Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Troubling news from the border

This makes me more in favor of a border wall.

LAREDO, Texas – This border area is one of the least publicized international crisis zones. More Americans have been kidnapped just in this area than in all of Iraq by Islamic terrorists.

Twenty-six Americans are now officially listed as missing in the Laredo-Nuevo Laredo region of the U.S.-Mexico border—in addition to the more than 400 Mexicans reported to be suffering a similar fate.

The number of American civilians missing or kidnapped in Iraq since the beginning of the war is 23 as of last September, the latest figure released by the State Department.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

"A Failure of the Press"

The odd couple of William Bennet and Alan Dershowitz have teamed up to write an op/ed in todays WaPo.

The basically hammer the MSM for caving into the mob and kowtowing to violent thugs.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Pheezer the Appeaser

I recently discovered that Dr. Seuss was initially a political cartoonist during the early 40s. Alot of these cartoons were published only once, sixty years ago in a tiny paper.

I recommend visiting the site and scrolling through his work. You can view it based on subjects, persons, places and time.

And this is a problem?

From Osama Bin Laden's most recent audiotape:

Osama bin Laden vowed never to be captured alive...

Sounds good.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


I'm sending this lone message out to whomever may get it. From what I can tell, there must be huge internet and power outages across the globe right now. For some reason, the major news and media organizations must be airing yesterday's reruns.

I say this because last night it was undoubtedly revealed that Saddam Hussein and Iraq did in fact have WMD, were lying to the UN inspectors about it and that they were pursuing nuclear capabilites.

Can you believe it? So Bush didn't lie afterall? So this war wasn't solely about oil, or profits?

I heard about this groundbreaking news last night, and all I found on the front pages this morning were pictures of Dick Cheney. I went online, to the WaPo and the Old Grey Senile Lady, and all I could find were front page articles on traffic safety and Guantanamo stuff.

Can it be that one of the greatest news stories this year is worth only a few hours of traction? Clearly that can't be the case. The only fathomable way that this story cannot be reverberating across the globe right now is that no one really believed that Iraq did not have WMD in the first place, so the news that Iraq did have it is not really news at all.

oh, I'm so confused. I just hope Al Gore can fix his invention in time to get the word out.

How dare you question my patriotism, I mean personal bias!

I few weeks back I was having a conversation with a liberal friend of mine and he had the audacity to say that liberal bias in the media was in fact a myth. His main points were that media operations are owned by republican controlled big business interests and that they only report on what is interesting to the public. Naively, he that thought that despite the fact that about 90% of journalists vote democrat, their personal views don't get in the way of their reporting.

Unfortunately, this type of mentality pervades the thinking of the White House press corps. The belief that one can be so honest, straight, or "fair and balanced" on their own to eliminate any skewered reporting has been proven untenable time and time again. In reality, journalist and journalism students should be taught that 1) as humans, they are subject to bias, 2) that since it is inevitable that they have bias, it serves no rational purpose to deny that they have any bias, and finally 3) that even if there are layers of editors and reviewers which seek to eliminat bias, such measures will only prove fruitful if the reviewers have a different, opposite bias. (if there is just a room full of Kool-aid drinking libs trying to be objective on stories, you end up with Bush national guard fiascos).

Hugh Hewitt demonstrated this perfectly on his radio show the other night, where he interviewed Helen "I'll die if Cheney becomes President" Thomas. The full transctript is here, along with audio. Helen gets so upset that Hugh is asking her about her personal biases and whether it affects her reporting she actually hangs up on him.

