Sunday, January 30, 2005

 

Blue Fingers, Brave People, Blessings of Liberty!

Folks,
It's been an amazing day for the world, for America, for Iraq, and for freedom.
To show YOUR solidarity with the brave people of Iraq, may I suggest you do what I've done and what a young girl in the South came up with---before you go out tomorrow (Monday) ink YOUR INDEX FINGER in deep blue, too--show your solidarity with the voters of Iraq....and give the proverbial "finger" to the terrorists and haters.

If you read some of the amazing Iraqi blogs, you'll here tales of old people, sick people, people taking their children with them, people dressing in their finest as if for a very special party--all to VOTE. A woman says "I've never had a choice in anything, not who to marry, nothing, until now." Another "We not only never had this in Iraq, we never even read about it in neighboring countries." THOUSANDS in Abu Graib WALKED 13 MILES in the sun EACH WAY to the nearest polling place when theirs was shut due to security concerns. One blogger tells the tale of a group of Iraqi National Guard troops CHEERING THE VOTERS and saying THEY were the country's heroes--then ONE soldier got a bit enthusiastic and yelled "Vote for Alawi!"--and his officer stopped the convoy, and publicly dressed him down, saying "Listen--you are NOT Alawi's soldier--you are IRAQ'S Soldier--It is NOT our place to tell people how to vote!" and the crowd CHEERED the officer!

The point is, my friends, THESE PEOPLE "GET" IT! And the only ones who said they wouldn't/couldn't are the RACIST IMPERIALISTS of the OLD EUROPEAN nations and the AMERICAN LEFT! Sweep Teddy & the gang into the dustbin of history!

Wear YOUR ink-blue finger tomorrow, and wear it with PRIDE>

And BY THE WAY......while millions vote, thousands fight, a bit over one thousand Americans have died, and countless others have sacrificed, there is absolutely NO DOUBT ON EARTH by ANY honest person that today's miracle in Iraq is due to ONE MAN because he has the WILL to make it happen.

In tribute to our President, the following lines from "man of La Mancha" come to mind to me and have been singing in my head all day:

"And the world will be better for this,
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
To reach the unreachable stars!"

God Bless You, Mr. President.
This blue finger is for you, too.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

 

The Ever-Insightful, Ever-Entertaining Lileks Strikes Again!

This guy is both hilarious and, in a good way, relentlessly viscious. Read his take on the Rathergate Report and see HERE or below. Don't deny yourself the pleasure, regardless of your political pov, of some great writing with a very sharp point. James Lileks gets my nomination for punditry's highest honors (and his blog is in our blogroll for that reason and it is a work of art visually, too.)

---------------

Posted on Wed, Jan. 12, 2005

Hush, Dan, and be grateful
By JAMES LILEKS

Some CBS critics would be satisfied with nothing less than this:

From: Mapes
To: Bigdan:
OK, here's the deal. I got a guy who cooked up fake memos, another guy who will lie about their credibility, and a retired general who will back up the story. He's dead, but we have the seance on tape. (Morley did the voice. What a ham!) The Kerry campaign is ready to go with the "Fortunate Son" ad campaign to piggyback on the AWOL theme. You end the segment by saying, "And the story is, as they say in a one-hour Texas Photomat, developing." That'll be the cue for everyone to wipe the hard drives. Oh, and I had the guy who faked the memos "disappear" in a scuba accident. Don't worry, I outsourced it and billed it as "catering." Love, Mary

From: Bigdan
To: Mapes
You are as hard-working as an Oklahoma toad in a button-polishing contest, and I'm happy as a horse who inherited a peanut butter factory. After 17 attempts to smear Bush with a fabricated charge, it looks as if we may finally have something that sticks like Juicy Fruit on the Alamo wall. Keep in touch. Dan

Anything short of that? Whitewash! Such critics will never be satisfied.

But maybe that's good. Maybe skepticism should be the final reaction to CBS' internal report on Memogate.
There's also room for a little gratitude: It wasn't quietly sneaked out on a Friday night. It named names and collected scalps. Four CBS employees were heaved out the window. Some sort of commission will be set up to safeguard the precious remaining ounces of the network's credibility, which are now in a vial in a safe. And consider what we've learned.

What caused CBS to run with this story? A raging, untrammeled desire to see George W. Bush driven from office in a hail of jeers and dead cats? Oh, heavens no.

"Myopic zeal," as one CBS executive put it. A desire to get the story out quickly, because there might be another nut out there with another set of forged documents, talking to ABC. No bias here! If we're guilty of anything, it's good ol' fashioned enthusiasm!

This is hard to swallow.

The report would have been satisfying if it had squarely faced the issue of bias, and ferreted out every last contact between producer Mary Mapes and the Kerry campaign. But its authors didn't dare, either from unease with the truth or disbelief that journalists might have agendas. Those Fox guys, sure. And Armstrong Williams, it now seems. But Dan Rather? The man's so fair he rotates his metaphors among all 50 states!
The report did note that some who helped unmask the forgeries had agendas of their own. Which is relevant how, exactly? If an atheist proves that the face of the Virgin Mary on a Krispy Kreme was actually drawn with a Sharpie, this doesn't mean the doughnut's holy.

True, pro-Bush bloggers may have been more suspicious than those who think Bush spends his days leashed and curled at Karl Rove's feet, but they were right, and that's what counted in the end.

The CBS report can't bring itself, even now, to say the documents were unquestionably bogus. Rather himself told the panel that "no one had provided persuasive evidence that the documents were not authentic." This is like floating in the North Atlantic, clinging to a White Star Line life preserver, asking for proof that the Titanic ever existed in the first place.

Dan, please. Be grateful the report went as far as it did, because it ended the story for all practical purposes. Be grateful it didn't go further, lest CBS News be seen as the entertainment wing of the Democratic National Committee.

Remember the heading on those damning memos? SUBJECT: CYA.

"A" stands for "anchor."


James Lileks is a columnist for the Star Tribune, 425 Portland Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55488. E-mail: james.lileks@newhouse.com


Monday, January 10, 2005

 

YouDon'tHaveToBeBiased...To Spin

It helps, of course. That's why the silly notion spun in the CBS report that political bias had nothing to do with Rathergate is, well, silly. Of course it did. But you know, there is a built-in spin machine in all journalism, especially high-profile media journalism, and it doesn't have as much to do with politics as it does with economics---journalists--whether individuals or institions like networks and newspapers--are about getting attention, and that skews the whole process in a way that's not only overlooked, but also actually measurable. I didn't know how measurable until I read THIS COLUMN by Paul Jacob. Read the whole thing, but here's the measurement portion fyi:

---

There's less crime than "the well-informed" think there is, for instance. Reporters report the exceptional, but news viewers see these exceptions as the rule, with crime endemic. Thankfully, this is something that John Stossel repeatedly reminds his viewers. Few other journalists do.

Similarly, a recent study has shown that journalists, by concentrating on the biggest spending electoral races, encourage widespread misperception. In a survey conducted by social scientists at MIT and Stanford, it was found that "people with less education (and thus lower tendency to read newspapers) had, on average, the most accurate estimates of the average amount of money spent in politics and the relative importance of interest groups."

Informed readers' opinions on the subject, on the other hand, closely tracked the lopsided reporting they'd been exposed to. They over-estimated the impact of corporate and PAC money; their estimates of amounts spent on campaigns was over seven times that actually spent.

