Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Get GWB's instant responses LIVE!!

Get the Facts LIVE During Tonight's Debate!!


The George W. Bush website will be offering live updates with text and video letting
us catch Kerry in all his whoppers in real time!!! Be sure to tune in!!

Great electoral college links!!

By veritas

Here's a site I found that seems to have good electoral vote estimates --- http://electoral-vote.com/

Especially check: http://electoral-vote.com/ which is the current count based on the most recent polls

Next, http://www.electoral-vote.com/info/graph.html has a running track line for the electoral vote totals -- but NOTE -- you must refresh the page to get the latest.

and here is their projection of the final electoral vote count -- http://www.electoral-vote.com/fin/sep30p.html
[wait 'til you see those numbers...]

This is interesting -- http://www.electoral-vote.com/carto/sep30c.html -- it shows the states re-sized to match their electoral votes. Effective, if weird.

Now, if you want to have some fun -- http://www.electoral-vote.com/trend.html Here's what I did: I scrolled quickly down the chart, and watch the dark bars -- it was very interesting to see the changes animated.

They have many other pages of data, too. Lots of info.

veritas makes it clear to Jimmah

veritas on Jimmy Carter's "Today Show" appearance -- Part One


"Well, the world is safer without Saddam. Certainly the people of Iraq are better without Saddam. I never have believed that Saddam Hussein was a direct threat to the security of the United States or Great Britain or China or Japan or Australia."
~~ Jimmy Carter

Jimmy, go to Barnes and Noble and buy an atlas of the world. Have someone point out the various Middle Eastern nations that supply the oil that is imperative to all modern economies. No, not "just to make a buck." I won't let you try to twist the topic and wrap yourself in your usual false idealism. But supplying the oil to keep us all fed. To provide the sterile surgical instruments we need. To heat our homes [to the temperature we need, not the one you want to dictate, thank you very much]. To keep our Navy at sea, protecting the whole world's commerce. To give us lights that extend the productive day.

Check that Atlas -- you'll see that a huge part of the whole world's oil supply is in countries that actually border on Iraq! More is in nearby countries. Saddam, with his history of attacking his neighbors; with his history of weapons development; with his history of ballistic-missile deals with North Korea; with his history of holocaust against his nation's people; with his devastation of Iraq's economy; with his history of obstructing UN inspections; with his history of attacking the coalition overflights that he had agreed to accept [well over two thousand attacks, IIRC] -- yep, Saddam's Iraq was indistinguishable from Monaco or the British Virgin Islands. No wonder he made so much off tourism.

"It was false to state that Saddam Hussein had a vast store of weapons of mass destruction or that Iraq was a direct threat to the security of the United States."

So the huge WMD inventories documented by the UN inspectors were what -- desert mirages? A plot by Saddam to draw himself into another war? A conspiracy by the inspectors to extend their cushy jobs? But -- I thought UN inspectors were infallible?

The WMDs existed. That's fact. And they don't just go away -- any more than nations dedicated to butchering Americans just "go away." At least, not until we drop some advanced weapons on them.

"The war has been unnecessary."

OK, you've made an assertion. Any supporting evidence? Jimmy? Yoo-hoo?

Are we to believe that 12 years of UN dithering, and 17 pointless UN Security Council "resolutions" [how inapt a word is that?], were a policy that was working to eliminate Saddam's threats to the region? Is that why it was "unnecessary"?

Or because the UN, the IAEA, and your plan in North Korea worked out so well in containing another nut case, "proving" the power of talk?

Is that why fighting Saddam has been unnecessary?

Or -- because the Iraqi people just don't matter?

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Late-Night bada-bing

David Letterman's Top Ten Ways CBS News Can Improve It's Reputation:

"Stick to stories everyone can agree on, like cookies are delicious;

Move nightly "happy hour" to after the broadcast;

Stop hiring guys with crazy names like "Morley";

Can't figure out if a news story is true? Let Judge Joe Brown decide;

Every time Mike Wallace tells a lie he gets a life-threatening electrical shock;

If it turns out the story is wrong, give away 276 brand new cars;
After delivering a report, correspondent must add, "or maybe not -- who knows?";

Newscast consists of Dan Rather sitting down to watch Tom Brokaw;

Oh, I dunno, stop making up crap?

Jay Leno....

President Bush recently gave a speech at the United Nations. I don't want to say it was a hostile crowd but they had Bush stand behind a screen of made of chicken wire.

.... At one point, Bush said, "We are determined to destroy terror networks wherever they operate." Although by "terror network" it's not clear if he meant al-Qa'ida or CBS.

.... John Kerry says if he's elected president, he will go to the UN and persuade the other nations to help fight the War on Terror. We can't get them to pay their parking tickets -- why don't we start with that?

.... Saddam Hussein is [reportedly] depressed but defiant and still claims that he's the constitutionally elected president of his country. So basically, he's the Iraqi Al Gore.

.... Here's some news from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. They are now letting people take human remains, mix them in cement, and drop them in the ocean to help make more reefs.
Didn't that used to be called "the Mafia?" ....

This year there are 50 women on the "Forbes" 400 richest list -- or as John Kerry calls it, his little black book.

.... John Kerry is still fighting a bad head cold. And with his head, that could last for years. ....

....Debates experts say President Bush could win if he doesn't get off message. But John Kerry could win if he gets a message.

.... I tell you, Bush is working very hard getting prepared for these debates. He even got one of those "Hooked on Phonics" tapes.
.... First [Kerry] gets the Botox. Now he's got the rich tan. In fact it was reported today that he got a bikini wax. Apparently the senator's confused. The "Miss America Pageant" was last week.

Call him anything, but color him orange

By Aussiegirl

It just struck me today that Kerry's strange new orangey hue gives a whole new meaning to the term "color commentary".

Earlier today, Intrepid Consumer of Blogs, otherwise known as Carol, points out that a plastic surgeon commenting on Freepers mentions that the orange color looks to him like the spray tan that is used to disguise recent Botox injections which leave telltale bruises for several days.

