February 10, 2014

"You can’t bring a dead horse to life"

Roger L. Simon » Seinfeld, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times: Scenes from the Culture War:

...I certainly agree about the mind-bending banality of the Times opinion page and the windiness (at best) of Friedman. But I think the reporters are off the mark on the cause.  They can blame it on Rosenthal if they wish — I have no opinion, not working there — but the real problem is far greater than any one editor.

To adopt what is becoming a modern cliché — it’s the ideology, stupid.

The Times reporters complained of the page’s uniformly negative tone, but not even S.J. Perelman or P.G. Wodehouse could write with verve in the service of modern liberalism.  You can’t bring a dead horse to life.  No writer is that good — at least on a regular basis.

How, for example, do you write an eloquent defense of Obamacare or justify the administration’s actions in Benghazi without resorting to the kind of obfuscation that makes for convoluted, or at best tedious, writing? How do you advocate for yet more government programs in a country already so mired in debt it’s hard to see how it will ever get out?  It’s Keynesian economics itself that’s the problem, not Paul Krugman.

Although I admire many of the writers at the Wall Street Journal, let’s admit they have a lot more to work with, a plethora of easy targets for a man or woman with even a modicum of wit. We live in an era when readers  are distrusting big government more than ever.  Where does that leave the NYT, that great tribune of of ever-expanding government? With a bunch of grumps on their hands....

When I was young the NYT was referred to as "the flagship of the Eastern Liberal Establishment." But back then there really was an "establishment," a generally recognized set of ideas and people that almost everyone considered the legitimate guides of our society. And it was as much Republican as Democrat.

But that world is gone. Their model was the one created in the last phase of the Industrial Age. It was captured in Richard Nixon's quip, that "we are all Keynesians now." Ironically said at the time when that sort of economics was failing and the Information Age was beginning.

The NYT's business model is to maintain a cocoon where those in denial about the massive failure of "liberal" institutions all around us can pretend that nothing has changed. The real excitement and new ideas are elsewhere.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:21 AM | Comments (0)

June 9, 2013

Alternate history....

Katie Couric Daytime Show 'An Unmitigated Disaster':

... But success ruined Couric. Over time, she became a Media Diva and a divisive, hysterical left-wing partisan. Whatever your politics, it is impossible to dispute that Couric went Hollywood -- and narcissism is never pretty (or perky).

In the wake of her chilling metamorphosis, Couric has only met failure. Her stint as the anchor of CBS News was a major humiliation. But her latest endeavor, a daytime talk show, is making Couric's time at CBS look like the glory days of a fast-fading career:...

Ha ha. What a maroon she is. She has totally deserved her failure and disgrace. I laugh.

But imagine how things could have been different. Imagine that instead of sandbagging Sarah Palin, she had, as a good interviewer should, brought out the best in Sarah. (The un-edited tapes of that interview are still locked up. So you know Sarah looked a lot better in them than she did in the heavily-edited version.) She might now be show-casing interviews with Vice-President Palin. Or, if the stress of office did for poor old John McCain, then President Palin. Couric might be a major media star now, instead of a dud and a has-been, and yet another banal leftist...


Posted by John Weidner at 8:32 PM

May 17, 2013

Straw-man argument...

In Defense of the IRS, By Norm Ornstein...

A strong meme is developing among conservatives about the IRS, expressed most directly in the headline of a piece in the Washington Examiner by Tim Carney, "The IRS is Deeply Political and Very Democratic." The idea is that the IRS would by its very character and nature target conservatives and Republicans. And the Inspector General's report makes it clear that the key words used by agency employees to consider and screen the flood of applications for 501(c)4 status after the Citizens United decision focused on conservative groups and conservative oriented terms. But there is another reality here that should not be lost. If the IRS, or Obama Administration political officials, were intent on using the tax process to damage Republicans before the 2012 election, why did they go after a bunch of little guys-- tiny organizations without much funding-- while leaving the giants to run rampant all over the political field?...
See how he keeps moving the little cups around? In one sentence it's conservatives he's talking about, in the next it's Republicans. They are not the same thing.

The trick here is that we are not claiming "the IRS would by its very character and nature target conservatives and Republicans." We are claiming the IRS targeted conservatives, especially tea party conservatives.

Government employees/leftists have no deep quarrel with the "Republican giants," such as Karl Rove's American Crossroads GPS. Why? Because the Republican establishment has no real interest in shrinking government, they just want to run it themselves. Karl Rove is probably quite sincere when he deplores the bad effects of government bloat and waste, but at most he wants to trim a little flab. As long as it doesn't cost the Republicans any votes.

Tea partiers pose an existential threat to the Left. The Left has become government, and government has become a cancer feeding on the body politic. To propose returning the Federal government to what the founders designed is to kill the cancer. At least at the federal level.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:45 AM | Comments (2)

March 11, 2013

An unadaptable species facing extinction...

Turbine in flames

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of slimy scumbags! The climate "journalist" is going the way of the Dodo. A species facing extinction. | Pointman's:

...This slow demise of so-called environmental journalism is actually an act of euthanasia, a mercy killing. To my mind, it always embodied the very worst aspects of journalism. All the grubby professional sins were there; advocacy dressed up as balanced reportage, an intolerant moral arrogance, totally one-sided reporting, knee-jerk churnalism, absolutely no distinction between opinion and factual pieces, suppression of stories that didn't square with an approved set of viewpoints, selective misinformation, hit pieces dressed up as respectable journalism directed at their pet hate figures, a crusading willingness to sacrifice truth, by both omission and commission, in the name of a higher cause and a basic dishonesty to both the reader and their profession

The environmental niche in which such dire journalistic practices could flourish, is on the way out and they're simply not adapting to that new situation. Beyond a large amount of denial and what frequently looks to be plain displacement activity, their solution appears to be to try and repackage the product, but that simply doesn't address the fundamental problem - the product no longer has any mass appeal. It's not selling. Read it. That's the writing on the wall.

Things like Climategate, along with a cascade of other gates and a stream of failed predictions, have undermined and destroyed the credibility of the science on which the whole house of cards stood. It's toast. Because of the easy ingrained habits of churnalism, passively reproducing press handouts and never doing much more than commenting on other people's articles and papers, they failed in general to produce outlets publishing a steady stream of original and quality content. Their volume audience was essentially a transitory fashion demographic, and the fashion has now changed. When that happened, they lost their mass audience.

Ordinary people, struggling through the worst recession in living memory, see environmentalism as just another financial overhead they're having to contend with. They simply haven't got time for it any more. No time and no interest at all.
It was a type of journalism which was never really about the environment, never mind science, but rather it was about the idea of a single correct political viewpoint on any topic. It was a vital element of a failed social re-engineering project, which now lies in ruins. They rode a hysterical fashion wave far up the shore in the mistaken belief that it was somehow permanent, but that wave is now receding, never to return.

People have by now gone through the stage of tiredly shrugging off your latest efforts to continue scaring them and are just plain ignoring you at this stage, which is why all the cuts. You're being culled, because the bean counters are perceptive enough to know there won't be any blowback these days from any significant quarter....

Posted by John Weidner at 7:12 PM | Comments (0)

January 6, 2012

Can we dress these boobies in clown suits, and chase them with sticks?



This is the laugh of the day. Being "balanced" gets you an "F". If that doesn't encapsulate the Lefty mind, I don't know what does...

Study: Is Fox Too Balanced? - Washington Whispers (usnews.com):

....That's a conclusion one might reach from a first-of-its-kind study in the authoritative International Journal of Press/Politics of how Fox, CNN, and MSNBC cover the issue of global warming. The bottom line: Being balanced and providing supportive and critical views of global warming is actually biased because it gives critics a louder voice. Worse: Fox covers global warming about twice as much as CNN and MSNBC combined, meaning those critics get much more airtime, another sign of bias....

..The authors also looked at the opinions of guests. Here Fox again out-balanced the competition. Of Fox's 149 guests, 59 believed in global warming, 69 didn't, with the rest someplace in the middle. Of CNN's 53 story guests, 41 were "climate change believers" and nine were "doubters." On MSNBC, 11 of 20 guests were believers.

The study acknowledges that Fox was the most balanced from the numbers perspective, but the network still gets an F. The reason, it says, is because viewers are influenced by what they see, and seeing more critics of global warming makes more viewers critics. "The more often people watched Fox News, the less accepting they were of global warming. Conversely, frequent CNN and MSNBC viewing was associated with greater acceptance of global warming," the study concludes....

Question. Who—exactly—gets to dub the "International Journal of Press/Politics" as "authoritative?" I've never even heard of them.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:29 PM

October 6, 2011

Armageddon never happened--Media Silence Is Deafening

None of this is surprising. Gun control is never about reducing crime. And the gun-grabbers never even consider taking guns away from criminals first. (Or last, or ever.) They only want to disarm law-abiding citizens. Why? Because they are not the liberals they pretend to be. They are people-of-no-beliefs wearing liberalism as a disguise. To them, belief is a painful irritant, reminding them of something they are missing inside. The armed citizen symbolizes having things you are willing to kill for. here for, symbolizes belief in something bigger than the self.

Media Silence Is Deafening About Important Gun News | Fox News:

Murder and violent crime rates were supposed to soar after the Supreme Court struck down gun control laws in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Politicians predicted disaster. "More handguns in the District of Columbia will only lead to more handgun violence," Washington’s Mayor Adrian Fenty warned the day the court made its decision.

Chicago’s Mayor Daley predicted that we would "go back to the Old West, you have a gun and I have a gun and we'll settle it in the streets . . . ."

The New York Times even editorialized this month about the Supreme Court's "unwise" decision that there is a right for people "to keep guns in the home."

But Armageddon never happened. Newly released data for Chicago shows that, as in Washington, murder and gun crime rates didn't rise after the bans were eliminated -- they plummeted. They have fallen much more than the national crime rate.

Not surprisingly, the national media have been completely silent about this news.

One can only imagine the coverage if crime rates had risen. In the first six months of this year, there were 14% fewer murders in Chicago compared to the first six months of last year – back when owning handguns was illegal. It was the largest drop in Chicago’s murder rate since the handgun ban went into effect in 1982.

Meanwhile, the other four most populous cities saw a total drop at the same time of only 6 percent.

Similarly, in the year after the 2008 "Heller" decision, the murder rate fell two-and-a-half times faster in Washington than in the rest of the country.

It also fell more than three as fast as in other cities that are close to Washington's size. And murders in Washington have continued to fall. ...
Posted by John Weidner at 8:41 AM | Comments (4)

June 10, 2011

Boxes of paper? Hand trucks? I've been saying that government's stuck in the Industrial Age, but... Wow.

Palin E-mails Released ... 'Everyone Should Read Them' - Sarah Palin - Fox Nation:

...The 24,199 pages of emails from the first 21 months of Palin's term in office were released on schedule at 9 a.m. Juneau time (1 p.m. Eastern) on Friday.

Seventeen news organizations -- Alaskan, national and international -- are getting the boxes of documents. Each set reportedly comprises five 55-pound boxes, delivered on a hand truck that the reporters must return once they have unloaded it. Each organization paid $726 in copying costs for the trove....

Am I the only one who thinks this is hilarious? Could anything be more symbolic of the cratering of both government and "news" organizations? Imagine some bright young sweetie from the Columbia School of "Journalism," struggling with a hand-truck and heavy boxes of paper, when the whole thing could be put on a DVD for maybe 5 bucks? And paying $726?


* Update: Jonah Goldberg:

.I think this media frenzy over Palin's emails is an astounding embarrassment for the MSM. My favorite moment so far was the footage on Special Report that showed a radio engineer recording the sound of the hand truck transporting the boxes of the printed out Palin emails. I cannot wait to hear the NPR report capturing this vital drama.
Posted by John Weidner at 9:59 PM

We're the dinosaurs, they are the thecodonts!

It's pretty funny, all those lefty haters of the "press" recruiting chumpsky's to pour over Sarah's e-mails, and not finding anything flakey at all. You lose, you worthless slimeballs. Of course, discovering that she was a hard-working conscientious governor won't be "news." That discovery won't be publicized.

How sweet it is to see "journalism" dying, along with all the other leftover dinosaurs of the Industrial Age. Good riddance to whales rotting on the beach.

I just noticed this piece, by Pamela Geller...

I have written often of the irrational violent cauldron of vicious hate that Sarah Palin's goodness (and very existence) elicits from the forces of evil the left.

A new low (is that even possible?) was reached today when the elite media, the NY TImes and the Washington Post, begged readers to help them go through the soon-to-be released email messages to and from Sarah Palin during her time as Governor. Wow.

Think about that. Such naked hate is without equal. If America is paying attention, this could serve to be an aha moment. An indication of just how over the line and over the edge the left has gone to destroy anyone that poses a threat to their plan to dismantle this once great nation. That is what they are doing. The more righteous and patriotic the person, the more vile and debased the attacks.

The idea that we should stay away from Palin as a possible Presidential candidate because the enemy within (the left) hate her so much is the quintessence of defeatism and stupidity. That is playing into the claws of the enemy. If the right takes such a tact we are rewarding the vile politics of destruction. The left, smelling blood, will ramp up the violent language and smear campaigns against any effective leader on the right.

Why should the party of hate and destruction decide who our candidate is? They did it last election with McCain, they propped up that RINO only to make a knock out punch easy-peasy. The only thing that made the 2008 Presidential election competitive and interesting was Palin.

Ann Coulter said again today that Sarah should not run. She has joined a chorus of naysayers.  Coulter is wrong. The old guard and standard issues of the Weekly Standard are wrong. America loves Sarah. She is one of us. The moochers hate her. The looters hate her. The second handers hate her. The elites hate her. But the good, the decent and the fine love her.

There are times when I wonder if I'm being foolish, supporting Sarah so strongly. But there's no indicator of quality in a human being like having the right people hate you. So I once again think I'm on the right track.

Of course they hate her. We're the mammals, they are the dinosaurs. Hmm. That's an overused metaphor. It's late. How about, "We're the dinosaurs, they are the thecodonts!" Anyway, they are old and moldy and boring, and they know it. Including Ann Coulter.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:37 PM

January 14, 2011

The Onion knows all, tells all...

Political Pundits Surprisingly Good At Getting Inside Mentally Unbalanced Shooter's Head — The Onion - America's Finest News Source:

...NEW YORK—According to media analysts, the nation's TV commentators and political pundits have proved uncannily accurate when describing the deeply disturbed inner thoughts of accused Arizona gunman Jared Loughner. "It's strange, but when it comes to getting inside the mind of this human being who seems to possess no empathy, sense of morality, or hold on reality, and who is motivated only by personal animus and self-glorification, the nation's major political pundits have been amazingly adept," said Horizon Media analyst Bob Cullen, who has studied extensive tape of commentators on all major TV news programs and found their remarks on "what the killer is thinking" to be consistently thorough and detailed across the board. "It's almost as though they have some way of knowing, firsthand, exactly what this demented and highly dangerous individual with the eyes of millions upon him is going through." Researchers at Horizon Media also reported that a number of prominent TV pundits appeared to be mimicking the exact same chilling gleam in Loughner's eye for what they could only speculate was "dramatic effect."...
Posted by John Weidner at 8:22 PM

January 9, 2011

Just... something to remember...

Watching Leftists instantly try to link conservatives, and especially Sarah, to the shootings (while right-wing sites were asking for prayers) was a very foul and slimy thing to see. Everything is politics on the Left. Here's a very different reaction to a mass-murder...

Journalists urged caution after Ft. Hood, now race to blame Palin after Arizona shootings: (My emphasis)

In November 5, 2009, Maj. Nidal Hasan opened fire at a troop readiness center in Ft. Hood, Texas, killing 13 people. Within hours of the killings, the world knew that Hasan reportedly shouted "Allahu Akbar!" before he began shooting, visited websites associated with Islamist violence, wrote Internet postings justifying Muslim suicide bombings, considered U.S. forces his enemy, opposed American involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as wars on Islam, and told a neighbor shortly before the shootings that he was going "to do good work for God." There was ample evidence, in other words, that the Ft. Hood attack was an act of Islamist violence.

Nevertheless, public officials, journalists, and commentators were quick to caution that the public should not "jump to conclusions" about Hasan's motive. CNN, in particular, became a forum for repeated warnings that the subject should be discussed with particular care.

"The important thing is for everyone not to jump to conclusions," said retired Gen. Wesley Clark on CNN the night of the shootings.

"We cannot jump to conclusions," said CNN's Jane Velez-Mitchell that same evening. "We have to make sure that we do not jump to any conclusions whatsoever."

"I'm on Pentagon chat room," said former CIA operative Robert Baer on CNN, also the night of the shooting. "Right now, there's messages going back and forth, saying do not jump to the conclusion this had anything to do with Islam."

The next day, President Obama underscored the rapidly-forming conventional wisdom when he told the country, "I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts." In the days that followed, CNN journalists and guests repeatedly echoed the president's remarks.

"We can't jump to conclusions," Army Gen. George Casey said on CNN November 8.  The next day, political analyst Mark Halperin urged a "transparent" investigation into the shootings "so the American people don't jump to conclusions." And when Republican Rep. Pete Hoekstra, then the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, suggested that the Ft. Hood attack was terrorism, CNN's John Roberts was quick to intervene. "Now, President Obama has asked people to be very cautious here and to not jump to conclusions," Roberts said to Hoekstra. "By saying that you believe this is an act of terror, are you jumping to a conclusion?"...
Posted by John Weidner at 8:19 AM

January 6, 2011

"Conditioned by the fashion of the day."

From Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's famous 1978 commencement address at Harvard:

....Without any censorship, in the West fashionable trends of thought and ideas are carefully separated from those which are not fashionable; nothing is forbidden, but what is not fashionable will hardly ever find its way into periodicals or books or be heard in colleges. Legally your researchers are free, but they are conditioned by the fashion of the day. There is no open violence such as in the East; however, a selection dictated by fashion and the need to match mass standards frequently prevent independent-minded people from giving their contribution to public life.

There is a dangerous tendency to form a herd, shutting off successful development. I have received letters in America from highly intelligent persons, maybe a teacher in a faraway small college who could do much for the renewal and salvation of his country, but his country cannot hear him because the media are not interested in him. This gives birth to strong mass prejudices, blindness, which is most dangerous in our dynamic era. There is, for instance, a self-deluding interpretation of the contemporary world situation. It works as a sort of petrified armor around people's minds. Human voices from 17 countries of Eastern Europe and Eastern Asia cannot pierce it. It will only be broken by the pitiless crowbar of events....

"...his country cannot hear him because the media are not interested in him." I don't think things have improved much since '78, but at least the media monopoly has been broken, and the "mainstream media" are pretty much on the ash-heap of history.

Posted by John Weidner at 4:05 PM

December 9, 2010

Funny piece, relevant again...

I remember this piece well from 1994. It's an imaginary memo to political reporters, explaining what this strange new phenomenon of "Congressional Republicans" is. Of course that memory has long been a bit of a painful one, since the thrilling influx of Republicans in '94 were not "outsiders" for very long.

I fear it may be the same this time around. The good news is that this time we have ways of watching what goes on, instead of waiting to perhaps read it in a newspaper afterwards.

From the Archives | The Weekly Standard:

...The days when moderates like George Mitchell controlled the Hill are gone, at least for now. Most of the new Republican congresspersons and staffers are adherents of the right-wing philosophy of "conservatism." Conservatism can be traced to such right-wing thinkers as Franco, Pinochet, and William F. Buckley Jr. Conservatism, in brief, calls for dismantling the entire government while simultaneously controlling the most intimate decisions of a person's life. Contradictory? Sure: like cutting taxes, increasing defense, and balancing the budget, all at the same time! Let's make sure our readers understand the impossibility of doing this.

Several sources emphasized that in reporting our stories, we should take care not to call staffers or congresspersons on Sunday morning, when the vast majority of Americans stay home to watch Brinkley. But apparently many Republicans "go to church." Some of you will be familiar with churches in Cleveland Park for their marvelous chamber music concerts. Our new Republican friends, however, go to church for "services" -- patriarchal rituals that date back to the early 1900s or even earlier. This also has something to do with "turning back the clock," another right-wing tenet of conservatism.

Over the years you have been able to develop relations with congressional sources through your kids' schools -- at soccer games, Earth Day ceremonies, Condom Fairs, and the like. But beware! I'm told that many of the new Republicans will be sending their kids to "public schools" in the suburbs, where they don't even charge tuition. As one waggish source put it to me, "Half these clowns have never heard of Sidwell Friends or Georgetown Day!" Good news for you as parents; bad news for you as reporters, who will have to create new avenues of informal communication.

Again, not easy: Many of the Republicans will be living in Virginia, the state across the Potomac from Bethesda (see map attached). These suburbs are usually 1980s-style wastelands of tract houses -- "one step up from the trailer park," another source quips -- that have destroyed irreplaceable historic landscapes. If there's sufficient interest, the paper will be happy to arrange a bus tour. They must be seen to be believed....
Posted by John Weidner at 1:24 PM

July 23, 2010

Ah Watergate . . . I remember it well...

I'm put in mind of this, from Isaac Asimov's memoir, In Joy Still Felt: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov 1954-1978 ...

...From that point on, I took to combing the Times from cover to cover every morning, skipping only the column by Nixon's minion, William Safire. I sometimes bought the New York Post, so that I could read additional commentary. I listened to every news report on the radio.

I read and listened with greater attention and fascination than in even the darkest days of World War II. Thus my diary entry for May 11, 1973, says, "Up at six to finger-lick the day's news on Watergate."...

My turn! Ha ha. Life is tough right now, but boy am I enjoying the slow but inexorable unravelling of foul leftist lies resulting from the exposure of e-mails, both the Climategate and now the Journolist revelations.

JournoGate Continued: Pouncing On Palin - IBD - Investors.com:

Media Bias: Ever wonder why 2008 VP candidate Sarah Palin was so ridiculed before much was known about her? Turns out liberal journalists engaged in a coordinated smear campaign to aid the Democratic ticket.

When we talked with Alaska's then-governor in the summer of 2008 about plans to develop her state's energy resources, she came across like most other Alaskans we've met — frank, down-to-earth, colloquial, but more than technocratically knowledgeable about the energy field.

The issue then for Gov. Palin was how to balance the development of Alaska's bountiful resources with its near-pristine environment. She also wrestled with how to create a healthy business climate in a state with a history of political corruption involving oil companies.

We detected a sense of duty as Palin spoke of bringing natural gas to the Lower 48, and we were impressed with the way she spoke authoritatively about Alaska's polar bear population and compassionately about the well-being of native Alaskans. We also interviewed longtime nonpolitical Alaskan bureaucrats who raved about working with the governor and praised her executive ability.

Sound like the Sarah Palin you read about when she was chosen as John McCain's running mate that fall? Hardly.

Suddenly Palin became a backwoods Christian fundamentalist hillbilly with five kids who couldn't possibly be who she said she was. Her intelligence was attacked, her accomplishments belittled, her verbal slips ridiculed, her family's privacy invaded and her clean record smeared with accusations of corruption, all of which proved false.

Now it's clear what was really going on. On Thursday, the Daily Caller published exchanges from a private forum called JournoList that showed how 400 top mainstream reporters and their activist buddies conspired in an attack against Palin the minute she entered the presidential race....

You're busted, animals. Oh, and this is right-on, by Jennifer Rubin:

... The angry white men and the hate-filled political marionettes aren't on talk radio. They're on Journolist....
Posted by John Weidner at 12:45 PM

June 21, 2010

You're a racist if you even read this...

Excerpts from President Obama media doubles down on doublespeak - BostonHerald.com:

...Criticizing Bush - the highest form of patriotism. Criticizing Obama - hate speech. Who caused Bush's problems? - Bush. Who causes Obama's problems? - Bush.

Cindy Sheehan under Bush - a future recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Sheehan under Obama - give it up already, you old bag.

Bush playing a rare round of golf - complete video coverage, showing his utter indifference to the suffering of the American people.

Obama playing one of his endless rounds of golf - only still photos allowed, yet another glowing indication of our dashing president's youth and physical fitness.

Media reviews of Bush's handling of Katrina - he hates black people. Media reviews of Obama's handling of the oil spill - Halliburton did it.

Bush on Air Force One - junkets, fund-raising for GOP fat cats. Obama on Air Force One - fact-finding missions, reassuring the American people of his tireless FDR-like commitment to them.

Two hundred-point midday drops on the Dow under Bush - ominous plummet. Same drops under Obama - the market is seeking direction.

Democrat women elected under Bush - a triumph of feminism. Republican women elected under Obama - a setback for feminism...
Posted by John Weidner at 5:41 PM

May 28, 2010

Thiotimoline and the ice caps...

car covered with icicles

Willis Eschenbach:

...Google also revealed that the report of the study has been picked up by ABC News, NewsDaily, Yahoo News, New Scientist, Arab News, and ScienceDaily. It was featured on Joe Romm's global warming blog "ClimateProgress". It has been referred to in blogs and news reports from India, Australia, Russia, and China. It shows up on TweetMeme, Huffington Post, and Facebook. Even Scientific American has an article on it.

So at this point, it has gone round and round the world. It has been illustrated with all kinds of pictures of melting ice, and of global ice extent, and (inevitably) of polar bears. It has been discussed and debated and dissected around the web.

And with all of that publicity, with all those news reports, with all that discussion and debate ... as near as I can determine, despite Reuters saying it was published a month ago, the study has never been published anywhere.

Not only that, but nobody seems to have noticed that the study has never been published.

Well, that's not entirely true. Scientific American must have noticed, because they quietly removed the page where they had published the report ... but it is still in Google's cache....
Posted by John Weidner at 9:54 PM

May 16, 2010

Today's bitter laugh—Greece required to privatize health care system...

Tim Murphy put this gem in a comment at Alan Sullivan's blog, RealClearMarkets - Guess What Greece Has To Jettison?:

Policy Failure: Greece was told that if it wanted a bailout, it needed to consider privatizing its government health care system. So tell us again why the U.S. is following Europe's welfare state model.

The requirement, part of a deal arranged by the IMF, the European Union and the European Central bank, is a tacit admission that national health care programs are unsustainable. Along with transportation and energy, the bailout group, according to the New York Times, wants the Greek government to remove "the state from the marketplace in crucial sectors."

This is not some cranky or politically motivated demand. It is a condition based on the ugly reality of government medicine. The Times reports that economists - not right-wingers opposed to health care who want to blow up Times Square - say liberalizing "the health care industry would help bring down prices in these areas, which are among the highest in Europe."

Of course most of the media have been largely silent about the health care privatization measure for Greece, as it conflicts with their universal, single-payer health care narrative....
Posted by John Weidner at 8:08 PM

April 25, 2010

Nonetheless they want the gov to take over our health care...

New York Times:

...The nation's most important system for judging the clinical effectiveness of cancer treatments is approaching "a state of crisis." That is the disturbing verdict of experts assembled by the National Academy of Sciences to review the performance of clinical trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute...

...The most shocking deficiency highlighted by the report, issued by the academy's Institute of Medicine, is that about 40 percent of all advanced clinical trials sponsored by the Cancer Institute are never completed. That is an incredible waste of effort and money, and a huge obstacle at a time when researchers are developing promising new therapies that must be rigorously tested....

...Yet a series of reviews in recent years found that the testing operation is mired in bureaucracy and poorly coordinated. A typical trial must navigate past dozens of overlapping reviews by different boards and agencies that must approve the original concept for the trial and then the protocol that will govern how it is conducted before the investigators can start enrolling any patients.

The average time between developing the concept for a study and getting it started is about 2.5 years. The longer a study takes to get started, the more likely it is to become scientifically out of date, and the less likely it is that doctors or patients will want to participate.

Other factors, including failure to pay investigators and their institutions the full costs of a trial, can also impede enrollment....

What really pisses me off is the tone of studied neutrality in this NYT editorial. As if it had nothing to do with them and they are merely detached observers. Actually they've been laboring tirelessly for all of my lifetime and longer to help erect the massive bureaucracies that are failing so conspicuously all around us. The Times supported Obama and "Obamacare" and Pelosi and Reid and all the rest of the caterpillars gong back to at least Stalin and FDR.... and now they report on their policies as if they had just sprang up like mushrooms, to the surprise of everyone.

I just love reading stories about the massive losses of subscribers and money by the NYT. They richly deserve far worse.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:33 PM

March 14, 2010

Bloodsucking capitalists...

Maybe the workers will rise up against their oppressors... Oh, and the shareholders! A failing company is being looted, to the detriment of its real owners...

Sulzberger pinches double the pay - NYPOST.com:

Top executives at the beleaguered New York Times Company reaped hefty rewards last year, with Chairman Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger more than doubling his total compensation to $6 million.

CEO Janet Robinson got even more, reaping $6.3 million, a 31.9 percent hike.

The pay numbers were disclosed in Securities and Exchange Commission filings yesterday.

The increases come against a backdrop of declining ad revenue, layoffs, frozen pension plans, unpaid vacations and a 5 percent pay cut for most of the rank-and-file workers last year.

"Our members are really unhappy with what is happening," said Bill O'Meara, president of the Newspaper Guild of New York. "They made a voluntary sacrifice to give up some of their pay to help the company out. People are losing their jobs still."...

Suckers. Ha ha. You trusted liberals? You trusted a bunch pious frauds because they told you they are better than those horrid right-wingers? You probably trusted them because you read the NYT, and you believed your own lies.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:36 AM

December 28, 2009

Climategate... Plus Reportergate...

This is a good piece on how "journalists" bend the words of people they interview to make them imply exactly the opposite of what they said. Biased reporting on Climategate - Washington Times:

...To judge by recent coverage from Associated Press, the Fourth Estate watchdog has acted like a third-rate pocket pet. Case in point is an 1,800-word AP missive that appeared in hundreds of publications, many carrying it on the front page of their Sunday, Dec. 13 issue with the headline, "Science not faked, but not pretty." AP gave three scientists copies of the controversial e-mails and then asked them about their conclusions. The wire service portrayed the trio of scientists as dismissing or minimizing allegations of scientific fraud when, in fact, the scientists believe no such thing....
Posted by John Weidner at 10:54 AM

November 14, 2009

As Rush says, they always tell us who they are afraid of...

Mark Steyn, on the AP's preposterous efforts to "fact check" a stolen copy of Governor Palin's forthcoming book:

...Wow. That's ten "AP writers" plus Calvin Woodward, the AP writer whose twinkling pen honed the above contributions into the turgid sludge of the actual report. That's 11 writers for a 695-word report. What on? Obamacare? The Iranian nuke program? The upcoming trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

No, the Associated Press assigned 11 writers to "fact-check" Sarah Palin's new book, and in return the 11 fact-checkers triumphantly unearthed six errors. That's 1.8333333 writers for each error. What earth-shattering misstatements did they uncover for this impressive investment? Stand well back:...

"Stand well back" I'll have to remember that locution!

But what panic! I love it. I feel warm and tingly thinking about it. Can you imagine liberals even caring what Mit Romney writes? Or going into tizzies when that fellow Huckabor writes a book, if he does?

And how fine it feels to be supporting such a solid person. Leftists have been desperately hammering on her since "Palin Day," 8-29-08...... and what have they come up with? Nothing of substance. The squirmy-ness of Dems right now has got to be partially because they know deep down that their guy could never stand up to such scrutiny. Aren't there still a few whole years of Obam's life unaccounted for? Not to mention Chicago politics. Dead fish could float to the surface at any time! Or bodies.

Life is so much better when one does not have to live in fear. And it makes a person smarter. There are no "Don't go there" signs in my brain, such as Leftists seem to have. (Think of "political correctness.")

 

Posted by John Weidner at 7:40 AM

November 6, 2009

Am I right or am I right?

From a CBS News story, Female Cop Hailed as Ft. Hood Hero:

...Hasan, who was facing deployment overseas, was initially reported killed in the attack but he survived his wounds and is currently in stable condition in a civilian hospital. Officials are trying to piece together a possible motive for the attack, believed to be the worst ever at a U.S. domestic military debate. [sic]...

It's gonna be tough, folks. "Piecing together" a "possible motive" for the attack. It's a good thing we have experts who understand these things. Most likely we will just never know why this mentally disturbed person, who belongs to a "religion of peace," went berserk. He was handing out Korans that very morning, which is surly a peaceful thing to do, right? Right?

Maybe it was something he ate.



(In case someone hasn't been following, my title refers to this post, where I quoted:

...Over the past couple of years there have been several SJS incidents directed against Americans. It is remarkable that even when the perpetrator explicitly linked his motives to jihad, the authorities refused to accept his word....)
Posted by John Weidner at 10:58 AM

October 19, 2009

Report urges action to preserve "journalism"

New York Times Cutting 100 Newsroom Jobs | The New York Observer:

The New York Times is cutting 100 jobs by the end of the year, the Times' editor Bill Keller just announced to the staff via email....

Ha ha. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of loathsome frauds. Hows that HopeChange workin' out for you guys? Hmm? You pulled every dirty trick known to man to get your party's chomsky elected, and now you're on the street. Could it possibly be that there is justice in the cosmos?

Report urges action to preserve journalism:

NEW YORK (AP) - Journalism is at risk and American society must act to preserve it. That's a key message in a new report co-authored by Len Downie, former executive editor of The Washington Post. [For pity's sake, just drag it in the bushes and let it die in privacy]

In a paper commissioned by the Columbia University Journalism School, [are "journalism" schools dying too? Please, please, pretty please?] Downie and Michael Schudson, a Columbia professor, argue the government, universities and nonprofit foundations should step in as newspapers suffer financially. [Of course. they're even crappier than GM. Bailout time!]

Among other steps, the authors recommend that the government ensure the tax code allows local news outlets to operate as non-profits. [Well. at least they will no longer be defrauding their owners—the shareholders—by driving away the 80% of the population who are not trendy urban liberal nihilists.] They urge philanthropic organizations to support local reporting. [As long as no conservative or tacky working-class views are reported.] And they suggest a fund be established using fees from telecom or Internet providers for grants to innovative local news groups. [Yeah. Tax success to support failure. That's what liberalism is all about.]...
Posted by John Weidner at 8:23 PM

October 6, 2009

A violation of trust....

Glenn links to a post on the death of Gourmet. Al Dente: Gourmet Magazine's Legacy of Good Living:

I'm rarely at a loss for words. I don't know where to start on this one. Like many of you, I received news that Gourmet magazine is closing its doors, and the November issue will be its last. Having worked at Gourmet right out of college between 1989 and 1995, Gourmet is near and dear to my heart. It's part of my soul....

Well, Charlene subscribed for probably decades, and stopped a few years ago when little Lefty comments and jabs started appearing among the truffles. She says it's too bad, because it was for many years a great magazine. (And it wasn't just about haute cuisine; there were lots of articles on the delights of ordinary fare, such as how to make great hamburgers at the Fourth of July picnic.)

This was yet another example of violation of "Safe Zones," which Jay Nordlinger has been writing about. [And more on Safe Zones.]

(I'm sure that's not the main reason why they are folding; most Gourmet Magazine types are probably liberal. But I bet they lost a few more subscriptions than ours.)

Posted by John Weidner at 6:48 AM

August 25, 2009

Old scores still needing to be settled...

Most of you will probably not be interested in this. I mean, five years ago? That's ancient history! Just skip it, OK?

Most people forget, but I don't forget. Or in this case, forgive. The campaign of intentional lies and smears in 2004 against the honorable and considerable military service of George W Bush would in itself justify the detestation I feel towards Lefty nihilists.

I knew this part of the story back then, but never made much mention of it, because I was not aware that there was any corroboration. What a treat to find that in, of all places, the report on the horrid fabrications of Dan Rather and Mary Mapes! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

BernardGoldberg.com:

...Until now, the controversy over the Rather/Mapes story has centered almost entirely on one issue: the legitimacy of the documents — a very important issue, indeed. But it turns out that there was another very important issue, one that goes to the very heart of what the story was about — and one that has gone virtually unnoticed. This is it: Mary Mapes knew before she put the story on the air that George W. Bush, the alleged slacker, had in fact volunteered to go to Vietnam.

Who says? The outside panel CBS brought into to get to the bottom of the so-called "Rathergate" mess says. I recently re-examined the panel's report after a source, Deep Throat style, told me to "Go to page 130." When I did, here's the startling piece of information I found:

Mapes had information prior to the airing of the September 8 [2004] Segment that President Bush, while in the TexANG [Texas Air National Guard] did volunteer for service in Vietnam but was turned down in favor of more experienced pilots. For example, a flight instructor who served in the TexANG with Lieutenant Bush advised Mapes in 1999 that Lieutenant Bush "did want to go to Vietnam but others went first." Similarly, several others advised Mapes in 1999, and again in 2004 before September 8, that Lieutenant Bush had volunteered to go to Vietnam but did not have enough flight hours to qualify....

George W Bush in the Texas Air National Guard

I myself would rank Bush's service as more honorable and probably more dangerous that Kerry's flaky maneuvers. Among other reasons, the F-102 was the most dangerous high-performance jet this country has ever put into production. Of the 875 F-102A production models that entered service, 259 were lost in accidents that killed 70 Air Force and ANG pilots.

Here are some of my old posts on the disgusting affair...

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Posted by John Weidner at 10:34 PM

August 22, 2009

Just another one of my imaginary conversations...

Pay it no mind. Just fisking some person named Eleanor Clift in some web-site called Newsweek.com:

The first duty of a political party in retreat is to find something its people can rally around, and saying no to Obamacare is working nicely for the Republicans. [Lots of independents and even Dems are not liking it either.] They've managed to hold together in the House and Senate with no real leadership and no real message except to block Obama. [Fairly true. We need Sarah!] Despite all the advantages Democrats enjoyed at the start of this year, the responsibility of being in the majority and actually legislating is causing fissures between the party's dominant wing of progressives and the much smaller group of conservative, self-described blue dogs from the swing districts that gave Democrats control of the House. [So you admit it's NOT the Republicans who are blocking Pelosi-Care.]

Republicans are united, but that shouldn't be confused with victory. Republicans stood together against Social Security and Medicare, [This is a flat-out LIE. Both those had large Republican support.] and when those programs proved popular, opposing them left a residue of distrust for the GOP. President Obama has pushed his bipartisan shtik about as far as it will go, [shtik is the word. It was never sincere.] and if Republican recalcitrance means the Democrats have to go it alone on health care, Obama should embrace the new reality and cry all the way to the signing ceremony. [So DO IT! Shut up and do it. I double-dog dare you.]

Getting Republicans to support health-care reform is a lost cause. [Well, duh. A far-Left massive expansion of government, and she's surprised Republicans aren't on board? How stupid is that?] Other than the two women senators from Maine, there aren't any moderates left for the president to partner with in the GOP. Obama campaigned on his fabled ability to bring people together. [Something he's never actually DONE in his political life. It's just gas.] Voters loved the idea of everybody getting along in Washington, but seven months into the Obama presidency, we know it's a mirage.

The White House needs to find ways to leverage the huge tactical and strategic advantages Democrats had coming out of the 2008 election to advance legislation in Congress. [Hey, I gotta wild and crazy idea. How about legislation that ordinary Americans would approve of? You know, those untermensch who shop at Walmart. I know that's not the Dem tradition, but why not give it a try?] Instead, Obama has played the same old inside game of currying favor with power brokers on Capitol Hill who for the most part, like Senate Finance chair Max Baucus of Montana, represent sparsely populated rural states and respond more to their corporate benefactors than to White House pressure.
Obama won the election because his campaign had a great ground game and they had him, a super communicator who made the media swoon. [How about: "Obama won the election because he made the media swoon."] In the White House, the once crack team was slow to organize while opponents of health-care reform ran roughshod over the message and dominated the debate. All the White House has to counter the opposition is Obama, ['cause the TRUTH is really ugly. You can't use that.] and he's not enough. The magic has waned. People don't line up for miles to see him the way they did in the campaign. And judging by the anxiety showing up in the polls, voters don't trust Obama enough on health-care reform to set aside their historic distrust of government. [This may be too advanced for a journalist to understand, but trust in Obama is irrelevant! He's not writing the legislation, and he's not going to be administering it. (Unless there's a secret cloning project we don't know about. Maybe 100,000 mini-Obamas will run things and sit on the Death Panels, and reproduce themselves forever. In that case "trust in Obama" would have some point here.)]

The '08 campaign was such a searing experience that Obama and his key aides tend to view everything through that prism. [Why was it more "searing" than any other Presidential campaign? It was a picnic compared to 2000, but Bush calmly started achieving real things from his first day in office. With no snivelling about being "seared."] There were the early days when Obama seemed bored and his interest in the campaign lagged, along with his standing in the polls. Then came his heady win in Iowa followed by a humbling loss in New Hampshire, then the period when it all could have slipped away, when Rev. Jeremiah Wright taunted white America and Obama was torn between defending his minister and recovering his candidacy. If there's a campaign analogy to where Obama is now, this is the Reverend Wright period, when the prize hangs in the balance. [This is a very odd analogy. Obama should cynically toss something under the bus? But what? Or who? Or does Wright = health care reform? What joy, we can not only get rid of useless people, we can be JUDENREIN!] Opponents of reform won the first part of summer. Now it's up to Obama to regain the momentum. He prides himself on being a good clutch player, someone who can perform when the pressure's on. [I haven't seen it.] "Just give me the ball," he said to David Axelrod as he stood waiting to go onstage for his first presidential debate with John McCain.

Republican strategist Karl Rove was known for zeroing in on an opponent's strength, destroying John Kerry, a war hero, by portraying him as weak. [He's a weakling and a cad. And only a "war hero" in the descriptions of the press. His fellow vets made it clear they know he's a total jerk.] ....
Posted by John Weidner at 3:52 PM

August 19, 2009

I'm feeling cranky. It's time to say "Toldja"

Michael Goodwin in the NY Daily News, Health care debate confirms this is not the Barack Obama we elected:

...Where have you gone, Barack Obama? Where is the sunny-side-up young man who promised to inspire and unite an unhappy nation? [It was just an ACT. If you want to know what people ARE, you fool, you look at what they've DONE. Obama never "inspired or united" ANY normal americans in his mini-career.]

Gone into the partisan sinkhole of Washington, that's where. [From the sweet concord of Chicago politics. Right.] Like some novice swimmer too confident of his own ability, Obama is suddenly finding himself in water over his head. [We TOLD YOU. But of course you can't listen to conservatives. That would be tacky.]

His flailing, including a foul habit of demonizing dissent, is not pretty. [Flaily flaily. Obama said OPENLY that he was an acolyte of Sol Alinsy--so what the hell did you THINK was coming? Fool.] And that brief foray into e-mail tracking of critics showed a win-at-any-cost side. [Toldja.]

Where is the appealing man we elected? Where is that Barack Obama? [He never existed! We TOLD you.]
Let's find him quick because the whole nation is paying the price for this impostor's irrational exuberance. Or hubris. [SO, Mr Goodwin, isn't it time you said "sorry" to us conservatives? Hmm? "Sorry, you were right, we were wrong, and now we have a dime-store Sol Alinsky for President?"]

Americans, more of them every day, are growing disenchanted with the expansion of government and the massive pile of debt. [YOU mush-brains elected a far-Leftist, and now you are...surprised? Disenchanted?] Yet the President, certain he can change their minds if only he talks to them again, keeps trying to sell bigger as better. [I bet you are STILL hoping he'll work the deception on you again.]

The public's not buying it. And as a measure of the nation's mood, a recent poll was practically cruel: Nearly half think the President is on television too much. Ouch.

Obama fatigue occasionally surfaced during the campaign, but this is different. [No, it's the SAME. We repeatedly pointed out during the campaign how overdoses of Obama made people queasy. YOU wouldn't listen.] He's the President, and if the country tunes him out, there is no Plan B. He's the rock star-turned-salesman, and everything in his administration depends on his stage act. [Trusting "rock stars" is STUPID.]

That the novelty is wearing thin is obvious. The danger is that the health care fiasco turns him into an unpopular and ineffective President... [He was ineffective from the git-go. For pity's sake, the guy has never run so much as a pop stand in his life! OF COURSE he's ineffective. We told you so. AND we told you the only candidate of the four who WAS qualified was Palin, who has actually run a city and a state successfully. I'm sure you are STILL too shit-stupid to acknowledge this obvious fact. ].
Posted by John Weidner at 3:23 PM

August 13, 2009

I thought this was pretty funny...

Megyn Kelly of Fox tries to pin down White House spokesman Bill Burton on what's going to happen to those e-mails they've solicited reporting "fishy things." The poor goop desperately wants to avoid admitting that they are keeping the e-mail addresses of those who have been reported for having wrong thoughts... but in fact Federal law requires that they all be kept.

Squirm, squirm squirm...

Posted by John Weidner at 7:47 PM

July 11, 2009

Tell half your readers to just go away...

Highly recommended: Carl M. Cannon, Sarah 'Barracuda' Palin and the Piranhas of the Press

...Meanwhile, an unrelated development put journalism on the firing line.

That event was the decline of conservative, mostly Southern, Democrats (and, eventually, liberal Republicans as well). A patchwork quilt of ideology and regionalism gave way to a U.S. political system more closely resembling that of Great Britain. Today, an American who is liberal tends to be a Democrat, a conservative is almost always a Republican. This may help clarify things for voters, but it created a little-understood crisis for journalists. If being "liberal" now meant sympathy for the Democratic Party, and being conservative implied sympathy for Republicans, all those liberal newsrooms across the country were gradually going to alienate themselves from about half their readers.

That this might pose a problem never dawned on the men and women who controlled the media — even as it drove their right-of-center readers and viewers away in droves. When I tell my friends working in places like The New York Times that they created Rush Limbaugh, they respond with shock and disbelief. But it's obvious to me that it's true, even as the anointed sages of the Old Media solemnly denied that an animal such as "liberal bias" existed at all....

Most people today don't even realize that there used to be conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans! When I was a boy the most important liberal vs conservative wars were within the two parties. The rise of Goldwater conservatism was a revolt within the Republican party against "eastern establishment liberals" such as Nelson Rockefeller. And the Democrats back then were the (very Catholic) party of traditional morality. Also the party of Southern white racists.

If you are still not sure that the press was grossly unfair to Palin, Cannon lays out the facts in great detail. It was absurd, insane, and utterly vile and dishonest!

Posted by John Weidner at 9:32 AM

July 2, 2009

Palin Derangement Syndrome goes on...

Jim Geraghty, on the absurd Vanity Fair hit piece on Sarah Palin: Why They Hate Her, The Angelina Jolie of Politics:

...Liberals believe their ideas, philosophy, worldview and policies liberate its believers and contend the conservative equivalents limit people. Liberals see themselves are rejecting outdated beliefs and obsolete ideas, overturning established orders and discarding traditions established by superstitious and ignorant forebears who weren't as enlightened as we are. Conservatives, in their minds, are runaway cultural super-egos, always wagging their fingers about individual responsibility, dismissing excuses, reminding people that they always can't do what they want because of the consequences to themselves and to others.

Conservatism, they suspect, will leave you in a marriage that doesn't satisfy you, burden you with children you don't want, repress your passions and trap you in a empty, boring and unfulfilled life, with no hand of government able to help....

...In her opponents' minds, Palin's made all the wrong choices, and cannot, they insist, be very bright. Yet she's happy and successful. She is an anomaly that invalidates their worldview, and for that, they attempt to immiserate her — regardless of whether she wishes to run for national office again....

"An anomaly that invalidates their worldview." That's for sure. And few things have validated my suspicions that most of what's happening in our world are battles over symbols more than the lefty reaction to Sarah Palin. The crazy thing was that Sarah has never been a "values conservative" in her practical political life. Her issues have always been good government and economic development, especially energy policy. She's never fought in the culture war, she's never mounted any attacks on liberalism or secularism!

But that didn't make any difference. Symbolically, she proclaims that the way to happiness and fulfilment is exactly the opposite of what liberal theory says it is.

"..Liberals believe their ideas, philosophy, worldview and policies liberate its believers..." That stuff is not "liberating," it's slavery.


Posted by John Weidner at 11:44 AM

June 16, 2009

Shills for the regime...

DRUDGE REPORT: ABC TURNS PROGRAMMING OVER TO OBAMA 2009®:

On the night of June 24, the media and government become one, when ABC turns its programming over to President Obama and White House officials to push government run health care -- a move that has ignited an ethical firestorm!

Highlights on the agenda:

ABCNEWS anchor Charlie Gibson will deliver WORLD NEWS from the Blue Room of the White House.

The network plans a primetime special -- 'Prescription for America' -- originating from the East Room, exclude opposing voices on the debate.

MORE

Late Monday night, Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Ken McKay fired off a complaint to the head of ABCNEWS: ....

If I were running the Republican party, I'd organize a counter-protest, an online "news hour," and "news room," and I'd make a big push (including ads on network TV) to get people to "tune in" and watch various conservative stars respond to Obam's socialist propaganda, and criticize the fraudulent "news" media who shill for him. It would be a great time to get ordinary people in the habit of using the Internet to route around obstructions.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:47 AM

May 4, 2009

Noonarians and Frumarians...

Beldar has a couple of posts Charlene and I liked...

OMG! Like, before he was 30, Obama was a law review editor! ZOMG-OMG!!1!

And...

Another well-crafted but foolish paragraph of Peggy Noonan's with which I disagree
...Oh, Ms. Noonan, you're far more out of touch than even Arlen Specter is! We don't know yet — we must have patience to learn, but aggressively prepare to seize the opportunities to affect — whether Pennsylvania voters will send a Republican or a Democrat to the U.S. Senate in 2010. But dear Ms. Noonan, bless your heart and your woefully myopic east-coastal blue-state-infected viewpoints, the "side [which] is winning" for sure, the side which for sure caused Arlen Specter to betray his vows and defect to the Democratic Party, is the side of the true conservatives whom Arlen Specter recognized were certain to oust him in the GOP primary. He doesn't know, and no one yet knows, whether he can win the Democratic Primary, or the general election if he gets the Dems' nomination. But he knew — we all know, Ms. Noonan! why don't you? — that he was going to lose the next race in which he was scheduled to run, that being the GOP primary.

Can you not tell the difference, Ms. Noonan, between fleeing from a battle one is certain to lose, and instead fleeing to a side that is certain to win? No one yet knows which side will win, which is to say, no side is certain to win. But Arlen Specter was certain to lose if he accepted the verdict of his own party on his performance. How could you miss that? How can you expect us to take seriously any of your other advice for the GOP when you're that blind?

There is a certain breed of Republican which is convinced that to become more competitive, GOP candidates must become even "more moderate" than John McCain or Arlen Specter. We could call them Noonarians; we could call them Frumarians; we could call them Parkersonians. Or we could call them RINOs. I will continue to voice my objections to their blather and oppose their ideas, but I will not call them apostates, and if they return to the Reaganite Big Tent, I will welcome them upon their return. Some day, perhaps we will all laugh together when we re-read the ridiculous things they wrote while they were in the thrall of Obamamania, things like "The task for conservatives is not so much to oppose the president, but to help him see." They'll blush, I hope, but feel no greater pain...

My impression is that the Specter case is sui generis, and doesn't reveal much about where Republican politics is heading. My guess is that Pennsylvania Republican voters are not rejecting a senator who "votes Republican 70% of the time," they are rejecting a capricious and erratic man who bestows his votes by personal whim. Who can't be trusted or relied on. I bet they would have stuck with him if he were a principled moderate.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:04 AM

April 21, 2009

"Smug East Coast upper-middle-class metropolitan condescension"

A symptom ...or a root cause? - Mark Steyn - The Corner on National Review Online:

...It occurs to me that the best chance of saving the US newspaper industry would be if The New York Times collapsed. America's stultifying monodailies are far more homogeneous than almost any other English-speaking media culture. A big part of this is the Times, and the horrible conformity it begets. The Times is the template for the entire industry: Its ethos dominates the journalism schools; it's the model for a zillion other mini-me wannabe-Timeses across the continent, even though smug East Coast upper-middle-class metropolitan condescension would hardly seem an obvious winner for second-tier cities and rural districts. Its columns and features are reprinted coast to coast. Its priorities determine the agenda of the three nightly network newscasts, also (not coincidentally) flailing badly. The net result of the industry's craven abasement before the Times is that American newspapering is dead as dead can be - and certainly far deader than its cousins in Britain, Australia, India, or even Canada.

If the Times closed, what would the mainstream media left behind do? Why, they would have to think for themselves. And some of them would still die. But some of them might get ...lively, and iconoclastic, and one day even ...readable. Not all of them: There would still be plenty of near parodic thumbsucking pomposity for those whose bag that is. But there would be other kinds of papers, too. As the J-school bores say (but rarely do), celebrate diversity!

Just a thought....

I don't imagine it would really help much. Most journalists are second-raters who desperately need to feel superior to somebody. If the NYT vanished they would just ape something else with "New York" in its name. They would rather die than become interested in ordinary people enough to write things that ordinary people would really like. There are such writers, but management would have to go out and hunt for them, and fire a bunch of "journalists"....And that will never happen because newspaper management has the same disease.

Historical note: Until recently only a small percentage of people went to college or university, and there were plenty of smart people who couldn't manage to do so. Usually because they didn't have the dough. (Now we have stupid people going to college, because the seats need to be filled.) Becoming a reporter was a kind of blue-collar thinking-man's job. So there were lots of journalists who didn't feel any need to show they were superior to the swining masses.

There also used to be be some top-notch union leaders who had no other route upwards from the working class. I think the Reuther brothers missed the chance for college because of the depression. And I imagine the literary figure of Jeeves was based on some real-life butlers. Again, because for smart but poor people it might be the only path into "management."

Posted by John Weidner at 10:16 PM

April 9, 2009

Kick a "journalist" today...

The curious case of 200 nearly identical MSM headlines:

The following headlines have appeared in newspapers within the last 24 hours. This is not an inclusive list....
(There follows a buncha headlines, all with the "report" that x-million people in that state lack health insurance.)
...There are more. I just stopped listing them because I grew weary -- so weary -- of the physical labor associated with cutting and pasting.

All of the stories were marketed by a liberal "advocacy group" called Families USA .

According to Discover the Networks, Families USA is a member of the "Progressive States Network", which works closely with (you guessed it) ACORN and the SEIU. These ultra-partisan groups have truly one agenda: big government.

During his presidential campaign, then-Senator Obama spoke to a conference of Family USA activists and promised, "I am absolutely determined that by the end of the first term of the next president, we should have universal health care in this country."

Data from the Census Bureau debunks the lie continually promoted by the mainstream media of the legendary 47 million uninsured Americans:...
Posted by John Weidner at 7:21 AM

April 4, 2009

A morning quote...

Response to Ted Olson's Endorsement of Harold Koh - Andy McCarthy - The Corner on National Review Online:

...This is an argument about policy, not personality, honesty or qualifications. The mainstream media did not vet President Obama. His transnational progressive positions were not scrutinized — and even though the President is even now on an important trip, crafting new global regulatory arrangements with other heads of state, we still have not gotten anything approximating an examination of Obama's views. Bluntly, the public has been better informed about Gov. Sarah Palin's handling of the Alaska State Police than about their President's fondness for international redistribution of wealth, international treaties, and the transfer of national sovereignty to transnational bureaucracies and tribunals.....
Posted by John Weidner at 8:29 AM

March 23, 2009

Enemies of democracy...

Roger L. Simon, The MSM should resign over Obama's failure:

...The election of Barack Obama was orchestrated by our mainstream media. They anointed him. They should suffer the consequences.

But what we have instead is an orgy of finger-pointing. The four New York Times columnists referenced in the Politico article above are simultaneously ganging up on the man they thought, only eight weeks ago, was a combination of the cat's meow and the bee's knees. Nary a word of self criticism in their attacks. No surprise there - and don't expect it in the future, any more than you will get an honest apologia from Messrs Frank and Dodd over Fannie and Freddie. Just like the politicians, these columnists are men and women (Dowd) who are concerned first and foremost about their jobs and power. They won't do anything to jeopardize that. They've had that power for a long time, thinking it was permanent; but now that they see it might not be, they are holding on to it for dear life. Their jumping off the Obama bandwagon so early is a sign of what deep trouble he is in. And they desperately don't want to be blamed for it.

But they will be blamed - by us and by other people. They deserve to be. Their day is over. While pretending to be the friends of democracy, they have been the enemies of it. Their views have been so monolithic serious debate nearly vanished in this country. Only now, in the ferment of a still relatively tiny Tea Party movement, do you see the stirrings of bona fide discussion. Let's hope there is more to come. And that the mainstream media, even if they don't resign, will no longer be the gatekeepers.

There are few things that gratify my heart more than hearing of layoffs and shrinking revenues and ratings in the mainstream press. How I despise that gang of crooks. Their combination of arrogant self-rightousness and meagre intellectual and moral qualities is disgusting....

Posted by John Weidner at 9:33 AM

March 13, 2009

Goodbye middlemen...

Power Line - SF Chronicle May Fold:

...The collapse of the newspaper industry continues apace; now it's the San Francisco Chronicle that is likely to be sold or even closed down in a matter of months. This follows Sunday's bankruptcy filing by the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, just two and a half years after investors paid more than $500 million for the company.

We've known for a while that the newspaper industry is in desperate trouble, but it didn't occur to us until recently that it may be a leading indicator....

Mostly the dying of the newspapers is about the simple fact that the Internet kills middlemen. Newspapers are "middlemen" who gather up news from all about and package it for resale. But most people don't really want to buy 100 pieces of news to get the one that really interests them. We did it that way for centuries because there was no alternative, but it was always grossly inefficient.

Even if the paper goes "online," the same problem remains. Plus, the job of the "journalist" was always a kludge. Most of the time the reporter is writing about things he knows little about--he or she can't be an expert in more than a tiny fraction of the things covered. So everyone has had the experience of reading an article on the particular industry one works in, or the church you belong to--and cringing because the reporter is wrong on various details. And there are now some bloggers covering things who know a hundred times as much as any reporter about their specific subject.

I was sitting in an auto-body shop recently, and picked up an auto-body shop magazine, and there was mention of some controversy raging amongst the auto-body shop BLOGS! Too crazy!

Many of us conservatives like to opine that the Gasping Media is dying because they cold-shoulder conservatives, and generally publish a pack of lies to help Democrats and the general cause of nihilism. They do, and the bloodsucking parasites richly deserve to have Mr Pointy driven through their hearts. But, I have to guess that even if they were not despicable lefty frauds, their general decline would be much the same...

Posted by John Weidner at 3:52 PM

March 4, 2009

I hope he fails too....if he's doing what it looks like he's doing....

Peter Wehner, at the Corner...

I have a few thoughts on the "controversy" about Rush Limbaugh saying he hopes Barack Obama fails -- a claim that, based on the lead in to his show last night, left CNN's Anderson Cooper (among a slew of other media commentators) aghast.

The argument Limbaugh is making is fairly simple to follow: Pres. Obama is proposing plans Limbaugh believes (with justification, in my view) will hurt our economy and hurt our country. If Obama fails in getting his plans through Congress, we will be better off. ...

....But those in the MSM are pretending that those who hope Obama's plans fail are really rooting against America. That is nonsense. Limbaugh wants America to succeed; as a conservative, he hopes Obama's astonishing liberal power-grab fails. It's really not all that complicated to understand.

What I wonder, though, is where Anderson Cooper and his colleagues were during the Iraq debate, when the surge was clearly beginning to work -- yet leading Democrats, one after another, said it was failing. This was a situation in which America was engaged in a war of enormous consequences and, if we had lost, it would have been a geo-political and humanitarian catastrophe. Yet anti-war critics -- including Senator Barack Obama -- insisted on promoting the narrative of America's failure in Iraq when the evidence was the opposite.

Where was the outrage then, I wonder?....

Yeah, and how about some outrage over leftists wanting Bush's plan to save Social Security to fail? (Of course they had an important reason to want it to fail---what could be worse for a Lefty than to have the little people become investors, and perhaps lose their dependency on their betters?)

Posted by John Weidner at 5:31 PM

February 10, 2009

GIGO...

From Big Hollywood...

....Here are some other wonderful facts according to Hollywood:

  • Apple, Inc. supplies well over 98% of computers in the USA.
  • All good cops are tormented creatures in one way or another. 90% plus are divorced but have amazing relationships with their kids, usually teenagers.
  • "Religious types", regardless of religion, are one step away from acting out violently, and usually do! Christians seem the most hair-triggered in this regard. Also, abject fear drives 100% of a "religious type's" decision making process.
  • Conservatives by nature have something to hide.
  • The rate of drug use at high-end private high schools is 70% plus.
  • Most corporations have assassins on the payroll.
  • Liberals and minorities are always sincere and innocent, unless of course they cavort with Republicans or Corporations.
  • Abandoned warehouses are always available for holding hostages.
  • And lastly, raising children in a traditional family is by far the worst possible thing for them.

Any corporation worth its salt should have an assassin or two! What's the fun of being a capitalist oppressor if you can't snuff a few opponents?

Posted by John Weidner at 4:07 PM

February 7, 2009

Funny Obama-fantasies...

Is the Honeymoon Over for Barack Obama? -- New York Magazine (thanks to Orrin Judd):

... The quick end of that sweet and blissful interval comes as something of a shock. There were five good reasons to expect that Obama's runway would be longer and less littered with obstructions than usual. The first was the smoothness of his transition and the superstar-laden lineup he installed. [Superstars? What a joke! Here is a comparison of Bush and Obama cabinet picks. ] The second was the scale of the economic and financial crisis that confronts the country, which would seem to have raised the political cost of rank obstructionism [Obstructionism in the defense of sanity is no vice! And how 'bout the political cost of dithering incompetence?]. The third was the consensus from left to right that supersize action was required [but super-size Democrat political pork? Consensus on that? Nah.]. The fourth was the magnitude of Obama's electoral victory and the mandate it ostensibly bestowed [Bush had almost as big a victory in 2004. I bet you didn't say HE had a mandate. Anyway, to have a mandate you have to run on something. ]. And fifth were his skills as a communicator, which even his staunchest foes were apt to compare to Ronald Reagan's [Dream on, dweeb. Name ONE single instance where Obama has communicated difficult concepts so ordinary people could suddenly grasp them.] (my emphasis).

That these five factors have produced something less than a nirvana-like political environment can be blamed on an array of villains. [Oh, right. Anyone who opposes the messiah is a "villain."] The irresponsibility of congressional Republicans regarding the stimulus. [Since we think it is bad policy, it would be irresponsible NOT to oppose it.] The ham-fistedness of congressional Democrats [It's not ham-fists, it's an utter inability to put country ahead of buying votes.] (and their propensity to paint targets on their backs). The economic illiteracy of almost every talking head on cable. [And writers at New York magazine.] But there's no denying that the bulk of the blame must be laid at the feet of the Obamans, who have squandered or let lay idle almost every political advantage they possessed at the outset...
[The political advantage was always a mirage. Actually Obama himself is a sort of mirage. He's never accomplished anything of note, never taken a strong stand on anything (except for infanticide), never revealed his philosophy or core values--I myself don't think he has any. He's an amiable con-man, but now he's in territory where reality tends to bite hard....]

Posted by John Weidner at 7:47 PM

February 3, 2009

Remember "Bush epic fail?"

I remember well the foul dishonesty with which lefty-bloggers and "journalists" used Hurricane Katrina as a club to beat President Bush. Now we see how much they really believed what they wrote, as Obama gets a disaster of his own.

I'd say it is time for a lot of people on the Left to apologize. But that would be what adults do; we can't expect it from "liberals." The Anchoress puts things well:

More Ice storm & More | The Anchoress:

...The severe ice storm that has crippled parts of the midwest and devastated Kentucky is getting a little more attention from the press than it has since last Tuesday, when the storm hit. This is the Monday after. Time Magazine writes a professional-sounding piece that is completely devoid of emotion, mentions President Obama exactly once (in passive voice) and never ever strays into unfair wonderings such as "why isn't more being done," or "where is the President, why isn't he present here," or "how can the president stay warm, eat steak and watch football when scores have died, half a million remain cold and helpless, without power, water, heat and sometimes without food?" No one is asking why there are no pictures of bodies for the press to print. Wolf Blitzer, who famously (and terribly) cried of the Katrina displaced, "they are so poor, and so black," is not standing in teeth-chattering frost declaring, "these people are so cold, and so white..."

That would also be a terrible thing to say, and I think playing the racism card is stupid, but the point is, when Katrina hit, the press pulled out every stop they possibly could - including the racism canard - to identify that disaster with a "Bush epic fail." They ignored his early pleadings to Ray Nagin and Kathleen Blanco to evacuate. They ignored his declaring NOLA and surrounding areas as Disaster Areas even before Katrina hit, so the fed could immediately get to work. They ignored the proper jurisdiction of emergencies (local, then state, then fed) and the extreme incompetence of the Louisiana leadership and made Katrina all about "what Bush did or didn't do." By contrast, the press seems to be going out of its way to insure that Obama is not associated with this week-long drama at all.

We"ve heard that "Bush ate cake", while people suffered. (Obama ate steak and watched the Super Bowl). Bush did not quickly enough go to the disaster area to survey it and hug people and cry. (Obama - like the derided Bush - is wisely staying away so as not to impede relief efforts, but he remains un-derided). Bush dared to praise FEMA, even though FEMA was late because flood conditions and Gov. Blanco prevented them from doing much at first. Obama...hasn't said much of anything....

The main responsibility for disaster response is always local. That should be obvious. My criticism of Bush is that he should have used to mandate of 9/11 to make FEMA more of a goad to improve local response capability, rather than trying to place more responsibility at the federal level.

Posted by John Weidner at 4:52 PM

January 27, 2009

Stuff that our "news" media decide is not news...

