Sunday, October 31, 2004

Kerry and Bush: An Issue Review

I intended this article to be an issue review of the candidates, but since it is now election day, what's the point?

I guess I'll make a couple of quick points and maybe a prediction.

1. Iraq had WMDs. Let's all remember that the question isn't whether they had them or not, but whether they had, on their own, without UN witnesses, destroyed their weapons before 2003.

2. Afghanistan, at least early, is an overwhelming success.

3. Terrorists will not be negotiated with, unless we are willing to completely withdraw all our forces from the middle east, and end our alliance with Israel. If that is your position, feel free to it, I don't think we'll support that anytime soon. Until then, we must be agressive in our attempts to end terrorism and states that breed it.

4. The economy started out poorly for Bush with the end of the dot-com boom and the 9/11 attacks. Since, we've been growing steadily, adding jobs and expanding prosperity. We don't want to 'change directions' in the economy.

5. Bush has funded education more than any president in history. The 'No Child Left Behind' bill was a true bi-partisan effort that will make our education system stronger. The fact that we didn't fund it to the maximum allowed doesn't mean it was under funded.

6. Social Security needs to be re-done. Kerry wants to keep it the same, and that just wont work in the long term.

7. Healthcare is a very complicated issue. Read this for more information on both candidates.

8. We will have to deal with Iran and N. Korea in some way. President Bush is going to have a better time of it than Kerry, who has alienated our troops and allies with his rhetoric.

Bush wins, with OH, FLA, PA, IA, WI and HI all going his way.

Have fun tonight, we'll be drinking Red Dog and Labatt Blue. I passed out Busch at the office today.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Presidential Elections and Reason

I've decided I need to write a little preamble. I ramble a little in this post so bear with me. Oh my my what a wild wacky week.

I've decided to try to write a little bit to make sense of the last week of this Presidential election. I can't say I can ever remember watching or hearing 'news' so biased, or such rapid 'breaking' stories, or such heavy heavy negative campaigning.

I just heard Chris Matthews on MSNBC ask a democratic congresswoman how she feels about 50% of the people still believing there were WMDs in Iraq. He asked incredulously, asked if it made her mad, that people had blinders on. I was shocked. Somebody should let Chris know that Iraq, by their own admission and use, did have WMDs. The question isn't whether they had them or not, but whether they were destroyed sometimes between 1991 and our invasion. According to the U.N., they didn't destroy them, at least as they were directed to under UN resolutions. Just so we are all clear. Iraq did have WMDs. Did we all get that?

It reminded me of Matthews shocked response to Cheney reminding Edwards that he never made a connection between Saddam and 9/11. MSNBC then showed a tape of Cheney making a connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda, which the 9/11 commission confirmed, but Matthews acted as if he didn't even hear it.

The NYTimes and CBS behavior has been outrageous. There is no other way to view the overt partisan bias these two supposed 'news' organizations are showing. They reflect why, or are the reason that, less than 50% of the population now view main stream media as a reliable source of information.

We have missing explosives in Iraq. For all the fog of the issue, we are talking about at most 377 tons against 400,000 tons destroyed or slated to be destroyed. At worst we are talking about not securing 1 site out of 10,000 sites in the country. At best, as we expect, Saddam moved the stuff before we got there. Either way, perspective is helpful to see through the nonsensical hysteria of the media. (no links because, well hell, if you can't find it than you are lost)

We have Halliburton being investigated. Isn't this horse long dead? We don't even hear about this through the noise. No one in the Whitehouse is being investigated. Thanks.

Now we have this Bin Laden tape. I actually heard a commentator on CNN complimenting this nut, almost admiring him. I believe this helps Bush, but to be honest, I can't even imagine what the next 3 days hold.

I would make a prediction but, oh... all right. I think we'll see a bigger Bush victory than expected. He wins both the popular vote and electoral vote. Bush gets Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Iowa, NV and maybe Hawaii and New Jersey. Big surprise against Kerry and Bush can win huge.

Joe Scarborough is calling for a potential 269 269 tie. Wow. I don't think so, but how much fun would that be. I need to reach out to blogger world right now. I've asked my email group, I've asked my Chicago democratic friends, I now ask you. Why are you voting for John Kerry? I have not heard anything even close to resembling a coherent thought on the subject. Am I simply not reading the right information? Or do I simply ask for a little logic and reason.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Is John Kerry a Dentist?

