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Saturday, May 29, 2004

Cosby Explains It All 

Bill Cosby is being criticized by the self-proclaimed leaders of the Black People for essentially criticizing ebonics and urban culture. Anyone who knows anything about Cosby knows that he didn't say anything at this Brown v. Board of Education gala that he had not said before.

Way back in the day, late 70s I believe, Eddie Murphy and Cosby has a well publicized rivalry when Cosby called him a third rate comedian for having to shock people with the "N-word" in order to get laughs.

Spike Lee and Cosby also came to verbal blows over similar circumstances in the early-to-mid 80's.

And, for those of you with shorter attention spans, he went off on Wanda Sykes for "not speaking English" when he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at last years Emmys.

Obviously, those who invited Bill to speak at this celebration either knew what sort of things he was going to say, or were negligent on researching their speaker. All in all, I think Cosby said things that needed to be said. On the other hand, as a White person, I am not allowed to have an opinion on this at all.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2004

"Catch Our Breath" Presidents 

If John Kerry wins the '04 elections, presidential historians and political scientists will develop dozens of theories on why he won and Bush didn't. Let me jump the gun and put out my theory right now.

John Kerry is running on a "Catch our Breath" ticket. The Democrats, and many other people, simply want to go back to tyhe ways things were before the drama of our current president and his horny predecessor. Kerry isn't dramatic. We all know he won't shake things up in any way. He won't take any risks. He won't take initiative to substantially raise or lower taxes, and if Congress tries either, he won't give significant resistance or endorsement.

Kerry is pinning his hopes on the idea that America just wants a caretaker president. After the Clinton Scandals and the Bush Wars, he may be right. The last time we had two such presidents in a row was LBJ and Nixon. The return to normalcy after their presidencies led to Ford and Carter.

Two non-flashy, non-offensive presidents. During their presidencies, the Soviet Union expanded further than it had since World War II.

The fact is, just because Americans want to return to normal doesn't mean that the world will let them. While Al Qaeda is still active, America will not be safe. Without a man like Ashcroft willing to allow himself to be defamed to protect the country, more 9/11s will occur. And Kerry will not have any Ashcrofts in his cabinet, you can be sure of that.

Kerry wants to be all things to all people. And Americans may want that, because it means 4 years of no excitement. But we will pay for those four years. It's worth noting that neither Ford or Carter got re-elected. America's rush to normalcy cost them high inflation, a poor economy, and a rejuvinated Soviet Union.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

hmmm 

Not to tempt fate, but when was the last time we heard of any uprisings in Fallujah? Has the cease-fire been broken? Have we settled it down? Either way, the news media has really dropped the ball on this story.

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VP McCain 

As weak as Bush sometimes seems in this election, the Democrats are desperate to derail him. So much so that many are willing to advocate that Kerry choose John McCain as his running mate.

As a Republican, nothing could make me happier. McCain, though occasionally moderate in social issues, is a bigger hawk than Bush and his "neo-cons," is anti-Affirmative Action, supports making the Bush tax cuts permanent, and is Pro-Life.

In addition, McCain would become president of the Senate, giving the Republicans a better majority. If Kerry won, Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney would appoint Kerry's replacement in the Senate, giving Ted Kennedy a conservative counterpart to represent the state.

McCain would give up his seat in Arizona, and it is tough to say which party would take his seat. Since neither party is really taking the McCain candidacy seriously, neither is prepared. Arizona would probably become a fiasco worthy of California, and the Democrats would probably get angry when McCain didn't endorse the Democratic candidate.

This probably won't pan out, but if it does, I sure will enjoy the ride.

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Monday, May 17, 2004

Michael Moore: Need I say anything else? 

Michael Moore got the longest standing ovation in the history of the Cannes Film Festival, it seems, for a movie that dipicts America as evil.

Its rather sickening to see someone profit so highly for a movie that plays on Anti-Americanism and irrational hatred. Michael Moore's films deserve to be ranked with films like Birth of a Nation, yet the establishment ranks them as equivolents of Schindler's List.

