Saturday, January 29, 2005

Instapundit has a roundup of the early "Damning Buts." There will be more. The reference is to a Lileks post about the election, in which he predicts that if it goes well, the Western media will say so only grudgingly and with plenty of warnings that this doesn't mean we've actually accomplished anything.

The press, I'm sure, will claim this is just being objective--they have to tell "both sides" of the story, except that the story is the election, not looking good results in the mouth. This is the kind of thing politicians are supposed to do. The press will also say this is "analysis" and that their job is to aid their readers interpret events, except that it is the duty of the people to interpret events, not have everything declared a failure before they have all the information.

After being subjected to such "reporting" most of my life, I don't think I should have to continue reading and watching it, when I, and most bloggers, know perfectly well how it will be spun by the likes of the the NYTimes and CBS

Friday, January 28, 2005


Hindrocket writes:
Why is it that the mainstream media can justify their relentless negativity and their single-minded focus on American casualties? After all, journalists are well aware that terrorists are being killed too, and that much progress is being made on various fronts.

But these things do not deter the MSM, for a very simple reason: with very few exceptions, they do not respect the mission in Iraq. They take it as an article of faith that the war was a mistake;. . .
The question is why? Why can't they look at this as a strategic issue in dealing with terrorism?

I'd say it's because they see their mission as "holding those in power accountable," which has come to mean that whatever the administration says or does, media are supposed to oppose it. That is obviously a distortion of the original idea, that of being skeptical, into a reflexive opposition and negative view of whatever the government says or does. What good is a factchecker who always finds lies?

We rely on news media to give us unbiased information, but they have focused so heavily on "holding government accountable," that they no longer seem to care about objectivity. It's the old saying, "If you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail." For a time, this worked because they had no competition except people with the same bias, but that ceased with the advent of Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and now bloggers. When you're used to speaking to a camera or computer terminal, you can imagine whatever audience you like, but when you're in front of a live audience like the blogosphere, it must be shocking to find them throwing rotten tomatoes. That's why blogs are so significant. They change the news from a monologue to live theater.

The face of the Left

Glenn Reynolds nails it to the mast. If the Dems really care about winning any more elections, they need to read this post and learn from it. Of course, pretending you've changed your core beliefs about your own superiority to the rest of America won't cut it, as Hillary! will find out.

And you'll have to jettison your dishonest ideas that any war is worse than what Saddam did to Iraq, that Communism/Socialism sets forth a great ideal in spite of the evidence, that American lives are worth more than others' and that more government programs will solve all the ills of society. Of course, there's a danger that shedding such dishonesty will turn you into a Republican.

Mormon bloggers

I just Googled those words and found a huge number of them. I find them quite intelligent, humble and sweet. I tend to be more cranky than my brethren and sistern [Sorry, old joke]. I love sweet posts like this one from By Common Consent.

True LDS (Latter-day Saints) are constantly struggling to deal with their human nature and are humble.
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul�We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
Of course, we're all working on becoming what we believe in.

More on the Iraqi elections

Maybe what the Democrats don't like is that too many Iraqis sound like Republicans.

We have met the enemy and they are no Viet Cong

LATimes reporter, Tony Perry, appeared on Hardball from Iraq, in response to a question by Chris Matthews:
[Q:] What happens if the Sunnis say, we`re not playing ball, we`re not joining in this election? Could they become then a secessionist movement? What would happen?

PERRY: No, I don`t think so.

I think you have to realize that the Marines -- I`m with the 2nd Battalion, 5th Regiment -- they`re not firing on people because of some philosophic difference. They`re firing on people they have to fire on to protect their own lives, people who have been using roadside bombs and suicide cars and snipers.

And I think -- I spoke to a Marine, a young Marine captain. He made a very good point. He said, this is not Vietnam. The insurgency here has no philosophy to speak of. This isn`t a philosophy like the Viet Cong that had communism, that had a national leader, Ho Chi Minh, that they adored. The insurgents basically have no philosophy, except no government, no control, no self-determination.

So it`s hard to think of them as some sort of legitimate party in that regard. They`re essentially -- in Ramadi, certainly, you could liken them to the Mafioso, who would really like to control, if not the whole city, certain neighborhoods and continue doing so.

