November 04, 2012
Confederate Yankee is closed. Update your Bookmarks and RSS feeds
Mike McDaniel is now blogging at Stately McDaniel Manor.
I am at my own self- named blog.
November 01, 2012
For Everything There is a Season
Confederate Yankee started with what was to be a one-off post on a hastily set-up Blogspot blog. That was posted Nov. 5, 2004. I sent an email to Glenn Reynolds, he linked it, and the very first blog entry I ever wrote garnered something north of 8,000+ hits and dozens of comments. I was hooked on the spot.
Seven years, 5,284 blog entries, and 7.8+ million page-views later, it is time to retire Confederate Yankee, a "temporary" blog that turned out to be a life-changing experience.
No, I'm not retiring from blogging, and neither is Mike, commenter extraordinaire turned co-blogger and friend. We're just moving on.
I'll be moving to my own self-named blog, which will consolidate the future political blogging I'd previously done on CY with the gun-writing I'd been doing at Bob's Gun Counter. Of course, I'll also continue posting at Pajamas Media and Shooting Illustrated.
Why am I retiring CY? It's time consolidate my work on a more robust and modern CMS (WordPress) that is more extensible and easier to administer, leaving me more time to focus on content. Don't worry, though. I have no intention of nuking CY, and all the existing content will remain exactly where it is for as long as our generous host Pixy Mesa will have us.
Mike and I will continue posting here through the end of the month, but we'll be "locking the doors" to new comments and posts after that time and moving on to our new sites. I hope you'll follow us there.
Thanks for being part of our blogging family!
October 31, 2011
Ave Atque Vale!
Halloween has come, and with it, my final post on what has been my blogging home--and my first blog--here at CY. My most grateful thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read us. I'll very much miss working with Bob and Brigid and of course, hearing from all of you.
I hope I've earned a place on your daily "to read" list for the Blogosphere and that you'll visit me at my new site, Stately McDaniel Manor. Of course, you'd be remiss not to visit Bob at Bob Owens and Brigid at Home On The Range.
As Bob noted, we'll be closing CY on November 1, but the archives will still be accessible.
Thanks again for your support and comments!
PS: Just in case, it means: Hail and farewell!
May 23, 2011
My Biggest Fan?
One of the interesting side effects of blogging and writing for a long time, sharing your opinions on controversial subjects and even veering into investigative journalism (as Mike and I tend to do from time to time) is that you irritate quite a few people. Confederate Yankee is a relatively small blog and so I'm sure we don't get a fraction of the hatred of the larger blogs, but apparently I've become interesting enough for someone to track me down.
As I left my house this morning and walked to my car, a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck that was parked on the street several houses down, slammed into reverse, backed up into the intersection and did a right turn, backwards down the street.
Obviously, I thought that was odd, got in my car, and started down the street towards that same residential intersection, which leads to the main road. As soon as I pulled up to the intersection I saw the truck again, and the driver immediately backed up even further.
My biggest fan?
I left my neighborhood, and sure enough the truck followed a few seconds later.
I turned onto our main street and the truck was behind several other vehicles and he kept drifting over the centerline as if to keep eye contact with my vehicle. At that point I chuckled to myself, figuring that I have seen too many spy movies. Really... why would anyone want to follow me?
Nonetheless, as the truck matched me turn for turn down several more roads I though the possibility interesting enough that I thought I'd prove my suspicions silly by pulling a U-turn on a divided highway, in the middle of farmland, where there is literally no reason to do such a turn.
Sure enough, the truck made a U-turn, and accelerated to close the distance back up. This person was obviously following me, and was obviously an amateur. The truck got caught at the next traffic light and I did another U-turn (to put me back on my original course). The truck drove by, and then quickly changed lanes and ducked into a residential neighborhood, but didn't pursue me any further. I was rather obviously acting like someone trying to confirm or shake a tail, and the truck driver had enough sense to figure out that I would probably be on the phone with the police, giving them a detailed description of their vehicle... which I was.
The vehicle following me was similar to the one in the photo above, a late model Silverado of that color with the same little antenna pods on the roof. The one following me may have been an extended cab instead of the four-door crew cab, and the vehicle following me had a silver toolbox in back, and sported very dark tinted windows. Other than that, the photo above is pretty close.
I hold onto a faint hope that this was just some bizarre behavior, and perhaps a case of them mistaking me for someone else, but since I've taken it upon myself to target an alleged gunrunning ex-con and a few other folks over the years, I guess it is possible I've irritated someone enough to want to find me, and perhaps share their displeasure with my work.
I'm oddly,almost serenely calm about the whole thing, when I suppose I should be scared. I must be really bothering someone, which perhaps means I'm close to affecting the kind of "hope and change" that will put some folks behind bars where they belong.
March 05, 2011
Driving Force Magazine Mention/Thoughts on Trauma Kits
I thought it was pretty cool when CY reader and author Thomas Kelley wrote an article about something I mentioned here in trucking industry magazine Driving Force.
I'm becoming a big believer in the theory behind so-called "blowout" kits developed for the military. These are ultra-compact (roughly the size of of a canteen), easily administered first aid kits originally designed to handle traumatic battlefield injuries. The odds of me going into combat are between slim and none, but I do go to my local shooting range several times per month and try to take a couple of shooting classes every year. You never know when or where a negligent discharge (idiot-caused shooting) or weapon/ammo failure may pop-up, and it simply seemed prudent to buy a ready made kit to deal with the possibility. I viewed it as a cheap form of insurance for not only myself, but everyone around me at the range.
The more I thought about it, however, the more it seemed to make sense to have more than just the one kit in the range bag. I have a 25-mile commute to work and another 25-miles on my return trip, and considering the fairly heavy traffic I drive in, accidents are routine (I'd say once a month, sometimes more). Most of these accidents are fender-benders without any injuries at all, but every one in a while there are stomach-churning wrecks where people are hurt very badly indeed. It didn't take much to realize that many of the components of a blow-out kit would function just as well in first aid treatment of certain car crash injuries.
The key at Driving Force liked the idea, and thought it was worth posting on the subject considering their audience is, after all, professional drivers.
I'm currently planning to buy at least two more kits (possibly three) so that I have something at home and in each of our family's vehicles in addition to my range bag. Odds of your average person being in the position of a potential first responder aren't catastrophically high, but I's much rather spend $50-100 bucks and never have to use such a kit than come upon and accident and watch some die that I might have helped simply because I wasn't prepared.
I'm not remotely qualified to recommend any particular kit, but Cavalry Manufacturing has a nice selection and a Web search for "ifak" or "blowout kit" should bring up some options.
If you do get one of these kits, keep in mind that simply having a kit isn't going to save lives if you don't know how to use it. A Red Cross First Aid Class is highly recommended.
February 07, 2011
Arianna Huffington has sold the Huffington Post to AOL in a $315 million dollar deal:
The Huffington Post, which began in 2005 with a meager $1 million investment and has grown into one of the most heavily visited news Web sites in the country, is being acquired by AOL in a deal that creates an unlikely pairing of two online media giants.
The two companies completed the sale Sunday evening and announced the deal just after midnight on Monday. AOL will pay $315 million, $300 million of it in cash and the rest in stock. It will be the company's largest acquisition since it was separated from Time Warner in 2009.
Huffington will stay on as director of all of AOL's editorial content and become of president and editor in chief of what they are calling the Huffington Post Media Group.
I love to see free-market thrive, and its edifying to see that beneath her liberal veneer, Arianna is still a capitalist at heart.
February 05, 2011
Conservative, My Ass
In the past week or so I've noticed that several of the blogs I regularly read are featuring a blogAd for "Discrete Partners Only." The ad further clarifies its intent by noting that their services are for cheaters that are "Married and Looking" or "Separated and Looking."
I understand wanting to make a profit from your blogging—I certainly have ads here, and have gone as far as posting links to gambling sites—but you cross a line when you advocate the dissolution of marriage and inevitable fragmentation of families.
Conservative values, obviously, have a price.
January 05, 2011
Pajamas Launches a New Blog
The Tatler. It's based upon an early 18th century British news and gossip magazine, and will be a group blog featuring commentary from a number of bloggers and personalities you probably already know, including Glenn Reynolds, Roger Simon, Bryan Preston, and some guy named Bob.
November 26, 2010
Something I'm Thankful For
I was on the road or at relative's homes yesterday soaking up good food and conversation, and didn't quite manage to get up a Thanksgiving post.
Had I been able to find the time to get online, I would have told you--and will tell you now--just how fortunate I am to have two so very talented, intelligent and fun co-bloggers here at CY, not to mention all the wonderful readers that continue to frequent the site.
You are all very much a blessing in my life, and I am continually thankful for your company.
November 20, 2010
New Co-Blogger Coming Soon
Fair warning, folks: we have a lady in the house, or at least we will soon. She'll introduce herself when she's ready (and after I get her account set up). I think you'll be very impressed with her, just as you were when Mike joined up.
November 08, 2010
I Know... Bad Blogger, No Donut
I apologize to my regular readers for the long dry spell, but I've been busy *gasp* having a life, spending time with my family, focusing on a major project at work (no, I don't blog for a living), and spending what little time I have left in the day trying to complete a personal project I started a coupe of weeks. ago.
Unless there are unexpected surprises, I should be back in action Wednesday.
November 04, 2010
Light Blogging Again
We've got a big push going on a my day job and I'm dedicating my evenings to another project, so blogging will probably be lightish again the next few days.
I do have some thoughts brewing about the election and where we go from here, and I'll get that up as soon as I have the time.
October 21, 2010
Sorry for the slim-to-nonexistent blogging for the last few days. I've been doing the legwork on an investigative report that will post over at Pajamas Media tomorrow that will knock your socks off.
Unless you wear Crocs.
And that's just sad.
October 19, 2010
Lots of Crazy Today
I know the left is grabbing for some sort magic talisman to save their dream-turned-nightmare, but petty jibes—especially ones that turn out to be based upon their own ignorance—only makes them seem petty and desperate to voters.
October 07, 2010
Erik Scott Case Archive Created
Mike has done such a phenomenal job researching and analyzing the available information surrounding this tragic and unnecessary death and the suspect investigation conducted by involved authorities that it only made sense to create a new archive dedicated to the case that is only just beginning. I've thrown in my few contributions and links to my Pajamas Media articles on the shooting as well.
September 28, 2010
Get Your Own Pet Dan
September 20, 2010
Where We Go From Here
I promised you several days ago that the break I took from blogging gave me some time to think about what I wanted to do as a writer and blogger, and that I'd have some changes and announcements to make.
So let's get to it.
Confederate Yankee has been my blogging home for almost six years now. It began as flippantly picked Blogspot blog by the same name, which was chosen to match the subject matter of a one-off blog post that soon became a blogging obsession.
The entire time I've had this blog, it has been focused on U.S. national politics, with forays into media criticism and other subjects. It will remain focused on those topics, and I may begin looking at other contributors to start writing on these subjects soon.
At the same time, while CY has done a lot for me, it has taken a lot from me as well. I don't sleep enough. I obsess over finding the next story. I rant and rave and get angry, and found myself coming dangerously close to going this nuts.
Did I mention that I don't want to be this nuts?
And so I'm doing three things.
- I'm backing off how much time I spend blogging
- I'm changing how I approach blogging
- I'm returning to blogging for fun
Expect my posting frequency to slow down a bit here. You'll see fewer long-form stories, and more links, and you shouldn't be surprised if I'm a bit more mellow in my approach. That said, I'm not stopping. Just re-focusing.
bob-owens.com: Unlike CY, this is purely and completely a vanity blog, cataloging things I find that are interesting or a amusing.
The Gun Counter is exactly what it sounds like, a blog focusing on firearms and firearms-related stories.
Restoration Song is my attempt to find a high road and still talk about politics... if that can be done.
Folks, I'm not looking to shake things up all that much. I hope the changes actually give you more and more interesting content to check out, while still allowing me more time to focus on the things that really matter. I enjoy blogging, and I'll continue to do it, but there are other, far more important things to be doing with your life and mine, and I intent to start doing them.
September 15, 2010
...And We're Back
Okay, not back back, but getting there. The doctor was very impressed by my wife's progress in healing from her foot surgery, and she is transitioning from being nearly bed-ridden to merely recliner-ridden. I'm almost back to as "normal" as I get.
As we are able to return to more normal lives I'll be able to get back to a more regular publishing schedule, both here and in the various other haunts where I appear.
The 4 1/2 week break gave me time to think about what I want to do as a writer/blogger, and I'll have some changes to announce soon, including the official announcement of my new blogs (yes, plural) and the direction I hope to take with this one.
Tune in, folks... it should be fun.
August 21, 2010
I'm on the tail-end of a recovery from knee surgery, and now we've discovered that my wife has a vertically torn tendon in her ankle that may reach up her calf. She goes in for surgery early Tuesday morning. The doctor tells us she must be off of it for six weeks, minimum.
I'm going to put the blog on hiatus for at least the next month, and perhaps as long as the next two months while I tend to my family.
I hope to find you all well when I return.
July 30, 2010
Like many bloggers, I've toyed with monetizing my blog... though not in any serious way. All the advertising I've ever done is because advertising have gone out of their way to contact me. Within the last week, I was contacted by a new advertiser (very nice folks, actually) and decided to try their flash-based ads.
You hated it. Auto-playing flash-based ads with audio that can't be stopped is apparently not the way to keep your readership happy. Who knew?
Hey...I screwed up. I apologize.
The lure of easy advertising dollars perhaps financing my next toy blinded me to the annoyance these ads caused you.
I have used and will continue to use BlogAds and I'm proud to represent both the Conservative and Military advertising hives, and encourage you to advertise with them. I've recently partnered with the VAMortgageCenter.com, have always run my share of Google Ads, and have a tip jar for those inclined to use it.
But I'll accept no more auto-playing flash ads with unstoppable audio. That was a bad decision on my part. I won't do that again.
July 26, 2010
More Than a Rope and a Tree
If you don't, you deserve the scorn you get.
July 24, 2010
CNN Anchors Calls For Bloggers to be Held to Higher Standard Than Themselves
CNN's Kyra Phillips and John Roberts aren't happy with Andrew Breitbart's exposure of Shirley Sherrod. They're of the opinion that the excerpt of the video he promoted unfairly labelled her a racist (Phillips and Roberts didn't apparently have a problem with their colleague Andreson Cooper, who filmed a segment with Sherrod that proved she is racist).
Because of this incident Phillips and Roberts think that bloggers should be regulated.
The last I checked, bloggers were subject to the same libel and defamation laws that news outlets were, and neither anchor has established why bloggers should be held to a higher standard than they themselves are.
That this call for censorship comes from the very network that concealed torture and murder for a ratings advantage? Beyond belief.
June 28, 2010
I don't do a whole lot of "inside baseball"-type blogging anymore (I pretty much ignored Charles Johnson's returning to the liberal left and Dave Weigel's much more recent collapse at the Washington Post), but found this story from John Hawkins interesting.
Cocktail circuit Republican David Frum apparently asked to join the Blogads Conservative Blogging Hive (full disclosure: I am a member of both the conservative hive and the Military Hive on Blogads, and they both promote great stuff).
John Hawkins of Right Wing News manages the Blogads Conservative hive, and denied Frum's inclusion, since Frum seems to mainly exist to be a critic of conservatives and the conservative movement.
The real story seems not to be Frum's exclusion, but that his representative then took what John interpreted to be a threatening tone, suggesting that the exclusion was "newsworthy."
I can't read the mind of Frum's rep, and don't know if issuing a veiled threat was really his intent, but if it was, it was a entirely toothless threat. David Frum may carry some weight among dead-tree media, but his influence in the new media is low, and fading, as is his influence on new media's advertisers.
Instead of issuing threats, perhaps Frum could start his own hive of blogs. There has to be a market for his kind of writing. Disappearing creams, maybe.
June 16, 2010
Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut...
Sometimes, you don't:
Imagine, if you will, that you're a normal person and then one day a quasi-famous mentally ill blogger becomes fixated on you the way Gollum was fixated on the Ring. Even though she hasn't been setting the world on fire lately, she has been on TV, on the Howard Stern show and she's written for the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, & The Washington Times. Most people in the know realize she's off her rocker, but how many people are in the know? How many fans does she have who don't realize what she's really like?
So this person, this quasi-famous mentally ill blogger, starts claiming you support death threats against her. She tells people you're an anti-Semite. She calls your job and tries to get you fired. When she hears of people connected with you, she tries to contact them to lie about you. When people mention your name on the web, she shows up to tell untrue stories about you. Then, she starts going after your friends. She accuses them of supporting death threats against her and being anti-Semitic for being associated with you.
You tried ignoring her. It didn't work. You tried sincerely apologizing for offending her. Not only did it fail, she misrepresented what you apologized for in an effort to try to use it against you. Since she was a lawyer, you even eventually tried filing a complaint with the Michigan Bar, trying to get them to keep her from obsessively harassing/cyber stalking you; it didn't work. You hoped, over time, the obsession with you might fade. However, four years have gone by and it's still going as strong as it was in the beginning.
This, my friends, is not a rhetorical discussion. The victim here is named Emily Zanotti. The quasi-famous mentally ill blogger I'm speaking of is Debbie Schlussel.
John Hawkins goes on to paint a picture of a blogger unable to separate criticism of her blog entries from criticism of her as a person.
When you encounter a person like this and point out errors of logical and substance in something they write, they take that as personally as if you had personally insulted their intelligence. Combine that with a personality that has an ego that can never admit to failure, and you have the recipe for a very angry person with a huge chip on their shoulder who can never let go of a grudge.
I feel pity for a person so insecure and vindictive that their lives seem to revolve around creating enemies and maintaining vendettas. Harboring that kind of perpetual anger would be exhausting... wouldn't you think?
Debbie Schlussel's bizarre behavior is hardly a secret in the blogosphere but I've typically ignored it, simply because such people are generally better left ignored to rant and wail into the darkness.
That said, I understand John's desire to set the record straight and let the sun shine on hate calculated to hurt and smear others. Debbie Schlussel seems intent on trying to become a bully.
I think she's picked the wrong opponents.
April 27, 2010
Military Hive Joins BlogAds Initiative
You may (or may not) have noticed in your time here that CY is on both the Conservative Blog Hive and Military Blog Hive on BlogAds, which specializes in blog advertising (such as those ads you see in the margin).
The Military Hive and the Economics Blog Hive are part of a new initiative to draw in advertisers and support blogs (and bloggers) that sometimes get passed over in favor of larger media buys. Henry Copeland has the official word on the BlogAds Blog which explains things better than I can.
Once the kinks are ironed out and the beta period is over, this program will be rolled out to other 130+ blog hives and their bloggers.
Good luck, everyone!
February 19, 2010
Prayers for Dan
Dan Collins of POWIP has been admitted to the hospital. Please keep him in your prayers.
January 08, 2010
Wait a Second.. Allahpundit Knows Ray Stevens?
When you read someone long enough, you start to develop the feeling you actually know them to a certain extent, even though you don't actually know the person at all.
Well, Allahpundit through me for a loop this morning.
December 30, 2009
Obama's TSA Finally Going After Real Terrorist Threat
December 21, 2009
How Dare You Wish Our Klansman to Die! Die, Rethuglican!
It seems our friends on the political left are all but soiling themselves over a post I wrote last night, where I wished West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd to do his nation a favor and go into the light before the Senate votes to destroy the American health care system.
Matt Yglesias seems to think my musings are on par with that of a senator, and his friends Andrew Sullivan are attempting to claim that I speak for the entire political right. Not to be out-done, Larisa Alexandrovna chose to weave in a comparison to a anti-gay dog-park stalkerette in an effort to demonize Christians as well.
While I'm flattered by their attention, I suspect they've overestimated my political clout or my ability to accurately serve as a totem of whichever particular group they'd like to demonize today.
I take full responsibility for posting a blog entry that calls for Senator Robert Byrd to die at a politically-convenient moment, and I won't attempt to walk it back and pretend that I said or meant anything else. I still would find it quite convenient if the senior Senator from Pangea expired prior to the Senate Democratic plot to force through rushed, potentially catastrophic legislation.
But much to the (assured) dismay of of these critics and others, I can only claim to speak for myself.
Likewise, I will not assume that the dozens of comments and emails sent to me by the readers of these sites are representative of the sentiments that these bloggers would publicly profess.
I've found the enraged responses of some of my detractors (primarily in the form of emails and comments) to be mildly amusing. By saying that they wish me to die for posting my preference for Byrd's timely demise, they've exposed the fact that they are entirely comfortable with calling for someone's death over politics.
They just lack the intellectual honesty to admit it.
December 17, 2009
Milblogs Go Silent [Bumped: New Posts Below Until Saturday]
On Wednesday 16 December 2009, many milblogs -- including This Ain't Hell, From My Position, Blackfive, Miss Ladybug, Boston Maggie, Grim's Hall, and those participating in the Wednesday Hero program -- are going silent for the day. Some are choosing to go silent for a longer period of time.
The reason for this is two-fold. First, milblogs are facing an increasingly hostile environment from within the military. While senior leadership has embraced blogging and social media, many field grade officers and senior NCOs do not embrace the concept. From general apathy in not wanting to deal with the issue to outright hositility to it, many commands are not only failing to support such activities, but are aggressively acting against active duty milbloggers, milspouses, and others. The number of such incidents appears to be growing, with milbloggers receiving reprimands, verbal and written, not only for their activities but those of spouses and supporters.
The catalyst has been the treatment of milblogger C.J. Grisham of A Soldier's Perspective (http://www.soldiersperspective.us/). C.J. has earned accolades and respect, from the White House on down for his honest, and sometimes blunt, discussion of issues -- particularly PTSD. In the last few months, C.J. has seen an issue with a local school taken to his command who failed to back him, and has even seen his effort to deal with PTSD, and lead his men in same by example, used against him as a part of this. Ultimately, C.J. has had to sell his blog to help raise funds for his defense in this matter.
An excellent story on the situation with C.J. can be found at Military Times:
While there have been new developments, the core problem remains, and C.J. is having to raise funds to cover legal expenses to protect both his good name and his career.
One need only look at the number of blogs by active duty military in combat zones and compare it to just a few years ago to see the chilling effect that is taking place.
Milblogs have been a vital link in getting accurate news and information about the military, and military operations, to the public. They have provided vital context and analysis on issues critical to operations and to the informed electorate critical to the Republic.
On Wednesday 16 December, readers will have the chance to imagine a world without milblogs, and to do something about it. Those participating are urging their readers to contact their elected representatives in Congress, and to let their opinions be known to them and to other leaders in Washington.
Some milblogs will remain silent for several days; some just for the day. All have agreed to keep the post about the silence and C.J. at the top of their blogs until Friday 18 December.
The issues go beyond C.J., and deserve careful consideration and discussion. We hope that you will cover this event, and explore the issues that lie at the heart of the matter. Contact the milbloggers in your area or that you know, and hear the story that lies within.
A Partial List of Participating Blogs:
This Ain't Hell http://thisainthell.us/blog/
Boston Maggie http://bostonmaggie.blogspot.com/
Miss Ladybug http://miss-ladybug.blogspot.com
Drunken Wisdom http://beerbrains.com/
Grim's Hall http://grimbeorn.blogspot.com/
CDR Salamander http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com
Grisham Legal Fund
c/o Redstone Federal Credit Union
220 Wynn Drive
Huntsville, AL 35893
Please write "Grisham Legal Fund" in the memo line if you use this option.
Milblogs have been a vital link in getting accurate news and information about the military, and military operations, to you. Today, many milblogs are gone and others are under attack from within and without. Today, you have the chance to imagine a world without milblogs, and to do something about it. Make your voice heard by writing your congressional representatives and others, and by making donations as you see fit.
The battle for freedom of speech and the marketplace of ideas is fought on many fronts and in many ways. Without your help, the battle may well be lost.
There are good reasons for the military to restrict what milbloggers post—kissing up to small-minded, small-time local politicians isn't one of them. Make sure you read the entire story, and if you can help Sgt. Grisham in his fight please donate via the PayPal link at Blackfive.
December 15, 2009
So... Sully Isn't Sully?
Apparently, Andrew Sullivan's blog isn't solely his work, and turns out to have been a group blog largely ghost-written by two other people.
I'm not sure if I find any solace at all in discovering that his logical inconsistencies and bizarre fixations are instead part of a group psychosis.
How about you?
December 07, 2009
HuffPo: Palin is a Racist, or Something
Sarah Palin must really scare the crap out of Ariana Huffington. Really... is this the best they have?
Palin, though notoriously ill-traveled outside the United States, did journey far to the first of the four colleges she attended, in Hawaii. She and a friend who went with her lasted only one semester. "Hawaii was a little too perfect," Palin writes. "Perpetual sunshine isn't necessarily conducive to serious academics for eighteen-year-old Alaska girls." Perhaps not. But Palin's father, Chuck Heath, gave a different account to Conroy and Walshe. According to him, the presence of so many Asians and Pacific Islanders made her uncomfortable: "They were a minority type thing and it wasn't glamorous, so she came home." In any case, Palin reports that she much preferred her last stop, the University of Idaho, "because it was much like Alaska yet still 'Outside.' "
So in the worst case scenario, Palin went to a place where the culture and people were radically different than what she was accustomed to, found it uncomfortable, and wanted to leave for someplace where she felt more at home. Outrageous.
According the Southern Poverty Law Center, Palin would like have had a good reason to feel uncomfortable, considering the violent prejudice of natives towards non-natives, whites in particular. A tall, pretty white 18-year-old female completely unexposed to the culture would have been quite a target, don't you think?
October 08, 2009
The Internet Can Now End
The State Department really ought to issue travel advisories warning visitors to the United Kingdom about cage-fighting transvestites and poisoned curries from gay tripedal-catnappers.
September 15, 2009
http://www.acorn.org/index.php?id=7878 should go to the local home page of the ACORN San Bernardino, but as a simple click will attest, it doesn't work.
ACORN.org is experiencing "Error 503 Service Unavailable," indicating that the server is overwhelmed.
Must be all those search requests for underage hookers with husband-killing madams.
I woke up this morning to find the following comment spammed across the comment sections of a dozen posts, regardless of subject matter:
Yes it is all the black people's fault. Let us kill all the black people. We should not have a black president.
The spammer hails from the IP of 22.214.171.124, which seems to trace to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I cannot imagine why a Canadian is worried about having Barack Obama as his President, unless...
What if Barack has a Canadian birth certificate?
August 11, 2009
Was A Key Anti-Palin Blogger Hired to Attack Her By Progressives?
While there isn't a smoking gun as of yet, it is very hard to see where else this might lead.
I tend to like what I've seen of Sarah Palin as a person even if I've not agreed with every position she's held. Quite frankly, I don't understand why so many progressives (including most of the media) and RINOs attack her like she's such a threat to all they hold dear. If she really is the ditzy Caribou Barbie they constantly make her out to be, then why are they even bothering discussing her?
The fact that they treat her like a lethal threat does more for her mystique than anything she's actually done, and I suspect it is going to eventually backfire and give her some sort of underdog status if they don't learn to control their attacks a bit better. I don't think that she's a great politician, but I do love the way she's a catalyst to bring out the crazies.
July 21, 2009
Is Truthout on the Way Out?
