Ultima Thule

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

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Rep. Bob Schaffer talks to NRO about the Ukrainian situation on the ground

By Aussiegirl

Here's a wonderful excerpt from a Q & A on NRO with Rep. Bob Schaffer, former congressman from Colorado, about his recent experience as an election observer in the recent disputed elections. Recently returned from Ukraine, Schaffer, whose mother is Ukrainian, and who works with the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, shared his impressions of the situation as a whole and also his impressions of the nature of the demonstrations:

"NRO: What most impressed you about the protesters?

SCHAFFER: One cannot help being impressed by the protesters. They have begun each day of the protest in Kiev in prayer and all activities are accomplished with a collective sense of respect, kindness, and an intention to conduct a peaceful revolution. The demonstrators have refrained from taunting or challenging armed police or the military. In fact, the objective of the demonstrators is to win the affection of the armed agents of the government. This is being accomplished with remarkable frequency. In fact, most of the Kiev police have now pledged their support for the people and even have expressed their intentions to protect the people from any possible conflict with military (including Russian) personnel. Kievians are opening up their small apartments and homes to out-of-town protesters. I met a guy who told me he was hosting seven strangers in his two-bedroom apartment. The demonstration is very well organized. There is a clear understanding among the crowds that they are unarmed, yet they are prepared to do whatever it takes to remain in the streets even die as martyrs in the democracy movement if need be. Finally, the media has dramatically understated the magnitude of the demonstration as in the "tens of thousands." In the late afternoons and early evenings, the crowd is easily over one million. That many people simply can't fit in Independence Square. At its peak, the demonstration spills in to the streets for several blocks in all directions.

NRO: What most scared you about the situation there?

SCHAFFER: There is a very large military presence in and around Kiev. Tanks and artillery were being offloaded from railcars as early as last Monday (11/22). Though there is growing division among the Ukrainian military ranks as to loyalty in this revolution the possibility of violence looms over the entire situation.

NRO: Do Ukrainians commonly believe that Yushchenko was poisoned by�Yanukovich/Russia?

SCHAFFER: Few people doubt Yushchenko was poisoned. Ukraine is a rough place for anyone who challenges the governing authorities. The recent history of Ukraine is replete with dead journalists, beaten journalists, news agencies being shut down, and politicians being injured or killed. Most are killed in mysterious auto accidents. Ukrainian Journalist Heorhiy Gongadze's headless corpse was found partially buried on the outskirts of town and was the most noted journalist murder. His body had been dipped in acid to remove evidence and hasten decomposition. Yushchenko's popularity among the people is a clear threat to the government. Most Ukrainians expect assassination attempts. I've known Yushchenko for many years and could barely recognize him when I saw him this time. Not until he spoke and I recognized his voice did I believe I was looking at the same man his face being so disfigured by the poisoning. No common virus could have done such a thing. In fact, his medical analysis indicates he had been simultaneously exposed to as many as five unlikely viruses. Who would have done this? While several parties have clear motivation it will likely never be proven who the culprit is.

Read the whole interview at:

Click for the latest news

By Aussiegirl

I have much personal business to attend to today and hope to post some more analysis and news on the Ukrainian situation later today.

In the meantime you can't do better than to check these sites for the latest information if you are following this story:


This site has the latest news and analysis from Ukraine and around the world. For the duration of the crisis they have made all the articles on their site free to all visitors.


A blog from the heart of Kyiv and the demonstrations, with lots of wonderful news, photos, analysis, historical background, political analysis, personal stories and links to other blogs reporting right from the heart of the demonstrations.

The revolution is being blogged in real time!!! Don't miss this historical unfolding of events. These events in a country which seems remote from Americans and which is so unfamiliar, will nevertheless play an important role in the future of not only Europe, but the world.

Freedom and democracy are on the march. Be a part of the Orange Revolution!!

More later...

Monday, November 29, 2004

Yanukovych and Kuchma try the Goreploy

By Aussiegirl

Thanks for BonnieBlueflag who has done yoewoman work on the post just below to keep us all up to date on the situation in Ukraine.

Reuters -- http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=6943582

-- reporting that Yanukovych will agree to a revote in the two most disputed areas (the ones he controls) to settle the election mess. This is a non-starter and another Goreploy to cherry-pick favorable votes for himself, just like Gore wanting a recount in only Broward and Palm Beach counties. You can't say the Yanukovich/Kuchma/Putin gang haven't learned their lessons well from the democrat apparatchiks in this country. But just like in this country, that is not going to fly.

Also as BonnieB. reported, the idea of a new election which will be open to all candidates is also simply a stalling tactic and red herring. This would be completely chaotic as the Kuchma forces would simply cloud the issue with dozens of new candidates and hope to set up somebody other than Yanukovych as the Kuchma/Putin stooge for an eventual run-off election with Yushchenko. One thing Ukaine has no shortage of is parties. There has already been such an election, and the latest election, which is currently in dispute, was the runoff between the two largest vote getters, Pro-Western Yuschenko and Kuchma/Putin stooge Yanukovich.

The talks seem to be in a stalled situation with the Yushchenko forces pushing for a new election but with many safeguards to protect against the massive fraud that occurred in the first one. Most likely the other side will not agree to all these conditions, which include the absence of absentee ballots (a huge source of the fraud in the first go-round), and a completely new Election Commission composed of 50/50 representatives of both sides, among other demands to ensure fairness.

I doubt that much will happen until the Supreme Court issues its ruling. A vote by the Parliament of no-confidence is a distinct possibility as more and more members have been switching their allegiance from Yanukovich to Yushchenko. The tide is very much in favor of the pro-democracy forces I believe, but the government still controls many levers of power, and the presence of Russian troops on Ukrainian soil (most likely dressed as Ukrainian troops) is still a sword hanging over the process. They may attempt to do what the Chinese did in Tiananmen Square. There they brought in troops from very distant regions who knew nothing of what had been going on, and they filled their heads with lies and propaganda about how these "enemies of the people" were staging a violent revolution that needed to be put down. The same can be done in Ukraine - Russian troops dressed as Ukrainian forces will use some excuse (they can cause a provocation and will try) to use force to disperse the crowds. Kuchma's talk about how these blockades are illegal is just code for an excuse to use force. The situation is obviously tense. We wait and hope.

A brief synopsis of the Ukrainian Presidential Election dilemma, for those of us in the West who cannot name the players without a scorecard.

By BonnieBlueFlag

(Note from Aussiegirl: BonnieBlueFlag has undergone a crash course in Ukrainian Byzantine politics and now emerges from under the mountains of links she has ammassed to give us this excellent rundown of the latest -- I hereby declare that she now qualifies for the Order of the Trident, and a Lifetime Membership in the Society of Honorary Ukrainians, which entitles her to an endless supply of grandmother's borscht, sour cream and blinchiki, and Ukrainian sayings and advice. Thanks BonnieB. for this excellent summary.)

The Ukrainian opposition (supporters of pro-western Yushchenko) have given current President Kuchma 24 hours to fire PM Yanukovich (the pro-Russian candidate), and to submit for parliamentary approval new members of the Central Electoral Committee to replace all members of the committee that helped to falsify the vote.

If Kuchma fails to fulfill their demands, the protesters will begin blocking roads and his movements in Ukraine.

In eastern Ukraine, two regions have voted to seek independence in protest over Yanukovich's victory having been challenged.� The regional legislature in Donetsk voted 164-1 yesterday to hold a Dec. 5 referendum on autonomy for the province, AP reported.

Mr. Yushchenko wants his rival's victory annulled and a new vote to be held on Dec. 12 or Dec. 19.

Meanwhile, 21 members of the Highest Ukrainian Court (the total number of judges is approximately 100) will rule on the case that was brought before them today.� The names of the 21 judges will be kept secret, in order to protect them from outside pressures.� The results of their ruling may be known in a few days, or it may take weeks, depending on how much evidence will be presented to the court.

Please note however, that under Ukrainian Election Legislation, the court is not allowed to make a determination on the election outcome.� They can only invalidate the election results in individual precincts (news.scostman.com)� Therefore, the most beneficial judgment of the court to the supporters of Yushchenko would be the invalidation of the election results.

The need for an emergency session of the parliament will be debated today.� This session would be for the purpose of a no confidence vote for PM Yanukovich.� A simple majority vote of 226 would be sufficient to oust Yanukovich.

As it presently stands, the supporters of Yanukovich in eastern Ukraine will only be pacified by a court ruling in favor of their pro-Russian candidate.� If this does not occur prior to Dec. 5, they will vote for succession on that date.� They have given no indication that they would cooperate with the west in a new election.

It would seem that this has become a situation that can only be resolved by someone with the wisdom of the biblical Solomon.� Let us pray that by whatever means, that the people of Ukraine will be able to remain united, free to determine their own destiny and to fashion a democracy of their own choosing.

