Sunday, September 30, 2007

"Phony War Vets" Comment -- by ABC NEWS

Before Rush Limbaugh was falsely accused of smearing "phony soldiers", ABC News ran a news story on their nightly news show, titled "Phony War Vets" (video here).

Excerpts from their transcript:

CHARLES GIBSON, HOST: (Voiceover) 'A Closer Look" tonight at phony heroes. A famous recruiting slogan once touted the Army as a place to be all you can be. But increasingly, scam artists are posing as the war heroes they never were, claiming credit for acts of courage in Iraq and Afghanistan. Federal officials have launched a crackdown. Operation Stolen Valor they call it. Tonight, our Brian Ross investigates.

They even called out Jesse MacBeth, the phony soldier Rush used as an example of what he meant by "phony soldiers":

(Voiceover) Most of the phonies are spotted by people who really earned their medals. In St Louis, this supposed Marine with a chest full of honors was turned in because he seemed too fat to be a real Marine. It turns out he never served a day in the Marines.

Once I was in Baghdad...

(Voiceover) But authorities say the most disturbing case involves this man, 23-year-old Jesse Macbeth. In a YouTube video seen around the world, Macbeth became a rallying point for anti-war groups, as he talked of the Purple Heart he received in Iraq and described how he and other US Army rangers killed innocent civilians at a Baghdad mosque.

Women and men, you know - while in their prayer, we started slaughtering them.

(Voiceover) It was a complete fabrication.

This is the Jesse MacBeth that so many left-wing blogs and activists cited and quoted and honored as a "hero" for the anti-war movement -- a true phony soldier.

And the same Jesse MacBeth that some local bloggers seem to be comparing to real soldiers deploying to Iraq. We ALL should denounce phony soldiers, people who pretend to be something they aren't, who besmirch the name of all real soldiers.

Not comparing real soldiers to these phonies.

Only if he washes out and then pretends he went anyway.

That's the answer to the silly question asked by Raising Kaine: Kerry staffer to deploy to Iraq. Will Rush call him a "phony soldier" too?:

I honor any person, Democrat or Republican, pro-war or anti-war, who joins our military to serve our country in whatever way the country's leadership (House, Senate, Executive) determine is best.

I honor them more for being willing to do so when the current majority party in the House and Senate are disowning their own commitment to sending our troops to war, are belittling their acheivements in that war, and are playing games with their funding in order to score political points so their own left-wing base doesn't desert them, all the while knowing they can't actually undercut our troops or victory no matter how hard they try.

But I feel sorry for Setti Warren, this staffer who has made a great sacrifice for his country, to have bloggers like "beachmom" compare him to a phony soldier like Jesse Macbeth, a man so phony that even those trying to attack Rush have to admit it:

That would be Jesse MacBeth, who stoked opposition to the war last year speaking out about atrocities he committed as an Army Ranger. MacBeth, 23, of Tacoma, Wash., claimed to have killed more than 200 people, many at close range, some at prayer in mosques.

The only problem with MacBeth’s story was MacBeth himself: He had finished only six weeks of Army basic training, was never a Ranger and never deployed in Iraq. After conservative bloggers exposed him last year, he faced further trouble: Pleading guilty in June in federal court in Seattle to one count of making false statements to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

So when a diarist on Raising Kaine asks if a Kerry Staffer will be called phony like Jesse Macbeth, it's really a smear against all the real soldiers, both pro and anti-war, both democrat and republican, who actually SERVE our country rather than just pretending to so they can make up stories that smear real soldiers.

The left SHOULD BE OUTRAGED at a person like Jesse MacBeth, whose wild false stories put all of our soldiers at risk, and smeared them all as being war criminals. But instead, they attacked Rush Limbaugh for calling Jesse MacBeth a "phony soldier". And now rather than admit their mistake, they are ready to smear people like Setti Warren by comparing him to Jesse MacBeth.


How Race Colors Perceptions

I wrote another post about how the Jena 6 story was corrupted by someone working for the defense team who tricked the mainstream media into reporting his made-up story as fact.

But my column this past week was less about the errors in the story, and more about how race can color our perception of a story, so much so that we will have different facts.

Read it here, "How Race Colors Perceptions".

Manassas Journal Messenger: Paul Nichols is Lying to Voters


Paul Nichols has really stepped in it, if the Manassas Journal Messenger/Potomac News felt compelled to call him out for his negative advertising. Excerpts:

But when attack ads are used by candidates, they walk a fine line between politics and unethical behavior.

We think that Paul Nichols, the Democratic candidate for the 51st district of the Virginia House of Delegates, crossed that line.

His use of manipulated images against Faisal Gill crosses into the realm of fantasy and lying.

It's never good when the editorial board of a local newspaper come right out and calls you unethical, and says you crossed into the realm of fantasy and lying.

It's bad enough that Paul Nichols, a lawyer himself, stooped to attacking is opponent for representing people in our court system. As James Young noted, Paul Nichols probably wouldn't come out so well by comparison if he was held responsible for all the people he has represented -- but he shouldn't be, because our legal system requires lawyers to represent people who are alleged to have broken the laws.

But to do so by making up advertisements to deceive voters into voting for him was too much for even the Manassas Journal Messenger to handle:

It is not, however, appropriate to create an imaginary tableaux that might be mistaken for fact.

An informed electorate is necessary for the maintenance of a democracy. A deceived electorate is useless and should be angry.

Also, those who are caught deceiving should apologize to the voters. How about it, Mr. Nichols?

I thought Nichols might suffer a "guilt-by-association" with the rantings of his supporters like Jonathan Marks. But it looks like Nichols has embraced the association. He had someone doing his dirty work for him, but I guess he had nothing else to say, so now he's owned the dirt, and it looks like it might bury him.

More on this subject, as well as details of Faisal Gill's strong stance on combatting illegal immigrants, can be found at Fans Of Faisal, "MJM: Paul Nichols Crosses Line into Fantasy and Lying ".

Update: SkepticalObservor also caught the editorial, in his post "Paul Nichols Lies To Voters"

How the Lazy Media is taken for a ride, part 1

This COULD be about how multiple news sources all were taken in by the same misquoted, out-of-context comments of Rush Limbaugh. Or the similar way they were takn in by misquoted, out-of-context comments of Bill O'Reilly.

But instead, this is the story of how a lazy media, too eager to believe charges of racism, blinded by their own beliefs, was manipulated by a man working for a defense team to shape and miscast the story of the Jena Six into a clear case of racism and bigotry.

The story was documented in an excellent piece of investigative journalism found at the Kansas City Star, in the article titled "Jena 6 case caught up in a whirlwind of distortion, opportunism", written by a black reporter, Jason Whitlock:

JENA, La. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and talk-show hosts certainly feasted on the racial unrest in this tiny central Louisiana town.

But it would be unfair to claim they threw the match that ignited the Jena Six case into a global blaze of hostility and misinformation.

