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Saturday, February 05, 2005
 
Wishful Thinking on Dean

Yeah, right:

History, however, suggests that Dean has a good chance of regaining his position as a widely respected and promising political player, despite his ''I Have a Scream'' speech. An embarrassing public performance, even one that brings a campaign to a grinding halt, does not necessarily indicate ''end of game'' for a political career.

The key problem there is the word "regaining". When exactly was Dean a widely respected and promising political player?
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Friday, February 04, 2005
 
Bob Herbert Does the Auldephart Thing

This is pretty funny:

Only about half of America's high school students think newspapers should be allowed to publish freely, without government approval of their stories. And a third say the free speech guarantees of the First Amendment go "too far."

Well, Bob, maybe if they were taught about John Peter Zenger instead of learning how to put condoms on a banana...

But maybe we shouldn't be so hard on the youngsters. After all, they've been set a terrible example by a presidential administration that has left no doubt about its contempt for a number of our supposedly most cherished constitutional guarantees.

That's the hoariest cliche in the pundit business. "But how can we blame teens for doing X when the President does Y? It wasn't that impressive when X was oral sex and Y was oral sex with an intern, even though there might be a reasonable connection. But blaming the conditions facing prisoners at Guantanamo (which is where Herbert is headed) for the ignorance of high school seniors is absurd.

He goes on and on about our constitutional guarantees, without any apparent realization that these people are not American citizens or even on American soil.
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Great Ebay Auction

Check this one out!
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Max Schmeling

I'm afraid I bought into the notion of him as a Nazi supporter. Looks like it was the other way around.

During the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Schmeling extracted a promise from Hitler that all U.S. athletes would be protected. He hid two Jewish boys in his Berlin apartment during Kristallnacht (the night of broken glass) in 1938, when the Nazis burned books in a central square and rampaged through the city, setting synagogues on fire. He reportedly used his influence to save Jewish friends from concentration camps.

Hat Tip: Dean's World
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Ward Churchill Update

Let's Try Freedom has an inside scoop.
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Blogroll Roundup

Ms Falconer's Cabana Boy contemplates women.

These are just a few of the things about women that keep me believing. What I don't know about them is encyclopedic. But, what little I do know is why I continue to say, "I love women. . ."

Taking politics too seriously? Simply Kimberley says that's not possible.

Molten Thought is flowing like a river with lots of interesting and varied posts. Teflon picks a pillow fight with Hugh Hewitt, and Word Girl has a picture of the biggest wild pig you ever saw.

Right Wing Nuthouse has a guest post from Marvin Moonbat (who I suspect is a good friend of Fawn Rainforest):

Let me give you an example. Anytime the Smirking Chimp says "Freedom," what he really means is "Neo-cons." So when the Liar-in-Chief says "Freedom is on the march" what he's really saying is "Neo-cons, in their efforts to undermine the constitution, impose a Nazi-like state on America, and conquer the world, are getting ready to invade Iran."

Grant at Radical Conservative asks, When is Genocide not Genocide?
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Nigerian Scam Using Wellstone's Name?

This is not a gag, this is part of an actual email I received:

However, I am Barrister Phillip Andrews,the personal attorney to the late Senator Paul lane Wellstone, a Citizen of the United states and he was into politics.

On the 25th of October 2002, my client,his wife and their three children were involved in a fatal Plane Crash near Eveleth-Virginia Municipal Airport.

Unfortunately they all lost their lives includingother people in the Plane.Since then I have made several enquiries to several Embassies to locate any of my clients extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful.

After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to trace and locate any member of his family but of no avail, hence I contacted you.

I contacted you to assist in repartrating the money and property left behind by my client since I have no place to locate any of his relatives. I can easily convince his bank in the Europe with my legal practice that you are the only surviving relation of my client.Otherwise the Estate he left behind will be confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this huge deposits were lodged.

Particularly, My late client had an account with one of the banks in Europe valued at about US$9.3Million (Nine Million Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars)
which I witness the documentations before he left for the states on 24 october 2002.

Conseqently,The bank issued me a notice to provide the next of kin to my client since I have been unsuccesfull in locating the relatives.

I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased so that the proceeds of this account valued at US$9.3Million (Nine Million Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) will be paid into your account and then you and I can share the money. 55% to me and 40% to you,while 5% should be for expenses,tax as your government may require.


This is disgusting, but then nothing swindlers will do surprises me any more.
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Great Column on Blogs and Political Campaigns

Patrick Hynes of the Ankle-Biting Pundits has an absolutely brilliant column over at the Am Spec on how blogs will affect future campaigns. I'm a big fan of Patrick's but this article far exceeded even my lofty expectations.
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Hugh Hewitt's Email Exchange on Eason Jordan

Hugh scores an email interview with Rony Abovitz, the blogger whose post at the World Economic Forum blog broke the story on Eason Jordan's slander of the US military.

Go read it.
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Lefty Bloggers Lifting Dean to DNC Chair?

That's the theme of this Ryan Lizza article in The New Republic.

The Roemer episode not only exposed the power of the blogs and the weakness of the Hill leadership, it also fatally wounded Frost. He had spent the heart of the short campaign tied up making the case against Roemer instead of attacking Dean. For instance, in a letter sent out to the 447, Frost wrote, "Our party cannot be adequately led by someone whose primary qualification to serve as Chair is his opposition to core Democratic beliefs." By the time Frost turned his attention to Dean, it was much too late. "Roemer," says a top Democratic strategist speaking of the whole affair, "was a debacle."

Solid article, although Lizza misses the whole episode where Frost was discovered by Kos to portrayed himself as too palsy-walsy with President Bush in commercials. I don't think there's much doubt that was a killer.

Meanwhile, fellow TNR scribe Jonathan Chait says the Dems are suicidal:

A few weeks ago, when former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean declared his intention to run for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, news reports had the general tone of "Get this, that crazy scream guy is back and he wants to run the party." Now, a week before the vote, his victory is a fait accompli. How did this happen? Are Democrats suicidally crazy?

Wait. That's too easy. Let me rephrase the question. Why are Democrats suicidally crazy?


Of course, Chait doesn't really answer the question, but I will. It's because they're letting the inmates run the nuthouse.

Speaking of suicidal Dems....
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Washington Times Breaks the Media Silence on Jordan

Via Instapundit, here's their take:

Doubtlessly, Mr. Jordan's unsubstantiated comments play well for CNN's international anti-American audience, who grasp at anything damaging to America's reputation. If the CPJ information is wrong, however, we'd like to see the evidence from Mr. Jordan. Otherwise, how can CNN justify keeping on staff someone who maligns our troops with rumor and innuendo?
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Thursday, February 03, 2005
 
Super Bowl XL Thoughts

I. It's New England. Quarterbacks going for their third Super Bowl ring are 3-1, with the only loser Roger Staubach in SB XIII, when he was matched up against Terry Bradshaw, who was going for his third Super Bowl win. Montana and Aikman also won in their attempts at a third ring.

