Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Abuse at Gitmo
When I'm wrong, I freely admit it. Don't believe me? Ask the Ravishing Mrs. Cordeiro.
I have long stated here there is nothing remotely related to torture or abuse going on at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center. For the record, I stand by those statements. Sorry, Prisoner (of what I still have no idea). I have discovered there is, in fact, abuse taking place at Gitmo.
I commend for your reading an account written by Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu, United States Army. He's a Green Beret. Last week he actually visited the Gitmo facility (something Dick Durbin and most of his Run Away Chorus Members have yet to do) and has some interesting comments on the actual abuse going on there.
After speaking with soldiers, sailors, and civilians who collectively staff Gitmo, I left convinced that abuse definitely exists at the detention facilities, and it typically fails to receive the press attention it deserves: it’s the relentless, merciless attacks on American servicemen and women by these terrorist thugs. Many of the orange jumpsuit-clad detainees fight their captors at every opportunity, openly bragging of their desire to kill Americans. One has promised that, if released, he would find MPs in their homes through the internet, break into their houses at night, and “cut the throats of them and their families like sheep.” Others claim authority and vindication to kill women, children, and other innocents who oppose their jihadist mission authorized by the Koran (the same one that hangs in every cell from a specially-designed holder intended to protect it from a touching the cell floor – all provided at U.S. taxpayer expense). One detainee was heard to tell another: “One day I will enjoy sucking American blood, although their blood is bitter, undrinkable…."Lt. Colonel Cucullu makes a point of reminding the reader why these murdering islamofasict terrorist thugs are guests of the US Government:
There is a good reason these unlawful combatants are being confined. They are evil and dangerous individuals. Yet these thugs are treated with an amazing degree of compassion: They are given ice cream treats and recreational time. They live in clean facilities, and receive a full Muslim religious package of Koran, prayer rug, beads, and prayer oils. An arrow in every cell points to Mecca. The call to prayer is played five times daily. They are not abused, hanged, tortured, beheaded, raped, mutilated, or in any way treated the way that they once treated their own captives – or now treat their guards.For the record, I'll take the word of a Green Beret Lieutenant Colonel over Dick Durbin and Amnesty International every single time. Lt. Colonel Cucullu has earned my respect. Durbin, Amnesty and the rest of the Run Away Chorus have not.
Here endeth the lesson.
*Hat Tip to Captain Ed.
Friday, June 24, 2005
The Left's Selective Outrage
The Democratic Outrage Machine is running at full steam today. The whining will no doubt reach a fever pitch if it hasn't already.
I'm sure you're asking "What happened to cause this visceral reaction from the Left?"
Answer: Karl Rove opened his mouth.
The Left hates Karl Rove with such a force it can't easily be described. My closest comparison is my hatred for all things Tofu. Perhaps yours is different.
You see, Rove has their number. Time and again, the leftist liberals have come to do battle against the Rove inspired political machine embodied by the Republican party - and each time they have been beaten like a bongo drum. (No, Hugh, I'm not sending you a dollar.) Most liberals believe Rove is Evil Incarnate.
So when Rove opens his mouth and says something offensive to liberals (which is almost anything these days) they don't waste any time getting themselves into a state that can most mildly be described as 'foaming at the mouth.'
Here, as reported by the New York Times, are Rove's remarks made before the Conservative Party of New York State:
Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. I don't know about you, but moderation and restraint is not what I felt when I watched the twin towers crumble to the ground, a side of the Pentagon destroyed, and almost 3,000 of our fellow citizens perish in flames and rubble.Commenting on Senator Durbin's recent comparisons of US Military Forces to those of Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot, Rove stated:
Has there ever been a more revealing moment this year? Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals.Now for a selection of whines, rants, laments, and complaints from the left:
Karl Rove has moved to center stage in the theater of the absurd. Our entire country came together after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. His shameful comments trying to revise history insult the victims of 9/11 and all of us who support them. President Bush must repudiate these remarks.
Karl Rove has moved to center stage in the theater of the absurd. Our entire country came together after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. His shameful comments trying to revise history insult the victims of 9/11 and all of us who support them. President Bush must repudiate these remarks. - Nancy "Bella" Pelosi.This from a woman who the day prior said to a reporter "The war in Afghanistan is over." Bella, you might want to check out the Milblogs every now and then. They tell a different story than does your staff or the MSM.
Karl Rove should immediately and fully apologize for his remarks or he should resign. I hope the president will join me in repudiating these remarks. - Senate Minority Leader Dusty HarryKeep dreaming, Harry. I think Rove will resign for his comments as soon as you censure Durbin for his.
[President Bush should] show some leadership and unequivocally repudiate Rove's divisive and damaging political rhetoric. - Howie DeanHowie, did I just quote you criticizing someone for "divisive and damaging political rhetoric"? What's the matter? Did you thing you owned that space?
And, I saved the best for last:
I would hope that you and other members of the administration would immediately repudiate such an insulting comment from a high-ranking official in the president's inner circle. - Senator Hillary ClintonHillary is by far the most egregious example of selective outrage. She said not one word about Durbin's slanderous rhetoric emanating from the floor of the Senate, despite being directly asked the question several times. She equivocated, bobbed, weaved, and waffled all in the same conference call. Sorry, Hillary, here you don't get a pass. Remember those tough questions you wanted the media to ask? It means you get to answer them too.
Why do comments like Rove's get the Establishment Left's collective thong in a wadded knot? Because, unlike Durbin's patently false imaginative dreamworld comments, Rove spoke (in very general terms) words that rang just a little bit too true for the Left's liking.
In the days following September 11th, there were those on the left who called for tolerance, understanding, and appeasement for those who butchered some 3,000 of our countrymen. I cite here just a few examples:
Senator Patti Murray (D-Wa) praised Usama bin Laden as a "Hero" to the Muslim world because he had paid for "schools, roads and even day care centers."
We haven't done that. How would they look at us today if we had been there helping them with some of that rather than just being the people who are going to bomb in Iraq and go to Afghanistan?So, according to Senator Murray, rather than inflict justice on the mudering islamofascist terrorist bastards, we should build daycare centers for them.
Richard Gere, at the October 20, 2001 "Concert for New York City" - an event staged to raise money for those murdered six weeks earlier, stated that:
...the horrendous energy that we're all feeling, and the possibility of turning it into more violence and revenge, we can stop that. We can take that energy and turn it into something else. We can turn it into compassion, and ... love, and ... understanding.His comments were received by a chorus of boos (second only to those greeting Hillary, but that's another story for another time) and personally I'm suprised he got off the stage before some firefighters managed to deck him.
Add those comments to the relentless diatribe emenatiting from the left decrying the War on Terror and demanding that it be waged in a more "sensitive" and "humane" way (John "Lurch" Kerry's words, not mine) and I believe Mr. Rove's point is made quite nicely. Truth hurts. Sometimes it stings.
