Friday, November 26, 2004

I hope this is true

It's from the Guardian, though, so it's probably overblown. These people probably don't think Ukrainians, having forsaken the paradise of Marx-Leninism, have the ability to desire that their elections be honest.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Full Circle?

Reading these, I realized that the Republican Party headed by Thomas Jefferson, from which modern Democrats claim to be descended, was based on defending the premise that each African-American is equal to 3/5 of a person, but only for purposes of determining how many Representatives a state has in Congress, not for allowing them to, like, vote, or anything. Oliver Willis is the one who put the "Since 1794" in the brand logo. Funny how modern Democrats are talking about secession again.

Given the things they're whining these days, isn't "Democrats" a form of bait and switch? Wouldn't "Lawyercrats" be more correct. Of course, that would insult lawyers like Glenn Reynolds, Hugh Hewitt, the Power Line bloggers, and me. I'd go along with "Aristocrats," though.

Another bit of irony

Bridgett Johnson wonders why his fellow film-makers aren't up in arms (excuse the expression) about the murder of Theo Van Gogh. Where's Michael Moore when he's needed?

Girls Womyn just want to have fun be treated with respect.

Catherine Seipp describes the world created by feminism. A stewardess flight attendant who is female is disciplined by her employer for being flirty on her blog.

I'm not sure that the company execs were really personally offended, but the fear of sexual harrassment suits has made everybody Puritanical. They probably can't even put their finger on what she's doing wrong; it just FEELS "inappropriate" and not really knowing what that means makes them nervous as shrews. Avoiding sexual harrassment suits is now a major business for consultants who go around giving presentations to employers and they generally counsel Zero Tolerance, because the issues are so vague. A cocked eyebrow or a wink these days can get a company sued.


Digital cameras for digital animals

Just saw a Nikon ad in which a D70 is used to photograph what is obviously an CG rhinoceros. Is that really what they want to get across?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Ron Artest

He may have to pass an art test to find a new career. It's especially ironic that this example of arrogance by sports stars came days before the retirement of John Stockton's jersey in Salt Lake City. Stockton never talked much to the media. Unlike Artest, who gave an interview to ESPN holding up a copy of his rap CD to the camera through the whole thing, he didn't like the constant spinning and conflicts promoted in the media. He was never a self-promoter. He's a class act, of whom John Wooden said, the Utah Jazz was the only team he'd pay money to watch. Stockton spends his time now coaching kids' basketball in Spokane.

I'm not a big b-ball fan, but guys like Stockton, Hornacek and Karl Malone are the sports heroes I like. Most others are idols, as in false gods. These guys are just good examples of men, fathers and sportsmen.

The nature of freedom

The news from Ukraine reminds me once again of something I keep thinking about as things develop in Iraq, that freedom originates in the hearts of a people. It requires the concept of rights which, once understood, can change peasants into citizens.

To build a democracy, the people, not an outside army, have to take the idea of freedom to themselves to the degree that they will die for it, and it has to become a concept that people share openly. They also have to lay hold on the concept of tolerance, which may be more difficult, if our Supreme Court is any indication.

The Stepford "reverends"

If the left's fundraisers didn't have Falwell, they'd have to invent him.

He and Pat Robertson are just weird. I don't think that the gospel of Christ requires people to smile like Bob as they make snide little digs at people they disagree with. This is the stuff of priestcraft, designed to get publicity and raise cash.

The Big News Today . . .

seems to be Dan Rather's announcement of his retirement. I don't think this is something conservative bloggers should be beating their chests over. Rather is over 70 years old and he's been CBS' anchor for 24 years. How did he last this long? If the bean-counters have as much undue influence at the networks, as TV reporters like to complain, Rather should have been replaced when his ratings dropped to third, sometimes fourth behind Fox News, place. The problem for the executives may be that they don't have a choice of anyone who isn't as liberal as Rather is. Business considerations and the universal television rule, "Imitate what's successful," should have brought some Brit Hume or Bill O'Reilly clones by now. The fact that there aren't any is likely due to the fact that there aren't any real conservatives at the networks and that if the execs brought some in, they'd have a revolt on their hands from the whole news division. Fox can hire Alan Colmes and Greta Van Susteren, Mara Liasson and Juan Williams, but it doesn't work the other way. OK, there's John Stossel at ABC, but he wasn't an outspoken libertarian when he started, and he'll never get close to Peter Jennings' job.