II. Despite what I said above, I picked Philly in a pool because so many of the other entrants are picking New England. I could see the Eagles winning the game. As I have said before, there is a temptation to look at the past as revealing the future. But under those notions, the Detroit Pistons would have lost to the Lakers in the NBA finals last year, and there was no way the Denver Broncos could have beaten the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII. The Yankees would never have lost to Miami in 2003 or Arizona in 2001.

III. Will Tom Brady get his third Super Bowl MVP trophy? Joe Montana is the only guy to ever achieve that in the past. Brady beat out Montana and Namath by a year as the youngest QBs ever to win a Super Bowl (in an amazing coincidence, Montana and Namath were the exact same age, to the day, when they won their first Super Bowls) (see note). Brady beat out Troy Aikman for the youngest QB to win his second Super Bowl by about 9 months, and he'd be about 600 days younger than Aikman if he wins his third Super Bowl.

IV. The Super Bowl matches up the two QBs with the best passer ratings in the playoffs so far. McNabb edges out Brady, with a 111.3 to Tom's 108.9. Neither has thrown an interception in the postseason this year, while every other starting QB in the playoffs had at least one.

V. Key on the Patriots. I caught this while watching them against Pittsburgh. They telegraph every play. If Dillon or the other running back is 7 yards or more behind the line of scrimmage it's a run, otherwise it's a pass. It almost seems like they don't care what you do, they've got their play planned. Philly, on the other hand is unpredictable, although they clearly tend to pass a lot more than most teams when in the lead in the second half.

VI. Can we get rid of the Roman Numerals? Even Led Zeppelin stopped using them after III. They're confusing, hard to remember and require two calculations in order to figure out which game you're talking about. And yes, this is Super Bowl XXXIX, not XL, which proves my point.

(Note on the age of Namath and Montana when they won their first Super Bowls. Namath was 25 years, 7 months and 12 days old when he won Super Bowl III, and Montana 25 years, 7 months and 13 days old, so it might appear that Namath barely edged Montana out for youngest. But if you compare their birthdates and their victory dates with a spreadsheet or calculator, you'll discover that they were both exactly 9,358 days old. Namath had an extra leap year because he had been born the year before one, while Montana was born a couple months after a February 29th).
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When Global Doesn't Mean Global

When we are talking about global warming:

Yet those who think climate change just means Indian summers in Manchester should be told that the chances of the Gulf stream - the Atlantic thermohaline circulation that keeps Britain warm - shutting down are now thought to be greater than 50%.

Really? Where does one get a bet down on the other side of that proposition?

Hat Tip: Tim Worstall
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Ward Churchill's SUV Vandalized?

Can't denounce this kind of act strongly enough. Of course, we have seen professors pull this stunt on their own as a means to gain sympathy.
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Pat Hynes Getting Results On Social Security Already?

The Washington Post published a misleading account of President Bush's plan to save Social Security. A "Social Security strategist type" wrote over to K-Lo at the Corner:

The Old Media has given us an uncritical regurgitation of the anti-reform crowd’s argument that needs to be debunked. Jonathan Weisman’s article on the Post is dead wrong. There is no “clawback” in the Social Security proposal the President outlined last night. The stuff about account balances and the amounts taken out is completely made up. People would own the entirety of their accts -- opponents are seizing on the fact that people would give up bennies up front to get the acct to sow deliberate confusion about a clawback -- which there is not. I don’t know if this is an example of a journalist being hoodwinked by the opposition, or a deliberate misrepresentation of the facts, but the truth is this is a basic actuarially fair offset. An offset is based on how much you put into your account, while a clawback is based on your account's end balance. With the second, all the risk and reward lie with the govt, which undermines the ownership element.

This afternoon, the Post recants.

Correction to This Article
An earlier version of this article incorrectly described how new private accounts would work under President Bushs Social Security plan. This article has been corrected.


But wait, as Ron Popeil says, there's more, or should I saw Moore. The fat tub of goo waddles in with a post on Social Security this afternoon, which is taken from the original, uncorrected WaPo account (and posted after the correction), and gets mauled by the Ankle-Biters.

Great job, guys!
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Ward Churchill a Vietnam Vet?

That's what he claims here:

This is not to say that I advocate violence; as a U.S. soldier in Vietnam I witnessed and participated in more violence than I ever wish to see. What I am saying is that if we want an end to violence, especially that perpetrated against civilians, we must take the responsibility for halting the slaughter perpetrated by the United States around the world.

I smell wannabe!

He also may be a wannabe Native American, according to this post. Captain Ed has more.

He also presents himself as a former roommate of slain Black Panther Mark Clark.
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The Eason Jordan Story: It's Deja Vu All Over Again

As I commented over at Captain Ed's, it now looks like the Eason Jordan story is going to play out like a couple other stories that I have followed closely, and which percolated only slowly into the mainstream media.

Anybody remember the VVAW assassination plot story? Back in 1971, John Kerry attended a meeting of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, where it was proposed that the group target US Senators in favor of the war, for assassination. Tom Lipscomb broke the story in the tiny New York Sun and for a good week or two the MSM tried to ignore it while the rumblings from the blogosphere over the story continued to rise.

Or how about Christmas in Cambodia? I know, I talk about it way too much. But let's just focus on how the media covered it. The news first hit the blogs (ignoring our original posts in May) about August 5th, when the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth released Chapter 3 of Unfit for Command. The story got incredible coverage on the blogs and on the radio, with Hugh Hewitt devoting almost three weeks of shows to it. And yet the legacy media tried their darnedest to ignore it. Fox News led with it on August 9th, and on the 10th a few newspapers (NY Post, Chicago Tribune and Washington Times) covered the story. It was almost a week later that the story started to hit the liberal papers with the LA Times (17th), the Boston Globe (17th) and finally the New York Times (19th).

As John Leo noted at the time:

Some people wondered how long the major media would be willing to ignore the Christmas-in-Cambodia story. Well, the answer is in: at least 10 or 11 days. I first noticed the story August 6 on Glenn Reynolds's Instapundit blog. Soon it was all over the Internet, the conservative press, talk radio, and some cable shows. But the networks, the New York Time s , the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and other major media didn't run the story. Some papers, like the Kansas City Star, got protests from readers on what appeared to be a news blackout. Finally, after an agonizingly slow response from the Kerry campaign, big media took account of the issue, muffling and burying the story they didn't want to carry in the first place.

Okay, so we can expect the stonewall to continue for another week or so. Fox News did cover it briefly in passing:

U.S. Troops Targeting Journalists?

And CNN’s top news executive Ethan Jordan (search) has found himself called to account by none other than Massachusetts Democratic Congressman Barney Frank (search). This after Jordan seemed to suggest that the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland last week, that American troops were deliberating targeting and killing foreign journalists in Iraq, including Western journalists.


