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September 2004 Archives

September 6, 2004

Porn is Good for You!

As it turns out, according to a new study in Australia, pornography can be a useful tool for reducing stress and injecting a little passion into your marriage. An article summarizing the study can be found here and here. Of course, with something as controversial as this nutjob idea, there are always prudes out to discredit the idea (I mean, golly, how could nudity be anything but sheer evil?), as is discussed here. They point out that pornography, like automobiles, gives bad people another way to hurt others. And of course, who could be a more sympathetic victim than our children? Please, think of the children—as it turns out, sexual predators (who molest children) also enjoy pornography quite a bit. It is obvious (apparently) that pornography is thus either an indicator of sexually predatory impulses, or causes sexual predators to go after children. One of the most amusing bits of this article is that it asserts that “No man who regularly uses pornography can have a healthy sexual relationship with a woman.” and then turns around and almost completely reverses itself in the very next sentence: “Good, healthy erotica is one thing (if you can find it), but the sex depicted in standard porn is wholly devoid of intimacy and affection.” I’m glad this fellow is out there, surfing the web to find how depraved some people might be.

In other news, the befuddlement of mankind continues.

September 20, 2004

The Economy of Tax Cuts

I found this link that explains the cost of Bush’s tax cuts in terms everyone can understand. Here’s a quickie: for 2% of the cost of the tax cut, first responders across the country (firemen, ambulences, police, etc.) could be better supported in their ability to prevent and respond to acts of terrorism. Good thing we got that tax cut out of the way, eh? Note, this link is from the great state of Washington, so some of it’s information is specific to Washington.

September 21, 2004

Low Blow

What can I say? I saw this, and knew I had to post it.

Bush during Vietnam *Updated*

Originally authored on: 2004-08-23 01:52:12 I really find this whole thing rather irritating. I honestly don’t care what Bush was doing during Vietnam. If he was in Vietnam, that would be great. If he was in Arkansas, that would be great. If he was in Texas, that would be great.

The big issue is that we don’t know where Bush was. We’re pretty certain it wasn’t Vietnam, which is why he shouldn’t really say much about the war record of someone who was. I don’t think Kerry should say anything about Bush’s record in the Texas National Guard.

What I find distasteful is people who claim that there is proof that Bush was fulfilling his duties. The fact is, there isn’t. He may have been, and if he was, like I said, great. But there isn’t any documentation. Some would assert that because he got an honorable discharge, he must have fulfilled his duty. This is not necessarily true, as you can see.

Anyway, since it has come up multiple times, and it seems that no further evidence is forthcoming, I figure I ought to document the dumb thing. At the very least, so I can point to it when it comes up again, I’m going to document what I can.

A decent summary of the questions raised is posted here although as it’s from Salon, a known hotbed of liberalism, so some might doubt it’s veracity.

A website I haven’t seen before, but has a very complete record is one called “Calpundit” which has not only a record of the relevant issue, but also has scanned-in copies of many of the relevant documents. here here and here

The summary seems to be: there is no sufficient record or proof that Bush fulfilled his required duty in the Texas National Guard. This does not mean that he didn’t do it. This means that there is no proof that he did. Some have said if he released his pay stubs from that time period (assuming he kept them), then that would resolve the issue. To my knowledge, he has not done so.

If that isn’t sufficient documentation, and if I find or am directed to more info, I’ll add more. Help cataloging this crap is welcome and requested.

Update (8/24/2004): USA Today has a good summary of things thus far.

Update (9/7/2004): The Miami Herald has a report summarizing what is missing, and documenting the Allied Press (AP) lawsuit against the government to obtain the missing documents. According to the AP, there are five categories of missing documentation, as follows (this is quoted from the article):

  1. A report from the Texas Air National Guard to Bush’s local draft board certifying that Bush remained in good standing. The government has released copies of those DD Form 44 documents for Bush for 1971 and earlier years but not for 1972 or 1973. Records from Bush’s draft board in Houston do not show his draft status changed after he joined the guard in 1968. The AP obtained the draft board records Aug. 27 under the Freedom of Information Act.
  2. Records of a required investigation into why Bush lost flight status. When Bush skipped his 1972 physical, regulations required his Texas commanders to “direct an investigation as to why the individual failed to accomplish the medical examination,” according to the Air Force manual at the time. An investigative report was supposed to be forwarded “with the command recommendation” to Air Force officials “for final determination.”
    Bush’s spokesmen have said he skipped the exam because he knew he would be doing desk duty in Alabama. But Bush was required to take the physical by the end of July 1972, more than a month before he won final approval to train in Alabama.
  3. A written acknowledgment from Bush that he had received the orders grounding him. His Texas commanders were ordered to have Bush sign such a document; but none has been released.
  4. Reports of formal counseling sessions Bush was required to have after missing more than three training sessions. Bush missed at least five months’ worth of National Guard training in 1972. No documents have surfaced indicating Bush was counseled or had written authorization to skip that training or make it up later. Commanders did have broad discretion to allow guardsmen to make up for missed training sessions, said Weaver and Lawrence Korb, Pentagon personnel chief during the Reagan administration from 1981 to 1985.
    “If you missed it, you could make it up,” said Korb, who now works for the Center for American Progress, which supports Kerry.
  5. A signed statement from Bush acknowledging he could be called to active duty if he did not promptly transfer to another guard unit after leaving Texas. The statement was required as part of a Vietnam-era crackdown on no-show guardsmen. Bush was approved in September 1972 to train with the Alabama unit, more than four months after he left Texas.

