Monday, January 31, 2005
Thursday, January 27, 2005
This is all you really need to know about the U.N. The U.N. flag in front of the U.N. building in
Guess who said this?
"[I will] never submit to fight beneath that banner [the American flag] with a Negro by my side. Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds."
He was seen on the Senate Floor the other day railing about the honesty, integrity and capacity of Dr. Rice as Secretary of State. And the MSM never seems able to point out that he was once a valued member and leader of the KKK.
But let's not ever, ever forget - or allow the media to ignore (as we know they wouldn't if the party labels were reversed) - that this man, lauded as the "Conscience of the Senate" by his fellow Democrats, filibustered the Civil Rights Act, voted against both black Justices nominated to the Supreme Court.
v There was once a time when the whole business of foreign policy was treated with a depth and dignity essential to making certain our foes didn't underestimate
v Senate Democrats, through their political arm the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, showing they are perfectly happy to squat in the shallow end of the kiddy pool, issued a fund raising letter signed by Barbara Boxer which stated:
"[I]n order to put the brakes on four more years of misdirection in Iraq and reckless policies at home, we need to elect more Democrats to the Senate during the 2006 midterm elections."
v According to Anne Gearan's Associated Press piece on the issue, the Democrats' deeply felt, well-reasoned, clearly stated essay ended with the patriotic plea: "Click here to contribute to the DSCC today."
v The leadership of the DSCC should be flogged.
v Senator Edward Kennedy is the child of one of the great family fortunes in American history. True, it was a fortune founded on rum-running, but when you make enough money, how you made it is often overlooked.
v Kennedy has never been a paragon of virtue. Take, for instance, his college career. Here's a teeny glimpse:
"Like his brothers, Ted attended
v That academic malfunction was not quoted from a right-wing blog. It was from the Public Broadcasting System's website. PBS, ladies and gentleman.
v The PBS bio goes on to describe the unpleasantness at Chappaquiddick following which, again according to PBS, "Kennedy did not report the incident immediately. Later, he pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident."
v Dr. Rice, on the other hand was born in
v According to her biography, she
"… earned her bachelor's degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the
v Well. Isn't this interesting? It seems that Senator Kennedy - who was caught cheating in college and who tried desperately to dodge responsibility in the accident which caused the death of a young woman - may not be the very best person to challenge the sincerity and honesty of Dr. Rice's positions.
v Just as a point of interest, do you know when
v 1955. Ten years after the end of the war.
v One can only wonder what level of projectile sweat today's Senate Democrats would have exhibited following the end of the Second World War with the abysmal failure of the Truman and Eisenhower Administrations to bring stability to post-war
v Dr. Rice will be confirmed today. She will be a great Secretary of State.
v The Senate Democrats should be ashamed of themselves.
Is There a Social Security 'Crisis'?
Is there a Social Security “crisis”? Take this simple test. (Answers given at end.)
1. Astronomers discover that a small asteroid is on a course that will cause it to smash into the earth in 2018, killing millions of people. This is:
A. A crisis.
B. A problem.
C. George Bush’s fault because of his “tax cuts for the rich”.
2. Astronomers discover that a huge asteroid is on a course that will cause it to smash into the earth in 2042, killing everything including the cockroaches. This is:
A. A crisis.
B. A problem.
C. George Bush’s fault because of his “tax cuts for the rich”.
Our present situation regarding Social Security is analogous to the challenge posed by an asteroid on a collision course with earth. If we acted immediately, while the asteroid was still far out in space, a small “nudge” would be enough to cause it to miss our world. The longer we waited, the more force would be required to produce the needed alteration in trajectory. If we waited too long, the situation would become impossible.
The same principle applies to Social Security. The reason to act now is because we have attractive options available (including moving to a system including Personal Accounts) that won’t have nearly the same impact if we wait.
I suggest that all the enemies of social security privatization be asked two questions:
1. Do you have a 401K or IRA account?
Given the worthlessness of such accounts -- the high risks, enormous administrative costs, etc. -- that these people are repeatedly warning us about, I wonder what their answer would be... since both of us know that every single one of them has one of these accounts.
Somebody tell me how this thing works.
Saturday, January 22, 2005
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
A PURE PONZI SCHEME
Let's say that your employer pulls you into a meeting this Friday and says the following:
Starting tomorrow, you will be put into a new retirement plan that will cost you personally 8% of every paycheck you get. We will decide when you can retire and how much you will get when you do. If you die all the money you have put into the plan belongs to us. At any time we want we can increase the amount you must put in. If it doesn't work out that there is enough money when you retire and we have misused the funds--tough shit! Now get out there and work your ass off.
