Alea iacta est
Happy Hallowe'en, everyone! Last night we had our annual costume party at Casa Agnostic, and we had a great turn-out and enthusiasm this year.
Our theme (for decorating and costuming) was South Pacific, and, while such things are of course optional, the house was a sea of Hawaiian shirts and grass skirts.
It may take a while to recover fully, but the extra hour granted us through the munificence of our Federal Government may make it a bit easier.
Here are a couple of shots:
Jim Geraghty has some advice for those whose views are echoed by Osama:
[T]his tape should cause many on the left to stare into the mirror for a long time and ask, “What have I turned into? How did I become so reflexively partisan, so blinded by rage, so intemperate in my rhetoric that my own arguments are being echoed by a man who planned and enjoyed the mass murder of Americans?”
Fellow Floridian / blog buddy Donnah tells it like it is:
John Kerry is a Jimmy Carter retread, an effete Bill Clinton with erectile dysfunction. He's not going to do jack about terrorists. He's going to talk, talk, talk.
Let's not give him the chance....
John Edwards seeks to influence schizophrenics at the polls:
Sen. John Edwards (news - web sites) wants to be the voice inside voters' heads as they cast their ballots Tuesday.More here
Richard Nixon would have captured the 1960 presidential election but for five states he lost by 5,000 votes or fewer – Missouri, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico and Hawaii.And Kerry has vowed to do the same thing this election, perhaps doing irreparable harm to our faith in our democracy.
Gerald Ford would have retained the presidency in 1976 but for two states he lost by no more than 5,600 votes – Ohio and Hawaii.
Though the 1960 and 1976 elections were close, though they turned on a few thousand votes in a handful of states, the outcomes were faithfully accepted by the American people, by Republicans and Democrats alike.
That's because neither Nixon or Ford demanded that the votes be recounted in the states in which they lost by narrow margins. And neither Nixon or Ford insisted they were denied election because of voting irregularities in some state or another.
Then there was the 2000 election.
George W. Bush and Al Gore went to bed on election night uncertain whether they had won or lost.
Later, when all of Florida's voting precincts had reported their tallies, Bush had eeked out victory in the Sunshine State, pushing him over the top in the Electoral College.
But Gore refused to accept that he lost Florida, that he lost the presidency, by so small a margin. He refused to put the national interest before his own selfish interest.
Read the rest.
If you read blogs regularly, (I mean, good blogs, not this one) then you know all about these, but it's interesting to see them all in one place:
You know, I'm starting to think that maybe, just maybe, there won't be a pre-election terrorist attack on the U.S., something I've been increasingly concerned about over the last few weeks.
On the other hand, they are pretty canny. They probably realize that if they did actually strike pre-election, they would re-awaken a significant portion of the electorate that have forgotten this.
According to British medical journal The Lancet there have been 100,000 Iraqi civilian deaths.
Really? No, not really.
I'm at home today, preparing for the Hallowe'en party tomorrow, and I look out in the traps and find this little guy.
Donald Luskin describes Paul Krugman:
As anyone knows who has seen him on television or in person, he is a short, pudgy, whiny, stuttering, shifty-eyed, ill-groomed, gray little homunculus.
(Emphasis added by me).
I really like the word homunculus.
Dictionary.com defines homunculus as:
1. A diminutive human.
2. A miniature, fully formed individual believed by adherents of the early biological theory of preformation to be present in the sperm cell.
In the world of the D&D d20 game, homunculi are described as:
...a miniature servant created by a wizard. These creatures are weak combatants but make effective spies, messengers, and scouts. A homunculus’s creator determines its precise features. Homunculi are little more than tools designed to carry out assigned tasks. They are extensions of their creators, sharing the same alignment and basic nature. A homunculus cannot speak, but the process of creating one links it telepathically with its creator.
More game-related information on them here.
Russian special forces troops moved many of Saddam Hussein's weapons and related goods out of Iraq and into Syria in the weeks before the March 2003 U.S. military operation, The Washington Times has learned.I can't wait to hear how Kerry responds to this...
