Saturday, March 18, 2006

There's hope for liberals

Douglas Archibald, a retired Colby College professor, recently wrote in Colby Magazine:

I retired in August 2004, with two presentations at literature meetings in Liverpool providing a satisfying punctuation, then returned to volunteer for the effort to change the administration in Washington.

The effort worked in Maine but not well enough across the country, and I descended into depression and alienation, the intensity of which startled me.
But Archibald didn’t let a few things like intense depression and alienation keep him down for long.

He told readers :
I joke with my children that I follow two slogans: "Keep the Faith" and "Living Well is the Best Revenge." That means golf, movies, nice meals, good book, the occasional peace vigil, regular volunteering at the homeless shelter.
That’s all fine. But I wish Archibald had mentioned mocha lattes with cinnamon.

Lattes are just as helpful to liberals fighting depression and alienation as a round of golf or nice meal; and less expensive too.

And the money liberals save by sipping lattes instead of golfing can be used to help pay for something special, like a trip to Havana.

Hat Tip: Best of the Web Today

David Boyd on Yale Talibanitis

How can seemingly intelligent people raised in America embrace Taliban who want to enslave women and kill gays just for being gays? How can some people at Yale and elsewhere do that?

And why did The New York Times (fee for access), which usually supports everything feminists and gays advocate, pump out a "Rah-rah Taliban! Go Yale!" story?

David Boyd takes a crack at such questions. I hope you read what he says.

Then I hope you comment.

PM Tony Blair will resign before the end of the year

I think Prime Minister Tony Blair's political troubles within his own Labour Party are so great, he will be forced to resign before the year is out.

A developing campaign fund-raising scandal will likely be the thing that enables Blair's Labour foes to force his resignation, something they've long wished to do.

The Guardian reports today:

The depth of secrecy around Labour's pre-election loan-raising activities emerged last night when party officials confirmed that the deputy prime minister, John Prescott, had not been informed, along with the party treasurer, Jack Dromey, of the raising of nearly £14m in loans.

Mr Prescott would have been expected to have known due to his closeness to the prime minister and his membership of the party's business committee. The chancellor, Gordon Brown, was not told either, but due to his Treasury duties he has always kept himself apart from party fundraising.
The "wolves" are circling and Blair is in the middle of them.

Read the entire Guardian story here.

Who does this MSM newspaper exec sound like?

Gary Pruitt is chairman and CEO of the newspaper chain, The McClatchy Company, which this week acquired another newspaper chain, Knight-Ridder, Inc.

McClatchy owns The Raleigh News & Observer and will acquire in the K-R purchase The Charlotte Observer.

That will give McClatchy ownership of the two largest circulation newspapers in North Carolina.

So naturally, thoughtful Tar Heels are wondering what Pruitt is like and what McClatchy's planning for the two papers.

Well, here’s some of what Pruitt just said in a Mar. 16 Wall Street Journal op-ed :

But what about the future?

While it may seem counterintuitive to suppose that a company founded before the advent of electric lights would be a media leader in the age of blogs, podcasts and text messaging, that's exactly what has happened. We certainly have competition from Google and others.

But in each of the communities where we compete, almost every newspaper has the largest news staff, largest sales force, biggest audience and greatest share of advertising in its market. Whether it's on the Internet or off the presses, we are capturing that business.
”(We have the) largest …largest…biggest …greatest …(and) we are capturing that business.”

Doesn’t Pruitt sound just like a top General Motors executive, circa 1955?

BTW – A few things Pruitt didn’t mention.

McClatchy’s stock price has dropped about 5% since the N-R acquisition was announced.

Today, Mar. 17, Yahoo Finance reports: McClatchy’s 52 week high stock price was 76.05. It closed today at 49.60.

Hat Tip: Melanie Sill, The Editor's Blog

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Churchill Series - Mar.17, 2006

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

I'm sorry there's no Churchill post today.

I'm flying back to the States from England today.

Posting will resume Monday, Mar. 20.

Thank you for your understanding.