Throughout the nation, a fierce debate rages over Social Security. One side, led by President Bush, says the system is in crisis and must be saved via "partial privatization." The other side says the system is basically sound and can be saved with a little tinkering.
Both sides, however, agree on one absolute: Social Security should be saved. While it may have financial problems, they believe, some form of mandatory government-run retirement program is morally necessary.
But is it?
Social Security is commonly portrayed as benefiting most, if not all, Americans by providing them "risk-free" financial security in old age. This is a fraud. Under Social Security, lower- and middle-class individuals are forced to pay a significant portion of their income--approximately 12%--for the alleged purpose of securing their retirement. That money is not saved or invested, but transferred directly to the program's current beneficiaries--with the "promise" that when current taxpayers get old, the income of future taxpayers will be transferred to them. Since this scheme creates no wealth, any benefits one person receives in excess of his payments necessarily come at the expense of others.
Under Social Security, every aspect of the government's "promise" to provide financial security is at the mercy of political whim. The government can change how much of an individual's money it takes--it has increased the payroll tax 17 times since 1935. The government can spend his money on anything it wants--observe the long-time practice of spending any annual Social Security surplus on other entitlement programs. The government can change when (and therefore if) it chooses to pay him benefits and how much they consist of--witness the current proposals to raise the age cutoff or lower future benefits.
Under Social Security, whether an individual gets twice as much from others as was taken from him, or half as much, or nothing at all, is entirely at the discretion of politicians. He cannot count on Social Security for anything--except a massive drain on his income.
If Social Security did not exist--if the individual were free to use that 12% of his income as he chose--his ability to better his future would be incomparably greater. He could save for his retirement with a diversified, long-term, productive investment in stocks or bonds. Or he could reasonably choose not to devote all 12% to retirement. He might choose to work far past the age of 65. He might choose to live more comfortably when he is young and more modestly in old age. He might choose to invest in his own productivity through additional education or starting a business. How much, when, and in what form one should provide for retirement is highly individual--and is properly left to the individual's free judgment and action. Social Security deprives the young of this freedom, and thus makes them less able to plan for the future, less able to provide for their retirements, less able to buy homes, less able to enjoy their most vital years, less able to invest in themselves.
And yet Social Security's advocates continue to push it as moral. Why? The answer lies in the program's ideal of "universal coverage"--the idea that, as a recent New York Times editorial preached, "all old people must have the dignity of financial security"--regardless of how irresponsibly they have acted. On this premise, since some would not save adequately on their own, everyone must be forced into some sort of "guaranteed" collective plan--no matter how irrational. Observe that Social Security's wholesale harm to those who would use their income responsibly is justified in the name of those who would not. The rational and responsible are shackled and throttled for the sake of the irrational and irresponsible.
Those who wish to devote their wealth to saving the irresponsible from the consequences of their own actions should be free to do so through private charity, but to loot the savings of untold millions of innocent, responsible, hard-working young people in the name of such a goal is a monstrous injustice.
Social Security in any form is morally irredeemable. We should be debating, not how to save Social Security, but how to end it--how to phase it out so as to best protect both the rights of those who have paid into it, and those who are forced to pay for it today. This will be a painful task. But it will make possible a world in which Americans enjoy far greater freedom to secure their own futures.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
I’m a DumbShit----Who Knew?
It all started without warning. It was around four o’clock in the morning on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas, for all of you unfamiliar with English tradition) and I was startled from my slumber by a roaring wind howling through and around the eaves of the house. Once I figured out what in the hell it was, my immediate thoughts were about my boat tied up very loosely in the boat house in the back yard. I had used the boat during the Christmas week to view the various boat parades that happen with frequency in
Under normal conditions having just the two lines tied to cleats on the dock would be sufficient. But when one is faced with 60 plus mph winds it isn’t sufficient. What I would ascertain later was that the leading edge of a cold front had raced into the area kicking up 60 plus mph winds with an attendant 8 foot storm surge. Not knowing this at the time I took my sorry ass down from the bedroom and decided that I had better go outside and secure the boat.
I put on a pair of shorts, took a flashlight and went outside on the back porch which leads down to the dock. The first thing I thought of once outside in the howling wind was “are you fucking nuts”? The temperature was in the high 40’s and I can only imagine what the wind chill was given the velocity of the wind. While I will admit that my first act should have been to go back into the house the sad truth is I’m just not that smart. Here I am in a pair of shorts—no shoes or socks—an Old Navy sweatshirt and the failing body of a 62 year old with the mind set of a 35 year old. Can you say “prescription for disaster?”
I rushed down to the boat house and dock to find three very real problems.
