26 September 2006

Not exactly a milestone ...

More like an inch stone.

Pity the pathetic blogger who celebrates his 100th page visit. LOL

I am guessing that half of those visits are me checking how well this thing looks ... or what the page count is. So welcome you other 50 visitors.

25 September 2006

Is Brian Ellner confused ...

or did I miss something. Long story short, I ended up looking at a page for a candidate for president of one of the NYC boroughs. Now I know nothing of New York City's internal governance and politics, but it appears to me that Mr Ellner may be confused. If you watch the ad on this link, he seems to think that his opponent in the contest is George W Bush.

Now I thought Bush's term expired in 2008. I guess residency requirement for borough president must be even lower than for senator.

And, as further evidence of his confusion, Mr Ellner seems to think that the Fox News viewers here in Wisconsin, as well as elsewhere around the country, care about NYC borough president races. Or maybe he thinks we can vote there. Or maybe he is just getting really bad advice on how to spend his ad-buy.

Bill Clinton = Rush Limbaugh

Apparently, Former President Clinton went off on Chris Wallace yesterday. I missed it, since I work Sunday mornings and my tivo was set to watch D Bears crush the Vikings. (Which they did not exactly do, but they won and that is enough.)

(Reveal: After going 0/2 in my preseason - too young to vote - presidential elections, I went 0/3 in my first three. Since then I am 4/4 in voting for the winner. Like I said, Veering Right.)

Caught David Gergen this morning on Fox & Friends. Gergen said (this is a very close paraphrase) that Clinton thinks that Democrats get bullied in interviews, including by the MSM, and one way to show that they are tough on terrorists is to get tough against the journalists who bully them. That will deprive the Republicans of the tough-on-terror issue this fall.

Ok. Let me see if I have this right. Using some of those steps of algebra that I no longer remember what they are called, then::

Being tough on journalists = showing you are tough on terrorists = being tough on terrorists

Being tough on journalists = being tough on terrorists

(Being tough on) journalists = (being tough on) terrorists

journalists = terrorists

Or, as Reuters would say, "terrorists."

After the photoshopping of the Lebanon campaign and the unmitigated support Al-Queda in Iraq gets from some of the MSM, I think Clinton may have a point.

23 September 2006

Hallelujah! Some Common Sense Decency and Privacy!

One of my issues with the so-called "gay" movement is that they insist that everyone know what they do with whom. But, personally, I don't want to know. It in no way affected my appreciation of George Tekai's acting on the classic Star Trek, for instance, to learn that he is gay, but I didn't want to know. Why does everyone insist on telling me things that we used to keep private?

(Ok, there are some things, like abuse, that we used to keep private that we need to know, but we have lost all boundaries as a society.)

So it is so nice to see that American Idol's most successful runner-up told off the MSM this week.
An angry Clay Aiken clashed Thursday with Diane Sawyer for asking him whether he is gay.

"I don't understand why you want to know," Aiken shot back. "I don't understand why it's any of your business.

"At some point, [the question] becomes just really rude, you know?" he said in an interview that aired Thursday on "Good Morning America."...

"This is a waste of my time."

Sawyer's questions were not popular with fans and gay groups.

"Media speculation about people's sexual orientation is not something we support," said Damon Romine, an official of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation."Coming out is a very personal, private decision that needs to be made by the individual."

I wonder if they told John Kerry that ...

On the GMA message boards, this was not a popular topic.
"A person has a right to his or her privacy," one viewer wrote on the "GMA" message board. "Clay is trying to preserve this. I agree with him. What difference does it make?"

"Mr. Aiken seems tired and beaten down by this issue," wrote another viewer.

"People with no lives buy into the media speculation on his sex life ... Now, Mr. Aiken sees this is a no-win."
I agree.
Wrote another viewer: "If Clay Aiken wants to be a role model and/or a hero he needs to put all this to rest by coming out or proving his heterosexuality -- not dancing around the subject like he is trying to hide something."
How does he do that? Pay per view romp on stage with ... Jessica Simpson? (I saw at the grocery check out line that she's available ...) Like that would prove anything.
How about this: Clay sings, and if I like his singing, that is enough for me to know. And Rosie talks for a living, and if I get a lobotomy, I can enjoy listening to her. And Britney sings, and ... hmmm ... I already used the lobotomy line ... And Kevin stutters and ... ditto.

Ok, I just don't want to know about anybody's sexuality. Just do your jobs, and I pormise not to post picture of my adorable wife and her fat, balding preacher husband doing ... well, you don't want to see me like that.

Or as a favorite talk show host of mine put it, Shut up and sing! And I'll just preach.

22 September 2006

New Orc Times: Secretly Conservative?

The New Orc Times has a suggestion for Democrats on the compromise announded yesterday on interrogation of illegal enemy combatants (that's apparently what they call them at conventions in Geneva; everywhere else we call them terrorists).

The Democrats have largely stood silent and allowed the trio of Republicans to do the lifting. It’s time for them to either try to fix this bill or delay it until after the election.

Holding up this bill is a no win for the Dems.

Either they will be accused of wanting to leave certain things (sexual assault, mutilation, murder) barred by this bill legal, and therefore in favor of real torture, or they will be accused of being soft on terror. And if we get hit a week before the election, and this bill was held up by Dems, there is no better way to guarantee Republican gains in the House and Senate. Again.

