Thursday, March 11, 2004

The Attacks in Madrid

Hugh Hewitt just reported that today (3/11/04) is 911 days after 9/11/01. I guess we have a better idea about who did this.

Update: Actually I think it's 912 days. Maybe the terrorists were more interested in the 3/11 date or they just forgot about this being a leap year.

Update: As I saw the pictures I was reminded of an earlier atrocity suffered by Spanish citizens. Maybe a President Kerry would commission another mural for the people of Madrid. This is not the Democrat party of FDR, after all.

Socialism and Medicine

TCS reports a case of medicine shackled by socialism.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Hugh Hewitt is playing and replaying Kerry's remark . . .

to a supporter "These guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group I've ever seen. It's scary," apparently referring to the Bush administration. I'm tired of hearing it already. It didn't surprise me, or disappoint me, since I knew how he has smeared others in the past for his own political advantage.

Vodkapundit is all over this.

The AP reports that Kerry's spokesman says he was talking about his "Republican critics in general. 'The Republicans have launched the most personal, crooked, deceitful attacks over the last four years," Wade said. 'He's a Democrat who fights back.'" This echos Josh Marshall, so it must really be part of their talking points memos. The problem is that they either can't tell the difference between valid criticism and debate and "personal, crooked, deceitful attacks," or they don't care. (Probably the latter.)

Think about the train of sophistry: First, Bush points to Kerry's anti-war activism and his voting record in the Senate. Second, you interpret that as an attack on Kerry's patriotism (?!) Third, work up a righteous indignation over the slur to your patriotism. And four, you call it dirty, crooked, personal and deceitful.

This explains the hysterical things the Democrats are all saying. I can only hope that the media advantage they're given by the likes of Peter Beinart, Paul Krugman and Josh Marshall, as well has groups like running illegal ads attacking Bush. You can count on them continuing to do so until the FEC actual establishes its new regulations. I thought when Congress passed the McCain-Feingold law that they must have had some scheme in mind to get around it, because the Democrats just can't raise the kind of hard money that the Republicans can. They can raise wads from Hollywood lefties and eccentric Billionaires, but the whole point of the law was to pinch off this kind of thing. I remember how in 1996 Clinton violated all kind of fundraising laws and people from his campaign were reported to have said that they were willing to do so because after you've won, it doesn't matter. So the FEC passed new rules, and seeks and gets an injunction against these '527' groups. They'll just appeal and keep on violating the law as it works its way through the courts. Of course, if they do, Republican groups won't sit by and watch. It'll get awfully ugly.

Update: This might explain the desperate measures they are willing to take.

The "Mess in Iraq" Meme

Who is this John Pilger and why isn't he being held at Guantanamo:
Now, I think the situation in Iraq is so dire that unless the United States is defeated there that we're likely to see an attack on Iran, we're likely to see an attack on North Korea and all the way down the road it could be even an attack on China within a decade
So his idea of a failure in Iraq is an American victory?

The world seems to be trailing Hugh Hewitt

Instapundit writes, "Not everyone who served with Kerry was impressed with him." At least they didn't all say "John Kerry is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I�ve ever met in my life. "

Fox News had a report last night or Monday about how Kerry's antiwar record, especially his testimony to the Senate in 1971, angered a lot of those he served with. Doug Brinkley was in a clip talking about it. Kerry's testimony gave the impression that raping, mayhem, wanton murder were routine among our troops, and helped create the image of Vietnam veterans as doped up baby-killers. I think it will energize a lot of those in the military and former servicemen and women to support Bush.

I tend to agree with Gunner�s Mate Stephen M. Gardner's assessment.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

That explains all the waffling!

John Kerry: "They'll have trouble labeling me."

Actually, nobody will have trouble labeling him. They'll just have trouble pinning him down.

(Via Best of the Web)

More on Kerry

This time by James Lileks who, as always, nails him.

What struck me though is that as I read the quotes from Kerry, I could almost hear his ponderous intonations, with phrases like " And we must be clear as a bell on this," and reference to obscure sources like the "great scholar Ibn Al Qayyim," who gives us a platitude about justice.

People are already mimicking Kerry's soporific speaking style. And when they read his statements they say "Man, the anti-war leftist buzzword count in all that is nearly off scale."

Monday, March 08, 2004

Kerry gets fisked

Den Beste, Smash and Vodkapundit don't have to do much but give the quotes from Time's exclusive interview.

I wonder how long the media will put up with this before they get fed up. They may look down on Bush, but they should be having bad vibes about promoting a real disaster in the White House.

