October 05, 2004

Where is the Love?

I don't know; all I got are naive hopes and BS theories. However, there was love in San Francisco on Saturday when the Love Parade came to town and crazy club kids (and old crazy and/or naked dudes) came out on a windy-yet-lovely SF day to dance in the streets. I'm too tired and lazy to write a full article, but here are the dope pics Kati and I got.

0) $paginate_current_page = 0; $paginate_sections = array( 0 ); $paginate_top_section = $paginate_sections[$paginate_current_page-1]+1; $paginate_bottom_section = $paginate_sections[$paginate_current_page]; } else { $paginate_top_section = 1; $paginate_bottom_section = 0; } $paginate_self = '&' . $_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'] . '&'; $paginate_self = preg_replace("/&page=[^&]*&/", "&", $paginate_self); $paginate_self = substr($paginate_self, 1, strlen($paginate_self) - 1); if($paginate_self == '&') $paginate_self = ''; else $paginate_self = htmlentities($paginate_self); $paginate_self = basename($_SERVER['PHP_SELF']) . "?${paginate_self}page"; ?> Posted by Kristina at October 5, 2004 01:28 AM

Score a big one for Cheney! That guy kicks ass. Granted, this debate will have little or no effect on anything, but it's worth noting how silly Edwards looked.

Posted by: Global Ass at October 5, 2004 08:36 PM

I haven't watched it yet. I've reading about private international law and domestic conflict of laws... soon I'll move onto mass media law and then do a little professional responsibility reading. With any luck, I'll get to bed before 3am. I'll let you know when I get around to watching the VP debate.

Posted by: Kristina at October 5, 2004 08:58 PM

Okay, I'll stay up till around 4, so post your impressions of the bloody trample.

Posted by: Global Ass at October 5, 2004 09:03 PM

Spin, spin, spin.

I'm just glad Edwards didn't forget Poland. For a few minutes I was worried that the good people of Poznari had slipped his mind, but then he tossed in an old-fashioned Gdynia hum-dinger and saved the day.

Posted by: Jacob at October 5, 2004 10:26 PM

The Polish President was, in fact, offended. Kerry sure knows how to pass the "global test":

"It's sad that a Senator with twenty years of experience does not appreciate Polish sacrifice... I don't think it's a question of ignorance. One thing has to be said very clearly: this Coalition is not just the United States, Great Britain and Australia, but there's also contribution of Polish, Ukrainian, Bulgarian and Spanish soldiers who died in Iraq. It's immoral to not see this involvement we undertook because we believe that we have to fight terrorism together, that we need to show international solidarity, that Saddam Hussein is a danger to the world.

"From such a perspective, you can say we are disappointed that our stance and the sacrifice of our soldiers is so marginalised. I blame it on electioneering - and a message, indirectly expressed by Senator Kerry - that he thinks more of a coalition that would put the United States together with France and Germany, that is those who in the matter of Iraq said 'no'.


But that's beside the point. Cheney outgunned Edwards, who looked like a kid trying to play ball with the big boys. I'll grant that the debate won't have much if any impact, but Cheney was very impressive.

Posted by: Global Ass at October 5, 2004 10:33 PM

You're so incredibly biased. I watched the first half hour during a study break and Cheney looked and sounded mean and closed-off. He was terse, unpersonable and mechanical. Edwards was pleasant and didn't let Cheney rattle him... which I find impressive since Cheney is one scary mofo. It wasn't surprising that both were just repeating and clarifying things that were said during last Thursdays Presidential debate; they are there, after all to back their man. Edwards did a good job of defending and clarifying Kerry's words that have been picked apart by ruthless political vultures, and even had the guts to look Cheney in the eye... once again, impressive considering Cheney is one of the living dead. I can see how Cheney's stern and bold statements are impressive, since he does seem to carry himself with more confidence and authority than Bush (after all, Cheney is a real businessman), but all I heard either one say was more of the same, so I don't really think that there can be a winner here. Also, Edwards is much cuter since he's so young-looking which earns him at least 2 points in my book.