This is old news to those of us who actually care about that great man and his talented family. But those who get their news from those dishonest people called "journalists" or "liberals" will be totally unaware. So I'm doing my tiny bit to spread the word....

Dick Cheney: The Most Pro-Gay Vice President in History:

...In her book, Now It's My Turn, Mary recounts how her father reacted when she first came out to him: "The first words out of his mouth were exactly the ones I wanted to hear: 'You're my daughter and I love you and I just want you to be happy.'"

Later, he would welcome Mary's partner Heather into their family. They sat together at President Bush's first inauguration in 2001, his second in 2005, and even today at President Obama's swearing-in. Heather joined Mary on the stage with the families of the president and vice president when Bush declared victory in 2004. The two women sat together at the White House dinner for Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla.

In short, in settings both public as well as private, the conservative vice president treated his younger daughter's female partner just as he treated his older daughter's husband: as a member of the family.

Cheney didn't just look out for his daughter. He also looked out for other gay people as well.

When one of her friends, a Bush supporter, feared he might be "outed" and lose his job when the then-president announced his support for the FMA, she brought up his concerns with her father who told her to "tell this person that if anyone � I don't care who it is � if anyone gives him any trouble, he is to come see me and I'll take care of it."

That conservative Republican was willing to go to bat for a gay person.

No vice president in history has done so much for gay people as has Dick Cheney. To be sure, Cheney is the first vice president to have an openly gay child. He treats her as gay activists have long wanted parents to treat their gay children � loving them just as they did before they came out, accepting them as they are, and welcoming their same-sex spouses into their families. And it wasn't just in private where Cheney loved and accepted his daughter.

In public, he was more than just the proud father of a lesbian daughter. He also spoke out on gay issues, even disagreeing with the then-president to express his opposition to a constitutional amendment the his running mate supported.

Yet, when Cheney left office, encomia were not forthcoming from any gay organization. Searches of the websites of the leading gay organizations (e.g.,Human Rights Campaign, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, National Center for Lesbian Rights) reveal no mention of this historic vice presidency.

The leading left-of-center gay bloggers (e.g.,Towleroad, Andrew Sullivan, Pam's House Blend, Joe.My.God, Queerty) were similarly silent.

It would have been a lot different if he were a Democrat....

Actually most Republicans are not "homo-phobic." That's just lying propaganda. Those of us who think, for instance, that changing God's sacrament of marriage is a catastrophically bad idea, think that is harmful to gays most of all! Gays are being sold a bill o' goods by lefty activists who want to destroy our civilization. They are just cannon fodder in the assault on the culture, and are the real victims of the campaign to promote so-called gay marriage.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:40 PM

December 17, 2008

I just like the way Jonah writes...

Jonah Goldberg:

...There's the enormous I-should-have-had-a-V8! moment as the mainstream press collectively thwacks itself in the forehead, realizing it blew it again. The New York Times � which, according to Wall Street analysts, is weeks from holding editorial-board meetings in a refrigerator box � created the journalistic equivalent of CSI-Wasilla to study every follicle and fiber in Sarah Palin's background, all the while treating Obama's Chicago like one of those fairy-tale lands depicted in posters that adorn little girls' bedroom walls. See there, Suzie? That's a Pegasus. That's a pink unicorn. And that's a beautiful sunflower giving birth to a fully grown Barack Obama, the greatest president ever and the only man in history to be able to pick up manure from the clean end...
Posted by John Weidner at 7:57 AM

December 15, 2008

I can hardly write amidst such turmoil...

Matthew Hoy:

In a report out today, the Associated Press makes an assertion.
President-elect Barack Obama, relatively young and inexperienced, is facing a rapidly growing list of monumental challenges as he prepares to take the reins of a nation in turmoil.
I'd really appreciate it if someone with access to the Lexis/Nexis database would do a search to see if the media ever referred to Obama as inexperienced on its own � not as a report of GOP criticism � during the campaign.

My thoughts:

Hackneyed prose alert. "Monumental" is a word that should be used sparingly. If all your challenges are "monumental," then when one really is monumental, you will have to call it "hyper-monumental."

Did they ever give any incoming Presidents named Bush such sympathetic treatment?

"Nation in turmoil." What does that mean? I'd guess it means: "Nation under Republican leader." After January 20 you may look forward to soothing balm being applied to a prostrate nation's wounds, and the fallen lifting their heads and blinking in surprise at a new dawn.

They are laying the groundwork to explain failure. If a "young and inexperienced" person faces a long list of monumentals, well, "what can anyone do?"

Posted by John Weidner at 7:38 AM

You can't call them Nazis...they have a clinic!

This piece by the "Public Editor" of the NYT, Separating the Terror and the Terrorists, is about the reluctance of the Times to use the word "terrorist."

The namby-pamby-ism is just amazin'. I could write a long thoughtful screed on why obvious terrorists are not called terrorists, but really all it takes is a sentence. The Times, and most of our lefty "journalists," are like the isolationists before WWII trying to write about Nazi Germany. If you tell the truth (then or now) you are lining up for war alongside the United States and the Jews.

....The issue comes up most often in connection with the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and to the dismay of supporters of Israel--and sometimes supporters of the other side, denouncing Israeli military actions--The Times is sparing in its use of 'terrorist' when reporting on that complex struggle.

The reluctance carried over when the Mumbai attacks began. Graham Bowley, who was writing for a Times blog, The Lede, said, "I'm aware very much of the sensitivity around the word, so I knew they had to be 'attackers'�" until the paper knew more. One of his editors, Andrea Kannapell, told me she was much more focused in the early hours on who the people were and what they were doing than on what to call them.

Readers like 'Bill' were having none of it, and as Jim Roberts, the editor of the Web site, read their comments, he began to think they had a point. 'Indiscriminately shooting civilians seems on its very face to be an act of terror,' he said. How, Roberts wondered, could you separate the act from the actor?

He conferred with Kannapell, Paul Winfield, the news editor, and Phil Corbett, Winfield's deputy. Winfield talked with Ian Fisher, a deputy foreign editor. 'Terrorist' became an acceptable term in the Mumbai story. 'We jointly decided we didn't need to be throwing the word around flagrantly, but we didn't need to run away from it, either,' Roberts said.

Ilsa and Lisa Klinghoffer, whose father, Leon, was shot and thrown from a cruise ship by Palestinian terrorists in 1985, wrote a letter to the editor asking why The Times was referring to Lashkar-e-Taiba, the shadowy group that apparently orchestrated the Mumbai attacks, as a 'militant group.' "When people kill innocent civilians for political gain, they should be called 'terrorists,'�" the sisters said.

Susan Chira, the foreign editor, said The Times may eventually put that label on Lashkar, but reporters are still trying to learn more about it. 'Our instinct is to proceed with caution, not rushing to label any group with the word terrorist before we have a deeper understanding of its full dimensions,' she said.

To the consternation of many, The Times does not call Hamas a terrorist organization, though it sponsors acts of terror against Israel. Hamas was elected to govern Gaza. It provides social services and operates charities, hospitals and clinics. Corbett said: 'You get to the question: Somebody works in a Hamas clinic � is that person a terrorist? We don't want to go there.' I think that is right.....

My advice to Lashkar-e-Taiba: open a clinic. That will give the Times cover for its appeasement.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:55 AM

December 2, 2008

Just another deception to be aware of...

Katherine Lopez on the oft-repeated myth that Saxby Chambliss ran a despicable commercial against Max Cleland. The myth is being brought up again because Palin is campaigning for Chambliss...

...Now, in Anchorage -- and no doubt all over MSNBC's talking-heads shows today -- the myth lives on. The ADN item accused: "In the best Karl Rove fashion, Chambliss the draft-evader attacked Cleland the war hero for being soft on terrorism. Distorting Cleland's votes about workplace rules for the new Homeland Security Department employees, Chambliss portrayed him as a tool of terrorists like Osama bin Laden."

Saxby Chambliss, of course, did not question Cleland's patriotism. He ran an ad that, yes, included images of Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, as well as images of the American military. They were reminders we're at war. The ad attacked Cleland for voting 11 times against a homeland-security bill that would have freed the president from some union mandates in setting up the new department. Agree or disagree with the bill (which was co-sponsored by then-senator Zell Miller of Georgia, a Democrat), the non-union employee measure, or the establishment of the department itself (National Review wasn't a fan of the idea), but it was absolutely fair game for Chambliss to bring it up during the course of his campaign for Cleland's Senate seat.

As NR editor Rich Lowry has written of the incident, "If you can't criticize the Senate votes of a senator in a Senate race, what can you criticize?"...
Posted by John Weidner at 6:00 AM

November 13, 2008

The Africa thing was a hoax...

New York Times: A Fake Expert Named Martin Eisenstadt and a Phony Think Tank Fool Bloggers and the Mainstream News Media

It was among the juicier post-election recriminations: Fox News Channel quoted an unnamed McCain campaign figure as saying that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent.

Who would say such a thing? On Monday the answer popped up on a blog and popped out of the mouth of David Shuster, an MSNBC anchor. 'Turns out it was Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, who has come forward today to identify himself as the source of the leaks,' Mr. Shuster said.

Trouble is, Martin Eisenstadt doesn't exist. His blog does, but it's a put-on. The think tank where he is a senior fellow � the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy � is just a Web site. The TV clips of him on YouTube are fakes.

And the claim of credit for the Africa anecdote is just the latest ruse by Eisenstadt, who turns out to be a very elaborate hoax that has been going on for months. MSNBC, which quickly corrected the mistake, has plenty of company in being taken in by an Eisenstadt hoax, including The New Republic and The Los Angeles Times.....

Tim Blair is still catching "journalists" reporting the lie that President Bush posed with a plastic turkey in Iraq in 2003! Perhaps he can start a Palin/Africa watch too, since I'd guess a lot of people will find this "too good to check" even after it's been checked and debunked...

Hmmm. Perhaps I should bill myself as a "Fellow of the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy!" It has a nice sound. Maybe "Senior Fellow." Or perhaps "Visiting Scholar?" That's nice and slippery, hard to pin-down... What do you think?

Posted by John Weidner at 6:58 AM

October 29, 2008

A "propaganda arm of the left" going down in flames. Ha ha.

Thanks to AOG. A fascinating piece at Winds of Change, by Tim Oren, on the decline of the newspaper industry, The Newspaper Crash of 2009... And How You Can Help...

There are three reasons the newspaper industry is going down. Perhaps more quickly than we hoped... (Besides the obvious reason that who wants a pile of inky paper when you can read blogs?)

1. The subscription-based economic model is very attractive, but only assuming that the subscriber base is stable or growing. If it is shrinking, and the cost of acquiring new subscribers is growing, you still have the expenses of putting out the paper every day. It's not like a factory you can close until times get better.

2. The newspapers have heaps of debt. Often including billions spent to "aquire" subscribers by buying other papers. Now is not a good time to be trying to refinance.

And #3, my favorite...

...One of the reasons that churn is up for the newspapers is the political bias. I'm with Orson Scott Card on this. The industry has abdicated its social function to support a well-informed electorate, and become a propaganda arm of the left. In so doing, they have sullied their brands and lost the trust of their readers. The economic consequences of this default of their value proposition are now becoming apparent. The Internet and an economic crisis together would be bad enough, but the industry has only itself to blame for the egregious behavior on display for the last few years, and at its worst right now.

This is a blog, and I make no vacuous claims to freedom from bias. You can check everything said above from public records, but I do have a dog in this fight. These people deserve to lose, and if the newspaper industry crashes as a byproduct of the economic crunch, then it's a silver lining for a dark cloud. They have done their level best to trash the political system of my country, and I will dance on their grave when they go.

Is that clear enough?...

Amen, brother.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:25 AM

September 26, 2008

Only scrubs act like this...

Couric Diminishes Gov. Palin, By The Prowler
CBS New anchor Katie Couric ordered staff to drop all references to "Governor" or "Gov." from her interview with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. When a staff member pointed out that in other venues, Couric and CBS News had referred to Governor Palin's opponent, Joe Biden, using his title of "Senator" or the abbreviation, Couric, according to a CBS News editorial aide, sought approval from CBS News management to drop the "Governor" reference during her broadcast interview with Palin that began on Wednesday night.

"It's not true," said another CBS News source. "We treat everyone the same."

But, in fact, that's not the case: as late as September 22, CBS News and Couric -- even on the CBS website -- used Biden's honorific. Here is an excerpt from the transcript of a Couric interview with "Sen." Biden:
Katie Couric: How is it preparing for the debates?

Sen. Joe Biden: Well, it's kind of hard to prepare because I don't know what she thinks. There's been no -- I don't know a lot about her, so I have to assume for purposes of the debate that she agrees with John on everything.
Now compare that the transcript of the "Palin" interview:
Couric: Why do you say that? Why are they waiting for John McCain and not Barack Obama? Palin: He's got the track record of the leadership qualities and the pragmatism that's needed at a crisis time like this.
In fact, at no point during the broadcast interview does Couric refer to the GOP vice presidential nominee as "Governor."....
How utterly dishonorable and petty. It's the little things that reveal the soul. Democrat souls are shriveled...
Posted by John Weidner at 8:06 AM

September 13, 2008

Various Palin interview tidbits...

Newsbusters has a neat piece: ABC News Edited Out Key Parts of Sarah Palin Interview. Try to guess ahead of time whether they edited her to look better....or worse.

And this is right on...

[link] ...Charles Gibson of ABC News was out for blood and inherently applied a double-standard compared with the kid gloves George Stephanopoulos used on Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois on Sunday night.

Gibson was out to embarrass Palin and expose her presumed ignorance from the word go. By contrast, when Obama referred to his "Muslim faith" on Sunday and did not correct himself, Stephanopoulos rushed in at once to help him and emphasize that the senator had really meant to say his Christian faith...

Well, the poor empty suit needs a lot of help. The whole Obama phenomenom is just a big improvization, without any underlying philosophy. He has no ballast.

This was interesting, but wrong I think...

Ross Douthat: Sarah the unready. Now that we've seen the entirety of the Palin-Gibson tete-a-tete, I concur with Rich Lowry and Rod Dreher. The most that can be said in her defense is that she kept her cool and avoided any brutal gaffes; other than that, she seemed about an inch deep on every issue outside her comfort zone.

Yes, the questions were tougher than the ones that a Tim Kaine or Tim Pawlenty probably would have been handed, but they were all questions that a vice-presidential nominee needs to be able to answer. And there's no way to look at her performance as anything save supporting evidence for the non-hysterical critique of her candidacy - that it's just too much, too soon - and a splash of cold water for those of us with high hopes for her future on the national stage.

Maybe. But I don't put a lot of emphasis on that kind of knowledge. Character, moral courage, intelligence, judgement, faith in America....all are more important than knowledge. George W. Bush was held up to ridicule for not knowing the name of the President of Pakistan. But when the moments of testing came, he made the right decisions (in my opinion, and I'm always happy to back my opinion up with facts and logic) while a lot of people with a lot more knowledge than he failed. And there was another V-P who was suddenly thrown into the Oval Office, who was widely considered a lightweight. But Harry Truman made (in my opinion) the right choices, while many of the wise were morally adrift.

And this was by Robert Schlesinger in US News and World Report;
....Watching her grasp for her talking points at times called to mind Spinal Tap ("But this one goes to 11!") This was especially clear when asked about Israel. See if you can pick out her talking point (emphasis mine):
GIBSON: What if Israel decided it felt threatened and needed to take out the Iranian nuclear facilities?

PALIN: Well, first, we are friends with Israel and I don't think that we should second guess the measures that Israel has to take to defend themselves and for their security.

GIBSON: So if we wouldn't second guess it and they decided they needed to do it because Iran was an existential threat, we would cooperative or agree with that.

PALIN: I don't think we can second guess what Israel has to do to secure its nation.

GIBSON: So if it felt necessary, if it felt the need to defend itself by taking out Iranian nuclear facilities, that would be all right.

PALIN: We cannot second guess the steps that Israel has to take to defend itself.
Now we know why they've kept her away from the press for two weeks....

Actually, Palin is being very clever here. She's not just mindlessly repeating a talking point, she is evading a trap. The question is a trap. Either she looks like a warmonger, or she looks like she's not supporting Israel. Either way the press will gleefully trumpet her mis-step. That's why Gibson keeps pressing her. He knows exactly the sort of thing he needs to help his party. By repeating the same "second guess" line she shows clearly how he is badgering her despite having been given her answer. And it's a good line. It shows pretty clearly that we are on the side of the good guys, without being explicit about an attack. Thank you Sarah for being smarter than the horrid little creeps of the lefty press!

Posted by John Weidner at 4:24 PM

September 12, 2008

If you are not smart enough to earn a living, become a journalist.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) By Ed Stoddard and Yereth Rosen- Is Sarah Palin a friend or foe of big oil?

As governor of Alaska, she raised taxes on oil companies and clashed with them over a planned pipeline through her state.

But on the fundamental issues of drilling for oil and the environment, her positions look very much like those of the man she seeks to replace: Vice President Dick Cheney...

Dick Cheney on a SegwayPersonally I consider a comparison with Dick Cheney to be a big compliment. But this really shows desperation by the Media Wing of the DNC.

And stupidity! The world is not divided between "friends and foes of big oil." Oil companies are just businesses, with good points and bad points. The idea that they are reservoirs of mysterious evil, and that any sane person would be "foes" of them is the level of thinking of sociology professors at junior colleges. Or Reuters "journalists." Imagine someone dividing people into friends or foes of "big auto." Pretty stupid, right?

If you are Governor of Alaska, you very much want to have big oil working in your state, but you need to negotiate hard to get the best terms you can. That's what Palin did. She's neither friend nor foe of the oil industry, and I'm sure they don't consider her a friend or a foe. More like a tough but honest business partner. Alaska is in the oil business almost as much as they are. I'd trust any oil company employee over a Reuters hack.

We are nearing the end of eight years of the Bush Administration. I'll take this moment to say, "Thank you Mr Cheney. You are a patriot and a great public servant, and your life should be an inspiration to all real Americans. And the fact that you have attracted the ankle-biting hatred of the pit-Chihuahua's of the nihilist Left is just confirmation of this."

Posted by John Weidner at 7:10 PM

September 5, 2008

Animals...

AOG notes:

Check out this picture (via Just One Minute). It's a lone policeman, knocked to the ground by a group of thugs at the Republican National Convention with lots of media in the circle. Just count the cameras. How many of them do you think would intervene if the thugs started beating the cop bloody? Any? How many do you think would carefully capture any (however justified) retaliation by the cop or his buddies?

Well, amen to that, brother. For citizens to stand aside and snap pictures when an officer (or anybody) is attacked by criminals is despicable.

Actually, I think about 98% of everything that goes under the name of "protest" is just pure evil. Even such a meritorious cause as the Civil Rights Movement was a witch's-brew of things good and things toxic.

You know, I think I'll just post the photo, as an example of everything I despise:

criminal 'demonstrators' attack officer

The photo is credited to a creature named Robert Stolarik of (of course) the NYT. Well Mr Stolarik, you have earned my utmost contempt, along with with all the other fake-journalists in the picture. You do not deserve to live in this great country, if you can stand by cooly as a "disinterested" observer while a citizen is set upon by a mob of hoodlums.

And of course the bogus journalist isn't "disinterested" at all. He hopes that that officer will strike back, so he can snap a picture of "police brutality" and earn his Pulitzer, or some other badge of foulest dishonor and treason. And, as always, help get the Democrat elected. (And if criminals break into his house some night, why, then what will he do? He will...........call the cops! And expect them to risk their lives to protect him.)

Posted by John Weidner at 6:55 PM

September 2, 2008

Vetting...

Another thing that's making me smile right now are the Leftists who are, pathetically, suddenly talking about vetting...

Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter Bristol is five months pregnant. McCain campaign claims he was aware of this before selecting Palin as his VP, despite evidence and rampant speculation that Palin was not seriously vetted. Governor Palin is a strong supporter of abstinence-only sex education.

Tom Eagleton lasted 18 days before withdrawing from the McGovern ticket in 1972. My money says Palin doesn't last that long.

Turns out, ooops, that Bristol's condition was not even a secret. Everybody in town knew. (Take a look at Nathan Thornburgh's good piece on Wasilla.) The local folks just happen to be decent Americans, and don't blab about people's private lives.

And of course Eagleton had had serious mental health issues, which is a very different sort of thing. But there's a more important point...

...We now know far more about Sarah Palin in just four days than we've learned about Barack Obama in 17 months. That is just sad. It's a pathetic reflection of the mainstream media's unwillingness to do their jobs for fear of finding stories that would hurt the candidate so many of them openly desire to win.

But periodically appearing to read teleprompters isn't vetting, not matter how many months a candidate has done it, and Obama's ability to perform in set-piece debates is both dubious�Hillary once famously took him apart�and irrelevant. Barack Obama really has never been fully vetted. He hasn't even come close...

One of the really cool things about being a conservative is that I don't have to live in fear of people finding out what I really am up to. I can just be open about it...

* Actually, I'd guess that the sicko rumor-mongering about Trig Palin played into the hands of the campaign, and allowed them to get the news out early with an appearance of reluctance, and the sympathy of all decent-minded people. Ha ha.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:57 AM

August 26, 2008

We are in a pivotal time...

I'm very sleepy this morning, so I'm just having fun with a silly "journalist." Whose historical horizon seems to be measured in months...(Thanks to Orrin)

AP Essay: Why this campaign matters
By LIZ SIDOTI
Associated Press Writer

....Stop.

Take note.

-This is an election at a pivotal time, a tenuous period in the United States and across the world. Tenuous! All might dissolve into wispy nothingness any minute...

Here, people struggle to fill their cars with gas, their tables with food, their children with knowledge. Oh, the struggles of the little people in the Bush Depression. They worry about job layoffs, home foreclosures and shrinking pensions - and they have reason to, given cheaper overseas labor, Why didn't we see it coming? a credit crisis and havoc on Wall Street Dow's up again, honey. Wildfires scorch the West, we's scorched! floods pound the Heartland Nevah before! and tropical storms slam the Gulf Coast. It's like the End Times. The scars of Hurricane Katrina linger. Only where Democrats are in control So do those of Sept. 11. Ditto

Elsewhere, the United States leads wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Millions fighting in the trenches There's chaos in Pakistan. Good; wake 'em up! Russian troops occupy tiny Georgia. next stop, Berlin! Iran test-fires missiles, while North Korea grudgingly begins nuclear disarmament. Grudginly! You're really scraping for tenuous stuff there, Liz. Al-Qaida and the Taliban plot in the shadows. To which we have chased them. Genocide consumes Darfur. Evil, but how exactly does that make things tenuous here? Poverty and disease blanket Africa. Unprecedented! Israelis and Palestinians struggle still. I'm feeling more tenuous every minute. China's influence grows, as does that of the rest of Asia. Asia! Who would have dreamed? The U.S. dollar trades near record lows.

Everywhere, a changing climate threatens irreparable harm to the environment, to animal species, frankly, to the world as we know it. Good point. Frankly, the possibility of global cooling is scary! Cures for cancer and other deadly diseases remain elusive. It's a pivotal election folks!...will we chose the right candidate....or will there be deadly diseases?

Posted by John Weidner at 7:31 AM

August 15, 2008

Somebody, somewhere, likes this guy a lot...

Pamela Geller has a fascinating piece in American Thinker about her research which has turned up huge numbers of clearly fraudulent campaign donations the Obama campaign is receiving from overseas. Such as half a million dollars from people who list themselves as "unemployed!" (I've pasted a few samples below the fold, for your entertainment.)

But what's equally interesting is the response of the "news" media. Which has been to ignore the facts about Obama, and gin up phony stories about...McCain! Gettin' nervous, guys?

If I were a Democrat, I'd be concerned and ashamed about this pile of stinking stuff. (But most of those who are capable of shame have already become Republicans.)

....Obama's overseas (foreign) contributors are making multiple small donations, ostensibly in their own names, over a period of a few days, some under maximum donation allowances, but others are aggregating in excess of the maximums when all added up. The countries and major cities from which contributions have been received France, Virgin Islands, Planegg, Vienna, Hague, Madrid, London, AE, IR, Geneva,Tokyo, Bangkok, Turin, Paris, Munich, Madrid, Roma, Zurich, Netherlands, Moscow, Ireland, Milan, Singapore, Bejing, Switzerland, Toronto, Vancouver, La Creche, Pak Chong, Dublin, Panama, Krabi, Berlin, Geneva, Buenos Aires, Prague, Nagoya, Budapest, Barcelona, Sweden, Taipei, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Zurich, Ragusa, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Uganda, Mumbia, Nagoya, Tunis, Zacatecas, St, Croix, Mississauga, Laval, Nadi, Behchoko, Ragusa, DUBIA, Lima, Copenhagen, Quaama, Jeddah, Kabul, Cairo, Nassau(not the county on Long Island,lol), Luxembourg (Auchi's stomping grounds), etc,etc,etc,

Half a million dollars had been donated from overseas by unidentified people "not employed".

Digging deeper, all sorts of very bizarre activity jumped at us. Dr and JJ continued to break it down and pull data from various sources. We found Rebecca Kurth contributed $3,137.38 to the Obama Campaign in 112 donations, including 34 separate donations recorded in one day,

How about this gibberish donor on the 30th of April in 2008.

A donor named Hbkjb, jkbkj

City: Jkbjnj Works for: Kuman Bank (doesn't exist)

Occupation: Balanon Jalalan Amount: $1,077.23

or the donor Doodad, The # of transactions = 1,044

The $ contributed = $10,780.00

This Doodad character works for FDGFDGF and occupation is DFGFDG

The more questions we answered the more questions we discovered.

Thousands of Obama's foreign donations ended in cents. The "cents" did not make sense. And we compared McCain donation documentss to Obama's. McCain's records are nothing like Obama's. McCain's are so clean. No cents, all even dollar amounts. But Obama's contained thousands of strange, odd amounts -- evidence of foreign contributors, since Americans living overseas would almost uniformly be able to contribute dollars. Still no media...

Posted by John Weidner at 8:52 AM

August 14, 2008

Besotted with the candidate...

Walter Shapiro:

...Five days after Edwards flat-lined on "Nightline," I am still embarrassed by how badly I misjudged him both in print and in my personal feelings.

Beginning with a trip to North Carolina in the spring of 2001 to scout this first-term Senate phenom, I chronicled his dogged pursuit of the presidency both as a newspaper columnist and for Salon, as well as making him (and Elizabeth) central figures in my book on the 2004 Democratic primary campaign. My wife (a magazine writer who developed her own friendship with Elizabeth) and I had several off-the-record dinners with the Edwardses, including an emotionally raw evening in Washington two weeks after the 9/11 attacks.

Without overstating these bonds, I naively believed that I knew Edwards as well as I understood anyone in the political center ring. Yet I never saw this sex scandal coming -- partly because I accepted the mythology that surrounded the Edwardses' marriage and partly because I assumed that any hint of a wandering eye would have come out during the 2004 campaign. But then Rielle Hunter and the National Enquirer brought us all into the real world...

What malarky. You were besotted with Edwards because he was (or was pretending to be) a liberal Democrat. And Edwards almost certainly paid flattering attention to the guy who was writing a book about his campaign. You dolt, Edwards and his wife almost certainly coldly planned how to woo you, and knew what your weaknesses are. That's what trial lawyers do with a jury. They study every scrap of information available on each juryman, and, like chameleons, tailor the message, and paint their very selves, to fit them. (I know about this stuff; my dear wife's on the other side, the good side, fighting scoundrels like Edwards every day.)

Everybody who retained any objectivity could see that he was a phony, and were not surprised by this. When a guy talks populism and green-ism while building the biggest mansion in the county, there's a 99% chance that he's a sham. When a guy spends minutes in front of a mirror fluffing his hairdo, there's a 99% chance that he will not resist the sexual temptations available to a celebrity.

And when you make millions as a trial lawyer, it means you are skilled at convincing people of things that just ain't so.

Most importantly, what you are comes out in your life. If you are real, then a presidential campaign will bring lots of stories to the surface, from people who were impressed with the candidate's actions long before they could be helpful in any campaign. If Edwards really cared about that poor little girl supposedly shivering because she could not afford a coat, he would have been spending time working with groups who help the poor. And doing so long ago, before it might gain him any advantage. (And if Shapiro were a real journalist he would have taken note that cheap coats are available at any thrift store, and that people just give old coats away by the ton. The story was always bogus.)

Of course every candidate has to be something of a fake, and present himself in a contrived way. But there should be some congruence between the campaign persona and the real man or woman. Bush wasn't faking his love of sports; he bought, with great difficulty, a team. He wasn't just pretending to be a Texan, he showed it by frequently escaping to the Texas summer heat, to the dismay of reporters. And there have been plenty of stories about him caring for the ordinary people far beyond what the photo-op required. (Read this, for instance.)

* Update: Also, a candidate has an obligation to his party and his supporters. An obligation to campaign in the best way he can, so as not to waste the donations and energy that have been given to him. To not squander the belief that simple people have. Building a mansion while playing the populist card was a betrayal in this sense. He could have just waited a few years, but self-indulgence ruled. He was openly betraying millions of supporters, and that should have been a wake-up for poor Mr Shapiro.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:41 AM

July 31, 2008

Send the worms to the mud.

An Affair of Honor, by James Bowman

There is something screamingly funny about the media’s lecturing John McCain about the impropriety of his saying in New Hampshire last week that "This is a clear choice that the American people have. I had the courage and the judgment to say I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign." Joe Klein of Time wrote: "This is the ninth presidential campaign I've covered. I can't remember a more scurrilous statement by a major party candidate. It smacks of desperation. It renews questions about whether McCain has the right temperament for the presidency. How sad." Sad? I’ll just bet he’s shedding tears about it. Likewise David Wright of ABC News, who said to Senator McCain in an interview: "But what you seem to be saying there is that it's all about personal ambition for him and not about what he honestly thinks is right for the country."

For the last five years and upwards, the media have been saying as scurrilous things or worse about President Bush, and routinely reporting without comment or challenge the words of his fiercest critics — who accuse him of "lying" in order to take the country to war in Iraq. In all that time, I cannot recall an occasion when a reporter came back at one of those critics with the suggestion that the president might have gone to war in good faith and therefore on behalf of "what he honestly thinks is right for the country."...

There is a special deep noxious level in Hell waiting for the nihilist worms who claimed that "Bush lied," when he was saying the very same things that all major Dem leaders said, and all the leaders of the major nations said, and all the intelligence services of the major nations said...

Posted by John Weidner at 2:32 PM

July 28, 2008

"When heroes arise"

Charlene recommends this piece by Andrew Klavan in OpinionJournal, What Bush and Batman Have in Common...

....There seems to me no question that the Batman film "The Dark Knight," currently breaking every box office record in history, is at some level a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war. Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past.

And like W, Batman understands that there is no moral equivalence between a free society -- in which people sometimes make the wrong choices -- and a criminal sect bent on destruction. The former must be cherished even in its moments of folly; the latter must be hounded to the gates of Hell....

....Leftists frequently complain that right-wing morality is simplistic. Morality is relative, they say; nuanced, complex. They're wrong, of course, even on their own terms.

Left and right, all Americans know that freedom is better than slavery, that love is better than hate, kindness better than cruelty, tolerance better than bigotry. We don't always know how we know these things, and yet mysteriously we know them nonetheless.

The true complexity arises when we must defend these values in a world that does not universally embrace them -- when we reach the place where we must be intolerant in order to defend tolerance, or unkind in order to defend kindness, or hateful in order to defend what we love.

When heroes arise who take those difficult duties on themselves, it is tempting for the rest of us to turn our backs on them, to vilify them in order to protect our own appearance of righteousness. We prosecute and execrate the violent soldier or the cruel interrogator in order to parade ourselves as paragons of the peaceful values they preserve. As Gary Oldman's Commissioner Gordon says of the hated and hunted Batman, "He has to run away -- because we have to chase him."....

Well, she also recommends the film, but so does everybody else. She told me she thought it was the first film that really deals with the War on Terror. My guess is that it's the second; the first being the Lord of the Rings movies. I recollect John Rhys-Davies (Gimli) writing sardonically that Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) didn't even realize he was playing George W Bush...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:17 AM

July 24, 2008

"Arrested development and star-struck immaturity..."

VDH:

....What is fascinating about the tingly-leg press is that they are exhibiting the very symptoms of arrested development and star-struck immaturity that they always accuse America in toto of suffering. The usual critique of the elite media is that we are a nation of mindless followers, who go from one fad to another, and value looks, youth, and pizzazz over substance.

But the current spectacle suggests something worse — that the press who claims they know better and are more sophisticated are, in fact, far more infantile than most Americans, and essentially Access Hollywood, People Magazine, and the National Enquirer dressed up with network logos and NY-DC bylines.

After all, few conservatives ever said that Reagan made their leg tingle. Had a candidate Reagan (remember the fury at the contrived Michael Deaver photo-ops) or even Clinton (remember the irritation at the run-on speeches and habitually late/missed appointments) created his own seal, lobbied to speak at the Brandenburg Gate, or run a campaign tour overseas as if it were a Presidential summit (replete with Freudian slips about already being coronated President), or made Bush's nuclear gaffes seem minor in comparison, he would have been crucified by self-righteous haughty reporters. If one were to take Obama's recent deer-in-the-headlights comments, stutters, pauses, contortions, and false starts when asked about the surge, and put them into the mouth of Dan Quayle, well, case rested......

Just in case you haven't seen it, here's a funny video, "Obama Love," from the McCain campaign...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:59 AM

July 21, 2008

John who?

An editorial written by Republican presidential hopeful McCain has been rejected by the NEW YORK TIMES — less than a week after the paper published an essay written by Obama, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned...[link]

Well, why not? He's obviously not newsworthy; nobody they know is voting for him...

Posted by John Weidner at 2:05 PM

July 7, 2008

Scum de la scum...

Scott at PowerLine notes:

...By my count via a Google News search, there is a grand total of three or four newspaper stories covering the largest reenlistment ceremony in the history of the American military... [I blogged that story here]

The news-media is on the other side in this war. I hate them. I smile every time I hear about lay-offs at newspapers, and the increasing marginalization of the "network news." They deserve it utterly. They all deserve to be eating in soup kitchens and sleeping in the streets. Traitors. Nihilists. Pie-crusts.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:48 AM

July 5, 2008

How to lie like a journalist #2338

Here's an interesting article on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's claim that terrorism has been defeated in his country.

But, slipped into the second half of the article is something that seems newsworthy enough for its own article: AP Exclusive: U.S. Removes Uranium From Iraq. It's about how Iraq is shipping Saddam's yellowcake Uranium to Canada, where a company has purchased it for peaceful use.

That's sneaky. And typical. Leftists really really need to downplay the simple fact that Saddam was indeed pursuing nuclear weapons, and had said openly that they were intended for use against Jews. This obvious truth puts those who opposed his overthrow in the same moral position as anyone who tried to prevent us from stopping Hitler from killing Jews.

But what I found especially interesting were the last two sentences, because they are an example of lying without saying anything that is factually untrue. A Satanic skill...

....And, in a symbolic way, the mission linked the current attempts to stabilize Iraq with some of the high-profile claims about Saddam's weapons capabilities in the buildup to the 2003 invasion.

Accusations that Saddam had tried to purchase more yellowcake from the African nation of Niger - and an article by a former U.S. ambassador refuting the claims - led to a wide-ranging probe into Washington leaks that reached high into the Bush administration.

Factually true but totally misleading. In fact, a sneaky dirty lie. You would never guess from reading this that the 9/11 Report showed that the "former U.S. ambassador" lied in that very article, and had previously told the CIA exactly the opposite; that he thought Saddam HAD tried to buy Yellowcake from Niger. You would never guess that that "wide-ranging probe" found that the leak was not in the White House, as had been eagerly hoped, but in the State Department, done by a person who was not friendly to the Administration.

You would never guess that huge numbers of leftists demonstrated that they were despicable frauds when their torrents of faux outrage over the unspeakable crime of "outing a CIA agent" evaporated the instant it was found that the culprit wasn't someone whose fall might hurt the Bush administration. It's also misleading because it is presented in the form of commonly-accepted background information that needn't be scrutinized.

And mostly it is a form of lie because it is deliberate smoke and mirrors to distract us from what we should be pondering. Which is that the Iraq Campaign is pretty much justified by the facts in this article: That a mad and violent dictator was stockpiling Yellowcake with plans to make nuclear weapons.

However, slipped into the second half of the article is something that seems newsworthy enough for its own article: AP Exclusive: U.S. Removes Uranium From Iraq. It's about how Iraq is shipping Saddam's yellowcake Uranium to Canada, where a company has purchased it for peaceful use...

...But what I found even more interesting were the last two sentences, because they are an example of lying without saying anything that is factually untrue. A Satanic skill...

Posted by John Weidner at 3:49 PM

June 24, 2008

What's missing from this picture....

From an AP story about the floods in the Mississippi Valley, Flood victims say FEMA is doing a heckuva job .....

...Nearly three years after Hurricane Katrina turned FEMA into a punchline, many homeowners, politicians and community leaders in the flood-stricken Midwest say that so far, the agency is doing a heckuva job _ and they mean it.

Up and down the Big Muddy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is being commended for responding quickly and surely....

What's missing? It's a long article about how well FEMA is doing, but no mention of.....President Bush. Surprise surprise.

Remember how our fake-leftists reacted to the (supposed) failures of FEMA during Hurricane Katrina? Remember how it "proved" that Bush was a failure as President? Remember the pitiful fake outrage: Bush....sniff....promised to...to..to... PROTECT US!....sniff sniff sob.

Jackasses. Of course none of those cowards are going to now give Bush any credit for a success.

When rotten people hate you, it's a sign that you are doing something right. (Of course if being hated by scoundrels is a sign of worthiness, then Bush is probably the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. But I don't want to go out on a limb here.)

Posted by John Weidner at 2:13 PM

June 23, 2008

Roger Kimball is going to stop playing in a rigged game...

Encounter Bids The New York York Times Farewell
BY ROGER KIMBALL | JUNE 23RD, 2008
Beginning today, June 23, 2008, Encounter Books will no longer send its books to The New York Times for review. Of course, the editors at the Times are welcome to trot down to their local book emporium or visit Amazon.com to purchase our books, but we won’t be sending gratis advance copies to them any longer.

“But wait,” you might be thinking, “I don’t recall the Times reviewing titles from Encounter Books.” Precisely! By and large, they don’t, at least in recent years. That’s part of the calculation: why bother to send them books that they studiously ignore?

In the last month, Encounter has had two titles on the extended New York Times best-seller list: Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies that Hurt the Poor by Roy Spencer, and Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad, by Andrew C. McCarthy. But that list is the only place you will find these books mentioned in the pages of The New York Times. We’ve also published other brisk-selling books that the Times has ignored—Guy Sorman’s Empire of Lies: The Truth About China in the Twenty-first Century, for example, or Philip F. Lawler’s Faithful Departed: The Collapse of Boston’s Catholic Culture, or Bruce Thornton’s Decline and Fall: Europe’s Slow Motion Suicide or Caroline Fourest’s Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan, to name just a few recent titles.

Not, I hasten to add, that Encounter’s experience is unique. Consider, to take just one example, Mark Steyn’s book America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, published in 2006 by Regnery. This is a brilliant book about one of the most pressing issues of our time—the threat of radical Islam and the West’s loss of cultural confidence. It perched for weeks on the Times’s bestseller list. But that was the only place in the Times you would see the book mentioned because the Times’s editors chose to ignore it.

In favor of what, you might ask? Well, there are reviews of books about people like Ron Jeremy, a porn star, and then there are reviews of books like Jenna Jameson’s How to Make Love Like a Porn Star. And let’s not forget Hung: A Meditation on the Measure of Black Men in America and The Surrender: The Beauty of Submission, a meditation on the joys of sodomy by a former ballerina, both of which got full reviews in the Times (actually, The Surrender got several notices). Not that the Times is monomaniacal. In the current issue of the Book Review, there is a review of a book by a University of California linguist that endeavors to explain “how the right wins and keeps power: by framing issues and controlling minds.” I knew there had to be some reason......

Good for Roger. How I despise The Paper Formerly Known As The Paper Of Record (to use Rand Simberg's appellation). Their collapse can't come fast enough for my taste. I read the statistics of their declining circulation and revenues, and smile, and think of the Far Side cartoon where some dinosaurs are sitting around chatting, and one is holding his hand out in puzzlement to catch a falling snowflake....

           

Posted by John Weidner at 8:38 AM

June 22, 2008

I want you to look at this picture and DESPAIR!...

This AP article, Everything Seemingly is Spinning Out of Control, is really too stupid to waste time on, but it's a sleepy afternoon. What really bugs me is what whores journalists are. If the editor asked this person he would write a similar piece on how hopeful and improving things are, and how confidence is strong. (And he will, once a Dem gets in the White House.)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Is everything spinning out of control? Midwestern levees are bursting. [Happened before, will happen again. Each time with more problems because more people build in flood-plains.] Polar bears are adrift. [And Antarctic ice is at a record maximum] Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. [Actually they are still high compared with just a few years ago] Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. [Yet we seem to afford them] Wars without end rage in Iraq, [What a moron. We are clearly winning in Iraq] and Afghanistan and against terrorism. [All wars are "without end"...until they end.

Horatio Alger, twist in your grave. [Stupid remark. Alger's stories were about triumphing over adversity, not enjoying lotus-land. So how is alleged adversity going to make him spin?]

The can-do, bootstrap approach embedded in the American psyche is under assault. Eroding it is a dour powerlessness that is chipping away at the country's sturdy conviction that destiny can be commanded with sheer courage and perseverance. [If this is the "thesis" of this essay, where's the evidence? The fact that we have problems is NOT evidence that we feel "powerlessness."]

The sense of helplessness is even reflected in this year's presidential election. Each contender offers a sense of order -- and hope. Republican John McCain promises an experienced hand in a frightening time. Democrat Barack Obama promises bright and shiny change, and his large crowds believe his exhortation, ''Yes, we can.'' [This is completely illogical. A message of change and "Yes we can" is the opposite of a sense of hopelessness.]

Even so, a battered public seems discouraged by the onslaught of dispiriting things. An Associated Press-Ipsos poll says a barrel-scraping 17 percent of people surveyed believe the country is moving in the right direction. That is the lowest reading since the survey began in 2003... [Actually I believe current polls show a majority of Americans happy about their own personal prospects.]

An ABC News-Washington Post survey put that figure at 14 percent, tying the low in more than three decades of taking soundings on the national mood.

..."It is pretty scary,'' said Charles Truxal, 64, a retired corporate manager in Rochester, Minn. "People are thinking things are going to get better, and they haven't been. And then you go hide in your basement because tornadoes are coming through. If you think about things, you have very little power to make it change.'' [This is evidence of.....of....what? Midwest Derangement Syndrome? Is "things are going to get better" supposed to mean no more tornados?]

Recent natural disasters around the world dwarf anything afflicting the U.S. Consider that more than 69,000 people died in the China earthquake, and that 78,000 were killed and 56,000 missing from the Myanmar cyclone. [So? What's the point? You think earthquakes in China are a new thing?]

Americans need do no more than check the weather, look in their wallets or turn on the news for their daily reality check on a world gone haywire. [A "world gone haywire" measured from what baseline? What is the normal non-haywire steady-state? When did it happen?]

Floods engulf Midwestern river towns. Is it global warming, the gradual degradation of a planet's weather that man seems powerless to stop or just a freakish late-spring deluge? [It's something that happens every few decades, clot-brain. You can look it up.]

This is too silly to keep on with. Let me just provide some actual evidence against the idea that floods in the Midwest are shocking novelties, and mean that our world is coming apart at the seams. This picture was taken May 11, when we were visiting our son Rob in Grand Forks, ND, for his graduation. He and I are standing level with the town around us, and least 20 feet above the level of the Red River, which you can see behind us. (For that 1997 flood I blame Clinton!)

Grand Forks Floods monument

Flood monument in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:14 PM

June 3, 2008

Curs...

Christopher Hitchens on Douglas Feith's War and Decision

....Bertrand Russell's principle of evidence against interest—if the pope has doubts about Jesus, his doubts are by definition more newsworthy than the next person's—doesn't really justify the ocean of coverage in which the talentless McClellan is currently so far out of his depth. For one thing, he doesn't supply anything that can really be called evidence. For another, having not noticed any "propaganda machine" at the time he was perspiring his way through his simple job, he has a clear mercenary interest in discovering one in retrospect.

If you want to read a serious book about the origins and consequences of the intervention in Iraq in 2003, you owe it to yourself to get hold of a copy of Douglas Feith's War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism. As undersecretary of defense for policy, Feith was one of those most intimately involved in the argument about whether to and, if so, how to put an end to the regime of Saddam Hussein. His book contains notes made in real time at the National Security Council, a trove of declassified documentation, and a thoroughly well-organized catalog of sources and papers and memos. Feith has also done us the service of establishing a Web site where you can go and follow up all his sources and check them for yourself against his analysis and explanation. There is more of value in any chapter of this archive than in any of the ramblings of McClellan. As I write this on the first day of June, about a book that was published in the first week of April, the books pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe have not seen fit to give Feith a review. An article on his book, written by the excellent James Risen for the news pages of the New York Times, has not run. This all might seem less questionable if it were not for the still-ballooning acreage awarded to Scott McClellan...

Read it all.

What cowardly dogs liberals are. At least those who run those newspapers. They have heaped invective upon Douglas Feith, mentioned him thousands of times, and then, when he tells his side of the story, they do their best to make sure no one gets to hear it. They pretend he isn't "newsworthy." Scrubs.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:08 AM

June 1, 2008

A lull.......in the news coverage.

From the WaPo. Kudos to them for noticing, even if they are more than a year late...

The Iraqi Upturn: Don't look now, but the U.S.-backed government and army may be winning the war.

THERE'S BEEN a relative lull in news coverage and debate about Iraq in recent weeks -- which is odd, because May could turn out to have been one of the most important months of the war. [Not odd at all. Predictable. The news media's side is losing, so there's a news blackout.] While Washington's [meaning trendy-leftoid Washington] attention has been fixed elsewhere, military analysts have watched with astonishment as the Iraqi government and army have gained control for the first time of the port city of Basra and the sprawling Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, routing the Shiite militias that have ruled them for years and sending key militants scurrying to Iran. At the same time, Iraqi and U.S. forces have pushed forward with a long-promised offensive in Mosul, the last urban refuge of al-Qaeda. So many of its leaders have now been captured or killed that U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, renowned for his cautious assessments, said that the terrorists have "never been closer to defeat than they are now." [The US and her allies traditionally keep fighting until we hit on a war-winning strategy. Then we WIN. The good guys, that is. So how can it be so surprising when we do it again?]

Iraq passed a turning point last fall when the U.S. counterinsurgency campaign launched in early 2007 produced a dramatic drop in violence and quelled the incipient sectarian war between Sunnis and Shiites. Now, another tipping point may be near, one that sees the Iraqi government and army restoring order in almost all of the country, dispersing both rival militias and the Iranian-trained "special groups" that have used them as cover to wage war against Americans. [They are "waging war against Americans." The Post has said it. So where are the anti-war activists? Where are the pacifists?] It is -- of course -- too early to celebrate; though now in disarray, the Mahdi Army of Moqtada al-Sadr could still regroup, and Iran will almost certainly seek to stir up new violence before the U.S. and Iraqi elections this fall. Still, the rapidly improving conditions should allow U.S. commanders to make some welcome adjustments -- and it ought to mandate an already-overdue rethinking by the "this-war-is-lost" caucus in Washington, including Sen. Barack Obama....[Many people (those not blinded by hatred of Bush and America) were noticing a shift in the wind in EARLY 2007. So how stupid is it that the press is just now STARTING to wise up? And your brain-dead Dem politicians are still clueless? Do they all deserve to be fired? Yes.]

...Gen. David H. Petraeus signaled one adjustment in recent testimony to Congress, saying that he would probably recommend troop reductions in the fall going beyond the ongoing pullback of the five "surge" brigades deployed last year. [Let's all hold our breath waiting for the "anti-war" Left to thank him.] Gen. Petraeus pointed out that attacks in Iraq hit a four-year low in mid-May and that Iraqi forces were finally taking the lead in combat and on multiple fronts at once -- something that was inconceivable a year ago. As a result the Iraqi government of Nouri al-Maliki now has "unparalleled" public support, as Gen. Petraeus put it, and U.S. casualties are dropping sharply....

...When Mr. Obama floated his strategy for Iraq last year, the United States appeared doomed to defeat. Now he needs a plan for success. [Sullen silence, peevish carping, or re-writing history are the usual plan for lefties in these situations. See: Cold War, End of.]

Posted by John Weidner at 9:20 PM

May 25, 2008

Chilly outside?

Here's a nice summary of some of the reasons we possibly ought to be thinking about global cooling. It's hidden in a small-town paper, no surprise; the big media are not about to speculate outside their comfort-zone. Thanks to Alan Sullivan...

Eau-Claire Leader-Telegram:
The 2008 winter was the coldest in 40 years for the upper Midwest, Plains states and most of Canada. Minnesota newspapers report that this year's opening of the locks to Mississippi barge traffic, delayed by three weeks, was the latest since the modern waterway opened in 1940.

Eau Claire, where "old-fashioned winters" have been a thing of the past, recorded 43 days of below-zero temperatures, while folks down in Madison shoveled away at a 117-year record snowfall throughout the season, as did many in New England and Canada.

Rare snowfalls struck Buenos Aires, Capetown, and Sidney during their mid-year winter, while China continually battled blizzards. Even Baghdad experienced measurable snowfall.

Antarctic pack-ice far exceeded what Captain Cook saw on his 18th century voyage into the Southern Ocean. On the continent itself the miles-thick ice continues to accumulate despite peripheral melting along the Antarctic Peninsula and occasional calving of an ice block. At the opposite pole, flow-ice once again spans the entire Arctic Ocean, and by April it had extended into the Bering Strait, making up for the much heralded melt-back last summer.

From January 2007 through the end of January 2008, the average global temperature fell by nearly a degree Fahrenheit, based on data obtained by the MET Office in Great Britain and other international temperature monitoring networks....

There's also Argo which I wrote about here. Remember that AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) theory is mostly based on computer models. And the models agree that the oceans are earth's great (and stable) heat sink. Surface temperatures may go up and down in a confusing way, but warming should be clearly seen in deep ocean temperatures. Argo is one of the biggest scientific experiments ever. Argo was intended to clinch AGW theory. And now, funny thing, our brave and clear-sighted scientists and journalists don't mention Argo.

Oh, and then there are those Sunspots. Read on....

....Solar experts highlighted how sunspots, and associated magnetic storms on the Sun's surface, affect Earth's weather and climate. The previous (very strong) 11-year sunspot cycle, associated with the recent warmth, ended in 2007, after having peaked in 2002. The new cycle should have already begun, but hasn't yet.

In the absence of sunspots, solar flares are minimal. Flares eject massive streams of electrons and protons outward from the Sun. A portion of this stream, called the "solar wind", bathes our planet producing the aurora and interfering with communications. The solar wind, as it interacts with Earth's magnetic field, also protects us from the harmful effects of cosmic radiation.

During periods of weak solar activity - as at present - cosmic rays (high-energy protons originating in interstellar space) penetrate through the troposphere and ionize oxygen and nitrogen molecules. The ions become nucleating sites for water vapor that condenses into clouds. And when sunspots are at a minimum, more clouds form and correspondingly more sunlight is reflected back into space. The enhanced reflectance (albedo) cools the Earth. We all have experienced how quickly the temperature drops when the sun ducks behind a puffy white cloud on a warm, dry afternoon.

Past cool periods, identified with the late stages of the "Little Ice Age" and with the Maunder and Dalton climate minima, closely correlate with low sunspot numbers (astronomers have kept close tabs on sunspots since Galileo's time). Some solar-physicists are now saying if the current cycle doesn't begin to produce spots soon, we can expect a cool-down like the 19th-Century Dalton minimum - or worse. Decades-long cooling in the past brought crop failures to Europe from repeated summer frosts and restricted growing seasons.....
Posted by John Weidner at 9:16 AM

May 23, 2008

More BS from AP...

Nibras Kazimi deconstructs the AP story about Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani issuing fatwas against the American "occupation." (Of course we are not really "occupiers," since we remain there at the invitation of Iraq's elected constitutional government.) It's worth reading the whole post.

Red Herring Fatwas
So what happens if the western media can’t spin or sensationalize events in Iraq when not much is happening? Why, they make it up!

The Associated Press put out a wire report yesterday hinting that Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani is about to declare jihad against the Americans. Whhhhhaaaaaat???....

....If we’ve learned anything from the recent events in Basra, Sadr City and Mosul—by the way, these are Iraq’s three largest population reservoirs—it should be that the reporters and commentators who are tasked to describe Iraq to American and western audiences are at worst dishonest and duplicious, at best some string puller’s chorus of useful idiots.

It is in this vein that this AP story is released; to distract from other things that could be reported in Iraq, such as how things are dramatically improving and how this war has been decisively won.....

....UPDATE: A source close to Sistani denied today (Arabic link) that the Grand Ayotallah's about to announce jihad, saying that Sistani believes that occupation (...in a general sense) must be resisted by peaceful, not military, means under a given set of circumstances.

Don't expect AP to release a retraction, though. Plus, don't expect the punditeers who feverishly linked to the AP fairytale to update their posts either.

That's you, Orrin...

Posted by John Weidner at 11:04 AM

May 21, 2008

We're the good guys. Of course we win...

Ralph Peters:

May 20, 2008 -- DO we still have troops in Iraq? Is there still a conflict over there?

If you rely on the so-called mainstream media, you may have difficulty answering those questions these days. As Iraqi and Coalition forces pile up one success after another, Iraq has magically vanished from the headlines.

Want a real "inconvenient truth?" Progress in Iraq is powerful and accelerating.

But that fact isn't helpful to elite media commissars and cadres determined to decide the presidential race over our heads. How dare our troops win? Even worse, Iraqi troops are winning. Daily.

You won't see that above the fold in The New York Times. And forget the Obama-intoxicated news networks - they've adopted his story line that the clock stopped back in 2003.....

...And Obama, the NYT, and al-Qaeda are the bad guys. They want America and the free people of Iraq to lose. They are on the other side.

Oh well. So what else is new...

Posted by John Weidner at 11:54 AM

April 19, 2008

"Tangential" issues...

Stephen Spruiell, at The Corner:

A bunch of liberal journalists have written an open letter to ABC to whine about its handling of Wednesday night's debate. "We're at a crucial moment in our country's history," they write. "Large majorities of our fellow Americans tell pollsters they're deeply worried about the country's direction... Tough, probing questions on these issues clearly serve the public interest... excessive emphasis on tangential 'character' issues do not."

The signers include at least seven contributors to The Nation, whose editors never saw anything "tangential" about George W. Bush's Air National Guard service and what that said about his character. A Google search of The Nation's website for stories on that topic yields 72 stories — none of which called on the media to stop focusing on such a tangential character issue...

Do I ever remember how self-rightous the press and the Left was about the issue of Bush's service—even while insisting that we should ignore a few hundred vets who wanted to raise the issue of Lt Kerry's service and character back then.

And in both cases it is the Democrat whose character really needs to be scrutinized, simply because neither of them have ever accomplished anything of note. We need to guess at what sort of leaders Obama or Kerry will be, because they've never led. Whereas Bush had run businesses, a baseball team, the State of Texas, and served a term as President. And McCain at least has his name on major legislation, and has been fighting over big issues in the public eye for decades. Not to mention being a very open person, who wears his heart on his sleeve.

And the "journalists" know this perfectly well. Their job is always to slip the Democrat past the electorate. And most of them think the same about small-town Pennsylvanians as Obama does. They are just wishing his character was more adept at faking being American.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:48 AM

April 8, 2008

The “Fighting rages” dodge...

Nibras Kazimi is still, it seems to me, making sense of Maliki's offensive in Iraq...

...For how can one not pity those miserable journalists as they scramble to find new narratives to define the last 48 hours in Iraq?

Not only has Maliki not backed down, but newly emboldened with wide political backing he’s begun to smash through Sadr City itself and is threatening to banish the Sadrists to a political Siberia. Muqtada al-Sadr, the guy the media has us thinking had won, has prostrated himself at the feet of Grand Ayotallah Sistani, promising Maliki that he would indeed demobilize his militia if the wise old men of Shi’ism would have it so. Gone are the millenarian certainties of taking orders from the Mahdi, the messiah. Gone is all that bluster of al-Sadr’s virile, confident ‘Outspoken hawza’ contrasted with Sistani’s supposedly feeble and retro ‘Silent hawza’. And he sends out his plea for clemency from Iran. FROM IRAN?!! From a place of chosen exile with which he had often derided the Hakims for seeking sanctuary and shelter there after Saddam has nearly eradicated their lineage. The place too, towards which his father’s confidants still point their accusing fingers for the murder that had befallen the old man and that of Muqtada’s two older, more worthy brothers.

Sadr surrendering his fate to Sistani and submissively muttering, “Do as you please, Sir.” Who would have imagined?

It is almost as baffling as Maliki’s abrupt transformation from an incompetent administrator into a wartime commander-in-chief!....

and...

...Well, it now seems that the rumor is official according to this press report (Arabic): Muqtada al-Sadr has cancelled his 'March of the Millions' anti-American demonstration set for tomorrow to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the liberation of Baghdad.

In retaliation for whimping out, Code Pink has formally revoked al-Sadr's membership and expelled him from its ranks. Furthermore, Barack Obama has withdrawn his offer of a cabinet post that he had offered to Muqtada. Going yet further, Nancy Pelosi has cast off her Mahdi Army bandanna. Dozens of western journalists were seen protesting the cancellation outside Sadr's HQ in Sadr City, angry over the time and effort they had lavished while pre-writing tomorrow's story and the waste of all those flashy headlines and headcounts that they won't get to use. Ha!....

I like this guy! And this for our fraudulent journalists, is perfect:

...Yes, you miserable souls: keep writing in that passive tense, that “Fighting rages” dodge. Never mind that Maliki and the Iraqi Army are actively picking a fight with the outlaws, a fight that the government is winning, and that’s the reason why the bullets are whooshing by...

There are times when fighting is supposed to "rage." Like, uh, when you are attacking somebody! That's good. That's a good sign. It's a war, you dolts. (I don't actually think that "war" is the correct term to describe the "Global War on Terror," but it will have to do until I think of a better one.)

Posted by John Weidner at 12:06 PM

April 5, 2008

Alternate views...

Nibras Kazimi is a Visiting Scholar at the Hudson Institute, who writes a weekly column on the Middle East for the New York Sun, and a monthly column for the Prospect Magazine (UK).

His blog is Talisman Gate, and he's been writing fascinating posts on what's been happening in Basra. I don't know enough to judge his accuracy, but he's a lot more convincing than what we've been getting from the Western media, and Western bloggers.

A sample: Monday, March 31, 2008 The ‘Intifada’ That Wasn’t

...The western media operating in Iraq regurgitated the Mahdi Army’s bravado as fact thereby serving as useful propaganda tools for the criminal cartels. I’d single out the New York Times, the Associated Press, McClatchy and CNN as the worst transgressors. Many journalists were positively orgasmic in anticipation of another ‘intifada’ or uprising to crease Bush’s message of hope and regeneration. But as the dust began to clear and the real scope of the battle was revealed, these journalists were reduced to alarmism of the “What if Martians decide to invade Basra too?” variety. Understandably, some of these journalists wanted the Iraq scene to heat up so that the public back in America would pay attention to Iraq and consequently to the careers of those reporting on Iraq for their once-glamorous war zone beat that was sure to land one a book deal a couple of years back had gone dull and dreary.

What then did these journalists do when they didn’t get their ‘intifada’? They couldn’t further imperil their careers by admitting that they were wrong—hell no!—so they’ve decided to brand Maliki and the Iraqi Army as the losers....

...Operation Cavalry Charge was a reality warp for all those who’ve internalized the rhetoric that Iraq is a failed state. Instead of being dismissed as a ‘Green Zone politician’, Maliki took his war cabinet to Basra and went all Untouchables on the Al Capones of Iraq’s oil-rich south; plenty of journalists and ‘experts’ simply could not grasp these dramatic changes to the political topography of Iraq.

Maliki won, pure and simple. The western media invented the narrative that Maliki was at war with the Sadrist movement, even though no such declaration was ever made. No one was interested in turning the Sadrists into martyrs when their stocks are sinking faster than Bear Stearns' anyway. Why turn the Sadrists into desperadoes with nothing to loose? Maliki’s approach is piece-meal: he’s taken out the intimidation factor that kept much of the Sadrist sway in place and he’s done that by showing them that they are no armed match for a better-disciplined, better-supplied Iraqi Army with plenty of stamina. The Sadrists are left with some political gains that they’ve accrued from joining the political process, such as government posts and lucrative contracts that they’d be loathe to part with and that’s their collateral for good behavior from now on....

Some other posts to read: The Great Green Zone Freak-Out of ‘08, and As the haze clears, and More Media Distortions...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:43 AM

March 29, 2008

strangest health story in many years?

Hugh Hewitt, on another recall of possibly-contaminated Heparin from China....

This remains the strangest health story in many years because it is so under-reported....

...The questions I have yet to see answered in a newspaper account (or anywhere for that matter):

Where and when did the 19 fatalities occur?

During what time frame did the "hundreds" of allergic reactions occur?

Are there possible long-term consequences from use of the adulterated heparin which patients have to be vigilant about?

Have all patients who received potentially contaminated heparin been informed?

Why are there still possibly-contaminated Heparin products on the market?

Either the 19 deaths and "hundreds" of allergic reaction numbers are inflated or conjecture, or this story has been terribly handled by MSM.

It's certainly odd how little we've heard of this.

My guess is that it's mostly political. There's no domestic political angle. If An American firm were at fault, this would be a big story. If Mr McCain owned stock in that company, it would be a HUGE story. (If Mr Obama were involved, it would be a story about "Republican smear tactics.")

But mostly I would guess it's a non-story because the media's instincts are always Tranzi. They don't want you to notice that there are certain differences between countries...since they are hoping to kind of merrrrrge things, under the supervision of elite post-nationalist bureaucrats. A group that would have considerable overlap with elite post-nationalist journalists.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:54 AM

Are we at the "willing suspension of disbelief" stage?

Alan Sullivan writes:

...Today BBC has a new datum from Antarctica. A section of ice shelf is breaking away. You have to read the article closely to find amid the language of alarm that the chunk is question is a small piece of a small shelf on the Palmer Peninsula — the one part of Antarctica that has been warming. The rest of the continent has been getting markedly colder for many years. This is not mentioned in the article. BBC provides no balance in climate coverage, only propaganda.

The “unprecedented warming” of the peninsula is probably a direct consequence of the continent chilling. With colder air over the great icecap, ocean storms round the perimeter get stronger. Those storms drive maritime winds over the north-jutting peninsula, causing a local warming. It has nothing to do with global climate, which is not warming, and has not been for nearly a decade. Curiously enough, BBC has offered readers no story on the startling data from the Argo buoy program, announced last week. It covered the launch of the system with green enthusiasm in 2000. Now not a word. Why? Because Argo finds no warming in the oceans, and zealots can abide no contradiction....

We are in an interesting situation here, where those following certain subject via the Internet are aware of a growing disconnect between what you "read in the paper" and what's actually happening on the ground. And the fascination is in wondering when "they" are going to be forced to acknowledge the new reality.

This is starting to feel a lot like Iraq in early 2007, when blogs started to pick up on stories about sheikhs in al Anbar turning against al Qaeda, and about the shift in our tactics to counter-insurgency. And our question became not: "who's going to win," but instead: "When are our lefties going to be forced to admit that their side has lost?"

I'm wondering if the "global warming" debate is approaching a point similar to when Hillary greeted Gen. Petraeus' report with her "willing suspension of disbelief" wise-crack. (McCain recently suggested it was high time she apologized to a great American. I kinda hope she gets the nomination just so McCain can rub her nose in it.)

This is sort of like watching a movie, where the characters have decided to explore the spooky mysterious old house How long will it be before something jumps out at them?... This is going to be fun.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:21 AM

March 27, 2008

Great Satan ascendent...

NYT:

...Five years later, the United States remains at war in Iraq, but there are days when it would be hard to tell from a quick look at television news, newspapers and the Internet.

Media attention on Iraq began to wane after the first months of fighting, but as recently as the middle of last year, it was still the most-covered topic. Since then, Iraq coverage by major American news sources has plummeted, to about one-fifth of what it was last summer, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism...

That's because their side is loosing. Have some sympathy!

It must be crushing to be a "journalist" these days, and see your hopes and dreams crumble into ashes. Half a decade they've invested in Saddam, in al Qaeda, in Kerry, in the Ba'athists, in Cindy Sheehan, in Moqtada al Sadr, in Iran.......only to see evil triumph, and George W Bush's mercenaries swaggering the streets of Baghdad, laughing and smiling and handing out candy to all those horrid little pickininnies...

Heartbreaking.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:09 AM

March 24, 2008

Reporters no more?

From an interesting piece in PJ Media on whether reporters are an endangered species...

...This middleman function, with reporters serving as mere links in a news supply chain, was never needed until fairly recently. Before the printing press was invented, we were all receivers and transmitters of news, spreading it by word-of-mouth. Soon after its invention, multitudes of mostly one-man print-shops, as a sideline, printed newspapers to supplement this word-of-mouth process. These printers wrote their own articles blending facts with opinion, much like bloggers do today. Others also contributed, often without receiving compensation or attribution — citizens, gossips, letter-writing “correspondents” from other towns, and similarly-operating foreign and domestic newspapers whose stories were simply lifted.

