August 2004

Suicide bombers kill at least 15 in Israel. The sooner the security fence is finished, the better. Hamas leaders can expect a lot of attention from the Israeli armed forces.

A Moscow car bomb kills 8 people.

Chechen’s bombed two Russian passenger jets last week.

Back in Iraq, Ansar al-Sunna, a Islamic terrorist orgamization, claimed credit for murdering 12 Nepalese hostages.

We need to remember that the terrorists want to commit similar atrocities in the US. I suspect the only reason we haven’t seen more attacks since 9/11 is that they are trying to figure out how to top 9/11. Anything less than a few thousand dead Americans would be an anticlimax for them.


This is Kerry’s policy on Iran and its nuclear weapons program:

Prevent Iran From Developing Nuclear Weapons. A nuclear armed Iran is an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States and our allies in the region. While we have been preoccupied in Iraq, Iran has reportedly been moving ahead with its nuclear program. We can no longer sit on the sidelines and leave the negotiations to the Europeans.

So far, so good.

It is critical that we work with our allies to resolve these issues and lead a global effort to prevent Iran from obtaining the technology necessary to build nuclear weapons.

Isn’t that exactly what the Bush administration has been doing? It isn’t working very well. Our Russian allies have been supplying nuclear technology and will shortly supply a second reactor to Iran.

Iran claims that its nuclear program is only to meet its domestic energy needs. John Kerry’s proposal would call their bluff by organizing a group of states to offer Iran the nuclear fuel they need for peaceful purposes and take back the spent fuel so they cannot divert it to build a weapon.

Nice carrot. Iran can accept the offer and get the fuel. But when it fails to return the spent fuel down the track you have a problem. No stick?

If Iran does not accept this offer, their true motivations will be clear.

As if they aren’t clear already. Hmmm, an energy rich country that has overt and covert nuclear programs, a ballistic missile program, and leaders that openly threaten a nuclear attack on Israel and Kerry still thinks we need to find their true motivation.

Under the current circumstances, John Kerry believes we should support the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) efforts to discern the full extent of Iran’s nuclear program, while pushing Iran to agree to a verifiable and permanent suspension of its enrichment and reprocessing programs. If this process fails, we must lead the effort to ensure that the IAEA takes this issue to the Security Council for action.

Oh, whoop-de-doo. We’re going to take the issue to the UNSC. Will that be before or after the mad mullahs launch a first strike on Israel? Or ship a container nuke to Baltimore?

Perhaps one of Mr. Kerry’s high profile National Security advisors should explain how badly that sort of an approach worked with North Korea. Or Iraq.

The UNSC has no stick of its own. It gets a stick if, and only if, the US takes unilateral action in its name.

The men’s marathon was run in much cooler conditions than the women’s a week ago; 75°F is a LOT cooler than 95°F. Even so, the race had many similarities. The long climb that destroyed Paula Radcliffe, the world record holder, also put paid to the medal chances of Paul Tergat, the men’s world record holder. Being taller is not good on uphill courses.

Vanderlei Lima took a page from Mizuki Noguchi’s playbook and broke away from the field on the long uphill stretch. His 45 second break held until Cornelius Horan rushed across the course and pushed Lima into the crowd. Lima was rescued but lost precious seconds, besides having his concentration and composure destroyed. Despite that, he continued running strongly until he was overtaken by Italian Stefano Baldini (gold) and the Eritrean born American, Mebrahtom Keflezighi (silver). Lima hung on for the bronze swooping into the stadium with his arms held like wings.

Would Lima have won but for Horan? I doubt it but we’ll never know.

At least the civilized world can breathe a sigh of relief that Horan’s attack was the worst that the Athens Olympics experienced.

I caught Bush on Larry King discussing Kerry’s and his service. I don’t have the transcript, but he made the following points: Kerry’s service was more courageous than his own because Kerry put himself in harm’s way. However, if Bush’s unit had been called to go to Vietnam, he would have gone.

This leaves the Democrats in a bind. They have been calling the Swiftvets a front for the Bush campaign, yet Bush has praised Kerry’s service compared to his own and called for an end to 527 ad campaigns. So Bush has made it difficult for them to continue their main line of attack on the Swiftvets. If they can’t attack the presumed messenger they will have to attack the Swiftvet’s message. That is, as they say in the cricket world, a sticky wicket.

Of course, one may say this is just a cynical political ploy on Bush’s part. Maybe so, but Kerry’s attempt to match Bush’s CIC credentials with his own 4 months of Vietnam service 35 years ago was a bad mistake. If Kerry’s service had been entirely honorable and if his post-war activities had not offended so many veterans, he might have gotten away with his focus on Vietnam. Instead, he opened himself up to attacks on all fronts.

Bush’s respect for Kerry’s service calls to mind Mark Anthony’s homage to Julius Caesar.

ANTONY: Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer’d it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest–
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men–
Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.

