Thursday, June 29, 2006

Scientists Agree With Gore

"Climate Experts: Gore's Movie Get's Science Right", with the sub-headline, "The nation's top climate scientists are giving "An Inconvenient Truth," Al Gore's documentary on global warming, five stars for accuracy".

Really? I hope these scientists don't use statistical methods like the AP, and who by the way picks "the top scientists"? Is there a referreed list provided by vote, or do they all do a ranking each year? I don't think so.

In the first paragraph, they admit ..."mostly got the science right, said all 19 climate scientists who had seen the movie or read the book and answered questions from The Associated Press.". They mention this is out of over 100 that they contacted. So, you take a self-selecting sample, use only that sample, and draw a conclusion.

So can I poll scientists walking out of Baptist Churches and ask them if they believe that God created the earth, and then run my headline saying "Scientists Agree: God Created the Earth"? Why not? Same logic entirely.

This is a press that is unbiased? Well, if it IS unbiased, I'd hate to have to defend it's intelligence.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Prosecute the NYT

In his column
Barone: NYT at War With America
Michael Barone stops short of saying that it is time to prosecute the NYT for publishing national secrets in time of war. Why? This is the second time for sure that they have broken stories that are classified and have had a negative impact on tracking terrorists. The idea that financial transactions being tracked internationally is "a concern" is laughable. What DOMESTIC private transaction isn't tracked by some government agency when one considers all the federaal and state taxes as well as sales taxes? Other than buying soemething for cash, I assume that every transaction that I do has a record that is likely to be accessible by the government (not to mention the credit card company, which I KNOW is more than happy to sell information). So? Are we out to create a "terrorist shield" so that every US consumer is mercilessly tracked UNLESS they try to buy something that may be used for terrorism?

It should be obvious by now the that the NYT is far more conserned with damaging Bush than they are with anything about reducing terror. They have generally staked out their target market on the far left of the political spectrum, but that ought not be confused with "freedom of the press". The press isn't free to break the law. When they breech national security, as they did in this case, someone ought to go to jail.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Of Course Iraq Had WMD

Next to the party of Jim Crow and the KKK being re-branded as the party that protects the black man, and Alger Hiss being innocent, the "Where are the WMDs" charge is fast on it's way to going down as to one of those "myths of faith" that is part of the liberal religion.

Anyone with a brain knew Saddam had WMD, because he had used them, and he was documented by everyone to have them. Not long after the war, 30 shells with sarin in them were found, along with 100s of other shells only used for chemicals and equipment to load them. Those stories made it out, mostly in the right-wing press, but the MSM and the Democrats have kept up the "where are the WMDs" drumbeat anyway since it fits with their myth.

Any honest person would admit that the "unbelievable surprise" was that "no WMDs were found". Everyone knew he used them, everyone knew that every intelligence agency in the world had him listed as possessing him. If you hate Bush and think he is the most evil guy ever, it has to be surprising that he wouldn't plant some. After all, if Bush knew Saddam didn't have WMD, he would know they certainly wouldn't be found, so would have to "manufacture some". Not much of a trick for level of evil that most of the left assigns to him, but it never happened. He faked 9-11, then he forgot to plant some WMD? Oh, I forget -- W was both as evil as Hitler and as dumb as a stump!

Now, some Republicans in Congress are starting to force the CIA to release information on the over 500 munitions filled with sarin and other chemicals that have been found to date. Why would the CIA not want information out that shows that their own pre-war intelligence wasn't nearly as bad as it has been made out to be? Your guess may well be as good as mine.

Ever since the "Plame Game" fake "outing" I've been convinced the CIA is more interested in running operations on Bush than on terrorism. Like all big government organizations it is mostly populated by liberal union members with lifetime employment who think that Republicans are some combination of evil and stupid. Having Reagan prove them to be completely wrong on the USSR was no doubt painful.

Having 9-11 happen had to be embarrassing, and no doubt they didn't like having a guy that they saw as mentally inferior working to mold them into shape after they had proven that they couldn't predict even a major event like 9-11 was simply "over their pain tolerance". If they could manage to take Bush down as disgraced, maybe folks would forget the intelligence agencies that completely failed us prior to 9-11.In any case, the following from WSJ is something that the MSM will not doubt not want to talk about.

Saddam's WMD
Why is our intelligence community holding back?

