Saturday, September 30, 2006

Betrayed by Republican Leaders

Updated Update: Upon further investigation and sober reflection, it's obvious that the Democrats sat on this scandal for almost a year, waiting until just before the elections to spring an "October surprise." As this article shows, the Democrats are true hypocrites on many levels.

First there is their feigned outrage; this from the party of Gerry Studds, Barney Frank, Ted Kennedy, and Bill Clinton.

Second, their calls for investigations of Republican leadership, when their leadership sat on the story for a year and didn't call for any investigations themselves.

Finally, there is the matter of equating Foley's inappropriate phone sex banter with the physical acts performed by and on Gerry Studds and Bill Clinton, and the involvement with and the promotion of prostitution by Barney Frank.

Did I mention the Democrats are hypocrites? And is it going to be noticed that Democrats are complicit in Foley's transgressions? If they acted on the information they had a year ago, Foley would not have committed many of the dastardly deeds of the past year, and the Democrats would have accomplished what they say is driving them now, preventing young boys from inappropriate sexual attention.

UPDATE: The disgust I express below is tempered by the greater disgust I have for the hypocritical Democratic leadership. Foley sent suggestive e-mails and text messages to a page. Gerry Studds, former Democratic congressman from Massachusetts, admitted to "consensual" sexual relations with a 17-year old page. For Democrats, who have a way of glossing over essential points, Gerry Studds admitted to having sex with a 17-year old, not to sending him suggestive messages, although he probably did that too.

To spell things out a bit more, Gerry Studds used a superior to subordinate relationship to get to have sex with a young government employee. Gerry Studds did not resign in disgrace. He had a press conference featuring the young page agreeing with him that the sex was consensual, and that it was nobody's business but their own. Gerry Studds turned his back and ignored the House when his censure was read, then proceeded to be reelected five more terms after the censure.

I think even a Democrat is smart enough to understand this. Today's Democratic House leaders are making a big issue of the fact that Republican leaders didn't cashier Foley for making suggestive remarks, yet Democratic leaders continued to work with and accept Gerry Studds in their caucus after they found he had sexual relations with an underage government employee - do you understand the difference between a sex act and a suggestion? - I typed this slow to help Democrats understand - and Gerry Studds was unrepentant. He never admitted he had done anything wrong.

In typical Democratic fashion, he claimed victim status for himself. He said that it was really tough to be both an elected official and gay. Obviously he felt that it was unreasonable to give up being a pedophile just because he was an elected official. It seems that if he was a pedophile in a private rather than a public position, his pedophilia would be OK. Democratic leaders soon agreed that it was OK in a public position too, as long as you are a Democrat.

So I take back a lot of what I wrote below. I really don't know how much the Republican leaders knew, and I judged them hastily. But the test of time has rendered a verdict on the Democratic leaders, and history has rightly concluded that they are congenital hypocrites.

I just did a post based on the saying, “those who don’t know history are bound to repeat its mistakes.” Then tonight Alice and I discussed our disgust with Republican congressional leadership because they covered up the Foley mess until it blew up in their faces a month before the biggest congressional election since 1994. There it was, history repeating itself.

A lesson we thought had been learned once and for all time when President Nixon resigned because he tried to cover up a “third-rate” burglary seems never to have sunken in. I though the Republican leadership would surely be taking notes when the Catholic Church in America suffered almost terminal embarrassment and financial ruin when it tried to finesse priests’ sexual exploitation of boys and young men.

Why does “if I ignore it, it will go away,” still have such a strong following among our so-called leaders? Don’t they realize that if they ignore it, it will come out at the worst possible time and cause the most damage imaginable?

Two thousand years ago the Greeks knew of the human failings that caused great men to pretend away the inevitable. Greek tragedies are still cautionary lessons for us today. The actors we watch could be Republican leaders, thinking that if they just tell the guy to get his act together, he’ll see the light and they won’t have to deal with a bunch of unpleasantries. At the time they are thinking, “We have to protect our majority at all costs.”

Maybe Republican leaders think they can be like the Democrats. Ted Kennedy, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barney Frank, Robert Byrd, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Marion Barry, Sandy Berger, Thomas Dodd, Hazel O’Leary, Gerry Studds, Maxine Waters, and many other Democrats have been caught in significant ethical and even criminal violations, and have survived politically.

Unfortunately those Republican leaders have forgotten the lessons of Trent Lott, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, and other Republicans who were disgraced and dumped for doing things that would be a ho-hum if done by a Democrat.

As an example, Trent Lott said words of praise for Strom Thurmond, a colleague celebrating his 100th birthday, about an event in 1948, which were deemed racially insensitive and caused Lott to resign his Senate Majority Leader position.

In 2001 Robert Byrd, former “Kleagle” and “Exalted Cyclops” of the Klu Klux Klan, and opponent of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, remarked about “white niggers” twice on Fox News Sunday.

Robert Byrd is still an exalted leader of the Democratic Party; Trent Lott is no longer a leader of the Republican Party.

Of course there’s a double standard, but Republican leaders like Dennis Hastert are too dumb to deal with it. If what I have read is true, that Speaker of the House Hastert was told about Foley a year ago and didn’t do anything about it, Hastert should resign immediately.

Alice and I feel like we have been kicked in the stomach, that our ideals and trust in Republican leadership have been betrayed.

Now we know how American Catholics feel.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Cal Berkeley Students Doomed by Ignorance

"Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat its mistakes."

One sure way to not know history or understand government is to go to an elite university, for instance the University of California at Berkeley. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, in an article “Top-flight colleges fail civics, study says Cal and Stanford seniors test poorly,” by Tanya Schevitz, Chronicle Staff Writer, Wednesday, September 27, 2006:

“Seniors at UC Berkeley, the nation's premier public university, got an F in their basic knowledge of American history, government and politics in a new national survey, and students at Stanford University didn't do much better, getting a D.’

“Out of 50 schools surveyed, Cal ranked 49th and Stanford 31st in how well they are increasing student knowledge about American history and civics between the freshman and senior years. And they're not alone among major universities in being fitted for a civics dunce cap.”

When I read this article it was as if a brilliant flash of insight and understanding blazed in my head. This explains so much.

It explains why “educated” Democratic leaders (and some Republicans, like John McCain), can spout foolishness such as, “If we don’t give terrorists the protections of the Geneva Conventions, our own soldiers won’t be protected.”

