October 27, 2004

Open Thread

I'll be back shortly, probably later on in the day. In the meantime, feel free to discuss whatever you feel like talking about in the comments.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at October 27, 2004 12:32 AM
Comments

Single superpower raising infant democracies.

Posted by: Patrick Lasswell at October 27, 2004 12:47 AM

I guess this might be a good time to remind a few people that the nihilistic Muslims greatly desire the destruction of George W. Bush. Take a look at this article:

"If the U.S. Army suffered numerous humiliating losses, [Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John] Kerry would emerge as the superman of the American people," said Mohammad Amin Bashar, a leader of the Muslim Scholars Association, a hard-line clerical group that vocally supports the resistance.”

http://www.washtimes.com/world/20041027-121030-7792r.htm

Posted by: David Thomson at October 27, 2004 01:11 AM

Or we could take this opportunity to remind those same "few people" of something a little less dreary. On a happier note...

The Boston Red Sox kick ass and are actually about to break the Curse! Woo-hoo!

Posted by: Grant McEntire at October 27, 2004 01:42 AM

Wait Grant, wasn't it Bush who claimed "You're a Liberal pussy, and yes, it's true that I kick ass. Yehahhh. This land, will surely vote for me".
I mean, I heard it with my own ears! (and replay too)

And of course, with the end of elections coming, exploding blogger head syndrome should be greatly reduced. I know MY wife is looking forward to it.
See http://americandigest.org/

And check out Donald Sensing's review of the legality of the Iraq War.
http://www.donaldsensing.com/2004/10/nuclear-proliferation-dilemma.html

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at October 27, 2004 02:47 AM

Discuss the first paragraph of this article
http://reuters.myway.com/article/20041026/2004-10-26T173005Z_01_N25177754_RTRIDST_0_ODD-MAFIA-DC.html

"Just" two bodies? Awwwww..this wasn't even hardly worth it. Waste of time really.

Posted by: Eric Blair at October 27, 2004 05:08 AM

Does anybody know where I left my 380 tons of explosives?

Posted by: Barney at October 27, 2004 05:13 AM

Barney: I believe that particular shipment was sent to Syria.

GRANT: From one Sox fan to another - do NOT say that out loud again. It takes four wins to be the World Series champion.

Posted by: too many steves at October 27, 2004 05:28 AM

I'm hoping for "curse transfer" myself (seeing as how Kerry said he'd take the Whitehouse over a BoSox victory).

Go Sox!

Posted by: Mark Poling at October 27, 2004 06:26 AM

Re Belmont Club's assertion that the CBS April 4 report clears up the matter on the explosives - the second NYT story today notes that "A few days earlier, some soldiers from the division thought they had discovered a cache of chemical weapons that turned out to be pesticides. Several of them came down with rashes, and they had to go through a decontamination procedure. Colonel Anderson said he wanted to avoid a repeat of those problems, and because he had already seen stockpiles of weapons in two dozen places, did not care to poke through the stores at Al Qaqaa."

This was Capn Ed's samples and starter materials, and it is apparently different from the 380 tons. Belmont's assertion, too, seems to be about a different stockpile/lab at the same (large) site.

Anderson didn't know it was an IAEA site but the April 4 visitors did? I guess that's possible...

The truth is out there, but it requires a very, very careful examination of all the details and I think people are knee-jerking at it because the election is close. Let's find the truth, not just each side's take on it. Like almost everything else in this war, it's too important to be partisan about... even if other people are being partisan.

Posted by: Undertoad at October 27, 2004 07:51 AM

"380 tons of explosives would require about 40 truckloads to haul it away. It would have taken more than 1 week (and an unbelievable amount of man-hours and heavy-moving equipment) simply to load the trucks."

A single army 5-ton can haul up to 10 tons if you keep it on pavement or other solid surface. A semi can haul double that, or more. So if you figure 20 tons per trailer you could move this with 19 trailers, or 38 trucks with a 10 ton capacity. This would not take unheard of amounts of man-hours or heavy equipment. A back of the envelope swag would put this at 20 guys being able to load this up in under a week, by hand. Sooner, if suitably 'motivated' or if more bodies are provided. I was an ammo nco for an independent Armored Cav Troop, you'd be surprised what you can do on a routine basis.

Posted by: JSAllison at October 27, 2004 08:15 AM

Is it too late to mention another anti-Bush hawk article? I found this one very compelling:

Today, over three years since the attack, our major enemies remain unidentified, unsought, undefeated, and undeterred. Bush has given them all this time and leeway to build nuclear weapons, "educate" more children, train more
terrorists, and plan more attacks. Moreover, he has shown them that America will not target regimes that abet attacks against her; she will target only a few worker bees, while sacrificing more Americans in the process. That must be seen by the sheiks and mullahs as a bargain.

http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?id=3960

Posted by: Brad Williams at October 27, 2004 08:24 AM

So, I guess Sadaam was a danger. Anyway you look at it, the IAEA should of had it destroyed instead of just putting labels on it, as these explosives were against the UN resolutions. But, its ok, JFK will make the UN do a better job of supporting us. They'll love a weak Pres. then they can continue their Jew and christian hating genocides and other atrocities unimpeded. I hear JFK is planning a state dinner for UBL to work out our differences over Tea and Camel meat or maybe Goose,hooray!

Posted by: Barney at October 27, 2004 08:31 AM

Its ok, Brad. JFK has a plan!!!

Posted by: Barney at October 27, 2004 08:32 AM

The Boston Red Sox kick ass and are actually about to break the Curse! Woo-hoo

and thank god for that if only because I'm so sick of hearing about it.

Posted by: David at October 27, 2004 08:35 AM

Assume you are with a motley band of al'qaeda groupies looking for explosives, would you steal (loot) 380 tons of explosives? And never use them?

Maybe I'd believe a group of thieves stole 200 pounds. Not 380 tons.

Posted by: Terry at October 27, 2004 08:39 AM

Brad,

So Bush was bad for deposing the Taliban and Saddam, but he's worse for not having smashed Syria and Iran as well -- or first? Who's arguments are this "objectivist's" ravings supposed to help?

Craig Biddle and his monomanica nitwit friends need to go back and read Adam Smith, who had an eminently sane perspective on the interplay of self-interest and "altruism."