Once upon a time, truthout.org was a leading site for left wing activist politics. A little kooky, and prone to publishing authors of dubious credibility, it seemed to hold some influence until Jason Leopold repeatedly cried wolf that Karl Rove was going to be indicted and sent to prison for Plamegate, which of course never happened.
Since then, the site seems to have lost much of it's luster, and if a recent fundraising plea is any guide, quite a bit of it's reader support.
May 18, 2009
If I'm Ever Caught Plagiarizing...
...please at least let it be memorable copy.
Don't let it be the pedestrian regurgitation of a shallow political talking point.
April 05, 2009
Kos Has a Short Memory
First, the cringeworthy tweet:
When we were out of power, we organized to win the next election. Conservatives, apparent, prefer to talk "revolution" and kill cops.
Last I checked, radical neo-Nazi conspiracy theorists aren't exactly in the conservative mainstream.
Left-wing progressive and Indymedia contributor Andrew Mickel is currently on death row for his 2002 assassination of Red Bluff Police Officer David Mobilio.
But unlike yesterday's reactionary murder of three Pittsburgh, PA policemen who responded to a domestic violence call that escalated into an ambush, Mickel purposefully planned his murder in advance, picking the time, the place, and the victim.
He was caught for the murder because of his desire to promote his crime in hopes of starting a violent revolution against the government.
Six days after the shooting, a manifesto appeared on more than a dozen Web sites operated by the left-leaning Independent Media Center.
It began: "Hello Everyone, my name's Andy. I killed a Police Officer in Red Bluff, California in a motion to bring attention to, and halt, the police-state tactics that have come to be used throughout our country. Now I'm coming forward, to explain that this killing was also an action against corporate irresponsibility."
Mickel, whom his parents compared him the Unabomber according to Wikipedia went to school at Evergreen State College, the same radical leftist institution that produced Rachel Corrie, an International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist. The ISM works closely with terrorist organizations in Gaza, and Corrie was killed while apparently defending a terrorist smuggling tunnel.
Kos can make sweeping condemnations based upon alleged ties between his political opponents and criminals, but conveniently forgets the blood his direct peers spill.
I guess we should just be thankful Kos didn't tweet that he felt the same way about Pittsburgh police officers as he did contractors in Fallujah.
February 04, 2009
Ironically, both the number of people who will vote for Barack Obama if this stimulus bill passes, and the number of people who have now visited this blog.
I'm also pretty sure he was a significant number of those other 3,999,999, but hey, who's counting?
January 17, 2009
Bill Faith of Old War Dogs and Small Town Veteran passed yesterday, apparently due to a heart attack. He was a kind soul, and the world is a poorer place for his loss. I'm simply glad that God, in his kindness, allowed Bill to meet his new granddaughter and visit with her awhile before he passed on.
Michelle Malkin has published a wonderful tribute to Bill. Please leave your blessings and prayers there.
I'd write more, but I've got a little some thing in my eye.
God bless you, Bill.
January 05, 2009
Not Quite Dead Yet
Yes, I've been a slack blogger lately, but I'm merely resting up for four years of pure comedy gold that the Obama Administration promises to be.
Panetta? Really? I guess was Stephanopoulos too busy.
November 05, 2008
Four Years and Counting...
As I mentioned briefly a little earlier, Confederate Yankee sprang to life four years ago today. It was never really intended as anything more than a one-off response to an angry elitist, but as responses to that post came rolling in, I got hooked.
Blogging has been very good to me. I've met some truly brilliant people as a result of blogging, both online and in person. Some of these people are bloggers and media personalities and politicians you may have heard of, and many more are commenters and those who actually do the things I write about, including soldiers, journalists, professors, and other hard-working Americans.
Those of you who do are are an inspiration to me, and keep me humble as I should be. Mostly, I write and reflect and pontificate. You make America—and other countries—work. I just hope that in some way I can contribute to furthering your far more important work, popularize those things you believe, and occasionally shine sunlight into those areas that need to be disinfected.
Thanks for the ride so far, folks.
I can only imagine what we'll do next.
September 10, 2008
FYI: Citizen Journalism Workshop at Blogworld
Dr. David Perlmutter, author of Blog Wars: The New Political Battleground and a really neat educator I've worked with in the past, asked me to mention the Citizen Journalism Workshop being held this year at Blogworld in Las Vegas.
Consider this a PSA for an excellent idea:
Citizen Journalism Workshop An Exclusive Event at BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2008 Date: Sept. 19, 2008 Ė 10:00AM Ė 4:45PM Location: Las Vegas Convention Ctr., Upper South Hall Conference Rooms; Room 221
As blogs take their place as legitimate and respected sources for news, information and analysis, BLOGWORLD & NEW MEDIA EXPO 2008 introduces a new Citizen Journalism Workshop.
There are about 112 millions weblogs worldwide, and while many are blogging for casual reasons or for just a short time, others, especially news and information bloggers, are serious about their blogs' success in the greater marketplace of ideas.
How can someone "break in" as a news, politics or current events blogger and build a readership, get attention from major bloggers and mass media, and more important perhaps, affect or influence the traditional press agenda, politics, and public opinion?
Traditional news media outlets and bloggers have not always had the best relationship. And yet traditional media has tried to learn from the blogs. In 2008 most mainstream media outlets have blogs, or have their journalists blogging independently.
Now it's time for the bloggers and other new media journalists to mine the history, tradition and most importantly, the knowledge base of traditional journalists.
In 2008 BLOGWORLD & NEW MEDIA EXPO 2008 is introducing a journalism training certificate workshop for bloggers seeking to deepen and broaden their skills. This workshop focuses on tools and skills news and information bloggers can use to improve the quality, and impact of their blogs.
Bloggers will learn techniques of traditional journalists, including styles of opinion writing, investigative reporting techniques and fact-sourcing, avoiding legal pitfalls, and tips on what makes a post most likely to get one quoted or cited by larger blogs and even the mainstream media.
The instructors for the sessions are accomplished news & information practitioners and educators who have established skills in practical and applied areas of professional journalism training. Participants will receive a Citizen Journalism Certificate and Web icon that will allow them to display their dedication to improving their journalistic skills, and providing them with a distinct brand differentiation from the millions of other news and information bloggers.
WORKSHOP SESSION DESCRIPTIONS:
10:00AM - 11:15AM
Journalism Content & Style: How to Write & Sound for Impact (CJ1)
[Professor Steve Berry, U. Iowa]
You'll learn why substance and clarity trump flash and flair in the battle for readers. This session will teach you how to give your writing the power, lively freshness, style and needed to win hearts and minds. We'll talk about how you can focus your writing to a specific audience, how broadcast, print and website writing differ and why; and how you can use this knowledge to better target specific groups. We'll also examine the rhythms, structure, and succinctness of superior writing and provide you with examples of how the best writers make people see instead of just read.
11:30AM - 12:45PM
Finding What's Out There: Searching, Sifting, and Selecting the Best Information Online (CJ2)
[Professor Jay Perkins, LSU]
Finding information isn't a problem anymore, but avoiding suffocating under all that information can be. Investigative journalists know that government collects a ton of information that most people never find and that Google and Wikipedia can't touch. This session will look at some of the free, hidden treasure chests of information. You'll learn how to assemble a background profile on someone from public records, how to trace property, cars, boats and other transactions, and where to go to find people who can help you find these items. You also will learn how to obtain information from local and national federal agencies through the Freedom of Information Act and how to get around the bureaucrats when they bar the front door and refuse to hand over the key. We'll also talk about fact-checking and source-credibility strategies that will keep you on the path of accuracy--and hopefully, out of someone else's blog.
2:00PM - 3:15PM
Top 10 Ways to Blog Your Way Into a Lawsuit (CJ3)
[Nina Yablok, Law Office of Nina Yablok]
A fast paced romp through the biggest legal risks that both individual and group bloggers face. Emphasis will be on recognizing problems early, assessing risks, self-help measures to minimize risk, when not to call an attorney, and when to make the call and how to use attorneys efficiently. Detailed legal analysis will not be provided. This is very much a "how to reduce risk in the real world" program.
3:30PM - 4:45PM
Getting Mainstream Media Attention: How to Reach Out to Journalists (CJ4)
[Professor David Perlmutter, U. Kansas]
In a crowded online world, how does an independent blogger stand out and be heard? Being cited, quoted, published or used as a source by mainstream media is a significant way to build a larger and wider audience. We will review the basic selection techniques of how journalists deem someone an "approved source" or expert; we discuss how bloggers can enter the Rolodex of reliable sources for major media. Second, we show ways to have blog content picked up by traditional media, from blasting out a press release to writing and submitting an op-ed to contacting and working with mainstream reporters on stories. Finally, we will look at the ethical issues that affect how your blog is perceived by mainstream media.
STEPHEN J. BERRY, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former reporter, is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Iowa, where he specializes in investigative reporting. He recently completed a stint as coordinator of the basic journalistic reporting program and taught a section in it for four years. His book, Watchdog Journalism: The Art of Investigative Reporting [Oxford University Press], was released July 2008. Before entering academia in 2003, Berry was a journalist for 33 years, having worked last at the Los Angeles Times. While at The Orlando Sentinel, he and a colleague won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. He has won numerous other honors for investigative and daily reporting, including the Associated Press Newspaper Executive Council Award for public service; the Benjamin Fine award for education reporting; the Los Angeles Times' Top of the Times Award, one of its Pulitzer nominations and its Editor and Publisher Prize; Society of Professional Journalists Award [Atlanta Chapter]; and others. His projects have examined race relations, the criminal justice system, police abuse of power, school district merger, medical malpractice, stock-car racing safety, guns, government and illegal drugs. More recently he has published "Reclaiming Objectivity" and "CBS News Lets the Pentagon Taint its News Process" in Nieman Reports. He holds an M.A. in American history from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
JAY PERKINS is an associate professor at the Manship School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University. He specializes in teaching students how to find and use governmental documents and how to cross-check Internet sources. He has taught investigative, governmental and computer-assisted reporting classes at LSU for the past 25 years. He also teaches classes in the summer in the United Kingdom, has conducted seminars for reporters in Zambia twice, and frequently lectures on using Internet databases and sources to foreign journalists who are visiting the States on sponsored tours. Prior to coming to LSU, he was a political reporter in Washington, D.C., for the Associated Press.
DAVID D. PERLMUTTER is a professor at the William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications, University of Kansas. He received his BA and MA from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He has served as a Board member of the American Association of Political Consultants and now sits on the National Law Enforcement Museum Advisory Committee for its Media Exhibit. A documentary photographer, he is the author or editor of seven books on political communication and persuasion: Photojournalism and Foreign Policy: Framing Icons of Outrage in International Crises (Praeger, 1998); Visions of War: Picturing Warfare from the Stone Age to the Cyberage (St. Martin's, 1999); (ed.) The Manship School Guide to Political Communication (LSU Press, 1999); Policing the Media: Street Cops and Public Perceptions of Law Enforcement (Sage, 2000); Picturing China in the American Press: The Visual Portrayal of Sino-American Relations in Time Magazine, 1949-1973 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007); (ed., with John Hamilton) From Pigeons to News Portals: Foreign Reporting and the Challenge of New Technology (LSU Press, 2007) , and Blogwars: The New Political Battleground (Oxford, 2008). He has also written several dozen research articles for academic journals as well as over 150 essays for U.S. and international newspapers and magazines. He writes a regular column, "P&T Confidential," for the Chronicle of Higher Education. He has been interviewed by most major news networks and newspapers, from the New York Times to CNN and ABC and, most recently, The Daily Show. He is editor of the blog of the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas (http://www.doleinstituteblog.org/) and his own blog about online politics, http://policybyblog.squarespace.com/.
NINA YABLOK is an attorney in private practice. Her firm provides a full range of legal and related services to privately held businesses in a wide range of fields. Areas of advice include, but are not limited to, business development, merger and acquisition consulting, licensing, labor, contract, business entity choice, independent contractor and intellectual property law. Nina has been general counsel to Pajamas Media since it was a twinkle in Charles Johnson's and Roger Simon's eyes. She still represents PJM as well as several other well-known blogs. Nina's first online client was one of the largest and busiest forums on Compuserve. There, she dealt with legal issues on message boards, file libraries, chat rooms and IMs before the term "Social Networking" had been invented, and 11 years before Facebook was launched. She received her law degree from St. John's University, School of Law. Her own blog is at http://www.bizblawg.com/.
It certainly sounds like something worth checking out.
August 04, 2008
B5ers Go Discovery Channel
At great risk to their "street cred" as milbloggers, Blake "Laughing Wolf" Powers and Jim " Uncle Jimbo" Hanson are trying out for hosting duties of a new Discovery Channel show, Blow Crap Up.
Actually, the show is titled Super Testing, but I think my description is more accurate.
Anyway, this is what they're looking for:
Weíre looking for someone who is:
* In his late 30s to early 40s.
* Smart Ė he needs to be credible in his interactions with scientists and engineers. Science, stuntman, or engineering background is a strong plus. He does not have to be an "expert" in science or engineering per se, but should grasp the science or engineering concepts at least well enough to ask the kind of intelligent questions that our intelligent viewers appreciate.
* Tough, but an "Everyman" Ė He should be credible dealing with military officials, mechanics, pilots, test subjects Ė the whole range of folks who build things and sometimes blow things up all in the name of progress. Military, construction, or mechanical engineering background is a strong plus. He should come off as knowledgeable but likeable Ė and definitely a man's man.
* Charismatic, but not too "hosty" Ė He should be able to explain the who-what-where-when-how of the testing in a clear, direct, and always conversational way. We need someone who seems comfortable in his own skin and comfortable on camera. But he should also be comfortable letting the light shine on the real stars of the show Ė the people who he encounters, who make "super testing" a reality.
Have at it, kids.
July 23, 2008
The Iraq We'd Have If We'd Heeded Obama
Why, I agree with every word.
July 10, 2008
Advantage: Charles Johnson
Update: You Dishonest Hacks
Early this morning, I left a comment at the Lede noting that Charles was not only the person who exposed this fraud, but Dan Rather's faked TANG documents as well.
Nine hours later, the comment has yet to clear moderation. Mike Nizza and Patrick Witty apparently don't feel like sharing their stolen credit with the person who actually exposed this fraud.
July 07, 2008
Guilt by Association
CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand made her progressive "bones" June 30 (if she didn't have then already)in a post that for some reason is just getting some attention from the blogosphere for her mis-characterization of Colonel Bud Day (USAF-Ret.) in this CNN blog post.
Here is Sinderbrand's description of Day in her lede:
One of the members of John McCain's new Truth Squad ó which his campaign says was launched to respond to unfair attacks on his record of military service Ė- was a member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and appeared in an attack ad for the group in 2004.
Sinderbrand is displaying one of two things here, either profound ignorance, or a level of political bias that undermines her professional credibility. Michelle Malkin, active duty soldier Greyhawk, and Scott Johnson among those hoping to raise some issue here, with Malkin asking her readers to ask for a correction in the comments to Sinderbrand's blog entry, which is now closed.
Progressive blogger Jesse Taylor at Pandagon seems to think Sinderbrand's description of Day was "accurate."
As I responded in the comments:
The reason Greyhawk and other servicemen are angry at CNN's description of Col. Day is that it does not accurately describe who he is. They aren't asking for his bio to be read, but for an accurate description of who he is and what he has accomplished.
Day is not a Swift Boat vet (Navy) but an Air Force vet. His involvement with SBVFT had nothing to do with Kerry's service in Vietnam, and Day never commented on Kerry's service in Vietnam. He testified only against Kerry's Winter Soldier testimony (made in front of Congress), which Day felt was biased and dishonest in itís characterization of American servicemen in that conflict.
Is he not entitled to his freedom of speech?
Day is not primarily known as a member of SBVFT, but as one of America's most celebrated and decorated war heroes, in a very rare class reserved for men such as Audie Murphy or Alvin York. He would next be known as John McCain's cellmate in the Hanoi Hilton. After that, he is most famous for filing a class-action lawsuit against the Clinton-era Air Force for stripping veterans of their medical care. Limiting his description to merely being "a member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" is to ignore the vast majority of his accomplishments in order to attempt to undermine his credibility for things he never said or did.
CNN avoided Day's life's work and his most famous accomplishment in order to dismiss him for being part of a group that merged with SBVFT.
Apply a simple test to see if this is fair.
Imagine a media organization took one of your heroes, ignored his most notable 3-4 top accomplishments, and attempted to undercut his credibility by only mentioning that he made remarks or shared his opinion in front of a group your political opponents find loathsome.
Would a news story remembering Martin Luther King for his association with openly gay Communist Party member USA Bayard Rustin at the exclusion of everything else he accomplished in his life be "fair?"
King is of course far more famous for all the other things he did with his life, but according to Jesse, that is apparently all just irrelevant biographical information. Simply calling King an associate of a gay Communist, and giving him no credit for the things he is best remembered for, would be "accurate."
King of course, is known far better for his other more notable accomplishments. So is Col. Day.
See, heres the problem with that.
Suppose you were doing a story about Bayard Rustin. As a part of it, you mentioned that he was friends with MLK. By this standard, we must include all biographical information about King for it to be "fair", which makes no sense.
If I mention that Matt Damon was at an Arby's, do I need to include both the entire plot synopsis of the Bourne Trilogy and the history of roast beef?
Taylor's response was tellingly illogical and weak.
Day, of course, was the explicit focus of Sinderbrand's blog entry.
To use Taylor's own examples correctly (he did not, or could not, I'm not sure which), if we were reading an article about Rustin or Damon, we would expect the author to get the key details of their lives correct. We would not expect the author to delve into the details of King's life in an article where Bayard Rustin is the subject because—and see if you can follow along—Bayard Rustin is the subject. He (Rustin), is the focal point of the article. Likewise, an article that has Matt Damon as the subject should focus on the key details about Damon, not a character he has played, nor the history of a menu item at a restaurant. This is simple enough of a concept that my eight-year-old understands it, but apparently Jesse's education is such that he or she is having trouble following along.
Rebecca Sinderbrand may no effort at all to accurately describe the man who was the subject of this blog entry, and instead chose the route of a cheap smear. The sad thing is that her bosses at CNN have a history of allowing such behavior, and that there are people out there like Jesse that will defend such obvious dishonestly.
May 29, 2008
Yon: The Buck Stops
Stay Classy, Google
They can't be bothered to post a simple tribute to fallen servicemen who fought for the freedoms they enjoy, but find the time to post about a rather pointless accomplishment by a mountaineering New Zealander and his Sherpa guide.
If they find out that Hillary didn't dodge conscription and was a RNZAF navigator during World War II, will they end his tribute as well?
May 27, 2008
The Problem of Having Your Work Misrepresented in the Village Voice...
...is that so few people read it that you're unlikely to see enough web traffic from them to know they've even brought up your name.
That they got the facts wrong is almost irrelevant, but amusing.
May 06, 2008
Blogwars: The New Political Battleground is out if you guys are interested in reading about the roll blogs play in politics. I don't have a copy yet, but do know that I'm mentioned in it favorably, as I can tell by his recent Washington Post interview.
If the author, David Perlmutter, sounds vaguely familiar to CY readers, it is because we've linked to his work before, and he had some nice words to say about some of my work covering media claims in the Hezbollah/Israeli War of 2006.
He'll also be on The Daily Show Thursday to talk about political blogging and his book. I might just have to DVR that.
April 27, 2008
...due to Chinese spammers.
April 23, 2008
Eric Boehlert starts off his article cracking on warbloggers for the "Jamil Hussein" fiasco, claiming that it imploded. Well, he's half-right: Jamil Gulaim Innad al-Jashami embarrassed the Associated Press when I outed him as a man hiding behind a pseudonym when they swore his "Hussein" identity was real. AP has refused to discuss "Hussein" since I published that story.
Boehlert also wants to attack some bloggers for not covering Bilal Hussein and his release under Iraq's new amnesty law, but isn't it Boehlert himself being deceptive when he "forgets" to mention that 300 other suspected insurgents were given amnesty that exact same day, undermining his thesis that it was Bilal Hussein's innocence, not amnesty, that set him free?
I think he understands what that word means, but not to whom it applies.
March 10, 2008
A View of "Fair Use"
Recently, Brian Ledbetter's photojournalism criticism blog Snapped Shot came under fire from the Associated Press for allegedly infringing on AP's copyrights, causing Ledbetter to take his site offline.
Snapped Shot came back online several days later, sans images, with many bloggers only a little less confused about what constitutes the "fair use" of agency images.
I sent a request to AP Director of Media Relations Paul Colford this past Friday for a statement clarifying their view of what constitutes fair use, and the Associated Press provided the following response via email:
AP licenses its works (photos, news stories, video and so on) to newspapers, Web sites and broadcasters for the purpose of showing news events and to illustrate news stories or commentary on the news events.
If the entirety of the work is used (such as when a whole photo is reproduced), that is considered a substantial "taking" under fair use law. If there are many photos used, that is a substantial taking of AP's photo library.
In the case of criticism, the commentary or criticism has to be about the protected work, not commentary or criticism in general Ė not using, as in the case of Snappedshot.com, protected photos to illustrate something on which the blogger was commenting. One cannot post a copyrighted photo of President Bush to illustrate commentary criticizing the policies of his administration, for example.
Fair use does not give others the right to use AP content without paying for it, especially when the costs -- and risks -- of gathering news around the world continue to rise. As a result, the AP has been increasingly vigilant in protecting its intellectual property.
I agree unreservedly with the Associated Press that using an image merely for purposes of illustration is outside of fair use, and will seek to go through my 2,700+ post archive and remove images that violate this of my own accord in coming weeks.
According to the AP's response posted above, however, it does appear—and tell me if I'm wrong—that it is still acceptable to reproduce images that are the direct subject of criticism, or as the AP states it "the commentary or criticism has to be about the protected work."
In other words, the context of the blog post the image is presented in matters.
For example, merely posting the below Reuters image of their press vehicle hit by Israeli fire in 2006 in a general blog entry about media casualties in war would be unacceptable under "fair use" guidelines.
If, however, the photo in question is the subject of criticism, then you have a case of "fair use."
Hopefully, this clears things up.
January 07, 2008
Chris Muir of DaybyDay—one of the best online cartoon series going—is raising funds, and could certainly use your support.
Like most bloggers, Chris is not a full-time cartoonist, and DaybyDay takes up a tremendous amount of time to write, well, day by day.
Drop on over and toss him a couple of bucks, will you?
January 04, 2008
A Blogger Dies at War
Blogger and soldier Andrew Olmsted, who often posted as G-Kar at Obsidian Wings, was killed in combat yesterday in Iraq. As far as you know, he was killed defending a village composed solely of innocent women and children from hundreds of insurgents.
Knowing the risks he took as a soldier, he composed a moving, reflective final post to be published in the event of his death.
In Major Olmstead's last paragraph he expressed doubts in an afterlife. I sincerely hope he finds himself today in Heaven, pleasantly surprised.
His writing is archived at http://www.andrewolmsted.com/
December 26, 2007
December 17, 2007
You Like Me, You Really Like Me...
John Hawkins has posted the The 6th Annual Right Wing News Conservative Blog Awards as voted upon by 45 of my fellow bloggers, and Confederate Yankee finished 3rd ahead of Newsbusters (4) and Michael J. Totten (4), and behind Michael Yon (2) and Michelle Malkin (1) in the category of "Best Original Reporting By A Blog."
I'm honored to be included in this list and more than a little surprised to find myself in such esteemed company. I'd like to thank my fellow bloggers and blog readers for their support over the course of the year.
October 31, 2007
A Few Notes on "Emailgate"
I've seen over the past several days that Glenn Greenwald is focusing his attention to delving over emails attributed to Col. Steven Boylan, a U.S. Army officer currently serving as the public affairs officer to General David Petraeus [full disclosure: Iíve used Col. Boylan as a source several times, due in no small part to the fact that he is a Public Affairs Officer] .
And who am I to mind bloggers paying attention to words that our soldiers wrote? Frankly, I think that's just grand.
This particular story started when someone purporting to be Boylan sent Greenwald a scathing unsolicited email several days ago, which Greenwald dutifully published, along with follow-up conversations between Greenwald and Boylan, where Boylan claims that he did not send the original email and that he wasn't all that worried about the imposter.
Greenwald is notably convinced of several things:
- That the email header information indicates that that the original email did, in fact, originate from Boylan or someone with the ability to fake that information convincingly;
- that the military needs Greenwald's email to track down whoever sent the original email;
- that this exchange, however it began, is indicative of a military attempt to control the media "when they step out of line;"
- that somehow, this is all the Bush Administration's fault.
I will readily agree with Greenwald on the first point, that the email header seems to indicate this came from the same computer as other emailís attributed to Col. Boylan. Whether that IP address in question belongs to an email server used by hundreds of troops, is Boylan's personal computer, or is entirely spoofed, I have no idea.
I am quite certain, however, that the military needs no help at all from Greenwald in tracking this email down internally. If a rag-tag group of bloggers can track a bunch of Greenwald-approving blog comments under various names back to Greenwald's own IP address, then I'm rather certain that that the Army's own IT guys can muddle through in determining whether or not an email originated from their own server, without his technical wizardry. If the disputed email is indeed authentic, it would be recorded on the Army email server's log files, which they obviously have, which could track it back to the computer in question, which they could then traced to the user ID of who was logged-on to that computer at the time.
As for whether or not such an email, if real, would constitute a military attempt to control the media "when they step out of line," I would gently ask the noted First Amendment scholar Greenwald to note where it states that soldiers give up all their constitutional rights to free speech once they put on a uniform.
Is it only when they disagree with liberals?
I ask because while the questionable email that started this particular conflagration was no doubt scathing, and emails apparently from Col.Boylan to other bloggers also disputed some of their content and fact-finding efforts, I fail to see how these private emails to bloggers were somehow inappropriate, unless Greenwald thinks that he and his compatriots should be able to attack the military—even to the point of fabrication—without any response.
Greenwald has a long and mercilessly well-documented history of being unable to take criticism. Somehow, I think that has as much to do with his focus on this topic than any real concern over a military email server may have been compromised.
October 22, 2007
Yon: Looking For A Few Good Readers
Michael Yon has his latest dispatch posted, blasting the current state of media affairs: Resistance is futile: You will be (mis)informed.
No thinking person would look at last yearís weather reports to judge whether it will rain today, yet we do something similar with Iraq news. The situation in Iraq has drastically changed, but the inertia of bad news leaves many convinced that the mission has failed beyond recovery, that all Iraqis are engaged in sectarian violence, or are waiting for us to leave so they can crush their neighbors. This view allows our soldiers two possible roles: either ďvictim caught in the crossfireĒ or ďreferee between warring parties.Ē Neither, rightly, is tolerable to the American or British public.
He does, however, have in mind a solution:
Clearly, a majority of Americans believe the current set of outdated fallacies passed around mainstream media like watered down drinks at happy hour. Why wouldn't they? The cloned copy they get comes from the same sources that list the specials at the local grocery store, and the hours and locations of polling places for town elections. These same news sources print obituaries and birth announcements, give play-by-play for local high school sports, and chronicle all the painful details of the latest celebrity to fall from grace.