The little Floresians lived on the island until at least 13,000 years ago, and possibly to historic times. But they were not a pygmy form of modern humans. They were a downsized version of Homo erectus, the eastern cousin of the Neanderthals of Europe, who disappeared 33,000 years ago. Their discovery means that archaic humans, who left Africa 1.5 million years earlier than modern people, survived far longer into recent times than was previously supposed.
No word yet on whether they had furry feet and smoked pipeweed.
Of course, this is from the New York Times, so keep the salt shaker handy.
It's been a few years since I launched any model rockets. When I changed jobs in 2001, I needed to pour all my creative spare time into learing the web-design stuff I required, and since then I've fallen out of the habit.
If you're interested in my efforts, you can see more here.
But the reason I posted on this is because of Flight of the Hindrocket!
We opted for a larger motor than originally planned and used and Aerotech J570 White Lightning Motor. For the benefit of your readers, this motor uses an Ammonium Perchlorate composite propellant, the same basic stuff used in the Space Shuttle strap-on boosters. The J570 is as energetic as the combined power of 500 Estes A motors. With the exception of the motor and parachute, all the material came from Home Depot.They got pictures! Go check it out!
Captain Ed presents a logistical analysis of what would be required to "loot" 380 tons of explosives, and concludes:
Bottom line this operation would take the resources of AN ENTIRE COMPANY (approx. 100 men) OVER TWO WEEKS, good Intel to know exactly where the "right" explosives were hidden and a means of breaching huge steel doors and concrete of an ASP.
Doesn't sound like looters to me....
As we get nearer and nearer to the election, events keep coming in faster and faster. The press and the Democrates keep shoving stuff at the electorate, and I fear that, despite the best efforts of the good guys, some of it might stick.
I am concerned, but hopeful about a Bush win. I'm waiting with breath abated, to coin a phrase.
At the same time that this is going on, we are preparing for our annual Hallowe'en party around Agnostic Manor, so there's many, many things to do. Seems to have crept up on us this year, what with the critters and all.
I'll post if anything really startling happens, but please, please, keep abreast of what's happening in the world, so you can counter the deceit that's coming out. For Dog's sake, my wife is preparing to counter F9/11 stuff today at work; can you believe that even now, as much as Michael Moron has been discreditied, there are still people out there that think his propoganda is credible?
Eternal vigilance, people. Eternal vigilance.
(Now, admit it: you know all three of these words, and they make no sense anywhere else but in the Blogosphere. Cool, ain't it!)
The mystery surrounding the disappearance of 380 tons of powerful explosives from a storage depot in Iraq has taken a new twist, after a network embedded with the U.S. military during the invasion of Iraq reported that the material had already vanished by the time American troops arrived.
NBC News reported that on April 10, 2003, its crew was embedded with the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division when troops arrived at the Al Qaqaa storage facility south of Baghdad.
No place. I took a break from blogging over the weekend, and I've been busy at work.
I direct you to to the much more accomplished bloggers listed to the right, fully confident that you already visit them regularly.
Kathleen Nelson has a marvelous post that starts with the Guardian letters and moves on to an insightful analysis of the differences between the US and Europe:
They don't like the guy in office. It's really quite simple. They never liked the guy in office; they think he stole the election from Al Gore. They think he's uneducated because he occasionally mangles the language. They think he's unreasonable in that he puts America's interests first, and the UN's second. They think he's unenlightened because he doesn't brownnose like Chirac does. They think he's the antithesis of Clinton, who was well loved and highly admired by those Euro elites. Life was good for Europe under Clinton---where his sexual activities were looked upon favorably---why wouldn't they look upon those days in the '90's through rose colored glasses? They seem to think that if we go back to the policies of the Clinton Administration, well, none of the bad stuff, like what happened on 9/11, would ever happen again. If they could make the claim that 9/11 happened because Bush was in office, they would. After all, everything that happened in the Bush administration before 9/11 wasn't exactly the height of popular European thinking, was it? Anyone remember the Kyoto fallout of that summer, and how Bush paid the price for the Senate's rejection of that treaty? What about Bush's dumping of the ABT treaty so we could have that magnificent Missile Defense System? Boy, that was popular, wasn't it? Remember the throngs of globalizations protestors at the G-8 summit in Genoa who burned Bush in effigy? The truth of the matter is that nobody in Europe liked us before 9/11. And they most assuredly don't like us now.
