Bunker Mulligan "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." ~Mark Twain

April 30, 2004

VP Choices

Filed under: Politics — Bunker @ 7:45 pm

When George W. Bush became the nominee in 2000, he asked Dick Cheney to act as the point man in finding him a suitable running mate. I thought that was a bad choice. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t just ask Cheney to be his VP. He did.

Presidential nominees always look for the running mate who will help them get elected rather than one who would be a good presidential partner. I think Bush chose well. If he had opted for someone else, he may have won easily, and the Florida recount issue would never have arisen. But he probably would not have had as good a VP, one who worked as well with him. Bush doesn’t ignore his vice president as many other presidents have done, and that gives people the impression Cheney runs things.

I don’t think Kerry will approach things the same way. He will follow conventional political wisdom. He is now searching for the optimum running mate. I doubt very seriously that he wants someone to work with more than someone who runs well. Expect him to select a well-worn political hack, who can help him rally the party faithful. Expect him to pick someone from the south or west to shore up support. He may opt for a Midwesterner in hopes of gaining votes in flyover country. John Edwards would be a good choice for political reasons–the good-looking young rising star who can help in the south. But I doubt Kerry will risk being overshadowed.

Whomever he chooses, it will not be with an eye toward partnering after inauguration.


Filed under: General Rants — Bunker @ 11:52 am

Last night I heard a reporter in LA talk about the terrorist threat. He said, “If it looks suspicious, it probably is.”

Who won?

Filed under: International — Bunker @ 9:32 am

Marines pull back from Fallujah

Well, Saddam’s army has liberated Fallujah from the occupation forces. Maj. Gen. Jassim Mohammed Saleh will be the new dictator of Iraq within ten years–if he can stay alive.


Filed under: Military — Bunker @ 8:59 am

These guys need to be nailed to the wall: US military in torture scandal.

Professionals in the military don’t tolerate anything like this. Of course, the perpetrators are “victims”:

His lawyer, Gary Myers, told the Guardian that Sgt Frederick had not had the opportunity to read the Geneva Conventions before being put on guard duty, a task he was not trained to perform.

This is Kerry’s defense for his accusations and admissions for action in Vietnam. It doesn’t hold water. American soldiers are taught often and well their responsibilities and rights under the Geneva Convention. And simple human decency should preclude any such acts.

Old vs. New

Filed under: Society-Culture — Bunker @ 7:04 am

Last night I read another chapter from Ralph Peters’ book. One of the first sentences in this chapter caught my eye.

One of the greatest blessings enjoyed by the United States is that God hasn’t claimed any local real estate.

This morning as I scanned through various sites, I found Rammer has a message from a young woman who lost her loved one:

God bless the freedom of terrorism, the freedom of humanity, and Michael for dying for that. God bless our soldiers that are standing up for what is right, every single one of them is a hero. So honor your American soldiers and please stop bashing their fight for what is right.

Then, following a link from Sarah, I ended up at a blog in Germany which posted a traslation of a newspaper article bashing Germans for not supporting the war on terrorists.

The worldview of the average German in 2004 in seven sentences: Bush is stupid and evil. Iraq is the new Vietnam. America is doing virtually everything wrong. Sharon has himself to blame for the Palestinian terror. Israel has gotten us into this whole quagmire. Germany has thank God stayed out of it. Now we just have to be careful that our nice democracy isn?t turned into a police state by unnecessary security fears.


We Americans have little use for old buildings. Many are torn down each day to make room for something new. If a congregation outgrows their house of worship, they build or move to a larger one. The old one either becomes home to a different congregation, takes on an entirely different function, or is razed to make room for something else.

That doesn’t happen elsewhere. People in the rest of the world cherish old buildings, often simply because they’re old. People in the rest of the world don’t tear down old churches to build new ones. God owns that real estate. And people will fight and die to keep their God there. Like we see in Jersusalem. And the reason we don’t destroy mosques in Iraq. Even though to us the mosque is simply a building. Think of all the grand cathedrals destroyed by all forces in Europe sixty years ago.

What we are fighting right now goes far beyond jihadism. It is the mindset of old versus new. The choice between cherishing the past and living in it. It is what Michael died trying to reconcile. It is why Europeans opposed the invasion and liberation of Iraq. Western European leaders have far more in common with Middle Eastern rulers than they do with American, British, Australian, and Eastern European leaders and citizens. The past can be retained if they do nothing. And if they do nothing, they do nothing wrong. Doing something involves risk. It is why Rumsfeld slapped Old Europe.

