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Thursday, December 30, 2004

We had our microphones at the Strib...

...Around a large oak conference table festooned with blank notepads, pencils, and Starbucks cups sits the editorial staff of the Star Tribune. It is now one halfhour into the meeting, and progress is slow.

They had already posted an editorial on the disaster in Tuesday's edition, but it was nothing more than standard sympathy coupled with calls for more comprehensive warning systems. Now, with the death toll increasing by the hour,It was clear that this was turning into something monumental. A new editorial needed to be written. This time blame was to be assigned.

But connecting the dots was proving difficult."There's got to be a connection we can make!" Shouted Jim Boyd, the DeputyEditor."If it was atmospheric, it would be a no-brainer" Managing Editor Scott Gillespie replied, "just yell 'Kyoto' and it's a done deal"

It's a parody, but it's hilarious. Read the whole thing in Fraters Libertas.

A Unified Theory of the Old Media Collapse

Hugh Hewitt has a compelling case for the collapse of the MSM.

...With the arrival of the civil rights movement, journalism slowly began to reform itself and to work overtime to represent underrepresented political and social points of view. There developed a great tolerance for viewpoints and perspectives from ideological minorities, and a great hunger to represent those views not only in the media product but also in the media workforces. First opposition to the Vietnam war and then the hunting of Richard Nixon accelerated this trend, so that old media quickly evolved into a fortress of "oppositional" reporting and personnel.

The new recruits to big journalism and their mentors did not work overtime to assure that, in the elevation of tolerance of ideological minorities, there would remain representation of majoritarian points of view. In fact, majoritarian points of view became suspect, and the focus of pervasive hostile reporting and analysis. Crusading journalists seemed to be an ideological pack. By the time the new millennium arrived, legacy media was populated at its elite levels by as homogeneous a group of reporters / producers / commentators as could ever have been assembled from the newsrooms of the old Hearst operation. Big Media had hired itself into a rut--a self-replicating echo chamber of left and further-left scribblers and talkers and self-reinforcing head nodders who were overwhelmingly anti-Republican, anti-Christian, anti-military, anti-wealth, anti-business, and even anti-middle class. These new journalists had no tolerance for majoritarian points of view, and the gap between the producers of the news and the consumers of the news widened until the credibility gap between the two made Lyndon Johnson's look modest by comparison.

Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tribute to the troops

For a touching tribute to the gallant men (and women) fighting for us in Iraq, click HERE.

Water Gods Angry

Top Scientists Warn: Sea Gods Angry

Washington, DC - Pointing to the devastating weekend Indian Ocean tsunami that left over 24,000 dead, an international blue ribbon committee of climatologists and ecoscientists today issued a stark warning that man-made pollutants have increasingly "make water spirits angry."

The blunt conclusion prefaced a 2300 page meta-analysis of hundreds of scientific studies and computer models detailing links between human industrial activity and wrathful eco-deities. Entitled "Fire Bad: Fire Very Bad," the report warns that the planet faces additional catastrophies unless drastic regulatory action is taken to appease Earthen-furies.

Read more from IOWAHAWK

The Quake

Click HERE to see an animation of the spread of the Indian Ocean quake.

Friday, December 24, 2004

AP Lie Du Jour

Powerline readers are reminded that the AP is not a reliable news source.

Referring to the famous question planted by a reporter during a Q&A session several weeks ago, the AP reports on the current visit by Rumsfeld:

Two weeks ago at a forward base in Kuwait, a handful of soldiers openly challenged him about inadequate equipment and long deployments.
Rumsfeld cut off their complaints by saying, "You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have." That set off a wave of criticism of the defense chief's brusque manner.

This is not only a lie, it is a transparent, easily disproved and blatant lie. In fact, following the soldier’s question Secretary Rumsfeld went on for over 500 words (you will find the entire quotation on Powerline).

This is not sloppy reporting, careless editing or simple stupidity. The AP knows better. It is simply lying about what Rumsfeld said in order to feed the perception that he does not care about the troops. It is part of an attempt by the Left to discredit one of the best Defense Secretaries of this century by people who wish to see America lose the war in Iraq. They are sympathetic to the mass murderers, cowardly bombers, sadistic killers, beheaders, rapists and all the detritus of the Saddam regime.

They are the after-the-fact supporters and enablers of those who killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11. They want to see more American soldiers die and are doing everything they can to provide aid and comfort to the enemy.

But that doesn't make them bad people /sarcasm off.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

20 Most Annoying Liberals?

Honorable Mentions: The ACLU, Max Cleland, Chevy Chase, Susan Estrich, Al Franken, Whoopi Goldberg, Bev Harris, Jesse Jackson, Ted Kennedy, Terry McAuliffe, Bill Maher, The New York Times, Lawrence O'Donnell, Keith Olberman, Sean Penn, Charles Rangel, Ron Reagan Jr., Randi Rhodes, George Soros, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, Barbra Streisand, Henry Waxman, Markos Moulitsas Zúniga

Read the list from

The Middle East as a Movie Set

Since American newsmen can get hurt by the adherents of the “Religion of Peace” as they toil in the vineyard of the Middle East, a large part of the news that we take in from that part of the world is actually created by native Arabs. And if you thought Dan Rather using fake documents to smear George Bush was biased, Dan is an angel in comparison to these “reporters.”

If you have not seen the video clip of the Palestinian funeral procession where the “corpse” falls out of the coffin, only to get up, dust himself off and climb back in, you have to read this report from

Kicking Christians

James Lileks recently wrote about the consternation that he caused by greeting store clerks with “Merry Christmas.” It seems that in the process of kicking Christians and their customs off of the public square, society has found ways of avoiding references to Christmas altogether.

Of course, those who have been in the forefront of creating this situation are busy accusing Christians of being overly sensistive. We are “crybaby Christians.” For people who make a living working with words, the use of third grade put-downs shows a shocking lack of sophistication.

Lileks takes James Wolcott apart in his reply.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

...And Don't You Dare Question MY Patriotism!

If an American says: “The United States has lost the war in Iraq, and that's a good thing” am I allowed to question his patriotism? In an earlier post I noted that the Left, while siding with America’s enemies, fiercely denounces those who question their patriotism.

In this piece in, Mike Adams discusses Professor Robert Jensen and how he should be treated.

Dressed to kill.

Great article by Michelle Malkin.

The head of the Federal Air Marshal Service has instituted a dress code that the air marshals themselves refer to as “kill-me-first.”

Revolt of the Viet Nam Vets

Bruce Kesler has an interesting article in the San Diego Union Tribune about the “Swift Boat Vets.” He claims that Kerry was not surprised by their revelations but was unprepared for the fact that the MSM could not suppress the story.

"Unarmored" vehicles were armored!

The media first created and then ran with the story about our troops in Iraq getting blown up because their vehicles were not armored. Now it turn out that the original premise may not have been true.

Powerlineblog recounts this question and answer from Major General Stephen Speakes at a press conference on Wednesday:

Q On the 278th, can you repeat this? At the time the question was asked, the planted question, the unit had 784 of its 804 vehicles armored?

GEN. SPEAKES: Here is the overall solution that you see. And what we've had to do is -- the theater had to take care of 830 total vehicles. So this shows you the calculus that was used. Up north in Iraq, they drew 119 up-armored humvees from what we call stay-behind equipment. That is equipment from a force that was already up there. We went ahead and applied 38 add-on armor kits to piece of equipment they deployed over on a ship. They also had down in Kuwait 214 stay- behind equipment pieces that were add-on armor kits. And then over here they had 459 pieces of equipment that were given level-three protection. And so when you put all this together, that comes up with 830.

Q At the time of the question -- summarize this, now -- that unit that the kid was complaining about was mostly armored?

GEN. SPEAKES: Yes. In other words, we completed all the armoring within 24 hours of the time the question was asked.

In other words, the question was planted, the premise was wrong and the asshats in the media are ignoring the truth. Why? Because it does not fit the media template.

The Oldest Enemy

Vin Suprynowicz reviews "The Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France"

The post-war French elite eagerly embraced the bloodthirsty Martinique-born Frantz Fanon, author of "The Wretched of the Earth," and along with him the very darkest legacies of Stalinism. Jean-Paul Sartre and the rest of the French university elite busied themselves instructing the likes of Cambodia's Pol Pot in Fanon's doctrine that social change could only be achieved through mass genocide.
(Pol Pot took his hatred of the bourgeoisie so literally that he massacred anyone who wore eyeglasses or a wristwatch. Now there's a fellow who paid attention in class.)

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Nobel Peace Prize Winner: AIDS is deliberately Created Weapon

Francis Porretto provides an interesting insight into the beliefs of the latest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

I suspect that Karl Rove is working behind the scenes to get the Nobel committee to make these awards so that Nobel Prizes will be made a badge of shame. Revenge for the award to Jimmy Carter.

Hey, it's just a theory.

