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September 30, 2004

The Debates: Quick Hit « Politics As Usual »

Kerry won the style points.
Bush seemed...tired. Defensive. He had amazingly long pauses at really bad times.

On the substance side, though, I think it was a toss-up, but that was totally from Bush. As in, Bush got in some great shots, but he weakened his case by (as you so aptly put it before) merely repeating the advertising point sound-bytes for most of the debate. But Kerry neither added anything of value to the substance, nor detracted.

To be honest, I'm really disappointed. This is the first debate I've ever watched, and Frank Martin and I have had better political discussions with deeper points.
Jo and I would have held people transfixed with the passion, verve, and great points. Each time someone spoke you'd probably say, "Hmmm...that's a good point."
I saw absolutely none of that here. Nothing new was introduced. Kerry keeps saying Bush had no plan to win the peace; I'd like to have seen Bush directly address that by discussing what the plan was from the beginning and showing, point-by-point, how a hostile counter force has affected those plans. Instead we got an indirect "We're fighting an enemy, and once the people of Iraq stand up for themselves, we can get out." Kerry said several times that Bush has no plan for Iraq other than stay the course. I would love to have seen Bush use 2 minutes to lay out, point-by-point (again!), just what we are trying to do. "125k by year's end" isn't specific enough or long-term enough. Doing so would also have revealed the obvious flaws, omissions, and ambiguities in Kerry's "plan".
Missed opportunity: Why didn't President Bush say even once what the point of the Global War on Terror is? He said several times that he understood it and Kerry didn't. But he never addressed it directly, as in, the point of fighting in places like Afghanistan and Iraq is to literally shrink the geographic area in which terrorists have to operate, and reduce the number of regimes who facilitate, equip, fund, and provide safe locations to terrorists, and to demonstrate that terror is a dead-end and failed ideology.
I'm not that smart: I've seen that on several blogs, so why can't anyone in the Bush Adminstration articulate it that clearly? It's clear, defensible, and explains everything we've done to this point.

I also think Kerry thinks Americans are stupid. He didn't provide much evidence for anything. He repeated three times that the current levels of securing nuclear materials will take 13 years, and promised to do it four (and again didn't begin to explain how.)
But it's no surprise that Kerry thinks Americans are stupid, since he works with and talks to Democrats for the most part....

Okay, I'll have more thoughts tomorrow after I've mused for a while. That should hold you for this evening, eh?

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Posted by Nathan at 09:53 PM | Comments (4)
» Allah Is In The House links with:
» resurrectionsong links with: Responses to the Debates (Updated)

September 29, 2004

Can You Spot the Fallacy? « GWOM »

But it's an interesting discussion, nonetheless. Jim Durbin particularly nails the issue with his 2nd comment.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)
Yeah, She's Gonna Blow « Stuff Important to Me »

It'll be 1980 all over again.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:22 PM | Comments (1)
Babs Babbles « Politics As Usual »

And if you make a fool of yourself spreading halt-truths, distortions, and made up facts, everyone can see it and laugh at you instantly.

Ms. Streisand, why would you trade the massive respect you had as a singer for the heaping boatload of scorn you deserve as a pundit? Don't think, please. Just shut up and sing.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:39 AM | Comments (7)

The actual true facts (as opposed to the "fake but accurate" beliefs of Democrats like John Kerry), show that Allawi was right: Iraq isn't as bad as our supposedly unbiased Old Media is reporting, and the insurgency is limited in range, scope, and capability to do more than piecemeal harassment.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)
» The LLama Butchers links with: Bitch slapping Lurch into submission
A Thought « Politics As Usual »

Just wondering, but how would it have affected the election in 2000 had blogging been as developed back then and organized to look into the last-second release of President Bush's decades-old DWI?

Or, for that matter, the Iran-Contra affair?

Or Whitewatergate? Me, I'm thinking the Clinton's were incredibly lucky they only had to deal with The Drudge Report.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)
Blogging From Home « Blogging »

For those of you who have intermittent contact with me at work, my daughter has pinkeye. I will be blogging from home today and tomorrow.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:29 AM | Comments (0)

September 28, 2004

Didja Ever Notice...? « Quotes You Can Steal »

I've noticed that the girls who are prettiest in photos are never as pretty in person/when talking, and that the girls who are prettiest in motion are never as pretty when frozen in a snapshot?

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Posted by Nathan at 09:47 PM | Comments (7)
Must Read « Politics As Usual »

I've been wrestling with this for a while...I have no wish to kick someone when they're down...

...but I've finally decided that Roger Simon encapsulates Christopher Hitchens point quite well.

Excerpt of Mr. Simon's comment in its entirety.

Well, that's not just politics as usual - that's sick. We've reached an impasse in our society where political victory is more important to some than civilization victory. How crazy is that? I sure hope those polls showing Bush ahead are right. In fact, I hope he even beats that already generous spread, considering Hitchens' point, with which I obviously agree. As for my party affiliation, if any, I'll worry about that later. We have more important things to think about now.

But you should still follow the link because some of the commenters make additional good points.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)
The Left is Filled With Hate « Politics As Usual »

Not all the Left. But an impressive and exhaustive list nonetheless. And if you are on the left and haven't taken even the first step toward repudiating these people and what they stand for, you are just as guilty. More so if you have ever shrugged and said/thought, "That's a good point."

Via Allahpundit.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:33 AM | Comments (0)
...Maybe I'm Doing It Wrong...? « Blogging »

Hmmm...I'm still not in the top 125 political blogs.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:12 AM | Comments (6)
It's Election Season, So The Democrats are Race-Baiting « Politics As Usual »


The real spectacle here is that some Democrats are only too willing to exploit the painful history of black voter disenfranchisement for some short-term partisan advantage. And it just might backfire. Democrats played up the Florida fiasco in the 2002 midterm elections, repeatedly telling blacks that their votes hadn't been counted in 2000. Rather than being riled up, many black voters believed what they were told and stayed home.

The whole thing. Read it.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:39 AM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2004

Doing My Part for Rifle Accuracy (pun intended) [UPDATED] « Link O' Admiration »

[edited for clarity/accuracy, changes in italics]
I sent the following email to Michelle Malkin:

In this article, you included a discussion by one of your readers who assumed the rifle in question was probably the Chinese version of the Russian Moison-Nagant M91/30. That is most likely incorrect. First of all, there was a Chinese "assault" rifle in use at that time, and it was known to be exported to North Vietnam. This is the Chinese version of the SKS, the Type 56.

Second of all, while the line that the rifles were "originally manufactured in Russia more than 100 years ago" does lead in the direction your reader went, the Chinese never used the M91/30 in any significant quantity I could discover. Just as many other nations did in the 30s, the USSR then produced a carbine version of the M91/30, the M38. Their experiences in WWII with a conscript army and ammunition shortages led them to add a permanently-attached bayonet to the carbine to make it the M44. This last version was licensed to China and produced as the Type 53 rifle. It saw extensive action in Viet Nam.

His facts about the cartridge and its performance are correct. I would add that the Russian 7.62x54R cartridge is the contemporary of and equivalent in velocity, impact, range, and accuracy to the US .30-'06 cartridge.

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Posted by Nathan at 02:19 PM | Comments (1)
» Michelle Malkin links with: JOHN KERRY'S GUN SMOKE
» The LLama Butchers links with: What Broder is afraid of
Speechless « Militaria »

I don't have any idea where to even begin forming an opinion of this.

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Posted by Nathan at 12:53 PM | Comments (2)
NRO Imitates Brain Fertilizer « Link O' Admiration »

A while back (exactly 2 months ago, actually) I wrote a little article about what the beheadings really signified. It received little attention from the blogosphere at large.

Today, Michael Ledeen brings it up the beheadings again. I think there is a similarity in our understanding, in that we both think the beheadings are directed more toward other Muslims than to try to intimidate Westerners. But I thought it was a good moment to revisit the idea that the Global War on Terror is a battle against a meme rather than against a people. Sure, that's been pointed out before, but I'm not sure how often it has been stated in the terms I used: Every atrocity they commit is an attempt to show they have Allah's favor, as a way to counteract the confidence- and reputation- deflating defeats they take from our military on a weekly basis.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:09 AM | Comments (0)
Mt St Helens May Explode « Stuff Important to Me »

Those of us alive and old enough to be aware in 1980 remember the eruptions of Mt St Helens. My sister said the ash fall-out made noon look like it was snowing at night. We were far enough east that we merely had gray days and a dusting of gray powder on the ground (and a few ruined vehicle paint jobs from the acidic ash...).
Still though, it was an important moment in US History, for various reasons.

Well, it looks like that might happen again.

Here is a site with bunches of pics, before/during/after.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:36 AM | Comments (3)
Authentic and Accurate « Link O' Admiration »

The Ultimate John Kerry Ad.

Via The Chronicle to Keep You Poor and Stupid.

It's audio only, and it takes nearly a minute to start...

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Posted by Nathan at 07:43 AM | Comments (4)

September 24, 2004

My Idol « Aung San Suu Kyi »

Today's Impromptus is prompting me to quote Jay's quote of President Bush quoting Aung San Suun Kyi:

Finally, I wish to mention Bush's quotation of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese hero: "We do not accept the notion that democracy is a Western value."

This is a woman I really admire. You can find out more about her with this search page.

To tell the truth, I don't know why I've never talked about her here before. Highlighting the admirable efforts of a very determined freedom fighter is what blogging is perfect for. She has sacrificed so much and still unflinchingly persevered in the cause of democracy for Burma.

Check out what she did in one year alone (from Nobel Prize biography):

January 2. Funeral of Daw Khin Kyi. Huge funeral procession. Suu Kyi vows that as her father and mother had served the people of Burma, so too would she, even unto death.
January-July. Suu Kyi continues campaign despite harassment, arrests and killings by soldiers.
February 17. Suu Kyi prohibited from standing for election.
April 5. Incident in Irawaddy Delta when Suu Kyi courageously walks toward rifles soldiers are aiming at her.
July 20. Suu Kyi placed under house arrest, without charge or trial. Sons already with her. Michael flies to Rangoon, finds her on third day of hunger strike, asking to be sent to prison to join students arrested at her home. Ends strike when good treatment of students is promised.

The Wikipedia entry on her is far too brief and incomplete. I'll probably be adding to it.

I'll be honest, what I noticed first is that despite being nearly 60 years old, she is still an attractive woman. But what made me remember her name was when the military-run Burmese government forced her to live in her car for several days.

Here's another feature done on her by TIMEAsia.

But I haven't really read about her in a while. She was still under house arrest as of May of this year. Expect more from me about her soon.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:54 AM | Comments (0)
Cool Picture « Stuff Important to Me »

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Posted by Nathan at 10:01 AM | Comments (5)
"Campaign Finance Reform" Might Actually Work (Eventually)? UPDATED « Politics As Usual »

A very interesting revelation....

Via Mickey Kaus, (scroll down to "6:30 PM"), who offers the titular assertion in this summary:

Today's Robert Novak column, if true, offers badly-needed evidence that campaign finance reform might work: Independent campaigns (like Terry McAuliffe's DNC push attacking Bush's National Guard record) often step on the message of the candidate's official campaign. What goes for the DNC goes double for non-party "527s." Soon, big donors to 527s may conclude they've been wasting their money. Nor is a candidate like Kerry likely to feel beholden to the millionaires who finance a media campaign that gets in the way of his comeback. As long as campaigns really can't "coordinate" with independent efforts, some degree of corruption has been eliminated (while preserving the speech rights of anyone who wants to run an independent campaign).

Well, thanks to the link from the Llama Butchers saying I have additional thoughts on this post, I guess I should probably do my part and actually give an additional thought.

Personally, I think it's possible Mr. Kaus is correct. There is nearly always a difference between "policy as written" and "policy as enacted", and it is in that difference that empires rise and fall, if I may be so dramatic. It would be a shame, however, if it took 2-3 elections before this finally shook out and fell into place, and it would be a far, far better thing if we had not passed a law that so obviously honored freedom of speech only in the breach. On the other hand, if we had to have a messy election to let things shake out, at least it was one in which the Democrat candidate was so awful that the liberal media wasn't able to manipulate news enough to defeat an incumbent Republican. But can we depend on being so lucky again?

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Posted by Nathan at 09:30 AM | Comments (0)
» The LLama Butchers links with: Is Soros getting his money's worth?

September 23, 2004

Sensitivity « Stuff Important to Me »

Conservatives (me included, naturally) often decry the liberal groups who whine, whinge, and complain about non-substantive and/or half-imagined slurs against minorities or other special-interest groups with fragile egos.

So, as much as I like Michelle Malkin, I'm not really supportive of her indignation over Michigan schools running terrorism scenarios with home-schoolers as bad guys.

C'mon, people! Are home-schooling parents really going to attack?* Of course not! So why are you offended? Why are you bothered? The very ridiculousness of the scenario should have you amused, not angry. Heck, good homeschooling parents could and should probably see this as a good learning opportunity to discuss and teach about stereotypes, self-confidence, and demonization.

So let's all chill out a little and not be so prickly in the future, eh?

Read More "Sensitivity" »

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Posted by Nathan at 04:11 PM | Comments (15)
Listen Up, Dems! « Politics As Usual »

Yet again, conservatives give good advice to liberals.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen a conservative, moderate, or putative Republican explaining exactly what they don't like about a Democrat candidate or proposal, and going to outline exactly how the individual's support could be easily gained. It's almost as if (based on the liberal/Democrat reputation for fairness/equality/rights) most people would like to vote Democrat, but due to the reality of liberal/Democrats selling out integrity and equality in grasping for power, they just can't get past the gag reflex.

And I don't think I've ever seen a Democrat or liberal doing that.

