Tuesday, November 30, 2004
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
This is how Liberals treat dissidents.
Sunday, November 28, 2004
“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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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
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.
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
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.