Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Churchill Series - Jan. 21, 2006

(One of a series of daily posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Tonight's post is the first "repeat" of a post I've run before.

Why a repeat, and why tonight?

Because I'm very tired so a new post tonight won't be as good as this "the old one" which illustrates Churchill's wisdom. What's more, "the old one" will make you smile.

The Churchill Series - Nov. 1, 2005

In late December, 1941 Churchill arrived in Washington to meet with Roosevelt and begin joint Anglo-American war planning.

With the exception of a brief trip to Canada, Churchill remained in America for almost four weeks. While in Washington, he stayed at the White House.

The British government and people were understandably very interested to know what was transpiring with the Americans.

When Churchill flew back to England, landing at Plymouth on Jan. 17, 1942, a train was waiting to take him to London where at 10 PM that evening, the War Cabinet assembled to hear his report.

The minutes of that meeting include this:

The Prime Minister thought that (the Americans) were not above learning from us provided we did not set out to teach them.
Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill: Road to Victory, 1941-1945. (p. 43)

JinC regurlars pastor the Pastor

Thursday I left a comment at one of my favorite blogs, Betsy's Page.

Betsy had posted on the importance of Wal-Mart as an employer. On the post thread, a Pastor Ray didn't agree. Well, I disagreed with the Pastor and commented.

I posted all about it here, Wal-Mart, George Will, a blogger and a pastor. And me, too.

That led Pastor Ray to comment here as well as at Betsy's Page.

The Pastor sure said a lot, including that I'd said things I didn't.

About that point, JinC regulars stepped front and center. They provided Ray with lots of information and asked him important questions he didn't answer.

Ray must still be digesting the information and questions. While he keeps commenting, there's no sign he understands the information or can respond to the questions.

I was working on a response to the Pastor (it would be my fourth) when I saw that JinC regulars were doing a better job of that than I could.

So I've moved on to work on other blog posts.

What posts?

For one, an open letter to Duke University President Richard Brodhead.

Most of you know Duke selected Harry Belafonte as its principal speaker to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. King.

Belafonte is infamous to Americans for calling our President "the world's greatest terrorist," and making racist attacks on Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.

I don't plan to tell Brodhead Belafonte was an inappropriate choice for the university. That wouldn't be true. Belafonte was a fitting choice for Duke.

But I do plan to ask Brodhead why Duke's PR office didn't say anything about Belafonte's attacks on the President and Secretaries Powell and Rice. Surely his remarks were relevant.

I also plan to ask whether Duke has given any thought to holding two commemorations next year: One for people who will cheer speakers line Belafonte and what he represents;and another for people who will cheer Dr. King's life and legacy.

I plan to have the letter/post to Brodhead up by Sunday evening, Jan. 22.

I've posted twice about "Teddy and the Owl." Look for more on "the liberal lion," but this time the matters will be even more serious than Kennedy's hypocrisy and witness abuse. The next Ted Kennedy post should be up by Tuesday, Jan. 24.

Will there be more about The Raleigh News & Observer?

Yes, including a new series, The Raleigh News & Observer for Dummies. It starts Monday, Jan. 23.

Thank you for visiting and keep checking in.


Friday, January 20, 2006

The Churchill Series - Jan 20, 2006

(One of a series of daily posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Most people know horses were an important part of Churchill's life. He rode pony's as a child; trained in horsemanship at Sandhurst; was commissioned as a cavalry officer; rode as a lancer in the famous charge at Omdurman; played polo into his fifties; and kept and bred horses at Chartwell and other properties.

But most people don't know that for many years Churchill owned a racing stable. And he wasn't one of those celebrity owners who preen and eye the cameras while putting their feet in - oops - the wrong places. As with everything else he cared about, Churchill the race horse owner was informed and "hands on."

Churchill's most successful horse was a grey, Colonist II. He bought him against the advice of many racing experts. Churchill thought he saw something - a special determination - in Colonist that would make the horse "a winner."

Colonist proved Churchill right. "This tough and indomitable grey horse has performed miracles," said one racing writer in 1950. "No horse in living memory has put up such a sequence of wins in good-class races in one season." Among the prestigious races Colonist won were The Winston Churchill Stakes and The Jockey Club Stakes.