Me thinks the Left doth protest a bit too much. That's ok. It makes it easier to shoot them down.
Here endeth the lesson.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
70% of Americans approve of Gitmo
The continuing MSM torture of Americans is not having much effect:
A Rasmussen Reports survey conducted this week found that 36 percent of Americans say the detainees are being treated better than they deserve, and another 34 percent say they are being treated about right. Just one in five say the detainees are being treated unfairly, with 10 percent saying they do not know.Apparently the majority of Americans find that serving three hot meals a day to people who want to murder Americans does not constitute abuse.
The poll asked: "Most of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are members of al Qaeda, the Taliban and other terrorist groups. Generally speaking, is the United States treating these prisoners unfairly, treating them better than they deserve, or treating them about right?"
The telephone poll of 1,000 Americans, conducted Monday and Tuesday, also found that only 14 percent agree with Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, who charged that prisoner treatment at Guantanamo is similar to the tactics used by the Nazi or Soviet regimes.
As with any issue, a minority of Americans disagree, and leading this minority is Nancy "Burnin' Down the House" Pelosi.
But Mrs. Pelosi and the top Democrats on the Armed Services, Government Reform and intelligence committees, at their Tuesday press conference, said a commission must look at the training and supervision of troops at detention facilities, at the "atmosphere created that permitted detainee abuse," and how high up the chain of command responsibility for the abuses should go.In other words, Nancy "Burnin' Down the House" Pelosi wants to pin this on the president. Mind you, she's not upset that the detainees are allowed to pray five times a day, are given taxpayer-purchased Korans, get ample exercise, medical examinations, and recreation time. No, Pelosi wants to blame Bush based on the unsubstantiated claims from the very same people that wanted to kill Americans by flying hijacked airplanes into civilian office buildings.
Because such people would never lie to make America look bad...
Personally, as a general rule, I don't think Democrats should be allowed to consider as "torture" anything similar to what Bill Clinton did with White House interns.
I now return to my adventures in capitalism.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
I, for one, am not wasting too much time thinking about what the 2008 presidential matchup will be. The MSM, more specifically columnists looking to fill newspaper inches with something other than torture claims, can't spend enough time spinning or pushing one "candidate" or another.
Enter Mitt Romney, Republican governor of Scotch Kennedy and Lurch's home state of Massachusetts. Some have been touting him as a possible successor to W. A few weeks ago the Weekly Standard Terry Eastland wrote a pretty good article about Mitt and the challenges he faces should he seek the Big Chair in the Oval.
For the record, I like Romney. He did a fantastic job in salvaging what could have been a disastrous 2002 Winter Games. From what I can tell he's been a pretty good governor - especially considering he's a republican in an overwhelmingly democratic state. That said, I haven't paid intense attention to him because, well, I don't live in his state.
Because he's being touted as a possible 2008 candidate, some in the media have already begun to take shots at him. First Froma Harrop (if you've never heard of her you're not alone) a columnist from the much read and highly cited (read sarcasm) Providence Journal pretty much writes Romney off as an empty candidate, but not before she makes some thinly veiled snide comments about Mormons. Thank you Froma. Your 15 minutes are up.
And today, the Boston Herald'sAndrew Miga declares Romney's political resume is "long on ambition, but short on accomplishment".
Well, Andy, he gave Scotch Kennedy a real run for his money and somehow ended up being the governor of your state. You must have a really short memory, because I seem to remember another governor (with a much shorter - some would say non-existent list of accomplishments) of a much smaller, less populous, and far less distinguished state spending some eight years in the Oval.
Write Mitt off at your own peril. Again, its too early for this.
Here endeth the lesson.
Lance Corporal John Mattek Jr. USMC
News of the passing of Lance Corporal John Mattek comes via Blackfive. Johnny had the storybook life. High School class president for three of four years, star linebacker and champion wrestler. September 11, 2001 changed all that.
Johnny left college, where he had continued playing football, and enlisted in the Marine Corps. He knew that by so doing he could possibly become a casualty of war. On June 8th, he became one of the some 1,700 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who have given the last full measure of devotion to their country.
I mention Johnny here because he gave his family a letter to be opened in the event of his death. It is dated March 3, 2005 and I take its text from the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune:
The flag stands for freedom and I will defend her. No matter what the cause, because the cause is just paperwork for the weak. It's the buddy to my left and right that will be defended by my hand, my blade, my bullet. I will fear no man, no enemy. I will forego heaven if hell is where the fight is. I have done what I have done and I will do what I will do. At the end of the day God will decide where my soul lay. Upon the arrival of this day, there will be peace on the battlefield and at home. Thy shall not mourn my death, but celebrate my life. Because every man dies, but not every man really lives. I have lived ...Now if I may be so bold as to correct a quotation made by Blackfive in his tribute to Lance Corporal Mattek. He cited the last verse of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, penned by Julie Ward Howe. There has been one very important revision in some versions of this Hymn. This change is emphasized by me:
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me; As he died to make men holy, let us live to make men free, While God is marching on.It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain... - Abraham Lincoln November 19, 1863
Monday, June 20, 2005
As Long As It Takes...
A warning to the reader. This posting takes a very long time to develop and uses a complicated metaphor to do so. You may, as The Princess Bride's Humperdink ordered the Bishop, skip to the end and to the overall point, but by so doing will miss out on the metaphor, which I think is really cool.
In one of my past lives I worked as a conductor on a major US railroad. Yes, once upon a time I was a Union Thug. A Conductor's job is pretty simple. Most of it consists of filling out paperwork and throwing the occasional switch. In other words, the excitement level is not exactly high.
But every now and then, Murphy's Law strikes out with a vengeance. Freight cars are hooked one to another via what are called couplers. These couplers hook together with knuckles - shaped pieces of iron weighing in at 75 pounds or so. As all things man-made, knuckles occasionally break.
They do this at the worst possible time and at the worst possible place. Fixing them requires the conductor to carry another knuckle back to the injured car (which of course has to be toward the rear end of the nearly two-mile-long train) and change out the busted part.
So, on one trip my train came to a grinding halt. I dutifully informed the dispatcher of our problem, and went about fixing it. My aim was, due to the frigid temperatures, to get the repair made in the shortest time possible. My efforts to do so were hampered by the Dispatcher.
Most train dispatchers believe they are God over their given territory. This dispatcher was no exception. Every five minutes he would call me on the radio demanding to know about my progress and how soon I would be done. Every time he called me, I had to set the rather awkward knuckle down to answer him.