Posted by: AnthonyinGresham at October 27, 2004 09:10 AM

You Sox fans are delusional. The Cards are just teasing; now you'll get to see how it feels to have a team come back after three straight losses and whip your booty.

Either that, or we're taking back the new stadium we're building them!

Posted by: Jennifer at October 27, 2004 09:46 AM

I guess this might be a good time to remind a few people that the nihilistic Muslims greatly desire the destruction of George W. Bush. Take a look at this article

From the same article: The most pro-Bush, he said, are the foreign extremists. “They prefer Bush, because he’s a provocative figure, and the more they can push people to the extreme, the better for their case.”

Should we trust the words of our enemies, relayed through unnamed reporters? Should we take their statements at face value? Or, should we look at the effect these statements are intended to have?

If the effect of these statements is to encourage people to vote for Bush, then the terrorists are in fact for Bush and not for Kerry.

In other news, the DHS is aware that al Qaeda and street gangs might be forming an alliance. Despite that, Bush still allows thousands of illegal aliens to stream over our porous borders each day. (Yes, it is Bush's fault because he's sharply reduced the number of companies that are fined for immigration violations and because he continues to give incentives to illegal aliens.)

So, Bush's policies are making it easier for potential terrorists to infiltrate the U.S.

Posted by: The Lonewacko Blog at October 27, 2004 10:11 AM

It's official: pro-war Chris Hitchins has decided to vote for Kerry.

Posted by: Mara at October 27, 2004 10:18 AM

Mara -- link?

Posted by: markus rose at October 27, 2004 10:26 AM

OK I found it at Slate. Wow, its an utterly amazing article in which a dozen or so writers talk about how unimpressed they are with Kerry and how they plan to vote for him.

I'm a Kerry supporter and I'm feeling really good about winning next Tuesday, barring some Kerry screwup in the next five days. Do you guys think I'm delusional?

Posted by: Markus Rose at October 27, 2004 10:35 AM

Not delusional. Just likely mistaken. I mean, the weekly-reader presidential poll has picked each winner since 1972, (I'm not sure they existed before '68) and they picked Bush this year.

The kids can't be wrong, right?

Posted by: Eric Blair at October 27, 2004 10:39 AM

“I do think that Bush deserves praise for his implacability, and that Kerry should get his worst private nightmare and have to report for duty.”

---Christopher Hitchens

This conclusion is senseless. John Kerry is a sixty year old man who has a long history of appeasing our nation’s enemies. Expecting that he will “report for duty” is similar to hoping that the family wastrel will change his ways because new responsibilities are thrust upon him. It’s indeed possible---but not a probability.

Posted by: David Thomson at October 27, 2004 10:47 AM

I didn't read an endorsement of Kerry out of what Hitchens wrote. It looked more like a slap in the face. Nobody could read that and want to vote for Kerry. Kind of like having Kaus as a "supporter".

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at October 27, 2004 10:51 AM

Personally I expect a buried correction from Slate; the explanation Hitchens wrote was, shall we say, somewhat obscure, and I think whoever collated the opinions interpreted it incorrectly.

Either that, or Hitchens will write a longer piece explaining why he changed his mind.

Posted by: Mark Poling at October 27, 2004 10:52 AM

The idea that voting for Kerry and and the Democrats will somehow suddenly make the left "serious" and "take responsibility" for Iraq is an unrivaled fantasy that tests the borders of sanity. It is analogized to the Cold War. But the left was NEVER serious about the Cold War, and NEVER took responsibility for it. By 1968, this was apparrent to all normal Americans, which is why the only Democrat to win since then was Carter (who won based on Watergate than on anything else). Kerry would react to Islamists the way Carter reacted to the Soviet Union. Only this time, the stakes are higher since the Soviet Union was at some point rational, and the terrorists are motivated by their unceasing desire to eliminate the West from the face of the Earth.

Any Kerry supporter who votes for him in the vain hope that he'll take Iraq seriously, that the War on Terror will suddenly become a "bipartisan" effort, is grasping for a dream that will soon become a waking nightmare. Read Lileks. He gives a deserved fisking to this lunatic fantasy in his thrashing of Andrew Sullivan.

Posted by: Sydney Carton at October 27, 2004 10:52 AM

Marcus,

Kerry will lose, 52% - 45%, by 120 EV.

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at October 27, 2004 10:53 AM

I should point out that I meant Carter was the only Democrat since 1968 to win DURING THE COLD WAR. Clinton came after.

Posted by: Sydney Carton at October 27, 2004 10:53 AM

Matthew Cromer,

You might be right but I really think that we have insufficient data to make any real guesses. A month ago, I figured Michigan was Bush's, Zoogby posted this, just this week:

"John Kerry holds the lead in the state of Michigan, according to a poll by Zogby International. 52 per cent of respondents would vote for the Democratic nominee, while 42 per cent would support Republican incumbent George W. Bush."

Add to that the other big swingers:

"Kerry is backed by 49 percent of likely voters in Florida, and Bush has 46 percent, within the 4 percentage-point error margin, the Manchester, New Hampshire-based survey reported. One percent chose independent candidate Ralph Nader and 4 percent said they were undecided.

In Ohio, likely voters support Kerry by 49 percent, compared with 47 percent for Bush, and 4 percent were undecided. Likely voters in Pennsylvania supported Kerry over Bush by 50 percent to 47 percent, with 3 percent undecided. Nader isn't on the ballot in Ohio and Pennsylvania."

Until we get a clear lead from one or the other in at least two of these states, the election, seems to me, to be very much in the air.

Of course, Zoogby could be an evil partisan hack.

Ratatosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 27, 2004 11:04 AM

Hitchens is (slightly) for Bush:

http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20041108&s=hitchens

Posted by: Ben at October 27, 2004 11:05 AM

Can we please talk about puppies for a little while?

No?

Okay, go Cardinals. And Bishops.

And go Kerry. Go away Kerry. Please just go away Kerry.

Hitchens' piece wasn't exactly a ringing endorsement of a Kerry presidency. I believe Hitchens is taking the easy route--criticizing both candidates deservedly and accurately, while leaving his true opinion ambiguous to the reader. For what it's worth, and for what Hitchens' opinion is worth, I don't think two-plus years of writing that has pretty clearly stated where his political leanings now are can be undone by a couple of vague paragraphs.

