Saturday, August 23, 2008

Biden on Israel, Pollard & Zionism

I'm surprised this ShalomTV interview with Joe Biden last April isn't getting more attention today.

Hat tip: Zonga

The first Biden ad

Hat tip: AC

What will Mangum do?

A book is to be published in October by the Duke hoax false accuser Crystal Mangum.

There’s understandably a good deal of concern among fair-minded people that Mangum will use the book to reprise her lies which did such great harm to many innocent people.

In the same Apr. 11, 2007 press conference in which he told us the three players were innocent and there’d never been any credible evidence of their guilt, NC Attorney General Roy Cooper said some in his office thought Mangum might actually believe some of what she’d charged and that she still wished to pursue the charges even then.

So it’s certainly possible we’ll get a reprise of her lies.

But it’s also possible we might get a surprise.

Let me tell you why I say that:

From March 2006 at least through December 2006 Mangum demonstrated some capacity to cooperate in a plan we know was an elaborate frame-up attempt.

She gave an interview to the N&O and only to the hoax-enabling N&O. She kept showing up for photo ID sessions until Nifong and certain DPD officers and their supervisors arranged the “no wrong choices” ID session. She wrote out a statement that fit the frame-up script. And in December she met with Linwood Wilson and “adjusted” or went along with an “adjustment” to her story intended to sustain the frame-up attempt.

I’m confident she allowed herself to be “coached.” It wasn’t just happenstance, for example, that she gave only the N&O an interview.

Had she given more than one press interview, heaven only knows what wild embellishments we’d have heard.

Someone or some people told her “your story is ‘out there’ now” and not to speak to any of the other media trying to interview her. Another news organization would likely not “tidy up” the interview the way the N&O did.

Mangum followed that advice.

Like most of you, I think she persisted in long-term, goal-directed behavior and allowed herself to be “coached” because of a powerful motivator: the money she expected to collect from the players.

Now, if today Mangum’s no worse off as regards her chronic problems than in 2006, then she’s open to “coaching” and can follow a plan she thinks will lead to money.

If you allow that Mangum’s prime motive is money, would she and her “coaches’ really write (lend her name to) a book that tries to further victimize the lacrosse players and possibly make the case for a suit against them?

Wouldn’t that be foolish?

The players have the evidence (or really lack thereof), brilliant legal counsel and impressive financial resources on their side. She has none of them.

The last thing Mangum should do is anything that’ll antagonize the players, their families and attorneys. (And the blog hooligans)

Her best move as regards the players is to say she remembers a foggy night in Durham town followed by lots of police interviews and all those photos of white boys (“Gee, this is hard.”) and her Duke medical records showing “blunt force trauma” and so on.

Mangum should say that looking back on it all now, she’s sorry for what the players went through.

What’s more, while at the time she had lots of mental health and drug dependence problems, she doubts she would ever have persisted in her wild tales but for the police, the DA, the N&O, the “outpouring of support from Duke faculty, the NAACP and ‘community activists,’” and what she thought her Duke patient records showed, but which she now knows were false.

Folks, you see where I’m going, don’t you?

Are the people “coaching” Mangum smart enough to know they don’t want attorneys of the caliber of Brendan Sullivan, Barry Scheck, Charles Cooper and Bob Ekstrand turning on Mangum and, for practical purposes, them?

You’d have to be pretty dumb not to.

On the other hand, if a woman who should have been told in March 2006 “Get thee to a mental health clinic while Social Services takes temporary custody of your children,” was instead told, “We’ll come pick you up and bring you to headquarters for some more photo ID’ing,” might she not wonder now in a more sober frame of mind whether she was really mistreated by Durham City Police?

And might she not say maybe she’s owed something for being mistreated “just like those white lacrosse boys who all look alike?”

And then there’s Duke’s (Levicy’s) treatment of Mangum’s medical records and the false statements made about her medical condition.

When health professionals employed by a medical center make false statements about how you presented in the ER and about your medical records, do you have some cause of action against the professionals and the medical center?

Folks, the thoughts I’ve put down here today have been going through my head for a long time.

Obama, Ayers, and terrorists ' victims

Correction: As originally posted I reported the University of Chicago would be releasing the archives of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. In fact, the University of Illinois at Chicago will be releasing the archives, something an alert “editor” called to my attention.

The post has now been corrected and I thank the “editor” for h/her help.



In a superb, link-rich post Thomas Lifson at American Thinker reports on some of Sen. Obama’s relationship and activities with the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers. I follow with comments below the star line.

Lifson begins - - -

William Ayers, unrepentant terrorist and education professor, is once again being tied to Barack Obama in the public mind. Controversy builds over the withholding of the archives of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, an expensive failed school reform effort headed by Obama and effectively run by Ayers, held by the library of the University of Illinois Chicago. Researchers who have gained access to a few documents recording the history of the project have found strong evidence of a very important working relationship between the two men on the project, Obama's sole claim to executive experience.

Oddly enough, even though the project produced no measurable improvement in student performance according to its own final report, educators and administrators -- participants and grantees of the CAC -- were reported by outside monitors to be often "ebullient" about the activities. For insiders, it was an excellent adventure. For the pupils stuck in the failing public schools of Chicago, an ongoing, unrelieved disaster.

Obama and his campaign long have gone out of their way to downplay, in fact distort, the long and evidently deep relationship between Ayers and Obama. In the Philadelphia Democratic debate last April, George Stephanopoulos asked Obama about his relationship with Ayers, and the candidate responded:

"This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who's a professor of English in Chicago, who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.

"And the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago when I was 8 years old, somehow reflects on me and my values, doesn't make much sense, George. [....]

"So this kind of game, in which anybody who I know, regardless of how flimsy the relationship is, is somehow -- somehow their ideas could be attributed to me -- I think the American people are smarter than that. They're not going to suggest somehow that that is reflective of my views, because it obviously isn't."

Almost two months earlier, the "neighbor" talking point campaign manager David Axelrod introduced the notion that Obama and Ayers were mostly just neighbors, telling The Politico's Ben Smith,

"Bill Ayers lives in his neighborhood. Their kids attend the same school," he said. "They're certainly friendly, they know each other, as anyone whose kids go to school together."

Ayers and his wife are in their sixties, while the Obamas are in their mid-forties. Ayers' children are all adults, while Obama's children are currently 10 and 7. Axelrod's prevarication is telling, bespeaking confidence that nobody in the media will bother to dispute an obvious falsehood.

"Flimsy" turns out to be a completely misleading word when it comes to characterizing the Obama-Ayers relationship. …

The rest of Lifson’s post’s here.



Since Lifson posted the University of Illinois at Chicago has announced it will now release the records next Tuesday.

People will reasonably wonder whether there has been some removal of certain documents.

I doubt there’s any way we’ll ever know.

What’s very clear is that Obama and some of his key aides have and continue to dissemble about the Ayers-Obama relationship. Lifson leaves no doubt about that.

The Ayers-Obama relationship is important. It bothers me as it does millions of Americans.

To those who aren’t bothered by it, I ask:

What if instead of bombing the Pentagon and other government buildings, Ayers and his fellow terrorists including his wife Bernadine Dohrn had bombed abortion clinics?

Would you be OK with Obama being pals with them?

How would you feel if Ayers and his wife, instead of advocating the killing of police officers, advocated the killing of abortion clinic doctors and staff?

And if today they insisted they were unrepentant for what they did to destroy abortion clinics and kill clinic staffers, would you really be OK with Sen. Obama’s friendship with them?

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Churchill Series – Aug. 22, 2008

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

The last two series posts have focused on events in Churchill’s life which took place in Oxford and at Blenheim Palace, eight miles from the city of “dreaming spires.”

Today I want to tempt you to stay in Oxford for at least a few days, perhaps more.

