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Right Intention

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Gitmo

There are a couple of good columns on Gitmo this morning. First up is Jonah Goldberg:

There are good guys and bad guys in this story, and as much as it pains some to hear it, we are the good guys. We are not talking about confused teenagers caught up in events larger than themselves. We aren't talking about mistaken identities. We're talking about the cream of our enemy's crop in the war on terror...

Any new Gitmo would quickly gain the same reputation as the old one because a) al-Qaida is under strict orders to allege all manner of abuses for propaganda purposes, especially now that such tactics have proved so useful, and b) because the "international community" and other lovers of runny cheese desperately want such allegations to be true, regardless of the evidence. That the head of Amnesty International could call Gitmo, where we spend more money on the care and feeding of detainees than we do on our own troops, the "Gulag of our time" is all the evidence we need for that. Caving into such bullying would send the unmistakable message that American can be rolled.


Next is Rich Lowry:

The administration should defend the facility there unabashedly. It should force Democrats to argue that the 9/11 hijackers shouldn’t have women stand too close to them and that rice pilaf isn’t good enough fare. It should make Democrats explain how to fight a war on terror without detaining enemy fighters, and work to stem the panic, rather than surrendering to it.

Of all the reasons given as to why we should shut down Gitmo, the most stupid reason- and its difficult to narrow it down to one- is that it is generating such bad press that it makes the Arab world hate us and creates more terrorists. This is almost too stupid for words.

Message to the left: They already hate us. Let's try that again. They already hate us. One more time. THEY ALREADY HATE US! 9/11 ALREADY HAPPENED! THESE PEOPLE CANNOT BE BARGAINED WITH. THEY CAN'T BE REASONED WITH! AND THEY WON'T STOP UNTIL THEY KILL EVERY ONE OF US! WHAT ABOUT THAT DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?!!! (Thanks, Arnie)

Here's another thing the left doesn't get. One of the reasons their first reaction is to try to appease terrorists- other than being craven, spineless wimps, that is- is that terrorists have raised the cost of opposing them. Say a bad word about them and they are likely to try to kill you by cutting off your head with a dull knife and put a videotape of the event on the internet. On the other hand, when the Democrats have their way, the cost of opposing the US is very low. There is literally almost nothing that our enemies can say or do that will convince Democrats to take strong measures. Indeed, Democrats are more likely to blame the US when we are attacked. Therefore, our enemies can say or do pretty much anything they want with little fear of retaliation. This is why in times of strife the US cannot afford to have Democrats in power.

But even when Democrats are out of power, they do tremendous damage to our security. As Republicans are trying to raise the cost of attacking the US, the Democrats (and their media allies) are steadily trying to lower it again through giving our enemies hope by siding with them at every instance.

Democrats need to decide once and for all which side they are on. In the war on terror, either one is part of the problem or part of the solution. And Democrats, through their repeated actions, have shown they are part of the problem.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Liberals Responsible For America's Bad Reputation

Leftists and their media allies are the primary cause of America's damaged reputation, not America's actions. I'm glad someone agrees with me.

If I hear one more time how the United States better clean up its image in the world so we don't further alienate foreigners and generate more terrorists, I think I'm going to wretch.

There is no small amount of irony in the fact that the people who are doing their level best to make sure the news is dominated by stories portraying America as imperialistic and inhumane are the same ones warning that we dare not permit our image to deteriorate.


This is pretty much what I wrote the other day:

Leftists and their media allies spend all day every day attacking our detention policies for terrorists. Eventually their nonstop slander/deceit/lies start to negatively impact public opinion. And then the left/media uses the negative public perception as proof that our detention policies are bad. It's the same template the left/media uses for the US in general and Bush as well. And few call them on it.

Great minds think alike.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Thanks, America

Little Green Footballs found a nice post from an Australian blogger:

Where do I start? I've wanted to say this for a long time. It is unbelievable that America gets badmouthed all the time. America has helped the cause of freedom more than anyone else. First of all I'd like to thank America for saving Australia's butt at the Battle of the Coral Sea in WWII. This prevented the Japanese from landing here, and bringing with them the concept of "comfort women". I think Australia's nature is such that we would have sacrificed 90% of our population rather than hand over any woman. America's intervention meant that we were never required to make that terrible choice. Thanks America!

Then of course there's the fact that you saved Europe's butt, not once but 3 times - WWI, WWII and the Cold War. I don't know why we don't hear more thanks from Europe for this. But in the absence of thanks from ungrateful recipients of American largesse, let me say it instead - thanks America!


Be sure to read the whole thing. It's nice someone has noticed how generous we are.

But it also makes me wonder about the American left. Why do lefties believe that the single best response to any attack on America; whether it be physical, verbal or legal; for grievances real or imagined; is to side with the attacker, prostrate ourselves in front them and beg for forgiveness? America is not perfect by any means. We had and continue to have our dark moments. But America is without question the single most open, free, and generous country this planet has ever seen. We have nothing to apologize for. And it infuriates me to see the American left openly side with our enemies in almost every instance. It's yet another reason I want little to do with liberals these days.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Media Drives The Story

This column in the National Review gets it right:

You gotta admire the liberal media’s modesty. For the last three years, it has been promoting the story that the Bush administration has a policy of torturing terror detainees. Now, such mouthpieces of the anti-administration Left as the New York Times are calling for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility on the ground that its reputation for prisoner abuse is jeopardizing the war on terror. Take some credit, guys! It may be true that Guantanamo Bay has become synonymous with lawlessness throughout vast swathes of the Western and Muslim worlds. But no one is more responsible for that reputation than the New York Times, Newsweek, the Washington Post, and other mainstream media outlets, which have never encountered a prisoner-abuse story that they didn’t find credible and worthy of broadcast.