One thing I would like to mention is that Cheney's description of our "progress in Afghanistan", one of the Bush campaign's centerpieces of achievement in the "war on terror" is, as Edwards pointed out, a undeservedly rosey picture of the actual situation on the ground there. Yesterday, I sat in on a discussion with the Former UN Human Rights High Commissioner (although we've established the UN isn't very effective, such a person would be highly knowledgable about the human rights situation in Afghanistan) and she said that things are not stable there, that there is still widespread violence and insufficient public infrastructure, that women's lives there have not improved at all, and that women no longer let their daughters go to school for fear of them being attacked in the streets. I know she said a lot more, but I wasn't taking notes... but basically, things aren't really going well there at all and the current Afghani government doesn't really have the kind of support and/or respect of its population usually required by the United States before we'll officially recognize a successor government. If we hadn't installed their new leader ourselves, there's no way we'd consider Afghanistan stable or legitimate enough to deal with, let alone have their leader speak in the Senate. The point is that the Bush adminstration is saying that we've taken care of Afghanistan, our real attackers, so that it's OK that we're focusing almost exclusively on Iraq and that Afghanistan is an example of the administration's ability to get the job done. Besides the obvious fact that we never got bin Laden, the situation in Afghanistan is really evidence that not only is this adminstration getting ahead of itself when they haven't really fixed the primary problem, but that they're really not honest about what's going on there. I'm all for optimism, but ignoring the real situation on the ground in order to legitimize shifting the focus of the war on terror at the expense of the Afghani people we said we were going to free and protect, is just wrong.

Posted by: Kristina at October 5, 2004 11:06 PM

I think deep down you couldn't help but feel sorry for Edwards. Even the rabid partisan Chris Matthews later said it was a battle between a guy with a water pistol and a guy with a machine gun. And yes, Edwards had the water pistol.

I'll say one thing, Cheney would have been one hell of a lawyer.

The U.N. has no credibility when it comes to human rights. None. As the video clip showed (I doubt you watched it), the UN is actively aiding terrorists. It helped Saddam through the oil for food program. etc. etc. It has Libya or some terrorist state heading the human rights committee. What a joke. Do you actually think that the U.N. human rights commissioner has an objective, neutral perspective? I trust the U.N. about as much as I trust its individual members (China [Tibet], Russia [Chechnya], France [sending missiles to Iraq], Syria [state sponsor of terror] etc. etc.). We are interpreting events through very different lenses.

I'll grant that they are putting a rosey spin on Iraq and Afghanistan. But I don't expect it to be better than it is. It will take years to get things fully functioning. The next step is elections. Then, over time, we can take off the training wheels.

Posted by: Global Ass at October 6, 2004 12:19 AM

Of course I watched the video... but I don't see what the point is. If someone uses my car to commit a crime, that doesn't make me responsible, not unless I gave them the keys or permission to use it. I doubt the UN expressly allowed those guys to use their ambulance for that purpose. That's pure propaganda. Also the UN didn't help Saddam Hussein, or his rich family, by providing food for the Iraq people; they were helping the Iraqi people who needed food and medicine that they couldn't get because of sanctions, destroyed infrastructure and the selfish tyrany of their government. You can't tell me providing humanitarian aid is "helping terrorists", especially since the people who attacked us were not from or had ever been connected with Iraq. Even if some of this aid fell into the hands of Saddam's government rather than the intended recipients, I don't believe that's a good reason to not attempt to help private citizens in need.

Also, that UN lady was more anti-UN than even you could be. She was there for years in the most underfunded section of the UN, constantly under fire from both individual nations and the secretary-general for taking a stand on human rights issues more out of a sense of personal obligation and belief than any kind of loyalty to or staunch respect for the UN. They made her job hard and fought many of the human rights issues she backed, and eventually didn't ask her back because she was so forceful and pointed out the UN's terrible human rights record and actually had the audacity to try to do something about it. Also, she's really been there while all of this has been goin on. Have you ever been to Afghanistan? I don't think so. If you did go and you saw things that changed your mind about the need to provide humanitarian relief and look at situations from a humanitarian point-of-view, how would you like someone telling you that what you saw wasn't real? I like when you talk about stuff you totally know nothing about. It verifies the impression I have that you're just some dude who likes to argue with me because you like to argue. I can deal with that.

