Saturday, October 30, 2004

Thoughts on Osama

Sometimes it's good to step back and let events marinate for a bit in one's mind, and the surprising Osama bin Laden video occasioned one of those "step back" moments. Interpreting the Middle Eastern mind is not easy for the western trained. We organize our facts differently as a consequence of our culture and our schooling, and the culture is the more pervasive of these influences. Add to our handicap the thought that OBL and others might not be playing with a full deck, even on Middle Eastern terms, and we can truly puzzle over what we hear and read from them.

We have a few conclusions about OBL, plus a couple more about the presidential campaign, which is really the crux of the matter, isn't it?

1. Osama is not crazy. He possesses the arrogance that comes with the conviction that his cause is just and his way of thinking is the only way of thinking. Some of this comes from his Islamic faith; I fear that much of it comes from the fact that as a (formerly?) rich Arab he has learned only too well the lessons of hate. Hatred of the west drives him. This is not insanity for OBL. It is insanity to us.

2. Osama loved Farenheit 9/11. Its narrative structure fits well with his own skewed view of George W. Bush and America. He borrowed from it liberally. (Thanks, Michael Moore, for giving aid and comfort to our greatest enemy. If this were a truly just society, your fat a** would be rotting in prison right now.) OBL, obviously fairly well informed, has seen F9-11 make a huge amount of money for Moore and, ironically, the Weinsteins of Miramax. Thus he reasons that America is rallying to his (OBL's) side. This leads to point number ...

3. Osama is negotiating with Americans in his new video. He is offering an olive branch to the voters of this country. It is an olive branch that has strings attached and no future guarantees. It is also virtually worthless in the long run for us. He knows this and doesn't care. Whether the American left will allow themselves to reason this out is debateable, anxious as they are to "letting America be America again" pre-9-11.

4. This may signal that al Qaida is weakened and needs time to regroup. OBL sidekick Zarkawi is in great danger of losing his Fallujah base (and perhaps his life) as the U.S. gears up to cleanse that city of bad guys. The remote areas of Pakistan become less safe as time passes. OBL's money supply has been cut and is a fraction of what it once was. If anyone ever pulls the plug on OBL's news network, al Jazeera, he'll have a much tougher time communicating with the troops. That may be one reason why the second terror tape, featuring the young American traitor, was handed off to ABC News. OBL needs a backup outlet.

5. Conversely, al Qaida may not see itself as weakened at all, appearances to the contrary. This may be nothing more than OBL's read (or mis-read, depending upon the voters Tuesday) of the American public. He thinks most of us are anxious for peace. That is always true. What is also true is that Americans have historically never been in favor of peace at any price if the price includes capitulation, retreat and insecurity.

This brings us to the presidential candidates and their response to Osama's October surprise:

1. George W. Bush has acknowledged the video but has not made direct use of it in campaigning. He has allowed the Dept. of Homeland Security, the CIA and FBI to do their thing in determining if it signals any specific new threat(s). He has responded directly to campaign challenges from John Kerry, to the extent of condemning Kerry's use of the OBL video to denigrate the tactics on the war on terror.

2. John Kerry's position is not enviable. ("Damn, this is a tight spot.") The obvious read on OBL's statement is that Osama wants the voters to oust Bush and begin pulling back from the Middle East, especially from our support of Israel. This does not sit well with most Americans and will probably influence a significant few to rethink their support for Kerry, not because of any new animosity toward Kerry, but because of their disdain and fear of Osama. If this is only one or two people out of a hundred, it is a significant factor. We believe it may be more than that. Events have undercut Kerry's attempt to go to the right of Bush on the war, something he wasn't accomplishing anyway. He must find a "position" that allows him to be anti-Bush and anti-bin Laden at the same time, without offending the voters. (Another irony is that as of Friday night John Kerry may finally be angry with Osama, in a way he never thought possible.)

3. Kerry's "third way" of accusing the president of outsourcing the bin Laden hunt at Tora Bora has all the appeal of shameless Monday morning quarterbacking, and it does not square with his own statements of support for our strategy at the time the hunt was on. He has no credibilitty on this issue, only criticism. That has not stopped him from shamelessly attempting to use the video against Bush. His campaign staff has been worse, even touting the Michael Moore-inspired talking points of OBL.

4. Kerry's political polling over the weekend, using the Osama video with reenforcing questions designed to drum up a supposed groundswell of negatives against the President, is positively beyond disgusting. It is vulgar. You can read all about it
here. This is the question that was asked on the poll. Would it surprise you to learn that a majority of the people questioned so far gave the first (desired) response?
"I'm going to read you a paraphrasement about the release of Bin Laden's videotape, please tell me what comes closer to your view: One, it makes me think that George W. Bush took his eye of the ball in Afghanistan and diverted his resources to Iraq; Two, it underscores the importance of George Bush's approach to terrorism."
It is a "have you stopped beating your wife?" question. All the emotional imagery is with answer one. The second is merely a dry statement of fact that carries no similar imperative to respond. It is an attempt to bias the poll results so that it appears America views George W. Bush as the enemy, forget bin Laden. Kerry speaks often about the divisions in this country, and yet he attempts to milk the Osama video to further divide the country from presenting a united front against OBL. (Critics will defend Kerry, pointing to his "we are all Americans" soundbite. Words are easy. It's what's you do that counts. In the next breath Kerry says, "I am uniquely qualified to deal with Osama" while his polling company prepares to mislead the American public with rigged results.

5. The American people do have a choice to make. They can reward Osama for killing thousands of our countrymen by giving him the gift of a new government that will "negotiate" and hold "summits" to end hostilities. The lives of the 9-11 dead, and those of a thousand American military men and women will have been in vain. This will make John Kerry a very happy man. It will be a short-term solution only. Osama, or others like him, will be back for more concessions from a weaker America.

Or the American people can do the right thing. They can authorize continued vigilance against terrorists, and reauthorize our attempt to create new conditions in the Middle East with fledgling democracies that may teach an ancient people a new way to think and act, a governance that will give us more in common, and give the peoples of the Middle East hope for their future. This requires disappointing John Kerry, Michael Moore and Osama bin Laden.

It is the only logical decision, at least as a Western mind perceives it.

Friday, October 29, 2004

OSAMA WEIGHS IN 4 days before America votes. Blaming George Bush, America in general, and Jews/Israel for every problem in OBL's strange world, the question is: Is this a warning or is it simply an attempt to influence the outcome of Tuesday's vote?

Vital info on Pentagon briefing

It's probably not the final word on all the al Qaqaa brouhaha, but it's good information and has vital context you won't find from the MainStreamMedia wing of the Kerry campaign.

Read this from Jim Geraghty of the online
National Review's Kerry Spot .

Friday mid-day overview

WHERE IS THE NY TIMES/CBS NEWS "disappearing explosives" credibility?

"Blown up, sir!"

The Pentagon stepped forward today with first-hand reports from the officer on the ground at al Qaqaa who supervised the removal of over 200 tons of the explosives between April and June 2003. Some of the explosives that were supposed to be at the depot were taken before the war -- the Pentagon has some nifty satellite spy-cam shots of the trucks loading up. Bottom line: al Qaqaa was not ignored or botched. That doesn't mean that it hasn't been confusing because no one's exactly kept a rolodex of weapons caches on easy file for inquiring reporters, but no one's supposed to. Considering the fact that the facts-challenged (flimsily researched) NYT story came to light on Monday, having it thoroughly checked by Friday seems like pretty good time.

But think of the damage had the Times agreed to wait until this Sunday to jointly blast with 60 Minutes!

