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  19990718-20000326 (Casa de Smartass)



September 30, 2004

"bush's illegal war"

I'm preparing another "Dispel the Bullshit" post that will debunk all claims that "Bush's War" in Iraq is illegal.  Dispelling the "Bush lied about WMD's" will be part of it.

I thought I'd give the general public a chance, though, to scuttle my ship while she's still in dry dock.  If you can provide proof that the war is illegal, put it in the feedback thread.,

I don't expect to see anything that will hold up to even brief scrutiny.

Challenge on.

GORDON  | 5:02 pm EDT  |  Feedback  |  Permalink


September 28, 2004

What makes a man?

Acidman asked a good question recently, and when I left a comment there I realized I'd just written would would be a passable update on DTMan.

When does a boy become a man?

Acidman gives several rites of passage as "milestones," such as getting a driver's license, getting laid, graduating high school; but he is still left with a question with no certain  answer.  

One of his commenters said, "When you join the military," which I find to be a little closer to the mark.  There are several things that "MARINES DON'T DO," like wearing ear rings (the men, anyway).  This is a big deal.  Even after you leave boot camp you are regularly inspected, and Allah (pbuh) help you if you are found with a hole in your earlobe.  If you are caught off base in a club with an ear ring, your Sergeant Major is getting a call.  If you are caught by the MP's in an off-base club that has been deemed off-limits because it is known as a gathering spot for homosexuals, you are going to the brig.  This is not a joke (I wonder what they would do if a man was caught doing two bi chicks at the same time...).  But, I also knew several weasely and immature military personnel, so apparently Basic Training isn't the all-encompassing Man Factory one might expect.  Conversely, I've heard more than one hippy claim the military structure is nothing but a homosexual boys club with guns, no doubt to compensate for small penii.  If these people narrowed their comments to include only Navy personnel, I'd be forced to agree.  But as such; no.

In high school, I had the American Literature teacher, Junior or Senior year. He didn't like me because I was a smartass (shocking, I know), and my jokes were always better than his.  He cussed me publicly more than once, and he wasn't the only teacher to do so... but I digress.

He said something once that I've always remembered. The question before us was, "When does a boy become a man?" I know, extremely politically incorrect, but this was the 80's and we didn't yet know that all the white boys were going to grow up to be oppressive white men.  There was a lot of floundering for an answer.  What do 16 and 17 year old kids know about what makes a man?  It starts out to be a very simple question, but one to which you can have a hard time answering.

Mr. Christopher Kanipe, the teacher, said that he first felt like a man when he had to drive the family at 3am once, during a bad rainstorm. His wife and small children trusted him enough that they were all asleep. They needed a man to take care of things that night, and he was able to do what had to be done.

A boy becomes a man when he is needed as a man.  

I can get behind that answer.

GORDON  | 3:00 pm EDT  |  Feedback  |  Permalink


September 20, 2004


Last July there was a news blip that some members of congress submitted a request to the United Nations to monitor America's November election cycle.  One would assume the reason is that they saw fraud, corruption and malfeasance in the 2000 election, and want to ensure it doesn't happen again.

The request was signed by a dozen members of Congress.

I never heard of any response to the request, so today I searched  the United Nations website.  I found no record of the request, and no statement that they will be monitoring the election.

While on the UN page, I saw lots of places where they are monitoring elections.  Lots of war torn, and 3rd world countries.

I find it offensive that there are elected members of the federal government who have such a low opinion of my country.  Last I checked there was no armed coup in 2000.  The troops were not called out to protect the voters.  The law was followed to the letter, just as it should have been.  "Nobody ever said there was any wrongdoing." (Chief Justice Rehnquist, 2000)

None of the butt holes who signed the letter were from my state, but if you see yours in the list check them to see if they are your district.  These people are up for reelection this November, too, and they have a very warped perception of reality... on top of being assholes.

GORDON  | 10:06 pm EDT  |  Feedback  |  Permalink


September 16, 2004


Dig this picture of the damage caused by hurricane Ivan currently being distributed by the Associated Press.