1) The bow line on the boat had already parted as the cleat had given way and was now in the water still tied to the boat.
2) The storm surge was such that the water was about three feet above the dock and the boat had blown up on the dock only secured by the stern line. Essentially the boat was now sideways on the dock.
3) Because of the surge I was up to my waist in water not sure of where the dock began or ended.
So—did I think this through any better at this point? Did I go through a mental calculation that a) I couldn’t see a thing-- b) I was freezing--c) The boat is insured—d) If I was not up to my waist in water I would blow away? No—my reaction was to figure out how to get up in the boat and right the bow and tie her off. I am an asshole!
I went around the dock stanchion and waded to the stern platform of the boat. From there I got on the boat. I doubled up the stern line and started the boat. I then put the boat in forward gear turning the wheel all the way to starboard using the stern lines as a poor man’s tugboat, driving the boat off the dock and keeping the motor running in gear I kept the bow right up against the forward boathouse stanchion. Now the trick was getting off the boat and rigging a set of bow lines. As an aside—I am now turning blue and can no longer feel my feet or face.
I went back to the stern and was going to once again use the platform to get off the boat. However a very healthy gust of wind came raging across the water which blew me off the platform and into the drink. I was immediately sucked out into the bay. From past experience with tides, I knew to swim parallel to the flow instead of against it. I was quite calm as I knew that eventually I would be blown across the bay to ground at some point and I could only ponder if the boat had enough gas to run for as long as it took me to get back home from where ever I was going to be blown to.
In addition to the question of how much gas the boat had was the issue of how to explain what had just happened. As long as the boat kept running with the wheel turned and the stern lines firm it wouldn’t go anywhere. But if it took a very long time for me to wash up on the shore then eventually the gas would be spent, and the boat would once again be sideways and up above the dock. I really wasn’t worried as these kinds of storms don’t last more than a couple of hours.
So, I did the side stroke for a while—took a leak in the bay (I really had to go) and began to laugh at what a complete and total ass I had been. All things considered this was really pretty funny. It’s really quite astonishing how calm I was. The bay wasn’t that calm as there were whitecaps in the bay and some pretty heavy rollers but nothing that I couldn’t deal with. What I thought about most was what in the hell was I going to say about my pet human trick I had just completed.
The good news is that I was only in the bay about 20 minutes before I found myself at the fringe of Homeport Marina. Getting out of the water was no problem but I was colder out of the water than in it. I knew that I was in a little trouble with hypothermia which in and of itself was amusing as I wondered if I was going to be the first guy to freeze to death in sunny
The end results were first a cold of monumental proportions followed by a little bout with pneumonia. I didn’t mind the sickness as I had earned it—but the ribbing I got from those in the neighborhood was much more humbling. I am now referred to in the neighborhood as Admiral Blowback. I guess that’s better than Admiral Dumbshit—which is certainly more appropriate.
Monday, January 17, 2005
Judge Judy: Rather and Mapes
(Announcer as Mapes and Rather walk into courtroom)
"Ex-television producer Mary Mapes is suing her former boss, popular TV news anchor Dan Rather, for causing her to be fired from her job after she allegedly provided him with false documents that were used in a news story about President Bush. Dan says Mary knew the documents were phonies but never told him. He's counter-suing for defamation of character."
Miss Mapes, until recently you worked for the defendant as a television producer for a news show. According to your complaint, you came into possession of some documents that were used as part of a news story for which the defendant was the reporter. Evidently there was some doubt as to the authenticity of these documents, and as a result you were fired from your job. You say that the defendant was every bit as responsible as you, but ultimately you were held responsible and he got off scot-free. You're suing for lost wages and infliction of emotional distress.
Yes, your honor.
The defendant says that he was simply reporting a story using documents that said were genuine, that he had no idea there were any doubts about them, and that he basically showed up and read a script that had been written for him. He says that if anyone should have been fired it was you. Is that basically correct, sir?
Your honor, in all my years as a journalist...
Just answer my question sir - is that basically correct?
Yes, yes it is.
Good. Now, Miss Mapes, tell me about these documents.
Well, your honor, I had been working on this story for about five years, and I...
Five years? Why in the world would it take you five years to work on a news story?
Well, this wasn't really a news story, it was more like a piece of investigative journalism.
I don't care if you were building a skyscraper, how could it take you five years?
Well, I have to follow up on leads, develop sources...
Speak English, madame! Just tell me about these documents. Where did you get them?
Well, these were some memos that appeared to be very damaging to the President...
WHERE DID YOU GET THEM?
Oh, sorry. I received the memos from a source that...
