Saturday, May 29, 2004

Honest Bloggers Quiz

(or "Making my Biases Clear").

1. Which political party do you typically agree with?

The Libertarians on most issues, except for foreign policy. However, their current foreign policy views are totally unacceptable to me, so for now, the Republicans.

2. Which political party do you typically vote for?

About an equal split between Republicans and Libertarians. Will not be voting Libertarian again unless they change their stance on the WoT.

3. List the last five presidents that you voted for.

I've only been eligible to vote in four presidential elections, and I did not receive a ballot in 1996, because I was in between duty stations. However-1988/Bush, 1992/Marrou, 1996/Did not vote, 2000/Bush.

4. Which party do you think is smarter about the economy?

In theory, the GOP. In practice, neither. If the GOP ever gets serious about reducing spending, I'll be overjoyed. The GOP revolution of 1994 is dead and buried, killed by its own offspring. At least the GOP has passed SOME tax cuts.

5. Which party do you think is smarter about domestic affairs?

Again, the Libertarians, but given a choice between the big two, I'll pick the Republicans. They have some abysmally stupid social engineering ideas, but they can't pass the most objectionable ones. The Dems have a good track record of enacting their programs to which I object.

6. Do you think we should keep our troops in Iraq or pull them out?

Keep them there, until the Iraqis have a functioning government of their own, and until the remnants of the Baathists and other assorted scum have been routed.

7. Who, or what country, do you think is most responsible for 9/11?

Osama bin Laden. Anyone who believes otherwise is too stupid to lack constant supervision, and should be committed immediately.

8. Do you think we will find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

(To directly quote the site where I encountered this quiz)

What, you mean besides the reference strains of biological agents found in the house of an Iraqi scientist last year? The research on brucella and hemorragic fever? The unmanned drones with the range far greater than the UN set for them? The 500 tons of natural uranium? The 'pesticides' stored in a camouflaged bunker 8 feet underground? (Why does one store 'pesticides' in a camouflaged bunker 8 feet underground, anyway?) Or how about the 'pesticides' found at an ammo dump? Are bugs a problem at ammo dumps? How about the 120-mm shells found by the Danes that contained some strange liquid?

9. Yes or no, should the U.S. legalize marijuana?

Yes, but it's not a burning issue for me. (pun intended)

10. Do you think the Republicans stole the last presidental election?

No. In fact, I feel that the Democrats failed in their attempt to steal the election. (It has nothing to do with ZOG and black helicopters, FWIW).

11. Do you think Bill Clinton should have been impeached because of what he did with Monica Lewinsky?

That's not why he was impeached, but I think the reason he was impeached was a bit flimsy. He should have resigned, but that would have required ethical standards he lacked.

12. Do you think Hillary Clinton would make a good president?

No. She is a tremendously polarizing figure, and her mismanagement of the socialized medicine scheme of the early nineties disqualifies her, in my eyes.

13. Name a current Democrat who would make a great president.

Sen. Zell Miller, GA

14. Name a current Republican who would make a great president.

Condoleezza Rice

15. Do you think that women should have the right to have an abortion?

Only because I will never have to deal with the consequences of an unwanted pregnancy. The government should not be involved in this issue, at all (including funding of abortions). This is also not a make-or-break issue for me, as I have (And will continue to) support politicians whose views differ from mine.

16. What religion are you?

My religious beliefs are mine alone, but are similar to most shared Christian beliefs.

17. Have you read the Bible all the way through?

Probably not, but certainly almost all of it at one time or another.

18. What's your favorite book?

The Wounded Sky, by Diane Duane. (The book was reworked into a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode entitled "Where No One Has Gone Before", but the book was far superior.)

19. Who is your favorite band?

Hmmmm, "band" is hard. My favorite musician is Basia.

20. Who do you think you'll vote for president in the next election?

George W. Bush

21. What website did you see this on first?

yin. Not on my links list yet, but one I'll watch, since he appears to be a sane Democrat with hawkish foreign policy views. Additionally, his reporting at the Political State Report has been professional and notably clear of any bias, unlike some contributors to that site. He's also a Puget Sound blogger, so's he's more or less local to me.

posted at 02:13 PM | permalink | Comments (5)

Wounded Sky was a wonderful book. I assume you've also read Spock's World? I enjoyed that one too.

