Saturday, March 01, 2008

President Reagan & Duke’s Web Site Motion

Most of you know Duke University defendants in the 38 suit have filed a motion in federal court asking the court to, among other things, find that that the press conference announcing the suit, a summary of the suit complaint and the creation of all violate a section of the NC State Bar’s ethical code.

As I read the motion, the Duke defendants are also asking the court to place limits on what can post and direct them as to how to respond to what’s posted.

An account of the motion and some related issues can be found in this Durham Herald Sun story. The motion can be read at

There are serious matters involved here. As just one, and by no means the most important one, JinC Regulars know I’ve relied on documents and a video tape available at to expose serious misreporting by the Raleigh N&O of the Feb. 21 press conference announcing the complaint filing.

In a subsequent post I’ll say more about serious matters relating to the Duke defendants’ motion.

Right now all I want to do is share a President Ronald Reagan story the defendants’ and some N&O journalists’ upset with brought to mind.

As Secretary of Education in the Reagan administration, Bill Bennett was outspoken in his determination to see classroom expectations raised, teacher unions’ power curbed, and voucher programs expanded.

Naturally, that all drew howls from the usual “advocates for children.”

The howls were particularly loud just before a cabinet meeting with calls in Congress and the press for Bennett’s resignation. Reagan was ridiculed and denounced for having appointed him.

Reagan began the cabinet meeting by addressing Bennett directly. The President had before him a folder crammed with press clippings of stories and editorials attacking Bennett and sometimes himself.

Reagan read some of the headlines. As he put each clipping down, he’d look at Bennett who was saying nothing.

After a minute or two, Reagan closed the folder and said to the cabinet: “Well, I know Bennett’s doing his job. What about the rest of you?”

A thanksgiving for the life of William F. Buckley

National Review editor Rich Lowry gives thanks for the life of his illustrious predecessor Bill Buckley:

The warm tributes to William F. Buckley Jr., the conservative hero who died Wednesday at age 82, have emphasized all that everyone could appreciate about him: the formidable intelligence, the capacious vocabulary, the otherworldly productivity, the playful wit, the graciousness and deep, wide-ranging friendships.

He was a beloved figure who had entered American lore and, in that sense, belonged to all of us.

But in the fond reminiscences, it shouldn't be forgotten what he hated. Buckley was an anti-Communist to the marrow of his bones, whose lifelong mission was to crush Marxist totalitarianism.

In this, he was uncompromising, relentless, and -- this is what makes it possible to minimize it now -- successful.

Buckley was a master debater who took on (and usually beat) all comers, but he insisted that, with Communists, there could be no dialogue. He convinced the Yale Political Union in 1962 to rescind an invitation to the head of the Communist Party U.S.A., Gus Hall. Buckley argued, bracingly, "We can no more collaborate with him to further the common understanding than Anne Frank could have collaborated with Goebbels in a dialogue on race relations." …

This is a man who instinctively recoiled at the leveling, deadening conformity of Communism and would have died of boredom (or more likely would have been jailed or executed for brave, puckish provocations) within about five minutes in such a system.

Buckley said that Communism's "extirpative passion is to eliminate man." How? By eliminating freedom. "Without freedom, there is no true humanity." Even in the darkest days of the Cold War, Buckley realized how difficult it would be to forever extinguish that hardy ember of humanity that is the individual. …

He spoke often of the gratitude we owe our civilizational forebears and regretted that "a country -- a civilization -- that gives us such gifts as we dispose of cannot be repaid in kind. There is no way in which we can give to the United States a present of a bill of rights in exchange for its having given us the Bill of Rights."

But Buckley did his utmost to repay it in kind.

Long ago, he himself entered what he liked to call freedom's House of Lords, and he is now due what he once movingly called for: "We need a rebirth of gratitude for those who have cared for us, living and, mostly, dead. The high moments of our way of life are their gifts to us. We must remember them in our thoughts and in our prayers; and in our deeds." R.I.P.
Lowry’s entire column is here.

Hat tip:

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Churchill Series - Feb. 29, 2008.

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

Churchill loved baths. Once, he even arranged to stop a train the middle of a desert while he got off and took one in a tub set beside the tracks.

Here's how it happened.

In March, 1921 Churchill, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, traveled to the Middle East.

After days of meetings in Cairo, he and his party boarded an overnight train for Jerusalem.

Early the next morning, with the train moving through the desert, Churchill summoned his bodyguard, Scotland Yard's Detective-Sergeant Walter Thompson. He wanted Thompson to arrange for his bath.

Thompson, who would become Churchill's longest serving bodyguard, had only recently been assigned to protect Churchill. He wanted to oblige but didn't see how he could.

He told Churchill "everybody on this hot, grubby journey wants a bath (but there is) no bathroom on the train (and) no bath for miles."

Churchill insisted there was at least a tub on board somewhere; and asked Thompson to locate it, which he finally did in the baggage car.

"(It was) a tall-backed, old-fashioned, tin-plate affair," Thompson later said. "The kind used in front of bedroom fireplaces before a bathroom became standard home equipment."

When Thompson told Churchill of his find, he added that there was no hot water on board. So how could Churchill have his bath?

"You're slipping, Thompson," Churchill said. "When you first came to me, I thought you were a man of intelligence. Now I doubt it."

With that, he told Thompson to have the engineer stop the train. They would draw hot water from the engine.

As Thompson later told it:

"Winston got out of bed. He put on a brightly coloured dressing gown, seized a towel, and led the way along the tracks to the front, where the steaming bathtub lay on the dusty desert.

He smiled up at the engine crew, stripped naked, and fitted himself into the bath.

As Archimedes predicted, most of the water spilled over and was swallowed up by the parched earth.

But (Churchill) got a bath of sorts, dried himself, waved to the crew and sauntered, pink and clean, back to his compartment."
Let this post serve as a reminder: you have no excuse for missing your Saturday night bath.

And have a wonderful weekend.

Tom Hickman, Churchill's Bodyguard. (pgs. 15-16)

Start the weekend smiling

Yesterday I posted Another Favorite Bill Buckley story. It’s drawn two responses I hope help start your weekend with a smile.

The Buckley story:

During the 1970s a woman member of congress wanted to do away with the traditional usages of “congressman” and “congresswoman.” She favored the gender-neutral “congressperson.”

Buckley didn’t favor her proposal but said he was willing to consider supporting it once the congresswoman, Elizabeth Holtzman, changed her name to Holtzperson.
First response:
I've always wondered why women don't want to be called "wopersons."
And the second:
I still prefer "Congressthieves"

3rd Request re: N&O misrepresentation in suit story

Readers Note: If you are not already familiar with these posts - N&O correction requests re: lawsuit story and Why the N&O fears the 38 suit - I encourage you to read them for background to the post which follows.


Bob Waters, Editor
Durham Bureau
Raleigh News & Observer

Dear Editor Walters:

I'm sending this second email because the matter dealt with in my first email (copy below star line) is important.

Given the documentation I provided, its indisputable what the N&O published and what Mr. Bork actually said as can be clearly seen and heard on the video tape.

I again ask for a correction and an explanation to readers, the players and their families, and Mr. Bork of why the N&O attributed to him something so at variance with what he said while leaving out of your story what he did say.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


John in Carolina

Dear Editor Waters:

Thank you for a prompt response.

I plan to ask Bork about what he may have said to reporter Barrett after the press conference.

I'll be sure to report at JinC in full what you say happened and what, if anything, Bork says.

You did not say anything about the most important part of my email.

That part is:

The N&O reported:

The players chose not to appear at the news conference, said Bob Bork Jr., the group's hired publicist, because they don't want to attract attention.
But Bork said no such thing.

In this post at Bork provided the text of what he'd actually said as follows:
None of the 38 players who are filing this lawsuit are here today. They considered participating, but many have jobs and some are still students and lacrosse team members at Duke. One is in Army Ranger school preparing to deploy to Iraq.

