Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Website debunks obesity myths & trial lawyer claims

There's a new website out there that's working to defuse the obesity hysteria and the trial lawyers' arguments about obesity in America: http://www.consumerfreedom.com/

There's a lot of great information there and will help arm us to combat the impending lawsuits against the food industry. Send this site link to everyone that you know to spead the word. Also look for the new ad campaign on Fox News and other channels.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

My God, he's gone orange!!!

The title is a poor paraphrase of "Spaceballs", but it convey's the message.

Hat tip to Cadet Happy for this one:



Maybe John can have a new career if they ever remake Willy Wonka!


Bill O'Reilly & President Bush: A+; debate update

I just finished watching Day Two of Bill O'Reilly's interview with President Bush, and I have to say that I'm impressed by both men on the camera. Bill impresses me for his "no fluff, all business" questions, and the President impresses me for his honest, direct answers and unwavering stances on the issues and other facets of the current campaign and his opponent.

Being the junkie that I am, I'm Tivoing all three nights and will review them Thursday, so check back for my analysis of the interview. I'll also be watching (and Tivoing) the first Presidential debate from the Univeristy of Miami, moderated by Jim Lehrer of PBS's "The News Hour", so check back Friday for analysis of the debate. The focus will be foreign policy, so this won't be a debate to miss to see how the candidates stack up against each other. Some good links for debate information:

The Presidential Debate at the University of Miami

Commission on Presidential Debates

Monday, September 27, 2004

More good news from Iraq

Here's a great article in today's Opinion Journal: Post-Totalitarian Stress Disorder. It is a great round up of the past two week's events in Iraq. Read it for some great news from the front lines.

Great Mark Steyn article on Kerry

Listeners of the Hugh Hewitt show know Mark Steyn from his regular guest appearances on Hugh's show and that his insight on politics is first rate. Here's a recent article of his from the Chicago Sun-Times about the current state of the Kerry campaign: http://www.suntimes.com/output/steyn/cst-edt-steyn26.html

This is an interesting and informative analysis of the Kerry campaign and how he views the current issues which are affecting the American people. He also dives in with analysis of the mainstream media's attitude toward Pres. Bush and how they deal with issues such as the war on terror and our successes in Iraq. A great short read, but packed full with great information.

Another extreme makeover film is coming

Well, they're at it again. Coming soon to a theater near you, another great revisionist mis-information piece about John Kerry: http://www.goingupriver.com/

Once again, this shows that the Dems will stop at nothing to get their candidate in office, even resorting to revisionist history and pure propaganda films. Folks, this is the latest desperate act of a dying campaign.

Isn't it interesting that while the Kerry campaign and their supporters continue to try and reinvent their candidate through films, books and speeches, President Bush doesn't need to be reinvented or undergo an image makeover? It must be because he comes across as a straight shooter, honest and sticks to a postiton once he's taken a stand on an issue.

If this is what Sen. Kerry needs to do now to try and win the election, how will he act once in office? It makes one wonder.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Heading down the slippery slope again

I was watching C-CPAN's moring call-in news show this morning, and one of the guests was George Washington law professor John Banzhaf. He was speaking about and taking calls on the subject of obesity and the forthcoming onslaught of lawsuits against every facet of the food industry, government, medical community and our lifestyle in general. What he said on the subject and how he responded to callers exposed exactly what his position is on the subject and also what he is teaching his students about the legal profession.

Prof. Banzhaf stated without remorse that his goal, and others in this field, is basically to to litigate reform and change in society and people's choices as they did with the tobacco industry in the 1990's. He feels that this is in the public interest and is the right thing to do. His tactic is to sue all facets of society for the obesity problem: food manufacturers for their products and advertising tactics; the medical profession for not advising their patients about obesity; the education industry for allowing junk food and soda companies to sell their products in return for a share of the profits; etc, the list goes on. In short, he and his associates plan to sue everyone involved in the crisis except for the actual obese people themselves, who are responsible for their own health. He doesn't believe in self-responsibility or choice; he feels that people are the unwitting subjects of large corporations and deceptive advertising and thus need to be protected from this "evil" of society. He also stated that this will help the insurance industry by lowering health care costs thus lowering the risk for insurers.

I'm a firm believer in personal choice and living with the consequences of your actions. I don't believe in seat belt laws, helmet laws, or the Feds forcing states to change their DUI laws by holding road money hostage. And I'm not a big believer in trying to protect the risk assumption of insurance companies; that's what their in business for: to assume risk and pay out when a covered incident happens. If an insurance company is worried about mitigating its losses and reducing its payouts, it shouldn't turn to lawsuits to achieve this goal. Instead, they should force their policy holders to change their habits voluntarily or face a reduction in payout for a covered loss. For example, if you're involved in an accident and you're not wearing your seatbelt, your payout should be reduced accordingly because you failed mitigate your risk of injury by not wearing a seatbelt. Medical issues could be handled in much the same way, but that is not likely due to the "nanny state" mentality we've adopted in this country regarding healthcare.