Lastly, just because you don't expect things in Afghanistan to be better doesn't mean that your boys aren't attempting to basically lie to the American people about it and show it off as some sort of victory and proof of their fitness for office when it's really the opposite. A lie is a lie and I'm sick of their lies. Perhaps this is, relatively, a little white one, but it I just can't trust anything they say any more, and I can't bear the thought of 4 more years of bold-faced lies that send my family members out in harms way in deserts thousands of miles away for no good reason.

Posted by: Kristina at October 6, 2004 12:46 AM

I'd also like to point out that the current UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is a Canadian woman that used to be on their Supreme Court. Canada isn't our enemy too, are they? If not, we should definitely add them to the list of shame since being for human rights is so not something that we stand for in this "post 9/11 era". Furthermore, there are over 190 members of the United Nations; do you distrust them all? We're a member of the United Nations, what does that say about us? If you say that means that we're just a good a state sponsor of "terrorism" as the rest of 'em, I'd have to agree with you there.

Posted by: Kristina at October 6, 2004 01:21 AM

You're still arguing with Global Jackass? What's the point? There's no possible way you could have a legitimate debate with someone as reactionary as him. Frankly, this current administration has the worst record of any in recent times: jobs lost, ballooning deficit, blatant cronyism and complete disregard for the real concerns of Americans. If this were a Democratic administration, I'd be more than ready to welcome a Republican into the White House to see if he could do better. Why so many people are still willing to rally around Bush and his abysmal record is beyond me.

Posted by: dr v at October 6, 2004 03:58 AM

Finally someone jumps in there and backs me up. I love you, dr. v.

Posted by: Kristina at October 6, 2004 09:20 AM

I don't understand why anyone would want to watch the VP's debate; it's like (as I told NMB and Pjos last night) watching the runner up in the Miss America Pageant or the actor who ALMOST won the Academy Award. Who cares about these lessers?

Whoever handles planning for these things should've taken a cue from the countless television and award ceremonies who've got it down pat: put the less-interesting feature first, THEN bring out the main players at the end. After seeing the blowout that was The Stuttering Retard vs. The Gifted Linguist last week, Cheney and Cutesy Pants (as I will now refer to Edwards) made me want to fall asleep. And even NMB and Pjos, who forced me into sitting through this thing in the first place (though I spent most of the time knitting between complaints of boredom) eventually wore out and said, "Hey, do you wanna put on The Jerk instead?" (to which of course I responded, 'I thought that's what we'd been watching all along.')

Vice president smice president, they both sucked by virtue of being redundant.

Posted by: Renee at October 6, 2004 11:01 AM

Personally, I'm waiting for the wild-card round, where previously eliminated candidates debate each other for the third spot on the ballot, decided by YOUR votes and text messages, America!

I thought Howard Dean would have the best chance, but then I realized that given recent trends, the governor of Hawaii is probably going to win, even though I don't remember him running in the first place. I hope it comes down to the performances, not just whoever's the cutest. Vote for talent, people!

Posted by: sean at October 6, 2004 12:25 PM

Ok, I'm actually going to post a comment about this specific blog entry, which is actually about the Love Parade, not politics, not debates, not flame wars...

I just wanted to say: I love the SFPD; I'm so thankful I don't live in any other city!

Posted by: jay at October 6, 2004 02:55 PM

Dr. V,

You are, of course, flat wrong. This administration will go down in history as one of the greatest, right up there with Lincoln's. You really are on the wrong side of history on this one. I can just imagine the fun protests you would have launched against Lincoln and his "unconstitutional" war, his violation of individual rights, his war mongering.

The charges you levy against Bush either ignore the impact of 9/11 or charge the administration with things that could be said about any administration. Cronyism? Of course, this is politics. There is no indication, however, that the cronyism is any worse than it is on the other side of the political divide. Granted, you ankle biters may, with enough effort, undermine the progress that's being made overseas. With enough bitching and moaning, we may yet pull out and let tyranny rule once again. But that is no failure of Bush's. That is simply the result of allowing the ankle-biting left to gain sway.

