Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Amnesty's Anti-American Report is 'Absurd'

I find it very refreshing to have a leader that will stand up for us.

Bush calls Amnesty criticism of U.S. 'absurd'

‘President Bush on Tuesday rejected as "absurd" an Amnesty International report that described the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay as a gulag and which said the United States was responsible for an upsurge in human rights violations around the world.’

Take that!

‘"I'm aware of the Amnesty International report and it's absurd, it's an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world," Bush said at a Rose Garden news conference.’

And that!

‘Amnesty International last week said human rights are in retreat worldwide and the United States bears most of the responsibility.’

Saddam, Kim, Mugabe, Khamenei…Innocent! America did it! Someone call Bob Woodward.

‘It called the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay "the gulag of our times."’

They obviously have never been to Beijing.

‘There have been a number of accusations of American mistreatment of the detainees and of the Koran, the Muslim holy book, at Guantanamo Bay.’

And there have been five confirmed 'mishandlings', none of which involved any plumbing.

‘Amnesty International appeared to base some of its allegations on detainees, "people who hate America, people that have been trained in some instances to disassemble, that means not tell the truth. So it was an absurd report," Bush said.’

Knock out!

Amnesty International hates America. Why do they have to find others to do their bashing for them? If ones subscribes to the old notion that ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend’, that would make Amnesty and Al Qaeda…oh, never mind. I hear Howard Dean is running for Amnesty Chairman next year.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Time to Wake Up to China Threat

Well it’s about time:

Lawmakers focus on rise of China

'A group of U.S. lawmakers banded together on Friday to focus congressional attention on how China's rise affects the United States in areas ranging from energy demand to trade to military spending.'

'Randy Forbes, a Virginia Republican, said he and eight members of the House of Representatives started the bipartisan Congressional China Caucus to ensure that Americans become aware of China's emergence as an economic, political and military power.'

Emphasis on the military part please. The other two we can deal with.

'"The public still hasn't gotten the full picture of what's going on with China because we're so overwhelmed with Iraq and Iran and North Korea," Forbes said in a telephone interview.'

I couldn’t agree more. Not to mention China’s own role in the North Korean problem.

'"I really don't see this country having developed the plans to deal with China like I know China has developed the plans to deal with us," he said.'

Pin that up on the wall and frame it please.

'Fellow caucus member Ike Skelton, a Missouri Democrat, called Taiwan Strait separating China and Taiwan "the most dangerous place on Earth."'

Well, not yet, but it could be. In any case, I’m happy to have a Democrat aboard. We had better wake up and take notice. Iraq is small potatoes. If we don’t have the stomach to deal with what is a relatively minor conflict, how are we going to respond when China makes its move? Don’t fool yourself. It is coming.

Update 6:04 pm: Due to the fact that 'Other' was winning and my own errors, (I should learn to just say Condi) I have revamped the poll. I hope that covers the spectrum. This one could be fun. My apologies to those who had already voted.

In Sports:
Nats 3, Braves 2
I can't watch these two teams play each other.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Which is the Greatest Threat to America?

It must be Hillary’s week. She won the first Tran Sient’s Watch poll in which there were 100 responses to the question:

Which is the Greatest Threat to America?

Hillary Clinton 32%

Chinese Expansion 20%

Unrestrained Immigration 17%

Middle East Conflicts 12%

Other 12%

Global Warming 10%

This was possibly the most unscientific poll ever taken as repeat votes were allowed, though limited to one per day. Hillary took the prize even as I voted for China 5 times myself. For all of you Hillary fans, you should be heartened to know she is a participant in the new poll, so have at it. The new poll will remain up until such time as there are at least 100 responses. I apologize in advance for the pop ups, but I donated the $23 pop up ridance fee to the tsunami victims, so consider it your sacrifice for a good cause.

Other Stuff:

Scandal breaking in California!

Chicken Cleared of Crossing Road Charge

The story, however, omits the real question...did it get to the other side?

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Linda Foley Outed in Toledo

Linda Foley finally gets some press, though only in Toledo, for her comments in which she said:

"It's not just U.S. journalists either, by the way. They target and kill journalists from other countries, particularly Arab countries, at news services like Al Jazeera, for example. They actually target them and blow up their studios, with impunity."

All the news that's fit to slur U.S.

Thank you, Jack Kelly. I have no clue as to who you are, but thank you anyway.

'Afterward, Newsweek engaged in public soul-searching about its use of anonymous sources. But the negligible attention given to a charge by the Newspaper Guild's head indicates the problem is much bigger than that.'

'Like Mr. Jordan, Ms. Foley offered no evidence to support her charges. The Chicago Sun Times, in a story by my friend Tom Lipscomb, was the nation's only paper to report what she said.'

'Apparently most journalists see nothing newsworthy about our union's head accusing, without evidence, our troops of war crimes. Papers prominently covered a hysterical report released Wednesday by Amnesty International accusing the United States of "atrocious" human-rights violations and calling Guantanamo Bay "the gulag of our times."'

Jack Kelly is right! Jack Kelly is in Toledo? Why does it take a medium market paper to pick this up? Why are Linda Foley’s comments not on the front page of the Washington Post and New York Times? Perhaps this is the beginning of something. We only need a few more papers to take up the cause and the fire will spread. Finally, someone in the press with a clue and the bravery to say what the others will not.

Update: Jack Kelly works for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I'll keep up with him in the future. MaxedOutMama has some more good information on Linda Foley.

In Sports:
Nats lose once again. The inevitable slide has arrived.
Nats 1, Cards 3

Friday, May 27, 2005

Hillary Leads for 2008

2008 is going to be a fun election to watch. It’s never too early to get a few shots in.

Poll majority say they'd be likely to vote for Clinton

'For the first time, a majority of Americans say they are likely to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton if she runs for president in 2008, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday.'

Be afraid, be very afraid. I realize this has no real meaning since she is not being polled vs any Republican candidates, but it is telling. However, as we all know, polls mean nothing, especially 3 and a half years before the election.

'Clinton commands as much strong support - but more strong opposition - as George W. Bush did in a Newsweek poll in November 1998, two years before the 2000 election. She is in slightly stronger position than then-vice president Al Gore, the eventual 2000 Democratic nominee, was in 1998.

"Over time, Clinton fatigue has dissipated ... and people are looking back on the Clinton years more favorably," '

I am still quite fatigued actually. It's sort of like recovering from a bad flu. You are finished tossing your guts, but still have to eat Saltines.

'"This may also reflect that she has been recasting her image as a more moderate person," he says.'

Which isn’t very difficult in today’s Democratic Party. Castro could be considered a moderate in some quarters of the American left today. Notice Hillary is the one major Democrat leader not bashing Bush daily.

'Spokesmen for Sen. Clinton declined to discuss the survey. "She's just focused on working and doing her job for New York," says Anne Lewis, a veteran Democratic operative working at Hillpac, Clinton's political action committee.'

Yeah right!

'In the poll, 29% were "very likely" to vote for Clinton for president if she runs in 2008; 24% were "somewhat likely." Seven percent were "not very likely" and 39% were "not at all likely" to vote for her.'

'Her strong support has risen by 8 percentage points, and her strong opposition has dropped by 5 points since the same question was asked in June 2003.'

Well just wait until the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy kicks in.

'Among those surveyed, 54% called Clinton a liberal, 30% a moderate and 9% a conservative.'

9% think she is a conservative? Almost 10 percent of our country must be absolutely nuts. Stand by for socialized medicine. I suspect it will be here by 2012 if she wins. I find this poll interesting, but I would like to see a poll of ‘likely voters’. The results would be quite different. In addition, Gallup is giving under 30 voters the same clout as older voters. Didn’t we already learn how big of a mistake that is?

The United States is more than ready for a female president. Let's hear it for Condi!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Media Continues to Defend Newsweek

The American Press will defend its own, but never its country.

Guantanamo probe finds five Koran mishandling cases

The MSM are really going out of their way in an attempt to legitimize the flagrant lie perpetuated by Newsweek last week. There is only one quote in this article that has any substance.