Where is the credibility of that would-be commander-in-chief? Same as usual. Blasting away at al Qaqaa as if the sat pix and the contravening info did not exist. Kerry blasting away at the reputation of George Bush and the soldiers in harm's way, giving America a pretty good idea of who it is in this election who is stubbornly blind to facts and refuses to acknowledge his mistakes. Unfit for command, indeed!

A SCHILLING WON'T GIVE HIS TWO CENTS after all on the campaign trail. Though he paraded in Disney World Thursday, the Red Sox pitcher cancelled out on appearing with the president today, and says he shouldn't have shot off his mouth to America about voting Bush.

What happened? Schilling isn't saying, but speculation abounds that the ownership of the Red Sox, heavy supporters of Mr. Kerry, may have applied a little employer/employee pressure. Wouldn't be the first time something like this has happened. Interesting, too, that the NY Times Co. has a partial ownership in the Boston franchise. Hmmm ...

Our solution: A vote for George W. Bush is a vote to free a suppressed Curt Schilling! Make your protest on November 2. Vote Bush/Schilling.

KERRY LIE DETECTION ALERT! On Thursday night's NBC Nightly News John Kerry admits to Tom Brokaw that his military records are sealed. That, actually, happens to be the truth (finally) but Kerry has been telling other people that all his military records are public.
The transcript from last night:

Brokaw: Someone has analyzed the President's military aptitude tests and yours, and concluded that he has a higher IQ than you do.
Kerry: That's great. More power. I don't know how they've done it, because my record is not public. So I don't know where you're getting that from.
Now check out the transcript of Kerry talking to Don Imus on September 15:
IMUS: A Freedom of Information Act request by "The Washington Post" regarding your military records produced six pages of information, while a spokesman for the Navy Personnel Command said there were at least 100 pages of information available, but he was not authorized to release them. Why can't we see this stuff?
KERRY: We've posted my military records that they sent to me, or were posted on my Web site. You can go to my Web site, and all my -- you know, the documents are there.
IMUS: So is -- everything's available?
KERRY: To the best of my knowledge. I think some of the medical stuff may still be out there. We're trying to get it. We're not quite finished.

Back in April Kerry appeared with Chris Matthews on MSNBC's Hardball. The Kerry campaign was taking
shots at the president's record in the Air National Guard (after Kerry said it would not do this), so Matthews had a few questions about it:

MATTHEWS: OK. You did that today, Senator. You went after, you put out a statement in your
campaign, asking tough questions, documented questions—you had all the material there—about
President Bush‘s — President Bush‘s participation.
KERRY: I have not—I don‘t—I haven‘t seen what went out.
MATTHEWS: What went out, it basically tracks what you did the other day on “Good Morning America.” And the question your staff put out, under your name, is, is Bush telling the truth,
President Bush, when he said he had no special privileges or favoritism in jumping 150 places to get in the Air Guard in Texas? What do you think about that? Is that something you care about? You want to know the truth?

KERRY: He ought to answer that question.
KERRY: Because I‘ve answered the questions. I released all my military records. Mr. Gillespie
thought it was important enough to go travel to another state, make a big speech, demand that I release my records. I did. Everything. All of it. Including my officer fitness reports.

The truth is that John Kerry has refused to sign Form 180 that would release the rest of his military records, including his officer fitness reports and his discharge records. With four days left before Election Day he has one of the least transparent document histories of any modern presidential candidate. What he is hiding we can only speculate. There is little doubt that he has no desire to let the American public see the records.

Kudos to Tom Brokaw for drawing him into finally admitting the truth.

(Thanks to
Captain Ed at Captain's Quarters for the hat tip and the interview quotes.)

Reminder: Terror tape authentic

You've probably heard or seen part of it by now, the latest al Qaida terror tape warning. The CIA and FBI both agree that it appears genuine Grade A al Qaida though the head-wrapped host of this tape apparently gave everyone second thoughts.

Some doubt that the voice is an American. We have a pretty good ear for dialect and it sure sounds like an American to us.

Some say that the voice sounds highly educated. We say it sounds like an American who thinks he's intelligent but his reality falls somewhat short. The word "tyranny" gives him away. He pronounces it with a long I, as in Tie-ranny. But a less than scholarly American would look at the word "tyrant" -- which has the long I sound -- and could easily calculate that "tyranny" would be pronounced the same. He'd be wrong.

Whoever it is has been away from home for awhile and is trying to sound cultured.

Is the tape a "trigger" for infiltrator terrorists to take action? Possibly. Only a complete fool would think that the American elections would not provide a tempting target, and despite all precautions the chances of another terrorist attack are likely, sooner or later.

We're glad the tape was shown. Among its useful purposes is to remind all Americans that we are at war. We are still at war. We cannot afford to be anything less than vigilant. There is no turning back the clock to a pre-9/11 mindset. Terrorism is not a nuisance, it's an assault on our way of life and our freedoms. Americans have more or less understood this throughout our national history. Terrorism is also a spiritual assault on our values, in this case sponsored by people who are enemies of the Judao-Christian principles that comprise our system of risks and rewards and justice.

These terrorists see America as the Great Satan because just about everything about us, our strengths and our weaknesses, are anathema to their beliefs. They will not honor the white flag of surrender, for our surrender is not what they seek. It is either our total conversion to their way of thinking, or our annihilation. Whether that is a realistic goal on their part is beside the point. We cannot compromise or negotiate with those who do not value compromise or negotiation. We must defeat them to live. If we care about them, we must then work for their conversion to safer modes of thinking.

If it sounds difficult, well it should because it is. Nobody said it was going to be an easy job. But difficult jobs are in the American character. Yeah, we've got flaws and foibles, and a big part of the task ahead involves rededicating America to a more noble spirit where life is cherished at all levels, where individuals are a little less inclined to materialistic things and a little more inclined to spiritual improvement. But there's a foundation of goodness, and a reliance on hard work and individual responsibility that can fit in well with this spiritual growth. Call it the other side of the same coin, or the yin and yang of a responsible, free people.

George W. Bush understands this, the danger we face and the opportunity we have. He sees God as personal, engaged in history and has expectations of us. He deserves another term and our support during that term to work toward these goals.

John Kerry, who talks as if God is more abstract and disinterested in the details of history, does not seem to understand the truth of the danger we face, and he's too much of an internationalist and U.N. worshipper to grasp that America's role in the world is to reform itself and to lead a revival of freedom. Ultimately he does not seem to believe that we are at war.

We are still at war.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Someone to Vouch over me

Minnesota is ripe for voter fraud this year, and apparently the Democratic group Americans Coming Together (ACT) is gearing up for it. The short version: in Minnesota you can register to vote on election day as long as you provide proof of your name and address OR if you have someone vouch that you live in their neighborhood. Apparently ACT is sending in volunteers to watch polls to help "vouch" for newly registered voters, whether they know who they are or not.

Powerline has the full story:
A gun smokes in Minnesota

Defeat America first?

We may need to postpone the presidential election by a week. It's gonna take at least that long to analyze how thoroughly wrong John Kerry is for America. The latest example came today as the former war protester proclaimed that George W. Bush should apologize for Iraq just as John F. Kennedy "apologized" for the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

From the Associated Press:
"When the Bay of Pigs went sour, John Kennedy had the courage to look America in the eye and say, `I take responsibility, it's my fault," Kerry said, referring to a bungled invasion of Cuba in 1961. "John Kennedy knew how to take responsibility for the mistakes he made and Mr. President, it's long since time for you to start taking responsibility for the mistakes you made."
Forget that John Kerry would like to win Florida, yet just reminded an electorally significant number of Cuban Americans why they naturally distrust Democrats in the White House. Ignore the fact that in Iraq we did not send in an assault team of expatriot Iraqis and decide not to back them up. No in Iraq we went in, we kicked ass and took names, and we have stayed to clean out the nest of vipers who either have remained in hiding or who have crossed over the sands from other countries to engage in terror. Forget that President Bush did not go wobbly, and has pledged to see this thing through until victory is won for the Iraqi people.