Know this -- the players are united behind this lawsuit. At the same time that they are understandably concerned about retribution and negative, maybe even slanderous media coverage. Who can blame them after what they endured for 13 months in 2006 and 2007. They are walking a fine line between trying to live normal lives in the wake of an unspeakable trauma and at the same time trying to get answers to questions that remain unaddressed by their university.

They need to have peace to heal, but there can be no healing without accountability.
It will be very easy for you to check what Bork actually said against what the N&O reported because the news conference video with fine audio quality is available and in the first minute or two you'll be able to view and hear exactly what Bork said.

You can access the video here.

People will wonder how the N&O could take what Bork actually said and report what the N&O told readers.

Rezko-Obama relationship closer than Obama has admitted

Blog friend Mike Williams sent along the following: ------

Rick Moran has a long posting on “What You Didn't Know About Obama and Rezko” if you have some extra time. Moran’s conclusion:

There is no evidence that in any of his dealings with Rezko that Obama broke any law. The question is one of ethics. And judgment, of course. And truthfulness.

Obama’s relationship with Rezko is much more extensive than he has ever admitted. Their 17-year relationship went beyond “one fundraiser” as Obama claims, and a few social dates with the gals.
Rezko was a patron, a valued supporter, and a business partner. And almost certainly a close friend as well.

The significance of this relationship is that it proves that Barack Obama is not who he claims to be – a new kind of politician who will lead us all to the Promised Land. Obama can lie like any normal politician. He can do favors for his supporters who give him money. He can do business with scam artists like Rezko whose illegal activities authorities are still trying to unravel.

Given what we know already, there doesn’t seem to be a “bottom” to this story yet. And what we find when we get there may yet prove to be Barack Obama’s undoing as a candidate for President of the United States.


Thanks, Mike.

Folks, Moran's post is detailed, contains many links and is very well done. I hope you give it a look.

I've never doubted Obama is more like other politicians than a new savior come to bring us change.

In fact, when you think about it, don't most politicians coming on the scene announce they want to bring change and save us?

Usually they're ridiculed.

But in Obama's case, most of MSM took what he said as "gospel" and set out to do "missionary work" converting voters, many of whom didn't need any converting because they already liked Obama for his charm and/or skin color.

I've posted before on Obama's dealings with Rezko in No change in this Obama story.

Stay tuned to the Obama-Rezko story. You can be sure there'll be more to come.

As Moran says, we're not at the bottom of this story.

Durham Police Raid Media Coverage

I found nothing in today’s Raleigh N&O about yesterday’s DPD SWAT team raid on a Trinity Park house occupied by Duke students.

The first news I found appeared yesterday at Liestoppers Forum very shortly after the raid.

A Duke student who lives in the house had phoned his mother and she shared details he’d given her. Other LS citizen journalists immediately began providing additional important information.

Take a look at the thread if for no other reason than to see an example of how quickly and in what detail a Web forum can report on a story.

A Chronicle story today includes an eyewitness neighbor’s account of helmeted police carrying assault weapons breaking into the house as well as quotes from VP Larry Moneta and Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek. The comment thread is worth reading.

One comment urges readers to go to LS Forum for more information on the story.

I did and found two new threads here and here filled with information.

LS Forum is all over the story. It will no doubt become the “must visit” news and opinion site for people who care about this particular story, Duke students’ safety and constitutional rights, and justice, such as it is, in Durham.

The Herald Sun buried a brief story inside its metro section. The story did include this:

According to a police search warrant, the DHL package originated out of state. Before it got to Halperin's address, the warrant stated that authorities opened the box and found 36 pounds of marijuana inside.

After that, an officer posing as a DHL deliveryman took over and transported the shipment to Halperin's apartment, the warrant indicates.

When Durham police raided the residence, they confiscated 27 pounds of marijuana and some rolling papers, according to the warrant.

No explanation was immediately available for the discrepancy between the 36- and 27-pound weights
Where’d the 9 pounds go?

Has Sgt. Gottlieb been assigned to investigate?

Just wondering.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

NC Governor's Race (Post 1)

On May 6 North Carolinians will choose the Democrat and Republican candidates for Governor in this fall's election.

I"m going to start posting on the primary races and the general election campaign.

Don't take what follows as an indication of how I feel about any one candidate. But through blogging I got to know and respect Lorie Byrd who's working for one of the GOP candidates, Fred Smith.

So I decided to pass on something she sent me: recent poll results on voter perferences in the GOP race.

Full disclosure: The poll was paid for by Fred Smith's campaign.

Public Research, a subsidiary of CC Advertising conducted the polling.

From the email Lorie sent:

In a three day statewide survey of 6,380 likely Republican Primary Voters, when asked who they would vote for in the NC Republican Primary for Governor, this is the breakdown:

Fred Smith - 33%
Pat McCrory - 26%
Bill Graham - 10%
Bob Orr - 6%
Undecided - 25%
In the same survey of 5,220 likely Republican Primary Voters, if Smith and McCrory were in a two way race the numbers were:

Fred Smith – 49.56%
Pat McCrory 34.87%
Undecided – 15.57%
Folks, most of you know it's still too early to put much confidence in these poll results other than to say they suggest it's a wide open race on the GOP side.

That fits with what the "smart people" following the GOP race are saying.

I'll post again on the Governor's race in a few days.

The Churchill Series - Feb. 28, 2008

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

David Hurwitz writes (excerpts):

Appointed Colonial Secretary in February 1921, Churchill had long supported a Jewish state. His early experience came from prominent Jewish leaders in Manchester, one of his early constituencies.
In a letter written in 1908, he expressed "full sympathy...with their aspirations of establishing a Jewish homeland....The restoration to them of a centre of true racial and political integrity would be a tremendous event in the history of the world....Jerusalem must be the only goal."
Churchill played an important part in determining the boundaries of Palestine. A natural Arab-Jewish boundary was the River Jordan, with Jewish settlements permitted west of the river and Arabs to the east.
Militant Arabs argued that Jewish immigration should be stopped and support for a national home for the Jews should be ended.

Churchill flatly refused, stating that it was not within his authority as Colonial Secretary, and that he would not block Jewish settlements in the area even if he could. He insisted that Arabs "...must live on terms of cordiality and fraternity."
It's sad to realize it's been 87 years since Churchill tried to settle differences and assure peace in Palestine between Arabs and Jews.

David Hurwitz, "Churchill and Palestine." Judaism, vol.44(1): pgs. 3-32.

Another favorite Bill Buckley story

During the 1970s a woman member of congress wanted to do away with the traditional usages of “congressman” and “congresswoman.” She favored the gender-neutral “congressperson.”

Buckley didn’t favor her proposal but said he was willing to consider supporting it once the congresswoman, Elizabeth Holtzman, changed her name to Holtzperson.

Guns, the Press and Hard Work

John Stossel's latest column begins [excerpts]:

It's all too predictable. A day after a gunman killed six people and wounded 18 others at Northern Illinois University, The New York Times criticized the U.S. Interior Department for preparing to rethink its ban on guns in national parks.

The editorial board wants "the 51 senators who like the thought of guns in the parks -- and everywhere else, it seems -- to realize that the innocence of Americans is better protected by carefully controlling guns than it is by arming everyone to the teeth."

As usual, the Times editors seem unaware of how silly their argument is.

To them, the choice is between "carefully controlling guns" and "arming everyone to the teeth." But no one favors "arming everyone to the teeth" (whatever that means).

Instead, gun advocates favor freedom, choice and self-responsibility. If someone wishes to be prepared to defend himself, he should be free to do so. No one has the right to deprive others of the means of effective self-defense, like a handgun.

As for the first option, "carefully controlling guns," how many shootings at schools or malls will it take before we understand that people who intend to kill are not deterred by gun laws? Last I checked, murder is against the law everywhere.

No one intent on murder will be stopped by the prospect of committing a lesser crime like illegal possession of a firearm. The intellectuals and politicians who make pious declarations about controlling guns should explain how their gunless utopia is to be realized.

While they search for -- excuse me -- their magic bullet, innocent people are dying defenseless.

That's because laws that make it difficult or impossible to carry a concealed handgun do deter one group of people: law-abiding citizens who might have used a gun to stop crime. Gun laws are laws against self-defense.