Let me make that more simple: Most Republicans vote Republican because they think Republican policies make the most sense. If Democrats would make proposals that made more sense and actually demonstrated trustworthiness, they could win Republicans away in droves. But Democrats conversely feel that Republicans are evil and irredeemable, and there is no force on earth, no revelation of support or efficacy of Bush's actions that could get them to vote Republican. In fact, if Jesus Christ himself came down and said George Bush was carrying out God's plan, I'd bet the vast majority of Christian Democrats (assuming there are more than 100 or so) would probably take up Satanism.*

But I digress. Here's the obligatory excerpt:

But if you want to be the next president, and the Prime Minister of Iraq comes to Washington to address a joint session of Congress, where should you be?

In the U.S. Capitol chamber!

Not in a Columbus, Ohio firehouse!

Senator, if you win, you're going to have to work with this guy - or his successor. Kerry should have tried to get a meeting with Allawi himself, to try to make the challenger look like Bush's equal (when foreign leaders come to the U.S., they often meet with leaders of both parties on Capitol Hill. It's just common courtesy and protocol).

Read More "Listen Up, Dems!" »

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Posted by Nathan at 03:22 PM | Comments (0)
Must Read « Link O' Admiration »



If one wants to debate the merits of the war in Iraq -- fine. So far, it has accomplished removing from power a dictator who liked to put people through chipper shredders -- feet first so they could be aware of the experience -- who shot bus-loads of people and buried them, in the bus -- men and children and women with infants in their arms, a dictator who condoned and funded the rape rooms and torture salons of his sons, who gassed hundreds of thousands of his people, and whose mass graves -- 236 of which have been found, so far -- contain hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who were disappeared off the streets and imprisoned at his whim. Saddam rivals Lenin, Stalin and Atilla the Hun. There was found in Baghdad a list of 70,000 people he intended to kill this coming year. Those people are alive because of the efforts of our soldiers and Marines. That is what those lives were volunteered to gain.

And this, too.


Mr Allawi said there was evidence of "linkages" with terrorists, including Carlos the Jackal and Ansar al-Islam, an Islamist group in northern Iraq accused by the US of providing a safe haven for al-Qaida. "I am surprised when I hear people talk about whether the war was justified. If Saddam had had his way he would have turned the whole region into hell."

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Posted by Nathan at 02:56 PM | Comments (0)
Listen To This, and Listen Well « Link O' Admiration »

I've had this conviction, and been unable to express it well.

Luckily, there's Q and O Blog.


But such situations are surpassingly rare. For the most part, the enemy will do everything he can to prevent you from reaching your objectives. He will adapt his tactics to yours, will oppose in surprising ways at inconvenient times, disrupt your logistics, and generally work as hard to defeat you as you are working to defeat him.

Many in the press seem to think that, if victory doesn’t come about relatively painlessly and bloodlessly, there must be some deep flaw in our planning or execution. In a sense, this is partially true, because all planning is faulty, and all execution falls short of the desired result. In a larger sense however, it is wrong, because the reason planning and execution fail is because of the existence of a living, breathing enemy that opposes you.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:41 PM | Comments (0)
New Term Alert « Stuff Important to Me »

For what it's worth, from now on I will be referring to our activities in Iraq as the Iraqi Reformation.

That is all.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:38 AM | Comments (0)
What Others Are Saying About Me « Blogging »

You know how many blogs have that "What others are saying about me" section on their sidebar?
Well, I hadn't really collected many of those, so I didn't have one. In fact, for several months, I had a tongue-in-cheek "quote" of what Glenn Reynolds said about me, to wit: "Who?"
But maybe it is time for an audience participation exercise. No, I'm not going to hold out the mic and let you sing the lines of the song you paid $65 to hear me sing. Rather, I'm going to invite you to say, in once sentence or less, what your impression of me or my blog or my blogging style leaves with you. The winner(s) will get their quote in the sidebar, which will incidentally mean a highlighted link to your site (if you have one).

In a private correspondence, Zombyboy has the first entry:

When I think of you, I think of puns and the Chiefs.

...not a bad legacy, methinks.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:29 AM | Comments (5)

September 22, 2004

Wisdom from Frank « Link O' Admiration »

As long as I'm highlighting good comments, there's this one from this post.

Increasing aggregate spending through government purchasing (war) while reducing revenues (tax reductions) is hardly fiscal conservatism. And reality is, the discretionary spending slice of the federal government expenditure pie is not really very large. So to reduce spending in any significant way, you really have to target non-discretionary spending and that won't happen.

The Contract With America was brilliant in its conception. And the House delivered but as Kevin said, the Senate didn't follow through. Maybe, just maybe, that was because the Senate was/is comprised of more sane individuals that was/is the House. remember, it was the Republican House's Contract With America, not the Senate's.

Republicans were "punished" in '98 because they got into persecuting a sitting President for his sexual activity disguised as something else. The House impeached, the Senate tried and acquitted, and the public never quite bought what the Republicans were up to. Especially when the Republican persecutors (Gingrich, Hyde, Livingston to name a few) all had scandals of their own.

Gingrich, God bless him, was a change agent. He brought about a Republican majority and his lieutenants then did him in - stabbed him in the back (at least in my opinion). But it was all about politics. About power - getting it and then keeping it.

Remember, once the control of the Congress shifted, what became important to those in power was protecting that power. While some may have good intentions and really want to make change to better the Nation, I argue that most simply want to maintain their power and act accordingly. I think Gingrich wanted change. I think Delay, Armey et al wanted power. There's a difference.

I am becoming to believe that the only way to really get the Country on-track and united is a system of truly competitive congressional districts. Until redistricting is no longer performed to protect incumbents and really competitive districts are created, we will continue with polarized politics.

But hey, what do I know?

Apparently, more than I often give you credit for. The more you talk, the more you impress me, Frank. Of course, there are still many things I don't agree with, but that's life and human nature and probably your affluent Eastern Seaboard viewpoint. [grin]

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Posted by Nathan at 08:56 AM | Comments (3)
Wisdom from Rae « Quotes You Can Steal »

Well, I don't know if she'll let you steal it, but I did. Folks, this is perhaps the best comment I've ever seen on this site. It is in the comments for this post, but I want to make sure everyone has the chance to see it

Statistics are a lot like a penis: interesting, fun, easily manipulated, and the size must be kept in perspective with regard to other factors.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:04 AM | Comments (15)

September 21, 2004

Kerry Is Toast « Politics As Usual »

By yet another non-poll tracking method.

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Posted by Nathan at 04:09 PM | Comments (1)
A Message To CBS Viewers « Humor »

Alternate Title: "Fake, but accurate."


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Posted by Nathan at 01:14 PM | Comments (2)
» Ace of Spades HQ links with: The Long Knives Are Out for Mary Mapes
Unclear on the Concept « Humor »

I think it is significant that the guy threatening to shoot the President drove off with a .30-30 lever-action rifle. Because, and I'm sure Kim du Toit will back me up on this, such rifles are excellent brush guns, not necessarily good Bush guns...

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Posted by Nathan at 10:53 AM | Comments (0)
I Renounce and Condemn Jimmy Swaggart's Comments « Social Issues »

Which comments?


I'm trying to find the correct name for it . . . this utter absolute, asinine, idiotic stupidity of men marrying men. . . . I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I'm gonna be blunt and plain; if one ever looks at me like that, I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died.

He is wrong, wrong, wrong on so many levels.

The first being that the main damage of a sin is against yourself. He would be damaging his own soul by killing (not to mention lying to God!) far more than any imagined damage of being looked at "like that".
The second being that this life on earth is not important, and so a mature Christian should not find any insult worth killing over. As Christians, our focus should be on the next life, and this life only impacts us as it prepares us for ourlives in Glory. No, that doesn't mean we should ignore politics and social issues because the next life is more important, because as Christians we should be working for a society that makes it easier for other people to recognize and accept Christ rather than more difficult.*
There are more levels,

Read More "I Renounce and Condemn Jimmy Swaggart's Comments" »

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Posted by Nathan at 09:53 AM | Comments (7)
» The Queen of All Evil links with: I have Two Words For Jimmy Swaggart
Islam No Real Friend to Blacks « Social Issues »

Juliette reminds us of the facts of racist attitudes.

Whenever I meet or read about a black American who has adopted Islam and/or an Arabic name, I view him/her with a certain amount of skepticism and pity (yes, even Laker legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, though I admire him to certain extent). As a black American who, through simple patrimony, was born honestly owning an African surname, I can definitely understand the desire of some black Americans to embrace the heritage denied to them and to their ancestors by American slave owners. So why not adopt a West African name? For a black American to adopt an Arabic name is to trade one set of now-symbolic chains for a set of real ones. One type of oppression is dead/dying; the other is still alive and growing. Like a tumor.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:57 AM | Comments (4)
Read 'Em And Weep, Class-Warfare-Agitating Democrats « Social Issues »

I've made these points several times. It doesn't hurt to have the Census Bureau backing me up:

The following are facts about persons defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:

— Forty-six percent of all poor households own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and porch or patio.

— Seventy-six percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.

— Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.

— The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens and other European cities. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)

— Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.

— Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television. Over half own two or more color televisions.

— Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.

— Seventy-three percent own a microwave oven, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher.

Yeah, I blame the evil Republicans for the late 90s welfare reform, too. Not to mention Bush's tax cuts.

Via The Conspiracy.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:43 AM | Comments (14)
Crazy Talk from the Democrat Underground « Politics As Usual »

But that's redundant, isn't it?

These people are certifiably insane. They consider Dan Rather humiliating himself by rushing to smear Bush with fake memos to be the equivalent of "KristallNacht" or at least the Beer Hall Putsch. These idiots actually consider themselves to be in the same position as the Jews in 1935 or so.

Pay no attention to the word "Democrat" in the title of their bulletin board. They are fringe.*

Read More "Crazy Talk from the Democrat Underground" »

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Posted by Nathan at 08:10 AM | Comments (2)
My Barbecue Prowess « Stuff Important to Me »


Using my family's "secret" recipe. This was from 3 weeks ago...

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Posted by Nathan at 07:51 AM | Comments (2)
This Came To Me As I Was Sitting At A Stop Light On My Morning Commute « Puns »

So a monarch of a small Eastern European nation was out golfing one day. He was having a pretty bad day, shooting bogies or double bogies on every hole. But he hit a nice drive on the 18th hole, hit a nice chip shot from the rough, and the ball was only a few inches from the cup. If he successfully sank the putt, he would actually make par on a hole!

So he tapped it in. No problem.

Immediately a police cruiser roared out from behind a bush, tearing up the greens to skid to a halt next to His Royal Highness. Two troopers jumped out and slammed him to the ground, slapping cuffs on him and hauling him to his feet again.

"I don't get it," said His Majesty. "What did I do?"

In response, the policeman pointed to a sign just off the rough:

Read More "This Came To Me As I Was Sitting At A Stop Light On My Morning Commute" »

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Posted by Nathan at 07:47 AM | Comments (1)

September 20, 2004

Scott Ott: Meet Your Match! « Humor »

My good friend, SAAM*, has several times bemoaned his tendency to produce his best work in the comment sections of other people's blogs.

Well, he's certainly done some top-notch humor and insight on his own blog before, but I think this one is ready for the big time.

I laughed out loud on several points, particularly:

Free Underground is a web site for partisan moderates.
Read More "Scott Ott: Meet Your Match!" »

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Posted by Nathan at 11:03 PM | Comments (2)
A Movie I'll Probably Watch

Celsius 41.11

Via Jedi Solo.

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Posted by Nathan at 02:27 PM | Comments (0)
» BinaryRoadTrip links with: The Temperature At Which The Brain Begins To Die...
My Platform « Politics As Usual »

Many Democrats aren't happy with Kerry other than that he's not-Bush. But the Democrat platform includes pro-union and pro-abortion sections whether you like it or not. Many Republicans aren't happy with spending policies under the Bush Administration. I maintain that we will see a far more fiscally-conservative second term, but I admit I have no real evidence to point to other than a gut feeling. As such, many Republicans and conservatives are "holding their nose" and voting for President Bush as they feel the War on Terror is too important to hand over to Kerry, a man they feel will falter badly. The seriousness of the issues confronting our nation today makes the cost of a "protest" vote much more costly than usual.

But the simple fact is, rarely will a Party's platform match exactly with any one voter's preferences. The platforms, being established by the respective National Committees, also often depart significantly from the candidates' platform.

So if you were running for office, or if you could craft your own platform, what would it be? What are the issues most important to you? Most of mine aren't even being debated much today, incidentally. They remain important to me nonetheless.

If you're interested, write down your own platform planks, then link back to this post. Spread the word, and let people know what you stand for.

Read More "My Platform" »

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Posted by Nathan at 01:50 PM | Comments (0)
A Question « Politics As Usual »

This post asserts that President Bush has betrayed conservative principles in regard to fiscal responsibility, and as such, a significant portion (if not the majority) of Republicans will be voting for President Bush only because of his prosecution of the War on Terror in contrast to a Democrat candidate who shows no evidence of being serious about the threat of Islamofascism.

However, the idea of "Compassionate Conservativism" arose from the fallout of the failure of the "Contract With America". When the GOP-controlled Congress and Bill Clinton's administration were locked in a stare-down, the public blamed the GOP. The message our politicians took away from that was Americans, as a whole, don't want a substantially smaller government. But Americans don't really seem to want a substantially bigger government, either, which is why the Democrats push for universal health care really doesn't gain much traction with the populace.

Personally, I'd favor a smaller government, with correspondingly less control and lower taxes, and I'm voting for President Bush this fall because I think Kerry is unserious about the War on Islamofascism, and I think President Bush is going about it in generally the right way. Nominally, I fit in with Mr. Henke's view. But I'm the main person objecting in the comments to his assertion because I actually feel President Bush is doing a fairly good job on fiscal responsibiility concerning all the actual events that have impacted our nation over the last 8 or so years. I think it is fairly certain, however, that most of America doesn't see it that way.

