Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.
Monday, November 29, 2004
All Hail Favre
Tonight on Monday Night Football is Brett Favre's 200th consecutive start at quarterback. Actually it's about 220 consecutive starts including playoffs (what playoff games don't count?!?) but as far as official NFL statistics are concerned tonight is # 200. It is amazing. There will be comparisons to Cal Ripken's streak and debate about where it ranks next to that, if at all. I think it does. Both streaks took place over about the same number of years and while Ripken played many more games the sports are quite different. Obviously Ripken wasn't facing 11 guys that were trying to rip his head off each game. Over his career there were several instances where it appeared the streak was over, but somehow he always found a way to play and play effectively. Sprained ankles, seperated shoulders, a broken thumb on his throwing had (on his throwing hand!). None of that made much of a difference, Favre shows up everyday.
Of course what I have come to like most about Brett is the way in which he plays the game, or rather, the way he truly enjoys it. The way he goofs off with teammates in the middle of games, playing jokes, keeping guys loose, and making every one around him better. The way he sprints down the field after a long TD pass to tackle his teammates in celebration and the way he instills self-confidence in young players. In short, he gives the game to so many people.
The Green Bay Packers website has a lot on Favre today, but here's how it all started:
James Campen vividly recalls the first time Brett Favre stepped into the huddle.
Don Majkowski, the Green Bay Packers’ starting quarterback, severely sprained an ankle early in a Sept. 20, 1992, game against Cincinnati at Lambeau Field.
“When he came into the huddle, we were thinking, ‘OK, here comes the gunslinger who’s been winging the ball everywhere in practice,’” Campen said. “He just looked at everybody, got a big smile on his face and said, ‘How ya’ll doin?’ Then he said, ‘We’re going to win this (expletive) game.’ It inspired a lot of us because we hadn’t been winning a whole lot around here, and we hadn’t heard that kind of talk.”
Campen, the center, also was curious to see what the pride of Southern Miss could do in the NFL. He wasn’t disappointed.
Favre threw a last-second touchdown pass to Kitrick Taylor to edge the Bengals 24-23 and send Lambeau Field into delirium.
...There’s his passion, according to LeRoy Butler. “The difference is the joy he has for himself and for his teammates when he throws a touchdown pass,” said Butler. “That’s what he plays for. That’s what he lives for. That’s what drives him. That’s his spirit.”
There’s his humbleness, according to James Campen, Favre’s first center and a current Packers assistant coach. “The best thing about him is his humility,” said Campen. “If you didn’t know who he was, and the whole world does, you wouldn’t even know he was a football player. He’s just that way.”
The Other Jordan
There aren't many people, athletes or otherwise, that I think more highly of than Michael Jordan. But one of them may be his oldest brother James:
Command Sgt. Maj. James R. Jordan asked to stay in the Army for a year beyond his mandatory retirement date so he could complete a deployment to Iraq with the 35th Signal Brigade.
It seems like we should be hearing more about this, but for whatever reason we aren't.... and that is probably how James Jordan likes it. Anyway, read the whole thing, you'll see where Michael got his substance.
''We are currently at war,'' Jordan said. ''We are doing things, and it requires leaders to do certain things. That's what I am, a leader.''
Like his younger brother, retired basketball star Michael Jordan, James Jordan loves his job, believes in helping his team, expects maximum effort from those around him, and will leave on his own terms.
The sergeant major stands 5-foot-7. His brother is about 6-foot-6. At Fort Bragg, the older brother has kept a low profile and avoided calling attention to his family connection.
Command Sgt. Maj. Jordan and about 500 soldiers of the brigade are scheduled to depart today for a year in Iraq.
Under normal conditions, the 47-year-old Jordan, who entered basic training in June 1975 and had three assignments in Korea, would start winding down his Army career in the spring as he approached the 30-year mark.
His colonel promised to support whatever decision he made, but Jordan had no intention of getting on an airplane April 29, flying home and leaving his brigade.
''That's not the way you want to end a 30-year career,'' Jordan said.
''People ask, 'Why?''' said Col. Bryan Ellis, the brigade commander. ''The answer is, he is completely selfless. We all want to see it go well.''
(via Powerline Blog)
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Ali, one of the Iraqi blogger from Iraq the Model, has some choice words for M. Chirac:
I heard what Mr. Chirac said few days ago and read about it everywhere I turn my head to. At first, it was something I felt I shouldn’t even bother to listen to. It was something like what Al Jazeera keep showing us or what Arab leaders say all the time. But again this was a president of one of the most advanced and civilized countries in our times. It wasn’t Kaddafi or Assad and it made me sad and furious.