"I'd like you to know that we have found no credible evidence that a member of the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo Bay ever flushed a Koran down a toilet."

Oh the horror of it all!

Giving preliminary findings of a 12-day-old military inquiry into treatment of the Koran at Guantanamo, Hood said investigators turned up 13 allegations of mishandling the Koran, with five confirmed cases of "what could be broadly defined as mishandling of a Koran."

The Press drudges up 3 year old interviews with one detainee and calls it a story. This is clearly another attempt at the 'fake but accurate' defense on behalf of Newsweek.

I don't see the argument: They are guilty of waging war against us, murdering civilians, blowing up the World Trade Center, multiple beheadings, and much more. But no biggie. As many as five copies of the Koran (Quran, whatever) may have been 'mishandled'. This is blatant
excessive punishment! America is evil!

Seems like a stretch to me. Can we get some sense of proportion please?

Tax Hollywood Into Poverty

Filibusters, War and Newsweek will have to wait for another day. I heard George Voinovich crying on the radio this morning and it put me in a lighthearted mood. I’ll come back breathing fire tomorrow. Hold me to that.

P.J. O'Rourke can be hilarious at times.

Here's a Tax We Can All Agree On

America's media and entertainment industry has a gross (as it were) revenue of $316.8 billion a year. If we subtract the income derived from worthy journalism and the publishing of serious books, that leaves $316.8 billion.

I suggest, therefore, a Celebrity Tax with a low-end base rate of, mmm, 100 percent.

Given the modest talent of current celebrities and the immodest example they set for impressionable youth, we'll call it a "Value Subtracted Tax," or, better, a "Family Value Subtracted Tax." And it will be calculated on the celebrity's net worth.

Part of the reason most celebrities like taxes is that they aren’t seriously affected. The left loves to go after oil men and business owners as greedy and corrupt barons who buy their way out of paying their fair share, but rarely does the mention of the Hollywood elite enter the conversation. These elite should be all for a tax of this nature. Perhaps not 100 percent. I think 95 percent would do.

One effect would be a Hollywood turn to the right. I have a theory as to why ‘stars’ are so bent to the left. They gained all of this cash and fame with very little effort and feel guilty about it. Rather than just donate it all to charity, they feel the need to suck us little guys down with them. Combine that with the fact that the elite in Hollywood are used to being worshiped in their own little worlds and one can see how, not only are they bent left, but feel they need to share their enlightenment with the rest of us. If we could tax these people out of their place in the clouds, perhaps we would relieve them of their guilt. Consider it a government health program for the arrogant.

I recently, and mistakenly, watched ‘Ocean’s Twelve’ on DVD and had trouble keeping my supper down. What an exercise in self worship. I rarely watch movies anymore, mainly because I can’t stand the thought of enriching these pompous loudmouths with my own cash. There are exceptions. I would recommend the latest ‘King Arthur’ flick to anyone who doesn’t mind blood and gore. But overall, I will stick with baseball. (Yeah, I know they are rich too, but hey, they’re exempt!)

Speaking of shared enlightenment, Linda Foley, who enlightened us by saying…

"It's not just U.S. journalists either, by the way. They target and kill journalists from other countries, particularly Arab countries, at news services like Al Jazeera, for example. They actually target them and blow up their studios, with impunity."

…was ignored by the MSM again today. I recommend a visit to Foley Gate for anyone interested in keeping tabs on the topic.

Disclaimer: For those that might think I took the O’Rourke article seriously…get a grip.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Amnesty Blames America for Everything!

Amnesty International has come to the conclusion that every bad thing that happens is the fault of the United States and George W. Bush. They have a lot in common with the DNC.

Amnesty slams U.S. on human rights

‘human rights are in retreat worldwide and the United States bears most responsibility, rights watchdog Amnesty International said on Wednesday.’

Oh those nasty Americans. All atrocities in the World rest at the feet of the United States.

"The USA as the unrivalled political, military and economic hyper-power sets the tone for governmental behavior worldwide," Secretary General Irene Khan said

Hyper-power? A little Ritalin should take care of that.

"During his first term in office, the USA proved to be far from the global human rights champion it proclaimed itself to be," the report said, citing Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.

So its back to Abu Ghraib. I think they stole this line from Barbara Streisand.

"The human rights abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan were far from being the only negative repercussions of the response to the terrible events of Sept. 11, 2001.

"Since that day, the framework of international human rights standards has been attacked and undermined by both governments and armed groups," Amnesty said.

Finally, Amnesty International has wrapped up every atrocity in the world and delivered the entire package to the American doorstep. We’ve known they thought this for years. Every tyrant, dictator and warlord in the world has been absolved of responsibility. America did it! And by extension, Bush did it! Like little children following the example of the eldest brother. If only America had not responded to 911, there would be no human rights violation. Better yet, if America didn’t exist, all would be right in the world.

The results of the Amnesty Report were published in every major newspaper in the country, unlike the comments of Linda Foley, President of the Newspaper Guild, in which she said:

"It's not just U.S. journalists either, by the way. They target and kill journalists from other countries, particularly Arab countries, at news services like Al Jazeera, for example. They actually target them and blow up their studios, with impunity."

I think she has a future working for Amnesty as head of the anti-American division.

On to other things; I found this interesting. It is at the bottom of the column:

Jewish drawl (Washington Times Account Required)

We hadn't realized the historic bond between the Jewish population and the state of South Carolina until the House this week passed a resolution introduced by a Southern congressman honoring the 57th anniversary of Israel's independence.

Rep. Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican, relates these little-known facts: South Carolina was home to the largest Jewish population in North America at the time of the American Revolution; its provincial constitution was the first to recognize Judaism as being equal to Christianity; the first election of a Jew to public office in North America was in South Carolina; and the first Jewish fatality of the American Revolution was a patriot from South Carolina.

In Sports:

Nats 3, Reds 12
Nats get swept, the slide continues.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Democrats Win Filibuster War

One need look no further than the quotes from various politicians to see it:


"We have sent President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and the radical arm of the Republican base an undeniable message: Abuse of power will not be tolerated, will not be tolerated by Democrats or Republicans. And your attempt, I say to the vice president and to the president, to trample the Constitution and grab absolute control is over."
Harry Reid

"…was a huge loss for the right wing. ... It was clearly a loss for the president because he was getting accustomed to ramming things through the House and the Senate without any confrontation. It was a win for America because minority rights were supported."
Howard Dean

"Thank you very much Leader Reid. On behalf of the House Democrats I am here to say, 'Thank you for your courageous leadership to help us all honor our oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

"The Republicans' abuse of power and attempts to subvert the Constitution must stop. You have made great progress here in the Senate. Hopefully, we can make some with the principles of civility in the House.”
Nancy Pelosi

"big victory"
Barbara Boxer


"It has some good news and it has some disappointing news and it will require careful monitoring."
Bill Frist

"Overall this is a major disappointment on principle...This so-called deal is disappointing for all of us who believe in the principle that persons should be accorded the fairness and due process of an up or down vote."
George Allen

"The jubilation over the deal ... suggests that this is the first time a Band-Aid has been invented,"
Kit Bond

"I don't like it. I think we should have an up-or-down vote on all of these fine individuals,"
Kay Bailey Hutchison

I have a suggestion for Frist...Bring up Henry Saad and William Myers for a vote tommorow and force Lindsay Graham and John Warner to put their money where their mouth is. I want to see these two vote against cloture as their deal would require.

Still nothing from MSM on Linda Foley. On Friday, May 13 she stated:

"It's not just U.S. journalists either, by the way. They target and kill journalists from other countries, particularly Arab countries, at news services like Al Jazeera, for example. They actually target them and blow up their studios, with impunity."

Members of the Press continue exercising their Constitutional Option of not reporting anything negative about themselves.

In Sports:

Nats 3, Reds 4
Nats lose in extra innings. Have lost 4 out of last 5.

