sit idle so as not to offend the minority of Americans who agree with you. Why would we tell the majority of Americans that the values that are important to them need to be put on the backburner so we don't offend the kooks on the left? You aren't trying to help us, it's obvious you don't want us to use our mandate, and you think we are dumb enough to fall prey to your scare-tactics that if we stick to the same conservative ideas that got us the power in the first place, that we will lose our power. You want to talk about backlash, howabout the backlash that conservatives will get from those who voted for us if we DON'T push the conservative agenda. They didn't vote for us to see us not represent them by voting in accordance with their wishes. I mean, come off it man, you aren't fooling anyone

Liberal: ... just ... trying to ... help

Conservative: Riight.

The Struggle For The Soul of Islam

This story was too good to pass up: Schooled in jihad via the Chicago Tribune.

Synopsis of article: The struggle for the soul of Islam is being waged in the hearts and minds of Arab Muslim youths. On one side you have radical/extremist Islamic clerics who teach nothing but hatred of America and Western Values. On the other side you have, (what I hope is a silent majority), moderate muslim voices like Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf who insists that education reforms are the only hope for peace with the West in the future. Promises/efforts to reform the education system in Pakistan have yeilded little positive results. Government approved texts in Pakistan glorify and promote jihad.

My favorite passages:
In the struggle for the soul of Islam, few things are as important as education reform. Terrorists can be defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan, but if nothing is done to end the intolerance and the teaching of hard-line Islam in classrooms, militants will have a never-ending supply of new recruits. Nowhere is this more evident than in Pakistan, whose schools were described as "incubators for violent extremism" by the Sept. 11 commission.


At public schools in Karachi, children as young as 5th graders still learn about the glories of jihad and martyrdom in textbooks the government approves. One 9th-grade student told a Tribune reporter that he dreamed of going to fight in a jihad when he grows up, if he could get his mother's blessing.


Madrassas ... are secretive religious schools controlled by politically powerful clerics who advocate conservative Islam coupled with religious intolerance. They prosper on the financial donations of wealthy Muslims around the world.


One of the few things public schools and madrassas have in common is the teaching of jihad, an Islamic concept that has two meanings -- one a personal struggle against temptation and another a war of Muslims against aggressors. In Pakistan, particularly in the madrassas, jihad has essentially come to mean war.


The students firmly believe that America is out to destroy Islam, to crush any Muslim nation. For every argument, they cite some French book or an American newspaper article they once heard about, even if they never saw it.


The West believes madrassa students would be better off in a public school. But a message extolling conflict and extremism is easy to find there too.


As early as 5th grade, public school students learn about jihad and martyrdom. A recent 5th-grade Urdu textbook devoted a chapter to Pakistani soldiers killed by the Indian army. The chapter quoted religious texts emphasizing that a Muslim has no faith if he does not wish for martyrdom, and that martyrs earn a special place in heaven.


"If you look at Pakistan's educational system, it encourages you to fight in jihad. It glorifies the military," says A.H. Nayyar, who has studied the country's schools. "It imbibes the student with the philosophy of martyrdom and jihad."


Critics say the government has failed to change public school textbooks because of fierce opposition from clerics. Nayyar says that earlier this year, the government removed some jihadi language from textbooks. But the clerics objected, and the government issued new textbooks, he says. This time, an entire chapter in at least one textbook was devoted to jihad. Nayyar says the chapter read like a lesson on jihad from the literature of banned militant groups.
The article was very well written, very informative, and if I weren't so tired I'd weigh in a lot more. One thing I do want to say is this: We need to shut off the money lines to the madrassas. Wealthy Muslims across the globe are paying for the next generation of likely terrorists to be disinformed and (un)educated. More importantly we need to open a new front in the war over the hearts and minds of Muslim Youths. We ough to put our best marketing strategists to work on converting these muslim extremists to moderate pro-American muslims.

Too Busy To Post, To Tired to Comment, To Bad For Me

After just finishing a 12 hour shift and with less than 9 hours untill I get to start all over I find myself pretty tired... Mondays! Anyway, I am too tired to post and comment, but I have been neglecting this site so here goes anyway...

Saturday, November 27, 2004


I think we can all relate to this in one way or another.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Fighting Words

Fightin' Words

You media pansies may squeal and may squirm,
But a fightin' man knows that the way to confirm,
That some jihadist bastard truly is dead,
Is a brain-tappin' round fired into his head.
To hell with some wienie with his journalist degree
Safe away from the combat, tryin' to tell me,
I should check him for breathin,' examine his eyes.
Nope, I'm punchin' his ticket to Muj paradise.
To hell with you wimps from your Ivy League schools,
Sittin' far from the war tellin' me about rules
And preachin' to me your wrong-headed contention
That I should observe the Geneva Convention,
Which doesn't apply to a terrorist scum
So evil and cruel their own people run from,
Cold-blooded killers who love to behead,
Shove that mother' Geneva, I'm leavin' em dead.
You slick talkingheads may preach, preen and prattle,
But you're damn well not here in the thick of the battle.
It's chaotic, confusin' it all comes at you fast,
So it's Muj checkin' out because I'm going to last.
Yeah, I'll last through this fight and send his ass away
To his fat ugly virgins while I'm still in play.
If you journalist wienies think that's cold, cruel and crass,
Then pucker up sweeties, kiss a fightin' man's ass.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Russ Vaughn Section

Proud Thanks

Russ alerted me to this without sending it specifically to me. I shall post it as if it were submitted to E*D anyway.

In following the links he sent me I learned Russ has a pretty serious cold. To my readers I ask that we add Russ to our prayer lists, walking pneumonia is certainly no death sentence, but it is nothing to laugh at either.

Russ's poem is a Thanksgiving tribute to our soldiers. I choose to preface it with a tribute to Russ:

I am thankful for Russ Vaughn not only for his service to his country, but for his dedication to fighting for what is just and right. I am thankful that Russ Vaughn has shared his voice with Esoteric Diatribe and the whole of the blogosphere. I give my own proud thanks to a great man and warrior poet. God Bless you Russ, and may you have a speedy recovery.

And now, on with the poem:

Proud Thanks

Across the world, in far off lands,
On heaving seas, on desert sands,
You serve our flag, you guard, you fight,
Make despots quake and fear our might.
You show the world a fearsome face,
But do it with a noble grace.
The same steel fists that man the guns,
Unfold in kindness to little ones.

How can you warriors fight through the night,
Then hand out food when comes the light?
Unlike other armies, you American G.I.?s
Are not viewed with fear by civilian eyes.
Other nations see this and are amazed
Not us, we know it?s how you?re raised.
Wherever you serve, the world can see,
You?re the fine result of our democracy.

On this day of grace we send our prayer,
And give proud thanks to you everywhere.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66

Via Russ's email, the Mudville Gazette and a Small Town Veteran

Largest Iraqi Weapons Cache Found in Mosque

Iraqi forces and U.S. Marines searching a mosque in Fallujah "discovered the largest weapons cache to date" in the city, where the coalition has been carrying out an assault on insurgents, the military said.


"Insurgents have used mosques as safe havens,'' the military said. ``Many mosques in Fallujah lost their protective status as places of religious worship when insurgents fired from minarets of these mosques at Multi-National Forces personnel."
... still waiting for the outrage from Muslims over the use of their holy sites as weapons storage facilities for terrorists.

High Ranking Iraqi Official Claims Chemical Weapons Lab Found in Falluja

This wouldn't be the first time an Iraqi official made an unsubstantiated claim which may turn out to be false; but, here is what he is claiming:

"Soldiers from the Iraqi National Guard found a chemical laboratory that was used to prepare deadly explosives and poisons," Minister of State Kassim Daoud told a news conference.

"They also found in the lab booklets and instructions on how to make bombs and poisons. They even talked about the production of anthrax."
Apparently the Marines came out recently discussing the finding of a chemical weapons lab in Falluja; however the marines stated that there was no indication the lab was used to produce chemical weapons. At this point it is unclear whether Kassim Daoud was referring to the same facility or possibly a different facility in Falluja.

More on this story:
Iraqi forces find suspected chemical weapons lab:
Iraq's interim National Security Adviser Kasim Dawood announced the discovery of the suspected chemical weapons lab which he said was "manufacturing death, intoxication and assassination."
Falluja Rebels Had Enough Arms to Rule Iraq -U.S.
But West showed a photographs (sic) of a banner from Zarqawi's followers in a building with a chemical laboratory.