I’ll walk you through a “virtual trip" there which begins with an arrival at Heathrow Airport. The "trip" is arranged so that you can do a great deal of visiting in and about Oxford without ever having to rent a car.

At Heathrow there’s a frequent, 24 hr. per day express motor coach service to Oxford.

The trip takes about 1:30. You travel on a modern motorway through attractive countryside on a comfortable coach. It enters Oxford on the High Street and makes frequent stops alone the street before the final one at the coach terminal.

If you look at this map (all those red areas are college buildings) you’ll see at the bottom right-hand corner the railroad station. The coach station is some few blocks to the right as you look at the map.

The map I’ve linked to is for overview purposes. There are many maps of Oxford and the surrounding area available on the Net. Particular places such as restaurants and hotels now almost always provide good maps at their sites as well.

That brings me to where to stay.

The guide books are available, including Michelin Red for Great Britain and Ireland.

Some people have great success searching the Net.

Let me offer an alternative to a hotel or B&B stay. Consider a self-catering short-stay apartment.

When we’re in Oxford we stay here. It’s very clean, comfortable, quiet and well-located. The rooms, while well- appointed, are on the smallish side. Also, there are no king size beds.

That said, you can save a good deal of money self-catering by cooking many of your meals; even packing a carry-along lunch as you head out for the day.

There’s something else that makes a self-catering stay in Oxford fun. You get to shop for food at the historic Cornmarket.

I should say here I’ve no financial interest in the apartments I’m recommending and if you tell them “John in Carolina sent me,” they won’t know what you’re talking about.

I’m simply trying to do you a good turn by suggesting that option.

Now I must break off this post or lose my best friend and the world’s greatest wife, all in one person.

Suppose we have special post Sunday in which I’ll finish our “trip.”

Look for a post around 3 PM ET with a title like “Visiting Oxford.”

See you then.

Enjoy Saturday.


Mangum's forthcoming book: First thoughts

For some time now the best place to stay current with Duke lacrosse happenings has been Liestoppers Forum.

I skipped visiting there for a few days and missed important news many of you may have already heard: false accuser Gail Crystal Mangum's book is now due out in October.

At KC Johnson's Wonderland blog he's posted the book's press release interspersed with his comments.

At LF there's a very interesting conversation going on. I've read only the first 4 pages. I plan to read more Saturday afternoon.

Thanks to Walter Abbott's heads-up, I caught defense attorney Joe Cheshire tonight on WRAL at 5 and 6 PM. He was impressive as always. He said Mangum should not profit from her lies; and he hoped her victims would see that she didn't.

Tomorrow, Saturday, I'll post some thoughts about what Mangum might say in the book.

Right now I just want to call your attention to an Apr. 12, 2008 post: N&O still stonewalls on Mar. 25 frame story.

Apr. 12, 2008 was a year and a day after NC Attorney General Roy Cooper declared David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann innocent, and said there never was any credible evidence of their guilt.

Apr. 12, 2008 was also the one year anniversary of a Raleigh News & Observer story (Samiha Khanna bylined, with Joe Neff contributing) in which the N&O disclosed for the first time statements it said Mangum made during a Mar. 24, 2006 interview.

The N&O reported the next day on the interview in a story it said was about a frightened young black mother's "ordeal" which ended finally in "sexual violence."

That Mar. 25, 2006 story sent the Duke hoax national, launched the witch hunt and began the public part of a vicious libeling of the Duke lacrosse team and the frame-up attempt of three of its members for gang rape and other felonies.

The news the N&O withheld from that story was highly exculpatory for the lacrosse players.

Had it been disclosed at the time, the N&O and the now disbarred Mike Nifong would at the least have had to change the false story they shilled to the public in March 2006.

That would have increased the chances of more of the public and the honest media realizing a frame-up attempt was underway by March 25, 2006.

The N&O still stonewalls on Mar. 25 frame story is lengthy. But if you're seeking to understand how the framing occured and how the ongoing cover-up is being conducted, I think there's a good chance you'll find it worth your time.

The N&O has yet to answer a single question I asked in the post.


While researching for future posts I read at the Raleigh N&O’s Editors’ Blog a post by now senior editor Linda Williams titled "March 25 interview"

Williams posted on Oct. 5, 2006. She attempted to explain decisions the N&O made concerning its now discredited, deliberately fraudulent March 25, 2006 story headlined:

Dancer gives details of ordeal

A woman hired to dance for the Duke lacrosse team describes a night of racial slurs, growing fear and, finally, sexual violence
As you’ll see if you go to the post thread, readers immediately challenged Williams. They pointed out facts she’d misstated and inconsistencies between what she claimed were N&O journalistic practices and what the paper actually did.

Williams did not respond.

Instead, the then executive editor for news Melanie Sill began commenting.

While criticizing readers for their anonymity and praising the N&O for its Duke lacrosse coverage, Sill failed to provide data refuting the many reasoned, fact-based commenters who’d challenged Williams.

As an example of what I’m talking about and because it’s very relevant to today, I want to publish here a comment I made on the thread and then below the star line add some further comments.

Comment from: John [Visitor] •
10/16/06 at 16:01

Dear Melanie,

I've 10 questions for you:

At 10/06/06 at 15:40 above you say:

“We got the woman identified as the victim and interviewed her. As Linda notes, it wasn't an extensive or extensively planned interview -- it was boots on the street hustle to track down the key players.”

1) In the Durham community with 250,000 people, “boots on the street” didn’t lead you to the accuser.

Someone who knew who she was and where she was led you to her either directly or with address information. Most likely the person(s) was someone who could reach the accuser quickly and “arrange” for the interview. Who was that person(s)?

2) What was that person’s motive for leading your reporter to the accuser?

3) Was that person a member of either the Durham Police Department (I include as a member of the DPD Cpl. David Addison who, while assigned full-time to CrimeStoppers, is a sworn DPD officer) or the Durham District Attorney’s office, including DA Nifong?

4) Was the interview audio taped, which is common practice with an interview of such critical importance, especially as what was said could be relevant to a then ongoing police investigation and possible subsequent indictments and trials?

5) If the interview was audio taped, what can you tell us about the custody and condition of the tape; and whether there is anything about the technical nature of the tape that would prevent you from releasing it to the public with only the accuser and her family’s IDs removed?

6) If the interview was not audio taped, why not?

7) You say you didn’t publish those parts of the interview that concerned remarks made by the accuser about the second dancer, Kim Roberts, because the remarks were unsubstantiated.

But as many readers on this thread have demonstrated, you published a great number of unsubstantiated statements you say the accuser made about the lacrosse players.

Whose interests are you serving by refusing to inform the public of the parts of the interview you suppressed on Mar. 25?

8) On what day did the N&O first learn of the extensive, voluntary cooperation the three Duke lacrosse captains provided police on Mar. 16, including signed statements, going to DUMC for “rape kit” testing, helping police ID and locate others who were at the party, etc?

9) On what day and in what detail did the N&O report to readers the cooperation the captains provided the police and the fact that the court order for 46 lacrosse players to submit to DNA testing and “mug photos” could have been appealed, but that not a single one of the 46 exercised his right of appeal (not even the ones who weren’t in Durham the night of the party)?

10) What’s your definition of news suppression?

Yes, Melanie, some of the questions are repeats I first asked months ago. It's time you answered them.





Editor Sill never responded.

Eighteen months after I posted that comment and more than two years after I and many others began asking those question, they remain unanswered by anyone speaking for the N&O on the record.

With regard to Question 7 - “Whose interests are you serving by refusing to inform the public of the parts of the interview you suppressed on Mar. 25?” – I want to say the following:

On April 12, 2007, the day after AG Roy Cooper declared the three wrongly indicted young men innocent, the N&O ran a story, Contradictions tore case apart, reporting, among other things, statements it said the accuser made in her Mar. 24, 2006 interview with N&O reporter Samiha Khanna. The Apr. 12 story under Khanna’s byline and with Joe Neff listed as a contributor included this:
…She did not give details but maintained that she had been raped. Mangum said that although she did not witness it, she thought the second dancer was sexually assaulted but didn't come forward because she would lose her job as an escort.