The problem is not just that these news organizations don't hire for political diversity. They rely on journalism and communications schools and train their producers and reporters coming up that any variation from the liberal line is bad for your career. That's totally at odds with the idea of a free press, but you'll notice that most discussions of "journalistic ethics" today focuses on the "duty" of the press to "hold government accountable." That term, "accountable," only makes sense if you have some idea of what is and isn't expected of someone, and it seems clear now that the ones government is supposed to be accountable to are the media, not the people. Bush is far more accountable to the voters than he is to the press, which is why it hates him.

The First Amendment has been so interpreted by the courts and the media, as to imply that the press is a fourth Constitutional branch of government, in the mold of the courts themselves, unaccountable to anyone but itself. The press needs rethink that notion and remember that news is a business, not government, and that markets are far more exacting than courts are.

So the retirement into 60 Minutes II for Rather is not exactly the storming of the Bastille, but the masses are restless and the Democrats can't save old media, any more than they can save themselvesh.

Just a question

The latest Tom Friedman column starts by describing a collection of IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) disarmed and collected by the military in Iraq:
It was a table covered with defused roadside bombs made from cell phones wired to explosives. You just call the phone's number when a U.S. vehicle goes by and the whole thing explodes. The table was full of every color and variety of cell-phone bomb you could imagine. I thought to myself that if there is a duty-free electronics store at the gates of hell, this is what the display counter looks like.
Would deactivating the cellphone system put a stop to its use as a murder weapon, or can cell phones operate directly?

The column itself is a welcome sign that someone in journalism's vast wasteland understands the potential of what we're doing in Iraq.

The Roe Effect is real

James Taranto is the main proponent of this persuasive theory, but he's piling up evidence all the time. Maybe in ten or fifteen years the Democrats will catch on how disastrous their embraces of feminism has been.

They still don't get it.

Despite Dan Rather's concession to the inevitable, the libthink media have proven that they don't understand how things have changed by promoting Jonathan Klein to president of CNN. True, there isn't much choice among newspeople, since there is hardly any diversity in the world of "journalism," but Klein is well-known in the blogger community for his arrogant dismissal of bloggers like Instapundit, Powerline, etc. as people who write in their pajamas (as if what you're wearing makes any difference in the cogency of your thinking). Don't look for CNN to overtake Fox News any time soon.

More advice for Democrats

If you want to reach "values voters," you might want to start by denouncing idiocy like this, pretending that we can teach children about Thanksgiving without mentioning to whom our ancestors were thankful.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Still some friends in England

A letter to the Times of London
We are fortunate that President Bush was re-elected. He, and the United States, might indeed save the Western world � but it would be good if he received a little assistance from Europe in so doing.

Democrats need to . . .

The pundits have been offering reams of advice for the Democrats like this. Here's mine: Be more like Republicans. That's about as useful as most of what I've seen.

Michael Barone, however, offers some valuable insight in to the mechanics of the Republicans' win. I don't think even he believes, though, that all the technical perfection can win without a message that resonates with the electorate. Kerry is blaming his loss on Osama's latest video, but that overlooks the fact that nobody ever really viewed Kerry himself as being interested in defeating terrorism. For a man who wants to be president to describe his goal as getting back to where terrorism is a "nuisance" is about at oblivious to the feelings people have about 9/11 as you can be. If it hadn't been for the all out effort of the media to defeat Bush, Kerry would have been a second McGovern.

Nice knowing you.

Alex Thomson in The Guardian
In the ideological and military clash of Christian fundamentals with Islamist fundamentals, the western media are simply off-limits to the latter. I am still getting emails every week from viewers demanding why we are not in Falluja, Tikrit, Amara covering this war properly and showing the other side.
So he wants to have western journalists reporting from inside the terrorists operations.

What about those Brit hostages we saw begging for their lives? Don't they count?

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Tell the truth straight or we'll find someone who will!

How's this for evenhanded, objective reporting:
Bush reached into a small crowd, where people were arguing and pushing one another, and pulled the agent through the door of center.

Bush then turned around, cocked his head proudly at his maneuver and began to greet his hosts.
Is the name of the reporter, Dana Bash, not a little too fitting?

How is today's media different from that of WWII? Here's one answer.