UN idiocy

Some Europeans are angry that Javier Solana (first item) and Kofi Annan for signing a joint statement with the Organization of the Islamic Conference saying: “We understand the deep hurt and widespread indignation felt in the Muslim world. The freedom of the press, which entails responsibility and discretion, should respect the beliefs and tenets of all religions.”
Now there's this:
Meanwhile, Mr Solana continues his appeasement visit to the Middle East. On Wednesday he met Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in Cairo. The EU Foreign Policy Coordinator told the press that they discussed measures to ensure that “religious symbols can be protected.” He said: “Such steps could materialise through various mechanisms, maybe inside the new human rights commission created in the UN.”
Is this the same commision that was recently kicked the US off of it's membership, and elected Libya to chair the commision?
Not technically, since a resolution is being negotiated that would create a new commission.
Though caving to Islamic dictators in the supression of free speech doesn't bode well, though doing it in the name of human rights in hippocritical and oxy-moronic enough to qualify it as a UN endevor. Here's article 19 of the universal declaration on human rights:
Article 19
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

MSM hypocrisy? Never!

As Michelle Malkin explains, fear and hypocrisy are what motivate the Mainstream Media:

Watching the news in my hotel room before my speech, I just saw CNN air a few of the new, highly inflammatory Abu Ghraib photos now making the rounds.
No pixelation of the nude prisoners in the photos.
No disclaimers about paying respect to members of the US military who will be endangered by publication of the pics. The Washington Post used the opportunity to republish Abu Ghraib photos and video it obtained in April 2004.
Readers have been e-mailing all day the question the MSM needs to answer:
Why the Abu Ghraib photos, but not the Mohammed Cartoons?
We're listening...

Looking at pictures of the protests in the Muslim world, I have to ask if we have gone too far in our efforts to avoid offending Muslims, even moderate ones. I know there are patriotic American muslims, and I would hate for those people to feel threatened by our actions. However, modern Islam has bred a movement that is simply unacceptable. Even if fundamentalist Islam, or Islamofascism, or whatever it should be called, only composes a minority of the Islamic world, it is a minority that burns flags, buildings, and people. I question any religion or practice that allows that to become acceptable, as well as those who enable its entrenchment via inaction or appeasement.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Fighting Back

I share Bear & J-Red's frustrations over the Cheney mishap and MSM cowardice in the wake of these nonsensical protests over cartoons. I thought I'd spice things up with this cheerful bit of news:

Gotham has been attacked by Al Qaeda and Batman sets out to defend the city he loves.

That's right, the Dark Knight takes on Osama Bin Laden. The author of this graphic novel, called Holy Terror, Batman!, is none other than Frank Miller. Miller is known for his dark portrayals of Batman that influenced last year's hit Batman Begins, as well as his work as author of the very graphic Sin City. Why is Miller getting involved in the War on Terror (after a fashion)? He explains:

Miller doesn't hold back on the true purpose of the book, calling it "a piece of propoganda," where 'Batman kicks al Qaeda's ass. "The reason for this work, Miller said, was "an explosion from my gut reaction of what's happening now." He can't stand entertainers who lack the moxie of their '40s counterparts who stood up to Hitler. Holy Terror is "a reminder to people who seem to have forgotten who we're up against." It's been a long time since heroes were used in comics as pure propaganda. As Miller reminded, "Superman punched out Hitler. So did Captain America. That's one of the things they're there for.""These are our folk heroes," Miller said. "It just seems silly to chase around the Riddler when you've got Al Qaeda out there."

I like it.

NYTimes has high hopes

From the NYTimes:
"Everybody that I've heard so far has said it was an accident," said Mr. Valdez, who holds an elected position and is a Democrat. "The victim probably told the sheriff's department it was an accident."
Mr. Valdez added, "Now, if the worst happens and the man happens to die, we would take an additional step."
Under the law, even an accidental hunting fatality can result in criminal charges. Mr. Cheney could be charged with negligence, defined as failing to understand the dangers involved and disregarding them, or recklessness, defined as understanding the dangers and disregarding them.

Any idea what the Times editorialists are hoping for?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Press Venting

As incompetent and biased I thought the MSM was before, I have now lost almost complete hope. Back in the day, when the MSM had the monopoly on news distribution, it was generally a matter of public record that journalists were noble, passionate individuals who would give you the facts, and leave you to decide.

