Saturday, February 14, 2004
Calling Roy Moore
From The Seattle Times . News that Ralph Nader expects to run again, as an independent, despite opposition from most of the people who voted for him in 2000, myself included.
My question is, where is Ralph going to find people willing to sign those petitions to put him on the ballot? Democrats won't. Ralph doesn't have guaranteed ballot access, and he is NOT RUNNING AS A GREEN. The Greens are unlikely to sign a petition for him. There were always the centrist Dems who claimed that Ralph was being bankrolled by Republicans. Maybe we'll find out this time.
posted by Green Voicemail 2/14/2004 02:37:00 PM
Today's Bush Stock
From Tradesports .
That little bump at the end of the graph is Bush after Saddam was captured. The post-Saddam bounce is now officially over. Although an October Surprise -- say, a capture of Osama -- might be worth as much as a 9 point poll shift. As Hunter S. Thompson says, "Big darkness, soon come." Keep your eyes open.
posted by Green Voicemail 2/14/2004 07:12:00 AM
Ah, the trolls are out tonight about John Kerry and his supposed affair. They've hit Atrios , and now they've hit NTodd . Looks like they're going to try to hit any progressive blog that's reached a certain height in the Ecosystem.
The newest allegation is that there is now a name. There is a female reporter. She exists. And the allegations connect her to Kerry. You give me an hour, and I can prove that 15 or 20 female reporters exist...maybe even more, if you give me Lexis-Nexus and a good phonebook.
It would be a logical fallacy to then conclude that each of these reporters had sex with me. However, this is the conclusion that our trolls wants you to draw with John Kerry. Why? Matt Drudge asserts a connection, therefore one exists, QED.
The trolls, unfortunately, have fallen for the "Criswellian Fallacy" as well as the "Jean Dixon Fallacy". Criswell was a "psychic" from the 1950s to around 1980 -- you might remember him from the movie "Ed Wood". Dixon was also a psychic as well, noted for predicting JFK's assassination.
Criswell was the "narrator" of the ridiculous Plan Nine From Outer Space. After watching about a half hour of Ed Wood garbage, Criswell leaves the audience with the rejoinder "can you prove it DIDN'T happen?" Guess not, Mr. Criswell. Maybe the dead do walk in Los Angeles, and they all look like Vampira. How could we have ever doubted you?
Dixon's correct prediction of JFK's death is simply due to the fact that if you make 1000 ridiculous assertions, one of them is sooner or later going to come close to a truth. For example, I could accuse 100 guys walking down the street of being actively practicing homosexuals. I would probably be right about 5 or 6 times. I could accuse 1000 people of having murdered someone, and probably find one person who had something to DO with a murder, or be the brother of a murderer, or the son of one, or whatever.
Therefore, two things to conclude:
a) These assertions do not require comment. The trolls are basically asking, "Can you prove a Kerry affair DIDN'T happen?"
But that is not our task. It is the tasks of these Angry White Males to prove that one DID. I wish them the best of luck, they'll need it. They have to make up stuff about Kerry out of whole cloth; while progressives have the truth of Bush's record to work with.
b) Matt Drudge being right once in the past does not give him credibility. I remember the hundreds of times he was out and out wrong. He's a "feed", basically. Conservatives come up with something that MIGHT have some plausibility and float it by Drudge. Drudge has a real lack of capacity to ask questions; he just needs filler. If it gets interest, he keeps running it until the facts prove him wrong, then, he suddenly forgets it.
I'm still waiting for that DNA evidence to prove that Bill Clinton fathered a black baby in Arkansas. Funny, Drudge was all over that one, now you never hear about it. I also remember that how many women, three, four, were going to come out with rape allegations against Clinton. It never happened, leaving Drudge with...uh...egg on his face. And that's only the START of the number of times that Drudge was not only wrong, but wildly, shamelessly, and ridiculously wrong. To most intelligent people, Drudge is not a truth-telling freedom fighter, he is a figure of ridicule.
Basically, being Matt Drudge means never having to apologize when you're wrong. Wrong accusations are simply edited out of the record. I don't remember the one right accusation that Drudge made -- even a blind pig finds a truffle now and then. I remember the fifty wrong ones.
In short, anyone who depends on Matt Drudge as a reliable source of news needs to have a legal guardian appointed for himself. Such a person's safety would need protection at all times, since there's no telling what he could be led to believe, or what the consequences might be.
posted by Green Voicemail 2/14/2004 06:54:00 AM
More Exceptions Made for Bush in National Guard
From The Boston Globe .
