Tuesday, October 31, 2006

John Kerry puts his foot in it again...

My letter to Mr. Hewitt today:


a) Kerry is too clever by half, that is his problem, because it makes him an idiot. He was making a double entendre, taking a slap at the President - he doesn't have to name him for the audience to understand immediately who he is talking about - while at the same time taking a shot at the troops. He is counting on his audience laughing out loud at the first part and internally grinning grimly and slyly at the second. He thinks that the broader audience will brush it off as another "Daily Show" type insult of the President, not realizing - (does this guy never learn?) - that a large part of the broader audience will only hear the gross and disgusting insult of the troops. People say that Bill Clinton "compartmentalized" his mind - but I'll bet he never really forgot what was in the other compartments. John Kerry doesn't seem to recall that he has just a little bit of personal history when it comes to calling down brave Americans.

b) It is okay to recognize that Mark Halperin has a point of view that gives rise to a legitimate debate without agreeing with him. I expect that he would say that your reaction to John Kerry's idiot comment illustrates his point - he would likely say that your partisanship blinds you to the "joke" he was making at the expense of the President, and that if you belonged to the Journalist as Objective Observer School of Reportage you would have "gotten it". And you could counter with the legitimate point that the vast majority of the "Objective Reporters" out there just happen to be hiding liberal views and would write the whole thing off as a joke while burying the sick insult aspect of Kerry's comment. The put-all-your-points-of-view-on-the-table school of reportage is much more consistent with a free society; it engages the marketplace of ideas honestly. Mr. Halperin's theory of reportage is like marxism - sure, it sounds great in theory but it can't really work in the real world; everyone has biases and their biases matter.

This latest Kerry foot-in-mouth-moment is a great example of a false dichotomy. Kerry's comment isn't either (a) or (b), it is both (a) AND (b). To recognize that makes it no less disgusting, and gives the person who recognizes it as such more credibility with a broader audience. It is, in fact, even sicker that Kerry thinks he can get away with a double entendre like that - I expect he thought that most people would only hear the Presidential insult, as he lives in a world where that sort of thing is a staple, and that the "clever people" in his audience would be the only ones who would "get" the "deeper meaning" wherein he was speaking to his anti-military confreres. He makes the mistake many liberals make - he thinks he is the smartest guy in the room.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Yikes. They're called "News"papers for a reason...

Sigh... I know, in my somewhat infrequent postings, that I have of late been spending seemingly disproportionate time critiquing the Telegraph, but it is one feed that I actually read - most I delete without even looking at - and it seems to me that it used to be, at least under Conrad Black (may acquittal be imminent!) a somewhat conservative paper. These days, it seems that they have this policy of only employing reporters (I hate the word "journalists"!) and opinion writers who are terrible with facts and Nutbar Left on opinions. Random fisking to follow:

I exposed CIA agent by mistake, says ex-Bush aide
By Alec Russell in Washington

(Filed: 09/09/2006)

The greatest political scandal to hit the Bush presidency took a tantalising twist yesterday when Richard Armitage, the former deputy secretary of state, admitted that he was the first to reveal the identity of the CIA agent Valerie Plame.

"Yesterday" it took a twist? Richard Armitage's role in this silliness has been known, and commented on, for some time. It is clear now that the Bush-haters in the press who alleged that there was a grand conspiracy to "out" Valerie Plame were writing at the level of Weekly World News "Alien Baby" stories. Well, actually, it was clear when they were writing it, and others were saying so.

The exposure, which came during bitter in-fighting that erupted in Washington after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq in 2003, resulted in the indictment of a senior White House aide for the first time in decades and prompted a flurry of accusations that President George W Bush was directly responsible for the leak.

A flurry of accusations... by Fever-Swamp Nutters!!! Please note, also, why there was "bitter in-fighting": Colin Powell's State Department, and Richard Armitage, were fighting Administration policy at every turn. The real scandal here is that Richard Armitage and Colin Powell both stayed silent for so long, letting the Administration twist in the wind - in the midst of a war - while the nutbars speculated endlessly on the machiavellian machinations of the Rove/Cheney Gang. One of Mr. Bush's personal strengths, but political weaknesses, is his personal loyalty. He ought to have fired Colin Powell way before Mr. Powell left. On the other hand, Ms. Rice's State Dep't appears to be demonstrating that the problem may be due to deep liberal contrarianism in that particular department.

Last night furious conservatives accused Mr Armitage of treachery and demanded an apology from the Bush opponents who claimed that the exposure of Miss Plame's identity in July 2003 was the work of a vindictive White House seeking to undermine critics of the war.

Yes, "Last night" and for a couple of weeks, now, at least. I thought this was a "news" article?

Miss Plame is the wife of Joe Wilson, a former ambassador, who was one of the first to criticise the Bush administration's case for war.

Mr Wilson had angered the White House by refuting the allegation – first made by British intelligence and contained in Mr Bush's 2003 State of the Union address – that Saddam's regime had sought uranium from Niger.

Umm... Mr. Wilson attempted to refute the allegation. It has since been shown conclusively that Saddam indeed had attempted to purchase uranium from Niger. In any event, whether he did or didn't is irrelevant, as the intelligence agencies of Britain, France, and the U.S. believed it at the time, and the Administration had nothing better to go on.

