Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Europe for Kerry

While it would be a fine thing if I could sit around all day, reading and pontificating, eating and sleeping, reality strikes about four times a year. That is when the television industry relocates to the South of France, allegedly to hold a "market," during which we all meet and talk, and decide what all of the rest of you will be watching for the next few months and years. Well, not exactly.

Truthfully, most of the really important decisions, and people, have not made an appearance in Cannes for years. The really big network business is conducted elsewhere. The stars, if you see any at all, are here because the Cannes Film Festival starts about a week after this market ends (so they are here getting ready to attend that), and the really big network executives have better things to do than rub shoulders with the little people and independent producers that really do the work of television. So they stay home. But the rest of us get to relax, get together, and schmooze for a week. Television is a funny business, not unlike the movie business, where every social occasion is considered a business occasion, and there are no days, or even hours, off.

This post is not about my struggle for the legal tender, though. It is about the real support for JFKerry. His voters. They are, after all, Europeans. He was not really lying when he said that foreign leaders were in favor of his candidacy. He just meant foreign leaders of little companies, like taxi drivers, and waiters, not to mention television people, like the ones who are here attending MIP. They are rabidly opposed to a second Bush term. They hate Bush even more than our home-grown Lefties. And with better reason.

At the end of World War Two, America was in position to declare itself the leader of a global empire. With the world's largest standing army, and the only nuclear weapons on the planet, many people here in Europe actually expected us to do exactly that. Many believe that, if Truman had not taken over for FDR, we would have. They really do not understand Americans, so their only point of reference was to look inward. And declaring a global empire, with themselves as the sole hegemon, is exactly what THEY would have done. Many still do not understand why we did not do that. AND, they believe that George W. Bush is about to attempt the same thing.

Anyway, that's what I keep hearing. Everywhere I go in France lately, the same refrain is being sung. Bush this, Bush that, but mainly that Bush wants to take over the world. But the really funny thing is that they believe he could. They have this love-hate thing going on about us. They are so jealous of us. That jealousy is the basis of their hatred. When we were led by harmless men like Carter or Clinton, or even Bush 41, they liked us. We were soooo easy to push around. Reagan, I don't know, since I was not travelling to Europe during those years, and there clearly is no reference to look to for this kind of analysis, as I am the only one reporting on this phenomenon. But, like a lot of my blogging, and like it says in the fairy tale, when the Emperor has no clothes, it takes a special type of asshole to speak up about it. Most of the rest of us don't even notice. Or they are afraid to speak up. But I am not afraid. But I am pretty much alone. In fact, if my own perception accurately reflects the truth, I am the only conservative in the Television Industry. So, I've got an idea. Maybe we can arrange to have another market on election day. Then Kerry's supporters can miss the vote.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Mass Murderer Executed

In an action that humanitarians the world over celebrated, mass murderer and Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin was killed in a helicopter missile strike outside a Gaza City mosque Monday, in a long awaited response to Yassin's years of planning and carrying out hundreds of murders of innocent civilians. Most of his victims were Jews, but dozens of Arabs were also killed in the suicide bombings that were Yassin's trademark.

In a related story, news organizations world wide have issued reports condemning Israel for carrying out this so-called "escalation"
prompting threats of unprecedented revenge by Palestinian militants against Israel and the United States. Yassin was the most prominent Palestinian leader killed by Israel in more than three years of fighting, and his assassination was seen as a major escalation.
Why these news organs choose to use language that glorifies this human pond scum and condemns the Jews is a mystery to clear thinking people everywhere, yet they continue to editorialize the news in this manner. In the meantime, at least in my house, we are celebrating this improvement in the human gene pool. "Words cannot describe the emotion of anger and hate inside our hearts," said Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh, a close associate of Yassin. Meanwhile, at the Gersh house, the emotion is one of joy and hope, as yet another second stringer is about to take the reins of yet another terror group, as Mr. Yassin descends to the fires of Hell and discovers that his 72 virgins are merely Lucifer's torture squad, as they peel back his fingernails and burn his balls, in the eternity of pain that this monster has earned by his horrific actions on this planet.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

A War's Woeful Results

It is going to be one long campaign. The combination of factors that have led a substantial fraction of our voters to hate our president with such a great passion has resulted in a set of circumstances that promise to give us an election campaign of unprecedented length, as well as a ferocity that I, for one, can not remember having occurred before, either from the pages of history, or in my personal experience. And remember, my first political rally was for Adlai Stevenson, against Dwight David Eisenhower.