We can now look back and remember all those little "breaks" that Kerry took so frequently during the primaries and also the regular election season. We all thought he looked remarkably "ironed" when he got back, with that rather unnatural waxy smoothness and pallor of a beautifully laid-out corpse ready for viewing by the grieving relatives.

The worried mien, those knitted brows perpetually arched in a sort of teepee of querulousness, suddenly gave way to a flat line and brow of smooth blandness. The wrinkles which looked like someone took his face and squeezed together and UP -- suddenly looked like whoever was doing the squeezing suddenly let go.

But the good doctor describes that Botox is frequently used to paralyze sweat glands in various parts of the body. It has indeed been recently approved for such a purpose in underarms of people who perspire profusely and embarrassingly.

So more than likely, this is Kerry's attempt to avoid the dripping upper lip and otherwise soaked appearance during his acceptance speech that seemed to evoke more than memories of those fetid jungles and humid swamps of Cambodia and Vietnam.

Those memories that are seared, SEARED in his memory. Now he is seared to perfection to a beautiful, golden orange.

Claremont Institute to the Rescue

The following bulletin just came through in my email. I'm glad someone's taking these people to task.

Dr. John C. Eastman, director of the Claremont Institute's Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, will be filing a civil complaint in the Los Angeles Superior Court this afternoon challenging the removal of the cross from the Los Angeles County Seal. The civil suit, styled David Horowitz et al. v. County of Los Angeles, et al., alleges that the County's decision to remove the cross is an illegal waste of taxpayer funds and violates the "No Preference" Clause of the California Constitution and the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution.

The suit is brought by a religiously diverse group of individuals who believe that the County's decision to remove the cross from a Seal reflecting the historical roots of Los Angeles County demonstrates hostility toward religion in general and Christianity in particular...

For more information, contact John Eastman at 562-900-3902 (cell), or (714) 628-2587 (office). Copies of the complaint will be available at the news conference, and will also be posted on the Claremont Institute's web site, www.claremont.org.

veritas the Flinty-Hearted -- and Why We must Be

I've had it.

My sympathy is gone.

We've heard forever about "starving Africans" [or "Indian monsoon victims" or "earthquake victims" some other place], and been exhorted to give and give -- not to mention having our tax money taken and sent to those bottomless pits, year after year, decade after decade.

Well, I for one am not buying the pathos any longer.

There's no secret that people need food.

There's no secret about how to grow food.

Nor are basic hygiene, water and sewage treatment, and simple preventive medicine Western state secrets.� Neither are building codes [ref. earthquakes and flood plains].

They can teach themselves "how to fish."

The West, mainly America, needs to get on with two jobs: 1. utterly wiping out terrorists; and 2. advancing civilization so those who can't do so will still live far better than they could hope to on their own abilities.

Nobody else will -- or can -- do either job.

You want what we've got? Then do what we did.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Draw your own conclusions

veritas offers the following information without comment, leaving the reader to reach such conclusions as he thinks warranted by the contrast of his experience against these words.

The "Constitutional Oath" taken by all Federal employees ---

1."I, _____________, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely and without mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

The "Judicial Oath" taken by all Federal judges ---

2. "I, _____________, do solemnly swear or affirm, that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me as [a Justice of the Supreme Court], under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God."

veritas dixit

"Failing to develop a capacity for critical thinking certainly simplifies life."
~~ veritas

"Some things are utterly beyond parodying."
~~ veritas

"Evil exists, whether we have the stomach to call it by name or not. Either way, the only ones we fool by failing to do so is ourselves."
~~ veritas

It's not easy being orange

By Aussiegirl

Can we talk? About John Kerry's looks? What's with the orange skin all of a sudden? I was so suprised -- and delighted -- to see this the other day -- obviously he is deep into preparations for the debates -- which looks like it included a stop at a Hollywood style spray-on tan -- I wonder if you get to choose your shade -- everything ranging from Autumn Glow to Tahitian Sunset to Mocha-Latte Frappucino. Kerry's looks like it's a cross between Pumpkin Madness and Persimmon Sheen. This SHOULD be interesting now. If nothing else, Kerry as Commander in Chief can be counted on to surprise his allies and enemies with unexpected hues to add to that element of mystery and elan. Perhaps he will wear earth tones to complement his skin color. Now there's something Gore didn't think of. I bet he's kicking himself now.

It's official!!

And you thought it was the smell of autumn leaves!! And all my cats can tell me is when it's dinner time.

From the Washington Times


Psychic dogs smell Bush victory
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Psychic dogs belonging to actor Sylvester Stallone's mother have projected President George Bush the winner in November, the Los Angeles Times said Monday.

The paper said the dogs foresee the president will beat Democratic challenger John Kerry by 15 percent.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Autumn views

By BonnieBlueFlag

The days are still golden and the squirrels continue to warm themselves in the sun, as they lie about on any handy tree limb or fence rail. But, as you look closer, the sure signs of a change in season are all around you.

The hummingbird feeders are quiet now. Just a few days ago, a constant whirring sound could be heard as each one sought to protect his or her treasure trove of nectar. All summer these wonderful little creatures performed endless aerial ballets from flower, to feeder, to their tiny nests tucked away in a nearby tree.

They are gone now, winging their way to Central America for the winter. The hummingbirds will make another long dangerous journey next spring, when many of them will return to the same feeders they used last summer.

Delicate flowers that have been carefully tended for many months are beginning to look faded and spent. The proverbial last rose of summer is just now blooming.
Wild tom turkeys and hens are coming back together again, now that the chicks are plump and thriving and well on their way.
Turkeys can fly when necessary, but they prefer to run when startled. If they must take flight, they are not as graceful as other birds, and they make a tremendous racket as they land on the branches of the trees.

Next spring the toms will show all the grace of a beautiful sleek swan, when they strut and display all of their gorgeous iridescent feathers. As the toms compete with one another, they will appear to float over the ground as they court the hens.

Then is when you realize why Ben Franklin thought the wild turkey should be our national bird.