"I got the feeling she would do just about anything for money," Mangum said of the second dancer, Kim Roberts. …
The N&O withheld that critically important news, exculpatory for the players, from its Mar. 25, 2006 framing story about an “ordeal” which ended in “sexual violence.”

In it’s April 12, 2007 finally reporting that news, the N&O offered no reason for why it had withheld it for thirteen months. In fact, the Khanna/Neff story makes no mention that Mangum's statements were withheld from its Mar. 25 story and that N&O readers were reading about them for the first time. (That's slick, yes; disgusting, too)

Why did the N&O withhold for thirteen months such important news? Whose interests did that serve?

Why did the N&O only disclose what Mangum had said the day after the players had been declared innocent? Whose interests did that serve?

Why hasn’t the N&O answered any of the questions I asked Melanie Sill on the March 25 interview post thread? Whose interests does it serve for the N&O to keep silent on those questions.

And, finally, why do some people keep saying the N&O’s Duke Hoax coverage has been wonderful except for a few days in March 2006?

Ah, all that Dem VP “enthusiasm”

Politico reports:

By the time Barack Obama is ready to announce his vice presidential pick, will anyone believe him? …

In the absence of real information, pranksters have filled the gap with guidance from the website Wonkette – and maybe Howard Stern, too.

“There is incredible enthusiasm for Barack Obama’s vice presidential announcement and unfortunately some people have used that enthusiasm and sent out hoaxes," said Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who received one herself.

“We can assure our supporters these texts did not come from the campaign and their data is secure. Everyone can also rest easy that despite their popularity, Mickey Mouse and Michael Phelps are not on the short list at this time," [Psaki added]
Mickey and Phelps are not on the short list at this time. (italics added)

Is Psaki’s “at this time” an admission that at some point they were on the short list?

Or is it a heads-up they may yet make it at this eleventh hour?

Who can be sure with Senator Obama?

If I'd told you 2 years ago he'd claim he sat through all those Rev. Wright sermons and never heard the racism and anti-Americanism, would you have believed me?

How about his wanting to visit “all 57 states?” Or was it 63?

The entire Politic article's here.

Obama's VP pick won't be

Paris Hilton.

Yes, a woman on the ticket might help cool the anger of Hillary Clinton's supporters.

But it doesn't make sense for Obama to have another celebrity running with him.

Besides, at 27 Hilton's too young for the office.

Times “news” story tells Hillary: Do more for Obama

Excerpts from an NY Times story - "At Rally, Finding Clinton’s Aid to Obama Too Tepid" – followed by my comments below the star line.

Reporter Damien Cave begins - - -

Minutes after pushing through the rope line to thank Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for “all that you do,” Robin Shaffer said she was worried. She feared that the senator she respected and admired for being tough and experienced had not done all that she could to unify Florida’s fractured Democratic Party while campaigning here on Thursday for her former opponent.

“It was good that she said my supporters need to now support Barack Obama,” said Ms. Shaffer, 46, reflecting on Mrs. Clinton’s speech before about 700 people. But, she added, “I wanted her to repeat that one more time.”

Many who had supported Mrs. Clinton’s run for president shared Ms. Shaffer’s opinion. Democrats who said they had recently accepted that Mr. Obama, of Illinois, would be the Democratic presidential nominee greeted Mrs. Clinton’s 30-minute speech — her first rally in Florida on his behalf — with warmth but also demands for more. …

Guy Montes, 63, a retired shift manager for United Airlines and a Clinton supporter in the primary, said later that Mrs. Clinton’s heart did not seem to be in it.

“It was a platonic type of endorsement,” Mr. Montes said. “It wasn’t real love. She’s just doing what she’s supposed to be doing.”

Even Cecilia Payne, 52, an insurance agent in West Palm Beach originally from Barbados, who declared that “the Clintons are the best thing that ever happened to politics,” said Mrs. Clinton must work harder.

“She should have been a little more forceful and more convincing,” Ms. Payne said. …

The entire Anything for Obama story’s here.


There’s a lot more in the Times’ story about how the folks at yesterday’s event all want Hillary to do more for Obama.

But there’s nothing in the story about the deep resentment many Clinton supporters still feel toward Sen. Obama and his campaign team who they believe played the race card against both Hillary and Bill Clinton.

And there’s nothing in the Times’ story about the deep anger of many Clinton supporters who believe she was dissed by Team Obama and its MSM flacks because she’s a woman.

All we’re told is what fits Obama’s agenda: Hillary must work harder for The One.

I compared the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s report of the same event with Obama’s Times’ agenda piece. The Sun-Sentinal’s story had none of the Times’ “do more for Obama” spin.

On the contrary, it noted what anyone with a modicum of political awareness realizes: Hillary is “walking” a fine public line which requires her to nudge millions of her still angry supporters toward the Democratic ticket, but not push them too hard lest that anger them further and make them less likely to support Obama and his running mate.

As the Sun-Sentinel put it:

…Thursday's campaigning was as much a thank you to local backers as it was a thinly veiled attempt to paint the Democratic Party as united behind Obama. Rather than giving detailed descriptions of Obama's qualifications, Clinton promoted Democratic Party unity and shared values.

Obama campaigners were looking to sway minds at Thursday's events. But in characterizing her party as steadfast for Obama, Clinton came across to some of her supporters as overly optimistic.

Several said after Clinton's speeches that they know many local Democrats and independents who aren't convinced Obama has the credentials they demand in a president.

Florence Puretz, 84, of Kings Point, said she felt badly watching her favored candidate stump for Obama. "She could taste that presidency," Puretz said. "I'm voting for Obama with little enthusiasm."
In reporter Cave's story, the Times shamelessly pushed for Obama.

The entire Sun-Sentinel story's here.,0,3207003.story,0,3207003.story

Raleigh N&O's different cuts for different folks

The Raleigh News & Observer should have owned the John Edwards scandal story but its reporting was months late, weak and, in at least one notable instance, glaringly wrong. (It claimed on Aug. 8 no less the Enquirer’s Beverly Hilton tryst story was anonymously sourced. See here for details.)

In one of two row back columns “explaining” why the N&O was silent about the story for months, executive editor John Drescher said:

The report was sketchy, apparently from a single anonymous source. It did not name the woman and was disputed by Edwards and Hunter. We decided it didn't make the cut for the print paper.

So a public denial of an affair by the liberal/leftist John Edwards who the N&O said was the “hometown candidate” with a good chance of being the next President “didn’t make the cut for the print paper.”

OK, let’s write that down.

But we still have to ask: What does make “the cut” at the N&O?

Well, on March 28, 2006 fifteen members of Duke University’s Men’s lacrosse team made the N&O’s “cut.”

A front page story – "15 players had prior charges" – by reporter Ben Niolet began:
In the past three years, about a third of the members of the Duke lacrosse team, under investigation in a reported gang rape, have been charged with misdemeanors stemming from drunken and disruptive behavior, court records show.

Of the team's 47 members, 15 faced charges including underage alcohol possession, having open containers of alcohol, loud noise and public urination. …
Accompanying the story were the students names, ages, the charges and their dispositions.

Among the 15 students named were two who’d been found not guilty by a judge. Still, they made “the cut” along with the other 13.

By the standards of fair and honest journalism, the students should not have been named and their prior charges published. The N&O was engaging in smear journalism.

Drescher, Niolet and others at the N&O knew the students had been listed as “suspects” in what attorneys not connected with the case has already called an unusually vague and broad NTO request; and which we now know was also fraudulent.

