Saturday, February 04, 2006

No blogging today, Saturday, Feb. 4


There'll be no posting today as I'm traveling.

Posts will resume by tomorrow, Sunday.

Thanks for your understanding.


Friday, February 03, 2006

The Churchill Series - Feb. 3, 2006

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

Reader's Note: In all previous series posts, any relevance to the day’s news was coincidental. That's not the case with today's post. - John

On May 23, 1937 the editor of The Times of London, Geoffrey Dawson, complained in a letter to a friend:

I should like to get going with the Germans. I simply cannot understand why they should apparently be so much annoyed with The Times at this moment.

I spend my nights in taking out anything which I think will hurt their susceptibilities and in dropping in little things which are intended to soothe them.
Dawson and The Times' appeasement of Nazis was typical of what most European journalists and newspapers were doing then.

A notable exception was a young Hungarian Jew, Emery Reves. A month before Dawson wrote his letter, Reves founded in Paris a small press service meant to promote democratic values and counter the increasingly strident and violent Nazis. He contacted Churchill and offered to publish him.

Churchill welcomed the offer. By 1937 most European papers would no longer publish his descriptions of precisely what the Nazis were doing or his calls for nations to unite and oppose them.

At first, Reves found twenty-six papers which agreed to run Churchill's columns. But they came under pressure, and gradually their numbers dwindled.

Reves traveled throughout Europe trying to persuade editors and publishers to run Churhill's columns. That took great courage as by then the Nazis were using kidnappings, beatings and murder to intimidate journalists.

By May 6, 1939 Reves was forced to write Churchill and tell him his columns were no longer allowed to appear in Poland, Romania or Greece "through fear of Germany." It was the high season of appeasement: Munich and "peace in our time."

The "peace" was brief. Soon Poland was invaded and defeated. Romania allied with Germany. Greece began to prepare for an invasion it now knew was sure to come. The Allies’ western front was collapsing. The Nazis invaded and occupied Norway and Denmark. And America's Ambassador to The Court of St. James, Joseph P. Kennedy, like many other well-informed people, had decided democracy was finished in Europe.

In the midst of all that, early on the evening of May 10, 1940, Churchill received a brief phone call. The King wished him to come to Buckingham Palace.

It had been a year and four days since Reves had written his letter.

Reves survived the war. Churchill made sure Reves became one of the chief editors and publishers of his WW II memoirs.
Martin Gilbert, Churchill: A Life. (pgs. 575-619, 864)

On MSM and the cartoons: This Prof has it right

Cori Dauber is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies (and of Peace, War, and Defense) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She blogs at Rantingprogs.Today she posts, And Then There Are Those Choosing to Fold.

If we were debating the wisdom of printing cartoons offensive to a religious group, and that were the only issue on the table, that would be one thing, but as soon as violence is threatened, and the government of a liberal democracy is pressured to bring a free press to heel, then the nature of the debate changes, fairly dramatically.

Then it is all about those who value a free press standing up.

Or, in the case of CNN, sitting down.

Yes, trying not of offend through responsible journalism is a nice thing.

Right up until people think that threatening violence and kidnappings are a way to stop the press. Then the press must demonstrate that such threats do not work.

We aren't talking about kiddie porn here, and although the press keeps talking over and over and over about the fact that one cartoon showed Mohammed with a bomb for a turban, most of the cartoons were not demeaning "caricatures" or attempts to offend through sarcastic renditions, they were nothing more than cartoonists' renditions. (Of course, CNN doesn't really have a history of standing up against the demands of Arab governments.)

ABC, by the way, noted that frightened Europeans were leaving Gaza, but didn't bother to mention that was due to specific threats -- to kidnap Europeans -- not their own paranoia.

And meanwhile, while we all celebrated the bravery of the French paper that stood in solidarity with the Danes and the rights of a secular society, the paper's editor got sacked.

Again, I can fully understand why Muslims would be offended by these cartoons. There have been several artistic (more like "artistic") images of late targeting Christianity that I was none too fond of. The issue now, however, has moved far beyond the wisdom of printing the cartoons originally. The issue now is how an offended community should respond, and how we should respond when a free press is threatened.

