Monday, August 08, 2005

I'm Closing the Blog

It's been fun. Too much fun. Distracts me from my family far too much. Not just the writing, but visiting other blogs, reading stories, leaving comments, haranguing lefties who tick me off...

It's kind of like an addiction, really.

Thank you, all you readers and fellow bloggers who have visited, read, left comments, linked to me, and generally made this so enjoyable and satisfying.

So, I wonder how long withdrawal will last?

The New York Times: Reprehensible?

No, they just stink.

After being caught last week trying to gain access to the sealed adoption records of Judge John Roberts' children, they are both attempting to brazen it out and continuing to dig.

Texas Democratic Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is the one who actually called the NYT's actions "reprehensible". It may be the only time I've come close to agreeing with her.

Look: for all I or anybody else knows, Roberts might turn out to be the biggest closet liberal since David Souter. In fact, that's a big concern on my part. But adoption records, in this country, are considered to be sacrosanct. Even should there be some irregularity in the adoptions (which I doubt), the NYT can achieve no good and cause only misery by pursuing this matter. They can, in fact, hurt Roberts' family and especially his children badly.

And this just after NYT executive editor Bill Keller sent out a memo basically saying that the Grey Lady needed to clean up her act.

I believe, from the initial report last week, that senior editor Bill Borders is the guy behind this piece of investigative reporting. The from this week's report, the actual reporter poking around is a fellow named Glenn Justice. Do these two guys need to have a little conference with Bill Keller? Or was Keller just joking around?

Incidentally, Drudge has done a good job keeping up with all this. He runs the news site I'm picking most of this up from.

If the NYT really wants to turn a new leaf, then a good place to start would be to cease and desist messing with people's kids.

And maybe throw in a sincere apology for even thinking about it.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Dumb shoots Dumberer

Yeah, I know. It's a tragedy. But both the shooter and the shootee are still idiots.

Two buddies selling firearms at a flea market in Kentucky got into an argument over the Iraq War. Somehow, it turned into an old fashioned shootout. The details aren't clear yet, but it sounds like the peacenik-gun-nut drew on the war-hawk-gun-nut and got a big dose of rest-in-peacenik for it.

Guys: that might have been cool in Wyatt Earp's day; but this isn't Wyatt Earp's day.

I was commenting only a couple days ago at Tom Carter's Blog that the biggest threat to the Second Amendment might be handgun owners with legal permits acting like nitwits. Am I going to have to come over to Tom's viewpoint that handguns simply have to be banned completely outside the military and police forces? The incident above supports his argument perfectly.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Coulter commits plagiarism?


The story... No... the accusations... are summarized here. But it isn't plagiarism.

Basically, a liberal internet journal called The Raw Story says that in Ann Coulter's recent column delivering a well deserved slap at the National Endowment for the Arts, she lifted all sorts of passages from other conservative publications which have catalogued various NEA abuses over the years.

Simple to do. She could have googled the NEA, read through the most likely articles to come up, and done some cut and paste.

And that's probably what she did do. But there are a few problems.

1. The wording is not the same. The wording is similar, but not the same. She might have done cut and paste, but having reworded the material, it only amounts to failing to attribute sources.

2. She is accused of stealing various individual phrases and sentences, not paragraphs or extended passages.

3. She did not steal anybody's entire article.

4. She did not steal any unique or catchy turns of phrase. Rather, she only took samples of information from the other stories. Coulter is known best for her ability to fire off remarkably nasty barbs wrapped in splendid wit. None of that is what she is accused of having taken.

5. She is an opinion writer, not a reporter. She never claimed to be making new revelations, only summarizing information which had been made available to the public already. (I remember reading her original column and already being familiar with about half the stuff she mentioned myself.) An opinion columnist working with documented facts is not generally required to practice attribution like an academic writer. It is, indeed, rare to see a footnote among op/ed pieces.

Summary: cutting and pasting small items of old news, rewording them, and stringing them together using Coulter's uniquely acerbic style is not plagiarism.

Ann Coulter is getting smeared. If I know her, she probably feels complemented.

Yeah, right

The New York Times is looking for dirt on Supreme Court Nominee Judge John Roberts.

According to Drudge, they are looking into the adoption records for Roberts' children.