Thus, if the lesson from the failure of the Contract With America is "Americans really don't want a smaller government", how is that reconciled with the idea that President Bush is the lesser of two evils for President because he didn't really do anything to shrink the size of the government?*

The End of Conservatism.
Google search on "reasons failure Contract With America"
Google search on "origins compassionate conservatism

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Posted by Nathan at 06:15 AM | Comments (12)
Maybe I Should Be A Professional « Kansas City Chiefs »

If you happened to see any Kansas City Chiefs games this year, or if you understand and are interested in football, check out my dispirited review of yesterday's games (the most recent previous post), then check out this post.


In two games, the Chiefs offense has scored only four Holmes rushing touchdowns. For the team that led the NFL in scoring over the last two years, that’s quite a slow start.

So why are the Chiefs suffering on offense? Let us count the ways, for they are many. Injuries are a problem, that being the pre-season injuries to veteran receivers Kennison and Johnnie Morton; the loss of receiver Marc Boerigter for the season and rookie tight end Kris Wilson for half of the year. Opponents have scouted out their screen and short passing game to Holmes and blow up the plays before they even get started. Offensive line play has been inconsistent, especially at the tackles where John Welbourn has struggled and so has Willie Roaf

Hmmm....the only point I missed was regarding the O-line, and even that point might be debatable; after all, if our receivers were getting separation, then the O-line wouldn't have to block as long.

Has the Kansas City offense jumped the shark? In any case, they are certainly leaving a decent (if mediocre) defense out to dry.

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Posted by Nathan at 05:38 AM | Comments (2)

September 19, 2004

KC's Season All But Over « Kansas City Chiefs »

They might (and I stress might) sneak into the playoffs with a 9-7 record, but that's probably about it.

Sure, there's still hope. If people start wrapping up on tackles and we find a wide receiver that can get separation, we might get pack in the chase. From what I've seen this season, the first game on the road against a team like the Broncos could be a fluke. Losing at home to a team with 3 new O-line players and two significant starters hurt is bad. Very bad.

If they turn it around and reel off 6 straight wins, well, then that will be evidence they've turned it around. But I don't think that's going to happen.

So now that I've pretty much given up on a Super Bowl this year, where shall we place the blame for this loss?

Lots of people are going to look at the defense. Uh-uh.

There's no way anything but a top-3 defense can consistently hold an opponent under 17 points, and that's what KC would have needed to win this game. Nope, it is the offense that is losing games, interestingly, and it starts from having absolutely no credible WR threat. KC could have put the game away several times, but each time, they went 3-and-out or maybe 5 downs max before punting. They left the defense on the field for far too long, and let the Panthers stay too close. In a close game, an offense can use the entire playbook...but when down by 14-21 points, they start having to pass, and the defense can tee off. Our offense should have helped our defense out like that.

Of course, the defense isn't blameless. The defense, as a group, is playing quite well. They get some amazing run-stuffs, they get into the backfield and blow up plays, they hit the QB as he throws...but they are almost invariably a half-step too slow to get the sack-and-strip, one half-step too slow to hit the WR as he catches the ball to prevent the lunge for the first down. With just that extra half-step on merely a few of those dozen plays, and KC would have dominated the game. In a game of inches, KC was consistently short those inches.

Okay, I'll grant you that we were missing Vonnie Holliday and Pro-Bowler Jerome Woods. But that should have lesser impact than the Panther's missing Stephen Davis and Steve Smith.

One point: the Panthers have pretty much used up a season's worth of luck in one game. When a QB throws up a duck as he's been spinning around, the best thing that can happen is an incompletion...except against KC, when it results in a TD. Amazing.

Interesting thought: last year, a bunch of completions, yards, and big gains came from that little swing pass to Priest Holmes as he turned up the sideline, catching him in stride at full speed so he'd get 7-8 yards before anyone could even try to put a hand on him. I haven't seen that pass attempted even once this year. What happened to it?

Final analysis: I still think the Chiefs did the right things in the off-season. They mainly developed players from within, and several of the young players are going to be very good. But injuries are the wild card, and they robbed us of two players that would have starred: Kris Wilson and Mark Boerigter, as well as delaying the development of Samie Parker and Jeris McIntyre who could have played significant helping roles, and preventing the establishment of timing and rapport between Green and his starting WRs Kennison and Morton. There's still time to turn it around, and they may do it yet. But it is difficult to improve very much during the season, and so it is most likely that KC will be right around 8-8, and providing some good experience to young players for next years' Superbowl run.

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Posted by Nathan at 04:43 PM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2004

Prediction « Politics As Usual »

Back in Dec-Jan or so, I said that if Howard Dean won the nomination, President Bush would win with 60% of the vote. I further blustered my way to a ridiculous assertion that if John F. Kerry (who seemed to be the absolute worst candidate this side of Cynthia McKinney) won the nomination, W would win with 65% of the vote.

I didn't really repeat that ridiculous assertion much after I made it, but I never retracted it, either.

With a little under 6 weeks to go until the election, I figured that as the Old Media support propping up Kerry's candidacy crumbles, this would be a good time to mention it again. It's seeming more and more possible all the time. In fact, if President Bush gets 62.5+% of the vote, I'm claiming prescience.

You heard it here first. Feel free to laugh.*

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Posted by Nathan at 03:36 PM | Comments (7)
Ultrafisking « Media Distortions »

It's cool when you can invent a new blogging mode. I, of course, have never done that.*

But Sharp as a Marble, who apparently would like me to bite him, invents just such a special mode in this post.

It's so concise and so chock-full of feel-good blogging snarkiness that I can find nothing to excerpt, and yet I don't feel it's right for me to excerpt the whole thing....all of which is a long way of saying, Read the Whole F***ing Thing Already, Will Ya?

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Posted by Nathan at 01:51 PM | Comments (2)
Stage Fright « Blogging »

So, welcome everyone who came from Ace of Spades HQ and Allah is in the House!

I have to admit, I hadn't done much Anka-blogging before the post that caught your attention... ...and now I have no idea what to do. I want to impress you, amaze you, amuse, and retain your readership.

But I can't do that. I'm not the boss of you, so I can't make you stay. And I can't try to change who I am and how I blog just to keep traffic levels high.

I'm sorry.

And so now I will return to my normal blogging about "Puns", "Writing", "Guns", and "Dressing Up In Women's Underwear and Cruising Sprague Avenue in Spokane".

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Posted by Nathan at 11:18 AM | Comments (2)
Haiku of Integrity Kicks « Humor »

Slicing like Hammers,
We all wonder: Where is Joe?
'Cuz the Guys. Get. Shirts.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:51 AM | Comments (0)
Preview: Wk 2, KC vs Carolina « Kansas City Chiefs »

Normally, I don't like it when people place too much emphasis on one game. Every team plays 16 games, and teams can get hot and go cold. An injury at the wrong time can make a huge difference in a team's ability to win. Weather can affect home-field advantage, as well.

But all that being said, I am going to go against my typical attitude and say that this game may be the most important game we play all season. At the very least, it will be an important indicator of what we can expect for the rest of the season.

Denver is a darn good team, and we played at their stadium for their home opener. They were more polished than I expected, more prepared and ready to go. My feeling is that Kansas City was still trying to figure out exactly how they were going to deal injuries to significant role players at the LB, WR, and TE positions, and that they didn't do it right.

Well, the advantages Denver enjoyed are now mostly in KC's favor: playing at home with one of the best homefield advantages in the NFL, in the home opener, against an opponent reeling from an unfortunate drastic injury to a significant player.

Kansas City had a chance to see how the new elements and new schemes and new approaches worked, and identified some problems and blindspots. But in the Panthers, we are facing a team that has a mediocre and relatively inexperience QB, a powerful but unspeedy/unshifty RB, and a possibly sub-par offensive line. An average offense, in other words, rather than one of the best, rather than one designed to sow and exploit confusion. This should give us an accurate assessment of our defense, and give them a chance to build some confidence and rapport, as well as growing one week more comfortable with Gunther's system.

On the other hand, I haven't seen KC do anything, really, to address the problems on offense. I hope that one step was to contact the NFL regarding the non-calls on defensive interference being inflicted on Tony Gonzales. If that doesn't get resolved, then TG can't draw attention off of the WRs, and it may be difficult to get our offense truly untracked. And don't forget that the Panthers have one of the best D-lines in the NFL, and their secondary isn't shabby.

Then again, we won't face another DB of Champ Bailey's caliber. (and the truly ironic aspect of Bailey's acquisition is it seems Denver has finally developed some excellent DBs of their own...although it is possible it was just Champ making everyone look better...?)

And so while a loss this week won't be a total disaster (the defense could still grow better and getting players healthy could result in a late season surge), a win is likely enough that a loss would be a major hit on our hopes and expectations for the season. If we lose, I don't think we'll make the playoffs this year. And even if we win, the way we win will be important, too, in predicting how the rest of the season goes. We need to avoid injuries and have smooth execution on both sides of the ball.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:26 AM | Comments (4)

September 16, 2004

This New Commercial (Updated) « Humor »

I was watching C-Span last night, and this new commercial came on. No speech, just a tall, gangly, goofy-looking guy with an extremely smooth forehead comes into a newsroom and slips some papers on a newscaster's desk. The newscaster (apparently supposed to be some sort of "journalist") does a cartoonish double-take and rushes to the broadcast studio set. Just after reporting what the papers say, the camera zooms down to the bottom, where the words "FORGERY" are stamped in big red letters. The Newscaster looks down out of the window to see the lanky, Lurch-like guy flashes a dashing, devil-may-care grin, tosses his thick, youthful hair, and pops a candy mint disc into his mouth. The newscaster shakes his and smiles ruefully at himself for being taken in by such a clever, youthful prank. Then the words come up:

"Memos: The Truth-Maker"

A pretty clever commercial, if you ask me. I laughed for hours.

Update: Um, I've had enough questions that I want to point out:
1) C-Span doesn't have commercials
2) Botox makes smooth foreheads. The tall, lanky, lantern-jawed, French-looking guy isn't actually young, but his hair was perfect. (awhooo!)
3) Mentos commercials have the same basic theme, and are worthy of satire.

That is all.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:42 AM | Comments (2)
Exclusive! « Humor »

Okay, the memos are fake but accurate. Interestingly, advanced technology has been able to recreate was erased from President Nixon's tapes. Let's listen in to a 20-second portion of that never-before-heard conversation:

Lt Col Killian : You really are a cowboy.
1st Lt Bush : What's your problem, Killian?
Lt Col Killian : You're everyone's problem. That's because every time you go up in the air, you're unsafe. I don't like you because you're dangerous.
1st Lt Bush : That's right! Kill...ian. I am dangerous. To the enemy.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:58 AM | Comments (6)
Donald Luskin's Readers Imitate Brainfertilizer « Link O' Admiration »

Check out this letter and compare it to My post here.

Since there's alot there, I direct you to this specific section:

Because by any rational measure, Kerry was toast before he even ran.

The Office of the President is the head of the Executive Branch. As such, you need to convince people that you are the best executive for the job. There are exactly two ways to do this:

1) Provide an excellent example of your executive leadership ability.
2) Be charismatic enough to overcome a weak executive resume.

Every single President over the last 40 years was either a state governer or a Vice President, right? Take that back to Herbert Hoover, and the only exceptions were John F. Kennedy (won on charisma) and Dwight D. Eisenhower, who held the highest military positions (clearly executive excellence).

What on earth convinced the Democrats that they could blaze trails with someone as obviously non-charismatic as John F. Kerry?

Aside from all that, however, John Kerry needed to show the United States public that he has the executive skills to guide the nation more ably than George Bush through any difficulty the nation might encounter. He needed to demonstrate, with examples from his past or clear and specific plans for the future, exactly why he would make a better President, executive, leader, and Commander-In-Chief than PResident Bush has. They dropped the ball when they tried to make a four-month stint as commander of a Swift Boat be the main testimony to his leadership and executive skills. They made further mistakes when they merely criticized how President Bush has handled things and gave vague mumblings of, "I would do better."

No. Not good enough. Since the choice is between someone who has years of executive experience and someone who has little to none, John Kerry should be trying to demonstrate that he has the intelligence, flexibility, humor, aplomb, grace, decisiveness, courage, innovation, etc, to handle any situation. Not only better than Bush, but better than the voters themselves. Because few people really know what it is like to be President, to deal with the leaders of other nations who will do anything to undercut and backstab the United States if it will help their position in the slightest. John Kerry has not demonstrated he even understands that, much less can help the voters understand that.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:22 AM | Comments (0)

September 15, 2004

Two Points About the Assault Weapons Ban Sunset « Gun Issues »

1) Except in a very few situations, "assault weapons" are actually less powerful and less accurate than a hunting rifle. The Washington D.C. snipers would have been far more dangerous with something like a .243 hunting rifle or a Swedish Mauser in 6.5mm than the 5.56mm Bushmaster they used. Just about the only "assault" rifles that are as accurate and powerful as a $300 hunting rifle are $1400 M-14s and AR-10s. An assault rifle just has to hit a man-sized target and take him out of the fight, whether or not it kills the individual. Whereas a hunting rifle has to hit a dinner-plate sized target and penetrate through muscle and bones thicker than a human's in order to attempt a certain kill on hard-to-kill animals like elk and moose and even bear.

2) All government programs should automatically sunset after five or ten years, just like the Assault Weapons Ban. Its proponents used scare tactics and shoddy science to get it passed in the first place, but over time it became clear that it wasn't making a difference and only impacting law-abiding citizens, not criminals and terrorists. If all government programs required an actual demonstration of effectiveness in order to maintain the political capital necessary to extend it, there's be alot of stupid programs that would have already been "sunset"-ed out of existence. We wouldn't have a deficit right now, I can tell you.

