Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither, and lose both.
-- Benjamin Franklin

Inquirer’s Endorsement of Kerry

God bless the Philadelphia Inquirer for the eloquent endorsement of John Kerry. Even more so, for the sequence of 21 articles explaining that endorsement.

Click “More Text” below for the text of the endorsement.

Who forgot Poland?

Our president seemed to feel it a major issue that Kerry “forgot” Poland in the debate. Apparently he conveniently “forgot” about how Poland feels also.

From the International Herald Tribune of last March 19th:

WARSAW President Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland said Thursday that he had been “deceived” by information on weapons of mass destruction before the Iraq war and that Poland might pull some troops out of Iraq earlier than planned.

“But of course I am uncomfortable with the fact that we were deceived by the information on weapons of mass destruction.”

They’d better get their story straight.

From CNN:

Mother of soldier killed in Iraq collapses, dies
‘Her grief was so intense,’ hospital worker says

Tuesday, October 5, 2004 Posted: 12:28 PM EDT (1628 GMT)

TUCSON, Arizona (AP) — A 45-year-old woman collapsed and died days after learning her son had been killed in Iraq, and just hours after seeing his body.

Also from CNN:

Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Monday conceded that U.S. intelligence was wrong in its conclusions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

“Why the intelligence proved wrong [on weapons of mass destruction], I’m not in a position to say,” Rumsfeld said in remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. “I simply don’t know.”

When asked about any connection between Saddam and al Qaeda, Rumsfeld said, “To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two.”

But a short time later, Rumsfeld released a statement: “A question I answered today at an appearance before the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) regarding ties between al Qaeda and Iraq regrettably was misunderstood.

“I have acknowledged since September 2002 that there were ties between al Qaeda and Iraq.”

I hope these arrogant bastards can get their story straight enough to explain to the Unruh family why Robert Unruh, and his mother, had to die.

Wrong election

Who can defeat Bush??

Missing Jobs

The Bush administration claims the economy is improving, even though most of us don’t see or feel that. There are claims of new jobs added, and disputes as to the “quality” of those jobs. The issue isn’t the lost or regained jobs, though. As our population grows, approximately 150,000 new jobs are needed each month just to hold our own. This chart from (which I heartily recommend) shows the missing jobs, or those that should have been created through population growth plus the lost jobs, a total of nearly 7 million jobs.

The administration will argue that a national crisis has caused these problems, but the simple fact is that President Bush will finish his first term with a net loss of US jobs even ignoring normal growth, and be the first president to do so since the Great Depression. Surely there have been other crises in this country since then. The difference is that we have had administrations capable of handling them.

Cheney Flip-Flop

From a speech Dick Cheney gave in 1992 to the Discovery Institute in Seattle:

“I would guess if we had gone in there, I would still have forces in Baghdad today. We’d be running the country. We would not have been able to get everybody out and bring everybody home.

“And the final point that I think needs to be made is this question of casualties. I don’t think you could have done all of that without significant additional U.S. casualties. And while everybody was tremendously impressed with the low cost of the (1991) conflict, for the 146 Americans who were killed in action and for their families, it wasn’t a cheap war.

“And the question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam (Hussein) worth? And the answer is not that damned many. So, I think we got it right, both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the president made the decision that we’d achieved our objectives and we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq.”

Damn, he got that one right.

And for those of you keeping score:
American soldiers dead in Iraq: 1056
Dead in September alone: 75
WMD found: 0
Ties to Al-Qaeda found: 0

What it Truly Means to Succeed

For whatever reason, I’m finding quotes I like today.

What it Truly Means to Succeed

“To laugh often and much; to win respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Random quotes that seem interesting at the moment.

No well-informed person has declared a change of opinion to be inconstancy. [Lat., Nemo doctus unquam mutationem consilii inconstantiam dixit esse.]
-Cicero, Epistoloe ad Atticum (bk. XVI, 8)
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Do not plan for ventures before finishing what’s at hand.
– Euripides
Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.
- Bernard Berenson
And finally this one, which seems particularly appropriate as my 50th birthday approaches:
Magnificently unprepared for the long littleness of life.
- Frances Cornford

Who would Al Qaeda prefer as president? Ask our allies….

From the UK Guardian:

The Foreign Office was thrown into turmoil yesterday after the British ambassador to Rome, Sir Ivor Roberts, described President George Bush as “the best recruiting sergeant ever for al-Qaida”.

His comment, made at a closed conference of about 100 British and Italian diplomats, politicians and journalists in Tuscany, was leaked to an Italian newspaper, provoking embarrassment in London.

According to one of those present, Sir Ivor had been taking part in a discussion on which candidate Europeans would back if they had a vote in the US election. The ambassador said they would vote for Mr Kerry but some people would want Mr Bush, not least al-Qaida.

“If anyone is ready to celebrate the eventual re-election of Bush, it’s al-Qaida. Whereas it is clear that the Palestinians hope that a Kerry victory will unblock the situation,” he said.

The Foreign Office, which warned before the war that Iraq could become a breeding ground for al-Qaida, did not deny yesterday that Sir Ivor made the remarks. “We are not making any comment other than the fact they do not represent government policy,” a spokesman said.

The Foreign Office is taking a soft line because Sir Ivor had not intended his comments to be made public and there was a breach of Chatham House rules, meaning the conference had been held on condition that all comments should be kept off the record.