Braves 4, Mets 0

Clemson Moves into Top 20 in USA Today Baseball Poll. Currently ranked 19th.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Newsweek Trashes Stars and Stripes

Occasionally, the compassionate conservative in me boils to the top and takes over. Yesterday I stated the following:

“Well, good for Newsweek. I’ll stop beating them up for now.”

Well look what I get in return!

Newsweek put U.S. flag in trash on foreign cover

‘The cover story in the foreign editions, titled, "Dream on, America," about what Newsweek characterized as "the world's rejection of the American way of life," did not run in the U.S. edition of the magazine.’

That seems pretty absurd considering you can’t walk 100 feet in Tokyo without running into a Mickey Ds.

Never let it be said that I am not willing to admit when I am wrong. This article in the Japanese version of Newsweek was published February 2. However, I did not know of it until last night, after I had published my complementary forgiveness of Newsweek’s libelous characterization of US troops stationed at Gitmo. Why did I not know you ask? Because Newsweek did not have the guts to print such drivel in the United States. It’s one thing to be biased. It’s quite another to slam the United States in a foreign magazine that isn’t printed in English. Such actions can only be described as cowardly.

So consider yesterday an aberration. Maybe I was weak in the knees following my consumption of a particularly hot burrito. Perhaps, for whatever reason, I had begun to fall for the ‘honest mistake’ argument. Normally my RADAR on such things is pretty good. I think I will keep it turned on next time.

MSM continues to adhere to the gag order on comments made by Linda Foley on Friday, May 13, in which she stated:

"It's not just U.S. journalists either, by the way. They target and kill journalists from other countries, particularly Arab countries, at news services like Al Jazeera, for example. They actually target them and blow up their studios, with impunity.”

Perhaps there will be a write-up on it in next Month's Newsweek. I know there isn't much information out there, but hey, at least they won't need any sources.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Newsweek Cleans House, Foley Stays Dirty

I will give credit when it is due. Newsweek got off easy for their egregious error, but perhaps some small good has come of it.

'Newsweek magazine will only use anonymous sources with the approval of a top editor from now on, the editor said on Sunday after a retracted report on abuse of the Koran ignited riots in the Muslim world.'

Newsweek tightens sourcing after Koran story

"From now on, only the editor or the managing editor, or other top editors they specifically appoint, will have the authority to sign off on the use of an anonymous source," Richard Smith, Newsweek's chairman and editor-in-chief, wrote in the edition of the magazine for sale this week.

The name and position of such a source will be shared with the top editor, and the magazine will try to characterize the source appropriately, Smith said in his letter to readers explaining how news-gathering procedures would be improved following the retracted report.

"The cryptic phrase 'sources said' will never again be the sole attribution for a story in Newsweek," he said.

Well, good for Newsweek. I’ll stop beating them up for now. The problem of bias still exists, but at least a biased reporter will have to use a legitimate source.

Linda Foley should follow Newsweek’s example. Foley had no source at all from what I can tell.

"What outrages me as a representative of journalists is that there’s not more outrage about the number, and the brutality, and the cavalier nature of the U.S. military toward the killing of journalists in Iraq."

"They target and kill journalists ... uh, from other countries, particularly Arab countries like Al -, like Arab news services like Al-Jazeera, for example. They actually target them and blow up their studios with impunity."

I will continue posting this quote. MSM has been deathly silent on the issue since Friday when the Washington Times posted a small article on the subject. I am beginning to believe that Ms. Foley is the most powerful media figure in America. It’s as though a gag order is in place. I have absolutely no source for this theory, but since she set that standard, I believe I am within the bounds of fairness in making such a charge.

Bloggers: I urge you not to let this issue die. Linda Foley should not be allowed to determine what is news and what isn’t. Nor should she be able to denigrate our military with outrageous comments such as those above and remain unscathed. Keep up the fight. I would rather lose it honorably than cave on this one.

In Sports:

Nats 9, Blue Jays 2
First win in Canada since the move.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Is the Media Protecting Linda Foley?

I can’t find a thing outside the Blogosphere regarding Linda Foley’s atrocious comments about the US Military since Thursday. Let’s recap:

"It's not just U.S. journalists either, by the way. They target and kill journalists from other countries, particularly Arab countries, at news services like Al Jazeera, for example. They actually target them and blow up their studios, with impunity.

Well it turns out that the Newspaper Guild has been spouting this garbage for months. From an April 15th article on their website:

No answers for slain reporters

‘How, after a 35-minute lull in the battle, a tank commanded by Sgt. Shawn Gibson swung its cannon toward the hotel and, 10 minutes later, fired an incendiary shell.’

“The recent attack on the Italian journalist shows yet again that the U.S. military has decided that journalists are fair game in Iraq,”

So the Sgrena incident was cited as an attempt by US soldiers to target journalists. Up to now, I had thought that the nutty Communist journalist and her allies in the Italian media were the only ones subscribing to that theory. I must admit being late on the game, since it appears our own American media was promoting the same theory more than a month ago.

I will also admit that I don’t know a thing about this union. A quick look at the site shows it to be a far left wing organization connected to the AFL-CIO, so it should not be shocking that its leader would make derogatory comments about Bush and the military. Nor does it seem strange that such an organization would post an article accusing America of killing journalists.

The Newspaper Guild represents employees of some major media outlets, all of which are keeping silent on Linda Foley’s comments. What specifically bothers me is that not one word has been published in any major news outlet since the initial story on Thursday. Another case of the media protecting their own?...I’m not sure yet. But I will keep looking.

Imagine if a politician had made those comments. Imagine if anyone of importance outside of the MSM had made those comments. It would be front page news all around. The offender would be run out of town. Let’s think about others that have been destroyed in the media by comments they made. Trent Lott comes to mind.

The local chapter in my area, the The Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild , represents some important media outlets including the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun and Catholic News Service. I hope the major media outlets in America prove me wrong and highlight their own as they would anyone else.

In Sports:

Nats 0, Blue Jays 7
Nats get blasted in Canada again.

ACC Baseball
Clemson 6, Miami 2
Tigers Complete sweep of #4 Canes.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Pelosi Blames Bush for False Newsweek Story

I had to read her statement twice to confirm that I had interpreted it correctly. I don’t speak Pelosi very well, though I have been trying to learn the language for a couple of years now.

Pelosi Statement on Newsweek Article

“For months, photographs of tortured prisoners and inappropriate interrogation techniques have made headlines throughout the world. There is evidence that indicates that some of these practices were sanctioned at much higher levels in the Bush Administration than the punishments thus far imposed would suggest.”

It amazes me how some representatives act as if they represent a foreign country. For you kids out there, Ms. Pelosi happens to be an important member of the US House of Representatives. If she has such suspicions, she should take up the cause. Start an investigation.

Which country are you representing? Hop on a plane down to Gitmo and look for yourself. Ask a prison guard. They work for you.

But that will never happen. It takes a no amount of courage to level a charge. Once you establish yourself as a fanatic, it is possible to level such charges against the President (of the United States for the un-informed) knowing full well that your words will be blown off by your own party and ignored by the main stream media. Anyone else that points out your lunacy can be labeled as infringing on the 1st Amendment. If that doesn’t work, call them a Nazi.

But her suspicion isn’t what this is about. Ms. Nancy just needs a sound bite. It’s pathetic that she must degrade our soldiers again to get it. In the words of Tom Daschle, “I’m saddened”. I would be outraged, but I’m getting so used to these types of statements from Pelosi, Reid and Dean that I just can’t get myself worked up about it.

"The failure of the House to fully investigate these matters only ensures that we will continue to pay the price for the outrages at Abu Ghraib for many years to come."

I realize this is the obligatory Abu Ghraib reference, but it should be highlighted.