This is so true. And it's nothing short of amazing. Leftists and their media allies spend all day every day attacking our detention policies for terrorists. Eventually their nonstop slander/deceit/lies start to negatively impact public opinion. And then the left/media uses the negative public perception as proof that our detention policies are bad. It's the same template the left/media uses for the US in general and Bush as well. And few call them on it.

Friday, May 27, 2005

John Bolton

So the Democrats are at it again:

Democrats blocked an up-or-down vote on the nomination of John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations yesterday, opening their first filibuster of the year three days after a bipartisan deal to avoid filibusters of judicial nominees.

Some may try to argue that the Bolton nomination was not part of the agreement. Technically that is true. But it demonstrates perfectly that any Bush appointment, judge or otherwise, beyond the three in the agreement will be filibustered.

As I wrote just the other day:

You have to be a special kind of stupid to believe the Democrats have any intention of honoring the spirit of this deal.

I knew I was right. And as much of a cynic as I am, even I'm surprised at the speed at which the Democrats reneged on the deal.

France Set To Vote Against EU Constitution

Setting the stage for humiliation:

THE leader of France’s ruling party has privately admitted that Sunday’s referendum on the European constitution will result in a “no” vote, throwing Europe into turmoil.

“The thing is lost,” Nicolas Sarkozy told French ministers during an ill-tempered meeting. “It will be a little ‘no’ or a big ‘no’,” he was quoted as telling Jean-Pierre Raffarin, the Prime Minister, whom he accused of leading a feeble campaign.


This is shaping up to be a massive blow to French pride. Good. I hope it hurts.

Jimmy Carter At It Again

Jimmy Carter is hard at work botching another third world election.

The EU report also said former U.S. President Carter, who led a team of 50 election observers, undermined the electoral process and EU criticism with "his premature blessing of the elections and early positive assessment of the results."

Let's hope this one is not as disasterous as Venezuala. But in any event, Jimmy Carter should go away before he does any more damage.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Minorities Need To Work Harder

This is absolutely, positively, on target:

On average, Asian students spend twice as much time doing homework as their non-Asian classmates. They believe they’ll get in trouble at home if their grades fall below A-, while for whites the ‘‘trouble threshold’’ is B-, and for blacks and Hispanics, C-. They don’t believe that success or failure in school depends on factors beyond their control. ‘‘They believed instead that their academic performance depended almost entirely on how hard they worked,’’ the Thernstroms write, summarizing the findings of survey researcher Laurence Steinberg. ‘‘Their performance was within their control. A grade below an A was evidence of insufficient effort.’’...

Which returns me to the University of Massachusetts, and the current flap over the decision to name Dr. Michael Collins to run the Boston campus instead of the acting chancellor, J. Keith Motley. One of three finalists for the job, Motley would have been the first black chancellor of UMass-Boston.

The chairman of the UMass board of trustees says the choice came down to Collins’s executive experience -- while Motley was a dean of student services at another university, Collins spent 10 years running a multibillion-dollar hospital network. But a vocal chorus of disgruntled Motley supporters are calling the decision racist...

Is there a connection between the Asian math whizzes at Quincy High and the accusations of racism against the UMass board of trustees? Not an obvious one. And yet I can’t help wondering what kind of message black students absorb when racism is invoked, as it so often is, to condemn anything black politicians and activists disapprove of. Who is more likely to succeed -- the child who grows up in a culture that tells him success depends on his own hard work, or the one who keeps hearing that until white prejudice is eradicated, minorities will never get a fair shake?

Asian kids don’t have a gene for calculus or getting into Yale. They have a culture that demands hard work, cares deeply about academic success, and rejects ‘‘racism’’ as an excuse for mediocrity. When the same can be said about black American culture -- or, for that matter, about white American culture -- the math club at Quincy High will look very different.


More people need to say this out loud. Victimization is one of the real sources of power for minorities in our culture as we play on the guilt of white people for past grievances to get what we want. It makes excuses for people's failures.

Shouting racism at every instance cheapens the word and makes actual instances of racism more difficult to believe. It needs to stop. Pass the word on to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

What Were They Thinking?

The Republicans caved on judges. There is no other way to say it. What an awful deal.

The looming Senate showdown over filibustered judicial nominees has been averted by a bipartisan agreement that gives both sides some -- but not all -- of what they wanted.

The agreement, announced late Monday, came after days of talks among a group of centrist senators.

The crisis had prompted bitter debate over partisan power that could have permanently changed the rules, and perhaps the character, of the Senate.

Under the agreement, three of President Bush's nominees for appellate courts stalled by Democratic filibusters will go forward and two others will remain subject to filibuster.


What compromise? The Democrats got everything they wanted. They get to kill some more nominations and kept their right to filibuster all in exchange for some vague promise to use it more responsibly in the future.

Why would these Republicans sign on to this agreement? What, so they could get a few seconds of non-negative coverage from the liberal media? Are you serious?

Oh, it gets better:

The group's members also agreed that they would oppose attempts to filibuster future judicial nominees except under "extraordinary circumstances."

What would constitute "extraordinary circumstances" was not defined.


