Precinct 333

Saturday, August 14, 2004

How Kerry Should Have Responded

Now I do not make any secret of the fact I dislike John Kerry. I believe his admitted war crimes Vietnam and his post-Vietnam actions and writings constitute aid and comfort to the enemy and render him Unfit for Command, as the Swift Boat Heroes state. The Democrat's decision to threaten legal action to silence the members of his former unit only adds to that impression.

Now comes the Kerrey with brains, the one who is the real war hero -- former Senator Bob Kerrey. Rather than fulminate and hit his opponents with brown books full of smears, Kerrey actually lays out a case why John Kerry is fit for the office of commander in chief. I don't particularly agree with him, based upon the reasons I outlined above, but he does make some legitimate points. And rather than demand that the opposition be silenced, Bob Kerrey acknowledges that the ads are legal and no different in kind or quality from those of left-leaning 527 groups. And he is willing to let the American people decide for themselves what is accurate and relevant (though he does slip in a call for more speech regulation under the guise of campaign finance "reform").

That is what John Kerry should have done. If he had nothing to hide and a substantive record to run upon. That the Kerry campaign chose otherwise demonstrates that the candidate has something to hide and little (if anything) in the way of national security credentials to run upon.


McGreevey Must Go Now

By now the whole world (except for maybe a few stone-age tribes people hiding in the depths of the Amazon rainforest) knows that New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey is gay. My response to his orientation? Compassion for his family and friends, sadness for him, and outrage that he is playing politics with his resignation date.

I mean, let's be honest here -- his sexual orientation is irrelevant to most of us. Even those conservatives who support an amendment to ban gay marriage have, for the most part, no real objection to a homosexual in public office. What we have an objection to is any politician having a sexual relationship with a subordinate and making hiring/promotion decisions based upon that relationship, as McGreevey has apparently done. That is, ultimately, the reason that the governor announced his impending resignation.

A resignation of this sort contains the implicit recognition that an officeholder is too damaged to continue in office. McGreevey's delayed resignation leaves the people of New Jersey witha damaged, ineffective chief executive for three months, until November 15. On what basis, then, does McGreevey delay that resignation for over three months? The answer is POLITICS. If he resigns now, there will be a special election to fill the remainder of his term as governor. Polling data shows it likely that a Republican would win, which would also negatively impact the Kerry campaign in the state. And so McGreevey, who was the mastermind behind the illegal replacement of Bob Torricelli as senate candidate in the name of offering the people of New Jersey a "choice" wants to deny those same people any role in selecting their governor before the fall of 2005, leaving them with a governor who has never faced a statewide electorate for 14 months. That is simply wrong. Jim McGreevey must go now.


Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Why We Need The Electoral College

I'd never read Jeffrey Gardner of the Albuquerque Tribune before today. I feel bad about that, because he wrote a charming, amusing, and laser-precise defense of the Electoral College today. I don't know whether he is liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between -- it is still the best defense (for the layman) of that institution I have ever seen.

He begins with a lovely hypothetical, directed at the typical EC detractor.
Next time you hear some free spirit say she wants to rid us of the Electoral College take her outside, look skyward and try to spot a big jet flying high overhead. Traveling east or west - it makes no difference.

Have her close her eyes and imagine her favorite presidential candidate on board the plane napping or reading a fascinating article in Newsweek or maybe plugged into an iPod listening to the whining lyrics of John Cougar Mellencamp.

Tell her to gin up a good mental image of said candidate, because that's about as close as she'll get to that candidate, should the Electoral College close its doors.

Gardner then goes on to explain how the high concentration of voters in a relatively few counties and states, combined with the diffusion of voters throughout the rest of the US, would result in a continuous focus on the folks in the smaller area served by a few major media. Using the famous red/blue map from the 2000 election, he points out that the battle would be fought primarily in the few areas that were blue on the map, because they contain nearly as many voters as the rest of the country.

He concludes
The genius of the Founding Fathers, he points out, was their design for a system which makes every state and region of the country important to the election of a president. As a nonresident of New York or Los Angeles, I'm not ready to cede my nation to those who live near an ocean. I like the fact that New Mexico Republicans can mess with liberals' heads with a pledge thing - as they did during Vice President Dick Cheney's recent visit to Rio Rancho - and make some noise nationwide. I like that Kerry and Edwards' train did more than whistle through the state.

Take away the Electoral College's ability to confer a presidential sheepskin, and that train blows through here faster than a tender moment between the Clintons.

Unfortunately, the contrast between the red and blue areas will intensify with the coming election. But that will further underscore the wisdom of the Electoral College.

It's a safeguard that ensures candidates can't take express trains through our state, on their way to bigger voting pools in Orange County or New York.

And as the resident of securely Republican Texas (near America's 4th largest city), I agree -- for I don't want my vote taken for granted, either.


Mexicans Demand End To Rubber Bullet Use -- Sounds Good To Me!

Mexican lawmakers are up in arms over the use of non-lethal rubber bullets against damp-vertebraed invaders entering the United States from their nation. They want the Fox government to demand that the practice stop. Sounds good to me -- real bullets are a better alternative for dealing with lawbreakers.