Reporters, of course, are equally history challenged, or they would trip and stumble all over themselves to ask the question, “In what war were our soldiers ever protected by the Geneva Conventions?”

When the Democratic leaders (and McCain) are finally forced to admit that the Geneva Conventions (GC) have never protected American soldiers in war, the obvious follow-on question would be: “Isn’t everything terrorists do a violation of the Geneva Conventions?”

For examples, terrorists hide among civilians – a violation of the Geneva Conventions. Terrorists kill civilians – a GC violation. Terrorists torture and murder both captured enemy soldiers and innocent civilians – this is not in accordance with GC. Terrorists broadcast their atrocities to intimidate and demoralize civilians – not allowed by the GC.

Then the Democratic leaders (and of course John McCain), will say “if we don’t follow the Geneva Conventions, how can we try terrorists for violating them?”

To which the non-UC Berkeley graduate reporter would ask: “Why can’t you try the terrorists for breaking the law, such as laws prohibiting murder?” The fact the terrorists are not signatories to the Geneva Conventions means we can't try them for violating it anyway.

Of course, the Berkeley graduates display much more ignorance than of just the events surrounding the Geneva Conventions. They continue to be appallingly, even willfully ignorant, of the history of societies under socialism and under capitalism. They continually press the point that the United States needs more socialism, as socialist governments struggle and fail all over the world. When reminded that socialist states, such as the Soviet Union, North Korea, Cuba, former Iron Curtain countries East Germany, Poland, and Albania, and most of the socialist nations of Africa, have all failed or are failing, the supporters of socialism say it hasn’t been done right yet. They fail to recognize that, given human nature, it can never “be done right.”

As the economy of the United States continues its long, strong upward climb, and the economies of Germany, France, Japan, and other European socialist states strangle themselves on their burgeoning social welfare programs, the academics still point to the failures as examples the United States should follow. The National Health System of the United Kingdom is falling apart. “We need a health system like the UK,” say the Democrats. The Canadian health system is on life support. “We need a Canadian-style health system!” the left’s leaders shout.

You can’t learn from the mistakes of others if you’re too ignorant of history to know they messed up.

So many examples from the history-challenged leadership of the Democratic Party come to mind, it’s hard to pick the next example. Supporters maintain that no Democratic leaders would ever trample on individual rights as President Bush and Republicans are doing in detaining suspected terrorists. So soon they forget that President Franklin Roosevelt and an overwhelmingly Democratic Congress were responsible for interning over 100,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry. No charges, no trials, no safeguarding their property.

Former Vice-President Gore claims it is hotter now than during any period in one thousand, two thousand, a hundred thousand, over a million years. The astute reporter would ask, “Mr. Gore, aren’t you overlooking the Medieval Warm Period, lasting from the 10th to about the 14th Century?” The inconvenient truth is that Mr. Gore hopes you will overlook the Medieval Warm Period too. There is significant evidence it was warmer then than now, given there were vineyards in England and farms on the Greenland coast.

News to Blacks! The Democratic Party was the party of your oppression in the South, and is now the party that takes you for granted and sells you out every chance they get. Example needed? Look no farther than the pathetic education Blacks receive from public schools, dooming them to a life of failure, thanks to the Democratic Party being a fully-owned subsidiary of the teachers’ unions.

Need another example? Democratic leaders say that Blacks wouldn’t have suffered from Katrina if the Democrats were in charge. Guess what? From the governor of Louisiana on down, the Democrats were in charge. The historically challenged should get out their unopened history book, and there they will find that the Democrats have always been in charge in Louisiana. Perhaps now with the remake of “All the King’s Men,” you will learn something about the corrupt Democratic leadership of Louisiana without having to crack open a book.

These examples could go on and on, but I suspect the history no-nothings that populate our elite universities will continue to revel in their ignorance, and think they are wise beyond their years. I’ve already heard one apologist for their ignorance, saying it is important to learn how to think, and not just learn the test. Spoken like a true dues paying member of the teacher’s union. My response to that is it is good to think, but it is also good to have a solid foundation for thought. The study of history can give you that.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What's The Definition Of "Attack?"

(Click on the cartoon to enlarge it)

This is yet another open letter to the San Francisco Chronicle, that chances are they will delete without even reading. Still, I'll give up writing these when they pry my cold, dead fingers off the keyboard. Or the Chronicle goes conservative.

I guess I'll be writing a long time.

"I'm certain that if my husband and his national security team had been shown a classified report entitled 'Bin Laden Determined To Attack Inside the United States' he would have taken it more seriously than history suggests it was taken by our current president and his national security team."

So said Hillary Clinton, and it was front page news with photo in the Chronicle (9/27/06).

I guess that means Senator Clinton hasn’t read the "Report of the Joint Inquiry into the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001," which was jointly published by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in December 2002.

Perhaps she should have asked Senator Feinstein, one of the seven Democrat members of the committee, what they said. Had she read it, she would have found that in 1998 her Bill had signed a classified document that disclosed: "The Intelligence Community has strong indications that Bin Laden intends to conduct or sponsor attacks inside the United States."

Thanks to the Internet, it is child’s play to find numerous other intelligence warnings to President Clinton about Bin Laden’s intentions to attack the United States. Maybe it depends on what your definition of “attack” is.

"Attack?" said Bill Clinton. "Which one? The blonde or the redhead?"

Ann Coulter finds it odd that Bill Clinton's angry response to Chris Wallace's questions is considered masterful politics by Democrats.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Today's Music Sucks

Who would have thought I would sit down to watch Monday Night Football, the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons, and come away a music critic? In the pre-game show and at halftime U2 and Green Day were the featured performers. The crowd was ecstatic, why I do not know. The musicianship, the songs, and the singers were tried by me and found wanting. The songs were imminently forgettable, the singers were unremarkable, and the band featured pedestrian guitars and drums. The only real animation was provided by one drummer, but the quality of his drumming didn't match his energy level.

By way of contrast and comparison, the TV (ESPN) pre-game show included a black congregation with choir singing "When The Saints Go Marching In," and it was fabulous. Then Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint performed a first-rate rendition of the National Anthem. Even Hank Williams Jr. sounded really good in comparison to U2 and Green Day. While he and other singers and dancers were doing a high-energy "Are You Ready For Some Football," the flashes of Little Richard pounding the piano and beaming at the camera were much too brief. It looked and sounded like they were all having a lot of fun.