Wither The Mainstream Media?

Bill Bennett has some interesting things to say about the old media, the new media and they way they are both changing.

Leonard Pitts just wrote an op-ed about the changing face of the media “All the News That’s Fit to be Requested,” bemoaning the fact that there is actually a newspaper in Chile that allows readers to choose the news. He sees that as an abdication of a newspaper’s God Given Right to set the agenda for you and me as to what is important and what is to be ignored.

Bennett has a radio talk show and makes this interesting point: …I began the top of my show two weeks ago with a menu of news items (as I always do), and I was prepared to discuss them, as well as a recent speech I had given on the meaning of the "moral values" vote in the 2004 election. I opened the phone lines and every single call--every single one--was about the Marine in Fallujah who had shot an Iraqi in a mosque, a news item I did not read in my opening menu of news.
On the issue of credibility: …The first question asked of Internet pioneer Matt Drudge when he spoke at the National Press Club in 1998 was, "[H]ow does it advance the cause of democracy and of social good to report unfounded allegations?" He detailed several then-current failures in reporting by the mainstream media, failures that led to reporters being fired, and libel judgments being paid. It is six years later and the Internet has grown, gossip and unfounded allegations have grown with it--but the growth of "unfounded allegations" is at least as much a problem for the mainstream media as it is for the Internet.
On the question of how people now form their opinions: …People now get their news and opinion on the Internet and relay it to talk radio. They then think about it, research it further, and discuss it on the Internet, in email, and in the national conversations that take place on shows like mine all the time--shows that cannot simply be marginalized as "right wing radio," because they are not "right wing." Some are, in part, national dialogues. Yes there is right wing radio, and yes there is left wing radio but there is radio of another sort too, and too few elites have the first clue about what it is or what is happening there.

Interesting times we live in…

Bush get support in Damascus?

Tyler Golson is a Liberal, a Northeasterner, and teaches English to upper class Arabs in Damascus. So he was surprised that his students preferred Bush to Kerry during the election.

And thus I came to realize something that the Democrats could never admit: that there exists a support base for both the Republicans' domestic and foreign agenda among the very people we thought most opposed current U.S. policy. The cultural background and value systems which inform many of these young Arabs' outlook on the world mean they will always favor men like Bush over men like Kerry. The tenets of faith, family and, yes, "moral issues" determine the overall political leanings of a considerable number of the Middle East's future leaders, in rejection of Democratic stump issues like increased liberalism, internationalism and scientific progress.

Read the whole article.

Press Pile On

In an Op Ed in the NY Post, Douglas McKinnon enters the fray and asks the question: is the press anti-American? Political correctness has kept this question from being asked. I have written about this issue and have asked if any action by anyone be classified as anti-American? Is there anyone in the US who can be called unpatriotic?

WITH each passing day, the role of the media in Iraq becomes more confusing and much more controversial.
The latest example: the "question" asked of Secretary Donald Rumsfeld during his "town hall" meeting this week with U.S. soldiers in Kuwait.
One soldier asked, "Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal . . . to up-armor our vehicles, and why don't we have those resources readily available to us?"
That question and the video of that question led almost every newscast or front page in this country. What does the question have to do with the media and its ever growing controversial role in Iraq? A reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press fed the question to the soldier so he could set up Donald Rumsfeld.

These are important questions and should be debated for the health of the country. Let the debate begin.

Bush's Religion

Kathleen Parker writes what I believe to be an honest article about George Bush's religion as it impacts his public life.

Hardly a day passes without Americans being reminded of the debt President George W. Bush owes religious conservatives for their role in his re-election. Evangelical Christians , about 26 million of them, turned out in droves and are ready for payback, we keep hearing. The only problem is, Bush isn't the president of just one constituency, as he noted in his first press conference following the election. Nor is Bush the culture warrior some insist he is. Bush didn't make abortion an issue in his campaign except in condemning partial-birth abortion, a position most Americans share. He would have preferred to avoid the same-sex marriage issue, but the Massachusetts Supreme Court forced his hand. And it was John Kerry, not Bush, who made stem-cell research a political issue.
...In conversation following dinner one evening, he explained to me that while Bush is firm in his conviction that every human life should be welcome and legally protected, he is also firm in his belief that social consensus must precede change. Neither Bush's personality nor his ideology meshes with the profile of dogmatic social engineer. On stem-cell research, for example, Bush basically split the baby down the middle, funding research on existing stem-cell lines, but withholding funding for new research that would destroy human embryos. On same-sex marriage, Bush supports a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman, but supports some form of civil union to extend legal protections to same-sex couples. Bush surely has been honest about his religious conversion, from hard-drinking frat boy to leader of the free world, but his message isn't quite on the level on glossolalia. Millions of Americans have changed the direction of their lives through spiritual growth, and other American presidents have been far more "religious" in their public conduct.
Bush's invocations of God, meanwhile, are never gratuitous but are appropriate to context, a funeral, or prayer breakfast, or the finishing touch on a State of the Union address: "God bless America." Hardly the rantings of a theocrat. One can find other references to God, most notably in Bush's articulation of what is surely the central narrative of his presidency: "Freedom is not America's gift to the world. Freedom is the almighty God's gift to every man and woman in the world." Again, this is not rain dancing. Such is the seed that grew the United States of America. In other words, the notion that Bush is imposing his religious beliefs, or that he is going reshape America in the image of some fundamentalist fantasy, is a bum rap.


Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Imus and the Nanny

Don Imus is a blowhard and makes an outstanding living by being a blowhard on his morning radio show. Until now, I thought that his radio persona was just that … and that the realty was probably a much less prickly and irrational individual.

I must confess that I had my suspicions about the “Imus Ranch,” A lavish 4000 acre spread in New Mexico that Imus ceaselessly promotes as a ranch for “kids with cancer.” It was built with donations from wealthy individuals and corporations. It is ostensibly a charity, but one over which Imus and his wife exercise total control. It now appears that my suspicions were right. The ranch is a tax exempt Southwestern hideaway that Imus uses for his personal enjoyment. The much vaunted “kids with cancer” are a thin veneer. The ranch itself should be investigated by the IRS as a tax scam for the multimillionaire radio personality. After Martha Stewart, could we see Don Imus in the slammer?

To get back to the “real” Imus, it appears that the guy is every bit a big a nut in person as on the radio. He has now been sued by a former nanny who he and his wife abandoned in the middle of the New Mexico desert, with no money, no identification and no way to get home. The Nanny’s crime? She carried a cap gun and a pocket knife to the Imus Ranch. The cap gun was for games with the Imus’ 5 year old son. The pocket knife was a gift from her father.

After throwing her off the ranch and abandoning her in the desert in the middle of the night, Imus used her as the butt of a sketch on his radio show, characterizing her as a “terrorist” and a violent, armed and dangerous criminal.

With a hat tip to Drudge, read the whole thing here.

The nanny, Cathleen Mallette is suing. Her lawyer also represented the woman Bill O’Reilly harassed. The nanny deserves every penny.

Monday, November 29, 2004

When You Don't Join the Kerry Band of Brothers

Steve Gardner was one of Kerry's crewmates who spoke out against John Kerry during the recent campaign. Thanks to Kerry's supporters in Washington, Boston, and the MSM, today he is unemployed and broke.

This is how Liberals treat dissidents.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

No Blood for Chocolate!

The Diplomad explores the brutal French suppression of rebels in the Ivory Coast, designed to protect - among other things - France's lucrative cocoa trade (as well as oil, timber and mining). A must read for those who are still not convinced that the slimeballs who head up the French government are hypocrites par excellance.

Criminals and God

Tech Central Station has a great article on the relative effectiveness of faith based criminal rehabilitation versus the "scientific" systems.

An Iraqi Political party is Created

Iraq the Model has a fascinating story about the revolution in Iraqi politics now that Saddam is gone. A must read for those whose only exposure to Iraq are the endless stories in the MSM of bombs and American "failure."

Is Anyone Being Unpatriotic?

What does it take to be unpatriotic?

“And don’t you dare accuse me of not being patriotic” often follows a stated desire to see America lose the war in Iraq.

Can “patriots” work for the defeat of their own country?

The argument in the affirmative is that America has lost its moral compass. Is engaged in an illegal, unethical war, and that the best road to American virtue is the end of the conflict and American withdrawal. Advocates of this position are firmly convinced they are right and want only the best for America and her people. For example, Tom Hayden urges the Left to create a mass movement that will defeat the US in Iraq.

To test their premises, let’s examine two historical examples: Benedict Arnold and Claus von Stauffenberg.

It can be argued that both people wanted what was best for their countrymen.

Arnold, was – until he provided the British the plans to the fort at West Point – one of the most successful and daring commanders during the American Revolution. What caused him to betray the Revolutionary cause and side with the British is still in dispute although a number of reasons are inferred in his biography. Justifying himself he wrote "love to my country actuates my present conduct, however it may appear inconsistent to the world, who very seldom judge right of any man's actions." Thus it is evident that even someone whose name has become synonymous with betrayal claims to have acted out of genuine love of his people and his country.