Basically, the crux of the nub is that Bush blew off his most important obligation as a pilot -- his flight physical, which would have determined if he was medically fit for duty (as well as determined if he were on drugs). What's really amazing is that Bush gave absolutely no excuse AT THE TIME for missing it. No letter to the Texas Air National Guard, no notation on his record. HE JUST DIDN'T SHOW UP.
All kinds of excuses have been given by others, and boy are they doozies. One campaign aide stated that Bush didn't need to take the physical since his family doctor was in Houston and Bush was in Alabama -- the problem being that physicals are given by flight surgeons and not by friendly Doc Joe, your pediatrician.
The best excuse is that Bush didn't need to take the physical since he wasn't flying. Of course, the reason he wasn't flying is that he didn't take the physical! Makes perfect sense if you're a conservative.
Here's the problem. Given all of the evidence we've had so far, you can only come to two conclusions:
a) everything is ably documented in those records, but hundreds of investigators haven't, through commission or omission, been able to find it, or rather
b) Bush simply treated his service in the National Guard as an annoyance rather than a duty, blew it off as much as possible, and let other people make up for his mistakes.
And why can't we find the records? If something is a fact, then other conclusions follow from that fact. Sherlock Holmes said something to the effect that one could conclude that an ocean exists from the presence of a raindrop. If Bush WERE in Alabama, and WERE in the Guard, then other conclusions would follow. There would be evidence, incidental evidence resulting from Bush's presence there -- snapshots taken by friends, recollections, maybe a speeding ticket in Alabama, Bush's presence remembered at parties, a home movie, a mention in a base newspaper.
When even that incidental evidence is lacking, the premise for such evidence must then be false -- the premise being that Bush did his duty. He did not. He simply blew it off.
Someone once said, if Bush had come clean, all would have been forgiven. Bush could have said:
I had a duty to do with the Texas National Guard, and I regret that I didn't fulfill that duty. At that time, I was struggling with alcoholism and was afraid that a physical might have revealed the truth. I didn't want to embarass my father and his political career. My father cared about me and didn't want me to come to a bad end. Strings were pulled. It was done; I'm sure that others out there can tell the story.
This was the way I lived my life -- I certainly wanted to do well, but I had little sense of responsibility or obligation to others. Frankly, I really only cared about myself and my immediate needs, even the needs of my father's political career or even an obligation not to personally embarrass anyone. I know that my mother and my father must have been embarrassed multiple times. My father was a fighter pilot, he got shot down in the Pacific -- he was forced to bail out of his plane and might have died if the Japanese had gotten him. I'm sure that what I did was a slap in the face to his own sense of duty to country.
I can't really explain it, looking back. However, I am one of the fortunate ones. Not fortunate in the sense that I was born the son to a wealthy and politically powerful man. His wealth and his political power couldn't help me come to terms with my inner demons. I am fortunate in that I found Jesus Christ as my personal savior, when I learned that His Grace was something that would be given to me as a gift. I did not have to be a tough guy, a macho man, a boozer and womanizer to get it. There was nothing I could do or not do to deserve it. All I had to do was accept it. And that was what turned my life around. If my political enemies want to make hay about it, let them -- I wasn't the same man then as I am now."
This, of course, would imply that Bush would have had to disown his military "service" at some level -- which is why Bush would never make a speech like that. He wants the privilege of military service without the inconvenience of it. He wants the honor without the risk. He wants the result without the effort.
But George Bush will find in the 2004 campaign that he cannot have his cake and eat it too. You see, George, when your father covered up for you, he never figured out that you were going to be president. Therefore, he never explained Law One of Politics to you.
It's not the wrong things you do that bring you down. It's the cover-up.
posted by Green Voicemail 2/14/2004 06:19:00 AM
Rumor Generation Protocol
1. Start rumor about someone regarding something that's not exactly illegal -- since accusations of illegality might require legal action -- but might be morally suspect. Say, Jane Fonda appearing at an antiwar rally or an adulterous affair. (Photoshop if necessary.)
2. Have every right wing monkey post the rumor to every website they can think of. When they run out of right wing websites, go to left wing ones.
3. When the left wing sites refuse to give it the time of day, claim that they don't want to talk about the truth.
4. Pepper every source of newsmedia night and day about why the left wing is engaged in conspiracy of silence about something that is so obviously important (although not actually illegal).
