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March 2004

Florida 2004 - Stealing the Election

So here I am in Naples, Florida - enjoying the beautiful weather and spending time with my family. There's a lot to love about Florida. Then, again, there are some things that deserve a bit of scrutiny.

Did you know that if Florida's convicted criminals were allowed to vote in the 2000 election, Al Gore would be President?

That's the claim made in the NY Times, Sunday. And the Democrats are thinking of re-infranchising the voting rights of felons in Florida in order to lock up victory later this year.

FIGHTING FOR FLORIDA - Disenfranchised Florida Felons Struggle to Regain Their Rights
...Critics say that President Bush would have lost in 2000 if disenfranchised felons had been allowed to vote. A 2001 report by a University of Minnesota sociologist counted more than 600,000 in Florida, not including those still in prison, on parole or on probation. More than one in four black men here may not vote, the report found. The state says it is impossible to know how many disenfranchised felons live here, because some have died or moved.
If you read the article, you will see that there is a voting right clemency procedure in place in which Governor Bush reviews each case. In fact, for some crimes, clemency is automatically reviewed.

The Democratic National Committee New Motto - Where 'Voters of Conviction' Means More Than Just Strong Beliefs

Troop Morale

Greyhawk of the Mudville Gazette has some excellent posts about troop morale in Iraq.

From my own experiences, I can tell you that Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines all bitch about their leaders. They bitch about living in sand storms. They bitch about cold fake eggs for breakfast. They bitch about carrying a 40 pound ruck through the rain. They bitch about everything. Everything. Why shouldn't they? Life in the military is tough. And, as Greyhawk points out, it also won't get any better unless someone complains.

I can also tell you that most complaints are said with a dry sense of humor. When everyone suffers, it's almost humorous. When one suffers, it's detrimental to morale.

But I would bet you that, even with all of the complaining, the vast majority wouldn't say that their morale would decrease the effectiveness of the mission. Most would follow their leaders into hell if required (although they would probably bitch about the temperature).

I'll tell you what I think is the greatest fear of every Soldier, Sailor, Airmen, or Marine overseas and what would be the greatest detriment to troop morale - to be forgotten.

That's why I post about things that YOU can do to help the troops.

That's why the Ohio Patriot Plan is important to those deployed soldiers who will return to the Buckeye State.

That's why Phil Carter at Intel Dump is going to bat for mistreated soldiers. Some of you helped me to join a similar effort against Country Insurance.

You have the power to ensure that we won't lose the War on Terror. As long as those troops who are fighting for us know that they will come back to a greatful nation, their morale might be low at times but it won't take them out of the fight.

Update: Jennifer sends this question and link about someone running for President of the United States of America

What do you think this did to troop morale in Viet Nam?
Well, Jennifer, I am not a Viet Nam vet, but I doubt that it did anything positive for anyone.

One final note, I served under Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush. In my opinion, President Clinton was by far the worse for morale. Any in the Special Operations community will tell you that they believed that Clinton exhibited scorn for the military. Clinton was the epitome of the Cut-N-Run president - one that we hope won't return, ever.

We just ask that, if you commit us to a fight, you commit us to win that fight. I doubt that John Kerry, whether flexing with the opinion polls or his own non-decisive nature, could really make that committment.

Bush Supporters Attacked In Boston

If you haven't read or heard about the Margolis Incident, you should check out Matt Margolis' version of what happened in Boston. Tyler and Aaron of Pardon My English were there, too.

Check out the posts. There some buzz around this incident as Drudge Report, news media, and Rush Limbaugh have talked about the incident.

It's been my experience that there are a$$es in both parties (or anywhere you go). It's unfortunate that this happened. And more will probably happen in big union towns like NY, Boston, or Chicago.

Update: Geoffrey of Dog Snot Diaries was there as well and has an interesting post about it (with links to pictures).

Kerry Uses Some Words That He Shouldn't Be Using

I can't believe that John Kerry is comparing US companies to Benedict Arnold. This coming from a guy who testified that all vietnam servicemen were committing atrocities?

Kerry's Plan Targets 'Benedict Arnolds'

WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (news - web sites) on Friday unveiled his plan to deal with "Benedict Arnold" companies that he has repeatedly criticized during the campaign for reaping tax benefits while shipping U.S. jobs overseas.

But his proposal to end an estimated $12 billion annually in corporate tax relief is certain to stir stiff opposition from some of America's largest multinational companies who are currently enjoying those breaks. And private economists questioned whether it would do much to halt the hemorrhaging of manufacturing jobs to foreign countries.

Speaking at Wayne State University in Detroit, Kerry said his corporate tax proposal was part of a comprehensive economic plan he will put forward in coming weeks to create 10 million jobs during the first four years of a Kerry administration...

Yeah, John Kerry, while the companies definitely are trying to make a buck instead of caring about the workforce, they still aren't traitors. Maybe, Kerry is just trying to deflect criticism like this or this, or this.

Math quiz: And, BTW, if we have 8 million unemployed in this country, what the hell are we going to do with 10 million more jobs - ain't that 2 million more than we can use.

Catching Up on Email

Apologies if you sent me an email and it's taking awhile to hear back.