Since this is what news looked like at the time of the Founding Fathers, they gave no particular mandate to reporters, a function that did not even exist at the time. The “freedom of the press” they cited in the First Amendment was not about “the press,” but about everyone’s right to freely use a printing press to express their views without government interference, supplementing the free speech clause that allowed everyone to express their views orally.

The first full-time reporter in America did not appear until the 1820’s, after steam engines were integrated into printing presses. Suddenly, newspapers had to be run like businesses to achieve consistently high circulation levels to pay for equipment and keep newsstand prices low. Reporters provided the needed constant flow of consistently well-written articles....

The term "reporter" usually means a generalist. His job is, for the most part, to find the person who has specific knowledge, and pass that knowledge on to the public. He's a middleman. If he is covering a fire, he will talk to witnesses and firefighters, and boil down their knowledge into a story. And he is a generalist, because the next day he may be covering a royal wedding or a prize fight.

The Internet tends to destroy middlemen. (Or actually it's a more general trend of the Information Age. When I was young, maybe in the late 50's or early 60's, my father was transitioning his nursery business from selling plants to wholesalers, to selling direct to retail nurseries and flower shops. This was probably a matter of easier flows of information. Freeways and better phone service meant that salesmen could cover more ground, and work directly with a lot of small businesses. So goodbye local wholesaler.)

If there is a big fire, the witnesses can now put information directly into the hands of consumers, say by posting it in a blog. So who needs reporters?

But a reporter can also be himself the person who has specific knowledge. If he covers a special beat, then he may have understanding that most people don't. So he is more than a middleman, he is able to create valuable information on his own. Which doesn't necessarily mean he will be able to sell it in an age that has torrents of free information "deflating the currency."
(Thanks to Rand)

Posted by John Weidner at 11:31 AM

March 18, 2008

Their job--slipping the Democrat past the electorate....

You know, it's the press that bugs me, much more than Mr Obama or Ms Clinton. Those two (& McCain) are politicians, they are mostly acting like politicians do. Since I have never for a moment thought that Mr Obama was really a "uniter," or had gone beyond partisanship, I'm only occasionally able to become outraged. The news-media, on the other hand, I despise from year's end to year's end.

Tim Graham at NewsBusters:

....Up until the Brian Ross report, CBS was the only network to do the barest shadow of a report that could make Obama's campaign a little more difficult. Even Reynolds left out a few details. Farrakhan won the "Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award" to a man who "truly epitomized greatness" -- in 2007. Where were the media on that? Doesn't this divisive minister of Obama's cause a serious problem for a candidate who's been sold as a uniter, not a divider?

Why, this late in the primary season, are we still discovering that they haven’t asked any of the hard questions? We are starting to see the same disturbing pattern we saw with John Kerry in 2004. The media didn’t see its job as vetting John Kerry as he told everyone he was the bravest of war heroes. When the men who fought with him on the swift boats told a different story, the media tried to ignore them.

The media was saying "print the legend," and suggested that when opponents try to vet the Democrat, when they try to do the job a supine media blatantly failed to do, it was then the media’s job to vet the opponents and question their sincerity, not vet the Democrat.

The news media doesn’t see its job as informing the electorate. They see their job as getting the Democrat past the electorate.

The real story about the Swift Boat Vets was that they had to pay to communicate with the electorate. Because the "journalists" had never bothered to ask them what they thought about their old comrade. And we are so used to their bias that we hardly notice that a big news story was simply ignored by the news-gatherers....

Posted by John Weidner at 12:57 PM

March 15, 2008

Turning over a rotting log...

OBAMA'S JEREMIAD. By Investor's Business Daily:

Election 2008: Imagine the uproar if John McCain's pastor used the "N"-word and asked God to "damn" blacks. Yet Barack Obama's pastor condemns whites, and liberal pundits bite their lip.

This newspaper was the first to draw attention to Obama's hate-mongering preacher, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, and his black segregationist church in Chicago. Our January 2007 editorial, "Obama's Real Faith," exposed their preaching of a militantly anti-white and socialist doctrine called the "Black Value System," triggering a major story in the Chicago Tribune, which led to other stories.

Now comes the leaking of recently videotaped sermons by Wright angrily condemning whites as racists and America as evil. If you close your eyes, you'd swear you were listening to the hateful rantings of uber-bigot Louis Farrakhan. Like the Nation of Islam minister, Wright feeds his 8,500-member flock, including Obama and his family, legends about whites keeping blacks down by getting them hooked on crack and then locking them up. He even claims whites invented AIDS to destroy blacks.

Obama is not immune to such myths. Until recently, when he was informed it wasn't true, he repeated a favorite Wright line that "we've got more black men in prison than there are in college."

"The government gives (black men) drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people," Wright thundered in a 2003 sermon. "God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."

Locked in a Jim Crow time warp, he claims America — which he affectionately calls "the US-KKK-A" — is "controlled by and run by rich white people." Never mind that institutionalized racism is a distant memory. Or that the most popular candidate in the country right now, according to some polls, is his top acolyte.

In 2006, Wright said from the pulpit: "Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run. We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God. And. And-and! God! Has got! To be sick! Of this sh*t!"....

If Mr Obama has been sitting in the pew for twenty years listening to this foul lying stuff, he not only does not deserve to be President, he does not deserve to be welcomed into the company of decent people. And if Democrats are not anti-American racists, they will repudiate him. Ha ha...I won't hold my breath on that one.

Of course in one sense he wasn't sitting in a pew, since this is not religion. It's politics. Mr Wright's church has been "hollowed-out," its faith replaced by politics, just as much as the many mushy white churches that have replaced salvation through the Lord Jesus with "peace 'n justice 'n the UN Millennium Goals."

And of course this is a perfect example of how the news-media hurts Democrats by trying to help them. Maybe, just maybe, certain Democrat Primary voters would have wanted to know this stuff. Hmmm? D'you think? Too late now, suckers. Maybe you Dems should think about telling the press to just report the damn news honestly, instead of trying to mold the country with their superior elite wisdom.

"When mystery no longer counts for anything, then politics necessarily becomes the religion"
      --Pope Benedict XVI, Truth And Tolerance: Christian Belief And World Religions, p. 126

Posted by John Weidner at 8:35 AM

March 13, 2008

"work together in pursuit of shared goals "

Here's the News Report from those foul lying traitors honest patriots you see on TV...

March 13, 2008 2:44 PM

ABC News has requested and obtained a copy of the Pentagon study which shows Saddam Hussein had no links to Al Qaeda.

It's government report the White House didn't want you to read: yesterday the Pentagon canceled plans to send out a press release announcing the report's availability and didn't make the report available via email or online.

Based on the analysis of some 600,000 official Iraqi documents seized by US forces after the invasion and thousands of hours of interrogations of former officials in Saddam's government now in US custody, the government report is the first official acknowledgment from the US military that there is no evidence Saddam had ties to al Qaeda.....

And, here's the first paragraph of the Executive Summary of the actual report...(Thanks to Steven Hayes):

Captured Iraqi documents have uncovered evidence that links the regime of Saddam Hussein to regional and global terrorism, including a variety of revolutionary, liberation, nationalist and Islamic terrorist organizations. While these documents do not reveal direct coordination and assistance between the Saddam regime and the al Qaeda network, they do indicate that Saddam was willing to use, albeit cautiously, operatives affiliated with al Qaeda as long as Saddam could have these terrorist-operatives monitored closely. Because Saddam's security organizations and Osama bin Laden's terrorist network operated with similar aims (at least in the short term), considerable overlap was inevitable when monitoring, contacting, financing, and training the same outside groups. This created both the appearance of and, in some way, a "de facto" link between the organizations. At times, these organizations would work together in pursuit of shared goals but still maintain their autonomy and independence because of innate caution and mutual distrust. Though the execution of Iraqi terror plots was not always successful, evidence shows that Saddam’s use of terrorist tactics and his support for terrorist groups remained strong up until the collapse of the regime...(my emphasis)

That's all you need to know. Saddam's was a terror-supporting regime. We are engaged in a global struggle against terrorism. For that reason alone we were perfectly justified in taking out Iraq. In fact there was no need to ask permission of Congress, just as FDR needed no special permission to invade French Morocco, (or Iceland, for that matter). The President could have just picked up the phone and told Rumsfeld to do it. And informed the public after the fact.

Wars are to fight. In a war you attack your enemies. Duh.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:17 PM

February 22, 2008

It's jam to me, I must confess....

I must admit I'm taking a certain grim satisfaction in the way the NYT and the press are attacking John McCain with innuendo and zero facts. We conservatives have been gritting our teeth for so long watching a certain important Republican senator sucking-up to the Times and the news-media, who have been happy to pretend to like him as long as he attacks our president and his own party.

PowerLine writes:

.... the Times offered zero evidence of either the affair or the favors. That didn't bother the AP, though; if the Times "suggests" something, it's fit to print.

The AP next proceeds to place Cindy McCain in a long line of political wives whose husbands have been accused of sexual misdeeds: Larry Craig's wife Suzanne; Hillary Clinton; Dina McGreevy, whose husband publicly announced an affair with a gay lover; Carlita Kilpatrick, whose husband, the Mayor of Detroit, sent "sexually explicit text messages" to his top aide; Lee Hart, whose husband Gary frolicked with Donna Rice aboard the Monkey Business...you get the picture.

But wait! Those are all women whose husbands actually did something wrong. To put Cindy McCain in that group implies that the "rumor" that the Times "strongly suggested" might be true is actually a fact. I think that John and Cindy McCain belong in another group altogether: innocent people whose reputations have been slimed by irresponsible rags....

It's not only fun, it's going to be very interesting to watch how this works out, and how big John responds to his media pals turning on him. And it's also pleasing to think that McCain will be much harder for the Democrats to beat, since they will have much less ability to say that he's just part of the Bush administration, etc, after having reveled in him being the "maverick."

Posted by John Weidner at 6:42 AM

February 8, 2008

Lists of reasons...

Over the last few months serious bloggers and pundits have given us lists of reasons why conservatives oppose John McCain. But you would never haver guessed that there were such documents from listening to the mainstream media. Opposition to McCain was invariably portrayed as personal pique, or kooky right-wing extremism.

I caught a bit of Rush Limbaugh this morning, and he was quoting some media lefties who are coming up with........lists of reasons why conservatives oppose John McCain! Gee, I wonder why the shift?

Posted by John Weidner at 10:53 AM

February 2, 2008

"revenues declined 22.4%"

Charlene noticed this Bizzyblog post, about how the news media ignored or downplayed the fact that the two recent bombings in Baghdad we done using mentally retarded women. That's the sort of detail that might make almost anyone realize that surrendering to these monsters is madness. And realize also that al Qaeda is possibly scraping the bottom of the barrel for "single-use activists."

So of course the terrorist-allies in the news media slanted the story to “the new Baghdad feels a lot like the old Baghdad.”

The Bombings were not done to influence Iraqi opinion--it's long past obvious that the Iraqis are not going to be cowed by terror-bombings. Those women and children in the pet markets in Baghdad were killed for the New York Times. And CNN, and CBS, and the rest. They were killed BY our news-media, who have demonstrated a thousand times that they will spread the terrorist story-line. That they will reward al Qaeda for bloody slaughters.

Those poor people were slaughtered to give propaganda ammunition to our "anti-war" activists. They were killed for our "pacifists." They were killed for Barack and Hillary. They were killed for the Democrat Party. They were killed for Ron Paul. they were killed for the Quakers...

But there was a tiny crumb of comfort in the last line of the post:

...In totally related news, the New York Times Company (symbol NYT) reported Thursday that, though it turned a profit in its fourth quarter, December revenues declined a heart-stopping 22.4%.
Posted by John Weidner at 8:46 AM

January 18, 2008

"Hate-speech disguised as a public service"

Ralph Peters is excellently scathing today: The New Lepers: The Times' Trouble With Vets

...The purpose of Sunday's instantly notorious feature "alerting" the American people that our Iraq and Afghanistan vets are all potential murderers when they move in next door was to mark those defenders of freedom as "unclean" - as the new lepers who can't be trusted amid uninfected Americans.

In the more than six years since 9/11, the Times has never run a feature story half as long on any of the hundreds of heroes who've served our country - those who've won medals of honor, distinguished service crosses, Navy crosses, silver stars or bronze stars with a V device (for valor)...

...Pretending to pity tormented veterans (vets don't want our pity - they want our respect), the Times' feature was an artful example of hate-speech disguised as a public service.The image we all were supposed to take away from that story was of hopelessly damaged, victimized, infected human beings who've become outcasts from civilized society. The Times cast our vets as freaks from a slasher flick.The hard left's hatred of our military has deteriorated from a political stance into a pathology: The only good soldier is a dead soldier who can be wielded as a statistic (out of context again). Or a deserter who complains bitterly that he didn't join the Army to fight...

...So let me suggest the best-possible revenge on the veteran-trashing jerks at The New York Times: Instead of fleeing in terror the next time you see a veteran you know, just thank him or her for their service.

And let's save the leper's bells for dishonest journalists.

Smelly hippie lights cig on burning American flag

Posted by John Weidner at 7:38 AM

January 14, 2008

If you subscribe to the NYT, you are "embedded" with the Father of Lies

John at PowerLine demolishes that vile NYT story about how returning vets are committing murders....

...Now put yourself in the place of a newspaper editor. Suppose you are asked to evaluate whether your paper should run a long article on a nationwide epidemic of murders committed by veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan--a crime wave that, your reporter suggests, constitutes a "cross-country trail of death and heartbreak." Suppose that the reporter who proposes to write the article says it will be a searing indictment of the U.S. military's inadequate attention to post-traumatic stress disorder. Suppose further that you are not a complete idiot.

Given that last assumption, I'm pretty sure your first question will be: "How does the murder rate among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan compare to the murder rate for young American men generally?" Remarkably, this is a question the New York Times did not think to ask. Or, if the Times asked the question and figured out the answer, the paper preferred not to report it...

The evidence presented clearly says that the murder rate among returning vets is much lower than the national average for their age group!

But watch, this lie will not go away. It will probably become part of folklore. Like the despicable lie that Vietnam vets were more likely to have psychological problems than average.

The sort of people who work for the New York Times hate this country, and hate our military. They hate both for exactly the same reason--because both represent the idea that there are things worth fighting for. Things that are bigger and more important than "me." For nihilists, this is poison.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:57 AM

January 1, 2008

Digging in the muck...

John at PowerLine takes the trouble to demolish the deranged NYT editorial I mentioned yesterday. A dirty job, but someone has to do it....

...What is really "twisted beyond recognition" is the Times' account of America's interrogation practices. What the paper describes is simply a fantasy. In fact, President Bush issued an executive order directing that all prisoners be treated humanely. Torture is illegal, and there is no evidence that any executive agency has authorized the use of torture. Waterboarding is the most intense interrogation method that has been authorized, with respect to as few as two high-level terrorists. While opinions differ, I think it is obvious that waterboarding is not torture. It does no physical harm, and is a technique that we have used to train pilots. The Times' reference to the role of doctors is dishonest. What doctors actually do was described in the paper's own news story:
[I]n the spring of 2002, ... the intelligence officers flew in a surgeon from Johns Hopkins Hospital to treat Abu Zubaydah, who had been shot three times during his capture in Pakistan.
In fact, as the Times itself reported, the CIA started videotaping interrogations in part to show how well the captured terrorists were being treated...

...Perhaps the editorial board has joined the countless millions of Americans who don't read the Times....

And John has the same opinion as my friend---this is a temper tantrum...

...In other words: Elect a Democrat in 2008, or we're going to stamp our feet and hold our breath until we turn blue!

One anticipates with fascinated horror how they will react to a President Romney....

Posted by John Weidner at 12:41 PM

One of our gals...

Michael Goldfarb at the Weekly Standard Blog notes the top ten opinion pieces (by page views) of the WaPo for 2007. Who's number one?

Retreat Isn't an Option, By Liz Cheney, January 23, 2007

....We are at war. America faces an existential threat. This is not, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi has claimed, a "situation to be solved." It would be nice if we could wake up tomorrow and say, as Sen. Barack Obama suggested at a Jan. 11 hearing, "Enough is enough." Wishing doesn't make it so. We will have to fight these terrorists to the death somewhere, sometime. We can't negotiate with them or "solve" their jihad. If we quit in Iraq now, we must get ready for a harder, longer, more deadly struggle later....

Liz is Dick and Lynne Cheney's daughter. that's her on the right in the picture. (And who's number two in the WaPo? A guy named Kristol.)

Vice president Cheney and his wife and daughters

Posted by John Weidner at 10:22 AM

December 31, 2007

Temper tantrum...

A friend sends a link to this NYT Editorial, Looking at America...

This amounts to a fists-pounding-on-the-floor temper tantrum. My favorite theory is that Pinch found himself alone in the editorial room last night and got this thing out before “cooler” heads (Andy Rosenthal??) arrived. This could only happen on a Monday before a major Tuesday holiday. They are probably hoping no one reads it.

Lordy, what a pile of crap. I'm tempted to refute all their points with facts and logic, but it would serve no purpose—it's been done a thousand times already, by far better writers than I, without any effect on the deranged....

Posted by John Weidner at 7:59 AM

December 30, 2007

Good news is bad news for certain people....

Michelle Malkin writes in NRO...

There should be no question what the top story of the year was: America’s counterinsurgency campaign in Iraq, the Democrats’ hapless efforts to sabotage it, and the Western mainstream media’s stubborn refusal to own up to military progress.

What happened in January defined the rest of the year. We rang in 2007 with vehement liberal opposition to the “surge” of 21,000 added U.S. troops and tactical changes to secure Baghdad. In the ensuing 12 months, Democrats tried and failed repeatedly to undermine this military strategy and starve the war of funding. Their poisonously partisan allies at MoveOn.org attempted to smear surge architect and patriot Gen. David Petraeus as a traitor. The New York Times and Associated Press fought tooth and nail to obscure the successes of the surge with their relentless “grim milestone” drumbeat. But by year’s end, with Shiites and Sunnis marching and praying together for peace, even anti-war Democrats and adversarial media outlets alike were forced to acknowledge that undeniable military progress and security improvements had been made....


....There’s a reason the magazine and newspaper editors are naming everything but the surge as their top story of the year. (Putin? The Virginia Tech massacre? Come on.) Good news in the war on terror is bad news for those rooting for failure. Far easier to play up casualties and sectarian strife, sensationalize accusations of atrocities, and demonize the men and women in uniform to indulge Bush Derangement Syndrome, as Washington Post staffer and NBC military analyst William Arkin did on Jan. 30 when he lambasted troops for enjoying “obscene amenities” and serving as a “mercenary” force...

Nothing shows what frauds and worms our peaceniks are, than their utter indifference to the enormous drop in casualty rates in Iraq, both military and civilian. That kind of peace they don't like one little bit. You can bet that if America had blundered somehow in Iraq, that would be the "story of the year."

An abu Ghraib gets 10,000 headlines. But the countless acts of courage and decency that are the daily routine of our forces in Iraq, and their many successes--those the poisonous reptiles of our press are not interested in. We would know almost nothing of them if it were not for the Internet.

(Thanks to Ed)

Posted by John Weidner at 7:01 AM

December 20, 2007

You'd have to have a heart of stone not to laugh...

Quote, from Media Research Center's The Best Notable Quotables of 2007...

“You know, I wanted to sit on a jury once and I was taken off the jury. And the judge said to me, ‘Can, you know, can you tell the truth and be fair?’ And I said, ‘That’s what journalists do.’ And everybody in the courtroom laughed. It was the most hurtful moment I think I’ve ever had.”
      — Co-host Diane Sawyer joking on ABC’s Good Morning America July 12, following a report on how some people try to avoid serving on a jury.

If only they'd had some rotten fruit to pelt her with....

Posted by John Weidner at 4:41 PM

Media start asking why?...No time soon

From Vin Suprynowic, How many more will die in 'gun-free' zones before the media start asking why? (Thanks to InstaPundit)

...The second question? Mr. Lott, author of "Freedomnomics" and a senior research scholar at the University of Maryland, put it very well in the Fox News column in question:

"A Google news search using the phrase 'Omaha Mall Shooting' finds an incredible 2,794 news stories worldwide" in the first 24 hours alone, Mr. Lott notes. "But ... none of the media coverage, at least by 10 a.m. (Dec. 6), mentioned this central fact: Yet another attack occurred in a gun-free zone.

"Surely, with all the reporters who appear at these crime scenes and seemingly interview virtually everyone there, why didn't one simply mention the signs that ban guns from the premises?" asks Mr. Lott, who posts the "No weapons allowed" sign from Salt Lake City's Trolley Square Mall (it's rule 10 at http://johnrlott.tripod.com/2007/02/proof-that-trolley-square-mall-in-utah.html )

"Oh come on, Vin," someone will protest at this point. "It wouldn't matter even if these places did allow people to carry guns. Hardly anyone goes armed, so how often would a plain old non-policeman with a gun really save lives?"

Pretty often, it turns out....

I bet that if your could examine the thought processes of the "journalists" who produced the 2,794 stories, not one of them would have consciously hidden an important fact. Rather, they have a certain mental picture of how the world works, and even if you had tapped them on the shoulder whilst they were writing the stories, and told them this important fact, they would not hear you. (Sort of like that Far Side cartoon, "What you say." "What your dog hears.")

And I would wager that not one of them could or would debate the issue. Even if you tied them to a chair and put a gun to their heads and said: "You've slanted a news story to fit your agenda. The penalty is death....unless you can support your position in debate using logic and facts." They couldn't do it to save their lives.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:13 AM

December 4, 2007

Reason 898 why I hate "the press"

I hate them, and I laugh with bitter pleasure each time I read of declining circulation for the nation's newspapers....

From NCR:

NEW YORK — When the Associated Press set out to investigate an apparent problem with sexual assault of children in public schools, the organization spared no expense. A congressionally mandated study by Hofstra University had already found school-based sexual abuse to be a big problem.

“It was one of our priorities for the year,” said John Affleck, editor of the AP’s national reporting team.

The result was a three-part series, available to editors throughout the country beginning Oct. 20, that revealed widespread and routine sexual assault of public school students throughout the country. The first story summarized: “Students in America’s schools are groped. They’re raped. They’re pursued, seduced and think they’re in love.”

The series told of an entrenched resistance to stopping abusers on the part of teachers, administrators and the National Education Association, a teacher’s union.

So why apparently have only a handful of newspapers nationwide run the series — in stark contrast to the avalanche of press received by the Catholic Church since 2002? Paul Colford, corporate communications director for the AP, said he was inundated with complaints from people wondering why their newspapers were not carrying the series...

And, a few figures for contrast...

...“The Boston Globe began publishing on Jan. 6, 2002, a series of reports regarding sexual abuse of children by priests in the Archdiocese of Boston,” Nussbaum wrote “In a flash, newspapers around the country began reprinting the Globe’s reports and developing their own. They published 728 stories in January; 1,095 in February, and 2,961 in March. By April, these papers were publishing a new story every nine minutes, 160 every day, 4,791 for the month. By year-end, American papers provided their readers over 21,000 stories of sexual abuse by Catholic priests.”

Boston Globe editors contacted by the Register claimed only vague knowledge of the AP series, and could not answer as to whether part of it ran in their paper....
Posted by John Weidner at 5:57 AM

November 12, 2007

"forms of artistic expression"

Fascinatin' stuff at PJ Media on fraudulant video from Palestinians, and how Western media are happy to help out with the fraud, and the Jew bashing...

...So when asked why he had inserted unconnected footage of an Israeli soldier firing a rifle into the Al Dura sequence in order to make it look like the Israelis had killed the boy in cold blood, an official of PA TV responded: These are forms of artistic expression, but all of this serves to convey the truth� We never forget our higher journalistic principles to which we are committed of relating the truth and nothing but the truth.When Talal abu Rahmah received an award for his footage of Muhammad al Dura in Morocco in 2001, he told a reporter, �I went into journalism to carry on the fight for my people.�

These remarks serve as an important prelude to considering the France2 rushes that will be shown in court in Paris on November 14 in the Enderlin France2 vs. Philippe Karsenty defamation case. These tapes were filmed by Talal abu Rahmah on September 30, 2000, and for seven years, Enderlin has claimed that the tapes prove him right and show the boy in such unbearable death throes that he cut them out of his report. But several experts who have seen the tapes (this author included) claim that the only scene of al Dura that Enderlin cut was the final scene where he seems alive and well; and still more disturbingly the rest of the rushes are filled with staged scenes. Indeed there seems to be a kind of �public secret� at work on the Arab �street�: people fake injury, others evacuate them hurriedly (and without stretchers) past Palestinian cameramen like Talal, who use Western video equipment to record these improvised scenes. Pallywood: the Palestinian movie industry.

Which brings us to a problem more complex than the fairly straightforward observation that Palestinian journalists play by a different set of rules in which this kind of manipulation of the �truth� is entirely legitimate. What do Western journalists do with these products of propaganda? Do they know these are fakes or are they fooled? Do they tell the cameramen working for them and using their equipment that filming such staged scenes is unethical and unacceptable? And if they do, why do cameramen who have worked for them for years � Talal worked for Enderlin for over a decade when he took these rushes � continue to film these scenes. And how often do our journalists run this staged footage as real news?

Here the evidence provided by the Al Dura affair suggests that, in some sense, journalists are �in� on the public secret. When representatives of France2 were confronted with the pervasive evidence of staging in Talal�s footage, they both responded the same way. �Oh, they always do that, it�s a cultural thing,� said Enderlin to me in Jerusalem. �Yes Monsieur, but, you know, it�s always like that,� said Didier Eppelbaum to Denis Jeambar, Daniel Leconte, and Luc Rosenzweig in Paris....

"forms of artistic expression..." The sick thing is that they LEARN this foul postmodernist crap from us. We TEACH THEM to be liars and murderers.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:22 PM

November 6, 2007

"It's like watching two guys you really despise get into a barfight..."

You are, no doubt, familiar with the blog of Fake Steve Jobs... He's got a great rant on the "Hollywood writers."

.....Obtain a clue, people. You're sitting there fighting over residuals and terms of this and that when what you should be doing is leaving the system altogether and helping to build the next one. But you can't do that because you can't get off the heroin of network money. You're hooked to a lifestyle. For all your groovy talk and hip little soul patch beards, you're the most risk-averse people in the world. You're lifers. I mean, you belong to a fucking union! How fucked up and 20th century is that?

Listen, Hollywood TV writers. For fifty years you've had a nice little gig going for yourselves. You've unionized and set up all these stupid rules and you've created a closed-off little club and you've done all you could to keep other people out of the club so you could make ridiculous amounts of money just for pumping out piles of shit content. Now guess what? The Internet blows that up. The Internet is anarchy. There's no writers guild. There's no limit on the number of channels. The writers and actors and directors who've been shut out of your club are creating their own alternate universe. They don't want to be in your club. Worse yet for you, they don't want you in their club, either. They don't need you. They don't give a shit about what you do. They view you as a bunch old, fat, stupid, overpaid hacks. Which you are....

Posted by John Weidner at 5:36 AM

October 24, 2007

Poor Iraqi's suffer in Bush's War...

UN ReliefWeb:

....Taxi driver Ahmed Khalil Baqir used to station himself outside Baghdad's main morgue, waiting for grieving families who went there to claim their relatives’ dead bodies.

"I was totally dependent on them for my living," Baqir, a 44-year-old father of four, said." I never thought about picking up people in the street as I was being hired five to eight times a day by these families. But now it is a waste of time to wait there and these days I wait only for about three hours in the morning and I continue my work picking up passengers in the street.” (Thanks to Belmont Club)

You'd think this stuff would be news, wouldn't you?

...."Violence-related deaths in September dropped remarkably to levels not seen in more than a year as the number [of violence-related deaths] stood at 290 while in September 2006 the number was about 1,400," Adel Muhsin, the health ministry's inspector-general, told IRIN in a phone interview.

According to the ministry’s statistics, between January and the end of September 2007, the number of violent deaths involving civilian, police and military in all of Iraq was about 7,100, against 27,000 in the same period of 2006.

According to Muhsin, the average number of dead bodies sent to Baghdad’s main morgue just over a year ago was between 100 and 150 a day. Now, it is no more than 10 bodies a day, and about 50 percent of them are dying in normal circumstances.

There have been days this year when no dead bodies were sent to the morgue and this gave the morgue employees a chance to refurbish it, something they couldn't do in the past....

In the old days of the Soviet Union, airplane crashes were not reported. People knew that an Aeroflot plane had gone down when they read in Pravda stories about air crashes in the United States! We have a remarkably similar situation with our news-media today. If there's no news about Iraq, you can guess that the news is good. (And if a Congressman is indicted for corruption, and there's no mention of party affiliation, you know he's a Democrat.)

Posted by John Weidner at 8:11 AM

October 13, 2007

There's one subject that's never in "all the news that's fit to print"

Bruce Kesler:

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez’ speech and Q&A session at the Military Reporters & Editors convention has unleashed a whirl of major media coverage and commentary. (See Memeorandum, for examples.) All are focused on his criticism of the Bush administration for inadequate strategy and prosecution of the war.

However, neither the New York Times or Associated Press mention that over 40% of Sanchez’ speech severely took the major media to task. The Washington Post merely mentions it, and then underplays it at the end of its report, giving it 67 out of about 850 words in its coverage:....

What frauds...

Posted by John Weidner at 1:18 PM

October 9, 2007

At least they are honest about their dishonesty...

From NewsBusters.org, ‘Journalists’ Tell Howard Kurtz Why Good News from Iraq Shouldn’t Get Reported:

....KURTZ: Joining us now to put this into perspective, Robin Wright, who covers national security for The Washington Post. And CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.

Robin Wright, should that decline in Iraq casualties have gotten more media attention?

ROBIN WRIGHT, THE WASHINGTON POST: Not necessarily. The fact is we're at the beginning of a trend -- and it's not even sure that it is a trend yet. There is also an enormous dispute over how to count the numbers. There are different kinds of deaths in Iraq.

There are combat deaths. There are sectarian deaths. And there are the deaths of criminal -- from criminal acts. There are also a lot of numbers that the U.S. frankly is not counting. For example, in southern Iraq, there is Shiite upon Shiite violence, which is not sectarian in the Shiite versus Sunni. And the U.S. also doesn't have much of a capability in the south.

So the numbers themselves are tricky. Long-term, General Odierno, who was in town this week, said he is looking for irreversible momentum, and that, after two months, has not yet been reached.

KURTZ: Barbara Starr, CNN did mostly quick reads by anchors of these numbers. There was a taped report on "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT." Do you think this story deserved more attention? We don't know whether it is a trend or not but those are intriguing numbers.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: But that's the problem, we don't know whether it is a trend about specifically the decline in the number of U.S. troops being killed in Iraq. This is not enduring progress. This is a very positive step on that potential road to progress.

KURTZ: But let's say that the figures had shown that casualties were going up for U.S. soldiers and going up for Iraqi civilians. I think that would have made some front pages.

STARR: Oh, I think inevitably it would have. I mean, that's certainly -- that, by any definition, is news. Look, nobody more than a Pentagon correspondent would like to stop reporting the number of deaths, interviewing grieving families, talking to soldiers who have lost their arms and their legs in the war. But, is this really enduring progress?

We've had five years of the Pentagon telling us there is progress, there is progress. Forgive me for being skeptical, I need to see a little bit more than one month before I get too excited about all of this....

It would be hopeless to try to argue with such people. We can only be thankful that the Internet routes around them...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:37 AM

October 8, 2007

Only Americans commit atrocities...

From Gateway Pundit..

From The New York Times October 6, 2007
Last year, when accounts of the killing of 24 Iraqis in Haditha by a group of marines came to light, it seemed that the Iraq war had produced its defining atrocity, just as the conflict in Vietnam had spawned the My Lai massacre a generation ago.

But on Thursday, a senior military investigator recommended dropping murder charges against the ranking enlisted marine accused in the 2005 killings, just as he had done earlier in the cases of two other marines charged in the case. The recommendation may well have ended prosecutors’ chances of winning any murder convictions in the killings of the apparently unarmed men, women and children.
That's The New York Times special way of saying "I'm sorry" for condemning the Haditha Marines to hell for the "apparent" cold-blooded murder of innocents before their trial even started.

And, isn't it interesting how The New York Times is still searching for an atrocity to define the War in Iraq?

An Al-Qaeda atrocity like the Yazidi bombings, the murder of a brave young Sunni Sheik, torture chamber drawings, or dismembering and booby-trapping dead soldier's bodies just won't do.

It must be an American atrocity...

That's exactly right. An American war, especially when led by Republicans, must be "defined" by an atrocity. It cannot be "defined" by unimportant trifles, like, say, millions of people risking their lives to vote in free elections. That's worthless to the "Democrats" at the NYT. And worthless to (most at least) of the tens-of-thousands who subscribe to the NYT, or the many local papers and stations who let the NYT decide what's "news." And of those incidents like blowing up hundreds of people in a marketplace were not an atrocities at all...because they weren't done by Americans.

This is a very minor blog I have here, and so I really don't have to be tactful and pussy-foot around. I'll just say what I think: If you subscribe to the New York times, it's about 95% likely that you are anti-American. You hate this nation. Of course you won't admit it, but if I had you hooked up to some sort of emotion-detector, and I said: "I believe that this is the freest and best country ever, and when she is attacked YOU owe her a DUTY of generous warm-hearted loyalty and service, even at the risk of your life," the dial would go right over to "Oh Yecchhh!"

Hey, New York Times animals, how about a "defining moment" of courage or virtue or self-sacrifice? Hmmm? There have been thousands of candidates, though a person would never know it from reading the Paper Formerly Known As The Paper Of Record. Or how about thinking for a moment (That's not politically correct, but I won't tell anyone) about the implications of how you've been lusting after a "defining (American) atrocity" since March of 2003, and you haven't found one yet! What could that possibly mean?

Posted by John Weidner at 6:38 AM

October 2, 2007

More of "No news is good news"

This from Investor's Business Daily:

That the media are no longer much interested in Iraq is a sure sign things are going well there. Instead, they're talking about the presidential campaign, or Burma, or global warming, or . . . whatever.

Why? Simply put, the news from Iraq has been quite positive, as Petraeus related in his report to Congress. Consider:

• On Monday came news that U.S. military deaths in Iraq fell to 64 in September, the fourth straight drop since peaking at 121 in May and driving the toll to a 14-month low.
• Civilian deaths also have plunged, dropping by more than half from August to 884. Remember just six months ago all the talk of an Iraqi "civil war"? That seems to be fading.
• The just-ended holy month of Ramadan in Iraq was accompanied by a 40% drop in violence, even though al-Qaida had vowed to step up attacks.
• Speaking of al-Qaida, the terrorist group appears to be on the run, and possibly on the verge of collapse — despite making Iraq the center of its war for global hegemony and a new world order based on precepts of fundamentalist Islam.....

They are Traitors. They are on the other side. The news media that is. Well, one of the pleasures of our time is enjoying the decline of the "press." Every month brings stories of falling circulation and declining revenues. Well deserved.

It is especially pleasant when I think of the frauds who weren't content to just be "reporters." Oh no, We are a "profession," not a trade. We are....Journalists! We go to a University to get an advanced degree in journalism, and thereby obtain mastery of a science that ordinary people can hardly understand, and should not be allowed to practice!

And we have, as befits a professsssionnn, ethics classes and "ethicists." Who occasionally tiptoe around the fact that journalism is about 95% liberal Democrat (and 90% trendy urbanite) and who could not report the news even-handedly if they tried, because they are not even interested in most of what makes up America. But the ethicists and "ombudsmen" never, to my knowledge, touch on the question of the duty an employee owes to his employer.

If I work for a company, I have a duty to the stockholders or owners to try to make that company profitable. If I worked for your company and I drove away your customers because they were not Republicans and I personally did not care for them, I would be stealing from you! I would be indulging a personal pleasure at your expense, just as much as if I took money from the till to buy ice cream. That's exactly what most "journalists" do.

Here's a good piece on the decline of, as Rand Simberg likes to put it, the Paper Formerly Know As The Paper Of Record,: Black and White and in the Red All Over...

....So, if the problem isn’t the global environment, the local environment, the labor environment, technology, the subscription model or regional conditions, perhaps it’s the newspaper. Could the problem be that the New York Times has a liberal bias? Perhaps. Circulation declines tend to support that idea. If I were an investor, I’d wonder whether general readers are nearly as interested in endless hyper-detailed reporting about Abu Grahib or the alleged Valerie Plame ‘outing’ as the editors seem to be. One wonders whether obsessing over such stories is the best way to separate Mr. and Mrs. America from their dollar and 25 cents Monday through Friday. Or a gusher of gushing praise over "Brokeback Mountain" the way to get four dollars from them every Sunday...

...The New York Times built its reputation by being America’s newspaper of record. If something big happened, it was in the Times. But that’s the Old New York Times. The new New York Times routinely ignores UN corruption stories and Democratic scandals far longer than other publications...

I feel an extra amount of venom for the NYT, because I grew up with the idea that they were the very acme and pinnacle of whatever it was that they were the acme and pinnacle of. It was all kind of vague, but the NYT was definitely tops, and was supposed to be looked upon with a special sort of reverence. In jr high and high school there were a couple of teachers I liked because they were bookish and intellectual (what a concept, an intellectual teacher!) and they always spoke highly of the Times.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:59 AM

September 22, 2007

The headline would be very different if their side had won...

This headline just struck me as coming from twisted thinking...

New York Times: Fighting Leads to Deaths in Southern Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan, Sept. 21 — About 40 Taliban fighters and at least four civilians have been killed in fierce clashes in southern Afghanistan, officials said today, while two NATO soldiers were killed in other attacks...
(Thanks to Orrin)

So "fighting" does not normally lead to deaths? Is this analogous to "Teen Party Leads To Deaths"? Is it being implied that things have been bungled in some way? I suspect we are supposed to think: "Once those Americans invade a country, things go downhill and violence "appears."

And that word "fighters," what do they mean? Are these people combatants in a war? If so, they are committing war crimes, and have forfeited the right to certain niceties, like being taken prisoner rather than being shot out of hand. If they are NOT combatants, then they are terrorists. Which is it, NYT?

The headline ought to be: Taliban Attacks Thwarted; 40 Terrorists Killed by NATO Forces

Posted by John Weidner at 7:35 AM

September 20, 2007

Too bad they'll settle out of court...

Good post by Beldar on the Dan Rather suit..

...My glee is tempered by my realization that this case is almost certainly going to go away before it gets to any good stuff. But oh! it would be fun to watch CBS be forced to justify its putting of Rather out to pasture in a not-quite-firing by showing all of the grounds it had. Usually in a good juicy family court spat, you find yourself in sympathy with at least one litigant. But here's a case in which I can just cut loose and enjoy the misery and embarrassment of all concerned! (I continue to take pride in the high ranking of this post of mine from 2004 in search engine responses to the words "Dan Rather fired.")...

A scoundrel crew. How they deserve to be exposed! what a disgrace the whole episode was...I could go on at length if I had time.

The best of the jest right now is that Rather's lawyers are apparently part of the "reality-based community," and seem to be operating on the assumption that the forged documents were authentic! Hilarious.

Posted by John Weidner at 12:51 PM

September 15, 2007

Expanding ice caps...

John Hinderaker:

You've no doubt read about the shrinking ice cap at the North Pole, and the plight of the polar bears there. It's less likely that you've heard that in the meantime, the ice cap at the South Pole has been expanding, and just recently reached its largest extent since measurements began in 1979.

I compared Google News searches for "ice cap 'north pole'" and "ice cap 'south pole.'" The North Pole stories were all about the shrinking ice cap there as evidence of global warming. I couldn't find a single news story about the expanding ice cap at the South Pole. This strikes me as a pretty good illustration of how the conventional story line about Earth's climate drives news reporting...

Neither North nor South Poles are definitive evidence in themselves. Climate change would not be linear. But this is sure powerful evidence of what a bunch of frauds our news-media are.

The whole globo-warming debate is warped because a LOT of things are not being mentioned. Things that would cause the little people—you and me— to possibly fail to reach the conclusions deemed appropriate by our elite would-be masters. For instance, 99% of the Greenhouse Effect on Earth is caused by water vapor. And lucky we are that it is; we'd be pretty cold without it. We'd all be living in the "Antarctic."

Posted by John Weidner at 12:24 PM

September 12, 2007

Fact checking reveals no fact checking...

Pajamas Media: Army Checkmates The New Republic:

....PJM’s Bob Owens interviews Major John Cross, who led the U.S. Army’s investigation into Private Beauchamp’s shocking claims. Even more shocking is what Cross reveals below: Among other findings, there is no credible evidence that TNR [The New Republic] made any attempt at fact checking prior to publishing the articles. Furthermore, not one of the soldiers interviewed under oath in the investigation corroborated Beauchamp’s story....

Look, there's nothing too complicated here. The New Republic was, for many decades, the thoughtful responsible liberal mag. You could respect them even if you didn't agree with them. But that ecological niche doesn't exist any more. There just aren't many thoughtful responsible liberals these days. So TNR has to either die, or appeal to the moveon.org sickos. It's just business.

So the whole Oh-my-god-they've-been-caught-in-a-lie-they're-toast story line, seen in many conservative blogs, is absurd and anachronistic. They don't care that they've been caught in a lie, because they are not trying to appeal to people who give a damn about truth. The fact that they lied to smear the US military is a plus to the people they need as subscribers...

Posted by John Weidner at 9:59 PM

September 3, 2007

Too too rich!

from the Daily Mail...

If he didn't believe in karma before, Piers Morgan must surely do now.

The ex-newspaper editor, now a columnist for The Mail on Sunday's Live magazine, took great delight in making fun of President Bush for falling off a Segway - the two-wheeled, motorised, gyroscopically balanced scooter that, its makers promise, will never fall over.

His paper, the Daily Mirror, ran the headline in 2003: "You'd have to be an idiot to fall off, wouldn't you Mr President." It added: "If anyone can make a pig's ear of riding a sophisticated, self-balancing machine like this, Dubya can." So, it seems, can Mr Morgan.

Scroll to the bottom of the page to watch our exclusive video of Piers's fall....
Posted by John Weidner at 3:52 PM

August 29, 2007

to as few as nine...

From Protein Wisdom:

....I cannot speak for everyone who supports the mission in Iraq, but I would submit that Beauchamp’s apparent fables and embellishments are not a “weak link” to be attacked, but simply an egregious example of the establishment media’s flawed coverage of the conflict. Accordingly, what follows is an over view of the establishment media coverage of the conflict in Iraq.

Though public opinion polls consistently show that Americans consider Iraq to be the most important issue facing the country, establishment media has slashed the resources and time devoted to Iraq. The number of embedded reporters plunged from somewhere between 570 and 750 when the invasion began in March 2003 to as few as nine by October 2006. The result was the rise of what journalists themselves call “hotel journalism” and “journalism by remote control.” Janet Reitman, reporting for Rolling Stone, described the state of the media in early 2004:
When I arrive in Baghdad in April, most American journalists are holed up in their rooms, reporting the war by remote: scanning the wires, working their cell phones, watching broadcasts of Al Jazeera. In many cases, they’ve been reduced to relying on sources available to anyone with an Internet connection… While Arabic and European media such as The Guardian and Le Monde manage to cover the war on the ground, American reporters seldom interview actual Iraqis. Instead, they talk to U.S. officials who are every bit as isolated as they are, or rely on local stringers and fixers, several of whom have been killed while working for Americans. “We live in a bubble,” grumbles one AP reporter. “If we know one percent of what’s going on in Iraq, we’re lucky.”
There are exceptions of course, though the number of establishment embeds shows they are literally exceptions. I do not discount the very real danger to Western journos in Iraq, though independent bloggers like Michael Yon, Bill Roggio, Bill Ardolino, and Michael J. Totten seem to have been able to embed outside Baghdad with nothing like the institutional support available to journalists from the establishment media… and that the number of such bloggers is growing. Moreover, I cannot ignore the consequences of “journalism by remote control.”

Noah D. Oppenheim, who visited Baghdad for MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” noted that “The consequence of this system is that, on television, the story in Iraq is no more than the sum of basic facts, like casualties, crashes, and official pronouncements.” The data back Oppenheim. The television airtime devoted to coverage of Iraq has plunged dramatically. Television networks devoted 4,162 minutes to Iraq in 2003, 3,053 minutes in 2004, 1,534 minutes in 2005 and 1,122 minutes in 2006. The amount of time and space devoted to Iraq coverage has continued to decline through the first half of 2007...

Bad news stories, especially the daily death tolls, consumed an ever-larger share of this dwindling coverage. In 2003, it consumed 38% of the networks’ Iraq newshole. In 2004 and 2005, it consumed 44%. In 2006, it rose to 56%....

One of the ironies of the situation is that the really interesting story is not the terrorist violence, which is repetitive, but the story of a democraic nation struggling to be born amidst frightful difficulties. Reading Michael Yon or the other independent bloggers in Iraq is especially fascinating because they put us in contact with ordinary Iraqis, good and bad.

If anyone who still believes that their TV is giving them the real Iraq is reading this post, read This as an example, one of many...

Posted by John Weidner at 3:09 PM

August 27, 2007

If your read the NYT or WaPo or LAT...

...you are drinking from poisoned wells. From Captain Ed:

Let's say we're at war, and we're waiting for some specific action to take place to show us that our efforts are succeeding. Add in that the war itself would be rather controversial and that our political class is split as to whether we will ever see that specific action take place. Imagine that Congress and the White House have scheduled a showdown in the next couple of weeks to determine how much longer we will wait for that development.

Now imagine that the specific action for which we've waited actually occurs. Where would you think that story appear in Washington's biggest newspaper? The front page, one might assume. Would you believe ... page 9?...

Unbelievable. And apparently the news was not even in the NYT or LAT!

The news of course, is the announcement of wide political agreement within Iraq's government for changes in the de-Baathification law. For our major "news"papers to ignore the story is a sign of desperation within the al Qaeda/Democrat alliance, and a really indicator of progress for the forces of freedom...

* Update: And this certainly gives the lie to the claims of Leftists that they hate the Iraq Campaign BECAUSE it is not militarily winnable, or now, BECAUSE the Iraqi government can't make any political progress. Those are all lies.

They hate this campaign for the reason I explained here

Posted by John Weidner at 6:48 AM

August 15, 2007

How stupid can you be?

THE AUTONOMIST:

A caption to an AFP picture:

" An elderly Iraqi woman shows two bullets which she says hit her
house
[emphasis added] following an early coalition forces raid in the
predominantly Shiite Baghdad suburb of Sadr City."

The bullets in the picture have obviously not been fired!

What fascinates me is, should we add to the known fact that Political correctness lowers your effective IQ, the possibility that being a journalist lowers your effective IQ?

Of course if you are a "journalist" you hate America and want to show how horrid we are. But surely anyone who deals in news photos must have seen pictures of those little empty brass cylinders being ejected from firearms? Can even the most drugged-up of hippie pacifist morons imagine that the whole cartridge flies through the air? And can hit a house and remain shiny and un-dented?

Posted by John Weidner at 7:54 AM

August 9, 2007

Same lies over and over...

Michelle Malkin has a great round-up of "the toxic American disease known as Winter Soldier Syndrome."

The tale of Army Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp, the discredited “Baghdad Diarist” for the discredited New Republic magazine, is an old tale:

Self-aggrandizing soldier recounts war atrocities. Media outlets disseminate soldier’s tales uncritically. Military folks smell a rat and poke holes in tales too good (or rather, bad) to be true. Soldier’s ideological sponsors blame the messengers for exposing anti-war fraud.

Beauchamp belongs in the same ward as John F. Kerry, the original infectious agent of the toxic American disease known as Winter Soldier Syndrome. The ward is filling up....

Michelle has various others, with YouTube videos. There have been a lot of them. It's revealing to see them all listed together...

...Think Jimmy Massey, the unhinged Marine who falsely accused his unit of engaging in mass genocide against Iraqis...

...Think Jesse MacBeth and Micah Wright, anti-war Army Rangers who weren’t Army Rangers....

...Think Josh Lansdale, the anti-war Army medic who attacked former GOP Sen. Jim Talent by spinning a bogus health care tale swallowed whole by Dem Sen. Claire McCaskill, Gen. Wesley Clark and the far Left VoteVets.org crew....

..Think Amorita Randall, the NYTimes-championed former naval construction worker who told the Times magazine that she served in Iraq, was in a Humvee that blew up, and was raped twice while serving in the Navy–but, in fact, had never served in Iraq....
Posted by John Weidner at 7:40 AM

July 31, 2007

Good news is no news...

A good example, by Noel Sheppard, of how to dissect a bit of typical media bias. this one from—surprise—AP...

....In fact, in an article that, from the title, one would think would be about the declining death toll, and how things from a military standpoint might be improving in Iraq, the piece devoted seven of the first nine paragraphs, and more than 50 percent of the total print space, on political problems in the embattled nation.

And, when Salaheddin finally elaborated on the reduced death toll in July, it was curiously pessimistic....

—  —  —  —  —  —

....Hmmm. So, this was the lowest death toll since November, and since before the surge began. You couldn't find someone to quote who thought this was really good news, Sinan? Or that it was proof that the surge was working?

Oh. That's right. The surge wasn't even addressed in this piece. Instead, it was referred to as a "five-month-old security crackdown."

And, of course, Salaheddin nicely avoided any reference to President Bush having orchestrated this "five-month-old security crackdown" against the wishes of the left and their media minions.

I guess it's verboten at the AP to connect the president with good news in Iraq regardless of how much your article downplays it.....

"Five-month-old security crackdown." Sheeesh. Even if we had no other news about the shift in strategy and tactics labeled "the Surge," (which, by the way, started June 15) we would know it was working well just by the reluctance to name it. Sort of the opposite of news articles about politicians caught in wrong-doing: If the party affiliation is not mentioned, you know it's a Dem.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:31 AM

July 26, 2007

The 'Baghdad Diarist'?

Dean Barnett writes about how The New Republic's "Scott Thomas" has now revealed himself. Fascinating stuff. For one thing, he publishes a letter about himself in TNR, without a single answer to the specific criticisms that have been made!

That is like all the pro vs anti-war arguments of the last 6 years in a nutshell.

Also, the guy had a blog! Fool.

Also, Hugh notes that apparently TNR has a blog (who knew? Who cared?) and none of the "journalists" who post there are even mentioning the controversy! Ha ha ha.

There's lots more at Michell Malkin.

* Update: When I started blogging, way back in 2001, I imagined that I was participating (in a very minor way) in a great debate. A debate between Left and Right, between pro and anti-war, between conservative and liberal. But it never happened! Debating leftists is like punching Jello. I thought there were two competing philosophies, but the big discovery I made is that there's nothing inside leftists. No core beliefs or ideas. Like Joyce Little put it, they are clothes with no emperor inside.

I predict that this "Scott Thomas" matter will never be cleanly resolved, that it will just fizzle out in vagueness and frustration, exactly like John Kerry's despicable Vietnam accusations. Defenders of our country and our military will continue to make factual and philosophical arguments, but it will be like trying to beat up a blob of Jello.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:36 AM

July 25, 2007

"gutless weasels possuming a ride"

I liked this bit of unalloyed scorn for some people who deserve it. Uncle Jimbo on the New Republic and their ilk...

...While the left makes noises that they think mean they support the troops, they don't really, and they do believe the dregs of society theory of military recruiting. Jon Carry didn't misspeak when he said those non-hackers who do not pack the gear to serve in his beloved cultural elite, will end up stuk in Irak. He was simply stating the common wisdom on the left, our troops are killers, sometimes under orders, sometimes just to satisfy their blood lust.

Well there is also a bit of assumed wisdom on our side as well. That is that most journalists are gutless weasels possuming a ride on the backs of better men and women than themselves. They are parasites whose sole function seems to be advancing a narrative of evil America, cause of all that is ill with this world. There is no problem they are unwilling to lay at the feet of greedy rapacious America, busy killing brown people all over the planet, and now even slaughtering Gaia herself. Damn us!

Well I for one am sick of it. I've had a bird's eye view of how our military operates and for an instrument of war it does one hell of a lot of good. Obviously it is a killing machine, but it is the most finely calibrated one ever deployed, and one that takes enormous steps to ensure that civilians are not harmed by it's actions. That alone distinguishes us from the rest of the world's armies. Look at the excremental record of UN "Peacekeepers" in comparison. The one thing the UN guarantees is a huge increase in child rape. Our forces on the other hand will likely be found giving vaccinations, digging wells or building schools. So Bite me Franklin Foer, not only are you a crap editor by even the low standards of journalism, but you are an ill-informed punk who allowed yourself and your rag to be used to smear a group of people who collectively and individually dwarf your moral and ethical stature. And as for Scott Thomas, I won't bother to do more than call you a liar and a remind you that eventually you will brag about this to someone and you will be unmasked. Just keep that in mind as you look over your shoulder for the rest of your miserable life. I sense some old school wall to wall counseling in your future troop.

Me, I'm predicting that "Scott Thomas" will never be unmasked, because he's a fiction, like a lot of "anonymous sources." Lefty journalists just make stuff up, and then they write, "Many are saying..." or "sources in the administration indicate...." Frauds.

We are at war. SOMEBODY is acting badly, and should be punished. Either we have some bad soldiers, or some traitor journalists. Mr Foer should be hauled in front of a Congressional committee and forced to up-chuck under penalty of perjury. It will never happen, alas.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:52 AM

July 20, 2007

fiskiting...

Once again, can't resist...

Bush's Cognitive Dissonance, By Eugene Robinson, Washington Post, Friday, July 20, 2007

One hopes the leader of the free world hasn't really, truly lost touch with objective reality. But one does have to wonder.

Last week, George W. Bush invited nine conservative pundits to the White House for what amounted to a pep talk, with the president providing the pep. Somehow I was left off the list -- must have been an oversight. But some columnists who attended have been writing about the meeting or describing it to colleagues, and their accounts are downright scary.

National Review's Kate O'Beirne, who joined the presidential chat in the Roosevelt Room, told me that the most striking thing was the president's incongruously sunny demeanor. Bush's approval ratings are well below freezing, the nation is sooooo finished with his foolish and tragic war, [Only if you think you and your lefty pals are "the nation"] many of his remaining allies in Congress have given notice that come September they plan to leave the Decider alone in his private Alamo -- and the president remains optimistic and upbeat. [It never enters your darkest dreams that Frodo might just toss the Ring into Mt Doom and then go home to Texas, content that he has done his duty, which is all any man can do. (You won't understand that, it's a Red State thing)]

Bush was "not at all weary or anguished" and in fact was "very energized," wrote Michael Barone of U.S. News & World Report. He was "as confident and upbeat as ever," observed Rich Lowry of National Review. "Far from being beleaguered, Bush was assertive and good-humored," according to David Brooks of the New York Times. [It's so FUNNY, the way leftists keep expecting Bush to be "anguished," and then feeling BEWILDERED because he isn't! It's a subset of their bewilderment that the country is no longer what it was when their world-view gelled, somewhere around 1973. Guess what, I'm not "anguished either. I laugh at you, and spit upon your ideas.]

Excuse me? I guess he must be in an even better mood since the feckless Iraqi government announced its decision to take the whole month of August off while U.S. troops continue fighting and dying in Baghdad's 130-degree summer heat. [Uh, make that "fighting and winning." You have read the latest reports, haven't you Mr Robinson? The Iraqi parliament might as well take some time off and see how things develop.]

It's almost as if Bush were trying to apply the principles of cognitive therapy, the system psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck developed in the 1960s. Beck found that getting patients to banish negative thoughts and develop patterns of positive thinking was helpful in pulling them out of depression. However, Beck was trying to get the patients to see themselves and the world realistically, whereas Bush has left realism far behind. [Do we see transference here?]

"He says the most useful argument to make in support of his policy is to show what failure would mean," Barone wrote of the president and Iraq. "It would mean an ascendant radicalism, among both Shia and Sunni Muslims, and it would embolden sponsors of terrorism such as Iran. Al-Qaeda would be emboldened and would be able to recruit forces."

Excuse me again? This is what Bush believes would happen? Hasn't he noticed that these catastrophes have already befallen us? And that they are the direct consequence of his decision to invade and occupy Iraq? [No, they are a direct consequence of your Iranian and al Queda buddies PROVOKING radicalism and violence, because they are shit-scared of the possibility of a democracy in the heart of the Caliphate. As are you. When my enemies react with desperation, it probably means I'm doing something right.]

At a news conference last week, someone tried to point this out. Bush replied with such a bizarre version of history that I hope he was being cynical and doesn't really believe what he said: "Actually, I was hoping to solve the Iraqi issue diplomatically. That's why I went to the United Nations and worked with the United Nations Security Council, which unanimously passed a resolution that said disclose, disarm or face serious consequences. That was the message, the clear message to Saddam Hussein. He chose the course. . . . It was his decision to make."

Let's see, we have learned that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. That means Bush is claiming that Saddam Hussein "chose" the invasion -- and, ultimately, his own death -- by not showing us what he didn't have. [That is the simple truth. If the inspectors had had really free access, they would have found no WMD's and probably aborted the invasion. Of course it is likely that by then Saddam himself wasn't sure whether he had them or not! His generals thought Iraq did. And, to be precise, UN 1441 mandated that Iraq account for the weapons found in 1992, not show it had none. Funny how I've yet to see a single lefty mention that little fact.]

"Bush gives the impression that he is more steadfast on the war than many in his own administration and that, if need be, he'll be the last hawk standing," wrote Lowry. The president says the results of his recent troop escalation will be evaluated by Gen. David Petraeus, wrote Barone, and not by "the polls."

Translation: Everybody's out of step but me. [That's how great leaders are seen sometimes. But in fact he is in step with an enormous number of people. Wapo just doesn't want to admit we exist.]

One of the more unnerving reports out of the president's seminar with the pundits came from Brooks, who quoted Bush as saying: "It's more of a theological perspective. I do believe there is an Almighty, and I believe a gift of that Almighty to all is freedom. And I will tell you that is a principle that no one can convince me that doesn't exist."

It's bad enough that Osama bin Laden is still out there plotting bloody acts of terrorism, convinced that God wants him to slay the infidels. Now we know that the president of the United States believes God has chosen him to bring freedom to the world, that he refuses to acknowledge setbacks in his crusade and that he flat-out doesn't care what "the polls" -- meaning the American people -- might think. I'm having trouble seeing the bright side. I think I need cognitive therapy. [OK bigshot, why don't you take a poll of Americans and find out how many of us believe that freedom is a "gift of the Almighty?" Oh, and while you are at it, ask how many agree with the Washington Post, that life is meaningless, and there is no god, and that fighting for a better world is equivalent to terrorism?]

Posted by John Weidner at 12:56 PM

July 14, 2007

Signs of desperation...

I just noticed that Penraker has a long string of posts on how the WaPo is spinning the news from Iraq. See here, here, here, here, here, and here. They are really getting desperate!

An example is this one: Iraqi Military's Readiness Slips. Report Says That Since January, Fewer Units Can Operate Independently. They make a headline and a big deal about a slight drop in the number of units that are at Level One, glossing over the fact that if you are rapidly expanding your forces that is to be expected. It is not a bad sign. Officers, NCO's, specialists and equipment are being spread over much larger forces, so it takes time to catch up.

And more importantly, Level One is not important right now. (We've been through this crap before.) What's important is the number of units at Level Two, and that is steadily expanding. Level Two units can can operate independently except for American logistical and air support. And that's fine for our purposes at this point.

The deal, when the Senate unanimously confirmed General Petraeus, was that the results of the "surge in operations" (which only started 4 weeks ago) would be evaluated in September. Yet we are seeing a relentless drumbeat to declare it a failure right now. A curious thing! I'd say that leftists are getting very sweaty about what September might bring. Which makes me feel good.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:12 AM

July 12, 2007

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch...

One of the maddening, infuriating things about contemporary life is that in most ways this country is majority conservative, and leaning towards majority Republican. And yet liberals sit smugly in many legacy enclaves and act as if their ideas were not only the majority view, but the only sensible and "normal" and "modern" view---so much so that they need never engage in principled debate. (Which they would lose.)

I live in one of those enclaves, which adds to my ire. And another enclave is the "mainstream media," (MSM) which is almost entirely liberal and Democrat, and usually covers conservative or "Red State" or Christian matters like anthropologists visiting the Cannibal Isles. (The emblem of this was the decision at the NYT a couple of years ago to assign a reporter—one reporter—to cover all conservative matters. He was of course a liberal.)

The New York Times is the central spider of the MSM, in a very literal way, since all the local papers and TV news stations key off of the NYT, which gets to frame the stories and often decides what is "news" and what is not. When you watch the TV news (except perhaps Fox) you might imagine that all those glossy people study what is happening in the world and decide what is important. Nuh uh. Mostly the decisions are made by the NYT, and the WaPo and the AP. And none of them will never DEBATE, they just take it as read that they are at the the center of opinion, and have the intrinsic right to decide what we will know.

So it is with the utmost pleasure and pure delight that I read in Michelle Malkin that the NYT's credit rating has been lowered—yet again—and is barely above the level of junk bonds!!! It couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of pompous frauds. Go boys, lead your whole vile treasonous industry down into the bone yard!

S&P Lowers New York Times Ratings To BBB/A-3; Off Watch 2007-07-11 12:18 (New York)
Rationale
On July 11, 2007, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services lowered its long-term corporate credit and senior unsecured debt ratings on The New York Times Co., to ‘BBB’ from ‘BBB+’. The short-term corporate credit and commercial paper ratings on the company were also lowered, to ‘A-3′ from ‘A-2′. All ratings were removed from CreditWatch, where they were placed with negative implications on March 23, 2007, following the company’s announced plan to increase its dividend to shareholders. The rating outlook is negative....

Among the many reasons the NYT gang deserves to suffer is that the NYT is a business. With shareholders. The editors of the NYT have decided that their ideology is more important than anything else, including profits, and is worth excluding at least 60% of the population from their potential readership. But they don't OWN the paper! They have a duty, a responsibility to the owners to try to make a profit. They are in effect stealing from their shareholders.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:08 AM

July 6, 2007

Just asking...

This LA Times editorial brought out the mischief in me:

A FAVORITE Washington fantasy this summer is that clever U.S. diplomacy might somehow succeed in splitting Syria from its current patron, Iran. The dream is a bipartisan indulgence — and probably quixotic. Instead, the United States and its allies would do better to turn quickly to the urgent matter of preventing war between Syria and Israel. [Why? I'm not saying we shouldn't do so, but why, exactly?]

War fears have been fanned by a notable Syrian arms buildup. Damascus has purchased surface-to-surface missiles, antitank weapons and sophisticated air-defense systems. It is also believed to have received Iranian funds to pay Russia for missiles and a reported $1-billion purchase of five advanced MIG-31E fighter jets. [So you are saying we should prevent a war until Syria completes its arms build-up? To make things more "fair" perhaps?] Syria denies Israeli reports that it is rearming Hezbollah, whose weapons stores were depleted during its war with Israel last summer. But a recent report to the U.N. Security Council warned that poor security along the Syrian-Lebanese border allows arms smuggling to Hezbollah to continue. [No sensible person doubts that Syria is re-arming Hezbollah terrorists. So why, EXACTLY, is it in our interest to prevent them getting what they deserve?]

Even more ominously, Syria has hinted that if Israel continues to spurn its offers to restart peace talks on the return of the Golan Heights, perhaps a war to retake the Golan might be its only option. [This is backwards. It is only the threat of war that forces Israel to hold on to the Golan. Without it they are much more vulnerable to Syrian attack.] The Bush administration has been opposed to Israeli-Syrian peace talks, which it sees as undermining its campaign to isolate and punish Syria. Israelis are divided on the matter, but so far their government has opted not to pursue talks — perhaps using U.S. resistance as a convenient excuse. [Perhaps. perhaps not. You have yet to present the slightest shred of evidence that Syria is interested in peace. They are the war-mongers here.]

At last month's meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, President Bush finally stepped aside and said Israel was free to conduct whatever negotiations it wished with Syria — but the U.S. would not take part. That lessens prospects for peace, because an Israeli-Syrian pact is unlikely without U.S. mediation, or at least Washington's blessing. U.S. attempts to isolate Damascus have failed, and Syria's economy boomed last year despite U.S. sanctions and a steady decline in oil production. Is it worth risking war merely to keep Israel from talking to its longtime enemy? [We are already IN a war. It's known as the Global War on Terror. Syria is our ENEMY. It is a terror-supporting state, and the enemy of all peace-loving people. So WHY should we care if they are thrashed by Israel? Which side are you on here, Mr LAT?]

Meanwhile, opportunities mount for miscalculation. Israel does not want to appear weak in the eyes of Syria, nor does it want Damascus to fear an Israeli attack. Syria might not want war either, but it has reason for paranoia given its provocative role in supporting the Fatah al Islam militants and Hezbollah in Lebanon. [And it's in our interests for these evils to continue? Why?] Beirut or Gaza might easily provide the spark for a disastrous new Middle East war, perhaps fought by proxies. [Why would it be "disastrous?" Just asking.]

Some analysts say Syria would not go to war against Israel without Iranian approval. But who wants to gamble on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's calculations of Iran's national interest? Diplomacy and deterrence [Sorry to throw a new concept at you, but deterrence is based on the threat of war. If you are afraid to go to war, you have little or no deterrence.] are a safer bet. [We are in a war on terror, and IRAN is the number-one terror supporting state. So WHY is it in our interest to prop-up their client, Syria? ]

x

Posted by John Weidner at 7:36 PM

July 3, 2007

No news is...

