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Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Gospel According to the NY Times (and its lickspittle acolyte The Virginian Pilot)... Is A Lie

The Virginian Pilot is a sad disgrace for a newpaper, but then ... most newspapers are a sad disgrace. So I should not be that hard on the clueless drudges that roam its halls and turn out the local fish wrap.

I thought I remembered an editorial a some time ago on the issue of body armor for the troops. I WAS RIGHT.

The article accuses the Pentagon of failing to supply our troops with body armor that works. Entitled " Two years later still no body armor." Not only is the headline a lie, but the gist of the article is based on a NY Times article that has also been shown to be a lie.

But who can't forgive them. After all, they labor in the darkest part of Tidewater Virginia where the telephone has yet to be invented and fact checking consists of making sure that the appropriate NY Times writer is copied verbatim.

For those who give a damn, HERE is the real story of the improved body armor that the Army is distibuting to the troops.

What else are you learning in the local paper about Iraq? See HERE for an example of the modern version of war reporting.

Cancer Ward: Islamic terrorism is fundamentally a condition of malignant information

Like cancer cells transmitted through the body by the blood stream, Al Qaedaism is a cancer transmitted through the political body via the news media.

For a “must read” explanation of this danger, click HERE to read Wretchard at the Belmont Club for a really worrisome analysis.

Donald Sensing quoted some advice in his Winds of Change post, "standard counterterrorism responses, such as improving intelligence sharing and law enforcement cooperation, are indispensable but insufficient. Likewise, military force is sometimes required, but it cannot be the primary response." Why? Because like viral infections and cancer, Islamic terrorism is fundamentally a condition of malignant information. One of the most far-reaching benefits to Al Qaedaism of its alliance with the Left is how easily it allowed it to move astride the media, the academe and the liberal religious establishment. The information disease infiltrating the information stream of its victim. Not only does this feed Islamic militancy, in a process analogous to angiogenesis, it also puts its core code, which contains the instructions to reproduce and destroy, beyond the reach of counter-information under the banner of political correctness. Truly the perfect storm.

Is the Western media the engine of our destruction?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

June 6th, 1944 War News: 2500 Allied Soldiers Killed. End of Story.

Suppose we read the newspapers in 1944. Suppose the articles dated June 6, 1944 had as its headline “Another 2,500 Allied soldiers Killed.” The story was about deaths of Allied soldiers via machine gun and cannon fire. Entire Allied companies decimated; bodies blown apart and bobbing in the waves. And that was it; the focus was on American and British casualities. Perhaps the follow up stories were of grieving mothers and fathers, wives and sweethearts of those killed that day. Would you have been reading the truth?

Yes, in a way.

How about a story about nearly 6,000 American Marines killed, 20,000 wounded in a god-forsaken rock in the middle of the Pacific whose civilian inhabitants had been evacuated? What in God’s name could they have died for?

If the American news media of that day was populated by the same people as the American news media of today, you may have missed the importance of June 6th which we memorialize as D-Day. And the Pacific atoll was named Iwo Jima.

How would we have prevailed in World War Two if the news from the front was a grim recitation of casualties? Yet how is this different from the news from Iraq?

Here’s today’s Iraq headline from the NY Times: Fighting Breaks Out Between Shiite Militias in Iraq. And Anti - Iraq War Parents to Take Protests Across Nation.
From the Virginian Pilot: FALLEN SOLDIER MEMORIAL SHOW & SHINE FUNDRAISER, oh and they have a reprint of the article from the NY Times about Shiite Militias fighting.

Think about what you read in your local paper, see on the network news or hear on the radio. Are you getting the truth, the whole truth? Not unless the editors and publishers believe the story of D-Day war 2500 dead and the story of Iwo Jima was the story of the American Marines being fed into a meat grinder by a military high command that didn’t care about Americans’ kids dying.

Here is an eloquent comment from John Hindraker of the Powerline blog who prompted these thoughts:

It is universally acknowledged that public support for the Iraq war is eroding. Some of the polls supporting this claim are faulty because they are based on obviously misleading internal data, but the basic point cannot be denied: many Americans, possibly even a majority, have turned against the war.