GORDON  | 5:57 pm EDT  |  Feedback  |  Permalink


September 12, 2004

History lesson time.

Originally published in "The Life of Colonel David Crockett," by Edward Sylvester Ellis.

One day in the House of Representatives a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support. The speaker was just about to put the question when Crockett arose:

"Mr. Speaker--I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living, if there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has not the power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member on this floor knows it.

We have the right as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I ever heard that the government was in arrears to him.

"Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks."

He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as, no doubt, it would, but for that speech, it received but few votes, and, of course, was lost.

Later, when asked by a friend why he had opposed the appropriation, Crockett gave this explanation:

"Several years ago I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. In spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made houseless, and besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them. The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done.

"The next summer, when it began to be time to think about election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up. When riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came up, I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but as I thought, rather coldly.

"I began: 'Well friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates and---

"Yes I know you; you are Colonel Crockett. I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine, I shall not vote for you again."

"This was a sockdolger...I begged him tell me what was the matter.

"Well Colonel, it is hardly worthwhile to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting you or wounding you.'

"I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest.

But an understanding of the constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the honest he is.'

" 'I admit the truth of all you say, but there must be some mistake. Though I live in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings of Congress. My papers say you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by fire in Georgetown. Is that true?

"Well my friend; I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just the same as I did.'

"It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means.

What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government. So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he.

If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right to give at all; and as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. 'No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity.'

"'Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in this country as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have Thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing each one week's pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of wealthy men around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life.'

"The congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditably; and the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from necessity of giving what was not yours to give. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution.'

"'So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you.'

"I tell you I felt streaked. I saw if I should have opposition, and this man should go to talking and in that district I was a gone fawn-skin. I could not answer him, and the fact is, I was so fully convinced that he was right, I did not want to. But I must satisfy him, and I said to him:

"Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I had not sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to be guided by it, and thought I had studied it fully. I have heard many speeches in Congress about the powers of Congress, but what you have said here at your plow has got more hard, sound sense in it than all the fine speeches I ever heard. If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would have put my head into the fire before I would have given that vote; and if you will forgive me and vote for me again, if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot.'

"He laughingly replied; 'Yes, Colonel, you have sworn to that once before, but I will trust you again upon one condition. You are convinced that your vote was wrong. Your acknowledgment of it will do more good than beating you for it. If, as you go around the district, you will tell people about this vote, and that you are satisfied it was wrong, I will not only vote for you, but will do what I can to keep down opposition, and perhaps, I may exert some little influence in that way.'

"If I don't, said I, 'I wish I may be shot; and to convince you that I am in earnest in what I say I will come back this way in a week or ten days, and if you will get up a gathering of people, I will make a speech to them. Get up a barbecue, and I will pay for it.'

"No, Colonel, we are not rich people in this section but we have plenty of provisions to contribute for a barbecue, and some to spare for those who have none. The push of crops will be over in a few days, and we can then afford a day for a barbecue. 'This Thursday; I will see to getting it up on Saturday week. Come to my house on Friday, and we will go together, and I promise you a very respectable crowd to see and hear you.

"'Well I will be here. But one thing more before I say good-bye. I must know your name."

"'My name is Bunce.'

"'Not Horatio Bunce?'


"'Well, Mr. Bunce, I never saw you before, though you say you have seen me, but I know you very well. I am glad I have met you, and very proud that I may hope to have you for my friend.'

"It was one of the luckiest hits of my life that I met him. He mingled but little with the public, but was widely known for his remarkable intelligence, and for a heart brim-full and running over with kindness and benevolence, which showed themselves not only in words but in acts. He was the oracle of the whole country around him, and his fame had extended far beyond the circle of his immediate acquaintance. Though I had never met him, before, I had heard much of him, and but for this meeting it is very likely I should have had opposition, and had been beaten. One thing is very certain, no man could now stand up in that district under such a vote.

"At the appointed time I was at his house, having told our conversation to every crowd I had met, and to every man I stayed all night with, and I found that it gave the people an interest and confidence in me stronger than I had ever seen manifested before.