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Posted by Nathan at 03:42 PM | Comments (1)
Witty Me « Humor »

So in our mandatory unit physical fitness hour, we were given "non-structured" time, and chose to play some basketball. After a hard-fought game, we decided to play a game of "HORSE".

One of my coworkers said, "What's HORSE?"

"You shoot the basketball in order," another co-worker answered, "and when someone makes it, everyone following has to make the same shot. The first person to miss gets a letter and you start over. The first person to collect 'HORSE' is out. You've really never heard of HORSE?"

"I'm from the city," he answered in his Philly accent. "We never did nothing with farm animals."

"All right," I chimed in, "We'll play GLOCK."

After 4 complete rounds without anyone making a shot, we decided to change the name to a shorter pistol manufacturer: "SIG".

Later in the game, after the person in front of me made a particularly difficult shot, I quipped, "I have a feeling I'm going to have my "S" handed to me with this shot..."

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Posted by Nathan at 03:30 PM | Comments (2)
Dan Rather Discusses What Went Wrong « Humor »


I just got a transcript of the most recent CBS meeting called by Dan Rather. I'll probably need some time to transcribe it all. Here's the first installment:

Dan: No superscript T-H's on numbers. Do you understand that? That number on the end had a supercript T-H. Superscript ending! Didn't I say lowercase ending?

John: I thought it was covered.

Dan: You thought. You thought! You thought eight things tonight. You're on f***ing notice, John. I gave you a list. The numbers get lowercase endings. Don't make a f***ing maniac out of me. The numbers get lowercase endings. Do you understand? We're not going to be as strong as the weakest link. The numbers get lowercase endings. Do you understand that? This is like football, baseball, anything else. The numbers get lowercase endings. That's just the f***ing way it is.

You first start out getting the list of talking points right. So there's no confusion. When I write something down, it's gets exactly that.

Now what are we going to do about the abbreviations?

John: You mean the rank abbreviations? I'm kind of waiting for you.

Dan: Didn't we talk about this at the last meeting?

Let me ask you this...

Full Audio

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Posted by Nathan at 12:29 PM | Comments (8)
» Allah Is In The House links with:
Channeling Mr. Johnson « Blogging »
This is the kind of spontaneous publicity I need! My name in print! That really makes somebody! Things are going to start happening to me now!

The occasion?

Thanks to Jo, I have a button now!, um, ya'll just do with it whatever you're supposed to do with buttons and stuff, ya know?

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Posted by Nathan at 10:26 AM | Comments (9)
A Soldier Speaks « Social Issues »

You are a soldier, even if your body will no longer allow you to serve.

Diogenes makes multiple excellent points, so read the whole thing. I'd like to highlight two, however.

Some time ago, I asserted (without backing up my claim) that are a huge number of Christians in the military. I didn't follow up on it because Jeremy was the only person who seemed interested, and I'm lazy sometimes. Well, Diogenes makes the exact same point, plus more, that I was going to make:

You see a lot of religious soldiers. There's a reason for that, and it's humility. Service to country and Service to God bear a striking resemblance in the humility that it imposes. There is a recognition in both that there is more to the world than your wants, your desires, and your needs. Facing the prospect of death reminds many soldiers that much of what we see in the world is smoke and shadow. Conquering your fear of death through belief in the Almighty reminds you of the same thing.


Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of service to God. Perhaps for those who don't understand the power of God's love for humanity, it is an easy step from belief in your ideals to blind-eyed fanaticism. Certainly there are those who in the name of religion betray the fundamental precepts that undergird a religion and twist the tenets of one's religious beliefs to fit the selfish needs of an individual or a group. Perhaps. I've never seen it. I've seen only weak men who claim one thing while feverishly pursuing another. Certainly that's what I saw when the planes hit.

This point is of the utmost importance, as well:

The weak cannot defend themselves. George W. Bush has many flaws, and so does his administration. But one thing can be said that only a fool can discount. He has chosen his ideals. Those ideals are worthy of emulation and respect. And the American president will not waver from service to those ideals.

We, the American people, and those of our like-minded brethren around the world have a choice. Both in the ballot box and in our personal lives, we can choose to follow the ideals of our president, or we can choose to fight them.

When clever pundits mock the strategy behind the war, or seek political gain from missteps, they are doing so because they do not care about the weak and the innocent. When protestors in the street chant mindless slogans meant to showcase their defense of the weak against American ideals, they are stomping on the dreams of those they claim to care about.

Hat tip to Dean Esmay, again.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:05 AM | Comments (0)
Traffic and Rankings « Blogging »

I gotta tell ya, after all my whining about not getting noticed or linked, I do finally feel satisfied. This:

Inbound Links: 128
Inbound Unique: 120
Current Rank: #854
Current Status: Marauding Marsupial
Average Daily Visits: 209


...seems to be what I think I deserve, and a fair total based on the level of quality I think I give. I don't know why it took me nearly 2 years to get to this point, but I'm happy now. Thank you all for being patient and supportive and participative. You have all played a significant part in this aspect of my life, and this aspect of my life is a significant (if somewhat small) part of my overall substantial contentment/satisfaction in life.

Again, thank you.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:31 AM | Comments (5)
A Good Point « Politics As Usual »

Group irresponsibility gets rewarded, but individual irresponsibility gets ignored.

The money aspect of politics is discouraging to say the least. This same sort of question was raised when you compare the compensation made to the families of 9/11 victims to that given to the families of victims of the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, or to that given to families of servicemembers who fall in defense of our nation.

But to make an attempt to answer Michael Demmons basic question, I think the idea behind that tendency is that every individual should be responsible, but if a whole group of people get hit by it, well, then obviously it was something no one could have foreseen. Yeah, that's immediately ridiculous to anyone with common sense, but then the people who have been conditioned to depend on the government through liberal entitlement programs do lack that same common sense, don't they?

Does anyone else have any thoughts?*

Hat tip to Dean Esmay.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:21 AM | Comments (0)
Self-Promotion « Blogging »

My "Brainfertilizer Way" series gets results. I'm not just throwing crap out there, folks, I'm only sharing the stuff that I've tested out on myself.

In any case, thanks for the follow-up, Tracy! Congratulations!

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Posted by Nathan at 08:56 AM | Comments (0)
Musings on KC's Defense « Kansas City Chiefs »

You can find it here,, but I'm going to copy the whole thing below:

From Ivan Carter (one of the most insightful and accurate of the KC Star's sportswriters):

Here's the thing that sticks about the defensive performance last night: there were several opportunities to make a play and get off the field but the D couldn't do it. That's a problem. Every defense is going to give up some big plays. Look around the league, there are just too many freaky athletes on offense these days. Sometimes you are going to get gashed. But good defenses find a way to make the plays they have to make in tight spots. Denver did it on that big third and seven in the fourth. Their rookie corner made a nice tackle on Kennison and forced the Chiefs to punt. When Denver faced a third and seven situation late in the third quarter, Plummer hooked up with Rod Smith for a 13-yard gain. And then of course, your defense can't allow a team to go on a 13-play, 87-yard drive which eats up seven minutes of clock when your team is trailing 27-24 and needs the ball back. I really do believe that this defense will improve as the season goes and Gunther gets the guys playing his way but that was not a great start.

I think that's a very accurate and realistic assessment. I am disappointed in KC's defensive performance. They needed a stop and didn't get it. But it's a long season, you can't win every battle, and I think the defense will continue to improve and win more than they lose. Ignore the idiots.

From Vermeil:

The problems are basically the same and with the same people. People need to play with better discipline and better technique and more consistently than they are. They will do it or someone else will do it for them.

That is truly interesting. I can see some obvious aspects, and a good third of the things I point out show up later in the professional's assessments later in the week. But I have a hard time picking out which players are actually playing out of position or with bad discipline. Anyone have any insight as to which players Coach was talking about?

From the KC Star's "Chief Notes":

Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said middle linebacker Monty Beisel “played much better” in making his first regular-season start Sunday night and could hold onto the starting job once Kawika Mitchell returns from an ankle injury he suffered in the second preseason game.

Please remember, you heard it here (from me) first.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:49 AM | Comments (0)
Taxation Rule of Thumb* « Politics As Usual »

So there are approximately 300 million people in the US right now. There are approximately 140 million people working at this time. Yeah, that doesn't include self-employed, but we need a number to work with, so that's the one I'm going with.

Assume, if you will, that the 140 million people thus represent all taxpayers. Consider that a moment. That means that when a candidate proposes a $1.5 billion program, he's proposing taking $10 out of each person's pocket.

Okay, granted, it's an oversimplification. Much of our taxes are on corporations rather than individual income taxes...but the corporations just pass those taxes on to the consumer, right? So for practical purposes, the burden is still on the individual earning the money.

In addition, let's actually take note of the fact that the tax burden is much greater on the wealthy. Let's say the average middle class taxpayer is responsible for 1/10th of that, and "the rich" pay the other $9 for each 1.5 billion dollar expenditure.

That still means that John Kerry's $1.5 trillion health care plan will unavoidably take $1000 per year from your income. I haven't heard him say he'll actually cut anything to pay for it, so a vote for John Kerry is a vote saying, "Please take away an additional $80 from my discretional spending every month." And that's just one program.

Remember the Brainfertilizer Rule of Thumb, kids: for every $1.5 billion, you lose $1. That may not sound like much, but it adds up.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:34 AM | Comments (0)
Three Six Questions for Kerry « Politics As Usual »

In response to this statement by Kerry:

"In fact, this president has created more excuses than jobs. His is the Excuse Presidency -- never wrong, never responsible, never to blame. President Bush's desk isn't where the buck stops -- it's where the blame begins."

...I have two three six questions:

1) What reasons do you have for missing 90% of the Senate votes since you announced your campaign, Senator?

2) Are you seriously asserting that President Bush did not inherit a recession?

3) Are you seriously asserting that 9/11 had no effect on the economy?

4) How, exactly, do you explain the recent growth of the economy, then? If it isn't due to the tax cuts that were first passed, then accelerated by the direct actions of President Bush, surely you won't try to say it was due to your Senate leadership over the last two years...?

5) If you don't credit President Bush for improving the economy, by what logic do you then blame him for the past economic problems?

6) Would you like to retract the assertion that President Bush has made more than 1.7 million excuses?*

Yeah, you got nothin'. Thanks for playing, though.

Read More "Three Six Questions for Kerry" »

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Posted by Nathan at 08:15 AM | Comments (7)
Embarassing « Militaria »


Okay, he's a reservist, but honestly!

...anyone want to "caption contest" this?

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Posted by Nathan at 07:39 AM | Comments (4)

September 14, 2004

What, They Couldn't Just Plug Him In?* « Fun With News Headlines »

Pitcher arrested, charged with battery..

Read More "What, They Couldn't Just Plug Him In?*" »

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Posted by Nathan at 03:53 PM | Comments (3)
Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Patriot Act? « Social Issues »

Not Americans, I guess. Well, not Americans who are being honest about their opinions, Americans who aren't trying to trump up minor issues to score major political points...

Various people say accusations that Patriot Act is a "Threat to Liberty" are overhyped nonsense. Here's a more specific defense.

Fair enough. You can agree or not.

But some indications that people really don't care that much about privacy can be found every time you turn on your TV. Yep, at least two major credit cards have made entire advertising campaigns around the idea that they will pay attention to your purchases and contact you if it seems out of character. One of the paid-actor-fake-examples is a rotund middle-aged man who is pleased that his credit card company knew that he was too overweight to have actually purchased surfboarding equipment.

And GM's OnStar system is about as intrusive as you can imagine. At least some people are raising some questions about that, in that I read an article last week that pointed out something to the effect of, "People want their stolen cars found by GPS, but don't want anyone to know they spent 5 hours at the local strip club."

Technology is creating a corporate Big Brother far more insidious than George Orwell ever thought. For instance, cell phone companies had been trying to figure out how to more precisely locate cell phone users, ostensibly to aid in locating 9-11 calls, but in actuality to help them plan transmitter/receiver construction more appropriately. I just got a cell phone again last month after a 2-year gap, and imagine my surprise to read the user's manual and find that the little symbol in the icon bar means that my location has been identified...and its a "constant-on" system.

I'm sometimes ridiculed for my "If you live an honorable life, you don't need to worry so much about privacy" attitude, and sometimes applauded. It seems to me that the people who think I'm being excessively naive need to confront their naivete (naivety? naiveness?) regarding the impossibility of retaining privacy in our increasingly electronic, increasingly monitored, increasingly interconnected world. The irony is that we pay companies to invade our privacy, much like giving free advertising to multibillion dollar clothes companies like Abercrombie and Fitch while paying for them for the privilege.....

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Posted by Nathan at 03:11 PM | Comments (0)
The Unserious Left in a Nutshell « Link O' Admiration »

Then again, maybe I'll just link something clever.

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Posted by Nathan at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)
Huh. « Blogging »

I can't think of a dang thing to post.

...might be time for another PunKu, then...

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Posted by Nathan at 02:07 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2004

Reactions on Week 1, KC vs Denver « Kansas City Chiefs »

Post-game reactions up at Sportsblog.

All in all, this is a very fair and accurate assessment of the game. The writer focuses on some different aspects. Two things I didn't really make note of until he pointed out: Trent Green had a sub-60 QB rating, and Dante Hall was a complete non-factor.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:38 PM | Comments (0)
Go, Me! « Stuff Important to Me »

Last month I replaced the sideview mirror on my 1991 Toyota Corolla. Last week I used some Armor All on the dash, and made those interior surfaces look nearly new (the carpet and some of the other surfaces still need some work...).
Over the weekend, I managed to get a replacement brake-light assembly and a replacement for the right rear passenger door that had broken a year ago.

