Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Are the troops properly equipped?

I noticed something today that I hope is not typical. In an Army Times photo a Marine from A 1/3rd Marine Regt is using an AK instead of a US weapon.


Despite redneck talk of how great the AK is, compared to the M16A2 or M4 it is a piece of shit. Inaccurate, too loud, and not able to take scopes and NVGs. Most importantly - inaccurate. And it is NOT more reliable than an A2 or M4, despite myths of firing thousands of rounds after being buried in mud. And when it does malfunction it has a nasty habit of blowing apart in the user's hands (well, not that nasty if the enemy is using it at the time.) It also, depending on the quality of the ammo, tends to overfeed and jam (and my guess is the enemy in Iraq has some old-ass ammo). And did I mention less accurate?

So while armchair commandos think it is normal for US troops to use AKs, to me it shows something wrong. Did his weapon malfunction, and the supply chain couldn't get him a replacement fast enough? Are they low on ammo so that he is burning up enemy stuff and conserving US rounds? Is he so poorly trained that he prefers looking "cool" with an AK instead of using his own, better, weapon? Does he have an outstripped weapon that hasn't been replaced, so the AK is actually better than his worn-out rifle? What the F? None of these scenarios are good.

Then I noticed something else.

None of the Marines in A 1/3 Marine Regt. had scopes. They didn't have day scopes, NVDs, AN-PAQ-4 designators, nothing. Just iron sights. All they had were plain vanilla M16A2s, with no "goodies." And those "goodies" help, especially at night. A designator, for instance, sends out a beam, like a laser sight, that you can put on the enemy and, if you are properly zeroed, that is where the round will go. So you put the "dot" on the enemy's forehead or center mass and send him to Paradise. The enemy, unless he is wearing NVGs, can't see the beam. And if he isn't wearing NVGs then he can't even see you, and that is why the US Army owns the night. Plus, in well-trained units, the use of designators helps you to stay in your sector of fire and avoid two soldiers engaging the same target. And day scopes are handy even when not firing - you can see farther and pick your next position, or see what is going on, and communicate farther with hand and arm signals.

So why doesn't A 1/3 have them? Are they standard in the USMC, or do the Marines do without? The US Army has them. The M4 has the rail system designed to take the "goodies," and most pictures of US soldiers show them equipped with sights and night vision and designators. Pictures of Marines aren't showing this. If you are a Marine don't give me the "we are better trained and don't need them" line of bullshit. The Marines are awesome, but not better than the US Army. And you don't go to combat without ALL the advantages you can get. So I want to know why some American kids are over there without the proper equipment, especially since other American kids have it.

They also don't show the helmet-mounts for NVDs. Soldiers operate at night almost as well as in the daytime because of our huge investment in night vision. Not that night vision doesn't suck to use - it is like walking looking through a paper towel tube. But it is better than being blind. And with the helmet mounts you can use them even when flares are constantly going off and illuminating the scene bright as day. Pop - flare goes off, you flip up the NVD. Flare burns out and you flip them down. You are never blind.

So where are the NODs for the Marines? And why the F is one of them shown using a piece of crap AK? They have the rest of the equipment they need, from what I can see. I've seen them with shotguns, and with lots of frags, and I saw some use a pre-prepared demo charge to blow a hole in a wall. So why not NODS and scopes?

This bothers me. Can somebody tell me why the Marines aren't as well-equipped as the Army? And are they as well supplied as they should be?

A quick explanation for civilians, but veterans and those already familiar with the US military can skip this:

NOD- night observation device, a "night scope." The green picture you sometimes see when news networks are showing night battles is taken with a NOD.
NVD - night vision device, same as a NOD.
M4- the shorter version of the M16A2 that the US Army has adopted, with adjustable stock and a rail above the barrel and reciever to take NODS and other things, like flashlights, etc.
Designator - a "laser sight" kind of device that shoots a beam visible only to those wearing NODS. The beam is aligned with the sights. You put the beam on the target. You know why.
Zeroing: adjusting your sights so that when your sight is center mass on a target the round is too.
AK - most will already know this. The standard assault rifle of the former Soviet Union, and pretty much the entire third world, with a distinctive very-curved magazine. Usually fires 7.62mm rounds in the AK-47 version. It has been updated to fire 5.54mm ammo in the AK-74 version, which is very common nowadays. The 5.54 mm high-velocity round is even smaller than the 5.56 NATO round of the US military. Smaller is not necessarily less effective: since force = mass times acceleration, the round is smaller but moves much, much faster, causing more impact and damage than a larger, slower bullet. It is cheaply made, fairly reliable, and not very accurate. It is cheap and simple to use and maintain, which makes it the weapon of choice for conscript armies that don't have the time or money or motivation to train their soldiers to a high standard. The M16-series in the US military is actually a much, much better assault rifle, but more expensive and more complicated to use. It is thus preferred by professionals, but not by mass conscription armies. The AK fires in the semi-automatic mode (single-shot each time you pull the trigger) or full automatic mode (empties out when you hold down the trigger). The M16-A2 and M4 fire on semi or 3-round burst mode. Full auto is usually the equivalent of saying "I can't shoot accurately, watch me waste up all my ammo before a well-trained enemy ends my misery." US troops like it when they face enemies that use full auto - it means the enemy can't shoot straight and is very poorly trained.)

Saturday, November 20, 2004


Just what California desperately needs - another lawyer!


yeah, baby.

Turns out everybody I know from my school has passed. My school is always near the top or at the top in bar passage rates, often #1. Usually around 90% of my school's graduates pass. However, the bar passage rate statewide is very low, so we are still terrified of failing. It was 3 days long, but it wasn't as bad as I had feared - which does NOT mean it was not the most intense testing period I have ever had. It was.

Last July's examination had a pass rate of 49%. When those retaking the test are excluded, first-time test takers had a pass rate of 63%. Thus anytime you hear somebody disparaging somebody who didn't pass, you can know they are an ass. 37% of law school graduates failed it, and usually the person disparaging the failure isn't a law school graduate themselves - so they can stuff it. Somebody who fails the bar can still be twice as smart and five times the lawyer of somebody else who passes.

Problem is, if you fail it the first time the odds of passing drop drastically.

Not for the reasons you might think - a lack of ability. If you are a repeater of COURSE you have a lower chance of passing compared to first-timers. Not necessarily because those who failed it aren't just as smart, but because preparing for the bar is a full-time job, and most people take bar prep courses that are 6 days a week for 6 or 8 weeks. How many people can afford to spend two months not working - TWICE? Thus repeaters usually are studying on their own and trying to squeeze it into their lives, plus they are nervous as hell because of the crushing news that they failed the first time. In July 2003 the repeaters had a pass rate of only 18% - 88% of them failed it again.

In February 2004 (normally the first retest for those who fail it in July) the pass rate was overall was 46% (thus 54% failed). For repeaters the pass rate was higher than in July though, at 30%. Still, more than half of the first-timers failed, and 2/3rds of retakers failed.

And all were law school graduates. That is NOT an easy test.

To everybody who passed, congratulations. To the very large % of those who did not pass, my sympathies, and NO SHAME. It was F'ing hard. And anybody who looks down on you is an ass. Congratulations on graduating law school, and good luck on your retest. Unfortunately, you will need it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Don't rush to judgment on injured Iraqi "prisoner" shooting

The news is abuzz with the "execution" (in the words of the British press) of an "unarmed" Iraqi insurgent "prisoner" by a US Marine.

And the news is NOT reporting the facts as they happened. I know this for sure.

How? Because the pictures, which most civilians will assume show a "crime" clearly being committed, actually support an opposite conclusion.

Now, I am not one of those knuckleheaded Fox news morons who will say stuff like "he was under stress" or "they aren't playing by the rules either" or "kill 'em all." The same idiots that excuse Abu Ghraib as "pranks" and "justified" when that behavior was inexcusable and pisses off real warriors who understand the meaning of the words "honor" and "dishonor." If a prisoner is executed under any circumstances by a member of the US military then the executioner should go to jail, no excuses, no "he was under stress" talk. Imagine: EVERYBODY IN COMBAT IS UNDER STRESS. Everybody in combat is angry at the enemy. By allowing such excuses we simply dismiss the Geneva Conventions - which are US law and which nobody, not even the President, has the power to do, despite his best attempts and Guantanamo's shame.