Moody's New York Times review is very late reports :

Moody's Investors Service on Friday placed New York Times Co.'s A2 senior unsecured long term debt, and P-1 commercial paper ratings on review for possible downgrade.
Moody's is one of the world's most respected financial rating companies.

But as regards the Times, Moody's very late to the game.

Informed readers and bloggers have been downgrading the Times for years.

Hat Tip:

Just one word to add to this Glenn Reynolds post

Glenn Reynolds posts:

IN THE MAIL: Ed Feulner and Doug Wilson's new book, Getting America Right : The True Conservative Values Our Nation Needs Today. Not being a conservative, I don't buy all of this, but the need for Republicans to revitalize themselves -- and, in particular, to get out from under the big-government, pork-barrel spending style they've embraced in recent years -- is pretty obvious.

The Raleigh News & Observer and the levee story

Everyone knows by now that the Associated Press' recent report claiming President Bush was warned before Katrina hit land that the levee's in New Orleans could be breeched was false. The AP was forced to issue "a clarification."

And it's no surprise to anyone familiar with The Raleigh News & Observer that it handled the correction rather badly.

You get an idea of that from Public Editor Ted Vaden's explanation to readers. Here's part of it :

Okay. The story incorrectly used breach instead of overrun. The N&O should have corrected that as soon as it got the AP clarification, instead of waiting another five days. An editor here said the clarification "fell through the cracks," which is not acceptable.

But the difference in semantics does not take away from the importance of the story that justified its front-page display. "I think what the story said was that Bush was warned that the levees could fail, and indeed they did," said N&O Managing Editor John Drescher.
I hope Dresher didn't say what Vaden says he said.

The AP story claimed that while Bush had said after Katrina that he had not been warned before Katrina the levees could be breeched, he had in fact been warned of breeching. So Bush had lied; and the AP had the videotape proving that.

That was the point of the story.

How can anyone who edited or read the AP story claim otherwise?

I plan to follow up on what Dresher said and Vaden's comments when I return Sunday from England.

Justice Ginsburg Throws Out The Constitution

Attorney and Blogger John Hinderaker:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg gave a speech in South Africa last month, which, for some reason, is just now being publicized. Ginsburg's speech was titled "A Decent Respect for the Opinions of [Human]kind." In it, Ginsburg argued explicitly for the relevance of foreign law and court decisions to interpretation of the American Constitution.

Ginsburg did not try to hide the partisan nature of this issue; at one point, she referred to "the perspective I share with four of my current colleagues," and she specifically criticized Justice Antonin Scalia, Judge Richard Posner, and the two bills that were introduced in Congress in 2004 and were broadly supported by Republicans. And she indulged in an outrageous bit of demagoguery, suggesting that those who disagree with her are somehow aligned with Justice Taney's infamous defense of slavery in the Dred Scott case.

Ginsburg contrasted our Constitution (unfavorably, I think it's fair to say) with the Constitution of South Africa, which specifically provides for the use of foreign law in interpreting its provisions.

You really should read the entire speech, but its argument is most concisely stated here: To a large extent, I believe, the critics in Congress and in the media misperceive how and why U.S. courts refer to foreign and international court decisions. We refer to decisions rendered abroad, it bears repetition, not as controlling authorities, but for their indication, in Judge Wald's words, of "common denominators of basic fairness governing relationships between the governors and the governed."

This is, to put it politely, nonsense. In our system of government, the courts are not called on to determine what "basic fairness governing relationships between the governors and the governed" requires. For legal purposes, issues of "basic fairness" were decided when the Constitution was authored and approved by the initial thirteen states, and when the document has been amended over the subsequent centuries.

The real issue here is: what is the Constitution? Justice Scalia has famously noted that the Constitution is a legal document which, like all legal documents, says some things and does not say others. In Justice Ginsburg's view the Constitution is, on the contrary, a roving charter for nine individuals to decide what "basic fairness" requires.

It should hardly be necessary to point out that the former understanding, which was universal until quite recently, is a charter of freedom, inasmuch as the people's representatives can vote on amendments. Conversely, the "basic fairness" approach is a form of tyranny in which small elite can impose its policy preferences on the rest of us.