West said there was no indication that the lab was used to produce chemical weapons, but evidence showed they were making explosives and holding bomb-making classes in Falluja, 32 miles west of Baghdad.
More on Iraq WMDs: WMDs In Iraq

Incase you missed it: Great-Grandmother Being Deployed to Iraq

A 72-year-old great-grandmother is preparing for deployment to the war zone in Iraq and will become one of the oldest Department of Defense civilian workers in the war zone.

"I volunteered," said Lena Haddix of Lawton, who has five children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. "I wanted to do something for the country, because I was always left behind taking care of the children."
Full Story

What a great rolemodel for all Americans. An elderly woman who volunteers out of a personal calling to serve her country. If only all Americans shared this woman's sense of patriotism...

Thanksgiving Day Proclamation 2004

Delivered on November 23, 2004
Thanksgiving Day, 2004
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

All across America, we gather this week with the people we love to give thanks to God for the blessings in our lives. We are grateful for our freedom, grateful for our families and friends, and grateful for the many gifts of America. On Thanksgiving Day, we acknowledge that all of these things, and life itself, come from the Almighty God.

Almost four centuries ago, the Pilgrims celebrated a harvest feast to thank God after suffering through a brutal winter. President George Washington proclaimed the first National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789, and President Lincoln revived the tradition during the Civil War, asking Americans to give thanks with "one heart and one voice." Since then, in times of war and in times of peace, Americans have gathered with family and friends and given thanks to God for our blessings.

Thanksgiving is also a time to share our blessings with those who are less fortunate. Americans this week will gather food and clothing for neighbors in need. Many young people will give part of their holiday to volunteer at homeless shelters and food pantries. On Thanksgiving, we remember that the true strength of America lies in the hearts and souls of the American people. By seeking out those who are hurting and by lending a hand, Americans touch the lives of their fellow citizens and help make our Nation and the world a better place.

This Thanksgiving, we express our gratitude to our dedicated firefighters and police officers who help keep our homeland safe. We are grateful to the homeland security and intelligence personnel who spend long hours on faithful watch. And we give thanks for the Americans in our Armed Forces who are serving around the world to secure our country and advance the cause of freedom. These brave men and women make our entire Nation proud, and we thank them and their families for their sacrifice.

On this Thanksgiving Day, we thank God for His blessings and ask Him to continue to guide and watch over our Nation.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 25, 2004, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all Americans to gather together in their homes and places of worship to reinforce the ties of family and community and to express gratitude for the many blessings we enjoy.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-ninth.


Friday, November 19, 2004

Reading Between the Lines

I am exhausted. I have been working non-stop and will continue to do so for quite some time. I have had little time to keep up with the news and blog; however, I've had a post idea this week that I wanted to be sure to share with the blogging community... Here goes:

As the battle for the "hearts and minds" rages in Falluja, the battle over public opinion continues in the US.

(Ken reading between the lines) via the NYT's: Sides in Falluja Fight for Hearts and Minds

FALLUJA, Iraq, Nov. 16 - In the days before the invasion began here last week, American jets swooped over the city, dropping more than a million leaflets urging the city's insurgents not to fight.


Not far away, the insurgents were busy distributing their own propaganda.


The ground war in Falluja may be mostly finished, but the battle over its meaning rages on.


The insurgents will no doubt continue the soft war they have been running for months alongside their campaign of terror, using many of the same tools as the Americans, military intelligence officials say.


The insurgents may have lost the physical battle, but Islamist Web sites have already begun using the events of the past week as a recruiting tool, presenting distorted accounts of the action in which American troops commit atrocities and insurgents inflict devastating losses on their attackers.


Falluja was a center not only of military resistance but also of propaganda that has helped fuel the insurgency throughout Iraq.
How sad... if you replace the word insurgents and references to Islamofascist-terrorists with mainstream media, the story still holds up. For instance, via Reuters: Falluja insurgents fighting to the end
FALLUJA, Iraq (Reuters) - Groups of diehard insurgents are holding out to the last in the week-long battle for Falluja as U.S. warplanes, artillery and mortars strike areas across the city.

The U.S. military says it has taken full control of Falluja, but scattered spots of resistance remain, particularly in southern parts.


A Reuters correspondent who drove from north to south saw bloated and decomposing bodies in the streets, smashed homes, ruined mosques and power and telephone lines hanging uselessly.

Iraq's Red Crescent group has sent seven truck-loads of food and medicine to the city, but the U.S. forces have held up the aid at Falluja's main hospital, on the western outskirts.


Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has said he doesn't believe any civilians were killed in the offensive ... witness accounts contradicted him.

... five were found in one house as well as two children whose ages did not exceed 15 and a man with an artificial leg," Mohammed Farhan Awad said.

... Aid agencies have described the situation as as a humanitarian disaster, ...

... at least 150 families trapped inside Falluja in desperate need of aid. ... children were sick ... not eaten for days.

Also by way of Reuters Alertnet (which alerts "humanitarians to emergencies" a.k.a. it misinforms uppity liberals) Falluja a sea of rubble and death after offensive
FALLUJA, Iraq, Nov 14 (Reuters) - After six days ...U.S. ... left behind a shattered landscape of gutted buildings, crushed cars and charred bodies.

A drive through the city reveals a picture of utter destruction, with concrete houses flattened, mosques in ruins, telegraph poles blown over, power and phone lines hanging slack and rubble and human remains littering the empty streets.

U.S. ... gains have turned large areas of the city to brick and dust.

"The only good muj is a dead muj," said U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant Christopher Garza, using the slang term for mujahideen (holy warriors) as his Humvee drove past a bloated, burned body.


As Marines pointed their M-16 rifles down abandoned streets, they found reminders of the days when parents took their children to Falluja's simple amusement park, now deserted.


"Long live the mujahideen," read the graffiti.

Nothing could be further from the truth....

Four bloated and burned bodies lay on the main street, not far from U.S. army tanks and soldiers. The stench of the remains hung heavy in the air, mixing with the dust.

Another body lay stretched out on the next block, its head blown off, perhaps in one of the countless explosions which rent the city day and night for nearly a week.

Some bodies were so mutilated it was impossible to tell if they were civilians or militants.

I am not done with this post... I am just too tired to finish it; that and I can't find the story from earlier in the week from the AP about how the US attacks in Falluja are not deterring/breaking the will of the insurgents. I think you get the point, though. There are some in the US and World Media hell bent on doing everything they can to pump up support for the insurgents and detract support for the Coalition forces. Nothing new, I know, but reading between the lines shows just how low the media is willing to go to support the terrorists.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Bush With Another First

Bush made history when he selected Colin Powell to be the first black Secretary of State. Now Bush has chosen another first for Secretary of State by choosing Condoleezza Rice, who upon confirmation will become the first black woman to be Secretary of State.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Conference Examines Blogs' Impact on News

Blogs have drawn attention to political stories that more established media outlets then report on, and exposed flawed journalism by those same newspapers and television news programs. But some at the gathering said they face a near-constant struggle to establish the credibility enjoyed by professionals.
I don't have to worry about establishing credibility since no-body visits Esoteric * Diatribe.
Glaser noted the importance of bloggers in tearing down CBS News' election season story about President Bush (news - web sites)'s service in the Texas Air National Guard. The constant barrage of questions and charges from the Web kept heat on the network until it admitted a mistake in relying on what turned out to be fake documents
Dan Rather caught in a lie... life doesn't get much sweeter, does it? But lets not forget that Bloggers helped tell the tale of Kerry's protest days - that he is a self-admitted war criminal, that he did not spend Christmas in Cambodia, etc - bloggers helped spread the word about the bogus NYT story. The bloggers have accomplished quite a lot; no longer can the media silence the opposing view or get away with shoddy stories based on false information.
"Our credibility is suffering with so many people rushing to publish things without checking them out," McAdams said after Cox's speech. "Blogging is really great. I like that more and more people have a voice. That's good ... But it doesn't give people who call themselves journalists an excuse to not check out the information."
Well that is simple to deal with... bloggers are not journalists. Part of good blogging involves speculation and editorial feedback. Journalists can blog and bloggers can write posts of the highest standards of journalistic integrity, but lets not confuse the terms or their purposes.