So, on average, the people in the nation with the most accurate view of politics are the least informed. At least on this issue.

 

Rathergate Chickens Roost...sort of.....

Okay. The famous report is out. You can read the whole thing (I have...get some no-doz) HERE (I suggest you rightclick/download the PDF file for future study or in case the power goes out during its endless self-justification.

But the best summary reaction--better and more in synch with my views than anything I'd write myself--comes from the Weekly Standard's Jonathan Last, and I present it here as the "coda" on this episode that began the true age of the Blog Revolution (which will not end now, btw--and which, I predict, will have its next major war and VICTORY up in Washington re. the shameless vote-non-count/count for Governor) the LINK is HERE, but here' s the whole text, too:

--------------

CBS and the Philosopher's Stone
What the CBS Report has to say about Dan Rather, Mary Mapes, and their political agenda.

by Jonathan V. Last 01/10/2005 12:20:00 PM

IN A DOCUMENT shot through with agnosticism, perhaps the most agnostic section of the CBS Report is a six-page segment toward the end titled, "Whether There Was a Political Agenda Driving the September 8 Segment."

The Panel acknowledges that some sectors of the media had imputed political bias to Rathergate. So diligence required that the panel ask both Dan Rather and Mary Mapes, directly, whether or not they had been politically motivated: "Both strongly denied that they brought any political bias to the Segment."

Surprising? Not really. It seems unlikely that either Rather or Mapes would even perceive their own political bias--and even more unlikely that they would cop to it if they did perceive it. Yet for Thornburgh and Boccardi, their denial is enough, since "The Panel will not level allegations for which it cannot offer adequate proof." And here the CBS Report continues its modus operandi: It enumerates, in damning detail, CBS's mistakes, and then throws its hands in the air.

To wit: The report tells us that Mapes and Rather had pursued the story for five years; that they used a number of anti-Bush sources as key components of the story; that they tried to use a "gratuitous" and "inflammatory" interview with Colonel Hackworth; and that Mapes attempted to put Bill Burkett in contact with the Kerry campaign.

Thornburgh and Boccardi view all of these facts and then turn away saying that there is no "persuasive evidence of a political agenda;" and that they do "not believe that evidence
exists to demonstrate" that political leanings of the anti-Bush sources influenced the story; and that they "cannot conclude that this proposed use of Colonel Hackworth was part of any political agenda."

The only counter-evidence the report offers on this score are Mapes's and Rather's denials. "Absolutely, unequivocally untrue," Rather thunders. It was "proximity, not politics," Mapes demurs.

The CBS report can find evidence of political bias--they admit and document as much; they just can't reach any metaphysical conclusions about why that evidence exists. The esteemed panel has a journalist and an attorney general. Perhaps they should have included a philosopher, too.

Jonathan V. Last is online editor of The Weekly Standard.


Wednesday, December 29, 2004

 

The Unpopular Truth: SOMEbody Has To Say This---

On another note regarding the tragedy in the far east, there is something that must be said that NO major media has mentioned in my hearing so far. I'm not going to be popular for doing it. I didn't start this blog to be popular, so here goes, but if you'd rather not be disturbed--by the facts being avoided or by my mentioning them, skip this one, okay?

You might have noticed coming through the reports that there have been a LARGE number of dead tourists from Germany, Scandinavia and other Western European countries among the victims of this disaster, especially in Thailand and its beach resorts. The fact you are NOT being presented with is that these are predominantly MALE victims, and that this area is, or rather has been, the hotbed of child-sex-tourism and child-sex-slave prostitution in the world, mostly going on because "civilized" males from "civilized" ( not to mention UN"stingy" nations) have the cash and the desire and finance it with their criminal and immoral lusts.

No child's death is a blessing--all children and all human beings have a right to dignity and life and opportunity and a future, but if there is a sad, bitter, hard-to-talk-or-write-about lining of silver to this dark, terrible tragedy of nature and nature's God, it is that for the poor children who have lived their short lives as the prey of sick, rich, immoral and amoral Western sex tourists from Old Europe, their torment is over and their tormentors have paid a terrible price for their obsessional evil.

I told you it wasn't pretty or easy. I hope you appreciate the need to note it as I did. I'm not calling this "God's wrath" or anything like it. I don't think the Lord is that kind of cut-with-a-wide-swath deity. But surely if there is any justice in the Universe, at least a small part of it was done amongst the horror and carnage of this huge tragedy....AND the world has been given a shot at making sure this sickness does NOT rebuild, regroup, and resume as the cleanup begins.

 

As The New Year Turns...The WaPo Stays Disgustingly Predictably Silly

Welcome back--hope your holidays are going happily. Clearly the world has suffered a huge tragedy in the tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean, and clearly all the preliminary death toll numbers will rise, double, and double again because, as one spokesperson I heard on the radio today put it, "A dead body is a disease machine" and the cleanup is going slowly--too slowly to stop the plague that will surely follow. The fact that the Pacific, home to larger and more frequent undersea quakes and the killer waves they create, has a warning system in place, that the UN has been "talking" about doing one in the Indian Ocean for DECADES with no progress, and that the quake happened TWO FULL EVACUATION-POSSIBLE HOURS before the beaches were hit and the lives of hundreds of thousands were changed or obliterated forever is just another testament to the fact that when the world does it THEIR way instead of OUR way, people suffer.

But hey, this blog is about the MSM, right? And what's more MSM than the Washington Post, which took time today to tell us how very, very unhappy they were with Dubya. Wow. Big news. But read this tripe HERE (or as much as you can stand) and then come back to me, ok?

So people are dead and in danger, the USA is, once again, among the FIRST on the scene, we take ACTION while UN bureaucrats from Scandinavia tut-tut about how "stingy" we are and suggest we raise our taxes to their confiscatory (and economy-killing) levels to pay for other nations' problems, and what does the paper of record of the capital of our nation do? It findsdyed-in-the-wool Dems like Leslie Gelb, Mort Abramowitz, and the astoundingly inept and corrupt Wesley Clark to say something it then claims "many" are saying--that somehow the fact that Dubya didn't leave Crawford, fly to DC, weep in front of TV cameras and be....Clintonesque....instead of just taking charge, trusting the people he's hired to do their jobs, and getting on with life as the leader of the free world, whether it likes that fact or not....THAT is what they say, folks---they use the death of thousands in a natural disaster as what? A lever to suggest that international bodies stop TALKING and start DOING something about warning systems? That aid mechanisms get better? That nations who back Osama and Co. should start helping their own people? That the only aid possible is coming from CAPTIALISTS who can AFFORD to help others?

Nope. Not in WaPoLand, a subcontinent of MSMiana, a place where the only waves that kill are of spin, hype, and downright lies.

Oh by the way, the article DOES happen to mention, among the many other aid efforts the US is immediately putting in place, the dispatch of the USS Abraham Lincoln, a wonderful behemoth aircraft carrier I've had the pleasure of being aboard and knowing the amazing young men and women of as part of my showbiz career. So tell me, when you're counting up our gifts and benevolence, WaPo---just how much does it COST to send a whole AIRCRAFT CARRIER with over FIVE THOUSAND sailors and marines on board ANYwhere? And why didn't those "less stingy" Norwegians send THEIRS? Oh...haven't GOT one? Can't afford EVEN one? I see. I see.

But meanwhile, does any of this sink in over at WaPo Land? No, they use it to criticize Bush, and to pretend there is some groundswell of criticism for him, even while the only vox populi reaction I've heard all day on talk radio has been for everyday average red-and-bluestate Americans to call the UN jerk who said we were stingy, "A jerk."