Needless to say, after the third call I was tired of talking to him. So, on the fourth interruption of my repair work, I set the knuckle down and answered him. Here is a quasi word for word of the exchange:
Conductor Cordeiro: Dispatcher, this is Conductor Cordeiro. I have an update on the repair progress and an estimated time for completion, Over.Thus ended the conversation, and I finished what I had set out to do.
Dispatcher: This is the Dispatcher. Go ahead, Cordeiro.
Conductor Cordeiro: Dispatcher, I'll be done with this repair...when I'm done. Out.
Nice story, Cordeiro. Where are you going with this?
Glad you asked.
Recently, the drumbeat (amplified by a willing accomplice MSM) to withdraw forces from Iraq and scale back the Global War on Terror have been getting headlines. Even some GOP Congressmen have joined liberals in drawing up a resolution calling for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
(Note to Congress: Military decisions are not made at the congressional level. As Members of Congress, you have the constitutional duty to declare war and fund the war effort. Commanders, specifically the Commander In Chief, make the decision to withdraw or commit. If you want the troops to withdraw, you are free to not appropriate monies to sustain their efforts - and suffer whatever fate the voters see fit to inflict upon you for doing so.)
In so doing, liberals are much like the dispatcher I described above. All they have is whining questions. When are you going to be done? How long is this going to take? Are we there yet? Its awfully hard for us to push our agenda with a war on. Can't you just call it off and move on? Are we there yet? When is this going to be done so we can get back to our petty bickering?
There is no way to answer the questions they ask. Of course, they really don't want answers. They just want to whine.
The answers they don't want to hear are these: The Global War on Terror will go on as long as it has to go on. It will take as long as it takes. This is a war 30 years in the making. Calling for it to end two years into it is just irresponsible. Wars are won on military terms, not political ones. With all their harping on the lessons of Vietnam, you'd think the libs would have learned that lesson by now.
Here endeth the lesson.
There are some words that, once said, are difficult to retract with even the sincerest apologies. Senator Dick Durbin issued a statement, which the MSM is trumpeting as an apology, regarding his recent comments comparing US servicemen and women to Nazi concentration camp enforcers, Soviet Gulag Kommisars, and perpetrators of Pol Pot's Killing Fields.
I cite, verbatim, Senator Durbin's statement from his website:
More than 1700 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq and our countryÂs standing in the world community has been badly damaged by the prison abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. My statement in the Senate was critical of the policies of this Administration which add to the risk our soldiers face.Senator Durbin, by using the verbiage you did and making the comparison you made, you changed the focus of this debate.
I will continue to speak out when I disagree with this Administration.
I have learned from my statement that historical parallels can be misused and misunderstood. I sincerely regret if what I said caused anyone to misunderstand my true feelings: our soldiers around the world and their families at home deserve our respect, admiration and total support.
In this country we are free to disagree on politics, policy, and procedure. In so doing, at the end of the day, we are all Americans. After all, its business. Its not personal. You made it personal when you insulted those who put themselves in harm's way to defend the very right of self expression which you enjoy. You took an opportunity to elevate yourself in the eyes of the media without a single solitary thought to the fact you were elevating yourself on the collective back of the US Soldier. You knew exactly what historical parallels you were using. You used verbiage designed puposefully to get the maximum shock value possible. Congratulations. You succeeded.
You'll forgive me, Senator, if I take that personally. For reasons which I will not here explain, the US Military is and always will be family to me. I know them. I grew up with them. I work with them. To do so is an honor. These brave men and women who wear the uniform of this country do a job few are willing to undertake in circumstances and conditions people like you can hardly understand. They fight a real enemy bent on the destruction of this nation.
They should not have to tolerate shots in the back coming from people like you.
You want to take on Dubya, Big Time, Condi, and Rummy about the conduct of the war - go right ahead. They're elected and appointed officials and they get paid to take shots from you.
Do not take shots at the front line soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and those who work in the shadows fighting this war. That, Senator, is beneath even you.
You are a disgrace to the people of Illinois, the Senate, and the nation. You should be ashamed of yourself, but somehow I doubt you are. That would require an honesty of which you are not capable.
Here endeth the lesson.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Idiocy in Action
Texas A&M is wisely distancing itself from Morgan Reynolds after he suggested that the collapse of the WTC was engineered by the Bush Administration.
"The American people know what they saw with their own eyes on September 11, 2001. To suggest any kind of government conspiracy in the events of that day goes beyond the pale."For the last four years, some people have perpetuated the shameless theory that America attacked itself on 9/11. We've heard their theories, their paranoia, and their complete lack of common sense. We've seen the photos of the airplanes crashing into the building, we've seen the images of the hijackers boarding aircraft, and we've ever since been after those responsible.
The accusations of a government plot have arisen from false testimony, conflicting "on-the-fly" reports given on 9/11, and a glazed-over approach to engineering and forensics.
Dr. Reynolds and any other conspiracy theorists should take a look at the March issue of Popular Mechanics, which scientifically and factually disproves all of the inane accusations of a government plot:
Healthy skepticism, it seems, has curdled into paranoia... Blurry photos, quotes taken out of context and sketchy eyewitness accounts have inspired a slew of elaborate theories...One entire section of the article is dedicated to the horrific collapse of the WTC.
To investigate 16 of the most prevalent claims made by conspiracy theorists, POPULAR MECHANICS assembled a team of nine researchers and reporters who, together with PM editors, consulted more than 70 professionals in fields that form the core content of this magazine, including aviation, engineering and the military.
In the end, we were able to debunk each of these assertions with hard evidence and a healthy dose of common sense. We learned that a few theories are based on something as innocent as a reporting error on that chaotic day. Others are the byproducts of cynical imaginations that aim to inject suspicion and animosity into public debate. Only by confronting such poisonous claims with irrefutable facts can we understand what really happened on a day that is forever seared into world history.
In the mean time, someone should ensure that the labels on Dr. Morgan's medications match the contents.
I now return to my adventures in capitalism.
Aid And Comfort To The Enemy
I wanted to wait until a transcript of Senator Dick Durbin's remarks comparing US troops to Nazis was made public until I commented on them. I wanted to make sure what I heard was what I heard. When I heard the sound byte on Laura Ingraham's radio program yesterday, I thought I must have an auditory problem. Surely a US Senator would not make such a comparison.
My ears work just fine.
Thanks to James Taranto I now have the transcript. I quote it verbatim. No edits. Any emphasis is my own so you don't miss the most outlandish claims.
When you read some of the graphic descriptions of what has occurred here [at Guantanamo Bay]--I almost hesitate to put them in the [Congressional] Record, and yet they have to be added to this debate. Let me read to you what one FBI agent saw. And I quote from his report:Senator Durbin, you are a disgrace to the Senate, to the American people, and to the State of Illinois. How dare you, sir, compare American Servicemen to Nazis, Soviet Gulag Wardens, or Pol Pot.
On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. . . . On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.
