TurningWheels

Friday, August 27, 2004
  Cox & Forkum salute
 



Wednesday, August 25, 2004
  Mazel Tov!
 
Windsurfer gives Israel its first Olympic gold

Israel's Gal Fridman kisses his Gold medal after the Men's Mistral windsurfer sailing event at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, Wednesday Aug. 25, 2004. Fridman won the first gold medal for Israel at the Olympic Games ever. (AP Photo/Herbert Knosowski)

In a fitting tribute, he has dedicated his win to the victims of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre. While the IOC refuses to pay tribute to the murdered athletes, they will continue live on with others.

Mazel Tov Gal!




Tuesday, August 24, 2004
  Free for all
 
The Swift Vets book about John Kerry is causing quite a stir. Amazon has been slammed with "reviews" (most of which, pro and con, are likely from people who have not read it), so they posted the following:
Important note from Amazon.com: We've decided to suspend our normal customer review policies and rules for this title. For example, we usually prohibit ad hominem attacks. That policy in particular seems to be incompatible with presidential election year politics. Therefore, short of obscenities, reviews on this book are now a free-for-all. We take no responsibility for the following discussion. Aren't presidential election years great? Have fun!

Fun, indeed!




Monday, August 23, 2004
  Do they think we're stupid?
 
JohnJohn needs to take its collectives head out of its ass and get over itself for a moment. This holier-than-thou attitude that they have been donning is setting off my gag reflexes so often lately that I'm getting cramps. Seriously.
Bush Says 'That Ad' Attacking Kerry Should Stop [ed: nice sneer quotes]

The Kerry campaign said Bush did not go far enough. "The moment of truth came and went and the president still could not bring himself to do the right thing," said Sen. John Edwards, the Democratic vice presidential candidate.

"George Bush needs to take responsibility and demand that the ad come off the air," Edwards of North Carolina said.

Of course Mr. Edwards' "moment of truth" comment is in reference to his earlier statement that Kerry's "moment of truth" had him volunteer* for service in Vietnam-- ya know, the same war that Bush: was AWOL, deserted, snorted coke through, fill-in-the-blank... yet another little swipe at the President that we've all come to expect and admire.

Meanwhile, there is a nice double standard at work here. We've had years of unproven and very serious charges against the President regarding his service in the TANG, yet nobody seems to care to condemn those or stand up for the President. We've had a mockumentary that basically dragged the President over the coals, followed by a Bush hatefest that JohnJohn attended, and BigJohn calls these things the heart and soul of America. AND Michael Moore gets a seat in the Presidential box (or whatever it's called) alongside Jimmah at the Democratic National Convention. And I haven't even touched on the Moveon.org crapola that has shown the true colors of the Democratic party's foundation of late (yep-- I'm painting with a broad stroke here for a reason).

Imagine for a moment if John O'Neill was welcome at the Republican National Convention as an honored guest, seated next to, say, Bill Frist in the VIP box, or if Bush sued to get ads removed from the airwaves. How about if he pressured to have the countless anti-Bush books removed from the shelves (in other words: imagine if he wanted to redefine our First Amendment)? Can you imagine the field day in the media? The same media that jumped all over Bush's AWOL story and ignored the SBVT story for MONTHS (yes, that unbiased media...)

So these little wizards want the President to stop ads from SBVT. Are you kidding me? Maybe JohnJohn should respond and debunk the claims once and for all. Instead of using lawyers to remove the ad from the airwaves, or campaigning to have bookstores stop selling the book, release all the records (sound familiar?), answer to them-- the accusers were there, they wore the uniform and dripped their blood during the same war. They have the right to say what they please, they have the right to despise Kerry, and they have the right to contribute to any political party/group that they want.

The same folks that are crying foul have plopped down their hard earned bucks to see the Moore flick. These same folks submitted Bush bashing ads (including Bush=Hitler) to Moveon.org. These same folks cannot fathom that Kerry has brought this upon himself by making his 4 month tour in Vietnam the centerpiece of his candidacy. Many of these people are bashing the Veterans who are speaking out against Kerry, while elevating those who defend him as beacons of truth. These people ignore that fact that Kerry's campaign has a former Moveon.org Director working for it. Geez, how about the fact that Bush has been on the receiving end of these 527 attacks far more frequently than Kerry?

All of this self-righteousness on display from Kerry/Edwards is a cute little distraction from the fact that this President has endured years of non-stop character assassination from the same folks that support his opponent. I've seen it on display every day where I live. Every flippin' day-- it has been the driving force behind my affiliation switch. Kerry is demanding that Bush run a nicer campaign that rises above the partisan and personal attacks, as if he's the only recipient of said attacks. As if he hasn't taken swipe after swipe after swipe since his ego was enlarged by his Primary wins.