Total cost for improving the car's value and serviceability by about $500? Less than $100, less than $50, and even less than $30.*

Next up: replacing the sagging roof liner, shampooing the upholstery, and maybe even replacing the instrument panel facade, because while it looks clean and shiny, there is a major split in one place and one corner is broken off completely.

And I've only had to put $350 of repairs into it since I bought it 3 years and 40,000 miles ago.

The only problem is that I don't think there's any way to get a decent paint job for less than $500 (no, I don't want the cheapest level), but that's what it's going to take to make the car seem totally new. But when you compare that to a new or nearly-new vehicle, that still can only be considered cheap. The car has enough power for me and gets 30 mpg in commuting. If it doesn't actually die on me, I may keep this car for another decade.

Read More "Go, Me!" »

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Posted by Nathan at 03:37 PM | Comments (1)
For Liberal Teachers, et al « Social Issues »

I have a friend who I shamefully accused of growing more conservative. It turns out I misunderstood a comment he made to me last year.

But in any case, we had a nice discussion about politics and such on the phone the other day, and one of the things that came up were the media distortions regarding President Bush's "No Child Left Behind" Act. Based on his experience as a teacher, and his wife still being in the teaching profession, one of the good points he made was that attempts to enforce accountability merely encourage "teaching to the tests" and don't result in better learning.

Well, this article is for him and those who agree with him.

States with more school choice or stronger accountability testing produced significantly better academic outcomes when differences in student disadvantages were taken into account, while states that spent more money per pupil produced no better results.

But the main point of the article is that despite doubling the amount of money spent per child on education in inflation-adjusted dollars, and despite it actually being easier to educate children (less outside problems distracting the students), education isn't improving. Why? Who do we hold responsible? Given the track record, I'd say we start with the liberal ideology that encouraged parents to think of the school as being responsible for education, i.e., "The Village raising the child."

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Posted by Nathan at 03:10 PM | Comments (3)
"This is just like Christmas!" « Gun Issues »

ZombyBoy sums up the Assault Weapons Ban sunset nicely.

The only point I would add is that most anti-gun advocates speak about "high powered" assault weapons, saying that you don't need assault rifles to go hunting. But, in fact, assault rifles are usually less powerful and often less accurate than the average hunting rifle. The point of an assault rifle is that you usually engage the enemy at less than 200 yards, and often at less than 100 yards, so reducing the power of the cartridge makes auto-fire easier and makes it easier to train recruits. Thus, someone wishing to create mayhem and wreak death and destruction from a distance safe enough to retreat would be far better off using a hunting rifle than an a "scary-looking" assault rifle. ...because fully automatic rifles haven't been legal for a US citizen without a specific license since the Roaring 20s.


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Posted by Nathan at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)
Defending Bush « Politics As Usual »

On this post over at Q and O Blog, I left the following comment. It might make more sense reading it in context of the post (a fiscal conservative's dissatisfaction with President Bush), but it does stand alone fairly well as a defense of Bush by itself:

I think that most criticisms of Bush's spending policy fail to take into account the context.
1) Bush lost the popular vote and needed the SCOTUS to put a quick end to Dem nonsense...but that strengthened the perception that he didn't win. That left him without any sort of "Mandate of the People" argument to push his agenda. Democrats could and did willfully obstruct the things he wanted to do.
2) Politicians need political capital to get things done. As mentioned above, sometimes that can come from a Mandate of the People (i.e., a landslide), sometimes from your party having control of Congress, but often it comes from making deals. If you need Democrat help to get something passed through the Senate, you have to give something to Senate Democrats. Bush got something for his agenda for every big-spending item he handed to the Democrats. For instance, we really needed to get the tax cuts passed in the recession he inherited, and we really needed the tax cuts accelerated after 9/11 to prevent a depression. The Democrats said they would oppose it, and I really think it took $15 billion for AIDS prevention in Africa, funding the No Child Left Behind Act, and a drug prescription plan for seniors to get enough votes to get the tax cuts accelerated. Why are you so quick to swallow the Old Media line that "(Republican) Presidents don't affect the economy" when this one obviously made a huge difference?
3) Allowing govt growth while simultaneously cutting taxes has resulted in the projection of a deficit, yes. The revenue growth because of the tax cuts has ameliorated that somewhat...but what it does do is set Bush up to make sweeping cuts in his next administration. He'll have a strong Mandate, he'll probably have a Republican-controlled (if not dominated) congress to help him out with it, and he'll have all sorts of quotes from Democrat leaders that "The deficit is a bad thing" to shore up support to make cuts to reduce the deficit.
Now, if that doesn't come to pass, Bush will go down in history as a bad President. But I think there is good reason to believe President Bush's second term of office will be much more conservative than the first. And if by chance he loses...leaving a significantly large deficit prevents Democrats from going hog wild on spending, and maybe even force THEM into spending cuts, since they'd face a hostile Republican congress.
Patience, folks. Help is on the way, just not from the direction Kerry asserts.

In those same comments, Shark said:

...I agree with one thing though- the Reps. are gonna have 1 hell of an intraparty fight after this election.

There will be a fight in the Republican tent very soon, just after the Democrats implode. The thing I like about it is that with the rise of the internet, there will be much more debate going from the grassroots upward, rather than direction and "take it or leave it" coming from the top down. It can't help but improve our two-party system immensely.

Read More "Defending Bush" »

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Posted by Nathan at 01:24 PM | Comments (0)
» QandO links with: "Is there any betrayal that we wouldn't support?"
» Winds of Change.NET links with: The 2004 Race: Fits and Splits
Old Media Bias In Economic News « Media Distortions »

This won't be a surprise to the people who pay attention and are able to separate viewpoint from fact, but economists found evidence of bias in the way Old Media reports economic news. (subscription probably required. Following the link at Drudge Report where I found this lets you avoid it)

They found that Mr. Clinton received better headlines than the two Republican presidents. Even after adjusting the data to compensate for differences in economic performance under the three presidents, the Republicans received 20 to 30 percent fewer positive headlines, on average, for the same type of news, they concluded.

...They found that as a group, the nation's 10 largest newspapers and The Associated Press were even more skewed. According to the researchers, this group gave Republican administrations 20 to 40 percent fewer positive headlines than those given to Mr. Clinton, on average.

To me, the big surprise was that this appeared in the New York Times at all.

Oh, and our very own Ace of Spades was on top of this a long time ago.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:42 AM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2004

Oh, Yeah: « Kansas City Chiefs »

The momentum shift was Denver going for it on 4th down and making it, I think, rather than the 23 yard sack. If the momentum hadn't already shifted, I don't think Denver would have gotten that sack.

So as long as no one else gets injured, I'll consider this a successful game even if we lose, as long as the defense still plays fairly tight and doesn't give up any huge runs. would be nice if they'd force two or three turnovers, tho...

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Posted by Nathan at 07:32 PM | Comments (1)
KC vs. Denver: 1st Half Impressions « Kansas City Chiefs »

1) Champ Bailey: wow! I don't think there was anyone else in the NFL who could have made that interception.

2) The crowd is making a big difference, just in being able to keep KC from getting in a rhythm.

3) KC's injuries at WR are making it difficult to get momentum, as well.

4) KC's defense is quite a bit better this year. Only one real break-down: giving Quentin Griffith the 26-yd TD. But kudos to Denver for going right at the place where KC was blitzing from.

5) The single biggest factor in this game so far is that the refs are not calling the contact downfield that they said they would. I haven't seen Denver's WRs get mugged, but Tony Gonzalez has been chucked, arm-blocked, and grabbed beyond the 5-yard space on 2 separate occasions that I could see. So was Eddie Kennison on at least one. It is absolutely pitiful to let Denver's get away with it after all the off-season talk about enforcing the rule.

6) John Lynch: non-factor. The only time his name has been called in the first half of the game was on a dirty hit, leading with the helmet to the facemask/chin of Dante Hall. And he took 2+ steps to take the hit, which is generall accepted to have time to not take the hit.

Bottom line: KC's defense is much improved, but so is Denver's. Denver has control of the game and can probably cruise to a victory unless KC gets its offense untracked. At least 10 of Denver's points were from winning the battle of field position, so if KC's offense can get back on track, I think KC outscoring Denver by 14 in the 2nd half is possible.

...unlikely, but possible.

Nice job, Broncos!

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Posted by Nathan at 07:28 PM | Comments (0)

September 11, 2004

Please Understand This: There is NO Vast, Right-Wing Conspiracy « Media Distortions »

Mickey Kaus, a Democrat and Kerry supporter with the guts to still report actual facts (unlike most of the other Kerry-supporting Old Media) absolutely destroys an Old Media attempt to smear Republicans. (sorry about forgetting to close the tag)

Patterico shoots down a promising pro-Kerry Web conspiracy theory--namely that the potential forgery of the CBS Bush guard documents was spotted so quickly on the Web that the person who spotted it ("Buckhead," poster #47 at Free Republic) must have been tipped off in advance. That would suggest that any forgery was planted, presumably by pro-Bush forces. But it seems this whole theory, promoted in this morning's ABC News Note, was based on a misreading of time stamps by ABC. In reality, Buckhead had a couple of hours to come up with his post--something he confirms in an email to Patterico. ... ABC has corrected its mistake (without withdrawing the now seemingly groundless insinuation). NPR hasn't corrected the error, according to Patterico, and David Brock's Media Matters still posts it. ... P.S.: Media Matters might want to decide if a) the documents are authentic, as argued at the top of their Web page or b) the documents are forgeries planted by Republicans, as argued at the bottom of their Web page. Lawyers are allowed to plead in the alternative, but a) and b) can't both be true, and the evidence for each of those propositions is also evidence against the other one. 1:10 A.M. Pacific Time (that's 4:10 to you, Ambinder)
(You'll have to go the actual site to be able to follow the links I'm too lazy to include)

The Democrats really want to believe that Rpublicans have developed a web of conspiracies to prevent their ascendency into power. It started with Hillary Clinton, who couldn't seem to believe that there were people who were not blinded by her husband's charisma and actually disapproved of the character displayed by his philandering and disturbed by the easy willingness to lie it demonstrated. She couldn't believe that people might not want to live in a socialist state with a Clinton/Democrat aristocracy. Hence, it must be a vast conspiracy by those evil Right-Wingers. The couldn't understand that the appeal of talk radio is its interactivity, that people can express their opinions, because they are used to a top-down dissemination of ideas through a hierarchy based on liberal college education (i.e., only the intellectuals are allowed to have ideas).

As people have grown more dissatisfied with Democrat glittering generalities, empty promises, untenable ideas, and dishonest tactics, Republicans have grown in political power. Democrats cannot understand this, apparently lacking the ability to understand differences of perspective and the concept of principled opposition. They seem to think that if they state a goal of "everyone having the same minimu level of financial resources", that anyone who opposes that goal must be evil, corrupt, and desirous of keeping others poor in order to stay rich...they cannot conceive that someone could have the ability to independently analyze the goal and methods and determined, on their own with native intelligence, that attempting that goal invariably results in greater injustice and widespread crime and poverty. Rather than investigate their own platitudes, rather than refine their own ideas, rather than actually investigating and evaluating their own proposals for efficacy, they prefer to merely label any opponent "evil".
Thus, as Republican political power has grown, liberals/Democrats have seen this as a growth of Evil. And stopping the spread and growth of evil is a worthy cause that requires extraordinary tactics, right?
Unable to understand the attraction of interactive discussion of news and politics, liberals/Democrats have responded by ratcheting up their methods of fighting conservatives/Republicans. In the 2000 Presidential election, the media, in collusion with the Democrat party, supported and aided Gore in trying to reinvent himself until he could find a pretend character that might resonate with voters. It was never an attempt to show voters the true character of the man they wanted to make the most important decisions regarding the country, it was an attempt to conceal anything negative. The Old Media did everything they could during the election, as well, even declaring Gore the victor in a "battleground" state 45 minutes before the polling stations were closed in the conservative-leaning panhandle. When the outcome was disputed, all the Old Media supported Al Gore's challenge, invariably accepting his team's arguments at face value, but dissecting all of Bush's assertions and casting his spokespeople in unfavorable light. We heard all sorts of stories about authorities attempting to prevent Democrat votes, but very little mention (and no follow up) on Democrat voting shenanigans.
Even now, some Old Media attempt to say Gore should have won in Florida, even though all recounts show that Bush did win the state. Even now, some Old Media still attempt to paint the Supreme Court as helping Bush get elected, even though, in light of the recounts, all the Supreme Court did was put an end to nonsense that would never have changed the outcome.

Now, none of this is a Left-Wing conspiracy. It is just disparate liberal/Democrat-supporting institutions that individually do what they can to shore up weaknesses in the liberal/Democrat machine...

The last four years of liberal/Democrat perfidy are well-documented throughout the web. But there are few points I'd like to make.

1) In any discussion, the lefty commenters usually accuse the conservatives of "following marching orders", and usually claim those are sent by the "RNC fax". I was puzzled by that for a while, until I realized it was projection. I'm as conservative as they come, and have never received an RNC fax. Our conservative ideas are introduced at the grassroots level, and we fight and hash them out. I have never seen conservative bloggers "thinking in lockstep" (or other variations of that theme), because we nearly always disagree on all sorts of different ideas. For instance, Stumpjumper and ZombyBoy of Resurrection Song don't even agree with each other, much less with me. Dean Esmay leans Republican (although he seems to still wish he could vote Democrat, but his integrity won't allow him to). Dodd Harris (Ipse Dixit) and Kevin McGehee (blogoSFERICS) are both as conservative as they come, but aren't in complete agreement and I disagree with them about any number of things. I'm probably closest in socio-political viewpoint to Rae (A Likely Story) and Tony (Sand in the Gears), and we don't agree with most of the above individuals regarding things like abortion... And I'm sure our various reactions to the Patriot Act are as varied as our blognames. Then throw in Kim du Toit, whose connection with the rest of the conservative bloggers I've named is probably limited to just 2nd Amendment rights, and probably not even complete agreement on that. But I'm not sure, because, you see, we don't coordinate! At all. I know this is hard for the liberals, Democrats, and Old Media to understand, but we all think for ourselves. We link what we like from each other, we disagree but remain friends on some issues, we decide for ourselves.