I asked you to speak English. What is a "source?"
It's someone who provides you with information, either on the record or off...
You mean it's a person.
Then say person! Who gave them to you?
I did, your honor.
What is your name, sir?
Step up. Now, tell me, sir, where you got these memos?
I came into possession of these particular documents after I was contacted by a woman by the name of Lucy Ramirez.
And how do you know this Lucy Ramirez?
I don't know her, your honor.
What do you mean you don't know her?
Ms. Ramirez telephoned me one day to tell me that she had some documents about President Bush's Texas Air National Guard service that could be very damaging to him.
Don't tell me what she said to you, that's hearsay. Did you make arrangements to obtain these documents?
Yes, I arranged to meet Ms. Ramirez at a livestock show in Houston.
And on what date did you meet her?
I didn't meet her, your honor. While I was at the livestock show, I was approached by a man who asked if I was Bill Burkett. I said I was, and he handed me an envelope...
Don't tell me what he said to you, that's hearsay.
Actually, he didn't say anything to me after that, he just handed me the envelope and walked away.
He just handed you an envelope and walked away without saying a word?
Yes, he disappeared into the crowd.
What are you, a secret agent? Mr. Burkett, do I look like a fool to you?
No, your honor.
Because what you've just told me has got to be one of the biggest cock-and-bull stories I've ever heard. Why would someone who you'd never met just call you out of thin air and offer to give you documents that might be damaging to the President of the United States?
Well, I was in the Guard...
OK, now we're getting somewhere! So you had first-hand knowledge of what occurred because you were in the National Guard with the President?
No, your honor. Actually, I was in the Army National Guard, Mr. Bush was in the Air National Guard.
Mr. Burkett, are you taking any medication??
Yes, your honor, right now I'm taking an anti-convulsive, two anti-depressants, and...
Sit down! Miss Mapes, are you telling me that you worked on this story for five years, and all you could come up with is some memos that some mystery man--who may or may not have been sent by this Lucy Ramirez--gave to James Bond here at a livestock show?
Well, yes, your honor, but you should remember...
And someone actually paid you to do this?
Well, the underlying facts of the story have never...
You wouldn't know a fact if it bit you in the behind! Now, Mr. Rather, I want you to tell me what you knew about these memos and when you knew it.
Well, your honor...
Look at me when you're testifying, sir. Stop looking into the camera.
My apologies, force of habit. Your honor, I always say If you try to read the tea leaves before the cup is done you can get yourself burned. Now this whole dust-up has caused quite a bit of consternation for quite a few people, and I wish it had never happened, but then again, if a frog had side pockets he'd probably wear a handgun.
Mr. Rather, are you taking any medication?
Then get to the point! Now, please answer my question.
My pleasure, your honor. To tell you the truth, if I knew then what I know now, I would not have gone ahead with the story as aired.
What do you mean "as aired?" What evidence did you have besides these memos?
None, your honor, but I have it on very good authority that the allegations set forth in the memos are true, regardless of whether or not the memos themselves are authentic.
Do you know how foolish you sound, Mr. Rather? That's like me saying that I have reason to believe that I'm twenty-three, regardless of the date on my birth certificate.
Well, Judge Judy, if you'll just hear my witness, I think you'll see what I mean.
All right, step up. What's your name, ma'am?
My name is Marion Knox. I was the secretary of Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Killian, who is the alleged author of the memos in question. I used to type all of his memos.
So you're telling me that these memos did come from this Lieutenant Colonel Killian?
No, your honor. I didn't type them, and I don't think that they came from Colonel Killian, but I believe that the information in them is correct.
So you think that someone else typed them for the Colonel?
Oh, no, your honor. In fact, those memos contains terms in there that are specific to the army, not the air force. The formatting is also all wrong, and the signatures don't look like his.
This is your witness, Mr. Rather?
Yes, your honor. In fact, I interviewed Ms. Knox on national television.
For what purpose?
To prove that the memos were authentic.
Are you listening, sir?? She just testified under oath that they're fake!
Yes, but she also told me that she believes that these are memos that Colonel Killian might have written if he had the opportunity, because he basically agreed with the sentiment that was expressed in them. If you'll just keep asking her questions, the story starts to sound much more believable - you just have to phrase the questions correctly.
Mr. Rather, you're giving me a lot of 'who-shot-John!' Did you know Ms. Mapes got these memos from Mr. Burkett, and were you aware of the rather bizarre circumstances under which he obtained them?
No, your honor. I only found out about Mr. Burkett much later, and I have never met him or spoken to him.
He said on national television that the memos came from an unimpeachable source!
Is this true? Did you say that?
I did, your honor...
