Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Churchill Series is now weekdays only

The Churchill Series is now a Monday through Friday Series.

For further information about that go to yesterday's post here.

The next series post is set for Monday, Feb. 20, in the late evening.

Thank you.


What if the bogus N&O Live really was live?

JinC regulars know the liberal trending left Raleigh News & Observer has an Online Q&A show called N&O Live.I've posted on it here and here.

Only N&O Live isn’t live. Questions are submitted in advance to N&O staffers for review. Selected questions are then passed to a “Moderator” who “asks” them of another N&O staffer who’s the show’s “guest.” Sometimes The N&O itself makes up questions used on N&O Live. No kidding.

Editorial page editor Steve Ford was N&O Live’s “guest” recently. The questions were just what you’d expect: softballs. Example:

Moderator: Would you walk us through the process of writing an editorial?
But suppose N&O Live really was live. It might work like this.
Moderator: Caller from Durham, you’re on the air: Hello, Steve. Why all those Abu Ghraib photos, but not a single Mohammed cartoon? I’ll hang up now so you can answer.

Moderator: Caller from Cary: Hi, Mr. Ford. We get 15 or 20 of your editorials every week. And then on Sunday, you run your own column and place it smack in the center of the editorial page along with your picture.

Why don’t you free up that space for outstanding columnists whose writings never or almost never appear in The N&O: Daniel Pipes, Kathleen Parker, Victor David Hanson, Michelle Malkin, and Michael Barone, for example?

Moderator: Go ahead, Apex: The N&O regularly publishes Maureen Dowd, Molly Ivins, and Ellen Goodman’s columns. They all lean to the left.

Why don’t you regularly publish any women who lean to the right?

A previous caller mentioned Kathleen Parker and Michelle Malkin. There’s also Mona Charen, Star Parker, Debra Saunders, and lots more. How about it, Steve?

Moderator: Our next caller from Chapel Hill says she’s a “Love Steve Ford Democrat: Hello, Mr. Ford, I’m thrilled to be on the show with you.

I loved your editorial, Cheney, ducking; especially when you said:
The truth is, the White House should have released the details of the incident immediately, whether Cheney wanted them released or not.
You’re sooo right!

Cheney says he was concerned about the guy and making sure his family members were notified before they heard about the accident from the media.

Who’s he trying to kid?

Cheney should’ve immediately notified important MSM people like The White House press corps, yourself, Katie Couric and ...

Moderator: What’s your question, Chapil Hill Democrat?

My question? Oh, my question!

Yes, I’d love to know what you think of Al Gore’s speech Sunday in Saudi Arabia. You know, the one where he said America had committed "terrible abuses" against Arabs after 9/11. I was so glad Gore had the guts to admit to an Arab audience that America "indiscriminately rounded up (Arabs and held them in) unforgivable conditions.”

Moderator: We’re running out of time.

OK, OK, but can I say just one more thing?

Moderator: Be brief, Chapel Hill Democrat.

Sure. It’s just this: A big thanks to Mr. Ford and all the N&O editors and reporters who give us their slant on the news.

I’ll hang up now.

Moderator: I see we have a lot of callers waiting, so we’ll be sure to have Steve back soon.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Churchill Series - Feb. 17, 2006

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

Reader's Note: Beginning Monday, Feb. 19, the Churchill Series will post only on weekdays. The reason for that is my work load is heavy. With that and other blogging duties, including signing on as a regular contributor to Newsbusters, I can't give a seven-day series necessary attention.

My hope is I can maintain a five-day a week series with a satisfactory level of accuracy and informativeness.

I want the Churchill posts to be two things. First, true to the facts and character of his life; and, second, provide you with vignettes, documentary information, etc. that will usually inform and interest you.

On Jan. 5, 1915, with stalemate and trench warfare dominating the Western front, Churchill sent PM Asquith a memorandum.

It would be simple, Churchill said, to "fit up a number of steam tractors with small armored shelters, in which men and machine guns could be placed, which would be bullet-proof. (A) caterpillar system would enable trenches to be crossed quite easily, and the weight of the machine would destroy all wire entanglements."

The army was not interested but Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, got permission to press ahead with designs and prototypes of the new contraptions which he called "land ships."

The project was secret so the Germens wouldn't learn of it. For the few people working on the project, a cover story was developed. They were designing a new kind of vehicle that would operate in Russia, bringing water up to the Czars troops at the front.

The water, of course, would be in the tanks.
William Manchester, The Last Lion: Visions of Glory. (p. 510)

Will McClatchy stockholders ever catch on?

The McClatchy Company, a newspaper and Internet publisher, owns one of North Carolina's two largest daily circulation newspapers, the liberal trending left Raleigh News & Observer.

McClatchy's reputation is that it pays and treats its journalists very well.

And what do McClatchy stockholders get for that?

Here's an example: a headline from The N&O's Feb. 14 front page:

White House under gun after shooting

You say you could've done that headline when you were 14 and serving as Freshmen Editor of your high school weekly; and you would've tossed it as too sophomoric by the time you were 16.

Ok, ok. But I didn't write The N&O's headline.

And yes, I know it's mostly Democrats of the "hate-Bush" variety that care about The N&O's "White House press corps wasn't immediately informed" Bush-basher that followed the headline.

Well, I didn't put The N&O's Bush-basher on page one, either.

So please, folks, don't blame me for that stuff.

And don't blame me for the really big front page headline story The N&O ran Feb. 14.