There was a series of Calvin and Hobbes cartoons where Calvin, taken to the doctor, learns he needs to get a shot. He is absolutely beside himself, and who can blame him? The doctor is a quack, etc etc. While he is blathering on, the doctor gives the shot.

When I was young, I needed to get a tooth pulled. I'd had the procedure performed before, and was aware of the novocaine shot coming. A shot of novocaine seemed to me like the most painful thing I could ever experience, so I walked. I calmly told my dentist that thanks, but no thanks, I wouldn't need to get the tooth pulled today. When I emerged from the office, my mom initially shocked how quickly it went, wasn't amused, and turned me around and I finally capitulated.

When you are a kid, you don't know how bad measles are. You don't know why you need to have teeth pulled. You don't know what any of the vaccination shots are for, but you sure know the shots hurt. I'm sure many kids would opt out of the shots if they had the option. The shots, as we know, serve a purpose that our parents and doctors know about. Getting teeth pulled serves a purpose that our parents and dentists know about. We don't have the capacity or experience as children to understand.

Going to war is hard. Going to war is painful. Many of us do not have the capacity or experience to understand why regime change in Iraq is important. We can't understand why a public debate before military action, passing some 'global test' for months before action, may do enormous harm. How many of us find it easy or would find it easy to even watch any of the beheading videos. They are gruesome, terrifying images, yet they are the reality of the evil we must deal with. We must deal with.

My question is simply, can John Kerry be a dentist?

One other thing...

I mentioned this before, I want to mention it again. Imagine police enforcement officers letting the drug dealers know that they have a warrant for a search, that they will execute in a couple of months. I imagine the dealer may clean up his house a little bit. It is reasonable to expect Saddam did the same.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

NYTrogate by Joe Everyday

This entire NYTimes article on the missing explosives is a big deal. Lots and lots of people have written and talked about it and the political implications. I’d like to throw my $.02 in, since, you know, that is what blogs are for.

This is the perspective of the everyday Joe on this thing. (by the way, thanks PoliPundit for the name).

1. The NYTimes; CBS among others are in bed with the Kerry campaign. That's why CBS was planning on running the story on Oct 31, and why they both decided to repackage old news, already reported, in an attempt to discredit Bush and influence the election. That is how Kerry was able to speak about it and produce a commercial about it so quickly. The story was in serious trouble before the ink was dry.
-They mislead on the amount of explosives by omitting reference. 380 tons seems like a lot except when it’s compared with the figure 400,000 tons dispersed all over Iraq before the invasion.
-They mislead on the timing of the story, conveniently hiding the fact that the story was 19 month old and already reported.
-They mislead on the responsibility, blaming Bush, when if anyone were to be held responsible on the US side, it would be the troops. Kerry and the press is attacking the very military he wants to lead.
-They mislead on previous reports already in existence. CBS, in previous reports; NBC, with embedded reporters; Fox, all reported on how the weapons were not there when we got there.

Hmmmm.. Maybe Saddam did move the weapons in the 6 months or year of warning that war was coming before we actually attacked. Maybe, since he obviously had the capability to move weapons, money, people, etc out of Iraq, maybe he moved other things out of Iraq. I wonder what else everybody thought was there that we haven’t found.

Hell should be breaking loose because if these explosives could have been moved to a location not found by us yet, than clearly the WMD that EVERYBODY knew were there were also moved to a location that we haven’t found yet.

Maybe our President and our military need to have the ability to execute a war plan in order to provide for the safety of our country, without making those plans public for the scrutiny of the U.N., the US public, the Senate and House and the media. Maybe there is a logical reason for keeping information withheld before action. I know our media needs to know everything that is about to happen before it happens; otherwise, the administration is being ‘secretive’ and ‘dishonest’ or ‘misleading’. I know our public wants a discussion and vote on every military action before we take it, but doesn’t that give a little advantage to our enemies? What if Saddam saw war coming? Let’s say, because we want to appease the UN, the public and the media, we negotiate our war plan in front of television cameras for months before we attack. Do you think maybe Saddam would think to get rid of the incriminating evidence?