What is particularly outrageous about this is that the Mexican government approved the policy back in 2001. My outrage is twofold. The first aspect is my outrage over a policy they asked for and approved. But the second part is the fact that we kowtowed to the Mexicans and allowed them any input on our border security issues when Mexico does next to noting to prevent the illegal incursions by its own citizens.

Living in a post-9/11 world, we have to recognize that border control is key to national security. The Houston Chronicle recently documented the failures of our border control/immigration policy, which has allowed some 400,000 illegal immigrants to disappear while on parole pending a status hearing. Many security experts expect the next group of terrorist attackers to have entered through Mexico -- probably posing as Mexicans, carrying fake birth certificates and real matricula consular cards.

So I don't care whether the Mexicans approve of our policy or not. We need to use real bullets. And if that means dead border crossers, that is too bad. It's a matter of national security.


More Kerry, More Lies

Human Events notes the following Kerry lies on his service record, and the attempt by the campaign to spin them.

From the Congressional Record, May 27, 1986 (page S3594):
I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what is was like to be shot at by 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....

And from a letter to the Boston Herald on October 14, 1979 (as documented in Unfit For Command, page 46):
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.

Well, there were no US troops in Cambodia at the time, and Kerry's unit can be documented as being over 50 miles away from Cambodia at the time. Oh, yeah, and by the way, the president in December of 1968 was one Lyndon Baines Johnson, NOT Richard Milhous Nixon. So what appears seared into Senator Kerry's mind is apparently so much bullcrap.

Now his press folks say Kerry mis-spoke. I'd buy that once, but not twice, separated by years. Theyalso claim he has publicly corrected himself. My question is when, where, and how -- and why has he not revised and extended his Senate remarks to reflect that?


Tuesday, August 10, 2004

So What's Your Beef?

The Left in this country have made much over the War in Iraq as grounds for dumping Bush. What are they going to do now, given this Kerry statement?
Taking up a challenge from President Bush, whom he will face in the Nov. 2 election, the Massachusetts senator said: "I'll answer it directly. Yes, I would have voted for the authority. I believe it is the right authority for a president to have but I would have used that authority effectively."

So, let me get this straight. You and Bush both accepted the same flawed intelligence in the weeks and months leading up to the war. You both believed in WMDs (which may yet be found). You have since criticized Bush for taking us into the war based upon erroneous information -- but now you tell us you would have supported the war even if the evidence had clearly indicated there were NO WMDs?

Now Kerry did ask four questions of his own -- and I'll answer them for him.

1) Why he rushed to war without a plan for the peace?

Well, Senator, there was a plan for the peace. It involved returning civilian control to Iraq as soon as possible (accomplished back in June) and allowing for free elections for the first time in decades. It also involved reconstructing the infrastructure, an ongoing process that involves American companies like Haliburton. In this it is similar to the pattern followed in Germany, Italy and Japan following WWII.

2) Why he used faulty intelligence?

Obviously, Senator, the use of faulty intelligence was obviously not intended. The problem is that virtually every major intelligence service in the world had the same general picture. So we are not talking about a US intelligence failure, we are talking about an international intelligence failure. How could that happen? Either Saddam had a massive disinformation campaign going on, or he was lied to by his own people which in turn meant that good intelligence painted a false picture of Iraqi capabilities.

3) Why he misled Americans about how he would go to war?

Meaning what, exactly? He said we would forge an international coalition to enforce UN resolutions, and did exactly that. He said we would catch Saddam, and has succeeded.

4) Why he had not brought other countries to the table?

Uh, he did -- some 40 other countries. I realize that didn't include Russia, Germany, and France (the three biggest Iraqi trading partners, who violated UN sanctions against that country), but one can hardly claim that it was the US going it alone.


Sunday, August 08, 2004

Kerry & Edwards Want Trained Terrorist Watch

You know, every now and then the other side makes a good point. John Kerry and John Edwards did on Sunday -- or at least seemed to, up to a point. See if you can catch what the problem is.

"We need a neighborhood watch kind of system so that we have a way to notify people, they know what they're supposed to do. We shouldn't have millions of Americans, or hundreds of thousands, trying to figure out at 3 o'clock in the morning what they are supposed to do. They ought to know what they're supposed to do," Edwards said.

"If you're going to be on the alert for terrorists, and these color codes are going to mean anything, then people ought to know what they're being called on to do. If we do that to protect ourselves against vandals or a burglary, why would we not do it to protect ourselves against a terrorist?" Kerry asked

Don't see it, do you. How about this -- THEY DON"T WANT PEOPLE TO HAVE GUNS. That's right. The Democrats seek to impose more and more limits on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. In particular, they want to make sure that We the People do not have access to so-called "assault weapons." But exactly what sort of weapons would be most effective? High-powered automatic weapons of the kind used by police and military would be the most effective tools these trained citizens could have to prevent terrorist activity. But that won't ever happen, despite the fact that the maintenance of weapons for homeland defense was one of the two major purposes of the Second Amendment (the other being to enable the people to overthrow a government grown tyrannical, as happened in the American Revolution).

So what the proposal really comes down to is training Uncle Sid and Mrs. Garcia to communicate with the neighbors and call 911 if they see any terrorists around -- not to do anything that would really deter terrorism. That doesn't do anything to comfort me, near the mouth of the Houston Ship Channel, right down the street from the Bayport chemical plants.

In other words, Kerry and Edwards REALLY served up a big NOTHINGBURGER.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.