Monthly Archives: October 2004

Agnoiologist Endorses Kerry

WHY I CAN’T VOTE FOR BUSH — Conscientious Objector, by Robert A. George. This article explains it best, at least according to my thoughts.

Am I jumping ship? Damn right I am. Jumping from a ship that has been hijacked by neocons and evangelicals.

The issue with Rehnquist also tipped my decision. I’d rather have Kerry appointing our next Supreme Court judges. If Rehnquist dies, that could leave Bush appointing the next Chief Justice and I would not like seeing someone like Scalia in that position.

I think a Kerry victory will better position the Republicans for a victory in 2008. Notice the bounce after the Republican convention, versus the no bounce from the Democratic convention. Republicans did a better job of appealing to the middle. If this hijacked ship crashes with Bush at the helm, it will be easier to rebuild a better ship, a better party.

I don’t believe Kerry will be a great president. Far from it. I think the president he will be most similar to is Jimmy Carter.

Plus, with all that’s going on, Kerry is trapped by these circumstances. I don’t think he’ll be able to keep all these promises, especially when he said he wouldn’t raise taxes. How’s everything going to get paid for when the baby boomers start getting their social security?

Kerry’s plan for Iraq isn’t all too different from Bush’s plan. I mean, France and Germany already said they wouldn’t send any troops. Kerry’s not going to be able to build a giant coalition. But the echo plan is a reason to vote for Kerry! It provides reassurance for me, at least, that we won’t simply abandon Iraq. You can get the Bush plan without the Bush. However, he will be bogged down by the situation in Iraq. In a way, I feel sorry for him and this mess he could inherit. Kerry won’t bring anything grand to the table, but at least it’ll be a fresh start, and maybe there’ll finally be some accountability.

Speaking of accountability:

How come after 9/11, no one got fired?

How come after Abu Ghraib, no one got fired?

How come after the intelligence failure in Iraq, no one got fired?

President Bush, I thank you for what you’ve done (after all, I respect the office of the presidency), but… “You’re fired.”

Two Militants

From BBC News: Gaza strike kills two militants. For some reason, I was scanning the headlines and the word “militants” caught my eye. Is it because the word is more foreign in a headline, or am I just not that observant in the first place? (As in, when’s the last time you saw militants in a headline, as opposed to Gaza strike kills two, or Gaza strike kills two Palestinians.) Really, I think it’s probably because I’m not observant enough, but I want your input. Actually, let’s ask another question: Were they “militants” or “terrorists”?

Comment about Scientology

Nikki left this comment under my entry about Scientology. Scientology is very scary.

[begin comment]

I was born into a family of staunch scientologists and suffered from intractable epileptic seizures for 25 years.

My whole life I was led to believe that my problem was spiritual, not physical. I was emotionally tortured and shamed by scientology because of the ridiculous theories and activities that were thrust upon me. There was also the sense that I was failing my family and LRon every time I had a seizure -which was often. It was as though it was somehow MY FAULT! I eventually tried to kill myself with anti-convulsants when I was thirteen years old.

When neurologists recommended that I undergo brain surgery to remove the benign brain tumour that was CAUSING the seizures in my right temporal lobe, my father went bezerk and tried to stop the evil doctors from profiting from my doom.

Since undergoing the temporal lobectomy five years ago I have been 100% seizure-free. No medicine required and CERTAINLY no auditing, touch asists and all that other CRAP they had me doing since I was a young girl.

Stay away from scientology – they’ll fcuk with your mind the way that they have and still do with my family’s.

[end comment]

Kerry’s Dirty Trick

People have been saying that in the third debate, Kerry’s mentioning that Dick Cheney’s daughter is gay was an underhanded and dirty political trick to manipulate the Republican base.

Well, so what if it’s dirty… because it worked. I’m telling everyone I can to vote for John Kerry now. How can a president protect us from the evils of homosexuality and secularism (a threat greater than Islamofascism), if his own vice president has a gay daughter? I just don’t feel safe with a president who allows his vice president to have a gay daughter. Don’t vote for Bush.

DISCLAIMER: If you don’t know me too well, you might not know that this is a joke. So, I’m telling you that it is a joke, and I don’t care if it offends you.

Tomorrow is National “You are a Loser” Day

AIM conversation… I’m the second one.

Kaveman64: tomorrow is National “I Love You” day. If you got this then you are loved. Send this to 10 people in the next 143 minutes, and tomorrow will be the best day ever. Hurry ! no send backs

schizo killer: tomorrow is National “You are a Loser” day. If you got this then you are a loser. Send this to 10 people in the next 143 minutes and tomorrow will be the worst day ever. Hurry ! no send backs

Election 2004 Bad Joke Time

Bored of actual election issues…:

What’s worse than a tax and spend liberal?