Radio Blogger has some questions
Sorry, John. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me fifteen times, forget about it. Show me the goose. But the more I think about it, that's not good enough.
I think we need a goose autopsy. There could have only been four people out there, besides secret service. Even if four dead geese came out of that blind, I'm thinking we need to do ballistics to see if one of the fatal geese shots came from Kerry's gun.
Read it all, it's funny.
An Orlando lawyer was arrested Wednesday after an undercover deputy found him with empty cans of nitrous oxide in his car.
Mark Rife is set to bond out of jail Wednesday night. The lawyer was booked early Wednesday on drug charges.
Orlando police arrested Rife when an undercover deputy near the courthouse saw Rife in his car sniffing something. The same deputy then saw Rife pass out inside his car, and then noticed the car roll back and hit another vehicle.
The deputy approached the car and found empty canisters of nitrous oxide, other wise known as laughing gas. Rife, who has law offices in downtown Orlando, was arrested and charged with drug possession.
Rife was given a $1,000 bond, which has already been paid. He will be released once his fingerprints clear in Tallahassee.
A radio report this morning said this guy had huffed 14 canisters and left them littering the parking lot; they found 57 still-full canisters in his car.
In unrelated news, Kerry/Edwards reports an opening in their 10,000-lawyer election task force. Applicants must have law degree, own car.
New York - Boston's ALCS victory celebration proved short-lived last night, as a hastily-assembled New York State Supreme Court ruled 9-0 to overturn the Red Sox historic come-from-behind win over the Yankees.
The dramatic ruling, issued at 4:52 AM, noted that while losing the series 4 games to 3 the Yankees had actually outscored Boston 45 - 41, and that a Red Sox berth in the World Series would constitute "widespread disenfranchisement of the higher scoring, and clearly more popular, team."
An amazing post over at BeldarBlog:
My question to you, my thoughtful, principled friend of the center-left, is this: How is John Kerry going to be able to resolve his fundamental dilemma if he's elected?
"What fundamental dilemma?" you ask. Well, look at your fellow Kerry voters. Look at the Democratic Party; look at its congressmen and senators; look at its policy wonks and think-tankers and fundraisers and likely appointees to key posts, on both domestic and foreign/military policy positions. We've established already that you're not a barking moonbat yourself. Surely, though, you can see them around you in the Kerry queue, can't you?
Go read it all.
Pious gratitude to: On The Third Hand
Captains Quarters has this awful story of a 13-year-old incest victim sentenced to death in Iran, and then concludes:
Let's not kid ourselves; Iran is not the only country to rule by shari'a, nor is it the only country to stone women to death for "crimes" for which men either receive lesser punishment or escape prosecution entirely. However, it is the only such nation that currently is building a nuclear-fission program and which has missile technology to deliver potential nuclear weapons around the region. It's also the only nation in the world to which John Kerry and John Edwards have offered to give nuclear fuel to see if they put it to peaceful use.
If you haven't seen Ashley's Story anywhere else, you should know that it's being called the most powerful pro-Bush ad yet; judge for yourself.
Update: Lileks (who else) writes:
Oooh, people are going to hate this 527 spot, which yanks the heartstrings like Quasimodo pulling bell-ropes on Easter. I’ll help ‘em out: SO WHAT? HITLER LOVED HIS DOG, and besides HE ORDERED THE EVENT AND CAN’T PRONOUNCE NUCLEAR! Right now George Soros is filming a response ad that has Michael Moore hugging one of his Upper West Side condo neighbors, who tragically lost a parking spot on 9/11.
Ronald J. Watkins of SonnyBlog shows us what the news would hold "If Bush had not invaded Iraq"
Democrat Presidential nominee John Kerry delivered a speech today condemning President Bush for failing to invade Iraq in the follow-up of military action against the Talaban and Al Qaeda in Afghanastan. "Leaving this tyrant in power in contravention of numerous United Nations resolutions is unconscionable," Kerry told the Veterans of Foreign Wars. "He has left available a base of operations and a source of supply and money."