The French government keep surprising me with their intentionally stupid and vicious arguments and I don’t know what to say about it or if it’s even necessary to say something at all. But then I’m an Iraqi citizens and these people are taking about Iraq and usually how the war brought nothing good to Iraq or the world, and I just can’t stay silent about it. I know there’s almost no chance that you’ll read my words Mr. Chirac, but it doesn’t matter, as I’m not writing for you anyway. You live in a different world.
In the past, I used to swallow my anger and frustration because I could get killed if I messed up with one of Saddam’s personal friends, but now Saddam is gone and I’m not afraid and I won’t stay silent anymore. This is a difference Mr. Chirac, and it’s a great one, probably just to me and the rest of Iraqis but not to you, and you just have to understand that it’s not all about you and your European dream which no one want to steal from you by the way.
The world is certainly not a better place after the war Mr. Chirac, but that’s your world, while our world, Iraqis as well as tens of millions of oppressed people everywhere who are dying for some help, is certainly MUCH better now, and I’m sure the Americans and the British world as well as most countries (including yours) is better and safer and will keep getting better. However I agree with you, as your world, your own personal world, the world of your fellow corrupt politicians in France, Russia, Germany, China and the stinking UN, your fortune and your influence is definitely suffering. I’m even surprised that you ‘saw’ that Saddam’s departure was positive “to a certain extent”, and I can’t wonder why is that! Is it because it left you with some bills you don’t have to pay?!
Is my language too offensive?! Not as half as offensive and irritating as yours and I will NEVER apologize, not even after you apologize and pay the Iraqis back all the money you have stolen from us in return for supporting your partner, Saddam and keeping him in charge for few more years.
You see, your problem and what separate you from men like Tony Blair is that you look only for what you might gain, and again “you” is not the French people, but rather you in person and the bunch of hypocrites that so sadly control the French people and manipulate them through lies and silly arguments. You never cared what would happen to Iraqis and the rest of the world had Saddam stayed in power, while Tony Blair did. Do you know why? Because he and the British government with all the brave British people live in our world, while you don’t.
Stupid British! Why should they care for us, America or their own kids when they can do exactly like you; take advantage of America’s need, blackmail her, support Saddam without taking much risk and gain billions of dollars.
Stupid British!Haven’t they learned from WW2 when you got your country back and even decided the fate of other nations on victory even though half of you made peace with the Nazis!? You certainly don’t owe the British and the Americans anything for that, as it was just their own stupidity not to do the math and see how much would they gain. Their lands weren’t invaded and the Nazis were trying to make a peace with them, yet they refused and fought as hard as men and women can fight to free your country for you, so that your troops could march victoriously in Paris! And you dare say that the US doesn’t repay favors!??
If you don’t like the world after Saddam, and if you miss him that much, you can keep living in your own world and we won’t bother you...at all.
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Yeah, it's about two weeks late, but things have been awful serious around here recently so it's time to lighten it up a bit. I think our one and only Stephen Green was right when he said:
Claws down, Halloween is the best holiday there ever could be, except those involving lots of presents. And in my mind, presents are the only reason birthdays and Christmas get billing over the Big Scary. October 31, 2004 confirmed it for me. The little lady and I went to a fantastic Halloween party. Late in the night/early in the morning I was playing flip cup... amongst players on the opposing team were two guys dressed as cops. About the time Game 2 started I heard someone yell that "the cops are here!"
"No shit I'm playing flip cup with them!" I said laughing. Then I turned around and saw two real Chi Police standing in the living room. Now the Chicago Police only bust up a party that is either a) full of underage kids drinking, or b) full of drugs. This one was neither so they told us to either turn down the music or close the windows. I'm not sure which we did if any, but they left and we continued. Anyway, here are our (our=the (unoffical) wife and I) Halloween costumes. We were "His and Hers Forest Creatures" she made the costumes.
If for some reason you are interested, you can see more pictures from the party here. There's even pictures of the fake cops. We also won 50 bucks that night in the costume contest. Nice.