Shortly after Mr Wilson wrote an article in the New York Times in July 2003 accusing the Bush administration of twisting the intelligence on weapons of mass destruction a conservative columnist revealed that his wife worked for the CIA.

Okay, just hang the ol' facts out there with an implied conclusion. Ahem, post hoc ergo propter hoc.

And, finally... Valerie Plame was not a covert operative. No crime was committed. Repeat until you finally get it!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Telegraph, again

Re: The Telegraph on 1 September: Are you insane??? If someone is willing to fly people to the continent "for a fiver", more power to them! If they go belly up, that's life! "Environmental costs" will be sorted out, "inevitably", by the market. The Telegraph used to LIKE the market... what has happened?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

My Pic as not hosted elsewhere...

Hmm... trying to get this photo on to "My Profile"... too big! Learning... learning... how to shrink? Let us see what software we have... trying Nero... post again here... OK, that didn't work either. How do I make this blankin' thing small enuf? Aha! Done! Office Picture Manager did what I wanted it to do.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A pleasure to read...

...this article in the Telegraph. I love that kind of historical context; the attempt, however imperfect, to place currency in historical streams. (I always figured the Roundheads were the good guys!)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Coughlin II

...and again, here. So I wrote: "The only realistic way out of the current mess in Lebanon is for Israel to follow through and take out both Syria & Iran's capacity to make war against her, either directly or through their proxies, Hizbollah & Hamas. A window of opportunity is open now, but may soon close if an international force ever lands in southern Lebanon. (On the other hand, an international force there might free up Israel to do the real work against the puppetmasters. On still another hand, the last thing Israel needs is a pack of European - & English - anti-Semites encamped on its northern border! It is fitting that the LibDems' foreign affairs spokesman is named Michael Moore.) In any event, the U.S. and U.K. should make it very clear to Israel that it has a free hand to clean up the region. Secretary Rice's diplomatic charade should be abandoned, pronto... or perhaps given a fair chance to fail quickly, thus demonstrating the need for decisive action by Israel."

I wonder if anyone ever reads the comments that are invited for those newspaper columns?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Israel is NOT the problem

Con Coughlin,"Defence and Security Editor" of The Daily Telegraph, wrote this in today's Telegraph: "The Israeli government has already blamed Syria and Iran for the unrest on its northern border."

I posted a comment as follows: "As has everyone else with a brain between their ears! Iran calls the shots with Hezbollah & the terrorists wouldn't be able to take the actions that they have without Damascus' approval. If Western tourists are inconvenienced by the lack of an airport they should place the blame where it belongs: on the shoulders of nutbar Islamic radicals from Beirut to Tehran."

The gist of the article was that Mr. Olmert is a rookie leader with scant military experience, and this could have a variety of negative consequences. True. On the other hand, in terms of his response to this crisis, I think he is placing the blame in the right place. As for President Bush's refusal to condemn Israel for its response to the terrorists, my only concern is that he hasn't shown as much support as he might have done. As William Kristol has suggested, he ought to travel to Jerusalem from the (useless) G8 meeting to show the unconditional support of the U.S. for Israel against the Islamofascists.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

God is Good Part I - Purpose

Since I last wrote, much has happened, including a rather serious car accident. After reviewing the witness statements, most of whom thought I was dead for certain, I am more convinced than ever that God wants me alive for some reason. Some reasons are obvious: they live with me, all 4 of them. But beyond that? I wander from the german bakery/sandwich source to the courthouse for my machine-dispensed can of coke, and wonder... and pray... and on my return, I sign into Biblegateway, guilty that I'm reading Lileks over my sandwich rather than something I haven't even looked at today. And there I see it:

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his[b]faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Aha!!! And further...

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"[d]says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."[e] 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12 (New International Version)

a. Romans 12:1 Or reasonable
b. Romans 12:6 Or in agreement with the
c. Romans 12:16 Or willing to do menial work
d. Romans 12:19 Deut. 32:35
e. Romans 12:20 Prov. 25:21,22)

Pretty quick answer, huh? God is Good.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A Big Day

...and I'm outta there! Bye, Lee. You've been great! Next stop: Independence [corr. - ed.]! Praise God for the path He's leading me on...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Let's not get crazy, now...

Mr. Hewitt led me to a critique of a cartoonist from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch who referenced a classic Bill Mauldin cartoon. I think conservatives lose credibility too often when we slap people around just because they're liberals. So I commented on his post: "Hmmm... the guy may be a ranting liberal cartoonist, but I think in this case the criticism is misplaced. If Shakespeare is referenced in a novel it doesn't need to be footnoted. I'm not a huge political cartoon afficionado but I recognized the reference, even if I didn't know the name of the original cartoonist. Blasting away at liberal targets on marginal stuff discredits the legitimate criticism on the cry wolf principle."

Sunday, January 22, 2006

SeaDawgs Rule!

...just as I called it, contrary to popular opinion it will be a Steelers-Seahawks Super Bowl - and the Dawgs will take it. These guys are much better than anyone is giving them credit for.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Hook 'em Horns!!!

Texas 41, USC 38. 'Nuff said. Vince Young is amazing.