"Though I was considerably fatigued when I reached his house, and, under ordinary circumstances, should have gone early to bed, I kept him up until midnight talking about the principles and affairs of government, and got more real, true knowledge of them than I had got all my life before."

"I have known and seen much of him since, for I respect him - no, that is not the word - I reverence and love him more than any living man, and I go to see him two or three times every year; and I will tell you, sir, if every one who professes to be a Christian lived and acted and enjoyed it as he does, the religion of Christ would take the world by storm.

"But to return to my story. The next morning we went to the barbecue and, to my surprise, found about a thousand men there. I met a good many whom I had not known before, and they and my friend introduced me around until I had got pretty well acquainted - at least, they all knew me.

"In due time notice was given that I would speak to them. They gathered up around a stand that had been erected. I opened my speech by saying:

"Fellow-citizens - I present myself before you today feeling like a new man. My eyes have lately been opened to truths which ignorance or prejudice or both, had heretofore hidden from my view. I feel that I can today offer you the ability to render you more valuable service than I have ever been able to render before. I am here today more for the purpose of acknowledging my error than to seek your votes. That I should make this acknowledgment is due to myself as well as to you. Whether you will vote for me is a matter for your consideration only."

"I went on to tell them about the fire and my vote for the appropriation and then told them why I was satisfied it was wrong. I closed by saying:

"And now, fellow-citizens, it remains only for me to tell you that the most of the speech you have listened to with so much interest was simply a repetition of the arguments by which your neighbor, Mr. Bunce, convinced me of my error.

"It is the best speech I ever made in my life, but he is entitled to the credit for it. And now I hope he is satisfied with his convert and that he will get up here and tell you so.'

"He came up to the stand and said:

"Fellow-citizens - it affords me great pleasure to comply with the request of Colonel Crockett. I have always considered him a thoroughly honest man, and I am satisfied that he will faithfully perform all that he has promised you today.'

"He went down, and there went up from that crowd such a shout for Davy Crockett as his name never called forth before.'

"I am not much given to tears, but I was taken with a choking then and felt some big drops rolling down my cheeks. And I tell you now that the remembrance of those few words spoken by such a man, and the honest, hearty shout they produced, is worth more to me than all the honors I have received and all the reputation I have ever made, or ever shall make, as a member of Congress.'

"Now, sir," concluded Crockett, "you know why I made that speech yesterday. "There is one thing which I will call your attention, "you remember that I proposed to give a week's pay. There are in that House many very wealthy men - men who think nothing of spending a week's pay, or a dozen of them, for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of those same men made beautiful speeches upon the great debt of gratitude which the country owed the deceased--a debt which could not be paid by money--and the insignificance and worthlessness of money, particularly so insignificant a sum as $20,000 when weighed against the honor of the nation. Yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it."

GORDON  | 2:23 pm EDT  |  Feedback  |  Permalink


September 5, 2004

Buy stock in clothing manufacturers.

The other day I got my once-a-year craving for McDonalds, so I went to get some drive through.

I always "supersize" at McD's... not because I want the extra fries (that I never finish), but because I like the huge soft drink.  I'm usually a pretty thirsty guy.

So I order my food, and the voice from the metal box tells me that they no longer offer "supersized" food portions.  

"Oh yeah," I thought to myself, "they announced a while back they were going to eliminate large portions to try to avoid federal regulation of the fast food industry, due to the so-called obesity epidemic in America that really has nothing to do with fast-food joints, and everything to do with personal freedom and lack of self control."  Yes, I really do think in run-on sentences.

There was a thread about it in the dtman forums way back when, but it was probably lost in the server crash earlier this year.

So, I ordered whatever it was they had available, and drove on.

So, the title of this thread, why buy stock in textile mills?  Isn't it obvious?  Now that McD's will no longer supersize portions, America is going to slough off fat like Michael Moore on a desert isle, right?  McD's was what made people fat, right?

And all these people will need to be replacing their wardrobes with hip hugger jeans and undersized t-shirts...