Kerry went on to criticize the war against terror as "stalled" while the real threat to America, "Saddam Hussein’s Iraq goes untouched." Kerry said, "People are murdered daily in Baghdad and throughout the country. Rape rooms are a tragic reality. Torture chambers are full as Saddam’s sons carry out their sadistic impulses on the helpless and hapless victims of this regime. President Bush has done nothing as this brutal dictator takes the money from the Oil for Food to build palaces while his people go without food...
"There can be no doubt of Saddam’s ties to our terrorist enemies. We know that in 1998, after bin Laden issued his public fatwa against the United States, two al Queda members went to Iraq where they met with Iraqi intelligence. Within weeks, an Iraqi delegation traveled to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden and extend to him safe haven in Iraq. Bin Laden remained with the Talaban, but the invitation from Saddam was always there. Al-Zarqawi has long received refuge in Iraq. The terrorist Forouk Hijazi is known to train his forces there. Abu Nidal has safe haven in Baghdad as he plots murders. Abu Abbas, who planned the hijacking of the Achille Lauro, lives in safety in Iraq. And at Salman Pack, just south of Baghdad, terrorists train using the fuselage of a commercial jet airline. The trail of evidence revealing Saddam Hussein’s ties to terrorists is self-evident to all but those in the White House.
"Our own intelligence organizations and those of Great Britain, France and Germany, agree that Saddam is aggressively pursuing weapons of mass destruction. For all that, he has been left free to further develop his weapons of mass destruction which he can deliver into the hands of those who make war against us at any moment. Saddam Hussein has trained, financed and armed terrorist who attack and murder us, yet our President stands stalled on the border of Iraq, preoccupied with wiping up the last remnants of the Talaban in Afghanistan. To leave this cancer in the midst of the Middle East is to have assured defeat in this so-called war against terror. We need fresh leadership, a President with the vision to remove those who support our enemies from power. To have not invaded Iraq, when the whole world acknowledged the necessity, is to leave a job undone and is the height of arrogance and criminal stupidity."
Does anyone doubt that this is exactly what Kerry would be saying right now?
Pious gratitude to: Instapundit
Unnerving video here:
"For a guy who's been known derisively to the Bush crowd as the Breck girl," observes Shearer, vice presidential candidate John Edwards seems "way too interested in his hair." He tries to straighten it with his fingers. A makeup technician approaches with a comb, but the senator likes it just so and does the combing himself. He signals he's ready for hair spray by closing his eyes expectantly, like a child. Then Edwards and the technician straighten a little more with their fingers. Please don't tell me that thing in his hand is a compact. Oh, dear. It is.
Pious gratitude to: bill
Update: Lileks: "It’s like Captain Kirk whipping out his communicator to contact the USS Fabulous. Set phasers on stunning!"
Donald Luskin writes:
Why does Paul Krugman say in his Times column today that "Mr. Bush is prepared to seek a much larger Army -- and that means reviving the draft"? Obviously, he's promoting the desperate myth already circualted by the Democrats that Bush has a "secret plan" for a military draft -- but that's not what I mean. Why, for Krugman, is the idea that the Army would be expanded evidence that a draft is inevitable? Is a draft the only way to build the Army? For Krugman it is -- but remember, Krugman is an economist who hates free markets. For him, it's not even worth consdering that incentives for voluntary enlistment could be created. For Krugman, whatever government wants government is justified in seizing by force. If government wants to give everyone health care coverage, it should seize the means to do so by force through taxing "the rich." Same for the Army. Krugman's logic reveals nothing about Bush's plan for a draft, but a lot about Krugman's view of the role of government.
Jim Geraghty comments:
Is the Kerry campaign making these attacks because they're confident that they will work, that the people will believe that a President Bush would drag 18-year-olds off the streets to serve in Iraq, while a President Kerry would heal the paralyzed? Is this desperation? Is this the type of confidence that occurs when one is used to running Democratic campaigns in Massachusetts?
I hope my Cincinnati family goes and takes pictures of this tomorrow:
Location: Westin Hotel
Participants: Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammonds (INTRODUCED by Jenna and Barbara Bush)
While I was away at Necro, SitD wrote an interesting little post on what a Kerry supporter has to believe in order to vote for him, along with some noodling on the level of cynicism this represents.
