Saturday, June 04, 2005

Midway Anniversary Tribute

In June 1942, Japanese and American forces fought an epic battle at Midway, the name of a pair of mid-Pacific islands whose combined size totaled two square miles. But one of the islands was just large enough for an airfield and a small harbor, where submarines could rearm and refuel. Thus, Midway's strategic importance to both sides.

Midway was one of World War II’s most decisive battles. America's victory there halted the Japanese offensive and enabled the Allies to begin their advance toward Japan.

Beginning on June 4, the battle lasted for three-days. Its decisive action occurred that first day so we mark June 4 as the battle's anniversary.

Today is the 63rd anniversary of Midway. Here is how one historian began his account of the battle:

By any ordinary standard, they were hopelessly outclassed.

They had no battleships, the enemy eleven. They had eight cruisers, the enemy twenty-three. They had three carriers (one of them crippled); the enemy had eight. Their shore defenses included guns from the turn of the century.

They knew little of war. None of the Navy pilots on one of their carriers had ever been in combat. Nor had any of the Army fliers. Of the Marines, 17 of 21 new pilots were just out of flight school – some with less than four hours’ flying time since then. Their enemy was brilliant, experienced and all-conquering.

Further on, he wrote:

They had no right to win. Yet they did, and in doing so they changed the course of a war. More than that, they added a new name – Midway – to that small list that inspires men by shining example. Like Marathon, the Armada, the Marne, a few others, Midway showed that every once in a while “what must be” need not be at all. Even against the greatest of odds, there is something in the human spirit – a magic blend of skill, faith and valor – that can lift men from certain defeat to incredible victory.

You may recognize historian Walter Lord's words from the forward of his authoritative and inspiring book, Incredible Victory.

Lord's words are a fitting tribute. They speak for all of us.

You may want to visit these Midway websites:

Battle of Midway - Department of the Navy-Naval Historical Center staff prepared this excellent print and photo narrative.

The Battle of Midway, 1942 - A brief outline of the battle and the eyewitness account of Japanese pilot, Commander Mitsuo Fuchida, who was lead pilot at Pearl Harbor. - This is an extraordinary site. With narrative, photos, and video, it tells how the Navy, National Geographic, and undersea explorer Robert Ballard, who led the scientific team which located RMS Titanic, searched for and finally found on the Pacific's bottom the carrier, USS Yorktown, which was sunk by torpedo fire on June 6 after suffering severe damage earlier in the battle

Friday, June 03, 2005

Soros comes up short

Have you been following money-guy George Soros' effort to become part-owner of the new Washington baseball team?

American Spectator editor-in-chief R. Emmett Tyrrell,Jr. has, and he's made some comments.

“Conservatives don’t see everything as political,” he told The Washington Times. “We’ll go to the baseball game and not pay attention to who owns the team, though I suppose it would make a difference if the Nazis or the Communists owned it.

“George Soros isn’t that extreme – just short of it,” he said.

NPR's left-wing bias: Another example

Here's another example of NPR's institutional, left-wing bias.

In a June 1 "analysis" of reaction to France's EU rejection vote, an NPR reporter said:

The failure to ratify a European constitution could also affect trans-Atlantic relations. Many European analysts suspect there's a sense of relief in some American circles -- those that fear a stronger Europe could evolve into a counterweight to U.S. power, and those who prefer a less united continent, where Washington can pick and chose its allies, as it did in the lead-up to the war in Iraq. (Bold added)

America didn't pick and choose European allies in the lead-up to the Iraq war.

America worked hard to build an alliance that would include all European countries. Most joined.

Even those European countries that didn't join the alliance -- principally France and Germany -- acknowledge America wanted them to be part of it.

So how can NPR go ahead and tell us of an America that "can pick and chose its allies, as it did in the lead-up to the war in Iraq?"

NPR's claim is leftist and false.

I'll going to e-mail NPR's Ombudsman, Jeffrey A. Dvorkin. I'll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, NPR's claim will make anti-American newspapers and journals in Europe happy. But will even they believe it?

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Pundit pours facts on Kerry's whine

Senator John Kerry's never seemed like a happy guy - nuanced certainly, service in Vietnam for sure - but never happy.

What best characterizes Kerry is his whines. Recently, he's been whining that the vast right-wing media drowned out his presidential campaign message; thereby insuring President Bush's victory. It may comfort Kerry to believe that.

Someone who doesn't buy Kerry's '05 vintage whine is Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby. His column today begins with a taste of Kerry's whine, then quickly gets to facts. Here's a sample.

But there is a difference. Nixon really did a face an overwhelmingly hostile press corps. Kerry, Gore, and Clinton, by contrast, benefit from a news media that is overwhelmingly liberal, as countless surveys have shown. To cite just one: When a New York Times reporter polled journalists covering the 2004 Democratic National Convention, those from around the country favored Kerry over Bush by a ratio of 3 to 1. Among the Washington press corps, the results were even more lopsided -- 12 to 1 pro-Kerry.