Forget that the Cuban people are still in political and social bondage 43 years after the Bay of Pigs survivors were thrown into the harshest of Fidel's confinements.

As Kerry Spots Jim Geraghty says,
"The brilliance of this strategy eludes me."

Deacon at
Power Line calls it "The joy of defeatism."
We have noted before how John Kerry seems to regard Sept. 12, 2001 as a shining moment in American history because much of the world was united in feeling sorry for us. He has now found another high point -- the day that his hero, JFK, took some responsibility for his ignominious failure to keep his promise to support the Cuban ex-pats he sent into battle against Castro. And Kerry apparently remains quite proud of that magic day when he himself took responsibility, before a Senate Committe, for the crimes of the "army of Genghis Khan." One shudders to imagine what great new moments await our country if Kerry becomes president. Quite possibly a Kennedy-style betrayal of the Iraqis, for starters.
Finally, Val Prieto nails it down with a post that deserve a full read, not an excerpt, entitled
"Brave men spin in their graves."

SIGNS OF THE APOCALYPSE? -- Nervous news watchers notice significant Six signs in abundance in this snap of an ABC newscast. (Actually the signs were hailing six days before the election.)

Mary statue wards off Kerry

A reader of Mike Brown's excellent Catholic faith-based site Spirit Daily has an interesting note on the political campaign today (Spirit Daily: CAMPAIGN WANTED VIRGIN REMOVED):

Dear Spirit Daily,

In reference to the article, "Catholics May Tip Scales for Bush" on your website, I just thought I'd add my personal experience with Kerry. I am a pro-life Republican. My husband is a very involved, pro-union Democrat, strongly supporting Kerry. We live in Delaware County and when Kerry was beginning his "porch tours," we were approached by the Delaware County Democratic representative for Kerry, a Mr. Tom Hickey, to have Kerry come to our home in Upper Darby to hold a press conference on our front porch.

"When Mr. Hickey, came to set up the logistics of our home as a possible site and saw the Blessed Mother statue in front of our home, I was told by him that we would have to remove the Blessed Mother statue before Kerry could appear on our porch. This request was vehemently refused and our house was out of the running -- thank God! After this incident I wrote a heartfelt letter to Kerry explaining the whole occurrence and asking him personally to respond as to whether this was indeed his stand, refusing to appear at a home with a visible Blessed Mother statue, since he is trying to pass himself off as a practicing Catholic.

"The response I received was a form letter thanking me for my support of the Kerry-Edwards team and a bumper sticker for my car -- which I promptly threw in the trash. Nowhere in that letter did I offer any hint of support -- I was simply asking for clarification. He is a fraud and I think Catholics should know of his refusal to in anyway be associated with a family who are practicing Catholics, even though four out of the five people in my family are Democrats (all but myself). Thanks for listening."

Is this case of campaign malpractice, losing votes in your extended base because you are afraid to offend your hard-core supporters? Or is it possible that the Kerry campaign shuns overt signs of Catholic religiosity for simpler reasons such as it makes them uncomfortable?

You have to wonder how many other would-be Kerry voters have been offended in similar instances.

Thursday morning overview

Grab a few hours' sleep and wake up to find events trending in the right direction, albeit a bit surreal.

The big overnight story is the possibility that Russian troops moved large quantities of Saddam's explosives prior to the war. The Russians say "nyet" on this, but what would we expect? "Da, and we'll never do it again" ?

And even if the Russians didn't help Saddam, the removal from Al Qaqaa would not have been that difficult for the Iraqis themselves, especially now that we have learned, from
ABC News, that the IAEA (our good friends at the United Nations) could only verify 3 tons of explosives, not 377 tons as some Iraqis were claiming. ABC calls this "a considerable discrepancy." Considerable indeed!

Naturally the tone-deaf John Kerry is still on the stump furiously invoking al Qaqaa-big bang gone-Bush failed to plan-military units uninformed, incompent-blah blah blah, as if only the NY Times and 60 Minutes exist in his parallel universe. But he's wearing a borrowed Red Sox hat (our assumption since we haven't seen it before) and hoping to siphon off karma from the new world champions.

That may be hard to do. Curt Schilling today on GMA called for America to "vote Bush" and there are rumors the heroic Natural pitcher and Dubya may campaign together this weekend. Of Schilling, we can only express our greatest admiration for his gutsy performance in Game 2. His foot bleeding through his Sox -- they were indeed Red with the blood of a true patriot -- he held my beloved Cardinals scoreless for six innings, giving the Red Sox the confidence they would need to seal the deal on their first championship since you-know-when. Schilling set the tone.

Oh, Cardinals! Why pick World Series week to have your worst offensive slump of the year? Our hearts are broken but in our minds we've already figured out what really happened.

We blame John Kerry. Kerry boasted a week or so ago that he didn't care if the Red Sox lost the World Series as long as he won the White House. God was obviously listening, and God does not care for selfish aggrandizement. Thus, the World Series goes to Boston. The rest of the bargain you can figure out. (Looks like Johnny boy will be heading for Boston too).

TERROR WARNING -- The CIA and FBI have authenticated the new terror tape that is in the possession of ABC News. Now ABC is in crisis mode trying to determine whether its desire to election John Kerry is stronger than either its mandate to journalism or its civic responsibility to America. Jim Gerahty of the Kerry Spot
Kerry Spot says "be patient." Give 'em time to do the right thing. Okay, sound advice. Just hope al Qaida respects the ABC timetable.

Did Russia steal Kerry's thunder?

Iraq depot mystery solved
Missing ammo moved to Syria before war
Poorly researched CBS-NYT 'surprise'
goes 'kablooie' for gambling Kerry campaign
Department of Defense reportedly has satellite photos showing trucks leaving al Qaaqaa facility in brief period before U.S. began invasion. More details tie the removal to Russian special forces and the destination: Syria.
Other evidence suggests that U.N. weapons chief El Baradei lied about the explosives, knew earlier that many had been removed.
Washington Times reporter Bill Gertz is all over it here.
The NY Times isn't holding much in its hand right now and what is left is pretty limp. How desperate is their hour over at the Grey Lady? They're blaming bloggers for their haste to print. Or as Howard Kurtz of the WaPo writes in tomorrow's edition:
On Sunday night, New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller told Jeff Fager, executive producer of CBS's "60 Minutes," that the story they had been jointly pursuing on missing Iraqi ammunition was starting to leak on the Internet.
"You know what? We're going to have to run it Monday," Keller said.
Keller is also quoted as saying that except for last minute fact checking and editing, the story was "basically ready" Monday. Aside from the laughter this is affording us, it does make you wonder if this is the gold-standard review process typical of all NY Times articles.
No word yet on how the Kerry campaign is going to deal with the TOTAL MELTDOWN of the centerpiece of their final week offensive. Kerry was using the NYT ammo theft story at every campaign stop, and his campaign trotted out a couple of TV ads almost instantly, leading savvy observers to suspect that the Democrats were well aware of the breaking story just as they were in August when CBS' 60-Minutes II tried to pawn off the fake Bush Texas ANG documents. That blew up within 48 hours. So has this story.
The worst of it for Kerry is that his pounding of Bush on the al Qaqaa Affair emphasized just how important is the Middle East and the fight against Islamic terrorism, issues that Bush already had a clear advantage. Not only does Kerry NOT neutralize these issues now, but he's reversed his own earlier campaign position that Iraq was not a hard target anyway. He has inadvertently validated the bagging of Baghdad and the sacking of Saddam.
Pessimists will say that the MSM will ignore the truth, but we've got a feeling that this rebuttal has tremendous reach and legs. Already Fox News has more information, and others will follow. Further, the sheer hubris of Kerry mistaking this very thin story as his ticket to electoral success is too delicious to ignore. He quickly traded his serviceable campaign quarterhorse for what he thought was a "fine Arab charger" for the final sprint to the finish next Tuesday. Only that Arabian stallion is made of wood and the wheels just fell off. And Dubya continues to gallop along on ol' Hidalgo, who's suddenly feelin' a mite frisky and anxious to get back home.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