Drescher, Niolet and the others knew the only suspect description cited in the NTO that mattered was “white.” Membership on the lacrosse team didn’t make you a suspect; the black member of the team was exempted from the NTO.

Other than “white,” there were no physical descriptions or evidence cited in the NTO request that linked to any of the 15 students.

For all 15 students, the N&O had only the same, one-word, “sketchy” description: “white.”

But they made "the cut."

When the N&O referred to the 15 students as “a third of the members of the Duke lacrosse team, under investigation in a reported gang rape,” the N&O knew the gang-rape charge came “from a single anonymous source.”

What’s more, the N&O had interviewed that anonymous source; and it knew she’d lied during the interview. (She told the N&O she was new to dancing before groups of men. But the N&O had reported in June 2002 she was lap dancing at a “gentlemen’s club.” However, for reasons it’s never disclosed, the N&O withheld that information from the public for weeks.)

John Edwards’ public denial of an affair “didn’t make the [N&O’s] cut,” but the 15 students did. In fact they made the front page.

The N&O describes itself as “fair and accurate.” It says its Duke lacrosse coverage was “outstanding.”

The One: On The Road to Denver

Here's the McCain campaign's latest ad which will upset Team Obama and make millions of others smile, especailly knowing that most of the material in the ad was provided by The One and his disciples.

How long will it be before Team Obama complains McCain's ads are violating the separation of church and state?

Hat tip: Jack in Silver Springs

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Churchill Series – Aug. 21, 2008

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

Yesterday’s post concerned the magnificent and historic Blenheim Palace and its grounds where, as Churchill famously said, he made his two most important decisions: to be born and to marry.

Today I want to share a bit about Woodstock, the village just outside the Palace gates and Oxford, eight miles down the road.

I’ll first say a few things about Oxford and its Churchill connections; then a few words about Woodstock.

Churchill visited Oxford countless times. The current rail station, though much changed, is at the same location as the one Churchill used.

From there it’s a 3 or 4 minute cab ride or a 10 minute walk to Christ Church, one of Oxford University’s most famous and beautiful colleges.

Churchill visited there often. His son Randolph was a student there ( an indifferent one who never took a degree).

His grandson and namesake also studied at Christ Church. Churchill encouraged young Winston to apply. When he enrolled, he sent his grandson two of his paintings with which to decorate his sitting room. Churchill was extremely proud when young Winston took his degree.

Churchill’s close friend and science advisor Professor Frederick Lindemann was for many years a member of the College’s faculty. Lindemann’s funeral service was held in Christ Church Cathedral with Churchill in attendance.

From Christ Church it’s an easy 10 minute walk to the Oxford Union, famous for its speaker series and debates.

Churchill’s father, Lord Randolph, spoke at the Union in 1888 on the question of Irish Home Rule. Churchill spoke there as well, often during the 1930s when he was advocating rearmament. He also participated in debates there.

It’s just a few minutes’ walk to from the Union to the start of what Oxonians call “the Woodstock road.”

An easy bus or auto ride takes you up the road to Woodstock, a lovely English village with friendly pubs and interesting small shops, including antique shops.

For this visitor the nicest thing about Woodstock is it’s not “touristy.” You get a kind of “two for one” when you visit the grand Blenheim Palace and the traditional village of Woodstock.

More tomorrow, when I’ll try to tempt you to consider a stay in Oxford as a base for visiting Churchill sites and much else of beauty and history in the area.

I hope you’re back.

The Obamas go house buying

I wish the ad below said something about the special low mortgage rate and waivers of origination and mortgage points Sen. Barack and Mrs. Michelle Obama got from Northern Trust when they bought their home.

But you can't fit everything into a 30 second ad, can you?

Maybe the Obamas will explain it all at the Convention.

Meanwhile, here's the ad:

If you were OK with "Bush = Hitler"

and you weren't upset when Democratic Congressman Pete Stark on the floor of the House said President Bush liked seeing our troops in Iraq "having their heads blown off,"

and you weren't bothered when Democratic Senator Dick Durbin compared our military's management of Gitmo to the Nazis running concentration camps,

and you agreed with those Democrats who said with all seriousness that Senator McCain's military service actually made him less qualified to be President,

than you are not going to like this video a JinC Regular found at You Tube.

Most of the rest of you will likely wind up LOL.

Hat tip: AC

Has Obama helped his brother in Kenya?

As National Review’s Jonah Goldberg noted:

When asked what America’s greatest moral failing was, theological Obama said it was our collective failure to “abide by that basic precept in (the Book of) Matthew that whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.”
And in today’s Daily Telegraph:
The Italian edition of Vanity Fair said that it had found George Hussein Onyango Obama living in a hut in a ramshackle town of Huruma on the outskirts of Nairobi.

Mr Obama, 26, the youngest of the presidential candidate's half-brothers, spoke for the first time about his life, which could not be more different than that of the Democratic contender.

"No-one knows who I am," he told the magazine, before claiming: "I live here on less than a dollar a month."

According to Italy's Vanity Fair his two metre by three metre shack is decorated with football posters of the Italian football giants AC Milan and Inter, as well as a calendar showing exotic beaches of the world.

Vanity Fair
also noted that he had a front page newspaper picture of his famous brother - born of the same father as him, Barack Hussein Obama, but to a different mother, named only as Jael. …

For ten years George Obama lived rough. However he now hopes to try to sort his life out by starting a course at a local technical college.

He has only met his famous older brother twice - once when he was just five and the last time in 2006 when Senator Obama was on a tour of East Africa and visited Nairobi.

The Illinois senator mentions his brother in his autobiography, describing him in just one passing paragraph as a "beautiful boy with a rounded head".

Of their second meeting, George Obama said: "It was very brief, we spoke for just a few minutes. It was like meeting a complete stranger." …
The entire Telegraph story’s here. It contains no mention of Sen. Obama ever helping his brother.

If that’s the case, it’s downright mean spirited, particularly when you consider that last year the Obamas contributed over $20, 000.00 to the raving racist, virulently anti-American Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church, which they regularly attended for almost 20 years.

I hope Sen. Obama speaks up about his brother and what, if anything, he has done or plans to do to help him.

Hat tip: Danvers

The other debate at Saddleback

We haven’t heard yet from Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Terrorist cum Professor Bill Ayers, but just about everyone else thinks Sen. McCain won Saddleback.

So with that settled, National Review’s Jonah Goldberg looks at another face-off last Saturday at Saddleback.

This one pitted “the intellectual-theologian Obama” against “the political Obama.”

Excerpts from Goldberg - - -

… “Does evil exist?” [Pastor] Warren asked [Senator] Obama. “And if it does, do we ignore it, do we negotiate with it, do we contain it, or do we defeat it?”

Obama the would-be moral philosopher replied, accurately, that evil is everywhere, in Darfur, in our streets, in our own hearts. We cannot “erase evil from the world. That is God’s task. But we can be soldiers in that process, and we can confront (evil) when we see it.” (Imagine if President Bush called himself a soldier of God in the battle against evil.)

When asked what America’s greatest moral failing was, theological Obama said it was our collective failure to “abide by that basic precept in (the Book of) Matthew that whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.”

For Obama the politician, such scriptural quotations often serve as an all-inclusive writ to impose his religious views on others when it comes to fighting poverty, global warming, racism, etc.

But when the question turns to abortion, political Obama insists on a policy of moral agnosticism and political laissez-faire. Asked directly when life begins as a legal matter, he punted, saying the answer was “above my pay grade.” (emphasis added)

Obama, commendably, told Warren that he wants to reduce the number of abortions. After all, he observed gravely, “we’ve had a president who is opposed to abortions over the last eight years, and abortions have not gone down.”

Unfortunately, Obama wasn’t telling the truth. The abortion rate is the lowest it’s been since 1974, partly because of pro-life policies under Bush, but also thanks to those implemented at the state level since the 1990s.