BUT, but, but - that is NOT what happened here. Note how the press is saying a Marine shot an "unarmed Iraqi prisoner." We don't know for sure he was Iraqi, but it is likely. We don't know for sure if he was unarmed - chances are neither did the Marine. But we know one thing for sure: he was NOT a prisoner. He was still a combatant. And the Marine did the right thing. I would have shot him too.

The reason we know this is because the pictures show Marines with weapons in the ready position, moving through an objective they had apparently just taken. They were in the process of securing that objective - the fight was NOT over. And one thing you NEVER do, if you are well-trained and want to live, is turn your back on the enemy - even a "dead" enemy, until you know for sure he is dead or "hors de combat."

Combat soldiers can tell you that they have been trained to "double-tap" on the objective. That is, they shoot every enemy soldier twice in the head as they sweep the objective - dead or not, because countless times in every war the enemy feigns death and tosses a grenade or opens fire as soon as your back is turned. The only exception is for those clearly out of combat - obvious grievious, incapacitating wounds, or hands in the air surrender, or in the judgment of the soldier the bad guy is clearly no longer a threat. This "double-tap" drill is not against any of the Geneva Conventions - nor is it immoral. It is common sense. Until the objective is secure you are in the fight, and killing the enemy. Once the objective is secure you can then secure prisoners - but they are not prisoners until then. They are people that are trying to kill you, and you are trying to kill them, and you don't turn your back on somebody that is trying to kill you unless you know for sure he is dead.

So imagine which is the greater threat - somebody with obvious grievous injuries, who appears unconcious, or somebody that is wounded and looking right at you with no weapon in his hand, watching you, or somebody that looks slightly injured and appears to be playing dead - you can see he is breathing but he is acting dead?

It is clearly the guy who is playing dead - he is planning on killing you as soon as you turn your back. The terribly injured guy is "hors de combat" - out of the fight even if he wanted to continue. The guy looking right at you is not faking - he has no weapon, is concious, and isn't trying to hide anything. The guy who might be playing dead? His intent to deceive is for one reason only - to fool you so that he can kill you. So you shoot him in the head, twice, just as you are trained. Maybe you are wrong. Maybe the guy was no threat - the guy who was just doing his best to kill you and your buddies, maybe is no threat now. But would you chance it? I wouldn't - and I wouldn't let my soldiers chance it either, I would ORDER them to finish off the threat. Because when you become a combatant you take your chances that I might miss the exact moment when you change into a non-combatant. I would rather make the mistake that kills YOU, instead of the one that kills ME. And this is NOT a war crime. This Marine, from what I can see, did everything correctly, even to the point of firing only twice - double-tap - in the head.

In the video the words "He's playing dead" are heard, followed by "bang bang" and "He's dead now." And in the same mosque, same battle, same marines, exact same time, living Iraqis are seen, and they are NOT executed. Not an example of an out-of-control incident, but an example of EXACTLY what well-trained troops should do in such a situation.

And when it is captured on film it turns into an "execution" of an "unarmed" "prisoner." No. Not what happened. And the squeamish who wonder how anybody could do such a terrible thing should go to hell, because that is where these soldiers and Marines are right now - hell - and the rules are different when killing is not murder but your job. There are still rules, but they are sensible rules - despite rednecks who claim otherwise - and they won't get you killed. You can follow all of the Geneva Conventions and never put yourself or your troops or your mission at any more risk than if you didn't. Actually, when you follow them you are reducing your risk - the enemy is more likely to surrender, less likely to fight to the death, you are more likely to gain living prisoners and the intelligence they have, you are less likely (but by no means guaranteed) to have your soldiers survive when captured, and it will be easier to restore order and a just peace after the end of hostilities. It will be easier to end hostilities. The laws of war are sensible, just, and wise. And they were decidely NOT violated here.

