"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin


>> Thursday, September 30, 2004

Thomas Sowell on privitizing Social Security

Would you sign a contract that enabled the other party to change the terms of that contract at will, while you could neither stop him nor make any changes of your own? Probably not. Yet that is exactly what happens when you pay money into Social Security.


The Debate

My initial feeling is that Kerry got his points across better than Bush. Kerry still couldn't stop himself from contradicting himself from one paragraph to the next, but he looked good and confident. Bush grasped for words several times and had quite a few awkward silences but had a stronger message. Bush did get out several good points but I was yelling at the screen several times for Bush to point out XY or Z.

Bush had a chance to completely knock Kerry out of the race tonight but didn't do it. I'm all the more disappointed because Bush has so many facts on his side and Kerry couldn't spot a clue if you gave him COL Mustard and the Lead Pipe.

Kerry never made any specifics as to what he would do as he tried to attack Bush from the right. This position will shift a few of people in the middle, but he just lost the Dean and Kucinich supporters.

Kerry's final statement was about Vietnam. Go figure.

Bush made a strong finish! "If America shows uncertainty or weakness in this decade, the world will drift towards tragedy. That's not going to happen so long as I'm your president. We will continue to strengthen our homeland security and intelligence gathering capability. We will reform our military. It will be an all volunteer army. We will continue to stay on offence so we will not have to face them here at home. We will continue to build our alliances. But I will never turn over America's national security needs to leaders of other countries as we continue to build those alliances. And we continue to spread freedom. I believe in the transformational power of liberty. I believe that a free Iraq is in this nation's best interest. I believe that a free Afghanistan and a free Iraq will serve as a powerful example for million that plead in silence for liberty in the Middle East. We've done a lot of hard work over the last 3 1/2 years. We've had some challenges and we've risen to those challenges. By being resolute and steadfast and strong; by keeping our word; by supporting our troops, we can achieve the peace we all want." [TiVo rocks!]

Hugh Hewitt is a Bush supporter and a radio commentator. He has a good breakdown of the questions and answers in a grid.

Complete transcript from the debate

James Taranto notes Kerry's internal inconsistencies and lack of backbone.

Insight Mag on why Bush won

Bush won not only the debate but, in all
probability, the election. Senator Kerry stood up
well but, once more, he didn't say anything. In fact, coming out of
the debate, I'm less clear as to what Kerry actually thinks about Iraq
and the broader War on Terrorism than I was before I went in.

If he's to be believed (which is an open question) Kerry's foreign
policy ideas are potentially the most ruinous proposed by any
Presidential candidate since George McGovern in 1972. Senator Kerry
proposes an American foreign policy that is consistent only in that it
dovetails exactly with the stuff prescribed by the global elites.

Kerry's "plan" for Iraq is simply a fantasy. He's going to "call a
summit": and do what? Is the man so deluded to think that foreign
nations are going to deploy their troops to Iraq simply at his beck
and call? Because, if you take out the part about the foreign
nations, Senator Kerry doesn't really have a plan.

I'm convinced that, if elected President, Senator Kerry will manage to
buy as many African and Asian UN Blue-Helmets as he can and then he'll
flee Iraq at a greater-than-deliberate speed. His constant repeating
of his bizarre non-plan to have the French, Germans and unidentified
"Arab" nations step to the rescue (Jordan doesn't have an Army, so who
is he going to ask: Syria? Saudi Arabia?) simply reinforces the idea
that he doesn't have a plan to do anything more than sound minimally
competent enough to get elected.

Kerry also made a number of fundamental mistakes of fact when speaking
about the war and foreign policy which, I think, the Bush campaign
would be wise to mercilessly pound upon.

First, during the third question, Senator Kerry said that, "The
president moved the troops, so he's got 10 times the number of troops
in Iraq than he has in Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden is." This
is a potentially huge error, perhaps even a "there is no Soviet
domination of Poland" level error.

I don't think that anyone in the know thinks that Osama Bin Laden,
even if his is alive, is in Afghanistan. Even CNN's reporter pointed
this fact out immediately after the end of the debate. If Senator
Kerry wants to hammer Bush for getting Osama Bin Laden, he'd damn well
better, at the very least, remember which country he's in.

And this also, of course, wasn't a slip of the tongue: it was the
center of his entire argument on the matter, namely that Bush has,
"got 10 times the number of troops in Iraq than he has in Afghanistan,
where Osama bin Laden is." Except he's not there, Senator.

The second mistake, again, exposes a fundamental error of policy and
reality on Senator Kerry's part and it deserves some real examination.
It deserves extensive quotation:

"With respect to North Korea, the real story: We had inspectors and
television cameras in the nuclear reactor in North Korea. Secretary
Bill Perry negotiated that under President Clinton. And we knew where
the fuel rods were. And we knew the limits on their nuclear power...
While they didn't talk at all, the fuel rods came out, the inspectors
were kicked out, the television cameras were kicked out. And today,
there are four to seven nuclear weapons in the hands of North Korea."

Senator Kerry misses entirely, and presumably his entire national
security team misses, the significance of the point that President
Bush then raised next when he said, "the breach on the agreement was
not through plutonium. The breach on the agreement is highly enriched
uranium." That bears repeating: Senator Kerry either didn't know, or
hoped the public wouldn't know, the difference between the two and the
mechanics of how North Korea developed its nuclear weapons.


Army MP Kicking Ass

Under the someone you should know category, via Blackfive.

Vet shot in Dunkin' Donuts parking lot: Weymouth man gets stitches to forehead

Some losers pulled a gun on an MP while he was trying to get donuts with his brother. He charged the bad guy, wrestled him to the ground and beat him into submission. These are the types of people who defend our freedoms. He wants to be a police officer too. I hope he makes it.


Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card is a Hawk of a Democrat, in the Zell Miller mold.

Election Guidebook, Kerry's Conscience, and Doomsayers II is a review of Hugh Hewitt's book If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat. An excellent anaylsis of the topics of Hugh's book.

Which Terrorists Are Our Enemies? Takes people to task for not going after all terrorists, not just the ones directly related to 9/11.

Yes there are Democrats that are worthy of respect. Let's hope that they are able to get their party back to rooting for America again. We as a nation need the diversity of ideas and dialog in order to make us stronger. The current crop of defeatists and appeasers hurt America more than help.


Baby Preparations Move Onward

>> Wednesday, September 29, 2004

We took the stroller out of it's box a couple of days ago. Some assembly required, and let me tell you, Doug used the instruction manual. He had to- it was simply not self explanitory. We got the Ford Expedition of strollers. There are Hummer models out there- you know, more prestige, larger price tag, not really any better. We are prepared for next year's Farmer's Market. Too bad you need a baby for one of these things, it would have been really handy this past season. This fabulous stroller also has the "travel system"- a car seat/carrier and base. Soooo many thanks to my sister for installing it (and sacrificing a fingernail)! I enlisted her help as she has experience with car seats and the instructions were first written in Chinese, then translated to Spanish, and finally translated to English. They had to be- there is no way they were intentionally written to be so confusing.

I was sitting in my office this morning, looking at all the baby clothes, toys, blankets, diapers, swings... and my little path to my desk. I had previously sorted the washable items into piles- pinks, yellows, whites, colors (pale) and colors (bright). Why so many piles? Pinks were a load unto themselves, as were yellows. The rest of the colored clothes made 2 loads, so I figured that separating them would make sense. And there are 2 loads of whites. So, there I am, sitting, wishing I could do something with all this stuff.

Brainstorm! Well, it was actually more like a cloudburst, quick and fleeting but effective. Everything I purchased for storage in the baby's room is light and very portable. Sooo, I set up some of it in the guest room across the hall and began doing laundry and organizing. WooHoo! I feel so fulfilled!!! I can see floor! And I get to "ooh and ahhh" over all the cute outfits again!

I was IM-ing with my mom and mentioned what I was up to. She asked if I was "nesting" (that burst of energy you get before you go into labor). I don't think I am. But I am making Doug take me to Target tonight when he gets home... just in case. I am at 36 weeks, she could suprise us....


Rekha blames Bush for the military draft bills in Congress

State 29 (see sidebar for link) pointed out Rekha's column implying that Bush is the one responsible for introducing the draft bills in Congress

Since the only ones talking about a draft are Democrats, why claim this to be a Bush plot? Projection anyone? Congressman Rangel claims that because the military has a 30% minority rate it's somehow a racist organization. Isn't the entire US population close to 30% of what liberals claim to be minorities? Why does a person's ethnic background have any bearing on their economic background or ability to find a job, or their abilities in the military? Why are the Democrats promoting such racist policies in the name of "fairness"?