Oh, you can't define "extraordinary circumstances"? I'll do it for you. It means anyone to the right of Lenin will be painted as an extremist and will be filibustered. Even as we speak, the Democrats are hard at work trying to paint any likely candidate for the Supreme Court as "extraordinary". Baseless Democratic accusations, and the mindless repetition of those accusations by their MSM allies, can make anyone look extreme. Just look at Priscilla Owen, Janice Brown and John Bolton. Hoping the word "extraordinary" will prevent Democrats from using the filibuster irresponsibly is like hoping a sense of guilt will prevent a starving pit bull from eating a raw steak sitting on the countertop. It ain't gonna happen.

Do you know how another way one can tell this was a bad deal? Simple. That ass hat Harry Reid is jumping for joy.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid later welcomed the deal and indicated Democrats would continue to filibuster Myers and Saad, likely dooming their nominations.

"This is really good news for every American," the Nevada Democrat told reporters. "Checks and balances have been protected."


I want to puke.

You have to be a special kind of stupid to believe the Democrats have any intention of honoring the spirit of this deal. The Democratic party under the leadership of Reid, Pelosi and Dean has descended even further into madness. They are little more than an irresponsible group of zealots who is bullying their way into getting pretty much everything they want. Unreal.

Way to go, Republicans. You will pay an awful price at the polls for this one. Hope it was worth it to you.

Blacks and Liberals

Thomas Sowell wrote a column about a topic that I care about in particular; which is the relationship between Blacks and Liberals. Here's the key quote:

Achievement is not what liberalism is about. Victimhood and dependency are.

In my opinion, that is absolutely true. Whatever noble goals and ideals liberalism had 40-50 years ago, it has morphed into a system where victimhood and dependency are desired outcomes, and are used as weapons to help Democrats maintain power. Or in this case since the Democrats are losing elections with increasing frequency, help the Democrats maintain relevance.

This is not a new tactic. Trying to keep a population pissed off by deflecting its attention from more important matters with inflammatory speech or scare tactics is an old trick. Just look at the Middle East. Arab strongmen have long held onto power partially by deflecting the population's dissatisfaction by blaming pretty much everything bad in their countries on the US and Israel. And it has worked.

Way to go, Democrats. You should be proud.

Monday, May 23, 2005

It's Working.....

From the Opinion Journal:

To venture into the Arab world, as I did recently over four weeks in Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan and Iraq, is to travel into Bush Country. I was to encounter people from practically all Arab lands, to listen in on a great debate about the possibility of freedom and liberty. I met Lebanese giddy with the Cedar Revolution that liberated their country from the Syrian prison that had seemed an unalterable curse. They were under no illusions about the change that had come their way. They knew that this new history was the gift of an American president who had put the Syrian rulers on notice. The speed with which Syria quit Lebanon was astonishing, a race to the border to forestall an American strike that the regime could not discount. I met Syrians in the know who admitted that the fear of American power, and the example of American forces flushing Saddam Hussein out of his spider hole, now drive Syrian policy. They hang on George Bush's words in Damascus, I was told: the rulers wondering if Iraq was a crystal ball in which they could glimpse their future.

The weight of American power, historically on the side of the dominant order, now drives this new quest among the Arabs.


This is really driving leftists crazy. And I love every second of it. It's fun to watch the "not in my name" crowd, curled up in a fetal position, chanting "Bush had nothing to do with this, Bush had nothing to do with this" like they did when Reagan's plan worked against the Soviet Union.

Schadenfreude is a great, great feeling.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Psycho Left Drives Away Another Liberal

Here is a lengthy, but incredibly well written, column about a liberal who has had it with the left. Here's a snippet:

Nightfall, Jan. 30. Eight-million Iraqi voters have finished risking their lives to endorse freedom and defy fascism. Three things happen in rapid succession. The right cheers. The left demurs. I walk away from a long-term intimate relationship. I'm separating not from a person but a cause: the political philosophy that for more than three decades has shaped my character and consciousness, my sense of self and community, even my sense of cosmos.

I'm leaving the left -- more precisely, the American cultural left and what it has become during our time together.

I choose this day for my departure because I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives -- people who once championed solidarity with oppressed populations everywhere -- reciting all the ways Iraq's democratic experiment might yet implode.

My estrangement hasn't happened overnight. Out of the corner of my eye I watched what was coming for more than three decades, yet refused to truly see. Now it's all too obvious. Leading voices in America's "peace" movement are actually cheering against self-determination for a long-suffering Third World country because they hate George W. Bush more than they love freedom.


This was in the San Francisco Chronicle. I'm surprised the newspapers didn't spontaneously combust from having such heresy inside.

Jokes aside, I can identify with the writer of this column. I went through a similar process. The Democrtatic party that I believed in was the JFK version. It was the one that believed America was a force for good in the world. It was patriotic. It was a party that wasn't afraid to back up its words with actions. It believed in equality of opportunity, not outcome. It believed in freedom and democracy for everyone on the planet. And so forth.

After 9/11, I took a hard look at myself and re-examined my beliefs. And I figured out one thing. I hadn't changed. My beliefs, which I describe as center left, were pretty much intact. And in the past those beliefs usually led me to vote for Democrats. It was more of a reflex, really. Unless a Republican really convinced me he/she would be better, I'd vote Democrat.

