September 30, 2004

Denigrating the Allies

I should be in bed, but there is one moment of the debate that really bothered me and I need to rant before I sleep. I was appalled when Kerry began listing the numbers of troops contributed by coalition members and complaining about the size of their contributions.

There is no other country on the planet that has the economic resources and the military might to do what the United States is capable of doing. To complain that the British force in Iraq is too small and complain that other allies have an even smaller commitment of troops is is appallingly insulting.

A man who would denigrate an ally willing to send troops to stand, fight and perhaps even die with us because their contribution cannot measure up to ours is disgusting.

This is a man who claims to be capable of leading an international coalition? He is not fit to lead a troop of Cub Scouts.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 06:56 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment


Debating Matters

I enjoyed the debate from the Munuvian Chat room with Ted from Rocket Jones. It was good to do the chat thing, it got all of the snark out of the way.

The question of the moment is of course "Who won the debate?"

My answer (and this will surprise few of my regular readers (or should that be this will be no surprise to my few regular readers)) the victory goes to the President.

Here's why I think Bush won. Out of the context of the campaign I would have to say Bush scored more hits against Kerry. In the early part of the debate everything Kerry said he would do, Bush came to back to say that is what we are doing. Bush clearly had one message he wanted to get out and did (over and over and over). It got to be tiresome for me at least but people will remember the message.

In the context of the campaign Kerry needed a clear victory. He did not get one. Neither candidate did anything to hurt themselves - though Kerry's disrespect of the contribution of our allies is Iraq was not good - but the problem for kerry is that he did nothing to help himself. For Kerry the status quo is a loosing hand, and at best that is what he achieved tonight.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 06:42 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


September 29, 2004

Being a Real Journalist

Captain's Quarters takes a close look at a nasty little piece from some self-important windbag named Nick Coleman writing in the Star Tribune. Captain Ed does an excellent job dealing with the entire piece, but there was one part I want to address in depth.

Do bloggers have the credentials of real journalists? No. Bloggers are hobby hacks, the Internet version of the sad loners who used to listen to police radios in their bachelor apartments and think they were involved in the world.

Bloggers don't know about anything that happened before they sat down to share their every thought with the moon. Like graffiti artists, they tag the public square -- without editors, correction policies or community standards. And so their tripe is often as vicious as it is vacuous.

First of all, what credentials do "real journalists" have? Have they been granted a license to report by the American Journalists Association? Have they passed the journalistic equivalent of the bar exam? Or is it that they went to college and studied journalism and earned a degree in it?

Well here's a bit of news for you Mr. Coleman. I went to college and studied journalism and made it all the way through to earn my degree. And for the benefit of those who hold "The Journalist" in such high esteem:

BEING A JOURNALIST IS NOT THAT BIG A DEAL

Essentially you gather information either through observation or research and you write it down. It's not really necessary for you to write it down all that well either. In fact it's generally preferred if your syntax is on the simplistic side. With the advent of software such as Microsoft Word it is not even necessary that you know how to spell better than the average third grader.

Mr. Coleman clearly knows little or nothing weblogs. Every reader is an editor and their feedback is instant. Errors are made, but they do not stand unchallenged for long. Correction policies are as varied as there are blogs, just as they are as varied as there are newspapers. I have observed however, that most bloggers do not wait several days and burry their corrections in the on-line equivalent of the bottom of page 8.

One thing Mr. Coleman clearly knows well is viscous, vacuous tripe. Only I guess he would see his is more real.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:43 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


Florida 2004 - And So It Begins

An article in the St Petersburg Times highlights what will certainly become an issue in November if the election is close.

State law sets a Sept. 1 deadline for the governor to certify a list of presidential electors for each party's candidates.

But Sept. 1 was also the day President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were being nominated at their party' convention in New York. Consequently, some of their paperwork did not arrive at state elections headquarters until Sept. 2, a day after Gov. Jeb Bush certified the candidates for president.