As Colonist's racing days came to a close, his trainer reminded Churchill that Colonist would be very valuable as a stud horse. The trainer offered to arrange matters.

Churchill pondered a moment, then laughed and replied,

"To stud? And have it said that the Prime Minister of Great Britain is living on the immoral earnings of a horse?"
Churchill's official biographer, Martin Gilbert, does not say what ultimately happened to Colonist. We can wish the horse had a green old age.

I wasn't able to learn what Churchill’s racing colors were. Can anyone help with that?

[Update 12-26-06: Churchill's father had owned race horses. Lord Randolph's colors were pink and chocolate and pink; and Churchill selected those as his own.]
Martin Gilbert, Never Despair. (pgs. 488, 522, 524, 528, 563)

My favorite tribute to President Reagan

On this 25th anniversary of President Reagan's first inauguration, there've been many tributes paid to a man most Americans believe was one of our greatest Presidents. They reminded me of a tribute paid to Reagan more than 20 years ago.

In January 1981, "smart people" were saying America's best days were behind us. Just before he left office, President Carter attempted to excuse the four year train wreck that was his presidency by invoking " the forces of history." Most of Carter's supporters and many others assured us the job of President had "just gotten too big for one man."

A few year later, I read what's always been my favorite tribute to President Reagan. It was a one sentence letter to the editor:

Has anyone else noticed that people have stopped saying the job is too big for one man?
In the 1984 election, President Reagan carried 49 of 50 states. People had noticed.

RIP, President Reagan.

How you'll know America is on the right road

Reuters has just reported:

A former Pentagon analyst was sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison on Friday for passing U.S. defense information to two pro-Israel lobbyists and for sharing classified information with an Israeli diplomat.

Lawrence Franklin, 59, who previously worked as an analyst in the office of the secretary of defense, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge T. S. Ellis. Franklin had pleaded guilty in October to sharing the information and also to illegally possessing classified documents
Michelle Malkin reacts:
There should be harsh consequences for illegally leaking classified information, whatever the intentions of the leaker. If people on both sides of the aisle would be more consistent about this, our country would be a hell of a lot better off.
I agree with what Malkin says. I also think America would be a lot better off:
if the people in government who disclosed national security secrets to New York Times reporter James Risen were given long prison sentences;

and Risen and others at the Times who jeopardized national security were prosecuted and sent to jail;

and when the public heard about all of that there was outrage that the sentences weren't long enough;

and Congress agreed to pass legislation with tougher penalties for disclosing national secrets;

which led Sen. Hillary Clinton to say, "The Bush administration isn't doing enough to track down and prosecute people who call themselves "whistleblowers" but are really just betrayers who put us all at greater risk."
If all of that started happening, you'd know America was on the right road.

Raleigh N&O silent on Sen. Kennedy's Owl membership

The self-described "fair and accurate" editors at The Raleigh News & Observer are withholding from readers news that Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) has been for more then fifty years a member of an exclusive, private club, The Owl, which bars women from membership.

News that Kennedy, "the liberal lion" to his admirers, is an Owl member was first reported by The Washington Times and many bloggers. Once the news became public, Kennedy quickly announced he would quit the discriminatory club "as fast as I can."

Here's part of The Boston Herald's Tuesday, Jan. 17, report:

U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy — who ripped Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito for ties to a group that discriminates against women — says he’s going to quit a club notorious for discriminating against women “as fast as I can.”

Kennedy was outed by conservatives late last week as a current member of The Owl Club, a social club for Harvard alumni that bans women from membership.

In an interview with WHDH Channel 7’s Andy Hiller that aired last night, Kennedy said, “I joined when I . . . 52 years ago, I was a member of the Owl Club, which was basically a fraternal organization.”

Asked by Hiller whether he is still a member, Kennedy said, “I’m not a member; I continue to pay about $100.”

He then said of being a member in a club that discriminates against women, “I shouldn’t be and I’m going to get out of it as fast as I can.”

