Monday, November 22, 2004

Carpet Bombing Northern New Jersey

No, this is not a political statement, although having lived there for a few years, I confess some attraction in the thought. Rather, this is a statement of facts on the ground on April 6, 1987. The Grateful Dead had just come back east for the first time since Garcia's diabetic coma in the summer of 1986. At the beginning of Spring Tour, it was clear Jerry was pacing himself, taking time to get back into the flow after having to essentially re-learn to play the guitar. They played Hampton, then Hartford, dropped down into Philly, back up to Worcester, and, with one last southern turn, landed in the Meadowlands' Brenden Byrne Arena on April 6. The band was long past pacing itself here, having found a firm stride. The show started out with what turned out to be the final rendition of Dancin' in the Streets (sorry Steckler -- that's exactly what you get for pulling against it that Tour), which flowed into a rollicking Franklin's Tower.

As the first set began its wind up, Bobby picked out a Jack Straw and the rest is, as they say, history. This may well have been the fiestiest Jack Straw I ever heard, but, fiestiness aside, Phil decided the time had come to let his bass shake the very foundations of the arena, letting loose with what are (very!) affectionately known as "bombs" -- a bass that throbs you to your core, chewing you up and spitting you out like cheap tobacco. But don't take my word for, give a listen to a lesson in carpet bombing that neither I, nor anyone else at Brenden Byrne that cool, misty, April night will ever forget. Incoming!: gd87-04-06d1t08 (open the stream and select d1t08). Oh. Turn it up loud.

Thursday, November 11, 2004


The terrorist shit is most certainly dead. May his first day in hell last 1000 years. May the souls of his victims now rest.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Where to Now?

Nearly 10 days removed from the election and I can say that, at long last, I am beginning to settle down. 10 months of anxiety followed by 10 days of euphoria -- I hardly know what I will do with myself after it all subsides.

As for the blog, although politics will always play a prominent role, I think it will become increasingly dedicated to things that I just enjoy, including astrophysics/astronomy, good books and the Grateful Dead. As for the Dead, the combination of Blogspot and the Internet Archive yields infinite possibilities. The first Dead-related post will probably be a reflection of the many-natured beast that is Scarlet Begonias. Everything anyone needs to know about the band is contained in a good Scarlet (compare gd84-06-21d2t01 [.nfo] with gd83-04-13d2t01 [.nfo] -- select the proper track from the stream's playlist). We'll see how well my theory holds up. Unfortunately, my political views will almost certainly alienate most of those who would otherwise be interested, but we'll see. There's at least one other soul out there who sees things more or less like I do. Apparently John does too. Well, I guess I'm not alone after all.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Take Note

Here's one way to get rid of the opposition. If at the ballot box you don't succeed, sue to have it banned. I know next to nothing about this party, but, if it is the largest political party in Belgium, I have a hard time believing this is a legitimate way of dealing with it.

Monday, November 08, 2004

"Hacked not Backed"

This seems to be the new meme favored by the 'Bush stole the White House' crowd, replacing "Selected not Elected" with nary a missed step. My Democratic friends are all a-twitter with rumors of Florida and Ohio touch-screen voting machines being hacked to give Kerry votes to Bush. Here's a representative story making the rounds. I'm sure there are others as well. All things considered, I guess I'm satisfied (nay, giddy with delight) to have the Left chasing silly rabbits like this while they could just as well be busy trying to figure out how actually to win elections.

"Na-Na-Na-Na-Hey-Hey-Hey, Goodbye"

Well, we'll see if the latest reports of Arafat's death turn out to be greatly exaggerated. Do consider the source, here -- one suspects its reliability right off the bat. As for cause, of course the Israelis poisoned him. How else could Arafat be brought down. Couldn't possibly be the result of a rancid life lived in fetid conditions, could it? No, it has to be the Israelis. One is tempted to recommend that the believers in this sort of tripe get a life. (After all, when has Israel pussy-footed around with poison? Last I checked, Israel was quite content with turning vermin like this into indistinct red smears on the sidewalk.) But, in this case, I'll take the death and be happy with it.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Octavian Redux

