Fat Steve's Blatherings

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Democratic Patriotism

      George Lakoff, advisor to the Democratic Party on how to present their message:
      For a while last week, the Democrats were doing better at framing the issues.  The poll numbers showed that Bush's approval rating was down, that around 60% of the voters had turned against the Iraq War, that support for Bush on his handling of 911 and terrorism was lower, but still pretty high.

      As James Taranto comments:

      Lakoff has just said that a political goal of the Democratic Party is to turn the American people against the war the country is now fighting. Perhaps the Dems will now demand that Lakoff desist from questioning their patriotism.

      By the way, if you visit the source, you will find that Lakoff's real advice to Democrats on how to get their message across is: lie, relentlessly.

      As for me, I don't question Democrats' patriotism.  They have none left to question.


Interesting Point of View on British Anti-Americanism

      From James Hamilton: hating Americans is a PC form of racism.

      Read it all.


Utterly Disgusting

      Ward Churchill speaks:
      For those of you who do, as a matter of principle, oppose war in any form, the idea of supporting a conscientious objector who's already been inducted in his combat service in Iraq might have a certain appeal.  But let me ask you this: Would you render the same level of support to someone who hadn't conscientiously objected, but rather instead rolled a grenade under their line officer in order to neutralize the combat capacity of their unit?

      ...Conscientious objection removes a given piece of cannon fodder from the fray.  Fragging an officer has a much more impactful effect."
- Ward Churchill, Portland, Oregon- 6/23/05


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Make Up Your Mind Already

      From Best of the Web Today:

What Would Shark-Phobes Do Without Experts?

"Experts to Shark-Phobes: Attack on Girl Not a Trend"--headline, Tampa Tribune, June 27

"Second Shark Attack in Three Days off Florida's Panhandle"--headline, Associated Press, June 27

"Shark Experts Agree: Attacks in Summer Are Normal"--headline, Associated Press, June 28


Another Example of MSM Unreliability


      The Washington Post reports on a poll, and can't resist the temptation to do a little editing-as-lying.

At Length:

      The Washington Post did a poll on Iraq.  In it, they say:
      Part of the administration's apparently growing credibility problem may be the result of recent disclosures about prewar planning, including what has come to be known as the Downing Street memo, reflecting notes of a July 2002 meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top advisers.  The memo said that the Bush administration had decided to go to war and that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

      The administration has dismissed the conclusions of that memo, but the memo's wide circulation may have raised new doubts or reinforced old suspicions about Bush's motives for going to war.  For the first time, a narrow majority -- 52 percent -- said the administration deliberately misled the public before the war, a nine-point increase in three months. Forty-eight percent said the administration told the public what it believed to be true at the time.

      What were the conclusions of the Downing Street Memo?  I have them here:


(a) We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action. But we needed a fuller picture of US planning before we could take any firm decisions.  CDS [Chief of the Defense Staff --St.O.] should tell the US military that we were considering a range of options.

(b) The Prime Minister would revert on the question of whether funds could be spent in preparation for this operation.

(c) CDS would send the Prime Minister full details of the proposed military campaign and possible UK contributions by the end of the week.

(d) The Foreign Secretary would send the Prime Minister the background on the UN inspectors, and discreetly work up the ultimatum to Saddam.

He would also send the Prime Minister advice on the positions of countries in the region especially Turkey, and of the key EU member states.

(e) John Scarlett [Head of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) --St.O.] would send the Prime Minister a full intelligence update.

(f) We must not ignore the legal issues: the Attorney-General would consider legal advice with FCO/MOD legal advisers.

      Now, do you see anything in those conclusions that would lend support to the belief that Bush lied?

      Wait, you say, they didn't mean the conclusion in the memo, they meant the conclusions drawn about the memo.  Well, I have dealt with that before.  The portions of the memo dealing with intelligence and weapons of mass destruction read (my paragraph numbers):
3) John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment. Saddam's regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action. Saddam was worried and expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was not convinced that it would be immediate or overwhelming. His regime expected their neighbours to line up with the US. Saddam knew that regular army morale was poor. Real support for Saddam among the public was probably narrowly based.

4) C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

14) The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.

16) The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors. Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD. There were different strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran. If the political context were right, people would support regime change. The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.

18) For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.

28) (e) John Scarlett would send the Prime Minister a full intelligence update.

      That clearly supports the view that the British believed there were WMDs in Iraq.

      How long will they bore us with this nonsense?



      Last week, there was an Op-Ed in The New York Times that was spectacularly stupid, even for them.  A Muslim woman who wears that head scarf thing, was on the point of losing all faith in America when Al Gore inspired her.

      Jonah Goldberg, channelling Thomas Friedman's writing style, treats it as it deserves.


Well, Isn't That Special?

      Another MSM reporter is in the hotseat.  The Sacramento Bee tried to confirm forty three sources, and couldn't find a single one.

      Hat tip: Instapundit.


Latest Example of Democratic Fecklessness, or Fisking Kerry


      John Kerry showed again why he shouldn't be President by writing an Op-Ed piece for The New York Times.
  • Kerry's policy continues to be 'Let's cut and run, ASAP.

  • He's still spinning fantasies about the magic of the UN, and 'other countries,' which he mostly won't name.

  • He's either very ignorant and stupid, or lying a lot, or some of all three.

  • Jew hatred among Democrats has risen to the point where Kerry panders to it.

At Length:

The Speech the President Should Give

Published: June 28, 2005

      First, the fact that Kerry lost the election, and then has the nerve to tell the winner to adopt his, Kerry's, policies shows just how arrogant and stupid the man is.

TONIGHT President Bush will discuss the situation in Iraq. It's long past time to get it right in Iraq. The Bush administration is courting disaster with its current course - a course with no realistic strategy for reducing the risks to our soldiers and increasing the odds for success.

      Hidden assumptions are the curse of clear thinking.  Kerry tries to get us to ass/u/me that the U.S. is failing.  The possibility that we are doing about as well as can be expected isn't to be allowed consideration if he gets his way.

      But Kerry's a loser, he doesn't get his way.

      The reality is that the Bush administration's choices have made Iraq into what it wasn't before the war - a breeding ground for jihadists. Today there are 16,000 to 20,000 jihadists and the number is growing. The administration has put itself - and, tragically, our troops, who pay the price every day - in a box of its own making. Getting out of this box won't be easy, but we owe it to our soldiers to make our best effort.

      Wrong.  There are two groups of terrorists resisting us.  One is the Iraqi Sunnis, who used to rule, and want their positions of power back.  The other is the real, religious fanatic Islamofascist jihadis, who are mostly foreigners.  There's no evidence that the number of Islamofascists is higher than before the Iraq Campaign began.

      Our mission in Iraq is harder because the administration ignored the advice of others, went in largely alone, underestimated the likelihood and power of the insurgency, sent in too few troops to secure the country, destroyed the Iraqi army through de-Baathification, failed to secure ammunition dumps, refused to recognize the urgency of training Iraqi security forces and did no postwar planning.  A little humility would go a long way - coupled with a strategy to succeed.

      Taking the last idiocy first, the idea that the Administration doesn't have a strategy to succeed is bull stuff.  Translated into straight talk, Kerry says: 'I was right all along.'

      As for his other nonsense:
  • "the administration ignored the advice of others,"  Whose?  Lots of contradictory advice out there.  Care to tell us which advice we should have been paying attention to, and who gave it?

  • "Went in largely alone,"  Kerry whining that we didn't give France and Germany a veto over our actions, while lacking the balls to say: 'We should never have gone in at all.'  At least we're spared his speech about his magic powers of diplomacy, which would have guaranteed huge numbers of French and German troops.

  • "underestimated the likelihood and power of the insurgency,"  Evidence?  But pass that by.  Suppose we had exactly gauged the power of the terrorist resistance.  What changes in our plans should that have made (except 'don't go in', Kerry's policy all along)?

  • "sent in too few troops to secure the country,"  Which were to come from where?  And if we had all these 'extra' troops, what would the results have been?  They might have been 'Look how many people we sent, and we still can't stop them from revolting.'  We might well have had more casualties than we did.  We might also have discouraged the Iraqis from taking action to secure their country.  And could we have reduced force levels, with an ongoing insurgency, if we'd sent in more troops originally?  And by the way, John, WHAT ABOUT NOW?  Do we have enough troops NOW?  Or should we send more?  Inquiring minds want to know exactly what wording you'll use to avoid answering that question honestly.

  • "destroyed the Iraqi army through de-Baathification,"  This is a favorite idiocy of the unthinking.  If we'd kept the original Army, we'd almost have guaranteed another Sunni dictatorship.  We went in to end that sort of thing.

  • "failed to secure ammunition dumps,"  Yeah, stop the advance to take care of ammo dumps, which were scattered and hidden everywhere, thus giving the enemy time to prepare defenses and better hide the ammo dumps in the territory they did control.  Moron.

  • "refused to recognize the urgency of training Iraqi security forces,"  Horse shit.  We've been training a long time, but it's just coming together, especially since the Iraqi elections.  Delaying those, now there's a criticism that might have had validity.

  • " and did no postwar planning."  This is a flat lie.

      So what should the president say tonight?  The first thing he should do is tell the truth to the American people.  Happy talk about the insurgency being in "the last throes" leads to frustrated expectations at home.  It also encourages reluctant, sidelined nations that know better to turn their backs on their common interest in keeping Iraq from becoming a failed state.

      And pessimistic talk about things not going well will be used as a club by Democrats to hit the President with.  That's why Kerry wants it.

      The president must also announce immediately that the United States will not have a permanent military presence in Iraq.  Erasing suspicions that the occupation is indefinite is critical to eroding support for the insurgency.

      And telling the terrorists that we will for sure get out, completely and soon, will encourage the revolt.

      He should also say that the United States will insist that the Iraqis establish a truly inclusive political process and meet the deadlines for finishing the Constitution and holding elections in December. We're doing our part: our huge military presence stands between the Iraqi people and chaos, and our special forces protect Iraqi leaders. The Iraqis must now do theirs.

      Of course, French John didn't bother to define "a truly inclusive political process," because it means 'Give the Sunnis a veto over everything.'  Do that, and combine it with a deadline, and we guarantee the new Constitution will fail.  But Kerry doesn't care.  He just wants things over, soon. If we get a failure, the Dems can blame it on Bush.  If we get a success, the Dems can take credit for a victory that came when their policies were followed.

      Now, if he'd said, 'The Iraqis must meet the schedule for December elections, and the Sunnis have to be told, in short simple sentences, that they either get with the program or get frozen out.  As a community, you will never rule again.  If you can't stop thinking in tribal terms, and start thinking in national terms, you're doomed.  If the 80% of the population who aren't Sunni have to slaughter the other 20% to stop terrorism, we'll help them do it,' well then he might have a point.  As things stand, Switchitter John's approach is 'Do it fast, even if it's wrong.'

