Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Kerry is set to speak
before the American Legion convention today (prepared remarks found here). His opening statement:
"Eighty-five years ago, the American Legion was founded by and for our nation’s veterans. As one of those veterans who benefited from your advocacy and as one of your members, I am honored to accept your invitation to be here today and proud of what the American Legion does every day to advance the ideals of America.

"You are the citizen soldiers who know that our service does not end on the battlefield – it begins there. You know that the pledge we took to defend America is also a pledge to protect the promise America offers. And let there be no doubt – when I am president, you will have a fellow veteran in the White House who understands that those who fought for our country abroad should never have to fight for what they were promised at home.

"In the spirit of all the men and women in uniform who we honor here, I want to be clear: As president, I will always remember that America’s security begins and ends with the soldier, sailor, airman, Marine and Coastguardsmen – with every man and every woman in our armed services who has ever stood guard at the gates of freedom. Today, I salute each and every one of you for your commitment, strength and extraordinary courage. America says thank you – and we all join in a special salute to Greatest Generation vets whose memorial finally stands proudly in a place of honor on the Mall in Washington. Thank you for your extraordinary example as citizen soldiers."
Now compare that with this statement that John Kerry wrote in 1971 in the preface to The New Soldier:
"We will not quickly join those who march on Veterans' Day waving small flags, calling to memory those thousands who died for the 'greater glory of the United States.' We will not accept the rhetoric. We will not readily join the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars--in fact, we will find it hard to join anything at all and when we do, we will demand relevancy such as other organizations have recently been unable to provide. We will not take solace from the creation of monuments or the naming of parks after a select few of the thousands of dead Americans and Vietnamese. We will not uphold the traditions which decorously memorialize that which was base and grim. . . . We are asking America to turn from false glory, hollow victory, fabricated foreign threats, fear which threatens us as a nation, shallow pride which feeds of fear."
I wonder if any astute Legionairres handed out this paragraph to prepare the membership for Kerry's arrival.
Not the party pooper
I though Arnold Schwarzenegger's speech last night was (overall) very good. Brit Hume called it a hymn to America and he was right. I enjoyed Arnold's immigrant perspective: this is why I wanted to come to the United States, this is why I became a citizen, this is why the U.S. is such a great country. Good stuff, though apart from the "You may be a Republican if..." part, nothing that probably wouldn't be said at the Democrat convention.

My only complaint is his constant film references. All we were missing was "Hasta la vista, baby" and "It's not a tumor". Move on, Arnold. Move on.

Monday, August 30, 2004

I'm not as keen on leaping
to calls of liberal bias on the media as some Republicans. It's there, I'm just not as astute at detecting issue framing and what not, and I think some protests are signs of over-sensitivity. But even I noticed Tom Brokaw's brazen tilt last night when he compared the GOP convention to a game of three-card monte.

The comparison was made because the GOP has chosen Giuliani, McCain and Shwartzenegger to speak in primetime spots. Some, including various National Review editors, have complained that it's white-washing the conservative elements of the party. Hence the comparison, I guess.

However, did Brokaw compare the DNC convention to a con game, when they tried to erase the extreme anybody but Bush element, when the glossed over their extreme left-wing views? Polls taken of the convention goers found them to be intensely liberal, but you'd never know it by watching the convention, or the coverage, would you?

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Flaunt your geekiness
You, too, can look the part.

Though I have to admit, I never thought the typical geek was into wearing man-jewelry. At least not rings.

Case in point: A few years ago, I worked a bit with a brilliant IT guy, a Unix/C programming expert, stuff no one else knew or cared to know. By all respects he looked the part: thin but not athletic, excessive facial hair, thick glasses, white shirt, khakis, old shoes, etc. But he was a staple face - so much metal in his ears, nose, lip and brow I thought it must cause neck strain. But no rings. Not a one.