To my thinking, there is an interesting parallel between George Bush's defeat of John Kerry in 2004 and Octavian's (Augustus Caesar's) defeat of Marc Antony some 2000 years ago in 30 b.c. In the years leading up to Actium, and, eventually, Alexandria, Antony luxuriated by Cleopatra's side in Alexandria, growing more and more out of touch with the ideals -- indeed, the values -- of the Romans. Antony's disdain for Rome (if it can be called disdain -- it may have been folly) is best witnessed in his decision to hold a Triumph in the gymnasium (a most un-Roman Hellenstic institution) of Alexandria in 34 b.c. As Colin Wells explains in "The Roman Empire," a Triumph was "a cherished piece of Roman public ceremonial and to celebrate it except at Rome was to strike at Rome's dominant position." Antony was, some have argued, besotted with the notion of a grander role than mere Triumver of Rome. In Alexandria, Antony saw an opportunity to bring the known world together under his umbrella, to serve, as it were, as a sort of Secretary General, head of an uber-government. Octavian, on the other hand, was for Rome, and Rome alone. Wells describes it thusly:
[Antony] was almost a generation older, and more widely travelled [than Octavian]. Roman proconsuls met Hellenistic monarchs as their equals or superiors, issuing orders, taking precedence, even leading them in triumphs. Antony had offered Caesar a diadem. Did he see himself ruling from Alexandria as a Hellenistic 'great king,' king of kings? He might well have seen the course of history leading logically to this next step[.] Vergil and Horace make Octavian's decision to hark back to the 'restored' Republic and Rome's 'traditional' values now seem inevitable, but in the decade before Actium, history might well have seemed to be on Antony's side.
This strikes me as amenable to translation to the so-called "moral values" election we have just been through. At its core lie great questions. What is America's role in the world? Deeper still -- and perhaps far more relevant -- what is the world's role in America? To the observer, history might well appear to have been on the side of the "global test" and nascent shedding of sovereignty that permeated Kerry's views on foreign relations and national security. As the battle between Antony and Octavian reveal, it is not the first time that the 'locals' have roundly rejected multi-national pretensions on the part of their would-be leaders.

Deconstructing the "Moral Values" Vote

Over the course of the last couple of days, I've seen enough criticisms of the meme that this election was won on "moral values" to consider a post cataloging those criticisms. Tom McGuire over at Just One Minute beat me to it (Go balloons!). Like Tom (and, I suppose, Glenn Reynolds), this snippet from David Brooks's column, The Values-Vote Myth, strikes me as hitting that pernicious nail on its head:

Every election year, we in the commentariat come up with a story line to explain the result, and the story line has to have two features. First, it has to be completely wrong. Second, it has to reassure liberals that they are morally superior to the people who just defeated them.

In past years, the story line has involved Angry White Males, or Willie Horton-bashing racists. This year, the official story is that throngs of homophobic, Red America values-voters surged to the polls to put George Bush over the top.

This theory certainly flatters liberals, and it is certainly wrong.

This election decidedly was not about electing a candidate who represents "moral values" in a strict "you-don't-put-your-penis-there" sense. Many people, myself included, believe that morality in leadership is about doing what you believe is right, the reaction and consequences be damned. The President was willing to lose this election on Iraq -- willing to lose office over doing what he firmly believed was just the right thing to do in terms of this country's security, and the future of the world. Moral values is as much -- if not more -- about making the damned tough decisions. The President can and does make them. There was no evidence -- none at all -- that Kerry would, or even could, as aptly evidenced by his for/against the war positions in 1971 and in 2004.

In short, the bulk of the "moral values" vote was, to me, a for for leadership, and against dithering -- a vote for a Churchillian approach, and against a Clintonian approach. That's not to say that the 'morality of the penis' did not play some role in this election, but to say that the Left attributes the totality of its defeat to that branch of the "moral values" vote at its gravest peril.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Reaching Out

Maureen Dowd, the crown queen of the lunatic fringe, weighs in with some additional invective. Glad they're trying to bury the hatchet.

Cheer up, sweetie. We won't come for you until the very end.

Bonus: On this morning's Meet the Press, I found Dowd's performance disgusting, not because she was as venomous as she was in her two post-election columns thus far, but because she was much less so. If you're going to be intemperant in print, at least have the guts to back it up in word. She withered before her own quotations. What a coward. Like I said, Mo, we won't come for you until the very end, but we're coming regardless. Know that we'd come for you sooner if we thought for a moment that you in any way mattered.

Four More Years!

Friday, November 05, 2004

No Way, Specter

Arlen has disqualified himself. No Judiciary for you. Head here for the latest in the effort to keep this arrogant RINO out of the chair. And don't forget to e-sign the petition -- let's help redstate get to 20,000 very quickly. Also call/write/email your Republican Senator, or, if none, Bill Frist and another on Judiciary:

Hatch (202) 224-5251
Grassley (202) 224-3744
Kyl (202) 224-4521
DeWine (202) 224-2315
Sessions (202) 224-4124
Graham (202) 224-5972
Craig (202) 224-2752
Chambliss (202) 224-3521
Cornyn (202) 224-2934

DC office 202-224-3344 (fax is 202-228-1264)
Nashville office 615-352-9411
Majority Leader office 202-224-3135

Bonus: Hugh Hewitt takes some issue with the anti-Specter movement. Although Hugh makes good points, I am has displeased with Specter over his arrogant throwing down of the gauntlet as I am with the likely direction Judiciary would take under his leadership.