It is also utterly unworkable. There is a reason why people reduce legal documents to writing: it's the only way to know what the deal is. Under Justice Ginsburg's approach, the "law" is ineffable. There is no way to know from one day to the next what it might be.

Take, for example, the issue of homosexual sodomy. The Supreme Court recently ruled, in Lawrence v. Texas, that there is a constitutional right to commit acts of homosexual sodomy. Was this ruling informed by reference to foreign jurisprudence? If not, why not? On Ginsburg's approach, the justices apparently get to pick and choose when they will look abroad for guidance.

And, if foreign guidance had been sought in the Lawrence case, would the justices have looked to the law in Muslim countries where commission of such acts is a capital crime? If not, why not? There is no coherent answer to these questions, and, Ginsburg does not offer one. In reality, reference to foreign law is nothing more than an ad hoc tool to be invoked or ignored at will by justices who want to advance a left-wing agenda.

I've tried to be measured in this critique of Ginsburg's speech, but the truth is that it is more reprehensible than I have suggested. You really have to read it to appreciate how far removed it is from American laws and traditions, and how demagogic it is in both tone and substance.

Ginsburg repeatedly quotes the Declaration of Independence's reference to "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind," as if it somehow supported her argument. But this is silly.
Be sure to read the rest of Hinderaker's post. What Ginsburg is saying is not just silly; it's scary coming from a Supreme Court Justice.

Do Supreme Court Justices take an oath to abide by The United States Constitution?

Hinderaker's post is here.

Hat Tip: Mike Williams

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Churchill Series - Mar.16, 2006

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

Four Churchill quotes, all found in Martin Gilbert’s Continue to Pester, Nag and Bite: Churchill’s War Leadership.

In January, 1939: ‘War is terrible, but slavery is worse.” (p. 39)

In 1941 to a Private Secretary: “Each night, before I go to bed, I try myself by Court Martial to see if I have done something really effective during the day.” (p. 48)

When Churchill was told General Montgomery had “created animosities in military circles, he replied: “If he is disagreeable to those around him, he is also disagreeable to the enemy.” (p. 72)

In April 1941 as Britain sought to drive a wedge between the pro-Nazi Regent of Yugoslavia and Ministers thought to be favorable to Britain, Churchill told the senior British diplomat in Belgrade: “Continue to pester, nag and bite. Demand audiences. Don’t take NO for an answer.” (p. 73)

Sunshine Week needs some sunshine

Sunshine Week is supposed to be that time of year when MSM news organizations help citizens understand how they report on government. But so far, it’s been Cloudy and Overcast Week.

I wanted to learn more about how the New York Times managed to get into the sealed adoption records of the children of then Appellate Court Judge John Roberts and his wife, Jane Roberts, a private citizen.

I wanted to know why and how news organizations decide to do such things? Do they always tell the public when they do? How do MSM reporters persuade government officials to do such things, when it may be against the law to do them?

If government officials who may have leaked Valerie Palme’s name to the MSM should be punished, should we not also punish the people who leaked NSA security information?

I haven’t seen MSM casting sunshine on any of those questions this week.

Why not?

Just recently my local newspaper, The Raleigh News & Observer, reported government officials had been caught cheating when, in fact, they hadn’t.

It’s scary to think an MSM news organization could be so wrong on what was a simple story.

And just a few weeks back, almost all of MSM falsely reported the President had been told the levees could be breeched as a result of Katrina. The news organizations said they relied on a government document, a videotape. But there was nothing on the tape supporting their report.

How did MSM get that story so wrong?

And if MSM can’t get straight a simple matter of what was or was not said on a videotape, how can MSM be counted on to get right more complicated stories?

These are questions tens of millions of American’s would like to have answered during Sunshine Week.

The economic news is great. That's tough for a lot of MSM

Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters points out the great econonic news concerning job growth; and then he notes some big media outfits are downplaying the news:

Although the overall coverage was better than last month and throughout 2005, some of America’s leading media outlets downplayed the fabulous news released by the Labor Department on March 10, while “The Most Trusted Name in News” largely ignored it.

While Wall Street cheered the great news – the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied by 104 points after the announcement – ABC and The New York Times weren’t content to allow people to celebrate for very long.