Friday, November 19, 2004
The Left and Condi
Andrew Sullivan observes:
The Left and Condi: I guess I should say that Condi Rice's race and gender are not the most important things about her career and abilities. But I'm still amazed at how little credit this president gets for promoting a black woman to such a position, and, more importantly, by his obvious respect and admiration for her. His management style is clearly post-racial, and his comfort with female peers is impressive. You know, Bill Clinton was celebrated for his progressiveness, and ease with African-Americans. But it's inconceivable that he would have given so much power and authority to a black female peer. Why does Bush get no respect on this score? I guess it reveals that much of the left's diversity mania is about the upholding of a certain political ideology, rather than ethnic or gender variety itself. Depressing.
Sadly Sullivan is right, how else to explain why much of the black community seems to hold Al Sharpton in higher regard than Thomas Sowell. I am also reminded of last year when Bush made a surprise visit to troops in Baghdad last Thanksgiving. He told reporters that they slipped away, under the cover of baseball caps and just looked like a "normal couple." But according to the left's stereotypes, no Republican (and certainly not one hailing from the south) would consider a white man and a black woman a "normal couple". Perhaps I am being too speculative here but I don't think so. Just take a look at some of these political cartoons that have come out over the last few days. Though I don't believe each one on the list is overtly racist, some of them certainly are. Condi is portrayed with buck teeth in some, Bush calling her "brown sugar" in another. It's hard for me to believe that if these cartoons were lampooning a left leaning black woman that they wouldn't have caused a firestorm of outrage. Follow the link and decide for yourself.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
"Wellington once observed that 'nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.' Nothing about it is nice; but better them than us."
Much is being made made by the MSM, Al Jazeera, Al Reuters, etc of a Marine who shot and killed a wounded insurgent in Fallujah. The incident should be investigated, as it is, to ensure that the rules of engagement were followed. That said, why is the media so outraged by this incident when a similar act was committed by a former presidential candidate and sitting senator? Via InstaPundit comes this twist:
That's an amusing perspective, here's mine:
Patrolling the Bay Hap River, Kerry and his crew discovered they were about to be ambushed by a Vietcong soldier who had just popped up at the shoreline with a loaded rocket launcher in his hands. With the VC about to fire, Kerry crewmate Thomas Bellodeau shot and wounded the attacker, saving the entire boat.
Only then did Kerry leap to the shore to chase the wounded enemy down - finishing him off behind a hootch.
When critics suggested that Kerry's actions that day were something less than heroic, they were hooted down by the press.
Certainly the as yet unnamed Marine in Fallujah deserves, if not the Silver Star, the same slack the press cut Kerry.
According to some World War II letters from soldiers, German snipers regularly killed American soldiers before running out into the open surrendering. Often times, the Allied soldiers who had just seen their brothers die decided that it was not quite time for the killing to end. Many of these snipers were young boys, no more than 14 years old, yet they were killing machines - Hitlers's youth. In one instance, after taking one of these boys prisoner, the general/sergeant whatever in charge beat the boy to death with the butt of a sniper rifle, the same rifle that killed several allied troops earlier that day.
Such is the horror and corrupting influence of war. But there is an evil in the world, one that is nearly unfathomable to those of us living inside civilization, and it is the daily reality that our Marines live in the midst of. In the process of taking back Fallujah these Marines have uncovered hostage slaughterhouses, torture chambers in mosques, and bodies missing feet. I'll leave the reader to speculate if the feet were cut off before or after death. Fallujah is a place where a female aid worker who had made Iraq her home for the last 30 years was kidnapped and executed, a place where insurgents come out waving surrender flags and then open fire, a place where civilians, ambulances, and mosques are used as cover by insurgents. A place that has become the backdrop of a constant stream of beheading snuff films. This cannot be viewed through the lens of everyday American life. And oh yeah, here is what the brave warriors of jihad do to those oh so dangerous middle aged women:
FALLUJAH, Iraq (AFP) - The body of a blonde-haired woman with her legs and arms cut off and throat slit was found lying on the street in Fallujah, a notorious enclave for hostage-takers, marines said.
"It is definitely a Caucasian woman with long blonde hair," said a military official, who cut open a cover that had been over the corpse.
The gruesome discovery was made as the marines moved through the south of Fallujah, hunting out the remaining die-hard rebels after a week of fierce fighting to regain control of the city.
"It is a female... missing all four appendages, with a slashed throat and disembowled, she has been dead for a while but only in this location for a day or two," said Benjamin Finnell, a hospital apprentice with the Navy Corps, who had inspected the body.