Charlene mentioned that there doesn't seem to be much news from Iraq in the "mainstream" news media these last couple of weeks. Good news is usually no news, when it comes to Iraq.

I imagine the "journalists" standing around their Teletype machines, crumpling the little sheets of paper in disgust, and muttering, "Whatsa matter with our guys? How hard can it be to blow up a mosque or a school, for pity's sake!"

 Man at Teletype machine

Posted by John Weidner at 6:53 AM

June 30, 2007

Not reported...

I highly recommend a piece by Rod Dreher, The Godless Party: Media Bias & Blindness—And the Big Story They Missed

....Indeed, religion has become such a galvanizing issue for both parties that, say the authors, "the religious gap among white voters in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 presidential elections was more important than other demographic and social cleavages in the electorate; it was much larger than the gender gap and more significant than any combination of differences in education, income, occupation, age, marital status and regional groupings." The media have thoroughly reported the key role religious conservatives play in Republican Party politics; what they’ve ignored is the equally important role militant secularists play in setting the agenda of the Democratic Party—as the late pro-life Governor Bob Casey, denied a decent podium at the 1992 Democratic convention, could have attested.

The divide has become so stark that the authors have discerned a new kind of voter: the "anti-fundamentalist." According to the 2000 ANES data, the hatred of religious conservatives long apparent among Democratic convention delegates has found a home among a disproportionate number of Democratic voters. Twenty-five percent of white respondents in the ANES survey expressed serious hostility towards religious conservatives, as opposed to only one percent who felt this strongly against Jews, and 2.5 percent who disliked blacks and Catholics to a strong degree. (Ironically, these are people who say they "‘strongly agree’ that one should be tolerant of persons whose moral standards are different from one’s own.") Eighty percent of these voters picked Bill Clinton in 1996, with 70 percent choosing Al Gore in 2000. Conclude the authors, "One has to reach back to pre-New Deal America, when political divisions between Catholics and Protestants encapsulated local ethno-cultural cleavages over Prohibition, immigration, public education, and blue laws, to find a period when voting behavior was influenced by this degree of antipathy toward a religious group." If Al Smith were to return and run for president today, his enemies wouldn’t be yesterday’s rustic anti-Catholic bigots of the Bible Belt, but today’s urbane anti-Christian bigots of liberal coastal cities dubbed (by the Wall Street Journal ) the Porn Belt...

....But their most striking finding was the near total lack of editorial and news coverage devoted to the increased importance of secularists to the Democratic Party versus the role of traditionalists in the GOP. The numbers are mind-boggling: 43 stories on secularist Democrats, 682 stories on traditionalist Republicans. In 1992, the Times alone published nearly twice the number of stories about Evangelicals in the GOP than both papers did about secularists among the Democrats for the entire decade. The bias is even worse among television journalists, who filled the airwaves with stories about the "Religious Right" and the Republican Party, but who didn’t file a single story—not one—about the Secular Left’s relationship to the Democrats. But their most striking finding was the near total lack of editorial and news coverage devoted to the increased importance of secularists to the Democratic Party versus the role of traditionalists in the GOP. The numbers are mind-boggling: 43 stories on secularist Democrats, 682 stories on traditionalist Republicans. In 1992, the Times alone published nearly twice the number of stories about Evangelicals in the GOP than both papers did about secularists among the Democrats for the entire decade. The bias is even worse among television journalists, who filled the airwaves with stories about the "Religious Right" and the Republican Party, but who didn’t file a single story—not one—about the Secular Left’s relationship to the Democrats....

The numbers would seem to indicate a cover-up, but my guess is that it's mostly a matter of people in the news media considering secularism so normal, that they don't even see it. Sort of like the way you don't hear your own accent, and think you are just speaking "normally."

But I think there is a huge psychological cover-up going on, as liberals try to pretend that they are still the modern mainstream, and anyone who disagrees is kooky or primitive. And that psychology is a subject that utterly fascinates me...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:56 AM

June 19, 2007

Read smart...

You have no doubt heard by now about our major offensive in Baquba, the capitol of Diyala Province, which is where al Qaida has set up shop after they stimulated the production of local "antibodies" in al Anbar. I won't presume to discuss the combat—Do NOT miss Michaels Yon's latest dispatch. But I do know the lie of the land locally, and can say that this is bad news for the al Qaeda/Democrat/News-Media Alliance, and we can expect a vicious counter-attack.

I liked this post, by Confederate Yankee...

....Read that again, "Baquba alone might be as intense as Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah in late 2004."

The "Mahogany Ridge" media is tied up in the latest suicide bombing in Baghdad (simply look at the title, lede, and focus of the CNN article cited above as an example), and even those who chose to feature the Baquba assault clearly don't understand the magnitude of the just-joined battle.

Once reality slowly dawns on the media that they are misunderestimating the scope and scale of the assault, steel yourself for a rush of inaccuracies as they seek to get something, anything published, much of it based upon rumor, some of it based upon outright propaganda and lies.

We saw the same during and after Fallujah, when the U.S. military was accused of using napalm on civilians. We don't even have napalm.

The ignorati claimed that white phosphorus was a "chemical weapon," of a "poison gas" and ascribed horrible wounds to it. These claims turned out to be completely untrue.

There may also once again be claims that using .50-caliber machine guns and the cannons of Bradley IFVs and helicopter gunships against terrorist personnel somehow violates the Geneva Conventions. It doesn't.


We'll be hearing and seeing much more from Diyala Province, Baquba proper, and other areas surrounding Baghdad as full-scale surge operations seek to envelop and destroy al Qaeda.

Read smart....
Question. Does anybody understand that reference to "Mahogany Ridge" media? I never heard that one.

Also, the phrase "We don't even have napalm" is disingenuous, since we do have similar incendiaries. But we didn't use any such in Falluja, and won't I'm sure in Baquba.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:08 AM

June 13, 2007

Candid...

An excerpt from the Press conference after the President's speech in Prague.

...Q. Can I go back to your democracy speech?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Did you like it?

Q I loved it.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Say that in your stories.

Q I'll say it anywhere. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: What did he say?

Q I'll say it anywhere.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, good. How about in print? (Laughter.)

Q Oh, well --

THE PRESIDENT: That may be taking it too far. (Laughter.)...

And of course that was taking it too far, since the major media of course do not report anything that makes the President look good. Unless maybe when he's cooperating with Teddy Kennedy. And they didn't in this case; the speech got little attention. (And the self-styled conservatives aren't interested either—They cover their ears and say immigrationimmigrationimmigration.)

Me, I think that those conservatives (including myself) who find the immigration bill toxic should still be supporting the President on many other issues. But that's not binary enough for most people. a lot of conservatives right now seem to me to resemble poor Andrew Sullivan, who couldn't just disagree on his one big issue, but yet stay constant on the other ones. Once he linked up with Dems on the gay marriage issue, he had to cobble-up reasons why everything Republicans were doing was wrong. even though he contradicted all his previous views and just made himself look like an idiot.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:54 AM

June 9, 2007

Beneath the surface...

VDH:

...Lebanon is engaged in a deadly war against Palestinian al Qaeda-affiliates, and has resorted to massive and inherently indiscriminate shelling of Palestinian camp hideouts in Beirut—in a manner far more savage than the CNN-BBC monitored Israeli responses. The old dictum remains: Arabs killing Arabs is apparently a different category of reportage, where rules of Western censure don’t apply...

It's always this way. Google "Black September." Arab countries have wreaked far more devastation and death on the Palestinians than Israel ever has. And this gets no criticism from our Western "liberals" and "pacifists" because they do not and never have cared about the Palestinians. For them the only war is the war for the soul of the West.

And the Jews and the Americans are always the enemy, because, both in symbol and in fact, we personify:

  • Religious belief.
  • Belief in two nations that are embodied ideas.
  • Willingness to fight for those beliefs.
  • Capitalism empowering ordinary people.
  • Rejection of Old World elites.

In the real war, the war for the soul of the West, the good guys (no pussyfooting here) have a big disadvantage and a big advantage.

Our disadvantage is that we are hardly aware that we are at war. Most of us don't see news stories and immediately recognize them as the back-alley knife attacks they often are. Same with votes of the local school board, or tenure struggles at the State U., or the infiltration of ugly "art" into our churches and public spaces.

Our advantage is that the enemy is nihilism. It has nothing positive to offer. And it has to clothe its nakedness in scraps of belief, beliefs that it doesn't really believe in! So it is tangled in lies and contradictions. Especially, it clothes itself in the rags of Liberalism, and then is vulnerable as it flouts liberal ideals.

Which is why the Leftish crowd hates the Iraq Campaign, and in fact hated it before it even started. I suspect one of the most revealing moments of our time was in early 2002 when reporters were peppering the President with angry probing questions on Iraq, before the Administration had even raised the possibility! They knew! The Left has been calling every conservative a "fascist" for the last 70 or 80 years, and they knew that confronting a real fascist would expose them as frauds. Likewise with other liberal issues like humanitarianism, genocide, torture, oppression of minorities, anti-Semitism, and Human Rights. Saddam's Iraq was the real thing, and any real liberal would have to be in solidarity with George W Bush in fighting the monster. Exactly as much as if we were fighting against Hitler.

Perhaps history will place among the many accomplishments of President Bush a clarification. He has clarified that the great struggle is not between liberals and conservatives, but between nihilists and conservatives.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:44 AM

June 5, 2007

Agenda...

The NY Post has a good editorial (thanks for the tip, Frank), Gray Lady, Grim Agenda, excoriating the NYT for trying its best to downplay the Queens terror plot...

...Let's be clear here: The "paper of record" isn't guilty of merely poor news judgment. It's got an agenda.

Numerous newspapers understood the gravity of a plot against New York by terrorist upstarts from a seemingly unlikely part of the world - the Caribbean, just a few hours from U.S. shores. The Washington Post, for example, put the story on its front page Sunday.

Nor is the Times' coverage of this story a quirk: The paper has downplayed several other terror cases because the plotters were "merely" in the "talking" stage. Last month, after the Fort Dix Six case came to light, the paper ran a piece called "Informer's Role Draws Praise and Questions" - casting doubt on "the legitimacy of the investigations" because of the role of an FBI informer.

None of that should matter.

The point is, an unknown number of ruthless actors around the world - some in our backyard - continue to emerge and threaten the nation. No doubt the 9/11 plot also once seemed like something no one could pull off....

The NYT does have an agenda, and is savaging the truth to promote it. And this is a particularly sick thing because most local papers and TV stations take their lead from the Times.

The agenda, in its larger sense, is to return to the days when the NYT was the "flagship" of the liberal establishment. And to return to the glory-days of their youth, when they helped the Communists conquer South Vietnam. (They probably imagine that American defeat in Iraq would be similar, with the mass-murders etc. conveniently hidden behind an "iron curtain," so that the ice-hearted bastards of the Left don't need to take any responsibility. Me, I think the world has grown too small for that.)

They want all the nascent terror plots hidden, because they don't want us "little people" to be aroused. We have no interest in NYT editors being part of a "ruling class."

Posted by John Weidner at 4:52 PM

April 27, 2007

Another good read...

Along with Yon's piece you might want to read one by Rocco DiPippo in American Thinker: Hypocrisy has a Human Price on the Streets of Baghdad:

....There were other stunning differences between that trip, and the one I'd taken in December.

On the December trip I had seen abandoned shops and frightened people. On the latest one I saw many shops opened and people going about their business in what appeared to be a relaxed manner. On the first trip I saw cars and trucks in gas lines that stretched for miles. On the latest trip, though gas lines existed, they were far shorter, and looked about as long as those experienced by Americans at the height of the 1970s oil crisis. On the first trip I saw nothing but ruin: houses and other buildings in derelict condition, most appearing unfit for human habitation. On the latest trip I still saw many houses in poor condition, but I also saw homes being built, and a good number of existing houses and storefronts being repaired

As the miles clicked by and I viewed the passing scenes and the people in them, I realized I was seeing widespread signs of something I hadn't seen much of four months ago: I was seeing Hope. I saw that Iraqis had not yet given up on their lives or their country. I saw widespread evidence they are rebuilding both.

A simple thing is kindling that hope, and it is a thing being affected by the new security plan: the just imposition of basic law and order...

Of course it's hard to get the big picture from tiny slices seen by a few writers. Iraq is a big confusing place. That's why the gross failure of our mainstream media to cover the War on Terror honestly is such a terrible evil. And why the rise of the new media is so desperately important. Without it the Old Media can tell any lie, and ordinary Americans have no way to check. (Personally, I think President Bush should be asking Americans to sacrifice for the war effort---by investing time in reading blogs!) The classic example of such a lie was Walter Cronkite and the press telling the American people that the Tet Offensive was a defeat. In simple fact it was a huge victory for American and South Vietnamese forces, and the Viet Cong were never a significant factor in the war afterwards.

But the lie created a political defeat that ended in millions of deaths, and tens-of-mmilions of people being sold into communist slavery. And that's exactly what the the Left, the Democrat Party, the media and the "pacifists' are trying to do again.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:41 AM

April 19, 2007

Sheer lunacy...

Hugh Hewitt, on NBC's decision to publish the pictures and video sent to them by the Virginia Tech killer...

....I would have published --instantly-- the text of the killer's statement's for the public to read, but I would have denied the killer the instant video glorification he so obviously desired, an immortalization which other deranged killers of the future will almost certainly seek to emulate. NBC decided differently...

...Two days ago I shared a stage with NBC News president Steve Capus. Earlier today I commented on what I considered to be his cluelessness about the contempt in which MSM is held as well as my amazement at Capus' pride in MSM's Katrina coverage. Tonight I am dumbfounded by his --and his colleagues'-- decision-making in this matter. Instantly their decision to air the video and publish the pictures revolted vast numbers of ordinary Americans of all political opinions. (My sister-in-law, a very, very liberal individual, just said to me that "I don't recall ever hearing of anything so irresponsible.") I heard an outraged clinical psychiatrist from NYU University denouncing the decision in the harshest terms on Los Angeles radio station KNX.

The airing of the pictures and video is obviously a hurtful and destructive act, one that will prime many killing pumps in the years ahead, and one obviously made on the fly by individuals of almost no experience with or curiosity about the deranged mind. Would it have killed Capus et al to ask around a bit about what to do? Of course not, but their decision could indeed kill others down the road. They acted as their own guides, because that is the way the business works. In their very, very closed world, it made sense. To the vast majority of Americans it was an appalling, horrific decision, far worse than what Don Imus had to say last week...

It's pretty obvious that how people "act out" insanity is partly learned behavior. An Indonesian will likely go "Mataglap" and suddenly run down the street slashing people with a Kris. In other places such a thing never happens. He's learned that from his culture.

Our news media are teaching people that the way to go crazy is to get a gun and shoot a lot of people. (And to send a video to NBC, to give you a moment of crazy glory!!)

I remember when the news of Columbine broke, and I was unfortunately stuck in a place where I had to listen to the radio. And so I spent a couple of miserable hours while news idiots talked to each other, saying over and over and over, "We don't know what happened, but apparently there's been a shooting." It was like some crazy experiment in hypnotic conditioning. If I ever go nuts it is more likely, because of that, that I might shoot something up. (You Lefties can relax, I never watch television, so I'm probably the least likely to ever do such a thing. If I go mad there will barrages of blog-posts.)

Actually, there should by law be a news blackout on coverage of these things. that's so obvious it will never happen..

Posted by John Weidner at 7:20 AM

April 14, 2007

Dezinformatsia

One of the current lies is that the Iraqi Parliament Building is in the Green Zone. It's not. (Thanks to Michelle)

The purpose of the lie is, of course, to feed the story that our campaign in Iraq is a hopeless failure, and to thus cause it to become a failure. This is in itself a minor lie, but every one of them should be fought. Because they are all pieces of an overall strategy of causing American defeat, and electing Democrats.

(I don't mean that Left-leaning people are thinking this out clearly; they don't think. Rather, they are reenacting the lessons of their youth. especially the Big Lie that said that the Tet Offensive was an American defeat. (It was in fact a huge victory, from which the Viet Cong never recovered. All subsequent important fighting was against North Vietnamese regulars.)

But the lie caused America to lose heart and pull out of Vietnam, and so led to millions of deaths (which Leftists and pacifists cared not a whit about) and also led, along with Watergate, to huge Democrat gains in Congress (which is all Leftists and pacifists really care about: Political power.)

Posted by John Weidner at 8:45 AM

April 2, 2007

NOT a "civil war"

The blog Back Talk (thanks to Glenn Reynolds) has a lot of interesting graphs and figures on the "surge" and Iraq. Well worth looking at. Some conclusions:

...My latest analysis shows that there is good news and bad news from Iraq concerning the troop surge. The good news is that casualties in Baghdad have come down very substantially. The bad news is that casualties elsewhere in Iraq have increased substantially. And, no, it's not because the civil war spilled over to the rest of the country. It's because al Qaeda started targeting innocent Shiite civilians where it was easier to do so. And, no, such attackes do not represent "sectarian violence" between Shiites and Sunnis. Only Democratic Senators and Representatives and mainstream media reporters believe that nonsense. The violence expanded beyond Baghdad because Sunni al Qaeda jihadists are doing everything in their power to get Shiites to kill Sunnis. Civil war is al Qaeda's goal (because it suits their jihadist objectives), and that's how this differs from the civil war schema that Democrats and reporters simply cannot get out of their heads. ....

...It is not a civil war. Instead, it is al Qaeda fighting against the people of Iraq. Yes, the Sunni insurgents initially allied themselves with al Qaeda in their fight against the hated Americans, but even they are finally coming to realize that the civil war that al Qaeda is trying to provoke is not helpful to them in any way...

...I know how much liberals treasure the idea that this is just a civil war in Iraq, the very civil war they predicted would happen if George Bush launched his "misbegotten adventure" in Iraq. Because they predicted civil war, all information from Iraq is processed through that obsolete schema. That's why Democrats have adopted an eerie code of silence about al Qaeda in Iraq. In terms of their sacred schema, al Qaeda in Iraq does not compute, therefore it does not exist.

But it does exist, and it killed nearly 400 innocent Iraqis in the last two weeks alone....

Leftists, the press, Democrat politicians, are all in a conspiracy to present what's happening in Iraq as meaningless violence. In fact it is an orchestrated production. It's a show put on for American TV cameras, and to influence American elections and Congressional votes. and of course to cause freedom and democracy to fail in Iraq.

Another quote from the same post:

...Americans don't realize that we are in a fight with al Qaeda and their affiliated jihadists in Iraq. And they don't know because the media equates attacks by al Qaeda with the phrase "sectarian violence." Look at this MSNBC headline again:
Tal Afar bomb toll hits 152, deadliest of Iraq war
Tally arrives during week in which more than 500 died in sectarian violence
Wrong. More than 400 of those deaths were caused by al Qaeda, not because they are Sunnis who hate Shiites but because they want Shiites to start killing Sunnis. It is wrong to call that "sectarian violence," and doing so just reinforces the obsolete schema that governs the thinking of Democratic leaders and mainstream media reporters, all of whom are sure they see a civil war spontaneously erupting before their very eyes. What they are seeing instead is al Qaeda fighting against Iraq and, more to the point, against America. We either stay in Iraq and defeat them, or we leave on a timetable and lose to them. That's your choice, take your pick. There are no other choices.
Posted by John Weidner at 8:19 AM

March 31, 2007

Stopwatch time...

Michelle has an e-mail from someone at the SF Chronicle, which has mysteriously not yet reported on the scandal involving Senator Diane Feinstein, (SF resident, and former SF Mayor. And, most importantly, Democrat). The person said he "expects" that the Chron will be reporting on it.

Yeah, sure. I'll bet they report it like the big papers reported on the allegations of the Swift Boat Veterans. That is, they will ignore it as long as possible, and then report it as something that's "already been debunked."

So, do you think I should whip out the old stopwatch and time how fast all those people who made pompous denunciations of the Halliburton Corporation, will jump on what looks like REAL war-profiteering? Hmm? Hey, all you Halliburton bashers out there (I remember you, and you know who you are) here's your chance to show that you are honest....

Remember all the screaming about a couple of no-bid contracts given to a Haliburton subsidiary? Contracts which were, in fact, quite innocent, and were issued by career bureaucrats, not by the Bush Administration, and for perfectly respectable reasons? And similar to ones cut under the Clinton Administration? Well, now we seem to have a LOT of fishy-looking no-bid contracts, to DiFi's husband Richard C. Blum's corporations, while DiFi sat on the MILCON subcommittee that oversees the work.

So I'm expecting you lefties to show that you are honest, and give this the same treatment you gave Halliburton! (Ha ha, ain't I a comic!)

Posted by John Weidner at 2:31 PM

March 30, 2007

Respect

The dirty little animals of our "news media" are all over the "chocolate Jesus" story. They just love it.

Michelle reminds us of how the same bunch reacted to the cartoons of Mohammed. Including this quote, from CNN...

"CNN has chosen to not show the cartoons in respect for Islam."

"CNN is not showing the negative caricatures of the likeness of Prophet Mohammed because the network believes its role is to cover the events surrounding the publication of the cartoons while not unnecessarily adding fuel to the controversy itself."

Weasels. Pie-crusts. Dhimmis. Nihilists. Democrats. I despise them all forever.

Posted by John Weidner at 4:28 PM

February 28, 2007

Please bomb us...

John at PowerLine writes, concerning the suicide bomber in Afghanistan (who of course never had the slightest chance of getting near the Vice President):

....Suicide bombing is a tactic favored by the weak. It was developed initially by the Palestinians--the ultimate in weakness--and then implemented by Iraqi insurgents, who have little ability to engage coalition forces in combat. The Taliban's adoption of the tactic is perhaps also born of weakness, but no doubt the perceived success of the Iraqi insurgents has also inspired the Taliban to imitate them.

The Taliban must be heartened by the reaction of many Americans to the ongoing violence in Iraq. The group's leadership may have inferred that it can drive the U.S. and its allies from Afghanistan, not only by killing American soldiers, but through the much easier expedient of using suicide bombers to murder Afghan civilians. If that's what the Taliban has in mind, the fact that the bomber got nowhere near Vice-President Cheney doesn't mean that he failed. On the contrary, the massive publicity being given to the attempt, and to the resulting deaths of a number of innocent Afghans, most likely means that the bombing achieved its objective.
[My emphasis]

We are teaching the Taliban, and all the other crazies of the world, to do this. We tell them over and over again that this is a tactic that works. The purpose of suicide bombing is not military victory, but the creation of a climate of discouragement in the West. And, surprise, this is exactly the goal of our press, democrats, fake-pacifists and the whole nihilist Left.

The way to teach terrorists to be suicide bombers is to respond with publicity and public pronouncements of discouragement. We do thise every time.

The way to teach terrorists not to use suicide bombers is to respond with public defiance, and by doing just the opposite of what they want. Anyone who even suggests this is called a "warmonger," and "un-Christian."

Posted by John Weidner at 6:43 AM

February 20, 2007

Strange coincidence...

Dafydd has an interesting post on how most major papers phrased the recent activities in the Senate as "Republicans closing off debate on the war." In fact the Democrats were trying to end debate—that's what "cloture" means—and force a vote. (That's one lie, but also the papers have covered up the fact that there is opportunity to debate the war with every bill that comes up, and in fact war debate has been preempting almost all the other business of the Senate!)

...But if that is the case -- where did this amazing coincidence of terminology come from? The only other explanation that occurs to me is that editors at the other newspapers simply copied what the New York Times wrote, that the Republicans had "rejected an effort to force debate" on the Iraq war. I suspect they originally wrote their articles straight; but when they saw that artful bit of misdiction in "America's newspaper of record," the lower-tier editorial boards gushed, "What a great way to put it! Let's us do that as well."

I can't think of any other way that such a contorted and misleading phrasing, never before used, could appear on the same day in a half dozen major newspapers and probably dozens of minor ones....
Posted by John Weidner at 8:27 AM

February 12, 2007

Amazingly uninformative...

Dafydd has an interesting post on the many defeats suffered by the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the reluctance of our news media to report losses when it's their own side that's losing...

I read this New York Times story a few days ago, and something struck me as odd: we were told that 4,000 people died... but the Times was amazingly uninformative about who they were:
President Hamid Karzai offered peace talks with a resurgent Taliban after the bloodiest year since they were driven from power in 2001. More than 4,000 people, including about 170 foreign soldiers, died in fighting in 2006. Suicide bombings also rose sharply.
The phrase “4000 people” caught my eye. Did “people” include bad guys as well as innocent civilians? If so, how many?

What if a majority of those deaths were of Taliban terrorists? If so, then far from signalling a Taliban resurgence threatening Afghanistan's security (thus our own), it would mean their "surge" was as complete a failure as the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War...

Lots there worth reading...

Posted by John Weidner at 10:04 PM

January 15, 2007

but Republican children are creepy...

Mark Steyn is delightfully scathing about how the press is fawning over "Grandma Nancy," contrasted with how certain other public figures with children were treated...

...."Grandma With A Gavel'' was written by hard-headed reporter Ruth Marcus, scourge of Republican Justice Departments for many years, and this column reflected her notoriously sharp forensic skills:

''The images as California Democrat Nancy Pelosi took office last week were striking -- and stirring -- in their unfamiliarity. Pelosi, holding her infant grandson swaddled in a white receiving blanket, as she sat in the well of the House, awaiting her election. Pelosi, with the assurance of a mother experienced at dispensing cookies to impatient toddlers, giving each child his -- and her -- turn with the gavel. Pelosi raising her hand to take the oath as her grandson, at her side, fiddled with grandma's papers.''...

....But don't Republicans have families, too? Yes, but let's face it, they creep you out, don't they? If you have the misfortune to be nominated by the Bush administration, your kids get headlines like ''An Image A Little Too Carefully Coordinated.'' That was the Washington Post's Style Section on Chief Justice John Roberts' moppets: They didn't care for ''the 1950s-style tableaux vivant,'' or the ''freshly scrubbed and adorable'' look from ''a Currier & Ives landscape''; they sniffed at the ''seersucker suit with short pants'' of ''towheaded Jack'' and his sister's ''blond pageboy''; they didn't even like the name ''Jack.''....(Thanks to Betsy N)

I certainly remember the Roberts announcement. Steyn's phrase, "but let's face it, they creep you out, don't they?" captures the reaction of the press to those cute Republican children perfectly.

But the grotesque dishonesty of the Gasping Media is a good thing in many ways. It keeps us wily and tough. They are not really doing Granny a favor, because she, like everyone, is going to make mistakes. And if she believes the WaPo and the NYT and the network news, she will be cocooned like so many other Democrats. She won't be pulled up sharp on her missteps, until an election comes along with rude surprises.

And press bias is psychologically a good thing for us conservatives. We can't take our ideas for granted, like so many liberals do. And we don't get hot and bothered if someone wants to debate with us--we are mentally debating the world all the time...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:34 AM

December 27, 2006

This sure stimulates my ire...

Here's a piece in the Washington Post by David Ignatius, about how our troops are spending Christmas. I thank him for giving America's heroes a little attention, but really, the mere idea of thanking a journalist for paying attention to our soldiers in wartime is INSANE. Have you ever looked at old magazines or newspapers from during WWII? Old copies of LIFE? They were stuffed with stories and pictures of our men and women in uniform. Or read a collection of Ernie Pyle's work? That's what Americans do.

And this particular bit from Ignatius' article is just SICK...


....This holiday season, America is struggling through a searing national debate about Iraq. The horror of the war feels immediate, even to people who've never been near Baghdad, but less so the humanity of the thousands of American soldiers who are serving there. That's part of the Iraq disconnect: The war dominates our political life, but the men and women in the midst of it often are nearly invisible. We see them in thumbnail photos in group obituaries but not as real, living people.

If you read soldiers' blogs, and I've looked at several dozen over the past few days, you see a recurring anger that the media aren't telling their story. So I'll let a few of the military bloggers speak for themselves....
[Thanks to Penraker]

Let's take that quote again, with a bit of venting....

....This holiday season, America is struggling through a searing national debate about Iraq. [Cliché—debate is no more intense now than six months ago. And mainly that's how the press wants to FRAME the story. THEY want to undermine America, and they project this onto the country and claim there's a "searing debate."] The horror of the war feels immediate, [Because that's all that gets reported] even to people who've never been near Baghdad, but less so the humanity of the thousands of American soldiers who are serving there. [And you are going to tell us WHY this is? Or is this something that "just happens," like the weather?] That's part of the Iraq disconnect: The war dominates our political life, but the men and women in the midst of it often are nearly invisible. [They are invisible because you foul TRAITORS in the "news" media have deliberately made it them invisible.] We see them in thumbnail photos in group obituaries but not as real, living people. [Oooooh. Speak for yourself, toad. If I ran the circus, you'd see them as real people, all right. Because the whole slimy lot of you fake-journalists would be rounded up at gunpoint and EMBEDDED. And if you did a good job cleaning latrines, you might, after six months or a year be allowed to go out with the troops and do some reporting. You don't know what reporting is, but our average soldier or Marine is more intelligent and clear-thinking than you, and I'm sure they could teach you.]

If you read soldiers' blogs, and I've looked at several dozen over the past few days, you see a recurring anger that the media aren't telling their story. [You noticed this only 3 or 4 years after I did. I'm SO impressed, chomsky.] So I'll let a few of the military bloggers speak for themselves. [They've been speaking for themselves, and bloggers have been listening, for YEARS now. You are late to the party, you condescending jackass. You should get down on your knees and thank these people. They go out daily with guns looking for fights with crazed killers�monsters who would love to kill YOU. Before you start throwing your elite-media crumbs to the peasants, you might think a bit about a guy named Danny Pearl.]

Posted by John Weidner at 7:02 PM

December 24, 2006

Back to the ridiculous for a moment...

Hugh writes:

....What the paper's [the Boston Globe] staff doesn't seem to understand is the incredible lift they are giving the Romney campaign. There is no surer signal to the GOP base of a candidate's conservative principles, competence and electability than an early and sustained attempt to damage him by the MSM [mainstream media]. One of the reasons that Senator McCain is viewed with such distrust by the Republican base is the fawning coverage he receives from the Beltway-Manahttan media elites. One of the reasons Rudy Giuliani has credibility with base despite his views on abortions rights etc is that the MSM clearly fears him. Negative MSM coverage of Republican candidates is like a divining stick pointing towards those Republicans the Democratic Party fears the most.....

If McCain is nominated I'll vote for him, but still consider him puke-worthy. For this and other reasons. I can imagine he's enough of an egotistical fool to imagine that the Gasping Media will still fawn on him once he's running against a Democrat. If that situation happens one looks forward with a certain schadenfreude to his bewilderment when they turn on him like the animals they are.

Posted by John Weidner at 12:48 PM

December 7, 2006

For The Glorious 7th Of December...

From Strategypage, how the headlines might read if today's fake-journalists were covering WWII. (Thanks to Rand)

NAVY, WHITE HOUSE LIED ABOUT BATTLESHIPS
5, Not 2, Sunk at Pearl Harbor

HUNDREDS OF SAILORS STILL TRAPPED UNDERWATER
Victims' Families: Pearl Rescue Efforts "Disgraceful"

FDR DUMPS MACARTHUR FOR CHURCHILL
"Writing Off" Philippines, Sources Say

SECRET PAYMENT TO MACARTHUR
$500,000 from Manila Bigwigs

MIDWAY VICTORY DUE TO BROKEN JAP CODES
The Chicago Tribune did actually print this story. Fortunately, the Japanese didn't see it. Tribune owner Robert McCormick was sternly told never to let this happen again, and it never did.

FDR PLANS NORTH AFRICA INVASION
Critics Charge "Stunt" To Help Dems in '42 Elections

NORMANDY "IDEAL" INVASION SITE
Military Experts Agree This Is Where We'll Land....
...WHISTLEBLOWER REVEALS SUPERBOMB PLANS
Catholic Bishops Condemn Secret "Manhattan Project"

IKE ENRAGED
Monty to Be Fired in SHAEF Meltdown
British papers which did report, inaccurately, tensions between Ike and Monty, were stepped on hard by the British government.

"NO DEFENSE" AGAINST KAMIKAZES
Experts: Suicide Tactics May Be War-Winner – Fleet Demoralized

IWO JIMA FLAG RAISING "STAGED"
Bond Drive Collapses After Controversy

BURN BABY BURN
B-29 Crews Laugh, Take Photos as Thousands of Children Die

ATOM BOMB DROPPED TO COW SOVIETS
Sources Say Hiroshima Strike Had No Military Purpose
Posted by John Weidner at 7:33 AM

December 6, 2006

More lies to help the other side...(Or, Sweden down the Memory Hole)

From PowerLine:

The top headline on Yahoo News reads: "Gates Says U.S. Losing Iraq War." Here is the screen shot; click to enlarge:

Only that's not what Gates said. The Associated Press story that Yahoo News links to carries the milder headline, "Gates says U.S. is not winning Iraq war." And if you read the story, you find that what Gates actually said is that "he believes the United States is neither winning nor losing, 'at this point.'"

The "not winning" theme is likely to dominate news coverage; the New York Times headlines, "At Hearing, Gates Says U.S. Not Winning War in Iraq." Here, too, if you keep reading you find that Gates said "the United States is not losing the war either."...

Question: does the Old media want us to lose the Iraq Campaign?

Short answer: Yes. But they imagine losing will be like losing was in Vietnam. That is, a big moment of triumph for Democrats and for the NYT, with all those millions who get murdered and imprisoned safely off-stage, where the American people can't see them.

(Bear with me my brethren for covering ground I've been over before, but I'm right in the middle of this nootziness. I'm confronted with it every day. I'm in a city where 83% of the population thought that John Kerry—poster boy of 70's fossilization—was a good choice for President! I've got to vent a bit.)

To the Left, every war is Vietnam. And I'm not talking about a metaphor or something. More like a dementia. They really believe it. Remember how two of the most splendid lightning-victories in our history—the overthrow of the Taliban and the 3-week blitzkrieg through Iraq—were both labeled as quagmires! Within mere days!

It's lunacy, and also part of a larger lunacy—the derangement involved in trying to preserve a world-view that gelled around 1973. Preserve it even though the world has in fact changed drastically, and that world-view no longer corresponds with reality. Mark Steyn caught the outlook perfectly, as the idea that everything is going to become like Sweden. Younger people may find this hard to grasp, but trust me, I was there. It was a commonplace in the 60's and 70's that the Swedes, and other Euro-socialists, had figured it all out, and it was only a matter of time before us primitivo Americans would shed our coarse old ideas and move Swedenwards, as "progressive" types already had.

And we humans always want to display our inner selves in our outward appearance. Back then the emblem was to drive a Volvo or a Saab (plus guilt-free sex, wearing clogs and eating Blix).

But funny thing, the Symbolic Volvo has been traded in for a symbolic Prius. Yet the change has not been publicly remarked upon, at least not that I've heard. No Leftist admits to dumping Sweden down the Memory Hole, sort of like the memory of an old girl-friend from ones college days. Sweden has obviously failed as a model to emulate, but nobody's talking about it. That has to be extracting a psychological toll. It is massive denial.

What does Jane Liberal think, as she drives around in the tired rusty Volvo station wagon she can't afford to trade in for a Prius? I can't even imagine what she thinks, I doubt it's thinking at all. Just crazy anger, and BUSH is to blame!

Posted by John Weidner at 10:06 AM

November 27, 2006

Important info---pass it on

That big story about the people being burned alive in Iraq, while Iraqi troops stood by?

IT'S A TOTAL FABRICATION!

IT'S A LIE!

It's a clear and blatant lie fabricated by our country's enemies, and propagated by our internal enemies and traitors in the news media.

LINK (if you have trouble with that link, as I did, go to FloppingAces' main blog page and scroll down to 11-25, at 8:54)

Thanks to Lorie Byrd

Posted by John Weidner at 9:41 AM

November 15, 2006

Now they tell us...

Our friend Frank sent this NYT editorial, writing: "See 7th Paragraph. Amazing what a difference responsibility makes. They are covering their asses. ..."

The Democrats will not be able to savor their victory for long. Americans are waiting to hear if they have any good ideas for how to get out of Iraq without creating even wider chaos and terrorism. [NOW you let us know that you know that your party has no policy. AFTER you pull out all the stops to get them into office]

Criticizing President Bush’s gross mismanagement of the war was a winning electoral strategy. But criticism will not extricate the United States from this mess, nor will it persuade voters that the Democrats are ready to take back the White House.

Let us be clear. The responsibility for all that has gone wrong lies squarely with Mr. Bush. [Likewise with what's gone RIGHT---too bad there's a news black-out on that part] Even with control of the Congress, the Democrats’ role in changing things will be hortatory. And while we too are eager to hear the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group — better known as the (James) Baker commission — it should be the start, and not the end, of a bipartisan discussion on Iraq strategy. The Democrats need to be ready to play a full role. [Gee, maybe they should start a think-tank! I've only said about a thousand times that Dems have no policy. Nor principles, nor values. Nor morality, nor honesty.]

Under Republican control, Congress has exercised virtually no oversight of the administration’s misconduct of the war, and the new Democratic leadership is eager to hold extensive hearings. The public deserves a full accounting (backed by subpoenas, if necessary) of how prewar intelligence was cooked, why American troops were sent to war without adequate armor, and where billions of dollars in reconstruction aid disappeared to. [Who needs hearings, you've obviously convicted already.]

The Democrats will also need to look forward — and quickly. So far they have shared slogans, but no real policy. [So Random Jottings was right all along? Thanks, I appreciate you admitting it!] During the campaign, their most common call was for a “phased redeployment” — a euphemism for withdrawal — of American troops starting before the end of this year.

Threatening to pull out may be the only way to get cooperation from Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, who is thwarting even the most limited American efforts to disarm militias and set timetables for genuine political compromise on the most fundamental issues, like protecting minority rights and fairly apportioning the country’s oil wealth. [Threatening to pull out also tells the bad guys that their political/media strategy has worked and that they would be fools to compromise, or let to up on the killing.]

Unless America’s exit plans are coupled with a more serious effort to build up Iraq’s security forces and mediate its sectarian divisions, a phased withdrawal will only hasten Iraq’s descent into civil war — while placing American soldiers who remain behind in even greater danger. We also fear that Iraqis will have no interest in anything but retribution, until they see that security and rebuilding are possible. For that reason we have suggested one last push to stabilize Baghdad. That would require at least a temporary increase in American and Iraqi troops on Baghdad streets. [So, now that the election is over the NYT favors doing the sort of stuff the Bush Administration has been doing all along! But "more serious," of course, in some unspecified ways. Vile.]

We are skeptical of calls, by some Democrats, to divide the country into three ethnically based regions. Most Iraqis — except for the Kurds — show little enthusiasm for the idea. And while there has been horrific ethnic cleansing, it hasn’t yet got to the point that boundaries could be drawn without driving many more people from their homes. [Skeptical, eh. But not a word of your skepticism did we hear until your party got into power.]

Such ideas deserve a full discussion, something the United States has not had since its troops first rolled into Iraq. [Bullshit. We've been wrangling about Iraq since at least early 2002. But perhaps the NYT itself has not "discussed" Iraq? Perhaps they've been intimidate by people wrapped in flags, and have kept mum? I should look in their archives and find out.] We are not sure that any shift in strategy can contain the disaster. But we are sure that even a few weeks more of drift and confusion will guarantee more chaos and suffering once American troops leave. Voters gave the Democrats the floor — and are now waiting to hear what they have to say. [Insanity. The NYT sees nothing wrong with (Democrats) getting elected and THEN telling the voters what they stand for.]

Posted by John Weidner at 9:42 AM

November 10, 2006

I can just see the miasma lifting

Annoying Old Guy writes:

...many of the nation's problems, domestic and foreign, will be solved in the next few months as far as Old Media is concerned. The economy will blossom, foreigners will like the USA better, Congress will do more, better. The impeachment proceedings and investigations won’t be petty politics but a necessary clean up of the government. The general miasma that depressed the nation will lift. It will be a subtle but pervasive effect, lasting until at least Nov 2008...

And the rising real estate prices that hurt the middle class (along with the falling real estate prices that hurt the middle class) will turn around and become signs of cheer and cause for hope! Both of them. Probably simultaneously.

And, even better, the descent of the nation into fascism will be slowed or stopped! Children will sleep safely, knowing that Cheney's blackshirts won't break down the door and haul mommy and mommy off to the re-education camp....

Posted by John Weidner at 4:20 PM

November 3, 2006

I already knew Bush didn't lie, but...

...It's nice to have it confirmed by the NYT (I'm sure you've already seen this stuff, but it's fun to post)

Dean Barnett:

....In its semi-annual November surprise, the New York Times “reveals” that the Bush administration put documents on the web that showed that Iraq was quite far along in its quest for nuclear weapons. Naturally, that’s not the focus of the story. The focus of the story is the cursed incompetence of the Bush administration, the Republican Party, and even right-wing media-types (like me!) who wanted the documents released.

But the takeaway from the story for normal people won’t be that conservatives both inside and outside the administration are all a bunch of blithering incompetents. Besides, Andrew Sullivan’s vote had already been pretty much sewed up. The “news” in the story is how far along Saddam was in his bid to acquire the ultimate WMD. While that’s an old story to many of us, it’s heartening to see the Times splash it all over this morning’s front page and in so doing refresh the nation’s memory regarding the most disputed causus belli of the current war....

And of course having the NYT, of all organizations, admit that leaking stuff might be harmful...delicious...

Posted by John Weidner at 10:02 AM

November 2, 2006

biases and preconceptions...

I find the biases and preconceptions in this Washington Times piece fascinating...

BAGHDAD -- In the face of relentless violence, political chaos, economic uncertainty and nightly curfews, Iraq's maternity wards are experiencing an unlikely baby boom.

Despite the obstacles, the birthrate in Iraq actually has increased since the U.S.-led invasion 43 months ago, according to the country's Health Ministry. The rate of births in the country has jumped from 29 births per 1,000 people in 2003 to 37 per 1,000 last year, according to government figures.

In neighboring Iran, the birthrate is half that -- 21 per 1,000 population, while the average birthrate in the Middle East is 25, according to the World Bank. The birthrate in the United States is about 14 births per 1,000 people, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention....

Some preconceptions...

  1. That people in Iraq see their situation the same way western MSM writers do.
  2. That a level of violent deaths roughly comparable to American urban slums is something that people can't "get used to," and just carry on their lives during.
  3. That Saddam's Iraq had economic certainty.
  4. That people respond to times of sporadic violence by postponing children.
  5. That the situation in Iraq constitutes "political chaos."

I'd say:

  1. They probably don't, as witness the fact that several million refugees have returned to Iraq. Plus all those new babies.
  2. There have been lots of cases in history where people became accustomed to levels of violence and uncertainty much greater than Iraq's. And would routinely slip out to buy groceries when the firing died down, or when mortar fire moved to the next block. I've read stuff like that about Beirut.
  3. Among other things, the Ba'athists played games with the value of the currency, and people would be stuck with devalued dinars, while insiders made a killing. More importantly, true economic security—this will be incomprehensible to statists—comes with the marketplace. Things of value have value because people will pay for them, and free markets maximize this salability.
  4. The normal human response to dangerous times is to have more children, so as not to have all one's eggs of happiness in one basket. I suspect the author is a "Blue-Stater" who assumes that people respond to anything by postponing children.
  5. Just silly. Wishful thinking. Or maybe just sloppy writing
Posted by John Weidner at 1:10 PM

October 27, 2006

smears, one more little item...

Apparently last year Robin Williams did a comedy routine mocking Rush Limbaugh for his pain-killer addiction, and laughing at the thought of him going into therapy.

Then, a week or two later, Williams announces that HE is going into therapy for his drinking problem. And asks for privacy! (And gets it! From the same news media that's now pretending outrage (at the false charge) that Rush mocked Michael J. Fox.)

Liberals are nothing but horrid little children.

Posted by John Weidner at 11:34 AM

October 24, 2006

Underdogs lashed by the acid tongue of George W Bush...

I didn't mention the ridiculous excuse-making by Mr Calame of the NYT, because everybody else was doing so. But our friend Frank prodded me, and really, it's just irresistable...

...What kept me from seeing these matters more clearly earlier in what admittedly was a close call? I fear I allowed the vicious criticism of The Times by the Bush administration to trigger my instinctive affinity for the underdog and enduring faith in a free press —...

What constitutes "vicious criticism" to a leftist? It's saying, "You are wrong." That's hitting below the belt. (And if one says, "You are VERY wrong?" "Hate-mongering!")

What babies.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:10 AM

September 26, 2006

"not the harbinger of disaster that the Times and WaPo would have us believe..."

This is worth reading...

Yesterday, we noted that the MSM (along with their fellow travelers in the intel community), had apparently "cherry-picked" information from a recent National Intelligence Estimate, making their case that the Bush Administration's War on Terror had actually made the problem worse. In closing, we observed that if the NIE was that biased, it represented a grave disservice to both the community and the nation.

Thankfully, the actual NIE is not the harbinger of disaster that the Times and WaPo would have us believe. According to members of the intel community who have seen the document, the NIE is actually fair and balanced (to coin a phrase), noting both successes and failures in the War on Terror--and identifying potential points of failure for the jihadists. The quotes printed below--taken directly from the document and provided to this blogger--provide "the other side" of the estimate, and its more balanced assessment of where we stand in the War on Terror (comments in italics are mine)....
(Thanks to PowerLine)

Philosophically, by the way, I think that the fact that mistakes have been made is good. A good sign. This War on Terror is a new thing, and the only way to learn how to fight it is is to jump in and try, and make lots of "mistakes." And the only way to avoid making mistakes is inactivity. Clintonism.

Actually, I am oversimplifying. You need to "jump in and try things," but within the context of a correct basic understanding of what it is you are trying to do. You need to have a compass heading to follow, before you start thrashing through the sticker patch.

I support the Administration in the War not because I think they don't make mistakes, but because I agree with their compass heading. And the contempt I feel for President Bush's liberal opponents is huge, not because I think they would necessarily make more "mistakes" if they were in charge, but because they have no compass.

They have never made a philosophical case for a different Grand Strategy. Without that, to continually oppose and hinder our elected leadership means they are not a "loyal opposition." They are just treasonous ankle-biters.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:25 AM

September 25, 2006

Pay back....

Associated Press.BAGHDAD, Iraq A leader of Ansar al-Sunnah, a group linked to al-Qaida in Iraq that responsible for kidnappings and beheadings, has been captured by Iraqi and U.S. forces, the prime minister's office said Saturday.

Muntasir Hamoud Ileiwi al-Jubouri and two of his aides were arrested in Muqdadiyah, 90 kilometers (56 miles) northeast of Baghdad late Friday, Brig. Qassim al-Mussawi, spokesman for the General Command of the Armed Forces, told The Associated Press....

...The Sunni militant group has claimed responsibility for numerous suicide attacks, the August 2004 execution of 12 Nepalese hostages and a December 2004 explosion at a U.S. military mess hall in Mosul that killed 22 people. Believed to have been an offshoot of another group, Ansar Al-Islam....(Thanks to Dean)

Good news of course. Lots of thoughts come to mind (all of which you've heard before.) One of the reasons for the Iraq Campaign was to make Iraq an ally in the War on Terror. Well, we can see that. My guess is that most people of the Islamic world are our allies, but just haven't realized it yet. They don't want to be ruled by Talibs, or by brutes like Saddam. But it will take them a while to realize it.

And we notice once again terrorists being called "militants" by their fawning pals in our vile press, may Allah the Merciful and Compassionate pull the beards from their cheeks.

And this by the way is revenge. This is vengeance against murderers and war criminals, and we can and should enjoy it. Celebrate it. Hey, you Democrats out there, let's hear how pleased and proud you are that you country and its ally have won a victory!
.
.
.
.
.
.
Well, maybe tomorrow we will hear from them.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:11 AM

September 23, 2006

and one from Polish Radio...

Pajamas Media:

Given the tsunami of news coming out of Iraq in the papers and on television, it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that the media organizations of the world must have a battalion or more of reporters assigned to cover the war. But if you guessed “one or two battalions,” you’d be far off the mark. If you guessed “several squads” you’d still be wrong....

....If you guessed 9 reporters, you guessed right.
Here’s the chart (CLICK HERE TO VIEW) showing who the nine embedded reporters were covering all of Iraq on 9/19/2006. You’ll see that of those 9 reporters, 3 were from the Armed Forces’ Stars & Stripes, 1 from AFN (Armed Force Network), 1 from the Charlotte Observer, 1 from the BBC, 1 from the AP, 1 from RAI, and 1 from Polish Radio. All the rest of the “coverage” of the Iraq war on that day came from reporters hunkered down in the hotels and other locations under the rubric “Baghdad News Bureaus.”...

Being embedded is VERY dangerous. Not especially physically dangerous, but something much worse--dangerous to the lefty world-views and hate-America Bobo prejudices of the reporters.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:00 AM

September 16, 2006

"winning a big talent contest, but your parents weren’t there to see...."

Callimachus at Winds of Change has an excellent interview with a woman who spent several years working in Iraq, for a company that oversees the contractors who are working on the many reconstruction projects. It's fascinating stuff, and I recommend it.

She's bitter about how our press so-called covered the stories...

...The press missed something vital about Iraq, and as a result the American and world public never really understood. Nobody ever got it. Iraq wasn’t just another city in the US or in Europe.

And as a result US and European citizens can share no connection to and no pride whatsoever in what those of us in Iraq have accomplished. You can’t feel it, because you’ve never seen it. And those of us who have experienced it have few ways to convey it to you so you can relate to it and share it with us. There’s a pretty hollow feeling that comes with that. It’s like being a sixteen year old and winning a big talent contest, but your parents weren’t there to see....

And I'm bitter too. I've been following the scraps of these stories that surface, and knowing all along there's a lot more going on...

....Most of us took our risks because we had to to complete our jobs. Others did so because we sincerely believed in what we were doing. For many if not most, we ultimately did so for both reasons. So it is difficult for us to watch or read much of what is reported here in the States. It is even harder to watch that same media mention their own "bravery and dedication" on those rare occasions when reporters would actually leave the safety of their burrows and venture out in clean flak jackets to cover some well-secured scene.

This didn’t go completely unnoticed by others who mentioned it on returning to the States. The media’s excuse has been that they are prime targets for armed thugs that routinely look for westerners to kidnap or kill. These people do exist and they are truly deadly. But far more contractors or Iraqi and third-nation workers employed by them have been killed, wounded, kidnapped, or raped, than journalists.

More international aid workers have been killed, wounded, or kidnapped, than journalists. More Iraqi doctors, police, government workers, social aid workers, teachers, government leaders, lawyers, businessmen and religious leaders have been individually targeted, killed, wounded, raped, or kidnapped than journalists. So as it works out, journalists aren't as high up on the hit list as they claim to be. But that hasn't moved them to go out and actually do their jobs, nor has it stopped them from trumpeting their own bravery, dedication, and ... uhhh ... integrity. ...

The news producers are only interested in the reconstruction projects if there's a hint that Halliburton has screwed up, and then only so they can tell lies about the Vice-President. Same for lefty-bloggers and left-politicians. The toads are not worthy to clean the boots of the brave men and women who serve our country around the globe in the messy dangerous work that actually accomplishes things and helps people.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:36 AM

August 23, 2006

Zombie's got the goods...

Here's an amazing, world-class blog post, documenting a faked "Israeli attack" on a Lebanese ambulance.

A totally bogus story, which was reported by our vile Western "news" media as truth. Go take a look...

* Update: Zombie, by the way, might more be called a "web photo-journalist" than a blogger. Remember this? and this

Posted by John Weidner at 10:13 PM

August 4, 2006

Harbingers...

A friend writes, about Tom Friedman,

Tom threw in the towel today on Iraq. Since he is almost always wrong (zigs when he should zag), this must be a bottom.

Sounds right to me. My question is, has Johnny Apple of the NYT declared Lebanon to be a "quagmire?" I shall be very worried about our friends, until that portent of victory appears...

And also, I've been meaning to link to this post by Rand, which calls Israel....

Israel flag.

THE OTHER LONE-STAR STATE!

Posted by John Weidner at 9:03 AM

July 5, 2006

More on perverting the language...

I blogged recently about the latest sneaky trick of the news media to cover up the fact that their terrorist symbiotes are ...terrorists. Harold Sutton was good enough to do a bit of Googling and show us who is using "activists" to describe filthy murderers...

3 Palestinian Resistance Fighters, 3 Israeli Soldiers Killed in
...Al-Jazeerah.info, GA - Jun 25, 2006
... least 70 Palestinian anti-occupation activists were extra-judicially ... government to invite a Palestinian retaliation ... in a daring attack, three Palestinians were ...

GOT ANOTHER BIG AL QAEDA FISH
FrontPage magazine.com, CA - Jun 21, 2006 ... arrested more than 500 Islamist activists since late ... days ago that killed seven Palestinian civilians...

Israeli attack follows Hamas rocket firings
International Herald Tribune, France - Jun 11, 2006
... Palestinians' Hamas party, after Hamas activists fired a ... Since last year's truce, Palestinian militants from ... in that strike, and three were wounded, Hamas's ...

Israeli Airstrike Kills 2 Hamas Militants
Forbes - Jun 11, 2006... The attack came after Hamas activists fired a ... were killed in that strike, and three were wounded, Hamas ... whether Hamas' takeover of the Palestinian Authority in ...

Israeli Airstrike Kills 2 Hamas Militants
WRAL.com, NC - Jun 11, 2006
... ruling Hamas party, after Hamas activists fired a ... killed in that strike, and three were wounded, Hamas ... whether Hamas' takeover of the Palestinian Authority in ...

Israel Fires Missiles at Militants in Gaza
ABC News - Jun 11, 2006... ruling Hamas party, after Hamas activists fired a ... Three other militants were wounded in the attack on a ... The Israeli army said Palestinian militants fired about ...
Fatah Militia Raises Tensions With Hamas
CBS News - Jun 3, 2006... Another 3,000 Fatah activists are training in Gaza in ... to 165,000 civil servants over the past three months. ... to accept the idea of a Palestinian state alongside ...        

Posted by John Weidner at 7:29 PM

July 3, 2006

We feel the public has a right to know...

Thanks to Frank for sending this...
NYT: One if by land, two if by sea

They are concerned, of course, about the dangerous erosion of civil liberties that may follow from such a lawless unilateral power-grab by intolerant jingo-istic nationalists who wrap themselves in the flag and stifle dissent...

Posted by John Weidner at 4:22 PM

June 27, 2006

Primary document

Treasury Secretary Snow's letter to Mr Keller of the NYT is reproduced here. It is worth reading. Especially, it crushingly, with many details, refutes Keller's claim that Administration efforts to prevent publication were "half-hearted."

That claim is clearly, though Snow is too polite to say it, a filthy liberal lie.

Thanks to Wretchard.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:35 AM

June 26, 2006

unwarranted surveillance

An excerpt, from JunkYardBlog...

NY Times: U.S. Soldier spying on bin Laden
NY Times Special Report, By B. Arnold

WAZIRISTAN—An American soldier, clinging to a cliff face littered with broken shale and animal bones in Waziristan, northwest Pakistan, is currently engaging in direct, unwarranted surveillance of Osama bin Laden, confidential sources have revealed to the New York Times.

The soldier’s conduct raises questions about the Bush administration’s policy of covert surveillance and intelligence gathering in support of his “War on Terror”. Constitutional experts are “troubled” by this and similar unwarranted searches that are designed to gather information on terrorists, but may reveal private information about American citizens instead.

“If there was an American citizen down there sunbathing in that Waziristan village next door to where bin Laden is conferring with his top lieutenants, then the Defense Department would now be passing around her photos,” said Cass Sunstein, a law professor.

Mr. bin Laden, who could not be reached for this interview, is a Saudi-born spiritual leader who, some say, was connected with the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. The attack killed nearly 3000 people, many of them women and minorities. He is currently meeting with twelve lieutenants to discuss a worldwide spiritual initiative set to take place in Jakarta, Addis Ababa, Melbourne, and Houston, Texas on July 11th.

Observing the heavily guarded meeting from about fifty yards away is Lt. Thomas “Turk” Dobrovsky, of Houston. Crouched in a camouflaged “ghillie suit”, Dobrovsky adjusted a concealed antenna in an effort to record snatches of Arabic conversation in the mud meeting hall below. He is partially concealed by a rock outcropping, the one with the two scraggly bushes, but is awkwardly positioned and unable to defend himself. A burst of AK fire or an RPG from the guards below could kill him easily.....

x

Posted by John Weidner at 7:47 PM

The go-to guy...

If you are interested in the NYT perfidy, HH is the guy to read. Amazin' fellow, he's not only a writer and blogger and a successful radio host, he also teaches Con Law....

...It seems increasingly clar that Keller/McManus et al are close to ignorant of the constitutional rules at work here. They have confused the deep suspicion of prior restraint in our constitutional framework with an exemption from the laws governing the disclosure of secrets. It is not a difficult distinction to grasp, but the press lords refuse to acknowledge it, and instead hope to confuse the public on the subject, even in the course of softball interviews...

Liberals are ALL ignorant about this stuff. They snivel on and on about our "Constitutional rights," but they have not a clue what they are. You can cite the actual case law until you are blue in the face, and you will not make the slightest dent in a liberal brain. In the old theological term, they have "invincible ignorance" (bolstered by smug self-satisfaction).

Posted by John Weidner at 9:17 AM

It's just as much murder as putting a bullet in someone's head..

The chairman of the House homeland security committee urged the Bush administration on Sunday to seek criminal charges against newspapers that reported on a secret financial-monitoring program used to trace suspected terrorists.

Representative Peter King cited the New York Times in particular for publishing a story last week that said the Treasury Department was working with the CIA to examine messages within a massive international database of money-transfer records...

..."We're at war, and for the Times to release information about secret operations and methods is treasonous," King told The Associated Press...
.[Link. Thanks to PowerLine]

Someone Talked...It Was A Liberal

Thank God somebody in government has the guts to say the obvious, that when someone openly violates the law, they should be prosecuted. Unfortunately he's in the wrong Branch.

And the really uggle thing is, that in the latest NYT-LAT atrocity, about the financial surveillance, they themselves admit that the program is effective and legal. (And, though they didn't mention it, was only concerned with institutional transfers, not your bank account or mine.) There was not even the coloration of any valid civil liberties concerns. Frauds.

By aiding terrorists, the NYT is killing people just as much as if they went out and gunned them down.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:38 AM

June 25, 2006

And yet again...

Someone Talked...It Was A Liberal
They've done it again. Classified information leaked from within our government, and released by the NYT, to support the terror war against the Free World.

The traditional remedy in wartime was to hang people like them. Since that would be "barbarous" (unless done by terrorists, in which case it's OK with liberals and peaceniks) I will advocate life imprisonment.


Posted by John Weidner at 6:42 AM

June 24, 2006

Another ill deed...

From an article by Jack Kelly.

...A disturbing anecdote from Col. McMaster illustrates why. His 3rd ACR broke the insurgents' hold of the city of Tal Afar last September in an operation which generated these effusive words of praise from the town's mayor:
"To the lion hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets...(you are) not only courageous men and women, but avenging angels sent by The God Himself to fight the evil of terrorism."
Time magazine had a reporter and a photographer embedded with the 3rd ACR. When the battle was over, they filed a lengthy story and nearly 100 photographs.
"When the issue came out, the guts had been edited out of the reporter's story and none of the photographs he submitted were used," said the admiral, quoting Col. McMaster. "When the reporter questioned why his story was eviscerated, his editors...responded that the story and pictures were 'too heroic.'"...
(thanks to Dave Price)

Too heroic! TOO HEROIC! Our troops were heroic, they were generously lauded as heroes by Iraqis, and to our press this is a bad thing. Something that has to be excised from the story.

This is just a little weblog, and so I don't have to be mealy-mouthed and polite and say the press is "biased." They are not biased, they hate America. They are leftists, and like all leftists, they hate this country. They usually try to disguise it in various ways, sometimes even from themselves, but it's always true.

You think I'm exaggerating? Find a leftist and read them the letter from the mayor of Tall' Afar (I blogged it here.) You won't find a single one that is not made uncomfortable, at the least, by that letter--watch 'em wrinkle the lip, and twitch. Or by the idea of an article in which American troops are presented as simply heroic and good, with no countervailing negatives added on for "balance."

Posted by John Weidner at 8:14 PM

June 23, 2006

The bastards have done it again..

Someone Talked...It Was A Liberal
The NYT has, once again, decided to uncover a classified program used to fight terrorists, because they feel they are the real government of the United States, and know better than mere elected officials what should be done...

...The Bush administration has made no secret of its campaign to disrupt terrorist financing, and President Bush, Treasury officials and others have spoken publicly about those efforts. Administration officials, however, asked The New York Times not to publish this article, saying that disclosure of the Swift program could jeopardize its effectiveness. They also enlisted several current and former officials, both Democrat and Republican, to vouch for its value.

Bill Keller, the newspaper's executive editor, said: "We have listened closely to the administration's arguments for withholding this information, and given them the most serious and respectful consideration. We remain convinced that the administration's extraordinary access to this vast repository of international financial data, however carefully targeted use of it may be, is a matter of public interest."...

It just makes me want to cry, the passivity of the Bush Administration in the face of blatant treason.

And the "threat to civil liberties" argument the Times is making is utter crap. We hear it over and over again from leftists, but it is total BS.

In every major war this country has fought, there have been massive infringements of civil liberties. And every single time we have ended those restrictions as soon as the danger passed. Wilson shut down hundreds of newspapers. Did that become some sort of common thing? Obviously not! And tossed Conscientious Objectors into prison. Did that become a trend?

FDR flung a hundred thousand people into camps on vague suspicions. Did that become the norm? Obviously not. Now is a time when internment would actually be good policy (not of that many people, but certain terror-preaching imams for sure) but we can't even think of it due to our reaction from the first time.

And the argument that this war is different, because it could go on indefinitely, with no clear end, is also stupidity. The Cold War started with HUAC hearings, blacklists, and loyalty oaths. And even though it dragged on for another 40 years (and if leftists and realists had had their way would be going on still) those restrictions were soon dropped, because it became clear they were not needed. And the argument that we will be too stupid distinguish a fuzzy ending is especially stupid. That's what we have human beings for--you know, thinking, judging. That's what we do, that machines can't do.

And there is a process by which we make these corrections. The process is called "elections." The people running things today can be a bunch of outsiders after the next election. And the old critics and outsiders will now be running things. And our tradition, our American tradition, was for both parties to respect the needs of national security above their political interests. (The grand example of this was Governor Dewey's voluntarily giving up his plan to focus his presidential campaign on Pearl Harbor, when he was apprised that this might reveal our breaking of Japanese cyphers.)

The NYT'ers have no love for elections. Their views gelled back in the days when their party--Big Government Liberalism--was elected every time whether the candidates were Democrat or Republican. A time when a conservative such as Barry Goldwater was considered a joke, and had no chance of being president. And at a time when the NYT was consider the "flagship of Eastern Establishment liberalism." I remember those days, I was there. The NYT used to be a quasi-governmental institution, and it thinks it still is...

And while I'm furious that Bush has not clamped down on those filthy traitors, I do take satisfaction from the way he has made it obvious that he doesn't care what they think, and has not the slightest intention of currying their favor, or even reading their lefty rag.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:41 AM

June 22, 2006

50 to zip...

From an article by Cap Weinberger and Wynton Hall...

...Case in point: the New York Times and their love affair with the Abu Ghraib prison abuses. To date, the New York Times has devoted over 50 front page articles to the story! Currently, not a single individual chronicled in our book, Home of the Brave: Honoring the Unsung Heroes in the War on Terror, - some of the most highly decorated members of the United States military - has received a front-page story devoted to his or her valorous actions. Even when Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the best the New York Times could muster was a story buried on page 13. A nation that ignores or worse attacks its heroes erodes and disparages its own ethos...

The NYT has no interest in our ethos. America's, that is. They hate this country, because it elects Republicans and is a living breathing refutation of the statism they represent.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:37 AM

June 15, 2006

They should have just read R.J...

Science works overtime to learn stuff that any ordinary person can just see...

More ink equals more blood, claim two economists who say that newspaper coverage of terrorist incidents leads directly to more attacks.

It's a macabre example of win-win in what economists call a "common-interest game," say Bruno S. Frey of the University of Zurich and Dominic Rohner of Cambridge University.

"Both the media and terrorists benefit from terrorist incidents," their study contends. Terrorists get free publicity for themselves and their cause. The media, meanwhile, make money "as reports of terror attacks increase newspaper sales and the number of television viewers."....

Actually, I think that more than a few newspapers could be sold with items of good news, packaged as something exciting and new. But maybe I just have too high of expectations of human nature (and too low for the news industry).

Posted by John Weidner at 5:10 PM

June 14, 2006

Common understanding...wrong.

Excellent summary in OpinionJournal, on the case law and constitutionality of the news media's claim that they can, with impunity, under cover of the First Amendment, betray our country by publishing classified information. They can't. Period.

There's also another matter covered, of interest to bloggers...