Here's my letter to the editor: "Someone needs to tell Rekha Basu ("Bring back the draft? Say it isn't so") that the ONLY ones calling for a military draft are Democrats. Specifically for HR 163; Mr. Rangel (D-New York), Mr. McDermott (D-Washington), Mr. Conyers (D-Michigan), Mr. Lewis (D-Georgia), Mr. Stark (D-California), and Mr. Abercrombie (D-Hawaii). In the Senate, SR89 is sponsored by Mr. Hollings (D - South Carolina).

Since these bills are sponsored by Democrats and that Secretary Rumsfeld, senior officers at the Pentagon and President Bush all feel that not only is a draft unwarranted, it would actually HURT our war-fighting ability, why does imply that President Bush is responsible? One would think that a person working for a newspaper would actually be able to use facts rather than rely on the Democrats rumor mill."

Be sure to send yours!


Fox News beats all cable rivals

Maybe we're all being outFoxed!

My personal belief is that Fox does a better job of delivering unbiased news. Don't confuse Hannity and O'Reilly with news anchors, their JOB is to deliver opinions and discuss current events.

Now, if we only had an alternative to the Des Moines Register.


More on healthcare

>> Tuesday, September 28, 2004

As a follow up from my earlier healthcare post I have been searching for input from others in the field. Here are some things to think about:

  1. Bob Coli, MD goes thru examples of how the medical lawsuit lottery encourages lawyers to sue.
  2. Lorie Byrd shares her story of having to get another part time job to cover medical expenses. Be sure to read the comments as there is a lot of good information there.
  3. Clayton Cramer talking about the uninsured

Health care reform isn't going to be pretty. There are a lot of people with a vested interest in the status quo and no matter what you do it's going to piss off somebody. I still say that we need to let the free-market work in health care by getting rid of most of the frivolous regulations. We need to make it harder for class action lawsuits with lottery type payoffs, and, to steal from Dr. Coli above, make the losers in a lawsuit pay court costs. I also think that stopping lawyers from taking a portion of the award would be helpful. There isn't a single answer and we may have to use the trial and error method until we get something that works for both the physicians and the patients.

Lastly, I think this needs to be a personal responsibility. Make it a personal exemption, not a corporate one. This will encourage people to care about what goes on instead of going to the first clinic they see with the smallest of problems that should be handled over-the-counter.

UPDATE: The Washington Times has an argument against a single-payor or nationalized system. It compares the Canadian and British model to the US. The US model comes out ahead in patient satisfaction and patient outcomes because of the immediacy of care. "And it's not just patients who are poorly served by Canada's flawed system of care. As the Canadian Institute for Health Information has noted, many Canadian physicians are leaving for the United States, fed up with rationing and inflexible government controls."

KRUGMAN CHIMES IN: And the Liberty Corner takes him out


Kerry says "Bush for President"

I was sent to this site for quotes from the Republican National Convention. It made a lot of sense and the quotes were nicely organized, but occationally the titles thru me off. That's when I noticed the caption at the top of the page, "John Kerry for President". "Naaawww", thinks I. That can't be. Why would Kerry put all these great quotes on his own web site without any response? I went to a few of the links and sure enough, it's John Kerry's web site.

Quotes like

  1. 110. Miller: “John Kerry, who says he doesn't like outsourcing, wants to outsource our national security. That's the most dangerous outsourcing of all. This politician wants to be leader of the free world.”

  2. 111. Miller: “As a Senator, he voted to weaken our military. And nothing shows that more sadly and more clearly than his vote this year to deny protective armor for our troops in harms way, far-away.”

  3. 129. Franks: “Some argue that we should treat this war as a law enforcement issue. Some say we should fight a less aggressive war -- that we should retreat into a defensive posture and hope that the terrorists don't attack us again.”

  4. 142. Bush: “Again, my opponent and I have different approaches. I proposed, and the Congress overwhelmingly passed, 87 billion dollars in funding needed by our troops doing battle in Afghanistan and Iraq. My opponent and his running mate voted against this money for bullets, and fuel, and vehicles, and body armor. When asked to explain his vote, the Senator said, "I actually did vote for the 87 billion dollars before I voted against it." Then he said he was "proud" of that vote. Then, when pressed, he said it was a "complicated" matter. There is nothing complicated about supporting our troops in combat.”

  5. 143. Bush: “In the midst of war, he has called America's allies, quote, a "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.”

There's more! This is some great stuff! So, if you want great quotes from the RNC, now you know the place to go.

I think John Kerry wants Bush to win as he doesn't even try to comment on the speeches.

Hat tip: A Large Regular's post about Kerry's horrible September


Kerry on Orange Alert

So, John Kerry can admit to having Botox injections but won't admit to a spray - on tan? Kerry on Orange Alert

There is no way that color came from the sun. Not an afternoon of touch football... not a weekend in the Bahamas. Does Mr. Kerry honestly think this was a matter to LIE about? And, if he would lie about such a trivial matter how can he honestly expect the American people to believe anything else he says?

As an aside, I would have complained if I left a tanning parlor looking like Ernie from Sesame Street....


Michael Moore at the Oscars

Michael Moore will be at the Hilton Coliseum in Ames on October 17th as a part of his re-release of F-911. That movie has been so thoroughly debunked that I can't believe he wants to resurrect it.

Take a few minutes to read the real reason why Moore will not seek the 'Best Documentary' award at the Oscars.


Destination Ikea

>> Monday, September 27, 2004

Such a long weekend. Doug, good Republican that he is, volunteered to put up candidate signs on Saturday. I went along as navigator. We had a list of 60 stops. We drove around from 11am til 4pm and only finished 2/3rds! Granted, the final 3rd are in a portion of town that didn't used to be part of town so the addresses are very confusing. I used the trusty MapPoint this morning and we will finish tonight.

After that my brother, Jarod, and his girlfriend, Amanda, came over to continue work on Doug's new office. Jarod did a fine job on the trim and they, as well as Doug's friend John, were able to get the gi-normous desk moved down there. Hopefully we will have baby stuff moving into it's room & out of my office by the end of the week!!! Since I was of no help attaching trim or moving heavy objects I was relegated to purchasing alcohol & pizza. I took Amanda with me for this errand as a woman who is 8 months pregnant should really not be seen buying alcohol. Screams "classy", don't you think?

Sunday we drove to Minneapolis to visit "mecca" Ikea. I was after a decent closet storage system for the baby's room. I just couldn't see the sense in buying actual furniture until it was time to buy a nice bedroom set- like when she's 4 or 5. So we bought lots of organizational goodies and spent not-too-much money. The place is huge and, luckily, had many display areas with lots of places to sit. We left with a list of "wants" for our house as well as a firm resolve to visit on a weekday when there may not be so many people there.

Today I am trying to make heads & tails of all the baby stuff we have been given. My office currently has a path to my desk. If anything is needed off the bookcase or in one of my file cabinets a small moving truck is necessary. We are very fortunate to have such loving friends and family. In addition to all the loot we got from the baby showers we have been given LOADS of hand-me-downs. Crib, swings, clothes, activity centers & bouncy seats... you name it, we've got it. Brenna will certainly not need for anything her first year of life.


Job Numbers

From August 2004 data we find that 139,681,000 people are currently working in the civilian labor force. This is household data and should include the self-employed. The average wage is $15.77.

From January 2001 data we see that there were 135,999,000 people employed then at an average wage of $14.02.

Subtracting one from the other we see that the US has ADDED 3,682,000 people to the labor force during the Bush administration and the average wage has increased by $1.75.

Yes, it is true that people have lost their jobs, as has happened since the industrial revolution began. But it's also true that not only did most of them find a new job, 3.7 million new jobs were created and at a slightly higher average wage than before.


I married a geek

>> Friday, September 24, 2004

Yes, I know, it's the title of the blog. And I have no complaints. I married an amazing, wonderful man who I love more than words can express. But sometimes it really hits me square in the face. Like this morning. Doug said that the majority of our hits come from other sites that we connect to from our blog and comment on. "So be sure to leave comments everywhere you visit from our blog."

Need more proof? My grandmother sent quotes attributed to Ronald Reagan. I sent them on to Doug & he said he wanted to post them. I told him that he had better give my grandmother credit or I would cease making his breakfast in the morning. Here is his response: "Oh, cruel mistress! What harsh punishments doth thou inflict! Let thy word be so accomplished, for I am but a loving servant..." My poor dog ended up with me spitting tea on him because I was laughing so hard. Luckily it matches his tan spots!

Not enough? How's this? Doug emails me this morning letting me know that the lottery is at $118 million. He includes a very attractive Excel spreadsheet showing the breakdown of 25 annual payments vs. a lumpsum payment as well as a percentage breakdown of what would be given to our families. Sigh. Now if he could just figure out how to win the damn thing.