Resent . . . Resist . . . Revenge

How sweet it is not to have to caption this page with those words. Three days removed from November 2, 2004 and I'm still not ready to write the "What Does It All Mean" piece -- I prefer to reflect for a bit longer. That hasn't stopped some, though. And I suspect that some may grow to regret their words. Jane Smiley, novelist and, from all appearance, bigot, is certainly among that group. Never again, Jane -- no more Moo, etc. for me. Eric Alterman is another example, but Eric will never grow so he may as well spew whatever he wants right now.

I do love how the left demands that Bush reach out to them: "we've lost and the only way to make things right is to act as if we won." Well, fat chance, unless and until you start behaving like grown-ups. Until then, I'll join (soon to be here) in saying:
A Message To Liberals and Supporters of John "Crushed" Kerry Just so you know, we are still laughing at you. We are still taking joy in your anger, misery, heartache and tears. We are still mocking you, both in your face and behind your back. We think it's great that the very left-wing, socialist ideals you hold sacred and dear have been overwhelmingly repudiated. And we still think you are all losers who don't get it, and judging from your vitriol and hate over the last few days, you never will. That is all.

Thursday, November 04, 2004


In the light of the day after, it does take shape. Decisive. And where, I ask, has Terry "This is the greatest election night ever" McAuliffe been hiding?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The President Has Been Re-elected

Proving again that hate and loathing never won nuthin'. Unfortunately, Ohio probably isn't outside the margin of litigation, and, if the Kerry camp remains true to form, we'll hear talk of provisional ballots, and see suits over the mundane. The fact is that if anyone was systematically disenfranchised in Ohio, it was Republicans, the stories today are legion, the provisionals will only pad the lead. Still looking for the magick 290 number, but probably won't see it. Regardless, freedom remains on the march!

Presidency, Senate, House and throw in two or three Supreme Court Justices to boot. Paint the country RED -- the voters already done did.

John Kerry

You are (virtually) dismissed. We are just a whisker away from getting back to the time when John Kerry was just a nuisance. Thank you, America! You done good.


Bush futures are showing a powerful bounce after a dismal afternoon. But then, that market is now moving with the same information everyone has. Still, more cause for hope -- I'm not the only one sensing something happening here. Good luck getting into the site, though -- it's being slammed.


Yes, I have some -- more and more. What looked bleak in the exits (which are looking increasingly rotten, just like everything associated with the Kerry campaign) is looking better in the actual vote. If Bush loses, it will be impossibly close, and perhaps be partnered with a popular vote victory. For now, though, hope.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The Dog that Did Not Bark

Here we are on election day 2004, fully 3 years since a beautiful morning was pierced by tragedy on September 11, 2001. What horrors did al Qaeda visit on our shores during the last 3+ years? None -- not a one -- and not for lack of trying. We've captured or killied, mostly killed, a percentage of al Qaeda's leadership one-and-one-half times greater than that needed to win this election -- 75%. Who do we have to thank for that? The man from Crawford. If this man is bounced out of office today it will be the most thankless act committed by an electorate since the defeat of Chruchill on the heels of his winning WWII -- an equally shameful display of ingratitude to a man who carried an entire nation on his back. If Kerry wins, I fear for the next four years, but assure myself I will not be in Washington or New York when it happens next time. The exits don't look good, but then they are skewed (59-41 women), just like everything in this country is skewed these days. It's not over yet, and when it ends we will not go away . . . no matter the result.

By His Enemies

The true character of a man is best revealed by the nature of his enemies. The powers aligned against this President include the old-line media (who fear for their future influence in an age coming to be dominated by the citizen journalist), the Michael Moore left (those knuckle-dragging imbeciles that trade in fantasy), the effete elite (billionaires who have so much that they will thrive under any tax system, including one that will crush those of us who aspire to better lives), and the host of screaming know-nothings. If, as I believe, the Universe/God/Whatever has a sense of humor, the President will win this election. What, after all, could be more poetic than a result that forces the merchants of hate to stew in their own juices for the next four years?

This is Liberalism's Battle of the Bulge -- its last great press for relevance. If the Left loses this election, it will join countless other failed philosophies in the dust-bin of forgotten lies. In the end, bile does not win elections, and they have offered nothing in the way of vision. Here's hoping that tonight we give the Left a rousing good-bye. Yet, as I keep saying, if the Left does squeek through, I will not follow.

