Clearing the Fog
in the
War of Words


  logomachy--1. A dispute about words. 2. A dispute carried on in words only; a battle of words.
logomachon--1. One who argues about words. 2. A word warrior.


The Vietnam Veterans for the Truth has "A message from the children of Vietnam Vets about John Kerry".

It's a video that hits just the right tone. At the Kerry Lied rally on 12 September, Dexter Lehtinen said that John Kerry stole our war, and now he is trying to turn his war into out war. But everyone gets the war he deserves.

The video reminds us that John Kerry's lies stole from the children of many Vietnam veterans one of the most important possessions of a child: confidence in his parents and the belief that they are models for what is good. It is bad enough when the parents are guilty of a heinous treachery. No one ever questioned the Left's efforts to protect the children of the Rosenbergs.

For the child of the man who died defending his country, this belief that his father was a man of honor who loved him is particularly important. See the ending of James Webb's Fields of Fire. But rather than trying to protect the innocent, John Kerry cast a pall of horror and dishonor over the memory of their fathers who gave their lives for crimes they did not commit, crimes that he knew they had not committed.

The video is dedicated to the Truth that John Kerry tried to steal from the children, the veterans, and all Americans.

Own a bit of history.

Heck, write your own history with these special “Original” CBS George W. Bush Memos, eBay item #5520955343.
Here are dozens of blank pages of paper that could become dozens of memos that CBS News just might love to have on TV . . . . One of these could become a memo that shows George W. Bush was arrested for selling dope and is signed by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy . . . . You could even have a memo that tells us that John Kerry is a War Hero and have it signed by John Kerry, too. Oh, sorry, there are some of those already on his website.

But the more the merrier.

Obscene equivalence

From an e-mail: Fact is, Bush ducked Vietnam, just like Danny Quayle and Bill Clinton.
The Democrats, with their usual breathtaking shamelessness, sneered at Quayle's National Guard service as tantamount to draft dodging. They are making the charge explicitly against George Bush and Dick Cheney. As with all Big Lies, this one involves focusing on one fact while ignoring everything else that was really happening, rather as the anti-anti-Communists portrayed U.S. Cold War policy as though the U.S. were a football team madly running plays on an otherwise empty field. This applies both to those who ended up in Vietnam, like Kerry, and those who didn't, like Bush.

There are two things to consider:

First, in the 1960s, Vietnam was not the only military show in town. While Vietnam got the headlines, and it was certainly the most exciting place, it was just one link in the Cold War containment of the Soviets. Put numerically, the US military had 2.5 million men on active duty; only 500,000 at most were assigned to the SE Asia theatre. In aggregate, 9 million men are "Vietnam-era" veterans, but only 2.6 million are Vietnam veterans (as we like to say amongst ourselves, "There's a difference", to which the response is "F***ing A"). Some even saw Vietnam as a strategic sideshow to the Cold War. The reason some in the officers' corps resisted adapting to the situation in Vietnam was the attitude expressed by one officer, "I'll be damned if I going to see this Army destroyed in order to win some pissant little war".

Second, obviously the choices that men had to make then regarding their military service obligation were more complex than Vietnam or not Vietnam. One could enlist for three to six years; you could reduce your chance of seeing Vietnam or combat by enlisting in a non-combat specialty or in a specialty or service that didn't see much in action in Vietnam (such as armor, or the Navy). One could be drafted (2 years active duty). One could get a student or other deferment. One could claim conscientious-objector status, which might get you exempted or assigned to a "non-combat" job like medic. One could be classified physically unfit. All of these were legal and honorable, unless one obtained a deferment or exemption, as the peace movement encouraged us to do, by various kinds of deceptions, frauds, and lies. More dishonor attaches to those who cheated than to those who simply left the country.

The upshot is that someone had to fill those 6.5 million slots outside of Vietnam--we couldn’t all be lucky. The 14 or so million men who reached draft age during that period didn't all have the same opportunities and choices, but we all had the opportunity to make a choice between honor and dishonor. Bush, Gore, Quayle, Kerry, and Cheney all made honorable choices; Clinton, of course, lied and broke the law.

Whether you put on your country’s uniform or not, went to Vietnam or not, let the why of what you did haunt your sleepless nights, if you like. Whether you played by the rules is all your fellow citizens need to consider. The suggestion that Bush's and Quayle's service in the Guard is the same as Clinton's lying and draft dodging is obscene and irrational; it is literally Clintonesque. It creates a lie about two men that traduces the dutiful actions of million of men.


Bob Dole...Hoo-Hah!

Bob Dole condemns Kerry for once again rooting for the enemy and and despising the U.S. soldier.
I cannot believe that John Kerry, who reminds us daily of his Vietnam service, would possibly approve the disgusting and demoralizing portrayal of American soldiers fighting for us in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world.

John Kerry has raised doubts about our troops' ability to maintain security as well as Iraqi's ability to decide their own future through elections. He has called the allies in Iraq "window dressing." This is all reminiscent of his appearance before a Senate Committee in 1971 where he suggested with nothing but second hand information American GIs were committing atrocities and war crimes of the worst kind in Vietnam.

This defeatist attitude undermines the great progress and sacrifices of our men and women in the military and the contributions of our allies who are fighting against terror and standing up for freedom around the world.