That distinction belongs to Alan Bean, a 54-year-old white, self-proclaimed Baptist minister from Tulia, Texas.

The story notes how Alan Bean became the head of an organization he created called Friends for Justice:

In the late 1990s, Bean exposed a corrupt cop in his hometown. More than a dozen drug convictions against minorities were overturned because of Bean’s work. Tulia was labeled as racist, and Bean became the person to call if you thought the police and/or a prosecutor were exploiting you.

So when a lawyer needed someone to spin the Jena 6 story for the defense, he knew who to call:

A lawyer in New Orleans put Bean and parents of the Jena Six in contact with each other in December. Within three months, Bean had researched Jena and the events surrounding the assault, and published a 5,400-word narrative titled “The Making of a Myth in Jena, Louisiana” and a 2,400-word, media-friendly narrative titled “Responding to the Crisis in Jena, Louisiana.”

The article explains how these two writings, one-sided, error-filled, and biased, became "the truth" of the story for the media:

Bean said he first spoon-fed his narratives to Tom Mangold of the BBC because Mangold had worked with Bean on the Tulia drug cases. The BBC filmed a documentary on the Jena Six titled “Race Hate in Louisiana.” Bean said he then gave the Jena Six story to newspaper reporter Howard Witt of the Chicago Tribune, which published a similar story on May 20.

“I put it in the hands of people I knew would do a good job with the story,” Bean said.

Bean also gave his story to a blogger, Jordan Flaherty, and a law professor, Bill Quigley. From all of these sources the story mushroomed and became fact.

For example, this is why most stories about the "noose incident" say there were three nooses, even though there were only two. Seems that "3 nooses" has some folklore in KKK history, so it was much more powerful an image than "two nooses". This is also why most everybody believes the noose incident was related to the attack 3 months later, even though when the police questioned people the day of the attack, not ONE person mentioned the noose incident.

Rather than research for themselves, many news outlets just picked up the initial story written for them by Alan Bean, and ran it as if they had actually done some work. And of course, many people believed the stories, because why would the news media lie about it?

The article notes the many errors in the story, and notes that Alan Bean didn't even KNOW some of the story, starting with a great summary of the Alan Bean fictional narrative:

The Jena Six beat up Justin Barker because they were still angry about the lack of sufficient punishment given to white kids who hung nooses on a whites-only shade tree, and the six were railroaded by an overzealous district attorney who failed to properly prosecute white men who viciously assaulted Robert Bailey and later pulled a shotgun on Bailey and two others at a convenience store.

Walters, police investigators, school officials and some Jena residents say Bean’s story is hogwash. There is at least some legitimacy to those claims. Bean’s story and subsequent posts on his Web site contain factual errors.

For example, "everybody knows" the kids who hung the nooses just got a "few days of in-school suspension". But as the article explains:

The three kids responsible for hanging the nooses were given more punishment than just a “few days of in-school suspension.” They went to an alternative school for nine days and received two weeks of in-school suspension, LaSalle Parish school superintendent Roy Breithaupt said.

But the real problem isn't how the facts were twisted and made up, as bad as that is. It's the entire narrative, written to tell a false story, written by a man who by his own admission didn't bother to get many important facts:

But more than the factual errors, Bean’s story is framed — by his own admission — as an indictment of the criminal justice system and the people in power in Jena and, therefore, the story is unfairly biased. Bean never examined the other forces at work that contributed to the Jena Six assault and Walters’ heavy-handed approach to justice as it relates to the alleged perpetrators.

I didn’t know,” Bean said when asked whether he knew of defendant Mychal Bell’s violent juvenile history when he was crafting his narratives. “I never talked to Mychal’s family, and I never talked to Mychal. He was in jail. I knew he had a history for getting into trouble. I knew he was a kid at a crossroads.”

But the story he told was of an innocent boy driven to the breaking point, not a troubled kid who always seemed to be looking for trouble. To tell THAT story, he had to ignore the facts, to remain ignorant. Which Alan Bean did very well, as the article notes:

Bean has a very idealistic view of the Jena defendants.

“These are fun-loving, impetuous, athletically gifted black males that don’t drink and don’t smoke, and they go to church as well,” he told me.

The church-going contention flies in the face of what Rev. Jimmy Ray Young, pastor at L&A Baptist Church, said Wednesday. "None of these boys have been in church except when Al Sharpton was in town,” Young complained. “I’ve told the ministers we need to get these boys back in church.”

The article dismisses other claims by Bean as well, which you can read at the source.

Jason Whitlock notes that Bean is now upset that he's not the story:

Ironically, Bean is now growing frustrated with the way the case has turned, particularly since Jackson and Sharpton got involved. He said they wouldn’t return his calls. He indicated there was a riff between the Bailey (Bean camp) and Bell (Sharpton camp) families.
“I’m not at all comfortable with the way this has been handled by the Jackson and Sharpton folks,” Bean said. “What’s wrong is that Jesse and Al have tried to turn this into an old civil-rights story in which Mychal Bell emerges like Rosa Parks, and that’s not right. These guys (Jackson and Sharpton) have lost their gravitas, lost their credibility. People are really tired of the same old 1960s shtick.”

It is sad how the media allows itself to be used to push people's agendas. It seems to happen more often these days. Is it because of spending cutbacks, simply laziness, or a bigger world than they can cover? I suppose all of that can contribute.

But if a right-wing group tried to feed a biased story with inaccurate information, I'm guessing the media would be able to fact-check and report on the attempt. No, I think the real problem is that it is all too easy to believe a story that fits into your world-view. Note that Alan Bean said he fed the story to people he KNEW would buy it.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Jonathan Marks Racially Profiles the Debate.

JM went to the 51st house district debate last night, which makes him a better man than I. Of course, I already know who I would vote for, plus it's not my district.

Anyway, he seemed very fascinated with the racial composition of the audience, almost creepily so. These are excerpts from his post:

There were a fair number of African Americans, some of whom were friends of Paul's.
It is not easy to look at a crowd and tell second and third generation Hispanic Americans from others, but I saw few if any recent immigrants from Central America—who are often identifiable by dress and language—at the debate.
I only counted eight people of South Asian origin, including Gill himself, at the event.
One of the two younger women was quite striking indeed. She should run instead of Gill. I might be tempted to switch sides then

Apparently, for JM, Gill's real problem is he isn't an attractive woman. Then he'd have his vote.

John also seems to think that the composition of a debate crowd is indicative of support. Frankly, I doubt anybody who knows who they are going to vote for is going to show up. John gives an "initial report" of stickers, but then says a lot of Gill people showed up later -- I presume he knows they were Gill people by stickers. I note that the Gill debate was second, so it's not surprising that they would show up late.

Jonathan Marks opposes Gun carry laws?

