Thursday, August 19, 2004

Larry Thurlow
of Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth was just on CNN (happened to catch a bit of the interview as I was passing through the lobby in my office and, sorry, I don't know what program it was). It sounded like he was doing a fairly good job of defending his position.

Two things I noticed: 1) The textual statements at the bottom of the screen included something like, "Military records contradict Thurlow's account." Well, of course they do. They were likely written by John Kerry. 2) Thurlow lives in Kansas. Good to know that some SBVT's are around my neck of the woods.
Hat tip to the Kerry Spot
for pointing out the link to this article at boortz.com. Seems Kerry wrote in his diary that he hadn't yet seen enemy action. Trouble is, he'd just engaged in activity for which he received a Purple Heart. If he hadn't seen any action, how could have been wounded in combat?

Spin that.
This article
at OpinionJournal is a tremendous indictment of Venezuelan government tinkering in the recent recall election. What struck me, though, after reading it is why anyone thinks that Jimmy Carter is useful. Key quote:
"Later that morning the most important observer, former President Jimmy Carter, declared that he was shown the computer tally by government supporters and that everything seemed in order. Mr. Carter then left Venezuela, and the opposition groups that had put their faith in him to facilitate a peaceful resolution to the crisis. Mr. Carter, who was vociferous and insistent about patience, transparency and hand-tallies during the Florida recount, left Venezuela to attend Mrs. Carter's birthday party."
Did it not occur to President Carter that maybe, just maybe, those election tallies were created fraudulently? That maybe the government had monkeyed around with the election process to secure a victory? Given the vitriol he spewed after due to the Florida recounts in 2000, you'd think he'd really be interested in a case of genuine election fraud. Apparently not.
Shot-putting to silver
I see that Adam Nelson won the silver medal in the shot put. I actually used to compete against him in college. Well, that's not quite accurate. I, too, used to put the shot, but I was never even close to being any sort of competition.

I remember when we (my teammates and I) first saw him. It was at an indoor meet, and here's this big freshman from Dartmouth that was yelling and grunting, talking to himself, as he got into the ring, and I know we all thought, "Yeah, whatever, we've seen your type before". But then he unleashed a 60' throw, and we all went nuts. It was awesome. Such intensity and power, and so young. When you're mediocre, all the yelling and such just makes you look ridiculous, but when you're good, it just adds to the persona.

Congratulations, Adam. We all knew you were good, but jeez. I know you wouldn't settle for anything less than gold, but I know what it's like to get to a huge meet only to scratch every throw and walk away empty-handed. At least you got one in. Chin up.

Monday, August 16, 2004

A retraction is in order.
Contradicting an earlier post, it seems that Kerry did serve for a brief period (one to two weeks) with David Alston, the minister who spoke at the DNC convention. Byron York has the details.

Now, that doesn't mean this story's cut and dried. There's still a little revisionism here. Apparently, Kerry and Alston were freely and falsely giving the impression that each was present at key moments in the other's military experience in Vietnam: That Kerry was present when Alston was wounded, and Alston was present when Kerry performed the actions that earned him a silver star. Kerry wasn't around when Alston was wounded, and Alston was still recovering from his wounds when Kerry stormed the beach.

The Kerry camp even had to remove text from their website regarding Kerry's Vietnam service, claiming leadership in action that clearly took place before Kerry took command over that swift boat. This text was removed when people who knew pointed out the error.
OpinionJournal
has an op-ed on the Kerry kerfuffle today. The best line is the last (ellipses in original):
"So far the veteran whose testimony is doing John Kerry the most damage is . . . John Kerry."

Couple of updates.
First, a couple of days ago, I linked to a horrible scan on Instapundit of a review John Kerry wrote on Apocalypse Now. Well, here's a better scan.

Second, I wanted to draw your attention to this post on Hugh Hewitt's blog. Kerry's camp has been claiming that Kerry did go to Cambodia (while, at the same time, disavowing his previous series of remarks regarding his Christmas in Cambodia). Hewitt has been doing research, and can find no reference to Kerry ever having been there.

Now, as Hewitt points out, lack of evidence doesn't mean it didn't happen. However, given the political climate, and given Kerry's crumbling credibility with regards to his own Vietnam stories, you would think the Kerry camp would be more than happy to hand over anything that would in some way establish the veracity of Kerry's claims. Bush opened up his whole service record for investigation. Kerry has yet to do the same (in spite of claims to the contrary).
I wonder how the Kerry camp
will spin this story from Captain's Quarters. Rev. David Alston delivered an address at the DNC convention, a central part being his relationship with John Kerry on Kerry's swift boat. Now, it seems, Alston never served with Kerry. Kerry was officially transferred to the boat the day after Alston was evacuated for wounds received in battle (at which Kerry was not present).