But now, as I really listened to what the Democratic party was saying, I realized one thing. I have nothing in common with these people. I have no idea when and how the Democratic party morphed into America-hating, dictator-loving, wussy, socialists. But that they have is undeniable. The group of people whose beliefs most closely mirror mine are known as Republicans. That's how I voted and will likely vote for the forseeable future. And I suspect the author of this column and myself will not be the last ones to undergo this transformation.

Media Promotes Hatred Of America

Instapundit- who else? - found this at Riding Sun. As Glenn would say, here's the money quote:

If I were to offer Newsweek a suggestion, it would be this: Any story or cover you're ashamed to run in America probably shouldn't be used in other countries, either.

It seems to me that the media expends a significant amount of resources towards denigrating Bush, our military and America in general to foreign audiences. Is it because the liberal media is infected with the same sort of weird, self loathing of all things Western that infects a good chunk of the left? Is it because the media is simply trying to market it's products to an existing anti-American market? Or is it a combination of the two? It's probably a combination.

And to be fair to the left, it's not only our newspapers and magazines that promote America hatred. Celebrities do it (Michael Moore anyone?), as do some authors and academics. The examples are too numerous to mention.

I think its fair to say that the level of anti-Americanism is higher than it would be otherwise due to the left's concerted effort to make America look bad at every opportunity, whatever the reason may be. But what's really infuriating is that these same people then castigate our country for being disliked, even though they are at least partially responsible for the dislike. Am I the only one who has noticed this?

Star Wars

I saw Star Wars last night. I was going to write a review, but I stumbled across this one courtesy of Polipundit. The author makes excellent points on the political nature of the film which are well thought out and quite different than what one would expect. I cannot improve on this so I won't try. Read it.

There has been a lot of discussion about George Lucas' politics, statements, and the content of Revenge of the Sith lately in the blogosphere. Now that I've seen the movie, I thought it was time I gave my own point of view on what I saw. My take is going to be a little different than what you've seen elsewhere.

Friday, May 20, 2005

E-mail From A Soldier

From Chrenkoff's site. Go over there and read the whole thing. Here's the key line:

If this is how liberals support the troops, then could they please f*cking STOP already?

That pretty much says it all. If the media refuses to be on our side, could they at least stop siding with the enemy? That's a rhetorical question. We all know the answer to that.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Let's Not Fight Amongst Ourselves...

There's a reason I don't read the works of avowed leftists like David Corn. It's not good for my blood pressure. But I inadvertently clicked on a link from Instapundit that took me there. And despite myself, I ended up reading a column Corn wrote defending Michael Isikoff from an attack by the liberal media watchdog group Media Matters. Since I already wasted several minutes of my life reading it, I figured I may as well spend a couple of more writing what I thought about it.

Here's a good place to start:

I know, I know. Never try to give someone constructive advice. Yet I'm at it again. My pals at Media Matters have dumped on my friend Michael Isikoff. In my most recent "Capital Games" column at www.thenation.com I attempted to broker a ceasefire and remind the MMers that the real enemy is the White House that is fully exploiting the Newsweek mess to undermine an already weak-kneed media.

Translation: Let us not fight amongst ourselves for we have a common enemy. The White House.

The real enemy is the White House? Think about that for a second. He wrote that the White House is the enemy of the press. Well, at least he is upfront about it. Judging by their collective actions, it's pretty obvious that most of the media believes that Bush is the enemy, but few actually admit it. I've got news for you, Dave. The White House and an ever increasing number of Americans are considering the likes of you the enemy.

Some may try to argue that Corn didn't mean that the White House isn't the enemy in all circumstances, just in this one instance. Spare me.

And don't you just love the "week-kneed media" comment? The press continually attacks Bush with a ferocity that makes a pack of rabid pit bulls look like newborn kittens in comparison. But he thinks the media is weak kneed in its dealings with the White House. What planet is he on?

What particularly ticks off the good folks at Media Matters--which was founded by David Brock, the right-wing journalist who defected from the conservative movement--is that Isikoff was a "leading reporter on the so-called 'Clinton scandals' in the 1990s, including the Paula Jones, Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky cases."

I was not fond of the witch hunt against Clinton for getting fellatio from an ugly intern, either. I think it was a monumental waste of time. Clearly we had better things to do as a country.

My point is that the MM slam on Isikoff is one-sided. His "checkered" past includes work that liberal media-watchers might consider rather positive. He broke the story of how Alberto Gonzalez, when he was Texas Governor George W. Bush's chief counsel in 1996, connived to get Bush out of a jury duty so that Bush would not have to acknowledge he had once been arrested for drunk driving. (Today Gonzalez is the nation's attorney general.) Isikoff also was a lead debunker of the allegation that Vice President Dick Cheney tossed about before the invasion of Iraq concerning a supposed meeting between Mohamed Atta, the 9/11 ringleader, and an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague. (Isikoff accurately reported that the CIA and FBI had found nothing to this charge.) Last year, after the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, Isikoff unearthed the first Justice Department memos showing that the Bush administration had stripped Geneva Convention protections from the prisoners at Guantanamo. He and Mark Hosenball--who together write Newsweek's "Terror Watch" column--recently disclosed that Haliburton had cut a hush-hush deal in Iran and that former GOP presidential candidate Jack Kemp had been questioned by federal investigators about his ties to a businessman under investigation in the oil-for-food scandal. Last year, they detailed how CBS--in the wake of the Dan Rather fiasco--had censored a 60 Minutes segment on the forged documents purporting to show Iraqi efforts to obtain uranium in Niger.