Regarding the school system and the profit-sharing system many have with the soda and snack food distributors, I feel that those agreements should be dissolved and the products removed from school altogether. That is an unhealthy alliance that, coupled with the lack of required physical exercise classes at all levels, is contributing largely to childhood obesity and the rise in diabetes cases among children and teenagers. Still, this is not something that should come out of a lawsuit, but out of the governing bodies of the school systems across the nation. I had to go to P.E. class when I was in school; I hated it, but I know now that it was good for me and provided some much needed activity during the school day. I know I'm heavier now than I should be, but that's my personal choice and I don't need a lawyer or insurance company to tell me otherwise.

So far I'm failing to see how these suits will help anyone but the lawyers and insurance companies involved. But since Prof. Banzhaf and his colleagues feel that they are acting in the public good, be prepared for these lawsuits to appear at a courthouse near you soon. They will do nothing but bog down the court system, force companies to pay large settlements for no reason, place the fear of malpractice suits in the hearts of medical practitioners, and line the pockets of the trial lawyers and insurance companies. There's something to be said for self-choice, and many people are saying it, but not loudly enough for all to hear and thing about.

I've commented on this subject before, and I've said this before as well, so to all the dis-believers again, "I told you so.".

Monday, September 20, 2004

Catching up from a busy weekend

Well, it’s Monday, and that means that its time to catch up on the events of the weekend and today. This past weekend was a bit busy, focusing mainly on the CBS "docu-drama" and politics. However, today's events and news seem to indicate that this will be a busy week for us all. Let's take a look at some of the highlights to date:

First, the CBS DocuDrama, also known as RatherGate. Lots happened with this over the weekend, culminating with Don "The Don" Rather eating crow and apologizing for the use of the fraudulent documents that were provided to them by Democratic activist and career Bush detractor Bill Burkett. But then, in a bizarre twist, CBS came out and said that they approached Burkett, not the other way around, and that they we're deliberately misled by Burkett. CBS and Rather are trying to dance around this issue as best they can since it has destroyed Rather's career and CBS's reputation as a reliable news source, but they are having little luck since this issue is still only at the early stages of discovery. There is much conjuring in the blogosphere that Democratic strategists such as Carville or McAuliffe are behind this whole affair; it will be interesting to follow this as it unfolds and see just where the trail leads.

Talking about trying to dance the last dance, CBS is still out on the floor hours after the band has gone home and the cleaning crew is in the dance hall. Rather needs to announce his resignation this week, Heyward also needs to go and a general house cleaning needs to occur if CBS is serious about rebuilding its image as a news leader and its trust with the American people as a reliable news source.

Next, let's take a look at the current poll results from this weekend. Most polls are giving President Bush anywhere from a one to thirteen point lead heading into the final 42 days of the election cycle. While these numbers are great news for the President, there is a lot of confusion about the wide disparity in poll numbers. In Wide gap among poll results mystifies campaigns, pundits, the Washington Times is also at a loss for the wide variations in poll numbers and so are many pundits and political analysts, myself included. Usually by this time in an election cycle, the polls are relatively stable and returning similar results across the board, with only a minority amount of undecided voters still holding out. Many factors are being debated, including the fact that fewer people are willing to participate in polling, despite more people being directly involved with this election cycle.

In my opinion, most voters have already made their decisions about who they're going to vote for. What's not being taken in to account in these reports are the numbers being siphoned off by the Nader camp, which usually tends to hurt the Democratic side of the ticket. Because of this, the poll numbers tend to look skewed, but when added back in, these missing numbers add clarity and complete the story. Either way, these numbers are indicating that the Kerry campaign is loosing popular support quickly and that the Bush campaign could be looking at a resounding victory this November.

Continuing in the political vein, the Daschle-Thune race is heating up into a pitched battle, with John Thune coming out swinging in their first debate yesterday on "Meet the Press". Mr. Thune called Sen. Daschle a "flip-flopper" and the "chief obstructionist" on the Hill, opposing the President at every chance but then "running out of the arms of Michael Moore into the arms of the president in South Dakota." Sen. Daschle responded in turn, calling Mr. Thune 'a "follower" who would "rubber-stamp" the president's policies. ‘Both agreed on some points, such as 9/11, but those were few and far between.

What I don't understand is why the people of South Dakota, which is solidly in the Republican camp, keep sending Sen. Daschle back to Washington. Having spent some time in Rapid City this summer, I was able to catch snippets of the race and am still confused about Mr. Daschle's tenure. Having discussed the race in passing, it seems that some folks prefer to send Daschle back since he's one of the most powerful senators on the Hill and they don't want to lose the clout that he wields up there, even if his views are in direct conflict with the majority of the state's population. For a state like South Dakota, that is a big issue since that only have new representative to the House. Even so, this might be changing since Mr. Thune has come from behind and is running neck and neck with Daschle, even besting him in some polls. This will be a close race and one that I'll continue to watch from the East Coast as this could help to upset the balance of power in the Senate on the minority side.

And finally, just when you thought it was safe to go back to McDonald's, here come the trial lawyers looking to line their pockets from the profits of the food and related industries. In Lawyers see obese U.S. ripe for fat lawsuits, the Washington Times reports on a meeting of lawyers, public health advocates and nutritionists and the happenings there. Apparently they trial lawyers want to target and pursue the food industry and related businesses due to the "obesity epidemic" that is sweeping the nation. This is based on the 2001 Surgeon General's report which classified obesity as an "epidemic", thus opening the door for all sorts of frivolous lawsuits reminiscent of the tobacco lawsuits of the 1990's.

