November 2004 Archives

November 30, 2004

Rumsfeld Sued For War Crimes

American human rights lawyers attempt to prosecute Donald Rumsfeld for war crimes in Germany.

Reuters reports that a U.S. human rights group, Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) has filed a criminal complaint with Germany's Federal Prosecutors alleging Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and senior U.S. officers are guilty of war crimes over the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal:

» Continue reading "Rumsfeld Sued For War Crimes"

Posted by Dan Spencer at 11:20 PM

Iran Round-Up

In the world of journalism, it's Iran Season. It's too little too late, as those of us hawks who judged issues of national security to be more compelling than font frottage sorely missed this reportage in the weeks before November. But it is welcome nonetheless, and all the more interesting in the humid shadow of a politically unleashed Bush's second term.

» Continue reading "Iran Round-Up"

November 29, 2004

Red Light, Green Light

"There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again." - George W. Bush.

Kudos to Bush for refusing to be fooled even once by the duplicitous Iranian government. While there are many areas on which we can and should work with Iran - refugees, Kurds, opium, border control, etc. - the administration is taking the right tack in refusing to believe anything they hear from Teheran on Iran's nuclear plans.

» Continue reading "Red Light, Green Light"

Posted by Chops at 11:00 AM

November 25, 2004

Separation of school and state

Benjamin Franklin wanted the national bird to be a turkey. Somehow that seems more appropriate to me now that I'm older. Especially in light of these stories...

Declaration of Independence Banned at Calif School

Maryland Public school says no to thanking God.

» Continue reading "Separation of school and state"

Posted by Eric Simonson at 3:13 AM

November 24, 2004

Mandatory pedestrianism

In the Sixties, Paul Ehrlich, the author of Population Bomb, and Lester Brown, the founder of the Worldwatch Institute, predicted that the "dramatic consequences" of our "throwaway lifestyle" were only a McDonald's carton away.

In 1968, Ehrlich said food shortages in India would kill 200 million people by 1980. In fact, by 1980, India was exporting surplus grain to Russia. thescotsman

» Continue reading "Mandatory pedestrianism"

Posted by Eric Simonson at 2:10 AM

November 23, 2004

Blame it on Usama

When all else fails ... blame it on Usama Bin Laden. The American people got scared when UBL showed his ugly face and ran to George W. Bush for comfort. Kerry had no chance. I sincerely doubt that's what happened.

» Continue reading "Blame it on Usama"

Posted by Dawn at 8:44 AM

November 22, 2004

Echo Chamber?

Much has been made - in conservative circles as well as liberal - of Bush surrounding himself with loyalists in his second term. More than partisanship is at stake; all Americans agree that the government should be well-managed and that decisions should be made well. Is the second Bush administration becoming a dangerous 'echo chamber', as some claim?

» Continue reading "Echo Chamber?"

Posted by Chops at 1:21 PM

Eagle Platform

One of my on-line acquaintances is developing what he calls the "Eagle Platform": a political platform which is not closely tied to either current political party in US politics, though it draws from a slightly conservative and more strongly libertarian bent. It provides an excellent starting point for useful political conversation and can be found here at the website of DerekJames.

Since I haven't received permission to reproduce in toto, I will just comment on two aspects of it.

The abortion and death penalty statements are not directly in line with my personal moral intuitions, but represent an excellent compromise--especially if taken together:

» Continue reading "Eagle Platform"

November 20, 2004

Respect, courage and Consequences

America is respected, admired, loved, feared and loathed all at the same time. It is gratifying to be admired and wonderful to be loved and being loathed is to be avoided whenever possible, but the key to success is respect. America's friends, enemies and everyone in between must be convinced that the U.S. will act consequentially on promises and threats.

» Continue reading "Respect, courage and Consequences"

Posted by Jack at 10:22 PM

November 19, 2004

Trust Me?

On my first day as a contributor to this weblog, the headlines conveniently provide an opportunity to get to the heart of how I feel about the Bush Administration. Earlier this week, outgoing Secretary Of State Colin Powell said he saw intelligence supporting a group's claim that the Iranian government is developing nuclear weapons. Today CNN reports that U.S. officials are questioning the reliability of that intelligence. After the Iraq war intelligence fiasco, who are we to believe? I have a hard time understanding why the majority of American voters thought it was a good idea to re-elect an administration with such dangerous credibility problems.

» Continue reading "Trust Me?"

Posted by Joe Territo at 4:17 PM

Misdirected Hostility

So, Bush has been elected for another four years. There is a distinct Republican advantage in the House and Senate. A sizable portion of the population is very disgruntled with our current situation. The questions being asked usually regard the regrouping of the Democratic Party, or what went wrong or right with the election. While these are valid topics, they are not the topic of this article. A more general question must be asked. Where do WE, as a nation, go from here? We have anger and a passion for change, where should we focus our energy to incite necessary changes?