Obviously, the New Orc Times is secretly in league with the Republicans. Or else they are really stupid.

Calling General LeMay ...

Richard Armitage (whom newscasters are suddenly calling Armitahge) has made the news again. According to the Associated Press:

President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan says the United States threatened to bomb his country back to the Stone Age after the Sept. 11 attacks if he did not help America's war on terror.

Musharraf says the threat was delivered by Richard Armitage, then the deputy secretary of state, to Musharraf's intelligence director, the Pakistani leader told CBS-TV's 60 Minutes.

Armitage has denied this (though I find him less than trustworthy after recent headlines), but frankly, I don't care.

It is important to remember that it was Pakistani intelligence, the I.S.I., which had sponsored the Taliban and served as their patrons and that there was also a link betweenthe ISI and Al Queda. After 9/11, it was important to tell the Pakistani government that there were two sides in this war, and there would be consequences for backing the terrorists.

If Armitage - or someone else - didn't say it, he should have.

Knee-Jerk Reactions

I occassionally accuse the left of a knee-jerk anti-Bush reaction. "If Bush proposes it, it must be bad," goes the line of thought. But what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

So last night, when I saw that Speaker-in-waiting Pelosi and Rep Rangel were defending President Bush against the rants of Hugo Chavez, I immediately assumed that Bush may, in fact, be demonic ... or at least sulfuric.

21 September 2006

Mercator Madness

I grew up with Mercator projection maps. If you don't remember them, those are the ones that made Greenland look bigger than North America. I did not realize how distorted it had made some states look th0ugh, until today.

On Fox & Friends this morning, Senator Byron Dorgan of ND was discussing immigration reform. He was asked about the number of illegal immigrants from Mexico in ND , and he responded, (this is a very close paraphrase) "In North Dakota, we also have a border - with Canada. We have 4000 miles of border with Canada."

North Dakota has 4000 miles of border with Canada! Wow. According to this site, ND is 70,704 square miles. That means that the state is only 17.6 miles wide, north to south!

19 September 2006

Low standards of proof

Bill Press, whining that he will not apologize to Karl Rove, opines
Armitage’s involvement doesn’t disprove the Rove conspiracy. It only proves it was a lot wider than we originally thought.
Last night, the History Channel reran one of their silly pieces on USO's. Unidentified Submerged Object. By Press's ttormented logic, the sightings of these
not only prove that UFO's exist, but that they have even more amazing capabilities - underwater movement - than we had imagined.

Press goes on to say:
As we soon learned, there wasn’t just one person at the White House going after Valerie Plame, there was a whole team. We knew Dick Cheney himself kicked it off with notes to Scooter Libby, scribbled on a copy of Wilson’s op-ed, to find out who Wilson was and how he got involved in the issue. We knew Scooter Libby, since indicted for lying to Fitzgerald’s grand jury, told Judy Miller about Plame. We knew Karl Rove talked to Matt Cooper and Bob Novak. The only thing we didn’t know was: Who was Novak’s primary source? And who talked to Bob Woodward?

The fact that Cheney asked his staff to get him information on someone does not prove that Cheney instructed anyone to tell anyone else anything. The fact members of the media called Rove and Libby and they answered questions is not unusual; this is how these folks operate. When asked if Plame was a CIA employee who had recommended Wilson and that is how he got the job, Rove's answer to Cooper was, if I recall the leaked testimony correctly, was, "Yeah, I heard that too." Hardly sounds like an intentional leak to me, and does not prove a conspiracy.

All Press, and the left have, are two groups of people who talk to each other and hear the same things. Armitage is chatty. Libby is unknown to me. But Rove is smart enough to give a little and get a lot.

It turns out, of course, that Plame was beyond the statutory definition of being a covert operative (she had been home too long.) And let us not forget that in the 9/11 Commission hearings, Joe Wilson turned out to have lied about just about everything.

18 September 2006

Doomed! Doomed! We're all going to die!

From Fox News:
CAIRO, Egypt — Al Qaeda in Iraq warned Pope Benedict XVI on Monday that its war against Christianity and the West will go on until Islam takes over the world, and Iran's supreme leader called for more protests over the pontiff's remarks on Islam. ... Extremists said the pope's comments proved that the West was in a war against Islam.
Hmmmm ... well two thoughts:
  1. This demontrates how very religious these people are; they cannot conceive of the Pope not speaking for all of us, and
  2. "the pope's comments proved that the West was in a war against Islam." I think they started it.

16 September 2006

Protecting them from whom?

Ex-Donkey reports on an interesting exchange

On a related note, NBC's David Gregory got into it again yesterday with Tony Snow, prodding the White House Press Secretary over the President's attempt to clarify provisions in the Geneva Convention.

On the Imus In The Morning radio show this morning, the host asked David Gregory about his questions to Snow. Gregory raised concerns that the President is trying to redefine the torture guidelines of the Convention. Imus asked, "So what?"

Gregory responded that if the U.S. did this it might set a precedent for other countries to do the same. "Which countries?" asked Imus.

The White House Corresponded responded (and I'm paraphrasing here) that there is concern about a war with Iran, for example.