If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime--Pol Pot or others--that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.
You are either woefully ignorant of history or deliberately using the torture and death of millions of innocent human beings to score cheap political points. Do you really believe anything you described from the FBI report comes anywhere close to the horrors of Dachau, Auchwitz, Siberia or the Killing Fields of Cambodia? Are you really making that claim?
You should be ashamed of yourself, Senator. Your remarks, by now beamed around the world and translated into a dozen languages, do nothing but bolster the Anti-American sentiment stoked by Islamofascists and nurtured by al-Jazzera.
You are a United States Senator in a time of war. Its time you started acting like one.
Here endeth the lesson.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Hillary has taken aim and unloaded on....wait for it...steel yourself against the shock...
That's right, dear reader. The Smartest Woman In The World (according to the MSM), the same woman who coined the phrase Vast Right Wing Conspiracy stood before the cameras and microphones last week at a Manhattan fundraiser and declared:
The press is missing in action, with all due respect. Where are the investigative reporters today? Why aren't they asking the hard questions? It's shocking when you see how easily they fold in the media today. They don't stand their ground. If they're criticized by the White House, they just fall apart. I mean, come on, toughen up, guys, it's only our Constitution and country at stake. Let's get some spine.I added the emphasis in that quote to make a point. I have long held (and I am not alone) the belief that the MSM is (more often than not) a willing accomplice in fulfilling the aims of the Democratic Party. Up until the late 80's the MSM (meaning CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, CNN, and the Print Media) - apologies if I missed any) held a virtual monopoly on journalism. They all tilted left, some more obviously than others. This was always vigorously denied by all parties involved.
In her statement, Hillary made a very important disclosure. She didn't say to the press, "Get some spine." She said "Let's get some spine." Hillary is both a lawyer and a politician. She knows that words mean things. Her using the term "Let's" denotes a communal relationship. She's counting the media as part of her re-election campaign in 2006 and her presidential bid in 2008.
As for the rest of her diatribe against the spineless media, she'd better take a long hard look at the implosion of the Lurch-Breck Girl 2004 campaign. This is a new political world she's living in. Her party, and indeed her ideology no longer have the media lock they enjoyed for nearly a century. She's going to have to deal with the new media mediums out there, and if she's wailing about the media now just wait till the campaign actually starts.
I personally believe that if Hillary wants the media to start asking the tough questions, she should set an example by going on a conservative slanted medium and answering a few tough investigative questions of her own.
I don't know about you, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for that event.
Here endeth the lesson.
Torture by Golf
One of my favorite hobbies will be in the spotlight this weekend as the US Open gets underway.
Comedian Argus Hamilton said it right (not always a guarantee from him):
The U.S. Open begins Thursday at Pinehurst Golf Club. The holes are longer and the rough is deeper and the fairways are twenty yards wide. If the prisoners at Guantanamo were forced to play this course, the Red Cross would step in and stop it.I now return to my adventures in capitalism.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Tidbits of Interest
Some things I found whilst cruising the web today:
UPI reports that
A former Bush team member during his first administration is now voicing serious doubts about the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9-11.Said "former Bush team member is identified as Morgan Reynolds, the former Chief Economist for the Department of Labor during W's first term.
Among other things, he claims that the W administration's official story of the WTC collapse is "bogus" and was most likely caused by a controlled demolition.
If demolition destroyed three steel skyscrapers at the World Trade Center on 9/11, then the case for an 'inside job' and a government attack on America would be compelling. It is hard to exaggerate the importance of a scientific debate over the cause of the collapse of the twin towers and building 7. If the official wisdom on the collapses is wrong, as I believe it is, then policy based on such erroneous engineering analysis is not likely to be correct either. The government's collapse theory is highly vulnerable on its own terms. Only professional demolition appears to account for the full range of facts associated with the collapse of the three buildings.I have checked biographic information on Mr. Reynolds. While his credentials as an economist are above reproach, I see no information on his expertise in structural engineering or forensic interpretation of building collapse. Listening to him bloviate on the possible causes of the WTC collapse is like asking your tax accountant to perform brain surgery.
The collapse of the WTC was caused by a bunch of Islamofascist Murdering Thugs who flew two jets into the towers. You might want to watch the footage again. Oh, I forgot. The media thinks watching that is too graphic.
Nice try, Mr. Morgan. Your fifteen minutes are up.
And finally, Walter Cronkite has pledged his support to participate in a March on Washington to Stop Global Warming. Good for you Walt. I was almost interested enough to go to the mall to see Uncle Walt march down Independence Avenue and up to the steps of the Capitol despite the heat and humidity that is prevalent in DC these days.
Then I found out this march is Virtual. That's right, dear reader. The Environmentalist Wacko movement is so bankrupt (literally and virtually) that it can't even get people to really march. They are going to sit in their air-conditioned bedrooms (sans pajamas lest they be considered part of the right-wing Blogosphere) and chant their slogans to the four walls.
That should make for good entertainment.
Here endeth the lesson.
Monday, June 13, 2005
Law Enforcement Organizations Actually Enforcing Immigration Laws
I know, its stunning really. Law Enforcement Officers, you know, the guys legally authorized to carry large caliber weapons and charged with enforcing the laws of the land, are enforcing immigration laws.
The Washington Post is shocked - mainly because the enforcement of immigration laws is being used as a tool to combat terrorism.
While Washington Post writer Mary Beth Sheridan would like you to believe that agents from the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement branch, together with agents of the FBI are running around the country rounding up innocent people of Arab and Muslim descent and/or persuasion, if you read her article closely, you'll find something truly astounding.
These people have broken and otherwise infringed several immigration laws.
Of course Ms. Sheridan reports these violations as "minor violations" such as
* Lying on immigration documents
* Lying on naturalization applications
* Overstaying visas (specifically student visas - the same kind the Sept. 11th hijackers used)
* Violating restrictions of Visa provisions
Ms Sheridan is even more adamant in pointing out that the people accused, and found guilty of, violations of immigration laws were - steel yourself for this next horrifying revelation - deported.
This is a country of laws. The words in the fine print on the bottom of visa applications and other documents (the words that explain penalties for providing false or misleading information) actually mean what they say. The enforcement of these laws should not come as a shock to anyone - especially those found guilty of lying on said documents.
Some misguided individuals believe its wrong to use a set of laws aimed at one type of crime to fight another type of crime - namely terrorism.
To illustrate the folly of this point of view, I give you two examples, one historical and the other fictional.
The historical example comes from the government's efforts to take Al Capone off the streets of Chicago and thus rid said streets of a murderous crime boss. Capone's involvement in illegal activities ranged from murder for hire to any number of crimes both small and large. Every body knew he was guilty. Never the less, his involvement in organized crime was difficult to prove as it required associates of Capone to testify. So, how did the government take Capone from the streets and send him to Alcatraz?
