Tuesday, August 31, 2004
In case you missed me, I was taking advantage of our wonderful healthcare system since last Thursday.
In other words, I was hospitalized with a nasty bout of asthma. No internet access. And only the mainstream media and of course, and thank God, FoxNews to keep me informed.
An awful but enlightening time, with many wonderful conversations with staff about war, politics, God, and of course what my Peak Flow was, and rather I would need a nebulizer treatment in two hours, or could I hold off for another three.
I'm still putting thoughts together, and will write about the experience over the next day or two.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Hugh Hewitt and Glenn Reynolds were right. The Post was the first to break through. Hopefully it won't be the last.
After his discharge, Kerry became the leader of Vietnam Veterans Against
the War (VVAW). Once, he presented to Congress the accounts by his VVAW comrades
of having "personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires . . . to
human genitals . . . razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan . .
. poisoned foodstocks." Later it was shown that many of the stories on which
Kerry based this testimony were false, some told by impostors who had stolen the
identities of real GIs, but Kerry himself was not implicated in the fraud. And
his own over-the-top generalization that such "crimes [were] committed on a
day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command"
could be charged up to youthfulness and the fevers of the times.
But Kerry has repeated his Cambodia tale throughout his adult life. He has claimed thatthe epiphany he had that Christmas of 1968 was about truthfulness. "One of the
things that most struck me about Vietnam was how people were lied to," he
explained in a subsequent interview. If -- as seems almost surely the case --
Kerry himself has lied about what he did in Vietnam, and has done so not merely
to spice his biography but to influence national policy, then he is surely not
the kind of man we want as our president.
Monday, August 23, 2004
Part 2 of Hardball's treatment of the SwiftVet ads was on tonight.
Well, at least this time they had apparently found their own copy of Unfit for Command.
Pat Buchanan tried very hard to defend Michelle Malkin, and you could just see the rage on Chris Matthews' face.
He appears to be unable to control his emotions around this whole issue.
At one point, he turned to the liberal historian,and asked, What are these veterans so furious about?
I think the same question could be asked of Mr. Matthews.
Chris, speaking as a therapist, let me tell you something.
When you have that much rage about something, you are reacting to something other than the incident that's triggering it.
I'm thinking a couple of sessions with a decent counselor are in your future.
Must've slipped through their censors.
Great piece by a Helo pilot in Iraq. Love the ending:
When critics of the war say their advocacy is on behalf of those of us risking
our lives here, it's a type of false patriotism. I believe that when Americans
say they "support our troops," it should include supporting our mission, not
just sending us care packages. They don't have to believe in the cause as I do;
but they should not denigrate it. That only aids the enemy in defeating us
Michael Moore recently asked Bill O'Reilly if he would
sacrifice his son for Falluja. A clever rhetorical device, but it's the wrong
question: this war is about Des Moines, not Falluja. This country is breeding
and attracting militants who are all eager to grab box cutters, dirty bombs,
suicide vests or biological weapons, and then come fight us in Chicago, Santa
Monica or Long Island. Falluja, in fact, was very close to becoming a city our
forces could have controlled, and then given new schools and sewers and
hospitals, before we pulled back in the spring. Now, essentially ignored, it has
become a Taliban-like state of Islamic extremism, a terrorist safe haven. We
must not let the same fate befall Najaf or Ramadi or the rest of Iraq.
No, I would not sacrifice myself, my parents would not sacrifice me, and President
Bush would not sacrifice a single marine or soldier simply for Falluja. Rather,
that symbolic city is but one step toward a free and democratic Iraq, which is
one step closer to a more safe and secure America.
I miss my family, my
friends and my country, but right now there is nowhere else I'd rather be. I am
a United States Marine.
Glen G. Butler is a major in the Marines.
Sunday, August 22, 2004
I'm still amazed that its taken this long for the Mainstream Media to pick up on this. This is one of the few incidents in which the Kerry campaign actually answered one of the SwiftVets charges, by agreeing that Kerry was lying.
Okay, so they're only two week late, and give only brief coverage to Christmas in Cambodia. But overall the Washington Post peice is the most rational treatment I've seen of the whole story.
