Thursday, September 30, 2004
The asthma that has kept me off work for a month continues, lessening only slightly. I had two tests today at Northwestern Medical Center. The thought is that GERD is causing the frequent asthma attacks, and if that can be controlled, the asthma will lessen as well. This may require surgery, but we'll see. I see my pulmonologist tomorrow morning. He too is a frequent reader of Liberty. At this point, the asthma is intermittent, and I never know what will set it off. My diet has become quite restricted. No coffee. period. sigh.
Lots of fish, lots of chicken. No spicy foods. No alcohol. Nada.
This rules out my favorite Mexican restaraunts. Double sigh.
And Tony, it may limit our trips to the hotel for the marvelous chinese stir fry as well.
I hope to be back to work soon, but am really not sure when that will be. I have to get that asthma under control first. I appreciate the prayers, folks. Keep 'em up.
Now back to the important stuff that keeps folks coming back to Liberty Just in Case.
Frankly, Mort Kondracke said it best on FoxNews. President Bush looked tired.
The President also looked defensive at times. He kept saying the country needed to stay on the offensive with terrorism, but was primarily on the defensive in this debate. I kept waitng for Mr. Bush to hit the ball out of the park, and God knows Sen. Kerry gave him opportunities. Mr. Bush simply didn't take them. I'm not sure why.
The spin will continue throughout the evening, but in this Bush partisan's opinion, Kerry came out ahead tonight. He definitely helped himself. He was aggressive without being hostile. He held his own, and President Bush did not capitalize on Kerry's miscues. One of the biggest was one of the final questions. Kerry was asked what he thought was the biggest threat to this country. Kerry replied nuclear proliferation. Kerry was a major supporter of the unilateral nuclear freeze movement in the 70's and 80's.
Bush could have come back on that one. He didn't. He missed an opportunity. He now has two more....
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
The big story today is Spaceship One. Yes, I know the debates are tomorrow, and World War IV continues. But the launch today represents the future, hope, and optimism. No wonder Kerry won't be watching.
Monday, September 27, 2004
Of Allawi, Joe Lockhart, the Kerry mouthpiece, said, "You can almost see the hand underneath the shirt today moving the lips." That's the sort of thing you can read in the official Syrian press — or are they more discreet now?
Allawi himself was forced to declare, "I am a tool of nobody." And catch the magnificent sarcasm at the end of this statement: "I don't know what is rosy and what is not rosy. I am painting a picture that I know. I am the prime minister of Iraq, and I am talking about Iraq — I know what is happening there. I know the details. . . . I have only been out of Iraq for five days, so I don't think that in the last five days things have changed dramatically."
In the mid-1980s, when he visited Washington, Jose Napoleon Duarte kissed the American flag. That caused a lot of the Left to choke. And now Allawi is thanking America — and much of the Left is fuming.
I think we can safely generalize that they enjoyed neither the liberation of Afghanistan nor the liberation of Iraq. Because it is better that those two countries be unfree than that a Texas evangelical conservative do the freeing.
George W. Bush needs to stick it to Kerry in that first debate — not merely play defense. He needs to find a way of saying, "What kind of democrats are you Democrats? I mean, don't you hope we succeed? Does the Taliban out, and Karzai et al. in, and Saddam Hussein out, and Allawi et al. in, embarrass you? Sure, Kofi Annan and the thugocracies of the U.N. are against us. But where do you stand? Does our relative unpopularity at the U.N. embarrass you?"
Get 'im, W. This is no time to act overly "presidential." Your job is to shame these people — a job for which they have given you plenty of material.
Sunday, September 26, 2004
From Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66Very, very funny. I have friends in Oklahoma and Texas who feel just this way, and talk this way, too!
The Road Less Graveled
(A down home message for Dan Rather in the colorful Texas idiom he so loves)
Y’all know what we all been thinkin’ out here in Texas, Dan, since you started all this foolishness? We think y’all been pissin’ down our necks an’ tellin’ us it’s rain for so long that you boys done got to believin’ it yourselves. Heck, we think maybe you been back East so long you got yourself thinkin’ us folks out here couldn’t hit sand if we fell off our horses; couldn’t hit water if we fell outta the boat. Danged if you ain’t been treatin’ us like you think we got squirrels swimmin’ in our gene pools or sumthin.’ You need to remind yourself that a tree don’t ever get too big for a short dog to lift his leg on, Dan.
Bout them documents bein’ genuine; well, hells-bells, Danny Boy, Grannie’s glasses are so thick, when she looks at a bare wall she see’s folks wavin’ at her, an’ even she can tell them memos are bout as phony as hips on a rattlesnake. We’re startin’ to think your brain done got harder than a woodpecker’s lips if you can’t see that. As far as that story bout George an’ his National Guard duty, looks to us like you’re tryin’ to put wheels on a cow an’ call it a dairy truck. Then you go pokin’ up her butt hopin’ you’re gonna find ice cream. Besides, ever time you durn fools put that picture of young George in his flyboy outfit on the TeeVee, ol’ Jane Fonda loses another herd of her Vagina Voters. Hell, Charlene says that sweet boy’s purtier than my new tangerine metalflake bass boat.
Well, Danny, you still ain’t lost all your redneck habits; you boys took one pickup load to the dump an’ come back with two. Dadgummit, Dan, where you gittin’ all this stuff? You been callin’ some kinda mystery numbers that ol’ boy, whatsisname, Kenneth, is bringin’ you offa bathroom walls at truck stops? Somethin’ you oughta be worryin’ about, Danny Boy: you know how the boys say when you go on a hunt always make sure to save a round for your huntin’ guide? Like if he don’t find nuthin’ else for you to shoot? You suppose any a them rich, fancy-shmancy, New York dudes you work for ever been on a hunt and heard that, Dan, hmmm?
You know how you always been fond a sayin’ you feel like a long tailed cat in a room full a rockin’ chairs? Well, seems to us like you’re startin’ to look more like the ground floor tenant in a two-story outhouse. Yeah, for sure you ain’t lookin’ like the tallest hog at the trough no more. Why, we bet you got yourself wired so tight right now that if we stuck a chunk a coal up your butt it’d come out a diamond in about five minutes. Last time we seen you on TeeVee your smile looked like Charlene’s little ol’ chihuahua dog that time he bit down on one a them ol’ yeller-jacket wasps; you know, kinda like that look a feller gets when he squats with his spurs on.
An’ about your boss, that city slicker fella, Johnnie Klein, the one said somethin’ bout all us sittin’ out here in our long johns? Well we’re gonna give him some advice so good he can take it out back an’ bury it in a Mason jar. You see, the fact is, Danny Boy, now that all us earthworms is gittin’ guns, you big birds is gonna have to be more careful bout where you’re peckin.’ Somebody needs to tell that dude, Klein, that his cage may still be turnin’ but his squirrel’s done died. Course, maybe the boy can’t help hisself; it might run in the family, you know, generic. We heard tell when he was born his ol’ momma carried the little feller around upside down for a whole year wonderin’ why he only had one eye.