I am actually on vacation in Naples, Florida, and working through dial-up. Maybe, I'll try to find Frank.

I'll try to get back to everyone...eventually...in between Bombay Sapphire martinis and building sand castles with Little Blackfive.

I'll also continue to post a bit so no real hiatus for the blog.

It's Going To Be A...

Many of you know that my wife is pregnant, and, as a result, has Hyperemesis Gravidium. With our first child, she had to get fed by IV for about six months. A little sip of water would cause her to throw up.

This time it didn't last as long (plus, the advances in treatment of h-g have been incredible in just a few years). In fact, she's a little over five months and doing much better. She's been eating more and more everyday. Two days ago, we ate Chinese food for the first time in six months! Man, I missed Kung Pao and Kirin Lager.

Anyway, this morning we found out the sex of our baby.

Continue reading "It's Going To Be A..." »

HALO and Rising Sun

This is good news. I like XBox a lot. My time as a grad student has something to do with it.

When I was a grad student at the U of Chicago, my grad advisor quit teaching to go work for XBox. He had been developing games for years and was one of the creators of Marathon which was the precursor to Doom. He was a cool grad advisor.

    Cool Grad Advisor: "Hey, Matt, want to discuss my new Algorithm? It'll only take about five hours."

    Me: "Not really."

    CGA: "Want to go to Jimmy's, get a beer and talk transport protocols for XBox."

    Me: "Um. Hell, yeah."

After he left, I was assigned to a real pain-in-the-ass who discovered that I hadn't taken his Super Advanced Algorithms for Masocist Geniuses class. It had five math problems per week that took me about 30 hours and 40 pages (typed) to finish. I was ready to commit homicide. And, to top it all off, he was a socialist who believed that the government should pay him to sit and think about stuff. I had to listen to that crap all of the time.

"The University of Chicago - Where Fun Comes To Die!"

That, ladies and gentlemen, is what I call a major digression.

Back to the point. I love video games. Lately, I have been consumed by two games. I only like to play one game at a time until I finish it.

    HALO for XBox (I heard that the PC version was a lot better)


    Medal of Honor: Rising Sun for Nintendo GameCube

HALO is fun. I like the fact that you can only carry two weapons - some games allow you to carry fifteen different weapons (like Turok which I like, too). I don't like the vehicle parts too much, but the sniping is good stuff. HALO is the exception to my one game rule. I stop playing HALO for weeks or months and come back to it.

Rising Sun has been somewhat of a diappointment. I finished it in four nights. I liked Frontline better. I have said in previous posts that there's only one thing better than killing Nazis, and that's drinking beer and killing Nazis. Maybe it is just better than blowing up Saki and shooting Niponese soldiers. It just wasn't as good as the first one. Or maybe it was as good and I wanted something more...and the ending sucked. I guess there is going to be a Rising Sun Part 2.

The point of this post: Anyone have any recommendations on new games?

Don Bendel on John Kerry

Jen Martinez has an excellent rebuttal and editorial by Don Bendel. Jen has posted his editorials several times. They are all well worth the time to read...

In Don Bendel's editorial, he talks about HIGHLY decorated veterans that dislike John Kerry. One of them happens to be Colonel (ret.) Ola Mize - a man that I blogged about on my very first day as a blogger. Here is what I wrote:

Please understand that is was a great duty to escort a MOH winner - so I didn't complain - hell, I wanted to meet the heroes and I ended up as escort officer for Ola Mize. He was a Sergeant when he received the MOH and ended his career in the Army as a Colonel. He was a great guy, very easy going and funny. I really liked being around him. I even had the Division Staff Duty Officer - charged with knowing everything that was going on at night and had keys to open every building - open the bowling alley on base for Colonel Mize at midnight so we could bowl and have a beer. After bowling, I dropped the colonel off at his VIP suite. I caught up with the other junior officers who escorted MOH winners that day, and the consensus was that every single one of them were great guys. All of us had been treated with enormous respect. Hell, I bowled and drank beers with an amazing American hero that I would have willingly carried on my back around the base.

After the initial night, Colonel Mize received a higher ranking officer to escort him around by daylight. So, I said my goodbyes, shook the colonel's hand, and went to find out if I was still needed for escort duty. Colonel Mize's last words to me were, "Someday, Matt, you will have the honor of being led around by a lieutenant. When that day comes, don't be a jackass."

I wish that I could introduce each of you to a Lee Mize or Al Lynch. You would NEVER know that they were heroes - even after talking to them for an hour - until someone mentioned that they were awarded the Medal of Honor. Then, some of you Kerry supporters would understand why we vets find Kerry so undesirable. He's not much of a man.

Forget, for a minute, Kerry's voting record or disgraceful actions after the Vietnam War. Forget all of the stories out of Massachusets and D.C. about Kerry's propensity to say, "Do you know who I am?". Forget his penchant for rich women. Forget about his claims of foreign leaders supporting his candidacy. Forget the way he called one of his Secret Service agents a son-of-a-bitch. Forget that he called the Bush team "lying crooks". Uh-oh, I seem to have gotten carried away trying to forget all of the parts of John Kerry that I find disgusting.

Just think about what kind of man he is...because he ain't George Bush and he sure as hell ain't no Ola Mize.