So, as I sit here watching my Roomba vacuum the floor and my robot mower (fondly known as "the gerbil") cut the grass, I am reflecting on the article Doug listed a couple of weeks ago Consider the Nerds. I re-read that today and, again, appreciated the truth in her words. If only we could learn that lesson young....


Quotes from Ronald Reagan

My wife's grandmother, Connie, thought that these were worth reading again. I agree.

"No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women." - Ronald Reagan

"Here's my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose." - Ronald Reagan

"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help." - Ronald Reagan

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant: It's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan

"Of the four wars in my lifetime none came about because the U. S. was too strong." - Ronald Reagan

"I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandment's would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U. S. Congress." - Ronald Reagan

"The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination." - Ronald Reagan

"Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."- Ronald Reagan

"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

"The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program." - Ronald Reagan

"I've laid down the law, though, to everyone from now on about anything that happens: no matter what time it is, wake me . even if it's in the middle of a Cabinet meeting." - Ronald Reagan

"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first." - Ronald Reagan

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." - Ronald Reagan

"Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book." - Ronald Reagan


Bush's Healthcare policies

>> Thursday, September 23, 2004

Jody and I have spent a lot of time bashing Kerry. It's fun, it's exciting, but quite frankly pretty easy to do. Kerry more than meets you half-way in the exercise. I'd like to take some time to inform you about some of Bush's policy decisions. I'm starting with healthcare because it's usually high on the list of priorities and Senators Kerry and Clinton are pushing a misguided national payer system.

Here's all of President Bush's healthcare policies listed in summary form and with the speeches that announced them.

I want to start with Healthcare Savings Accounts (HSA). They are a souped up version of the Medical Spending Account. The big difference is that the dollars you invest are rolled over every year. You don't have to spend it all in December. The other nice thing is that not only is the money you put into your HSA tax exempt, the interest is also. This is a way to pay for things with pre-tax money. You can pay your insurance premiums out of this fund so that money is tax exempt too. If you don't have an HSA, contact the people that administer your 401(k) or SEP retirement plans (that will be another discussion). If you don't have a retirement plan, get one at any financial advisor such as Edward Jones, Piper Jaffray, Merle Lynch or online.

Think about this. You invest in your own plan and when the amount reaches a level you think is high enough, you can stop investing and still be covered in case of medical emergency. This is how you can pay for healthcare later in life.

Next, Medical liability reform to help rein in unnecessary health care costs. Too many lawsuits without merit are being filed against doctors and hospitals, forcing them to practice defensive medicine, driving good doctors out of practice, and driving up health care costs for everyone. The President believes people who have a legitimate claim must have their day in court. But to make health care more affordable and accessible to everyone, we must reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits and limit excessive jury awards. No patient has ever been healed by a frivolous lawsuit.
A Des Moines Register editorial recently proclaimed this nonsense. They then went on to ask for more regulations and political oversight. How that will help no one knows. I do know that there are many physicians that stopped practicing because of high insurance due to high dollar awards. I do know that health care providers go out of their way to limit their legal liability. Such as performing unnecessary surgeries, administering more drugs than are required, and not seeing certain ailments or conditions. Do you want to live in a state where OB/GYNs cannot afford to stay in practice?

My answer is to deregulate the process as much as possible. Hospitals and clinics spent a lot of administrative dollars just to make sure each government regulation has it's i's dotted and t's crossed. More is spent to limit legal liability.

Hand in hand with this is to change the health care insurance model. Right now it's a tax break for medium-to-large companies. Small businesses and the self-employed get hosed with big premiums. Remove the tax benefit for the companies and encourage people to pay for their own insurance. If it's routed through an HSA it will be tax exempt for the employee. Employers can increase wages the exact amount they were contributing. If that doesn't happen, employees are free to go someplace that will.

This will stop people from making unnecessary trips to the physician and make people consider price shopping. It's a big difference when it's your own money involved.

The last item in the president's list is "to make electronic medical records universally available for Americans in the next ten years." This process has been going on for 10 years already, I don't know if another 10 will be enough. Who knows? Maybe someone is close to creating a package that meets every health care system's needs. I doubt it, but it could happen.

What are your thoughts as it relates to your families health care? If you paid for your own health insurance, what would you do different? What other issues do you have?

UPDATE: Read the comments in Roger Simon's blog for many excellent ideas.

More Info from the Pros: Roth CPA's explain HSA's in great detail.


Dictators for Kerry

A devastating editorial in the New York Post.

"People who don't know history are doomed to repeat it." We've seemed to have lived every other cliche this political season, but this one comes to mind most often. How does exhorting the failed policies of the past win you votes?

UPDATE: The Captain has more


Iraq and other war stories

How can you win a war if you continue to do that which benefits our enemies?
Kerry's unwinnable position on Iraq

For all of you that don't study history, here's something to remember.

Georges Clemenceau once said that war is a series of catastrophes culminating in victory. Victory in every war is a tale of colossal misjudgments, unpleasant surprises, and humiliating defeats.

Often, we seem to believe that if we plan and execute properly, the enemy will fall into our hands like ripe plums, and the defeated populace will lie prostrate before our victorious troops. That rarely happens.

What most civilians don’t seem to realize is that the enemy is not an inanimate object upon which we impose our will. Instead, the enemy is composed of thinking, reasoning human beings who are doing their best to divine our intentions, and to prevent us from accomplishing them. In the military, this reality is described by the aphorism that no battle plan survives contact with the enemy. This is not universally true, of course. Very occasionally you will fight against an enemy with incompetent leadership, poor training, or lack of ideological commitment that causes them to do everything your best-case scenario expects them to do.

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.

General Eisenhower’s staff planned the Normandy Invasion for years, yet, by D+30, they hadn’t reached the objectives they had planned to reach by D+10. It was only by implementing a new plan, Operation Cobra, that by D+60, Paris had been liberated, and they had passed all their objectives for D+120.

Operation Market Garden was designed to end the War by Christmas of 1944. Instead, of the 10,000 troops of the British 1st Airborne that jumped into Arnhem, only 2,000 came out. Christmas of 1944, instead, became a time of crisis, as the Germans launched the offensive through the Ardennes that we call the Battle of the Bulge.

It is very easy for Mr. Kerry to criticize Mr. Bush about the mistakes that have been made, just as it was easy for Gen McClellan to criticize Mr. Lincoln in the election of 1864. But mistakes will always be made. That is inherent in the nature of warfare. But, as Boot points out, they do not spell defeat in Iraq, any more than they spelled defeat in Europe in 1944.


It's the economy, stupid

I've posted about jobs and the economy here before. A Texas Native brought up some more.

"On many of the key variables that voters care about, the economy looks uncannily like it did in the summer of 1996, a year when the incumbent was reelected." -Michael Mandel, "The Economy: Advantage Bush?," BusinessWeek, Sept. 6. 2004)
Look at these statistics comparing August 2004, as President Bush seeks re-election, to August 1996, when Bill Clinton's advisors campaigned for re-election on a strong economy:

  • Percent of Americans without health insurance: Bush (15.6%), Clinton (15.6%)
  • Debt as percentage of economy: Bush (37.5%), Clinton (48.5%)
  • Number of workers not in the labor force but who want a job now: Bush (5.1 million), Clinton( 5.7 million)
  • Average GDP over most recent 4 quarters: Bush (4.7%), Clinton (4.0%)
  • Home ownership rate in latest quarter: Bush (69.2%), Clinton (65.1%)
  • Inflation-adjusted average hourly earnings growth during first term: Bush (2.5%), Clinton (0.4%)
  • Inflation-adjusted income growth for average American: Bush ($1,444), Clinton ($1,256)
  • Average monthly inflation during first term: Bush (2.3%), Clinton (2.8%)
  • Unemployment rate for Hispanics during first term: Bush (7.2%), Clinton (9.7%)
  • Unemployment rate for Blacks during first term: Bush (9.9%), Clinton (11.3%)
  • Percent of high school graduates who enroll in college: Bush (64%), Clinton (62%)
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Housing and Urban Development, College Board

UPDATE: From Drudge: Forbes List Has Most Billionaires Ever. If the economy is so poor, why are so many people moving from the middle class to the upper class? And why are so many in the upper class moving to extreme wealth?


Confused? No I know exactly what I'm doing...

Here's a new yard sign. I certainly haven't seen this one before.

I actually snorted when I saw it.


Questions for Kerry

I found a list of questions posted on another forum that Kerry should answer if he wants to be seriously considered a candidate. In trying to find the original author of the list, I came accross several such lists.

For any undecided voter or anyone considering Kerry, ask yourself "How would Kerry answer these questions?"