I feel sorry for today's young people. Their music is so poor, so insipid, that it won't even pass over to the Other Side after it dies and become elevator music. It is stillborn.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Bill Clinton Blames Others For 911

This is an incredible performance by Bill "Gone Bananas" Clinton. Hillary is probable already planning to remodel the White House to install a padded cell.

This video is a "best seller." Over 800,000 views in one day! Don't miss it.

It is a pleasure to see Condi set the record straight on the bull doodoo Clinton spewed. Bill couldn't even get the facts straight about Richard Clarke, who he used as his primary reference concerning the Clinton administration's battle against terrorism. The Clinton battle was more of the nature of a distraction to try to get his affair with Monica off the front pages and evening news shows.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Palestinian Jihad: The Biggest LIE!!

This is must see TV! The Main Stream Media and their Muslim "stringers" are playing us for suckers.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Punishing The Law-Abiding

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California sued six of the world's largest automakers over global warming, charging that greenhouse gases from their vehicles have caused billions of dollars in damages. The lawsuit is the first of its kind to seek to hold manufacturers liable for the damages caused by their vehicles' emissions, state Attorney General Bill Lockyer said.

How could such a stupid person pass a law exam? These vehicles were manufactured and sold in accordance with all state and federal regulations. California fills its tax coffers every day with the ill-gotten gain from their sale and operation. Can anyone in good conscience say it is OK to legally permit something, and then sue for doing it?

We cannot be certain we have man-made global warming, and if we do, the extent of its monetary damages or its benefits. We may not know in a hundred years.

Missing from the lawsuit are the owners and operators of the vehicles. It is one thing to build a vehicle, it is another to operate it. Does “build it and they will drive it” make the builder solely responsible? Didn’t the California consumers dictate the number and type of vehicles manufactured by what could or could not be sold profitably to them?

So let’s put it all together. Lockyer sues manufacturers for engaging in lawful behavior, saying they are causing unknown damages via an unproven process. In a state whose lawmakers validate illegal activities (undocumented immigration), it isn’t surprising they want to penalize legal ones.

Dumb, and dumber.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

When A Democrat Lies, A Kitten Dies

A female cat, her mate, and all of her offspring, producing 2 litters per year, with a survival rate of 2.8 kittens per litter, can produce over 65 million cats in ten years. Since there are millions of fertile pussies out there, why aren’t we up to our hats in cats?

I stumbled upon the answer to this question when subscribers to linked to my “Clinton Lied, People Died” article. On they had already established a link between an act that has nothing to do with cats, and the death of kittens. (To solve the mystery, go to, and scroll down about seven bullets to "Killing Kittens.")

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Suddenly it was obvious to me why the uncontrollable feral cat population was under control. What is the most frequent act known to mankind? Wrong, and get your mind out of the gutter!

It’s Democratic leaders telling lies. When did we really start to get cat overpopulation under control? During the Clinton administration! Starting with “Hillarycare,” and really picking up momentum with Monica, the feral cat population began a precipitous decline. When Al Gore campaigned, followed by John Kerry, and then Kerry started talking about his Viet Nam experiences – “I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the president of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia. I have that memory which is seared -- seared -- in me.“ – feral cats became candidates for the Endangered Species List.

With Howard Dean leading the Democratic Party, and Nancy Pelosi trying to portray Democrats as effective and caring about national security, I’m afraid wild pussies are doomed.

I’ll really miss their lovemaking screeches in the night, sounding like Hillary Clinton talking about tax cuts.

"Film Of Protest At 10"

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An open letter to the San Francisco Chronicle, whose motto is: "All the news we see fit to print."

The Chronicle still has no nose for news. Whenever a few demonstrators chant tired leftist slogans - “No Blood for Oil!” “Bush Lied, People Died!” - the Chronicle and main stream media always give more attention to the protest than the event. No matter that the Left always has an army of protesters available for any and all occasions. Whatever the event, the usual anti-capitalist, ANSWER's communist apologists, pro-Palestinians, anti-Israelis, illegal immigrant activists, anti-globalizationists, militant environmentalists, gay-lesbian-transgender-transspecies rightists, anti-any-and-all-wars-including-the-Revolutionary protesters, and anyone else who doesn’t have a regular job, will come out to protest. Translation: to the main stream media, “dog bites man” is news.

When 35,000 supporters of Israel take a day off work to protest outside the UN, the Chronicle and the main steam media take the day off too. Translation: this kind of news doesn’t fit their reporting template.

Any time President Bush or any prominent Republican speaks, the news hounds know the protesters will be there, so that’s where they go for their story. “The President spoke today. Film of the protest at 10 on 2.”

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Reporters Are Paid To Ask These Questions

Senator McCain and others object to President Bush seeking to clarify part of the Geneva Convention concerning interrogation of unlawful combatants. Sen. McCain says to change it would expose our forces to mistreatment if taken prisoner. Leaving aside that unlawful combatants are not covered by the Geneva Convention, an inconvenient truth that news accounts overlook, what key question is never asked McCain by any main stream news reporter?

“Senator McCain, can you (or anyone reading or hearing this question) name one enemy of the United States since the onset of World War II who properly treated American prisoners under the Geneva Convention?”

The Germans? Hitler ordered captured pilots killed. The Japanese? The Bataan Death March. The North Koreans and Chinese? Brainwashing. Senator McCain himself could write a book and include chapters on North Vietnamese treatment of prisoners.

Concerning the object of our concern, the Muslim terrorists, you can find your answer in Al Jazeera archives, or on their evening news broadcast. It’s not for the squeamish, and don’t watch before dinner.

Why does President Bush think Common Article III of the Geneva Convention needs clarification? Because the Supreme Court erroneously ruled in Hamdan that the Geneva Convention applies to captured terrorists, although nothing in the Geneva Convention itself says that. President Bush simply proposes to conform our treaty obligations precisely to the McCain sponsored Detainee Treatment Act of 2005.