An AFP photographer embedded with the marines said the woman was wearing a blue dress and her face was completely disfigured.
The marines said she appeared to have been on the street for about two days.
There is an unbelievable evil lurking just beyond our horizon, kept at bay by young men who have an all too clear concept of what darkness and cruelty really is. Because they understand and fight it over there, we are spared from it over here. Or do you think the men that perpetrate such atrocities would just stop and return to civilization if we left? The young marine in question was shot the day before and had seen soldiers in his company killed and wounded by booby trapped dead bodies and wounded insurgents playing possum, as happened in this instance:
Marine Lance Cpl. Jeramy Ailes, 22, of Gilroy was killed Monday in Al-Fallujah by small arms fire. "They had finished mopping up in Fallujah and they went back to double-check on some insurgents. From what we gathered, somebody playing possum jumped up and shot him,'' said his father, Joel Ailes, who learned of his death Monday evening. "It's extremely hard."
... His first time in Iraq, Jeramy Ailes gave $10 to each child he came across because he knew it would feed their families for 30 days. This time, he asked his family to mail as many soccer balls as they could. His family sent 300 balls, and Jeramy Ailes' platoon handed them out to children.
Joel Ailes warmly remembered the last conversation he had with his son last month, in which Jeramy Ailes recounted how he had come across a large man walking with a 12-year-old girl carrying a huge bale of straw on her back. His son, who spoke and read Arabic, exchanged words with the man. And, for the next seven miles, his son carried the girl on his back and the man carried the bales of straw. "That was my son," Joel Ailes said.
Yet this heroic young man will get nary a mention from those truth seekers at Al-Jazeera. In this context a snap life or death decision was made, a murderous thug ended up dead and a Marine avoided the sad fate Jeramy Ailes could not.
And the media and the Arab world is outraged that a man fighting on the side of the disemboweling jihad is no more. Al-Jazeera needs their feet sawed off.
UPDATE: Vinod points to some other news from Fallujah that deserves more coverage.
ANOTHER UPDATE: A must MUST! read letter from a Marine on the subject.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
They really expected this to work?
A few days before the election I got this email:
RatherGate proved that bloggers are the best fact checkers. That is why we are writing to a few bloggers asking for help.
Yes Bush Can has collected several documents that are clearly suspect.
But we need your help to prove they are fake: http://www.yesbushcan.com/falsedocs.shtml
Let's spring to action before these documents needlessly tarnish the reputation of our Commander and Chief. You know the drill: analyze the handwriting, search for factual errors, and post your discoveries.
And keep us posted by sending email to FakeDocs@yesbushcan.com.
Thanks in advance for your help.
The documents in question were Cheney's DUI, Bush's DUI and letters to Ken Lay, among other things. Wierd, who is using these docs and who thinks they are fakes? I am no document expert, so... whatever. Window closed and forgotten.
Until... going through my spam yesterday I came across this email that came just days before the election, with the subject "Yes Bush Can Apology" Here's the contents:
A week ago, we sent you an email asking for help debunking anti-Bush
documents. After receiving hundreds of responses, it become clear that
all the documents were actually real: the Bush/Cheney DUIs, the Ken Lay
letters, and even the bin Laden memo. For more information visit the
We also received hundreds of emails from concerned bloggers that eloquently expressed the problems with the Bush administration. And as we traveled across America campaigning for Bush, we learned more than we wanted to know about Bush's policies. We came to see that this administration is a catastrophe for most people.
As a result, we are abandoning our support of Bush and officially endorsing John Kerry for President. You can read more at the Yes Bush Can web site:
We deeply regret our misguided support and apologize for our previous email. This will be the last email we will send directly to bloggers. If you want to join us in supporting Kerry, you can find out more here:
Thank you for your understanding,
Yes Bush Can
So apparently the plan was to get all the red-state sheep to believe in this Yes Bush Can group, get all fired up and such, cause YES BUSH CAN DAMNIT!. Then of course after hearing from the masses, they would realize how benighted they actually were and change their mind and throw their support to Kerry, and since all of us are so emotionally invested in YES BUSH CAN (and we are mindless sheep) we would follow YES BUSH CAN and change our minds too (or be tricked into changing our minds) and vote for Kerry.
Yeah that plan should work.
Now you know why they lost.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Arafat is Dead
"In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter---bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."
