Saturday, January 26, 2008
One of the more under-appreciated motives of the Nazi extermination campaign against the Jews was how it was driven by paranoia. Nazi anti-Semitism wasn’t merely bigoted, it was conspiratorial. The Nazis and affiliated intellectuals firmly believed that the Jew was behind the scenes, pulling strings, manipulating events, rigging the system — even the language — in profound and pernicious ways. Carl Schmitt — quite popular on the left today — was tasked with the job of purging the Jewish spirit from the law. Other similar projects were launched across the political, economic and intellectual landscape. Jeffrey Herf recently wrote an absolutely brilliant book on this exact point, bringing to the fore what was long considered mere background noise of the 12 year Reich. I wrote about his book, The Jewish Enemy, here.
The white male is the Jew of liberal fascism. The “key to solving the social problems of our age is to abolish the white race,” writes the whiteness studies scholar and historian Noel Ignatiev. Whiteness studies is a cutting-edge academic discipline sweeping American higher education. Some thirty universities have WS departments, but many more schools teach the essentials of whiteness studies in other courses. The executive director of the Center for the Study of White American Culture explains, “There is no crime that whiteness has not committed against people of color . . . We must blame whiteness for the continuing patterns today . . . which damage and prevent the humanity of those of us within it.” The journal Race Traitor (ironically, a Nazi term) is dedicated “to serve as an intellectual center for those seeking to abolish the white race.” Now, this is not a genocidal movement; no one is suggesting that white people be rounded up and put in camps. But the principles, passions, and argumentation have troubling echoes.
First, there is the left’s shocking defense of black riot ideology and gangsterism. The glorification of violence, the romance of the street, the denunciations of “the system,” the conspiratorialism, the exaltation of racial solidarity, the misogyny of hip-hop culture: all of these things offer a disturbing sense of déjà vu. Hip-hop culture has incorporated. On college campuses, administrators routinely look the other way at classically fascist behavior, from newspaper burnings to the physical intimidation of dissident speakers. These attitudes ultimately stem from the view that the white man, like the Jew, represents every facet of what is wrong and oppressive to humanity. As Susan Sontag proclaimed in 1967, “The white race is the cancer of human history.” Meanwhile, Enlightenment notions of universal humanity are routinely mocked on the academic left as a con used to disguise entrenched white male privilege.
As told by Islam to the reporter, “The movie would open with Islam as a young boy growing up in Cairo, Egypt, huddling in terror as Israeli bombs came raining down, demolishing much of the building around him and his family.”
There’s one problem with this scene. As far as I have been able to discover, Israel during Hesham Islam’s entire lifetime has never bombed Cairo. Asked to explain this, the Pentagon spokesman duly conferred with Islam, and relayed to me by phone that Islam says this building-wrecking bombing raid took place during the 1967 Six-Day War.
The profile goes on to describe young Hesham Islam as a “merchant mariner adrift for three days in the Arabian Sea after an Iranian torpedo sunk his 16,000-ton cargo ship, drowning all but Islam and four of his crewmates.”
That sounds memorable. But after more than a week of my repeated requests made by phone and e-mail, the Pentagon spokesman — despite being presumably in touch with Islam himself — was either unable or unwilling to provide such basic information as the name of the ship, or the date of its sinking. He just kept saying he was “looking into it.” But no answers.
Before I began the marathon requests for specific information, the spokesman had speculated earlier, based on conversations with Islam, that the ship might have been called the Ibn Khaldoon, which might have been registered to the Iraqi merchant marine, and might have sunk sometime in 1979. A check with the U.K.-based Lloyd’s Register turns up two cargo ships registered in Iraq during that time and under that name, but no record that either was ever sunk, either in the 1970s, the 1980s, or beyond. One is still in service; the other was broken up — and not by a torpedo — only a few years ago.
As for records of any incident fitting the generic description of a 16,000-ton cargo ship, under any flag, torpedoed by the Iranians and sunk in the Arabian Sea before Islam immigrated to the U.S. sometime in 1980 (the Pentagon spokesman can’t or won’t say exactly when in 1980), after searching news archives, shipping records, and consulting a number of naval historians, I have yet to come across anything that corroborates Islam’s Iranian-torpedo-in-the-Arabian-Sea story. There were ships sunk by the Iranians in 1980, as the Iran-Iraq war broke out — but that was happening in the Gulf, around the Shatt-al-Arab, on the other side of the Straits of Hormuz, hundreds of miles from the Arabian Sea.
This is important why?
So, what qualifies Islam to serve as an adviser to whom Gordon England listens all the time, and whose advice England takes? According to Kevin Wensing, England’s public-affairs aide: “Mr. Islam brings 20 years of experience in the U.S. Navy and international relations to his current assignment.”
This includes an M.A. in national-security affairs, awarded in 1992 at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. For this degree, Islam wrote a 139-page thesis about the Middle East, entitled “Roots of Regional Ambition.” In it, he devoted dozens of pages to lambasting Israel, and the influence of American Jews on U.S. politics. He deplored “Israeli activities which have detrimentally affected U.S. objectives but which have continued with impunity.” He argued that U.S. support for Israel “has negatively affected the attainment of U.S. objectives in the Middle East.” He blamed the influence of American Jews on U.S. policy for a host of ills, ranging from Arab “retaliation” against Americans, to jobs lost overseas, to hampering sales of “defensive arms to friendly Arab states.”
Whether Gordon England (or Defense Secretary Robert Gates, for that matter) considers such views a relevant qualification for Islam’s current duties is unclear. But what’s emerging at the Pentagon is a landscape in which Stephen Coughlin’s insistence on crafting doctrine based not on politically correct assumptions, but on facts, is apparently deemed a bridge too far. Meanwhile, from the office of Deputy Secretary England, Hesham Islam continues his bridge building. The question isn’t just whom to believe, but who’s running this show?
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Congo Death Toll over 5 Million - UN In Charge
In 2004, CBS News reported that 3.8 million people died in the Congo wars and after “peace” was declared 31,000 people continued to die every month.
In 2008, the NY Times (an unreliable source) gives us the statistic that 41,000 people die every month in that unfortunate country even as the UN and the international community have poured in billions in aid.
DAKAR, Senegal — Five years after Congo’s catastrophic war officially ended, the rate at which people are dying in the country remains virtually unchanged, according to a new survey, despite the efforts of the world’s largest peacekeeping force, billions of dollars in international aid and a historic election that revived democracy after decades of violence and despotism.
The survey, released Tuesday, estimated that 45,000 people continue to die every month, about the same pace as in 2004, when the international push to rebuild the country had scarcely begun. Almost all the deaths come from hunger and disease, signs that the country is still grappling with the aftermath of a war that gutted its infrastructure, forced millions to flee and flattened its economy.
In all, more than 5.4 million people have died in Congo since the war began in 1998, according to the most recent survey’s estimate, the latest in a series completed by the International Rescue Committee, an American aid organization. Nearly half of the dead were children younger than 5 years old.
Having seen how easy it is to manipulate statistics like this via the Lancet study, since discredited, that 650,000 (others have increased that to one million) people died in Iraq after the invasion, we are apt to take these statistics with a grain of salt.
There are, after all, several thriving industries associated with natural and man-made disasters. In the case of the fraudulent Lancet study, the authors were making the case that the US had perpetrated a calamity in Iraq by invading and deposing Saddam Hussein. They were part of the Soros funded effort to discredit what we have done to try to put the Iraq, and eventually the entire Islamic world, on the path to peace via democracy. They were rushed into print just before the 2006 elections and were an obvious election ploy on the part of the Soros funded Left.
Subsequent analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine puts the number of deaths at 151,000. Interestingly enough, the higher number is still being quoted by the press and politicians, undeterred by facts or reality.
There is another thriving industry consisting of people and organizations, including the UN, who benefit from disasters. The bigger the disaster, the more money is funneled to these organizations to “help.” The fact that this aid does not appear to improve the situation is never examined by supporters. They are merely the basis for the next pitch for more money.
But if we can suspend our disbelief for just a moment and accept these numbers at face value, what can we learn?
That it’s better, much better, to be invaded and conquered by the US military than it is to be “rescued” by the United Nations; especially if you are female.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
My clients will send me these documents asking my advice on what to do, for any records of their proof of claim, and often “what is this all about?” What it’s all about is making some law firm partners filthy rich. It’s a high stakes game of extortion and a big money protection racket by the plaintiffs bar. The hapless investors get a chance to go through ancient records hoping to find proof so that they can send away and, years later possibly receive a check that will allow them to buy a Big Mac, hold the fries. The lawyers buy an exclusive compound in the Hamptons and a professional sports team.