Update:� Just about two hours ago, PM Yanukovich announced that he favored a total rerun of the presidential election, not just a runoff.� A rerun would mean that other candidates could be nominated for president, while the Nov. 21 election that is in question, was only a runoff between two runner-up candidates.� This announcement appeared in The Moscow News/ http://www.mosnews.com

written and submitted by BonnieBlueFlag

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Updates and analysis from the barricades

By Aussiegirl

Check out the links on Pajama Pack -- and a tip of the blogging hat to him for plugging my Ultima Thule. Kudos to CabanaBoy for doing such a bang-up job over there -- check out all the great graphics and funny photoshop pics with CabanaBoy's unbeatable captions -- best o' the web, fer shur -- not to mention great analysis and tips and thoughts on an amazing variety of topics. Go, MrsFalconersCabanaBoy!! We wish him well in his quest to woo the beauteous Ms. Dari Alexander!!! And thanks to Miss Lucianne Goldberg and all the Ldot elves who graciously plugged this Ldotter playground -- freed from the word limit we are giddy with the power!!

Well, having seen off most of the Thanksgiving guests who arrived from out of town for the holidays, I'll finally have time to do some in-depth analysis and updates of what is going on Ukraine.

Let me just share a few thoughts on the involvement of pop stars, rock stars, boxers, athletes, and other assorted entertainment people in the Kiev protests. Americans unfamiliar with Ukrainian culture may feel a bit queasy seeing this because we naturally assume that the pop stars of Ukraine have the same kinds of spoiled rotten attitudes, lifestyles and stupid leftist politics that our own home-grown glitterati do. Let me set your minds at rest. The entertainment and show business folks of Ukraine are of a different stripe altogether.

In great part this stems from Ukraine's history, especially under the Communist rule, but the tradition of the artist as crusader for freedom, who raised and inspired the population to a higher goal of freedom and independence is an old and noble tradition. It dates back as far as you care to go, but we can begin with Ukraine's Shakespeare -- their Robert Burns -- there really is no comparison in any other culture that I am aware of -- the national bard, poet, conscience of his nation, and father of his country -- Taras Shevchenko. As I wrote in an earlier post (scroll down to "A Ukrainian looks at Ukraine") Shevchenko's poetry so inspired the population, and his criticisms of the Tsar and the feudal system and all the injustices that Ukraine had to live under, that it brought him unwanted attention from the Tsar. He was exiled for his "crimes against the Tsar" and spent decades in the Far East - forbidden to own paper or pen.

During the Communist years, from the earliest days, it was writers and artists and intellectuals who stood against the system, and as a result, during the terror years of Stalin, when literally millions of Ukrainians were either starved, shot or imprisoned, almost the entire class of artists and educated classes was wiped out.
It has taken decades to recover these talents, as even during later years of the communist regime there was a systematic system of imprisoning, intimidating, and otherwise silencing dissidents, who almost exclusively came from the educated ranks and those of musicians, painters, and artists. I could write reams and reams about the people I have met personally and whose stories I have read who spent decades imprisoned -- even during the Glasnost era.
And so today, the plethora of rock stars, pop singers, wrestlers, boxers, film stars, etc. who come to entertain the crowds gathered in the freezing cold -- are really the leaders of a democracy movement. Because they have always been the first victims of oppression and repression, they are the natural leaders of a movement which seeks freedom and liberty.

For too long Ukrainian artists and writers were forbidden to sing their own songs, to speak or write in their own language, to make films about their own history, and so on and so on. This is such a completely different history from the American experience that it is understandable that there is some suspicion on the part of Americans unfamiliar with this history.

More later with more links and news updates and thoughts on what may happen and what it may all mean. Reading Ukrainian tea leaves -- coming up soon.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Updates and links

By Aussiegirl

The situation continues to develop as the Ukrainian Parliament has rejected the results of the previous election and declared a no confidence vote in the election. Although this has no official bearing on the determination of the winner, talks continue on how to resolve the crisis.

I will be updating later today as time allows, but in the meantime the best information available is at the following sites, in English, from Kiev itself and people who are at the heart of the demonstrations and have the latest inside information from all over Ukraine. These sites are constantly being updated and offer much background and current, moment to moment information on the latest developments from all over Ukraine.

Le Sabot Post-Moderne

Pora (which means "it's time" in Ukrainian)

And a personal, woman's eye view from Ukraine in English:


Friday, November 26, 2004

Time and Revolution wait for no man

By Aussiegirl

Dateline: Freedom!

Well, freedom lovers everywhere, time and revolution wait for no man (or woman) and there is much to catch up on. What with the Thanksgiving holiday (hope everyone enjoyed plenty of turkey and trimmings and good times connecting with family and friends), and chasing electrons to and fro across the barricades, and attending to private business, I can finally settle down to burn up the keyboard for a good extended rant on the Ukrainian situation.

First off. Some unexpectedly unpleasant news crossed my inbox this morning having to do with all sorts of supposed nefarious plots, sub-plots and conspiracies variously relating to George Soros and also some "Russian expert" -- who turns out to be a Putin stooge, concocting some ridiculous theory that Poland and the Brezhinski family are conspiring into some sort of Byzantine plan to -- well -- read Chrenkoff's blog to get the skinny on the ridiculousness of this theory which doesn't even make sense, much less stand up to scrutiny. http://chrenkoff.blogspot.com

Then there are the nasty insinuations about Soros. Allegedly he has backed the pro-democracy forces and somehow we are now supposed to assume that Yushchenko and the millions of demonstrators in the streets of Kiev and other cities are simply Soros' puppets, put there so he can become supreme ruler of the world, or something. Even if Soros has meddled in the Ukrainian elections (as he tried to do in the American elections as well), let him spend his money however he likes. He is a currency trader and manipulates state currencies to his own advantage. He is always trying to buy leverage for his business and financial dealings. Perhaps he feels that by backing a change in administration he will get some financial benefit on the currency markets, or can curry favor with the new government in taking advantage of Ukraine's vast energy and natural resources potential. But to suggest that somehow there is a Soros "connection" to the pro-democracy forces gathered in the streets to rightly protest an outright stolen election is pure conspiracy nuttiness. And perhaps a disinformation attempt by the Putin government to discredit the pro-democracy side As is the ridiculous assertion about some Polish conspiracy. Let us lay these red herrings aside as they are only distractions.

There has even been some discussion on some threads at lucianne.com that somehow Soros' alleged involvement in supporting the pro-democracy side is an indication that he is orchestrating these demonstrations as a means of overturning a legitimate election. Nothing could be further from the truth, as the legitimacy of these results has been openly questioned by all outside observers who have declared the election a blatant fraud.

Some have even suggested that Soros is doing in Ukraine, what he hoped to do in America, i.e. win the election for Kerry by taking the results through the courts. To suggest that the American election and the Ukrainian election are in any way comparable would only be valid if -- George Bush twice tried to assassinate John Kerry, if George Bush controlled all media outlets and wouldn't allow Kerry any access to media, even denying him the right to purchase air time for his ads, and that the only way that Kerry was able to get votes was by leafleting door to door on a one-to-one basis all over America, which is what Yushchenko had to do. His supporters literally contacted every household in Ukraine and distributed leaflets and information hand to hand because of the media blackout. Then and only then could there even be a comparison.

There is a lot happening on the ground. The BBC has been doing excellent coverage and I recommend checking that site regularly, as has the Kyiv Post at http://kyivpost.com. The latest news includes that Kiev's mayor, Oleksander Omelchenko, has opened various government buildings to the demonstrators so that they can use the restroom facilites and the cafes and areas to get warm and dry off.

Also the Education Minister, Vasyl Kremen, has declared that the schools should be opened to receive and give shelter to the thousands of students who are staying away from universities across Ukraine in protest and who are traveling to Kiev to join the protestors.

Talks have been ongoing today between the two candidates, Kuchma, Xavier Solana, Jan Kubis, current head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, who sent election observers who criticized the elections as being hopelessly marred by fraud, Valdas Adamkus, President of Lithuana, and the President of Poland Alexander Kwasniewski, who discussed a 3 point plan which calls for both sides to renounce violence, calls for a recount of the vote, and to open the possibility of talks between the parties. Three hours of talks so far have yielded no results.

Other reports I am hearing are that the crowds are not diminishing and in fact are growing. An American in Ukraine who has witness the crowds and compares them to the crowds he has seen for the Rose Bowl Parade estimates the numbers in the streets to be in the millions. The Kuchma and Putin forces had hoped that the demonstrators would tire of the cold and faced with a certification of the final count would give up and go home. But they miscalculated, as this only seemed to enrage and fire up the demonstrators even more.

Ominous reports of a day or two ago, when tanks were reported to have been seen heading to Kiev and when Speznats (Russian Special Forces) troops were reportedly seen dressed in Ukrainian uniforms, which gave rise to fears of a provocation of violence leading to a military crackdown on the peaceful demonstrators, seem to have quieted down for now. With envoys from all over the world in town having talks, with Europe and the United States stating openly that the election was blatantly fraudulent, it is a little hard for Putin and Kuchma to stage a heavy handed military and violent put down of peaceful demonstrators.

The demonstrators have been instructed to remain peaceful at all costs, and have vowed that violence would never come from their side. There are reports that the pro-democracy forces have received assurances from many police and security forces that they will not take up arms against the population. The momentum seems definitely to be shifting to the pro-democracy side.

Another extremely welcome sign is the latest news that major television media have broken with the government and have stated that they are joining the protests and are refusing to put out the government lies any more. It is a little known fact that there has been a completely clampdown on the media inside Ukraine for quite some time, and that Kuchma and his gang have been involved in numerous murders, beatings and intimidations of uncooperative journalists and opposition candidates. Yushchenko himself, has been the victim of two attempted assassinations, one involving a car-accident (a time-honored KGB method), and another, more recent one, which involved poisoning, for which he was treated in a foreign hospital. Yulia Tymoshenko, one of the leaders of the pro-democracy movement, who has also stood for office, was also nearly killed in a near-fatal staged car accident last year. She bravely carries on today.