As seems to be the case with Florida election law, there seems to be some ambiguity as what exactly the law requires.
Spokeswoman Jenny Nash said Friday the law is clear: The deadline applies to the governor and the list of presidential electors, not to the candidates themselves. The list of Republican electors released by Hood's office does not show a time stamp indicating when the document was received by the state.
Democratic Party officials disagree about what the law requires, but have stated they will not contest the issue.
Florida Democratic Party chairman Scott Maddox said he knew the president's certificate of nomination did not reach the state until Sept. 2, but he said he decided not to make an issue of it.

"To keep an incumbent president off the ballot in a swing state the size of Florida because of a technicality, I just don't think would be right," Maddox said.

Forgive me for being skeptical, but I don't think this is an issue of right and wrong for the Democrats. I think this one comes down to understanding how bad pushing this issue before the election would make them look. Fighting to keep Bush off the ballot in Florida would have likely cost them so many votes across the country that Florida would not have mattered.

But if the election is close and Florida can tip the balance, you can bet the farm that this will form the basis for Kerry's challenge of the Florida vote.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:22 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


We'll Always Have Paris

I fail to understand the overwhelming fascination so many people seem to have with Paris Hilton. Were it not for her wealth, which she did not earn, she would be nothing more than an untalented mediocre looking slut whom the world would not notice.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 03:48 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


September 28, 2004

What's The Frequency Kenneth?

Whatever the answer to that cryptic and of late overused headline one thing is certain, its not the frequency used by Houston based CBS Radio affiliate KPRC. The station is no longer carrying Dan Rather's Daily Broadcast.

The decision to pull the broadcast was made in response Rather's 60 Minutes report on George Bush's National Guard Service that was based in large part on forged documents.

"I felt no anchor ... should ever be the story or bigger than the story," Ken Charles, program director of the news-talk station, said Monday. "I thought it was appropriate to take him off the air."
The station did not feel the recent statement in which Rather apologized because CBS could not authenticate the documents was not enough to warrant resume carrying the broadcast.
"For right now, I'm not convinced there's any reason to put him back on the radio station," said Charles.
Another station, WNIS in Norfolk, VA, has dropped all CBS content from thier broadcast.

This, I think, is the start of trend that is gong to continue as long as Dan Rather is still the face and the voice of CBS news. There are undoubtedly more station managers like Ken Charles, and more listeners like those he has heard from.

Charles said he's received more than 300 e-mails about dropping Rather's five-minute news-and-analysis program.

"It's been overwhelming ... over over overwhelmingly supportive," he said. "Four of them called my mother really bad names, which is unusual because I thought liberals were nicer."

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:33 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


Why I Don't Get Worked Up Over Polls

Powerline had a post yesterday highlighting Bush's lead in the Gallup and Washington Post/ABC polls of 8 points and 6 points respectively. Captain's Quarters makes note of CNN's apparent discomfort with reporting Bush's lead in the polls. The Real Clear Politics Poll Average shows Bush with a 6.4 point lead in a a three way race, and 5.3 points in a head to head Bush - Kerry Race.

And yet on Friday I got the following in an email from the Kerry Campaign

There can be no doubt: the momentum is on our side.

George W. Bush's post-convention bounce has evaporated. Five new national polls this week show the race tied, with the difference within the margin of error in every single one of the polls. Three of the polls have the race within one point or less.

And if you think the national polls are looking good, the story in the battleground states is even better. Recent battleground polls from Zogby and American Research Group show John Kerry winning enough electoral votes to take back the White House.

The RCP Electoral Count shows Bush with 291, Kerry with 221 and 26 remaining a toss up.

I'm sure somebody somewhere has taken a poll that shows Ralph Nader leading in 37 states and poised for an upset victory.

Note: My own internal polling shows that I will get 5 votes. (+/- 4)

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:52 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


September 27, 2004

Police Discriminate Against Criminals

Found via Michele Malkin a story of political correctness taken to a degree of absurdity beyond belief. As reported in the Oakland Tribune

Oakland police halt DUI checkpoints

Immigrant activists say roadblocks discriminate against those without licenses

By Heather MacDonald, STAFF WRITER

OAKLAND -- Oakland police officers have stopped setting up roadblocks to check whether drivers are under the influence because of a rash of complaints from the Latino community and City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente.

