Saturday, September 18, 2004

Friday, September 17, 2004


(the following post started out in the comments section as a response to the Krauthammer article Scott linked to. When it got a little out of hand I decided to post it here)

Haaaaaaaaaaa!!!!! Finally something from Krauthammer. You know, the last time I read him in Time Europe was some weeks before OIF started, in February 2003. I can testify that, over the course of one year, Time has banked sharply to the left, joining the anti-Bush hysteria. And this has become SO obvious in the latest issues. Let me enlighten you on the following columns by Joe Klein, leftwing columnist and Clinton biographer:

1° Sept 20 issue: "All you have to do is believe"

top quote: Bush seems to believe what he says, even if it doesn't always match reality.

2° Sept 13 issue: "Tearing Kerry down"

top quote: Bush at the convention, an effective though sometimes sleazy affair

3° Sept 6 issue "What the Swifties cost America"

top quote: The Swift Boat imbroglio overshadowed Kerry's meeting in Philadelphia

4° August 30 issue "Kerry in a Straitjacket"

top quote: The Swifties' ability to dominate the news with incendiary nonsense is, I believe, a direct result of Kerry's unwillingness to dominate the news with tart, controversial substance by challenging the President on Iraq.

5° August 16 issue "America divided? It's only the Blabocrats"

top quote: A flying squad of Vietnam veterans - not directly related to the Bush campaign - launched a slime attack on John Kerry's war record.

6° August 9 issue: "The audacity of hope"

top quote: Kerry is not going to bug out of Iraq or abandon the broader war against Islamist radicalism.

Huh Joe? But he just said it was the wrong war at the wrong place during the wrong time????

etc. etc. etc. quack quack quack...

Anyway, you get the picture. I took a Time Europe subscription some 3 1/2 years ago. Back then it was reasonably balanced and Klein had columns spaced several weeks or more apart. Over the last 1 1/2 month ago, he's in every issue, becoming more hysterical every week. I'm seriously beginning to regret having renewed my subscription. I get enough Dubya hatred in my own press already. On the ferry to Scotland I bought a copy of "Stern", a leading German magazine and it was almost literally steaming with hatred against the Prez. One thing keeps me from throwing Time Europe overboard, that's that the nonpolitical stuff is quite good. But if I could, I'd swap it for Kristol's The Weekly Standard. Just don't know if I can get it over here.

Alright, now over to the article Scott linked to. Well, it's a brilliant exposure of how Kerry's flipflops have to do rather more, imho, with opportunism than with not being able to take a stance. Not that he has convinced me yet he IS able to take a stance! But the example with voting against the 87 billion $ to support the troops is neatly explained here as an attempt to quell Dean's surge back in those early days. I don't know how it is with you, but it's the first time that I see it in this light. I mean, revealing how Kerry's shifting opinions have everything to do with the most obvious political trend in a particular timeframe makes you see it all in a different perspective. Well, if I would live in the States I would now be even less inclined to ever vote for Kerry. A fella who is shifting positions on any given issue because he can't make up his mind is one thing. A guy who shifts positions to please a target group at a time it seems appropriate is even worse.

I mean, you have guys who can't decide whether they will go after Stella, Susan, Lauren, Sherilyn, Cindy or Jessica. I can sympathize, oooooh yessir, I can, not in the least because I once was in a simila....

... forget about that!

And then you have guys who first take one wife because in a particular time frame it seems the right thing to do, and then decide for another one when, well, when they like to smear their French fries with something else than mayonaise.

Nah, thanks. Then I'd rather have a cowboy please.

Charles Krauthammer has the best rundown of Kerry's positions on Iraq that I've seen so far.

Here's a challenge for you Kerry folks: Read this article with an open mind and then come back here and tell us why you think John Kerry would do a better job in Iraq and the War on Terror. This is a serious request; I have absolutely no idea how someone could come to this conclusion with knowledge of Kerry's record. Educate me.

Thursday, September 16, 2004


Well, as you may have noticed, your servant is back! And with some pics of the beautiful Scottish landscape to entertain you. But since in Scotland you can also almost literally drink history, I thought I’d do well to enlighten you a bit on how this all in all little remote corner of Europe came to be what it still is today, one half of the "United Kingdom"! That’s right, the very notion "UK" has become so common that most people hardly stand still at its deeper meaning, namely that Great Britain is the Union of the English and Scottish Kingdoms (for lack of space we will just forget about Wales and Northern Ireland, okay?). Also, you know very well the British flag, don’t you? That’s not the English flag, it’s the flag of England and Scotland United, which is why it is called "Union Jack"!

Now before Scotland became a kingdom itself, its relevant history in a broader European context began with Roman involvement. There was then of course no talk of a kingdom. Society was organized with the famous clan system as cornerstone. Clan comes from clann, a celtic (gaelic) word, which means in fact "children". The clann’s "boss" was called the "Chieftain" and now that I come to think of it, in fact England played ultimately rather fair in respecting its erstwhile foe for, like I said, it deliberately diluted its identity within the framework of a united kingdom, but also many words and terms and icons were allowed to find their way into British parlance. The former main British battletank e.g. was named "Chieftain". Other gaelic words which have become immortal are "ben" for a mountain and "loch" and "glen" to respectively describe the typical long and narrow Scottish lakes and valleys. Also of interest is the gaelic word for Scotland, which is Alba (and from which "Albany" is derived, as in "Duke of Albany". Now you also know the scottish roots of the name of New York's capital).