In any case, the left has lost its marbles. Presidents are, in some sense, like national coaches. They motivate and whip up patriotism to accomplish great things. Or rather, the great ones do. Who the hell wants a coach with a defeatist mentality who, under the guise of "honesty," selectively ignores the positive and highlights the negative to prove that we're all fucked, immoral, and going down the tube. Kerry is running on a platform of damage control. He'll minimize the impact of the horrible things we've done. Bush, on the other hand, makes people feel good about what we've done. Irrespective of the merits of either side, it's obvious that Bush provides a vision that makes more people feel satisfied. The scales will tip in his favor. That's my projection. Good Day.

Posted by: Global Ass at October 6, 2004 05:29 PM

My mind is sufficiently boggled.
I can't believe... you... why?... this? thing...? that?

If I understand correctly, your position is as follows:
Bush does horrible things. Kerry makes us feel bad about those horrible things and promises he won't do them anymore. Bush makes us feel good about the horrible things that he's done, but doesn't promise not to do them anymore. Therefore, Bush forever!
You, sir, are incomprehensible.

As for your first paragraph, I don't think you understand the position of (much?) of the left. We don't want to pull out of Iraq! Get that through your fucking skull! Pulling out of Iraq would leave the country in a state of anarchy. What we want is to figure out how we got into this mess, and how we can prevent it in the future. We call this incredible concept "learning from history".

As Dianna said before, when a puppy craps on the carpet, you don't pay its head and say, "Good dog!" When a president invades another country on false pretenses and leave chaos on his wake, you don't reelect him.

Posted by: Jacob at October 6, 2004 06:21 PM


Allow me to spray a bit of WD-40 on your rusty brain.

Now, I did not say that being positive was a good reason to vote for Bush. I said that it is a more effective means of winning people over. My prediction is that a campaign run on a theme of damage control will not come out on top. The 1,000 plus casualties is a record low. No one wants to be seen gloating about only losing 1,000 troops. But the truth is that things are far from being a "mess." You need a bit of historical perspective sprinkled on your pessimistic "the-sky-is-falling" antics. There will be casualties. There will be on-going battles with terrorists in Iraq. There is simply no scenario under which that wouldn't have been the case. Anyone who didn't expect that is a moron. Look, you morons were crowing about massive deaths before the war. Some were expecting 100,000 and more. Mass refugees. Conflagration throughout the middle east. Etc. Etc. You were, of course, wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong again. So, after the amazingly swift toppling of Saddam's regime, suddenly you revamped your arguments and figured you could "define" a quagmire into existence through some wordplay. Sorry, but 1,000 dead is simply not a quagmire. It hardly registers as a dent when compared to most war. And success in this endeavor must be measured against actual wars, not against some zero-casualty dreamworld inhabited by the likes of the idiots populating this portion of blogdom.

Look, we've lost 1,000 and toppled two regimes. We will continue battling the terrorists for at least another few years. None of that is a surprise, and none of that can be avoided entirely. The most important thing is to make it perfectly clear that we will not give in. The ankle biters are actually prolonging the conflict by making the insurgents think that they have a shot at crippling the effort from within. They know the liberals will fight the war of ideas on their behalf. And yes, that's precisely what you are doing. You are just too dumb to see it.

In any case, Iraq IS a launching pad into Iran and Syria. Those are the countries fomenting trouble in Iraq right now. We are going to need to take military action against Iran. Kerry will cut and run. No doubt about it. He said he'd start pulling out in 6 months. He said we'd be out totally in 4 years. France and Germany have publically said they will give no troops even if Kerry is elected. Kerry insults the allies who have actually given troops. Kerry has NO plan. He just says he'll get more allies involved, but there is no reason whatsoever to think that is true. Kerry will be a disaster for this country--and for Iraq.