Because make no mistake, when mass violence is threatened against the press, when pressure is placed against governments to get them to pressure the press, when economic pressure is brought to bear, then at the very least there has to be a tremendous fear that self-censorship with result the next time, not just at the publication where this started, but at every publication, at the very least in Europe. The situation is intolerable. Because if these publications do not stand up now there is the risk that coverage of any issue sensitive to the Muslim community may start to be trimmed.
Dauber has a lot more to say here. It's worth reading.

A few of my thoughts:

Self-censorship at a newspaper in and of itself is not necessarily bad. What's being censored and why need to be weighed.

To engage in an economic boycott, singly or by a group, is an important right all of us should have. So GM no longer advertises in the LA Times. Maybe the LA Times will change; maybe it won't. Well, that's democracy. If Muslims want to boycott Danish products they should be as free to do that as Americans should be to boycott French products.

But physical violence or its threat directed at the press is intolerable in a democracy. We must all stand against that. And MSM news organizations should join with us by demonstating they're not intimidated. Publish those cartoons, WaPo, CNN, NYT and the rest.

Readers, what do you think?

Dauber's post is here.

Hat Tip: Mike Williams

The New Republic still loves Ted Kennedy. But Kerry?

The New Republic online has a story written by Michael Crowley on Sen. John Kerry and his Alito filibuster (subscription required). It begins:

Moments before Monday's vote on whether to filibuster the nomination of Samuel Alito, John Kerry was speaking to a near-empty Senate chamber. In his typical stentorian fashion, Kerry was arguing for a filibuster of the Supreme Court nominee, an effort the Massachusetts senator had single-handedly initiated a few days earlier to the open chagrin of fellow Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. "What could possibly be more important than this?" asked Kerry, who stood alone amid a sea of empty desks.

But Kerry's plea for relevancy didn't cause much of a stir until his Massachusetts colleague and filibuster partner, Ted Kennedy, rose to unleash a bellowing anti-Alito stemwinder. With a reddening face and hoarse voice, Kennedy waved his arms and smacked his podium with his open hand.

The commotion caused a crew of usually blasé reporters to scurry from their workstations and into the Senate press balcony to watch. "There is nothing that's more important than the vote we cast on the Supreme Court, except sending young Americans to war!" Kennedy thundered. When the old lion's mighty lungs finally ceased ...
There's more, but it's hardly worth reading. Mostly, it's "old news."

Who doesn't know that liberals at The New Republic and elsewhere cheer whenever their "old lion" roars out "anti-(whomever, whatever) stemwinder(s)."

That liberals cheer Sen. Kennedy is a major reason why he keeps roaring his stemwinders, which most thoughtful people find reckless, abusive of Senate committee witnesses, and eerily reminiscent of the late Sen. Joe McCarthy's "stemwinders."

The other part of Crowley's story tells us that Sen. Kerry's failed filibuster attempt didn't endear him to his fellow Senate Democrat colleagues.

But Kerry's Senate Dem colleagues haven't been fond of him for a long time. In early 2003 when he looked like a sure shot for his party's presidential nomination, not a single Democrat Senator except "the old lion" was willing to endorse Kerry's candidacy.

If I'm not mistaken it was well into 2004, and after Kerry had sown up enough delegate commitments to assure him the nomination, before his Dem colleagues began endorsing him.

By 2003 Kerry had served 19 years in the Senate; and his colleagues knew him well.

Message to the New Republic: Serve up something new or interesting

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Churchill Series - Feb. 2, 2006

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

November 8,1895.

Churchill is on board Cunard's RMS Etruria and nearing the end of his first trans-Atlantic crossing.

How did he like the crossing?

He wrote his mother:

I do not contemplate ever taking a sea voyage for pleasure, and I shall always look upon journeys by sea as necessary evils which have to be undergone in the carrying out of any definite plan. ...

(Although the weather gave some) bad moments we were never seasick. ...