The question of what is right and what is wrong boils down to this: Those who oppose what we are doing in Iraq and around the world view “old” and “stable” as good. They view “new” and “change” with suspicion. Are we to go down the road following the UN and Old Europe and, by default, Middle East kings, princes, and dictators? Or do we follow Bush, Blair, Pat Tillman, and Michael? Herr Doepfner has an answer:

Maybe George Bush is not as stupid and evil, maybe one day, looking back on the developments that have just begun–we might even be thankful to him because he was one of the few who acted in accordance with the maxim: These things must be nipped in the bud. (A phrase often used in Germany to refer to stopping the re-emergence of Nazism.)

And maybe we Germans need more than seven sentences for our worldview.

April 29, 2004


Filed under: Politics — Bunker @ 4:19 pm

Colin Powell says casualties in Iraq are causing Americans to doubt whether we should be there.

Here is typical Washington logic, something I would have thought Powell was above. What people mean when they answer a survey is that Americans are tired of the on again-off again fighting and want the military to put an end to the trouble-makers.

I shouldn’t speak for everyone, I guess.

Why blog?

Filed under: General Rants — Bunker @ 12:57 pm

There are almost as many reasons as there are blogs. I do it because it allows me to vent when I need to, it allows me to talk about my kids and golf. If nobody pays any attention, that’s okay, too. I’ve been getting over 100 visitors each day, and the number grows each month. I checked Andrew Sullivan’s site, and he gets about 50,000 visits a day. No thanks. Of those 100 visits, about 2/3 are people who arrive here from a search for such things as mulligan, don bendell, and child molestors. Someone’s apparently been making up stories about me!

That means there are 30 of you out there who actually take time to read what I write. Thanks. I hope it is of value.

This is no ego trip for me. I write what I want to write. Sometimes my vision is consumed, as it has been recently, by things like Kerry, UNSCAM, and Fajullah. I’ve been reading brother Darwin’s book of golf stories, and want to add my own stories to the collection. So, I do that here, too.

But I typically write as my mind works here in front of a keyboard. Which means it can be disjointed, with spelling and grammar errors. In the past, I’ve always written with a pen and pad, then digitized after the fact. Typing rather than writing is a bit different, and what you see is the unvarnished creation of electrical and chemical processes in my brain.

I began reading blogs only about a year ago. It seems many are having their first anniversary this month, so I may have jumped into this at the right time. I look at quite a few, and have a difficult time deciding whether to add one to my list or not. You see, I don’t want to clutter my list with a lot of links. Right now, I feel like there are way too many. The list needs to be pared. My list of links is my connection to those I read regularly, not a “thank you” to someone who has added me to theirs. And as I cruise through links, I more and more that interest me. But I can’t connect to them all, nor do I have time to actually think about what they have to say.

You see, I get most of my news from the internet now. I still watch Brit Hume, but little else on television. If there is something interesting happening, I will surf channels to get the best vantage point I can. I don’t care which network has it. Most of the time they are all covering exactly the same stories with exactly the same angle. They also like to cover celebrities. Tedious.

This is not the same as journalism. The old newspapers just can’t keep up. But what many of them have done is shift their focus to stories television won’t touch. Like the story of soldiers in Kurdish Iraq I posted last. That came from a local Maine newspaper online. I almost always follow a link that references a URL that sings out, and seldom follow links that go to another blog beyond the one I’m reading. Of course, there are some folks who point things out that I will follow regardles. That is a function of my opinion of the blog, and that comes from time spent reading what they, personally, have to say. For example, if Sarah links to something, I will generally follow it because I’ve learned to trust her judgement. But her broader interests are different than mine, so even that isn’t exact.

I like to keep up with print journalists I respect. Some can be found at the Townhall site, some at WorldNetDaily. I found Joe Galloway’s columns through Wallace. I used to read Salon regularly until they began having money problems and went subscription. Besides, Camille quit writing for them. PressThink is a new one I think I’ll continue to follow because it is written by a journalism professor who takes many of his counterparts to task. I don’t connect to the right or left exclusively, although I lean more right than left. I try to link to those who have a libertarian bent, such as Neal Boortz, and others who offer reasoned opinion. Noam Chomsky is there for the same reason as Dave Barry–simply to get a laugh or two. Barry has more reasoned thought on his site.

My blog is my writing pad. It just happens to be open to anyone with an internet connection. It is also my link cache, where I go to connect to other sites I read. Maybe there are one or two that would interest you over there on that list. Like Arts & Letters Daily or Coober Pedy News. Amazing.

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