Friday, August 06, 2004

Kerry's Vietnam Problem

The question of John Kerry's service in Vietnam is a huge hot-button issue, as it should be. After all, Mr. Kerry himself made his Vietnam service a campaign cornerstone starting with the Democrat primaries. In fact, Kerry's service received so much attention during the DNC convention that his 30+ years of public service weren't mentioned.

The major problem with all of this posturing is that it creates a significant logical fallacy. The George Neumayr hits the nail on the head with his analysis at the American Spectator:
Kerry is being hoist by his own petard. Did he really think that he could launch his political career on discrediting the Vietnam war, including his role in it, and then complete that career by taking credit for fighting in it? Kerry has never persuasively explained why he deserves so much credit for fighting in a war he said was utterly discreditable. A pol who starts his career by saying "We wish that a merciful God could wipe away our own memories of that service" and then ends it by campaigning on those memories invites the backlash we've seen this week.
Despite the furious indignation of the Bush-haters and DNC lawyers, this issue won't go away because it represents a fundamental structural problem with the Kerry/Edwards campaign storyline.

UPDATE: For the inside skinny on the Kranish/Boston Globe "newspaper" scandal, click here and here.

FURTHERMORE: Mark Steyn opines on Viet-Kerry:
Look, I would rather talk about the war. The current one, I mean -- not the one that ended three decades ago. But, insofar as I understand the rules of Campaign 2004, every time any member of the administration says anything about the present conflict, he is accused by Democrats of shamelessly "politicizing" it. Whereas every time John Kerry waxes nostalgic about those fragrant memories of the Mekong Delta, he should be allowed to take his unending stroll down memory lane unmolested. After all, as everyone from John Edwards to Max Cleland to Bill Clinton has assured us, being a Swift boat commander for four months is the indispensable qualification for being president. When Hillary runs in 2008, no doubt she'll be leaning heavily on her four months running a Swift boat up and down the Shatt al-Arab during the Iraq war.

But hang on, most of these fellows in the anti-Kerry ad -- the ones talking about how he can't be trusted, etc -- are also Swift boat commanders? If being a Swiftee is the most important thing in American life, why are all these "Swift Boat Veterans For Truth" less entitled to be heard than John Kerry?


The Danger of 9/10 Thinking

Victor Davis Hanson has a must-read column at National Review Online:
I would never have imagined that journalists, academics, actors, artists, and the intelligentsia in general would have so opposed the end of dictatorship and promotion of democracy abroad. And who would have thought that Vietnam would become the source for Democratic nostalgia, rather than the usual recrimination? Did anyone think the appointment of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, promises of $15 billion in grants to combat AIDS in Africa, and lectures to the politically powerful Arab world to cease the genocide of black Sudanese would earn George Bush slurs evoking the Taliban, the old Confederacy, and fascism? Have we become children who live in a world of bedtime stories, afraid to face the cruel truth around us?
Read the complete column here.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Museum Pieces

I found these artifacts while cleaning out my apartment:

  • An old "handheld" Space Invader-esque video game called "Cosmic Combat"
  • Extended BASIC for the TI 99/4A computer
  • A "Parsec" game cartridge, also for the TI.
Museum Pieces

The BASIC cartridge retailed for $94.00 all those years ago, and I remember spending hours designing graphical "sprites" that I then programmed to float around my low-res portable color TV.

I can't remember if I threw out the old machine or not. I suspect not, as I would have no reason to keep this junk unless the TI was either hidden somewhere around here or in my parent's pad back in Salt Lake City.