To illustrate the absurdity to which this conceit of the collective has grown, I'm tempted to borrow from the boy in the fairy tale, only this time pointing to and shouting at the doomsday-sayers parading by: "Hey, they arenít wearing any clothes. . . . " Except in this case, I realize I am not a lone voice. Furthermore, with the help of other clear-eyed individuals, I may actually be in a unique position to do something to remedy this, if the experience I had with the AP response to my challenge to investigate and report on the disturbing gravesites in the Al Hamira village is any guide.Although I can't answer to the cause of the problem, I humbly offer permission to media outlets to republish excerpts of the dispatch or the dispatch in its entirety, including my photographs from the story (if used as they are in the dispatch) at no cost during the month of July 2007. I only ask that the site receive proper attribution and that any publication taking me up on the offer email the website with the details.
That offer was dying on the vine until Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee took the Associated Press to task for their bungled reportage of a different mass graves news story, using my dispatch as a comparison. Although it took a little back and forth, and some additional pressure from all the other bloggers who started tracking on the topic, the AP finally dispatched a reporter to the scene. The resulting article was picked up by at least one other major media outlet, reaching thousands more people. This got me to thinking: what if I made a similar offer on a more permanent basis to a large media syndication, say, the National Newspaper Association?
And so Yon is going to syndicate his text and images, for free to get real, frontline stories of the war to the American people, doing the job that
Americans the Manhattan and Washington, DC-based professional media won't do.
But it will take your help to make sure that your local paper newspapers take advantage of the offer.
Those readers can first check to see if their local paper is a member of the NNA . Because only NNA members will be able to" . . . print excerpts of Michael Yon's dispatches, including up to two of his photographs from each dispatch. Online excerpts may use up to 8 paragraphs, use 1-3 photos, and then link back to the full dispatch on his site saying 'To continue reading, click here.'"
If their local paper is a member of NNA, readers can contact the editor, urging their participation. [If Bob Owens' experience is a reliable indicator, this might take several, uh, prompts.] By encouraging their local daily or weekly newspapers to reprint these dispatches in their print editions, more people without internet access can begin to see a more accurate reflection of the progress I have observed and chronicled in dispatches like "Achievements of the Heart," "7 Rules: 1 Oath," "The Hands of God," and "Three Marks on the Horizon."
In addition to making his work available to your local papers through the NAA, Yon is rebuilding his web site, and having it translated into a total of 17 languages, so that though people in nations where English isn't their primary language can get information from a source a bit less biased than Reuters, AP, AFP, or their state-run media.
None of this, of course, comes without a price. Click on over, and see what you can do to help fight the media war.
We can gripe about how poor and deceptive the media coverage in Iraq is, or we can do something about it. The choice is yours.
October 19, 2007
The Huffing Wolf Challenge
Naomi Wolf has her latest pre-packaged "Bush is going to overthrow the Constitution and install himself as dictator with the help of Blackwater" stem-winder posted on the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington's menagerie of Who's Who in the DSM IV.
Wolf, true American patriot that she is, is criss-crossing these United States in a desperate bid to roll back the forces of Halliburton and the Illuminati, no doubt speaking with the same great oratory and care with the facts that we've come to expect from the Empress of Earth Tones.
She has all the answers to save this great nation from the plague of Bush, and writes with a truthfulness and accuracy that we haven't seen in over seven years... which can be your's for just $11.16 (You save $2.79).
Clearly, freedom comes with a price, but it wasn't until now that I realized it also comes with FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25.
"But wait, there's more!"
But what if she's wrong? What if--God forbid--she's profiteering from fears of overthrown liberty that may never be?
And therein lies the question, and well-deserved suspicion.
Is Naomi Wolf truly convinced that we have a grave constitutional crisis on our hands, that America about to succumb to dictatorial forces, and that only a book tour can save us? Or is Wolf cynically using the fears of the paranoid fringe to make a profit, filling her own coffers as a digital revivalist charlatan, ministering to those with more money than sense?
We could find out rather easily, I should think.
If Wolf truly believes what she writes, then she must believe that George W. Bush (the head of the American Nazi party she constantly alludes to, but never specifically names) will attempt to overthrow the country and establish himself a Hitleresque dictatorial figure by January 20, 2009, the day the next President of the United States is sworn into office (it would be kind of hard to do it after a new President is installed, after all).
If Wolf is sincere, she and others like her will no doubt be rounded up and shipped off to internment camps run by Michelle Malkin shortly after that date, soon to be fired in massive ovens run by a cigar-chomping Rush Limbaugh. No money she has saved, and none of her earthly possessions will mean a thing to her as her ashes waft in the breeze.
What if Wolf is just peddling fear for profit? Shouldn't she be held accountable?
And so a modest challenge that an honest Wolf can easily meet.
If Wolf is honest and sincere about what she writes and the overwhelming majority of the United States continues to ignore her as a kook as they do now, then she'll be too dead to enjoy the money she's made selling her book to the lunatic convergence of Ron Paul supporters, truthers, and Indymedia conspiracy theorists.
"Now how much would you pay?"
But if she's merely been profiteering from fear, as I suspect she has been, then it only seems fair she should pay a price for her deception. Being the magnanimous person that I am and a capitalist, I won't ask her to return a dime to the suckers she's conned.
They, you see, need to be taught a lesson, too.
No, I propose a simple, cost-free solution: a promise from Wolf that if her fear-mongering goes for naught and the next President is sworn into office on January 20, 2009 without a coup d'état, that she will never write again in her current paranoia-outlet-of-choice, The Huffington Post.
The terms should be simple to enforce: if Wolf is right, Arianna Huffington will be rediscovering her conservative roots and swinging The Huffington Post to the right of David Horowitz's FrontPage Mag and will no longer in need of Wolf's services, and if Wolf is wrong and President Bush and his imaginary brownshirts shuffle off to Crawford, then the beautiful Ms. Huffington will still be mistress of her own quite successful domain, if a bit editorially top-heavy on end-of-the-republic-as-we-know-it conspiracy theorists, and needing to cut weight.
It's a simple challenge, really: Naomi Wolf should put her soapbox where her mouth is.
Somehow, though, I doubt she's up to even that mild challenge.
It might cut into her chances to market her next book, How President ________ Is Carving Up America's Soul With a Ginsu Knife.
October 18, 2007
Help Blackfive Win a Scholarship
Collegescholarship.org has a $10,000 scholarship for bloggers that are also full-time students. There are 20 finalists, and for whatever odd reason, they've decided to let voters decide who should win.
Frankly, I don't know 19 of them and they may very well be nice people, but the 20th I do know, and I think that he deserves your vote. His name is Matthew Burden, but you'd probably more familiar with him if I simply called him Blackfive.
October 05, 2007
2007 Weblog Awards Open the Nominations
The nomination process for the 2007 Weblog Awards is now open in 49 categories until October 15.
Go on over and nominate your favorites after reading the nomination FAQ.
October 04, 2007
Attempting to Force Others To Fast For Your Cause?
Desperate to salvage a defeat in Iraq before progress becomes too obvious for the professional media to contain, some leftists have decided on last ditch effort via direct action.
Due to the projected shortage in wait staff, those of you in college towns should plan to "dine in" on October 17.
August 23, 2007
The Journalism that Bloggers Actually Do (And Some Won't Discuss)
Is this attack on one liberal journalism professor by another liberal journalism professor in a left-coast liberal newspaper missing anything?
Off the top of my head, I'd say there is an almost purposeful lack of the important contributions to original reporting from center-right blogs.
Oh, I'm sure that there is a market for those who care about an over-priced chocolatier's deceptive marketing practices, but I'm quite convinced that Rathergate, the CBS/Sixty Minutes scandal that saw Mary Mapes and Dan Rather discredited while trying to run a pre-election hit piece on President Bush using fake documents, was far more important. Driving that scandal were "buckhead" on Free Republic, Powerline with their "The Sixty-First Minute" and Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs, who showed that forged documents were created on the only version of Microsoft Word running in 1973. Rosen, instead of giving credit to the conservative bloggers that blew this story wide open, instead links to a non-blog web site.
Rather disingenuous, if you ask me.
Charles Johnson was also a lead blogger in the "fauxtography" scandals emanating from last summer's Israeli-Hezbollah war, catching Reuters photographer Adnan Hajj photoshopping a picture of combat. Rusty Shackleford at The Jawa Report discovered another Hajj photograph where the photographer cloned elements and duplicated them. Reuters subsequently pulled more than 900 photos as a result. Literally dozens of other photos were scoured by conservative bloggers and shown to be staged and/or staged managed by Hezbollahís media minders.
This raft of stories also doesn't make it on Rosen's radar, which seems to only scan left.
Ed Morrissey's coverage of "Adscam" revealed corruption that was credited as a key factor in sending the Liberal Party of Canada down to defeat in national elections.
There is also the current, on-going meltdown with Scott Beauchamp and The New Republic, exposed and led by center-right bloggers beginning with Michael Goldfarb of The Weekly Standard.
I've also had a busy couple of months myself, debunking a pair of wire service reported massacres that never occurred, revealing the hidden experts behind a ethically-bankrupt magazine's rigged investigation, embarrassing the world's oldest wire service into changing their photo attribution policies, and conclusively debunking a poorly-research Associated Press group report that sought to blame law enforcement ammunition shortages on current overseas conflicts.
One might think that most readers would find these right-generated stories marginally more interesting than an open-source software lawsuit details and chocolate exaggerations, but then, perhaps that is my bias.
July 31, 2007
A Community-Based Reality
I think that the phrase borrowed from commenter at Riehl Word View quite accurately reflects a growing "conventional wisdom" among a peculiar group of bloggers that military and conservative bloggers attempted to claim that "Scott Thomas" didn't actually exist.
"Scott Thomas," of course, was the pseudonym chosen by U.S. Army PV-2 Scott Thomas Beauchamp when he posted a series of three dispatches in the magazine The New Republic.
The most recent post, "Shock Troops," (subscription required) became the focus of Michael Goldfarb on July 18 because of some very strong claims of various kinds of abuse alleged by "Scott Thomas" of himself and other soldiers. These claims are now the subject of investigations by the U.S. Army (real) and the magazine that carried the claims, The New Republic (which critics have dismissed as an attempt at face-saving and job-keeping by the editors, and little more).
Military bloggers began zeroing in on the identity of "Scott Thomas" within daysó Marine turned documentary filmmaker JD Johannes had his unit narrowed to the 1-18 Infantry by the following Saturdayóforcing Thomas into a position where he felt the need to reveal himself days later.
On the afternoon Beauchamp came forward on July 26, severel prominent bloggers began to compose a narrative every bit as fictional as that of Beauchamp himself, and apparently, for equally dishonorable reasons.
On that afternoon in The Washington Monthly, Kevin Drum seems to have manufactured the controversy:
Conservative sites went crazy. Thomas didn't really exist. His stories were made up. The left hates the troops. Etc. etc.
At Sadly No!, Gavin M. claimed:
1) WingNet accuses soldier/journalist of being an impostor.
2) WingNet proven wrong.
ATTENTION COMRADES! Previous meme "Scott Thomas does not exist" is no longer operative. Please to substitute "Scott Thomas Beauchamp is a bad man" or "Scott Thomas Beauchamp is Oliver Stone" or "Scott Thomas Beauchamp is a semiotic construct" or "We'll get Scott Thomas Beauchamp fired" or whatever damn thing you can think of.
By the next day, Americablog had latched onto this creative fiction as well:
Of course, the right wing blogosphere went nuts, accusing TNR of fabricating a soldier and lying about his experiences. There were repeated attempts to prove that Scott Thomas was a fake.
Even yesterday, at Mercury Rising yesterday, a blogger wrote:
Of course, once they found out about it, all of the Usual Suspects in the conservativeís mighty Wurlitzer - Malkin, Powerline, the whole schmear - set out to prove that ďScott ThomasĒ didnít exist and that this was all just liberal lies to smear the armed forces and turn the country against the war. They went berzerk proving to themselves through ďsemiotic analysisĒ and other such crapola that this whole thing was just made-up liberal media lies.
And so it is that "this whole thing"óthe claim that conservative bloggers said Thomas didnít exist or wasnít a soldierócomes squarely back onto the shoulders of liberal bloggers who created the meme themselves.
When pressed to provide a specific quote from any conservative blog stating that Scott Thomas didnít really exist, was fabricated, or was an imposter, these and other liberal bloggers have utterly failed to do so.
Why they failed should now be obvious: they made up these claims themselves.
Update: A bit dog barks. Gavin M. at Sadly No! (cited above for claiming "WingNet accuses soldier/journalist of being an impostor") tries to support liberal bloggers' charges that conservative bloggers said Beauchamp didnít exist, was fabricated, or was an impostor.
How does he mount his brilliant defense?
He cites devastating examples, such as Bryan at Hot Air using scare quotes around the word soldier... Twice. He also highlights a truism observed by Bryan in that post that anyone in the military would be able to tell the difference between a fellow soldier's uniform and that of a civilian contractor.
A great defense mounted so far, but wait, there's more!
Gavin M. blasts Charles at LGF for using the phrase, "purported to be written by a soldier." Charles used the "P" word to describe someone hiding behind a pseudonym? Why, that's the exact same thing as directly calling him an impostor, isn't it folks?
And yet Gavin presumably has a day job that doesn't involve balloon animals.
But hang on, he has more evidence... Ace of Spades also used the damning scare quotes... twice. Gavin's a regular Perry Mason, isn't he?
And the killing blow... before Beauchamp came out, Michelle Malkin, vile, prevaricating Malkin, addressed the liberal blogosphere's greatest unknown soldier as--and watch out for the scare quotes--as "alleged."
Purported and alleged, two bread-and-butter words in any journalist's quiver for when the facts are hazy in the least, have--according to Gavin--become the same as calling him an impostor. Using scare quotes in the same manner is morphed by Gavin into a declarative emphatically stating that he doesn't exist.
That's his case. Really.
July 23, 2007
RIP: Christiana Hendrix
Christiana Hendrix, wife of Mike Hendrix of Cold Fury, died this weekend in a motorcycle accident. Mike, you and your family have my sincere condolences and prayers in this most tragic of times.
1 I lift up my eyes to the hillsó
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slipó
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD watches over youó
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will keep you from all harmó
he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
--Psalm 121: 1-8.
As Glenn notes, "Words are completely inadequate in these situations, but they're also essential."
Please stop by and offer your condolences for the loss Mike and Christiana's family is experiencing, and if you are a religious person, consider offering up a prayer for those who remain behind.
Update: Jeff Goldstein's grandmother passed away today as well.
July 05, 2007
Building on a Foundation of Socks
There exists a well-known parable spoken by Jesus in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 7, that uses the example of foolish builders who build houses on the sand, only to watch those houses wash away in the flood because it had weak foundations.
Writing today at The Moderate Voice, Jeb Koogler builds his house upon the sand of noted sockpuppet Glenn Greenwald, questioning the role of al Qaeda in Iraq:
About two weeks, Glenn Greenwald wrote a widely-cited post that questioned the oft-stated notion of a strong al-Qaeda role in the Iraqi insurgency.That the Bush administration, and specifically its military commanders, decided to begin using the term ďAl QaedaĒ to designate ďanyone and everyeone we fight against or kill in IraqĒ is obvious. All of a sudden, every time one of the top military commanders describes our latest operations or quantifies how many we killed, the enemy is referred to, almost exclusively now, as ďAl Qaeda.Ē
Greenwald goes on to point out that such statements are misleading, given that the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that al-Qaedaís role in Iraq is quite small. Indeed, most studies have found that, rather than a large presence of foreign al-Qaeda fighters, the Iraqi insurgency is largely made up of disaffected Sunnis, Saddam loyalists, and ex-Baathists.
The problem with building his post upon Greenwald's theory is that Greenwald's claim is demonstrably false; a simple review of the MNF-I web site's press releases, feature stories, and daily stories shows conclusively that the military only cites al Qaeda as an actor in a clear minority of cases, typically less than a third of the time, even as surge operations are heavily targeting al Qaeda cells as part of Operation Phantom Thunder.
Perhaps in the future, Koogler should base his posts on a more solid factual foundation and go directly to the source (MNF-I) instead of repeating the already discredited claims of a known partisan dissembler such as Greenwald.
The only think more dangerous than building one's house upon a foundation of sand is building that same house on a foundation of sockpuppets.
June 26, 2007
Presumably, this is some sort of anti-war protest on the part of O'Donnell, but she seems unable to write anything more coherent than the headline, "A picture says a thousands posts."
Considering her storied track record of being unable to write complete sentences or even complete words (the Big Ro seems to think the blogosphere charges by the letter, like some demented form of text messaging), I suppose this could be considered at least a grammatical improvement.
But what, precisely, is the message is she trying to send?
Based upon the reaction of her readers, it seems to be either "I'm willing to pimp my child for a cheap political stunt," or, "I'm so nutty, even my own demented fans are disturbed over how I'd use my child."
Whatever her point, few seem to understand it, and I wonder if that cluelessness extends to O'Donnell herself.
June 25, 2007
Damn the Reality, Full Meme Ahead!
Undaunted by the facts, Glenn Greenwald attempts to shore up his demonstrably false claim that, "...the enemy is referred to, almost exclusively now, as 'Al Qaeda.'" with an update to his already debunked post:
Posts from other bloggers who previously noticed this same trend demonstrate how calculated it is and pinpoint its obvious genesis. At Kos, BarbInMD noted back in May that Bush's rhetoric on Iraq had palpably shifted, as he began declaring that "Al-Qaida is public enemy No. 1 in Iraq." The same day, she noted that Bush "mentioned Al-Qaida no less than 27 times" in his Iraq speech. As always, a theme travels unmolested from Bush's mouth into the unexamined premises of our newspapers' front pages.
Separately, Ghillie notes in comments that the very politically cognizant Gen. Petraeus has been quite noticeably emphasizing "the battle against Al Qaeda" in interviews for months. And yesterday, ProfMarcus analyzed the top Reuters article concerning American action in Iraq -- headline: "Al Qaeda fight to death in Iraq bastion: U.S" -- and noted that "al qaeda is mentioned 13 times in a 614 word story" and that "reading the article, you would think that al qaeda is not only everywhere in iraq but is also behind all the insurgent activity that's going on."
Interestingly, in addition to the one quoted above, there is another long article in the Post today, this one by the reliable Thomas Ricks, which extensively analyzes the objectives and shortcomings in our current military strategy. Ricks himself strategy never once mentions Al Qaeda.
Finally, the lead story of the NYT today -- in its first two paragraphs -- quotes Gen. Odierno as claiming that the 2004 battle of Falluja was aimed at capturing "top Qaeda leaders in the city." But Michael Gordon himself, back in 2004, published a lengthy and detailed article about the Falluja situation and never once mentioned or even alluded to "Al Qaeda," writing only about the Iraqi Sunni insurgents in that city who were hostile to our occupation (h/t John Manning). The propagandistic transformation of "insurgents" into "Al Qaeda," then, applies not only to our current predicament but also to past battles as well, as a tool of rank revisionism (hence, it is now officially "The Glorious 2004 Battle against Al-Qaeda in Falluja").
You'll note that Greenwald's supporting "evidence" for his comes in the form of links to liberal blogs, letters to Salon.com, selected articles from the Washington Post, and the New York Times, and yet, he completely fails to address the fact that Multi-National Corps-Iraq's own press releases debunk his claims on a daily basis.
Sadly, like a dog returning to re-ingest its own vomit, Greenwald cannot get enough of his own rotting bile. Greenwald continues to insist that there is a conspiracy by the government, the world media, and the U.S. military to turn all enemy forces in Iraq into al Qaeda, and stands by his claim that:
...every time one of the top military commanders describes our latest operations or quantifies how many we killed, the enemy is referred to, almost exclusively now, as "Al Qaeda."
Again, this daft claim is hardly supported by the facts, and is easily refuted by the military's own primary means of information dissemination about the War in Iraq, the MNF-I PAO press release system.
Today, Monday, June 25, MNF-I has 13 listed press releases. Of those, one is a duplicate post, while the remaining 12 press releases break down enemy activity in Iraq for the day as follows:
- four releases discussing Sunni insurgent activity;
- one release discussing Shia militia "Secret Cells;"
- four where a specific group enemy group is not named;
- ...and only two where Al Qaeda is mentioned.
Far from making the enemy "almost exclusively" al Qaeda, MNF-I PAO's releases for the day link less than 17% of their stories to al Qaeda activity.
Greenwald ignores the key source that would prove or disprove his "all of our enemy's are being labelled al Qaeda" meme, which are the archives of press releases, of press briefings, Pentagon briefings, daily news, and feature stories from the U.S. military, which make it clear that al Qaeda is not the only extremist group being fought by Coalition and Iraqi forces in Iraq.
Instead, he bumbles forward, doggedly bucking reality, insisting upon some grand conspiracy being orchestrated by the White House, international news services, the American press, and the United States military to repaint all extremist activity in Iraq as being orchestrated by al Qaeda.
As the links above clearly show, Multi-National Corps-Iraq is failing to uphold their end of this alleged conspiracy by consistently citing other extremists groups in their daily press releases and news stories.
Whoever is in charge of this grand conspiracy (perhaps the Freemasons? Maybe the Illuminati? Yale's secretive Skull & Bones Society? Boy Scout Troop 111 in Arlington, Virginia?) should also castigate the media, as they are failing to insist that everything in Iraq is "all al Qaeda, all the time," including this story in the Boston Globe where a suicide bomber targeting Sunni tribal sheiks aligned against al Qaeda was the perfect opportunity to flog this claim, if such a conspiracy was indeed "on." Sadly, the media is failing to uphold their end of the bargain.
Glenn Greenwald seems doggedly intent on descending into his own brand of "trutherism" regarding a grand government, media and military conspiracy to re-brand the Iraq War.
In doing so, he may finally get the notoriety he so desperately craves, if not for the reasons he'd hoped.
Update: I hardly find it surprising that the empty heads at Editor & Publisher lap up Greenwald's bile, with nary a thought to whether or not it's true.
Considering that E&P editor Greg Mitchell has his own track record of manufacturing news and indeed, wrote a post advocating that the media should attempt to undermine the Presidency, I'm not exactly shocked they'd grasp at any straw they could to support their nakedly partisan political objectives.
June 23, 2007
SockPuppet Strikes Out Again
Glenn Wilson McEllensburg has suddenly become a terrorism expert, and can't wait to get a conspiracy off his chest:
Josh Marshall publishes an e-mail from a reader who identifies what is one of the most astonishing instances of mindless, pro-government "reporting" yet:It's a curious thing that, over the past 10 - 12 days, the news from Iraq refers to the combatants there as "al-Qaida" fighters. When did that happen?
Until a few days ago, the combatants in Iraq were "insurgents" or they were referred to as "Sunni" or "Shia'a" fighters in the Iraq Civil War. Suddenly, without evidence, without proof, without any semblance of fact, the US military command is referring to these combatants as "al-Qaida".
Welcome to the latest in Iraq propaganda.
That the Bush administration, and specifically its military commanders, decided to begin using the term "Al Qaeda" to designate "anyone and everyeone we fight against or kill in Iraq" is obvious. All of a sudden, every time one of the top military commanders describes our latest operations or quantifies how many we killed, the enemy is referred to, almost exclusively now, as "Al Qaeda."
Actually, that isn't obvious, Glenn. What is obvious is your own industrial-strength ignorance, which apparently seems to be quite contagious among the more irrational actors of the far left.
The reason that we've been reading more over the past few days about attacks directed against al Qaedaómore than Sunni insurgents, more than Shia militiamenóis that elements of al Qaeda have been specifically targeted by U.S. and Iraqi forces in Operation Arrowhead Ripper in Diyala Province, in Operation Commando Eagle southwest of Baghdad, Operation Marne Torch southeast of Baghdad, and in other operations throughout the country.
If Glen Greenwald or Josh Marshall weren't above a Sullivaneque "floating of a theory" by a conspiracy-minded reader (to excuse their own inherent distrust of our military, of course), they might have bothered to recognize, or God forbid, research a few key facts.
The first of those facts is that we are in offensive operations surrounding and targeting al Qaeda cells specifically, often with information provided by their former allies in the Sunni insurgency.
Second, the military is consistently releasing stories about contacts with both Sunni insurgents and Shia militiamen, and our military is calling them such as they contact them.
Let's got back "10-12 days" and see what Multi-National Force-Iraq has been saying in their press releases. According to Greenwald, the enemy the military talks about is "almost exclusively now" al Qaeda.
And yet, when we go back 12 days to Monday, June 11, we find that in MNF-I's three combat-related press releases, only one addresses al Qaeda. The following day, U.S. forces raided an insurgent weapons cache, came under attack from an insurgent VBIED, and engaged "enemy fire" coming from a mosque, without ever specifying who that was.
On Wednesday, June 13, MNF-I published 17 press releases. Of those a Grand total of four mentioned al Qaeda. Five others mentioned Sunni insurgents, five more couldn't specify the attacker, and one wrote about Iranian-affiliated Shia militias.
I invite Greenwald, Marshall, and others who seem to like this meme to do their own digging through MNF-I's archive of press releases, where they'll find more days very similar to this.
As the offensive operations cited above--part of an overall operation called Phantom Thunder--are specifically targeting al Qaeda cells, we will be reading about those terrorists that our soldiers are directly targeting. But as accounts from Saturday show that we are still encountering Shia militias and Sunni insurgents even today, the theory being aired by Greenwald and his conspiracy-minded followers is shownówith only passing researchóto be complete and utter bunk.
Update: Undaunted by the facts, Greenwald attempts to shore up his flimsy argument by citing other liberal conspiracy theorists and letters to Salon.com, forcing yet another debunking of his claims.
Reality. He should check into it sometime.
June 20, 2007
The six-month contract I was hired into in 2005 is finally closing at the end of this month after three extensions, and a few folks have suggested that I should investigate attempting to find a new media journalism gig, either here in the Raleigh area, or one from which I could telecommute.
I know via Sitemeter that a few media outfits check in on this site on occasion, so I'm wondering...
June 14, 2007
Reid Betrays the Selective Memory-Based Community
At Daily Kos, "BarbinMD" went to bat this afternoon for an embattled Harry Reid:
Since its inception a few short months ago, Politico, the online soul-mate to the Drudge Report, has gotten into the habit of creating news stories through innuendo, omission, outright error, and now today, out of thin air.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, "incompetent" during an interview Tuesday with a group of liberal bloggers, a comment that was never reported.
Reid made similar disparaging remarks about Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said several sources familiar with the interview.
Of course the reason this comment was never reported is quite simple: the bloggers on the call don't remember this quote. I, along with mcjoan and Kagro X, participated in that conference call and none of us heard Reid say it. And of the four other bloggers who were there, Joe and John from AMERICAblog and Jonathon Singer, have no recollection of it.
Please make note: according to this Kos frontpager, she and two other prominent Daily Kos bloggers never heard Harry Reid call General Pace "incompetent," and of the other four bloggers on the call, the two representing Americablog, and one from MyDD, didn't recall anything, either. "Ain't nobody heard nothin,'" as it were, from six of the seven highly respected liberal bloggers on the conference call with the Democrat Senate Majority Leader. But don't question their integrity.
