Saturday, October 01, 2005

A new blogger and he looks good

I don't know where he came from but one day his blog was on my screen and I started reading. Maybe it was because his home is here in North Carolina. I've been reading him for about 4 weeks now; and is he ever good.

He's David Boyd. He blogs at

Here are a few posts I lifted from his blog. See if you don't agree. (Links other than to are not "on" here, but they are at his blog.)


The military needs our best


"The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools." - Thucydides


Is there anybody in the news business sadder than Dan Rather?

Looks like Mapes and Rather have decided it's time to try to salvage their rep. My advice? Don't waste your breath.

Power Line:

Dan Rather and Mary Mapes are apparently out to rehabilitate themselves through the assertion of several themes related to Rathergate. In his interview with Marvin Kalb, Rather reiterates several of the themes: the Bush National Guard story was accurate, there is something sinister about the exposure of the documents as fraudulent, and the documents were not proved to be fraudulent in the Thornburgh-Boccardi report or elsewhere.

Global trade is a two way street

It's all over the news when a Chinese firm attempts to buy a US firm. It works both ways.

China Daily:

General Electric Co. plans to buy a 7 percent stake in China's Shenzhen Development Bank in the latest foreign strategic investment in China's increasingly competitive banking market, reports said Thursday.

Through the purchase, valued at about $100 million, GE Consumer Finance hopes to gain entry into China's developing personal loan market, the reports said.


Ward Connerly

The question now, however, concerns where the Republican party should go from here with respect to the matter of black people. First,we must abandon fruitless "outreach" efforts to "the black community," and treat black people as we would any other group of people. The message: We want you to join us in this pursuit of a more perfect union. But, we have no interest in you based on your "race" or skin color. Our interest is based on values that we hope you will share.

I'd spend time with a black capitalist over a white liberal any day.

Read the whole thing.

Good luck, David. I'm glad you're around.

The rest of us can access him here.

The N & O unknowingly "plays its readers for fools about those Wake County test scores"

Paul Somerby at The Daily Howler calls attention to the incompetence and bias of two MSM newspapers: The New York Times and Raleigh's News & Observer, a McClatchy paper.

Somerby titled his post: ILLITERATES EVERYWHERE! The New York Times plays its readers for fools about those Wake County test scores

Is Wake County, N. C. (Greater Raleigh) producing the latest educational miracle? The New York Times’ Alan Finder seems to want you thinking just that. Here’s the heart of his Sunday front-page feel-gooder—the latest laughable Times report about those “schools that work:”

FINDER (9/25/05): Over the last decade, black and Hispanic students here in Wake County have made such dramatic strides in standardized reading and math tests that it has caught the attention of education experts around the country.

The main reason for the students' dramatic improvement, say officials and parents in the county, which includes Raleigh and its sprawling suburbs, is that the district has made a concerted effort to integrate the schools economically...

In Wake County, only 40 percent of black students in grades three through eight scored at grade level on state tests a decade ago. Last spring, 80 percent did. Hispanic students have made similar strides. Overall, 91 percent of students in those grades scored at grade level in the spring, up from 79 percent 10 years ago.

Wow! Times readers felt a familiar glow; 80 percent of Wake County black kids scored at grade level on last spring’s tests! But here’s what Finder didn’t tell you—across the state of North Carolina, 77 percent of all black kids scored at grade level on those same tests!(bold added by JinC)

That’s right; the Times devoted this front-page story to a three-point difference in passing rates—a three-point difference in passing rates on tests almost everyone passes!

Have Wake’s black passing rates doubled in the past decade? Almost—but then, the same thing has happened all over the state!
We’ve told you this, again and again: Your “press corps” loves those schools-that-work stories, and they’ll do almost anything to throw such tales at you.

How well are Wake County’s schools really doing? We don’t have the slightest idea. But duh! To all appearances, North Carolina has easy state tests—tests which almost everyone passes. Finder doesn’t tell you that.
There's a lot more to The Times portion of Somerby's post,including a great deal about standardized education test results in North Carolina.

In the second part of Somerby's "play its readers for fools" post, he discovers The N&O nodding approvingly and passing on to N&O readers what The Times is saying.

Someby introduces The N&O portion of his post with: ILLITERACY SPREADS
You’d think they’d know better in Raleigh itself. But yesterday, the News-Observer ran a short piece on Finder’s report. Here’s what locals were handed:

THE NEWS-OBSERVER (9/25/05): Wake County Schools' success at achieving strong academic scores while integrating students economically is the subject of a high-profile article in today's New York Times.
The Times reports that Wake school district has become a national model...