GORDON  | 2:37 pm EDT  |  Feedback  |  Permalink


August 26, 2004

"Presidential Race Still Squeaky Tight"

is one of the headlines on MSNBC right now. The blurb I read was, "The polls are so close that each candidate will have to work hard to keep their sides fired up."

The first candidate to say something halfway nice about his opponent will win. "The honorable Mr. X is a good man. He has a lot of good intentions, and I believe he truly wants what he feels is best for America and Americans.  However..."

That will win over the fence sitters.

I think Bush can get away with this.

Kerry, with his broad support of "Anyone but Bush" people, can't. He may win a few in the middle, but he'll lose the far left if he says anything about Bush beyond that he's the antichrist.

Just a thought.

When the president actually starts campaigning, I think we'll see this.

GORDON  | 1:23 pm EDT  |  Feedback  |  Permalink


August 24, 2004

One of these mainstream news sources is doing its own thing...

One of these mainstream news sources just doesn't belong.

A few hours ago, 2 passenger airliners leaving the same airport on the same runway both crashed hundreds of miles away from each other.  At the time of this writing, terrorism is being suspected.

Current news site front pages:

Slow or biased?  They aren't slow, because they've got the story pushed off to the right.  CNN just has a different idea of what's newsworthy.  Humiliated terrorists from 6 months ago are definitely more important that entire families being wiped out tonight.

God forbid anyone think there's a global terrorist problem.

GORDON  | 10:44 pm EDT  |  Feedback  |  Permalink


August 19, 2004


Went to see Alien vs. Predator last night, and in the row behind me was half of a squad of Marines.

They were all chatting to each other, and I was just sitting there not really paying attention... until they started telling the "new guy" of their group something that happened recently in Iraq.

Ooooo, I though.  Story time.

Well, it wasn't really a story... but the guys in the middle were making fun of the guy on the end for walking up to an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) on the side of the road during a patrol, and kicking it.

It was a bomb, but it had been wired wrong.

They were laughing and making fun of the guy for, and I quote, being "the worst... pointman...EVAR."

Kind of cracked me up.

Then during the previews they showed a holiday movie opening up in November, and one of the guys said, "I'll probably not be able to see it 'cause I'll be dead by then."

His buddy answered, "Nah, you won't be dead, you'll just be in the sandbox."

GORDON  | 1:40 pm EDT  |  Feedback  |  Permalink


August 13, 2004


Why is that almost 10 years later, I still dream about being in the Marines?

The last few dreams have been that I was reinstated to my former position, and I was in uniform and on duty, but that I kept forgetting to shave my beard.  I guess it's sort of the civilian equivalent of dreaming you went to school naked.

Does this happen to any other vets?

GORDON  | 11:44 am EDT  |  Feedback  |  Permalink


August 11, 2004


I tell you what...

I just registered for a couple classes at the local college. I'm doing it just for fun, and to learn some things I've always wanted to learn.

With the money I'll receive from the G.I. Bill alone, I'll be making an approximate 300% profit over the costs of classes and books.

If I was in dire financial straits I'd be eligible for even more money with various grants.

If anyone ever says you have to have rich parents to go to college, they're full of shit. It's all about the choices everyone is free to make.

GORDON  |  5:38 pm EDT  |  Feedback  |  Permalink


August 1, 2004

Putting the shit back in the horse Part 2.

Part 2 of my ongoing debunking of liberal propaganda positions concerns the line, "Bush acted unilaterally."  People who believe this either misunderstand what has happened since 9-11, consider the United Nations to be the true governing authority of the United States, or know better and just lie to support their positions.

The following is the list of countries that support Operation Iraqi Freedom, standing shoulder to shoulder with American troops:

Costa Rica
Czech Republic
Dominican Republic
El Salvador
Marshall Islands
Philippines (surrendered)
Solomon Islands
South Korea
Spain (surrendered)
United Kingdom
United States

We've lost Spain and the Philippines due to cowardice, but at least they tried, unlike our "classical allies" France and Germany.  No one knows for sure their true motivations, so I w o n 't  s p e c u l a t e as to why in this article.