Powerline discusses evidence that Kerry may have been quietly excommunicated:
Catholic World News says that "[t]he type of excommunication outlined in the new information is called latae sententiae, which means that it occurs automatically and does not require a formal pronouncement by any Church official."
The same logic would apply to almost every Catholic Democratic politician.
SitD on the predicability and utility of presidential endorcements by newspaper editorial boards:
[T]he liberal-slanted mainstream media had their endorsements written long before the campaign began; had the Democrat convention endorsed a set of wind-up chattering teeth for President, the New York Times would be saying "We believe that with Mr. Windup Chatteringteeth as president, the nation will do better."
Necro was terrific this year, I had a wonderful time seeing my old friends there and partying with my crew. I won't go into details, some are embarassing....
That being said, here are a few snaps:
Blogging will be light-to-absent for a few days, because I'll be in Tampa at Necronomicon.
Back on Monday. Everybody have a great weekend.
I've heard that some of my family living in the benighted People's Republic of Minnesota have an awful lot of fun taking pot-shots (rhetorically speaking) at President Bush.
It's my hope they can continue to have such fun for the next 4 years and 2 months and change.
I'd like to stress that in no way do I wish that Senator Kerry accidently drops his phone, overbalances trying to catch it, and suffers an easily-preventable debilitating brain injury in the resulting fall and accident.
But I can't help imagining it looking at this jackass riding in traffic with his helmet hanging from the handlebars. What kind of a role model would this guy be as president? What's next, running with scissors?
The Captains Quarters has several good stories today. You should go there and read them all. I especially liked these:
Apparently, there's some sort of 'possum terrorist cell living in the attic. We'll just keep rolling them up until they crack.
The lame will walk, the blind will see, the dead will rise from their graves.
At SitD I found the story of a Seminarian who was part of a prayer vigil at a Kerry / Edwards event:
They had no grounds for expelling us other than the fact that we were wearing roman collars. They knew our very presence would challenge Senator Kerry’s position on Life issues and the wanted to avoid that, even if it meant squelching our freedom of speech and freedom of expression. So much for the Democratic Party being a party of understanding and diversity
Pearls of wisdom from today's Bleat:
It’s one thing to inch towards the lifeboat when you overhear the crew talking about icebergs ahead; it’s another to run around shrieking like a little girl with a spider in her hair because you’re watching the movie “Titanic” and discover cubes of frozen water in your jumbo Coke.
John Kerry is unhappy with President Bush about many things. But last night's debate reinforced my belief that, in his mind, the single worst thing Bush has done is to lower our popularity in Europe, the Kerry family's European travel less pleasant.
Wouldn't it be ironic, now that this has happened, if George W. Bush did not win re-election?
Nope. I wouldn't be ironic. It would be tragic.
Ok, so this isn't a terrorist, but it is almost as destructive, dirty and nasty as one. On the other hand, this thing probably has better morals than your average Islamofascist terrorist. And, he's certainly better groomed and better looking than Mullah Omar!
Since our hurricane troubles, we've had a problem with strange noises coming from our attic. So, yesterday we put out live traps, and this morning an ugly 'possum was staring back at me from within one of them.
Is this the source of our troubles? Are there more of these vermin in the attic? Stay tuned, and I'll report more as it occurs.
Bill Whittle, one of the most eloquent writers and clearest thinkers in all blogdom, has written what is possibly his best article yet. Grab a Coke and kick off your shoes and read it now.
Belmont Club has a great analysis: what did Bremer mean when he said we didn't have enough troops on the ground?
The Fourth Infantry Division, at that time the most modern armored force in the Army, was not absent due to the "Pig-headedness? Ignorance? Hubris?" of Donald Rumsfeld. It was missing directly as a result of the machinations of those supposed to administer Kerry's Global Test to America in the United Nations, who were large part responsible for closing Turkey to the United States. To continue Sullivan's quote: "Why doesn't Edwards bring that up directly tonight with Cheney?" Cheney should. And to Sullivan's question: "since it was so obvious so soon, why didn't the administration do anything to change that policy once its failings had become so glaring?" one might answer that it did, re-embarking the 4ID and sailing it a total of 1/5th of the way around the world into congested ports which had never planned to receive them, before marching it 600 kilometers up to Baghdad.