Folks, I'm going to jump on the "I told you so" bus along with all the others who saw this coming, especially after the tobacco companies caved in and reached a settlement that promised much but did little other than line the attorneys' pockets. These proposed lawsuits threaten to touch every facet of our lives since food consumption is a daily requirement and a multi-billion dollar industry. The attorneys will cloak these suits in moralistic shrouds claiming that they are acting for the benefit of the general public's health and welfare. In fact, they are pursuing the same types of policy change that they achieved with the tobacco suits: the attempted destruction of an industry by deeming it the cause of a societal health problem.

Unfortunately, I don't feel that these suits will be as successful as the tobacco suits. Tobacco was already falling out of favor and general mainstream use when the tobacco suits kicked off. In contrast, the food industry is constantly trying to reinvent itself and is currently on a campaign to become healthier in preparation for these impending lawsuits. Even so, there will always be a market for food that might not be the best for you but is within you right to consume, and no amount of lawsuits will stop that. I think that the trial lawyers might finally meet their match since the food industry has the time and money to fight a protracted battle in court.

As educated adults, we know how our food choices will affect us, and we don't need the food police or health nannies to tell us how to eat. And as for the obesity "epidemic", we have no one to blame but ourselves; McDonalds's doesn't force us to supersize our food orders any more than R.J. Reynolds forces you to smoke a cigarette. Here's an idea: go outside and take a walk or run to burn off that Big Mac and fries. So instead of suing for baseless claims that they made you fat, choose to exercise and cut back on the fattening food and see what happens. You'll be amazed at the results and find that you didn't need a lawyer to make you feel better.

Well, there's my recap of the weekend's news, with some obscure issues thrown in for good measure. Enjoy, and check back doing the week for more insightful analysis of the week's news events.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

LOTR- The Fall of "The Dan"

Hat tip to Hugh Hewitt and his sources for this one:




I think this image says it all: the fall and collapse of the evil old media empire! Check out his emtire post here: LOTR- Rathergate post.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Kerry supporters sink to new low

I just got this story in my Inbox from Chuck Muth's mailing list today. Read the letter and take a look at the linked article and you'll see just how low Kerry supporters will stoop to silence opposing voices. Talk about taking candy from babies, this takes the cake:

KERRY GOON MAKES 3-YEAR-OLD CRY

Yet another “sign” that Kerry will go down in flames on November 2nd: Check out this photo of the cute little 3-year-old girl crying on her dad’s shoulders after having her “Bush-Cheney”
sign ripped out of her hands and torn up by Kerry-Edwards supporters in West
Virginia yesterday.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/040916/480/wvrs10309162250

Not exactly the way to win friends and influence people, huh? The bonehead with the baseball cap on the wrong way, a smirk on his face and pieces of the sign in his hand is laughing at little Sophia. Takes a real tough guy to make a 3-year-old girl cry, doesn't it?Now here’s the rest of the story, as if that’s not enough to make your blood boil.

I spoke with the girl’s father, Phil Parlock, this morning. Mr. Parlock is a real estate agent and father of 10 children...two of whom are presently in the National Guard. (I hope Dan Rather doesn’t get hold of their service records!). Apparently the Kerry goons who were ripping up everyone’s Bush-Cheney signs at the rally, including little Sophia’s, were members of...the Painters Union.

Go figure. Who would have thought such goonish behavior could come from union workers? I mean, what are the odds?

Anyway, Mr. Parlock also let me speak to Sophia briefly. She told me proudly - in that kind of little-girl voice which’ll melt your heart - how she got to meet the President and how the President hugged her and told her “Thank you.” She was obviously on Cloud Nine. What a damn shame that thug had to ruin such a wonderful experience for a little 3-year-old kid.

But it gets worse...Apparently, Mr. Parlock’s 82-year-old mother-in-law was living with the family back in 1999 when she passed away after a short illness. Her obituary appeared in the Charleston Gazette on February 19, 1999.

What’s this have to do with anything?

Well, once Sophia Parlock’s photo appeared in the Associated Press story, one of the whacked-out Democratic Underground jerks, “displacedtexan,” posted the link to the obituary on the DU website Discussion Board under the title “Did the Parlocks OFF Granny,” along with these comments:

“Short Illness?????????????????? The Parlocks let Granny die while in their care???????? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… 10 kids on a real estate agent's salary????????????? I wonder what Granny's house was worth!”

These are some sick puppies.

Anyway, I asked Mr. Parlock if it might help for Sophia to get some emails from folks who saw her picture and wanted to send their greetings and some words of encouragement after her unfortunate experience. He asked that anyone wanting to reach out and contact Sophia do so by sending an email to: pparlock@ezwv.com

Chuck Muth, Citizens Outreach www.citizensoutreach.com


Thursday, September 16, 2004

Dan Rather's typewriter for sale on Ebay!

For the novice document forger, an eBay special:

FORGE YOUR OWN 70s DOCUMENTS - IBM SELECTRIC TYPEWRITER

or:

RARE 1961 IBM 72 SELECTRIC TYPEWRITER GREAT FOR FORGING

Also for reporters whose career is over. Second entry has some great humorous feedback.