The Harvard Crimson reports that, in 1984, the university severed ties with clubs like the Owl, citing a federal law championed by Kennedy.
Here's some news analysis Barry at Palmetto Pundit provided his readers:
First, (Kennedy) hijacks the floor during the Alito hearings last week and demands a subpoena be issued for documents freely available in The Library of Congress.

Then, he conducts a character assassination on the nominee on the basis that he once was a member of a group at Princeton that discriminated against women.

Finally, he admits that he is a member of the Owl Club, which also discriminates against women, says he will “get out of it as fast as I can”, then says “I’m not a member; I continue to pay about $100.”

$100 for what, Senator Kennedy? Non-membership dues?
Barry has more to say. You can read it all here.

Why isn't the liberal trending left Raleigh News & Observer, a McClatchy paper, reporting on Kennendy and The Owl? Why don't we see any analysis of how liberals are reacting to the news? Are they appalled and outraged? Did they know that when their lion hangs out with owls, they're all males?

I'm sending this post to Editors Sill and Vaden at The N&O. I'll let you know if I hear back.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Cheney loses it

The Associated Press is reporting:

Vice President Dick Cheney on Thursday defended the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program, saying it is an essential tool in monitoring al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations.

But Cheney stressed that the program was limited and conducted in a way that safeguarded civil liberties.
Well, there goes Cheney's chance to win the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.

About Sens. Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy.

People like Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Al Sharpton, Maureen Dowd, and E.J. Dionne keep saying wonderful things about Sens. Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy.

But for all they're saying, I can't bring myself to trust my family's and my own heath care to Hillary and Teddy.

How about you?

Jan. 20, 1981: The 25th anniversary of President Reagan's first inauguration

Barry at Palmetto Pundit posts a wonderful tribute to President Ronald Reagan on the eve of the 25th anniversary of his first inauguration. I liked best the extensive quotes from Reagan's inaugural address. Here are a few of them:

The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we as Americans have the capacity now, as we've had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom.
From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?
We hear much of special interest groups. Well, our concern must be for a special interest group that has been too long neglected. It knows no sectional boundaries or ethnic and racial divisions, and it crosses political party lines. It is made up of men and women who raise our food, patrol our streets, man our mines and factories, teach our children, keep our homes, and heal us when we're sick -- professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and truck drivers. They are, in short, ``We the people,'' this breed called Americans
Those words were spoken at a time when the "smart people" were telling us America's best days were behind it; and that we had just inaugurated an "amiable dunce."

Barry makes the case that Reagan is our greatest 20th century president. His post includes a very touching photo of Reagan.

The post is here.

Wal-Mart, George Will, a blogger and a pastor. And me, too.

One of my favorite bloggers, Betsy Newmark, posted on a George Will column. Betsy's post drew a comment from a reader, Paster Ray. I decided to respond to Ray.

Here first is the part of Betsy's post that drew Ray's comment:

George Will has a very powerful column today about how shoddy Maryland has been in their legislation against Wal-Mart. Every time I write about Wal-Mart I get some people in my comments section who have bought into the demonization of a company that has done more to help lower-income people than almost any other company in America.
Now Pastor Ray's entire comment:
"Every time I write about Wal-Mart I get some people in my comments section who have bought into the demonization of a company that has done more to help lower-income people..."(bold in Ray's comment)

At least Ms. Newmark has the historical savvy to offer us the apologetic that's been used to justify sweatshops since before Dickens.
Pastor Ray | 01.19.06 - 10:51 am | #
Now my response to Ray which I left on Betsy's comment thread.
Pastor Ray,

Dickens? Did you really read George Will's column? Do you know anything about Wal-Mart workers except what we all hear from “activists?”

Do you know that in the part of North Carolina where Betsy lives, a number of large, well-endowed, liberal oriented universities and churches compete with Wal-Mart for workers?

And can you guess why the Wal-Mart workers are there instead of at the universities and churches? That’s right, Wal-Mart made them the best offer.

Yes, some Wal-Mart employees complain they're not well treated so their lives are miserable. But don't some employees at Ben & Jerry's, the U.N., and National Public Radio say the same things?

Would you believe , Pastor Ray, that many Wal-Mart employees are regular savers. Some are saving to buy a house or a new car. Some will send a kid to college. Others are putting something aside for old age.

