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Register to Vote

So sayeth Florida's laws:

Dates Registration Closes for 2004 Election
Presidential Preference Primary......... February 9, 2004
Primary Election .............................. August 2, 2004
General Election .............................. October 4, 2004

I have mailed my registration in to vote in the general election. For Bush. :-)

66 Responses to "Register to Vote"

  1. With this you will push some peoples (readers) buttons.

    Why have you lay down your choice?

  2. He lives in Florida. Jeb owns him.

  3. I couldn't tell you one thing Jeb has done. Or not done. Florida schools suck, but I'm leaving Florida before the new year perhaps so I don't really care what happens here.

  4. I don't understand how anybody could vote for Bush unless they are gun slinging "its my god given right to own instruments of death", neo-conservatives who are oblivious to the fact that they are being raped by the current government and are also oblivious to the fact that the eligimate president of today is day by day bringing the world closer to its end.

    As a non-american, I may have missed something here. I don't like Kerry much more than Bush, but if I could vote it would be for Kerry. Almost anything is better than the bush regime.

    The only way that Bush will win this time is if he pulls the same illegal scheme to deny voters that are likely to vote against him that opportunity. The stakes here are beyond little blog smiley faces. Go read this.

  5. Err...

    Wrong URL above, should have been this.

    There goes my comments credibility. Read it anyway though.

  6. Luke, if Bush wins it won't be because he used the same illegal methods to deny voters.

    I'm sure he (and he cronies) already have a new scheme in place... :-)

  7. Hi Erik, I've been reading NSLog() for about as long as you've been reading Fury, so I'm sure we both know that we think differently on the issue, but I'm curious, as others here are, why you're voting for Bush.

    Not a flame -- just looking for an insight from an intelligent person on the other side (of the country, and the fence).

  8. George Bush has prevented terror attacks on American soil for almost 3 years.

    George Bush has turned the dot-com bubble bursted-, 9/11-induced- recession into strong economic growth.

    George Bush has removed from power a man who had used WMD's against his own people, funded terrorist groups, and according to the best intelligence agencies of the world, at the time was attempting to acquire additional/new WMD's.

    George Bush believes in God and isn't ashamed to say so.

    George Bush is supported by 22 of the 23 men who served on John Kerry's PT boat.

    George Bush has cut our taxes on all Americans.

    George Bush believes in the sanctity of marriage and its profound impact on an orderly and harmonious society.

    George Bush didn't "vote for [funding our troops] before he voted against it."

    George Bush has never admitted to personally committing war crimes in any war.

    George Bush wouldn't care one hoot about the unsolicited opinions of foreign bloggers on who should be America's next president.

  9. Umm... while not unexpected this on one sad day for man kind... but you must vote you concious first... even if such a vote is akin to shooting yourself in the foot.

    Now as for Kyle... I'm not sure what is point is... Sorry Erik...

    Bush turned the dot-com b-u-s-t to a strong economy? ummm... right... the economy is still in the dumpsters...

    George Bush has cut our taxes on all Americans... while tripling the federal budget... let me ask you this... if you take home 100,000, is it a good idea to spend 1.1 million a year?

    "George Bush has removed from power a man who had used WMD's against his own people, funded terrorist groups, and according to the best intelligence agencies of the world, at the time was attempting to acquire additional/new WMD's"...

    You mean the forged documents... or the aluminum barrels that the Dept of Energy said can't be used for nuclear use but was over ruled by the CIA (who was asked over and over to reanalyze data the administration didn't like)... with BTW were being used by something else... you mean the War President who isn't a War President but a Peace President? You mean the administration, this week, is saying he funded terrorist groups last I checked he only gave money (sick as it may be) to suicide bombers who worked inside of Israel... out oil producing partner the Saudi's do this to... and most of the 9-11 hijackers came for the Saudi empire... and where deeply involved in funding massive number of terrorist incidents around the world...

    BUSH SAYS IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEEN AL QAEDA AND SADDAM... "You can't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror." [President Bush, 9/25/02]

    ...BUSH SAYS SADDAM HAD NO ROLE IN AL QAEDA PLOT "We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in Sept. 11." [President Bush, 9/17/03]

    BUSH SAYS WE FOUND THE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION..."We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories...for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them." [President Bush, Interview in Poland, 5/29/03]

    ...BUSH SAYS WE HAVEN'T FOUND WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION "David Kay has found the capacity to produce weapons.And when David Kay goes in and says we haven't found stockpiles yet, and there's theories as to where the weapons went. They could have been destroyed during the war. Saddam and his henchmen could have destroyed them as we entered into Iraq. They could be hidden. They could have been transported to another country, and we'll find out." [President Bush, Meet the Press, 2/7/04]

    BUSH RESISTS AN OUTSIDE INVESTIGATION ON WMD INTELLIGENCE FAILURE... "The White House immediately turned aside the calls from Kay and many Democrats for an immediate outside investigation, seeking to head off any new wide-ranging election-year inquiry that might go beyond reports already being assembled by congressional committees and the Central Intelligence Agency." [NY Times, 1/29/04]

    ...BUSH SUPPORTS AN OUTSIDE INVESTIGATION ON WMD INTELLIGENCE FAILURE "Today, by executive order, I am creating an independent commission, chaired by Governor and former Senator Chuck Robb, Judge Laurence Silberman, to look at American intelligence capabilities, especially our intelligence about weapons of mass destruction." [President Bush, 2/6/04]

    "George Bush has prevented terror attacks on American soil for almost 3 years".... yet terrorism is up world wide...

    BUSH WANTS OSAMA DEAD OR ALIVE... "I want justice. And there's an old poster out West, I recall, that says, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive.'" [President Bush, on Osama Bin Laden, 09/17/01]

    ...BUSH DOESN'T CARE ABOUT OSAMA "I don't know where he is.You know, I just don't spend that much time on him... I truly am not that concerned about him."[President Bush, Press Conference, 3/13/02]

    "George Bush didn't 'vote for [funding our troops] before he voted against it.'" Oh you mean that ONE vote... and why did he vote against it? Good question... Kerry was referring to a measure he co-sponsored that would have provided the $87 billion while also temporarily reversing Bush's tax cuts for those making $400,000 a year or more. [Read this and this

    DYK:

    BUSH SPOKESMAN DENIES NEED FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDS FOR THE REST OF 2004... "We do not anticipate requesting supplemental funding for '04" [White House Budget Director Joshua Bolton, 2/2/04]

    ...BUSH REQUESTS ADDITIONAL FUNDS FOR IRAQ FOR 2004 "I am requesting that Congress establish a $25 billion contingency reserve fund for the coming fiscal year to meet all commitments to our troops." [President Bush, Statement by President, 5/5/04]

    BUSH SPOKESMAN SAYS RICE WON'T TESTIFY AS 'A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE'... "Again, this is not her personal preference; this goes back to a matter of principle. There is a separation of powers issue involved here. Historically, White House staffers do not testify before legislative bodies. So it's a matter of principle, not a matter of preference." [White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, 3/9/04]

    ...BUSH ORDERS RICE TO TESTIFY: "Today I have informed the Commission on Terrorist Attacks Against the United States that my National Security Advisor, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, will provide public testimony." [President Bush, 3/30/04]

    "George Bush has never admitted to personally committing war crimes in any war." How about that... you have a commander in chief who never served any military duty outside the national guard... Kind of hard to commit a war crime when you forget to show up for your national guard weekend... in-between your hits on the crack pipe... but that isn't the point... Did Bush not seek ways around the Geneva Convention and find ways to justify torturing any prisoner in US Custody? Did GWB not ask the UN (and was approved) to let US troops commit war crimes (if they did they could be held criminal liable the US and the soldiers)... how many soldiers under Bush (Commander in Chief) committed war crimes?

    " George Bush believes in the sanctity of marriage and its profound impact on an orderly and harmonious society."

    BUSH SAYS GAY MARRIAGE IS A STATE ISSUE... "The state can do what they want to do. Don't try to trap me in this state's issue like you're trying to get me into." [Gov. George W. Bush on Gay Marriage, Larry King Live, 2/15/00]

    ...BUSH SUPPORTS CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BANNING GAY MARRIAGE "Today I call upon the Congress to promptly pass, and to send to the states for ratification, an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of man and woman as husband and wife." [President Bush, 2/24/04]

    "George Bush is supported by 22 of the 23 men who served on John Kerry's PT boat." Can you back that up? Care to share some facts? I highly doubt your statement.

    "George Bush wouldn't care one hoot about the unsolicited opinions of foreign bloggers on who should be America's next president." Nor does he care what anyone outside his inner circle thinks...

    The Wall Street Journal observed "a big difference" in Sen. John Kerry's and President Bush's decision-making styles. "Mr. Bush often makes quick judgments. Mr. Kerry likes to immerse himself in detail, read extensively and consult a wide circle of advisers before making a decision." [July 28 2004]

    THE FACTS:

    Bush Took $700 Million from Afghanistan Budget Without Telling Congress. 'In the summer of 2002, Bush approved $700 million worth of 'preparatory tasks' in the Persian Gulf region such as upgrading airfields, bases, fuel pipelines and munitions storage depots to accommodate a massive U.S. troop deployment. The Bush administration funded the projects from a supplemental appropriations bill for the war in Afghanistan and old appropriations, keeping Congress unaware of the reprogramming of money and the eventual cost.' [Washington Post, 4/18/04]

    War Plan Shared With Saudi Ambassador Before Powell. 'One of the key players that had to be notified and brought along was Saudi Arabia. U.S. forces would have to be sent through and from Saudi territory into Iraq. Rescue, communications and refueling support were not going to be enough. Of the five other countries on Iraq's border, only Kuwait and Jordan supported a military operation. The 500 miles of Saudi-Iraqi border were critical. So on Saturday, Jan. 11, Cheney invited Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador, to his West Wing office. Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were also there.' Cheney, General Myers, and Rumsfeld described the plan of attack in Iraq with the Ambassador, and allowed him to take notes about a map they presented. The may was labeled: TOP SECRET NOFORN, which means it was classified material not to be seen by any foreign nation. Prince Bandar said he would have to tell Crown Prince Abdullah that he had gotten the message from Bush himself. So they arranged a meeting with Bush, Rice, and Prince Bandar in which Bush said he supported everything Cheney had told Bandar. After that meeting, Rice said Bush should inform Powell about his plan to invade Iraq, since Powell was friends with Bandar and could find out through him. After the warning from Rice, Bush met with Powell and informed him of his decision and asked for Powell's support.' [Washington Post excerpts of 'Plan of Attack,' 4/18/04]

