Match your views to a US presidential candidate

December 26th, 2007 at 9:03 am by David Farrar

There’s a couple of other websites which do this also, but the matcher at seems the best to me as it now only asks you six sets of questions, but it allows you to state how important each set is.

My best match was Rudy followed by Hillary.

A political 12 days of Christmas

December 25th, 2007 at 9:47 am by David Farrar

It’s US-centric but still quite funny. I love the final line in each rendition.

Hat Tip: Grouchy Old Cripple

US Presidential Poll

December 20th, 2007 at 8:26 pm by David Farrar

History will judge Bush a great President?

December 11th, 2007 at 3:51 pm by David Farrar

Scott Adams puts the case for placing George W Bush on Mount Rushmore one of the great Presidents ever.  The rationale:

President Bush famously promised to do something about the Axis of Evil: Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. That was a top priority. How’s he doing so far?

Iraq didn’t have any weapons of mass destruction, but by restricting inspectors, it acted as if it did. That is almost as dangerous as having a nuclear weapon because it causes your neighbor (Iran) to build its own nukes, just to be safe. It turns out they were doing just that.

Recently we learned that Iran stopped its nuclear bomb program in 2003. That’s about the same time the U.S. was disemboweling its next door neighbor based on the suspicion of having a nuclear weapons program. Iran probably noticed. History will credit President Bush for removing the threat of nuclear war from the Middle East.

North Korea has also discontinued its nuke program, thanks in part, history might acknowledge, because when the U.S. invaded Iraq, it went after the leadership first, including sons. That’s the sort of thing that gets your attention if you are a dictator. As with Reagan’s Star Wars defense plan, the U.S. under President Bush seemed crazy enough to attack North Korea. The threat was entirely credible. That, plus China’s pressure, neutralized North Korea.

Meanwhile, Libya surrendered its nuclear ambitions without even being asked. Credit President Bush for that one too.

Terrorism was a priority during the Bush administration. History won’t blame him for the first attack on 9/11, but it certainly might credit him for the fact no other attacks happened during his two terms. That’s a perfect record on homeland security.

Discuss: Is the theory correct?

The most hated woman in the US

December 1st, 2007 at 2:13 pm by David Farrar

Megan Mier was 13.  She killed herself after her online crush – a 16 year old boy called Josh Evans said he hated her and the world would be a better place without her.

That would be bad enough, but Josh Evans in fact was 47 year old Lori Drew who set up the fake identity and said all those things to Mier as some sort of revenge for the fact Mier was no longer friends with her daughter. Drew knew Mier was on anti-depressants.
The full sad story is at the NY Times.

Free Rick Giles

November 3rd, 2007 at 8:58 am by David Farrar

Some blog readers may know Rick Giles who has been blogging for a while.

Well he is currently in detention in the United States, and has been for over a month.   And what is this terrible crime has has been charged with?  He thought his visitor’s visa expired on 27th September (it was actually 20 September) and on the 26th as he was preparing to leave to Canada, he asked a cop for directions to the bus station.  The cop noted he was a couple of days overdue and arrested him.

Read the full story over at Solo. While Rick was of course wrong to have over stayed by a couple of days, it is mind bloggling to think one can end up in jail for weeks on end for this.  It also sounds like he is getting little consular support.

He still has no court date, hasn’t even been formally arrested, is just held in detention.  It sounds like he will be released and deported in a week or so – after six weeks detention.

This should be a wake up call for anyone visiting the US – be very very careful with your visa dates.  The consequences can be dire.

But it also reflects badly on the US – there has to be a better way to handle immigration than this.  I mean six weeks detention for a couple of days overdue – shocking.

Not a gaffe

September 22nd, 2007 at 8:31 am by David Farrar

I saw the headline which said Bush had made another gaffe and had accidentially stated Nelson Mandela was dead.  Now Bush does make lots of gaffes, and I am not saying he doesn’t.  But in this case, I don’t see how it is a gaffe – it was an analogy which no intelligent person could confuse.

In a speech defending his administration’s Iraq policy, Bush said former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s brutality had made it impossible for a unifying leader to emerge and stop the sectarian violence that has engulfed the Middle Eastern nation.