But to say that President Bush has done anything unilaterally is easily proven incorrect.

GORDON  |  2:56 pm EDT  |  Feedback  |  Permalink


July 30, 2004


The Democratic National Convention's "Free Speech Zone," 2004.  Separated for their own good.

Japanese Internment Camp, ca. 1944.  Separated for their own good.

I hope the Republicans don't pull this shit in New York City.  Let the lefties be right in the cameras in all their glory.

GORDON  |  2:56 pm EDT  |  Feedback  |  Permalink


July 28, 2004


In the Marines, one of the first things beaten into you by the drill instructors is the concept of integrity.  You are expected to be honest, forthright, and in all other ways adhere to a strict moral code.  Not a moral code in a religious sense, but rather the idea that it is better to die as an honest man than to live as a lying, sniveling worm.  This was even touched on in the most realistic Marine boot camp movie of all time, Full Metal Jacket.  When Private Joker states that he doesn't "love the Virgin Mary," he is beaten and threatened with further beatings that he'd better "sound off that (he) loves the Virgin Mary," or else.  Private Joker stuck to his guns under the threat of further physical violence, and he was rewarded for it.  Integrity.

This is the main reason I find that I can't get behind John Kerry, no matter how hard I try.  And I have tried.  I think Bush is on the wrong path with the anti-gay-marriage amendment.  I don't like his abortion stance, and I hate his ban on stem cell research.  I'm not sure if I like the Patriot Act.  I'm not sure about his environmental ideas.

But, there is one thing I understand about all the policies: he is doing what he personally feels is right.  He is following his own ethical code, no matter whether or not Registered Voter Gordo likes it.  

I don't like many of his positions on issues, but I respect him as a Man.

Which brings me back to John Kerry, who will promise his booty to anybody with money or a vote, and he'll have a message tailor made for each person.  There's been enough using his own words to prove he is of two-faces on positions for whichever side will reward him most, so I think I can just say that as a given.  Today's release of the 11 minute "Kerry Flip Flopping; His Own Words" (Direct Link) video highlights this in a nicely edited, F911esque package (that I certainly do question the timing of, considering the Democratic National Convention is happening today).  

I just don't trust him.

If I were to have a beer with W, I wouldn't doubt his sincerity (actually, W would be having a Coke, wouldn't he.).  If I was having a beer and Kerry was there with a Zima, I'd wonder which version of Kerry I was seeing.  I'd wonder where he had me pigeonholed, and to which demographic he was pandering.

He has no integrity, and for people like me that's a big deal.  It is probably seen as an antiquated concept bereft of nuance by most, but I'm ok with that.  A lot of people consider calling someone a "cowboy" an insult, too.

Kerry is worse than a $5 whore... he gives up the booty to anybody for cheap, but never for free.

GORDON  |  7:52 pm EDT  |  Feedback  |  Permalink


July 27, 2004


I mentioned a couple posts ago that the words most damaging to the Kerry campaign will be coming from Michael Moore's mouth, and it looks like I may be right: they aren't letting him speak at the Democratic National Convention:

The Democratic Party is giving filmmaker Michael Moore what he called ``red carpet treatment'' at the party convention in Boston, including a box inside the FleetCenter and credentials to mingle with the delegates and press.

The one thing Moore did not get from the Democrats was an opportunity to address the crowd. A self-described independent voter, Moore said he's satisfied helping Democratic nominee John Kerry through his movie ``Fahrenheit 9/11,'' which questions President George W. Bush's handling of the Sept. 11 attacks and the war in Iraq.

Looks like the DNC organizers agree with me.  They've still given him VIP treatment in a nod to his convincing the weak minded that the President is a talking monkey (a bilingual talking monkey with an MBA), but they're "stifling his freedom of speech" by not letting him drive the center any more toward Bush than he already has.

Not letting Moore speak at the DNC is actually a smart move for the Dems.