Imus (who loves Gregory) asked him point blank: "Do you think that if we got into a war with Iran, and if they captured some of our soldiers that Iran would comply with the provisions of the Geneva Convention? What are you, an idiot?"

Note to GOP: Re-read Conservative manual

Oh, and given that the Democrats are now downplaying health care, and the Republicans have been spending like drunken sailors, I am forgetting, which party is which again?

Confusion on the Left!

Dana Milbank (WaPo) reports on Speaker-in-waiting Pelosi.

"I hope you all received 'A New Direction for America,' " she said, standing at a lectern that bore the same slogan. She called the manifesto "a compilation of many of the initiatives taken by our House Democratic Caucus that encompasses our new direction for all Americans."

It was a handsome booklet, full of homey photographs and popular proposals, but there was a problem. Democrats have had more "New Directions" recently than MapQuest.

Among the party's campaign slogans this year: "Culture of Corruption," "Culture of Cronyism," "Do-Nothing Congress," "Rubber-Stamp Congress," "Together, We Can Do Better," "Together, America Can Do Better" and, most recently, "Six for '06."

For those keeping score at home, Democrats arrived at "New Direction" yesterday by downgrading one of the "Six for '06" issues (health care) and upgrading three others (honesty, civility and fiscal discipline), for a total of eight items on the contents page.

By contrast, Republicans have settled on a single, unofficial slogan, which essentially says: Vote Democrat and Die. And in politics, scary and scurrilous usually trumps elaborate and earnest -- something Pelosi has experienced firsthand in recent days. ...

A third questioner pointed out that Republicans have regained the lead on national security. "This is what, I guess, campaigns will be about," Pelosi conceded with some reluctance. "It shouldn't be about national security."
An election should not be about national security. Hmmmm. Milbank quotes "House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) said Democrats 'are confused about who the enemy actually is.'"

Sounds more like they are confused about what the enemy actually is.

Mr Fitzgerald, do you swear to tell the truth ...

Victoria Toensing writes what ought to be the last word on the Plame revelation. Probably won't be though. And the next few words will not be apologies, because we have a legal system, not a justice system.

12 September 2006

Then the Great Satan turns on itself, consumed from within by a toxic combination of political ambition and cowardice masquerading as tolerance.

Confederate Yankee offers some interesting thoughts today on the left and 9/11.

It is so much easier to blame Bush than face the fact that we were attacked because we are the beacon of freedom for the world, and the greatest threat to radical Islam. It is so much easier to blame Bush, than realize that decades of denial led us to that horrific moment. If they can only blame Bush for that day—and every day since that their worldview has been shown to be vapid, self-serving, and a fraud—then their denial can go on, and "reality-based community" can continue to live in a world that has refuses to learn, to adapt, to change.

The Left refuses to learn from 9/11 and knows no way forward. It is why they grasp so insistently to the past, clinging to what was and what might have been, instead of moving forward to forcefully determine what should be and what must be done to secure our freedoms for the future. It is they that childishly insist for the "Perfect War" theory, stating a belief that any war not fought with perfect foresight and accuracy is wrong, while knowing securely no war has ever met their standard.

They show that they hate the present and don't understand the lessons of the recent past. They strive for stagnation and stasis and blaming ourselves, but they offer no hope for the future.

They blame Americans for radical Islamic plans for world domination. They vilify our troops instead of the terrorists they fight. They attack western governments fighting for freedom instead of eastern governments and the terrorists they sponsor that are fighting for oppression and destruction of our way of life.

The Left offers America and true liberalism a death sentence, seeking to repeat the failed policies of 30 years in denial.

Via Ex-Donkey

I do not want to get into all the psycho-social analysis that ConYank does (read the whole post) but it seems to me that in their outlook on the President and the GWOT he is pretty much on target.

I like the fact that we have, like the Israelis of late, gone out of our way to prosecute war surgically, doing as little collateral damage as possible. But that gives us an air of being all powerful, and in the minds of the post-Christian left, we are. And if we are all powerful, ouor enemy must be insignificant. Unless he is our government. Via Michelle Malkin, I came across this from Bryan Preston:
Five years on, a psychosis has gripped millions who can’t and won’t fathom the true nature of the war we are in. For many of them, having been born and raised in an essentially post-Christian West, they can’t imagine that anyone might be motivated to kill and die because of something a warlord wrote down centuries ago. They cannot imagine any religion other than the one they believe they have outgrown being violent or causing violence. They cannot imagine anyone fighting for a cause that offers no material gains and therefore cannot be negotiated away. In our essentially materialist West, millions lack the imagination to believe that bin Laden’s pining for the return of Andalusia to Muslim rule is in his mind a legitimate reason to wage war on America now. They can imagine their own countrymen being so motivated, though, and I think that’s key to understanding their state of mind. They can imagine the Rotary Club member down the street plotting mayhem because he goes to church and votes Republican, but they can’t imagine that the Muslim in Karachi is a real, live enemy who is actually plotting an attack.
... The real enemy, to these millions, is the man in the Oval Office, and the man or men behind him.
Imagining the enemy as a Westerner who has a Western worldview and essentially Western motivations gives these millions the comfort of thinking that they can understand and defeat the enemy easily. They can expose him in the press or on their blog. They can spread the word through a bumper sticker or a sign in their yard. They can vote against him and encourage others to help vote him out. They can impeach him. They can shout and rail at anyone who supports him. They can destroy his political party and ruin his name. They can, in their own minds, win the war on their own terms without exposing themselves to danger. Because they have imagined their own enemy from before that day to be the enemy of civilization. And because it’s not really a war at all, just a made-up threat some evil neocons conjured up to scare everyone into giving them power. And that being the case, the deniers imagine that they can save civilizaton at the ballot box. They don’t have to find out what makes the enemy tick, they don’t have to fight him, and they don’t have to change their fundamental and now obviously flawed assumptions about humanity and the world.