Good letter to John Kerry from Ollie North

Got this in my email today, thought I'd pass it along to all my readers:

Subject: Ollie North's letter to Kerry

The following was written by Oliver North for publication
on August 27th, 2004.


I think it expresses the feeling of many veterans, not
only of Vietnam, but of all wars.


Dear John,

As usual, you have it wrong. You don't have a beef with
President George Bush about your war record. He's been exceedingly generous
about your military service. Your complaint is with the 2.5 million of us who
served honorably in a war that ended 29 years ago and which you, not the
president, made the centerpiece of this campaign.


I talk to a lot of vets, John, and this really isn't about
your medals or how you got them. Like you, I have a Silver Star and a Bronze
Star. I only have two Purple Hearts, though. I turned down the others so that I
could stay with the Marines in my rifle platoon. But I think you might agree
with me, though I've never heard you say it, that the officers always got more
medals than they earned and the youngsters we led never got as many medals as
they deserved.


This really isn't about how early you came home from that
war, either, John. There have always been guys inevery war who want to go home.
There are also lots of guys, like those in my rifle platoon in Vietnam, who did
a full 13 months in the field. And there are, thankfully, lots of young
Americans today in Iraq and Afghanistan who volunteered to return to war
because, as one of them told me in Ramadi a few weeks ago, "the job isn't
finished."


Nor is this about whether you were in Cambodia on
Christmas Eve, 1968. Heck John, people get lost goingon vacation. If you got
lost, just say so. Your campaign has admitted that you now know that you really
weren't in Cambodia that night and that Richard Nixon wasn't really president
when you thought he was. Now would be a good time to explain to us how you could
have all that bogus stuff "seared" into your memory -- especially since you want
to have you r finger on our nation's nuclear trigger.


But that's not really the problem, either. The trouble
you're having, John, isn't about your medals or coming home early or getting
lost -- or even Richard Nixon. The issue is what you did to us when you came
home, John.


When you got home, you co-founded Vietnam Veterans Against
the War and wrote "The New Soldier," whichdenounced those of us who served --
and were still serving -- on the battlefields of a thankless war. Worst of all,
John, you then accused me -- and all of us who served in Vietnam -- of
committing terrible crimes and atrocities.


On April 22, 1971, under oath, you told the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee that you had knowledge that American troops "had personally
raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires f rom portable telephones to
human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly
shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot
catt le and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the
country side of South Vietnam." And you admitted on television that "yes, yes, I
committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have
committed."


And for good measure you stated, "(America is) more guilty
than any other body, of violations of (the) Geneva Conventions ... the torture
of prisoners, the killing of prisoners."

Your "antiwar" statements and activities
were painful for those of us carrying the scars of Vietnam and trying to move on
with our lives. And for those who were still there, it was even more hurtful.
But those who suffered the most from what you said and did were the hundreds of
American prisoners of war being held by Hanoi.


Here's what some of them endured because of you,
John:


Capt. James Warner had already spent four years in
Vietnamese custody when he was handed a copy of your testimony by his captors.
Warner says that for his captors, your statements "were proof I deserved to
bepunished." He wasn't released until March 14, 1973.Maj.


Kenneth Cordier, an Air Force pilot who was in Vietnamese
custody for 2,284 days, says his captors"repeated incessantly" your one-liner
about being "the last man to die" for a lost cause. Cordier was released March
4, 1973.


Navy Lt. Paul Galanti says your accusations "were as
demoralizing as solitary (confinement) ... and a primereason the war dragged
on." He remained in North Vietnamese hands until February 12,
1973.


John, did you think they would forget? When Tim Russert
asked about your claim that you and others in Vietnam committed "atrocities,"
instead of standing by your sworn testimony, you confessed that your words "were
a bit over the top." Does that m ean you lied under oath? Or does it mean you
are a war criminal? You can't have this one both ways, John. Either way, you're
not fit to be a prison guard at Abu Ghraib, much less commander in
chief.


One last thing, John. In 1988, Jane Fonda said: "I would
like to say something ... to men who were in Vietnam, who I hurt, or whose pain
I caused to deepen because of things that I said or did. I was trying to help
end the killing and the war, but there were times when I was thoughtless and
careless about it and I'm ... very sorry that I hurt them. And I want to
apologize to them and their families."


Even Jane Fonda apologized. Will you,
John?


The end of the news as we know it...

Well, this has certainly been a full news week, with both Hurricane Ivan and the meltdown of both CBS and Dan "The Don" Rather over the now debunked memos. All across the media spectrum, there is a great upheaval occurring because of this scandal (yes, it's a scandal) and not just because Dan Rather used fraudulent documents to further an agenda and influence the upcoming presidential election. The upheaval is occurring because this scandal has shaken one of the pillars of old T.V. news media to the core and threatens to affect the other two broadcast networks as well as the mainstream print media by exposing the liberal-agenda forwarding policies of these organizations to the public. Now that their "secret" is out to the masses, the majority of the old-media sources are running for cover, abandoning their support for CBS and Dan Rather faster than John Kerry can change positions on a single issue.

For decades, the media and public have had a tenuous relationship: the public knows the media slants to the left but has accepted this since they were the only sources for news and other information, and accepted this with a margin of error and latitude of opinion. And the media has been able to further its left-leaning agenda by keeping this slant contained mainly in political stories and the Op/Ed pages, covering their tracks with some right-leaning columnists, letters to the editor, and enough other stories to dilute the slant of the papers. All in all, a love-hate relationship that has been tolerated by both sides but never fully addressed by either.