What Kerry and the others object to is not that there are only conservative voices in media circles these days but that there are any such voices. The right-of-center Fox News cannot hold a candle to the combined left-of-center output of ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, and PBS. Scaife, Bradley, and Olin money helps leverage Republican messages, but its impact is dwarfed by the Ford, Rockefeller, Pew, Heinz, MacArthur, Carnegie, and Soros fortunes. The Washington Times is conservative? Yes, but The Washington Post is liberal -- and its circulation is eight times as large

Jacoby's column is a clip and save. You can read the whole thing here. (I think the Globe's website,, only keeps columns up for 7 days after which there's a fee for access.)

Democrats at Amnesty International "nonpartisan"

Today's Washington Times has a story exposing campaign contributions made by leaders of the supposedly nonpartisan Amnesty International USA. Their money went to Democrats John Kerry and Ted Kennedy.

Amnesty International recently made the outlandish charge that the Guantanamo prison was "a gulag," a reference to the Stalinist prison system in which millions were made slave laborers and tens of thousands were murdered or disappeared without a trace.

The top leadership of Amnesty International USA, which unleashed a blistering attack last week on the Bush administration's handling of war detainees, contributed the maximum $2,000 to Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign.

Federal Election Commission records show that William F. Schulz, executive director of Amnesty USA, contributed $2,000 to Mr. Kerry's campaign last year. Mr. Schulz also has contributed $1,000 to the 2006 campaign of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat.

Also, Joe W. "Chip" Pitts III, board chairman of Amnesty International USA, gave the maximum $2,000 allowed by federal law to John Kerry for President. Mr. Pitts is a lawyer and entrepreneur who advises the American Civil Liberties Union.

Amnesty USA yesterday told The Washington Times that staff members make policy based on laws governing human rights, pointing out that the organization had criticized some of President Clinton's policies.

"We strive to do everything humanly possible to see that the personal political perspectives of our leadership have no bearing whatsoever upon the nature of our findings and the conduct of our work," a spokesman said.

Amnesty International describes itself as
nonpartisan. (Bold added)

Of course, Amnesty International's nonpartisan. Just ask Sens. Kerry and Kennedy or any Mullah in Iran.

The W. Times story carries Rowan Scarborough's byline. You can read it all here.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The New York Times can do better

Today's New York Times' story of two men charged with conspiring to aid Al Qaeda runs with this headline:

Anti-Muslim Bias Seen in Charges Against Man Linked to Al Qaeda

The anti-Muslim bias charge is made by one of the men's lawyers. He offers no facts to support his charge, instead just saying things like his client "wouldn't be here if he wasn't a Muslim."

Lawyers are given wide latitude when defending clients. But news organizations are supposed to stay close to the facts, and never propagandize on their news pages.

So why didn't the Times run a headline like:

Defense Attorney Says Al Qaeda Suspects Victims of "Anti-Muslim Bias"

Can't the Times to be more evenhanded? Wouldn't being so better serve its readers?

EU rejection: Will it increase global warming?

To the long list of calamities Europe's elites say will follow EU rejection votes, shouldn't we add an increase in global warming?

After all, doesn't everything except treaties and bureaucracy increase global warming?

Who's willing to bet there'll still be rain on that plain down in Spain?

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

London Times' French EU vote letters

You don't want to miss the London Times' letters to the editor concerning France's EU rejection vote. They're sharp and fun.

Here's a sample:

Sir, Is there an estimate of the wasted cost of producing the miserable verbiage that the French have rightly rejected, apparently for all the wrong reasons?

AP calls France's de Villepin "eloquent"

Reporting on President Chirac's appointment of Dominique de Villepin as France's new Prime Minister, the AP gives us this paragraph:

Villepin was Chirac's foreign minister during the Iraq war. He is best known for his eloquent defense of the French stance against a U.S.-led invasion.

Eloquent? Maybe Saddam thought so.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day tributes

Instapundit links to the Winds of Change Memorial Day tribute post. It includes links to other bloggers' tributes as well as to sites set up to support out troops and those of our allies.

I'll bet a lot of service people have been saying to buddies things like, "Hey, come look at what some bloggers did. It's really nice."

I wish I had the words to properly express my debt to our war dead, veterans, serving military, their families, and our allies.

Iran's nuclear plans: The New York Times doesn't seem to notice

The headline is easily understood.


And the article that follows speaks for itself.

Tehran, 27 May (AKI) - Hojatolislam Gholam Reza Hasani, a representative of Iran's supreme spiritual leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, in Iranian Azerbaijan, has no doubts as to who to vote for in the next presidential elections on 17 June. "You need to vote for Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani," said Hasani. "This way we will finally be able to have for ourselves the atomic bomb to fairly stand up to Israeli weapons," said Hasani.