Since 2000, the district has assigned students based on family income, with a goal of limiting each school to having no more than 40 percent of its students from low-income families. The district took that course after federal court decisions began to dismantle race-based desegregation plans.

School officials and parents say the economic integration plan is the key factor in the district's rapidly improving test scores among black and Hispanic students, The Times reported.

The story cites test scores showing that 80 percent of black students in grades three through eight scored at grade level last spring, up from 40 percent a decade ago..

You’d think this local paper would know the salient fact—that these scores have gone up all over the state.

But the paper repeated the claim, without challenge—the scores have gone up due to Raleigh’s economic integration program. The News-Observer also repeated that “40 percent a decade ago” claim.
Can you blame Somerby for expecting The N&O to understand education test scores for its own county and state?

Of course not.

On the other hand, if you're a regular N&O reader, you're not surprised The N&O went along with The Times story, are you?

Somerby says The Times knowingly "plays it readers for fools" but I don't believe The N&O was in any way trying to do the same thing in this instance.

I think The N&O's mistake is most likely explained by a combination of typical MSM thinking - "If it's in The Times, it must be right." - and N&O staffers just not knowing much about standardized education test results and how to use them.

What do you think?

St. Judith is really reporter Judy Miller

Now we're told she's St. Judith, the martyr journalist who allowed herself to be hurled into prison rather than break her confidentiality vow. MSM colleagues speak of her in reverential terms.

But not too long ago St. Judith was New York Times reporter Judy Miller; and quite a controversial figure among those same MSM colleagues, many of whom viewed her as a someone whose fierce ambition led her to step on others and twist facts to fit a story.

This from a New York Magazine story (June 7, 2004)

During the winter of 2001 and throughout 2002, Miller produced a series of stunning stories about Saddam Hussein’s ambition and capacity to produce weapons of mass destruction, based largely on information provided by Chalabi and his allies—almost all of which have turned out to be stunningly inaccurate.

An unusual number of her co-workers have gone out of their way to separate themselves and their paper from Miller. Few are brave enough to attach their names to the stories, but they all sound a similar refrain. “She’s a shit to the people she works with,” says one. “When I see her coming, my instinct is to go the other way,” says another. They recite her foibles and peccadilloes, from getting temporarily banned by the Times’ D.C. car service for her rudeness to throwing a fit over rearranged items on her desk. Defenders are few and far between.
Read the whole story here. You'll learn a lot about Miller, The New York Times, our government, and MSM.

In the coming days and weeks when MSM tells you what St. Judith is revealing, remember it wasn't so long ago she was Times reporter Judy Miller.

In fact, I think she really still is.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Gallup’s response raises serious doubts

For the first time I'm asking myself whether The Gallup Organization, in a least one important poll report, hasn’t fallen short of the high standards of fairness and accuracy for which it is so admired.

On Sept. 15 I posted: Gallup's reporting raises questions

I described a report at Gallup’s web site that caught my attention.

Its headlines: Blacks Blast Bush for Katrina Response
Most believe racism was responsible for delays in providing relief

Gallup had polled a biracial sample of blacks and whites but its headlines gave no hint of that.

I was also troubled by Gallup's statement that led its second paragraph:

Aside from Bush, whites and blacks have similar perspectives on how various entities handled themselves in the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
because the statement was directly contradicted by a number of Gallup's findings reported well down in the report. For example, whites were more than twice as likely as blacks to have a negative opinion of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.

I decided to send Dr. Frank Newport, Editor-in-Chief of The Gallup Organization, a link to my post and invite him to respond. I promised to publish in full his response.

I received the following email from The Gallup Poll’s Senior Editor, Lydia K. Saad. Saad wrote the poll report.
Dear John,

I've had a chance to read your analysis of my 9/14 news story entitled Blacks Blast Bush for Katrina.

You contend that a predictable finding on race is therefore not newsworthy. I would contend that these findings were not entirely predictable, and that even if they do conform with a larger pattern in black attitudes, that pattern -- whereby whites and blacks see racial issues quite differently -- is an enduring and important fact of U.S. politics and society. Documenting the extent to which the racial-gap exists on specific issues -- particularly new ones as they arise -- continually adds to our understanding of race relations and the larger culture.