The transcriber obviously misspelled Eason Jordan's first name, but so far that is it for MSM coverage of this affair. Stay tuned!
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Dowd Does Evolution

Over at Lifelike, I have a little fun with Slow-Mo's latest column.
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Ward Churchill's Defenders--Update

Bill Johnson writes a very careful but stupid nonetheless column in the Rocky Mountain Press. His defense is that somebody else (Chalmers Johnson) wrote something more incendiary and idiotic, and nobody's calling for his head.

What struck me the most, though, is how familiar it all was. The Eichmann reference clearly was stupid and was designed to be incendiary. A fair reader of the essay will not, though, be tripped up by it. In no way was he saying children, police officers and firefighters deserved to die.

Instead, he is saying they were the enemy's "collateral damage," no different from the innocent Iraqis, Afghans, Vietnamese and a host of others who have been killed when our military weapons miss and, sometimes, hit their targets.


I'd like to check the original, but somehow the Eichmann reference has disappeared from the page. Now how do you think that could have happened?

The Chalmers Johnson bit is a diversion, as this paragraph reveals:

And Chalmers Johnson, president of the Japan Policy Research Institute and professor emeritus at the University of California at San Diego, has had no one call for his college position or his life.

Well, nobody with a lick of sense has called for Ward Churchill's life, and as for the job part:

He is 73 years old. "I certainly am not out there trying to get tenure. And I don't need the money. I am retired."

Update: Johnson is the one who's 73. And an unredacted copy of the Churchill's treatise is located here. Crucial part:

If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I'd really be interested in hearing about it.

Sort of puts the lie to Johnson's claim:

In no way was he saying children, police officers and firefighters deserved to die.
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The Thrill of Victory

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And the Agony of Defeat



Woody's Blog notices a certain similarity with this picture and another.

Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin
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Wednesday, February 02, 2005
 
Targeted Redefined?

Captain Ed links to this response from Eason Jordan.

"To be clear, I do not believe the U.S. military is trying to kill journalists in Iraq. I said so during the forum panel discussion. But, nonetheless, the U.S. military has killed several journalists in Iraq in cases of mistaken identity. The reason the word "targeted" came up at all is because I was responding to a comment by Congressman Franks, who said he believed the 63 journalists killed in Iraq were the victims of "collateral damage." Since three of my CNN colleagues and many other journalists have been killed on purpose in Iraq, I disputed the "collateral damage" statement, saying, unfortunately, many journalists -- not all -- killed in Iraq were indeed targeted. When someone aims a gun at someone and pulls the trigger and then learns later the person fired at was actually a journalist, an apology is appropriate and is accepted, and I believe those apologies to be genuine. But such a killing is a tragic case of mistaken identity, not a case of "collateral damage." That is the distinction I was trying to make even if I did not make it clearly at the time. Further, I have worked closely with the U.S. military for months in an effort to achieve a mutual goal: keeping journalists in Iraq safe and alive."

Three of his CNN colleagues? The CPJ lists one:

Duraid Isa Mohammed, CNN, January 27, 2004, outside Baghdad

Mohammed, a producer working for the U.S. cable news network CNN, and his driver, Yasser Khatab, were killed in an ambush on the outskirts of the capital, Baghdad, CNN reported.

The network said that Mohammed, who also worked as a translator, and Khatab died of multiple gunshot wounds after unidentified assailants fired on the two-car convoy the men were traveling in that afternoon. Cameraman Scott McWhinnie, who was traveling in the second vehicle, was grazed in the head by a bullet, CNN said, but the remaining members of the convoy—two CNN journalists, a security adviser, and the second driver—were unharmed. McWhinnie was treated at a nearby military base.

According to CNN, the vehicles were headed north toward Baghdad when a rust-colored Opel approached from behind. A single gunman with an AK-47, positioned through the sunroof, opened fire on one of the vehicles. CNN’s vice president for international public relations, Nigel Pritchard, told CPJ that both CNN cars were unmarked, and that the attackers may not have been aware they were journalists.


Which of course was not a case of being targeted by US forces.

As for the cases that I went through below, 7 or more of the 11 could be interpreted as validating Jordan's description.
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Possible List of Jordan's Targeted Journalists?

On the theory that we'd better cover all sides of this story, I thought I'd check and find out what journalists got killed in action in Iraq where there is any reasonable indication that they were killed by US forces.

Here's a list of all journalists deliberately killed for their work or who died on duty in 2004 compiled by the Coalition to Protect Journalists. According to the webpage:

CPJ research indicates that the following individuals have been killed in 2004 because of their work as journalists. They either died in the line of duty or were deliberately targeted for assassination because of their reporting or their affiliation with a news organization.

Under Iraq, the CPJ lists 23 journalists who were either murdered or killed in the line of duty. I'll cut to the chase here and omit the ones where there is no indication that the person was killed by the US military:

Ali Abdel Aziz, Al-Arabiya, March 18, 2004, Baghdad
Ali al-Khatib, Al-Arabiya, March 19, 2004, Baghdad

These two will surely be mentioned by Jordan's defenders. They were in a car that approached a checkpoint and were refused passage. Continuing from the website:

As the three men prepared to depart, the electricity in the area went out and a car driven by an elderly man approached U.S. troops, crashing into a small metal barrier near a military vehicle at the checkpoint. Abdel Hafez said that as the crew pulled away from the scene, one of their vehicles was struck by gunfire from the direction of the U.S. troops. Abdel Hafez said he witnessed two or three U.S. soldiers firing but was not sure at whom they were firing. He said there had been no other gunfire in the area at the time.

Bullets passed through the rear windshield of the car in which Abdel Aziz and al-Khatib were driving. Abdel Aziz died instantly of a bullet wound, or wounds, to the head, while al-Khatib died in a hospital the next day, also due to head wounds.


Sad incident, but clearly accidental. There is no reason to think that the journalists were targeted. Still, that's two that the CPJ mentions killed by US forces.

Burhan Mohamed Mazhour, ABC, March 26, 2004, Fallujah

Another one that will surely be cited.

Agence France-Presse reported that Mazhour, who had been freelancing for ABC for nearly two months, was standing among a group of working journalists “when U.S. troops fired in their direction.”

According to ABC News, Mazhour was struck in the head by a single bullet and later died in a hospital.


No real indication that this was intentional. Remember this was in Fallujah, in March. Still, that's three.

Asaad Kadhim, Al-Iraqiya TV, April 19, 2004, near Samara

On April 20, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the deputy director of operations for coalition forces in Iraq, confirmed that U.S. troops had killed the journalist and his driver. According to media reports, Kimmitt said that coalition forces at the checkpoint warned the journalists’ vehicle to stop by firing several warning shots. When the vehicle ignored those shots, Kimmitt said, forces fired at the car.