» Continue reading "Misdirected Hostility"

Posted by Andrew Parker at 12:04 PM

Casting the key to success

Two items in the mainstream media - a Thomas Friedman editorial yesterday, and a breaking news story today - highlighted what will assuredly be the key to creating security in Iraq: effective Iraqi leaders.

» Continue reading "Casting the key to success"

Posted by Chops at 11:56 AM

November 18, 2004


Today the Clinton Library was opened. There was a big gathering to dedicate it. There were four Presidents there. Two Democrat and two Republican. It was a big day for Ex President Bill Clinton.

» Continue reading "GOD BLESS AMERICA"

Posted by Dawn at 2:51 PM

November 16, 2004

U.N. Policy & Muscle

Be kind, this is my first WatchBlog post yet. If you have comments, I'd appreciate additional critique on the way I wrote it, not just on the content.

I’ve come to the realization that the United Nations is entirely useless. They haven’t accomplished anything, and when they try to enforce something, they get shot at and leave. Additionally, the U.N. should never ever have control over United States troops.

» Continue reading "U.N. Policy & Muscle"

Posted by Steven Noonan at 9:29 PM


Liberal bigotry. Pure and simple.

Not one to shy away from speaking his mind, Keillor proposed a solution to what he deemed a fundamental problem with U.S. elections. "I'm trying to organize support for a constitutional amendment to deny voting rights to born-again Christians," Keillor smirked. "I feel if your citizenship is in Heaven-like a born again Christian's is-you should give up your citizenship. Sorry, but this is my new cause. If born again Christians are allowed to vote in this country, then why not Canadians?"
» Continue reading "JesusLand"

Posted by Eric Simonson at 3:54 AM

November 14, 2004

affirmative action

A discussion of affirmative action is difficult because we all mean different things by the term and we read unintended meanings into what others say. What we want is to cast a wider net and value diversity, what we get are quotas or goals based on race. Instead of getting a diversity of ideas, we match and mix colors as if we were selecting furniture for our living room. In the process, we create systems so opaque that even the best students have no idea whether or not they can get into the university of their choice. The system really is not working as intended.

» Continue reading "affirmative action"

Posted by Jack at 12:57 AM

November 12, 2004

"Tanks" meet Anti-War Protesters in LA. Gasp! Over React!

Last night in LA two “tanks” stopped near a group of anti-war protesters. Already, the slimy underbelly of the far left is writhing with accusations of military intimidation, and crazed shouts about Tiananmen USA. The event is being seized upon by left-wing crazies as another piece in the “Evil Right Wing” puzzle, to be enshrined next to Halliburton conspiracies and Diebold vote hacking anecdotes. Military oppression of a peaceful protest would indeed be cause for concern. Too bad that this nonsense just doesn't seem to hold water.

» Continue reading ""Tanks" meet Anti-War Protesters in LA. Gasp! Over React!"

Posted by Damon Dimmick at 11:01 AM

November 11, 2004

Winners Make It Happen; Losers Let It Be

Some people say that America is different because it is rich and powerful. I say that America is rich and powerful because it is different. Visitors to America noticed this same individualism, religious fervor and volunteerism when the U.S. was a weak little country hugging the Atlantic coast. Through generations of change and immigration from around the world, these have remained defining American characteristics. All in all, we would rather be free than personally secure. The ironic thing is that people with that attitude often achieve both, while their comfort-seeking friends get neither.

» Continue reading "Winners Make It Happen; Losers Let It Be"

Posted by Jack at 2:06 PM

Kisses and Crumbs

Arafat has died. Is there a chance for peace in the Middle East now that he is gone? Some believe that there is.

» Continue reading "Kisses and Crumbs"

Posted by Dawn at 1:51 PM

November 9, 2004

I'm Jesus Christ and I approved this message

Much noise is being made that the evangelical segment of the Republican electorate won this re-election for the President. That's true only in the sense that everyone who showed up and voted for Bush had an effect. Attending a conservative evangelical church confirms that the pro-Republican organizing activism is alive and well, but the fact is that elections are driven by that combination of issues and personality which creates a sense of safety -- and the President engendered that feeling of safety among more than evangelicals.

» Continue reading "I'm Jesus Christ and I approved this message"

Posted by Matthew Hogan at 3:28 PM

November 8, 2004

Capitalism's global war on poverty

A US research group wants a war on poverty and pollution to match the war on terrorism. The group, the Worldwatch Institute, says the division between rich and poor amounts to global apartheid. bbc

It might surprise some to know that I basically agree with the above statement. However, I wouldn't agree with any of the policies the Worldwatch institute advocates in order to 'fix' this state of affairs.

» Continue reading "Capitalism's global war on poverty"

Posted by Eric Simonson at 11:07 PM

November 6, 2004

Pickett's Charge

This election was the Gettysburg of the culture war. Both sides came in full strength. There was confusion and misdirection on both side, but in the end the Democrats risked it all in a full frontal assault and were decisively rebuffed. This is a crushing defeat, not because relatively small vote margin (51-48%) but precisely because both sides gave it their best shots. There is no reason to believe Democrats can regroup and hit with any greater force next time, nor that the Republicans will be much weaker in four years hence.