I've never met a Wal-Mart employee who complained of not having enough to eat. They have decent clothes. They have hobbies. They take vacations.

Dickens? That’s nonsense.

The Victorian author you and “activists” condemning Wal-Mart bring to mind is Anthony Trollope.

Have you ever read any of Trollope’s satires of the comfortable and smug “activists” of his day? They wanted to do everything for the poor except share their own material goods with them.

Some of Trollope’s books have been grouped into what’s called The Barchester Chronicles. They share a focus on hypercritical church connected “activists.”

My favorite is The Warden; but I love them all. They always get me smiling, sometimes even laughing out loud. I’m laughing right now just thinking about The Warden.

Pastor Ray, if you put down Dickens and pick up Trollope, you’ll find yourself transported from the 19th century to today.

And maybe you’ll be convinced to do nothing to interfere with the job opportunities of people who want to work at Wal-Mart.

Think about it.


U. S. missile attack saves lives

The Associated Press is reporting today:

An al-Qaida explosives and chemical weapons expert and a relative of the terror network's No. 2 leader were among four top operatives believed killed in a U.S. missile strike in Pakistan last week, Pakistani security officials said Thursday.
The officials said the operatives included Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar, 52, who the U.S. Justice Department calls an explosives and poisons expert. The Egyptian also has distributed training manuals with recipes for chemical and biological weapons and trained hundreds of fighters at a terrorist camp near the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad before the ouster of the hardline Taliban regime in late 2001.

Umar is suspected of training the suicide bombers who killed 17 U.S. sailors in the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, according to Mohamed Salah, a Cairo expert on Islamic extremists.
So terrorists who no doubt had already helped kill hundreds, maybe thousands, are likely dead; and can't carry out their plans to kill millions more. What great news!

It too bad some innocents also lost their lives in the attack. But if those monsters had lived, they would have killed many more innocents. America's critics never seem to care about that.

Final word: Thanks to everyone who helped make possible Umar and his pals' speedy flight to their meetings with all those virgins. Agents who arrange such trips are among my favorite people. They save so many lives.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Churchill Series - Jan. 18, 2006

(One of a series of daily posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

In September 1943, American high school and college students knew that on the Russian front, Soviet and German soldiers their age were being killed, wounded or taken prisoners of war by the hundreds of thousands.

The students also knew that in the South Pacific, Americans they might soon join were fighting and dying side-by-side with Australian and other Allies against suicidal Japanese resistance.

Many of the students read the casualty lists the War Department released each day. Often they recognized names of friends they thought had been serving in Italy or with a bomber command or on a sub somewhere in the Atlantic. But the lists didn’t say much about where or with what units the dead, wounded and missing had been serving.

The students understood . Like everyone else, they didn’t want to read anything in the newspapers that might help the enemy.

It was before such students and to America’s youth that Churchill spoke at Harvard University on September 6, 1943:

"To the youth of America, as to the youth of all the Britains, I say, 'You cannot stop. It must be world anarchy or world order.

You will find in the British Commonwealth good comrades to whom you are united by other ties besides those of State policy and public need. Law, language, literature...common conceptions of what is right and decent, a marked regard for fair play, especially to the weak and poor, a stern sentiment of impartial justice, and above all the love of personal freedom. These are common conceptions on both sides of the ocean among the English-Speaking Peoples.
In 1943 British and American “common conceptions of what is right and decent” were under attack from without.

Today, they're under attack from within as well as without.
The quote is referenced in many Churchill biographies.It can also be found in The Churchill Centre's Finest Hour. (Winter, 2000-2001) Go here and scroll down.

2005's most underreported story?

2005's most underreported story?

Besides progress in Iraq, it may have been the Egyptian massacre of Sudanese that occurred on December 30, says National Review’s Jay Nordlinger:

Egyptian police assaulted a crowd of Sudanese refugees, people who had already fled mass murder in their home country. Estimates vary on how many were killed, but it was a lot. For more information, you may wish to see the website of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, in Washington, D.C. They do a world of good work.