At Saddleback, Obama offered the ritualistic support for Roe v. Wade expected of all Democratic politicians, “not because I’m pro-abortion,” but because women “wrestle with these things in profound ways.”

This is surely true in many instances. But political Obama won’t explain why “wrestling” with a serious moral question is an adequate substitute for deciding it correctly. People wrestle with all sorts of moral quandaries in “profound ways.” Many slave owners wrestled with whether they should free their slaves, but that did not obviate the need for the Emancipation Proclamation.

Alas, when it comes to abortion, it’s probably silly to expect anything but rote fealty to ideological pieties from a Democrat, just as it’s naive to expect anything but the appropriate pro-life talking points from a Republican.

But for a self-styled champion of nuance, political Obama’s rigidity is spectacular to behold.

In 2003, as chairman of the Illinois Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Obama received a statement from Jill Stanek, a registered nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill. She testified that at her Chicago-area hospital, she’d seen a baby accidentally delivered alive during an abortion and then “taken to the soiled-utility room and left alone to die.”

I’m no expert on the Christian Gospel, but something tells me that Matthew might consider these wailing creatures the least of our brothers.

Alas, the abandonment of babies to suffer and die on the modern equivalent of a Spartan cliff did not require confronting evil when Obama saw it. Indeed, Obama turned a blind eye, leading the battle to defeat Illinois’ version of the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which would have treated babies living, albeit briefly, outside the womb as, well, babies.

He opposed the bill in 2003 (as he had a similar one in 2001), saying it would undermine Roe v. Wade. But even after Roe-neutral language was included — wording good enough that it won support for the federal version of the bill from abortion-rights stalwart Sen. Barbara Boxer — Obama remained unmoved.

The rest of Goldberg’s column’s here.

Hat tip: BN

So it’s come to the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee opposing the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act which even Sen. Boxer supports.

The next time “the intellectual-theologian Obama” sermonizes I hope he takes as his text from the Book of Mark: “Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God"

A French news org reports Obama's charges

Agence France- Presse reported yesterday:

Barack Obama savaged his Republican rival John McCain Wednesday for running a dishonorable campaign that aides to the Democrat said smacked of "reckless" desperation.

In some of the most vehement attacks yet heaped on the Arizona senator by the Obama camp during this White House campaign, the Illinois senator said he honored McCain's public service but not the manner of his electioneering.

Coinciding with a new poll suggesting McCain has overhauled Obama among voters nationally, Obama's senior foreign policy adviser Susan Rice portrayed the Republican as a hot-head who could not be trusted to stay cool under fire.

McCain's "tendency is to shoot first and to ask questions later," she said on a conference call alongside former White House anti-terrorism adviser Richard Clarke, who called the Republican "trigger-happy" and "reckless." …
Is what we've just read the “new politics” from the “Yes, we can” candidate who says he's “post-racial?”


IMO Sen. Obama sounds just like what his old friend and mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, called "a typical politician."

AFP's story ends:
Obama argues McCain wants to keep US troops bogged down indefinitely in Iraq, and has vowed to begin troop withdrawals with the goal of getting most US combat soldiers out of the country within 16 months.

On Tuesday, Obama complained at what he views as slanders on his patriotism, after McCain said the day before that the Democrat had put his personal political ambition before US national interests on Iraq policy.

"Let me be clear: I will let no one question my love of this country," Obama said in North Carolina.
Whose questioning Obama’s patriotism? If he mentioned anyone by name and specific comment, I missed it.

What about you? The entire story's here.

Is Obama once again engaging in another of his "they're injecting" claims without anything specific or substantial to back his vicious charges?

Is there anyone reading this who doesn't know it's Obama's judgment and lack of experience people are questioning?

You know: all 57 states. That's "above my pay grade." And grandma is a "typical white person."

A few closing thoughts: here in North Carolina a lot of people don’t buy the line that he and Michelle Obama never heard any of the vile racism and anti-Americanism that's spewed forth from Rev. Jeremiah Wright for decades.

We wonder why they attended his church for almost 20 years.

We wonder why they brought their children to Wright’s church for religious instruction.

And most of us don’t like being called racists for wondering about those things.

We hope the Obamas will answer those questions.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Churchill Series – Aug. 20, 2008

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

Yesterday’s post concerned Winston’s wooing Clementine to Blenheim Palace where on Aug. 10, 1908 he proposed and she accepted.

Here’s the Blenheim Palace link which includes the following:

…The Arboretum is reached from the Sheep Walk, a southward drive that starts at the lower Water Terrace and winds on past the Temple of Diana, built for the 4th Duke by Sir William Chambers. This unpretentious temple stands on a high point, commanding a view over the lake. It was here, during the summer of 1908, that Mr Winston Churchill, as he was then, proposed to Miss Clementine Hozier, who was to become Baroness Churchill.

In 1975, the present Duke of Marlborough restored the temple, adding two plaques. Lady Churchill officially opened the restored temple on 11th April, the same year – she remembered,

"There was a bench here then… and as I sat there with Winston I watched a beetle slowly moving across the floor. 'If that beetle reaches that crack,' I said to myself, 'and Winston hasn’t proposed, then he isn’t going to.' But he did propose!"

Four Incense Cedars, each over 50 feet (15 metres) high, tower above yew and prunus. The Arboretum also contains other interesting and rare trees and shrubs, and is particularly attractive in spring, when the blossom is out and the grassy banks are covered in daffodils and bluebells….
Blenheim is a wonderful place to visit. I hope you’ll “take a look around the place” using the scroll down menus.

There are pictures, descriptions of the rooms, buildings, gardens, and lawns. There’s information, too, about visiting hours, admissions, special tours, and even four places to eat in the palace or on the grounds.

I’ll say more tomorrow about visiting the palace, the town of Woodstock, just outside the gates to Blenheim, and Oxford, eight miles down the road.

Williams on Campaign '08 today

According to Zogby, McCain has now taken a five point lead over Obama. As the Gateway Pundit notes, that’s a 15 point swing. Instapundit comments: “The good news for Obama: It's a Zogby poll….” ( That made me laugh. - - JinC)

Over at RealClearPolitics, McCain also has an Electoral College lead. (Rasmussen, however, says the numbers still favor Obama.)

Meanwhile, Obama’s credibility problems continue to pile up. His misstatements about infanticide are out in the MSM, his past relations with Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers are about to rise up and bite him, and McCain is even starting to outpoll him on the economy.

Plus there’s this:

…Obama calls those who have pointed out his false explanations regarding his Born-Alive vote liars. Obama has a penchant for pejoratives unique among modern presidential candidates. Last week he called Republicans "ignorant." Several times during the campaign he's implied that his opponents are racist. Earlier he derided rural, blue collar Americans as bitter, bible-clinging, gun-toting racist xenophobes. Meanwhile, he yelps at imaginary slights directed at him: yesterday, he once again complained about Republicans questioning his patriotism.

At this rate, if Obama's inaugurated on January 20 his administration officially will be declared insufferable by January 21.

Is buyer’s remorse setting in on the eve of the Democratic National Convention? Are Obama’s Invesco tickets (they feature upside down American flags) a subliminal message of distress? And why is Obama suddenly selling these tickets when he’s been telling people all along that they’re free?

With Pennsylvania now in play, Obama has also reversed course on handing out walking around money in Philadelphia, so perhaps his flip-flop on public financing isn’t turning out all that well. Or maybe Mark Shields of PBS was really onto something when he said Obama couldn’t pass a lie detector test….


Oil, natural gas & America’s well-being

Here’s today National Review Online editorial. I hope you read it all.

Congress suffers from a crude sense of timing when it comes to oil. When it was time to act, it did nothing for decades. Now it’s desperate to be seen doing something at the precise moment when the time has come to do nothing.