JM has some interesting complaints about Gill's support for Virginian's right to keep and bear arms:

Actually, there were in decades gone by a number of gun attacks on schools in Israel by terrorists. An attack on a school in Ma'alot, Israel in 1973 killed several dozen students.

Uh, John, this isn't Israel, and Virginians are not terrorists.

It would be one thing to permit cab drivers to carry guns. But surely a cabdriver does not feel safer if he knows that his passenger has a gun. What does Faisal Gill's father think about:
Passengers taking their guns into cabs?
Drunk passengers taking guns into cabs?
Drunk, abusive passengers taking guns into cabs?
Drunk, abusive passengers who hate Pakistanis taking guns into cabs?

Is Jonathan planning on carrying a gun into a cab with Faisal? Other than that, it is a strange view that thinks that the cab driver should have a gun, but not anybody who wants to use a cab.

He also quoted another blogger who said:

Faisal Gill says he wants to go to Richmond and "fight." ....
Hmmmm. Fighting. Guns. See a scary pattern here? I'm not getting warm fuzzies, are you?

Yes, because if someone wants to fight for our district, we certainly can't let them own a gun.

If only Paul Nichols would pick up this anti-gun rhetoric, the election would be a walk. I'm glad at least one candidate is willing to fight for the right of Virginians to carry weapons. Even if they want to ride in a cab.

UPDATE: Oh, and btw, the blogger he quotes runs this site:

In which she includes as a "must-see" blog Yes, that's our friendly pro-illegal-immigrant Bull Run Unitarian Universalists. Which as a church I will not attack, but as a political action group I will criticize for their positions.

I guess it's not surprising she was against guns, but I didn't picture JM as a gun-grabber. After all, Greg L. gives him ad space, and has spoken well of him, and I can't imagine Greg giving the time of day to someone who thinks we shouldn't be allowed to carry guns.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Howard Dean: "If you can't win, Cheat"

I didn't think he'd come right out and say it, but there it was, in an e-mail from Dean and the Democratic National Committee:

Dear Charles,
If you can't win, cheat.

They even have a web site for their dirty tricks:

OK, actually Dean is claiming that the Republicans are "cheating". What he is talking about is the move by Republicans in California to change how California allocates it's electoral votes to be the same as Nebraska and Maine (two states who apparently the Democratic Party thinks are cheating?).

Now Dean and the Democratic Party are calling the assignment of electoral votes by district "cheating". But what about when Democrats attempted this same change in a Red state, Colorado?

Colorado Vote Reform Could Alter Election:
But if Amendment 36, as the proposal is known, passes Tuesday, Colorado would begin awarding its nine electoral votes on a proportional basis, according to the percentage of the popular vote each candidate receives.
Many of the biggest supporters of Amendment 36 have been Democrats, who began working to get the proposal on the ballot back when it looked as though their traditionally Republican state would again vote decisively for President Bush. Although the Colorado Democratic Party is officially neutral on the ballot proposition, political analysts believe the idea was to find a way to deprive Bush of all nine of Colorado's electoral votes and shift a few to Kerry.

Of course, as it began to look like Kerry might win the state, some democratic backers backed off, and in the end the Colorado plan failed.

Another good comparison of the hypocrisy of both parties in this matter involved California and Ohio, this time on the idea of non-partisan redistricting. The democrats pushed for it in Ohio, where Republicans had gerrymandered to their advantage, and opposed it in California, where it might help Republicans. Meanwhile, Republicans opposed it in Ohio but were pushing it in California.

Still, nobody had the audacity to support something in one state while calling it "cheating" in another state. Especially something that is already in effect in two states. But audacity and the Howard Dean-led Democratic Party are close companions.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Washington Post - do as I say, not as I do?

Which do you expect to follow a higher standard of accuracy - a political commercial, or a newspaper article? As much as we'd like both, obviously we expect the newspaper to be accurate, clear, and verifiable.

So it seems rather odd that a day after the Washington Post faulted a political ad for supposedly "confusing" viewers by quoting what the WP sources incorrectly called an "anonymous" blog comment, the Washington Post, in a front-page story about the mis-transportation of nuclear weapons, quoted -- AN ANONYMOUS BLOG COMMENT:

A similar refrain has been voiced hundreds of times in blogs and chat rooms popular with former and current military members. On a Web site run by the Military Times, a former B-52 crew chief who did not give his name wrote: "What the hell happened here?"

So the Post thinks it's OK to quote unnamed blog comments to support their reporting, but somehow wrong to quote a known democratic party activist who writes a diary attacking a democratic candidate for negative campaigning?

Raising Kaine: "graffiti off the underside of an underpass"

A post today at Raising Kaine, which must be "official" because it was promoted by Feld, enthusiastically supports the credibility of Karen S. Johnson-Cartee, from Alabama, speaking of Hugo quoting from a diary found at www. raisingkaine . com:

To me, it is like quoting graffiti off the underside of an underpass and using it in a political ad," she said

Of course, RK misrepresents much of what is in the article. Not surprisingly, Feld himself confused a Washington Post reporter so much that the reporter thought Feld was claiming that Raising Kaine speaks for the Governor:

By attributing the ad to Raising Kaine, Feld said, Hugo wants voters to think Kaine opposes Simmons's candidacy. Kaine has endorsed Simmons.

Other misrepresentations? Their title suggests Karen attacked Tim Hugo personally, but here is what she said:

Karen S. Johnson-Cartee, a political science professor at the University of Alabama who has written several books on negative television ads, said Hugo's ad "means we have sunk to a new low."

Further, while they accurately quote people from the article, most of them gave opinions based on a faulty premise that the quotes were from an unknown source. For example, a Democratic Party operative said:

Gary Nordlinger, a Democratic consultant and past chairman of the American Association of Political Consultants ethics committee, said unnamed comments on blogs should be off-limits.


"In political advertising, you always have to have a source, and that source has to be credible," said Sean T. O'Brien, executive director of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.

It's not surprising those quoted had the wrong idea, because the story has been repeated with that false claim that the quotes were from an anonymous commenter. That's what the Raising Kaine blog first charged.

But they were the ones being misleading. We know exactly who the source was, it was not an unnamed anonymouse source, but someone who was directly involved in the primary involving Rex, and who spoke with authority. The source WAS credible, being on the campaign of a competitor to Rex in that primary. The Washington Post knows who the source was, but failed to get a comment from the source. And of course Lowell wouldn't confirm it, althought he knows who it was.

This person, Nate de la Piedra, can't be dismissed as some crazy anonymous commenter. He had regular diary entries, he's active in the Democratic party, and is the executive director of Next Generation Democrats.

We can see here of course the connection between the liberal blogs and their helpers at the WP. How many times last year did we see negative stories circulate in these blogs, followed by favorable front-page articles citing those blogs from the Washington Post? But here the Post couldn't work the magic. But they sure tried.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I see Dead People

Or more accurately, I'm going to see dead people, tomorrow. What a fun field trip for my daughter and me....