Key section from Alston's speech:
"I know him from a small boat in Vietnam, where we fought and bled together, serving our country. There were six of us aboard PCF-94, a 50-foot, twin-engine craft known as a 'Swift Boat.' We all came from different walks of life, but all of us-including our skipper, John Kerry-volunteered for combat duty. And combat is what we got.

"We usually patrolled the narrow waterways of the Mekong delta, flanked on both sides by thick jungle. As our crewmate Gene Thorson put it, we were a traveling bulls-eye. And we often came under sudden attack from the enemy, hidden in the shadows. Machine-gun fire, rocket-propelled grenades, it all came fast and furious, and Lieutenant Kerry had to make quick, life-or-death decisions for the entire boat.

"You have to realize, a Swift Boat isn't armored. The hull is aluminum, about as thick as two nickels. And in the middle of a narrow river or canal, with no cover at all, even small-caliber bullets could punch right through it-and often did.

"Manning the deck guns, most of us got wounded sooner or later, including Lieutenant Kerry. It would have been easiest, in an ambush, to simply rake the shore with return fire and roar on down the river to safety. But Lieutenant Kerry was known for taking the fight straight to the enemy. I can still see him now, standing in the doorway of the pilothouse, firing his M-16, shouting orders through the smoke and chaos.

"Once, he even directed the helmsman to beach the boat, right into the teeth of an ambush, and pursued our attackers on foot, into the jungle. In the toughest of situations, Lieutenant Kerry showed judgment, loyalty and courage. Even wounded, or confronting sights no man should ever have to see, he never lost his cool.

"And when the shooting stopped, he was always there too, with a caring hand on my shoulder asking, 'Gunner, are you OK?' I was only 21, running on fear and adrenaline. Lieutenant Kerry always took the time to calm us down, to bring us back to reality, to give us hope, to show us what we truly had within ourselves. I came to love and respect him as a man I could trust with life itself."
Okay, well, key quote from Captain's Quarters:
"On January 29th, Alston was medevaced out to a hospital with head wounds and no records indicate that he ever returned to the unit. Kerry took command of PCF-94 the next day."
If true, which should be easily verifiable with the right mix of service and medical records, this means that not only is Kerry engaged in some serious revisionism, he's enlisting ministers to spread it.

What will the spin be?

Update: I've published a retraction of this story above. Seems that Kerry and Alston served together briefly after Alston recovered from his wounds. That doesn't mean, though, that there wasn't a little fudging. My post is here.
It seems that a group
calling itself Christian Exodus has decided to emulate the Free State Project. Their plan is get "groups of 1,000 members to move into 12 designated House districts in South Carolina..." Of course, their goal isn't to turn the state into a libertarian Mecca. Instead, they want to elect 8 "Christian sovereignists" into the state legislature by 2008. Then, they'll begin to remove church and state separations. If they can't accomplish what the want (I imagine some Supreme Court cases invoking the 14th Amendment will get in there way, if they're at all successful), they'll move to secede from the Union.

That'll be a sad day, as we'll have to dust off our 49 star flags again. Which, of course, reminds me of the classic Simpsons' exchange:
Lisa: Granpa, why does this flag only have 49 stars?

Abe: I'll be dead in the cold, cold ground before I recognize Missouri.

M.U.L.E.
truly deserves recognition. Probably one of my favorite Commodore games (behind Neuromancer, but ahead of Hard Hat Mack, Gorf and Adventure Construction Set). Such a beautiful thing.

I used to have (and I have no idea where I got it, but a Google search would surely turn it up) a Commodore 64 shell for PC's, and then a couple of these games. It was great playing some of those old games again.

Now, looking at the list you linked to, David, did you notice that the Macintosh is listed as one of the most important games of all time? I've always suspected the Mac wasn't a serious computer.

I saw that they listed Sierra's King's Quest series. Leisure Suit Larry didn't make the cut?

Sunday, August 15, 2004

The Anderson-Shogren Christmas could be changed forever
thanks to thisinnovation. I must get the code (or just write my own).
M.U.L.E. makes the cut
at #19 on the Most Important Games Ever Made list. Joe would be proud, and he should check this out.

I would think Doom would be higher on the list. It only ushered in an entire genre of first-person-shooter games.