“I heard somebody say, Where’s Mandela?’ Well, Mandela’s dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas,” Bush, who has a reputation for verbal faux pas, said in a press conference in Washington.

It is very clear he is using the name Mandela as a term for charismatic unifying leaders.

Tasered for asking Kerry a question

September 21st, 2007 at 4:48 pm by David Farrar

Look at this video of a US student being tasered by security for persistent questioning to Senator John Kerry. Imagine if that had happened to someone asking Bush a question – half the world would be screaming torture.

So who will run the world now?

August 14th, 2007 at 7:22 am by David Farrar

Karl Rove has announced that he will resign his White House post at the end of August.

So who will run the world now? Cheney can only do so much by himself 🙂

In some way no surprise Rove is going.  His speciality is elections and this frees him up for various 2008 campaigns.

Hat Tip: No Right Turn

Bush commutes Libby sentence

July 3rd, 2007 at 10:20 am by David Farrar

President Bush has commuted the sentence of Scooter Libby on exempting him from a 2 1/2-year prison term. He has left in place a $250,000 fine and two years probation.

Regardless of the merits, or otherwise, of an individual case, I don’t think it is a good look to grant clemency to your former aides, and especially to do before they have served even part of their sentence.

Mind you at 29% in the polls, one can’t drop much further I suppose.

The Redistricting Game

June 21st, 2007 at 5:13 pm by David Farrar

In NZ electoral boundaries are set by the Representation Commission which mainly comprises of neutral civil servants, namely:

A District Court Judge as Chair
The Chief Electoral Officer
The Government Statistician
The Surveyor General
The Chairperson of the Local Government Commission (not strictly neutral but non voting)

Plus there are two political appointments by Parliament to represent the Government and the Opposition. Some criticise those roles, but I think it gives a dynamic to the deliberations which is useful, and they are clearly a minority.

It’s a system which works very well.

The United States is an example of a system which does not. This is not because they deliberately designed it that way, but is a consequence of being a Federal Government. The Census determines how many House Reps each State gets, and it is totally up to each state as to how they draw the boundaries. You can not pass a Federal Law appointing a panel of Judges to do it.

Now sadly in many States, they have it done by the State Legislature or a panel of State Reps. And for many decades they have gerrymandered the boundaries to the advantage of either the incumbent Federal MPs or the party which controls the State House. This is why generally 80% or so of House seats are not competitive (in NZ only 35% would be truly non competitive).

One can’t just blame the politicians for this. The Governator in California proposed that a panel of judges get to do the redistricting, but this was rejected massively by the voters. There was a very effective attack campaign against the proposal showing three senile Judges trying to draw boundaries and not even realising they were working on a map of Texas not California.

Anyway the House gerrymander is one of the bigger flaws in the US political system (which does have many positives). Now someone has put together an online Redistricting Game which allows you to try out your own gerrymanders. It’s great fun and almost addictive. I’ve managed to turn a Democratic seat into a Republican seat at both the basic and advanced levels, and also managed to create an entirely new seat with a Republican majority but also a 65% Cuban-American population so that it complies with the Voting Rights Act. One of the few restrictions on redistricting gerrymanders is the requirement an ethnic minority can’t be discriminated against by (for example) creating three seats where they are say a 25% minority in each seat, when a more logical seat would have them in a majority.

Hat Tip: No Right Turn

I got a crush on Obama

June 18th, 2007 at 5:32 am by David Farrar

The famous I got a crush on Obama video, by Obama Girl. Has been featured on CNN and most US news shows. A great example of the power of You Tube.

Hat Tip: Act on Campus

A gay bomb

June 13th, 2007 at 11:33 pm by David Farrar

Hilarious. No Right Turn has the news about how in 1994 the USAF sought funding for a bomb which would “cause enemy soldiers to become gay, and to have their units break down because all their soldiers became irresistibly attractive to one another”

Think if that bomb had been developed. Think if it got dropped on an all female university hostel. Think of the merchandising rights 🙂

Barack Obama on Net issues

June 5th, 2007 at 6:49 am by David Farrar

VOIP Lowdown has an extensive blog entry on Barack Obama and the Internet. It both covers his net savvy campaign and his involvement with Net issues such as increasing broadband availability and speeds in the US.