Monday, June 26, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT

On Wednesday, at our request, the director of national intelligence declassified six "key points" from a National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) report on the recovery of chemical munitions in Iraq. The summary was only a small snapshot of the entire report, but even so, it brings new information to the American people. "Since 2003," the summary states, "Coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent," which remains "hazardous and potentially lethal." So there are WMDs in Iraq, and they could kill Americans there or all over the world.
This latest information should not be new. It should have been brought to public attention by officials in the intelligence community. Instead, it had to be pried out of them. Mr. Santorum wrote to John DeFreitas, commanding general, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, on April 12, asking to see the report. He wrote, "I am informed that there may well be many more stores of WMDs throughout Iraq," and added, "the people of Pennsylvania and Members of Congress would benefit from reviewing this report." He asked that the "NGIC work with the appropriate entities" to declassify as much of the information as possible.

The senator received no response. On June 5, he wrote again, this time to John Negroponte, director of national intelligence, "concerning captured Iraqi documents, data, media and maps from the regime of Saddam Hussein." He mentioned his disappointment that many captured Iraqi documents had been classified, and that he still had received no response from Gen. DeFreitas. Some 10 days later, still with no response, he shared his dismay with one of us, Pete Hoekstra, chairman of the House Permanent Committee on Intelligence, who on June 15 wrote to Mr. Negroponte, urging him to declassify the NGIC analytic piece. Mr. Hoekstra was also dismayed because he had not been informed through normal intelligence channels of the existence of this report.

To compound matters, during a call-in briefing with journalists held at noon on June 21, intelligence officials misleadingly said that "on June 19, we received a second request; this time asking that we, in short order--48 hours--declassify the key points, which are sort of the equivalent to key judgments from something like a National Intelligence Estimate, from the assessment." The fault was their own; we had been requesting this information for nine weeks and they had not acted.

On Thursday, Mr. Negroponte's office arranged a press briefing by unnamed intelligence officials to downplay the significance of the report, calling it "not new news" even as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was reiterating the obvious importance of the information: "What has been announced is accurate, that there have been hundreds of canisters or weapons of various types found that either currently have sarin in them or had sarin in them, and sarin is dangerous. And it's dangerous to our forces. . . . They are weapons of mass destruction. They are harmful to human beings. And they have been found. . . . And they are still being found and discovered."
In fact, the public knows relatively little about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Indeed, we do not even know what is known or unknown. Charles Duelfer, former head of the Iraq Survey Group, stated that the ISG had fully evaluated less than 0.25% of the more than 10,000 weapons caches known to exist throughout Iraq. It follows that the American people should be brought up to date frequently on our state of knowledge of this important matter. That is why we asked that the entire document be declassified, minus the exact sources, methods and locations. It is also, in part, why we have fought for the declassification of hundreds of thousands of Saddam-era documents.

The president is the ultimate classifier and declassifier of information, but the entire matter has now been so politicized that, in practice, he is often paralyzed. If he were to order the declassification of a document pointing to the existence of WMDs in Iraq, he would be instantly accused of "cherry picking" and "politicizing intelligence." He may therefore not be inclined to act.

In practice, then, the intelligence community decides what the American public and its elected officials can know and when they will learn it. Sometimes those decisions are made by top officials, while on other occasions they are made by unnamed bureaucrats with friends in the media. People who leak the existence of sensitive intelligence programs like the terrorist surveillance program or financial tracking programs to either damage the administration or help al Qaeda, or perhaps both, are using the release or withholding of documents to advance their political desires, even as they accuse others of manipulating intelligence.

We believe that the decisions of when and what Americans can know about issues of national security should not be made by unelected, unnamed and unaccountable people.

Some officials in the intelligence community withheld the document we requested on WMDs, and somebody is resisting our request to declassify the entire document while briefing journalists in a tendentious manner. We will continue to ask for declassification of this document and the hundreds of thousands of other Saddam-produced documents, and we will also insist on periodic updates on discoveries in Iraq.

This is no small matter. It is not--as a few self-proclaimed experts have declared--a spat over ancient history. It involves life and death for American soldiers on the battlefield, and it involves the ability of the American people to evaluate the actions of their government, and thus to render an objective judgment. The people must have the whole picture, not just a shard of reality dished up by politicized intelligence officers.