  • Taxes, Desert Storm, Fullbright commission. (One misperception from the author is in #17, the Geneva Convention authorizes the use of any weapon when combating the enemy, including .50 cal machine guns, sharpened bayonettes or a sharpened pencil in the eye.)
  • How would Kerry defend the country, how would he have responded to 9-11?
  • Questions from a Dean supporter
  • And my favorite, from Peter Kirsanow. Where No Reporter Has Gone Before...
    1. You've repeatedly demanded Donald Rumsfeld's resignation over Abu Ghraib prison abuse. In light of such demand, please respond to the following:

    a. Given your confession that you committed atrocities in Vietnam, including burning villages and using 50-caliber machine guns on people, shouldn't you, then, withdraw from presidential consideration?

    b. If your answer is "no," please explain why a secretary of Defense should be held to a higher standard than an aspiring president who personally committed atrocities objectively more horrific than the abuses for which you hold Rumsfeld accountable.

    2. You now state that Iraq was "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time," yet just a few weeks ago you stated that knowing what you know now you'd still authorize the war. Why would you still vote for a war that is wrong?

    a. If the war was wrong, do you maintain Saddam should still be in power? If not, how would you remove him?

    b. Which of the following is your primary objection to the Iraq war:

    (1) that it shouldn't have been fought?
    (2) that it was in the wrong location?
    (3) that the timing was bad?

    c. If your answer's either (2) or (3) above, where should the war have been fought and when?

    3. During your eight-year tenure on the Senate Intelligence Committee, you missed more than three-fourths of its public meetings. You refuse to release your attendance reports for the committee's closed classified briefings. Why shouldn't voters infer that disclosure of these attendance reports would reveal that you neglected to attend numerous classified briefings?

    a. If you did miss any classified briefings, what duties were you tending to that were more important than attending the briefings?

    4. Let's assume for the sake of argument that the president lied about the reasons for going into Iraq. Presumably, this means that the intelligence data didn't support the reasons given by the president. You had the same intelligence data on Iraq as the president, yet you voted to authorize the war. Why, then, did you knowingly vote for a lie?

    a. By doing so, didn't you also lie to the American people?

    b. If so, will you, therefore, urge your supporters to stop running ads declaring that "Bush Lied"?

    c. If you maintain that you didn't lie, is it because you neglected to read the intelligence reports prior to the vote?

    5. Assuming your definition of a lie is the same as Webster's, i.e., a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive, please specifically identify which of the following statements in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address are lies:

    a. Saddam aids and protects terrorists;

    b. Saddam has used weapons of mass destruction;

    c. Saddam deceived weapons inspectors;

    d. Saddam sought uranium from Africa;

    e. Saddam has pursued chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.

    6. What do you consider to be your most important accomplishment as lt. governor to Michael Dukakis?

    7. You've criticized the president for acting "unilaterally." As president, would you have gone into Afghanistan without France's approval?

    a. Would you have gone into Afghanistan without the approval of France, Germany, and Russia?

    b. Please describe your criteria for going to war.

    8. You've stated you would appoint only pro-choice judges to the federal bench. Would you agree that, even if it's not your intent, such a litmus test could disproportionately disqualify Catholic nominees?

    a. What would you do to ensure that your abortion litmus test wouldn't have a disparate impact against Catholics?

    9. Do you think there's waste in the federal government? If so, could you kindly identify ten wasteful government programs that you'd eliminate and why?

    10. What do you consider to be your most important accomplishment during your nearly 20 years as a senator?

    11. You once entertained supporting charter schools but backed off after teachers' unions objected. You were once critical of affirmative action but backed off after some civil-rights organizations protested. In June you stated you might appoint some pro-life judges but backed off the next day after abortion-rights groups expressed alarm. Could you please take this opportunity to assure voters that you'll be able to handle North Korea, al Qaeda, and Iran more successfully than you're able to handle the NEA, NARAL, and other interest groups?

    12. Newsweek Editor Evan Thomas has stated that the media wants you to win and that the media's help is worth 15 points in the polls. Do you agree or disagree with Thomas's statement?

    a. If you disagree, is it because you maintain that the media doesn't want you to win or because the advantage is other than 15 points?

    13. During a Labor Day rally in West Virginia one of the principal speakers, in your presence, called President Bush and Vice President Cheney draft dodgers. Do you agree that Bush and Cheney are draft dodgers? If not, why didn't you correct your supporter?

    14. You maintain that public schools aren't adequately funded. The D.C. public schools spend approximately $13,000 per pupil — one of the highest levels in the nation — yet its students' academic performance is among the worst in the nation. Could you please explain why you oppose parental choice in education?

    a. Given that pursuant to court order the Kansas City public schools spent one billion dollars with no discernable improvement in academic performance, what is your definition of "adequately funded"?

    15. In your convention speech, you stated that every terrorist attack would be met with an immediate response and you've also stated that you would emphasize a law-enforcement approach to the fight against terrorism. This is identical to the pre-9/11 U.S. approach to terrorism. Could you please explain how a pre-9/11 approach to terrorism will prevent another 9/11?

    a. Please describe the lessons you've learned from 9/11.

    16. You've repeatedly criticized President Bush for "rushing to war." Since you've conceded that knowing what you know now you'd still authorize the war, precisely when would you have begun the Iraq war?

    17. You also criticize the president for going to war "without having a plan to win the peace." You've stated that "winning the peace" would require more troops — but you voted against the $87 Billion bill to fund the troops who are already there. Could you please explain how you would've deployed more troops had your vote against funding prevailed?

    a. "Knowing what you know now," would you have voted in favor of the $87 billion in funding?

    b. In other words, do you now regret voting against the funding bill after voting for it?

    18. During the Democratic primary debate in Greenville, South Carolina, in January, you claimed that the administration had exaggerated the terror threat.

    a. Who exaggerated the threat? When? Please supply specific examples of the exaggerations.

    b. If the threat has been exaggerated, does this mean that as president you'd reduce intelligence funding and defense spending in proportion to the "actual" threat? If not, why would you overspend?

    19. The guards at Abu Ghraib prison forced prisoners to, among other things, disrobe and wear women's underwear in order to humiliate and demoralize them. Former American POWs claim that their North Vietnamese captors forced them to listen to your 1971 Senate testimony recounting alleged U.S. war crimes in order to humiliate and demoralize them. Could you please distinguish your actions from those of the Abu Ghraib guards?

    a. If you assert that the difference between your actions and those of the Abu Ghraib prison guards was that you didn't intend your testimony to humiliate and demoralize American POWs, do you at least concede that your actions were reckless and irresponsible?

    20. It was well known by the time of your 1971 Senate testimony that North Vietnam used statements by Jane Fonda and other antiwar protesters as propaganda. At the time of your testimony did you consider that it was highly likely that the statements of a naval lieutenant alleging war crimes would also be used?

What questions would you like Kerry to answer. How do you think he'll answer them? What's a question you'd like Kerry to answer that is not on the list?


Crying Babies, amongst other things

The Presidential Race. Ugh. I'm bored. It's not even a race anymore. It's become a connect the dots puzzle of Kerryisms. Except there are two dots for each number. Now his voice is raspy because he has a cold. Awww. I think his voice is raspy from all the whining he has done lately. He has become more of a crying baby wanting attention than an actual viable candidate.

On to babies... Doug & I attended our final Childbirth class last night. Now we, technically, know about labor and delivery. Uh-huh, sure. I seriously have no clue. How bad is this pain that they want you to breathe through? Now, I like to think of myself as having a high tolerance for pain- I've ridden over 500 miles on a bicycle in 6 days (twice) and I can tell you that you HURT by day 2- but what is this going to feel like? I have a strong feeling that the proper breathing methods will be long gone by the time I need them. Right now, though, the thought of a needle in my back scares me more than pain. I am told that I will probably feel differently when the time comes.

Depending on who you ask I am due in 5 weeks, 4 weeks, 3 weeks, 2 weeks. My actual due date is October 27, I think she will come a week early as the doctor will be on vacation, my mother has a feeling that she will come on the 15th (which is also my nephew's birthday), and Doug says the 6th (his birthday). So, the baby pool is now offically open. Pick your day!!! Fabulous prizes!!!

The baby's room still remains Doug's office. After we get him moved into his new basement office we will still need to paint, attach moldings & set up everything. We have a trip to Ikea planned for this Sunday to purchase closet organizers & small furnishings. And these purchases will, I'm sure, be moved into my office which currently contains every baby item known to man... and then some. Luckily we were gifted with a Pack & Play. I have a feeling it may double as a bed... at least she won't have to sleep in a drawer.

Time has begun to move slowly, every day seems longer and 5 weeks is beginning to sound like eternity. I'm told it will be here before I know it. I guess that's what I'm afraid of.