....The second extraordinary claim made by Mr. Keller that needs to be addressed is the notion that the First Amendment's Freedom of the Press creates a special preserve for the institutionalized press, as opposed to ordinary citizens. Although this is a common understanding among reporters and newspaper editors, it is wrong. The Freedom of the Press was designed to protect the published word of all citizens, not just an institutionalized fourth estate. As one of the anti-federalist opponents of ratification of a constitution that did not include a bill of rights noted, the liberty of the press insures that "the people have the right of expressing and publishing their sentiments upon every public measure . . . . "

James Madison's initial proposal for the First Amendment clearly expressed this common understanding, guaranteeing the right of the people "to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments." Roger Sherman's own proposal a month later mirrored Madison's: "The people have certain natural rights which are retained by them when they enter into society, Such are the rights . . . of Speaking, writing and publishing their Sentiments with decency and freedom . . . . Of these rights therefore they Shall not be deprived by the government of the united States." These formulations were drawn from the amendments proposed by several of the state ratifying conventions, and lest their be any doubt that "freedom of the press" was synonymous with the right of the people generally to speak, write, and publish their sentiments, the Pennsylvania proponents of a Bill of Rights made that amply clear: "That the people have a right to the freedom of speech, of writing, and of publishing their sentiments, therefore (emphasis added), the freedom of the press shall not be restrained by any law of the United States."

As my Claremont Institute colleague Thomas West has noted, what is protected is not just the right to use a printing press or to go into the newspaper business, but the right of every citizen to publish, to make and distribute copies of words and/or pictures communicating his or her sentiments to the public. The founders would never have accepted the view that the freedom of the press is limited to members of a particular industry called "the press" or "the media."....

If I ran the circus, Mr K and his colleagues would be treated to sabbaticals, to give them some time for reflection, aided by soft tropic breezes, warm sunshine, three squares a day, and respectful servants who put on gloves before touching any Korans.

Publishing ones ideas, by the way, always requires some expenditure of money. If you are not allowed to pay to get your thought before the public, then you are in effect being forbidden to publish. The legislation know as 'Campaign Finance Reform" is as clearly unconstitutional as anything can be. But you already knew that.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:33 AM

June 11, 2006

Come to think, we never did find Lucy...

As you are probably already aware, the Haditha story is starting to get some interesting critical scrutiny. A good piece to read is: Haditha: Is McGirk the New Mary Mapes?

....The sum and substance of this thumbnail sketch on the Haditha claims is that it follows so closely the template for the TANG and Plame stories. Take a reporter with an anti-Administration agenda, an interested group (think of the Mashhadanis as the VIPS in the Plame case or Burkett and Lucy Ramirez in the TANG case) and a story too good to be checked and circumstances where the people attacked are limited in what they can quickly respond to and you get a story which smells to me like it will soon be unraveled.

This time, I’m betting the consequences to the press which rushed to judgment will be more disastrous than it was to Dan Rather. I surely hope so....

Me too. Oh Please please please. Even if the Marines are guilty, the actions of our press (with a few honorable exceptions) have been utterly foul and treasonous. They have already convicted, and are already gloating about how this will help put their party into power. And even worse, they are hungry to convict America, and ever eager to minimize the crimes of terrorists and Islamists. They are on the other side.

It makes me want to just spit with fury to see how eager they are to defame our troops, who have acted with more restraint and care than probably any army in history, and suffered many deaths by being careful not to harm civilians. Our guys in WWII would have flattened Haditha with hardly a moment's hesitation. Called in the artillery, or gone in behind tanks, tossing dynamite into basements.

Lafayette Baker, come back, come back, come back. Your country needs you.

* Update: TIME is issuing retractions on various details of their big "scoop." The retractions, of course, are buried where no one is likely to see them...except that, these days, there are these things called "weblogs"...Too bad, suckers.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:26 AM

May 28, 2006

The unreported story...

The incident at Haditha is still being investigated. If the marines did murder civilians, it was a terrible thing, and they should and will be punished.

But the press and the anti-American Left is already drooling over the story, and has already convicted, and is already telling lies. (See this by Hugh Hewitt, where he interviews Gen Bahms, whose words were misrepresented by the WaPo.)

But incidents like this, or Abu Ghraib, or My Lai, always have another story that they cast like a shadow, a sort of anti-story. And that story is NEVER REPORTED.

There are two parts to the unreported story.

One is that the tactics of the Viet Cong, or the "insurgents" in Iraq, are intended to provoke atrocities. The My Lai Massacre story is still being told--my son learned about it in school--but it's never mentioned that the Viet Cong routinely used civilians to cover their attacks, and routinely pretended to be civilians. These are war crimes, they were committed daily, but get no attention from the sort of people who are eager to find American war crimes. And the explicit intention of these war crimes, taught by the Soviets, was to provoke attacks on civilians.

Similarly, there is very little mention of the terrorists in Iraq or Afghanistan using schools and mosques and civilian crowds for their attacks. It is virtually unreported that Abu Ghraib prison was under frequent mortar and rocket attack by the terrorists, and at the same time we were humiliating some prisoners, they were killing and maiming them by the hundreds! Kinda spoils the artistic effect of the story to put in those extraneous details...

Second, the other part of the unreported story is that, for every My Lai (or Haditha, or Abu Ghraib) there were tens of thousands of My Lais that didn't happen. Daily incidents that didn't result in any massacres. Another tiresome detail best left out, so as not to spoil ones Pulitzer possibilities.

And you know what's going to make me really furious, if this works out the way these things have in the past? Not the blatant Left who will be crowing and high-fiving over this, but the hypocritical Left, who will pretend to be "heartbroken," and to be "devastated" that the "American they love could have fallen so low," and "our military's honor be so besmirched." Foul liars. They never show the slightest interest in the (infinitely greater numbers of) good deeds our soldiers do, so they have not the slightest right to pretend that they care.

Oh, and Third. It occurs to me that there is another part to the unreported story. The tactics of our enemies (and similarly the enemies of Israel, or Britain or Australia) testify to the simple fact that we are the good guys. They only work because we care. We would never try to provoke the terrorists into massacring civilians--why bother, they do it voluntarily all the time, and the press and the Left don't care about those civilians anyway.

This whole story is based on the fact that we are the good guys, and the Left and the press is allied with our enemies to use this against us.

* Correction: The interview with General Bahms was by Mary Katherine Ham. She co-blogs at Hugh Hewitt's blog.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:32 AM

May 26, 2006

Should have 'fessed up long ago...

From USA Today:

....Mounting research shows employees are cautiously optimistic as salary freezes thaw and companies play tug-of-war over skilled job candidates.

Workers reported high confidence in their job security, with more than 80% predicting little or no chance they could lose their jobs in the coming year, according to a May survey of 1,000 full-time employees by Philadelphia-based Right Management.

That's a big jump from six months ago, when nearly a quarter of employees said they might leave their jobs....

Leftist obfuscators have been amazingly successful in covering up the superb condition of our economy, and the success of the Bush tax cuts. BUT, reality creeps in, and the hilarious thing is that their holding back the truth means that, for many people, the good news will be new and fresh just in time for the 2006 elections!

If they had been honest, the strong economy would be old news by now...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:55 AM

May 20, 2006

Triumph!

Washington Post: Iraqi Parliament Approves New Cabinet: May 20--Iraq's parliament swore in its full-term prime minister and his cabinet Saturday, a political milestone U.S. leaders hope will allow a new government to begin solving the country's problems and lead to the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops...

This is a splendid moment folks! As has happened many times in the past few years, the nay-sayers have been proved wrong, and George W Bush and his supporters have been vindicated. And the people of Iraq have once again repudiated the sneering democracy-hating leftists who said, wishfully, that their hopes of freedom were doomed.

<obligatory disclaimer>Of course Iraq will hit many rough patches in the years to come, and might even fail </obligatory disclaimer> But I predict that Iraq will continue to justify our faith,and there will be more moments like this to look forward to.

And it is also easy to predict that our despicable America-hating news media will continue to underplay any American triumph, especially if it might help Republicans. If you think I'm exaggerating, just read the article. One sentence of good news, "balanced" by the entire rest of the article being filled with any bad news that they could scrape up, with almost no positive information about the new Government. They've done their duty for their bosses at the DNC.

Even the one picture that accompanies the article is not of the new Prime Minister, but of a funeral some some guy in the Al-Mahdi Army, killed by police (Good for them).

And even that one sentence is stupidly snarky and negative. "a political milestone U.S. leaders hope will allow a new government to begin solving the country's problems" What crap. the Iraqis have already made enormous strides in solving their problems. Read this, if you doubt me.

Oh well, the annoyance is a small matter compared to knowing that I'm on the winning side, and the terrorist/news-media/Democrat Alliance is losing.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:48 PM

April 19, 2006

Who are the owners, and what do they think?

I've been wondering why we haven't seen more things like this:

Morgan Stanley Investment Management said Tuesday it withheld votes for the Times' director nominees because it believes the company's board and management have become unaccountable to shareholders.

The firm, which says it owns more than 5% of the Times' Class A stock, called for the elimination of the dual-stock structure that leaves control of the board with minority shareholders led by the founding Sulzberger family. The Times and a number of other big media outfits have left voting control in the hands of founders, under the rationale that long-term owners look after the long-term interests of the business rather than chasing short-term profit. But Morgan Stanley said the company has failed to keep up its end of the bargain..(Thanks to Michelle Malkin).

What was the bargain? The Sulzberger family sold shares of their company to the public. Their duty, as managers, is to act in the interests of those owners. By treating the Times as their own little political toy, they are guilty of fraud..

....Morgan Stanley added that it believes that "other long-term institutional shareholders have also withheld their votes for the company's Class A director nominees." The Times couldn't immediately be reached for comment....

Couldn't be reached for comment? Maybe The Times is out of the office today...How indignant those clowns would be if some Republican "couldn't be reached for comment."

...New York Times Co. stock has dropped 52% since its peak in June 2002, Morgan Stanley says. But "despite significant underperformance, management's total compensation is substantial and has increased considerably over this period," Morgan Stanley says....

I'll bet the NYT has run articles or editorials criticizing various big businesses for giving management fat raises even as profits are falling. I'd also guess the Sulzbergers don't think of themselves as capitalists, but more like caretakers of a shrine or church...

Posted by John Weidner at 10:28 AM

March 2, 2006

um, uh, did I miss anything?

I don't think there is anything to get upset about because Justice Ginsburg fell asleep during a complex oral argument. The case will probably be judged on the briefs; oral arguments are usually supererogatory at the Supreme Ct level.

But boy, do I remember how the lefty farts and the media howled with non-stop scorn and derision when SI Hayakawa fell asleep at some meeting. Which was nothing compared to the shrieks when Reagan was not awakened during the Gulf of Sidra incursion. Art Buchwald titled a whole book While Reagan Slept.

(Actually, Reagan was showing good leadership. The operation was carefully planned, and went exactly according to plan. There would have been no point in the President hovering over it a la LBJ. Real leaders give people responsibility, and then let them act.)

Posted by John Weidner at 1:58 PM

February 28, 2006

They wanted to believe it was real...

Good article in the NY Post by Michael Fumento, on politicized scientific journals...

...Some journal editors are completely unabashed about their chicanery. In 2004, The Lancet released ahead of publication and right before the 2004 U.S. presidential election an outrageous report claiming 100,000 Iraqi civilians had been killed since the U.S. invasion. Yet other calculations showed a range of 15,000 to 24,000 — and even Osama bin Laden claimed just "over 15,000."

No matter, the Lancet's editor took the opportunity to blast "democratic imperialism" and said "the evidence we publish today must change heads as well as pierce hearts."

Even Science's awful stem-cell embarrassment wasn't purely a matter of fraud. I have written repeatedly on how both Science and Nature have turned themselves into cheerleaders for any supposed advance in ES cell science, while opening their pages to laughable attacks on what many see as both medically and ethically superior — namely adult stem cells.

Perhaps the best explanation for why the Korean paper slipped by is that the editors so desperately wanted to believe it was real that they missed all the warning signs of fraud....

They are desperate. Their Leftish world is crumbling away, and the lies become ever more shrill and forced. If the dike crumbles at embryonic stem cells or global warming, the floodwaters will rush in....

Posted by John Weidner at 7:43 AM

February 25, 2006

Then and now...

Just in case there's somebody who still reads the "mainstream" media, and thinks it is just trying to report the news, here's a comparison of coverage of the Cheney hunting accident and the suicide of Vince Foster.

(With a bonus: comparison of the Clintonistas now castigating Bush/Cheney for being "secretive," with their actions when they scoured Foster's office of all evidence before authorities could examine it. And no, I'm not proposing any Vince Foster conspiracy theories. Just noting that the idea that this Administration is especially secretive is preposterous.)

(Thanks to Betsy Newmark)

Posted by John Weidner at 8:22 AM

February 17, 2006

Old school gent...

I caught part of Harry Whttington's statement on the radio as I was driving around this morning. What a classy guy. A gentleman. I bet the Democrat dweeblings of the press don't even realize he was pouring 0000-grade scorn on them when he thanked them for their prayers and good wishes!

Posted by John Weidner at 11:38 AM

February 9, 2006

But that was last year...

Just, you know, for your info...The New York Press, the paper that refused to offend religious sensibilities by publishing the Danish cartoons, and had their editors resign? Well, Amy Welborn has not forgotten another, um, religiously themed piece they did...

Title: THE 52 FUNNIEST THINGS ABOUT THE UPCOMING DEATH OF THE POPE.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:56 PM

January 29, 2006

It is poignant...

Richard John Neuhaus must be a truly saintly guy, to be so forbearing in the face of this sort of ignorance...

...With notable exceptions, reporters are people of good will working hard to write a story that will please their editors. It is true that they are not always the sharpest knives in the drawer. These days most of them have gone to journalism school, or j-school, as it is called. In intellectual rankings at universities, journalism is just a notch above education, which is, unfortunately, at the bottom.

An eager young thing with a national paper was interviewing me about yet another instance of political corruption. “Is this something new?” she asked. “No,” I said, “it’s been around ever since that unfortunate afternoon in the garden.” There was a long pause and then she asked, “What garden was that?” It was touching.

What prompts me to mention this today is that I’m just off the phone with a reporter from the same national paper. He’s doing a story on Pope Benedict’s new encyclical. In the course of discussing the pontificate, I referred to the pope as the bishop of Rome. “That raises an interesting point,” he said. “Is it unusual that this pope is also the bishop of Rome?” He obviously thought he was on to a new angle. Once again, I tried to be gentle. Toward the end of our talk, he said with manifest sincerity, “My job is not only to get the story right but to explain what it means.” Ah yes, he is just the fellow to explain what this pontificate and the encyclical really mean. It is poignant...

Reminds me of an employee I had, back when I owned a bookstore. A customer asked if we had a copy of Moby Dick, and he said, "who wrote it?"

As a Word Note, it used to be common among Protestants to refer to the Pope merely as "the Bishop of Rome," implying that the papacy was just a "popish" fraud. The Book of Common Prayer once included the charming prayer: From the Bishop of Rome and all his detestable enormities, good Lord deliver us. (Cranmer's Liturgy 1544, removed from BCP 1599)

Posted by John Weidner at 5:42 PM

January 27, 2006

Focused on job losses, not gains...

Here's an interesting piece on how our news media present a distorted employment picture (Thanks to Betsy N):

The Free Market Project (FMP) report, Hit Job, is the result of a detailed analysis of job and employment coverage by all three broadcast networks -- ABC, CBS and NBC. The study examined 151 stories on the 2005 evening news shows to assess how they had reported on both job losses and gains during a year of strong employment growth...

..."More than 4.6 million jobs have been added since May 2003 -- 31 straight months of positive job growth," Gainor added. "Unemployment dropped down to 4.9 percent, lower than the average of all three recent decades."....

You would never know it from watching TV "news."

...-- Job losses, not gains: The networks focused on job losses in slightly more than half the reports (76 out of 151). Just 35 percent of the stories addressed job gains (53 out of 151). In one typical report, Jim Acosta of the "CBS Evening News" left his viewers with a memorable image of the 8,700 job cuts at General Motors in his Nov. 21 story: "Just three days before Thanksgiving, GM is carving up its work force like a Butterball turkey."

--
Government spending promoted: Two of the big Washington stories -- the transportation bill and cutbacks at military bases -- showed how hypocritical the media were. The $284 billion transportation bill was filled with pork but created thousands of new jobs that news reports barely mentioned. However, when military bases were cut to save $48 billion over 20 years, the news shows did more than three times as many stories bemoaning the job losses...

This is particularly egregious. Base closures have almost always created more jobs than they destroyed. And the base-closing program is in fact a triumph by the US political system, where, as with all governments, it is almost impossible to end established government programs. I suspect the news people are trying to fool themselves as much as the public; they are clinging to Lefty zero-sum economic ideas.

-- 283,000 jobs ignored: Initial unemployment reports were later revised, but the networks ignored those revisions. In 2005, most of those changes involved the addition of jobs, so network news ignored nearly 300,000 jobs in all of the stories, except those few that included cumulative totals...

Economic reports are routinely revised, as more data come in. And routinely ignored by the media, if the revisions make Republicans look good. I remember the same thing in the Reagan years. (Or rather, I learned the same thing after the Reagan years, just reading this and that. There was no easily accessible Internet back then, so you had to stumble on the right article...

--CBS the worst: By embracing the highest percentage of job-loss stories and the lowest percentage of stories about job gains, CBS presented a skewed picture of employment.

Reporter Trish Regan's July 20 broadcast on the "CBS Evening News" was one of the year's worst, according to FMP. After airing a quote from Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan about "sustained economic growth," Regan allegedly undermined it. "But his sunny forecast isn't being felt on the factory floor -- Kodak cutting up to 10,000; Hewlett-Packard 14,500 layoffs -- or on the streets, where reality trumps forecasts."

Regan had opened her segment with the following: "Twenty-five thousand layoffs and more on the way. I'm Trish Regan with why the jobs picture is looking very 'pink' these days."...

Most new jobs are created by new and small companies. Job cuts, especially the big ones, tend to be in mature industries, where companies compete by becoming more efficient, or where they are being battered by economic change. If General Motors lays off 10,000 people, and a thousand small companies add ten people each, guess which makes a dramatic news story? Or which is even visible without poring over dry statistics?

Also, lay-offs can be a sign of economic strength. Boeing can hire 20,000 people at a busy time because it knows it can lay them off if they need to. European companies are always very reluctant to hire anybody, because of laws that "protect" workers from being fired by ogre capitalists. That "protection" is a disaster to the many people who would like to become workers, but can't find jobs. (And those "protections" are what liberals would like to have here. Voting Democrat is voting against workers.)

Posted by John Weidner at 8:42 AM

January 13, 2006

al Qaeda's Algerian affiliate...

One additional item to add to the previous post, another reason they aren't going to report the story:

...The three Algerians arrested in Italy were members of the GSPC, al Qaeda's Algerian affiliate. Thanks to Steve Hayes's reporting, we now know that large numbers of GSPC members - specifically - were trained in Iraq prior to the war. Coincidentally, the GSPC is now one of Europe's most major problems. Plots involving the GSPC have been uncovered in Spain, France, and Italy. Additional members have been arrested in Germany...(Thanks to PowerLine)

I'm sure you are all aware that we are now discovering that Saddam's support and training of terrorists was far more extensive than we guessed. (If you don't know, read here.)

Leftists/Democrats/pacifists/news-media don't want you to know this. Because this is just one more reason, among many, why President Bush was correct to make the Iraq Campaign the centerpiece of the War on Terror. And why the frauds and hypocrites who are sabotaging their country in time of war should be driven out of public life.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:14 AM

January 12, 2006

If a tree falls in the forest, and the NSA hears it...

Here's more on the terror-plot you didn't hear about [Emphasis mine. Thanks to PowerLine]

AINA: The mainstream U.S. media outlets have failed to report a major terrorist plot against the U.S. - because it would tend to support President Bush's use of NSA domestic surveillance, according to media watchdog groups.

News of a planned attack masterminded by three Algerians operating out of Italy was widely reported outside the U.S., but went virtually unreported in the American media.

Italian authorities recently announced that they had used wiretaps to uncover the conspiracy to conduct a series of major attacks inside the U.S....

....The arrests were a major coup for Italian anti-terror forces, and the story was carried in most major newspapers from Europe to China.

"U.S. terror attacks foiled," read the headline in England's Sunday Times. In France, a headline from Agence France Presse proclaimed, "Three Algerians arrested in Italy over plot targeting U.S."

Curiously, what was deemed worthy of a worldwide media blitz abroad was virtually ignored by the U.S. media, and conservative media watchdog groups are saying that is no accident.

"My impression is that the major media want to use the NSA story to try and impeach the president," says Cliff Kincaid, editor of the Accuracy in Media Report published by the grassroots Accuracy in Media organization.

"If you remind people that terrorists actually are planning to kill us, that tends to support the case made by President Bush. They will ignore any issue that shows that this kind of [wiretapping] tactic can work in the war on terror."...

Think about this. How many newspapers would be sold if the headline was TERROR PLOT AGAINST U.S.! Or how many people would tune into the network news if the teaser was "New 9/11 plot may have been foiled." The news media are in the business of selling news, but here they have refused to sell their product. Because that would have also helped the President. That's pure partisanship.

The media can publish whatever they want to publish (though if I were a stockholder, I'd feel like I'd been robbed by my employees). But I would say that they have forfeited any right to any special status as "guardians of the public," or "watchdogs," or "protectors of whistle-blowers."

Posted by John Weidner at 8:10 AM

January 11, 2006

Low-lifes on trial...

Michelle Malkin has posted pictures of the defendants in the trial that just started, who are accused of slashing the tires of 20 Republican Campaign vehicles. don't expect to see much in the news about it.

Can you JUST IMAGINE how press and lefties would be going berserk if these low-lifes were accused of attacking Democrats!

Imagine the the bloviating, the POMPOSITY! "Democracy is dead," "Workers and minorities have been 'disenfranchised,'" America is fast becoming a police state..."first they came for the campaign vans..."

And the worst: "The America we all once knew (sniff) and loved (sniff) is (choke) GONE!"

Posted by John Weidner at 8:10 AM

January 8, 2006

"a bid to outdo"

Nick Danger at Redstate:

...You would think that the arrest of terrorists planning to "outdo 9/11" would warrant some news coverage in the United States, but that's not what the editors at your Ministry of Truth decided...

...If you're a regular reader of Turkish Press or Geo in Pakistan, you already know that on December 23,
Three Algerians arrested in an anti-terrorist operation in southern Italy are suspected of being linked to a planned new series of attacks in the United States, Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said Friday.

The attacks would have targeted ships, stadiums or railway stations in a bid to outdo the September 11, 2001 strikes by Al-Qaeda in New York and Washington which killed some 2,700 people, Pisanu said.
But if you have been relying on the U.S. media to warn you about things like this, you haven't heard anything about it....
Just ducky. So glad the mainstream media are protecting us. Not only do they protect us by deciding what the Constitution means, what secret intelligence should be published, what news from Iraq is too good misleading...not only that, but they are PROTECTING US FROM OURSELVES!

Obviously, if we knew that terrorists were planning to "outdo 9/11," the resulting panics would leave millions of us little Lemmings trampled or crushed, and anyone wearing a turban would be instantly lynched...and even worse, we would be likely to support the extremist Bush Administration, and let that crazed right-winger Judge Alito onto the Court...

Posted by John Weidner at 8:54 AM

January 1, 2006

They can't help themselves...

AJ Strata notes another Washington Post article revealing information, from "current and former senior administration officials," about just how we collect data on terrorists. In this case, they don't even contend that anything illegal is happening...they just...well, Strata's title for his post says it all: The Media Cannot Stop Itself From Helping Our Enemies.

But he does have a suggestion of how we might fight back:

...A while ago someone suggested a way for ‘We The People’ to fight back as these treasonous liberals expose us to attack. The idea was to bring a class action law suit against the media outlets who recklessly expose our defense mechanisms to our enemies.

We don’t need to win, as much as get millions and millions of people signing up against the New York Times, Washington Post, the reporters themselves. In my opinion these companies are impairing my civil rights by exposing me and my familiy to terrorist acts. I have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and the partisan actions of these leakers is putting all of this at risk.

These are not whistleblowers. Their motivations are purely partisan politics.

Time for us to remind everyone the power is in the people. So if anyone knows how to start a law suit against these people please let us all know...

There is no hope of these people reforming or changing. They are stuck in 1973 (In General Honore's immortal phrase, stuck on stupid) and to admit error now would would be to admit their whole lives have been wasted on foolishness. They can't be changed, but they can be punished. My preference would be to give them a little time for reflection in a certain Caribbean resort I've heard of. But tangling them up in lawsuits would not be bad.

Posted by John Weidner at 11:32 AM

December 30, 2005

adjectives...

Here's a snarky little piece that tries to make news out of the fact that Bush's core staff is very loyal and has almost no turnover.

I amuse myself by imagining the descriptive terminology that would be used if Bill Clinton had had similar subordinates...loyalty, modesty. selflessness, duty, collegiality, harmony, good management, band-of-brothers, sticking to one's post....I bet we'd hear them all.

Since it's Bush, the terms used are things like out-of-touch, group-think, "surrounded by people who agree with him..."

And of course: "...inside a bubble that isolates him from smart dissent, healthy competition, fresh ideas and bad news."

Posted by John Weidner at 10:56 AM

At least the news is good news....

The WaPo continues its attack on our country, with more anonymous sources leaking what is surely classified information. Lafayette Baker, where are you when we need you!!! At least the news is good news, with the administration so far refusing to truckle to the leftists...

Covert CIA Program Withstands New Furor
Anti-Terror Effort Continues to Grow, By Dana Priest
Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, December 30, 2005; Page A01

The effort President Bush authorized shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, to fight al Qaeda has grown into the largest CIA covert action program since the height of the Cold War, expanding in size and ambition despite a growing outcry at home and abroad over its clandestine tactics, according to former and current intelligence officials and congressional and administration sources.

The broad-based effort, known within the agency by the initials GST, is compartmentalized into dozens of highly classified individual programs, details of which are known mainly to those directly involved....

It's a WAR we are in, for Pete's sake, and if the enemy won't come out of the shadows and fight, obviously we have to go in after him....

..."The executive branch will not pull back unless it has to," said a former Justice Department lawyer involved in the initial discussions on executive power. "Because if it pulls back unilaterally and another attack occurs, it will get blamed."...

That's right. I would have some sympathy with those, including the WaPo, who are attacking the administration if they said, "Let the blame for any future attacks be upon us." But no, if we are attacked the filthy hypocrites will snivel, "BUSH promised to protect us!"

...Refining what constitutes an assassination was just one of many legal interpretations made by Bush administration lawyers. Time and again, the administration asked government lawyers to draw up new rules and reinterpret old ones to approve activities once banned or discouraged under the congressional reforms beginning in the 1970s, according to these officials and seven lawyers who once worked on these matters....

1970's. There's the kicker. The Decade God Forgot. Think back, brothers and sisters. Think back to hordes of new Congressmen swept in on the Watergate tide. (There was even one 26 year-old Congressman still living with his mother.) Think back to the millions of South Vietnamese being betrayed (after we had won the war and withdrawn our troops) into Communist tyranny, concentration camps, murder and flight. Think back to Jimmy Carter refusing to use force when our citizens were kidnapped by Islamist loons. These were not only America-hating spasms of weakness, they were America-hating acts that led directly to the war we are in now. (And perhaps you think I am flinging epithets like "America-hating" thoughtlessly. Not so. That is exactly how those people think (and I'm "embedded," I know). If you press them on their views, you will always hear a narrative where America blunders across the globe like a thousand-mile-high golem, and our enemies mostly evaporate. They will say "We supported Pinochet," as if that was done out of mere wickedness, and not as an alternative to their guys, like Castro. As an alternative to communist conquest and an impoverished totalitarian police-state.

Those laws of the 1970's were created on the premise that America is evil. And unfortunately, those same people are still around, and still hold that view. And they lie and dissemble ceaselessly, and say, "Of course we support the troops." Or "How dare you question my patriotism." Or "We're not socialists liberals, we're 'Progressives.'" Or "We're just trying to protect our civil liberties." Blah blah blah. All lies.

Oh, and one more thing. The same people who think America is evil going back at least to Cain, ALSO, whenever America (with a Republican in the WH) actually tries to DO something, will claim that the innocent and idealistic country they used to know is NOW being corrupted and transformed...

Posted by John Weidner at 8:54 AM

December 26, 2005

It's OK to lie if you're saving the Earth...

NewsBusters has a piece I found funny (and pathetic) about the Today Show accompanying a piece on drilling in ANWR with pictures of lovely snow-capped peaks. Trouble is, the area of proposed drilling is an ugly featureless coastal plain. ANWR has 19 million acres, most of which no one is even suggesting be touched.. And the flat coastal area is 1.5 million acres, of which only 2,000 can be disturbed under the current bill!

If the public could actually see ANWR, perhaps from orbit, and then have pointed out to them the tiny boring smidgeon to be drilled in, they would laugh the environmentalist wackos to scorn. Hence the pretty pictures.

* Update: Here's a map, showing it all to scale. The line called TAPS is the pipeline, which went right across the state without hurting the wildlife.)
Posted by John Weidner at 9:46 PM

It was just harmless garden-variety thiodiglycol...

I bet you don't see this on the TV news...

The TIMES: A DUTCH businessman was found guilty of war crimes and sentenced to 15 years in prison yesterday for helping Saddam Hussein to acquire the chemical weapons that he used to kill thousands of Kurdish civilians in the Iran-Iraq war....

....Prosecutors accused Van Anraat of delivering more than 1,000 tonnes of thiodiglycol. It can be used to make mustard gas, which causes horrific burns to the lungs and eyes and is often fatal.

He was also accused of importing chemicals to make nerve agents. The prosecution said that the lethal cargo was shipped from America via Belgium and Jordan to Iraq. He also imported other shipments from Japan via Italy.

Van Anraat was first arrested in 1989 in Italy on a US warrant. He then fled to Baghdad where he lived for 14 years under an assumed name. After the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 he made his way back to the Netherlands, where he was arrested a year ago....

So Saddam harbored this guy for 14 years. Uh huh. Probably the kind-hearted Iraqi leader was protecting him from persecution by lying Americans with their paranoid fantasies of imaginary chemical weapons...(Thanks to Captain Ed).

Posted by John Weidner at 5:18 PM

December 21, 2005

Why is it suddenly controversial now?

On the whole subject of NSA intercepts, you should be reading PowerLine. It's certainly looking like the President's right to monitor foreign calls is a constitutional one, overriding FISA. And, as I noted previously, Democrat Presidents have been doing much more extensive surveillance, without any objection from our guardian saints of the NYT. From John at PowerLine:

...Has any administration ever backed the position now urged by the Times? It doesn't appear so. Matt Drudge points out that the Clinton administration engaged in warrantless wiretapping. Deputy Attorney General Jamie S. Gorelick wrote that the President "has inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches for foreign intelligence purposes." That is an accurate summary of the holding of every federal court decision that has addressed the issue.

On May 23, 1979, President Jimmy Carter signed an executive order that said, "Attorney General is authorized to approve electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information without a court order."

The Clinton-era "Echelon" electronic surveillance program went far beyond anything now under discussion, and became controversial precisely because of its extraordinary scope. A transcript of a 60 Minutes program on Echelon is available here. But the basic concept that the President could order warrantless searches for national security purposes wasn't controversial during the Carter administration or the Clinton administration. Why is it suddenly controversial now?...

Why oh why oh why? Because they are on the other side (in both the war and politics) and would gladly hinder our war efforts to help put Dems back in power. Scoundrels.

Oh how I hope the administration takes off the gloves and starts prosecuting these slimeballs. The hypocrites howled that the Plame leak should be investigated, and it was. Now the NYT has openly said that their story contains classified information from anonymous "sources." a clear violation of the law! I hope the Justice Department is demanding the names of the leakers right now, and preparing to lock up reporters AND editors if it is not forthcoming.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:29 AM

December 19, 2005

Echelon...

Lying leftists have been presenting the Bush NSA eavesdropping as some sort of shocking innovation. Not so...

NewsMax...During the 1990's under President Clinton, the National Security Agency monitored millions of private phone calls placed by U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries under a super secret program code-named Echelon....

....In February 2000, for instance, CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft introduced a report on the Clinton-era spy program by noting:

"If you made a phone call today or sent an e-mail to a friend, there's a good chance what you said or wrote was captured and screened by the country's largest intelligence agency. The top-secret Global Surveillance Network is called Echelon, and it's run by the National Security Agency." NSA computers, said Kroft, "capture virtually every electronic conversation around the world."

Echelon expert Mike Frost, who spent 20 years as a spy for the Canadian equivalent of the National Security Agency, told "60 Minutes" that the agency was monitoring "everything from data transfers to cell phones to portable phones to baby monitors to ATMs."...

Somehow it's OK if a Democrat President monitors millions of calls. But if a Republicans monitors hundreds of calls from numbers known to be associated with terrorists, HE'S SPYING ON AMERICANS!!!!

And there's this:

In 2000, former Clinton CIA director James Woolsey set off a firestorm of protest in Europe when he told the French newspaper Le Figaro that he was ordered by Clinton in 1993 to transform Echelon into a tool for gathering economic intelligence.

"We have a triple and limited objective," the former intelligence chief told the French paper. "To look out for companies which are breaking US or UN sanctions; to trace 'dual' technologies, i.e., for civil and military use, and to track corruption in international business...

...In his comments to Le Figaro, Woolsey defended the program, declaring flatly: "Spying on Europe is justified."

"I can tell you that five years ago, several European countries were giving substantial bribes to export business more easily. I hope that's no longer the case."

During hearings in 2000 on the surveillance flap, Woolsey told Congress that in 1993 alone, U.S. firms obtained contracts worth $6.5 billion with the help of timely intelligence information....

Nothing wrong with this folks, 'cause these are the good guys, not fascist Republicans....

Posted by John Weidner at 4:12 PM

A lie is born...

We can actually watch, like a scientific experiment, as an urban legend is deliberately created. President Bush answered this question yesterday:

Q Since the inception of the Iraqi war, I'd like to know the approximate total of Iraqis who have been killed. And by Iraqis I include civilians, military, police, insurgents, translators.

THE PRESIDENT: How many Iraqi citizens have died in this war? I would say 30,000, more or less, have died as a result of the initial incursion and the ongoing violence against Iraqis. We've lost about 2,140 of our own troops in Iraq.

The lying news media instantly changed this to 30,000 civilians! You can see examples at Mudville Gazette and Michelle Malkin and DogPundit. The American immune system is also active, and people are already fighting back---apparently the SF Chron has changed its headline.

So who will win? My guess is that the figure of 30,000 civilians will still be repeated by America-haters when we are all old and gray...The liars of the so-called anti-war movement are still repeating the debunked figure of 100,000 civilian dead in Iraq.

An additional irony is that, in left-lingo, the terrorist who shreds a bunch of children in Iraq is an "insurgent," entitled to be treated as a POW (instead of being hanged as a murderer). But if he's killed, for purposes of statistics he's a "civilian," and presumed dead only because of America imperialism.

In fact, a lot of the dead in Iraq are people who, as they say in Texas, needed killin'. And we killed them and that's GOOD, and a fact to be proud of.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:10 AM

December 18, 2005

Meltdown?

Here's an example of a Reuters "news" article that's even more biased than usual: Cheney visits Iraq amid calls for US pullout. I clicked on the link because I thought it was an article about Vice President Cheney's visit to Iraq. But there's only one sentence about Cheney, and then it's all innuendo and quotes from anyone and everyone who dislikes the election and Americans...

Posted by John Weidner at 9:38 AM

December 17, 2005

The timing IS suspicious...

NewsBusters is not liking the timing here...(Thanks to Jim Miller)

....It was the MSM's worst nightmare-in-the-making: the prospect of a day, maybe more, of nothing but jubilant Iraqis waving those damn purple fingers, some of them no doubt soppily shouting "thank you, Mr. Bush!" Ugh. Can't let that happen.

Don't worry, MSM: the New York Times, with a nice assist from the Washington Post, have got your back.

The Times has admitted that, in response to a administration request, it had been holding the story on alleged US spying on Al-Qaida-linked phone numbers in the US for a year...

...So when do the Times and the WaPo choose to break it? Why, today of course, just in time to rain on the Iraqi election good-news parade....

If they loved their country, or even had a few shreds of warmth and sweetness left in their hearts, they would have been happy, having waited a year, to wait one more day so as not to detract from a splendid American triumph. Especially a triumph so unselfish in its nature, centered on having other people grow and become stronger and more free...

PS: My son tells me that CNN.com's leading story was: "Cold grips northern US."

President bush meet with Iraqi voters

President George W. Bush stands with out-of-country Iraqi voters Thursday in the Oval Office of the White House. The President told the media later, "I was struck by how joyous they were to be able to vote for a government -- a permanent government under a new constitution." (White House photo by Paul Morse) Thanks to Gateway Pundit.

Posted by John Weidner at 1:45 PM

December 10, 2005

Known as "the Butcher"

Cori Dauber points to this fascinating story, which the "mainstream" media apparently don't consider "news." Only Fox reported it...

FoxNews BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraqi citizens turned over a high-ranking Al Qaeda member known as "the Butcher" to U.S. forces in Ramadi Friday a military statement said.

Amir Khalaf Fanus was No. 3 on the 28th Infantry Division's High Value Individual list for Ramadi, wanted for murder and kidnapping in connection with his affiliation with Al Qaeda in Iraq.

"He is the highest ranking Al Qaeda in Iraq member to be turned into Iraqi and U.S. officials by local citizens," Capt. Jeffrey S. Pool said in a statement released from Camp Blue Diamond in Ramadi. "His capture is another indication that the local citizens tire of the insurgents' presence within their community."

According to Pool, Iraqi and U.S. Forces "have witnessed increasing signs of citizens fighting the terrorists within Ramadi as the Dec. 15 National Elections draw nearer."

He said that another 1,200 Iraqi Security Force soldiers were recently stationed in Ramadi, while 1,100 Iraqi special police commandos and a mechanized Iraqi army company had moved into the city.

What's grimly amusing, as always, is that the Gasping Media [one of the Iraqi bloggers came up with that term...I love it..] think they are helping Democrats by protecting us from good news from Iraq. In fact they are setting the Dems up for richly-deserved defeats in '06 and '08. Republicans are already creating ads featuring nothing but clips of Democrat leaders expressing their defeatist hate-America views. With a white flag for decoration. Ha ha. To see them is to know them...and feel utter contempt.

Posted by John Weidner at 2:03 PM

November 26, 2005

Curious omission

Spc. Phil Van Treuren notes a teensy weensy little omission from the NYT story on the bombing at the hospital in Mahmudiya Iraq. The NYT mentions that a US convoy was near, but not that the Americans were handing out candy to children, while others in their group were inspecting the hospital for refurbishment.

This is precisely the sort of dishonesty I was writing about in my earlier post Bizarro World law. The NYT is encouraging terrorist acts by attempting to shield the terrorists from the revulsion that they deserve. And this dishonesty is in the service of their domestic political ends; the pretense of caring about Iraq is a sham.

Posted by John Weidner at 11:43 AM

November 21, 2005

We are all "Document Experts"

Via PowerLine, I see that "Buckhead," the person who first noticed that the Dan Rather memos were fabrications, has come forward with his name, and with a very interesting (if you like such things) account of how he came to be extremely aware of typography, which made the forgery obvious. (He points out that millions of other people have the same knowledge, and that someone else would have caught it in minutes if he hadn't.) He is disgusted that Mary Mapes is now selling a book and appearing on TV peddling the same damn forgeries, and the same shit-stupid lies about the President...Go here, then click on "Explanation and Comment:"

...In any case, the other side objected to the brief on the grounds that it did not comply with the local court rule specifying that there could be no more than 10 printed characters per inch - a rule of which I was not aware at the time. I filed a brief in response to the objection. Trust me, the prospect of losing a contingency case over a font rule when you have invested years of work in the case will galvanize your attention on the subject of fonts. A pdf scan of a certified copy of that brief is available here at the link above to "1999 Brief." Compare what I said about typewriters, monospaced fonts and proportionally spaced fonts in the brief filed in 1999 with what I said in post # 47, on 9/8/04. I knew what I knew a long time ago, and the brief proves it definitively. So long, conspiracy theory...

We are ALL experts in some sort of document. There is some type of paperwork we handle so frequently that a crude forgery would be blatantly obvious to us. "Document examiners" are widely knowledgeable, but every one of us is more knowledgeable than them on something. For instance, even without the typographic problems, the fabrications were obvious to those familiar with 1970's Air Force documents. The military services are very fussy about the layout, abbreviations, punctuation etc of their paperwork. And each service is different. The use of Army stylistic details in a supposed Air National Guard memo is as conclusive as the typography. Especially since the forger-presumptive had served in the National Guard.

And Col. Killian's family were experts. They knew he never created such things, and that he didn't even know how to type.

I myself am a "document expert" of sorts, because I've tried to reproduce old decorative writing with a graphics program. It's hugely difficult, even just trying to manipulate scanned artwork a little. The different technologies yield a different look. Pixels want to line up neatly, and trying to recreate the slight irregularities of hand-drawn lines (or typewriter key hitting ribbon and paper) is maddening. I even created a font--there are programs that let you do that. (I discovered that I just didn't have the time to do the job right. Designing fonts is a very painstaking process. Alas, when I was young I had heaps of time but no computer. Now the reverse is true).

So anyway, when I saw how the Microsoft Word version lined up perfectly with the supposed typewritten one, I knew the odds against that being an accident were probably greater than the number of protons in the universe.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:35 AM

November 15, 2005

Headline fatigue...

As you probably know, Stephen den Beste is back, doing some blogging at Red State.Org. This is a good point to keep in mind

Stephen Green writes about how the press is the "arm of decision" in the current war. Given the nature of terrorist campaigns, that's definitely true, and in some ways it's clear that our decision makers haven't really dealt with this aspect of the war as well as they probably should have.

But for the terrorists and Islamists, there's a distinct drawback in this kind of war: headline fatigue. Even given that the western press tends to be more sympathetic to the terrorists than to western governments in the war, an ongoing campaign of car bombings in Iraq eventually becomes boring and gets consigned to the rear pages of the newspaper.

That means that the terrorists have to come up with increasingly spectacular escapades in order to maintain the attention of the western press. A couple of years ago the new innovation was video decapitations, but eventually the novelty wore off.

But the other side of the coin of headline fatigue is revulsion. Increasingly spectacular escapades become increasingly vile atrocities. They get the headlines, alright, but repel more people than they attract. This week's bombing in Amman is a good example of that; the reaction to it in Jordan was universally extremely negative on the "Arab Street" and al Qaeda's apparent anonymous-public spokesmen (online) found themselves trying to do spin and damage control...

Also, press, Democrats and "anti-war" activists are allies of al Qaeda, but they are not reliable allies. They could turn their coats at any moment; they only wish to harm Bush and the Republicans. Who knows, even the "pacifists" could turn against slaughter, if the political winds start to blow that way...

Posted by John Weidner at 9:17 AM

November 7, 2005

Will the lies live on?

Via Matthew Hoy, an interesting story on the press and the Massey affair, Why did the press swallow Massey's stories?...

Media outlets throughout the world have reported Jimmy Massey's claims of war crimes, frequently without ever seeking to verify them.

For instance, no one ever called any of the five journalists who were embedded with Massey's battalion to ask him or her about his claims.

The Associated Press, which serves more than 8,500 newspaper, radio and television stations worldwide, wrote three stories about Massey, including an interview with him in October about his new book.

But none of the AP reporters ever called Ravi Nessman, an Associated Press reporter who was embedded with Massey's unit. Nessman wrote more than 30 stories about the unit from the beginning of the war until April 15, after Baghdad had fallen.

Jack Stokes, a spokesman for the AP, said he didn't know why the reporters didn't talk to Nessman, nor could he explain why the AP ran stories without seeking a response from the Marine Corps. The organization also refused to allow Nessman to be interviewed for this story....

Some of the news media have issued corrections, some haven't. Why the original failures? Well, do you ever notice the press making mistakes that FAVOR Bush or Republicans?

What I wonder (without being willing to go into the swamps to find out) is whether the lefty/anti-war/pacifist bloggers are issuing corrections? Or whether the lies will live on and on and on?

Posted by John Weidner at 7:37 AM

October 30, 2005

a distinct and disturbing pattern of behavior...

A reader sends:

Unfortunately (or perhaps a blessing) the NYT op-ed pages are now by subscription only, so there is no easy way to link. But get a load of this claim they make for the Federal indictment. [link]
Supporters of Mr. Libby, known as Scooter, have attempted to describe the Wilson case as, at worse, a matter of casual gossip by Washington insiders about the wife of a man in the news. But the indictment does not describe a situation in which people accidentally outed someone they did not know was a covert officer. It describes a distinct and disturbing pattern of behavior among very high-ranking officials, including Mr. Libby and Vice President Dick Cheney, who knew that they were dealing with a covert officer and used their access to classified information in a public relations campaign over the rapidly disintegrating justifications for war with Iraq.
This is totally false. Here is the Fitzgerald quote:

Q: Did Libby know whether Valerie Wilson's identity was covert?
A: ...We have not made any allegation that Libby knowingly/intentionally outed a covert agent.

Actually, we do have a "a distinct and disturbing pattern of behavior among very high-ranking officials." But they are officials at the CIA and the major newsmedia, who collaborate closely in leaking and publishing classified information in order to undercut the elected government of the US. Or in Wilson's case, leaking lies that were the exact opposite of classified info! I bet this Times story never got around to mentioning that we now know that Wilson was a total liar, and that we know from the 9/11 Report that he reported to the CIA that Iraq probably did try to buy Uranium from Niger. The exact opposite of what Wilson wrote in his famous NYT Op-Ed, which is a large part of the "Bush lied" lie.

The CIA and the NYT are on the other side, in the war we are in. The are engaged in a campaign of disinformation and leaks of classified information, to undercut and sabotage our country in time of war. The word for that is treason..

Posted by John Weidner at 5:36 PM

October 29, 2005

Godspeed...

I just made a teensy little donation to Bill Rogio, and would strongly urge you to do the same...

Reading his blog, The Fourth Rail, has been the only way to see the fight in Iraq as a whole picture, and not just occasional unconnected scraps of information. The so-called major news media have failed utterly to do this. (It's easy to see why. The big picture shows their side is losing. Just noting where al Qa'im and Qusaybah [or Husaybah] are on the map clearly indicates that the situation for the NYT Coalition is dire.) He has been performing a major public service.

Now Bill has an opportunity to go to Iraq himself, as a reporter. And that takes a lot of dough. But it's the chance of a lifetime, and I only wish it were me going. I'll go there vicariously through him...

Posted by John Weidner at 10:03 AM

October 28, 2005

"Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark..."

Just in case you thought I was "over the top" when I suggested that Left was "going to party" when the Iraq death toll reached 2,000, you should check out all the candid photos taken by Zombie and houston.indymedia. Such smiles.

And Michelle Malkin has the goods on an NYT 2,000-deaths story, including a quote from the last letter of a Marine corporal. He sounds like another poor grunt who is sad to have to die meaninglessly in bushhitler's Mekong Delta.....except the NYT cut out the rest of the paragraph, which reads:

I don't regret going, everybody dies but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it's not to me. I'm here helping these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives. To me that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark."

The NYT is on the other side.

And check out this, from Israpundit. The NYT did something that's almost unheard of--they criticized a Palestinian!!. But someone behind the Kremlin walls quickly deleted the item...

They are on the other side.

Posted by John Weidner at 4:40 PM

October 21, 2005

I read the papers, I know all that's happening...

Daniel McKivergan posts:

The speech delivered yesterday by Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, got a lot of press attention. But while all these reports highlighted the negative remarks he made about the Bush White House, they didn't mention Wilkerson's other seemingly newsworthy comments...

Well you see, there's the news what's fit to print, and the news what's not.

News has a purpose. Have you ever encountered the bios or memoirs of journalists, and--I don't mean old-timers, you understand, but Baby-Boom or later--and they say why they went to journalism school? They always say that they went to journalism school--old timers didn't even go to J school, they just went out and started reporting things--they always say that they wanted to make the world a better place!

And to do that, you can't report all the news. Some of it is bad, harmful. The little people don't understand that, and it's important to spare them information that might cause bad thoughts. It's such a problem, that the same sort of people who drink tap water and drive Fords can also vote. The harm they do is enormous; just look around at what a mess the world has become since 1980.

But journalists can make a difference. They can edit the world, so it becomes comprehensible, a coherent narrative, pruned of extraneous misinformation and...well, look at me, I'm just rambling on and on. You folks don't need this, you are part of the intelligentsia. You can just click on the link and see what it was obviously necessary to edit out of the news reports...

(Thanks to GOPinion)
Posted by John Weidner at 8:10 PM

October 16, 2005

Latest madness..

Dafydd writes on the latest craziness in the crazy "indictment" of Tom DeLay:

...I wanted to link to an article about this latest Keystone Kops escapade, but amazingly enough, at this point, I cannot find a single article about this absurdity -- not even on FoxNews.com. Since they actually had video of the incident as it unfolded and discussion with the attorneys right after they came out of the courthouse, I would find it hard to believe it never occurred; but in the mad world of the MSM, even being caught on videotape doesn't mean something really exists: it only exists when one of the media news managers decides it exists. Perhaps I hallucinated the entire thing.

Here we have a story that even the MSM agrees is important: the indictment of the second most powerful man in the House of Representatives. And five years after Ronnie Earle began hounding DeLay, three years after the alleged crime of "money laundering" occurred, at least a year after the D.A.'s office began investigating this particular transaction, and eleven days after
obtaining the new, improved indictment from the third grand jury to investigate, we discover that the District Attorney's office doesn't even have the critical piece of evidence that underpins their entire case.

But evidently, that's just not news.

Sad to say, except for those of you who watched Brit Hume last night, "you read it here first."

What makes me grit my teeth is that, to millions of people, it will be a "fact" that Republicans are corrupt, with the phony political indictment of the House Majority Leader as leading "evidence" of rottenness. A lie our vile "press" is happy to spread.

Posted by John Weidner at 1:28 PM

October 8, 2005

Envelope please...

Wretchard says, with tongue-in-cheek, something true...

....It is tempting to thank all those who have made this [the "insurgency's" being led to use brutal tactics that are now backfiring on them] possible, beginning with those who believed that playing up the insurgency's gruesome work on the front pages would project the 'helplessness' of America and contrast it's impotence with the puissance of Abu Musab Zarqawis 'freedom fighters'. Mention should go to everyone who argued that 'insurgent losses did not matter'; that body counts were irrelevant when following the development of an insurgency.

Finally, a special award should be given to everyone who ignored the buildup of Iraqi forces and the establishment of an Iraqi State as being futile and beyond the wit and capability of the US; who believed even recently that only 1 of 3 Iraqi battalions in existence were fighting the insurgency, when in fact there were 100. Perhaps the downside of the insurgency's 'media-combined arms' campaign was that it not only fooled some of the public, but it misled themselves as well....

It's pleasing to note how our enemies make the same mistake over and over. It's been pointed out that the media's "cocooning" of Democrats actually hurts them, by keeping them ignorant of how election campaigns are really going. And while the terrorists have gained enormous advantages by their symbiosis with Western media and "activists," they are also "cocooned," and suffer from not being told the truth.

I suspect we are moving towards a tipping point, when it suddenly becomes obvious that we are winning in Iraq, and the Democrats and the Gasping Media have been telling us a bunch of lies. It will be very educational. I doubt however that most people will be sophisticated enough to realize that the media, Democrats and the "anti-war" activists have been encouraging the terrorists to slaughter civilians, rewarding their evil deeds.

But it's true. So keep in mind, if you see a "reporter" or a "peace activist," that you are probably seeing someone with the blood of little children dripping from their hands.

Posted by John Weidner at 11:36 AM

October 7, 2005

No bully-pulpit...

John at PowerLine writes:

...I haven't seen a report on how many people watched Bush's speech; in fact, I'm only assuming that it was broadcast by someone. My guess is that very few either saw it or will read it in its entirety. Instead, the overwhelming majority depend on what they read about Bush's speech in the newspapers or hear on television news reports. Those articles and reports, with hardly any exceptions, will be carefully framed to minimize the speech's impact.

People used to talk about the Presidency as a "bully pulpit," but I think one lesson of the Bush years is that the President's ability to communicate effectively with the American people, outside of the context of an election campaign, is limited. The real "bully pulpit" belongs to the mainstream press, which is just about unanimously devoted to undermining the President's effort to communicate with, and thereby lead, the American people
.

That's the problem with the complaint by various war-supporters that the President should be doing more to build support for the war. He's just given a major speech, an excellent speech well worth reading, but our domestic Ba'athists have an almost complete block on the word getting out. I don't watch TV, but I hear the radio news now and then, and I can imagine the microscopic sound-bite to which this important speech was reduced...

But be comforted. The Saddam-supporting Bush-haters have once again picked a loser. We are WINNING. The terrorists and their Western supporters are LOSING. Those who follow the war via the Internet (including in a minor war Random Jottings) have access to the truth. Pieces like Michael Yon's, that I recently blogged about, are not only telling a different story than the lying news-media, they are full of fascinating clues. For instance they way the Americans can tease Colonel Eid...Or the way a relieving unit is able to take over the area without any hesitation.

And sooner or later the fact that we are winning will sink in with the public, and the lying critics will be discredited.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:17 AM

October 5, 2005

The Paper Formerly Called The Paper Of Record...

I'm to busy to really blog, but here's something I liked. Dean writes, on the NYT:

....Their opinion columnists, with one or two brave exceptions, are shallow idiots. Their science reporting is steeped in political correctness. The old-school PC spin on every story involving weighty public matters is laughable. The way they treat red state America as a sort of bizarre alien specimen is painful. Their war reporting is hopelessly stuck in the Vietnam era. Indeed, what does it say about them that to get a positive story published on our troops' postive efforts and accomplishments in Iraq, someone at the Times had to sneak it into the sports section?

It all to me points to something rotton to the core of what we've come to call liberalism today. I'm not ashamed of the world liberal, it's not a dirty word and I'm proud to apply it to myself in many, many contexts. But the broad political movement known as "liberalism," epitomized by the worldview common to the New York Times, has become paint-by-numbers, predictable, kneejerk, pompous, and shallow. The great liberal philosopher John Stuart Mill once said of the conservatives of his day that they were people who didn't have ideas so much as irritable mental gestures that vaguely sought to resemble ideas. I can think of no better description than the worldview epitomized by the folks running the ship at the
New York Times.....

The absurdity that liberalism and the the NYT has become is encapsulated in the fact that they recently appointed a reporter to "cover" conservatives. What a joke! This is a conservative country with a conservative President, and they belatedly decide that one person might be spared to take notice of the phenomenon? And of course they didn't actually hire a conservative to report on conservatives; no, that would be just too too extreme. Sort of like chosing a Samoan to study the Samoans, instead of Margaret Mead.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:44 AM

September 28, 2005

Lying by omission...

You should take a look at this fascinating photo essay.

The SF Chronicle ran a picture from an anti-war rally, showing a teenage girl.

Blogger Zombietime happened to take a picture of the same girl about the same time. But his picture had much more, and he is able to zoom out, and out, and out, and show the context that the Chron left out...

...The San Francisco Chronicle featured the original photograph on its front page in order to convey a positive message about the rally -- perhaps that even politically aware teenagers were inspired to show up and rally for peace, sporting the message, "People of Color say 'No to War!'" And that served the Chronicle's agenda.

But this simple analysis reveals the very subtle but insidious type of bias that occurs in the media all the time. The
Chronicle did not print an inaccuracy, nor did it doctor a photograph to misrepresent the facts. Instead, the Chronicle committed the sin of omission: it told you the truth, but it didn't tell you the whole truth.

Because the whole truth -- that the girl was part of a group of naive teenagers recruited by Communist activists to wear terrorist-style bandannas and carry Palestinian flags and obscene placards -- is disturbing, and doesn't conform to the narrative that the
Chronicle is trying to promote. By presenting the photo out of context, and only showing the one image that suits its purpose, the Chronicle is intentionally manipulating the reader's impression of the rally, and the rally's intent.

Such tactics -- in the no-man's-land between ethical and unethical -- are commonplace in the media, and have been for decades. It is only now, with the advent of citizen journalism, that we can at last begin to see the whole story and realize that the public has been manipulated like this all along...

The sad thing is that the people at the Chron probably don't even understand that they are telling lies. They have a certain ideology, and anything that fits in with it is "the truth."

Thanks to Rand.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:34 PM

September 21, 2005

We three monkeys...

Apparently the Afghan election didn't get much coverage in the media. Surprise, surprise.

What a disgrace. One of the amazing stories of our times, but I guess it's not "news," because it isn't a violent fiasco. And mostly, because it doesn't make the President and our military look bad.

Once again the Administration's policies have been rewarded with success. You "liberals" can wall yourselves off and pretend it isn't happening. But I suspect the message seeps into your unconscious minds somehow. And that's why you seem so unhappy and act so crazy.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:02 AM

September 20, 2005

Time's up...

Beldar points out (thanks to Rand) that the one-year Statute of Limitations is almost up, and it is time for Senator Kerry to sue the authors of Unfit for Command for defamation, or lose his chance. Since the book is full of "scurrilous lies" that have "already been debunked," what could the Senator be waiting for? Perhaps the fact that he was forced to retract one of his own lies might cause a certain embarrassment in the courtroom...

Actually, I don't blame the Senator for hoping the issue will just go away. Any politician would do the same, especially since the various accusations have not been "debunked. But I'm still filled with deep disgust for the way the Old Media automatically appointed itself part of the Kerry Campaign, and instantly went to work to try to hide the story.

Matthew Hoy recently wrote:

...The story that really turned me against the Times was the paper's hatchet job on the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth last year. For weeks, the Times ignored their very existence and the impact it was having on Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign. Just when the silence reached deafening proportions, the paper ran a 100+ column inch story, complete with charts detailing the vast conspiracy behind the Swift Boat Vets. The Times smeared these men who had served their country through innuendo. It wasn't until the very end of the story -- somewhere around inch 120 -- that the Times bothered to report that at least one of the Swift Boat Vets charges, that Kerry had not spent Christmas in Cambodia in 1968, was true and that Kerry had disavowed that 35+ year old story. Of course, when deciding where to trim their story for an easier-to-handle abridged version for their news service subscribers, the truth of one of the Swift Boat Vets' charges was left on the cutting room floor.

The Times is a once-great newspaper and it would require a sea-change to return it to its former place of respect and admiration. The abandonment of a
committment to truth (or at least accuracy) on the editorial pages, is a sign that this turnaround won't be happening anytime soon.

On a lighter note: If anyone from any other newspaper is interested in hiring me to write for their editorial pages, then drop me a line and we can talk....
Posted by John Weidner at 8:21 AM

September 11, 2005

Liars alert...

The Media Wing of the Democrat Party is reporting widely that the Shaw Group, a major corporate client of Joe Allbaugh, President Bush's former campaign manager and a former head of the FEMA, has received a big FEMA contract!

Quelle scandale!

Of course they don't bother to report one teensy weensy little fact...

...The Shaw Group, a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate, is headed by Jim Bernhard, the current chairman of the Louisiana Democratic Party. Bernhard worked tirelessly for Democrat Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco's runoff campaign and served as co-chair of her transition team. Another Shaw executive was Blanco's campaign manager. Bernhard is back-scratching chums with Blanco, whom he has lent/offered the Shaw Group's corporate jets to on numerous occasions...[Find the details here, at Michelle Malkin]
I'm sure we'll be hearing from Zoomie about the horrid crony-capitalists of the Bush Administration...
Posted by John Weidner at 7:13 PM

Let's climb in the What If machine...

Politicalities points out, what I hadn't realized...

Because I don't watch television...

There is a news blackout on the fact that the Red Cross was blocked from bringing food to the Superdome!

He's asking bloggers to put on pressure to get this story covered. (Well, my pressure-added is probably negligable, but who knows?)

He has a great open letter...give it a read...

...Why aren't you screaming this from the rooftops? I know why. Because the mayor who so failed his people, the governor who thwarted the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, the chief of police who rewarded his troops with Vegas vacations after they engaged in mass desertion and in some cases joined the looters... these people are all Democrats. That's the reason.

Don't try to deny it. Let's climb in the What If machine and ponder Hurricane LaTonya bearing down on the city of Jacksonville, Florida in a slightly different reality.

Jacksonville sits on Florida's Atlantic coast, just south of Georgia, and has thus far been spared major hurricanes, which means it's due. It's the most populous city in Florida and the 13th most populous city in the United States, about 60% larger than New Orleans. Its mayor is Republican John Peyton, its chief of police is probable Republican Donald R. Cook, and of course the governor of Florida is Republican Jeb Bush [1]. Duval County voted for Bush over Kerry by 16%.....

This was especially interesting because the first thing I woke up to this morning was a comment by the usually-accurate Andrew Cory that was wrong on this point, and the second was the open letter...(Thanks to Lorie)

Posted by John Weidner at 9:30 AM

August 30, 2005

Media scum...

I borrowed this chart from Jim Miller on Politics.

Point is, the Media Wing of the Democrat Party not only fails to report good news from the War on Terror, they actively work to create the bad news. When they gleefully report the new enlistments are running below target ("Our military is imploding, Bush's fault") they don't mention that they are bending every effort to create that problem. One way: In olden times, America's heros were held up to young people as models...as heroes!

We have as many heroes now as then, but the lefty worms won't tell people their stories.

Mentions in Major US Media
Lynndie England5,159
Koran abuse4,677
Paul Smith90

Who's Paul Smith? Can you tell me? It's a name we all should know......

Miller took the data from the September issue of the American Enterprise magazine, and they got it from a Lexis/Nexis search.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:40 AM

August 29, 2005

Cropped...

Just take a look at this, to see how images in the news are "improved," so they tell the desired story....

Thanks to Patum Peperium.

Posted by John Weidner at 3:39 PM

August 25, 2005

Body armor...

Glenn Reynolds mentioned this article by Jack Kelly in Jewish World Review. It's worth reading.

The gist: The Army developed a new component for their body armor. This was done pro-actively; our enemies do not yet use ammo that can defeat the older armor. It was done was great speed, by cutting red-tape. The Army's director of materiel told exactly that to the NYT.

So how did the NYT story read?

..."For the second time since the Iraq war began, the Pentagon is struggling to replace body armor that is failing to protect American troops from the most lethal attacks of insurgents.

"The ceramic plates in vests worn by most personnel cannot withstand certain munitions the insurgents use. But more than a year after military officials initiated an effort to replace the armor with thicker, more resistant plates, tens of thousands of soldiers are still without the stronger protection because of a string of delays in the Pentagon's procurement system."...

You know, they say that the most effective polemical writing avoids invective and name-calling, and just lets the facts speak for themselves. I think that's true. But Random Jottings isn't an important blog, and I'm not going to change the world. So I might as well say what I feel.

Most of the people in the Gasping Media and the "anti-war" left are LIARS. They hate America, and they want us to lose. They are effectively on the other side, although I think they mainly want the world to go back to the Vietnam Era, when they felt like they were something special.

This gross lie will get repeated. Trolls will be dropping it into blog comments for years, as if it were fact. The lie will be used to discourage America, and to undermine support for our military. And it will give America-haters an excuse to pretend to be concerned for our troops, (without EVER actually doing anything to help them).

And then, if we have to fight future wars because the WoT ended in retreat and confusion, why, they will claim it's Bush's fault! If other terror-supporting states are left intact because the political cost of action is too high, why it's Bush's fault! If some future Saddam is left in power because of lefty protests, why, it's Bush's fault.

Well, bullshit. What the fake anti-war activists and the fake pacifists are doing is trying to create future wars. Which will probably be more bloody and ugly than this one. They are murderers. Warmongers. The true peace party is led by George W Bush, Tony Blair, and John Howard.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:53 AM

August 23, 2005

cool numbers....

Ralph Peters in the Ny Post (Thanks to InstaPundit)

...Remember last spring, when the Army's recruitment efforts fell short for a few months? The media's glee would have made you confuse the New York Times and Air America.

When the Army attempted to explain that enlistments are cyclical and numbers dip at certain times of the year, the media ignored it. All that mattered was the wonderful news that the Army couldn't find enough soldiers. We were warned, in oh-so-solemn tones, that our military was headed for a train wreck.

Now, as the fiscal year nears an end, the Army's numbers look great. Especially in combat units and Iraq, soldiers are re-enlisting at record levels. And you don't hear a whisper about it from the "mainstream media."

Let's look at the numbers, which offer a different picture of patriotism than the editorial pages do...

[the numbers are worth reading].

I've read so many times recently that our military is strained/stretched/broken...and just generally miserable and decrepit. One expects stupid rubbish from the Gasping Media, but the bloggers, if they are real bloggers, ought to be posting some corrections. I won't hold my breath.

It's certainly pleasant to see their hate-America hopes dashed. Nyahh nyahhh nyahhh!

Update: Phil Carter is saying the numbers don't really add up to meeting recruiting goals for the year. So I may be the one who has to make a correction. On the other hand, my feelings about those whose cheeks glow and eyes light up whenever America has problems--those will not need updates. I will continue to despise them.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:33 AM

August 11, 2005

Where to go for the news (not newspapers)

You probably already know this, but Bill Roggio's blog Fourth Rail has been covering Operation Quick Strike, and other recent operations in Iraq. You might want to look at recent posts, and his nice maps.

It just makes clear again the drooling irrelevance of the Old Media. You can't get this stuff from them, except in occasional dribs and drabs with no clear narrative. All they are interested in is reporting casualty figures. Partly this is because they are on the other side, but it's also just mental laziness. Being a "journalist" means figuring out the formula for each type of event, so you can crank out stories endlessly without much labor. (For instance, covering "Space" is done by showing clips of the Space Shuttle taking off and landing. The really important space stuff is too slow-moving and intricate to engage their butterfly minds.)