This should hardly be a surprise. On the contrary, how could it be otherwise? News reporting on the war consists almost entirely of itemizing casualties. Headlines say: "Two Marines killed by roadside bomb." Rarely do the accompanying stories--let alone the headlines that are all that most people read--explain where the Marines were going, or why; what strategic objective they and their comrades were pursuing, and how successful they were in achieving it; or how many terrorists were also killed. For Americans who do not seek out alternative news sources like this one, the war in Iraq is little but a succession of American casualties. The wonder is that so many Americans do, nevertheless, support it.

The sins of the news media in reporting on Iraq are mainly sins of omission. Not only do news outlets generally fail to report the progress that is being made, and often fail to put military operations into any kind of tactical or strategic perspective, they assiduously avoid talking about the overarching strategic reason for our involvement there: the Bush administration's conviction that the only way to solve the problem of Islamic terrorism, long term, is to help liberate the Arab countries so that their peoples' energies will be channelled into the peaceful pursuits of free enterprise and democracy, rather than into bizarre ideologies and terrorism. Partly this omission is due to laziness or incomprehension, but I think it is mostly attributable to the fact that if the media acknowledged that reforming the Arab world, in order to drain the terrorist swamp, has always been the principal purpose of the Iraq war, it would take the sting out of their "No large stockpiles of WMDs!" theme.

One wonders how past wars could have been fought if news reporting had consisted almost entirely of a recitation of casualties. The D-Day invasion was one of the greatest organizational feats ever achieved by human beings, and one of the most successful. But what if the only news Americans had gotten about the invasion was that 2,500 allied soldiers died that day, with no discussion of whether the invasion was a success or a failure, and no acknowledgement of the huge strategic stakes that were involved? Or what if such news coverage had continued, day by day, through the entire Battle of Normandy, with Americans having no idea whether the battle was being won or lost, but knowing only that 54,000 Allied troops had been killed by the Germans?

How about the Battle of Midway, one of the most one-sided and strategically significant battles of world history? What if there had been no "triumphalism"--that dreaded word--in the American media's reporting on the battle, and Americans had learned only that 307 Americans died--never mind that the Japanese lost more than ten times that many--without being told the decisive significance of the engagement?

Or take Iwo Jima, the iconic Marine Corps battle. If Americans knew only that nearly 7,000 Marines lost their lives there, with no context, no strategy, and only sporadic acknowledgement of the heroism that accompanied those thousands of deaths, would the American people have continued the virtually unanimous support for our country, our soldiers and our government that characterized World War II?

We are conducting an experiment never before seen, as far as I know, in the history of the human race. We are trying to fight a war under the auspices of an establishment that is determined--to put the most charitable face on it--to emphasize American casualties over all other information about the war.

Read the whole thing, then write your editor. It can’t hurt and may help.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Cindy Sheehan: Using Her Dead Son to Gain Celebrity.

Vanderleun Nails it. Watching the "Cindy Sheehan Story" I refuse to mouth the obligatory "she is a mom filled with grief blah, blah, blag..." She is a witch using the corpse of her dead son as a stage prop for her personal bid for fame.

The post says it better:

Slowly, a shimmering media glow emerged from Cindy Sheehan as her ability to cry on cue and on camera was being honed. It was like watching a strange simulacra of Bill Clinton and John Kerry emerge from the Mothership in "Close Encounters."

Somewhere in the shadowed background of her Grand Guignol more crosses were being hammered together and having names scribbled on them to be planted, like odious toadstools, in a weedy lot just down the road. It was all just another shabby Leftist set-piece from their inventory of dull exhibits similar to the stuffed mammoths seen behind glass at the Museum of Natural History.... we had a woman on moral life support kept upright only by the continual infusion of attention to her own personal suffering that she had chosen to make into a national political spectacle. As such all those who chose to pay attention to it (and there was little way of escaping it short of retiring to a monastery), were hit again and again with the endless damp acknowledgments of her "suffering." It didn't matter if you were for or against the war, it was mandatory that you state your sympathy for "this woman's terrible loss" and affirm that you could not possibly understand her grief without a similar loss. That these assertions were patently false did not diminish the iron-clad requirement for stating them. They became, quickly, the easiest thing in the stories to just glide right over since, right or left, they were such obvious blather. Cindy and her ilk enjoyed them. They were insincere but they were tasty just the same.