Got all that? He does say that part of what bothered him about the Lewinsky matter was that it was a private issue (not quoted, and I agree) and offered up some professional decisions he made consistent with that. But then he goes on to quote a number of stories he thinks are "good stuff" which consist entirely of attacking the Bush administration. It would lead a neutral observer to conclude what he really likes about these stories versus Lewinsky is that they attack Republicans and the other attacked a Democrat.

Still, here's a modest suggestion to Media Matters (and I do hope my friends there consider this constructive criticism): don't use this occasion to revive the old battles of the Clinton days; Isikoff is not the enemy.

There it is again. Bush is the enemy.

Instead, consider this slice of Elisabeth Bumiller's piece in today'sThe New York Times:

Republicans close to the White House said that although President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were genuinely angered by the Newsweek article, West Wing officials were also exploiting it in an effort to put a check on the press.

"There's no expectation that they're going to bring down Newsweek, but there is a feeling that there is no check on what you guys do," said one outside Bush adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to be identified as talking about possible motives of the White House.

"In the course of any administration," he continued, "you have three or four opportunities, at most, with a high-profile press mistake. And if you're going to make a point - and no White House is ever going to love the way it's covered - you have to highlight those places where there is a screw-up."


Good. I hope this is true and the White House is successful in its efforts. But David seems offended:

So the White House is eagerly waging war on the media.

Close, but not quite, David. Your terminology is wrong. Let me help you out. It's called a "counterattack". Allow me to explain. Several times in this column you have called the White House the enemy of liberal media. You then listed a number of negative articles attacking the administration as evidence of good journalism. You are the ones who declared war on the administration, not the other way around. And in a war, when your enemy exposes a weakness in the midst of a unrelenting assault, a good soldier will exploit it and fight back. That's known as a counterattack.

And notice how that sentence has a little bit of victimization to it? He's whining that the White House is fighting back. It's childish to attack someone and then be offended when you are hit back.

The Bushies peddled the phony tale that Iraq posed a WMD threat, and they have not apologized for that or retracted the war.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Give it a rest already.

Worse, the White House, the Pentagon, the Republicans in Congress are enthusiastically taking advantage of Newsweek's mistakes to weaken a mainstream media that already does not challenge the administration sufficiently.

If Bush were publicly skinned alive it still wouldn't be enough for these people.

But those who yearn for an assertive and independent media ought to fret more about the ongoing campaign to exploit this matter than Isikoff's past, checkered or otherwise.

Translation: We are the real victims here; not the needless hit America's reputation just took, not the military and other overseas personnel who live and work in the lion's den, and certainly not the dead protesters. The media is the victim.

And then they wonder why the journalism profession is losing so much respect.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

No One Likes The French

Hilarious article in the Telegraph about a survey of European attitudes towards the French.

Typically, the French refuse to accept what arrogant, overbearing monsters they are.

But now after the publication of a survey of their neighbours' opinions of them at least they no longer have any excuse for not knowing how unpopular they are.


Well, what did the respondents say?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Britons described them as "chauvinists, stubborn, nannied and humourless". However, the French may be more shocked by the views of other nations.

For the Germans, the French are "pretentious, offhand and frivolous". The Dutch describe them as "agitated, talkative and shallow." The Spanish see them as "cold, distant, vain and impolite" and the Portuguese as "preaching". In Italy they comes across as "snobs, arrogant, flesh-loving, righteous and self-obsessed" and the Greeks find them "not very with it, egocentric bons vivants".

Interestingly, the Swedes consider them "disobedient, immoral, disorganised, neo-colonialist and dirty".


Were the questions loaded or misleading?

But the knockout punch to French pride came in the way the poll was conducted. People were not asked what they hated in the French, just what they thought of them.

"Interviewees were simply asked an open question - what five adjectives sum up the French," said Olivier Clodong, one of the study's two authors and a professor of social and political communication at the Ecole Superieur de Commerce, in Paris. "The answers were overwhelmingly negative."


Nope. Doesn't appear to be.

This looks like fun. But only five adjectives? It is difficult to limit myself to only five, but let me try anyway. How about sneering, condescending, ungrateful, backstabbing assholes?

More on Newsweek

This is absolutely on target:

And now a word about the rioters. They have desecrated their religion and their holy text far more than the alleged flushers of Koranic pages.

Did any Buddhists riot and murder when the Taliban Muslims blew up the irreplaceable giant Buddhist statues in Afghanistan?

Did any Christians riot and murder when an "artist" produced "Piss Christ" -- a crucifix immersed in a jar of the "artist's" urine? When all Christian services and even the wearing of a cross were banned in Saudi Arabia? When Christians are murdered while at prayer in churches by Muslims in Pakistan?

Have any Jews rioted in all the years since it was revealed that Jordanian Muslims used Jewish tombstones in Old Jerusalem as latrines? Or after Palestinians destroyed Joseph's Tomb in 2000 and set fire to the rebuilt tomb in 2003?

It is quite remarkable that many Muslims believe that an American interrogator flushing pages of the Koran is worthy of rioting, but all the torture, slaughter, terror and mass murder done by Muslims in the name of the Koran are unworthy of even a peaceful protest.

Nevertheless, one will have to search extensively for any editorials condemning these primitives in the Western press, let alone in the Muslim press. This is because moral expectations of Muslims are lower than those of other religious groups. Behavior that would be held in contempt if engaged in by Christians or Jews is not only not condemned, it is frequently "understood" when done by Muslims.