If you’re not familiar with the old Tar Heel state, you may not know UNC-CH stands for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the oldest of our state universities.

Anyway, The N&O's above the fold, top right-hand column Feb. 14 headline story was:
UNC-CH begins jaywalk citations
Honest, folks, I didn't make that up. You can check it out here.

And really, if you know The N&O, its Feb. 14 front page didn't surprise you.

It was just one more of The N&O's usual mix of Bush- and American-government bashing and trivia for which McClatchy executives in far off Sacramento happily pay top dollar.

What about McClatchy stockholders, you ask?

Oh, they've had a hard year.

Today, Feb. 17, Yahoo Finance reports McClatchy closed at 54.93. Its 52 week high was 76.05. Ouch!

Yes, things are tough for newspapers as ad revenues decline and readers keep moving to other news sources, including bloggers, in response to new technologies and growing awareness of the bias and ineptness of most old-line MSM news organizations.

Still, if you were a McClatchy stockholder, why would you pay top dollar for that Feb 14 N&O front page?

Do you think McClatchy stockholders, no doubt good people, will ever catch on and start asking important questions?

Fred Barnes and Juan Williams tonight

Tonight on Fox News, Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes asked if anyone knew a person other than an active Democrat who was angry they didn't learn about the accidental shooting of Mr. Whittington Saturday night instead of Sunday.

Barnes went on to say the question of whether the press should have been informed Saturday night instead of Sunday just wasn't "an important story in America."

National Public Radio's Juan Williams responded with, "Well, it's a big story in Washington."

A farmer might say what Williams did was "step right into it."

Those alarming Democrats

Betsy Newmark ends a post with:

Actually, probably nothing solidifies Bush's base more than seeing the media and the Democrats go crazy over such a non-issue like the gap between the shooting and informing the world about the hunting accident story.

We remember that, for all the reasons we have to be dissatisfied with Bush, the alternative is too alarming for conservatives to turn on the administration.
You're right, Betsy.

And it's not only conservatives who are alarmed by the prospect of people such as Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, Barbara Boxer, Dennis Kucinich, and Ted Kennedy taking over the government.

Many independents and democrats are also alarmed.

Excluding people who are part of “the Democratic base,” have you heard a single person in the last few years say, “I sometimes wish Al Gore was President?”

The weary editor

Poor John Robinson, editor of the Greensboro News & Record, is weary. Nevertheless, he tells readers he's doing his best to encourage civic discussion :

I confess that I'm weary of the debate about publishing the Danish cartoons, but I suspect that some readers are enjoying themselves. In the spirit of civic discussion, coupled with my seeming failure to articulate why we have no plans to publish the cartoons, I offer links to ombudsmen and public editors at other newspapers around the country on the same topic.
Well, of course, Robinson is weary.

You'd be weary, too, if you'd spent the last few years publishing all those Abu Ghraib photos. Old ones; new ones; grainy ones; sharp ones; ones with people; ones with a dog. Ones already published once, twice or more before. Lots. Lots. Lots.

And for Robinson every decision to publish or not publish an Abu Ghraib photo was a gut-wrencher. He knew publishing the photos would make the already dangerous work of America's military servicemen and women and our allies even more dangerous.

But Robinson also knew he had a duty to inform News & Record readers. They needed to see all those photos. When you're, as Dan Rather likes to say, a "First Amendment journalist" you have to face up to tough decisions.

Yes, Robinson took heat from some people. But he was willing to take it.

Now, he's getting heat again. This time for not publishing the Danish cartoons.

People just don't seem to understand why it was so necessary to publish all those Abu photos but not a single one of the cartoons.

Robinson's tried to explain it all but people still don't seem to understand.

And now Robinson’s grown weary of it all.

Poor weary editor Robinson.

Update: Michelle Malkin will be covering today's New Black Panther rally in D. C. Watch for pics and commentary later.

Trackback: Mudville Gazette

Thursday, February 16, 2006

No Churchill Series post Feb. 16, 2006

Reader's Note:

I'm sorry there is no Churchill post today; and I'm sorry I didn't inform you of that sooner.

It's been a very busy few days.

I'll be back up on Friday.

Thank you for your understanding.


The news media hasn’t fooled Dennis Prager

In, American news media: little courage and little honesty, columnist Dennis Prager writes:

American news media have suffered in recent years. Thanks to the Internet and talk radio, millions of Americans have ceased relying on The New York Times and CNN for their written and televised news.

But it is difficult to recall a greater blow to the credibility of American news media than their near-universal refusal to publish the Mohammed cartoons originally published in a Danish newspaper that have brought about worldwide Muslim protests.

This loss of credibility owes to two factors: dishonesty and cowardice.

Everyone and his mother knows why the networks and the print journals haven't shown the cartoons -- they fear Muslims blowing up their buildings and stabbing their editors to death.

The only people who deny this are the news media. They all claim that they won't show the cartoons because of sensitivity to Muslim feelings.

Which brings us to the other reason for the latest blow to the news media's credibility: They are lying to us. If some politicians were telling lies as blatantly as the news media are now, the media would be having a field day exposing those politicians and calling for their removal from office.

But, alas, what TV news station will criticize another TV news station? And what newspaper or magazine will criticize another newspaper or magazine?
Prager says a lot more. He roasts liberal MSM for it craven hypocrisy in first, flaunting its support for "artist" Andres Serrano's Piss Christ, and now invoking "respect for religious feelings" as their cover for collapsing in the face of Muslim threats.