This phenomenon is one of the most unsavory features of the American legal system. Today the Supremes have done just a little to stop legal a practice that would be criminal if it were practiced by Tony Soprano.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a decision rejecting Enron investors' attempt to recover from investment banks. The ruling closes an underreported chapter in American litigation history: how trial lawyers used the Enron scandal to successfully and legally extort billions of dollars from investment banks with a legally meritless lawsuit.
Read the whole thing.
The AP reports, and the New York Times expands, on a new study by a supposedly "independent" organization that claims to have assembled hundred of "false statements" by the Bush administration in the course of the Iraq war. However, the Center for Public Integrity hardly qualifies as "independent". It gets much of its funding from George Soros, who has thrown millions of dollars behind Democratic political candidates, and explicitly campaigned to defeat George Bush in 2004
Via Captain's Quarters. Read the rest.
The Incredible Shrinking Media Audience
Labels: Day by Day
Somehow, the following observation from Robert Heinlein seems quite apropos.
‘If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for . . but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong.”
“If this is too blind for your taste, consult some well-meaning fool (there is always one around) and ask his advice. Then vote the other way. This enables you to be a good citizen (if such is your wish) without spending the enormous amount of time on it that truly intelligent exercise of franchise requires.”
Yea, verily. I intend to see what the Virginian Pilot says and then do the exact opposite.
Cops evacuated the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood around the Remsen St. home of Michael Clatts, a medical anthropologist, after finding seven pipe bombs fitted with fuses in his flat, police sources said.
The frightening cache was discovered almost by accident - Ivaylo Ivanov, the man living with Clatts, accidentally shot off the tip of his left index finger and sought police help in the street about 1:15 a.m.
When investigators went to the 37-year-old Ivanov's apartment, they found the bombs, already capped on both ends and filled with powder. One of the pipe bombs was inserted into a Nerf football, cops said.
A 9-mm. handgun, two ammunition magazines, a 12-gauge shotgun, silencers, a bulletproof vest, a crossbow and bomb-making equipment, including a drill and threading machine that could be used to make pipe bombs, were also recovered, cops said.
If you read the comments you will soon run across some idiot who criticizes Ann for getting this story from Michelle Malkin's website.
Then I realized that I have a similar reaction when anyone cites the NY Times or the Virginian Pilot. But then again, there are more lies in those organs of the press.
DEFENDANT(S): ______Ezra Levant, Publisher, Western Standard magazine________
IF NOT WHITE MALE, PLEASE EXPLAIN ____________________________________
NATURE OF COMPLAINT:
Plaintiffs accuse defendant of republishing Danish caractures charictures cracatuires cartoons of Mohamed, subjecting the Prophet and Islam to ridicule and in violation of AHRCC Form 18-55-d, Guidelines on Canadian Blasphemy Reduction Act of 2006.
Retraction, formal public apology, two goats, $4,500, conversion to Islam, beheading
Read the whole thing.
Several people and organizations have struck back, with humor, and now with statistical analysis.
It underscores what a growing number of people are now willing to acknowledge, the NY Times is a deeply troubled and dishonorable paper.
Monday, January 21, 2008
In an age of heightened sensitivity over slurs involving race, religion, sexual orientation and so forth, why is anti-American bigotry considered soci
Blogger Jeff Couba notes an appalling exchange on Bob Edwards's XM satellite radio show:[Edwards] was talking to someone named Tom Miller, who has been to Cuba as a journalist. Miller was describing a visit where he was just sitting on a park bench talking to someone when a policeman came by and asked for their papers. After going to his police car and checking something, Miller was arrested and taken to some government building where he was questioned for a couple of hours. They asked if he had been handing out copies of a 1948 declaration on human rights. Apparently someone matching Miller's description had been handing them out.It's a "joke," we guess, but what a distasteful bit of anti-American attitudinizing. Does Edwards really mean to suggest that one ought to treat terrorists captured on the battlefield the same way as people sitting on a park bench, minding their own business--or for that matter than people who actually were doing what Miller was "suspected" of, namely handing out copies of human-rights literature?
Miller said "I wasn't mistreated per se, but it wasn't a happy experience." And Edwards says (may not be exact quote) "At least you were treated better than people over in Guantanamo."
In an age of heightened sensitivity over slurs involving race, religion, sexual orientation and so forth, why is anti-American bigotry considered socially acceptable?
Which one will the MSM show?
The you have a video of Bill Clinton dozing off here.
Which one will you see on national TV?
A Denver newspaper columnist is arrested for stalking a story subject. In Cincinnati, a television reporter is arrested on charges of child molestation. A North Carolina newspaper reporter is arrested for harassing a local woman. A drunken Chicago Sun-Times columnist and editorial board member is arrested for wife beating. A Baltimore newspaper editor is arrested for threatening neighbors with a shotgun. In Florida, one TV reporter is arrested for DUI, while another is charged with carrying a gun into a high school. A Philadelphia news anchorwoman goes on a violent drunken rampage, assaulting a police officer. In England, a newspaper columnist is arrested for killing her elderly aunt.
Unrelated incidents, or mounting evidence of that America's newsrooms have become a breeding ground for murderous, drunk, gun-wielding child molesters? Answers are elusive, but the ever-increasing toll of violent crimes committed by journalists has led some experts to warn that without programs for intensive mental health care, the nation faces a potential bloodbath at the hands of psychopathic media vets.
"These people could snap at any minute," says James Treacher of the Treacher Institute for Journalist Studies. "We need to get them the help and medication they need before it's too late."
Statistics of Shame
Accounts of media psychopathy, while widespread, have until now been largely anecdotal. In order to provide a more focused and systematic study of the crisis, Iowahawk researchers set out to identify and tabulate criminal arrests and convictions of current and former journalists. While by no means comprehensive, this 10-minute project yielded a grim picture of a once-proud profession now in the grips of tragic, drunk, violent, child-raping rage.
Read the rest.
Here's the follow-up:
Thursday, January 17, 2008
"If you are a black, vegetarian, Muslim, asylum-seeking, one-legged lesbian lorry driver, I want the same rights as you."
He sued and got 2000 pounds.
Jonah Goldberg pens a column about the Obama candidacy.
I like Barack Obama. The Clintons, not so much. But the Clintons are right and Obama is wrong.
Over the last week, the Obama camp has tried to suggest, insinuate, whisper or wink that the Clintons are somehow racist. Obama’s staff sent out a memo compiling some quotes that allegedly demonstrate the “racial insensitivity” of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The Obama folks are fanning the overreaction to her suggestion that President Lyndon Johnson was a more substantive agent of change on civil rights than the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Obama is also fueling the flatly erroneous view that Bill Clinton called Obama’s historic run as the first credible black presidential candidate a “fairy tale.” (Clinton used that phrase in reference to Obama’s claim to have been consistently antiwar.)
However poorly the Clintons or their subalterns may have chosen their words, does anyone seriously believe the Clintons are racists? Anyone? Anyone? [yes, I for one believe that the Clintons are racists and an anti-Semitic.]Of course not.
And this points to the real reason Obama’s candidacy is a fairy tale, and it has nothing to do with being black or opposing the war. It’s because he’s selling a dream, not reality.
Obama’s whole campaign is based on some of the most noble and inspiring sentiments in political life: hope, togetherness, bipartisanship. As he proclaimed last February at a Democratic National Committee meeting: “There are those who don’t believe in talking about hope. They say, ‘Well, we want specifics, we want details, and we want white papers, and we want plans.’ We’ve had a lot of plans, Democrats. What we’ve had is a shortage of hope. And over the next year, over the next two years, that will be my call to you.”
He’s stayed true to that pledge. Not only does he talk about hope — a lot — he talks about the importance of talking about hope. He talks about how he hopes to talk more about talking about the importance of talking about hope. Hopefully.
He touts unity the same way. If we all buy into his “message of hope,” he explains, then everybody — blacks and whites, men and women, Republicans and Democrats, lions and gnus, bears and park rangers, Superman and Lex Luthor — will be united!
But united toward what end, exactly? Or does it all boil down to being united about being hopeful and hopeful about being united?
Obama’s fairy tale is the idea that we can get beyond disagreement. But Democracy is about disagreement, not agreement. We have real arguments in this country, and the political arena exists for us to hash them out peacefully. Obama’s — and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s — “post-partisan” snake oil promises to take the disagreement out of democracy. You can’t do that.