      He also needs to put the training of Iraqi troops on a true six-month wartime footing and ensure that the Iraqi government has the budget needed to deploy them.

      More do-it-wrong-fast nonsense.

The administration and the Iraqi government must stop using the requirement that troops be trained in-country as an excuse for refusing offers made by Egypt, Jordan, France and Germany to do more.

      Another lie, this time with nuance.  We are already training Iraqis out of the country, in the Emirates, with German trainers.  France isn't willing to train any large number of troops, anywhere, under any circumstances.  Egypt and Jordan can't train troops to do anything but shoot up civilians to keep dictators in power.

      The administration must immediately draw up a detailed plan with clear milestones and deadlines for the transfer of military and police responsibilities to Iraqis after the December elections.  The plan should be shared with Congress.  The guideposts should take into account political and security needs and objectives and be linked to specific tasks and accomplishments.  If Iraqis adopt a constitution and hold elections as planned, support for the insurgency should fall and Iraqi security forces should be able to take on more responsibility.  It will also set the stage for American forces to begin to come home.

      There's the meat of the speech.  Kerry wants us to cut and run, guaranteeing a civil war when we're gone.  He wants to encourage the terrorists (notice how that word never gets used? It would offend MoveOn), who would pull back and build strength for after we're gone.  He wants Bush to give Democrats in Congress a stick to beat him with.  The important thing is a Democratic President and Congress, not a success.

      Iraq, of course, badly needs a unified national army, but until it has one - something that our generals now say could take two more years -

      Stop!  If it will take two more years to get a truly effective, unified Iraqi Army, then what's this bullshit about training on a six-months war footing?  And how long, after the Iraqis get a unified Army, till they don't need us?  And how are we to predict this, today?  But then, this isn't a serious proposal in the first place.

it should make use of its tribal, religious and ethnic militias like the Kurdish pesh merga and the Shiite Badr Brigade to provide protection and help with reconstruction.  Instead of single-mindedly focusing on training a national army, the administration should prod the Iraqi government to fill the current security gap by integrating these militias into a National Guard-type force that can provide security in their own areas.

      Here we have a mystery.  We are already using militias, cautiously, to avoid undercutting the still-forming national Army.  Is Kerry so ignorant he doesn't know this, or so cynically dishonest he recommends what's already happening?

      The administration must work with the Iraqi government to establish a multinational force to help protect its borders. Such a force, if sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council, could attract participation by Iraq's neighbors and countries like India.

      More cynical blather.  Bring in the UN, and we bring in troops that won't fight, but who will accept oppress the locals and accept bribes to look the other way when terrorists infiltrate.  Again, a mystery: stupidity, or dishonesty?  Probably both, but in what mixture?

      The deployment of capable security forces is critical,

      Stop!  This from the guy who wants everything done fast, on a war-time basis, under a deadline that must be met regardless of conseqences.

but it alone will not end the insurgency, as the administration would have us believe.  Hamstrung by its earlier lack of planning and overly optimistic predictions for rebuilding Iraq, the administration has failed to devote equal attention to working with the Iraqi government on the economic and political fronts.  Consequently, reconstruction is lagging even in the relatively secure Shiite south and Kurdish north. If Iraqis, particularly Sunnis who fear being disenfranchised, see electricity flowing, jobs being created, roads and sewers being rebuilt and a democratic government being formed, the allure of the insurgency will decrease.

      The man who campaigned on a platform of 'We're spending too much on Iraq' now wants us to spend more.

      Iraq's Sunni neighbors, who complain they are left out, could do more to help. Even short-term improvements, like providing electricity and supplying diesel fuel - an offer that the Saudis have made but have yet to fulfill - will go a long way.

      Well, John, why don't you go overseas and use your magic diplomatic skills to get them to cooperate?

But we need to give these nations a strategic plan for regional security, acknowledging their fears of an Iran-dominated crescent

      And what would such a strategic plan look like?  And given the way the French sell Iran stuff, and you kiss France's ass at every opportunity, what plan would work and still get by you?  I'd love to hear the details.

and their concerns about our fitful mediation between Israel and the Palestinians

      Well, it's interesting to watch Jew hatred spread into the 'respectable parts of the Democratic Pary.


in return for their help in rebuilding Iraq, protecting its borders, and bringing its Sunnis into the political process.

      Iraq's neighbors are all depotisms, except Turkey, and they all want Iraq to fail.  Ignorance, or dishonety, and in what proportions?

The next months are critical to Iraq's future and our security. If Mr. Bush fails to take these steps, we will stumble along, our troops at greater risk, casualties rising, costs rising, the patience of the American people wearing thin, and the specter of quagmire staring us in the face. Our troops deserve better: they deserve leadership equal to their sacrifice.

      I thoroughly agree with the last sentence.  But the rest is nonsense.

      If you mean by "out troops at greater risk, casualties rising," that the rate of casualties will increase, that's highly unlikely.  If you mean the number of total casualties will increase, that's certain, unless we cut and run (your real, secret policy).  As for "quagmire staring us in the face," that's another way of saying cut and run.  Our troops deserve better than you.  Fortunately, Bush is better.

John F. Kerry is a Democratic senator from Massachusetts.

      A last bit of dishonesty, from the Times.  Question, why did the Times print an Op-Ed from Kerry, rather than some other Democrat?  Answer, because he was the Democratic candidate in the last election.  If we're really so ignorant that we don't know who Kerry was, why not say 'John F. Kerry is a the junior Democratic senator from Massachusetts, and was the Democratic Party candidate for President in the last election.

      That last question is left as an exercise for the reader.

      For more criticism of Kerry, see Greg Djerejian at Belgravia Dispatch, Von at Obsidian Wings, and
John Cole at Ballon Juice.

      Update: Citizen Smash also weighs in, and has a point that I missed: Kerry is up to his old trick from the Viet Nam era of repeating the enemies propoganda.


An Example of Missing the Point

      A post at Responsible Nanotechnology suggests that the U.S. and China should be cooperating on energy problems, rather than wrangling over China's bid to buy an oil company.  Just add magic technology, and all our problems will go away.
  • Taiwan, and China's ambition to conquer it, isn't mentioned.

  • Neither is North Korea.

  • Nor other potential areas of conflict.

  • But magic nanotechnology will somehow enable all energy problems to be solved, so we should go ahead and give China's economy a big boost.  That will make everything all right.

      What planet do people like this live on?

      Pointed out by Instapundit, who refers to the piece as "thoughts".  Wrong word, it should be "dreams."


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Rove Speech: One of These Texts is NOT Like the Others


      The Washington Post, the New York Post, and Michael Barone have texts of what Karl Rove allegedly said to the New York State Conservative Party.  Interestingly, they do NOT agree.

      I wrote this to the Washington Post.  Similar letters will go out to the New York Post, and (if I can find his e-mail) Michael Barone.

Text of the letter:

      On Friday, June 24th, you printed what APPEARED to be the complete text of Karl Rove's speech to the New York State Conservative Party.  The online URL is http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/24/AR2005062400097.html

      On Friday, June 24th, the New York Post printed "excerpts" of Mr. Rove's remarks.  The URL is http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/48751.htm.

      On Monday, June 27th, a commentary by Michael Barone at RealClearPolitics quoted from the speech.  The URL is http://www.realclearpolitics.com/Commentary/com-6_27_05_MB.html.

      I can't help but notice that the speech texts are somewhat different.

Washington Post: I am not joking.
New York Post:     I'm   not joking,
Michael Barone:   I'm   not joking.

Washington Post: Submitting a petition
New York Post:     Submitting a petition
Michael Barone:   Submitting a petition

Washington Post:     is precisely what
New York Post:     was precisely what
Michael Barone:   was precisely what

Washington Post: Moveon.org
New York Post:     Moveon.org, then known
Michael Barone:   Moveon.org, then known

Washington Post:                                did.
New York Post:     as 9-11peace.org did.
Michael Barone:   as 9/11peace.org did.

Washington Post:
New York Post:     You may have seen it in The
Michael Barone:   You may have seen it in The

Washington Post:
New York Post:     New York Times or The
Michael Barone:   New York Times or The

Washington Post:
New York Post:     Washington Post, the San
Michael Barone:   Washington Post, the San

Washington Post:
New York Post:     Francisco Examiner or the
Michael Barone:   Francisco Examiner or the

Washington Post:
New York Post:     L.A. Times. (Funny, I didn't
Michael Barone:   L.A. Times. (Funny, I didn't

Washington Post:
New York Post:     the Amarillo Globe News.)
Michael Barone:   the Amarillo Globe News.)

Washington Post: It was a petition
New York Post:     It was a petition that
Michael Barone:   It was a petition that

Washington Post:  imploring the powers that be"
New York Post:     'implored  the powers that be'
Michael Barone:  "implored  the powers that be'

Washington Post: to "use moderation and
New York Post:     to  'use moderation and
Michael Barone:   to "use moderation and

Washington Post: restraint in responding to
New York Post:     restraint in responding to
Michael Barone:   restraint in responding to

Washington Post: the… terrorist attacks
New York Post:     the     terrorist attacks
Michael Barone:   the     terrorist attacks

Washington Post: against the United States."
New York Post:     against the United States.'"
Michael Barone:   against the United States.

      As you can see, the differences here are not minor.  I would appreciate it if you could tell me where you obtained your copy of the speech, and why it differs from the other two, which are identical except for punctuation.  If you have a URL for the official White House release, I'd like to have it too.


Monday, June 27, 2005

Searching in Utter Darkness for that which has No Existence Whatsoever

      A member of the MSM goes looking for a vast right-wing conspiracy story, about the plot of Republicans and Christians to take over Hollyweird, and is frustrated when he can't find anyone willing to give him the inside dope.  And they keep telling him that the reason they can't reveal anything about the conspiracy is that it doesn't exist.  What's a liberal secularist to do?

      Visit Church of the Masses for the truly hilarious story.

      How did it go?  Barb says:
      In the end, I gave him some soundbites about post-Passion Hollywood, but it was clear that James had pretty much decided what he was going to write about (ie. Vast Rightwing Political Conspiracy spreading into Hollywood), and was searching for proof.

      Thank Ghu the MSM isn't biased or non-objective.


I Started a Meme!  I Started a Meme!

      Years ago, watching the way sex was shoved at us every day, and the way it was treated like a sacrament that would bestow grace upon us all, I invented a phrase to describe today's premier religion: "The Church of the Holy Orgasm."  Today, I'm flipping through my referrals, and I find THIS.

      I have not lived in vain.


Sense on the "Koran Desecration" story

      From StrategyPage:
      It was amazing how much play the “Koran desecration in Guantanamo” story got.  Consider the facts.  The U.S. Department of Defense handed out 1,600 copies of the Koran to prisoners there.  The Korans were often carried by prisoners to many of the 28,000 interrogation sessions conducted so far.  In all that, there were only twenty verifiable cases of mishandling of the Koran. However, 75 percent of these “desecrations” were by prisoners themselves, and three of the five attributed to guards were apparently accidental.

