The lead pretty much says it.
But I'm putting posts together offline.
If things go well, I'll be up in proper form by Sunday afternoon.
If you know someone at Blogger who can help, please ask them to contact me.
I'll be back.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
The lead pretty much says it.
Posted by JWM at 7:09 PM
Thursday, July 07, 2005
While working on a memorial to Admiral James Stockdale, I read Powerlineblog.com John Hinderaker's July 5 tribute.
I can't improve or add to what Hinderaker said. In the circumstances, I doubt he'll mind if I quote him in full. For those wanting to book mark, the link's here.
Readers who go to Powerline will see I added a few paragraph breaks. That was done to provide "pause moments." Also, I didn't reproduce Powerline's photo of Admiral Stockdale because I don't know how to do that.
A Hero Passes
Admiral James Stockdale died today at age 81.
Most people remember Stockdale, if at all, for his performance in the 1992 Vice-Presidential debate with Al Gore and Dan Quayle. At one point Stockdale yielded the floor, confessing that he was "out of ammunition."
Many thought the aging veteran a bit odd. But he was one of this country's great military heroes. In his forties, he flew more than 200 missions in Vietnam before he was finally shot down and captured. He was the highest ranking Naval officer captured by the North Vietnamese.
Stockdale was imprisoned for more than seven years, four of them in solitary confinement, two in leg irons. But while he was imprisoned in the Hanoi Hilton, he became the leader of the American POWs, devised communications systems, and encouraged resistance to the Communists' propaganda efforts.
For this he was tortured repeatedly.
Stockdale was awarded the Medal of Honor. His citation reads, in part:
Admiral Stockdale was a student of Greek philosophy and the author of four books. He returned to the Republican Party after his uncharacteristic venture into public life in 1992.
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while senior naval officer in the Prisoner of War camps of North Vietnam.
Recognized by his captors as the leader in the Prisoners' of War resistance to interrogation and in their refusal to participate in propaganda exploitation, Rear Adm. Stockdale was singled out for interrogation and attendant torture after he was detected in a covert communications attempt.
Sensing the start of another purge, and aware that his earlier efforts at self-disfiguration to dissuade his captors from exploiting him for propaganda purposes had resulted in cruel and agonizing punishment, Rear Adm. Stockdale resolved to make himself a symbol of resistance regardless of personal sacrifice.
He deliberately inflicted a near-mortal wound to his person in order to convince his captors of his willingness to give up his life rather than capitulate. He was subsequently discovered and revived by the North Vietnamese who, convinced of his indomitable spirit, abated in their employment of excessive harassment and torture toward all of the Prisoners of War.
By his heroic action, at great peril to himself, he earned the everlasting gratitude of his fellow prisoners and of his country.
Never has anyone displayed more courage in the service of his country. RIP.
Posted by JWM at 12:18 AM
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
The other night I heard "an expert" on TV whose name I didn't catch say:
That sounds about right. Let's nominate him for the short list of "Experts Worth Listening To"
I think all those people talking about the short list and who's on it don't really know much, and the few people who do know about the list aren't talking.
The Democrats keep saying they want the new justice to be just like Justice O'Conner. The President, they claim, has "a responsibility" to appoint someone who will rule on cases as she has and presumably would continue to rule had she stayed on the court.
Well, what if we were already doing what the Democrats are asking, replacing one justice with another likely to be very similar when making decisions? And suppose we had been doing that for more then a 100 years; and, sure enough, one justice was a lot like the justice he or she replaced.
Wouldn't that mean that with the court deciding 8-1 in the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case to uphold the doctrine of “separate but equal,” that we would still have segregation today, with the court upholding it by an 8-1 vote?
Posted by JWM at 1:12 PM
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
In his July 3 column, Raleigh News & Observer public editor Ted Vaden said:
What Vaden calls "the current animus against anonymous sources" is actually a well-founded and growing public distrust of how MSM sometimes use anonymous sources.
Let's don't get so spooked by the current animus against anonymous sources, much of it fanned by talk show hosts and bloggers who love to hate the "mainstream media," that we deprive readers of information that can't be obtained any other way. (Bold mine)
Remember the anonymous source Dan Rather and CBS used as the basis for a story about the President's National Guard service? The public was told by CBS its source was "unimpeachable."
Then, thanks primarily to bloggers' reporting, we learned who CBS's "unimpeachable" source was: longtime Bush-hater and Democratic Party activist Bill Burkett.
We also learned that as a condition of providing what turned out to be fake documents, Burkett demanded CBS arrange for him to speak to Joe Lockhart, a high-ranking staffer in Sen. Kerry's campaign. CBS quickly complied; and Lockhart made sure to call Burkett.
The public isn't growing distrustful of MSM's source use because of "bloggers who love to hate" MSM. It's growing distrustful because its watching and listening to both MSM and bloggers, sifting through the facts, and behaving reasonably.
Blogger Ed Driscoll has a terrific post detailing MSM's often testy and defensive animus toward bloggers who are just providing facts MSM should have provided in the first place.
Hat Tip: Glenn Reynolds.
Posted by JWM at 6:17 PM
Reacting to the recent U. S. Supreme Court Kelo decision, the NY Times' John Tierney writes today about what happened over the decades in his native Pittsburgh when government condemned land and neighborhoods for "renewal."