We conducted an oversample of black interviews specifically to enable us to measure and report the views of blacks, and to contrast these with whites. I would not have been able to guess at the outset that nearly 2 in 3 blacks would attribute the government's response to racism, or that the overwhelming majority of blacks would disapprove of Bush's recent handling of the disaster, not just his initial handling. The results we got came in at what I perceived as the outer edge of the anti-Bush continuum.

Thank you for your interest in and attention to the Gallup Poll.

Lydia Saad

Lydia K. Saad
Senior Editor, The Gallup Poll
502 Carnegie Center, Suite 300
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 924-9600
I replied today with the following email and a link to this post:
Dear Lydia,

Thank you for responding to my Sept. 15 post. I've published your response in full, preceded by some background for readers new to this matter.

You say I “contend that a predictable finding on race is therefore not newsworthy.”

You’re wrong. Nowhere do I make that contention. Please take another look at my post here.

I did ask:
Why did Gallup decide to headline: Blacks Blast Bush for Katrina Response? Haven’t blacks, by percentages sometimes in the 90's, been blasting Bush for years for just about everything he’s said or done? What’s headline-worthy about them blasting him for his Katrina response?
Surely that can’t be stretched into a contention that “a predictable finding on race is therefore not newsworthy,” can it?

I pointed out:
Gallup’s own polling finds no statistically significant difference from pre-Katrina levels in blacks’ approval of the President or their favorable view of the Republican Party. Those are important findings given all that's been said these past few weeks.
That led to a reasonable question:
Why didn’t Gallup think them worth a headline or at least a mention in one of the first few paragraphs?
You offer no answer to that question, Lydia.

Nor do you answer my question regarding why, in the report’s second paragraph, Gallup says:
Aside from Bush, whites and blacks have similar perspectives on how various entities handled themselves in the Hurricane Katrina disaster
when that statement is directly contradicted by your findings of many important biracial differences not related to President Bush.

Examples I cited are:
Whites were more than twice as likely as blacks to have a negative opinion of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin

Three-quarters of blacks (77%), compared to only 44% of whites, considered the post-hurricane looters to have been mostly desperate people trying to keep themselves alive.

Half of whites and only 16% of blacks (viewed the looters) as mostly criminals taking advantage of the situation.
I strongly agree with your statement:
Documenting the extent to which the racial-gap exists on specific issues -- particularly new ones as they arise -- continually adds to our understanding of race relations and the larger culture.
Why then did your headlines and lead paragraphs give no hint that your polling revealed such huge biracial differences as whites more than twice as likely as blacks to have an unfavorable opinion of Mayor Nagin and more than three times as likely as blacks to view the looters as criminals?

Given such findings how could you tell us that "(a)side from Bush, whites and blacks have similar perspectives on how various entities handled themselves in the Hurricane Katrina disaster?"

If you decide to answer my questions, I’ll publish your answers in full.

If you choose to leave matters as they are, I’ll regret that. While this second post is headed, "Gallup’s response raises serious doubts," I’d like to be able to publish a third post headed, "Gallup answers questions; removes doubts."

I plan to write Dr. Newport. I’ll copy to you.

Thank you for the courtesy of your reply.



A little sympathy for Senator Schumer

Someone once said that the two most dangerous creatures on God's earth are a wounded tiger and a liberal who's just had his limousine repossessed.

There's another kind of liberal who's less dangerous but often very angry. Such liberals feel they know everything. That's what allows them to always want to decide how other people should live their lives.

Nothing upsets those liberals more than a situation in which it's obvious someone else knows more than they do about anything.

So I'm sure you'll understand that I felt a little sympathy today for Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) when I read a The New York Times story concerning White House consultation with Senators regarding the Supreme Court nomination:

Senator Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat who is on the judiciary panel, said that it was "consultation in name only" and that Ms. Miers (that would be White House counsel Harriet E. Miers - ed) called him last week to ask for suggestions in a conversation that lasted less than five minutes.

"There is no back and forth," he said. "It's just, 'Give us some names.' I said to her, 'Look, I'd like to know who the president is considering.' And she didn't say anything."
How tough that must have been for Schumer.

President Reagan had it right

James Taranto at Best of the Web reports New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin isn't sure what he can do, if anything, about police officers who walked off the job in the aftermath of Katrina.

Sally Forman, a spokeswoman for the mayor, said it is not clear whether the deserters can be fired. She said the city is still looking into the civil service regulations.

Remember a few weeks back when left-wing commentators were citing Katrina as an indictment of Ronald Reagan's small-government philosophy? What we see here is Democratic big government at work. Employees walk off their job when they are most essential, and weeks later their bosses haven't figured out if that's a firing offense!
And remember then newly-elected President Reagan told the air traffic controllers he'd fire them if they walked off their jobs. They were sure he wouldn't do it. But President Reagan did.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

WTC Memorial still needs guarding.