"Freedom, democracy and stupidities of this type cannot be carried over to any part, and these concepts are out of sync with the principles of Islam," said Hasani, the ima
m who led Friday prayers in the main city of western Iranian Azerbaijian.

"Islam always spoke with the sword in the hand and I don't see why now we have changed attitudes and talk with the other civilizations."

Here's the link.

If you've followed events in Iran since the mullahs came to power, you know the imam is saying what Iran's ruling leaders mean to do: Go nuclear.

Yet, The New York Times doesn't seem to notice. In a lengthy article (Across Iran, Nuclear Power Is a Matter of Pride, May 29), we read nothing about Iran using nuclear weapons to "stand up to Israel" and Islam speaking with "the sword in the hand."

Instead, we're served this opening paragraph:

From nuclear negotiators to student dissidents, from bazaar merchants to turbaned mullahs, Iranians agree: the right to develop nuclear power is a point of national pride.

And further down:

(It's) clear that Iran's attachment to nuclear development is rooted in its own tumultuous history. The Islamic republic is trying to use its nuclear program as a bargaining chip to end the varying degrees of international isolation it has been forced to endure since the Islamic revolution in 1979.

The nuclear standoff also echoes an older fight: Iran's colonial struggle to control its oil resources, which it eventually wrestled away from the British. Some reach further back, reflecting a desire to revive the glory of ancient Persia. Others want to claim Iran's future, to prove that the Islamic revolution can overcome its reputation for abysmal management.

Doesn't anyone at the Times take Iran's leaders seriously?

(Thanks to for the link to the imam's remarks.)

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Media hysteria follows French EU vote. What can Americans learn?

If you've never witnessed full-blown hysteria, take a look at how some of Europe's leading news organizations are reporting French rejection of the EU constitution.

France says 'no' to EU constitution, plunging Europe into crisis - Agence France-Presse

France rejects EU treaty, Europe faces crisis - Reuters

Meanwhile, much of the continent's MSM downplays Europe's growing Muslim extremism and Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

But Americans shouldn't sneer. We have our own MSM misleading us. The next post provides an example that ought to concern us all. And, yes, it's The New York Times that misleads.

It made me smile

(One of a series of posts about remarks and happenings that - made me smile.)

Churchill's reply to the mother who said she thought her baby looked like him: "Madam, all babies look like me."

France's EU vote: MSM won't explain it.

We'll soon know the result of France's EU Constitution vote, at which point hundreds of MSM reporters and pundits will tell us why the French voted as they did.

Most of what they'll say will be some form of an MSM consensus explanation. It will be an oversimplification at best, if not largely wrong.

How can it be otherwise given that, among other things, most MSM journalists haven't read the constitution? Doing so is a daunting task. The document goes on for hundreds of pages.

Someone who has studied, debated, and written about the constitution is William Rees-Mogg, former London Times editor, now a member of the House of Lords. In a March 2005 op-ed he noted:

Article 3 (of the Constitution) reads: “The Union shall work for sustainable development of Europe based on balanced economic growth and price stability, a highly competitive social market economy, aiming at full employment and social progress, and with a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment. It shall promote scientific and technological advance.”

We have to take this seriously, but these aspirations are neither defined nor justiciable. Suppose they were brought in front of the European Court of Justice, on the complaint that the European institutions were failing to achieve these objectives.

Rees-Moog then asked questions many French votes have asked themselves

What is “sustainable development”? How can Europe achieve “balanced economic growth”? What does “balanced” mean in that context? Is “economic growth” desirable in all circumstances? What is a “social market”? In what ways does it differ from an ordinary “market economy”? Can a “social market economy” be “highly competitive”, or will its social character be a hindrance to its competitiveness? What is the appropriate level of full employment? Is it 3 per cent unemployment, as Lord Beveridge once suggested? Is it the 10 per cent which is the current German level? What is “social progress”? Can it be measured by income differentials? Or by educational standards? Might there not be a conflict between social progress and economic growth? How does one measure the “improvement of the quality of the environment”? Indeed, what is “the quality of the environment”? How should Europe promote “scientific and technological advance”? By subsidies? How would they fit in with fair competition?

You can read the whole thing here.

MSM has said a lot during the campaign about the vote being a referendum on Chirac and his government. No doubt, whichever why the vote goes we'll hear more about the "Chirac factor"

Why not? It's simply explained, and you can prepare alternative leads before the polls close. "Tonight, in what is being viewed as a resounding rejection of President Chirac's leadership ...." Or, "Tonight, in what is being viewed as a show of support for President Chirac's leadership ....."

If you can peddle the Chirac stuff, why read the constitution? And Rees-Mogg's questions? Well, who wants complexity when simplicity will do?

But you know Rees-Mogg's questions and others like them where on the minds of many French voters today.

I'll watch for Rees-Mogg's post-election op-ed and link to it.

Bonne chance et bonsoir.