What C students can do

Hey, so Bush and Kerry had almost identical grades in Yale. Kerry is finally getting around to releasing his military and school records (months after promising to do so), and now we all know Kerry isn’t as smart as so many people thought he was.

In 1999, The New Yorker published a transcript indicating that Bush had received a cumulative score of 77 for his first three years at Yale and a roughly similar average under a non-numerical rating system during his senior year.

Kerry, who graduated two years before Bush, got a cumulative 76 for his four years, according to a transcript that Kerry sent to the Navy when he was applying for officer training school. He received four D’s in his freshman year out of 10 courses, but improved his average in later years.

. . .

The transcript shows that Kerry’s freshman-year average was 71. He scored a 61 in geology, a 63 and 68 in two history classes, and a 69 in political science. His top score was a 79, in another political science course. Another of his strongest efforts, a 77, came in French class.

Under Yale’s grading system in effect at the time, grades between 90 and 100 equaled an A, 80-89 a B, 70-79 a C, 60 to 69 a D, and anything below that was a failing grade. In addition to Kerry’s four D’s in his freshman year, he received one D in his sophomore year. He did not fail any courses

Of course, we already had a hint at this a while ago. Apart from the obvious fodder this will give Republicans, I think it’s interesting that both of these men, sometimes below average students, have accomplished so much and achieved such a high degree of power. I guess it goes to show you grades aren’t everything. Maybe I shouldn’t have worked so hard in undergrad . . .

Oh man, and check out these pictures:

For some reason Kerry reminds me of Quasimodo, and Bush, well, he does kinda look like a monkey. What’s with that unibrow?!

The dead are voting!

Cox & Forkum take on the strange findings of the WA election. Apparently zombies don’t want brains; they want votes:

At least eight people who died well before the November general election were credited with voting in King County, raising new questions about the integrity of the vote total in the narrow governor’s race, a Seattle Post-Intelligencer review has found.

The evidence of votes from dead people is the latest example of flaws in an election already rocked by misplaced votes and allegations that there were thousands more votes counted than actual voters.

County officials say they are investigating the cases pointed out by the P-I. “These are not indications of fraud,” said Bill Huennekens, King County’s elections supervisor. “Fraud is a concerted effort to change an election.”

Wow, that’s a nice definition of fraud. So, if I only write one bad check, it’s not check fraud? Sweet. And check this out:

The preliminary voter list shows that Mary Coffey mailed in a ballot. But the 51-year-old Seattle woman died about two weeks before absentee ballots were mailed.

“She couldn’t have (voted). She died on Sept. 29,” said her husband, Michael Coffey. He added that he voted by mail, but destroyed his wife’s ballot when it arrived in the mail.

“I don’t see how she could have voted. It doesn’t make sense. There has to be some kind of error that happened.”

Remember that’s not even an indication of fraud!

Personally, I wish Rossi wouldn’t challenge the election. Even though there seems to be evidence of fraud (just peruse Sound Politics if you want to see more fishiness), I don’t think it’s enough to merit throwing out the entire election. Washington is a pretty solidly blue state, so it shouldn’t be surprising that a Democrat won (even though it took three counts to get to that win). It should be surprising that Gregoire won by slimmest of margins. I don’t think getting the vote thrown out is worth the precedent it will set. We have one election, and that election is final. I am scared of the idea that close elections with minor fraud can be contested until victory is achieved. Slim margins are just going to happen and shouldn’t be used as a reason for a re-re-recount or a re-vote. Minor voting fraud is always going to happen as well, so it shouldn’t be used as a tool to throw out elections either. Of course if the GOP can show that there was widespread and malicious fraud, then I would support a re-vote, but we don’t have that. We only have evidence that the WA election system is embarrassingly buggy.

I still think the Democrats were immature whiners for asking for the second recount, but the GOP should just buck up and take the loss. On the other hand, people convicted of voter fraud should get the heaviest book thrown at them. And, yes, that would include the little old lady who voted for her dead husband (though a real strong case could be made for leniency). According to the article the penalty for voter fraud is up to a 10 year prison sentence and up to a $10,000 fine. If Rossi doesn’t get the governorship, the GOP should at least get the satisfaction of seeing our own laws upheld and enforced.

The Mess in WA

Normally, I don’t care too much for state politics. I only really care if I live in that state. I figure what happens over there is their problem. We have 50 states for a reason. Different strokes for different folks. I consider that to be one of the great beauties and assets of this country. However, I’m fairly state-less now. I’m still an Alaska resident, but I’ve spent 5 years in Washington and now currently live in Oregon. But, if there is one state I care about the most (at least in the political sense) it’s Washington because my tentative future plans are to live in the Seattle area and use my progeny to make it a Republican stronghold. Anyway, I like the idea of at least one Republican governor up there making my paths straight for my return. I think it’s been 20 years since the last Republican governor. Anyway, I’m wandering.

The current election mess up there is starting to get even me distressed. Obviously, no matter who wins, the other party won’t be happy, and once again I’ll have to suffer through another four years of incessent political epithets along the lines of “election-stealer.” The first two counts gave us razor-thin margins, but Rossi won both times. Now the Democrats are hoping the third time is a charm, and they can come up with 43 votes. The push for a third recount seems awfully cry-babyish and poor gamemanship on the part of the Dems. However, they were successful and now we have a third recount. Then they discovered a bunch of new ballots in deep-blue King County. The timing of this even had me cocking my left eyebrow in suspicion. Somehow I’ve developed a strong sense of trust in people and The System (even though this trust is all contrary to my Calvinism). These newly discovered ballots have now been thrown out by the courts. Live by the courts, die by the courts. Nevertheless, the ball is in the GOP’s court to act mature and not act like a little baby. It doesn’t help when a Rossi supporter is saying we should have a whole new election. This may be a nice fix for the current situation, but this would be setting an awful precedent. Our elections obviously have flaws that need to be worked out, but these are our elections. They are final, and they are binding. Everybody is in this social contract together, and injecting doubt into the roots of the contract will weaken things.