Prager ends with:
But the liberal news media's lack of courage coupled with their dishonest justifications make for a devastating commentary on American news media.

One should not be surprised. A few years ago, New York Times foreign affairs reporter John Burns reported -- to his great credit -- that some of the most prestigious American news organizations had made a deal with Saddam Hussein not to report negatively about his regime in exchange for being allowed to have a Baghdad news bureau.

When it comes to taking on conservatives, Catholics, Evangelicals and the like, liberal news media are Supermen. When it comes to confronting real evil, however, the news media are Mickey Mouse.
My only quarrel with Prager is he lumps Mickey Mouse in with the news media types. Mickey deserves better.

Mickey never published photos of Piss Christ or called it "art" when feces was smeared on an image of the Blessed Virgin. And he's not now surrendering to Muslim threats.

Be sure to read Prager's column. It's a "clip and save" because sure as can be news organizations will do all they can to help us forget these past few weeks.

Hat Tips:

If France believes it, will America's Left deny it?

The AP is reporting:

France Says Iran Seeks Nuke Weapons

France accused Iran on Thursday of seeking nuclear weapons in Europe's bluntest criticism to date of Tehran's uranium enrichment plans, while Russia urged its erstwhile ally to re-impose an indefinite freeze on enrichment.

While the United States routinely accused Iran of trying to make such arms, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy's bold statement appeared to reflect mounting exasperation and a tougher stance than European negotiators had previously maintained in their efforts to persuade Iran to suspend nuclear activities.

"No civilian nuclear program can explain the Iranian nuclear program. It is a clandestine military nuclear program," Douste-Blazy said on France-2 television.

"The international community has sent a very firm message in telling the Iranians to return to reason and suspend all nuclear activity and the enrichment and conversion of uranium, but they aren't listening to us."
Lets hope Douste-Blazy's statement reflects a united and resolute France.

Such a France could be a help in what is already a very series crisis situation.

Here at home, anything France says the American Left is always reluctant to contradict.

So as long as France holds firm, it will be harder for the "get Bush, oppose America" crowd on the Left to exert as much influence as it would if France was playing an "on the one hand and on the other hand" game.

That can only be good for America and the world.

NRO has CNN's whine about Cheney on Fox

This just up at NRO's Media Blog:

Once again, there's a lot of anger in the media. Now, it's over Cheney's choice to do an exclusive interview with Fox, instead of a full-scale news conference with the White House press corps. Expose the Left and Newsbusters have the video of Jack Cafferty complaining about this, calling Fox the "f-word" network:

JACK CAFFERTY: Well, I obviously didn't see it because it hasn't been released in its entirety yet. But I would guess it didn't exactly represent a Profile in Courage for the vice president to wander over there to the f-word network for a sit down with Brit Hume. That's a little like Bonnie interviewing Clyde, ain't it? Where was the news conference? Where was the access to all of the members of the media? Whatever.

BLITZER: You still think he needs to do a full-scale news conference and invite all the cameras, all the reporters and ask whatever they want?

CAFFERTY: That's never going to happen. But running over there to the Fox network. Talk about seeking a safe haven. He's not going to get any high hard ones from anybody at the f-word network. I think we know that.

Besides the childishness of calling FNC the "f-word" network, need we remind Jack Cafferty of Wolf Blitzer's exclusive interview with Bill Clinton, where he conveniently forgot to ask Clinton about Able Danger, the story the NYT had just broken that day? Perhaps he should take a look at his own network's reputation of being a "safe haven" before criticizing Fox.

In fact, Brit Hume questioned Cheney on just about everything possible, including questions about Scooter Libby having been authorized to talk about the classified National Intelligence Estimate. The only thing missing from Hume's interview was the incredulous and condescending tone the mainstream press have perfected.

Like Brit Hume said, when asked by Shepard Smith if the public was as upset as the press about the disclosure of the accident, "If my e-mail is any guide [...] I don't think much of the nation feels particularly deprived that they found out about this on Sunday afternoon or Sunday evening instead of Saturday night or Sunday morning." Similarly, it is the press, not the American people, that feel betrayed by Cheney's choice of venue for this interview.
Just when you've told all your friends that there was no one left in MSM who could make it look even more petty and arrogant than it already does, along comes someone like Cafferty and you're forced to say, "Gee, I was wrong."

The bogus Raleigh News & Observer N&O Live show today

JinC regulars know I’ve posted on the liberal trending left Raleigh News & Observer’s bogus N&O Live internet show here and here.

A reader submits a question in advance. N&O staff review it and decide whether they want to answer it on N&O Live. If they do the question answered "live" by an N&O reporter or editor who types out an answer that appears on your monitor. Days can elapse between the submission of the "live" question and its "live" answer.

Today, Feb. 16, 2006 N&O Live readers were told

Editorial page editor Steve Ford took your questions about N&O opinions and current events.
The transcript for today’s “live” show is here.

Below are all of the questions Editor Ford was asked on N&O Live today. I've put them together for the softball fans among you. Take a look.

You'll notice that for some "live" questions no reader is mentioned.

Depending on who I talk to at The N&O, I've been told the N&O itself makes up some the its "live" questions because the show doesn't always get enough questions from actual readers. Another explanation I've gotten is that the questions The N&O makes up are ones the professional journalists at The N&O believe readers really want to know about.

Well, I report; you decide.

