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Archive for August, 2008

August 31st 2008

Sunday Scan

Life In A Liberal Democracy

A

h, liberal democracies, where political discord is honored, debate is civil, where respect for opposing views is understood as the foundation of compromise, and where compromise is seen as the glue that binds together the republic.

Someone apparently forgot to teach this to the RNC Welcoming Committee, an anarchist group poised to disrupt this week’s GOP convention. Police raids at several of the groups’ domiciles resulted in the confiscation of:

Materials to create “sleeping dragons” (PVC pipe, chicken wire, duct tape), which is when protesters lock themselves together
Large amounts of urine, including three to five gallon buckets of urine
Wrist rockets (high-powered
slingshots)
A machete, hatchet and several throwing knives
a gas mask and filter
Empty glass bottles
Rags
Flammable liquids
Homemade caltrops (devises used to disable buses in roads)
Metal pipes
Axes
Bolt cutters
Sledge hammers
Repelling equipment
Kryptonite locks
Empty plastic buckets cut and made into shields
Material for protective padding
An Army helmet.

Read more about the raids here.

That’s not the stuff of peaceful protest, so we can thank the investigators at the St. Paul police who uncovered what the RNC Welcoming Committee was up to and pulled off a successful raid. The Left, however, does not share my view:

Members of various protest groups targeted in last night’s raid held a press conference today to express their anger and frustration.

The raid was an effort to “derail RNC protest organizing efforts and to intimidate and terrorize individuals and groups converging in the Twin Cities to exercise what are supposed to be their basic civil rights,” RNC Welcoming Committee member Tony Jones read from a statement.

“We will not be intimidated,” Jones exclaimed.

Yeah, well neither will we, punk. Continue Reading »

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August 30th 2008

Right Of Privacy? Not From The Left!

T

he bloviating hypocrites at Daily Kos is ruminating today that Sarah Palin was never pregnant with a fifth child, but rather was covering up for an unwed daughter’s pregnancy by pulling the old switch-a-roo after the little ‘un was born. Kos offers up this as evidence:

  • Palin never looked pregnant. Really? Then who’s that chubby gal with the hair piled up in a Palinesque bun?
  • Palin’s daughter “got mono” and wasn’t in school for a while.
  • Palin doesn’t support abortion.

Whoa! What a stunningly definitive case. It takes a sick mind to even conceive of this meme, let alone carry on about it willy-nilly about as if it were newsworthy – especially when one considers that nearly a third of births in Alaska are out of wedlock.  Why would Palin take the considerable risk of being caught in such a sordid, dishonest deal when the consequences of having an unmarried daughter with child would be of so little consequence socially or politically?

Worse, the Left has no problem with invading the privacy of Palin and her daughter, and sees no hypocrisy in their cries for a probe into the recent use of their baby-making apparati. Yes, we’re taking about the same Left that howls in genuine outrage if a computer scans data from known terrorists; the same Left that says millions of dead babies is a small price to pay for a woman’s right to privacy.

Kos proves just how hypocritical its fellow travelers are by running a poll asking whether Kos should continue running with the story. 8,778 have responded as of 3:40 p.m. PST:

  • 27 percent are sane and stand by liberal principles, saying “No, it’s’ a private matter and you should delete this diary.”
  • 56 percent bloodthirsty partisan hypocrites, saying “Yes, the future of the world is at stake [really?!], nothing’s off the table.” [Then can we look into the Obama/Ayres relationship, or should we continue to try to drown out any radio station that gives Stanley Kurtz air time?]
  • And 15 percent are postponing their immersion into insanity, saying “Not sure yet, need more evidence.” These numbskulls are not sentient enough to realize that a “yes” answer to the question means more evidence would be gathered since Kos would continue with the story, so “yes” or “no”‘ are the only viable answers.

{Pregnant pause.}

Sometimes, even after all these years, the Left just flat-out stuns me.

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August 30th 2008

Media Bias #42

Risky Headline Business

France’s wire service, AFP, doesn’t waste any time sharing with its readers what the key-peckers in its U.S. bureau think of John McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin for Veep:

McCain hits campaign trail with risky VP pick

The rival US presidential campaigns descended on eastern battleground states Saturday as all eyes were on Republican John McCain’s shock pick of a little known Alaskan politician and neophyte as his running mate.