If Rossi loses this recount, I hope the Republicans do the right thing and let it go. The damage has been done, there’s no sense exacerbating it just so their guy can be in office for 4 years.

UW student embraces tyranny

A fun letter from the UW student newspaper:


I can’t believe it. President Bush was re-elected, and by a majority this time. Apparently, usurping the election once wasn’t enough, so they just gave him this one. For four years I’ve waited, clenching my fists every time that fool opened his mouth, remembering how maddeningly close we came to preventing this disaster, utterly convinced that no clear-thinking human being could repeat that mistake. But now they, we the people, have called him back in.

I suppose this is what the United States wants. Maybe you want to reverse progress. Maybe you want to live in fear. Maybe you want to live your lies, and surely you want to think that you’re right. See, I’ve lost faith in free will, and I’ve certainly lost faith in the tyranny of the masses. Just because there’s more of you doesn’t mean you’re right.

I won’t claim to be a patriot. I won’t say “peace is patriotic,” or “dissent is patriotic.” United States is what it is because of one thing: putting power in the hands of the people. And that system has now proven itself horribly misguided. People need someone to control them, to make the right decisions. People need the Leviathan. Tyranny, in the right hands, could do some good around here. Which is why I say: Down with your hypocrisy, your theocracy and your democracy.

Pascal Clark


electrical engineering

(via Mark Shea)

Steyn on Europe on the Elections

Mark Steyn has a fantastic article deconstructing the election reaction of the secular liberals in Europe.
The set-up:

The big question after Tuesday was: will it just be more of the same in George W Bush’s second term, or will there be a change of tone? And apparently it’s the latter. The great European thinkers have decided that instead of doing another four years of lame Bush-is-a-moron cracks they’re going to do four years of lame Americans-are-morons cracks. Inaugurating the new second-term outreach was Brian Reade in the Daily Mirror, who attributed the President’s victory to: “The self-righteous, gun-totin’, military-lovin’, sister-marryin’, abortion-hatin’, gay-loathin’, foreigner-despisin’, non-passport-ownin’ rednecks, who believe God gave America the biggest dick in the world so it could urinate on the rest of us and make their land ‘free and strong’.”

The payoff:

What was revealing about this election campaign was how little the condescending Europeans understand even about the side in American politics they purport to agree with – witness The Guardian’s disastrous intervention in Clark County. Simon Schama last week week defined the Bush/Kerry divide as “Godly America” and “Worldly America”, hailing the latter as “pragmatic, practical, rational and sceptical”. That’s exactly the wrong way round: it’s Godly America that is rational and sceptical – especially of Euro-delusions. Uncowed by Islamists, undeferential to government, unshrivelled in its birthrates, Bush’s redneck America is a more reliable long-term bet. Europe’s media would do their readers a service if they stopped condescending to it.

All the stuff in between is great too. The High Church of Secularism has suffered a blow to the faith, and now it’s struggling to reconcile reality with its arrogant, close-minded faith.

Election ’04 Post-mortem

Bush winning and the GOP extending their power in both houses is huge. In fact the power that they could flex is almost scary. On top of this Bush has a real good chace of appointing 3 new Supreme Court judges. Talk about Republican domination. As Spiderman drilled into our brains: with great power comes great responsibility. I pray that their power is excercised under the guide of wisdom and tempered by respect.

I am deeply thankful and relieved that we suffered no terrorist attack. Heck, the alert level wasn’t even raised. For the past four years I was certain we’d get another major attack by now. Anybody else feel that Al Qaeda has been either thoroughly gutted or is too distracted by the seedlings of democracy in both Iraq and Afghanistan to really focus on our homeland? All Osama did was send us a video tape with vague threats and Moore-ish talking points. You know, we may not have chopped off the head of Al Qaeda, but it seems we may have choppped off all its limbs. Now all it can do is whine as it bleeds to death. I can hardly believe that we’ve made it four years without a major terrorist attack. However, I’m still convinced that another major attack is inevitable.

The reaction around the world is pretty funny. Of course, a lot of Europeans are sticking up their snooty noses and wondering how Americans can willingly subject ourselves to another 4 years of Bushitler. I think Mark Shae answered this well:

I hate to sound like a jingo, and Lord knows I’m aware this country has its problems (as my readers frequently gripe at me for noting), but if Americans are so stupid, why are we the most powerful country in the world? It’s something that might be worth reflecting on for a leftist intelligentsia that tries to explain everything with “I’m smart and you’re stoopid if you don’t see how smart I am”.

If you’re so smart, O Disgusted Foreigner, why does it never seem to occur to you to ask why a nation of morons like us keep running rings around you? Might it *just possibly* be the case that you aren’t as smart as you constantly console yourself you are?

Think outside the box.


Other posts about foreign reactions:
Matt Rosenberg, who points to a very interesting article from The Scotsman.

Greg Piper, who points to reactions from New Yorkers, who might as well be foreigners considering how out-of-touch and arrogant they are.

A great op-ed in the New York Post about reactions in Old Europe. Compare the amount of support Chirac and Schroeder got in their last set of elections to President Bush. The article predicts now that many strongly anti-American countries will stop being so obstinate because they can no longer hope for a Kerry presidency. Furthermore, Howard’s huge win in Australia, Bush’s decisive win in the US, and Blair’s almost certain victory in the next general election emphasize the strength and force of the members of the Anglo-American alliance. (Link from Instapundit)