I've been a Duane fan since The Door Into Fire, her first book (not Star Trek). Used to chat with her once in a while on FidoNet (waaay back when BBSes sent packets of data via dialup all round the world in order to run 'forums'). That's one very versatile lady.

Website. :) She's had web presence practically since there was a web. Unfortunately, she doesn't blog.

posted by Kathy K on May 30, 2004 03:54 PM

I have read all of Diane Duane's Star Trek books. I am particularly fond of her first four(The Wounded Sky; My Enemy, My Ally; Spock's World; and The Romulan Way). I was somewhat less fond of her TNG books; the earnestness of that series was not suited to her wonderful sense of humor, and it appeared that she struggled a bit with the characters.

You are right; it is a shame she i's not a blogger. OTOH, if she blogged, she might not write as many novels, and that would be a loss.

Thanks for the link; I've bookmarked the site for future reference.

posted by timekeeper on May 31, 2004 10:55 AM

Good point on the blog. We used to make comments to the writers who hung around Fidonet that they should quit talking back to their fans and go write another book for us to disect. :)

I'm missing the latest in the Rihannsu bunch. I've got all the rest of the Star Trek writing she's done. The whole 'Rihannsu' series is easy reading but more 'mind-candy for trekkies' than anything else. (IMO, of course.)

And I'll believe 'The Door Into Starlight', her fourth in the 'Door into' series, is coming out this year when I have it in my hot little hands.

We FidoNetters took to calling 'The Door Into Sunset' 'The Door Into Someday' because it was so long delayed in printing (1983 for the prior one, 1992 for Sunset) -- 'The Door Into Starlight' has left that delay in the dust (1992-2004). Sigh.

posted by Kathy K on June 1, 2004 06:28 PM

She does too blog. :)

posted by Quill on June 11, 2004 04:27 AM

I stand corrected. Happily so.

posted by Kathy K on June 11, 2004 06:29 AM

Thursday, May 27, 2004

"The Nader Factor"

I keep hearing this phrase, almost always from a Democrat terrified by the thought of a close election, in which Kerry (or whoever the Democratic Party ends up nominating) loses by a margin smaller than the number of votes garnered by Nader. They, of course, will assume that a) all of these votes should be for the Democratic Party candidate, b) that these voters would vote if Nader were not in the race, and c) that the other minor parties don't make a difference. All three of these are false.

a) All these votes should be for the Democratic candidate

Why? The Democratic Party does not support several of Nader's positions, such as wholesale government takeover of industries and unrestricted Gay marriage. Similarly, Libertarians don't support Bush's social conservatism and spending sprees. Nobody "deserves" any votes; they have to earn them through support of issues that matter to voters. A majority of voters support Bush's position on gay marriage, but few voters are going to vote for him on that issue.

b) These voters would vote for the Democrats if Nader doesn't run

One of the important factors in recent elections with a large third party vote (1992 and 2000 presidential races, 1998 Minnesota governor's race, 2003 California recall vote), is the significant number of voters who had not voted often (or at all) previously. Turnout in that election was about 10% higher than predicted, and it is estimated that almost all of those addtional votes were for Ventura, who was trailing in the polls the week before the election.

c)that the other minor parties don't make a difference

Au coutraire. Here in Washington State, the 2002 Libertarian senatorial candidate collected 3% of the vote, 64000 votes, which was 28 times the margin of victory for Cantwell. Under the (A) premise above, Gorton should have won, since most of Jeff Jared's votes would have gone to Gorton rather than to Cantwell. They were the only three candidates on the ballot, so there was no "balancing" vote for other minor party candidates.

I'm sure there are other examples (such as the 1992 Fowler/Coverdell senate contest in Georgia), but I'm not going to provide an exhaustive list.

To those who accuse Nader of being a spoiler, I would ask them this:

So you were all opposed to Ross Perot's campaigns, even though he single-handedly delivered the White House to Clinton in 1992? Or is that different, since he helped sink a Republican?

Remember, when Perot dropped out (before he reentered; sounds like a Kerry thing), he was running ahead of Clinton, with about 29% of the vote. As it was, Clinton won with only 43% of the vote, the lowest percentage in the 20th century. The elections of 1912, 1948, 1968, 1992, and 1996 were all plurality votes, and all except 1968 were won by Democrats.

It's only natural to be upset when your candidate loses, but don't blame another candidate for getting votes; look to your own campaign first. It is a poor worker blames his tools, and a poor candidate who blames voters who don't support his campaign. Attacking the people who you are asking to support you is not a recipe for electoral success.

