August 31, 2004

MY KIND OF MAN

I hear Rudy Giuliani was a hit. I can't watch the RNC here, so I have to read it, and I like what I read. And you know what else I like? I like having a president who's uncomfortable with the Queen of England and completely at home with a crew of construction workers. But maybe that's just me.

MORE TO GROK:

Thanks, NightHawk. It was even better to watch than to read.

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August 30, 2004

THERE'S A WAR ON

Steyn says the same thing that I told my friend when we discussed stem cell research:

But [Bush at the RNC] will talk up successes in the war and remind us that, if we don't win it, the best prescription-drugs plan in the world isn't going to make much difference.

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August 27, 2004

GRADES

Long-time readers will know that nothing gets my blood boiling like some snotty intellectual calling average Americans stupid. They frequently do it to our servicemembers, which really ticks me off. And they do it all the time to our President. Nothing makes me madder than the audacity of a statement like this:

Does anyone in America doubt that Kerry has a higher IQ than Bush? I'm sure their SATs and college transcripts would put Kerry far ahead.

OK, well we all know President Bush's grades, since "Bush is dumb" is like sooo 2000. What are Kerry's grades, then? Can't Howell Raines find them and make a factual statement instead of resorting to bandwagon techniques?

I don't know what happens behind closed White House doors. I don't really care who's pulling most of the weight, be it Bush or Cheney or Rice. As a team, they're getting the job done. But, having absolutely no facts at my disposal, I'm not sure I want to poke at President Bush's IQ. What does IQ measure? Little picture games and mind puzzles and making connections and so on. I think President Bush might do quite well on a test of this nature.

Smarts isn't about memorizing and regurgitating, which is what the SAT and grades are about. Hell, I'm freaking awesome at that. I can play the school game like nobody's business, which is how you end up valedictorian and summa cum laude. But I'm slowly learning that playing school and playing life are completely different things.

Last night I had my second stats class. We learned variance and standard deviation, long formulas involving sigmas and x-bars and things that give most math-fearing people (the majority of the class) the heebie-jeebies. But I got the formulas right away. I figured out how to do the functions on the calculator right away. But then when I raised my hand and asked for how it applies to the real world, I could hear the panic in people's gasps. It's bad enough we have to plug in the frequency and take square roots, for chrissake, who cares what it all means! But I cared. I'm not taking stats just to finish a degree; I'm taking it because I want to know how it applies to the real world. And I could easily see how to plug in all the data, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out the relationship between the answer we got (18.2 cents) and the real problem (increase cigarette taxes in 27 states).

It's very humbling to realize you can't figure it out unless the teacher shows you how.

I've realized that I've an overabundance of capability, but no real ability to decipher relationships on my own. Give me formulas, give me numbers, and I'll give you all the answers, but ask me what it means and I'll stutter. And I get A's and had a relatively high SAT score. (I'm getting better at it through blogging, but I'm still stunned by the likes of Den Beste, Bunker, and CavX. I'll never get to that level.)

President Bush, and whoever else is working behind closed doors with him, can see the big picture. I don't care if he can plug the numbers into the calculator himself or if Cheney does it for him, as long as he continues to get 'er done. What indication do we have that Kerry sees the big picture? He obviously can't even make the mental relationship that voting for war and against funding makes you look like a jackass.

Look, I just don't like to call anyone stupid. I especially don't like it when Howell Raines -- who presumably thought Jayson Blair was pretty smart -- points his finger at the President. There's much more to smarts than grades in college; I'd say, to quote CavX, that

spending the last three years destroying terrorist training camps, breaking up terror cells in the US and abroad, uncovering a multinational nuclear proliferation ring, forcing belligerent North Korea to the bargaining table, cowing Libya into giving up its WMD programs and terrorist support, and winning two wars against terrorist-supporting Islamofascist dictatorships in the process

makes the President look pretty smart to me.

MORE TO GROK:

Instapundit says pretty much the same thing I said.

And Ann Althouse:

In any case, my questions about Kerry's intelligence do not arise solely from my inference that he had a poor academic record and low standardized test scores. My questions are also based on his exasperatingly convoluted and unclear manner of speaking. This has been excused as a propensity for "nuance" and "complexity," but could also be caused by a lack of mental capacity. It could also be willful evasion. I'd really like to know.

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August 22, 2004

BACKBONE

When the left-wing minions descended upon me a few months ago, spewing hatred and insults, it hurt. It hurts to be called names and told you're stupid and worthless. At that time, I found comfort in asking myself What Would Dubya Do? This is a man who has entire movies made about how worthless he is, yet he still manages to sleep at night. In terms of dealing with criticism and being self-confident, President George W. Bush is my personal hero. Whenever I feel down about myself, I remind myself that he deals with far worse every day.