From the transcripts I've read, the people speaking at the convention sound more like Republicans than any Republicans have since Reagan.  What's up with that?  Is it just the "say anything you have to in order to get the votes?"  It smacks of insincerity to me.  This is the most liberal ticket since Mondale/Ferraro, and now they're trying to sell themselves as Reagan/Bush.

Speaking of Reagan, I remember during the funeral reading some liberal bemoan how the conservatives are really going to play the dead president up during their election drive.  He mentioned about how ghoulish and opportunistic it was.

So, which convention is having Reagan's son as a speaker?  Yeah, that's what I thought.

Anything to get elected.

At least with President Bush you know what to expect; love him or hate him, he's consistent.  Kerry and Edwards?  If you don't like their positions... well, they've never admitted to having any positions, have they, beyond that Bush is a big meany.  You can't piss people off if you never take a position on anything.  I said over 6 months ago how they come off so pessimistic... the economy sucks, Iraq is a quagmire, Bush is incompetent.  Now they're trying to sell themselves as the opposite.  Style over substance.  Botox-boy over the cowboy.

One last random thought... if I was under artillery fire, and there was 2 different foxholes to jump in to with Bush in one, Kerry in the other... which would I choose?  It definitely wouldn't be the shrapnel magnet who supposedly got hit 3 times in 3 months.

If liberals are allowed to question Bush's National Guard service, then I'm allowed to question the validity of John Fonda Kerry's Purple Hearts (or Enemy Marksmanship Medals, as Dick Marcinko tells it).

GORDON  |  4:02 pm EDT  |  Feedback  |  Permalink


July 15, 2004

Meanwhile, across town at a NAACP rally....

I am down, blood!

GORDON  |  10:07 pm EDT  |  Feedback  |  Permalink


July 14, 2004


I had a touch of writer's block recently, and ended up bookmarking a whole bunch of things while trying to think of a subject to write about.  Here they are.  (I don't remember where I saw any of these, so feel free to hat tip yourselves in the feedback thread.)

Kingdom of Loathing - A goofy little web-based multiplayer role playing game.

Web Monkey - In the mid-90's when I was an HTML n00b, I used this website to teach myself how to make web pages.  It was gone for awhile, but now it's back.  This is a great reference for all things web pagey.

Transterrestrial Musings - A blogesque site mainly about aerospace, but peppered with random tech bits.  I found this page when that civilian ship went into space recently.

W Ketchup - It's either right-wing extremism, or left-wing subversive.  I dunno.

Simon World - a westerner living in Hong Kong.

Public Agenda Issues - A self-proclaimed "non-partisan" opinion research organization.  I remember hearing that you get a fairly neutral look at the issues from both sides of the fence.  I can neither vouch for the neutrality nor how up-to-date the information is.  The one issue I looked at was dated.

Stars & Strips - Yes, the newspaper they always talked about on M*A*S*H.  They used to highlight soldiers, Marines, and squids who went above and beyond... the few issues I've read didn't have any of that.

2002 State of the Union address - I researched this when I had to tell some anti-Bush peeps why they were full of shit.

Michael Moore's home page - Some of the most damaging things to the democrats' efforts in 2004 will be from Moore's mouth.  

France opposes UN sanctions in Sudan - Because of the oil contracts the have there.  Obviously.

Peeps against John Kerry - This looks familiar, have I posted it before?

JJ Walker's page - he seems to be conservative.  Dyno-mite!

GORDON  |  7:37 pm EDT  |  Feedback  |  Permalink


July 13, 2004


I just finished reading Breakout at Normandy, The 2nd Armored Division in the Land of the Dead by Mark Bando (MBI Publishing Company, 1999).  This 160 page non-fiction book mainly covers the period of time between the landing at Normandy, and Patton's Battle of the Bulge, specifically with the American breakout that made Patton's famous maneuver possible.

The book tells a lot of its story from the words of the actual men through the ranks who were there, and made it happen, from General "Lightning Joe" Collins who led the breakout, to Private Charles Rost who drove a medium tank.