Yeah them ol’ boys up there at Power Line done gone an’ slapped you dudes nekkid an’ hid your clothes. Them blogger cats watched you fellers jump in that ol’ litter box an’ they just flat covered you up, quicker ‘n slicker than WD 40 on a doorknob. Yeah you boys done gone skinny dippin’ in a pond full a snappin’ turtles. Looks like them broadcastin’ geniuses at CBS done let them yeller-dog Democrats talk you inta sellin’ your mule so you could buy a plow. When you crawled into the sack with little Miss McCauliffe you done got yourself a real ugly bed partner there, Dan, like a real three-bagger, I mean. You know the drill: one bag over her head, one over yours and one over the dog’s so’s at least he’ll have some respect for you come mornin.’
Before all y’all up there at CBS go tryin’ to saddle up another hog for a quarter horse race, you need to think about this: us ol’ boys out here know a keyboard ain’t where you hang the pickup keys and a byte ain’t what Bubba’s pit bull did to Cousin Billy; we know modem ain’t what we did when the weeds got up to the porch and digital ain’t countin’ on our fingers, least not any more. Yeah, we done got ourselves a dog in this fight, a bloggin’ pit bull, Dan Boy, an’ he’s justa slobberin’ for another big ol’ bite of Liberal blubber butt. Didn’t your ol’ daddy ever tell you that you ain’t never gonna be the brightest bulb on the tree if you go huntin’ bobcats with a BB gun?
But cheer up, Dan, maybe one a these days all you pointy-headed, liberal, media fellers will see the light. Course, seein’s where y’all seem to be keepin’ them pointy heads, it’ll prob’ly be one a them there things the doctors use.
Whatcha call ‘em, proctoscopes?
P.S. Charlene says to tell you don’t even think about comin’ back to Texas. Way folks out here feel, you’d have to tie a pork chop around your neck just to get a dog to play with you. Well, and maybe Mollie Ivins.
If we wonder why CBS is in trouble, why no one trusts the universities or the U.N., or why the Democrats may soon lose the Senate, the House, the presidency, and the Supreme Court, the answer has a lot to do with arrogant hypocrisy — the idea that how one lives need have nothing to do with what one professes, that idealistic rhetoric can provide psychological cover for privilege and preference, and that rules need not apply for those self-proclaimed as smarter and nicer than the rest of us. But none of us — none — get a pass simply because we claim that we are more moral, educated, or sophisticated than most.And this, at the end:
Mr. Rather would do well to remember Leo Amery's famous evocation of Cromwell, when he once bade Neville Chamberlain to get out:"You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go."
So, Dan, go, and let us have done with you — in the name of God, go now.
Friday, September 24, 2004
"The last thing you want to be seen as is a puppet of the United States, and you can almost see the hand underneath the shirt today moving the lips," said Joe Lockhart, a senior Kerry advisorThis, along with Kerry's bilge from yesterday, is likely posted on terrorist websites around the world. The sheer irresponsibility of undermining a leader Kerry, God forbid, may have to work with is beyond understanding.
Are these the people you want running the country during a World War?
America's morning TV sweetheart, Katie Couric, wasted no time on Wednesday trying to turn the beheading of Americans in Iraq into political ammunition - asking the brother of executed hostage Jack Hensley if he still supported the war.Oops. One should always know the answer before asking a question when one has an agenda.
"Well, how do you feel about the war in Iraq at this point?" the "Today" host asked Ty Hensley, after having him describe the devastating impact of his brother's murder just hours before.
Much to Couric's chagrin, however, Hensley didn't rise to the bait. Instead he told "Today":
"At this point, I want our servicemen, I want them to come back alive. But I don't want - and I believe - my brother's told me about so many good people in Iraq. I want to continue to try to help these people to get on their feet."
"This is something that has happened to the United States - they've experienced recently," Hensley continued. "However, the Iraqi people have been having these things going on for hundreds of years by these evil people."
Thursday, September 23, 2004
"I must say I was appalled at the complete lack of respect Senator Kerry showed for this man of courage when he rushed to hold a press conference and attack the prime minister, a man America must stand beside to defeat the terrorists," Cheney told an audience in St. Joseph, Missouri.
"John Kerry is trying to tear down all the good that has been accomplished, and his words are destructive to our effort in Iraq and in the global war on terror.
"As Prime Minister Allawi said in his speech, and I quote, 'When political leaders sound the siren of defeatism in the face of terrorism, it only encourages more violence,'" Cheney added.
If you didn't see it, one of the first things Allawi did was go directly to Joe Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, and kiss him on the cheek. A brave act from a brave man. Allawi has put his life on the line for his country, and this is John F-ing Kerry's response:
QUESTION: Prime Minister Allawi told Congress today that democracy was taking hold in Iraq and that the terrorists there were on the defensive. Is he living in the same fantasy land as the president?
KERRY: I think the prime minister is, obviously, contradicting his own statement of a few days ago, where he said the terrorists are pouring into the country.
The prime minister and the president are here, obviously, to put their best face on the policy. But the fact is that the CIA estimates, the reporting, the ground operations and the troops all tell a different story.
Perhaps Rush Limbaugh said it best today:
For what John Kerry is doing and what he did today. It's time people stood up and took note of this and bravely faced the positions that are proudly, loudly being triumphed by John Kerry and the Democratic Party. Put in its most simple terms: A foreign leader of a liberated country speaks to a joint session of Congress, where he gets applause from members of both parties. He comes to thank America for its support, and the Democratic candidate for president urinates all over him 30 minutes after he finishes. There's no other way to put it! It is, as I said earlier, ladies and gentlemen, it is breathtaking. I'm not questioning his "patriotism" at all. I'm questioning his belief system. I'm questioning his judgment. I'm questioning his sanity. Yes, I'm angry about what John Kerry did today. It showed bad judgment. It was wrong.
They said we would miss January deadline to pass the interim constitution.A remarkable speech. Worth reading, worth listening to.
We proved them wrong.
They warned that there could be no successful handover of sovereignty by the end of June. We proved them wrong. A sovereign Iraqi government took over control two days early.
They doubted whether a national conference could be staged this August. We proved them wrong.
Despite intimidation and violence, over 1,400 citizens, a quarter of them women, from all regions and from every ethnic, religious and political grouping in Iraq, elected a national council.
And I pledge to you today, we'll prove them wrong again over the elections.
And less than 30 minutes later, Pessimism personified spoke in front of a firehouse:
"The president says that things are getting better in Iraq and we must just stay the same course," Kerry said. "Well, I disagree. They're not getting better, and we need to change the course to protect our troops and to win."I think Mark Racicot said it best:
"Today, John Kerry showed he lacks the judgment and credibility to lead the United States of America to victory in the war on terror." Racicot said Kerry's "attacks on the veracity of the Iraqi prime minister's historic address to Congress reveal a stunning propensity to take political cheap shots for his own benefit by denigrating our allies in this important struggle against a global terror network."It does not matter if you are running for President or dog catcher. You don't attack the veracity and credibility of a visiting Prime Minister minutes after a Joint Session of Congress. Mr. Kerry crossed lines of conduct today that are beyond lack of class. It borders on stupidity. For a Presidential candidate to make this attack on Mr. Allawi's credibility says far more about John Kerry than it does about the Prime Minister of Iraq.