So the man that renders the distinction of 'Nobel Peace Prize Winner' nebulous is now dead. There will be a massive power struggle in Palestine, it will be bloody and may erupt to civil war... Arafat's bloody legacy lives on. He blocked peace deals and prolonged violence, which ended up costing the lives of many of his own supporters and countless innocents. He stole millions and perhaps billions in aid and died a wealthy man as his people lived in a hopeless culture of poverty and death and never came close to achieving the Palestinian statehood he professed to desire. Using the Palestinian's victimhood as a cause celebre', a sort of mascot, he maintained a wicked status quo of death and martyrdom for the young men of Palestine. He was the man who would do nothing and the man with whom nothing could be done without. Useless.... good riddance.
Update:Jeff Jacoby says it best:
YASSER ARAFAT died at age 75, lying in bed surrounded by familiar faces. He left this world peacefully, unlike the thousands of victims he sent to early graves.
Like I said... good riddance.
In a better world, the PLO chief would have met his end on a gallows, hanged for mass murder much as the Nazi chiefs were hanged at Nuremberg. In a better world, the French president would not have paid a visit to the bedside of such a monster. In a better world, George Bush would not have said, on hearing the first reports that Arafat had died, "God bless his soul."
God bless his soul? What a grotesque idea! Bless the soul of the man who brought modern terrorism to the world? Who sent his agents to slaughter athletes at the Olympics, blow airliners out of the sky, bomb schools and pizzerias, machine-gun passengers in airline terminals? Who lied, cheated, and stole without compunction? Who inculcated the vilest culture of Jew-hatred since the Third Reich? Human beings might stoop to bless a creature so evil -- as indeed Arafat was blessed, with money, deference, even a Nobel Prize -- but God, I am quite sure, will damn him for eternity.
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
No Time to Comment
So I'll just link, with a few choice grafs. The post election spin is still chugging along and while part of me just wants to laugh at those still in full denial as to why they lost, it is starting to irk me that the "it was all cause of the homophobes and religious kooks that Bush won" meme is still around. I voted for Bush and I am neither, and I am not alone. Mark Steyn is with me:
The big question after Tuesday was: will it just be more of the same in George W Bush's second term, or will there be a change of tone? And apparently it's the latter. The great European thinkers have decided that instead of doing another four years of lame Bush-is-a-moron cracks they're going to do four years of lame Americans-are-morons cracks. Inaugurating the new second-term outreach was Brian Reade in the Daily Mirror, who attributed the President's victory to: "The self-righteous, gun-totin', military-lovin', sister-marryin', abortion-hatin', gay-loathin', foreigner-despisin', non-passport-ownin' rednecks, who believe God gave America the biggest dick in the world so it could urinate on the rest of us and make their land 'free and strong'."
Need I even implore you to read the rest?
Well, that's certainly why I supported Bush, but I'm not sure it entirely accounts for the other 59,459,765. Forty five per cent of Hispanics voted for the President, as did 25 per cent of Jews, and 23 per cent of gays. And this coalition of common-or-garden rednecks, Hispanic rednecks, sinister Zionist rednecks, and lesbian rednecks who enjoy hitting on their gay-loathin' sisters expanded its share of the vote across the entire country - not just in the Bush states but in the Kerry states, too.
...The restrictions on expression that B J Kelly sees as evidence of European enlightenment are regarded as profoundly unhealthy by most Americans. When one examines Brian Reade's anatomy of redneck disfigurements - "gun-totin', military-lovin', abortion-hatin' " - most of them are about the will to survive, as individuals and as a society. Americans tote guns because they're assertive citizens, not docile subjects of a permanent governing class. They love their military because they think there's something contemptible about Europeans preening and posing as a great power when they can't even stop some nickel'n'dime Balkan genital-severers piling up hundreds of thousands of corpses on their borders.
(via InstaPundit) Jonathan Hood makes this point, among many others:
The problem with all this is that, while comforting to many Kerry supporters and exhilarating for some social-conservative leaders, the notion that Bush won primarily because religious voters turned out for him does not seem to be backed up by any real evidence. Few reporters or commentators appear to have gone back to examine the 2000 exit polls, which would seem to be necessary if one wishes to assert a trend.
I did. I found that the percentage of voters sampled who said they attended church at least weekly was the same—42 percent—in both 2000 and 2004. The percentage never attending church was also the same, at 15 percent. The middle group, those attending occasionally, was, you guessed it, 42 percent each time. Interestingly, while Bush slightly improved his standing among frequent churchgoers, by about a point in 2004, his support grew by 3 to 4 points among those attending seldom or never.