The Last Battle of Vietnam

The Last Battle of Vietnam

It never occurred to me, ever before,
That our Navy would win the Vietnam War.
When they took to their boats in this year of elections,
With the mission of making some major corrections
I shared their belief, John should not be elected,
And their view overdue, truth should be resurrected.
Yet I questioned the course they’d set themselves for,
Knowing how John was loved by the media whore.

Ignored and dismissed by the media queens
Being shrewd, savvy sailors they still found the means
To reach out to the people, to open their eyes
To a phony John Kerry and his war story lies.
With their very first ad, they torpedoed his boat,
A Cambodian Christmas would no longer float.
His heroics unraveled, his stories fell flat,
Especially that one ‘bout his magical hat.

John called on his lawyers and media whores,
And threatened the Swiftees with vile legal wars.
But these warriors kept charging back into the fire,
And made the folks wonder, “Is Kerry a Liar?”
Till the question of whether he’s telling the truth
Was still in their minds in the election day booth.
So the brave Swiftees gave us what we’d not had before,
They gave us our victory in the Vietnam War.

Those brave, stalwart sailors, falsely labeled as liars,
Stood firm and stood tall, kept directing their fires,
Steadfast, unrelenting, they served once again,
And defeated John Kerry, these honorable men.
All Vets can take pride, yes all, not just some,
That we won the last battle of Vietnam.
It took far too long to bring an end to our war
But we did, November Second, Two Thousand Four.

To our Brothers, forever on that long black Wall,
You’ve been vindicated now, one and all.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66

Friday, November 12, 2004

Arafat Dead: Good

The passing of an evil terrorist bastard has been met with a flurry of positive remarks about his awful, wretched life. Yasser Arafat was a murderous thug, a hypocritical thief, a compulsive liar, but most of all a terrorist.

George Washington is considered the father of this nation (USA). James Madison is known as the father of the constitution. Thomas Jefferson is known by some as the father of invention. Martin Luther King Jr. is known as the father of the civil rights movement. Yasser Arafat will be remembered as the father of modern day terrorism.

Arafat can solely be attributed with taking acts of terror (i.e. the murder of innocent civilians) to be used as a method of gaining awareness and legitimacy for a particular cause.

Arafat is as responsible for 9/11 as is Bin Laden because Bin Laden has done nothing more than emulate the great satan that Arafat embodied. Just as Yasser Arafat was known to kidnap, torture, and murder thousands of innocent men, women, and especially children, Bin Laden too chose to strike America by attacking a civilian installation packed to the brim with innocent men, women, and children. Arafat was no less a terrorist than Bin Laden; infact, Arafat was far worse than Bin Laden because he was the founder and revolutionary father of the practice of terrorism.

As far as I can tell, the media's absurd embrace of this lunatic madman can only be explained away as an act of true moral cowardice. Even in his death, Arafat has been able to command such an overwhelming influence, fueled by fear and panic within the media such that they are unable to call him out for the brutal, awful murderer of children that he truly was. The media cowardice seems to be purely a symptom of fear of reprisal. Let there be no doubt whatsoever that the narcissist liberals who control the world media are thinking only of themselves while they canonize this hellishly evil man.

No matter how hard I try to put into words the awful nature of this man, I fall short. No terms can be too harsh when talking about Arafat. Yasser Arafat, in terms of sheer evil, is second only to Hitler... and it is a very close second.

In case any of you reading this think I have fallen off into the deep end on this issue, I implore you to read some of the following articles by those with enough courage to stand up to the tide of narcissistic, appeasement-seeking, morally bankrupt, liberal reporters seeking to pass off a BS revisionist version of this horrible man's life.

Arafat the monster - Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe

How Arafat cheated his own - John Kerin, The Australian

Arafat Seen As Hero and Terrorist - Rob Moll, Christianity Today

Godfather of Terror - Jamie Glazov,

Arafat One Of The Richest Terrorists - Gary Fitleberg,

Moses in Reverse: The Real Yasser Arafat - Rev. Dr. Albert Mohler, Christian Post

See the Video-Tribute!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

President Bush Honors Veterans at Arlington National Cemetery

Remarks by the President on Veterans Day
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, Virginia

11:36 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you for that warm welcome. Laura and I are honored to be here today. Mr. Secretary, thank you for your kind introduction, and thank you for your strong leadership in making sure our veterans have got the very best care possible. Secretary Principi has done a fantastic job for the American veteran. (Applause.)

I thank the members of my Cabinet who have joined us today. I appreciate the Chiefs of Staff and other members of the United States military who have joined us. I want to thank all the veterans who are here today. I want to thank the representatives of veterans organizations. And I want to thank my fellow Americans.

Veterans Day is set aside to remember every man and woman who has taken up arms to defend our country. We honor every soldier, sailor, airman, Marine and Coastguardsman who gave some of the best years of their lives to the service of the United States and stood ready to give life, itself, on our behalf. Twenty-five million military veterans walk among us, and on this day, our nation thanks them all. (Applause.)

These are the hidden heroes of a peaceful nation: our colleagues and friends, neighbors and family members who answered the call and returned to live in the land they defended.

Our veterans are drawn from several generations and many backgrounds. They're Americans who remember the swift conflict of the Persian Gulf War; and a long Cold War vigil; the heat of Vietnam and the bitter cold of Korea. They are veterans in their 80s, who served under MacArthur and Eisenhower and saved the liberty of the world. And still with us in the year 2004 are a few dozen Americans who fought the Kaiser's army and celebrated the end of the Great War on this day in 1918. (Applause.) The last doughboys are all more than 100 years old. Our nation will always be proud of their service.

Some of our veterans are young men and women with recent memories of battle in mountains and in deserts. In Afghanistan, these brave Americans helped sweep away a vicious tyranny allied with terror and prepared the way for a free people to elect its own leaders. In Iraq, our men and women fought a ruthless enemy of America, setting the people free from a tyrant who now sits in a prison cell. (Applause.)

All who have served in this cause are liberators in the best tradition of America. Their actions have made our nation safer in a world full of new dangers. Their actions have also upheld the ideals of America's founding, which defines us still. Our nation values freedom -- not just for ourselves, but for all. And because Americans are willing to serve and sacrifice for this cause, our nation remains the greatest force for good among all the nations on the Earth. (Applause.)

Some of tomorrow's veterans are in combat in Iraq at this hour. They have a clear mission: to defeat the terrorists and aid the rise of a free government that can defend itself. They are performing that mission with skill and with honor. They are making us proud. They are winning. (Applause.)

Our men and women in the military have superb training and the best equipment and able commanders. And they have another great advantage -- they have the example of American veterans who came before. From the very day George Washington took command, the uniform of the United States has always stood for courage and decency and shining hope in a world of darkness. And all who have worn that uniform have won the thanks of the American people.

Today, we're thinking of our fellow Americans last seen on duty, whose fate is still undetermined. We will not rest until we have made the fullest possible accounting for every life. (Applause.)

Today we also recall the men and women who did not live to be called "veterans," many of whom rest in these hills. Our veterans remember the faces and voices of fallen comrades. The families of the lost carry a burden of grief that time will lighten, but never lift. Our whole nation honors every patriot who placed duty and country before their own lives. They gave us every day that we live in freedom. The security of America depends on our active leadership in the world to oppose emerging threats and to spread freedom that leads to the peace we all want. And our leadership ultimately depends on the commitment and character of the Armed Forces.

America has needed these qualities in every generation, and every generation has stepped forward to provide them. What veterans have given our country is beyond our power to fully repay, yet, today we recognize our debt to their honor. And on this national holiday, our hearts are filled with respect and gratitude for the veterans of the United States of America. (Applause.)

May God bless our veterans and their families, and may God continue to bless our great nation. Thank you. (Applause.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Kerry in 08... I sure hope so!

Kerry hints White House run in his future

Kerry run in '08 called conceivable

Will Kerry Be Back In 2008?

I think the only thing that could be better than defeating Kerry in this election would be defeating Kerry in the next election too! Shoot, why doesn't he run with Al Gore as his runningmate!