    Tenet Told Bush Iraq's Possession of Weapons Was a 'Slam Dunk. ' 'Beginning in late December, 2001, President Bush met repeatedly with Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks and his war cabinet to plan the U.S. attack on Iraq even as he and administration spokesmen insisted they were pursuing a diplomatic solution, according to a new book on the origins of the war. The intensive war planning throughout 2002 created its own momentum, according to "Plan of Attack" by Bob Woodward, fueled in part by the CIA's conclusion Saddam Hussein could not be removed from power except through a war and CIA Director George J. Tenet's assurance to the president that it was a "slam dunk" case that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.' [Washington Post, 4/16/04]

    Cost of Reconstruction of Iraq 10 Times What Was Predicted'So Far. 'On April 23, 2003, Andrew S. Natsios, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, laid out in a televised interview the costs to U.S. taxpayers of rebuilding Iraq. 'The American part of this will be $1.7 billion,' he said. 'We have no plans for any further-on funding for this.' That turned out to be off by orders of magnitude. The administration, which asked Congress for another $20 billion for Iraq reconstruction five months after Natsios made his assertion, has said it expects overall Iraqi reconstruction costs to be as much as $75 billion this year alone.' [Washington Post, 3/19/04]

    Bush Claimed 10 Months Ago 'Mission Accomplished,' But 'Bush Policy Appears Adrift,' 'Scrambling for an Exit Strategy.' 'And far from setting a course for the region, Bush administration policy appears adrift. The diplomatic follow-up to the Iraq war, for instance, the so-called Roadmap to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, has hit a complete dead end. In Iraq itself, U.S. troops are struggling to beat back a bloody insurgency that Washington never anticipated. ' While vowing to stay the course, the Bush administration is scrambling for an exit strategy, constantly revising its slapdash plans for a transition to democracy next summer, bending to pressure from Iraq's ayatollahs and facing mounting protests in what used to be the quiet Shiite south of the country.' [Newsweek, 1/26/04]

    Bush Administration Provided Windfall for Halliburton at Taxpayer's Expense. After awarding a no-bid contract to Halliburton (Vice President's former employer who gave him a $20 million retirement package in 2000), the military found that the company overcharged for gas it imported into Iraq from Kuwait. US taxpayers and the United Nations oil-for-food program are paying Halliburton an average price of $2.64 per gallon, which is more than twice what others pay for Kuwait fuel. In March 2004, the military said it was withholding about $300 million from payments to a Halliburton subsidiary on a contract to feed soldiers in Iraq until auditors were certain that the government had not been overcharged. [Reuters, 12/11/03; New York Times, 12/10/03, 3/19/04; Associated Press, 11/5/03; Washington Post, 1/16/04, 12/31/04]

    Auditors Warned of 'Systemic' Cost Control Problems With Halliburton BEFORE Contract Awarded. 'Halliburton, the oil services company formerly headed by US vice-president Dick Cheney, was awarded a $1.2bn contract in Iraq just three days after Pentagon auditors warned about 'systemic' problems in its cost controls. The warning was contained in a memo the Pentagon's defense contract audit agency sent on January 13 to the US Army Corps of Engineers, citing deficiencies in Halliburton's contracting proposals and questioning the company's ability to supply 'fair and reasonable prices.'' 'We recommend that you contact us to ascertain the status of [Halliburton's] estimating system prior to entering into future negotiations,' the memo warned. [Financial Times, 3/11/04]

    Former Cheney Employee, Halliburton, Reaps Profits While Forcing Troops To Eat In Filthy Conditions. Halliburton's subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root [KBR] serves 110,000 soldiers in Iraq their meals. For that service, American taxpayers pay Halliburton '$28 per soldier per day.' But, according to NBC News, 'Pentagon inspections of mess halls run by KBR are finding a mess in some of them'In the main Baghdad dining facility where President Bush surprised the troops on Thanksgiving, inspectors found filthy kitchen conditions in each of the three previous months. Complaints filed in August, September and again in October report problems. Blood all over the floor of refrigerators, dirty pans, dirty grills, dirty salad bars, rotting meats and vegetables. In October, the inspector writes that Halliburton's previous promises to fix the problems have not been followed through and warns the company serious repercussions may result, due to improper handling and serving of food.' [NBC News, 12/12/03]

  10. Not to create a flame war or anything, but here is a reply to Kyle's post.

    George Bush has prevented terror attacks on American soil for almost 3 years.

    So did all American presidents since 1941, which technically was not a terrorist attack. But really, the threat of terrorists is not all that great, and it could be reduced a lot if the actions of the US government changed.

    George Bush has turned the dot-com bubble bursted-, 9/11-induced- recession into strong economic growth.

    Sure, the tax cuts that you allude to later have caused some economic growth, but it is starting to slow again due to the higher price of oil, which is in part due by the stability in the middle east which brings your next point...

    George Bush has removed from power a man who had used WMD's against his own people, funded terrorist groups, and according to the best intelligence agencies of the world, at the time was attempting to acquire additional/new WMD's.

    What right does the US have to invade another country? None. The UN said "Do not do it" yet in the troops marched. Yes he used chemical weapons against his own people, no he did not fund terrorist groups, and no he doesn't have WMD's (not since 1991 anyway). That still does not give anyone the right to invade another country.

    George Bush believes in God and isn't ashamed to say so.

    Right, and how is that an argument to vote for him? Personally I don't believe in god and some of his policies like the promotion of abstinence have been proven to be down right stupid.

    George Bush is supported by 22 of the 23 men who served on John Kerry's PT boat.

    Personally I would say the Kerry is the lesser of evils, that quote kinda says all.

    George Bush has cut our taxes on all Americans.

    Yep, and he has left the US government with a larger deficit than the entire Australian economy, an economy of 19 million people.

    George Bush believes in the sanctity of marriage and its profound impact on an orderly and harmonious society.

    The sanctity of marriage only between heterosexual's. This is a great way to create a harmonious society.

    George Bush didn't "vote for [funding our troops] before he voted against it."

    This begs the question, why does the US spend so much money on the military while denying other more important areas less funding? Who is the massive threat in this world that needs hundreds of billions of taxpayers money to defeat? How about we cut the military budget in half, give some more money to science (NASA is dying for some money), more money to healthcare and schools? Would that not make a more harmonious society?

    George Bush has never admitted to personally committing war crimes in any war.

    As I said previously, lesser of two evils.

    This is all coming from an Australian, a nation which is greatly impacted by any moves the US makes.

  11. "George Bush has prevented terror attacks on American soil for almost 3 years."

    Er, you can't say it is his to prevent. Clinton prevented domestic attacks for 8 years. Where's the love? Meanwhile, every estimate shows that there are more terrorists out now than before. Even Colin Powell had to admit it (albeit while correcting the misstatement to the contrary).

    "George Bush has turned the dot-com bubble bursted-, 9/11-induced- recession into strong economic growth."

    Hmm. Lost jobs. Those that came back are greatly below the average salary of those that were lost. Just because we haven't seen Greenspan jump out and yell at us in a while doesn't mean it's strong.

    "George Bush has removed from power a man who had used WMD's against his own people, funded terrorist groups, and according to the best intelligence agencies of the world, at the time was attempting to acquire additional/new WMD's."

    WMD's that we gave to him. We also funded (lots of) terrorists groups. I'm still not convinced of the WMD bit. Saddam was under our thumb since the last war. The UN Inspectors were doing their jobs. It was a false war under false assumptions using false bravado as justification.

    "George Bush believes in God and isn't ashamed to say so."

    So? Kerry believes and isn't ashamed to say so. Although Kerry doesn't talk directly to God as Bush claims to be able to do. Non-issue, and worse if any candidate wants to make one out of it.

    "George Bush is supported by 22 of the 23 men who served on John Kerry's PT boat."

    Hmm. I understand that were were quite a few crew mates that stood behind Senator Max Cleland as Senator Cleland introduced John Kerry at the DNC. I've only heard of one that denounces Kerry. Funny, there's only one (out of at least a hundred) that "remembers" Bush showing up for duty.

    "George Bush has cut our taxes on all Americans."

    Reaganomics are called "Voodoo economics" for a reason. Not to mention that Bush also cut out lots of valuable social programs that provided more value to society than we gained in tax money.

    "George Bush believes in the sanctity of marriage and its profound impact on an orderly and harmonious society."

    Oh. You're a knee-jerk prude. Even real Conservatives have criticized Bush's attack on the Constitution. Newsflash: Sanctity of marriage is a myth. There has never been the idealized 50's marriage. Not even in the 50's. Letting homosexuals tie the knot will not bring on the Apocalypse. Or cause America to collapse. Or make God smite us.

    "George Bush didn't 'vote for [funding our troops] before he voted against it.'"

    No, he repeatedly cut funding of our troops, reduced troop benefits, and raided veteran's benefits. Kerry, however, voted to give the President executive power for declaring war should the need arise (which Bush promptly abused) and then refused to write Bush a blank check (which eventually became a check for $87 billion). Also, Gore never said that he invented the internet. Right-wing pundits just like to take quotes and actions out of context and create misleading stories.

    "George Bush has never admitted to personally committing war crimes in any war."

    Well, yeah. He never even showed up.

    "George Bush wouldn't care one hoot about the unsolicited opinions of foreign bloggers on who should be America's next president."

    He also doesn't care about the opinions of foreign heads of state. Not good to isolate America. Especially when we could use their help in the quagmire we are in.

  12. George Bush has prevented terror attacks on American soil for almost 3 years.

    We have nothing to measure success or failure on, given that 9/11 was the first terrorist attack on U.S. soil since the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the first foreign terrorist attack since the 1993 WTC bombing. How many attacks has he really prevented? Perhaps several. Or perhaps none at all. How can you claim to know?

    George Bush has turned the dot-com bubble bursted-, 9/11-induced- recession into strong economic growth.

    "Strong" economic growth is perhaps being a bit overly optimistic. We haven't seen much growth in high paying jobs. Unless you consider growth in the toilet cleaning job sector for $5.15/hour at Walmart to be "strong" growth I'm not quite sure where you're coming from with this.

    George Bush has removed from power a man who had used WMD's against his own people, funded terrorist groups, and according to the best intelligence agencies of the world, at the time was attempting to acquire additional/new WMD's.

    Which terrorist groups did he fund? Are you aware that the United States has funded its own share of terrorist groups? Remember back when we supported the Jihad in Afghanistan and gave Osama bin Laden his expert CIA training? Is this really a justification to invade? Because if it is, the rest of the world would be justified in invading our country as well, would it not? And really, if this is the best the "best intelligence agencies of the world" can produce we're in a pretty sad state of affairs. But we already knew that, given the colossal intelligence failure on the eve of 9/11.

    George Bush believes in God and isn't ashamed to say so.

    So what? What does this have to do with anything? Mind you I am drawing no parallels here, only making a point: Hitler also believed in god, he wrote about it in his book. Would this be a reason to vote for him were he running?

    George Bush is supported by 22 of the 23 men who served on John Kerry's PT boat.