There simply is no diplomacy with the enemy today. So, that means going on offense. That means taking the fight to them. That means, in the short term, "creating" more extremists and terrorists by fighting on their home turf. But the point isn't merely to fight them, it's to pull the rug out from under them. The ultimate goal is democracy, of course. But the interim goal is to rationalize the Middle East so that, while it may still produce enemies, they will be ones we can deal with around a table, not a crater. And the short-term goal is to kill lots of them where they live, instead of them doing the same to us.
So sure, Bush hasn't done everything right — never mind perfectly — in Iraq. Churchill didn't conduct World War II perfectly every time either. Dunkirk wasn't the sort of thing that happens when the war goes swimmingly. But Bush gets all of this. John Kerry doesn't, in my opinion. Or, to be more accurate, John Kerry "gets" everything and therefore nothing. If the choice were between Bush and a better commander-in-chief, I might not vote for Bush. But that's not the choice, now is it
He does a great job of explaining what has gone wrong, but also what has gone right in the war.
Andrew Sullivan is right. Goldberg is one of the best conservative writers of this generation.
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
From a British Commentator: Read the whole thing. Here's but an excerpt:
Do you remember that moment of Fallujah-like depravity in Ulster a few years ago? Two soldiers were yanked from a cab in the wrong part of town and torn apart by a Republican mob. A terrible, shaming episode in the wretched annals of Northern Irish nationalists. But in the rest of the United Kingdom - in Bristol, in Coventry, Newcastle, Aberdeen - life went on, very pleasantly.
That's the way it is in Iraq. In two-thirds of the country, municipal government has been rebuilt, business is good, restaurants are open, life is as jolly as it has been in living memory. This summer the Shia province of Dhi Qar, south-east of Baghdad, held the first free elections in its history, electing secular independents and non-religious parties to its town councils.
The Kurdish North, which would be agitating for secession if real civil war were looming, is for the moment content to be Scotland. The Sunni Triangle, meanwhile, looks like being the fledgling Iraqi federation's Northern Ireland for a while to come.
That's a pity. But, if you can quarantine it, the difference between it and the rest of the country will become starker, month by month.
The "insurgents", meanwhile, so admired by Michael Moore, John Pilger and Tariq Ali, are rather short of supporters closer to home, which isn't surprising given that they are killing many more Iraqis than Americans.
Very good look at keeping perspective on the Iraqi front of the current world war. Doubt Mr. Kerry has the time. To busy worrying about Bush bringing back the draft, I guess. Funny thing is, the only ones introducing such bills are Democrats.
Hat tip to Little Green Footballs for this one.
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
"It is odd how American journalists are not reporting this war from the side of American strategic officers and American frontline units, whose officers and men are now enjoying their own professional capacities and daily successes.
Reading the blogs of our own military guys in the field is infinitely more satisfying to intellectual curiosity than reading (or hearing) the ordinary empty droning of journalists. Compared to bloggers in America, American journalists seem like amateurs; compared to military professionals on the battlefield, journalists (whatever their age) seem like undisciplined college kids. When one compares these professions as professions, the military profession to journalism, journalism really is dropping fast ? and not only because of Dan Rather.
To get back to the main subject: Expect a lot of fighting in Iraq during the next six weeks. The climactic days of the terrorist guerrilla war are at hand. When the guerrillas are broken here, and exposed to the world as the losers they are, then the Baathists in Syria and the tyrants in Tehran know they are next in getting the full attention of the United States, and feeling the full pressures of the desire for liberty among their own people. Nearly half their population is under 25 years old, and those young people are hungry for the opportunities they know the rest of the world shares, which they currently do not."
"History will honor the high ideals of this organization. The charter states them with clarity: to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.
Let history also record that our generation of leaders followed through on these ideals, even in adversity. Let history show that in a decisive decade, members of the United Nations did not grow weary in our duties or waver in meeting them.
I'm confident that this young century will be liberty's century. I believe we will rise to this moment, because I know the character of so many nations and leaders represented here today. And I have faith in the transforming power of freedom.
May God bless you. "
Enough of the handwringing! Enough of the doomsaying! Do I have to come there and personally calm you down? Stop with all the defeatism, OK? Bush IS a goner -- IF we all just quit our whining and bellyaching and stop shaking like a bunch of nervous ninnies. Geez, this is embarrassing! The Republicans are laughing at us. Do you ever see them cry, "Oh, it's all over! We are finished! Bush can't win! Waaaaaa!"And there's this:
They are relentless and that is why we secretly admire them -- they just simply never, ever give up. Only 30% of the country calls itself "Republican," yet the Republicans own it all -- the White House, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court and the majority of the governorships. How do you think they've been able to pull that off considering they are a minority? It's because they eat you and me and every other liberal for breakfast and then spend the rest of the day wreaking havoc on the planet.In essence, he's right. What he misses is that more of this country is conservative than they are Republican. I'm a Christian first, a conservative second, and a Republican third. That formula fits for more folks than Michael Moore and his crowd care to think about.
In a way, Moore makes the case for the election. Kerry's plan is get out of Iraq, pull back, bring our troops home. In his never ending Vietnam flashback, he refuses to see the Iraqi conflict for what it is: an important front in the War on Terror, not an end in itself. World War IV, not a police action.
A very large hat tip to Jackory for sending me a true work of art...
Monday, September 20, 2004
According to Mort Kondracke over at Fox News, Kerry has gone the full Monty, er Howard Dean:
Hard to do, considering his previous positions, but he really has no choice:
NEW YORK (AP) - Staking out new ground on Iraq, Sen. John Kerry said Monday he would not have overthrown Saddam Hussein had he been in the White House, and he accused President Bush of "stubborn incompetence," dishonesty and colossal failures of judgment. Bush said Kerry was flip-flopping.
Less than two years after voting to give Bush authority to invade Iraq, the Democratic candidate said the president had misused that power by rushing to war without the backing of allies, a post-war plan or proper equipment for U.S. troops. "None of which I would have done," Kerry said.
"Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator who deserves his own special place in hell," he added. "But that was not, in itself, a reason to go to war. The satisfaction we take in his downfall does not hide this fact: We have traded a dictator for a chaos that has left America less secure."
Bush hit back from a campaign rally in New Hampshire, interpreting Kerry's comment to mean the Democrat believes U.S. security would be better with Saddam still in power. "He's saying he prefers the stability of a dictatorship to the hope and security of democracy," the Republican incumbent said.
"Today, my opponent continued his pattern of twisting in the wind," Bush said. "He apparently woke up this morning and has now decided, No, we should not have invaded Iraq, after just last month saying he would have voted for force even knowing everything we know today."