So let’s summarize: Bush commanded his Department of Defense to torture and humiliate terrorists at Gitmo. Coincidentally, Newsweek published an innocent story about Koran (or Quran – whichever doesn’t offend you) flushing that is probably true but cannot be verified yet. Rumors of such have been printed in left wing media outlets for a couple of years, so it must be true. In any case, Newsweek should feel bad and not do it again, but Bush should feel really bad because his government sponsored torture program made the terrorists angry in the first place and caused them to overreact. Bush also made the story so plausible that Newsweek was almost justified in believing one anonymous source. Thus, the whole debacle is the fault of the Bush Administration.

I think that sums it up. Please let me know if I missed anything.

In Sports:
Nats 1, Blue Jays 6
Nats return to Canada spoiled.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Media Decline Continues, Blind To Its Own Bias

Well the hits keep on coming with MSM. The President of the Newspaper Guild, Linda Foley, dropped this gem last week during a panel discussion at the National Conference for Media Reform in St. Louis:

"Journalists are not just being targeted verbally or politically. They are also being targeted for real in places like Iraq. And what outrages me as a representative of journalists is that there's not more outrage about the number and the brutality, and the cavalier nature of the U.S. military toward the killing of journalists in Iraq. I think it's just a scandal."

"It's not just U.S. journalists either, by the way. They target and kill journalists from other countries, particularly Arab countries, at news services like Al Jazeera, for example. They actually target them and blow up their studios, with impunity. This is all part of the culture that it is OK to blame the individual journalists, and it just takes the heat off of these media conglomerates that are part of the problem."

Guild Chief Under Fire for Comments About Attacks on Journalists in Iraq

How hilarious that she made this comment at a conference on media reform. And then she tries to wiggle out of it, ironically with the same fake but true argument that has become the norm:

Foley told E&P Thursday that her words were taken out of context by critics and said her original intent was to discuss how journalists are often scapegoated for their coverage. "This was almost an aside," she said. "But it is true that hundreds of journalists are killed around the world, and many have been killed in Iraq."

Out of context! Those statements are very clear. I am sick of hearing slanderous, yes slanderous, statements out of the media, only to be followed by excuses and denials. And then we are left watching the remaining members of the main stream media, one after another, weigh in to defend their own. I have come to the conclusion that journalism is dead in America, at least among the major news outlets.

Our news today starts from the assumption that everything the military says is a lie. They feed on each other and lend credence to each others tabloid news. I have always scorned the British media for their tabloid ways. However, at least they are honest about where they stand. The US media needs to just come clean and admit what they are. Leftist tabloid hacks.

Lets recap; Jayson Blair, Eason Jordan, Dan Rather, Newsweek and now Linda Foley. This list only scratches the surface. I had more but I flushed my list down the can.

A search of the Newspaper Guild’s website shows this little nugget listed under the group’s mission statement:

Raise the standards of journalism and ethics of the industry;

Mission Statement of The Newspaper Guild-CWA

Let’s just stop pretending. It is insulting and embarrassing.

In Sports:
Nats 3, Brewers 2
Livan Hernandez wins 6th straight.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Left Wing Blogs Defend Newsweek

I have gone over to the 'Dark Side'. It seems I have attracted the ire of several bloggers around town, perhaps due to my outing by Kurtz yesterday. Below is one interesting example.

NEWSSPEAK in the Dark Side

In what appears to be a reactionary defense of Newsweek following multiple viewings of ‘Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith’, I have once again been called out for suggesting that Newsweek cheerled themselves to a conclusion before having a single verified fact, and believing they should be accountable for the results. Specifically, the statement addressed to me is:

‘No, Newsweek didn’t Slander US Soldiers, Cause Deaths.’

Dictionary.com lists several definitions of slander. The top two are:

1. Oral communication of false statements injurious to a person's reputation.
2. A false and malicious statement or report about someone.

Now, whatever world you live in, I would say that Newsweek’s actions certainly fall within these parameters in regards to US Soldiers. And certainly death was the result. Perhaps libel would have been more appropriate though.

I would have addressed this yesterday, but judging only by the url and limited by my schedule, I assumed it was a porn site. It is actually a fairly educational example of the arrogance towards those of us that reject our spoon fed news when it wanders outside of the bounds of reality. As an example, the writer assumes that I am religious.

'with the tacit cooperation of the ever-compassionate religious thought police.'

All who disagree must be religious fanatics out to save your soul. I just want a media that knows the facts before it reports inflammatory information. I also want Newsweek held accountable for their actions.

I would like to thank the writer on one point, on behalf of myself and the other right wing fanatic control freaks. It seems we have been delegated a great amount of power over MSM and the Government.

'Witness the Dark Side of the blogosphere: partisan blogger hacks shout “liberal media bias” at the top of their lungs, the Government drops napalm on Newsweek, and they retract the story. notice a pattern here?'

May the source be with you.

In Sports:
Nats 1, Brewers 0
Jeffrey Hammonds with game winning RBI in the 9th.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Newsweek Condemned and Defended

First Newsweek retracted. The retraction was anything but contrite. They then made excuses. Now they contend that the whole fiasco just isn’t that big of a deal. Even Pakistan and Afghanistan disagree.

Pakistan: Newsweek Retraction 'Not Enough'

Afghanistan's government said Tuesday that Newsweek should be held responsible for damages caused by deadly anti-American demonstrations after the magazine alleged U.S. desecration of the Quran, and it suggested that foreign forces may have helped turn protests violent.

Pakistan joined the international criticism of the magazine's article and said Newsweek's apology and retraction were "not enough."

Afghan presidential spokesman Jawed Ludin said Newsweek's retraction Monday was a "positive step" toward clearing up concern about the report.

"But at the same time, we feel angered at the way this story has been handled," Ludin told a news conference Tuesday. "It's only fair to say at this stage that Newsweek can be held responsible for the damages caused by their story."

How does a major news outlet take one anonymous source and turn his/her comments into an inflammatory story, costing lives and dishonoring US soldiers? And why is there not Hell to pay?! Why is the main stream media circling the wagons around Newsweek? My own home town paper tries to explain how we are all just overreacting in Howard Kurtz’ Media Notes.

I wouldn’t have noticed, but they used yours truly as an example. I appreciate the pub and the link Howard, but I can’t believe you expect the public at large to go for it.

But the blogosphere has been denouncing Newsweek for far worse than making a terrible mistake. According to some online critics, Newsweek (owned by The Washington Post Co.) was on a crusade to make the military and the U.S. government look bad.

And goes on to quote one of the more irritating bloggers, among others:

'Tran Sient's Watch goes with the headline "Newsweek Slanders US Soldiers, Causes Deaths":

"I was done for the day until I saw this. Dan Rather would be proud. But even Dan didn't get anyone killed!"'

Well let me explain. Newsweek wanted this to be true. They had another scandal in the works. Everyone who edited the story wanted it to be true. There was no ‘crusade’, just a room full of willful idiots. Let your dreams become reality. The whole affair would have passed unnoticed, but it turns out that Newsweek has a following among jihadist head cases in Afghanistan. How could anyone believe that the image of evil Americans flushing copies of the holy book down the john would go over with a hug and a smile amongst the crazies? Well it happened at Newsweek. No conspiracy here. No journalism either.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Newsweek Admits Error, Damage Done

Someone needs to fall.

Newsweek magazine, under fire for publishing a story that led to deadly protests in Afghanistan, said Monday it was retracting its report that a military probe had found evidence of desecration of the Quran by U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay.

Newsweek Retracts Story on Quran Abuse

"It's appalling that this story got out there," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said as she traveled home from Iraq.

"People lost their lives. People are dead," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Capitol Hill. "People need to be very careful about what they say, just as they need to be careful about what they do."

White House press secretary Scott McClellan called Newsweek's retraction "a good first step" but said it could not repair all the damage that had been done.

"The report had real consequences," McClellan said. "People have lost their lives. Our image abroad has been damaged. There are some who are opposed to the United States and what we stand for who have sought to exploit this allegation."

The spokesman also said the Pentagon had looked into other charges by detainees that the Quran had been desecrated and found them to be "not credible."

And below is more of the fallout as Muslim leaders take advantage of the situation.