According to one of Drudge's sources (I know, I know. It might be one of the janitorial staff) at the Times, such inquiries are part of a "standard background check".

I'll bet they wish they were so thorough doing "standard background checks" with characters like Jayson Blair.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Albert Eisele gets it wrong in so Many Ways

In case you don't know, Albert Eisele is the editor of the The Hill, the newspaper which recently quoted Helen Thomas claiming (in a fit of hyperbole) that she would kill herself if Dick Cheney ever ran for president.

Today, Eisele published an explanation which, like the original piece, was run on Drudge.

Though I found the piece informative; it was irritating in two different respects.


"Little did I know, being a creature of the typewriter/telegraph era of journalism, that cybergossip Matt Drudge would pounce on the item and transmit it to the farthest regions of the Internet universe, along with an unflattering photograph of Ms. Thomas."

Come on, Eisele! Drudge has only been doing his thing for nearly a decade now. If I had a dollar for every supposedly professional journalist who wrote "I never expected Drudge to pick it up", I'd be able to pay for high speed internet access without messing with the family budget. If it never occurred to Eisele that somebody outside the beltway might pick up some story he posted on the internet, then he needs to retire. Yesterday.

Further, one might think a publisher would like having something he wrote transmitted "to the farthest regions of the Internet universe."


"That was all Drudge acolytes needed to unleash a flood of e-mails condemning her — and me, as her unwitting accomplice."

No. No. No.

Nobody in the United States mistook Eisele for Helen Thomas' accomplice. Everybody reading the story knew quite well that Eisele's quote from Thomas was about as flattering as a pic of John Kerry in a bunny suit.

And nobody condemned Helen Thomas. People laughed at her, mocked her, giggled at her, made cracks about her. But nobody condemned her for her comments. Don't get me wrong. Helen Thomas has been frequently condemned. But it has been for all her biased reporting and antagonistic deportment towards Republican administration officials in the White House press room. The people who giggled at Thomas were certainly not the same folks who sent hate mail to Eisele for publishing the quote

The people who sent any hate mail to Eisele were the ones who liked Helen Thomas. They sent the mail because they felt Eisele had betrayed Thomas, not been her accomplice.

Furthermore, the Drudge acolytes, as Eisele calls them, were not the ones who sent the nasty-grams to Eisele. The Drudge acolytes (myself included) were the ones who loved the quote, and republished it, and satirized it. The reason is, most Drudge readers tend to lean conservative and know very well that Helen Thomas hasn't given a Republican President an even break in decades.

It's the libs who attacked Eisele, because he embarrassed one of their icons. And most of the people who did condemn Eisele almost certainly picked up the Thomas story fourth hand, from Eisele to Drudge to some smart aleck blogger like me and then to angry lib.

When Helen Thomas made her embarrassing quote the other day, she wasn't the only fool involved in that interview.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

It's the "Morally Straight" Part that Drives 'em Nuts.

That's actually part of the Boyscout Oath, you see.

On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
to help other people at all times;
to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Oh, yeah. They (Scout bashers) probably hate that "duty to God and my country" part as well.

Bill Murchison just wrote a piece at Townhall covering President Bush's recent speech at the Boyscout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia. Murchison points out that the President's speach, in the long run, will likely call down more liberal thunder both on Bush and the Boy Scouts than will his recess appointment of John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the U.N.

For the record, the expression "morally straight" was part of the Boyscout Oath long before the words "gay" and "straight" had anything to do with a person's sexual preferences. And most intelligent Scout bashers (if there are such persons) understand that. However, the Boyscouts do specifically exclude atheists and homosexuals both from the ranks and from among the adult leaders. It's not like the Scouts have agents monitoring the entrances to gay bars to see if any of their people go there, but they make it clear that homosexuals and atheists aren't welcome, and that they don't think much of discretely avoiding the topic, either.

But "morally straight" irritates Scout bashers as much for what it really means as for what it accidentally says. What it really does mean is a commitment to an above-board sense of obedience to God-given moral absolutes: something which is anathema to moral relativists, secularists, hedonists, and liberals.

What's worse, a universal set of implications are specifically outlined in the Scout Law (Reference din the Scout Oath above).

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.