» Continue reading "Pickett's Charge"

Posted by Jack at 10:20 PM

Democrats go home

My parents taught me to revere Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John Kennedy. I still do. The wise men who led us to victory in the World War and built the post-war world were mostly Democrats. There were liberals in those days. Men who knew that liberty had to be earned and once earned had to be defended; who understood that with liberty came individual responsibility.

» Continue reading "Democrats go home"

Posted by Jack at 12:29 AM

November 4, 2004


Now that Bush has won reelection, Republicans have secured general legislative control for an additional two years, and knowing Congressional turnover probably four unless they screw up horribly.

» Continue reading "Responsibility"

Punishing the Frat Boy

Democrats just can’t punish the frat boy. Bush smirked at them in Florida in 2000. When they did their fancy lawyering, played the race card and commissioned “spontaneous” demonstrations in the Sunshine State, Bush out lawyered them, ignored the race card and organized demonstrations of his own. When they talked about his lack of a mandate, he behaved as if he won a landslide. Bush passed his tax cuts, stole their issues on education and senior drug benefits and trounced them in the midterm elections. He was invincible. Then in true Greek tragedy style, George Bush overreached -hubris, ate, nemesis. Things fell apart.

» Continue reading "Punishing the Frat Boy"

Posted by Jack at 12:38 AM

November 3, 2004

Backyards vs. Concrete Playgrounds?

Where is the divide in our country really at ? In this election those that live where they breathe fresh air have won this election. People who ride 4 wheelers and horses. People who go to ballgames on Friday night and who go fishing on Sunday.....

» Continue reading "Backyards vs. Concrete Playgrounds?"

Posted by Dawn at 6:51 PM

The Voice of the American people

In an election with the highest voter turnout in history, George W. Bush received the highest number of votes of any President in history. The Senate Minority Leader, Tom Daschle has been defeated, and the GOP has gained seats in the House and in the Senate. Yesterday was not merely a defeat for Democrats, I believe it was a repudiation of a party that gave free reign to its most divisive and partisan impulses.

» Continue reading "The Voice of the American people"

Posted by Eric Simonson at 4:50 PM

Here We Go Again

MSNBC projects that President Bush won Ohio and Florida, bringing MSNBC's Electoral Vote to tally to 269. Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Wisconsin are still to be called by MSNBC.

Kerry’s campaign is unwilling to concede, hoping that he would win Ohio’s 20 electoral votes when all the ballots were counted, which won't happen for almost two weeks. MSNBC sums it up:

» Continue reading "Here We Go Again"

Posted by Dan Spencer at 4:22 AM


Well it appears that my hope for a clean victory by one party or the other may be dashed in Ohio. It is now midnight Pacific Time and in my opinion Ohio is too close to call. Which leads directly to my next topic. FoxNews and NBC should not have called Ohio--it is just too close there and it is clearly the last decisive state. It has put both networks in the ridiculous position of being afraid to call Nevada or New Mexico for Bush even though it far clearer that Bush won in those two states than it is in Ohio. At least some of the networks seem to have learned their lesson from Florida.

» Continue reading "Arghh!"

It's all over, bar the suing

The GOP appears to have a lock on both Executive and Legislature now. It's hard to imagine this one getting like 2000, although the Democrats will feel they have to make a stand one behalf all those who feel resentful/disenfranchised over the last election. So there may be challenges but within hours or days the concession will be made. Now the real fights among and within conservatives will begin.

Posted by Matthew Hogan at 3:20 AM

Bush Wins

George Bush is on track to win the majority of the popular vote (as reported by NBC News. All I know comes from Tim Russert - 51-48%). He will be the first candidate to do this since 1988 (you will recall that Clinton never broke 50% and Gore got a plurality of 48.38%, outscoring Bush by ˝ of 1%). George Bush will also win a significant margin in the Electoral College if current trends continue. All the thousands of lawyers spinning as fast as they can won't be able to scare up enough doubt to make a challenge worthwhile. I read of some challenges and allegations of fraud, but both Republican and Democratic officials interviewed on the major networks said that these were not significant and less than expected.

» Continue reading "Bush Wins"

Posted by Jack at 2:59 AM

November 2, 2004

President Kerry?

Senator Kerry appears to be very competitive in early exit data, leaving the door wide open to the fact that he may be our next President.

» Continue reading "President Kerry?"

Posted by Damon Dimmick at 5:48 PM

November 1, 2004

Better Red than Dead

...or why you should vote for George W. Bush on Tuesday.

Red states, blue states, there's a clear choice in this election. Even if you disagree with some of the decisions Bush has made, or feel that mistakes were made along the way, you know that he will not back down and will not turn aside until the job is done.

» Continue reading "Better Red than Dead"

Posted by Eric Simonson at 2:42 PM