A Bipartisan in Massachusetts


"When John Kennedy spoke to people about his religion, he was essentially saying, 'I'm a Catholic, but don't hold it against me.' John Kerry essentially says, 'I'm a Catholic, but don't hold me to it.'"
State Representative Brian Golden, D-Mass.
(On why he is voting for George W. Bush)
Do check out "Golden Touch: A Massachusetts Democrat makes the case for George W. Bush." by National Review Online editor Kathryn Jean Lopez.
Especially if you're a Catholic.

Terror Warning Tape?

This is a "For Your Discernment" post.

Drudge and others reporting that ABC News has received a Terror Warning Tape in which

The terrorist claims on tape the next attack will dwarf 9/11. "The streets will run with blood," and "America will mourn in silence" because they will be unable to count the number of the dead. Further claims: America has brought this on itself for electing George Bush who has made war on Islam by destroying the Taliban and making war on Al Qaeda.

ABCNEWS strongly denies holding the tape back from broadcast over political concerns during the last days of the election.

The CIA is reporting today that it cannot "authenticate" the tape.

More Drudge:

ABCNEWS obtained the tape from a source in Waziristan, Pakistan over the weekend, sources tells DRUDGE.

"We have been working 24 hours a day trying to authenticate [the tape]," a senior ABCNEWS source said Wednesday morning, dismissing a claim that ABC was planning to air portions of the video during Monday's WORLD NEWS TONIGHT.
The terrorist's face is concealed by a headdress, and he speaks in an American accent, making it difficult to identify the individual.

US intelligence officials believe the man on tape may be Adam Gadhan - aka Adam Pearlman, a California native who was highlighted by the FBI in May as an individual most likely to be involved in or have knowledge of the next al Qaeda attacks. According to the FBI, Gadahn, 25, attended al-Qaida training camps and served as an al-Qaida translator.

The disturbing tape runs an hour -- the man simply identifies himself as 'Assam the American.'

We have a few questions: What does it mean to "authenticate" a tape? What exactly is being authenticated, the source of the tape, the seriousness of the threat, or the actual identity of the speaker? Or is it something else?

Given the seriousness of the threat, isn't the most prudent action on the part of ABC to air portions of the tape? Which is more serious: report the story, and nothing happens, or fail to report, all hell breaks loose and people get hurt because of ABC's newfound concern for documentation? How much is the political climate interferring with news judgment and civic responsibility? Further, given the recent trend of CIA sources to diss the president, can we trust the spy agency to give us an objective analysis?

Thank God for Drudge and others who leak this stuff and get it out in the open. True, it may mean nothing at all, but as a journalist I've always believed that ultimately the people have a right to know what's going on.

CREATIVELY APOCALYPTIC -- An Australian newspaper, The Daily Telegraph reported that "Jagged hailstones larger than cricket balls, flash flooding, and lightning strikes wreaked havoc in the second major storm to hit New South Wales within days." The serrated edges caused millions of dollars in damage to buildings in and around Sydney.

Endorsement from the Dark Side

One last nail into the Kerry campaign -- or a sign of the Apocalypse.

John Kerry has received the endorsement of one Benjamin Creme who, although described as an anti-Christ "wannabe" is probably better described as "the messenger" for something that sounds about as bad. is reporting (from Hollywood) that:

Benjamin Crème, one of the 'Esoteric' (occult) movement's most renowned speakers has been traveling the globe for nearly 30 years claiming to be the mouthpiece of the "Ascended Masters". Crème has attracted attention not only from occult followers but also from wary Christians as he has claimed to foretell the imminent appearance of Maitreya - a being Crème hails as the Messiah.

Attention to Crème beyond devout New-Agers comes as a result of his rhetoric on Maitreya which fits well with a Biblical depiction of the Anti-Christ as one who comes in the name of Christ.

"As the day of destiny approaches, the minds of many turn to the beleaguered people of America whom, now, so many despise and hate. They pray for the deliverance of its people from the cruel and crude exponents of illegal, usurped power."

The way things are going it's not wise to totally discount every weirdness out there. One of these days it's going to be the real McCoy.

(NOTE -- We briefly considered mentioning that this news item came out on the same day that Andrew Sullivan finally revealed -- admitted, really -- that he is voting for John Kerry. But that would've been a cheap shot, don't you think?)

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Bio weapons warning issued

While most of America is chasing after the NY Times' "dust in the wind" story on missing explosives -- losing traction by the minute as more pieces of the attempted October surprise ambush are discovered and put into place -- a much greater danger continues to grow.

The British Medical Association is out with a report that claims the "window of opportunity is shrinking fast" to stop the threat of bio-terror, The Scotsman reported today.

Professor Malcolm Dando, the head of Peace Studies at Bradford University, who has studied arms control for 20 years, wrote the report. He said: "What we are talking about here is the development of a technology which could clearly be misused by terrorists or deranged individuals. ..."

He said if nothing is done, bio-weapons technology could be harnessed by terrorists to target specific ethnic groups to release devastating diseases, such as the 1918 Spanish flu. Among the biological weapons with the potential to wreak havoc are genetically engineered anthrax and a synthetic version of the polio virus.

The British group advocates multilateral agreements among nations to slow the spread of biotechnology, but admits that you can figure it out by researching it on the internet. Although they do some finger pointing at the U.S. for shunning an international accord five years ago (Clinton Administration), it is hard to see how the American government's position, which bans cloning, is any worse than those nations that are encouraging cloning experiments. While cloning itself is not necessarily bio-terror related, any group or lab that can clone has the capability of engineering designer viruses.

Just something else to think about when you go to the polls next week.

Cabbie Consequences in NYC

'Tis the decline of American civilization, the day that you can silence a New York City cabbie.

The Associated Press is reporting that the city's taxi commission is cracking down on drivers who express pro-Bush sentiment. (

"A WORD of advice to New York City taxi drivers: If you support President Bush (news - web sites) in this GOP-hostile town, keep your mouth shut.

"Last week, I introduced you to Etzer Jerome, who was fined $500 and had his hack license suspended for three weeks after he expressed fondness for Bush to a passenger."

The reporter also tells of another driver who was brought up on charges of giving bad customer service because she argued conservative politics with a liberal musician rider.

Just think how nice these pro-Kerry people will be if they win.

Why not blame Bush for sunburns too?

Silly season is sillier than usual.

Billboards along I-4 between Tampa and Orlando in Florida are blaming the president for the rash of hurricanes that hit the state this year. (
"Blame Bush for Hurricanes")

No, seriously.