That, not phony reports about an American desecrating Koranic pages, should really upset Muslims. It won't. Just as the CBS and Newsweek debacles won't upset the American news media.

The lowest of the Muslim world and the elite of the Western world: Anti-Americanism makes strange bedfellows.

Nuclear Vs. Right To Vote

Charles Krauthammer recently wrote a fairly standard opinion piece about the judicial filibuster issue. What I found interesting was this tidbit:

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist seems intent on passing a procedural ruling to prevent judicial filibusters. Democrats have won the semantic war by getting this branded ``the nuclear option,'' a colorful and deliberately inflammatory term (although Republican Trent Lott, ever helpful, appears to have originated the term). The semantic device reminds me of the slogan of the nuclear freeze campaign of the early 1980s: ``Because nobody wants a nuclear war.'' (Except Reagan, of course.)

I've been thinking the same thing. Even though the Democrats have a very weak hand in this debate, they nonetheless won the PR war through colorful language and mindless repetition from their media allies. Republicans never seem to win these sorts of word battles partially because there's an inherent victim mentality that influences pretty much every word uttered by the left. I can hear it now "We must be strong about the filibuster, fellow Democrats, otherwise the big, bad Republicans will go NUCLEAR!!!" It conjures up images of mushroom clouds and some wild eyed maniac laughing demonically as he pushes the button. It’s quite effective.

The Republicans need help. And I’m volunteering to help them. As a reformed Democrat, I’m familiar with victim think. Let’s start by running down the Republican attempts in the PR war to date.

“It’s not the Nuclear option, it’s the Constitutional option”. This is pretty weak. There is no imagery and it’s too wordy. Moreover, few will understand the legal or constitutional aspects of this issue. No one will repeat this and it won’t sway public opinion.

“It’s not the Nuclear option, it’s the Byrd option”. This is again weak, and for the same reasons. There is no imagery and few will understand the history of Robert Byrd and the filibuster. This also will not sway public opinion.

“All nominees deserve an up or down vote”. Close, but not quite. It’s too wordy and generates little imagery. I suppose it could conjure up some faint ideas of fairness, but overall it’s ineffective.

But let’s build on the last one. Think for a second. What would a victim say? “Those big mean Democrats are taking away my right to vote!! I have a right to vote on the President’s nominees, and the Democrats are taking it away!”

"Right to Vote"! Perfect. It’s three syllables, rolls off the tongue, everyone knows what it means and has great imagery. It conjures up images of citizens being deprived their fundamental rights, an idea which is always in the public’s mind because the Democrats constantly make these bogus accusations- complete with inflammatory commercials- every election cycle.

And then one has to do what a professional victim/Democrat would do; which is to mindlessly repeat the phrase at every opportunity. Here’s a hypothetical:

Democrat: The judicial nominees are crazed theocrats and unfit for the court.

Republican: Then vote against them. If the nominees are as bad as you say, then it should be a simple matter to make your case against them. But I have a right to vote on these nominees.

D: But these nominees shouldn’t even come up for a vote, they are unqualified.
R: They have received the highest ratings and I have a right to vote on them.

D: So that means you will vote in favor of the nominees?
R: Whether or not I will vote in favor of them is irrelevant. I have a right to use my judgment and vote on them.

D: But they have majority support! They will win confirmation!
R: And the problem with that is what, exactly? I have a right to vote and I intend to use it.

D: I will read the entire contents of War and Peace on the Senate floor to prevent a vote.
R: And I will put together a coalition to ensure that I have a right to vote on the nominees.

D: You would go nuclear! (cue the mock outrage)
R: No, I would protect my right to vote. Your actions are denying me my rights.

As an aside, whether or not it is a “right” is irrelevant. Remember, you are playing a victim. Victims in our society get to invent all sorts of rights.

D: You are trying to prevent my right to filibuster!
R: There is no right for the minority to thwart the will of the majority. That only happens by brute force. Advocating minority rule by force makes you the moral equivalent of white South Africans during apartheid.

The above statement isn’t true, of course. But that doesn’t matter. Professional victims often just make stuff up.

And don’t forget about moral equivalence. It’s a valuable tool of lefties/professional victims/Democrats. Use it liberally. No pun intended.


D: You wouldn’t dare invoke the nuclear option.
R: I have a right to vote and will do what’s necessary to preserve it. I will not allow you to deny me my rights.

D: Nuclear!
R: Right to Vote!

Then the Republicans need to send representatives to every media outlet and work the words "right to vote" into every sentence. It will eventually find its way into public consciousness.

The Republicans should win with this approach. At worst, they will achieve a stalemate in the PR war, which will allow more substantive arguments to emerge. Either way, the Republicans win.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Newsweek

Random thoughts about Newsweek and the alleged flushing of the Koran:

• I don’t know, and neither do you, if in fact a US official did flush the Koran as part of an interrogation. It’s entirely possible it happened. Newsweek is seething right now because it was forced to retract this story. Nothing would please the Newsweek editors more than confirming this allegation and feeling vindicated. If in fact this story is true, bet the farm on it coming out and the news coverage being over the top in the same manner as Abu Ghraib. The increased risk to our military will be a secondary consideration at best. The goal is to embarrass the administration and confirm that America is evil.