Wasn’t what McCain and Liberals praised then good enough now?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Strange Advice From E. J. Dionne Jr. To The Pope

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E. J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post columnist, just posted one of the strangest columns I have ever read by a writer of his stature: We Need A Real Dialogue, September 19, 2006. In it he criticizes Pope Benedict for giving Islam a “real slap in the face” by including a criticism of violent Muslim conversions that that he read from a 600-year old document.

Perhaps the Pope was thinking of the conversions to Islam of the two reporters released last week by the Palestinians. Or perhaps he was thinking about the young Somali who was murdered a few days ago after converting from Islam to Christianity last year. Probably he was thinking that the free discussion of issues is a good way to approach a controversial religious matter.

I can’t fault the Pope for feeling that way, if indeed that was his mindset. Certainly at one time the Catholic Church took violent exception to conversions from Catholicism, but the Catholic Church changed with changing times, and now is a staunch supporter of religious freedom. Unfortunately, Islam is not.

Mr. Dionne thinks the Pope should alter his message to avoid offending Muslim fundamentalists. I interpret Mr. Dionne’s position to require the Pope to be a politician, not an intellectual religious leader. He thinks the Pope should consider possible offense that Muslims may take if their practices are discussed or criticized.

It is as if Mr. Dionne thinks that ignorant, uneducated, volatile, and violent Muslims, being fed hate items by their political and religious leaders, should have veto power over our Freedom of Speech (I capitalized “Freedom of Speech” to emphasize its revered and iconic status in the West).

We have already seen how easily we are cowed into appeasement by the Muslim “street.” Mr. Dionne’s employer, the Washington Post, chose not to publish the Danish cartoons of Mohammad, even though the Post has never been reticent about publishing things that are very insulting and demeaning to Christians and Jews. For example, “Piss Christ” by Andres Serrano has been widely depicted by the Post and other publications. Contrary to the Post and many other publications that did not run the Danish cartoons, Mohammad is depicted in many works of Muslim art (for example, riding Burak - just go to Wikimedia Commons), and the outrage against the cartoons was very selective and disingenuous.

So, Mr. Dionne, you who make your living because of Freedom of Speech think it necessary to advise the Pope, a man of learning and integrity, to bow to the wishes of the censorious and easily offended Islamists.

Do you think that they are susceptible to reasoned and logical religious argument?

How very strange.

Unlawful Combatants And The Law

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Muslim translation of the Geneva Convention

The Liberals have used one phrase over and over to criticize any action President Bush takes to protect Americans from Islamic terrorists. “If we do (whatever President Bush suggests), the terrorists will have won.”

For instance, if President Bush wants “unlawful combatants” treated as unlawful combatants, the terrorists will have won. Why will the terrorists win? Because we are not giving unlawful combatants the protection of the Geneva Convention, even though the Geneva Convention does not give them its protection, in that the unlawful combatants are neither signatories to the Geneva Convention, nor do they extend its protections to any prisoners they hold.

Perhaps, the Liberals may suggest, the terrorists really should be treated as criminals – when captured, they should be given all the rights afforded an American citizen through the United States criminal justice system. Such an approach would impose a legal system on a battlefield. Probably, as a minimum, there would need to be a body of laws to enforce. If the unlawful combatants, i.e., combatants captured in Afghanistan who were not wearing uniforms, and were not part of a national military, were treated as criminals, whose criminal laws would apply? Afghanistan’s? The United States’?

I am guessing that Liberals wouldn’t be satisfied unless there was International Law, which brings me to the next consideration. What is the enforcement agency for violations of international law by unlawful combatants? The United States military? What rules of evidence will apply? Probably as a minimum a chain of evidence would have to be maintained. Of course the soldiers who made the capture would have to testify, and be subject to cross examination by defense counsel. Further, unless there was testimony from crime scene investigators and forensics experts, I doubt if the testimony of soldiers not trained in proper police procedures would stand up before an experienced defense lawyer.

How was probable cause determined? Just because you find someone carrying an AK-47 on a battlefield doesn’t mean he was going to use it against you. And if he did, he probably was frightened by all the soldiers and only fired it in self defense. Would testimony from American soldiers be necessary to prove that the unlawful combatant intended to kill or injure an American?

“Of course not,” Liberals might say, “you can’t be so legalistic on a battlefield. Adjustments in legal procedures would be made.”

Oh yeah? What will the International Criminal Court say about that? Wouldn’t they have jurisdiction? It’s either that, or the United States (the world-wide left would never stand for that), or an Afghan government that didn’t exist when the crimes took place.

It only took five years to try Slobodan Milošević, whose death in prison before a verdict was rendered was an act of mercy which saved the International Criminal Court further embarrassment. Legal experts had already faulted the court for a lack of modern jurisprudence, and the prosecutor for having little or no evidence to support his case. Now multiply the International Criminal Court workload by many hundreds, the witnesses and evidence by many thousands, and all parties to the trials would be dead of old age before any verdicts were rendered.

I’m sure there are thousands of legal experts out there who will tell me how wrong I am about the proper way to handle legal procedures involving unlawful combatants. I suppose they are the same legal experts who were so critical when the United States did not endorse the International Criminal Court.

I eagerly await their learned comments.

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Ann Coulter wonders "Are Videotaped Beheadings Covered by Geneva?"
Dafydd on Big Lizards and John on Power Line note that Senator McCain had President Bush sign a bill into law two years ago covering the treatment of terrorists, but now wants to give the terrorists even better treatment. I guess Senator McCain feels that this will make the terrorists continue to treat prisoners they hold humanely - you know, no dull knives for beheadings.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Pope’s Remarks May Lead To War

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ISLAM - Religion of Peace
And truly international!

Muslim leaders say, “Pope’s remarks may lead to war.”

Where have these Muslim leaders been? We are at war. They are at war.

Muslims are on the attack all over the world.

They attacked the United States – 9/11; Khobar Towers; USS Cole; our embassies in Africa. While Clinton was president, Muslims attacked with impunity. Since 9/11 they have continued their efforts to attack us, but under President Bush they haven’t succeeded.

Samuel Huntington said, “Islam has bloody borders,” and so they do. Their bloody borders are not just of countries, but of freedom and totalitarianism, of religious tolerance and intolerance, and of civilized and uncivilized behavior.

