Thursday, September 02, 2004

My Shot Left Foot

Thanks for the Memory to VodkaPundit and Darth Apathy.

Aside from the veracity of his claims and their bearing on his qualifications for the Presidency, one of the primary reasons so many veterans take issue with John Kerry, and one of the reasons the Swift Boat Vets for the Truth have come after him so hard has to do with his anti-war activities after the war. They feel he has defamed them and dishonored their service and their memory. Many would like to hear him apologize. Recently President Bush suggested to Brit Hume that that would be a good idea for Kerry. Kerry's Response? "There will be no apology."

I guess his theory is, if he shoots himself in the OTHER foot, then it'll even things out and his campaign won't limp as badly. It doesn't work like that, Johnny.

He was already slipping in the polls among veterans. I wouldn't be surprised if he polls as low as 25% after this.

You Might Be From The Pacific Northwest If:

1. You know the state flower (Mildew).
2. You feel guilty throwing aluminum cans or paper in the trash.
3. Use the statement "sun break" and know what it means.
4. You know more than 10 ways to order coffee.
5. You know more people who own boats than air conditioners.
6. You feel overdressed wearing a suit to a nice restaurant.
7. You stand on a deserted corner in the rain waiting for the "Walk" signal.
8. You believe that if it has no snow or has not recently erupted, it is not a real mountain.
9. You can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle's Best, and Veneto's
10. You know the difference between Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye salmon.
11. You know how to pronounce Sequim, Puyallup, Issaquah, Oregon, and Willamette.
12. You consider swimming an indoor sport.
13. You can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese and Thai food.
14. In winter, you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark-while only working eight-hour days.
15. You never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho.
16. You are not fazed by "Today's forecast: showers followed by rain," and “Tomorrow's forecast: rain followed by showers."
17. You cannot wait for a day with "showers and sun breaks."
18. You have no concept of humidity without precipitation.
19. You know that Boring is a town in Oregon and not just a state of mind.
20. You can point to at least two volcanoes, even if you cannot see through the cloud cover.
You notice that "the mountain is out" when it is a pretty day and you can actually see it.
22. You put on your shorts when the temperature gets above 50, but still wear your hiking boots and parka.
23. You switch to your sandals when it gets about 60, but keep the socks on.
24. You have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain.
25. You think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or tourists.
26. You knew immediately that the view out of Frasiers window was a fake.
27. You buy new sunglasses every year, because you can't find the old ones after such a long time.
28. You measure distance in hours.
29. You often switch from "heat" to "a/c" in the same day.
30. You use a down comforter in the summer.
31. You carry jumper cables in your car and your wife knows how to use them.
32. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit under a raincoat.
33. You know all the important seasons: Almost Winter; Winter; Still Raining (aka Spring); Road Construction (Summer); Deer & Elk season (Fall).
34. You go to the coast, never the beach.

UPDATE: #34 contributed by fellow conservative AND Nor'wester Stephen of Doggerrel Pundit.

Somebody Had to Say It

A while back, I got a trackback from an excellent blog called Naked Villainy (I've been meaning to thank them, I probably will today). Ever since, I've read it and found it to be well-written and frighteningly in agreement with me on some obscure things.

That was especially borne out today, when they did something I've wanted to do for some time: Go ballistic on the California Cows commercials.

To take things a step further, not only do I agree with their deconstruction of the "Happy Cow" argument, I can tell you from experience, I am unimpressed with the quality of California cheese, especially sharp cheddar, my personal favorite.

Now I'm biased, but I think that in respect to both what constitutes happy cows, and what constitutes good cheese, a better option would be that offered by the Tillamook County Creamery Association, a favorite here in Oregon and an annual contender in national competitions. Their Black Label Extra Sharp White Cheddar is evilly good. Small craft cheesemakers are beginning to pop up all over the state, but Tillamook manages to put out large quantities of high quality cheese thanks to a cooperative agreement with the dairies in their area, an area whose annual rainfall and mild coastal climate makes for lush, green grass year round for the cows.

Shot Down By a Flyer

Originally posted at 7:16 AM PDT, 1 September, 2004.

Thanks for the Memory to Russ at TacJammer. Russ got this from Blackfive.