A lot of the men quoted from letters and reports didn't survive the war, but some did.  A lot of those who came home later became dismayed that their sacrifices were being forgotten.  Men named Whittington and Cleveland and Chubby Williams went into France on D-Day and distinguished themselves valiantly on the cutting edge of the allied advance.

"In postwar years, Whittington became known as "Rocky" and stayed in the Army, receiving a commission.  He served as a career officer in Aberdeen, Maryland, in Germany, and in Vietnam as early as 1962, where he suffered a heart attack.  He remained on inactive status as a major until he officially retired in 1967.  On 17 January 1969, Whittington was found dead in a locked room, dead of a gunshot wound.  A .45 automatic was found at his side.  No note was left to explain his actions.

In 1972, John Cleveland...ended his life in the same manner as Whittington.  After serving out a career in the military, Cleveland was residing over the Staunton, Virginia, Military Academy at the time of his death.  

Perhaps it is no coincidence that both these men chose to end their lives during the Vietnam War.  They were no doubt appalled by the flag burning protestors who could not reconcile the concept that love of flag and country were not synonymous with embracing an unpopular war.  For a time, the media made it appear that an entire generation of Americans would never again respect the flag, nor the combat veterans who had made their right to protest possible.

If this nightmare was the legacy that their sacrifices bought, what meaning did it all have?  What were the priceless valor decorations worth in a society that had forgotten them?

And so it goes.

Was it just a coincidence that a few survivors of the Land des Mortes battle chose to end their own lives?  We will never know.  But as recently as 1990, the man who was Chubby William's companion on Death Night also used a .45 pistol to end his own life.

With the passing of decades and a quick victory in the Gulf War with few casualties, considerable healing has taken place within the American society.  Flag waving has again become acceptable, although perverted values and the elevation of criminals to celebrity status, among other things, has World War II survivors again shaking their heads in disbelief.  Indeed, American societal values have changed so much that one veteran commented recently, "The men who died fighting to preserve our way of life in World War II are rolling over in their graves."  O.B. Hill of the 82nd Airborne write, "When I think that during the war, we killed better men than those on our streets today; I wonder how we have slipped this far."
(Bando, 143)

Take a look today at the people who have chosen sides, and tell me whether the generations who have gone before would despair, or would be proud of, the battles you've chosen to fight.  History is watching, and in 50 years nobody will care what tenth of a percentage point between 4% and 6% at which American unemployment was sitting at, but they will definitely see a different middle east than the one George W. Bush inherited in 2000.  It's important to figure out where your priorities lie.

GORDON  |  10:06 pm EDT  |  Feedback  |  Permalink


July 3, 2004

Things that bug me.

One of the things that bugs me is when people quote bullshit as fact.

I was never a huge Al Gore fan, but it always bugged me when someone would drop the "Al Gore invented the internet" bomb as proof that Gore is an idiot.  Maybe he's an idiot, maybe he's not (I tend to believe not), but he never said he invented the internet.  Years later I still see people say it.  And it bugs me.

Something more currently relevant, and rarely a day goes by when I don't see it in print (and rarely a week goes by when someone doesn't try to say it to me), is that President Bush wasn't elected, he was selected by the Supreme Court.  It even still makes national news when some partisan dumbass "accidentally" lets the allegation slip.

So, right now I am going to state that the Supreme Court did not "select" Bush as the winner of Florida in the 2000 election, and I'm going to provide evidence.  I'm mostly doing this so I can refer to this post in the future, when correcting other idiots.  I'm not going to state that the idiots who think Gore won the election are uneducated simps merely repeating what someone else told them because they lack the brainpower to do their own research and draw their own conclusions.  That's not the point of this post.

In a nutshell, the Florida Supreme court was going to ignore their own election laws and allow yet another hand recount of ballots.  One hand recount had already been done (as well as a machine recount preceding it) in accordance with Florida law, which Al Gore had every right to request.  Al Gore then petitioned Florida to extend the hand count, extending the election.  The Florida Supreme Court chose to waive their own requirement that results be posted by a certain date.  Bush petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States, the SCOTUS ruled that Florida must follow its own laws regarding recounts, the Florida Supreme Court agreed, and it was all over but for the Democratic wailing (which we're still hearing four years later).