From the female perspective

>> Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I had a long conversation with my brother's wife tonight and talk turned to politics. [Me talk about politics? Who knew!] I had never really asked her about her political views, but since she has lived in Texas most of her life, and she is a very independent & self-reliant person I thought she would vote for Bush. I was not only right, but the conversation became much more animated. hooah!

She doesn't consider herself to be a political person and if there were a third party candidate with a clue she might consider them. For her, the choice is obvious. Bush is actively fighting for America. Though there may have been mistakes, they get corrected and drive on with the mission. Bush has done a lot for the agriculture industry. Which is important to her as they live on a small ranch and raise horses. As a taxpayer with 3 children living at home, they got a great tax cut. She laughed when I told her that being a taxpayer made her one of the "rich", at least that's how Kerry sees it.

I next asked her why the strong emotion against Kerry. My sweet, innocent (well not too innocent, she has had 3 cute girls after all) sister-in-law, who doesn't consider herself to be political and doesn't follow the news close, nails Kerry. "He's a pompous ass who tries to be the common guy, but usually comes off as a blowhard." "He blames others for failure yet offers no solution." "Wasn't he in the Senate? Didn't he have a chance to do something? What has he done? Nothing!" "Why does he keep bringing up Vietnam? Wasn't that 30 years ago. I heard that things have changed since then." That was my favorite one.

My sister-in-law is the definition of east Texas hick [I hope she doesn't slap me the next time we're down there]. She probably weighs all of 100lbs, manages the horses by herself (usually) with 3 kids (4, 5 and 7) around. She thinks nothing of jumping out of the Gator to get it out of the mud and only afterwards does she realize that she's wearing her good shoes. She could spot Kerry pompousness from half a country away. I'm glad she's a part of the family.

Since my brother and his family live in strongly Republican Texas, the Kerry campaign shouldn't be too threatened by losing their vote. However, there are people in every state that make their living growing things. Many of them think the same way. Kerry doesn't know an assault weapon if it was handed to him. He has already lost the hunters and anyone who grew up hunting. He lost sports fans by flubbing throws [and blaming the catcher who was in military uniform!], missing sports trivia, misnaming Lambeau Field and blaming a Secret Service agent when he fell on the slopes. Kerry thinks the environment is for skiing and wind-surfing. He won't even fess up to owning SUV's.

I wonder which party will pick up the slack after the Dem's fiasco in November?


Aiming for Iran

M. Simon at Power and Control sent me to a couple of posts at Cafe Arabica, an online Arab-American community.

The thread starts out with the LA Times version of Bush's speech to the UN General Assembly. Simon points out that it looks like Iran is next, either politically or militarily.

Look at an atlas. We have troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Georgia and Turkmenistan. We have agreements with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Pakistan. Iran is surrounded.

Don't think we can take on Iran? Listen to Faust.

But, you know what I think? I think any DIRECT Invasion may not be necessary. We can goose Iran over the rim by surgical strikes on about a dozen sites. Nothing can stop us. It will be fast and precise. And we can give Iran a demonstration if they want to fight. We can pick the ground and set them up. And we can do them to a turn and let them savor it. We will get everything we want.

Do you think the men in the Pentagon are a bunch of simple jocks with base ball bats and bananas?
If you do take another look and do TRY to learn your lessons from Afghanistan and Iraq. Two very different wars and they went like ballet. And the Jihadis got wackbagged. Well, What do YOU call it?

The name of the game is winning and the Pentagon is very good at their work. Jihadis cut off heads? We cut off whole flags. Whole countries disappear. Fast too.

Three weeks seems to be the breaking point for the radical left in America. Anything past that and it's time to break out "quagmire". Who cares that most wars in our history have taken years to resolve.

Sit down and take a deep breath. Now return to yesteryear and a hearty Hi Yo Silver.

Take your little dreamy consciousness back to BEFORE Afghanistan. You there yet? Sitting inside your head back then, remembering, all comfy? Now RELIVE your Jihadi dreams for me. Good, got it down? The Americans are such fools, who do they think they are they will be swimming in their own blood just like the Russians, quagmire, mighty mujihideen, disgraceful defeat...savor it. Now what actually happened, Allahboy? The Russians couldn't do it in ten years and we did it in three weeks.

But Iraq will be different, you say?. The mighty Army of Saddam, it is to laugh at the feeble go it alone of the monkey Bush and his feeble forces of Imperialism against the new Nebuchadnezzar Republican Guard. The Americans are going to be swimming in their own blood. Bagdad Bob shows you the steel fist of Allah. Got that firmly fixed in your awareness?

Now replay what actually happened. OO00pps! That was fast. Want to see it again?

Now fast forward to modern times. Al-Sadr will show the American what's what. Najaf and the heart of the pure faith against the quivering Americans...justice will triumph. al-Sadr is Iraqs best hope to unite and DUH-rive the Americans out. Shoo! Shoo!, begone foul Infidel! We will fight to the last man and our hearts are pure. As Allah is my witness.

Tell it to the Marines.

Or we of go forward a bit ( say one month )Fallujah will spit on the Infidel, hand me the goat knife ,Abdrool, there are heads to be collected. The Foreign Fighters from Syria and Saudi have everything stacked and ready and the sandbags are everywhere. They will never take us here. Allahu Akbar. Ptui! Ptui!

Kiss it goodbye, the whole thing is a bleeding Arab dream.

There will be Iraqi Elections in January. Allawi will have a new Army and a new Police Force. Fallujah will be as quiet as a newly swept floor. The Violence will drop off. The Oil will go back to pumping. The police will bring in Zarquawi at some point and like a lot of other Jihadis he will sing and keep on singing. People like Zarquawi always sing.

Saddam will be turned over to Allawi for trial. He won't be sent to Switzerland to be tried by the EU. And that settles a lot of scores. 2005 is the window of opportunity for collapsing Iran. IT WON'T be put off until later. The UN will have a minimum of input. It will happen like a cattle prod in your mouth while you are dreaming of Momma.

And Allah will scratch Himself and fart.

Wish I had written that.


Rear Admiral Jeremiah Denton

I received a chain email that contained a letter from Jeremiah Denton about Kerry.

Being the geeky fellow that I am, I spent a few minutes and googled his name.

Here's a reprint of the letter in FrontPageMag
The link back to the Mobile Register brings up a blank page (no content, all ads)

Here's his expanded bio (no, the letter didn't say all of his accomplishments)

Bio from Congress

Here's why I recognized his name.
California Dems wouldn't let him speak on the floor during a July 4th celebration (they chose a retiring reporter instead).

Kerry made inflamatory remarks after he came back from the 'Nam and our service members suffered directly and we pulled out of the conflict when we were ahead as a side consequence.

To me, this is the most damning argument against Kerry for any elected office, let alone the presidency.


Bush at the UN

A summary of Bush's speach to the UN

UPDATE: Q and O has more about Bush's speech


Iraqis speak up.

Read the tales of Iraqis glad
to be free from Saddam

Go to Blogs for Bush for more, especially in the comments section.

UPDATE: Allawi Touts Iraq Progress, Thanks U.S.


Another great Iowa based blogger

Brett Rogers, author of Opinion Paper, stopped by, so I went over to his place for milk and cookies. I'm going back more often because he filled me up with steak, potatoes, garlic bread, and pie.


Thanks for stopping by Brett. I'll be stopping over at your place often.


Another Iowa Geek

>> Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Ooops, it seems that there is another Iowa Geek out there

I tried leaving the following comment but "I'm not allowed". How naughty.

"I must admit that I didn't do a domain name search before jumping on the moniker.

As a peace offering I can link back to your site. Or I can hike up my high-water pants, don my glasses (with regulation tape), load my pocket organizer and mumble jargon at you. Ha, take that!"


The Governor speaks

Robert Lucas Iowa's first Territorial Governor has his own blog. Bet you didn't know that he could type and all.

Anyway, he read the comments from a teacher at UNI on Leon Mosley.


Victory is NOT an option

Jerry at MilBlog brings up a great point that For Kerry Victory is NOT an option...

Why doesn't Kerry want the US to win?


Kerry and Hanoi's "Humane & Lenient Treatment" of POWs

Michael Benge explains history to Senators Biden and Kerry.

I think we can all agree that the North Vietnamese tortured our guys during the war. I'm not talking about taking pictures in compromising poses, but real torture. Michael rebuts Senator Biden from his own experience as a POW for 5 years. He further points out that (emphasis mine):

After the release of American POWs during Operation Home Coming in 1973, the U.S. government handed the North Vietnamese communists a list of over 300 American servicemen known to have been captured alive and had been in the hands of the NVA but had not been released.

Despite assurances by Senator John Kerry that the Vietnamese communists have been fully cooperating in the accounting for POW/MIAs, less than 50 sets of remains of the 300 servicemen have been returned.