They nailed him on income tax evasion.
Was the tax code written to enforce anti-organized crime laws? No. Never the less it was very effective in doing just that.
And finally, a fictional example.
Sylvester Stallone starred in the 1986 movie Cobra. In it he plays a gritty cop intent on curing the disease of crime with his own style of justice. In one scene, after dispatching seven or eight knuckle heads in a supermarket, a reporter asked Cobra the following question:
Reporter: Did you use unnecessary deadly force?Ms. Sheridan would do well to remember that Law Enforcement Officers are sworn to protect, serve, and most of all Enforce The Law.
Cobra: I used everything I had.
I have previously stated on this blog the following:
Terrorists should not feel safe or secure in this country. They should fear that everyone they deal with is out to get them. They should be paranoid that every single phone call, email, or instant message they send is being read, and that every knock at their door is a Federal Agent prepared to send them to Allah.Personally, I don't care if said Federal Agent is breaking down the door to enforce immigration laws or anti-terrorist legislation. The end result is the same.
Here endeth the lesson.
The Horror! The Unmitigated Gall!
Time Magazine blows the lid of the "torture" tactics used in Gitmo interrogations. The techniques are so inhumane I'm thinking of signing Prisoner's petition to have Gitmo shut down and turned over to Fidel Castro.
Perhaps that's because I haven't had my morning Diet Coke.
Here are some of the torturous techniques that were documented to have been used on Detainee 063:
* Standing for prolonged periods of time. (In a fashion reminiscent of Disneyland)
* Solitary Confinement for up to 30 days.
* Puppet shows mocking his involvement in al-Qaeda. (I personally think prolonged exposure to daytime TV soaps would have better results.)
* Hanging pictures of scantily clad women around his neck.
* "Invasion of space by Female".
* Pouring water over his head in a "Drink It Or Wear It" exercise.
And, last, but not least and by far the most horrible:
* Continuous playing of Christina Aguilera music as punishment for non-cooperation.
An un-named former Soviet gulag warden was quoted as saying "If only Christina Aguilera would've been born sooner, perhaps our interogations would've been more effective."
Friday, June 10, 2005
Rummy's Letter to Prisoner
One of the SOTR's most prolific commenters has seen fit to quote one of my posts on his blog. As he did so with proper (and I might add somewhat flattering) attribution, I won't poke too much fun at him.
His latest post deals with Gitmo, and his curiosity as to why most Americans don't really care if the murdering terrorist thugs are made to feel uncomfortable during their stay.
Again, for the record, Prisoner, these are not prisoners of war and therefore are not entitled to invoke the Geneva Convention, but we've already been over this many times.
So, I took it upon myself to place a call to the Secretary of Defense, the Honorable Donald Rumsfeld, affectionately referred to at the SOTR as Rummy, regarding Prisoner's concerns. He was kind enough to send me the below quoted communication and asked that I might forward it to Prisoner, as Rummy did not have the time to look him up. Evidently he had another interrogation to perform tonight. I replied that I would be happy to pass the message along and do so here:
Dear Concerned Citizen:
Thank you for your recent letter roundly criticizing our treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Our administration takes these matters seriously, and your opinion was heard loud and clear here in Washington. You'll be pleased to learn that, thanks to the concerns of citizens like you, we are creating a new division of the Terrorist Retraining Program, to be called the "Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers" program, or LARK for short. In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to place one terrorist under your personal care.
Your personal detainee has been selected and scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence next Monday.
Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud (you can just call him Ahmed) is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of admonishment. It will likely be necessary for you to hire some assistant caretakers.
We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommended in your letter.
Although Ahmed is sociopathic and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his "attitudinal problem" will help him overcome these character flaws.
Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences. He will bite you, given the chance. We understand that you plan to offer counseling and home schooling. Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We do not suggest that you ask him to demonstrate these skills at your next yoga group. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless (in your opinion) this might offend him.
Ahmed will not wish to interact with your wife or daughters (except sexually) since he views females as a subhuman form of property. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him, and he has been known to show violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the new dress code that Ahmed will recommend as more appropriate attire. I'm sure they will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the bhurka - over time. Just remind them that it is all part of "respecting his culture and his religious beliefs" - wasn't that how you put it?
Thanks again for your letter. We truly appreciate it when folks like you, who know so much, keep us informed of the proper way to do our job. You take good care of Ahmed - and remember...we'll be watching. Good luck!
In the interest of full disclosure, the above is complete satire, and an obligatory Hat Tip is rendered to Captain Ed for its use.
Here endeth the lesson
The Last Word On Dean - For This Week Anyway...
I'm not piling on. Really I'm not.
Ok. Maybe I am.
The Jackass Company (aka Congressional and Senate Democratic Leaders) met with Howard "I Have A Scream" Dean on Capitol Hill yesterday. While I hesitate to define this meeting as a type of Woodshedding (as I doubt the Jackass Company capable of anything similar) surely it was their intent to bring Howie back on the reservation.
As it was, they emerged from said meeting unified in their message of the day: Change the Subject.
I think we all understand what's happening with you all. The right wing has got the agenda moving. Fox [News Channel] and everybody's got the agenda. It's all about Howard Dean. You've bought into it." - Senator Dick DurbinExcuse me, Dick. All we're doing here is quoting, verbatim, what your boy is spewing out there.
As all of you know, there isn't a single person, whether it's any of us in this room or Governor Dean or [Republican National Committee chairman Ken] Mehlman, that haven't misspoken.- Senate Minority Leader Dusty HarryUmm, Harry, Howie didn't "mis-speak" anything. In fact he went on TV the next morning and defended his statements.
Members of Congress who sit there and kind of parse it for a week on end don't help. With all due respect, you don't hear our friends on the other side engaging in this sort of thing. They'll get back to the issues that people really care about. - Senator Christopher "Half-A-Waitress Sandwich" DoddGood point, Chris. We've learned that when your opponent is hanging himself, its best to get out of the way and feed him rope.
Here's a brief review of Howie's Recent High Points.
[Republicans] couldn't get this many people of color in a single room unless they invited the hotel staff to come in.Despite "Bella" Pelosi's insistence these comments were "taken out of context", I beg to differ.
[The Republican Party] party is basically a white, Christian party.
Many of [the Republicans] have never worked an honest job in their lives.
There is no context which could make these comments appear to be mainstream. In other words, we couldn't make this stuff up if we tried.
Israel Tests "The Scream" - Howie to Sue?
Israeli Defense Forces have recently performed a field test of a new crowd control weapon dubbed "The Scream".