Reading about these events, I couldn't help thinking of the Sabra and Shatila massacres, in which "Christian" militias butchered Palestinian refugees. Israel was duly blamed. (As Prime Minister Begin remarked, "Goyim kill goyim, and they come to hang the Jews.") That story dominated the front pages for — what? Two years? It seems to me the wallpaper of my youth.

Of course, many more Palestinians were killed by their Lebanese foes than Sudanese were killed by the Egyptians, apparently. But you better believe that if any Israelis had been anywhere near the Sudanese bloodbath, this would not be an underreported story. This would be an over reported — and almost certainly wrongly reported! — story.
The story certainly deserved more attention then it received. And I agree with Nordlinger as far as how the media would have treated the story if Israelis had been involved. But I don’t think the story is the most underreported by a long shot.

My candidate for “most underreported story?”

The extraordinary skill and bravery of the world’s largest and best human rights and relief organization: America’s military.

How much did you hear about its work shielding billions of people from attack and death or enslavement? What would happen to all those Europeans who bash America if Muslim fundementalists knew America's military wasn't around? And what would happen to us?

How many of the year-end news reviews even bothered to mention the American military’s Tsunami relief work? Yet of all the world’s major relief agencies, our military was there first, delivering the most aid and taking on the toughest work.

We can never say thanks enough to our military and their families.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Churchill Series - Jan. 17, 2006

(One of a series of daily posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill._

Note to Regulars, Sorry I didn't post yesterday. It was the workload. John)

In 1975 there was fierce debate in Britain as to whether or not it should join the European Common Market.

Opponents of membership were supporting their arguments with, among other things, this Churchill quote: "Each time we must choose between Europe and the open sea, we shall always choose the open sea."

Churchill's grandson, Winston S. Churchill, then a member of Parliament wrote a letter to The Times of London providing context for his grandfather's words. I don't know enough about the Common Market membership issues to judge the letter in that regard but I think you'll find it interesting for what it tells us about the Churchill-de Gaulle relationship as D-Day approached.

The quote, Churchill's grandson wrote:

"is drawn from de Gaulle's version of a wartime row he had with Churchill, as is made clear by the very next sentence: 'And if I have to choose between you [de Gaulle] and Roosevelt, I shall always choose Roosevelt.'

The date was 1944 and the Europe referred to was dominated and occupied by Nazi Germany. It is not surprising that Churchill, on the eve of the Allied invasion, should make clear to de Gaulle that the U. S. alliance was more important to Britain than de Gaulle's forces.

Churchill was not referring to the European Economic Community, as it had not even been thought of at the time.

A more representative idea of his thoughts can be gained from his many speeches in the cause of European unity especially those at Zurich, The Hague, and in the Albert Hall in 1947, when he declared, 'If Europe united is to be a living force, Britain will have to play her full part as a member of the European family.'"
It should be remembered that when Churchill spoke in 1947 of British membership in the "European family," he had in mind a militarily powerful Europe which could not only protect itself but could project force, when necessary, to other parts of the world.

Today's Europe, excepting perhaps Britain, is militarily weak and not the Europe Churchill envisioned in 1947.
Letter to The Times, Winston S. Churchill, MP, (Here at Churchill Centre. Scroll to Winter, 1975)

I'll beat The N&O on the Ted Kennedy Owl Club story

I'm so often wrong about ordinary day-to-day stuff that I almost never go out on a limb and make a prediction. But I will now.

The prediction? John in Carolina will "beat" Raleigh's News & Observer on the story about Sen. Ted Kennedy's current and long-standing membership in an exclusive private organization that bars women from membership.

In fact, I'll go further. I'll publish on Kennedy and his Owl Club membership at least a full day before The N&O.

How can I be so sure? Well, the story has been out on the net since January 13. Friends say reporters and editors at The N&O know about it. But they haven't published it. That means they and their owners, The McClatchy Company, don't want to publish the story.

So it won't be hard to beat The N&O.

I'd like to wager with you, but you're all too smart to bet against me.

See you tomorrow.

At the library today

At the library today, I stood second in the checkout line, with a women ahead of me. In front of us at the counter were a mother and young child.