The whitetail fawns no longer have their spots. While the does and the bucks have changed their coats from a soft sable tan to a dull gray brown, that will blend in perfectly with the trees in the forest all winter long.

The bucks are still in a bachelor group, but they have almost completely rubbed the velvet from their antlers, and there is an occasional sparring match. They will begin to strike out on their own in a few days for the mating season.

Canada geese will soon fill the sky as they begin to move about now that this year's goslings are big enough to travel. They will frequently stop off here on their way to the open waters of the Mississippi River close by.

Any morning now, we will awaken to an early frost that will be quickly chased away by the first rays of sunlight. That will be the cue for the autumn leaves to begin their brilliant display of red and gold leaves.

All around us there are wonders and beauty waiting for us to take notice. Fleeting moments of nature that can lift our spirits and lighten our burdens.

A simple bird feeder near a window can offer so much joy. The amazement of watching such a small living thing. The excitement of seeing a new bird nibbling away. The feelings that you get by tending to God's little creatures, especially after the snow blankets their other sources of food.

If you are so inclined, one feeder will lead to two as you discover the favorite seeds and berries of the birds that live near you.

From these small beginnings you will begin to feel a part of nature, and before long you will notice that as you watch the antics of the birds, your own heart and soul will be revived.

Bill O'Reilly struggles to decide

By BonnieBlueFlag

Bill O'Reilly, who has begun to refer to himself in the third person, said last night on 60 Minutes, that he is presently an "undecided voter." The host of the No Spin Zone is an undecided voter? Really?
It seems that Mr. O'Reilly and Mr. Kerry have known each other for 25 years, and that Mr. O'Reilly believes that Mr. Kerry is a patriotic person. In addition, Mr. O'Reilly feels that the Swift Boat Vets are not being honest in their portrayal of Mr. Kerry.

To date, we have not been informed of any up coming appearance by Mr. Kerry on the show of his long time friend, Bill O'Reilly. Hummm?

Per Mr. O'Reilly, no one should get their entire view of the news from Rush Limbaugh, because Rush is only an entertainer.

Whereas he, Mr. O'Reilly, is a journalist who also entertains.

Mr. O'Reilly's interview with CBS was obviously a "Job Interview!"

Peering through our fingers at the debates

By Aussiegirl

James Baker has once again done a superb job in negotiating the terms of these debates. These people are pros, and there's no denying that they know exactly what they are doing. Let's not forget that Baker was the one who supervised the Bush recount fiasco response in Florida and did a superb job there as well, outthinking and outfoxing the dems at every step.

Looks like they have thought of a lot of the little "tricks" ahead of time -- like who the camera will show when, whether one candidate can wave some "prop" or other in the other's face, or directly address or question the other. They have taken into account lots of details, including the fact that the audience is not allowed to respond to anything (we'll see if the moderator manages to enforce that rule).

I'm frankly amazed and encouraged -- I would never have thought of these things, but of course, these are important -- even down to the makeup person -- just leave it to the media to use their own makeup person who would make the pres look bad and Kerry look good (although making Kerry look good is a tall order).

I know we're all nervous -- at least I know I am, and will be watching these debates through my fingers, the way I used to watch horror movies as a kid. And we know that the MSM and Kerry Kamp will immediately claim victory over all odds, having prepped the field in advance with all their talk of Bush being a master debater (let's not get into the jokes that could be made of this phrase - I leave it to your imagination). They have attempted to lower expectations in the hope of exceeding same. But the initial claims of who did better are usually supplanted in a few days as the people weigh in with their own assessment of what they saw with their own eyes, and the perception quickly shifts as the people choose to believe their own eyes rather than what they've been spoon fed by the spin-doctors.

If Kerry is true to form and is nasty and tries to humiliate Dubya -- well - Dubya just acts like his nice self, and pulls a Reagan -- "Well, there you go again". I remember that Carter was immediately branded a nasty, play-dirty kind of guy after his encounters with Reagan. Most people don't go for that stuff. If they are banking on humiliating Bush, rather than presenting a cogent alternative view of their own policies (which has been their entire campaign so far and look how successfull THAT has been -- NOT) -- then they are making a big mistake -- because people will be tuning in PRECISELY to see where the two men stand and differ on the crucial issues of the day -- and they expect to see a spirited but HONEST and CIVIL debate. Heaping scorn and humiliation on Bush only makes Kerry seem like a small, vindictive guy -- and only appeals to his core group - the dedicated Bush haters -- they'll get some satisfaction -- but it's not going to sway the swing voters -- those pampered poodles who always seem to be stroking their chins thoughtfully and saying "I'm still not convinced -- stroke me some more." What do those idiots want??? How much clearer could the choice be???

Hang in there -- it's like a hurricane -- once it's over we can survey and repair the damage. They are also happening early enough to recover. And often, let's not forget -- the first impressions of a debate turn out not to be the ones that actually prevail and stay in memory. It takes a few days for the opinion and impact to really gell.

Protecting the Golden Goose

By veritas

A free, growing, creative economy is an absolute prerequisite for an ever-improving quality of life [an insufficient phrase indeed, but for now...].

The ability of property owners to employ their property [including capital] in the most efficient way is a likewise-indispensable corollary, an important and inseparable subordinate condition.

Having a free economy, and permitting property to be employed as its owners judge to be best, [especially as the rate of change in an economy increases] will produce dislocations and difficult transitions -- but playing Canute here will be no more effective than at the shoreline. And it will simply aggravate the eventual change that economic law will force.

The President is correct: finding better ways for people to adapt to change, and protecting their property through ownership of a range of assets, is the better way by far.

Trying to keep the skills and jobs of an extinct past alive is no better than trying to go into life with no skills at all.

"The world itself is an economic laboratory in which we discover that the richest countries are the ones with economies that are the most free. What is most astonishing is how many people, just like 18th-century British leaders, refuse to see it, and when they see it, refuse to believe it."
~~ Jim Beamguard

Sunday, September 26, 2004

International Law, Terrorism, and Self-Defense

By veritas

The original thinking of this commentary was inspired by an insistence on the part of Alan Dershowitz that defense against terrorists required the sanction of "international law."