• I couldn’t care less if the story is true. After seeing the US flag being burned pretty much every day at a protest somewhere in the world, it’s a little difficult for me to get worked up if another culture’s sensibilities are offended. No one seems to care about ours.

• If in fact ripping up a Koran and flushing it gets captured terrorists to talk, then I’m all for it. And for all of you relativists and equivocators out there, just try for once to understand something. This is not torture. There really is a difference between, oh say, chopping off someone’s head and disemboweling them on camera and ripping apart a holy book or a naked prisoner piles. If you can’t understand this, you shouldn’t walk around unattended.

• Newsweek- and the rest of the MSM for that matter- would be wise to at least try to hide its leftist, hate America bias. Here’s an idea. Instead of believing every charge a captured terrorist makes against America and reflexively disbelieving every word that comes out of the administration, maybe they should try the opposite for once? You know, be a little skeptical of the head choppers and give the benefit of the doubt once in a while to our guys? Crazy, I know.

• This story has absolutely, positively no news value whatsoever. The sole intention was to embarrass the administration and to confirm the weird, self loathing impulse of all things Western that seems to reside in most lefties. The only possible reaction was a bad one.

• It should not have been reported even if true. There was no overriding public interest here. We are at war. Things get messy sometimes. For that reason, not everything needs to be reported, particularly if the only possible outcome is to damage us. Is it too much to ask that the MSM stop acting like it’s the adversary? Or an arm of the enemy propaganda machine?

• Newsweek has reinforced everything I hate about the liberal media. F**k you, Newsweek.

More Corruption At The UN

John Hinderaker brings us up to speed on the latest UN thievery. Apparently the organization wants to renovate its New York headquarters. The evil US will pay for it, of course, through a low interest loan. If this loan is repaid, a good chunk of the funds will come from our outsized contributions to the UN budget. Essentially, we are loaning money to ourselves to benefit an organization that detests our very existence. Seems kind of stupid to me.

But the bigger problem is the cost of the project is more than double what New York commercial real estate experts say it should cost. From the Feb 4th New York Sun:

The United Nations has said its plans to renovate its headquarters at Turtle Bay will cost $1.2 billion.

That strikes Donald Trump as far too much. "The United Nations is a mess," the developer said yesterday, "and they're spending hundreds of millions of dollars unnecessarily on this project."

And he's not the only one. Several Manhattan real-estate experts told The New York Sun this week that renovating premium office space should cost a fraction, on a per-square-foot basis, of what U.N. officials expect to pay.

An executive managing director at the commercial real-estate firm Julien J. Studley Inc., Woody Heller, said a thorough renovation of an office building would probably cost between $85 and $160 per square foot.

An executive vice president at Newmark, Scott Panzer, said renovation prices could range between $120 and $200 per square foot. Mr. Panzer, who works with many corporations to redevelop their buildings for future efficiency and energy cost savings, put a price of $70 to $100 per square foot on infrastructure upgrades. Those would include heating; ventilation; air conditioning; replacing the central plant; fenestration (specifically, switching from single-pane to thermal-pane windows); upgrading elevator switch gears, mechanicals, and vertical transportation; improving air quality, and making security upgrades. On top of that amount, another $50 to $100 per square foot would take care of the inside office improvements.

The chairman of global brokerage at commercial real-estate firm CB Richard Ellis, Stephen Siegel, said high-end commercial renovation usually runs $50 to $100 per square foot. For a renovation that does not include new furniture--according to the 2002 Capital Master Plan, the United Nations' will not--but does provide for improved heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning equipment, as well as work on the building exterior, the cost would be closer to the $100 end of the range, Mr. Siegel said. Even accounting generously for upgrades that might be peculiar to the United Nations, Mr. Siegel added, he would set $250 per square foot as the absolute maximum.


Hmmm. Seems as if some people at the UN expect to line their pockets. Yeah, I know. Something new and different.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Women Tired Of Metrosexuals- Er, I mean- Democrats

I love this column.

According to a recent Washington Times report, American women are pig sick of the oversold and dandy metrosexual male imago. It seems as if the ladies are tired of dating, mating and watching these candy asses and, once again, are looking for a man whose masculinity is not in question.

It's about time.

God bless the women who are doing the Sadie Hawkins for guys who are low maintenance and easy going. Yeah … fine American lasses are righteously refusing the low yield, reflexively irate fops Hollywood has tried to cram down our culture’s collective throat. The girls have spoken and have said, No thanks, to the eye-brow- tweaked man. They have sent the metrosexual male back to Europe where he belongs, and, predictably, they have embraced the Marlboro Man.

Isn't it nice that someone is finally saying these things out loud?

Now, for all you Backstreet Boys who are wondering if, if, you are one of these metrosexual males from whom women, men and small animals are running, I’ve concocted a little test to help you shed your proclivities toward abnormality and begin to saddle up and ride in a more masculine direction. Are you ready? If you start to hyper-ventilate, just take a break and control your breathing. Here we go.

You might be a metrosexual if …
• You use more than three words when ordering your Starbuck’s,
• You’re still into rollerblading,
• You put on cologne to go to the gym,
• You have an Armani Exchange or Banana Republic credit card,
• You Tivo Sex in the City and/or Will and Grace,
• You watch Friends with a note pad,
• You have panic attacks (look, either have a real heart attack or cut the crap. That feeling you’re feeling is not death; it’s called responsibility and most everybody feels it. So … suck it up, drink a Guinness and get a life),
• You shave any part of your body except your face or skull,
• You buy your shampoo at a salon instead of a grocery store,
• You take more than two, that’s two, minutes to fix your hair,
• You think Ben Affleck, Colin Farrell, and Orlando Bloom are really, really good actors,
• You think you have a feminine side to get in touch with, and/or
• You must have Evian and only Evian for hydration (Hey, thongmeister. What’s Evian spelled backwards? That’s what you are).