When you saw The New York Times' headline
Pataki Bars Museum From World Trade Center Memorial Site

you knew George Soros and friends at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation had lost a round in their campaign to control of a major part of the World Trade Center Memorial ground on which they want to build a "shame-on-you America" museum called The International Freedom Center.

Once past the headlines, you learned how mad Pataki's "No" had made The Times. It's story cum magnum tantrum began:

After a summer of furious and steadily rising criticism, Gov. George E. Pataki announced today that he was evicting the proposed International Freedom Center museum from its place next to the World Trade Center memorial site. With that, the center declared itself to be out of business.

"The I.F.C. cannot be located on the memorial quadrant," Mr. Pataki said in a statement issued shortly before 5 p.m. That quadrant, at the southwest corner of the trade center site, contains the footprints of the twin towers. It is regarded by many as sacred ground, too hallowed for a museum dealing with 9/11 in the context of greater geopolitics and social history.

"There remains too much opposition, too much controversy over the programming of the I.F.C.," the governor said, "and we must move forward with our first priority, the creation of an inspiring memorial." Mr. Pataki said he had instructed the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to "work with the I.F.C. to explore other locations."

But 42 minutes later, the center said in its own statement that there was no other location to explore, since the memorial quadrant was "the site for which the I.F.C. was created, at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation's request, and as an integral part of Daniel Libeskind's master site plan."

"We do not believe there is a viable alternative place for the I.F.C. at the World Trade Center site," the center's executives, Tom A. Bernstein, Peter W. Kunhardt and Richard J. Tofel, said in the statement. "We consider our work, therefore, to have been brought to an end." The Freedom Center was designated for the site in June 2004.
Oh, dear! Bernstein, Kunhardt and Tofel are taking their bats and balls and construction plans and going home. They'll no longer play with us.

The NY Times doesn't blame them. In fact, it agrees with them.

Of course, that's really no surprise. In a recent editorial, didn't The Times call people who objected to Soros and friends' museum plans "un-American?"

OK, enough about them? What about the rest of us? What should we do?

First, let's all seem downcast as we say to Soros and friends, "Can we call cabs for any of you or are you all waiting for your limousines?"

Next, whatever type of vehicle we help them into, let's all remember to say something calming like: "Forget what The Times says. You're not being evicted because you never moved in. Right? Anyway, you'll always have The Hampton's and Vail."

Then slam the door.

Once they're on their way uptown, let's have a day of celebration, and then return to days of pride and watchfulness.

We should celebrate a win in circumstances where people said, "But they're so powerful, and it's just about a done deal."

We should celebrate a victory made possible by people who spoke up.

People who said, "This is hallowed ground. No one shall dishonor it."

Those people helped persuade power-figures to do what they weren't planning to do; but should have done in the first place.

And they've reminded us of how important it is to keep faith with those who left us their legacy of service and sacrifice.

So a day of celebration is in order.

Then it's back to pride and watchfulness.

A George Soros and his friends and The Times have the power they have in part because they never give up. They lost today, and they'll whine. But they'll be back.

So let's draw strength from those The WTC Memorial will honor, and watch over the shrines and freedom they entrusted to us.

Never forget.

Golf and bias at Raleigh's News & Observer

(Note: The news story discussed below is unavailable to me at The Raleigh News & Observer's archives but can be accessed at another archive here.)

Liberal bias? There’s none of that in the news columns of Raleigh’s News & Observer, a McClatchy paper. At least that’s what its executive editor for news, Melanie Sill, says.

But then you find a front page N&O story, “On links, politicians get caught in a trap” (Aug. 22), that reads more like a Democratic National Committee talking points memo than a genuine news story.

The story begins:

What is it about golf that attracts political scandal?
"Golf is one of two activities that bring out the worst in politicians," Hollywood writer Peter Mehlman said. "The other is politics."
You’re then told Ohio’s Republican Gov. Bob Taft was found guilty of violating state ethics laws for failing to report golf outings

And you’re told in great detail about golf trips Republican Rep. Tom DeLay took which were paid for by lobbyists; and which the House Ethics Committee is investigating. The N&O included a picture of DeLay, the only one accompanying the story.

The N&O even tells you about a golf trip former Republican Vice President Dan Quayle took back in 1980. It was with a group of congressmen and lobbyists. The trip proved embarrassing to Quayle when it turned out one of the congressman was accompanied by an attractive lobbyist who had posed for Playboy.