Using the modern left’s definition of patriotism, was Benedict Arnold the “real” patriot and Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and the other Founders hot headed jingoists who, as slave-owning white guys, ran the American Revolution as a scam to deprive the Indians of their land? Don’t laugh; I’m sure that the Haydens of this world can make that case.

Arnold’s betrayal is not universally deplored. The British see him as someone who fought valiantly on both sides during the Revolution. Had his plot succeeded and the revolution failed, he would probably go down in history books as someone who began on the wrong side but who saw the light.

Von Stauffenberg planted the briefcase bomb that, in 1944, was supposed to kill Adolph Hitler. As a devout Catholic, his participation in the plot was a reaction to Nazi excesses in its treatment of both Christians and Jews. The plot failed to kill Hitler and Stauffenberg and his associates were caught and executed. The war ended in the defeat of the Nazis, and Stauffenberg is remembered as a hero. It is important to be reminded that Stauffenberg wanted to kill Hitler so that a more rational leadership could take over the reins of government. His objective was not to bring about the defeat of Germany, but to end in the excesses of the Nazis.

Thus it becomes evident that Arnold and von Stauffenberg had two totally differenct ends in view. One worked for the defeat of his country in war, the other wished to change a corrupt dictatorship.

To apply these lessons to our current situation, we have to ask ourselves: are those who call for America’s failure in the war in Iraq more like Benedict Arnold or like Claus von Stauffenberg? Is there no possibility that the war in Iraq is part of the over-all War on Terror? After 9/11 should America be fighting a War on Terror? Is the American government even remotely like the Nazi regime under Hitler? Only those who are morally obtuse, or totally lacking in historical knowledge would claim this. We have so much freedom in this country that those who are publicly calling for our defeat in war are given a forum to spout their treason. They are in no danger of being arrested, imprisoned or liquidated.

That is no reason why we cannot call them profoundly evil and to label them as unpatriotic.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Conservatives Come Out of the Closet at State

Here's an amusing story about a Walter Mitty moment by some inhabitants of the frozen North.

Among Canadians there are actual adults who are suggesting that an arrest warrant should be served on George Bush when he visits Canada on November 30th. There is some worthwhile commentary on a new blog - The Diplomad – about this. It comments that

… we would be hard put to describe the Canada of today or of the past 10 or so years as an ally. Its government has become among the most politically correct and feminized in the world, turning Canada into a haven for global terrorists and criminals, and for some of the most irresponsible and "out there" politicians, academics and journalists found anywhere on the planet. It has dismantled its once proud military establishment, turning it into a second-rate Keystone Cops police force at the beck-and-call of Kofi "Oil-for-Money" Annan. It is now a country with no sense of national interest or purpose, no appreciation for its true friends or for its own history. Canadian politicians and academics have become -- at best -- mischievous little school boys, trying to play pranks on the aloof but kindly school headmaster, secure in the knowledge that at most they'll get an avuncular lecture, that never will they have to pay any serious consequences, and that the headmaster will always in the end protect them from the school bullies and street toughs.

Just so.

The Neverending - One Sided - Story

Charles Johnson at LittleGreenFootballs accuses the MSM: These are the war crimes in which mainstream media shows absolutely no interest: the appalling atrocities and barbaric acts committed by the “holy warriors.”

The answer is simple: the MSM is not on America’s side; at least not the America that re-elected George Bush. Now, if a Democrat were bombing Iraqis from 20,000 feet (like we did in Bosnia) it would be a different story.

Opposition to the war has little to do with the Iraqi people. Liberals, the self proclaimed "champions of the little man," the people who loudly trumpet their pre-eminence in the fight for human rights, don’t give a damn about the Iraqi people.

To the Left, Iraqis are immaterial, they are extras, stage dressing, “claymation” figures to be used and/or abused in a particularly nasty domestic political fight. Bush was not supposed to win re-election, and the Left will now try to do to him what they did to Nixon.

The US will not be able to do any good in Iraq. The terrorists will not be able to do anything bad.

A wounded Marine shoots a wounded terrorist: STOP THE PRESSES. Weeks of articles about American brutality follow. Jihadi terrorists chop off heads, kill American aid workers and hang them from a Fallujah bridge, kidnap and shoot women prisoners in the head, leave disemboweled prisoners in the street: a brief mention one page 16 before the story gets back to American evil. In fact, according to Chris Matthews, the perpetrators of these acts are patriots along the lines of George Washington.

We cannot let this happen. The last time it happened, literally millions of people – Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians – died. That is too big a price to pay so that the Left can regain power in the United States.

Misplaced Metaphors

Victor David Hanson writes about three Misplaced Metaphors being applied to Iraq:

1. The Pottery Barn Rule

2. "We had to destroy a village in order to save it" (A probable lie told by Peter Arnett)

3. The Mercury Metaphor.

Its well worth a read. He concludes:

Why do we readily embrace such false wisdom? Reasons abound, from our own lack of confidence in American competence and morality to the creepy methods of the Islamic fascists that strike fear into a leisured and prosperous Western citizenry. But for now it is enough to realize that retail metaphors, stale Vietnam-era myths, and pessimism passed off as chemistry tell us far more about ourselves than they do of Iraq — which somehow, like Afghanistan, just zigs and zags forward toward a democratic future.

Finally, on this Thanksgiving let us remember that, for all their snarls and snipes, the now-freed peoples of France, Germany, Japan, Eastern Europe, Korea, the Balkans, Panama, Grenada, Afghanistan, and Iraq owe a great deal to thousands of dead Americans, too often forgotten, who in awful places like the Hürtgen Forest, Tarawa, Monte Casino, Chosun, Hue, Panama City, Mazar-e-Sharif — and Fallujah — battled and defeated Nazis, militarists, Fascists, Communists, and Dark-Age Islamists so that millions of others might have the freedom that the rest of us lesser folk too often take for granted as our birthright.

The Passing of the Network Torch: No Big deal

James Lileks puts the end of the Rather Era in perspective. The era died some time ago, the corpse was kept - like Lenin in his tomb - exposed for the world to see. And as time went on, fewer came to watch.

I expect the death of network news saddens those who viewed the Evening News as a pillar of the day. To people of my age, people in their 40s, the passing has the same impact as reading that Captain Kangaroo died. Sad but inevitable, and nothing you'd specifically miss tomorrow. The News was a venerable symbol of childhood’s World of Authority, like Life magazine and those boring but somehow important “White Paper” documentaries on TV. The news was handed down, not passed around. The news was bestowed, not shared.
The news was like oil – pumped from select locations, refined by a few big companies. Now it’s water – plentiful, ubiquitous, available in dozens of forms. Bottled, tap, precipitation, dew, spittle, you name it. Oh, but are we really better informed?

Rather leaves in disgrace

Dan Rather is going … finally. The reason he is said to be leaving now, instead of later, is ascribed to the faked Bush memos. But the reason behind the reason is this: Dan Rather was ousted by a mistake and by technology.

The mistake: CBS decide to post images of the faked memos on its website. In the past, before the Internet became ubiquitous, Dapper Dan would have waved the memos in front of the camera, read their contents to us and insisted on their validity. And the audience would have believed it. After all, there would be no way of disputing the “evidence.”

Oh, some people may have disputed the memos. They would have been dismissed as partisan cranks and conspiracy nuts. After all, would a revered news organization make these things up? Remember Monica Lewinski being dismissed as a crazed stalker? Just like the famous little blue dress with traces of Clinton’s DNA on it, CBS made the mistake of posting forensic evidence on its web site.

Enter technology in the form of the Internet: bloggers began to examine the documents and it took a matter of mere hours for someone to post his observation that the memos did not look like they were typed on vintage 1970s typewriters, but on a computer using Microsoft Word. Thousands of Internet- savvy experts added their analysis, and the fraud was exposed … within a day.

The world of “news” will never be the same. Now every reporter, every commentator, every MSM analyst will have his words, his bias, his sins of commission and sins of omission analyzed.

Despite the MSM’s most fervent wishes and best efforts, media critics will no longer be dismissed as cranks or conspiracy theorists for two reasons: first, because they have been exposed one of the most revered media mavens as a craven liar and, second, because they are in charge of their own medium of communication. They are not limited to speaking to each other via the letters to the editor pages of the media monopolists. Some bloggers on the Internet have more daily readers than the most widely read newspapers. Moreover, unlike newspapers and television, they link to each other, reinforcing their message.

But remember the original premise: Dan Rather’s lies about the Bush Guard memos were exposed by an unusual combination of chance and technology. How many other “Rathergates” have become accepted truths because this happy combination was absent? How many other ABCNBCCBSCNN “news” stories were, well, bullshit? Hummm?