The checkpoints, which allow officers to demand licenses and proof of insurance, are an effective way to get drunken drivers off Oakland's streets, city leaders agree. But the checks also have ensnared dozens of illegal immigrants who are not licensed to drive yet otherwise obey the law.(emphasis mine)

I don't know the law in California but I do know that where I live driving without a license is a crime. It seems to me that no matter how many other laws you dutifully obey when you break one, you break one. I can't see "yes I shot him five times but I otherwise obey the law" as a viable defense.

And here's the real kicker, the people getting caught, are more than likely to be illegal immigrants. Being in the country illegally pretty much wipes out their "otherwise obey the law" theory.

The halt in checkpoints is apparently temporary while they draft new guidelines.

The new checkpoint guidelines, which are not final, may call for police to notify Latino community organizations of the time and location of coming checkpoints. The checkpoints will be held after the evening rush-hour commute and rotated throughout the city, officials said.
I'm sure once the public at large has been alerted to where an when roadblocks will be set up their value as a law enforcement technique is just going to skyrocket.

One voice of sanity in the whole PC mess is City Councilmember Larry Reid.

"I don't care if they are illegal immigrants," Reid said.

"They should not be driving on our streets without a license, without insurance. I expect the Oakland Police Department to do its job and get them off the street."

He almost got it right. A big part of the problem is that he should care if they are illegal aliens.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 02:37 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


When Headlines Collide

Unlike this in which a random ad conflicts badly with a news story, today's screen shot is just an unfortunate grouping of headlines from one of my favorite news sources.


(Click to enlarge)

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 06:42 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


Lawyers Guns and Money

Michele Malkin has compiled an excellent roundup of the twisted twisting tale of John Kerry's favorite gun. If his aim with a real gun is as bad as his aim with a gun story, you don't want to be anywhere near the man when he has a loaded weapon.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 01:19 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


September 26, 2004

FOXNews.com Strikes Again

I have noted before the lack of any filter on the random advertising that appears on FOXNews.com. I have also taken the time to inform them of a few previous incidents when the ad and the lead story should not have been displayed together. Apparently this doesn't seem to bother them, because they did it again tonight. (Click to enlarge)

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:33 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


September 25, 2004

Oliver Stoned

I thought I was done for the night, having already done six post today. But then I read this article on comments made by director Oliver Stone at the premiere of his new film "Looking for Fidel." Stone remains convinced that Bush stole the election if Florida with the help of Anti-Castro Cuban-Americans.

"When (Vice President Al) Gore lost, or rather, when they stole the elections from him, I sensed that something dirty was going to happen, but the harm has already been done and its extent is very significant," said Stone. "Now, I am praying that something of that sort does not occur once again."
A reporter asked stone to elaborate on the extent of power and influence the Cuban-American population has. Stone was all to willing to continue his flight from reality
"To start with, anti-Castro groups were vital in implementing the dirty business of the butterfly ballots ensuring Bush's victory at the 2000 elections."
Given that the official who designed the infamous butterfly ballot for Palm Beach County was a Democrat and not Cuban I have to wonder what Stone might be smoking other than Cuban cigars.

How does Stone really feel about Bush?

George Bush will go down in history as one of the great baddies.
Whoa that's mighty strong language there Ollie.

In case you were wondering what sort of man Oliver Stone thinks makes a great leader

Stone was effusive in his praise for Castro.

"I admire Fidel because he is a survivor," he said. "He has survived several U.S. presidents who have tried to eliminate him."

He also said he admired Castro because of "his self confidence and honesty." The filmmaker confirmed that Castro "is one of the few world presidents who does not have one cent stashed abroad, and, at the same time, has brought his people to such a high educational level."

None of this though is as asinine as his comparison of the two countries.
"In Cuba, I observed an openness and freedom that I had not found in any other country in the region, the Caribbean or Central America," Stone said. "I have met many world leaders in Panama, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, but have never seen the kind of spontaneous affection for a leader expressed on the streets as I have seen in Cuba towards Fidel."
Tell that to those rotting in cells for expressing less than spontaneous affection for the dictator. Tell that to the thousands who have risked their lives to escape Cuba and come to the United States. But then Stone has no great love for America
"My country is becoming more violent and negative every day," he said. "Bush has never been interested in consensus. In the year 2000, as we have unfortunately come to learn, a dangerous radical with a huge hidden agenda was hiding behind the mask of a compassionate conservative. This is a shame and a tragedy. The world would be completely different today had Bush not stolen the elections from Gore. Bush is only adding more fuel to the fire. He is a slave and the puppet of the large weapons and oil companies which put him into office."
Some would also make comment about the fact that he spewed forth this nonsense on foreign soil in time of war. Personally I don't think it matters where he said it. But I would expect nothing less from a complete moonbat speaking in Spain before the premiere of his cinematic display of spontaneous affection for Fidel.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 05:42 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