20-20-20-4 Hours to Go

And yes, I wanna be sedated. With any luck, by this time tomorrow we'll have a winner. If Kerry wins, I will be taking my family away from the D.C. area. If Bush wins, I will probably weep with joy, and a not insignificant amount of sheer relief. Get out and vote -- it's all that can now be done, although it couldn't hurt to say a little prayer. We shall see. And we shall not forget.

Daschle v. Thune

No, that's not merely a description of South Dakota's Senate race, it's the caption on the Democrats latest litigious assault. Daschle has sued Thune in a literal 11th hour effort to save his foundering reelection bid. Daschle whines that following South Dakota law and allowing Republican pol watchers will intimidate Native American voters. A hearing is scheduled tonight before a judge who has Daschle to thank for his seat on the bench. As one who knows his way around the corrupt by-ways of the American judiciary, I don't have high hopes. Then again, because this is in federal court, fairness may just sneak in -- it's the state benches that are the most fetid trenches.

This suit bespeaks a considerable amount of anxiety in the Daschle camp. C'mon South Dakota -- send this guy packing.

Bonus: Daschle loses. Speaking as a lawyer, all I can say is: What a freakin' joke. If I were working for Thune, first thing on Wednesday morning I'd move for serious Rule 11 sanctions, and ask for costs and fees. Don't miss one of the last updates, which concerns the overtly childish behaviour of the Daschle team during the post-hearing interviews. What a hoot. Go Thune!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Et Tu Rehnquist?

I fully agree with Eugene's assessment of the hubris and irresponsibility highlighted by Chief Justice Rehnquist's current medical situation. While one can feel a considerable degree of compassion for anyone suffering with the condition currently afflicting Rehnquist (thyroid cancer), one may, at the same time, feel like kicking the man squarely in the teeth.

Bonus: Story in today's WaPo quotes David Cooper, director of the Hopkins Thyroid Clinic, as saying that Rehnquist's course of treatment (radiation and chemo) "adds up to something very bleak . . . very, very bad news" for the Chief Justice. Although I'm not wild about seeing someone's medical prognosis be the subject of media speculation, this is very important. I'm very, very, very angry with Rehnquist right now for not retiring at the conclusion of the October 2003 term. What an anus. Thanks, Chief.

Inspirational Corner

Won't someone please rid us of this meddlesome priest?

The Perfidious French

This picture over at LGF says it all. I can now understand why Kerry thinks French approval is indispensible to our mission to free the world from the scurge of terrorism. Although Kerry has consistently suggested he can bring France to the table, he has yet to tell us how he plans on doing it. Well, as Krauthammer suggested a while back, there's one way he can do it -- by turning on Israel. Make no mistake, he will do it -- and the French will follow.

One More Day

Wow. What a weekend. And here we are, tomorrow's the big day. Get energized. Go see the Crush Kerry GOTV ad. Go read about Te-ray-za's son, Chris Heinz, calling the President a "cokehead" and baiting the jews. Go out and vote. Get your fellows to the polls.

With a day to go, forget about the undecideds. It doesn't matter. Some will vote Kerry, some will vote Bush, some will take a pass, but none will do anything on a non-arbitrary basis.

A few [very] random thoughts:

The analysts have concluded it really was bin Laden, and not an emaciated Michael Moore. Oh well, at least if Kerry wins he's promised to look for him. I wish we'd have thought of that! Maybe he should give his magic hat to the Delta guys -- that would help. In any event, there can be no doubt that bin Laden and his cronies would view a Kerry win as their biggest victory since 9.11. Are good people of this country really going to give him what he wants? I'll bet a week's pay that, if Kerry wins, we'll see another video in a few weeks commending the American People for opting for the path of peace with al Qaeda and reiterating his earlier comment that he will only consider himself to be at war with the Red States.

I reiterate my pleadge that, if Kerry wins, we shall not go quietly. As the video linked above points out, the Left has been anything but charitable during this administration. They claim Bush has divided the country, and point to their own mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, hate-spewing antics as evidence of Bush's failure. Well, if you win guys, you ain't seen nothing yet.My first suggestion -- no cabinet. You get Defense, State and Treasury and that's it. Next, no federal judges. Not a one.

It's time to put an age limit on voting. Once you hit 70, you're done. I'm tired of being unable to fix the social security mess because of "vested interest voters." Once they hit 70, they don't contribute to society in any meaningful way. Why should those who no longer contribute get a say in how the resources of the productive class are spent? There is a war coming at home, and it is generational in scope.

--well, we see how long I leave this post up. As you mght suspect, I'm angry this morning. Although a Bush victory will go a long way to assuaging that anger, it won't go nearly the whole way.