Posted by: Wm at October 27, 2004 11:13 AM

Here's the link on Hitchins decision. It's on The New Republic, too.
Slate

Posted by: Mara at October 27, 2004 11:25 AM

What to do if Kerry is elected.

1. Don't fly
2. Don't go in tall buildings but if you do survive with injuries you will have the GOV't health plan to pay for it
3. Stay out of Sbarros
4. Move to Europe the people there will love ya more than ever.
5 If you're in the military turn your armor around so you don't get stabbed in the back.

And remember if Mr. BoTox wins the curse of the Bosox will be on all of us.

Posted by: Barney at October 27, 2004 11:30 AM

In order for the feminist movement to gain power, specifically during the latter part of the 20th century, these women had to destroy the female.

Posted by: syn at October 27, 2004 11:32 AM

http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=express&s=sullivan102604

Damn,

if you were unclear on the Slate piece, check out his full article in the New Republic. He is completely endorsing Kerry, while pointing out that either Bush or Kerry will NOT be the end of the world, but that they're both second-class politicans.

It's a good read, logical and non-partisan, I enjoyed it. More importantly, if he would have said he was voting for Bush at the end of it... I would still have felt the same way.

Three Cheers for Andrew!

Tosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 27, 2004 11:35 AM

I'd like to hear an elaboration on Christopher Hitchens' change from Bush to Kerry. On Oct 21 he supported Bush (barely) in "The Nation" http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20041108&s=hitchens (Bush)

Today, he's quoted in "Slate Magazine as supporting Kerry.
http://slate.msn.com/id/2108714/ (Kerry)

Posted by: Ted B. at October 27, 2004 11:41 AM

Ratatosk checks his meds.

Damnit I was looking for Hitchens not Sullivan.... Damn bloggers!!!

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 27, 2004 11:46 AM

And just because we all know that the Illuminati and numerology actually run our planet:

F = 6th letter of the alphabet

O = 15th letter of the alphabet

X = 24th letter of the alphabet

Therefore . . .

F = 6

O = 1 + 5 = 6

X = 2 + 4 = 6

Therefore . . .

FOX = 666

(Thanks to Kent Bentkowski)

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 27, 2004 12:00 PM

I like Hitchens, particularly when he writes on literature in the Atlantic. He's the product of an incredible, probably mostly self-directed education. But he's just all over the place and totally out to lunch -- probably a three-martini one -- when it comes to taking a stand politically. I certainly won't self righteously begrudge him his alleged fondness for liquor. But his thinking does get sloppy at times. I imagine he spends a lot of time thinking about what a brilliant sentence he has just written, like I often do when I'm drunk. Sharp insights, a strong moral compass, and real gold mixed in with a lot of dross...this leads to impulsive opinions formed with his intellect in the service of his sentiments, rather than the other way around. Like I said, I like the guy, but reading him is like talking to a very, very smart guy who has just had his ninth or tenth brandy of the evening.

Posted by: Markus Rose at October 27, 2004 12:20 PM

Markus,

I think political conversations after the 9th or 10th brandy would probably be much more productive that the political conversations we've seen over the past 6 months.

At least then we have an excuse when future generations decide that we all had our heads up our asses.

;-)

Tosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 27, 2004 12:26 PM

Do you guys think I'm delusional?

In this respect you are. Slate did the exact same thing in 2000 and discovered in their own words "a near-monolithic Gore cult" analogous to the near-monolithic pro-Kerry sentiment this go-round. Slate is a "liberal" magazine doing "liberal" journalism. It's a very good magazine and the fact that they are willing to admit their biases up front makes me respect them more, but the fact that nearly everyone who writes or works for them is going to vote for Kerry should be nor surprise to anyone. Also, keep in mind that a lot of these writers live in New York, Seattle, and Washington DC where almost everyone is for Kerry anyway and their votes are near meaningless. Their might be plenty of good reasons to think Kerry has a shot at winning, but the Slate "poll" is certainly not one of them.

Posted by: Eric Deamer at October 27, 2004 12:52 PM

Ok, Ann Althouse posted this quote from NYT:

"The stockpile was found to be intact in March 2003, when United Nations weapons inspectors checked it just days before the American-led invasion. On April 10, one day after Saddam Hussein was toppled, American troops visited the Al Qaqaa depot, not finding any big cache of explosives but apparently not looking very closely either."

Now, $lick tells us that moving that many tons of material would take "about 40 truckloads to haul it away. It would have taken more than 1 week (and an unbelievable amount of man-hours and heavy-moving equipment) simply to load the trucks."

So if they were there in March... we could ask what date in March they were last seen and how many 'days' passed between that date and our occupation of that depot. If its greater than a week, then we can guess that Saddam waited until the IAEA left and immediately began loading trucks (when did the mysterious convoy cross into Syria?) If we have a week between the IAEA and the trcuk convoy, then we can buiild a pretty good case that Saddam may have run them across the border.

If there is less than a week between the IAEA and the convoy, then maybe $lick's numbers are wrong, or Saddam had more manpower than $lick estimated.

If however, the convoy corssed into Syria within a few days of the IAEA visit, it seems likely that this material wasn't on those trucks.

No matter which of these scenerios are correct (or if some other scenerio is correct), we have much more important questions than "when did it disappear".

1. If Saddam spirited them away, was it for his supporters to use inside Iraq once an occupation began? Or, did he send it to Syria in order to distribute it to his allies or sympathizers outside of Iraq? Was it a payment to Syria or Saudi in exchange for insurgent support post occupation?

2. Why has no one used these explosives yet? At a time when terrorists, insurgents, Islamic Fundamentalists and Baathists are trying to cause chaos and destroy the American presence (as well as the new Iraqi government), why would they not make use of a cache this size?

3. How difficult is it to smuggle such materials into the US? Are these materials something that we're specifically looking for at the borders?

If they went missing a year ago, I doubt that the stockpile has remained in one piece. I also suspect that the trail has grown cold enough that we may never know where they went. If these two statements are true, then recovery of this material is unlikely.

So now, we know that someone (probably someone who doesn't like us very much) has a large ammount of explosives.

I'm not blaming Bush yet, (and I won't until we hear that those stockpiles were there when we took over) but I can't imagine that this makes America safer.