I think the 2nd Swift Boat ad will carry more weight, as most of Kerry's radicalism is recorded. Worth following.
Saturday, August 21, 2004
Every once in a while, a seminal piece emerges from our national dialogue. John Podheretz has written one such piece. A must read, carefully adding perspective to the War we find ourselves involved. Extra and important commentary is found here, thanks to Belmont Club
Russ, I honor your service.
Media Bias? No, By Us
For years we have said as we’ve watched and read,
That the Media is liberally left leaning.
When news only we sought, what we usually got
Was some coiffed commentator’s “true” meaning.
Just seeking the news, we instead got their views
And too much Peter Jennings-like preening.
We are fair they declare and your charge is unfair
Everything we put out is uncanted.
Then they snidely deride any charges they’ve lied
Though it’s clear where their left feet are planted.
They deny overmuch liberal leanings and such
While it’s plain they’re all Rather slanted.
What they call reporting we see as distorting
So obvious that it does appall us.
But they think we’re all sheep, unthinking, asleep,
And care less if their bias does gall us.
As Sunday eves dreadful they feed us a headful
Of that oh so impartial Mike Wallace.
And as for the press, what a self-righteous mess,
Intoning our right to know all.
While the grand New York Times, dismisses and slimes
Those, who for the truth, loudly call.
And the Washington Post sets it columnist host
To impugning these men, one and all.
So election year’s here and it’s crystalline clear
That John Kerry’s the media’s hero.
They praise him in war and completely ignore
Those brave men who rate him a zero.
With utter disdain for truth in the main
This Media’s fiddling like Nero.
At some future date, when it’s far, far too late,
To ever atone for their bias,
Finally faced with their fate that they carry no weight,
All those talking heads will be so pious,
As without any shame they will loudly declaim
How on earth did that phony get by us?
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Hat tip to Jeff at Louisiana Conservative for this:
-Originally written by Randy Knight-- A Man of his Word ---- Please pass on. Won't see this on CNN, NBC, CBS, MSNBC... He stepped on a land mine in Afghanistan Christmas 2002. President Bush came to visit the wounded in the hospital. He told Mike that when he could run a mile that they would go on a run together. True to his word, he called Mike every month or so to see how he was doing. Well, last week they went on the run, 1 mile with the president. Not something you'll see in the news, but seeing the president taking the time to say thank you to the wounded and to give hope to one of my best friends, was one of the greatest/best things I have seen in my life.
I couldn't agree more, Jeff.
The Navy documented John Kerry’s heroism, and awarded him the Bronze Star. Today, he still has shrapnel in his leg from his wounds in Vietnam.
The above is from the transcript of Kerry's new ad, titled "Rassman."
Here is a more detailed explanation, also from Senator Kerry's site:
Narrator: “Today, he still has shrapnel in his leg from his wounds in Vietnam.”
Here is Dr Gerald Doyle's complete summary. It would appear he does have a peice of B-40 shrapnel in his left thigh.
- Release of Kerry Medical Records Shows he Still Carries Shrapnel From Combat John Kerry has a piece of shrapnel in his left thigh from an injury he suffered in the Vietnam War, his doctor said Friday during a review of 36 pages of the Democratic presidential candidate's military medical records. … Kerry got his first Purple Heart after he got shrapnel in his left arm above his elbow. Doyle said if the shrapnel had hit Kerry in the eye, it could have blinded him. And Doyle said Kerry's third Purple Heart came from a dangerous situation on March 13, 1969, that could have been life-threatening. A mine had exploded near Kerry's swiftboat and enemy snipers were shooting around his boat. According to notes from a military doctor who treated Kerry three hours later, Kerry was thrown against the bulkhead, resulting in contusions on his right forearm. … Kerry also was wounded by a piece of shrapnel on Feb. 20, 1969, this time on his left thigh. Doctors decided to leave the shrapnel in place rather than make a wider opening to remove it. Doctors removed damaged tissue and the entry wound was closed with sutures, and no infection developed around the shrapnel, according to the records. [Pickler, Associated Press, 4/23/2004]
I find myself relieved.