GOTV -- Blacks are the "most important group"

In a post primarily chiding virginia liberal bloggers for ignoring the "Jena Six", Alice at GOTV makes the following claim:

The silence concerning the Jena Six is proof that all those macaca posts were just hypocritical opportunistic rants written by bloggers with only a passing interest in racial justice.

Black voters are the most important group in the Democratic coalition.

I'm not sure all the other coalitions and special interests that together make up the democratic party would agree with Alice. I thought the Democrats stood for equality for all, at least for all those who are downtrodden and put upon by "the man", "the man" being people who make this country go and therefore earn too much money.

But maybe the Democratic Party notion of equality is much like that from "Animal House" -- some are "more equal" than others.

Sorry, RK, a web site is a web site, not a PAC.

The people at RK are going crazy over an ad by Tim Hugo where he includes quotes from a diary that could be found at the web address www. raisingkaine. com.

In their now-promoted diary entry "Tim Hugo's Attack Ad on Rex Simmons is Unethical" Lowell throws a fit because the quotes were in a diary, and not on the "front page":

The diary was NOT by a "Raising Kaine" front pager, it was NOT by "Raising Kaine" as a PAC or a blog, it was simply a diary posted by a pseudonymous commenter on this community blog. (Note: I happen to know who the person was -- a Democrat who worked for Morris Meyer -- but theoretically it could have been a Republican, could have been anyone.) For Tim Hugo to run ads citing Raising Kaine as the source of these quotes is unethical and SHOULD be illegal if it isn't already. Anyone who would do this certainly doesn't deserve to be representing people in the House of Delegates. Disgusting.

If Tim had said "the Raising Kaine PAC", or "The Raising Kaine Blog" in his ad, you could at least entertain their argument. But Tim's ad does neither. It simply quotes the democratic writer, and provides the WEB ADDRESS of the source, which was the raising kaine address.

If RK doesn't want anybody referencing their web site, they shouldn't let people write diaries at the web site.

While Lowell suggests it could have been a republican, he acknowledges it was a democrat, and one who would have knowledge of the campaign tactics of Rex Simmons (whether I would trust a democrat writing at RK is another matter entirely). Further, RK doesn't let just anybody write diaries at their site, you have to register first.

And while Lowell does yeoman's work trying to make pretend Hugo mentioned "Raising Kaine", his protestations fall flat because the ad is there for all to see, and you can clearly see there is NO reference at all to "Raising Kaine".

Of course Raising Kaine strongly endorses Rex. And of course when they learned that one of their democrat bloggers had written something bad about Rex, they had him "take it down". But sorry, Lowell, you can't blame Tim for your own failure to police your bloggers better. The fact that Lowell knows exactly who write the article also explains why the entire leftwing blogosphere has been alerted to try to scare TV stations into pulling the ads -- they are afraid someone will ask why a democrat who worked for another democrat would have such harsh words to say about Rex.

Frankly, I think they are being stupid as well as wrong in their complaints. Who really cares what someone at Raising Kaine says anyway? I doubt anybody who is going to support Tim Hugo is going to look at the web site address and say "oh, there's a name I can trust".

If I found something attacking a democratic candidate, and it was at Raising Kaine, I would cite the source -- and it would have the raising kaine web site in it. If Tim had NOT cited the web address, imagine the screaming about "anonymous unsourced quotes". But Tim did the right thing, he provided a citation even though it was at a web site most thinking people would laugh at. Because that's where the quotes came from.

UPDATE: I like Ben's take on this so much I'm breaking my own rules and linking to his blog:
OH THE IRONY!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

So will liberal bloggers take back all the nice things they said?

if John Warner decides not to retire?

Probably. After all, they are liberals. Everything is relative to them, and there is no shame in a liberal being illogical or contradictory. It pretty much goes with believing the liberal philosophy will actually help people.

Meanwhile, all the liberals were praising John even BEFORE his announcement, because he called for a withdrawal of 5000 troops by Christmas. Even Senate Democrats were praising his plan.

Now that Bush has announced a withdraw of MORE than 5000 troops by Christmas, those same liberals are attacking him for it, and the Senate democrats have called the plan too little, too late.

But again, who would expect anything else from liberals?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Petraeus Answer to Warner's Ill-conceived question

Warner: "Are you able to say at this time, if we continue . . . that that is making America safer?"
Petraeus: "I believe that this is the best course of action to achieve our objectives in Iraq."
Warner: "Does that make America safer?"
Petraeus: "Sir, I don't know actually"


Mr. Warner, I'm a General in the Armed Forces. My job, our job, is to achieve the objectives the civilian Government assigns to us. We are neither asked, nor expected under our form of government, to determine what is best for our country, or what policies would make our country safer or less safe.

My job is to accomplish the mission, whatever mission we are given. I can say this: Providing me with the support and supplies I require makes my troops safer. Having the number of troops I have requested makes my troops safer, and gives me a better opportunity to accomplish the goals I have been tasked to complete.

And if the government has a different task or goal to achieve, you aught to just come out and directly task us, rather than hiding behind funding delays, orders for troop reductions that have no relationship to what tasks I am required to perform, or endless pronouncements that we have already LOST the war that you are paying me to fight.

Those things make my job harder, and my troops less safe.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My last two columns.

The beauty of small theme parks
In which I extoll the relative merits of Geauga Lake and Wildwater Kingdom over such known and praised parks as Cedar Point Park. Sometimes smaller is better.

On the other hand, I just registered over at CoasterFanatics, and based on the number of coasters I have experienced, I'm ranked in the top 500.

It's the mundane that gets you

Where I have the audacity to tie together the missing Steve Fossett, the Crododile Hunter Steve Erwin, Senator Larry Craig, the fight over the Abusive Driver fees, and Warner's call for a token troop withdrawal.

The message: People can get tripped up or worse by the mundane, non-controversal stuff as much as by anything, people make mistakes, and we can't have a serious conversation if we spend all our time trashing people for being human.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Contrasting Messages in Illegal Immigration.

The Washington Post Sunday Outlook section contained two remarkably different messages about illegal immigration and efforts by Republicans in Virginia to solve the problem.

The first was by the Washington Post Editors, and was clearly designed by them to help their liberal friends trying to win election in the fall by misleading their readers about the motives and operation of the mostly Republican effort. Excerpts from The Immigrant-Bashing Tack:

In their desperation for a vote-getter, they have seized on the whipping boy of illegal immigration, which they blame for ills ranging from the erosion of the commonwealth's values to the difficulty of being admitted to state colleges.
A week earlier, he unveiled the GOP's immigrant-bashing agenda for the legislative session that will begin in January. Among other measures, it would bar publicly funded colleges and universities from accepting undocumented aliens -- even those who have graduated from state elementary, middle and high schools.
It's an ugly strategy and certainly not one unique to Virginia. It seeks to distract voters from core state issues such as transportation, fiscal prudence and good governance. But bigotry-mongering's day in Virginia is long past, and voters in the state have shown little disposition to reward candidates who extol intolerance.