Reports of the results of this test were described in the following manner:
Protesters covered their ears and grabbed their heads, overcome by dizziness and nausea, after the vehicle-mounted device began sending out bursts of audible, but not loud, sound at intervals of about 10 seconds. An Associated Press photographer at the scene said that even after he covered his ears, he continued to hear the sound ringing in his head.No word as to whether or not Howard "I Have A Scream" Dean has filed a lawsuit in order to recover royalties for the use of his Iowa Scream in this weapon.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Howard Dean assured his 5 remaining kook/fringe followers that he hasn't forgotten about the issues (setting aside his "issues" for the time being):
"What we're focused on is how to have a decent Social Security system [private accounts, thereby reducing demand on the system in the future], how to have a strong national defense [don't pander to rogue regimes; don't let France stall necessary military procedures], how to have jobs in America again [reduce taxes on the businesses that create jobs--even if it means cutting taxes for the "wealthiest Americans"], how to deal with incredibly high gas prices [allow new refineries to be built in USA] and get a decent energy bill [ANWR] which actually will do something about gas prices [free market]." - Howard Dean, June 9, 2005 (common sense added)Thanks Howie, seems our President has already tackled those big ticket items. Maybe you should focus on raising some money for your party, before they throw you under the train.
In other news, Nancy "Burnin' Down the House" Pelosi stepped up to bat for Dean:
"If Governor Dean were not being effective, they would not be going after him so strongly," Pelosi said.Pelosi was referring to Republicans and conservatives here... Though I wonder what her excuse is for the Democrats who have been distancing themselves from Dean in recent days. Are these high profile Democrats concerned that Dean is being too effective?
Perhaps they feel he is being effective, just not for the "home team".
Sir Robin's Run Away Chorus
The Monty Python Knights never called for a retreat. They were far more direct in their strategy when facing danger. They simply cried "Run Away! Run Away!"
Foremost among the Knights championing this strategy was Sir Robin, who, in the words of his Minstrels would "when danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled. Oh, Brave Sir Robin."
I have been struck recently by what I will hereafter refer to as the Sir Robin's Run Away Chorus coming from left winged politicians (those currently in office and those recently unearthed from obscurity), pundits, and the MSM.
Brave Sir Jimmy Carter
The most recent arrival to the Run Away Chorus is former President Jimmy Carter. I emphasize former because Carter leaving the White House (after a spectacular loss to Ronaldus Magnus) was a defining moment in American political history. Carter was a pathetically weak president. His handling of the economy was awful, only to be eclipsed by his failures on the international stage. Yes, he had the photo of Egypt and Israel at Camp David. That said, his presidency will be remembered for the 400+ days for which American citizens were held by Iranian Islamofascists in Tehran.
Yet, for some reason, the MSM throws a party anytime Jimmy opens his mouth to attack the W Administration. Yesterday he entered the Gitmo fray, joining Senator "Slow" Joe Biden, calling on the US to close the Gitmo prison because
The U.S. continues to suffer terrible embarrassment and a blow to our reputation ... because of reports concerning abuses of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and GuantanamoIn other words, close it down, make it go away. Pretend like it never happened. Pretend this murdering terrorist scumbags don't want to wipe us off the map. Sorry, Jimmy. We're too busy trying to forget your presidency.
In addition to Jimmy, another pair of obscure politicians sharing the same last name but no relation called upon the US to "Withdraw from Iraq." While McGovern and McGovern claim to not want to "cut and run" from Baghdad, that is truly the thrust of their call. They see Iraq as another Vietnam and evidently want to use the same exit strategy.
The Sir Robin Chorus Members do not understand the concept of victory in war. Jimmy, Slow Joe, and McGovern & McGovern believe, as did the Lurch 2004 Campaign, that there is a "more sensitive" way to wage and win a war. One would think Jimmy Carter learned this from his spectacular failure in the hostage crisis. Slow Joe Biden is taken seriously by no one and I for one was surprised to know George McGovern was still alive.
The American people do not like the Cut & Run Strategy suggested by McGovern & McGovern. This idea was floated by Lurch 2004 and you'll notice he's still the Junior Senator from Massachusetts. This war began with Carter's failure, and it can only be won by seeing our way clear to absolute victory.
For those of you liberals who are unclear as to what Victory is, it means the terrorists lose, and America wins.
And, by the way, I would warn you if you join Sir Robin's Chorus, you might suffer the same fate as did his minstrels.
Here endeth the lesson.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Sorry, Wrong Congressman
What if you threw a party, and no one cared, AND the address was inaccurate by 1,000 miles?
The MoveOn.org dimwits organized a protest against U.S. Congressman Mike Rogers, R-Mich for his donations to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (how shocking, a House Republican with ties to the House Republican leader! Next week we're going to find out that Karl Rove has actually dined with President Bush!).
Only--they had the wrong Congressman. It turns out that the DreamOn.org organizers didn't bother to check the facts published on their trusted Web source. To their dismay, they learned that there are two Mike Rogers' in the House: one in Michigan AND one in Alabama. The motley DreamOn.org crew showed up in Michigan, while the person they sought to harass was at "sweet home" in Alabama.
I'm debating where the real news story is--that these guys use a Web site to indict political leaders without verifying facts (maybe NEWSWEEK helped organize the protest?); that these guys are a bunch of powerless activists that organize rallies against politicians no one has even heard of (the next rally will be against the deputy mayor of Des Moines, IA for allegedly attending church once a week); or that these nimrods actually found 20 people willing to go to the aforementioned rally.
At least we can rest well knowing these 20 people are probably unemployed, so we can assume they had nothing better to do than organize a protest against a politician located 4 states away.
Staff Sergeant Justin Vasquez, United States Army
Staff Seargeant Justin Vasquez, of the US Army's 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment's Lightning Troop, Thunder Squadron was killed by a roadside bomb early this week in Iraq.
I commend for your reading Bill Johnson's piece in the Rocky Mountain News detailing his experiences with Sgt. Vasquez. This soldier is and was a credit to his unit, his family, the Army, and his nation.
Godspeed Seargent Vasquez.
Howie Dean, The Gift That Keeps On Giving
There was a time when I thought Howie "I Have A Scream" Dean had reached the pinnacle of political idiocy when he punctuated his US geography lesson speech with a scream that sounded like a muppet being strangled.
I was wrong. I'm not ashamed to admit it.
At this point, Howie is blazing a trail through uncharted territory at a break neck speed. Even "Slow" Joe Biden has expressed a disconnect and believe you me that's quite an accomplishment for Howie.
His latest pronouncements made in San Francisco are the newest evidence of the crumbling leadership of the Democratic Party as a quasi-national entity.