He simply leaves himself too open. Just run a Google search with these words:
"Kerry's Iraq speech"
It's amazing how inept this campaign has become. It almost isn't any fun anymore...almost.
Read the Powerline post.
The question is pertinent,and unanswered.
Who gave Dan and company the memos in the first place?
This remains studiously, intentionally unanswered.
Sunday, September 19, 2004
Also, this from Claudia Rosette on the Oil for Food program, Iraq, and Al Qaeda.
It's hard reading, but worth it.
I forgot the liberal talking point:
Ahem, I quote:
"There is no link between Saddam and Al Qaeda."
I guess if you repeat it often enough, you don't have to hear anything that may contradict this statement.
And who knows?
If you say it often enough, and loudly enough, people may believe it.
Saturday, September 18, 2004
See the link for the longer explanation:
And write your local C-bs affiliate, as I have already.
CBS News President Andrew Heyward and Dan Rather have made something of a "career suicide pact." Each one has much more to lose by admitting the memos are fake than from weathering the storm. They will ignore any criticism from here on out.
Critics of the report must focus on three alternative targets that are more vulnerable to public pressure: the local CBS affiliates, other CBS employees, and other media. Members of those groups right now are in a state similar to Rather and Heyward's — mildly criticizing Rather and Heyward, looking the other way, or shrugging their shoulders. That course of action is less painful than forcing CBS to make the hard choice about Rather and the fake memos. But a steady and intense campaign of criticism — one targeting them for not taking steps to demand a CBS admission that the network deliberately portrayed fake memos — could alter that balance. Inaction could become more painful than action.
Once the affiliates are demanding that Rather go, and the other employees at CBS are demanding that Rather go, and other media (like the editors of the Washington Post) are demanding that Rather go, Les Moonves, president of CBS, will conclude that the cost of keeping Rather outweighs the benefits of keeping him — and the ax will fall, probably for Heyward, Rather, and CBS producer Mary Mapes as well. The other CBS employees will retract the story and confirm the source.
Six o'clock Saturday evening, the kids are playng with friends, and I've watched a very good Fox News Watch on the whole Rathergate mess. I've already heard all the hurricane damage I can stand, so I start flipping channels.
And decide to watch The Capitol Gang, on CNN.
Why do I do this to myself?
Mark Shields and Al Hunt and Margaret Carlson.
Talk about Lion and Tigers and Bears oh my!
And throw in the old warhorse Robert Novak as the token conservative, though I find him almost as unreliable as Tucker Carlson, the bow-tie boy.
Their victim, er I mean guest, was Roy Blount, the House Majority Whip.
Should've turned it off when Al Hunt started talking about how much worse Iraq was then Vietnam.
Should've turned it off when Margaret Carlson started talking about how EVERYONE knows Bush lied, and the Swift Boat Vets lied, and Cheney lied. (Though apparently Dan Rather was simply duped, and John Kerry most assuredly didn't lie.)
And EVERYONE knows "Daddy Bush" used influence to get George in the National Guard.
Should've turned it off when Novak begins talking about how we need to get out of Iraq, you know,
the "exit strategy."
But I didn't.
I just sat there, pretty much the same as Representative Blount.
The only time he actually spoke directly to Al Hunt was once.
He asked Al Hunt, how do you know Bush got special treatment.
There was never an answer.
There never is.
The left throws out accusations quickly, "assault weapon" fashion.
They believe that if they repeat a statement often enough, it must be true.
The lessons were learned during the impeachment of Clinton.
Starr is evil.
Great Right Wing Conspiracy.
It's just about sex.
Personal Character isn't important to the presidency.
And it seemed to work, in the 90's.
Before the rise of the alternative media.
Before the blogosphere.
When the ratings for Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, and Peter Jennings were in double digits.
Now, the lies simply don't fly anymore.
There are enough of us out here to take one or two statements and rip it apart.
And more importantly, to disseminate the information across the web in seconds.
That's a part of the Media earthquake that has occurred in the past few weeks.
The Capitol Gang used to be all there was.
Now, its hardly there at all......
The Belmont Club is required reading today, folks
As is this from Victor Davis Hanson, on the stupidity of "exit strategy" talk.
It is always difficult for those involved to determine the pulse of any ongoing war. The last 90 days in the Pacific theater were among the most costly of World War II, as we incurred 50,000 casualties on Okinawa just weeks before the Japanese collapse. December 1944 and January 1945 were the worst months for the American army in Europe, bled white repelling Hitler's last gasp in the Battle of the Bulge. Contemporaries shuddered, after observing those killing fields, that the war would go on for years more. The summer of 1864 convinced many that Grant and Lincoln were losers, and that McClellan alone could end the conflict by what would amount to a negotiated surrender of Northern war aims.
It is true that parts of Iraq are unsafe and that terrorists are flowing into the country; but there is no doubt that the removal of Saddam Hussein is bringing matters to a head. Islamic fascists are now fighting openly and losing battles, and are increasingly desperate as they realize the democratization process slowly grinds ahead leaving them and what they have to offer by the wayside. Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and others must send aid to the terrorists and stealthy warriors into Iraq, for the battle is not just for Baghdad but for their futures as well. The world's attention is turning to Syria's occupation of Lebanon and Iran's nukes, a new scrutiny predicated on American initiatives and persistence, and easily evaporated by a withdrawal from Iraq. So by taking the fight to the heart of darkness in Saddam's realm, we have opened the climactic phase of the war, and thereupon can either win or lose far more than Iraq.
The world grasps this, and thus slowly is waking up and starting to see that if it walks and sounds like an Islamic fascist — whether in Russia, Spain, Istanbul, Israel, Iraq, or India — it really is an Islamic fascist, with the now-familiar odious signature of car bombings, suicide belts, and incoherent communiqués mixed with self-pity and passive-aggressive bluster.
For all these reasons and more, something like "See ya, wouldn't want to be ya" is the absolute worst prescription for Iraq — both for America and those Iraqis who are counting on us in their historic efforts to reclaim their country from barbarism. Amid the daily car bombings in Iraq, murder in Russia, and slaughter in the Middle East, we cannot see much hope — but it is there, and we are winning on a variety of fronts as the world continues to shrink for the Islamic fascist and those who would abet him.
The Opera I'm talking about is the link to the right, to the best web browser I've ever seen. I really can't say enough about it. . Try it out. It's free. I haven't even bought the non ad version yet. Frankly, I've used the google targeted ads for a couple of links to posts over the past few days.
The only draw back I've found so far is is that Blogger doesn't support it. I'm still using IE 6 and Navigator for posting, but most everything else I do is on Opera these days. It completely imported my Favorites from both explorer and navigator, and I can import any new favorites I may put in to them. Neat, huh?
So, try it out. See what you think, and let me know.
Friday, September 17, 2004
"With all due respect to the president, has he turned on the evening news lately? Does he read the newspapers?" Kerry said. "Does he really know what's happening? Is he talking about the same war that the rest of us are talking about?"
As Jim Geraghty from the Kerry Spot asks:
Is this really the right week for Kerry to criticize Bush for not watching the "evening news"?