I've read a couple of places today about how John Kerry is trying to get the FEC to shut down the SwiftVets ad. In my book, that makes Kerry about as spineless and weak-hearted as I am. I'm not a politician, so I'm allowed the luxury of feeling hurt when someone speaks bad of me; Kerry better get used to it if he plans on running the most hated country in the world.

I agree with LGF commenter William (found via Greyhawk) that this speaks volumes about Kerry's character.

While this is amusing and pathetic on the surface, what started as questions about Kerry's Vietnam era activity, Kerry has now turned into nothing less than a battle for free speech.

After Michael Moore's propaganda film, Bush never suggested it should be silenced.

After the moveon.org attack ads, Bush never suggested they should be silenced.

It's called freedom of speech (though Moore has moved perilously close to treason with his film while our troops are engaged in countries abroad).

Now Kerry seeks to silence free speech, because it's critical of his past.

For the blogosphere community, this has now moved past mocking the media for their absurdly obvious bias, and has become serious.

Kerry has changed the game with this move to shut down free speech.

If the media remain complicit now, they're not being complicit in smearing the SwiftVets, they're complicit in shutting down free speech -- the foundation of our society.

The "progressives" throw around labels of "fascism" and demonize John Ashcroft and Bush, but this has now become a battle for the country.

I don't think I'm exaggerating here. This has now become quite serious.

It is indeed serious. I grappled with this issue on my janky little blog -- whether to block certain commenters or close the comments section -- because I believe that people have the right to say what they think, even if it hurts my feelings. Shouldn't a presidential candidate in the United States of America believe in that as well?

MORE TO GROK:

More whining here. And Bunker writes about the media's fear.

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August 15, 2004

QUESTIONS

I've come up with a few questions that I'd like to pose to military wives who think voting Kerry is in their best interest.

1. Kerry has recently been talking about reducing the number of troops in Iraq as soon as he gets into office. Would you support this measure, knowing that it might mean that your husband could be stretched even thinner and have less support and back-up on his missions?

2. Kerry has also said that the reduction of American troops will be made possible by the addition of foreign, especially Arab, troops. This question is rather hypothetical, given that to date no additional nations have agreed to send troops if Kerry were elected, but would you rather have your husband fighting alongside Arab soldiers instead of other Americans?

3. Kerry recently spoke out against the genocide in Sudan and said, "we must also start planning now for the possibility that the international community, acting through the United Nations, will be forced to intervene urgently to save the lives of the innocent." There's no question that the situation in Sudan is horrible, but would you want your husband to deploy there as part of a UN-led peacekeeping mission?

Yep, they're loaded questions. But the problem is that many wives hear the words "Kerry's gonna reduce the number of troops in Iraq" and they don't think about the fine print. A premature reduction of troops means less stability and more strain for those who are left there. Do we really want to vote for that?

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August 12, 2004

FEAR

To be honest, this is what I fear most. I don't even want to think about an assassination.

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August 10, 2004

FOUR QUESTIONS

So Kerry would have gone to war anyway, lack of WMDs and all. Um, huh? Anyway, he lays out four questions he'd like President Bush to answer. In the remaining 15 minutes before I have to leave for work, I am going to try to give the short answers:

Kerry challenged Bush to answer some questions of his own -- why he rushed to war without a plan for the peace, why he used faulty intelligence, why he misled Americans about how he would go to war and why he had not brought other countries to the table.

1) It's my understanding that we really were surprised by the insurgency. OK, mistake. I understand that American intelligence relied too heavily on what Iraqi exiles said would happen. They were wrong. The military has been frank about their shortcomings though. We're trying to fix the problem, but unfortunately we've got the entire world breathing down our necks now. My husband said his unit gets shot at from mosques but they're not allowed to do anything back. That's a problem. Oh, and all that build-up at the UN? That's not a "rush to war".

2) There's a big difference between lying and being wrong. We had some faulty intelligence. So did Clinton. So did Putin. Heck, so did Saddam. We all thought he had WMDs. We were told he tried to buy yellowcake, which for all the hullabaloo turned out to actually be true. Intelligence is not an exact science, and we did the best we could with what we had.

3) "Why he misled Americans about how he would go to war" is an odd question. I've heard it phrased about why we should go to war, but never how. I don't quite understand the accusation here. Heh, maybe he means why Bush said there'd be shock and awe, when really it looked pretty lame from the TV set in my grandma's sewing room...