The Supreme Court never said, "Bush is now President."  The Supreme Court said, "Florida has to follow the laws on their books."  They never even said, "They have to follow their laws and if Bush won then Bush won."  No, they said Florida had to obey their law.  How terrible, eh?

The proceedings leading to the present controversy are discussed in some detail in our opinion in Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Bd., ante, p. ____ (per curiam)

(Bush I). On November 8, 2000, the day following the Presidential election, the Florida Division of Elections reported that petitioner, Governor Bush, had received 2,909,135 votes, and respondent, Vice President Gore, had received 2,907,351 votes, a margin of 1,784 for Governor Bush. Because Governor Bush’s margin of victory was less than “one-half of a percent . . . of the votes cast,” an automatic machine recount was conducted under §102.141(4) of the election code, the results of which showed Governor Bush still winning the race but by a diminished margin. Vice President Gore then sought

manual recounts in Volusia, Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties, pursuant to Florida’s election protest provisions. Fla. Stat. §102.166 (2000). A dispute arose concerning the deadline for local county canvassing boards to submit their returns to the Secretary of State (Secretary). The Secretary declined to waive the November 14 deadline imposed by statute. §§102.111, 102.112. The Florida Supreme Court, however, set the deadline at November 26. We granted certiorari and vacated the Florida Supreme Court’s decision, finding considerable uncertainty as to the grounds on which it was based. Bush I, ante, at ___–___ (slip. op., at 6–7). On December 11, the Florida Supreme Court issued a decision on remand reinstating that date. ___ So. 2d ___, ___ (slip op. at 30–31).

On November 26, the Florida Elections Canvassing Commission certified the results of the election and declared Governor Bush the winner of Florida’s 25 electoral votes. On November 27, Vice President Gore, pursuant to Florida’s contest provisions, filed a complaint in Leon Cite as: 531 U. S. ____ (2000) 3 Per Curiam County Circuit Court contesting the certification. Fla. Stat. §102.168 (2000). He sought relief pursuant to §102.168(3)(c), which provides that “[r]eceipt of a number of illegal votes or rejection of a number of legal votes sufficient to change or place in doubt the result of the election” shall be grounds for a contest. The Circuit Court denied relief, stating that Vice President Gore failed to meet his burden of proof. He appealed to the First District Court of Appeal, which certified the matter to the Florida Supreme Court.

Accepting jurisdiction, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part. Gore v. Harris, ___ So. 2d. ____ (2000). The court held that the Circuit Court had been correct to reject Vice President Gore’s challenge to the results certified in Nassau County and his challenge to the Palm Beach County Canvassing Board’s determination that 3,300 ballots cast in that county were not, in the statutory phrase, “legal votes.”


No one claims there was any fraud in the election.
Rehnquist's comments

The above links give most of the relevant official text of the decisions, and what happened overall.

As an aside, for a while I've believed that certain people with a specific (anti-Bush) political bent were willing to distort fact and truth to support their own beliefs.  Having just read the above court cases in their entirety, and having understood most of it, I can say I'm officially scared of the people who will make web pages like this.  It's pure horse shit, made to look official.  He states "I swear I heard him say it," and all official documentation says he's lying.  I can understand how people could be misled.

And that's the problem.


Now, I'm not going to argue that Gore won the popular vote.  Nobody contests that.  If you have a problem with the electoral vote process, you need to take that up with your state government, since every state ratified the Constitution, which clearly lays out the electoral voting concept.  In my opinion, if you'd rather elect presidents by popular vote, you might as well admit that only New York and California matter and the rest of the states can just go fuck themselves*.  In case you didn't know, the electoral vote process was put into place so that states like Wyoming and Arkansas would still be relevant in a national election.  But again, just tell them to go hell if that particular jackboot fits your foot.

*Cheney, 2004

GORDON  |  1:46 pm EDT  |  Feedback  |  Permalink

2nd Quarter, 2004