Quayle was never accused of any impropriety on the trip but The N&O was able to tell readers that as Vice President, he got “into hot water for mangling the English language” and that his wife said he would “rather play golf than have sex.”

At this point, reader, you may be saying, “Wait! Three big name Republicans, and for one of them The N&O had to go back to a trip 25 years ago on which nobody claims Quayle did anything wrong. Geez.

What about Democrats? Former President Clinton? Didn’t he play a lot of golf with Washington power-broker Vernon Jordan; and didn’t Jordan try to get Monica Lewinsky a job after she left the White House; and didn’t he meet with Lewinsky and get her a lawyer? Jordan admitted all of that to a grand jury, didn’t he? And at the end of the Lewinsky scandal didn’t Clinton have to pay fines? And wasn’t he disbarred by the Supreme Court?

Did The N&O report any of that? Isn't what I'm saying true?”

Those are all good questions, reader. Here are the answers.

No, The N&O didn't report any of that. All it said about Clinton was that he's a "golf nut" who as President played often and took uncounted re-shots.

Yes, what you're saying is true.

From a transcript of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (March 3, 1998)
The two men also spend a great deal of time together outside the White House in golf games at courses around Washington and during summertime visits to Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. Jordan's name was associated with the Monica Lewinsky saga almost from the beginning. On January 22nd, just days after the story broke, Jordan publicly acknowledged that he had tried to help the former White House intern after she left government.

VERNON JORDAN: I did two things for Ms. Monica Lewinsky: I assisted her in trying to find employment in the private sector in New York City. Secondly, when she was served with the subpoena and, at her request, I recommended a very competent Washington lawyer, Mr. Frank Carter. I actually took her to Mr. Carter's office.
A federal judge later cited President Clinton for civil contempt for giving "intentionally false" testimony under oath regarding his relationship with Lewinsky and fined him $90,000.

The bar association in Clinton’s home state, Arkansas, investigated further; and then recommended to its state Supreme Court his disbarment?

The Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed its bar association’s recommendation, and so informed the United States Supreme Court.

On October 1, 2001, without dissent and for the first time in the nation’s history, the U. S. Supreme Court acted to disbar a former President.

In his autobiography, My Life, Clinton expressed the hope that his golfing buddy would "be able to forgive me for the mess I had gotten him into"(p.779).

Do you find it interesting that at The N&O Taft and DeLay's problems and a golf trip Dan Quayle took a quarter century ago are front page news while all that happened to Clinton and Jordan is ignored?

You may be asking whether The N&O mentions anything remotely scandalous involving a Democrat and golf.

Yes, it does. One person.

He's David Watkins, a minor functionary in the Clinton White House, who took an unauthorized trip to a golf match on the President's Marine helicopter and later resigned.

Can you see why I think the story reads more like a Democratic National Committee talking points memo than a genuine news story?

No liberal bias in The News & Observer's news columns.

Can you believe that?

If you'd like to take another look at The N&O's front page story, here again is a link .

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

An MSM paper helps the Left: Chapter 1


Last Saturday's "anti-war" rally in Washington, D.C. was a serious challenge for Raleigh's News & Observer, one of the McClatchy Organization's most profitable newspapers.

As a liberal, perhaps really a Leftist news organization, The N&O naturally wanted to report the rally in the most favorable way possible.

But N&O staffers knew there was so much about the rally - its goals, organizers, speakers and participants, - that would disgust, even anger, many of its readers..

So how could The N&O report the rally in a way that was sympathetic to the Left without alienating many N&O readers? It was a tough problem.

If you doubt that, consider just two examples of what N&O staffers faced as they prepared to report the rally "sunny side up."

There was first the problem of the rally's principal sponsor: International A.N.S.W.E.R.

N&O staffers knew if their readers went to A.N.S.W.E.R.'s web site they'd learn that besides supporting the terrorist al-Zarqawi's demand that American and other coalition forces immediately withdraw from Iraq, A.N.S.W.E.R. wants an end to what it calls America's "threats against Venezuela, Cuba, Iran & North Korea"; an American "withdrawal from Puerto Rico" (I'm not kidding); and a ban of military recruiters from not just our schools but from every one of our communities. If you doubt what I'm saying , go here to A.N.S.W.E.R.'s web site. It's all there.