Democratic Presidential Debate

June 4th, 2007 at 9:26 pm by David Farrar

The second Democratic Presidential Nomination debate was held yesterday. Reason Magazine live blogged the event pretty amusingly. Some examples:

7:29: “Gov. Richardson, you’re kind of a Mexican. Should we kick out all the Mexicans?” (I’m paraphrasing.)

7:43: If we repeal the Bush tax cuts, can I have a lifetime supply of root beer and a perpetual motion machine? Because apparently repealing them would pay for everything.

8:28: Blitzer tries out the CNN version of the 24 question on… Dennis Kucinich. It’s actually not news that he wouldn’t kill bin Laden if given the chance, but it’s nice for the rest of the Democrats, who will disagree…

8:29: …Obama doesn’t disagree! No, wait, he does. He wouldn’t assassinate most people, but he would drop some bombs into Osama’s batcave.

Obama does a Bushism

May 10th, 2007 at 8:16 am by David Farrar

Goerge Bush is well known for his Bushisms or verbal gaffes such as the one this week when he said the Queen visited in 1776. But much worse than that one is Barack Obama’s who somehow managed to turn a tornado which killed 12 people into one which killed 10,000.

45 days!

May 6th, 2007 at 4:19 pm by David Farrar

It was hilarious watching the US live cable coverage of Paris Hilton being sentenced to 45 days jail for a parole violation relating to a drink driving case.

I’ve never seen so many news anchors and journalists with huge grins on their faces. I mean one could have boiled an egg on the heat of the joy radiating from their bodies. None of them actually came out and said “There is karma after all” but they were thinking it.

Fred Thompson

May 6th, 2007 at 8:37 am by David Farrar

Fred Thompson is a former US Senator and a potential candidate for the Republican 2008 Presidential nomination. He is also an actor and most well known for his portrayal of Arthur Branch on the series Law & Order.

The Branch character is a former Yale Law Professor who becomes a popular tough as nails conservative New York District Attorney. The popularity of the character benefits Thompson as some people see his character as him (cf the Governorator).

With that in mind, I enjoyed receiving today this e-mail:


* Fred Thompson has on multiple occasions pronounced “nuclear” correctly.

* Fred Thompson has blasted more people in the face with a shotgun than even Dick Cheney.

* The masked executioner of Saddam Hussein: Fred Thompson.

* Not only does Fred Thompson cut taxes, he cuts tax collectors.

* Fred Thompson is the only person to have ever bested Miyamato Mushashi in a duel. The reason Musashi is so vague about the book of the void is because the fifth ring of combat is really Fred Thompson.

* The reason Fred Thompson didn’t want to stay in the Senate for long is because all the extra scrutiny kept him from doing his favorite hobby: Prowling the streets at night killing drug dealers.

* Every night before going to sleep, Osama bin Laden checks under his bed for Fred Thompson.

Obama – all style?

May 2nd, 2007 at 10:44 am by David Farrar

My preferred Democratic nominee for President remains Hillary Clinton at this stage. Obama’s rhetoric and potential is impressive but I have consistently said that two years as a Junior Senator is not enough experience for the most powerful role in the world.

This report from his first real debate suggests this is the case. He did a less than stellar performance.

Obama appeals for his potential, but you need more than just talking about hope. My hope is that he will develop further and be a more credible candidate for 2012 or 2016. But he may still beat Clinton for the 2008 nomination -time will tell.

Hilarious hypocrisy

April 29th, 2007 at 8:31 pm by David Farrar

Oh this is great. A high level official in the US called Randall Tobias has just resigned due to his seeming involvement in a call girl scandal.

He currently heads up the US Aid Office. But prior to that he was the US Global Aids Co-ordinator. The same one who put emphasis on faithfulness to partners and abstinence over condom use in trying to prevent the spread of the AIDS virus.

He joins Graham Capill and many others in the first class hypocrisy stakes. Not that I hasten to add that their actions are the same. Capill is a criminal child molester. Tobias just had sex with prostitutes, which shouldn’t even be a legal issue. Hope he used a condom!