Let’s let a criminal know months in advance that we are coming to search their house for evidence. I’m sure that criminal wouldn’t, you know, clean things up a bit. I’m all for freedom of the press and public discussion and discourse. I am also for allowing our elected officials the power to execute operations as they see fit, and that may mean that I don’t get to know everything first.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Ohio vs. Illinois | Different Worlds

So I am currently in Ohio visiting my folks, dropping off the kids before my wife and I take a business/pleasure trip to Las Vegas. My folks have been kind enough to offer to watch my hellions, I'm sure after this weekend the offers wont be so common. I'm staying awake watching baseball history as Boston comes back from a 3-0 deficit to win the pennant. Congrats beantown!

The problem I have with watching the baseball, is the absolute bombardment of political advertisements! Living in Illinois, we get exactly, zero. I mean no political ads! How would I, or anybody living in my state, have any idea who to vote for without all the informational commercials letting me know that Bush is the devil and Kerry is queer. (sorry, homosexual). I've been here 2 hours and already I'm sick of the ads, I can't imagine living here. My parents inform me that they have 4 to 5 voice mail messages daily on some political topic. Some computerized recording of a Bush or Kerry pusher, selling their dope.

Look, I've no problem with all the ads. I can sometimes find them quite funny. What I don't understand is why politicians think it helps to pour it on. Does it? My parents turn the tv off, or simply mute, or tune them out. They have no effect. They hate Kerry all the more for what the feel are misleading ads. They live in a town that is so democratic, that the two candidates running for mayor, were both democrats. Why all the ads from moveon and mediafund and Kerry etc etc. By the way, in the time I've been here, Kerry ads have outnumbered Bush ads about 7 to 1.

It leads me to the conclusion I'd made earlier anyway. The race is over. Bush has won, and the only question is how badly will Kerry get beat. The way the politicians are playing in blue states, the way the polls are turning in Bush's favor, the way rhetoric from Kerry is getting more and more extreme points to the conclusion that Bush will win it handily, and both Kerry and Bush already know it. We'll see how divided the country is, come November 2nd. We'll see.

By the way, I know these posts have recently been relatively philosophical without much meat. I'll get into the meat later. Just relax, enjoy the noise from the talking heads, have some laughs at the antics and rhetoric, and we'll get down to serious business when I'm back from Vegas.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Candidate Differences: Abortion

As the 2004 Presidential election draws near, the country is split virtually down the center. While we hurl talking points and rhetoric at each other, we still should identify clear differences between these candidates. I’ll try that here, for a single point, and illustrate why I will be voting for Bush. While I’d argue that foreign policy should trump domestic agenda items at this time in our history, I’ll tackle a clear difference between the two candidates, abortion.

Kerry View: Clearly pro-choice. He opposes any measure that restricts a woman’s right to have an abortion in any way, including a ban on partial birth abortion and law requiring parental notification.

Bush View: Clearly pro-life. He supports the ban on partial birth abortion, supports parental notification even including an exception for the case of incest.

My View: I side with Bush on this one. I use science and law for my reasons. Science is unable to tell us when human life begins. It could begin at conception, could begin at birth, science doesn’t make a distinction. Our legal system suggests someone is innocent until proven guilty. Why? Because we would rather let a guilty man go free than put an innocent man in jail. Why don’t we have that same condition for the protection of life under our constitution? If there is a chance that we are killing a human being in the womb during an abortion, why wouldn’t we err on the side of protecting life?

Monday, October 18, 2004

Easy Intelligence 101

This is my intelligence class for the masses:

Lesson 1. Be a contrarian.

End of lesson.

That's it. The easy way to sound intelligence is to be a contrarian. Don't take a position on anything, always include a caveat. Here I'll give an example.

Dumb Person: We need to find the terrorists and attack them, kill them, even if that means invading another country that may harbour terrorists.

Intelligent Person: We do need to find and kill the terrorists, BUT, (an important word to the contrarian intellectual), we need to first consider the political consequences of our actions, we may be creating more terrorists by aggressive military action.

See! See how easy it is to be intelligent. The intelligent person assumes the dumb person isn't considering political ramifications. To be intelligent, simply assume the person you are speaking with is a simpleton. Here's another example.

Dumb Person: Going into Iraq wasn't a mistake. Our intelligence cited WMD, they had a connection to Al Qaeda, they were undermining sanctions and violating UN resolutions.

Intelligent Person: Going into Iraq wasn't a mistake, BUT, you needed to do it the right way. You shouldn't go to war without a plan to win the peace, and you need your allies by your side.