Update (9/9/04): According to a new FactCheck document Three new things have come to light (much of this text (the text in italics) is directly lifted from the FactCheck document, though FactCheck has more references, more details, is better documented, and doesn’t have my editorializing):

  1. A Boston Globe report Sept. 8/ concluded that Bush “fell well short of meeting his military obligation” because of irregular attendance at Guard drills. The Globe said Bush’s superiors “could have disciplined him or ordered him to active duty in 1972, 1973 or 1974. But they did neither.” The Whitehouse, understandably, contests this conclusion.
  2. The Associated Press reported Sept. 8 that newly obtained records show Bush’s Texas unit continued operating the type of airplane that Bush was trained to fly until 1974, long after Bush’s last flight in April 1972. Bush aides once suggested that a reason he stopped flying and later skipped a flight physical, leading to his official grounding, was that his services weren’t needed because the F-102 Delta Dagger planes were being phased out.
  3. The CBS program 60 Minutes planned to air an interview Sept. 8 with former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, who says he used his political influence to get Bush into the Texas Air National Guard in 1968, when the Vietnam war was raging. Barnes says he did the same for a “lot of wealthy supporters and a lot of people who had family names,” and is now “very ashamed.” This, I feel, is neither here nor there. Bush got into the National Guard because his dad was a big-shot politician. All those who are surprised, please identify yourselves for further ridicule. Turns out, very few people like the draft, and most folks were doing their best to avoid it. Bush had the influence to avoid the Draft in a way that was very non-dangerous and completely legal (as far as I know, legal, anyway). Who wouldn’t take that opportunity? And it quite possibly could have been done without Bush Jr’s knowledge. What father wouldn’t try to keep his kids safe if he could? But, it does nobody any good to pretend that Bush getting into the National Guard (a very popular alternative to the draft, for obvious reasons) was just “the luck of the draw.” I mention it here only because FactCheck does, and because I’ve heard this kind of crap argument before.

This complements the previous, and more complete article at FactCheck. It essentially points out that while documents are fairly suggestive that Bush was where he said he was, but are not conclusive.

Update (9/13/04): More discussion of how much you can get away with and still be honorably discharged here.

Update (9/21/04): It appears that Bush’s records were tampered with.

Update (9/28/04): Another summary, this time by the LA Times. Summarized here: One key point of the article is that Bush did not meet one set of obligations as a Guardsman: the training minimum for members of the Ready Reserve. (Guard members are also in the Ready Reserve, which has a different set of attendance standards than the Guard.) And addressing the issue of Bush’s failure to take a flight medical exam, the article notes that an “array of Guard officials…said they could not recall another pilot who skipped his mandatory medical exam.” Ret. flight surgeon Jerry Marcontell, who was the flight surgeon for Bush’s air wing, said, “There were cases where they’d be a few weeks late because their regular jobs might get them in a bind. But I don’t remember anyone missing a physical for months at a time. Certainly not a year.” Bush’s aides have provided varying and contradictory explanations why he did not take that exam and was subsequently grounded. Still, the Mystery of the Missing Exam remains, well, a mystery. Now why can’t Bush clear that up?

September 22, 2004


Yeah, probably a low blow, but it's just damn funny.

September 26, 2004

They Knew

I was doing some research for an email to a friend of mine, and came across the In These Times magazine (http://www.inthesetimes.com), and their August 2004 cover story: They Knew…

Holy shit.

What you will find in there is an extremely well documented, thoroughly researched record of when the Bush administration found out that their justification for war was bogus, and what they said about it (here’s a hint: they found out before they said anything, in most cases).

September 28, 2004

The New Paradigm

As Stewart says, “You do not want the new paradigm wrapped around your nuts.”

I found this on www.dearjonstewart.com. I think their petition is silly (who the heck looks to a comedian to make your decision for you?), but the Daily Show is awesome, and this is an excellent clip.

(local copy here just in case that one disappears)

Gas Prices

I found this interesting. If you think gas prices are high now, see what they were like back in the day (e.g. the 70’s), adjusted for inflation. Check it out:

I found it here

About September 2004

This page contains all entries posted to Kyle in September 2004. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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