If only it were that easy.

The title of this piece ("Then the Great Satan turns on itself, consumed from within by a toxic combination of political ambition and cowardice masquerading as tolerance.") is a line from a Scrapleface nightmare, errr, satire. It describes Islamists looking back on 9/11 fifty years from now and why America failed. I think that it is also a pretty good description of what I hear everytime I see Harry Reid or Ted Kennedy on tv these days. I believe that America is smart enough to see through it. I hope and pray that I am right.

And I hope the kind of folks who used to lead the Democratic party, the kind we were willing to "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty" will once again gain dominance in that party. Because the people who lead and dominate that party now remind me of the old adage: Those who stand for nothing will fall for anything.

The Rodney Dangerfield of the NFL

Watching NFL Primetime today, recorded at 1 pm Tuesday on tivo.

D' Bears positively stomped Green Bay. 26-0. Wrecked a 266 game streak with no shut outs. So what did Primetime devote its 3 minutes on the game to? The Bears D? The fact that the Bears offense scored a touchdown for the first time this millenium? No. It was all about Bret Favre. They did not even bother to mention that who was quarterbacking the Bears. They mentioned the score twice, but in the three minutes they devoted to the Bears-Packers matchup, here is the word count
"Bears" or "Chicago" - 3
Bears Players named individually - 4 of them, 1 time each (all of whom play defense)
"Packers" or "Green Bay" - 8
Other Packer Players named individually - 1
Brett Favre - 17 times, plus numerous pronouns, plus 25 seconds of video of his post game press conference.

Come on! I tell ya, I don't get no respect.

Ecumenism run amok

I have made a bit of a name for myself in the past for my involvement in the struggle against enforced institutional ecumenism by the Lutheran Church. In particular, I opposed the ecumenical agreement with the Episcopalians. One reason is that they have a very different understanding of the church than Lutherans (are supposed to) have.

Another reason I opposed this alliance is that the Episcopal church is one that has lost its' way, theologically. (See anything by David Virtue for evidence.) But a significant piece of evidence is this: What is the former president of the Islamic Republic of Iran doing speaking at the National Cathedral?

People of Iraq, the Gentleman from West Virginia doesn't care about you.

Senator John Rockefeller, democrat of West Virginia said:
"The absolute cynical manipulation, deliberately cynical manipulation, [by the administration to sell the Iraq war] to shape American public opinion and 69 percent of the people, at that time, it worked, they said 'we want to go to war,'" Rockefeller told CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson. "Including me. The difference is after I began to learn about some of that intelligence I went down to the Senate floor and I said 'my vote was wrong.'"

Rockefeller went a step further. He says the world would be better off today if the United States had never invaded Iraq — even if it means Saddam Hussein would still be running Iraq.

He said he sees that as a better scenario, and a safer scenario, "because it is called the 'war on terror.'"

Unbelievable. And the Repubs get accused of ends-justify-the-means thinking in international relations. But the world would be better off today if Saddam was running Iraq? I wonder how the Kurds feel about that. Or Uday and Qusay's "girlfriends." Or the Christian minority. Or the Marsh Arabs. Or ...

Rockefeller also said:
"It's called the war on terror," Rockefeller said. "He wasn't going to attack us. He would've been isolated there. He would have been in control of that country, but we wouldn't have depleted our resources preventing us from prosecuting a war on terror which is what this is all about."

To which Secretary rice responded:

"The notion that, somehow, someone who had caused more than a million deaths in the Iran-Iraq war, someone who had invaded Kuwait, and we believe, was probably on his way to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, somebody who threatened his neighbors every day, who shot at our aircraft, who had broken out of an embargo and was using his oil wealth to build up an arsenal of weapons, that this is not a threat, in the world's most volatile region — I just think it's very, frankly, odd analysis," Rice said.
"Odd analysis." That's generous. As I have pointed out here, a significant part of the forces that were isolating Saddam was our deployment of troops in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Aside from the fact that that in itself constituted a depletion of our forces, it was also one of the top counts in Osama Bin Laden's indictment of the US (infidel troops in the holy land of Arabia, and all that.)

I wonder if we can get Kanye West to go on national tv and say "John Rockefeller doesn't care about brown people."

Hat Tip: Minnesota Democrats Exposed

I will NOT submit

From Michelle Malkin

The phrase in Arabic is "lan astaslem." It means "I will not surrender/I will not submit." This is the last line of my 9/11 column and it's my 9/11 anniversary message to the convert-or-die jihadists.

Michelle notes that she is getting tshirts done up. I actually want on that says, in Arabic, "There is no God but God, and Jesus is his Son."