The two campaigns scheduled whistle stops and dueling rallies in economically struggling Pennsylvania and Ohio as the country stood stunned by McCain’s risky, unexpected choice of Alaskan governor Sarah Palin to run for the vice presidency. (Read more)

We American’s are stunned by the choice of Palin? Stunned? That means to be overcome, especially with paralyzing astonishment or disbelief.

I wonder where the AFP hacks are getting their data to justify “stunned.” Certainly not from any credible, scientific source, such as this:

Sarah Palin has made a good first impression. Before being named as John McCain’s running mate, 67% of voters didn’t know enough about the Alaska governor to have an opinion. After her debut in Dayton and a rush of media coverage, a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 53% now have a favorable opinion of Palin while just 26% offer a less flattering assessment.

And, of course, it hardly occurred to the headline writer to call electing someone like Obama “risky” even if the Dem prez wannabe could be called “a little known political neophyte from Illinois” – a description that certainly was true until very recently.

Media Bias 2008 covers pro-Obama media bias in the presidential campaign. Items are listed from most recent to oldest; the numbering reflects this and is not a ranking. Send Media Bias 2008 examples via “comments”‘ below, or to email2laer [@] yahoo [dot] com.

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August 30th 2008

Media Bias #41

Maybe Some Neutrality, Boys?  C’mon!

Yeah, yeah, I know. Finding evidence of anti-McCain media bias at MSNBC is not much harder than finding air in the atmosphere, but I liked this one, if for no reason than it’s from Editor & Publisher, so it represents the print media poking a finger in the eye of the broadcast media:

In an unusually heated attack on a veteran political reporter by a cable news host, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann laced into the Associated Press’s Charles Babington an hour after Barack Obama had concluded his speech in Denver on Thursday night. …

So the liberal Olbermann was outraged that the AP’s Babington had written, in his analysis of the speech, just off the wire, that Obama had tried nothing new and that his speech was lacking in specifics. He read the first few paragraphs on the air, lamented that it would be printed in hundred of newspapers on Friday, and concluded, “It is analysis that strikes me as having borne no resemblance to the speech you and I just watched. None whatsoever. And for it to be distributed by the lone national news organization in terms of wire copy to newspapers around the country and web sites is a remarkable failure of that news organization.

“Charles Babington, find a new line of work.”

Olberman even criticized the reporter on his time-keeping, noting that the article said the speech was 35 minutes long when it was, he said, actually at least seven minutes longer than that. A few minutes later, the AP copy showing up at news sites had been corrected to “44 minutes.”

Olbermann gave up any credible claim to being an objective journalist long ago, opting to be a commentator, so the media’s rules allow his bias. But really, Keith, can’t even one journo be allowed an opinion different from yours? MSNBC: Maybe Some Neutrality, Boys? C’mon!

Media Bias 2008 covers pro-Obama media bias in the presidential campaign. Items are listed from most recent to oldest; the numbering reflects this and is not a ranking. Send Media Bias 2008 examples via “comments”‘ below, or to email2laer [@] yahoo [dot] com.

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August 30th 2008

Why Europe Doesn’t Understand Us

T

he best barbecue I’ve ever had? Well, that would be a tie between the Styrofoam clamshell full of fiixin’s lovingly cooked by a bunch of old black guys at a converted gas station in West Louisville, and the spread laid out at the place in the woods in Missouri, where the host was a porky white guy with a plastic pig nose.

Barbecue is the unique and uniting American cuisine that inspires odes of appreciation and passionate debates over the best recipes, whether it’s at NASCAR tailgate parties or southern church picnics or suburban back yards coast to coast. But to Europeans, it all looks very, very different. From a book review by Andrew Leonard on Salon:

To this day, writes [Andrew Warnes, author of "Savage Barbecue: Race, Culture, and the Invention of America's First Food," and] a lecturer in American literature and culture at Leeds University, barbecue “has yet to escape the fraught implications of savagery and cannibalism inbuilt and original to its name.” Barbecue’s early popularization in 18th century London was “wedded to the ascent of new notions of racial exoticism and mastery.” In one of the earliest English-language descriptions of this imported cuisine, Ned Ward’s “The Barbacue Feast,” published in 1707, “the whipping of slaves goes hand in hand,” theorizes Warnes, “with the savage barbecuing of meat. Both belong to the production of a new imperial supremacy that can corrupt those it empowers.”

