Vets Not All Kerry’s “Brothers.”

Vets rally outside Kerry’s city HQ

With only three days to go before Tuesday’s Democratic primary, Vietnam veterans rallied Saturday outside Sen. John Kerry’s campaign headquarters in Manhattan – but a Band of Brothers they were not.

Side by side with a coalition of Vietnamese-Americans from across the country, members of the Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry chanted “Commander-in-Chief Kerry? No Way!” under banners and signs decrying the Democratic front-runner as a traitor.

John Kerry might end up being sorry he started the whole Vietnam record thing. Although he was praised by the press and the glitterari for his war opposition, he is not so well regarded by actual veterans or Vietnamese.

This ad-hoc group managed to put together a 400 person demonstration in three weeks. But the Bush campaign should stay far away from veterans groups criticizing Kerry. Just let them do their thing, it’ll be enough.

Hypocrisy, Thy Name Is Liberal

TIME – Richard Corliss – Holy Hypocrisies

Liberals’ and being a member of the media, I of course count myself among them – can be a pretty funny bunch. When we are sympathetic to a controversial work of pop culture, we invoke the artist?s right to create in an climate of total freedom, whatever feelings of outrage the work may stoke among the ignorati. (That is: other people.) When we disapprove, we talk about his responsibility to the sensitivities and sensibilities of good people. (That is: us.) So, in the aesthetico-religious sphere, we defend Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ,” which portrays Jesus as a human who slowly learns he’s divine, and Kevin Smith’s “Dogma,” a raw comedy about an abortion-clinic worker who is a lineal descendant of Jesus.

Critics love to bash Christians. I don’t really understand this. Supposedly, art in America is considered protected by the First Amendment. But where any art that causes discomfort among Christians is considered justifiable, any art that considers their faith is somehow suspect. There is no feeling that the beliefs or feeling of Christians must be respected.

On the other hand, there was the outcry when Mayor Guiliani of New York tried to withhold funding from a museum that sought out and displayed a portrait of the Virgin Mary made from dung. This we were told was unconscionable interference with the artists First Amendment rights. In January of 2003 a gallery withdrew a Koran with a Buddah carved in it from their exhibit because complaints (and threats) were received from Muslims.

Shouldn’t these critics be honoring Mel Gibson instead of pillorying him? What happened to artistic freedom?

A View Of Kerry From The Left

Will the Real John Kerry Please Stand Up?

Watching Sen. John Kerry’s presidential campaign break down and then later surge has come as a big surprise. For over four years, Kerry has made it known that he desired the Oval Office and his place in history.

As someone who has watched Kerry over the years, seen him in other races, and observed him lose all spine when the tough votes came along, his surge is a big surprise. For 18 years, Kerry has done very little he can point to by way of accomplishment.

In fact, there seems very little to recommend him other than the media awarded “most electable” title.

North Korea, Alway Unreliable.

N. Korea Retreats From Offer on Nuclear Plans (washingtonpost.com)

BEIJING, Feb. 29 — Six-nation talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program ended Saturday with little progress as Pyongyang backed away from an earlier offer of a freeze and declared instead it intends to maintain a civilian nuclear energy industry.

Oh, sure, “civilian nuclear energy”. There is no “civilian” anything in North Korea. It’s the same old bait and switch routine they have been using for years.

Bureaucracies Once Again Prove Incompetent

Agencies Brushed Off Lead Warnings (washingtonpost.com)

The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority and the Army Corps of Engineers rejected warnings from consultants who said as early as 1994 that lead contamination was a serious threat because of the way the two agencies were managing the water supply, according to records and interviews.

“It looks like operator incompetence,” said Jim Elder, who from 1990 to 1995 was the director of the drinking water program at the Environmental Protection Agency. “They knew what to do for years, and they didn’t take the basic steps to protect the public, even when the problem was obvious.”

More incompetence from Washington D.C. bureaucracies? This should not be news to anyone, incompetence is the normal state of government.