11 September 2006

Commentators across the political spectrum called the letter by Democratic leaders a form of intimidation.

Well I hope so.

From OpinionJournal.com

By contrast, Harry Reid, Mr. Daschle's successor as minority leader, joined other top Democrats in issuing a thinly veiled threat to ABC. They wrote Robert Iger, the chairman of ABC's parent company Disney, to urge him to cancel the program. They reminded him his network enjoyed "a free broadcast license predicated on the fundamental understanding of your principle obligation to act as a trustee of the public airwaves in serving the public interest. Nowhere is this public interest obligation more apparent than in the duty of broadcasters to serve the civic needs of a democracy by promoting an open and accurate discussion of political ideas and events." Commentators across the political spectrum called the letter by Democratic leaders a form of intimidation.

Now I did not watch the news too closely this weekendm so maybe I missed it, but I did not hearthe MSM getting all bent out of shape and accusing the Dems of censorship like they did when the chairman of the joint cheifs wrote a letter to the Washington Post compaining
"Using the likeness of a service member who has lost his arms and legs in war as the central theme of a cartoon was beyond tasteless.''

Lots of MSM and left folks jumped on that bandwagon. But here we have comparative silence.

Seems to me that the left only cares if its' ox is being gored. That is not "principled."

Quote of the day: Winston Churchill speaks to us

Oh, let these words ring in the Pentagon, at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, and in Foggy Bottom. And let them be heard and understood at Turtke Bay.

"The counsels of prudence and restraint led directly to the bull's-eye of disaster."

Never again.


(Hat Tip for quote: Journal Editorial Report.)

10 September 2006

Left Wing Bigotry

From OpinionJournal.com

Tony & Tacky

Friday, September 8, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT
EYES WIDE OPENED: Travelers in Maine have long flocked to L.L. Bean's mother-ship store in Freeport and been delighted to discover that it really is open 24/7 and buzzes with shoppers even at 3 a.m. But none was so surprised perhaps as Alex Kuczynski on a recent visit. "I've long been a customer of Bean's fleece jackets and flannel pajamas," she reported in yesterday's New York Times, "and it never occurred to me that the company makes much of its profits from hunting gear. Wandering among the camouflage hunting outfits and Gerber Ripstop knives is like finding out your new beau is a member of the N.R.A., hates his mother and splits the check at dinner." The secret is out.

What is the connection between being a member of the N.R.A and hating one's mother? This is sheer bigotry. This "reporter" dislikes hunting, and so she assigns to those who hunt all sorts of negative characteristics.

My experience is that lefties are more likely to harbor animosity toward their parents and expect a woman to pony up (or put out) for dinner than those on the right.

Did you ever notice that nonconformists all look alike?

Such originality:

Brad Pitt, ever the social activist, says he won't be marrying Angelina Jolie until the restrictions on who can marry whom are dropped.

"Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able," the 42-year-old actor reveals in Esquire magazine's October issue, on newsstands Sept. 19.

'Everyone who wants to be married.' Regardless? I am sure that Warren Jeffs is grateful for the support.

08 September 2006

Must read articles

I was first pointed to these by Best of the Web Today. I have referred lots of people to them since.

I believe that these two articles (here and especially here) by Arnold Kling are extrordinarily helpful in understanding the modern culture and especially the MSM.

The Art of Overfocus

I have no doubt that Mr Clinton has a big ego; I just did not realize how big an ego the rest of his former colleagues must have, and their self-destructive natures.

Sunday night, Sept 10, there are a plethora of television specials scheduled, mostly having to do with the fifth anniversary of 9/11. There is also the debut of NBC's Sunday night football (Manning vs Manning).

One of the specials is 5 1/2 hours of a made for tv movie / mini-series "The Path to 9/11" on ABC. One of the most tedious men in recent American politics says that it is "historically accurate", so I have no doubt that parts of this thing are going to be horrific, and others are going to be as tedious as this fellow how consulted on the script and so endorses it. I do not think that many people would sit through the whole thing.

But, the Clintonistas are deeply concerned about their portrayals; so much so that they have been bombarding the airwaves with their concerns. It is all the cable news shows talked about this morning.

If Ms Albright & Co would have simply waited until it was over and released statements saying that they found portions of it inaccurate, it would have been forgotten quickly. But attempts by private individuals to censor in advance simply makes everyone want to see it.

Result: more people than would have been expected otherwise are going to tune in.

07 September 2006

Copy that could benefit from an editor's touch ...

This from a USA Today editorial:

The speech was largely in part political theater, the opening act of the Republicans' fall strategy of flexing their anti-terrorism muscles.
"Largely in part."

Yeah. Whatever.

Freedom is not free

For me, even more moving than the Vietnam Memorial is a memorial that I had not even known was there. It was 1997. My family was tired, and I offered to run back to the car and drive around to the Mall to pick them up near the Vietnam Wall.

I tried a shortcut, and found myself in the Korean War Memorial. Wow. Nineteen oversized statues depict soldiers from every service branch slugging through a downpour. At their feet is a list of UN Allies who fought alongside the US: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, Ethiopia, France, Greece, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Republic of Korea, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom. When you reach the head of the line, and the front of the sculpture, you are confronted with those words. Freedom is not free.