As an aside, why is it that only Nader is attracting the hysteria of the Democrats? After all, the Greens will be on the ballot in at least 30 states, whereas Nader is still struggling to get on the ballot in Texas, among other states. Is it a typical fixation on style over substance?

posted at 05:57 PM | permalink | Comments (1)

You've got very valid points there, but the bottom line is that for those of us that reject the notion that the GOP stole the election in Florida, Gore lost by 538 votes. Nader took much more than that in that state and even if you factor out the amount of people that would not have voted at all in that election and the people that would have voted for a different candidate, it becomes very difficult to believe that Gore would not have gained the 538 votes he needed (and then some).

Even though I agree that the DP (or more accurately, the part of the electorate likely to vote for a DP presidential candidate) does not share a lot in common with Mr. Nader, my impression is that other factors are in play here. I think that the fact that he was the head of the 'Green' party and had a recognizable name were the driving forces behind the more liberal fringe voting for him instead of Mr. Gore. There is a sizable element of the electorate (not double-digits in percentile, but more than a few) who think that voting for the most far-left candidate they can will send a message to the DNC that they should be catered to more than they are now. This explains Mr. Nader's popularity in 2000 as well as Mr. Kucinich's popularity in liberal enclaves (like my state-level district, the most liberal in the Washington) now. There is a larger segment I think that instead of voting for the most far-left candidate they can, votes for the most far-left candidate they can get away with, which helps explain the popularity of Dr. Dean with people that really should have been voting for Mr. Kucinich (nutball that he is).

That all being said, I don't think that Mr. Nader will have the pull he had in 2000. Many will attribute that to the fact that the liberals feel burned about the results in Florida. I think that while that's true, he would have been able to pull a lot more votes from Kerry had he run as a Green rather than as an independant.

Thanks for the support on the other post. I was once a left-leaning Republican, but as I get older, I become more of a right-leaning Democrat. I try to write that way at polstate.

posted by Chad Johnson on May 30, 2004 11:14 PM

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Quick thought

There is a significant number of people who slam Bush over the lack of WMD's in Iraq (despite the intelligence communities of the UN, UK, US, France, Germany, Denmark, Russia, and Israel, among others, were convinced that Iraq possessed WMD's). They claim that there was a lack of evidence to support that line of reasoning as justification for war, implying that it was the only reason Bush cited. They claim that expert opinion counted for nothing, that we should not take any action unless there was incontrovertible proof of the existence of said weapons.

These same people (most of them, anyway) are die-hard supporters of the Kyoto Protocol, citing the theories that fall under the general heading of "Global Climate Change". When it comes to this issue, the facts are not relevant; We have to do something RIGHT NOW. Despite significant scientific dispute behind the underlying causes (and effects) of greenhouse gas emissions, they are certain we have to make changes now.

Shouldn't we wait until we have a complete picture of what climate change will entail? After all, 25 years ago, the big buzz was about the coming Ice Age due to a "Global Winter" caused by pollution. Shouldn't we wait until we have incontrovertible truth that global climate change is a bad thing, and we know the mechanism behind it?

posted at 01:43 PM | permalink | Comments (4)

Our experts are right; their experts are wrong.

I rather suspect it was always thus.

posted by CGHill on May 25, 2004 06:48 PM

Good point. Must remember this so that I can fling it like a ninja throwing star at the next person who jives me with some WMD puck or other.

(And yes, I just kinda strung a bunch of words together at the end there.)

posted by Jeff G on May 26, 2004 10:30 PM

Yeah, I've been wondering for years if anyone else remembered the impending Ice Age we were doomed to in, I'm thinkin'... '74?

posted by megapotamus on May 27, 2004 02:02 PM

The reason nobody remembers that Ice Age prediction is because we all starved to death before that due to overpopulation. Paul Erlich said so in his book "The Population Bomb".

It has to be true, right? Liberals are NEVER wrong on their future predictions....

posted by Bob on May 27, 2004 03:17 PM

PDA version

At the request of a reader, I have added a PDA version of this blog. It can be accessed at

If you encounter any problems with it, please let me know, as I cannot test it myself; my PDA does not have wireless capability.

(Special thanks to Meryl at, who came up with a quick and simple tutorial on how to set up a PDA version of a Movable Type weblog. It's quick, it's easy, and it's free. What more can one ask for?)

posted at 06:16 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

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