Each day the followers of Islam, the “religion of peace,” can’t get enough of violence. When not attacking Coalition soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan, they attack each other. They blow up some of the most sacred Muslim holy places, including the devout Muslims that make pilgrimages to them. They blow up night clubs in Bali, resorts in Egypt, trains in Madrid, trains and buses in London, religious processions in Turkey, wedding parties in Jordan, worshippers in Kashmir; they murder school children in Beslan, rape and murder in Darfur, blow up passenger planes in the skies of Russia, and the list goes on and on.

What are the methods of these peace lovers? The slashed throat, the decapitation, the scorched bodies, the suicide-bomb vest loaded with scrap iron and ball bearings, and the torture, the torture, and the torture, until death from a blade sawing off a head seems an act of mercy.

What sort of God is served by such inhumanity?

However, as vicious as Muslims are to non-Muslims, they are actually more deadly to other Muslims. According to Salim Mansur, in Muslim on Muslim Violence: What Drives It? “More Muslims have been killed by Muslims, more Muslims continue to be victimized by Muslims, and more Muslims are in danger of dying at the hands of Muslims than non-Muslims.”

Why are Muslims so savage to other Muslims? The answer is surprisingly simple. Both sides of Muslim on Muslim conflict believe Allah is on their side because they are more pure. Therefore, whatever they do is justified because they are defending Islam from danger.

The birth and development of Pakistan, “the land of the pure,” cut away from Hindu India, soon developed into a cleansing of Pakistan of alien or impure elements, largely of Muslim groups judged to not be as “pure” as others. In an inquiry of the Punjab disturbances of 1953, a Justice Munir wrote “…that provided you can persuade the masses to believe that something they are asked to do is religiously right or enjoined by religion, you can set them to any course of action, regardless of any considerations of discipline, loyalty, decency, morality or civic sense.”

So it was then, so it is now. No standard of decency need apply when you are doing Allah’s bidding. Apostates and deviants are treated to the fate they bring on themselves, Allah willing.

Today the Pope is vilified because he read from an historical document. That is only to be expected, as the self-proclaimed followers of the “religion of peace” rant and call for violent acts to demonstrate the peaceful ways of Islam.

Mixed Company

About sixteen years ago, in the heyday of Gay, Alice and I thought it would be delightful to spend a few days in Guerneville, on the Russian River in Northern California. Guerneville was the place to be if you were gaying, graying, and dying or dating someone who was.

Alice and I practice what we stereotype. It was (and is) our firm conviction that Gays are the best proprietors of Bed & Breakfasts, so we made reservations at a B&B, with dinner option, just across from downtown Guerneville.

We put in a fun and energetic day hiking in the Armstrong Redwood Grove, and then went to our B&B for a delightful dinner. We were not disappointed in our stereotypes. After dinner we wondered about what we might do for evening entertainment, so we asked our proprietors for suggestions. We hinted that we really liked to dance, and one of our hosts said: “There’s a nice place for dancing just over the bridge and only about a block further, called the Ziggurat. However, before you go, I must tell you that you will be in “mixed company.”

We thanked him for his suggestion, and soon took leave to walk to the Ziggurat. Upon entering we made our host’s statement true, because then the Ziggurat suddenly became "mixed." Paraphrasing Dorothy I said: “Alice, I don’t think we’re in Livermore anymore.”

Just inside, on the right-hand side of the lobby, sat a wooden rowboat upside down on two sawhorses. The bottom of the boat was completely covered with condoms. Alice and I walked past the boat onto the dance floor, and found a table. We then turned our attention to the band. The band was on a raised platform, remarkably higher than the dance floor. The band members playing instruments were only dimly lit, and I couldn’t see them very well. However, the two female singers were covered by a spotlight, and little else. They wore gauzy, diaphanous gowns, and would have driven a crowd of straight guys wild. I wondered if there had been a scheduling mixup, and at some topless bar somewhere a bunch of guys were watching Village People impersonators.

At about this point in my mental meanderings, the girls launched into a sweet rendition of “Johnny Angel.” Alice and I rarely slow dance, but we cuddled together on the dance floor for a “tummy rub” just like we were back in high school. As we danced I took in the scene, and was not surprised to discover that Alice and the singers were the only females in the dance hall. I then became interested in our fellow dancers, and was surprised at what I observed.

The first thing that struck me was how little communication there seemed to be amongst the dancers. One would imperceptibly signal another, and the couple would walk onto the floor together, not touching, and then not have anything to do with each other for the duration of the song. The dancers didn’t look at their partners, or at any other dancers while they did their partnered dance solos. No hand holding, lips brushing cheek, butt patting, or any other of the kinds of contact on the dance floor that used to earn me a stern look from the teachers monitoring our deportment at high school dances.

Passionate, sexy behavior on the dance floor was only engaged in by Alice and me. A high school teacher monitoring behavior in the Ziggurat would have been bored to tears. The “Gay” lifestyle, at least from what we observed on the dance floor that night, seemed “somehow sadly gay.” I didn’t hear the accustomed roar resulting from lively chatter at the tables, a sound which has always characterized my impressions of evenings out dancing. Instead there was quiet, each person studying the others with an air of studied indifference. At the end of about two hours on the dance floor, I became aware that most of the dancers had silently melted away, leaving only a lonely few. Alice and I decided to call it a night.

As we walked from the dance floor and through the lobby towards the exit, we glanced at the upside-down boat. Its bottom was bare.

Apparently Alice and I had missed a lot of communicating that night.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Clinton Lied, People Died

The Liberal chant "When Clinton lied, no one died" is a perversion of the truth that only the history illiterates and delusionals on the Left believe. Far more died of terrorism during Clinton's presidency than under President Bush. It is a monument to Bush hatred and a defiance of reason that the Left, the custodians of academia, dare continue to feed lies to their ignorant followers when abundant truth is available in voluminous news archives on the Internet.

How many do the Left claim died in Iraq? The highest, wildest, unsubstantiated claim is 100,000, although official Iraqi estimates are under 30,000. . Of course either number pales when compared to the 100,000 to 230,000 Iraqis Saddam murdered during the Clinton presidency, when Bill Clinton and the United Nations waffled about holding Saddam to the commitments he made to end Gulf War I.

At the same time, Iraqi suffering was totally overshadowed by the 800,000 to one million killed in the Rwanda genocide. Again Bill Clinton and the United Nations studiously looked the other way as the widely reported slaughter proceeded. The Rwandans were under the “protection” of the United Nations, and at the time Bill Clinton was one of the strongest supporters of the UN of recent US presidents. Bill Clinton, also known as America’s “first black president,” lied about his knowledge of the genocide and let the slaughter of blacks by blacks continue for 100 hellish and horrific days.