As we think about those who have been killed in Iraq and the many who have suffered injury, and then we watch the MSM daily drumbeat of bad news from Iraq, one can wonder if there is any point in it all.

If you are wondering that, go to www.theotheriraq.com and click on any of the three videos at the bottom of the page. Watch and listen.

I post one transcript here, but it does not do the ad justice:

VoiceOver NARRATOR: Saddam’s goal was to bury every living Kurd…
He failed.
KURD CITIZENS: “Thank you.”
“Thank you, America.”
“Thank you.”
VO NARRATOR: The Kurds of Iraqi Kurdistan just want to say ‘thank you’…
for helping us win our freedom.
KURD CITIZENS: “Thank you for democracy.”
“Thank you, America.”
“Thank you.”
But you really need to see the spot to get the feel of it.

No, Freedom is not free. It is priceless.

Hey, buddy, cell mate, remember me?

A few years ago, corrupt outgoing Illinois govorner George Ryan commuted the sentences of everyone of Death Row in the state.

Like so many Illinois politicians before him, Ryan was under investigation for corruption (which this time had led to the deaths of six children in one family.)

I commented at the time that this was almost Biblical wisdom.

After all, I told someone, Ryan is just trying to make friends among his future neighbors.

I hate to say I told you so, but ...

Actually I don't hate it at all. I'm kinda gloating. But I have to let you see me as hating it ... :)

NBC Nightly News: Trial Separation

I noted here that I have filed for divorce after being a regular viewer of the NBC evening news broadcast (under different names) for over 40 years.

Googling "Paris Hilton DUI" for the previouspost reminded me of another reason why.

There is a website called TMZ.com. It does celebrity news, kind of a National Enquirer on the web. One time they took cameras and approached Ms Hilton and ... well, let's let TMZ.com describe it:
Hilton agreed to talk to TMZ's Harvey Levin about thousands of messages TMZ users have posted, many of which are, as Hilton says, "mean and sadistic."

Levin asked Hilton about such comments as, "Paris is just an overused human condom," "Paris is like a fart in a mitten. You know it's there, you can't stand it, but you can't get rid of it," and "Would you please drop over dead or commit suicide you damn slut."

What does all this have to do with NBC Nightly News? Back in late July or early August, NBCNN did a story about Hilton, or nastiness toward celebrities, or some such. They used this clip ... and then they had Mr Levin of TMZ.com, sitting in a studio talking about it as if he were a neutral observer offering commentary. In fact, Mr Levin was the creator of this "news" story because he is the one interviewing Hilton, and he is the one reading her the comments which came from his website, but who knows how they got there. And Paris almost cries, right on cue. (Video available at the above link.)

A long time ago, I recall an editor of National Enquirer on tv, saying that they used to laugh when Michael Jackson would get defensive about stories they ran, such as the supposed picture of Jackson sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber. The funny part: Jackson would claim the picture was false, and the Enquirer knew that Jackson himself had given their reporter the picture. There was, and I suspect is still, a symbiotic relationship between celeb and tabloid, Jackson and Enquirer, ... and Hilton & TMZ.com.

So my complaint is not about TMZ or Hilton, it is about NBCNN, allowing TMZ.com to create "news", and then for NBCNN to package it as if it were real news. While the stakes are certainly lower, how is this different than Reuters and Green Helmet Man?


And for some reason, after 18 months, my TiVo stopped recording the NBC Nightly News. I did have a season pass set for it, and I did not change it, but it stopped recording.

And I am getting along just fine.

Paris Hilton, DUI

All I was going to write about this was "Who cares?"

Until I heard the tagline on the FoxNews report on the matter. Her spokesperson said that her mug shot would not be released (can they do that?) but that "it wasn't as bad as Nick Nolte's"

(Do not be confused. In case anyone forgot, I have posted Nick's mugshot ====>> , not Paris'.)

But 'Her mugshot wasn't as bad as Nick Nolte's." LOL. That may be the back handed compliment of the decade, and we still have 4+ years to go!

An Iranian Huey Long

I have already discussed Fareed Zakaria's column about suggesting that the US is making too much of Iran and it's president here. (Notice, it is our fault.)

But the argument that Ahmadinejad is just another populist leader loses a little more credibility with every news story. AP reports:

Iran's hard-line president urged students Tuesday to push for a purge of liberal and secular university teachers, another sign of his determination to strengthen Islamic fundamentalism in the country.

With his call echoing the rhetoric of the nation's 1979 Islamic revolution, Ahmadinejad appears determined to remake Iran by reviving the fundamentalist goals pursued under the republic's late founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. [emphasis added]

06 September 2006

I am sick and tired ...

Via Best of the Web Today...

Keith Olbermann, apparently a commentator for somefailed GE-Microsoft venture, has a complaint about yesterday's speech by President Bush:
Today, in the same subtle terms in which Mr. Bush and his colleagues muddied the clear line separating Iraq and 9/11 -- without ever actually saying so—the President quoted a purported Osama Bin Laden letter that spoke of launching, “a media campaign to create a wedge between the American people and their government.”
"Purported," because, of course, Bush Lies!
Make no mistake here—the intent of that is to get us to confuse the psychotic scheming of an international terrorist, with that familiar bogeyman of the right, the “media.”

para·noia 1 : a psychosis characterized by systematized delusions of persecution or grandeur usually without hallucinations

The President and the Vice President and others have often attacked freedom of speech, and freedom of dissent, and freedom of the press.