Four.

Mazen al-Tumeizi, Al-Arabiya, September 12, 2004, Baghdad

That day at dawn, fighting erupted on Haifa Street in the center of Baghdad, a U.S. Bradley armored vehicle caught fire, and its four crew members were evacuated with minor injuries, according to news reports. As a crowd gathered, one or more U.S. helicopters opened fire.

Video aired by Al-Arabiya showed that al-Tumeizi was preparing a report nearby when an explosion behind him caused him to double over and scream, “I’m dying, I’m dying.” He died moments later, the Dubai-based station reported.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Steven Boylan told The Associated Press that a U.S. helicopter fired on the disabled Bradley vehicle to prevent looters from stripping it.

But Reuters quoted a statement from the military that presented a different account. “As the helicopters flew over the burning Bradley they received small-arms fire from the insurgents in vicinity of the vehicle,” the statement said. “Clearly within the rules of engagement, the helicopters returned fire, destroying some anti-Iraqi forces in the vicinity of the Bradley.”


That's five.

Dhia Najim, freelance, November 1, 2004, Ramadi

On November 3, The New York Times reported that the Marine Corps had opened an investigation. “‘We did kill him,” an unnamed military official told The Times. “‘He was out with the bad guys. He was there with them, they attacked, and we fired back and hit him.”

Reuters rejected the military’s implication that Najim was working as part of an insurgent group. The agency reported that video footage showed no signs of fighting in the vicinity and noted that Najim had “filmed heavy clashes between Marines and insurgents earlier in the day but that fighting had subsided.”


That's six.

That's it for 2004, let's go back to 2003. There were 13 journalists killed that year in Iraq where "They either died in the line of duty or were deliberately targeted for assassination because of their reporting or their affiliation with a news organization."

Terry Lloyd, ITV News, March 22, 2003, near Al-Zubayr

An investigative article published in The Wall Street Journal in May indicated that Lloyd's SUV and another vehicle belonging to his colleagues came under fire from U.S. Marines. The article cited accounts from U.S. troops who recalled opening fire on cars marked "TV." Soldiers also said they believed that Iraqi suicide bombers were using the cars to attack U.S. troops.

The Journal article cited a report from a British security firm commissioned by ITN to investigate the incident saying that Lloyd's car was hit by both coalition and Iraqi fire;the latter most likely came from behind the car, possibly after the vehicle had crashed.

The report concluded that "[t]he Iraqis no doubt mounted an attack using the ITN crew as cover, or perhaps stumbled into the U.S. forces whilst attempting to detain the ITN crew." The report also speculated that the missing men—Nerac and Othman, who were last seen by Demoustier in another car being stopped by Iraqi forces—might have been pulled out of their car before it came under fire from coalition forces, and then Iraqi forces used the SUV to attack the coalition forces.


This one starts out sounding very much like what Eason Jordan described and ends up sounding more like a justifiable shooting by US forces. Seven.

Tareq Ayyoub, Al-Jazeera, April 8, 2003, Baghdad

Ayyoub, a Jordanian national working with the Qatar-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera, was killed when a U.S. missile struck the station's Baghdad bureau, which was located in a two-story villa in a residential area near the Iraqi Information Ministry and the former presidential palace compound of Saddam Hussein. Al-Jazeera cameraman Zouhair Nadhim, who was outside on the building's roof with Ayyoub, was injured in the blast, which targeted a small electric generator outside the building.

Centcom maintains that U.S. forces were responding to enemy fire in the area and that the Al-Jazeera journalists were caught in the crossfire. Al-Jazeera correspondents deny that any fire came from their building.


I'm sure Jordan's supporters would include this one, but it certainly is inconvenient for their argument that the target was not the journalist, but an electric generator.

However, given this:

In its April 8 letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld CPJ also noted that, "The attack against Al-Jazeera is of particular concern since the stations' offices were also hit in Kabul, Afghanistan, in November 2001. The Pentagon asserted, without providing additional detail, that the office was a ‘known Al-Qaeda facility,' and that the U.S. military did not know the space was being used by Al-Jazeera."

Eight.

José Couso, Telecinco, April 8, 2003, Baghdad
Taras Protsyuk, Reuters, April 8, 2003, Baghdad

Couso, a cameraman for the Spanish television station Telecinco, died after a U.S. tank fired a shell at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq's capital, where most journalists in the city were based during the war. At around 12 p.m., a shell hit two hotel balconies where several journalists were monitoring a battle in the vicinity. Taras Protsyuk, a Ukrainian cameraman for Reuters, was also killed in the attack.

Ten.

Mazen Dana, Reuters, August 17, 2003, outside Baghdad

Dana, a veteran conflict cameraman for Reuters news agency, was killed by machine gun fire from a U.S. tank near the capital, Baghdad. Dana was struck in the torso while filming near Abu Ghraib Prison, outside Baghdad, in the afternoon. He had been reporting with a colleague near the prison after a mortar attack had killed six Iraqis there the previous night. The soldier in the tank who fired on Dana did so without warning, while the journalist filmed the vehicle approaching him from about 55 yards (50 meters).

U.S. military officials said the soldier who opened fire mistook Dana's camera for a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launcher. There was no fighting taking place in the area, and the journalists had been operating in the vicinity of the prison with the knowledge of U.S. troops near the prison gates.

In an August 18 letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, CPJ protested the shooting, stating that it raised "serious questions about the conduct of U.S. troops and their rules of engagement."

On September 22, the U.S. military announced that it had concluded its investigation into the incident. A spokesman for U.S. Central Command (Centcom) in Iraq told CPJ that while Dana's killing was "regrettable," the soldier "acted within the rules of engagement." No further details were provided. The results of the investigation have not been made public. A Centcom spokesman said other details of the report are classified.


That's eleven; assuming Jordan can come up with one in January he's got his dozen to argue about. Now, reading all those cases, they all sound like accidents or justified killings, and only John Kerry would conclude that this indicated some vast conspiracy at all levels of command--oh, sorry, wrong blog!

The Committee to Protect Journalists, which does not sound like a right-wing organization, and which seems to err on the side of including things that sound clearly justifiable, never indicates in any of their discussions that the journalists were targeted specifically by US forces except by mistake.

If there is an attempt at a defense by CNN and Eason Jordan it will center on these journalists, but it's going to be a tough row indeed.
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Marathon Man

Drudge (and the headline writer) focused on Castro's comments about President Bush being deranged. But I couldn't help gasping at this:

Castro, 78, stood for much of the five-hour speech.

Wow. That's one sure blessing of democracy. No US politician, not even Bill Clinton, would have the nerve to give a speech lasting 300 minutes!
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New to the Blogroll

I'm slowly bringing all my old blog buddies over from KH, but one of the problems I had there was that the list got so big that I felt I couldn't do justice to all of them with link posts. But these people all got on the list at KH because they deserved it, and if they deserve it there, they deserve it here

La Shawn Barber's definitely one of the rising stars of the blogosphere. She's bright, witty and prolific and I have no doubt we'll be seeing her in the mainstream media once they wake up.