    Hmm, Kerry had a pretty impressive array of military people standing behind him at the DNC last week. General Wesley Clark, a former four-star general and former NATO commander, supports him. Really, throwing around which military people stand behind which candidate is a rather worthless endeavor.

    George Bush has cut our taxes on all Americans.

    Yes, I'm so very glad that Dick Cheney was able to save himself $100,000/year.

    George Bush believes in the sanctity of marriage and its profound impact on an orderly and harmonious society.

    I have yet to hear anyone explain to me in a cogent and rational manner how two men or two women from down the street getting married to each other is going to in any way profoundly affect my life or my own relationships. If your marriage is that meaningless in the first place that it depends on what other people that have nothing to do with you do with their lives than you have a very interesting conception of marriage that I must not have grasped yet.

    George Bush didn't "vote for [funding our troops] before he voted against it."

    Not sure what you're referring to here.

    George Bush has never admitted to personally committing war crimes in any war.

    Again not sure what you're referring to here, but the answer is quite simple. Of course he hasn't admitted it because he's never been in combat. Hence the reason he has no conception of what war really is, having not even managed to fulfill his National Guard obligations properly without payroll/attendance records "accidentally" getting destroyed and other such cover-up nonsense.

    George Bush wouldn't care one hoot about the unsolicited opinions of foreign bloggers on who should be America's next president.

    Yes, that's because he doesn't care one hoot about much of anything besides enriching his friends and lining the pockets of already obscenely rich oil companies. He has brought on an era of corruption of a magnitude I don't believe we've seen in the oval office for at least a century.

    (This is all IMHO, of course, no personal offense intended to anyone.)

  13. I think I will vote Kerry just cause I know that my state's electoral votes will all be going for Bush. I usually hate playing the politics game where you know the side you want to win will so you can send a message by voting the other way. However I am not a big fan of Bush. However Kerry doesn't seem to be any better. I was at the Warp Tour and it was funny, almost every major band started out with vote out Bush message. Yellowcard had the best when they said get out and vote to get rid of Bush, but be ready to vote in four years cause Kerry doesn't seem to be much better. That is where I sit, Kerry doesn't seem to be a better alternative to Bush. I really think the 'anyone but Bush' mentality is stupid, so Hitler, etc. would be better than Bush? Pick a candidate and support them.

  14. "George Bush has prevented terror attacks on American soil for almost 3 years."

    Kind of like a drunk driver saying that even though they killed a family of four they're actually a good driver because all the other days they prevented people from dying.

    the fact is that Bush did nothing about terrorism for nine months, and stood by during the worst attack ever on this country. His wars since then have killed six times as many civilians (above and beyond 'enemy combatants', I mean actual, innocent Iraqi citizens we were going in there to 'save').

    Why did we invade Iraq? 'Because Saddam had WMDs.' Whoops. No WMDs.

    Again: Why did we invade Iraq? 'To bring democracy to the Iraqi people.' Now insurgents and infighting have required us to stay just to keep internal forces from destroying each other with no democracy in sight.

    Again: Why did we invade Iraq? 'To make America safer.' How much safer are we? At what cost? Now we have terror alerts to let us know we'er safer because we can see terrorism coming even when it's not there.

    "George Bush is supported by 22 of the 23 men who served on John Kerry's PT boat."

    That one's easy to refute because it's an outright lie. First off, I assume you mean 'swift boat' because John Kerry never served ona PT boat.

    Manwhile, only one man on Kerry's Swift Boat, Steven Gardner, has spoken negatively of Kerry. Every single man under Kerry's command spoke positively of him. Every single one.

    There were thousands of Swift Boat veterans in Vietnam who never met Kerry or heard about him until a decade later. In any crowd, it's not too hard to find a few that are happy to speak out against someone, but it takes a special deciet to misrepresent those people as having personal experience with their target.

  15. A tax cut without permanent spending reductions in a budget-deficit environment, is merely pushing the brunt of that particular fiscal responsibility on future generations' shoulders. This is what George Bush has done. The Republicans' "tax relief" mantra is so ingrained in Americans' psyche that not even the lefties are questioning the fiscal responsibility of this policy -- they just shrug "well yeah he cut taxes but it only benefits the rich" as if it's a good thing, except the goodness isn't being spread fairly. The problem is that tax cuts in this climate are plain wrong if you're all about taking personal responsibility. You spend it? You pay for it -- don't leave it for future generations. It's ultimately detrimental to all Americans to cut taxes now when you cannot reliably predict future expenditures, like oh I don't know, having to go to war or recover from national emergencies. Bush's fiscal policy is akin to taking advantage of that "Don't pay a cent until 2005" furniture deal after having been given a company wide memo that layoffs are planned for December. Bush cut taxes and went to war, all while being in a budget deficit. Yet the nation is in collective bewilderment about why the economy is so lackluster? Here's a thought. You have 3 options in the bear economy of this decade: Cut taxes, go to war, and allow a budget deficit. You can only choose 2 of the 3 and make everything work. Try all 3 and you're trying to have your cake and eat it too.

    It really pisses me off that reporters, opposition politicians and everyday educated Americans fail to see this or show any semblance of constructive skepticism beyond superficial grade school bickering, when it comes to analysis of the President. But I guess the biggest advantage the Republicans have is they've created the lingo that constructs the facts that smart people use to arrive at conclusions. It's a double-plus good thing, don't you think? The Republican word fashioners make abortion-debate terminologists look like Little Leaguers.

  16. Bush is the modern equivalent of Hitler. I'm waiting for the UN to try him for war crimes.

  17. I have to admit that I'm constantly surprised by your sides Erik. Such an intelligent guy, yet so completely opposite in political views and such from the rest of the other intelligent people I know. I have to admit it's disappointing that you'd support bush, but I'm glad we live in a country where we can voice opinions such as these.

    As far as Caleb's comment. I agree that we should pick a candidate that we agree with and fully support (mine was Dean, but apparently liberal is a bad thing, I always thought being conservative was a little off-kilter myself), but there comes a point when you know that your candidate will not win (quite a while ago, in my case), you can guarantee that more harm will come from the current president still residing in office, and must risk replacing them (I don't like Kerry as much either, but I agree with some of his views a hell of a lot more than Bush's).

    I'm glad to hear that the Warped Tour is still keeping up it's history of being liberal punks as I haven't been able to attend in a year or so.

  18. I love that all of you are jumping on the one Bush supporter who has voiced his opinion while offering almost none of your own.

    John Kerry's campaign has been about one thing only: I'm not George W. Bush. The man has yet to take a stand (and the few times he has he seems to flip a few weeks or months later). That's the way of the trial lawyer, and there are two on the Democratic ticket.

    But basically, this: Kerry has yet to take a stand on anything. He's yet to state his beliefs, he's yet to provide a plan for the country besides vague "I will heal the country" hippie bullshit.

    I think Kerry would be a far, far worse president than the one we've got now.

  19. I could just look past the guns, but Bush as well? NSLog(@"Delete bookmark. Goodbye.");

  20. Ahhh, Ted, how big-minded of you. If your kind of thinking is representative of the Democrats today, then I'm even firmer in my resolve not to vote for your guy. Grow up. Heaven forbid someone disagree with you.

  21. I'm a lurker here, but I must pipe in. I live in Jacksonville, FL, and I too will be voting for Bush. Kerry and the rest of the morality-deficient Democrats are a pathetic lot. And you gotta love the Hollywood-ites clinging to Michael Moore's lie-packed crockumentary as if it was fact. Bush isn't perfect, but he's got a dirty job to do and at least he sticks to his resolutions.

    I realize the above paragraph is just a lot of mud slinging... But its not as if rattling off facts and statistics will change any minds here.

  22. I would vote for a Peanut Butter sandwich over our current president. Think of the advantages the sandwich has:

    The sandwich will not endorse discriminatory amendments to our Constitution

    The sandwich will not promise sweeping reforms of our nations schools, sign legislation supporting it, and then cut the funding for schools off at the knees.

    The sandwich will not alienate the majority of the world. (It may do the reverse, if foreign dignitaries are fans of PB.)

    The sandwich will not start preemptive wars on bad intelligence, costing the country billions of dollars and hundreds of lives.

    The sandwich will not protect its friend Jelly, even if Jelly is involved in some sort of corporate embezzlement scheme.

    The sandwich will not push through the most fiscally irresponsible budget this country has ever seen, nor will it be responsible for the largest amount of deficit spending *ever*.

    And those are just a few of the points the sandwich has going for it.

    Now consider the fact that Kerry is an actual person! If you're so terrified that he has no agenda, think of it like this: doing nothing at all in the white house, would be significantly *better* for this country, than another four years of Bush. The gains the republicans made in the 2002 elections opened the door for a second round of tax cuts, the war, and more attempts to rewrite the constitution with selected excerpts from Leviticus.

    I'm not sure if you're just willing to look the other way for most of the problems this man has created, or what. The schools suck in florida? Really? What a surprise! They suck everywhere, thanks to the massive shortfalls in federal funding the states have been scrambling to make up for, not to mention the increases in expense that "No Child Left Behind" has managed to create.

    It never ceases to amaze me how unwilling people are to actual assess whether or not the republican party actually represents them. What is it that Bush has done that makes you believe in him? Is it his adherence to evangelical religion? His belief that the very wealthy shouldn't pay taxes? His willingness to fund corporate welfare? His glee at sending our troops to war, at being in his own words, a 'War President'? Do you think that his contribution to the fight against AIDS, a hefty donation, to be sure, but only usable in centers that don't talk about planned parenthood or contraception, is a worthy one? Do you think that his ribald deficit spending is a good idea?

    Or is it about something else? Is he just a "strong leader", and you'll forgive all the rest? Is it some sort of emotional connection?

    Intellectually, I just don't have any understanding of why people support this man. I can see it, to a certain extent, on an emotional level. But in my head? I don't get it.

    Which is why I'd vote for the peanut butter sandwich ahead of Bush.

  23. Anybody who's ever even heard my name knows where I stand on this, so I won't bother chiming in. I just wanna address one thing:

    As a non-american, I may have missed something here.

    Luke, no disrespect intended, but come on. Isn't this, you know, the definition of sticking your nose into other people's business?

  24. I love that all of you are jumping on the one Bush supporter who has voiced his opinion while offering almost none of your own.

    Simple we all nothing we say can or will change a presons mind… you have two groups 49.5% support Bush 49.5% support Kerry whats left… that small little group sitting on the fence…

    It's more effective to point on outright lies, back up with proof that sitting down for a point by point conversation. I know countless Bush supports who are so cought up on one Bush lie or another it isn't even funny… It would be akin to saying Bush (and neoconservatism) is a dolled-up version of fascism… which IT ISN'T.

    Like I said before I'm not shocked Erik is voting for Bush… as I tend think of him as more of a Libertarian than a Republican…

    I would like to know why people tend to think "liberals" are such evil people… after all look at what those crazy "liberals" fought (which where always opposed by those friendly concertatives)?