Does anyone know what the weather is like in Cusco, Peru right now? ;-)

Ratatosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 27, 2004 12:54 PM

A political wise guy that I know, who spent lots of years, albeit at the state level, tracking polls and such, says that Kerry is likely to win because Bush's positives, at about 50% or less, are too low for an incumbant. This means that there is not a lot of passionate support for him and people are likely to break for the challenger once they reach the voting booth.

Change for change sake, in other words, because Bush hasn't done enough to create an overwhelming positive feel for himself and his policies.

I'm not hoping for that mind you, just passing along info. Kerry's positives aren't much better but I'm told that is much less important for the challenger.

Posted by: too many steves at October 27, 2004 12:55 PM

too many steves,

I've heard that same line of thought. "No incumbant has won when he's at or under 50% in the polls".

However, I really think that the polls out now are missing large sections of the country. We've had record numbers of registrations on both sides of this mess. Huge numbers of GenXers who want Bush out and huge numbers of conservative Christians who want Bush to protect them from abortions and gay marriage.

The question will become who shows up. Most GenX pro-Kerry people I know are rabid about voting this year. I took a poll at a party last week, out of 35 people between the ages of 21 and 34, only 5 voted in 2000, only 10 had ever registered to vote before, and 32 said they were registered and were voting Kerry.

Our troupe of friends has been predominatly Kerry, we had one hold-out (my best friend) who was voting Bush. He changed his mind 2 weeks ago and is now voting Kerry. (None of us tried to change his mind either, we had debates... but nothing beyond friendly discussion).

I don't have many friends who are extremely conservative, I have one who is in 'Promise Keepers' and thats about as close as it gets. He's voting Kerry too.

So, it's a skewed sample, it tells us nothing about the new Pro-Bush voters, but if my friends are a decent sample of Pro-Kerry GenXers then I think that there will be a very large new voter turnout, at least from them.

Keep in mind that none of my friends are political activists, none of them have stood on the street corners with signs about Bush being Hitler or anything like that. They weren't Deaniacs, they weren't Anti-war protesters... they're just your average self-absorbed GenXers.

Dpes anyone have anecdotal evidence for the new voter conservative group? I'd be interested to see similar stories.

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 27, 2004 01:20 PM

If anyone's interested, James Lileks has an hilarious fisking of Andrew Sullivan's endorsement of John Kerry for President, posted at the Bleat.

Posted by: Leathan Lund at October 27, 2004 01:25 PM

The main reason I feel that Kerry is going to win is because of the bad Iraq news and, mostly, because I think the "likely voter" criteria that most pollsters are using is skewed. We are going to be dragging a bunch of unlikely voters to the polls, particularly a bunch of pissed off African-Americans. With any luck, and justice, at least 3/5ths of their votes will get counted.

Speaking today -- but feel free to hold me to it next week at this time -- if I'm wrong and Bush wins, I'll feel ok. If such a victory would have been won on the basis of the defamatory cartoon caricature of Kerry that his campaign and the swifties were successfully peddling before the debates, I'd be inclined to join a revived Weather Underground. But as things have transpired, I'll be able to accept my fellow citizens judgement, and keep in check my thoughts on how unfortunate a second term will be and how apprehensive about the future it makes me feel. Kerry finally put his cards on the table and showed the country what he was made of and what he had to offer during the debates. As a result, if Bush wins, with a margin beyond the sum of whatever dirty tricks go down next Tuesday, it'll be a honest victory that I can live with.

Posted by: Markus Rose at October 27, 2004 01:31 PM

Markus,

I agree.

It may (in my opinion) not be good for the country to have another 4 years under GWB, but it is very bad for the country to remain this devided post-election.

My biggest fear is a repeat of 2000 where the Courts decide the election. If the extreme left conviences itself that Bush "stole the election again", a revived Weather Underground is not only likely, its a 'best case scenerio'.

As an aside, how would a Weather Undergournd, Black Panther or other extremist group survive in this day and age of the PATRIOTACT? I'm sure that our government would consider them terrorists and I don't know that I disagree.

It can be a tricky line to walk. Our foundxing fathers seem to have accepted that the People can, may and should (if the situation warrents) rebel against the government and replace it.

In this day and age, when the government has tons more weapons, extremely sophisticated monitoring techniques and the ability to simply haul people away without charging them, is a rebellion by the people even possible? If its not possible, how would the People protect themselves from a runaway government?

I'm not saying that this is, or that Bush should engender such an act. Please don't be partisan with this.

Just so we're all clear, if the existing government control stay in place and 15 years from now, we elect a liberal(or conservative) who becomes an extremist, his(or her) party controls both the House, Senate and Supreme Court. In such a situation, could Americans defend America against America?

Tosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 27, 2004 01:44 PM

The only people who have any reasons to rebel against the American government are utopian leftists who can't get their way at the ballot box.

The only way leftists like that will rebel is if their attempts at voter fraud or getting Courts to legislate for them fail. That is still up in the air. In fact, if trends continue, Democratic success at voter fraud will probably reach an all time high in this election. And we all know how Courts are willing to overthrow anything they don't like in the pursuit of the liberal agenda.

So I don't see leftists rebelling en masse for a while. I do think that it's highly likely that President Bush, if he is re-elected, will be assassinated just like Abraham Lincoln was. As it was then, it will be the fault of the Democrats for failing to put down such extremist agitators within their own party.

Posted by: Sydney Carton at October 27, 2004 02:42 PM

I was just kidding about joining the Weather Underground. Those guys were nuts. But I will spend the next four years listening to the VELVET Underground, along with another great band highly influenced by them, known as Luna, who have just released their swan song, the marvelous new CD "Rendezvous"

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00031R6US/qid=1098913754/sr=8-1/ref=pd_ka_1/102-8763345-7511328?v=glance&s=music&n=507846

Posted by: Markus Rose at October 27, 2004 02:53 PM

IF the October surprise turns out to be Arafat's death, I wonder how this affects the race. Might help Kerry, if it makes people think that there is a window of opportunity. Could also give Bush a chance to show he'll pursue a settlement. Could be a wash. Definately will be interesting.

Posted by: markus rose at October 27, 2004 04:09 PM

I think we're getting ahead of ourselves about Arafat's pending demise. Besides, I would rather he have years of, just barely alive, pain and suffering. But if he does... How would Arafat's death would effect the election? Who cares? Just celebrate the fact that he's dead!