In the 1993 Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, Kerry parsed the committee's final report by stating that there was no evidence of any live POWs remaining in Vietnam; on the other hand, there was no evidence that any of the 300 POWs were dead.

By parsing the language of the report, if they were alive, Kerry had sealed their fate - it was a death warrant condemning them to death.

Admittedly, 20+ years may be too long to expect a person to survive a prison camp, but Kerry didn't even try to get our boys (or their remains) home. I don't know of a single military officer that would have left comrades behind. Especially one that fought in the conflict. Does the man not believe in anything? How can he sleep at night knowing that he sanctioned the murder of 250 or so of our servicemen? How can he even consider running for president when we can't even trust him as a senator to do what's best for the US and those that fight for our freedoms?

This is the big slap on the face for any veteran or currently serving service member. I think the reception Kerry received in front of the VFW and National Guard conventions was entirely too polite. Kerry should be booted out of the Senate for repeatedly working against our interests. Massachusetts, are you listening?

Another gem from the article:
All three were creations of the KGB-funded World Peace Council with a budget of $15 million per year, and part of a worldwide propaganda program that included funding for anti-war demonstrations in the US. This KGB-funded effort was intended to boost communist morale that the war in Vietnam was being won, and demoralize the American public that the war in Vietnam was being lost.

General Giap said in his memoirs that after Hue and Tet I, North Vietnam was ready to sue for peace. Except a funny thing happened. The US media and radicals in the States started making the case for the communists. The NVA's strategy shifted to survival, willingly aided by liberal elites here at home. Kerry was a part of that process.

Again, why isn't Kerry behind bars, let alone in the Senate?


Why doesn't the media report this?

Iraqi women try to help Americans see the country through their eyes

This entire article is eye opening. Everyone should read this article and pass it on. So much that is bad is shown on our TVs and in our newspapers. Let's pass along something good!


Kerry lied while good men died!

>> Monday, September 20, 2004

Anti-Kerry rally in Washington on September 12th


Another American Hostage Killed

This alone makes me furious. However, I am irate listening to Mac & Mr. Fisher on the local talk station 98.3 WOW FM

Their argument is "Is all fair in love and war" or should al-Zarqawi be arrested and tried? I'm screaming at the radio, this is so absurd!

First, we are not in a war. This is an act of terrorism, plain and simple. Now, people can argue that we are fighting the "War on Terror". But either way, this is a terrorist activity. Terrorists do not play by the Geneva Convention. In past dealings with terrorists have we not learned that following the "rules" doesn't work with these people? Have we not learned that "playing nice" continues to get our citizens, and those of other countries, killed?

Mr. Fisher has just said that al-Zarqawi should not be killed for this one beheading. Ummm, didn't he take over a mosque and fire on to our military? Has he not lead an insurgency into a country in which he is not a national? Is he not threatening another beheading in 24 hours? When has he done enough for us to strike against him?

Another point that keeps coming up is "this guy was over there for the money". Does it really matter why he was there? He was a civil engineer. There are jobs there that need doing. If we didn't have civilians there helping to rebuild Iraq who would?

Depending on the side you are on we can't do anything right. We should be there, we shouldn't be there. We should leave now, we should help protect and rebuild. We should fight those who oppose Iraq being an independent country, we should let Iraq do their own fighting. The fact is that a dictator who murdered his people is out of power. Iraq is planning for their first un-rigged elections ever. And Iraq needs our help to rebulid their nation and protect their people. We are there right now at their invitation and request. To leave now would be irresponsible.

Well, I got on at the very tail end of the show, long enough to make my second point, but not long enough to really say what I wanted to.


Meet a Marine defending our country

Via The Mudville Gazette

Norfolk Marine tells story of rooftop fight in Iraq

By KATE WILTROUT, The Virginian-Pilot
© September 18, 2004

NORFOLK — Outnumbered, low on ammo, perched on a rooftop for hours in a battle against Iraqi insurgents, Lonnie Young figured his number was up.

It was April 4, 2004, and the war had entered its deadliest month for Americans. Days earlier, four contractors passing through Fallujah had been ambushed, killed, and strung from a bridge.

At least half a dozen other men from their firm – Blackwater USA , based in Moyock – handled security at the Coalition Provisional Authority’s base in Najaf, where Young, a 25-year-old Norfolk-based Marine Corps corporal, was working that day.

After installing an antenna on the roof to upgrade communications, Young stretched out in the back of a truck for a pre-lunch catnap. Gunfire – and the more atypical sound of guards returning fire – woke him.

The battle that followed became front-page news, an early indication of the growing insurgency across Iraq. Within days, a picture of Young and the Blackwater commandos atop the roof appeared in newspapers across the country. But until Young sat down recently to share his story, his role in the outcome of the battle has gone untold.

According to one senior Marine officer on the ground in Najaf that day, Young’s actions helped turn the tide of the battle against a well-coordinated militia attacking from various directions.

“All of the Blackwater guys told me that if it hadn’t been for him, they may indeed have been overrun,” said the officer, who asked that his name not be used.

Moments after the attack began, Young donned his body armor, grabbed his M249 light machine gun, and raced upstairs with a handful of Blackwater commandos. The gun battle against hundreds of members of the al-Mahdi militia, loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, grew so intense that Young had to stop shooting every 15 minutes to let the barrel of his gun cool. He’d tear through 700 to 800 rounds, then spend five minutes filling magazines with bullets until the metal was cool enough to use.

The first break in action for the Kentucky native came when an Army captain near him was shot in the arm and back. Young dug into his medical kit and bandaged the man up, then eased him down four stories to nurses below. Next, Young dashed across the camp to Blackwater’s ammunition supply room, strapped about 150 pounds of bullets to his body, and sprinted back to the roof.

The noontime battle stretched into the afternoon. Young figured he’d die.

“I thought, 'This is my last day. I’m going out with a bang.’ If I had to die it would be defending my country,” Young said Friday.

“I just felt like we were losing ground, and I thought, 'If I’m going to die, I’m not going down without a fight.’ I knew we were seriously outnumbered. They were coming at us with pretty much everything they had. We were seriously struggling to keep our ground.”

The insurgents had machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and a sniper shooting out the window of a local hospital.

Young saw a red flash, then blood spurting 5 or 6 feet out of the jaw and neck of a contractor. He reached into the quarter-sized bullet hole in the man’s jaw and pinched his carotid artery closed, then dragged the man across the roof to where his medical kit lay sprawled open.

Midway across the roof, Young heard a loud smack. Pain danced across his face, chased by adrenaline, and he forgot about it. After a medic packed the man’s wounds with a substance that clots blood, Young strapped the man to his back and carried him downstairs. In all, the Marine left the roof five times: twice to transport wounded comrades, three times for ammunition.

When a group of U.S. Army military police officers joined the fight, Young used his experience as a weapons instructor to talk them through it. Conserve your ammo. Slow and steady before you squeeze. Adjust your sites for range and distance. Take breaks so your gun barrel doesn’t melt.

At some point, Young felt dizzy. He realized he couldn’t see out of his left eye. The doctor found a gunshot wound high on his left shoulder. Young didn’t want to leave the fight, but an Army captain told him otherwise.

“Basically, I refused to get down off the rooftop at first,” said Young, the father of a 7-year-old son back in Dry Ridge, Ky.

Soon afterward, a Blackwater helicopter flew Young to a combat support hospital in Baghdad. Chris Taylor, a director at Blackwater USA, praised Young after hearing how the Marine replenished the contractors’ ammunition to keep the bullets flying.

“When there are rounds firing, coming at you from down range, everybody pulls together to do what needs to be done,” said Taylor, a former Marine. “He should be proud of the way he acted.”

After surgery to remove the bullet from his shoulder – it lodged an inch from his spine – and shrapnel from his eye, Young recuperated for two weeks in Baghdad, then spent a month at home in Kentucky.

Young said he dreams about combat every night, and his wounds remind him of what happened – especially on long runs or while doing pull-ups. The pain makes him wonder whether he should stay in the Marines when his hitch ends in December.

If he does leave, Young has a Purple Heart and a chunk of bullet cut out of his back for souvenirs. He has also been nominated for another award based on his actions that day, according to a Marine Corps spokesman.

Even if he gets out, and puts his degree in design engineering from Eastern Kentucky University to use, Young will never forget how he got to be a sniper, medic, ammunition supplier, weapons coach, and communications specialist – all on the same day.

Said Young: “I’d always wanted to be a Marine.”


Saddam's indirect ties to 9-11

Cassandra at Mudville Gazette has a roundup that Saddam provided logistical support to al Qaeda during and after the Sept 11, 2001 attacks on the US.