Why would you say that if you'd never met him?
Well, I was trying to assure our viewers that, uh, that is, uh, we were trying to get to the bottom of this whole thing...
It sounds more like you were trying to cover your tracks. In my opinion, a five-year-old child would have demonstrated more common sense than the two of you did in this matter.
Ms. Mapes - I don't know how you could do such shoddy work and expect to keep your job, but I certainly would have given you your walking papers if you worked for me. Your case is dismissed.
Mr. Rather, having heard your testimony, not to mention that of your witness, I'm convinced that you not only knew that the documents in question were fishy, to say the least, but it appears that you were trying to cover up that fact. I don't know why you weren't fired, but if I were you, I'd update my resume. Your counterclaim is dismissed. Now if you'll both excuse me, I have a splitting headache - step out!
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
The implications of this just boggle the mind. It kinda reminds me of Democrats and "W" in that they just keep misunderestimating him.
Hump Day Musings
The Main Stream Media is DEAD!
Newsweek’s Howard Fineman:
A political party is dying before our eyes — and I don’t mean the Democrats. I’m talking about the “mainstream media,” which is being destroyed by the opposition (or worse, the casual disdain) of George Bush’s Republican Party; by competition from other news outlets (led by the internet and Fox’s canny Roger Ailes); and by its own fraying journalistic standards.
Wait!!!--Let me guess. You did not see this in your newspaper---did you?
WASHINGTON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - The U.S. government ran a $1 billion budget surplus in December, helped by a rise in corporate tax payments, the Congressional Budget Office said in its latest budget report released on Friday. The surplus, which compared with an $18 billion deficit in the previous December, helped create a smaller fiscal deficit for the first three months of the 2005 fiscal year, than in the same quarter of the prior year.
- Under normal circumstances, I do not support torture
- I believe the very existence of Al Qaeda is a clear and present danger to millions of people, American and otherwise
- I believe Al Qaeda is different from other enemies America has faced in the past (USSR, for instance) because their philosophy does not involve targeting of military targets but instead civilian population centers
- I believe that we are not safe until all members of Al Qaeda have been apprehended and/or killed
- I believe that once confirmed Al Qaeda members are in custody, any means used to make them personally reveal possible terror plots should be undertaken
- In essence, I believe that so long as an Al Qaeda network exists there is a "ticking bomb" going on
- I do not believe that Al Qaeda associates, their families, etc. should be tortured to glean this information
- I do not say things like this - or anything on my site for that matter - to get traffic or to be an "agent provocateur". I say this, because I believe in it. I understand that many - far away the majority - disagree with me on this. That's just how things work out sometimes
How is it that a smart person could support a war that will certainly kill hundreds, probably thousands of innocent Iraqis -- and a good number of Americans -- in the name of preventing another 9/11, but not support torturing a man who has made no bones about his desire to murder as many Americans as possible, if doing so might prevent another 9/11?
And now for a little satire:
4 More Jobs Lost on Bush's Watch
Buckling under pressure from digital brownshirts and nipple-phobic right-wing radio jocks, CBS has pounded four more nails into the coffin of honest and unbiased journalism. CBS Senior Vice President Betsy West, 60 Minutes Wednesday Executive Producer Josh Howard; Senior Broadcast Producer Mary Murphy and investigative journalist Mary Mapes were all given the axe this morning to clear the way for the religious right's Orwellian control over all news media.
Sadly, they'll never be able to work in TV media again without this whole thing hanging over their heads. Jayson Blair dared speak out against Bush, and now he can't even write out a grocery list without being sued for plagiarism. Goddess help Mary Mapes. Now that she's been branded with the scarlet "L" and unjustly labeled as a left-wing hack bereft of all objectivity, she'll probably wind up over at NPR - no doubt working for peanuts, thanks to Bush's budget cuts.
They tried to get Dan the Man, too, but he slipped away quicker than a greased pig on a hot skillet. We probably won't see him again until some laughing jarheads drag him out of his spiderhole, shirtless and mumbling, "The story is true...the story is true..."
Yup, I expect Jerry Falwell is moving into Dan's old office over at CBS as we speak. Get ready for a whole new 60 Minutes geared towards the Red State dittoheads and 100% approved by the Jesus & Guns crowd! Gone are Mike Wallace, Harry Reasoner, and the whole posse of truth-seeking dinosaurs. Tonight, Sean Hannity looks into why God hates fags. Ann Coulter will enjoy a nice back alley abortion, and Pat Bukkkanan will lynch an entire black family for kicks. These stories, and Dennis Miller, tonight on 60 minutes!