Anyway, here are today's "live" questions to Editorial page editor Steve Ford.
Moderator: Heather S. writes: "Thank you for taking the time to hold this forum and for the increasing attention you have paid on the opinion pages of the N and O to international foreign assistance issues.

I am concerned that readers may overestimate what the US actually contributes to global health and poverty aid (less than 1 percent of the annual budget). What is the best way we as concerned citizens can help facilitate getting this message across, along with suggestions for proactive measures, through the editorial pages of the N and O?"

Moderator: Many people don't realize that the editorial department is not a part of the newsroom. How much does one influence the other?

Moderator: Would you walk us through the process of writing an editorial?

Moderator: How involved is N&O publisher Orage Quarles in the newspaper's editorial decisions?

Moderator: How are letters to the editor selected? And what increases the chances?

Moderator: Heather writes: "I would like to know if thanking or acknowledging a particular NC politician - US representative or senator - for his or her support of particular global health and poverty legislation or other actions is appropriate within an Point of View piece or letter to the editor. Does this hurt the chances of getting published?"

Moderator: Thanks, Steve. We're out of time.
Too bad N&O Live ran out of time.

I was betting the next question would be something like:
Moderator: Jason writes: "I travel a lot and read newspapers all over the country. I don't think at least some folks here realize what a terrific paper The N&O is, especially the editorials and the agenda pieces in the news columns.

My question is: How are you folks able to turn out such a terrific newspaper day after day?"
Now a serious question: What should we think of a newspaper that puts together a canned and previewed Q&A show and calls it N&O Live?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Churchill Series - Feb. 15, 2006

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

Reader Note: This post ran on Dec. 9, 2005. It's reposted today in memory of a dear friend who's just passed away.

This was his favorite Churchill Series post, not least because as a young officer he served for a time on the staff of Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall, who figures promenently in the post.


At a critical time during World War II, an American military leader Churchill trusted set in motion a scheme to thwart something he thought the Prime Minister was planning. It sounds ominous, but if you read on, I think you'll agree things worked out for the best.

Just before Pearl Harbor, Churchill sacked Britain's Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Field Marshall Sir John Dill. It was arranged that Dill would finish out the war in a backwater post.

Following Pearl Harbor, Churchill decided to go to Washington to develop a joint American-British war plan. He knew the British would need Dill's knowledge at what would be complicated and contentious planning sessions.

So Dill was brought along with Churchill's party to give what he had, and then be shuffled off.

But it came about that he stayed on in Washington in a new position; one in which he made a vital contribution to the war effort.

How so?

Well, since the American and British chiefs of staff would jointly plan Allied strategy and allocate scarce resources; and since the joint chiefs would meet only occasionally for planning sessions; there was a need for liaison between the two nations' chiefs between meetings.

That difficult task was given to Dill.

It was agreed he could best fulfill it in Washington with direct access by cable to each of the British chiefs and right to attend the American chiefs' meetings.

Dill performed splendidly. The late historian Stephen Ambrose said no one surpassed Dill in explaining to the chiefs of each nation the ideas, needs and temperaments of the chiefs of the other nation.

But during the first months of 1944, with D-Day approaching, Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall feared both countries' chiefs would lose Dill's service because Churchill felt Dill was tipping too much in the Americans favor. Marshall thought Churchill might recall him.

Marshall wanted to convince Churchill that Dill was so well thought of in America that recalling him would harm Allied relations.

So Marshall hatched a scheme.

What if Harvard gave Dill an honorary degree, he asked an aide. Wouldn't that impress Churchill? The PM wouldn't want to pull such a man out of the States, would he?

The aide was dispatched to Harvard whose president said he would like to but there was so much that went into an honorary degree, he didn't see how it could be done.

The aide duly reported back to Marshall.

"Try Yale," Marshall barked.

Yale had some of the same problems with an honorary degree as Harvard. But its President, Charles Seymour, said Yale could award Dill the Charles P. Howland Prize.

And what was that?

It was awarded for outstanding contributions to international understanding.
The award ceremony, President Seymour said, would include mace, academic procession, anthems, etc.

Marshall thought that would all be just fine.

The War Department informed the press that the Chief of Staff would be taking time from his very busy schedule to travel to New Haven to attend this most important award ceremony. What's more, Secretary of War Simpson and Asst. Secretary of War Lovett were also planning to attend.

The press reported on the ceremony with what Simpson later called a big "splash." Marshall stayed long after the ceremony talking informally to the press and posing for pictures, actions not typical of the General.

Soon other colleges and universities, including The College of William and Mary and Columbia University, awarded Dill honorary doctorates.

Marshall later told the aide he'd heard Churchill had said, "Dill must be doing quite a job over there."

Of course, there was no more talk of recall.
Forrest C. Pogue, George C. Marshall: Organizer of Victory. (pgs. 336-337)

My favorite Valentine post

Instapundit Glenn Reynolds put up my favorite Valentine post:

MY VALENTINE'S EVENING: Spent the night with my 91-year-old grandmother, so my mother could watch my sister's kids, so my sister could accompany my brother-in-law to Nashville for some medical tests. It's familial love, not the romantic variety, but extended families are good.

Look who the Boston Globe is mad at.

On February 10 The Boston Globe, owned by the NY Times, offered readers its take on the Cartoon Wars. The Globe started with:

By now it should be clear that the firestorm over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in a Danish paper has been fanned to excess by the deliberate political machinations of some actors and the stubborn rigidity of others. Some states have behaved as badly as some individuals.
The Globe then took a few knocks at Syria, Iran and Egypt, in the midst of which it managed to take shots at “the Danish cartoons” and “Europeans' disdain for the faith of Muslims.”