The AP Underground

Powerline has two posts (so far) on Associated Press writer Jennifer Lovens Kerry campaign press release written as an AP news story. I set out to explore the dark places of the internet looking for entertainment and there I found a much much different take on the story. Here's just a sampling.

BullGooseLoony  (1000+ posts)
Sat Sep-25-04 06:06 AM
Response to Original message

4. It's on the front page, too!

I'm hoping this has to do with that Peter Jennings clip I sent out to about three hundred media people.

BullGooseLoony  (1000+ posts)
Sat Sep-25-04 06:22 AM
Response to Reply #5

8. LOL I just checked, and I DID send it to Jennifer Loven- it's on my send list. jloven@ap.org

Write her a thank you, if you like!

10. I sent her an enthusastic Thank You!

And thank you again BGL!

Then it was discovered that original headline had been replaced with a slightly more balanced version.
31.  DAMMIT!!! DAMMIT!!! DAMMIT!!! n/t

34. WTF is up with this??

I can't believe it! No doubt they came under right-wing pressure.

35. The Associated Press responds to White House pressure again

This is a pattern from the AP - they run constant stories bashing Kerry, but when they run one story critical of Bush, they change it after publication to spin for Bush.

Someone in the White House must be putting pressure on them.

One lone soul tried to interject a touch of reason but didn't get far.
29. Bad wording

Bush took advantage of Kerry's amphiboly, Kerry needs to be more careful with his wording. It'll get ugly in the debate if he opens up these loopholes like this again. We all know he meant that we have made Iraq worse than the dicatatorship we removed, but by saying "traded" he implied an either/or choice, and put himself in the position of "choosing" the dictatorship. Semantically, Bush's interpretation was right.

Until recently this campaign has been frought with these ambiguous statements. I don't know who's been writing this stuff, but it's good that the Clinton team came on board. We can only hope it's not too late.

I would say go read the whole thing but that's pretty much the best of it.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:22 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment


You Snooze You Lose

I have been pondering how best to verbally eviscerate John Kerry over his untimely and unseemly response to the speech given to a joint session of Congress by Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. My problem was the quest for perfection. I wanted to write the definitive dressing down of the candidate. But while I pondered, someone else took the prize. It is small consolation but at least I can know that I was beaten by the best. Maybe next time.

The title is "Kerry's looking for American failure - and he's it." The author Mark Steyn. Here's a couple of highlights before you go and read the rest.

Kerry didn't show up for Allawi's visit to Washington -- he was in Ohio again, which is evidently becoming the proverbial Vietnam-type quagmire for him. Nonetheless, barely had the prime minister finished than the absentee senator did a daytime version of his midnight ramble and barged his way onto the air to insist that he knew better than Iraq's head of government what was going on in the country.

[...]

What a small, graceless man Kerry is. The nature of adversarial politics in a democratic society makes George W. Bush his opponent. But it was entirely Kerry's choice to expand the field, to put himself on the other side of Allawi and the Iraqi people.

[...]

So for Kerry the new world war is just a wedge issue. After their schooling in Switzerland, those well-mannered English gels used to describe themselves as ''finished.'' If he wasn't ''finished'' after graduating from the Institut Montana in Zug in 1955, this week John Kerry is looking finished in a far more American sense.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 01:58 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


Has CBS Learned From Its Mistake?

According to an AP story on FOXnews.com CBS may have learned something from the beating it took over the broadcasting of forged documents in an effort to smear President Bush shortly before the election:

CBS News has shelved a "60 Minutes" report on the rationale for war in Iraq because it would be "inappropriate" to air it so close to the presidential election, the network said on Saturday.