Remember, this is a city that not even Saddam Hussein could control. They took over the government center from the Saddam Hussein government while he was in power. This is a very, very tough city as part of a tough province, the Al Anbar Province. There`s no philosophy here. There`s violence.
(Via The Corner)

If you're going to Auschwitz . . .

be advised that it has a dress code, at least if you're a Republican Vice-president.

Bush's Strategery Goes Forward

The Iraqi elections could do more to change the misery in the Middle East than anything else. So why are Democrats in denial? Could it be that they aren't as compassionate as they claim to be? The MSM in America, as well, seem to take the most pessimistic view of the elections. But The Times of London has a more balanced report.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Goblin, maybe, but not a balrog.

Hugh Hewitt compares Hillary! to a balrog. I don't think she's that fearsome if the Republicans come up with a good candidate. Mitt Romney, maybe.

Hillary! is positioning herself as a moderate, but she's got a vast record that demonstrates what she really thinks, as well as a link in peoples' minds with her husband's administration. It's not going to sell in Red State America.

Freedom and Prosperity

Claudia Rosett makes the point that Bush's policy to spread freedom would also help many third-world nations escape grinding poverty. For all the media whining about poverty in America, it remains a myth when compared to the lives of people in areas like Africa, South and Central America and the areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority. I hope that the President will emphasize that freedom includes the right to own private property, which is the seed of economic growth.

The Retro Democrats

That phrase could be a meme. Mark Steyn notes the bizarro-world irony of Robert Byrd's attack on Condi Rice:
Byrd, the former Ku Klux Klan Kleagle, is taking a stand over states' rights, or his rights over State, or some such. Whatever the reason, the sight of an old Klansman blocking a little colored girl from Birmingham from getting into her office contributed to the general retro vibe that hangs around the Democratic Party these days.
He goes on to slap down the "'exit strategy' fetishization:"
Everyone lives next door now. Sept. 11 demonstrated that the paradox of America -- the isolationist superpower -- was no longer tenable.
The Democrats seem to think that the oceans will protect us, despite the evidence of 9/11. If anything, their policies of the past have made our borders more porous, as this post by John Hinderaker demonstrates.

Best of the Web piles on:
Here we have a group that calls itself "MoveOn" but is obsessing over ancient history.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Heart of Darkness

President Bush's inaugural speech was ambitious, and so it got a lot of clucking from conservatives who feared it meant a new era of extending ourselves beyond our power to overthrow tyrannical regimes. I don't join that criticism, but I think that the U.N. has become the world's number one sinkhole for money that should be put toward ending the genocides occurring in Darfur and in the Congo, where it was reported on the Oprah program, more than 4,000,000 people have been killed and roving bands of killers routinely rape innocent women, hold them as sex slaves and brutalize civilians.

Oprah's website is full of gossip stories that make Donna Hanover's latest New Love seem more important than the horrors going on around the world, but after having the video report by Lisa Ling, the show turned into a fundraising event for an NGO. What good does sending money to such an area do until the violence has been stopped? I kept wondering why nothing was being done to help these people defend themselves from these punks, but that question doesn't seem to have been asked. What would it hurt to make sure every home had some firepower and the skills to fend off the criminals?

I wonder how much it would cost to fund an international force of volunteer troops to be sent into areas such as this, under the directions of a coalition of democratic nations, to put an end to violence. Certainly what we've been paying to the U.N. might be a good start toward actually doing something.

I don't want everybody to vote!

The Democrats have been pushing for years to make it easier to register and vote. Anybody listening should have had the "voter fraud" light turn red. Now, surprise, there is voter fraud in Wisconsin and Washington state.

The whole tactic of using endless manual recounts to turn up additional votes has emerged as the go-to approach for losers because it's so easy to gin up self-righteous indignation over "Every vote should count!" although the subtext is "even if we have to allow a bunch of fraudulent votes."

Pure democracy is easily manipulated by demagogues, who rely on sophistry and mob psychology. That's why our founders distrusted straight democracy and designed the Electoral College and the Senate to serve as moderators to the volatility of public opinion. Voting is a duty of citizenship, but not just voting as some labor leader or special interest group tells you to. Labor unions acquired great political clout through their ability to deliver huge blocs of uninformed or single issue votes.

This country is in big trouble because politicians have been allowed to buy votes with public funds, and because the beneficiaries of such largesse don't have the moral fiber to put the good of the nation ahead of their own interests.