His documentary, Bowling for Columbine, has been proven to be full of falsehoods and outright lies. Yet it won an Oscar. And the Academy wonders why no one watches their award show anymore.

Freedom of Speech is a great thing, and Michael Moore is well within his rights to say whatever he wants. But to go to overseas and feed international hatred toward the US is dispicable. It is like what the Dixie Chicks did, but tenfold. Nothing more than profiting from irrational fears and hatred toward America.


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Sunday, May 16, 2004

Lesson #1: Geneva Convention and the Treatment of POWs 



That link above brings you to the actual text of the Geneva Convention relative to the treatment of POWs. If anything disturbs me about the political climate, more than the superfluous hatred people have for those with opposing points of view, it's the way everyone seems to be trying to interpret and scream outrage over laws that they have never read and never bothered to understand.

Scroll down to article 4, and you learn that not every combatant is protected under Geneva. Only uniformed soldiers, who one can recognize as a soldier from a distance, is protected. This means that in a geurilla war, such as in Iraq, Geneva is not relevent. The same goes for terrorists, who work to blend into the civilian population. Now, there is a downside to this as well. American CIA agents and other spies are not eligible for Geneva protection, nor are our military special forces, if they are caught without their uniforms on.

Our contractors, who seem to be the favored targets of Iraqi/Al Qaeda insurgents these days, however, ARE protected under Geneva. Article 4, Section 4.

Article 13 is the first article that mentions the protections gauranteed the POWs, and it seems intentionally vague. They are pretty strict on the idea that a POW cannot be killed, subject to medical experimentation, or mutilated, but beyond that, it doesn't seem to disallow most forms interrogative abuse. They are protected from "Public Curiousity," which leads me to believe CBS broke the law when they aired the Abu Ghraib photos.

Article 17 is pretty damning, prohibiting any sort of means to interrogate information from a POW.

Article 26 specifically demands that POWs are not denied tobacco. Not particularly relevent to the conversation, but interesting nonetheless.

Article 31 demands medical attention go to the POW. This means the dental check we gave to Saddam, which caused such a fury at the time, was not only legal but mandated by Geneva.

Article 35 is rather creepy, since it seems to encourage militaries to capture enemy chaplains so that they may practice for the POWs.

Article 42 demands that weapons cannot be used on POWs trying to escape, which raises a number of questions. "Why does anyone STAY in a POW camp?" is the most obvious. (The obvious answer is that any detaining power will ignore this rule and shoot you.)

Now, I have gone well beyond any passage that would have any relevence to our treatment toward the prisoners at Abu Ghraib. With the purported rape abuse, its obvious that those in charge of Abu Ghraib did overstep their grounds both legally and morally.

However, the other abuses may not be tantamount to "torture" under Geneva. The nakedness may have been unpleasant, but as long as they were not forced to stay naked for long periods of time, or weren't exposed to the sun and allowed to burn, it cannot be considered torture (in that it doesn't kill or mutilate). The climate of Iraq is hardly one where nakedness will expose you to any additional disease. I've never been to Iraq, but my understanding is that the weather is quite warm.

The pictures also were not necessarily illegal, until CBS aired them!!!!! Public humiliation was banned, but the illusion of it was not. Those pictures may have been taken as a means to convince Ba'ath and Al Qaeda operatives to give information that would save American lives, and I think we can all assume that they were never meant for public consumption, whether they were taken in a best case, or a worst case scenerio.

And, of course, we have to assume these people were conventional soldiers for this discussion to even be relevent. Geurilla fighters have no rights under Geneva at all. None. And it is very rare that Al Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hezbollah, or any tiny little insurgent group in Iraq goes into battle wearing a national emblem, weapons displayed for all to see. Except for some of the Ba'ath Party soldiers from the beginning of the war, there are probably almost no prisoners in Iraq who are eligible for protection at all.

I hope we all learned something today. I learned to pick shorter documents to review. Tune in to the next lesson when I either review the Patriot Act, or disclose how much money Halliburton has donated to the DNC over the years. Whichever is less work.


