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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Recommended Reading

New rules for a new age
By Mortimer B. Zuckerman

AIDS mutation: Changing behavior is key
By Cal Thomas

A tale of two citizens
By Joseph Farah


I haven't commented on the demise of Eason Jordan to this point. But I do now want to weigh-in on a couple of points. Eason Jordan was a "newsman". He was the head of CNN "news" international. Notice, he wasn't a "op-edsman" heading up CNN "op-ed" international. News can be defined as intelligence or information about specific and timely events. The function of news and news reporters is not to "shape policy" but to report news.

When access to "people and places" becomes your goal, the news agency, or reporter, become "appeasers", you lose objectivity, and ultimately, credibility. This is what Eason Jordan essentially admitted to during the the U.S. presidential elections when he publicly stated that they (CNN) turned a blind eye to Saddam's abuses; because they were afraid of him, and did not want to lose their press access to Iraq, particularly Baghdad. So, they made a choice to report only "half the news."

Propaganda can be defined as information that is spread for the purpose of promoting some cause. And, as a news agency, when you no longer present facts, or present only some facts, i.e. those that support your agenda, this is propaganda.

Misrepresentation of facts or accusations without factual support is not "news". You as a reporter have just made your own news by lying or through misrepresentation of facts. YOU have become the news, your story is not --- it's fiction.

Eason Jordan made unsubstantiated (to date, anyway) claims about the U.S. military knowingly targeting reporters and killing them. This is not a charge that should be taken lightly. If it happened, we have a big problem and needs to be addressed. (Immediately, I might add.) But at this point, it appears to be wild, unfounded charges, meant perhaps to cement his good standing with the audience to whom he was speaking.

If this is the case, and now that he has resigned, maybe he should go work for Al-Jazeera news or for the Communist China's governmental controlled news agency. I hear they're both looking for good experienced "newsmen".

The guys at Power Line also weigh in on this subject and blog about an article in Business Week and say that BW got it wrong. While they (BW) got it wrong, Power Line did say that " the BW story was noteworthy in its receptive attitude toward the blog's role in covering the controversy over Jordan's remarks and its frank observation concerning theMSM's non-cooperation of the story."

This is somewhat noteworthy. Bloggers don't generally get a thumbs-up from MSM.

This is where Business Week "got it wrong" and reinforces my point about MSM and their apparent difficulties in dealing with fact. Powerline says BW senior writer Stephen Baker writes: "[Jordan’s] allegation — that coalition soldiers in Iraq mistook journalists for enemies and killed them — brought down a storm of criticism on him and his network."

Power Line adds:
Baker to the contrary notwithstanding, the source of the controversy over Jordan’s remarks was Jordan’s statement that American soldiers (not "coalition forces") had "targeted" journalists in Iraq, not mistaken them for enemies and killed them. Many readers wrote to point out the basic factual error in Baker’s story.
And they write:
I thought for an organ like BW to get the basic facts at the heart of the story wrong — isn’t that a dog bites man story?
And they add:
The "mistaken identity" theory repeated by Business Week wasn't what Jordan said in Davos, it was CNN's spin: CNN's story was that Jordan had intended to advance the mistaken identity claim, but did so clumsily and was misunderstood by those present. So Business Week apparently bought CNN's after-the-fact rationalization hook, line and sinker, but extended it farther than CNN did in CNN's own email communications with bloggers and other news outlets.
Neal Boortz says:

"Media bias has less to do with conservative or liberal views than whether or not the media is doing its job." He refers us to an article addressing this issue written by one of my favorites,Thomas Sowell called "Tainted Media".

Friday, February 18, 2005

Where's the Outrage?

Michelle Malkin has written a commentary for The Washington Times Insider about the UN rape scandal. It doesn't seem to be getting the kind of coverage it demands. By all accounts, the magnitude of it, the number of cases, and the length of time this has been going on, is appalling. "Fifty U.N. peacekeepers and U.N. civilian officers face an estimated 150 charges of sexual exploitation and rape in the Congo alone", according to Malkin. This puts the Abu Ghraib scandal to shame. Why isn't the left (at the risk of being redundant) and the media all over this?

Read U.N. Scandal in the Congo

Tort Reform

This seems to have passed too easily. From The Washington Times :
House approves class-action act (Charles Hurt) The House overwhelmingly passed the Class Action Fairness Act yesterday, setting the stage for President Bush to sign into law as early as today the most sweeping federal tort reform measure in more than a decade.

What am I missing here? Why wasn't there the typical gnarling and the gnashing of teeth that we have all come to expect?