Gyorgy Gongadze, a brave crusading investigative journalist, was killed several years ago. His crime? Asking Kuchma an embarrassing question about financial scandals on camera. Kuchma angrily demanded to know his name A year later Gongadze's headless body was discovered in a ditch in a suburb of Kiev. The order for his assassination was tied directly to Kuchma's presidential office. Kuchma's body guard, who had access to the inner workings of the President's inner circle, tape recorded Kuchma in his own voice, ordering Gongadze's execution. A year later Ihor Aleksandrov, who exposed corrupt links between politicians, police and business, was beaten to death with baseball bats. There were many others as well.

All in all I am more hopeful than I was just a few days ago when I thought for sure that the tanks would roll and we would have Hungary in 1956 or Czechoslovakia in 1968 all over again. But this is now, and the Soviet Union does not exist. The world and Europe stand at a crossroads of history. If Ukraine, a nation of 47 million people which is located on the border between Western and Eastern Europe, falls into the sphere of Putin and his increasingly authoritarian rule, then Putin will be able to consolidate a new Eastern Bloc of nations, which will include Byeloruss (where he earlier this year installed his communist stooge in another fraudulent election), and eventually the other teetering democracies of the former Soviet Union, which may also fall like dominoes back under his sway.

Putin aspires to recreate the glory days of the old Soviet Union. If Ukraine falls to the Russian bear hug than a new divide will cross Europe between East and West, one on which the European democracies are on one side, and another blog of countries which are authoritarian and anti-democratic on the other. The West cannot risk another protracted cold war with a mini-reconstituted Soviet Union. Ukraine must be able to join the other free nations of the world and stand as a legitimate and separate member of the democratic countries. If Ukraine falls under Russian domination once again, then any hopes for Russian democratization will also fade. Because, without Ukraine, Russia will stand alone against all of Europe and the Western World. Eventually it too will be forced to democratize and liberalize its policies. There are pro-democracy forces in Russia too, who are very unhappy with Putin's increasingly authoritarian governing style. Some of the are demonstrating in the streets alongside the Ukrainians.

Ultimately, this is not a question of eastern Ukrainians vs. western Ukrainians, it is not a question of Ukrainian speaking Ukrainians or Russian-speaking Ukrainians. It is not a question of Catholic Ukrainians vs. Orthodox Ukrainians. It is a question rather of Ukrainians standing for a free and independent and democratic Ukraine, with the possibility of a free market economy, of democracy, personal liberty, free speech, free market reforms, and a chance to join the family of free nations.
A Ukraine which stands independent and looks to the West -- rather than a Ukraine which is once again swallowed up by the totalitarian Russian bear.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Abraham Lincoln's 1864 Thanksgiving Proclamation

It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with his guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad, and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their campus, and our sailors on the rivers and seas, with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while he has opened to us new sources of wealth, and has crowned the labor of our working-men in every department of industry with abundant rewards. Moreover, he has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of civil war into which we have been brought by our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from all our dangers and afflictions.

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may be then, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe. And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid, that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust, and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the great Disposer of events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased him to assign as a dwelling-place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this twentieth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.
(signed) Abraham Lincoln.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The crisis deepens in Ukraine

By Aussiegirl

The following dispatch is from the Kyiv Post online:

Yushchenko calls on soldiers and militia to defend Ukrainian people
Nov 24, 17:06

"The criminals want to send you to the barricades," he tells nations cops, soldiers

(Korrespondent.net) - Presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko called on the leaders of the armed forces and security forces to defy all orders to take action against the Ukrainian people, appealing to them to take care of the country's citizens, Interfax-Ukraine reports.

Flanked by Ukrainian boxer Volodymyr Klitschko, pop star Ruslana, and Okean Elzy rock band leader Slavko Vakarchuk, Yushchenko made the appeal in front of several hundred thousand people on Maidan Nezalezhnosti during late afternoon of Nov. 24.

Yushchenko appealed "on behalf of the Ukrainian nation, which had chosen him president," to the leaders of the army and the security structure, but also to the soldiers and militiamen themselves."
He underlined that the choice of the people had been defiled, and that what was happening in Ukraine at the moment was a crime on the part of the authorities, "who want to maintain a regime of lawlessness, corruption, and abuse of human rights," backed up by the military and the security organs.

"Thousands of people in epaulets, dozens of army units and organs of the Interior Ministry have already given their word. They're all with the Ukrainian people. On the side of the people � the place of every honest person," Yushchenko announced.

"The criminals want to send you to the barricades. There won't be found there the sons of those who are pushing you into bloodshed. They're running away. But we're staying with you, we're building a new Ukraine. The country needs your honesty, your experience, and your professionalism," he said in his appeal.

Yushchenko told the leaders of the security structures that the responsibility for maintaining order lies with them, and them to defy all orders to turn their arms on the population. He said that the opposition was using only legal means, and that only the security forces could provoke violence.

"You're obliged in any case not to allow foreign armed forces onto Ukrainian territory," Yushchenko said.

"I appeal to all to whom the people have entrusted weapons � stand up for the defense of the country... The time has come to defend our relatives, our brothers and sisters, our children," Yushchenko said.

Ukraine from a Ukrainian perspective

By Aussiegirl

As an American citizen of Ukrainian descent, whose parents escaped from communist Ukraine during WWII, I find myself watching the unfolding drama regarding the stolen Ukrainian election and the current widespread demonstrations with some anxiety and trepidation, mixed with some pride and hope. I'd like to enlarge on some comments I placed on The Belmont Club blogsite about my own perspective on this situation, and provide a historical background for anyone interested. Most people know very little about Ukraine and its history.

Please visit Belmont for excellent commentary and rundown of current events happening in Ukraine. (http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/)

There is some confusion as to the origins of the name "Ukraine". It has been referred to as "The Ukraine" for many years, but since independence the Ukrainian government has striven to strike the article from the name, as it implies that Ukraine is not a separate country, but merely a region -- like "The Midwest" or "The South". The origin of the name "Ukraine" or "Ukraina" is rather complex, but stems from the old Kievan empire which was called Kievan Rus, dating from around 900 A.D. It mostly referred to the southern territories of Eastern Europe. The northern parts were called Muskovy.

Peter the Great extended the name of Rus, or Russia, to the whole empire, which included the South, calling the southern territories "Malorossiya" -- or "Little Russia". (Hence the Tchaikovsky Symphony called the "Little Russian", which is based on Ukrainian folk songs -- needless to say, Ukrainians do not take kindly to being referred to as "Little Russians, and in the Russian language, the connotation is especially denigrating -- denoting more a sense of "sub-Russian" rather than the almost charming word "little").

The peoples of the Kievan Rus in the south saw themselves as a Christian bulwark against the Asiatic hordes and a means to protect Christianity and the European culture from invasion from the east. As time went on the area became known as "Ukrainia", which means "the borderland", to separate it from the northern Muskovite Rus. After a long and complicated history it finally officially took on the name Ukraine.

Although closely related to Russian,
Ukrainian is definitely a distinct Slavic language, with its own rich literature. I speak fluent Ukrainian and have read extensively in the literature, which goes back as a literary language, and not simply a spoken language of the people, to the 1500s, when there is a first translation of the Gospels into colloquial Ukrainian.

Already in the 14th Century, when Ukraine fell under the domination of Lithuania, Ukrainian along with Byelorussian became the official state language, and in 1566 the Lithuanian statute, which was the official code of the Lithuanian state, was published in Ukrainian. Modern Ukrainian literature dates to 1798, with the publication of Kotlarevsky's "Eneyida" or "Aeneid" -- a transposition of Virgil's story to a Ukrainian context in a humorous adaptation.

Ukraine has a long history of craving independence, with many periods in which they found themselves under the domination of various empires. They were variously under the Polish and Lithuanian empires, and eventually were dominated by the Russians. There has always been an independent streak in the Ukrainians, who are historically Greek Orthodox, having accepted Orthodoxy as the state religion in the year 988 by an edict of Prince Volodymyr.

Volodymyr was a pagan but felt that paganism was a religion of the past and could not be the basis of the unifying force he was seeking. On one day, by his decree, all the inhabitants of Kiev came out to the river Dneiper where they were baptized en masse by priests. The statues to the pagan gods were thrown into the river, also by his decree. The Orthodox church brought with it a higher culture, greater ideals, and moral values and also literacy and schools. Volodymyr built magnificent churches in all the large cities and Kiev became a majestic city whose wealth and beauty surpassed that of many capitals of Europe.

As a background to the current situation, the western portions of Ukraine, with the western capital being Lviv, were historically under the Polish empire and part of Poland until WWII. As such the people there had a much closer affinity for Western European values, and also were not under the communist yoke from the early part of the century as the eastern Ukrainians have been. As a result, the sense of Ukrainian language, culture, patriotism and identity is much stronger in the western regions. The eastern portions, including Kiev (spelled Kyiv now in the Ukrainian transliteration) and Kharkiv, are heavily Russified, with a large Russian population, and people who speak Russian in preference to Ukrainian in the big cities. This forms a rather strong cultural divide between the two regions, although many in the eastern portions are avidly pro-Western and pro-democratic and anti-Russian in their outlook as well. The majority of demonstrators are from the western regions of Ukraine.

