Thursday, March 11, 2004

Barking up the wrong tree

In the wake of the horrific bombings in Spain, the government originally blamed the Basque terrorist group ETA for the act. It was somewhat doubtful that they were behind it, as the modus operandi of the attack didn't match their pattern. The ETA is a lot like the old IRA in that they'd telephone the police with a code word about the bomb, and more often that not tell them where it was so as to make a political point without a lot of civilian casualties. Their killings are usually assassination attempts against government officials. This attack fits none of these criteria.

And there is good reason for it. Now a letter has been received in London from Al-Qaeda claiming responsibility. This is much more likely, as these scum don't hesitate to kill the innocent. The Spanish government backed the Iraq war strongly. And Spain is a short jump from North Africa, where US Special Forces have been recently hunting Al-Qaeda forces in Algeria and Northern Mali.

This shows that terrorism is not directed against the United States but Western Civilization. Any society that believes in civil liberties, free expression and equal rights is at risk from these reactionaries.

The duplicity of the two parties

We've all heard how Justice Scalia spoke to an anti-gay marriage group shortly before a key gay-rights case came before the Supreme Court. There was a massive cry about how this was wrong because it showed a lack of impartiality on the court and that judges must remain neutral. Well, now the shoe is on the other foot. Justice Ginsburg apparently lent her name to the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, and ruled favorably on a case that they presented before the court. If everyone was being honest, then the people who were excoriating Scalia should do the same with Ginsburg, and Scalia defenders should back Ginsburg.

Hah! You believe that's what happened? There's no intellectual honesty in Washington anymore! Scalia's attackers all of a sudden spoke about how Ginsburg was quite rational, and Scalia's defenders are all over Ginsburg for her lack of impartiality.

What a crock. This is a prime example of how the two main parties no longer care about the issues, but about destroying their opponent. The two sides should have the decency to say that BOTH judges are wrong and shouldn't be talking to these groups. But instead they devolve into petty ideological attacks. If you belong to either of these two behemoths, you cannot judge issues individually. You are reduced to parroting party rhetoric. It's like a capitalist version of the Communist Party, where they make sure to not let reality get in the way of making a point.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

He's still more animated than Gore. That's something.

Sen. Botox hit the campaign trail recently as the Dems candidate-to-be, and has starting hitting his themes. What is baffling is how odd those themes are. One would think he would talk about his positive vision of a new future for America. His ideas, dreams, plans and such.

Nope. In Florida, he spoke on a topic sure to rally those who were already going to vote for him: the 2000 Election. Whatever else he may have said at this campaign event went unreported as Kerry decided to dredge up the hoary chestnut that Bush "stole" the 2000 election, or that the Supreme Court "gave" it to him. He went so far as to say he'll have groups of observers on the ground in Florida in 2004 to pre-emptively challenge ballots and voting he doesn't like.

Let's address the obvious first. For a group that is so offended that a group of judges "decided" the election, the Dems seem bound and determined to make sure the same thing happens again. Every decision they make regarding Florida in 2004 involves legal challenges. They need to accept something: If you're going to bring the courts into the electoral process, be prepared for the chance it will bite you in the ass. If it does, don't whine about it.

After all, Gore was the one who forced the courts into the 2000 election. In such a close race, he absolutely had the right to ask for a recount. A state-wide recount. Instead, he asked for a specific recount in the four counties that were the most pro-Democratic. That is what brought the courts into it. And had the Florida Supreme Court simply said, "You get a state-wide recount", that would've been the end of it. Instead, they decided to change the rules and allow a specific recount intended to favor a single candidate. If people are offended by judicial activism in elections, THIS should be the focal point of their anger.

And as to the accusations of GOP chicanery, let us not forget that the Democrats played the same game. How about how those polling stations in the conservative Florida Panhandle, part of which is in the Central Time Zone, that were closed an hour early? How many people were denied their vote there by Democratic politicians? Or Gore's attempt to invalidate overseas military absentee ballots? Both sides played dirty in that race. The fact that Gore lost in the end doesn't absolve the Dems of all blame in getting the process started.

Of course, all of this talk of "theft" is bogus as the whole thing wouldn't have mattered had Gore won his home state of Tennessee. Even Mondale won Minnesota in 84. The truth is that the Democrats are appalled that they sponsored a candidate in 2000 who was so unappealing that he couldn't win an election over a lightweight like Bush. So they focus on Florida and become irrational to the point of parody.

Which makes it all the more stunning that Kerry is willing to talk about it. If you aren't a Democrat, all this talk of 2000 is so much static and, frankly, people are f***ing tired of it. It's been FOUR years. If you have some new policy concepts, please share them. But for God's sake, stop it with the 2000 talk.

Between this and the recent NYT piece that shares with us the fact that Kerry doesn't flip-flop but is "nuanced" and that he quotes French philosophers, he's going to have an uphill battle in getting non-decided voters behind him.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Instant karma’s gonna get you...

Well, maybe not instant, but karma definitely caught up with John Henry Williams yesterday. The son of deceased (and currently frozen) Red Sox baseball legend Ted Williams died yesterday from acute myelogenous leukemia at the age of 35.

Not to speak ill of the dead, but this smacks of God teaching John Henry that "Honor thy Father and Mother" was more than a suggestion. Ever since Ted Williams' health began to fade, John Henry took over his father's affairs and then ruthlessly manipulated his dad's fame for personal profit. That was bad enough.

But then to forge a will on a stained napkin and freeze his father in cryo-stasis (when his dad's wish was to be cremated) in the hopes of using his DNA for future ventures just went over the top. It was wrong and vulgar in every sense of the word.

And now this. Diagnosed with the disease in October of 2003, he is dead in roughly 5 months. His dad died in July, 2002. The ensuing controversy extended almost to the time of his diagnosis.

Personally, I think John Henry's bad acts caught up with him. And I am hard pressed to feel any sympathy for him. But he is fortunate in a way. At least he didn't have a son who exploited him the way he exploited Ted.

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