However, with the rise of the Internet, blogs, and 24-hour news channels, old media is now threatened by new factors: the rise of non-professional journalists, immediate information availability and the ability of the masses to post their opinions for all to see without going through the channels that the old media provided and controlled. With public opinion able to be unleashed on a story almost the very instant a story breaks (and sometimes before), opinions, attitudes and rumors can be created, swayed and dispelled with lightning speed, and by using raw information before the media outlets have had a chance to sanitize and disseminate it with their own spin. Talk about the power of free speech, this is the goal that our Founding Fathers had in mind when then specified the freedoms of speech and press in the First Amendment.

Yet, while all this has been evolving and growing around them, the old media outlets pooh-poohed them as amateurs and insignificant at best, and not as a real threat; thus, they continued to do business the same old way, believing themselves to be both infallible and invincible. With the unraveling of Rathergate, this attitude has come back to bite them squarely where it hurts and has exposed them to the scrutiny and wrath of the public.

All this can be attributed to the rise of the blogosphere and its ability to grab a story, run with it and follow it to its end without barriers or restraint. This is due to the efforts of the thousands of independent people who write the blogs, mine data for the blogs and share it, and form alliances to spread their findings and opinions. When this latest story broke, the bloggers seized it and began to tear it apart, exposing its weaknesses and inconsistencies, eventually leading to its discreditation and the subsequent scandal that is the story of the week. But it did more than that, for it exposed the house of cards that the old media lives in and how shaky it is. And that brings me back to my original point: that this has and will forever change public opinion about mainstream media and the fact that it will do anything to influence public opinion, even at the expense of the truth or the office of the President.

Now that the masses have a choice and ability to get their facts and opinions for non-mainstream sources, how long will it be before they become the mainstream and the old media disappear like buggy whips: relics of a by-gone era that serve no purpose anymore?

Monday, September 13, 2004

The boomerang effect in Russia

Here's an article from today's WSJ Online Afternoon Report regarding the current situation in Russia:

Putin, Citing Terror, seeks to Tighten Kremlin Control
By JOSEPH SCHUMAN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
Equating a stronger government with stronger counterterrorism, President Vladimir Putin today proposed
one of the biggest overhauls of Russian governance since the fall of the Soviet Union -- changes that would tighten Kremlin control over parliament and the country's far-flung regions.

The details were sketchy, but Mr. Putin told cabinet members and security officials convened in special session that he would propose legislation abolishing the election of Russia's 89 regional governors by popular vote. Instead, they would be nominated by the president and confirmed by local legislatures, which have shown little inclination to clash with the strengthening presidency of Mr. Putin. Such a change would undo the remaining vestiges of local autonomy already chipped away by Mr. Putin during his first term in office. He said he would also recommend the elimination of individual parliamentary races that currently fill half of the seats in the Duma. Instead, the membership of the entire lower house would be filled by parties based on the proportion of the vote they receive. Parties loyal to the Kremlin currently control the parliament by a wide margin.

Mr. Putin, who has in part blamed local corruption for fostering the terrorism of Chechen separatists, said the changes were needed to streamline and fortify the executive branch. And he said the alteration of the legislative election process would help foster dialogue by expanding the clout of political parties. Both changes are bound to spark a fierce reaction from what remains of the Russian political opposition. But it isn't clear how the Russian people will react. Until the recent escalation in Chechen terror -- culminating with the cataclysmic seizure of a school that left hundreds of children dead -- Mr. Putin's broad support was based on the firm hand he seemed to take with security. But his reputation isn't what it was two months ago. In the wake of the school attack, the Russian people have been calling on their government to take whatever measures are necessary to keep them safe. What remains to be seen is whether they, too, will view this as a step toward greater security, or a political power play.

What I find interesting about the events reported on in this article is that this is not a new direction for Russia or its government; to the contrary, it is a return to a historically familiar and normal position for the country's leaders. This is the subject that I majored in in college, and these events do not surprise me in the least. Russia, since its founding as a state in 983 A.D., has been ruled by a powerful central figure: the czar/tsar, or emperor; CPSU chairman (the President was a titular figurehead at best); currently the President of the Russian Federation. Only the names have been changed to go along with the changing times and different governing styles.

Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia has been a country in political turmoil, searching for its political identity and a position in the current world scene. President Putin, a pragmatic former KGB man and CPSU member, is capitalizing on current events in order to roll back the hands of time and transform his country from a weak nation searching for a lost glory into a nation that can take its place and influence events on the world stage again. I do not see this a bad thing since this type of central power and control has been a cornerstone of Russian government and politics for over 1000 years. While Communism has been denounced as a failed experiment in Russia, the attempt at a Western-style democracy has also been an equal failure, and some changes are needed for the stability and future of Russia as a whole.

I'm sure that my opinions will spark debate in some circles, I don't feel that these changes being implemented by President Putin are a bad thing. While I don't advocate a return to the Soviet era or the establishment of a dictatorship, I recognize that these changes are as much cultural and historical as well as political and are desperately needed in order for the Russian people to regain faith in their governing bodies. These changes will also lead to a stabilization of some of the more autonomous regions as well as the surrounding geo-political regions (i.e. the Middle East and Muslim Central Asia). I think we owe it to Russia not only to support Pres. Putin's attempts to stabilize his domestic situtation, but to work with him closely as an ally in working to fight terrorism and stabilize the regions I mentioned above.