Let me say here that the period of Tsarist Russian domination, followed by Stalinist and communist rule, has been devastating to the people of Ukraine. Under the Tsars, the Ukrainians were in bondage as serfs, and did not win their freedom until 1861, ironically coinciding with the struggles against slavery in our own United States. Ukraine's national poet, bard and the philosophical father of his country, is Taras Shevchenko, himself born a serf. His freedom was purchased by some noblemen who noticed the young boy's talent for painting and drawing. He was exiled for years to the Far East, denied both paper and pen, and died waiting for the Tsar's edict that would free the remaining serfs.

Under communism, Ukraine suffered the extermination of fully 7 million of its inhabitants, due to the artificial famine in 1933, engineered by Stalin as a way of forcing the land owning peasants into giving up their land to the State. My own parents and their families experienced this nightmare, when millions perished and bodies littered the streets. During the Stalinist years, and even beyond, the best and the brightest lights of the Ukrainian intelligentsia were systematically arrested, imprisoned, exiled and shot. After the era of Khrushchev, with the period of the Helsinki Accords, many Ukrainian intellectuals risked repeated imprisonment and punishment to publish their tracts secretly and to meet with other human rights activists. I have met many of these people who spent countless decades in prisons because they would not recant their desire for freedom and independence.

As to what is going on now, I find myself extremely anxious as I look at what is going on. The fact that Yanukovich has been officially declared the winner is not a good sign, as the Ukrainian government had been warned by the United States and by other Western European powers not to offically recognize the results of the election until investigations can be completed into the alleged fraud. The fact that they have done this indicates to me that they wish to force the matter as a fait accompli and dare the Western nations to do something about it. The fact that Russian Speznats (special) forces have been brought in, in the guise of Ukrainian forces does not bode at all well, and these are recognizable tactics of the Russian government.

Now I hear on Fox News from local sources, that the Kuchma government is busing in thugs from the eastern cities to confront the demonstrators. What they probably intend to do is "provoke" a counterdemonstration, with the union and worker type thugs, most of them drunk and ignorant, to attack the peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators. The government will then have an excuse to wade in to restore order. Westerners hardly can understand the Byzantine ways of the East -- which includes, famously, the idea of "provocations".

I hope I am wrong, and I hope that the Bush administration and the Western powers can manage to wield some influence here. But I fear that this is Hungary all over again, and that the West will once again stand by and do nothing. No wonder Putin was so recently "rattling his sabers". He was sending a clear signal to stay out of his business. And he has obviously decided that it is his business to take Ukraine back into the Russian fold to once again re-establish his empire. I find that even though I wasn't born there that my heart is filled with anxiety and the old heartstrings are being strongly pulled by my countrymen struggling once again for independence. I pray for them today.

UPDATE as of 3 p.m. EST. Fox News is reporting that the Kuchma government has announced that civil war may result from th current unrest. Meanwhile Colin Powell and the government of Canada have announced that they do not recognize the results of the latest election and the elevation of Yanukovich to the presidency. Kuchma and Putin, meanwhile, have denounced "interference" in their internal affairs.

We watch and wait as history unfolds before us. With all eyes having been on Iraq and the American elections, this current crisis seems to have come completely unexpectedly, bringing with it old fears of the East/West confrontations of the Cold War era. Let's hope this is not the opening salvo in a new Cold War with an emboldened Russia. And there's always the French and Germans with their anti-Americanism. Could we see an unholy alliance with these groups to counter America's power and military might?
The stakes couldn't be higher.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:

"Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have show kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d dy of October, A.D. 1789.
(signed) G. Washington

(The original Thanksgiving Proclamation was lost for over a hundred years until it was discovered in a New York auction by an employee of the Library of Congress in 1921. It was purchased at a price of $300.00 for the Library's Manuscript Division, where the document still resides.)

Now let everyone who reads this ask himself whether the Founding Fathers truly were adamant about a separation of Church and State and that all references to God and religion should be banished from the public square, as the liberals and the ACLU would have us believe.

Catching up

By Aussiegirl

Having temporarily and hopefully permanently solved some problem that prevented me from accessing the blog, I'll just post a few catch ups to get back in the swing of things before the Thanksgiving holiday.

President Bush's approval rating is up to 55% in the post-election period. I guess John Kerry and the democrats haven't heard that, as they are still droning on in their pre-election badmouthing of the President.

So, what's going on? Maybe it's George Soros having gone back to wherever it was he came from, and Moveon.org moving on -- or maybe we are all just so relieved not to have to face any more debates and endless punditry about how Kerry won the debates.

Or maybe it's the big dust-up in Chile when the President rescued his own Secret Service man and then smartly adjusted his shirt cuffs and went back to bidness.

Or maybe it's the fact that he is appointing all his yes men and women to all those sensitive jobs like Department of State and creating umbrage in all the highest reaches of the bureaucracies. Maybe the American people actually see that he intends to DO what he promised to do and they like that. Hey -- whaddya know? -- the guy's actually doing what he said he'd do. And he's cleaning house. How'dja like that, Mildred?

Or maybe it's the fact that the military is making great strides in Fallujah and other places in Iraq, and it appears that a more muscular policy is in place to ensure a free election in Iraq in January.

Onwards and upwards. Americans are sick of all the whining and carping and complaining. We want to get things done. This has always been a can-do kind of country, and this is a can-do kind of President.

And he hasn't even been inaugurated yet. That's what we like to see. No pomp and circumstance, no waiting on the niceties, just roll up the sleeves and get the job done cowboy style. The world and blue America are just going to have to get used to it. This cowboy is going to leave his bootprints on history and he doesn't care who he offends in town in order to do it.

Friday, November 19, 2004

BonnieBlueFlag gives Cindy Adams a history lesson

By BonnieBlueFlag

The New York Post
by Cindy Adams
November 19, 2004


FROM a blue-state New Yorker who still feels blue: "We should've let
the South go when they wanted to secede from the Union. Fighting for the
right to keep slaves? Those are the states we wanted to keep? Now we're
the arrogant Northeast liberal elite and they're the real America?

"We founded this country. Who do they think those wig-wearing,
lacy-shirt revolutionaries were who gave them the Second Amendment
allowing them the right to keep their assault weapons in the glove
compartment? Blue-staters from Boston, Philly, New York. That's why all
the monuments are up here! We won't let them visit the Liberty Bell and
Plymouth Rock anymore until they start respecting those other nine
amendments. Those stripes on the flag? Nine are for blue states. It'd
be 10 if those Vermonters had gotten their Subarus together and broken off from New York a little earlier.

"Northeasterners are arrogant? That's the cornerstone of what it means
to be American. And we wouldn't be so arrogant if it wasn't our money
paying for you! Those federal taxes you love to hate? Comes from us and
goes to you for your bridges, your hurricanes, your Tennessee Valley
stuff. Nine of the 10 states that get the most federal money and pay
the least? Red states. Eight of the 10 that receive the least and pay the
most? Blue. Which state has the lowest divorce rate? Massachusetts. Center of the gay marriage universe. And where's the highest? Ten of the top 10 are red states. But you-all go to church, right? At least that's what we hear about every election day. And who has the highest murder rates in the nation? You-all."

E-mail sent to the Attention of Cindy Adams this date.

Dear Mrs. Adams,

I have been a fan of yours for many years, even though I live in
fly-over country. I used to make a special point of watching
Geraldo when you were scheduled to appear, I check your column everyday and even share it with others. I was sad for you when your beloved Joey passed away, and was shocked and pained over your loss of Jazzy.

This morning, you slapped me in the face with your vicious article.
An article that was long on venom and short on historical facts. The
claim that you and yours "founded" this country was totally
ludicrous! If you will check an American history book, you will note
that most of the founding fathers were from Virginia, a former slave
state, and a current Red State. If you will further inform yourself
(and whoever you are supposedly quoting) of our American history, you
will note that the Civil War was "not" fought for the right to keep
slaves! It was fought for States Rights, something that you
"Northeast Liberals" are still trying to take away from us.
I listened to your tales of luncheons with Hillary Clinton without
making a judgment of you personally, even though I did not support
President Clinton.

When 9/11 occurred, money and help poured into New York from the Red States. Now we watch while that money is divvied up between some of the most greedy people in the world. We watched while you and other
New Yorkers treated the Republicans from the middle of the country like
they were all hicks and/or poor white trash, totally ignoring the
origins of your Bill Clinton.

I don't know who your ancestors were, but they were obviously content
to get off the boat in New York and not move another inch. This country
was founded and settled by those that got off the boat and kept moving
to tame a wilderness. The latter where the people who fought the
Revolutionary War so that we could have a Constitution that included a
Second Amendment. You didn't give us anything! We spilled the
blood to earn the right to have it!

Get over it. John Kerry was not elected to be our next president, and
thus you all will have to go another 4 years without all those fabulous
gala parties and dinners paid for by us lowly voters in the Red States.