When does Kerry plan to denounce (or even distance himself from): Moveon.org, Michael Moore and his feces-disguised-as-a-movie, the "Bush deserted" attack dogs, Ralls and Oliphants, the celebrity smear masters...? I'm not holding my breath, but I've become red in the face with frustration at the audacity of this guy and his "troops" to talk about taking responsibility and running a nicer campaign while they do nothing of the sort.

I thought that the Clinton-bashers were bad, but this election season takes the cake. Bush isn't dividing America or dragging politics deep into the gutter-- Americans are.




Friday, August 20, 2004
  What's good for the goose...
 
It's always nice to get a good laugh on a Friday afternoon. Kerry should look within before spewing his crap everywhere... and then just "move on".

For either campaign to bitch about ties to these groups is ludicrous. Considering that the Kerry campaign hired the guy who helped get Moveon.org rolling, who are they to talk? So Republican activists, even the ones who like W, are supporting SBVT... is that supposed to be a surprise? That surprises me as much as lefties supporting Moveon.org. It's also funny that those who tow the Moveon.org party line and tend to complain about the shredding of the constitution have their golden boy is suing to prevent an opposing commercial from airing.

This election has become so ridiculous with the hypocrisy, it's hard to read the news with a straight face.




Tuesday, August 17, 2004
  Naming the Enemy
 
A short piece by Daniel Pipes lays it down in simple terms that even an ignorant American can understand.
Naming the Enemy

In a striking admission, George W. Bush said the other day that that "We actually misnamed the war on terror. It ought to be [called] the struggle against ideological extremists who do not believe in free societies and who happen to use terror as a weapon to try to shake the conscience of the free world."

This important concession follows growing criticism of the misleading term "war on terror" (how can one fight a tactic?) and replaces it with the more accurate "war on ideological extremists." With this change, the battle of ideas can begin.

But who exactly are those ideological extremists? The next step is for Mr. Bush to give them a name.

In fact, he on occasion since September 11 has spoken candidly about their identity. As early as September 2001, he referred to the enemy being "a fringe form of Islamic extremism" which seeks "to kill Christians and Jews, to kill all Americans, and make no distinction among military and civilians, including women and children." This Islamic extremism also is heir to "all the murderous ideologies of the twentieth century," including "fascism, and Nazism, and totalitarianism."

In January 2002, Mr. Bush was more specific yet, adding that the terrorist underworld includes "groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, [and] Jaish-i-Mohammed." In May 2002, he pointed out that a "new totalitarian threat" exists whose adherents "are defined by their hatreds: they hate … Jews and Christians and all Muslims who disagree with them" (implying that they are Muslims). Those adherents, he noted, feel entitled to kill "in the name of a false religious purity."

A year later, in May 2003, the president provided details about the Islamists' goals, observing that "nineteen evil men—the shock troops of a hateful ideology—gave America and the civilized world a glimpse of their ambitions. They imagined, in the words of [Ramzi Binalshibh, the Al-Qaeda leader accused of directing the 9/11 operation], that September the 11th would be the ‘beginning of the end of America.'"

The terrorist acts of the past two decades, Mr. Bush noted in April 2004, are the work of fanatical, political ideologues who "seek tyranny in the Middle East and beyond. They seek to oppress and persecute women. They seek the death of Jews and Christians, and every Muslim who desires peace over theocratic terror."

Last month, Bush for the first time used the phrase "Islamic militants," perhaps his most explicit reference until now to the Islamist threat, saying that until he closed a so-called Islamic charity based in Illinois, the Benevolence International Foundation, it "channel[ed] money to Islamic militants."

Rolling these comments into a single summary statement establishes how Mr. Bush – and by extension the whole of the U.S. government – sees the enemy: A false doctrine of Islamic purity inspires a totalitarian ideology of power and domination. In its ruthlessness, murderousness, and global ambition, it resembles the Nazi and communist ideologies. The extremists who advocate this doctrine see America as the chief obstacle to achieving their goals. To defeat America, they initially seek Washington's retreat from the outside world. Ultimately, they hope to bring about a collapse of America as it now exists. Toward this end, they are prepared to murder any number of Americans.

This is a fine description of Islamism, its mentality, methods, and means. It also shows that Mr. Bush draws the subtle distinction between the personal faith of Islam and the political ideology of Islamism (or militant Islam).

In this, he parallels what a number of Muslim leaders – including even some Saudis – have said. Following acts of terrorism in Riyadh in May 2003, Interior Minister Prince Naif publicly attributed this violence to "ideology" and "fanatical ideas." And if Naif – himself an Islamist – attributes the problem ultimately not to acts of violence but the ideas behind them, surely Americans can say no less.