What if you disagree with Obama’s ideas? Are you suddenly against hope? Given recent events, it seems that if you’re not with the Obama program, you’re fair game for tarring as a crypto-racist. And that’s what Obama supporters are willing to say about the Clintons! (Of course, I can barely scrape together two molecules of sympathy for the Clintons. They’ve been playing games with race for years, using the same tactics against their enemies that the Obamans are now using on them.) If Obama becomes the Democratic nominee, imagine what hairballs will be coughed up at the Republicans.
Unity around an issue — war, health care, education — is a legitimate appeal. But you can’t defend America with hope; you can’t heal people with unity. Further, it is morally antithetical to democratic values to demand unity for unity’s sake. And it is quite literally impossible to govern that way.
(The irony here is that liberals have been complaining for years that the GOP too often appeals to voters’ patriotism, yet they don’t object to Obama’s appeal for unity. Idealistic unity for all Americans — isn’t that just a no-frills version of patriotism?)
So far, not even all Democrats have embraced Obama’s gassy rhetoric of hope and togetherness, so there’s no reason to suspect that Republicans and independents will rally around those themes during an Obama presidency, at least not for long.
This is one area where I agree with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. In his book The Conscience of a Liberal, he argues that progressives have one distinct set of priorities and conservatives have a very different set, so both have to be partisan if they want to get their way. There’s no reason people can’t be well-mannered and open-minded in their disagreements, but the more important priority is that both sides should give their view the strongest argument they can and not give a fig about bipartisanship for its own sake. Agreement on that point is all the unity we need.
The automatic assumption, in the absence of Obama's accusation of racism on the part of the Clintons that they are not racists, is deceptive. If the use of racial epithets is an indication of racism (and that is the gauge by which Republicans are judged) Hillary is both a racist and an anti-Semite.
Unluckily for McCain, snowstorms in Michigan suppressed the turnout among Democratic "Independents" who planned to screw up the Republican primary by voting for our worst candidate. Democrats are notoriously unreliable voters in bad weather. Instead of putting on galoshes and going to the polls, they sit on their porches waiting for FEMA to rescue them.
In contrast to Michigan's foul weather, New Hampshire was balmy on primary day, allowing McCain's base -- Democrats -- to come out and vote for him.
Assuming any actual Republicans are voting for McCain -- or for liberals' new favorite candidate for us, Mike Huckabee -- this column is for you.
I've been casually taking swipes at Mitt Romney for the past year based on the assumption that, in the end, Republicans would choose him as our nominee. My thinking was that Romney would be our nominee because he is manifestly the best candidate.
I had no idea that Republican voters in Iowa and New Hampshire planned to do absolutely zero research on the candidates and vote on the basis of random impulses.
Dear Republicans: Please do one-tenth as much research before casting a vote in a presidential election as you do before buying a new car.
One clue that Romney is our strongest candidate is the fact that Democrats keep viciously attacking him while expressing their deep respect for Mike Huckabee and John McCain.
This point was already extensively covered in Chapter 1 of "How To Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)": Never take advice from your political enemies.
Turn on any cable news show right now, and you will see Democratic pundits attacking Romney, calling him a "flip-flopper," and heaping praise on McCain and Huckleberry -- almost as if they were reading some sort of "talking points."
Doesn't that raise the tiniest suspicions in any of you? Are you too busy boning up on Consumer Reports' reviews of microwave ovens to spend one day thinking about who should be the next leader of the free world? Are you familiar with our "no exchange/no return" policy on presidential candidates? Voting for McCain because he was a POW a quarter-century ago or Huckabee because he was a Baptist preacher is like buying a new car because you like the color.
The candidate Republicans should be clamoring for is the one liberals are feverishly denouncing. That is Mitt Romney by a landslide.
New York Times columnist Frank Rich says Romney "is trying to sell himself as a leader," but he "is actually a follower and a panderer, as confirmed by his flip-flops on nearly every issue."
But Rich is in a swoon over Huckabee. I haven't seen Rich this excited since they announced "Hairspray" was coming to Broadway.
Rich has continued to hyperventilate over "populist" charmer Huckabee even after it came to light that Huckabee had called homosexuality an "abomination." Normally, any aspersions on sodomy or any favorable mentions of Christianity would lead to at least a dozen hysterical columns by Frank Rich.
Rich treated Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ" as if it were a Leni Riefenstahl Nazi propaganda film. (On a whim, I checked to see if Rich had actually compared Gibson to Riefenstahl in one of his many "Passion" reviews and yes, of course he had.)
Curiously, however, Huckabee's Christianity doesn't bother Rich. In column after column, Rich hails Huckabee as the only legitimate leader of the Republican Party. This is like a girl in high school who hates you telling you your hair looks great.
Liberals claim to be enraged at Romney for being a "flip-flopper." I've looked and looked, and the only issue I can find that Romney has "flipped" on is abortion. When running for office in Massachusetts -- or, for short, "the Soviet Union" -- Romney said that Massachusetts was a pro-choice state and that he would not seek to change laws on abortion.
Romney's first race was against Sen. Teddy Kennedy -- whom he came closer to beating than any Republican ever had. If Romney needed to quote "The Communist Manifesto" to take out that corpulent drunk, all men of good will would owe him a debt of gratitude.
Even when Romney was claiming to support Roe v. Wade, he won the endorsement of Massachusetts Citizens for Life -- a group I trust more than the editorial board of The New York Times. Romney's Democratic opponents always won the endorsements of the very same pro-choice groups now attacking him as a "flip-flopper."
After his term as governor, NARAL Pro-Choice America assailed Romney, saying: "(A)s governor he initially expressed pro-choice beliefs but had a generally anti-choice record. His position on choice has changed. His position is now anti-choice."
Pro-abortion groups like the Republican Majority for Choice -- the evil doppelganger to my own group, Democratic Majority for Life -- are now running videos attacking Romney for "flip-flopping" on abortion.
Of all the Republican candidates for president, Romney and Rudy Giuliani are the only ones who had to be elected in pro-choice districts. Romney governed as a pro-lifer and has been viciously attacked by pro-abortion groups.
By contrast, Giuliani cleverly avoids the heinous "flip-flopper" label by continuing to embrace baby-killing. (Rudy flip-flops only on trivial matters like illegal immigration and his own marital vows.)
And, of course, Romney is a Mormon. Even a loser Mormon like Sen. Harry Reid claims to be pro-life. So having a candidate with a wacky religion isn't all bad.
At worst, Romney will turn out to be a moderate Republican -- a high-IQ, articulate, moral, wildly successful, moderate Republican. Of the top five Republican candidates for president, Romney is the only one who hasn't dumped his first wife (as well as the second, in the case of Giuliani) -- except Huckabee. And unlike Huckabee, Romney doesn't have a son who hanged a dog at summer camp. So there won't be any intern issues and there won't be any Billy Carter issues.
It's also possible that Romney will turn out to be a conservative Republican -- at least more conservative than he was as governor of Massachusetts. Whatever problems Romney's Mormonism gives voters, remember: Bill Clinton came in third in heavily Mormon Utah in 1992.
I wonder what she thinks of Fred Thompson?
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Democrat Macaca Moment. Media "Uncomfortable."
That is the situation the drive-by-media find themselves in as they declare that the race war that has erupted in the Democrat primary is making them “uncomfortable.“ Here is a transcript, courtesy of Limbaugh.com, from Hardball with Chris Matthews:
Now, last night on PMSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, they spoke with Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post and Roger Simon of Politico, about the Uncivil War between Hillary and Barack Obama. Matthews said, "Roger, it seems to me that it was manifestly true that he was alluding to the same thing other people in the Clinton world had been doing, trying to nail Obama as a youthful drug offender."SIMON: This is really uncomfortable stuff. Even at the best of times we don't like talking about race in this country, and in the super-heated atmosphere of a presidential campaign, it becomes even more uncomfortable.
CAPEHART: And, you know, Chris, this is really unfortunate that here we are at the -- we're really at a moment, a very historic moment in the country, but particularly for the Democratic Party where you could have -- you poss... you had the first viable female candidate for president, the first viable African-American candidate for president, both seeking the nomination for the Democratic Party to run for president, and things seem to be running off the rails over this issue of race.
Oh really? The press is uncomfortable talking about race? The press is uncomfortable about accusations of racism? Sure, and I believe that prostitute is pure as the wind driven snow.