Just because he spent a couple hours reading old documents doesn’t mean Warnes is smart enough to draw logical (as opposed to academic) conclusions from his research. He is a typical academic: He cannot breathe unless he’s over-read every situation he confronts and overloaded his analysis with notions born of false intellectual superiority coupled with belittling analyses of those of us not fortunate enough to be blessed with Warnes-like wisdom.

You see his over-amped brain at work again when he describes the first meeting – over barbecue – of Columbus’ crew with the natives, or Amerindians, as I guess we’re supposed to refer to them today:

Head to head, the Amerindian cooks and Catholic crewmen of Guantanamo Bay magnify the differences of the two worlds, each incarnating and distilling a veritable mass of humanity.

And here I thought they were just guys on a beach. Besides, is Warnes really certain that the misfits who sailed with Columbus reflected the “veritable mass” of European humanity? Let’s find an academic to study that! But I digress …

But this symetrey by no means places Native Americans on an equal footing with their Catholic conquerers. Rather, it lumps Natives together in order to fix them in place as innocent but heathen, and it lumps their conquerers together in order to fix them in the place of natural judges of the New World.

Wow. All because the Amerindians cooked their meat on open fires instead of pots! And if that conclusion is not rash or poetic enough for you, try this one: Warnes equates the delicious barbecued fish with heaven and the “sheer hideousness of the ‘disgusting’” barbecued iguanas with the “temptations and bedevilments of the Garden of Eden.”

So, here’s the bottom line: Europeans refused to be bedeviled and besmirched by heathen open-fire cooking, thereby cementing themselves as the socially superior masters, while we Americans gave in to our dark inner nature and accepted the open-fire cookery, necessitating that we kill all the heathens that brought it to us, then go on seeking other darker-skinned peoples to kill just because “barbarism” and “barbecue” sound so much alike.

Spare me … and pass the spare ribs.

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August 29th 2008

Media Bias #40

MSNBC: Nasty Home Boys

Bill O’Reilly reported today, August 28, the day McCain named Sarah Palin has his running mate, that shortly after the news broke MSNBC had a “breaking news” scroll on the screen that read (paraphrasing): Sarah Palin, – how many GOP houses now?

Sorry, guys: That’s breaking opinion, not breaking news. The news, since you don’t care to report it, is that McCain took all the wind out of Obama’s convention sails. Or, if you don’t like that one, that no matter how America votes this fall, for the first time in our nation’s history we will have a black or a woman elected to national office.

A little thing, you say?  Well, here’s how the peacock network is greeting the Palin nomination at 7:49 p.m. on the night of the nomination:

Lead:  Roe v. Wade makes campaign come-back

Second lead:  Palin Ethics Probe

Third lead:  Analysis: Bold gamble (focus on gamble)

Fourth lead:  Palin ppraised Obama energy plan

Just the kind of reporting we expect from a news network.

Media Bias 2008 covers pro-Obama media bias in the presidential campaign. Items are listed from most recent to oldest; the numbering reflects this and is not a ranking. Send Media Bias 2008 examples via “comments”‘ below, or to email2laer [@] yahoo [dot] com.

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August 29th 2008

Dems’ Failin’ Railin’ On Palin

T

here are so many negative comments in the left side of the blogosphere about Sarah Palin one hardly knows where to start.

Just look at the front page of Huffington Post. Here are the lead-off headlines:

VETTING PALIN: Andrea Mitchel Says McCain Has Only Met Palin Once… Palin: What Exactly Does The VP Do Everyday?… McCain Spokeswoman: I Have No Idea What McCain’s Relationship Is With Palin…PALIN’S POLITICS: Creationism In Public Schools… Time: Unclear What Her Foreign Policies Are… Says Global Warming Is NOT Man-MadeSaid Hillary’s “Whining” Turned Her Off…

And that’s just the top of the page; it gets worse as you scroll down. Let’s break down these headlines: Andrea Mitchell tells us that Palin’s only there out of sheer luck. Next we learn she’s stupid. Then, McCain must have been high when he picked her. She’s a Neanderthal, she can’t possibly be right on foreign policy because we don’t know what her positions are, she’s a Neanderthal, she’s a bimbo.