Liberals/Democrats cannot seem to understand that, and can't seem to handle the implications. That's why the accusations of a conspiracy grow ever more prevalent.

Terry McAuliffe has totally internalized that idea. He cannot understand that he might not be the most effective party chairman, so he blames every failure of the Kerry campaign on the manipulation of Karl Rove. He doesn't realize how petulant and ridiculous he sounds these days, I guess.

Dan Rather couldn't handle being fact-checked regarding the forged memos, and so blamed it on a right-wing campaign to discredit his version of the truth. Unfortunately, his take complete mischaracterizes the fact that it wasn't a campaign to discredit, it was a campaign for the truth. If there is a connection between "right-wing" and "truth", it is merely that the left wing no longer cares about the truth.

Remember, from the beginning of the Howard Dean candidacy nearly two years ago, it was decided that "Bush lied". (Okay, the opposition to Bush actuall started in November 2000, but the current campaign of "Anybody But Bush" started with the first declared candidacy). That theme was decided two years ago, before all the evidence was in...nearly before any evidence was in. The decision being made, no evidence or proof could shake the Anybody But Bush crowd. you get that? The Truth behind Bush's decision didn't matter at all to Democrats. They would use any appearance of impropriety, any perceived mis-step, any apparent contradiction to attack Bush. It didn't matter what the truth was. It didn't matter if the apparent contradictions were there own fabrications or the result of faulty analysis or incomplete reporting.

And so we end up with Dan Rather and 60 Minutes discarding any semblence of healthy skepticism regarding the authenticity of magically-appearing (my term) memos. And we end up with a group of individual bloggers using their own areas of expertise and intelligence to debunk the forgery in less than 24 hours.

Over the last 20-30 years, Democrats have been growing new Democrats by indoctrination through the education system. To perfect the indoctrination, they establish rules like "speech codes" and "politically-correct speech/programs" to ensure that information contradictory to the accepted liberal ideology is not presented. Over the same time period, Republicans have been growing new Republicans by thinking, analyzing, arguing, disputing, researching. Talk radio helped increase the speed of that growth. The internet has only allowed greater interaction and more connection, and greater access to be able to communicate individual ideas. And look around at the blogs: You have true debate on the conservative blogs, and all but the most negative and hateful trolls are tolerated (although probably ridiculed). If you have debate at all on the liberal blogs, you are banned for expressing conservative viewpoints. You are accused of hate-speech for debunking inaccuracies.

Granted, this little summation is fragmentary and incomplete. There are probably some inaccuracies as well. That's what you get when someone types impressions off the top of their head.

I've been wondering what's going to happen to the Democrat party. Kerry's campaign is imploding, and the Democrat party and all its supporting structures (like Old Media) may well implode with it. Since the irrational hatred of conservative ideas and personages won't disappear with the loss of structure, what happens? If you can't run a party on the basis of hate, you certainly can't form one. If your party lacks cogent, coherent ideas, you can't use that same nonsense to form a new party. But these ideas, fully discredited by thoughtful and thinking individuals, are still embraced and cherished by liberals. Can any good come of that?

Yeah, that was a set up for this conclusion, even as hap-hazardly as I wound my way down to it:

Whatever replaces the Democrat party, the advances in technology we take as commonplace now (global interconnectivity and easy access into the instantaneous marketplace of ideas) will be fully involved. I offer to you the idea that the Democrat party as we know it, and the liberal ideology as it exists today cannot exist in the face of intelligent challenge. Liberal ideology is bankrupt and the Democrat party a lame duck. The goals will remain, but the methods will (hopefully) be replaced with something besides the class envy and soft bigotry of the Democrat Party.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:15 AM | Comments (0)
» BinaryRoadTrip links with: Panic. No VRWC?
Well, What Did Donner and Cupid Think? « Fun With News Headlines »

BLITZER: Dan Rather's stand...*

Read More "Well, What Did Donner and Cupid Think?" »

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Posted by Nathan at 07:51 AM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2004

International PunKu

Iran out of words;
Boy, did Iraq my brains and
Russia round for more.

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Posted by Nathan at 04:01 PM | Comments (4)
PunKu of Meteorology « Puns »

Hurricane France's;
Man, these frogs really don't like
Florida, do they?

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Posted by Nathan at 03:48 PM | Comments (0)
Wow. Freakin' Wow. « Link O' Admiration »

A friend sent this to me. Reading the title, I was all set to be skeptical dismissive, or derisive. But the more I read, the more impressed I got.


Simply put, not only do Muslims need to join the war against terror, we need to take the lead in this war.

As to apologizing, we will no longer wait for our religious leaders and “intellectuals” to do the right thing. Instead, we will start by apologizing for 9-11.


We are so sorry for a religious education that raised killers rather than train people to do good in the world. We are sorry that we did not take the time to teach our children tolerance and respect for other people.

We are so sorry for not rising up against the dictators who have ruled the Muslim world for decades.

We are so sorry for allowing corruption to spread so fast and so deep in the Muslim world that many of our youth lost hope.

We are so sorry for allowing our religious leaders to relegate women to the status of forth class citizens at best and sub-humans at worse.

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Posted by Nathan at 03:28 PM | Comments (1)
» Weekend Pundit links with: "We Are So Sorry"
John Kerry's Service « Politics As Usual »

Absolutely free of charge, I offer some unsolicited advice to the Kerry campaign.

It could also double as a warning for future campaigns for both parties at all levels, I guess.

Service in the military can never, by itself, act as a qualifier for political office. The candidate can attempt to cite specific experiences upon which they will draw that may make them the better official, perhaps, but that is it.

Military service is best used only defensively, as in, "Yes, I voted against those spending proposals for military equipment because my experiences as a fighting man led me to believe that expensive arms programs are fraught with failures, like the M-16s jamming in Viet Nam. Rather, I always preferred to depend on the excellence of American fighting spirit and ingenuity using existing weapons platforms." Or even, "My experiences as a fighting sailor in Viet Nam have convinced me that some issues do not necessarily have a military solution. We won every major battle in Viet Nam but could not win the war because of political decisions and the North Viet Nam will to continue fighting. We face just such an enemy in the Islamic Extremists. George Bush tied his generals' hands with political decisions. For that reason, he should be replaced as Commander-in-Chief!"

Please note, I don't agree with those assertions, but those are the proper uses of his military past. It opens you up to debate on the issue, sure, but at least you can debate the issue, and even if the discussion still results in disagreement you can still win respect for your passion and logic, if not your conclusions.

But John F. Kerry tried to insist, for the first time in decades, that military service should be a prerequisite for being President. He hinged nearly his entire election campaign on the idea that one can approach a Presidency with a flowchart of qualifications with "Active Military Combat Service" at the very top, with "No" meaning an automatic disqualification.

This wouldn't have worked very well if both candidates were running for the first time (like Gore vs. Bush), but it could not do anything but fail against an incumbent.

Note to you political types: Don't ever do it again, okay?

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Posted by Nathan at 03:21 PM | Comments (0)
A Summary of the Facts Regarding John Kerry's Viet Nam Service « Link O' Admiration »

Mickey Kaus, aJohn Kerry supporter, recommended this Op/Ed by an anti-Kerry partisan trying to be fair. I do, too. It seems fair and accurate to me, according to what I've read and understood.

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Posted by Nathan at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)
PunKu of Eclipsing McGovern « Puns »

A new phrase is born:
Not, "Will he carry the vote?"
but, "...Kerry the vote?".

Yeah, I'm going to be doing this all day.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:06 AM | Comments (0)
PunKu of This Mourning « Puns »

The "AWOL Memo"
A font of contrversy;
Sadly, the wrong font.

Read More "PunKu of This Mourning" »

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Posted by Nathan at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)
» resurrectionsong links with: PunKu!
"Fraudulent" Coalition « Media Distortions »

Check 'em out. Fully 1/5th of the entire world's population.

Which is even more impressive when you consider that 2/5ths of the world's population resides in China and India, and they aren't playing. Yet.

Found via a truly hilarious explanation of Kerry's Opinion on Iraq.*

Read More ""Fraudulent" Coalition" »

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Posted by Nathan at 12:03 AM | Comments (1)
» links with: A “Unilateral” Invasion

September 09, 2004

A Semi-Valid Question About the Possible-Forgeries « Blogging »

I've been trying to find out the origin/etymology of "CYA" through online searches. So far, all I've found is this article that seems to attribute the phrase to Viet Nam.

Fair enough.

I still have questions, however:

Was it an Air Force term at all? Or just Army? Or even just Infantry?

Would a desk jockey back at the home station be familiar with the jargon of the front-line troops? Enough to use it in a memo?

These days we think nothing of obscenities. In the early 70s, however, it was difficult to even imply obscenities in public. True, the military was more coarse than the general public at the time, rather than the politically correct organization we see these days. However, I'd like to know if there are any other memos from that time period that actually use the "CYA" acronym.

Any help from those of you more knowledgeable than me would be helpful.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:44 PM | Comments (2)
» Ambient Irony links with: Set The Wayback Machine To 1972!
» Skyler's Rants links with: CYA
My Latest Attempt To Cash In On The Forgery Kerfuffle « Blogging »

Here are three more interesting posts:

Q and O Blog

Ace O' Spades

Digital Branch

I won't think any less of any of you if you blame me for being a shameless hack. Just as long as you link me in your blogroll.

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Posted by Nathan at 04:18 PM | Comments (5)
» resurrectionsong links with: Forged Documents? Let's Slow Down (Updated)
Blatant Links « Blogging »

So CBS, Dan Rather, and 60 Minutes used questionable paperwork that looks to be forged, eh?*

Read More "Blatant Links" »

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Posted by Nathan at 03:26 PM | Comments (0)
» resurrectionsong links with: Forged Documents? Let's Slow Down (Updated)
Heard of Jim Hightower, the Idiot? « Politics As Usual »

Here's his commentary for today:

Thursday, September 09, 2004 "THE GOVERNMENT'S ASSAULT ON DISSENT"


In a moment of theological reflection, Woody Allen once declared: "I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately, it's the government."

Woody's little joke has become today's chilling reality as the Bush-Ashcroft regime has imposed measure after measure of new autocratic police power to keep watch over We the People. All of this has been done under the guise of "fighting terrorists" – but the government's focus increasingly is shifting from "them" to "us."

The latest example is the FBI's heavy-handed push to harass, intimidate, and suppress ordinary citizens who seek to protest governmental or corporate policies. Prior to the national conventions of both the Republican and Democratic parties, the so-called "justice" department dispatched federal agents to at least six states to trail and grill potential protesters. As one young protester put it, the government agents were trying "to let us know that, 'hey, we're watching you.'"

This repressive "knock-on-the-door" by authorities is not merely directed at targets known to be plotting criminal activity, but at citizens who were simply planning to attend legitimate protests. Ashcroft himself asserts that these people "might, perhaps, possibly could have the potential to do something criminal – or that they might, perhaps, possibly could know someone who could do so.

The justice department's infamous office of legal policy okayed this vague, Big Brotherish assault on our individual liberty by declaring that any "chilling" of the right to dissent would be outweighed by the need for order.

Of course, throughout our country's history, from the Red Coats forward, bullying autocrats have always donned the dark cloak of "order" to rationalize their repression. The Bush-Ashcroft use of FBI snoops to intimidate today's dissenters is not about preventing crime, but about preventing protest.

To protest their crude attempt to lock down protest, call the ACLU: 212-549-2500.

This is stupid. Really stupid. It reaches "I can't believe anyone gets paid to write this crap" levels of stupidity.

Having someone from the government knock on your door is "repressive"?!??! Is he serious? He must feel horrified every time he uses a credit card and someone asks to see his ID, because the implicit accusation that just maybe he might be engaging in credit card fraud without absolute proof must be impossible for him to take.

Have any of these people been taken into custody? No. So Mr. Hightower demands that the government must wait until it has incontrovertible evidence that someone is going to commit a crime before it can assume anything...but in the absence of any evidence at all, he feels free to assume the government is acting maliciously? It's the sort of logic that is so circular and so steeped in paranoia that it cannot be reasoned with at all, much less disproven.

On a completely different level, these people are worthless. Our forefathers risked death to free the nation from the tyranny of England. Many people in US and world history have undergone torture and abuse and still not been deterred from striving for goals of freedom and democracy and faith. But someone knocks on their door and they feel too scared to even stand on the roadside and chant. I wouldn't want any of these cowardly fools in charge of a lemonade stand, much less anything political or diplomatic.

And I find it amusing and revealing that he feels the need to base an entire screed around this truly minor issue as a significant point in his campaign against the Bush Administration, but can't even find a moment to critique the way Democrats handled protest at their convention: putting all protestors into a walled enclosure, complete with razor wire. Yes, the Democrats made it an implicit threat that if they regain power, all protestors will be put in prison. I think most rational individuals would find such a "free speech zone" to seem so threatening and restrictive as to stifle most free speech.

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Posted by Nathan at 02:41 PM | Comments (1)
Left in the Comments « China/Taiwan »

Continuing on about China...