Now, isn't it interesting that they find all this uncomfortable? It makes them nervous. They're wringing their hands. "Why, we don't like all this race talk in our party." Right, you keep it behind closed doors. You're obsessed with it. Now it's surfaced. It's out in public. They didn't find Macaca uncomfortable, did they? They loooooved Macaca! They loved it! They didn't find Trent Lott uncomfortable when he had a little passing comment about Strom Thurmond at a birthday party. They loooooved it! They loooooved destroying Trent Lott. They loooooved it -- and, of course, they didn't find Donovan McNabb uncomfortable and they didn't find Terrell Owens dumping on McNabb uncomfortable. No, they loved all of that. What great news it made! But now, when it's an Uncivil War among the Democrats, "Why, really uncomfortable stuff. We don't like talking about race in this country." Bull! You love talking about race in the Drive-By Media. You love it! You are obsessed with race. You're obsessed with sexism. You're obsessed with all of these isms!
Imagine for a moment that the remarks about Obama had been made by a Republican. The media would not have let it go. It would have made the front page in the Washington Post (as “macaca” did) for weeks. Friendly reporters would have written about it. Larry Sabato would have recalled all previous times that the person used the "N" word. Of course we don't have to go far to find that both Bill and Hillary used the "N" word, but we don't think that Larry Sabato will put his two cents into this debate. But the Clintons are equal opportunity racists and pott y mouths. A little searching on the web comes up with Hillary's reference to "...f****ng Jew bastards..."
There would have been no soul searching or any apparent "discomfort" labelling the Republican a racist. If it had been a Republican orchestrating these attacks, the perp would have been forced to go into political purgatory, or the witness protection program. The media likes nothing better than to find and destroy Republicans who they can label as racists, bigots, homophobes or worse.
But let the door open to the racism run rampant in the Democrat party and the media plays coy. Do they really think we are that stupid? Are they suffering from dementia? We know that the media are joined at the hip to the Democrats. They are the print and broadcast arm of the Democrat party. It’s obvious that they would like the racism in that party to go back under cover. But to lie about their love of a good racist story is ludicrous. Once a whore, always a whore.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
LAWMAKERS LINING UP ON IMMIGRATION BILLS.
Just beyond my plate I was able to read the opening paragraph by Tim McClone. Here’s his lede:
By the end of the 2007 General Assembly session, the Republican-controlled Senate had successfully quashed attempts to crack down on illegal immigration.
So what can we conclude but that it was Republicans that stopped the General Assembly from passing laws designed to do something about illegal aliens.
Whoa! I said. That does not sound like the Republican Party I know. That sounds more like the Democrats. So I kept reading and found on page 9 that things were not as Tim McClone made them appear in his opening. You see, there has been a change in control of the Virginia senate and now:
In one respect, the lobbyists seeking change could face an even tougher year, despite all the headline news, task forces and tough talk: The Senate is now controlled by Democrats, who have historically taken a more liberal position on immigrants.
And if we read the December 26, 2006 issue of the Virginian Pilot, just before the 2007 session begins, we discover that it's Republicans who want to do something about illegal immigrants.
You see how easy it is to lie? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, which Tim McClone definitely is not. Every word in his opening paragraph is true, it’s the paragraph that’s the lie.
If you’re not convinced here’s a good example:
John Hinckley shot President Ronald Reagan. Reagan subsequently died.See every word is true; it’s the choice of words that’s the lie.
Vin Suprynowicz is not a supporter of the Iraq war. But he makes a point that has been made numberless times before and will be made numberless times in the future, that the reporting of this war is atrocious.
Isn't it interesting the way Iraq news gets reported in our media.
A Jan. 10 Associated Press story begins: "Nine American soldiers were killed in the first two days of a new offensive to root out al-Qaida-in-Iraq fighters holed up in districts north of he capital. ...
"The losses came as many enemy militants fled U.S. and Iraqi forces massing in Diyala" -- a lot of those guerrillas fleeing north into the province of Salahuddin -- AP correspondent Christopher Chester continues.
Read down to the seventh paragraph -- halfway through the story. There, we finally learn that our troops "killed 20 to 30 insurgents in the first two days of the operation," including some in attacks in Salahuddin province.
Now, I'm one who thinks we shouldn't be in Iraq, at all. In the end, we'll tacitly endorse some strongman who'll let us maintain a few military bases in the region -- a deal we probably could have cut with Saddam Hussein. Then we'll declare "victory" and come home.
But if the news report above had been written by the kind of reporters who covered our advance through German-occupied France in 1944, I'll bet it would have started off:"Badly disciplined enemy fighters dressed in dirty rags, abandoning the women and children they had vowed to protect, scampered like scared rabbits ahead of advancing American soldiers and their allies in Diyala Province this week. They thought they could find safety in Salahuddin province to the north, but Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling's boys were ready for them there, too. Hertling estimates 20 to 30 enemies died, despite the fact they ran like shrieking monkeys ahead of a forest fire.
"Nine American soldiers died, six in a booby-trapped house in Diyala. The reason American soldiers die in booby-trapped houses, soldiers at the front explained, is because our rules of engagement place the protection of civilians -- even those who have harbored the enemy -- above the safety of our own boys. Otherwise, neighborhoods could be 'cleared' by artillery fire, rather than more dangerous house-to-house searches designed to spare civilian lives."
The newspaper stories on June 7, 1944, didn't lead off, "Thousands of Americans died on some beach in France yesterday," implying Congress should investigate how those sad sacks in the U.S. Army had bungled things again, did they? No, I think they said something more like, "The issue is not yet decided, many brave boys gave their lives yesterday, but the liberation of Europe has begun. Our guys hit the beaches at dawn, overran all opposition by noon, and kept on going."
Each way of reporting the news is "true." But the second version gives you a little different feeling about how things are going, doesn't it?
A STUDY that claimed 650,000 people were killed as a result of the invasion of Iraq was partly funded by the antiwar billionaire George Soros.
Soros, 77, provided almost half the £50,000 cost of the research, which appeared in The Lancet, the medical journal. Its claim was 10 times higher than consensus estimates of the number of war dead.
The study, published in 2006, was hailed by antiwar campaigners as evidence of the scale of the disaster caused by the invasion, but Downing Street and President George Bush challenged its methodology.
New research published by The New England Journal of Medicine estimates that 151,000 people - less than a quarter of The Lancet estimate - have died since the invasion in 2003.
I am shocked, shocked.
According to Dennis Hartig, the Virginian Pilot’s editorial paged editor, this is her job description:
Like all of her predecessors, her job is to serve as a bridge between the public and the paper. She will listen to and report on complaints from readers, but her principal job is to monitor how capably and responsibly The Pilot news staff serves its public mission.That’s an interesting job description because it implies one thing but says another. She is not an ombudsman but a "bridge," that is, she does not serve the interests of the readers. She is, in the immortal words of Tom Wolfe, one the the Pilot's "flack catchers."
“She will listen and report [to whom?] on complaints from readers, but her principal job is to monitor [for whom?] how capably [who defines capably?] and responsibly [who defines responsibly?] The Pilot news staff serves its public mission.”
And once this monitoring of undefined criteria is accomplished – in between grading papers – what happens? Well, she can write a column, but it’s going to be edited by Dennis Hartig, so good luck with a column critical of the paper’s editorial policy.
But don’t worry gentle readers. There is no chance at all the Joyce Hoffman will criticize the paper, its writers or its editors. That is made perfectly clear in her maiden column.
In it she discusses how the news of the upcoming sale of the paper was disseminated. All the criticism there was levied at the soon-to-be-departed owners. There were white hats and black hats and the white hats were worn by the intrepid news staff and the black hats were worn by Landmark management.
In a Jan. 3 interview with Pilot staffers Phil Walzer and Bill Choyke, Batten made comments that revealed the newsroom/boardroom conflict. From the beginning, the business team had been counseled by Editor Denis Finley to "cover this just as aggressively as we would any similar change at Norfolk Southern or any other big business. It would be hypocrisy to do otherwise." [note: interpid editor unafraid of consequences] Walzer said he asked all the obvious questions and kept asking them even as Batten repeatedly deflected those efforts.
As portrayed in the story that followed, Batten left little doubt about whose interests were uppermost. "I'm just trying to do a good job for our shareholders," he said. In a possible sale, those shareholders' interests are doubtless best served by revealing less rather than more information. But his fiduciary responsibilities aside, in the absence of any parallel statement of concern for his employees, for The Pilot's readers or for the community that helped his family build its empire, it all seemed a bit cold-hearted [Snidely Whiplash turns the Little Nell into the cold on Christmas night].
In fact, it is not unfair to characterize her introduction to the paper in this way: “the Pilot walks well on water.”
On some of journalism's most deeply held principles, The Pilot has led other newspapers by its example. It was, in fact, one of the first U.S. newspapers to provide readers a person and a place to air their concerns. The kind of self-examination that comes with appointing a public editor, a step taken here in 1974, has long been unwelcome in many American newsrooms.