Two groups -- one an "environmental" advocacy group, the other the NAACP (you probably didn't know they were scientists) -- have pooled their resources to convince the electorate that a vote for George Bush is a vote for hurricanes and homelessness.

Their premise is global warming, naturally. Many scientists aren't sure what causes global warming, and not all meteorologists are convinced that hurricanes will necessarily get worse because of it. New scientific data seems to indicate that the sun itself has turned up the heat on planet Earth a few notches in the last fifty years, accounting for perhaps as much as two-thirds of any as-yet-indeterminate warming trend.

Okay, the environmental group's involvement we sort of understand. Does the NAACP think that the globally-warmed new breed of hurricane discriminate against minorities? Or is the truth that the enviros need the NAACP's money to get out the message "Blame Bush for All Bad Things" ?

More on NYTrogate

Dep't of Concise Writing --
John Kerry's position is that he won't tell us whether or not he would have removed the dictator who was stockpiling HMX, but in the event that he had, he would have waged the war with fewer flaws than any other major military operation in history has been waged. This posture neatly combines cowardice with opportunism and over-promising: a trifecta of contemptibility.
-- National Review editorial

Read the rest here.

They've also got a pretty good handle on Kerry's "Faith" statement last weekend. It follows the NYTrogate editorial.

NYTro-gate misfires, CBS undies exposed

Never trust a lefty journalist in a time of war. They do not know how to hold their fire. Stonewall Jackson would be so ashamed of them.

Thank God.

The New York Times (NYT) missing ammo story has blown up in their face. Being dubbed NYTrogate in blogdom (thanks to
Polipundit) it has taken less than 24 hours to reveal the fact that the alleged 380 tons of high grade explosives was not found at the ammo dump when the 101st Airborne arrived. How do we know? NBC had a team of imbedded reporters with the 101st, and NBC reported Monday evening that the ammo was already gone.

(Or as Bill Murray might have said in Stripes, "Blown up, sir!" That's one of the possibilities.)

Ah, but it gets better still. Drudge reports today that
60 MINS PLANNED BUSH MISSING EXPLOSIVES STORY FOR ELECTION EVE. Well, isn't that sweet. A scary Halloween surprise for the Bush-Cheney re-elect team with little more than a day to go before voting begins and no time for counter-investigation of the story.

Except that the NYT wouldn't and couldn't wait to dish out the dirt in the final week of the campaign. This tells us a couple of things:

1. The story was not well researched. If the NYT reporters knew how old and flimsy the story was, they would have held off until later in the campaign cycle. (Note we say they would've "held off," not spiked the story.)

2. CBS probably did not know the NYT was working with the same "United Nations" sources on the same story. Either that or CBS had figured out that it was a bogus tale of limited legs and figured the NYT staff was smart enough to know that too.

3. It says that CBS refuses to crawl out of the slime-pit it has created for itself. Even in the wake of Rathergate they have learned nothing. In the words of Polipundit:

They refuse to release the results of the RatherGate investigation until after the election because it might affect the election.
Bottom line: CBS is fine with last-minute stories that “affect the election” in favor of Kerry. Stories that might help President Bush are ruthlessly suppressed.

So where did the ammo go?

No one knows for sure but the most likely explanation is that it got moved by Saddam's Iraqi forces sometime between March 8, 2003, and April 10, 2003. That's a little over a month in which a lot of men, machinery and materiel were moving here and there. There was a window of opportunity and someone went through it.

Is it George W. Bush's fault? Only if you buy into the notion that the world was safer with those 380 tons sitting there under Saddam's jurisdiction with pretty little plastic IAEA tags placed on 'em. (No wait, it is not even clear from the evidence that the IAEA even tagged the stuff.) In reality, the fault could be with all those "world test" types like John Kerry who forced us to delay and delay while the inspectors were run through Saddam's silly WMD drill. If the U.S. had gone in earlier, there would not have been enough time to remove the ammo.

So should we blame this problem on John Kerry? No. He's proven himself as a "not responsible" man.
But we can blame John Kerry for rushing to the microphone with NYTro-gate and declaring to the world what an incompetent president Bush is. Wrong! The incompetence is with the NY Times, CBS 60 Minutes and the politicians who are in bed with them.

UPDATE -- Captain's Quarters as usual has an angle worthy of view. A teaser:

One can understand the reluctance of the New York Times to backpedal on what it thought was a sure-fire takedown of George Bush, eight days before the election, even though their reporters and editors wound up only doing a half-ass job of research. (They undoubtedly did not plan on having NBC make them look like idiots.)
Read all of it.

Re: Another Kerry Whopper

After further review we throw the yellow flag
In our earlier post we found ourselves underwhelmed by the revelation that John Kerry lied about meeting with the United Nations Security Council back in 2002 before the run-up to the Iraq War. So Kerry fibs, we thought. Nothing new here.

Well, we were wrong.

A more thorough examination by and others came up with more damning details. In several public speeches, Kerry describes meeting with the entire UN Security Council and includes the words German and Germans. One, Germany is not one of the five Permanent members of the Security Council (for the civics-challenged, these are the United States, Great Britain, France, Russia and China.) Two, Germany was not on the security council as part of the rotating membership of ten.

In other words, while Kerry might well have met with a German or two in his skulking around as Mr. Unofficial Diplomat of the World, he sure as hell did not meet with them as part of a Security Council session. This story is pure rubbish, and evil.

John Kerry, in the second presidential debate, looked 55 million Americans in their collective eyes, pointed his finger at the president, and said,

"I went to meet with the members of the Security Council in the week before we voted. I went to New York. I talked to all of them to find out how serious they were about really holding Saddam Hussein accountable. I came away convinced that, if we worked at it, if we were ready to work and letting Hans Blix do his job and thoroughly go through the inspections, that if push came to shove, they'd be there with us. " [Emphasis mine]

"But the president just arbitrarily brought the hammer down and said, 'Nope. Sorry, time for diplomacy is over. We're going.'"

Since the debates Kerry has echoed these remarks across America accusing President Bush of not even trying to work with the Security Council, basing this on his "understanding" in a meeting that never took place. He's asking the American people to trust him with the highest office in the land, the most powerful position in the world, in part because he's concocted a fancy story that bolsters his credibility as a world power broker.

Now the question for the American public: Are we going to allow him to get away with this?

The MainStreamMedia is going to avoid this incident. Count on it. It's up to all of us to reveal the truth. We've got a week. No more.

Monday, October 25, 2004

It's official: Islam prefers Kerry

It's one of those endorsements stories that causes campaign officials to cringe, especially this late in the game. Reuters (or al Reuters, as Little Green Footballs tags 'em) released a report today from Cairo detailing how Arab leaders across the Mideast have given up on the "Devil They Know" in the White House.

So they're pulling for a Kerry win. Said one:

"Bush is a lost cause for most Arabs... Kerry might do better, especially if he does disengage from Iraq ...'"

Complaints range from the "we-don't-talk-anymore" whine to the Big Kahuna, the Bush White House's continued support for Israel, it's security and sovereignty. "It really can't get worse," one said. A few more choice morsels:

"In the Arab world, Washington's image problem stems largely from its support for Israel, compounded by the perception that Bush's "war on terror" demonizes Arabs and Muslims by ignoring the roots of violence ..."

"The exceptions who favor Bush, analysts say, are the Saudi royal family, whom Kerry has personally antagonized, a small group of liberals who take seriously Bush's commitment to
political reform in the Middle East ..."