Good question...heh heh heh.
Retired Col. Walter Staudt, who was brigadier general of Bush's unit in Texas, interviewed Bush for the Guard position and retired in March 1972. He was mentioned in one of the memos allegedly written by Lt. Col. Jerry Killian as having pressured Killian to assist Bush, though Bush supposedly was not meeting Guard standards.
"I never pressured anybody about George Bush because I had no reason to," Staudt told ABC News in his first interview since the documents were made public.
The memo stated that "Staudt is pushing to sugar coat" a review of Bush's performance.
Staudt said he decided to come forward because he saw erroneous reports on television. CBS News first reported on the memos, which have come under scrutiny by document experts who question whether they are authentic. Killian, the purported author of the documents, died in 1984.
And, to add to the pile on, this from The Chicago Tribune:
That officer's former secretary says she thinks the memos are fakes, but that they reflect the officer's thinking. On Wednesday, Rather finally acknowledged questions about the memos' authenticity--but insisted the sentiment they conveyed was correct. As if to say: This just in! We think George W. Bush got special treatment!
Nice try, but that charge is old news. The new news was CBS' "Gotcha!" memos. The fact that Adolf Hitler allegedly had thoughts similar to some in those long discredited "Hitler's diaries" doesn't make them more than sleazy frauds.
The president of CBS News now says the network will "redouble its efforts" to investigate the documents. The time to do that was before the story aired. And some journalists wonder why many Americans think we're biased, arrogant and inaccurate. The burden of proof here was on Rather and Co. If they did ignore warnings from experts, they hurt a lot of honest reporters.
News organizations that relied in part on CBS' story--the Tribune included--put some faith in CBS News' credibility. Only to learn that the network may have had its trademark eye wide shut.
This would all be a lot of fun if it wasn't so terribly, terribly sad.
Very interesting stuff.
I've sorta discounted Dr. Keyes, but will give him a 2nd look.
Not sure if this show can be listened to from their archives, but here's the link just in case.
They will tell you how we are currently seeing a "slow rolling Tet offensive," and mimic John Kerry's harangue of losing the war.
Tet was a military victory for the United States. It was a political and media victory for the Communists.
This may feel like familiar ground for Kerry and company, and their friends in The Media. They struggled mightily last week to talk down the economy. This week, they will try the same thing with the Iraqi front of World War IV.
Gonna be a tough day for Chris Matthews over at Hardball.
After trumpeting two polls yesterday showing a dead heat, this one from Gallup will cause him to some heartburn. Should be fun.
The link is directly to Gallup for the unfiltered poll
USA Today is a good source for a a quick explanation, though as always, read the warning label:
Use Caution when Reading This Product.
Thursday, September 16, 2004
As Jews around the world mark the New Year with the holiday of Rosh Hashana, the prime minister of Israel is warning publicly of the possibility of a civil war in the Jewish state. The trigger would be the debate over whether Israel should withdraw its settlements from Gaza, as Mr. Sharon has suggested, and, eventually, from parts of the West Bank.
Mr. Sharon's decision to seek a full withdrawal from Gaza cannot have been an easy one. The area is described in the Bible as part of the land God granted to Israel, and Jews have lived and flourished there for thousands of years. Though there may be individual exceptions, the Gaza settlers are not a movement of wild-eyed lunatics, as they have often been caricatured. The historical and religious arguments that undergird their presence there are profound and not all that different from what justifies the Jewish claim to the rest of Israel.
Interesting, and disturbing.
Shows up perfectly in Netscape, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera.
Stay tuned, and thanks for the patience.
Thanks to Christine at BloggerSupport, the problem has been fixed.
The Google Search Bar is now at the bottom of the page.
I cannot say enough about Blogger these days.
The upgrades and support have been wonderful, and only seems to be getting better.
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
As does the laughter at C-BS.
Here is an excellent critique of the C-BS "statement."
As always, Powerline and Instapundit are the places to go for info on the ongoing meltdown.
WASHINGTON — NASA has transferred its X-37 technology demonstration
program to an unidentified U.S. government agency that plans to go ahead
with atmospheric drop tests of the prototype space plane next year.
NASA spokesman Michael Braukus said Sept. 13 the U.S. space agency
would remain involved in the X-37 program, but would no longer run the show.
The lead, he said, has been given to a government agency that for now NASA is not permitted to name.
"The government entity is classified," Braukus said. "We will be able to acknowledge who that partner is when they give us permission."
Braukus said he expected to receive that permission soon.
Now, the obvious answer is this has been moved into the military end of things.
Here's the story from DesertNews, the original source.
HERZLIYA, Israel – While rejecting U.S. and EU criticism of its anti-terrorism reforms, Russia plans to adopt Israel's counter-insurgency methods in Moscow's war against Chechen rebels.
Russian officials said the government in Moscow has agreed to increase security cooperation with Israel and focus on counter-insurgency. The officials said the cooperation would include Israeli training and instruction on a range of issues, including aviation security and civil defense.
Critics are calling the media scandal over the Jerry Killian forgeries "Rathergate." But to thousands of Vietnam veterans, the real Rathergate took place 16 years ago when Dan Rather successfully foisted a fraud onto the American people. Then, unlike now, there was no blogosphere to expose him.
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Update 6:05 p.m.: Late Thursday afternoon, NBC News and CBS News requested that that the Democratic National Committee pull the campaign video in question. The DNC, through a spokesman, says that the matter is under consideration.
NBC released a statement Tuesday afternoon. "The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has included an edited excerpt from a Meet the Press interview with President Bush that was broadcast on February 8, 2004 as part of their promotional campaign to be used as a web video and shown in battleground states. NBC News does not authorize its copyrighted footage to be used for partisan political purposes. NBC News did not, and does not, license use of our material for these purposes and we have asked the DNC to cease and desist immediately from using the excerpt."
CBS spokeswoman Sandy Genelius told THE WEEKLY STANDARD late Tuesday afternoon that CBS, like NBC, will demand that the Democratic National Committee stop using CBS News footage in the new ad. "We do not want them to use the video and we are taking it up with them," said Genelius.
Here's a quote from The American Spectator Piece:
A former CBS executive, defends the "60 Minutes II" debacle at CBS by asking Americans if they trust anti-Rather bloggers -- a "guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing" -- over a veteran newsman and an established news organization. The American people, with good reason, are choosing the guy in his pajamas. Klein's remark encapsulates the mindless credentialism, sham authority, and elitist insularity that has made CBS so repellent to ordinary Americans. The American people can see that their aging media emperors have less clothing on than pajama-clad bloggers. The tidy world of credentialed news gave us the Jayson Blairs and Janet Cookes, the bogus documents of Seymour Hersh, the phony Dateline car blow-ups, and now 1970s documents produced on 1990s computers. For news executives sitting on a whitened sepulcher, disparaging appearances is the only insult left.The tremors continue to ripple:
A good question. We are still waiting for the answer....