Semper Fi

Posted by: RickM at October 28, 2004 03:28 AM

Bush keeps the allies out of his official re-elect campaign page, blogger Joi Ito informs:

http://joi.ito.com/archives/2004/10/27/wwwgeorgewbushcom.html

In a true spirit of free access to information and other liberal nonsense he has to observe (for the time being):-)

Posted by: Voice of Europe at October 28, 2004 06:02 AM

hmmm...an interesting experiment Mr. Totten. All this activity in the message board seeded by nothing. It's as if the pot is so close to boiling that the merest tap will cause it to run over.

....it explains a lot.

Posted by: joekm at October 28, 2004 06:18 AM

Tosk -- I think this country could survive even a second Bush victory along the lines of Florida 2000. I expect no riots in Washington. No general strikes, like our forefathers in the 1930's had the balls for. I mean, what is the extreme Left going to do except hold rallies and whine? Sounding like Chomsky here, but this system is really set up in a multitude of complex ways to perpetuate itself. The most important I'd say is the level of disinterest in and ignorance of politics that is inculcated in Americans from day 1.

The other thing that keeps people from rebelling is the difficulty of passing new legislation without a supermajority. Because of the filibuster (which is a Senate rule, not a Constitutional provision) even a party controlling all of Washington is going to have trouble ramming its bills into law. That's another reason I'll be able to live with a Bush victory: the knowledge that none of his bullshit "ownership society" agenda is likely to get out of the Senate anytime soon.

Posted by: Markus Rose at October 28, 2004 06:53 AM

The problem in a America today and during Vietnam is the lack of Americanism that made this country great. During the run up to WWII the repubs hated Roosevelt but once we got in the war they refused to harm our troops with their hatred. Where is that today? Most of the people I see here belly-aching seem to just be afraid of having to defend this country with more than words. Although when you're caught in an election with 2 less than adequate candidates, you can always vote for the one that is closest to your way of thinking or else you will have to endure the other thinking for 4 years. Kerry is the symbol of a side of America that is very weak willed and weak minded when it comes to the world. There is no bravery just cowardice. 4 years of weakness will put us back to where we were before Sept 11. as evidenced by his kowtowing of other countries. Other countries only care about themselves not America. The only way to get them on our side is with money. Bush isn't the best but he is better than the rest in this snapshot of time. Bush will win the Clinton's are betting on it.

Posted by: Barney at October 28, 2004 09:59 AM

Barney -- there was overwhelming support for the war to overthrow the Taliban, as there was for WWII. The difference between those two wars and Iraq is that they two former were defensive wars to which almost all reasonable people felt we had no option but to respond to. Overthrowing Saadam, though I supported it at the time and still hope it turns out well, was very different: an offensive and voluntary war. Hence, the different reaction among Americans, and the lack of unity.

Posted by: Markus Rose at October 28, 2004 11:23 AM

What is wrong with declinism? To me, it means reducing the gap between haves and have-nots. It means no more imperial conquests for oil, it means social justice. Declinism is just a cynical term for progressivism.

Posted by: Markos Delagarza at October 28, 2004 02:19 PM

Markus, I think the october surprise is that John Kerry is cracking on National TV in fromt of millions of people. He is fumbling all over himself in reference to these missing weapons. NBC nightly news with Tom Brocaw just interviewed him about this and I must say I was (for the first time in awhile) impressed with Tom Brocaw. John Kerry stated to him that "We knew those weapons were there, they were tagged and marked and now they are missing." TB came back with "But, Mr. Kerry you have stated we would not have went to war in Iraq if you had been the President so then all of those weapons would still be in the hands of Saddam Hussien?" I swear to God, John Kerry's next words were "I never said we wouldn't have went to war in Iraq, of course we would have went to war with Saddam!"

How can you continue to keep supporting this guy? How many times have we heard this statement..."Wrong War, Wrong Time, Wrong Place?"

I mean WTF, even people who are not of a political nature can see him cracking. It is not just things any longer that we are hearing he did or things from 30 years ago that the younger generation don't want to hear or believe. Anyone who cares to listen to him for 5 minutes needs no other validation as to his true character.

Posted by: Cathy at October 28, 2004 03:53 PM

Cathy -- You sound like the one that's cracking. Kerry sounds, and looks like someone who smells blood. He may be wrong, but he's not freaking out thinking he's gonna lose. He thinks things are moving his way. And by the way, I think Kerry only said "wrong war, wrong place, wrong time" once or twice. It's Bush who keeps bringing it up.

I don't know what he said after he said "of course we would have gone to war" so I can't say how ridiculous it sounded. It didn't sound like a very effective response. But why would I change my vote based just on that one thing?

The more honest answer is that those weapons were much, much less of a threat to Americans in the hands of Saadam than they are in the hands of...whomever the hell has them now, thanks to a well-meaning but ill-conceived and incompetantly waged war. Comprende?

And regarding the question of when they disappeared, I understand the news of the videotape has even made to Fox, so I assume even you have heard about it.

http://www.kstptv5.com/article/stories/S3723.html?cat=64

Posted by: Markus Rose at October 28, 2004 06:23 PM

Has anyone brought up what could be the real disaster associated with how close this election could be as far as electoral votes -- having to stay up till the polls close in Hawaii to see who wins?

Go to opnionjournal.com and click on its "Electoral College calculator" -- a jazzy little thing that lets you make states red or blue and tells you what the total in the EC will be. Start with their default map of red, blue and yellow (up in the air) states.

Then go to RealClearPolitics' battleground states polls page at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/bush_vs_kerry_sbys.html and give the leader in its average each state, and give Arizona to Bush and Washington to Kerry (I don't know why OpnionJournal has them as up in the air), you get Bush 280-258.

But with all the voter fraud likely going on in Wisconsin, we don't really want to give Wisconsin to Bush, so make that blue. 270-268 Bush.

But! That assumes Hawaii unaccountably goes Bush (RCP has him leading). So assuming Alaska's in the bag for the President, we could be sitting at Kerry 268, Bush 266 with all the polls closed but Hawaii's.

The hell with recounts and court challenges, that would be an election nightmare! At least we were able to go to bed a half decent hour in 2000 THINKING we knew who'd won!