Criminals have the initiative. They choose the time, place and manner of their crimes, and they tend to make choices that maximize their own, not their victims', success. So criminals don't attack people they know are armed, and anyone thinking of committing mass murder is likely to be attracted to a gun-free zone, such as schools and malls.

Government may promise to protect us from criminals, but it cannot deliver on that promise. This was neatly summed up in book title a few years ago: "Dial 911 and Die." If you are the target of a crime, only one other person besides the criminal is sure to be on the scene: you. ...

How, then, does it make sense to create mandatory gun-free zones, which in reality are free-crime zones?

The usual suspects keep calling for more gun control laws. But this idea that gun control is crime control is just a myth. The National Academy of Sciences reviewed dozens of studies and could not find a single gun regulation that clearly led to reduced violent crime or murder.

When Washington, D.C., passed its tough handgun ban years ago, gun violence rose.

The press ignores the fact that often guns save lives. ....


You can read all of Stossel's column here.

I think the press mostly ignores the fact that guns save lives for two reasons:

1) most of the press tilts liberal and liberals, we all know, are "anti-gun violence."

2) being "anti-gun" is an "easy sell" for the press. Someone was shot last night? Our paper is "anti-gun." Don't forget to renew your subscription.

And don't expect us to read, analyze and report on studies such as those the National Academy of Sciences reviewed.

That's such hard work.

Hat tips: Right Wing News,

Members of the Duke 38 Suit - a parody

Readers Note: Most of you know about the suit announced Feb. 21 by lead attorney Charles Cooper acting on behalf of 38 members of Duke's 2006 Men's lacrosse team and some of their family members.

Those of you familiar with Raleigh N&O news columnist Ruth Sheehan's Mar. 27, 2006 McCarthyite screed, "Team's silence is sickening," will recognize immediately that the following parody drew its “inspiration” from Sheehan’s column.


Members of the Duke 38 Suit: You know

We know you know.

Whatever happened in your meeting at attorney Charles Cooper’s law office gone terribly bad, you know what evidence was discussed. Every one of you does.

And one of you needs to come forward and tell attorneys for President Brodhead and Sgt. Gottlieb.

Do not be afraid of retribution on the team. Do not be persuaded that somehow the decision to file the suit was something that just "happened" to one or more "good guys."

If what Durham City and Duke University say is true – that DPD is covered by immunity and that Duke was willing to pay big bucks to buy your silence -- the guys responsible for this suit are not "good."

This seems an elementary statement, I know.

But I can see loyal team members sitting around Cooper’s conference table convincing themselves that it would be disloyal to turn on their teammates -- why, the guys were targeted by hate-filled people waving a CASTRATE banner.

They called their mothers when a member of Duke VP Tallman Trask’s staff produced the Vigilante poster.

They even remembered May 18, 2006 at the Durham County Courthouse when New Black Panther Party racists shouted death threats at their teammate, Reade Seligmann.

They’re convinced those things shouldn’t happen in America.

And the defendants? They were... just DPD sworn officers, Durham officials and Duke officials and staffers, for Pete's sake.

I can see the plaintiffs going down this path, justifying their suit.

And it makes me sick.

Because, of all the occupational hazards that must come with being a rogue cop or a member of “Dick senior team,” one of them should not be accountability.

And no, being subpoenaed to testify under oath doesn't make it any better.

Unfortunately, because the team members are students at a university, there is a tendency to presume the suit is a reasonable act. That these players are "good guys."

No, those who brought this suit are not "good guys."

I don't know what happened in that law office, and at that conference table, up in Washington. Ultimately, that will be a matter for the court system to decide.

But what was said at the meeting is something the defendants’ attorneys need to know. Now.

They shouldn't have to wait for discovery to find out what their clients really did during the frame-up attempt and as part of the ongoing cover-up.

Every one of the plaintiffs knows a lot of information.

Until they come forward with that information, forfeiting games isn't enough.

Shut down the court system.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Churchill Series - Feb. 27, 2008

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

On most important issues of the 20th century America and Britain stood together to the great benefit of mankind.

But there were some issues on which they disagreed. During the 1920s, for instance, the British government told it subjects to enjoy their pints and drams while the American government said, “Prohibition.”

In Britain there was no stronger supporter of his government’s position than Churchill. And that wasn't only because he enjoyed champagne, whiskey and brandy most days.

As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Churchill was uniquely positioned to appreciate the importance of the tax revenues that flowed from the distilleries to His Majesty’s coffers.

Against that background on April 28, 1925, Churchill presented to the House of Commons his first budget as Chancellor. His presentation lasted more then two hours, in the middle of which he drew from his pocket a small flask and said to the House:

"It is imperative that I should fortify the revenue and I shall now, with the permission of the Commons, proceed to do so."
There were cheers on all sides.
William Manchester, The Last Lion: Visions of Glory. (pgs. 788-789)

Recalling Bill Buckley's sense of humor

On Bill Buckley's 80th birthday, George Will paid him tribute in a column you'll find here.

A few years ago I made my case for Buckley's inclusion on a list of Greatest Americans.

In this post I simply want to share examples of his great sense of humor.

From a Jeff Jacoby column.:

When asked why Robert Kennedy was refusing to appear on his Firing Line interview program, Buckley replied, "Why does baloney resist the meat grinder?"

He received a letter from an irate National Review reader telling him in great detail what a miserable editor he was. The letter ended: "Cancel my subscription."

Buckley wrote back sasying he knew he had shortcomings and would work hard to do better. As for canceling the subscription: "Dammit, cancel it yourself."
I'll never forget a National Review editorial comment in which Buckley, who once served in the CIA, said: "The attempted assassination of [Indonesian President] Sukarno last week had all the earmarks of a CIA operation. Everyone in the room was killed except Sukarno."

An anon commenter shared this one:
Buckley was being interviewed by Charlie Rose years ago during the spotted owl era. Rose got agitated at Buckley's rather dismissive view of the spotted owl's future on this planet.

Rose blurted out something like: "Can we in good conscience reduce the population of spotted owls significantly? Even to extinction? To extinction???"

To which Buckley calmly replied: "An estimated 500 million species have become extinct...and here we are."
Many of you no doubt have favorite examples of Buckley's humor. I hope you'll share them.

William F. (Bill) Buckley dead at 82. RIP

George Will on Bill Buckley's 80th birthday

This George Will column was published Nov. 24, 2005

In his 40th anniversary toast to his Yale class of 1950, William F. Buckley said, ``Some of us who wondered if we would ever be this old now wonder whether we were ever young.'' Those who were not young 40 years ago, in 1965, can have no inkling of what fun it was to be among Buckley's disciples as he ran for mayor of New York vowing that, were he to win, his first act would be to demand a recount.

Murray Kempton, the wonderful liberal columnist who later joined Buckley's eclectic legion of friends, wrote after Buckley's first news conference that the candidate ``had the kidney to decline the usual humiliation of soliciting the love of the voters, and read his statement of principles in a tone for all the world that of an Edwardian resident commissioner reading aloud the 39 articles of the Anglican establishment to a conscript assemblage of Zulus.'' For conservatives, happy days were here again.

Back then, espousing conservatism was regarded by polite society, then soggy with that era's barely challenged liberalism, as a species of naughtiness, not nice but also not serious. Buckley, representing New York's Conservative Party, which was just three years old, won 13 percent of the vote. When the winner, John Lindsay, limped discredited from office eight years later, Bill's brother Jim had been elected, on the Conservative line, U.S. senator from New York.

Buckley, for whom the nation should give thanks, turns 80 on Thanksgiving Day, and National Review, the conservative journal he founded in the belly of the beast -- liberal Manhattan -- turned 50 this month. It is difficult to remember, and hence especially important to remember, the slough of despond conservatism was in 1955.

Ohio Sen. Robert Taft, for more than a decade the leading conservative in elective office, had died in 1953. Joseph McCarthy had tainted conservatism in the process of disgracing himself with bile and bourbon. President Eisenhower had so placidly come to terms with the flaccid consensus of the 1950s that the editor of U.S. News & World Report, the most conservative newsweekly, suggested that both parties nominate Eisenhower in 1956.