A trackback at Dean's site (why the discussion and linking happened there, rather than at the source, i.e., here, is beyond me) regarding this post, made a few assumptions about my nature, so I left a few thoughts there. I thought one portion might be worth repeating here:

It also might be interesting for you to note that a Christian heretic (taught by millenialists that fled the US) led a rebellion that caused more deaths in China than Mao Zedong, so their distrust of a Christianity they don't fully understand is at least understandable.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:01 AM | Comments (1)
» Sharp as a Marble links with: Recipe Idiosyncrasies

September 08, 2004

Drastic Changes of Viewpoint... « Social Issues »

The comments on this post resulted in a flash of insight for me:

A mere two years ago, I was a normal, slightly-conservative Republican, tolerant of homosexual behavior without approving of it, and with several people for whom I care deeply being homosexual. Now, without my views having changed in the least, I am now a viciously anti-gay religious rightist. I assume that I won't rest until John Ashcroft imposes a theocracy, although I assure I wasn't aware of any desires in that direction, but if history has shown us anything, it is that homosexuals are never, ever wrong. Just ask Andrew Sullivan.

(Hat tip to the inestimable Zombyboy, who may not approve of being linked to sarcasm like this. Let me know if you want this link removed, k?)

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Posted by Nathan at 07:38 PM | Comments (4)
A Good Point, If I Do Say So Myself « Politics As Usual »

Over on this post by Zombyboy, I got a chance to ask a Filthie [sic] Commie a question. Of course, the answer is so obvious I didn't wait for him to answer, I provided my own.

But it's worth repeating. Not because it will get wider exposure here, but because I want to draw more attention to my blog and get credit for asking the dang question. I sometimes irk myself in how I feel much of my best work is done in other people's comments...

So here it is: If President Bush is so hated and reviled by all the world, if he has alienated so many nations with his "cowboy antics", would you care to make a list naming any nation so offended? How many nations aren't willing to work with us or turn to us for aid/help in their own domestic and international issues?

I think even the most generous list starts and ends with "France" and that's it. Russia came to Bush's support on some of the terrorism issues...and so did Germany. With France, those are the three nations most opposed to our actions in Iraq. And Mssr. Chirac is still speaking to President Bush, so in reality, you can't even include France on the list.

I look forward to the rationale of anyone who actually tries to make such a list. You won't be derided by me, although you will be asked to provide evidence and challenged with countering evidence, or else be judged as a partisan hack out of touch with reality.

Ready? Go!

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Posted by Nathan at 07:21 PM | Comments (1)
Yay, Europe! « Social Issues »

Yes, let's listen to the Democrats and liberals in this nation and try to be more like Europe!

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Posted by Nathan at 06:05 PM | Comments (0)
Many, Many, Many Thanks « Blogging »

Pixy Misa (Andrew), I've never properly thanked you for giving me the opportunity to blog in your domain. I've enjoyed every minute of it thus far. I've appreciated your immediate response when I've had difficulties, as well as the excellent and willing help of Madfish Willie, without whom this blog would not have the format with which I feel most comfortable.

I really, really appreciate all you've done for me. I hope I will find myself able to express my thanks in a more concrete manner soon.

Again, thank you.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:40 PM | Comments (2)
Too Early? « Social Issues »

I wonder if articles like these decrying the precocious sexuality of youth will result in a backlash? Morality is often a pendulum: the Roaring 20s weren't called "roaring" for nothing! They featured relaxed attitudes about sex and drugs, as well. But we still returned to conservative morals in the 40s and 50s.

If such a shift *does* occur, it's going to be hard on the homosexuals, particularly.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:31 AM | Comments (0)
Don't Take Things Too Seriously « Blogging »

Yeah, I'm feeling full of piss and vinegar today. So what?

For the most part, I'm proud of the United States. I think we tend to make the fewest mistakes, when we do make them it less out of malice and more out of ignorance, and we do usually at least make an attempt at rectification. Most of the time. Unless the place has really good beaches [Hawaii].

The thing is, it usually works out that a government's main function is to keep themselves in power. And one side effect of being in a government seems to be an unfortunate detachment from the common individual, and a corresponding callousness towards the lives they are toying with. The people who develop policy may have the best of intentions, but decisions usually end up being amoral, cold-blooded strategies that work solely for the interests of that nation. It sucks, but expecting anything else is just naive. As citizens of the United States, we can at least try to make sure our leaders do some good at the same time. We've freed millions of people from oppression in Afghanistan and Iraq, and it was worth it. We can't solve all the world's problems, but these two countries are a good start.

Since the UN has demonstrated it is almost completely morally bankrupt now, I'd like to see us start a new club, composed of the coalition members in Iraq, as a force for Freedom. We can and should establish trade benefits to those who helped us, and offer those same benefits as incentives to nations like China and Russia to reform themselves internally. And then recognize the success of those efforts when it happens. Sure, we do that somewhat already with the "Most Favored Nation" trade status and other moves, but it has become watered down and less effective these days...

So when I'm feeling provocative, don't forget that sometimes I just like to stir things up. I'm in that sort of mood today.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:24 AM | Comments (0)
More Controversial History « Rhetorical Questions »

Did you know that "Our glorious partners in Democracy" (Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang) brutally slaughtered 20-30,000 Taiwanese who objected to having their island taken over? And they didn't allow the native Taiwanese to participate in elections until 1996?

Inconvenient facts of history get glossed over to fit the script people want to believe.

Here's an interesting question: How many times has China been the initiator of military conflict over the last 500 years? How about 1000 years? How many times have they been invaded in that same time span?

At what point are the territorial boundaries of a nation "set"? For some reason, it seems to be "1955", but I'm curious about that attitude.

Who has to agree to allow a "re-setting" of national boundaries?

Why did the United States refuse to lend its weight to restoring territory stolen from China in the 1800s after China fought on the US-UK-France side in WWI? When we took away Germany's colonies in Asia, why did we give them to Japan rather than restoring them to China and Korea?

Do you know when the Viet Nam war started? How about right after WWII when the Western powers refused to listen to a delagation of Vietnamese who wanted their nation back? Maybe we could have avoided most of Asia turning to Communism if we had enforced the end of Colonialism at the end of WWII instead of turning a blind eye to the continued exploitation there by UK and France.

Why is it okay to declare war to seize territories in 1898, but not in 1951? What is Great Britain's claim to the Falkland Islands? Heck, what actually is the basis of United States claim to everything west of the Appalachians? (Hint: it begins with "Con-" and ends with "-quest". Will the United States ever give Hawaii back to the natives, since its annexation was pretty much a scam from the beginning?

Obviously there were some objections to the establishment of Israel...who got to decide that? Was it a majority of nations, or just the strongest?*

Does anyone know why the Soviets hated the United States so much? There was a pretty decent reason, you know...

Now, I'm not saying that cruel, oppressive behavior should be excused. Not at all. I am saying that every nation has its moments it shouldn't be proud of, and that refusing to recognize your own nation's mistakes is a good way to make sure they get repeated. I am wondering what standards people apply to the actions of other nations...when is it okay to "move on"? When is it okay to dismiss or ignore mistakes? If it tends to be self-serving (Well, it's okay when the US makes a mistake because our hearts are pure, but the filthy Chinese are Godless Heathens who shouldn't be forgiven for centuries, if ever), I want to know why. What is the standard for allowing a nation to rehabilitate its reputation? Only if it embraces democracy? What form of democracy? Aren't high tax and crime rates a form of oppression? A government rules only through the consent of its an extent. To what extent is a nation allowed to quell dissent within its borders? Was the violence at the Branch Davidian compound acceptable, or was it the sign of oppression (since they could have served the warrant against David Koresh on his weekly trip to Wal-Mart)? How about Ruby Ridge? Would a car bomb in Beijing styled after the Murrah Federal Building explosion be acceptable because it was directed against the Evil Communist Overlords?

Heck, why do we focus so much on 2-decade old sins of a China that is "Communist" in name only, and ignore the continuing sins of an actual Communist regime to its South (Viet Nam)? Why don't more people talk about the totalitarian military dictatorship in Rangoon (Burma)?

I've studied Asian history extensively, but perhaps someone else can point out some hypocrisies, double-standards, and controversies in other parts of the world? Say, Africa or Eastern Europe?

Read More "More Controversial History" »

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Posted by Nathan at 08:10 AM | Comments (0)

September 07, 2004

I Must Be A Real Jerk « Blogging »

Because everyone who comments on Dean's World seems to hate my opinions.

I like to think I that I merely think outside the box and that offends the people who like conventional thinking.

But since this is happened how many times, Dean? Three? Four? I gotta start asking myself if maybe they don't have a point.

Ah, well, I gotta be me. And I appreciate the traffic, in any case. Note to self: "Find something else to write about that pisses people off." If I find the right topic, I might even get a link from Mr. Reynolds! I might have something, soon. Keep watching this space.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:00 PM | Comments (7)
Deep Thoughts on Writing « Writing »

Rae asked me some questions about my experiences in writing a few days ago. I've spent some time in thought, trying to think of the best answers I could give. Keep in mind that I have never been published before in any way, shape, or form. I have never even completed more than 10,000 words on any novel (about 1/5th of what you would probably need to do to be considered 'complete') I am "A Writer" only in the sense that I am convinced I am one, that I must keep writing, and that I will be published someday. I admit I have zero credibility on most of these questions. However, I'll still do my best to answer.

1) How do you keep count of your words? Do you have a program that does this?
Nah, most word processing programs have a "word count" function somewhere...probably under the "tools" menu. I usually write the total at the end of each session so I can use simple subtraction to determine that day's output. If I end up revising in several different sections, I might make an entry into a "daily writing log" to at least show progress to myself, even if it the result is a contraction in the number of words...
2) Do you think that some are more "geared" toward a certain style or genre? What is yours?
I think a writer should write in the genre that interests him most. If you are well-read in a genre, you are more likely to know what its cliches are, and what unexplored niches still remain. My chosen genre is "Science Fiction and Fantasy", although I may take a shot at a spy/detective thriller at some point. I don't seem to have really discovered my "style" yet. It may be because I'm able to write in many different styles, but that remains to be seen. Part of the reason I've started over a few times with this most recent novel is because I've decided to try again and attempt a different style. Style does make a huge difference. For an excellent example, check out Steven Brust (if you can enjoy the fantasy genre): Check out The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars, then read Jhereg, then pick up a copy of The Phoenix Guards. Three entirely different styles, each masterfully done. He's my writing idol.
3)Is your wife supportive of your attempt? If she isn't, how do you reconcile it in yourself?
Ummm...she's not all that supportive. She even once told me I'd never finish, mainly because I never have. Maybe she's correct. Sometimes I play computer games when I could be writing. But to an extent, her support is immaterial. I can always find time to write. Even 100 words a day will eventually result in a novel. I have a need within myself to be a novelist. To me, that means finishing a novel and pronouncing it actually done, whether it sells or not. I have a dream to be a published novelist, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. If all I do is write a novel that I can only share with family and friends, well, that's enough. I'm shooting for more, but I find it vital to me to define a range of successes with which I can be comfortable. I hope that answered your question, but it was a rather difficult one.
4)John Grisham once said that he wouldn't write anything that would be embarrassing for his mother and grandmother to read or for him to read aloud to them. Knowing you are a Christian, do you feel your worldview affects your language selection and development of characters and situations?
I agree with Mr. Grisham, to an extent. I also might be more comfortable with a wider range of things. Mr. Grisham is Southern and a generation older than me, and that makes a difference. The thing is, I want to write about actual life, not fantasy with no connection with reality. That might mean writing about some of the more gritty aspects of life. If so, I think the way you approach and handle them makes all the difference in the world. Heck, I'm married and have kids, so one can assume I've experienced sexual intercourse. And I'm here on this earth, so I'm the product of at least one sexual encounter, no? But I personally believe that sexual relationships outside of committed relationships tend to be damaging in the long run, so you could probably expect that if such an occurrence takes place in one of my novels, I will probably point out or even emphasize the negative consequences. My Christian viewpoint will probably show itself in trying to make sure I don't glorify sinful behaviors, but also that I will always try to show that no one is free from sin, either. And yet, I probably won't use much profanity, if any. There are other, better ways to express what I want to get across besides profanity. If I ever felt I needed to emphasize that someone was so inarticulate and lazy that they were unable to speak without expletives, I might find myself with no choice, but you can imagine that person would probably not be held up as a shining example of humanity.
5)Do you attend writers conferences or communicate with other writers or are you more of a loner?
Um, I dunno. I guess I'm more of a loner if you define that as "not attending writers conferences". I communicate with other writers, though, each day that I blog. And I communicate with other writers with each novel I read, and even with every movie I watch. I pay attention to how they set up conflict so resolution is satisfying. I pay attention to the kinds of problems they choose to give their characters. I watch to see how they reveal character. I pick holes in plots and try to imagine how I would have done it better while retaining the overall storyline, or without retaining anything.
6)Do you use personal experiences or interesting stories from other people as springboards into characters or character situations?
Sure. I don't see how you could write without doing that.
7)How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll tootsie pop ?
I'm not going to attempt this one. Some things you have to figure out for yourself.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:23 PM | Comments (1)

September 03, 2004

Roster O' Guesses, Pt 2 « Kansas City Chiefs »

Updated Roster Guesses. 'Nuff said.

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Posted by Nathan at 05:35 PM | Comments (0)
» evolution links with: chiefs report: cutdown day
Prayer Request « Stuff Important to Me »

Remember to pray for President Bill Clinton and his family as he recovers from a heart attack.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:56 AM | Comments (1)
Thoughts and Impressions on the Last Preseason Game « Kansas City Chiefs »

Some good things and at least one disastrous event in last night's game.

Good things:

Richard Smith is ready for the NFL. He might be starting by the end of the year. If he continues to improve...

The rest, as always, is over here.

