Saturday, October 18, 2003

First, Hugh Hewitt denounces the piece by Bill Arkin in the L. A. Times, and featured on NBC, attacking General William G. Boykin. Then he brings Pastor Mark D. Roberts on his show to plug his book, Dare to be True, about telling the truth. I now realize that I shouldn't have lied in my registration on the Times' website so that I could read the offending piece without giving them my mailing address and phone number. So, I promise not to download any more L. A. Times articles under false prestenses again. The things I have to do for my faith.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Michael Rappaport dismisses David Frum's arguments against homosexual marriage with the following toreador move:
In the end, Frum�s essay mixes both moral arguments (based on consequences) and political feasibility arguments. Many social conservative arguments against gay marriage rely on this same strategy, but what is politically feasible can change over time. If social conservatives are to participate in this debate, they need to articulate why they think gay marriage is a bad thing rather than merely explaining why it will not happen in the face of trends that appear to suggest just the opposite.
On first impression, it seems kind of weak to say that one's opponent's arguments aren't very good and recommend a better approach. I don' t know what Frum's objective was--often giving a prognosis for political movements is all these things try to do--but citing trends is hardly a compelling argument either.

I think that the important question is whether a society can be healthy or endure when it abandons the underpinnings of the traditional family, which to me seems to be the best way to produce and rear children who become useful citizens and contribute to it. For all the kvetching by liberarians, society still depends on people who don't waste their lives on drugs, work hard, get an education and raise more citizens like themselves. All the examples to the contrary prove only that a strong society can support a pretty wide range of aberrancy. I'm not too sure that history gives us any reason to really believe that we can abandon the foundation of our society and expect it to prosper in the long run.

This Boykin thing is getting getting under my skin. This guy has put his life on the line for this nation, and now he's under attack for exercising his freedom of speech and religion. The fact that a major TV network and a major newspaper would be behind this smear of a true hero I find abominable.

This is just the latest example of the attempt by those who want to warp the American Way into a charicature of the Bill of Rights. The same people who would put a speech code on all conservatives and Christians are the ones who wouldn't lift a hand after the repeated attacks on Americans throughout the 1990s and who dived for cover after 9/11, but they're back in full throat, trying to sap the strength of this nation to preserve itself. They'll be enraged at this accusation, but we've just seen what happens if they get authority in California, which basically has spent itself into insolvency. They are the ones screaming that the recall was an attack on democracy, but I don't see Californians flocking to Venezuela or Brazil, where politicians closer to the socialist ideal have taken power.

You'd think that 9/11 and the budget meltdown in the Golden State would put this madness to rest, but the major media haven't seem to learn a thing. I guess it's up to the rest of us to make the case.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Hugh Hewitt has been talking up the attack on General Boykin published in the L. A. Times today. It strikes me as a fulfillment of Matthew 24, and it's probably going to get worse before it gets better.

Why don't we just get used to the idea that airport security isn't really going to save anybody, and will probably just result in more ACLU lawsuits for racial profiling. Instead of trying to screen out all weapons, maybe we should just invite more people to carry guns with plane-safe ammo.

I'm getting discouraged by my continuing typing errors. I think I must have had a micro-stroke from my encounter with a heart-lung machine 15 months ago. I keep noticing errors in this blog that I missed when I was typing the original posts. I catch myself thinking one thing and typing another all the time. Maybe I'm just getting old.

Currant events:

That's about the only pun not used somewhere in this story in the NYTimes about a fledging agricultural business, growing currants, in upstate New York. Heck, I'd buy it, as long as it was just pear or apple juice flavored with currants. And it tastes better than cranberry juice cocktail, which is sweetened with corn syrup.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Chutzpah Award: The New York Times is accusing soldiers serving in Iraq of participating in propaganda in their orchestrated letters to their home newspapers.
Firm endorsements of the letter's description of the situation in Kirkuk have since been re-registered by most of the soldiers who were supposed to have written letters, but that matters little to anyone who ever marched in the military command system. The Pentagon should nip the form-letter barrage and make sure it is not repeated, if only because it is so counterproductive. Fakery is the worst possible way to answer the public's rising demand for information about the true state of affairs in Iraq.
So, the fact that these letters were sincere expressions from these soldiers doesn't matter. They're still dishonest fakes. defines "propaganda" as follows: The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause. It doesn't mean "fake," as the Times implies. I suppose that the Times would be a little tender from its histrionics after the Blair Affair, but it hasn't seemed to have learned much about real ethics. Its coverage of the situation in Iraq is propaganda par excellence, by that definition. The real issue is whether these form letters fairly represent the feelings and views of these soldiers, and I'm convinced that they do.

Here's Linda Greenhouse's report on the SCOTUS decision to review the Pledge of Allegiance case. I thought that the "under God" phrase was added to make clear that the pledge did not require people to place allegiance to country ahead of allegiance to God. If you don't believe in God you're not affected. And if you're Dr. Newdow, you're not entitled to tell the rest of the country what it has to believe any more than anybody else can tell him what he has to believe. I'm really tired of all this fussing over letting people mention God in public. Even in schools, the only test should be whether religious expressions promote tolerance or work against it.