But that's the Washington Post, and that's why the Dems and the Left will continue to lose, continue to retreat into more and more dogmatic enclaves in NYC and Hollywood and Boston, and why the purple states are turning redder and redder every day. These guys don't get it--and whether they amuse us or disgust us, all they do is REMIND us of their idiocy and venality with every stroke of their poisonous MSM pen.

Friday, December 03, 2004

 

Krauthammer--A National Treasure Indeed!

Wow. Charlie's done it again. Read THIS please. Here or there. And then spread it around. Like he usually does, Dr. K. takes things to the "next level" of analysis, insight, and reason--in this case daring to ask the question: WHY should the Europeans agree with us about democracy's value in Ukraine but NOT in Iraq? Answers? Read on:
----------------

Why Only in Ukraine?
By Charles KrauthammerFriday, December 3, 2004; Page A27 WashingtonPost

There has been general back-patting in the West about renewed European-American comity during the Ukrainian crisis. Both the United States and Europe have been doing exactly the right thing: rejecting a fraudulent election run by a corrupt oligarchy and insisting on a new vote. This gives us an opportunity to ostentatiously come together with Europe. Considering our recent disagreements, that is a good thing. But before we get carried away with this era of good feeling, let us note the reason for this sudden unity.

This is about Russia first, democracy only second. This Ukrainian episode is a brief, almost nostalgic throwback to the Cold War. Russia is trying to hang on to the last remnants of its empire. The West wants to finish the job begun with the fall of the Berlin Wall and continue Europe's march to the east.

You almost have to feel sorry for the Russians. (I stress almost.) In the course of one generation, they have lost one of the greatest empires in history: first their Third World dependencies, stretching at one point from Nicaragua to Angola to Indochina; then their East European outer empire, now swallowed by NATO and the European Union; and then their inner empire of Soviet republics.

The Muslim "-stans" are slowly drifting out of reach. The Baltic republics are already in NATO. The Transcaucasian region is unstable and bloody. All Russia has left are the Slavic republics. Belarus is effectively a Russian colony. But the great prize is Ukraine, for reasons of strategy (Crimea), history (Kiev is considered by Russians to be the cradle of Slavic civilization) and identity (the eastern part is Russian Orthodox and Russian-speaking).

Vladimir Putin, who would not know a free election if he saw one, was not about to let an election get in the way of retaining sway over Ukraine. The problem is that his bluff was called, and he does not have the power to do to Ukraine what his Soviet predecessors did to Hungary and Czechoslovakia during the Cold War.
Hence the clash of civilizations over Ukraine and, to some extent, within Ukraine: the authoritarian East vs. the democratic West.

But this struggle is less about democracy than about geopolitics. Europe makes clear once again that it is a full-throated supporter of democracy -- in its neighborhood. Just as it is a forthright opponent of ethnic cleansing in its neighborhood (Yugoslavia) even as it lifts not a finger elsewhere (Rwanda, southern Sudan, now Darfur).

That is why this comity between the United States and Europe is only temporary. The Europeans essentially believe, to paraphrase Stalin, in democracy on one continent. As for democracy elsewhere, they really could not care less.

They pretend, however, that this opposition to America's odd belief in spreading democracy universally is based not on indifference but on superior wisdom -- the world-weary sagacity of a more ancient and experienced civilization that knows that one cannot bring liberty to barbarians. Meaning, Arabs. And Muslims. And Iraqis.

Hence the Bush-Blair doctrine of bringing some modicum of democracy to the Middle East by establishing one country as a beachhead is ridiculed as naive and messianic. And not just by Europeans but by their "realist" allies here in the United States.

Thus Zbigniew Brzezinski, a fierce opponent of the Bush administration's democracy project in Iraq, writes passionately about the importance of democracy in Ukraine and how, by example, it might have a domino effect, spreading democracy to neighboring Russia. Yet when George Bush and Tony Blair make a similar argument about the salutary effect of establishing a democracy in the Middle East -- and we might indeed have the first truly free election in the Middle East within two months if we persevere -- "realist" critics dismiss it as terminally naive.

If you had said 20 years ago that Ukraine would today be on the threshold of joining a democratic Europe, you, too, would have been called a hopeless utopian. Yes, Iraq has no democratic tradition and deep ethnic divisions. But Ukrainian democracy is all of 13 years old, much of it dominated by a corrupt, authoritarian regime with close ties to an even more corrupt and authoritarian Russia. And with a civilizational split right down the middle, Ukraine has profound, and potentially catastrophic, divisions.

So let us all join hands in praise of the young people braving the cold in the streets of Kiev. But then tell me why there is such silence about the Iraqis, young and old, braving bullets and bombs, organizing electorate lists and negotiating coalitions even as we speak. Where is it written: Only in Ukraine?

letters@charleskrauthammer.com

------------------
ONE MORE POINT that comes to my mind re. the issues Krauthammer raises--he notes that Putin, who we all PRETEND is the "democratically elected" boss of Russia, wouldn't know a free election if he saw one. Well, we all continue in this fantasy/acceptance that Russia isnt the bad-old USSR and go with the idea that he's a "president" and not a "boss" for diplomacy's sake, right? So howcome "realist" pols in the US do that, but still say that if 100% of Iraq doesn't or can't vote in January's elections due to insurgencies or political squabbles between Shias and Sunnis that the election there won't be "legitimate" and that the democracy there won't be real or significant? Once again, a double standard that betrays an underlying racism towards the region AND a hypocritical self-interest on domestic policy grounds.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

 

The Sage of South Central Gets It JUST Right Again!

My pal Larry Elder has written another glowing piece of brilliance, so just in case you missed it HERE, read along, ponder, and enjoy:

Don't look now -- but Bush is uniting the country
Larry Elder December 2, 2004


"I hope that in this term," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., "President Bush will fulfill his renewed promise to be a uniter, not a divider."

Don't look now, but Bush is doing some uniting.

Notice, for example, the absence of hysteria when the so-called ban against assault weapons expired. Sure, candidate Kerry, on the campaign trail, warned that the expiration of the ban makes "the job of terrorists easier and made the job of America's law-enforcement officers harder." But, for the most part, Kerry did not make this into a campaign issue. Why? Democrats know that, in 2000, presidential candidate Al Gore lost his home state of Tennessee, in part, because of Tennesseans' opposition to further gun control.

What about the divisive issue of abortion? "I am prepared to filibuster, if necessary," said former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, "any Supreme Court nominee who would turn back the clock on a woman's right to choose or the constitutional right to privacy, on civil rights and individual liberties. . . . The test is basic -- any person who thinks it's his or her job to push an extreme political agenda rather than to interpret the law should not be a Supreme Court justice." Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York, stated, "I am and always have been pro-choice, and that is not a right any of us should take for granted. There are a number of forces at work in our society that would try to turn back the clock and undermine a woman's right to choose, and [we] must remain vigilant." And the 2004 Democratic Party platform says, "Because we believe in the privacy and equality of women, we stand proudly for a woman's right to choose, consistent with Roe v. Wade, and regardless of her ability to pay."

But with whom do the Democrats intend to replace the defeated liberal outgoing Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota? Harry Reid, D-Nevada. Who is Harry Reid? He calls himself pro-life. NARAL, formerly the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, gives Reid a mere 29 percent favorability rating. Contrast that with Daschle's 50 percent. Reid even supports mining interests against environmentalists.