Michael King blogs at Rambling's Journal and was one of the very first big blogs to link to KH and Brainster's. Michael, like La Shawn, is black, conservative and unapologetic. He blogs a lot on black-related issues, but also covers sports and popular culture, especially comic books (we have a LOT in common).

I've added two other blogs. SCSIWuzzy (if you're a computer geek you'll get the name) left a comment in one of my posts yesterday, and that will almost always get you a link, especially if you can crack me up like SCSI's subtitle for his blog. Warning: He's an Eagle fan, so you know he's a little nuts!

Little Bit Tired, Little Bit Worn is a blog that defies easy description. He's a little bit of a culture warrior, a little bit of a lib-basher, and he also blogs the pro-life position. Sometimes he just links (his Pick of the Day) and sometimes he thinks (as in this post).

My general blogroll links policy: I will link to my commenters. I will link to those who blogroll me. I will not link to anybody (and will delink anybody previously linked) who advocates violence or expresses racism (in my sole judgment). And I reserve the right to change these rules at any time.
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The Only Sane Liberal at the Times?

I take a look at Nicholas Kristof's latest column over at Lifelike Pundits.
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Bad Beer Memories

Kitty has a post on her blog that includes photos of two beer steins that were apparently used in commmercials for Utica Club.

That made me think of all the old beers that used to suck. Utica Club wasn't undrinkable, but it was close. There were so many bad beers in the USA back then, so many good ones today. So here's a list of the bad old brews with some commentary:

Horlacher. This Allentown beer was the worst of the truly woeful Pennsylvania beers. It could only be swilled down if the beer was right on the verge of freezing over, and even then it took courage and dedication to finish the bottle.

Iron City. "Iron Stomach" was the flagship brew of the Pittsburgh Brewing Company. In the early 1970s, the PBC caught onto the beer can collecting craze and came out with 1001 different brews, each in a distinctive can. Old Froth'n'slosh alone had dozens of variations, all featuring a very obese woman. Zodiac beer had pictures of the constellations. Iron City though was the staple, and it was awful, with a metallic tang. A year or two back a friend of mine from Pitt brought back some Iron City Premium beer and it was pretty good; not quite Longboard, but definitely quite improved over my memories.

Schaefer. The jingle was "Schaefer, is the, one beer to have, when you're having more than one!" I presume the theory was after a few your palate would be so dead that you wouldn't notice how bad it tasted.

Genessee. "You can count on Genny taste, 'cause it's brewed in just one place, Geneseeing is believing!" What you could count on about Genny taste was that it would go away after awhile. However, they did have a better alternative: Genny Cream Ale.

Ballantine. "Make a ring, and then another ring and then another ring and then you've got three rings...". Another woeful lager, but they did make Ballantine India Pale Ale, by far the most exotic and interesting tasting beer brewed in America at the time.

Falstaff. Another bad beer with one saving grace: Tappers. Falstaff made a mini-keg of beer that held about a case worth of better-tasting suds than their bottled beer. I have a little Falstaff bottle opener on the wall next to my refrigerator.

Some other bad beers: Rheingold, Piels, Knickerbocker, Gablinger's (the first light beer), Burgermeister, Matt's....
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CNN Decides It Wants All the Moonbats--Updated

That's the only possible reason for this bizarre story:

During one of the discussions about the number of journalists killed in the Iraq War, Eason Jordan asserted that he knew of 12 journalists who had not only been killed by US troops in Iraq, but they had in fact been targeted. He repeated the assertion a few times, which seemed to win favor in parts of the audience (the anti-US crowd) and cause great strain on others.

Who's Eason Jordan?

Eason Jordan is executive vice president and chief news executive of CNN. He chairs the CNN Editorial Board, is a member of the CNN Executive Committee and provides strategic advice to CNN's senior management team.

That's right, Eason Jordan is on the record as saying that US troops murdered 12 journalists in Iraq. Not that they got killed accidentally because they were in a firefight. They were targeted.

Now the irony is that what has really happened is that the media have targeted the troops, consistently, at least since the end of the embedded reporters during the early stages of the Iraq war.

Hugh Hewitt had Mickey Kaus on his show yesterday. Although I'm a big fan of Mickey's, it was not one of his better moments. Maybe he hadn't had time to think it over, but his response was along the lines of "assuming it's not true" and "if it's proven not to be true" (it being the proposition that US troops had murdered jounalists). Hugh asked how do you prove a negative, but fortunately the burden of proof is not on the military's side. Jordan is the one who's made affirmative statements about murders being committed; let him be the one to provide the proof.

The irony here is that Jordan was the dope who admitted that CNN had watered down its coverage of Saddam and Iraq back in the bad old days, partially to ensure access and partially for the safety of his reporters. Without dignifying his claims that US soldiers murdered a dozen reporters, isn't it kind of amusing that he never thought to do the same with US servicemen & women?

Captain Ed notes that targeting seems to be a consistent theme for Jordan. Be sure to check some of the other posts and the comments; the swarming thing is going on full blast over there.

Update: La Shawn has been collecting links on this story. Captain Ed continues to blog up a storm.
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Meet Paul R. Smith

The first Congressional Medal of Honor winner in a dozen years.



What Paul Smith did on April 4, 2003, was climb aboard an armored vehicle and, manning a heavy machine gun, take it upon himself to cover the withdrawal of his men from a suddenly vulnerable position. Smith was fatally wounded by Iraqi fire, the only American to die in the engagement.

Sgt. Smith manned a 50-caliber machine gun atop an abandoned armored personnel carrier and fought off the Iraqis, going through several boxes of ammunition fed to him by 21-year-old Pvt. Michael Seaman. As the battle wound down, Smith was hit in the head. He died before he could be evacuated from the scene. He was 33.


A long version of this hero's story can be found here.
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Tuesday, February 01, 2005
 
Fisking Krugman

Over at Lifelike, I look at Krugman's bogus column on stock market returns.
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Ward Churchill Resigns as Dept. Chair, Will Still Teach Hate America

I blogged on this turd a couple days ago. Surprisingly, he's resigned his position as chairman of the Ethnic Studies Department.

Churchill resigned as chairman of the Ethnic Studies Department, telling university officials in a letter that "the present political climate has rendered me a liability in terms of representing either my department, the college, or the university."

Hat Tip: SCSIWuzzy, whom I found via his comment on the Power Line post below.
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Another Paper-Thin Attack on Power Line

This is actually pretty funny. For the fifth time in less than a year, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune launches an attack against Power Line. Needless to say, for the fifth time, the paper screwed up.