Isn’t it time to review history?

With a hat tip to Ralph M at IMAO:

Hilaire Belloc's epigram, "Epitaph on the Politician":

Here richly, with ridiculous display,
The Politician's corpse was laid away.
While all of his acquaintance sneered and slanged I wept:
For I had longed to see him hanged.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

The Rules of War

Life is a learning experience.

Despite the best efforts of people who want to preserve the past in amber, real life causes us to adapt, or die.

Charles Johnson in Little Green Footballs comments on Kevin Sites, the photographer who videotaped the Marine shooting the wounded insurgent in the mosque in Fallujah.

The Sites tape has been used to incite hatred of the US and our efforts in Iraq. Sites tries to explain himself by stating that his understanding of the rules of war: when an enemy is fighting, you can kill him; once he is “subdued” he is now “your responsibility.” And Sites own role is to tell the story.

Unfortunately for the people who are engaged in this struggle, such simple rules no longer apply. War is, after all, no mere academic exercise. When nations go to the extreme of war, the objective is to win.

When making assumptions about rules of warfare it should be kept in mind that the rules are ever changing. As Francis Porretto points out in Eternity Road War was once conducted as set piece battles between clearly market combatants. However, when one of the combatants broke the rules, both sides learned to play by the new rules.

A few of the Rules of War as currently practiced.

1. Wars are now conducted with TV images as well as bullets and bombs. Reporters and cameramen are combatants, not bystanders. Viet Nam was lost on the TV screens of America. Tet was a victory for the Communists even though their troops were wiped out because Walter Cronkite said so.

2. Modern war is often remarkably light on actual casualties. The US destroyed the Iraqi army as a fighting force with fewer than 100 casualties in a matter of days. The battle for Fallujah resulted in roughly 50 American combat deaths. Estimates of enemy deaths range from 1500 to 3000. More soldiers died training for the Normandy invasion that the total deaths in this battle.

3. Once, in war, soldiers were “paroled.” That meant they could not fight again until the terms of their parole were met. Now, US soldiers are fired at by “surrendering” or “wounded” enemies and killed by booby trapped bodies. Only the willfully blind or suicidal will abide by the old rules of warfare when new rules are being written by the enemy.

War is too serious to be treated as sport for the benefit of the sensibilities of bystanders. I thank God that this nation is still led by adults.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Why Is The Press Hiding the Horrors

The JunkyardBlog has an excellent essay on the story we are not being shown: the horrors perpetrated by the Fallujah "insurgents."

In the age of mass media and instant news, if we don't see images of something how long will our memories of it last? Our troops fighting in Fallujah have reportedly discovered several slaughterhouses--places where terrorists killed innocent civilians in brutal, disgusting fashion--around the city. But have you seen any pictures of those slaughterhouses? I haven't, and I think it's
important that we do. We need to see what our enemy has been doing that led to the fighting there. We need to see why the Marines needed to be sent into that hellhole. The terrorist butcheries are part of why we're fighting there.

Let's take a walk around the media, in vain search of pictures of the Fallujah slaughterhouses. Here's a story about them, but what picture accompanies it? An unflattering shot of Iraqi PM Allawi.

Here's another story, no picture. Chicago Tribune story, no pictures. UK Times story, no pics. The Australian runs a story,
no photos. The Independent runs a story about the discovery of a hostage chained to a wall in a slaughterhouse, no photos.
KC Star reports on the slaughterhouses, no photos. Most of these stories are based on wire reports, either AP, AFP, UPI or Reuters. We've seen AP insert its photographers in terrorist units--how else does it get shots like this one? But the wires seem to have had no time to get a camera into any of these slaughterhouses that our troops have taken from the terrorists. We know these places exist, due to the fact that the terrorists had to have killed their victims somewhere. But all we have are brief descriptions. No photos. Here are some Marines in a non-slaughterhouse in Fallujah, courtesy the Canadian Press. Here are some Marines in a house in which they found some IEDs, courtesy AP. On Yahoo's news photo search there are hundreds of photos from the battle of Fallujah, but none of them--not
one--that I have found so far depict any of the slaughterhouses.


Headlines We'll Never See in the Mainstream Media

A recent AP Headline:
Shooting in Iraq Mosque Angers Muslims

Associated Press reporters Omar Sinan in Baghdad and Alexander G. Higgins in Geneva contributed to this report.

Headlines we’ll never see in the MSM:

1. Iraqis enraged by suicide bombing.

2. Iraqi street enraged by beheadings
3. Iraqi street troubled by discovery of mass graves
4. Iraqis protest hostage murders
5. Human rights groups staged massive protest rallies after US Marines found the armless, legless body of a blonde woman in the south of Fallujah, her throat slashed and her entrails cut out.
6. Picture of Fallujah murder rooms hardens determination of US.
7. Mainstream media end embargo of 9/11 Terrorist Attack.
8. Terrorists shoot Iraqi aid worker in the head. Pictures below.
9. Embedded newsmen volunteer to search wounded and dead for weapons and booby traps.
10. Beheadings, booby traps, suicide bombs and mines mark Iraqi “insurgency.” Actual troops are militarily incompetent.
11. Iraqi Insurgent Leaders Run Before Battle Begins.
12. Marine “Pulls a Kerry” on wounded enemy. Awarded Silver Star.
13. Fallujah residents tell of rebel brutality. Welcome Marines.
14. Gilroy Marine killed by insurgent playing dead.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Viet Nam Vets Sink Kerry

When all is said and done … when all the punditry are talking about the events of the day in another month or two, this one fact will become glaringly obvious: John Kerry was defeated by the Viet Nam vets he smeared in 1971.

As this campaign came to a close, John Kerry tried his best to avoid mentioning Viet Nam. How did this dramatic turn of events occur? Who took Kerry’s strongest sales point away? The ghost of Viet Nam, invoked by Kerry, came back to haunt this deeply flawed man. It was poetic justice rarely found outside of novels.

John Kerry ran all his campaigns for public office as a war hero. His Senate campaigns, his Senate speeches, his public pronouncements invariably recalled his heroism in Viet Nam. He received his party’s nomination as a war hero and he began his convention speech with a salute to himself…as a war hero. He populated his stage with his “Band of Brothers” who testified to his daring-do.

His credentials, his medals and his heroism were never challenged while he was an obscure junior senator from Massachusetts. But when he reached for the supreme office in the land, a determined group of people whose honor he smeared decided to stand up. They blew this faux hero out of the water.
Despite the best efforts of a news media in the tank for Kerry, the people who knew him and were witnesses to his brief tour found their voices. Talk radio, the blogosphere and Fox news – media channels that are as new as the day after tomorrow – allowed their story to be told. Suddenly his purple hearts, his bronze and silver stars were being examined by those who were there, and who disputed his version of events. For the first time we learned that his first purple heart was for a self-inflicted scratch, his last was for blowing rice into his butt with his own grenade.. Three purple hearts and not a day in the hospital! After-action reports written by Kerry himself in which he became the star of his own war story, and that became the “official” Navy record. Christmas in Cambodia stories, and magic hats given by imagined spooks. Suddenly the dashing young military hero was revealed as a fabulist who used fake wounds to take a powder from the battle zone after a few months in a war he never wanted to fight.

Toward the end of the campaign, Kerry’s antic references to Viet Nam were widely ridiculed. His “Band of Brothers” disappeared from his staged events. His references to spending Christmas in Cambodia never again saw the light of day. His biographer began to disavow his own depiction of events. His refusal to release his military records was never mentioned by the MSM, but those who had access to the Internet knew this and wondered what he had to hide.

In the end, images of hundreds of decorated vets, POWs and war widows testifying to the lies told by Lt (j.g.) Kerry in 1971 in congressional testimony left an indelible impression on large segments of the American people. The people who gave testimony against John Kerry were real war heroes, with real war wounds, lots of bronze and silver stars, and two Congressional Medals of Honor.

They were older, much older. With paunches and lined faces; the kind you get when you turn 60. Despite the best efforts of the MSM and Kerry partisans to call their testimony lies, they were credible to middle of America. Because mainstream Americans knew that their sons, brothers and husbands were not murderers, mutilators, and torturers. They knew the vets as real people and they knew that their friends and relatives did not enlisted in the armies of Genghis Kahn. These people came out to vote in November 2, 2004 in record numbers. To them, truth and honor mattered. Even though the injury was done thirty years ago, the wounds never healed. The ones who were wronged never received their apology. Those who spat on them, lied about them, and kept them in prison are still in positions of privilege, wealth and power.

This election has not changed that fact. But they do have the satisfaction of knowing the leader of those who had the most to do with their suffering was denied the goal he sought. Not a bad start to the beginning of their rehabilitation.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


As a student of history, I have seen many propaganda posters, pictures, films, etc. Both the First and Second World Wars depicted the enemy as brutal and bloodthirsty savages. Similar images have rarely been part of the American electoral cycle.