Whether soon-to-be outgoing Democratic Chairman Terry McAuliffe realizes it, the Democratic Party seems to be shifting toward the center -- Bush's center.

Even more telling, a recent USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll gives President Bush a personal favorability rating of 60 percent, and 55 percent now approve of his job. And what about "divisive," "extremist," "lightning rods" like National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and especially outgoing Attorney General John Ashcroft? The poll gives Rice a 63 percent favorable rating, versus 26 percent unfavorable; Rumsfeld a 51 percent favorable rating, versus 39 percent unfavorable, and Ashcroft received a 50 percent favorable rating, versus 37 percent unfavorable. Indeed, White House legal counsel Alberto Gonzales recently praised his outgoing boss, "I will work hard to build upon [Ashcroft's] record."
Some called "hateful" Bush's proposal for an amendment to ban gay marriage. But most Americans -- 62 percent, according to recent polls -- oppose same-sex marriage. Forty-three states passed laws that restrict marriage to opposite sex couples, while an increasing number allow civil unions or domestic partnerships (something the president says he supports).

Even on the War in Iraq, most Americans believe that, having started down this path, a failed Iraq poses more risks than it solves. Current polls show 48 percent of Americans support the War in Iraq, and 46 percent oppose it. Our commitment in Iraq figures to be long-term, but Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the terrorist who authorities believe plays a major role in the Iraqi "insurgency," recently posted a message on an Islamic Web site. Zarqawi blamed what he called the Fallujah "slaughter" on the failure of Muslims to rally against the "occupying infidels": "Hundreds of thousands of the nation's sons are being slaughtered at the hands of the infidels because of your silence. You have let us down in the darkest circumstances and handed us over to the enemy. You have stopped supporting the holy warriors."

Americans intend to stay the course. For we recognize, as Rice put it, the War on Terror promises to be a generational one.

What about the rest of the world? Yes, polls show that many French and Germans loathe Bush, dislike America's dominance and foreign policy, and even boycott American products and services. But the Bush administration just successfully pressured the 19 member nations of the Paris Club -- including Germany and France -- to forgive 80 percent of the $39 billion owed them by Iraq. The Bush administration also got Jordan to assist in the training of Iraqi military personnel.

Not bad for a divider.


Thursday, November 25, 2004

 

Of All The Thanksgiving Articles I've Read...

....this one from the Houston Chronicle is the most moving to me, and one I'd like to share with you all. Read it, count your blessings, and be thankful indeed. Happy Holidays!
-----

An adopted daughter gives thanks to America

A child of refugees counts her many blessings

By ANH V. SAWYER

I wish you could have been with me this morning. It was snowing, not heavily, but enough flurries to prevent many of my international friends from coming to our monthly International Wives Club. Most of them came from the other side of the world where the coldest temperature hovers above 60 degrees.

There were only 14 of us, half of the normal gathering. Six were Americans and the rest from different parts of the world. Together, we decorated our tables and spread out the food that everyone had brought. Our theme was American Thanksgiving, so I brought a turkey, my first attempt at cooking the giant chicken. The American wives brought pies, and others brought fruit and salads.

Our group leader told us of the history of American Thanksgiving, of the 102 persons who first arrived in Plymouth, Mass., on the Mayflower, of the local Indians' kindness and of the many deaths that followed from the hardship of life in this new place.

When she finished, I asked everyone in the group to share their Thanksgiving thought if they were comfortable doing so. Many of us don't speak English well, and besides, where we came from, we do not always share our hearts so readily like our American friends.

The American wives were thankful for God, families and friends. The foreigners, one after another, with their limited English, wanted to give thanks for this country, for the freedom and peace they have experienced here, for the friendship and unconditional love and help they have received from American friends and strangers. Several had tears roll down their cheeks as they spoke.

Tan, a lovely Mainland Chinese visiting scholar, said: "I wake up so happy every morning. I cannot believe I am here in this country. I feel so free. Sometimes, I have to pinch myself."

Chin, a Taiwanese graduate student, young and gentle, shared with us: "Before I came here, I didn't even know how to open a can. I had a very sheltered life. So when I arrived here, I was very fearful for my life. But the Americans take care of me and teach me many things.

Sandi, a Korean nurse, thoughtful and wise, said, with tears in her eyes: "I want to give thanks to my parents who came here with absolutely nothing. They had to work very hard and sacrificed much for my sister and me. And this country made it possible for them to give us what we have now."

And more I wish you could hear with your own ears.

Many of the International Wives were intrigued to hear that their own beginnings in this country were similar to the Pilgrims. They, too, had a very difficult time with learning English, getting a job and finding a niche for themselves, but after all is said and done they would not trade what they are having to go through here for anything else.

As a former refugee, I, too, want to thank you, dear America, for your love for humanity, for the profound understanding that liberty is indeed the core of genuine humanness, and for sharing your resources, your opportunities and your wonderful heritage with the refugees and immigrants of the world.

You also impart to us a willingness to love and to forgive. These are very vulnerable concepts for many of us foreigners who were bound by traditions of getting even. You know, my Mainland Chinese and Taiwanese friends told me that they don't really get along well with each other, but it was Tan who reached out to Chin and invited her to our gatherings. In our international fellowship, I've often seen Croats break bread with Serbs and people from all over the Middle East — people who would be each others' enemies if they were still in their countries — befriend one another.

I meant to send this article for publication on Veterans Day; but I was worried that I would be misunderstood and categorized as a war-lover. I do not like war or any kind of bloodshed because I myself had to go through that hellish experience for the first 20 years of my life. However, I often ask myself, without the men and women who went to war and laid down their lives, even for the peoples they didn't know, would I be able to taste this precious freedom and liberty?

Sometimes I think of America as the children, and myself as the dog, in one of Jesus' parables: "First, let the children eat all they want," Jesus told her, "for it is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to the dogs.
"Yes, Lord," she replied, "but even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."

Even with the crumbs, I am grateful and satisfied. However, I long to be one of the children, not because America wouldn't let me, but because after 30 years of living and breathing free in this country, I am still going through a healing process. It continues to be a long journey for me to unlearn the fear I grew up in and to learn to truly enjoy the bread.

It was a struggle to put these words on paper, because deep down I am afraid of retaliation. I think the most wonderful gift America offers is freedom from fear. So, I thank you, America. I am the daughter you have adopted and raised to become someone who has faith in life and lives with real purpose. I now dare to dream and to believe that my dreams can come true. Where I came from, the most important wish a child can have is to bring honor to his or her parents. I hope I will bring honor to America.
-------------
Sawyer is a writer and speaker. With her friend Pam Proctor, she wrote "Song of Saigon," published by Warner Books in 2003.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

 

DING DONG, THE ANCHOR'S DEAD!