National Review demurred. When it nailed its colors -- pastels were not encouraged -- to its mast and set sail upon the choppy seas of American controversy, one novel on the best-seller list was Sloan Wilson's ``The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit,'' voicing the 1950s' worry about ``conformity.'' National Review's premise was that conformity was especially egregious among the intellectuals, that herd of independent minds. The magazine is one reason why the phrase ``conservative intelligentsia'' is no longer an oxymoron.

In 1964, National Review (circulation then: 100,000) did what the mighty Hearst press had never done -- determined a major party's presidential nomination. Barry Goldwater's candidacy was essentially an emanation of National Review's cluttered office on East 35th St. Which is why an audience of young Goldwaterites took it so hard when, two months before the election, Buckley warned them that bliss would be a bit delayed:

``The point of the present occasion is to win recruits whose attention we might never have attracted but for Barry Goldwater; to win them not only for November the third, but for future Novembers; to infuse the conservative spirit in enough people to entitle us to look about us, on November fourth, not at the ashes of defeat, but at the well-planted seeds of hope, which will flower on a great November day in the future, if there is a future.''

There was. It arrived 16 years later.

Author of more than 4,000 columns, and still adding two a week; author of 47 books, 18 of them novels; host of the ``Firing Line'' television program for 34 years; a public speaker, often making as many as 70 lectures and debates a year, for almost 50years; ocean mariner; concert harpsichordist -- his energy reproaches the rest of us. Married to a woman who matches his mettle, his proposal to her, made when he called her away from a card game, went like this:

He: ``Patricia, would you consider marriage with me?''

She: ``Bill, I've been asked this question many times. To others I've said no. To you I say yes. Now may I please get back and finish my hand?''

Buckley, so young at 80, was severely precocious at 7 when he wrote a starchy letter to the king of England demanding payment of Britain's war debts. Seventy-three years on, Buckley's country is significantly different, and better, because of him. Of how many journalists, ever, can that be said? One.

William F. (Bill) Buckley (Nov. 24, 1925 - Feb. 27, 2008) RIP
You can link to Will's column here.

Butler’s “A House Divided”

You can add Kristin Butler’s latest Chronicle column, “A House Divided,” to the long list of outstanding columns she’s produced.

Besides calling it to your attention, I want to offer a few comments in response.

Butler begins:

Thirteen months ago, The Chronicle's editorial board had this to say about the Brodhead administration's performance during the lacrosse case: "People should not forget to recognize the adequacy of a 'good' performance in the turbulent and charged atmosphere of the last year. And in the end, history may very well judge the University's response as sensible and well executed given the constraints and competing interests at stake."

It's hard to imagine anyone offering that assessment today.
I’d be interested to read The Chronicle editorial board’s current assessment of “the adequacy” of Duke’s response to the lies of Crystal Mangum and Mike Nifong and all that’s followed.

Does The Chronicle ever ask itself why on March 25, 2006 President Brodhead didn’t let the public know the lacrosse players had been extremely cooperative with police?

What does The Chronicle think of Brodhead’s failure to say anything critical of those who rallied under the CASTRATE banner, and those who produced and distributed the Vigilante poster?

Why, instead, did Brodhead tell the public that whatever the lacrosse players did “was bad enough?”

How about his silence when a black hate-group threatened Reade Seligmann?

Does The Chronicle believe Brodhead would have been silent if an African American student had been so threatened by a white hate-group?

Why did The Chronicle recently say Brodhead "must" remain as Duke President?

More from Butler:
These 38 families have already turned down the University's offers to fully compensate them for their expenses-legal and otherwise-during the saga, lending credence to the assertion that their goals extend well beyond money.
Wise words. My bet is the folks who brought this latest suit want truth more than money.

And, yes, I know it’s awfully hard for most of the media and others with pot-banger mentalities to believe such people exist.

But they do.

Regarding the plaintiffs wanting truth more than money, Butler says:
If that is indeed the case, then we should view this suit as the logical result of administrators' decision to shirk responsibility and stymie reform at every opportunity.

From the newly disbanded Judicial Affairs Review Committee to the Campus Culture Initiative and beyond, Duke administrators have remained disconcertingly slow to learn from their mistakes, which were legion.
Slow to learn from their mistakes?

Kristin, you're too kind.

They haven’t learned from their mistakes. They’ve tried to cover them up to protect themselves at the expense of the University. In the process, they knowingly hurt innocent people and damaged Duke’s reputation. They need to go; the sooner the better.

Butler continues:
Don't expect admins to acknowledge that is was their unique combination of ignorance, arrogance and denial that brought us to this point.
Ah, now we’re back agreeing.

Butler ends:
But the inconvenient and unavoidable truth now seems to be that in his haste to avoid the perception "that a well-connected institution was improperly attempting to influence the judicial process" back in March 2006, Brodhead created many more problems than he solved.

Too bad the whole University will get stuck with the bill.
Too bad, indeed.

Buter's entire column is here.

Tim Russert "Chokes in Clutch" - Updated

So says Micky Kaus at Slate - - - -

In Tuesday's debate, Tim Russert definitely let Obama off the hook on the issue of Obama's chosen pastor, Rev. Wright:

RUSSERT: The title of one of your books, "Audacity of Hope," you acknowledge you got from a sermon from Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the head of the Trinity United Church. He said that Louis Farrakhan "epitomizes greatness." He said that he went to Libya in 1984 with Louis Farrakhan to visit with Moammar Gadhafi and that, when your political opponents found out about that, quote, "your Jewish support would dry up quicker than a snowball in Hell." What do you do to assure Jewish-Americans that, whether it's Farrakhan's support or the activities of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, your pastor, you are consistent with issues regarding Israel and not in any way suggesting that Farrakhan epitomizes greatness?
If Russert had broken it off quickly around where the boldface stops--e.g., "do you feel comfortable associating yourself with these sentiments"--he'd have had a pointed question that put Obama on the spot.

By babbling on about Jews and Israel--as if only Jews could be offended by Farrakhan--he gave Obama an easy answer that let him ignore Wright and the avoid the tricky business of distancing himself from his pastor. ("Tim, I have some of the strongest support from the Jewish community in my hometown of Chicago ..." etc.).

Like Andy McCarthy, I don't think Russert was consciously helping Obama escape. But there are any number of potential subconscious motives for Russert's choke, including fear that his image wouldn't benefit if he were the heavy who skewered the popular, charismatic black Dem frontrunner. ...


Folks, I didn't watch last night's debate but I can understand what Kaus is saying.

What TV network "biggie" wants to be the first to ask Obama a question which might hurt him politically?

"Senator Obama, National Journal recently ranked you the "most liberal" member of the Senate. Do you agree you deserve that ranking? "

Update @ 10:00 AM on 2/28/08: Yesterday an anon commenter called to my attention Obama had been pressed during the debate on his liberal voting record. Another anon called my attention to the NYT’s video and transcript of the debate in which Brian Williams asked Obama about his liberal voting record.

I thank both anons and am updating “to correct the record.” In this instance my question above was “answered.” I’m sorry if I misled anyone. The corrective power of the blogosphere is a great thing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Churchill Series - Feb. 26, 2008

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

In The Duel, 10 May – 31 July 1940: The Eighty-Day Struggle Between Churchill and Hitler historian John Lukacs says:

In June 1940, a few days before Paris fell, Premier Reynaud broadcast to the French people: if Hitler wins this war, “it would be the Middle Ages again, but not illuminated by the mercy of Christ.”

A few days later, on 18 June, in his “finest hour” speech Churchill evoked the prospect, not of a return to the Middle Ages, but of a lurch into a New Dark Age.

If Hitler wins and we fall, he said, “then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a New Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the light of perverted science.”

That was a more precise statement than Reynaud’s - and perhaps more apposite now, fifty years later, when within and without the great conurbations of the Western world many of the signs and symptoms of a New Dark age are rising. (p. 222)
Lukacs wrote that in 1990. The Cold War had just been declared over. Most people in the West were talking about how to spend “the peace dividend.”