No more. via LittleGreenFootballs see what the Village Voice thinks of President Bush. There actually is a medical condition known as Bush-Derangement-Syndrome.


BELMONT CLUB summarizes how journalists toe the terrorist line, becoming their megaphones, in order to keep reporting from the war zones.

Said one: "These guys, they’re not stupid. They are fighting a war but they are not savages - they’re not actually killing people willy-nilly. There was no reason for them to kill me," he told reporters on his arrival at Sydney airport last night. "There was a reason to kill (British hostage Kenneth) Bigley, there was a reason to kill the (two) Americans (kidnapped with Bigley). There was not a reason to kill me."

Read the whole thing and click on the links provided. You'll never trust another report from the Arab world.


From the American Digest:

So before the formal canonization of Kerry, I'd like to go on record as saying, along with a few other brave souls, that it is no longer a question of Kerry and the Democrats losing in November, but only one of how great and lasting their humiliation and degredation is going to be.

As far as I can see it is going to be massive: a Tsunami of rejection; a battering of the Bozos with no ref to stop the fight in the sixth round; a comet impacting dead center in the Democratic Fantasy World and smothering all but the deepest burrowing small rodents in a layer of ash half a mile thick; a landslide in which the entire north face of Mount Everest decides to take a vacation on the shores of the Indian ocean; a blowout equal to the hotspot under Yellowstone deciding to displace Krakatoa as the loudest implosion heard in recorded history; an "L" branded on the forehead of the Democratic party so large and so deep that travel agencies from Japan will divert a whole season of Grand Canyon tours to the nearest Kerry Compound just so they can marvel and photograph themselves standing at the brink.


I think another parallel is that in some ways the Revolutionary War could have been avoided. It was an unnecessary war.

Thoughts on war and peace from arguably the most incompetent president of the 20th century, via MSNBC's Hardball.


From INDC:

"This is part of a painful pattern of bad acting that begins with mindboggling foreign policy prevarication, picks up speed with terribly awkward stump soundbites ("Bring. It. On."), reaches new heights with a bizarre debate detour into "lesbian[ism]," digs up questionably exploitive quotes from a dead Christopher Reeve and leaves us today with patronizing redneck grammar from the original effete Boston Brahmin, a man so dedicated to etymologically correct pronunciation that he's one of 10 people in North America that uses the "soft-g" when he breaks out the word "Ghengis" during the course of false war crimes testimony before the Senate.
I mean, Kerry may be "a man who will do and
say anything to get elected," but does he have to patronize America's intelligence every time he attempts a cynically calculating remark? "

Kerry to troops: Your life is worthless unless UN blesses the fight

"If you mean dying in the course of the United Nations effort, yes, it is worth that. If you mean dying American troops unilaterally going in with some false presumption that we can affect the outcome, the answer is unequivocally no."

See the Washington Post article. Hat tip to Beldar blog

It’s Really Not That Complicated

Victor David Hansen points to some inconvenient facts that the Kerry supporters really try not to see:read the fatwas.

You hear not just of America's injustice in Palestine or Chechnya — not to mention nothing about saving Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo or Afghanistan of the 1980s — but also of what we did in Spain in the 15th century and in Tyre, Gaza, and Jerusalem in the 12th. The mystery of September 11, 2001, is not that it happened, but that it did not quite happen when first tried in 1993 during Bill Clinton's madcap efforts to move a smiling Arafat into the Lincoln Bedroom and keep our hands off bin Laden. Only an American with a JD or PhD would cling to the idea that there was not a connection between Group A Middle Eastern terrorists who attacked the WTC in 1993 and Group B who finished the job in 2001.


A funny take-off on a Monty Python sketch about John Kerry and his plans. The comments are also funny.


Sunday, October 17, 2004


Francis Poretto makes an interesting point about (unused) American military power.

The most important Middle Eastern Islamic population centers lie along a strip of Earth sufficiently narrow that it would take no more than four Minutemen to destroy them all.

Saturday, October 16, 2004


Belmont Club has an excellent article on terrorism before it hit the headlines, and stayed there. The murder of children was quickly dropped down the "memory hole" by the MSM, too busy finding nuances. Sometimes something really is evil.


Leonard Pitts is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Miami Herald and writes today about Sinclair Broadcasting’s decision to run a story on its 62 stations entitled “Stolen Honor: Wounds that Never Heal.”

In it he blasts Sinclair Broadcasting. In his words, “by giving Kerry no voice, ‘Stolen Honor’ fails the basic smell test of news: fairness and balance.”

Of course that remains to be seen since Sinclair claims that their program is a work in progress. In addition, they have invited Mr. Kerry to participate. Pitts dismisses that as “… inviting him to be the turkey at Thanksgiving.”

That Pitts is a partisan hack is not open to question. He had enough integrity to write an article about the CBS Texas Air National Guard forgeries. However, the slant there was vastly different. In that article he assumed all the accusations made against George Bush were true. He was not castigating CBS for airing a one-sided attempt to smear the President. His problem with this slime ball story was its “shoddiness.” He blamed CBS for using bad fakes. In Leonard Pitts’ world, journalistic hits on Republicans are fine as long as the evidence isn’t faked. When Democrats are the target they are “propaganda” and a “tawdry attempt to swing an election.” Even when the evidence is a videotape of the perp’s own words.

Was John Kerry, to use Leonard Pitts’ own words: “…in essence, a traitor?” We’ll see what the evidence shows. You can be sure of one thing; the evidence will NOT include bad fakes. John Kerry will appear in his own words. And the former POWs, many with real purple hearts, silver and bronze stars and even Medals of Honor, will be given a chance to speak their minds to millions of people, something they have not been given an opportunity to do for 33 years.

Now that’s news.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

The Truth ... At Last

Swiftvets & POWs for the Truth have made two new ads. Judge for yourself:

The Vision Thing

"The political left has long favored putting more and more decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong -- not only judges but zoning boards, environmental commissions and, internationally, the United Nations and the World Court. This is a vision of the wise and the virtuous imposing their wisdom and virtue on the lesser people who make up the rest of humanity.

" Egalitarians are often in the vanguard of those seeking to promote this most dangerous of all inequalities -- the inequality of unaccountable power in the service of a vision."

Read the whole essay by Thomas Sowell.

The REAL Questions Bob Schieffer Planned to Ask.

To Kerry: Sen. Kerry, if an American earns more than $200,000 per year, and has $35,000 more than he needs to pay his bills: What should he do with the extra money? Choose the alternative which is best for America:
a) Spend it on a new Chrysler Crossfire.
b) Hire a new employee for his business.
c) Invest it in a stock mutual fund.
d) Send it to the Internal Revenue Service so President Kerry can use it to help people whose lives were ruined by the Bush administration.

See the others at Scrappleface.

What's the Price of Winning?

If Drudge has it right, then the Kerry-Edwards campaign is going to do its damnedest to turn our fine nation into a banana republic.

To these guys, winning office is more important than the sanctity of elections. Holding power is more important than the Constitution. Much as I despise at least half of what most Republicans stand for, they don't seem nearly as willing to trash the system they're trying to run. Too many Democrats, especially at the national level, just don't care that our system, our nation is far more important than any single election.

From VodkaPundit...

THIS is Censorship

Sinclair Broadcasting, which owns 62 TV stations nationwide, plans next week to air "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal," which features interviews with former prisoners of war who feel betrayed by Kerry's antiwar activism...

"Sinclair's owners aren't interested in news, they're interested in pro-Bush propaganda," said DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe, whose complaint will accuse the firm of making an in-kind contribution to the Bush campaign.

If this is an in-kind contribution, what is "Fahrenheit 9/11"? How about Bruce Springsteen's pro-Kerry concerts, or for that matter newspaper editorials endorsing one candidate or another?

All these things of course are constitutionally protected free speech, as is "Stolen Honor." McAuliffe's complaint is frivolous, though it does underscore the absurdity of campaign finance laws that attempt to silence some political speech while carving out an exception for the media.

As well, it underscores the authoritarian nature of the political left when it comes to political speech. Liberals are quick to cry "censorship" when others merely criticize far-left or anti-American speech (remember the Dixie Chicks?), but they are eager to use the force of government to silence those with whom they disagree.

The John-John Miracles

On John Edwards promise that “We will stop juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other debilitating diseases”

But how does it work, exactly? Somehow Kerry can make the lame man walk, and the blind man see, but what is involved? Do I have to get on a bus and go to Washington, or will Kerry tour the nation working his wonders?

From Justoneminute

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Anti-Semitism In Europe

I hope that Carol Gould's experiences are untypical, but if it's true the situation is worse than I thought.

A few weeks before, I had attended a party at which I was lambasted, intimidated and mocked by a group of people I had known for some twenty-odd years. It reminded me of a comment made to me by an American expatriate shortly after 9/11: ‘Now I know what the Jews felt like in pre-war Germany.’