And to think, none of this would have happened if Bush had simply been a man and confessed to the legitimate accusations raised by the phony documents, and then quietly bowed out of the race.
We live in dark times, my friends. But alas, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
A must read Boys and Girls:
Lorie Byrd compares how the legacy media have handled RathGate to how they covered (or didn't, to be more precise) the Swift Boat Vets.
Haven't you wondered why with all the money and resource that CBS has they have never even attempted to find out who wrote those bogus memos? Have you wondered why they have not brought in as many experts as necessary to actually make a determination about the documents being forgeries? How do you initiate and conduct an investigation without investigating the relevant facts in evidence?
Could it be they don't want to know?
Mary Mapes is a Witch--that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
The most serious defects in the reporting and production of the September 8 Segment were:
1. The failure to obtain clear authentication of any of the Killian documents from any document examiner;
2. The false statement in the September 8 Segment that an expert had authenticated the Killian documents when all he had done was authenticate one signature from one document used in the Segment;
3. The failure of 60 Minutes Wednesday management to scrutinize the publicly
available, and at times controversial, background of the source of the documents, retired Texas Army National Guard Lieutenant Colonel Bill Burkett;
4. The failure to find and interview the individual who was understood at the outset to be Lieutenant Colonel Burkett’s source of the Killian documents, and thus to establish the chain of custody;
5. The failure to establish a basis for the statement in the Segment that the documents “were taken from Colonel Killian’s personal files”;
6. The failure to develop adequate corroboration to support the statements in the Killian documents and to carefully compare the Killian documents to official TexANG records, which would have identified, at a minimum, notable inconsistencies in content and format;
7. The failure to interview a range of former National Guardsmen who served with Lieutenant Colonel Killian and who had different perspectives about the documents;
8. The misleading impression conveyed in the Segment that Lieutenant Strong had authenticated the content of the documents when he did not have the personal knowledge to do so;
9. The failure to have a vetting process capable of dealing effectively with the
production speed, significance and sensitivity of the Segment; and
10. The telephone call prior to the Segment’s airing by the producer of the Segment to a senior campaign official of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry - a clear conflict of interest - that created the appearance of a political bias.
Once questions were raised about the September 8 Segment, the reporting thereafter was mishandled and compounded the damage done. Among the more egregious shortcomings during the aftermath were:
1. The strident defense of the September 8 Segment by CBS News without adequately probing whether any of the questions raised had merit;
2. Allowing many of the same individuals who produced and vetted the by-then
controversial September 8 Segment to also produce the follow-up news reports
defending the Segment;
3. The inaccurate press statements issued by CBS News after the broadcast of the Segment that the source of the documents was “unimpeachable” and that experts had vouched for their authenticity;
4. The misleading stories defending the Segment that aired on the CBS Evening News after September 8 despite strong and multiple indications of serious flaws;
5. The efforts by 60 Minutes Wednesday to find additional document examiners who would vouch for the authenticity of the documents instead of identifying the best examiners available regardless of whether they would support this position; and
6. Preparing news stories that sought to support the Segment, instead of providing accurate and balanced coverage of a raging controversy.
Count up the words "false statement" and "misleading" in that riff, and you have a rough count of how many times CBS lied to the public.
You can go to the CBS website and read the entire report for yourself. At the end of the day this was a blatant attempt to rig an election for the democratic candidate and the report makes it clear. CBS can never again be trusted on any level.
Rather Lied, Careers Died
Posted by Will Collier · 10 January 2005 ·
So, when is CNN's Johnathan Klein going to apologize and admit that the guys in pajamas were right, and CBS News was in the wrong? More to the point, does anybody at CNN have the guts to ask him that question?
No, of course not.
Some more dogs that won't bark:
1. Neither Peter Jennings, nor Tom Brokaw, nor even Brian Williams will utter a peep of criticism in Rather's direction. Ditto for Bill O'Reilly, who'll blame the whole thing on Mary Mapes and dismiss anybody with a modem but not a TV show as being 'nuts' for questioning the credibility of a news anchor.
2. The Columbia Journalism Review ("America's Premier Media Monitor") will not issue a retraction of Corey Pein's ridiculous attempt to acquit Rather, Mapes, CBS News, et al.
3. No major "news" publication or program (with the possible exception of Fox News) will ask the question, "Why were three women in lower level positions cut loose at CBS, but the network news president--Andrew Hayward--and Dan Rather allowed to skate?"
4. The word "blog" will not be uttered on CBS News tonight, or anytime this week, particularly not in context of this disgrace.
Pissed off about Armstrong Williams?
I have one name--Bill Moyers.