The last man standing, Bob Geiger, recalled things a bit differently, but still attempted a fanboy's "I don't think that word means what you think it means" defense of Reid:
Here's exactly what Reid said:"I guess the president, uh, he's gotten rid of Pace because he could not get him confirmed here in the SenateÖ Pace is also a yes-man for the president and I told him to his face, I laid it out to him last time he came to see me, I told him what an incompetent man I thought he was."
So, did Reid utter the word "incompetent" in the same sentence with General Pace's name on the conference call? Yes, he did.
Geiger then went on to make a pathetic attempt to wrangle Reid's mangled syntax into an attack on President Bush instead of Pace.
The seven liberal bloggers on the conference call with Harry Reid either suffered from a convenient form of group amnesia, or from the inability to honestly parse the English language, but perhaps what was important from their perspective is that they rallied together for Harry with strongly-worded claims of "I can't recall," and "I don't remember," and "It depends on what the definition of the word 'is,' is."
But sometimes irony and justice come hand in hand, and Harry Reid soon did to these radical anti-war bloggers what they are collectively trying to do to the American military and the Iraqi people: he cut and ran:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid confirmed Thursday that he told liberal bloggers last week that he thinks outgoing Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace is "incompetent."
Reid also disparaged Army Gen. David Petraeus, head of Multinational Forces in Iraq.
But Reid, whose comments to bloggers first appeared in The Politico, also told reporters: "I think we should just drop it."
For the Selective Memory-Based Community, Reid's betrayal must have been awful.
June 04, 2007
It's a Slow News Day, so Why Not A Little Indignant Stupidity?
Many of us have heard the term "spearchucker" used as a racial slur against African-Americans, so when I saw via Memeorandum that Fox News anchor Brit Hume used the term, my immediate reaction was to cringe.
Hume: Öhe had a mixed record in the Senate and he's a man who always seems somewhat frustrated and bored by the Senate...I particularly remember an investigation that occurred after the Clinton/Dole campaign. We were new here at FOX news and we carried a lot of the hearings live. It was in the campaign finance alleged irregularities with monies supposedly seeping into the American political campaign of Bill Clinton from Chinese sources and so onóit was pretty juicy stuff it looked like a very big deal.
Fred Thompson was the chairman of the Investigating committee and it went absolutely nowhere. he was effectively buffaloed in that investigation by none other than John Glennówho was a wonderful man, but not somebody normally you would think capable of being a real partisan..ahhÖahh.. spearchucker, who could, who could undo an investigation. So it didn't go very well and I think Fred Thompson has acknowledged since then that it wasn't his finest hour...
But how could Crooks and Liars get all indignant considering the comment was directed at this guy?
To put it mildly, it seems a stretch, but any chance to slur a conservative--especially one on the hated "Faux News" network--on even the flimsiest of grounds is a good one, isn't it?
John Amato, after making the weak case that Hume (an older white guy) was being a racist for calling Glenn (an even older white guy) a spearchucker, then goes on to provide the word Hume was must likely looking for all along, a spear-carrier. That Hume was fumbling for the right term was obvious in the transcript that Amato provided (my bold this time):
...he was effectively buffaloed in that investigation by none other than John Glennówho was a wonderful man, but not somebody normally you would think capable of being a real partisan ..ahh..ahh.. spearchucker, who could, who could undo an investigation.
Hume fumbled, and produced an embaressing slip, but a purposeful slur? I don't think so.
What should be embarassing...but obviously won't be... is Amato's probable little "white lie" about why he wrote this entry to begin with.
I had to watch it a few times for it to sink in. I looked up "spearchucker," on Dictionary.com, but they didn't recognize it so I wonder how he will explain this one away?
Really, John? You had to look up the term to know it was offensive?
If you didn't know it was offensive, then why did you key in on it in the first place, instead of letting it waft by as the one of the dozens of idiomatic expressions one hears in an average week that most normal people never bother to look up?
No, I suspect that Mr. Amato was well aware of what that slur meant all along, and that he was well aware of what it meant long before Brit Hume spoke it on Fox News.
What is far more likely is that Mr. Amato, as a representative of the politically correct progressive blogosphere, instead decided to play dumb and act as if he had to look it up. Why?
Hume made a mistake, and grabbed the wrong term.
John Amato, on the other hand, acted as if he didn't know what "spearchucker" meant, when clearly he knew it was a slur all along, or he wouldn't have keyed in on it.
Here's another word for John Amato to look up: "honest."
My wife and daughter and I begrudgingly left Orlando yesterday morning and rolled back into North Carolina late yesterday afternoon. It was fun to visit with my sister-in-law's family in West Palm Beach for a couple of days before introducing my wife and seven-year-old daughter to Uncle Walt's dream. My only regret that we couldn't stay longer. Things have changed a lot in the 24 years since I last visited ORlando, but the experience of this past week is one I'll treasure for years to come.
Here's a picture we snapped of ourselves in Epcot at the Kodak Incredible Picture Lab in Epcot.
I'm just as ugly as ever, but the wife and kid sure are cute.
I'll be back online and back up to my normal posting frequency within the next 48 hours or so, and will try to get something out later this afternoon.
I want to thank my brother and blog designer extraordinare "phin" for keeping you all entertained with his guest-blogging. Should you ever want a web or blog design or your own, consider contacting him and his partners in crime at Apothegm Designs.
May 26, 2007
See You Later, Alligator...
I'll be offline (and outdoors) in sunny southern Florida for the next week, so I'm turning over the keys of CY to my brother "phin" of Apothegm Designs to do with as he will.
Frankly, I'm scared. He's been known to be a little... warped.
I'll be back to inspect the damage and resume posting on June 4.
May 24, 2007
Blame It On Cheney, And Those Evil, Evil Joos
At least when Andrew Sullivan spins off into the more paranoid recesses of his mind, he retains the minimal sense to claim he's just "airing a theory."
Not so with Steve Clemons, who wants full credit for his recent meltdown:
Multiple sources have reported that a senior aide on Vice President Cheney's national security team has been meeting with policy hands of the American Enterprise Institute, one other think tank, and more than one national security consulting house and explicitly stating that Vice President Cheney does not support President Bush's tack towards Condoleezza Rice's diplomatic efforts and fears that the President is taking diplomacy with Iran too seriously.
This White House official has stated to several Washington insiders that Cheney is planning to deploy an "end run strategy" around the President if he and his team lose the policy argument.
The thinking on Cheney's team is to collude with Israel, nudging Israel at some key moment in the ongoing standoff between Iran's nuclear activities and international frustration over this to mount a small-scale conventional strike against Natanz using cruise missiles (i.e., not ballistic missiles).
This strategy would sidestep controversies over bomber aircraft and overflight rights over other Middle East nations and could be expected to trigger a sufficient Iranian counter-strike against US forces in the Gulf -- which just became significantly larger -- as to compel Bush to forgo the diplomatic track that the administration realists are advocating and engage in another war.
A fascinating hypothesis, isn't it?
Unfortunately, the "logic" of Clemons claim has a few small—almost imperceptible, so tiny that you wouldn't hardly notice—flaws.
One of those infinitesimal flaws is the theory that Israel would have spent 6.5 billion dollars to procure 25 F-15I "Ra'am" and 102 F-16I "Sufa" long range strike fighters and easily another couple of billion on munitions, training, maintenance, etc, in beginning to prepare for strike on Iran's nuclear program in the past decade, only to decide to lob a few anemic cruise missiles instead.
I get the mental image of Baseball Bugs winding up in a frenetic and convoluted windup only to deliver an impossibly slow slowball against the Gashouse Gorillas.
Does Clemons honestly think that Israel has been preparing for this possibility for well over a decade—well in advance of their decade-long procurement and training operations—just to launch an attack that would almost certainly fail to seriously disrupt Natanz, and would not even touch the other underground sites where Iranian nuclear weapon development is thought to be occurring? Obviously, he does.
He is also flatly wrong about cruise missiles not needing overflight rights—the need to acquire overflight rights exists as much for missiles as they do for aircraft, and ours were suspended by both Saudi Arabia and Turkey in March of 2003, just as an example—and conducting such an overflight without permission could be viewed as an act of war by Israel's neighbors.
Israel will also obviously be bombarded by Hezbollah (And possibly Iran and Syria) for any strike on Iran, so to set themselves up to suffer massive rocket attacks like those of less than a year ago hoping that Iran would target U.S. forces in Iraq for retaliation is, well, a bit daft.
Why, precisely, would Iran choose to attack formidable American forces in Iraq in retaliation for an Israeli attack? American Air Force, Marine, and naval airpower completely own air superiority in the Persian Gulf and over Iraq, and so any attempt of Iran to physically venture into Iraq would amount to a rewrite of the Highway of Death on an epic scale, leaving the Iranian mullacracy in a severely weakened state. What would Iran have to gain?
Or is Clemons implying—merely "floating a theory"—that Cheney, the Joos, and Ahmadinejad are all in cahoots, and want a war in which all sides suffer losses for no real gain? Who benefits from such lunacy?
Sniff: I should leave the snark to Ace. The man is a master.
Update: I should have seen this coming, huh?
May 14, 2007
How good of an idea is this?
Soldiers serving overseas will lose some of their online links to friends and loved ones back home under a Department of Defense policy that a high-ranking Army official said would take effect Monday.
The Defense Department will begin blocking access "worldwide" to YouTube, MySpace and 11 other popular Web sites on its computers and networks, according to a memo sent Friday by Gen. B.B. Bell, the U.S. Forces Korea commander.
The policy is being implemented to protect information and reduce drag on the department's networks, according to Bell.
"This recreational traffic impacts our official DoD network and bandwidth ability, while posing a significant operational security challenge," the memo said.
The armed services have long barred members of the military from sharing information that could jeopardize their missions or safety, whether electronically or by other means.
The new policy is different because it creates a blanket ban on several sites used by military personnel to exchange messages, pictures, video and audio with family and friends.
My gut reaction? While I can understand the infrastructure demands that these and similar sites place upon defense networks designed first and foremost with military applications in mind, the ban once again shows a fundamental lack of understanding by military officials the importance online communications can and should play as part of a modern military's communications strategy.
Predictably, users of these sites will simply shift to similar sites that are not banned, and the military will waste more time and resources attempting to keep up in an ever-expanding, cat-and-mouse challenge as our ever-resourceful troops find new ways to keep lines of communication open with their stateside friends and family.
Instead of attempting to muzzle communications between soldiers and their social networks, the military should encourage communications between the troops in the field and their friends and family members back home. Time and again, the most positive messages coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan are those being voiced by our soldiers to friends and relatives in emails transformed into in blog entries and newspaper editorials.
The War on Terror is every bit as much a war of pixels and pictures and mindshare as it is a war of bullets and bravery. al Qaeda and the various insurgent groups know this instinctively, and dominate social networking and file-sharing sites. The Pentagon should engage their own Army of Davids and have our troops counter terrorist propaganda with their own frontline perspectives. Instead, those in senior positions who do not understand the communications battlespace plan to flee the online field, ceding it to the enemy.
There is no other way to address this than to call this flawed policy what it is: military communications shortsightedness of epic proportions.
May 04, 2007
Vast swathes of the Internet are mysteriously down today, affected by a peculiar virus specifically targeting keyboard drivers at university women's studies programs, academic journals, and certain political Web sites around the world. The virus corrupts specific DLLs and renders keyboards inoperable.
The virus appears to be emanating from a specific CNN.com Web server.
Computer users from these locations loose the ability to use their keyboards after viewing this particular story, where al Qaeda terrorists attempted to turn a all-girls school under construction north of Baghdad into a giant bomb.
The virus, dubbed "Cognitive Diss," does not yet have a patch developed, though antivirus teams are said to be hard at work.
May 03, 2007
Army Blog Gag Order Fact Sheet
A reliable source passed along the following:
Fact Sheet Army Operations Security: Soldier Blogging Unchanged
- America's Army respects every Soldier's First Amendment rights
while also adhering to Operations Security (OPSEC) considerations to
ensure their safety on the battlefield.
- Soldiers and Army family members agree that safety of ourSoldiers are of utmost importance.
- Soldiers, Civilians, contractors and Family Members all play an integral role in maintaining Operations Security, just as in previous wars.
- In no way will every blog post/update a Soldier makes on his or
her blog need to be monitored or first approved by an immediate
supervisor and Operations Security (OPSEC) officer. After receiving
guidance and awareness training from the appointed OPSEC officer, that
Soldier blogger is entrusted to practice OPSEC when posting in a public
- Army Regulation 350-1, "Operations Security," was updated April
17, 2007 - but the wording and policies on blogging remain the same from
the July 2005 guidance first put out by the U.S. Army in Iraq for
battlefield blogging. Since not every post/update in a public forum can be monitored, this regulation places trust in the Soldier, Civilian Employee, Family Member and contractor that they will use proper judgment to ensure OPSEC.
- Much of the information contained in the 2007 version of AR530-1 already was included in the 2005 version of AR 530-1. For example, Soldiers have been required since 2005 to report to their immediate supervisor and OPSEC officer about their wishes to publish military-related content in public forums.
- Army Regulation 530-1 simply lays out measures to help ensure operations security issues are not published in public forums (i.e.,blogs) by Army personnel.
- Soldiers do not have to seek permission from a supervisor to send personal E-mails. Personal E-mails are considered private communication. However, AR 530-1 does mention if someone later posts an E-mail in a public forum containing information sensitive to OPSEC considerations, an issue may then arise.
- Soldiers may also have a blog without needing to consult with their immediate supervisor and OPSEC officer if the following conditions are met:
- The blog's topic is not military-related (i.e., Sgt. Doe
publishes a blog about his favorite basketball team).
- The Soldier doesn't represent or act on behalf of the Army in any way.
- The Soldier doesn't use government equipment when on his or her personal blog.
- Army Family Members are not mandated by commanders to practice OPSEC. Commanders cannot order military Family Members to adhere to OPSEC. AR 530-1 simply says Family Members need to be aware of OPSEC to help safeguard potentially critical and sensitive information. This helps to ensure Soldiers' safety, technologies and present and future operations will not be compromised.
- Just as in 2005 and 2006, a Soldier should inform his or her OPSEC officer and immediate supervisor when establishing a blog for two primary reasons:
- To provide the command situational awareness.
- To allow the OPSEC officer an opportunity to explain to the Soldier matters to be aware of when posting military-related content in a public, global forum.
- A Soldier who already has a military-related blog that has not yet consulted with his or her immediate supervisor and OPSEC officer should do so.
- Commands have the authority to enact local regulations in addition to what AR 530-1 stipulates on this topic.
The source suggested this was a "climb down" on the part of the Army. I honestly don't know enough about the original set of orders, or how they were enforced within the Army, to comment, but will link those who do when they post.
May 02, 2007
Silencing the Milbloggers
Over the weekend, milblogger Jim ("Uncle Jimbo") Hanson was asked on CNN:
Let me ask you quickly, Jim, there's been a lot made of the media improvements by the insurgents, that they're doing a great job of getting their message out. What are we going to see from our military as we move forward against that press machine, when they try to balance it?
The U.S. Army has ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a superior officer, Wired News has learned. The directive, issued April 19, is the sharpest restriction on troops' online activities since the start of the Iraq war. And it could mean the end of military blogs, observers say.
Military officials have been wrestling for years with how to handle troops who publish blogs. Officers have weighed the need for wartime discretion against the opportunities for the public to personally connect with some of the most effective advocates for the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq -- the troops themselves. The secret-keepers have generally won the argument, and the once-permissive atmosphere has slowly grown more tightly regulated. Soldier-bloggers have dropped offline as a result.
The new rules (.pdf) obtained by Wired News require a commander be consulted before every blog update.
I certainly understand the military's concerns about operational security, but this order takes us precisely in the wrong direction.
We need a greater flow of information, more firsthand accounts from our frontline soldiers, explaining to us in stark, sometimes vulgar language the exact nature of the war and the enemy we are fighting.
Military blogs, or milblogs, are the only way for frontline soldier to directly relate their experiences to the American public without the filters placed upon them by either the media or their military commanders.
Blog entries from Neil Prakash who formerly wrote at Armor Geddon, provided an irresistible, riveting account of the Battle of Fallujah from the viewpoint of a tank commander involved in the brutal house-to-house fighting. Prakash won a Silver Star during the battle he chronicled, and in writing about his experiences, provided a vivid window into the war that no reporter could emulate, a perspective that no dry MNF-I press release could convey.
At the time, Armor Geddon was perhaps one of the finest of milblogs, and did more to provide a real reflection of the conditions on the ground than any news anchor or wire service report. Armor Geddon became one of the first and most prominent casualties of the OpSec war. Prakash's blog fell silent on October 4, 2005.
One can only imagine what he could have accomplished in communicating the war effort since that time, had the military not decided to silence his voice.
Armor Geddon is just one of a galaxy of milblogs that could envelop the media organizations of the world, organizations that rely upon stringers, bureau reporters, and multiple layers of editors to provide a sterile, detached view of the war and the men fighting it.
Milblogs can and should be among our strongest assets is a war that is as much about perception as execution. Thousands of military bloggers, describing everything from excruciating boredom, to the rush of surviving the shot that just cracks past, milbloggers can serve not only as our first line defenders, but our first line of information.
If we want to win a war that is as much about information as it is about actual counterinsurgency, few can win the American public better than the American soldier or Marine communicating directly to the American people from their hearts.
I hope Army brass realizes this mistake before their concerns over operational security loses the war by not communicating "why we fight" to the American people.
Update: It's purely speculation, of course, but a couple of veterans in emails to Michelle Malkin have raised the possibilty that the new regulations were put in place as a response to harsh criticism of Harry Reid's "war is lost" comments.
The timeline--the order was issued April 19, well in advance of that particular defeatist comment--is wrong on the facts, but it raises an interesting possibility in principle: is it possible that Democratic pressure may be behind the Army's gag order?
Sure, Wonkette and others are quick to jump the gun and predictably "blame Bush" for the order, but like others buying that particular storyline, they obviously don't read milblogs.
Military bloggers are certainly not all fans of George W. Bush, but one thing is for certain, and that is that the overwhelming majority of them are strongly against the "retreat in defeat" plans that Democrats have been pushing since before the 2006 elections.
Who really has more to lose from a vocal military blogosphere? Is it the President, who has supported the military and their shared mission and still fights for it, or the Democrats, who seek to undermine every soldier's sacrifice and the Iraqi lives they are trying to protect?
NOTE: Any no, I don't personally think Democrats are behind this.
April 30, 2007
Redstate Conspiracy Theorizing Conclusively Debunked
Last week I confronted RedState blog for a post by "streiff" attempting to say that they had a photo of an American GI "flipping off" an Associated Press photojournalist by the name of Maya Alleruzzo. Another Redstate contributor, "Thomas," went on further to claim that the picture in question was PhotoShopped.
Neither claim was true.
This is the photo in question:
The caption that ran with the photo at the time stated:
Staff Sgt Patrick Lockett 25, of Huntsville Alabama of Alpha Troop, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division patrols in Al Kargoulia, 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Baghdad, Iraq, Fri., April 20, 2007. The 3rd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division is back in Iraq for the third time since rolling into Baghdad in 2003. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
The caption incorrectly cites Lockett as a Staff Sgt, when he is actually a SFC, but that is a much more trivial matter. What does matter is that Redstate never issued a correction for their false claim, even when I sent them an email alerting them to my previous post, which clearly shows an CY-enhanced photo showing that the finger shown is actually SFC Lockett's trigger or index finger.
Clearly, Lockett was not "flipping off" the AP photographer.
Over the weekend I got in touch with MAJ Joseph (Joe) R. Sowers, 3rd HBCT/3rd ID Public Affairs Officer, who contacted the soldier in the picture, Lockett, directly.
Lockett clearly states:
In the picture, it is my trigger finger outside of my trigger well. I would never give a reporter, nor any Iraqi citizen, a middle finger. I am more professional than that. I am a SFC in the United States Army and proud of what I do.
Now that SFC Lockett himself unequivocally supported what the enhanced photo clearly shows, will "streiff" and "Thomas" at Redstate have the common decency to apologize for their incorrect claims and issue either a correction or a retraction? I certainly hope so. Their credibility hangs in the balance.
As for the Associated Press photojournalist, Lockett's commanding officer, COL Wayne Grigsby, had this to say:
In my opinion, Maya Alleruzzo is an excellent photojournalist who accurately portrayed the Sledgehammer Soldier executing his duties to standard, to include, his weapon on safe and his finger outside the trigger well.
Maya Alleruzzo is an excellent representation of the media. Her efforts allowed us to showcase the outstanding work of our great young Soldiers that we would otherwise have not been able to do. We consider her an honorary member of the Sledgehammer Team. We would welcome her back in the brigade at any time.
Journalists make mistakes. So do bloggers. The only way for any of us to maintain our credibility is to admit those mistakes, and attempt to correct the record.
I hope that Redstate will therefore correct their claims regarding SFC Lockett and photographer Maya Alleruzzo. They unfairly attacked the professionalism of SFC Lockett, and misrepresented the esteem with which the 3rd Heavy holds Alleruzzo, apparently for their own amusement.
Faced with the facts, Redstate should do the right thing and correct their inaccurate, defamatory post.
Update Mike Krempasky just discovered that the general comments form at Redstate has apparently been down for at least a week, which is why no one there got or responded to my messages.
Erick's response, on Redstate, however, is sad; a non-apology apology, blaming everyone else.
April 24, 2007
Not As It Appears
Redstate is currently running a post by "streiff" called AP is Popular with the Troops that claims to show an American soldier on patrol in Iraq "flipping off" the Associated Press photographer, Maya Alleruzzo.
Staff Sgt Patrick Lockett 25, of Huntsville Alabama of Alpha Troop, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division patrols in Al Kargoulia, 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Baghdad, Iraq, Fri., April 20, 2007. The 3rd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division is back in Iraq for the third time since rolling into Baghdad in 2003. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
On first blush, it appears to be exactly what RedState and Blackfive describe. But sometimes, even pictures can tell less than the whole story.
I got an email from Michael Yon this morning that including the following:
You are the man for this. Maya Alleruzzo, currently a photographer for AP, is getting flack. I know Maya and she is very pro troopÖ
I would email to Redstate directly but their email address is on my laptop (somewhere else). I think it's just a mistake because the people at Redstate have their hearts in the right place. Maya is out here in the worst parts of Iraq and she's a treasure -- though I know her association with AP puts her into harm's way.
I'm trying to run down Staff Sgt Lockett, who would be the ultimate authority on what was occurring in this picture. If I get a response, I'll be sure to post it. In the meantime, I trust Yon, who seems to know Alleruzzo, and the work of Alleruzzo herself. In addition to taking photos for the Associated Press, Alleruzzo occasionally writes.
I don't think so. This sounds like the kind of photographer/journalist that soldiers would love to have around.
Of course, a closer look at the image may tell the story on its own.
I've cropped and enlarged the photo, and done some extremely high-tech phalanges modeling. Count the fingers, folks.
Unless Staff Sgt. Lockett is related to the Six-Fingered Man from The Princess Bride, the photo itself seems to provide the debunking. The bones extending from the wrist (crude gray lines) through the pinky finger define the outside shape of Lockett's glove and the hand it contains, and from there it is a simple matter to merely count the remaining knuckle impressions (shown with white dots) on the glove itself to account for the ring, middle, and index fingers.
It is the index finger you see alongside the M4 receiver, with the other three fingers (middle finger included) curled around the pistol grip of the carbine.
It seems a blogosphere retraction is in order.
Update: I'm very disappointed with Redstate at the moment. I sent them an email alerting them to the apparent fact that their claims were false, and to date, they've refused to issue a correction.
Apparently, they're either not monitoring their email, or are possessed by their own brand of "truthiness."
April 10, 2007
tbogg: Imus wannabe
"Nappy-headed ho's" had been overused, so he went with the next best thing.
Sure, tbogg's a hypocritical racist, but making a racist attack on a conservative black woman is perfectly acceptable behavior for liberals.
Anticipate other liberal bloggers coming to his defense by sundown.
Update: tbogg's comments echo those of Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau from April 7, 2004, which prompted this response:
Recently, Trudeauís political observations ran a red light in referring to the nationís National Security Advisor, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, a black woman, as "brown sugar." Frankly, the political satire in the April 7, 2004 Doonesbury escapes me and most women I know, black or white, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican. It draws on centuries of deep-rooted, wicked and indefensible portrayals of black women. In doing so, it is decidedly unfunny. The only purpose served by this cartoon strip is that it proved one sad fact: despite the contentions of many, in 21st century America, race and gender still matter.
The fact is that black women at the apex of power have struggled long and hard for respect. The struggle still continues. This is why in this context, references to black women as brown sugar are not funny. It reminds us of the historical exploitation of black women in America. It reminds us that there are those who believe that no matter how accomplished we may become, no matter how educated we are, and no matter how many books we read, black women should remain in "their place," figuratively or literally. This place is one that is out of public view.
tbogg joins a long list of liberals that feel it is their right to use racial slurs against black conservatives.
Some of these past racial attacks on Secretary Rice included Garry Trudeau's "Doonesbury" comic strip having President Bush refer to her as "Brown Sugar," Ted Rall's cartoon suggesting she was a "house nigga" needing "racial re-education" and Jeff Danziger depicting her a the slave "Prissy" from the movie "Gone With the Wind." Additionally, former entertainer Harry Belafonte referred to Secretary Rice as a "house slave" and "sell-out," while NAACP chairman Julian Bond called her a "shield" used by the Bush Administration to deflect racial criticism.
And lest we forget, liberal Steve Gilliard's Sambo smear against another black conservative, Michael Steele.
Tolerance. It's a liberal value.
Except when they don't feel like it.
April 06, 2007
Nice Story. Now Comes the SAPI Truth
He was on patrol in Iraq when he met an armed insurgent carrying an AK-47. Both opened fire, and the bullet heading toward Kevin hit his chest right where his iPod was, which was enough to slow down the bullet to not pierce entirely through the body armor.
It's a great story, and one that is great word-of-mouth marketing for Apple. Too bad it probably isn't true.
Our soldiers wear Interceptor body armor manufactured by a company called Point Blank. Interceptor armor used by our troops in Iraq is composed of an outer tactical vest (OTV) that will stop 9mm bullets, and small arms protective inserts (SAPI) plates made of boron carbide ceramic and backed with bullet-resistant liner that cover the chest, back and sides. These SAPI plates are designed to stop three 7.62 bullets.
An Ipod? Not so much.
If the soldier was shot in a head-on confrontation as the story seems to describe, the SAPI plate on his chest is responsible for saving his life, not a piece of fruity electronic equipment.
Update: Is this story merely an urban legend? I just got a response back from JOC PAO (Joint Operations, Public Affairs in Iraq) suggesting that may be the case:
We got another query in on this story yesterday, and have sent it out to
3rd IDs units to see if this guy exists. We have not yet heard anything
I suspect this is one of life's Urban Myths....
However if we get an answer back from the division I'll forward it on to
Lt Cdr RN
JOC PAO OIC
Something tells me this is likely going to end up on Snopes as a hoax.
April 03, 2007
Ware Outburst Apology
As noted in an update to this post, Matt Drudge apparently got April-fooled when he posted a "Drudge Exclusive" that CNN reporter Michael Ware heckled John McCain during a press conference in Baghdad. Video of the press conference shows that Ware did not say or do anything unprofessional during the press conference.