  25. "Kerry has yet to take a stand on anything. He's yet to state his beliefs, he's yet to provide a plan for the country besides vague "I will heal the country" hippie bullshit."

    Uh, Erik? The John Kerry web site has a 230-page book in PDF form titled Our Plan for America. Where's Bush's plan?

  26. To be fair to Kerry, what has Bush said he will do in the next 4 years beyond similar Fox-friendly 10 second clips of nothingness? The fact that you used the terms "trial lawyer" and "flip [flop]" just goes to show what I've been trying to point out. The Republicans have been defining everyday language in the U.S. to the point where knee-jerk negative reactions are drummed up simply by talking about a Democrat's profession. I have yet to see specific examples of Kerry's harmful flip floppiness. There's something to be said about having resolve -- but there's another thing to be said for knowing when you're wrong and have to change your mind because it's the correct thing to do. There's something to be said for knowing that what is right is more important than refusing to accept that you can be wrong, then accepting the circumstances and charting a brave new course.

    Bush has been so stubborn about trying to maintain his pre 9-11 unilateralism that it ultimately hurt American foreign policy and has cost many young Americans their lives in Iraq. It's one thing to support the troops with bravado and victory chants. It's another to goad the enemy with quotes like "Bring It On" and then cowering from every single funeral of U.S. soldiers who paid the ultimate price for the attitude encapsulated in this school yard barb.

    He's been so stubborn about keeping a campaign promise of tax cuts, that he did so at a time when breaking the promise would have been better for the American people and in fact understandable. His father did it when only the first criteria was met and suffered the political consequences for it. But the country went on to enjoy 8 years of economic fruitfulness brought on in part by this sound economic decision of Sr. Of course, for this Bush it has always been more important to get re-elected than to do the right thing. So he need only be perceived as doing the right thing.

    He's been so stubborn about trying to appear moral that he won't let scientists do their job to discover the potential in stem cell research. Instead, he showers this potential medical breakthrough with pessimism. He grew up at a time when his country sent a man to the moon. And when he became President he honoured the American tradition of successful challenging endeavours by assuring the public that similar important leaps in the stem cell domain would not be achievable so it wasn't worth pursuing - in fact it was dangerous and immoral to even try.

    His ego won't allow him to admit his faults. HIs lack of intelligence won't allow him to see just how harmful this character trait is. There's something to be said about flip floppers. But there's a reason the military calls it an about-face. It can be used for good. It can be a successful strategy. Come October, I assure you that enough Americans will have taken an about-face on George Bush that the country, and world, will be a better place for it.

  27. I'm voting for George Bush. Kerry is a self-scheming liar who made up and taped fake scenarios in Vietnam to make himself look glorious...then came back to America and joined the anti-Vietnam crowd. He was flip-flopping and twisting in the wind then, same as now. He says life begins at conception...then supports abortion. He says religion is important...but then when the Catholic church comes down hard on him, he says it isn't. He's pro-gun, he's not pro-gun. He's pro-"no foreign oil", he's pro "no Arctic drilling". etc. The guy makes his policies up depending on who he's talking to! (For the record, I am against Arctic drilling...sorry Bush.)

    Whether you like Bush or not, you know where he stands. He's honest about his policies. He also knows what to do and does it. The people who keep saying he needs to own up to his mistakes are the people who have invented the mistakes he supposedly made. What's a mistake he made? Going into Iraq? I and millions of other people disagree. Same goes for his tax cuts. Same goes for faith-based initiatives. And a host of others. Some say mistakes...others say victories. Myself included.

    Jared

  28. P. S. To the guy who said no WMDs and no democracy, that's a lie. We've found plenty of evidence of WMD building and materials in active use and may still find a large stockpile. As for the democracy, it's going much better than the biased liberal news media will report. Saddam was a mass-murdering lunatic who should have been ousted years ago but Bush's dad didn't have the guts to tell the United Nations to go take a hike. Dubya did. And the world will be a better place for it.

  29. I was registered as an independent in PA and I'm registered as an independent in FL. Libertarian? Perhaps in some ways. But part Democrat and part Republican too.

    Nearly everyone posting here took Michael Moore's crapfest of a movie a bit too seriously. The biggest liar, Moore or Bush? That's an easy one, and I think that nearly anyone willing to take a look at actual facts and not just believe what they see in a movie will come to the same conclusion.

    Furthermore, comments from this point forward will be deleted if a valid, actual email address is not used. Supply your actual name, your actual email address, and use apple.com as your URL if you want to hide your email address from indexing robots.

  30. Erik I've actually just lost my respect for you. Not for the Bush flamebait on the front page, but how you backed up your choice in the comments.

    You're just toeing party line and committing the sin you're complaining about. You've done nothing but bash kerry and then complain that the other people didn't do anything but bash bush.

    To say kerry hasn't taken a stance on any issue is complete partyline bs. He's taken many stances, your statement shows how little you've paid attention. You didn't mention that he's a flip-flopper, but that's the next point down the list you seem to be blindly reading. Like that voting for the troops then voting against them. How could he vote twice for the same bill? That's crazy! What a flip-flopper! Oh wait... the one he voted against was for us to just borrow all the money for the war and balloon the debt even further? The one he voted for offered ways to pay for it? Hm... strange. It's almost as if he's trying to govern responsibly.

    The only really decisive stance bush has taken in any of his public addresses is that tennant and ashcroft are doing bang up jobs and that america is safer.

    Safer because now instead of just having a crazy guy on the corner preaching hatred we now have a whole generation of arabs who lost civilian parents, cousins, uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters when the US bombed civilian centers in an unnecessary war for immenent threat^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H WMD^H^H^H^H liberation... yeah I think there are a lot fewer people who will be willing to lay down their life in a few years to hurt the us. After all as bush said, it's absurd to even think that people may want to attack us now that we're on offense, right? I mean al queda going on offense didn't make us want to get them any more right? (Well i mean until Bush completely diverted all money troops and public interest into an unrelated war).

    For all the things that you say kerry doesn't take a stand on, tell me what bush says his stance is. Then wait 8 months, until the headlines have been printed and the photo ops have taken place. Does the program actually have funding? Or geez-darn, did the republican congress not pass that bill? That's tough, I would have signed it. Oh did we pass funding that off to the states that are all going bankrupt? Well we did our part.

    Bush embodies so many of the problems that, as a kid, I thought we, as a culture, were past. I always chuckled when I read about how old kings used to claim they derived their leadership from god's will. I got kind of nervous when they'd conquer vastly less-equipped nations and then justify it because they were heathens, it was god's will, and then force their beliefs on them. I laughed at how crazy it was that vocal people were dubbed as traitors when they used reason and logic to disagree with the ruling power, even if all the facts supported them.

    I'll give you a bit to respond to some or any of this, but otherwise you've lost a reader. Not merely because you disagree, but because your responses so far have been 'No he doesn't! Your guy does!'

    ~BS

  31. Brendan,

    You're just toeing party line and committing the sin you're complaining about. You've done nothing but bash kerry and then complain that the other people didn't do anything but bash bush.

    Where have I bashed Kerry? I've said the guy flip flops, and that's about it. If disagreeing with you is all it takes to "lose your respect," man, then it's not really worth a whole lot to begin with.

    So, where have I bashed Kerry, exactly? Seriously, where? Cuz I've just looked and I can't find anything.

  32. Jebus that's bad. You ask where you bash him and then when I respond very civilly and point out where you delete my answer? My gods you do have a good point, that Brendan guy's a moron! Look he can't even respond to your post!

    Run away! Run Away!

    ~BS

  33. Your post was deleted, Brendan, as explained to you in an email because the HTML was horribly malformed. It was well beyond MT's normal fuck-it-up-edness.

    Grow up, Brendan. I'm not "out to get you," but I am out to get anyone who displays as little disregard for the formatting of their comments as, I dunno, Osama bin Laden shows for American lives.

  34. The John Kerry web site has a 230-page book in PDF form titled Our Plan for America. Where's Bush's plan?

    Well, first, Bush's plan is etched in the history of the last four years. But if you're talking about his legislative agenda, you'll get that in a few weeks at the Republican Party convention. That's how those things are done.

    That "230-page book" you talked about consists of about 100 pages of policy, where a page is defined as being about 250 words. (Small pages, big type.) The rest of the book consists of campaign photo album and some transcripts of campaign speeches. So don't be too proud of it. It's basically just the Democratic Party platform with a few embellishments.

    If you want to know what kind of President he'll be, look at his record. He voted against parental notification. He voted against the partial-birth abortion ban. He voted for tax hikes and against tax cuts every time they came up. He voted to cut funding for the military and intelligence gathering. He voted against a ban on human cloning. He voted against voluntary�not mandatory, but voluntary�school prayer. And that's just when he could be bothered to show up at all!

    The President's record, on the other hand: measurable improvements in reading and math scores as a result of NCLB (bitch about the funding all you want, but look at the results), the prescription drug benefit, medical savings accounts, tax relief, economic growth, declining unemployment, and oh by the way when somebody tossed him the terrorism football, he tucked it under his arm and ran with it.

    It's really not that complicated. Senator Kerry stands for a whole bunch of stuff I'm against: higher taxes, lower defense spending, disempowerment of families and local communities, and liberal elitism. President Bush, while far from perfect, stands for things I agree with: local empowerment, family values, faith, opportunity, accountability, and an absolute commitment to winning the war.

  35. You can disagree with me all you want, but remember a few things:

    I might just be riling you up on purpose. I've done it before and I'll do it again.I want a valid argument, not rhetoric or bullshit. Have I really presented one? No, but see point #1 and remember that you tend look bad when you get all uppity and defensive over next to nothing.This is my blog, and I'll follow my policies. Poorly formatted comments get deleted, as does spam and vulgar posts. Disagree, but do it with as close to correct HTML as possible.Finally, please remember that disagreement is how it's supposed to work. If we all agreed, what the hell would be the point of an election? If you want me to vote for Kerry, find a way to do it. I'm a reasonable guy - and I've given you any number of chances.

    That having been said, let me continue with more "bashing" (i.e. defined by some, apparently, to be any negative opinion about anyone, regardless of its factual basis, strength, or disclaimers): I think Kerry will lose this election. He added Edwards to the ticket and his polling numbers in North Carolina didn't climb. He had a convention and his polling numbers didn't climb.

    To quote West Wing, his numbers are less than yeasty. And West Wing features a very, very liberal president.

    Another reason (to add to Jeff's list), and I fear mentioning this because I think some people will think it's my only reason I will vote for Bush: Kerry pays lip service to being a "hunter" but clearly is not. He does not support the second amendment, an individual's right to own firearms, or the Constitution of the United States of America. Blatant disregard for the Constitution has never sat too well with me.

    Am I cool with the Patriot Act? No, I'm not, but I really wouldn't be able to do much about it without the second amendment. So, tack that onto Jeff's list of reasons.