Arshad and the provincial police chief said the scholars met in Faizabad, 310 miles northeast of the capital, Kabul, and demanded a "reaction" from U.S. authorities within three days.

Lebanon's most senior Shiite Muslim cleric on Sunday said the reported desecration of the Quran is part of an American campaign aimed at disrespecting and smearing Islam.

In a statement faxed to The Associated Press, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah called the alleged desecration a "brutal" form of torture and urged Muslims and international human rights organizations "to raise their voices loudly against the American behavior."

On Saturday, Pakistan's President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, both allies of Washington, demanded an investigation and punishment for those behind the reported desecration of the Quran.

The 22-nation Arab League issued a statement saying if the allegations panned out, Washington should apologize to Muslims.

My guess is that these Muslim leaders and clerics will not take ‘it wasn’t true’ for an answer. Thus begins the long process of trying to limit the damage. I am eager to see if there are any reasonable Muslim leaders that will see the truth for what it is. The realist in me says no. Seeing the truth and reacting to it are not the same. An American magazine’s indictment is proof enough. Retractions, apologies and denials will do little to placate them, as they will see any attempt to change the story as part of the American conspiracy. Always a conspiracy as far as America is concerned. Just when the chips were down for Al Qaeda, Newsweek tossed them lifeline.

My only solace in this matter is that Newsweek had their ‘Abu Gharab’ snatched from them. They are now exposed as anti American tabloid hacks. It will be interesting to see if any heads roll at Newsweek. I wouldn’t bet on it.

In addition to the immediate damage, most accounts seem to be ignoring the damage done to the media. Newsweek has given the non-believers among us more reason than ever to turn away, not that they needed it. We need a responsible media, especially in times of war. Where does one turn to for accurate reporting? I can’t answer that. Perhaps Al Jazeera is finally on an even plane with the US Press, and not because their standards have improved.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Newsweek Slanders US Soldiers, Causes Deaths

I was done for the day until I saw this. Dan Rather would be proud. But even Dan didn’t get anyone killed!


Newsweek backs off Quran desecration story

Newsweek magazine backed away Sunday from a report that U.S. interrogators desecrated copies of the Quran

At least 15 people were killed and dozens injured last week

"But we regret that we got any part of our story wrong, and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst."

Aww shucks, forgive and forget right? Not a chance! Newsweek is unbelievable. I had been keeping quiet on this all week. It gave me that same pit in my stomach that the Abu Gharab photos gave me. Here I thought that some boot private soldiers had screwed up again and the Liberal Press/Islamist alliance would once again ban together to make it into the scandal of the year.

Well good job Newsweek. You caused casualties, inserted yourself into the War, and gave our enemies some nice propaganda material. It doesn’t matter if you made it up. Al Jazeera and their ilk don’t care if it’s actually true or not.

On Friday, Newsweek said, DiRita phoned the magazine and said that investigators found no incidents involving Quran desecration.

A day later, Isikoff reached his source again, who said that although he remembered reading investigative reports about desecration of the Quran, including a toilet incident, "he could no longer be sure that these concerns had surfaced in the [Southern Command] report."

DiRita "exploded" when Newsweek informed him that one of the original sources behind the report had partially backed off the story, the magazine said.

"People are dead because of what this son of a bitch said," DiRita told Newsweek, according to the magazine's report. "How could he be credible now?"

I will never, ever buy another copy of Newsweek in my life. Our soldiers have a very difficult task in Afghanistan and Iraq. They don’t need their own media working against them with unfounded ‘gotcha’ stories. It takes months, years, to build up good will in these places and Newsweek was able to flush all of that effort with one slanderous story. There better be Hell to pay over there. Actions such as these warrant more than a couple of firings.

U.S. military officials said such claims are standard terrorist tactics.

"If you read the al Qaeda training manual, they are trained to make allegations against the infidels," Army Col. Brad Blackner told Newsweek.

Is it in the ‘How to Slander Your Own Country’ manual as well? Here is Newsweeks admission. I hope it is the last Newsweek article you ever read.

How a Fire Broke Out

Chinese Royal Flush

Sometimes having a state run media can have hilarious results. Welcome to the First World.

China in midst of toilet modernization

This month Shanghai hosted the World Toilet Expo and Forum in hopes of getting advice on how to spruce up its loos.

Lets see, UN Security Council permanent seat, Nuclear Weapons, Booming Economy...Needs help to clean the head.

Finding a toilet has traditionally been simply a matter of following one's nose.

Tucan Sam would be proud.

The city has built thousands of new apartment buildings with modern plumbing, but in many older housing districts, chamber pots are used at night, then toted to the nearest public toilet to be emptied next morning.

Which reminds me, Deadwood comes on tonight.

The exhibition was sponsored by the World Toilet Organization, which represents cleanliness groups in 17 countries and is based in famously tidy Singapore, which fines people who fail to flush public toilets.

This is a side of the WTO I've never seen.

"Our happiness cannot be complete without a proper and pleasant toilet environment."

A good magazine helps too.

Have a nice Sunday all. I'll get back to the serious stuff tomorrow.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Nebraska Gay Marriage Ruling Reaction

And so it begins. The Washington Post comes out in favor of the decision by Judge Bataillon, yet seems to recognize its problems. They also seem to recognize the effect that it will have on the electorate, not only in Nebraska, but across the country.

Gay Marriage Overreaction

WHEN A FEDERAL court in Nebraska this week struck down the state's constitutional ban on recognition of gay relationships, opponents of gay marriage claimed vindication for their noxious proposal to define marriage in the U.S. Constitution.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) noted that when Congress debated the federal marriage amendment last year, "opponents claimed that no state laws were threatened. . . . After today's ruling, they can no longer make that claim."

The Post is attempting to quell the reaction to the decision. You can read their argument in favor of the Judges decision for yourself. But in doing so, they are acknowledging that there is going to be a reaction.

Since the Nebraska referendum applied to not only marriage, but civil unions and other state recognition of gay relationships, is the judge saying that states must provide this recognition or be in violation of the US Constitution? Because of this they are in violation of the 'Equal Protection Clause'? That seems like Pandora’s Box to me. In any case, I suspect next years attempt at bringing back the Defense of Marriage Act will find many more supporters as a result.

A great rundown of the legalities of the ruling can be found at MaxedOutMama.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Ruling Good for Gays, Great for Republicans

I saw an article over at Boston Crone’s Haven yesterday relating to the federal overruling of a Nebraska referendum on gay marriage. My first thought was, this is great for Republicans. Some new developments today back me up.

Marriage ruling sets stage for Senate debate

'As if the battle over federal judges and “judicial activism” were not superheated enough, a ruling Thursday by U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon to scrap Nebraska’s constitutional definition of marriage has added new fuel.'

'the first time that a federal judge has struck down a state constitutional provision limiting marriage to heterosexual couples – comes just a few days before the Senate begins its long-awaited debate on filibusters of President Bush’s judicial nominees.'

'who is more powerful, one federal judge, or the 477,571 Nebraskans, 70 percent of the voters'

‘The judge was nominated to the bench by President Clinton’

This particular article does not mention that Judge Bataillon was also head of the Nebraska Democratic Party prior to becoming a federal judge.

'Charles Cooper, former assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration, reacted heatedly to Bataillon’s decision, saying, “It is quite timely given the subject matter that we’re taking up. We have fresh evidence of the enormous, extraordinary power that even a single federal district judge has.”'

What horrible timing for the Democrats. A week before the Senate goes head to head over filibusters, Judge Bataillon has opened up a huge ammo cache for the Republicans. Not only could this ruling solidify the Republican standing on the filibuster issue, it will help to ensure the Dems take another pounding at the ballot box in the heartland in 2006. The timing also gives this ruling much more national press than it deserves.

Regardless of your opinion on the gay marriage issue, one must admit that the timing was deadly for Dems. It will be entertaining to watch them scurry for cover from this as next weeks debate heats up. And you can bet this ruling, and others like it, will be brought up time and time again in the run up to 2006, and possibly 2008.