The Romans had quite a hard time with the rough people in Britain's northern corner and especially with a particular Highland tribe, or conglomerate of clans, namely the Picts, from the latin pictus, meaning those who are painted. (the Picts painted themselves blue. No connection whatsoever with Smurfs though). The Romans won their battles, and here certainly Agricolas crushing victory over Algacus in 84AD at Mons Graupius (from this word comes, through a medieval printing setting error, the notion Grampian Mountains) comes to mind. Nevertheless at some point they considered the north of Britannia not worth the investment in troops and money and left it to its own devices beyond the famous Wall constructed by Hadrian (around 123 AD), still visible today along the "official" English/Scottish border. The real history freaks will know that this was not the end of Roman involvement in Scotland and for a while the Romans were still active futher north and even built another wall, Antonius’ Wall, between the Firth of Clyde and the Firth of Forth.

Between 400-430 the Romans finally left the British Isles. About one century later immigrants from Ireland established themselves along Scotlands northern and western shores, and only now, since they were called Scots, makes the terms by which we refer to the area their entry into our vocabulary. Apart from the Picts already present in the Highlands and these newcomers, other constituents in the crazy smorgasbord of peoples populating the area finally to be known as Scotland, were English tribes poring in from the south and Germanic ones who came from oversea. Another Irish immigrant, the Christian missionary Saint Columba managed around 563, year of his arrival on the famous island of Iona, to unify the Scottish tribes warring amongst themselves. When finally in 843 a fella named Kenneth McAlpin was able to ally the Scots with the Picts some first resemblance of a Scottish nation was born.

Ok, enough for this first chapter. Enjoy the pics, the first one is of Loch Shiel at Glenfinnan, where the last Stuart, whom history chose to immortalize through the nickname Bonnie Prince Charlie rather than by the flattering denomination "Young Pretender", set foot on land in summer 1745. It was the last attempt to wrestle Scotland from the British Crown and ended, although initially successful, in utter defeat at Culloden, not one year later.

Loch Shiel in Glenfinnan

The second pic is the so-called Queen’s View of Loch Tummel, allegedly named after Queen Victoria since she enjoyed this very view during a visit in 1866. Other sources however state that the queen in question is rather Isabella, spouse of the medieval King Robert The Bruce.

Queen’s View of Loch Tummel


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Nice. Borders employees actively discussing sabotaging sales of "Unfit for Command".

A tip o' the hat to Little Green Footballs.
I realize this is supposed to be shocking and really get the strength of the author's feelings across to the reader. I actually laughed out loud.

And so it's not hard to imagine that on November 3rd, if the election can be called by then, there might be a sort of grim mass exodus from this sad planet should Bush pull this election out. My generation may be particularly vulnerable to the urge to lay back in a warm bath and open up their veins as chants of "Four More Years" echo horribly from every 24 hour cable news station.


EDIT: Thanks to Jamie for reminding where I saw this story originally. Best of the Web

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

This is for all of you who think we need socialized medicine in the US.

"Some provincial premiers -- notably Ralph Klein of Alberta -- say one obvious solution is to increase the use of private clinics and hospitals, where people would pay for treatment."

I like.

New Poll Shocker: Thune 50%, Daschle 47%

Monday, September 13, 2004

Time to trade in the Expedition. I need one of these.
What a goddamned liar. This statement by John Kerry earlier today is completely and utterly untrue.

So, tomorrow for the first time in 10 years when a killer walks into a gun shop, when a terrorist goes to a gun show somewhere in America, when they want to purchase an AK-47 or some other military assault weapon, they're going to hear one word: 'sure'.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

I hope Satan has a winter coat...

On a day where the rest of the country was remembering the tragic attack that led us into the War on Terror, John Kerry was also talking about war. Unfortunately, Kerry was talking race warfare.

I've got two problems with Kerry's remarks: First, Kerry shows a distinct lack of class making these remarks on the anniversary of 9/11, when everyone else seemed to be taking a day off in remembrance of the tragic events of that day. While I'm sure this was calculated to try and get people's minds off 9/11, could he have not waited until Sunday morning to come out with this? Second, Kerry is dredging up one of the great myths of the 2000 election, that millions of black votes went uncounted, and it was the Republicans that were responsible. Anyone that still believes this yarn is beyond help. Nobody has ever offered a shred of evidence to prove this charge. Even Jesse Jackson: Race Warlord Extrordinaire came up completely empty on the night of the election when asked point blank by Sean Hannity to produce one single disenfranchised black voter.

It's now obvious that the Kerry campaign is extremely desperate, but I'm not as excited about this as some people are. Anyone crazy enough to float fake military documents and dig up past lies to drum up racial tensions is probably capable of anything. Look for Kerry's minions to come up with dozens of charges of voter fraud and disenfranchisement after the election. By sheer coincidence, all of these cases will happen in key battleground states. The Democrats believe the Supreme Court chose the last president. They will try to use trial lawyers to choose the next one.