Instead, The Times began downplaying the good news in the first sentence of its March 11 article, stating the report was “igniting concerns” on Wall Street “that higher wages could fuel inflation.”

And, though ABC’s “World News Tonight” led with this story on the evening of March 10, it finished its report discussing those still having a hard time finding work, suggesting that this “may account for why 57 percent of Americans in our ABC polling say this economy is bad.”
When job growth is strong, a lot of MSM tell us that means the Fed will raise interest rates which could slow the economy and bring on a recession.

When job growth slows, a lot of MSM tell us that’s a sign we may be heading into a recession.

Many MSM news organizations have been talking down the economy since President Bush entered the White House.

That’s what explains 57 percent of Americans in ABC’s poll saying the economy is bad, even though we're experiencing the third consecutive year of strong economic growth with most forward-looking indicators pointing to strong future growth.

Raleigh News & Observer puffs for Myrick

At Raleigh News & Observer exec editor for news Melanie Sill’s blog, a reader complains about a Mar. 6 front page story , Mince words? Not Rep. Myrick -- just ask Bush

Myrick, you'll recall, is the Congresswoman who endeared herself to Bush-bashers with her one line letter to the President: "In regards to selling American ports to the United Arab Emirates, not just NO — but HELL NO!"

The reader says the “recent puff piece on Sue Myrick would have never made the cut for any paper committed to real journalism.”

Sill responds: “Re the Myrick piece, any time a member of congress emerges as a potential candidate for governor, that's a good story for The N&O.”

Will Sill tell readers why The N&O’s reporter, while restating the contents of Myrick’s “HELL NO” letter to the President, never mentioned that the “selling American ports" charge was false.

That's important. Why wasn’t it in the story?

Also, Myrick is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The N&O mentioned that but for some reason it decided not to tell readers that Energy and Commerce is one of the congressional committees with primary oversight in the area covered by the UAE deal.

The N&O didn't ask Myrick how she made the "selling American ports" blunder or whether she’s ever publicly acknowledged it or apologized to the President.

Given all of that it's easy to see why anyone would say The N&O’s Myrick story is puff piece Journalism.

The N&O's reporter, Barbara Barrett, did manage to tell readers: “Over dinner at a Capitol Hill pub recently, (Myrick) declined a glass of wine in favor of Diet Coke since she still had work.”

Let’s see what we hear from Editor Sill. I’m sending her and email and leaving a link to this post on the blog thread.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Churchill Series - Mar.15, 2006

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

In 1930, Churchill turned 56. He also published My Early Life which covered the period from his birth in 1874 to his entry into Parliament in 1902.

Here's most of the first paragraph from My Early Life, broken into shorter paragraphs for readers' ease :

When does one first begin to remember. When do the waving lights and shadows of dawning consciousness cast their print upon the mind of a child?

My earliest memories are Ireland. I can recall scenes and events in Ireland quite well, and sometimes dimly, even people. Yet I was born on November 30, 1874, and I left Ireland early in the year 1879.

My father has gone to Ireland as secretary to his father, the Duke of Marlborough, appointed Lord-Lieutenant by Mr. Disraeli in 1876.
We lived in a house called "The Little Lodge."
I remember my grandfather, the Viceroy, unveiling the Lord Gough statue in 1878. A great black crowd, scarlet soldiers on horseback, strings pulling away a brown shiny sheet, the old Duke, the formidable grandpapa, talking loudly to the crowd.

I recall even a phrase he used: "and with a withering volley he shattered the enemy's line." I quite understood that he was speaking about war and fighting and that a "volley" meant what the black-coated soldiers (Riflemen) used to do with loud bangs so often in the Phoenix Park where I was taken for my morning walks.

This, I think, is my first coherent memory.
As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.
Winston S. Churchill, My Early Life. (p. 1)

Here’s another reason to distrust Dems and MSM

For the last five years Democrats have been telling us: Bush and the Republicans in Congress are slashing government social programs; denying the poor; hurting students; etc, etc.