      Actually, only four were definitely attributed to guards.  The other was undetermined in cause.

      Aside from that, the article says it all.



      The Supremes ruled that putting the Ten Commandments on the wall of the Constitution is an illegal promotion of religion.  Putting the same Ten Commandments on display on the grounds of a state legislature isn't.

      But who cares, really?  As a recent TechCentralStation column points out, the actual problem is that the citizens put up with this imbecility in the first place.


Oh, Good Shot, Sirs

      A bunch of annoying lefties won a court case saying they could had out "peace" literature at Memorial Day celebrations.

      Well, some people got imaginative.  They showed up with battery powered paper shredders, and plastic trash bags.  People took the literature from the protesters, then turned around and shredded it.  And of course, as symbolic speech, it's constitutionally protected.

      Hat tip: Little Green Footballs.


Liberals Did So Support the President!

      Just look at this post to see one eyewitnesses stirring account of liberal patriotism in the days after 9/11.


Thank the Troops

      Recently, some service people in the Sandbox have begun to wonder if we support them.

      This led a Lt. Col. Mope to set up a campaign to write them letters, thanking them for their work.  Send them to rottmope@yahooDIESPAMBOTSfnordDIE.com, with naturally the ALL CAPS part and word within them deleted, and they'll be forwarded.  And thanks to Emperor Misha for promoting this.

      Here's my first one:

For any soldier, sailor, airman or marine in Iraq:

        I just want you to know that this fat, fifty-two year old resident of a blue state appreciates what you're doing for us.

        I write about this on my political blog, you work and sweat and risk your lives.  There's no comparison.

        I've been told that you don't believe the public supports you.  Well, most of them do.  There is a group of people in the States I think of as traitors, who want to see you lose.  Many of them are in the Main Stream Media, and they slant the news to push things toward defeat.

        But it hasn't worked.  With the elections in Iraq, and the creation of an Iraqi military that is increasingly willing to fight, we're past the "tipping point."  We will win in Iraq.

        I know you will do your duty.  I just want to tell you: don't lose heart, don't lose hope, don't think we fail to appreciate what you do.  We love you for your courage and sacrifice, and we'll honor it.  And we will 'stick it' till the end.

Stephen M.
St. Onge



Sunday, June 26, 2005

THAT Speech


      The Democratic Party's reaction to the Rove speech illustrates what's wrong with them, and why they lose elections: the Dems want to be known as the tough, patriotic Party, while following policies of Blame America First and Run Away!

At Length:

      At first, I didn't think Rove's speech was worth paying attention to.  Just another 'encourage the troops, pick up the checks' affair.
  I was wrong.

      Looking at the full text, what's immediately interesting is how short the portion is that made the news.  Maybe an eighth of the speech is devoted to liberals and national security, and maybe half of that section was quoted in the news stories.  Obviously, this is a very sore spot for the Democrats.  Since I've seen mostly excerpts, I'll quote the section in full:
      But perhaps the most important difference between conservatives and liberals can be found in the area of national security. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.  In the wake of 9/11, conservatives believed it was time to unleash the might and power of the United States military against the Taliban; in the wake of 9/11, liberals believed it was time to… submit a petition.  I am not joking.  Submitting a petition is precisely what Moveon.org did.  It was a petition imploring the powers that be" to "use moderation and restraint in responding to the… terrorist attacks against the United States."

      I don't know about you, but moderation and restraint is not what I felt as I watched the Twin Towers crumble to the earth; a side of the Pentagon destroyed; and almost 3,000 of our fellow citizens perish in flames and rubble.

      Moderation and restraint is not what I felt - and moderation and restraint is not what was called for.  It was a moment to summon our national will - and to brandish steel.

      MoveOn.Org, Michael Moore and Howard Dean may not have agreed with this, but the American people did.  Conservatives saw what happened to us on 9/11 and said: we will defeat our enemies.  Liberals saw what happened to us and said: we must understand our enemies.  Conservatives see the United States as a great nation engaged in a noble cause; liberals see the United States and they see … Nazi concentration camps, Soviet gulags, and the killing fields of Cambodia.

      Has there been a more revealing moment this year than when Democratic Senator Richard Durbin, speaking on the Senate floor, compared what Americans had done to prisoners in our control at Guantanamo Bay with what was done by Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot - three of the most brutal and malevolent figures in the 20th century?

      Let me put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts to the region the words of Senator Durbin, certainly putting America's men and women in uniform in greater danger.  No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals.

      The second thing worth noting is that almost all of the section so objected to says 'Conservatives did this, Liberals did that.'  The only time Rove mentioned the Democrats was when he contrasted Republican and Democratic electoral success, and when he mentioned Sen. Durbin.Y  But the great howling didn't come from New York state's Liberal Party, it came from the Democrats.

      Now, for some time, Democrats have been running from the label 'liberal.'  Dukakis, Clinton, and Kerry have all distanced themselves from liberalism in speeches.  And that's just the problem.

      MoveOn, Michael Moore, George Soros and other such people and groups -- they all contributed heavily to Democrats, and worked to elect them.  Michael Moore was invited to sit in the Democratic Convention with ex-President Peanut.  Somewhere, I saw Moore urge support for Kerry because Kerry was the most liberal member of the Senate.  CommonDreams.Org notes the Democratic Party wanted to buy MoveOn's mailing list.  MoveOn famously said they'd bought the Democratic Party.

      But the Dems don't want to be publicly identified with the defeatist Left, for obvious reasons.  Too many USAmericans won't have anything to do with them.  The Donkey Party could say 'Get lost, scum, we want nothing to do with you.  Give your money and votes to Nader or the Socialist Workers, but stay away from us.'  But if they do that, they lose huge amounts of funding, and a big group of hard-working activists.

      So instead, the Dems are trying the strategy of dishonesty.  'We're super-patriotic, we're tough, we're mean, we'll fight the war on terror, . . . ', but at the same time, they'll quietly let the loony left know that they're really on their side.  That's why the screams of rage over Rove.  Today's Democratic Party can't afford to stand up and be honest about what it wants.  The country is trending sort of 'conservative -- middle', and the Donks are out of step.

      For us in the GOP, the job is clear: make sure they can't escape the light.  Keep identifying what they want, and the way so many who vote Democratic hate the U.S.  The truth will hurt them, and that's a good thing.



Dishonest Blogging


      Joe Gandleman and Glenn Reynolds think that independent voters will refuse to vote Republican in the next elections.  Evidence: wishful thinking (J.G. & G.R. disapprove of the Republicans' policies, and want them punished), combined with blatant dishonesty (Gandleman) and possible failure to read (Reynolds).

  • It's all based on polling data about the economy, where opinions are notorious for changing quickly.

  • The reason Gandleman and Reynolds want the GOP punished by voters is the moral positions and spending decisions of various Congresscritters.  The subject of the poll: the economy, which many people are worried about.

  • It refers to President Bush's performance, but is extended to cover the entire GOP.

      If you want to say that people should vote Democratic to get different policies enacted, do so.  But when people are asked questions about one subject, don't try to convince us they're talking about a completely different topic.  That's the kind of distortion the MSM indulges in.

At Length:

      I've come, alas, to expect deliberate dishonesty from Andrew Sullivan (I used to be a big fan of Sullie's blog), and I never expected anything else from Daily Kos and myDD.  But I expect better of Joe Gandelman and
Glenn Reynolds.  I may have to change my opinion.

      Someone called "The American Research Group, Inc." did a poll, that asked:
      How do you rate the condition of the national economy these days - would you say it is excellent, very good, good, bad, very bad, or terrible?

      Do you think the national economy is getting better, staying the same, or getting worse?

      Would you say that the national economy is in a recession, or not?

      A year from now, do you expect the national economy to be better than it is today, the same as it is today, or worse than it is today?

      How do you rate the condition of the financial situation in your household - would you say it is excellent, very good, good, bad, very bad, or terrible?

      Do you think the financial situation in your household is getting better, staying the same, or getting worse?

      A year from now, do you expect the financial situation in your household to be better than it is today, the same as it is today, or worse than it is today?

      Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president?

      Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the economy?

      It's hard to evaluate this poll in detail, as the article doesn't say what order the questions were asked in (question order is knows to affect polling results).  Overall, it seems a lot of people are discouraged about the economy, think it's getting worse, and think their own circumstances are getting worse.  A bit more than half are personally discouraged, and 6-8% more are "discouraged for the country," that is, they think things will get worse, even if their situation improves.

      Now, this certainly isn't good news for the GOP.  Still, it's almost eighteen months till the next election.  My memories of these economic polls is that the numbers shift quickly as the economy changes.

      The poll also asks how people think the President is doing in handling the economy, and his job as a whole.  My impression of past polls is that the results on this depend partially on how people feel about the economy, and partially about how they feel about the President, politically.  People who don't like the incumbent tend to disapprove of his handling of everything, including his hair style.

      Now, the ARG poll asks all these questions about the economy, and then throws in one about Bush's overall job performance.  I find that a bit unsound, methodologically.  Also, I went to ARG's home page, and found links to the Presidential polls ARG conducted last September and October.  ARG's results, then, were 'Bush and Kerry in a dead heat.'  But last year, RealClearPolitics charted averages of the polls, as well as publishing the numbers for each poll since January.  Crosscheck, and you find that ARG usually had Kerry ahead, and had him tied with Bush in their last poll, while the averages showed Bush had pulled ahead of Kerry in September, and the trends showed Bush began pulling ahead of Kerry in the middle of May.  All this suggests that American Research Group's polls tend to be biased towards the Democrats, although I do NOT say they are deliberately distorting results, or trying to manipulate voters.

      So, a group that produces polls that slant towards the Democrats have produced another that slants towards the Democrats.  There's no reason to expect that, a year and a half from now, the results will be the same, and it's hard to map from 'economy bad, President doing bad job' to voting results in off-year Congressional elections.  In short, the poll has little meaning for those trying to predict the makeup of the next Congress.

      So, how have people reacted?  Daily Kos and myDD think the polls show an opportunity for Democrats.  That's mostly wishful thinking, but they never pretended to be anything but lefty political activists.  Andrew Sullivan reacts as I've unfortunately come to expect: 'the evil Republican are being rejected by the voters because the pander to the Christian bigots and spend too much money.'  But Gandleman is a shock.  He thinks the results mean:
Since the election there have been several issues that would cause independent voters to defect since they were issues not on their agenda and with goals not the goals of most independent voters: Congressional/White House intervention in the Terri Schiavo case, the nuclear option on judicial filibusters, and continued news coverage involving the White House's stance on various environmental issues and funding/ideological issues related to Public Broadcasting.

Karl Rove's recent comments suggesting Democrats wanted to call Dr. Phil in to decide how to respond to 911, were not involved in the documented strong bipartisan support given to the White House in 911's aftermath, and that Democrats are pleased when American soldiers die in the field are not the kind of comments that will likely re-attract defecting independent voters.