But still, it's a WAR! You'd think they would make a little effort.

* Update: The NY Post has an article on what's happening. Casualties are up because, duh, WE ARE FIGHTING. And I'll mention once again that, against enemies that hide, guerillas or terrorists, a fight is GOOD NEWS. We want to bring them to battle against our regulars, instead of letting them choose where to strike. Of course regular RJ readers will be insulted to have so obvious a thing pointed out, and Lefties have filters installed that keep them from absorbing such concepts.
Posted by John Weidner at 8:55 AM

August 7, 2005

Hypocrisy...

There's already been scorn poured on Damien Cave's NYT piece on why we are not hearing more about heroes of the Iraq Campaign. (Answer: People who read blogs, except the America-hating leftyblogs, DO hear about our heroes. Just click on "Iraq" in my "Archives by Category" list--there's an stack of stuff the NYT won't tell you that's amazing, though I say it myself)

But his bit especially annoyed me:

....President Bush has taken the middle road. He presented the Medal of Honor to the family of Sergeant Smith in a White House ceremony on April 4. He praised Sergeant Peralta, a Mexican immigrant, in a radio address and at the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast in June.

But these citations did not occur in prime time, nor have they been repeated. And Sergeant Smith's Medal of Honor is the only one that has been awarded for action in Iraq....

So let's imagine that the administration did make a prime-time push to honor our heroes How would the NYT and the rest of the Gasping Media report this? I bet something like this:

In an apparent attempt to deflect growing criticism from what some have called a quagmire in Iraq, the Bush Administration today adopted a strategy of "promoting" so-called "heroes...."

And then they would quote an "expert" or professor (without mentioning the expert's lefty political bias) about how governments use patriotism to distract from domestic failings blah blah blah...

Posted by John Weidner at 9:45 AM

July 15, 2005

Captain Queeg, remember him?

The Anchoress writes:

I think I wrote about a week ago my suspicions that the Karl Rove whirlwind was yet another Bushian “rope-a-dope.” The WH was too silent, and they were doing what they ALWAYS do - allowing the press and the Democrats to get wild, shrill, over-confident and over-the-top, and then allowing the cards to show...

Makes a lot of sense. You gotta figure the press/Dems will be attacking the White House over something. So why not lead them on to attack where you know you're in a strong position. Maybe, maybe, even a position where the real villain will turn out to be a reporter! How sweet.

Now you might say that it's a bit unfair for Br'er Rabbit to play so upon the dishonesty of Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear. But if the press was to do it's job, and try to report the truth (Ha ha ha, ain't I a card!) instead of constituting an anti-Bush hatchet squad, they wouldn't get into these little situations...

There's a comment I liked on her post too:

3. The Dems have become Captain Queeg, rolling the silver balls in their hands, rambling about Bushitler, Dick, Darth Vader, Cheney and Karl, the Emperor, Rove stealing the strawberries, I mean elections. They are madly searching for the “truth” and will look under every rock and in every corner until they find it.
Posted by John Weidner at 8:25 AM

June 12, 2005

Ha ha, Catch 22....

I'm not much interested in the issue of Senator Kerry's military records, since I think his "military heroism" is obviously bogus--any officer who would use a technicality to desert his men while they are on the front is contemptible.

But this business of the Boston Globe and the LAT apparently having Kerry's records but not publishing them is fascinating. Especially considering the many times the Gasping Media have told us, with infinite smugness and self-satisfaction, that their "duty" to publish things trumps minor matters like national security or patriotism.

This article by Thomas Lipscombe is worth reading. Apparently the two papers are saying that they have no obligation to release or publish the records, since others can apply to the Kerry organization just like they did. And Kerry headquarters is now saying the "the issue is over," since they have "released" the records! Pretty cute.

Posted by John Weidner at 11:00 AM

May 26, 2005

always follow the manual...

Daily Telegraph...The men's claim that they were tortured at Guantanamo should also be set in the context of the al-Qa'eda training manual discovered during a raid in Manchester a couple of years ago. Lesson 18 of that manual, whose authenticity has not been questioned, emphatically states, under the heading "Prison and Detention Centres", that, when arrested, members of al-Qa'eda "must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them by state security investigators. [They must] complain to the court of mistreatment while in prison"....

SO, what does this say to us about the people who are repeating those claims?

Posted by John Weidner at 5:47 PM

May 18, 2005

"Philosophically correct"

Glenn Reynolds posted this, sent by a reader:

Chris Matthews was turning himself into a pretzel last night trying to rationalize the legitimacy of the Newsweek story and essentially ended up with the opinion that even if the reporting was factually incorrect, because of the Army's previous abuses it was philosophically reported correctly. It was, basically, the Dan Rather argument...

"Philosophically correct," huh. What exactly, one wonders, is the "philosophy" he's referring to? Probably a certain sort of one that's desperate for stories like this, so creeps like Matthews can cry, "Free, free, I'm home free! I get to betray my country and stab our soldiers in the back even as they are fighting to protect me, and sneer at at the fools who love America, 'cause I got my "Abu Ghraib Get-Out-of-Patriotism-Free" card! No facts needed, baby, 'cause we is "philosophically" in-the-groove."

Posted by John Weidner at 6:59 AM

April 20, 2005

We are "seekers of truth"

I was going to "fisk" this column by William Raspberry, but I couldn't. I just couldn't. It's too loony. In fact demented. He STARTS with the assumption that the mainstream media are trusted as "seekers of truth," because they are non-partisan!!! And then argues that the "in-your-face right-wing partisanship" of Fox News may shatter this idyllic situation, to the detriment of us all.

To argue with this would be like trying to have a logical discussion with somebody about whether a foil hat will really keep CIA broadcasts from being picked up by ones tooth fillings.

(Thanks to Tim Blair)

Posted by John Weidner at 8:44 AM

April 17, 2005

There is no elephant in this room. It's invisible. And it isn't really here...

The Washington Post has a fascinating article on the growing democracy movements in the Middle East. The article is also PREPOSTEROUS in the way it tries desperately to pretend that what's happening has nothing to do with a certain George W. Bush. (Thanks to PowerLine)

Of course the fact that people can talk openly of democracy in places like Egypt or Lebanon has everything to do with various tyrants being very nervous about President Bush's next move, and being unwilling to crack down on protesters lest Condi frown at them. She's playing the "good cop" right now in the classic fashion: "You gotta give me something, or I don't think I can restrain Officer Neocon from beating you up."

And the need for spin by the WaPo is obvious. The Post and the rest of the Gasping Media did everything in their power to prevent all this from happening. They've used every dirty trick they had to keep appeasers and "realists" in power, and to undermine their own county in time of war, and to convince people that our campaign in Iraq was mere folly and waste...

They were clearly on the side of the bad guys, and are now scurrying to bring out a revised edition of reality.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:59 AM

April 7, 2005

Didn't want to know...

If you want to see, under a microscope, just how our "intelligence failures" happen, I recommend this article on the assassination attempt against the Pope. (Thanks to Lastango.)

Read how the NYT and the elite media instantly ran with the story that Mehmet Ali Agca was some sort of neo-fascist right-winger. And refused to touch the evidence of his Bulgarian connection. (If you read the story it might sound familiar. Agca goes penniless to Bulgaria yet stays in a first-class hotel and comes out with $50,000. Does it perhaps remind us of Terry Nichols making multiple extended trips to the Philippines despite having no apparent income? Hmmm? What, you haven't heard that tale? I wonder why...)

They didn't want to know.

It was the despised middle-brow Reader's Digest that broke the story. And even after they did the Gasping Media tried their best to bury the story.

And our precious CIA didn't want to know either. It resolutely ignored the most blatant evidence. And even when the Bulgarian connection became clear, it didn't want to make the obvious inference of Soviet involvement.

Why? You know why. For the exact same reason the networks never show the falling towers of the World Trade Center, or the people jumping to escape the flames. Because they are appeasers. Because they know that if the American people know what's going on, they will demand that the United States defend itself. They will vote for leaders who favor strong defense.

And because all these issues pose the question: What do you believe in? What will you fight for?

Posted by John Weidner at 7:50 AM

April 3, 2005

Write about Pope, lead with Hans Kung...

It's well known that the big papers write obituaries of important people ahead of time and keep them on hand, so they can publish them quickly when needed. The New York Times was just a little too fast on the draw, and has been caught in a really slimy example of media bias. All their trendy-lefty disdain of the Pope was crafted and ready-to-go, but they planned to have someone talk to the primitives to provide "balance..."

...Even as his own voice faded away, his views on the sanctity of all human life echoed unambiguously among Catholics and Christian evangelicals in the United States on issues from abortion to the end of life.

need some quote from supporter

John Paul II's admirers were as passionate as his detractors, for whom his long illness served as a symbol for what they said was a decrepit, tradition-bound papacy in need of rejuvenation and a bolder connection with modern life.

"The situation in the Catholic church is serious," Hans Kung, the eminent Swiss theologian, who was barred by from teaching in Catholic schools because of his liberal views, wrote last week. "The pope is gravely ill and deserves every compassion. But the Church has to live. ...

In my opinion, he is not the greatest pope but the most contradictory of the 20th century. A pope of many, great gifts, and of many bad decisions!"

Among liberal Catholics, he was criticized for his strong opposition to abortion, homosexuality and contraception, as well as the ordination of women and married men...

PowerLine has a screen-grab of the page, caught before it could be corrected...The attitude is something we see all the time. It would be OK if the times billed itself as "Manhattan's liberal newspaper." But they are considered to be the pre-eminent paper of the country, and all the MSM takes its cue from them. Yet much of this country they neither know nor care much about. Not only do they have no conservatives in the newsroom, I bet they have no believing Catholics. (Or if there are they have to conceal their beliefs.)

I bet they have a canned obituary of President Bush on the shelf, which dwells gloatingly on every American failure, and has a line: "need quote from some supporter."

Posted by John Weidner at 10:06 AM

March 22, 2005

Fiskus americanus "giganteus"

This collection of little poison dagger-jabs by the NYT really aroused my contempt. Warning: long Fisking ahead.

March 18, 2005 EDITORIAL New York Times
Two Years Later
The invasion of Iraq, which began two years ago this weekend, was a world-changing event. We can see many of the consequences already. The good ones, so far, exist mainly as hopes and are fewer than the bad ones, some of which are all too concrete...

The good starts with liberating 25 million people from one of the cruelest tyrannies in history. The good ALREADY far outweighs the bad.

One of the few positive domestic consequences of the war has been the nation's determination - despite obstruction from the White House and its supporters - to honor the memory of each American man and woman who has died in Iraq...

GROSS LIE. You lefty's "honor" our dead by using them as propaganda for America-bashing and appeasement--things that almost all our military community despises. And you rarely report the REAL honoring, such as the many times that whole communities in the heartlands turn out with flags for the funerals of our men, or to welcome troops home. Or the enormous amount of time the President and his supporters spend visiting the troops and families and the wounded. I wonder how many Timesmen visit Walter Reed Hospital to cheer-up wounded soldiers?

The administration has been shockingly callous about the tens of thousands of Iraqi victims, whom ordinary Americans cannot count let alone name...

LIE. Utter filthy lie. Our forces have bent over backwards to minimize civilian casualties, often paying the ultimate price themselves. Most of the Iraqi victims have been killed by Ba'athist and Islamist terrorists. Who don't even pretend to be trying to achieve military victory; their murders are done so YOU will gloatingly report them in the western media, so YOU will do your part for terrorist victory and western capitulation. The blood of many of those Iraqis is on YOUR hands, because you've done your best to encourage their murderers. "Shockingly callous" describes the NYT and the western press exactly.

The Real Reasons
The Bush administration was famously flexible in explaining why it invaded Iraq, and the most important reason, in the minds of Americans and in the arguments made by American diplomats, turned out to be wrong. There were no weapons of mass destruction to destroy...

The NYT and the French, and the UN had exactly the SAME belief about Iraqi WMD's. So why aren't they called "wrong?" And the main reason that WMD's were put formost in our war-arguments was that YOU, and your whole leftish realm, demanded that we seek approval of the UN. And the only thing the UN cared about was the WMD's. The tortures, the genocide, the stagnation and oppression of the Arab world, you and the UN cared nothing about those. You were cold-hearted bastards, and now you have the supreme gall to criticize the Bush Administration for over-emphasizing WMD's!

Worse, the specialized machinery and highly lethal conventional weaponry that Saddam Hussein did control was looted during the invasion and is now very likely in the hands of terrorists. As James Glanz and William Broad reported in The Times, among the things missing is high-precision equipment capable of making parts for nuclear arms. The WMD argument was not only wrong, but the invasion might have also created a new threat...

This is the grossest effrontery I've read this year. "There were machines to make nukes BUT there was no WMD problem BUT Bush has CREATED a WMD problem by attacking Saddam's nuclear bomb program, which wasn't otherwise a problem." Jeez. (And we know from that NYT article that "looting" isn't the right word; the stuff was hauled off using heavy equipment and truck convoys, before the Americans arrived. Bush's fault of course.) And if a terrorist nuke goes off in NY, I bet surviving Timesmen will blame Bush for letting himself be distracted by the UN instead of dealing with the Iraq problem sooner

However, there was another theory behind the invasion. Mr. Bush might have been slow to articulate it, but other prominent officials were saying early on that overthrowing Saddam Hussein would shake up the hidebound, undemocratic regimes in the Middle East and free the natural democratic impulses of Arab and Islamic people. This rationale may still hold up. Iraqi and Afghani voters marching stolidly to the polls was by far the most hopeful image in the past two years.

They were not "stolid," they were both joyful and determined even to the point of death. "Stolid" would describe a Timesman forced to concede that perhaps something good has come from an American war. And if Bush HAD articulated that reason earlier, the NYT would have been the first to deride him.

There is an endless list of qualifications. Many of the most promising signs of change have little to do with Iraq...

They have EVERYTHING to do with Iraq. The only reason these new flowerings aren't crushed by tyrants and terrorists is that they know the US is deadly serious. The reason Condi's frown caused Mubarak to announce elections was because he knows we are serious--BECAUSE we didn't flinch in Iraq.

The peace initiatives in Israel were made possible when Yasir Arafat died and was replaced by a braver, more flexible leader. The new determination of the Lebanese people to throw out their Syrian oppressors was sparked by the assassination of the Lebanese nationalist, Rafik Hariri, not the downfall of Saddam Hussein. And in Iraq itself, the voting largely excluded the Sunni minority, without whose cooperation Iraq will never be anything more than a civil war battleground or a staging platform for a new dictatorship...

Bullshit. Bush sidelined Arafat in 2002 by announcing that the Palestinians must have a peaceful elected government to earn our help getting a state. And the Lebanese can protest now because they know the Syrians are afraid of Bush. And the Iraq election did not "exclude" the Sunnis (they were welcome to vote and many of them did)---certain Sunni groups boycotted it, and now are scurrying to be included in the new government. "Excluded the Sunni"--what a slimy lie that is.

With all that said, even the fiercest critic of George Bush's foreign policy would be insane not to want these signs of hope to take root...

A lot of them are insane in exactly that way.

That would not excuse the waging of an unnecessary war on false pretences, but it could change the course of modern history. Grieving families would find the peace that comes with knowing that spouses, parents or children died to help make a better world...

They KNEW IT ALL ALONG! Anyone who follows military websites and blogs is aware that our forces have ALL ALONG been very aware of what they are fighting for, and how necessary it is. It's the vile America-haters led by the NYT who have been trying to convince them our losses were unnecessary and futile. (ALSO, bringing the hope of freedom to a billion or so people WOULD excuse waging war on false pretenses, although we did not do so.)

The Real Losses
Even with the best possible outcome, the invasion is already costly. America's alliances, particularly those with Europe, have been severely frayed since President Bush turned his back on the United Nations in the fall of 2002...

No no, we didn't turn our back on the UN. We begged the UN to enforce its own binding resolutions, and our "allies" refused to support us there. France and Germany are NOT friends. They don't like us and they hinder us at every opportunity.

Even some of his early supporters, like Spain, have edged away...

Spain didn't edge away, it cravenly capitulated to terrorist blackmail. Which is fine with the NYT.

Tony Blair remains the exception, mainly because of his willingness to ignore public opinion. If there is such a thing as the European street, anti-American feeling is strong and universal...

That "public opinion" doesn't just happen, your colleagues in the European press work non-stop to create it. They are bitterly anti-American, and you reveal your true colors by going along with them.

Things are even worse on the Arab street. While hope for change may be rising, opinion about the United States has never been as profoundly negative...

A LIE. We are suddenly starting to see the REAL Arab street, not the bogus one run by dictators and hyped by the NYT. Those million-or-so demonstrators in Beruit seem to have a rather good opinion of the US. They are the "Arab street."

Even under the best circumstances, it would have been hard for the proud people of the Middle East to acknowledge any benefit from an armed intervention by a Western power. And the occupying forces have made themselves easy to hate with maddening human-rights disasters. When the average Egyptian or Palestinian or Saudi thinks about the Americans in Iraq, the image is not voters' purple-stained fingers but the naked Iraqi prisoner at the other end of Pfc. Lynndie England's leash...

Because that's all Al-Jazeera and Al-NewYorka want to report. The hundreds-of-thousands tortured and murdered by Saddam go down the Memory Hole. The children tortured and wives raped to make their loved-ones confess mean nothing to you cold-hearted bastards at the NYT. ONLY incidents that can be used against America interest you. You tirelessly lead the media-chorus in tearing down America, then turn around and say, "Look how BUSH has made everyone hate us."

The atrocities that occurred in prisons like Abu Ghraib were the product of decisions that began at the very top, when the Bush administration decided that Sept. 11 had wiped out its responsibility to abide by the rules, including the Geneva Conventions and the American Constitution...

Rubbish. The Convention covers only Lawful Combatants who abide by the rules of war. Our opponents do not, but the NYT would never dream of criticizing them, while it reviles the US for not rewarding them anyway. And in fact we have treated our captives very humanely, while the Falluja terroritsts broadcast from the mosques their intention to torture and kill any American they captured. Which is OK by the NYT. The Abu Ghraib abuses were being investigated and dealt by the US Army months before the lefties became interested, but for the NYT it's the only thing that's ever happened.

For the United States, one of the greatest harms from the Iraq conflict has been the administration's willingness to define democracy down on the pretext of wartime emergency...

False. The War on Terror was debated vigorously during the last election, and the Iraq Invasion was argued about for over a year, and placed before Congress to vote on. And the voters and their representatives have strongly endorsed the President and his policies. That's what galls you at the NYT--the voters have rejected you. It's called democracy. Get ready for more of it.

Mr. Bush was not honest with the American people in the run-up to the war. He hyped the WMD evidence abroad and played down the cost at home. The results of last fall's election ensured that he would pay no political penalty. But other people sit in judgment as well. Mr. Bush's determination to have his war and his tax cuts at the same time meant masking the real price of invading Iraq, and even now the costs are being borne mainly by overseas holders of American debt. The international markets know this, and over the long run are most likely to be less forgiving than American voters...

So if the markets know it why aren't they unforgiving in the SHORT RUN? What a preposterous argument. The NYT peers into the future and declares international markets will agree with it...sometime or other. How Krugmanesque. And the enormous economic benefits that will come from VICTORY in the War on Terror are not considered. I suspect both victory and economic growth are not things the NYT is hoping for.

The New Challenges
Those stains on the index fingers of proud Iraqi voters have long faded. As Robert Worth of The Times discovered in interviews with average citizens, an inevitable disillusionment has set in. People reasonably want to know what comes next. More chilling, they seem to be prepared to blame competing ethnic groups for anything that goes wrong.

"Interviews" by Timesmen ALWAYS find that people agree with their position. But POLLS say that Iraqis feel very hopeful about the future. So which should we believe?

Iraq's newly elected leaders must organize a government that Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds and smaller ethnic and religious groups feel has their best interests at heart. They must also accomplish some practical matters - more electrical power, cleaner water, better security - to give their constituents the confidence that things really can get better.

The first challenge is up to the Iraqis, and so far, there are not many signs that any group is prepared to compromise for the common good. Americans must help with the second problem, and almost no one inside Iraq seems to feel the infant government can survive right now without the Western military.

Yes, the ARE signs, starting with the disinclination of the Shi'ites to start slaughtering Sunnis, as many of them richly deserve. And the majority of Iraqis think they WILL be able to survive without the US forces in a year or two.

It is hard to imagine a quick exit that would not make things much worse. But at the same time, it's clear that the presence of American troops is poisoning the situation. Under constant fire from Sunni insurgents, the soldiers are seldom free to provide the good-will services that many would undoubtedly like to do. Instead they stand behind barricades, terrified that the next vehicle will be driven by a suicide bomber. The inevitable consequence is what happened to the Italian journalist and her protectors whose car was riddled with bullets en route to the airport. Far more often, the people inside the cars are Iraqis...

Of course. An Italian communist journalist rates high with the NYT, even though she's an obvious liar. American military personnel, however, often tell a different story. A story of courageous soldiering PLUS good-will services in enormous variety PLUS optimism about Iraq and its people. But the NYT is too wily to be taken in by a bunch of baby-killers from the primitive Red States. And the NYT would never dream of insulting Sunni terrorists by suggesting that THEY are "poisoning the situation." Only Americans are "poisonous"...

The invasion has stirred up other dreadful side effects that must be addressed. One is that other rogue nations watched what happened to Saddam Hussein and not unreasonably took the lesson that the only way to keep American forces away permanently was to acquire nuclear weapons quickly. Curbing the international market of the most lethal weapons must be the top priority for the White House, but it is not possible without the multilateral cooperation they scorned before the invasion. North Korea, which any sensible person regards as a far more deadly threat than Saddam Hussein ever was, can be kept in check only by allies working together...

There is in fact a LOT of multilateral work being done to curb nuclear weapons, such as PCI. But the NYT never sees it. And we have relentlessly pushed for 6-way negotiations in dealing with N Korea, but somehow that doesn't make us "multilateral." In fact, to the NYT, America (during a Republican administration) is ALWAYS guilty. If we try to do anything vigorous, and other nations won't help, WE are automatically guilty of alienating them. THEY are never guilty of shirking international responsibilities or letting an ally down.

The Enduring Principles
Like a great many Americans and most Europeans, this page opposed the invasion of Iraq. Our reasons seem as good now as they did then. Most important is our belief that the United States cannot work in isolation from the rest of the world. There are too many problems, from global warming to nuclear proliferation, which can be solved only if the major powers collaborate. Americans need both the counsel and restraint of other world leaders...

Restraint is what's on your mind, not collaboration. European "allies" have stagnant economies, chronic high unemployment, plummeting birthrates, seething masses of hate-filled welfare-dependent immigrants, decayed armies...but to the NYT it is self-evident that they should be restraining us with their superior wisdom. It never occurs that perhaps THEY night need some kind of kick-in-the-pants from us .

The White House has almost unthinkable power, and the rest of the globe has the right to take a profound interest in making sure it is exercised wisely.

But not to the point of actually, you know, HELPING us...

(I find The NYT's attitude loathsome, but it now occurs to me that they've been well-punished--It was obviously an agony for them to say anything good about a Republican war. What a sour and dreary world these Timesmen must live in. Their own country performs prodigies to succor the oppressed, and they can't feel any joy. Can't for even a moment forget their bile and just say, "Well-done America, we're proud of you!")

Posted by John Weidner at 5:48 PM

March 20, 2005

When America has problems, their eyes light up...

Jack Kelly, in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette demolishes Robert Burns of the AP:

...Journalists portrayed the February shortfall in the worst possible light.

"To the daily drumbeat of casualty reports from Iraq, young blacks and women are marching away from offers to the join the Army," wrote Robert Burns of The Associated Press.

"These trends, combined with negative effects of the Army's image as a last-resort career choice for what one study called the 'average Joe,' suggests the military's largest service may be entering a prolonged recruiting slump at a time when it is trying to expand its ranks," Burns wrote.

Or maybe not. The last time the Army missed a monthly recruiting goal -- in May 2000 -- it made it up by the end of the fiscal year. The glass always seems half-empty when you tell only half the story...(thanks to
PowerLine)

The "journalists" are on the other side. And you can bet your last Ducat that if the recruiting goal ends up being met, it won't be "news" to the AP, and a lot of people will be left with the lingering belief that the Army is scraping the bottom of the barrel for cannon-fodder. When in fact many recruiting trends are positive:

Among them:

...Since the economy is stronger now than it was in 2001, and good economic times typically are hard times for military recruiters, a 36 percent increase in the proportion of young people willing to consider enlisting since the war on terror began says something good about our young people that Burns, apparently, is not eager to have you hear.

Burns notes with alarm that the proportion of young people who cite fear of combat as a reason for not joining the military nearly doubled (from 14 to 26 percent) between 2000 and 2004. He quoted the study again: "In the past, barriers were about inconvenience or preference for another life choice. Now they have switched to something quite different: fear of death or injury."

But is it all that astonishing that fear of death would be a bigger consideration during time of war than it is during peacetime?

Money for college was the principal reason young people gave for a willingness to enlist, followed by "duty."

Proportionately more blacks and women enlist for the economic benefits, while a higher proportion of white males give duty as a reason for joining up.

So blacks and women who enlisted primarily for the benefits are being replaced by white males who enlist primarily to serve their country. That's not such a bad thing...
.
Posted by John Weidner at 11:27 AM

March 17, 2005

dishonest and insane?

I'm currently enjoying Ari Fleischer's new book, and notice, via Volokh, that Slate has a new feature, The Fleischer Watch: Introducing an ongoing inquiry into dishonest or insane assertions buried inside Ari Fleischer's White House memoir.

Someody feeling a little defensive? So far I haven't read anything that seemed dishonest or insane, and if the first column, by Timothy Noah, is any indication, this new feature will be mostly a look at how clueless journalists can be. Noah writes:

In his new book, Taking Heat: The President, the Press, and My Years in the White House, Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary, lays out various "biases and predilections" of "the liberal press." Among these is its 'belief that government is a mechanism to solve the nation's problems," its insistence that "emotional examples of suffering … are good ways to illustrate economic statistic stories," and its tendency to stay "fixated on the unemployment rate." Fleischer might just as well have complained that the press believes the Earth revolves around the sun...

Note that Fleischer doesn't say that these ideas are wrong, just that those are the biases of the press. But Timothy Noah proceeds to defend the ideas as if Fleischer had said they were false, and as if their truth were as obvious as the earth revolving around the sun. Thereby not only missing the point, in a really stupid way, but also demonstrating the point! He himself has those same biases and doesn't seem to be able to even imagine that someone could disagree without being "dishonest and insane."

To respond very briefly to Noah's points (though this is irrelevant to what Fleischer was saying)...

...If the government doesn't exist to solve problems, what the hell do we have it for?...

Many people believe the government should provide national defense, and legal and monetary frameworks, and beyond that let people solve their own problems. You don't have to agree, but it's stupid to be unaware that there are other viewpoints.

..If a lagging economy didn't cause people to suffer, there would be no great reason to keep track of the economy at all. Anecdotes about individual sufferers help the public understand in a concrete way what it means to have a weak economy...

One wonders if the pictures of sufferers are intended to deceive yourselves and preserve your world view. There are many reasons to track the economy besides the problems of the unemployed. Almost everything that happens is affected by, and reflected in the economy.

...The principal way people suffer when economic growth is weak or nonexistent is by losing their jobs. The statistic that keeps track of the people who lose their jobs is the unemployment rate (at the moment a so-so 5.4 percent). Fleischer doesn't want the press to focus on the "micro" story of individual suffering, but neither does he want the press to focus on the "macro" story of economic statistics. In effect, Fleischer is saying that it's unfair for the press to cover the economy at all....

When Clinton was reelected the unemployment rate was 5.6, and yet there were no stories about sufferers in the news. Nor do your stories ever show sufferers in Germany or France, where unemployment is over 10%. Nor do you tend to point out the many ways that our economy has been strong over the last couple of years. Fleisher said nothing about what he wants, just that these are your predilections. But if he had he would have said that focusing only on the negatives is very misleading, and that you are STUPIDLY missing the real story, just as you did in Iraq.

The indicators of a growing economy were clear to many people back in 2003. But you "journalists" missed the story. Recent economic growth stats have been extremely good, but you are still missing the story. You are blinded by your biases.

If, perchance the stock market were lousy but employment was very high, you would be "illustrating" the economy with heartrending pictures of suffering stockholders. You decide what story you would prefer first, and then go looking for "illustrations." Wasn't it ABC that was advertising for families who had lost loved-ones in Iraq, to "illustrate" the upcoming SOTU?

Posted by John Weidner at 8:22 AM

February 21, 2005

Leaks

Tom Bowler points out that the Gasping Media thought the law against outing CIA agents was just ducky when it looked like it might hurt someone in the White House. Treason! We need a Special Prosecutor!

Now that the Special Prosecutor is going after reporters, we're told that it's a nasty stupid law that should never have been passed. Phooey.

Even if you believe reporters should be allowed to protect sources so they will feel free to tell the reporters about crimes and wrongdoings in government , in this case the only crime was the act of taking to reporters. (Putative crime. It isn't looking now like the law was really broken.)

The press wrap themselves in the popular image of hard-digging investigative reporters going after the corrupt "interests." But real investigative reporting is rare, and for every instance there are a thousand where a "high government official" uses a reporter to stick a knife in somebody...Most of the "leaks" from government are from various factions trying to embarrass or hinder other factions. Reporters are happy to pass on the dirt and get a story, but there is nothing noble or admirable about it.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:24 PM

February 13, 2005

Victory over CNN...

I just read in Stryker Brigade News about medals being given to soldiers who fought a ferocious action to rescue a downed helicopter and crew last September. I mention this because I'm fairly confident that the lefty slimeballs of the Gasping Media won't consider honoring American forces to be "news." (Except for local papers near Army bases)

The other media aspect of this, if you read the story, is that the crew of the downed Kiowa helicopter were rescued right away. And the helicopter itself was a wreck. But our troops and the "insurgents" fought a long bloody battle to hold on to a helicopter that wasn't going to fly again! Let us ask ourselves why.

WHY? Because the terrorists wanted to provide video footage to their allies in the world's newsrooms showing them dancing on an American helicopter, that's why. A battle was fought so that animals like Dan Rather and Peter Jennings and Al Jazeera and the BBC could strike a blow against America. American soldiers went into combat to prevent the scum of the media/Democrat party from portraying the Iraq Campaign as a Vietnam-style "quagmire" to try to help the Kerry campaign, and the general cause of appeasement.

You can read the whole story here, from Army Times. It will make you very proud. Or click below for a sample...

...By 9:30 a.m., B Company had consolidated near the crash site, but heavy enemy fire was preventing 3rd Platoon from securing the four buildings that formed an L-shaped high ground around the crash site.

A UAV flying overhead was monitoring a buildup of about 20 more insurgents linking up with several cars. They were taking RPGs and machine guns out of the trunks and moving east — straight into the alleyways that led to the Scout Platoon, Reed recalled.

Reed received word that two F-16s had come on station to provide close-air support, and the Sunday punch he needed now came in the form of a 2,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munition.

The target was a burning wall at an intersection hit by RPG rounds earlier. The smoking structure was about 300 meters west of the 5-20 scouts and 300 meters due north of B Company.

The challenge was to drop the JDAM close to the enemy without harming friendly forces.

“Dropping a 2,000 pound bomb in the middle of a city close to maneuvering troops can get hairy,” said Reed, who was able to give his units a three-minute warning.

When Mason learned of the incoming JDAM, he saw his opening. “I said ‘OK, as soon as that bomb hits, I’m going to flank around and take those buildings.’”

Soon after, the JDAMs smashed into the battle zone with shocking force. The explosion drove a huge plume of smoke into the air.

“We moved under the concussion,” Mason said. “When that JDAM hit, they didn’t know what was going on.”

The blast stunned the enemy and B Company soldiers exploited the moment, rapidly dismounting and charging to clear buildings and secure an overwatch position.

It was now 9:57 a.m....

Those crazy guys eventually sawed off the rotors of the Kiowa and winched it onto a HEMTT truck and drove it home...all the while under morter fire.

Posted by John Weidner at 12:25 PM

February 11, 2005

every reason stated is garbage...

Steve Weinberg has an article in the Baltimore Sun on the lack of notes and indexes in certain non-fiction books...

...Authors such as Woodward, and, by extension, editors such as Mayhew and publishers such as Simon & Schuster, offer all sorts of reasons for failing to provide source notes: They clutter a book. Readers never look at them anyway. Readers trust us. The sources are too sensitive to be identified. Adding extra pages drives up book prices.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it conveys the tenor of the discussion. The point is that every reason stated to me over 35 years of discussion is garbage.

If readers dislike such "clutter," they can skip looking at the sources section. It seems like a common-sense conclusion that curious readers are inclined to trust journalists whose reporting is transparent more than they trust those whose reporting is veiled...[thanks to
Amy Ridenour]

One of the dirty secrets of the book world is that even when books have indexes, they are usually feeble things. You probably imagine indexes being compiled with minute exactitude by monkish scholars with long white beards and lots of time. But my understanding is that they are actually done by low-paid hacks who have no interest in the book or subject.

Posted by John Weidner at 12:44 PM

February 5, 2005

Thank you Mr Abrams....

The Washington Post has a snarky and deceptious announcement:

Elliott Abrams, who pleaded guilty in 1991 to withholding information from Congress in the Iran-contra affair, was promoted to deputy national security adviser to President Bush. Abrams, who previously was in charge of Middle East affairs, will be responsible for pushing Bush's strategy for advancing democracy...
[...]
...His name surfaced last year as part of the investigation into who leaked the name of a CIA operative whose husband publicly disputed Bush administration claims that Iraq tried to buy uranium in Africa. White House spokesman Scott McClellan has said that Abrams denied responsibility.

Once again, the Gasping Media fail to give us the information we need to understand what's going on. The Plame reference is just a smear-by-association, and is beneath contempt. ("Surfaced." The usual passive-voice smear tactic.)

As for Iran-Contra, if you get your history from the approved sources, you don't know that the result of the affair was that Nicaragua became a democracy, instead of the Cuba-style totalitarian dictatorship that all the fashionable people (including John Kerry) were supporting and rooting for. Abrams was in the thick of that. But there's a lot more about Elliot Abrams that the WaPo doesn't want you to know...

This is by David Frum:

...One of the great ironies of Abrams’ career is that this man so reviled by the left is probably the single figure most responsible for what honest leftists ought to recognize as one of the most important achievements of the 1980s: the abolition of the old double-standard in favor of anticommunist dictatorships.

From the 1930s until the 1980s, the United States tolerated (more or less unhappily) Latin American authoritarianism, on the old principle, "he may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch." The motives for this tolerance were understandable, even pardonable: Latin America did not spontaneously generate democratic alternatives, and the United States was too busy saving Europe and Asia to divert attention and resources to help invent such alternatives. In the context of global struggles first against Nazism and then against Communism, the United States allowed itself to be associated with some fairly disgusting regimes.

However, by the late 1970s, the Cold War had stalemated itself in Europe and Asia, and Latin America was emerging as the conflict’s hottest front. Abrams was one of those who perceived that the United States had to invest more effort and prestige in the region. He recognized that just as the authoritarianism of Portugal, Spain, and Greece had weakened the anticommunist cause in Europe, so now dictatorship south of the Rio Grande was weakening the anticommunist cause in Latin America. Abrams became a forceful advocate of democratization in Mexico, in Chile, in Argentina, and in Brazil. When the Republicans entered the executive branch in 1981, the only Latin countries whose governments had been competitively elected were Costa Rica, Colombia, and Venezuela. By the time they left in 1992, the
only Latin country without a competitively elected government was Cuba...
Posted by John Weidner at 7:33 PM

slime-worms of manhattan...

Jason writes:

SFC Paul Smith has been posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism during the battle for Saddam Hussein Airport.

It got good coverage around Ft. Stewart and Savannah, home of the 3rd Infantry Division, good coverage in Florida, SFC's home state, and good coverage in Australia.

You can read about it on
any of these links.

But you can't read about it in the New York Times.

Shades of
Brian Chontosh.

More on the phenomenon here: "
Why Aren't Reporters Interested in the Valor of our Marines?"

What is it with the New York Times? How out of touch are these people?

Was Smith's story just not "fit to print?" ....

Not fit--if you are the sort of urban lefty trendoid sophisticate who works for the NYT. Bastards. I can just see their lips curling in disdain for the sort of red-state bumpkins who join the military. I don't wish terrorist attacks on anyone, but if it just happened to happen to certain "journalists" who disdained to report a Medal of Honor winner, and if it just happened that their last words, as their heads were sawed off (in time to make the news cycle) just happened to be wish for the US Army to arrive..............I would laugh!

(The sentence above: "you can't read about it in the New York Times" is a link to a search of the Times website. So we can check again easily and see if anything shows up.)

Posted by John Weidner at 6:06 PM

Propaganda...

It's pretty ironic to see CNN complaining about "propaganda." This article is about Pentagon-sponsored Internet news sites. [link to one of the sites English version]

Pentagon sites: Journalism or propaganda?
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Department of Defense plans to add more sites on the Internet to provide information to a global audience -- but critics question whether the Pentagon is violating President Bush's pledge not to pay journalists to promote his policies.

The Defense Department runs two Web sites overseas, one aimed at people in the Balkan region in Europe, the other for the Maghreb area of North Africa. It is preparing another site, even as the Pentagon inspector general investigates whether the sites are appropriate.

The Web sites carry stories on subjects such as politics, sports and entertainment. The sites are run by U.S. military troops trained in "information warfare," a specialty that can include battlefield deception. Pentagon officials say the goal is to counter "misinformation" about the United States in overseas media.

At first glance, the Web pages appear to be independent news sites. To find out who is actually behind the content, a visitor would have to click on a small link -- at the bottom of the page -- to a disclaimer, which says, in part, that the site is "sponsored by" the U.S. Department of Defense...(Thanks to
PowerLine)

I don't think this should be compared with the flap about paid journalists. These sites are for overseas consumption, and are comparable to Voice of America, or Radio Free Europe. And, much more importantly, they are not promoting President Bush's policies, they are promoting America's policies!

The Pentagon leads America's military, and the source of its authority is Congress, and ultimately the people. The attitude CNN displays here is a prime example of the loathsome way our Democrats and our news media hold themselves aloof from their country and its current war. They stand apart and sneer.

The other thing to remember is that the news media are a battleground in the War on Terror. Most of the horrific things the terrorists do are aimed at getting media coverage. I've heard from milbloggers that most of the bombings in Iraq are in the mornings, to catch the daily news cycle in the US.

And if outfits like CNN were even neutral in the War, then Pentagon news sites would probably not be necessary. But CNN or AP are on the other side. They never give this kind of scrutiny to terrorist web sites. In fact they hurry to rebroadcast whatever propaganda the terrorists put out, without any scrutiny....as we saw recently with the hostage GI Joe doll story.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:37 AM

February 3, 2005

Every silver lining has its cloud. Just look for it.

Blimpish had a good one on the Iraq election:

...Compared to the Cassandras' wilder predictions, it's all gone quite swimmingly, hasn't it? Even the Beeb hasn't been able to be other than positive today, despite looking for the cloud on the silver lining.

Which leaves me to wonder: how long until they do a 180 and start to ask about how the US and Britain can oppress such an assertive, vibrant young democracy?

Give it a day or two.
Posted by John Weidner at 2:23 PM

February 1, 2005

Story too good to check...

It looks like that story about the German waitress being pressured to take a job in a brothel is a bit of shoddy journalism by the Telegraph. Pretty much not true. Chicagoboyz has the dope...

Posted by John Weidner at 7:17 PM

January 30, 2005

They can't get away with quite so many lies now...

From Polipundit:

Tet
Today is the anniversary of the
Tet Offensive, when ultra-liberal CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite decided to openly side with the Vietnamese Communists.

Current ultra-liberal CBS anchorman Dan Rather, by contrast, has to grit his teeth and
report the good news. Thanks to fact-checking by the New Media, if Rather lied like Cronkite did, he’d become even more of a laughingstock than he already is.

Cronkite is a true hero of the Left, having helped consign millions to communist tyranny or death. Dan Rather and the Gasping Media would like to emulate the master, but they have much less maneuvering room these days...The teeth-gritting is evident in Rather's article...

Posted by John Weidner at 7:54 PM

January 25, 2005

Good point to keep in mind...

From The Corner:

2002 VS. 2005 [Tim Graham]
As you watch the top TV news stars furrow their brows about the questionable nature of the Iraqi elections, please remember that many of the networks praised or simply passed on the "Saddam got 100 percent of the vote" malarkey in 2002...

Expect those TV scoundrels to hold the Iraqi elections to far far higher standards than they did the elections of Chavez, Arafat, Mugabe or any other "elected" thug dictator....

Posted by John Weidner at 8:42 PM

January 23, 2005

More "they're on the other side"

I started to scribble a comment to this post last night, and then realized there were already a gazillion comments, so I'll just post here. The piece is a reply by a journalist, Derek Rose, to the letter of Lt. Col. Ryan about the poor coverage of the Iraq Campaign by journalists. (Via Chrenkoff) He makes many interesting points, though I am not persuaded by them. My comment:

You say you care about American deaths, not sewer plants. But the sewer plants are part of the mission of our soldiers. And sewers might seem un-newsworthy in America, but in places like Sadr City the streets often flow with raw sewage! Fixing the sewers there will have a tremendous effect on the people, which is why terrorists try to stop such projects, and we are fighting to push them through. The sewers of Sadr City are battle fronts just as much as police stations in Mosul. You remind me of those politicians who proclaim that they "support the troops," and then disparage every thing connected with them.

If American deaths were reported in the
context of the mission, then the deaths have meaning. If the enthusiasm of many Iraqis for the election, or for just having new jobs and opportunities and freedoms was prominently reported, that would give meaning to our sacrifices. That's why those things get little news play, not because they are uninteresting. Most Americans don't even know that there have been many local elections in Iraq already, and moderates have won them all! Go on, tell us how that's not news-worthy, but car bombs are.

You say it's not your fault that car bombs are going off every day. In fact, it is your fault. Those attacks, especially those against Americans, are intended for
press consumption. Think a minute: Do you really believe the "insurgents" are trying to defeat the US Army? They don't even pretend that. [Which in my mind makes them something closer to terrorists than "insurgents."] They are intended to discourage the American people, and guess who's been enlisted to help...

You people of the press are in mindless symbiosis with the terrorists. In your post you display oh-so-much skepticism for the information you get from American soldiers. But
none for the information you are given daily by terrorists. You are blind to the way Americans and Iraqis are being killed for no other reason than to control YOUR headlines and broadcasts. The bombings and beheadings are just like press releases, but these press releases you accept with no skepticism at all.
Posted by John Weidner at 8:47 AM

January 22, 2005

They're on the other side #646

Bill Roggio scrutinizes a NYT article:

...Zarqawi is a declared member of al Qaeda, and has full terrorist credentials. He has operated al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan, beheaded civilians and recorded his handy work in snuff films on al Qaeda websites, attempted to conduct a poison gas attack in Jordan, ricin and other chemical attacks in Europe... The list goes on. And yet the New York Times, the paper of record, cannot, even once, refer to him as a terrorist. Instead, he is a “rebel leader”, “insurgent”, “militant” and “guerrilla”. They know his history, yet they choose to obscure his brutal nature in the romantic language of resistance fighters...

Sounds like another Che...There may be good money to be made selling Zarqawi t-shirts to the fashion-conscious!

Posted by John Weidner at 2:04 PM

January 21, 2005

'The gasping media." A good name for them...

Mohammed writes about the ridiculous Sarah Boxer, and invents a new locution:

One short look at the "article" shows how naïve the writer was and how old the methods used in writing this post are. This post has fixed another nail in the casket of the gasping media...

"The gasping media." I like it! I hope it catches on.

...From Boxer's point of view, an Iraqi who supports America's efforts in liberating his country from the worst tyrant in modern history and rebuilding his country after that is either a paid agent or a mentally confused person. As if clear thinking is an exclusive gift that only a journalist from the NYT could possess while anyone outside her office is simply confused...

Mohammed, it would astonish you to know the vast numbers of people who a NYT writer would consider "mentally confused."

Posted by John Weidner at 6:17 PM

Orwellian Double-Speak Pretzel-Twist

Susan Jacoby has an unintentionally funny article in the LAT, Hear 'Reform,' Think 'Destroy'.

In a 1946 essay titled "Politics and the English Language," George Orwell observed that all political language is designed "to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

As President Bush begins his second term, he has already demonstrated the truth of Orwell's dictum by persuading much of the windy news media to attach the word "reform" to his plan for fundamental change in the way Social Security is financed...

It's reform in any sane sense of the word--most of the program will remain the same...
...Each time television or radio newscasters use the phrase "Social Security reform," as they do every day, they send a message to the American public that Social Security is a broken system in need of fixing.
You Dems agreed on that point until a Republican actually tried to DO something. Remember Bill Clinton saying "Save Social Security First?"
The general definition of reform is always positive, conveying the notion of changes designed to improve an institution...
It's the connotation that is positive, not the definition. But in fact we do intend to improve the institution. So "reform" fits.
...In its specific political sense, reform is offered as a moderate alternative to radicalism and revolution. Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, for instance, has been judged by history as a set of reforms that saved capitalism from its own worst excesses...
Only if you define history as "only the writings of Leftists." Many historians have different opinions on this point. The judgement of history has not been made yet.
...Neither common nor political usage justifies the application of the reform brand to such a controversial proposal as the Republican plan to privatize Social Security.
So now being "controversial" means it's not reform? The New Deal, of course, was never controversial.
A minority of newspapers (the Los Angeles Times among them) appear to have made a conscientious effort to keep the reform label out of their headlines and use more neutral terms like "change" and "revision."...
A majority of newspapers appear to have made a conscientious effort to call people who shred women and children with bombs "militants" or "activists," avoiding the T-word.
But most of the media have capitulated to the administration's understandable desire to soothe the public with the R-word, thereby displaying as profound a bias as if the Bush plan were routinely described as "Social Security destruction."...
It's not neutral to deliberately eschew anything that sounds positive. It's biased...

What's especially loony about this article is that Social Security was radical and revolutionary when it was started. Nothing like it had ever been done in America. It could not possibly have been called "reform" then, because there was nothing similar to be improved or tinkered with.

It's almost pathetic how these people let themselves be manipulated by President Bush. First he maneuvers them into allying themselves with the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, Jacques Chirac and Kofi Annan. Now he has them ready to die at the barricades to defend the very Social Security system that they were recently saying needed to be fixed. (Thanks to Juddblog)

Posted by John Weidner at 8:40 AM

January 19, 2005

It is to barf...

Unbelievable: ABC is advertising for a military funeral to "balance" its coverage of President Bush's inauguration... And it has to be an Iraq death. If you died in Afghanistan, ABC doesn't want your crappy little funeral.

God how I hate those animals. They are on the other side. They give Saddam Hussein more respectful treatment than they give the President of the United States of America.

And to take the funeral of one of America's heroes and exploit it for their nasty little political trickses...Unforgivable.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:52 PM

January 13, 2005

Fiskies...

Here's a good example of a "Fisking." J.S.Bridges, one of Bill Quick's new co-bloggers, demolishes an NYT editorial that proposes solving Iraq's problems by postponing the elections... BDS strikes again; If Bush is for something, then the NYT is against it, even though it means agreeing with terrorists...

Posted by John Weidner at 8:28 AM

January 10, 2005

Experimental control

I see that the report on Rathergate says that there is no evidence that there was any political agenda at work.

Well, we can hardly expect them to go beyond the evidence, can we? And good scientific evidence is hard to provide, there's no "control" in this experiment, no alternative version we can compare with. We just don't know whether CBS would have done things differently is it had been a Democrat candidate in the crosshairs...

Isn't it a pity no one accused John Kerry of having irregularities in his military service....

* Update: The big bloggers are all over this, so I won't try to say anything profound. One thing I found interesting was the Monves memo to CBS employees. [posted at the Anchoress, via PoliPundit.] Boy, was John Ellis ever right, when he predicted that Mary Mapes would be to blame for all. Phooey. I'm sure top management knew perfectly well that Mapes was pursuing Bush with the greed and fury of a wild pig. They were happy to let it happen, and so have betrayed the OWNERS of CBS (Yeah, you forgot about them guys, right? You may be an owner. Your mutual funds or pension plan may include a morsel of Viacom. In which case Mr Monves and Mr Rather work for you. So how do you feel about them diminishing the value of your assets to pursue a hobby-vendetta?)

Posted by John Weidner at 2:40 PM

December 28, 2004

Worst of times, best of times...

It's an appalling thing, that even as the world increases in knowledge and wealth, there seems to be more stupidity in public life rather than less. More times when I look at some high-level discussion and think, "I'm just an ordinary person, but even I can see that that's just silly."

But the good part is, there are also more tools available now to combat idiocy. Glenn gave me a treat to go with my coffee this morning, pointing to Baldilocks, and to Jason van Steenwyck, both with good posts pummeling the clowns who have been attacking our military to advance the sacred cause of appeasement. Van Steenwyck savages a ridiculous Bob Herbert NYT column that says that intelligence-gathering by the Pentagon is some new Rumsfeld plot, and claims as also "new" and shocking the idea of using military operations to gather intel. Anyone who knows even a few scraps of our history will see that this is asinine. For instance our Navy broke Japanese diplomatic cyphers before WWII. And the trench raids of WWI fame were intelligence-gathering operations.

Van Steenwyck is in top form, do read his post. One of his commenters writes: This column is typical of the low quality produced by Bob Herbert. In a way, the Times is promoting racism by using so mediocre a token black op-ed writer. I suspect that's exactly what they are (unconsciously) doing. There are lots of sharp writers who are also black, but they also tend to ask pointed questions about their status on the Democrat plantation.

What the NYT needs is someone like Baldilocks, who wrote today:

...The problem with the mainstream media is that so few of them are (or recognize) real men, that such foreign beings actually frighten them. Real men communicate with each other (and everyone else) without the…er…nuance that characterizes the exchanges between more neutered types. So when the SecDef says something like this to a National Guardsman,
As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They’re not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time. [bold mine]
…the two men know the statements reflect a mere military axiom (regardless of whether the precipitating question was planted or not). However, the mainstream media types--and, unfortunately, some Republican US senators--who are more accoustomed to weasel-worded lip-biting drivel, squeal “Insensitivity to the Troops!” as if they gave a rat’s hairy behind about any of the troops...

So true. Even if Rumsfeld were doing a bad job (I very much think he's doing a great job) it would still be a huge plus to have real men running things again. (And real women, instead of those grotesques that Clinton seemed to turn up...)

Posted by John Weidner at 5:11 PM

December 26, 2004

Splendid debunking!

Powerline has posted a devastating piece, a classic don't-miss blogpost tearing apart a Tom Friedman column...

"So what is the common denominator of all these news stories? Wait, wait, don't tell me. I want to tell you. The common denominator is a country with a totally contradictory and messed-up set of priorities."
There is a fundamental problem, however, with Friedman's attempt to show that our national priorities are wrong. The news stories he cites are largely either false, or mischaracterized by him. Let's take them one at a time...

Friedman is a guy capable of really brilliant work, but also of sinking to the depths of idiocy. This one's really the depths, quoting many news stories that I clearly remember bloggers showing to be false or misleading. And Powerline has some great graphs demolishing the notion that we don't spend enough on education...

Friedman concludes: "If we were actually having a serious national debate, this is what we would be discussing, but alas, 9/11 has been deftly exploited to choke any debate." Actually, Tom, there is a debate going on. The New York Times just isn't part of it, because it operates at too low a level of information to be useful to knowledgeable news consumers.

How I despise the sort of people who publish their opinions in the NYT and have the gall to claim that 9/11 is being used to "choke off debate." Conjuring up this image of coarse backwoods conservatives wrapped in flags bullyragging some sensitive plant who dares to suggest that our children need an education instead of being whipped to drive the devils out of them...

Pathetic. And one hears so much of it. I bet if you took all of the 60 or so anti-Bush books that were cluttering up bookstores only last October (and are probably now migrating towards the bargain tables) every damn one of them would include complaints about how dissent has been suppressed because of 9/11. Snivelers.

Same for the people who say we should have a "national debate" on such and such. Invariably the subject is in fact already being debated vigorously, and their side is turning out to not have much of a case.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:18 PM

December 13, 2004

no one will ever know your name...

Rich Lowry wrote a good piece on that soldier with the questions for Don Rumsfeld...

...Specialist Thomas Wilson, who asked the question, is being hailed in the press for his bravery. Indeed, asking his question took guts (although it was apparently planted with him by a reporter). But make no mistake, there are much more stirring acts of courage by U.S. soldiers every day in Iraq that somehow escape the media's attention. Ask Rumsfeld a tough question, sue the military, desert or disobey orders, and you achieve fame. But if you happen to sustain a gunshot wound in the battle of Fallujah and ignore it because you so desperately want to stay with your fellow soldiers and believe so much in your mission, well then, no one will ever know your name.

But the press has its priorities. The old saw used to be that American Jews would ask of anything, "Yes, but is it good for the Jews?" The Rummy-hating media and Left evaluate any Iraq-related event through a similar filter, "Yes, but is it bad for Rumsfeld?"

Don Rumsfeld is an exceptional leader, and we are very lucky to have him. There aren't many areas of life where the leader of a huge organization lets himself in for sharp questions from the lowest ranks. Or many organizations where you can do that and not worry about retaliation. Wouldn't it be sweet if Dan Rather had to submit to probing questions from voters about why he tried to throw the election with forged documents? Or if newspaper management had to publicly sweat while answering questions about the circulation scandals?

And the lack of armored Humvees was not a scandal, it was an unanticipated need, one that the army quickly took steps to fix. Unanticipated because this was a campaign unique in the history of war. A enemy nation with a large modern military didn't fight, not seriously, but immediately dissolved itself and started a guerilla war! Even in the first weeks of the invasion, the serious fighting was against irregulars, not against Republican Guard armored divisions! (Read this for an example.)

Posted by John Weidner at 1:02 PM

December 12, 2004

Must be some hot stuff..

Charming, charming:

There is a battle royale within CBS over whether or not to release the full text of the upcoming Memogate report, RatherBiased.com can reveal. Many higher-ups within the network do not want it released to the public in its entirety...

They should do what Nixon proposed doing. Wasn't there one very elderly Republican Senator, and rather than release the tapes, Nixon was going to let him listen to them, and then tell the world if there was anything of importance!...Maybe only the ghost of Edward Murrow should see the whole report. I know, they don't want to show the part quoting Dan on how he will achieve vengeance on George HW Bush by destroying the entire family unto the last generation...

(Hat tip quick elbow in the ribs to Andrea)

Word Note: Shouldn't that be "battle royal?"

Posted by John Weidner at 7:45 AM

December 5, 2004

Rush of events...

I liked this, by Tim Graham, at The Corner:

Just after the election, former ABC anchorwoman Carole Simpson had a public fit in a Newseum panel discussion about how high school kids were getting their news from Rush Limbaugh instead of ABC, which would explain why they were stupid...and, it goes without saying, favored Bush. Same thing.

No one, including Rush Limbaugh, says talk radio is your place for perfectly balanced, objective news. But of course, neither is ABC. Consider the example of the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh. It's highly possible that millions of Americans discovered this news for the first time through Limbaugh, who was on the story the same day, November 2, or Election Day.

Guess when ABC got around to reporting this important story from Europe about the uneasy fit between Europeans and the high tide of Muslim immigrants? The answer: they haven't. Neither has NBC. Of the Big Three, CBS arrived first with a brief anchor-read story, and then followed up with two longer stories from the Netherlands on Nov. 10 and 20. You also wouldn't find the story in Newsweek or U.S. News & World Report. (Time had a brief 280-word report.)

So how can Carole Simpson get on her high horse and suggest Limbaugh listeners are uninformed, while someone relying on ABC for their news is fully informed?

Leftizoids love to hold Rush Limbaugh up as a ranting right-wing hate-speaker, (while not, of course, tainting themselves by actually listening to him). Actually, the thing Rush resembles most is a blogger. He reads from articles and news stories , or plays audio clips, and then comments on them. And, like blogs, he's not a news source, but you are going to learn a lot of news from him...

What's interesting is that I don't think I've ever encountered an intellectually-honest critique of Rush. People will circulate a single sentence, and gleefully claim to have exposed him as a monster (though who among us could talk extempore for three hours a day about the world's problems, without occasionally saying something hateful?)...but they won't ever actually engage with what he is really saying, the cowardly dogs.

ABC, of course, is tacitly allied with the terrorists, in hopes of electing appeasers in the US. The don't cover the van Gogh story for the same reason they don't replay clips of the 9/11. They want Americans ASLEEP.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:19 AM

November 21, 2004

Drooling cats

"Valiant reporter discovers American (of course) war crime." God how I hate those smug jerks. (Alan has stuff on Sites & Co, here and here) Everything the terrorists are doing is a war crime. They are just one big traveling three-ring-circus of crimes of war. And all the while our "Progressives" sit like drooling cats at a mousehole, waiting for any mistake made by an American. So they can squeak: "War Crime!"

Bill Quick has posted this, by blogger Bob Lonsberry:

I think ALL reporters (especially ones with camera and tape recorders) should be required to check out ALL dead or wounded terrorists. The Marines should just motion for the embedded to come over and check them out first before the Marine does. That way the journalist can get first hand account of what a booby trapped terrorist really is and exactly what the Marines are up against day and night. Let the reporters sacrifice their lives for their newspapers, instead of their country......and save the lives of our marines at the same time.. (Bob's got a great post you should read.)

Great idea. In fact, ALL the people who are watching our troops hungrily, so they can pounce on a "war crime," should be given a chance to go to Iraq and help protect "insurgents" from those American criminals. They should search cars for bombs, sacrificing their lives to protect people from trigger-happy Marines. And enter the houses of suspects first, so soldiers don't shoot someone by mistake...

Posted by John Weidner at 7:16 AM

November 19, 2004

"The unreality of this question is breath-taking"

Thomas Sowell writes:

During the recent election campaign, it has been a liberal mantra that they "support the troops" while opposing the war in Iraq. Just what does supporting the troops mean -- other than just a throwaway line to escape the political consequences of a long history of being anti-military?

It certainly does not mean making the slightest effort to understand the pressures and dangers of combat, so as to avoid the obscenity of sitting in peace and comfort while second-guessing at leisure some life-and-death decisions that had to be made in a split second by men 10,000 miles away.

The latest example is the now widely-publicized incident in which an American Marine in Iraq shot and killed a wounded terrorist in Fallujah. Chris Matthews on Hardball spoke of "what may be the illegal killing of a wounded, unarmed insurgent" -- the politically correct media term for a terrorist -- and asked: "Is there ever a justification for shooting an unarmed enemy?"

The unreality of this question is breath-taking, both logically and historically. How do you know that someone is unarmed, when finding out can cost you your life? A hand grenade is easily concealed and can kill you just as dead as if you were shot by a machine gun or hit by a nuclear missile.,,

Read the whole ting...

Chris Matthews, and the Old Media and the Democrat party are on the other side. They leap hungrily on any chance to criticize Americans. And they never mention the non-stop war crimes of their allies. Never call them terrorists, or show the torture-rooms and mutilated bodies from Falluja. If any of our guys surrendered, they would be tortured and killed—the terrorists have bragged that they would do exactly that. But of course "war crimes" are only committed by Americans.

I don't wish for anyone to be kidnapped by terrorists, but if it has to happen, I kind of hope some America-hating lefty jerks like Matthews could be the victims. As their heads are being sawed off (on camera, for distribution to media allies) the thought might drift through their heads, that perhaps "insurgents" wasn't quite le mot juste.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:29 AM

November 13, 2004

Good question...

Jason van Steenwyk asks a good question:

Where are the photographers, Kenneth??? 
Hey, the media published all kinds of photos from Abu Ghraib. They even published fake photos as if they were real.

So where are the photographers now?

How come we aren't seeing the photographic evidence of the war crimes perpetrated by the enemy in Fallujah?

How come we aren't seeing photographs of the blood-soaked straw mats?

How come we didn't see photographs of the Iraqi taxi driver who had been chained to a wall for 10 days after being brutally whipped with an electrical cable?

How come we're not seeing photographs a young men found dead with his feet hacked off?
How come we aren't seeing photographs of the IED factories and arms caches within schools and mosques?

Why isn't the media telling the full story about what cretins we're fighting? Why are they candy coating the terrorists?

Why isn't the media documenting their atrocities in as vivid and striking a fashion as it documented the crimes at Abu Ghraib?...
[Jason adds in an update that Fox is on the job. Good for them.]

Answer: Because they are on the other side. The media and the Democrats (same thing really) are tacitly allied with the terrorists. They all hate the thought of American victory, and the possibility of the Bush Administration succeeding in its efforts to bring freedom to the Middle East.

The loathsome frauds of the press reveled in denouncing American "torture" at Abu Ghraib, but don't give a damn that our soldiers and Marines are risking their lives to stop terrorists who are really torturing people. I noticed someone recently getting all huffy and self-righteous because Alberto Gonzalez once gave a legal opinion that the US government was not forbidden by law from torture. Big deal, he was just reporting what the law is, not advocating torture. But somehow that makes him a pariah, and is something worth getting excited about. While brave men actually killing or capturing torturers is too boring and tawdry to notice.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:21 PM

November 11, 2004

Stars are born....

Michelle Malkin writes about how the press reacted to Barack Obama:

...After Obama's Democratic National Convention address this summer, The New York Times exulted: "As Quickly as Overnight, a New Democratic Star Is Born." A headline in the Christian Science Monitor echoed: "A Star is Born." USA Today panted: "Rising star brings Democrats to their feet." NBC's Andrea Mitchell enthused: "I think the real breakout tonight is Obama. I mean Teresa is a fascinating story, but Obama is a rock star!" And Newsweek's Howard Fineman proclaimed: "He is the best argument for the American dream that's around in politics."...
But there were a couple of other path-breaking minority politicians coming on the scene right then...and no one in the press called them "rock stars."

Van Tran, a Vietnamese-American, first to serve in the Calif Assembly--no "rock star" he. And Bobby Jindal? 33 year-old Indian-American, almost becomes the Governor of Louisiana. Why wasn't the press gushing about how HE is "the best argument for the American dream?" Hmmm?

'cause they are Republicans.

Michelle:

Here are a few mainstream media rules of thumb: Minority Democrats in public office are inspirational role models. Minority Republicans in public office are embarrassing sellouts.

Minority Democrat politicians are principled. Minority Republican politicians are misguided.

Minority Democrat politicians represent the hopes and dreams of all Americans. Minority Republican politicians are traitors to their "communities."...

These rules of thumb are not going to work for much longer. They depend on assuming that the Democrats are the party of civil rights, and minority aspiration, which is no longer true. The current civil rights battle is being fought over the public schools that betray the hopes of minorities. And the good guys are Republicans, and the "Dixiecrats" and Bull Connors this time are Democrats and the NEA. (Actually both Connor and the Dixiecrats were Democrats the first time around, but that confuses the story-line, and isn't mentioned much. Connor was on the DNC)

And more and more people are noticing that it's the Republican Party that is the party of minority advancement. Hellooo...first Hispanic Attorney General? Anybody gushing in the MSM? And the Dems in the Senate didn't block Miguel Estrada because there was anything wrong with him, but because he is so good that he's obvious Supreme Court material.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:41 AM

November 9, 2004

NYT...looking weak and foolish...

The NYT had a letter from President Bush's uncle yesterday, expressing dismay that the NYT Book Review gave a puff-piece review to that vile scandal-monger Kitty Kelly's book on the Bush family...

...As in any big family there will always be one or two disgruntled exiles, and, not surprisingly, Kelley has used these for some of her material. That they have in some cases retracted the statements doesn't seem to have fazed Ted Widmer, your reviewer, who cites them anyway.

Abundantly clear is the fact that the timing of the release of this book, so close to the election, was clearly designed to enrich Kelley and Doubleday, her publisher. They have greedily published for large monetary gain a book designed by lies, distortion and fabrication to hurt and cause emotional distress to a large, closely knit family.

Might one assume that, by giving this trash such a prominent review, the editors of the Book Review could have been trying to give a slight boost to the candidacy of J. F. Kerry?...(thanks to PowerLine)

A literary journal has a lot of power to shape the reviews it gets, by who it chooses to write them. So who was asked to write this one? You would think, given the circumstances, it would be someone authoritative and respected, wouldn't you? No, it was a Ted Widmer, a former Clinton speechwriter who I've certainly never heard of.

I've read a good deal about the Bush family. They are as decent and honorable a crowd as you are likely to find. Quite unlike the Kennedys. And hard-working; they have more money than you or I, but not the kind of dough that lets them live in idleness. Bush senior, after leaving the presidency, put in about a decade's worth of work earning money to buy the famous Kennebunkport compound from his aunt, to save it from development and preserve it for the whole family.

By the way, if you want something very funny to read, I recommend The Belles Lettres Papers, by Charles Simmons. It's a maliciously witty fictional look at the world of book-reviewing and best-seller lists, by a former editor of the NYT Book Review.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:22 AM

October 17, 2004

"his entire life has been devoted to public service"

Brian compares the NYT endorsement of Kerry with their endorsements of Mondale and Dukakis. Surprise, surprise, they sound a lot alike. When you are endorsing yet another weak liberal Democrat, mostly because he's not the Republican, I guess you have to dredge up the same flabby arguments.

