Bush's rally is believed to be the largest political event ever held in Ohio, and the first presidential visit to the fast-growing West Chester area, officials said.
Numerous Republican officials attended the event, including U.S. Reps. John Boehner, Steve Chabot and Rob Portman, Lt. Gov. Jennette Bradley and former Cincinnati Bengals star Anthony Munoz, who is heading the Bush-Cheney campaign in this region.
Also present were Keith and Carolyn Maupin. Their son, Army Spec. Matt Maupin of Amelia, is missing in Iraq after his capture in April.
Several area schools dismissed classes two hours early Monday, ostensibly to avoid traffic tie-ups. The Lakota West High School choir sang the national anthem at the rally, however, and Lakota bands performed at the event.
"It's fitting that George Bush's visit is causing students to miss school," said Brendon Cull, a Kerry campaign spokesman. "George Bush has spent the past four years making it harder for Ohio's students to get a quality education."
I went to Technorati to check my blog cosmos. The header said it had links from 70 something blogs. But almost every single link it listed was a link on my page to elsewhere on my page. Ummm, that's not exactly helpful. I was looking for the other peope who linked to me. (And yes, there really are some!)
I really have nothing to say about charges that Laurence Tribe cribbed material from another law professor. Frankly, I find the entire subject tiresome. However, while reading this story I came across a bit of benighted thinking from Alan Dershowitz:
Tribe joined the Harvard Law faculty in 1968 and quickly entered the spotlight as an eloquent advocate for liberal causes. He has argued three dozen cases in front of the Supreme Court—famously representing Vice President Albert J. Gore Jr. ’69 in the December 2000 Florida recount dispute.
Dershowitz said that Tribe’s 1985 book was an effective element of “the Democratic arsenal” as liberals tried to block Ronald Reagan’s right-wing judicial nominations.
“It worked, and the Right has been pissed at Tribe ever since,” said Dershowitz.
Unless Dershowitz has been taken out of context, his entire defense of Laurence basically boils down to saying that the charge is irrelevant because the people making it are ideologically motivated. By this logic roughly 99.99% of all charges made against public figures related to politics should be immediately discounted and ignored. I say that because virtually all such charges are brought by that persons ideological opponents. (Which makes sense; their allies have nothing to gain from such stories.)
This reasoning is complete bunk. There's an old saying that goes something like, "Even the paranoid have enemies." Likewise, even cynically motivated charges can be true. As far as I'm concerned, the ideological motivations of those making such charges is only relevant if the charges prove to be baseless. (That's baseless, which isn't the same as false. I'm not interested in someone's motivations if the story turns out to be false, but the person had reasonably good evidence of their charges when they were made. I'm also interested in their motivations if they're proven wrong, but refuse to admit it.)
If the evidence supports the charges, I couldn't care less about the motivations of those making the charges. All I care about at that point is what's being done to alleviate the problem. In this case, Tribe offered an immediate apology and made no attempt to excuse his actions. Because I'm not aware of any other such ethical problems regarding Tribe, I'm inclined to say the matter should be closed. The aggrieved party shows no signs that he feels a need to pursue the matter, so I can't imagine why the rest of us should be interested.
On a side note, I've never understood how Dershowitz teeter from brilliance to utter stupidity from one moment to the next. What's that about?
... this BBC story which goes on at length about the possible difficulties in finding top players to send to Zimbabwe not once mentions why so many players have qualms about going.
The story does include this graf:
Strauss told BBC Sport: "All the players have deep-rooted moral problems with going on the tour. It's not an easy situation for us to be in.
However there's nothing in this story that would let you know that the source of these "moral problems" for many of the players is that they don't want to be seen as lending legitmacy to a murderous dictatorship that has seizes farmland from people based on the color of their skin (white), routinely arrests domestic reporters and editors that criticize the regime (and deports foreign correspondnets that do the same), and has managed to destroy a once thriving economy forcing many of its poorest people to flee to surrounding nations.
Wouldn't want to give the story any context, now would we?
On a related note, Joe Gibbs was undoubtedly a great coach and I hope (assuming he stays behind the Cowboys) that he does well. I've got to say though that tonight wasn't impressive. You could make a pretty convincing argument that poor time mangement cost them a game. Bad time management is almost always the fault of the coaching staff. (Unless you have an inexperienced QB, which the Skins don't.) Maybe he's just rusty and it will work out with time, but tonight was ugly for Gibbs.