      Look at the poll questions above.  Nothing there about who you'll vote for in November 2006, or about the feelings of voters towards the parties.  Aside from the general 'How's Bush doing, overall?' question, everything relates to the economy.  Terri Schiavo, filibusters, environmental issues, the funding of the "Corporation for Public Broadcasting," and Karl Rove's remarks about liberals were not mentioned at all in the poll.  It's especially worth noting that Gandelman, who dubs himself a moderate, feels personally offended by remarks directed specifically at liberals, and conflates liberals with Democrats.  That shows some very interesting attitudes that I've yet to see Democrats admit to openly.

      But the bottom line on Gandelman's post is that, based on the poll data Gandelman cites, there's little reason to believe independents will refuse to vote for GOP candidates, and none to believe that the issues of Schiavo, etc., alienated them from the GOP.

      As for Instapundit, well, maybe you can give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he didn't follow the link, and note the poll concerned the economy, and not Terri Shiavo and spending.  But if I had to bet, even money, I'd wager he did follow the link, and just lied about what the poll said.

      Mr. Gandelman, Prof. Reynolds, this is the kind of thing we expect from the MSM.  Bloggers should be better than this.


Beyond Belief, Yet I Believe It


      If someone kidnaps you, and you survive, don't use bad language to describe the kidnappers.  It's insensitive and shocking on your part.

At Length:

      Via Tim Blair, a story from Australia.  Douglas Wood was kidnapped, and his captors:
kicked him in the head, kept him blindfolded and bound for 47 days, shaved him bald, killed two of his colleagues, made him beg for his life, and -- says a fellow hostage from Sweden -- shot several other prisoners in front of him.

      Wood's reaction was to call his captors "arseholes" at a press conference.  This led the editor of The Age, an Australian newspaper, to say:
      I was, I have to say, shocked by Douglas Wood's use of the a---hole word, if I can put it like that, which I just thought was coarse and very ill-thought through and I think demeans the man and is one of the reasons why people are slightly sceptical of his motives and everything else.

      The issue really is largely, speaking as I understand it, he was treated well there. He says he was fed every day, and as such to turn around and use that kind of language I think is just insensitive.

      Absolutely Bonkers.


Friday, June 24, 2005

Why ARE Today's Democrats So Dumb?


      Once, about to undergo an operation and drugged to remove fear, Isaac Asimov suddenly said to his surgeon:

          Doctor, doctor, in your green coat;
          Doctor, doctor, cut my throat!
          And when you've cut it, doctor,
          Won't you sew it up again?

      The Democratic Party is now reciting this to Dr. Karl Rove, but they're leaving off the last two lines.

At Length:

      It used to be that you could at least count on the Donkey Party to show some basic political savvy, with many of their politicians being brilliant.  Republicans may have hated Roosevelt and Truman, but they didn't accuse them of being bad on the campaign trail.

      But now, Karl Rove says the response of "liberals" to terrorism was "prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," and the Democratic Party morons charge into the trap.

      If I were a Democratic politician, or a liberal activist, I'd say nothing unless asked.  If I were asked, I'd say "Well, I never said anything like that, and neither did the Democratic Party.  I think Karl's off his meds, or something."  If examples of MoveOn and International ANSWER were brought up, I'd laugh and say "Well, if that's liberalism, then I'm not a liberal.  But hey, it was a fund raising speech for the Conservative Party.  You shouldn't expect it to make any sense."

      Instead, the Democrats are making a big deal of this, and publicly calling for Rove to resign, thus making sure the news media will cover it, and let Rove et Cie bring up examples of loony Democrats who sounded squishy on terrorism, and REALLY loony activists (Moore, Soros, Chomsky) who blamed America, and the Dems will be tarred with the soft-on-our-enemies brush some more.

      This is so elementary that I can't see how anyone can miss it, but I've yet to read a Democratic or liberal comment that gets it.  "Oh, Mr. Donkey, please don't throw me in front of those cameras over there!"

      No wonder we don't have a responsible Opposition Party.  They're all fools.

      As a man whose biggest political regret is that I never got to cast a vote for Harry Truman, this is truly distressing.


Insane Laughter Was Heard at Casa St. Onge

      It was mine, cause by reading this.


More on Batman as a Republican

      I had to go to the john during the movie, so I missed the moment when Rachel tells Bruce:
‘It’s not what you feel inside that counts, It’s what you do that defines you.’

      A very Republican/conservative sentiment.

      I found out about this from Mark Steyn's latest Spectator column.  Go read, as he reflects on what the world would look like if we took that idea seriously.


Ryan Sager Wants Responsible Democrats

      At TechCentralStation, Ryan H. Sager says that crazy lefties are helping out Bush.

      Well, Duh!  But unlike him, I don't long for a responsible opposition.  The Dems have been dishonest so long, I just want to see them exposed and destroyed.  Let them go the way of the Whig party, into the trashcan of history.


MSM Intellectual Dishonesty: This is Droll, and Illuminating

      A new study shows:
51 percent of journalists use blogs regularly, and 28 percent rely on them to help in their day-to-day reporting duties.

      So the MSM has a high opinion of us?  No:
Still, despite their reliance on blogs for reporting, only 1 percent of journalists found blogs credible, the study found.

      So, half of all journalists think we're full of it, but use us as sources anyway.  Doesn't that explain a lot about the MSM?

      Hat tip: Gaijan Biker.


Thursday, June 23, 2005

Linda Foley: Coward


      Linda Foley has decided to explain and not explain her comments on the "targeting" of journalists.  The results are clear as crude oil.
  • Foley thinks non-Newspaper Guild members aren't important, especially if they are "right wing."  This means you, and the other people who read newspapers.

  • She won't make a plain statement about what she meant, but implies that yes, she thinks the U.S. military targets journalists.

  • Important people like her needn't answer questions about what they mean, or provide evidence for their charges.  Unimportant people like troops in Iraq should be more concerned with the well-being of journalists than accomplishing their mission or staying alive.

  • The Pentagon should get off its ass and do what's important, which is satisfy Foley and friends about their questions.

  • Fact based journalism is good, especially when she gets to make up the facts.

  • The only trustworthy reporters are those who can be counted on not to ask her inconvenient questions, like "What did you mean, and what is your evidence that it's so?"  Linda doesn't have to show you no stinkin' evidence.

  • Foley's hatred at we who dare question her is exceeded only by her fear of us.

      It's all very amusing, in a sad way.

At Length:

      Well, despite what I said in the last post, which fisked the Zipser piece, I won't be going to the movies.  I've been too busy kneeling before the porcelain god.  So, on to the main attack: Foley herself!

      While reading Zipser's article, I saw a link to Foley's "thoughts" on the controversy, right on the same page.  They're here:

The Guild Reporter
Commentary June 17, 2005

Confronting right-wing hysteria
Looking ahead

By Linda Foley, President

      Note to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (or whatever you’re calling yourselves these days): I was just re-elected president of The Newspaper Guild-CWA, and I’m not resigning.

      Frankly, I'm glad.  Eason Jordan resigned, and we lost a target.

      That said, let me address the rest of this column to the people who really matter: the members of The Newspaper Guild.

      Note the article, the date, the URL.  Please make a screen shot of it, just in case it's changed.  Linda Foley thinks that people who read the news, or watch TV, or listen to radio, are not important.  Never forget that, you're not important to Foley.  It explains so much of her behavior.

      In case you missed it, for about a month I have been subjected to what I would characterize as a right-wing screed over some comments I made at the National Media Reform Conference in St. Louis on May 13.  The comments (which I won’t repeat here) were about journalists getting killed in Iraq and criticized how the U.S. military has dealt with those deaths.

      Well, thank you, Foley, for admitting that your remarks were about the U.S. military.  Nice to finally clear that up.  In another month or two, maybe you'll explain why you couldn't bring yourself to say that when people tried to find out what you meant.

      Oh, who am I kidding?  You won't.

      The comments came at the end of a 15-20 minute panel presentation.  I emphasized that media reformers should not attack individual journalists and instead should focus on how a concentrated corporate media system is corrupting journalism.  I always make this point with media reformers and independent media journalists because, in my experience, calls for media reform sometimes degenerate into deriding individual journalists.

      Well, Linda, some of us think that individual journalists should be derided.  For instance, when they can't express themselves clearly, when they appear to allege important things without evidence, when they hide from interviewers when asked to clarify and support their position, yeah, we think that it isn't a "concentrated corporate media system," whatever that means, that is "corrupting journalism," whatever that means.  We think journalistic incompetents are the problem.  Incompetents like you.

      But then, I may be making an unwarranted assumption.  Do you actually think of yourself as a journalist?  If so, why?

      In other words, the essence of my message is: Don’t kill the messenger.  I should have said it that way in St. Louis.  Instead, I decided to draw a parallel between the assault on journalists for their work and the assault on journalists covering Iraq.  I used strong words and said it rather clumsily, but the St. Louis crowd got the point.

      Well, again, when the messenger can't deliver the message accurately, then the messenger indeed ought to be "killed."  But since you've brought this up again, would you care to give us some examples of journalists "assaulted" for "their work?"  No, I didn't think so.

      If I made a mistake, it was in trying to cover the issues surrounding safety for journalists in Iraq in an off-the-cuff way.  I regret that my in-artful phraseology, and the storm it incited on the right, may detract from a critically important issue for journalists, especially those who cover war.

      You said:
Journalists, by the way, are [sic not? -- St.O.] just being targeted, ah, verbally or, ah, or, ah, politically. They're also being targeted for real. Um…in places like Iraq.

      "Targeted for real" sounds like you mean, "selected as targets for killing, by people who know they'll be killing journalists."  We would really like to know if that's what you meant.  We would also like to know why you won't answer simple questions on this subject.  But we don't expect you to tell us.  Not being members of the Newspaper Guild, we aren't important enough to bother with.

Ahn and, ah, 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.

      Now, I read that, and the only thought I can reasonably see it trying to express is: 'the U.S. military is targeting journalists, knowing that they're journalists.'  But you don't seem to be a reasonable or articulate person, Linda, so why don't you try to explain what you meant.  Maybe you find a first-grade teacher to help you with the big words.  It would be OK if fewer journalists were targeted by the U.S. military?  It would be OK if the U.S. military killed them with less brutality?  It would be OK if the U.S. military were more broken up about the journalists they murder?

      Or maybe you think someone else was targeting the journalists, and the military, while not responsible in any way, didn't have the right attitude?

      Or maybe something else?  But again, you won't explain what you actually said.

      By the way, assuming you do think of yourself as a journalist, I'd think an inability to say anything remotely like what you mean is grounds for serious concern on whether you're in the right profession.

      So at the risk of repeating what we’ve reported for months in The Guild Reporter and elsewhere, here’s a better way of saying what I was trying to communicate in St. Louis: An unacceptable number of journalists are being killed in Iraq,

      And what number would be acceptable to you?

most of them by insurgents,

      Ah, that word "insurgents."  According to Dictionary.com, it means:

1)Rising in revolt against established authority, especially a government.
2)Rebelling against the leadership of a political party.