  36. Weak.

    I'd like to point out that the precious second amendment that is so vague it can be interpreted many ways helps almost 30,000 americans die each year. (You can get the data here, but I cannot like directly to it sadly.)

    Less than 3,000 died in 2001 due to terrorism. (more numbers: just under 50,000 from transportation, adverse effects of medical care: 2,700)

    I hate to say it, but Americans kill each other more than terrorists do. Bush's biggest mistake was focusing so much on international issues and cutting programs here at home to help pay for a war overseas.

    I don't care how you distort the numbers, the country is worse off today than it was 4 years ago. Improving is good, yes. But we are not currently anywhere near where we were four years ago. Bush may not be at fault, but I can use the same logic that I've seen regard our national safety ("There have been no attacks since 9/11. Bush has done a great job of keeping us safe." Well, then since we're giving Bush credit for what appened during his term, without any consideration of other factors or consequences involved, then he also gets credit for everything that went wrong in the same time period.)

    Just because Bush says he is a Christian and can't stop talking about it does not mean that his actions carry that faith forward. The worst part is that he can't seem to keep it out of his job. There is supposed to be separation of church and state in tehis country. Writing religious mandates into constitutional amendments is completely out of line. I would be for the prompt removal of any president that is unable to put his personal views aside and do what is best for the country, not his political/financial/family/religious backers.

    How would you feel if someone wanted to add an amendment that stated that only non-Christians would be elegable for certain social/medical/government benefits? If you can answer that without using ANY religious beliefs or references, then you can convince me. Otherwise, realize what you are saying.

  37. I hate to say it, but Americans kill each other more than terrorists do.

    That's true, and I'd like to keep it that way.

    Bush's biggest mistake was focusing so much on international issues and cutting programs here at home to help pay for a war overseas.

    Pray tell, what programs did he cut here at home? Let's list those programs and talk about their relative merits, shall we? Then we'll see where the mistakes, if any, were made.

    The worst part is that he can't seem to keep it out of his job. There is supposed to be separation of church and state in tehis country.

    Nope. The words "separation of church and state" appear nowhere in our founding documents or in our laws. You're thinking of the first amendment, which says merely that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion. That is, there can be no state-sanctioned national religion in this country.

    It might be your opinion that you want a President who expresses no religious opinion, but it's not the law, and it's not our tradition, and it's not what most Americans want, according to polling data.

    How would you feel if someone wanted to add an amendment that stated that only non-Christians would be elegable for certain social/medical/government benefits?

    It wouldn't bother me much, because I'd know that such an amendment would never be ratified.

  38. I'd like to point out that the precious second amendment that is so vague it can be interpreted many ways

    It can be interpreted many ways by the uninformed. Fortunately, legal historians have almost unilaterally concluded that its meaning is rather clear based on both the language in the amendment as well as other papers and letters written by those who signed the Constitution.

    helps almost 30,000 Americans die each year.

    Guns are also used for defensive purposes upwards of 2.5 to 2.7 million times per year. I won't trot out the old BS about car accidents or lightning or whatever killing more people than guns do, but they hold here as well.

    Less than 3,000 died in 2001 due to terrorism. (more numbers: just under 50,000 from transportation, adverse effects of medical care: 2,700)

    More people die from alcohol each year than guns, yet anyone - criminals included - over the age of 21 is allowed to consume alcohol.

    I hate to say it, but Americans kill each other more than terrorists do. Bush's biggest mistake was focusing so much on international issues and cutting programs here at home to help pay for a war overseas.

    What programs did he cut? You won't win my support on it by quoting hippie bullcrap about how many Americans we kill each year. I read not too long ago that if you eliminate black-on-black crime, our violent crime rates drop to those comparable in Japan and Canada.

    I don't care how you distort the numbers, the country is worse off today than it was 4 years ago. Improving is good, yes.

    Very few people have even really mentioned numbers, let alone distorted them. Where are your numbers to show the contrary?

    Just because Bush says he is a Christian and can't stop talking about it does not mean that his actions carry that faith forward.

    Bush being religious is one of the reasons I have in his "con" column. I don't like that he's as religious as he is or that he brings his religion "to work" as much as he does. It's not a disqualifying factor for me, but it is in the "con" column. Remember, after all, that I'm one of those guys who doesn't think "In God We Trust" should be on our currency.

    How would you feel if someone wanted to add an amendment that stated that only non-Christians would be elegable for certain social/medical/government benefits? If you can answer that without using ANY religious beliefs or references, then you can convince me. Otherwise, realize what you are saying.

    That makes no sense. Realize that you've proposed a silly, ludicrous question as some sort of determining factor. I wouldn't support such an amendment, nor has Bush done anything (nor Kerry) similar to this.

  39. We've found plenty of evidence of WMD building and materials in active use

    I must have missed something. What are you referring to?

    and may still find a large stockpile.

    The possibility of perhaps finding something somewhere sometime within the next decade is not a justification to invade a country, no more than the possibility that the police might sometime somewhere in John Doe's house find a dead body is a justification to bust his door down without a warrant. Imminent danger, clear and present danger, those are the key words, and they were conspicuously absent from the whole Iraq fiasco. Saddam Hussein was nowhere close to being a threat to us.

    By the way, the real icing on my "I want Bush out office" cake is the fact that New York now receives fewer federal funds for security and police than it did before 9/11. And some of you have the audacity to say George W. Bush gives a damn about fighting terrorism? Why is it that New York receives about $5 or $6 per person as opposed to Wyoming receives figures somewhere in the $30-40 range per person? As far as I'm concerned Bush has done nothing but cause anti-terrorism funding to get cut and instead he and his Republican friends in Congress have pork-barreled everything to states with far lower risk assessments. NYC has to close down firehouses while Wyoming receives more bio-hazard suits than it has emergency personnel to wear them. Where's the sense in that? My vote in November will go towards sending Bush on a one-way ticket back to Crawford.

  40. He does not support the second amendment, an individual's right to own firearms, or the Constitution of the United States of America. Blatant disregard for the Constitution has never sat too well with me.

    I think this is a legitimate claim, but consider the fact that there has been a perpetual slew of Presidential candidates who've either supported or not entirely supported (because I have yet to see a President or broadly supported candidate who supports abolishing the amendment entirely) the Second Amendment. Also consider the fact that it will probably be a cold day in hell before the Second Amendment goes anywhere.

  41. Brian, don't be so sure of that. Gore lost the election because of his stance on guns (according to Clinton), and Kerry is aware of this. He's doing what he can to camouflage his real opinion: one that by most accounts is more personal anti-gun-ownership than Clinton or Gore.

    And, fwiw, the $5-$6 vs. the $30-$40 has a counter-argument: square miles. I bet that, when broken down in terms of square miles, NY gets about the same funding as WY or WI or WA or WE. Okay, I made up WE. :-)

    Two groups I'd love to see get more funding? Teachers and law enforcement. I'm with you there - but you won't convince me by using numbers like "per person" and then comparing the most overpopulated city and a state like Wyoming as your examples.

  42. I must have missed something. What are you referring to?

    Let's start with the 17 sarin-gas warheads uncovered by Polish troops in Iraq back in June. The Times-Picayune editorial on the subject from July 8 hits it right on the head:

    The ongoing clamor from the left asserts that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and that Iraq posed no threat to the United States at the time of the invasion.Why has there been almost no press coverage concerning the 17 sarin gas warheads discovered by Polish coalition forces in Iraq June 23?

    Before that, back in July, we secured and airlifted more than 1.7 metric tons of low-enriched uranium which could have been used to construct a "dirty" radiological weapon. That's 1.7 tons of stuff Saddam swore up and down he didn't have, remember? This was announced back on July 6.

    Before that, back on May 17, we had the little matter of actual chemical weapons being used against Coalition forces, one instance (known) of sarin gas and one (known) of mustard gas. I say "known" because the terrorists didn't seem to understand that you can't just blow up a binary chemical shell and get sarin gas. So it's entirely possible that they hit us with chemical shells before and we simply didn't notice.

    Let's go back even farther. Let's look at the Iraq Survey Group's reports. They've found enough botulinum toxin and ricin to wage a medium-sized bio-war. We found drums of sarin-precursor agents in a camouflaged bunker near Karbala. The Danes found 120mm mortar shells filled with a blister agent. And we found cyclosarin and an unidentified blister agent in a stash near Baiji, along with a mobile lab that could be used to prepare artillery shells and rockets and a cache of surface-to-surface of missiles with chemical warheads. I mean, the gun doesn't get any more smoky than that until somebody's been shot.

    And I haven't even gotten into Saddam's ballistic missile and nuclear programs. He fired missiles toward Kuwait (most of which thankfully were destroyed by PAC-3 or landed in the Gulf) that he swore up until the day of the invasion that he didn't have. He had 500 tons of unprocessed uranium--undeclared--and the equipment to process it. And on and on and on and on.

    The most rudimentary Google search will give you more information on all of these.

  43. See if you can spot the dumb typographical error in the above post. I'll give you a hint: July comes after June, not before.

    Oops.

  44. Gore lost the election because of his stance on guns (according to Clinton), and Kerry is aware of this.

    I don't think that was the main reason Gore did so badly. He made a lot of mistakes, his biggest probably being that he tried too hard to distance himself from Clinton instead capitalizing on his popular support. You have a point about the gun issue, but personally I don't see most of those bills getting too far. Even if they get passed, if they cross the line someone will take it to the Supreme Court. When it comes down to it I feel that Bush has trampled over the Constitution via the Patriot Act far more than I think Kerry has or will.

    And, fwiw, the $5-$6 vs. the $30-$40 has a counter-argument: square miles. I bet that, when broken down in terms of square miles, NY gets about the same funding as WY or WI or WA or WE. Okay, I made up WE.

    Yes, I've heard that argument. But as one New York Congressman pointed out, his entire constituency probably fits into a square mile and he can walk across it within about an hour. I'm not sure how breaking it up by square miles makes any sense whatsoever. Think of it this way, if you deploy a biological weapon in the Bronx and another in some area of Wyoming, which area is going to be hurt the most and will have the most casualities? (And I really don't see why a state should get more terrorism funding than it can even use, such as the oversupply of hazmat suits. That's just wasting money that could go elsewhere.)

    Two groups I'd love to see get more funding? Teachers and law enforcement. I'm with you there - but you won't convince me by using numbers like "per person" and then comparing the most overpopulated city and a state like Wyoming as your examples.

    Well, I'm not sure how else you'd like to see it broken down. Which do you think ranks higher on a list of potential terrorist targets? WY, WI, etc, or NY? I also don't believe that it's fair that the city that actually got hit on 9/11 and lost close to 3,000 people is now receiving fewer federal funds than before the attack. How do you explain that, because to me it seems nothing short of insane (and it certainly doesn't make me believe that Bush has done anything for us).