While the idea for this blog had been percolating for quite a while (and while the travesties of the MSM and the popular culture such as movies and TV are hardly recent phenomena only) this blog clearly began in reaction to a specific incident--what the blogosphere dubbed "Rathergate" and the obscenely biased reporting of one Dan Rather and the CBS NEWS team. There's been controversy, investigation, denial, and a whole lot more since then, but today comes welcome news for any who cherish free and fair press: Dan Rather is GONE from the anchor role at CBS, announcing his retirement today effective in early March (although he'll continue to do "60 Minutes" duties for an indeterminate while after that.) The announcement was made by Rather to the CBS staff and then to the public as follows, according to Drudge:

"ADDRESSES CBS NEWSROOM AT APPROXIMATELY 1:39PM EST [Partial transcript -- joined in progress]: No matter what you hear elsewhere, this was a mutual decision. The timing has to do with (wanting to separate) this decision to leave the anchor chair... from the (investigation) of the 60 MINUTES report. The decision got made the way I described. There is nothing more important (to me) than how honored I am to work with the greatest news organization in the world. Thank you for coming. We're not going to spend much time (on questions) because we have news to cover. (Offered to answer questions, but staff simply gave his signature 'hip hip' three cheers.) Let's get back to work. Thanks everyone. "

Now clearly this means that the CBS investigation in-house into the Rathergate issue is finally and toturously drawing to a close and they allowed Dan to fall on his sword FIRST to pretend there's no connection when everyone above age 5 and a half can see the connection clearly.

OUR reaction? Well, if we spoke Latin we'd say "Sic Semper Moronis!" Or maybe "Mentiris" or "FarLeftis" but what the heck, you get the idea. Liars pretending to be newsmen, especially those who lie from a political agenda they deny, shouldn't clutter the public airwaves. Adios Dan--its been a nice ride from your one lucky break of being in the right place and right time when JFK was shot until now--surely a record in the parlaying of a lucky break and average talent into a career. Here' s the official story. Read it....and chuckle. We did.
http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=276466&page=1





 

Can It Be ONLY Three Weeks....???

....since the wonderful election? Yes, it can. Three short weeks in which we've seen a VERY activist Dubya take charge, change cabinet officers, begin without waiting or pausing or resting on his new agenda for the 2nd administration, have the military win a decisive victory in Fallujah and elsewhere, AND TODAY, we find that in USA Today's polls, he's seen as a GOOD president people WANT to lead America by 55% of those polled! What does that mean? It means that a SIZEABLE chunk of the people who voted against him on election day are quite willing to be convinced that he's doing a good job--and that is NOT music to the ears of the hate-Bush/Anybody-but-Bush crowd in charge at the DNC who are clamoring for a Howard Dean makeover of their party as even more about hate and further to the left. If they go that way, it will permanently doom a party that has been in rapid decline since Jimmy Carter's day, that consistantly loses senate, house, and statehouse posts all acrosss both the red and blue states, and that is seriously considering offering as a candidate for the American people in 4 years one Hillary Rodham Whatsis, whose most recent public utterances have been about the evil of Red state religious fanatics and about the wonderfulness of her hubby's hideous and falsifying-history Presidential Library in Little Rock. Does the fact that she lived there make here the "Southerner" the Dems think can win them back the Red States? If so.....they're even more deluded and confused than it appears.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

 

Shameless (and Delicious) Plug Time: www.LovePBJ.com

Some friends have come up with the most wonderful Holiday Gift idea I've seen...or tasted. Would you believe this?

"The Peanut-Butter-And-Jelly-Of-The-Month Club" !!!

Yep, monthly deliveries to your door of unique, gourmet, artisan-created peanut butters and jellies--from traditional to unique variations (hot-and-spicy pb, cinnamon-honey pb, special pb in tubes for joggers, jellies made from everything from traditional fruits to herbs and flowers to, would you believe it, KUDZU?) plus they've got a "PB&J Boutique" with a superb cookbook, great gifts like teeshirts featuring famous PB&J lovers in history (I love the one featuring General Patton, and the Golda Meier one will floor you, too!) plus hats, mugs, even g-strings and boxers!

The best part? NO wrapping, NO mailing, NO doing anything but hitting the website, choosing your favorite club, and giving it via credit card and now you are gifting once a month for a full YEAR of tasty enjoyment--and should probably give one to yourSELF, too. They even do bulk discounts for corporate gift-giving, and how many of YOU have businesses where reminding customers or suppliers that you like them every month for a full YEAR is a GOOD idea?

The website is fun, too, with a huge collection of peanut butter and jelly trivia, facts, recipes, and games, and you can access all of it at http://www.LovePBJ.com And yes, it IS run by friends of mine...and yes, this IS my blog and I'll plug if I want to. And wow...it is GOOD peanut butter! Spread some soon, and spread it around YOUR holiday gift list!

 

Madame Librarian? Marian? Or is it Hillary? Ahem....

....so today, in a rainy mess so symbolic of his reign, President Bill Clinton opens the most personally-supervised, "tweaked by himself" Presidential Library in the history of such institutions in Little Rock, Ak. Putting politics aside (something the library's exhibits NEVER do) let's talk about the building first. Have you seen it? Have you really SEEN it? It looks, being charitable, like an airport in a Soviet republic. Ugly, boxy, pseudo-modern and about to fall down. Horrible!

But that's nothing compared to the propaganda within. According to published reports, while the museum has a "whitewater alcove" regarding the impeachment scandals of the Clintons, it plays fast and loose with the truth, for example saying that the whole thing was a powergrab by evil Republicans, that NOBODY was convicted (ignoring the 14 people who were, of course, and the President's plea bargain deal to agree to disbarrment to avoid indictment) and painting Newt Gingrich as the evil one and Ken Starr as his loyal servant. OF course, the ex-Clintonistas like Begala & co say it is "Fair and Balanced" and say that it is in keeping with all other Presidential Libraries, scoffingly quipping "I don' t think there's a Contragate niche at the Reagan Library! Hahaahhah!"

Except, of course, that there IS just that. The Reagan Library, housed in a BEAUTIFUL and tasteful building, btw, features the entire Iran-Contra scandal INCLUDING the video of the President admitting wrongdoing. Furthermore, the exhibits having to do with Watergate are the BIGGEST section of the Nixon Library, and pull no punches and present the facts. The attitudes of the librarians and designers of these and other libraries, which serve the nation not merely as museums or memorials, after all, but as research locations for scholars and repositories of presidential papers and history, is that presidents are human, they make mistakes, and the facts should be presented, not shaded and played with for political purposes. NO doubt, all the libraries are tributes to the Presidents they memorialize, but still, the new Clinton place is a showplace not for history but for politics--and there's no doubt where the responsibility lies (pun very much intended) since everyone agrees that Bill Clinton either personally wrote or "tweaked" the text throughout the ugly chunk of steel in Little Rock.

The good news? At least the delusions haven't extended to anticipations of crowds after this weeks' ceremonial post-election Democrat pity-party is over. Take a look on the Clinton library site at the overhead photos of the site plan and you'll see that even by Little Rock standards, let alone those of Southern California and the Nixon and Reagan libraries, they haven't really planned for much on-site parking. Maybe they know something about the crowd count--or lack of it--this place will attract once it settles into the riverside mud and all the dubious dignitaries go home.

The ultimate irony is, of course, that nobody's learned a thing. Just as the exhibits about Clinton ignore the truth---that his presidency and leadership of the Democrat party led to a loss of the House, the Senate, Statehouses, and, finally, of the Presidency itself and the seemingly-inescapable decline to permanent minority status of the Party--so the many Dems congregating in Little Rock today refuse to see that their addiction to outmoded, rejected, dangerously naieve, and generally abhorrent ultra-liberal ultra-leftist policies on economics, social, and foreign policy are the tickets to continual electoral failure as most recently demonstrated by John Kerry...even while they seriously contemplate making Howard Dean their chair and drool over the next installment in the oevre of Michael Moore.