      Reading that phrase, you'd think the dead journos died in firefights, or by mortar round, or something.  If you go to the Committee to Protect Journalists' website, and look at their listings of media employee deaths, you find that they were mostly either deliberately murdered by terrorists, or caught in random car bombings by terrorists.  It would be fascinating to hear you say why you just can't bring yourself to use the t-word, and discuss this issue in plain language.

      Still, one point for admitting that most dead journalists are not that way because of anything the U.S. military did.

many of them brutally.

      Yes indeed, the non-terrorist "insurgents" do tend to brutality.  They also tend to be indiscriminate, killing hundreds of people along with the dead media employees.  That's another thing you don't mention.  But then, non-media employed Iraqis aren't important either, I gather.

Fourteen of those deaths, involving U.S. forces, have been inadequately explained or investigated by the U.S. military.

      Oh really?  What is your criterion of adequacy, Foley?  And what is your evidence for that charge?  But of course, you don't "do" evidence.

One, the April 8, 2003, bombing of the Al-Jazeera studios in Baghdad, never has been explained at all.

      The fact that al-Jazeera's studios weren't bombed might have something to do with that.

As a result, many journalists around the world wonder if the U.S. military is targeting journalists.

      As a result of your biased reporting, many citizens feel you are consciously working to help the enemy win in Iraq.  Somehow, I doubt that will be taken seriously by you, though.  They're only citizens, not important, journalistic people.

      And among journalists, some feel the idea that the U.S. military is targeting journalists is an outrageous lie, and known to be such by those who utter it.  Shall we ignore them too?

      By the way, many Jew haters throughout the world believe that the Jews kill gentile children, and use their blood to make matzohs.  Shall we take that seriously?

      Since April 2003, the Guild, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the International Federation of Journalists, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Reuters and others repeatedly have called upon the Pentagon to conduct independent investigations of these incidences. [my emphasis -- St.O.]

      Investigations independent of what?  What on earth are you talking about?  And how about some links to these "calls"?

So far we have received only redacted, whitewashed explanations which often raise more questions than they answer.

      You ask the Pentagon to investigate, it gives you a result, you don't like it.  Why not?  Do you think the Pentagon is lying?  If so, why did you ask them to do an investigation "independent" of something or another?

      Spanish journalist Jose Couso was killed when the Palestine Hotel, a known headquarters for many unembedded journalists covering the war prior to the occupation, was shelled by a U.S. tank on April 8, 2003.

      Yes, he was.  And the U.S. military investigated, said a mistake was made, and apologized.  The Army troops in question were taking Iraqi Army mortar fire, and they heard someone on the radio acting as a forward observer.  They saw themselves being watched by people in the Palesting Hotel.  They say they believed the people watching them were the Iraqis calling in the mortar rounds.  Therefore, by mistake they say, they fired, killing the journalists.

      This all seems perfectly reasonable to me, and easy to believe.  Why does this not satisfy you?  Do you have some evidence that what the Army troops said wasn't so?  If so, why do you refuse to share it with us?

      Personally, I suspect your problem is megalomania.  You knew there were journalists in the Palestine Hotel, and so just can't conceive of the idea that troops under fire might get lost, or not know where the journalists were staying, or be concentrating on staying alive.

His [Couso's -- St.O.] family and friends still hold a 24-hour vigil at the U.S. embassy in Madrid on the eighth of every month to protest the lack of accountability by our military for Jose’s death.

      Hold on here!  A minute ago, you were protesting the lack of an "independent investigation."  Now you're protesting the "lack of accountability."  Those phrases are not synonyms.

      Accountability: Liable to being called to account; answerable. See Synonyms at responsible.

      It sounds like you want someone punished for Couso's death.  Who?  Why?  What sort of punishment?  And what about the journalists and support people killed by the we-never-call-them-terrorists "insurgents?"  Should they be punished for spraying vehicles with automatic weapons fire, blowing people up with truck bombs, etc.?

Meeting Jose’s brother a few weeks before the May 13 conference added to my frustration and anger about the U.S. military’s non-responsiveness on this issue.

      Since the U.S. military did offer a response, which left you unsatisfied, perhaps you might explain what kind of response you'd like?  Just make it up, making clear it's hypothetical.  Show us what kind of response would satisfy you, and explain why the one the military issued doesn't cut it.

      Nevertheless, the St. Louis conference was about media reform, and the panel I was on focused on concentration of media ownership—and except for those few sentences about journalists dying in Iraq, that’s what I talked about.  So you can imagine how surprised I was when Sinclair Broadcasting, one of the largest broadcast owners in the U.S., called to film an interview with me about my comments.  (Truthfully, I had to listen to a webcast of my presentation before I actually recalled what I said.)

      My, that is rich.  'I, Linda Foley, got up in public and said something, and I thought about it so little, I didn't recall saying it.  What I said was something that sounded like "the U.S. military murders journalists in Iraq, deliberately, knowingly, just because they're journalists."  I can't see why anyone would thing that was important, or ask me to clarify my meaning, or want evidence that it's true.'

      You’ll remember Sinclair Broadcasting—the broadcaster that on the eve of the 2004 election tried to pass off an anti-John Kerry commercial as a “documentary” about his Vietnam War service.  You also may recall that Free Press, the group sponsoring the National Media Reform Conference, led the campaign to protest that broadcast. Ultimately, institutional stockholders—principally some large union pension funds— forced Sinclair to modify its plans.  I guess the prospect of piling on the president of a union representing journalists speaking out at a media reform conference sponsored by Free Press was just too tempting.

      Do you have any evidence that your guess is true?  Did you make any effort to verify it?  Have you asked the people at Sinclair why they thought this was important?  Can you offer a single reason for anyone to take you seriously?

      Sinclair aired its piece without me.  I was unavailable.  Likewise, I was unavailable to Fox News.  (Four different Fox shows called in and/or faxed requests for me to appear.)

      Translated into English: I lack the spine to be interviewed by someone who's going to play the tape of my remarks, ask me what they meant, and ask me for evidence.

And to Limbaugh, and several other talk-radio blabbers who peddle hate.  And to “Swift Boat Veterans” promoters.  And to the Moonies’ Washington Times,

      Let's see.  Foley et al ask questions of the Pentagon, the Pentagon won't answer to their satisfaction, the Pentagon is bad.  Sinclair, Fox, Limbaugh and others ask questions, Foley is proud she ignored them.

and to all those self-righteous bloggers who are so sure they have all the answers.

      Except that what we had was questions, and you were afraid to answer them, you poltroon.  But then, you're too important to talk with us.

      I gave one interview, to Editor & Publisher, figuring it was a credible publication that reached most Guild members in one way or another.

      Ah, Fox, Sinclair, Limbaugh, the Washington Times, and every blogger in the country aren't credible.  Remember that, too.  Credible news sources consist of those who pitch her softballs.  Gee, did Larry King have another heart attack?

      Of course, Foley doesn't tell us where to find the interview, but this seems to be it:
Guild Chief Under Fire for Comments About Attacks on Journalists in Iraq

By Joe Strupp

Published: May 20, 2005 4:40 PM ET

      Strupp's story shows the modern confusion between 'refute' and 'dispute,' and has a lot of unsourced material.  But since Foley brings them up as a reputable publication, and doesn't dispute what Strupp says, I'll assume for now she was quoted accurately.

      Strupp's article avers that Foley told him (or whoever did the interview) that her comments "have been distorted," and that:
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."

      Now, if I had been interviewing Foley, I'd have said: "Pardon me, Ms. Foley, but I don't get it.  How does the fact that journalists are killed around the world connect, logically, with reporters being 'scapegoated' for their coverage.  Please give me some example of what you mean by reporters being scapegoated, and of some of these journalists being killed, and explain what you see as the connection.  For that matter, in the tape, which I listened to, you talk about the attitude of the U.S. military, and the lack of outrage about journalistic deaths in Iraq.  I don't see the connections of U.S. military attitude or lack of outrage to either of the first two subjects.  Could you try to elucidate?"  Then, I'd have reported her response.

      But that's me.  Stupp:
When asked if she believed U.S. troops had targeted journalists in Iraq, she said, "I was careful of not saying troops, I said U.S. military."

      Why, that clears up everything.  Somewhere in the "U.S. military" are people who aren't troops, and they run around Iraq armed, drive tanks, fly planes, and do this so that they can kill journalists.  That's what you meant, right Linda?

      Foley went on:
"Could I have said it differently? There are 100 different ways of saying this, but I'm not sure they would have appeased the right."

      Very interesting, Linda, that you can't see any difference between backing up a claim with evidence, and "appeasing" someone whose politics you don't share.  I believe the medical term for this is "deluded," according to my wife the pshych nurse.

      More Foley interview:
She did point out that those who bombed the Al Jazeera studios in Baghdad in 2003 had the coordinates of the television station, "because Al Jazeera had given it to them and they bombed the hell out of the station. They bombed it knowing it was the Al Jazeera station. Absent any independent inquiry that tells the world otherwise, that is what I believe."

      Yet again, the station did not have the hell bombed out of it.  It wasn't bombed at all, although an electrical generator next to the studio was destroyed.  As for the claim that "those" who "bombed" the station (it may have been a rocket attack) "had the coordinates," that implies she knows the name of the pilot responsible.  A nice scoop, it true.  Why not give us the pilot's name, and the proof he knew where the studio was?

      Oh wait, that's what a journalist would do.  We're discussing Linda Foley.

      Besides, Foley probably didn't mean that. She meant maybe that someone in al-Jazeera claims to have given the coordinates of its Bagdhad studio to someone in the U.S. government (evidence?), and that the someone saw to it that everyone authorized to do an air attack had those coordinates (evidence?), and someone with the coordinates decided "Let's attack al-Jazeera," (evidence) and ordered the pilot to attack a generator at such and such coordinates, right?

      Somehow, I still don't think this is what she meant.  I do think Foley will refuse to explain herself clearly, though.  But it's interesting that Foley managed to pick a publication that wouldn't ask her to explain herself in any meaningful way.  Now there's a story worth digging into.  How did she know she'd get away with not answering them?

      Leaving Editor & Publisher, and going back to Foley's opinion piece:
But my cold shoulder didn’t stop the right-wing media machine from blowing its whistle and barreling down the tracks anyway.  They had a video webcast clip of my remarks, and they could air them!

      Funny, I always heard that real journalists aren't supposed to let a refusal to do an interview stop the story.  If they won't talk, you report anyway.  But I guess that only applies to unimportant, non-journalist union story subjects.  You deserve a respect the rest of us are beneath.

      Fox’s Bill O’Reilly interviewed Sinclair hack Mark Hyman, who “broke” the story.  (Is this really a story?)

Yes, Linda, it is, despite you wishing it would go away.