The mother was passing books to the child, who in turn passed them to the Liberian for scanning, after which the Liberian gave them back to the child who then put the books in a carrying sack.

The mother sometimes stopped and told the child to "Look at the Liberian" or "Say, 'thank you.'"

At one point, the mother turned to the women ahead of me and said, “I’m sorry to be holding you up.”

“No, please, I was just enjoying it,” the woman replied. “It’s so nice to see a parent teaching children manners.”

A second later both women looked at me. I smiled and nodded.

N&O propaganda and Chronicle reporting

Yesterday, I posted on The Raleigh News & Observer’s Jan. 16 front page story, Fiery Belafonte focuses on injustice, which concerned Sunday's Dr. King commemoration event at Duke University Chapel. The principal speaker was singer and activist Harry Belafonte. My post explained why The N&O's story is an anti-American and Bush-bashing propaganda piece.

I wish when I wrote that post I had a copy of the story of the event that ran in the Duke student newspaper, The Chronicle. I could have made my point about N&O propaganda by comparing The Chronicle and N&O stories.

Well, better late than never. Here goes. (N&O portions are in bold; Chronicle portions in italics.)

First, the headlines –

N&O - Fiery Belafonte focuses on injustice

Chronicle - Activist lauds King, decries Bush

Describing Belafonte -

N&O - He's an “(e)entertainer and human-rights activist.”

Chronicle - He's a “controversial musician, actor and activist”

Both stories are similar in their summaries and quotes of Belafonte’s remarks about President Bush being a "terrorist," the war in Iraq, and the moral equivalence between the 9/11 attackers and American policies.

But there are differences in how the stories report the circumstance in which Belafonte called the President "the greatest terrorist in the world."

N&O - Standing next to Hugo Chavez, that country's socialist leader, Belafonte called Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world."

Chronicle - Belafonte previously had called Bush “the greatest terrorist in the world” during a Jan. 8 speech in Venezuela, setting off a firestorm of criticism.

About Belafonte's long history of support for leftist tyrants -

No - Silence

Chronicle - A student is quoted: “Belafonte claims to be a champion of human rights, yet he embraces tyrants, for example, Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, who often brutally deny their citizens of the most basic human rights”

About racist remarks Belafonte has made about former Secretary of State Colin Powell and current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice -

Both stories are silent.

Did anyone disagree with anything Belafonte said?

N&O - No mention that anyone disagreed with anything Belafonte said.

Chronicle - “But not everyone agreed.”

N&O - No mention that tens of millions of Americans find Belafonte's attacks on the President wrong, reckless, and perhaps a threat to his safety.

Chronicle - Although most of the audience expressed agreement with Belafonte’s views, (a conservative student leader) said the crowd was not a true representation of Americans.

“Most Americans would not cheer when George W. Bush, their President, is compared to the 9/11 hijackers and Operation Iraqi Freedom is compared to hijacking a jet and flying it into a building,” he said.
You'll see more differences if you read both The Chronicle and N&O stories.

I think you'll agree The N&O's story is anti-American and Bush-bashing propaganda. If you're not sure about that, please take another look my post, Belafonte and The Raleigh N & O's propaganda. It has much more analysis and discussion of The N&O's "Fiery Belafonte" piece than I've provided here.

You can read The Chronicle story here; The N&O story is here.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Belafonte and The Raleigh N & O's propaganda

While al- Jazeera and left-wing European newspapers regularly provide anti-American and Bush-bashing propaganda, Raleigh's News & Observer, a McClatchy Co. paper, has for years offered readers only the Bush-bashing kind. But today, Jan. 16, it ran a story containing both anti-American and Bush-bashing propaganda.

The story's front page and headlined: "Fiery Belafonte focuses on injustice." Written by reporter Michael Beisecker, it begins:

Entertainer and human-rights activist Harry Belafonte said Sunday that there is moral equivalence between the actions of the Sept. 11 hijackers and the American-launched war in Iraq.