The documents represented the juiciest kind of scoop, the kind that can play a role in changing history. Their most important feature is that they suggest Bush disobeyed a direct order from his commanding officer in the Texas Air National Guard. And that's certainly something John Kerry could use as a direct weapon against George W. Bush in the closing weeks of the campaign to question his fitness as commander in chief.
The documents don't assemble into a smoking gun, but they would have been useful. They might have worked as a delayed-detonation device that Kerry or the media could have triggered during the debates. And we know the Democratic National Committee was going to center a new ad campaign around them.
Add to this the fact that many people at CBS want Bush out of office and want John Kerry elected, and you get a perfect storm of wishful thinking. What could be more alluring, more tempting than a bona fide scoop that serves a desired political purpose? That's the sort of scoop you don't want to discredit in your reporting because your heart and your gut suggest it's true.
And it all might have worked fine had CBS not put the documents out in computer form for everybody to see.
Fifteen years ago — maybe even five years ago — the world would simply have accepted the legitimacy of the documents. After all, CBS said it had gone to an expert to have them authenticated.
Well, this isn't the old days. And for reasons largely consigned within the peculiar brain of its anchorman, Dan Rather, the CBS news division is refusing to face the reality that it has been caught out in the most significant forgery scandal to hit journalism since the Hitler diaries.
CBS News is part of a larger organization. That organization is run by Les Moonves. Moonves cancelled the airing of a docudrama about Ronald and Nancy Reagan because he considered it biased. Will he sit by, silent, as the venerable CBS News "brand" is destroyed from within?
There are dangers any time power is centralized, especially with Russia's history. But the media agenda is to make sure readers know the fear. What would be helpful is if the mainstream media also reported the actual proposals, instead of the dark suspicions of dictatorship.
Monday, September 13, 2004
Al Gore delivers his stump speech for his re election bid against John McCain, Sept 2004. He is currently behind by 12 points nationally, after the failed coup to topple Saddam Hussein in the aftermath of September 11th.
"We are still in transition. Mainstream (i.e., liberal) outlets are still bigger. That means they still get more attention from voters in the middle. The mainstream media cannot entirely ignore accusations of bias, and still needs to maintain a veneer of neutrality and professionalism. Up to now, the media's liberalism was most unambiguously evident on social issues. Political coverage was the one place where real efforts at balance were made. But in this election, we have seen a major shift toward bias even in political coverage. The mainstream media are now working for the Democratic party with all the enthusiasm of Wendy's 'unofficial spokesman.' In reality, of course, Wendy's unofficial spokesman is their most official and important representative. The mainstream media's relationship to the Democratic party is now about the same.
Does all of this mean that stories about media bias are futile, or even counterproductive? Not really. It simply means that it's too late for the mainstream media to reform itself. The exit of doubters is now so large that the mainstream outlets are trapped by the remaining and largely liberal audience into ever more obvious leftist partisanship. Put that together with the actual left-leaning political views of reporters, and there will obviously be no change.
The purpose of media-bias stories is now different than it once was. The goal is no longer to reform the mainstream media, but to expose it for the partisan political player it is, so as to pull as many doubters as possible into alternative outlets. Is this good for the country? I doubt it. It would be far better to have a fair and trusted mainstream media to present the news, flanked by thoughtful journals of opinion on both sides of the political spectrum. But sadly, that is not where we are."
Sunday, September 12, 2004
Powerline does it's usual yeoman's work in answering that question.
One story they point to is this from the LA Times.
The Powerline boys then proceed to take the story apart.
Couple that with an excellent summary from HughHewitt.
There was a journalistic earthquake this week. The tremors have been coming for months, as Mr. Hewitt makes clear above. The mainstream media simply revealed who they are this week. They've done it in the past, but this time, they have competition from the new media, henceforth to be known as Open Source Journalism.
Many of the bloggers working on this matter bring a lawyer's training in evidence to the conversation, and others bring background in intelligence and design. Pajama-clad though we might be, CBS has not been demolished by us so much as it has been by traditions of investigative thoroughness and judicial standards for the determination of truth. As the Globe report this morning shows, it doesn't much matter if CBS ever gives up the ghost. The verdict is already in. Dan Rather, at the twiligiht of a long and less than glorious career and looking for one last big bang, got duped by second-rate forgeries, and took a lot of wannabee Woodwards over the cliff with him.
Now the stories are beginning to arrive on how the CBS melt-down was triggered, and old media is hopelessly behind or biased again. Read Peter Wallsten's story from today's Los Angeles Times, which parrots Demcoratic spin about how this is a product of "right-wing luncacy," and fails, except in passing or disparaging fashion, to underscore the credentials of the bloggers and the experts they assembled in the course of pursuing the story. Wallsten doesn't even seem aware of the ironic reference to "pajamas" in one quote from the original FreeRepublic poster, nor does it appear as though he could be bothered to mention traffic acceleration, "open source journalism" theory or any of previous exercises of blogging power --"Christmas in Cambodia," Trent Lott, the New York Times, the Minneapolis Star Tribune. I spoke with Mr. Wallsten briefly on Friday, before going on air, and I pointed him to a few places like The Belmont Club and Instapundit which could fill in the gaps in a hurry. Instead of really reporting what happened and why, he chose the "right-wing lunacy" angle combined with straight reporting on transmission, and closed with dire warnings from a tenured doom-sayer. What a perfect illustration of why old media is so hopelessly behind the curve: Tasked to report on new media, it couldn't do so, even with a thousand sources and an easy to understand story line. Why not? Because it didn't want to. The stakes are too high. Self-preservation dictates that old media scoff at new media, even after the walls have been breached and breached again.
Here is an excellent editorial on the shift, from The Grand Forks Herald:
If you're a media buff - and who isn't, in America in 2004? - then circle Thursday, Sept. 9, on your mental calendar. Because that's the day weblogs came into their own.
And politics and journalism never will be the same.
What happened Thursday is that webloggers or "bloggers" latched on to a controversial "60 Minutes"/CBS News story - and then worked the thing, with a stubbornness and tenacity that would have done credit to a pack of bulldogs or a turn of snapping turtles - or, yes, an army of investigative reporters.
As a result, CBS was forced to respond within a single news cycle. And although the network eventually stood by its story, more holes are showing up in the thing almost by the hour, and there's a fair chance the network will have to retract.
This may have been the first time a TV network was forced to respond so quickly to an Internet critique. But it won't be the last time for America's networks, newspapers or other institutions, because bloggers now are responding to events not as opinion writers but as fact-checkers and skilled reporters.
and here, summarized by James Lileks:
Anecdotal evidence, of course, take it for what it’s worth. But I think the number of people who regard the evening news as straight truth delivered by disinterested observers, can be numbered in the high dozens. Blogs haven’t toppled old media. The foundations of Old Media were rotten already. The new media came along at the right time. Put it this way: you’ve see films of old buildings detonated by precision demolitionists. First you see the puffs of smoke – then the building just hangs there for a second, even though every column that held it up has been severed. We’ve been living in that second for years, waiting for the next frame. Well, here it is. Roll tape. Down she goes. And when the dust settles we will be right back where we were 100 years ago, with dozens of fiercely competitive media outlets throwing elbows to earn your pennies.A Major Shift. And the after shocks are still reverberating....