A second opinion, written by George W. Grayson, who was a Democratic Virginia House Delegate for 27 years. His opinion is also meant to help Democrats in Virginia defeat the Republicans. But he does so NOT by bashing the Republicans, but by largely AGREEING with them, and calling on the Democrats to stop ignoring the illegal immigrant problem before it is too late. Excertps from his column, "Immigration Myopia in Virginia":

For Virginia's Democrats to cede the issue of illegal immigration to Republicans in this fall's legislative contests would be as socially irresponsible as it would be politically myopic.
Although they are denigrated as "xenophobes," "racists" and "nativists" by special pleaders, local leaders are responding to concerns about school crowding, emergency-room access, neighborhoods blighted by old vehicles, trash-strewn yards, houses bulging with occupants, ubiquitous signs in Spanish and the proliferation of gangs.
No such "timeouts" [in immigration] have occurred since the 1965 immigration law, which fostered the continuous influx of millions of Hispanics, many of whom live in linguistic enclaves perpetuated by the English-as-a-second-language lobby.
Although the United States legally admits almost 1 million prospective citizens each year, illegal aliens have broken the line, thrusting themselves ahead of men and women who have filled out myriad forms and followed the rules and expected to receive fair play in return.
It's not a Fairfax County lawyer or a Richmond businessperson whose wages and job opportunities are threatened by the mushrooming number of unlawful aliens. Instead, it's housekeepers, construction workers, hospitality industry employees and child-care providers, who feel abandoned when the party of Truman, Kennedy and Roosevelt elevates the interests of lawbreakers over the well-being of these forgotten blue- and pink-collar citizens.
In fact, such vapid sloganeering means that "African Americans have been left devoid of a strong black voice in Congress on a topic [illegal immigration] that affects them deeply, given their high unemployment rates and historic struggle to get quality housing, health care, education and other goods and services," writes Vanderbilt University professor Carol Swain, who happens to be black.

It's easy to see who has thought this thing out, and who is just screaming racism to win votes. Grayson has this largely right, and one wonders if this bit of rational thinking has something to do with the fact that he's a FORMER Democratic lawmaker.

We know that when a Democrat does something sensible, (like Lambert last year noting the good things Allen had done for minorities in the state), the Democratic party usually throws those people out of office.

Meanwhile, it was nice of the Post I guess to allow a Democrat to put the lie to their own editorial attacking Republicans for caring about the rule of law and the future of the citizens of Virginia which is threatened by the increasing number of illegal immigrants among our ranks.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Raising Minimum Wage costs jobs

It is argued that you can raise the minimum wage without effecting jobs.

The new Democratic majority, which took control almost 9 months ago, passed an increase in the minimum wage without any real protections for small businesses.

That legislation took effect in July.

Since then, the employment numbers have missed their target two months in a row, with August actually showing a LOSS of 4000 jobs instead of an expected increase.

Of course, the Democrats, who have been in control for nine months, are trying to blame Bush for the job slowdown, even though the Democrats have not passed a single piece of legislation initiated by the President since they took office.

Now, it is likely the downturn is not completely related to the minimum wage increase. But if you win an election by telling the American People you intend to change things, and after nine months things are changing for the worse, it is a bit disengenous to ignore your own actions and try to blame someone else.

Blame works when you are in the minority. The Democrats haven't stopped blaming, which is probably why congressional approval ratings are even lower than Bush's.

Fred Thompson In the Race.

With Fred Thompson in the race, I wanted to highlight an unofficial FredHead web site for supporters in our county, set up by O.P. Ditch.

Check out "PWC for Fred Thompson", and then send Fred some money or volunteer your time.

I'm not endorsing Fred, or saying he is my first pick. But from what I've seen, Fred would make a great President.

And O.P, nice job on the web site.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Correcting GoodByeFaisal's errors would be a full-time job

Here's the latest lie from the GoodByeFaisal web site, buried in a post that is mostly just wrong:

Faisal Gill was the treasurer of of the Prince William Taxpayers Alliance PAC. In five years this PAC made exactly one donation, an in-kind contribution of a $2363 mailing for Steve Chapman in 2005. Steve Chapman's campaign manager for an abortive HOD run in 2006 was Faisal Gill.
First, I'm not sure this is true, although I don't know it isn't. The VPAP web site only seems to show the 2005 and 2007 years, and they only recently started tracking local races, so if there were donations to supervisors back in 2003 you might not see them.

But also, it looks like they are trying to tie the 2005 contribution to the 2006 race. In order to pull off this deception, they need to make people forget that there was a 2005 race.

So comes the error. They "quote" from the VPAP (a simple thing to do, since the VPAP is online and you simply have to cut-and-paste):

VPAP States: "Steve Chapman, a conservative Republican, lost to then-Del. Harry Parrish in a June 2004 primary.
Note: they say his race was in 2004, a year before the donation from PWCTA. But that is NOT what VPAP states:

Steve Chapman, a conservative Republican, lost to then-Del. Harry Parrish in a June 2005 primary.
Oops. Somehow, when they "cut-and-paste" the quote from VPAP, they "accidentally" changed the 2004 to a 2005.

Meanwhile, the post itself is pointless. The PWC Taxpayer's alliance was never just about giving money to candidates, but rather for endorsement of candidates. Further, they DID give money to other candidates. VPAP just recently started collecting data for local races, and is not a good source of information for historical data on such donations.

When I say you have to be careful about anything you read over at GoodByeFaisal, that apparently includes supposed "quotes" they lift from other sites.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A stopped clock is more right than these claims.

LAST UPDATE: 9/13/2007
To be fair to Jonathan, below I said he did "no" research. But he did do SOME research, in that he did check the VPAP web site, which is a great resource for tracking campaign contributions.

That site was originally for state races, and is now beginning to extend into local races like supervisors. So it will continue to be a great site. But it does not have every piece of information necessary to determine campaign contributions or other money expenditures.

If I thought it actually MATTERED whether a pac distributed money (as opposed to other activities like writing op-eds, advocating at meetings and hearings, recruiting candidates and endorsing candidates), I'd continue this, but I don't, so I'm done.

I also thought my tone unnecessarily harsh in my previous update so I've cleaned it up a bit. JM's still got the original in quoted form...

As to his other latest claims, he still insists that a PAC's essential task is giving money, but an issues advocacy PAC may not give any money to anybody. For example, I don't expect that Help Save Manassas is going to make ANY political donations, because they are trying very hard not to be partisan, because they want to fight an ISSUE. the PWTA was fighting Tax Increases, and worked toward that issue, and was largely successful -- this year our property taxes did not increase at ALL in PW, largely because of supervisors who were supported by the group.

UPDATE: I have received information which calls into question the entire premise of the claims which this post was attempting to refute.