A Former Fan

Written and Submitted by BonnieBlueFlag

Thursday, November 18, 2004

I'm a compassionate conservative today

By Aussiegirl

I'm watching the opening of the Clinton Library. I'm feeling compassionate. It's pouring down rain on Bill Clinton's last day in the sun. It's fitting somehow. Bill Clinton looks wan, thin, tired, pale and strangely disengaged. Perhaps depressed. I can only imagine how he looked forward to this day. How he envisioned it. It certainly wasn't on a cold day with a heavy steady rain drenching all the participants, the audience a sea of umbrellas and colorful pixie ponchos in bright colors of pink, blue and green. And he certainly didn't imagine being in ill health, tired and unable to hold forth with vigor and optimism for one last golden hour in the limelight.

It's fitting that Bill Clinton's Arkansas accent causes him to pronounce library -- "lie-bury". It's a perfect ending to a sorry period in our history, when America lived through a holiday from history as terrorist enemies gathered and strengthened.

President Bush 41 delivered himself of a charming, humorous and generous tribute, while George W. Bush spoke eloquently and graciously of Bill Clinton's childhood and career.

Hillary abbreviated her remarks because everyone was completely miserable and drenched by that point. But she made a curious statement that had an ominous ring. A Freudian slip? She stated that the stage represented the past, present and FUTURE of American politics. I saw the past, I saw the present -- but -- WHO could she possibly have had in mind for the future? Hmmmm?

And Bill Clinton? Well, if we waited for him to finally deliver himself of one final gracious, eloquent or memorable speech he failed miserably. We heard all the tired phrases -- "I worked so hard..." -- praised himself, criticized the President in his typically sly way. I think he hasn't spent enough time looking at trees lately. He's still just the same old Bill.

I'll refrain from all the tempting double-entendres about Monica and the blue dress and missing Rose law firm records. Let this day and the pouring rain and the trailer park museum stand as an edifice to a life misspent on ambitious self-aggrandizement and the seeking of power for power's sake and for personal prestige and enrichment and self-gratification. Let it stand as a monument to human hubris and failure of conscience and lack of will. It was a fitting ceremony. In the miserable cold and pouring rain.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Retro Democrats

By Aussiegirl

Brendan Miniter, in an excellent editorial in the Wall Street Journal, lays out some of the reasons Democrats keep losing elections. Plain and simple, they are plumb out of ideas:

"Why do Democrats keep losing? Because they have nothing to offer by way of reform.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004 12:01 a.m. EST
It's time to let Democrats in on a little secret. America is a land of perpetual rebirth and reform--always has been...

"What all this means for Democrats now, is that if they want to start winning elections again they need a reform agenda. Schools would be a great place for them to start. Instead of defending the status quo or trying the same old tired solution--more money--Democrats need to spend their time in the political wilderness thinking of what real reforms they can get behind."

And this brings up probably the most interesting point to ponder in our recent political history. Ever since the Clinton years it has become increasingly evident that the Democrat party has become a party hopelessly mired in the politics and emotions and culture of the swinging 60's. The heyday of their power. This was the era when all the Democrat social programs and ideas were still fresh and current. Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal had effectively introduced an American form of socialism by way of Social Security. The entirely noble and proper civil rights movements took place during these pivotal years and the vestiges of ugly discrimination and racism were at least publicly purged from our society. Schools were integrated, even if busing was perhaps not the best way to go about it. The great civil rights marches and the memorable speeches of Martin Luther King rang through the nation and riveted us as we listened in our living rooms on black and white television sets.

Then the Kennedy era promised a new day for democrats. Gone were the fusty old country club Republicans, and in came a young and vibrant President and his beautiful and stylish wife. For the first time in a long time young children ran around the White House, and for a moment American reveled (at least the Democrats did) in a new American royalty, who could hold their heads up even in the most sophisticated European capitals. Jackie took Paris by storm, and JFK famously introduced himself at a French State Dinner as "the man who accompanied Jacquelyn Kennedy to Paris". And come to think of it, perhaps this was the beginning of the Democrats fascination with being accepted by the French.

Then we had LBJ, with the War on Poverty and the tremendous expansion of the welfare state, further pushing the ambitions of Democrats, who envisioned a perfect socialism taking hold in America, where American wealth and abundance would be spread far and wide, creating the perfect model for the world to follow. They -- the Democrats -- would succeed where Stalin and Lenin had failed. A humane and perfect socialism.

Then of course an ugly fact got in the way of a beautiful idea. It was called Vietnam. Uncomfortably for the Democrats, Kennedy, their idol, had a strange aversion to Communist dictatorships, and got us involved in well-meaning, but ill-advised military adventures, the Cuban Crisis and the Bay of Pigs. And Democrats like to forget that it was Kennedy who first got America involved in Vietnam. LBJ, who campaigned on the slogan -- "I will never send our boys to fight and die in Vietnam" -- did just that, and greatly expanded the war, while at the same time tying the hands of the military and preventing them from completing the job properly. Perhaps he was the original Kerry -- he was both for and against winning the war.

And this exposed a fundamental rift in the Democrat foundation, their fundamental discomfort with wielding America's military might in the accomplishment of good in the world. A fundamental schizophrenia. How could they in all conscience be good Socialists, while militarily opposing their philosophical cousins, the Communist dicatorships of the world? Those places whose names always bore the words "People's Democratic Republic of..." -- places where you can be sure those words do not reflect either the interests of the "people", nor are they remotely "democratic" nor are they "republics".

So the Democrat party, which had been the party of Roosevelt and had fought a long and bloody war to defeat the Axis Powers in WWII, and of Truman who had dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and fought the Korean War, found itself more comfortable as the anti-war party.

Suddenly, with the failure of LBJ's Presidency, brought down by the mess he had made in Vietnam, Nixon was elected on a platform of ending the war. And suddenly it was Nixon's war. I bet if you ask any young person today, or even any Democrat, whose war was Vietnam? They would answer -- Nixon's war. Perhaps Nixon might have fought the war to a successful conclusion. But the anti-war forces, working with Communist front organizations with direct ties to the Soviets and to the North Vietnamese Communists, orchestrated the student riots opposing the war. Read David Horowitz for his riveting accounts of his activities during these times and what really went on at those organizing meetings.

And that brings us to our most recent Democrat Presidental contenders, Bill Clinton and John Kerry, and most of the journalists and academics and politicians currently making policy and laying out the Democrat agenda through various means. This was their birthing ground, the milieu which produced this generation of leaders.

This was their glorious moment in the sun. They were young, they were powerful, they were free for the first time, liberated from old ways of doing things, from sexual repression (the pill revolutionized sexual relationships). Everything got washed in a glaze of rock and roll and tie-dye shirts and jeans and pot and the general aura of revolution, anarchy and excitement. A heady mix for a young generation. Added to that was the new politics of "peace and love and justice" -- an irresistable mix of politics, drugs, lava-lamps, rock and roll, sex and power and an unshakeable belief in the rightness and correctness of their cause and their philosophy.

Both Bill Clinton and John Kerry were instrumental figures in the anti-war movement. Clinton organized anti-war rallies in England while a student at Oxford. Perhaps the time spent on organization demonstrations explains his failure to complete his Rhodes Scholarship degree. John Kerry came back from an abbreviated tour in Vietnam, where he stayed just long enough to collect the 3 Purple Hearts and you're out, and a Bronze and Silver star for good measure, and became the leader of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, making a name for himself by testifying about supposed war atrocities committed by our troops and approved by the entire chain of command, and by participating in major demonstrations. Both men had their eye on the presidency from their earliest years, and one would have thought that involving themselves in anti-government and anti-social demonstrations might not have been the best way to ensure a bright political future. But this proved to be their strongest point when it came to election time, at least for Democrats, that their generation, the pot-smoking, anti-establishment, anarchist, sexually open, socially free, intellectually and philosophically enlightened and liberated generation should finally have come to power to institute their flower power reforms from the top down. They were the annointed who would lead the people to the promised land of Socialist Utopia.

For fundamentally this generation had only changed on the outside and taken on the trappings of civilization. In their hearts still beat the rhythms of Janis Joplin and Jimmy Hendrix and the Stones. The memories of Woodstock were still strong. In their hearts they were still young. And Peter Paul and Mary were not old and fat and faintly embarrassing when they sang "Puff, the Magic Dragon" -- but powerful echoes of their vibrant youth, the days of protest and rage, the days when everything was possible. And Kerry happily bopped his head to the old tunes as the aged stars twanged out the old hits, and Kerry even nostalgically brought his fingers to his lips in a pantomime of dragging on a marijuana roach as PP&M strummed out the familiar tune. Ah, those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end.

But at the same time this generation was forming its Socialist zeitgeist there was another generation of young people who did not participate in these demonstrations, who did not succumb in any large-scale way to the mores of the time, who went to college, got jobs, married and had families and got on with their lives. Even back in the days of Nixon and Agnew the Republicans got mileage out of the phrase "nattering nabobs of negativity" to describe the endless carpings of the liberal press. Walter Cronkite was the Dan Rather of his day, declaring one fine day that the Vietnam war was lost, while removing his glasses in that authoritative, fatherly way, to pierce us with his steely gaze and pronounce ponderously, "And that's the way it is." The term "The Silent Majority" was coined back then to speak for the vast masses of middle America that had no voice in the outlets of the mainstream media. All the little people who got on with the job, fought the wars, earned the money and paid their taxes.