Posted by: Matt at October 28, 2004 06:25 PM

Another neocon for Kerry:
http://www.opendemocracy.net/debates/article-3-117-2190.jsp

Posted by: Markus Rose at October 28, 2004 06:33 PM

Markus, How can you possibly say "those weapons were much safer in the hands of Saddam Hussein than in the hands of...whomever the hell has them now"? Where they are today is most likely whomever Saddam sent them too for safe keeping. BTW, doesn't that just make you wonder what else might have been sent "wherever" for safe keeping?

Are you under the assumption that Saddam was not a dangerous man?

It is also far to late for you or John Kerry to back track on the "Wrong War, Wrong Time and Wrong Place" statements...Markus, he has made that remark over and over and over again..And, you know it!

Posted by: Cathy at October 28, 2004 06:44 PM

So, we really can make a comparison to Vietnam and Iraq, right Marcus. A swift boat veteran returned home and told the world our military were incompetent. And now, 30 years later, a Presidential hopeful saying the exact same thing about our Military fighting a different war. Do you honestly think this man could lead our Military to any kind of victory?

Posted by: Cathy at October 28, 2004 06:50 PM

Cathy -- actually Bush surrogate Rudy Giuliani is the person blaming the military today, not Kerry:

from the Guardian --
``No matter how you try to blame it on the president, the actual responsibility for it really would be for the troops that were there. Did they search carefully enough - didn't they search carefully enough?'' Guiliani said on ``Today.''

The liklihood of the paranoid Hussein giving weapons to terrorist groups was always very small. They would be more likely to use those weapons AGAINST him. Or at least he would be worried about that.

Also why would Saadam send weapons away for "safekeeping" right before he is about to be invaded by the world's most powerful army?

Posted by: Markus rose at October 28, 2004 07:27 PM

Cathy,

1. The missing explosives were not WMD's, they were under IAEA seal and were monitored regularly. These weapons do NOT support the justification that Saddam had secret WMD's. These are just good old fashioned explosives. They do not defy the Wrong War, Wrong Place, Wrong Time.

2. Before the war, the IAEA and the US knew where these explosives were and that they were under seal.

3. Now, neither the IAEA, nor the US nor anyone else we're allies with know where these explosives have gone, but we do know that they're no longer under IAEA seal.

Yes, these weapons were less of a threat the the American people BEFORE the invasion. We can argue about when they disappeared, who took them or how they got away, but it doesn't change the fact that they are, most likely, in the hands of people who would love to use them against the United States.

Saddam was not a good man, he was a dangerous man, but these weapons were less dangerous in Marech of 2003 than they are now.

Ratatosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 29, 2004 08:03 AM

Tosk and Markus, I do realize these weapons aren't WMD, but if that many explosives can just dissapear with no explanation then it makes one wonder why couldn't WMD have just vanished as well. It is a big worry as to where those weapons are and who now has control of them..I'm just not willing to place the blame at the door of our Military. We don't know enough about this whole story to say absolutely what happened to them..But, I can't understand the people who find it so easy to blame our President and our Military when there are other explanations that very well could prove accurate.

My problem is more with Kerry finding it so easy to place the blame at our own door..For a man who hopes to soon become the leader of our Country I just don't understand how he could possibly lead our country through war and to a victory.

We all know he has said he would not have went into Iraq (lets atleast acknowledge that) But, now he is saying that he would have went to Iraq had he been the President and those missing weapons would not still be in Saddam hands. Come on, atleast acknowledge that the man changes his mind and his opinion based on whatever has happened yesterday.

Posted by: Cathy at October 29, 2004 09:30 AM

Today the truth and facts come out about the weapons in question. How many military guys do you think will get out of the military if Kerry gets elected. I believe a mass exodus will ensue knowing he will spit on them every chance he gets.
Anyone who supports him, does so at everyone's demise.

Posted by: Barney at October 29, 2004 09:46 AM

Did anyone hear the news conference with my friend and cohort, MAJ Pearson?

Is it too early to say "I told you so?"

Yes- it is.

But here's what this news conference DOES prove beyond any reasonable doubt- it's WAY TOO EARLY to automatically assume that we "lost" 380 tons of explosives over there. I was there. During the time in question, I was living at Iskanderia, which is about 7 miles from Objective Dogwood (where MAJ Pearson's team orhcestrated all those controlled detonations). We heard and witnessed so many explosions on an almost hourly basis- they became hardly noticable after a while. There are just so many facts yet to surface. This "rush for an October Surprise" is reprehensible in the sense that Kerry is asserting that we soldiers made "perhaps the biggest in a series of massive blunders in Iraq" with only a suspect (now HIGHLY suspect) story from the NY Times as evidence.

Markus:

"Also why would Saadam send weapons away for "safekeeping" right before he is about to be invaded by the world's most powerful army?"

Good question. Also- Why did he scatter fighter jets all over the desert before we invaded? I saw them over there. Scattered all over the place. Why did he have helicopters hidden underneath foliage on the banks of the Euphrates? Why would he stash huge amounts of weaponry in Syria?

These are questions that I posed to a good friend of mine who used to be one of Saddam's senior intelligence officials (A retired Iraqi General who now works for the US in Mosul). He explained it to me over tea one day:

Saddam figured that we would bomb the hell out of his airfields, bases, and military industrial manufacturing plants. Hoping that we would just level these places to sort of "teach him a lesson" as it were, he decided to put all of his "goodies" out of harms way. Did he think this plan would work? It's hard to imagine that he REALLY thought it would play out that way, but then again- what were his options? As you yourself mentioned- he was about to get whacked by the most powerful war machine this world has ever known. I guess he just figured "what the hey- let's try to save this stuff, just in case they pound us and leave." Anyway, I hope this helps you understand the "method" behind his "madness." It certainly answered a lot of perplexing questions that I had about the wierdness that I saw over there.

FYI- He used a similar tactic during Desert Storm when he repositioned his jets (French Mirage's in case you were curious) to airfields in Iran. His senior advisors quietly dissagreed with the plan-they thought Iran would hang onto them forever. General N (my friend in Mosul- let's protect his identity) said that the Iranians did, in fact, keep several jets- but that the move definitely saved Iraq's Air Force in '91.

Posted by: $lick at October 29, 2004 10:02 AM

Cathy,

I have yet to blame the President, the Millitary or anyone else. The facts about who did or didn't do what are up in the air, we have some video and photographs that indicate that at least some of these explosives were still in Al-Quaa after the April invasion. These have yet to be confirmed. We have other theories about the convoy into Iran and mysterious explosions, but we cannot confirm these yet either.