FBI Director heckled

April 28th, 2007 at 5:20 pm by David Farrar

Some boorish students at Harvard heckled the FBI Director during a speech he had been invited to give. What I find hilarious is what they were protesting over:

“Freedom for political prisoners!” the protestor shouted. “Justice for Herman Bell!”

So one protester was on about a 36 year old conviction of Herman Bell for shooting two police officers in the back. This somehow makes him a political prisoner. And incidentally nothing much to do with the FBI – was a New York state matter, except they arrested him in another state.

“We will never forget the role of the FBI in McCarthyism screamed Michael A. Gould-Wartofsky!”

And another is obsessed with something that finished over 50 years ago.

protests ranging from “stop the unconstitutional repression of the environment”

How the hell do you unconstitutionally repress the environment and what the hell has the FBI got to do with it? Perhaps they arrested it, and forgot to read it its Miranda rights!

“to close Guantanamo”

And do the FBI run Guantanamo? No.

So we had one person protesting for a convicted cop killer, another against a US Senator from the 1940s and 50s, another about the environment, and another on a military run detention centre.

I’m surprised one of them wasn’t also heckling the FBI Director for their role in prohibition in the 30s.

Uni/Police response panned re shooting

April 18th, 2007 at 5:48 am by David Farrar

It seems that many of the deaths at Virginia Tech were preventable. The killer shot two people initially at 7.15 am and then the 30 others at 9.50 am.

The uni relied on e-mail (!!!) to tell people not to come onto campus after teh first shooting, and started to phone people. Good God the Police SWAT team should have been there within minutes with loudhailers evacuating the campus until they caught the killer.

It sounds like a love affair gone sour. Very tragic. Also sounds like the killer had only been in the US a few months and was from China – there could be some complications arising from that.

It would be nice if the bodies were at least cold before the NZ Herald uses the tragedy to editorialise against the US’s gun laws. Yes there is a legitimate debate about those laws. But a knee jerk reaction before it is known how the students got the guns is just that – knee jerk.

33 dead in Virginia

April 17th, 2007 at 9:10 am by David Farrar

It is hard to put into words how one feels when you hear of a mass shooting involving students.

Who knows what drives people to not only want to kill themselves, but take so many others with them.

Now that is utu

April 14th, 2007 at 9:05 pm by David Farrar

I blogged a few weeks back about how the incredibly petty behaviour of the Florida State University Professors in refusing a honorary degree to former Governor Jeb Bush was so bad, the Student Senate voted unanimously to honour him for his contributions to the university.

I remind people that Jeb Bush, unlike his brother, retired with huge approval ratings for his two terms as Florida Governor. Anyway back to the story …

A committee of the Florida Parliament has amended an education bill to rename the University of Florida’s education school as the “Jeb Bush College of Education.

That is effing hilarious. I can just see some of the Professors near suicidal with grief. The resolution even requires them to erect “suitable markers” noting the college’s new name and include the revised name in all university documents.

In theory I don’t approve of legislators doing stunts like this, but in this particular case it is so delicious that I love it.

A letter to the editor

April 3rd, 2007 at 10:26 am by David Farrar

Dear Mr Farrar,

I noted today that you stated on one of your blogs, which from a cursory glance can be best described as propaganda for the New World Order, that I claimed the twin towers were brought down by “Dubbya’s brother” as you put it. No I did not, as I’m sure you knew. Rather, I wrote the well known fact that Marvin P.Bush, the president’s younger brother, was a principal in a company called Securacom that provided security for the World Trade Center and I speculated that this would have enabled demolition charges to have been laid without incident.

Clare Swinney

Hey I never knew I worked the New World Order. They must be the ones responsible for the large donations into my bank account.

As it happens Clare has the wrong person. It was a commenter called Dave who made the comment in this thread.

According to Not PC, Clare thinks:

It’s common knowledge that Al Qaeda is the product of elements of the US Admin, bent on a one world government – or as Bush Senior termed, the New World Order…

Hey so I am linked to Al Qaeda. I want a website to prove it- say