Updated 7:44pm: One other point I would like to include; this case was brought by the ACLU's Gay Project and Lambda Legal. The Republicans are going to have a field day with it.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Hillary's Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

The End is Near.

Former foes Clinton, Gingrich band up on health care plan

Even Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton detected a hint of "cognitive dissonance" Wednesday as she stood next to onetime political enemy Newt Gingrich to help unveil a bill to "transform" the health care system.

I begin work on my bomb shelter this weekend.

This was a more modest proposal. The 21st Century Health Information Act would replace paperwork with confidential, electronic health information networks designed to save lives and money by eliminating medical errors.

Yet if the World ends, what will it matter?

she acknowledged the strangeness of teaming with the leader of the 1994 "Republican revolution." After all, this was the man who at one time embodied what she called the "vast right-wing conspiracy."

Speaking of conspiracy, what the heck is going on here? First Bill is hanging out with George Sr. and now this.

"People thought, 'The end is near.' It's a sign of the end times," she said with a grin.

See, I told you.

But if it seemed Wednesday that it was Clinton who had forgotten history when she declared, "We have a lot in common," Gingrich apparently has not.

Asked where else they agreed, he said: "Let's keep it to" health care. "Otherwise that becomes the story."

It already is Newt! I think I may have a handle on this. As we all know, Hillary is trying to move to the middle for 2008. That makes sense. Her comments on immigration are in line with this strategy. Her thinking is that if she can just keep the ‘middle’ from hating her guts, she can pull enough of them to get over the hump. And, as much as I hate to say it, she has been making more sense than the other standard bearers of the Democratic Party like Reid and Dean. Of course, as delusional as they are, they speak their minds. We all know the Clinton modus operandi is to say what gets you elected and do what you want. Remember the 1992 middle class tax cut proposal that was finally enacted by George W. Bush in 2001.

But what of the Republicans? What are they trying to pull? Let us assume they aren’t making a colossal mistake. My theory is that they are trying to help her. Hillary's negatives are incredibly high. I believe they think that if she can get the nomination, they will win. Once the nomination is secure, its time to bring up Hillary Care, Whitewater, Vince Foster, Filegate and the various other Clinton related ‘gates’. It is the only plausible theory. So, Mrs. Clinton, how does it feel to be a part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy?!

Either that or both Newt and Hillary are serious. Nah.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

British Assault on Baseball

In a sign of muted anti-Americanism, a British mall has decided to ban baseball caps.

Mall bans shoppers' hooded tops

Hooded tops, baseball caps and swearing have been outlawed at Bluewater shopping centre in Kent as part of a crackdown on anti-social behaviour.

Guidelines say intimidating behaviour by groups or individuals, anti-social behaviour including swearing, and wearing clothing which deliberately obscures the face such as hooded tops and baseball caps, will not be allowed.

Now, I don’t know how you wear your baseball cap, but I’ve never been able to obscure my face with one. I’ve conducted my own attempt to replicate this procedure and have pulled the bills off of two hats in the process. Granted, they were Orioles caps, but the point stands.

It would take a 10 gallon baseball cap to accomplish this feat. I don’t think any such caps are in production. The only person I can think of that obscures any part of his face with a baseball cap is our own Chad Cordero. I think he is still recognizable.

This is obviously an attempt by the Brits to bring down baseball. They simply don’t like the fact that baseball players get to wear those cool caps while Cricket players look like geeky pencilheads. I think this is worth a complaint to the UN or the World Court. First the French ban headscarves and now this. The EU has a lot to answer for.

(Before you send me hate mail, re-read the above and ask yourself, is Tran serious?)

In Sports:
Nats 2, Dbacks 3
A disappointing end to the West Coast trip.

MLS: DC United
Freddy Adu named Player of the Week, becoming the youngest player in MLS history to do so.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

AP Reports Bogus Muslim Study as News

This headline caught my eye. I thought we were over our anger and bias. How disturbing that the trend has reversed. Then I read the article.

Crimes, Complaints Involving Muslims Rise

The number of reported bias crimes and civil rights violations committed against Muslims in the United States soared to its highest level last year since the period immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a new report finds.

The report by the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations…

Stop! It’s CAIR again. Of course the Associated Press is regurgitating it as though its news. I thought it was a federal study. Oh well. I got this far. Lets read on.

The study, involving cases that were reported to the council by individuals and organizations, will be released Wednesday at a news conference in Washington, D.C. An advance copy was obtained by The Associated Press.

So CAIR sent you a study of cases reported to them, not to the authorites, and you ate it up. Nice job AP.

"We believe the disturbing rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes and in the total number of civil rights cases, both of which will be outlined in our news conference, can be attributed at least in part to rising Islamophobic rhetoric in American society," said Arsalan Iftikhar, the council's legal director.

Islamophobic? Does that mean fear of being blown to bits? Maybe Islamistophobic would be a better word. I can’t find either word in the dictionary.

The council counted 1,522 incidents in which Muslims reported their civil rights had been violated in 2004, a 49 percent increase over 2003. Another 141 incidents of confirmed or suspected bias crimes were committed against Muslims, a 52 percent rise.

Notable bias or discrimination cases cited in the report include the barring of singer Cat Stevens and Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan from entering the United States and the arrest of a Muslim lawyer from Oregon jailed as a "material witness" in the terrorist bombing of Madrid trains based on a fingerprint that turned out to belong to someone else.

Well there you go! CAIR has counted the government’s actions in its effort to protect US citizens as civil rights violations or hate crimes. No wonder the numbers went up. Many innocent Muslims have been caught up in the War on Terror, including the ones that have been incorrectly flagged as security risks. But they don’t mention that point.

This article reads as though fleets of rusting pickups filled with bat wielding good ole boys are out looking to bash some heads. And the willing Associated Press ate it up and spit it right back out as legitimate. I think I will make up another term now since I’m on a roll. Report Laundering. Oh, the AP did drop this little nugget all the way down at the bottom of the page:

The most recent FBI report on hate crimes, issued last November and covering 2003, found that anti-Islamic crimes remained at the about same level — 149 — as the year before. The FBI report was drawn from information submitted by more than 11,900 law enforcement agencies around the country.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Radioactive Cloud Would Kick Off War

‘North Korea has not tested a nuclear device, but recent satellite images indicate Pyongyang may be making preparations for one’

N. Korea 'may have 5 or 6 nukes'

Or they may not! I hate those kinds of headlines. In any case:

‘A former CIA official was cited in the Washington Post last week as painting a nightmare scenario if radioactive fallout from such a test drifted toward Japan.’

‘Washington could debate whether to impose a blockade.’

‘"I'm not sure it is very far-fetched," ElBaradei said about the scenario.’

A blockade would be the least of Crazy Kim’s problems if a nuclear cloud cruised over Japan. There are several issues that the Japanese take very seriously including bad rice, late trains and nukes. As the only country to have been on the wrong end of a nuclear attack, I don’t think they would look too kindly on a radioactive cloud hanging over Ginza. I think an Israeli style targeting of North Korea’s nuclear facilities would ensue. They may call it a self defense force, but Japan has a very capable military. And, of course, all out war would result, bringing in the US, South Korea, and possibly China (though I’m not sure on which side). And what is the IAEA going to do about it?

‘"We cannot do very much as an international institution right now on this issue other than to express concern,"’

Well isn’t that lovely.

Kim is most likely attempting to bluff his way to more free oil, but a test of a nuclear device may invoke a reaction that he is not expecting.

Social Security is a Losing Investment

Any time the New York Times comes out in defense of President Bush and attacks Democrats, it must be noted.

Calling Democrats' Bluff (Requires NYT Account)

By embracing the progressive indexing of Social Security benefits, the president has asked us to make a shared sacrifice for the common good. He's asking middle- and upper-class folks to accept benefit cuts so there will be money for the people who are really facing poverty.