Near the end, The Globe said:
In this sad story of provocation and opportunism, it is worth mentioning the obtuseness of Denmark's prime minister, who refused to meet with Arab ambassadors last October, when it still might have been possible to contrive a satisfactory statement of regret that could have avoided the current conflict while allowing all parties to save face.
So a big part of the problem is “provocation” by those darn cartoonists. Why did they draw the Prophet? Couldn’t they have drawn cartoons of crucifixes in vials of their own urine?

If they’d done that, the Globe and the rest of MSM would have eagerly defended their “art” and the cartoonists right to “freedom of expression;” just as the Globe and other news organizations defended the right of Andres Serrano to place a cruxifix in a file of his urine and call it “art.”

And that Danish Prime Minister! How dare he not knuckle under to pressure from Arab countries? Why didn't he "contrive a satisfactory statement of regret/" No doubt if he had, the Globe would have applauded him for helping to "bring peace in our time."

For the Globe and most news organizations, the worst part of the cartoon conflict is it’s exposed their hypocrisy and fear. And they blame the cartoonists and Prime Minister for that. How dare anyone expose professional journalists!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Churchill Series - Feb. 14, 2006

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

In Their Finest Hour, the second volume of his WW II memoirs, Churchill tells us something of what he felt upon taking the Prime Minister’s office. Here’s part of it:

In my long political experience I had held most of the great offices of State, but I readily admit that the post which had now fallen to me was the one I liked the best.

Power, for the sake of lording it over fellow-creatures or adding to personal pomp, is rightly judged base. But power in a national crisis, when a man believes he knows what orders should be given, is a blessing.

In any sphere of action there can be no comparison between the positions of number one and number two, three, or four. The duties and the problems of all persons other than number one are quite different and in many ways more difficult.

At the top there are great simplifications. An accepted leader has only to be sure of what it is best to do, or at least to have made up his mind about it. The loyalties which centre upon number one are enormous. If he trips, he must be sustained. If he makes mistakes, they must be covered. If he sleeps, he must not be wantonly disturbed. If he is no good, he must be pole-axed. But this last extreme process cannot be carried out every day; and certainly not in the days just after he has been chosen. (p. 15)
Churchill’s first sentence didn’t surprise any of us and, I’ll bet, caused many smiles.

Remember when Senator Jesse Helms was a "threat to our freedoms?"

We're hearing so much these days from journalists and academics about the need to "respect the religious feelings of others."

It's hard to believe that just a few years back, many of these same journalists and academics pilloried North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms when he spoke out against public funding for Piss Christ and what many people saw as its blasphemy.

All Helms was advocating was public condemnation of Piss Christ and the removal of public funds to pay for such "works of art." That may be why those journalists and academics felt free to pillory him. It wasn't like he was threatening them with physical harm.

You may be interested in what Senator Helms said on the Senate floor on May 18, 1989. From the Congressional Record:

Mr. HELMS. Mr. President, the Senator from New York is absolutely correct in his indignation and in his description of the blasphemy of the so-called artwork. I do not know Mr. Andres Serrano, and I hope I never meet him. Because he is not an artist, he is a jerk.

#20. Let us examine exactly what this bird did to get $15,000 of the taxpayers' money through the so-called National Endowment for the Arts. If they have no more judgment than that, it ought to be abolished and all funds returned to the taxpayer. What this Serrano fellow did, he filled a bottle with his own urine and then stuck a crucifix down there - Jesus Christ on a cross. He set it up on a table and took a picture of it.

#21. For that, the National Endowment for the Arts gave him $15,000, to honor him as an artist.

#22. I say again, Mr. President, he is not an artist. He is a jerk. And he is taunting the American people, just as others are, in terms of Christianity. And I resent it. And I do not hesitate to say so.

#23. I am not going to call the name that he applied to this work of art.

#24. In naming it, he was taunting the American people. He was seeking to create indignation. That is all right for him to be a jerk but let him be a jerk on his own time and with his own resources. Do not dishonor our Lord. I resent it and I think the vast majority of the American people do. And I also resent the National Endowment for the Arts spending the taxpayers' money to honor this guy.

#25. This program, supported by the National Endowment, is administered by the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art. They call it SECCA. I am sorry to say it is in my home State.

#26. After Mr. Serrano's selection, this photograph and some of his other works were exhibited in several cities around the country with the approval and the support of the National Endowment.

#27. Horse feathers. If we have sunk so low in this country as to tolerate and condone this sort of thing, then we become a part of it.

#28. The question is obvious. On what conceivable basis does anybody who would engage in such blasphemy and insensitivity toward the religious community deserve to be honored? The answer to that is: he does not. He deserved to be rebuked and ignored because he is not an artist. Anybody who would do such a despicable thing - and get $15,000 in tax money for it - well, it tells you something about the state of this Government and the way it spends the money taken from the taxpayer.
Interesting reading, isn't it?

Liberal and leftist journalists and academics told us Helms was a great "threat to our freedoms."

Now the same crowd wants us to show respect for "the religious feelings of others."

Is anyone fooled?

What should we expect from a university?

The New York News editorializes on a recent faculty promotion decision by Columbia University. Excerpts:

Columbia University made a distressingly wrongheaded decision last week when it promoted a professor with a history of classroom bullying, anti-Semitism, anti-Israel propaganda and crackpot theories.