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Monday, May 10, 2004

Patriotism Diminished 

Here is my biggest fear with this Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal. I feel this may have finally killed off the national feelings of patriotism that erupted after September 11.

National opinion, outside the circle of elites that hate America regardless of what happens in the world, has been that America enjoys the moral high ground. We are superior to the terrorists morally. We are superior to Saddam and Kimn Jong Il and the Clerics of Iran because we regard the sanctity of human rights. And then, we get the news that shocks us to the entire core. American troops mistreated Iraqi POWs.

This now makes everyone give more credence to the Leftists who spun their black heliocopter theories about mistreatments in Guantanemo Bay, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Even though most accusations made by so-called human rights groups like Amnesty International were most likely hyperbole, and even outright mischaracterizations, we are forced to look at their charges more seriously.

Now, forcing prisoners to be naked in front of women is hardly as bad as the tortures Saddam and sons inflicted. But it makes the United States out to be a Saddam-Lite. This rejuvinates the anti-American movement as nothing else possibly could.

I don't know what the long term ramifications will be. I think the heroic image of the US Soldier is in the most jeopardy since the Vietnam War, and that opportunistic leftists like Michael Moore and the journalistic staff of CBS may exploit this for personal gain. If I am right about the end of American patriotism, its likely Kerry will win the election in 2004, since the GOP is the party of patriots, and the Democratic Party is the party of dissent and anger.

If you disagree with the paragraph above, I would like to point out one way I believe American Patriotism can be salvaged. John Kerry and John McCain are in unique positions to step up and defend the honor of our troops.

As a former POW who was abused at the hands of the Viet Cong, McCain can attest to the vileness of such conduct, and then can point out that most American troops would be sickened by how these prisoners were treated. To his credit, McCain has been on all major networks and has said essentially just that.

Kerry, who accused American soldiers of war crimes during Vietnam (as well as admitted to a few himself), could make up for his past sins against the troops by standing up to defend their honor now. This will invalidate the conspiracy theories his own party will undoubtedly put out that villainizes the US Military as a whole, will legitimize his running on military service, and prove to military voters, Bush's strongest base outside Conservatives, that he is willing to stick up for them. But as I've said before, the Democrats are too beholden to the anti-War lobby, so Kerry will not do the honorable thing.

Let me just close by clarifying that the American Military is an honorable organization, and that 99% are probably sickened at this entire scandal. But as the Catholic Church learned during their pedophile scandal, the actions of the majority is meaningless. The whole will be judged by the absolute worst.

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Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Tortured Torturers 

Saddam's Ba'ath Party loyalists got the Lite version of what they used to dish out, and CBS is there to make you outraged!

American soldiers were idiotic enough to tape their misconduct, and have cost us dearly in the Image War.

Obviously, the people responsible need to be held accountable, but really, am I supposed to feel sorry for these Iraqis? Did these same Iraqis not drag American contractors to their death last month?

Now, I accept that America is held to a higher standard, as well we should be. But one detention center in the entire country of Iraq is hardly reason to jump to the conclusion that America is worse for Iraq than Saddam was.

Americans mistreating prisoners was an exception to the rule. Compare that to Saddam making men watch their families face torture. Or Uday feeding men to his pet tigers, because they were attracted to the same women he was attracted to. Uday, by the way, videotaped those feedings to enjoy later.

I also find it interesting that CBS was the organization to break this story, specifically, 60 Minutes. Andy Rooney, as mentioned in an earlier entry, wrote an interesting article about why the men and women who serve in the armed forces are not heroes. After Pat Tillman's well-publicized death in Afghanistan, servicemen and servicewomen began to regain their prestige. I just find CBS's timing pretty interesting,
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On another note, any Conservative who claims to support the troops, who was angered by Ted Koppel's reading of the fallen of Iraq is a hypocrite. I understand the fear that the anti-warriors will twist this into propoganda. But it is foolish to taint the actions of someone who obviously had noble intentions.

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