I doubt Churchill would've been one them. I think like Lukacs, he'd have warned the West.

Today, he’d be shouting that warning.

Students Serving Duke

Some Duke people think the best way to serve the University is to “move on.” Many of them, including The Chronicle’s editorial board, insist President Brodhead “must remain” the University’s head.

But don’t ask Brodhead questions about Duke’s disgraceful enablement of the trashing and attempted frame-up of some of its students. For example, did Duke really tell the players not to tell their parents what was happening?

And don’t ask Brodhead about the University’s decision to hire sex workers to put on a show with strippers which Duke’s Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta said was really about promoting “healthy lifestyles.” (wink-wink)

Then there are the students who make up Duke Students for an Ethical Duke who called attention to the sex show with its strippers and asked why the Women’s Center and other organizations were sponsoring the strippers.

DSED’s performed many important services for the University and people in the Duke community and elsewhere often described as “seeking truth and justice.”

I’m confident at some future time Duke will have a President and trustees who’ll be willing to answer questions about their actions.

I’m also confident such a President and trustees will look back at a very difficult time in the University’s life and acknowledge that during that time, DSED stood up for Duke.

I visited DSED’s Web site today and found a post titled:

Cooper Lawsuit Takes Dead Aim at Brodhead
It begins:
"The only wall of silence erected in this tragedy was Brodhead's."

Charles Cooper, lawyer for the 38 lacrosse players now collectively suing Duke University, held a press conference today to announce the filing of their lawsuit against both Duke and Durham. They have created a website,, to keep individuals informed about the status of the suit.

We will begin another series breaking down this 225 page lawsuit shortly, in addition to finishing up the Lawsuit Breakdown series on the Ekstrand Lawsuit.

There seem to already be clear differences between the two lawsuits. Ekstrand seems to have adopted a somewhat more aggressive strategy early on while Cooper seems to be approaching the suit a more cautiously.

It will be interesting to see how these potentially complementary approaches play out. It is interesting that most of the significant facts alleged in each lawsuit are the same, corroborating each suit. ...
The rest of the post is here. If you haven't already done so, be sure to read it and the comments.

Thank you, DSED.

No change in this Obama story

Here's Thomas Lifson at American Thinker ------

The UK Times reports that Barack Obama's involvement with Chicago slum landlord Tony Rezko, currently under indictment, may involve money originating from a British-Iraqi Middle East wheeler-dealer, Nadhmi Auchi, a convicted criminal.

Rezko, an Obama fundraiser, helped facilitate Obama's purchase of a $1.65 million mansion in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood for $300,000 below the asking price. The owner wished to sell both the house and an adjoining lot. Mrs. Rezko paid the full asking price of $625,000 on the same day that the Obamas purchased their luxury home. At a substantial discount.

The seller denies that there was any connection between the two transactions. Later, a small portion of the land was sold to the Obamas so that they could expand their garden.

Senator Obama calls this arrangement a "mistake."

Now it develops that Mr. and Mrs. Rezko apparently lacked the money to make the purchase of the plot of land. [From the UK Times]

In a sworn statement a year later, Mrs Rezko said she got by on a salary of $37,000 and had $35,000 assets. Mr Rezko told a court he had "no income, negative cash flow, no liquid assets, no unencumbered assets [and] is significantly in arrears on many of his obligations."
Just weeks before the Hyde Park transactions, Auchi loaned $3.5 million to Rezko.[From the UK Times]
A company related to Mr Auchi, who has a conviction for corruption in France, registered the loan to Mr Obama's bagman Antoin "Tony" Rezko on May 23 2005. Mr Auchi says the loan, through the Panamanian company Fintrade Services SA, was for $3.5 million.
There is much yet to be learned about the web of transactions involved, but it now appears that money originating from a convicted Middle Eastern wheeler-dealer found its way to indicted Chicago wheeler-dealer Tony Rezko, and then weeks later provided the means for a nearly simultaneous land transaction that enabled the Obamas to buy their home for substantially below asking price.

It certainly doesn't look like change we can believe in, when it comes to Chicago politics.


Folks, there's no change in this Obama story. It's all about very large amounts of money.

Lifson's post deals with important matters we need to follow. Be sure to go to his post to which he's just added an update with new material.

It will be interesting to see how Obama explains this new information.

And just as interesting will be to see how the Anything for Obama media flacks react to it.

Hat tip: Mike Williams

Why the N&O fears the 38 suit

CNN’s , WTVD’s and the Raleigh N&O’s all reported the Feb. 21 news conference announcing a suit by 38 Duke lacrosse players and some of their family members.

CNN and WTVD reported the story matter-of-factly and avoided major errors.

The N&O’s story was snarky, even ridiculing, and contained significant errors.

You can see a lot of what I'm saying in just the first three paragraphs of each news organization’s story.

Let’s look at them, after which I’ll explain why I think the N&O reported the way it did.

WTVD's story began: - - - -

More than three dozen members of the 2006 Duke University men's lacrosse team and members of their families filed suit against Duke University, its President Richard Brodhead and other officials, Duke's medical center, and the City of Durham and city officials for emotional distress and other injuries in connection with false rape charges and a corrupt police investigation against team members in 2006.

Charles J. Cooper, attorney for the players, explained the complaint during a press conference at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Thursday afternoon.

The suit, filed today in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, said University officials remained silent even though they possessed convincing evidence of the players' innocence and also "lent credibility to the rape allegations by capitulating to an angry mob's demands to condemn and punish the innocent players and their blameless coach."


CNN began - - - -

Almost 40 members of Duke University's men's 2006 lacrosse team are suing the school and the city of Durham, North Carolina, their attorney announced Thursday.

The players say they suffered emotionally and their reputations were injured during the months in which three of their teammates were falsely accused of sexual assault.

"This lawsuit is borne out of Duke and Durham's sustained wrongdoing and callous conduct against the players over many months in 2006 and 2007," attorney Chuck Cooper told reporters at a Washington news conference. ...


The N&O began - - - -

The latest Duke lacrosse suit got off to a big start Thursday with publicists, lawyers of national renown, a media blitz at the National Press Club and a lawsuit with its own Web site.

The 38 members of the 2006 Duke lacrosse team who filed the suit in federal court say their reputations were damaged by their association to an escort service dancer's phony gang-rape allegations.

The players chose not to appear at the news conference, said Bob Bork Jr., the group's hired publicist, because they don't want to attract attention. ... _____________________________

In truth, folks, Bork never said anything like what the N&O attributed to him. That's documented in this post which also documents another major N&O error.

You can view and listen to what Bork actually said in this press conference video. The audio quality’s excellent; Bork’s relevant remarks occur in the tape’s first minute or two.

How could anyone not understand Bork’s very clear explanation that many of the players were at distant schools, one was training as a Ranger prior to deploying to Iraq, and all of them “understandably concerned about retribution and negative, maybe even slanderous media coverage … after what they endured for 13 months in 2006 and 2007?”

The N&O understood what Bork said.

But the N&O decided its interests were best served by snark-framing a very serious and information-laden news conference in which one of America’s most respected attorneys spoke at length about the suit and then took questions from reporters.

So the N&O framed the story for its readers, and everyone else who read it from the AP wire, as about getting “off to a big start Thursday with publicists, lawyers of national renown, a media blitz at the National Press Club and a lawsuit with its own Web site.”

When a newspaper does something like that, does it surprise you that it also “reports” the players weren’t there because they didn’t want to call attention to themselves? Makes them look ridiculous, doesn’t it?

And if you say the explanation was provided by the players “hired publicist,” that makes the players look not only ridiculous, but disingenuous.

Message to Bork: I'm sure you know the N&O distorted what you said because that helped it once again slime the players and their families.

Message to the players and their families: I’m sorry the N&O hasn’t gotten better since spring 2006.

Message to everyone else: The N&O never wanted to see the day this suit’s complaint was filed.

And it doesn’t want the suit to go forward and succeed.