The instructor in question, Joseph Massad, is affiliated with a troubled department known as Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures, or Mealac.

After Jewish students accused faculty of intimidation and bias against Israel, a university investigation concluded in April that Massad had "exceeded commonly accepted bounds" of teaching.

At the time, Massad was an assistant professor approaching his fifth year at Columbia. He was up for a review that would determine whether he stayed on a track toward tenure - a virtual lifetime employment guarantee.

This page called for his dismissal, citing his bullying and the lunatic and offensive nature of some of his writings. Among those was an article proclaiming that Jews are infected by mass psychosis and driven to persecute Palestinians as an expression of self-hatred.

The conclusion Massad drew from his "research": Palestinians are the real Jews and Jews are the real anti-Semites.

Despite all that, Columbia promoted Massad from assistant to associate professor. This is not a small step. Associate professors are eligible to be considered for tenure, and many of the administrators who approved Massad's promotion will likely participate in deciding in two years, when memories of his bullying have faded, whether to make Massad a full professor.
You can read the entire editorial here.

If Massad had treated gay students as he’s treated Jewish students, who thinks Columbia would have promoted him?

Columbia would have rightly decided Massad’s bullying of gays was unacceptable behavior for a faculty member; and not renewed his contract. The would have been a relatively simple step given Massad does not yet have tenure.

But Massad bullied Jewish students; and then got promoted.

That tells you a lot.

Columbia President Lee Bollinger’s email is:

Dana Milbank missed the lesson

Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank, who regularly whines about the public's growing disdain for MSM, appeared on a political "yack-yack" cable show wearing guess what?

A reflective hunting vest and a red stocking cap.

Michelle Malkin has the video clip and links. Lorie Byrd at Polipundit has lots more.

Remember when we were school kids and a teacher told us if we didn't learn the difference between real humor and just being silly, people would make fun of us when we got to high school?

Milbak must've been absent that day.

Trackback: Michelle Malkin

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Churchill Series - Feb. 13, 2006

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

On January 30, 1946, Churchill was in Miami where historian Martin Gilbert says:

(Churchill) had a long talk with Emery Reves, who before the war had insured the wide circulation of his articles throughout Europe, about the publishing aspect of his war memoirs.

"I have not forgotten what you have done for me before the war" Churchill told Reves, "and I shall want you to handle it"

Over the next decade, and more, Reves made sure that the memoirs obtained the widest possible circulation, translation and financial benefit.
Shortly after Churchill began work on his memoirs, tension developed between the two as Reves made numerous criticisms of Churchill's drafts.

Churchill, you'll recall, often said that while he liked to learn, he didn't like being taught.

But things came right in the end. Reves was even able to persuade Churchill to change the title he'd selected for the first volume. Thus "The Downward Path" became "The Gathering Storm."
Reader's Note: Some will reasonably wonder whether Churchill actually said
"have done for me before the war" instead of "did for me before the war."

The Churchill quote, along with the rest of Gilbert's text quoted here, appears on page 864 of his Churchill: A Life.

The Raleigh News & Observer cuts for Senator Reid

First, the liberal trending left Raleigh News & Observer, a McClatchy Co. paper, sat on the AP’s report of Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid’s deep involvement in the Abramoff scandal.

When The N&O did get around to telling readers about the AP's Reid/Abramoff report, The N&O told them less than 17% of it by Microsoft Word Count and buried it inside the paper on a Saturday.

I posted on all that here, and included some portions of the AP report The N&O held back from readers along with a link to the report.

Now, from the AP’s Reid/Abramoff report I’ve selected a few sentences that are especially important and revealing but which the filter professionals at The N&O decided to leave out of the story they told the N&O's readers.

Take a look at the sentences and decide if you would have left them out if you worked for a paper that was what The N&O says it is: “fair and accurate” and “unbiased in our news columns:’

Reid has assailed Republicans' ties to Abramoff while refusing to return any of his own donations.

And in the midst of the contacts, Abramoff's firm hired one of Reid's top legislative aides to lobby for the tribal and Marianas clients.

The aide then helped throw a fundraiser for Reid at Abramoff's firm.

And Reid's longtime chief of staff accepted a free trip to Malaysia arranged by a consulting firm connected to Abramoff that recently has gained attention in the influence-peddling investigation that has gripped the Capitol
So what do you think?

A few reactions to Al Gore's latest

I guess you've all heard:

Former Vice President Al Gore told a mainly Saudi audience on Sunday that the U.S. government committed "terrible abuses" against Arabs after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that most Americans did not support such treatment.

Gore said Arabs had been "indiscriminately rounded up" and held in "unforgivable" conditions. The former vice president said the Bush administration was playing into al-Qaida's hands by routinely blocking Saudi visa applications. [...]
C'mon Al, give it up. There's only one Jimmy Carter.

Does anyone know whether any of the pharmaceuticals are developing something that could help Gore?

And thank you, Florida.

What I'm hearing about Senator Leahy can't be true

You know Vermont's Senator Pat Leahy, the fellow Vice-president Dick Cheney not too long ago told to "Go ...

Well, today I'm hearing Leahy has gone into hiding at an undisclosed location.

Surely the can't be true. It's just a silly rumor.

Still, it's got me wondering about Adam Clymer.

Remember him? The former New York Times political reporter then presidential nominee George W. Bush called "a major league (rhymns with brass pole); to which Cheney added, "Yeah, big time."