I typically do "that journalistic thing" and try to find a corroborating source for any news article I write about, but that isn't always easy to get, especially in the case of exclusives. As a result, when I run across an exclusive, I try to judge the credibility of the source, and the apparent validity of the information based on surrounding events.
In this particular case I had to consider the source, Matt Drudge. Drudge does occasionally screw up on his exclusives, but typically, as a news aggregator, his site turns out to be more often than not accurate. I'm sure that there are those of you who will dispute this, but don't confuse the accuracy of what he typically features on his site with the apparent bias he harbors in deciding which stories to promote.
Michael Ware had just spoken derisively of John McCain, and so it seemed possible that the events could occur. It seemed that the story could be accurate, based upon Ware's recent outburst and a pattern of reporting that betrays his biases.
Those of us who linked the Drudge account, including myself, screwed up and linked to an inaccurate story. I apologize to my readers.
March 28, 2007
Out in Left Field
I hate to say this, but Gateway Pundit is voyaging into conspiracy theory territory on this one.
First, he's unable to differentiate between unrelated bomb attacks elsewhere in Iraq (Ramadi and Abu Ghraib) and the two truck blasts in Tal Afar. How he can be so far off, I don't know... but he is.
Second, he is insisting that any additional information that becomes available in later stories about this event are indicative of a conspiracy, coverup, or shift of some sort. An early report that indicates police involvement is not negated by the discovery that elements in addition to the police may be involved. That is why they call them "developing stories."
I confirmed this story this morning before posting on it originally, and just learned moments ago that Alaa Al Taii, MOI Communications director has annouced a joint investigation by the Interior Ministry , Ministry of Defense, and and the Ministry for National Security is beginning, and that Interior Minister Bolani will personally be involved, and will visit the scene in Tal Afar tomorrow.
The incident reported by the Associated Press' Sinan Salaheddin as cited in my previous post appears to be correct, and the conflicting accounts are over details, not over the essnetial substance of the story.
This incident is not a hoax, some sort of conspiracy, or blame-shifting operation in effect. Our allies snapped, and massacred between 45-60 men.
As inconvenient and horrible as that is, it is the apparent truth.
Send a Chickenhawk to War
Time and again, we've heard liberals call conservative bloggers "chickenhawks," and tell them that if they care so much about the Iraq War, they should go join it (interestingly enough, I do know of a single liberal blogger that has volunteered to go serve in the Afghan theater, the war they ostensibly support. I've never claimed liberals were smart, nor consistent).
Now is the time that my liberal readers have a chance to put their money where their mouths are. If they care so much about conservatives going to Iraq, here's a chance to finance a trip.
The Pentagon has extended an invitation to send a pair of RedState bloggers to Iraq, and they are currently attempting to raise $7500 to make this trip happen.
You might finally realize your dream of placing conservative bloggers in a position where they might come under gunfire, thereby giving Charles Karel Bouley and other Huffington Post bloggers a chance to say they deserved it. "What goes around comes around," etc.
Alternatively, you can contribute funds to support a liberal blogger who wants to go to Iraq to report what they see with their own eyes.
Good luck finding one.
Update: Oh Bartleby! Oh, the stupidity! Noted lefty war-reporting plagiarist Sean Paul Kelly decided to call the Redstate bloggers that are planning to embed "chickenhawks," without bothering with the little detail that one of the bloggers, Jeff Emanual, is a former USAF Spec Ops TAC.
Confronted with the fact that Emanuel has already served, Kelly offered up a lame, "well, since so many soldiers are doing two and three tours, why not enlist again?"
As I addressed to "Lex Steele" in the comments:
Increasingly, it appears to me that that the best liberals intend to do is provide lip service (and no commitment or support) to one campaign, while attempting to set the stage for a defeat in the other. As has been noted elsewhere and as you allude above, Iraq is seen by those of you on the left as a Republican War. Liberals, in their self-serving way, have decided that they don't need to fight, and in fact, shouldn't. Better patriotism through apathy, I suppose, when your side isn't actively trying to undermine the war and the military itself by attacking recruiting stations, harrassing campus recruiters, insulting them in classrooms, questioning their intelligence, and burning U.S. soldiers in effigy.
No, in your world, only "pro-war" (i.e., Republicans/conservatives) people should serve in this nation's military, and perhaps only then if they individually agree with the specific war they are called upon to fight.
Liberals have no obligation to serve their country in a Republican war. That is what you're trying to say, isn't it Lex?
Funny, how I don't recall our soldiers wearing a GOP flag on their shoulders, and distinctly recall that it was an American flag that was defecated on last week by anti-war liberals.
Update: Well, doesn't that beat all.
We do have a liberal blogger that has requested to go to Iraqi along with the two from Redstate. Can anyone at RedState contact the Pentagon to see if they have room for a third blogger?
I don't always agree with the politics of Gun-Toting Liberal, but I typically respect his opinion, even when I disagree with it. He's intelligent and thoughtful and I think it would be an excellent idea to include him on his embed. If they will arrange for him to make the journey, I hope you'll help finance his trip.
Upon his safe return, I will be very interested to see how visiting Iraq may affect his feeling about the war, for better, or for ill.
Correction: It was GTL co-blogger Alexander Paul Melonas that is interested in embedding.
March 27, 2007
HuffPo: Tony Snow Deserved Cancer
Ah, the commenters at the Huffington Post are at it again:
I admit my bias shows with these stories. I hear about Tony Snow and say to myself, well, stand up every day, lie to the American people at the behest of your dictator-esque boss and well, how could a cancer NOT grow in you. Work for Fox News, spinning the truth in to a billion knots and how can your gut not rot? I know, it's terrible. I admit it. I don't wish anyone harm, even Tony Snow. And I do hope he recovers or at least does what he feels is best and surrounds himself with friends and family for his journey. But in the back of my head there's Justin Timberlake's "What goes around, goes around, comes around, comes all the way back around, ya.."
Oh, hang on. that wasn't a commenter, but a mainstream (for the Huffington Post) HuffPo blogger, Charles Karel Bouley.
You guys remember Charles Karel Bouley, don't you ? He's the nice gentlemen that thinks God killed Boy Scouts in revenge for discriminating against gays. No, really.
Class of the Huffington Post, indeed.
Update: Allah has a roundup.
March 26, 2007
Bush Responsible for Iranian Adulterers Being Stoned to Death For Past Millennia
According to Sullivan Logic, the Iranian people, who have a culture thousands of years older than our own, could not function as a society until George W. Bush came along to show them how to act, for better, or for worse. Or at least the worst part.
It has been a very long time since anyone has accused Andrew Sullivan of being overly logical or coherent, and I don't think we are in any danger of anyone making that argument anytime soon.
March 06, 2007
Final Deep Thought on The Libby Conviction, Before I Dismiss It For Eternity For The Relatively Minor Case That It Is
February 28, 2007
Editing the Offensive
So what if Arianna Huffington felt compelled to close her comments, and then started deleting (but not fast enough) hate-filled invective left by liberal commenters? I have to do that every time certain liberal sites link to mine.
It kind of comes with the clientele.
February 16, 2007
I Hate You; Why Don't You Like Me?
For whatever reason, Salon.com picked up Amanda Marcotte's latest blameshifting attempt at dodging responsibility for her long track record of anti-Christian bigotry.
Marcotte is as tedious, suspicious, angrily self-righteous, and blissfully unaware of her own culpability as we've come to expect. Following her same tired script, she blames the "patriarchy" and the "right wing smear machine" for her downfall.
Frankly, I'd skip the article itself and read the other blog reaction to the article. Marcotte can't quite seem to grasp that she came under fire as a result of her own bitter words, taken in context.
February 13, 2007
A Shred More Class
Melissa McEwan of Shakespeare's Sister has followed Amanda Marcotte in resigning from the John Edwards Presidential train wreck:
I understand that there will be progressive bloggers who feel I am making the wrong decision, and I offer my sincerest apologies to them. One of the hardest parts of this decision was feeling as though I'm letting down my peers, who have been so supportive.
There will be some who clamor to claim victory for my resignation, but I caution them that in doing so, they are tacitly accepting responsibility for those who have deluged my blog and my inbox with vitriol and veiled threats. It is not right-wing bloggers, nor people like Bill Donohue or Bill O'Reilly, who prompted nor deserve credit for my resignation, no matter how much they want it, but individuals who used public criticisms of me as an excuse to unleash frightening ugliness, the likes of which anyone with a modicum of respect for responsible discourse would denounce without hesitation.
This is a win for no one.
I don't think I've read enough of her blog to know much about McEwan, but I can say this: she exhibited more class and dignity than Marcotte, even as I find it somewhat ironic that someone who calls my fellow Christians "christofascists" accuses others of unleashing "frightening ugliness, the likes of which anyone with a modicum of respect for responsible discourse would denounce without hesitation."
They did denounce the frightening ugliness, Melissa. You should know.
You wrote much of it yourself.
Edwards' Bigoted Blogger Resigns
Just when it mattered least, Amanda Marcotte resigned from the John Edwards campaign:
I was hired by the Edwards campaign for the skills and talents I bring to the table, and my willingness to work hard for whatís right. Unfortunately, Bill Donohue and his calvacade [sic] of right wing shills donít respect that a mere woman like me could be hired for my skills, and pretended that John Edwards had to be held accountable for some of my personal, non-mainstream views on religious influence on politics (Iím anti-theocracy, for those who were keeping track). Bill Donohueóanti-Semite, right wing lackey whose entire job is to create non-controversies in order to derail liberal politicsóhas been running a scorched earth campaign to get me fired for my personal beliefs and my writings on this blog.
In fact, heís made no bones about the fact that his intent is to ďsilenceĒ me, as if heóa perfect strangeróshould have a right to curtail my freedom of speech. Why? Because Iím a woman? Because Iím pro-choice? Because Iím not religious? All of the above, it seems.
As ever, Marcotte just doesn't get it.
Bill Donohue may have been the catalyst bringing her anti-Christian, anti-Catholic bigotry to a national audience, but Amanda Marcotte was targeted because she was and is an unrepentant bigot, and for no other reason. Period.
Marcotte attempts to shift the blame to Bill Donohue, a bigot in his own right (his views on Judaism turn the stomach), but the reality is that Marcotte and Donohue are flip sides of the same vile coin.
Despite her protests, Marcotte's free speech was never curtailed. It was in fact her exercise of her free speech--her own bigoted words spread far and deep across her person blog over an extended period of time--that was responsible for the controversy surrounding her hiring. What Marcotte did not understand then, and either does not understand, or refuses to acknowledge now, is that free speech is not freedom from responsibility for those opinions you chose to exercise. Marcotte apparently thinks that "free speech" means she has the "right" to denigrate and offend others without those others having the ability to exercise those same free speech rights in protest. She wants freedom to be a critic without having that same critical eye cast in her direction. It is a double standard that she seeks, and nothing less.
Marcotte's resignation post also admits what many of us thought about her earlier apology. It was insincere; a blatant and calculated lie meant to excise her from criticism. She stated in her apology that:
My writings on my personal blog Pandagon on the issue of religion are generally satirical in nature and always intended strictly as a criticism of public policies and politics. My intention is never to offend anyone for his or her personal beliefs, and I am sorry if anyone was personally offended by writings meant only as criticisms of public politics. Freedom of religion and freedom of expression are central rights, and the sum of my personal writings is a testament to this fact.
Her statement now?
The main good news is that I donít have a conflict of interest issue anymore that was preventing me from defending myself against these baseless accusations. So itís on.
Marcotte now admits that she only issued her apology on the Edwards blog in a cynical attempt to keep her job. She knew her comments on her personal blog were never "satirical in nature and always intended strictly as a criticism of public policies and politics." Now that she is free of the Edwards campaign, she fully intends to revert back to form. "It's on."
The problem for Amanda Marcotte isn't that the criticisms of her writings were baseless. The problem for Amanda Marcotte is that the criticisms exposed precisely who she is.
It remains now to be seen if Marcotte joins the Ku Klux Klan. Not for the bigotry, you understand.
She just seems to love the idea of a burning cross.
A good cross-section of blog reactions at Memeorandum.com.
February 08, 2007
It's a race to the bottom, kids.
Bill Donohue, president of the conservative-leaning Catholic League and the first to call on the Democratic presidential candidate to fire the bloggers, told FOXNews.com that he is not satisfied with Edwards' decision to scold ó but not can ó the staffers.
By not firing Andrea Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, Donohue said, Edwards is promoting anti-Catholicism. He said the 2008 Democratic contender's actions should be viewed in the same way it would be seen if Edwards had not fired a staffer who had used the 'n'-word.
"He's nothing more than David Duke with a blow-dried haircut," Donohue said of Edwards.
Considering the apparent shall we say, shared appreciation of the Jewish faith that Donahue and Duke seem to have in common, I think he better find a less self-immolating comparison.
It appears that the Marcotte/McEwan/Edwards blog controversy has entered a second day with little letup in the comments coming from both the right and the left.
For those of you just coming around to this story, the John Edwards campaign hired a pair of comically stereotypical feminist bloggers (on who's advice, no one will say), Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon and Melissa McEwan of Shakespeare's Sister, respectively. Once hired, some conservative and libertarian bloggers began bringing to light some of the previous posts written by these bloggers (focusing on Marcotte in particular), many of which are offensive to those outside of the insular world of far-left political blogging. A right-wing bigot by the name of Bill Donahue began calling for their heads for comments written by these two that he said were anti-Catholic, these comments hit the New York Times, and the brouhaha went mainstream.
By late yesterday afternoon, word leaked out that Marcotte and McEwan had been fired by the Edwards campaign...or not.
There have been a lot of pixels slung around on both sides in the blogosphere over this one, but I've been particularly fascinated at the response thus far from the liberal blogs trying to close ranks around Marcotte and McEwan.
Some are attempting to the "right-wing character assassination machine" for the issue being raised. Others are declaring a "rightwing Swiftboat-style attack" on the two bloggers. Another claims that the "smear train" has been fired up.
My, how the goalposts have changed.
According to Wikipedia, character assassination can be defined as:
Character assassination is an intentional attempt to influence the portrayal or reputation of a particular person, whether living or a historical personage, in such a way as to cause others to develop an extremely negative, unethical or unappealing perception of him or her. By its nature, it involves deliberate exaggeration or manipulation of facts to present an untrue picture of the targeted person...
In practice, character assassination usually consists of the spreading of rumors and deliberate misinformation on topics relating to one's morals, integrity, and reputation.
Also according to Wikipedia, "swiftboating" can be defined as:
Swiftboating is American political jargon for an ad hominem attack against a public figure coordinated by an independent or pseudo-independent group, usually resulting in a benefit to an established political force.
This form of attack is controversial, easily repeatable, and difficult to verify or disprove because it is generally based on personal feelings or recollections...
"Smear train" and other assertions made on the left to describe this conflagration are not so easy to define, so let's focus on whether or not the allegations of "character assassination" and swiftboating" really apply to this case.
Character assassination requires "deliberate exaggeration or manipulation of facts to present an untrue picture of the targeted person," and "usually consists of the spreading of rumors and deliberate misinformation on topics relating to one's morals, integrity, and reputation."
That is clearly not in evidence in this instance; Marcotte has been hoisted on her proverbial petard for her own controversial words, not for the words of others. The only possible claim of manipulation that can be made is that some critics have chosen to publish shorter excerpts of her commentary for the sake of brevity. Her comments, however have not been taken out of context, and a reader disturbed by her excerpted comments will be no less offended if they read the entire post in its entirety. In some instances, the full posts only serves to make Marcott'e comments more appalling to those offended by the excerpts. These comments made by Marcotte reflect her own, true feelings, as written by her own hand. A review of her comments resulted not in character assassination, but character definition. Charges of character assassination are completely false.
What about the charge of "swiftboating?"
The charges against Marcotte and McEwan are neither "difficult to verify or disprove." We have permalinks to what Marcotte haven't erased, and the rest is captured in the Google cache. The greatest damage done, clearly has been from a spotlight being cast on their own freely-given words. These words are, however, clearly based upon their own personal feelings, so one could presumably make the argument that they "swiftboated" themselves.
Other liberal bloggers have complained that Marcotte and McEwan have complained that the rantings on their personal blogs does not indicate in any way how they may perform as part of the Edwards campaign. It is of course true, but that was not the argument they were making when they pilloried Ben Domenech for the plagiarism he commited prior to joining the Washington Post as a blogger.
As a matter of fact, Media Matter's own David Brock stated:
...with each hour bringing new evidence of Domenech's racially charged rhetoric and homophobic bigotry, the time has come for the Post to end its ill-conceived relationship with Domenech. Examples of Domenech's views include:
- In a February 7 post on RedState, Domenech wrote that he believed people should be "pissed" that President Bush attended "the funeral of a Communist" -- referring to the funeral for Coretta Scott King. As you know, labeling the King family "communists" was a favorite tool of the racists who opposed them. In another RedState post, Domenech compared "the Judiciary" unfavorably to the Ku Klux Klan.
- In still another RedState comment, Domenech posted without comment an article stating that "[i]t just happens that killing black babies has the happy result of reducing crime" and that "[w]hite racists have reason to be grateful for what is sometimes still called the civil rights leadership" because black leaders "are overwhelmingly in support" of abortion rights.
- In yet another, Domenech wrote that conservative blogger/journalist Andrew Sullivan, who is gay, "needs a woman to give him some stability."
Domenech has also been caught at least once apparently fabricating a quote. A June 20, 2002, Spinsanity.org entry demonstrated that Domenech made up a quote he attributed to Tim Russert in order to defend President Bush.
In a post on RedState.com, Domenech once agreed with a commenter who called Washington Post columnist Dan Froomkin "an embarrassment to the saner heads at the paper."
It is time for "saner heads" to prevail. Will The Washington Post honor its history as one of America's most respected news organizations -- or will it stand with Ben Domenech, tacitly endorsing his assault on Coretta Scott King, his offensive suggestion that a gay man "needs a woman," and his fabrication of a quote?
America is watching.
David Brock seemed very concerned about the rhetoric and bigotry of Domenech, even moreso than his plagiarism, if his letter can be believed. He and his fellow liberals were quite against what they construed as hate speech then.
Funny how Brock and other liberals don't seem to have a problem with the incendiary rhetoric and the readily apparent bigotry of two of their own, now.
Update: Edwards is not firing Marcotte and McEwan.
I lack the words to fully express just how devilishly amusing this is to me.
Luckily, Jeff G. captures the essence of this debacle perfectly:
But lost on these Marcotte supportersówho are cheering on the power of the ďnetrootsĒ to cow a politician into keeping on an ugly and hateful liabilityóis that Edwards just showed up Marcotte and McEwan as frauds and posturing blowhards, writers who have been pulling the wool over their audiencesí eyes by posting vicious ďargumentsĒ they never truly believed. To use the loaded language of establishment feminismóhe publicly castrated themóand in so doing, he made fools out of their audiences, to boot.
Further, in doing so, he has shown himself to be nothing more than a calculating political opportunist of the worst sortóone who believes the voting public so daft they might actually buy a statement like the one he just released.
As I wrote yesterday, I donít care one way or the other, personally, about whether or not Marcotte and McEwan are allowed to keep their josb. Thatís Edwardsí call. And from a blogging perspective, I suppose Edwardsí decision is good news.
But letís not confuse the effect with the rationaleówhich is both risible and insulting. Because were it really never Marcotteís intent to malign anyoneís faith, she probably wouldnít have dedicated so many hate-filled blog posts to, you knowómaligning anyoneís faith.
Of course it was her intent. Just as it was McEwanís intent. And worst of all, Edwards knows it. That he has pretended to take the two at their word, in an ostentatious gesture of ďtrust,Ē is precisley the kind of staged treacle that makes people doubt the sincerity of politicians; and that both Marcotte and McEwan have assured their own personal Patriarch that theyíll behave, now that heís promoted them to the grownupsí table, is, to put it bluntly, one of the most pathetic public surrenderings of personal integrity Iíve ever seen.
Seriously. We should feel bad for them.
That is, were we to actually believe they meant any of it. Because how this plays out for the netroots is this way: either they are cheering on an ideological sellout, or they are knowingly and happily embracing an opportunistic liar. So. Congrats to them. Once again, theyíve covered themselves in white hot sticky glory!
There is more, of course, so be sure to read the whole thing.
My take away on this is that Marcotte, McEwan, and Edwards will say or do anything it takes to attempt to preserve their limited relevance. Once the primary season is over, Marcotte's and McEwan's futile efforts will be forgotten, but their willingness to prostitute their principles for a furtive brush with greatness will last far, far longer.
At least Edwards will still have nice hair.
February 02, 2007
"Screw Them" Again, or Set-Up?
We know that Kos has issued forth the words "Screw them" in the past when talking about the four private security contractors that were killed in Fallujah in 2004, hung from a bridge, and their bodies burned beyond recognition.
He even claimed to be proud of it... while trying to hide it.
But has Kos now gone so far as to agree with Arkin that all American soldiers are mercenaries, worthy of death?
Somehow I think that statement would be a "bridge too far," even for Kos.
Update: Fraud confirmed. I blame Diebold.
Update: Charles Johnson has a few thoughts on the subject as well.
January 31, 2007
Oh, the Hysteria!
I'm rapidly losing faith in America's public education system.
I wrote a post yesterday titled The Case For Outing Jamil?, where I asked readers a rather simple rhetorical question:
Should I "out" Jamil Hussein, revealing his real, full, and complete name?
I stated specifically that I was leaning against publishing his name, but wanted to hear readers debate the pros and cons.
Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised at how so many of the middleweight liberal blogs decided to twist what I actually wrote to make the claim that I was attempting to get Jamil Hussein killed.
Please keep in mind that many of the bloggers, and especially their commenters, seem to be afflicted with Tourettes, so if you don't desire to read truly foul language, you might want to skip these links.
There are probably other, more inconsequential liberal blogs feeding off their hysteria, but those links above provide a good cross-sampling of the willful ignorance they've displayed so far.
The delicious irony of all this, is that for their collective hysteria to have any merit whatsoever, then they would have to believe that the Associated Press is dishonest in this post where they claim Jamil Hussein's real name is... drumroll please... Jamil Hussein.
Even if I did theoretically find a compelling reason to release Hussein's real nameóand just to remind you, I've said I'm leaning against itóthen if the Associated Press account is accurate, then I'm just blowing smoke.
It is a simple "either/or" proposition: He's either actually Jamil Hussein as the Associated Press maintains, or he is who his personnel records say he is, which is definitively not Jamil Hussein.
But it seems that our liberal "friends" want to have their proverbial pie and eat it, too. They want to maintain on one hand that the Associated Press is being honest and truthful with their reporting, but they also want to rant and rave about this evil conservative blog.
They can't logically have both, but since when has logic ever been an impediment for them?
January 28, 2007
Clinging to Truthiness
It is quite amusing to see the braintrust at liberal blog Sadly No! go after Michelle Malkin's debunking of the AP's Hurriyah reporting.
First, if you are going to claim to link to the original AP report, make sure that you are, in fact, linking to the original AP report.
SN! links to an ABC News report that was released sometime on November 25, in a report that appears to be no better than the third version of the story. The best I can determine, this report is a day ahead of Sadly's "original" post, and this account published at 6:01 AM on November 25 claimed that:
In Hurriyah, the rampaging militiamen also burned and blew up four mosques and torched several homes in the district, Hussein said.
"Burned and blew up," said Captain Jamil not-Hussein.
There is quite a bit of difference between Sadly No!'s hand-picked "original" article saying mosques were "burned" and the earlier article's claim that the mosques were "burned and blew up." Cherry-pick much?
Why, of course they do.
They focus almost exclusvely on the fact that the abandoned Nidaa Allah mosque took an RPG round which collapsed much of the dome. I'd like to make two points about this.
First, "Allah" is not spelled "Alah," you morons. We've been at war with radical Islam for five years, and you can't even spell the name of their God right?
Second, a partially collapsed dome does not a destroyed building make. To be sure, Nidaa Allah took some serious damage to its dome and some fire damage to several rooms, but this damage is still quite a stretch from what I picture when I hear that a building has been "burned and blew up."
Let me break it down to something even Sadly No! readers can understand... pictures.
Burned and blew up:
This was a building in Lebanon before Israel took exception to it. Notice most of it is rubble. This is what most people think of when they hear burned and blew up.
Not burned and blew up:
This mosque, the al-Muhaimin, looks pretty good for one of the four "burned and blew up" mosques. This specific mosque is where the AP uncritically relayed a report from the al Qaeda-affiliated Association of Muslim Scholars that "18 people had died in an inferno." Some inferno. To date, the AP still officially stands behind the claim of this terrorist-related group over that of coalition forces.
Of course, Sadly No! doesn't want to discuss this mosque's inconvenient intactness, any more than they want to look at any of the other AP claims about their Hurriyah reporting that simply doesn't stand up to further scrutiny.
The Associated Press claimed that 24 people died when four mosques were "burned and blew up." More than two months later, the damage they've claimed to the mosques has been conclusively proven to be exaggerated, and the Associated Press has been completely unable to substantiate one death, much less the 24 deaths they claimed.
But Sadly No! has little interest in presenting any of the other evidence that does not support their narrative. Instead, they side with the media and their terrorist-supplied storyline over that of American forces and our Iraqi allies. Does that surprise me?
Update: Bryan guts Sadly No! further.
January 22, 2007
Feed the Link Whore
When I first started taking money in the Bloviating Arts, I was working on a typewriter. Answering machines were exotic. You had to find someone with access to a printing press who would agree to pay you if you wanted to do this. That was a long time ago. A lot has changed. More or less everything. I think I stumbled on the Internet about the time Al Gore did, but he gets the credit. That was a while ago, and it was only last November that I started blogging. I donít know what took me so long. This is like a candy store. Itís a playground. I love it. Now, I just need to figure out how to make money doing it. Please click on my ads.
If this works for him, I might even try it...
January 17, 2007
Jamilgate Hits the Airwaves (Bumped)
Update & Bump: My interview on Melanie Morgan's show regarding the Associated Press and Hurriyah is online:
If you happen to be in the San Francisco area this morning, I'll be discussing Jamilgate with Melanie Morgan on KSFO 560 AM at 7:35 AM PST.
You can listen live here, and we'll try to get up a version in MP3 format later today.
Update: Welcome KSFO listeners. To catch up on the Jamilgate scandal, please go to this link and read the collected accounts.
January 16, 2007
Cartoons and Caricatures
Far too often, we tend to oversimplify things, especially when demonizing out ideological opposites. I am as guilty as anyone (my own tagline of "Liberalism is a persistent vegetative state" is a prime example), and yet, that in no way excuses the practice.
I mention that introducing two blog posts that have come to my attention over the course of the past week, one from someone who solicited comment, and one I stumbled across on Memeorandum.com yesterday evening.
Jay Rosen runs NYU's PressThink blog, and sent along a link to his January 9 post Grave and Deteriorating for the Children of Agnew, asking for comment and discussion. I hadn't the time to read it in any detail until yesterday evening, and once I'd completed it, I must admit I was disappointed. Go read it for yourself. I'll wait.