Yep, it was the atheist vote that really put Bush over the top in 2004.
There's much more, and this David Brooks piece also contains some interesting numbers.
And Norm Geras makes a point that I wish I had. He notes that millions of Iranians and Iraqi Kurds were also rooting for a Bush victory and comments:
One of the questions, then, that might usefully be asked on the liberal-left is why people struggling for democracy in their country, and others who were the victims of a genocidal assault in theirs, should hope for and be happy about the victory of a man who is so reviled by all 'right-thinking' - i.e. most left-thinking - folk. Just ponder this a little. Try and digest it fully. The victims of a terrible, murderous oppression in the Kurdish area of Iraq, and those now yearning for a democratic breakthrough against theocratic tyranny in Iran, do not look for solidarity and support to the massed ranks of the marching left, the 'peace' movement, as it flatters itself to be; no, they look to a right-wing Republican president.
By your own lights, friends and comrades, is that not a truly extraordinary state of affairs? If it doesn't cause you some troubling doubts, will anything ever?
Nope. For they call themselves 'progressives' whether or not their policy can be accurately describes as such is incidental.
Friday, November 05, 2004
Election Post Mortem Reading
As always Victor Davis Hanson nails it:
The East and West Coasts and the big cities may reflect the sway of the universities, the media, Hollywood, and the arts, but the folks in between somehow ignore what the professors preach to their children, what they read in the major newspapers, and what they are told on TV. The Internet, right-wing radio, and cable news do not so much move Middle America as reflect its preexisting deep skepticism of our aristocracy and its engineered morality imposed from on high.
The Democrats now lament that America would prefer to be "wrong" with George Bush than "right" with them. They will no doubt adduce a number of other paradoxes, excuses, and sorrows. But the fact is that the Left was united, well-funded, and ran the most vitriolic campaign in the Democratic party's history — and still lost, taking all branches of power with it. The New York Times and the major networks have undone their legacy of a half-century, and in the desire for cheap partisan advantage have ruined the reputations of anchor men, the very notion of fair front-page reporting, and, indeed, the useful concept itself of an exit poll. 60 Minutes, Nightline, ABC News — these are now seen by millions as mere highbrow versions of Fahrenheit 9/11.
Much of the world — in Europe, among the dictatorships and autocracies of the Middle East, and indeed among the terrorists themselves — realized that the presidential election was a referendum on America's will in both Afghanistan and Iraq. So be it. Thus the president's victory is a strong message to the Arab League that democracy is coming to the Middle East as it did earlier to Germany, Japan, South Korea, Panama, Serbia, and Afghanistan, and a message to the terrorists that their beheadings, their sick infomercials, and their deified mass murderers will only earn a rendezvous with defeat if not annihilation. The farmers of Utah, the plant workers of Ohio, and the immigrants of Florida are not the same folk as those of Spain. America saw the election-eve face of bin Laden, heard his pathetic rant — and shrugged that he, not it, was going down.
Finally, with the Kerry defeat we should lay to rest the Left's latest revisionism that was much in vogue during the last few months in the mainstream media — promulgated by journalists and pundits in places like Harper's, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and the Atlantic. We were lectured ad nauseam that the terrorists did not — as did extremists of all ages such as the Nazis, Japanese, and Soviet totalitarians — hate us for our allegiance to consensual government, modernism, and the freedom of the individual, but rather had understandable grievances because of our support for Israel, the war in Iraq, or the presence of oil companies in the Middle East. That canard too was rejected by the voters.
I think the best part about the Bush victory is the big 'FU!' that it sends to the European appeasers. It had become obvious over the last year or so that Chirac, Shroeder et al alliance had simply decided to hold their breath until John Kerry was elected. I'm sure it is difficult for them to fathom that the American electorate could re-elect Bush, after all they wouldn't vote for him and neither would the New York Times, or any other members of the American intelligentsia for that matter. Yet in a time where Jacques Chirac's party is surviving elections with about 16% of the vote, Dubya pulls over 50%. Euro heads must be spinning.