...fewer than 40 American newspapers have a newsroom watchdog.
The Pilot's commitment to accountability to readers, accuracy, fairness and taste is the only coin that buys credibility here or at any newspaper. My hope is to serve those ideals in the coming months.
Regarding the "watchdog" we regret to say that most of the self criticism is aimed at largely irrelevant mistakes such as missplled names or incorrect dates. Then there are the columns devoted to changes in the crosswords.
It’s really too bad and it is characteristic of the beleaguered nature of the newspaper business today. An industry that is under this much pressure should be challenging its basic assumptions and asking for suggestions from its customers what it can do get them back. Instead, an institutional arrogance pervades the pages. A holdover from the days when newspapers were “THE” primary information medium and, in the absence of alternative sources of information, were able to shape, flake and mold the “truth” without much regard for being told they got it wrong. That time is irretrievably past and no amount of cheerleading for the home team is going to recapture that dominance.
In this the papers are aided by a core band of faithful readers who believe all they read in the paper and agree with the editorial positions because they are ideologically compatible. Make no mistake, the paper could print a story about the immaculate conception of Hillary Clinton tomorrow and there would be a flood of letters to the editor complimenting them on their courage and wisdom in uncovering the truth. When the story came out that Pat Robertson might make a bid for the Virginian Pilot, these same readers wrote in vowing to cancel their subscriptions if that came to pass. So it’s easy for the true believers at the Virginian Pilot to think that they are on the right path and the curmudgeons who disagree are in the wrong.
So how do they explain the general decline in readership both locally and nationally? There are many reasons given in the Virginian Pilot’s management offices, but examining the quality of the product is never the reason. If you have any doubt, you have only to read the public editor.
Labels: Virginian Pilot
Saturday, January 12, 2008
"History will say, it was when you were called upon, you served, and the service you rendered was absolutely necessary to defeat an enemy overseas so we do not have to face them here at home..."
President George W. Bush
Camp Arifjan, Kuwait
January 12, 2007
Members of the military line the path to the stage as President George W. Bush appeared Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
There is only one candidate on the GOP side who has, in just the last few months and years, vigorously worked to defeat pro-life forces and frustrate the only policies that have a chance to reduce abortions; yet, conservatives have given him a total pass.
His name is John McCain.
Senator McCain has engaged in a years-long campaign against Wisconsin Right to Life, an organization dedicated to advancing the pro-life agenda. Conservatives, one might have thought, would be stunned by a grand-slam only the modern Left could love: McCain has (a) urged the courts to judicially legislate a (b) suppression of free-speech rights (c) against an anti-abortion group which was (d) trying to urge the confirmation of conservative Bush judicial nominees.
And the cherry on top? McCain’s exertions were singularly designed to protect one of the Senate’s most liberal incumbents: Russ Feingold (D., Wis.), McCain’s soul-mate in the evisceration of First Amendment rights (also known as the McCain/Feingold “campaign finance reform” law). A pro-abortion stalwart who scores a whopping 93 percent on NARAL’s pro-choice report card, Feingold has also opposed the Patriot Act and every sensible national security measure taken after 9/11 … in addition to seeking President Bush’s censure over the effort to penetrate al-Qaeda communications during wartime.
That article I and others criticized by Bernd Debusmann for taking dictation from The Violence Policy Center seems to have disappeared. It has now re-appeared here with the caveat: Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own
Heh. First, it was news. Now it’s opinion. Funny that.
Labels: biased reporting
It looks like the judge in Dan Rather’s lawsuit against CBS may let the case go to trial.
But the fascinating thing about this Associated Press article on the case is how they describe the Rathergate scandal—without even mentioning that it was based on fake documents.Rather was removed from his “CBS Evening News” post in March 2005, six months after he narrated a report that said Bush disobeyed orders and shirked some of his duties during his National Guard service. The report also said a commander felt pressured to sugarcoat Bush’s record.
Labels: biased reporting
The Garfield County All Hazards Response Team broke down Tom Shiflett's door Friday night and, following a court order, took his son for medical treatment.
The doctor's recommendation: Take Tylenol and apply ice to the bruises. The boy was back home a few hours later.
Authorities said they had reason to believe Shiflett mistreated his 11-year-old son, Jon, by failing to provide him proper medical care for a head injury. But Shiflett says his privacy and his rights were invaded, and that he has the right and the skill to treat his son himself. Shiflett, 62, said he served as a medic in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive.
"Who in the world puts a stipulation on how adequate a person is to care for an injury?" Shiflett asked.
Speaking about the incident from his home in the Apple Tree Park on Monday, Shiflett was very upset. Perhaps most offensive, Shiflett said, was that law enforcement didn't announce there was a warrant before breaking into his home south of New Castle.
"I would have let them in," he said. "It was traumatic to my children, and it's unnecessary."
His spouse, Tina, and his six of 10 kids who are still at home were shocked at the manner of entry. Tina said law enforcement, wearing masks, broke down their door with a battering ram and pointed guns in her children's faces.
"They didn't need to bash into my home and slam my kids to the floor," Tina said, adding later, "I think they get a kick out of this."
She said law enforcement threatened criminal charges should the family even try to follow Jon or find out where he was taken. Jon was returned hours later, around 2:30 a.m. Saturday.
Cick on the link and read the rest. It's an outrage.
Pat Robertson Mulls Bid for Virginian Pilot
Televangelist Pat Robertson is considering buying The Virginian-Pilot, a newspaper he has criticized for its coverage of his activities.
Norfolk-based Landmark Communications Inc. announced last week that it was evaluating whether to sell its assets, including The Weather Channel and the Pilot, its flagship newspaper.
Robertson said in a statement to the paper Thursday that he is considering a potential bid. He said owning the newspaper would help provide internships for journalism students at Regent University, a school he founded in Virginia Beach.
Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, has said the newspaper has characterized him unfairly.
It would be the most delicious irony if this actually came to pass. I doubt if the Batten family would want to sell to Robertson, a person who has received relentless criticism from the paper.
And in the unlikely event that it would happen, there is sure to be a newsroom revolt. But the Pilot would be a better paper under Pat than it is now. Anything would be better.
Here's how the Pilot itself reports it:
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, who has sharply criticized The Virginian-Pilot in the past, is considering making a bid to buy the newspaper, an associate said Thursday.
Notice how the writer, Philip Walzer, characterizes the controversies surrounding Robertson and the Pilot. Apparently the Pilot was just standing around doing nothing, minding its own business and Robertson jumps up and “sharply criticized” the Pilot. In that phrase you have an outstanding example of media bias. With that phrase the paper has made itself the injured party.
The fact is that the Virginian Pilot has initiated all the personal and business attacks against Pat Robertson. All Pat has done is responded to the Pilot's attacks. How dare he?
It’s a reminder of Hillary's tears. She's not doing anything and - out of the blue - she gets criticized. It's so unfair, and she's feeling so sorry for herself that she chokes back tears. And we are supposed to curse those evil people who are making Hillary feel bad.
Other commenting on this are UPI, Romenesko, Editor & Publisher, the VLW Blog, The Daily Press (in a fairer summary of the disputes between Robertson & the Pilot), Vivian Paige, Yahoo Finance among others.
My good friends at Bearing Drift chimed in with the expected responses.
Will Pat Robertson make the Virginian-Pilot “fair and balanced?”
asks Brian Kirwin:
Pat Robertson may buy The Virginian-Pilot
It will be interesting to hear the left use part of the first amendment to deny other parts of the first amendment in their predictable attacks on this idea.
Some there find the prospect shocking:
Are you actually going on the record to state that it is good for Hampton Roads to have Pat Robertson purchase the Virginian Pilot?
The fact is that several religious organizations own and publish respected and excellent newspapers. The Christian Science Monitor is one; so is the Washington Times.
In addition, Regent University has a journalism program. The Pilot can provide its students and graduates job opportunities. And it is fatuous to suggest that graduates of Regent could not do a better job of publishing a high quality newspaper than the motley crew currently putting out this current abomination.
Finally, if the Pilot, under Robertson’s ownership turns into a bust, I’m sure that all of the Liberal readers who are threatening to cancel their subscriptions will band together and resurrect the old Pilot.
Labels: Virginian Pilot
HERE is the ad that shows the image of three female israeli government officials.
Ms. Magazine Blocks Ad on Israeli Women
Glenn Greenwalt on the American-Iranian incident in the Strait of Hormuz
Kevin Sullivan at Independent Liberal takes him to task.
Glenn Greenwald–who I consider a generally reliable resource on matters of domestic politics–brings the same abundance of outrage when he writes on foreign policy, but for whatever reason forgoes all of those annoying things we call facts.