5. Continue peppering until some small media outlet cracks and prints the allegations with enough disclaimers to sink a battleship.
6. Have every right wing monkey site the small media source that cracked as proof that the allegations have weight, since they were put in print.
7. Wait until the larger print media :
a) print a story about the rumor mongering and "how it has gotten out of control"
b) begin printing a story about their salacious covering of the story and how the reporting of the rumor mongering has gotten out of control, and
c) treat the allegations as having weight, since they
1) are obviously affecting the candidate's campaign, because the media says they are, and
2) begin investigating the allegations, determine the allegations are inconclusive, but refuse to drop the story because now the story itself is the now the story,
8. Wait until the larger broadcast media
a) pick up the allegations story now that the print media has legitimized it, and
b) run it 24-7, on the hour, every hour since salacious stuff gets ratings, the same way that tits and ass do on HBO.
Problem solved. Now what was that about that abortion Bush got for his girlfriend?
posted by Green Voicemail 2/14/2004 05:45:00 AM
Sunday, February 08, 2004
The Faith-Based Presidency
Nice article by William Saletan in Slate , which says a lot about how Bush sees the world. His is a faith-based world. Bush believes certain things are true, and they are true precisely because he believes they are true. Saddam had weapons because Bush believes he did. Iraq will turn out okay because Bush believes it will. There is no problem with Bush's National Guard service because Bush believes there isn't.
How does a human mind work like this? Very easily, according to Howard Dean,
"[if Bush and his administration] have a theory and a fact, and [the two] don't coincide, they get rid of the fact instead of the theory."
And this is how Bush has operated his entire life and why he can tell you straight out of his heart that things are going real swell and why so many Americans believe in everything he says. The faith-based presidency.
posted by Green Voicemail 2/08/2004 10:55:00 PM
Thank God for Mississippi
While growing up in Kentucky, that was our state motto, not "United We Stand, Divided We Fall". Kentucky usually scraped the bottom of the barrel in just about every way to rank states, but Mississippi was always below us.
And now, Mississippi has saved Kentucky's bacon once again. The Corporate Crime Reporter Website -- www.corporatecrimereporter.com -- has just released its report of the Most Corrupt States in America . Kentucky was #8, but there was Mississippi at #1! Thank God for Mississippi!
2. North Dakota
7. South Dakota
10. New York
3. New Hampshire
posted by Green Voicemail 2/08/2004 09:21:00 AM
"Tomorrow, I'm the Sheriff!"
Incredible story of a state worker in Hawai'i. David Tong used to work for public television in Hawai'i. In 2000, the state privatized the operation, but since Tong was still a state worker, he had to be given an alternate job SOMEWHERE. Tong was offered a job as a Deputy Sheriff because television engineers and sheriffs were in the same state bargaining unit.
Normally, this wouldn't be a problem, except that a 1994 accident limits Tong to work that doesn't require walking around or physical exertion. It's a compelling story and a cautionary tale about government bureaucracies and what they do.
posted by Green Voicemail 2/08/2004 08:29:00 AM
"What's Wrong with You Liberals? Does Freedom in Iraq Bother You?"
Well, they say God giveth and God taketh away, and it seems that the CPA in Iraq operate under the same conditions.
Ever heard of ICG Resolution 137? This jewel was signed by the Iraqi Governing Council on December 29, 2003. What does it do?
Well, the constitution of 1959 in Iraq had a fairly liberal set of personal status laws modeled after Western Constitutions. Women had rights to education, divorce, to inherit property, to vote, in short, what women in America expect as their due and right as citizens today. ICG 137 voids all of that and replaces it with community by community religious law. I don't have to spell out the consequences for you.
Of course, this isn't the law in Iraq...YET. Bremer and the CPA have to sign it into law, and forty-four US lawmakers have sent President Bush a letter warning him what's going on. (Gee, I wonder who gets to read it to him?)
Of course, it might be a moot point if Bush washes his hands of the mess he's made in Iraq and pulls out by June 30. Frankly, it's a tragedy. Either we stay in Iraq and let our soldiers die and earn the hatred of every Arab government, or we leave and Iraq goes into the shithole. And there are still people in the world who think that Bush's War has nothing but positives.
If Resolution 137 is signed by Bremer, Bush needs to be asked about it every single day leading up to the election of Kerry Edwards. And Kerry Edwards needs to be asked about it every day after that if we're still in Iraq.
posted by Green Voicemail 2/08/2004 08:21:00 AM