As a media commenter, educator and critic, I was hoping that Rosen had decided to tackle, at least peripherally, the subject of the Associated Press' questionable (to put it mildly) coverage an apparent cover-up of the Hurriyah incident, that he would approach the problem critically, perhaps looking at the many inconsistencies in AP's ever-evolving storyline, such as the fact that they cited a group with strong ties to the insurgency and al Qaeda (the Association of Muslim Scholars) as a source without disclosing what their ties were or finding a single account corroborating their claim of 18 men, women and children burned alive at the al-Muhaimin mosque, that four mosques were attacked with rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), heavy machine guns and assault rifles before being "burned and blew up,", and that AP Television shot video of one of the attacked mosques. All of these claims have quietly disappeared from the AP's subsequent coverage without correction or retraction... and yet Rosen seems interested in none of it. Nor does he seem to have any interest in the fact that the overwhelming majority of stories sources to Jamil Hussein had no independent verification from other news agencies.
No, Rosen was only interested in the Hurriyah story in that it served as an excuse to vilify those conservative bloggers he calls "the children of Agnew," referring to a man who last cast a long shadow on politics most of a decade before many of us commenting on this story were even born.
To pt it mildly, Rosen's post was a whitewash on one hand, and a smear on the other. Quite intent on shooting messengers, he was far more interested in making caricatures of conservative bloggers than objectively looking at the reason for our complaints. To say I was disappointed puts it mildly.
Likewise, I was a bit disgusted by Why the right doesnít get Martin Luther King on The Carpetbagger Report, a blog run by Steve Benen. The blog post attacks conservatives, as you might guess by the title, for "not getting" Dr. Martin Luther King, and apparently attempting establish that only liberals have the ability to claim credit to any part of Dr. King's legacy.
I don't claim to understand everything Dr. King means to most people, and I'd lay for the argument that no-one can claim to understand that legacy and what it really means unless you happen to be an African American born prior to 1958, or thereabouts.
I say that, in the simple understanding that only African-Americans who were at least ten years old (and I think I'm being very charitable with the maturity of 10-year-olds) at the time of Dr. King's assassination can have any claim to understanding what Dr. King really represented in the context of the civil rights struggle that occurred in this country at that period in history.
To hear a white male 33-year old from Miami representing a group that is 83% white and young claim to be some sort of ideological heir to Dr. King's legacy with a Clintonesque "I feel your pain" screed would be merely laughable if it wasn't so disgusting.
It is sad we so often we try to reduce our ideological opposites to caricatures and cartoons. Now that I see how pathetic the practice is (one I've clearly participated in myself, I readily admit), perhaps I'll do a better job of shying away from such buffoonery in the future.
January 11, 2007
Hungry, Hungry Hypos
For the past year, Spocko has been e-mailing advertisers of KSFO-AM with audio clips from its shows and asking sponsors to examine what they're supporting. Some sponsors have pulled their ads, after hearing clips like one of KSFO's Lee Rodgers suggesting that a protester be "stomped to death right there. Just stomp their bleeping guts out."
Now, bloggers and media freedom advocates are concerned about the legal reaction from Disney/ABC-owned KSFO. Shortly before Christmas, an ABC lawyer demanded that Spocko remove audio clips from his blog on the grounds that Spocko's posting of KSFO content was illegal. Digital freedom advocates counter that the clips constitute fair use and worry that critical voices could be silenced by corporations threatening legal action for violation of copyright law.
January 10, 2007
Tuesday, With Morays
With any luck, John Seery, a Pomona College professor and Huffington Post contributor, will die a horrible, painful death-by-eel-bite in the next year... preferably on Tuesday, March 13.
HuffPuffer Seery seems absolutely giddy at the prospect of calculating the deaths of American soldiers over the next year, which--let's face it--is a game his base doesn't mind playing...
Greg Gutfeld is, well, less than amused with Seery's sick game:
The more that die, he understands, the smarter he looks. As a college professor, he's hoping for an invite to a cocktail party where he doesn't have to serve the drinks.
It only leads me to ask: When, and how, will John Seery be killed?
I'm just curious, of course, in the same manner Mr. Seery is. He's asking you to submit a number - the larger the better - which is perfectly appropriate for the Huffington Post - where hoping for the worst is the only hope allowed.
So certainly, me asking the same question about John should be treated with the same respect - don't you think? I mean, of course - the Huffpo won't dare remove me, or hide my post, when I ask for such a somber prediction. After all, Seery is practically lubricating over expected casualties - his summer will be awash in misery if American blood doesn't flow. What if I feel the same way, about him?
While I might not "lubricate" over Seery's impending death this year, I do have to ask:
What dates and methods are you guys picking?
As Seery himself says:
I'm not sure, however, what you'll win, or even if you could call it a victory. But Americans like to play to win, we've been told.
And though we do love to play, and get things when we win, I'd suggest against a pool... once it gets to a certain point, it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
After contributing to Jamil Hussein's imminent date with a drill, I don't know if I can have that on my conscious as well.
January 05, 2007
Libs on Jamil
The overwhelming majority of liberal bloggers were dead silent from late November throughout the month of December, and into January in regards to the Jamil Hussein affair, with the rare exception of those who feverishly insisted upon misconstruing what conservative bloggers were attempting to discover about Husseins' dubious track record, and those who hoped these same bloggers would go to Baghdad unescorted and get gunned down.
Now that the Associated Press has come forth with an admission from the Iraqi Interior Ministry that Hussein does exist, and precisely where AP said he was, many of these same bloggers that refused to comment on the situation before are now bravely attacking those who questioned the AP and accepted to competency of the MOI to be able to read a list.
My favorite emerging narative from the left on this are the sudden woeful claims of concern: "What happens to Jamil Hussein now that you've exposed him? He's going to be arrested, tortured, and killed, and it's ALL YOUR FAULT!"
Get a grip.
The Associated Press "exposed" Jamil Hussein 61 times between April and November using him as a named police source in articles published around the world. It was the Associated Press that provided Husseins' full name, and the Associated Press that named his past and present duty stations. Blaming anyone other than Jamil Hussein himself (he did, after all, decide to go on the record to begin with) and the AP for "exposing" him is especially dim, yet perfectly predictable leftist rhetoric.
As for the sudden liberal concern for this one Iraqi police officer, I find it laughable.
This sudden compassion for Jamil Hussein's is coming from the very liberals that so desperately want us to withdrawal immediately and precipitiously from Iraq, further endangering not one, but 26 million people. This same sudden concern for Jamil Hussein's well-being is coming from the same people opposed to a surge that we hope may help slow or halt the the daily sectarian and terrorist attrocities occurring across Iraq. These same people who now suddenly care so much about the life of a single police captain whine almost daily about the cost of the war, never caring that cost includes the price of arms, ammunition, training. body armor, and other equipment for these same policemen.
Bloody Joseph Stalin is credited with saying, "One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic." Based upon today's faux outrage from those who wail for one man out of one side of their mouths, and the abandonment of the entire nation of Iraq on the other, it becomes painfully obvious that the radical left wing apple never falls very far from that same rotten tree.
January 03, 2007
He Must Be Real
After all, he has a blog, and everything.
Nice Friends You've Got There
When it comes to the subject of the Iraq War, bloggers on the right support the military, the general concept (if not necessarily the execution) of establishing democracy in Iraq, media accountability, and defeating Islamic terrorism.
Character. Some folks have it...
Update: Michelle Malkin prepares to journey to Iraq, and invites AP's Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll to come along with her. I can only imagine how quickly our "friends" on the Left will respond with veilled blog posts and comments hoping for Michelle's demise.
January 01, 2007
If my memory serves me correctly, we react with fury when terrorists and their allies release propaganda videos of our soldiers being shot, blown up by IEDs, or on the rare occasions where our soldiers have been captured, tortured, executed, and mutilated.
And so I find it rather disgusting that so many seem to prostitute the gritty cell phone video of Saddam Hussein's execution by hanging early Saturday morning.
I have no problem with the fact Saddam was executed. Hussein was a monster who spawned and raised two sons to be even more monsterous than he, and the world is a far better place without him. But I do worry when people seem to revel in this final small measure of justice for his litany of crimes. We are, after all, sending our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines into combat day after day in hope of creating a culture where democracy under the law is respected and normal, where brutality and revenge can be usurped, and eventually fade from being part of the normal course of events to being a noteworthy oddity.
Knowledge of his death should be enough. Saddam's execution video is being prostituted (yes, that word seems most accurate) across the Internet like Decebalus' head on the steps of Rome, and in many cases, with the same triumphant flippancy among the denizens.
We should be better than that.
December 18, 2006
Congratulations Weblog Award Winners
The final votes have been cast and tallied, and the winners of the 2006 Weblog Awards have been announced.
Check out the final results, and if you have a moment, congratulate the winners, the finalists, and the nominees that made it happen.
On a personal note, I'd like to thank those of you who voted for Confederate Yankee, and for those of you who nominated me to be a finalist for the second year in a row.
Perhaps next, year, I'll see you in Vegas.
December 14, 2006
Back to Iraq
I just got an email from Michael Yon. He'll be flying out from Singapore and be in Baghdad via Kuwait on the
19th 25th-26th. I asked him to see if he could make it to Hurriyah while he's in town. He does happen to be pretty good with a camera.
AP's Kathleen Carroll should be breaking out in a cold sweat right about now...
Update: If there at the same time, Maybe Michael can have lunch with Michelle Malkin, who has accepted Eason Jordan's invitation to come over and hunt for the elusive Jamil Hussein, which is pretty much like looking for Nessie in the desert.
I'd advise Michelle to bring along plenty of Lysol wipes if she's going to be near Jordan, however. As Jules Crittendon attests, Jordan is as slimey as they come.
12/16 Update: As I just got email about this, I want to clarify a point:
Michael Yon's return to Baghdad is not related to the Malkin/Jordan snipe hunt for Jamil Hussein; Yon was already planning his way back "in-country" before Jamilgate emerged, and his only involvement is offering Malkin advice and gear. The timing is entirely coincidental.
December 11, 2006
Fading Like Britney's Tan Lines
Where's the love? ;-)
December 10, 2006
Weblog Awards Continue
Despite some minor server-related glitches, the Weblog Awards are online and waiting you to vote in 45 categories. I'm quite flattered to be in
second third right now, especially considering the blogs I'm up against.
Make sure you vote for your favorites every day; voting ends on December 15.
December 07, 2006
Weblog Awards Voting Now Open
10 days, 45 categories, 450 of your favorite blogs. Go forth and vote.
(Especially here. I'm getting smoked.)
December 06, 2006
Confederate Yankee is officially a finalist for the 2006 Weblog Awards, in the category "Best of the Top 251 - 500 Blogs." CY was also a finalist in this category last year, and we face some vey tough competition again this year.
Nominees in this category include:
Blog readers can begin voting for 450 finalists in 45 categories tomorrow at the 2006 Weblog Awards. Be sure to vote for your favorites, and may the best blogs win!
December 04, 2006
Iowa Voice Bleg
What exactly are your job options in Iowa... don't they boil down to football and things you can do with corn?
Anyway, Brian at Iowa Voice just accidentally graduated and is blegging for dollars to help him through until he lands a job. If you enjoy his blog and have a dime or two to spare, consider helping him out.
November 30, 2006
Kathleen Carroll, Pretend I'm From Missouri: Show Me Jamil Hussein
In response to the Iraqi Interior Ministry (MOI) confirming today that no man by the name of Jamil Hussein is employed in any capacity by the MOI or the Iraqi Police, the Associated Press has issued it own release.
Read both statements, press conference transcript where the story originated at Flopping Aces, where Curt has his own thoughts on the matter. I'll wait till you get back.
* * *
Frankly, I'm stunned at the outright arrogance of Kathleen Carroll, Executive Editor of the Associated Press, and statements that she made in her release thatóin my opinionóare willful, skillful, and purposeful subterfuge.
Carroll completely glosses over the fact that her news organization originally reported that four mosques had been burned according to their original story, an error for which she does not account for here, not one the Associated Press has ever printed a retraction for.
Carroll stands by the AP's reporting that states that six people were burned alive.
The AP is curiously unable to name five of the six alleged victims, even though they were reportedly killed in their own neighborhood. In this tightly-knit, often-interrelated communal neighborhoods, especially in what the AP itself describes as an "enclave," I find the inability of the AP's reporters to find witnesses who could name those who were reputably killed a most unlikely claim.
Carroll goes on to insist, though not by name, that Captain Jamil Hussein is too an Iraqi policeman, just not one approved to speak to the media.
That is also a deliberate deception, coming directly on the heels of MOI Brigadier General Abdul Kareem Khalaf Al-Kenani's statement that no Iraqi policemen by that name existed, in any capacity.
If Kathleen Carroll wants me to believe that the Associated Press knows better than the MOI who MOI employees are, she had better produce a (live) Iraqi Police Captain claiming to be Jamil Hussein to back her story. While she's at it, she can provide evidence that six people were burned alive, starting with their names, their graves, and any proof that these events were something other than an insurgent propaganda. No one else has evidence that these people ever existed or that they were burned alive, other than the two anonymous AP reporters.
The Associated Press is clearly attempting to duck the issue.
I want to see Jamil Hussein.
November 16, 2006
Not by the Hair of His Chinny-Chin-Chin
Rumors have long swirled that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was involved the 444-day Iran hostage crisis, with no less than five hostages coming forward to accuse him publicly of being one of the ringleaders. Other former hostages have said they were uncertain if Ahmadinejad was involved, while others deny his presence.
From time to time the story reemerges with a new twist, and this time that twist was provided by Russian online daily Kommersant, which ran an English-language article with accompanying pictures that seem to show a young Ahmadinejad leaning against the wall of the American embassy in Tehran the day it was stormed.
I decided to see if I could get a professional to weigh in on the controversy, and so I sent a short email to several forensic photographers and biometrics experts asking their opinions, based upon the version of side-by-side comparison photo provided at Hot Air.
Certified Forensic Photographer Alexander Jason responded. His verdict?
With the one 1979 photo alone for comparison, it is not possible to make a strong conclusion about that man being the same man in the later photo. However, based upon an analysis of the 1979 photo and other, recent photos of Ahmadinejad, it is my preliminary conclusion that these are NOT the same person.
Some time ago, I was asked by a governmental group to perform an analysis of similar old and new photos. I still had a collection of the recent photos and I used some of them for my analysis.
While there are substantial similarities in the faces and hairlines, it is possible to have such similarities among different people, particularly when they are from a relatively homogenous racial population. The only significant difference I could detect was in the beard grown pattern: Specifically in the area beneath the lower lip. In the older photo, the man appears to have a dense, full beard in that area. In more recent photos of Ahmadinejad, he appears to have relatively sparse beard growth in that area. For that reason, based on the one old photo when compared against more recent photos, it is my opinion that they are two different people.
See the attached image.
Mr. Jason's well-trained eye caught what most of us would have missed. The armed man leaning against the embassy wall in November of 1979 has much more facial hair in the chin area than does Ahmadinejad in the present day photograph. And just in case anyone wants to speculate that Ahmadinejad could have suffered from male pattern chin baldness over time, Mr. Jason has that covered as well.
We may never know who the man with the battle rifle leaning against the U.S. embassy wall in 1979 was, but based upon the photo provided by Kommersant and Mr. Jason's analysis, that man is not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
* * *
On an unrelated note, Mr. Jason also has an interesting perspective on the JFK assassination.
Who says those working in forensics can't have a sense of humor?
November 14, 2006
Viva, Las Vegas
Hey, we've got our own show:
The first and only tradeshow, conference, and media event dedicated to promoting the dynamic industry of blogging and new media. If you are currently blogging, vlogging, podcasting, producing some other form of new media content, thinking about joining the exciting industry of new media or just want to know what this whole blogging phenomena is all about then you need to be at BlogWorld.
The inaugural event will take place in Las Vegas November 8th and 9th at the Las Vegas Convention Center with an exclusive corporate only conference November 7th.
The show floor will feature an abundance of products and services designed to help bloggers and new media entrepreneurs improve the look and functionality of their blogs, increase their readership, and monetize their blog. Bloggers will find suppliers like Broadband ISP's, Web hosting companies, blog publishing software, podcasting services, RSS syndication services, new media advertising networks, news readers, aggregators, computer hardware and software, widgets, badges and plug-ins, Wi-Fi services, affiliate program partners, and much much more!
Thousands of bloggers and other geeks let loose on Sin City... what could go wrong?
Crusade Over: Jesus Surrenders
Apparently his disaffected Finchiness is highly disturbed--perhaps even gob-smacked--at this post, where I replicated an email I sent to the President, asking him to commit fully to winning the war in Iraq.
The good General was apparently unable to logically explain why we should engage in the rapid retreat favored by so many on the far left. Trying to explain an anti-humanitarian position that would lead to a far wider civil war or even genocide is obviously too difficult a task for a cynical faux diety. Much better to trot out the "chickenhawk" meme again instead.
We all know that one by now, don't we?
Essentially, the argument is that anyone who favors military action should not be taken seriously unless they themselves are willing to go and join the military. But the messenger is not the message, dear General, and this tired dismissal falls apart miserably when poked with even the smallest twig of logic.
Do you really want to make the argument, General, that you cannot comment upon or have an opinion on any subject in which you aren't a paid professional?
That would certainly clear up much of the war-related controversy in the blogosphere and the media. Very few liberals have the professional background General Christian would require for commenting on war-related issues, including the good General himself. Only soldiers would be able to discuss the war, and they overwhelmingly support continuing the mission.
General Christian's post wasn't meant to be fair, just dismissive, and it should hardly be surprising that someone so intellectually lazy would be caught in his own poorly-constructed trap.
Update: As so many of my liberal "guests" can't seem to keep a civil tongue in their heads, comments are now closed.
2006 Weblog Awards
The 2006 Weblog Awards is open and looking for you to chose your favorites in 46 categories.
Go forth and nominate.
November 13, 2006
Another Chickenhawk Goes to War
Bill Arado-something-or-other has decided that he has to see the war for himself, and went and got embedded.
If you could, drop the guy a coin or two, and please tell him that this is not the kind of body armor he needs, no matter what Ace may say.
November 07, 2006
Follow the Bouncing Ballot
I'll be unavailable for several hours this evening as I'll be out suppressing the Democratic vote, but wanted to leave you with some good sites to follow the electoral action till I get home after the polls close.
My stablemates over at Pajamas Media are putting out a ton of good information, including early exit polling from Jeff Goldstein's breakfast table, as will the good folks at Powerline and Powerline News.
You know, like the procession of torches and pitchforks to the Heinz-Kerry mansion if Waffles manages to torpedo this election for liberals like he did the last one...
November 04, 2006
Blogger Book Pimpin'
Check it out.
November 03, 2006
Sinking the Timestanic
November 01, 2006
A Word of Thanks
I've been a bad blogger.
John Hinderaker, Paul Mirengoff, and Scott Johnson over at Powerline graciously picked me to be their "Blog of the Week," and my RSS feed has been featured at the top of the page at Powerline News, sending me oddles of first-time readers that I hope will take this opportunity to bookmark Confederate Yankee and make this site a daily read.
While I haven't personally met John or Paul, I did get to spend Friday evening and part of the day Saturday with Scott (along with many other excellent bloggers) at Carolina FreedomNet 2006, and found him to be a delightful person I appreciate the opportunity they've given me to earn your trust and your readership.
Going His Own Way
I haven't read John Cole's blog Balloon Juice in quite a while, but when his post This is No Fun popped up on memeorandum.com this morning, it piqued my interest enough for me to want to see what he had to say, especially as many of the more prominent liberal blogs seemed to be linking it.
Essentially, Cole provided his bona fides as a long-time Republican who feels that today's Republican Party no longer represented his views. I can respect that.
I don't think that any American should feel that they owe either political party, or even a larger ideology, a lifetime of dedication from the metaphorical cradle to grave. As we grow older and mature, our life experiences impact how we view the world and that affects our perspective, sometimes radically. In general, as people grow older they tend to grow more conservative, but there will always be those that started out as being more conservative who shift their viewpoints towards more liberal philosophies.
It is also quite normal for those who have made a radical shift from one philosophical point of view to another to find tremendous fault in their former stablemates. David Brock certainly did so going from conservative to liberal, just as has former 60s radical David Horowitz did going from liberal to conservative. Their is also an apparent need for those making such ideological transitions to prove themselves to those they now find themselves aligned with.
I donít know when things went south with this party (literally and figuratively- and I am sure commenters here will tell me the party has always been this bad- I disagree with that, and so do others), but for me, Terri Schiavo was the real eye-opener. Sure, the Prescription Drug Plan was hideous and still gets my blood pressure pumping, and the awful bankruptcy bill was equally bad, and there were other things that should have clued me in, but really, it was Schiavo that made me realize this party was not as advertized.
I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I donít know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I donít know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinsonís for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I donít know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a ďterrorist-enablerĒ than to swing back. I donít know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs ofÖ liberal media bias...
And it makes me mad. I still think of myself as a Republican- but I think the whole party has been hijacked by frauds and religionists and crooks and liars and corporate shills, and it frustrates me to no end to see my former friends enabling them, and I wonder ĎWhy canít they see what I see?Ē I donít think I am crazy, I donít think my beliefs have changed radically, and I donít think I have been (as suggested by others) brainwashed by my commentariat...
I feel like I am betraying my friends in the party and the blogosphere when I attack them, even though I believe it is they who have betrayed what Ďweí allegedly believe in. Bush has been a terrible President. The past Congresses have been horrible- spending excessively, engaging in widespread corruption, butting in to things they should have no say in (like end of life decisions), refusing to hold this administration accountable for ANYTHING, and using wedge issues to keep themselves in power at the expense of gays, etc. And I donít know why my friends on the right still keep fighting for these guys to stay in power.
I disagree with Cole on many of the policy points in his post, but that does not make either of our opinions on these or other issues invalid, just different.
What I do find a bit perplexing is statements like this:
...the whole [Republican] party has been hijacked by frauds and religionists and crooks and liars and corporate shills...
I'm not quite sure what to make of this and related statements in his post.
Frauds and crooks and liars exist in both parties, far more than either side would like to admit. Criminal behavior is bi-partisan, and has been since this nation was founded, with the party in power at the time being more potentially corruptible simply because they are more powerful and therefore more attractive to those who would be corrupters.
As Republicans currently hold power across the board on the federal level, their influence makes them more of a target at this present time, just as even a cursory examination of history will reveal that when Democrats have held more power, they, in their own turn, have also proven to be quite corruptible to similar interests. Cole, I hope, won't be crushed yet again when the Democrats he has now apparently allied himself once more take power (which I hope will be later, rather than sooner) and prove that they are also far from pure.
I suspect that deep down, he is already aware of this truism, and that he is just using this temporary excuse as a cover for a deeper felt affront that seems to be tied more to an aversion for what he terms "religionists" (just a half-step from Andrew Sullivan's "Christianists").
By his own admission, the Terri Shiavo case which polarized many deeply affected Cole, and it seems fair based upon the comments in this post that Cole's version of what the Republican Party should be, is a party that should not embrace those people who are religious. If I misstate his views I apologize, but that is what he appears to say.
Cole, of course has other complaints: about fiscal responsibility, public policy, and the War on Terror under the Republicans, and most of these complains at least have debatable merit.
The sad thing, however, is that as Cole has rejected Republicans, he seems to have reflexively thrown in his lot with not the moderate middle where his stated interests would seem to reside, but with the most extreme elements of the political far left. From Oliver Willis to Daily Kos to Glenn Greenwald and others, Cole has apparently become the darling for those who hold political views that are also in apparent opposition to what Cole states he believes.
The Republican Prescription Plan may be bad, and yet his newest proponents support the boondoggle of socialized medicine. The Bankruptcy Bill was abhorrent, and yet his new allies support raising taxes, which also hurts those living on the financial edge. He disagrees with how the War in Iraq is being fought, and aligns himself with those who would prefer that we instead embrace defeat. What he states he believes and who he currently finds himself "in bed with" (metaphorically speaking) seem to be diametrically opposed.
He ends his post by saying that he doesn't know where it is going. It seems more likely that he knows his precise destination, but is unwilling or unable to realize how far past center to the other extreme he has gone.
October 12, 2006
I think I responded to everyone who contributed funds to my "blegburst" personally, but Iíd like to do so again publicly. Iím both deeply touched and humbled that so many peopleóalmost none of which Iíve every met in personówere kind enough to donate money to help me purchase a replacement for my aging Dell desktop.
I swung by the TigerDirect outlet store here in Raleigh during lunch and was able to find a solid, basic laptop that I think will take care of my needs quite nicely. I'll likely pick it up next week when the transfer of funds from PayPal to my bank is complete.
I couldn't have done it without the support of both blog readers and of course, my fellow bloggers, who linked to my bleg.
Bloggers and blog readers are truly wonderful folks.
From the bottom of my cold conservative heart, thank you.
October 11, 2006
Help You, Help Me: The First Blegburst (Bumped)
Update: A huge "thank you" is in order to all my fellow bloggers who linked this post (you know who you are), and to the readers who were kind enough to contribute so generously so far. Thanks to your donations, I am very close to being able to get a replacement PC for this old clunker. I couldn't do this without you, and I'm touched by all your support.
I guess I wasn't paying very close attention, but at some point yesterday I cracked a million visits on ye olde Sitemeter, a good chunk of which came from this post that took me longer to upload than create.
I think this a milestone of some sort, and so I'll do what bloggers often take this once-in-lifetime opportunity to do: bleg. But not just any bleg.
What's a bleg?
According to Samizdata:
Bleg verb. To use one's blog to beg for assistance (usually for information, occasionally for money). One who does so is a 'blegger'. Usually intended as humorous.
Yes, usually intended as humorous, and I think I would be quite tickled, neigh, giddy at the thought of those of you who have visited this humble blog over the past year and eleven months contributing just one small dime for each visit you've made.
Granted, Sally Struthers claims that for one dime a day that you can "give the gift of hope, the gift of life," to some small child in Africa, but does that starving urchin plop down in front of a keyboard several times each day to keep you entertained with wit and insight?
I think not.
Besides, as a social conservative, I'm pretty sure that's pretty much welfare, and how are we going to force them to get off their sickbeds and learn to provide for themselves if we make them reliant on charity? Help them learn self-sufficiency by giving me your money instead.
For unlike rudimentary every day supplies like "food" and "water" that the impoverished can get almost anywhere not devoured by famine and pestilence, I have more technical needs that must be satisfied so that I can to continue to bring you
this dreck the high-quality content and occasional tomfoolery you've come to expect here at Confederate Yankee.
Specifically, I need a new computer.
The Dell Dimension L733R that I've held together since 2001 with spit and bailing wire is coming apart (and getting just a bit groady). And yes, I blegged for cash for a replacement almost a year ago, but you know, my drug problem came first, and the blegged cash went to paying that off. Damn doctors.
And so I implore you to use what you've gained from this record-breaking Republican Economy to help me ensure your blog-reading enjoyment. Help fund the equipment I need to continue bringing you both insightful conservative commentary, bias against media bias, and crude, sophomoric PhotoShops.
But wait, there's more!
And I will give something back to the blogging community in kind for your support, a new, powerful and practical concept: blegburst.
How do I know it's new? It's not here.
And itís imminently useful, especially to those of you in the blogging community.
But Bob, How does it work?
I'm so glad you asked.