There are no nice people on board to speak of - certainly none to write of. ...

There is to be a concert on board tonight at which all the stupid people among the passengers intend to perform and the stupider ones to applaud. The days have seemed very long & uninteresting.
The next day Etruria sailed through the Narrows into New York harbor. To starboard Churchill could see Brooklyn, where his mother, Jennie Jerome, was born and grew up. Directly ahead was Manhattan. A few hours later Churchill set foot in America for the first time.

Jennie had arranged for her son to stay at the home of one of New York's most influential citizens, Bourke Cockran. Years later, Churchill would say of him,” I have never seen his like, or in some respects his equal."

On Churchill's first night in America, Cockran hosted a glittering dinner in his honor. There's no record of any of the guests offering to perform a concert for the others.
Randolph S. Churchill, Winston S. Churchill: Youth, 1874 - 1900. (pgs. 256-259)

Raleigh News & Observer bias watch

The liberal trending left Raleigh News & Observer tells readers there's no bias in its news columns. The people who control the news at The N&O claim the paper is "fair and accurate."

Well, if you regularly read The N&O, a McClatchy Co. paper, please consider the following questions. You needn't give exact answers; best estimates will do.

How often have you read in The N&O that Judge Samuel Alito is a "conservative." Compare that with how often you've read that Sens. Kennedy, Durbin, Schumer, Biden, and Leahy are "liberals?"

The N&O often told you Judge Alito, while a student at Princeton, joined a group Sen. Kennedy and others said was discriminatory in its treatment of women.

In the midst of his attacks on Alito for his college membership in that group, Kennedy was revealed to be a current member of an exclusive private club, The Owl, which bars women from membership. Kennedy joined The Owl more then 50 years ago. Do you recall The N&O telling you about Kennedy and The Owl?

How often did N&O news stories use terms such as "extremist," "threat to women," and "racist" in regard to Judge Alito, either as part of a quote or part of the news story's background text?

How often did The N&O mention alongside its "extremist," "threat to women," and "racist" reporting the fact that The American Bar Association rated Judge Alito Well Qualified to serve as a Supreme Court justice? Or that Well Qualified is the ABA's highest rating? Or that the award was made by a unanimous vote of the committee which reviewed Alito's credentials?

The N&O tells you it's “fair and accurate?”

Can you recall the last time you believed that? Or that it has no news bias agenda?

Thank you for considering the questions.

Time and place and limits

San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders is a voice for reason in an area where political discourse is particularly strident and extreme.

Today, Saunders says some things I agree with and one I don’t. Let’s take a look:

I feel sorry for Cindy Sheehan. She lost her beloved son, Casey, in the Iraq war, and for that she has my sympathy.

But losing your son in a war doesn't give you license to violate House decorum, as she did by wearing a t-shirt (reading: "2,245 Dead. How many more?") before President Bush's State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

It also doesn't grant you special wisdom on foreign relations in South America. If it did, Sheehan would not have let herself be embraced by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. (After which Sheehan praised Chavez. - JinC)

While supporters say Sheehan's loss gives her credibility, I don't see antiwar types changing their tune after listening to parents of slain vets who support the war. So her words don't change my mind, not when she talks like a little girl.

Worse, Sheehan feeds the conceit of many Bay Area war protesters -- that they are brave warriors risking their safety and the wrath of the Bushies as they protest the war.

Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., obviously buys into that conceit. Woolsey, who invited Sheehan to the address, issued a statement Wednesday that asked, "Since when is free speech conditional on whether you agree with the president?"

Ditto Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., who told The San Francisco Chronicle, "I'm still trying to find out why the president's Gestapo had to arrest Cindy Sheehan in the gallery."
Woolsey and Stark help make my point about “strident” and “extreme” political discourse. Saunders goes on to report:
It is clear that the Capitol Police were not acting as pro-war censors, as they also invited Beverly Young, wife of Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., to leave because she was wearing a t-shirt that read, ''Support the Troops -- Defending Our Freedom.''…
Saunders makes Sheehan an offer I’m sure she’ll refuse:
If Sheehan wants to fight for First Amendment rights, she might want to stand up for The Respect Life Ministry of the Oakland Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church.