The current sorry state of the MSM completely destroys whatever confidence I used to have in the press. Eventually, as predicted by some, the advent of the blogosphere will lead to a dwindling number of intellectually lightweight journalists. If we can have brilliant attorney's reporting and questioning lawmakers, or genius economists analyzing and reporting on trade policies, why in the world would we have some lame journalist with a degree in English literature try to tell us how or whether the NSA program does or does not violate FISA.

All one has to do is look at the recent actions of the white house press corps. It's insane. They're just a bunch of political hacks trying to get a cheap shot. Ninety percent of the time they are asking questions on topics about which they have ZERO personal knowledge about. Whether it is the legality of the Plame leak case, or the finer points of quail hunting, reporters who know nothing about the topic don't know enough to ask the proper questions.

What inevitably happens is that the reporters fall into the trap of accepting the spin that confirms there own predispositions on a topic. Its called confirmation bias. (ie. Cheney is evil, therefore instead of asking relevant or useful questions they ask, how come we weren't the first to know, or has the Vice President tendered his resignation?)

I am sick and tired of simpletons, posing questions to simpletons.
I am sick and tired of a single layer of analysis, a 20 second soundbite, and an empty skirt behind the camera surrounded by talking heads screaming at each other.

Feardom of the Press

It's time for the West to stand up for their core values, first among them the freedom of the press. The cowardly response by both the media and government officials to the fabricated rage on the Muslim street ranges from dissapointing to infuriating.

An EU Foriegn Policy official had this to say, at an Islamic conference in Saudi Arabia:
“Unfortunately, people in the Muslim world feel that this is a new 9/11 against themselves. In Europe unfortunately Muslims have taken the place of Jews during World War II. There is a need for a UN legislation and clarification of existing conventions,” he said.
I don't think I can express how blindly moronic this type (or lack) of thinking is. Equating publishing cartoons with genocide and mass-muder?! Besides being wrong from a logical standpoint, you can't even make the claim that it is an effective policy. Do you think that you can calm down a mob by admitting to whatever lying accusations they are hurling at you. No. They don't want a confession (that's a different religion), they want blood. During the inquisition, you got tortured til you admitted your sin; but they didn't stop once you confessed, they used it as justification to pass judgement and kill you. So what do these idiots think they are doing?
And speaking of idiots providing propaganda, Al Gore has taken to America bashing, also in Saudi Arabia.
Gore said Arabs had been "indiscriminately rounded up" and held in "unforgivable" conditions. The former vice president said the Bush administration was playing into al-Qaida's hands by routinely blocking Saudi visa applications. Al Qaida doesn't want Saudi's to get to America?
Compared to Carter, Gore, and Kerry, President Clinton seems statesmanlike.

A great summary of the west's postition in caving to mob violence:

I am thinking of a word that keeps popping up whenever the Mohammed cartoonsa re mentioned.
That word is BUT. A sneaky word. It is used to deny or qualify what one has just said.
How many times lately have we not heard people of power, the Opinion Makers and others say that of course we have freedom of speech, BUT.
They have said it, all of them, from Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, to our own Bendt Bendtsen [a Danish Politician]. Once we had to be sensitive to the easily hurt feelings of the Nazis, then came the Communists, now it is the Islamists. The reason I say ‘Islamists’ is that I do not for a moment believe all the world’s Muslims are pissing on us. I think we are dealing with thugs, fools and misled people. Those are the ones we have to deal with, and then the chicken**** politicians.

In Canada, there is talk of using hate crime laws to punish papers that published the cartoons.

A good article on the press's history of standing up to mob violence. Quite a contrast to this:

[We won't publish the cartoons] out of fear of retaliation from the international brotherhood of radical and bloodthirsty Islamists who seek to impose their will on those who do not believe as they do. This is, frankly, our primary reason for not publishing any of the images in question. Simply stated, we are being terrorized, and as deeply as we believe in the principles of free speech and a free press, we couldnot in good conscience place the men and women who work at the Phoenix and its related companies in physical jeopardy. As we feel forced, literally, to bend to maniacal pressure, this may be the darkest moment in our 40-year publishing history.
Cox and Forum
Another good cartoon.
A true Frenchman, in the tradition of the French Resistance.