I'll be providing my Preseason Wrap-up and predictions for the first week by next Wednesday.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:49 AM | Comments (2)
Exploding Other Democrat Myths

More from Jay:

Oh, and the coalition of the coerced and the bribed? "That would be nations like Great Britain, Poland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, El Salvador, Australia, and others — allies that deserve the respect of all Americans, not the scorn of a politician. I respect every soldier, from every country, who serves beside us in the hard work of history. America is grateful, and America will not forget."
[Bush:] "Even when we don't agree, at least you know what I believe and where I stand."
[Jay:] Ladies and gentlemen, I will be blunt: This was easily one of the best political speeches I have ever heard. It was one of the best texts, and one of the best performances. I thought, when it was through, "If America doesn't want to reelect this man — this measured, proven, smart, brave, canny, compassionate, balanced, inspired man — then America is a country with extremely serious problems."

I'm usually careful to remind myself that "viewpoint" is a difficult thing to gauge, and there is all sorts of room to disagree with nearly anything without being evil or stupid...but I essentially agree with the sentiment Jay expressed. Especially if you emphasize America rather than any one American. As in, there may be reasons for individuals to honestly and honorably decide to not vote for President Bush, but whether or not people recognize it, he does embody much of what is right and good about America, and if he cannot garner 50% of the vote, then America has lost its direction and moral compass, and if more than 50% of the nation prefers John Kerry to George W. Bush, then the future well-being of our nation is indeed in jeopardy.*

Read More "Exploding Other Democrat Myths" »

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Posted by Nathan at 09:38 AM | Comments (0)
The Democrat Fringe « Politics As Usual »

The Democrat Party, the one with so much control of its politicians that they discover "lifelong, unswerving" commitments to Women's Choice just so they can run for President, can't seem to do a thing about its fringe members.

This is the party that pushes 'hate crimes' to specifically protect its favorite special interest groups. This is the party that supports "speech codes" on college campuses to prevent young, impressionable minds from being exposed to diversity of thought. This is the party and ideology that criticizes successful conservative minorities as being "too white" and pawns of GOP. This is the party who considers any GOP dissension as evidence the GOP is wrong (as in, citing Ronald Reagan's son speaking at the Democrat convention as somehow weakening what Ronald Reagan stood for), but considers Zell Miller a dirty, filthy, dishonorable traitor because he didn't vote in lock-step with the recent Democrat changes in congressional platforms and techniques. This is the party that dismisses Michael Moore as being a Democrat operative because he's registered as an "independent" in one state...but then invites him to sit next to a former Democrat President at their convention.

And this is a party that is so used to orchestrating and coordinating "fringe" elements that it considers a collection of 250 swiftboat veterans (whose established voting history is all over the entire spectrum) to be nothing more than political prostitues, chosen and assembled by Republicans and paid to lie about John Kerry for no obvious benefit to themselves.

The dichotomy becomes even more clear when you consider that in the wake of 9/11 elected Democrat officials found it easier to praise and support Osama bin Laden's actions than President Bush's, and found it more palatable to trust Saddam al-Hussein than to trust President Bush.

In short, this is a Party that is all about control, and a Party that works in close connection with its more extreme members. Heck, its leading Presidential candidate for most of 2003 insinuated President Bush allowed 9/11 to happen for political gain!*

Jay Nordlinger makes a nice point:

Can you imagine conservatives disrupting a Democratic nominee's acceptance speech? I can't. Am I naïve? Don't think so.

I could highlight a hundred more examples of Democrat officials, elected officials, registered voters and campaign volunteers and staffers saying and doing hateful things. But not easily, since the mainstream news media refuses to report much information on that sort of the thing when it is Democrats. On the other hand, when some people completely unaffiliated with the Republican Party or even any part of the political process in any way decide to drag a black man to death behind their truck, the Democrats immediately assume those people are Republicans and even tie that action to President Bush. Ridiculous!

Are we just better able to control our "fringe" than Democrats? Do we just attract more stable individuals? The GOP rejects David Duke, but the Democrats embrace Cynthia McKinney and Al Sharpton. Some white supremecists do vote Republican (when they aren't voting Libertarian or refusing to vote at all), and to my knowledge they do not vote Democrat...but they are given no role within the Republican Party, no voice at the conventions, no access to the platform, no mechanism with wish to promulgate their views.

Oh, how I wish that were true of the Democrats with Michael Moore and Jesse Jackson.

Even looking at the "entertainment" wings of our parties: Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh announce they are conservative and support the Republican Party. But they rose to prominence on their own efforts and abilities. They are opposed and attacked by such people as Al Franken, Al Gore, James Carville, and others: people directly funded by the Democrat Party or pillars of the Democrat community.

The simple fact is that this is still a free country, and people have the freedom to be idiots and fools up to the point they cross the line of legality. When it comes to our respective "Fringe Elements", the Republicans worst sin seems to be they don't prevent white supremecists and racists from voting for the Republican Party. The Democrats welcome them as spokesmen, staffers, and essential elements of grassroots campaigning.

It is shameful.

Read More "The Democrat Fringe" »

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Posted by Nathan at 09:09 AM | Comments (0)

September 02, 2004

Why I'm Not A Democrat, Part I « Politics As Usual »

I do still maintain that there is nothing wrong with most of the stated goals of the Democrat party. But I think the leadership has absolutely and totally betrayed those principles starting with Lyndon Johnson's 'Great Society'. Right idea: trying to make sure everyone has a fair opportunity and try to eliminate poverty. Wrong application: hiring quotas and welfare payments merely set the social problems into concrete. And moving goalposts for the definition of poverty make it impossible to see how good Americans really have it and what progress we've made. Meaning: how can we really say more people are in poverty now than 20 years ago when many of the people currently in 'poverty' have cellphones, cable TV, cars, air conditioning, and internet access? How did the Democrat Party so quickly and easily betray the principle of "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country?" Demanding welfare and affirmative action is NOT 'what you can do for you country'...

And in the same manner of "$1 million for defense, not one cent for tribute", I firmly support all sorts of true 'empowerment' programs, like small business loans, education/retraining grants, financial sense classes, free daycare if you work/attend class...but I detest the idea of paying anyone to do nothing all day, PERIOD. Well, unless maybe you are completely bedridden... Even blind and parapalegic individuals can be productive, and should be. They should not be encouraged with federal payments to vegetate and deteriorate. Tax dollars should go toward ensuring an environment conducive toward opening small businesses (so minorities can get rich through their own efforts), rather than wasting it in lawsuits making sure an owner is hiring minorities in the "proper" proportion.

As I've said before, no, the Republican Party is hardly top-notch on that viewpoint. But I can influence the Republican Party, but the Democrat Party is too beholden to its special interests like trial lawyers, NARAL, ACLU, labor unions, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, etc, to listen to me. And if I fail to convince anyone, well, then the Republican Party will, for the most part, stay out of my way and allow me to keep more of my money to be compassionate with as I choose. The Democrats think I'm too dumb/selfish to make decisions how to help with the money I earned by spending precious minutes/hours/days/years of the most healthy and energetic portion of my life.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:22 AM | Comments (1)
On Matthews, Malkin, and Miller « Media Distortions »

I've seen a few people mention the kerfuffle between Zell Miller (D-Georgia) and Chris Matthews (host of the show Hardball, also known as "Puffball" when John Kerry is his guest...). In that interview, Zell refers to Chris beating up on "that little girl", a reference to Michelle Malkin. Some of the commenters have mentioned Matthews picking on "a woman" or even a "little Phillipino woman".

Understand this: Michelle Malkin came off 2nd best because she tried to answer the questions directly and honestly, and Chris Matthews had no intention of letting her score points by doing so. His technique is dishonest and reprehensible, not to mention contrary to all ethics for a professional journalist or talk-show host.

Where Michelle Malkin went wrong was in not directly confronting Matthews' attack. Zell Miller did so, refusing to answer until Matthews' backed off and gave him space. I don't think Ms. Malkin has encountered such hostile interviewing very often; I have every confidence she will be more prepared in the future, and will not be caught so unawares ever again.

So let's not hear any more softly-bigatrous insinuations that Chris Matthews beat up on someone weaker. If she ever deigns to appear on his show again, and he tries the same crap, he's going to draw back bloody stumps.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:16 AM | Comments (10)
» resurrectionsong links with: Ya Gotta Like Zel Miller (Updated)
An Analogy « Politics As Usual »

Vamping on an idea suggested in today's Impromptus, it seems to me that you can predict the actions of a typical party member based on their party affiliation.

That is, if you were broken down on a back road, a Republican would stop and help, but a Democrat would consider voting for a proposal to raise taxes to provide universal roadside assistance as s/he drove past without stopping.*

Read More "An Analogy" »

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Posted by Nathan at 08:46 AM | Comments (4)

September 01, 2004

KC's Roster Cut-Down « Kansas City Chiefs »

My thoughts are up at Sportsblog.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:39 PM | Comments (0)

Some of you may have noticed I tend to be somewhat of an apologist for China.

I hope I can help you understand why. I hope I am accurate in my self-assessment.

Simply put, I love China and I love the people of China. I love the society, I love the atmosphere.

In 1998, I spent 6 weeks in Beijing studying language. It was perhaps the best time of my entire life. We spent 30 hours each week in scheduled language activities, but I'm still amazed by how slowly time moved while I was there. I could travel around and talk to a thousand people and see a million things and still have the entire evening to go out and do it again. If I didn't have family and responsibility and ambition and if I had an independent source of living income, I'd move there in a heartbeat to live out the rest of my days. The people are open and friendly, the food is awesome, and the water unsafe to drink.

Don't get me wrong, there are some significant annoyances there. Beijing is dusty, windy, polluted, too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter, and sanitation is primitive: people throw their rubbish on specified street corners on Monday mornings for workers to pick up with shovels...

And yet, I don't think I've ever been more at peace then while there. Perhaps that indelible impression affects my viewpoint.

On the other hand, one must not forget that the reports regarding freedom in China are often filtered through people with axes to grind. China was founded as a Communist nation (they are not Communist anymore, really, although they are still totalitarian without an established Rule of Law) and so they are automatically hated by certain people for that reason. The Communists also displaced the very corrupt and very wealthy (and equally "evil") totalitarian power structure known as the Nationalist Party, or KMT. The people who were on that gravy train, or children of those who lost power and influence when the KMT were forced out of China still harbor those resentments and that colors everything they say and do about China. And let us not forget that China had its own McCarthyism, except rather than just not being able to continue in the entertainment industry, many people were unjustly imprisoned and tortured, and they still wish to punish China for those experiences...even though it is no longer the same China.

And so you hear reports of political dissidents or Christians being thrown in jail and tortured on a whim...

...but the reality doesn't match that. You can be a Christian in China. You can criticize the government in China. Nothing will happen to you. I saw protesters, I attended church where there were a thousand people in attendence with only a smattering of occidental faces. From my perspective, reports of harsh crackdowns are exaggerated, if not fabricated outright.

Where do these reports come from, then? After being worked to the point of literally breaking his back in a Chinese prison, Harry Wu has made a career out of exposing China's cruelty in the prison system. Unfortunately, the things he reports have no outside corroboration; he has revenge as a possible motive, and the wealth and comfort he has acquired as an activist may provide additional incentive for him to produce allegations.

Have Christians been thrown in jail? Aren't "underground" churches illegal? Yes. But in China many of the underground churches are fronts for people plotting the overthrow of the government. They often have the exact characteristics of what we consider "cults" in the United States, in which people are preaching without ever having even read the Bible. Stop a moment and think of what happened at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco and how it could be portrayed by a foreign press who might be willing to distort a few details to score political points.

Well, then, what about the Tian'anmen Square massacre? Well, what about Ruby Ridge? What about Kent State? What about Selma? What about WTO protests in the US? First, it was a tragedy, but all four examples from the US should demonstrate that using military or para-military forces not trained in riot control as an attempt to intimidate an unruly crowd is a recipe for disaster. Second, China has addressed that problem by training and equipping riot-control troops, and there has not been a repeat of that incident. Third, since the United States has these same blots on our record but still thinks we have the moral standing to criticize other nations, at what point does the statute of limitations run out? There were only 19 years from Kent State to Tian'anmen, when we felt safe enough to criticize an event that differed only in scope...but I'll bet you'll hear plenty about Tian'anmen at the 19-year-mark when Beijing hosts the 2008 Olympics.

We incarcerate people at a greater rate than China, as well.

And when you consider things like speed traps, IRS audits, and Democrat smear campaigns if you dare criticize their candidate for President, Chinese people live in far less fear of their government than US citizens do. I don't dispute that China is more harsh on their criminals than we are...but I think that differing opinions on deterrence/rehabilitation is not really a human rights issue. Especially considering that they have a far greater potential problem in the intersection of population density and poverty. What would the United States do if we faced an inner-city the size of California with 300 million people? That's the situation China is trying to address with its judicial system...and as a result, in a city with 14-16 million people, there was no place I felt unsafe walking alone at any hour of the night. Contrast that with San Antonio, a US city of approximately 1 million where there are some portions I don't feel comfortable driving through during the daytime. Is basic safety a human rights issue? If so, the US fails miserably in that regard. Why do we allow so many of our citizens to terrorize each other?

I have had long conversations regarding this with friends and family in China. Many of them assume that the United States is as chaotic and violent and drug-ridden as was depicted in the movie "Training Day". And while there are elements and places in the US that might actually be like that, most of us never see that kind of circumstance outside of the movie theater. From my conversations, it is clear that the characterization of China as lacking freedom is as inaccurate as characterizing the United States as an anarchistic gangland.

Anyway, maybe this helps you understand a little more where I'm coming from, and why I tend to respond to negative reports regarding China with a little skepticism.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:23 AM | Comments (8)
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