I am sick, nearly unto death, of the left screaming about how their freedom of speech, dissent and the press have been curtailed or threatened, and doing so loudly on publicly available media. Besides, the only case I know of the curtailing of freedom of the press has been at the behest of the New Orc Times.

Now, Mr. Bush has signaled that his unparalleled and unprincipled attack on reporting has a new and venomous side angle:

The attempt to link, by the simple expediency of one word—“media”—the honest, patriotic, and indeed vital questions and questioning from American reporters, with the evil of Al-Qaeda propaganda.

That linkage is more than just indefensible. It is un-American.

Is Olbermann questioning the president's patriotism?Besides, as Taranto points our, President Bush's supposed misuse of the word "media" wasn't the president's choice of words; it was part of a quote from Osama bin Laden.

Mr. Bush and his colleagues have led us before to such waters.

We will not drink again.

And the President’s re-writing and sanitizing of history, so it fits the expediencies of domestic politics, is just as false, and just as scurrilous.

“In the 1920’s a failed Austrian painter published a book in which he explained his intention to build an Aryan super-state in Germany and take revenge on Europe and eradicate the Jews,” President Bush said today, “the world ignored Hitler’s words, and paid a terrible price.”

Whatever the true nature of al Qaeda and other international terrorist threats, to ceaselessly compare them to the Nazi State of Germany serves only to embolden them.

And those who downplay the threat serve only to enable them. The Islamofascists may not yet be Nazi Germany, but they'd like to be.

More over, Mr. Bush, you are accomplishing in part what Osama Bin Laden and others seek—a fearful American populace, easily manipulated, and willing to throw away any measure of restraint, any loyalty to our own ideals and freedoms, for the comforting illusion of safety.

It thus becomes necessary to remind the President that his administration’s recent Nazi “kick” is an awful and cynical thing.

And it becomes necessary to reach back into our history, for yet another quote, from yet another time and to ask it of Mr. Bush:

“Have you no sense of decency, sir?”

Mr Olbermann, have you no sense of perspective!?!?

After the clever use of propaganda and faked photographs by Hesbollah (and that link is just the start of it), does anyone doubt that these folks have studied our culture and our media and figure to manipulate it? Heck, even I found a case of it (Nasrallah's mea culpa
was timed to coincide with the Emmy's.)

Don't get defensive, Mr Olbermann, get introspective (that is, think about this stuff, don't just start typing your knee-jerk anti-Bush reactions) ... and be realistic about the enemy we face.

Yes Virginia, there is a Satan

In the unlikely case that anyone still believes that there is no such thing as evil ...

In 1982, someone snatched Johnny Gosch, a West Des Moines, Iowa 12 year old as he was getting ready to do his paper route. It has long been suspected that he was exploited for kiddie porn. Some sources said he was a victim in a snuff film sometime later. Other sources think he might still be alive and on the run because of crimes his abusers encouraged / forced him to commit.

Now, in 2006, someone has sent his mother pictures of him on her birthday.

I don't know if Johnny is still alive, but his sadistic kidnapper apparently is.

I am humbled

Talk about an honor! I have been added to the Ex Donkey Blog Roll.

Thanks Gary.

Bear Down, Chicago Bears. Make every play clear the way to victory!

I don't watch Fox Sports, so I have no idea how good Adam Schein is at this prognostication thing, but I do like his Black & Blue Division predictions.

NFC North

1. Bears 10-6
2. Lions 7-9
3. Vikings 7-9
4. Packers 3-13

Bears: The Bears will still have one of the best defenses, if not the best, in the NFL. But they need star defensive end Alex Brown to be healthy after he dislocated his shoulder in the preseason. The questions for the Bears are on the offensive end. It's going to be fascinating to see how Lovie Smith divides the carries between Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson. Both players had to deal with injuries in the preseason. Rex Grossman was horrid for the first three preseason games, very solid in the finale. But Smith is making the right decision going with Grossman as the opening day starter. His upside and familiarity with the players dwarfs that of veteran Brian Griese. But if the offense sputters, you know Smith won't hesitate to bring in the backup.

I am a little put off by the "Grossman is the right decision" talk. I know that a lot of people who know a lot more about football than I do really like him, but I have just not seen anything to convince me that he is the guy. But then I missed the 4th preseason game.

However, since the season opener is at Lambeau, it will be a local game for me here in Cheeseland.

And in her debut as Anchor, Katie Couric!