Mr. Bush has already alluded to America having to confront its third totalitarian ideology. Now he should name that ideology. I hope he will surround himself with a group of distinguished anti-Islamist Muslims, foreign and domestic alike, and formally announce America's acceptance of leadership in the war against Islamism.

Only with such specificity can the civilized world start on the path to victory over this latest manifestation of barbarism.

I constantly hear the opponents of the war in Iraq (or even the war in Afghanistan) that our actions will create 1,000 Bin Ladens. Assuming that's true, why don't these people ever look into why fighting terrorists would create more terrorists? Ask that and you get the cut-n-paste response: the United States is responsible for the conditions that breed terrorism. I choose to look into the mosques and Islamic government buildings (or palaces, in many cases) for the real condition that breeds the fanaticism.

We are not fighting a war against terrorism, but against the warped ideology of Islamism. We can knock off the terrorists all day long, but as long as the ideology thrives within the population, we'll get nowhere.




Thursday, August 12, 2004
  What next?
 
If one of these numbnuts shows up at my polling place, I'll have a few choice words for them.

Oh, wait. They won't be at my polling place, since my neighborhood is predominantly Asian, and their cultural and community leaders haven't been bitching and moaning about disenfranchised voters and stripped civil rights.

These paragraphs say it all:

Democrats greeted the announcement as a victory in their efforts to draw international scrutiny to the elections process, particularly in the wake of the 2000 presidential elections in which George W. Bush squeaked out a tiny electoral majority, thanks to an especially controversial vote count in Florida, despite losing the popular vote by some half a million votes.

"It's a step in the right direction toward ensuring that this year's elections are fair and transparent," said Rep. Barbara Lee [ed: that's my Rep for ya!], a California Congresswoman who was one of 13 lawmakers who asked UN Secretary Kofi Annan to send UN observers to oversee this year's elections.

"Given the deeply troubling events of the 2000 election, the growing concerns about the lack of necessary reforms and potential abuse in the 2004 election," the lawmakers wrote, "we believe that the engagement of international election monitors can be the catalyst to expedite the necessary reform, as well as reduce the likelihood of questionable practices and voter disenfranchisement on Election Day." [Emphasis added]

So, what exactly was "deeply troubling" about the 2000 election? Was it that the electoral process was on full display? Was it that some people are too stupid to register properly and chose to blame the system? Was it that there were voting issues, as there are likely voting issues at every election, but this time they were under a full spotlight due to the close results? Or was it that the wrong candidate won? I can smell the partisanship and racism from thousands of miles away.

And how will these monitors reduce any voting issues? In San Francisco last year the elections officials "lost track" of thousands of ballots for hours on the night of the election. What will monitors do about that? What will the sore-loser Dems say in cases like that, where their fellow Dems are running the show with complete incompetence?

Wake up people! In every election we will have voting irregularities and messed up counts. We'll always have people who doubt our system because that is what has been pounded into their heads for decades by their leaders. There will always be self-declared disenfranchised voters. Hell, I'll raise my hand to that: I am a Republican in the San Francisco Bay Area. Not only is my state considered a shoe-in for Kerry and Dems in general, but during every national election I get to hear the talking heads on the news stations tell me who has won the election before I even leave work to vote. Why should I bother? My vote doesn't count, right? My political views are intimidated by the loud-mouthed lefties who call me a right-wing, warmongering, Christian fundamentalist dummy. Oh boy, I better call Jesse.

I have a lot more to say about the elections process and the effects of the 2000 dispute, which has led directly to this bullshit. As my sister said last night, "Thanks, Al". If ever there was a time to heed Nixon's example, 2000 was it. More later...




Monday, August 09, 2004
  On the shelf
 
Have you been to a bookstore and looked at the Current Events shelf lately? Where 2/2.5 years ago most books on that shelf were related to terrorism and Islam, today at least one in three books is anti-Bush. No kidding-- I'm being conservative in my estimates here. There are a couple of "right-leaning" books, but for the most part they aren't.

I was looking for a couple of books about Islamic fundamentalism (Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, etc.) and could not find one in that section. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out where to find those kinds of titles. Then I thought: considering where I live and the PC police on every street corner, it wouldn't suprise me at all if books like those I'm looking for are not sold at the local bookstores. Seems like they're doing the smart thing: just selling to their market. Nice market I live in, eh?




Friday, August 06, 2004
  The bias of media
 
While we're on the topic of the media, can anybody justify the following caption, or explain the newsworthiness of the headline link on the right?




  The fog of media
 
When I came across this headline (the purple one), it struck me as oddly nondescript. Especially considering the story behind it.