The temptation here is to rush in, jumping on every possible allegation. That temptation must be avoided at all costs. Its what separates those looking for the facts from the Michael Moores of the world, who are looking to push an agenda....sometimes in spite of the facts.
I've had bronchitis the past 2 days. It always, always affects my asthma in a big way.
All I've been able to do until this morning is lay on the couch (propped up, with pillows) and watch TV.
It has been a miserable time, and a bit of a flashback to 1998.
The SwiftVet controversy has brought out all the old attack dogs of the Democratic party.
Let's see if I can try this in order of appearance: I'm sure I've missed a few between coughing fits.
Chris Matthews' absolutely apalling attack on Michelle Malkin.
It was obvious he hadn't read the book, and only wanted to attack Michelle. Michelle's account of the incident would be very funny if the ignorance and bias wasn't so sad. I especially love the part about MSNBC grabbing her copy of Unfit for Command after Matthew's booted her off the show! Seems it was the only copy of the book in the MSNBC studios. Thank God there were only me and about 5 others watching the show across the country.
The New York Times finally notices....in an attack on the Swiftees. With a chart! This PROVES the Swift Veterans have connections to Karl Rove and Kevin Bacon, er Mr. Bush!
In fact, the six degrees of separation was so absolutely iron clad, Kerry and company are running to the FEC to file a protest.
Yes, the Mainstream Media is finally outraged, demanding ANSWERS. Why won't Bush denounce these vile liars and their hate filled ad?
When will Mr. Bush admit the evil Karl Rove paid for those ads personally, from the money he personally stole from homeless orphans on the streets of Boston?
And finally, along about 2 this morning, the deflectors went to Maximum, with this:
It was 35 years ago, so what does it really matter if he was exaggerating? It's not really important. After all, its just about sex...er, war, er, er, er, er AND BESIDES, BUSH LIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEDDDD!!!!!!!
Yep, it would be really funny, if this election was being held in the 9/10/01 days.
It's post 9/11, and we are at war.
And we are being asked by John Kerry to believe he will be more effective at fighting this war than President Bush.
Instead of answering the charges of lying for over 35 years about 3 months in Vietnam, Mr. Kerry has brought out the Clinton attack dogs.
Waiting from January to August, with lie after lie, day after day, until the DNA matched the stain on Monica's blue dress.
We don't have time for the Clinton game. or the Kevin Bacon game.
The 3000 dead from 9/11 won't stand for it.
Mr. Kerry needs to answer the charges, not attack Veterans, again.
He starts by signing the form releasing all his military records.
Mr. Bush did. That's why the press stopped the whole National Guard thing, until it was needed in desperation now. To see a comparison between the Mainstream Press' coverage of Bush's service and this story, click here.
The press then needs to ask the right questions.
And that may require a radical shift in who The Press is today.
This story has not been kept alive by The Old Journalism.
Its been kept alive by the blogosphere. Hugh Hewitt has an excellent rundown of the blogs that have been at the forefront of this story. You'll find a link to his site and book to the right.
After the questions have been asked, Mr. Kerry needs to answer them.
With documentation, if possible.
Not Paul Begala.
Not Chris Matthews.
Not The New York Times.
But John Kerry.
Not in order to help his standing in the polls, but to maintain his standing of honor as a Veteran.
This nation is at war.
We can't afford to bring back The Clinton Games.
Sunday, August 15, 2004
From Intellectual Conservative.com
The Night Before Christmas (Cambodian Version)
by Russ Vaughn
13 August 2004
Twas the night before Christmas and we were afloat
Somewhere in Cambodia in our little boat.
While the river was lightened by rockets red glare
No one but the President knew we were there.
The crew was all nestled deep down in their bunks,
While the Spook and I watched the sampans and junks.
Our mission was secret, so secret in fact,
No one else would remember it when we got back.
When out on the water there arose such a clatter
I leaped down from the bridge to see what was the matter.
The incoming friendly was starting to flash
And I knew that the ARVN’s were having a bash.
The snap of friendly fire on the warm tropic air
Convinced me for sure no one knew we were there,
On a clandestine mission so secret it’s true
That I’m still convinced only Tricky Dick knew.