...Lawyer Mondale offers pragmatic skill at making the best of reality. Ideologue Reagan offers the same tenacity that has brought him out diplomatically empty-handed. Who is likely to do better in arms negotiations in the next term, Walter Mondale or the President who tickles the religious right by reviling the Soviet Union as an Evil Empire? ....

...Unless most economists are crazy, the country can't keep borrowing $200 billion a year. Everyone knows that spending cuts can't suffice. Everyone knows a tax increase is well-nigh inevitable. For all his feigned horror, Mr. Reagan knows it, too. The question is not whether there'll be a tax increase but whether the burden will be distributed fairly. On the evidence of his first term, Mr. Reagan will soak the poor, favor the rich and throw more money at the Pentagon...

(Thanks to Betsy N)

Posted by John Weidner at 8:56 AM

October 15, 2004

A crock..

Jeff Jarvis wants bloggers to support the 1st Amendment rights of the NYT, in regards to Judith Miller being held in contempt of court.

I think this is a crock. Reporters, by custom (not legal right) can conceal the identities of sources while investigating wrongdoing. But in this case, the press was helping commit the wrong. It was the press (and Joe Wilson) who trumpeted Plame's identity to the world, and then has the nerve to demand that the administration be brought to justice!

The purpose of protecting sources is so that they will talk to reporters and reveal things the public needs to know. But in this case it was the talking to reporters that was the bad deed. If reporters were actually interested in preventing wrong, they could have told us that an administration official was giving them the identity of a CIA agent--without revealing who the agent was. But what the press wanted was a scandal that would hurt the President. They weren't newsgathering, they were trying to influence politics. They don't deserve any protection.

Posted by John Weidner at 1:25 PM

October 10, 2004

No news here, just move along, folks.....

I like this series of three comments from Bill Quick's blog...

25 million people are allowed to vote in the only national election
in Afghanistan in the last 5000 years and the media ignores it.
Of course, the left is not really into elections are they?
Posted by Jake on October 9, 2004 08:50 PM


Oh, they'll cover the opposition's howls of "fraud."
That they identify with.
Posted by Toren on October 9, 2004 10:45 PM


Headline on first page of today's Ann Arbor News:

Boycott mars Afghan election
Jerks!
Posted by Dean Douthat on October 10, 2004 07:46 AM

Posted by John Weidner at 9:13 AM

October 8, 2004

Media Meltdown, part XXVII...

It's truly amazing to watch, as the Democrat Party slumps into minority status, how foaming-at-the-mouth crazy the Old Media are getting, and how their mask of "objectivity" is more and more being discarded. Here's another egregious example, from Drudge:

An internal memo written by ABCNEWS Political Director Mark Halperin admonishes ABC staff: During coverage of Democrat Kerry and Republican Bush not to "reflexively and artificially hold both sides 'equally' accountable."

The controversial internal memo obtained by DRUDGE, captures Halperin stating how "Kerry distorts, takes out of context, and mistakes all the time, but these are not central to his efforts to win."

But Halperin claims that Bush is hoping to "win the election by destroying Senator Kerry at least partly through distortions."

"The current Bush attacks on Kerry involve distortions and taking things out of context in a way that goes beyond what Kerry has done," Halperin writes...

... Halperin states the responsibilities of the ABCNEWS staff have "become quite grave."...

The funy thing is that Republicans don't need to distort the Senator's record and positions. They are utterly damning unembellished.

(Thanks to Spoons)

Posted by John Weidner at 5:54 PM

October 6, 2004

Just helping out the "political jihad" here...

[from NewsMax] Disgraced CBS newsman Dan Rather accused the White House on Saturday of trying to "smear" him after he used forged documents in a bid to discredit President Bush's National Guard record. Speaking at a media forum in New York City, Rather insisted, "I don't have a political agenda."

LOL. Pretty funny joke, Dan
"I'm an independent journalist," he claimed, in quotes picked up by the Washington Post.
Is that another way of saying "loose cannon?"
Rather pledged that he wouldn't give in to his critics, who he said were themselves guilty of "bias."
Most of your critics have open and perfectly proper biases. Unlike Old Media news anchors, we're not pretending we are just "reporting the news."
The embattled newsman denied reports that he would step down as anchor of the "CBS Evening News" anytime soon, vowing to "not to give up the fight" to clear his name.
Some of us remember Nixon talking like that...
"NBC Nightly News" anchorman Tom Brokaw, a fellow panelist, offered supportive words for his colleague and attacked Rather's critics on the Internet for waging "a kind of political jihad against Dan Rather and CBS News that is quite outrageous."
While Rather's long-time jihad against the Bush family is not outrageous??
"When it comes to fraudulence, forgeries and claims that cannot be supported, that's where you see an enormous harm being done to the country," he complained.
Oh good, so you are going to start calling the Democrats on fraudulent claims of an imminent military draft, millions of blacks "disenfranchised," or "secret plans" to hurt dairy farmers??
Brokaw singled out the Media Research Center's L. Brent Bozell, who the network newsman said was "doing as much damage as he can, and I choose that word carefully, to the credibility of the news divisions."
You damaged yourselves, you fraudulent clowns, Bozell is merely pointing it out. You sound just like Democrats complaining of "vicious attacks" and "Republican sliming" after we merely quote their own words and record.
Also on hand to defend Rather was "ABC World News Tonight" anchorman Peter Jennings, who explained why anchormen like his CBS colleague sometimes seemed to take the side of the enemy in their news coverage.
Well yes, you might explain a certain similarity to Al Jazeera...
"[It's] not a natural instinct for those of us in the establishment media to cheer the country on," Jennings said
You forgot to add, "Especially when a Republican is in the White House." I myself shall continue to cheer America on, and despise those who find that tacky and beneath them

Posted by John Weidner at 10:56 AM

October 1, 2004

"It would destroy it."

A little more of what our soldiers and Marines think:

...Asked how Kerry's election would affect troop morale in the combat zone, Lance Cpl. Lawrence Romack told KWEL Midland, Texas, radio host Craig Anderson, "It would destroy it."...

... "We're pretty terrified of a John Kerry presidency," added Romack, who served with the 1st Marine Tank Battalion in Iraq.

The Iraq war vet said he fears that most of the news coverage is being skewed to make the mission look like a failure in order to give the Kerry campaign a boost.

"What they're trying to do is get Kerry into the White House, because they know he doesn't want us to stay [in Iraq]," he told Anderson.

Asked if Americans back home were getting an accurate picture of what's happening in the war, the Marine corporal said: "No, they're not. It's not even close. All the press wants to report is casualty counts. They don't want to report the progress we're making over there."

Romack noted that in the southern part of the country, Iraqis welcomed U.S. troops when they set up an immunization programs for children, opened schools and began distributing food.

"Almost immediately people were lining up to get their kids shots," he told Anderson. Contrary to reports that the general population was too afraid to help ferret out insurgents, Romack said, "We had Iraqis pointing out former Baath Party members for us to arrest."

When the KWEL host opened up the phone lines, a member of the 82nd Airborne who had returned from Iraq in March was first on the line.

He agreed with Cpl. Romack that media reports coming out of Iraq were often inaccurate – and sometimes even dangerous. "The news media – sometimes I felt like I had as much to fear from them as I did the Iraqis," he complained.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:32 AM

September 27, 2004

a couple of good things....

1. There's a story about a National Guard unit being sent to Iraq without any weapons. Be prepared to hear that the heartless Bush Administration is sending our troops naked into battle. Be prepared to refute this:

...The 98th Division (Training) is a training unit and because of its mission is not authorized its own organic weapons. They do not need them to complete their mission statement. This “authorization” was completed decades ago by planners. When they need weapons , another unit will issue them weapons that they will then be responsible for. When they leave Iraq, they will then return the weapons to that unit.
2. Powerline has re-posted an account, by a rabbi they know, of a meeting with President Bush. Good stuff.

3. Powerline also has a powerful comparison of an AP piece by Jennifer Lovens, a hit piece on the "Clear Skies" legislation, compared with an article written by her husband, Roger Ballentine, who is listed on John Kerry's website as one of Kerry's most important supporters on environmental issues. Guess what, they are very similar. They both call it the so-called "Clear Skies" legislation.

When you hear those desperate lies about how the Bush Administration is pillaging the environment, consider the source....

Posted by John Weidner at 8:20 AM

September 26, 2004

" there is no objective truth -- neither side is right or wrong."

Ace of Spades points out this 2002 article, which gives us an interesting window into the minds of the people who bring you the news....

...After Dan Rather left, I spent some time with his producer, discussing her viewpoints of what was currently happening in Israel. After seeing the tone of her news segment, I was concerned. I began to question her about accuracy in reporting.

Her answer was even more shocking than what I had already observed. "The thing is," she told me, "it is impossible to be objective in this situation. The fact is that there is no objective truth -- neither side is right or wrong."

"Wait a minute," I asked her. "When a Palestinian straps on a belt of dynamite lined with nails and walks into a pizza shop, blowing up innocent people, that wouldn't be objectively wrong?"

"Of course I would think that is wrong," she answered me. "But the Palestinians believe this is a legitimate form of warfare. And they would say the Israelis are doing the same to them by killing innocent civilians when they retaliate militarily. Who am I to say what is right or wrong? Who am I to say that the Palestinians are wrong in their beliefs?"

"But don't you think there's a difference between a person blowing himself up in a restaurant, and a military that responds by searching for and killing terrorists. Granted that innocent civilians are killed in both circumstances -- but in one situation the innocents are targeted, and in the other situation they are regrettably caught in the line of fire?"

"Well, that's a very Western way of looking at things. You see I'm Christian and American. I see things the way you do as an Israeli -- we have the same moral framework. But the Arabs view things differently, and who's to say that we're right and they're wrong?"....

You should read the article. One interesting thing is that this unnamed producer, who confidently opines here about the Palestinians, is totally ignorant of what's going on. The author is trying to explain to her what the Temple Mount is, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Golden Dome, and the Western Wall. Amazin'. Probably learned in college those clever and slippery Post-Modern ways to say it's OK to kill Jews, and hasn't had to rev-up her brain cells since....

Posted by John Weidner at 5:13 PM

September 23, 2004

My apologies, Mr Prime Minister...

...On behalf of my countrymen, who can sometimes be insular and unsophistcated, with no idea how to treat a foreign guest....

From The Corner:

My favorite part of the day was in the Rose Garden when the reporters kept asking Bush about how horribly things were going and Bush finally said (paraphrasing here) "because I ask him and talk to him," referring to Allawi, "and I believe him," he said looking right at the reporter. It was great. Similarly, another reporter asked Bush another question about how the conditions in Iraq, he was flustered and said "why don't you ask him" referring again to Allawi, "you have the Prime Minister of Iraq here, why ask me?" Again, great point. You could see that the reporters didn't care a bit about what Allawi had to say about what his firsthand impression of Iraq was, they just wanted to hammer Bush over and over. I don't think they succeeded. It was pretty obvious they were desperate to ignore Allawi and the positive message he was bringing.
The mainstream press is just pathetic..."desperate to ignore Allawi..." that sums it up.

Desperate to ignore a whole bunch of things....

Posted by John Weidner at 2:39 PM

September 21, 2004

"I have a little list"

RatherBiased has posted a little list of apologies they don't expect to hear...

More than likely, any CBS "apology" is going to be very tempered and llikely reiterate previous network statements that "no one has challenged the content of our report." This is flatly false. A number of people have criticized CBS's reporting including the White House, President Bush's father, the Killian family, Ben Barnes's daughter Amy Barnes Stites, as well as several of Bush's former associates including Col. Walter Staudt, Col. Bobby Hodges, as well as Bush's roommate Dean Roome. These people were deliberately ignored (Killians, Staudt, Roome, Stites, Bush) or lied to (Hodges).

We hope, but are not expecting, that the network will also apologize for the following:

  1. Failing to use the best document experts it could find,
  2. Hiring a signature expert to look at a copied document when he himself said earlier that doing such a thing was foolish,
  3. Ignoring and lying about the testimony of those it did hire,
  4. Failing to interview Marian Knox as well as the others listed above,
  5. Not interviewing anyone directly connected with Lt. Col Killian,
  6. Not informing viewers that Staudt had retired a year-and-a-half before the time he was supposedly trying to help "sugarcoat" Bush's record,
  7. Failing to inform viewers that not a single verified document signed by Killian or his fellow officers during the time period used the typographical techniques used in the CBS Memos,
  8. Not mentioning Ben Barnes's partisan background enough,
  9. Not disclosing the 30-year friendship of the two Texas Democrats Barnes and Rather,
  10. Failing to even know who producer Mary Mapes's document source was before the broadcast,
  11. Dishonestly impugning the motives of critics,
  12. Using its news broadcasts to defend a bad report instead of examining how it could be wrong,
  13. Never once featuring a single document expert on the air who doubted CBS's claims,
  14. Putting total non-experts on the air to spin the preferred "authentic" line even though CBS would not allow them to see its documents,
  15. Not mentioning that Killian never kept notes and hated to type,
  16. Failing to provide the public with copies of the documents as close as possible to the ones CBS obtained,
  17. Not finding out if the office in which Killian worked even had a typewriter capable of duplicating most of the complex formatting used in the CBS documents (it did not),
  18. Using the testimony of a vehemently anti-Bush author to prove its case and simply referring to him as an author who "wrote two books on the subject,"
  19. Failing to inform viewers that its document source was someone who hated George Bush,
  20. Not telling viewers that one of its key (if not the key) sources was a man known to be mentally unstable and one who has lodged false accusations against Bush for years
Possibly I would add:
21. Failing to inform viewers that the news anchor was someone who hated George Bush.
22. Not telling viewers that one of its key (if not the key) sources was a political party known to be mentally unstable and one that has lodged false accusations against Bush for years.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:35 AM

September 19, 2004

Substance and slant...

Via Tim Blair, Reuters is upset that a Canadian newspaper chain has been altering its stories:

...The global managing editor for Reuters, David Schlesinger, called such changes unacceptable. He said CanWest had crossed a line from editing for style to editing the substance and slant of news from the Middle East.

"If they want to put their own judgment into it, they're free to do that, but then they shouldn't say that it's by a Reuters reporter," said Schlesinger.

As an example, Schlesinger cited a recent Reuters story, in which the original copy read: "...the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which has been involved in a four-year-old revolt against Israeli occupation in Gaza and the West Bank."

In the National Post version of the story, printed Tuesday, it became: "...the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a terrorist group that has been involved in a four-year-old campaign of violence against Israel." [emphasis mine]

Of course they are terrorists, and should be called terrorists. The eagerness of lefty news organizations to put into action their anti-semitism and their hatred of our western capitalist civilization by covering up for these vile murdering animals is one of the biggest scandals of our times.

Our government is trying to freeze the assets of terror-supporting organizations. We should put Reuters at the top of the list.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:43 AM

September 18, 2004

But nothing went as planned

Just thinking about Rathergate a bit...

By the way, Orin Kerr recently chided bloggers of the Rive Droit for the frivolity of obsessing on forged memos when there are earth-shaking issues now in the balance But in fact, there's not a lot we can do about the big issues right now. This election is this year's battlefield in the War. But the troops are already on the march, and it's too late to haggle over the plans, or give harangues about duty and country.

It's like an old-time war, like the Battle of Borodino as viewed by Tolstoy. Once the armies have been committed, there's nothing much for the general to do. The columns disappear into clouds of smoke and dust, and the onlooker might as well enjoy a pipe and a glass of brandy. Maybe have a game of checkers.

Anyway, those memos. Remember, they were sent by CBS to the White House, which then passed them on to the rest of the press without comment. (The President has released all his military records, so that's what should happen if new documents surface.) But were they just passed on without examination? Not likely.

Another blogger has suggested something like the following [sorry, lost the link. Here it is]: that CBS sent the memos to the WH assuming they would elicit a confession, or a stammered denial that would look like guilt. That's the 60 Minutes schtick, isn't it? Confront the wretched wrongdoer with the carefully-groomed evidence, and his shuffling and confusion pretty much confirms the story right there. And if there's no denial, then Rather points out that that must be taken as evidence of guilt.

But nothing went as planned....

But nothing went as planned. CBS is so sunk in Lefty delusion that probably they just assumed any tale they were telling must be true. Or at least indisputable. But when we talk about experts examining documents, remember the biggest expert of all is in the Oval Office. George W Bush was there! Unlike sneering reporters from Manhattan, he actually knows what the hell he's talking about! He knows what really happened. And Karl Rove is sure to have all the (true) details in his head. They would have seen in an instant that the memo was fishy. Within an hour the FBI document examiners would have confirmed this.

What then? These guys are way too honest and smart to forge documents. But if, like Bugs Bunny, they are handed a stick of dynamite with a hissing fuze, well... they won't at all mind handing it right back, and munching a carrot while Porky Dan goes Ka-Boom! So the memos are passed on to the ProNewsMedia, thereby ensuring that CBS can't just wave them about, like Senator McCarthy, and not let them be examined....

Fiiizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....................Ka-Boom!

NOBODY deserves it as much as that pompous bully Dan Rather.

Another thought. While the vigorous pursuit of Rathergate is being done partly to help the Republican campaign, it's also about a LOT of people who have been angry and frustrated for a LONG time. Sort of like the Swift Boat Vets. People sneer that the Swifties are part of the Republican apparatus. But they aren't. (Which should be obvious just from the fact that they started with only $200k. A Republican scheme would have had $20 million.) They tapped a deep lode of bitter resentment, and probably would have done much the same if Kerry had been the Republican candidate.

And the delicious paradox is that the resentment has been building up pressure for so long precisely because the Rather types have, until recently, controlled the news media, and marginalized anyone who dissented from their liberal orthodoxy. Remember that old woman in Tale of Two Cities, knitting a sweater with the names of them what's gonna get the chop? Ha ha. Well, vets and Republicans have been grinding their teeth in frustration for decades. Kerry and Rather won't be guillotined, but if they were I for one wouldn't shed any tears.

Posted by John Weidner at 12:23 PM

It's hard to be "classy" in this degraded age...

Kaus points to this item in the 9/17 ABC Note:

The best example of how degrading it can be to be a political reporter: USA Today 's classy Susan Page forced to write up the Gallup poll/joke "showing" the president with a mythical 13-point lead for the front page of her paper — thus suggesting Gallup's 2000 track record of wild swings might be replicated this cycle.

(Question it gives rise to: What's the real margin? A. 5-6 points, with Bush holding small- to medium-sized (surmountable) leads in most of the important battlegrounds.)

I tend to agree that the Gallup Poll is an outlier.

But one is "degraded" by having to report a Bush lead? Oh baby, that's rich. She's degraded by contact with nasty Republicans? If that's the case, Miss Classy, I hope Bush wins 50, and is close in the District of Columbia. 'Cause then you will really feel "degraded." Something like being dragged behind a chariot while the crowd throws rotten vegetables.

Degraded. Egad.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:57 AM

September 16, 2004

"…I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things."

Take a look at this article by George Neumayr. It's about Dan Rather, but it fits perfectly the "It's OK to lie to show Bush lied" mentality we see so much of:

On The O'Reilly Factor not so long ago, Dan Rather spoke in defense of public figures who make stuff up. He called Bill Clinton an "honest man" even as he acknowledged Clinton's whoppers. "Who among us have not lied about somebody?" asked Rather. "I think at the core he's an honest person…I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things."

You can be an honest person and lie about any number of things. This elastic philosophy of honesty must account for Rather's view of himself as a witness to "core truth" while peddling a forgery against the President. Rather sees a "core truth" wrapped in a forgery inside his CBS reporting, and he is outraged that his critics won't admit it. He is in effect saying: Didn't this forgery at least place me in the vicinity of truth? He lashes out at "people who for their own partisan, political agendas can't deny the core truth of this story…and want to change the subject and make the story about me rather than have the story be about the unanswered questions about President Bush's military service."

The audacity here is surreal, though typical of the post-1960s ends-justify-the-means moral arrogance Rather imbibed as a Watergate reporter....

Falsehoods are justified if they contain a "core truth." How very Nixonian these Dems have become. Nixon, by the way, had a "core truth" that justified, in his mind, a lot of falsehoods. He wasn't just power-hungry. He was pursuing, with Kissinger, elaborate schemes for world peace and stability. Now the old Watergater Dan Rather has become "the new Nixon."

I think a lot of Kerry supporters are guided by a "core truth" that it's the "normal" order of things that the Democrats are the majority party, always "helping" the little guy through big-government programs, and justified in all things by the Civil Rights Movement. And that the Truman Doctrine is forever. Both these verities are now being discarded by events, and that's enough to turn any and all Democrat lies into "truths."

(Thanks to Betsy Newmark)

Posted by John Weidner at 7:09 AM

September 14, 2004

Dead ringer...

I hope this catches on as a classroom exercise:

I teach High School Graphic Arts and today we were talking about the study of fonts and how that might apply to every day life. One student brought up the story about the forged memos and the class had a pretty heated discussion over it.

In our discussion, the student sat down at the computer and using Word...copied from a PDF of the memos that we printed. In about 5 minutes...he came up with something that was nearly an exact match to the PDF documents. He then took it to the photocopier and copied it...copied the copy and then copied that copy. He may have made 4 or 5 generations...

The final photocopy was a dead ringer for the PDF files downloaded from the CBS website. When we cut the signature off of the PDF documents and trimmed the ones we created via the photocopier to size...even I could not tell the difference. Even when we put them on a light table on top of each other...the spacing, kerning, margins, centering were identical...

I wonder if there is anyone who still believes in the CBS mystery docs? Maybe Josh Marshall...

Posted by John Weidner at 5:33 PM

Democrats in pajamas...

Betsy Newmark imagines what it might be like if President Bush acted like Dan Rather:

Imagine this press conference:
GW Bush: "We found WMD in Iraq. All of our critics have been completely discredited"

Media: Can we see them?

GW - No. you'll just have to take my word for it. We have experts to prove their authenticity.

Media: Can we talk to the experts? Can we interview the people who found the weapons?

Gw: NO. And the mere fact that you are asking these questions proves that you are partisan rumor mongers. End of story. Case closed

Yeah, tell 'em to go jump in the lake, they're just a bunch of Democrats in pajamas without any checks and balances...

Actually the fact that Republicans can't get away with stuff like that is a strength, not a weakness.

On the same general subject, I caught a good remark by Rush this morning: "The news media is the only business with consumers, where the consumer is always wrong."

Posted by John Weidner at 5:14 PM

these other points have also been revealed as forgeries...

Tim Noah writes:

...Which brings us to a larger point. The documents were entirely consistent with everything that's already been established about President Bush's National Guard service. We know strings were pulled on his behalf to get in. We know that, for whatever reason, he wouldn't take a required physical. We know that Bush agitated for a transfer to Alabama, and that for a period of six months there exists no evidence that he ever showed up. None of this makes Bush a bad person—except insofar as he feels free to question, or permits others on his campaign to question, the manhood and patriotism of his opponent, John Kerry. 60 Minutes may have inadvertently framed the president, but in doing so it framed an already guilty man...
Wrong-O Jack.

All of them have been shown to be false, by bloggers. Every rotten one of them, including that Bush "questioned" Kerry's "manhood and patriotism." (Random Jottings is happy to question them, but I'm not part of the campaign.)

It's pathetic. The Democrats are building an edifice of lies. Intentionally! Here's what a CBS news producer said to the Prowler:

...This CBS New producer went on to explain that the questions 60 Minutes folk were asking were specific enough that people would have been able to fabricate the memorandums to meet the exact specifications the investigative journalists were looking for. "People were asking questions of sources like, 'Have you ever seen or heard of a memo that suspended Bush for failing to appear for a physical?' and 'Have you heard about or know of someone who has any documentation from back in the 1970s that shows there was pressure to get Bush into the National Guard?' It was like they were placing an order for a ready-made product. That is the biggest problem I have with this. It's all too neat and perfect for what we needed. Without these exact pieces of paper, we don't have a story. Dan has as much as admitted that. Everyone knows it. We were at a standstill on this story until these memos showed up."...
This is crazy desperation. Crazy. The Dems are going nuts because they can't handle becoming the minority party. And they can't handle that because their whole worldview is based on it being just assumed that they are a real party with a program, with ideas, with ideals. None of those things will withstand scrutiny, and deep inside they know it.

Posted by John Weidner at 11:50 AM

September 12, 2004

Rathergate dreams...

GETTING CAUGHT UP [Jonah Goldberg] I don't like to exaggerate, but the forgery story is the greatest story since Noah got all those animals on a boat. [link]
Yeah. You know, people used to be Watergate junkies, back in 1973. They had to have the morning papers, to savor every new bit of evidence that came out.

Rathergate has much the same flavor. The steady drip drip drip of new evidence emerging. The stonewalling, the non-denial denials, the retreats to new holding points. CBS hasn't started retreating yet, but they will, they will...

The big similarity is the gathering suspicion that they wouldn't put so much energy and credibility into a such a dubious cover-up, unless something BIG was at stake. The mind whirls...did McAuliffe forget to wear gloves? Were the "experts" who authenticated the docs for CBS maybe actually Mr Rather's pancreas, spleen, and intestines? ("Gut feelings," if you didn't get it)

And it's all happening in Internet Time! "Steady drip drip drip" means something new every half-hour. Our new Nixon could be taking that last helicopter ride in a week or two. Wild.

Posted by John Weidner at 1:44 PM

September 11, 2004

Gnawing old plots...

Pejman noted this great comment on Dan Rather in a post by WizBang:

Why do I have this image of Saruman up in the tower surrounded by his ruined kingdom, perhaps with bloggers hanging out below smoking some Long-Bottom leaf and laughing.
Posted by: Steve Cormier
Rather as Saruman...it fits, it fits.
....You have become a fool, Saruman, and yet pitiable. You might yet have turned away from folly and evil, and have been of service. But you chose to stay, and gnaw the ends of your old plots. Stay then! but I warn you, you will not easily come out again...
-- Gandalf, in The Two Towers, page 241.
The free people of the world are at war with a deadly danger, but Dan Rather and the "Eastern Liberal Establishment," as we Nixon-Era Republicans used to call it, gnaw old plots obsessively, and refuse to see that the world has changed utterly.

Posted by John Weidner at 11:00 AM

raising the bar...

I love this title, for a NY Post story: RATHER FORGES AHEAD

Note the Dan Rather says there's no "definitive evidence" that the memos are forgeries. His evidentiary standards for criticizing CBS seem higher than those for smearing Republicans...

And PowerLine writes about a Fox interview with someone from CBS who had worked with 60 Minutes:

...The CBS guy, Jonathan Klein, was infuriating. He kept reciting 60 Minutes' supposedly stellar record, and sneered at bloggers as a bunch of guys sitting around the living room in their pajamas who lack the wonderful "checks and balances" in place at 60 Minutes. Consequently, he never addressed any substantive questions. Moreover, he actually defended the show's policy of not interviewing anyone believed to be a Republican or a Bush supporter in the "investigation" process leading up to the broadcast of the story. He explained that the refusal to speak to anyone suspected of Republicanism was a sign of careful journalism--this way, there was no danger that bias could enter into the story. Unbelievable...

Posted by John Weidner at 8:33 AM

September 10, 2004

"lying like a politician"

Ace has a good post on Dan Rather's ridiculous "defense." I especially liked this:

...PS: When I say it was just about the most dishonest thing I've ever seen, I mean that-- and I include politicians' lies in that mix.

What made this defense so outrageous is that it utilized all the usual petty dishonesties of political deception-- refusing to even acknowledge the questions you can't answer, dwellling on those few you can, deliberately conflating distinct terms to confuse an ill-informed audience, etc.

He was lying like a politician-- a very noxious one.

And yet he's "the media" -- the one we're supposed to trust. The disinterested, neutral, ojbective fair-and-balanced down-the-middle no-nonsense hard news man.

He's a liar. And not a particularly convincing one.

Ironically enough, he reminded me of Nixon tonight-- Nixon, just before the final "V" finger wave.

But what really made my day was a cognomen in this post:"Joshua Micah Hezekiah Bucephalus Boutros-Boutros Marshall"

Posted by John Weidner at 5:37 PM

What bliss...

I'm really enjoying the forgery scandal. I've heard so many stories over the years of bullying and falsehoods and bias from Dan Rather and 60-Minutes. How richly that pompous phony deserves to be humbled.

Of course this whole attack on Bush is actually plain stupid, if you just look at the timeline. It's like the difference between a soldier slacking-off in 1943, and doing the same in 1947! If they had an accusation that Bush missed duty in 1968, when he joined, that would at least be the germ of a story. But everybody was easing off after 1972. We were out of the war then.

I hear that the poor Dems are trying to float the story that the forgeries were political dirty tricks created by Karl Rove. No way. Rove would have used a typewriter, at the very least. He's about my age, and remembers typewriters perfectly well. It's got to be someone young. Young and stupid. Hmmm, we may have the beginnings of a profile...

Flag Burner lights cig on flag

* Update: here's a link to an animated GIF that superimposes an MS Word version over the purported 1970's memo. Lovely, lovely, just lovely...


Posted by John Weidner at 7:49 AM

September 7, 2004

" That’s right Anchor Man. It is often forgotten that the Constitution has...."

The Happy Carpenter laughs ruefully at lefty complaints that FoxNews is "conservative," and falling asleep, dreams of a real conservative TV station:

3…, 2…, 1…

ON CAMERA

ANCHOR MAN: (white guy, about 50 years old, wearing a blue suit, white shirt, red tie, American flag lapel pin) Good evening America, and welcome to another edition of THE TRUTH.

ANCHOR WOMAN: (white chick, gorgeous, about 35 years old, pink suit with blue silk shirt, blonde brunette or redhead, take you pick) Our top story tonight, another liberal judge appointed by President Clinton is responsible for the slaying of a family, this time in Fresno, California.

CUT TO PICTURE OF CRAZY-LOOKING BLACK MAN (you remember Willie Horton, don’t you?)

ANCHOR WOMAN: This man, Donald Smith, was released by Judge Makesitupashegoes on a Miranda technicality. After Mr. Smith’s release, Smith got high on crack cocaine, bought an illegal gun off the streets of Fresno, and murdered the Thornton family of 1234 Maple Drive. Smith was apprehended by police at the scene.

CUT TO VIDEO TAPE OF POLICE PATROL OFFICER:
“Oh, darn it!” Gulp, fight back tears. “We caught this guy before! This didn’t have to happen! What’s the point of being a cop if Judge Makesitupashegoes is just going to let the perp’s out to steal and kill again?” Patrol officer bangs fist on hood of patrol car.
.....
ANCHOR WOMAN: Just what we need, Anchor Man: more convicted child molesters running loose on the streets. I wonder what will be next for His Honor Makesitupashegoes.

ANCHOR MAN: That’s not just a rhetorical question, Anchor Woman. Here’s a special report from our Washington Analyst Steven Donegood.

CUT TO DONEGOOD (a young, fit, clean-cut, vaguely Latino looking man in a blue suit, with an American flag lapel pin) STANDING IN FRONT OF THE US ARCHIVES BUILDING:
That’s right Anchor Man. It is often forgotten that the Constitution has checks and balances built-in for Congress to instill some sanity into the bench.

CUT TO PICTURE OF THE CONSTITUTION.
Article 2 section 4 spells it out: impeachment. If two-thirds of the senate votes aye, then any judge can be removed from office. To quote Founding Father and Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story,

“Departure from the text of the Constitution as originally understood would permit unelected and unaccountable, life-tenured federal judges to impose their personal values on the rest of us, and would ultimately result in judicial tyranny.”

Posted by John Weidner at 8:14 AM

September 6, 2004

Pathetic...

Take a look at this post. Someone wrote to the Ombudsman of the NYT, asking why the Times, which covered the Bush/AWOL foolishness like fleas on a dog, refuses to investigate allegations about Kerry's service, even after the Kerry campaign has admitted to falsehoods.

Here's the response:

Dear (name removed),

I raised your concern with senior editors at The Times who explained that the staff is working hard on this issue, and when there's anything reliable to say, as opposed to rumors and suspicions, they intend to report it fully.

Sincerely,
Arthur Bovino
Office of the Public Editor
The New York Times

So lame. How these people deserve to lose the next 10 or 20 elections...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:25 PM

August 25, 2004

Same playbook...

Dean writes, in a great post:

...Rarely, so rarely, do you see anyone in the mainstream media simply be fair to the other side of the Vietnam question: that it was a war we entered into because mass-murdering, oppressive totalitarian communist forces, backed by the Soviets and the Chinese, were threatening a helpless people. Rarely do you see it acknowledged that the U.S. won every single battle it fought in Vietnam. Rarely do you see it acknowledged that the overwhelming majority of men who fought in that conflict fought honorably, with decency and humanity, and genuinely cared about and wanted to help the people of Vietnam.

Those who did act with decency and humanity and noble aims were the norm, not the exception. War crimes (which occur in every war) were the exception, not the rule.

Vietnam veterans have endured over 30 years of feeling their character has been besmirched by their culture...

Another thing that never gets mentioned, when Hollywood or the news media (or Democrat candidates) mention Vietnam, is that the communists were trying to provoke atrocities. They were hiding among civilians, attacking from among civilians, using children to carry explosives among us. They wanted us to gun down villagers. And the leftists of the world, and the news media were all in tacit alliance with the communists--if Americans could be provoked into war crimes, they and the communists both win. (And of course we never give a shred of credit or thanks to all the thousands of Americans who weren't like Lt Calley, and didn't commit crimes despite great provocation.)

AND IT'S JUST THE SAME NOW! The terrorists and Ba'athists and the Taliban and Al Sadr are using exactly the same playbook as the North Vietnamese. And News media pundits and Hollywood lefties and Democrat politicians all know their parts perfectly.

If the terrorists can provoke our soldiers into blowing the roof off the Imam Ali Mosque, its a win for John Kerry! And it's a win for Al Sadr. And the New York Times wins, and the people in the newsroom will pat themselves on the back because their America-hating Vietnam-era worldview has been saved once again, and they don't need to re-think.

And most infuriating of all, the lefty-bloggers will ooze pleasure and self-satisfaction like butter out of every pore until they glow like little polished gold buddhas. And we'll have, like Abu Ghraib, the same crocodile tears, and the same totally fake claims that they are shocked and ashamed of America's evilness... And of course they will emphasize that the only way to bring about reform is to give this maximum publicity for the longest time possible, and to immediately have investigations of Republicans, who everybody knows are really fascist war-criminals anyway.


Posted by John Weidner at 12:48 PM

August 22, 2004

like the mad death-wish of a guilty conscience...

I strongly recommend this piece by Varifrank, The Grand Unified Theory Of Vietnam.

It asks the question: Why is the press, which has never liked John Kerry in the past, now going to lunatic lengths to defend him?

...After looking around on the web, I came across a set of pictures of John Kerry at the 1970 "Valley Forge" rally, known as "Winter Soldier", where Kerry made some pretty rough statements about the soldiers and sailors he has just finished serving with. Behind him in the picture was the usual suspects, but then I began to pick out a series of celebrities, who at that time were just new and up and coming in their careers. While I was doing this, I had a documentary on the TV :" A Decade Under The Influence". This is the story of the rise of the new breed in Hollywood after the studio system ended. Many of the people in the background of the pictures with Kerry were dead center in this documentary. I was doing digital convergence and I didn't even know it...
His answer is that 9/11, and President Bush's strong and patriotic leadership afterwards, begs a huge question: whether the lefty protesters of the 60's and 70's, who are now the leaders in the press and Democrat Party, were wrong! Utterly wrong! Betrayers of their country, their military, their fellow citizens, and free people everywhere.

They can't face that question.

...So, why is the press unhinged and supporting John F. Kerry like crazed moonies?

It's for the redemption from their sins and the return of a moral order that they can understand, more importantly a moral order in which they sit at the top.

By working to elect John Kerry, they can return to the world where Vietnam was wrong, but they can now say that defense of America is right. By working to elect John Kerry, they do not have to confront their bigotry against their very own country and its countrymen...
... More simply put, by electing John Kerry it lets a generation off the hook for its malfeasance in the defense of liberty...

"it lets a generation off the hook." Well, they aren't going to be able to get off the hook. They are guilty as hell, guilty of choosing communism over American freedom, and helping the communists to murder millions or send them to concentration camps, or fleeing in leaky boats as refugees. And leaving those who survived, in Vietnam and Laos and Cambodia, to survive in backwardness and poverty and brutal oppression.

And now, with something like the mad death-wish of a guilty conscience, the same betrayers have nominated for President the man who, more than probably any other politician, symbolizes and embodies that betrayal. (And whose blank Senate record symbolizes all-too-well their complete moral and intellectual vacuity)

John Kerry has been put in the dock, but it's the press and the lefty-establishment it's a part of that's now on trial.

* Update: It occurs to me, there was an earlier generation of left-leaners who sided with some earlier mass-murdering communist regimes. But they didn't get off the hook! They were hounded and vilified in the 1950's, by the movement we label McCarthyism.

They quite naturally felt aggrieved, but in some ways they were lucky. They paid for their sins, (either symbolically or actually) and most were able to go beyond them, with many becoming staunch defenders of freedom against communist aggression.

* Also, the press is particularly in the hot seat here, because it is they who have suppressed this debate in the past. O'Neill debated these issues with Kerry back in the 1970's! Vietnam vets have been grumbling all along, but it is only now in the age of talk-radio, the Internet, and FoxNews that they have a chance to really get some traction. They are like a pressure-cooker that's been building up steam for a long time! Look for these questions to not go away!


Posted by John Weidner at 10:35 AM

August 21, 2004

Don't read blogs...

I'm sure you've seen this sentence from the NYT, it's getting quoted a lot...

...In fairness to Mr. Kerry, his aides were faced with a strategic dilemma that has become distressingly familiar to campaigns in this era when so much unsubstantiated or even false information can reach the public through so many different forums, be it blogs or talk-show radio...
But it reminded me, that yesterday a Republican woman who was visiting Charlene at her office asked, What are Blogs?

Charlene, of course, had no difficulty answering that question. But I bet it's one that's getting asked a lot these days. The New York Times and the mainstream media can't ignore us any more, so they are saying, "Don't read blogs, they are full of unsubstantiated or even false information..." Ha ha. I love it! Ten thousand more people scratch their heads and think, "What the heck is a blog?"

Posted by John Weidner at 2:19 PM

Un huh...

Here's an MSNBC article on whether the Bush campaign is illegally coordinating with the Swift Boat Vets, a 527 organization.

But what's this we find in the middle of the article?

...Kerry aides said they will maintain the offensive through surrogates, if not Kerry himself. Democrats welcomed the response.

“Out of desperation, the Bush campaign has picked the wrong fight with the wrong veteran,” said Jim Jordan, former Kerry campaign manager who now runs an outside group airing ads against Bush. “Today’s the start of the mother of all backlashes.”...

(My emphasis) thanks to PowerLine, where a reader pointed this out.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:32 AM

August 20, 2004

"But here's the bigger story:"

Dean writes:

...In the meantime, the Swift Vets have strongly answered the more recent press assaults on them, as well as other charges against them.

You can smell the fear in the Kerry camp: a huge collection of John Kerry's band of brothers hates his guts, including men who served on his Swift Boat, the commanders of the boats that served alongside his, several people who were in combat with him, and every single officer in his chain of command during Vietnam. More and more people are learning of this, and the best Kerry can do is ask Bush to make them shut up!

Meanwhile, the Swifties are showing up on more and more television and radio shows. Furthermore, as Instapundit notes, it appears that a growing number of very well-known reporters are meeting with the Swifties behind the scenes and finding them far more credible than they expected.

But here's the bigger story: The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe are no longer the arbiters of what's important and what's not, of whose criticisms of our politicians will be heard and whose will be ignored.

The Internet has detected the mainstream media as a form of censorship and simply routed around them.

You probably noted that last line when it was mentioned by Glenn Reynolds. I think it's destined to be a classic, quoted again and again. It's the mainstream media that's that story here. Politicians crash n' burn all the time, and things go on much the same. But the breaking of the power of a few big outlets to shape public debate...that's a huge change.

And the change started before the rise of the Internet. It started with Rush Limbaugh, back in the 80's. I've got a book on his beginnings, and I've read various articles, and of course talked to people. And the one thing you heard over and over about Rush was, "Thank God there's somebody who expresses what I feel!" Naturally you hear it less now, because now there are lots of voices expressing publicly the outlook of ordinary Americans. But ten years ago? It was very different.


Posted by John Weidner at 5:54 PM

Update

Michelle Malkin (see previous post) will be on Rush Limbaugh in a few minutes. I'll report if I hear anything interesting...

Malkin is going to Berkeley next to talk about her book! Amazing.

Apparently Matthews was badgering Malkin to tell her age--what a chauvinist...Saying "Are you old enough to be on this program?"

She was scheduled for the second segment of the show, and then that was cancelled after the 1st segment. Rush asked how they did that. (I was wondering the same thing.) Michelle: 'He just said "you're off!"'

Rush was amazed that the network didn't have a copy of the book. He said, "so they don't have their own copy?" Apparently they snatched up Malkin's copy and leafed through it after the segment!

Rush played a clip, with Matthews twisting "self inflicted wound" (which can be a variety of things) into "Are you saying he shot himself in the leg?" He kept repeating the "shot himself" line, though that wasn't what was said at all. But Malkin wasn't allowed to explain.

Good last comments by Rush: "You showed yourself to be above that fray." (Yes. I was amazed, listening to the clips, how calm she stayed.) And: "15 years ago there would have been nowhere you could go to get the truth out about what happened, and to shine a light on these people..." That's sure the truth.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:04 AM

August 19, 2004

"Clamorous ovation for Team USA"

John Ellis, on those TV folks we all love so much:

NBC Olympics anchors Katie Couric and Bob Costas seemed fairly certain that the US team would not be well received by the huge crowd at last night's Opening Ceremonies in Athens. When Team USA was, in fact, greeted with a sustained and clamorous ovation, Mr. Costas sought to explain.

The Greeks, you see, can separate their love for the American people from the policies of the United States government. The warm reception they gave to Team USA should not in any way be construed as an endorsement of those policies.

Well thanks, Bob, for clearing that up. God forbid anyone might support the policies of the US government as it wages a global war against Islamic fascism. Mr. Costas's ability to read the minds of 75,000 people he's never met is remarkable. He has a big future as a political pundit.

Costas may be right, but there is another possibility. European countries don't actually have much of what we think of as democracy. Any candidates you might want to vote for are all members of the same elite group, and they expect to run things pretty much as they please without input from the riffraff.. No Reagans or Bushs ever rise up out of the "red states" and overthrow the entrenched leadership and scoff at the media elites. No Rush Limbaugh ever gives voice to what ordinary people feel.

As an example, I understand that in many European countries the majority supports the death penalty. Doesn't make a shred of difference, their wishes will never have any effect. So it's perfectly possible that ordinary Greeks support the GWOT, and were applauding for that reason. You won't hear much about it.

We used to have something like a Euro-style leadership here; it was called "Eastern Establishment Liberalism." It's now but a shadow of it's old vasty self, as witness the ludicrous and ineffectual John Kerry, the floundering of the Democrats and the NYT, and their attachment to the increasingly-marginalized "Old Europe." With any luck the next election will put them out of their misery.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:44 AM

August 13, 2004

"A whole book's worth of ugly lies"

Charlene tore a column out of the SF Examiner and brought it home for me to enjoy: Backlash of Kerry Claims, by Kathleen Antrim.

Now granted the Examiner's no longer a terribly important paper, and Antrim's no fan of Senator Kerry, but still, it's a pleasure to read something like this in liberal San Francisco. I enjoy it not so much because of Kerry (he's toast, he's a pre-breakfast snack for Karl Rove, and the campaign's become a bore) but because it opens one more fissure into the news blackout that the major media are trying to do on this little hot-potato. That's what annoys me, after they savaged the President about his military service. (Blogged here, here, und here)

John F. Kerry's campaign for president is imploding. And he knows it.

The anti-war candidate went public as a pro-war candidate this week, and the members of his beloved "Band of Brothers" are exposing a whole book's worth of ugly lies. And they've got details, evidence, footnotes, signed affidavits and witnesses who back up their claims.

Kerry himself bestowed immense credibility on his "Band of Brothers" when he used a picture of some of them in his campaign ad titled "Lifetime."

Essentially, Kerry made Vietnam, and these men, the centerpiece of his campaign. Of course, that was when he thought they'd support his candidacy. No matter that he'd never bothered to ask their permission to use them to promote his political career.

Now, however, the Kerry campaign is on a search-and-destroy mission to attack the credibility of these same men -- calling them liars, all 60 of them, and saying they didn't serve in the military with him. Really? Then why'd Kerry use their pictures in his ad campaign?

These are the same men who Kerry hailed as his "Band of Brothers," who he implied knew him well and could vouch for him as a wonderful soldier and man.

These men, who Kerry inferred that we, the American people, could trust to tell us that he would make a great president, are suddenly liars. And why? Because they aren't saying what Kerry wants them to say....


Posted by John Weidner at 3:59 PM

News and rebuttal all in one sentence...

From those wonderful folks at the AP, whose philosophy is, "We have to report this icky Republican news to maintain the pretense that we are journalists, but at least we can also tell you what to think about it..."

WASHINGTON - President Bush vows in his latest campaign ad to "bring an enemy to justice before they hurt us again" although Osama bin Laden remains at large and only one U.S. defendant, Zacarias Moussaoui, has been charged with crimes related to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Possibly they haven't heard yet about the terrorists held at Git'mo, and various prisons around the world. Plus hey, didn't I hear something about some terrorists somewhere being....dead? Sounds like justice to me.

Thanks to PowerLine.

Posted by John Weidner at 1:13 PM

August 12, 2004

No story here...

The Washington Post has an editorial, waving away the charges of the Swift boat veterans, because they received money from a big Republican donor. SO, no investigation needed. No "reporting" needed. No story.

But remember when a chorus of Dems charged that President Bush was "AWOL" on his Air National Guard service, that was NEWS! They even went so far as to interview a dentist to see if his signature on a dental exam might be forged!

And when the charges against the President were found to be baseless, that was NOT news. (My debunking here and here.)

And if, by some stupefyingly unlikely chance, the 250 Swift Boat vets turn out to be well-organized conspiracy of liars, and their stories collapse, THAT WILL BE NEWS!

Posted by John Weidner at 9:04 AM

August 9, 2004

Heroes of the war...

Chuck Simmons is blogging American heroes of the War on Terror, and then adding them to a list. It looks like it will become a valuable resource, especially since our contemptible news media won't give them the headlines they deserve. (Thanks to Sensing)

Things used to be SO DIFFERENT. I remember talking to a woman we know, and she mentioned that the SF neighborhood she grew up in was kind of rough. But she said, "It was OK for us, because my dad was a hero in the war." (A little affray called World War II, back when the reporters were on our side.)

Posted by John Weidner at 10:52 AM

August 5, 2004

I had never heard that!

Karl Zinsmaster has written a great article on the distorted picture of Iraq we get from our news media, with one shocker for me:

How insightful is the Iraq reporting that you've been consuming? Take a little test.

If I tell you that scores of Iraqi detainees have been killed and maimed this year in Abu Ghraib prison, you may not be surprised. But you're probably guessing wrong about who hurt them. The moronic American guards who are now on trial for improperly humiliating some Iraqis caused no deaths or injuries: The many casualties in the prison were all inflicted by Iraq's guerilla terrorists.

During this spring's frenzy of reporting on the plight of detainees at Abu Ghraib, I was surprised that none of the stories mentioned what anyone who has spent time at the prison (as I have) knows is the central danger to the prisoners there. By far the gravest threats to the Iraqis in that facility are the mortars and rockets that guerillas regularly lob into the compound — knowing full well that the main victims of their indiscriminate assaults will be fellow Iraqis. One attack on April 21 of this year, for instance, killed 22 detainees and injured another 91...

I had never heard that!

Thousands of stories, tears of faux outrage, cries for impeachment, and claims that America has lost the "moral high ground" forever [that's what we got from that caterpiller Andrew Sullivan] and none of the wailing crowd gave a damn that the detainees were being slaughtered!

YOU ARE FRAUDS! I mean you bozos of the press and politics for whom Abu Graib was the big story of the year! You didn't give a damn about the prisoners, you only wanted to wound America and encourage terrorists and help Democrats get elected. (Which is saying the same thing three times over.) Those poor prisoners are being blown into bloody sheds of flesh and splinters of bone, and you cold-hearted bastards never cared, and never will.

One attack killed 22 and injured 91! Think about that, when you read the pompous buffoons who pretended they cared about the prisoners...

(via Cori Dauber)

Posted by John Weidner at 2:16 PM

Soaring illogic

My friend Frank writes:

...With little else going on I did some Times bashing in a note to a friend of mine. You might be interested. They are such easy targets I sometimes feel guilty for picking on them.

The NY Times editorial Iran’s Nuclear Challenge (08/04/04) is laugh a paragraph. They are alarmed by Iran’s stated intentions to construct centrifuges for producing bomb fuel. But they blame it all on the Bush administration for dissipating our diplomatic and military capabilities in Iraq to the point where Iran has become more emboldened.

Note the soaring illogic. Had we NOT moved to enforce UN resolutions regarding Iraq we would somehow be in a STRONGER position to deal diplomatically and militarily with Iran. But the biggest laugh comes in their final paragraph about what to do with Iran now:

“For want of a better alternative, Europe is right to give Iran a little more time to change its mind. But the world cannot afford to wait long. Once the new centrifuges are completed, Iran's ambitions will become much harder to contain. If no agreement is reached soon, this apparent drive to build nuclear weapons should be recognized as a threat to international peace and security and taken up by the United Nations Security Council later this year.”
Since we “cannot afford to wait long” we should go to “the UN Security Council later this year”??  You have to wonder how these people make it until cocktail hour.
One line from the article: Diplomacy can resolve this issue only if both sides ultimately want a deal, and it is not at all clear that Iran's ruling clerics do... So what's the answer? Why, more diplomacy, of course!

The article claims that Iraq means our forces are stretched too thin for us to have a military option. That's bullshit. We could blockade them tomorrow, without affecting Iraq in any big way. We could blow their reactors to bits in a matter of minutes. It's not military power that's lacking, it's political capital. Everything the Bush Administration does is attacked by the lefties and appeasers of the world, with the NYT in the lead. There's a limit to what can be accomplished with such a drag. Now the NYT has the incredible effrontery to complain that the Administration can't do anything!

If the NYT crowd were Americans, instead of pseudo-Belgian appeasers and bellyachers, they would support our country in time of war, instead of doing everything possible to undercut and sabotage our efforts. The Mullahs are emboldened not by our lack of military power (which is roughly equivalent to the combined power of the entire rest of the world), they are emboldened by the NYT and all that it represents. They imagine they are dealing with a 50-50 America, with half of us being saps who believe the UN can save us. I predict they, and the NYT, are in for a nasty shock in November...


Posted by John Weidner at 11:06 AM

August 2, 2004

This stuff just slays me....

From the the London Observer, some nuanced Europeans display that subtle and empathic understanding of primitive foreign lands they are famed for...

The US has hardened into two virulently opposed ideological and cultural camps that are almost equal in numbers. On the two seaboards, around the Great Lakes, in the north east and some cities of the south, the Democrats have their base: mildly progressive, multilateralist, tolerant and fair-minded. In the south, the Rocky Mountains and the plains lie the Republican base: religious fundamentalists, fervent believers in America's unilateralist destiny and culturally conservative.
As reeled the mind. I've heard of "Manifest Destiny," but "Unilateralist Destiny?" Whoa! Cool.

This slop fills my head with notions. Can't you just see those beatific sandal-wearing bi-coastal Democrats oozing mildness from every pore? And tolerance too, don't forget that. And just visualize their fair-mindedness radiating like a sweet-smelling benediction over the Great Lakes (and some cities in the South.)

And the Republican base? Count me in. Manifest Destiny was just a warm-up; now it's no more Mr Nice-Guy! Hose 'em down. Let's kill us some injuns! Preferably mildly progressive, multilateralist, tolerant and fair-minded ones. With sandals. Get ready boys, to crush the inferior races and take their women and their petroleum and convert them to Christianity...

Portrait of John Brown
A typical Rabid-State cultural conservative
contemplates world domination and the
pulchritude of Ann Coulter...

Posted by John Weidner at 9:46 PM

Remember "fake turkey?"

Remember last Thanksgiving, when President Bush flew to Iraq to serve diner to our people? And the main reaction from the Media Wing of the Democrat Party was a big sneer? Remember the "fake turkey?" (It wasn't, of course, fake, but the lie is still circulating.)

Now we have what seems to be "the fake Wendy's lunch."

...A member of the Kerry advance team called Nikola’s Restaurant at the Newburgh Yacht Club the night before and ordered 19 five-star lunches to go that would be picked up at noon Friday. Management at the restaurant, which is operated by CIA graduate chef Michael Dederick, was told the meals would be for the Kerry and Edwards families and actor Ben Affleck who was with them on the tour.

The gourmet meals to go included shrimp vindallo, grilled diver sea scallops, prosciutto, wrapped stuffed chicken, and steak salad. The meals came to about $200...

Sounds tasty. Shall I just sit here a while and hold my breath and wait for the press to make a big deal out of this fake? Ha ha, just kidding. Never happen.

Thanks to PowerLine, where DEACON adds: Even my French wife, no fan of fast-food, is incredulous over this. She asks, "couldn't they stand to eat one Wendy's meal?" Apparently not.

I myself prefer Burger King, but is not Paris worth a mass?

Posted by John Weidner at 12:15 PM

July 29, 2004

Balderdash

Jason Van Steenwyk gives a good fisking to Editor and Publisher's attempts to obfuscate and explain away the obvious gross bias and imbalance in the news media shown by the Pew Report. here's a snippet:

Indeed, observes executive editor Smith of the Democrat-Gazette, "There are probably more social reformers in journalism than accountants. We tend to attract a certain kind of person."[ie: liberals]
Let’s see…it was conservatives who pushed for welfare reform. It’s conservatives pushing for tort reform, education reforms, social security reforms, and tax reforms. It’s conservatives pushing to reform abortion law and it’s conservatives pushing for the radical reform of the politics of the middle east region. But conservatives aren’t reformers. What balderdash!
Cal Thomas, known to take a conservative viewpoint now and then, backs the "unwelcome" argument, but adds that the profession "doesn't pay all that well unless you get to a certain level," discouraging many conservatives. Larry King, executive editor of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, agrees that conservatives "have more of a background that is perhaps more attuned to the financial aspects of the world."
Change the subject of King’s declaration to from “conservatives” to “Jews” and you get a sense of the speciousness and arrogance of his argument.

Gee. And I thought conservatives—particularly religious ones, were “poor, uneducated, and easy to command.”...

The leftish definition of "social reformers" has come to resemble the joke about the man who loved fresh air so much, he filled his whole house with it...then sealed the windows and doors to preserve it forever...

Posted by John Weidner at 7:17 PM

July 28, 2004

It's OK to lie to show Bush lied #....hmmm, I've lost track.

Remember when the otherwise useless ex-ambassador Joe Wilson sabotaged our war efforts by claiming Bush lied about attempted Iraqi uranium purchases? And how he was suddenly the oracle-of-honesty? The advisor-to-presidential-candidates? And remember how the Democrats/news media fawned over him? And perhaps you've noticed how, now that his loathsome falsehoods have been exposed, they've just dropped him down the memory hole?

Well, Howard Kurtz put together some numbers, and Mike at Cold Fury created a very nice chart. Thank you Mike!
comparison of news coverage of Wilson--before and after his lies were exposed

Posted by John Weidner at 4:58 PM

July 24, 2004

The REAL danger...

ABCNEWS, July 23, 2004— Law enforcement officials are playing down an FBI report warning that domestic terrorists might attack media vehicles at the Democratic National Convention in Boston next week.
What's this you say? "Terroriststs?"

That's rich. If an Al Qaeda saws someone's head of on video, he's an "insurgent." Or a "militant." If he shoots an American soldier he merits being called "the resistance." But let the news media be threatened by some group of teenage skinheads, and that's "terrorism." (thanks Bill Quick)

Posted by John Weidner at 9:28 AM

July 19, 2004

Blogger hits the bigtime...

Chrenkoff's latest roundup of good news from Iraq is in OpinionJournal! Colossal!

His pieces are, of course, useful correctives to the distortions of the press. Plus any good news just makes me happy, and there's a lot of it today. And certainly the Iraqis could use some. Of course I imagine that a certain wavelengths of the political spectrum will look at this stuff and become...well...sad. Sorry guys, you have my sympathies. I know it's a hard time for you.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:21 PM

July 18, 2004

More unintended consequences...

* Update to previous post: I found this article on the Cheney family snarky but interesting. It's very telling; the NewsWeekies obviously don't care for the Cheney's, but can't find anything solidly bad to say to say about them. (Just as they write puff-pieces about Edwards, but can't find anything solid to praise him for.) They have to admit there is no evidence of any wrongdoing vis a vis the Halliburton Corporation.

More unintended consequences, at least for me. Newsweek calls the Cheney family stuff like: intense, prickly, insular, dangerous to cross.... Hey, I think I like these people! I'd like to get to know them better!

Vice president Cheney and his wife and daughters
'The Family,' left to right: Lynne,
Dick, Mary and Liz
photo: David Hume Kennerly

[Thanks for the link to Betsy Newmark, who notes: One of the authors is Evan Thomas, who said openly last week that the media wanted Kerry to win and would publish glowing reports about Edwards and Kerry. To back that up, Newsweek had a sickening kissup piece about how wonderful John Edwards is last week. I guess this article on Dick Cheney is their effort at balance: praise Edwards, bash Cheney. ]

Posted by John Weidner at 8:26 PM

July 15, 2004

"Assemblyman Arrested in Sex Scandal"

Bastardsword points out this article, from CNN, on the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The article is very positive, and says the states are making real progress under the goad of the new law.

And since it's a positive take, they leave out....ha ha, guess what? The name of the person responsible, President George W Bush! (There's also a long quote-collection of negative articles on NCLB--and of course not one of them fails to mention the culprit-in-chief...)

It's kinda like when you see a headline that says: Assemblyman Arrested in Sex Scandal. If they don't mention which party he belongs to, you know he's a Democrat.

This sort of media bias is like a chinese-water-torture of little irritations, each so small one feels embarrassed to fuss over them, though of course cumulatively they amount to a vast campaign of lies and distortions. The one comfort is that it's a sign of weakness, not strength.

The education reforms are, of course, being fought at every step by the satanic (and I use the word advisedly) alliance of the "teachers" unions and the "Democrat" Party. They are evil pair, sacrificing the hopes of the poor and minorities in a Faustian bargain [Perhaps one should say double-Faustian, since each side is selling its soul] to keep power. But the Democrats are now, deservedly, sinking into minority status. Hopefully the Republicans will be able to do some good, before the torrents of union campaign contributions start heading their way, and corrupting them.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:38 PM

July 12, 2004

Gag me with a spoon...

from Media Research Center:

....The media “wants Kerry to win” and so “they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic” and “there’s going to be this glow about” them, Evan Thomas, the Assistant Managing Editor of Newsweek, admitted on Inside Washington over the weekend. He should know. His magazine this week sports a smiling Kerry and Edwards on its cover with the yearning headline, “The Sunshine Boys?” Inside, an article carrying Thomas’ byline contrasted how “Dick Cheney projects the bleakness of a Wyoming winter, while John Edwards always appears to be strolling in the Carolina sunshine.” The cover story touted how Kerry and Edwards “became a buddy-buddy act, hugging and whispering like Starsky and Hutch after consuming the evidence.”

     Newsweek’s competitor, Time, also gushed about the Democratic ticket, dubbing them, in the headline over their story, “The Gleam Team.”

     Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz also realized the media’s championing of the Democratic ticket and made it a focus of his Sunday Reliable Sources show on CNN. The on screen topic cues: “Edwards Lovefest?” and “Media’s Dream Team.”

     Kurtz’s Washington Post on Sunday well illustrated the media’s infatuation with Kerry and Edwards. “Kerry Vows to Restore 'Truth' to Presidency,” announced a July 11 front page headline. Inside, on page A-8, a headline declared: “Kerry, Edwards Revel in Brotherhood of Campaign.”...[thanks to USS Neverdock]

“The Gleam Team??” "Carolina sunshine?" It is to BARF! If I were not already solidly behind Bush and Cheney, this would put me there. Dear Bleak Midwinter Cheney, you are my man. Even were I unaware of your many virtues and your long years of service, the very fact that the limp-wristed lollipop-liberals of our infantile news-media will never ever "see a glow about you" would do it for me.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:21 PM

July 11, 2004

It's OK to Lie to show "Bush Lied," # 914, 915...

A couple of tidbits from PowerLine. First, from the Senate Intelligence Committee Report. Remember Joe Wilson, and how he said he found no evidence of Iraq interest in Uranium from Niger? Said that the CIA report was false? Would you believe me if I said he DID find it, TOLD the CIA so, then LIED and said he didn't?

...So: what Wilson actually told the CIA, contrary to his own oft-repeated claims, is that he was told by the former mining minister of Niger that in 1998, Iraq had tried to buy 400 tons of uranium from that country, and that Iraq's overture was renewed the following year. What Wilson reported to the CIA was exactly the same as what President Bush said in his 2003 State of the Union address: there was evidence that Iraq had tried to buy uranium in Africa... [link]
Stupefying...

And from the corrections section of the NYT:

An Article last Sunday about surprises in politics referred incorrectly to the turkey carried by President Bush during his unannounced visit to American troops in Baghdad over Thanksgiving. It was real, not fake. [Link]
What's not mentioned is that the lie was invented by the press; that, despite immediate debunking by bloggers it was seized upon hungrily and spread around the world by the same lying press, and that the lie is still circulating in the press.

And also that there were plenty of other pictures available, which showed the President dishing-up obviously real chow for our people, and mingling with them happily in a way probably no living Democrat could equal. Photos that are the opposite in their effect of the famous one of Dukakis in a tank. Here's one that appeared in that stodgily respectable weblog Random Jottings:

President Bush serving on chow line

No surprise that that this one was suppressed. If we win the lottery I'll put it up on billboards, just to make the liars squirm...

Posted by John Weidner at 8:19 AM

July 10, 2004

It's OK to lie to show "Bush Lied" #913

When Joe Wilson made accusations against the administration, it was Page 1 news in the Washington Post. Of course.

Now it looks like he was lying! It's good the the WaPo has printed this article. Though apparently it's on Page 9 of the print edition...

...The panel found that Wilson's report, rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, as he has said, bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts. And contrary to Wilson's assertions and even the government's previous statements, the CIA did not tell the White House it had qualms about the reliability of the Africa intelligence that made its way into 16 fateful words in President Bush's January 2003 State of the Union address.

Yesterday's report said that whether Iraq sought to buy lightly enriched "yellowcake" uranium from Niger is one of the few bits of prewar intelligence that remains an open question. Much of the rest of the intelligence suggesting a buildup of weapons of mass destruction was unfounded, the report said...[Emphasis added.]

(Thanks to Betsy Newmark)

PS: Steyn says it better:

...National security shouldn't be a Republican/Democrat thing. But it's become one because, for too many Americans, when it's a choice between Bush and anybody else, they'll take anybody else. So, in ''Fahrenheit 9/11,'' if it's a choice between Bush and Saddam, Michael Moore comes down on the side of the genocidal whacko and shows us lyrical slo-mo shots of kiddies flying kites in a Baathist utopia. In the Afghan war, if it's a choice between Bush and the women-enslaving gay-executing Taliban, Susan Sarandon and Co. side with the Taliban. And in the most exquisite reductio of this now universal rule, if it's a choice between Bush and the CIA, the left sides with the CIA...

Posted by John Weidner at 8:15 AM

July 8, 2004

speaking as an aloof, indigestion-prone blog-world insider....

I don't have strong opinions about Mr Edwards, as a politician. (As an ambulance-chaser, my position is, "You hold this here wooden stake, while I swing the mallet.") For all I know he'd make a good President, should the burden fall to him. (I suspect that the burdensome fate that awaits him is to be a trivia question.) So I confess that I wasn't able to be the least bit upset by the ludicrous bias in this piece. I just thought it was hilarious:

...On hearing the news that the good-looking, charismatic Senator John Edwards had been named as his Democrat challenger, Vice-President Dick Cheney got on the phone to welcome him to the battle for the White House.

These will probably be the last warm words Mr Cheney has for his Democrat rival until election day in November. With unfavourable comparisons already being drawn between the silver-tongued, vigorous senator and Mr Cheney, the aloof, heart-attack-prone Washington insider, the Republican machine has gone into overdrive...

(thanks, Tim Blair)

Posted by John Weidner at 8:08 PM

July 3, 2004

I'm sure it was just an accident...

speaking of curious distortions by the newsmedia, Jaed notes:

O Times, o mores,...
The New York Times offers an email service, a daily summary with brief quote of top stories. Here's the summary of one of today's op-eds:
OP-ED COLUMNIST
All Hail Moore
By DAVID BROOKS
A beacon in the form of Michael Moore has appeared on the mountaintop, and tens of thousands have joined in the adulation.
And here's the first paragraph of the actual piece:
In years past, American liberals have had to settle for intellectual and moral leadership from the likes of John Dewey, Reinhold Niebuhr and Martin Luther King Jr. But now, a grander beacon has appeared on the mountaintop, and from sea to shining sea, tens of thousands have joined in the adulation.
Just a wee change in meaning there, no? Were I Brooks, I'd consider suing for libel.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:29 AM

Unidirectional...