VP's hunting skills

From all the news about Cheny's hunting accident, the real story is what a bunch of self-absorbed idiots the press are. But I geuss thats not really news, is it.

NBC's David Gregory flipped out at Scott McClellan, the White House Press Secretary. Here's the exchange:

Gregory asked White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan about the Cheney hunting accident.
'David, hold on, the cameras aren't on right now,' McClellan replied. 'You can do this later.'
'Don't accuse me of trying to pose to the cameras,' Gregory said, voice rising. 'Don't be a jerk to me personally when I'm asking you a serious question.'
'You don't have to yell,' McClellan said.

'I will yell,' said Gregory, pointing a finger at McCellan at his dais. 'If you want to use that podium to try to take shots at me personally,
which I don't appreciate, then I will raise my voice, because that's wrong.'
'Calm down, Dave, calm down,' said McClellan.
'I'll calm down when I feel like calming down,' Gregory said.
'You answer the question.'
'I have answered the question,' said McClellan, who had maintained that the vice president's office was in charge of getting the information out and worked with the ranch owner to do that.
'I'm sorry you're getting all riled up about.'
'I am riled up,' Gregory said, 'because you're not answering the question.'

Now, who's the jerk?

David's real problem with this case? He didn't get to hear about it first.
"Let's just be clear here," Gregory said. "The vice president of the United States accidentally shoots a man, and he feels that it's appropriate for a ranch owner who witnessed this to tell the local Corpus Christi newspaper and not the White House press corps at large or notify the public in a national way?"
What was the point of his working so hard to get to the Press Corps, if he can get scooped by a South Texas Newspaper!?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Shifting our Weight

I don't talk much about diplomacy. Many diplomats (the John Bolton's excepted) fail to realize when the time for talk is ended. Some fall in love with their own position and status (Madeleine Albright comes to mind) and end up leaving little real accomplishment.

Condoleezza Rice seems to be doing a good job. She is traveling the world, pressing our case, and talking tough when it seems right to. This move, a large shift in the placement of U.S. diplomatic assets, is an important one. It reflects changing needs and looming problems:
  • India: Increasingly important U.S. trade partner, huge English speaking population
  • China: Huge economy, national security threat
  • Indonesia: huge Muslim population and emerging economic power
  • Israel: Historic ally facing tough times with Iran
  • Lebanon: emerging Arab democracy?
  • Bolivia: New president hostile to U.S. interest in drug war
  • Venezuela: Crackpot Chavez needs a lot of supervision

The reductions in assets for Europe, Brazil, and Japan are appropriate. Although they may reflect some king of "diplomatic downgrade" in some circles, it is evidence of change in a monolithic State Department badly in need. The market demands that businesses change rapidly to reflect evolving trends. This is a small step, but one that indicates our government can sometimes do the same.

CNN's Double Standard

Yesterday, Bill Bennet was on CNN's "the situation room," and while Wolf Blitzer started the segment, trying to point out that many Arab nations had double standards when it came to publishing irreverant cartoons. Bennet, however, made his own point that CNN had its own double standard; readily showing the images of anti-semitic cartoons and offensive christian images, but declining to air the Danish cartoons "out of respect for Islam." The full transcript is available here.

By far, the best line from Bennett was: "I promise you, they have won. They have silenced -- these -- these mobs have silenced the mainstream media, who are afraid of the mob."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cartoon Craziness

Michelle Malkin is completely over the story of the Dutch cartoon controversy. Yet again, this is another example of the internet completely destroying the MSM in both the breadth and depth of coverage.