I am not a member of the Prince William County Taxpayer's alliance. I was basing this post on an offhand comment made by a member of the group, Jim Young, in response to other incorrect information posted by Jonathan Mark at his anti-Faisal web site.

That information from Jim was incorrect.

At some future time, I'll probably post something new about the group which will clarify the situation and put to bed most of the absurd claims being made right now, such as the suggestion that the Alliance only ever gave money to one candidate.

But for now, the group has more important things to do than to straighten out all the stuff being said, even by me. So I've removed the remainder of this post.

NOTE: I know that this makes the comments below a bit out-of-date. They made sense at the time they were made, as I referenced the name "GOP-Husband" at the anti-faisal site.

This also will make a link from the anti-faisal site make little sense. I don't think that will be a big issue for them, as nothing over there makes much sense :-)

Update: In a shocking new link to this post titled "filings will tell where Gill-led PAC money went, the owner of GoodByeFaisal, Jonathan Marks, admits that he did no fact-checking before making his false claims, while at the same time confusing his own false claim of lack of donations with his other false claim that the PWTA was defunct. (UPDATE 9/13: He only admitted not checking the paper filings of PWTA. He did check VPAP).

First, his false claim that the PWTA is defunct has nothing to do with his false claim of how they spent their money. In fact, these two issues are completely independent.

To explain, I'll use an analogy: Jonathan could have given hundreds of donations to candidates, and then moved out of the state (making him a donation-rich defunct virginian), or he could have donated to nobody, but still run non-factual web sites (making him a non-defunct non-donator).

As I said before, the PWTA doesn't appear to have focused on taking in money for donations, and whether or not they made ANY donations is completely irrelevant. They wrote issue papers, lobbied local officials to hold the line on taxes, and encouraged and endorsed candidates who would pledge to stop the tax increases. However, the fact is they did occasionally donate money, or provide in-kind donations such as sign printing and distribution.

In a telling admission, Jonathan notes that there is no "mystery" to PAC contributions, and that their annual filings are publicly available in Richmond:

PWTAs PAC findings are not online. But paper copies of them should be available somewhere in Richmond.

Yes, that's what I said. What JONATHAN said previously was that there was only one donation, which he "proved" by citing on-line information which he now realises doesn't include the PAC filings.

Did he check thos filings before claiming there was only one donation? He admits NO (because he didn't know about the VPAP's limitations):

perhaps someone else will need to retrieve these documents.

Perhaps Jonathan should retrieve those documents before he tells readers what is in the documents.

This isn't just about Jonathan Marks. There are a lot of bloggers who make up wild accusations based on trivial research, and then when someone points it out, they claim it's up to other people to prove their wild claims are in fact false.

This is one of the things that hurts the reputation of the blogosphere, the tendency to turn the idea of investigative journalism on it's head, by forcing people to DISPROVE claims instead of having to PROVE the claims made.

I've already provided the name of ONE other candidate for office who received money from the PWTA (Bob Berry). I know they had other expenditures, but I'm not running down to Richmond to prove to myself what I already know, and what is also irrelevant. I didn't make the "one donation" claim. But I've shown it to be false by providing the name of a SECOND donation, which is more than I should have to do.

It's up to those making claims to do the research to prove their claims. In this case, JM admits he didn't do the work, but expects someone else to pick up the slack for his lack of effort. Further, other bloggers did NO work either, but simply repeated the same false claims they read elsewhere as if they had some special knowledge.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Craig may not resign?

So says MSNBC:

BOISE, Idaho - Sen. Larry Craig is reconsidering his decision to resign after his arrest in a Minnesota airport sex sting and may still fight for his Senate seat, his spokesman said Tuesday evening.

Apparently this is Arlen Specter's fault:

A telephone call Craig received last week from Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., urging him to consider fighting for his seat is affecting Craig’s decision to reconsider his resignation, Smith said.

Quit, don't quit, whatever.

My only question is one of process. Craig was traveling home during a session of Congress when he was arrested and detained and questioned for the act that he eventually pled guilty to as a misdemeanor.

But according to the U.S. Constitution:

They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same;

What he did certainly wasn't treason, and he pled guilty to a misdemeanor, not a felony. Was it a "breach of the peace"? Well, he didn't do anything to anybody, or hurt anybody, or cause a stir or a ruckus or in any way disrupt the ordinary lives of others.

But it is also true that the "crime" for which he was originally detained was a felony -- although how "signalling" that you'd like to have sex with someone is a felony is something I don't understand. I'd understand actually HAVING sex in the bathroom might be a serious offense, but simply attempting to pick someone up in the bathroom, someone who by testimony was ENCOURAGING your advances?

What if Craig wanted to take the guy to a hotel room, or the back seat of his limo? Neither of those acts would be a crime, and if so, would arranging the hookup in a bathroom be a crime?

Anyway, I probably wouldn't vote for a guy that was trying to pick up strangers in a bathroom, either male OR female. Which is good enough reason to resign. But I wonder why nobody's discussed the constitutional ramifications of this case?

I know that stories are around of Senator Byrd getting out of traffic "jambs" at least once by use of his pocket constitution.

Wrong Again

Jonathan at GoodByeFaisal:

The Prince William Taxpayers Alliance is a non-existent scam, designed to trick the public into thinking that Faisal Gill is a community activist.

The Prince William Taxpayers Alliance is a political action committee. It's primary purpose was to provide local candidate endorsements at election time, to those candidates who took the correct position on taxes.

They tend to be more active in the months before an election, when endorsements are made. It wouldn't surprise me if there is an endorsement or two in the next month or so.

On the other hand, they are not "inactive". Here is an open letter from August 21st of this year, the signatures include the Prince William Taxpayers Alliance.

An organization doesn't need a web site to exist, although as a blogger and frequent web user I would have advised them to keep a web presence.

On the other hand, the record is clear. On one hand we have Jonathan declaring that the organization never existed, and was made up to "pad" Gill's resume.

On the other hand, we have the following citations which mention the organization from reputable news sources:
Rollison rolls in 52nd District primar(Potomac News, 2001)
Washington Post 2003 Candidate Information -- Jeff Frederick

Then we references from letters, blogs, and candidate web sites:
Ella Shannon: Taxpayer Alliance full of hypocrisy:
Mcbride for Supervisor (2003)
2007 National Federation of Independent Businesses -- Repeal Death Tax Coalition.
2003 Blog Entry referencing James Young and the PWTA.

And in case those few citations aren't enough for you, here is a link to an amended PAC registration in 2002 for the Prince William County Taxpayers Alliance. This official form shows that, in 2002, Faisal Gill was the treasurer of the PAC.

So, an organization which Jonathan says is a nonexistant one created to pad Gill's resume for delegate has forms filed with the state in 2002 showing it to be a real PAC, references to it's activities in newspapers, biographies, letters to the editor, and blogs. And it has numerous links to one or more web sites the group apparently ran at one time or another.