Guantanamo Trial Ruled Unlawful: This One is Ripe for Reversal

Guantanamo Trial Is Ruled Unlawful

DC District Judge Robertson, a Clinton apointee, ruled in part:
"The government has asserted a position starkly different from the positions and behavior of the United States in previous conflicts, one that can only weaken the United States' own ability to demand application of the Geneva Conventions to Americans captured during armed conflicts abroad," ...

To correct the system, Robertson said, the government must recognize the detainees as prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention until it has a legally valid way to declare they are not.

The appellants will contend:
Robertson's ruling ran counter to [1] the established war powers of the president and that [2] President Bush had properly determined that the Geneva Convention did not apply to a terrorist organization such as Al Qaeda.
Bingo, on both issues. A lowly district Judge cannot overstep his bounds and overrule decisions reserved for the executive, thereby infringing on the president's constitutionally defined role as Commander in Chief (not Commander in Subordination to the Whim of a District Judge). Moreover, Robertson is wrong in declaring that the President must, automatically and in every case, apply geneva conventions to detainees before holding a trial to determin whether geneva conventions out to apply in each particular case. The very notion is absurd. Here is why... as I posted way, way back in May:
In order to "qualify as POWs under Article 4... detainees would have to have satisfied four conditions: They would have to be part of a military hierarchy, they would have to have worn uniforms or other distinctive signs visible at a distance, they would have to have carried arms openly, and they would have to have conducted their military operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war." Terrorists do not meet those standards. Article 4 of the Geneva Convention does not apply to terrorists.
The government does not have to grant detainees Geneva Convention POW status so long as it can be shown that they did not satify the four conditions. It could be argued that only a court could make such a determination; (I disagree, but I can entertain the notion) but that does not necessarily entitle detainees to POW priviledges in the mean time, nor should it since that is squarely at odds with US national security interests.

I know this Judge is trying to help these ... terrorists, because he feels it is the right and just thing to do, but the President could just as easily make it US policy to take no prisoners who do not meet the 4 criteria and cut them down where they stand. Now which would be in the better interests of the US military AND the terrorists? If terrorists cannot surrender, they will fight to the death, killing US soldiers in the process. If they can surrender, they live and we suffer less causalties. The current system is win-win, take-no-prisoners is lose-lose, but if this judge continues to meddle with the system, the take-no-prisoners approach might become the better approach in terms of protecting America's national security. This meddling by the district judge, though ripe with good intentions, could serve to cause far more problems because it would become impractical, from a national security perspective, to take on non-Geneva protection eligible enemy combatants if they will be granted full pow status.

I am positive this case will be picked up by the Supreme Court, I have a hard time believing they will let this ruling stand... if they ignore this case, they allow the judicial branch unprecedented control over the executive branch's ability to conduct war.

Kicking tail, taking names: US Forces Control 70% of Fallujah

U.S. Forces Hold 70 Percent of Fallujah

I would consider this story very good news... US casualties are very light, Iraqi soldiers have entered and found weapons caches in Mosques, and we have the insurgent terrorists cornered like the rats they are. Taking Fallujah will deal a great psychological blow to the resistance movements.

This article has some really interesting info, for instance, the US is doing everything they can to draw out the insurgents, including blasting on loudspeakers
Brave terrorists, I am waiting here for the brave terrorists. Come and kill us. Plant small bombs on roadsides. Attention, attention, terrorists of Fallujah.
I once knew a fellow who was fond of saying, "Come get you some" I'm not sure how that translates into Arabic.

Also interesting is that the CNN is allowing the US to broadcast obvious propaganda via their network; essentially serving the exact same purpose as the loudspeaker:
"I'm surprised how quickly (resistance) broke and how quickly they ran away, a force of foreign fighters who were supposed to fight to the death," Lt. Col. Pete Newell, a battalion commander in the 1st Infantry Division, told CNN.
Like it or not, the US had decided that enough is enough - I guarantee that the left, as soon as they recover from the shell-shock attributed with losing the election, will start crying foul because Bush waited until after the election to launch this strike.

The article contains a really good contrast between this assault and the last time we fought for Fallujah:
In Fallujah, U.S. troops were advanced more rapidly than in April, when insurgents fought a force of fewer than 2,000 Marines to a standstill in a three-week siege. It ended with the Americans handing over the city to a local force, which lost control to Islamic militants.

This time, the U.S. military has sent up to 15,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops into the battle, backed by tanks, artillery and attack aircraft.
Looks like this time we are fighting to win... and we are certainly bolstered by the Iraqi troops, who can do things like enter Mosques without having the same sort of outrage from the Muslim clerics.

It looks like this battle will be a decisive one... and all the news looks pretty good at this point. Lets hope the mainstream media will report this battle accurately, now that an election isn't looming for several more years. I expect that suddenly public opinion on Iraq may show improvements, except in the most liberal/anti-war circles, and that Bush will be allowed to take credit for some of the good things happening in Iraq; unless of course the lefty loonies are going to try to impeach Bush. If they are really serious about impeachment then I imagine the press will continue the selective reporting we've had to deal with this past election year.

Traumatized Kerry supporters in Florida seek therapy: report

Enough Florida Kerry-voters are seeking help from psychologists, that the head shinks have given a name to their condition: "post-election selection trauma."

This story puts a while new spin on the old adage, a fool and his money are soon parted.

Ted Rall: Confessions of an Ignoramus

You could read the latest Ted Rall piece, Confessions Of A Cultural Elitist get all worked up, maybe see your blood pressure rise a bit, but I wouldn't fault you if you didn't. I can sum it up pretty well I think...

If you don't live in a big city, particularly if you live in the red states, you are uneducated, lack ambition, and are to be looked down upon with good reason. All of America's young, intelligent, and cultured people live on costal cities. The heartland is no more patriotic than San Francisco's Castro district. Only stupid dumb people voted for Bush.

There were no WMD in Iraq, there is no Iraq-Al Qaeda connection, and Saddam did NOT order the 9/11 attacks (well, at least Ted got one right)... since some Bush supporters believe these things it just proves how dumb they are.

Bush is a "serial liar". Bush and his followers are homophobes and prudish puritans. Education has nothing to do with intelligence (only if you agree with Ted Rall are you intelligent) unless an education statistic favors democrats. Only libs can understand the horrible cultural impact of Bush's policy (of liberating millions from despotic serial killers).

Bush supporters are not informed and don't have access to the same info city-folk do. Red states are stuck with Limbaugh and Hannity.

People in big cities "eat better, travel more, dress better, watch cooler movies, earn better salaries, meet more interesting people, listen to better music and know more about what's going on in the world." Bush supports should expect no respect from Kerry supporters.

***End Summation***

I would just like to point out that 1 in 4 NYC voters voted for Bush. If city folk are so intelligent, cultured, etc AND Bush supporters are so stupid, then why did 25% in NYC vote for Bush. The percentage is higher if you look at the entire state of NY... 4 in 10 New Yorkers voted for Bush this election. How does this jive? I understand a clear majority voted for Kerry, but just because the electoral college is all or nothing doesn't mean that the votes were all cast for one candidate. If you took 5 randomly selected New Yorkers and put them in an elevator, two of them (on average) would have voted for Bush. Two Bush supporters for every 3 Kerry supporters, yet somehow New York is a haven for everything that is good and right about America while places like Ohio are a haven for everything that is backwards, misinformed, etc.

If we look at Ohio more closely, 48.5% of Ohioans voted for Kerry... that's pretty darned close to half of Ohioans; yet all Ohioans, since we fall in a Midwestern "red" state, according to Ted Rall, are ignorant, uneducated, backwater, Jesus-freaks. If we were to put 6 randomly selected Ohioans in an elevator, on average 3 would have supported Bush and 3 would have supported Kerry (with rare exceptions). So what is my point? Ohio has a larger % voting for Kerry than New York has voting for Bush, yet Ohio - as good a representation of America's heartland as you can find - is, according to Ted Rall full of stupid dumb Bush supporters while big costal cities like New York are full of people who are better than Ohioans...

One quarter of Rall's elite New Yorkers voted for BUSH, and yet all New Yorkers are better than Ohioans despite the fact that just under half of all Ohioans voted for Kerry. The nearly half of Ohioans who did vote for Kerry do not escape Rall’s stereotype because he categorizes us as all being uneducated, unmotivated, and uncultured people because we don't live in a big costal city... Rall's stereotyping of the big costal cities versus the heartland just doesn’t make sense.