And while the Euros are trying to figure out what the hell happened so too our are elitists at home. Notably Jane Smiley, who argues that the majority of the American electorate consists of fools who made the wrong choice. Fortunately the Belmont Club is here to take a meat clever to her premise:
One of the several ways to parse this argument is to take it on its own terms. In this account, the bulk of Ms. Smiley's enemies consist of a single, undifferentiated mass of red staters with the bestial appetites and intelligence of retarded slugs. Unfortunately for the Democrats, they are led by diabolically clever manipulators -- "the big capitalists, who have no morals" -- who employ cant, superstition and lies to lead their dimwitted mob around for the purposes of rapine and coarse gratification. We are vouchsafed a glimpse of the 'good guys', the Progressives, the champions of the workers and consumers. These Progressives are somehow resistant to blandishments of the "big capitalists". Something -- superior intelligence or a finer moral fiber perhaps -- has made them insusceptible to ignorance and manipulation. And they alone stand in the way of the Darkness.
This is Ms. Smiley's actual intellectual model.
Read the whole thing. A bit of advice to the left: Insulting everyone that did not vote with you in 2004 is not the best strategy for getting them to change their mind next time around.
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
It's over. Classy move by John Kerry to concede upon realizing that there was no mathematical chance for him anymore. I have no doubt that individuals in his camp pushed him to challenge the results over even the most irrelevant of details. Edwards was probably one of them given that, um, graceless cencession speech.
Interestingly, this is the first time that a president has received better than 50% of the vote since George H.W. Bush in 1988 and what's more, George W. received more total votes than any other president, ever. Can we finally say he was elected and not selected?
I'd love to laugh at Michael Moore right now, but I'm afraid that this only gives him an opportunity at yet another film and more money. I'm not sure how bad he is really feeling, especially because he knows he'll pay less in taxes. Bastard!!
Meanwhile, Tim Blair is doing a little gloating:
Take that, Lefties! After an unprecedented four-year propaganda war aimed at demolishing his presidency and ruining his chances of re-election, George W. Bush is set for another term in the White House. Consider the massed forces that opposed him: The New York Times, Michael Moore, CBS, billionaire George Soros and the army of zombie activists he funded, CNN, and The Washington Post, among many, many others. Dozens of creepy celebrities campaigned against Bush or raised funds for John Kerry's campaign, including Linda Ronstadt, Whoopi Goldberg, Matt Damon, Bruce Springsteen, the Dixie Chicks, Sean Penn, George Clooney, Susan Sarandon, Leonardo Di Caprio, Ben Affleck, Eminem and Martin Sheen. A new radio network, Air America, featuring hosts Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo, was launched with the express purpose of throwing Bush out of office. Anti-Bush books (sample title: The Empire of Ignorance, Hypocrisy and Obedience) clogged bookstores nationwide.
And that was only in the United States.
Internationally, Bush was opposed by France, Germany, Phillip Adams, The Age, Osama bin Laden, the ABC, Mark Latham, the BBC, Helen Clark, a tragic sector of the British population that believes The Guardian and The Independent, Saddam Hussein, Noam Chomsky, The Sydney Morning Herald, the UN, many of my friends at The Bulletin, Hans freakin’ Blix, Greenpeace, SBS, Richard Neville, millions of unbathed nose-pierced half-educated protesters, Malcolm Fraser, John Pilger, and the homeless guy at my local mall who thinks Bush stole his pants.
And Bush still won. We all did.
Now we's got work to do.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Even with the flu, Wretchard's post are always top notch. This one is no exception:
The flu has a put a crimp on posting, but there is likely to be too much, rather than too little information out there on election day, so I will not be missed. My last comments on the matter come from a semi-comatose reading of U.S. Grant's biography. The election of 1864 bears an uncanny resemblance to 2004's on several points, a comparison that has not escaped others. After three years of war, victory in 1864 over the Confederacy seemed farther than ever. The Democrats, therefore, fielded ex-general McClellan as a candidate on a something of a peace platform, for many in the party intended to negotiate either a return to the Union of the seceding states (allowing them to keep slavery) or recognize the Confederacy. Lincoln himself thought it unlikely that he would win. In fact, he had made matters worse by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, which made it abundantly clear that while he remained President, the South would be fighting not only for State's Rights but to preserve its entire social fabric. It was therefore true that Lincoln, by his obduracy, had made peace impossible in a war that had cost nearly half a million lives on a population base of 30 million. And all the Democrats were saying, was that after a failed war of three years, that it was best to give peace a chance.
Read the rest.
Monday, November 01, 2004
Never Again (Required Reading)
Varifrank has posted a must must read photo essay... it's quite a masterpiece really.
Go read it already.