Now comes this USA Today report:

A sweeping expansion of social programs since 2000 has sparked a record increase in the number of Americans receiving federal government benefits such as college aid, food stamps and health care.

A USA TODAY analysis of 25 major government programs found that enrollment increased an average of 17% in the programs from 2000 to 2005. The nation's population grew 5% during that time.

It was the largest five-year expansion of the federal safety net since the Great Society created programs such as Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s. …
So much for believing what Dems like Sens. Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Ted Kennedy and DNC Chair Howard Dean tell us.

ut why are we just hearing about this “sweeping expansion of social programs” now?

Why, during the last five years, have MSM news organizations said so little about the expansion?

Shouldn’t they have been reporting on the expansion at least as often as on Valerie Palme’s “outing?”

Why do MSM reporters regularly repeat the Dems line that cuts in proposed social program spending increases are cuts in the programs themselves when, in fact, they’re no such thing?

The USA Today report gives us another reason to distrust Dems and their MSM allies.

The teacher's union goes after John Stossel

John Stossel is doing an outstanding job telling America what's wrong with its schools, and how they can be made better.

Now read what he's getting for his pains:

Several hundred people showed up at my door Wednesday to teach me a lesson by offering me a job. They were unionized public-school teachers, and they wanted me to go into a school and teach for a week. "Teach, John, teach!" they chanted.

I wasn't expecting that.

I did expect them to demand an apology for my TV special on education, "Stupid in America," which was critical of union work rules.

I didn't expect one of the speakers to be so blunt as to complain that school choice, whose value I had shown in the broadcast, would "take money away from . . . our union leaders" and a special program they had built to pay college tuition for a special-interest group within their union.

And I was especially surprised by one history lesson they taught me: "Public schools are what distinguish democracies from every other system in the world," and a country without strong public schools "lends itself to authoritarian thinking."
Be sure to read the rest.

I'll say more soon.

H/T Realclearpolitics

Rather and CBS’s lying suits many viewers

Captain Ed Morrissey posts on a Q&A that followed a recent Dan Rather speech. A reporter asked Rather to talk about a specific instance where media failed -- and wound up censored for his efforts. The reporter later wrote:

Here's the scene: Former CBS anchorman Dan Rather is in Cherry Hill, giving a speech about the need for journalists to do better.

"What's gone out of fashion is the tough question and the follow-up," he tells an admiring audience of about 600 people at Cherry Hill's Star Forum.

So how can I, the guy covering Rather's remarks, just sit there?

When he finishes, I hurry to a floor mike to ask Rather about an issue that will be part of my story.

"Mr. Rather," I say. "Great suggestions. But you left the anchor desk last year after your report questioning President Bush's military service was discredited. Key memos could not be authenticated. Do you think the failure to ask questions then affects your credibility now?"

Rather responds with civility -- if not clarity. He notes, in part, that an independent review "couldn't determine whether the documents were authentic or not."
Eager to please, I follow up: "The Courier-Post won't run something if we're not sure it's authentic. Are you saying it's OK . . ."

But my microphone goes dead -- and the audience stirs to life.

Some people jeer. Others glare and scowl (I can now distinguish between the two). This continues outside as I call in my story.
What happened during that Q&A is worrying for democracy which depends on people hearing and accepting the truth.

But nothing that happened there should surprise us.

The day after CBS 60 Minutes ran the phony Air National Guard story, Rather and CBS assured us that their then anonymous document source was “unimpeachable.”

They continued to tell us that for more than a week until the public learned what Rather and CBS had known all along: Their “unimpeachable” document source was long-time Bush-hater and Democratic activist Bill Burkett.

Telling people Burkett was “unimpeachable” was a falsehood. Doing it deliberately was a lie. Doing it repeatedly was serial lying.

And after Rather and CBS did that, they retained the loyalty and viewership of millions of people who want just what Rather and CBS gave them.

No doubt a good many of those who hectored Walsh are loyal CBS viewers.

We need to keep exposing MSM false reporting even as many of our fellow citizens give every sign of wanting such reporting.