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Bill Clinton went to Rwanda in 1998 to “apologize” for not knowing how fast and lethal the Hutu attacks were, but recently released classified documents prove otherwise.

President Bill Clinton's administration knew Rwanda was being engulfed by genocide in April 1994 but buried the information to justify its inaction, according to classified documents made available for the first time.

Senior officials privately used the word genocide within 16 days of the start of the killings, but chose not to do so publicly because the president had already decided not to intervene.

It took Hutu death squads three months from April 6 to murder an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus and at each stage accurate, detailed reports were reaching Washington's top policymakers.

The documents undermine claims by Mr Clinton and his senior officials that they did not fully appreciate the scale and speed of the killings.

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Clinton Lied, A Million Rwandans Died – How’d that look on your bumper?

While Clinton was visiting Africa in 1998 to "apologize" for not noticing the Rwandan genocide, he also didn't notice that the First and Second Congo Wars were raging all around him, and that almost four million died during his second term.

Bosnia provided Bill Clinton and the United Nations another opportunity to waffle and procrastinate while observing and doing nothing about ethnic cleansing. Over 100,000 were killed, and over a million were made refugees.

Before the Rwanda genocide, terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in 1993, killing six and wounding 1,000. That attack set the stage for more dithering and fumbling by Bill Clinton as the terrorists became stronger and bolder.

Hizbollah bombed the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996, killing 19 American servicemen and one Saudi, and wounding 372.

In 1998 Islamic terrorists simultaneously bombed United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 257 and wounding 4,000.

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The USS Cole was attacked in the Yemeni port of Aden in 2000. Seventeen sailors were killed, and 39 were wounded.

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During Bill Clinton’s second term, as he was being entertained by Monica Lewinsky, then lying about it, and trying to put a lid on “Bimbo eruptions” - Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick – Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda planned, organized, staffed, and trained for the attacks on 9/11/2001. When Osama was vulnerable to attack, to assassination, the Clinton presidency was tried and found wanting. The fact that the attacks occurred on President Bush’s “watch” should not obscure the fact that everything but the execution of 9/11 occurred on Clinton’s.

Three thousand died needlessly, like the million in Rwanda, the hundreds of thousands in Iraq, and the hundreds in Africa and other places where terrorists struck.

The “Path to 9/11” was prepared and paved by Clinton’s inability to identify, understand, and to make any attempt at combating the growing threat of Islamofascism. As he lied, and denied, bin Laden and other terrorist leaders took heart and were inspired by our inability to face the reality of Islamic terrorism.

Bill Clinton, Madeline Albright, Sandy Berger, Al Gore – history has reserved places for each of you on the 9/11 “Wall of Shame.” Your efforts to mute ABC didn’t work, but inspired many of us to look at what scared you, and we found that it was “truth.”

"And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."

Or you will deny the truth, and history will condemn you for all time.

It’s easy to tell a lie, hard to tell the truth. But in the end, only the truth endures.

It can stand by itself.


Bush Lied, People Died

It fits on a bumper sticker, and is easy to chant – a Liberal dream.

It’s also not true, but truth has never been a Liberal necessity.

The “lie” appears to be that President Bush said Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction. That, of course, was true. It is almost indisputable (I write almost, because there are some fanatics that are armed with their own “facts,” such as that 9/11 was an inside job), that Saddam had WMD and used it in the Iraq-Iran War, and on the Kurds before Gulf War I. Critics of President Bush say that he was determined to attack Iraq, although they often don’t mention that for over a year President Bush through the United Nations tried to make Saddam comply with UN resolutions.

Further, these same critics don’t bother to explain that President Bush’s Democratic predecessors were all on record stating that Saddam had WMD, and so were the governments and intelligence organizations of the United Kingdom, France, Russia, Italy, etc. In fact, there was no credible opposition or proof before the invasion of Iraq from any nation stating that Saddam did not have WMD.

Democratic leaders – President Clinton, VP Al Gore, Senator Kerry, Senator Feinstein – were also on record stating that Saddam was a threat to world peace. (As presented on It was only after the invasion of Iraq that Democrats began their revision of history, and found that, even though they all had privy to the same raw intelligence that President Bush saw, he somehow had been able to mislead them.

This ability to mislead is very interesting, since apparently they feel he was able to do it to them even before he became president, since they now give him sole credit for branding Saddam as a threat. Therefore, President Bush must have been spinning his lies about Saddam at least as early as 1998, over two years before he became president.

In the beginning, Liberals needed to brand President Bush a liar, because Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, and later John Kerry were repeatedly exposed as liars. The best way to fight is to use an opponent’s strength against him, to “fight fire with fire.” In this case, Republicans having a field day calling Democrats liars had to be quieted.

Bill Clinton was full of lies, and it took a scribe with a water-cooled word processor to keep up. Clinton earned his reputation long before Monica “I did not have sex with that woman” Lewinsky. The most trivial things were invitations to deception. When black churches were being burned in the South, Clinton famously said: "I have vivid and painful memories of black churches being burned in my own state when I was a child." However, even blacks and Arkansas Democrats were incensed by this lie, and Clinton’s “vivid” memories soon morphed into more vague recollections.

At Rosa Parks’ funeral, Clinton produced another vivid memory: "I remember as if it were yesterday, that fateful day 50 years ago. I was a 9-year-old southern white boy who rode on a segregated bus every single day of my life." He goes on to say that it was after Parks refused to give up her seat that he and two friends decided they wouldn't sit in the front anymore.

Great story! Clinton describes how Rosa Parks’ courage moved him to take a principled stand. He let some of her glory rub off on him.

Except it wasn’t true. Neither of his boyhood home towns, Hope or Hot Springs, had public transportation at the time. Since the schools were segregated, if it was a school bus he was thinking about, there weren’t any blacks on it either.

Clinton became the “first black president,” but was a Democrat when Democratic governors and politicians in the South were all segregationists, and Republicans like President Eisenhower were the champions of civil rights for blacks. I wonder what vivid memories he has of his racist mentor, Senator William Fulbright, condemning integration, and of another Arkansas Democrat, Governor Orval Faubus, calling out the Arkansas National Guard to block integration in Little Rock?