Information is a potent weapon in the current war. Al Qaeda uses the Internet very effectively and uses the media as a terrorist tool. If the American public can be deceived by people who withhold basic information, we risk losing the war at home, even if we win it on the battlefield. The debate should focus on the basic question--what, exactly, we need to do to succeed both here and in Iraq. We are dismayed to have learned how many people in our own government are trying to distort that debate.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Limbaugh Harrassment

The same CNN that always pointed out it was a "private matter" for a president under investigation for sexual harrassment to have sex with an employee at the office finds it national news if a conservative commentator is detained for having viagra in his possession that may or may not be without a perscription. The only reason this is news is to harrass a voice that doesn't tow the left wing party line and has an audience.

The position of the left and the MSM in this country is clear and has been for a long time. They will seek any means possible to suppress voices that disagree with them, legally or illegally. They will claim "free speech", but it is "free" only as long as the speech agrees with their view of the world. If it is conservative, religious, technically accurate on a subject where that damages their cause, or in any other way out of step with liberal orthodoxy, they will harrass, legislate, suppress, shout down, or take any other action that they can to suppress the speech. The leadership of the left understands that they can't openly state most of their beliefs, or they will suffer worse at the polls than they already have. In most cases, they also realize that legitimate debate has toe be suppressed or they will simply lose in the marketplace of ideas as well.

To people of the right, none of this should be any surprise, but sometimes the media goes out of it's way to make their positions crystal clear, and it is important for people that believe in truth and facts to take note so that the "everything is a shade of gray" crowd is faced with some specifics that show their primary colors.


My eldest son's Eagle Scout ceremony was this past Saturday. I've been busy this spring doing digital slide shows to music for both his high school graduation and this ceremony on my Mac previous using iPhoto. Very impressive software, the "Ken Burns effect", done automatically by the program really does a lot, and the ability of the Mac to hook up to a projector, get the resolution right, ask you if you want to clone your screen, and "just work" is very impressive. Very much more impressive than all the time I've spent setting resolutions, hitting Alt-PF7 over and over, and then looking at a micro screen on the laptop while projecting off my Thinkpad.

Since I put the slides together and picked the music, one would think that a grown man without a reputation for emotion could avoid tears during the ceremony, but apparently not. It seems to be a pretty common problem, when we see pictures of our children growing up over a short period along with some evocative music like Pachelbel Canon in D, the sweeping realization of love, pride, shortness of time, blessing, our finitude, the joy of having been a part of their lives and a host of other things too difficult to name just comes flooding over me. It is enough to make me believe there is more to life than the material world, but apparently not for some. It gives me a shiver of awareness for the infinite.

As I reflect on the Scouts and the rank of Eagle, I'm utterly amazed at what percentage of our country has decided that "the Scouts have got to conform or go" on two issues. The first being that gay men ought to able to be scout leaders. Simply brilliant, and straight men would seem to be great girl scout leaders for girls from 12-17. Sure. "North American Man-Boy Camping Association"?

Second issue of course is that a scout is "reverent". Can't have that with about 50% of our current society, can we? Well, they haven't won yet. Another Eagle Scout goes into the fray. Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Brave, Thrifty, Clean, and Reverent. The liberal ranks used to like to fog the issues, but when they take on the scouts, their true colors become more visible.

The left lie of what they ACTUALLY think of real freedom and diversity of thought is laid bare.

I was never an scout at all, let alone an Eagle, so the path of exceeding dear old Dad is well under way and I couldn't be happier. Apparently I missed bursting with pride, but the thought crossed my mind. On new wings and our fervent prayers, a young eagle prepares to leave the nest for college come fall.

 I pray he can stand strong for the values that can give him a wonderful life and eternity!

Saturday, June 10, 2006


For regular NPR and general MSM followers, there was a lot of anticipation for the special election in Californias 50th congressional district, formerly held by Randy "Duke" Cunningham, forced to resign after admitting to taking bribes. The MSM and the Democrats have done all they can to create "a culture of corruption" around Cunningham,Jack Abramoff, and Tom DeLay. Not neccesarily all related in any way, or even "corrupt", but facts have never been huge issues for either the MSM or Democrats.

Prior to Tuesday the chops were being licked over the prospect that Francine Busby would defeat Brian Bilbray in this heavily Republican district. Wednesday AM, the hopes had all been dashed and the story was gone, no "bellweather" here, no need to look at the story anymore. Yet another evil Republican took the district, even with a conviction on the previous congressman, and the MSM telling us every single day that everyone should hate Bush. A sad day for America.

Some MSM definitions need to be kept straght:

"Bellweather" - An election going in a way that looks bad for Republicans.

"Stolen" - Any election closer than double digits that a Republican wins.