In retrospect, TV looks like a big smothering quilt: it killed the afternoon papers, forced the survivors to consolidate; it reshaped the news cycle to fit its needs, shifted the emphasis to the visual. It fed off the Times and the Post and other surviving papers, which had institutionalized the Watergate and Vietnam templates as the means by which we understand events. The old-line media, like its Boomer components, got old, and like the Boomers, it preferred self-congratulation to self-reflection. And so the Internet had it for lunch, because the Internet does not have to schedule 17 meetings to develop a strategy for impactfully maximizing brand leverage in emerging markets; the Internet does not have to worry about how a decision will affect one’s management trajectory; the Internet smells blood and leaps, and that has turned the game around, for better or worse. So we’re back to where we were in 1904 – except that the guys on the corner shouting WUXTRY, WUXTRY aren’t grimy urchins selling the paper – they’re the people who wrote the damn thing, too.
Saturday, September 11, 2004
Not sure this is the strategy Carville, Begala and the boys had in mind.....
T he Republican National Committee may be in big trouble. The RNC, you see, put video out chronicling John Kerry's many positions on Iraq over time -- the flips and the flops, the zigs and the zags, the waffles.
The GOP put out the 11-minute video (www.kerryoniraq.com) during the Democratic convention . . . and had to go back to the editing room after Boston when Kerry said he would still vote for the war knowing what he knows now. Then, the RNC reissued a 12-minute Kerry-on-Iraq video . . . and Kerry changed his position once again. On Monday, he said, "It's the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time."
At this rate, the RNC may go broke having to edit and re-edit its devastating Kerry video over the next months.
Friday, September 10, 2004
AL GORE ON PRESIDENT BUSH'S FAITH: "It’s the American
version of the same fundamentalist impulse that we see in Saudi Arabia, in
Kashmir, in religions around the world: Hindu, Jewish, Christian, Muslim."
(David Remnick,"The Wilderness Campaign," The New Yorker, 9/13/04)
The more the mainstream media complains, the further the Blogosphere takes this story.
We are witnessing the power of the New Media on this one.
Drudge had been crashing sites all day, but here is a cached version of The Prowler story
Anatomy of a Forgery
Thanks to The Daily Recycler for this one.
Let us know what you think of the changes.
One big change is the URL
The new address for Liberty is:
More changes are on the way!
Thursday, September 09, 2004
Chris Matthews was his usual partisan self tonite, interviewing the produce and one of the POWs from this documentary. Thought he was gonna bite right through his lower lip at one point.
Hard to argue with these guys. When you watch the clip, you will see there medals flashed on the screen. Very effective.
"Teresa Heinz Kerry says 'only an idiot' would fail to support her husband's health care plan.
But Heinz Kerry, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, told the (Lancaster) Intelligencer Journal that 'of course, there are idiots.'"
Yes, there certainly are, Teresa. There certainly are....
It's likely to get worse tomorrow.
In order to take advantage of some of the nifty updates made to Blogger, Liberty Just in Case will be changing some formatting. The template we use is waaayyy out of date to be able to keep up with a fully functioning website.
So, over the next few days, you'll see some weirdness when you visit.
ummm, let me rephrase.
you'll see more than the usual weirdness from your well meaning hosts....
hang in there.
The new look should be good for everybody.
This from Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard about the documents used in the 60 Minutes Smear last night. My favorite part is at the end:
(A spokeswoman for CBS, Kelly Edwards, said she was overwhelmed with phone calls and did not respond to specific requests for comment.)
I'll bet she is.....
And just to add to the fun, here's an interview with the son of the officer who allegedly wrote the memos. The officer himself was not available for comment...umm, he's dead.
60 Minutes will have an interview with him on Sunday....using Whoopi Goldberg as the medium. I mean, she's had experience from her performance in Ghost, and is at least as unbiased as Barnes and Dan Rather.....
(CNSNews.com) - The 32-year-old documents produced Wednesday by the CBS News program "60 Minutes," shedding a negative light on President Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard, may have been forged using a current word processing program, according to typography experts.Oopsie.
Three independent typography experts told CNSNews.com they were suspicious of the documents from 1972 and 1973 because they were typed using a proportional font, not common at that time, and they used a superscript font feature found in today's Microsoft Word program.
A very long, detailed analysis of the war.
Here, from Larry Kudlow, is a summary.
Rush Limbaugh sees this story as the Media beginning to turn on Kerry. We'll see.
A well done editorial from what Teri Obrien calls The Chicago Libune detailing Senator Kerry's various Iraq policies. I wish I had written the opening paragraph:
With his denunciation this week of "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time," presidential contender John Kerry has confronted his fellow Americans with a bracing dilemma: whether to number his policy positions on Iraq like Super Bowls or nickname them alphabetically like hurricanes.
'Nuff said, to quote the great American Stan Lee
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
From an email from the RNC.
Lock and Load.
September 8, 2004
To: Bush-Cheney '04 Grassroots Team
From: Ed Gillespie, Republican National Committee Chairman
Subject: Brace Yourselves
In response to President Bush's Agenda for America's Future and a critique of his policies and Senate record, Senator Kerry's campaign is implementing a strategy of vicious personal attacks against the President and Vice President.
The campaign is bringing in a bevy of former Clinton henchmen, including CNN commentators James Carville and Paul Begala. In August alone, Begala called President Bush a "gutless wonder," said he has a "lack of intelligence," and called Vice President Cheney a "dirt bag." Carville said the President is "ignorant big time" and said "George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are a couple of nobodies."
It's not like Bob Shrum needed encouragement to engage in personal attacks. At a Kerry rally Friday morning in Ohio, campaign surrogate John Glenn compared the Republican Convention to a Nazi rally, and Kerry called the President unfit to lead our nation and once again sought to divide the country by who served and how 35 years ago.
Of course, the President was called a "cheap thug," a "killer" and a "liar" at a Kerry-Edwards campaign event in New York, Mrs. Kerry has called the President's policies "unpatriotic" and "immoral" and DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe falsely accused the President of being AWOL.
Democratic strategist Susan Estrich outlined the strategy last Wednesday in a column warning Republicans to "watch out." "I'm not promising pretty," she wrote before going on to call President Bush and Vice President Cheney alcoholics, then ask "is any alcoholic ever really cured?" ("I can see the ad now.") She deems the President's service as a National Guard fighter pilot "draft dodging," and says, "a forthcoming book by Kitty Kelly raises questions about whether the President has practiced what he preaches on the issue of abortion." (Interestingly, the New York Daily News reported back in February that the Kerry campaign intended to spread such a rumor in pro-life chat rooms late in the campaign.)
