Friday, July 4, 2008

Can't regain the will to win a war once it's lost.

Salon has a story on John McCain and his view on the Vietnam War.

The article makes the point that McCain, although a hero, had an unrealistic view of the our chances for success in Vietnam.

McCain is of the opinion that we could have won the Vietnam war.

How does this impact his view on winning in Iraq? Well, he thinks we can win that one too.

I don't know about you, but we cannot afford to have a president who labors under the delusion that we could have won the Vietnam War, but only if we fought longer and harder. I know he had the personal will to win that war after what he suffered there, but that doesn't translate into the reality of actually winning.

The problem with losing the Vietnam War, according to McCain, is that we lost the will to win.

I got news for the Senator: Once a nation loses the will to win a war, you cannot get it back.

Skin needs to "toke up" for proper health.

This study shows that it's important for your skin to "smoke a bowl" every so often.

The body has it's own thc receptors.

So, the next time your facial skin needs a joint, perhaps you should listen.

DNA evidence frees another Texas inmate wrongly accused and convicted.

This case, as with many before, shows the problem with "Texas Justice".

Texas is known for executing people quickly. So quickly in fact that evidence gets ignored.

The only conclusion one can reach after examining "Texas Justice" is that they get off on punishing and killing people.

Texas seems to forget the guiding principle of American justice: "It's better to let a 100 guilty men go free than to wrongly punish an innocent man."

Texas is really a kind of legal bizarro world, where right is wrong and wrong is right.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Interview style highlights problems with the interviewer and not the subject

Here's a story from RealClearPolitics that highlights an issue I have with some political journalists.

The story is an interview with Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen.

My issue is with the leading questions the interviewer uses.

Why do I take issue? Leading questions by an interviewer show one of two things:

1) The interviewer is trying to shape the answers to fit preconceived notions. In this instance, the interviewer has an agenda and is attempting to elicit answers to validate those preconceptions.

2) The interviewer hasn't prepared.

In both instances, the interviewer is failing at their job.

For someone like Tom Bevan, who touts themselves as a political journalist, he should really get his act together. He should either prepare better or he should actually try to disengage his political agenda when it shows.

Republicans are lying about Obama...No Shit

Here's a story by the FactCheck.ORG about the crap the Republicans are spewing about Obama's voting record on taxes.

Taxes are the constant refrain of Republicans against Democrats. It would be alright if they were honest about it.

We need an honest debate and an honest discussion of the candidates. When parties resort to bald faced lies and obfuscation of their opponent's record, then they are not part of the solution, but part of the problem.

Winning at all costs seems to be the accepted norm for political parties. I, for one, think they should put the country first instead trying to win.

Woman develops accent after a stroke.

Live Science reports on a strange condition where a stroke survivor develops and entirely new accent.

The brain is a fascinating organ.

Fox News playing with photoshop on their perceived detractors

Here's a link to a story that provides yet another bit of proof as to why FOX NEWS is never to be trusted.

Apparently, editors at Fox News feel it's important to modify the facial features of those they dislike to make them uglier.

Thanks Phil for the heads up.

Why do we keep hearing stories about John McCain's temper unless there's at least a modicum of truth to them?

A Republican colleague has told a story about John McCain grabbing a Nicaraguan politico by the shirt collar and jerking him up from his seat....back in the '80's.

McCain, of course, denies this.

I don't know if this story is relevant except that it was told by a Republican who saw it first hand.

Grinding of axes may be involved, but the story seems congruent with other anecdotes about the Senator's temper.

A temper isn't always a bad thing, but it does highlight the crotchety old fart image McCain tries to dispel.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Donald Trump lives in a glass house.

Donald Trump is giving Anne Hathaway a "what for".

The Donald is ticked that Anne dumped her boyfriend when he got into trouble.

The funny part is this: Donald is accusing Anne of only being interested in Follieri's money.

The irony is that Donald seems to suffer under the delusion that all his women are attracted to him because of his winning charm, good looks, and wonderful hair.

Anne did the right thing to protect her budding career. She had everything to lose by staying with Follieri and nothing to gain. Follieri had everything to gain from Anne. Kinda one-sided if you ask me.

Donald needs to mind his own damn business, especially when he is running dangerously close to being a hypocrite.

Give me a break.

General Clark is correct on John McCain, even though it may be politically unpopular

Wesley Clark made some comments about John McCain that have drawn criticism.

Despite what anyone may think, General Clark brings up a valid issue.

Here's a point not discussed: If John McCain is going to constantly point to his military service as a strength, then he opens it up for evaluation.

McCain cannot tout his personal history of "being a war hero" while escaping the critical light political campaigns shine on that service. Where do he and his supporters get off thinking that he gets a free pass?

I agree with the General: No one is denying John McCain his rightful honor of being a war hero, but to constantly remind people of it, while getting irritated and angry when someone in a position to actually question it does so, shows an utter lack of self-reflection on the matter.

Does being a prisoner of war give McCain the foreign policy experience to be president? Hardly. It makes him a hero, but being a hero is not sufficient for being president, despite what Harrison Ford movies try to project.

McCain is pushing the war hero image and is now complaining when someone like General Clark says, "Wait a second, that doesn't qualify as foreign policy experience."

Let's get a grip folks.

Furthermore, I think Obama is making a mistake by distancing himself from Clark's comments so quickly. It shows how easily the Democrat can be dissuaded from pointing out the obvious.

The national news irked me on this topic as well when instead of taking General Clark's criticism as an appropriate question for McCain, they instead attacked General Clark for basically pointing out the press was falling for the whole patriotism line.

Shame on the press.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Drug use increases as a country spends more money on criminalizing drug law violations.

Science Daily reports a drug use around the world.

Surprise, surprise, the U.S. has the highest incidence of drug use.

Such a result shows why our so-called War on Drugs is a waste of money and ruins lives in the process.

If you want some hard facts: Punitive drug laws are positively correlated with drug use.

So, if you want to reduce drug use, then you should stop treating people like children when they use drugs.

Mere accusations are not enough to show guilt--thank God.

This court case underscores why we require actual evidence from the police and other government authorities to prove guilt.

We require evidence because a mere allegation of truth by an obviously interested party is not enough.

Accusations do not rise to a level necessary to prove guilt; they only rise to the level of allegation.

Disliking someone doesn't make them guilty. When the government resorts to this approach they are returning to the days when mere prejudice was enough to convict.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Marketing geniuses screw people again.

Okay folks, here's a story in the Washington Post about bottled water.

Apparently, some marketing geniuses have managed to convince people to shell out hundreds of dollars for water.

The part of the story I find fascinating: In blind taste tests, people can't tell the difference between bottled water and tap water.

This is the same as the whole vodka phenomena where people will shell out scads of cash for grey goose vodka, etc.

I saw a taste test of so-called vodka connoisseurs and even they couldn't tell the difference between grey goose and smirnoff.

This type of stuff appeals to my cheaper nature. It's also why I stopped buying bottled water, instead opting for tap water that I've allowed to sit for a few minutes to let the chlorine dissipate.