There are things beyond the reach of law. To accept that self-defense against terrorists is permitted only with the imprimatur of "international law" is to insist on prior approval from an artificial construct in place of what Americans know as an inalienable right.

Note that phrase, "inalienable right". And remember that we acknowledge those inalienable rights as pre-existing any form of government. They also survive in the interregnum should we choose to change our form of government.

[Would anyone propose that rights to self-defense, speech, property, et cetera, disappear when there's no government to "grant" them, or some other collection of rights?]

Dersh, like the man with a hammer, is the archetypal lawyer: to him, everything must look like a law.

Nope. Sorry.

In the dark alley that Muslims are trying to make of this world, the right of the intended victim to fight can't wait for approval.

"If men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail."
~~ General Ulysses S. Grant

Reliance on "international law" leaves us in the hands of people who "think" like this:

"It is clear that using force is not the answer to resolving the conflict with terrorists."
~~ European Commission President Romano Prodi

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Blonde Guy joke

Ultima Thule, in its never-ending quest to find little tidbits to amuse and enlighten offers the following joke, proving scientifically once and for all, that it is the color of hair and NOT the sex which is the determining factor in such sad cases.

The very first ever Blonde GUY joke..... And well worth the wait!

An Irishman, a Mexican, and a Blonde Guy were doing construction work on scaffolding on the 20th floor of a building.

They were eating lunch and the Irishman said, "Corned Beef and Cabbage! If I get Corned Beef and Cabbage one more time for lunch, I'm going to jump off this building."

The Mexican opened his lunch box and exclaimed, "Burritos again! If I get Burritos one more time I'm going to jump off, too."

The blonde opened his lunch and said, Bologna again! If I get a Bologna sandwich one more time, I'm jumping too."

The next day, the Irishman opened his lunch box, saw Corned Beef and Cabbage, and jumped to his death. The Mexican opened his lunch, saw a Burrito, and jumped, too. The blonde guy opened his lunch, saw the Bologna, and jumped to his death as well.

At the funeral, the Irishman's wife was weeping. She said, "If I'd known how really tired he was of Corned Beef and Cabbage, I never would have given it to him again!"

The Mexican's wife also wept and said, "I could have given him Tacos or Enchiladas! I didn't realize he hated Burritos so much."

Everyone turned and stared at the blonde's wife. The blonde's wife said, "Don't look at me. He makes his own lunch."

Radio Daze

Another weekend is upon us. The doldrums when it comes to news and especially the radio talk shows. I always find it hard to get up in the morning without tuning in to Laura Ingraham, who's become one of my favorite radio personalities. Laura is my favorite kind of conservative gal, smart, passionate, witty, funny and devastating in a one on one debate.

Saturdays and Sundays seem devoted to financial talk shows in the Washington area, all stocks and bonds and arcane financial plans to shelter that vast "portfolio" which we are all somehow assumed to mysteriously be in possession of. Since my personal "portfolio" consists of some old recipe books with thousands of clippings of delicious never-to-be-tried recipes bulging out of loose-leaf notebooks and hopelessly disarranged, or drawers filled with user manuals for appliances which, no doubt, I no longer possess, and which in some cases are probably candidates for the Smithsonian Insitution's History Museum of outdated but fascinating relics of Americana, I hardly think they lend themselves to all the intricacies of market trends and limitations of tax liabilities.

But there's always music on the radio, and in the Washington area we are blessed to have not one, not two, but three classical music stations (the third being a Baltimore PBS station that plays a great selection of unusual and seldom heard classical pieces as well as the "top 40".)

This morning, for instance, they played a sublime piano trio by Chopin -- piano, violin and cello. What a surprise to me as I thought I had heard everything that Chopin had ever written. And as far as I knew, the two Piano Concertos and a Fantasy on Polish Themes for Piano and Orchestra were the only pieces that comprised his work for instruments other than solo piano.
The local commercial classical station, WGMS, is suprisingly popular in the area and is one of the few commercial classical stations still in existence in the country, which does somewhat redeem the tastes of the Washington area, otherwise given to mostly liberal cant and politically-correct pronouncements. But personally, their mix of selections contains far too many wind concertos, and if I never hear another oboe or bassoon concerto it will be too soon.

So, back to Lucianne, the blog and classical music today. I'll bend your collective ears some more in the future on the subject of classical music. Something every self-respecting conservative needs to "expose" himself to sooner or later, preferably sooner. Popular music has its place, but the verities are always with us.
I like to think of classical music as audible math, for those of you out there who are technically and mathematically oriented. That's a good way to think of it, and I will expand on this idea in future columns. For the soft of heart, the ladies and the gents with soul and depth, classical music gives vent to all our deepest feelings, the full range of human emotion, intellect, yearning, fun, joy and wonder. All those ineffable feelings that we all share, those feelings that we know we have but are unable to find the words to express, can be heard in music.

And sometimes, it's just plain fun -- you can tap your foot, conduct an imaginary symphony orchestra in the privacy of your home (the classical version of air guitar), laugh at Beethoven (yes, please DO -- Beethoven is very funny -- a seldom appreciated virtue -- as his sense of fun and joy and trickery and playfulness was given full range in his mastery of his field). If you want a rollicking good time, tune in the Leonora Overture, no. 3 and I guarantee you you won't be able to catch your breath at the spectacular finale, which starts from virtual silence and builds into the most dizzying and glorious explosion of sheer exuberance, triumph and joy you're ever likely to hear. Try it, you'll like it -- what can it cost you?

Well, that's just one suggestion for how to fill your weekend. As for me, I think I'll do a load of wash while listening to the radio. And maybe I'll finally clean out that drawer of manuals -- or maybe not.

The United States Did Not Lose the war in Vietnam

By veritas

The US DID NOT "lose" the war in Vietnam. The Nixon administration chose to not win it.