Bush bounces, Kerry drops Virginia

Well, the weekend has generated some good news for the Bush camp: President Bush's numbers in some swing states are rising quickly, enough so to help push some states out of the "swing" category and closer to the 20 electoral votes needed to win a second term, as story in the Washington Times Insider reports today. Poll numbers today show President Bush leading across the South, Western & Middle Plains and some Midwest states. And Florida, Ohio and West Virginia have moved outside the margin of error, according to the report. Six states are still showing as swing states where both candidates are expected to spend the majority of time and money campaigning during the remainder of the campaign season.

As a corollary to this, the Kerry campaign has announced that they will suspend t.v. ads in Virginia for the remainder of the campaign season. While the Kerry camp denies that they have ceded VA to the GOP, this sends a clear signal that the Kerry campaign is on shaky ground at best in VA, a state that hasn't gone Democrat since JFK was elected. This will also free the Bush campaign to focus on more pivotal states this cycle.

What this says to me is that the Kerry camp has effectively written off VA as a loss and is saving its money and time for states that it feels they can still win. It also says that the campaign is not going well at all for Sen. Kerry nationally and they are attempting to fall back and re-group for one final push during Sept. and October, as is evidenced by staffing shake-ups and multiple reorganizations over the past three weeks. The Kerry camp is no longer enjoying the leads it enjoyed before the RNC last month and the distinct messages that Pres. Bush and the GOP sent to the nation. This means that the Dems will attempt to continually reinvent both Sens. Kerry and Edwards in order to give them a fighting chance. However, I think that the electorate is smart enough to see through the smoke and mirrors that the Kerry campaign is using and see the candidates for who they really are: the Nos. 1 & 4 most liberal Senators in the country, not matter what disguises they are wearing. And because of this, the electorate can be trusted to make the proper choice on Nov. 2. by granting Pres. Bush the opportunity to serve a second term in the White House.

Took a couple of days off, trying to catch up

Sorry that I haven't been keeping up with the latest news events from the past week, but I took a couple of days off last week to work on our house purchase, things at home and to spend some time with my wife over the weekend. So to that end, I'll attempt to catch up with the recent happenings and also provide some new news and insight if possible.

The biggest story of mention from the past week and weekend has been the "memogate" controversy that has been brewing since the Dan Rather piece on "60 Minutes 2" last Wednesday. While I didn't see the interview and don't have personal access to the letters in question, they have been in the media enough that I can make some personal observations about the whole issue.

To me, that whole issue looks like a a poorly disguised attempt to paint President Bush's military service as a disqualifier for a second term, as well as a deliberate attempt by a major player in old media circles to manipulate public opinion through deception and forgery. I'm not going to wade in to the fracas over Pres. Bush's and Sen. Kerry's military service; they both went and did their duty for their country during and extremely controversial period in U.S. history and both deserve respect for that service, even if you disagree with their personal motives or type of service or even what they did after their commitment to the country was completed. They both served, give them credit for that and move on to some real, modern-day issues.

Its the deliberate attempt to manipulate public opinion through purposeful distortion of the facts and the alleged forgery of substantiating documents written by his deceased commanding officer. This is, in my opinion, no better than ballot-box stuffing or bussing people to the polls to vote multiple times in order to throw an election to a preferred candidate. This event has shown just how far to the left the old media outlets have swung and just how far they will go to help their side win this year.

In the spotlight is CBS and Dan "The Don" Rather, the de facto head of the liberal news media and who has taken point on this drive to discredit Pres. Bush so that Sen. Kerry will be elected in November. For years, Rather has been at the head of the CBS News organization and has it wrapped around his finger; they are at his beck and call and management is powerless to do anything about him. And now, with the CBS management signing off on his so-called "discoveries", they have finally shown themselves to be puppets of his and lacking the backbone to do something about him and his ultra-liberal beliefs.

However, that might be about to change. His interview and memos have generated a lot of heat in the press about their authenticity and have cast Rather and CBS in a very negative light. And now that several document historians have stated that the documents are forgeries that were typed using Microsoft Word, ( the famous superscript "the" issue), Rather and CBS are being exposed for who they really are: the T.V. voice of the modern liberal movement, much as the New York and L.A. Times have become. And to that end, they have shown that they will go to all ends, truthful or not, in order to assure that their candidate win in November; in short, they will try to cheat their way back into power. This has been the Democratic strategy for years but has always been done the the shadows and back rooms of politics; now is has been exposed to the light and public scrutiny for all that it is, and even the party faithful are starting to scurry away, fearing a major backlash in public opinion and even in the party rank and file.

CBS News and Dan Rather have sunk to a new low with this incident, but it just verifies that their version of a fair fight is one in which they win by any means necessary, honest or not.