  45. The most rudimentary Google search will give you more information on all of these.

    I have looked into this and the claims I've seen range from dubious to inconclusive. 17 sarin gas warheads? I wouldn't call that a smoking gun. Most likely pre-Gulf War relics (and you do realize that many of the components of his 1980s era stockpile were supplied by U.S. companies as the same people in the current Administration, ie. Rumsfeld, Powell, Cheney, looked on, smiled, and did nothing more than issue a weak protest statement as he used chemical agents against his own people). So, first he actually uses the agents against the Kurds in the 80s, we do little more than say "hey, you shouldn't do that but we're still your friend" and then suddenly in 2003 when he is less of a threat than he was pre-Gulf War it's time to invade?

    I'll ask you again: Where was the imminent and clear and present danger?

  46. I have mailed my registration in to vote in the general election. For Bush.

    Die.

  47. 17 sarin gas warheads? I wouldn't call that a smoking gun.

    See, that's really what it boils down to, isn't it? We (the supporters) say that Saddam was a bad guy with weapons he shouldn't have had and links to terrorism, and that it was both good and justified for us to invade and end his regime. You (the detractors) say "nuh-uh." No matter how clear the links to terrorism, you say "nuh-uh." No matter what weapons he had, you say "nuh-uh."

    (Seventeen sarin warheads, incidentally, if properly deployed and fused, could easily have killed two or three million people in Manhattan. Sarin is terrible, terrible stuff.)

    I'd appreciate some honesty on this point. I'd appreciate it if somebody would stand up and say, "I would not have supported the invasion under any circumstances." Quit moving the goalposts and just state your position. Nobody will think less of you for it.

    and you do realize that many of the components of his 1980s era stockpile were supplied by U.S. companies

    Yet another lie. Or, if you really believe it, then it's merely a falsehood. The US sold dual-use stuff, sure, just like we sold to lots of other countries. But the actual munitions came from Russia, France, and Germany.

    So, first he actually uses the agents against the Kurds in the 80s, we do little more than say "hey, you shouldn't do that but we're still your friend" and then suddenly in 2003 when he is less of a threat than he was pre-Gulf War it's time to invade?

    YES. YES. A THOUSAND TIMES YES. Everything changed after 9/11. We realized that we were a lot more vulnerable than we'd ever believed. Our foreign policy had to change to reflect that. Duh.

    I'll ask you again: Where was the imminent and clear and present danger?

    I'll let the President of the United States answer that one.

    Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.

    Sound familiar at all? It's from the 2003 State of the Union address. You know, the one in which the President laid out the case for the invasion?

    You guys would have a much harder time wrapping your heads around the case for war if you, you know, listened to it once in a while.

  48. Hitler is a largely used word on this post.

  49. Jeff and Brian, do we agree war is bad?

    It's a sad fact that Sept 11 would not have occurred if the US did not butt its nose into the middle east. With no "terrorists", there would be no need for a case to go to war against Iraq.

    Frankly it sickens me that we as human beings cannot get along in this world. I think we really do need some aliens to come along and attack us so we are forced to unite ourselves.

    Do we need guns? If I don't need a gun, do we need laser guided bombs? Do we need MOAB's? Do we need brief case sized nuclear weapons? Do we need Proton launched 'city busters'? Do we need to spend trillions of dollars a year on weapons to shoot other humans?

    I know in Australia we do not need guns for self defence, in fact that would be the last thing I want except in the instance of a tank driving into my house. I can think of no useful use of a MOAB, except maybe blowing a mountain to shreds.

    As for the 1.7 tonnes of radioactive equipment that was airlifted out of Iraq, if memory serves me correctly it was mostly medical, the same equipment being used to save an 8 year old girls life right now in a hospital near you. Correct me if I am wrong of course.

  50. Mat, thank you for the diversion from reality. Back on this side of the fence, millions of people use guns in this country each year to defend themselves. Gun murders have risen 19%, home invasions 21%, and armed robbery 26% since your country enacted bans on guns.

    This is reality, and we don't all get along. Terrorists don't "hate" us because we stick our noses in things - they hate us because our women are allowed to wear shorts and show skin. They hate capitalism. They hate that we don't pray to their God and they hate the American way.

    Frankly, I don't know that someone who lives in another country is equipped to talk about that. Or, perhaps they're uniquely qualified to talk about it. I don't know. But I do know that "why can't we all just get along" is pretty much not the world I live in.

    We live in a world of Will Duffs, after all.

  51. Erik, I don't think human beings getting along is a diversion from reality. I would hope it could become reality. Sure we could get into the philosophical realm and discuss whether humans are inherently evil, but even then all humans have a conscience and working together rather working against has always created more and higher quality fruit, case in point PF.

    I am atheist, but do I hate people who believe in God? No. I am also anti-gun, but do I hate people with guns? No. All beliefs are not insurmountable walls around people. They simply take a little bit of thinking and the ability to say "they could be right, I will leave them alone".

    Those figures you produce I have not heard of. I could also bring out the figures of population growth and the lowering of the police force, especially here in Sydney. I know for a fact that we have problem areas and slowly but surely we are addressing them. Thinking about it, in recent weeks I have heard of 2 gun murders in Sydney, which feels higher than normal.

    Terrorists will always exist, but in this instance I think you are wrong. Osama bin Laden has stated that he is not out to kill people of different religions (he is in fact atheist), nor was he out to get capitalists. He was instead out to remove the US from the middle east, particularly Saudi Arabia. He doesn't seem to be doing a very good job though.

    I also think I am well equipped to talk about the 'American Way' as I have lived in America for quite a number of years and one of my parents is American. Yes I have bias towards Australia because it is a beautiful and peaceful nation (although we have been dragged kicking and screaming into the Iraq mishap) but I think I can stand here and say that I have a fairly good view of the USA.

    Please note that none of that was an attack and I don't think any of my previous posts have been either.

  52. Mat,

    Sure we could get into the philosophical realm and discuss whether humans are inherently evil

    I don't think that a philosophical discussion on this is in any way practical given the overwhelming, persistent, undeniable empirical evidence with which we find ourselves today.

    I think that your comments are perhaps a bit too late (and again, a bit too far into the land of fantasy) for a real discussion here. After all, I did wake up this morning to find an email commanding me to die.

    Being told to die kinda takes all the fun out of a "lively" debate.

  53. Indeed, we could very much look at what the media sells, and that is overwhelmingly negative.

    On the other hand, I can see the ten's of thousands of people sponsoring children in third world countries in this country alone, or the millions of man hours donated to charity, or the accomplishments of working together with NASA's latest ventures... and the list goes on.

    Sure, it may be deemed fantasy, but the world we live has people from all walks of life. Strangely enough, it seems its only the few that do the damage. As Josha mentioned one too many times, Hitler and his regime created the holocaust. Did the German people want it? Research says no. The Al-Qaeda terrorist group is small in comparison to many charities, in fact I think more people ran in the city-to-surf this year than exist in that group.

    Am I fearful of people out to get me because I live in the western world? No. I don't want to spend my life worrying about the remote possibility that somebody, somewhere wants to kill westerners (not specifically me) for a pointless reason. I have a finite time period of existence and its really not worth my time to be concerned with it.

    I don't vote for the politician who wants to defend my nation, I vote for the politician that is going to make others lives better as I spend my hard earned money and time making others lives better, for the sake of everyone.

    I am glad to be a part of the discussion though, I learnt something and I have furthered my knowledge about this world. Sad to see that more people were killed in senseless violence in Iraq today.

  54. Erik,

    It's a shame that the anti-gun, pull-out-of-Iraq, "if we just ignore the attacks against us those baddies will learn to love us" peaceniks exhibit violent intent toward someone who disagrees in a debate such as this. Where's their peace and love for you?

    Steve

  55. Mat,

    Your dream of a world full of peace and love is noble, but quite naive. Consider the world in which we live. There are bad people all over who want to do bad things to innocent people. These bad guys steal, rape, kill, torture, and harm their fellow men every day. The world is a dangerous place.

    Because this is the nature of our world, we should all remember that not all violence is "senseless." Sometimes violence is necessary to prevent these bad people from doing bad things or to defend the innocent.

    What's more, it is folly to believe that if we just show the bad people love, their hearts will grow in Grinch-like fashion and we can all get along until judgment day. Ain't gonna' happen. Ever.

    Steve

  56. Steve, I think my post came across as too lovely dovy. :)

    I never said that we will all get along, in fact I support our military. It is a good size, does not use much of our budget and would serve well in the event of an invasion by another country. It is also good for keeping out those bad guys that you mention, like the Hitlers, Pol Pots, etc. of this world.

    Sure the world is a dangerous place, but in the same instance I do not know of one of my circle of friends and family who has been attacked. Does this mean I should take no precautions? No, my doors are locked at night. I have been robbed, but I was not home and we found evidence that the robber waited around our premises to make sure no one was home.

    On the same token, the world is a quite dangerous place for humans to exist in anyway. We have countless bacteria constantly trying to take over our bodies, we have the fights that all of us will go through with regards to heart disease and cancer. We have earthquakes, fires, floods, comets, falling trees and termites. Everything is out to get us. But should we live in fear all the time? Should we take pre-emptive strikes against fires by chopping down all the forests? Should we take pre-emptive strikes against rivers by damming them?

    I have to disagree with you saying that violence is necessary to stop more violence. Our police do a good job of halting crime without senseless violence. Could Saddam and his fogies have been taken out with a calculated strike by US Navy Seals and the CIA? If so, why was this not done? Why did hundreds of Iraqi's and Americans have to die because one man was thought to be a threat? Was the USA really threatened by Iraq?

    It is probably wise to state right about now that my views are not based upon Michael Moore's documentaries (or lies as some people call it). Extreme bias is not my cup of tea.

  57. It's a sad fact that Sept 11 would not have occurred if the US did not butt its nose into the middle east.

    Yes, that is a fact, but it's a meaningless fact. It's also a fact that 9/11 wouldn't have happened if Khalid Sheikh Mohammed hadn't planned it and 19 guys hadn't carried it out. It's also a fact that it wouldn't have happened if we'd caught those guys with their box-cutters at the metal detectors. It's also a fact that it wouldn't have happened if we'd waged unlimited war on al-Qaida after the Khobar Towers bombing, or the embassy bombings, or the bombing of the Cole. Do these facts tell us anything useful about US foreign policy? No, absolutely not.

    With no "terrorists", there would be no need for a case to go to war against Iraq.

    Iraq invaded Kuwait. Remember? That had nothing to do with terrorism.

    Frankly it sickens me that we as human beings cannot get along in this world.

    Yes, yes. Peace and love. Blah blah blah.

    I know in Australia we do not need guns for self defence

    Australia was handed its independence on a silver platter. The United States had to fight a war to earn ours. Our forefathers promised their descendants that they would never again be beholden to a tyrannical government.