Here is a partial list of the groups Moyers has funded and featured on his show without disclosure. (The dollar amount represents the total given from 1991, his first year as president of the Schumann Foundation, to 2001, as well as grants from the affiliated Florence Fund.)
Annenberg School of Communication--$100,000
Brennan Center for Justice, NYU--$425,000
Center for Investigative Reporting--$803,000
Environmental Working Group--$234,000
Friends of the Earth--$166,500
Media Access Project--$125,000
The Nation Magazine--$135,000
Natural Resources Defense Council--$105,000
New America Foundation--$750,000
Public Agenda Foundation--$150,000
Union of Concerned Scientists--$335,000
World Resources Institute--$75,000
That's $4,806,000 over the past decade to groups that have gotten free PR on Moyers's show just in the past 16 months.
Monday, January 10, 2005
It's all here in my shorts
Did you ever notice, when you put "The" and "IRS" together it spells "Theirs"?
A new survey of Democratic voters indicates that in a hypothetical match-up between Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and former presidential nominee John Kerry, most Democrats would choose suicide over either candidate.
Gingrich told the Associated Press, "anything seems possible."
Newt Gingrich is taking steps toward a potential presidential bid in 2008 with a book criticizing President Bush's policies on Iraq and a tour of early campaign states.
The former House speaker who led Republicans to power a decade ago said he soon will visit Iowa and New Hampshire to promote his book, try to influence public policy and keep his political options alive.
Or it could just be a gossip meant to help him sell his book.
Barbara Boxer is the dumbest U.S. Senator in our history. ONLY California could produce a twit the magnitude of Boxer in the Senate and Maxine Waters in the House.
Hanoi Jonny strikes again.
When is this turkeys staff going to mention to him that he is a loser?
Visiting with U.S. troops in Baghdad on Thursday, failed presidential candidate John Kerry trashed Commander-in-chief George Bush for making "horrendous judgments" and "unbelievable blunders" that have undermined the war effort.
Unblievable blunders? What election were you watching john boy?
In a series of demoralizing comments first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, the defeated Democrat griped, "What is sad about what's happening here now is that so much of it is a process of catching up from the enormous miscalculations and wrong judgments made in the beginning."
Hey it's a dangerous place, we all know that. One stray bullet, no recriminations.
Isn't this treason to deliberatly demoralise troops? How big an asshole is this guy? Is he going to encourage them to desert next?
Ah screw it, when is Michael Moore going to address the troops, I want to see that one.
Does anyone need any more proof that the Main Stream Media and journalists in general are left wing weenies and anti everything conservative? Saying that the media is left wing is a fact! Media bias is a FACT!
The word democracy appears nowhere in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution -- two most fundamental documents of our nation. Instead of a democracy, the Constitution's Article IV, Section 4, guarantees "to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government." Moreover, let's ask ourselves: Does our pledge of allegiance to the flag say to "the democracy for which it stands," or does it say to "the republic for which it stands"? Or do we sing "The Battle Hymn of the Democracy" or "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"?
So what's the difference between republican and democratic forms of government? John Adams captured the essence of the difference when he said, "You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe." Nothing in our Constitution suggests that government is a grantor of rights. Instead, government is a protector of rights.
In recognition that it's Congress that poses the greatest threat to our liberties, the framers used negative phrases against Congress throughout the Constitution such as: shall not abridge, infringe, deny, disparage, and shall not be violated, nor be denied. In a republican form of government, there is rule of law. All citizens, including government officials, are accountable to the same laws. Government power is limited and decentralized through a system of checks and balances. Government intervenes in civil society to protect its citizens against force and fraud but does not intervene in the cases of peaceable, voluntary exchange.
Contrast the framers' vision of a republic with that of a democracy. In a democracy, the majority rules either directly or through its elected representatives. As in a monarchy, the law is whatever the government determines it to be. Laws do not represent reason. They represent power. The restraint is upon the individual instead of government. Unlike that envisioned under a republican form of government, rights are seen as privileges and permissions that are granted by government and can be rescinded by government.
And now for something entirely different:
It's my view that anyone who wants "Intelligent Design" taught in schools as a science is not intelligent, nor should they have children.
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
This article is from the blog of Diplomad which can be seen at:
A Blog by career US Foreign Service officers. They are Republican (most of the time) in an institution (State Department) in which being a Republican can be bad for your career -- even with a Republican President! Join the State Department Republican Underground. FSOs (and others) Send us your suggested posts to diplomad-at-hotmail-dot-com.
If you really want to read the truth about the goings on after the Tsunami, this is the place to go for the unvarnished truth.