Put simply, a blegburst is when you beg for money or some other sort of assistance online, and other bloggers link your plea. And the coolest thing is this: as blegbursts are brand page-spanking new, you can participate in the very first one.
Isn't that exciting?
Wow! What do I need to do to participate?
It's actually quite simple. Simply link this post in one of your own blog posts. It really is that simple.
Plus, no smelly, starving kids!
It's a win-win situation for all, and I and my new computer thank you for your support.
Welcoming my new Co-Blogger, Regan Teresa MacNeil
Um, you might notice that the site is acting a bit, well, possessed this morning, with the content inexplicably centered, the "Digg It" button missing and the "show comments" link going to Digg instead.
I have no earthly idea why this is happening as I have nott knowingly altered my templates in quite a while. Hopefully we can get this cleared up soon, and I apologize for the unexpected weirdness.
Just a plug for him and his partner Sadie in case any of my fellow bloggers are thinking about a blog design, redesign, or platform change: they really know their stuff.
October 08, 2006
Carolina FreedomNet Wrap-up
I'm a bit under the weather now and intend to crawl back in bed momentarily, but I wanted to take a second to thank the John Locke Foundation for inviting me to participate on a panel at Carolina Freedomnet 2006.
While I've spent a lot of time with fellow bloggers via email and the occasional phone call, FreedomNet was the first time I actually got to meet some of my fellow bloggers in person, and I can't tell you how nice they all are.
I got in Friday night and caught up with Jon Ham of John Locke, Kay Ham (Jon's wife, Mary Katharine's mom, great lady), Abby Misemer and Missy Nurrenbrock, sisters who came up all the way from Florida for the conference, Kory Swanson of John Locke, and another blogger you might just have heard of, Scott Johnson of Powerline. We went dinner in one of the excellent Koury Convention Center restaurants, and I was amazed at just how well informed Abby and Missy were. I think they knew Powerline as well as Scott did, and he was visibly impressed.
After dinner we went back to a suite and I got to meet my fellow panelists, Sister Toldjah, Lorie Byrd of Wizbang!, Scott Elliott of Election Projection, and Josh Manchester of The Adventures of Chester. It was interesting that these folks, many of whom I've been reading for a long time, were quite a bit like I expected them to be.
Your personality really does come out in your blogging, I guess.
We had a delightful, wide-ranging discussion that was just, well, cool. I felt right at home. The fashionably late Ms. Ham joined us after 10:30-ish when her flight got in. We palled around a while, and I think we decided we needed to kidnap Allah and take him to a NASCAR race to expand his cultural horizons, but we need to work out the details.
This was my first conference panel since college and so I was a little nervous, but I finally managed to drop-off around 2:00 AM.
I awoke the next morning to a call from my brother (phin of phin's blog, Phineas G of Agent Bedhead, and half of the Apothegm Designs blog design masters) saying that he's gotten a wild hair and registered for the conference at 4:15 AM and had driven up and was standing in the lobby. I was touched, to put it mildly, that he took the time out of his insanely busy schedule to make the trip.
I was on the first panel with Lorie Byrd, Sister Toldjah and Sam Heib of Sam's Notes, who I unfortunately didn't get to spend any time with beforehand, but who was quite intelligent and well-spoken on the panel.
While we were going there was a minor disturbance as a very rude gentleman made a loud and obnoxious exit. I found out later that the scruffy Garrison Keillor look-alike was apparently attempting to drum up traffic for his own blog. Personally, I'd suggest compelling content instead of temper tantrums, but to each his own. I'd tell you more about what we said during our panel discussion, but it all went by in a blur.
Bonus: Bruce of GayPatriot was sitting in the front row, which was something we found out just before our panel ended. It was neat to get a chance to meet him.
Mary Katharine Ham was the only blogger whose work I was familiar with on the second panel prior to the conference, but that will change quickly. I was very impressed with Josh Manchester and Scott Elliott from talking with them some the night before, listening to them during the panel discussion, and talking with them after the conference was over. As they are all local, I'm going to try to make an effort to keep in touch. Jeff Taylor, who writes for Reason and Hit & Run in addition to the Meck Deck, was extremely bright as well.
Lunch was good (ever had a blue potato before? I hadn't, but it was good), and the Scot Johnson gave the keynote address, "The 61st Minute: Inside the Eye of Hurricane Dan," which of course was about the "September Surprise" orchestrated by CBS News in which they allowed themselves to be duped into using fake Texas Air National Guard records to support a story they wanted to be true.
I knew the story of Johnson's "The sixty-first minute" of course, as do almost all bloggers. It is without a doubt the most famous single blog post written so far, one that shredded the reputation of a a news network and their top reporters and producers as willing political partisans. Hearing Scott recount his feelings that morning and throughout the afternoon as experts began to help him build the case against CBS News was riveting, even though I knew the basics of the story before.
In short, Carolina Freedomnet 2006 was an excellent experience all the way around, and I cannot thank the staff of the John Locke Foundation enough for their hospitality. I can't wait to do it again next year.
October 06, 2006
Carolina Freedomnet 2006
October 05, 2006
Where It Hurts
It seems that certain liberal gossip blogs don't care who they malign or misrepresent, as long as they can turn a smear to their advantage.
I mentioned last week how obsessed UNC Law Professor Eric Muller, the gossip blog Wonkette, and its parent company Gawker Media used a photoshopped picture to attack conservative blogger and journalist Michelle Malkin for what they misrepresented as "hypocrisy." Muller has since apologized.
He is the only one.
It now turns out that even after the owner of many of the pictures stolen from various Webshots.com accounts pressed both Wonkette and Gawker Media to stop the smear campaign, they have thus far to refused to answer her emails or justify their continued smears.
...I wrote an e-mail to Wonkette, the blog that first posted the pictures. I explained that only one picture on the page showed the real Michelle Malkin ‚Äď I took it at the Conservative Political Action Conference last February, where I briefly met her. The others had been stolen from my webpage.
Three days later my letter remained unanswered, and the smear campaign against Malkin raged on. I sent a second request to Gawker, the media empire that owns Wonkette, detailing the theft of my pictures. I was optimistic that a conglomerate worth tens of millions of dollars would show some accountability toward its audience.
Two days have passed, and my inbox is still empty.
This is the brave new world of Internet media. Like many Americans, I entered it with a na√Įve notion of bloggers as modern-day pamphleteers, throwing the cover off stories that the establishment media won't touch. I believed that Internet blogs, being far more democratic mediums than mainstream television networks and newspapers, would show respect for the truth.
But after visiting a few popular blogs, I realized I was sadly mistaken. At best, many zero in on political gossip and absurd non-issues, such as whether a conservative author ever posed in a swimsuit. At worst, many political blogs are cesspools of racism, misogyny, and obscenity, not to mention vicious lies.
The posts and links to my pictures are still up, and I'm no longer anticipating a response from Gawker. They are a multimillion-dollar behemoth; I'm a college kid with a claim to a few stolen photographs. They have nothing to lose by ignoring me.
However, it seems the fallout from the Malkin hoax is far from over. This morning, I received an anxious message from an Ohio State student who had just discovered the fake photo page.
She identified herself as ‚Äúthe girl in the bikini‚ÄĚ and explained that Malkin's face had been photoshopped onto her body. She asked what we could do to stop the pictures from being circulated.
The answer, unfortunately, is probably ‚Äúnothing.‚ÄĚ Gawker and its ilk appear willing to perpetuate bald-faced lies in order to advance an agenda. And they don't mind taking a few innocent college girls along for the ride.
Obviously, neither the staff of Wonkette nor Gawker Media gives a fig about their continued exploitation of Ashley Herzog's photos, their exploitation of Meredith Chan, the young woman in the real bikini photo used in the Photoshop.
But there is a way to make Gawker Media respond, and that by hitting them where it hurts... the wallet. Gawker Media is estimated to be worth $76 million dollars, with their primary income generated by advertising.
I suggest that those who feel strongly about this agenda-driven abuse of Malkin, Herzog and Chan should consider a boycott of Gawker Media advertisers, accompanied by an email to the companies explaining just why they will not be purchasing products advertised on Gawker Media Web sites.
I quickly compiled of companies advertising on these sites, including BellSouth's yellowpages.com, CarMax, Panasonic, and FSGBooks, but you can easily create your own list as well.
I'm linking them to this Malkin article called "The Gawker Smear Machine" among others, just so they know who they are spending their advertising dollars with.
I may be wrong, but I doubt this is the kind of attention they'll enjoy.
September 29, 2006
An Impression UNC Law Could Do Without
I've never had much respect for UNC Law professor Eric L. Muller and now that he has attempted what I assert is visual libel--falsely attributing a photo of one person as being someone else--I have even less.
In today's column, Michelle Malkin asks, "Where Have All the Good Girls Gone?"
It's a verbal assault on some twenty-year-old TV personality in Great Britain who "once possessed an uncommon sense of modesty and decorum in the skin-baring age of Britney Spears," and liked to spend her time singing "Blessed Jesus" and clutching "a rosary blessed by the pope," but has now become "the new face of skankdom," a "half-naked" "pop tart" who sums up all that is evil in our new world of "sexpot dolls/characters" and "Bratz babies in thongs." A woman who has gone from "pure-hearted to pure crap," and who, among other horrible things, "drinks" and "parties."
With no further ado, I give you: Michelle Malkin, Spring Break, March 27, 1992. Could that be an all-you-can-drink wristband?
Here, incidentally, is the flickr page where the photo appears. Somebody forwarded it to me a couple of months ago. I chortled. Then I forgot about it -- until today, that is, when her vicious hatchet job on a "half-naked" twenty-year-old "skank" brought it to mind.
Mind you: there's nothing wrong with trips to the beach during college, or all-you-can-drink wristbands, or bikinis.
Just with hypocrisy.
The column stands or falls on its own merits, but Muller's accusation--a link to a trashy, "Girls Gone Wild" themed picture--is serious stuff. Muller says the photo is Malkin.
It is a horribly done Photoshop edit, featuring a shrunken headshot of Malkin poorly imposed in the wrong scale over someone else's body. It is such an obvious fakery one has to assume Muller knew it was faked, but pressed on with what in my mind constitutes something akin to visual libel, presenting a obvious forgery as legitimate.
Gawker Media, which owns Wonkette, is familiar with blogs and so much know just how easy it is to badly fake a Photoshop, and so it was a surprise when, they, too joined Muller in presenting the fake photo as fact.
Malkin is rightfully outraged at the attack, and she should be.
Eric Muller's unhinged obsession has gone far over the line, and I hope that he is called to account for his actions. Malkin does not deserve this, nor does North Carolina's flagship university.
September 22, 2006
German Woman Saves U. S. Navy SEAL
The power of social networking, as practiced by the blogosphere.
September 12, 2006
The End of the World As We Know It...
Mary Katherine Ham admits to watching The View.
She was going to be on the panel after mine at Carolina FreedomNet 2006, but now... I dunno.
It might be time to talk about finding a replacement.
September 07, 2006
Operators are Standing By...
The Carolina FreedomNet 2006 half-day blog conference is just a month from now, and if you plan on coming, I suggest you hop over to Carolina Journal Online and check out the details. I hear that the hotel rooms at the reserved rate won't last too much longer, so you might want to act quickly.
The schedule is as follows:
8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m.: Registration and Continental breakfast
8:30 a.m.-8:45 a.m.: Welcome session
8:45 a.m.-10:15 a.m.: Local vs. Global: What Should Be Your Blog's Focus? Panelists are Raleigh's Lorie Byrd of Wizbang, Greensboro's Sam Hieb of Sam's Notes, Charlotte's Sister Toldjah and Raleigh's Bob Owens of Confederate Yankee.
10:15 a.m.-10:45 a.m.: Break
10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Panel: How Has The Blogging Phenomenon Affected Politics and Political Discourse? Panelists are Townhall.com's Mary Katharine Ham (formerly of Durham), Jeff Taylor of Charlotte's The Meck Deck, Scott Elliott of Election Projection and Durham's Josh Manchester of The Adventures of Chester.
12:15 p.m.-12:30 p.m.: Break
12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.: Luncheon and keynote speech, "The 61st Minute: Inside the Eye of Hurricane Dan" with Scott Johnson of Powerline
I hope to see you there.
August 29, 2006
Shooting for Truth
With the exposure of the "Pallywood" staging of events in Lebanon and Gaza recently, it is perhaps expected that we look at recent claims that a Reuters news vehicle was hit by an Israeli air strike with a certain degree of skepticism, especially as similar attacks have been claimed recently, and convincingly debunked. The fact that Reuters' own reporting of the incident attempted to hide the identity of one of the journalists doesn't exactly lend their account of story much credibility.
And so much to his credit, AllahPundit has refused to take the easy way and assume that the Reuters air strike was faked. In fact, he makes a decent case that case that not only did the strike probably occur, but that 2.75" (70MM) rockets were the likely munition used, based upon the logical comments of someone claiming to be an intel expert:
My second theory, which I think is a slightly more probable, is that the van was attacked with two 70mm unguided rockets. Apaches and other helicopters frequently carry pods with these rockets...
...Although unguided, at close range they are very accurate. This scenario would better fit the report of two rockets since they are usually fired in pairs. Although not definitive, the damage could easily have come from hit from one of these rockets. The 70mm rocket has a smaller warhead than the hellfire and is typically impact detonated. I think the damage seen is consistent with a rocket of this type.
Based upon the opinion of a long-time Army chopper jockey I know who is still active in the aerospace defense establishment, I'm not sure that Allah's expert is correct, but from where I sit, that is kind of beside the point. The point is that good bloggers keep searching for proof where others in the blogosphere and in the professional media often seem to choose a storyline and insert the facts to fit their preconceived biases.
We may never know conclusively what happened in this air strike, but Allah is exhausting every effort at his disposal to make the attempt, and it's something more of us should try to do, both media amateurs and professionals alike.
August 24, 2006
My brother, to put it mildly is warped.
August 23, 2006
Carolina FreedomNet 2006
The John Locke Foundation will be hosting a half-day blogger conference, Carolina FreedomNet 2006, open to all on Saturday, October 7 in Greensboro, North Carolina, from 8:00 AM-2:00 PM.
A second panel of will attempt to answer the question of How Has The Blogging Phenomenon Affected Politics and Political Discourse?, and will feature Townhall.com's Mary Katharine Ham, Jeff Taylor of The Meck Deck, Scott Elliott of Election Projection and Josh Manchester of The Adventures of Chester.
Scott Johnson of Powerline will be giving the keynote speech, titled The 61st Minute: Inside the Eye of Hurricane Dan.
If interested in attending, you can register for Carolina FreedomNet 2006 here.
I hope to see you there.
August 17, 2006
Pat Dollard, the former agent who traded in the glitz of Hollywood for the grit of the Iraqi desert, is nearing completion of the feature film and follow-up cable series for Young Americans, which chronicles the lifes of Marines fighting in Al Anbar Province. He also has a "combat journal" that will be featured in Maxim magazine in November. Maxim Editor-in-Chief, Jimmy Jellinek, said the journal was, "the best thing written about the Marine Corps at war since the book 'Full Metal Jacket' was based on." That book, in case you were wondering, was Gustav Hadford's "The Short Timers."
For folks new to Confederate Yankee in the past weeks, I invite you to take a look at Ward Brewer's Beauchamp Tower Corp's "Operation Enduring Service" blog. BTC is a not-for-profit corporation focused on two awesome goals. Part of their effort is to acquire World War II-era warships and turn them into museums.
BTC recently went to Mexico to acquire the former DD-574 John Rogers, the longest-serving Fletcher-class destroyer in the world, from the Mexican Navy, where combat veteran of Iwo Jima, Guandalcanal, and raids on Japan was on active duty until 2002. Ward has some cool pictures of the aging veteran from this recent foray, and milblogger John Donovan of Argghhh! chronicled the trip as well Start here and go. John Rogers will make its way to Mobile, Alabama where it will be turned into a Maritime Museum, and will be rededicated in November.
Brewer's Operation Enduring Service also has a major humainitarian goal as well, of converting retired naval transport vessels into state-of-the-art hurricane response ships to operate throughout the Gulf states and eastern seaboard. surprisingly enough, the federal government, particularly the U.S. Maritime Adminstration, is fighting this effort tooth and nail. Why they are against donating ships (that they intent to scrap anyway) to a life-saving effort is nothing less than insane.
Speaking of insane, Patterico demolishes sockpuppet master Glenn Greenwald (again) and his inane defense of the proven and admitted photo-staging that occurred in Lebanon. Ace piles on as well, as only Ace can do.
Oh, and torture? It works. Dolts can say otherwise, but it has been around for thousands of years becuase of it's effectiveness. I can sleep at night if pulling out a few fingernails (or worse) kept several thousand airline passengers from plunging into the Atlantic from 30,000 feet. As Al Davis says, "Just win, baby."
Ideals are nice, but don't do you much good as a corpse.
July 28, 2006
What You Need To Know
The editors of Pajamas Media are providing by far the most comprehensive news and opinion round-up on the on-going war in Lebanon between Israel and Hezbollah, featuring frequently-updated news breaks from the world's media outlets, along with opinion and blog reporting.
N.Z. Bear is providing the eyes-on-the-ground, first-hand reporting from civilian bloggers in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, and Israel, in addition to round-up of bloggers around the world covering the conflict.
No news organization in the world is providing as comprehensive reporting as these two sites.
July 27, 2006
The Illustrated Greenwald
Glenn Greenwald's fans will continue to deny his fraudulent nature as he wanders
the golf courses of Florida looking for the real killers bed & breakfasts of Brazil looking for the "real puppeteers."
That said, Patterico's thoroughly damning Annotated WuzzaDem makes it very unlikely that ardent Greenwald supporters Ryan, Wilson, Ellison, Thomas Ellers, and Rick Ellensburg (who all disappeared when Greenwald was accused of sock puppetry, and who have not resurfaced since) will ever be heard from again.
July 24, 2006
The Toddler-Threatening Community Rides Again
Not content to attack the individual children of Cheif Justice John Roberts and blogger Jeff Goldstein, they now wish to kill Alan Dershowitz's children:
Forgive me for this but Alan Dershowitz's children should be hit by a 5000 lb. bomb made by an American military-industrial corporation, sold to Israel, and misfired into his home. Then he can talk to me. I will offer my sincere condolences. Then we will get drunk and talk about relative culpability. I'm sorry Alan. You're scum. Among the people in history that would gladly bitch-slap you are Jesus, Buddha, Zoroaster, Socrates, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lewis, Nelson Mendala, Bishop Tutu, Pope John Paul II, and me. We'd all like to smack you for being a prick.
In Booman's defense, at least he didn't state that he wanted to molest them first.
h/t Protein Wisdom
Yo ho, yo ho...
... the pirate's life for me.
Err, well, not me, but I did have a tiny role to play in it.
John of Castle Argghhh! is going on a little boat ride that you have to read to believe.
The Red-Faced League
Among liberal bloggers, it's spreading like the avian flu.
July 21, 2006
Master of Puppets
Roughly 24 hours after the Glenn Greenwald sock puppetry scandal broke, it appears folks on both sides have already firmed up their positions, floating all sorts of theories. Let me see if I can separate the wheat from the chaff.
Greenwald's detractors (for any of you new to this blog, I count myself among them) have found no less than four alternative identities for Greenwald, that can be traced back to the same two unique IP addresses in Brazil, posting comments to no less than four different center-right blogs. Greenwald, for his part, does not deny that these messages came from his home, and seeks to deflect his attention to others in his Brazilian household:
A new accusation is that I've been engaging in so-called "sock puppetry" by leaving comments in response to posts that attack me under other names., i.e., that I use multiple names to comment and the same comment was left at several blogs by the same IP address under different names.
Not frequently, I leave comments at blogs which criticize or respond to something I have written. I always, in every single instance, use my own name when doing so. I have never left a single comment at any other blog using any name other than my own, at least not since I began blogging. IP addresses signify the Internet account one uses, not any one individual. Those in the same household have the same IP address. In response to the personal attacks that have been oozing forth these last couple of weeks, others have left comments responding to them and correcting the factual inaccuracies, as have I. In each case when I did, I have used my own name.
In all fairness to Mr. Greenwald, in the two comments he left at this site on June 8th and 9th, he used his real name and email address, exactly as he claims to do in this passage.
But the problem with his explanation is that while individuals can and do share the same IP address if the cohabitate, they rarely, if ever:
- write with the same style
- visit the same web sites and blogs
People seem to forget that the blogger who broke this story, Shawn at The Sky is Red, stated nothing about IP addressing, and that was never part of the original charge. What he discovered were posts under the names of two people calling themselves "Ellison" and "Wilson" posted Ace of Spades and Protein Wisdom, respectively, that were almost identical in writing style and content. It was only after this connection was made that the story began to develop.
People began looking at their blogs, and noticed that other posts, nearly identical in writing style to Greenwald's writing on his own blog, were appearing at center-right blogs critical of Greenwald and were written in Greenwald's defense.
As I stated earlier, Mr. Greenwald did not attempt to hide his identity, using both his correct name and email address when commenting here at Confederate Yankee. But someone writing in the same style, posted in Greenwald's defense on Protein Wisdom as "Wilson" from the exact same IP address.
Similar phenomena have been noted on other sites, with a total of no less than four differently named authors posting comments with strikingly similar‚ÄĒif not identical‚ÄĒwriting styles from what Greenwald admits as his house.
What would a reasonable person believe has happened here, and how serious is it, if true?
Mr. Greenwald does not in any way deny that the comments were posted from his house:
IP addresses signify the Internet account one uses, not any one individual. Those in the same household have the same IP address.
Instead he attempts to deftly shift the blame for these comments to someone else in his home. Barring repeated break-ins, supporters and detractors alike have made the assumption that Greenwald is attempting to shift the blame to a Brazilian housemate or housemates. Greenwald, in his own blog, has not sought to correct that assumption. Until he claims otherwise, I will work from the premise that is precisely what he meant for supporters and detractors alike to infer.
This brings us full circle, back to Shawn's original observation.
The writing style is the same, or so similar that it has been mimicked precisely enough that educated readers among them‚ÄĒat least one with a Master's in English and who has taught a writing class on the collegiate level (myself) ‚ÄĒcannot discern any notable differences in the writing style.
Greenwald has self-isolated the "suspects" in this series of blog comments down to location he admits is his own home in Brazil.
Are reasonable people to assume that a Greenwald himself posted these comments under false identities?
Or is it likely that someone in his Brazilian home happens to know the exact center-right American political blogs that are criticizing him, and can write defenses so strikingly similar in writing style to Greenwald's as to be undifferentiated to any discernable degree?
I'll let you be the judge, but as you consider these charges, first look inward, and ask yourself these questions:
- Who are your housemates?
- How interested is your housemate in your blogging?
- Does your housemate make it a habit to know who is criticizing your blog, and how to find these sites‚ÄĒand the specific posts on these sites‚ÄĒon the Internet?
- Does your housemate make it a habit to defend you on blogs?
- Wold he use multiple aliases to do so, and to what end?
- Can your housemate imitate your writing style precisely?
I applied these questions to my own housemate (my spouse).
I know that while she knows that I care about blogs and blogging, she could personally care less. She is more computer savvy than most, but she is still part of supermajority of people who would have no idea how to track who was writing posts linking to and criticizing my blog entries.
Even if she did want to defend me, she would have no thought of the subterfuge of making up various aliases to do so. Nor would she be able to get into my head, take my knowledge of a particular subject, and replicate how I would respond with such precision.
Simply put, there is no plausible way, under any circumstances, that I could this alternative scenario as being viable.
Occam's Razor is quite sharp, and in this particular case, the direction it cuts seems abundantly clear.
There are only a finite number of people in Glenn Greenwald's home, and I strongly doubt any of the others in his home can mimic him so precisely.
As to whether or not sock puppetry is serious, Some of Greenwald's supporters would like to suggest it is not:
IS SOCKPUPPETRY A PRIORI A BAD THING OR IS IT SOMETIMES A SIMPLE MATTER OF SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT?
Everyone seems to be willing to accept a priori that what is called "sockpuppetry" is a tactic that is deserving of condemnation, strong or mild.
Therefore his critics attack Glenn and his defenders offer various "explanations" for this charge of "sockpuppetry" and all the while it subtly gets established that the sockpuppetry charge is something which requires a defense.
I submit that sockpuppetry is neither good nor bad. It's morally neutral and becomes good or bad depending on the particular facts concerning each case of "sockpuppetry."
The obvious answer, of course, is that sock-puppetry is a form of fraud.
Our criminal American justice system, and every other than I have even a passing familiarity with, seems to think fraud is a Very Bad Thing, as there are many laws criminalizing it, in its various forms, in every jurisdiction, criminal and civil, on multiple levels.
Wikipedia has a fairly informative entry on fraud worth noting:
In the broadest sense, a fraud is a deception made for personal gain, although it has a more specific legal meaning, the exact details varying between jurisdictions. Many hoaxes are fraudulent, although those not made for personal gain are not best described in this way. Not all frauds are hoaxes - electoral fraud, for example. Fraud permeates many areas of life, including art, archaeology and science. In the broad legal sense a fraud is any crime or civil wrong for gain that utilises some deception practiced on the victim as its principal method.
In criminal law, fraud is the crime or offense of deliberately deceiving another in order to damage them ‚ÄĒ usually, to obtain property or services from him or her unjustly. . Fraud can be accomplished through the aid of forged objects. In the criminal law of common law jurisdictions it may be called "theft by deception," "larceny by trick," "larceny by fraud and deception" or something similar.
In academia and science, fraud can refer to academic fraud - the falsifying of research findings which is a form of scientific misconduct - and in common use intellectual fraud signifies falsification of a position taken or implied by an author or speaker, within a book, controversy or debate, or an idea deceptively presented to hide known logical weaknesses. Journalistic fraud implies a similar notion, the falsification of journalistic findings.
There is also a rather interesting definition of wire fraud at Wikipedia. It could prove to be quite interesting if sock-puppeting is viewed as a criminally fraudulent act. It is a federal crime instead of a state crime, and carries with in an enhanced penalty.
I'll let the legal eagles figure out the exact charges that might be applicable to these kind of situations and which country or countries would have jurisdiction, but I hold it self-evident that blatant dishonesty occurred by someone in Greenwald's home and that it was conducted to further the interests of Glenn Greenwald.
The only question that seems to remain is who in Greenwald's house is guilty of this fraud of sock puppetry, and how seriously this fraud should be taken. Is it a matter for the legal system, or should we be content with "policing our own" as it were, laying out the case and letting people determine the penalty to Greenwald's credibility in light of the circumstantial evidence against him?
I find it highly improbable that anyone else in Glenn Greenwald's house could have posted these "sock puppet" comments other than Glenn Greenwald. The damage to his credibility appears a self-inflicted wound, and I am content that the mortal wound to his credibility is enough.
Others that are more directly impacted by this subterfuge may feel otherwise.
July 20, 2006
An Army of Greenwalds
Sock-puppeting is the dishonest and unethical practice of posting on web sites and blogs under assumed identities, often to praise or defend yourself.
L.A.Times columnist Michael Hiltzik lost his blog over it, as this practice clearly violated the Times ethics guidelines.