What's worse: Scout leaders do often remind the boys that the part of the law about being clean includes language, humor, and sexual behavior as well as hygiene.

And to add insult to injury, to those litanies of imperatives (the Scout Oath and Scout Law) recited by every single Boyscout at every single Scout Meeting across the country, they even add that classic in right-wing thought control: the Pledge.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

It's enough to make a good, atheistic, America-hating, Streisand-loving, vegetable-oil-powered-bus-touring liberal throw-up.

Monday, August 01, 2005


My Yiddish isn't too good. But I think the guy who hurled this accusation at the president last week showed plenty of the quality named above.

Take that, Hippies!

Bolton to be appointed today.

Bravo, Brits!

It looks as if they have broken the back, maybe, of the terror cell which staged the attacks on 7/7 and 7/27. This is a big vindication for British police and security-- especially after the bungled, and fatal, misidentification of a Brazilian worker for a Moslem terrorist the day after the second bombing. It shows that despite the appearance of brutal heavy-handedness with their increase in security measures, the police in Britain knew, in general, what they were doing.

Does it justify shooting that poor Brazilian fellow? No, of course not.

Does it show that the British responded with something other than "death squads", as some folks have called them? Yes.

I hope the Italians cooperate on extradition. I also hope that if there is a link to an organization or to a government that somehow facilitated those attacks; that they, too, can be identified and dealt with in a decisive fashion.

Like the Taliban.

Or like the Iraqi Baath Party.

And I hope the Brits, with their "death squads", can stop these other guys, as well.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Why do they keep letting her in the White House?

Helen Thomas says she'll "kill herself" if Dick Cheney runs for president.

It wasn't a serious threat. She was ranting.

I will not say "Run Dick! Run!" Wouldn't be nice. Wouldn't be Christian. Wouldn't be...

See Dick. See Dick run. See Helen. See Helen croak herself.


UPDATE (Monday, 8/1/05, 8:10 AM)

Oooooh. Now Helen's really mad.

I've been discovered!

I'm so happy (Sob!).

Michael Silence at the Knoxville News Sentinel, doing his "No Silence Here" feature on the newspaper's website, has been checking my site and has highlighted me two times in the last week: here and here. Thank you, Michael.

Which reminds me, I need to add a Knoxnews link to my sidebar to catch local news and writers more easily.

Am I the only one troubled by this?

Federal District Judge John Coughenour in Los Angeles yesterday sentenced a would-be bomber to a twenty-two year sentence. The man could be free in fourteen years. After this, the Judge Coughenour proceeded to use the courtroom venue not as a place to consider the law, but to weigh in on security, military, and partisan political issues.

While sentencing the convicted bomber, Coughenour read (in his prepared statement): "We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant or deny the defendant the right to counsel... The message to the world from today's sentencing is that our courts have not abandoned our commitment to the ideals that set our nation apart."

The bomber was an Algerian national named Ahmed Ressam. He was trained in Afghanistan. He was a terrorist making war against our country in a conflict nobody wanted to acknowledge existed prior to 9/11.

Several points, therefore:

1. By handing down a sentence that allowed this guy an opportunity to do anything besides immediately meet his seventy virgins, Judge Coughenour established that perhaps the case would have been handled better by a military tribunal.

2. By offering political commentary from the bench, Judge Coughenour punctures any illusion of judicial objectivity. Federal prosecutors should object strenuously to having him handle any cases touching upon terrorism or national security in the future.

3. The Ressam case is different from that of the Gitmo vacationers. First, he was apprehended before 9/11. Second, he was captured in the United States, not in a foreign war zone.

4. The prosecutors wanted thirty-five years. That might have been the most they could ask for, considering the guy didn't succeed in killing anyone, bit it was still too easy. Terrorist activities should be a capital offense.

5. Prosecutors say that they tried to make a deal with Ressam so they could get information to extradite two other captured terrorists. Ressam quit cooperating and now prosecutors say they will have to drop extradition. Why didn't the judge hit Ressam with the maximum 35 years for that alone?

6. The message Judge Coughenour sends to the world is not: "...Our courts have not abandoned our commitment to the ideals that set our nation apart." Rather, the message he sends is: "Our courts oppose prudent national security measures and also are easy on convicted terrorists. Come make war on our nation!"