Let me reiterate something: I sincerely and honestly wish the Democrats were vibrant, strong, and offering real alternatives to the policies of my side---it would make us tougher, better, and make us think about our own positions more effectively and create even better policies. Mediocrity in one's opposition leads to mediocrity and flabbyness in one's self. A strong America should have two strong, forward-looking, thinking, creativity-applying parties full of patriots working at odds to each other perhaps but in concert for the nation. But as long as the Dems misunderstand or refuse to see the truth about their past, their present, and their future as they clearly continue to do at the Clinton Library, that time of maximum benefit for America with two strong, open-eyed, warts-and-all-seeing parties will continue to be a dream, not a reality.

Meanwhile? They'll celebrate in a dump in Little Rock, continue to hate, keep threatening to decamp to France or Canada, nominate Hillary, and lose even bigger next time.....and someday add another wing--a Left Wing?--for Hillary's memorabilia and self-delusional statements of blame and shame, too.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

 

More On The Dead Criminal Murderer

From PowerLine...:

--------------
Omitted from Arafat's AP obituary
Some date the beginning of the terrorist war against the United States to the seizure of 67 American hostages at the American Embassy in Tehran by the followers of Ayatollah Khomeni in November 1979 or to the bombing of the barracks in Beirut by Hezbollah that killed 241 Marines in October 1983.
Yasser Arafat, however, is the true father of this war. First Arafat created Black September as an offshoot of his Fatah organization. He presided over the operation resulting in the massacre of the Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich by Black September in 1972. The following year Arafat became the first Arab terrorist to target Americans.
He personally ordered the assassination of American Ambassador to Sudan Cleo Noel, Jr. and charge d'affaires Curtis Moore in Khartoum on March 2, 1973. (See my "Who murdered Cleo Noel?") Arafat himself presided over the Khartoum operation and ordered the assassination of Noel and Moore by short wave radio from PLO headquarters in Beirut. Moore and Noel were only the first of many Americans murdered by Arafat's terrorist thugs.
In a bizarre footnote to his assassination of American officials, Arafat became the foreign leader most frequently hosted by President Bill Clinton during his two terms in office. The many cold-blooded murders for which Arafat was responsible in the course of his life were politely passed over in silence as they remained entirely unavenged.
As the founder of Fatah and leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Arafat waged a lifelong war on the state of Israel and its Jewish citizens. Although Arafat occasionally interrupted the war against Israel with short term periods of truce or "hudna," he never relented from his orgy of murder or ceased to pursue his lifelong goal of destroying Israel.
In November 1974, while in the middle of his murder spree, Arafat was invited to address the United Nations. He came accompanied to New York by three henchmen who had assisted or participated in the operation to assassinate Noel and Moore. He gave his speech at the General Assembly podium with a pistol and holster strapped to his hip. His many diplomatic victories were not the fruit of subtlety or grace.
Over the final four years of his life he presided over the renewed terrorist war against Israel in which he funded and personally approved the suicide bomb operations that are his true contribution to civilization -- a contribution that made him a hero in European capitals from London to Berlin. In his usual style, he had set up entities to carry out the suicide bomb operations that allowed him to deny responsibility for them. Only the willfully credulous were fooled.
In the notorious tradition of the "175ers" among the Nazi leadership, Arafat led an incredibly dissolute life. It was his dissolution that ultimately resulted in his contraction of AIDS, the disease that led to his death outside Paris yesterday. As with so many basic facts about this utterly vile human being, the truth (although baldly reported by Oriana Fallaci in the fall of 1981) remains shrouded in myth, deception and outright lies.
Late in his life Arafat took a wife for the purpose of keeping up appearances in a culture that loathes homsexuality. While his wife and political epigones fought over the billions he had stolen from his supposed beneficiaries, the scene of his death at a French military hospital outside Paris came to resemble a protracted farce befitting a second-rate Hollywood comedy. On the other hand, in an episode worthy of Kafka or Orwell, Arafat won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1994.
UPDATE: See also the unofficial obituary featured on Pajama Hadin and CAMERA's "Yasir Arafat and Terrorism" linked on Little Green Footballs.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

 

A Mafioso Dies. So What?

Let's be clear--Yasser Arafat was nothing more than an arab version of a Mafia don, and one with very little "honor" or "respect." He began in the gun-running business, grew his gang, took over gangs via murder and internecene warfare, and then skimmed off billions in aid money while continuing to inspire murder, terror, and hate. The fact that his sub-dons, having waited a few days in order to line up their own succession conflicts and settle who gets the turf AND hope to track down his hidden zillions, have finally thrown the switch on the machines that kept the old bloodsucker alive is hardly news. It is to be hoped that his removal from the scene will allow for peace progress...but that can only come from realism about who he was--not a hero to anyone, even his own people, but a crook, a scavenger, a thief, a murderer, and a liar. Statesman? Hardly. As the Israeli interior minister explained when telling reporters why he would not be allowed to be buried in Jerusalem, bluntly, : "Jerusalem is where we bury Jewish kings, not Arab terrorists." Good riddance.....and by the way, there are VERY strong reasons to believe that his cause of death was, in fact, AIDS due to his well-documented sexual habits. Sic semper tyranis indeed.

 

Happy Birthday, USMC! OOOHRAHHHHHHHH!!!

As some of you know, I had the honor to serve as an "honorary" member of the Marine Corps. with "unit designation" STG-41. Most Marines have never heard of that unit, and were mystified when they saw our red caps with the designation under the traditional ball-and-anchor Marine Corps. symbol. The STG stood for "Stage" and 41 was the soundstage number where, once a week for three years, we created the stories of a Marine family named McGillis, aka "Major Dad" at Universal Studios for CBS. During that time, we had the distinct pleasure and high honor to get to know many brave Marines, including those who served in Desert Storm, which took place during our production schedule and for which we did the equivalent of "USO Shows" to entertain and thank the families of troops stationed overseas down at the now-defunct El Toro USMCAS...and we also played some golf there and had a few drinks at the OC on occasion, toured the amazing USS Abraham Lincoln carrier with the Marines, and even "borrowed" the occasional copter, humvee, and audience members from the Corps., plus their amazing "Silent Drill Team" for one memorable episode.

The Marines have a tradition--they actually have a "birthday party" every year on the official date that the Corps. was created. Today, November 10, is that day, and it is tradition that the Commandant issues an official "Birthday Message" to all Marines, current and retired, wherever they may be, who stop, pause to think of lost comrades and victories won and of everyone serving America and protecting our freedom today in embassies, bases, and the war front in Fallujah, raise a glass, and cheer a big "ooh-RAH!" They also stand and sing the Marine Hymn, but this is not an audio-enabled blog, so you'll have to raise your voice to the halls of Montezuma on your own. Here, however, is the Commandant's official Birthday Message. Read, contemplate what all our armed forces do for us every day, give thanks, and tell a Marine you may see "Happy Birthday"--because today, it is truly EVERY Marine's birthday, and God Bless the United States Marine Corps. OOOH-RAHHH! And a big, proud, respectful, prayerful Semper FI!

----
Two hundred and twenty-nine years ago, the Second Continental Congress established a Corps of Marines to fight for a democratic people's independence. Since then countless Marines have raised their hand and sworn to defend our Nation's freedoms and preserve its liberties. This year's anniversary again finds Marines engaged throughout the globe for the same noble purposes. The bravery, heroism and selflessness of all Marines—wherever they are serving—have added significantly to our rich legacy and measured up to the high standards that have come to epitomize all who wear the eagle, globe and anchor.