Oh, please! The refrain "ignoring the roots of violence" was old 30 years ago, and anyway, the "roots of violence" aren't always the same. Timothy McVeigh blew up 160-plus people in downtown Oklahoma City, but he didn't do it because he was starving, disenfranchised or suffering from systemic discrimination. The roots of the current violence in the Middle East stem from the fact that fundamentalist Islam, the brand in vogue, preaches hatred against Christians and other infidels, and worse against Jews, whose right to even exist is questioned.

You wanna talk "roots of violence"? How about the aspirations of millions of Arabs who live in squalor while the shieks, mullahs, princes and prime ministers have access to 21st Century wealth, prestige and power, much of it from sales of oil to the despised Christians and infidels. Freedom cannot be subdivided into religious and economic realms. You either have it all, freedom that is, or you have no freedom. That explains the next part of the Reuters report:

"The U.S. presidential election campaign is hardly the talk of Arab cities or villages, where indifference to the result and contempt for both candidates are widespread, analysts say."

"'The great majority, even more than 70 percent, don't think that Bush or Kerry make a difference because both are evil, because the United States is evil,' said Abdel Moneim Said."

Ah, but the great silent majority of the Arab world don't actually vote, do they? Except for the newly freed citizens of Iraq or Afghanistan, that is.

Wonder who's responsible for that?

Daschle's moment in the sun

John Kerry's not the only one in an election race sporting a healthy ego.

You must check out on their
"Quote of the Day .

And if you can't work the link, you just have to read it anyway:

"As one of the two leaders of the US Senate, I have the opportunity to sit at one of the most powerful desks in the country, if not the world. And I believe the sun will continue to rise over our state as long as I continue to sit at that desk." - Senator Tom Daschle, taking credit for the sunrise, according to The Independent.

No riots if "we" win?

From Drudge "NO RIOTS IF WE WIN":

"The wife of Dem vice presidential hopeful John Edwards said on Sunday there will be no riots around the election -- if Kerry/Edwards wins!"

C-SPAN cameras captured spouse Elizabeth Edwards making the startling comments to a supporter during a Kerry Campaign Town Hall Meeting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Supporter: Kerry's going to take PA.

Liz Edwards: I know that.

Supporter: I'm just worried there's going to be riots afterwards.

Liz Edwards: Uh.....well...not if we win.

(Drudge also has audio clips.)

What can one say? Absolutely. Utterly. Thoughtless.

The next time some Catholic liberal (or official Catholic newspaper) tries to tell you that no priest or bishop should ever speak of politics lest the Church lose its tax exempt status, show 'em this colorful photo from Sunday, October 24, 2004, as that fearless preacher Ted Kennedy (isn't he supposed to be RC?) fires up the faithful for Kerry/Edwards at the Airy Church of God in Christ in Philadelphia. If this is illegal, why are major Democrats getting away with it in church after church this year?

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Another Kerry Whopper

The Washington Times has a page 1 investigative piece ("Security Council members deny meeting Kerry") in tomorrow's edition (Monday, Oct. 25, 2004) that shreds an important John Kerry claim: that he met with the members of the U.N. Security Council just before the October 2002 vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq. An excerpt:

At the second presidential debate earlier this month, Mr. Kerry said he was more attuned to international concerns on Iraq than President Bush, citing his meeting with the entire Security Council.

"This president hasn't listened. I went to meet with the members of the Security Council in the week before we voted. I went to New York. I talked to all of them, to find out how serious they were about really holding Saddam Hussein accountable," Mr. Kerry said of the Iraqi dictator.

Speaking before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York in December 2003, Mr. Kerry explained that he understood the "real readiness" of the United Nations to "take this seriously" because he met "with the entire Security Council, and we spent a couple of hours talking about what they saw as the path to a united front in order to be able to deal with Saddam Hussein."

But of the five ambassadors on the Security Council in 2002 who were reached directly for comment, four said they had never met Mr. Kerry. The four also said that no one who worked for their countries' U.N. missions had met with Mr. Kerry either.

The former ambassadors who said on the record they had never met Mr. Kerry included the representatives of Mexico, Colombia and Bulgaria. The ambassador of a fourth country gave a similar account on the condition that his country not be identified.

Ambassador Andres Franco, the permanent deputy representative from Colombia during its Security Council membership from 2001 to 2002, said, "I never heard of anything."

Although Mr. Franco was quick to note that Mr. Kerry could have met some members of the panel, he also said that "everything can be heard in the corridors."

Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, Mexico's then-ambassador to the United Nations, said: "There was no meeting with John Kerry before Resolution 1441, or at least not in my memory."

All had vivid recollections of the time frame when Mr. Kerry traveled to New York, as it was shortly before the Nov. 7, 2002, enactment of Resolution 1441, which said Iraq was in "material breach" of earlier disarmament resolutions and warned Baghdad of "serious consequences as a result of its continued violations."

Stefan Tafrov, Bulgaria's ambassador at the time, said he remembers the period well because it "was a very contentious time."

After conversations with ambassadors from five members of the Security Council in 2002 and calls to all the missions of the countries then on the panel, The Times was only able to confirm directly that Mr. Kerry had met with representatives of France, Singapore and Cameroon.

And ...

A U.S. official with intimate knowledge of the Security Council's actions
in fall of 2002 said that he was not aware of any meeting Mr. Kerry had with members of the panel.

An official at the U.S. mission to the United Nations remarked:
"We were as surprised as anyone when Kerry started talking about a meeting with the Security Council."

The money quotes:

The revelation that Mr. Kerry never met with the entire U.N. Security Council could be problematic for the Massachusetts senator, as it clashes with one of his central foreign-policy campaign themes — honesty.

The Democrat has also made his own veracity a centerpiece of his campaign, calling truthfulness
"the fundamental test of leadership."

Mr. Kerry closed the final debate by recounting what his mother told him from her hospital bed, "Remember: integrity, integrity, integrity."
The bottom line: John Kerry fibbed again. When the spotlight comes on, his imagination soars, and he doesn't necessarily say what is true, just what ought to be true if the world were perfect for John Fakin' It Kerry.

Is the fabrication part of a strategy? If it is, it's reprehensible. Is the fabrication an inadvertent part of Kerry's thought processes? If it is, that's really scary.

Any surprises here? None. This is Kerry-caught-lying-again. The only question is whether, with 9 days left before election day, will it will make any difference? Anyone with common sense should know that you don't want a president who cannot distinguish reality from fantasy.

UPDATE -- The Pajamahadeen of the Blogosphere are similar under-whelmed by the Washington Times article, at least in the sense that it tells us nothing new about Mr. Kerry and only confirms what we suspected. To paraphrase one writer, in any other year a major presidential candidate who lied about meetings with the Security Council would face lots of hostile press scrutiny; meanwhile Kerry gets a pass.

The always articulate Roger L. Simon, however, weighs in with the "S" word on Kerry, that word being Sociopath. You can catch his drift with Christmas in Cambodia All Over Again .

In other news from the Kerry world of Mendacity and Prevarication, Football Fans for Truth spots a verifiable whopper as Johnny tells of being only 30-yards away from a famous Game 6 World Series game in 1986, in New York's Shea Stadium, when the hometown newspapers in Boston most definitely record his presence at a dinner in Boston at exactly the same moment. Perhaps the good senator knows how to bi-locate. It would come in handy during a political campaign.

UPDATE II -- This may be a bigger story than we thought. breaks down each instance that Kerry has told the "I met with the entire Security Council" story, and wow, has he told it a bunch. Redstate argues that it goes to the heart of whether Kerry is the major league diplomatic he claims to be or whether he's a major league imposter, telling whoppers at point blank range to the American people.