The ferocity of the mass media against this incumbent, combined with the culmination of the opinion-changing techniques being used by the opposition, have resulted in a polarization that seems to be unprecedented in our national discourse. Now we have before us eight more months of this rancor. And today, the editorials have begun. In March.

The L.A.Times has an editorial today, in which they state:
The U.S. grows increasingly isolated from its allies, and that gives comfort and strength to its enemies.
I applaud a system that allows our press to undermine our leaders in wartime, as I deplore the mind that would take advantage of this freedom. The opposition candidate, similarly, brags that the leaders of foreign nations are on his side. Worse, the calculus that this statement will garner him even greater support shows that many of the people will play into this tactic. The fact that the statement itself is demonstrably false makes this hurt all the more. After all, if the activities of this administration gave "comfort and strength to its enemies," why would they be so desperate to remove it?

But the genius of modern opinion molding techniques is that these statements have no need to be true, or even internally consistent, they need only to awaken feelings of hostility, even rage, in a portion of their audience. And, as long as a fifth column of willing accomplices control so many "respected" media outlets, this nation's war aims may well be disrailed. The left wing is now squarely in the corner of our enemies, and not for the first time. Their atandard-bearer is even a veteran of the war that ensued the last time that the same thing happened. Tonight, at 9:00 P.M. Eastern time, CSPAN will replay JFKerry's testimony before Congress, in which he claimed, and now denies that he claimed, that the entire armed forces of the United States were complicit in war crimes.

All Americans owe it to themselves to tune in, and see for themselves, what this poor excuse for a man has claimed, under oath, before considering voting for this particular piece of human waste. The truth of this man is far worse than anything I could say about him. Make up your own mind. Watch his testimony tonight.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Trying To Be All Things To All People

JFKerry is famous for trying to position himself on at least two sides of any issue, as he tries to create a new, electable, persona while knowing that his opponent will try to place his record before the electorate. What with almost twenty years in the Senate, the Lord knows that he has quite a detailed record, with speeches and votes on each and every important federal issue available in the Federal Register. His tactics are already clear. He will first attempt to stop the Republicans from revealing his record in the first place, by calling the Bush campaign "negative" and trying to kill the messenger, and impugning the message on the basis of the agenda of those who reveal it (as well as mentioning the unnamed foreign "leaders" who support him). Second, he will try to describe his positions as "nuanced," which means, in this case, he should be allowed to be on both sides of any issue because he is so darned smart.

For instance, JFK recently claimed to have voted for the Helms-Burton amendment, which placed sanctions on companies that did business with Cuba. The problem is, he voted against it. When he was asked about that, he showed the nuance in his position:
Asked Friday to explain the discrepancy, Kerry aides said the senator cast one of the 22 nays that day in 1996 because he disagreed with some of the final technical aspects. But, said spokesman David Wade, Kerry supported the legislation in its purer form -- and voted for it months earlier.
Now, we all know how bright JFKerry is. The more pertinent question is, are the Cuban/American voters just as bright as he is? Or maybe this nuance is something that only a genius could understand. An idiot like myself might ask, if he indeed voted against the legislation, why not just keep his mouth shut about it? He has mighty problems as he seeks the Cubano voters in Florida, considering his stance on the Elian Gonzalez case as well. As the same article goes on to say:
But there are also constant reminders that Kerry struggles with the complexities of Cuba. Asked in the Herald interview last year about sending Elian back to Cuba, Kerry was blunt: ``I didn't agree with that.''

But when he was asked to elaborate, Kerry acknowledged that he agreed the boy should have been with his father.

So what didn't he agree with?

''I didn't like the way they did it. I thought the process was butchered,'' he said.

And when he was asked last week during a town hall meeting in Broward County about immigration policies that allow Cuban migrants to remain if they reach land but do not give the same rights to Haitians and others who travel to Florida, he appeared to grasp for an answer.

First, he said all migrants have a right to make their case for asylum. Then, as if anticipating his weaknesses, Kerry turned the conversation back to the embargo, pledging that he would not support lifting sanctions.