Take, for instance, this post from yesterday on the American-Iranian incident in the Strait of Hormuz. Let me just preface this by noting that Greenwald offered nothing terribly “new” to the discussion, and instead echoed the same Left-Wing conspiracy theories on what happened there that day. This gem starts us off:Those are the two “facts” that infused the story with such a sinister tone — explicit threats from the Iranian boats to destroy the American ships, followed by their dropping of unidentifiable boxes, which, one was supposed to infer, could easily have been explosive devices.
But the first “fact” seems almost certainly false, and the second one is highly questionable. Iranian Hooman Majd at The Huffington Post noted that the voices on the tapes issuing the melodramatic threats were unquestionably not Persian. As he put it: “the person speaking doesn’t have an Iranian accent and moreover, sounds more like Boris Karloff in a horror movie than a sailor in the elite branch of Iran’s military.” A regular Iranian commenter at Cernig’s blog made the same point. Listen for yourself to the audio and see how credible the threats sound.
This is, in sum, insane. For starters, it’s not only logical to infer that the boxes were explosives, it was in fact the appropriate Naval response following the JAG investigation of the USS Cole bombing. This forced the Navy to account for how our ships–whether docked or in motion–should deal with such attacks. Well built ships and training wont suffice, in cases such as these, you need to give your sailors the leeway to respond appropriately. Many of Greenwald’s fellow citizens were on those ships, yet their immediate security apparently took a backseat to the dangers of inference. The good sense of Stuart Koehl was apparently lost on Greenwald.
But the insanity continues. Not only does Greenwald not trust his own Navy, but he instead opts to defer the whole matter to someone who’s sole credential is the fact that he’s an Iranian-American. Not only that, but he is an Iranian who has served as an advisor to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Some of the comments that follow are interesting and well reasoned:
This is an interesting debate, but a rather silly one, I think. ChrisWWW - your interest in holding the government’s feet to the fire, so to speak, is fine, but it seems that you assume the Bush administration is lying, presumably about everything. And your dislike (hatred?) of Bush causes people like you and Greenwald to then give our enemies equal credibility with our government. That’s silly. It’s also, frankly, juvenile. I get sick of the constant conspiracy theories spun by opponents of this administration. An incredible amount of time is spent - wasted - trying to figure out the “Diebold angle” on every damn thing that happens. And the danger is that this mentality creates real problems, which is the point that the other MikeS seems to be making. It must be clear to those pulling the strings in Iran that attiudes such as those expressed by you here have considerable political traction in the US. Ahmadinejad’s regime can, therefore, safely conclude that pushing the envelope a bit more will be permitted - permitted by the American people, that is, many of whom have become so poisoned by BDS that even a real attack on an American ship might be brushed off as not worth responding to. So I don’t think you want anybody to be killed, but I think that you have effectively hidden from your own conscience that that is the practical result of your views, since they are widespread.
Hey - I supported and continue to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I know that innocent people have been blown to pieces by US forces as a result of these wars. I don’t try to assuage my conscience by denying that. I also know that young men and women more worthy of life than me have given theirs defending a cause they believe in. I admit that. You, and others like yoou, however, occupy a moral world where, apparently, there are no negative moral consequences as the result of your views. This is simple-minded and intellectually dishonest.
So maybe that is whatt MikeS meant. And, by the way, thank you MikeS, sir, for your service.
And one is funny:
As a 22 year veteran of the US Army, I can vouch for pretty much everything ChrisWWW asserts. Every video recorder, every digital camera, even every cell phone capable of taking video and stills, owned by every soldier now serving in the military, is digitally connected to the White House, as per Army Regs (see AR 25-1, Army Knowledge Management and Information Technology Management). They all go into the BushChiplerPretzelBurton filter; that’s the same one that monitors every single telephone call made by every single American. That way, if Bush or Cheney find a need to squelch the truth, they not only control every single facet of digital media that might have been taken of the event, they also can automatically erase any proof that ever existed. And of course every single serviceman or woman now serving is immediately given the White House talking points within 2 hours so that they can unquestioningly swear to the new "truth". Didn’t you guys read that part of the Patriot Act?
Hat tip, Instapundit.
Giuliani Campaign Ad
John Edwards is a loser. He has won exactly two elections in his life and lost 31. Only one of his wins and all of his losses were in presidential primaries and caucuses. He remains perfectly positioned to continue to lose with a Kucinich-like consistency. Nothing but egomania keeps Edwards in the race now. All presidential candidates are egomaniacs but some of them have party status worth preserving that forces them to drop out when they hit the wall. A loser like Edwards has no status or dignity to lose. Campaigning and losing is his life. So, he will continue his simple-minded, losing campaign and deny Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton the one-on-one contest they deserve.
If John Edwards stays in the race, he might, in the end, become nothing other than the Southern white man who stood in the way of the black man. And for that, he would deserve a lifetime of liberal condemnation.
Maybe Edwards is already not a factor in the campaign because Edwards voters would split evenly between Senators Obama and Clinton if Edwards dropped out. But we'll never know unless Edwards does the right thing and gets out of the way of the only two candidates who have a chance to get the nomination.
The white male monopoly on the Democratic nomination has finally come to an end. Someone has to tell John Edwards.
Captain Ed comments:
NBC correspondent Lawrence O'Donnell has been losing it for the last four years, but he usually restricts his extreme bombast for Republicans. He wouldn't allow John O'Neill (actually a Democrat) speak in a 2004 television appearance, screaming "Creepy liar" over him whenever O'Neill tried to respond. Just recently he let loose a barrage of anti-Mormon bigotry when discussing Mitt Romney. Now, however. O'Donnell aims his strange ire at John Edwards, whom he accuses of racism for staying in the primaries...
Wow. Just ... wow. I hold no brief for John Edwards, and think he's a political loser myself, as O'Donnell labels him. He's not going to win the nomination, and his continued presence in the race exemplifies his self-involvement more than anything else.
But to suggest that Edwards' failure to withdraw constitutes racism as O'Donnell clearly implies is nothing short of insane. Does O'Donnell believe that Obama's presence in the primaries requires all other candidates to withdraw to prove that they're not racist? In fact, isn't the suggestion that Obama can't win this on his own without people throwing the election a racist notion in and of itself? At the very least, it's offensively paternalistic.
Those who claim that the surge strategy in Iraq has paid no dividends because it hasn't met Congressional benchmarks may wish to skip to the next post. The Iraqi National Assembly has passed one of the two most critical benchmarks that the American government had pressed for Baghdad to adopt, the de-Baathification reform that will allow Sunnis to once again enter government jobs.
BAGHDAD (AP) - After weathering nearly five years of war, Baghdad residents thought they'd pretty much seen it all. But Friday morning, as muezzins were calling the faithful to prayer, the people here awoke to something certifiably new. For the first time in memory, snow fell across Baghdad.
"For the first time in my life I saw a snow-rain like this falling in Baghdad," said Mohammed Abdul-Hussein, a 63-year-old retiree from the New Baghdad area.
"When I was young, I heard from my father that such rain had fallen in the early '40s on the outskirts of northern Baghdad," Abdul-Hussein said, referring to snow as a type of rain. "But snow falling in Baghdad in such a magnificent scene was beyond my imagination."
Morning temperatures uncharacteristically hovered around freezing, and the Baghdad airport was closed because of poor visibility. Snow is common in the mountainous Kurdish areas of northern Iraq, but residents of the capital and surrounding areas could remember just hail.
"I asked my mother, who is 80, whether she'd ever seen snow in Iraq before, and her answer was no," said Fawzi Karim, a 40-year-old father of five who runs a small restaurant in Hawr Rajab, a village six miles southeast of Baghdad.
"This is so unusual, and I don't know whether or not it's a lesson from God," Karim said.
Note that the AP reporter could not help putting his own editorial comments into the story. Here's how he does that:
Although the white flakes quickly dissolved into gray puddles, they brought an emotion rarely expressed in this desert capital snarled by army checkpoints, divided by concrete walls and ravaged by sectarian killings—delight.
Thanks for living down to your reputation, AP.
A series of comments from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, her husband and her supporters are spurring a racial backlash and adding a divisive edge to the presidential primary as the candidates head south to heavily African-American South Carolina.
The comments, which ranged from the New York senator appearing to diminish the role of Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights movement — an aide later said she misspoke — to Bill Clinton dismissing Sen. Barack Obama’s image in the media as a “fairy tale” — generated outrage on black radio, black blogs and cable television. And now they've drawn the attention of prominent African-American politicians.