As for other issues of the week, Hurricane Ivan has been the other dominant news story. It looks like it will be heading for the Florida Panhandle and will hit mid-week; please keep the people of Florida in your thoughts and prayers. And if you have the means, please make a donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund or other relief organization of your choice; this will be tapping their resources to the point of exhaustion and they'll need all the help they can get.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Cheney states the truth, Kerry lashes out

V.P. Cheney said at a campaign stop Monday that if you choose poorly on Nov. 2, the security of the nation is at stake, and that we could expect more domestic attacks as a result. Of course, the Kerry camp immediately responded by saying that he is lying and trying to scare the public into voting for the Bush/Cheney ticket on Nov. 2.

I have just one word for the Kerry camp: balderdash! V.P. Cheney hit the nail on the head with his comment, and he has the Kerry campaign running scared (again) since the truth is now out there. Sens. Kerry and Edwards have been some of the most liberal members of the Senate, and have constantly voted against appropriation bills that would help support our globally deployed troops even after they've voted for the action where the troops are deployed. Kerry/Edwards also have not released a definitive plan for dealing with the war on terror as Pres. Bush has, instead responding with vague generalities of how they will "launch a swift response to any attack on our nation."

But how will they do that? And don't they understand that the war is better fought from an offensive posture, ferreting out the terrorists before they've attacked and killed numerous people here at home? You can't even get a straight answer out of the campaign representatives; Ann Coulter tried to do so on Hannity & Colmes last night and she got nothing but evasive rhetoric from the Kerry strategist she was sparring with.

If this is how the Kerry camp is answering questions about the pressing issues of today, imagine how they'd respond if elected in November. That's not an image I want to think about now or have to deal with for four years, and I don't think that you do either.

Kerry's last ditch weapon

Here's an article from FrontPageMag.com: Kerry's Last Smear. It details the Kerry camp's last ditch effort to try and smear Pres. Bush's National Guard record by using a Dan Rather interview with former Texas lieutenant governor Ben Barnes.

Folks, this is definitely the last act of a desperate man and a doomed campaign. Anyone who's willing to stoop to these levels is suffering from an extreme lack of credability and is definitely not the leader you want in the White House for the next four years. Read it and this will finalize your decision for Nov. 2.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

He's still the media darling (but not the President anymore!)

First, this disclaimer: while I do not agree with his politics, I do not wish former President Clinton any personal ill will during his illness and hope that he has a speedy and full recovery from his surgery. Good health is something everyone should work toward having and Mr. Clinton is no exception. Get well soon so we can do battle again in the professional political arena.

However, I will take the mainstream media to task about their coverage of Mr. Clinton's current illness and his life in general. They treat him as though he were some sort of infallible figure and as if he were still the President. Granted, he does do everything possible to stay in the spotlight and is married to the very visible junior senator from New York. But this is no excuse for the media to still call him "the President" and our current leader "Mr. Bush"; instead, this shows a complete lack of respect for President Bush and borderline idol worship for Mr. Clinton. I feel that if the media could have their way, not only would they try to roll back time, they'd actively petition to have the 22nd Amendment repealed so that Mr. Clinton could be re-elected a la the FDR four-term presidency. Talk about a president for life, they'd ensure he'd be the one.

That, my friends, is the stuff that nightmares are made of.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Kerry campaign admits its offtrack

This from today's Washington Times Insider: Kerry campaign forced to regroup. This is just further proof that the Kerry campaign is suffering irreparable damage from the "swarming" tactics employed by the anti-Kerry 527's and the President's post-RNC bounce.

You know that things are bad when James Carville himself is admitting this on Meet The Press yesterday at the same time Kerry strategist Tad Devine is saying the same thing on Fox News Sunday.

These are heady days for the Bush/Cheney campaign, but they also know that there is much more hard work in store during these last 75 days. With the Kerry campaign in nothing short of a tailspin, hard and purposeful campaigning by the Bush team will help lead us to victory on Nov. 2.

Here's a stomach churning No. 1

Just saw this in the Washington Times Insider: Beheading video tops charts in Baghdad. This is very disheartening and goes to show just how desparate the terrorists are to mantain anarchy and chaos in the Iraq and the Middle East.

It's been a while, but I'm back

Sorry for the extreme delay in posting about the last night of the RNC, the bounce and associated events, but between Hurricane Frances, Labor day and buying a house, I've been swamped this weekend. However, while I have a few spare moments, here are my thoughts on the above listed items.

First, the last night of the RNC, when the big speaker was non other than our President. All I can say is one word: WOW! President Bush's speech on Thursday promised to deliver, and it did. He presented his list of goals for his second term in a precise manner and with clarity. He was also on top of his game, projecting the power of his office and reputation from the convention floor to the nation, helping to reassure the masses that he is the right man in the right place for the job. And the images of his family, the Cheney's and other related people on stage following the speech helped to solidify the image of a team that is in charge and knows what needs to be done in the next four years. Compare this to the speech and images from the DNC where Sens. Kerry and Edwards projected themselves as the "Hope is on the way" candidates using vague generalities and imprecise points. Rather than showing a clear and comprehensive plan for the nation their first term, they showed that they lacked a clear vision and are instead relying on a general dislike of Pres. Bush and a cloudy Kerry war record that does little to help prop up the campaign. They both looked like a couple of insolent schoolboys rather than the leaders that they purport to be.