The group paid to put up billboards on BART that ask the question, "Abortion: Have we gone too far?" Abortion-rights activists defaced and tore down billboards -- squelching the message of a dissenting voice in the Bay Area. Suzanne ''Sam'' Joi, a member of Code Pink, which has hosted many Sheehan events, told The Chronicle: ''I couldn't believe BART would allow something like this. Why are they doing this?''
Liberals and leftists usually have a hard time understanding that others are supposed to have a little freedom, too. Recall that during the 2004 Republican convention in New York demonstrators marched to Fox News' offices carrying “Shut the Fox up” banners. Did any of the liberal news organizations editorialize on "this latest chilling effort to silence the news media?”

Saunders ends with this:
Personally, I wish the Capitol Police had allowed Sheehan to stay for the speech in her t-shirt. I think she would have chased a few moderate voters into the pro-Bush column. But that could happen anyway. Americans have to notice when a friend of Hugo Chavez bemoans that she was denied free speech -- when she never seems to stop talking.
I’m glad the police removed Sheehan. I think SOTU shouldn’t become an opportunity for every extremist member of congress to hand tickets to other extremists who will disrupt the speech.

There are times and places for most everything; and times and places when certain things shouldn't be allowed.

SOTU is not the time and place for screaming reckless charges at the President and government. We ought to observe ourselves and demand from others a certain amount of respect and decorum in dealing with our political leaders and our government. Isn't that something Dallas and Oklahoma City were supposed to have taught us?

Saunders column is here.

Hat Tip:

Malkin has more on the infamous Toles' cartoon

Yesterday, Michelle Malkin linked to a copy of the infamous Washington Post cartoon by Tom Toles ridiculing a quadruple amputee soldier in a hospital bed. You can view it here. She also included a copy of a letter from the chairman of the joints chiefs and all the service chiefs condemning Toles shameless cartoon.

Today, Malkin notes The Post has published the chiefs’ letter and links to it.

There's been no word from The Post as to why it would ridicule a service man who had lost four limbs serving his country. Doesn’t The Post realize service men and women defend The Post; and it possible for The Post to publish and earn a nice profit?

We'll keep following what happens. Let's hope The Post somehow develops enough decency to issue an apology.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Churchill Series - Feb. 1, 2006

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

For most of World War II, the noted Oxford historian Isaiah Berlin served in the Foreign Office; assigned to the British Embassy in Washington, where he wrote dispatches assessing current American political and social matters.

Churchill became a regular and admiring reader of Berlin's dispatches. He told aides if ever Berlin was in England, he wanted to meet him.

The Prime Minister's wish was swiftly passed on to Foreign Office staffers and others.

Not long afterwards, word came back to Churchill's aides that Berlin was indeed in England. They arranged an invitation for him to join a luncheon the PM would be hosting at 10 Downing Street. On the seating plan, Berlin was placed close to Churchill.

Now, readers, our story comes to one of those "bumps in the road."

Not for the first time, eager government staffers here, there and in other departments didn't get it all quite right. Which is why a surprised and honored Irving Berlin received a luncheon invitation just days after arriving in England with a USO show.

Author Stefan Kanfer tells about the luncheon:

Berlin showed up at Number 10. The PM addressed him as Professor and grilled him about the progress of the war.

Bewildered, the composer answered in monosyllables, until a frustrated Churchill gave up and turned to the guest on his left.

Later, (Churchill) commented: “Berlin’s like most bureaucrats. Wonderful on paper, but disappointing when you meet them face to face.”
Perhaps the aides later comforted each other with something like, "Simple enough mistake. Both I. Berlin, you know."
Stefan Kanfer, "The Americanization of Irving Berlin." City Journal (Spring, 2002)

Bloggers expose WaPo failures on study story

Did you read about that now debunked "study" the Washington Post reported on in "rah-rah" terms?