Read the rest of the article from Frontpage.

Random Jottings from the Blogosphere

It was a regrettably typical comment from an American reporter in this part of the world. "At least it's news," he said of the Afghan election scuffle over the weekend. "Otherwise, this is just a success story."
From TCS: Tech Central Station.

Some people are so gullible that they believe the get-rich-quick e-mail that purportedly comes from relatives of deposed African dictators. Other people are so gullible that they've fallen for an e-mail hoax claiming that the military draft will be reinstated next spring. The media don't run stories that treat the African scam letters as possibly true, but the media have, unfortunately, not always been so accurate about the draft hoax.
From Rocky Mountain News.

"For some time, and including when I spoke at the Republican Convention, I’ve wondered exactly what John Kerry’s approach would be to terrorism and I’ve wondered whether he had the conviction, the determination, and the focus, and the correct worldview to conduct a successful war against terrorism. And his quotations in the New York Times yesterday make it clear that he lacks that kind of committed view of the world. In fact, his comments are kind of extraordinary, particularly since he thinks we used to before September 11 live in a relatively safe world. He says we have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they’re a nuisance.
Rudy Guliani comments on Kerry

John Kerry hasn’t quite lost the Times, he’s come remarkably close with the New York Times Magazine interview

Kerry wrote own after-action report on Rassmann rescue, creating the "official" Navy record.

Edwards: 'When John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk. Get up out of that wheelchair and walk again'
Click Here

None of us can know for certain how we would behave in his circumstances, and very few of us will ever face them. But, if I had to choose in advance the very last words I’d utter in this life, “Tony Blair has not done enough for me” would not be high up on the list.
Mark Steyn comment on the latest beheading.

Wonder who pays taxes? Read HERE.

Muledriver interviews Hitler.

Finally, a few details on Kerry and the end of the war in Viet Nam.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Another Viet Nam?

The Weekly Standard has an excellent article on Viet nam and Iraq. Read the whole thing HERE.

JOHN KERRY is famously hard to pin down; you can reach out to grasp his opinion only to find that it has flitted away like a bashful butterfly, or a goldfish you are trying to catch with your bare hands. But nowadays his pronouncements and campaign ads are easy to read. They suggest that Iraq is like Vietnam; that
our top priority is accordingly not to win but to get out. John Kerry evidently believes, a propos Vietnam, that we should have run away sooner. Many Americans disagree. Many Americans believe that we should have stood by our friends until a free and stable South Vietnam had taken root.

Reactions to Idiocy

The Dems have a montage of Bush expressions during the first debate. For another view, click HERE.

Kerry's Positions - In His Own Words

Click HERE

Saturday, October 02, 2004

The Churches Assign Blame ... and Guess Who's the Villain?

The Volokh Conspiracy points to a recent report by the Institute for Religion and Democracy. "Human Rights Advocacy in the Mainline Protestant Churches (2000-2003)":

Here's an excerpt:

Research Design

We analyzed human rights criticisms made by four mainline Protestant denominations (the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.) and two ecumenical bodies (the National Council of Churches and World Council of Churches) over a period of four years (2000-2003) to determine which nations were criticized for human rights violations and why. We used the 2004 human rights assessments published by Freedom House as a benchmark for human rights in nations analyzed. A given church statement or document was considered to have criticized human rights in country X when, in the context of a discussion of human rights in country X, it passed negative judgment on specific current policies or actions of the government of X.


Overall, criticisms of Israel amounted to 37 percent of the 197 human rights criticisms offered by the churches during those years, only slightly higher than the 32 percent of criticisms leveled at the United States. The remaining 31 percent of criticisms were shared by twenty other nations. For every one criticism of any other foreign nation, one criticism was made of the United States and one of Israel. Nearly all churches demonstrated this focus on the United States and Israel in their legislative actions, their statements, their news sources, or all three.

As a result, nearly three out of four human rights criticisms were made of nations designated as free (mostly the United States and Israel) by the Freedom House assessments. Those rated not free totaled 19 percent of criticisms, while partly free nations totalled only 8 percent of criticisms. Of the fifteen worst human rights offenders in the world, only five were criticized by the churches during the four year period studied.

Regions like the Middle East (apart from Israel) and Central Asia (former Soviet republics) were the most notable areas ignored by the churches in their human rights advocacy. Partly free nations, where church influence might be most effective in widening the limited civic space already open to indigenous Christians and other citizens, received the least attention.


The mainline churches are not adequately addressing the wide range of human rights abuses taking place in the world. Denominations are focusing on the United States and Israel as the primary perpetrators of human rights violations. Great attention to the United States may be expected from churches that find their homes there. But the dramatic focus on Israel as opposed to many more repressive regimes, including other U.S. allies known for human rights abuses (such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt), must be challenged.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the churches made the mistake of supporting oppressive Soviet-sponsored liberation movements around the world. They largely ignored human rights abuses in the Soviet Union and its satellite states, instead focusing on U.S. policy as the primary source of abuse. It appears that mainline denominations may be making the same mistake today with the Arab and Muslim worlds, ignoring many of the most serious abuses while apparently laying heavy blame upon the United States and Israel not only for their own lesser abuses, but also for the abuses of others. . . .

Presidential Debate Number One

Presidential Debates.

I don’t watch Presidential debates for the same reason I don’t like going to children’s plays, amateur theatricals and school assemblies: they are not particularly entertaining and I get no pleasure watching people embarrass themselves.

Their ostensible purpose is risible. If you can’t figure out which candidate you support based on your understanding of the issues, debates will not provide an answer. Debates favor the liar over the truth teller. They favor the facile over the thoughtful and the handsome over the homely. Debates are – in many ways – less truthful that paid political ads since how things are said in a debate often has more of an impact than what is said.

That does not mean that I have not paid any attention to the first debate of this campaign. I have given the impact of the debate an opportunity to percolate, to be spun by the spinmeisters and to be dissected by the various interest groups. And here is my conclusion;

1) The first reaction of most of those who watched the debates is that Kerry won on style. To paraphrase one commentator, it sounded as if Bush came to a 90 minute debate with 30 minutes of material.

2) The second reaction of most commentators is that neither candidate delivered a knockout punch. No one exploded. No minds were changed.

3) The Democrats are using outtakes from the debate to illustrate Bush’s facial expressions when Kerry was speaking.

4) The Republicans are using outtakes from the debate to show Kerry flip-flopping.

The bottom line is this; the effect of debates is almost always to provide a story for the days and weeks after the debate. The Kerry camp’s only ammunition from debate number 1 are Bush facial expressions. The Bush camp is using Kerry’s words from the debate to reinforce his flip-flops, and is beginning to use both his nuclear disarmament comments and his “global test” comments as new ammo against him.

The Democrat response is weak and content-less. It will reinforce Bush haters but will not persuade the uncommitted. The Republicans came away with more ammunition to fire at Kerry. Most Americans have no problems with our nuclear arsenal and few want our foreign policy to pass a “global test.”

The early conventional wisdom is wrong. The winner of the debate is Team Bush.

IowaHawk does Johnny Nuance

For the entire thing, click HERE


Scene 1 – Johnny Arrives amid furious shootout

MARSHALL HAYES: Nuance! I never thought you would pitch in against these outlaws! Now grab a rifle and commence a-shootin’!

JOHNNY: Don’t flatter yourself, Marshall! If I were sheriff we wouldn’t be here in the first place. And also, I would be shooting better.

HAYES: Do you mind, Nuance? Me and the boys are a little busy here.

JOHNNY: You call this collection of drunks and layabouts a posse?


HAYES: Can it Nuance, we’ve got desperados to kill!

JOHNNY: Listen to me Marshall, I know something about desperate, no-win situations. Need I remind you that while you were dallying with the dance hall girls at Fort Sheridan, I was off fighting a little thing called ‘Antietam’?

DESPERADO (running): I can’t take it anymore! Arrgghh!

HAYES: Got ‘em!

JOHNNY: You fool – don’t you see? Killing them only encourages them! You’ve got to start engaging in constructive dialogue!

HAYES: Nuance! Get back here, man! Where do you think you’re going?

JOHNNY (mounting horse): To Fort Escargot, to get the only man who can save you!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Hitchins Takes on the Democrats

Christopher Hitchins is an iconoclast who is generally regarded as occupying the Left part of the political spectrum. However, on the War, he is brutally direct with those who are rooting for a disaster in Iraq.

Responding to the buzz around the Democrats that Bush is going to produce Osama from the White House freezer just before the election, he give his opinion, warts and all:

What will it take to convince these people that this is not a year, or a time, to be dicking around? Americans are patrolling a front line in Afghanistan, where it would be impossible with 10 times the troop strength to protect all potential voters on Oct. 9 from Taliban/al-Qaida murder and sabotage. We are invited to believe that these hard-pressed soldiers of ours take time off to keep Osama Bin Laden in a secret cave, ready to uncork him when they get a call from Karl Rove? For shame.