Andrea Harris gives me something to munch with the morning's cuppa joe:

Oh, what a surprise: another journalist tells more lies! This is what I mean: read how the account (by a reporter on the scene who could by no stretch of the imagination be called a shill for the Bushitler Imperalist Hegemon) of the toppling of a statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad with the help of some American marines is transformed over a year after the fact into something completely conceived of and orchestrated by those dastardly military men! Go on, I’ll wait.

Notice how clever the reporter on the latter story is: he doesn’t lie brazenly, such as telling us the statue wasn’t toppled or there was no statue or it was all done in Adobe GoLive or something. No, he merely twists events that actually happened to fit his (and his paper’s?) agenda of controlling the way we remember recent history. I don’t think (as Captain Ed does) that journalists and editors at the LA Times or at any other paper are at all ignorant of how to use Google; I think they know very well how to correctly research their claims, but they are banking on the (I think correct) assumption that most of their readers take for granted that what they are publishing is true, and also that most people don’t remember what happened last week in the rest of the world outside of their own personal lives, much less last year. Taking this ignorance into consideration, the people who run the pro-news media have decided that the time is ripe to shape the future as they see fit. After all, it’s for our own good. Jeez, I hate these people more and more every day.

They deserve to be hated. And pitied.

Be of good cheer, Andrea. They are telling lies because they are desperate, because the light of truth shows them to be losers, and their party to be on the way out. They feel they need lies to counter the mind-rays Rumsfeld is beaming into everyone's tooth-fillings. (Ooops, sorry if teeth are a sensitive subject.)

Notice how "fiskings" always seem to go in one direction? If they could use facts to show how us Zombie Legions of Our Master the Vice-President are concocting good-news-from-the-GWOT out of cobwebs, they would study hard, and figure how to use Google in a matter of weeks...

Posted by John Weidner at 9:43 AM

June 29, 2004

"How do I know this? Because my fellow Marines and I witnessed it with our own eyes."

You really gotta read this, about some totally phony Washington Post Iraq reporting, by someone who was there and knows the truth.

..."The refusal of Marine commanders to recognize Fadhil's new title has fueled particularly intense anti-American sentiments here," Chandrasekeran continued. "In scenes not seen in other Iraqi cities, U.S. convoys have been loudly jeered. Waving Marines have been greeted with angry glares and thumbs-down signs."

Readers must have concluded that Kut was on the verge of exploding. The entire city was ready to throw out the despised American infidel invaders and install their new "mayor" as their beloved leader.

What utter rubbish. In our headquarters, we had a small red splotch on a large map of Kut, representing the neighborhood that supported Abbas Fadhil. When asked about him, most citizens of Kut rolled their eyes. His followers were mainly poor, semi-literate, and not particularly well-liked. They were marginal in every sense of the word, and they mattered very little in the day-to-day life of a city that was struggling to get back on its feet.

We knew the local sentiment intimately, because as civil affairs Marines, our job was to help restore the province's water, electricity, medical care, and other essentials of life. Our detachment had teams constantly coming and going throughout the city, and Chandrasekeran could have easily accompanied at least one of them.

Since he didn't, he couldn’t see how the Iraqis outside of the red splotch reacted to us. People of every age waved and smiled as we rumbled past (except male youths, who, like their American counterparts, were too cool for that kind of thing.) Our major security problem was keeping friendly crowds of people away from us so we could spot bad guys...

Slanted reporting to support the Liberal agenda is nothing new, though it is at a fever-pitch right now, due, I believe, to the 70-Year Cycle. My dad, who was in the nursery business, knew a greenhouse owner in the South. During the Civil Rights Era, this guy's face appeared on the cover of LIFE Magazine, as a grotesque rabble-rouser screaming up opposition to blacks. The trouble was, the photo was actually snapped at his company picnic, when he'd had a few drinks and was singing with his mostly-black employees...I'm sure millions of leftish types saw that picture, and thought of themselves as superior beings in contrast to the troglodytes of the Old South.

Posted by John Weidner at 1:41 PM

June 28, 2004

Mistakes

One thing that really bugs me are the people who write, with ponderous grief, that the coalition has made mistakes in Iraq. Of course we made mistakes. Every single war we've ever fought has been a mish-mash of mistakes and blunders!

So why did we usually win our wars? Because every single war anyone else has ever fought has been a mish-mash of mistakes and blunders! The very essence of war is blundering in the dark. Using human beings as fingertips, to try to locate sharp moving objects.

What's important is not 'avoiding mistakes." (I'd like to see the complainers point out the mistake-free war they are comparing to.) What's important is learning from mistakes. Learning and adapting quickly.

This is a good article on the subject:

What is striking in Iraq, though, is an emphasis on learning from mistakes and moving forward, because there isn't any alternative. This is noteworthy among two groups in particular: Iraqis who have signed on at considerable risk to build a new democratic government, and U.S. soldiers and Marines...

...When some Iraqi units fled in the face of attack in April, it prompted a debate here in Washington: Will Iraqis fight for themselves or won't they? In Iraq, allied officers examined cases where Iraqi units had stood their ground (in Mosul, for example), studied why other units had failed and tried to adjust accordingly. Marines near Fallujah discarded numerical quotas for training Iraqi troops and concentrated on finding a few good sergeants. Maj. Gen. Martin Dempsey, commander of the 1st Armored Division, turned to Iraqi party leaders to supply assigned numbers of troops and to tribal leaders for police recruits. He set up new joint operations centers, to enable coordination between U.S. and Iraqi forces even while allowing Iraqis to report up through their own chains of command.

The same kind of improvisational pragmatism is evident in Adnon Palace, where the new Iraqi government is taking shape in a frenzy of corridor encounters and cell phone conversations about armed forces organization, amnesty and reconciliation, paying civil service salaries, and a hundred other gargantuan challenges. "I want to guard against major expectations," said Barham Salih, the new deputy prime minister. "This is a country that is in dire trouble."...

One oddity about the article is that the author says: By noting this distinction, I don't mean to join with critics of "negative reporting." Iraq-based reporters are focusing on violence because that is overwhelmingly the most important story, shadowing everything else that happens...

But unconsciously that's just what he's doing. For instance, he notes that Iraqi units fought in Mosul and didn't run. But that wasn't reported! You never heard anything about it, while the Kerry-crowd drooled with pleasure at our problems in Falluja. But in fact, Mosul was the real news! Read this! Violence and terrorism in the Middle East isn't news! It's just dog-bites-man.

What happened in Mosul, what's happening in hundreds of Iraqi local council elections, is strange and new! News. Fascinating. Unprecedented. An Arab country acting like no other Arab country. But the news media have intentionally buried the real story, to help elect their candidate and preserve their sinking Party. Jerks.

Posted by John Weidner at 11:25 AM

June 26, 2004

4-G

If you are wondering about the term Fourth Generation Warfare, here's a sample of the sort of things that happen, from Belmont Club:

...In what was probably the most psychologically revealing moment of the battle, infantrymen fought six hours for the possession of one damaged Humvee, of no tactical value, simply so that the network news would not have the satisfaction of displaying the piece of junk in the hands of Sadr's men...

Posted by John Weidner at 11:12 AM

June 22, 2004

Thank you, Ali...

I'm trying to catch up on blog-reading after being away. It's hard. I just noticed this by Ali, at the indispensable IRAQ THE MODEL:

Iraqi soldiers save U.S. marine. I don't know why all we get (all of us) is pictures of a bunch of idiots throwing bricks at burned cars. Why don't they cover such stories!? Now of course I'm not surprised, I'm only disgusted by the attitude of the major media.
Disgusted is just the right word. Read the story, it's great! Thrilling. You won't see these things on TV or in your newspaper; the Media Wing of the Democratic Party suppresses such items. You're wasting your time, suckers, the era of the appeaser is about over.

Even if the newsmedia could suppress the truth entirely, even if they succeed in convincing Americans that Iraq is a hopeless quagmire, their party will still be crushed in November. It's probably impossible for the nihilist crowd to understand this, but ordinary Americans still believe in our country, in our freedoms and traditions. And we are willing to fight for them. And we will keep up our courage even in the darkest and most difficult times.

You watch. I'm predicting it. The War on Terror will be long and difficult, as the President has said. Democrats will continue to cackle with pleasure at every Coalition mistake and reverse, but ordinary Americans will just get more stubborn and tough and tenacious. (And if Ali is any indication, Iraqis will too.)

Posted by John Weidner at 10:15 PM

June 7, 2004

Prediction by Peggy

Reporters who regularly slammed Ronald Reagan while he was president are quietly seething now that they're forced to mouth platitudes about the man's greatness, former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan said Sunday night.

"[Journalists] are willing, over the next few days, to concede what is so obvious that they have to concede it - his personal goodness, etc.," Noonan told Matt Drudge on his radio show.

But with a solid week of commemorations for the conservative icon still ahead, liberal reporters will barely be able to contain themselves, she predicted.

"I'll bet they start pulling a few political [stunts] - kind of letting their biases out a little bit more. And I'll tell you, there's going to be an explosion next weekend [after Reagan is buried].

"That will mean that the elite journalistic media will have gone through seven days of talking kindly about Reagan," said Noonan. "I would say that by next Friday night, they're going to blow."[link]

They will bring up Iran-Contra for sure. Here's another view of that affair. The poor poor Nicaraguans...due to Reagan's meddling they've been stuck having elections ever since! Instead of a trendy Commandante that Hollywood lefties and Jimmy Carter and J. Kerry could fawn over. How tacky.

Ever notice how, once countries like Nicaragua start having elections, they drop off the map? That is, the media map. They are not news any more. If you measured things by media exposure, Cuba would be bigger than all the rest of Latin America combined! And if you are tempted to feel angry when Hollywood nitwits fawn over Castro, stop a minute to feel sorry for them! He's all they have left, in the entire Western Hemisphere!! One garrulous old gray-beard with a wrecked economy.

If the Left is acting crazy these days, sympathize a bit, think how they must feel, as whole chunks of the planet just vanish before their eyes...

Posted by John Weidner at 7:19 AM

June 2, 2004

Gratuitous references...

Best of the Web has started featuring gratuitous references to Abu Ghraib inserted into news stories. At first I found them infuriating. But on second thought, they are good news. Those guys are obviously desperate! The news media thought they had a new Watergate, that would propel them into the stratosphere of moral preening, and also bring their party back into power. But if they have to push the story in such a ridiculous fashion, then obviously the plan isn't working. It's just another news story.

Here's my imaginary gratuitous reference...

CONGLOMERATED PRESS, JUNE 2, 2004: President Bush, seeking to turn attention away from the growing scandal of abuse by U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison, sent a message of congratulations to Winifred Wilson, of Oblimquit, Maine, who is 110 years old today. Miss Wilson was a Red Cross volunteer during WWI, an conflict which brings to mind the disturbing stories of abuse and torture perpetrated by U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Winifred Wilson attributes her long life to "always looking on the bright side," and avoiding fatty foods..

Posted by John Weidner at 9:11 AM

June 1, 2004

softball....

There's something just unbelievable in today's Best of the Web. Just scroll down to the section: Salon Asks the Tough Questions. It's about a John Kerry interview in Salon. But Taranto doesn't post any answers. Just the questions. It's devastating.

You've heard of softball questions? This is softball taken to a new level, sort of like when you teach a child to bat, and you wrap your arms around him and hold the bat with him and help slap the ball into left field...

If you read my blog, you know why. It's the seventy-year cycle, and time's run out on the clock. Democrats are desperate, and they are acting crazy.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:09 PM

May 31, 2004

A request...

Tim at CPT Patti has a request. About a documentary film...

...Of his film he says it shows soldiers as who they are. Human beings. See, Mike seems to trust us to be able to handle the fact that human beings are imperfect. So his film isn't one that portrays the US Soldier a la John Wayne. But, more importantly in my mind, it shows soldiers being imperfectly GOOD as well as being imperfectly bad...something that CNN can't seem to do.

So far no one will buy Mike's film for showing on TV or other outlet. It isn't that it isn't good. They've told him it is very good! But they think we the public want more of the same crap they show on CNN day in and day out. (I'm guessing prison scandal movie producers are probably in bidding wars for their films).

So here is my special request. I volunteered to pray that a buyer would come forward to buy Mike's film. Really, honestly say a prayer to that effect.

And I'm asking if you will do the same...

Posted by John Weidner at 10:45 AM

May 27, 2004

More on the Abu Ghraib seven...

Remember the seven Iraqis...hands chopped off? And American doctors and hospitals donated time and effort to help them? Gave them amazing prosthetic hands? That seemed to me like a fascinating, heartwarming story. One that would sell newspapers.

President Bush greeted them at the White House yesterday. Good for him. But our vile despicable America-hating press doesn't consider that "News Fit to Print." Us morons of the public need to be shielded from news that doesn't make America look bad, and doesn't help Kerry.

...But the New York Times, which has offered perhaps the most hysterical coverage of the prison scandal, mentioned not a word in Wednesday editions of the seven torture victims.

That other elite media cheerleader for the U.S. prison scandal, the Washington Post, was nearly as bored as the Times by the Abu Ghraib seven, offering only a few scant references to the Oval Office event in its Wednesday editions.

After introducing the Iraqi torture victims, Bush went on to thank the Texas businessman and surgeon who made their rehabilitation possible and offered to take questions from the reporters on hand.

But the only "torture" journalists wanted to discuss was that allegedly perpetrated by U.S. troops.

"Mr. President, can you say why General Sanchez is being replaced as the top commander in Iraq? Is that in any way related to the prisoner abuse scandal?" asked the first questioner.

Likewise, the second reporter's question had nothing to do with the genuine torture victims sitting in front of him.

After two more off-topic questions, the president thanked the reporters and ended the session. [link]

Utterly disgusting. And also a form of theft--the editors who suppress interesting stories for political reasons, or from a general loathing of the things ordinary Americans find heartwarming, don't own the paper. The stockholders do. Their profits are being sacrificed to please the lefty whims of the employees.

Infuriating, but it's one more reason to savor the crushing of the Democrats next November...

* Update: Take a look at this, in Volokh.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:44 PM

May 26, 2004

The latest lying spin...

The Paper Formerly Known As The Paper Of Record (To borrow Rand Simberg's phrase) is forced to report that lab reports confirm the Sarin found in Iraq. But they are downplaying it like mad, mentioning the minor symptoms of those who handled the shell, but not mentioning the thousands it could have killed if the Sarin had been properly mixed and dispersed.

And pushing the new "stockpile" spin.

...Saddam's alleged stockpile of weapons of mass destruction was the Bush administration's chief stated reason for invading Iraq, but U.S. weapons hunters have been unable to validate the prewar intelligence that described those stockpiles...
This is just as much a lie as the "imminent threat" lie. (but of course any lie is justifiable if it shows "Bush lied.")

Go here to see what was actually said. State of the Union, January 2003. Scroll down to near the bottom. Notice something? Every single thing Bush said about Iraqi WMD's is still valid! Still TRUE! Still cause for concern.

Thanks to Powerline for the links.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:36 AM

May 25, 2004

The Internet routes around obstacles...

Says a pompous idiot:

..The press isn't reporting bad news from Iraq because they hate America, they're reporting bad news from Iraq because there's lots of bad news in Iraq...
Says someone who actually knows:
...The enemy has returned to the tactics of the weak….primarily coming after us with IEDs. And not with very much success. The Marines are very competent at finding the things now and, more importantly, local Iraqis, Iraqi Police, and Iraqi militia are telling us where they are or destroying them on their own. That is a significant step towards our ultimate goal. Much of our effort has turned to training Iraqi Security Forces (ISF); both on joint patrols and in training centers we have built over the last months. Result is a quantum improvement in ISF confidence and capabilities and the development of trust and camaraderie between ISF and the Marines conducting the training.. This training combines with our efforts to improve the quality of the average Iraqi life…hard to shoot at someone who is building you a school. The RCT has put almost $5M against schools, clinics, water projects, sewage projects, and ISF infrastructure. We are starting to see the fruits of our efforts This is a mission requiring patient persistence and it is working. Please keep that in the back of your mind when the nay-sayers start screaming...
C.A. Tucker
Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps [link. RTWT]
CO, RCT-7.
There is both good and bad news from Iraq. They should both be reported, but the Media Wing of the Democrat Party only reports the bad. Then Pompous gets to say, there's lots of bad news in Iraq.

If you are reading this you are part of "routing around obstacles." The campaign of suppressio veri suggestio falsi won't last forever. In fact, I'm expecting it to unravel just around October.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:15 PM

May 22, 2004

Rising prices tend to self-correct...

Steve Chapman in The Washington Times:

...The market economy's beauty is rising prices tend to self-correct. They stimulate investment, which in time raises output. But if the government threatens to step in every time prices jump, oil companies will see no point trying to expand reserves or boost production.
    The paradox is this: The surest way to get lower prices tomorrow is to put up with higher prices today, The surest way to get higher prices tomorrow is to insist on lower prices today.
    This is a matter not of theory but experience. When Ronald Reagan scrapped oil and gasoline price controls in 1981, critics said prices would soar. They did, but not for long. Supplies rose, consumption fell and prices began a long decline, which left us all swimming in cheap gas and spoiled beyond belief.
    In reality, today's prices aren't so high. Two dollars a gallon may sound onerous, but after adjustment for inflation, it's less than we paid from 1979 through 1985....(via Betsy Newmark)
Not long ago I quoted the Washington Times and some troll commented that, since Sun Myong Moon was one of the founders of the paper, it was tainted, and it should be presumed to be a sinkhole of lies and absurdity, (and also that I was tainted for quoting it.) That was just a bit of the lunacy certain people exhibit at the thought of losing their monopoly on public discourse.

Thinking about it, I would tend to turn the "tainting" around. The frequent good-sense one sees in the Washington Times makes the Moonys, by association, seem a bit less flaky.

Posted by John Weidner at 11:37 AM

May 18, 2004

It would seem like cheerleading...

Mr Lileks writes:

...The story of the prison abuse might have had a different impact if the media had chosen a different tack. The only news that hits the front page is bad news; the innumerable small fragments of good news don’t make A1 because papers have their standards, you see. We are expected to repair Iraq’s dilapidated electrical grid, so replacing an old generator and turning on the power to a neighborhood that’s had brown-outs for ten years is not news. Two Marines dead in an ambush is news because A) death leads, and B) that “mission accomplished” aircraft carrier photo op needs to be debunked, however subtly, as often as possible. The media has come to believe that reporting more good than bad somehow makes them suspect; it goes contrary to The Mission, which is to find out what’s wrong. I had the idea before Jarvis, but he was first to float it: a rebuilding beat. Every day, a story about what’s being accomplished large and small. I’d also pump for the occasional story of heroism, but I suspect that this would make editors uncomfortable. It might be true but it’s not . . . helpful. It would seem like cheerleading.

And we can’t have that.

This smothering gloom, this suppurating corrosion – this isn’t us. This isn’t who we are. If it is, well, we’re lost, because it contains such potent self-hatred that we’ll shrink from defending ourselves, because what we have built isn’t worth defending. Thanks for the push, al Qaeda! We’ll take it from here...

Cheer up, James. The self-hatred doesn't run as deep as it looks. If a Democrat were by some miracle wafted into the White House, the clouds of gloom would lift like magic. The positive side of things would suddenly be acceptable in the news.

The press is like those mafia guys in The Godfather: "Nothing personal, it's just business." They're Democrats, so it's their business to sabotage our country in time of (Republican) war. It's their business to heap abuse on our troops, to seek and cherish the bad and ignore the good. It's nothing personal that they make America look as bad as possible, and any country that opposes us look as good as possible. Just business.

What really gripes me is that, as a conservative, I don't forget the past. I don't dump it down the memory hole, or re-write it. So I am intensely aware that most of America's wars in the 20th Century were Democrat wars. And I am very aware that in each of those wars, Republicans put aside most of their partisan rancor and loyally supported their country. And we were glad when our soldiers were successful, even though it would help Dems politically. And sad when they were not successful. No Republicans glowed when our forces were defeated at Kasserine or LZ Bitch. No one called for resignations when 749 lives were thrown away at Slapton Sands.

In time of war we were Americans first and Republicans second. And not once in the 20th, (and now 21st) Century was the favor returned.

Posted by John Weidner at 11:50 AM

May 17, 2004

Tacit alliances

Belmont Club has an important post, News Coverage as a Weapon. It's the simple truth. Most of the terrorist acts that characterize 4th generational warfare are aimed at the press. Or at strengthening anti-war opposition parties.

Terrorists are in symbiosis with the press. And they are in symbiosis with those political parties that advocate appeasement. They are all three in tacit alliance, they feed off each other.

There is no doubt Saddam had chemical weapons in the not-too-distant past. And there is no evidence that the difficult measures needed to destroy them were undertaken. No evidence that they evaporated like the dew. So, he hid them. (In fact the old Soviet programs to help guys like Saddam and Assad create WMD's included advice on hiding them, and on using the Western press to create a fog of obfuscation.)

Why did Saddam hide his poison gas? Because he knew that our press and some of our politicians would use the situation to viciously attack the administration. He knew that the NYT, and many Democrats, were tacitly allied with him, and would leap at a chance to say "Bush lied." Would grab hungrily for any flimsy excuse to undercut their own country's war efforts and to advance their agenda. And, if the administration was weakened enough, he knew they would gladly let him back into power. And shed not a tear for the millions who would be slaughtered.

So now the real battlefields of the war have become domestic politics, and the press. In this country at least, the political problems will probably be fixed next November. The Democrats are by no means all anti-American, or appeasers. But the ones who are not have not stood up for principle. Have not said that it's wrong for their party to revel in American defeats. So we will probably be rid of many of them in November. As for the press, we've started, reluctantly, to fight back. To get into the news business. It's not a good thing, but it's necessary, and there will be more of it.

As for those non-existant WMD's? Well. bodies tend to float to the surface after a while...

FOXNews.com - Top Stories - Sarin, Mustard Gas Discovered Separately in Iraq:...Gazi George, a former Iraqi nuclear scientist under Saddam's regime, told Fox News that he believes many similar weapons stockpiled by the former regime were either buried underground or transported to Syria. He noted that the airport where the device was detonated is on the way to Baghdad from the Syrian border.

George said the finding likely will just be the first in a series of discoveries of such weapons.

"Saddam is the type who will not store those materials in a military warehouse. He's gonna store them either underground, or, as I said, lots of them have gone west to Syria and are being brought back with the insurgencies," George told Fox News. "It is difficult to look in areas that are not obvious to the military's eyes.

"I'm sure they're going to find more once time passes," he continued, saying one year is not enough for the survey group or the military to find the weapons...

* I see Glenn R is saying that the left is starting to change the spin. Saddam wasn't actively producing WMD's, so Bush lied.

* Update: I missed an opportunity for a great title. I could have paraphrased Wm. Randolf Hearst and written,"You provide the pictures and I'll provide the Quagmire."

Posted by John Weidner at 7:47 PM

May 16, 2004

Priorities

So here's the story.

Saddam Hussein orders 7 guys to have their hands amputated.

TV news producer arranges to have them flown to the US for treatment.

Makes documentary.

And...he can't find any broadcast or network station willing to air his film!

If some GI punched one of those guys in the nose, it would be huge news all over the world. No shortage of air-time would there be. But a story that makes Saddam look bad? No way. A story that makes the US look good? Not interested.

And what really gripes me is that those TV guys probably sit around preening themselves on their moral superiority, compared to the proto-fascist insects of the Bush administration.

And a lot of people get to take what they see on TV as evidence....

(found from a link by Scott Chaffin)

Posted by John Weidner at 5:18 PM

bogus...

From IraqNow:

...Not ones to let the facts get in the way of a good story, the editors of the Boston Globe chose to run with the pics even over the objections of the reporter on the piece.

The unimpeachable provenance of the photographs? Well, the Boston Globe traces them back as far as a Nation of Islam member.

Nice.

Not to beat on a dead horse, here, but had they actually had a veteran somewhere in the newsroom, he could have taken a look at the photos and instantly said they were fakes:

People hardly ever wear camoflage paint in Iraq. When they do, they don't wear it like that. The face camoflage in the photos on the Sex in War site is not done to military standard, or even close. No one who's ever been in the military would wear it like that.

There are patches missing. Ok, some people in Iraq have patches missing. But only on DCUs--not on obviously worn and faded green camoflage uniforms.

And those T-shirts aren't even issue. Nobody's running around in sleeveless T-shirts, although some guys cut the sleeves off in hot weather. But they aren't those kind of T-shirts, or even that color. Army T-shirts are brown. The Marines wear a sort of aqua green T-shirt.

And any Army or Marine Corps veteran in the newsroom could have spotted that instantly and said 'hey--these pics are bogus.' And thereby saved the newspaper from a major gaffe...

Nation of Islam member? errff. I bet I could have noticed someting off about those pix, just from having seen lots of pictures of our guys in Iraq, at Army Times and DefendAmerica.

And they ran the pictures over the objections of the reporter on the piece? Hungry, weren't they. Hungry for some delicious moral preening. No doubt they had to communicate their intuition, that our entire military, under the malign influence of Donald Rumsfeld, had turned into trailer-trash torturers...

Posted by John Weidner at 4:25 PM

May 14, 2004

Speaks for itself...

After playing a pivotal role as the first to broadcast photographs of Iraqi prisoner abuse which U.S. military officials feared would lead to death of Americans overseas, CBS News has declined to show the beheading of an American civilian killed in an apparent retaliation for the Iraqi images.

The decision--made first by the staff of the CBS Evening News, including managing editor Dan Rather--now an official news division policy, came on the same night that the network announced it was going to air footage of an American casually talking about killing Iraqi prisoners on tonight's 60 Minutes II program. [link]

(thanks to Henry Hanks)

Posted by John Weidner at 10:25 AM

Butterburr...

Andrea, concerning the selection of the images we should see, by our all-wise elite newsmedia:

...First we had the images of the people jumping from the World Trade Center, which were a no-no, because people might get all upset and sad (or worse, upset and mad). Now there is the butchering of Nick Berg by orcs disguised as humans. Wouldn’t we, Precioussss, prefer instead to watch the Abu Ghraib video nasties over and over again? Watching a fellow citizen have his head sawed (not chopped or cut – sawed) off by some man-shaped piece of sewage might get us all angry at other people, which is a no-no. (Unless those Other People are George Bush and crew. It’s okay to get mad at them. Just don’t get mad at any foreigners. Foreigners, especially ones who hate us, are Our Betters™. They know we don’t deserve to live.) Watching some grinning female diddling a prisoner in a hood is good, because it makes us feel all crawly and disgusting, and people who are paralysed by self-disgust can’t do anything to defend themselves...
You don't need to assume that the newsmedia is conspiring to elect Democrats (though I'm sure some of them are). It's the instinctive reaction of self-appointed elitists everywhere to try to keep the simple folk quiet and docile. But, to continue the Tolkien theme, the simple folk, though they may seem slow-witted, "can see through a brick wall given enough time..." My guess is that from here to November will be quite enough, thank you.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:41 AM

May 11, 2004

How I love the Internet!

In this post I wrote about Salvadoran Cpl. Samuel Toloza, who attacked Iraqi scumballs with a knife when he ran out of ammunition. It included this quote:

...Phil Kosnett, who leads the Coalition Provisional Authority office in this holy Shi'ite city, says he owes his life to Salvadorans who repelled a well-executed insurgent attack on his three-car convoy in March. He has nominated six of them for the U.S. Army's Bronze Star medal.
    "You hear this snotty phrase 'coalition of the billing' for some of the smaller contingents," said Mr. Kosnett, referring to the apparent eagerness of some nations to charge their Iraq operations to Washington. "The El Sals? No way. These guys are punching way above their weight. They're probably the bravest and most professional troops I've every worked with."...
Some troll commented that I shouldn't use stories from the Washington Times, since they are not anointed by the holy oil of liberalism.

So who just commented to set things straight? "Forget the Washington Times - I'm Phil's wife and I assure you this was an understated version of the story. It also appeared in several other papers throughout the world." -- Thank you Alison Kosnett!

And thanks to the other guys who commented. This is all tons more fun when I don't have to do it alone...

Posted by John Weidner at 8:05 PM

Give him the bum's Rush...

I caught a little of Rush Limbaugh this morning. He mentioned the infamous remark for which he has been catching so much flack. The context (I'm not meaning this as an excuse, mind, just providing a little info you'll never get from the press) was that he had at that point only seen two of the pictures, and he was bantering with his assistant (part of his schtick), not pronouncing an opinion aimed "at the audience."

But what I found very interesting was that, although the remark has been turning up in hundreds of newspapers, TV shows, columns, etc, not one single journalist has called Rush to ask about it!

And also, though over 10 hours of airtime on America's most popular radio show has been devoted to seriously discussing Abu Ghraib, not one other thing Rush has said has been reported anywhere!

Ahhh, our free press. A bulwark of Liberty. Protecting us from complicated ideas. And from those fascistic conservatives and Republicans...

* Update: There was another loathsome remark just made about Abu Ghraib. Right on the Senate floor. But his one is not getting press attention. Even though it was made by a famous politician, and is something that would sell a lot of papers. In fact it is being suppressed from news reports.

I wonder why.....

Posted by John Weidner at 6:02 PM

Priorities...

Dennis Prager writes:

...During the very same 10 days that every newspaper and television news program in the world featured photo after photo, day after day, of Iraqi prisoners being humiliated, a government not far from Iraq engaged in mass murder, mass rape and ethnic cleansing of approximately 1 million people.

Is that more serious, more evil and more scandalous than a handful of Americans sexually humiliating Iraqi prisoners?

Not to the world's news media...

Posted by John Weidner at 8:03 AM

May 9, 2004

Honks, cheers and sometimes tears...

The media-wing of the Democrat Party has no intention of showing us any images of 9/11. They don't think we are mature enough to resist those primitive urges to love our country, and defend her. Emotions which they have outgrown.

But suppressed images have a way of showing up anyway, Here's an interesting one...

Big Rig Honors Those Who Perished Sept. 11, 2001:
By K.L. Vantran, American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 3, 2004 – More often than not, as John Holmgren drives his big rig along the nation's roadways, he is greeted with honks, cheers and sometimes tears.

It is not Holmgren's driving that riles emotion. It's his message. The truck driver from Shafer, Minn., has transformed his 18-wheeler into a rolling memorial for the victims of Sept. 11, 2001.

"It's my way of showing that those who died aren't just a number," said Holmgren. "It's my way to say someone in America cares."...

Posted by John Weidner at 7:35 PM

May 8, 2004

Sympathy for the oppressed...

I don't watch CNN, but i hear they are giving a LOT of time to the prisoner scandal. Before you assume that it's because of that famous leftish empathy with the oppressed...

You might recollect this article, CNN Refuses to Report on Saddam’s Atrocities by Brian Yates:

...Possibly the only people unmoved by the sight of jubilant Iraqis dancing in the streets and tearing down statues of Saddam Hussein last Wednesday were the good people of CNN. In an op-ed written for Friday’s New York Times, CNN chief news executive, Eason Jordan admitted covering up knowledge of the brutality and atrocities committed by Saddam’s government.

Jordan tells of having Baghdad station employees abducted, beaten, tortured, and killed. He speaks of aides of Uday Hussein having their teeth ripped out with pliers for the inexcusable act of upsetting his boss. But never once did Eason Jordan or anyone else at CNN ever report on these atrocities. These people should be ashamed of themselves. They have allowed the brutality of the Iraqi regime to continue on, all the while promoting their own anchors at home who all oppose the war effort. If this isn’t an example of a media bias, I don’t know what is. And not only is it an example of media bias, but it is a bias that allowed countless Iraqi civilians to be killed...

(Thanks to Tim, whose wife, CPT Patti, is serving in Iraq)

Posted by John Weidner at 9:09 PM

Heartlands...

It's easy to start thinking that what happens in NY and Washington DC and the major media is what's real. This NYT article, A Giddy Heartland Gives Bush Warmth Missing in the Beltway is a good reminder that the iceberg one sees is just the 10% above the surface...

...It was, rather, for Air Force One's approach, which the news camera followed as if it was that of the space shuttle.

"You can see a smooth landing at the Dubuque Regional Airport," the anchorman, Scott Sanborn, said in a slightly hushed tone. "There is a lot of anticipation in Dubuque for the president's visit today."

That was putting it mildly. On local television and radio and in the main newspaper here, Mr. Bush's stop in this Mississippi River town, part of his three-day bus tour, has scored blanket coverage for days, much of it downright giddy...

What's hilarious is the obvious subtex of the article: it isn't right that the President should be able to go direct to the people! The press has already decided what the story is right now, and the President and these boobys in the heartlands are not following orders! Hee hee...
...Still, news directors and editors said they did what they could to counter Mr. Bush's campaign spin. Mr. Cooper pointed to a front-page article on Tuesday in which a 77-year-old World War II veteran complained he was refused a ticket to Mr. Bush's speech because he admitted to local organizers he would not support Mr. Bush. The newspaper tempered its coverage on Friday with an editorial referring to his claims that said, "It is disappointing that Americans had to pass a political litmus test to see their commander in chief."

On television, correspondents at all the major stations covering Mr. Bush's speech at the Grand River Center, on the banks of the Mississippi River here, took pains to remind viewers, "This is a very staged setting," as Mr. Steele of Channel 7 did. The later editions of the newscasts included reports about protests...

The article just assumes that it is the normal and proper thing for the media to be anti-Bush, and to hate being "forced "to cover his appearances. Assumes that they will do whatever possible to 'counter" his message. Jerks. Remember this when they claim not to be biased...

Posted by John Weidner at 10:57 AM

May 7, 2004

"...we felt the image was disturbing."

Jonah Goldberg writes;

...Within 48 hours of the 9/11 attacks, the major news networks and leading newspapers were settling on a policy to stop showing images of victims leaping to their death from the World Trade Center. NBC ran one clip of a man plunging to his death, and then admitted it was a mistake. An NBC News V.P. told The New York Times, "Once it was on, we decided not to use it again. It's stunning photography, I understand that, but we felt the image was disturbing."

In fact, post-9/11 coverage illuminates an interesting cultural cleavage in the media. When shocking images might stir Americans to favor war, the Serious Journalists show great restraint. When those images have the opposite effect, the Ted Koppels let it fly... (via Betsy's Page)

The number-one priority for Ultras, both here and across the water, is to keep ordinary people asleep. Especially people of the English-speaking countries, who have some mysterious deep-rooted reluctance to being saddled and ridden.

There's no conspiracy; they don't need one because they are all on the same wavelength. Go anywhere in the developed, Western world, and you will find the same sort of people in favor of high taxes, government schools, gun-control, government TV and radio stations, and heavily regulated economies. And against Christianity and George W Bush. And in perfect agreement that ordinary people are a dangerous beast best kept placated and asleep.

And they all instinctively understood that the Global War on Terror was a catastrophe for them. Something to be downplayed, denied, hidden, fudged-over. Derided as nasty and primitive and illegal. And that the United States of America and its allies must be hindered!

Twenty tons of chemical weapons were recently seized in Jordan from Al Qaeda agents with many Iraq connections. That's not news! No "investigative reporters" are asking where that stuff might have come from. Don't arouse the beast. Play up Abu Ghraib for all it's worth, to make people feel humbled and doubtful about the War.

From an interview on the subject:

...But there's no doubt these guys confessed on Jordanian television that they received the training for this mission in Iraq. . . And from the description it appears this is the form of nerve gas known as VX. It's very rare, and very tough to manufacture . . . one of the most destructive chemical mass-production weapons that you can use. . . They wanted to build three clouds, a mile across, of toxic gas. A whole witch's brew of nasty chemicals that were going to go into this poison cloud, and this would have gone over shopping malls, hospitals . . . .
That's not news! Pay no attention. There is no war. I'm going to count to three and snap my fingers. You will awake. Television will be over for the night, and it will be time to go to bed. One...Two...

Posted by John Weidner at 11:19 AM

May 6, 2004

Our military's system works...unlike certain others.

OpinionJournal points out that it's our military, not the press, that discovered the prisoner abuse, and has been working to fix it.

...This is a cover-up? Unlike the Catholic bishops, some corporate boards and the editors of the New York Times or USA Today, the military brass did not dismiss early allegations of bad behavior. Instead, it established reviews and procedures that have uncovered the very details that are now used by critics to indict the Pentagon "system." It has done so, moreover, amid a war against a deadly insurgency in which interrogation to gain good intelligence is critical to victory--and to saving American lives...
Democrats are now trying to turn this into a Watergate-like scandal, and use it to attack the President. I think they are making a big mistake!

They are betting on the stupidity of American voters. But I suspect that the simple folk will knit those thick Neanderthal brows, and slowly put 2 and 2 together. "Terrorists attack us. Ugh! Bush attack terrorists. Ummm. Democrats attack Bush...1 - 2 - 3 - many time...Urrghhh. Me not see wisdom here." [For the simple folk of Internet-Land, that's a joke.]

And our press. The Media Wing of the Democrat Party. Where was their concern about prisoners when Saddam was in power? In fact we learned belatedly that the press had been actively covering up Saddam's crimes to preserve "access." But they wouldn't have reported them anyway. It wouldn't have been "news," not unless it could somehow hurt Republicans.

Our press is doing its best to create the quagmire they want to have happen. Doing its best to re-create the Watergate/Vietnam era, the only time the world seemed to work the way it's supposed to. A world where "brave" and "honest" reporters, and activists and "Democrats" stymied and humiliated the US, sold free people into Communist slavery, and strutted and preened forever after on the moral high ground.

I hope and pray this all backfires on them. Surely people will notice that all this concern for Iraqis clicks-on the moment it can hurt Bush? And will click-off if it doesn't seem to be hurting him? If a Democrat were in the White House we would be hearing about how "the system works," and how "our leaders have moved quickly to fix a minor problem"...Remember how tear-jerking stories about the "homeless" disappeared the moment Clinton was elected? And reappeared as soon as Bush became President?

The feeding frenzy over this will hearten our enemies and discourage our friends. It will therefore result in more deaths of American soldiers. And moderate Iraqis. The Dems are murdering our people for political gain. They care nothing about those Iraqi prisoners, the issue will disappear the instant it can no longer hurt Bush. A new Iraqi government will almost certainly be less squeamish about prisoners rights than we are. But don't expect any press coverage over their prisons unless the new government is very pro-Bush.

I'll repeat myself. The Democrats and their press-allies are deliberately killing American soldiers. Our failure in Iraq will help Kerry, and that's all they care about. They have no positive program or agenda, no vision of hope or joy to offer voters. Their only chance to get back in power is through American failure. If the economy goes bad or we fail in war, that's good news for them. That's what they want.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:10 AM

May 2, 2004

golf in a lightning storm...

Cori gets it right, concerning Ted Koppel's names of the fallen TV event:

...But I mention that piece to draw attention, again, to Nightline's executive producer, who is still peddling the same line:

"If you agree with the war or disagree with the war, these people here have died in our names. We think it's the least we can do, to list their names."

No, sir. That's the least we can do, as private citizens, in Memorial Day services. You, on the other hand, are the head of a large news organization and have a choice. The least you can do is to report their deaths fully, accurately, and in context. You have not been doing it...

That's for sure. Most news media are trying to leave us with the impression that George Bush is sending soldiers out to play golf in a lightning storm.

And I don't know if it's intentional, but they are also broadcasting loud and clear the message: "Just kill a few more of us, and we'll wimp-out and go home." What ABC is doing is terrible. Right now the message the world hears from us should be:
"Nemo Me Impune Lacesset" (No one wounds me with impunity)

Instead, Ted Koppel is killing American and Coalition soldiers. He's telling terrorists to kill us and help elect Kerry. Our TV and our debates go around the world. And right now terrorist scumbags are watching Nightline and thinking: "Mogadishu. It's happening. Took awhile, but it's just like Osama said. Americans can't take it. We just have to keep it up a little longer, and they'll crack."

My guess: We will keep getting hit hard until the election next November. When the terrorists discover they can't put Zapatero Kerry into the White House they will lose heart.

* Update: I just noticed this:

... "After listening to all the debate, then watching the show, we think the folks at 'Nightline' made a mistake this week, listing all the brave men and women who have died in Iraq, but without providing the context of what they went half way around the world to do.

"So next week, we here at 'Fox News Sunday' are going to put together our own list, a list of what we've accomplished there, with the blood, sweat, and yes, lives of our military....

Thank you FOX.

* NOTE: The image is from Georgia currency of the Revolutionary War. The motto means "No one wounds me with impunity" or perhaps "No one will provoke me with impunity."

Posted by John Weidner at 4:28 PM

May 1, 2004

Here's yet another flag-draped coffin...

I'm posting another one, to express my utter contempt for the despicable worms of our "press," who are complaining about not being able to photograph the coffins of our war dead.

There are LOTS of coffins available to be photographed. What the press wants is to embarrass the Administration and demoralize our country in time of war. (And to avoid going to Steubenville.) They aren't worthy to clean the boots of our Marines...

Marines carry the coffin of Lance Cpl. Michael J. Smith Jr

Marines carry the coffin of Lance Cpl. Michael J. Smith Jr. from Grace Lutheran Church in Steubenville, Ohio, on Wednesday. Smith, who died April 18 during combat in Iraq, was remembered as a man known for pranks, an offbeat sense of humor and a moral compass that helped to guide other men. -- Dale Sparks / AP photo
Found at Army Times, 4/29/04

Posted by John Weidner at 3:49 PM

April 17, 2004

Questions....

Andy Rooney included in an editorial five questions that should be asked of our soldiers in the field. Blackfive dealt with the editorial briskly here, but passed the Q's on to those overseas. Sgt Hook, in Afghanistan, solicited anonymous answers from his troops. Here's one:

... 3. Do the orders you get handed down from one headquarters to another, all far removed from the fighting, seem sensible, or do you think our highest command is out of touch with the reality of your situation?

Well, the Commanding General has been here several times, has flown on our aircraft on numerous occasions as has every leader in the chain of command to include the Secretary of the Army, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, and the Commander in Chief himself went to Iraq. If anything, I’d say the press was out of touch with the reality of our situation...

Andy Rooney, who should have retired years ago, probably didn't imagine that the Internet would allow his questions to be promptly answered.

The questions are obviously rhetorical. The one above is an example of the logical Fallacy Of Presupposition, where the form of the question presupposes the answer. It's funny how often you get stuff like that from people who claim Bush is dishonest...

Posted by John Weidner at 2:18 PM

April 13, 2004

Good point...

by Tim Graham at the Corner:

May I add that this whole emphasis on apologies and admissions of error is especially lame coming from reporters at the TV networks, which make on-air corrections about as often as we change presidents.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:06 PM

April 3, 2004

The voters are morons, they must be guided by their betters...

Ed Driscoll notes:

QUITE A DOUBLE STANDARD AT ABC: Here's Nightline Executive Producer Leroy Sievers on Fallujah:
"War is a horrible thing. It is about killing," ABC News "Nightline" Executive Producer Leroy Sievers said in an unusual message to the program's e-mail subscribers discussing the issues posed by Wednesday's killings. "If we try to avoid showing pictures of bodies, if we make it too clean, then maybe we make it too easy to go to war again."
And here's ABC News chief David Westin on 9/11:
"The question is, are we informing or titillating and causing unnecessary grief?" ABC News chief David Westin told the New York Times just days after the Sept. 11 attack. Explaining why his network decided not to show any pictures of people leaping to their deaths at the World Trade Center, he said, "Our responsibility is to inform the American public of what's going on, and, in going the next step, is it necessary to show people plunging to their death?"
Some have suggested that ABC isn't quite on our side. Maybe, but my guess is that this is pure partisan politics. They grasped instantly that our being at war would help Bush, and almost immediately began downplayng the attacks and upplaying everything that went wrong. If Gore had been in the White House, it would have been "Rally round the flag folks."

Posted by John Weidner at 8:51 AM

March 24, 2004

truly puke-worthy Bush Hatred

Jonah Goldberg writes:

Does anybody remember the nasty insinuations shortly after 9/11 about how Bush "ran away" from Washington for fear of attacks on the White House? The Salon wing of the punditocracy, for example, insisted that, in Joe Conason's words, "The Bush administration told an outrageous lie that the president was a target of terrorists." In classic Conason style, he turned his outrage to 11 on every knob....
Now Richard Clarke, in his book, is claiming credit for keeping the president out of Washington that day! And Conason? His words:
"...To be honest, it seemed to me that you saved their asses that day."
Do read Jonah's piece, it's short, but a gemlike example of truly puke-worthy Bush Hatred.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:07 AM

Quote for today

David Carr, at Samizdata, on The Guardian's showing us the "Yassin we never knew."

"Yassin the wise, Yassin the benevolent, Yassin the humanitarian. He was a gift to mankind. It was said of Yassin that he could light up a room, though he generally preferred lighting up buses and cafes."

Posted by John Weidner at 7:28 AM

March 23, 2004

LeftHypocrisy Report #87,391

Remember when Roger Ailes, the head of Fox news, sent, after 9/11, a personal letter to President Bush urging him to take strong measures against terrorists?

He was widely condemned by the Media Wing of the Democratic Party for such a shocking example of partisanship. The NYT had several articles and editorials condemning Ailes, (though they made no criticism at all when Walter Cronkite revealed that he had worked for Bobby Kennedy.)

Now Dave Huber at Oh That Liberal Media has a long list of journalists who are helping Kerry. I will just sit here a while and wait for the outpouring of outrage.

Actually, I would guess that most members of the press are like people around here, and don't even consider helping Kerry to be doing anything. Being for the Democrat is just too normal, like breathing.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:01 PM

March 20, 2004

deceiver...

The Belgravia Dispatch has a nice long dissection of some of Josh Marshall's latest lies:

"If Susan Sachs can read the Pew Center poll accurately, why can't Josh?

Maybe because, quoting Josh's intemperate smear of Perle (and assorted unnamed "folks"): "it's the essence of how these folks think, how they deceive themselves when they're not busy deceiving others." "

You can judge for yourselves, the actual quotes, the actual poll results are laid out before your wondering eyes.

That's how us vile right-wing warbloggers make a case. With facts. With evidence. Not that the sort of people who read Marshall will care about those.

(Thanks to Henry Hanks)

Posted by John Weidner at 10:37 AM

"Did you notice Bush and Cheney wearing the flag?" How icky!

The Media Research Center's Dis-honor Awards for the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2003 can be seen here.

My favorite, in the I Hate You #!*#! Conservatives category, is:

“I decided to put on my flag pin tonight -- first time. Until now I haven’t thought it necessary to display a little metallic icon of patriotism for everyone to see....I put it on to take it back. The flag’s been hijacked and turned into a logo – the trademark of a monopoly on patriotism. On those Sunday morning talk shows official chests appear adorned with the flag as if it is the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval and during the State of the Union did you notice Bush and Cheney wearing the flag? How come? No administration’s patriotism is ever in doubt, only its policies. And the flag bestows no immunity from error. 

“When I see flags sprouting on official lapels, I think of the time in China when I saw Mao’s Little Red Book on every official’s desk, omnipresent and unread. But more galling than anything are all those moralistic ideologues in Washington sporting the flag in their lapels while writing books and running Web sites and publishing magazines attacking dissenters as un-American....I put it on to remind myself that not every patriot thinks we should do to the people of Baghdad what bin Laden did to us.” 
-- Bill Moyers on PBS’s Now, February 28, 2003.

There's lots more. Lunacies for every taste. Leslie Stahl: “How did we get to a place where much of the world thinks that George Bush is more evil than Saddam Hussein?”. Or Howell Raines: “Our greatest accomplishment as a profession is the development since World War II of a news reporting craft that is truly non-partisan, and non-ideological...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:28 AM

March 15, 2004

Rot starting at the top...

Cori Dauber puts her finger on something very wrong. She's writing on the reactions of various newsmedia to Madrd and the Spanish elections. About the NYT:

...The Times also goes further, providing a news analysis piece about the implications of the vote but, in true Times style, they see the implications not for the War on Terror, not for the likelihood of more attacks, not for American policy -- but for Bush! "Blow to Bush: Ally Rejected" reads the headline....

...To me this just suggests a level of personalizing our foreign policy, and the War on Terror, that again proves the point I keep going back to: it isn't real for them. It's hype. It's about a rhetorical ploy on the part of a particular party to make the President look like the "Commander in Chief." And so the Spanish elections aren't read through the way they would impact the war because the war isn't that real and thus isn't that important. The elections are read through the way they impact Bush because it's all about him to begin with: it's his policy, his creation.

Both Iraq and the larger War on Terror are, for the Times, "Bush's War" in the most absolute way possible...

How I loathe those prissy shrimps. Their country is at war, the whole world is at war, and they lean back in their chairs and sneer. "It has nothing to do with us."

Posted by John Weidner at 7:52 AM

March 14, 2004

Some Steyn...

The inimitable Steyn, on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's headlline: Accused Spy Is Cousin Of Bush Staffer

...It's one thing for the press to be anti-war and feel Saddam should be given another decade or two to come into compliance with Security Council resolutions. It's quite another to be so smitten with the old butcher that your copy editors internally absorb Baath Party tribal politics and assume that mere second cousinship with members of the Bush clan automatically puts you in the inner circle. To be fair to the Associated Press, they sent the story out on the wires with the headline, ''Woman Named In Spy Case Worked As Journalist, Congressional Aide.''

What's that? ''Worked As Journalist''? Well, there's an angle the Seattle guys unaccountably missed. Before she went to work for the Democratic Party, Lindauer worked for . . . the Seattle Post-Intelligencer...

Files, files, miles 'o files. I too have criticisms of the Iraq Campaign. Among them, we should not have bombed ANY Iraqi government buildings. We should have been dropping paratroopers on them, with orders to treat them like the lost library of Alexandria...

Posted by John Weidner at 9:19 AM

March 7, 2004

Useful idiots

Richard Bennett pours some cold water on those who think Howard Stern is the victim of persecution by a puritanical Bush Administration...

...The big fine levied against Stern by the Clinton Administration served to raise the bar for shock jocks, essentially providing Stern with the franchise for tasteless radio programming. Nobody could compete unless they were able to pay such a fine, and nobody who didn't already have a huge audience could get a syndicator.

So now Stern has climbed upon a cross and declared himself a victim of Bush and the Religious Right, weaving a web of lies to cover himself, such as the claim that he can't go to XM radio because it's 30% owned by Clear Channel (the correct figure is somewhere between 4 and 8%...

How far will this idiot go to promote himself, and how gullible are his supporters?...

How gullible? If you are criticizing Bush, they make Scientologists look cool and skeptical...

Posted by John Weidner at 7:46 AM

March 5, 2004

Bloggers on the case...

Poliblog makes some good points on the suspicious nature of the "outrage" generated by images of 9/11 in the Bush ad spots.

...Also, Michael Medved raised an interesting point: how did the press find, so quickly, outraged families of 911 victims within approximately 24-48 hours of the commercials airing, and why does that rate as the top story on the newswires (as I type it is the main story at the Yahoo News politics section, via the AP and is also a top story at Reuters)? It seems unlikely that there was sufficient outrage generated in that brief a time for the AP and Reuters to discover the story without looking for it. Rather, it seems fairly obvious that some reporters sought out victims' families to interview and ran with those who are outraged....
I'd guess they didn't have to seek them out, that the "news" was pre-packaged for them.

The post is also an interesting example of how blog commenters can add useful information to a story.

One person narrows down the timing—it sure looks like the press was prepared with outrage-prone people before the spots even ran. Another points out that most of those quoted are members of a lefty group that opposed even the invasion of Afghanistan. Bit of sampling-error there, eh?

A third commenter points out that not all of the outraged are from the fringes—that the The International Association of Fire Fighters called the ads "disgraceful." Then a fourth person points out that the President of the IAFF just happens to be the co-chair of Kerry's campaign!

(thanks to Betsy Newmark)

Posted by John Weidner at 7:25 AM

February 7, 2004

"dripping with condescension"

The Washington Post has had the honesty to publish a damning review of a book by one of their own writers, The Perfect Wife, a book about Laura Bush by Ann Gerhart. (I couldn't find a link--the quote is from an article by Noemi Emory.)

...Does the phrase "dripping with condescension" strike you as excessive? It's not. It describes accurately the slant Gerhart brings to her evocations both of the South and of Texas, and of the 1950s and '60s, in which Laura grew up...

...Her take on the place is that Texas is a strange asylum populated by childlike folk whom she describes in a sort of white-darky dialect that is every bit as offensive as the original version. Here she is describing Laura's mother, Jenna Welch: "She is much loved, and she gets around quite ably, Jenna does, for a woman born in l9l9." Does she? Lawsy me!

Laura grows up, and one day leaves Texas, but to Gerhart, things only get worse. She marries--the horror--a Republican politician, whose loathsome ideas she is forced to support, if just indirectly, by backing him. Gerhart's view of Bush seems expressed best by someone she describes as a "civic leader" in Austin: "George is a very likeable man if you divorce him from his politics," it being a given that these are uncivilized.

As Gerhart comes to believe that Laura is in fact an intelligent, cultured, sensitive woman, she reads into Laura the beliefs Gerhart thinks are the only ones possible for cultured and sensitive women, which is to say, her own....

(via Betsy Newmark)

Posted by John Weidner at 9:24 AM

February 1, 2004

Balanced news...

Cori tips us off that at the very bottom of this gory article, 3 GI's Among 12 Killed, after you read past the severed arms and legs, you find this:

...Despite the violence, there were signs of progress on Saturday. Officials at Iraqi's central bank announced they had granted licenses to operate in the country to three foreign banks: Standard and Chartered, HSBC and the National Bank of Kuwait.

If the banks open on schedule, in mid-March, they will be the first foreign banks in Iraq in decades..

Of course it's not NEWS that banks are moving money and operations into Iraq. No no no. Not worth mentioning on its own. Stick that stuff in after the 'splodeydopes...

Posted by John Weidner at 5:21 PM

viewed through a certain lens ...

Cori Dauber writes:

....Reporters tell people who the candidates are "as people," that rquires a master narrative, and once that narrative is in place (Gore dissembles, Bush just ain't that smart) that is the lens through which the campaigns are viewed. As Bill Krystal noted the other day, if Bill Clinton ("brilliant but disorganized") misspells potato, it isn't even a one-day story. It was a mistake, he must have been tired, or distracted, man needs more caffeine, what's the big deal? If it gets any coverage it's as a cute and humanizing moment. If Dan Quail ("empty suit") misspells a word, the campaign can't shake the story...
She speculates about the likelihood that a lot of information about Dean and Kerry was ignored by the press because it didn't fit the "master narrative." Dean raising heaps of money fit, Dean spending it recklessly didn't fit, and so was ignored.

I once read a fascinating account of the CIA under Reagan. One of Reagan's people started asking the question, Suppose the Soviet Union doesn't work? Do we have any evidence of that?" It turned out that there was a LOT of evidence. Stories of food riots and industrial strikes. The evidence had been ignored as long as our "master narrative" was that the Soviet Union was a superpower much like us, and the question for the CIA was to assess its strengths.

Probably something similar happened with the WMD's in Iraq. No one thought to ask "Do we have any evidence that Iraq's weapon programs are Potemkin Villages?" The curious aflatoxin story might have fit that bill.

Posted by John Weidner at 11:04 AM

January 30, 2004

tower of lies...

Wretchard writes:

...The strangest thing about the entire episode was how little anyone in the BBC knew about the actual facts. What Kelly really said. What Gilligan really heard. What the intelligence report really described. The very men who pretended to tell the world about the nuances of the Arab-Israeli conflict and about the cultural currents on a planet hostile to America, could not in the end tell themselves what was in their own correspondent's electronic notebook: even though they had built a towering castle of lies upon it. In a building festooned with telephones, awash in computers, with journalists from the best Oxbridge colleges, nobody knew. Nobody knew...

... In organizations of a certain type, where things must always be as they are imagined, the Emperor must always be magnificently clothed; and the last Five Year Plan always an unparalleled success. Survivors who report that their units have been wiped out are shot at once because such things never happen in the Red Army....

Posted by John Weidner at 4:40 PM

January 29, 2004

My posts are accurate (measured by the Gilligan Standard)

Best of the Web notes:

...Meanwhile, the Press Association, a British wire service, quotes a document Gilligan submitted to the Hutton inquiry, in which Gilligan argued that reporters should be allowed a "margin for error": "It is important to have in mind that in the context of political reporting, it can be right to report matters, even if it later turns out that they are untrue."...
Republicans, of course, do not have a "margin of error." Any inaccuracy or mistake is a LIE, and a scandal.

Perhaps we bloggers, when indulging in the almost daily ritual of pointing out errors and omissions in the work of the NYT, BBC, etc, should note that, under the Gilligan Margin of Error Standard, deliberately distorting the news to aid a left-wing agenda is considered to be acceptable.

Posted by John Weidner at 1:13 PM

January 28, 2004

The Man Behind the Curtain...

Quoting that invaluable media critic, Cori Dauber:

...But I agree with him that the problem is that the media wants to choose a particular narrative frame for any story, present it to us as if it were "self-evident," and gets very, very, cranky when we want to see "the man behind the curtain." Why do you think the responses to Fox are so over the top, nearly hysterical? By framing stories differently, whether you want to call that conservative spin or something else, the main thing Fox does is to demonstrate that which frame is chosen for a particular story is in fact a choice .....
That's probably why one hears denials, given with a straight face, that there is Liberal bias in the media. Even the possibility is taboo, because it reveals that there is someone behind the curtain, pulling levers and making decisions about what is to be "news," and what is to be ignored...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:36 PM

January 14, 2004

Rem acu tetigisti

den Beste writes this morning, in a nice post on media bias:

Rule number one for all reporters in Iraq and their editors back home:
Thou shalt not report any good news without also including bad news. Thus shalt thou maintain balance. (However, reporting bad news without any offsetting good news is perfectly acceptable.)

Posted by John Weidner at 7:54 AM

January 4, 2004

"The press missed a wonderful story that windy day"

When you read the media complaints about not being allowed to photograph the caskets of soldiers at Dover AFB, remember this story, by a woman whose son was killed in Afghanistan. The press were invited to come. Of course what those lying slimeballs want is not to honor our war dead, but to find ugly images to boost ratings and hurt Bush...

...the liaison from the Ranger regiment assured me that the press had been notified. We walked out on the tarmac next to the open cargo door of the enormous commercial jetliner, but when we turned to face the area set aside for the media, there was only a lone cameraman from the Ranger battalion.

The press missed a wonderful story that windy day. It took only a few moments for the nine members of the Ranger guard to remove the casket from the aircraft and for a crisp formation of 12 soldiers to snap to attention and salute. As they did, every construction worker and security guard, every person within sight of this small, simple ceremony came to a standstill to pay his respects. They may not have known my son's name, but they knew he was a soldier who had died in defense of his country. I was grateful that I could see through my tears to witness their tribute....

The reason the press wants to photograph at Dover is because there isn't any ceremony there. (That comes later.) I'd advise the President to lift the ban on photographers, but also to order the use of flags and honor guards for a solemn reception. The press would come once, then then hastily drop the whole issue. Because they know darn well that real Americans are going to react like those onlookers in the story. (Or like this.) And it won't be the President who looks small, it will be the chihuahuas who are biting his ankles. (via Betsy Newmark)

Posted by John Weidner at 2:44 PM

December 29, 2003

Good evening, and welcome to 'All Is Lost'

What a loss the death of Michael Kelly was. Pejman just linked to this column from 11/2001, which is still hilarious and painfully true.

Good evening, and welcome to 'All Is Lost,' the nightly public affairs program produced by National Public Radio and the British Broadcasting Corp. Tonight we discuss what has been called America's war against terror. I am your host, Perfectly Modulated Voice of Reason.

"With me, in our Washington studio, are: Fabled Newsman Who Was There When Saigon Fell . . . Scientifically Trained Impartial Scholar . . . and Bureau Chief of Second-Rate Regional Monopoly Newspaper Who Is Desperate to Be Hired by the New York Times. From London, we are joined by our European affairs analyst, Loathes America and Prays for Its Swift Destruction....

[there is a long description of splendid news, with rebellions toppling islamist regimes in Iraq and Iran and Afghanistan, and Bush presented with Osama's head on a pike]

...."Gentleman, given all this, the question is obvious -- Is there any reason to even go on?"

Chorus: "No . . . no . . . utterly hopeless . . . doomed . . . repudiation of entire U.S. strategy. . . . A colossal failure . . . no hope."...

...Perfectly Modulated: "Fabled Newsman, what says the view from inside the Beltway?"

Fabled Newsman: "Been there. Best and brightest. Tet. Vietnamization. No light at the end of the tunnel."

Perfectly Modulated: "And would you go so far as to say . . . "

Fabled Newsman: "Yes. Absolutely: Quagmire. Quagmire. Quagmire. Quagmire. Waist deep in the Big Muddy. Quagmire."

Perfectly Modulated: "Desperate to be Hired by The Times, what's your take?"

Desperate to be Hired: "Whatever Fabled Newsman said goes double for me. With bells on. You bet. Count me in. Ditto."

Perfectly Modulated: "Now let's go to our European analyst, Loathes America, for the insight from over there. Loathes, what is the mood of Europe tonight?"

Loathes America: "Bleak, of course. And properly so. I mean, one does not wish to say that this debacle is what America deserves for its arrogance, its vulgarity, its bullying ways -- well, actually one does wish to say it, doesn't one rather? Really, one just hates America. Really, one always has, ever since one was just a little chap."

Perfectly Modulated: "Thank you, Loathes America. A valuable insight as always. Gentlemen, last thoughts?"

Scientifically Trained: "Things could hardly be worse."

Loathes America: "Nonsense. That Pollyanna optimism so typical of you naive colonials. Things could always be worse. And will be. Thank G-d."

Fabled Newsman: "Quag . . . "

Desperate: " . . . mire."

Perfectly Modulated: "And that wraps up another edition of 'All Is Lost.' Good night, and pleasant dreams.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:18 PM

December 22, 2003

another petty tyrant suddenly gets friendly

You've probably already seen Greyhawk's tableau of TIME covers. Dead on. Time has been doing its sneering best to disparage and misrepresent our war efforts, and now suddenly they preen themselves on their support for our people, by having US soldiers as the "Man of the Year.". What phonies.

Anyway, by any rational standard, the Man of the Year should be George W. Bush...and they're not about to bite on that little cranberry.

Posted by John Weidner at 2:30 PM

November 25, 2003

A smidgeon of news bias

Charlene and I were driving just now, and heard on ABC News something like, "...figures released show GDP growing at 8.5%, the fastest growth in 20 years. But Wall Street was unimpressed with the numbers, the Dow only up 9 points..."

I said I guessed that the truth was that Wall Street had already figured out what was happening and it was already reflected in stock prices. Charlene said, "Didn't you hear, the Dow was up 165 points yesterday!" And she added, "If the economic news was bad, they would have quoted some Democrat blaming the Bush Administration." Isn't that the truth.

Since the news is good, the economy is like Topsy: "I wasn't born, I just grew."

Posted by John Weidner at 8:48 AM

September 21, 2003

For the thousandth time, here is...

A big squirming pile of weasel droppings moral equivalence from the Ombudsman of the Washington Post, explaining why they won't call someone a "terrorist" just because they blew up a bunch of Jews in a pizza parlor...

..."When we use these labels, we should do so in ways that are not tendentious. For example, we should not resolve the argument over whether Hamas is a terrorist organization, or a political organization that condones violence, or something else, by slapping a label on Hamas. Instead, we should give readers facts and perhaps quotes from disputing parties about how best to characterize the organization."

The guidance also quotes Foreign Editor David Hoffman: "If the Israelis say they have assassinated a terrorist, we should not embrace their labeling automatically. We may say he was a suspected terrorist, or someone the Israelis considered a terrorist, or someone the Israelis say participated in a terrorist act. In other words, we should always look independently at whether the person has committed an act of terrorism, whether we know sufficient facts to say he has or has not and what the facts are. We should always strive to satisfy our own standards and not let others set standards for us." ...

There's lots more. One might read it and conclude that the WaPo was bending over backwards to be careful and fair...if there weren't so many other Bourgeoisophobe Leftys who always, after oh-so-scrupulous calculation, conclude that it's not terrorism if you kill Jews.

(via Betsy Newmark)

Posted by John Weidner at 9:12 AM

September 12, 2003

Bush Presidency in decline ....

Henry Hanks often has good roundups on media bias. Here's a bit from the latest one...

...All three broadcast network morning shows began with the same two interviewees on Monday morning: National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice followed by ultra-liberal Democratic presidential contender Howard Dean. But while Rice was raked over the coals with questions from the left that heavily suggested that White House credibility was very shaky, Dean was mostly asked why he thought the Bush team was lying or the Bush presidency was in decline. Diane Sawyer inquired: �Last night, do you feel the President began to level with the American people?�
Much like the famous question, "Have you stopped beating your wife?"

Posted by John Weidner at 7:18 AM

August 27, 2003

Malice ...

David Warren writes:

...Returning from four weeks of holiday, in which I did my best to avoid all news, I find myself again somewhat shocked by the sheer malice of the mainstream media. The journalists themselves are overwhelmingly "liberal". In the U.S., for instance, they have been shown to vote as a class for Democrats over Republicans by margins of more than ten-to-one; and further, that they tend to identify with the left wing of that Democrat Party. They want to bring down President Bush, at all costs; and if Iraq is turned back into a Saddamite killing field, or Al Qaeda is given a new lease on life, they don't particularly care. For they smell Republican blood...
Too true. Individually they are probably no worse than the rest of us, but in the aggregate they form a hive that can only be called sociopathic. Other people just aren't real to them. A million foreigners in mass graves can easily be ignored, while the personal discomfort of being in the party out-of-power is overwhelming...

Posted by John Weidner at 2:42 PM