O’Reilly announced I was hiding and giving no interviews, then proceeded to interview E&P reporter Joe Strupp, whom he identified as the only reporter to interview me.  (I was “hiding” from O’Reilly—all of Fox, actually—but not from E&P.)

      And of course, O'Reilly was right.  You were hiding from anyone who'd ask you tough questions.  You still are, yellow-belly.

I heard Rush Limbaugh had called me a “babe.”

      No comment till I see your picture.

      The Media Reform Conference panel that included me was described as the “left of the left.” The panelist who preceded me was the publisher of a metropolitan newspaper and had to leave the conference early for Washington, D.C., where he attended a meeting of business people who want to permanently repeal the estate tax.

      So what?  But why do I bother asking you for a logical argument? (Answer: it's fun pointing out that I won't get one.)

      It would all be amusing were it not for the vicious, mean-spirited—sometimes pornographic, sometimes threatening—e-mails and phone messages these hate-stokers from Fox & Co. generated.  The misogynistic language and name-calling don’t bother me so much, although if some of these e-mails were read on a network program like the David Letterman Show, Brent Bozell (another social commentator who has called for my resignation) undoubtedly would be clamoring to get the entire CBS network thrown off the air for good for violating obscenity standards.

      Such behavior is reprehensible, and should be condemned.  So are your lies about the U.S. military, though, you lily-livered apologist for terrorists.

      What does bother me about the e-mails is the number of them that prove the point I was trying to make in St. Louis.  Many echoed the sentiments of Charles Edwards who said in an e-mail to me, “We should have open season on journalists in Iraq.  Traitors.” If the sentiments expressed in these e-mails are any indication, at least some of these loyal “Americans” think journalists should be targeted by the U.S. military.

      I disagree, but when you do your best to see your country loses a war, I understand the strong reaction, without condoning it.  And I do believe you are a traitor, adhering to the enemy, giving him aid and comfort.

      That’s why I hope Americans who actually care about democratic discourse and public debate will support independent, fact-based journalism and professional journalists who strive to practice it.

      I hope the same.  It's just that I seem to have a different definition of 'fact-based' than you.  Mine involves answering questions when someone doesn't understand what you've said, and offering evidence to support charges.  Yours seems to be stabbing your country in the back with lies, and crying unfair when asked to back up the charges.

Please refrain from attacking reporters who are trying to get to the truth.

      Foley, you craven, please look up the definition of chutzpah.  We're still trying to get the truth about what you meant out of you, and you're still duckin' and dodgin'.

Focus instead on re-creating a media climate where a future Woodward & Bernstein can investigate abuse and speak truth to power without fear of government retribution or an orchestrated deluge of hate mail calling for their demise.

      In English: create a climate where anything I say will be believed, blindly, and I will never be called to answer for lies and baseless slanders.

      Hmm, let me think about that . . . NAH!  Beating up on you is too much fun to give up, especially when you leave yourself open to anyone with a 'Net connection and the brains to do a little research.

      Fear us, and tremble, you gutless wonders.


How Much is Arrogance, How Much is Stupidity, How Much Self-Destructiveness, and How Much is Outright Insanity?


      The Newspaper Guild, official paper of the Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America, has an article on President Linda Foley's lie that the U.S. Armed Forces deliberately target journalists in Iraq.  It's notable for its ad hominem, evasion, and outright falsehood.  What makes them think they can get away with this?
  • An example of just how sloppy the MSM has become: the article gives a link it says will take you to a transcript of Foley's remarks.  There ain't no transcript there, as of today.

At Length:

      It's Fisking time, I think.  But first, a word about the title of this post.

      The late Arthur Koestler once spent some time in India and Japan, a trip he recorded in the book The Lotus and the Robot.  In it, he says that after meeting several Indian holy men, he decided you shouldn't ask "Is this guy a saint or a con-man?" Instead, the proper question is "What percentage saint, and what percentage con-man is this particular holy man?", because they're all both.  As the circulation of newspapers keeps dropping, the MSM responds with such intensely wrong behavior that I have to wonder what motivates it.

The Guild Reporter
Top Stories June 17, 2005

Right-wing attack-dogs savage TNG president for comments on Iraq deaths
Barrage of abusive phone calls, e-mails prompted by Sinclair, Fox and bloggers

By Andy Zipser, Editor, The Guild Reporter

      Hmmm, do you think it's possible that the "Editor" of the Union's newspaper might owe his position to the President of the Union? Don't you think it's possible that, even if he doesn't, they're personal friends? Under the circumstances, shouldn't he mention that? At the least, shouldn't he disclose his connection with Foley more fully?

      And if he's a partisan in this fight, as appears likely, shouldn't journalistic ethics require him to recuse himself from this article, and have it written by someone disinterested?

      "Nah!" 'Objectivity' is a buzz-word for journalists to use against their enemies, not a real ideal to aspire to.

      TNG-CWA President Linda Foley has become the latest target of right-wing extremists, who have mounted a multi-media attempt to force her resignation over comments made May 13 at a media conference in St.  Louis.

      I just love the unfair and unbalanced editorializing that disguises itself as reporting, and I especially love it when it appears as in the title, and the first sentence of the story.  I give you this, Zipser, you didn't attempt to hide your slant in any way.

      The campaign, started by Sinclair Broadcasting, Fox News and the Washington Times, then fanned by a growing number of bloggers, echoes a similar effort that earlier this year forced the resignation of CNN news chief Eason Jordan.

      And look, in only the second sentence, the outright lying begins.  What we wanted, from Jordan and Foley, was an explanation of their remarks.  Did they really mean that the U.S. Armed Forces deliberately, knowingly, kill journalists because they are journalists? Did they have any evidence to support their remarks? Just what was going on? Jordan resigned rather than answer those questions.  Foley went into the bunker.

      By the way, this seems like a good place to note that Zipser is throwing around charges and ad hominems here, like "campaign" and "extremists." How much would you like to bet that there won't be any evidence to support those remarks?

      No one? Damn, I was hoping for some easy money.

      Foley served on two panels at the National Conference for Media Reform, addressing labor issues and the problems of media consolidation.  She analyzed the profit-driven pressures that cause newspaper monopolies, workforce reductions, a commoditization of the news and plunging newsroom morale.  She pushed for greater diversity—in viewpoints, coverage, staffing and ownership.  And she hammered on the theme that it’s the system as a whole that’s the problem.

      In plain English, she apparently gave her opinions, something Zipser doesn't distinguish from facts.  If there was any evidence to support her comments, I'd like to know what it was, but Zipser won't be providing it.

      Still, it's amusing to read that Foley called for a greater diversity of viewpoints.  Zipser won't bother quoting any of Foley's critics in this story, for example.  Oh wait, I forgot.  "Diversity" is a left-wing code word for 'more leftists talking.'

      But it was an aside near the tail end of her remarks that got all the right-wing attention.  Journalists often are blamed for the ills that they report on, Foley said, “particularly from the right of the political spectrum.”

      She said that? I didn't notice.  Now that I know, I don't care, because it mostly isn't true.  When a journalist reports on poverty, or urban blight, or bad schools, I don't think the journalist caused poverty, blight, or non-education.  I don't know anyone who does, either.

      Occasionally, I do blame journalists for causing ills, when the ills in question are media events the journalists choose to cover.  But for the most part, Foley is wrong about everyone I know or know of, left or right.

      That's something I do blame journalists for: getting it wrong, when it would be easy to get it right.

And then, as if extending an unwitting invitation to prove her point, she added that journalists aren’t being targeted just verbally and politically.

      “They are being targeted for real in places like Iraq,” Foley said, referring to the deaths, detentions and physical abuse of American and Arab journalists.  (The full text of Foley’s remarks may be read online at www.freepress.net/conference/=sessions.)

      Ah, editing-as-lying.  As I noted above, the transcript isn't there, or at least I can't find it.  But here's a transcript from The Dusty Attic:

      The other thing, ah, I would just like to mention, the other trend that I think needs to be reversed, ah, that isn't talked about very much, is the targeting of journalists.

      Journalists have become, and this is a problem of the Republicans, Frank, (halting laugh) journalists have become a target particularly from the right side of the political spectrum, ah, journalists are blamed, ah, for many ills, that they just report on.  Ah, and I think what we have we have to be careful of in the media reform movement, is that we don't fall into that trap.

      What is happening in the media is not the fault of individual journalists.  Yes, there are some bad individual journalists in the mainstream media.  There are also some very good individual journalists in the mainstream media, and it's probably, on balance just like any other profession.

      As I noted, it's almost completely false to say that we blame journalists for the ills they report on.  But the fact that the head of the Newspaper Guild can say something so obviously false, in front of a group that included many in the news media, and not be called on it, shows that there's reason to blame journalists for the fix they're in.

      Foley continues:
      "But what's wrong is that there is a systematic corporate, ah, corporate, ahm, dissolution of what we know is credible reporting and journalism.  And that what's really wrong and that's what we need to focus on, and that's what we have to fight."

      Foley's language is obscure and confusing, by what I think she's saying is that the corporate bosses who control the media deliberately, consciously, knowingly decided not to have "credible reporting and journalism" any more, or at least to minimize it to the lowest point they can get away with.  This strikes me as an extraordinary claim.  Howze about some evidence, Linda?

      And the claim that journalists have become a target, and that this is a problem for Republicans? You wanna expand on that one?

      OOPS, sorry, I forgot -- you don't do evidence or explanations.

      Journalists, by the way, are [not? -- St.O.] just being targeted, ah, verbally or, ah, or, ah, politically.  They're also being targeted for real.  Um…in places like Iraq.  Ahn and, ah, 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.

      And it's not just US journalists, either, by the way.  They target and kill, ah, journalists 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, ah, with impunity … and, ah, this is all part of a culture that it's okay to blame the individual journalists and it just takes the heat off these media, ah, conglomerates who are actually at the heart of the problem.

      Again, what stands out is the lack of clarity.  Is Foley accusing the U.S. military of killing journalists, deliberately, consciously, with malice aforethought? Or is someone else doing it, but Foley is mad because the U.S. military doesn't take the situation seriously? Or something else? Enquiring minds want to know.

      Oh by the way, last time I looked, al-Jazeera's studios in Iraq had NOT been blown up.  An electrical generator that al-Jazeera used, located next to the studio, had been destroyed; a hole had been made in the street near the studio; but the studio itself was reasonably intact, and fully functional, throughout the Iraq Campaign.

      Finally, the idea that someone unnamed is killing journalists and destroying facilities, because of the actions of corporate bosses, is fascinating in its sheer looniness.

      So, um, so, I would, I'm working with you, my members want to work with you, to try and change this.  We do have to have other alternatives to corporate media out there, so that people...  real people's voices can be heard, but you also have to help us change from within.  And so as you go forward on this struggle, keep in mind that the other part of the First Amendment, besides the free speech and the free press part, also talks about the freedom of association.  And I'm telling you right now, not just in media, ah, but, um, but media companies are kind of leading the way in this area, but all across America, the ability of workers in media and elsewhere to form free trade unions, is imperiled as it's never been imperiled before.