According to The Post, two researchers found liberal Democrats were less racists than you know who. The way The Post reported it, the study sounded very scientific.

But The Post didn't tell its faithful readers the "researchers" were liberal Democratic activists. Or that serious researchers refer to the study's methodology as "soft science," which is a polite way of saying the "results" tell us more about the "researchers" than the subjects.

But before you knew it, GAZOOM!! The bloggers! A truth attack!

Michelle Malkin led the charge, exposing the "researchers" liberal and methodological biases.

Here in North Carolina, David Boyd joined the charge, and added his own useful contribution.

Thanks, Michelle and David.

And if you have time for a question: When do you think lib Dems will realize bloggers are making it a lot harder for them to fool people?

This general wants to be president. That's scary.

Retired General Wesley Clark, who sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, said on Fox last night after the SOTU:

CLARK: Well, you know, we’re not going to go down, I’ve hope that we’ve gotten over this kicking down the doors and roughing up the women (in Iraq) that some people said that we did some of over(sic) there.
"(S)ome people said we did" might not be good enough evidence for you and me , but it's just fine with General Clark, who's eager to repeat the charges and, of course, "supports the troops."

His friends say Clark still wants to be President. Scary thought.

Even more scary thought. Tens of millions of Democrats would vote for him while most of MSM cheered them on.

Even much more scary thought. Most of those Democrats and MSMers don't seem to care that Clark's "some people said" remarks are a great comfort and aid to the people trying to kill American troops.

SOTU camera pans and Hillary's smirk

During SOTU video coverage JinC commentators noticed, among other things:

”(W)hen the president said "we will not wait for them to hit us again.", the camera panned the whole room. Not one democrat stood or applauded.
At the end of the "we will not wait for them to hit us again" line FNC cut to a Hillary reaction shot where she was shaking her head with a goofy smirk.
I said:
It will be interesting to see how MSM "explains" the sit-down Dems.
Well, there isn't much MSM talk about any of that. Silly me. I should have known.

But a new blog – Expose the Left – has video and comments here.

The main page is here. Check it out. It looks like its going to be a fine addition to the blog truth tellers club.

Welcome, Expose the Left.

What do you all think this morning after looking at the vides clips?

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Churchill Series - Jan. 31, 2006

I'm sorry there is no series post today. My work load is heavy.

I will post on Feb. 1.

Thank you for your understanding.


Dean in Carolina for "symbolic reasons?"

(Welcome visitors from Polipundit. You may also enjoy this "golden oldie," Bill Buckley's wonderful sense of humor.___________________________________

This is fun.

Following President Bush's SOTU, "the gang" at Fox News discussed the speech and the two parties' strategies.

The Boston Globe's Nina Easton opined that Democrats really want to reach out to mainstream Americans and red states. That's why Democratic Chairman Howard Dean was down here in red state North Carolina tonight. It was "symbolic," Easton said.

The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes countered, "What's 'symbolic' about that is the Democrats didn't want Dean in Washington tonight."

A question about SOTU camera pans

I just watched President Bush praise Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito confirmations.

During the applause that followed, the camera pan showed only the Republican side of the House.

Immediately after his Roberts and Alito remarks, Bush praised Justice O'Conner's service to America.

More applause, but this time the camera panned both sides of the House.

Why the difference in pans? Coincidence? Or one of those CNN-type "oops, we didn't mean it" moments?

I'm watching Fox but I think the stations use a shared feed.

Can anyone help with my question?

NY Times and AP Alito stories leave out "Well Qualified"

After nomination for The Supreme Court, Judge Samuel Alito received a unanimous "Well Qualified" rating from the American Bar Association. "Well-qualified" is the highest rating the ABA awards.

So in lengthy stories reporting today's Alito confirmation vote posted online (3:00 PM, EST), did either the New York Times or the Associated Press mention the ABA's "Well Qualified" rating?

No and no.

And, yes, that's just what you'd expect from liberal news organizations, isn't it.

NY Times' use of political labels in Alito story

Let’s look at the use of the labels "conservative" and "liberal" in today's New York Times online story of the Alito confirmation vote.