But we will see if any of the coverage - both in support of and against this Marine - actually understands what took place here. Those who want him punished will see an unarmed prisoner executed in cold blood. Those who wish to defend him will try and explain that it was okay to execute this unarmed prisoner because it wasn't in cold blood. But the facts given are false, as I have explained. There was no prisoner to execute, there was only an enemy soldier, and it was the job of the Marine to kill him before he could be himself killed.

Good job Marine. You make this soldier proud of the Corps, even if others don't understand that you did no wrong.

Thursday, November 11, 2004


New topic:

Not many people know this, but during our revolution the patriots were NOT in the majority. About 1/3rd of the colonists supported independence, about 1/3rd supported the crown, and about 1//3rd were "undecided."

Many "tories" who supported the crown did so out of loyalty to their nation - Great Britain - and despised the radicals who dared to suggest a civilized nation could be ruled without a king.

So here is my question: if George W. Bush were alive in 1775 and living in America, would he be a Tory and support the crown, or a revolutionary? And why do you choose one or the other? there is also the "undecided" option here.

And what about Kerry? Clinton? Bush sr? Reagan? Carter? Ford? Nixon? Throw in what you want and leave out what you want. we'll see if this is a topic people want to discuss.

My take:

Bush: Tory - because he has never been progressive, always been conservative, and believes exactly what he learned in West Texas as a youth and has never questioned those beliefs - or bothered to learn about the world around him. That sounds like a tory to me. This is NOT a dig at Bush. And he would NOT sit it out like he did Vietnam, but would probably fight for the Crown against those rag-tag patriots. He would believe he was doing it for crown and country - and he would be, becasue the tories in our revolution weren't traitors, but loyalists. They were loyal to the form of government they grew up with and were willing to take up arms to defend it, and unlike the South when it seceded, I don't see anything dishonorable about tory behavior during our revolution. I am just glad they lost. And at the end of the war Bush would have refused to accept the loss of his king and moved to England to remain loyal to his beliefs. Some of the tories lost everything but their lives in our revolution, and some lost that as well - and they did it becasue they believed they were on the side of right. Bush would have been such a true believer.

Kerry? I think he would have joined the patriots. From an early age he questioned authority and the world around him, and served in Vietnam for all the right reasons. He volunteered, and his anti-war activities when he returned shows that he was willing to stand up and fight for what he believed in, but would come to his own conclusions what it is he believed. Rational, independent thinkers joined the revolution because they dared to think that men could govern themselves, and he is certainly rational and independent.

Clinton? I honestly think he would be undecided. Unlike the "flip-flop" BS thrown at Kerry, I think Kerry has been willing to take a stand, even unpopular ones, many many times. He could have been Joe Lieberman and been enthusiastic about invading Iraq, but he wasn't. He could have been Kean and been anti-war all the way. He wasn't. Kerry was rational and willing to wage war, but only as a last resort. That made his campaign harder, not easier, and he knew it. He knew the "flip-flop" charges would come, but he still did what he believed to be right, and even said he would cast his vote the same way again if a president asked for such authority - knowing that Bush would twist it and call it more flip-flopping. Strangely enough, the "flip-flop" charge came about because Kerry was willing to take a stand - for war when necessary, against it when not. That was apparently beyond most people's understand and beyond a 30-second sound bite. It sounds wishy-washy even though it isn't. Clinton? He would have waited it out and then enthusiastically supported whomever won, and then probably convince people he had always been on their side. I call him undecided.

Bush sr? Revolutionary patriot all the way.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

My response

From Bush's speech today:

Reaching these goals will require the broad support of Americans, so today I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust.

A new term is a new opportunity to reach out to the whole nation. We have one country, one Constitution, and one future that binds us. And when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America. (Cheers, applause.)


The marriage amendment cast in hatred of those different from you, calling those who dissent from your misguided and foolish policies traitors, implying that criticizing you weakens our nation, and the slimy campaign you ran don't bring us together.

Mr. President, fuck you and the horse you rode in on. You are still a fool. Being popular doesn't make you right. It makes you popular. You are the worst president our nation has ever suffered under. And history will remember you that way.