While I huddled for safety in the tub on the bow,
I thought of a title, “Apocalypse Now.”
To give to the films I was I making each day
To show all the voters when I made my big play.
As I sat there sweating in my lucky flight jacket,
Spook said, “Merry Christmas!” and tossed me a packet.
And what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a new lucky cap, which I still have right here.
I keep it tucked here, in this leather brief case,
Just sharing with the press its secretive place
As I regale them again with my senate refrain,
That Christmas in Cambodia is seared into my brain.
Don’t bother to quibble with history my friend,
By pointing out Johnson was President then.
Don’t listen to Swiftees who try to explain,
For I tell you that night is seared into my brain.
Down Hibbard, down Lonsdale, and you too O’Neill,
So you don’t remember? Well it’s something I feel.
I don’t need all you Swiftvets to support my campaign,
Cause Christmas in Cambodia is seared into my brain,
Into my brain, into my brain, into my brain...
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
An excellent look at the non coverage of John Kerry's lies about his four months in Vietnam.
Why is this important?
Because John Kerry has made his four months on a Swift boat the centerpeice of his campaign.
As opposed to 19 years in the Senate, with the most liberal voting record of any Senator.
And they want to call Alan Keyes an extremist?
Or do you not consider the National Guard honorable service?
Think carefully before you answer that.
President Bush released all his military records, effectively slamming the door on the nonstory the Media covered for weeks.
That's why you haven't heard much about it, except for the Michael Moore fringe.
Can the same be said for John Kerry?
He has selectively released his records.
A simple form would have released them all, just like Bush.
He hasn't done that.
Now, let's deal with the main argument:
Those Swift Boat Vets didn't serve on Kerry's Boat. How can they know?
From the Frequently Asked Questions Section of SwiftVets.com
Overall, more than 250 Swift boat veterans are on the record questioning Kerry's fitness to serve as Commander-in-Chief. That list includes his entire chain of command -- every single officer Kerry served under in Vietnam. The Kerry game plan is to ignore all this and pretend that the 13 veterans his campaign jets around the country and puts up in 5-star hotels really represent the truth about his short, controversial combat tour. The Swift boats fought in groups, so the other OICs who fought alongside Kerry know him well and can accurately describe what he did and did not do. In many cases Kerry's fellow OICs had a better perspective than his own crew members, since the latter had no way to determine whether he was following orders and how well he worked with his peers.
These men served with Kerry as his peers.
But, just to put one more hole in Kerry's leaky boat, there's this:
"My name is Steve Gardner. I served in 1966 and 1967 on my first tour of duty in Vietnam on Swift boats, and I did my second tour in '68 and '69, involved with John Kerry in the last 2 1/2 months of my tour. The John Kerry that I know is not the John Kerry that everybody else is portraying. I served alongside him and behind him, five feet away from him in a gun tub, and watched as he made indecisive moves with our boat, put our boats in jeopardy, put our crews in jeopardy... if a man like that can't handle that 6-man crew boat, how can you expect him to be our Commander-in-Chief?" -- Steven Gardner
Good Question at any time.
An excellent question in time of war.
Saturday, August 14, 2004
From Rush Limbaugh.
And, please, avoid the Ad Hominen attacks. The numbers are what they are, no matter who reports them.
Here are the numbers. You'll be stunned. The overwhelming majority of federal income taxes are paid by the very highest income earners. The top 1% of income earners pay about 32% of all income taxes. The top 5% pays 51.4%. The top 10% of high income earners, pay 63.5%. The top 20% of income earners pays 78% of all federal income taxes. The top 20%.
Now, if you're going to have a tax cut that is broad-based and reaches 78% of the people, I'm sorry, you're going to be cutting taxes on the top 20%. It's unavoidable! And guess what? It worked! It stimulated the economy. Where would we be without them?
Here's the final number. The bottom four-fifths, 80% - the bottom 80% of income earners pay just 20%, 22% of the federal income tax burden. The bottom 80% pay only 20% of the burden. Now, how in the world can anybody with a brain come forth and say, "I am against tax cuts for the rich. I'm only going to have a tax cut for the middle class." If you give a tax cut to people in the bottom 20%, you're not going to stimulate anything.