      And I'll just leave you with this, there never has been a democracy, in this world, that has not had both a free press and a free trade union movement.  We need to work on both if we are going to change the media in this country, because the people from within have to push while you're pulling from the outside to change things.


      Really bizarre.  She's working to change from "corporate media," whatever it is, to non-corporate, which isn't defined (or maybe she explained it in the other part of her remarks, which she has never seen fit to publish anywhere I can find them)? Or she's working to keep journalists alive? Or she's working to change to 'non-corporate' media because she thinks that will somehow stop journalists from being killed? No, wait, she's doing it so that "real people's voices" can be heard.  Gee, I never thought the folks I'd seen on TV were all artificial people.  Is this insanity? Or is it the old left-wing technique of calling those you dislike "vermin" and such, as a first step towards murdering them? Or something else? I doubt we'll ever know.

      As for the allegedly imperiled freedom of association, well, I'd refer Foley to the National Labor Relations Board, which protects union organization and collective bargaining, but I'm afraid she'd make such a bad impression she'd hurt the cause of unionism among media workers (and I'm not being sarcastic when I say that).

      Well, back to Zipser:     
Brief as they were,

      Halt! The comments were brief, but not nearly as brief as you made them out.  I got the above from a "right-wing" attack site.  How come you responsible professionals can't give us any context?
.  .  .  those comments uncorked a torrent of bile—once the right took notice.  Four days after the panel, Sinclair started calling TNG-CWA headquarters with requests to interview Foley.  The next day, Tony Snow from the Fox network followed suit.  Although both were rebuffed, Fox and Sinclair commentaries May 18 triggered hundreds of e-mails to Foley and the Guild office.  Scores of phone callers were so abusive that for a couple of days all calls to Guild headquarters were routed through voice mail.

      Question, is it just sloppy writing that leads to the implication that a request for an interview is part of a "torrent of bile?" Or do you really believe that being interviewed is inherently abusive to the interviewee? Or what? My, the questions that rise and don't get answered in this piece.

      As for the abusive phone calls, I wish to express my sincere outrage at this.  It's almost as bad as implying that members of the U.S. military are murdering journalists, then refusing to answer questions about your remarks.  Almost.

      Then the blogosphere rumbled into action, including creation of the web site foleygate.com (“Watching Left Wing Journalists So You Don’t Have To”) “to report on what will happen to Linda Foley”—presumably as a result of the campaign it began orchestrating.  Right-wing bloggers with quaint populist names (“Ankle Biting Pundits,” “Tennessee Rant,” “My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy”) piled on, shuttling around the same few links to Foley’s selected comments while urging all red-blooded Americans to voice their displeasure.  More e-mails flowed.

      Now, if Zipser was a real journalist, he'd know that we wing-nuts don't need to organize campaigns.  Having watched the left for a while, we've learned to swarm all over such stories and react in the same way, without any central committee telling us what to do.

      The sneer adjectives ("quaint," "populist," "red-blooded") are a nice touch, Zipser.  But for sheer bald-faced hypocrisy, the palm goes to "the same few links to Foley's selected comments." Jackson's Junction put up video, The Dusty Attic has a partial transcript, you quote one sentence and refer us to a complete transcript that doesn't exist.  We righties have a long way to go in learning how to lie.  You're much better at it than we.

      “I would love to hear the proof you have to support your irresponsible claims that the military ‘target and kill journalists.’ If you have proof, then say it.  If you don’t have proof, then keep your stupid biased asinine comments to yourself,” wrote David Wiseman.  “Listen you piece of human garbage—American soldiers do not waste bullets on crap like you,” chimed in H.  Olszowy.  “Traitors and scum like you deserve to be shot, but our military has too much pride and courage to waste time on newspaper reporters.  It figures however that someone with a union mentality like you would fabricate a story along the lines of CBS and Newsweek.  You have zero credibility.”

      Another fascinating question: does Zipser really believe that asking for evidence of a charge is abuse? Or does he figure that by lumping it in with actual insults, he discredits the idea that people making accusations should be able to back them up?

      While few e-mails acknowledged that journalists had been killed or wounded in Iraq, some suggested perhaps that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.  “Just saw your idiotic comments concerning the collateral damage of journalists in Iraq,” wrote someone with the online name civwar46.  “Now my comment.  We should have open season on journalists in Iraq.  Traitors.” Added Slimpknsanytime: “The mission of the military is to destroy the enemy, his equipment and will to resist.  When the military follows this directive it is defining the enemy, even if they are ‘Journalists.’ ”

      Oh, how awful, people who called wanting to know about Foley's comments didn't acknowledge that journalists have been killed or wounded in Iraq.  Of course, Foley didn't acknowledge that (as I've mentioned before) the Committee to Protect Journalists lists 66 killed in Iraq by name and circumstance, forty seven by the other side, eleven by our side, seven unknown circumstances, one accident.  That the bad guys kill five, almost all deliberately, for every one we kill, probably all accidentally or mistakenly, is interesting.  That the anger is directed at us, not them, is telling.

      By the way, I'd like to go on record here as disagreeing with the idea that the military should deliberately kill journalists just for being journalists.  I also wish to go on record as saying that I do NOT disagree with the idea that many journalists are traitors.

      There’s more at work here, in other words, than just anger at a union leader for trying to defend her members.

      How is Foley trying to defend them? Explain, in detail, using short simple sentences, which actions of Foley were intended to "defend" union members, who and what they were to be defended from, and how the actions she took were supposed to prevent future attacks.  Please.

For the looniest fringe of the right wing, an independent press and its “journalists” are the problem.  The irony is that such extremists are trying to prompt the mass media into attacking .  .  .  the media.

      No, for us "looniest fringe of the right wing," the problem is a press that sides with terrorists who murder at random, and kill U.S. troops, especially when we're at war with said terrorists.  (By the way, have you ever written about left-wingers, and called any of them loony?)

      As for what we're trying to do, you're wrong there too.  But why should I tell you?

      The attempt to obscure discomfiting truths with a smokescreen of allegations about the truth purveyor—challenging his or her motives, techniques or basic character—is not new, but in recent years the volume has been ratcheted way up.

      Oh my God, I admire that.  You're going to accuse us of doing what you do in this very article.  Sir, I am in awe of your talent as a dishonest propagandist.

For Paul Waldman of Media Matters for America, a progressive research and information center that tracks conservative disinformation campaigns, the poster child for such tactics is Ward Churchill, a much vilified University of Colorado professor.

      "Progressive" is of course another left-wing code word, meaning "left-wing, and therefore good, honest, and correct."

      This past January, the extreme right wing stumbled across an essay Churchill had written—more than three years earlier—in which he argued that the money changers at the World Trade Center had suffered the consequences of U.S. military aggression and unjust foreign policies.  The result was a blizzard of right-wing outrage, flogged relentlessly by shouting heads like Bill O’Reilly.  “Were some people offended by what Churchill had to say? Yes,” Waldman says.  “Was he worth hundreds and hundreds of stories? Obviously not.”

      That Ward Churchill isn't worth paying attention to isn't obvious to me.  Some things I find worth noticing, though, are the lies in this paragraph, told by editing.  Were all the thousands who died in the Towers worthy of death? Were they in any way responsible for U.S. policy? Is U.S. foreign policy unjust, and what alleged military aggression did we commit? (According to al-Qaeda, the answer to that last question is 'You stationed troops on the Arabian Peninsula, with the consent of the Saudi Govt.') And the so-called "money-changers?" That phrase implies crookedness.  Got any evidence for that?

      And of course, you left out the fact that Churchill is a plagiarist, a liar, and unqualified for his academic post.  But why let facts get in the way of propaganda? If you mentioned those "discomfiting truths," you wouldn't be able to pose self-righteously.

      But Churchill, Waldman adds, was simply one in a series of cases that the right has leveraged to advance its crabbed view of liberalism.  Finding anecdotes that it can pump up to outsized dimensions in an echo chamber of right-wing commentators, talk shows, editorial pages and web blogs [sic], the right transforms the specific into the general.  “Linda’s case is one of those they’d like to make into a cause celebre, that the media hate the military, that they’re unpatriotic, blah-blah,” Waldman charges.

      Oh, this is amusing.  'Churchill is a liberal, and the media is composed of patriots who love the U.S. military, even while it tries to murder them.' Blah-blah, indeed.

      Because of such tactics, for example, the question of whether George Bush fulfilled his National Guard requirements was eclipsed by the question of whether Dan Rather used bogus documents in his reporting.

      Of course, without those documents, Rather didn't have any evidence that Bush failed to fulfill his Guard requirements, as you can easily check here.

The question of how the U.S. military is treating several hundred “detainees” at Guantanamo was shuffled into the background by Newsweek’s retraction of a story that claimed a copy of the Koran had been flushed down a toilet.

      Of course, the Newsweek story didn't ask any questions about the treatment of U.S. detainees at Guantanamo.  It said:
Investigators probing interrogation abuses at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay have confirmed some infractions alleged in internal FBI e-mails that surfaced late last year.  Among the previously unreported cases, sources tell NEWSWEEK: interrogators, in an attempt to rattle suspects, flushed a Qur'an down a toilet and led a detainee around with a collar and dog leash.

      The story went on to say that the findings were expected to be in a forth-coming report.  The story then speculated that former Guantanamo commander Geoffrey Miller might suffer when the report was issued.  All this turned out to be wrong.  I guess Zipser doesn't care if the MSM's stories are even close to accurate.

      And by the way, Zippy, why the sneer quotes around "detainees?" Just what word would you consider appropriate, and why?

Legitimate questions about the conduct of the entire “war on terror” have become such lightning rods for right-wing abuse that an official British government memo describing how the Bush administration lied its way into the war on Iraq received scant U.S. media coverage for more than a month after it was first reported in Great Britain.

      What is it, if not a "war on terror," and why don't you address the issue? Where is this memo, and where does it say the U.S. Government was lying? No quotes or sources, because there is no such memo.

      Indeed, the war in Iraq has posed numerous challenges to Americans’ beliefs about themselves; some respond by denying the validity of any information that doesn’t fit those concepts.  The June issue of Editor & Publisher, for example, includes a column describing the right-wing attacks and death threats against freelance television correspondent Kevin Sites—for filming a U.S. Marine shooting an unarmed Iraqi insurgent.  “It is important to tell the truth, the whole truth,” Sites contends, in response to critics who claimed the segment unfairly undermined U.S. morale.

      Yeah, the whole truth would be nice.  You might start out, Zipper, by giving us links to the story and the criticism, so we could here why people were angry.  But that would be a little too much truth, I guess.

      By the way, the war hasn't made me question any beliefs about myself or my country.

