Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

August 29, 2008

McCain-Palin will win

Filed under: — Different River @ 6:52 pm

OK, my first thought upon hearing that Gov. Sarah Palin was McCain’s choice was, “Great, now we can count on Alaska’ 3 electoral votes, which are always Republican anyway.”

Within 15 minutes, I was convinced that McCain is a genius and Palin is a brilliant choice. My first thought was wrong.

This is someone who resigned from her first appointed position in protest of corruption, then ran against, and unseated in a Republican primary, the governor who’d appointed her. Then, she defeated the Democratic former governor, and went on to clean (state)house.

Simultaneously, this make the ticket attractive to the conservatives who have always been lukewarm about McCain, while at the same time appealing to the people like “Debra“; the Hillary voters who are so annoyed they are defecting to McCain. Her record as governor — returning federal “porkbarrel” funds and fighting corruption — will appeal to fiscal conservatives and moderates.

Every “demographic” appeal Obama has — young, clean, change, outsider, etc. — she has better (except for not being Black). Every criticism one could make of Palin (e.g., lack of experience), Obama has even worse. In fact, the Obama camp is already starting to criticize her lack of “experience.” These criticisms will boomerang, since she has more experience than he does.

In fact, here’s the Obama campaign’s official response:

“Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency,” Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said in a prepared statement.

Yeah, well: Obama has not only zero foreign policy experience (unless you count his attending a madrassa in Indonesia at ages 9), but zero executive experience, NOT EVEN being mayor of a town of 9,000 — and he conveniently “forgets” — and by implication, expects everyone to forget — that she’s also the current governor of a state of 670,000. How dumb do they think we are? Describing her as a “former mayor of a town of 9,000″ is like describing Obama as a “former law student.”

And Obama’s foreign policy ideas basically consist of negotiating with Iran over the order in which they will nuke Israeli cities.

I’ve been thinking for the last couple of months that it was looking like a McCain win. Last week, I started to think a McCain win was almost a sure thing. Now, I think it’s a lock and he’s just running up the score.

August 22, 2008

Will birthday parties be legalized in Saudi Arabia?

Filed under: — Different River @ 8:00 am

Not yet, apparently:

Celebrating anniversaries, birthdays or mother’s day is against Muslim ‘righteousness’, Saudi Arabia’s top cleric has said, quashing suggestions by a colleague that Islam permits personal celebrations.

(Hat tip: Joe Malchow of Dartblog)

August 21, 2008

A Secular Israeli Encounters China

Filed under: — Different River @ 1:52 pm

Anyone who is aware of, and interested in, the divide between secular and religious Jews in Israel, should find this worth reading:

Thank God we’re Jewish

Adi Dvir says her time in China changed her perception regarding Israel’s Jewish identity

Adi Dvir

As I have never been religious, and have always supported the separation of religion and state, I always wondered what it would be like to live in a land with no religious tendencies whatsoever. In my mind, such land had all the makings of a utopia: There would be no religious fanatics dressed in 19th century garb, no holy wars, and gender equality would reign supreme.

This utopian dream was shattered, however, after I recently had the opportunity to live in such country: China. I soon found myself thanking God we have religion in Israel.

Click here to read the rest!

August 19, 2008

Is Obama Planning to put Bush on Trial?

Filed under: — Different River @ 6:01 pm

From Byron York at “The Corner”:

The Left and Plans for “Nuremberg-Style” Tribunals for Bush Administration Officials

One thing that hasn’t received much attention in conservative and Republicans circles is the ongoing conversation on the left about the possibility of Nuremberg-style war-crimes trials for members of the Bush administration should a Democratic president take office. I’m not exaggerating or introducing the Nazi analogy myself; they actually use the phrase “Nuremberg-style” when they discuss “war-crimes tribunals.” And they are quite serious (although the more moderate of them prefer a “truth commission.”)

At the Netroots Nation gathering in Austin, Texas last month — that is the successor to YearlyKos — Dahlia Lithwick, of the Washington-Post-owned website Slate, did an interview with the Talking Points Memo site in which she described a panel discussion she had just taken part in on what is known as the “first 100 days of accountability.” Among Lithwick’s observations:

We’re already falling into this trap of either positing Nuremberg-style war crimes tribunals, or nothing, immunizing everyone from John Yoo up and down…but everybody says there’s a lot of gray area in between that, and that accountability doesn’t necessarily mean Nuremberg, it doesn’t necessarily mean nothing, it means possibly a truth commission, possibly appointing a special prosecutor to look at it…

They said that if Bush were (re-)elected, he’d put shred the Constitution and put his political opponents on trial like a tinpot dictator. Perhaps they were engaging in a little Freudian Projection?

Why you should set your brake when you park

Filed under: — Different River @ 4:07 pm

So this doesn’t happen to you, too!

August 12, 2008

Police to track every car in New York City?

Filed under: — Different River @ 4:24 pm

CBS is reporting that they New York Police Department is planning to use “Radiation Sensors, Surveillance Cameras Used To Screen & Follow Every Vehicle Entering Lower Manhattan.”

They quote a supposedly representative “NYC resident Sam Mauer” as saying, “Good idea I think. Anything that makes the city safer is a very good idea.”

Well, yes.

But would someone please explain to me exactly how this is going to make the city safer?

If they don’t have a list of terrorists’ cars, how are they going to use this system to stop anything? And if they do have a list of terrorists’ cars, why waste the time and resources to track all the other cars?

And in any case, how is simply “tracking” cars going to stop any terrorist attacks? If they actually have a list of terrorists’ cars, why not stop them at the entry points, instead of tracking them all over the place — perhaps watching as they do their vile deeds, without bothering to stop them?

It seems to me that there is not only a massive invasion of privacy, but no corresponding benefit in terms of safety or security.

Big Sibling is Watching You.

August 5, 2008

Obama and Change

Filed under: — Different River @ 10:42 pm

You know, I think I’ve finally figured Obama out. First, he was against offshore drilling. Now, he’s for it. First, he wanted to bring all the troops home. Now, he wants to send more to Afghanistan. First, he was going to limit campaign spending and use public funds. Now, he’s forgoing the public funding so he doesn’t need to limit his spending.

I couldn’t figure it out — he was changing his positions all the time!

But now I get it — of COURSE he’s doing that!

He’s the candidate of CHANGE!

So, every time he changes sides on an issues, he’s just keeping his most basic campaign promise — to CHANGE.


August 3, 2008

Is Al-Qaeda’s #2 Dead?

Filed under: — Different River @ 5:02 am

CBS News, of all sources, is reporting that Ayman al-Zawahiri seems to have been severely injured, and may now be dead, as a result of a U.S. air strike that killed six other Al-Qaeda members, including their top weapons expert.

(CBS News) — The second most powerful leader in al Qaeda may be critically wounded and possibly dead, CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan reports exclusively.

CBS News has obtained a copy of an intercepted letter from sources in Pakistan, which urgently requests a doctor to treat Ayman al-Zawahiri — who is Osama Bin Laden’s top deputy. He’s believed to be somewhere in Pakistan’s remote tribal areas of Pakistan.

The letter refers to Sheikh Dr. Ayman ul Zawahiri by name — and says that he is in “severe pain” and his “injuries are infected.”

It is reportedly written by local Taliban leader, Baitullah Mehsud, whose signature and seal are visible on the letter.

This of course requires more confirmation, but I just heard on the radio that Al Qaeda is reporting on its web site that four of it’s leaders have been killed. Do they normally admit to that sort of thing? Where is their web site, anyway?

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