Friday, August 13, 2004
Why They Hate Him: Victor Davis Hanson
In short, the Left hates George W. Bush for who he is rather than what he does. Southern conservatism, evangelical Christianity, a black-and-white worldview, and a wealthy man's disdain for elite culture — none by itself earns hatred, of course, but each is a force multiplier of the other and so helps explain the evolution of disagreement into pathological venom.
September 11 cooled the furor of these aristocratic critics, but Iraq re-ignited it. Not voting for George Bush is, of course understandable and millions in fact will do precisely that. But for those haters who demonize the man, their knee-jerk disgust tells us far more about their own shallow characters than it does anything about our wartime president.
And there is a great danger in all these manifestations of pure hatred. We are in a war. And in these tumultuous days, the Left's unhinged odium will resonate with and embolden not only our enemies abroad, but also the deranged, dangerous folk here at home.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
John and Theresa on Holiday. Now, I ask you, Does Theresa look happy? And what is with John's Napoleon imitation?
Michael Moore shouldn't worry. That was yesterday. Mr. Kerry has plenty of time to change his mind...again.
Here's a link to the Book. It is currently number one on Amazon. Funny how that can be when the media is either studiously ignoring it, or working very hard to trash the Veterans who wrote and sourced it.
One more, from Mark Steyn:
For decades, John Kerry has told anyone who'd listen that at Christmas 1968 he was on an illegal mission inside Cambodia. On the floor of the Senate in 1986, while attacking President Reagan for turning Central America into another Vietnam quagmire (wrong as usual), Kerry said: "I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by the Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the President of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia. I have that memory which is seared – seared – in me."
The illegal Yuletide foray was so seared into him that he brought it up at every opportunity.
As he told the Boston Herald in 1979, "I remember spending Christmas Eve of 1968 five miles across the Cambodian border being shot at by our South Vietnamese allies who were drunk and celebrating Christmas. The absurdity of almost being killed by our own allies in a country in which President Nixon claimed there were no American troops was very real."
LBJ was President on Christmas Eve 1968, but let that pass. Here's an Associated Press story from 1992: "Navy Lt John Kerry knew he had no business steering his Mekong River patrol boat across the border into Cambodia, but orders were orders… By Christmas 1968, part of Kerry's patrol extended across the border of South Vietnam into Cambodia."
Just one problem. It never happened. Every living officer up his chain of command says Kerry was never ordered to Cambodia. At least three of his five crewmen say their boat was never in Cambodia. And if you don't believe any of his fellow veterans, read the excerpt from Kerry's own journal published in Tour Of Duty, the recent hagiography by Douglas Brinkley.
On December 24 1968, Kerry was at Sa Dec – that's well inside Vietnam, 55 miles from the Cambodian border – and waxing wistful to his diary about a quiet Christmas far from home: "Visions of sugarplums really do dance through your head and you think of stockings and snow and roast chestnuts and fires with birch logs and all that is good and warm and real. It's Christmas Eve."
I'm Vietnammed out. But it's the centrepiece of Kerry's campaign: the other day, asked a straightforward question about 9/11, he stuck to the current millennium for a good 20 seconds and then veered off into "the war that I fought in was a war where we saw America lose its support for the war, where the soldiers came back having had to do what our soldiers are doing today, carry an M-16 in another country, try to tell the difference between friend and foe. I know what it's like to go out at night on patrol", etc, etc. So, since Vietnam seems to be the only subject on which he has anything to say, it would be reassuring to know that at least he's got that right.
For most of his adult life John Kerry has peddled as his central Vietnam anecdote – the one that drove him to turn on his nation's leaders – what appears to be a complete fantasy. Why would he do such a thing? If there's a good answer to that question, maybe someone in his doting press pack would like to ask it.
So, here is what John Kerry said last year about Cambodia.
A fawning, at times saccharine piece, the best part is at the end.
By Laura Blumenfeld
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 1, 2003; Page A01
And who is he, really?
Here's the thing:
It appears more and more likely that John Kerry was never in Cambodia. The blogosphere is all over this story, even though the mainstream media has yet to touch it. NoOil For Pacifists give a great summary of the story.