But, just as the media glow given to Cindy was at its brightest, the inevitable started to happen. Emerging in the background and, as usual, on the blogs, we learned some rather unsavory details about Cindy Sheehan's long love affair with a politics that would have revolted her dead son. We began to see she was not really honoring her son's memory, but using it.

We began to learn details about her less than noble ideals concerning the fate of Israel, and all politically incorrect others that the Left would gladly send packing from the face of the Earth, if they could only get someone else to make the bombs and pull the triggers. And we began to understand, just a little at first, but with ever growing clarity that what we were seeing was not a mother lost in grief, but a woman who had fallen deeply in love with her son's death and all the wonderful things it could do for her ego. Her son had become just a tool for the advancement of her own poisonous politics. His heroic death had allowed her, as nothing else in her life would have allowed her, to rise from obscurity and be launched into that brief and burning sub-orbit of "Today's media darling" according to, well, the Today Show itself.

Her son had died for a country that, we discovered, she had long despised and which now, in the main, despised her. Her family had denounced her. Her husband had walked away from her ever-expanding bad craziness. For all that is known, the stress of having a daughter glorified and vilified contributed to the stroke of her mother.

All this had happened and, if it were not for the media and the minions of moveon, Cindy would have been a broken and lonely woman. Only by pimping her son's death endlessly to any camera that would focus on her, to any show that would have her on, did Cindy find and keep her precious self-validation whole. And it was "My Precious" to Cindy because, at last, she had become 'real.'

Read the whole thing.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Chickenhawks, Casey Sheehan, Patton and File Closer

There is a common type of Leftist cretin that uses the chickenhawk argument as if that were either intellectually coherent or emotionally compelling. Well, it’s neither one or the other..

But here it is again in a comment by someone who goes by the name of “Patton” on the Protein Wisdom blog site:

Hey cowards-
Casey Sheehan was a man. You are pussies.
Put up or shut up.
Posted by Patton

And here is the response by one gentleman who goes by the name of “file closer”:

Actually, “Patton,” I decided to simply walk into the recruiter’s office, rather than call the number. This was back in 2003, after having served previously and gotten out in 2000. I was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, and later deployed to Iraq. Irony of ironies, Casey Sheehan’s battery (C 1/82) was attached to my battalion. The day he died fighting (4 April 2004), I and my men were in the same boat he was, rolling into the city, surrounded by hostiles. We watched a lot of our guys get hit, but we killed a lot more of them (on the order of 100-200 for every one they got of ours). We were outnumbered, in a strange place (we’d only been there a week), and tasting battle for the first time...yet we still prevailed. Sadly, Casey and six other great Americans didn’t make it back that day.
The other six were: SGT Eddie Chen, SPC Israel Garza, CPL Forest Jostes, SPC Stephen Hiller, SPC Robert Arsiaga, and SPC Ahmed Cason.
One of the hardest hit units was C Battery, 1/82 Field Artilley, Casey’s unit. They were ill-equipped and relatively undertrained for close fighting. No one ordered them to go out into Sadr City. They did anyway, including Casey, because they had comrades that needed help.
His mother’s antics are regrettable and unproductive. That’s all I’ll say about her, but I’m not quite done yet.
“Patton,” you call the other commenters in here “cowards” for not joining. Hmm, how civilian of you. I’ve never met any currently serving military man who feels that way. We soldiers do our jobs, do them damn well, and do them willingly. We appreciate when someone supports our efforts, even if it’s just a blog comment here and there. Who in hell are you to come in here and fling your “chickenhawk” bullshit around?
Unless you are the re-animated corpse of General Patton himself, you can take your accusations of cowardice and shove them deeply into your own ass. I’ve killed better men than you. Literally. Now go fuck yourself.