Has anyone seen Clymer today?

I'm just asking.

British pundit: "Hillary is losing the Clinton touch"

London Times US Editor Gerald Baker’s latest column leads with: “Hillary is losing the Clinton touch.” Excerpts:

The former First Lady and political lightning rod for conservatives has barely put a foot wrong since she was elected to the Senate from New York six years ago. […]

But the myth of her invincibility has recently started to unravel. Her aggressive stance on national security has landed her in mounting trouble with the Left of the Democratic Party, which has become stridently anti-war in the past year.

A deft political touch seems to have deserted her on several occasions, most recently when she accused Republican leaders in Congress of behaving like “plantation owners”.

Above all, the issue that her supporters and opponents alike consider her biggest liability has surfaced ominously: the likeability factor.

Few deny that Mrs Clinton is razor-sharp and politically savvy. But even supporters worry about her personal skills, at least before a large audience.

She is a somewhat wooden speaker with a hectoring style at times more reminiscent of Al Gore than her husband. And unlike Bill, she projects a lofty, distant air that has been likened to the Queen of Sheba in a power suit. […]

At Mrs King’s funeral — a thinly disguised political rally — Mrs Clinton’s greatest strength and greatest weakness was on display. Her own remarks were preceded by her husband’s eulogy.

The former President was on characteristically bravura form. In a tailor-made setting, in an accent several degrees south of plush Westchester County, the New York suburb that he now calls home, he was alternately funny and moving.

Mrs Clinton was, once again, in her husband’s shadow. It is a shadow that has nurtured and shielded her for years, allowing her to benefit from his raw political skills.

But it is also a shadow that, for many Americans, darkens Mrs Clinton’s reputation, reminding voters of the sleaze and scandal of eight turbulent White House years.

The hope in her camp is that people will believe that Mrs Clinton has her husband’s political strengths and none of his weaknesses.

The growing fear is that she incites the same level of loathing and suspicion as her husband always did, but has none of the charm and personality to deflect it
My only criticism of Baker’s column is that it “shorts” some of Hillary’s own sleaze and scandal problems.

Those weren’t Bill Clinton’s Rose Law Firm billing records that disappeared for two years before reappearing in The White House family living quarters.

Remember Travelgate? Byron York reported in this NRO Online article:
The First Lady's statements, under oath, were patently false. And indeed, at the end of the investigation, independent counsel Robert Ray determined that "(Hillary) Clinton did play a role and have input in the decision to fire the Travel Office employees and that her testimony to the contrary was factually false."
For much of the public, Hillary’s own sleaze and scandals are fuzzy memories, if recalled at all.

But that will change as ’08 nears, and her political foes start to jog the public’s memory. And first among those doing the jogging will be Hillary’s fellow Democrats and opponents for the party’s ’08 presidential nomination.

Bet a nickel on Hillary if you like, but not your whole allowance.

And be sure to read Baker’s entire column.

Trackback: Michelle Malkin

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Churchill Series - Feb. 12, 2006

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

In late summer, 1940, with intelligence reports warning of intensified German bombing raids, Churchill examined and advised on every aspect of Britain's preperations for the attacks.

Here's a minute he sent on August 30 to the heads of "all Departments concerned:"

We must expect that many windows will be broken in the bombing raids, and during the winter glass may become scarce, with serious resultant damage to building if not replaced.

The utmost economy is to be practiced in the use of glass. Where windows are broken, they should , if possible, be boarded up, except for one or two panes. We cannot afford the full-sized windows in glass. All glass not needed for hothouses should be stored if the hothouses are empty.

I saw at Manston a large hothouse with a great quantity of glass,; enough was broken to it useless, and I directed that the rest should be carefully stored.

What is the condition of glass supply? It would seem necessary to press the manufacturers.

Government buildings should all be fitted with emergency windows, containing only one or two glass panes, which when the existing framework is blown in, can be substituted. Let me have a full report on the position.
Part of Churchill's genius involved his ability to simultaneously attend to broad strategy and small details such as those unbroken window panes in Manston.
Winston S. Churchill, Their Finest Hour. (p. 664)

Sure liberals have opinions. Just ask Jim and Sarah Brady.

When Sen. Ted Kennedy was "outed" as a member in the exclusive Owl Club, which bars women from membership, Harvard's student newspaper, The Crimson, reported "conservatives" complainded about Kennedy's Owl membership.

But what about liberals? What were they saying about Kennedy's Owl membership?

Apparently nothing. Or at least nothing The Crimson thought worth reporting.

And here in North Carolina?

What was the liberal trending left Raleigh News & Observer, a McClatchy Co. paper, telling readers about Kennedy, often called "the liberal lion," and his misogynist Owl membership?

The N&O decided to tell its faithful readers nothing about what Washington wags were by then calling "The story of Teddy and the Owl."

So much silence from usually "yack-yack" liberals led a friend to ask, "Do liberals have any opinions besides 'I hate Bush?'"

Tonight, my friend has an answer.

Liberals are speaking out following a hunting accident today in which Vice-president Dick Cheney shot a companion.

Example: From The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence comes a press release that includes:

To National Desk:

James and Sarah Brady made comments today related to Vice President Cheney's reportedly accidental shooting yesterday in Texas.

"Now I understand why Dick Cheney keeps asking me to go hunting with him," said Jim Brady. "I had a friend once who accidentally shot pellets into his dog - and I thought he was an idiot."