So it will do whatever it can to slime the character and motives of those pressing it.

Most American news organizations have something to lose in this suit, but none more than the N&O.

Of all news organizations, the N&O was the first to promote the witch hunt. No news organization did more to enable the frame-up attempt. None is more invested in sustaining the ongoing cover-up which will shock the consciences of decent people once they understand it.

Yet with enablement from many others, the N&O has created a myth most people have bought into.

The myth has allowed the N&O to escape any meaningful consequences for actions which one journalist friend said “violated every bedrock principle of ethical journalism." But the 38 suit will expose, and possibly destroy, that myth.

The myth goes something like this:

Oh, in those first few day the N&O was a little bit off on things. That's mostly because it wasn’t getting any help from the players and their parents telling their side of the story. And it had all those deadlines.

However, after those first few days, the N&O began to produce one great story after another. Just ask Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson.

But the myth fails to explain so much.

It tells us nothing about how and when the N&O used Mike Nifong as an anonymous source.

N&O news columnist Ruth Sheehan says the N&O was using Nifong as an anonymous source on March 26 when someone(s) at the N&O talked her off the column she was planning to run the next day and convinced her to use information from Nifong she now says was false as the basis of her March 27 "Team's silence is sickening" column.

OK, but when did the N&O first begin using Nifong as an anonymous source?

Did he provide any background for the N&O's March 25 story it said was about the "victim" and her "ordeal" which ended in "sexual violence?"

After the N&O's interview with "the victim," did the N&O and Nifong or someone working for him do what so often happens between journalists and their anonymous sources: did they get into back-and-forth conversations in which things are discussed and "the facts" to be reported agreed on?

Before the N&O's March 25 story, who among the investigators believed Mangum's wild, improbable and self-contradictory stories? Could they even agree on the number of stories she'd told?

So just how were the professional MSM journalists at the N&O able to report with no suggestion of doubt that March 13/14 had been a night that ended in "sexual violence?"

How did the N&O get "an exclusive" with Mangum? Who arranged that? And under what terms?

The myth doesn't deal with any of those questions, but the 38 suit discovery will include many of them.

The myth also doesn't answer questions about why the N&O went for weeks without reporting information it knew it had from June 2002 concerning Mangum’s criminal background.

That information was material to the case and directly contradicted claims Mangum made, which the N&O had eagerly reported, while withholding the June 2002 information concerning her dancing at a strip club, car-jacking, attempting to run down a deputy sheriff, etc.

If the N&O had published that information who would have believed the N&O's March 25 framing story about "the victim" being new to "dancing" and never having danced before large groups of men?

The myth leaves out the fact the N&O withheld news, exculpatory for the players, the N&O admitted thirteen months later it learned in March 2006 during an interview with Crystal Mangum.

The N&O knows discovery and trial in this suit will bring to public attention those three Sundays in April the N&O wants the public to forget.

April 2 – Publication of the Vigilante poster photo and Duke Professor Tim Tyson’s op-ed which the N&O knew contained false statements ( BTW – Can anyone access Tyson’s op-ed in the N&O's archives? I no longer can.)

April 9 – Both The Swagger Story above-the-fold on page one and then exec editor for news Melanie Sill’s column in which she praised the N&O's Duke lacrosse coverage even as she knew of the N&O's involvement with Nifong and its decisions to suppress news of the players' cooperation with Durham Police and to instead promulgate the “wall of silence” lie.

April 16 – The “Mother, dancer, accuser” story which made sure to present Crystal Mangum in hugely sympathetic and admiring terms the day before the N&O knew Nifong would seek the first grand jury indictments.

There’s much, much more the N&O did that blows apart the “just a few days” myth.

They will be - to use Duke President Dick Brodhead's phrase from another circumstance - "brought to glaring visibility" when attorneys for the plaintiffs in the 38 suit ask Duke administrators in public and under oath why they didn’t act to expose and denounce many things the N&O was publishing which Duke administrators knew were false and/or malicious, many of which added to the physical dangers the players were already facing.

As decent people follow the 38 suit discovery and trial, they’ll ask why the N&O did many of the things it did.

The N&O knows that.

So it reported on the press conference the way it did.

The Churchill Series - Feb. 25, 2008

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

Did you know Churchill disliked whistling?

His aides did and made sure not to whistle when he was around.

But there was a London newsboy who didn’t know about Churchill’s dislike. What’s more, when he learned of it from Churchill himself, the boy didn’t care.

The incident happened one day as Churchill and his bodyguard, Scotland Yard's Detective Inspector Walter Thompson, were making the short walk from Parliament to 10 Downing Street. As Thompson recalled it:

Approaching [us] was a boy of about thirteen years of age, hands in pockets, newspapers under his arms, whistling loudly and cheerfully.

When the boy drew near, Winston hunched his shoulders, walked towards the boy and said in a stern voice: “Stop that whistling.”

The boy looked up at the Prime Minister with complete unconcern and answered: “Why should I?”

“Because I don’t like it and it’s a horrible noise,” growled Winston.

The boy moved onwards a few steps, then turned round and called out: “Well, you can shut your ears, can’t you?” With that he walked on.

Winston was completely taken aback , and for a moment he looked furious. Then, as he crossed the road, he began to smile and quietly repeated to himself the words “You can shut your ears, can’t you?” and followed it up with a hearty chuckle.
I'll bet Churchill chuckled because in his mind’s eye he saw something of himself in the boy. ______________________________________________________ Tom Hickman, Churchill's Bodyguard. (pgs. 116-117)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Why WaPo’s Obama Deception?

At Powerline Paul Mirengoff writes:

The often sensible Washington Post editorial board came up with a howler yesterday when it argued that, notwithstanding Barack Obama's ranking by the objective National Journal as the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate in 2007, it is "not clear" whether Obama is "a liberal at heart" or "more of a centrist."

The Post's main evidence for this alleged lack of clarity is laughable. It notes that Obama declined to filibuster the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court.

But, as Ed Whelan retorts, no Senator voted to filibuster Roberts; there was no cloture in that instance.

In the absence of a filibuster, Obama did the next best thing; he voted against the Roberts nomination, even though half of his fellow Democratic Senators (few of whom can be called centrists) voted for confirmation. …
Mirengoff goes on to point out that Obama did join in the unsuccessful attempt to filibuster Justice Samuel Alito’s nomination. He also notes again the National Journal’s ranking of Obama as the "most liberal" Senator.

Mirengoff closes with:
Until this election cycle, a Senator's voting record was always considered the best evidence of his position on the political spectrum; nor were rhetorical flourishes ever counted as countervailing evidence.

The Post's willingness to make an exception for Obama constitutes deception, the only question being whether the editors are deceiving themselves as well as their readers.
Are the WaPo editorial board members deceiving themselves?

I doubt it. I knew most of the information Mirengoff cites. (I’d forgotten Obama supported the Alito filibuster attempt) The WaPo editors surely knew it all and discussed it.

So how could they suggest Obama is “more of a centrist?”

I think they were trying to help Obama.

The WaPo editors know that during this fall’s campaign, Republicans will call Obama’s “most liberal” voting record to people’s attention.

At that point, rather than admit Obama’s very liberal, the Dems and their MSM flacks will scream he’s being “smeared by the Republican attack machine.” They'll claim that back in late February, the Washington Post said Obama’s “more of a centrist.”

The WaPo editors know that, don’t they?

Here's Mirengoff's entire post.