Did the government learn anything? Well, Tierney gives us the thinking of Pittsburgh's Mayor.
Pittsburgh has been the great pioneer in eminent domain ever since its leaders razed 80 buildings in the 1950s near the riverfront park downtown. They replaced a bustling business district with Gateway Center, an array of bland corporate towers surrounded by the sort of empty plazas that are now considered hopelessly retrograde by urban planners trying to create street life.
At the time, though, the towers and plazas seemed wonderfully modern. Viewed from across the river, the new skyline was a panoramic advertisement for the Pittsburgh Renaissance, which became a national model and inspired Pittsburgh's leaders to go on finding better uses for private land, especially land occupied by blacks.
Bulldozers razed the Lower Hill District, the black neighborhood next to downtown that was famous for its jazz scene (and now famous mostly as a memory in August Wilson's plays). The city built a domed arena that was supposed to be part of a cultural "acropolis," but the rest of the project died. Today, having belatedly realized that downtown would benefit from people living nearby, the city is trying to entice them back to the Hill by building homes there.
The right to confiscate private property gives politicians enormous power and sets developers to currying favor with them. No wonder most politicians are so eager to see their confiscatory power increased.
Yet the mayor still yearns for more acquisitions. He welcomed the Supreme Court decision, telling The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that eminent domain "is a great equalizer when you're having a conversation with people." Well, that's one way to describe the power to take people's property.
Tierney hopes a future Supreme Court justice will take a trip to Pittsburgh.
It's a great column. And don't you just love the lead: "Your Land is My Land?"
But I think a future Supreme Court justice would have a different view of eminent domain after touring Pittsburgh's neighborhoods, especially those that escaped urban renewal: the old-fashioned business districts with crowded sidewalks and the newly gentrified neighborhoods with renovated homes and converted warehouses. The future justice would quickly see what sets the success stories apart from Gateway Center and East Liberty. No politicians ever seized those homes and businesses for a "better use."
Posted by JWM at 12:05 PM
Monday, July 04, 2005
New Republic editor Peter Beinart says conservative talk show hosts headed to Iraq are not "real journalists."
Michelle Malkin sets Beinart straight on that, and reminds him of what some "real journalists" at his own magazine have done, including an associate editor fired for fabricating stories.
I think Malkin was too kind. She could have reminded Beinart of journalist Eason Jordan and CNN's deal with Saddam's regime: Access for CNN in exchange for softball reporting.
Who's not qualified to provide coverage from Iraq?
And Malkin didn't mention Dan Rather and CBS's statement that their then anonymous documents source was "unimpeachable," even as they knew Bill Burkett was a longtime Bush-hater and Democratic activist who had demanded access to a top Kerry aide, Joe Lockhart, before turning over the documents to CBS.
How many hundreds of journalists "reported" the Jennin massacre that never happened?
I could go on but today's a holiday.
Posted by JWM at 4:04 PM
"Happy Fourth of July," to the Greyhawks at Mudville Gazette.
24/7/365, Mudville Gazette serve the needs of our troops, their families and friends, and the rest of us looking for practical ways to support the troops and get information on the war on terrorism free of MSM leftist spin.
One of the Greyhawks' most valuable services involves giving voice to troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere through posting. Today, for instance, there are many posts from troops in Iraq discussing their feelings about the Fourth, their activities today, and in one case, setting NBC's Brian Williams straight on America's history.
On Mudville's main page it says:
The Greyhawks do all of that and more.
The Mudville Gazette is the on-line voice of an American warrior and his wife who stands by him, that prefers to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day they stand fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.
Visit Mudville Gazette at least once a day.
Posted by JWM at 2:24 PM
I hope President Bush's Supreme Court nominee is current Appellate Court Justice Priscilla Owen.
Here are 5 reasons why:
1) She'll judge; not legislate.
2) As Appellate Court nominee, unanimously awarded ABA's highest rating.
3) Has impressive bipartisan support from home state legal community.
4) Composed and articulate during four years of Democratic attacks.
5) Recently confirmed for an Appellate Court seat, so Senate delay should not be an option and confirmation assured.
What do you think?
Posted by JWM at 1:11 PM
Sunday, July 03, 2005
George Will's column today concerns David McCullough's recently published, 1776, a military history of the American Revolution. McCullough has enormous appreciation for what the revolution's success meant for America and the world. Will calls McCullough's book a birthday card "to his country on this Independence Day"
Here's part of what Will says:
Will's columnm also a birthday card to the nation, is here.
Solid, unpretentious narrative history like "1776" satisfies the healthy human thirst for a ripping good story. McCullough says E.M. Forster, the novelist, efficiently defined a story: If you are told that the king died and then the queen died, that is a sequence of events. If you are told that the king died and then the queen died of grief, that is a story that elicits empathy.
McCullough's two themes in "1776" are that things could have turned out very differently, and that individuals of character can change the destinies of nations. There is a thirst for both themes in this country, which is in a less-than-festive frame of mind on this birthday. It is, therefore, serendipitous that "1776," with 1.35 million copies already in print, sits atop The New York Times best-seller list on Independence Day
Posted by JWM at 5:19 PM