The challenge for the Clintons is to appeal to black voters while dissing one of their own. If the black community falls for this they deserve everything they get from the Democrats: the back of the bus ... forever.
Just as the Republicans need to appeal to Christian conservatives, Democrats absolutley need the black vote. Without it they are a forever minority.
Sgt. Mike Masella, one of the arresting officers, said the movements of a Buick caught his eye. “I observed all his erratic driving,” Masella said. “When I first noticed him it was at an intersection. He abruptly stopped. That caught my eye … He was drifting in his lane.” Masella followed the car, a rental, for a mile and a half, and clocked its speed at 70mph in a 30mph zone--more than twice the legal limit. Masella pulled the car over at 12:30 a.m. Monday morning. Blumenthal told the officer he was returning to his hotel from a restaurant in Manchester. After declining to take a Breathalyzer, Masella says, Blumenthal failed a field sobriety test. Blumenthal was handcuffed, booked, had his fingerprints taken and was held for four hours--standard operating procedure in such arrests in New Hampshire--before posting bail and being released. (He will be arraigned later this month.) Because the car was moving at excessive speeds, Blumenthal was given the more serious charge of “aggravated” DWI--which carries a mandatory sentence of at least three days behind bars. “He’s charged with a serious crime,” says Nashua Police Capt. Peter Segal, who will oversee the case as it moves toward a court date.
I wonder when Sid will write an expose in the New Yorker with his accusations of the officers' transgressions.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Most of the mainstream media, and large chunks of the blogosphere, are behaving like children — more specifically, like children who have not yet completed third-grade arithmetic.
Network anchors, national columnists, and prominent bloggers (left and right) have pronounced both the Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani campaigns either dead outright or else on life-support (with Do Not Resuscitate toe-tags).
But only three of fifty states have determined their delegates — three very small states, at least two of which (the ones everyone has paid attention to) are arguably pretty unrepresentative of the Republican Party nationally.
Last night, John McCain won a grand total of seven delegates in New Hampshire. That's slightly more than twice as many as Fred Thompson won (3) by coming in second in Wyoming, but compare the volume of media coverage for the New Hampshire result. Note that based on those seven delegates, half the press is ready to declare McCain the "new GOP front-runner"! Yet McCain's win last night in New Hampshire only secured for him just under one third of one percent of the total number of GOP delegates!
It's too soon to even rule out John Edwards on the Democratic side. And on the Republican side, five different candidates — including Thompson and Giuliani — still have realistic chances of winning. Anyone who insists otherwise needs a refresher in basic grade-school arithmetic.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Is The Iraq War “Worth It?”
Democrats in Congress have long used the cost of the Iraq war as a talking point. The left has always loathed the military – see Bill Clinton’s famous quote – and who can forget their wish that the Air Force would have to hold bake sales to buy its planes?
I was reminded of this looking at the comments at Townhall.com following an essay by Douglas MacKinnon entitled U.S. Military Defeats Fourth Estate.
Among the comments I found one by “jerabaub” that touched on this issue. He says in part:
…if Americans knew in March of 2003 what they now know on Iraq, they would not have supported it.
They are asking questions: "Was Iraq worth the cost?"..."What was accomplished?"..."As a result of the invasion, has the threat from Islam extremists lessened, or worsened?"
The surge may bring temporary good news, but these questions will not go away.
And the answer to these questions will determine whether the Bush presidency is viewed by history as a success or a failure.
As an amateur historian with an interest in war histories, Among the issues surrounding virtually any war, the cost of the thing is almost never discussed when the subject of whether wars should have been fought or not. I posted this reply:
… the people proposing the question: “was Iraq worth the cost” are the same members of the media joined at the hip to the Liberal leaders in Congress. Most rational people don’t look at war that way. They look at whether a war is won or lost.One of the most brutal and costly wars in our history was the Civil War. I know of almost no serious person today who does not consider that war to have been worthwhile. Yet the war was not inevitable. All President Lincoln had to do to avoid war was to allow the Southern States to secede.
In the first battle of the war, Fort Sumter, no one was killed. Had Lincoln chosen to preside over a diminished United States, all the bloodshed - 600,000 dead - of that horrible war would have been avoided. The cost to the US Treasury would have been avoided. The ruined lands would have remained fertile. The material result of the Civil War was a destroyed South which did not recover from physical devastation for a century.
But if people want to raise the issue of whether wars are worth the cost, then be honest and apply to all wars. Would you like to open that Pandora’s box? Was the Civil War worth it? World War 1 & 2? How about the Mexican War that took most of the Southwest from Mexico and made it part of the United States? Should we re-examine the presidencies of Lincoln, Polk, Wilson, and Roosevelt?
At the time, there were people of good will who opposed these wars. In fact, during the Civil War, the Democrats ran General McClellan on a peace platform.
Among the people who opposed the Mexican War were Lincoln (then a Representative) and Grant (who fought in the Mexican war).
And don’t try to tell me that those wars were forced on us. No war is ever forced. There is always the option of doing nothing or surrender.
The response from “jerabaub” was very interesting:
As far as costs of wars are concerned, WW2 contained astronomical costs, yet Americans gladly paid the price. It was seen as in our national interest, to preserve a nation(England)and continent from which over 90% of our parents and ancestors had emigrated, and from whom we had modeled our governance and society, and from whom our founders were indebted(the writings of John Locke). And with regard to the Mexican war, at least we obtained vast territories. And our civil war was about preserving OUR republic, not refereeing ancient muslim and tribal animosities.
Not one defense of the “cost” of wars based on the treasure expended or men killed. So when the argument is made, the counters of “cost” ignores costs. It is whether we win or lose after all. Even the Mexican war, arguably a vast land grab, was defended on the basis that we “obtained vast territories.” None of the old European imperial emperors could have said it better.
And the people of the Middle East, the Iraqis fed into shredders, abducted to rape rooms and gassed if they stood against the tyrant? They are dismissed; not related to us, not our European ancestors, a bunch of sub humans involved in “tribal animosities.” The fact that that culture and that region bred the 9/11 killers and their ilk that spread their death and hatred throughout the world is conveniently ignored.
And no, I’m not making the claim that Saddam is behind 9/11. What I am saying is that the problem that allowed 9/11 to happen is much bigger than Osama and his merry men. It involves the entire Middle East and the Islamofascists culture. Saddam was part of that culture and happened to be a good starting point for taking on that culture and drawing its teeth. Otherwise that culture could come back to kill us in even larger numbers that will make 9/11 look like batting practice.
The 9/11 attacks are only the second time that Americans suffered large scale casualties on American soil in the opening stages of any war. The war we are in is not limited to Osama, to Afghanistan or - surprising to some - only the Middle East. It is a global war of ideologies.
Just as the first offensive use of American troops against the Nazis was not in Germany but in Africa (and Africans did not attack us) so the initial phases of this war has been against Afghanistan and Iraq.
Unlike World War 2, this war will be longer and more dispersed.
We have not even begun to attack the enemy's center. This is a war of ideology wrapped in religion. It is fueled by petrodollars.
This administration's major failure has been to fail to make clear to the American people what this war means. It believes that the war can be fought with the military and has not really tried to rally the nation. I believe that his is the result of Bush's personality. Despite the lurid claims of his opponents, he believes it is beneath him to appeal to our emotions. He gives us facts; other wartime leaders had no problem demonizing our enemies. As a result, "jerabaub" and millions like him do not believe we are really in a war for our very lives. They believe that all we really need is some police work. Meanwhile to West continues to fall under the shadow of Sharia.
UPDATE: from the archives, more thoughts on the "cost":
HOW THE LEFT DOESN'T GET RED STATE AMERICA [Andy McCarthy]
Regarding Iraq and the war on terror, I got this email from a patriot who describes herself as "a military wife":
... I like to see facts presented in a simple, straightforward manner. I have long been baffled as to why some people still do not understand why we are in Iraq. I am "just" a homemaker, most of my time being spent taking care of my husband and my home. But I read, and I listen, and even I have been aware of many of the Iraqi terrorist connections mentioned in your article. So it has been puzzling to me that self-sharpened pointy-headed liberals, like Reid and Gergen and those at the New York Times, so stridently deny any connections between Iraq and al Qaeda. What is the motive? Is it that ignoring or denying the connections frees them from the responsibility of taking or supporting action? Could it be that simple?
Things are pretty simple in my world.
You recognize the connections, you support the action (or take it, if you are able). You don't recognize the connections, you don't support the action.
Men and women rotate in and out of Iraq. We call it "The Sandbox." When they leave, we cry. When they get home, we cry some more. They go off to fight, we hold the fort. Everybody does their job.