Posted by: Global Ass at October 6, 2004 06:54 PM


Here's Kerry admitting he won't be able to get more allies:

Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry conceded yesterday that he probably will not be able to convince France and Germany to contribute troops to Iraq if he is elected president.
The Massachusetts senator has made broadening the coalition trying to stabilize Iraq a centerpiece of his campaign, but at a town hall meeting yesterday, he said he knows other countries won't trade their soldiers' lives for those of U.S. troops.
"Does that mean allies are going to trade their young for our young in body bags? I know they are not. I know that," he said.


Seriously. Kerry has hung everything on his claim that he will get more allies. I can't believe France and Germany undercut him by publically saying they will not, under any conditions, give troops.

Posted by: Global Ass at October 6, 2004 07:04 PM

"Vote Bush: Because At least it wasn't World War Two"

Though the Fly may no longer be Meaty, she is still an ass.

Posted by: Jacob at October 6, 2004 07:53 PM


Hey, thanks for remembering me. Thought I'd stop in after some time away.

Posted by: Global Assy Fly at October 6, 2004 08:14 PM

SF cops are great. Personally, I'm glad that so many of them are asian; it makes me feel very safe.

I really like how Global Test likes to make blanket statement about things he doesn't know a thing about or at least hasn't throught out very well, like, "This administration will go down in history as one of the greatest, right up there with Lincoln's. You really are on the wrong side of history on this one." Where the hell did that come from? Lincoln fought a war to prevent secession by some states that were upset the North wasn't granting them comity on the issue of slavery since it was against the North's public policy, the federal government was taking the North's side. While this administration claims to be acting in Iraq with the long term goal of protecting the Amercian people in mind, everyone knows that is, of course, flat wrong. The South was part of the United States when we went to war to prevent them from seceding; we weren't invading a foreign territory. No one who actually knows anything about history thinks that Lincoln fought the war just for slavery; it was about state's rights. Also, to compare the Iraq war to the Civil War, in terms of relative importance tpo overall US history, is just laughable.

I really don't care to read the next couple comments Global Test wrote, or any he will write in the future because:

1. He dissed Dr. V, which is a bad, bad thing to do in my book. It's an unforgivable sin that will make him my enemy forever and ever. The Dr. wasn't even talking to you, Global. Why would he; you're beneath him.

2. Global Test is obviously old, as evidenced by his referring to us as "you ankle biters". This means he is obviously a long-time, barely-educated Republican who is totally not going to be productive to debate with since he's already convinced he's right, he is anti-intellectual and, thus, isn't willing to listen to or learn from other people, and he will just pull out the "age" or "liberal" card whenever he feels threatened; because name-calling is a much more rhetorically effective method than producing actual facts (not just conclusory opinons) to back up your views.

3. He's ignorant... or at least has only bothered to learn enough to back up his a priori concept of the world, memorized it all and indiscriminately vomits it up whenever he gets the chance to make a feabile attempt at having a civilized conversation. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Conservatives are like teenagers; there's just no telling them anything (and they're a lot lamer than they think they are).

Random comment: Why does it seem like I get sucked into these long, tedious convos w/ conservatives when I have to spend a lot of time alone? Is it because I'm lonely and get sick of reading and have already watched everything I've TiVo'd? Or is it because I get so much work done when I'm alone 80% of the time that I have too much free time, so I attempt to apply what I've been learning here? Whichever way, I'm getting tired of all this soloness.

Posted by: Kristina at October 6, 2004 11:15 PM

Okay Kristina,

I will apologize and make myself polite. Let's have a constructive dialogue. I'll try my best to be civil if you return the favor. Agreed?

Iraq vs. Civil War: it is sometimes noted that Lincoln violated the constitution by suspending habeas corpus and refusing to comply with a supreme court ruling. He did so in a time of war and was much hated and much maligned. He was a "divider" not a "uniter," a polarizing figure. Yet, after all was said and done, history looks on him with favor. He steered the country through a horrible period and did what needed to be done.