More on the NY Times' McCain Smear

Scott Johnson at Powerline today on the NYT’s McCain Smear - - - -

Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei purport to explain why conservatives did not look kindly on the New York Times's report that someone thought John McCain may have had a romantic relationship with a pretty blonde lobbyist ten years ago:

Conservative leaders often portray their political mission in moralistic terms: right vs. wrong. But their reaction to a news report that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) might have had an inappropriate relationship with a female lobbyist shows the activist right is often animated by a different impulse: us against them.
Given the fact that the "romantic" element of the story was one which the Times's public editor himself found indefensible, Allen and VandeHei's thesis is remarkably lame. This is all they have to say about the story's patent flaws:
[The] Times made it easier for those who wanted to justify, rationalize or defend McCain’s actions. The paper did not definitively prove McCain was involved in an inappropriate relationship. It used an indirect and elliptical article to suggest more than it proved. Then, the paper tucked the allegation into a story that rehashes other examples of McCain contradicting his claim of being a trustworthy reformer.
When it comes to the Times, Allen and VandeHei seem not to have been paying close attention to recent history, or they still believe in the tooth fairy:
The Times’ reporters and editors involved in this story are top-notch. (What Allen and VandeHei mean by top-notch is the NYT reporters and editors share the same political ideology as Allen and VandeHei and gossip with them. - JinC) Such stories usually only go into the paper when reporters and their editors feel certain they are true — because they know a vicious response will likely follow.
Allen and VandeHei's faith is touching, but the thinness of the Times story struck readers across the political spectrum. Conservatives above all are disinclined to believe accusations made by the Times against Republicans based on the evidence of things not seen. No larger theory for their judgment on the Times's story is necessary or warranted. …..

The rest of Johnson’s post is here. It includes links which let you compare Allen and VandeHei's lame analysis of the reaction to the Times story with more thoughtful and fact-based analysis such as "Times back making up the news" and "Anatomy of a smear"

I almost LOLed when I read Allen and VandeHei’s : “Conservative leaders often portray their political mission in moralistic terms: right vs. wrong.”

Really? Liberals don’t do that? Leftists don’t do that? Dems don’t do that?

When I read an “analysis” that starts out telling me “Conservative leaders often portray etc….,” what I see in my mind’s eye is a large highway sign:


Who Knew?

At I learned David Frum is telling National Post readers: “Hillary Has a Point: Obama Is a Gamble”

Then there was NY Times trivia diva Maureen Dowd explaining why: “Macho Clinton Loses to Feminized Obama”

Did you know about any of that?

I hope you start your week smiling.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

AP Shills for Obama & Dems (Post 1)

The fiercely partisan Democrats who control most Associated Press news reporting today began a major story thus:

Sen. Barack Obama's refusal to wear an American flag lapel pin along with a photo of him not putting his hand over his heart during the National Anthem led conservatives on Internet and in the media to question his patriotism.

Now Obama's wife, Michelle, has drawn their ire, too, for saying recently that she's really proud of her country for the first time in her adult life.

Conservative consultants say that combined, the cases could be an issue for Obama in the general election if he wins the nomination, especially as he runs against Vietnam war hero Sen. John McCain. …

Could you miss the AP’s shilling for Obama and the Dems?

In those first three, short, one-sentence paragraphs, the AP mentions conservatives twice but doesn’t say anything about independents or liberals.

But when Americans (Remember them?) are asked to identify themselves as “conservative,” “liberal,” or “independent,” the overwhelming majority of us say we're either “independent” or “liberal.”

So why does the AP just mention conservatives?

Don’t independents and liberals matter?

If you trust the AP, you may be thinking: “Surely further on in the story the AP reports on how independents and liberals are reacting.”

No, it doesn’t.

Lest anyone doubt that, I’m pasting the rest of the AP story below and including its URL.

I hope you read the whole story.

I’ll be posting again on this AP story as it concerns the AP’s knowingly misleading readers regarding the Swift Boat veterans and Sen. John Kerry’s disingenuousness.

Here’s the rest of the AP's story:

"The reason it hasn't been an issue so far is that we're still in the microcosm of the Democratic primary," said Republican consultant Roger Stone. "Many Americans will find the three things offensive. Barack Obama is out of the McGovern wing of the party, and he is part of the blame America first crowd."

Opponents of Sen. John Kerry proved in the 2004 election that voters are sensitive to suggestions that a candidate is not sufficiently patriotic. The Democratic presidential nominee's campaign was torpedoed by critics of his Vietnam War record called the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, even though he won multiple military honors and was lauded by his superiors.

The Swift Boat campaign started as a relatively small television ad buy that exploded into an issue that dogged Kerry for months. The Massachusetts senator has conceded since losing to President Bush that the campaign and his lackluster response to unsubstantiated allegations he considered unworthy of a reaction likely cost him the election. And the term even became part of the campaign lexicon — swift boating.

Obama already is the subject of a shadowy smear campaign based on the Internet that falsely suggests he's a Muslim intent on destroying the United States. Obama is a Christian and has been fighting the e-mail hoax, which also claims he doesn't put his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance, and he's been trying to correct the misinformation.

"Whenever I'm in the United States Senate, I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America," Obama frequently tells voters.

"I've been going to the same church for 20 years, praising Jesus," he adds.
Retired Major General Scott Gration, an Obama military adviser, said he expects the attacks will only increase if Obama wins the Democratic nomination.

"People are projecting things and taking things out of context," Gration said. "There's absolutely no question in my mind that Michelle and Barack are extremely patriotic, appreciate our freedoms and our values and everything else that the flag represents."

Officials with the McCain campaign and the Republican Party say they won't be suggesting Obama is less than patriotic, and instead plan to focus their criticisms on his record and inexperience if he wins the nomination. Well-funded outside groups, however, consider anything fair game.

Conservative Republican consultant Keith Appell, who worked with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, said Obama's opposition to the war will create a "striking contrast between McCain the war hero and Obama the poster child for the anti-war movement."
"If you are McCain, you want to play up the decorated war hero, loves his country, served his country," Appell said. "You want to play those themes up as much as possible, especially in comparison to Obama and his role in the anti-war movement."

On Monday, Michelle Obama told an audience in Milwaukee, "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country. Not just because Barack is doing well, but I think people are hungry for change."

Cindy McCain, McCain's wife, days later responded by saying, "I have, and always will be, proud of my country." Barack Obama has expressed frustration that his wife's remarks had been taken out of context and turned into political fodder — both the Obamas say she was talking about politics in the United States, not the country itself.

Last summer, Obama was photographed by Time magazine at an event in Iowa standing with his hands folded during the national anthem. His primary rivals Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson appear beside him, with their hands on their hearts.

It has been repeatedly reported that the moment came during the Pledge of Allegiance, but that's not the case.

In October, Obama told Iowa television station KCRG that he decided to stop wearing a U.S. flag lapel pin during the run-up to the Iraq war because it had become "a substitute for, I think, true patriotism."

"I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest. Instead, I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great and, hopefully, that will be a testimony to my patriotism," Obama said.

Obama's comments led conservatives and media commentators (sic) to question his patriotism.

"First he kicked his American flag pin to the curb. Now Barack Obama has a new round of patriotism problems. Wait until you hear what the White House hopeful didn't do during the singing of the national anthem," said Steve Doocy, co-host of "Fox and Friends" on the Fox News Channel.

"He felt it OK to come out of the closet as the domestic insurgent he is," former radio host Mark Williams said on Fox.

Gration said he had a copy of the national anthem photo e-mailed to him by a friend who didn't know the facts and questioned how a military man could support someone who doesn't honor the Pledge of Allegiance.

"I go to baseball games and football games and there's just a minority of us who put our hands over our heart. It's not an indication of patriotism," Gration said.
Gration said he personally wears a flag pin, but "if I meet someone who doesn't have a lapel pin, it doesn't mean they are more or less patriotic than I am."

And, he added, "I don't think you can find Barack again not putting his hand over his heart at the national anthem."

The AP story ran under Nedra Picker's byline.

The URL is:

NY Times Duke Hoax & McCain Smear “reporting”

Paul Mirengoff at Powerline compares America’s best known liberal/leftist opinion journal's “reporting” of the Duke Hoax and the McCain Smear:

The New York Times’ story about John McCain’s alleged involvement with a female lobbyist brings to mind its infamous coverage of the alleged rape by members of the Duke lacrosse team. As Stuart Taylor recounted in his book on that sorry affair, Until Proven Innocent , the Times reporter who initially covered the story, Joe Drape, quickly learned facts that strongly tended to exonerate the accused players.