  Armstrong may be stripped of 6th TDF title
 
It's been a long time since I last posted, but this was too important to pass up:
Lance Armstrong may be stripped of his 6th Tour de France title.

In a random check for banned substances, 3 substances were found in Lance Armstrong's hotel that are banned by the French:Toothpaste, deodorant, and soap.

Thanks, Cait!



  Da Mayor
 
My former college roommate is in town, so we went to dinner on Wednesday night in the city. We finished pretty late, and on our way out, sitting at a table by the door, was the honorable Mayor, Gavin Newsom.

So right outside the door we were talking, and of course the topic turned to the honorable Mayor and speculation about his life.

We debated whether his wife was a Victoria's Secret model, just a lingerie model, or a pole dancer. The jury's still out on that.

We speculated about his marriage. He's married to Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom. She now lives in New York doing TV work, hobnobbing with the rich and famous. A lot of women think that Gavin is a hottie (I disagree), and most men think that Kimberly is a hottie. They are considered a power-couple, but we wondered what a bi-coastal marriage is like between two people like them.

Given the speculation about his marriage, and the fact that we were standing in San Francisco, we wondered amongst ourselves: is he gay? Almost unanimously, and after much debate, we concluded he isn't. But on the way to that conclusion we tried to imagine a relationship between the Mayor and Tom Ammiano, or Matt Gonzales.

All of this discussion took place within ten feet of his table. I hope the windows were sound proof.




  You've got mail!
 
Is it me, or has spam become the most entertaining thing on the net lately?

In my Yahoo mail:

  • if only you had apron declarative...
  • Fw: important longer s^ex tonight
  • Get the lowest prices on prescription drugs
  • Xanax is available now. great prices dogwood



  The platform
 
If Kerry becomes President, these will be his policies as I understand them (this is a result of perusing the campaign website):

Foreign Policy: Bend over. This will result in the International Community liking us again. By "International Community" we mean: France, Germany, Russia, the Arab street and the United Nations. Islamists will leave Americans alone if we'd just stop stoking their Jihadist Anger.

Iraq: Ditto Foreign Policy above. Get behind Lakhdar "Israel is poison" Brahimi to solve the Middle East crisis that is fueling violence in Iraq.

National Defense: Pump up First Responders. It's okay if we get hit, as long as cities are funded to put out the resulting fires, clean up the resulting mess, and offer hospital beds to the resulting victims. On Larry King Live last month, Mr. Kerry told Americans that he didn't have time for a White House briefing on the new terrorism threat:

Let's get to, first thing's first, news of the day. Tom Ridge warned today about al Qaeda plans of a large-scale attack on the United States, didn't increase the -- do you see any politics in this? What's your reaction?

KERRY: Well, I haven't been briefed yet, Larry. They have offered to brief me; I just haven't had time. But all Americans are united in our efforts to defeat terrorism.

But he had time to attend a Bush Bash celebrity fundraiser in New York. Will anybody ponder his priorities?

Economic Policy: Class warfare. There are two Americas: the "haves" and the "have nots". Tax the Haves more, so the Have Nots get more. This means my family tax rate will increase, but I should rest assured it's okay-- it's for the Common Good. I wonder if he plans to close the loopholes that his lovely wife has been able to leverage. Oops, I digress. Even though the tax cuts are contributing to the Greatest Deficits in the History of America, the revenue generated from Rich Americans (such as myself, apparently) will be redirected to other programs, such as:

Healthcare: Everybody in America has the inalienable right to mediocre healthcare provided by the government. It says so in the Constitution (when I find the passage, I'll post). The rich will pay for this, because they have an obligation, as Rich Americans, to provide for the Common Good. Why do Rich Foreigners come to America for specialized healthcare, I wonder? Ah, it doesn't matter, really. Middle America can't afford healthcare, so the rich can foot the bill. It's only fair.

Education: Throw more federal money at it. Prisons are holding education back, so he will stop building prisons and put that money into education instead. Still not sure how more federal money will help education. I'd like to hear of a plan at the local level that addresses the problem of mismanagement of our education dollars. I don't need to hear the Senators tell me it's a Federal issue. It's not. (For honesty's sake: abolish the No Child Left Behind initiative, please!) Next.

Integrity: He will never mislead or lie to us. He will fight for the common man (not sure who that is, but if he insists.) I know I've forgotten something.... oh, did you know he was born in the West Wing? I kid you not!

Overall, I'm amazed at how much President Kerry will be able to fund with the tax rollbacks for the rich. I've heard on one occasion that "rich" is an income of $200k or more. Apparently Mr. Kerry doesn't visit California often, or even his beloved Boston.

I have a morbid curiosity of a Kerry presidency. This will be an interesting campaign season, indeed.