    As for the 1.7 tonnes of radioactive equipment that was airlifted out of Iraq, if memory serves me correctly it was mostly medical

    Nope. That same airlift included some 1,000 radioactive medical components, mostly cesium and strontium pellets, but the 1.7 tonnes of low-enriched uranium was just that: low-enriched uranium ore with no medical application. No civilian application, either, for that matter.

    Osama bin Laden has stated that he is not out to kill people of different religions (he is in fact atheist), nor was he out to get capitalists. He was instead out to remove the US from the middle east, particularly Saudi Arabia.

    Are you completely out of your gourd? Have you not read bin Laden's 1996 declaration of war against the West? His goal is the unification of the ummah, i.e., the creation of a worldwide totalitarian Islamist state. The first step is to overthrow the government of the Saudi Kingdom and establish an Islamist theocracy there. The first step in getting that to happen is to undermine US support for the Saudi monarchy. That was bin Laden's goal. To get Americans to say, "This never would have happened if we hadn't stuck our noses into the Middle East," thereby weakening the Saudi monarchy.

    Yes I have bias towards Australia because it is a beautiful and peaceful nation

    Of offense, but with 19 million people and a GDP smaller than Texas, Australia is hardly a model for the how to run a superpower. I love Australia, I've been there, it's a wonderful place. But it doesn't have to deal with anything like the problems of a northern-hemisphere industrialized country. It's apples and oranges. You can't just look at the whole world and say, "Why aren't you like Australia?"

    It is also good for keeping out those bad guys that you mention, like the Hitlers, Pol Pots, etc. of this world.

    Saddams… bin Ladens… Zarqawis…

    Our police do a good job of halting crime without senseless violence.

    Police make preemptive strikes against criminals all the time. Conspiracy is itself a crime; simply planning a crime is an actionable offense.

    Lots of people like to howl at the doctrine of preemption while ignoring the fact that it's hardly unique to the United States government.

    Could Saddam and his fogies have been taken out with a calculated strike by US Navy Seals and the CIA? If so, why was this not done?

    We tried and failed. But you know what? Even if we'd succeeded, we'd still have had to invade and occupy Iraq. Why? Because of something called a "power vacuum." In the late 1980s when the USSR pulled out of Afghanistan, the US provided no help and so there was a power vacuum. In the absence of an organized government, thuggery and warlordism reigned. Until finally the worst of the thugs, the Islamists, got together and set up their repressive nightmare. A nightmare in which terrorism and Islamic extremism flourished like bacteria in a dish. Twenty million people suffered horribly under the Taliban, not to mention the atrocities that they enabled by letting terrorists set up camp in their country.

    There was no way we were going to let that happen again.

    Was the USA really threatened by Iraq?

    Was the USA really threatened by Osama bin Laden? On September 10, everybody would have said of course not. Was the USA really threatened by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? On September 10, everybody would have said of course not.

    The idea here is that we will not permit another September 11. We will not permit another day of saying to each other, "Oh, if only we'd known."

  58. No matter how clear the links to terrorism, you say "nuh-uh."

    What "clear" links to terrorism are you talking about?

    No matter what weapons he had, you say "nuh-uh."

    Well, too bad for you I did a little research. Those warheads you're talking about: Multinational forces in Iraq said that more than a dozen missile warheads said to contain mustard gas or sarin have tested negative for chemical agents. And it goes on to say, as I initially suspected: "Two other warheads found in mid-June were found to contain an insignificant amount of sarin gas. The armaments were left over from the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, the statement said." So, please, stop spreading myths around.

    I'd appreciate it if somebody would stand up and say, "I would not have supported the invasion under any circumstances."

    Why should I lie? I would have supported it if there had been a clear and present danger and Hussein had been an imminent threat. But you yourself as well as the President have admitted that there was not any imminent danger.

    The US sold dual-use stuff, sure, just like we sold to lots of other countries. But the actual munitions came from Russia, France, and Germany.

    Now you're stretching it. You know (or at least should) very well that the U.S. supplied plenty of weapons through CIA front companies to Hussein such as cluster bombs and a multitude of other things that facilitated his chemical/biological programs.

    YES. YES. A THOUSAND TIMES YES. Everything changed after 9/11. We realized that we were a lot more vulnerable than we'd ever believed. Our foreign policy had to change to reflect that. Duh.

    A) I hate to have to break it to you, but terrorism is not anything new to the world and 2001 was not the first year we've dealt with it. 1993 WTC. 1995 Oklahoma City. U.S.S. Cole. Embassy bombings. Germany had a string of Red terrorist attacks in the 1970s. There were plenty of wake-up calls before 9/11 for those people who bothered to pay attention. We've known for probably a century now that democracies are vulnerable to bomb-toting maniacs. You can't change that short of destroying the democracies and implementing totalitarianism in its place. B) Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. Saddam Hussein was a conventional dictator. I think the U.S. military would be more than competent enough to fend off anything that some guy on another bloody continent with a big huge ocean in between might have conceivably tried to do. Israel had more to fear from him than anyone else and even they never spoke of invading.

    I'll let the President of the United States answer that one.

    He isn't even able to remain coherent and on-topic in the single paragraph you quoted. First he talks about terrorists and then he talks about Hussein, even though they are two very different beasts.

    You guys would have a much harder time wrapping your heads around the case for war if you, you know, listened to it once in a while.

    I've been scratching my head for a while now trying to figure out what case exactly you're talking about, because I haven't seen much of one so far. The Administration had one for Afghanistan. They did not have one for Iraq.

  59. What "clear" links to terrorism are you talking about?

    With all due respect, there's just too much here to go over. The links are extensive. The 9/11 commission report summarizes them.

    Well, too bad for you I did a little research.

    I don't think Indymedia counts as research. Yes, some chemical shells have been found to be empty. But what are they for if not to hold chemical agents? Dish soap? Perfume? And the "insignificant amount of sarin" thing? That's because the shell that was detonated contained binary sarin precursors, isopropyl alcohol and something I can't remember the name of. The two precursors mix while the shell is in flight to produce liquid sarin which becomes sarin gas when the shell bursts. Because the shell was improperly detonated, only a small amount of liquid sarin was produced.

    I would have supported it if there had been a clear and present danger and Hussein had been an imminent threat.

    September 11 was never imminent. It was completely off the radar, and then it was history. You would advocating taking that chance again?

    There were plenty of wake-up calls before 9/11 for those people who bothered to pay attention.

    So you're saying that we should have adopted the Bush Doctrine before 2001? I agree.

    Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11.

    That's definitely true. But he harbored terrorists, supported terrorism materially and financially, had proscribed weapons, was seeking more proscribed weapons, and had planned attacks against US targets (including the assassination of a former President) in the recent past. His gun was loaded and his finger was on the trigger, and if the President had waited for Saddam to shoot us, he would have been horribly negligent.

    He isn't even able to remain coherent and on-topic in the single paragraph you quoted.

    Sigh. Maybe that's the root of the problem, right there. You're either blinded by hatred of the President, or crippled by an inability to comprehend simple sentences. No offense, but come on. Make a little effort here to wrap your head around an argument.

    First he talks about terrorists and then he talks about Hussein, even though they are two very different beasts.

    No, they are not. Anybody who harbors a terrorist is a terrorist. Anybody who provides financial backing for a terrorist is a terrorist. Anybody who gives material support to a terrorist is a terrorist. That's the doctrine. That's US foreign policy.

    They did not have one for Iraq.

    From this week's National Review:

    The casus belli, according to Bush, was that Saddam was in violation of the cease-fire agreement that left him in power after the first Gulf War — and, following September 11, such defiance could no longer be tolerated. Bush's claim might be written off as mere flimflam — except that Saddam actually was in violation of the cease-fire agreement, and September 11 actually did alter many Americans' perceptions of tolerable risks.

    A little intellectual honesty isn't too much to ask here, is it? Stop saying that the President didn't have a case against Saddam. Start saying that you don't agree with it, or that you don't like it, or even that you're completely unaware of it because your head is so far up your… well, you get the idea.

    If you want to say that you oppose the war because there was no imminent threat, that's fine. Because that's not what the invasion was based on. But to jump from that to "Bush did not have a case for war for Iraq," that's just wrong.

  60. How about "Bush made a case for war by highlighting suspect findings and ignoring dissenting views within his own intelligence agencies; views which in time have been found to be true"?

    Bush says that even without the WMD 'evidence' from his "darn good intelligence" he would have invaded Iraq. The problem is that no matter how large the nose he thumbed at the United Nations, commanding our forces into war for a perioud of time exceeding thirty days is beyond the purvue of the executive branch.

    The real question is whether Congress would have authroized the use of force in Iraq without Bush's assurances that there was an imminent threat, and I personally don't believe that's the case. The imminent threat is why we went to war.

  61. If people want to know what having John Kerry as President would be like, don't bother reading that 250 page "plan" on his website. Just look at his Senate voting record and you will see what kind of man he is. Some of the stuff he did was ok, a large majority of it isn't very impressive which is why his Vietnam experience was the main theme at the DNC. Here is a decent read about how John Kerry is with technology and I know Bush isn't any better with technology.

    http://news.com.com/John+Kerry's+real+tech+agenda/2010-1028_3-5291476.html

  62. The real question is whether Congress would have authroized the use of force in Iraq without Bush's assurances that there was an imminent threat

    Enough with the putting words in the President's mouth, okay? He never said the threat was imminent, and in fact argued repeatedly that it was important to act before the threat was carried out. Nobody from the administration ever, ever, ever, EVER said that Iraq posed an imminent threat to ANYBODY. Not ever.

    Just look at his Senate voting record and you will see what kind of man he is.

    Agreed, 100%. Partial-birth abortion ban: no. Parental notification: no. Vouchers: no. Affirmative action: yes. Hate crimes legislation: yes. Increased penalties for drug offenses: no. Educational savings accounts: no. Abstinence education: no. Voluntary school prayer: no. ANWR drilling: no. Trade sanctions response to China weapons sales: no. IMF funding: yes. Trade embargo against Cuba: no. Medicare prescription drug benefit: no. Human cloning ban: no. Military base closures: yes. Limiting welfare for non-citizen residents: no. Increase the minimum wage: yes. Comp-time: no. (1997; he has since waffled on this, making it a plank in his platform.) Social Security lockbox: no. Personal retirement accounts: no. Tax-deductible Social Security payments: no. Bush tax cuts: no. Eliminating the marriage penalty: no. Defense appropriation: no.

    The list goes on and on. It's like a catalog of far-left talking points. The only positions he's adopted that are at all moderate or centrist (like DOMA and comp-time) have come AFTER his initial position didn't poll well.

  63. With all due respect, there's just too much here to go over. The links are extensive. The 9/11 commission report summarizes them.