A second problem for The N&O was the rally speakers and what they represent. Example: Lynne Stewart, an attorney recently convicted of aiding the jailed terrorist Omar Abdul Rahman by passing information to his terrorist supporters in Egypt. Rahman was the spiritual leader of the group that carried out the first World Trade Center bombing and was planning to blow up the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels connecting New York City and New Jersey.

Another speaker was former attorney-general Ramsey Clark who protested America's treatment of Saddam after his capture and expressed his belief Saddam was innocent of the charges brought against him.

Clark's love for the Left is nothing new. For decades he's praised Jane Fonda for her Vietnam War trip to Hanoi during which she expressed support for our then enemies who were holding and torturing American servicemen.

N&O staffers knew A.N.S.W.E.R., Stewart, and Clark's actions and goals posed a serious threat to their reporting plans. They had to act quickly if they were to have any chance of reporting the rally in Sunday's editions as a "sunny side up" event.

Staffers agreed they'd do what journalists refer to as "just leave it out." The term pretty much means what it says, and is easily understood even by people with little or no training in professional journalism.

Thus it happened that The N&O's rally reporting made no mention of its principal sponsor or of speakers such as Lynne Stewart and Ramsay Clark.

The N&O had managed a major news problem.

Tomorrow, in Chapter 2, we'll learn some of what reporter and author Christopher Hitchens said about the rally and its organizers. He'll tell us things The N&O didn't. We'll also look at how The N&O dealt with the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rally activities

NOTE: The N&O's rally story appeared Sunday, Sept. 25, on pg. 3A. I'm sorry I can't provide a link to it but The N&O is available in most North Carolina public and university libraries. For Lexis/Nexis searches, use the identifying information already given as well as the lead: War protesters march in D.C.

Raleigh News and Observer posts

I'll be posting tonight by 10 PM eastern on The N&O's coverage of last Saturday's "anti-war" rally.

Tomorrow by noon I'll post on an example of The N&O using golf in "news story" that was really just one long exercise in liberal news bias. And The N&O did it in a front page story.

Paris latest terrorist target. Surprised?

Do you believe those MSM pundits and terrorist apologists such as George Galloway and Cindy Sheehan who say London and Rome are terrorist targets because their governments support U. S. policies in Iraq?

If you do, you're in for a shock. Paris, capital of the Western nation that's arguably done the most to undermine U.S. policies in Iraq, is the terrorists' latest target.

Agence France-Presse this morning headlines: Terror suspects eyeing up Paris metro, airport

It reports:

Terror suspects detained in France had been eyeing up the Parisian metro network, an airport and the headquarters of the domestic intelligence service as possible targets, sources close to the investigation said.
Among those being held is Safe Bourada, 35, who was released from prison in 2003 after five years for helping organise a series of bomb attacks in France in 1995 for the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA).
Officials said the men were members of the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), an armed Algerian group that grew out of the GIA and has links to the Al-Qaeda network. Bourada was described as their ringleader.

The GSPC has threatened to carry out attacks in France and it is seen as a credible danger by intelligence officials.
I'm sorry for the French people that they must live under terrorist threat.

I hope this latest news will help diminish the number of people who provide excuses for the terrorists. They're only making it easier for the terrorists to spread and inflict terrorism.

Be sure to Open Newmark's Door

Be sure to open Newmark's Door today and visit with Craig. He posts on a range of topics from MSM misreporting of Katrina events to a theory regarding why the NYT would charge extra for people to read Paul Krugman et al. Craig doesn't necessarily support the theory but it's safe to say he acknowledges it has a certain plausibility.

One post touched me deeply. I think it will you as well.

Here's Newmark's Door.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Learning about the Vatican

CNN reports an Italian magazine has published what it says are portions of a secret diary keep by a Cardinal during the recent conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI.

Two sharp bloggers, Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters and Betsy Newmark at Betsy's Page, post on the matter.

I'm glad to leave the serious analysis to them and just tell you a little story about understanding the Vatican.

It seems back many years ago a reporter was assigned to cover the Vatican. He wasn't a Catholic and didn't know anything about the Vatican.

A Cardinal friend agreed to help him. The Cardinal made special arrangements for the reporter to actually live in the Vatican for four weeks.

Two weeks into his stay, the reporter was granted a private audience with the Pope.

Pope and reporter got on so well the Pope invited him to stay for dinner; just the two of them.

Near the end of the dinner, the reporter asked the Pope if he thought living in the Vatican for four weeks was enough time to gain at least a basic understanding of how it really worked.

The Pope paused for a moment and then said, "Four weeks is good but four months would be better, and four years not enough."