This time the article is written by a student who attended a guest lecture by Power Line blogger John Hinderaker. Camille Gage wrote:

Prior to Hinderaker's presentation, the week before the November elections, I visited the Powerline site. To my surprise an Oct. 27 post covered alleged voter fraud in Racine, Wis., my hometown. The charges involved the registering of illegal aliens to vote. The story seemed outrageous, so I made a few phone calls to check it out.

What I discovered was troubling. There was no factual basis for the voter fraud allegations. Powerline posted the story based on the word of a single individual employed by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). This was hearsay at best, posted as "news" at a time when voter registration efforts by the Democrats and 527 groups were coming under fire by conservatives.


Here's the original Power Line post. Now this may be a little hard for Camilla Gauge (misspelling intentional) to understand, but I'm sure my readers will know why the words, "sent two individuals from other states to Racine" appear in a different color than the rest of the text. That's right, it's a permalink! So when you click on it, you come to a story that appeared at Agape Press, a Christian news service.

In other words Power Line (try to spell their blog name correctly, Cammille!) did not "post the story based on the word of a single individual...." etc. They posted the story based on the fact that the story had already appeared at Agape Press.

And horrifically for the Star Tribune, it appears that Camilia did not do a very good job of fact-checking herself with her "few phone calls to check it out". There was no factual basis for the voter fraud allegations? Tell it to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which had this article just a week ago:

In Racine, two Milwaukee men are awaiting trial on election fraud cases tied to voter registration drives, in which authorities say fraudulent cards were submitted to election officials there last fall.

Here's a brief article from a Racine paper:

Two Milwaukee men, including one who ran for the State Assembly, await trial on charges of election fraud in Racine County.

Damien Donnelle Jones, 24, and Robert Marquis Blakely, 24, are accused of registering voters they never talked to. The two men were working for Project Vote, and were assigned to Racine to register people to vote in the Nov. 2 election. They are accused of multiple counts of election fraud and misconduct in office; Blakely is also charged with forgery.


Power Line says that in a phone call with the Star Tribune's commentary editor, it was indicated that the paper did no fact checking on Ms. Cage's piece accusing Power Line of not fact checking. Which is ironic as Camille J. Gage reminds us:

And therein lies the cautionary Catch-22: Bloggers may serve as media watchdogs, but who will watch the blogs? Do you have time to fact-check what you read online?

I got a hunch that the Power Line guys will be getting a pretty profuse apology from the paper pretty soon.

(Note: The misspellings are intentional; it's a blogger trick to misspell a name, because that way if somebody types "Camilla Gage" instead of "Camille Gage", Google will send them to your blog.)

Queen La Shawn Barber has more.
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Can Anybody Stop Dean?

Of course, it was only 13 months ago we were saying the same thing. Now it's starting to look like the good doctor is going to become the head of the DNC.

"I want to thank Congressman Martin Frost and Chairman David Leland for lending their ideas and vision to this race," Dean said. "While I am encouraged by the news of the day, this race is still not over."

Democratic activist Donnie Fowler's campaign was fighting on, along with activist Simon Rosenberg and former Indiana Rep. Tim Roemer.


Eeeeyyyyyaaaaaaahhhhhhh!
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Emmitt Smith to Retire

I've never been a Dallas Cowboy fan, but Smith was a class act both there and here with the Arizona Cardinals. The report says Smith hopes to be part of an ownership group that buys the Minnesota Vikings. I remember that Bernie Kosar tried to win the Cleveland franchise a few years back, but I can't remember any players becoming owners in the NFL since the days of George Halas. In fact, the only one I can think of in any sport in the last couple decades was Mario Lemieux, and of course that was a special circumstance.
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Congrats to Patrick Hynes: Moving Up!

Our buddy Patrick Hynes, half of the writing team for the amazing Crush Kerry website (now rechristened Ankle-Biting Pundits in the wake of Kerry's flattening) is moving on up in the world. He's been tapped by the Cato Institute to spearhead their push for Social Security reform. This is a prestigious honor, and I can't think of a man more likely to get the job done. Congratulations, Patrick!
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Monday, January 31, 2005
 
Christmas in Cambodia Isn't Going Away--Updated

Welcome Polipundit and Ankle-Biting Pundits Readers! Please feel free to check out some of the other posts on this blog, as well as Lifelike Pundits, where I contribute!



I was on the Hugh Hewitt show today briefly again to talk about Christmas in Cambodia. As many of you probably know, over on the Kerry Haters blog, Kitty, a reader of ours named L. Larson, and I were the first to break the news that Kerry had lied about this incident, about two and a half months before it became the most damaging (to Kerry) incident cited in the book, Unfit for Command.

As I blogged yesterday over at KH, Russert asked Kerry about Christmas in Cambodia yesterday on Meet the Press, but failed to follow up with the tough question. In this case, my dream question would be:

"Which boat did you take into Cambodia? Which crew?"

Because that has always been the huge problem with Christmas in Cambodia. It's interesting that the Swiftees used Stephen Gardner in their ad on this subject, because he's a key figure in understanding the trouble Kerry was in long ago on this subject.

You see, Stephen Gardner is the Pete Best of Kerry's Band of Brothers. He's the forgotten man. Kerry's biographer Douglas Brinkley claimed he'd been unable to locate Gardner alone of the men that served on Kerry's Swift Boats. And when Gardner did pop up, back in March, he told a different story than the other members of Kerry's two crews, a story of a young Lieutenant Kerry who wasn't a hero, but instead a coward.

I can't quote the words and hope to get linked by Hugh, so let's just say that if you click on the link above you'll find Gardner using a word for John Kerry that describes one of the two things that come out of the south side of a north-facing chicken, and it isn't an egg.

But here's the crux. Before Gardner even showed up, Brinkley had abandoned Kerry's Christmas in Cambodia story.

Put yourself in his shoes. You're a famed historian, and you have a statement that Kerry has made on numerous occasions, that he has cited as a critical turning point in his life. It's specific enough (Christmas Eve) and memorable enough (crossing into Cambodia), and you don't put that incident your biography of the man? Why would that be?

The only answer is that when you went around and interviewed the members of John Kerry's crew, nobody recalled going into Cambodia. And this is before you've even found Stephen Gardner, who says no rather emphatically in this commercial cited by Tim Russert Sunday:

MR. STEVE GARDNER: John Kerry claims that he spent Christmas in 1968 in Cambodia, and that is categorically a lie. Not in December, not in January, we were never in Cambodia on a secret mission ever.

So what do you do? You go back to your subject and say, "Senator Kerry, we have a problem here." And after some discussion, it is agreed that while your biography of Kerry will contain lots of mentions of Cambodia and how close young John was thereto and therefore preoccupied with the history of, it will contain no mention of an actual incursion into Cambodian territory.