The Times, however, refused to print his material and soon replaced him with Duff Wilson who took a pro-prosecution slant, thereby enabling the Times to peddle its preferred narrative of white privilege and racial oppression. (emphasis added)

In McCain’s case, the Times received “exculpatory” material from his campaign which documented instances in which McCain did not take positions congenial to the female lobbyist in question. The Times refused to use or acknowledge that material, selecting only instances that enabled it to pursue its preferred narrative that McCain was unduly influenced by that lobbyist.

In the lacrosse story, the Times flitted back and forth between the rape narrative, which it could not support, and a narrative it thought was a slam dunk – the Duke lacrosse team as a bastion of white male privilege and sexism.

In the words of Times sportswriter Tom Jolly: “From the beginning, we've felt this story had two main elements: one was the allegation of rape; the other was the general behavior of a high-level sports team at a prestigious university."

But the Times’ fallback narrative had little more merit than the rape allegations. The lacrosse players, on the whole, were good students. Moreover, early on they were endorsed by the female students that probably knew them best, Duke’s female lacrosse players. But by flogging both “elements” of the story, the Times was able to make the whole seem greater than the sum of its parts.

In McCain’s case, the Times is even shiftier. It insinuates a sexual relationship, falls back to an influence-peddling claim, and in case none of that sticks, argues that McCain isn’t as pure as he makes himself out to be. But, again, the latter claims are based on a one-sided presentation of the facts. …
The rest of Mirengoff’s post is here. I hope you read it.

Were many of you surprised to learn the Times refused to print material that didn’t fit its narrative?

I doubt it. You’re a smart group.

At the NY Times it’s now “Just the News That Fits Our Views.”

Hat tip: Anon commenter who gave me a heads-up on Mirengoff's post

More about Reagan & the missile hit

Every word of this Investor's Business Daily editorial is worth reading. I add a few thoughts below the star line.

IBS begins - - -

Rarely is military technology put to so public a test with so much riding on its success or failure. With the whole world watching, a modified Standard Missile-3 was launched Wednesday night from a Navy cruiser in the North Pacific, its target a spy satellite in a decaying orbit headed to Earth full of hazardous hydrazine fuel.

Deputy National Security Adviser James Jeffrey discounted any comparison with an anti-satellite test conducted by the Chinese last year. "This is all about trying to reduce the danger to human beings," Jeffrey said. Some say the U.S. was just using the situation to test its missile defense. We say, "So what?" This also is about reducing the danger to America.

This wasn't officially a missile defense test, though critics have tried to paint it as such — notably the hypocritical Chinese, who've conducted their own tests of anti-satellite missiles, and the ever-anxious Russians. The SM-3 was designed to intercept ballistic missiles, but the sensor and software modifications to hit a falling satellite are different from those needed to hit an incoming warhead.

Nonetheless, failure would have been met with relief in Beijing and Moscow, where the rapidly re-arming Russians and Chinese are turning out new ballistic missiles like sausages. Rogue regimes such as North Korea and Iran would have celebrated. In the Democratic caucus, failure would've been met with unbridled joy, proof that the long-derided "Star Wars" was unworkable. Attempts to cut funding would be given new life.

But it worked. Once again the bullet hit another bullet. And the technology has progressed to the point where we can hit a particular spot on the bullet: The target wasn't just the satellite, but its fuel tank full of hydrazine. Bull's-eye! The fuel and satellite were vaporized in space rather than disintegrating over a city.

Marine Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and an expert on military space technologies, said the satellite and the kinetic kill vehicle collided at a combined speed of 22,000 miles per hour 133 miles above the Earth.

A video clip showed the spectacular impact. "We have a fireball," notes a smiling Cartwright, "and given that there's no fuel (on the tip of the SM-3), that would indicate a hydrazine fire."

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, recently said the operational tests before Wednesday were unconvincing. Over on the House side, seven Democrats, in a letter sent to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, complained of "tests that have been highly scripted."

This was a real-life, pants-on-fire emergency with potential loss of life. Neither the satellite's trajectory nor the potential impact point was known. Launch conditions, such as wave height, had to be taken as is.

Levin should be grateful that, thanks to President Reagan's dream of a national missile defense, a thousand pounds of hydrazine aren't raining on some neighborhood in Detroit. (emphasis mine)

We feel confident, as the military undoubtedly does, that we could have taken out an Iranian Shahab or a North Korean Topodong if we had to.

Someone should tell Barack Obama that it'll take more than "aggressive personal diplomacy" to defend America. He talks very well. We still prefer the big stick.

Thank you, Ronald Reagan.


Sen. Levin and his fellow Democrats have so much to worry about these days.

Things are improving in Iraq. The Russians and the Chinese didn't like the idea of our trying for the missile hit in the first place, and now they're upset because we've been successful.

The Dems worry about all of that. Poor souls. But the economy's slowing down, so at least they've got that to cheer them up.

I posted previously Reagan Made The Missile Hit Possible

It includes reminders of the savage ridicule President Reagan received when he first proposed what his critics - Sen. Ted Kennedy, the NY Times, and others - took to calling star wars.

How little Reagan's critics understood what he was talking about and their foolishness and partisanship.

In the Reagan Made ... post I said he'd want to praise and congratulate the crew of the USS Lake Erie, the Navy, our other serving forces who protect us and their families for the sacrifices they make and the service they render.

And so would almost all the rest of us.

N&O correction requests re: lawsuit story

Folks, even if this is your first visit to JinC, you’ll quickly pick up on the following email.


Ted Vaden, public editor
Raleigh News & Observer

Dear Ted:

Two serious misquotes have been noted in the N&O’s Feb. 22 story: "38-player lacrosse suit gets fanfare." Both involve statements made by Mr. Robert Bork, Jr acting in a public information capacity for the plaintiffs and their attorneys.

One of the N&O’s misquotes was noted and documented by Bork and posted here at

I included in this post the N&O’s misquote and Bork’s documentation alerting readers to what he actually said. I mentioned I’d be in contact with you regarding an N&O correction and explanation.

Subsequent to publication of my post, another serious error in the N&O story was identified as follows:

The N&O reported:

The players chose not to appear at the news conference, said Bob Bork Jr., the group's hired publicist, because they don't want to attract attention.
But Bork said no such thing.

In this post at Bork provided the text of what he'd actually said as follows:
None of the 38 players who are filing this lawsuit are here today. They considered participating, but many have jobs and some are still students and lacrosse team members at Duke. One is in Army Ranger school preparing to deploy to Iraq.

Know this -- the players are united behind this lawsuit. At the same time that they are understandably concerned about retribution and negative, maybe even slanderous media coverage. Who can blame them after what they endured for 13 months in 2006 and 2007. They are walking a fine line between trying to live normal lives in the wake of an unspeakable trauma and at the same time trying to get answers to questions that remain unaddressed by their university.

They need to have peace to heal, but there can be no healing without accountability.
It will be very easy for you to check what Bork actually said against what the N&O reported because the news conference video with fine audio quality is available and in the first minute or two you'll be able to view and hear exactly what Bork said.

You can access the video here.

People will wonder how the N&O could take what Bork actually said and report what the N&O told readers.

You’ll note reporter Anne Blythe is co-bylined on the Feb. 22 story.

Blythe, you’ll recall, was also co-bylined on the now discredited Mar. 24 and 25 N&O stories which, among other disgraceful acts, repeatedly said with certainty that Crystal Mangum was “the victim,” withheld news the N&O had of Mangum’s criminal background which was material to the case and directly contradicted Mangum on certain key points, withheld news of the players extensive cooperation with police, and instead promulgated the “wall of silence” lie which misled the public and endangered the Duke students.

It must be upsetting for the students and their families to see the N&O again misrepresenting their actions and motives.

Has the N&O learned nothing since the day it published a five-column wide, front-page story telling people about what the N&O’s headline said was the then anonymous Mangum's “ordeal” which ended in “sexual violence?”

I request that you please seek corrections and provide Bork, the players and their families, and N&O readers with an explanation of why such significant misrepresentations occurred.

Thank you for your attention to these requests.

I’ll post your response in full at JinC.