"Whistle Blower" - Anyone that says anything that ought to be a secret but looks bad a Republicans.

"Leaker" - Anyone that says anything that is bad for a Democrat. Even if it was public knowledge before, soemone ought to go to jail for saying something bad about a Democrat.

Good - See Democrat

Evil - See Republican

Swiftboating - Anything said by a military person that isn't complimentaty to a Democrat.

Keeping the definitions straight can really help the understanding of the news!

Democrats Fight On

This is a spoof off, but gives a good indicator of where bias in the media is at. The MAIN STREAM media, actual Democrat Senators and Congressmen have made statements like:

"It is all about Oil, Bush is in Iraq only for oil" - even the most out of touch idiot with a brain could realize that lifting the sanctions on Saddam would have netted far more oil than going to war.

"The Iraq war was cooked up in TX to get Republicans in power" - Going to war is a bad way to get votes, ask Lyndon Johnson, and look at the current polls. The Iraq war is a DRAG on polls, not an add.

"We support the troops, just not this unjust war" - Witness Haditha, tons of folks in the MSM and the left are very anxious to convict Marines with no evidence beyond hearsay. It is hard for them to ever accept guilt for a murderer in the US no matter what the evidence. Half the time a confession won't even cut it.

The sadness was palpable on MPR as the news came out this past week. It was quickly pointed out that "it didn't make any difference" of course, and "it may be worse" since he may be seen as a martyr (they hope, they hope), and of course he had been "demonized by the Bush administration". al-Zarqawi has always been tough for the MSM and Democrats, because one of their favorite stories was that "many Americans had been misled that "Iraq and al-Quaeda had connections", and then occasionally had to report that al-Zarqawi fled their from Afghanistan in 2002. They also occasionally liked to chide the Bush administration for "not even being able to capture or kill al-Zarqawi".

For the "consistency isn't an issue" crowd, none of this makes much difference. They can forget about this news as fast as good economic news, lower casualty number and elections in Iraq, and anything else that might look like "good news". The Democrats aren't in power, so it all sucks.

If the right to center right press was putting out a story that claimed all this to be true, then we would be pretty close to a "balanced press that was equally as idiotic as the current MSM and left-wing press". If we could ever get tot he point where we talked about actual facts from at least two points of view and potential alternatives rather than poll numbers and name calling, then we would have a press that could let more people make informed decisions and have a national discussion.

The "fighting on in the war on the ware on terror" is pretty darned close to being actual truth, and they certainly had a lot more respect for this particular head-chopper than they do for any old US Marine or member of the Bush administration.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Innocent Unless Proven Military

It is sad to listen to the left fulminate and hope against hope that Haditha becomes synonymous with My Lai and brings American troops home in disgrace. The current left likes to claim "support for the military", but they look at their actions with a lot different view than their usual criminal constituency. Any brand of child molester, murderer, drug addict, or any criminal not "white collar" must receive the full protection of law, numerous trials and re-trials in order to be even nominally be called "guilty". Even then, the real "guilt" is usually due to injustice, poor childhood, societies corrupt values, or other mitigating factors.

Marines faced with daily combat in situations where their buddies are blown in half receive no such consideration. They are declared guilty instantly, and in the most sensational terms possible.

Molly Ivins declares;

So, Haditha becomes another of the names at which we wince, along with Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and My Lai. Tell you what: Let's not use the "stress of combat" excuse this time. According to neighbors, the girls in the family of Younis Khafif -- the one who kept pleading in English: "I am a friend. I am good" -- were 14, 10, 5, 3 and 1. What are they going to say? "Under stress of combat, we thought the baby was 2"?

Molly knows all about "stress of combat", her bravery is pretty much confined to writing, and it is pretty easy to see the joy in her column as she thinly raises the classic liberal epithet for the military "baby killers". She isn't alone, the left gets very excited about every chance to discredit America, and the military is a part of America that they especially love to soil. No use of letting something like "due process" get in the way of that as there would be with a cop killer. No, with Marines, a "patriot" like Molly can rush directly to judgment and point out her expertise and understanding of the stress of combat instantly, and the MSM stands back and applauds.