''I haven't resolved what to do,'' he said, seeming to reflect on the full scope of Cuba concerns. ``I'm going to talk to a lot of people in Florida.''
That's nuance for you. He was for it, but he didn't like the way they did it, so he voted against it. Or take his 1995 vote against 1.5 billion dollars for intelligence spending, which the candidate believes is consistent with support for a strong national defense

Now you know exactly where he stands.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Martha's Hubris Revealed

I don't like Martha Stewart. I don't know why, exactly. She's just the type of person who rubs me the wrong way. Like one of my sister-in-laws. Too perfect. Willing to spend hours making doilies for the dinner table. Hell, I don't even know what a doily IS, let alone where one should be used, and I surely would never put one on my dinner table. But you know what I mean. How much time should any person spend on flower arrangements, or sculpting the mashed potatoes? I have no time for pursuits like these, and I have no time for people like Martha Stewart. But I always have time to note an injustice, or unfairness, or, most of all, the abuse of power.

Guilty, sayeth the jury. Tina Fay, ultra-liberal doyenne of Saturday Night Live, was absolutely giddy with joy and delight as she reported the verdict, over and over, last night. You can bet that just about anything that makes Tina Fay giddy with joy would rub me the wrong way. But in the Martha Stewart case, I think that it is instructive to examine just exactly what it is that she was convicted of doing.

She was originally accused of securities fraud, based upon the idea that she comitted the criminal act of trading on "inside information." Now, I do not understand why trading stock on a tip should be rendered illegal in the case where the information is accurate but, the law is the law. Yet, those charges were dropped. She was not convicted of the substantive crime of which she was accused. She was convicted of two things. One, she conspired to break the law. Two, she lied to a cop about it.

Our conspiracy laws are a vicious affront to anyone who believes in the ideas upon which our great country was founded. Under the law, a conspiracy exists where two or more people talk about a crime, and one of them commits any substantive act in furtherance of the crime. No crime needs to be committed. By anyone. Let's say that you and a few buddies talk about some chick who walks by. One or more of you mention an act of physical love that he would like to perform with her. Several days later one member of the group meets her, and they enjoy one or more of these acts. The next day, some question arises as to whether or not her consent was actually given. You are now guilty of conspiracy to rape her. Or, more realistically, this same group hears a news item where 50 pounds of dope was discovered on a beach, and some loose talk ensues about how much money could be realized by such a beachcomber, should he decide to sell all or part of the load, rather than turning it in to the police. Later, one of your friends is found in possession of dope that was evidently washed up on a beach. You are guilty of conspiracy to traffic in dope. The only way to get out of a criminal conspiracy is to go to the police the minute you discover that the crime has been committed. Or, of course, you can plead guilty.

In Martha Stewart's case, the count of the indictment accusing her of committing the crime in question was dismissed. Never submitted to the jury. Not enough evidence. Yet, incredibly, Martha was convicted of conspiring to commit the crime that she was not, could not, have been convicted of. Guilty because she talked about it. Never proven to have done it. Just think about that for a minute.

But. It gets worse. She was also convicted of lying about it. Believe it or not, she had the temerity to deny that she committed the crime of which she was not convicted! Dostoyefsky made a career writing about stuff like this. But, aside from this, there is another aspect of this case that offends the sensibilities. Most Americans believe that we have, among other rights, the right to free speech, and the right to not be forced to incriminate oneself. Yet it is against the law to claim to be innocent, if you so claim to a federal agent, without the benefit of counsel. Lying to a federal agent was another count of which Martha was convicted. Believe it or not, that is what Martha is going to jail for doing.

Now, that lets her off the hook a little too easy. She took a full part in this dance. Her arrogance, her hubris, had more to do with this travesty of justice as anything else. She could have admitted to the truth. She could have testified against her co-conspirators. She could have actually put on a (gasp) defense. But she did none of these things. Her defense consisted merely of saying that the government had not proven the charges against her. That's it. Her testimony might have gone a long way towards winning the jury over to her side. At least, that's what the lone juror who was willing to talk to the press (as I write this) said. But this woman is arrogant. To a fault. That's what hubris is. Hubris is what lands a billionaire in Alderson, munching carpet, carving a little calendar into the wall, counting the minutes until she can be a millionaire again. And, oh yeah, hubris is what turned this billionaire into a multi-millionaire. Poor Martha.