We were inclined to shrug our shoulders at first, but after reading this assemblage of Kerry quotes we think it deserves wider attention.

That's what we're afraid of ...

Maybe John Kerry, when he's at an outdoor rally in Pueblo, allows himself to look to the west, see the Rocky Mountains rising to hide the Arkansas River and Royal Gorge, then imagines himself alone on a motorcycle, heading across the Colorado high plains, and he thinks, "It doesn't matter what I say to these people. We're isolated. No one back home's gonna know."

And then he opens his mouth and declares that he, the hero of the Vietnam war, will hunt down al Qaeda
"with the same energy he used to pursue the Viet Cong."

Well, Johnny, that's exactly what we are afraid of. To review:

1. Kerry served only four months on his Swift Boat, taking advantage of a rule that allowed multiple Purple Heart recipients to opt for stateside duty. His "wounds" were extremely minor, none requiring much more than a band-aid, and at least one (by even his own campaign staff's admission) probably accidentally self-inflicted. He is the only Swift Boat commander to ever leave with less than a year's service without major hospitalization involved.

2. Upon his return to America, John Kerry "swiftly" became a leading spokesman against the Vietnam War, and apologist for the Viet Cong. He went to Paris (France) and met with representatives of the VC and the North Vietnamese, then came back and organized the controversial "Winter Soldier" hearings that accused American military men of the worst kind of atrocities. He testified to Congress about his "findings."

3. Whether or not he was still an acting officer of the Navy in good standing while commanding the political fight against the war is a matter of some mystery and debate. Kerry will not release the Form 180 that would resolve this mystery by unsealing his records.

None of this would matter if he had once just sincerely apologized to all the servicemen whose reputations he tarnished in those years after he hopped off the Swift Boat. Instead he says he is proud of his service and cites it to show what a tough hombre he would be if only we would put away our reservations and elect him president.

No, if he would only apologize, then we could get down to the business of resolving why his U.S. Senate record of nearly 20 years is one of voting against a strong America, of opposing weapons systems, of votes to slash spending on intelligence, and of consistently voting in favor of expanding abortion "rights" and for higher taxes.

John Kerry, an al Qaeda hunter? He wouldn't even stoop to pack out his own goose last week in Ohio.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Don't go near the riot

It's not that celebrating is bad, it's just that some people don't know how.

Sadly the triumph of a city's sports team has become an opportunity for rioting and looting for values-deprived barbarians mingling amongst us. It's happened twice in Boston in 2004, the first with the Patriots' Super Bowl victory, and now with the Red Sox historic come-from-behind win over the Yankees. Both times someone has been killed, the first when a car careened out of control, the latest a young female college student accidentally hit by a policeman's pepper spray projectile.

Boston authorities are concerned, of course, because the Sox have home field advantage in the World Series, and celebratory violence could erupt again. (See
Death Raises Questions, The Associated Press) Concerned, but not enough to invoke the city's emergency ban on alcohol sales during major sporting events.

What is disturbing is that some people don't seem to understand what happened Thursday night. One young man, who was attempting to scale the back side of the Green Monster, apparently did notice that cars were being set afire. Forced to dismount, he lamented, "There was nothing violent going on. It was all celebration."

Yeah, right. Just good clean, drunker-n-a-skunk fun, with a few Boston bad-asses thrown in for good measure. Just enough property destruction and rioting among 80,000 spontaneous celebrants to require the police to take counter-measures that inadvertently led to the death of one 21-year-old innocent.

But what really flips us out (or off, perhaps) is that readers called and e-mailed to the Boston Herald and forced an apology for running a front-page photo of the dying girl lying on the ground. Looks like the Herald will be more "sensitive" from now on, and ordinary folks won't have to see anything that might actually disturb their enjoyment of the next celebration.

We saw the photo. It's sad. It's also instructive. Something seriously awful happened on the streets outside of Fenway, and the proof is on page one. It's not an abstract statistic heard over the TV or the radio, not just a rumor among the office staff. A real human being, Victoria Snelgrove, died because of the actions of a few self-centered, nihilistic malcontents. The kind of people who show up to protect the G-8 summits. The kind of people who say society is discriminatory, unfair and evil, and then go out and try to prove it. The kind of people who would rather set fire to an automobile than to get a job and purchase one.

In the meantime the rest of us get squeamish. It brings up a very large and universally American issue for today. We can't abide looking at a photo of a tragedy -- it might prick our conscience and force us to become involved -- so we project our weakness onto other readers or viewers and we demand that news media do a better job of censoring the news for us.

That's why we don't see the terrorist video of Islamic ritual beheadings. Oh, we hear about it and we "tut-tut, that's horrible" and go on about our merry way to the cinema, or the job, or the supermarket. But it doesn't make an impression on us. It's antiseptic. An idea only, non-bloody and therefore, not really real. Oh, but to show those videos on the news, why it would just devastate the families of those poor victims! Wake up, people! The families are already devastated. What will trouble them even more in the coming weeks and months is the complacency of their fellow citizens, the forgetfulness that comes so easily when a tragic image is not burned into our memories, the inevitable lack of concern for their loss.

There are certain images that have stayed with us through the years. American soldiers given a heroes welcome at the liberation of Paris. Jackie Kennedy cradling the bloody head of her husband on the back of a presidential limo speeding to a Dallas hospital. The little naked, napalm-burned Vietnamese girl running from her burning village. The body of that Kent State student lying on the sidewalk, another student wailing over her. To name but a few ...

These and others brought people to understand, and to consensus about certain things. Yet today we are thought to be too sophisticated, too nuanced, too sensitive in our way of thinking. Somehow we have transcended the need for graphic reminders?

Nonsense. We are merely hiding our heads in the sand. We hide from truth in all shapes and sizes, preferring instead the false reality of entertainment and the false security of our antiseptic lives. If we are not careful it will be our undoing.

Early voting bullying

The nastiness we expected has begun in Florida. The Drudge Report links this morning to a South Florida Sun-Sentinel report that 'Early voting brings cries of bullying' as voters participating in early polling across the state are officially complaining about harassment from "Kerry thugs."

Here's just one sworn report included in the news story:

One woman who voted early in Boca Raton, at the Southwest County Regional Library, complained that as she stood in line, two men behind her were "trashing our president," Fletcher said, declining to identify the woman. She tried to ignore them.

Then the man touched her arm and said, "Who are you voting for?" "I said, `I don't think that's an appropriate question,'" the woman said she responded. "Uh oh! We have a Bush supporter here," screamed the man behind her.

For the 21/2 hours she had to wait in line, she was heckled by the man. As they neared the voting room, someone in the rear of the line yelled, "I sure hope everyone here is voting for Kerry!" she reported.

That's when the man behind her held his hand over her head and screamed, "We have a Republican right here!" There were "boos and jeers" from the crowd. "I felt intimidated, harassed and threatened!" the woman wrote in her complaint to the Republican Party.

It's obvious that the McAuliffe-run Democrats are going to depress the GOP vote any way they can, legally or illegally. For many Bush voters it's going to take an extra measure of courage this year. That's okay, the cause is worth it and the victory will be all that much sweeter in the end. Remember: "If it isn't close, they can't cheat!"

Just another holiday tradition

How many times were we warned by various "experts" in the MainStreamMedia that America should tread softly during the holy month of Ramadan so as not to upset the peaceful sensibilities of Islamic peoples? We sure wouldn't want to initiate hostilities during Ramadan, nor be too "provocative." We wouldn't like it if they "started" something at Christmas now, would we?