And so we come full circle. To today. The Democrats cannot give up their gloried past. Their beliefs have come to be a religion to them. A received wisdom and truth. They were right then, they are right now. Back then they had to fight the establishment to get them to listen. Today they ARE the establishment, but the people continue to be uncooperative. And the people have moved on and have been thinking their own ideas all this time.

And the Republican party, envigorated and reborn under the tutelage and guidance of the great Ronald Reagan, himself a Roosevelt democrat who had been unafraid to see the errors of the Democrat party and to recognize the dangers of Socialist thinking that had permeated the party, moved on and became the party of innovation and change.

The Republican party has become the party of the future, unafraid to change, to consider new ideas, to be pragmatic while still adhering to some fundamental principles.

And the difference ultimately between the parties? The Republican party is the natural home of the great American experiment in freedom and liberty and democracy. A party which firmly roots itself in the Constitution, The Declaration of Independence, and the boundless and forward thinking and ever renewing philosophies of the Founding Fathers. A party which builds on these foundations and takes into account the changing needs and faces of America, without ever losing sight of the anchors which bind us to democracy and the American dream.

The Democrat party, alas, has lost its way, and is unable to change. For they are wed inexorably to the failed policies of Old Europe, of stagnant socialism, paralyzed internationalism, and the doomed-to-failure dream of a One World Government.

It is for this reason that they are unable to offer any new ideas. It is for this reason that all they can do is criticize. They have forgotten that they are first, foremost and always, American patriots, who can never improve on the vision of the geniuses who founded this country.

They can only offer the failed prescriptions of the past. And the failed policies of Europe and a hopelessly corrupt UN, both of which are sinking into stagnation and disaster with their policies of appeasement and political correctness.

Post election blahs

By Aussiegirl

I don't know about anybody else, but I'm suffering post-election blahs. Now that George Bush has won the election there is something of a letdown after the inevitable euphoria. Sometimes politics just seems like one damn thing after another, with no end in sight. I'm sure I'll pick up interest again, but after the long build-up to the election and the endless outrages, media put-up jobs, and the daily barrage of lies that we had to bat down at every turn and on a daily basis, this post-election time seems rather dull and flat.

I think it's like post-partum depression. We finally gave birth to that baby, and it was a difficult pregnancy and the birth was touch and go for while there, but can't we take a few days to rest before we have to stay up all night with the midnight feedings? They used to let women rest in the hospital for a week after giving birth, now they kick them out within hours, it seems.

Come to think of it, I think I'm missing Theresa Heinz Kerry. And my daily fix of a goofy Kerry photo, tossing a ball in yet another limp-wristed display of middle-aged boasting. I miss the pink bunny suit. I miss the "shove it" controversy and all the delightful outrages of the ketchup heiress. I miss the shots of Theresa being dragged around and sulking at endless campaign stops. Let's face it, I miss having Kerry to kick around.

Who shall replace them, the Kerrys of Ketchup? For a while we had the spectacle of the liberal implosion as they hysterically declared the end of the world as they knew it. The dawning of a dark age -- or was that evening? But that is beginning to pall as well. The usual suspects are simmering down, the therapists have been consulted, Prozac has been duly administered, a few martinis have been downed in commiseration in all the best watering holes, and everyone has reassured everyone else that it is not liberals who are at fault, but the great unwashed and knuckle draggers who are to blame. Dry your tears, darling, they comforted each other, we can take comfort that we are still superior here in Blue Country.

So, what's exciting? The Specter spectacle was good for a few days, and is important of course, and perhaps once again, the people had some impact here. Even if Specter remains as chairman we can hope that he has been read the riot act as to how he is expected to conduct himself.

And Porter Goss seems to be ruffling not a few feathers at the CIA, which seems to have forgotten its motto of silence, and instead seems to have suffered from an extreme case of Oprah-itis in the last few years, with agent after agent spilling their guts to the media. Whatever happened to a really secret spook? I remember the days when you weren't even supposed to acknowledge that the CIA building in Langley, Va. WAS the CIA.

I am greatly cheered that Condi Rice seems to be the choice to clean house at the State Department, a place that makes the English sitcom, "Yes, Minister" look like child's play. The brilliant British satire that reputedly Margaret Thatcher never failed to watch, which depicted the scheming bureaucrat, Humphrey, whose job it was to ensure that no elected Minister or Prime Minister ever got his way, because it was always the bureaucracy, first, last and always that was vital.

So, perhaps I can rub my hands together in a bit of post-election glee. If George Bush is indeed going to exercise some really muscular leadership and finally clean house, without having to pussy-foot around worrying about the political impact, then we may be in for a very interesting time, indeed.

And I will admit, I'm kind of looking forward to the Inauguration. I'm still a sucker for the pomp and circumstance, the feeling of the future stretching out before us with all its glorious, unvarnished and unblemished promise, and all the possibilities -- real possibilities -- before the devil in the details starts to grind them down. I enjoy the gowns, I really want to see George and Laura dancing on their wonderful night. I want to see how Laura will be dressed. I want to see how the twins dress -- and Barbara -- and everyone else. I'm looking forward to the speeches and the parade too.

And, truth be known, I'm looking forward to this combat in Iraq to be over. I know, I know, I'm a coward. And I'm supposed to be gung-ho and sure of how wonderful everything is there. But I would be dishonest if I did not say that I have felt since the outset that we would have been better off not to go in with such a quick force and with ground troops at the beginning, with the big push to Baghdad. I would have been happier if we had ground Saddam's army into the dust with bombs. And that we had gone in with a huge force and quickly occupied the country, declaring martial law. I wished we had not had our hands tied with a politically sensitive war where we had to pick and choose and fight a surgical type of combat when an overwhelming show of force might have accomplished more. But, I am not a military strategist. And I am probably wrong. But I would venture to say that most Americans know that the job has to be finished, but that we want it finished as quickly and efficiently as possible. And with as few casualties as possible, using overwhelming air power whenever possible to avoid casualties. Let's do it right -- and get out.

One thing's for sure. It takes a person of a strong constitution and strong will to be a politician. And a person of exceptional fortitude and faith to survive as President.

God bless our troops. And God bless the President.

Monday, November 15, 2004

You might be a Republican if...

In honor of the results of our recent presidential election, after which 47% of Americans decided that the other 53% were right wing religious rednecks, here are a few of Jeff Foxworthy's definitions of a Redneck.� If you answer yes to any of these, you might be a Republican.

1. You have more than one living relative who is named after a Southern Civil War general.

2. You think the stock market has a fence around it.

3. Your boat has not left the driveway in 15 years.

4. You own a homemade fur coat.

5. The Home Shopping Channel operator recognizes your voice.

6. You think a subdivision is part of a math problem.

7. You've ever been involved in a custody fight over a huntin' dog.

8. Your baby's first words were, "Attention K-Mart shoppers."

9. The diploma hanging in your den contains the words, "Trucking Institute."

10. You fainted when you met Slim Whitman.

11. You have a very special baseball cap, just for formal occasions.

12. You need one more hole punched in your card to get a freebie at the House of Tattoos.

13. You are still holding on to Confederate money, because you think the South will rise again.

14. You have an Elvis Jell-O mold.

15. You think that John Deere Green, Ford Blue, and Primer Gray are the three primary colors.

16. You celebrate Groundhog Day, because you believe in it.

17. You've been on TV more than 5 times describing the sound of a tornado.

18. Your pocketknife has ever been referred to as Exhibit A.

19. Your sophisticated show-biz cousin is a rodeo clown.

20. You think people that send out graduation announcements are show-offs.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The real John Ashcroft

By BonnieBlueFlag

Allow me to take you back to the Missouri State US Senate election of November, 2000.� After opponent Mel Carnahan died in a plane crash, out of respect to the family, Sen. John Ashcroft stopped campaigning.

On election night, judges in St. Louis and Kansas City were mysteriously prepared to keep the polls open until 10 PM, an additional 3 hours of voting in known Democratic areas of the state.� Phones were ringing all over St. Louis City telling people to go to the polls well after the 7 PM closing time.

When John Ashcroft lost the election to a dead man, the Democrats were elated.� He could have easily contested the way the election was handled, and the appointment of Mrs. Jean Carnahan to fill her husband's seat in the Senate.� However, being the good man and the gentleman that he is, he refused to be confrontational with the widow of his opponent.

A short time later John Ashcroft's fans and supporters got the last laugh though, when it was announced that he had been chosen by President Bush for the office of the US Attorney General.

How did Jean Carnahan repay John Ashcroft for his kindness and deference to her?� Under the tutelage of Tom Daschle and Hillary Clinton, Mrs. Carnahan refused to be supportive of the nomination of this man from her home state.� She introduced him to the Senate, and then proceeded not to recommend him for the position.

I was very proud of John Ashcroft as our Attorney General, and I was confident from the beginning that he would do a wonderful job.

Almost from the start he was criticized by the Washington insiders for bringing his God to work with him.� Like the President, Ashcroft sought support and guidance in his faith.

I sincerely believe that the God of our founding fathers brought men like GW Bush and Ashcroft together, to shepherd our country through one of the most trying times of our history.