The current battlefields of the global war on terror are linked to the storied campaigns of our past by an unbroken tradition of proud and loyal service. At New Providence, Chapultepec, Belleau Wood, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, the Chosin Reservoir, Con Thien, Kuwait and now in places like Fallujah, Marines have consistently demonstrated a dedication to duty, a commitment to warfighting excellence, and a devotion to each other that has instilled a fierce determination to overcome seemingly impossible challenges. Our warrior ethos is and will continue to be the Corps' hallmark.

The fortitude and sacrifices of Marines and their families have been vital in protecting our Nation from those who would do us harm. Whether preparing and sustaining our agile force or engaged in battle, the esprit de corps, tireless energy, calm courage and inspired leadership of Marines continue to make a monumental difference in this world. Your unselfish dedication and significant accomplishments—demonstrated repeatedly over this past year in numerous places such as the Anbar province of Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, Haiti and in the crucial job here at home supporting our deployed forces—are deeply respected and valued by your fellow Americans.

Marines, as we celebrate with friends and families the founding of our beloved Corps, you should take pride in our long history of distinguished service to this great Nation and its citizens. I ask you to remember especially the sacrifices of our fallen and wounded comrades. Finally, rededicate yourselves to taking care of one another and ensuring we remain the finest warfighting organization in the world.

Happy Birthday, Marines. Semper Fidelis, and Keep Attacking!

General M.W. Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

 

David Brooks--the Conscience Of The NY Times--'Splains It To Them...And You:

The Values-Vote Myth

By DAVID BROOKS

Every election year, we in the commentariat come up with a story line to explain the result, and the story line has to have two features. First, it has to be completely wrong. Second, it has to reassure liberals that they are morally superior to the people who just defeated them.

In past years, the story line has involved Angry White Males, or Willie Horton-bashing racists. This year, the official story is that throngs of homophobic, Red America values-voters surged to the polls to put George Bush over the top.

This theory certainly flatters liberals, and it is certainly wrong.

Here are the facts. As Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center points out, there was no disproportionate surge in the evangelical vote this year. Evangelicals made up the same share of the electorate this year as they did in 2000. There was no increase in the percentage of voters who are pro-life. Sixteen percent of voters said abortions should be illegal in all circumstances. There was no increase in the percentage of voters who say they pray daily.

It's true that Bush did get a few more evangelicals to vote Republican, but Kohut, whose final poll nailed the election result dead-on, reminds us that public opinion on gay issues over all has been moving leftward over the years. Majorities oppose gay marriage, but in the exit polls Tuesday, 25 percent of the voters supported gay marriage and 35 percent of voters supported civil unions. There is a big middle on gay rights issues, as there is on most social issues.

Much of the misinterpretation of this election derives from a poorly worded question in the exit polls. When asked about the issue that most influenced their vote, voters were given the option of saying "moral values." But that phrase can mean anything - or nothing. Who doesn't vote on moral values? If you ask an inept question, you get a misleading result.

The reality is that this was a broad victory for the president. Bush did better this year than he did in 2000 in 45 out of the 50 states. He did better in New York, Connecticut and, amazingly, Massachusetts. That's hardly the Bible Belt. Bush, on the other hand, did not gain significantly in the 11 states with gay marriage referendums.

He won because 53 percent of voters approved of his performance as president. Fifty-eight percent of them trust Bush to fight terrorism. They had roughly equal confidence in Bush and Kerry to handle the economy. Most approved of the decision to go to war in Iraq. Most see it as part of the war on terror.

The fact is that if you think we are safer now, you probably voted for Bush. If you think we are less safe, you probably voted for Kerry. That's policy, not fundamentalism. The upsurge in voters was an upsurge of people with conservative policy views, whether they are religious or not.

The red and blue maps that have been popping up in the papers again this week are certainly striking, but they conceal as much as they reveal. I've spent the past four years traveling to 36 states and writing millions of words trying to understand this values divide, and I can tell you there is no one explanation. It's ridiculous to say, as some liberals have this week, that we are perpetually refighting the Scopes trial, with the metro forces of enlightenment and reason arrayed against the retro forces of dogma and reaction.

In the first place, there is an immense diversity of opinion within regions, towns and families. Second, the values divide is a complex layering of conflicting views about faith, leadership, individualism, American exceptionalism, suburbia, Wal-Mart, decorum, economic opportunity, natural law, manliness, bourgeois virtues and a zillion other issues.

But the same insularity that caused many liberals to lose touch with the rest of the country now causes them to simplify, misunderstand and condescend to the people who voted for Bush. If you want to understand why Democrats keep losing elections, just listen to some coastal and university town liberals talk about how conformist and intolerant people in Red America are. It makes you wonder: why is it that people who are completely closed-minded talk endlessly about how open-minded they are?

What we are seeing is a diverse but stable Republican coalition gradually eclipsing a diverse and stable Democratic coalition. Social issues are important, but they don't come close to telling the whole story. Some of the liberal reaction reminds me of a phrase I came across recently: The rage of the drowning man.

 

NY Post Editorial NAILS Newsweek's MSM Mentality & Disservice To Public:

NEWSWEEK'S DERELICTION OF DUTY

November 6, 2004 -- What did Newsweek know — and when did the magazine know it?
Barely 24 hours after the polls closed Tuesday, the newsweekly came out with its special election edition, chock-full of fascinating behind-the-scenes tidbits culled by a team of reporters during the lengthy campaign.
Included with all the little anecdotes (Teresa Heinz Kerry is a royal pain — duh!) was at least one major political bombshell.
After clinching the Democratic nomination, Newsweek reports, John Kerry was so desperate to enlist GOP Sen. John McCain as his running mate that he made an "outlandish" offer: He'd expand the role of vice president to include the duties of secretary of Defense.
Moreover, Kerry — seeking the presidency in a time of grave international danger — promised to put McCain in charge of all U.S. foreign policy should they win.
"You're out of your mind," McCain reportedly told Kerry. "I don't even know if it's constitutional."
John Kerry clearly is not out of his mind — and nobody will ever confuse him with a constitutional scholar.
No, one lesson here is that he is so utterly devoid of moral fiber that he'd trade away the heart and soul of the presidency in order to win the office in the first place.
Faustian doesn't begin to describe the rank ambition behind this proposed bargain: Kerry simply had no soul to sell in the first place.
Truly, America dodged a bullet this past Tuesday.
But how close would that election have been had the voters known that such an offer had been contemplated — much less made?
Not very, we guess.
So why did Newsweek sit on the news for all those months?
Because the magazine promised the campaigns that anything obtained by this team of journalists during the course of the campaign would go unreported until the election was over.
Promises are promises, but whatever happened to what, under different circumstances, Newsweek and similar publications would herald as "the public's right to know"?
It's not as if rules like this haven't been bent or even broken before — when journalists believed there was an important story that could have a dramatic impact on a national campaign.
Back in 1984, for example, a Washington Post reporter who'd enjoyed private — and, presumably, off-the-record — conversations with Jesse Jackson reported that the candidate repeatedly had made disparaging comments about Jews and referred to New York as "Hymietown."
That story had a sensational impact on the campaign — as well it should have. Though Jackson had no shot at the nomination, the idea that a newspaper could sit on a story about a major presidential candidate privately making ethnic insults was unthinkable.
The same holds true here.
True, Newsweek might argue that without having promised to keep it under wraps, its reporters probably never would have learned of the McCain story in the first place.
But journalists — whose performance in this campaign set new lows in its partiality and blatant unfairness — should think long and hard whether such agreements are in the national interest.
Time was when journalists were taught that as soon as they had a story down solid, they went with it.
Holding off on this story may have been a good deal for Newsweek — but it was a disservice to the U.S. electorate.
Voters had a right to know about the depths to which John Kerry was willing to sink in order to win the Oval Office.
And they had a right to know it before they voted, not after.
Keeping the public informed is what journalism used to be about.
Not anymore; not at Newsweek.