"Killing is our easiest tool," Belafonte said, addressing about 1,800 people packed in the cavernous gothic chapel at Duke University for a commemoration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "When you have a president that has led us into a dishonorable war, who has killed tens of thousands, many of them our own sons and daughters, what is the difference between those who would fly airplanes into buildings, killing 3,000 innocent Americans? ... What is the difference between that terror and other terrors?" (Ellipse in N&O story)
Belafonte's appearance at Duke, a private university that once closed its doors to blacks, came little more than a week after comments he made on a trip to Venezuela grabbed national headlines. Standing next to Hugo Chavez, that country's socialist leader, Belafonte called Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world."
"When Katrina happened, this great tragedy, and our people called out in misery and fear, our government didn't respond," Belafonte said. He then recounted how the Venezuelan president offered to send doctors and low-cost heating oil to help America's poor -- an offer, Belafonte said, that was "arrogantly dismissed" by President Bush.
The rest of the story is in a similar vein.

Like any propaganda story, The N&O's "works" because relevant facts and context are unreported while falsehoods are presented as if true.

For example, The N&O doesn't mention Belafonte's enthusiastic support of brutal leftist dictators. In the 1980's Belafonte praised the Soviet and East German regimes. He's a friend of Castro. The N&O's "socialist leader" Chavez is only the latest leftist thug Belafonte's embraced.

The N&O knows if it mantions any of that, most readers wouldn't be fooled into thinking Belafonte is a "human-right activist." Its story would start falling apart.

The N&O knows Belafonte has made racist remarks. About then Secretary of State Colin Powell, Belafonte said, “When Colin Powell dares to suggest something other than what the master wants to hear, he will be turned back out to pasture.”

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Belafonte has said, is “like a Jew . . . doing things that were anti-Semitic and against the best interests of her people.”

Most newspaper reporters and editors would find it very relevant, and certainly ironic, that the principal speaker at an event honoring Dr. King's life made racist remarks about two great Americans. They'd make sure their readers knew about it.

But propagandists pitching a "Fiery Belafonte focuses on injustice" story would do just the opposite. They'd make sure the story said nothing about racist remarks. That's what The N&O did.

The N&O's story doesn't contain a single word indicating tens of millions of Americans find Belafonte's remarks about President Bush wrong, inflamatory, and possibly a threat to his safety.

The N&O never mentions that Belafonte's equating the terrorists acts of 9/11 with American policies has been challenged and refuted. Instead, The N&O reports Belafonte's "moral equivelence" charge the same way al-Jazeera reports it when others who hate America make it.

The N&O is silent about the enormous Katrina rescue and relief activities of our government and individual Americans. It’s silent about false MSM reports claiming minorities were discriminated against during and after Katrina.

The N&O’s silence on those matters enables it to "report" Belafonte's falsehood - "When Katrina happened, this great tragedy, and our people called out in misery and fear, our government didn't respond." - as if it were true.

And that's exactly how all anti-American propagandists "report" Katrina: Nothing about rescue and aid that we now know was nondiscriminatory. Just say there was a huge storm; poor black people cried out; and Bush and rich, white America ignored them.

Dear Readers,

I’ve tried hard to find a good ending for this post, but I’m stumped.

Over the years I’ve seen some pretty bad stuff in The N&O, but today’s story is among the worst.

It reads like a press release from the “Bush = Hitler” and “America deserved it” people.

I don’t know why The McClatchy Co. seems determined to drive The N&O further left.

I’d love to hear what you think.

I’ll be back tomorrow. We’re not giving up.


Green house gasbags and Noth Carolina

What do green house gasbags and the old Tar Heel state have to do with one another?

To find out, read Daniel Akst's opinion piece in the Jan. 13 Wall Street Journal. It begins:

In North Carolina, the owners of a 4,600-square-foot home that cost $1.2 million wanted it to be as "green" as possible, so they spent $120,000 on solar power.

In Colorado, using recycled materials, an architecture professor built a 4,700-square-foot home that uses geothermal heating and cooling and was on the market recently for $930,000.

And in Southern California, a husband-and-wife architect team who say that they "came of age during the '60s and '70s at U.C. Berkeley" also relied on recycled materials -- in building a second home six hours from their primary residence.
The question, of course, is what on earth are all these people thinking? How "green" can huge and, in many cases, isolated houses be? Wouldn't it be better to risk traumatizing the children by squeezing into a 3,000-square-foot home, especially one close to shopping, schools and work?