That's pretty much the way the book reads. I don't say that's what happened, but it's at least more likely than the alternative, which is that Brinkley somehow missed hearing about this famed incident in Kerry's life.

Kerry doesn't even try to defend the Christmas Eve story; on Meet the Cuomo Aide he said, "Yes, I did go into Cambodia on a mission. Was it on that night? No, it was not on that night." But, unable to resist the impulse to twist one more time on the barbed wire he's trapped on, Kerry continued:

But we did go five miles into Cambodia. It was on another day. I jumbled the two together, but we were five miles into Cambodia. We went up on a mission with CIA agents--I believe they were CIA agents--CIA Special Ops guys. I even have some photographs of it, and I can document it. And it has been documented.

Caution here: Kerry probably does have photographs that he can claim "document" his story. There are two photographs in the photos section of Tour of Duty that depict Kerry transporting young men in camouflage outfits with lampblack on their faces (and yes, floppy hats) that Kerry could claim he thought were CIA men (although the book identifies the men as Navy Seals).

However, this could get Kerry into even murkier waters. The two photos in the book were taken by Michael Medeiros, a Kerry crew member aboard PCF-94, the boat Kerry went to after his other crew (including Gardner) were rotated out of Vietnam. The problem with Kerry claiming that he took this boat into Cambodia is that Medeiros comes in for special mention in the Brinkley book on page 288:

"According to the invaluable handwritten personal log Michael Medeiros kept of every mission he went on in 1969..."

Heh. Can you say, checkmate?

Some further notes:

1. Hugh asked why the media didn't ask these questions before the election, and why are they asking them now. In response I'd post two more questions: Whom would it have helped for the media to ask those questions before the election, and whom does it help now? The answers of course are President Bush then and Hillary/Edwards/Boxer and the rest of the Democrats angling for 2008 now.

2. I'd like to stress that my personal opinion is that the Swiftees were on the money with most of their charges, but many of Kerry's defenders are probably also describing accurately what they recall. Christmas in Cambodia proved to be a key story in the end because nobody stepped forward and said, "I was there with John Kerry and I agree with the way he says it happened." Nobody.

3. Kerry got himself into further trouble with his explanation of why he was ferrying CIA men up the river into Cambodia:

SEN. KERRY: I still have the hat that he gave me, and I hope the guy would come out of the woodwork and say, "I'm the guy who went up with John Kerry. We delivered weapons to the Khmer Rouge on the coastline of Cambodia." We went out of Ha Tien, which is right in Vietnam. We went north up into the border.

According to Wikipedia, which is reasonably useful on basic historical fact, here's some background on the Khmer Rouge:

The Communist Party of Cambodia was founded in the early 1950s, although in its early years it remained subordinate to the Communist Party of Vietnam. In the 1970s the Party adopted the name "Party of Democratic Kampuchea," ("Kampuchea" being an alternative spelling of Cambodia), but became commonly known by the French name Khmer Rouge. From the mid 1960s the Cambodian Communists conducted a low-level insurgency along the Vietnamese border, mainly in support of the Vietnamese Communists in their war with the United States.

On March 18, 1970, Cambodia's neutralist ruler, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, was deposed while out of the country by a coup d'état, widely believed to have been organised by the United States, which brought General Lon Nol to power. With American financial support, Lon Nol attempted to fight the Vietnamese Communists and the Khmer Rouge insurgency they were supporting.


So it would seem to be very unlikely that the US was supplying arms to the Khmer Rouge. But you know how it is when a little kid is caught lying; the lies continue and grow more incredible.

Kerry's not going away. Neither is his excellent Cambodian adventure.

Update: Tom Maguire notes the shipping guns to our enemy story. Tom also uses the Wikipedia entry on the Khmer Rouge as his source, and John Tabin notes that it has already been updated to reflect John Kerry's support. A commenter on Maguire's blog says that Kerry meant to say the Khmer Serai.
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The Beam in Bill Moyers' Eye--Updated

Bill Moyers apparently isn't being ironic with this article in the Star-Tribune.

He spends the first half of the article talking about those "bizarre" folks who believe in Armageddon and the Second Coming.

I'm not making this up. Like Monbiot, I've read the literature. I've reported on these people, following some of them from Texas to the West Bank. They are sincere, serious and polite as they tell you they feel called to help bring the rapture on as fulfillment of biblical prophecy. That's why they have declared solidarity with Israel and the Jewish settlements and backed up their support with money and volunteers. It's why the invasion of Iraq for them was a warm-up act, predicted in the Book of Revelations where four angels "which are bound in the great river Euphrates will be released to slay the third part of man."

But then, with no apparent realization that he's engaging in the same kind of apocalyptic fear-mongering (as he would see it) that he just spent several paragraphs deriding, Moyers veers into environmental doomsaying.

I read the news just last night and learned that the administration's friends at the International Policy Network, which is supported by Exxon Mobil and others of like mind, have issued a new report that climate change is "a myth, sea levels are not rising" [and] scientists who believe catastrophe is possible are "an embarrassment."

I not only read the news but the fine print of the recent appropriations bill passed by Congress, with the obscure (and obscene) riders attached to it: a clause removing all endangered species protections from pesticides; language prohibiting judicial review for a forest in Oregon; a waiver of environmental review for grazing permits on public lands; a rider pressed by developers to weaken protection for crucial habitats in California.

I read all this and look up at the pictures on my desk, next to the computer -- pictures of my grandchildren. I see the future looking back at me from those photographs and I say, "Father, forgive us, for we know not what we do." And then I am stopped short by the thought: "That's not right. We do know what we are doing. We are stealing their future. Betraying their trust. Despoiling their world."


Update: Lileks, as usual, does it better, and Teflon does a marvelous full-on fisking.
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Around the Horn

Blackfive reminds us of the kinds of people we are fighting in Iraq: the terrorists used a child with Down's Syndrome as a suicide bomber.

Marine Corps Moms has an email from a proud new Marine Corps Mom (and long-time Marine Corps Wife).

Lorie Byrd has an idea for parents as to how to maximize utility in the bathroom. As I mentioned in her comments, our family was somewhat fanatical about accomplishing two things at once, as inspired by the Kennedys (no, not Teddy). She also has a link to Al Franken's crying jag, although I couldn't get Quicktime to work with Firefox, so I haven't seen the video.

The Leather Pundit reminds us that when your boss is named George, you're always in the hot seat.
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New Blog, Old Friend

Our buddy Grant from Australia has finally joined the ranks of the living dead (aka bloggers), with his new blog, The Radical Conservative. Those who read Kerry Haters regularly during the election season remember Grant as a great source of news articles and I think we even posted one of his superb emails verbatim on the blog. Grant's writing has a little bite to it, as this example shows:

Well here they go again. The sycophantic hacks on the left who call themselves journalists lining up to back their next great white hope - The Bomber. I'll continue to add to this list as time goes on in what I suspect is an action motivated not through genuine support for the leader but just simply an outward loathing and hostility for the incumbent.