What nonsense that advice turned out to be. You must check out this post on MEMRI (the Arab news world's translation site) to see how Islamic fundamentalists editorialize their "holy" month in a little post called
'Come Closer to Allah Through the Blood of Infidels' .

Turns out it's a Ramadan tradition to spill the blood of infidels (Christians, Jews, atheists, Republicans, Democrats; they're not picky), distantly analogous to our spilling the blood of well-fed turkeys at Thanksgiving, or decking the halls with boughs of holly at Christmas, or kissing under the mistletoe. Just envision what a jolly ol' time is promised:

"Muslims! Go out to [fight] Jihad for the sake of Allah! Paradise has already flung open its gates and the virgins of paradise are already decked out in anticipation of their grooms – this is Allah's promise."

" Jihad fighters everywhere! This month of Jihad has come with all its blessings and with the double reward [granted to Jihad fighters] in its course. Come closer to Allah through the blood of infidels, do not relent in spilling [their blood], and through [this blood] wipe out humiliation and disgrace from among your Muslim nation!"

"Men of Jihad, this is your festive season since Jihad, in a state of fasting, has a particularly delectable taste for the believers, especially [when together] with the dignity of the month of Ramadan. How wonderful it is to delight in the breaking of the fast and to taste the killing of infidels, to delight in the sound of the wailing of tyrants and lowly degenerates ... "

[A Historical Note] "The most courageous and finest forays took place in Ramadan, for in the battle of salvation – the Battle of Badr – the heads of the bravest infidels from the tribe of Quraysh were sent flying, and Allah gave His Messenger and Prophet victory ..."

"The Prophet Muhammad - in a prophetic tradition related on the authority of Abu Hurayra, [explaining] God's words, 'You are the best community ever raised for mankind' [ Koran 3:110] - said: 'That means you are the best people for mankind [because] you lead them, with chains on their necks, so that they accept Islam.' "
MEMRI says the author of the first editorial is being sought by Saudi authorities. It does not say why. That's about the only hopeful note we could find on a page that praises the recent hotel bombing in Egypt because it killed Jews, "the most wicked of all humans" who for fifty years "have flooded" Palestine with iniquity.

There's more and if you haven't got the message yet maybe you need to click and read. It isn't necessary to hate those who hate us, nor is hate very useful, but it is important to understand the nature of those who have declared themselves enemies of the West. This is not one of these conflicts we're going to escape through negotiations. We're going to have to defend our way of life and our religious faith (that covers even those of you whose lifestyle is your religious faith) until such time as Islam mutates or is converted to Christianity or secularism. (But that's another topic altogether).

As bad as the Nazis were (and they were bad), at least most of their soldiers and officers were not religious fanatics and Hitler wasn't sitting on an ocean of oil that the rest of the world needed. That conflict took six years and millions of lives. This conflict may take a bit longer. It doesn't look like we've got much choice unless we withdraw back to fortress America, give up the automobile and return to the horse and buggy. That would mean that the secularist American would lose after all.

That could cause a real crisis of faith.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Well, she's different ...

In the interests of tradition and decorum, we try not to say much about the family members of the president or his challenger. It's too easy to step over the line, and generally speaking the spouse and children have little to do or say on public policy.

This rule is not iron-clad. Had blogs existed in the Carter era there is no way we would have ignored brother Billy. The exception also went for Hillary Clinton because the Clintons decided to make her a "partner" in the presidency, at least for awhile. Now as a U.S. Senator, why of course she's comment-worthy.

Teresa Heinz-Kerry, who has shown little reluctance to stay out of the limelight especially in regard to pronouncements on public policy, recently discovered the "over the line" trip-wire when she lamented that Laura Bush had never had a "real job" as an adult. School teachers and librarians from the mountains to the pairies were not pleased. Nor were stay-at-home mothers.

TH-K seems like the spotlight and she's getting it. The
Washington Times has an article today detailing how Washington's "polite society" -- read that "influential Democratic socialites" -- are breathless over the "fresh air" she will bring as the new First Lady. That's assuming John can swing the deal Nov. 2.

The story is fairly balanced and might be required reading for anyone still sitting on the fence. After all, a woman with over a billion $$$ in assets will most definitely have her say in a Kerry Administration. Some quotes:

Is mainstream America ready for Teresa Heinz Kerry, a woman who radio host Don Imus wonders might be "too crazy to be first lady"?

"The French will love her ..."

"She knows people in all walks of life," said Time magazine photographer Diana Walker, one of Mrs. Kerry's closest friends. "She knows where the brains are."

Mrs. Kerry is pro-choice and pro-homosexual rights. Over the past decade, through the Heinz Endowments, she donated $8.1 million to the liberal nonprofit Tides Center, making hefty
donations to the Three Rivers Community Foundation, which funds the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh. Marian Wright Edelman, Hillary Clinton's mentor and head of the Children's Defense Fund, has also been a recipient of Mrs. Kerry's largesse.

Mrs. Wallop points out that the Bushes have only hosted "what, four or five state dinners in four years? These people don't understand that to get things done you have to have these stupid dinners."
It's obvious many people fault the Bush family for a lack of fashion sense, for failure to party. We suppose that's important to some people but honestly, does it make a dime's difference to the rest of us in how we live our lives? And in a time of great national peril, is the staging of a grand White House dinner and dance soiree even a good idea? Does it send the right message to friend or foe? Sounds like something the French would do.

We admit that TH-K is interesting. Sometimes funny, like when she declared that she only added the hypen-Kerry to her name for political reasons. We also fear that her novelty might wear thin, and there are definitely a half-dozen or so potential conflicts-of-interest that might bear watching, financially speaking.

Goose steppin' round the truth?

(First, heave a big sigh ... then post)

Is there anything John Kerry does in this campaign that is straight up? You know, no spin, no questions, no ambivalencies, no shades of gray, questionable motives or tactics? Total transparency?

(We have over 10 more days of this stuff left. God have mercy on us.)

It appears John Kerry can't even pretend to be the Great Hunter without botching it. He went goose hunting Thursday to prove how virile, how manly, how pro-Second Amendment he is despite having an "F" rating from the NRA based on his voting pattern in Congress. It was Thursday=Testosterone day on the Kerry campaign calendar.

The problem? Kerry says everybody bagged a goose. There were four in the party. Only three geese were visible, and Kerry was empty-handed. No reporter was allowed to witness the shooting. Ordinarily that would be no big deal, but as so many other campaign events have shown, the after-spin exceeded the visible proof.

Radio Blogger cries
"Show me the goose!" and has other related links. Read all about it if you need further convincing that John Kerry is one strange "giddy" dude. As for me, I will be glad when American voters toss him out of our lives. He is an embarrassment.

Historical repetition

Apparently President Lincoln had his own John Kerry to deal with, an involuntarily retired general named George McClelland, a Democrat who in 1864 challenged Honest Abe for the presidency. But don't waste time with our poor paraphrased edition, check out Mark Slover's Double Canister at Ten Yards, an entertaining Midwestern blog that will give you the low-down. (Hat Tip: Vodkapundit)

As a special bonus, read on as Mark fires off another salvo at the MSM idiots who wouldn't know a mutiny from a Chinese fire drill. He gets into the recent bally-hooed story about the Army unit in Iraq that refused to make a fuel shipment. The rest of the story will surprise you and set your fears to rest that morale might be breaking down.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Scott Rolen (27) and the boys with the "birds on the bat" celebrate as they make ready to meet the Sox in Boston on Saturday.

Cardinals win, 5-2

Red means Go to the World Series!
Yeah, we're a little bit happy here in Cardinal country ...