      The killing of unembedded journalists in Iraq is one of those discomfiting facts, especially when such deaths come at American hands.  To be sure, journalists in Iraq—of whatever nationality—have more to fear from the insurgents than they do from the U.S. military.  As reported June 6 in a front-page story in The Washington Post, at least 85 journalists and other media workers, the vast majority of them Iraqis, have been killed in Iraq since March, 2003; only 14 of them were killed by American forces.

      And your criticism of the murderers of those media people the U.S. military didn't kill can be found where? And your Guild is trying to stop the "insurgents" from killing journalists how? And you expect us to take you seriously why?

      But “only” 14 is a troubling number nonetheless, and even more so given the government’s repeated unwillingness to objectively investigate the deaths.

      Well, I'll pay you a sincere compliment: you split the fucking infinitive, like a real American.

      Now, please define how you are using "objectively" in this context, and give us evidence the U.S. Government refuses to so investigate? And tell us why it matters?

As recently as April 8, TNG-CWA and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists again sent letters to President George Bush, calling on him to “heed the requests from journalists around the world for an independent investigation into the record number of deaths among media staff covering the war in Iraq.” And, as in the past, the plea was ignored.

      Well, one moment we needed "objective" investigations, now we need "independent" investigations.  Who or what they will be independent of, and why they are needed isn't said.

      The deaths referenced in the April 8 letter won’t come as a surprise to readers of The Guild Reporter: the April 15 issue led with a cover story questioning the apparent targeting of journalists two years ago at the Palestine Hotel, where a single tank round killed two and wounded three.  That same day, the article noted, U.S. forces also bombed the Al Jazeera television station—killing one—and attacked Abu Dhabi TV.  The Al Jazeera bombing was especially worrisome because the network had provided the U.S. with its station’s coordinates precisely to forestall such an attack.

      First, note the sloppy writing.  The tank commander and gunner did not apparently target people in the Palestine Hotel, they admittedly did it.  Why? Their unit was under mortar fire, they knew through radio intercepts a forward observer was calling in rounds, and they say they thought the journalists were the observers.  Do you have any evidence to indicate this story is false, Mr.  Zip? If so, why are you so reluctant to share it with us?

      As for al-Jazeera, again, its studios weren't bombed.  The studio, as I found when I researched this story, (I've lost the reference, I'll look for it later if anyone wants it) was in an area of government buildings; there were anti-aircraft guns nearby; U.S. forces had arrived in the area and were fighting their way into Baghdad; there were ongoing U.S. air strikes; the journalists on top of the building, who'd been reporting live, were said by an al-Jazeera source to have decided that the situation was too hazardous, so they got off the roof; they left a camera up there, on; then, someone noticed that the camera was pointing at an Iraqi government building they'd been warned not to photograph; the thought of what the Iraqis would do if that were noticed apparently scared them so much they decided to ignore the air attacks and went back to the roof to redirect the camera; while they were doing this, a U.S. plane bombed or rocketed an electrical generator that was next door to al-Jazeera's building, and which sat at ground level; apparently, the al-Jazeera reporter was wounded by fragments, and died, although the source admitted the deaths could have been caused by something else (like, say, the anti-aircraft fire).

      Funny how you don't mention that, Zipman.  Or reflect that the building wasn't bombed, something next door was.  Or wonder if someone just didn't get the word? Or consider any explanation except the idea that the U.S. killed the fool who went back to the roof.

      Such incidents—and the subsequent lack of vigorous inquiry—raise questions about military intentions.

      First the inquiries weren't "objective", then they weren't "independent," now they aren't "vigorous." What Zippo is avoiding saying in plain English is, 'the U.S. military made inquiries, but I don't believe them.' Care to explain why not?

Others create the equally troubling impression of a more generalized trigger-happiness, caused by fear or lack of discipline, that places all civilians at risk.  On May 24, for example, Aaron Glantz of Pacifica Radio told Amy Goodman, host of the radio program “Democracy Now,” that in covering the war “I’ve had a gun pointed at me by American soldiers numerous times and felt that my life was threatened by an American soldier, simply because they were so scared and trigger happy.”

      And who is Aaron Glantz, and why should his feelings be taken as evidence? Especially since he didn't get shot? No evidence or reasoning given.

      Moreover, Glantz added, as Western journalists are so intimidated by such behavior that they pull out, “the Iraqi journalists who remain and the Pan-Arab journalists who remain are specifically being targeted by the U.S. military, I believe, when they broadcast controversial material.”

      And I believe you're a lying sack of shit, Glantz, consciously defaming U.S. troops in order to advance the terrorist's cause.  But in keeping with professional journalistic standards, I won't bother to present any evidence.

      Adding heft to such assertions

      Pardon me while I roll on the floor, laughing.  "Heft!"

      Ok, we continue:
is the independent Committee to Protect Journalists, which has observed a general U.S. military lack of respect for journalists.  For example, a May 12 CPJ statement expressed “deep concern about the detentions of at least eight Iraqi journalists by U.S. and Iraqi military forces,” but in response to its demands for a public explanation of the detentions, a U.S. military spokesman said only that the journalists pose a “security risk to the Iraqi people and coalition forces.” The spokesman would not provide further details or identify the detainees, all of whom work for Western news organizations and none of whom had been charged with any crime.

      Earth to Zippy the Pinheaded Editor: the U.S. military is not a law-enforcement organization, and does not charge civilians with crimes.

      By the way, if you don't know who the detainees are, how do you know who they work for? If you do know who they are, why don't you say so?

      Rather than focus on such troubling behavior, however, the right-wing extremists find it more useful to abuse those who question the disconnect between our actions and our professed beliefs.

      I was not aware that we had ever professed the belief that the military must allow those it believes to be a danger to "the Iraqi people and the coalition forces" free run of the country.  Care to provide a citation?

      Nor, giving the demonstrated dishonesty of terrorists and their supporters, do I find it at all hard to believe that some people who call themselves journalists might be helping the ongoing mass murders of the Iraqi people.  Therefore, I'm not troubled that eight alleged journalists are in detention.

“Abuse” is not too harsh a characterization: the attacks on Foley have been personal—“bitch” and “idiot” have been the leading epithets—and simultaneously abstract, a curious blend of invective neutered by its very lack of specificity.  At least half-a-dozen Guild locals have been contacted by foleygate.com readers demanding that they seek Foley’s resignation.  A direct if vague threat was delivered by a New York resident, who phoned Foley to say he would be in Washington D.C.  and was planning to visit her in response to her comments.

      Flat-out lying.  We specifically complained that Foley wouldn't back up or explain her assertions, and then, when she ran and hid, we specifically said that someone who slanders her country's military in time of war shouldn't hold a responsible position like union president.  Of course, we all knew this, including the Z-man.

      Piling on also has been Boston-based writer Hiawatha Bray, who made his bones with the right wing last fall in a sclerotic attack on John Kerry and now has taken to the blogosphere to go after Foley.

      Lovely, in a sickening way.  Bray is a journalist, and a member of the Newspaper Guild, which Zip won't say clearly.  As for the "made his bones" phrase, notice we don't get a link to the "attack" on Kerry.  And notice the phrase is from a novel about gangsters, and means "committed a first-degree murder." He's just called Bray a journalistic criminal, without evidence.  That's OK, but criticizing Foley is right out.

Although Foley told Bray she’d be glad to speak with him as the Guild president responding to questions from a Guild member, but not for publication, Bray apparently felt he had a right to elicit public comments.

      Bray has blogged about this several times, and explained why he wasn't satisfied with her offer.  No link to the blog so you could find out what Bray thinks, and why.  Diversity of viewpoints, anyone?

      Well, you can always find out Bray's thoughts, unselected by Z-jerk, at Choose Honor.

“I’ve phoned her several times,” he posted on his web site.  “Foley has said that she will make no further public comment on the matter.  This won’t do.”

      And Foley lied, since she has since commented publicly, but only where she was in control.  But that will be in the next installment (he threatened).

      Bray’s response? The launching of a write-in campaign to win a seat on his local’s executive council—a move he explains was inspired by watching Jack Nicholson in the movie “Hoffa.” He ended up getting five votes, of more than 400 cast.

      Actually, Bray announced he'd be a write in candidate in a post on June 4th, then in a June 5th post said:
Partly inspired by Hoffa, I today began my write-in campaign to get on the executive committee of my Newspaper Guild union local.

      Again, we see Zipser cares nothing for accuracy.

      Yet for all the strutting and chest-puffing, a certain note of frustration keeps intruding into the right-wing echo-chamber: the mainstream media just aren’t paying attention.  And if the MSM, as it’s typically termed, won’t devour its own, who will play the end-game? As one blogger fretted, “I’m afraid we may be beating a dead horse on this Foley thing.  The MSM is just not gonna cover it.  And if they don’t cover it, it must not be news.”

      Ah, selective quotation, another example of editing-as-lying.  Actually, many of us are encouraged by the MSM's silence on this, as we get to bash them (Fox and Sinclair excluded), and they don't even defend themselves.  Note that we can now use the MSM's popular dodge, 'They didn't dispute it, so in effect they conceded it was true.' Thanks, fools.

      Meanwhile, support for Foley also has emerged.  The New England District Council, meeting in Portland, Maine on May 22, unanimously endorsed a resolution that declared: “The safety of working journalists is of primary concern to The Newspaper Guild.  We support the efforts of TNG-CWA President Linda Foley to promote the safety of journalists in war zones and throughout the world.”

      And again, we won't be told what Foley is doing to promote journalists' safety.  But since the New England District Council knows, I suggest we all write them, and ask what the efforts consist of (but not today; I gotta finish this, and go see Cinderella Man).

      And Aidan White, General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists, responded to questions about “Foleygate” by writing: “Linda did no more than speak out, eloquently and strongly, about the fundamental rights of media staff who are the victims of violence.

      No, White, she apparently charged the U.S. military with murder, then refused to explain when caught at it.  Are you really so stupid you don't understand that?

      White again, as quoted by Zip-for-brains:
In doing so she does great credit to the IFJ and her union, and the fact that she is attacked vigorously by a prejudiced and ill-informed minority, who are mostly detached from the harsh realities of reporting from conflict zones, illustrates that we are living in an age when the American spirit of tolerance and free speech which has served democracy well for so long is under greater pressure than most of us have seen in our lifetime.

      Blah, blah, blah.  She made a charge, she was asked to either produce evidence for the charge or explain how she'd been misunderstood, and she refused.  The idea that the public should tolerate such irresponsible behavior is fatuous.  And the idea that Foley's speech should be tolerated, but not that of her critics, is beneath contempt.

      “Foley deserves the support of all journalists for speaking out,” he [White -- St.O.]added.  “Certainly, she has the unanimous backing of the world journalists' movement.”

      I guess Fox, Sinclair, and Hiawatha Bray aren't part of the "world journalists' movement." But I'm glad so many of them support her.  It compounds the injury they've inflicted on themselves.

      As I read this, I had one big question: what do they expect to accomplish with such piss-poor lying? Whatever it is, I think they'll regret it in the long run.