    The 9/11 commission said that there were no links between Iraq and al Qaeda. If anyone has harbored terrorists in Iraq, it's been the United States and Britain. There was (is?) a terrorist base in Northern Iraq, over which Saddam Hussein had no control as it was in a semi-autonomous region protected by the United States/Britain no-fly zone policy. The Pentagon drafted several plans to destroy this base but the White House shot them down each time, undoubtedly because it would have taken that nice convenient bullet-point off of Colin Powell's "why we should invade" presentation.

    I don't think Indymedia counts as research.

    And the stuff you've been watching on Fox News does?

    But what are they for if not to hold chemical agents?

    Like I said, they are relics from the pre-Gulf War era. How many times do I have to repeat myself?

    Because the shell was improperly detonated, only a small amount of liquid sarin was produced.

    Interesting. What's your source for this claim?

    September 11 was never imminent. It was completely off the radar, and then it was history.

    It was off the radar because our intelligence services failed colossally. It's not as if suddenly a group of 19 people magically appeared in the cockpits of different airplanes in U.S. airspace on 9/11 and 5 minutes later the deed was done. No, there would have been plenty of opportunities to detect them. Intelligence analysts are paid to detect these things. They failed.

    You would advocating taking that chance again?

    Since Saddam Hussein and 9/11 have nothing to do with each other I'm not sure what you're getting at.

    So you're saying that we should have adopted the Bush Doctrine before 2001? I agree.

    No, I never said anything of the sort. I said there were plenty of wake-up calls. What should have been done as a result is another matter entirely (and no, I do not believe the Bush Doctrine is the answer).

    But he harbored terrorists, supported terrorism materially and financially, had proscribed weapons, was seeking more proscribed weapons, and had planned attacks against US targets (including the assassination of a former President) in the recent past. His gun was loaded and his finger was on the trigger, and if the President had waited for Saddam to shoot us, he would have been horribly negligent.

    What terrorists did he harbor? As to supporting materially, he paid a few families of Palestinian terrorist bombers. Does that make him an asshole? Hell yes. Is that a reason to invade? No, at least not any more than other countries should be invading us for having extensively supported the Jihad in Afghanistan and giving Bin Laden his expert CIA training. And as far as assholes go, there are probably quite a few dictators who are worse and are still in power.

    Sigh. Maybe that's the root of the problem, right there. You're either blinded by hatred of the President, or crippled by an inability to comprehend simple sentences. No offense, but come on. Make a little effort here to wrap your head around an argument.

    You took that comment out of context. Read on to the next sentence in the future before commenting on it.

    No, they are not. Anybody who harbors a terrorist is a terrorist.

    Again, what terrorists did he harbor?

    Anybody who provides financial backing for a terrorist is a terrorist. Anybody who gives material support to a terrorist is a terrorist.

    In that case plenty of past U.S. Presidents and their administration members are terrorists.

    You're right that Hussein was in violation of the cease-fire agreement. An all-out invasion was not necessary, IMO, to obtain compliance. Other options had by far not been exhausted before the all-too-hasty march to war.

    Stop saying that the President didn't have a case against Saddam. Start saying that you don't agree with it, or that you don't like it, or even that you're completely unaware of it because your head is so far up your… well, you get the idea.

    Well, what I meant is that since I don't believe the justifications he presented were acceptable and I'm still waiting for that large arsenal of WMDs to materialize I consequently don't believe he had a case. I do believe he had one for Afghanistan.

  64. The 9/11 commission said that there were no links between Iraq and al Qaeda.

    Try reading the report instead of the headlines on the front page of the Times. The Commission concluded just the opposite. The report is available on the web, and also for a mere $10 at every bookstore in the fifty states. There is absolutely no excuse for you to have this so completely backwards.

    There was (is?) a terrorist base in Northern Iraq, over which Saddam Hussein had no control

    He had so much "no control" over it that he personally appointed a liaison officer to maintain a relationship between his Mukhabarat and Ansar al-Islam. He had so much "no control" over it that a battalion-sized force of the Fedayeen Saddam defended the camp during the invasion. That's the Fedayeen Saddam, friend: Saddam's personal bodyguards.

    This is the same camp, incidentally, where our guys found the documentary evidence that led to the busting of the money-laundering, weapons-sales ring in Albany this week. You know, the one that was seeking a shoulder-launched, surface-to-air missile to bring down the plane carrying the ambassador from Pakistan? You may have heard of this, even if you limit your news intake to 1A-above-the-fold-big-type-only.

    undoubtedly because it would have taken that nice convenient bullet-point off

    If you're gonna play armchair National Security Advisor, I'd politely recommend that you get your basic facts right. The idea that there was no connection between Ansar al-Islam and the Mukhabarat or between al-Qaida and the Fedayeen Saddam are still on the list of hard-left talking points despite having been thoroughly debunked back in 2003.

    Like I said, they are relics from the pre-Gulf War era. How many times do I have to repeat myself?

    At least once more, because you're gonna have to show me the part of the Safwan Accord or UNSCR 687 that said it was okay for Saddam to keep stashes of chemical weapons as long as they're kinda old.

    What's your source for this claim?

    Every single news story on the subject. Look, a binary artillery shell combines the two reagents in flight, right? Artillery shells spin (the barrels of the artillery pieces are rifled) and it's that spinning motion that mixes the reagents to produce, in this case, liquid sarin. When the shell bursts, the liquid aerosolizes and evaporates to form a cloud of sarin gas. The shell that was used against our guys was modified for use as an IED; that is, a fist-sized lump of semtex or another explosive was basically duct-taped to the shell and wired to a detonator of some kind. If the round had been an HE round, the detonation of the semtex or whatever would have set off the shell and created a big boom with lots of shrapnel. As it was, the explosion did nothing more than spray isopropyl alcohol and methylphosphoryldifluoride (I looked it up) over a fairly wide area. A very small amount of these two reagents combined to form sarin, and that tiny amount of sarin caused contact symptoms in the two Marines who were tasked with disposing of the shrapnel.

    It was off the radar because our intelligence services failed colossally.

    Well, obviously that's not true, but let's say for a second that it were. You'd suggest that the right course of action would be to put our faith in the same agencies that "colossally failed" us in 2001? Sounds like a dumb idea to me, certainly not one I'd want our President to get on board with.

    Since Saddam Hussein and 9/11 have nothing to do with each other I'm not sure what you're getting at.

    You're just being difficult now. Saddam Hussein was a terrorist, okay? He harbored terrorists, he funded terrorism, he gave material support to terrorists. He was also an avowed enemy of the United States. What kind of a dumbass do you have to be to be unable to connect these freakin' dots?

    What should have been done as a result is another matter entirely (and no, I do not believe the Bush Doctrine is the answer).

    You're just not making any sense here. 1. Our intelligence services failed us. 2. We should have seen it coming. 3. Pre-emption is not the answer. Add those things up, and all you get is us sitting around on the night of 9/10 knowing that something was coming our way but choosing to do nothing to stop it because pre-emption is not the answer.

    You interpret this another way, maybe? You're suggesting another doctrine, perhaps? Because this is an election year, brother. The time for "this was wrong but I have nothing constructive to say" is long past.

    What terrorists did he harbor?

    God, the list goes on and on. We can talk about the PKK. We can talk about Jund al-Islam. We can talk about the Abu Nidal Organization. We can talk about al-Tawhid. We can talk about refugees from al-Qaida who set up shop under the name Ansar al-Islam in late 2001. We can talk about the Arab Liberation Front. We can talk about the 15 May Organization. We can talk about the Palestine Liberation Front. We can talk about Mujahedin-e Khalq. We can even talk about small-time operations, too, like those two Saudis who hijacked a Saudi flight bound for Baghdad; Saddam treated them like honored guests.

    As to supporting materially, he paid a few families of Palestinian terrorist bombers.

    How can you just dismiss that? Seriously: I want to know how the fuck you can just dismiss the funding of Palestinian murderers.

    No, at least not any more than other countries should be invading us for having extensively supported the Jihad in Afghanistan and giving Bin Laden his expert CIA training.

    Do you know what "terrorism" means? Do you know how we define "terrorism"? If so, you should be crystal-clear on how what happened in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation was not terrorism. Terrorism is directed toward non-combatants. Soviet troops do not qualify.

    Furthermore, the whole "America did bad things in the past and therefore cannot do good things in the present" argument is a real steamer. An argument like that doesn't even invite refutation. It's its own parody.

    In that case plenty of past U.S. Presidents and their administration members are terrorists.

    Name one. Let's see how good your knowledge of history is, or whether you're just repeating something you read off of a sign at an ANSWER rally.

    An all-out invasion was not necessary, IMO, to obtain compliance. Other options had by far not been exhausted before the all-too-hasty march to war.

    Okay, now I know you're just nuts. "All-too-hasty?" Let me check my calendar here. Saddam Hussein marched his ass into Kuwait, completely unprovoked, in 1990. The United States and the rest of the Coalition kicked him out in 1991. In March, 1991, US generals and Iraqi generals met in a tent outside the Iraqi village of Safwan and discussed the question, "What can be done to prevent a march straight up the highway to Baghdad and the end of Iraq as a sovereign nation?" The answer came in several parts, including the repatriation of Kuwaiti citizens and the return of Kuwaiti property and so on, but the #1 item on the agenda was disarmament. Declare all your weapons (ballistic, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear), then submit to their verifiable destruction.

    Did Saddam quickly comply with those terms? No. Did he reluctantly comply? No. Did he ever comply with even the tiniest one of those terms, ever? No.

    Remember, we're checking our calendar here. Mine says 1991. He agreed to disarm in 1991, but he didn't do it. Flip: 1992. Nope. Flip: 1993. Nope. Flip: 1994. Nope. Flip flip flip flip flip flip: 2000. Nope. Flip flip flip: 2003.

    Nope.

    How many years? Twelve. How many UN resolutions? Seventeen. How many options left unexhausted? Zero.

    If this is an "all-to-hasty march to war," I'd hate to see what you call one of a more reasonable pace.

    Well, what I meant is that since I don't believe the justifications he presented were acceptable and I'm still waiting for that large arsenal of WMDs to materialize I consequently don't believe he had a case.

    Oh. So, in other words, since you (1) don't understand the actual case for war, and (2) have made up your own imaginary case which you then rejected for your own imaginary reasons, and (3) are still waiting to see something which nobody ever predicted would be there, while (4) denying that what has already been found constitutes what you're waiting for because, I dunno, it had sand on it or something, because of all that, you say that the President didn't have a case for war.

    That's it. That's the absolute last straw. Hand over your voter registration card right now. I'm sending you into a Democracy Time-Out for the next four years. It's time for you to sit in the corner and think about what you've done.

  65. So Jeff, why don't we invade Saudi Arabia?

  66. The only comments I typically* delete are those that are:spamOverly offensive and/or degrading (i.e. "bleep you, you bleeping bleep.")That doesn't seem to be the case with Gabe, who seems to simply delete comments that disagree with him. I forget my...


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