I wish I had said that.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Of Whores and Pimps

Think in factory terms. Whores are the factory output. Pimps are the management and marketing.

So what is the relationship of whores and pimps to the “Cindy Sheehan” story, you may ask. Well, looking at it with a fresh viewpoint, I’m glad to explain.

Cindy Sheehan has been referred to – by people who are not overly fond of her – as a “media whore.” This title is reserved not for people who are in the “personal services” business, but for those whose raison d’etre is media attention. Think of Paris Hilton without the sex. Then again, maybe that's too good an analogy.

For every media whore there have to be media pimps. Can’t have one without the other. And of course we have virtually the entire press corps with the requirement that they have to fill a media void in the dog days of August to justify their astronomical salaries. And, of course, they can accomplish this while at the same time satisfying their more basic urges: demoralizing the troops, defiling the president, helping al Qaeda and providing aid and comfort to the terrorists. Never let it be said that pimps can’t enjoy their jobs.

Need I say that pimps are generally flashy dressers, have lots of cash and drive fancy cars? Ever notice how the press is turned out? Still think my analogy is strained?

Back in the Saddle Again

Having taken a week off for a whirlwind trip to the southwestern Lower Michigan, I'm pleased to be back. One of the greatest things about being on vacation is that you are often out of touch with the inconsequential events of the day. Not until I returned was I made aware of the stir caused by Cindy Sheehan and her camp-out. I did not watch TV but I spoke with lots of people and no one, literally no one mentioned this issue. That may be telling. Perhaps the only people who care about these issues are those who are obsessively concerned with fairly trivial daily news. These are the same people who are still obsessed with the disappearance of a high school student who disappeared in Aruba.

Tragedies happen, but they are really only tragedies for the immediate family. For everyone else they are the elements of entertainment and distraction. In reality, what impacts our lives more: Camp Cindy or $3 per gallon gas?

Speaking of expensive gas, I drove through parts of Canada to reach my destination and was told by a Canadian resident that gas there costs over $4 per gallon. I did not have to buy gas in Canada, and am very grateful. Since Canada is an oil exporter, I have to assume that the price of fuel there is a function of taxes. In the US, one-third of the cost of a gallon of gas consists of taxes. So that $3 gallon of gas means that about $1 dollar goes to federal, state and local coffers.

Well, anyway, back to the daily grind. But with a more philosophical bent. Life is too short for rhetorical cheap shots.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Taking a Vacation

Seeing the Folks in Grand Haven, Michigan. Will be off for a week.

The Recent Bush Poll Numbers are Bogus

If you had a poll and tabulated the results from a sample where 79% of respondents who are registered to vote, almost half (49%) describe themselves as “strongly Democrat” or “moderately Democrat,” whereas only 39% describe themselves as “strongly Republican” or “moderately Republican” what results would you expect?

Why not just poll the DNC?

Link to the poll using Adobe Acrobat.

Bomber: "I Have Rights!"

Jonah Goldberg informs me (I had not read it in the MSM) of this delicious fact:
Ramzi Mohammed, one of the failed bombers in the second wave of attacks on London, was surrounded by representatives of the decadent, infidel West, he didn't shriek, "Allahu Akbar!" and throw himself at his captors in a suicidal lunge for martyrdom. No, instead he whined, "I have rights! I have rights!"

This makes him the Patty Hearst or John Walker Lindh of jihadists.

Read the whole thing.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Air America Steals from Poor Kids and Alzheimer Sufferers

Air America received somewhere between $800,000 and $900,000 from an inner city charity funded primarily by government grants. The charity known as the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club provides assistance to inner city kids and Alzheimer patients. This was supposed to be a "loan" but the money has been lost, the club is defunct and the usual good government types don't seem to care. Perhaps Elliott Spitzer could take time out from shaking down the financial services indutry to go after the crooks who took money from the poor and the disabled to give to fat cat leftists on the radio.

And here is more from
Michelle Malkin
. This story is all over the Internet but has yet to receive wide coverage in the MSM. Yes, THAT Liberal Media.