Go read the whole thing.
The CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows that among fradulently registered voters, Kerry was the choice of 92 percent, while Bush was the choice of 5 percent and independent Ralph Nader garnered 3 percent. That result was within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
In the broader category of uninformed voters, 83 percent supported Kerry; 10 percent, Bush; and 7 percent, Nader. That question had with the same margin of error.
More information here.
Explain to me again how these polls mean anything?
Update: Jim Geraghty has more thoughts on this here.
Hugh Hewitt shares this:
For Immediate Release French Intellectuals to be Deployed in Afghanistan to Convince Taliban of Non-Existence of God.
The clean-up portion of the ground war in Afghanistan heated up yesterday when the Allies revealed plans to airdrop a platoon of crack French existentialist philosophers into the country to destroy the morale of the remaining Taliban zealots by proving the non-existence of God. Elements from the feared Jean-Paul Sartre Brigade, or 'Black Berets', will be parachuted into the combat zones to spread doubt, despondency and existential anomie among the enemy. Hardened by numerous intellectual battles fought during their long occupation of Paris's Left Bank,their first action will be to establish a number of sidewalk cafes at strategic points near the front lines. There they will drink coffee and talk animatedly about the absurd nature of life and man's lonely isolation in the universe.
Their leader, Colonel Marc-Ange Belmondo, spoke yesterday of his confidence in the success of their mission. Sorbonne graduate Belmondo, a very intense and unshaven young man in a black pullover, gesticulated wildly and said, "The Taliban are caught in a logical fallacy of the most ridiculous. There is no God and I can prove it." Marc-Ange plans to deliver an impassioned thesis on man's nauseating freedom of action with special reference to the work of Foucault and the films of Alfred Hitchcock. However, humanitarian agencies have been quick to condemn the operation as inhumane, pointing out that the effects of passive smoking from the Frenchmen's endless Gitanes could wreak a terrible toll on civilians in the area.
Of course, Mark Steyn has another amusing article:
If John Kerry is so polished and eloquent and forceful and mellifluous, how come nobody has a clue what his policy on Iraq is? As he made clear on Thursday, Saddam was a growing threat so he had to be disarmed so Kerry voted for war in order to authorize Bush to go to the U.N. but Bush failed to pass ''the global test'' so we shouldn't have disarmed Saddam because he wasn't a threat so the war was a mistake so Kerry will bring the troops home by persuading France and Germany to send their troops instead because he's so much better at building alliances so he'll have no trouble talking France and Germany into sending their boys to be the last men to die for Bush's mistake.
Go read the rest.
A new-to-me blog called The Galvin Opinion has a great post examining Kerry in the first debate:
I recommend you go read it.
A commenter wrote the following on this post (which is, itself, pretty good):
Angry because we 'outsourced' in Afghanistan.
Angry because we are not 'outsourcing' in Iraq (as if).
Angry because we went it alone in Iraq (screw you UK, Oz and Poland).
Angry because we are too multilateral with N. Korea.
Sometimes you gain credibility by conceding something. If he were to concede that Bush is doing something -- anything -- right he'd be much more credible in his attacks about things he believes Bush is doing wrong.
Otherwise you just come across as a pompous ass who wants to be president.
Which, of course, he is.
Hugh Hewett about what the debate reveals:
Kerry didn't pull a pratfall, which is a very good thing for the GOP. Bush will be re-elected and Kerry soundly defeated on the basis of their ideas about American power and the conduct of the war. No excuses about the left's candidate's inability to get the message down. Kerry got it down, and he delivered it, and it will be rejected. Bush's message, by contrast, will be accepted, confirmed, embraced. The strongest nation in the world is also the best nation in the world, and its voters will not trade in a president certain of that fact for one interested in passing the tests laid down for us by Chirac or Shroeder, or distrustful of our stewardship of nuclear weapons.
I watched the debate last night. After a fitful night's sleep, here are my thoughts:
Because I agree with Bush's policies, I am naturally biased in his favor; because I think Kerry's positions are unrealistic fantasies, I am naturally biased against him. Bush won and Kerry lost.