I think Bush is taking actions that will also vindicate him over time. These two democracies will succeed. By success I mean we may get a democracy of the quality of, say, India or Russia. If we can just get it up and running on training wheels, it will sit in the middle east like a time bomb. A democratic Iraq backed by U.S. force will ultimately undermine both Syria and Iran. A free press and the inflow of capitalist goods, pornography, Britney Spears and all the other crap will be as corrosive to fundamentalism as it has been to Christianity in this country. The extreme forms of religion will wilt when forced to compete in the open air with levis, modern music, and, frankly, fun. American troops will (at least if Bush is elected) remain in Iraq, as they have in Japan and Germany, for some time to come. It would be insanity to pull out entirely any time in the next 10-15 years. I think it will be even longer. There have been signs of an underground democratic movement brewing in Iran and Syria for some time now. They need encouragement, and one of the most encouraging things will be a free Iraq on their doorsteps. I know what you're thinking. Iraq isn't free. American troops are there. True. But the same can be said for Japan or West Germany or South Korea. In fact, without American troops, a lot of countries would be swallowed like Tibet, starting with Taiwan. So it is true that the border integrity and lifeblood of many "sovereign" nations comes from the backing of U.S. might. Still, the countries are still free within reasonable boundaries. The alternative is far worse, and over time, as institutions strengthen, the countries will grow more assertive and independent. Eventually we will pull out, as we are starting to do from Germany.

And at some point Iran and Syria will be democratized as well. It may take time. It may come with a push from us or through the corrosive effects of Iraqi prosperity (which will certainly grow over time). But it will come.

Like any goal, it starts with an idea. The U.S. can make this happen, and make it come out right. We have that capability if we stand behind what we are doing. There is an aspect of self-fulfilling prophecy in this. If you believe and work toward the goal, overcome set backs and unexpected problems, the middle east will eventually be brought into the democratic world.

America may not be this powerful forever. There may never be another point in history where one country literally has the capacity to dominate the entire globe. Already China is moving up fast. We have a window of opportunity to transform that region. I think we should seize it. The U.N. will not save us. It is a dead letter anyway.

Posted by: Global Test at October 7, 2004 12:17 AM

Blah, blah, blah. I closed comments on the last debate about the debates b/c I just don't want to debate. I'm sick of thinking about politics and law 23.5 hours per day. Nothing could bore me more after a day of school and 8 more hours of reading than to read your one-sided take on this issue that has been beat to death in the media, on Cementhorizon and in my academic life, and that is obviously a mere parroting of the newest fad in Conservative talking points and a rehashing of traditional conservative moral philosophy turned-political-theory. It's not a very productive use of my time to debate the wisdom of the current adminstration's policies in light of international law with you, since you're not willing to actually listen to anything you don't already know because you already know everything. I don't know why you haven't picked up on the fact that we're never going to agree and nothing you say has any weight with me at all... at least no more weight than you seem to accord anything I say. So, goodbye, Global Test. I'm sure you can find many more liberal blogs to pester besides mine. Have fun.

Posted by: Kristina at October 7, 2004 01:08 AM

Indeed, I pester my fair share. Well, good night missy.

Posted by: Global Test at October 7, 2004 01:23 AM

Actually, I found Test's last post rather refreshing. I disagreed with it ideologically, but it was a nice change from the insults.

Posted by: Jacob at October 7, 2004 07:34 AM

From my insults?

Posted by: Kristina at October 7, 2004 09:28 AM

No, from Global Test's insults. All of her previous posts have been vehicles for snide names for liberals and insults to our intelligence. Her posts are much more interesting without that crap.

Posted by: Jacob at October 7, 2004 11:54 AM

I have to second Jacob here; GT's last post was actually constructive and interesting, which is a nice change for a Cementhorizon political debate. I've been wondering what's making so many people think Bush should be re-elected, and there's one perfectly coherent explanation right there. I don't happen to agree with it (and I'd be voting against Bush even if Iraq had never so much as existed), but it was a good read.

Anyway, now that I've poked my head into this discussion I may as well take my proper credit for being the person who recognized Global Test as the erstwhile Meaty Fly. Thank you, thank you. I also pull rabbits out of hats, but there's an extra fee for that.

Posted by: Dianna at October 7, 2004 02:10 PM