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
More UNreality . . . But the Dutch Get It
Well, dear friends, we're now into the tenth day of the tsunami crisis and in this battered corner of Asia, the UN is nowhere to be seen -- unless you count at meetings, in five-star hotels, and holding press conferences.
Aussies and Yanks continue to carry the overwhelming bulk of the burden, but some other fine folks also have jumped in: e.g., the New Zealanders have provided C-130 lift and an excellent and much-needed potable water distribution system; the Singaporeans have provided great helo support; the Indians have a hospital ship taking position off Sumatra. Spain and Netherlands have sent aircraft with supplies.
The UN continues to send its best product, bureaucrats. Just today the city's Embassies got a letter from the local UN representative requesting a meeting for "Ms. Margareeta Wahlstrom, United Nations Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator and the Secretary-General's Special Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance in Tsunami-afected countries." Wow! Put that on a business card! And she must be really, really special because she has the word "coordinator" twice in her title!
The letter, in typically modest UN style, goes on to explain that "Ms. Wahlstrom's main task will be to provide leadership and support to the international relief effort. She will undertake high-level consultations with the concerned governments in order to facilitate the delivery of international assistance." Oh, and she'll be visiting from January 4-5.
Once, again, a hearty Diplomadic "WOW!" She's going to do all that in two days! The Australians and we have been feeding and otherwise helping tens-of-thousands of people stay alive for the past ten days, and still have a long, long way to go, but she's going to wrap the whole thing up in a couple of days of meetings. Thank goodness she's here to provide the poor lost Aussies and Yanks with leadership. The Diplomad bows in awe to such power and wisdom. The letter is signed, by the way, by the same UN official who suggested a couple of days back that the Australian and US air traffic controllers in Aceh should don UN blue (see our post of January 2.)
Ok, enough with the UN; you get the picture. Now to the EU. The EU could copy the Australian-American model of acting quickly and effectively to save lives, or they could copy the UN model of meeting at a leisurely pace to plan for the possibility of setting up a coordination center that will consider making a plan for the possibility of an operations center to consider beginning to request support for the tsunami's victims. Ah, my wise friends, guess which model of "action" the EU chose? No need to emulate those "cowboys" from Australia and the USA with their airplanes and loading crews working round-the-clock; oh, no, much too tacky, sweaty and dirty. No need to feed into the system those goofy Aussiyankeebushowardian New World Anglo-Saxons already have created. No, they'll follow the much more elegant Kofi Annan model. A couple of EU planners have shown up to begin making arrangements for an assessment team to arrive, etc., etc., you know the rest. Meanwhile, people die.
But all is not lost. The Dutch, who on occasion show the great common sense for which they were once justifiably famous, have signed up with the Aussiyankeebushowardian Core Group. Thanks to a European Diplomad (Yes, The Diplomadic insurgency has gone international!) we have in our possession a short situation report circulated by the Dutch at the most recent EU meeting here in this corner of the Far Abroad. This January 2 report is written by local Dutch diplomats who traveled to Aceh and saw the reality on the ground. We will cite the two principal paragraphs, and leave them unedited in their original rather charming Dutch-English,
The US military has arrived and is clearly establishing its presence everywhere in Banda Aceh. They completely have taken over the military hospital, which was a mess until yesterday but is now completely up and running. They brought big stocks of medicines, materials for the operation room, teams of doctors, water and food. Most of the patients who were lying in the hospital untreated for a week have undergone medical treatment by the US teams by this afternoon. US military have unloaded lots of heavy vehicles and organize the logistics with Indonesian military near the airport. A big camp is being set up at a major square in the town. Huge generators are ready to provide electricity. US helicopters fly to places which haven't been reached for the whole week and drop food. The impression it makes on the people is also highly positive; finally something happens in the city of Banda Aceh and finally it seems some people are in control and are doing something. No talking but action. European countries are until now invisible on the ground. IOM staff (note: this is a USAID-funded organization) is very busy briefing the incoming Americans and Australians about the situation.
The US, Australia, Singapore and the Indonesian military have started a 'Coalition Co-ordination Centre' in Medan to organize all the incoming and outgoing military flights with aid. A sub-centre is established in Banda Aceh."
Isn't that nice? Europeans with a sense of reality.
The only fault The Diplomad can find with the Dutch report is that it understates the role of the Australians in the relief effort -- they deserve considerably more credit than this report gives them. It's hard to praise the Aussies too much for what they have done in the wake of the tsunami. They are absolutely splendid -- too bad they've got that thing about that weird game, uh, cricket, is it?
Anyhow, soon I will return to my habitual corner of the Far Abroad and leave my colleagues here to deal with the UN, the EU and their Coordination Efforts.