Nixon, in effect, continued the ugly, bloody, wretched core of the Lyndon Johnson/Robert McNamara policy. This was the Johnson policy to not win [aka thinking to win on the cheap, with "just enough" force; thus endless, too-small escalations, and micro-managing from the White House; one must ask, too, how bloody are the hands of the Joint Chiefs of that day?].

Johnson and McNamara proved beyond doubt their incapacity to understand the core truth of war.

The LSM had tired of the war, reported their version of it [just as they do today from Iraq], and, convinced it knew best, made sure the country turned against it.

The "Nixon gambit" off the Johnson plan was to bring enough destruction not to win, but to strike a deal to get out not-quite-precipitously.

So Nixon's "choice" [he may have had other "options," but only in theory] was to broker an armistice. That's not a loss, it's an agreement to walk away.

And that was tragic, because with that done, it was South Vietnam that immediately lost its war to survive. It had no place to walk away to. And millions of people throughout Indochina lost their battle to survive against Communism, the bloodiest ideology of man to date.

"War is cruelty. There's no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is the sooner it will be over."
-William Tecumseh Sherman

Note the absence of qualifiers in the following statement:

"You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terrors. Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival."
~~ Prime Minister Winston Churchill

Addendum: Let me make clear that the media bear their large share of guilt in this. I'll use Jesus's observation on lawyers to make illustrate the point: "for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers."
~~ Luke 11:46

Veritas comes on board

Extra!! Extra!! Read all about it folks!
The wise and handsome veritas has agreed to add his gems of wit and wisdom on an irregular -- or regular -- basis, if I can nag efficiently. I'm simply delighted to welcome him to Ultima Thule. And without further ado -- ladies and gentlemen - I present -- veritas!!

veritas finally "gets it"

I've got it!
It makes sense to me now!

I'll explain: there's nothing any less legitimate about an "undocumented" act, like walking across a border, than a "documented" one. It just lacks a couple sheets of paper. So how important can they be?

So -- I'm gonna stop by your place and pick up my new "undocumented" car. Then maybe a bank, and make an "undocumented" withdrawal!

[I wonder how I can get an undocumented flight to Hawai'i? Hmmmm....]
Guys, this is COOL!

"[F]elons cannot expect to stand on equal footing with the rest of us, precisely because they have not stood with the rest of us in obedience to the law."
~~ Thomas Lifson

Friday, September 24, 2004

Call him irresponsible

One never knows what little tidbit currently in the news might bring a vagrant memory to mind.

Today we learned that Bob Burkette (pronounced Bucket), CBS's "unimpeachable source", is spilling his guts to a Texas newspaper and claiming that Joe Lockhart tried to convince him to give them the documents. So obviously, CBS is going to have to quickly shift gears and call their previously "unimpeachable" source an "unreliable" witness.

And the strains of a wonderful old long-forgotten tune spring to mind, to wit:

Call Me Irresponsible

Lyrics by: Sammy Cahn
Music by: Jimmy Van Heusen
From the Film: Papa's Delicate Condition 1963 (M)

Call me irresponsible - call me unreliable, throw in undependable too
Do my foolish alibis bore you, well I'm not too clever - I just adore you
Call me unpredictable - tell me I'm impractical, rainbows I'm inclined to pursue
Call me irresponsible - yes I'm unreliable,
But it's undeniably true - I'm irresponsibly mad
(for you)

What perfect lyrics!! I hereby offer them to Bob Burkette as his theme song -- just leave off the last two words and it could have been written especially with him in mind.

(They don't write 'em like they used to, do they??)


All depressed over Martha Stewart decamping to her color-coordinated jail cell? Wondering how you are going to fill those endless hours without her marvelous show exhorting you to even higher Olympian feats of culinary hocus-pocus?? What if Martha is still in jail when the cranberry harvest comes in in your own personal cranberry bog (after all -- doesn't EVERYONE have their own personal cranberry bog??). What about that forlorn hour with only Martha Stewart re-runs to fill in the gaps between "All my Children" and "As the World Turns" (is it still turning after all these years??) -- Well -- step right up folks, and never fear -- BonnieBlueFlag to the rescue!!!

The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival and the Story of Mooncakes

September 26, 2004 by BonnieBlueFlag

In the 14th century (AD 1280-1368) during the Yuan Dynasty of Genghis Khan (1162?-1227), mooncakes helped bring about a revolution.

Chinese rebel leader, Liu Fu Tong, devised a plan to organize the Chinese in a rebellion against the ruling Mongols, and to bring about the end of the oppressive Yuan Dynasty.

Liu Fu Tong obtained permission from the Mongolian leaders to give gifts to friends as a symbolic gesture, to honor the longevity of the Mongolian Emperor.

Because the Mongolians did not eat mooncakes, Liu's gifts were little round mooncakes.

Inside each mooncake, Liu placed a piece of paper with the date of the revolt, thus informing his followers when to rise up.

When the people cut open the cakes, they found Liu's message. On the fifteenth night of the eighth lunar month, the Chinese overthrew the Mongols, and ended the Yuan Dynasty.

The Moon Festival is celebrated in China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam on the 15th moon day of the 8th Chinese lunar month (Chicken month).

This year the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival will be celebrated on Tuesday, September 28, 2004.

Thinking that it might be fun to make Mooncakes this year, I read a number of recipes. All of the traditional recipes seemed very complicated for anyone other than Martha Stewart. I did find one that looked easy by comparison, but it does call for 17&1/2 ounces of Lotus Seed Paste.

Personally, I think I will find a good Chinese Restaurant for dinner on Tuesday.

Thursday, September 23, 2004


Well -- looks like you saw my hands move, didn't you?? Gotta work on that some more. Back to the drawing-board.


Now Cabanaboy graciously sent me the HTML tags to use in order to be able to display just the name of the publication rather than typing in the URL of a link. I am now about to roll up my sleeves and attempt this fantastic feat of cyber-legerdemain -- ahem ---

HREF="http://www.americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=3866">American Thinker

My fear is -- that all the gobblydegook I typed will appear nonetheless. So -- let's see.