If this were a private company, politicians would be screaming to jail the CEO and executives. In this case, there will be headlines for a couple of week, then everything will return to normal.

Someone may retire, someone else may resign, and that will be the end of it. Back to business as usual.

City Claims Poverty, But Continues To Spend

Corvalllis sends mixed money messages

CORVALLIS – If a sign on a model dinosaur in the Osborn Aquatic Center lobby recently was to be believed, the public pool was on the verge of extinction.

The book deposit in the rear parking lot of the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library is plastered with signs saying, “Closed Saturday nights and Sunday mornings (Due to budget cuts).”
Another sign at the library information desk explains why 2003 tax forms are not available as they were in previous years.

“The library greatly reduced the number of forms ordered because of budget service reductions,” it reads.

And in the publication “Your City: Your Voice” that was distributed this winter, Corvallis officials describe the current financial outlook for fire, parks and recreation, land-use planning, police, transit and library services as “grim.”

The brochure and a six-week public outreach campaign solicited feedback on how the city could balance expenditures with revenue.

The conclusion drawn by many people was that city services and programs were in peril.

In fact, the city has painted such a bleak financial picture that it came as a surprise to many people when, earlier this month, the City Council decided to open a new fire station and hire nine more firefighters without raising taxes.

City finance director Nancy Brewer said revenue projections for the fiscal year beginning July 1 are that the city will end the year with a $500,000 positive balance, after adding funding for the fire station and without having to make any cuts.

So where did the money come from?

Corvallis is one of the richest towns in Oregon. Corvallis and Benton County is the home of Oregon State University, a large Hewlett-Packard facility and numerous secondary companies. During the last recession they had the lowest unemployment rate in the state. In fact, they usually have the lowest unemployment in the state. The county is small, the population well educated and the property values and rents are so high that the “poor” cannot afford to live there. They live across the river in Linn County, which has one of the highest rates of unemployment.

They are upset because the latest tax measure failed. They and public agencies throughout the State have been promising cuts if the tax increase did not pass. If cuts they promised, cuts there will be. They do have extra money but instead of using it to fund operations, they spent it on a new fire station and crew. The extra money will only pay for the current year and insure that additional funds will be needed.

So they warn of cuts. Not saying when the cuts will happen. They have warned the public and now they are going to make sure their prophecies come true.

This is not confined to Corvallis though. I recently called the local Child Welfare office during lunch and got their answering machine. They say on their message that due to budget cuts they are only open from 8 AM to 5 PM. That has been their normal hours for as long as I have been in my present position (15 years). But it scares people, which is what they want to do.

Should We Tell Them That “Born In The USA” Is An Antiwar Song?

Springsteen used against detainees (February 29, 2004)

A SPANIARD recently released from the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay has said he was confined to a small cell where the lights were always on and was forced to listen to patriotic American music.

“All day they blared patriotic American music. It was Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen,” he continued.

Boom or Bust?

This post by Tim Blair notes something that I have started wondering about. How much of the “great economy” of the nineties was real and how much was hype?

During the 2000 election, the Democrats accused Bush of “talking the economy down” for the sin of noticing that the “Clinton Miracle” was slipping away.

One thing I noticed back in 92, was that as soon as Clinton became President, the economic news suddenly became very rosy, even before he had done anything significant. In fact, figures that are now seen as proof of a vibrant economy during the Clinton administration are now seen as portents of doom.

I think there was a lot of smoke blown up a lot of asses during the nineties.

Defeatist Democrats.

Power Line: Slandering Republican Presidents

On Powerline Blog, Hindrocket, while pointing out how the New York Times, in their zeal to bash President Bush, makes a false statement about out first Republican President Abrahan Lincoln.

He also notes that this is not the first time the Democrats have been preaching defeat and surrender.

By 1864, many in the North were beginning to think that the war was hopeless, and the Democratic Party adopted a defeatist platform, urging that the war be abandoned and the South be allowed to secede with the institution of slavery intact.

Link from the indispensable Instapundit.