So how has the St. Francis of Assisi wing of the Democratic Party responded to Bush's challenge? Does it applaud him for doing what it has spent the past years telling him he should do? Of course not.

The Democratic leadership has dropped all that shared sacrifice talk and started making demagogic appeals to people's narrow self-interest. Nancy Pelosi cries out that Bush's progressive indexing idea means "cutting the benefits of middle-class seniors." Representative Sander Levin protests it "would result in the biggest benefit cut in the history of Social Security."

This is what's infected the Tories in Britain, and it's infected the Democrats here. When a Republican president embraces progressive indexing, something big is happening. When the Democrats oppose it, you know their party has betrayed an animating ideal.

I am so used to blasting the New York Times that I had to do a double take when I saw this article. I, like many other under 40 Americans, have long written off Social Security as something that will never happen for me. I would prefer to just opt out of the program. I am forced to invest in a government sponsored pension program with a guaranteed negative return. Bush’s program will not free me from these financial bonds, but it is light years better than the status quo.

No matter what color ribbon you tie around Social Security, it’s a tax. It’s worse than a tax. It’s a tax disguised as something else. It is the essence of ‘Big Brother’. ‘We must take this portion of your property because we are looking out for you! Oh, by the way, you don’t get any.’ Do away with it. Short of that, at least let me have my own account and choose how to invest it.

In Sports:

Nats 3, Giants 4

Nats complete a successful West Coast trip taking 2 of 3 from both the Dodgers and Giants.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

No Middle Ground in Germany?

German neo-Nazi march stopped on WW2 anniversary

Does Germany have a center right? Does Germany have a center? I admit ignorance on the subject. It seems to me that to be German in the year 2005, one must believe in a bloated socialist labor system or be a Nazi. Is there not a middle ground in Germany? I don't mean the exact center or what we would call a moderate. Just something between Socialist and Fascist.


Holding one of their biggest rallies ever -- thanks to constitutional free speech guarantees -- the far-right then stayed at the Alexanderplatz square, where there were some scuffles with leftists who got close to barricades.

The extremists with shaven heads and black clothing were required to pass through tight police screening to the rally.

"There are unfortunately incorrigibles still among us who want a return to the racism and right-wing extremism," Koehler said. "But they don't have a chance."

And these guys want a seat on the Security Council. Oh well, China has one.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Democrat's Response to Themselves

Below is the transcript of the Democratic response to President Bush's radio address. I have taken the liberty of adding some commentary.

Transcript: Democrat's Response

The Democratic response has nothing to do with what the President said, but we shall indulge them anyway. The President spoke on the issue of Social Security.

Good morning. I'm Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Good afternoon. I'm Tran Sient.

As the president leaves on a four day trip to Europe to encourage the spread of democracy abroad, our democracy here at home is under attack. There is a whiff of extremism in the air the likes of which we haven't seen in decades. There exists a small group of people who have no tolerance for those whose views are different from theirs and they seek to intimidate everyone else.

I tend to agree. They are named the ACLU, Moveon.org and France.

These small groups are so certain that they are right and everyone else is wrong that they are trying to undermine the age-old checks and balances that the Founding Fathers placed at the center of the Constitution and the republic.They lash out at the time-honored independence of our judicial branch and they seek to undermine the tried and true tradition of the Senate in which the minority party has rights. And unfortunately this small group has tremendous influence over the Republican party and seems to be dictating its politics and policy.

The minority party does have rights. The right to be heard. Rights are accorded by the Constitution, which mentions nothing about the filibuster.

Americans are a mainstream people, and we are a people of faith. Most of us believe deeply in God, but we also believe deeply in the right of debate and compromise. Anyone who views their faith as a justification to roll over the "inalienable rights" that our Creator endowed us with doesn't understand what America is all about.

Once again Schumer gives himself rights that do not exist. I can't find anything in any religious text about the filibuster. I don't think it was top on the Creator's list. Perhaps it was the lost 11th Commandment.

Indeed it was to combat this narrow way of thinking that the patriots put down their plows and picked up their muskets to fight for freedom in the American Revolution.

Yeah, and if that had happened today, you would have referred it to the UN and pushed Sanctions against England. We would have French and Spanish peace keepers in Georgetown. Long live the Commonwealth!

Some of the remarks made by these extreme groups and their allies are dangerous and un-American.

Extreme groups must be in the majority these days.

They've compared independent judges to the Ku Klux Klan.

Perhaps it's the robes.

They've said that the threat posed by judges is more serious than the threat posed by bearded terrorists who fly into buildings.

I'm not completely sure, but I think most of the 911 hijackers were clean shaven. I consider this a slander of bearded men. Lets see if Santa comes to your house this year!

They've invoked Stalin's evil slogan, "no man, no problem" in talking about judges they disagree with.

I agree that this was not the most appropriate quote. A better one would have been a quote by the honorable Marion Barry:

"What right does Congress have to go around making laws just because they deem it necessary?"

I recognize that the current problems stems from judicial appointments rather than laws. But hey, it seemed appropriate.

If these were just abhorrent statements alone, there would be less to worry about, but the people who have said them are influential people in and out of the government.

I thought they were a small extreme group.

They seek to muzzle independent judges who they do not agree with. They seek to change 200 year old rules in the Senate in the middle of the game, because they are not always getting their way.

They seek to change one rule and its only 199 years old. They are doing it because you have changed a 199 year old precedent.

This morning I am making a heartfelt plea to you, Mr. President. When you came to Washington, you said you wanted to change the climate in D.C., which can be fraught with partisan bickering and politics. I don't believe for a minute that you subscribe to the kinds of views I mentioned above.Those stating these abhorrent views count themselves as your political allies. One word from you will bring to a halt these un-American statements. That would be a way to strengthen democracy — here at home.

This sounds like desperation to me. I think it could be the only nice thing I've heard from a Democrat in regards to Bush in the last five years.

This has been New York Sen. Chuck Schumer. Thanks for listening, and I would like to wish my mom and every mother a happy and healthy Mother's Day!

Stay away from my Mom!

In Sports:
Nats 11, Giants 8

My apologies on leaving out the baseball score lately. The Nats have been on a West Coast trip and usually don't finish up until around 1am est.

Friday, May 06, 2005

UN Calls Out Crazy Kim

Go ahead Kim! El Baradei is calling you out.

North Korean nuclear test would have disastrous consequences - UN nuclear chief

I know that ole Kim must be terrified. The UN has shown itself to be a feckless organization time after time. With China’s veto, why would anyone think that the UN is going to make any sort of move? At worst, a few sanctions may be on the drawing board. We all know how effective that it.

‘North Korea's testing of an atomic bomb would be "nuclear blackmail" and world leaders should get on the phone to dissuade Pyongyang from going ahead with it, UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei said.’

No kidding. And this is new? Crazy Kim is making his once a decade play for concessions from the rest of the world. I’m sure he will succeed, as he always does. I’m willing to wager that someone will be shipping free rice and oil to North Korea once this little 'crisis' is over. How do you sanction a country that is already sanctioned by 95% of the World? Especially with the Chinese involved. If China can’t block sanctions, they will break them.

‘ElBaradei said North Korea needs "to understand that the international community has zero tolerance for any new country to go for a nuclear weapon."’

Yeah, just look how they took it to Pakistan. The image of a blue helmeted invasion of the North is more than laughable.

So how does he intend to enforce that statement? Turn to the US? Right! With the South Koreans actually taking pride in the North’s nuclear program, blaming America for all of the North’s problems and burning US flags in the streets, I think they should handle it. Pull our troops back to Japan, Guam, or Kentucky. Build the anti missile defense. Leave Crazy Kim for the South Koreans, Chinese and Russians to play with.

However, as much as I wish that the above was US policy, it’s not. As Condi stated this week…

"I don't think there should be any doubt about our ability to deter whatever the North Koreans are up to."

Rice warns North Korea on nukes

So whatever happens, we are going to be right in the thick of it.