Reporter David Stout begins:

Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., who has been widely praised for his intellect and integrity but both admired and assailed for his conservative judicial philosophy, was confirmed today as the 110th justice in the history of the Supreme Court.
A few paragraphs down we read:
The vote is also a triumph for the conservative movement, whose adherents have longed to tilt the balance of the court to the right.
The Times continues to use the “conservative” label throughout the story. Examples:
Legal scholars have described (Alito’s) jurisprudence as … solidly conservative. …

He’s the second relatively young conservative to ascend to the court in recent months. …

As an undergraduate at Princeton and a student at Yale Law School, he garnered … notice for his conservative views. …

His involvement with a conservative Princeton alumni group became something of an issue. ….
While generous with the “conservative” label, The Times doesn’t apply the “liberal” label to any current political figure. Instead we get this:
Among two Republican supporters of abortion rights, Senators Olympia J. Snowe of Maine voted for Judge Alito, while Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island voted no, the only Republican to do so.
Snowe and Chafee are staunch Senate liberals.

Why doesn't The Times call them that? And why doesn't The Times describe Alito's confirmation as a defeat suffered by the liberal movement, whose adherents have longed to keep the court tilted to the left?

We know why: The Times wants to convince people that conservatives have an agenda while the liberals who follow its editorial line don't.

And speaking of that, are you finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish between Times' news reporting and its editorials?

If you want to check The Times' story one more time, it's here.

As those Senate Dems remind us

We can all thank Sens. Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy and the other Dems who voted to filibuster the Alito nomination for at least one thing: They've showed us how they think the Senate should treat a Supreme Court nominee who receives The American Bar Association's highest rating by a unanimous vote of its committee on federal judicial nominees.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Churchill Series - Jan. 30, 2006

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

On November 14, 1909, Churchill traveled by train to Bristol to deliver a speech. Clementine did not often accompany him on such trips, but she did that day.

As they were walking up the platform toward the exit a young suffragette, Theresa Garnett, rushed at Churchill and began beating him with a whip.

He reached up to protect himself at which point Garnett pushed him toward the edge of the platform. Clementine managed to grab Churchill's coat and pull him back, and prevent him falling off the platform and into the path of the train which was just starting to leave the station.

Others quickly helped the Churchill's subdue Garnett. As police led her away she hollered at Churchill, "You brute, why don't you treat British women properly?"

It was a close call.

I was unable to learn what subsequently happened to Garnett. Does anyone know?

Something else: Clementine always supported Churchill in public, but privately she was strongly in favor of granting women the vote.

The Churchills had plenty to talk about on the train trip home.
Martin Gilbert, Churchill: A Life. (pgs. 209-210)

"Bush, the Divider" stories now?

Sunday's Los Angeles Times published another story in liberal MSM's long-running series, “Bush, the Divider.”

Written by the LA Times' own Washington bureau chief, Ron Brownstein, this latest story ran under the headline:

State of the Union Puts Bush on Collision Course With Himself
Here's Brownstein's lead paragraph:
On the nation's biggest domestic problems, President Bush faces a clear choice as he approaches Tuesday's State of the Union address. He can make a political point. Or he can make progress against the problems. It's probably not possible to do both — unless Bush wants to radically reconfigure his political strategy.
The rest of Brownstein's story is in the same vein here.

Brownstein’s story will appeal to most "Divider" fans. But some fans at least may question why Brownstein and the LA Times ran this latest "Divider" story just now.

That’s because today a majority of Senate Democrats – including Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy - voted to deny an up or down confirmation vote to a Supreme Court nominee The American Bar Association rated Highly Qualified.

Bush is "the Divider?” "He's not willing to reach out?" "He hasn't set a new tone in Washington."

Can any reasonable person fall for any of that today?

Now, we shouldn't expect Brownstein and the rest of liberal MSM to stop writing “Divider” stories. The pay's too good, the work is easy, and they're sure of "puff-puff" interviews on PBS, NPR and the others.