A tax-refund and spend conservative.

*cue canned laughter*

Still not convinced Iraq is just fine?

We’re making progress. Oh wait, did that link you to a news story on an attack in the Green Zone? I meant, they’re making progress.

Non-joke topic

You know, when they mention how the children and grandchildren are going to be paying for this mess… I’m one of those children, and I don’t believe either candidate will cut the deficit in half.

Bush Makes Error in Last Friday’s Debate

Bush made a crucial error in last Friday’s debate in referencing the Dred Scott case. With the election so close, no candidate can afford to alienate any constituency, and President Bush has done just that.

By saying he won’t put anyone on the Supreme Court who supports Dred Scott, he has alienated the White Supremacist/Slave-owning vote. With every group so important in this polarized nation, this move could cost him Florida and other crucial swing states.

When queried about this, Bush said, “Sometimes, as president, you have to make decisions that aren’t popular.”

Unpopular, indeed. One white supremacist commented, “I want a president who won’t appoint any nigger-lovers to the Supreme Court, goddamnit. White power!”

Will it cost him the election? Only time, and the ballot box, will tell.

Minesweeper Lightning Strikes Twice in One Day

First, I beat my record on expert by 1 second. The new time: 96. And that was when the board was already completed, and I had to spend a bit of time hunting to find the last spot. I knew I could do better.

So I did. 94 seconds.

Oh, and I had a headache before I was playing Minesweeper, then it went away while I was playing. Now, I’m not playing, and my head hurts again. I’m neither denying nor affirming any magical healing powers Minewsweeper has.

Afghanistan Holds Democratic Election

Great news today as Afghanistan holds its first democratic election in forever.

One woman (yes, a woman, did you hear that, WOMAN) voter was ecstatic, “Finally, we get to vote for the person the US wants us to vote for.”

The election was not free from controversy, however. All fifteen of the opposing candidates, including one woman (yes, a WOMAN ran for office), signed a petition declaring that they would not accept the results of the election. When asked why, one of the candidates replied, “Because we are evil TalibaNazis and we knew we had no chance of winning. I mean, we had to do something.” He later added, “Oh, and we so called TalibaNazi — nobody else can use that name.”

The election was also marred by accusations of fraud. Voters registered to vote multiple times, and although there was a fingerprinting system in place, some polling places used incorrect ink, which could be rubbed off.

“I don’t understand what the problem is with multiple voting. We’ve been without democracy for forever. We just really want to vote,” said one voter, while filling out multiple ballots.

Judging the Second Presidential Debate

The second debate was the same as the first one, only the candidates were meaner… oops, I mean, more lively and stronger in their convictions.

The debate definitely goes to Bush if you consider The Lie Factor. When I came away from the second debate, I was completely convinced that Kerry had said the world was not safer without Saddam Hussein. Only, at the first debate, Bush said, “[Kerry] also said in December of 2003 that anyone who doubts that the world is safer without Saddam Hussein does not have the judgment to be president.” The final flip flop?

Kerry’s money quote: “The world is more dangerous today. The world is more dangerous today because the president didn’t make the right judgments.”

But I was so convinced that Kerry said the world was safer without Saddam that I was searching the second debate transcript for a direct quote for something to that effect. Not a roundabout allusion, but a direct quote.

Was it the association effect? The same thing the administration did with 9/11 and Saddam, not directly stating they were connected, but associating the two? Or was it just me?

Miscellaneous election comment

I still hate the “we have a plan” line. Why? Because I tried reading their “Our Plan for America” and couldn’t get through it. I think there was a plan in there somewhere, but I got sick of reading we have a plan over and over again. I wanted the meat right away. It’s just that I think if Kerry wins, when the next elections roll around, Kerry’ll still be saying, “we have a plan…”

The Lie Factor

The problem with judging debates is that since the nation is so polarized, we have developed a rather acute case of selective hearing.

However, that’s not the biggest problem with judging debates: it’s the multiple levels of judging. You gotta look good. You gotta speak good. You gotta attack on just the right level, not to harsh, not too soft. If you win, but don’t win enough, you lose according to some people. If you do better, but appeal to the wrong demographic, you lose. You gotta be consistent. You gotta say not the same thing over and over. You gotta convince the pundits after the debate is over.

TOO MUCH INFORMATION! IT’S TOO MUCH TO BE USEFUL! There’s so many subjective levels that you can’t get an objective reading.

Luckily, I’m here to simplify it for you.

I present to you, my simple test, which I like to call “The Lie Factor.”

It is as such: Whoever told the most convincing lies is the winner.

Note: I use the word “most” both in the sense of quality and quantity.

The brilliance of the lie factor is that you can do further analysis, and judge on the spot at the same time. You see who convinced you the most, and then it can be confirmed by the lie count. The common people, and the pundits can be happy.