As for WMD's, they very well could have been spirited away. However, both nuclear and biological weapons (and weapons facillities) tend to leave residue (either radioactive or chemical/biological). They are extremely difficult to clean up.

I have never said that there were NO WMD's. If Saddam successfully spirited them away to another member of the AXIS OF EVIL, or simply handed them to his Baathist buddies, we still failed our primary mission in Iraq. If he didn't have WMD's then our intelligence community failed its primary mission.

If these explosives, that both the IAEA and the US knew about, were spirited away by Saddam, we failed our Primary Mission. If they were stolen afterwards, we failed our Primary Mission.

Remember, our primary mission was to make America safer. WMD's in the hands of Syria, Saudi Arabia or Iran IS worse than in the hands of Saddam. Saddam we suspect of complicity with AlQueda... Iran/Syria/Saudi we KNOW are involved with AlQueda, that makes the risk that those weapons might be used, greater. If the WMD's are in the hands of the Insurgents, that places our troops at a greater risk.

The same is true of these Explosives. In Saddam's hands they were dangerous, in unknown hands the direct Risk to US citizens, ex-pats or millitary is much greater.

These are failures in our primary mission. It's not to say that Bush is evil, that Bush is stupid or that Bush shouldn't be President. It means only, that we are now at greater risk from the Explosives, and MAY be at a greater risk from WMD's if they exist.

Could you link me to the context in which Kerry said he would have gone into Iraq? I haven't heard that one yet.

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 29, 2004 11:08 AM

Why don't we start a fresh thread to talk about Bin Laden's tape.

Posted by: Markus Rose at October 29, 2004 01:27 PM

Tosk, you can read the Brokaw and Kerry interview at http://www.msnbc.com/id/6354942..If you can't get the site to open let me know and I'll send you a different link that I have on my PC when I get home.

One statement:

Brokaw: But you have said you wouldn't go to war against him...

Kerry: That's not true.....

Markus, I have been waiting to see this new Bin Laden tape but as of yet Fox hasn't shown it..They have made remarks about what it says though...It kind of sounds like an endorsement from Al-Quada for John Kerry....I think this tape will hurt Kerry

Posted by: cathy at October 29, 2004 01:35 PM

Nope, that link redirects me to their homepage.

Why do you think that Bin Laden telling us that neither cannidate can stop him will be bad for Kerry? He's not the one telling us that if we elect the other guy then there will be another 9/11.

Any thinking person should have already realized that the likelyhood of another 9/11 does not depend on who has control of the whitehouse.

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 29, 2004 01:43 PM

Cathy,

The bin Laden tape is ABSOLUTELY an endorsement for Kerry. My friend just watched it in the HQ building at Camp Arifjan. I saw the preliminary intel brief on it, and it's basically the same stuff you'll find on Drudge right now. Best line I've seen so far- from lgf:

The message ends with a voiceover: "I'm John Kerry and I approved this message"

Posted by: $lick at October 29, 2004 01:47 PM

Hrmmm, it may be an endorsement of Kerry, but it proves we have, so far, failed in our Primary mission since 9/11 (get the guy responsible for 3000 american deaths).

The idea that BinLaden is dead, gone or no longer a threat (which I seem to recall some on here agreeing with) is busted. He's alive, well and still after us.

I don't consider it a ringing endorsment of Kerry, nor a gavel to the head of Bush. I consider it a threat to the American people and am saddened to see it turned into political shit to throw at each other.

Blah,

Ratatosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 29, 2004 01:57 PM

Ok I'll keep posting here. My aren't we all being partisan here. I'm just trying to figure out who the hell this helps.

Bin Laden sounds like a f*ckin' politician running for the Senate. I bet more than a few Americans allow the thought to flash through their mind that he's not as crazy as they thought. Others will realize that he never would have had the opportunity for this propoganda offensive if Bush had 'smoked him out of his cave' like he promised.

Who this helps: Bush, a little, probably.
Although Kerry can spin it by noting how pretty he seems to be sitting, 38 months after bringing down 220 floors and four planes.

Posted by: Markus Rose at October 29, 2004 02:09 PM

$lick and Cathy: well at least you'll know which gentleman to send a thank you card to when (if) Bush wins: OBL himself. The glee that you and the rest of the right are having over Osama's triumphant reappearance is absolutely sickening. What the ad ought to say if anyone is being honest is "my name is George W. Bush and I and bunch of shameless, ignorant Americans approved this ad."

from Andrew Sullivan: "I have a feeling that this will tip the election decisively toward the incumbent. A few hours ago, I thought Kerry was headed for victory. Now I think the opposite. I also have a sinking feeling that that was entirely bin Laden's objective."

I feel the same way. And I also feel that my chances of dying from a terrorist attack in the coming months as a Washington DC resident and someone who works on Capitol Hill just went up considerably. My only hope if I have to die is that a lot of the a-holes in the White House end up going with me.

Sorry, I'm really angry right now. Remember, as you laugh at me right now, not to forget to thank Osama, the best friend your party ever had.

Posted by: Markus rose at October 29, 2004 04:51 PM

Markus, please don't you dare put words in my mouth...I HATE OSAMA BIN LADEN just as much as you or anyone else. I didn't tell the man to release a video. Get a grip on your emotions! I know your pissed and so is just about everyone else but to blame us for something OBL has done is just nuts!

Markus, I have a brother that owns a business in Manhattan. I worry about him every minute and mostly I worry about my son in Iraq...You are not the only person in this entire country who is, was, or could be effected by terror. I mostly think he made this video to get the exact reaction that you are offering him. He wants us to be afraid and scared.

If his remarks tip the scale in either direction it is not any one's faulty except Al-Queda. For you to insinuate I would offer him thanks is a great insult!

Posted by: Cathy at October 29, 2004 05:40 PM

Cathy -- sorry I lost my temper. Can we have the decency to hope together that this video makes no difference in how the election turns out? I know some people think OBL is doing this to help Bush, some think he doing it to help Kerry. But can't we all agree that this madman does not deserve to have a say in the matter!!!