The only place it has been mentioned so far is Fox News here.
One more thing.
Does he still have the hat? And is it still mildewy? Blech!
Sunday, August 08, 2004
Saturday, August 07, 2004
This is what the Democrats are missing, and hiding from. The Democrat Convention was about hiding from reality, rather it was Gay Marriage, or far more threatening, The War.:
"In a word, we have devolved into an infantile society in which our technological successes have wrongly suggested that we can alter the nature of man to our whims and pleasures ? just like a child who expects instant gratification from his parents. In a culture where affluence and leisure are seen as birthrights, war, sacrifice, or even the mental fatigue about worrying over such things wear on us. So we construct, in a deductive and anti-empirical way, a play universe that better suits us.
In that regard, for the moment George Bush is a godsend. His drawl, Christianity, tough talk, ramrod straight strut ? all that and more become the locus of our fears: French and Germans on the warpath? They must have been Bushwhacked, not angry that their subsidized utopia ? from a short work week, looming pension catastrophe, and no national defense ? is eroding.
Bombs going off in Manhattan or stuck in a tunnel while cops search every truck? Either way, Bush is the problem. Either he foolishly went into Iraq and let down our guard, or he is trying to scare us into believing that a nonexistent terrorist is under every bed. The television still blares about suicide bombers and repugnant thugs tormenting bound hostages? Surely Bush set them off. The proper response? Presto! Elect a less confrontational John Kerry, and thus cease a long, difficult war to defeat and to discredit all who would embrace such odious ideas.
Liberal civilizations often tire of eternal vigilance and in the midst of peacetime affluence work themselves into mass hysteria when challenged. Such is the picture we receive of the Athenian assembly around 340 B.C. when Demosthenes desperately warned that Philip was not a national liberator. Few thought Hannibal really would cross the Ebro. Churchill in the 1930s wasn't listened to very much — after the Somme, who wanted lectures about deterrence? Ronald Reagan's earlier prescience about the Soviet threat in the post-Vietnam era prompted Hollywood to turn out cheap TV movies warning of Reagan-inspired nuclear winters.
We too are reverting to our childhood and thus are in the same weird mood preferring fantasies and stories to reality. The Democrats know it. And so the unifying theme of their otherwise contradictory messages is that we can return to the infantile delusions of September 10, and not the crisis-filled adult world of post-September 11 that now confronts George W. Bush."
And here is the link to Barack Obama. Notice most of his position statements come from his speech at the Dem's Convention.
If Alan Keyes can get past the Carpetbagger charge, and if he can raise the money, and if the Illinois Republican Party will get its head out of its....Ah never mind. Could have been a great debate. Sigh.
Monday, August 02, 2004
I posted this before, from Christopher Hitchens.
The more I think about Moore's propaganda, the angrier I get.
One scene specifically sticks in my mind.
Moore presents Iraq, children playing, a wedding, happy innocents in an idyllic nation.
He leaves out a few things, purposely, with malice aforethought.
Serial rape, torture, mass graves, children's prisons.
Last thought for now:
I joke about Michael Moore being a modern Joseph Goebbels.
Yet the echoes of Goebbel's propaganda resound throughout Michael Moore's film.
Goebbel's Principals of Propaganda
Sunday, August 01, 2004
And I paid $5.50 to see it!
Michael Moore's propaganda film is at times funny. He even had this Conservative chuckling a couple of times.. But I also found myself looking at my watch...alot. His attempts at pathos fell flat, as it mixed so many distortions, inaccuracies, and downright lies that frankly took away from his attempts.
He did succeed, however, in making me absolutely furious about his use of that poor mother, Lila Lipscomb. To use her grief as a stage prop shows the worst of Michael Moore. I was deeply appalled.
A coworker who saw the movie had a fascinating comment. She said, "Well, if even half of what is in that movie is true, then we have a problem." Her comment is telling. The truth is that he did so much twisting of facts and stories, that to find that mythical 50% is almost impossible, if there at all.
Teri Obrien in the link above lays out the distortions much better than I could. Very much worth reading.
Also, Michael Isikoff, no conservative, makes the same arguments in more detail.