Presidents are human and therefore fallible. However, we cannot let a leader be so. It is American nature to deify our heroes. Thus, whoever can convince us that he is invincible is the most invincible! Whoever can best mislead you is the most qualified to lead this country! You will feel safer, more placated, and happier. America is never wrong!

Containing Iraq

If containment worked for the Commies, why shouldn’t it have worked in Iraq?

(Okay, you can argue that containment didn’t work, but it was long-standing US policy, unlike preemption.)

Posting the Flow of the 2004 VP Debate

I took notes of some things that caught my ear as I was going along… [note, these are definitely edited from their original form, but the gists are the same]

  • Cheney sounded good when I first walked in, but I missed the question
  • Edwards can pronounce “Colin Powell” correctly
  • Cheney said Edwards said Afghanistan was falling about earlier, but they’re about to hold elections now… what’s the real state of Afghanistan?
  • Cheney mentions women in Afghanistan, good
  • “the reality is” — Edwards keeps saying that over and over
  • Hm… I’d rather have these guys running for president than vice president
  • “more of the same” Edwards says it as an aside when mentioning the plan for Iraq, not as effective since it was an aside
  • Edwards taking security forces out of Iraq to train them, good specifics
  • Cheney says Edwards is not counting Iraqi sacrifices… even though Edwards was making a valid point about one thing, I thought Cheney’s line hit hard
  • Edwards mentions Halliburton and Enron, slick association
  • Cheney says… it’s… I should know, it’s a link on the side. Too bad the average person listening doesn’t know Cheney has cut Halliburton ties since becoming vice president (Yes, I do know that Edwards was also mentioning stuff when Cheney was CEO)
  • Cheney’s “First time I met you” line… OUCH! (Too bad it turned out to be a lie)
  • Cheney says removing the tax cuts would hurt small businesses, appealing line (too bad he had inflated figures)
  • Cheney did not do well at all answering the Marriage Amendment question… does he disagree with Bush?
  • I was most impressed with Edwards when mentioning the lawsuit reform, etc, because he said “we have a plan” and then actually went into specifics!!! I like the 3 strikes thing!
  • Edwards says the best defense is a good offense — totally yoinked Bush’s war on terror line
  • Edwards was prepared as hell for that flip flop question. He was waiting for something like that.
  • Good closing statements, lost me with “we have a plan” then back on track with “you get to decide”
  • I really really really hate the “we have a plan” line. Don’t say, “we have a plan,” tell us, “we will”
  • Cheney’s closing statements emphasized the homeland security/war on terror angle, very good
  • Cheney didn’t thank Edwards. What the hell? I think it was intentional.

About Saletan’s article on how Edwards destroyed Cheney:

“Cheney seemed to think most viewers were tuning in to judge the vice presidential nominees. Edwards seemed to think they were tuning in to hear about the presidential nominees. [new paragraph] If Cheney guessed right on that question, he probably won.”

We are not in 100% disagreement. I watched the debates to judge the vice presidential nominees, and I thought Cheney won. I agree with Cheney that the most important thing about a vice president is that he could take the reigns in a moment’s notice. So what? Am I watching the debates wrong now? I think the debate about the debate is getting out of hand. Tune in tomorrow for the discussion (discussion, what the hell am I talking about, I mean: post) on that exciting topic!

“Watching” the VP Debate

[5:40] I put “watching” within quotation marks because I do more listening than actual watching. Maybe that’s why I scored the debate the same for the presidential candidates… I didn’t notice Bush supposedly looking irritated and the like. (Note: Supposedly, the networks weren’t supposed to show the reactions of the candidates, but I guess they went against their agreement.)

[7:50] Watched the debates, took notes. Will add more later. Maybe not even until tomorrow. I think I might score this debate as slightly favoring Cheney, but I wasn’t able to think completely objectively, so I can’t say.

poem quest continues

Remember when I said I was working towards 50 poems? I think I said that… I’m too sleepy to find the entry. Anyway, I’m almost there. I’ve had over 40 written since Labor Day.

Out of Context Awards: September 2004

“And if I should encounter God himself, I will wrap him in duct tape.” I said it, and I don’t remember who I said it to, but I think I was talking about my duct tape necktie at one point in the conversation.

“You’re like my retarded shadow.” – Mr. Gaines. Said during class. Hilarious, especially because it was true of the person he said it to. (A dumbass through and through.)

Winner? I won’t pick this time. I’ll let you, the reader, decide.

[1:50PM]EDIT: Two new remembered quotes:

“You know what school needs: more guns.” – me. It got a good laugh in physics class when my teacher brought a nerf gun, but I don’t think it’s all too great a quote out of context. It’s there anyway.