Dan's documents

I think the public, even decent people who may be well-disposed toward President Bush, understand that powerful and extremely well-financed forces are concentrating on questions about the documents because they can’t deny the fundamental truth of the story. If you can’t deny the information, then attack and seek to destroy the credibility of the messenger, the bearer of the information.Dan Rather [emphasis added]

Oh, Dan, Dan! If I’ve said it once I’ve said it lots of times, if you want to know what the liberals are up to, look at what they accuse you of doing. In their guilt-driven thought processes, they always project.

Here you are, Dan, unable, unwilling to offer any refutation of the mass of information that casts doubt on the authenticity of your supposed National Guard memos about George Bush. So you question the motives and character (in irrelevant ways) of the people providing that information and accuse them of attacking the credibility of the messenger rather than refuting the message.

What makes it especially delicious is that everything you say is a lie.

    First, the people challenging the authenticity of the documents are the Pajamujihdin of the blogsphere, hardly powerful and rich, plus the purported author’s family, his former associates, and every forensic expert who has been willing to offer an opinion, including CBS’s own expert. Well, OK, I’ll give you “powerful and extremely well-financed” if you admit that the other broadcast networks, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and various other papers have questioned the authenticity.

    Second, contrary to your accusation, there have been refutations of CBS’s story of favoritism and dereliction of duty. However, no argument has been based on impugning the credibility of the persons involved. All questions have been about the authenticity of the documents themselves. There have been questions raised about the unknown persons who supplied and vouched for the documents. But that, again, is a matter of the authenticity of the documents. The only credibility issue has been that raised by your refusal to provide documentation.

    Third, if declaring and substantiating that the documents are forgeries is not denying the truth of the story, I don’t know what is.

    Fourth, the power and financial resources of your critics are irrelevant, unless you are making the preposterous claim (read: lie) that CB-freaking-S is the David in this kerfuffle.
This goes beyond tu quoque, Dan. You are giving a good imitation of the hysterical snarling of the cornered narcissist.


“Lost” jobs

"Lost" jobs

John Kerry and his band of Mongols complain about jobs "lost overseas" and in the next breath they promise that they will create real, good-paying jobs for Americans. Apparently, they want us to think that the President creates jobs that he casts by the handful to his adoring subjects, like a Renaissance duke scattering ducats. In this they reveal how they see the United States as the heavy in a Marxist morality play.

Kerry's mechanistic, abstract economic model lets him assert with a straight face that a bad President like Bush creates only "poorer paying" jobs that he gives to corporations, so Benedict Arnold CEOs can take them overseas and use them to exploit the impoverished, oppressed masses. John Kerry for some reason wants those crumby jobs kept at home so U.S. workers can be exploited.

Democrats have a faulty idea of what a job is. They confuse it with a position, or in happy-buzz, business mumbo-jargon, an "opportunity". A job is a binary phenomenon: an employer who can gain a benefit from a good or service and an employee who is able and willing to provide that good or service at a cost that doesn't wipe out any benefit to the employer. This definition makes explicit the crucial element of price. It makes clear, for instance, how minimum wage laws destroy jobs and how education and reduced tax rates help to create them.

The definition also makes clear that jobs are not simply exported overseas. One of the necessary conditions for "creating a job" is an employee available with the required skills at an affordable cost. For the most part, those exported jobs would not exist if the foreign workers were not available, because American workers are not available. Many things price U.S. workers out of the global market for certain jobs. Cost of living is a big factor and gets all the attention, but regulations, taxes, and union restrictions (often backed by government regulation) add to the cost of employment. What's more, those imposed costs operate on the margin, which is where decisions are made.

Thus, the make-or-break factors in job creation are under the direct control of politicians. Unfortunately, for Democrats, regulations, taxes, and union rules are also articles of the Democrat faith. Besides that, for all their bemoaning the "export" of jobs, one has to wonder whether Democrats really want to lower the American standard of living. One would expect from this analysis that Democrats find it hard to create jobs, except by coercing money from unwilling purchasers by regulation and taxes. And, lo!, that is what John Kerry proposes.

The Democrats' misunderstanding is compounded of socialist economics and liberal guilt. Marx never did understand the basis of the productivity of a free economy. He just assumed that "capitalism" and its productivity naturally arose in an historical dialect out of the contradictions of "feudalism". Once the economic organization of a society reached the stage of "capitalism", he thought, its productivity would remain, whatever distortions and constraints might be imposed by the state, even a Leninist police state. Intellect, free will, creativity, and entrepreneurship had no part in Marx's historical determinism

Marx's dishwater heirs in the Democratic party have an understanding of productivity that is just as dim. They may have the education and perspicacity to know how the economy works, but their understanding is clouded by their need to infuse all goodness into their desires and to project all wickedness onto other people. Oh, they will talk about Bush's mistakes and declare they will be wise, but in the next breath they will condemn "tax cuts for the rich" and say all Bush really wants is to enrich his corporate buddies and hurt those in need.

The only economy that is real to them is the economy of guilt.


Kerry's adverbial distinctions

From an e-mail:
Did you see Karen Tumulty's love-fest interview with Kerry?

I noted that all of Kerry's distinctions between himself and Bush are
adverbial: I would not have given up so soon on rallying Frog support. I
would not have gone into Iraq in the way the President did. I would not
have funded the war in the way that the President did. Etc.

Kerry calls this giving the people a "stark choice" in the election.


"Tax cuts for the rich" . . .

is like complaining that "Anti-lynching laws benefit only Negroes".


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