On October 1, the congressional ban on extracting oil from the 1.76 billion acres of the Outer Continental Shelf will expire. The ban has been renewed annually for decades. If Congress simply does nothing, the ban will expire, uncorking significant new supplies of oil and gas, and sending a message to world energy markets that the game has changed.

Unhappily, a bipartisan group of senators calling itself the Gang of Ten is pressing for a different approach, one which will do little or nothing to expand the supply of oil, reduce prices, ameliorate environmental problems, or diminish America’s consumption of oil extracted from beneath the boots of despots.

The Gang of Ten has christened its approach the New Energy Reform Act, or New ERA (get it?). But the content of the proposal is decidedly Old Era: billions of dollars in new corporate welfare for automakers and other politically influential industries, new restrictions on oil trading and financial markets, and a gigantic tax increase on oil and natural-gas producers — most of which will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices for gasoline and household utilities.

What’s missing from the Gang of Ten plan is anything that will put more oil on the market.(emphasis added)

The plan calls for a permanent ban on drilling in most of the OCS in exchange for allowing four states — Georgia, Virginia, and the Carolinas — the option of approving new oil leases off their shores. Way off, in fact: No drilling would be allowed within 50 miles of the coast.

Which is to say, even if the legislatures in those four states approved drilling — and who knows if or when that would happen — most of the OCS would remain off-limits. A little new acreage would be opened in the Gulf of Mexico by reducing Florida’s current 125-mile buffer zone to 50 miles — but even that comes at too high a price: a ban on new production in the Pacific. Beyond these crumbs, it’s more of the old familiar: biofuel subsidies and ethanol giveaways (leaving us with pork-fed corn instead of corn-fed pork).

How much oil are we talking about here? Conservative estimates put the yield of the OCS at 19 billion barrels of oil — as much oil as we’d import from Saudi Arabia in 35 years at our current rate. Also 84 trillion — that’s with a “T” — cubic feet of natural gas, or enough to meet the energy needs of 80 million households for 15 years.

Putting a bunch of new oil on the market is a lot more likely to lower prices than is throwing billions of dollars at phantom technologies, as the New ERA plan calls for doing, or slapping oil producers with punitive new taxes. Lifting the drilling ban is a realistic and responsible alternative.

McCain Opens 5-point lead. What’s it mean?

Reuters reports:

In a sharp turnaround, Republican John McCain has opened a 5-point lead on Democrat Barack Obama in the U.S. presidential race and is seen as a stronger manager of the economy, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.

McCain leads Obama among likely U.S. voters by 46 percent to 41 percent, wiping out Obama's solid 7-point advantage in July and taking his first lead in the monthly Reuters/Zogby poll.

The reversal follows a month of attacks by McCain, who has questioned Obama's experience, criticized his opposition to most new offshore oil drilling and mocked his overseas trip.

The poll was taken Thursday through Saturday as Obama wrapped up a weeklong vacation in Hawaii that ceded the political spotlight to McCain, who seized on Russia's invasion of Georgia to emphasize his foreign policy views.
Since polling occurred Thursday through Sunday, that means the poll didn’t catch much, if any, of the “Saddleback effect.”

Since its generally agreed Sen. McCain came across as far more informed and looking like a leader, you can wonder what the results would have been with a “Saddleback effect."

Reuters continues:
"There is no doubt the campaign to discredit Obama is paying off for McCain right now," pollster John Zogby said. "This is a significant ebb for Obama."

McCain now has a 9-point edge, 49 percent to 40 percent, over Obama on the critical question of who would be the best manager of the economy -- an issue nearly half of voters said was their top concern in the November 4 presidential election.

That margin reversed Obama's 4-point edge last month on the economy over McCain, an Arizona senator and former Vietnam prisoner of war who has admitted a lack of economic expertise and shows far greater interest in foreign and military policy.

McCain has been on the offensive against Obama during the last month over energy concerns, with polls showing strong majorities supporting his call for an expansion of offshore oil drilling as gasoline prices hover near $4 a gallon.

Obama had opposed new offshore drilling, but said recently he would support a limited expansion as part of a comprehensive energy program.

That was one of several recent policy shifts for Obama, as he positions himself for the general election battle. But Zogby said the changes could be taking a toll on Obama's support, particularly among Democrats and self-described liberals.

"That hairline difference between nuance and what appears to be flip-flopping is hurting him with liberal voters," Zogby said.

Obama's support among Democrats fell 9 percentage points this month to 74 percent, while McCain has the backing of 81 percent of Republicans. Support for Obama, an Illinois senator, fell 12 percentage points among liberals, with 10 percent of liberals still undecided compared to 9 percent of conservatives.
Sen. Obama having more trouble with his base than McCain with his goes against the meta-narrative most MSM shill. Usually we’re told its McCain who hasn’t solidified his base, especially among “conservatives” and “evangelicals.”

Here are two easy predictions:

1) Between now and November, Team Obama is going to give McCain a huge amount of help solidifying his “conservative base.” McCain can't take conservatives for granted, but with Obama still refusing to admit he knew all those years what Wright was saying; attacking Justice Thomas and Chief Justice Roberts; and promising more government give-aways, conservatives will know what to do on Election Day.

2) If McCain win’s in November, people will look back to Saddleback and say, “That’s when the evangelical tide started running in McCain’s favor. Whatever was Obama thinking when he said, 'that's above my pay grade?'"

I hope you read the rest of the Reuters story here. There’s quite a bit in it that may surprise you.

I’d love to hear what you think.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Churchill Series - Aug. 19, 2008

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

I’m preparing a brief series within the series to coincide with Winston and Clementine’s 100th wedding anniversary Sept. 8, 2008.

While researching for the anniversary posts, I’m reading portions of Marian Fowler’s Blenheim: Biography of a Palace (Viking, 1982).

Many of you are no doubt familiar with Churchill’s remark: “It was at Blenheim that I made the two most important decisions of my life: to be born and to marry.”

With that in mind, I thought you'd enjoy reading the following brief excerpts from Fowler’s book:

Blenheim was the chosen stage for the next crucial event in Winston’s life. Four year s before, he had met briefly at a London bal a tall young lady with lustrous ash-blond hair and green eyes flecked with brown, who seemed quite unaware of her beauty. She was Clementine Hozier, granddaughter of the 10th Earl of Airlie. …

“Let us all go to Blenheim for Monday and Tuesday,” Winston wrote to Clemmie on Aug. 7, 1908. “I want so much to show you that beautiful place, and in its gardens we shall find lots of place s to talk in, and lots of things to talk about.”

Clemmie hung back. Blenheim would be far too grand and she was visiting at Cowes and down to her last clean cotton frock.

Winston wrote again next day: “I think you will be amused at Blenheim. It has many glories in the fullness of summer. Pools of water, gardens of roses, a noble lake shrouded by giant trees; tapestries, pictures and monuments within”

Winston wooed her through Blenheim, and of course Winston won here round.

Monday, Aug. 10 found Clemmie on a Train Blenheim-bound, dashing off a note to her mother: “I shall get to Oxford at 5:20 where I shall be met by motor. I feel dreadfully shy and rather tired.”

Next afternoon, Winston and Clemmie went for a walk. It began to rain and they took shelter in the Temple of Diana which William Chambers has built for the 4th Duke. Clemmie and Winston sat side by side on its stone bench, looking out at the serene, dimpled lake caught between thrusting, solid pillars.

“If that beetle reaches that crack,” Clemmie said to herself, “and Winston hasn’t proposed, then he isn’t going to.” But the miracle happened. Winston proposed and she accepted.

When they emerged to clearing skies and diamante grass, Clemmie swore Winston to secrecy until they could tell her mother, but Winston, seeing a little knot of people on the lawn, including Sunny [, his cousin and the current Duke,] raced ahead, arms waving wildly, and blurted out his glorious news. (pgs. 213-214)
More tomorrow.