Honestly, I should just ignore Ted Rall... his sophomoric ramblings are really not worth dissecting and refuting, yet I fear if I don't point out how ridiculous his assertions are that this sort of nonsense will prevail in marketplace of ideas.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Fellow Bloggers: Quick question...

I want every blogger who reads this post to ask the following question on your blog (you don't have to trackback or link, just ask it...)

Was 'Moral Values' a top issue with you in this election?

I don't care who you voted for, I just want to know if 'Moral Values' was a big issue for you. It was NOT for me and it seems to be all the big media is talking about... as if all Bush supporters must be ultra-religious and have all voted with 'Moral Values' being their top concern.

My top concerns were the War on Terror, the Economy, and the Political Leadership of this nation. Morality is undoubtedly tied to ALL of these things; BUT morality never crossed MY mind. Did it cross yours? I don't really believe as many people picked that as a top issue; especially with how the left is trying to spin it. It seems too convenient, but the only way to find out is to get feedback from voters, so I for one did vote and 'Morality' was not a top concern for me.

If we all ask the same question and answer it, and our readers as well, then maybe we can get some more insight into this story. I am concerned that maybe this story is based on bogus exit polling. In the same way that Bush was able to label and characterize Kerry, I feel like the media is now labeling and categorizing conservative voters.

Swift Justice


Bold John sailed forth in his faux scow,
Till the Swiftees fired across his bow;
And legions of irate attorneys,
Could not defend Cambodian journeys,
Nor stories of his fabled hat,
So voters sensed they smelled a rat.
And while the networks denied them prime,
The Swiftees surely got their time.

While John screamed it was all a smear,
O’Neill came across sincere,
And forced Big John to duck the press,
To run, to hide from his specious mess.
But relentless those old Swiftee guys,
They bit, hung on, exposed his lies.
These brave old warriors once again
Stood for their country, for their kin.

They made us all look one more time
At the traitor who’d charged them with crime,
And gave false witness to their deeds
For nothing more than political needs.
It’s a smear proclaimed the New York Times
Those liars all committed crimes.
Chris Matthews raged, foamed at the mouth,
Still the turncoat’s campaign headed south.

So the Swiftboat Veterans’ charges stuck
And made poor John a sitting duck.
He had no answers, no glib replies,
To cover up his treasonous lies;
That made us think, our minds aware,
The Swiftees had some truth in there;
What if he’d faked his combat valor,
Were all those medals tinged with pallor?

Dan Rather would not pay them heed,
But still the Swiftees made John bleed.
The mainstream pundits called them liars;
But no lefty slant could staunch these fires.
The blazes that these Swiftees set
Were burning John Boy’s ass you bet;
And those Swiftboat fires just burned away
Till they fried John’s ass on election day.

Now all you heroes on that Wall
Take solace seeing Kerry fall.
This scheming pol who stained your name
Has been denied his claim to fame.
The Swiftees stood and did their best,
Denied the traitor his life’s quest.
You can rest in peace our honored kin
Your honor restored by honorable men.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66

Meat Cutting Provides Inmates With Useful Skill Outside Prison

I came across this by way of James Taranto's Best of the Web Today:
Inmates at the Pickaway Correctional Institution in Orient [OH] will help slaughter cows and pigs to provide more than three million pounds of beef and pork for 44,000 prisoners statewide.

About 120 minimum- and medium-security inmates will be trained in meat-cutting under strict supervision and constant video surveillance.

State prisons director Reginald Wilkinson says meat-cutting is a trade inmates can use when they get out of prison.
ahahahahhaha. sick.

Nongender-Specific Homecoming Royalty?

Nongender-Specific Homecoming Royalty? Just one more reason to not send your children to the University of Washington.

The Seattle Times is reporting that the University of Washington has eliminated the traditional homecoming king's and queens in lieu of homecoming "royals" so as to be more equitable. Apparently the homecoming "roayls" at UW are selected based on grades, activities, and other unknown categories which are weighted in unknown ways. The selected "royals" each win a scholarship. The reason UW now picks royals instead of a king and queen are so that the top two most qualified scholarship recipients win regardless of sex, so the homecoming royals may now be of the same gender.

This year two women won the top prize, Emi Nomura Sumida and Glorya Cho. Call me old fashioned, but I like a traditional popularity contest with a traditional King and Queen (without scholarships).

CBS: Blogger's 'Typing' NOT Journalism

Check out what CBS is reporting as "news" ...
Blogging As Typing, Not Journalism

As the election campaign unfolded, operators of some of the internet?s politics-oriented blogs, no doubt high on the perfume of many "hits" and their own developing sense of community, envisioned a future when they would diminish then replace the traditional media as the nation?s primary source of political news and commentary.
What?! We bloggers "envisioned a future" where we would "diminish then replace" the "traditional media" as the "primary source" of political news and commentary? Funny, I never really had that idea at all. Who is this guy to speak for the legions of bloggers? I certainly think bloggers can be part of the new media, challenging the old media; but certainly not replacing them... where do they think we get our info? We are commenting on what they have to say. If not for us, most Americans would have bought into the FAKE documents CBS tried to pass off as "proof" that the President lied to the American people. If not for us, the Swift Vets may never have had any mainstream attention at all. I truly believe that bloggers played a role in winning this campaign for Bush, and keeping America safe from the likes of John Kerry.

Blogging is democracy in action. It is a voice for every blogger, but more than that, it allows people to give instant feedback. Blogging is a dialogue. Instead of just getting the point of view of a bunch of editors and media elite, blogging gives a voice to everybody from doctors and lawyers to janitors and truck drivers. Soldiers, students, the most educated and least educated all have an opportunity to sound off on what is going on in the world. Instead of a vote every 4 years to give voice to the masses, the internet and blogging give any and everyone a voice every day on every issue.

Lets get back to the article...
One of the more self-important of these blog-ops, Andrew Sullivan, declared in a newspaper article in September that the internet upstarts had become, along with cable-TV, the new "powerbrokers in American politics and culture," primed to unseat "old media." In another piece he compared the new and old thusly: "Critics of blogs cite their lack of professionalism. Piffle. The dirty little secret of journalism is that it really isn?t a profession, it?s a craft. All you need is a telephone and a conscience and you?re all set." That hubris was rampant through much of blogland as election night rolled round.
Yeah, yeah, yeah... whoop-di-do. You quote ONE blogger and I suppose that one particular blogger must speak for everyone, eh? I don't read Andrew Sullivan's blog. He doesn't read mine. I know of him, but so what? Sullivan is a big-wig in the blogging world, but that doesn't make him the sole voice of the blogging world. All the quote from Sullivan shows is that he is an optimist who thinks blogging is more important than most folks do. Good for him. That doesn't make him right.
Big plans and big claims are to be expected from folks ? pajama-clad or not ? who are dabbling with new technology and new modalities of public expression. As a retired mainstream media ("MSM") journalist ? and thus a double-dinosaur -- I don?t begrudge these knights of the blog-table their grandiose dreams. But I worked on a school paper when I was a kid and I owned a CB radio when I lived in Texas. And what I saw in the blogosphere on Nov. 2 was more reminiscent of that school paper or a "Breaker, breaker 19" gabfest on CB than anything approaching journalism.
To be fair, take a look at much of what is being passed as "news" nowadays... I'm sure that even in a 'dinosaur' like Eric Engberg's career we will find articles here and there of a sub-par quality. To dismiss the entire blogosphere as being of the same quality as a high-school paper shows a certain arrogance and ignorance of what exists in the bloggosphere... I am not claiming that E*D is particularly well written, but I do know that there are several bloggers who ARE journalists and authors and that many bloggers write incredibly well written and researched posts. I don't count myself among the better bloggers, but that doesn't stop me from blogging either.
From early afternoon to very late in the evening, those who checked in with the leading political blogs like Drudge, Wonkette, Andrew Sullivan, evote,, Daily Kos, and others were given the distinct impression that John Kerry would win the election. The website, well-funded and generally a responsible voice, joined in the folly.