‘International jitters were heightened on Sunday when North Korea test-fired a short-range missile, although US, South Korean and Japanese officials refused to link the incident to Pyongyang's drive for nuclear arms.’

I still don’t know why the press is making a big deal out of this. So they fired a SCUD or something similar. Actually, I’m not even sure it was a ballistic missile. It’s not the first time and it’s nothing new. Let’s see that nuke test happen. Now that would be an event worth reporting.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Italian Alliance In Iraq Not Worth the Headache

Berlusconi renews support for US

‘But Mr. Berlusconi said Italy remained Washington's close friend and ally.’

‘Many "dark areas" in the sequence of events remained, he said, pledging full government co-operation with Italy's own ongoing criminal investigation.’

These two statements are not compatible.

"If you change the rules then, implicitly, you admit that the previous rules were not working," he said.

Um, no you don’t. It means you are accounting for out of control automobiles that are carrying crazy Communist journalists.

'Opposition leader Piero Fassino said that the US should now formally apologise.'

No way, no how, no chance, not gonna do it. Apologizing is admitting guilt. Our soldiers are not guilty. How about an apology for encouraging terrorists to take hostages. Or perhaps one for running up on a roadblock at 60mph. How about an apology for trashing our country on the international stage.

This case is really beginning to aggravate me. The Italians have backed off of the conspiracy theory to point, but always leave that door a little open so the real fruitcakes can rant and Italian TV can make a movie about it. However, now that the official Italian Government position is that the whole thing was an accident, I really don’t understand what the point is.

Just leave. The Italian presence in Iraq has become baggage. At this point, we just don’t need the headache that comes with this ally.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Have You Hugged a Lib Today?

This is just hysterically funny.

Embracing Liberals

‘No wonder they need a place where they can vent, listen to other similar-minded people and, yes, get some hugs.’

I’m always willing to throw out a hug, one only need ask.

‘If a woman has been teased because she's still for the Equal Rights Amendment, these folks will feel her pain.’

I’m feeling it now.

‘If you drive by the place maybe you'll hear people wailing, "Why couldn't Clinton just keep his pants on?"’

Yes, all would then be right with the World.

‘Conservatives often see liberals as "cry babies."’

The truth hurts.

This last line takes the cake.

‘But before conservatives get too condescending about this, I think I should remind you of something. Conservatives also have a support group they run to when things aren't going their way. It's called the Supreme Court.’

I think CBS must be trying to provide fodder for Conservative bloggers. I am willing to take the bait. Consider yourself hugged.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Italian Report: No Details, No Clue

Italy Faults U.S. in Agent's Iraq Death

'The investigators found no evidence, however, that the March 4 killing of intelligence agent Nicola Calipari was deliberate.'

But they are going to continue to make a major issue out of it and do some serious damage to US relations.

'The Italians contended that the whole truth about the shooting would never emerge.'

Leaving an opening for the press and politicians to continue the conspiracy theory indefinitely.

'The Italian newspaper La Repubblica said Tuesday the Italian report failed to give clear answers. "There are such embarrassed and tortuous answers, they give such little consolation that one wonders if it was really worth doing a counter-report,"

Translation: The Report didn’t give enough red meat for the left wing headcases to jump up and down and throw a political tantrum.

'The Italian report described as "emotionally biased" U.S. soldiers' descriptions of the speed, saying their versions ranged from 50-80 mph.'

Only US soldiers were likely to be ‘emotionally biased’. The eye witnesses in the car, which are the only evidence the Italians have, have no emotional bias at all. One of them is a left wing Communist nut, but hey, she is certain to be telling the truth.

'Rome prosecutors are conducting their own probe, and any conclusion that the U.S. soldiers bore some blame for Calipari's slaying could prompt criminal charges.'

Go ahead, make my day.

'This could aid the Rome prosecutors in pursuing any demands the Americans be tried for their role in the shooting.'

How can the Italians admit that there was no intentional shooting yet continue with a criminal probe? If they press any criminal charges, the US is going to tell them to pound sand. I believe this is what the Italian left wants. It will lead to another round of America bashing and a major international dispute. Berlusconi had better turn this thing off as soon as possible. It will be very good for his opposition, yet very bad for his country.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Irrational Italian Reaction to Sgrena Incident

Classified report paints grim picture of night Italian agent killed

Italy hits back over agent's death

Well, a few details have come out about the Italian version of the Sgrena report. Actually, these aren't details, but conclusions that currently are not supported. The report leads one to ask...Why turn this into an international incident with potential damaging diplomatic results? Have the Italians found their excuse to back out?

'The Italian report also found no evidence the killing was deliberate'

So why are the Italians to open a criminal investigation? Sounds like a friendly fire incident to me.

'In addition, the report took issue with the American report about the speed the vehicle was traveling, saying it was 20 to 30 miles per hour (30 to 50 km/h) compared with the U.S. military's claim it was around 50 mph (80 km/h).'

And the evidence for this is? We don't know yet. I suspect its the word of a deranged Communist Journalist. The US reports has an interesting nugget of information:

'It says the Italian general suspected Sgrena was on her way to the airport that night, but told him, "It is best if no one knows." The captain took that to be a direct order, the report says.'

Both reports show that at worst, a US soldier had an itchy trigger finger as a result of events leading up to the incident. So the crucial piece of data is now the actions and speed of the auto. Did the Italian actions precipitate the shooting and was the US informed ahead of time about their arrival?

A bigger issue to me is: Why are the Italians reacting to the whole thing the way that they are? There is nothing to suggest that this was anything more than a terrible mistake on one side or the other. The biggest question in my mind is, Why were they paying off terrorists? No one seems to be addressing that question.

Update: I am encouraged to see that there is at least one Italian that has a rational outlook on the incident:

Free Thoughts

To give credit where credit is due, I found the link on Dr. Sanity's Blog.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

John Edwards Ruined My Baseball Game

We interrupt this Blog to vent some disgust. As anyone who has read this blog at all knows, I am way too wrapped up in things that I have no control over. The one thing, at least during the spring, that allows me to blow off some steam and relax is baseball. Not 5 minutes ago, I was watching our Nationals, as I do every night when Peter Angelos allows me to. So we hit the 7th inning stretch and what do I get. John Edwards’s commentary on baseball! God, I feel like I need to go brush my teeth now. They had George Will in the stands. They could have asked him to do it.

Why the heck is Edwards even in Washington now? Did he get a lobbying job? I grew up in South Carolina, and that accent annoys me! I think it’s fake. The only thing he said that I was able to comprehend was something like: Politics and baseball have a lot in common; there is always a winner and a loser. Well guess what John, you're a loser. Get the hell out of my baseball game.

Think I'm bad now, wait until football season. Anyway, its tied in the 8th, so back to the game. That is, after I brush my teeth. Forgive the rant. Please read the below post on wounded Italian Communists. It was supposed to be my focus tonight.

Bye Bye Italy

It was fun while it lasted.

Italy Report on Killing Goes Public Monday

I am looking forward to this report. Here is my guess as to how the conflicting reports will go:

American Report: We have multiple eye witnesses that can attest to the fact that the car was traveling close to 60 mph. We have satellite tracking that will confirm it. We were never informed that the Italians were en route to the airport…etc…

Italian Report: We have several witnesses that confirm that the auto was not traveling in excess of 30 mph. One of them happens to be a Communist journalist that hates America, but we are inclined to believe her. It is obvious that this is a CIA plot to kill Communist journalists. We don’t really believe that, but our rabid press and left wing congress will never go for it unless we lend some credibility to their conspiracy theory. We are going to open a criminal investigation.

Italy Backs Criminal Probe Into Agent's Killing

And to what end? Will they prosecute American soldiers for murder? Refer it to the ICC? Ensure that US relations are severely damaged? Never mind the fact that Italy was promoting terrorism by paying for hostages. Its time for Italy to join the South Koreans, Philippines and Spanish in letting their radical press dictate foreign policy. Better to ‘go it alone’ than deal with these issues every other month from weak kneed governments beholden to reactionary press releases.