Intrepid L-dotter, veritas, shares the following wisdom with us:

The deadliest, cruelest force to ever arise on earth is Leftist government.
"The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience." ~~ Albert Camus

"A fondness for power is implanted, in most men, and it is natural to abuse it, when acquired."
~~ Alexander Hamilton

"In order to get power and retain it, it is necessary to love power; but love of power is not connected with goodness but with qualities that are the opposite of goodness, such as pride, cunning and cruelty."
~~ Leo Tolstoy

Writer's block

So -- now I know I'm a writer because I officially have writer's block. Every time I think of what I want to write in here I think -- what's the point -- or -- I should do some more research on that topic -- or -- now's not the best time to write on that topic.

So -- they say the best way to overcome writer's block is to just sit down at the typewriter -- er -- keyboard and just start. So -- here I am. ------ hmmmm ------ so far nothing's happening ----- looks like that's not the exact solution I was looking for. Let's try something else.
Today's news. Why does this all start to look like Ground Hog day?? Another inspiring and wonderful speech to start the morning, this time complementing my English Breakfast tea and my English muffin to a tee (yeah --- so I grew up in Australia and learned to love a strong blend of bitter milky tea with a muffin and butter and jam). Prime Minister Allawi -- looking so avuncular and friendly and warm and strong -- delivering a wonderful and inspiring speech. And I see the sour lumpen face of Senator Barbara Mikulski, half of the dynamic duo representing my sad state -- the People's Republic of Maryland -- the other half being the witty, urbane and charismatic Senator Paul Sarbanes (or maybe he died -- I'm not quite sure anymore).
Be that as it may -- I'm wondering how any human being with a shred of humanity and decent feeling could fail to be moved by this man's stirring address -- and then I see -- oh yes -- there are plenty of people out there with darkness in their hearts who aren't inspired at all. But -- I persevere -- I actually finish my tea and muffin with a modicum of good feeling. Things are going to be OK in Iraq -- we have competent and good men in charge -- like Allawi and President Bush -- and who could fail to see the logic that there is no way but to complete the task and to overcome these terrorists -- that to fail is unthinkable.

So far so good. Then you know what happened -- Kerry -- giving a live press conference spouting the same nonsense. I'm not even going to repeat it because it's what he said yesterday and the day before and the day before that -- and world without end, amen, amen, etc. etc. So -- now the muffin is sitting a tad precariously down there where it had been resting quite comfortably just a few moments earlier. I'm really going to have to get a handle on these emotions.

Then of course, there was the press conference. Oy -- as Carol would say -- the insolence and cluelessness of the press needs no further exposition from me here -- this too we've seen before.

So what's new? I'm Rather bored with Rathergate -- sure -- it's a great scandal, and outrageous -- but my feeling is that it's out of my hands now. The 2 person (!!!) panel has been appointed, duly comprised of the usual suspects -- a flaming liberal and a RINO (this time with a grudge against Karl Rove due to Rove suing him years ago for an unpaid campaign bill). � As usual the RINO can be counted upon to do the "gentlemanly thing" in the vain but still fervently sought after hope that -- some day -- in a universe or a galaxy somewhere, somehow -- if the RINO bends over backwards hard enough to be liked, the flaming liberal will not kick him in the groin while he's bent over. Fat chance. The outcome of this is predictable. According to tradition, the women and children will be thrown overboard first (Mary Mapes -- not that she's not deserving, mind you -- but she's hardly the only guilty party here) and of course -- let us not forget the "Mystery Woman" -- the no doubt legendary and mythical "Lucy Ramirez". If there are any children at CBS I'm sure they'll be thrown to the sharks as well, along with a number of underlings to keep them company. Everyone will shake hands, dust themselves off and suggest that "Can't we all just move on now."

So -- I'm still counting on the Blogosphere and the Pajama Brigade to ferret out some yet undiscovered irrefutable evidence that there was big time collusion between CBS and the DNC. The American Thinker -- http://www.americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=3866) -- in today's excellent article begins to draw such a timeline with interesting bits of information drawn from a number of sources. The Blogosphere still gets the story, while the old men posture and clear their throats.

So on the whole -- not a bad day. But -- I still got this dang writer's block. And I'm just not sure how I'm going to get over it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Letters from Carol

One of the great pleasures of being on the internet, and posting on Lucianne.com in particular, is the wide variety of fascinating people one is privileged to meet. I asked my inimitable friend and philosopher, Carol, a lifelong Democrat and liberal, to tell me about her journey into being a conservative. Here is her response to me. As always, it made me laugh, and cry.


Do remember, Helen, that Ben Franklin was a loyal Royalist until the Stamp Act came out and that screwed the pooch. He was making his money from his printing press. And, old King George wanted him to spend money on stamps to make the paper "legit." In the turn around, he was 64.

We're never too old to change.

And, never too old to fall in love, again.

Anyway, yeah. I was a person who more than likely would vote for a democrat. Though at times I'd cast my vote for an "independent," until the choice turned to Nader. And, I've got to admit I not only voted for Ross Perot; before I had reason to cover my eyes and see what kind of a nut he was ... on Larry King Live, no less ... when he decided ... after I went out of my way to help him get elected ... joining up with other local fanatics ... Heck. I was even in homes where we'd meet. Like we had regular "meetings" and all of that stuff. And, I still think I have an old Perot lawn sign in my never to be cleaned out in my lifetime garage ...

But I digress.

What's happened is that I did buy the bull that Bush was an idiot. And, I couldn't tell the difference between Gore and Bush, until 9/11. And, like a lot of other democrats, I pray every day that the candidate I cast my vote for LOST! I'm grateful, too, for all the shenanigans that showed up on the mass media circuits.
Because it gave me a chance to read Steven F. Hayward's first book on Reagan ... The demise of the liberals ... that goes back and covers 1964 to 1980 ... Letting me know (what I already know, anyway) ... that in my youth I was a shallow creature ... who took "easy street." Only to discover it led into a smelly dead end alley.