The bloggers, obtaining through leaks partial, in some cases suspect snippets of information from the early "cut" of data gathered by MSM through exit polls, were spreading a story that the network and wire service bosses knew to be incorrect because their own experts ? and their journalistic experience -- had warned them of the weaknesses in such data.
Oh give me a break! What sort of revisionist bull is this? The "MSM" was fed the same info as the bloggers and came to the same conclusions as the bloggers. "The network and wire service bosses knew [the info] to be incorrect because their own experts ? and their journalistic experience -- had warned them of the weaknesses in such data" Seriously, Engberg, do YOU even believe that? ALL of the MSM coverage of the election hinted that Kerry was going to win. If you read between the lines and listened carefully, the MSM was clearly hinting that Kerry had a big advantage and would likely win the election. The look of surprise and confusion on the faces of the news anchors when the actual poll results starting coming in said it all.

Sheesh, look at me defending the bloggers when I chose not to blog about the results until after the polls closed.
Kerry was "in striking distance" in Florida and Ohio, said the Drudge Report. The popular and smutty Wonkette site claimed it had "information" from "little birdies" showing Kerry up 52-47 in Ohio and 50-49 in Florida. "The national number that?s floating around right now: 51/49 K/B," wrote Wonkete, aka Ana Marie Cox. After repeating some of Wonkette?s numbers, Sullivan mused, "A Kerry landslide? Could be. Could be." He cautioned the numbers could be misleading, even as he was publicizing them.
Woah... Wonkette is smutty? Careful there, I have only happened upon Wonkette a handful of times, but I don't think that is a particularly nice or appropriate thing to say about the site. I wonder why reporting the same info the media elite was operating on and/or cautioning against buying into it fully should be criticized.
This is the kind of stuff we used to run in my aforementioned school paper, when the speculation surrounded who was going steady.
No it isn't! The polling info was bad and was probably leaked to try to hurt Bush's chances of re-election. Reporting what was referred to by a MSM giant as "all we had to go on" is not the same as reporting on high school gossip.
The difference is that the bloggers aspire to being a force in our public life and claim to be at the forefront of a new political-media era. It was clear to me, from following their efforts that night, that, unlike journalists, some blog operators who are quick to trash the MSM not only don?t care about the veracity of the stories they are spreading, they do not understand when there is a live hand grenade on their keyboard.
Don't care about the veracity of the stories they are spreading!?!?!?!? This from a former CBS journalist!!! I guess we bloggers don't have the integrity *cough* CBS Memogate *cough* to run only stories *cough* CBS/NYT Missing Weapons *cough* we know to be true *cough* ABC Halperin Memo *cough*
They appear not to care. Their concern is for controversy and "hits."
Ummm... look in the mirror, my friend. CBS wasn't all that concerned about the truth with some of their stories this election cycle. They had to retract a story because the Bloggers pointed out the memos were FAKE. What did CBS care about? The truth of the story or the ratings and impact on the election?

There is only one more thing in this piece worth commenting on... later in the article:
You did not see any of the networks or the AP put out misleading reports of a Kerry lead nationally ? or in the battleground states of Florida or Ohio. The editors, producers and executives who run these MSM organizations, in typical responsible, dinosaur fashion, know it would be wrong to do so.
How about calling a state before the polls are closed in that state? Sure that didn't happen in THIS election, but it wasn't all that long ago that the MSM screwed up pretty good. The ONLY reason you don't report the exit polls are because you fear more egg on your face... but you MSM guys didn't need to report the exit polls to us... we could see on the smarmy grins of the Kerry backing MSM that they thought Kerry was going to win.

What Ever Happened to the Bush Doctrine?

I sort of remember hearing something about any nation or organization who supports, aids, or harbors terrorists would be dealt with in the same manner as the terrorists. What ever happened to that? Seriously, lets take a look at Iran.

A recent news article, Extremists Moving Across Iran-Iraq Border points out "Islamic extremists have been moving supplies and new recruits from Iran into Iraq..." The article continues:
Iranian involvement with extremist groups in the Iraqi insurgency would be potentially explosive, especially given the history of U.S.-Iranian animosity. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said recently Iran was engaged in "a lot of meddling" in Iraq but gave no details.
Am I the only one out there who is reading this and coming to the conclusion that Iran is either openly working with the Iraqi insurgents/terrorists or is harboring terrorists who are supplying the resistance in Iraq with troops, ammo, etc?

Bush made it pretty clear: you are either with us or with the terrorists. Many of our so-called allies seem to be talking out of both sides of their mouths, paying lip-service to the war on terror but refusing to offer any aid in the actual battle on terrorism. Iran - single out as part of the Axis of Evil - seems to be very much on the side of Zarqawi and Al Qaeda in Iraq.

The article also states
Brig. Sarkout Hassan Jalal, director of security in Sulaimaniyah, the largest city in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq near the Iranian border, said that Islamic militants "are smuggling recruits to Iraq from Iran ... (and) then take them to Fallujah or other hot spots."
And later...
"There seems to be logistical and practical support," the [unnamed] official said. "These people flee to Iran and come back days or weeks later with better equipment."
And even further in the article
A U.S. official said Kurdish security forces found passports from Arab countries including Yemen, Egypt and Saudi Arabia buried under the dirt floor in one safe house on the Iranian side of the border.

"We are not just talking about Iranians passively dealing with al-Qaida," one former U.S. official who worked in Iraq said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "We are talking about al-Qaida at Revolutionary Guard bases and safe houses. This is active assistance."
Active assistance. Seems to fall with in the Bush doctrine to me, so why aren't we doing anything about it? For one thing, it looks like all the cuts Clinton made to our armed fources have weakened it pretty darned good. While many are questioning whether we can continue in Iraq without enlarging the military, I ask whether we could add another front to the war? Iran is supporting the terrorists we are at war with... this make Iran a valid target. Even if we choose not to invade, couldn't we at least start air/missile/bombing campaigns? If they are going to undermine peace in Iraq, why don't we undermine their military capabilities as well?

Or do we fear more of our "allies" like China and Russia, both who have been forging ties with Iran, talking a good game against terrorism while funding and supporting the Iranians? It all seems pretty complicated - and the more you know the more complicated it becomes.

A Prayer for our Troops

No matter your political persuasion, you thoughts on Bush, or your thoughts on the Iraq war, I call out on all who may come across this post to say a prayer today for our troops. This day marks the beginning of what will hopefully be a final push to rid Falluja of it's terrorist inhabitants.

May God watch over our soldiers and send them safely home to their families.

I ask that we also say a prayer for the Iraqis who suffered under the terrible hands of Saddam and who continue to suffer today as Al Qaeda attempts to take root in Iraq.

May the Lord watch over the long suffering people of Iraq and free them from the deadly grasp of Al Qaeda.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Bush to give Supreme Court ultra-conservative edge?

I came across an interesting piece of "news" today: Bush to give Supreme Court ultra-conservative edge. Pay particular attention to the bias in the headline and how the headline is not only misleading, but has very little to do with what the article actually says...

The AFP reports:
Bush to give Supreme Court ultra-conservative edge

President George W. Bush's election victory has won him the right to give the US Supreme Court, which plays a key social role, a much stronger conservative leaning.

Many of the nine justices on the bench of America's highest court are elderly and ailing to various degrees. Four could leave during Bush's second four-year term.
No problem so far, this is true and accurate... but later in the article we read:
The Supreme Court is already seen as conservative. New nominations could push it even further to the right.
Seen as conservative by whom?!? The conservative judges are in the minority! There are only 3 truly conservative judges in the SC at the present: Scalia, Rehnquist, and Thomas. The rest border on mildly liberal/activist to all out progressive.
As chief justice, Rehnquist "is as conservative as you can get," said Washington lawyer Thomas Goldstein, even if he is not as "prominent ... flamboyant or provocative" as Justice Antonin Scalia.

If Rehnquist does leave the bench, added Goldstein, Bush "would nominate a very conservative justice."
I don't see how Rehnquist can be considered as conservative as you can get... think Robert Bork, who but for a lousy Senate decision could have shown the world a far truer understanding of conservatism.