Is Caroline Kennedy Obama’s VP pick?

It’s being talked about in the Hamptons and at the Cape.

And at Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds passes on the thoughts of:

READER KEVIN GREEN [who] thinks he knows who Obama wants for VP: "Obama has chosen Caroline Kennedy to be his running mate in a bid to include a woman who is not Hillary Clinton. Kennedy is the only woman Democrats would accept who is not Hillary." Hmm.
Obama’s selection of Caroline Kennedy as his running mate would be more exciting to Obama’s media and core Democrats (“I love Harry Reid for saying the war was lost.”) than was John Kerry’s pick of John Edwards was in ’04. (Remember most MSM hyping the Kerry-Edwards “instant compatibility” and “perfect balance?” Little did we all know.).

They'd certainly be a huge MSM generated "gush-rush" when Caroline Kennedy was nominated.

Who knows how far up his leg Chris Matthews will say "the feeling" went this time?

But once most Americans learn Caroline Kennedy doesn’t read a teleprompter nearly as well as Obama does and, what's worse, without one is even more gaffe prone than he is, enthusiasm will cool just about everywhere except at the DNC, NBC, NPR, NYT, LAT and other such places.

And what do you think will happen when Greens find out she doesn’t like wind energy.

Well, at least not if it means anything that comes within 50 miles of her family’s coastal properties on Cape Cod and her own and her family’s coastal properties in the Hamptons.

Obama's going to have enough problems with “KKK – America” and “God damn America” without adding to them: “And God damn wind farms off the coast of properties Caroline Kennedy, Uncle Ted, and the rest of the family own.”

George S. Patton & the 1912 Stockholm Olympics

The title gives this post's "who" away, but John Jacob R's Jeff Pyatt introduction is so outstanding I'm starting with it:

Less remembered in those same [1912 Stockholm] Games is the story of a young US Army lieutenant competing in the first Olympic modern pentathlon, an event designed to determine the perfect warrior.

The lieutenant finished fifth but may have won the gold if not for a controversial ruling during his best skill. In the pistol shooting competition, he packed the bullet holes so tightly to the target’s center that, when two of ten bullets went unaccounted for, it was impossible to determine whether he completely missed the
target or if the bullets passed through existing holes.

The judges ruled the former despite his and many of his fellow competitors’ insistence on the latter, and, as a result, he was denied a chance to stand on the Olympic podium.

As history would have it, the event and the lieutenant would have vastly diverging fortunes.

After 1912, the modern pentathlon - a quirky sport similar to the triathlon except with guns, swords and horses for bikes — would become one of the most overlooked events of the Olympics.

Meanwhile, the American who finished a disappointing but respectable fifth, Lt. George S. Patton, would go on to stake his claim as the perfect warrior on the real battlefield, becoming one of the greatest — if not the greatest — field generals in history.
Patton's brilliance on the battlefields of North Africa and Europe saved the lives tens of thousands of of Allied troops; and led to the liberation of millions held in the grip of Nazi Germany, many of whom would have starved, been shot or died in other ways except for the liberation Patton helped lead.

We can never say enough in tribute to him and all who served the Allied cause then and are now serving in our latest war against enemies every bit as evil as the Nazi's and their cohorts.

But this post is meant to recall and appreciate Patton's achievements at the 1912 Olympics.

So let's look now at what Patton's Wikipedia entry says about him at the 1912 Olympics. Pay particular attention to what the entry says regarding the pistol scoring controversy and how Patton responded to it:
Patton participated in the Fifth Olympiad (Stockholm, 1912), representing the United States in the first-ever modern pentathlon. Patton performed well in each event:

Pistol shooting

Patton scored 10, 10, 10, 9, 8; 10, 10, 10, 0, 0; 10, 10, 9, 9, 8; and 10, 10, 10, 9, 7. He placed 21st out of 42 contestants.

Even though his bullet holes were clustered together in the center of the target, the Judges decided one bullet had missed the target altogether. Patton maintained that two of his bullets must have gone through the same hole.

300 meter freestyle swimming

Patton placed sixth out of 37 contestants in [this] event.


Patton placed third out of 29 contestants, and gave the Frenchman who eventually won the Gold medal his only defeat of the Pentathlon.

The weapon employed was the European dueling sword, which weighed 1.25 to 1.5 pounds, was 2 inches (51 mm) in circumference at the hilt and tapered to the point, and had a bell guard 5 inches (130 mm) in diameter.

Equestrian cross-country steeplechase

Patton and two Swedes turned in perfect performances, but he placed third in timing, so he finished in third place. Riders were started singly at five minute intervals over the course, which included cross-country terrain, 25 designated jumps, and 50 minor unmarked obstacles.

Four kilometer cross-country foot race

Patton competed against three Swedes, three Britons, three Russians, two Frenchmen, two Danes, and one Austrian. Runners were started at one minute intervals; they then left the stadium and proceeded over cross-country terrain in a loop that brought them back to the stadium. They started and finished in front of the Swedish royal boxes.

Patton "hit the wall" 50 yards (46 m) from the finish line, then fainted after crossing the line at a walk. He finished third out of 15 contestants.

Scoring controversy

[Patton] finished the modern Pentathlon in fifth place. He used a .38 caliber. It was claimed that the holes in the paper from early shots were so large that some of his later bullets passed through them, but the judges said he missed the target completely (Modern competitions on this level frequently now employ a moving background to specifically track multiple shots through the same hole).[4].[5] There was much controversy about Patton’s finish in the pistol shooting, but the judges’ ruling prevailed. If Patton had prevailed, it is highly likely that he would have won the Gold medal instead of fifth place.

As it was, Patton neither complained, nor made excuses.

Patton's only comment was:
"...the high spirit of sportsmanship and generosity manifested throughout speaks volumes for the character of the officers of the present day."

"There was not a single incident of a protest or any unsportsmanlike quibbling or fighting for points which I regret to say marred some of the other civilian competitions at the Olympic Games."

" Each man did his best and took what fortune sent like a true soldier, and at the end we all felt more like good friends and comrades than rivals in a severe competition, yet this spirit of friendship in no manner detracted from the zeal with which all strove for success."
George S. Patton: U. S. Army officer, Olympian, and Liberator.

Why is it always Obama who "returns fire?"

At the New York-based Anything for Obama Times we see the headline - "Obama Returns Fire on McCain in VFW Speech" – and reporter John Broder’s story which begins:

Addressing both his opponent’s charges of weakness and vacillation, and public doubts about his credibility on military matters, Senator Barack Obama on Tuesday told the Veterans of Foreign Wars that he offered not just tough talk but smart answers to national security questions.

Mr. Obama appeared before the V.F.W. a day after his presumed Republican opponent, Senator John McCain, criticized him for advocating a policy of defeat in Iraq and suggested Mr. Obama put personal ambition before the interests of the country.

Mr. Obama struck back with tough language, although his delivery was largely without passion. ….
The rest of Broder’s story’s here.

Why does it seem it's always Sen. Obama who “returns fire” and is “responding to attacks?”

Why don't we find in the Times reporting such as:

“A day after presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama injected race into the campaign during a speech in Jacksonville, presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain responded by noting Obama had promised not to do that.”


“Speaking before a group of white Pennsylvania voters still upset by Sen. Obama’s attack on them as “bitter” people who cling to “guns and religion,” Sen. Mc Cain assured them they were “worthwhile citizens.’”


“Urged on by campaign advisers, Sen. McCain today finally asked Sen. Obama to explain what he meant when he said his grandmother was ‘a typical white person.”

N&O's bogus claim re: Enquirer's Edwards story

Raleigh News & Observer executive editor John Drescher's two most recent columns (here and here) have offered excuses for what journalists and many N&O readers know was the N&O bungled coverage of the Edwards scandal, a major political story much of which played out on the N&O's doorstep.