Vote Hillary in '08!

Lessons learned from this election

Looks like Bush has been re-elected. Damn. While it is not officially over due to the provisional ballots, it looks like a very long shot that Kerry can overcome the amount of votes he is behind right now. Given that it is 51% to 49% in Ohio the odds of the provisional ballots being 75% in Kerry's favor is not likely.

So what can the democrats learn from this election?

  1. Dirty tricks work: the most lop-sided and "dirty" effort to elect Kerry was Fahrenheit 9/11. It gained a lot of attention, but was disowned by the party. There was also the "Hitler/Bush" moveon.org spot that was on the website briefly before being disowned by the party and removed. Meanwhile the Swiftboat liars hammered Kerry's military record with lies and distortions, the VP continued to claim Iraq-Al Quaeda ties and to tell the people that a vote for Kerry would be a terrorist victory, and the gay marriage amendment successfully energized evangelical Christians to cast their "family values" vote. Lesson we should learn? Fight fire with fire. More Michael Moores, not less. Next campaign whomever the right-wing candidate is we should accuse of ties to the KKK, of ties to the Mafia, of drug problems, we should have a 527 organization play the most negative and deceptive ads we can think of. So what if they aren't true. Neither was the Swiftvets or Cheney's claims, but it worked. Fight dirty, as dirty as we can. We need a Karl Rove to plant false stories with plausible deniability. We can't depend, as this election shows, on voters seeking the truth. Instead we need to muddy the waters on any issue that might make the radical right look good, and truth be damned. Just as with the Swiftvets and Kerry's heroism. It doesn't have to be true, it just has to be sensational. NO more disowning ads like the Hitler/Bush ads. When our candidate is asked if they approve, don't say they disapprove, just say "all negative ads are bad, such as" - and then mention a right-wing attack ad, and ask the right wing to stop. Did you hear that Dennis Hastert has been seen at Nazi rallies and giving the Hitler salute? No? Well, I heard that rumor. I don't know if it is true of course. Did you hear that the far-right has plans to re-instate debtor's prisons for those who fall behind on credit-card payments? I heard a rumor. I don't know if it is true. Did you hear that the neo-conservatives want to end all taxes on the wealthy elitists but raise taxes on the middle-class through such tricks as a flat-tax or a national sales tax? See, even if only one neo-conservative lawmaker suggests that (or even just a slightly-well known radical right pundit or think-tank suggests it) we need to immediately characterize it as the position of the entire far-right (far-right = all non-democrats.) And when they deny it simply say "It is good that the neo-conservative elitists have abandoned that plan, because the democratic pragmatists would never permit such an attack upon the middle class. We applaud their change of heart and hope they continue to move closer to the American mainstream."
  2. Appeal to our base: the gay marriage and other "family values" issues energized the right-wing base. We tried to get undecideds. The undecideds didn't show. Neither did minorities in Florida, or in Cleveland - that was the difference in victory. Our majority stayed home. The snake-handlers voted. Next election we need to energize our base. Howard Dean, not a middle of the roader like Kerry. We need to give up on the overwhelmingly red states and start referring to ourselves proudly as liberals, and change it from a dirty word. The generals who supported Kerry need to be identified as liberals. We should use the term again and again and again and take out the negative connotations, just as Clinton did in '92 and '96. We need to stop letting the right-wing set our agenda and start setting our own. Have Hillary run in '08, and don't give a damn that people who hate her might be offended - why worry about hostility from already hostile voters?
  3. Characterize the opposition and hammer our position home again and again: Bush labeled Kerry as weak and a flip-flopper from the start, and never let up. The left was labeled as hippies and cream-puffs, and we didn't recover. We should start, now, referring to conservatives as "extreme right-wingers" and "far-right neofascists" and "radical republicans." We should never use the word "conservative" again. It suggests safety and a lack of change and appeals to the "good old days." And that is not what the Bush presidency is at all. Use the term "neo-conservative." The words "far right" and "radical" and "extreme" and "neo-" should be used by all democratic leaders whenever they refer to the opposition. We should seek to make it unpopular to be identified as a radical, just as we were labeled radicals this election when in fact Kerry was the centrist and Bush was far, far right. Never use the word "right-winger" without the addition of the word "far" or "radical." We can also start using words such as war-monger, profiteer, oppressor, etc.