As for Bush nominating a conservative justice to replace Rehnquist, that is a no brainier. With conservatives in the minority to begin with, the loss of Rehnquist would require a conservative replacement. Anything short of a conservative to replace Rehnquist would upset the balance of the SC even further in the direction of renegade activism.
In its current makeup, the Supreme Court has often decided key social cases by a single vote. And many groups that campaign for issues such as abortion rights, dread the conservative scenario.
Wait a second, first we are told from this article that the current SC is "seen as conservative" but now we are being told that many key social issues decided by this court were decided by a single vote.

For this to be the case, the current court would have to be fairly balanced. In fact, it would have to be fairly balanced but with a slight advantage to the activist/liberal judges, since we know that abortion activists, gay rights activists, and anti-religion activists have enjoyed many, many decisions in their favor from this court. This court has consistently upheld Roe v. Wade, so how this court could be considered anything other than slightly progressive is beyond reason.

This article points out that the Chief justice is "as conservative as you can get" and common sense tells us that the current SC does not have a conservative majority; therefore, if Rehnquist were to step down the conservative element would necessarily be weakened. Thus, a conservative replacement would not upset the balance; rather, it would maintain the balance.

The same is true should Scalia or Thomas step down - a conservative replacement would simply maintain the status quo. Only if a Kennedy or a Ginsburg were to step down would we see any sort of shift in the political balance of the court.

The only other comment of interest from this article came from George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley towards the end of the article:
Turley, who is highly critical of Bush's anti-terrorism policies, conceded that one of the president's "better qualities" is that Bush sticks to his principles.

"He has the courage of his convictions and does not walk away from a fight," said the professor.

Turley also predicted that Bush will want to be the first president to nominate a Hispanic justice to the Supreme Court, which already has one black and two women.

Friday, November 05, 2004

E*D takes on Ted Rall

The following is our take on Rall's latest diatribe, GUILTY, DISGUSTED, AMERICAN

How interesting, Democrats and Republicans across the heartland watching the liberal reporters' responses to Kerry's loss commented, that the media elite and citizenry of New York lay sole claim to the understanding of terrorism. The whole country felt the terrible impact of 9/11 yet some reporters think they not only know better but that somehow the heartland is wrong in concluding that Iraq IS a part of the war on terror. New Yorkers and other big city-small minded liberals felt the opposite, motivated by sheer hate of doing the right thing--literally, as they oppose taking out all the likely sources of terrorism, and this includes war with Iraq, a war that was NOT waged for oil. Ignoring the looming threat of terrorism, a number one world-wide concern, the liberal elite chose to supported an candidate for whom the war on terrorism was nothing more than a marketing slogan.

Such astonishing gall! Only women are affected by the abortion debate; unless of course you take into consideration the unborn child AND the father of the child, yet folks like Ted Rall think that only women ought to be allowed to vote on it. The same goes for war--only the young who fight and die in war enjoy the moral right to declare it, unless you consider that the parents who send their children and grandchildren make a far more difficult decision- but I suppose this would never be considered by a narcissist like Ted Rall. Terrorism? Please, if you are a narrow-minded, narcissistic, ultra-liberal, elitist reporter, don't presume to lecture the heartland, much less write another mind-numbing story about how you "know better" than everyone else. The heartland rarely lectures you. Almost never, really. Don't tell us that the security of America is strictly "your business" Or at least have the grace to follow the lead of the CLEAR MAJORITY of this country, which has decided, using history and logic, that terrorism and morality should be top concerns.

"Some New Yorkers, reported the New York Times, said they didn't even know any people who had voted for President Bush... which is astonishing when you consider that 1 in 4 New York City voters voted for Bush and that 4 in 10 New Yorkers voted for Bush. (In one of the 5 boroughs, Staten Island, Bush won with 57% of the vote.)"

A few minutes before midnight, a young woman took the microphone where Hillary Clinton, who hilariously believes she has a date with presidential destiny, had tried to pump up the crowd. "Of course they send me up here to deliver bad news," she began. Ohio was not in play, except in the minds of the most disillusioned of democrats, and since the Democratic Party had rented the ballroom and its big projection televisions for only a few hours, the Kerry supporters were thrown out. Disenfranchised and disinvited, Kerry Victory Party attendees aimlessly scattered along East 42nd Street in search of alcohol and cable news coverage. Kicked out into the cold. It was a grand night for metaphor.

The morning after, life went on.

To the losers, it must have felt disgusting.

(Ted Rall is not a very good writer, so I apologize if this seems to be disorganized ramblings)

Guided by a list of chores, Ted Rall made his way through the subway station at Times Square and came across a man with silver skin, standing perfectly still, who entertained a crowd by doing nothing. People stared at him, fascinated, smiling. A few clapped. "How dare they stand there and grin?" Thought Ted Rall. "Days after the British medical journal The Lancet had published a study showing that American taxpayers had financed the bombs that murdered more than 100,000 innocent Iraqis in just one year, the morning after a majority of their fellow citizens re-hired the butchers who ordered the genocide, how dare they enjoy their lives?" Poor Ted Rall never stopped to think that the 100,000 figure might be a little inflated, that many of the dead were NOT Iraqi's and that many are probably terrorists who entered Iraq from Syria and Iran who were slain in battle, on the battle field, and not "murdered" in "genocide." Simple minded Ted Rall, seemingly unconcerned with the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's who were found in mass graves, the victims of true genocide by a real dictator, Saddam, instead chooses to believe that Bush, not Saddam, was the Butcher of Baghdad. Ted thinks that the 100,000 figure is solely the fault of the US coalition, never considering that over half of that could be contributed to the enemy forces who are murdering Iraqi's for working with the Americans. Every time the terrorists try to kill a US soldier and end up killing a hand full of Iraqi children, the number of Iraqi dead rises... and Ted sees this as solely the fault of the US, and does not blame the terrorists at all. Ted watched the approving smiles and applause. The silver guy still hadn't made a move. Oddly, that was the point. "Someday the silver guy will become president," thought an angry and bewildered Rall.

Ted found a quiet spot and fired up his laptop. Many people have wireless connections in Manhattan. Not all of them are password-protected. So Narcissistic Ted stole their bandwidth and read e-mail from "gloating scum."

Reading one email Ted thought, "In any other country, people would take to the streets." "If only Ted were in another country," many others thought, "then he could be happy!"

You see, Ted sees any president who he disagrees with as "a dictator" - a charge no doubt made stronger in his mind by the fact that Bush had lost the popular vote in the first election. We shudder to think what Ted would have called Kerry had Kerry pulled out the electoral college win while losing the popular vote by millions. Ted believed that Bush, in his election bid, had "declared war on gays and pregnant teenagers." Of course, Ted sees any opposing viewpoint as dangerous and violent; warlike. Ted believes that the Bush administration's views are Hitler-esque, that Bush 'lied us into two wars' - what was that lie again? Ted thinks Bush 'fleeced the treasury' by cutting taxes on the rich. Ted is enraged at the thought of four more years, instead irrationally opining that the Bush administration should get 40 to life. In Ted's scattered, fragile mind, Florida 2000 became Ohio 2004 - despite the fact that in only 18 hours after the polls closed, Kerry stated:
In America, it is vital that every vote count, and that every vote be counted. But the outcome should be decided by voters, not a protracted legal process. I would not give up this fight if there was a chance that we would prevail.

But is now clear that even when all the provisional ballots are counted, which they will be, there won't be enough outstanding votes for us to be able to win Ohio.

And therefore we cannot win this election.
Ted saw in Kenneth Blackwell, an African-American male Republican Sec. of State of Ohio, a new Katherine Harris, who, in Ted's Mind was responsible for, "Jim Crow-style assaults on blacks" Ted thought he could smell something fishy... to him "the whole thing stunk." He was probably catching a whiff of his logic.

"Successive waves of the national exit poll in the afternoon and evening reported that Kerry had a two- or three-percentage-point lead over Bush nationally and in several key states, including Ohio," wrote the Washington Post. On ABC, Charles Gibson said: "The exit polls got it flat wrong."

"If so, that would be a first," thought Ted, who is seemingly unaware that exit polls are not good at predicting voter tallys, that they were devised to spot trends in why people voted the way they did, and that women in big city's were disproportionately polled over men and people in rural areas were not polled at all.