Posted by: Markus Rose at October 29, 2004 05:53 PM

Also Markus,

How overjoyed he would be to see that he is still capable of driving such a wedge between Americans..The fight is Americans against terrorists. Don't turn it into Americans against Americans..I know you care about this country and that you, I and everyone else is making choices based on what we feel strongly about. The decision itself has been hard for many of us. I worry if my decision is the right one. I have my own reasons for believing it is right. I'm sure you feel the same about your decisions..But, lets not allow Bin Laden the opportunity to make us hate each other. Thats his ultimate goal and you know it is.

I would not ever laugh at you or anyone for being upset over something this horrible terrorist organization has done. I'm not happy about this development. I want them to stay the hell away from us and certainly stay out of our Political elections.

I think we have a few days ahead of us that are going to be filled with anger, fear and resentment. We barely have time to absorb one thing and here comes something else..I will be so happy when Tues. is over. I'm also afraid someone is going to be killed before it's over. I hope to God I'am wrong.

I may not agree with you on alot of issues that you feel strongly about, but god dammit Markus, we are both Americans. We will all stand united against Bin Laden and Al-Queda. We can't let them have it any other way, because if we do, then we lose!

Posted by: Cathy at October 29, 2004 06:10 PM

Markus, I didn't see your last post until after I posted my last one to you. I think we were typing at the same time.

You don't have to be sorry. I understand!

Posted by: Cathy at October 29, 2004 07:44 PM

Tosk, sorry, I didn't realize until just now that the link I gave you didn't work..This will work...http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6354942/

Here is part of it:

Brokaw: This week you've been very critical of the President because of the missing explosives in Iraq. The fact is, Senator, we still don't know what happened to those explosives. How many for sure that were there. Who might have gotten away with them? Is it unfair to the President, just as you believe he's been unfair to you, to blame him for that?

Kerry: No, it's not unfair. Because what we do know, from the commanders on the ground, is that they were there, as they marched to Baghdad.We even read stories today that they broke locks off of doors, took photographs of materials in there. There were materials. And they left.

Brokaw: The flip side of that is that if you had been President, Saddam Hussein would still be in power. Because you.......

Kerry: Not necessarily at all.

Brokaw: But you have said you wouldn't go to war against him.......

Kerry: That's not true. Because under the inspection process, Saddam Hussein was required to destroy those kinds of materials and weapons.

Brokaw: But he wasn't destroying them...

Kerry: But, that's what you have inspectors for. And thats why I voted for the threat of force. Because he only does things when you have a legitimate threat of force. It's absolutely impossible and irresponsible for you to suggest that if I were President, he wouldn't be gone. He might be gone.....Because if he hadn't complied, we might have had to go to war. And we might have gone to war. but, if we did, I'll tell you this, Tom. We'd have gone to war with allies in a way the American people weren't carrying the burden.

It goes on for a bit and then Brokaw gets to this;

Brokaw: Someone has analyzed the President's military aptitude tests and yours, and concluded that he has a higher IQ than you do.

Kerry: That's great. More power. I don't know how they've done it, because my record IS NOT PUBLIC. So, I don't know where your getting that from.

Tosk, I see a few problems here. I won't mention the one's we've already talked about. But what about this statement that HIS RECORDS ARE NOT PUBLIC? Didn't he swear to Chris Matthews that ALL of his military records had been released?

Posted by: Cathy at October 30, 2004 12:02 AM

Wow, Markus- you got pretty steamed!

You're absolutely right that Osama shouldn't be a political issue- he should be jointly condemned by both sides and leave it at that. Try and tell that to Kerry.

Kerry not only politicizes our #1 enemy FREQUENTLY- he LIES about Bush's "failure" to capture him!!!

If you don't know what I'm talking about, you should read this article by Tommy Franks (the Commander during Tora Bora), in which he says that John Kerry is continually LYING to the American people about "bin Laden's great escape."

Then you need to read Charles Krauthammer's article about why Tommy Franks, a decorated General with 30+ years of military experience, was absolutely correct in the way he handled Tora Bora- while John Kerry, a guy who spent a few months chasing medals before he fled the battlefield and disgraced his fellow veterans from the comforts of home, was dead wrong to criticize the good General. Please don't talk to us about politicizing bin Laden- John Kerry's the guy you want to talk to.

As far as "glee" for seeing that video- not quite. From a military perspective- there are many ways to look at this. Everytime he surfaces, he leaves a trail that could potentially mean his undoing. This is why it doesn't happen often. So yes, it's good news in that it could potentially lead to his capture or destruction.

For that same reason, Osama is clearly desperate. He wouldn't risk an emergence unless he felt the need to rally his supporters and intimidate his enemies (us). So yes, I'm glad things aren't going well for him these days.

Lastly, I'm glad to know that we can still kill him and have the world know about it. My greatest fear was that he was buried underneath some rubble somewhere- never to be discovered. Ever. That would be the worse scenario of all- because his "mystique" would live on amongst his "true-believers" for a long long time. That's all he is at this point anyway. A figurehead. A man who "can't be had by the evil Americans." He doesn't plan, he doesn't finance, he doesn't come up with any great ideas. He has people that do all that stuff for him. His only purpose is to inspire hatred and bloodlust in those who follow his fanatic version of Islam. I'm not downplaying his significance- his very existence does damage to our cause with each passing day. But when we kill him, we'll need definitive proof of his demise in order for it to be effective. So yes, I'm glad to know that we'll be able to kill him in full view of his followers.

And to answer your charge, no I don't consider bin Laden a friend. I know you were fuming, so I'll forgive you for that nonsense...

Posted by: $lick at October 30, 2004 01:34 AM

To anyone who might be interested:

I put my open letter to Kerry on my blog site today- I think it effictively captures how the vast majority of us deployed soldiers feel about the prospect of working for him.

If you despise Kerry as much as we do, you're gonna want to see this...

www.2slick.blogspot.com

Posted by: $lick at October 31, 2004 12:03 PM

In my last post, I left some of the quotes during the Tom Brokaw and Kerry interview on MSNBC. NBC has replayed that interview on "Dateline" with the most important quote edited out. They changed the quote about his and Bush's IQ to where you hear none of the "MY RECORD IS NOT PUBLIC."

MSM is getting worse every single day. Powerline posted about this interview today and NBCs editing of it, if anyone wants to read it.

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Posted by: huojia at November 14, 2007 08:42 PM
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