Senior investigators and analysts in the U.S. government have concluded that Iraq acted as a state sponsor of terrorism against Americans and logistically supported the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States - confirming news reports that until now have emerged only in bits and pieces. A senior government official responsible for investigating terrorism tells Insight that while Saddam Hussein may not have had details of the Sept. 11 attacks in advance, he "gave assistance for whatever al-Qaeda came up with." That assistance, confirmed independently, came in a variety of ways, including financial support spun out through a complex web of financial institutions in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy and elsewhere. Long suspected of having terrorist ties to al-Qaeda, they now have been linked to Iraq as well.
The official says the United States uncovered the key "money-laundering operation" in the months following Sept. 11, 2001, when authorities raided the homes and offices of two Arab bankers, Youssef M. Nada and Ali Himat, principals at Nada Management (formerly al-Taqwa Management). Himat, Nada and the names of both companies are all listed on the U.S. Treasury Department's roll of "Specially Designated Global Terrorists." The lawyer for the two Arab financiers, Pier Felice Barchi, has confirmed to the Swiss press that his clients will be questioned again in coming days. He added that they "have nothing to fear and nothing to hide," although he confirms that authorities seized thousands of pages of documents. Insight's source, who has seen many of those documents, confirms that they detail financial relationships between al-Taqwa and Iraq. The official says the records show al-Taqwa was formed by Nada, Himat, Ahmed Huber and Mohamed Mansour.

Yet another liberal myth debunked by facts. How they could have thought otherwise is a mystery to me too.


Kerry losing the women's vote

>> Sunday, September 19, 2004

A recent article by the LA Times shows Kerry losing his lead with women voters.

Personally I am not suprised by this. His campaign really hasn't spoken to women. This article is quite good in pointing out the campaign's faults.

As a soon to be mom I have to admit that my views on many issues have changed as I have gotten older. I believe that when you are younger you have more idealistic ideas, that you perceive more injustice in the world. As you get older your life begins to take on a different meaning and your ideas become more focused. What was once important to you is now non-existant. As you have done for yourself you begin to wonder why others can't- or don't. And why they must be supported by the money for which you work so hard to support your own family.

I joined an online club for moms: Club Mom . They recently had a poll Voice of Mom . One of the most telling results of this poll was this: While so many things unite moms, politics do not. Despite the fact that most describe themselves as Democrats, the majority of moms favor George W. Bush (52 percent) over John Kerry (43 percent) in this year's presidential elections.

This, I believe, is a very telling poll. Marketing groups have realized that women and mothers make the majority of family choices in this country. George W. Bush's campaign advisors realize this as well. John Kerry's team seems to believe that we need to relive the Vietnam era- in all ways. Cookies & milk, anyone?


Kerry puts politics over national security (again)

John Kerry's little sister is stumping for Kerry overseas. Her latest stop was Australia where she is trying to undermine the US-Australian alliance. Not only does she, and the rest of the Kerry campaign, not know recent history, she is actively trying to fracture an alliance with an active member of the coalition fighting the War on Terror. [Isn't that treason? Our treason laws should really be enforced - Jody]

Is the Kerry campaign really this tone deaf? Do they think that alienating allies in wartime would win them votes?

UPDATE FROM JODY: I don't think Kerry campaign staffers want Kerry to win. They've done nothing to endear him to the voting public. Nor has he offered any viable options. All he has done is criticize Bush administration. All whine and no cheese.

UPDATE FROM DOUG: Australian blogger Chrenkoff has more


More from Roger Simon's blog

I love reading Roger Simon's blog because his commenters usually have an intelligent discussion even when they disagree. A sure sign of maturity.

The comments to The Party of Paranoia are worth reading because I'm sure these conversations are happening all over the country.


Early Language Education

I am going thru the list of referers to our little piece of the blogworld. I think most of the entries are from people clicking on the "Next Blog" button in the upper right hand corner as they are not related to politics or Iowa. It is a fun way to kill an hour or two.

I thought this discussion of early language education was very interesting since Jody is pregnant and little Brenna is due to join us in mid-to-late October. I think it's a good read for anyone teaching children as a parent/guardian/baby-sitter/aunt/uncle...


That's why Jody hooked up with me!

>> Saturday, September 18, 2004

Advice to all single women, Consider the nerds


Required Reading

I hereby declare that you are required to read this letter from a 1LT in the USMC.


Do they want us to lose?

This may be a rhetorical question, but why does the New York Times and John Kerry want us to lose? Both recently gave information to the enemy about our current and (possible) future operations in Iraq.

The Times is describing Hussein's holding site in Iraq. Why go into the level of detail? It gives enough information that someone familiar with Hussein's palaces could figure out where he is being held. WHY? WHY? Why do they think we Americans would want to know this? I prefer not knowing and our enemies not knowing either.

Kerry is shooting off his mouth about (possible) future mobilization efforts which, if true, make sense in helping to provide security for Iraq's elections. But again, why tell our enemies for free what we are going to do?

Yet another reason that Kerry cannot be trusted in the White House. Get him out of the Senate and I'll feel even safer.


Poor attempt at trolling

An anonymous poster left, "This is the garbage the GOP is sending out. http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=694&e=4&u=/ap/campaign_mail"

An article that complains that those "hatemongers" in the GOP may have sent out a brochure saying that liberals want to ban the Bible, remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, and promote the gay lifestyle over hetero.

To which I spent about 5 minutes on ACLU's web site and replied:

So you haven't seen what the ACLU is up to, have you?

  1. They don't want anyone to teach Bible history
  2. Here's where the ACLU thinks that giving Bibles to schoolchildren does "irreparable harm"
  3. The ACLU thinks that we shouldn't use our religion as our moral compass
  4. ACLU urging courts to ban "under God" from Pledge of Allegiance
  5. The ACLU's gay/lesbian agenda

Here's my take, the ACLU wants to do everything the GOP letter said. Liberals realize that most Americans think the ACLU is going too far. However, since liberals can't argue the issues on their merits, they have to resort to portraying conservatives as "hatemongers", even though the only hate is coming from radical liberals.

You posted about the "garbage coming out of the GOP", but the story makes the GOP look good. There isn't one thing listed in the article that the ACLU isn't trying to do. You're the one with the egg on your face.


Hey, You're Famous

>> Friday, September 17, 2004

Amanda is really proud of her brother Tim, a sergeant with the 4th Infantry Division.

Seen here at the studios of 98.3 WOW FM, The Capital's Big Talker.

Really Proud

Here's a few of SGT McIntosh's pictures from Iraq


Notes from the front

Captain's Quarters reprinted an email from an officer currently stationed in Iraq

He says that the press is focused on the bad news to the exclusion of all other stories.

Oliver North pouncing on media coverage of Iraq after his fourth trip over there.


SwiftVet Ad #5

Watch the ad here

This one is not as powerful as having Hanoi Hilton survivors recounting how the NVA used quotes from Kerry to demoralize them. However, it's still Kerry vs. Kerry and n'er the twain shall meet.


Belmont Club's Iraq Analysis

Read each section for a better understanding of what's happening in Iraq today.





Kerry guarantees victory for the terrorists

>> Thursday, September 16, 2004

Kerry: I Guarantee Victory for the Enemy

Kerry ignores his military advisor


Fisking Mark Shields

CNN's Mark Shields tries to give advice to Kerry


Past time for Harkin to go

David Horowitz's Conservative site FrontPageMag offers an article from Lowell Ponte about Tom Harkin.

It seems that Senator Harkin has consistently taken communist positions over capitalist. Even giving favorable interviews to communist papers. Harkin's latest rants are merely the latest in trying to undermine American security by appeasing our enemy.

I so very much would like to be the one that throws him out of office.


NHL lockout

Ah, professional sports. What fun would they be if there weren't contract disputes? Well, they would definately be more fun for the fans if the games were played. The NHL Announces Lockout , which may keep the entire 2004-05 season from being played.

The problem, as I understand it, follows these lines:

Teams had combined to lose more than $1.8 billion over 10 years and cited bankruptcy filings by teams in Buffalo, Los Angeles, Ottawa and Pittsburgh.

Well now, if those teams are bankrupt they must not be filling their arenas. And if you aren't filling your arenas you aren't selling merchandise. And if you aren't selling merchandise your team must not be popular. Yet you pay your "star players" exhorbant amounts of money. If they can't bring in fans are they really worth the cost? Either close those clubs or cut the players salaries. If they don't like it there is surely a guy in the AHL who would gladly fill the vacancy.

But here is the problem:

players "are not prepared to entertain a salary cap in any way, shape, measure or form."

Boo hoo. If your team can't pay you and another team won't take you on for that price how much are you really worth? Seriously, hasn't this gotten out of control? Now in the grand scheme of sports salaries, hockey players make peanuts. Football, baseball and basketball players make salaries that put hockey to shame. But it all comes down to how much you can bring to the team. If you can't pull in the fans you probably aren't worth the money it takes to ship you from game to game.