It was looking for a while like the focus on the RNC would divert attention from the issue of Kerry's Viet Nam service and all the controversy surrounding it. But today, WorldNetDaily released an article detailing the contents of an anti-war flyer distributed by VVAW back in Kerry's day. A picture of the actual flyer can be seen at Perry on Politics.

I'll say here essentially what I said on Blackfive's blog:

As a civilian, I make a conscious effort to maintain a certain level of respect towards the military. I recognize that for over 200 years now, the sacrifices made by the men and women of the armed services have afforded me the freedoms I enjoy as an American. For this reason, I feel that it is incumbent upon those of us who cannot or do not serve to show them our gratitude and respect, in two ways: By how we treat those individuals, and how we treat the freedoms they've bought us. That's where this whole John Kerry thing throws me in to conflict.

For starters, under normal circumstances I would not feel qualified to comment on the service record of anyone who has served. That's disrespectful of me as someone who has never and will never serve. This is part of my policy of showing respect towards servicemembers and veterans.

But this issue touches on the other, perhaps more important policy of treating the freedoms I enjoy because of those servicemembers with respect. To me this means defending them (to a lesser extent than the military, but still vital) when necessary and possible, and exercizing those freedoms responsibly.

Perhaps the greatest of those freedoms, the one which carries the greatest power and necessity for responsible exercize, and the one that is both a right and a duty, is the right to vote. If we all fail to vote, if we all throw our rights away, then the sacrifices of the military are in vain. They died to make us free, let us act as free men should.

Now we have an election in which John F Kerry has presented himself as a candidate for the presidency of the United States of America. As part of his campaign, he has presented his record asd a veteran as proof of his qualifications for the job. This makes his service record an issue I am now willing to consider and comment on, since in my mind, the obligation of respect for the rights easrned takes precedence over the obligation of respect for the individual who served those rights. If Kerry tells me that his Vietnam service is a reason to vote for him, then I should make an effort to weigh that claim. I find it wanting.

Furthermore, I feel that this flyer shows disrespect for his fellow servicemembers, which is in istelf almost inexcusable. If he were truly, as he believed, showing greater respect for freedom by doing this, it might be different. But the antiwar movement of which he was a part was encouraging the defeat of the forces of freedom, and encourasging the North Vietnamese. In this, the flyer violates both obligations.

I would be doing the same by voting for him.


Thanks to Vic at Darth Apathy, I now have a copy of the flyer to view here:

Update II:
9:56 AM PDT, 2 September, 2004

Reader vnjagvet over at Blackfive's blog weighed in with a vet's point of view. He puts it so well, I obtained his permission to reprint the comments here:

Ask five VN Vets whether they think John Kerry is fit to be commander in chief in 2004. One might say yes. Duck from the reaction of the rest.

Here's why:

The undisputed facts really show:

First: Kerry is at best a serial exaggerator who stakes his campaign on the premise that 4 months service in Vietnam as a junior officer over thirty years ago demonstrates beyond doubt that he is qualified to command our troops in war. His four months prove no such thing, and his “defenses” over the last month prove he cannot lead anyone to get a straight story out regarding why that service was so much better than the 2.5 million who served there that he should be elected President. Moreover, his failure to authorize disclosure of his complete record demonstrates he does not want this truth to come out.

Second: Kerry's overt anti war activities while still a commissioned officer in the United States Naval Reserve (he was not discharged until 1978) consisted at bottom of delivering the talking points of the People's Republic of North Vietnam with his unqualified endorsement before the United States Senate and elsewhere. In so doing he gave the unmistakable appearance of corroborating enemy propaganda the likes of which had not been seen since Axis Sally. It has not been seen since.

Third, and most important, he has given voice from 1966 to the present to a philosophy that the United States should look to the European community (particularly France and Germany) for the best way to defend its national interests, and to preserve, protect and defend the the United States. That is the one thread that has been consistent throughout his political career.
In my opinion, such a man is truly unfit to command our troops in the ongoing war against the Islamic Radicals who, since at least 1993 have sought to destroy us.

I believe internal polling reveals that an overwhelming majority of those who have been and are now "in harm's way" passionately believe this. If you don't believe me, ask them.

Thank you for your comments, vnjagvet, and thanks especially for your service.