As late as Aug. 3 the N&O's public editor Ted Vaden praised what he termed the N&O's "restraint" and "refusal" to chase "salacious details" such as Rielle Hunter's child's birth certificate. He quoted Drescher: "I don't view the National Enquirer as a credible source of news."

Then came Aug. 8, the day Edwards admitted on ABC's Nightline to an affair with Rielle Hunter and, as the National Enquirer reported July 22, their Beverly Hilton tryst the night of July 21.

Edwards' disclosures were soon followed by Drescher's disclosures the N&O's coverage had actually been "aggressive" but made difficult by Edwards' refusal to help the N&O.

Well, sure.

Now let's look at what the N&O was reporting the morning of Aug. 8.

In a page one story, “Tabloid photo offers no clarity,” which carried N&O reporter Lorenzo Perez’s byline, readers were told:

… Two weeks after it ran an anonymously sourced story asserting that its reporters caught Edwards visiting a former campaign worker and the baby he fathered with her, the Enquirer posted the photo on its Web site to bolster its reporting of the story. … (emphasis added)
The N&O was just plain wrong when it said the Enquirer's July 22 story was "anonymously sourced."

Two Enquirer reporters – Alan Butterfield and Alexander Hitchen – were named in the Enquirer story which included detailed accounts of what they saw and did at the Beverly Hilton the night of July 21/22. Afterward, the reporters swore out criminal complaints alleging hotel security had roughed them up.

By Aug. 8 Butterfield and Hitchen had been interviewed many times by news organizations. They stood by everything they’d said in their July 22 report.

Up to the time of the N&O's Aug. 8 "anonymously sourced" claim not John Edwards, Rielle Hunter, Bob McGovern, who the NE reported drove Hunter to the Beverly Hilton nor any hotel staff member had disputed anything Butterfield and Hitchen reported, unless you count Edwards’ “tabloid trash” remark July 23 in Houston.

The N&O claims to fact-check everything that appears in its news columns under its reporters' bylines.

If that's the case, how did the N&O blunder by declaring the Enquirer's story was “anonymously sourced ” more than two weeks after it was published and just hours before Edwards’ Nightline appearance?

Perez was supposed to get his story right in the first place.

The editor who assigned him to the story was supposed to fact-check it.

At the N&O copy, layout, and headline editors are responsible for fact-checking stories they work on.

When a story's being considered for the front page, the N&O's front page editor, Stever Merelman, or his designee editor gets involved.

Also, one or more of the N&O three senior editors and Drescher himself are almost always involved with selecting and fact-checking front page stories.

It's hard to understand how a reporter and a group of editors could report on Aug. 8 on the N&O's front page that the Enquirer's story was "anonymously sourced."

Wasn't anyone minding the newsroom?

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Churchill Series – Aug. 18, 2008

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

Something out of the ordinary today.

On the eve of the first anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, Churchill sent Roosevelt a message.

What follows are links to two documents housed in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library at Hyde Park, N. Y.

The first link is to a memorandum on official stationary prepared for Secretary of State Cordull Hull’s approval and initials. It’s addressed to FDR and suggests he consider the proposed accompanying draft response to Churchill’s message.

The second link is to the draft response on plain paper which FDR’s signature “Roosevelt” indicates he approved without change.

I thought you might find a look at the two documents interesting with their penciled routing notes interesting.

Tomorrow let’s go to Blenheim Palace. We’ll visit the very morning Winston proposes to Clementine.

Team Obama concedes Saddleback defeat

It wasn’t gracious, but unless you sing in the Obama’s Come to Save Us Choir you know it was a concession of defeat.

From USA Today:

"Absolutely a lie, absolutely a lie."

So says Rev. Rick Warren about any suggestion that there was a TV or other monitoring equipment in the "green room" where Republican presidential candidate John McCain was waiting Saturday evening for his turn to go on stage for the pastor's "Civil Forum on the Presidency."

Warren talked to's God-o-Meter blog.

As we noted earlier, the McCain campaign strongly protested after NBC News' Andrea Mitchell said on the air yesterday that some aides to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama thought that McCain might have been able to listen as Obama and Warren were talking during the first half of the forum. McCain was supposed to be -- as Warren said when he opened the program Saturday -- in a "cone of silence."

Later, it became known that McCain hadn't yet arrived at Saddleback Church when the Obama-Warren part of the forum began. The GOP senator was in a motorcade on his way there. His aides have said he did not listen to start of the session while en route.

The entire USA Today post is here.

Hat tip: Danvers

Williams today on Campaign ‘08

Mike’s letter today is outstanding.

He begins - - -

You’ll probably know by now that McCain and Obama participated in a sort-of debate in California at Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church this past weekend, ostensibly wooing evangelicals. John in Carolina channels one pundit’s take here.

The starboard side bloggers appear generally very happy with McCain’s performance, while the port siders seem a little panicked by Obama’s. So do some of Obama’s MSM enablers.

At least we look to be getting at the ground truth on Obama’s misstatements about infanticide and born-alive abortions.

Also, we can continue to be confident that Obama – whenever he senses rocks and shoals on the issues – will still navigate towards racism and elitism, albeit with more subtlety than he’s displayed in the past. Oops, maybe not.

In other news, Musharraf has resigned as President of Pakistan. Rick Moran at American Thinker:

In retrospect - which always allows for 20-20 vision - we probably should have insisted on a return to civilian rule years earlier. But there were concerns that the Pakistani secular parties would want no part of our war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

In the end, this became a self fulfilling prophecy as the new government has sought accommodation with the Taliban rather than war - with mixed results. It remains to be seen whether we will be forced by circumstances to go into Pakistan ourselves and clear out the Taliban infestation.

Such a move would be disastrous for our relations with the Pakistani government but may become necessary if they cannot control their own borders.

Our complex, frustrating, and ultimately failed relationship with Musharraf is the kind of thing that happens in war. No good solutions to nearly insoluble problems doomed it from the start.

Speaking of 20-20 hindsight, let’s end it for today with this interesting Jeff Jacoby column. It starts off:

IT WASN'T so long ago that erstwhile supporters of the war in Iraq were invoking hindsight to justify their newfound opposition to it. "Obviously if we knew then what we know now," Senator Hillary Clinton said in December 2006, when asked whether she regretted her 2002 vote authorizing military action, "I certainly wouldn't have voted that way."

Many of Clinton's colleagues said the same thing. An ABC News survey of senators in January 2007 found that "an overwhelming number" of Democrats who had voted in favor of going to war - including Joe Biden of Delaware, Chris Dodd of Connecticut, John Breaux of Louisiana, and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia - had had a change of heart.

Liberals and Democrats weren't the only ones going wobbly. "If I had known then what I know now about the weapons of mass destruction," Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican, told the Houston Chronicle, "I would not vote to go into Iraq."

The conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg pronounced the Iraq war "a mistake by the most obvious criteria: If we had known then what we know now, we would never have gone to war with Iraq." Others singing from the same hymnal have included Jonathan Rauch, National Journal's respected semi-libertarian essayist, and (somewhat earlier) Michael Howard, the former leader of the British Conservative Party.

The prevailing wisdom 18 months or so ago was that invading Iraq had been, in retrospect, a disastrous blunder. It had led to appalling sectarian fratricide and an ever-climbing body count. Iraqi democracy was deemed a naive pipe dream.

Worst of all, it was said, the fighting in Iraq wasn't advancing the global struggle against Islamist terrorism; by rallying a new generation of jihadists, it was actually impeding it.

Opponents of the war clamored loudly for pulling the plug - even if that meant, as The New York Times acknowledged in a bring-the-troops-home-now editorial last July, "that Iraq, and the region around it, could be even bloodier and more chaotic after Americans leave."

But what if we had known then what we know now? ….