How many less affluent, less guilt-ridden Americans can afford to build such environmental show houses?

These houses aren't just ridiculous; they're monuments to sanctimony. If architecture is frozen music, these places are congealed piety, demonstrating with embarrassing concreteness the glaring hypocrisy of upper-class environmentalism.

Good for Akst for saying all that. We hear so much from "environmentalists" like Sens. Kerry and Kennedy, who between them own 9 very large homes (or is it 10?), that we're apt to forget the hypocrisy of so many "environmentalists."

Now, what does Akst have for people seriously concerned about the environment?

Plenty, including this:
Homeowners (can save energy with) high-efficiency appliances, stingy heating and cooling, and advanced windows with energy-saving coatings and argon gas between the panes.

Computerized thermostats, compact fluorescent bulbs and fuel-efficient cars also make sense, whether your goal is to save money, save the planet or reduce our dependence on imported oil, with all its geopolitical consequences.
There's more. Read it all here.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Contact information for North Carolina House Republicans

When I joined with other center-right bloggers and signed the statement on the U. S. House Republican leadership election, I said I'd provide contact information for North Carolina Republican House members.

If you're represented by a House member linked below, you can obtain phone, fax and email information for your representative by clicking on the member's name.

If you’re not sure of your representative's name, call your board of elections or local library.

Many of you want to make your voices heard on the Republican U.S. House leadership elections. Here's your chance.

Coble, Howard -- Dist. 6

Foxx, Virginia -- Dist. 5

Hayes, Robert C. -- Dist. 8

Jones, Walter B. -- Dist. 3

McHenry, Patrick -- Dist. 10

Myrick, Sue Wilkins -- Dist. 9

Taylor, Charles H. -- Dist. 11

Washington Post editorial: "Confirm Samual Alito"

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Judge Samuel Alito’s Supreme Court nomination were a disaster for Senate Democrats and their interest group allies.

That crowd did so badly the British magazine, The Economist, couldn’t resist placing above its hearings report the headline: “The brainbox and the blowhards.”

Now comes more bad news for the anti-Alito crowd: today's Washington Post lead editorial, Confirm Samuel Alito.”

The Post says Alito would not have been “our pick for the high court:”

Yet Judge Alito should be confirmed, both because of his positive qualities as an appellate judge and because of the dangerous precedent his rejection would set.
The Post mentions disagreements it has with some of Alito’s rulings and judicial philosophy, but it makes clear it views Supreme Court nominations within the framework of Constitutional government:
A Supreme Court nomination isn't a forum to refight a presidential election. The president's choice is due deference -- the same deference that Democratic senators would expect a Republican Senate to accord the well-qualified nominee of a Democratic president.
Give due deference to presidential nominations. Does anyone think Senators like Kennedy, Schumer, Durbin, Leahy, and Biden will be able to do that as long as there’s a Republican in the White House?

The Post takes up the Democrats and interest groups charges that Alito is "outside the mainstream," "a racist and anti-women," etc., etc.:
And Judge Alito is superbly qualified. His record on the bench is that of a thoughtful conservative, not a raging ideologue. He pays careful attention to the record and doesn't reach for the political outcomes he desires. His colleagues of all stripes speak highly of him. His integrity, notwithstanding efforts to smear him, remains unimpeached.
The Post ends by reminding us of the consequences if we follow the Democratic Party and its interest groups down the path of politically driven nomination fights.
Supreme Court confirmations have never been free of politics, but neither has their history generally been one of party-line votes or of ideology as the determinative factor. To go down that road is to believe that there exists a Democratic law and a Republican law -- which is repugnant to the ideal of the rule of law. However one reasonably defines the "mainstream" of contemporary jurisprudence, Judge Alito's work lies within it.

While we harbor some anxiety about the direction he may push the court, we would be more alarmed at the long-term implications of denying him a seat. No president should be denied the prerogative of putting a person as qualified as Judge Alito on the Supreme Court.
I hope you read the entire editorial.

It's refreshing to read an editorial that's informed, fair-minded, and an important reminder of how we should treat judicial nominations.