Friday, November 05, 2004

 

Don't Look Now, but the LAND is still SLIDING !!!

As the overseas military, absentee, and provisionals get counted around the country in their leisurely way, guess what's up, folks? THE POPULAR VOTE GAP IS WIDENING and Bush is now at 52% to 47%, not 51 as on election night. The gap is now not 3 million, but nearly 4.5 MILLION votes! And widening! And widening!

WHY did the Dems lose? Why, as a friend told me the night after--a Dem friend, btw-- are "The Democrats are well on the way to becoming the modern Whig party."???

Here's an email that Instapundit got from a reader that sums it all up perfectly:

"On Tuesday, a majority of the American electorate took a look at their party and asked, "Who are these people?" Who are George Soros, Michael Moore, Tim Robbins, Susan Sontag, Teresa Heinz Kerry and all these other self-anointed spokespersons for everything good and true? And what does a party that is dominated by a loose coalition of the coastal intelligentsia, billionaires with too much spare time, the trial lawyers' association, the Hollywood Actors' Guild, rock stars and unionized labor have in common with what's quaintly known as Middle America? The majority's answers were (a) not us; and (b) not a whole lot.Growing up in Topeka, Kansas (where my dad still lives), and now living in Denver, this is pretty much what my friends and associates are thinking, too. What I'm hearing from the Democrats is that middle America voted on moral values, which I take to be code for "they are a bunch of ignorant, bible thumping sheep". There seems to be a lot of hand wringing over how they could have better conveyed their message to the Midwest, and an arrogance that if they had, Kerry would have won in a landslide. What the Democrats don't understand is that yes, we do understand your message, and we reject it. "

Thursday, November 04, 2004

 

The REAL Red & Blue Truth

Everybody's looking at the big map--you know the one--that shows the "red" or majority-Republican counties, regions, and states vs. the "blue" or Democrat entities. And all the pundits are saying this means the cultural gap of America is that the coastal elites are "vs" the rest of the heartland. So far so good, but that's a myopic view. I even saw today that the black music star "Nelly" suggested that the country be divided into NorthEast-estan, Redland, and Pacifistan. Ho HO.

BUT....let's get beyond the overall picture and look INTo the individual states, shall we? Remember this-- a blue state doesn't ONLY have Dems in it. It just has MORE Dems than Reps. Why is this important? Because if, as I and most pundits on either side have come to realize this election, the Democrat party is, as a friend of mine who's in it said, "On its way to becoming the Whig Party" in that it is marginalized from "red" voters by its anti-defense, anti-morality, anti-traditional values....well, guess what? EVEN IN THE BLUE STATES there are a chunk--not a majority chunk but a chunk nonetheless--of people who are "red" in those areas. And all it takes therefore in a local election is an issue that inflames enough "red" voters that it sways just a TINY SLIVER of blue voters to tip over the scale!

Look at California. A guaranteed 55-ev-for-Dems state no matter who's the candidate. A guaranteed win for Barbara Boxer this time so conclusively that the Rep candidate didn't even spend a dime on TV. No point in running as a Rep in this state, right?

Tell Arnold. HE made HIMSELF the issue and got enough Dems to like HIM more than they liked pulling the Rep lever less. Now if that starts happening a lot--and it will, especially with titular Dems running to the right more and more to survive (or try to--look at how Daschle, Frost, and others ran with pix of them and Dubya?) well...sooner or later, the Blue goes RED in FACT as well as in values---whichmeans it goes that way strong, semi-permanently, and conclusively.

The blue is getting redder, and they can' t stop it and stay leftists. Period.

 

Sometimes, the MSM Just Doesn't Get It...

...or maybe its ALL the time?

This one's too typical. I'm not gonna paraphrase. Read it. And see what mindset will keep dragging the Dems, the Libs, and the MSM into the muck of obscurity. As a very thoughtful Democrat friend of mine said to me at a meeting of a Hollywood union last night, "Well, the Democrats just took another step on the way to becoming the modern version of the Whig party." And here's another example from CNN.
------------------

MEDIA MATTERS

CNN-Netscape picture labels Bush an a--holeNews coverage of Republican win includes graphic slam on president

Do CNN and Netscape have issues with President Bush and the first lady, or is it a case of political bias?
Photo of the Bushes slugged as 'a--hole'

A photograph of the couple featured in online election coverage by the AOL Time Warner companies uses a graphic slur in the coding of the picture.

The photo originally was slugged a--hole.jpg as identified when viewers clicked on the "properties" of the picture. Though the original Web address of the photo with the slur has been disabled, readers last night could actually see the photo isolated with the slur by going to the online address.

The name of the photo has now been changed, with georgelaura135.jpg replacing a--hole.jpg. [Note: The two dashes were not present in the original; rather, the slur was spelled out. WND's editorial standards include the use of dashes to veil profanity and obscenity.]

The photo is accompanied by a headline and caption reading:
"How Bush Won the Election"

"President Bush convincingly won the popular vote thanks to strong backing from his party's conservative base, as well as increased support from minority voters, according to exit polls."

Readers can click on the photo, which then takes them to more extensive election coverage provided by CNN.
The photo is a cropped image of a much larger picture taken by Associated Press photographer Pablo Monsivais on Election Day.

The caption on Yahoo's website states: "President Bush with first lady Laura wave before entering The Crawford Fire Department to vote in Crawford, Texas, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2004. Daughters Barbara and Jenna are in the background."

If readers click on properties for that photo, there is no indication of any obscene language.
As WorldNetDaily checked other photos on the CNN/Netscape coverage, the properties used standard slug names, such as (John) Kerry concedes, or Barack20, referring to Sen.-elect Barack Obama of Illinois.

A spokesman for CNN, Matt Furman, said the network had nothing to do with the slur.

"It was an image produced by an employee of another company," he told WND. "We didn't know anything about it and had nothing to do with it.

"Most importantly, it was never on CNN.com. … It's our picture, but it never appeared on our site."
The image did appear, however, on cnn.netscape.cnn.com, which is labeled as "Netscape network news with CNN."

When asked what company was responsible, Furman would not say, though he suggested WND contact Netscape.

A call to Netscape was not returned by press time.
------------------------

Where have we heard this "Its not OUR fault its THEIR fault!" whine? Does Rathergate come to mind? How about ANY time the MSM is EVER caught at its games?

You know, I have to tell you all how sad all this makes me. I mean it. I like winning--don't mistake that. But if the Dems and the MSM did their work more honorably and better---if they were indeed a vibrant, honest, and fair-minded "loyal opposition" they' d make US better. I hope our side never becomes as flabby-thinking and flabby-fighting a mess as the Dems have become as the "out" party now that they don't know how to deal with a world where they're not in control of the press/news cycle thanks to talkradio and the 'net.

But meanwhile, they just don't get it. And meanwhile, as the election results show, America DOES get it, and that's why they vote for US.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?