I'll let Howie speak for himself:
Republicans are "a pretty monolithic party. They all behave the same. They all look the same. It's pretty much a white Christian party. The Republicans are not very friendly to different kinds of people. We're more welcoming to different folks, because that's the type of people we are. But that's not enough. We do have to deliver on things: jobs and housing and business opportunities.Add this to his pontifications last week that
Republicans never made an honest living in their livesand Howie is turning himself into the best reason for people (specifically large money donors) to jump from the Democratic rowboat. Check the latest fundraising stats and you'll see said donors are being rather conservative with their cash thanks to Howie's "leadership".
Normally I'd try to slam Howie on each of his inane statements (especially the one about the honest living) but he's been so prolific with that lately that I just don't have the time, and besides, it would be too easy. Instead, I'll just borrow from Jon Fleischmann - a GOP operative and publisher of the Flashreport:
Where do I sign up on a committee to keep Howard Dean?Here endeth the lesson.
UPDATE: The hits just keep rolling in. Keep digging, Howie.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Amnesty International vs. Reality
This rant has been building up over the past few days as my posting abilities have been hampered by a lack of time.
Ove the past week the MSM has been rife with the latest pronouncements of Amnesty International regarding the prison conditions at Guantanamo Bay. In one breath, William Schultz declares Gitmo to be a Gulag - reminiscient of the Soviet style prisons in Siberia. Then, after drawing another breath and perhaps taking a drink of bourbon, Schultz states he's not exactly sure Gitmo meets the Gulag criteria.
I'll leave it to your own devices to guess which statement got more air time on the MSM.
Schultz also, albeit in another article, called for world nations to "apprehend Bush and Rumsfeld and other high ranking members of the Adminisration who have played a part in the "torture" scandal. He continues:
Foreign governments should uphold their obligations under international law by investigating U.S. officials implicated in the development or implementation of interrogation techniques that constitute torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment If the United States permits the architects of torture policy to get off scot-free, then other nations will be compelled to take action.William Schultz seems to me to bear a striking resemblence to Sergeant Schultz of Hogan's Hero's fame. He knows nothing. He sees nothing.
I grow very weary of those who are so quick to cry "torture". They use this term because it grabs headlines, it gets them a chance to air their political views, and it gives them a reason to exist. I have read most of the reputable reports regarding the alleged "torture" events at Gitmo. I must say that I, and I'm in good company with Rummy, am not one to apply the "torture" term to Gitmo.
The prisoners at Gitmo are hardly worthy of the label "prisoner". They are terrorists, thugs, murderers, and generally people who would like to see the United States turned into a lake of burning radioactive fire. Yet we as a nation give them a place to stay, "culturally and religiously" appropriate meals - even copies of the very "sacred" text they use to justify their acts of terrorism against us.
Sound like "torture" so far? No. If you doubt my assertion, ask a Battan Death March survivor what they got to eat each day - if they got to eat anything.
Some, if not all of this terrorists, have information that may prove valuable to our efforts to prevent another attack on our soil or perhaps save the life of one or more of our soldiers in the field. As they may not be willing to disclose this information in an expeditious manner, we do something Amnesty International considers to be "torture".
We interrogate them.
This is done by making them feel uncomfortable, scared, worried, and possibly even fearful for their very life. It is done by creating an environment where they will disclose the required information rather than be put through another night of bright lights, loud hard rock music, and the smell of cooking sausage on the hot plate.
Again, any takers on the "torture" definition? If you think that is torture, maybe you should call Senator John McCain or any other Hanoi Hilton Survivor and ask them what they went through.
Let us not forget this is a war. This war was brought to us by these people. They have been at war with us for some 25 years and it is only now that we have begun to strike back.
Wars are not won by being nice. Wars are not won by showing the enemy how well they will be treated in a prison.
Wars are won by defeating the enemy - by destroying his ability to wage war and otherwise cause harm to others. Winning requires one side to effectively exploit the weaknesses of the other. These weaknesses are best given away by those captured on the battlefield. Right now, some of those weaknesses reside in the minds of those guests at Gitmo. If what is required to make them share this information is to make them "uncomfortable" or "fearful", so be it.
Have they considered playing really bad country music instead of hard rock? I know that would make me talk.
Here endeth the lesson.
Lurch the Academic?
He portrayed himself as cerebral, a thinker, an intellectual who had far more on the ball than did W. W, after all, was the drunk frat boy who never cracked a book at Yale. Lurch, on the other hand, spent his Yale years drinking deep from the academic fountains.
Well, the records are out and they don't support the facade put forth by the Lurch 2004 effort. Both W and Lurch put up roughly the same grades at Yale.
There is, however, one glaring distinction. While W had one "D" grade (in astronomy), Lurch registered four "D" grades in the following courses: Geology, History (twice), and Political Science.
Lurch claims he focused more on "learning to fly than studying". Sounds like his priorities were as unfocused then as they are now. I'm sure he has a plan to deal with this issue as well.
Here endeth the lesson.
*Full Disclosure: During my undergraduate coursework I registered one "D" grade - in Accounting - which is why the Ravishing Mrs. Cordeiro balances the household checkbook.
Monday, June 06, 2005
June 6, 1944
Liberty isn't free.
Before you get over run with the challenges, problems, and issues confronting each and every one of us at the beginning of a week, take a moment today to remember the challenges, problems, and issues confronting the men and women of D-day.
You know, suddenly my problems don't seem so insurmountable.
Take a moment today to thank a veteran, and to remember those who never made it home.
Here endeth the lesson.
Friday, June 03, 2005
Well, Even A Little Compliment Helps
President George W. Bush, affectionately referred to by the SOTR as "Dubya", delivered a stunning compliment to North Korea's Kim Jong "Mentally" Il today.
W referred to the mentally unbalanced leader as "Mister".
No, I am not making this up.
Of course, the Washington Post might be. They do refer to an "unnamed North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman" quoted in the Korean Central News Agency.
Said North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman responded to this quote from W regarding his Gentle Leader:
It's a matter of continuing to send a message to Mr. Kim Jong Il that if you want to be accepted by the neighborhood and be a part of ... those who are viewed with respect in the world, work with us to get rid of your nuclear weapons program.with this statement:
If Bush's remarks put an end to the scramble between the hawkish group and the moderate group in the U.S., which has thrown the Korean policy into a state of confusion, it would help create an atmosphere of the six-party talks.Of course, the 15 F-117A Nighthawk fighters recently deployed to South Korea might have something to do with the deranged North Koreans expressing a desire to return to the negotiating table.
I'm still looking for a Texan to English dictionary to find the Texan definition of "Mister". I'm pretty sure it might be polite, but it is in now way appeasatory.
Here endeth the lesson.
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Market Forces vs. CNN
Once upon a time, CNN owned the Cable News Space. Whatever CNN saw fit to air, News Junkies, Politicians, and most anyone with Cable TV would watch and accept the content as gospel.
(Memo to Ted Turner - I put as many words between "CNN" and "Gospel" as I could and still make sense)
Liberals love that fairy tale, and truthfully that is really what CNN has become.