What happened at Haditha? I'm sure we will know pretty well at some point, and if it was wrong, there will be penalties. What penalties will there be for Molly? Sometimes "free speech" is worth just as much as free advice.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Rousseau:Restless Genius

Finished this biography of Roesseau by Leo Damrosch. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (JJR) is considered by many to be one of the key fathers of modern liberalism, and many of the key tenants of liberalism shine through. The one stated by JJR many ways and in many forms is "men are wicked, but man is good". One of the prime acts for the liberal is to locate the source of good within the individual, so at the core, the self is "good, true, perfect", no matter what the outward behavior or result might be. JJR has no formal education, lives a life of no great virtue as understood by any philosophical system, yet simply declares his life to be virtuous because it is "authentic", "true to himself", with the self as the ultimate judgment of goodness.

At the start of "The Confessions", JRR opens with this statement that any Christian will recognize for the sad empty wish that it is:

" Let the trumpet of the Last judgment sound when it likes; I will present myself with this book in hand before the sovereign judge ... Eternal Being, assemble around me the numberless throng of my semblables; let them hear my confessions, let them groan at my disgraceful actions, let them blush at my wretchedness, but let each of them reveal his heart with the same sincerity at the foot of your throne, and let a single one say, if he dares, "I was better than that man."

Sadly, JRR worshiped in and took communion at various times in both Catholic and very conservative Calvinist Protestants Churches, yet somehow missed the core of Christianity that any works of man, confession, or otherwise, are of no use in the covering of sin. One can hear the sound of liberalism though, nobody is any "better" than anyone else, BUT, MY works point out that I'm really the best. Certainly nobody is any better.

The first JJR work that was widely noted then, and is still well known is "Discourse on the Origin and Foundation of Inequality among Men". His breakthrough thought is that primitive man with "no socialization" (whatever that means) is "good", and there would be no evil or "inequality", which to JJR and the liberals who follow is basically the ultimate evil. This is one of these points at which a conservative thinker must return for nearly childlike thought patterns to gain anything but laughter for what a significant number of people find to be nearly holy writ. Conservatism is grounded in reality, and believes that there is such a thing as objective truth, and it is the same for all. All may not find it, or be able to comprehend it even when faced with it, but it exists.

For the liberal thinker, such is not that case. What is a "human" without "society"? What is a bee with no other bees? Well, nothing of course, they don't exist. They don't exist because man is a social creature just as bees are social. In order to function, we come together in groups. Reality is never going to get in the way of liberal thought however, so JJR decides that "solitary man" is "good" (as defined by each solitary man), and "men", groupings right down to the family are "bad" ... because they breed "envy", "inequality", the potential and the reality of "evil".

Unsurprisingly, JJR was uncomfortable in social settings, had a urinary tract problem that caused him to need to relieve himself extremely frequently, and was plagued with depression, psychosomatic illness, and was unstable to the point that he bordered on being paranoid. He never married, but had a couple very long term affairs. He had 4 or 5 illegitimate children which he consigned to the orphanage, a death sentence in his day, yet he is considered a foundational thinker for liberal education,  especially "Emile". He never really held a steady job, didn't believe in income inequality or aristocracy, yet regularly availed himself of living arrangements and sustenance from the elite of the day. Liberals have never believed that consistency was of any interest, and JJR fits that very well.

Part of his "genius" was "emotion over reason", and "the personal confession and childhood events as key to psychological understanding". If the self is God, and the ultimate good, we can see where "understanding the self" is of primary importance and interest. "It is all about you". JJR is one of the founders of "be true to yourself", and the search to find out where "events", or "family", or "society" have damaged this believed innate goodness and happiness of the almighty individual. The task for the liberal life is to discover your own unique good and perfect inner plan, and live according to your own personal dictates. If you ever do wrong, it is the fault of your family, society, organized religion, corrupt politics, or inequality, anything but yourself. JJR was one of the original "victims". He was never treated fairly, and was constantly pursued and hounded by governments and enemies.

In truth, he did manage to ruffle enough feathers to have enemies, and some sanctions against him, but he also received enormous patronage and kindness, often from the very same aristocracy and governments that he maligned. I never fully realized his fame in Europe, a fairly major street named after him in Paris, and a number of historic sites. He was one of the key figures looked up to and admired by many of those that instigated the French revolution, and was read by many of the American founders as well.

The book has a lot more detail on his life than I would likely care to know, and in many ways I would have been better served by going directly to his writings than this biography, however the insight into "what kind of person often becomes a liberal" is also worthy. For whatever reasons, they choose to believe that their lives are not their own, and they are "victims". They see the "specialness of their feelings", and assume that their feelings and their thinking is of special use and merit over that of others, and believe it to be "good" by their own standards, rather than any outside standard. It becomes easy to see why conversation between liberals and conservatives can be quite difficult.