“Having a band is like having six girlfriends all at once.” – Ian. Ian was getting phone call after phone call. Hence, the quote.

Winner? Still letting you decide.

Figuring Out My Position on Iraq

Since the get-go, I’ve been almost for the War on Iraq, with the caveat that the idea of preemptive war made me very uneasy. Well, right now, I guess I’m going to flip flop, since I’ve been inspired by Lloyd’s comment. (But if you watch carefully, it’s not a flip flop.)

Saddam posed a threat to the world: He invaded Kuwait, showing his aggressive tendencies. He committed genocide against the Kurds. He was a dictator. Then, I thought there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and there seemed to be some kind of roundabout link between Saddam and Al Qaeda. There was this impending sense of danger.

The world finds out later that there are no WMDs in Iraq. I tried to reconcile this in my mind. WMDs weren’t the only reason we went into Iraq; Saddam was deposed and he committed all the crimes mentioned above. It was right to get rid of a dictator.

However, when did it become the US’s responsibility to become the police force of the world? Let me put this another way: How conservative is it to establish a new doctrine of preemptive war? To me, conservatism does not espouse these principles of going out in the world and interfering. George Washington didn’t warn against preemption, but he warned against foreign entanglements. We are getting very entangled right now.

Yet, Saddam did pose a threat. Is it right to leave a dictator in power? Is it right to let the people suffer? Is it wrong to spread democracy? George Washington did not live when the United States was the sole hyperpower; we were a weak nation.

Ah, but fighting a war takes resources. Not only human lives, but money. Where does this money come from? The taxpayer. The United States does not have the resources to finance these kinds of wars.

However, if we don’t do it, who will? Should we just let dictators have free reign and not interfere with their sovereignty? Is that the right thing to do? Face it, nobody else had any interest in doing it. Why? Four words: Oil for Food program. And if we didn’t do it now when would we do it? We have the most powerful army in the world. There will never be a time when we have the unlimited resources to bring about world peace. We have to fight things in pieces, rid the world of dictators one by one, perhaps. And you know what, the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein. President Bush and John Kerry both agree on that point.

There I stopped, and I thought I had it figured out.

Then, I read this: WSJ reporter Fassihi’s e-mail to friends. Even before the article itself posed it, I wondered: Is the world a better place without Saddam Hussein?

Think about this: North Korea has nukes. If I was North Korea, I wouldn’t give them up. The US could invade me, like Iraq! I need these weapons as an insurance policy! Iran is moving towards nuclear weapons for the same reason.

And guess what? We don’t have the resources to fight these guys because we’re stuck in Iraq! We avoided another Vietnam in Afghanistan by “outsourcing” the job, but then we went in Iraq, and the whole thing is one big mess. [I read a variant of this last sentence somewhere, but I can’t find it… I think it was in Slate… but I did add the outsourcing dig… I think.]

Therein lies the point I’ve been missing (ignoring?) all along: Saddam Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to the United States of America. And it’s precisely because he didn’t have the WMDs.

Now, it all fits together. We don’t have the resources to be the world police. The US shouldn’t be so far entangling itself in world affairs that do not concern it. Saddam didn’t pose an immediate threat. There was no link between Saddam and Al Qaeda. Therefore, it was wrong to go into Iraq.

No, I’m not reverting a pre-September 11th mentality. A war on terror is one that will never be won on the defensive. But the world is not safer without Saddam, unlike what Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry claim.

Some More Thoughts on the Debate

When they first brought up the warning lights thing, with the yellow and red lights, I almost laughed aloud. I imagined a gameshow type environment. After the lights went red, the room went black. “I’m sorry Mr. [Bush or Kerry], you have been eliminated.”

Also thinking about Kerry’s position on Iraq, and I think he’s still sending “mixed messages.” He says Saddam was a threat. But then, he also says the war’s a diversion and the wrong war at the wrong time. So is Saddam really a threat, or not? Kerry’s answer is yes. He’s such a threat that we should’ve slapped another resolution on him.

[1:30PM] EDIT: John Kerry plugged his website,, during the debate. Milestone. Remember way back when, when companies didn’t even have websites? Now, every company has one. The influence of the web is growing. Is this the first time a website has been mentioned during a presidential debate? I have no idea if any were mentioned, or not, during the 2000 debate.

New Intermediate Time (But Quest Continues)

My new Minesweeper intermediate time is 34 seconds.

My expert time is still 103, and my beginner time is still 4.

However, hopefully, it will only be a short amount of time before I improve the expert time.

[12:50ish, PM this time] EDIT: New expert time! 97. However, the quest still continues. This would’ve only put me one second behind Delora… unfortunately, she improved her time to 94 last night.

Oh well. A six second improvement over my previous time ain’t bad.