I also believe that it is largely due to the efforts of Attorney General Ashcroft that we have not experienced another terrorist attack like that of 9/11.
The Democrats and Liberals are very glad to see him resign, but they should be careful what they wish for, because the next Attorney General may not be as dedicated to their safety as Attorney General John Ashcroft was.

veritas meminit

VDH on Modern War

"We are in a postmodern age, where globalization, instant communication and the spread of moral equivalence make it hard to wage necessary wars against ogres like the Taliban or Saddam Hussein, since few believe in evil, much less of the need to eradicate it through force. The U.S. military not only must lose none of its own, but is expected to kill few of the enemy either requisites almost impossible to satisfy."
~~ Victor Davis Hanson

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Ms. Dowdy in livid technicolor

By BonnieBlueFlag

My Hero, Zell Miller

Sen. Zell Miller has finally said what many of us have been thinking for a long time regarding Maureen Dowd. This morning on the Imus program, he called her a" high brow hussy from New York City!"

No doubt about it, Sen. Miller is a real jewel, who has no problem calling them as he sees them.

On the Sunday Chis Matthews show, Ms. Dowd suddenly remarked that, "The Rapture is coming and you and I are going up, but all these hypocritical conservatives, who want to tell everyone what to do are not."

It is not the conservatives of this country who want to tell every one what to do. We were perfectly happy with a country founded on Christian values and laws based on the Ten Commandments. It is the liberals, who are insisting on telling us how we must change our lives to accommodate their immoral actions and desires.

Does Ms. Dowd truly believe that the path to eternal life and happiness winds through the abortion clinics, the courts that remove "God" from every aspect of our lives, or the neighborhood movie theaters featuring and encouraging the commission of every offense known to God?

I am not here to judge anyone else, certainly not Ms. Dowd, but I do regret that she would champion those who would lead others away from God.

Sen. Miller using his considerable powers of perception went on to say, "You can just see the horns sprouting up through that Technicolor hair." I will be eagerly awaiting Maureen Dowd's next TV appearance, to see if I too can actually sees those horns peeking through her Technicolor hair.


Monday, November 08, 2004

veritas meminit

�"When dealing with people remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudice, and motivated by pride and vanity."
~~ Dale Carnegie

Are they through yet?

By Aussiegirl

Well, here it is almost a week after the election, and the whining still hasn't ceased. In addition to being elitist bullies, the media and leftist coasts of this country have shown themselves to be poor losers and whiners as well as clueless. What a classy combination.

Personally, I'm more pleased than ever to find myself in complete disagreement with these people. Keep it up guys, you are really persuading lots of undecided voters to permanently align themselves with a party of reason and maturity.

Just continue to delude yourselves with visions of your unattainable superiority and how the masses are now demonstrably unteachable, as Jane Smiley famously opined in an infamous article on Slate magazine.

The plain fact is that the democrats have defined themselves down to a smaller and smaller coalition of out of touch minorities. They include the usual suspects of extremists on the subjects of the feminist and homosexual agendas, the extremes of the abortion spectrum, the environment, civil rights, national security and on and on. When you increasingly identify yourself with fringe ideas that only have coinage in Old Europe and parts of the fanatic Middle East you can't be surprised when you lose most of middle America.

It's too easy for them to sieze on the "morals" issue and the perceived power of the evangelical Christians as the excuse for losing so badly. The real truth is that the Republican party is now the majority party, which embraces a wide spectrum of views, people from a variety of income, education and religious backgrounds. I'm listening to Laura Ingraham's show and a caller just wanted to tell the democrats what a typical Bush voter was. He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University with a doctorate, a Jew and a moderate on social issues. Reagan's big tent Republican party is now a reality, and George Bush and Karl Rove have been patiently building a "new" Republican majority for years, patiently and steadily.
The Republican party is now supported by more Hispanics, Asians, blacks, Jews, women, blue-collar and educated people than ever before. It is supported by an increasing number of Catholics who are abandoning their traditional alignment with the democrat party over the issues of gay marriage and abortion. It is also supported by a large margin of voters who are former democrats and are moderate on social issues. And the hateful screeds emanating from the losing side only serve to underscore to normal people that the party of their parents and their youth has lost its collective mind and way and it's time to find a new home.

What unites these people? A variety of issues, obviously, but chief among them now is obviously national security. Domestic politics are a luxury that a free nation can engage in when it is at peace and free from attack and siege. The voter who has his eyes open sees that the international threat posed by Islamic fanatical fundamentalism is something that has to be addressed in a visionary way -- not on a piecemeal basis as a criminal matter.

And I do believe that George Bush's vision of "compassionate conservatism" has power to unite a wide variety of people under a common umbrella of shared values. We will wait for the new administration to unfold and for the Inaugural Address to see what agenda Bush has laid out for his second term. Certainly border and immigration issues must be addressed. And probably the most important domestic issue has to be judicial appointments. With several vacancies looming on the Supreme Court, this administration is set to influence public policy and outlook for a generation and more with its appointments.

And that brings us to Arlen Specter -- the spectre that is haunting this vital job.
Arlen Specter has shown that he is NOT the man to see President Bush's judicial nominees through the process of confirmation. The Republican party has shown itself in the past to be unafraid of reshuffling its ranks and breaking with protocol when necessary. Trent Lott was removed from the Majority Leader position when his unfortunate remarks created too much controversy. As always, the goals of the President and his agenda trump all individual prerogatives and Senatorial niceties. Specter obviously has an axe to grind and has gracelessly laid down an ultimatum to a newly elected president. He's obviously not on the team and too big for his britches. He's got to go.

And that's the way it is. I have to just shake my head in baffled amusement at the gnashing and wailing of teeth on the other side, the ludicrous talk of secession, etc. etc. etc. We have a country to run, I just don't want to bother with these people any more -- they annoy me and are beyond reaching.

The democrats and their media elites tried to win this through fraud and deception, because they knew they couldn't appeal on the basis of their true beliefs. Their conviction of the absolute rightness of their moral position frees them to engage
in any underhanded methods to achieve their power, because of the absolute certainty that they know best. They are not true "democrats" any more. They have become true elitists and have a mindset of fanatical ideologues to whom the end justifies any means.

These are the sorts of people and the kind of mindset that in other times and places led an elite that was convinced of the rightness of its cause to abandon democracy and the wisdom of the majority and to institute Marxist dictatorships and Fascistic government where the ELITE dictate to the masses what is and isn't right. They have lost the ability to lead by persuasion. What is left to them now? Secession? Or conversion by the sword?

No wonder they feel an underlying sympathy with the Islamofascists -- they have the same sense of religious messiannic zealotry that has driven all the usual suspects throughout history -- the religious ones, the political ones, the military ones.

Power to the people is obviously just an empty phrase to these ideologues. They despise the people.

Take a good look, America. You just dodged a very dangerous bullet. We are only beginning the fight to preserve our freedom.

More elections past and future

Schadenfreude time!

OK. Many of us are not thrilled with lawyers, to put it kindly. If that makes you uneasy, I suggest Luke 11:46. There is solace for everything in the Bible.

So, with guilty feelings set aside, let's look at John Edwards' likely political future, shall we, and indulge some well-earned post-election schadenfreude?

It's done in the form of a quiz. There's one question. Name the vice-presidential nominee on the losing ticket as far back as you can go. From memory, of course!

Since many of us here are politically well-versed, think how unknown Edwards will be to the general population from your recollections of past tickets.

And put on a Texas smirk as you swagger out to the 'fridge for an appropriate toast.

~~ veritas

Saturday, November 06, 2004

How the Swifties sank Kerry's Boat

Don't miss John B. Dwyer's article in The American Thinker wrapping up the Swiftboat story and where these brave guys are going from here. In his summation of the Swiftees campaign and their latest valiant battle for America's honor Dwyer lays out all the facts in a clear and salient way.

I am delighted to see that the Swifties are not disbanding. This festering wound that is the lie perpetuated by the leftist media since the Vietnam days needs to be completely exposed to the air. These people like Kerry and his ilk continue to live to this day on the lie of their youth -- that they helped stop an illegal and immoral war that America was losing. And in the process they defamed and slandered thousands of America's finest fighting men and enabled the communists to slaughter millions in the wake of America's retreat.

And Kerry did it again during this campaign, labeling all these honorable men as liars, frauds and cheats with the help of a complicit media, made up of his cohorts and co-protestors of those misbegotten years.

We cannot learn from history unless it is accurately portrayed and understood. This is even bigger than Kerry -- although he is the embodiment of that entire traitorous gang, that then went on to entrench themselves in power in the media, academia and politics.

How the Swifties helped sink Kerry
November 6th, 2004

In the aftermath of this historic election we ought to examine the important role the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth played in defeating John Kerry; how and why they sank his campaign yacht.

John Kerry had made his Vietnam service as a Swiftboat commander the centerpiece of his presidential campaign.� The men who knew him best could not and would not allow his lies and distortions about that service to go unchallenged.� Appearing at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on May 4, 2004, retired Rear Adm. Roy Hoffman announced the formation of the Swiftboat Veterans For Truth.� The officer who commanded these men in Vietnam now led them again in a new mission: "to counter the false war crimes charges that Kerry repeatedly made against Vietnam veterans who served in our units and elsewhere, and to accurately portray Kerry's brief tour as a junior grade lieutenant."� The Swifties also called for the release of all of Kerry's military and medical records.� The now-famous letter, declaring their mission statement, was released at the same time, carrying 260 signatures.



We get letters -- and some are better than others -- BonnieBlueFlag shares her thoughts on elections past, present and future.