I have written before in this space that I think Bin Laden is probably dead, and I certainly think that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is a far more ruthless and dangerous jihadist, who is trying to take a much more important country into the orbit of medieval fanaticism and misery. One might argue about that: I could even maintain that it's important to oppose and defeat both gentlemen and their supporters. But unless he conclusively repudiates the obvious defeatists in his own party (and maybe even his own family), we shall be able to say that John Kerry's campaign is a distraction from the fight against al-Qaida.

Ouch. Read the rest HERE.

Reason Slaps Broder Around ... and the Rest of the MSM As Well

The veteran Washington Post columnist penned an almost note-perfect epitaph for the age of monolithic media by somehow confusing thread-bare bloggers with celebrity-chasing corporate chieftains. Evidently all that matters to Broder is that there exist people outside of the priestly caste of High Journalism who make news decisions. And that is wrong, heresy perhaps.

...Despite all of the lip service given to "community journalism" by the big newspaper chains, actual trust in their local communities is hard to find. Top editors name the issues, problems, and solutions of the day quite regardless of the interests, beliefs, and priorities of the community at

Hence, The New York Times decides Augusta needs to change its membership practices and front page stories appear to nudge the change along.

Click HERE

One Man's response to Abu Ghraib

From FreeRepublic, click HERE

The Bigfoot of Bloggers Chimes in on Dapper Dan

Glenn Reynolds is the biggest blogger around. He's a law professor and a straight shooter. His Party is Truth.

This article from The Australian provides insight into why this particular scandal blew up in Dan Rather's face when previous ones did not.

In fact, it was the power of open-source journalism. CBS, like most broadcast networks in the US -- and, for some reason, just about everywhere else -- is staffed by people who lean Left and who don't like Bush. That makes them disposed to find even obviously bogus claims about Bush (such as the oft-repeated story that he served US troops in Iraq a plastic turkey on his visit last year, an exploded claim that Australian journalist-blogger Tim Blair gleefully points out whenever it resurfaces) credible, despite the evidence.

Worse yet, they tend to talk mostly with people who share their beliefs. The result is an insular culture, rife with the prejudices of the New Class, which believes all sorts of absurdities and peddles them to the public in the sometimes honest, if often unfounded, belief that they are true. Even when they are exposed as false, the response is often to assert, as Rather did for a while, that the story may have been false, but that it was justified because the underlying point (people who agree with us are good, while people who don't are bad) is nonetheless true. After all, everyone they talk to thinks so.
Not long ago, CBS probably would have got away with it. The documents would have flashed on the screen for two or three seconds, a few readers might have scratched their heads and remarked, "those sure look like they were done on Microsoft Word", and perhaps a few comments would have been exchanged around water coolers, to no effect. Most people would have assumed that CBS had done a thorough
investigation and that their idle suspicions were just that.

For the rest of the article click HERE.

Inspector Dan Mystery Series

Dan Rather's "Memogate" scandal has made him - among other things - an object of fun. IowaHawk has written a short, hilarious send up of Dapper Dan in the style of the Hard Boiled Detective of years ago.

Excerpts from the new Inspector Dan Rather Mystery by David Burge

It was a slow September night in Manhattan. The kind of sweaty summer night where the mean streets of Gotham run wild with the shadowy scum of the Republican National Convention. The kind of night where mysteries are born. The kind of night I live for.

My name is Rather. And I’m a dick.

For the rest of the story, click HERE


“And the new consensus seems to be that bringing American-style democracy to Iraq is no longer an achievable goal – and the best we can hope for is a truce sufficient to get our troops out of a situation they shouldn’t have been in in the first place.”

William Raspberry syndicated column 9/27/2004.

He decried those on the right and the left who use technology to further narrow political interests.
“I am persuaded that we are now one country, two nations, made so by the determination of both parties to divide and conquer,’’ he said. “Must it be scorched Earth all day every day?’’

Tom Brokaw at Old Dominion University 9/26/2004.

Hardly a day goes by without someone with access to a printing press or microphone whining about the divisions in our country. Let me be among those lonely voices hailing the emergence of divisions in our country.

I won’t bother to point out those countries and societies where unanimity are most apparent: North Korea where pictures of Dear Leader decorate every flat surface; the USSR under Stalin where failure to unite under the benevolent leadership of Uncle Joe led to a bullet in the head; any mullacracy in the Middle East where those who are not united in faith are separated from their heads.

Of course even this nation was once more homogeneous in its attitudes and opinions. And why should it not? We received our news from three TV networks differentiated only by the hairstyles of their “anchors.” These, in turn, determined the “news” by reading the New York Times and disgorging it in short snippets illustrated by bits of video.

Local newspapers reprinted articles from the New York Times, Washington Post, the AP or UPI, an incestuous relationship that gave homogeneity to the information on which most people based their opinions.

Little wonder then that the deciding moment of the war in Viet Nam did not occur on the battlefield, but in the CBS studios when Walter Cronkite (the Most Trusted Man in America) decide that the war was not winnable. The government under Lyndon Johnson folded like a cheap suitcase.

There were certainly many people that did not agree with this analysis. Arguably those who disagreed with Uncle Walter were in a majority. For proof it is only necessary to cite the fact that Richard Nixon blew away both Hubert Humphrey and George McGovern in two subsequent elections. But those who disagreed with the monolithic media had no access to the levers of media power. And since they were not the sort to organize massive demonstrations, their opinions went unheard in the national debate.

Thus was the myth of a unified nation sustained.

Thanks to the Internet, bloggers and message boards, everyone with a computer now has a voice. They can communicate, bypassing the Legacy Media gatekeepers. The opinions that were kept silent are now finding they are not alone. And the Legacy Media mavens are not happy.

The Legacy Media are still talking among themselves, as they have for decades. Their cluelessness is laid bare in Raspberry’s column when he refers to a consensus that only exists in the circles he inhabits; a consensus that, if true, would sweep John Kerry into office in a landslide. Unfortunately for Kerry, Raspberry and the alphabet networks only like-minded mavens of the Legacy Media share the consensus.

Raspberry and Brokaw need to get out more.

Allow me to close by quoting David Frum of NationalReviewOnline

“For conservatives, the advent of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and FoxNews and the blogosphere is all good news. But for liberals, the move from a world dominated by three big liberal networks, two big liberal newsmagazines, and two great liberal newspapers to a world in which bloggers can bring down a network anchor and the Times' own executive editor is an absolute and utter catastrophe, even if some of those bloggers happen to be liberal themselves.

Americans are living now in a world of media diversity. It’s the worst thing to happen to Democratic hopes since the Sunbelt went Republican.”

Chairman Mao once said, “Let a thousand flowers bloom.” That was a ruse to encourage those who did not agree with him to raise their heads, the better to cut them off. But this is not China, and here the flowers are blooming just fine.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

John Kerry Talks About His Health Care Plan

Click HERE

Who Wrote the Killian Letters? Version 2

For those who thought that my version of who wrote the Killian Memos (see The Sting below) was a little over the top, here's a tamer, and very likely, story of how it went down. Click HERE.

RatherGate Timeline

Ernest Miller has done the world a service by providing a timeline for the Killian Memos hoax prepetrated by Dan Rather. For the entire story click HERE.

Incompetence, Bias, or a Mixture of Both.

A website I frequent,, is credited with being the first to break the story that the "Killian Memos" Dan Rather waved around were fakes.

One of the "Freepers" (as they call themselves) wrote a letter to the Public Editor of the Atlanta Journal Constitution illustrating perfectly the ways in which most of the MSM bias their "reporting."

I'll let the letter writer speak for himself, errors and all. For a link to the post click HERE.

Mr. King:
I’ll let you decide if the AJC practices bias or if it is simply incompetent. For example, when the Swift Boat stuff was raging, the AJC published a column by William Rood which basically agreed with Kerry’s version of one of the events brought up by the SBVTs. On the other hand, the AJC published an article including accusations by Ben Barnes accusing President Bush of getting special treatment to get into the National Guard.

Two high-ranking former Texas Air National Guardsman have spoken up in the last week answering questions about if Bush received special treatment. The first is Col. Earl Lively (Ret), the former Director of Operations of the Texas Air National Guard. Col. Lively, in an interview from this week, was asked if Bush jumped in front of several applicants to get a pilot’s slot with the Guard.

Col. Lively answered: “…I was the head of Operations. I was Director of Operations and I oversaw and inspected all of the units in Texas. Flew with them. And the, there was no waiting list for this. See, this is often confused with another thing. Which was a waiting list to simply enlist in the Guard and do your service there rather than in the regular military. And there were lots of people on those waiting lists. But those people weren't qualified to go to pilot training school.”