Down in Atlanta, CNN celebrated its 25th Anniversary yesterday. You didn't know this? You're not alone. Drudge posted the overnight ratings for the CNN commemoration, and the CNN execs must be pleased. Their anniversary show only lost to Fox News' O'Reilly Factor by 1,923,000 viewers.
CNN had a grand total of 345,000 viewers for its show. It is highly likely that many of those TV sets were accidently left on.
The pitiful ratings prove that CNN may be trying to find out the answer to an age old question:
If a show airs, and nobody watches, do we still qualify for the "Network" definition?
Here endeth the lesson.
CNN Anchor Praises Felt; America Yawns
Media Research Center has put together an excellent piece showcasing the treatment the MSM gave to Watergate "hero" Felt versus the criminals and miscreants of Monicagate (which did not include the Clintons, according to the MSM).
"I just think -- I don't know, 'hero,' that's not a word I throw around. But in just looking at the landscape at the time, what Washington was like, it does make a kind of moral sense to me." -- CNN NewsNight anchor Aaron Brown, on Mark Felt, May 31, 2005.Other tidbits, including seemingly contrary quotes from Dan "Superscript" Rather are available here.
"Accept for a moment this premise. There will be no winners in the impeachment battle going on, no heroes are going to emerge from this mess, that when all is said and done, the landscape will be littered with losers of varying sorts. Ms. Lewinsky, whose life is forever changed, Ms. Tripp, who will never seem heroic, Judge Starr will be no winner, and Mr. Clinton will be the biggest loser of all." -- ABC Good Morning America/Sunday anchor Aaron Brown, November 22, 1998.
Lurch Whines Again
Most losers of presidential races slink quietly into obscurity. I cite as examples Michael Dukakis, Gerald Ford, and Walter Mondale. Well, Mondale did try and rise from the dust to return to his role as a Senator, but you get my point.
John F. "Lurch" Kerry evidently didn't get the message. His whining about his "close loss" to W last November has never really stopped. He whined about it on the Senate floor during the filibuster of W's judicial nominees. His one note samba consists of telling anyone who will listen that just 50,000 or so votes in Iowa would've changed his address to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC.
Few people listen to him, and those that do either shake their heads, laugh, or do some combination of the two.
We've seen the electoral map, Lurch. It wasn't close, and you know it.
The Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby chronicles the latest Lurch whine (OK, so maybe he has a two-note samba) about the right wing leanings of the media.
Excuse my coughing fit.
The right is far more effective than the left at making itself heard. To peddle their ideas, Republicans and conservatives have assembled an elaborate communication network, one that relies on the likes of Cato and Heritage and Grover Norquist -- two think tanks and a well-connected Republican lobbyist -- to make sure its messages get plenty of attention.Ok, Lurch. Evidently ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, and PBS aren't enough. Somehow FOX, Talk Radio, and the Blogosphere are too much of a counterweight. Yeah, I'll buy that.
Several times a day, their message is amplified. We don't have anything like that.
Liberals like Lurch (I'd say Lurch & Company, but he really doesn't have any Company now) believe that if they just had a way to get the right message to the American people they'd be able to ride back into Washington on a herd of white horses to the shouts and acclamations of the electorate.
Their problem is their message does make it to the American people. All the alternative media does is provide a source for people to find the unfiltered message the Liberals don't want broadcast.
Its really very simple. Market forces dictate the people don't like, and are very unimpressed with the way the MSM slants the news. That's why Fox, Talk Radio, and the Blogosphere have such a huge audience.
But let Lurch keep whining about his lack of media coverage. It makes for good comic relief.
Here endeth the lesson.
Economy: Steady as she goes
This is an excellent piece by Larry Kudlow on the state of our economy, including future predictions, inspired by comments from Dick Fisher, the new president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
The buzz is that the Fed has succeeded in holding down inflation and that the tightening cycle is coming to an end.
It’s too early to expect a formal policy comment to this effect. But it’s clear there’s a considered view within the central bank that economic and inflationary conditions are far better than the predictably dour and declinist mainstream media would have us believe.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
This is a familiar pattern, isn't it? Hat tip to Powerline.
Well (And Not So Well) Kept Secrets
As it is a slow news day, I've decided to squeeze two posts into one. Never let it be said that I don't do my part to conserve.
One of Washington's best kept secrets was finally unsealed yesterday. The infamous "Deep Throat" of Watergate fame has been revealed to be W. Mark Felt, the #2 man at the FBI. The Washington Post's Dynamic Duo of Woodward and Bernstein have confirmed this to be so.
Here's my take on it. I was three years old when Watergate broke. I've seen and read much of what is available on the issues. I'm not going to rehash Watergate here. The MSM, however, is doing its best to portray Mr. Felt as a hero.
Well, here's my take. Its been 35+ years since Watergate. In the course of those three and half decades, the US has had three Republican presidents. The MSM has hated each one - to a point that it actively seeks to Nixonize them and force them from office. The MSM collectively prays to what ever God it is they worship that someone deep inside any Administration (especially W's) will turn to the dark side and become the next "Deep Throat".
So far, no takers.
On to the next issue.
Freedom of the Press is enshrined in our Constitution to promote the free flow of ideas and issues. The people, and specifically the media, have the right to say (with very few government imposed restrictions) whatever they want on any subject.
That said, the question is very seldom asked if what one can say (legally at least) one should say.
Case and Point: The New York Times printed an expose on how the CIA uses aircraft covertly around the world in support of various missions.
Some may read this and think no real harm has been done. You may think the NYT has the right to print this information, and you'd be correct in your assumption. The question I pose to you is this: Should the NYT have run this story?
The CIA has a very difficult mission that is often conducted in areas of the world that are not exactly high on the list of hot vacation spots. The officers tasked with these duties rely on stealth and covertness. They are the people whose jobs we don't discuss at parties, but deep down inside we want them to succeed - we need them to succeed.
In the course of my professional life I have had the privledge of knowing people involved in various aspects of the Intelligence Community. All I will say about these people is this (I don't give details because you simply don't need to know any more than what I've already told you):
These people, to a man and woman, are consummate professionals. They do a thankless job in a very tough environment. Their successes are, more often than not, never known to anyone outside the IC. Their failures, when made public, are trumpeted from the rooftops. They put themselves in harm's way, most times relying on their cover to shield them from the prying eyes of the adversary.
Needless to say, it doesn't help much when the prying eyes of the NYT work as a proxy for that adversary. I fail to see how knowing the details of CIA flight operations does anything more than make the enemy's job easier. Yes, the NYT has a right to print it. The question is, did anyone in the editor's office even think to ask if it should have been printed?
Again, the chorus of crickets.
Here endeth the lesson.