"I've thought Cheney was scary for a long time," Sarah Brady said. "Now I know I was right to be nervous."

A contact number for press follow up was provided.

Besides wanting to take guns from law abiding citizens, Jim and Sarah want us to treat each other respectfully, and avoid demeaning and inflamatory verbal attacks on others.

Jim and Sarah believe such attacks can only heighten the circumstances in which gun violence can occur.

At least that's what I read at websites that support their campaign.

To learn more about how you can make a contribution to The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, please call 202-289-5792 during normal business hours.

Hat tip: NRO Online

Islam and neo-Islam: An important difference

Iranian author and Middle East expert Amir Taheri points out an important difference between Islam and what she calls “neo-Islam.” One is a religion; the other’s a fascist political movement. All of us, especially in the West, need to recognize that difference

Taheri begins her latest New York Post column:

'GOD? What about him?" the sheik asked with a frown.

We were in a London mosque, discussing the ser mons the sheik delivers at Friday congregations.

I had asked why God almost never featured in (or, at best, got a cameo role) in sermons that focused almost exclusively on political issues.

For the sheik, what mattered was "the sufferings of our brethren under occupation."

In other words: In our Islam, we don't do God — we do Palestine, Kashmir and Iraq!

Here we have a religion without a theology, a secular wolf disguised as a religious lamb.

How did this neo-Islam — a political movement masquerading as religion — come into being, and how can those who know little about Islam distinguish it from the mainstream of the faith?
In the rest of her column, Taheri provides an answer to her question. She gives us information and clear thinking of a kind we rarely find in MSM.

Taheri ends with:
Neo-Islam is a form of fascism, hence the term Islamofascism. Its primary victims are Muslims, both in Muslim majority countries and in the West.

In many Muslim countries, neo-Islam has been exposed as a political movement and can no longer deceive the masses. In the West, however, it is has managed to dupe parts of the media, government and academia into treating it not as the political movement it is, but as the expression of Islam as a religion.

It is time to end that deception and recognize neo-Islam in its many manifestations as a political phenomenon.

Neo-Islam has as much right to operate in the political field as any other party in a democracy. But it does not have the right to pretend to be a religion — it is not.
I think Taheri nails it.

About Taheri’s observation: “(Neo-Islam) has managed to dupe parts of the media, government and academia into treating it not as the political movement it is, but as the expression of Islam as a religion.”

It’s certainly true, but do you think it’s possibly less true since neo-Islam launched its recent “cartoons” attack on Western civilization?

The Raleigh News & Observer leaves out a lot about Reid and Abramoff

A post yesterday, The Raleigh News & Observer covers Sen. Reid’s links to Abramoff, noted that the liberal trending left N&O, a McClatchy Co. paper, had finally told readers something about a major Associated Press story other newspapers across the country had been treating as a page one story with headlines such The Houston Chronicle's, Reid Aided Abramoff Clients, Records Show.

The AP’s story detailed Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid and his staff’s deep involvement in the Abramoff scandal.

But the story The N&O’s finally ran left out a lot of the AP’s story. Microsoft Word Count found only 237 words in The N&O story; it found 1,740 plus words in the AP's story.

What’s more, The N&O “placed” the story not on page one, but back on pg. 8A with the soft headline, Democratic leader had contact with Abramoff.

Because the pepole who filter the news at The N&O ran the story on a Saturday and “placed” it inside the paper, many N&O readers missed the story entirely.

Because The N&O filter journalists cut so much out of the AP’s story, even readers who found the story missed all of what The N&O left out.

Below are important parts of the AP story which The N&O left out. You can find these parts and more at ABC News’ web site here.

If you have friends who count on The N&O for news of both parties involvement in the Abramoff scandal, you may want to tell them where to locate the AP story. Or just send them a link to this post.

Most of the first paragraph that follows appears in The N&O’s story. All of the remaining paragraphs were left out of The N&O's small story.
From the AP excerpts:

Reid also intervened on government matters at least five times in ways helpful to Abramoff's tribal clients, once opposing legislation on the Senate floor and four times sending letters pressing the Bush administration on tribal issues. Reid collected donations around the time of each action.

Ethics rules require senators to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest in collecting contributions around the times they take official acts benefiting donors.

Abramoff's firm also hired one of Reid's top legislative aides as a lobbyist. The aide later helped throw a fundraiser for Reid at Abramoff's firm that raised donations from several of his lobbying partners.
(bold added by JinC)
And Reid's longtime chief of staff accepted a free trip to Malaysia arranged by a consulting firm connected to Abramoff that recently has gained attention in the influence-peddling investigation that has gripped the Capitol.
One of the Marianas contacts, listed for May 30, 2001, was with Edward Ayoob, Reid's legislative counsel. Within a year, Ayoob had left Reid's office to work for Abramoff's firm, registering specifically to lobby for the islands as well as several tribes. Manley confirmed Ayoob had subsequent lobbying contacts with Reid's office.

Manley cast doubt on some of the contacts recorded in the billing records, saying McCue was out of Washington for a couple of the dates. But he acknowledged the contacts could have occurred by cell phone.
Abramoff's firm threw a fundraiser for Reid at its Washington office that netted the Nevada senator several more donations from Greenberg Traurig lobbyists and their spouses. Ayoob was instrumental in staging the event, Reid's office said. (bold added by JinC)
Later this evening I’ll post again on how The N&O is covering Sen. Reid's involvement in the Abramoff scandal.