Grasping at straws, Ted thought, "That's what they said back in 2000, when exit pollsters called Florida for Gore." Ted seems to think that somehow, some way, Gore had won Florida by several thousand votes. Ted cannot back this up with any sort of proof whatsoever, but what does that matter? Ted is free to be wrong and spout lies... they are just labeled "opinions" instead of facts. Gore lost in every Florida state-wide recount; time and again, counting dimpled chads, and hanging chads, and every other type of 'chads' Even with thousands of Democrat voters in Florida voting in two states, also known as voter fraud, Gore still lost. Despite all the facts that can be garnered from reality, Ted continued to pontificate, "The exit polls were right last time. This year, I trust them more than Ohio's Secretary of State." Of course, Ted. They are telling you what you wanted to hear. Who cares if they are accurate, they told you what you wanted to believe and you choose to believe them... it MUST BE a conspiracy... yeah... lets stick to reality... there is a massive conspiracy...

(again, this post must shift in style... Ted seems to write as a stream of conscoiusness kind of guy... not very structured")

Ted wrote in his oppressively long and pointless diatribe, "The day after a shady election handed to a maniacal buffoon, New Yorkers whose dead remain scandalously unavenged were in the streets. Civil strife, rage, the fight for decency and democracy--they were nowhere to be found." Ted, no-one handed the election to Kerry. Kerry conceded, remember? And you say that the day after ... New Yorkers... were in the streets, then you say "they were nowhere to be found" Ted, you are making no sense

People looked up at the sky, taking in the sun on a crisp fall day. They streamed in and out of the Disney store. They lived their lives. Ted lived his. "Half a world away," Ted thought, "AC-130 planes and tanks bought by American citizens and dispatched on the orders of criminal goons busily declaring themselves a mandate dropped bombs and shot shells into a city called Fallujah." Ted believes the military and its leadership is comprised of "criminal goons".

Ted read a military statement that read "Marine Expeditionary Forces will continue to conduct operations and will not cease until Fallujah is free of foreign terrorists and insurgents." Ted also read that Issam Mohammad, spokesman for the Fallujah hospital, said that a woman was "badly wounded" and a young girl lost her leg. Apparently Ted thinks the costs to the innocents outweigh the alternative. Ted would rather see another 9/11 than read about a woman and child being injured in a just and necessary war.

Ted, there is a difference between collateral causalities and targeting innocents. The difference between us and them is that we do everything we can to prevent their women and children from being hurt. They target our women and children and use their own as human shields. Facts are facts, Ted.

Hey New York, Listen Up

From the heartland:

When I think of isolated arrogant elitists, I think of NYC New Yorkers. They are the most sophisticated, diverse, intelligent, open-minded people in the world.... just ask them. They are all individually and collectively aware that New York is home to the best food, entertainment, sports, arts, and anything else you can think of "IN THE WORLD" and many of them know this without ever having ventured beyond the NYC borders.

When questioned what lies beyond the vast outer reaches of their beloved city, most would likely answer: NYC suburbs and New Jersey. When asked about the America that exists beyond this, some may tell you about the other major city's like LA, St. Louis, Chicago, D.C., and the minor cities like Miami, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Baltimore, Boston, et al ad nauseum.

As for the rest of America, we are mostly uneducated, unsophisticated, racist, homophobic, close-minded, rednecks and hillbillies, according the the sophisticated, educated, open-minded denizens of the greatest city "IN THE WORLD." Take, for instance, the reaction of New Yorkers to Bush's re-election...
"Everybody seems to hate us these days," said Zito Joseph, a 63-year-old retired psychiatrist. "None of the people who are likely to be hit by a terrorist attack voted for Bush. But the heartland people seemed to be saying, 'We're not affected by it if there would be another terrorist attack.' "


"I'm saddened by what I feel is the obtuseness and shortsightedness of a good part of the country - the heartland," Dr. Joseph said. "This kind of redneck, shoot-from-the-hip mentality and a very concrete interpretation of religion is prevalent in Bush country - in the heartland."


"New Yorkers are more sophisticated and at a level of consciousness where we realize we have to think of globalization, of one mankind, that what's going to injure masses of people is not good for us," he said.

His friend, Ms. Cohn, a native of Wisconsin who deals in art, contended that New Yorkers were not as fooled by Mr. Bush's statements as other Americans might be. "New Yorkers are savvy," she said. "We have street smarts. Whereas people in the Midwest are more influenced by what their friends say."

"They're very 1950's," she said of Midwesterners. "When I go back there, I feel I'm in a time warp."


"People who are more competitive and proficient at what they do tend to gravitate toward cities," [Joseph] said.


Ms. Camhe explained the habits and beliefs of those dwelling in the heartland like an anthropologist. "What's different about New York City is it tends to bring people together and so we can't ignore each others' dreams and values and it creates a much more inclusive consciousness," she said. "When you're in a more isolated environment, you're more susceptible to some ideology that's imposed on you."
I don't want to step on any toes, but the last time I visited NYC I had to cross a bridge. Once in the city I noticed that it was completely surrounded by water. Now I'm not about to say that the island was small, but there is unquestionably a sort of disconnect from the mainland. Last I checked, Ohio is part of the heartland and I can't say I've ever felt all that isolated here. You dont have to take a bridge or a tunnel to get out of Ohio, but I suppose this is probably just my lack of sophistication and education kicking in.

Camhe continued:
"If the heartland feels so alienated from us, then it behooves us to wrap our arms around the heartland," she said. "We need to bring our way of life, which is honoring diversity and having compassion for people with different lifestyles, on a trip around the country."
Boy... where to begin! Once again, this is probably just a product of my narrow-minded, unsophisticated, poorly educated, racist, homophobic, redneck, hillbilly upbringing, BUT, I don't particularly feel alienated from NYC.

I have visited NYC several times. It is a charming city, but I wouldn't want to live there. The food is over rated, the entertainment is over priced, and the people are obnoxious... and lets not even start talking about the traffic (though in my experiences, LA is much worse and DC would give NYC a run for it's money). For comparable entertainment and food at incredibly reasonable prices, I would put my money on Vegas over NYC any day. But I digress... to the close-minded, liberal elitists who reside in NYC I would like to inform you of a few things:

1) You can't see the forest for the trees, or in your case, you can't see America for the Sky Scrapers.

2) NYC is very small both in size and population when compared to the whole of the heartland.

3) Perhaps it is YOU on your tiny island that is isolated from the rest of the country and not the other way around.

4) The heartland does not want your "values," if you can even call them that...

5) In New York City, Bush pulled in over a half million votes from the 2million plus voters. He carried one of the 5 boroughs, Staten Island. Roughly 1 in 4 voters in NYC voted for Bush, 4 in 10 New Yorkers voted for Bush.

Would it be fair to say that 1 in 4 NYC voters were "not affected" by terrorism and are not likely to be hit by a terrorist attack? How fair would it be to say that one quarter of NYC residents are 'shortsighted, obtuse, shoot-from-the-hip' rednecks with a ‘very concrete interpretation of religion?’

Can we fairly conclude that 25% of NYC voters lack sophistication and a level of consciousness whereby they may think in terms of globalization? That 25% of NYC voters are unsavvy, lack street smarts, and are easily influenced by "what their friends say?" Is it fair to conclude that 1 in 4 NYC voters are 'very 1950's,' and act as if they are in a time warp?

See where this is going yet, or am I being obtuse?

6) The attacks of Sept 11th hit ALL Americans, not just New Yorkers. The heartland poured out everything we had in the wake of the worse tragedy in American History. We stood in lines for hours to donate blood, we dug deep into our pockets, many of us giving money we couldn't really afford, for the victims and to help clean up of the city. We sent volunteer police, firemen, and construction workers, we held bake-sales, and fundraisers, and anything else we could think of to help NYC in your time of need. We bled for you, suffered and mourned with you, gave generously all that we could for you. We didn't stop coming to see you - we still came in to see a show, to see Rockefeller Plaza for Christmas, to eat in your world famous restaurants, to buy NYC merchandise... we bought "I love NY" merchandise by the truckload.

After all we in the heartland did for you, you still look down your nose at us?

7) We do things differently here in the heartland. We don't dismiss out of hand all who disagree with us as being "idiots" or uneducated, uncultured, close-minded rednecks. Instead, we listen. We look at the facts. We look to the merits of the opposing arguments, and then we make a decision.

8) NYC could learn a lot from the heartland.

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