The report on weapons of mass destruction (search) was set to air on Sept. 8 but was put off in favor of a story on President Bush's (search)  National Guard service. The Guard story was discredited because it relied on documents impugning Bush's service that were apparently fake.

CBS News spokeswoman Kelli Edwards would not elaborate on why the timing of the Iraq report was considered inappropriate.

If CBS has legitimate reporting of a legitimate story, they should certainly air it. The idea that a news outlet would not report a story because it might impact the election is disturbing. Providing the public with information necessary to make an informed decision is why that whole freedom of the press thing is in the First Amendment.

On the other hand if their recent scandal caused CBS to take a second look at the story and decide that it was not legitimate news but rather a broadcast piece of Kerry Campaign Propaganda and decided that the cost to what little respect they still have as a news agency was just not worth it, then good for them.

Tin Foil Hat Theory
Of course it is also possible that they decided in the end that the story or the blowback from broadcasting it would hut Kerry more than Bush. Thus rendering it inappropriate.

I speculate, you decide.

UPDATE: Wizbang has its own doubts about CBS' motives

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 10:30 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


Bush Leads in Major Poll. Kerry Kicked.

My 9 year old daughter told me today she knows who is going win the election. George W. Bush. She followed this pronouncement by stating that there is no way John kerry is going to win. He's just like Clinton and she wants to kick him.

heh.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 10:00 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


Michael Mooredor

I left this as a comment at Little Green Footballs in a thread discussing this statement from Michael Moore

Later today (Wed.), the Boston Globe, the A.P. and Dan Rather all present new and damning information about how George W. Bush got moved to the front of the line to get in the Texas Air National Guard, and how he then went AWOL. I am putting every ounce of trust I have in my fellow Americans that a majority of them get this, get the injustice of it all, and get the sad, sick twisted irony of how it relates very, very much to our precious Election 2004.
I think it may be one of the better comments I have ever left on someone else's blog so I'm repeating it here.
Must have the precious. We wants it. They takes it from us. Nasty filthy Republicanses.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:52 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


A Question for John Kerry

You have said that if you were president you would secure greater participation from our allies in the war in Iraq. You have said that this increased participation would be in the form of bearing the financial cost as well as troops on the ground.

Recently you have described the war in Iraq as the "wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and in the wrong way.

How can you, Senator Kerry, go to our allies and ask that one of their soldiers be possibly the last man to die for a mistake?

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 08:57 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


September 22, 2004

From My Cold Dead Fingers

Here's a scary thought. How long could you go without the internet? The full article is quoted below but I just want to say that my results, measured more likely in hours or minutes, would have thrown off the median.

Cut off their connection to the Web and people have moments of "withdrawal and feelings of loss, frustration, and disconnectedness" according to a report released Wednesday by Yahoo. Dubbed -- and we're not making this up -- the Internet Deprivation Study, the Yahoo-sponsored research tried to get a group of consumers to give stay offline, then report back. Nearly half couldn't take the Web-less world for more than two weeks, and the median time participants could go without logging on was a measly five days.

"It was incredibly difficult to recruit participants for this study, as people weren't willing to be without the Internet for two weeks," said Wenda Harris Millard, Yahoo's chief sales officer, in a statement.

Those in the study described their offline time as "feeling left out of the loop," reported Yahoo, having to "resist temptation" to check out the Web, and missing their "private escape time" during the day.

Among the other finds of the deprivation study were that participants felt that they were at a disadvantage over those still online when it came to finding lower prices, that they were cut off from their outer circle of friends (those they typically kept in touch with via e-mail and instant messaging), and believed they looked "lazy" to co-workers when they resorted to traditional means of communication or news gathering such as talking on the telephone or reading a printed newspaper.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:28 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


Ouch!

Here's a paragraph form Time that you don't really want to read while you're scanning the web for tech news on your 17 inch Powerbook.

Even after a lot of customization, the 17-in. iMac G5 is still perhaps $1,000 less expensive than the 17-in. G4 PowerBook it outperforms. So, if the reason you're shopping for a notebook is so you can use it at the kitchen table (or even at your house but also your summer rental), save some money and put the rest into the iMac G5.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:15 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


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