The second was one of the people quoted in the fake 60 minutes memo, Col. Walter Staudt, interviewed yesterday by ABC News. In the interview, “Staudt said he never tried to influence Killian or other Guardsmen, and added that he never came under any pressure himself to accept Bush. "No one called me about taking George Bush into the Air National Guard," he said. "It was my decision. I swore him in. I never heard anything from anybody."

One naturally wonders why the AJC does publish rebuttal stories when they favor John Kerry, but does not publish rebuttal stories when they favor President Bush.

More Memo Questions The first “media blogger on the Internet” who questioned the authenticity of the documents was someone called “Buckhead” who posted on the Internet site The real name of the person is Harry MacDougald, and he is an Atlanta attorney. One would assume, based on his user name, that “Buckhead” either lives or works in –wait for it- Buckhead. Does the AJC ever plan on trying the interview the person who started the firestorm over the memos? Since he is an Atlanta, one would think the AJC might have some interest in the story.

Next, an one of the experts quoted on other places on the Internet is Farrell C. Shiver, with Shiver & Nelson Document Investigation Laboratory based in Woodstock, GA. Mr. Shiver is certified by the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners and is a member of American Society of Questioned Document Examiners; American Academy of Forensic Sciences Questioned Document Section; and the Southeastern Association of Forensic Document Examiners. I realize that having a reporter drive all the way up to Woodstock to check out the accuracy of one of your stories is quite the chore. However, Mr. Shiver also has a phone. The number is 770-xxx-xxxx.

Finally, the smoking gun to many is the fact that one can type up the same words into Microsoft Word using the default settings, print the document, and then compare the new document to the CBS memos. For real bit of ol’ timey investigative journalism, go to Office Depot and buy some transparencies, and then print the new document on the transparency. Put the transparency over the matching memo and presto – an exact match. I know the AJC has at least one PC and a copy of MS Word lying around somewhere, so this would be a very easy, and cheap, bit of investigative journalism. I am sure some of the IT folks at the AJC would have been more than happy to have helped if you guy could not have figured out the joke of a CBS “computer expert” called the “th setting”.

But the AJC did not do any of these things. So I ask you – incompetence or bias?

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Killian Letters – The Perfect “Sting”

In honor of the real author of the Killian Letters, I am composing these thoughts on Microsoft Word using Times New Roman (TNR) and 12 point font.

Remember the movie “The Sting?”

Paul Newman and Robert Redford team up in this 1973 movie to rob a mob boss who had a friend killed. .

Ever since it became obvious that the Killian letters were forgeries, the question was asked: who did it? Was it the usual suspect: someone in the Kerry dirty tricks department? Others have been named: Dan Rather himself, Carl Rove, Bill Burkett (a disgruntled former National Guard officer), CBS News producer Mary Mapes?

Here’s my theory: the Killian Letters were a sting operation originating somewhere in the military designed to kill at least four birds with one stone. And I think it’s going to work.

Back to “The Sting.” In the modern version, the mob boss is Dan Rather. As an added bonus we see the destruction of accessories Mary Mapes and Bill Burkett and an indelible stain on CBS. And as icing on the cake: collateral damage to the Kerry campaign.

The motive is Abu Ghraib.

It was Mary Mapes, Dan Rather and CBS News that made Abu Ghraib a household name and smeared the military’s name. They decided to run the story despite Pentagon requests to wait until their internal investigation was complete and despite that damage that the story did to the American cause in the Arab world.

So, here’s the payback. And it’s not over yet because the Pentagon and the Bush administration has been mum so far. My belief is that they will carry the story forward.

Why do I believe the memos were composed by a military man? No ordinary civilian would be sufficiently conversant with military memos to provide both a reasonable forgery (to the civilian eye) of a military document, but one that uses unauthentic nomenclature so that it can be discredited on that basis.

Second, it was typed using a computer to provide another way of destroying its authenticity.

Of course, like any good forgery, it has to be gotten into the right hands. Enter Bill Burkett and Mary Mapes. Bill Burkett has a grudge against the National Guard and George Bush ever since he became ill in 1998 while on duty with the Texan ANG and blames Bush, who was governor of Texas at the time, for failure to provide him with medical care.

Someone (we’ll call him “X”) finds a way of getting the Killian Memos to Burkett. While Burkett is a military man, he is not the sharpest tool in the shed (for a sample of his writing click HERE and scroll to the end). He's had several nervous breakdowns so he overlooks the problems with the memos and gets hold of Mary Mapes, a fellow Texan.

Mapes has no way of knowing a fake memo from the real one, but believes that, thanks to Burkett’s familiarity with the Texas ANG, she’s got a real scoop.

The memos pass up the food chain reaching Rather. Rather, a devout Liberal, wants to believe these are real. He is also a technophobe without a clue about computers, Microsoft Word, fonts, superscripts or any of the other wonders of modern computer technology being able to do what 1973 typewriters could not. Furthermore he doesn’t care. He decides that this is the time to counteract some of the Swift Boat controversy by attacking Bush’s National Guard record (again). As the 700 pound gorilla at CBS news, what Dan wants, Dan gets. So that’s how we get to “60 Minutes” and the Killian Memos.

Enter the blogosphere. CBS News obligingly puts the memos up on their web site, a major mistake because it gives literally thousands of people with arcane knowledge of computers the opportunity to examine them. Within a few hours, the fraud is exposed. But here’s where the hook is set: CBS and Captain Dan ‘stand by their story.” They have to! That’s the way the Mainstream Media (MSM) has always done business.

The fraud is so obvious, so blatant, and so widely discussed via the Internet that the MSM has to take notice. At this point, most of the MSM articles are referring to the Killian Memos as “disputed” rather than hopelessly discredited. In solidarity with CBS and Captain Dan, they hope the controversy will just go away.

If I’m right, however, there are several more legs to his story. The Bush campaign has not been heard from and neither has the Pentagon. I predict that there will be a reaction from those quarters until there is general public acceptance that CBS and Rather are exposed as having peddled forgeries.

My other prediction: the original forgeries will never be found. They are no longer in existence and Burkett was fed a photocopy. That way the fraud would be less likely to be discovered until it was too late.

Suicide Bombers and the Mainstream Media

John Hinderaker blogs at "Powerline." Following the exposure of the Killian Memo fraud perpetrated by Dan Rather at CBS he says:

Before September 11, important aspects of our security arrangements were based on the assumption that people, even terrorists, want to live. For example, airlines followed the rule that if a passenger's bags were checked but the person failed to appear for the flight, his bags would be removed from the airplane. The idea was that a bomb could have been planted in the luggage. But as long as the passenger was on the airplane, it was assumed that his bags were safe, since no one -- it was thought -- would blow up an airplane with himself on it. After September 11, security arrangements were changed to take into account the new reality (or newly recognized reality) of the suicide bomber.

When he defended CBS's publication of forged documents, Dan Rather spoke of the "checks and balances" that ensure the reliability of news coming from CBS, as opposed to news and commentary from the blogosphere. What are those checks and balances? Ultimately, the main check on the danger that a powerful media giant like CBS might abuse its position of trust by deliberately propagating falsehoods is the assumption that the network values its reputation for accuracy and trustworthiness. In the past, most people have assumed that while broadcast networks, wire services like the Associated Press, and newspapers will occasionally make mistakes, and will certainly spin the news consistent with their political biases, concern for their reputation in the marketplace, and even more among their peers, would prevent them from spreading outright falsehoods.

In the wake of the CBS scandal, that assumption must be reevaluated.

For the entire article click HERE.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Steyn K.O.s Rather

From the Chicago Sun Times.


The forged Killian documents story keeps getting more bizarre by the hour. General Hodges, used by CBS to “authenticate” the documents has recanted in an interview with ABC News. Claiming he was misled by CBS:

HODGES SAID HE WAS MISLED BY CBS: Retired Maj. General Hodges, Killian's supervisor at the Grd, tells ABC News that he feels CBS misled him about the documents they uncovered. According to Hodges, CBS told him the documents were "handwritten" and after CBS read him excerpts he said, "well if he wrote them that's what he felt."

Hodges also said he did not see the documents in the 70's and he cannot authenticate the documents or the contents. His personal belief is that the documents have been "computer generated" and are a "fraud".

For the FreeRepublic post click HERE.

The LA Times Drives a Stake Through Rather!

The LA Times, long a megaphone for the DNC, has an article that devastates Rather’s claims. Read HERE (via FreeRepublic).

Why Dan Rather and CBS are Dead ... and Dead Wrong

There is too much talent in the "blogosphere" to baffle us with BS as Dan Rather and CBS tried to do. As an example, click HERE for convincing evidence that the letters Rather waved around are forgeries.

A mere decade ago, CBS could have stated "we stand by our story" and that would have been the end of it. No other member of the MSM would have had either the nerve or the incentive to challenge their authenticity. The dinosaurs of the MSM (Mainstream Media) still have not realized that those days are over.

Say goodnight Gracie.