Okay. I didn't see Reagan, except through the eyes of the liberals ... throughout the 80's. As you know, I voted for Perot in 1992. So you can't quite blame Clinton on me. But when it came to his re-election? Sure. Sex scandals didn't approach my radar screen. Where was the downside? Ah. The downside was in how the powerful elite were dismantling our Constitution. And, blaming the Religious Right for terrorizing them.

It doesn't matter when you regain consciousness. Churchill said that when we're young we think with our hearts. The good thing, now, is that the liberals are old ... and our youth has been pretty sickened by what happened with their schooling agenda ... Many more conservatives among the youth these days ... So, I supposed those of us who went to Woodstock didn't exactly set up the greatest examples to follow? Not that I can complete. I'm very honest with my son. And, he can think for himself. So when the elders fess up to their mistakes there aren't all that many surprises to go around, I guess?

Anyway, Reagan had the same problems Ben Franklin had. The Nation embraced and loved these guys. And, their own children just didn't measure up to their genetic potential.

Life goes on.

If you can, just go and get THE AGE OF REAGAN, Vol. 1. It's a book to be adored. Nothing like going back and really looking at those old "photographs." Captures the imagination all over again.

True, I didn't know what a good man this Bush really is. But I'll make up for it on election day. I intend to vote the whole REPUBLICAN SLATE in California. My little bit of effort in a state that leans left.

Reminds me, how when I was a kid, and rode the NY subways ... And, we'd be high up in the air ... I felt that if I leaned out and looked out a window the train would just drop off its tracks. So, I'd lean into the Center. Does it matter? Only if you enjoy riding subways. (Which I did.)


Liberty Century

These two simple words from President Bush's speech before the UN today are all you need to know about the difference between George W. Bush as leader of the free world and John Kerry. Could there be a starker contrast between the defeatism and negativity of Kerry's anti-American address yesterday to a rabid crowd of UN loving, America-hating zealots -- otherwise known as faithful democrats -- and the President's inspiring speech today?

President Bush, like Ronald Reagan before him, sees beyond the current state of affairs to a world that is as yet over the horizon. That is the job of a leader with vision. It was the job of Churchill -- who saw through the smoke and ruins of the Blitz, the humiliating setback of Dunkirk, and the isolation of his lone green isle as the sole outpost of liberty in a Europe overwhelmed by Nazi darkness and tyranny. He saw through what looked like utter defeat and peered over the horizon and saw that the only path was victory. The only choice was to fight. We will never give up. We will never surrender. And he carried his countrymen on the shoulders of his dream with comforting words and bold deeds throughout the darkest days.

Ronald Reagan rejected the malaise and defeatism of Jimmy Carter and envisioned a Shining City on a Hill -- a magnificent vision that encapsulated not only that great man's optimism, but the optimism of a nation hungry to see the sun again after the clouds of the Carter years. Ronald Reagan saw the Soviet Union and said -- why not? Why must we settle for the politics of "containment", of MAD -- Mutual Assured Destruction -- as a way of maintaining a balance. He correctly labeled the Soviet Union as "The Evil Empire" and horrified the mavens with such impolitic and dangerous talk. He was a true revolutionary. He saw the Berlin wall and against all advice adamantly demanded, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Because -- he had vision. He had some basic and fundamental principles which he lived by. There were things he actually believed to the very core of his being and soul. That men are born and created to be free. That they aspire to live in peace. That freedom is not granted only to the few, but is mandated by God for all of his creatures.

George Bush has such a dream. He believes in freedom and the dignity of all men. He sees that it is only through establishing democracy throughout these darkened places that peace can eventually thrive. But we are not there yet. And there are many dark days yet to endure, and many setbacks will mark the way.

The difference is that you must keep your eyes on the prize -- on the horizon and beyond -- to what can be -- what MUST be. Not look at what is and throw up our hands in despair and defeat.

America has hardly faced a starker choice in its lifetime.

CBS punts

Burkette obviously needs a custom made tin-foil hat.

Beyond that I don't believe Lucy Ramirez exists. The story of the "pass-off" on the documents sounds like something out of a spy novel and something created by this man's fevered imagination.

He conveniently "burned" the originals, making it more difficult to track down the creator of these forgeries.

CBS has cleverly and simply punted the ball further down the line, they have "revealed" their source, who - miraculously is completely an innocent dupe of a fictitious "Lucy", and the real perpetrator of this forgery is still unknown. That accomplishes 2 things for CBS. It provides them cover for the still modified limited hang-out but still does nothing to reveal the source of the documents. The mystery deepens.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Kerry Vietnam Redux

Kerry's performance during this campaign, and particularly in his despicable speech this morning on Iraq, is Jimmy Carter in his malaise cardigan -- only astronomical orders of magnitude worse -- because the gloom he instills is in wartime, and he's telling his own nation and the men and women of the Armed Forcers currently in harm's way, AND their families -- that we're done for, defeated, and the only solution is to admit humiliation and retreat.

Come to think of it -- Ltjg Kerry's "experience" in Vietnam and after -- HAVE suited him perfectly for this role. Appeaser, shirker, underminer of national will, collaborator with our enemies and ultimately architect of defeat, not only of America, but of an enslaved people who have a chance to grasp freedom out of the jaws of tyranny. He is as willing to abandon the Iraqis to wholesale slaughter and civil war as he was to abandon the Vietnamese to slaughter by their communist oppressors.

So in an odd way he's right. His experiences all those years ago in Vietnam and his actions after he got home were a perfect rehearsal for the role he proposes to play today -- as Appeaser and Demoralizer in Chief.

Kerry's no Churchill

Just sitting down with a nice cup of English Breakfast tea and getting set for a pleasant day of surfing, blogging, commenting and otherwise having fun -- and what am I faced with -- the gloomy visage of doom in the personage of that skull-faced purveyor of defeat, John F. Kerry.

I'm watching Kerry now -- attempting to upstage Bush's upcoming UN speech -- and I'm once again speechless with horror at the lowness and duplicity of this man.