Not to be outdone, Hillary demonstrated that the “smartest woman in America” had one of the most selective memories in America, and probably set records by stating “I don’t remember” or similar words over 250 times in answer to judicial and congressional investigators’ questions.

In Blizzard of Lies, William Safire notes: “Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our First Lady -- a woman of undoubted talents who was a role model for many in her generation -- is a congenital liar.”

Maybe he was thinking how, upon meeting Sir Edmund Hillary, she told him how her mother named her “Hillary” in his honor, ever though Sir Edmund didn’t become famous until five years after her birth.

In a report released October 18, 2000, independent counsel Robert Ray determined Hillary had given false testimony when questioned about White House travel office firings, a crime that Ray declined to prosecute. Ditto for her recollections of how she made a 10,000 percent profit in a year on cattle futures by studying the Wall Street Journal.

Did Al Gore lie? Is the Pope a Catholic?

Al told a Teamster’s meeting that one of the lullabies he remembered from his youth was “look for the union label,” which came out in 1975, when he was 27.

Then he told Florida senior citizens that his mother-in-law paid $108 a month for the same arthritis medicine he gave his dog for $37.80 a month. A great story, except the figures he used were taken from a House Democratic study and did not reflect his family's own costs. Moreover, the study's figures referred to wholesale prices, not prices paid by the consumer.

But why let the truth get in the way of making political points?

And then along came John Kerry. Who but Democratic faithful can forget the following, try as they might?

On the floor of the Senate on March 27, 1986, Sen. John Kerry issued this statement: "I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the President of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia. I have that memory which is seared — seared — in me."

Seared memories, vivid memories, memories just like yesterday – somehow such clear memories don’t stand up when tested against facts.

For instance, John Kerry attributed the statement that “the troops were not in Cambodia” to President Nixon, who wouldn’t take office for another month. But Nixon’s presidency fit Kerry’s 1968 memory much better than the Khmer Rouge did, which wasn’t active before 1970. Both Kerry and Douglas Brinkley, an author who wrote of Kerry’s exploits in Viet Nam, also provided other versions of the “Christmas in Cambodia” story, as the need for new explanations arose over the years since.

Their versions fit in with the time-honored Democratic tradition of using false stories to illustrate greater truths. “Everyone knows that Richard Nixon would have lied to the American people about not having troops in Cambodia if he did have them there. The fact he didn’t at the time – maybe because he wasn’t president yet – doesn’t change the fact that he would have lied about it if given the chance.”

(The above is a made-up quote that illustrates a greater truth that Democrats would like you to know about Richard Nixon.)

In summary, it also illustrates why the Democrat’s mantra is “Bush lied.” They think that focusing on “lying” will make the Republicans avoid the subject of Democratic liars.

Sorry, “Democratic liars” is a too “target rich” environment.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Excitement In Anchor Bay

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In the excitement, I forgot my camera, so imagine the sun is brighter, the Pacific is rolling against the shore beyond the trees, and there are many lasses and Lamborghinis assembled.

Recently a “lust” of Lamborghinis passed through our sleepy village of Anchor Bay, and stopped briefly. Thinking they might be here to check out the author of this blog which, among other things, celebrates life on the northern California coast, I stood in front of Banana Belt Properties to greet them as they crossed the street and walked briskly towards me.

“The restaurant told us ‘customers only.’ They told us there’s a restroom here,” the first fellow called out by way of anguished greeting. We are a one-public-toilet town, and I proudly pointed to it.

At a distance it looked like each Lamborghini was tastefully accessorized, and my snap judgment was quickly confirmed. A demure but hurried procession of lissome lovelies in tailored pants on elevated footwear, with thick heels four to six inches high, the type rarely seen on the coast, minced across Highway 1 towards me. I gallantly indicated to the distressed darlings that I knew what they needed, and they looked grateful for my assurance it was a flush model, not the ubiquitous coast one-holer.

“There’s a fresh roll of paper, too,” I cheerfully advised.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

More Democrat Hypocrisy

Democrats were very upset when Republicans criticized factual deficiencies in "The Reagans" three years ago, and threatened to boycott advertisers and CBS. Now Democrat leaders are not only criticizing ABC and Disney about their 9/11 miniseries, they are hinting strongly that their free broadcast license may be in jeopardy because of it. (Details at Captain's Quarters) Most of us probably agree that complaining about anything and everything is a cherished American right. However, I think most of us would also agree that threatening the heavy hand of broadcast license revocation goes far beyond complaining and falls clearly in the despised category of government censorship.

The excesses wrought by political correctness convinced me long ago that liberals happily indulge in censorship. However, they usually hide it better.

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Sandy Berger, Democrat's ethics and honesty guru, and spokesperson for Bill "I just want them to tell the truth" Clinton (Pithy comments and analysis by Hugh Hewitt)

Cleaning Out My Wallet – Herb Caen Clippings

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Herb Caen, with his faithful Royal word processor

Actually, I have a black zipper bag in my briefcase that I throw things into when my wallet gets too encumbered. Sometimes the things I put in it can be overlooked for a very long time. Two go back to the days of Herb Caen’s column in the San Francisco Chronicle. I think I collected it long before his last column in 1996. Herb was a model liberal, but I think even he realized the political systems left of liberals didn’t make any sense. Maybe he didn’t, but he enjoyed the good life, mingled with the wealthy and elite, and didn’t exhibit the values of the Socialist Man. In fact, in one of his columns he included this:

The Six Miracles of Socialism (printed by the Yugoslav magazine Osmica)

“There is no unemployment, but nobody works.

“No one works, but everyone receives wages.

“All get wages, but nothing can be bought with them.

“Nothing is purchased, but everybody owns everything.

“Everybody owns everything, but they are all dissatisfied.

“All are dissatisfied, but everyone votes for the system.”

This reminds me of the dark humor, the jokes that came out of the Soviet Union in its heyday.

American tourist: “In America, we are free to call President Reagan a fool.”

Soviet worker: “In Soviet Union we are free to call President Reagan a fool too.”