Hat Tip: Mike Williams

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Churchill Series - Mar.14, 2006

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

Churchill's biographer, Martin Gilbert, writes In Continue to Pester, Nag and Bite: Churchill's War Leadership:

Churchill's ability to find, encourage and sustain individuals who he knew would make a significant contribution to the war effort was an important feature of his war leadership.

One of the most remarkable of these characters, for whom Churchill had to fight tenaciously, was a retired major-general, Percy Hobart, who before the war had been one of the main figures in the development of tank warfare.
Hobart, who was unpopular among the officials in the War Office, had been retired in March 1940 and refused reinstatement.
(Churchill asked why and was told Hobart had been)"impatient, quick tempered, hot headed, intolerant and inclined to see things as he wished them to be instead of as they were." (pgs. 79-80)
Churchill then wrote to the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Field Marshal Sir John Dill:
I am not at all impressed by the prejudices against him in certain quarters. Such prejudices attach frequently to persons of strong personality and original view.

In this case General Hobart’s original views have been only too tragically borne out.
The neglect by the General Staff even to devise proper patterns of tanks before the war has robbed us of all the fruits of this invention.
We are now at war, fighting for our lives, and we cannot afford to confine Army appointments to persons who have excited no hostile comment in their career. The catalogue of General Hobart's qualities and defects might almost exactly have been attributed to most of the great commanders of British history. (pgs. 80-81)
Hobart served with distinction throughout the war, fully justifying Churchill's confidence and willingness to challenge the War Office.

What's BBC news bias like these days?

BBC news bias looks today to be as strongly tipped left and anti-American as it has at anytime in the last decade.

Here's an example of typical BBC news reporting.

On Mar. 11 on BBC News 24, the news reader told viewers that "America has again run afoul" of human rights organizations which are objecting to "the Americans' force feeding prisoners at Guantanomo who are hunger-sticking.

Viewers were reminded that "human rights groups" have "condemned prison conditions there."

Then came “the latest”: A group of 263 European physicians have signed a petition calling on American physicians assisting in the force feeding to stop what they’re doing “because they are violating medical ethics and the prisoners’ human rights.”

The BBC reader then interviewed one of the petition signers. By my timing the interview lasted a little more than four minutes.

The petition signer was asked a series of softball questions (Example: "If the behavior of these American physicians is unethical, then why are they doing it?")

Did the BBC bring on anyone to rebut the petition signer's statements and opinion?

Of course not. That could only interfere with the BBC’s efforts to “inform the public.”

Press exaggeration in Britain

You hear a lot in the states about how British tabloids exaggerate.

In truth all the major newspapers here do, even ones like The Times of London and the Daily Telegraph that like to be classified as "serious newspapers."

Here's an example of what I'm talking about.

Today, Mar. 14, the tabloid Daily Mail headlines: PILL TO BEAT HEART DISEASE

Its story begins :

Heart patients can reverse damage to their arteries using a powerful new drug.
The drug is a statin, Crestor.

Further into the story we learn the headline claim is based on a small study, with experts cautioning that while the results are promising much further study will be needed before a claim of reversal in arterial narrowing can be made.

So how did The Times of London treat the story?

Page one headline: One pill a day to beat heart disease

And The Daily Telegraph?

Heart drug is found to turn clock back on furred arteries

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Churchill Series - Mar.13, 2006

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

One reason we know so much about Churchill's WW II leadership is because of a system he set up to record in written form his thoughts and actions. According to his official biographer, Martin Gilbert :

The method used by Churchill and Mrs. Hill (his principal secretary), and by his two other principal typists ...was simple and effective. They would sit "still as a mouse" (in Mrs. Hill's words) wherever Churchill was, whether in Downing Street, at his country retreat at Chequers, traveling by car, on trains, onboard ships, even on planes, with a notepad ready or with a silent typewriter (specially designed by Remington), paper in place, to take down whatever he might say whenever he might say it.

He might be reading a newspaper and be prompted by something he read to dictate a Minute to a Cabinet Minister. He might be reading a clutch of diplomatic telegrams from ambassadors ...and have a thought, a point of criticism ...or a suggestion for action. As he began to speak, often in difficult mumble, the typist on duty would immediately take down his words and transcribe them.