So the former Dukakis campaign manager has an advance copy of Democrat donor Kitty Kelly's book, which promises to throw unsubstantiated gossip at President Bush in the same way she falsely maligned the late President Reagan as a date rapist who paid for a girlfriend's abortion and wrongly castigated Nancy Reagan as an adulterer who had an affair with Frank Sinatra. A recent story says Kelly's book alleges President Bush used cocaine at Camp David while his father was President, which is as credible as her story that then Governor and Nancy Reagan smoked marijuana with Jack Benny and George and Gracie Burns.
And tonight on CBS, longtime Democratic operative Ben Barnes-a friend of, major contributor to and Nantucket neighbor of Senator Kerry's and vice chair of the Kerry Campaign--will repudiate his statement under oath that he had no contact with the Bush family concerning the President's National Guard service. (Anyone surprised that Barnes would contradict a statement he made under oath probably doesn't know his long history of political scandal and financial misdealings.)
So brace yourselves. Any mention of John Kerry's votes for higher taxes and against vital weapons programs will be met with the worst kind of personal attacks. Such desperation is unbecoming of American Presidential politics, and Senator Kerry will pay a price for it at the polls as we stay focused on policies to continue growing our economy and winning the War on Terror.
When asked why the story ran in September when it refers to documents made public as far back as February, Robinson responded, "We publish as soon as we have the story, irrespective of what it is. If we had this in June, we would have published in June."Uh huh. The story just happened to run the same day as the 60 minutes smear from a discredited source, and the day before a 3 day interview the ever so unbiased and perky Katie Couric of Kitty Kelly's new novel.
How many days did she spend on the Number One bestseller in the country for the 2nd straight week?
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Wallace Shawn, by contrast, is a writer, a man who makes his living by words and yet devalues his own currency. Is the Bush-Cheney tyranny truly a "scary" time for him? Is he really "scared"? Of course not. He's having a convivial drink with a fawning Brit interviewer; what could be more agreeable?
"Scary" is - to pluck at random - being held hostage in a school gym and the kid next to you is parched and asks for water and the terrorist stabs him in the belly in front of your eyes. "Scary" cannot encompass both that situation and Wallace Shawn's vague distaste for Bush without losing all meaning.
"This Russian school business works for the Republicans," a Democrat griped to me over the weekend. Alas, it does - because it's a reminder for those who need it that the war on terror isn't some racket cooked up to boost Halliburton profits but a profound challenge to America and the world.
Could what happened in Beslan happen in the US? Two months ago, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported on a fellow called Mohamad Kamal Elzahabi, a suspected terrorist who'd fought with his fellow jihadi in Chechnya and somehow wound up in Minnesota, where he'd applied for licences to transport hazardous materials and drive school buses.
Americans who care about this stuff know where George W Bush stands. They're not sure where the Democrats do - sometimes it's full-scale Michael Moore denial, at other times it's going through the multilateral motions with Kofi and Co. No point on that continuum is of sufficient electoral appeal.
There's a part of me that believes this, a small, but growing part....
An Important Editorial, By David Brooks:
"Whatever horrors the Russians have perpetrated upon the Chechens, whatever their ineptitude in responding to the attack, the essential nature of this act was in the act itself. It was the fact that a team of human beings could go into a school, live with hundreds of children for a few days, look them in the eyes and hear their cries, and then blow them up.
Dissertations will be written about the euphemisms the media used to describe these murderers. They were called 'separatists' and 'hostage-takers.' Three years after Sept. 11, many are still apparently unable to talk about this evil. They still try to rationalize terror. What drives the terrorists to do this? What are they trying to achieve? "
Interesting look at a group of swing voters, and why they are swinging toward The President. Interesting references to Michael Moore making anti semitic statements.
Monday, September 06, 2004
Wait, a non political post! Yep. This is an important story. I've been using OpenOffice for some time now. Few bugs, and almost as full featured as the $400 product from Microsoft. And, drum roll please, its free.
Good commentary on the above from The Kerry Spot at National Review.
Interestingly, a Nexis search reveals that only the Myrtle Beach Sun-News has run Estrich’s column. Now, her column in syndicated, and I suspect some newspapers don’t put their syndicated material on Lexis-Nexis (otherwise a George Will column would show up a hundred times). But I wonder if a lot of editors looked at the unsubstantiated allegations, reviewed the libel laws, and deposited her column in the circular file.Could be a long two months, with Clinton sidelined but still active, per this from The New York Times.
Sunday, September 05, 2004
Alla Gadieyeva, 24, who was taken captive with her 7-year-old son and mother, said the militants displayed terrifying brutality from the start. One gunman, whose pockets were stuffed with grenades, held up the corpse of a man just shot in front of hundreds of hostages and warned: "If a child utters even a sound, we'll kill another one."
When children fainted from lack of sleep, food and water, their masked and camouflaged captors simply sneered, she said, adding that adults implored children to drink their own urine in the intolerable heat of the gym.
She and other hostages said there was a little water but no food the first day. The hostages got nothing to eat or drink after that.
Gadieyeva told of three days of unspeakable horror — of children so frightened they couldn't sleep, of captors coolly threatening to kill off hostages one by one. The gym where they were held was so cramped there was hardly room to move.
"We were in complete fear," said Gadieyeva, who spoke to an Associated Press reporter as she lay collapsed with exhaustion on a stretcher outside a hospital. "People were praying all the time, and those that didn't know how to pray — we taught them."
And the stories appear to indicate an Arab connection, backing up Michael Isikoff's story of Thursday about links to Al-Qaida.
Here, from The Washington Post, 2003
Hat tip to Michelle Malkin for this one.
Putin's speech has been under reported. It is self seaching and in its own way as profound as President Bush's September 14th 2001 speech.
Above is the translated text from The New York Times. Here are a couple of excerpts.
It is a difficult and bitter task for me to speak. A horrible tragedy happened in our land. During these last few days, each one of us suffered immensely, having all that happened in the Russian city of Beslan run through our hearts. We were confronted not just by murderers, but those who used their weapons against defenseless children.
And another, incredibly introspective and poignant:
And finally, this:
We all expected changes, changes for the better, but found ourselves absolutely unprepared for much that changed in our lives. The question is why. We live in conditions of a transitional economy and a political system that do not correspond to the development of society. We live in conditions of aggravated internal conflicts and ethnic conflicts that before were harshly suppressed by the governing ideology.
We stopped paying due attention to issues of defense and security. We allowed corruption to affect the judiciary and law enforcement systems. In addition to that, our country, which once had one of the mightiest systems of protecting its borders, suddenly found itself unprotected either from West or East.
We cannot but see the evident: we are dealing not with separate acts of intimidation, not with individual forays of terrorists. We are dealing with the direct intervention of international terror against Russia, with total and full-scale war, which again and again is taking away the lives of our compatriots.
All the world's experience shows that such wars do not end quickly. In these conditions, we simply cannot, we should not, live as carelessly as before.
We must create a more effective security system, and demand from our law enforcement agencies actions adequate in level and scale to the new threats.
But what is more important is a mobilization of the nation before the general threat. Events in other countries prove that terrorists meet the most effective rebuff where they confront not only the power of the state but also an organized and united civil societyProfound words, from an old, yet also new Ally.