Social (in)Security

"Let's start with basics. The Social Security system has no trust fund. No lock box. When you pay your payroll tax every year, the money is not converted into gold bars and shipped to some desert island, ready for retrieval when you turn 65. The system is pay-as-you-go. The money goes to support that year's Social Security recipients. What's left over is ``loaned'' to the federal Treasury. And gets entirely spent. It vanishes. In return, a piece of paper gets deposited in a vault in West Virginia saying that the left hand of the government owes money to the right hand of the government."

Charles Krauthammer writes an article for Townhall titled
Read it here.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Still Like Doo-doo

"It's a good basic axiom that if you take a quart of ice-cream and a quart of dog feces and mix 'em together the result will taste more like the latter than the former. That's the problem with the UN. If you make the free nations and the thug states members of the same club, the danger isn't that they'll meet each other half-way but that the free world winds up going three-quarters, seven-eighth's of the way. Thus the Oil-for-Fraud scandal: in the end, Saddam Hussein had a much shrewder understanding of the way the UN works than Bush and Blair did."

This is from Mark Steyn's piece "UN forces - just a bunch of thugs?" found in the telegraph.co.uk. Read the whole op-ed piece here.

Outside the Box

An interesting read in the Wall Street Journal by Pete DuPont on Socialism’s Last Redoubt – “Why do Dems oppose Social Security reform? Because they're committed to government control.”

It Happens .........

Here is one Marine's story about what he encountered when he arrived at the JFK terminal.
"I heard you talking about the Super Bowl commercial. I'm a Marine, a re-con Marine. I just got back from overseas, the second week of December, actually. I was injured overseas, so that's why I'm home now.

"But the whole time I was [there, in recovery] we watched the news to see what's going on. And we saw the protests, and we saw what the media was saying about what's going on, and we were worried about what we were actually going to face when we came home. We didn't know what to expect, to be honest with you. From the news media we were seeing, the whole country was basically telling us we're a bunch of jerks.

"I thank God that the troops that are there don't see the news coverage. I thank God every day, because there'd be ten times the number getting killed, just because it would so un-motivate [sic] them.

"Back to the story: there were seven other soldiers that came home with me that day. We flew into JFK, and we were talking on the way back: What's going to happen? What will we be facing? Is it going to be like the Vietnam era, are there going to be people spitting at us?

"We didn't know. We had that much trepidation about it.

"We get into JFK, we step out of the breezeway into the main terminal, and directly in front of us was an elderly gentleman carrying a bag. And he immediately stopped, set his bag down, and the first thing we all thought was, 'Oh, Lord, here we go already.' He just stopped and looked at us for a second, and then tears came to his eyes and he saluted us.

"And -- I'm breaking up now [editor's note: with tears] -- every one of us just started crying like babies. Everybody in the terminal -- I kid you not, at least two to three hundred people -- just started clapping, spontaneously. To me, it was so much worth what we were doing, to realize that people over here actually get what we were doing. We weren't over there because it's fun. We're over there doing a job.
Hat tip to
Betsy Newman.

North Korea

Larry Kudlow interviewing Nathan Sharansky, asked if N. Korea could ever become a democracy.
Sharansky reminded that dictatorships are much weaker internally than outsiders believe. Spending all their time holding a gun to the head of everyone, totalitarians grow more and more fatigued."
One can only hope.

Don't you understand?

An observation from New Sisyphus:

The Future Middle East: After the War is Won

"Don't you understand?
They hate our guts and everything we stand for! They don't want us there and, believe me, we don't want to be there!"

These are the words a good friend of ours spoke to us during a friendly debate on the Iraq War over dinner here in the Near Abroad. Our friend is no liberal. Quite the opposite, in fact. What he does have is Middle Eastern experience like you wouldn't believe. Our friend agrees with us that a sickness has spread among the world's Islamic civilizations.

It's like this, he explained: in the mid- to late-1930's the Germans were in a tough political situation. Defeated in war, humiliated in the world's rush to acquire colonies, the Germans were a proud people perplexed by their sudden and disastrous loss of power, prestige and wealth. With each passing month, the grievances that so haunted the German people grew more and more agonizing, until they burned brightly, a shining place for the Germans to deposit their hatred, their envy, their anger.

A small political movement quickly caught fire, and soon the fact of the rise of the German Worker's National Socialist Party and its leader, Adolf Hitler, became the central fact of German political life. Here, finally, was a party and a leader who spoke openly about the real problems, about the German people's legitimate and urgent grievances: against the French, for imposing the humiliating yoke of Versailles, against the Russian bear for spreading sedition in their land, against the British, for not allowing them their fair share of colonies, against the hated Jews, for conspiring and plotting against them. The German newspapers burned with the weight of resentment, spreading the most fanciful conspiracy theories. German political leaders spoke with passion about the wrongs that had been visited against the German people, and about the need to correct those wrongs. With force.