What really offends me is when parents use their children as pawns in their personal fights. Newdow's daughter should not be made the focus of this nonsense. By his childish and petulant lawsuit he has demonstrated that he cares more about his own opinions than he does about her happiness.

Whale Deaths Linked to Sonar! Well, actually they may be linked. The story makes that clear, but the headline doesn't. I don't know how this should be settled, but I sure don't trust environmentalists to give us objective advice. I'm certain that Russia or China would let the health of cetaceans interfere with their operations.

Monday, October 13, 2003

I just watched a segment on The Newshour about talk radio. What a perfect illustration for reporting facts, but not the story. They try to explain the success of rightwing talk radio without ever stumbling over the fact that it tapped a market that was being ignored by normal news media.

Of course, Bill O'Reilly and Michael Savage are featured prominently, as are Rush, Sean Hannity and Al Franken, who is starting a new liberal talk show. Good luck, Al. The bias of the major media is discussed, but only in cursory terms, and duly denied by a spokesman, but what is ignored is the fact that liberal talk show hosts have no real market to target. I suppose that those who just like to listen to nastiness like Michael Savage will listen to Al Franken as he attacks the Right and, presumably, brings on conservative guests and tears them apart. However, if anyone is hungry for a left spin on the news, they don't need to tune in his show. They've got NPR, which lets them feel even more superior by letting them pay for the privilege of only listening to NPR promos. They've also got CBS, NBC, CBS and PBS. They've got every major newspaper in the country and the major news weeklies. All of those share the same market, while Fox News Channel, the Weekly Standard, National Review and talk radio don't have to compete for the same audiences.

I don't like Michael Savage, O'Reilly, Hannity or Rush. I got tired of Michael Medved, whose formula is inviting guests whom he disagrees with and then becoming exasperated with their stupidity. I can do without the contentiousness. I listen to Hugh Hewitt, who mixes it up with some guests, but mostly just likes to rib people and doesn't seem to take political differences interfere with honest friendliness. He has the smartest lineup of regular guests in the business and he lets them talk. It really is intelligent talk radio having a good time.

I'm not interested in hearing Michael Moore or Al Franken. I've heard what they have to say, and it's not new, true or interesting. So when Franken's show fails, and the Newshour wonders why, you read it here.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Howard Kurtz's column, mentioned below, also has a few tidbits about the last minute slime dump aimed at Arnold and how it failed. Tina Brown, I think, has it wrong by averring that the impeachment actually helped Clinton, since Democrats haven't done all that well since then. It might look like Clinton is doing wonderfully from New York City, but that's debatable, at best. As for lefties, like Steve Chapman, who want to hurl the hypocrisy of the right, back at them, I don't see much traction for their argument. There are plenty of conservative Republicans who wouldn't touch Arnold with a ten-foot pole--they're called McClintock voters--but the argument that the main reason for impeaching Clinton was because of moral revulsion for his tomcat ways isn't really correct. It had more in common with Watergate, the disrespect of the man for the office of trust that he held and his attempts to cover it up. They fail to remember that Republicans turned against their own man when he was wrong, which the Democrats indignantly refused to do. It's not like Arnold was the first choice of the Republicans in California. He'd have had a tough time getting through a Republican primary, but this recall was different. It was a free for all, and enough Democrats voted for him that it more than made up for the finicky conservatives.

Lots of grist for blogging from Instapundit today:

Soldiers in Iraq try to tell the story that the American press at home seems determined to suppress, and they get accused of fraud. Glenn Reynolds got sucked into the spin vortex, and, boy, did he hear from some readers! Fortunately, he's much more of a man than most journalists and immediately admitted his error. Someone wrote that he wouldn't make a professional journalist. Maybe that's why--he's not arrogant enough.

Then there's this Howard Kurtz column about the networks' difficulty in avoiding mention of their exit polls prior to the close of the polls in California. I suppose it is kind of silly to be trying to ignore the elephant in the living room, but I also don't see any reason to give the losers more of a reason to whine. They're going to sue, I'm sure, even while complaining about how Bush wasn't really elected, but why give them any more excuses? I could tell what was up, but I've never liked these announcements at 5:00 p.m. that they've projected a winner. Elections are fun because of the suspense of seeing the polling results come in. Why spoil it?

Lastly, there's the inevitable childishness of lefties calling for a Recall Arnold election, as if they didn't look stupid enough for making the Davis recall so popular by tripling the car tax and practically inviting illegal aliens to vote. Cruz Bustamonte couldn't even win among Latinos. What I find perplexing is the attitude that liberals are somehow morally entitled to have political power and anyone who opposes them is illegitimate. By this reasoning, democracy means electing Democrats, and anything else is an evil overthrowing of the proper order. No wonder they're so full of hate for Bush, and now Arnold.