John Kerry's ultra-liberal mentor, Ted Kennedy, has been out on the campaign trail talking about the war on terror and George Bush.
Kennedy has been, as per usual, wrong about almost EVERYTHING...incidentally, what does it say about John Kerry that he has an ultra-left-wing dove out on the stump enunciating what he thinks about Iraq?
"It's a campaign of anger and insult and the most egregious examples are the examples of Vice President Cheney. When he even goes on to suggest that the al-Qaida wants John Kerry to win, that is the most outrageous charge. It's the most anti-American — it's McCarthyism of the first order."
First off, let me point out that Dick Cheney has never said that, "al-Qaida wants John Kerry to win". However, that being said, I'M SAYING that, "al-Qaida wants John Kerry to win".
John goes on in detail, and by use of analogy, to explain that this is a rather obvious conclusion to draw. He wants to know, as I do, why people think it's so horrible to say? I mean, unless you seriously believe that al-Qaeda is huddled in fear at the thought of President Kerry *snicker*, then you have to be aware that this is the most logical conclusion to draw.
On another note, is Kennedy totally oblivious to the irony of accusing someone of "anti-Americanism" and "McCarthyism" at the same time? Just asking.
When I was in grad school there was an undergrad at church who someone once jokingly said was going to marry me. After that, for about 3 years, every time she saw me she'd say, "When are we going to get married?" or, "What colors should we use at the reception?" or, well, you get the point.
The thing of it was, I did think she was nice and might even have asked her out. That is, I would have if she wasn't so immature. The last time I saw her, about a year ago, that was still pretty much my assessment.
Today I got her wedding invitation. I wonder what colors they're using?
On another note, this same girl had a tendency for setting herself up for some hilarious puns. My favorite was when she was telling us about a new guy she was interested in. After going on about him at some length, she said, "He drives the coolest car in the entire world!"
My roommate Brian replied, "He drives the Batmobile!"
That was years ago and sometimes it still makes me laugh.
And, in case you were wondering, all this posting tonight does, indeed, constitute me not wanting to pack for the trip to Boston tomorrow.
I was listening to ABC News on the radio as I was driving home. They were discussing this poll and said something like, "A new poll shows there may be trouble ahead for President Bush."
After that rousing lead-in they cited several issues in the poll in which people, by margins of like 4-8 points, gave opinions which would, indeed, seem to go against the Bush administration. No where in the story was it mentioned that the very same poll shows Bush ahead by six points. (The margin of error, apparently, was 3%, so, barring rounding differences, this would appear to be a statistical dead heat.)
Yes, it's true that the results of the poll could be interpreted as showing that some of Bush's support is soft. And yes, from that you could infer, possibly, that Bush is "in trouble." It seems to me though that in a report on what a poll might mean for the candidates, it might be worth mentioning what the results for the question, "Who will you vote for?" were.
More: And just to be fair, I'll point out that Drudge's link to the Yahoo News story about the same poll describes Bush as having a "solid lead". That's not exactly true. The poll shows Bush up by 6% among "likely" voters. According to the ABC News story, the poll has a 3% margin of error among likely voters. That means, to simplify greatly, that the pollsters believe they have pegged each number to within 3%, give or take, of the actual values among the general popluation. This poll shows Bush up 51-45. However, with a 3% margin of error, it's possible that the true value is 48-48. In circumstances in which the margin of error allows for the possibility that the two possibilities are actually equal, it's not possible to confirm statisically that either party is actually ahead. Thus, Drudge's headline is sensationalism at best.
However, that doesn't mean that the poll is meaningless. After all, that 3% margin of error also means that it's possible the true lead for Bush is 54-39. I seriously doubt that he's doing that well, but when you combine this poll with most of the others I've seen over the last 3 weeks or so that show Bush up by any where from 4-10 points, it provides compelling evidence that Bush is, indeed, ahead in the popular vote.
All this of course leaves aside the issue that nationwide polls are often useless in determining a winner because the "popular vote" has absolutely nothing to do with deciding who wins. In our federalist system, as employed in the Electoral College, it's possible for a candidate to "lose" the "popular vote" by millions and still be elected President. And no, I don't see anything wrong with that.
On a related rant, my college roommate and I were discussing the other day our frustration that stories about political polls rarely include the degree of confidence. If you don't know what this is, I'll try to keep this simple. (Please note that in my discussion of statistics I'm flying by the seat of my pants here. It's been years since I've actually done any but the simplest of statistical calculations. There's a plus of not being an auditor!) Basically, when a statistician calculates the margin of error of any poll, they also calculate how likely it is that the true value falls within the margin of error. This is known as the degree of confidence and in commercial polls the degree of confidence used is usually between 95-99%.