In Russian, “Izvestia” is “news,” and “Pravda” is “truth.” They were also the names of the two largest publications in the Soviet Union. Pravda (Russian: Правда, "The Truth") was a leading newspaper of the Soviet Union and an official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party between 1918 and 1991. Izvestia also was a leading newspaper, and expressed the official views of the Soviet government as published by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. However, the Soviet on the street wasn’t fooled. A popular saying was: “There is no truth in Pravda, and no news in Izvestia.”

Now the Soviet Union, that great monument to Communism, is no more. Which brings me to another saved clipping from Herb Caen’s column:

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I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains.
Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Another gem from my wallet, a fortune cookie fortune: “Accept the next proposition you hear.” I actually found this in a fortune cookie almost twenty years ago. I remember thinking, “This is wasted on me.”

At one time I had a plan to replace the fortunes in “legitimate” fortune cookies with this one, thinking it would convey the right sentiments to my date, whoever the lucky lady might be.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Timid And Intimidated - The Main Stream Media

By now I’m so used to our main stream media (MSM) being timid and intimidated by concern for Moslem sensitivities, that I almost didn’t notice another grievous example. Fortunately, Marc Steyn, Chicago Sun-Times columnist, called my attention to it.

Almost not in the news was the coerced conversion to Islam of two kidnapped Fox reporters. In all the TV and print news interviews, salient questions were never raised about their forced “conversions,” or if they were going to stay “converted.”

We assumed their conversions were life-saving ploys, but mustn’t there be more to the story? When will they announce publicly that it was a sham? Or is there a reason they are going to keep quiet? Do they feel their actions might affect the treatment of future captives? Inquiring minds don’t want to know, and they’re the ones who file the stories we see on TV or in the newspapers. Apparently, as far as our news makers are concerned, if you avoided noticing the elephant sitting on the sofa in the middle of the room, it didn’t exist.

Is this another case of the MSM compromising their journalistic ethics to spare Moslem sensibilities? If so, why no similar concern for Christian, Jewish, Hindu, or Buddhist feelings? Shouldn’t Christians have been spared pictures of such “art” as Piss Christ, or Virgin Mary Decorated with Elephant Dung and Vagina Photos? Shouldn’t Jews be spared “cartoons” such as a nude Ariel Sharon devouring Arab babies? Why did Moslems sanction the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas?

Myself, and many much, much wider read bloggers (Instapundit, Michelle Malkin, Atlas Shrugs, Power Line, Captains Quarters), reported extensively on the Danish Mohammad cartoons. The MSM didn’t.

Bloggers have exposed Reuters, Associated, CBS News, etc., not reporting faked and staged news and photos. The MSM haven’t. A picture is worth a thousand words, and this one of the International Red Cross ambulance “hit by an Israeli rocket” screams out that it wasn’t, that the Red Cross and Lebanese lied about the attack, and that the silence of the MSM sanctions the lie.

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Look at the picture. The hole is where an air vent was removed.

Look at the next picture. No blast or burn damage at all. A Fourth of July rocket would have done more damage.

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MSM, are you trying to tell us that not one of you had the news sense, the common sense, to see photos that couldn’t possibly support the story of a rocket attack? And then, when it is obvious that the MSM has fallen for a crude deception, how can that not become a major story? Are all the MSM journalists pledged to cover their colleagues’ butts?

I wrote The San Francisco Chronicle about the above, and remarked that “journalistic integrity” is an oxymoron. The Chronicle studiously avoids any discussions of journalistic shortcomings, while headlining stories such as “A Smashing Finale to Lunar Mission,” superimposed on an enormous photo/artist’s conception of a European spacecraft and the Moon. This was an event that was to occur later in the day, with the kind of soft news significance that might place it in the middle of the first section on a slow news day.

Less than a month ago, a photojournalist named Bryan Denton unequivocally posted on that he personally witnessed staged photo shoots in Lebanon involving dead bodies, including some unearthed from graves to be posed and photographed. Naturally, he was attacked by fellow photojournalists for impugning the profession in the eyes of the public. Some predicted terrible consequences, such as right-wing bloggers seizing upon his disclosure to heap criticism on biased war coverage. They got that right. Few seemed concerned that the profession should be vigilant to avoid giving cause for criticism. They seem to have got that right, too, since the MSM has absolutely no interest in cleaning up their own act.

I’ve noted that journalists have only one marketable commodity, one that’s hard to describe with one word. It actually is a concept, encompassing objectivity, integrity, honesty, judgment, professionalism – oh, now I remember. It’s called “journalism.”

Somehow, given recent events, it’s hard to imagine that journalism once aspired to those high ideals. Maybe it never did, and it took bloggers independently analyzing photos and cross-checking facts to uncover the secret of journalism’s rotten core.

If you’re a member of the “MSM club,” that’s the sort of thing you don’t do.

ADDING FUEL TO THE FIRE (I wish. It doesn't look like anything will light a fire under the MSM.)

By Andy Levin: This post by LS Bryan Denton now confirms some of the questions about the staging of photos. While I personally have come to the conclusion that all of this is secondary to the horror of this war, the idea that this is going on in Lebanon is unsavory and undercuts the work of all photographers, including those who I am certain find this distasteful and do not want to participate in it. I am glad that someone had the courage to come forward and speak openly about this—and it’s understandable why anyone still in the field wouldn’t. Here is the post:

i have been working in Lebanon since all this started, and seeing the behavior of many of the Lebanese wire service photographers has been a bit unsettling. while hajj has garnered a lot of attention for his doctoring of images digitally, whether guilty or not, i have been witness to the daily practice of directed shots, one case where a group of wire photogs were coreographing the unearthing of bodies, directing emergency workers here and there, asking them to position bodies just so, even remove bodies that have already been put in graves so that they can photograph them in peoples arms. these photographers have come away with powerful shots, that required no manipulation digitally, but instead, manipulation on a human level, and this itself is a bigger ethical problem.

whatever the case is—lack of training, a personal drive as a photographer to show what is happening to your country in as powerful a way as possible, or all out competitiveness, i think that the onus is on the wire services themselves, because they act as the employer/filter of their photogs work. standards should be in place or else the rest of us end up paying the price. and i’m not against the idea of local wire photographers, but after seeing it over and over for the past month, i think it is something that is worth addressing. while i walk away from a situation like that, one wire shooter sets up a situation, and the rest of them follow…....

by Bryan Denton Fri Aug 11 07:36:08 UTC 2006 Beirut, Lebanon