More from Captain's Quarters:
A private media start-up with huge political pretensions and meager financial underpinnings uses taxpayer dollars from a Boys & Girls Club to help pay the salaries of high-profile hosts like comedian Al Franken. As a result of these dubious loans and other self-dealing, the Gloria Wise club will be sending no more poor kids from the Bronx to summer camp. It will be providing a lot fewer services, if any, to the Alzheimer's patients it helped. ...

For the Boys & Girls Club, meanwhile, the results have been disastrous. The New York Department of Investigation announced in June that city grants and contracts to Gloria Wise - about $10 million worth - were to be suspended because its officials had approved "significant inappropriate transactions and falsified documents that were submitted to various city agencies."

Why Bomb London?

Here's a very good article on the reasons why London became the home of Islamofascist bombers. From the Business Online.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Science God

Fundamental beliefs are hard to change. People will cling to them in the absence of evidence and even in the face of negative evidence. Thus there is a great deal of rhetoric devoted to defending the hard-and-fast positions on questions regarding the origin of the universe, evolution and intelligent design.

There is, among a large group of people, a fundamental faith in something called science and the ability of a group of people called scientists to find answers to every question. This belief is especially strong in people with limited scientific training. Law professors (like Glenn Reynolds who wrote about this recently in his incredibly popular weblog), for example. People who can write serious articles comparing democracy and sex, dissecting the minutia of the democratic process, will in their adoration of the God “science” have a childlike faith in the ability of science to provide the answers to the ultimate questions.

There is a justly famous saying on Wall Street that the four most dangerous words are “this time it’s different.” The worshippers of the latest scientific theories should be encouraged to remember that science has developed – and abandoned – some of the most widely believed and generally accepted theories of reality over time. For example, the four elements of antiquity -- earth, water, air, and fire -- dominated natural philosophy for two thousand years. The premise that everything was formed from these four elements was developed by the Greek philosopher Empepedocles of Sicily, and continued to be believed for centuries because it seemed to be empirically true. Keep in mind that this theory was good enough for the technological development for entire civilizations. All it needed was a little tweaking from time to time.

We can cite the phlogiston theory which dominated the discussion of burning for a century; the theory of the ether which was designed to explain how light waves propagated survived well into the 20th century.

I would be the last to deny the validity of most scientific theories that can be replicated, demonstrated and used in practical applications. But I am skeptical, and rightly so, of theories that are advanced to explain phenomena that cannot be observed, replicated and demonstrated. To depend on the validity of theories simply because they sound reasonable and are espoused by scientists has been demonstrated time after time to be faulty. And no, this time is NOT different.

This brings us back to fundamental belief systems that cannot be observed or proven without Mr. Peabody’s “Wayback machine” from the Rocky and Bullwinkle series.

Theories regarding the origin of the universe, of life and of man have to begin with a fundamental question: was there or was there not a prime mover that got the whole thing going? If we approach the question by assuming the answer is “No,” we can then spin a whole bunch of theories of how it all began. I believe that the current favorite is an endless series of explosions from some core universal event followed by expansion, cooling and coalescing, contraction and … repeat. But we should keep in mind that the original answer must be taken on faith, since we have not found a way to prove this point one way or another. Although whole forest have been sacrificed for paper to print theories and mega-jillions of electrons have been sacrificed in calculations to put number on these theories, they all assume that there is no one there to give things a push. This is an article of faith based on a belief system. As lawyers would say: it assumes a fact not in evidence.

To suggest that one position on this faith based issue is more correct than another is dogmatic and anti-intellectual. In fact, in my humble opinion, it is unscientific. Real scientists should have open minds to the possibility of virtually any possible answer to the questions being debated. The elimination of any one theory, such as intelligent design, whether this is a theory held by a few or a majority of people (as is the case of the belief in God) without evidence is not science, but intellectual bullying.

But intellectual bullying is particularly popular on college campuses, especially if they can bully the red state yahoos who hold superstitious beliefs in a supreme being.

So we lets trot out the current theory for the beginning of everything and put some lipstick on that pig.