And the group that is supposedly defunct still has active members testifying to its existance, and is showing up as an endorsee on legislative letters as recently as 2 weeks ago.

Not much of a defunct organization, just apparently one which stopped paying for it's web site.

And an organization which many of it's endorsees are now elected officials in our county and state, hardly the record of an organization that has failed (although they certainly would have liked to have won every race they endorsed, I'm sure).

Anyway, that's what I was able to find just by using the web for an hour or so, something JM could have easily done if he cared at all about the truth.

Three More Days to go.

Figure it out.

Monday, September 03, 2007

What to liberals think it MEANS to oppose internet filters?

Raising Kaine had their typical apoplectic fit over the Republicans pointing out the voting record of one of their candidates:

This is utterly despicable ("Down and Dirty Politics: Callers in a recent poll were asked if they knew Englin voted for children to access porn."). Sadly, it's par for the course these days in the "backwards not forwards," "tear people apart rather than bring them together" Republican Party of Virginia.

I would note that Daily Kaine (or is that Raising Kos?) spends most of it's time tearing people apart. I would further note that Lowell actually attacked the entire republican party of virginia for the actions of one push poll -- certainly NOT an accusation meant to "bring people together".

The liberals seemed particularly incensed at the suggestion that Englin voted to allow children to have access to porn, playing off an equally enraged article:

The questions were very biased and provocative," said vanBever, who said that she voted for Englin during his first run in November 2005. "They were so completely loaded that I was left with the impression that they felt I should be afraid of David. Frankly, I felt insulted that they were trying to make me afraid."

It implied that his opposition to computer filters in libraries would result in children having access to pornography,

The entire point of putting internet filters in the libraries is to ensure that children, left outside of the control of their parents who have worked so hard to try to make the internet a safe place for their children, won't have that work countermanded by the government paid for by their own hard labors.

If you vote against library internet filters, you are voting to allow children to have free access to anything on the internet, much of which IS porn web sites. I don't know if the problem with liberals is that they spend so much time attacking republicans on the internet that they don't ever explore all the filth, or if they spend so much time viewing it that they simply don't think children should be restricted from it.

But it is so typical of liberals to be upset at a poll that points out a candidate's voting record. For liberals, pointing out their views IS a negative attack -- because so much of what liberals do is negative.

Note, I'm not saying it was Englin's intent to allow kids to access porn. Often liberals have only the best of intentions when they vote to make really bad things happen. I'm sure that Englin would explain how important it is for the "free access to ideas" that the government not be into "censorship". As if the constitution requires the government to take my money and provide porn for free.

Delusional Liberal Projection?

In an otherwise unimaginative post about Mark Warner running or not running (something that will either happen or not happen at some point in the future), one of the RK kids said the following of another blog:

I thank god everyday for the heroic Democratic and progressive bloogers that tread through the muck at sites like Free Republic or RedState, so I don't have to. Unfortunately, accountability demands it. Virginia Virtucon, a site so vile that NLS won't even add it to his blogroll, is a site I've kept tabs on .....

I can think of a lot of names for the Virginia Virtucon web site. "Vile" isn't one of them. Vile is publicly stating that a teenager was named after the head of the Ku Klux Klan, possibly leading to his harrassment at school, or calling a dead Jewish man a Nazi collaborator. But those are things from the Raising Kaine web site, not the VV website.

Meanwhile, Free Republic is a web site that is almost entirely devoted to posting links to news stories so that conservatives and others can read and comment on the news. It has no bad language, no personal attacks, and people who suggest that the Vice President should have been killed in a terror attack are banned, not honored. The vile web sites are sites like Daily Kos, Raising Kaine, or the worst of the worst, Democratic Underground, where if you make a post without at least one curse word you reveal yourself as being too much of a thinker and they kick you out.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Would Edwards throw pregnant women in jail?

The AP reports that under Democrat Presidential Candidate John Edwards "Universal Health Care" plan, all people in the United States would be forced to go to a doctor once a year. From "Edwards backs mandatory preventive care":

TIPTON, Iowa - Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said on Sunday that his universal health care proposal would require that Americans go to the doctor for preventive care.

"It requires that everybody be covered. It requires that everybody get preventive care," he told a crowd sitting in lawn chairs in front of the Cedar County Courthouse. "If you are going to be in the system, you can't choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK."

He noted, for example, that women would be required to have regular mammograms in an effort to find and treat "the first trace of problem." Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, announced earlier this year that her breast cancer had returned and spread.

So in "exchange" for having your income confiscated to provide health care for others, and losing your ability to self-pay or to choose your own health care, the government is going to force you under penalty of law to go to the doctor every year? It must be, because certainly he's not saying that if you miss an appointment, you'll lose your health care.

So the question is, when the woman doesn't show up for her mammogram, will she get a trial first, or will she go directly to the gulag? Or maybe there will be special "fast-track" tribunals complete with government doctors to provide "preventative medicine" for those who refuse to show up when ordered.

Further, I wonder if this will include mandatory mental health checkups every year -- and if those will be implemented by government shrinks who believe as liberals do that being conservative is a mental disorder:

The plan would include mental health care as well as dental and vision coverage for all Americans.

Oh, and I remember a movie where Dustin Hoffman got some "mandatory" dental care. :-)

Not only will you be forced against your will to go to the doctor, the dentist, a shrink, and government knows what else, but you'll LIKE IT:

"Because if it doesn't they should be made to explain what child, what woman, what man in America is not worthy of health care," he said. "Because in my view, everybody is worth health care."

What you want to bet though that his plan will have exemptions for rich trial lawyers? Not that he would be a hypocrite -- he insists he's not:

Edwards, who has been criticized by some for calling on Americans to be willing to give up their SUVs while driving one, acknowledged Sunday that he owns a Ford Escape hybrid SUV, purchased within the year, and a Chrysler Pacificia, which he said he has had for years.

But it's a HYBRID. So it's OK. And he probably paid Al Gore for some carbon credits as well. Nothing's too good for a trial lawyer.

Liberals attack before appointment even made

One of the sad developments of our generation is the internet. Sure, it connects us, and gives us access to information.

But it also allows hateful people, and people with nothing better to do, to attack mercilessly any human being unfortunate enough to think about serving in public office. While this is true for both liberals and conservatives, the liberals truly far outclass the conservatives when it comes to attacking others.

So in typical liberal fashion, Raising Kaine sees opportunity in Senator Craig's depature -- an opportunity to attack a possible appointee to the senate position, for perfectly rational statements about Katrina:

Here's Lt. Gov. Jim Risch (R-ID), a leading candidate to succeed Larry Craig in the U.S. Senate, on Katrina victims:

"Hurricane Katrina - they heaped that on George Bush!" said Mr Risch, in his shirt-sleeves in the blasting dry heat of an afternoon in Boise, the state capital.