By BonnieBlueFlag

I couldn't be happier about the out come of the election. And I think we all feel so wrung out, because we did work very hard for this election. Even if many of us were unable to go out and go door to door, we spent hours at our keyboards, in an effort to alert everyone we knew about the many things that were not being reported by the traditional media.

Even if none of us actually broke a story, we sure had a hand in spreading the news and the information. We helped get out the story of the Vets. We made many contributions by way of money and support that would not have been possible in years past.

Aussiegirl's earlier comparison of the Internet and the Blogs to Thomas Paine and the "Common Sense" pamphlet that he distributed in early America was right on point. And I feel proud to have been even a small part of the Revolution of 2004.
Great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather and his brothers fought in the Revolution of 1776, and I know that they would be proud that "we" did not let our country fall to the whims and desires of France, Germany and especially England.

President Bush will hopefully be able to make enough changes to the courts and to our economy so that even if a Democrat wins in 2008, we will be able to survive it for a few years. This election was so important, because Clinton had run the country into the ground and made us so vulnerable to attack and to the rest of the world's crazy socialist notions.

So many people talk about how wonderful everything was while Clinton was president, but his entire 8 years were the fruits of the previous 12 years of Reagan and Bush 41. Instead of building on what he was handed by them, he squandered it all for his own personal gain.

And Kerry was champing at the bit to make his own fortune off the backs of the Americans just like Clinton did. It would have been his big opportunity to become wealthy on his own, so he would no longer be beholden to Teresa and her dead husband's money.

Hopefully, we can keep Hollywood out of Washington, DC. I don't want the attitudes and mores of the Hollywood liberals tainting what I want done by my elected officials in DC!

Of course we must stay ever alert! We have to try and keep Arlen Specter from chairing the Judiciary Committee. His most recent comments about blocking the President's nominees is not the first time he has made such statements. I have thought he was a dangerous man and a RINO for a very long time.

I'm quite sure that there is a story about Specter walking around the Senate (I think), with a trail of toilet tissue hanging out of his trousers and no one wanted to tell him. So he isn't very well respected in his own circles either.

I got e-mails off to Missouri Senators Bond and Talent, and to Senator Frist of Tennessee, regarding Arlen Specter, and I know the Senate phone lines have been jammed with calls regarding same. So the work of the Bloggers must continue.

And if indeed Hillary plans to run in 2008, she has already begun to lay the groundwork to steal the election, because she knows that she cannot win it fairly. She will easily be the standard bearer for the Hollywood and media elite.

Christmas Card ideas from Carol


Or: The Magic Hat of Christmas Past. Only worn once by a tall french
looking putz.

Or: Letter to Santa: Thanks for all those Christmas Dwarves from last

Anyway, we got our turkeys delivered early this year. Yum. Yum. There must be recipes in here someplace, no?

What are the democrats gonna do? Have Christmas in Canada?

Friday, November 05, 2004

Another Classified Ad

For Sale

A Bargain!

Complete set of John Kerry quotations: 19 derisive quotes; 14 gigolo references; 23 mockings; 15 stupidity notations; 27 "Don't You Know Who I Am?" variations; 143 positions on Iraq; and 43,792 "I Fought In Vietnam!" iterations [yes, this last group is only the starter set].

Will separate.

Set as described: 12 cents OBO.

Contact veritas via Ultima Thule

Classified Ads

By BonnieBlueFlag

For Sale: One Utah Mountain with Ranch, lock, stock and barrel, priced for immediate sale. Owner wishes to relocate to Ireland as quickly as possible. Please contact R. Redford at Red@sundance.com.

For Sale: Immediate Occupancy Available. Very unique estate and mansion, completely handicap accessible. Indoor swimming pool and therapeutic hot tub with lift for easy handicapped entry. 30 bedrooms, 15 with two way mirrors, numerous wheelchair ramps, multiple movie theaters with complete XXXXX rated film library. Please e-mail Larry F. at sexy@pervert.com. Owner wishes to leave the country as quickly as possible, will sacrifice.

For Sale: Overstock of T-shirts with "Vote Or Die!" logo. Assorted sizes and colors, complete inventory (approximately 10,700) available for $19.99 plus S&H, or best offer. Contact P. Diddy at Puffy@gangster.com

For Sale: One airplane "as is." Price has been discounted to reflect the gin and raisin stains on the carpeting, and the peanut butter and jelly stains on the upholstery. Low mileage, used for less than one year, exterior has been painted with a patriotic theme, perfect for someone named Kerry Edwards. Please get in touch with Mrs. Heinz's personal attorney in the Cayman Islands by e-mail at www.gotketchup.com.

Two Blonde Guys

Well, the election is over, and we can all take a breather for a day or two before plunging back into the fray. And while I ponder the meaning of it all and try to write something coherent -- how about we all kick back and enjoy a really good joke -- we earned it!!

Two Blonde Guys ..

It's not too often that you hear a joke about blonde guys..

Two blonde guys were working for the city works department. One would dig a hole and the other would follow behind him and fill the hole in.

They worked up one side of the street, then down the other, then moved on to the next street, working furiously all day without rest, one guy digging a hole, the other guy filling it in again.

An onlooker was amazed at their hard work, but couldn't understand what they were doing. So he asked the hole digger,....... "I'm impressed by the effort you two are putting into your work, but I don't get it -- why do you dig a hole, only to have your partner follow behind and fill it up again?"

The hole digger wiped his brow and sighed, "Well, I suppose it probably looks odd because we're normally a three-man team.

But today the guy who plants the trees called in sick."

Thursday, November 04, 2004

We all played our part

Thanks from veritas

Thanks for every vote, every phone call, every bumper sticker, every ferried voter, every yard sign -- everything done by each one of you in helping re-elect President Bush.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Afterthoughts and aftershocks

By Aussiegirl

Well, friends, it's the morning after the night before -- and the smell of sweet victory is in the air. And to see mainstream America triumph over the mainstream media is a heartening sign that America is still America.

America won one for the Gipper last night. The long lines of real America that stood reverently by the roadside for hours just to pay their last respects to that giant of the 20th Century turned out once again yesterday in record numbers to let the elites know -- we are the real America -- and we still have a voice.

Oh, what a triumph for goodness. For conservative values. For common sense. For decency. For honesty. For faith. For peace through strength. For security.

And now for a post-mortem -- of the dem party and its tactics of hatred and rage and this latest blunder down another electoral blind alley.

We all know the almost unsuperable odds that Bush had to overcome to win this resounding victory.

So yesterday we had the last gasp of the MSM -- the very last attempt to manipulate the election by grossly skewing the exit polls. By the time I heard some of the early exit polls showing a big Kerry win I simply tuned out for the rest of the evening, knowing that the exit polls had to be rigged. I tuned back in this morning to find what was to be expected -- a resounding George Bush victory.

And now for John Kerry. Graceless to the end he didn't even have the manners and gratitude to make an appearance before his own supporters, who partied into the wee hours of the morning, hoping and waiting to hear from their candidate. But no, a coward to the end, Kerry sent out his sock puppet, Edwards, to thank the crowd for their hard work and to inform them that they would wait until the morning to decide what to do. You'd think he'd have the decency to get out there and thank those people himself. But -- why are we surprised?

This morning the continuous shots of Kerry's front door at his Beacon Hill Townhouse -- a front door appropriately painted black with a rather funereal wreath of brown, dead flowers -- looked for all the world like a public death watch. The world watching and waiting for the news to come. The king is dead -- long live the king. And I half expected the doors to open and the casket to be borne reverently out into the streets to the strains of a funeral dirge. I couldn't be happier.

And in yet another graceless act, in a campaign of nothing but graceless acts, Kerry not only refused to concede late last night when it was obvious to all that he couldn't prevail, but he kept posponing his decision today -- from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. and now - finally -- we hear it will be at 2 p.m. What's he waiting for? are his nails not dry yet? Is the pompadour not on straight. Or is he simply sleeping in and can't be bothered with the niceties?

And then -- another graceless act. From what we hear of the gist of the conversation which passed between the president and Kerry, the president, in his usual manner as a decent human being and gentleman, did the honorable thing. He complimented Kerry as a tough and worthy opponent who fought a hard and good battle. He thanked him for his fine service to his country, etc. etc. And Kerry? Responded that the country was divided!!! Yup!! -- And guess whose fault that is??? Hmmmm? What a low-down sorry and shameless way to "concede" the election.

I'm waiting now to hear him speak at 2 p.m. Let's see if he can muster even a scrap of decency out of this shamefest that was this campaign to steal an election and demoralize America in a time of war.

Can the man do ONE thing well and decently in his life? He's really already passed the point of doing that. He should have done it last night.

More thoughts from veritas:

Our gracious hostess has again distilled the essence of a matter. The entire Democrat effort this year has been graceless. Graceless candidates, graceless wives, graceless surrogates -- the only Democrat with any grace was Zell Miller, who was a trooper for the President's re-election!

For me, a confirming moment for all this gracelessness [which comes to mind only for its being so recent, not its uniqueness] was Edwards turning his introduction of Kerry's concession speech into Edwards' first speech of his 2008 Presidential campaign. Shameless. Tasteless. Graceless.

It's no wonder we preferred the graciousness [and strength] of the Bushes to the moneyed crassness of the Heinz-Kerry and her step-gigolo.