See how that works. You too can be intelligent. Try it at home!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Team America:World Police

Since I saw the movie over the weekend, I thought I too should get in my opinion and ratings.

First of all, it is one of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time. It is a laugh throughout, and sometimes fall-on-the-floor laugh movies. It is a, try to stop laughing to hear the next line, funny movies. I loved it.

CAVEAT: I love crude humor movies, I loved Southpark:Bigger, Longer, Uncut. This movie is crude, so be warned.

Is there a message? Well, I suppose it depends on your view when you go in to see it. You can quite literally feel like both the right and left are being bashed equally here, but to put too much into the message is to put too much into the movie in general. It is meant to be enjoyed, laughed at, and chuckled at later in the quite of your office on a Monday morning when you are supposed to be working.

Way way way too many blogs and boards have already discussed the ins and outs of the plot, scenes, scenarios etc etc, so I'll leave that to you, the adventurous reader, to find for yourselves. I just wanted to put in my $.02 that it's funny.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Democrats in Thongs

No, not what you were hoping for I'm sure.

You have to give the democrats credit, this is at least interesting. It beats shooting the windows out of campaign headquarters.

So the polls they are a moving. Check out either polling report or RealClearPolitics to see the direction the world is moving in. Kerry's blunder, like an anchor, is pulling him down. What is just fascinating is how the more it seems to affect him, the more the media reports on it, and the more it drags him down. What a fun circle of destruction.

Note also this interesting story on Sinclair Broadcasting and this about Michael Moore.

So does Kerry want in on equal time? Why not just show F 9/11 after Stolen Honor? Oh, probably because Moore wouldn't make as much money.

Anyway, everybody have a nice weekend.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Oh what have the Edwards done?

As Gene Hackman said in Superman II, "I never thought this thing would go the distance". And my oh my, does this Mary Cheney gaff by Kerry have legs. (not Bush daughter legs, but legs just the same)

After John Edwards call Bush supporters "out of their minds", then promised Kerry could make the paralyzed walk, I thought he was the loose cannon. I thought the Kerry gang was questioning the wisdom of a John John ticket. Little did I know...

It is the Mrs Edwards loose cannon that they may regret. Let's get the steps in order..

1. Kerry calls out Mary Cheney in the most crass language possible, everybody gasps, Kerry supporters groan.
2. Cahill calls the daughter 'fair game' ugh.
3. Mrs Cheney calls Kerry a bad man, an opportunism. Mr. Cheney, speaking as a bad father, admonishes Kerry.

--Okay. Not too bad. Kerry even releases a mild, well, excuse. Not much of an apology. So, let's move on right?


Mrs Edwards, the Loose Cannon, the LC, flips out on morning radio and implies that the Cheneys must be ashamed of their daughter to make such a big deal about it. LC called out the Cheneys, saying they must be ashamed of their own daughter!! WTF!!! I can hear Kerry coughing out his caviar in petulant anger. I can hear his rich wife spewing obscenities. That, my friends, is a pipe burst. All the Kerry supporters heard the pop, and are wondering how bad the flooding will be. Some are oblivious to the water, but it may be rising.

Let's hope so.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Debate Results Plus

Another debate season has come and gone. I must say, I wasn't disappointed by either candidate in general. Clearly there are very real differences between these two people, and differences in how they believe they should govern.

I happen to side with Bush on most the issues. I also happen to believe Bush is sincere and motivated through principle rather than politics.

I also happen to, uh, not think that about Kerry.

Anyway, goof for Bush on the Osama line, the MSM will be playing that repeatedly over the next couple of days. Serious gaff by Kerry on outing Cheney's daughter. Even the media room gasped. Once again Kerry seems to simply be missing facts. He is just not clear on the state of the world. He either intentionally misleads, or is mistaken.
  1. Finally he corrected his $200 billion spent error, how'd that make Edwards feel.
  2. He doesn't understand exactly why 5% of the crates are inspected.(it comprises what is deemed high risk)
  3. He is lost on the number of jobs lost. (500k vs 1.6 million)
  4. He actually contradicted the moderator on the number of illegals entering the country from Mexico (8k vs 4k)
  5. He claimed his heath care plan would cover everybody. (patently false)
He enjoyed a big bounce from the first debate which has been receding ever since, and I'd guess it will continue receding.