The most interesting fact, one the MSM hardley recognizes, is that the Dutch Imams who traveled to the Middle east to rally support for their cause actually fabricated the three most offensive of the cartoons. The dutch press has been all over the story as well.

Hit her blog and just keep scrolling down

Noble Cause + Hero passes on = Bash Bush?

The funeral of Coretta Scott King was an opportunity to honor her legacy and achievements, as well as those of her husband. True to form, some liberals made it a Bush bashing party. Reverend Joseph Lowery, who I guess is famous for founding something, said the following (according to Drudge):

She extended Martin's message against poverty, racism and war. She deplored the terror inflicted by our smart bombs on missions way afar. We know now that there were no weapons of mass destruction over there.

What does that have to do with honoring Coretta Scott King? He continues:

"But Coretta knew, and we know," Lowery continued, "That there are weapons of misdirection right down here," he said, nodding his head toward the row of presidents past and present. "For war, billions more, but no more for the poor!"

What a classless stunt, to use a funeral to bash the individual who came to honor Mrs. King, representing the entire nation. Fortunately for my Dad, my son, and me, Rev. Lowery spells his last name incorrectly, so I can avoid that element of association just a little.

Jimmy Carter said some stuff too, about this Hurricane that is supposed to have taught us about race but didn't, but he frittered away any credibility that he may have had a long time ago, so we'll just pretend the 39th President was mute. He may as well have been for all the good he did while in office.

Just needed to vent a little.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

True or False?

Israel's Ambassador to the United States Danny Ayalon said on Tuesday morning that Iran is the biggest problem facing the world since World War II.

The above statement, taken from the Jerusalem Post, is striking. We live in an age of hyperbole, where politicians and other prominent figures feel there is an incentive to embellish the impact of whatever issue they face. This is not one of those times.

I agree with Ayalon, but would frame it a little differently. Iran is not yet to WWII proportions, but could easily get that way. This is more of a "1936 Nazi Germany occupies the Rhineland" situation, and it could get better or worse, depending on how the major powers approach it. In 1936 appeasement emboldened Hitler and WWII became inevitable, at least to our 2006 eyes. We have not yet reached that point with Iran and there is not yet an inexorable march to war. Indeed:

Ayalon, in an interview to Reuters, stated that he believed Iran's nuclear program would be blocked by diplomatic, not military means.

It is important to remember Ayalan is a diplomat. The diplomatic solution is what he is paid to provide. His private estimate for a peaceful solution to this issue may be more clouded. I'm not sure that it is possible.

Why is Iran such a grave threat?
  • Nuclear deterrence via Mutual Assured Destruction is not feasible in the case of a state like Iran. A like response to an Iranian nuke would be difficult to sell to the American people. We lack the stomach for that kind of retaliation.
  • The threat of nuclear war has not emerged with such force since the Cold War, and even then we have to go back to the 1960's and the Cuban Missile Crisis to see a comparable time. If Iran develops nukes, their Islamofascist leadership may not be as circumspect as Kennedy and Khrushchev. There certainly is not a "Hotline" between Olmert and Ahmadinejad or Bush and Ahmadinejad that might lead to cooler tempers.
  • The dangers of a nuclear Iran are not universally accepted. Solidarity in the Security Council is one thing, but will it translate to a military commitment by those actors to see Iran disarm, or at the very least tone down the rhetoric.

Unfortunately there are more questions than answers right now.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Notes about wiretapping...

I heard this on Rush Limbaugh today, and I don't know if he was quoting someone else or if it was his own observation. To paraphrase:

The part of the Constitution making it illegal for the President to wiretap is right next to the part that guarantees a woman's right to an abortion.

Viewed in the context of the Democrat's twisted interpretation of the Constitution, it seems on point.