What is often not fully appreciated is that every poll has multiple margins of error, depending on how confident you wish to be in the margin. And the higher degree of confidence you use, the wider the margin of error becomes. So for the same poll you might find that you could have a 90% degree of confidence that the true value fell within a 2% swing. You might be 95% sure that it fell within a 5% swing. To get up to 99% you might need a 10% margin of error to reach that degree of confidence. For all practical purposes, to reach 100% your margin of error would have to be large enough to cover the entire possible spread. (If your poll showed 50-50, you'd need a 50% margin of error.)
My understanding is that political polls generally use 95%, but I can't remember ever seeing a story about a political poll that actually came out and said so. Certainly, if someone wanted to try to use a poll to affect public opinion in the short term, they could adjust the margin of error to get the results they wanted (assuming that the initial results were close to what they wanted). Since the degree of confidence is rarely published, who would know?
For instance, if your candidate was ahead, and you wished to demoralize the other side, you could increase the degree of confidence, thus shrinking the margin of error. This would give the impression that your candidate's lead was more solid than it actually was. Likewise, if you were behind, you could decrease the degree of confidence. This would make your candidate appear to be closer, statistically speaking, than he really was. This might then be used to help rally the base.
Of course, if you gamed the system too much and started coming up with margins of error way above or below those generally seen in political polls, people would probably notice. But since the degree of confidence is rarely released, subtle attempts to game the system might go unnoticed in the short term.
I've never been one of those people who had lots of friends. By that I don't mean that I don't have lots of acquaintances with whom I'm friendly; it's just that, historically, I don't have a whole lot of people that I'm really close to and that I care about a lot. However, when I do find someone that falls into this category, I tend to have a rather intense attachment to them.
Sometimes, however, that intense attachment manifests itself in beint WAY to overprotective. I've been known to hover over friends who were having problems and meddle if I thought a friend was making a mistake. Granted, sometimes a friend must do these things. I tend to go overboard and meddle in even relatively insignificant things though.
I'm not sure why that is, although I can think of two events that might have moved me in this direction.
1. My senior year of college was also my sister's junior year. I could tell that she was having a lot of problems that year and on several occasions I tried to talk to her about it. She would brush me off and I finally decided that she was a big girl and could take care of herself so I'd stay out of it. I did, but she couldn't. A few weeks later she went to a post-football party (She was a cheerleader.) and literally drank herself to death.
2. A few years ago a friend of mine left his wife. He didn't really have a good reason, although there was a girl at his work mightily encouraging him in that direction. I've seen other people in this position. They usually stand back and figure it's none of their business. That's not what I did. I went in to full meddle mode. He obviously knew what was coming because he spent weeks avoiding me. Finally one of our ministers and I caught up with him and had a couple of LONG talks. And it worked. He'd convinced himself that he was doomed to fail at marriage because his dad and aunt had both been married and divorced several times. He had apparently decided that it was just better to get it over with. We were able to turn that thinking around. A few months later he and his wife told me they were happier than they'd ever been.
So I've had both positive and negative reinforcement that has pushed me in this direction. However, there are negative drawbacks to this as well, even in instances where, as a friend, it's my responsibility to meddle. For instance, in the same time I was trying to track down this friend, I was also trying to make sure his wife was OK. Hovering doesn't even begin to describe my behavior. I called or went by almost every day to make sure she was OK. I called other people and sent them to check on her. Basically, I was a royal pain. To the point that she finally told me that I was driving her nuts. And this was a time that my meddling actually had positive results.
For some reason, I just don't seem to be able butt out of other people's business. I suppose it could be worse; it is, after all, a flaw of caring too much. That is, I think, better than not caring enough. Still, I'd like to be able to better delineate between those times when I ought to meddle and those when I shouldn't.
Hmm. I don't think I really had a point here. I guess I just needed to get that off my chest.
The "war on terror" is obviously much more than military engagements; it must be expanded to a battle for the hearts and minds of those who give rise to terrorism. That 93% of viewers of one of the most popular Muslim television shows support the kidnapping and beheading of innocent Westerners in Iraq to rebuild the country is almost incomprehensible. We are losing the most important battle in the war on terror - the battle for hearts and minds. Indeed, we're not even engaging it, and it's high time we start.