In other words, we’re seeing the Left’s response to any woman who isn’t a strident, aborting feminist. They love their women that way, but if they’re not cut from that cloth, derision, insult and hatefulness are just fine. Here’s a case in point, from the 5,470 HuffPo comments:

“Fear the Palin bounce.”

“Hahahaha – maybe bouncing on McCain is the only way she got chosen!”

What’s with these feminista Dems not being able to allow that a woman can advance any way but by using sex?

Just about every HuffPo columnist is attacking Palin, and through Palin, McCain, and through McCain, Republicans, so I decided to narrow the field by looking at what one of their female columnists, Linda Bergthold, had to say. She’s not impressed, calling her column, The VP Choice that Cost the Presidency for McCain. (Whoa … is she conceding McCain had a chance?)

Let’s break down her lead, complete with my comments:

I think we will look back at today as the day when the Republicans most certainly lost the Presidency. In choosing Sarah Palin of Alaska for Vice President, the Republicans have made a cynical but clever choice. [As opposed to Obama's Biden choice, which was cynical and desperate.]

At least they think it is clever. She is a woman, young (44 years old), a Governor (only two years) [Obama has only three years as a Senator, most of them spent campaigning, not leading], a mother (five children) [Horrors! What a BREEDER!} , pro-life, and pro-gun.

But what is she not? She is NOT pro-choice. [Bergthold apparently thought that was worth saying twice, apparently unaware that at least 50 percent of America is with Palin on that]. She has NO national experience [and Obama's is what, exactly?]. She has never been under the intense scrutiny of a national campaign [Nor was Obama, until this campaign - how dumb is this broad woman?].

She is under investigation for some incident in Alaska that is messy and personal. [I'll give you George Soros' own link to that story; you weigh it against Ayres and Wright and let me know what you think].

She has no international experience [Nor does Obama, except for one lousy speech in Berlin]. Her experience governing is in a very small state, famous for its “Bridge to Nowhere” kind of political graft. [She killed the bridge, and at least she's run something, unlike Obama. Well wait, he ran an Annenberg Challenge grant, squandering over $100 million and accomplishing nothing.] Her Republican colleague [wrong choice of words, if you check her record] in that state, Senator Ted Stevens has been indicted for corruption [she became governor based on her successful fights against corruption].

If you can find a better example of a visceral reaction coming from surging hate hormones, let me know. Bergthold didn’t even bother to read up on Palin, apparently, or taking a page from Saul Alinsky’s playbook, she just ignored the truth and wove her own narrative.

Boil down the millions of pages of negative comment and seething hatred that have been churned out by the Left since McCain’s announcement and what you have left is the brilliance of McCain’s selection. The Dems can’t attack the GOP vice presidential nominee without attacking their own presidential nominee.

Nowhere is this more evident than the criticism that she’s a token who wouldn’t be where she is were it not for her gender. Does anyone honestly think that a clean, nice looking white guy could have gotten where Obama is if he had nothing more than a paper-thin resume and a nice presentation? Honestly?

Pollyanna is not my secret middle name. I realize that Palin’s got challenges ahead of her and that she could end up being a liability for the ticket – just as Joe Biden could well be.

But Palin wasn’t picked because she’s a woman or a Focus on the Family conservative – or, for that matter, the one with the fattest resume. She was picked to fill a much bigger gap in the McCain ticket. What gap? The Obama Excitement Gap. Obama is where he is today only because he generates larger than life excitement. That is the gap McCain had to fill, and looking about – Romney, Pawlenty, Huckabee, Whitman – no one was there to fill it, no one at all except for Alaska’s corruption-bustin’, basketball-coachin’, dog-sleddin’, bear huntin’, oil drillin’, pageant winnin’, baby makin’ governor, Sarah Palin.

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August 29th 2008

Watcher’s Winners

T

he new Watcher has posted on our interim Web site the results of this week’s blog-o-rama, and great results they are. No, not because I won; in fact, I got skunked because last week I was on vacation, so I submitted a fun entry. Fun goes no where with this group, let me tell you.