So good were (the three typists that) all that remained was to hand (Churchill)the sheet of paper for his signature.
In addition to the three women, Churchill also used a male stenographer, Patrick Kenna.

Gilbert says Kenna was in Churchill's White House bedroom when President Roosevelt unexpectedly entered it just as Churchill emerged naked from his bath. Thus, Kenna was able to record for history the PM's memorable assurance, "You see, Mr. President, I have nothing to conceal from you."

And since I have nothing to conceal from you, dear readers, I'll dispense with the usual formal form of source citation, and simply say I drew the material for this post from Martin Gilbert’s Continue to Pester, Nag and Bite: Churchill's War Leadership.

Does UNC - Chapel Hill administration and faculty response to The Pit attack reveal a double standard?

It's interesting to compare UNC - Chapel Hill administration and faculty response to the recent attack on students in The Pit with their response a year ago when a student claimed he was attacked near campus by a group of white males because he was gay.

With only the student's word for why he was attacked, a large rally, which Chancellor Moeser addressed, was quickly organized. Here's part of what The Gazette, an administration/faculty newsletter, reported:

The University community rallied together last week in the wake of an assault on a 21-year-old student on Franklin Street.

Chapel Hill police said the Feb. 25th assault may have been motivated by prejudice related to sexual orientation.

That news motivated students to organize a March 1 rally and march that attracted between 300 and 500 people. The crowd gathered first at the Pit, holding candles in a show of solidarity, listening to speakers decry the attack and urging unity and tolerance.

Police had not made any arrests when the "Gazette" went to press.
Chancellor James Moeser, along with a number of administrators, faculty and staff, joined with the students in the rally in a show of support for the student and his family.

Moeser said such an act of violence raised deep concerns.

"This university community seeks to be a welcoming and comfortable place for all students," Moeser said. "I encourage all of us gathered here to embrace tolerance, truth and inclusion."

Moeser also reminded students who felt threatened by the attack that there are people on campus -- and policies such as the campus nondiscrimination policy -- for support and assistance. (For more information on the University's nondiscrimination policy, visit nondiscrim.html.)
Even before the incident, the Office of the Dean of Students had begun its annual spring Safe Zone training. The program aims to create a network of allies for lesbian, gay, bisexuals, transgender and queer identified (LGBTQ) students, and by doing so, to make the community safer and more supportive, officials said. Safe Zone training is open to all faculty, staff and students.

The next training session will be held March 30 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The final session will be from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on April 13.
The attack took place on Feb. 25, 2005. The victim, Thomas Stockwell, attended the rally but was not identified in The Gazette story because he wanted "anonymity."However, he subsequently gave press interviews. As far as I know the perpetrators were never identified.

Is there a double standard at UNC - Chapel Hill? What do you think?

Update Mar. 14: Michelle Malkin links today to a Raleigh News & Observer story in which a terrorism expert is quoted as saying of Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar:

"Well, he's a terrorist," Bradman said of Taheri-azar. "In this world of global terrorism, you don't have ties back to any particular group. In this new world, terror comes from incitement -- it doesn't come from an organization. The only thing that makes this not look like a terrorist act is that he did a lousy job of it."

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Straightarrow aims at MSM news organizations

I’ve never taken a reader’s comment and made it a post. But I’m doing that now. I think you’ll see why when you read the comment.

But first, some background to the comment from a frequent visitor, Straightarrow.

Raleigh News & Observer executive editor for news Melanie Sill said she and an academic interested in how declining ad revenues influence public policy news reporting had a lot to talk about at lunch the other day. That’s because, as Sill tells it, “investigative work (and) policy reporting (are) The N&O's backbone.”

I posted and asked whether Sill and the academic had discussed recent instances of N&O front page, headline stories that was either explicitly false or left out extremely important information. I said that if investigative and policy reporting are The N&O’s “backbone,” it’s a badly fractured one.

Then came Straightarrow’s comment:

The fracturing backbone of the print media could be the reason they are paraplegic, heading rapidly toward quadriplegia.

I prefer hard copy. I actually prefer the printed page to any other form of communication. Yet, I no longer subscribe to any newspaper or news magazine.