I don't think it's true that we're not engaging in this part of the battle. For instance I remember seeing (although I'm too lazy to look for the links right now) stories about a new television station the US government has set up designed to broadcast our ideas and our side of the story into the Arab world.
However, I think it's pretty obvious that we haven't put nearly enough emphasis on this part of the war.
I found this site, doubleyourvote.com, through a G-mail ad. It's run by a Kerry supporter who suggest that people should "double" their vote by finding someone who isn't registered to vote, but agrees with their positions, and convincing them to register.
The site includes a "stories" page that contains a bunch of liberal whining. He asks for story submissions. I'm sure people can come up with some better ones.
This reminds me that I was talking to a friend yesterday about the election and we drew a few conclusions:
1. Anyone who hasn't registered to vote by now, should stay home.
2. Anyone who is still truly undecided at this point is too stupid to vote. (I'm not referring to people who are leaning one way or the other, but aren't 100% sure who they will vote for. I'm talking about those that still have absolutely no idea which candidate they prefer. Or worse still, those that still can't tell you who's running.)
We also ranted about how most reporters have no concept of what the "degree of confidence" and the "margin of error" represent when talking about polls. I'll save that for another time though.
I was having a horrible time concentrating at work today. During one such instance I flipped over to SarahK's site and read her account of her American Idol audition. (You really ought to read it. She obviously enjoyed herself and Sarah's narrative's are always a blast.) While reading a question occurred to me: Since I know she's a HUGE AI fan, I wonder how her experience will affect her appreciation of the show? Will she like it more? Less? The same? Of course, right now I suppose it would still just be speculation, even from her. But who's better situated to speculate?
Why did this pop into my head? Who knows? I sure don't.
I'm not the only one that's noticed that the ongoing CBS line is that everything that went wrong with the Rathergate fiasco was somehow Mary Mapes fault. The most damaging charge to date is that she was colluding with the John Kerry campaign prior to the story being released.
Based on what I've seen so far, it does seem that Mapes was guilty of, at a minimum, gross incompetence. However, it seems highly unlikely that it's ALL her fault.
Next week I'll be going to Boston. I'll be gone three days, but should have internet access.
I'll be working with a team that develops simulations for the new computerized CPA exam. (No, you can't have the answers.) I've been on several of these trips and have never ended up hooking up with anyone I know through the blog world. However, the one time I forgot to tell people where I was going, at least two people chastised me for not telling them I was coming. (In my defense, I didn't even know where one of them lived.)
So, for the record I'll be flying into Boston next Tuesday and returning Thursday.
Sadly, that means I'll miss my Wednesday lunch at one of my favorite Mexican places with one of our congregation's elders. Mmmmmmmm. Mexican food.
My G-mail has been running about as slow as a dead snail today. Anyone else having trouble?
On another note, I've got several invitations and I'm not sure what to do with them. Last time I donated two to soldiers serving overseas. (The 1GB storage space is a great way to send soldiers videos, among other things.) I may do that again, but haven't decided.
I've been working on this tax return all day (and most of yesterday). While preparing my adjusting entries I've found $60,000 (more or less) worth of debits that I need to make, but I can't find any credits!
For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, just suffice it to say that the numbers don't add up. (If you're not a B 5 fan, trust me, there is a connection.
So I see this story about how a flight was diverted to remove a passenger from a plane. The action was taken because the passenger was identified as being on Homeland Security's watchlist after the plane was already in the air. What if a) he'd been a terrorist anc b) been planning to do something on the plane?
... at least I think I am. Time will tell I suppose.
I took a break because there were some things really bothering me that just caused this to be no fun. That stuff doesn't seem to be bothering me any more, so I'm going to try to get back in to this. We'll see how it goes.
Let's see. I want to thank everyone for the comments and e-mails when I asked for prayers about my headaches. I'm still having trouble and don't seem to have any end in sight. I do at least have a new painkiller which makes things manageable.
OK, I'll try to sum up my thoughts on the major things going on since I left.
John Kerry - Still shows no signs of understanding that WE'RE AT WAR! How can anyone seriously expect me to vote for a guy who doesn't seem to notice that people are trying to kill us?
W - Still infuriates me on domestic policy and has made some huge blunders in Iraq. However, he does at least have a clear vision of what how to make progress in this war, understands that the end of this war is no where in sight, and ... oh yeah ... realizes we really are at war.