It’s because the best entries, in my humble opinion, came out on top. Precursor of Nov. 4?

Coming in first among Council entries was The Razor’s Russia: The New Cold War, a view of the Russia/Georgia conflict that comes from a different perspective and leads us through a good analysis to a troubling close. Complimenting The Razor and going much further and deeper is the winner of the non-Council entries, Michael J. Totten’s comprehensive The Truth about Russia and Georgia. Guess what? The truth is, Russia was the instigator.

Runner up from the Council was Wolf Howling’s What Does Joe Biden Offer, which is thoughtful and honest enough to not conclude “nothing.”

Not a winner, but a must-read in my book is my non-Council nominee, Kirby Mountain’s Puttin’ the Boone (Pickens) in Boondoggle. You’ve seen the Boone Pickens’ wind/natural gas ads, now read the book: The questionable deals, the misleading of the public, the shameless going for bucks.

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August 29th 2008

Palin: I Called It In February

B

ack on February 12, I wrote this on C-SM:

All in all, I confess: I’m too new to Palin to say she’s #1 for the #2 slot, but she’s definitely an intriguing possibility.

Being me, I led off my analysis with this:

Where is she on policy? Who cares! McCain needs a hottie on his ticket, right? Just kidding, although she single-handedly knocks off the post-Mitt GOP ugly stick, doesn’t she?

On to policy points: I said she’s anti-corruption, she’s a fierce hawk on government over-spending, she’s right on the bogus polar bear listing so she understands the politicization of global warming, she’s pro-energy, pro-life and right on same-sex marriage (opposing it, but supporting equal rights for gay couples).

What’s particularly exciting in the Palin nod is that it shows McCain as new, a  hope-bringer who is anything but McSame, while in Biden we see Obama is old-school, tired, political hack … O’Same.

We’ve got a new campaign, ladies and gentlemen, and all of a sudden the VP debate is #1 on my must see list. Poor Joe Biden – he’s been dealt a blow between the eyes; he’s walking around dead and doesn’t even know it yet.

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August 28th 2008

Obama War On Free Speech Continues

M

r. New Politics has a bright, shiny new way to deal with political speech and the free discourse of ideas, and he’s borrowed it from Li’l Kim Jong Il and the Burmese junta:

And tonight, the [Obama] campaign launched a more specific campaign: an effort to disrupt the appearance by a writer for National Review, Stanley Kurtz, on a Chicago radio program. Kurtz has been writing about Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers, and has suggested that papers housed at the University of Illinois at Chicago would reveal new details of that relationship.

The campaign e-mailed Chicago supporters who had signed up for the Obama Action Wire with detailed instructions including the station’s telephone number and the show’s extension, as well as a research file on Kurtz, which seems to prove that he’s a conservative, which isn’t in dispute. The file cites a couple of his more controversial pieces, notably his much-maligned claim that same-sex unions have undermined marriage in Scandinavia.

Read the rest of Ben Smith’s piece at Politico here.

When the Obama campaign’s earlier effort to force the DOJ to launch a criminal investigation into the backers and funders of The American Issues Project over its Bill Ayres ad at least has a leg to stand on, albeit one ugly and whithered leg, since it questioned compliance with campaign funding laws. But here’s their argument this time:

“Tell WGN that by providing Kurtz with airtime, they are legitimizing baseless attacks from a smear-merchant and lowering the standards of political discourse,” says the email, which picks up a form of pressure on the press pioneered by conservative talk radio hosts and activists in the 1990s, and since adopted by Media Matters and other liberal groups.

Where’s the crime there? This effort doesn’t even enjoy the paper-thin cover of the DOJ romp: It is an all-out attack on a journalist’s right to report news, and a news program’s right to do the same. Neither Kurtz nor WGN are accused by Obama of any illegal act; they only are reporting on a story Obama would rather not see publicized. Worse, they’re doing it in Chicago, where the Ayres/Obama relationship happened – whatever it was – so it is a legitimate local story, not just a national story with no local roots.