Nothing but a recitation of doom, gloom, depression and defeatism. Now there's a Commander in Chief you want in wartime. Can we imagine Roosevelt or Churchill talking this way during WWII? Normally I am amused and bemused by these ridiculous goings-on of the dems -- but this makes my blood boil. I mean what is he talking about?? Children wading through garbage to go to school?? The president has made catastrophic decisions. We are doomed!! The sky is falling!! -- The president lied!!

As I continue to try to keep my attention on what he is saying what I'm hearing is curdling my blood. These rabid partisans can only cheer America's failure -- a recitation of gloom and doom -- nothing makes them happier than to know that everything is in shambles and a complete catastrophe for our country. And these are patriots? These people get giddy only on defeat and bitterness.

So Kerry -- what's your plan? Hmmm? Oh -- here he goes -- bring in our allies -- wow -- slapping myself on the forehead -- why didn't GWB think of that??

And now? He's talking about Haliburton!!! OK -- calm down, Aussie -- if my reaction is anything to go by then Americans all over the country are going to be completely disgusted by this shameless display of lies, distortions and accusations.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

The musing begins

Herein a series of musings on matters varied and sundry and on no particular schedule -- in other words -- random blab and stuff.

Since I have no computer knowledge beyond the bare essentials, I should say at the outset, that if you're looking for extensive and thorough links to the articles discussed herein, you'll have to go elsewhere. If however, you can find the article under discussion on your own or to know where to link to the NYT, and all the other media that is old, plus the blogs and media that are new -- I'll assume your knowledge of the internet is at least as sophisticated as mine. I will provide names of publications and authors as well as an URL, but as yet don't know how to do the kind of link that other people do to make your search easier. As my knowledge increases, hopefully (and, hopefully you won't write to me about the misuse of hopefully), this will change.

But more than likely, if you're like me, you've already read all this stuff -- so why are you reading this? I'm writing it because Cabanaboy harrassed me into doing it and then "outed" me for good measure -- thanks a lot, Walt!!

Topics will be wide-ranging and not limited to the political or the current and may be trivial as well as worthy. You are as likely to read something about Beethoven, Verdi, George Herbert, I Love Lucy, Bette Davis, Barbara Pym or cats, as you are to find something on the current imbroglio involving CBS. All content is purely the biased and completely personal opinion of this author and occasional pieces perhaps by guest contributors, i.e my pals.

So -- onwards and upwards. Danny Boy and the Mystery Documents -- oh boy -- where to begin with this one. One thing's for certain, the Old Media have circled the wagons while doing what they do best -- at once protesting their innocence, the profound importance of themselves to the destiny of the nation, and making the requisite "noises" of tsk, tsk, cluck, cluck in CBS's direction -- just to give themselves some cover -- but always taking care to include pot shots at Bush in every article. The wink-wink, nod-nod form of snide insinuation that has become what is so hubristically referred to as "Journalism" with a capital "J".

This too clever by half strategy served them well for many years, as they cloaked themselves in the self-righteous robes of neutral purveyors of Journalistic Truth from on high, suitably sanitized for our protection like those old paper doilies to be found on the toilet seats in low-rent motels -- and probably just as honest about the purity which supposedly lies underneath the cover.

But the veneer is wearing mighty thin and -- like Shep Smith's scalp -- is beginning to shine through at awkward moments when the studio lights are on. Dan and Peter and Tom, et al. are so much like the aristos of old France -- those Frenchies -- who played and cavorted while the masses plotted and fumed. Can't you just see them in their silk breeches, with their powdered wigs -- adoring each other at their insulated little getaways, while the pajama-clad huddled masses warm their freezing hands over a warm keyboard and a cup of java from a chipped mug. Ha -- the Pajama Brigade has manned the barricades from every corner and there's no place left to hide. And the sound they hear is not the thundering of hob-nailed boots, but the tap-tap of keyboards and the pad-pad of bunny-slippered feet sneaking up on them.

Why, just this morning I was greeted by the satisfying sight of Dan Rather being importuned by a persistent little reporter as he left the airport in Texas. � Dan has traveled to far-off Texas in the further pursuit of journalistic excellence and his desire to be the FIRST to break the story that those documents are forgeries. When pressed he managed to get in several digs at Fox News -- ouch -- touchy-touchy Dan.

Oh how delectable a sight -- the Mighty Dan the Man -- the khaki-klad intrepid reporter, hanging on for dear life in a hurricane of his own making -- and suffering the same slings and indignities which countless public officials have been heir to at the very hands of the likes of Dan and 60 Minutes. It's a turnaround devoutly to be savored. You could see the chagrin on his face and the barely suppressed "How DARE you, sir????", mixed with a sense of unreality. "How could this be happening to ME???"

And in another galaxy and another universe entirely, I watched this morning on Fox as our President and Commander in Chief, George W. Bush was visiting hurricane ravaged Pensacola, Florida. To see him striding, (in Texas they call that walking for all the Dems out there), through the devastation, with a sense of calm, authority and deep compassion was to witness a leader at his best and finest. A true man of the people. Have we shaken ourselves out of the morass of negative propaganda these past decades to fully appreciate how truly fortunate we are to have witnessed in our lifetimes, two such extraordinary Presidents as our beloved Reagan and now, completely his own man, George Bush!

Suddenly through the debris and devastation a group of home-owners rushed towards their President. A man holding a faded flag, which he had somehow salvaged from the carnage behind him which had evidently once been either his house or his neighbor's. But once again, what is it that Americans hold dear?? Their neighbors, their family, country, their flag, their heritage, their President. It truly brought tears to my eyes. The women rushed towards him with a sense of seeing a long-lost relative at last, they wanted to embrace him and to be comforted.

And George Bush was equal to the task. He was sympathetic, at ease, completely interested and engaged. Look upon this, you Democrats and your minions in the old media -- this is both OLD and NEW America -- for America is always renewing itself, incorporating the best of the old verities, our Constitution, our love of country and flag, our decency and our passionate love of freedom and liberty -- and pushing liberty with new tools and with new voices and vigor. But it is still the same old story that has been told since the days of the founding of the Republic -- we are the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
Long may that Star Spangled Banner yet wave!!