Sunday, October 24, 2004

Is there a Bush surge in MA? Hardly but...

Massachusetts is Kerry rock-solid. No real question about that. But why is the favorite son losing ground? And what does this mean for the local races?

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Outfirefoxed! The end of Microsoft Internet Explorer?

I am posting to this blog using what else but Internet Explorer. I've never fallen in love with IE and feel a bit guilty not using Netscape Navigator (with which I still read my e-mail). But somewhere along the way Netscape Navigator lost its way with simple things like dealing with cookies. And then there was the the heavy overhead. Did I really need a bundled copy of AOL? I've always been impressed with Mozilla, Navigator's first cousin, but somehow I haven't become a maven. But Firefox, the latest Mozilla browser is a favorite with the web's trendsetters and certainly worth a try. In fact, the buzz is pretty heavy. Are we witnessing a gale of creative destruction? With its litany of security problems, the once vaunted almightly Microsoft IE is losing favor. And while it still controls most of the browser market, Microsoft is acting as if it's giving up the ghost. Libertarian Samizdata has a interesting post on the coming is demise of IE. Could it be that Mozilla's Firefox rising from the embers of the Netscape is a form of revenge?

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Saddam's nuclear program: Hitchens on Hussein's Nuke Czar

Christopher Hitchens is grateful that Dr. Mahdi Obeidi didn't have to answer anymore to the vile Qusai Hussein.

Obeidi's book is one of the three or four accounts that anyone remotely interested in the Iraq debate will simply have to read. Apart from its insight into the workings of the Saddam nuclear project, it provides a haunting account of the atmosphere of sheer evil that permeated every crevice of Iraqi life under the old regime. It is morally impossible to read it and not rejoice at that system's ignominious and long-overdue removal.

Maybe John Kerry should read it.

What close race? Prime Minister Howard beats expectations

This victory should be encouraging to the Bush campaign. Needless to say the Australians aren't the Spaniards.

In winning, Howard brushed aside voter concerns about Australia's participation in Iraq. Like the U.S., the country is badly split over the U.S.-led war. But Iraq, and terrorism fears, were warfed in the campaign by domestic issues. "It didn't hurt them," Tiffen said of Iraq.

In victory, Howard was unapologetic for his role as an ally of President Bush in the war on terror. As evidence for the war's success, he cited the election in Afghanistan, which occurred even as Australians voted.

"That election has been made possible by the fact that a number of countries, including Australia, were prepared to take a stand for democracy and a stand against terrorism…We should be proud of the role we have played in their liberation," he said.

The Belmont Club takes a look at the Australian Laborites agony.

Meanwhile has anyone heard from Kerry's sister?

Thursday, October 07, 2004

The hot air of crying Halliburton

If the Bush-Cheney cabal favor Halliburton's good fortunes above all else why is the company's stock sloping downward?

Jerry Bowyer makes a solid case against Democrats afflicted with Halitosis Halliburton.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Kerry and his global test

Just as Richard Nixon came off better than John F. Kennedy if one listened to the famous debate on the radio rather than watching it on television, one can make the case that Bush was more substantive and committed to his position than the slick Kerry. But the Evan Thomas brigade will have none of this straight talk -- opting instead for latest in "presidential style". After all, the surging challenger theme fits the template that the media refuses to discard: that Kerry is a good closer.

Removing the message from the media (television and radio) one can reasonably argue that Bush comes off better than Kerry if one reads the transcript from last week's debate.

Here's is MSNBC's Tom Curry account of the soon-to-be famous "global test" remark.

What prompted Bush’s attack was Kerry’s statement that when the United States goes to war, “you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people, understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons.�

Bush snapped, “I'm not exactly sure what you mean, ‘passes the global test,’ you take pre-emptive action if you pass a global test. My attitude is you take pre-emptive action in order to protect the American people, that you act in order to make this country secure.�

Toward the end of the debate, Kerry made a point that crystallized the fact that this is an election that poses a choice of temperaments and personalities: Kerry referred to “this issue of certainty. It's one thing to be certain, but you can be certain and be wrong … certainty sometimes can get you in trouble.�

Bush is certain of where he stands; Kerry did not say what the opposite of certainty is. Kerry’s pitch to voters was: "I’m the man to get us out of trouble."

But again that all hinges on those other nations.

Yes Kerry the Internationalist -- putting the security of the U.S. at the whim's of Old Europe. Imagine "proving to the world" full of dictators and despots that we have a right to defend ourselves by killing terrorists.

Question is: will Kerry pay politically for his "global test" remark. The latest polls suggest maybe?

The mainstream template: Who has an Iraq plan?

What's wrong with this lead from today's Washington Post?

President Bush continues to lead rival Sen. John F. Kerry among likely voters
despite surging enthusiasm for Kerry among Democrats and new doubts about
whether the president has a clear plan to deal with terrorism and the
situation in Iraq, according to the Washington Post tracking poll.

Who has the "doubts" about the president's "clear plan to deal with terrorism?" The media mavens themselves. Yes Kerry won the first debate on style; there's very little question about that. But when the junior senator from Massachusetts starts talking about meeting "global test" the ambiguity is all his. You might not like Bush's plan but at least his plan isn't nuanced. Little should be when it comes to protecting this country. Meanwhile where exactly is the Kerry bounce?

Sunday, October 03, 2004

A diversion on the idea of freedom

Thought for the day:

We talk a lot about freedom these days. When you get to the bottom of this talk you realize that, first, very few know what freedom is and, second, still fewer want it. The fact is that what we call freedom is an increase in wages (or doles), more profits (or subsidies), or a bottomless abundance of privileges. For such things we -- particularly the affluent among us -- are ready to lay freedom on the line. The essence of freedom, which is an inflexible respect for oneself, is being bartered every day for mere trifles.
"Henry David Thoreau," Fugitive Essays, Frank Chodorov, Liberty Press, 1980.