  4. Class warfare is ok: We lost the "culture war." Every time the radical neo-fascist tax cuts (see, I'm using #3 already) were criticized the far-right wingers accused the liberal pragmatists (our new title) of inciting class warfare. The tax cuts ARE a war against the middle class and the poor, but we were on the defense. Fuck that, no more. ENGAGE in inciting class warfare, but don't use the word "poor." Americans don't like to think of themselves as poor, and the poor don't vote Republican anyway. Use the word "middle-class" and make it a democratic appellation. Point out the inequities between the middle-class and the country-club set. Hammer on the unfairness, any time we speak of a radical republican (all republican leaders should now fit that description) we should point out how he hurts the middle-class. Notice how I didn't say he fails to "help" the middle-class. Americans don't like to think they need help even when they do. But they don't like being hurt. So anything that doesn't HELP those not rich should be an attack by the radical right upon the middle-class. And when we are accused of inciting class warfare we should agree proudly and state that we will continue to defend the middle-class against the country-club radicals who seek to harm them. Oh, and all neo-conservatives are "elitists" and "luxury suite silver spooners." I don't care if they were born in a log cabin and have $8 to their name, and worked at a non-profit all their life. They are now to be described only as elitists. Wal-Mart shoppers (and workers) voted Republican, even though the Democratic party is the party of the common man and the radical extremists are the party of the inherited wealth country-club elitists. So call a silver-spooner a spoiled silver-spooner, and ask him why he thinks middle-class Americans should be his servants.
  5. Any negative news that voters don't like should simply be denied: Is the economy bad with the first president to preside over a net job loss since Hoover? Claim a strengthening economy, just like the neo-conservative radical right has done this election. A military conflict going wrong due to idiotic missteps? Declare victory. The truth might be obvious to you and me, but in the "heartland" most voters simply assume the truth is in the middle. So we were clearly telling the truth and the neo-conservatives were far, far right. Voters simply assumed the truth was in the middle - meaning it was to the right of center. No more. Truth doesn't work, just as this election shows.
  6. Attack the patriotism of the radical neo-conservatives: We should have had more attacks on Bush's NG service, not less. We should have asked again and again "Why didn't you serve your country? National Guard members today are doing so, why didn't you?" Lather rinse repeat.
  7. Titles: Democratic legislators should start putting forward any bill they want regardless of its chance of success. The quality of the legislation isn't as important as the title. Have an act that takes away civil rights? Call it the Patriot Act. See? And if your bill doesn't pass attack the radical rightists for not supporting the "Defense of the Middle-class Justice for All" tax bill, even if they actually pass bigger tax cuts. "Why didn't you help defend the middle class?" "Uhh, I did, I voted to pass bigger tax cuts." "First you say you did, yet you voted against the Defense of the Middle-class Justice for All bill? Why don't you support justice for all and not just justice for your fellow elite country-clubbers? Don't you know that not everybody can lounge by the pool all day and be served drinks, that some people have to work for a living?" The "American Strength" bill, the "Defense of Children" act, the "Support for Working Mothers and Stay-at-home Moms" bill, the "Freedom" bill, the "Independence and Liberty" bill, the "Truth, Justice, and the American Way" bill. Be sure and have a popular issue that everybody wants (a military pay-raise for instance) and combine it with 500 things you know the radicals won't agree to, such as a national motor-voter bill, or a ban on certain pork-barrel bills in the districts of powerful extreme-right wingers. Or a tax on oil company windfall profits that will be used to lower the price of gas for the middle class. The "Honor and Respect the Warrior" bill will lose, and then endlessly repeat that the elitists Washington insiders voted against the Honor and Respect the Warrior bill. Have a veteran democratic pragmatist lawmaker do this while naming the elitist silver-spooners who didn't serve in the military who voted against the bill. Whenever the radicals sponser such a bill simply try and add a rider increasing the amount and also including a proviso you know they won't go for - increasing the power and staff of the SEC and including a new law that they right will hate - such as a law forbidding CEOs to cash out stock options until they have been out of the position for five years, etc. When this fails let every reporter know that the right-wing elitists voted against a larger raise for the military (you don't even need to get it out of committee - just suggest it and when it fails you raise hell).