It has nothing to do with the plethora of alternatives, or the convenience or immediacy of those alternatives.

It has to do with the fact that I can no longer trust the print media, or for that matter, most broadcast media to report the news.

I cannot rely upon their accuracy, nor the depth of research to supply a whole story, nor their integrity to supply the facts untainted by personal or political agenda.

We hear a lot today about what is killing the newspaper business, and to a lesser extent the broadcast news business, and it almost always focuses on externals.

Denial is going to prove their last stupid decision.

What is killing them is the internal rot that makes them untrustworthy. They have lost the thinking public's trust, and soon they will lose the majority public's trust.

That is why their revenues are down. Advertisers don't want association with known frauds when they are trying to get the public to spend their money with them.

The Main Stream Media is becoming more and more exposed as frauds. It is fatal for a grifter to become known as one.
I hope you will pass Straightarrow’s comment along to others. It deserves a much wider readership than it will get here.

Remember Dr. Joseph M. Newcomer? Dan Rather and CBS do

At Instapundit:

LA SHAWN BARBER says “I’m looking for quotes from 'ordinary people' using their blogs or other online resources to make a difference."
I’m sending Barber some of my favorite Dr. Newcomer quotes.

Joseph M. Newcomer, Ph. D. is an internationally recognized typography expert who, within a few days of CBS’s 60 Minutes use of the “Texas Air National Guard memos,” produced an independent, unpaid analysis of the memos.

Newcomer posted his analysis at his blog. I quote his conclusion:
This letter concentrates only on the raw technology of the fonts and printing. It does not address many of the issues others on the Internet have raised, such as the incorrect usage of military titles and abbreviations, incorrect formatting relative to prevailing 1972 military standards, etc. I am not qualified to comment on these.

All I can say is that the technology that produced this document was not possible in 1972 in the sort of equipment that would have been available outside publishing houses, and which required substantial training and expertise to use, and it replicates exactly the technologies of Microsoft Word and Microsoft TrueType Fonts.

It is therefore my expert opinion that these documents are modern forgeries.
Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs picked up on Newcomer’s analysis and posted/linked.

Once that happened, all the blustering and dissembling by Rather, Mapes and many others who still spin news at CBS couldn't prevent the public from learning what they had done.

What a difference Newcomer, Johnson and other bloggers made by exposing CBS's dishonesty.

When hate and righteousness trump reason

CATHY SEIPP writes in the New York Post:

A friend of mine took his daughter to visit the famous City Lights in San Francisco, explaining that this store is important because years ago it sold books no other store would - even, perhaps especially, books whose ideas many people found offensive.

So, though my friend is no Ward Churchill fan, he didn't really mind the prominent display of books by the guy who famously called 9/11 victims "little Eichmanns."

But it did occur to him that perhaps the long-delayed English translation of Oriana Fallaci's new book, "The Force of Reason," might finally be available, and that, because Fallaci's militant stance against Islamic militants offends so many people a store committed to selling banned books would be the perfect place to buy it.

So he asked a clerk if the new Fallaci book was in yet.

"No," snapped the clerk. "We don't carry books by fascists."

Just savor the absurd details of this for a minute. City Lights has a long and proud history of supporting banned authors.

Yet the store won't carry Fallaci - who is being sued in Italy for insulting religion because of her latest book, and also continues to fight the good fight against those who think that the appropriate response to offensive books and cartoons is violent rioting.

It's particularly repugnant that someone who fought against actual fascism in World War II should be deemed a fascist by a snotty San Francisco clerk.
Cathy has plenty more to say before closing with a response to the clerk:
"You're welcome to buy her book elsewhere, though," my friend was told helpfully when he visited. "Let's just say we don't have room for her here."

OK, let's just say that. But let's also say that one of the great paradoxes of our time is that two groups most endangered by political Islam, gays and women, somehow still find ways to defend it.
A part of the fight for civilization is against the Islamists and anti-Americans overseas. Another part is with some liberals and leftists right here at home.

And by the way, why are so many liberals and leftists so "sensitive and understanding" of Islamists who routinely brutalize women and gays?

Cathy's column is here.