When you think about it, this explains how Bush materially closed the gender gap in the last election. Most women want men, not wimps. Democrats have become the party of wussy metrosexuals, and for some reason, are proud of it.

Just take a look at this manly picture of John Kerry in a bunny suit. Or check out the studly John Edwards combing his hair for an hour. Contrast those displays of testosterone with this picture of Bush or this one of Cheney.

Is it any wonder women are turning to Republicans? Men wearning bunny suits don't inspire confidence when the country is at war.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Mother Of All Media Bias Posts

This is awesome. I'll never put this much energy into a post. Thankfully, other people do:

Bias in the MSM/DNC takes many forms. I am forced to compare these forms each time I catalogue another "lie" for the 2005 list. Much of the MSM/DNC behavior constitutes mere spin or bias, slanted headlines or failure to report opposing points of view. Those items, while reprehensible, do not constitute "lies." For the sake of clarity and so that we can more easily discuss the tactics of the MSM/DNC, I have categorized here some of those MSM/DNC tactics:

Read the whole thing.

(Thanks, Polipundit)

Lefty Academics

This doesn't surprise me:

College faculties, long assumed to be a liberal bastion, lean further to the left than even the most conspiratorial conservatives might have imagined, a new study says.

By their own description, 72 percent of those teaching at American universities and colleges are liberal and 15 percent are conservative, says the study being published this week. The imbalance is almost as striking in partisan terms, with 50 percent of the faculty members surveyed identifying themselves as Democrats and 11 percent as Republicans.

The disparity is even more pronounced at the most elite schools, where, according to the study, 87 percent of faculty are liberal and 13 percent are conservative.


This study was based on 1999 data. If another survey was taken today, the results would almost certainly be less pronounced. Not because the professor's beliefs are different. If anything, they are probably more left today than in 1999. It's because a lack of intellectual diversity on college campuses is becoming an issue, and faculties are sensitive to that. Fewer will want to identify themselves as liberal so as to escape criticism.

When asked about the findings, Jonathan Knight, director of academic freedom and tenure for the American Association of University Professors, said, "The question is how this translates into what happens within the academic community on such issues as curriculum, admission of students, evaluation of students, evaluation of faculty for salary and promotion." Knight said he isn't aware of "any good evidence" that personal views are having an impact on campus policies.

"It's hard to see that these liberal views cut very deeply into the education of students. In fact, a number of studies show the core values that students bring into the university are not very much altered by being in college."


Where have we heard this argument before, boys and girls? Why, it's the standard response given by journalists defending liberal media! Journalists want you to believe that, even though they are statistically far to the left of the US as a whole politically, that their thoughts, opinions and attitudes are never ever reflected in their news presentation. Similarly, liberal academics want you to believe that even though they are Trotskyites at heart, these opinions never, ever make it into the classroom. Few believe this journalist claim- hence the popularity of Fox news-, and few will believe academics.

How to change the academic environment? Why not use a tried and true lefty tactic against them and sue? Let's have an affirmative action program for non-socialist professors on campus. I'm not sure what all the legal hurdles are, but over time I'm confident they can be overcome. The lack of intellectual diversity is clear discrimination, and documenting it can't be too hard. Also, I can't imagine it would be that difficult to find an activist judge willing to create a law out of thin air on this issue. Why not? It might be the only way to end this nonsense.

Answer Is Obvious, But Dems Won't Do It

Polidata is a firm that collects precinct level election data and publishes it. Surprisingly, they seem to be the only firm that does this nationwide. Anyway, it doesn't look good for the Democrats. Here's the key quote from an article in the Opinion Journal:

It's no accident that Mrs. Clinton, who will be running for re-election in New York next year before she launches her presidential campaign, is talking about the importance of religious faith and reaching out to moderate voters. "She pores over political data as carefully as Bill Clinton ever did," says New York Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf. A close look at the Congressional district results from last year is convincing many Democrats that a move to the middle may be more than a smart media strategy. It may be a matter of political survival.

After reading the article, it will be obvious that the Democrats need to move to the middle. Unfortunately for the party, and for the nation, they won't. If Democratic politicians move to the middle where we normal humans reside, they will lose their hysterical, screeching, socialist base, which is a considerable portion of the party. There is no way the Democratic Underground, Moveon.org, Hollywood lefties and their ilk will let this happen. A party that hates the likes of Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman is not concerned with those of us in the middle.

Here's another article worth reading. It's a review of a book titled "The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy".

It was several months before Election Day. George W. Bush and John Kerry had pulled to a statistical dead heat, and the pundits were poring over the polls in an effort to divine the reasons for the latest shift in public opinion. But MoveOn.org had more pressing concerns. It was moved to ask its network of true believers: "Why aren't we talking about a landslide in November?"

Such groundless conviction "was not at all unusual in the world of MoveOn," writes Byron York in "The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy." The triumphalism flowed, he notes, from a deceptively simple rationale. Feeling a passionate contempt for the president and his policies, the MoveOn rank-and-file labored under the illusion that they represented the majority of the American people.