"Here in Idaho, we couldn't understand how people could sit around on the kerbs waiting for the federal government to come and do something. We had a dam break in 1976, but we didn't whine about it. We got out our backhoes and we rebuilt the roads and replanted the fields and got on with our lives. That's the culture here. Not waiting for the federal government to bring you drinking water. In Idaho there would have been entrepreneurs selling the drinking water."

The problem is, liberals really do seem to think that the government is the only source of help in time of need, and that the founding fathers really intended for the citizens of our country to sit around and die waiting for public money to be spent to save them.

I don't know how else to explain their fixation on attacking anybody who dares to suggest that people could be responsible for their own lives. But there were millions of us watching as TV camera crews stood FILMING the Superdome, bemoaning the lack of water, and wondering how hard it would be for the TV networks to bring in a few thousand bottles of water and throw them over the railing. I mean, if Geraldo could get there, certainly a water cooler could be brought to bear.

I just finished listening to a book on CD, a pretty depressing book titled "Life as we knew it". The premise is an asteroid which knocks the moon into a lower orbit, throwing the world into chaos.

The story is told by a young girl writing a diary. People are dying left and right, government is powerless to do anything, but the girl's family survives, because the mother took a few simply and practical steps right away, obtaining food for the family, conserving, getting her son to chop wood when volcano-induced cold was setting in. Only at the end did the government begin to function again, and those who counted on government mostly died.

Funny thing is, nothing the family did was really all that heroic, smart, or unusual. Stock up on canned goods, get a load of wood for the wood stove, collect some water, plant a garden.

Meanwhile, there were thousands of people in New Orleans who refused to evacuate, a government which couldn't find drivers for buses that sat idle, a superdome that nobody bothered to ship enough water to when it was designated an emergency site. When my son went to Boy scout camp, he had to get a bus, and the people who arranged the bus brought drinks including bottles of water to sell -- and when they ran out, we chided them for not "being prepared" -- and that was just a simple bus trip. It's not rocket science, when I go to theme parks I always pack a cooler full of frozen and cold water in case we have trouble.

And yet nobody at the dome died because of lack of water, nobody suffered permanent injury from lack of food, It was certainly unpleasant to spend a few nights in the dome but those who made it there didn't drown like those who never evacuated at all like Bush had told them to do several days before the storm hit and took down the levees because of corrupt liberal politicians who hired corrupt union companies who used slipshod building methods.

Of course, there's also the questionable wisdom of living anywhere where you need to count on electricity and pumps to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week just to keep your house from ending up under water. Something I hope we don't repeat by encouraging people to rebuild in those areas.

Maybe this is the consumate red-state/blue-state conundrum. Those who are raised to think for themselves, to act for themselves, to take care of themselves, simply cannot fathom or understand the liberal culture where people are raised to blame others for everything, to wait for government to take care of them, to complain when rich people don't give them things, and to vote for rich liberals who pretend to care but really are just looking to make working americans pay to care for the underclass while the liberal rich elites take credit for their "caring" enough to steal other people's money and give it away.

Of course, those "rugged individuals" may be a dying breed. It's almost impossible to live without government giving you something whether you really want it or not. That's so that the liberal elites can call people hypocrites if they even suggest people should take care of themselves. After all, that's what they do to any black person who dares talk of making it on their own -- "Sure, he can say that, but he got where he did because of the affirmative action programs he now denounces".

Judy Feder, Ace Reporter

It's still early in the campaign season (seeing as the election for congressional seats isn't until 2008), but for people who have nothing better to do I guess it's always time to try out for a new office.

In this case, it appears Judy Feder is running for the job of cub reporter for a great metropolitan TV station, or maybe a man-on-the-street show for cable access.

I was tipped off to this new career ambition by an article in the Potomac News last week, covering a few anti-war protestors over at the Bull Run Unitarian Church. It contained this tidbit of information:

Wolf's Democratic opponent in the 10th District, Judy Feder, attended the meeting, but did not speak.
OK, I imagine a lot of people attended and did not speak, but still being the losing opponent from last year's race may make this notable. However, I then saw the print edition, where the article was accompanied by this picture, which I could not find online so I had to take a picture of it from the paper:

The paper noted that she was being filmed, which raised my curiousity. So I did a quick search, and found that she has more examples of her work on her web site, sort of a "demonstration" resume, hosted on YouTube:

She does a pretty good job. She wasn't very good at getting the "other side", but that probably would help her with most of the liberal news organizations in this area. She should talk a little louder. And maybe wear high heels, it's a well-known fact that people simply don't trust short people, especially when they are seen in the presence of taller people, as Judy seems to be most of the time.

In the end, I don't know if she'll do any better at this new job search than she did at her previous attempt at employment, but I wish her well.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Raising Kaine takes all over grammar

Or not: "Washington Post Takes All Over the Jill Holtzman Vogel Scandal "

Reminds me of "All your base are belong to us".

Only it's not likely to end up in internet folklore.

As to the merits, it's interesting to see one newspaper report from another reporter who is complaining about having information "leaked" to them. Most of the time, or at least when the stories are about republicans, reporters LOVE to have information leaked to them, will report the leaks as if they did hard work to get it, and will go to jail to protect their sources.

But in this case, the "story" is the leak:

A former newspaper reporter in Loudoun County is accusing Commonwealth's Attorney James E. Plowman of leaking him damaging information about a former state Senate candidate charged with election fraud -- fraud charges initiated by Plowman's office.

However, the attempt to tie this to a political campaign is a bit weak. First, there is no law against a politician noting that their opponent is a criminal, nor is there a crime involved. If we could hold politicians responsible for anything any of their supporters did, we'd put ever politician in jail. Look how many of Clinton's supporters ended up in jail.

Even if a politician called for an investigation of their opponent, that would not be criminal. And in this case, the stories are true, as Tate was indicted as reported.

If the prosecuter actually illegally leaked grand jury testimony, rather than simply noting that there was an investigation, the prosecuter should be punished. But it's no reason to attack Tate's opponent, especially with poor grammar.

How Bizarre....

A few weeks ago, BVBL stopped blocking my access to the site. I have no idea why, just as I have no idea why I was ever blocked, because the owner never commented about it or gave me any indication of what he was afraid about having me on his blog.

I made a couple of comments on the blog, a couple of weeks ago. In at least one case a protagonist actually agreed with me about a comment I made.

Then I've been gone for a couple of weeks, so I haven't really commented much from my own IP address, although I've occasionally read from various hotels around the country.

But tonight, oddly, I find my access to the site blocked again. I was trying to check out the posts about the "debate" Greg had with the pro-immigrant lady, because I thought they would be interesting.

I'm not sure this time someone is purposely afraid of me reading about the debate, which at least one other blogger (Vitter) apparently thinks was a draw. I suppose Greg could be nervous abou that, but I'm hoping that it's just a compute glitch and that Greg isn't back to his old ways.