4) Oh the glorious "other countries" charge. Here's what I'd say to John Kerry:
Look, moron, even someone with a free geocities account appears to be better informed than you. Put down the guitar, shut off your "rap music", and take time to count the countries that support us in Iraq. And count the waving coalition flags on the Rottweiler's blog. Just because your precious France isn't on board doesn't mean we're alone.

I'll fill in links later [done, as of 0945]; I have to go to work. Unlike Kerry, I have to show up more than 30% of the time.

Ba-zing!

MORE TO GROK:

RWN answers the questions too, and says nearly the same stuff I said.

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August 09, 2004

INTERVIEW

It seems John Kerry has just as much trouble remembering his words as his wife does. At least he didn't tell anyone to shove it though:

“John [Edwards] and I are going to put in place the principle, very simple: No young American in uniform should ever be held hostage to America’s dependence on oil in the Middle East.”

Kerry sat down with Stripes afterward to discuss the war, the stresses on the military and changes he would make.

Stripes: You said during your speech that never again would U.S. troops be hostage to a lousy energy policy —

Kerry: What I said is, I didn’t say never again, I said I don’t want them to be hostage.

Stripes: You think that’s what’s going on now?

Kerry: No. That’s not related directly to the oil … and I never suggested that it is.

Read the whole interview; I think Kerry sounds pretty silly, especially when he says his friends vouch for him. And note the Vietnam junk in the last statement.

MORE TO GROK:

Greyhawk's got lots more.

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August 08, 2004

GRAMMAR

Grammar fun with President Bush, found via Pixy:

"Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?" Let us analyze that sentence for a moment. If you're a stickler, you probably think the singular verb "is" should have been the plural "are," but if you read it closely, you'll see I'm using the intransitive plural subjunctive tense. So the word "is" are correct.

In my sentences I go where no man has gone before...I am a boon to the English language.

We often hear people make fun of the President for the way he speaks. Even my own students occasionally call him dumb. I remind them that most of them screw their past participles up royally, that they are 20-30 years old but still mixing up there/their/they're, and that anyone whose extemporaneous speech is transcribed word for word is going to make grammar mistakes. The measure of a man is not grammatical accuracy but the message that's being conveyed. I'd much rather hear this

Anybody who wants to harm American troops will be found and brought to justice. There are some that feel like if they attack us that we may decide to leave prematurely. They don't understand what they are talking about if that is the case. Let me finish. There are some who feel like the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring 'em on.

than this

I believe I can fight a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more proactive, more sensitive war on terror that reaches out to other nations and brings them to our side and lives up to American values in history. [emphasis mine]

MORE TO GROK:

The distinction:

In his landmark speech to Congress on September 21, 2001, George Bush told the world "you are either with us or against us". Today John Kerry told them "You are either with us, or against us---but if you're against us we'll be nice to you and hope you become our friend". Which guy would you trust your family's safety with?

MORE:

Hilarious: Kerry said almost the exact same thing that Bush said. Of course, no one suggested he's a halfwit because of it (via Allah).

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DISENGAGEMENT

This is a must-read analysis of Kerry's intentions in Iraq: The Disengagement

And -- handful of oddballs I've talked to notwithstanding -- veterans and military families seem to support our current President (via Vodkapundit). I think it means that veterans and families want what's best for all of our servicemembers, and they don't seem to think Kerry's plan is what's best.

ALa71 writes about "adopting" a Soldier. My friends and I were talking about this the other day, about how strange it would be to not know someone downrange and to only know Soldiers who warblog. I said that, with everyone my husband knows, I have to monitor news about Tikrit, Mosul, Baqubah, and Najaf. I know more than enough people down there to keep me busy; it's hard to imagine that half of America doesn't know anyone in Iraq or Afghanistan. (And sometimes the ones who do only vaguely have a sense of "yeah, that one guy from my high school is in the Marines or something.") Around here, everything we do or say or think is somehow attached to the war; it's hard to imagine life otherwise.

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August 05, 2004

LOW

I read about this the other day, but I just didn't post a link. Sure, Ms. Heinz-Kerry might not know what chili is, but whatever. Paris Hilton had never heard of Walmart, right? But the fact that the Democrat candidates faked going to Wendy's just for the photo op (which backfired majorly when the Marines rebuffed them) when they knew they had gourmet food waiting for them on the bus is just...low.

Where's that guy from Family Guy episode 36 to yell "You're a great big phony!" every time Kerry walks by?

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August 02, 2004

GASP

Less than one week ago, I wrote my husband a letter about what I'd like to see for the future of our country, compared to what I think will really happen. I said at one point that I don't see the US getting rid of the IRS anytime in the near future.

Perhaps I spoke too soon. This made me sit up and gasp.

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