Now, our friend argued, here we have one of the leading civilizations of the world, known for its art, philosophy, industry, music, religion, political science and military ability. By any measure, the Germanic people circa 1932 were one of the world's brightest stars. Yet, they so fell in love with their grievances, their hate, that they fell almost to a man for a murderous ideology of lies.

And here's the important part: it's not that the German people didn't have legitimate grievances. They did. It's how they used the fact of those grievances that gave the rest of the world the right to train their young men, arm them and send them across oceans to shoot as many Germans in the head as possible.

So, he concluded, if such a thing could come to pass, affecting an entire advanced civilization, might it not happen again? Might not we be witnessing the wholesale conversion of the Islamic world to a new type of fascism, one equally illuminated and powered by their grievances? If that could happen to the Germans, why not the Muslims? No one is immune to the allure of the powerful feeling of setting out to right wrongs done to one's people. You can see that feeling take new life with every "death to America" or "death to the Jews" rally.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Reid Spin

I saw a short news clip of senate minority leader Harry Reid expressing that Pres. Bush shouldn't waste time on sending the same judicial nominees back through for appointment. He said that they had been turned down once already.

Excuse me Mr Reid, they were not turned down; you would not allow an up or down vote. Looks like BeldarBlogs had the same thought I had when I heard this.

BeldarBlog says:
Sen. Harry Reid is a liar.

None of the seven judicial nominees just resubmitted by President Bush have ever received an up-or-down vote on the floor of the United States Senate. None of them were voted down by "this chamber."

Churchill at CU

This comment was posted by "anonymous":
You should really listen to Churchill's speech last week at CU before making up your mind.
It's in mp3 format and can be heard here. So for any of you out there that wants to hear it, I have posted the link for your enjoyment.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Same old garbage

I thought maybe since the election was over, we would remove the shackles of idiocy and start to have thoughtful debate, and get back "to the business" of the country. Apparently, I was guilty of extreme idealism. The old tired lines of the left that was used throughout the campaign have plainly become "seared, seared" into their consciousness.

Sunday on "Meet the Press", Dem. Congressman Charles Rangel told Tim Russert: "I'm telling you, we went into Iraq not for elections. We went there to knock off Saddam Hussein, but the American people thought it was connected with 9/11, there was weapons of mass destruction, there were connections with al Qaeda. It was all a fraud," Mr. Rangel said.

This is so disingenuous and pathetic.

Then when he was asked about Social Security (they even played a soundbite of him, I believe from 1998, in which he stated the poor shape Soc. Sec. was in and needed fixing) and what ideas he had today, he immediately went into spin mode. He never answered the question. He never addressed the soundbite where he admitted Soc. Sec. was in trouble. He just hammered Pres. Bush on Soc. Sec.

No ideas. No imagination. No thoughtful, insightful suggestions. Just hackneyed political swill.


Sunday, February 13, 2005

"Someone who does not know the difference between good and evil is worth nothing." – Miecyslaw Kasprzyk, Polish rescuer of Jews during the Holocaust.

Hillary Receives German Media Prize

Hillary "Robbem" Clinton received the German Media Prize for 2004 on Sunday. "Hillary Clinton is a model politician for millions of women around the world" who "represents in an exemplary way women's rights".

She joins some "mighty-fine" company. Since its inception in 1992, left wing political figures, such as her hubby William Jefferson, Kofi Annan, Queen Silvia of Sweden, German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat have won this "coveted" prize.

Churchill & 1st Amendment

Don Feder writes:

Churchill’s attorney, David Lane, who called the Regents’ meeting "a lot of hand-wringing and tongue clucking," predicted that nothing will of come it. "Ward Churchill is entitled, under the First Amendment, to have any opinions about anything – especially matters of public concern," Lane commented.

He’s probably right. The only people who get punished for expressing political views on the college campus are conservatives.

Back to Churchill’s defenders. With a few honorable exceptions, they are hypocrites. Imagine, for a moment, that the professor wrote an essay in which he observed: "We should have used nuclear weapons on Iraq. Muslims are a blight on the planet. The fewer of them, the better."

In such a case, there would be no resolutions, no investigations, no please to let-every-voice-be-heard. Instead, Churchill would have been summarily dismissed – after he was flogged, keelhauled, and tarred-and-feathered.
Full article here.

Personal Responsibility

Take care of yourself
By: Cal Thomas
A major reason government has grown to where President Bush has submitted a record $2.57 trillion budget to Congress is that too many Americans have ceded personal responsibility to the state.


Yahoo! News
Chinese high-tech espionage cases growing in US: report.
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The number of FBI (news - web sites) investigations into Chinese espionage in California's technology corridor has soared, as Beijing allegedly recruits civilians to steal US know-how.