But timing is everything. Brownstein and liberal MSM better watch out or they'll lose people to more reliable news sources, including ones on the Internet.

Oops, you're right, that's already happening.

This sentence belongs in the State of the Union

And it doesn't make much sense to listen in on enemy communications but to hang up when a call is made to someone in the United States.
From Michael Barone's column, Stuck in the 70s.

Hat Tip:

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Churchill Series - Jan. 29, 2006

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

During late January and early February, 1932, Churchill was on a speaking tour in America. He warned of "communism and the disintegrating forces of a disunited Europe."

He argued that Britain and America should ally to keep order in the world. "Why should we not frankly recognize that there must be some source of doctrine and authority to rescue nations from confusion?"

Quite apart from the political controversy his remarks engendered, it took physical courage for Churchill to stand before his audiences. He knew there were a number of plots by Asian Indian extremists to assassinate him.

Host cities went to great lengths to protect his life . Detroit, for example, assigned a special detail of 12 detectives to accompany him while he was in the city. Another dozen plainclothes officers were in the audience when he spoke while many uniformed police officers watched the lecture hall.

Churchill was stoned twice during the tour; and in one case an armored car was put at his disposal. But he completed the tour, having refused to cancel any engagement in the face of threats.
Martin Gilbert, Churchill and America. (pgs. 136-139)

When Maureen Dowd and Ted Kennedy question

Maureen Dowd questioning the President's honesty is like

Ted Kennedy questioning your club membership.

The "clients from hell" find an attorney

The bloggers are outstanding attorneys.

Today, one of them, Paul Mirenkoff, posts "The clients from hell:"

All attorneys have had them, clients who take the fun out of practicing law. One sub-species is the client with a losing case who can't understand why you're not cleaning the other side's clock.
Recall the story about the client who asked John Roberts how he could have lost a case in the Supreme Court 9-0, to which Roberts replied "because there are only nine Justices."

The Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have their own clients from hell -- the juvenile left-wing of their party.
Mirenkoff then tells us more about the "clients from hell," even naming an attorney who was so eager to represent those clients, he cancelled his ski vacation.

And who was that?

Hint: He owns 5 large homes, 3 SUVs, travels in private jets and was The Sierra Club's "environmental presidential candidate" in 2004.

Bonus hint: There are lots of stories about him pushing to the front of restaurant lines and asking the person in charge, "Do you know who I am?"

You really didn't need the bonus hint, did you?

Anyway, Mirenkoff tells us more about Senator Kerry, "the opportunistic and mildly disreputable lawyer emerging from the shadows (or in this case the ski slopes)," and his "clients from hell" right here.

I ended up laughing. I bet you will, too.

Powerline's "The silence of the Times"

Don't miss today's Powerline post "The silence of the Times." It begins:

Last night at the end of his long post "Ahabs everywhere," John took a look at the New York Times article by Eric Lichtblau and Adam Liptak purporting to assess the Bush administration's argument for the legality of the NSA surveillance program.

John notes the article's failure to come to terms with the case law unanimously recognizing the president's inherent constitutional authority to conduct warrantless domestic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes, let alone the international surveillance at issue in the NSA program.(bold added)
Further on there's this:
Like John, I think that the administration's NSA surveillance program as described by the president, the vice president, the Attorney General, and General Hayden is legal. I don't think it's a close question, though I think reasonable people can disagree on that point.

What is clearly illegal, however, in my view and the view of everyone involved in the Times story disclosing the existence of the NSA surveillance program, are the leaks that led to the story. The illegality of the leaks is precisely why the "nearly a dozen current and former government officials" who leaked the story to James Risen and Eric Lichtblau in connection with the original December 16 story demanded and received anonymity from the Times.(bold added)
Powerline has much more to say.

I'll add this. It think the leakers should go to jail; and so should all those at The Times involved in the story. The Times Co. should be hit with a large fine. By large I mean in the hundreds of millions.

I don't care how smart you think you are or how much you hate our President or our government.You have no right to publish classified information that will help America's enemies attack us.

"Don't miss" is an overused term. But for this Powerline post it fits