The terrorists are bent on attacking Americans. The Americans are going to be either highly trained, heavily armed professionals over there, or happily oblivious, defenseless civilians over here. You choose.
Some say the above is only valid until we are attacked on U.S. soil again. Oh, I don't know. I've kind of enjoyed the last four years of being able to go to Wal-Mart without fear of being blown to smithereens by a suicide bomber.
The media lament the influx of "insurgents" into Iraq. So…the terrorists flooding into the waiting arms of the most lethal military around is a bad thing?
Many want a "timetable" for the end of the war. Me too. As soon as the terrorists announce their timetable for implementing a "Be Sweet to Infidels" policy, we should reciprocate by announcing our timetable for ending the war.
Too many troops killed, they say. Now if the troops are the ones fighting and dying in the war (and they are), and the President enjoys overwhelming support among the troops (and he does), then there must be something the media are missing. Hmmmm…
Too much money spent, they say. There is always a price to be paid. You pay in taxes, the troops pay in blood. You choose. (Also, see above.)
So what is my point? Simply this: The politicians, the pundits and the media need to get out of the military's way and let them do their job. Reid and Gergen and their ilk don't have to worry that they'll be asked to do anything scary if they acknowledge the obvious connections between Iraq and al Qaeda. Lots of people have already recognized them and have volunteered for the scary stuff. It's 9/11, stupid.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Change, Change, Change, Change, Change
Oh, THAT Local Orientation in the Virginian Pilot!
That's what they say about real estate ... and newspapers.
So our home town newspaper, you know, the one that's locally owned, but is on the block. The paper that is supposedly focused on local issues because it's locally owned. The paper that may soon be owned by a heartless conglomerate who won't care about the people in this area.
Yeah! That one.
This kind, caring, locally focused dog trainer decide to run a story about soldiers being shot by an Iraqi soldier who turned his gun on the Americans.
Local angle, zero.
The location of that story: the front page.
But there was another story about a local National Guard officer from Richmond whose parents live in Norfolk who got a Silver Star for bravery. That story was found on the inside of the paper, in the Hampton Roads section, sharing the page with a story about the restoration of a Civil War fort and a Virginia Beach socialite's oyster roast.
Thanks to local ownership, the crack(ed) editorial staff knows what you're interested in.
That out-of-town conglomerate can't come fast enough.
Labels: Virginian Pilot
Rush Limbaugh supports Fred Thompson
First, let’s talk the obvious: Rush does not like Mike Huckabee. He has spent the last week lambasting him.
Second, Rush does not like McCain. He did not like him 8 years ago when he was competing for the nomination against George Bush and he does not like him now.
Rush has said little about Giuliani. There has been little to say. Rudy is saving his big push for Florida and the big state primaries. That being said, it is unlikely that a someone as Liberal as Rudy on social issues like guns, immigration and gay marriage would be Rush’s top choice.
That leaves George Romney and Fred Thompson. Rush gave s spirited defense of Romney’s “religion” speech on December 6th. And Romney’s speech was a great defense of conservative values on religion. On the other hand, he has allowed people to get on the show who have called Romney a flip-flopper. Knowing that Rush’s show is probably the most tightly screened show on radio, I believe that this is his deliberate way of letting people know that he does not approve of Romney’s previous postions on some issues.
But other than a process of elimination, here is the main reason that Rush supports Fred Thompson. From the November 29th transcript of Rush’s show:
It was fascinating to me, as I said, to watch this because it hit me upside the head -- even though, as I say, I instinctively knew this -- that all of the top-tier candidates, because of these questions... See, there's always a silver lining in everything. There's always an upside. Some of you might not think of this as an upside or a silver lining, but the genuine moderate as opposed to conservative aspects of three of the top-tier, four of the top-tier candidates were on full-fledged display last night. There was one candidate who did not display any moderateness or liberalism or have any of his past forays into those areas displayed, and that candidate was Fred Thompson. Now, this is not an endorsement. You know, I don't endorse during primaries. I just point out: These are things I noticed, and I've told you during the course of this one campaign year that one of the things that's bothering me, is I'm a Reagan conservative, and I believe in conservatism. It's in my soul and it's in my heart, and I know it is the best way for us to manage our affairs to ensure the most prosperity for the most, to continue our freedom, to protect our country.
Chuck Norris Approves Mike Huckabee
Fred Thompson vs. Michael Moore
Hillary!!! Video ... the Machine
Huckabee Parody Video
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Confronted by Preacher Huckabee standing astride the Iowa caucuses, smirking, "Are you feelin' Hucky, punk?", many of my conservative pals are inclined to respond, "Shoot me now."
But, if that seems a little dramatic, let's try and rustle up an alternative.
In response to the evangelical tide from the west, New Hampshire primary voters have figured, "Any old crusty, cranky, craggy coot in a storm," and re-embraced John McCain. After all, Granite State conservatism is not known for its religious fervor: it prefers small government, low taxes, minimal regulation, the freedom to be left alone by the state. So they're voting for a guy who opposed the Bush tax cuts, and imposed on the nation the most explicit restriction in political speech in years. Better yet, after a freezing first week of January and the snowiest December in a century, New Hampshire conservatives are goo-goo for a fellow who also believes the scariest of global-warming scenarios and all the big-government solutions necessary to avert them.
Well, OK, maybe we can rustle up an alternative to the alternative.
Rudy Giuliani's team is betting that, after a Huck/McCain seesaw through the early states, Florida voters by Jan. 29 will be ready to unite their party behind a less-divisive figure, if by "less divisive figure" you mean a pro-abortion gun-grabbing cross-dresser.
I can't see things playing out quite like that. The principal rationale for Rudy's candidacy is that he's the national-security toughie who can beat Hillary. But it's hard to conclude after Iowa that this is shaping up as a Code Orange election. And, as for Sen. Clinton, her Thursday night third-place was the nearest Bill and Hill have come to a Ceausescu balcony moment. In a world where even John Edwards can beat Hillary, who needs Rudy?
As for Huckabee, the thinking on the right is that the mainstream media are boosting him up because he's the Republican who'll be easiest to beat. It's undoubtedly true that they see him as the designated pushover, but in that they're wrong. If Iowa's choice becomes the nation's, and it's Huckabee vs. Obama this November, I'd bet on Huck.
As governor, as preacher and even as disc jockey, he's spent his life in professions that depend on connecting with an audience, and he's very good at it. His gag on "The Tonight Show" – "People are looking for a presidential candidate who reminds them more of the guy they work with rather than the guy that laid them off" – had a kind of brilliance: True, it is cornball at one level (imagine John Edwards doing it with all his smarmy sanctimoniousness) but it also devastatingly cuts to the core of the difference between him and Mitt Romney. It's a disc-jockey line: the morning man on the radio is a guy doing a tricky job – he's a celebrity trying to pass himself off as a regular joe – which is pretty much what the presidential candidate has to do, too. Huckabee's good at that.
Peggy Noonan observed of Huck that "his great power, the thing really pushing his supporters, is that they believe that what ails America and threatens its continued existence is not economic collapse or jihad, it is our culture."
She's right. It's not the economy, stupid. The economy's fine. It's gangbusters. Indeed, despite John Edwards' dinner-theater Dickens routine about coatless girls shivering through the night because daddy's been laid off at the mill, the subtext of both Democrat and Republican messages is essentially that this country is so rich it can afford to be stupid – it can afford to pork up the federal budget; it can afford to put middle-class families on government health care; it can afford to surrender its borders.
There is a potentially huge segment of the population that thinks homo economicusis missing the point. They're tired of the artificial and, indeed, creepily coercive secular multiculti pseudo-religion imposed on American grade schools. I'm sympathetic to this pitch myself. Unlike Miss Noonan, I think it's actually connected to the jihad, in the sense that radical Islamism is an opportunist enemy that has arisen in the wake of the Western world's one-way multiculturalism.
In the long run, the relativist mush peddled in our grade schools is a national security threat. But, even in the short term, it's a form of child abuse that cuts off America's next generation from the glories of their inheritance.
Where I part company with Huck's supporters is in believing he's any kind of solution. He's friendlier to the teachers' unions than any other so-called "cultural conservative" – which is why in New Hampshire he's the first Republican to be endorsed by the NEA. His health care pitch is Attack Of The Fifty Foot Nanny, beginning with his nationwide smoking ban. This is, as Jonah Goldberg put it, compassionate conservatism on steroids – big paternalistic government that can only enervate even further "our culture."
So, Iowa chose to reward, on the Democrat side, a proponent of the conventional secular left, and, on the Republican side, a proponent of a new Christian left. If that's the choice, this is going to be a long election year.