Welcome to the blogosphere, Grant!
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Liberty Updates

Here's another surprisingly upbeat assessment from the NY Times:

I write this from a rundown house in the poorest slum in the Middle East. Until yesterday, my hosts and neighbors had for three decades been among the most repressed people on earth. Yet when I walk out the door, I see a city smothered in posters and banners from a hundred political parties. Like Afghanistan last year, the country has endorsed the right to vote in percentages that shame the electoral apathy of the rich world. Let nobody tell you that this election was anything but real. Iraq's Baathists and Wahhabis may continue to bark, but this caravan is moving on.

Newsweek's correspondent was nervous at first, but then relaxed.

The most touching story I heard was that of Samir Hassan, 32, who voted in a Sunni neighborhood of West Baghdad. Dressed in shabby clothes, he hobbled to the polling place on one leg and a pair of crutches; the other leg had been blown off by a suicide car bomb that targeted a police recruitment center he had the misfortune of passing at the time, one day last October. "I would have crawled here if I had to," he told a reporter who found him waiting in a long line. "I don't want terrorists to kill other Iraqis like they tried to kill me."

Fred Kaplan warns that problems are still ahead, but expresses optimism that Iraq may indeed turn out to be the model:

Finally, imagine a Syrian watching Al-Arabiya, seeing Iraqi-born Syrians going to special polling places to elect Iraqi leaders, observing that no Syrians of any sort have the right to elect the leaders of Syria—and perhaps asking himself, "Why?" It is not inconceivable that this flicker of democratic practice in Iraq could ignite a flame of some sort across the Middle East. To what end, and for ultimate good or ill, who knows. But something happened in Iraq today, something not only dramatic and stirring but perhaps also very big.
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Sunday, January 30, 2005
 
Great Day for the Iraqis


Iraq the Model
:

I couldn't think of a scene more beautiful than that. From the early hours of the morning, People filled the street to the voting center in my neighborhood; youths, elders, women and men. Women's turn out was higher by the way. And by 11 am the boxes where I live were almost full! Anyone watching that scene cannot but have tears of happiness, hope, pride and triumph.

The Mesopotamian:

I bow in respect and awe to the men and women of our people who, armed only with faith and hope are going to the polls under the very real threats of being blown to pieces. These are the real braves; not the miserable creatures of hate who are attacking one of the noblest things that has ever happened to us. Have you ever seen anything like this? Iraq will be O.K. with so many brave people, it will certainly O.K.; I can say no more just now; I am just filled with pride and moved beyond words.

Healing Iraq:


The turnout in Iraq was really like nothing that I had expected. I was glued in front of tv for most of the day. My mother was in tears watching the scenes from all over the country. Iraqis had voted for peace and for a better future, despite the surrounding madness. I sincerely hope this small step would be the start of much bolder ones, and that the minority which insists on enslaving the majority of Iraqis would soon realise that all that they have accomplished till now is in vain.

Diary from Baghdad:

(Holds up the V sign with the purple index finger).

John Kerry:

"It is significant that there is a vote in Iraq," Kerry said in an interview with NBC television's Meet the Press. "But ... no one in the United States should try to overhype this election.
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NPR Manages to Find a Downside to the Iraqi Election

Went out in the car for a little drive, thought I'd see what NPR's take was on the Iraqi elections. Surprisingly, they were pretty upbeat, at least in the news segment, stressing the high turnout (while warning that it was lower in some parts of the country). They had a few Iraqis on talking about their experience voting, mostly positive (although they did manage to focus on one poor woman who'd walked to two different polling stations to be told she wasn't on the list). But incredibly, they included an interview clip from a man who preferred the prior elections when Saddam was the only candidate, who griped about how the elections weren't legitimate because Hussein wasn't on the ballot.
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Signs of Liberty















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Whatever is Not Forbidden Will Soon Become Mandatory

This story in the Telegraph is sure to get some attention among the blogs.

A 25-year-old waitress who turned down a job providing "sexual services'' at a brothel in Berlin faces possible cuts to her unemployment benefit under laws introduced this year.

Germany legalized prostitution and cathouses a few years ago, and now some of the logical consequences of that decision are starting to manifest themselves. To the bureaucratic mind, if it's legal there's nothing wrong with it, and therefore it's perfectly legitimate to require somebody to work at that occupation. After all, it helps cut down on the unemployment rate:

Under Germany's welfare reforms, any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than a year can be forced to take an available job – including in the sex industry – or lose her unemployment benefit. Last month German unemployment rose for the 11th consecutive month to 4.5 million, taking the number out of work to its highest since reunification in 1990.

The government had considered making brothels an exception on moral grounds, but decided that it would be too difficult to distinguish them from bars. As a result, job centres must treat employers looking for a prostitute in the same way as those looking for a dental nurse.


Too difficult to distinguish them from bars? I must be going to the wrong bars!

Hat Tip: Tim Worstall (again!). I'll stop linking him when he stops finding so much good stuff!
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Global Warming IV

British blogger Tim Worstall has another look at the ICCT report on global warming over at Tech Central Station. What I particuarly enjoyed about Tim's piece was the way it highlighted the hypocrisy of the panel:

No, I'm sorry, there are no prizes for guessing what their view of the matter is. Everything is terrible, getting worse and we all die Tuesday week unless we abolish capitalism. Actually, it's not quite that bad as it appears that they only actually met twice (once in England, once in Australia. Anyone want to run those flights through the CO2 emissions calculator?)

and

I went to the IPPR site in the UK looking for a copy of the paper and found that I could only buy a dead tree version, there was no .pdf or html version. Given the well known journalistic ethic that one never actually pays for anything I called them up and they confirmed that there never would be a down loadable version (although I will give them some credit, for when they heard I was from Techcentralstation they emailed over a .pdf with the instructions to have fun... thanks guys) so I'm left to conclude that this earth-shattering report, the one about emissions, saving the planet and all, is so important that it must be ferried round by vehicles burning fossil fuels.

Indeed. I recall a number of years ago, a reporter noting that Al Gore and various other luminaries, while meeting on Global Warming at the UN, left their chauffeur-driven limos running during the conference. Don't do as we do, do as we say about sums it up.
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NY Times Labels Iraqi Elections "A Success"

Well, I would never have guessed it.

If the insurgents wanted to stop people from voting, they failed. If they wanted to cause chaos, they failed. The voters were completely defiant, and although there was never the sense that the insurgency was over, there was a feeling that the people of Baghdad, showing a new, positive attitude, had turned a corner.

Headline on the front page: Iraqis Voting Amid Tight Security; Turnout in Capital Signals Early Success

Update: The Times reverts to form. The new headline: Iraqi Voters Turn Out in High Numbers Despite Rebel Attacks Killing Up to 36
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