Now, granted, I don't understand the inner workings of the NHL. I wonder if the people who are in charge of the NHL understand them. But the solution seems obvious to me, in my own simple mind. Shut down teams that aren't able to break even, use players who are willing to work for what you can pay. Isn't that the way most successful corporations run?


Imus interviews John Kerry

This proved to be quite interesting. Transcript of interview But there were a few points I wonder if Kerry realizes he made- or unmade.

Kerry: We've lost 1.6 million jobs

Well, look at our post from just the other day: Jobs Report
Kerry uses this line as a scare tactic. Our unemployment rate is the same as it was when Clinton was reelected, but at that time it was seen as positive. Spin is everything.

Kerry: this president sent people to war without the state-of-the-art equipment
Imus: They can't get this equipment for these troops if people like you won't vote for the funding though.
Kerry: We did vote for the funding. We voted for the funding. I voted for the largest defense budgets in the history of our country. And I voted— this is long after the war, that $87 billion vote.

Ummm, yeah. "I voted for the $87 million before I voted against it" So now he voted for it? Or against it? Or is he saying that, after the war began, after we sent troops into Iraq he finally decided they might need equipment? What is the man saying? Does he even know?

Imus: Back to the war on terror for a second. There hasn't been an attack in this country since September 11, 2001, three years. Have we just been lucky? Who gets the credit for that? Is there any credit due anybody?
Kerry: Well, I think that the FBI and the CIA are doing a better job than they were doing, and I give them credit for that.

Well, certainly, let's blame Bush for Sept. 11, even though he had been in office only 8 months and Clinton had 8 years and 3 silver platters to capture Bin Laden. But I digress:

Kerry: Terror is up around the world over the course of the last year or two

And isn't it funny that it's not up in the US? So we must be keeping them off our soil. This is bad? Onward:

Kerry: The president has alienated so many people that they're just sitting on the sidelines, not even living up to the resolution of the U.N. that they voted for. And the president doesn't even seem capable of holding them accountable to that.

Seriously, how many countries are in Iraq, fighting terror or providing aid? I know we aren't there alone. And as for the UN resolution; why is the president suddenly in charge of holding them accountable? Shouldn't the UN be doing that? First we need to bow to the UN and now the president needs to run it? Which way does Kerry want it?

Oh, here's what he plans to do:
Kerry: But I would immediately call a summit meeting of the European community. They haven't lived up to the obligations of their own resolution that they passed at the U.N.

Yep, I bet that would make everything right in the world.

Kerry: a new president who has credibility with the foreign leaders

So, because he's new he will automatically have credibility? I believe it takes time to earn credibility.

And on to Bush's dad and a big misstatement:

Kerry: Well, his dad was the one who recommended military cuts back then, and Dick Cheney was the vice president of the United States, who recommended those military cuts back then.

Really? Cheney was VP under Bush senior? How did I miss that?

And on Abu Garib and Kerry's "atrocities":

IMUS: Back in May of 2001 on "Meet the Press," you said you yourself have committed the same kinds of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers in violation of the Geneva Conventions. And my question, Senator Kerry, is, is there a difference between what happened in your case in Vietnam and what happened at Abu Ghraib, in that both were acts in violation of the Geneva Conventions?

KERRY: There is a difference.

IMUS: What is it?

KERRY: There is a difference. What I was referring to in that testimony was the general categorization of free-fire zones in Vietnam and the general categorizations of some of the weapons that were being used, which were in violation of the accords. We didn't learn that until we came home. I didn't know any of that while I was there. I didn't know any of that over there, nor did most soldiers.

So now he says that he didn't commit atrocities? He didn't know about them until he came home? Cutting off heads isn't a clue? What?

And back to the war in Iraq:

IMUS: Well, yes, he did. Did you read Richard Cohen in yesterday's Washington Post?

KERRY: I did not.

IMUS: He wrote that in voting to authorize this war in Iraq that we've been talking about this morning -- this is Richard Cohen, don't get hysterical, not that you would but -- unlike Senator Kennedy, you chose a supposedly safe and overly nuanced route that in Mr. Cohen's view has left you, Senator Kerry, tongue-tied.

KERRY: Well, I disagree.

IMUS: Well, he's urging you to admit the war was a mistake and then start attacking these people. Why can't you do that?

KERRY: But I do. That's exactly what I am doing. I think the war -- I've said it a hundred times, I think it was a huge mistake for the president to go to war the way he did. I've said that a dozen times. I mean, the fact is that I...

IMUS: Do you think there are any circumstances we should have gone to war in Iraq -- any?

KERRY: Not under the current circumstances, no, there are none that I see. I voted based on weapons of mass destruction. The president distorted that and I've said that. I mean, look, I can't be clearer. But I think it was the right vote based on what Saddam Hussein had done, and I think it was the right thing to do to hold him accountable. I've said a hundred times, there was a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it. The president chose the wrong way. Can't be more direct than that.

So Kerry says that he is admitting the war in Iraq is a mistake. But then he says that voting for the war was the right vote. I agree with Richard Cohen, this has Kerry tongue tied. How does he not choke?


The atrocities of al Sadr

>> Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Middle East Media Research Institute reports that on September 13, 2004:


Where's the outrage? Where's the coverage from western media? Where's the comparisons to Abu Graib? Why is the media covering for yet another terrorist?


This needs to be said more often

Ralph Peters has a scathing criticism of the press in the New York Post today

Our journalists need to drop the feigned naiveté. Reporters who cut deals with terrorists for gory footage, who know a terror bombing's on the way and say nothing or who accompany thugs as they ambush U.S. soldiers, are not neutral observers.

As this column has consistently maintained, al-Jazeera, especially, is not a news organization. It's an anti-American propaganda bureau. Does anyone imagine that al Qaeda and other terror groups — the head-choppers for Allah — send their tapes to al-Jazeera because the postage is cheaper?

We are at war. Not only with terrorists, but with their supporters. That al-Arabiya producer joined forces with killers who ambushed a Bradley infantry fighting vehicle. He wasn't a journalist. He was a terrorist. Whether he carried a camera or a gun.

Our gunship didn't target him. It fired at the disabled Bradley so looters couldn't make off with weapons, ammunition or communications gear. Self-defense. The looters and terrorists clambering over the vehicle were fair game. So was their sidekick from al-Arabiya.

Hat tip Liberating Iraq.

Many in the press are showing their bias and political partisanship. What are we as news consumers going to do about it?


Kerry Campaign Still Focusing on Vietnam

I have to wonder just who is running the Kerry campaign. Even Bill Clinton knows that discussing Vietnam in any way, shape or form is doing nothing but hurting the Democrats. Yet here they are again, putting the focus on Vietnam, but this time it is Bush's record they are trying to work.

The Dems have launched a new attack ad (hmmm, I thought they didn't do attack ads?) Fortunate Son I tried to watch the whole thing, really, I did. Edited in the essence of "Farenheit 9/11" it was just too, well, you get the idea. Now, the part of the ad that really confused me was that they used parts of the recent 60 Minutes II interview. Two things make me question why they would do that:

1) Everyone from ABC to bloggers are all over that interview with speculation about it's facts. Why would you want to put something that is being questioned so much in a campaign video?

2) They used clips of former Texas Lt. Gov Ben Barnes saying that he "pulled strings" to get Bush into the National Guard when he was Lt. Gov. But he didn't become Lt. Gov until a year after Bush had entered the guard. Now, this is old news:
"I got a young man named George W. Bush into the National Guard when I was lieutenant governor of Texas, and I'm not necessarily proud of that, but I did it," Barnes said in the 45-second video, which was recorded May 27 before a group of John Kerry supporters in Austin. Barnes, who was House speaker when Bush entered the Guard, later became lieutenant governor.

He said he became ashamed after walking through the Vietnam Memorial and looking at the names of people who died.
When he was Lieutenant Governor of Texas?

According to the About Texas - Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Ben Barnes was Lt. Governor from 1969-1973. In the same quote, Barnes says that he "got a young man named George W. Bush into the National Guard when (he) was lieutenant governor of Texas," and AP immediately contradicts him, saying "Barnes, who was House speaker when Bush entered the Guard, later became lieutenant governor." This is confusing, but Barnes own words are clearly are incorrect, while AP (astonishingly) is correct.

It must have been "seared" in his memory. Want more? The Dirt on Ben Barnes Claims about Bush and the Air National Guard (Part 2)

And another thing that makes me wonder if the DNC wasn't involved in the documents scandal: It has not been a week since that interview. This is a documentary type ad, wouldn't it take a bit of time to put together? Hmmm..

And, in other news, NBC News and CBS News requested that that the Democratic National Committee pull the campaign video

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