Incidentally, anybody else notice how Bush, rather than pushing aside or alienating our allies, has asked NATO to get more involved in Afghanistan. Two countries have been vocally opposed, you'll never guess who. France and Germany. Who is Kerry pandering to?


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Everyday Inaugurated

Welcome! Thank you for visiting my weblog! As I am completely new to the process, allow me to first state that I will be open to comments, suggestions, tips and advice on just about anything, but especially common weblog courtesy or practices.

As I sit here with my year old son on my lap, I'm trying to decide why I want to even attempt to enter the world of blogging. Clearly, there are many. What do I have to offer, if anything, different or useful. Perhaps this isn't to offer anything, but rather to get something, something therapeutic.

Regardless, I've become interested in the capabilities of this mass communication medium. My intent is to try to communicate a view of the world, our politics, media, religion among other topics, from the perspective of a relatively regular, normal and unspectacular guy. To that end, some information about me, I am:
  • a native of Toledo, Ohio
  • a Mid-American Conference college graduate
  • a married father of 4 boys
  • currently living in the non-swing state of Illinois

I suppose when it's relevant I'll discuss my past in more detail. For now, back to my one year old...

My one year old has amazing communication capabilities. He is able to clearly and unambiguously inform me of his current level of satisfaction. I've always been amazed how well a scream with spit lets me know the peas just don't cut it for dinner. Yet at the same time, I am increasingly frustrated when there appears to be no specific reason for his outbursts, whether laughter or tears. At 3 in the morning, I've frequently asked "What? What is it? diaper, bottle, to hot, to cold, bad dream, music, Kerry in the Whitehouse, what???" To which I receive... more of the same.

Which is my point really. Some political communication, I'm convinced, is modeled after babyspeak. Since we are in a current election cycle, I may as well be specific. John Kerry lets you know that...

  1. He is dissatisfied (his crying)
  2. He can do better
  3. He has a plan
  4. He's on your side

I have no doubt that, like my one year old, he effectively communicates these mantras. Look at all those who believe him! My wife would contend she can tell what is wrong by how our child is crying (though it doesn't seem to work at 3am). Maybe the left just understands what Kerry is saying and I'm not privy to that understanding.

From the victory of Kerry in the primaries, I believed Bush would win and win big. I am actually quite surprised it is as close as it is today. My reason was simple, Kerry seems either incapable or unwilling to disclose what he would do in detail, how it would work better in practice and why he believes it in theory. Now I've done some research on his website, and there are details to some degree. He does have some ideas in some areas. He just doesn't communicate them, perhaps for fear of alienating that oh-so-valuable 'undecided'. He panders to the Bush haters, of which there are plenty. Hopefully, just not enough to win an election.

Whew!! Thanks for sticking it out with me. I'll be trying to post an article a day (since this is called everyday), and maybe even keep things a little shorter. As you can tell, I support the re-election of President Bush, even though I know he isn't the 'great communicator'. He at least lets you know unequivocally that bi-lateral negotiations with N. Korea are bad because they've abused it before, breaking our agreement, and we'd potentially lose China, Japan, etc adding pressure. He let's you know that he wants the tax cuts made permanent because he believes flat out that lower taxes boost the economy and increase jobs. (supported by This Nobel Prize winning economist). He has no problem letting America know where he stands on abortion (whether you agree or not) and how that affects his views on stem cell research. (what's that? consistency?) He believes Americans are the good guys.

I'm a Notre Dame football fan (please don't hold that against me). A knock against golden domers is their belief that ND is better than other programs, cleaner, more honest, higher education standards, tougher schedule etc etc. My non ND friends would deride me as naive, claiming ND cheats just like all other schools. Look at 'Under the Tarnished Dome'. And just when my hope in ND was sinking, they hire Ty Willingham. This guy doesn't shrink from the pressures or high standards of Notre Dame, he elevates them. He states flatly and honestly that Notre Dame is different, special, unique. He is a believer. I know where many people, cynics, stand on such belief, but I stand with Ty. I stand with President Bush. It is called idealism. It isn't a bad thing, it challenges us to try harder, to aim higher, to act nobly and serve justly. It is a belief that we can be an influence, a force for good. Stand not with the cynics. Perfection is no goal, it is an act. It is the never ending effort to make things better than they are, knowing they can always get better. Anyway, longer than I had intended, thanks for staying with me, if you did.