Second, the post-RNC bounce. Folks, this has to be one for the record books: Newsweek reports an 11 point bounce over the weekend, and the final serious campaigning hasn't even started yet. The President is riding a wave that will be hard for the Kerry campaign to stop or even avoid. The Kerry campaign is scrambling to counter this post convention boost with little hope of containment in this final campaign stretch; instead, they are running scared and this was evident on the Sunday morning news-talk shows, with the campaign leader and even the DNC chairman trying to perform emergency damage control. Couple this with the damage that the Swift Boat Veterans and other groups are doing to the Kerry campaign and you have the combination needed for a resounding Bush/Cheney victory on Nov. 2.

Finally, Hurricane Frances: My thoughts and prayers are with the residents of Florida who've endured the 1-2 punch dealt by Hurricanes Charley and Frances within the past two weeks. Both mine and my wife's parent's live in Florida, and both have been effected by Frances, as have many of our friends down there. We're now told that there is a third storm, Hurricane Ivan, is out in the Atlantic packing 140+ m.p.h. winds and is moving on a general path toward Florida. We'll all be keeping a watch on this storm as well as its predicted to be in the Florida region by next weekend. For those wishing to help from afar, please send monetary donations only to the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army. Both groups need money more than physical supplies so that they can assess what supplies to purchase that will be the most needed in the storm damaged regions of Florida.

Well, I hope that everyone enjoyed a wonderful Labor Day weekend and were able to spend it doing whatever you wanted as an enjoyable diversion. Now the hard work begins in the final push toward Nov. 2 and the successful re-election of Pres. Bush. Please go out and do your part: donate your time, money, sweat and effort until it hurts and then give a little more. Go to GeorgeWBush.com and make a donation, volunteer to help campaign or host an event, and sign up on the mailing list. Also, go to Amazon.com and buy Hugh Hewitt's new book If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat to understand the Democratic election strategy and why this election is so critical for the safety and future of our nation. I have read it and it is well worth the afternoon it will take for all the knowledge you will gain.

This election is now ours to win or lose, and with our hard work we will send Bush/Cheney back to the White House with a resounding victory! Let's roll!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Speech round-up, night three

Okay, I know that I'm late, and that every talking head from coast to coast has already given every opinion imaginable about last night's speeches, but here I am at last, so here are my thoughts on the key speakers from last night:
  • Sen. Zell Miller (D-GA): By far the most powerful and energetic speaker of the RNC to date. Sen. Miller addressed the crowd with a style that can be described as nothing less than "charismatic evangelism". And it worked. He not only got the whole arena fired up he hit on multiple points about what is wrong with the modern Democratic party. This is a man who was born , bred and will die a Democrat, but his party is doing everything it can to distance itself from him and to get him to switch, but he won't budge, and that's a good thing. He is a thorn in the side of the modern Democratic party and he hurts them; well, I say "no pain, no gain" to that, quit crying and licking your wounds. The Dems are scrambling since they know he has dealt them a death blow in this campaign; what a difference from the half-hearted appearance by Ron Reagan Jr. and the DNC in July. A C-SPAN caller last night called him a "Dixiecrat" as an insult; since he's one of the last of the Kennedy/Truman/FDR Dems, I think that he's actually consider that a compliment. All in all, one of the most powerful speeches I've heard in a while.
  • V.P. Dick Cheney: While not the charismatic performer that Sen. Miller was, the V.P. delivered a speech in line with his own character: very matter of fact and direct with out a lot of fluff. Yes, he did throw in some jokes and did relate well to the crowd but he performed in the role he is best at: the brains of the operation. His speech outlined multiple policy points and expanded briefly on each, thus giving the crowd a glimpse of the next four years and of the President's speech tonight. And yes, he did accept the nomination for re-election!

All said, last night was a night of rousing speeches and policy definition. Tonight will be the defining night of the campaign where the President's policies will be outlined, defined and explained. After tonight the gloves come off and the final push to Nov. 2 begins. We'll see just how well run the Bush campaign is and how fast and destructive the Kerry campaign will be as it implodes.

Well, off to get dinner before the speeches begin. What a powerful night we have tonight. And speaking of power, have you seen the "theatre in the round" stage for tonight? That is the defining symbol of the power and success of President Bush! I have a feeling that if successful, this will become a main feature with party conventions focused on re-electing the incumbent, no matter which side of the aisle they're on. Talk about a cementing image for the election, this will be it.


Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Numbers from last night

Hat tip to member BT17R of YotaTech for these viewer share numbers from last night:

FOXNEWS BEATS BROADCAST NETWORKS FOR TUESDAY NIGHT COVERAGE OF CONVENTION -- HISTORIC UNPRECEDENTED NUMBERS FOR CABLE 10-11PM

FOXNEWS -- 5.2 MILLION
NBC -- 5.1 MILLION
CBS -- 4.4 MILLION
ABC -- 4.3 MILLION
MSNBC -- 1.6 MILLION
CNN -- 1.5 MILLION

FOXNEWS peak came during Laura Bush's speech with 5,216,000 viewers... [5,124,000 during Schwarzenegger]

These numbers just go to show the collapse of the mainstream media as reliable sources of information, mainly due to their own doings with liberal bias and and refusal to let go of Vietnam. The rise of the internet, conservative talk radio and the blogosphere have also helped to boost these numbers. Still, its all trending in a good direction.

Off to watch V.P. Cheney tonight on the podium. I can't wait.