Debra Burlingame, whose brother was the pilot on the plane that hit the Pentagon on 9/11, defends the president's anti-terror eavesdropping in convincing fashion:

A 2004 NBC report graphically illustrated what not having this program cost us 4 1/2 years ago. In 1999, the NSA began monitoring a known al Qaeda "switchboard" in Yemen that relayed calls from Osama bin Laden to operatives all over world. The surveillance picked up the phone number of a "Khalid" in the United States--but the NSA didn't intercept those calls, fearing it would be accused of "domestic spying."
After 9/11, investigators learned that "Khalid" was Khalid al-Mihdhar, then living in San Diego under his own name--one of the hijackers who flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon. He made more than a dozen calls to the Yemen house, where his brother-in-law lived.
NBC news called this "one of the missed clues that could have saved 3,000 lives."

The inconsistencies of the Democratic approach to fighting terrorism seem so plain.

Finally, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales provides more support for the program in today's Wall Street Journal:

After Sept. 11, Congress immediately confirmed the president's constitutional authority to "use all necessary and appropriate force" against those "those nations, organizations, or persons he determines" responsible for the attacks. The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) gave the president the latitude to use a full complement of tools and tactics against our enemy. A majority of Supreme Court justices have concluded that the AUMF authorizes the president to use "fundamental and accepted" incidents of military force in our armed conflict with al Qaeda. The use of signals intelligence--intercepting enemy communications--is a fundamental incident of waging war.

Here's to winning the war.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Politics & Prejudice

In light of my last piece regarding the prejudice of NAACP head Julian Bond, I thought it would be helpful to look at some other instances of race in the news.

There is a study that claims to support a correlation between racial bias and political preference:
That study found that supporters of President Bush and other conservatives had stronger self-admitted and implicit biases against blacks than liberals did...
The analysis found that substantial majorities of Americans, liberals and conservatives, found it more difficult to associate black faces with positive concepts than white faces -- evidence of implicit bias. But districts that registered higher levels of bias systematically produced more votes for Bush.

So what is the lesson we are to draw from this? Anybody who has taken basic statistics knows that correlation is not causation. That means that this study cannot tell us conclusively that being more implicitly prejudicial, even on a subconscious level, would make one a Republican. Nor does it follow from the results that someone who is a Republican is more implicitly prejudicial than someone who is a Democrat.

The test used to provide these results was explained in this Slate article published a while back. I think most of our readers understand why this bothers me a bit.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Bigotry from the NAACP

Perhaps I am being naive, but I can't help but be disappointed with Julian Bond's behavior. According to the World News Daily website, Bond, who is the head of the NAACP, delivered a speech at Fayetteville State University where he said:

The Republican Party would have the American flag and the swastika flying side by side.

I don't understand how someone as prominent as him can get away with this. Liberals talk about conservatives as if it were a crime to think differently. They are some of the most untolerant and prejudiced people, and Bond is as big a bigot as any of them.

He is free to say what he wants. It is infuriating that he will get a free pass for it. I'm no expert, but it seems that comments like his violate the prohibition on speech laid out by the FEC for non-profits.

Boehner wins...

The Republican Caucus has elected Rep. John Boehner of Ohio as House Majority Leader. Although he was not my top choice, I am more comfortable with him than Blunt. He doesn't have a history of earmarking like Blunt, a promising indicator.

The DeLay indictment, rather than being a setback for the party, was actually an opportunity to clean house. I know that the blogosphere has made its presence felt over the weeks of this campaign. I think it is clear that conservatives want Representatives that think of Government budgets as a stewardship over OUR money.

Voters may not have paid attention to the election of House Majority Leader, but actions like this will make a difference come election day. It won't be because voters will say, "The Republicans selected Boehner and he was for reform." It will be because the efforts of the party will better reflect the ideals that make conservatism what it is.

Unfortunate & Tasteless

Michelle Malkin reports on an editorial cartoon that was published on January 29th by the Washington Post. It is stunning for its tastelessness. Mainstream media apologists often point to the high degree and high quality of editorial oversight at the major newpapers. What a joke.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff responded with a tough letter that the Post did publish today. All of the Joint Chiefs signed it.