A few thoughts on the Katie Couric Show debut last night:
  1. The opening reminded me of a cross between Inside the Actor's Studio and Inside Edition on a glammed up Today Show set. (Though Deborah Norville still looks better.)
  2. Introducing her feature story, Katie twice declares that "Afghanistan is where it [the GWOT] began." Funny. I watched her live on tv the day the GWOT really began. It was a Tuesday, in New York, about five years ago. As I recall, they struck first. To further set up a story on a resurgence of the Taliban, she mentions 60 Taliban killed in Operation Medusa that day, but fails to mention the 200 killed the day before.
  3. The ensuing story is ok, except that it assumes one can make linear progress in a guerilla war (which is hard to do), and wonders if we are losing because we haven't made such linear progress.
  4. Setting up a piece on the Bush speech, in her third reference to the GWOT beginning, Katie suddently remembered 9/11.
  5. Then Thomas Friedman got interviewed. The questions were softballs, allowing Friedman to expound as a resident expert-on-everything. Katie showed a kind of Bill-Moyers-sincere-enthusiasm, gobbling up everything he said as gospel. For his part, Friedman leaned forward in his chair like he had hemorrhoids.
  6. Then we got three headlines, and we were told to get more details on the website. Now either this is a way of showing how hip the broadcast is so they can change the demographic, or they have no idea who their demographic has always been. (Senior, computer illiterate.) My question: if I have to go to the internet to get the news, why would I sit through a half hour of this (and commercials) just to be told to go to the net?
  7. "The folks at Chevron today felt like they'd won the lottery when they announced they'd struck oil in the Gulf of Mexico." Oh boy. "folks ...won the lottery"? Katie, I know you went to UVa, but you are a little too New York, and you are trying just a little too hard to be 'down home.'
  8. A segment called "freeSpeech" features up to 90 seconds of unedited, unresponded to commentary by whomever they choose to do it. (Rush Limbaugh is slated to be on later this week.) The first was an ok rant by Morgan Spurlock about how the middle of the political spectrum is ignored because it is bland and uninteresting, so the media paints all politics as a WWE Smackdown.
  9. A little more fluff, and then a picture of some poor unfortunate rich Hollywood bastard. On the upside for the kid, her siblings have Nicole Kidman for a mom. Maybe they will bring some better influences on their every other weekend visits to the closet.
  10. A feel good piece about people doing nice things for 3rd world orphans.
  11. Finally, Katie asks us for help in coming up with a signoff tag line. How about, "See you tomorrow night. Please!?"
On the whole, it felt like a telvision news magazine ... if the magazine you were basing your tv enterprise on was People or Us Weekly.

Oh Patrick, what have ye done?

Now, it seems that Patrick Fitzgerald's whole investigation was a multi-million dollar sham. He knew who leaked the Plame's name at the outset of his investigation. This not from the blogs, but from the New Orc Times herself.

I'd like to know just what this thing cost. Fitzgerald comes out with what seems to be an indictment of Scooter Libby for having a faulty memory or bad notes (we shall see) . I mean, at least Ken Starr found a smoking ... ummmm ... blue dress.

I think Gary (welcome back Gary) over at ex-Donkey gets this one just about right.

Personally, I'm all for a new investigation. An investigation into a special prosecutor who knowingly pursued a bogus witch-hunt when he knew the answers the whole time.

05 September 2006

Last night I didn't get to sleep at all, no, no

Alright, there are other reasons I didn't sleep well on Sunday night, but I choose to blame Chris Muir.

Leaving me to think that you were going to end Jan's pregnancy this way? For almost 24 whole hours?!?

Watch it mister. You're on notice.

If it were me ...

If I were the person responsible for telling American voters that the Democrats were strong on National Security, I think I might try to find two slightly more convincing spokesmen than General SeeNoGood & Senator SpeakNoSense.

04 September 2006

As long as ...

I have always enjoyed Fareed Zakaria. His non-western perspective did much for Newsweek (though still not enough to keep me subscribing.) Today, he gives us a take on Iran and the uranium enrichment confrontation.

He asks us to take a deep breath, because Iran is no Nazi Germany, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is just a poor misunderstood Huey Long populist who is using the confrontation with the west to raise his standing in a power struggle with the immams.

Some points he makes and my comments:
Tehran's nuclear ambitions are real and dangerous, but its program is not nearly as advanced as is often implied. Most serious estimates suggest that Iran would need between five and 10 years to achieve even a modest, North Korea-type, nuclear capacity.

Perhaps, but 5-10 years is a very short time to try and get a consensus.

In making a point about how America always overestimates its enemies, he shoots his whole point in the foot. Those who know about the last 6 years of American history but not the preceesing 60 will do well to be skeptical of the rest of the paragraph after he says, "And then there was the case of Saddam Hussein's capabilities. Saddam, we were assured in 2003, had nuclear weapons—and because he was a madman, he would use them." I don't know who Zakaria was listening to, but I heard no member of the administration say that Saddam had nuclear weapons, but that he was working on them.

One man who is greatly enjoying being the subject of this outsize portraiture is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He has gone from being an obscure and not-so-powerful politician—Iran is a theocracy, remember, so the mullahs are ultimately in control—to a central player in the Middle East simply by goading the United States and watching Washington take the bait. By turning him into enemy No. 1, by reacting to every outlandish statement he makes, the Bush administration has given him far more attention than he deserves.
That's not what the Dems are telling us. I thought we had gone into Iraq and taken our eyes off the ball in Iran and North Korea.

But let's get some perspective. The United States is far more powerful than Iran. And, on the issue of Tehran's nuclear program, Washington is supported by most of the world's other major powers. As long as the alliance is patient, united and smart—and keeps the focus on Tehran's actions not Washington's bellicosity—the odds favor America.
“As long as ...” That, Mr Zakaria, is a BIG if.