Yes, Kerry is an honorable man, but everything he said after Vietnam and some of the things he did in Vietnam undercut that image. Simply by honoring Kerry’s service, Bush helps discredit it.

All this shows that it is a helluva a lot easier to take the high road when your opponent takes the low road.

John Edwards made an estimated $40 million as a trial lawyer. He specialized in cerebral palsy cases, successfully arguing that “mistakes” made by medical professionals during child-birth caused cerebral palsy. His career is pretty well summed up by this New York Times hit-piece published while Edwards was still running against Kerry for the Democrat presidential candidacy.

There’s plenty of material for them to use. I found these quotes on the AMA web-site:

Obstetricians and trauma surgeons in Western North Carolina are seeing increases in their professional liability insurance rates as high as 50-100 percent, according to Dr. Hal Lawrence, director of the Mountain Area Health Education Center’s Women’s Health Center. (Ashville Citizen-Times, Feb. 8, 2003)

“If we remain in North Carolina we will likely be forced to make the decision to limit procedures which carry high risks (but also are often life-saving),” said K. Stuart Lee, M.D. of Eastern Neurosurgical and Spine Associates Inc. Dr. Lee’s practice saw their medical liability premiums increase 116 percent last year. (The News and Observer, Jan. 26, 2003)

Women’s Care, P.A., the largest independent Ob-gyn physician group in North Carolina, saw its medical liability insurance premiums increase 30 percent in 2003 for almost three times less coverage. One of its obstetricians will soon stop delivering babies, and others are considering following his example, according to the group’s corporate director.

Dr. William Hurd, chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the Wright State University School of Medicine, said the liability crisis already is driving young doctors out of the Dayton area. “In the last two years, not a single one of our (Ob-gyn) residents has set up a practice in Dayton, or even Ohio,” Hurd said. (Dayton Daily News, Aug. 28, 2002)

Insurance premiums got so high for Dr. Brian Bachelder of Mount Gilead that he stopped delivering babies in 2003. Because he was the only obstetrician in Morrow County, women there now travel at least a half-hour to Marion. (Columbus Dispatch, February 16, 2004)

Dr. Albert E. Payne, 51-year-old obstetrician-gynecologist, is facing a premium increase from $26,500 in 2001 to $120,000. “My medical office will probably have to close this year. I have been in solo private practice in Akron for the past 20 years. I never had a malpractice lawsuit judgment against me. I love what I do. Two dozen Ob-gyns in my area have closed their practices in the past two years. If my sad prediction is correct, after next year, there will be none left.” (Columbus Dispatch, January 5, 2004)

Fremont physician Dr. Jonathon Diller, 49, a family practice physician, has delivered more than 1,000 babies in the past 21 years. He said he will soon stop. “It will be a sad day when I deliver my last baby,” he said. He paid $15,000 for liability insurance in 2001; $27,000 in 2002, and $43,000 in 2003. (The News-Messenger, March 5, 2003)

Dr. Frank Komorowski, 58, of Bellevue, stopped delivering babies after 20 years when he found out Dec. 26, 2002, that his liability insurance was tripling to more than $180,000. Komorowski-the only obstetrician in Bellevue-figured it would end up costing him nearly 11 months of his salary to pay the premium increase in addition to taxes and other expenses. (The News-Messenger, March 5, 2003)

Now imagine these professionals lined up like the Swiftvets and delivering those statements. The ad could finish by pointing out how Edwards earned his fortune, how his biggest contributors are trial lawyers, and how he and Kerry have voted against tort reform.

Point of Law points to a WSJ fisking of the Kerry/Edwards proposals on medical malpractice awards.

Kerry defenders wonder why Vietnam veterans are so upset with John F. Kerry’s testimony before the senate in 1971. Here’s how the Swift Vets report his testimony:

John Kerry’s lies about the activities of the Swift boats were part of a larger pattern of deception. As a leader of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), Kerry testified before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on April 22, 1971, telling the Senators and a national audience that American troops “…had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Ghengis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam…” and accused the U.S. military of committing war crimes “on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.”

CNN reports that:

Kerry said the Schlesinger report, which was released Tuesday, “said specifically that Secretary Rumsfeld set the climate in which these kinds of abuses were able to take place,” he said.

“But what is missing from all these reports is accountability from the senior civilian leaders in the Pentagon and in the White House,” Kerry said in a written statement.

Once again, Kerry is blaming the complete chain of command for abuses, alleged or real, that occurred on their watch. How can he expect to be trusted as commander-in-chief by those he would command?

Fox News reports that two Russian airliners crashed almost simultaneously. There is a slim chance that both crashes were accidental, rather than the result of terrorism. That’s about as slim as the chance there is no connection between where Scott Peterson went fishing and where his dead wife and son washed up. In the first case, Putin’s post-Soviet government might not want to admit the obvious; in the latter, a smart lawyer may convince a gullible jury it was mere chance that placed Scott in the same area as the bodies.

Next Page »