The norm for this sort of occasion is for the campaign to let its supporters know the time and call-in number of the show so the host’s call-in lines will be swamped with people who have been provided talking points to rebut the points made by the campaign’s critic. Or, they could be asked to call the producer and request (politely) that an Obama spokesperson be put on the show, too, to rebut Kurtz.

Not so this time. This is an effort to, in effect, pull the newspaper off the press, or pull the plug on the broadcaster. Hugo Chavez, take note: Obama’s guys are reading from your playbook. Heck, they’re even going farther. According to the ChiTrib, the campaign’s freezing out the station:

Christenson [the WGN show's producer] said the Obama campaign was asked to have someone appear on the show and the headquarters declined the request.

“He got into the files just yesterday, so we wanted to have him on to find out what he found and, if at all possible, we wanted to get the Obama campaign to get their side of the story,” Christenson said. “That’s why the uproar is kind of amazing, because we wanted the Obama campaign’s take as well to kind of balance it out.”

Why wouldn’t they send a spokesperson? The excuses are many – busy with the convention, short notice – but the truth is this: that Obama and Ayres had a relationship is undeniable; that Ayres is unrepentant about his terrorist past is undeniable; that Obama has mischaracterized their relationship is undeniable.

When faced with this reality, the all-image, no-substance Obama campaign did what it saw was its only option: Send in the brown-shirted thugs to beat up the skeptics.

Chicago is a big, blue-collar, working class Dem city, and this story is playing huge there – top of the page this a.m. on the ChiTrib web site, for example. I don’t think it’s a story that will appeal much to Chicago’s blue-collar, working class Dems, who tend to side with the little guy, not the bully.

OK, enough of the set-up.  How did the show go?  NRO should be a good source, eh?

Evidently, much of Obama nation is comprised of obedient and persistent sheep. They jammed all five studio lines for nearly the entire show while firing off dozens of angry emails. Many vowed to kick their grievances up the food chain to station management. After 90 minutes of alleged smear peddling, Milt Rosenberg (a well-respected host whose long-form interview show has aired in Chicago for decades) opened the phone lines, and blind ignorance soon began to crackle across the AM airwaves. The overwhelming message was clear: The interview must be put to an end immediately, and the station management should prevent similar discussions from taking place.

One female caller, when pressed about what precisely she objected to, simply replied, “We just want it to stop!” Another angry caller was asked what “lies” Kurtz had told in any of his reporting on Barack Obama. The thoughtful response? “Everything he said is dishonest.” The same caller later refused to get into “specifics.” Another gentleman called Kurtz “the most un-American person” he’d ever heard. Several of the callers did not even know Stanley’s name, most had obviously never read a sentence of his meticulous research, and more than simply read verbatim from the Obama talking points.

As Rosenberg repeatedly pointed out that Team Obama had been offered the opporunity to take part in the conversation, the agitated masses adopted their argument to suggest it was outrageous to request an interview from the Obama campaign in the thick of the DNC. Delivering the line of the night, Rosenberg countered, “The Obama national headquarters is just down the street from here. They obviously have the time to send out these angry emails, but they can’t walk a few blocks to our studios?”

OK, that was the show.  What was the take-away?

The experience was surreal, amusing, and chilling. In a matter of hours, a major national campaign had called on its legions to bully a radio show out of airing an interview with a legitimate scholar asking legitimate political questions. Coupled with the Obama campaign’s recent attempts to sic the DOJ on the creators of a truthful political advertisement —which also happened to feature Obama’s relationship with an unrepentant terrorist— last night’s call to action represents an emerging pattern. Any criticism of Obama’s unknown past is to be immediately denounced as a “smear,” and the messenger is to be shut down at all costs.

Read the whole piece here.

The NY Times, keeper that it is of the torch for journalistic freedom, should be editorializing on this matter any minute now, right?  We’ll keep our eyes open.  Meanwhile, this nice little piece of art I found this a.m. pretty much sums up Obama’s thoughts on the matter:

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With Obama winning the presidency by seven percent, we can't blame the media. Their laudatory coverage and refusal to extensively probe into Obama's background and [lack of] experience was at best responsible for five percent of his vote, the pundits tell us. Here is a compilation of over 100 significant instances of pro-Obama/anti-McCain bias during the 2008 campaign.

For all 'Media Bias 2008' – Click Here

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