Who knows what is going to happen? I'm less sure that Bush is going to win than I was a few weeks ago, but I still think he has the edge. I just hope it is over tomorrow night. The trust in the process of this election is bigger than either candidate, by a long shot. Each side has thousands of lawyers hried preparing for litigation if teir guy doesn't win. On top of that, I'm still worried about a terorist attack, how hard would it be to roll a few hand grenades into a few polling places in battle ground states and immediately throw the election's integrity into chaos? Then again, Al-Qaeda couldn't get that done in the Afgan elections.... and not much has been going right for them. So, I'm going to be optimistic that tomorrow night we will know who the next President is. Whatever the result it will be interesting to see where we go. Don't look to George Bush or John Kerry to bring us back together, look to us. Politicians respond to what works, the electorate responds to partisanship and that's what we get. In the charge of the electoral cycle, neither side concedes an inch, to do so, would be an invitation to get steamrolled by the opposition. So both sides plow forward and constructive criticism is lost. And that's what we need most of. There has been enough second-guessing on how we got to where we are, but we're still here. We need to start the open talk on how to go forward, lets here some criticism that isn't levelled or deflected just to increase the chances of your guy being in White House, but rather in hopes of finding a better means to the task at hand. Right now, that task, is to foster open and tolerant societies in the Middle East, while simultaneously fighting a shadowy war against the forces that currently corrupt it. It's an enormous undertaking, the less partisanship injected in the discussion the better. Lets save that for the Domestic issues.
As it has been said, these are interesting times. Eric Olsen agrees when he writes:
This is the time of the season I am most proud to be an American: the day before an incredibly close and hotly contested election poised at a pivotal nexus with the future, when voters are more energized and polarized than they have been in decades. People CARE this time, and the bizarre chain of events that left the 2000 election undecided for weeks has reinforced the notion that every vote really does matter, if you can get it counted. And yet, on the other hand, it's just business as usual.
Idealistic, yeah some... but read the whole thing and then rest for a day, go vote for your guy, then watch it all unfold on TV. As long as there is a winner, the republic will survive.
Well, I had been operating under he assumption that Osama is dead until further notice, does this count? Was this really Osama? He looked positively fat and sassy instead of frail and sickly. And what about the rhetoric? He's toned it down quite a bit from promises of "rivers of blood flowing on American streets" to we'll leave you alone if you leave us alone. Perhaps most astounding to me was his use of Michael Moore's talking points:
"It never occurred to us that the commander in chief of the country (Bush) would leave 50,000 citizens in the two towers to face those horrors alone ... because he thought listening to a child discussing her goats was more important," bin Laden said, referring to Bush's visit to a school when the attack occurred.
If this is him, he is a beaten man. The Belmont Club has this take:
It is important to notice what he has stopped saying in this speech. He has stopped talking about the restoration of the Global Caliphate. There is no more mention of the return of Andalusia. There is no more anticipation that Islam will sweep the world. He is no longer boasting that Americans run at the slightest wounds; that they are more cowardly than the Russians. He is not talking about future operations to swathe the world in fire but dwelling on past glories. He is basically saying if you leave us alone we will leave you alone. Though it is couched in his customary orbicular phraseology he is basically asking for time out.
The American answer to Osama's proposal will be given on Election Day. One response is to agree that the United States of America will henceforth act like Sweden, which is on track to become majority Islamic sometime after the middle of this century. The electorate best knows which candidate will serve this end; which candidate most promises to be European-like in attitude and they can choose that path with both eyes open. The electorate can strike that bargain and Osama may keep his word. The other course is to reject Osama's terms utterly; to recognize the pleading in his outwardly belligerent manner and reply that his fugitive existence; the loss of his sanctuaries; the annihilation of his men are but the merest foretaste of what is yet to come: to say that to enemies such as he, the initials 'US' will always mean Unconditional Surrender.
Osama has stated his terms. He awaits America's answer.
Lots of interesting comments to the post as well.
Oh, and be sure and read this comment from Roger Simon's blog.
So what to make of this? I don't know, but I would hope that everyone will vote who they were going to vote for before Osama's latest release. But if this is real can anyone doubt we are winning? The first new bin-Laden release in months - just days before the election - hardly survived the 24-hour news cycle!
LATER: One more thing, isn't this the first time that Osama publically took credit for 9/11? That's a significant break from his previous line, not that it will do anything to discourage the conpiracy theorists.