Both Kerry and the interviewer seem to entangle themselves in the question of whether the war in Iraq was "worth it," and end up implying that sound policy would require that we never act on such flimsy evidence as Saddam's use of WMD in the war he instigated with Iran and against the Kurds. The mere fact that we free 25,000,000 people from his maniacal regime and are making good on our promise to build a democracy in its place, certainly doesn't make the war worth it, does it? Not if we don't find the WMD, I guess.

Of course, that doesn't take the salubrious effect the whole venture had on Libya into account. But finding WMD in Libya doesn't count. We were told that Iraq had a nuclear program.

And then there's the destructive effect this whole thing has had on our relationship with our allies. If we hadn't discovered that France and Russia had sold out to Saddam, we would still be able to rely on them in the Security Council. Could it be that Bush's big sin was that he destroyed the illusions of the left?

Poor Martha!

I for one am not concerned about Martha Stewart's legal troubles. The securities markets are hurt by the perception that only insiders make money, and sadly it's often true. Maybe the reason Martha is rich is because she is a savvy investor, but she obviously is an insider and privy to tips that ordinary investors aren't. For a measley $45,000 she dumped her stock in Imclone under highly suspicious circumstances and then she lied to investigators.

Nobody pushed her into the public spotlight. She set out to become a celebrity and succeeded in spades. She also treated a lot of people around her like dirt. If she had been really shrewd, she would have received the tip and ignored it, but she apparently acted reflexively and walked into the other side of celebrity. I'm not convinced that people who make mistaken reports to the police are prosecuted. It's more likely when they think you're jerking them around, that they decide that hardball is called for. An honorable prosecutor would be on the lookout for cases where it looks like the investigators are just bearing a grudge, but I don't think that was the case here.

The perception that Martha Stewart could trade on insider knowledge and get a wristslap is exactly the kind of thing that insider trading laws are meant to target. If she had been a nobody whose name wouldn't attract publicity, she might have gotten more lenient treatment, but I don't know what else the government could do without looking like her celebrity got her special treatment.

Kerry's exegesis:

"l have read the Bible and know that you can find clauses going both ways" on homosexuality.

While I agree that there are lots of interpretations of the Bible (how else do you explain the multiplicity of Christian churches?) I think that's pretty weak.

So is this:
Mr. Kerry answered slowly, first laying out his minutely calibrated stance on gay marriage. "I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman," he said, to polite applause. "But ? but ? but: I believe it's important in the United States of America that we recognize that we have a Constitution which has an equal protection clause," he said, to growing applause.

Then Mr. Kerry drew a connection between racism and antigay crime, noting the 1998 murder of a gay college student, Matthew Shepard in Wyoming, but mangling a reference to James Byrd Jr., a black man who was dragged to his death the same year in Jasper, Tex., by three men including John William King, all of whom were convicted of murder.

"Let me tell you something, when Matthew Shepard gets crucified on a fence in Wyoming only because he was gay," he said, "when Mr. King gets dragged behind of a truck down in Texas by chains and his body is mutilated only because he's gay ? I think that's a matter of rights in the United States of America."
Does that sound like he "showed he could preach from the pulpit one minute and throw political punches the next," as the report's first paragraph puts it?

Darl McBride is packing.

The headline reads: SCO so despised that chief is armed

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Well, what did you expect . . .

when you treated a PR ploy as if it were a real policymaking body?

I'm a Neocon . . .

according to the Christian Science Monitor. I didn't realize that Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan were neocons. I think of myself as a conservative because I believe in the view of America as a federation of states which need a common government only for limited purposes, not including the welfare state. I believe in liberty as a right only in the sense that being paid for one's labor is a right. It is the payment we receive for good citizenship and respect for the rest of society.

If that quiz is an indicator, Neocon is a term that only applies to foreign policy, but that doesn't fit with the way it's used. I thought to be a Neocon you had to be Jewish and a former liberal or the son of a former liberal. It fits better the definition "a liberal who's been mugged." I've always been conservative, but I've never been mugged. Maybe it's because I'm religious and believe that healthy societies are built on moral values and behaviors. I'm not a absolute fan of capitalism, but I am opposed to socialism and other centralized planning schemes. I think that a society based on voluntary sharing, hard work and equality is best because it would eliminate poverty and classes and wouldn't entail the inefficiencies of competition and private property. It cannot be imposed, however, but must come from individual choice and virtue. I never believed in prohibition before I practiced law, but having seen the damage it does to society as a whole, I'm not sure that I can justify having alcohol as freely available as it is. Obviously, I also oppose legalizing drugs, pornography and gambling.