  8. While we are doing all this make constant calls for more bi-partisanship and decry the lack of cooperation from the radical right who are out of touch with the middle-class backbone of America. While we plant stories of millions spent on parties for elitist politicians (we are always "lawmakers" and "public servants," they are always "politicians" and "right-wing Washington insiders) we should at the same time ask the radical republicans to stop their negative attacks. And be sure to note their "elitist hypocrisy" when we do so. Such as "Our middle-class pragmatist lawmakers want to defend the American family. Negative and misleading attacks that sling mud don't help America. We ask that the radical extremists cease their attacks. We don't like it when they hurt America and our freedom. And the fact that they accuse us of such deplorable tactics shows how hypocritical and out-of-touch the far-right neo-conservative Washington insiders really are. We demand that they cease such destructive and negative campaigns now and campaign as the American people want - honest, clean, and morally straight. We are tired of politicians attacking instead of helping Americans. We need to come together and do what is right for America." Ignore any twinges of guilt, as this election shows a conscience won't help us win.
  9. Start campaigning for 2008 NOW - by pledging support and loyalty to the president and then blaming the radical republicans for everything. Anytime anything bad happens we should be sure and point out that the extreme right-wing controls the House, Senate, and the White House. Even if it isn't related. "Floods in Ohio." "Well, the radical right controls the House, Senate, the White House, and the judiciary, yet they did nothing to prevent this and aren't helping the middle class like they should. Elite neo-conservatives living in a luxury suite don't know what it is like when a middle-class American loses a home or a business, and we call on the far right politicans to support the "Ohio Recovery and Protection" act granting Ohio more federal assistance." NOTE: the bill can be anything, such as stuff totally unrelated to the flood that was already going to Florida, such as homeland security money - simply do something like have the bill dispense the already-allocated funds 30 days earlier than planned, stuff like that. Or better, if you know the radical right will support the bill make sure you "thank them" and "encourage them" in their "change of heart." Stuff like "we are glad that the extreme right-wing has decided to put the needs of the nation above the desires of their party and will now support the "Honesty and Fairness for the Middle Class" act. We applaud their brave stance and hope that they continue to move closer to the American mainstream and help us defend the middle class and encourage them to also support the "Strengthen America" act as well." The Strengthen America act doesn't have to be remotely related to the other bill, and it is even better if it is a bill that the extremists won't support.
  10. Reduce everything to a 30-second sound bite, or even better, a 10-word statement. Twist the words of the extremists, just as the "global test" cudgel used by the elitist radical Bush was the exact opposite of what Kerry actually said.
  11. Again, start now. Take our country back and end this national nightmare.

Of course I will support whomever is elected by the American people. I call on the far-right wing to do the same and cease their negative campaigning and efforts to prevent middle-class Americans from having their votes counted.

Monday, November 01, 2004


Give me your best guess - as we use to say in the infantry, "SWAG" it. (Scientific "Wild-Ass" Guess).

You can use %'s or electoral votes.

Remember, the magic number of electoral votes needed is 270 (1 more than half of the 538 electoral vote total).

A candidate can win the % of the popular vote and lose the electoral college - as happened in 2000 when half a million more Americans voted for Gore than for Bush. So if you use %'s indicate the winner as well. Such as "Kerry 48.1 %, Bush 48.0 %, Nader 3.9 % - Bush."

Here is my guess, and I will repeat Vrangel's as well:

My guess:

Kerry 306 electoral votes, 48.9%, Bush 232 electoral votes, 48.4%, Nader 0 electoral votes, 2.5%, others .1% (including a write-in for Lefty cancelled out by a write-in for Ala71).

Vrangel says Bush 52%, Kerry 48%, Nader a fraction, Bush elected.