Now liberal blogger Glenn Greenwald stands accused of posting under at least
three four five different identities other than his own, using the aliases "Ellison," "Wilson," "Sam Matthews," "Ryan," and "Thomas Ellers" to either flatter or defend himself across a host of conservative political blogs.
All of these identities are apparently tracked back to the same unique IP address in Montevideo, Brazil, where the best selling author of How Would a Patriot Act? lives as an apparent expatriate, fraud, and master sock-puppeteer .
For the details:
Update: Greenwald denies the charges, saying in part:
I have never left a single comment at any other blog using any name other than my own, at least not since I began blogging. IP addresses signify the Internet account one uses, not any one individual. Those in the same household have the same IP address.
It must be a very large house.
Update 2: It seems Greenwald's sycophants aren't real big fans of these allegations being revealed.
Instead they'd rather change the subject by attacking the messenger with false charges of pedophilia, and international sources, and even pictures!
Update 3: Greenwald, as evidenced in the quote above, seems to be trying to lay the groundwork for the claim that someone else in his house left the comments, with the obvious insinuation that this boyfriend did so. How loyal.
But "Birkel," posting in the comments at Ace of Spades, seems to torpedo that avenue of retreat as well:
According to Patterico one of the comments including the allegation that the poster/puppet had E-mailed Gleen for his point of view.
If you live in the same house why would you E-mail somebody for their opinion? Does that make any sense?
No it doesn't.
It would make perfect sense, however, for someone building sock puppet identities.
July 19, 2006
Get Along, Little Debbie
Unfortunately, the post in question, one accusing most Americans in Lebanon of being Hezbollah supporters, comes from one Debbie Schlussel.
One thing is lost in all the press coverage of the whining Americans who went to Lebanon of their own accord and now want us to pick up the tab to get them out.
THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS IN LEBANON ARE HEZBOLLAH SUPPORTERS.
Most of them are Shi'ite Muslims, many of whom hold dual U.S. and Lebanese citizenship. Many are anchor babies born here to Muslims in the U.S. illegally. Some are illegal aliens who became citizens through rubber-stamping Citizenship and Immigration Services (and its INS predecessor) coupled with political pressure by spineless politicians.
Of the 25,000 American citizens and green-card holders in Lebanon, at least 7,000 are from Dearborn, Michigan, the heart of Islamic America, and especially Shia Islam America. These 7,000 are mostly Shi'ite Muslims who openly and strongly support Hezbollah. Ditto for many of the rest of the 25,000 that are there.
If these allegations are supportable, it would be a major bombshell of a story.
So where is Schlussel's proof?
There isn't any. Schlussel's "proof" seems to consist mainly of blind assertion and links back to her own site.
It would be nice‚ÄĒnot to mention customary‚ÄĒfor someone making a factual claim to provide some sort of a link to credible sources to support her contentions.
For example, what proof does Schlussel have that 7,000 Dearborn residents are in Lebanon? Does the U.S. State Department or the Dearborn Chamber of Commerce provide her with those numbers?
If there are Dearborn 7,000 residents, what is her evidence showing that the Dearborn residents in Lebanon are Muslims? Lebanon doesn't even know what percentage of their population is Muslim‚ÄĒthey haven't done a census since 1932‚ÄĒand Debbie somehow knows? I doubt it.
What evidence is there that they are Shia Muslims? Shia Muslims only make up 30%-40% of the Lebanese population, and they are among the poorest of the religious groups, meaning they are less likely to have the funds to immigrate to other nations at all. Christians and Sunni Muslims‚ÄĒnot huge fans of Hezbollah, for those of you keeping score at home‚ÄĒmake up the bulk of the rest of Lebanon's population, a nation which has no less than 18 recognized sects of varying religions.
What evidence does Debbie Schlussel have that if there are Dearborn Shia Muslims in Lebanon, that they "openly and strongly support Hezbollah" as she charges?
Mere assertion that they belong to a Dearborn Lebanese cultural center. These are serious charges, seemingly implicating an entire community of what is essentially treason in a time of war, and Schlussel provides no credible evidence at all of her charges. None.
By her incredibly loose standards, it appears one could label every Irish American in Chicago that ever bothered to travel to Ireland as a member of the Irish Republican Army.
Please forgive me if I find it nearly impossible to take any slanderous thing she says seriously.
What happens when an assistant DA catches a nazi sympathizer's lawyer and his sycophants in the act of propagating the same kind of "hate speech" they so noisy condemned, and then catches them trying to cover it up?
July 18, 2006
The Deploravity Must Stop
I've simply had enough of the deplorable personal attacks... the depravity, the blogosphere brawl war profiteering... have simply gone along too far, and I must speciously condemn, forthwith, this deploravity that has taken hold.
Update: I also happen to hold the view, unlike Misha, Patterico and Xrlq, that liberal blogger Glenn Greenwald is not a "douche" as so many have rudely pronounced. A douche reportedly brings a fresh feeling according to Summer's Eve advertisements that have plagued the airwaves over the years, and the stench emanating from Glenn Greenwald can hardly be considering sanitary in nature.
Rather, Greenwald is more like the colostomy bag of the liberal blogosphere as any simple perusal of his dishonest commentary readily reveals.
July 17, 2006
Politics Central Goes Beta
Just in case you haven't seen it yet, Pajamas Media has a beta version of a new sister site up called Politics Central that bears watching. We're shooting for a post-Labor Day launch (no exact date set), and I think that I'll personally be most interested in the Media Central and X21Central subsites.
Check it out, and let the design team know what you think.
July 14, 2006
The nutty professor just won't stop... but if I don't miss my guess, she's about to:
Guess Deb isn't quite done milking her 15 minutes.
This time, however, I've contacted the authorities.
Presumably, the responsible authorities here happen to reside at 1961 Stout Street, Suite 1823 in Denver.
The Left has a long and storied history in America of creating homicidally-minded psychopaths.
As I noted on another (now defunct) blog over a year ago and chronicled for posterity here:
As a matter of fact, the majority of political assassinations in America have come from the left or other variations of the mentally ill (as you will see below, many are both, liberalism and mental illness apparently run hand-in-hand), with the exception of RFK, who was killed by a long-standing lefty friend, the Jew-hating Muslim, in this instance Sirhan Sirhan.
The list goes on: John Wilkes Booth was a cross between Robert Byrd and Alec Baldwin, Charles J. Guiteau was a John Edwards-type lawyer who was told by the great beyond (perhaps channelling?) to murder President Garfield, Leon F. Czolgosz, who shot William McKinley was a lefty anarchist. Guiseppe Zangara who tried to kill FDR was a whacked-out anti-capitalist, and we all know Lee Harvey Oswald was a communist sympathizer.
Wannabe white Black Panther Sam Byck got himself killed trying to take out Nixon, and a year later, loonie lefty cultist Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme tried to take out President Ford, who was the target of lefty counterculture loser Sarah Jane Moore just 17 days later.
The evidence is pretty convincing Sara, that if there is a political assassination attempt in America, that either the left or the mentally ill are behind it (I'm not sure I see the distinction between the two, but some do).
One of those discussed in that post was Andrew Mickel, another liberal assassin who was an Indymedia contributor and an Evergreen State College student, who murdered a cop. Why?
"Hello Everyone, my name's Andy. I killed a Police Officer in Red Bluff, California in a motion to bring attention to, and halt, the police-state tactics that have come to be used throughout our country. Now I'm coming forward, to explain that this killing was also an action against corporate irresponsibility."
"...the police-state tactics that have come to be used throughout our country."
"‚Ä¶an action against corporate irresponsibility."
Sounds like it was cut out of Michael Moore.com, doesn't it? Or maybe Talk Left, or a Daily Kos diary, or Firedog Lake or many other mainstream liberal sites, with the not-as-mainstream sites such as IndyMedia or the Democratic Underground providing far worse fodder to feed the crazed masses.
Mickel was a Leftist. His parents say he was mentally ill. Again, I question the difference, and wonder why it took Jeff Goldstein so long to turn someone as potentially dangerous as Debbie Frisch over to the responsible authorities.
Bullying Old Soldiers...
Please stop over and welcome Old Soldier to his new blogosphere home, now officially open for business.
July 10, 2006
Circling the Wackos
As if the refusal of many liberal bloggers to condemn the terroristic threats of Deb Frisch weren't bad enough, it now seems that the academy is closing ranks around her, as evidenced by Scott Jaschik's less than forthright Inside Higher Ed article amply demonstrates:
‚ÄúI enjoy writing things that inflame, mock and infuriate the right,‚ÄĚ Deborah Frisch said in an e-mail interview Sunday in response to a question about her online activities. By any measure, she's achieving her goals ‚ÄĒ and she's also out of a job.
Frisch posted a comment last week on Protein Wisdom, a Web site known for its no holding back conservative commentary, frequently with considerable mocking of liberal academics and ideas. Frisch, an adjunct lecturer at the University of Arizona until this weekend, said in the posting that she would not be sad if the 2-year old child of the site's founder, Jeff Goldstein, was ‚ÄúJon Benet Ramseyed,‚ÄĚ and she reportedly posted other questions of the sort a Ramsey-inspired attacker might ask.
Jaschik glosses over Frisch's threats of sexually abusing a toddler and murdering him, and instead, attempts to paint a sympathetic portrait of a someone who was wrongly forced to resign her position.
Jaschik's article sets up Deb Frisch as a martyr, and at no point does he even attempt to quote in context the threats Frisch made against Goldstein and his young son.
The threats included threats against the toddler's life:
[...] as I said elsewhere, if I woke up tomorrow and learned that someone else had shot you and your ‚Äútyke‚ÄĚ it wouldn't slow me down one iota. You aren't ‚Äúhuman‚ÄĚ to me.
Ooh. Two year old boy. Sounds hot. You live in Colorado, I see. Hope no one Jon-Benets your baby.
Are you still married to the woman you humped to produce the toddler?
I reiterate: If some nutcase kidnapped your child tomorrow and did to her what was done to your fellow Coloradan, Jon-Benet Ramsey, I wouldn't give a damn.
The threats also included disturbing images of sexual assault:
Give your pathetic progeny (I sure hope that mofo got good genes from his mama!) a big fat tongue-filled kiss from me! LOTS AND LOTS OF SALIVA from Auntie MOONBAT, if you don't mind!
According to a conversation I just had with a very nice agent of the Phoenix Field Office of the FBI, Frisch's comments would appear to be crime within the FBI's jurisdiction.
It's interesting how Scott Jaschik and Inside Higher Ed couldn't make that same very simple phone call before writing this story, but then, that isn't the story of academic victimhood they'd like to report.
July 08, 2006
A Proud Member of the Toddler-Threatening Community
It was disgusting a year ago when Daily Kos posters were all for attacking the sexual orientation of four-year-old Jack Roberts, the son of then Supreme Court nominee (and now Chief Justice) John Roberts. I thought it was disgusting, abhorrent behavior by deranged individuals, and I thought I'd seen the lowest of the low.
Then came University of Arizona psychology
professor instructor Deborah Frisch.
Deb Frisch is living proof of my tagline, that "liberalism is a persistent vegetative state."
What did she do that was so horrible? Unable to compete rhetorically with conservative blogger Jeff Goldstein, she repeatedly threatened the life of his two-year-old son with comments such as these:
I'd like to hear more about your ‚Äútyke‚ÄĚ by the way. Girl? Boy? Toddler? Teen? Are you still married to the woman you ephed to give birth to the tyke?
Tell all, bro!
. . .
as I said elsewhere, if I woke up tomorrow and learned that someone else had shot you and your ‚Äútyke‚ÄĚ it wouldn't slow me down one iota. You aren't ‚Äúhuman‚ÄĚ to me.
. . .
So if you could just tell me the AGE and SEX of your "tyke," I'd be stoked!
. . .
Ooh. Two year old boy. Sounds hot. You live in Colorado, I see. Hope no one Jon-Benets your baby.
. . .
If some nutcase kidnapped your child tomorrow and did to her what was done to your fellow Coloradan, Jon-Benet Ramsey, I wouldn't give a damn.
According to Blackfive, (from whom I copied these comments) Goldstein's site is currently under two Denial of Service attacks. Froggy says:
Apparently, some elements of the psychotic left are closing ranks around Dr. Frisch and seemingly approve of her tactics of threatening children with death and sexual abuse. Nice going.
Those tactics did work so well for Stalin, Mao, Castro, and Che, so at least they're being consistent in their behavior.
When conservative bloggers go over the line and publish personal information, they are condemned by their own. When a liberal blogger threaten child sex abuse and murder, what response do we get from prominent liberal blogs?
Not one post.
Nothing from Kos, or Atrios, silence from Raw Story, AMERICAblog, and MyDD.
But two sites did write about how horrific personal attacks can be.
Glenn Greenwald found the time to condemn conservative bloggers who post personal contact information as a form of intimidation... yet he couldn't quite seem to find so much as a single word to condemn a fellow liberal who threatens the murder of a child.
Pamela Troy's front page post at the Democratic Underground found plenty of time to attack "aw-dropping right-wing venom," yet could spare no words for one of her own apparently advocating the sexual assault of a toddler.
Such sudden silence...
One might be tempted to think this absolute lack of condemnation was a tacit acceptance of these tactics.
Welcome to the new face of the most deranged members of our political opposition, "the toddler-threatening community."
Update: Not as many crickets, but a lot of pathetic behavior.
Raw Story links ot this post, and its readers (in the comments) seem to think linking this post is a condemnation. Not quite. In the comments, Glenn Greenwald can't quite seem to leave it alone with a simple "this is wrong," and spends the majority of his time blaming --who else?-- conservatives for repulsive behavior. Barbara O'Brien can't quite seem to really denounce Frisch, and instead, tells me to go to hell. Shrek's Mom doesn't seem quite ready to believe that Frisch actually said such vile things, stating:
...it's all too easy to distort and misrepresent what others have said when you take snips of quotes out of context."
Antiwisdom lives up to its title, saying Goldstein lied and made this entire episode up, and probably edited Frisch's comments to make them sounds worse.
Among others who can't quite bring themselves to condemn Frisch for threats of molesting or killing toddlers are TBogg and Unfogged, who seems to think that their are so many better ways to attack Goldstein that to make such "unpleasant" comments.
What Deborah Frisch wrote is inexcusable behavior for a blogger of any kind, liberal or conservative. Her comments about Jeff Goldstein's son and wife are indeed unhinged. I cannot imagine any provocation that could justify them.
Bingo. Too bad they and other smaller liberal bloggers with similar sentiments made up 50% or less of those commenting from their side.
"Russ" offers sound advice in the comments:
Far too many liberals on here, while denouncing the woman's threats, always offer qualification to their remarks. Something like - "Yeah, that's bad, but what about this?" Stop trying to be morally superior. Acknowledge that threatening someone's child is waaaaaaaaay over the line and be done with it. That, more than anything else, would help establish that she doesn't represent the mainstream left. Get back on message on another topic, but I am sickened that some folks' partisan leanings cannot even overcome the revulsion most people should feel over this woman's comments.
Why, she'd have you believe she's as innocent and as helpless as a baby.
July 06, 2006
You Learn Something New Every Day
Update: I wrote this post simply because I found it amusing that the Kossacks were initially directing their attack at wrong web site. I still find that amusing, but the underlying story, which I've missed until now, is an unsettling betrayal of values not conservative or liberal, but American. I expect better than this, from all of us.
Via Kershertalk, I've read deeper into this issue, and found that the behavior of both Nedd, who published the names, addresses and phone numbers of private citizens for no other possible reason than to expose them to abuse, and Jay, who refuses to come out against it, as deplorable.
Let's make this painfully clear:
Providing the public professional contact information of elected officials and appointees, of journalists, and news organizations so that blog readers can provide (hopefully) constructive feedback is acceptable. I am personally against providing the private addresses and private phone numbers of public figures as well with out their express permission.
But providing the private addresses and work and private phone numbers of private citizens‚ÄĒeven those that are thrust into the public by circumstance‚ÄĒis a disgusting tactic by desperate, small-minded people, and should always be condemned.
May 06, 2006
Feed the Filthy Zionist
It's pledge week at Protein Wisdom.
April 20, 2006
Pre-publication Update: The answer appears to be yes.
Notice from the Editors
The Times has suspended Michael Hiltzik's Golden State blog on latimes.com. Hiltzik admitted Thursday that he posted items on the paper's website, and on other websites, under names other than his own. That is a violation of The Times ethics policy, which requires editors and reporters to identify themselves when dealing with the public. The policy applies to both the print and online editions of the newspaper. The Times is investigating the postings.
Interestingly enough, when Domenech was caught plagiarizing, quite a few conservative bloggers let him have it. Why aren't any liberal bloggers condemning the dishonesty of Hiltzik?
Further Update: Hiltzik's Golden State Blog has suddenly ceased to exist.
Is this a temporary condition, or how the L.A. Times decided to solve the problem?
Yet Another Further Update: The blog is back, but Michael Hiltzik is still suspended.
This Ain't Avon Calling
I wrote once before about a group of UC Santa Cruz students calling themselves Students Against War (SAW), who apparently committed felonies by blocking military recruiters from the U.S. Army and National Guard attempting to participate in a job fair on campus.
Three of SAW's leaders, Sam Aranke, Janine Carmona, and David Zlutnick, placed their phone numbers and email addresses on press release disseminated widely across the internet, in apparent hopes of using this contact information to help organize even larger felonious acts.
Blogger Michelle Malkin posted these publicly available and still easily found contact numbers, which apparently led to some ill-advised and indefensible threats being made against these student criminals.
In retaliation against Malkin, some radical left wing web sites and blogs have taken the extraordinary step of posting not only Malkin's phone number and already publicly accessible email address, but satellite pictures of her house, her physical home address, and descriptions of her family. Malkin is unbowed. Goldstein is calling for a "very public condemnation and ostracizing" of those responsible for targeting Malkin's family.
I'm a little more direct.
This is the link to the FBI Tips and Public Leads form, which I have used to report several of these sites for possible hate crimes investigations based upon specific language used in some of those pages. Those of you who are guilty of these hate crimes undoubtedly know who you are.
I'd advise sleeping light.
That knock at the door ain't Avon calling, and answering it promptly might save you repair work after the warrant is served.
April 15, 2006
Pretend that you are a political "undecided" or a moderate, and you read the Washington Post. You don't follow politics much (you life is too busy for that) and you've run across the following stories.
April 14, 2006
The Last Pitch
A touching tribute to character at Phin's Blog.
April 13, 2006
Hasselhoff Has Germany...
...and apparently, I'm doing okay in Fargo.
I'll be doing my first talk radio segment (ever) on "Hot Talk with Scott Hennen" on WDAY at 11:30 AM (Eastern). We'll be talking about the WaPo "trailers of mass destraction" story I debunked yesterday.
You should be able to listen through the Listen to Hot Talk link.
The Hot Talk blog is here.
Update: I just got off the air. For a first-timer I don't think I did that bad, talking with the host for a few minutes and taking a call from a liberal. I'll update with a link to the MP3 as soon as I have the audio.
Update 2: We have audio (6802K MP3). Rush Limbaugh won't feel threatened.
April 05, 2006
Down and Out in Chapel Hill
It seems like some folks, such as UNC-Chapel Hill law professor Eric Muller, have too much time on their hands:
Some have maintained for a while now that a person other than Michelle Malkin is writing and posting some of the material that gets posted with her byline on her blog. She has denied it.
To my eyes, the jury has always been out on that question.
But let's look closely at the last 36 hours at michellemalkin.com.
At 7:16 a.m., she posted that she was "back from vacation."
Sizeable posts followed at 8:00 a.m., 8:46 a.m., 9:31 a.m., 10:16 a.m., 10:52 a.m. (a short one), 11:25 a.m., 11:37 a.m., 12:37 p.m., 2:09 p.m. (subsequently updated), 4:06 p.m., 7:45 p.m., 8:01 p.m., 8:19 p.m., 10:36 p.m. (subsequently updated), 5:49 a.m., 6:05 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 8:25 a.m. (subsequently updated), and then 12:31 p.m.
In that last message, Malkin explains that she is in Minneapolis, where she'll be giving a speech at 12:00 noon. Controlling for the one-hour time difference between the East Coast and Minnesota, I infer that she posted this update a startling 29 minutes before her noontime speech.
One wonders: when did she drive (or get driven) to the airport, fly at least three hours (if non-stop) to Minnesota, and then drive (or get driven) to her Minneapolis destination? And is there a red-eye from the DC area to Minneapolis?
The jury may not be in, but they're knocking on the door.
The knocking at the door, Professor Muller, may be the men in white coats asking for you.
Muller is just one liberal with the apparent obsession of "getting" conservative blogger/journalist Michelle Malkin, who they claim must have a ghostwriter because of her prodigious output as a journalist and blogger.
What evidence does the law professor bring to bear?
His "evidence" is not that there are tell-tale differences in grammar, syntax, or tone in some of her posts (traditional, recognized "tells"), but simple fact that Malkin was able to put up 20 blog entries in 36 hours. That is impressive output if you are looking at the raw number of posts, but the raw number itself means nothing without considering the style and length of the blog posts in question.
If long-form bloggers such as Richard Fernandez or Ed Morrissey were posting 20 entries in 36 hours, people would have a right to be suspicious. Long form blog entries from these and similar writers are intricate, and they take substantial time to compose, because they require substantial independent research, analysis, synthesis, and of course, composition.
But Michelle Malkin is not in general, and definitely not in the examples provided, a long-form blogger.
Malkin writes in other forums for her primary income, and as a blogger, she typically aggregates news stories and blog entries that are often sent to her electronically either via email, RSS feeds, news media web sites, and presumably other sources.
The telling question in the equation is this: how much original written composition occurs in these 20 posts cited, and how much is aggregation?
If you strip out the images and quoted text in the 20 posts selected by Eric Muller, Michelle Malkin wrote a grand total of 938 words over 3 days, or just shy of 47 words a post (46.9, Eric, since you seem to obsess so much about the fine details). As the vast majority of those 47 words are straightforward descriptive writing that comes as easily as speech for journalists, this level of output is well within her capabilities, even while traveling.
20 brief short-form blog posts over three days is hardly difficult for a full-time professional writer. For that matter, it is not even all that difficult for part-time bloggers.
Liberal Duncan Black released a total of 57 short (often very short) posts over the past three days while holding down a Senior Fellowship with Media Matters. Glenn Reynolds (a law professor without too much time on his hands) managed to teach class, pay his final respects to a much beloved grandmother, and release 60 mostly short posts and 18 updates in the same amount of time. Perhaps he should investigate both of them as well?
For someone teaching law, Eric Muller presents a laughably weak case. Perhaps his obsession has cut too much into his sleep.
For his student's sake, I hope he gets the help he needs.
March 28, 2006
Those Tools At The Times
For those of you who have read this NY Times article about captured Iraqi war documents being placed on the web, you'll note that the Times did not deem to give Ray Robinson, the blogger interviewed in the article, a link to his blog, nor did they bother to give you his entire background. Ray Robinson worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency as a member of the Iraq Survey Group that collected and in-processed this documentation when it was captured. He isn't just a blogger, but a person with some hands-on expertise.
Too bad that the Times couldn't be bothered to provide a link or give his bona fides.
I guess that would go against their "bloggers are hacks, and we're so accurate" meme, wouldn't it?
March 24, 2006
The Results of French Homeschooling
Sometimes it is simply better to shut up and take your lumps. Ben Demonech has not learned that yet:
In his first public comments since resigning earlier today as a blogger for washingtonpost.com, Ben Domenech says his editors there were ‚Äúfools‚ÄĚ for not expecting an onslaught of attacks from the left.
‚ÄúWhile I appreciated the opportunity to go and join the Washington Post,‚ÄĚ Domenech said, ‚Äúif they didn't expect the leftists were going to come after me with their sharpened knives, then they were fools.‚ÄĚ
You don't have an inherent right to work for a major news organization, you don't have a greater level of privilege, and you certainly shouldn't expect a lesser level of accountability.
You don't get a free ride.
Do you think you are French?
March 22, 2006
If a primary goal of newspaper blogging is to attract the attention of readers and start conversations, then WPNI (Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive) knocked it out of the park by launching Ben Domenech's unabashedly conservative political blog, Red America.
The first substantial post, Pachyderms in the Mist: Red America and the MSM, got a huge, on-going, and predictably whiny response from the left side of the blogosphere, who didn't think it was fair having a conservative blogger to balance out Dan Froomkin and William Arkin (a former Greenpeace activist/"National and Homeland Security" blogger, protecting us, presumably, from the threat of kamikaze Japanese whalers).
If generating "buzz" (or for that matter, hysteria) is part of the intent, WPNI has succeeded. The far left are engaging in much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Keep in mind, little liberals, it could have been worse.
March 17, 2006
By now, the importance of the information provided by bloggers before, during, and after a major disaster such as a hurricane, earthquake or a tsunami is well-established.
Here in America, bloggers provided much of the accurate first-hand information during Hurricanes Katrina and after landfall, and to this day they‚ÄĒwe‚ÄĒcontinue to play an important role in informing the public and providing perspective about the successes and failures in coping with the storm's aftermath.
If everything goes as is planned, during up-coming hurricane seasons selected bloggers will have even more front-line access:
After a Beauchamp Tower Corporation emergency meeting with state, federal, and local officials, the decision is made to deploy the ex-USNS San Diego at the earliest possible moment of readiness‚ÄĒwhether or not the cargo holds have been filled. Food stores onboard will be at less than half capacity, however water and ice supplies are considered more important, therefore the ship will not wait to load all designated supplies before she gets underway.
The announcement that the ex-USNS San Diego is ready to go to sea is made public. Crew members and volunteers are contacted and told to report immediately to the ship. Bloggers and news crews are screened, checked through security, and allowed to board the ex-USNS San Diego. The Bloggers will report from the ship while underway and document the disaster relief efforts of the ex-San Diego and crew for Hurricane Beryl. [my bold -ed.]
This bit of an on-going narrative description from Beauchamp Tower Corporation's OES Project blog recognizes the importance of bloggers in hurricane response as information providers on par with that of the mainstream media outlets.
Who among us wouldn't like to see someone like hurricane blogger Brendan Loy on board these ships, blogging in real-time as events unfold, or crisp, riveting post-landfall reporting from someone like Michael Yon?
The entire premise of Beauchamp's Operation Enduring Service concept has been based on "thinking outside the box," blending the old-but-serviceable with the cutting edge.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised that they'd want to apply it to everything they'll touch.
March 15, 2006
Mary Mapes joins the Huffington Post?
No, not really.
Just Arianna Huffington herself, busted for being fake, but accurate about a George Clooney blog post he never wrote.
March 08, 2006
I'm glad Glenn Reynold's new Book, An Army of Davids (which I did not get a pre-production proof of, by the way) is selling quite well (currently #167 in Books on amazon.com), but I think his formulaic followup book on the chief author of the Republican "Contract With America" might be pushing a good gimmick too far.
March 04, 2006
A Bone to Pick
One of the military experts who hangs out here from time to time just started his own blog. Go harrass Ray Robinson, and say, "hi."
I do think a lot of my fellow bloggers will have a minor bone to pick with him, however. Calling himself "The smartest man alive!!!" even in jest is sure to annoy those who would claim that title, and that's the majority of the blogosphere.
February 27, 2006
Scariest Interview Title Ever
February 09, 2006
There's a feeling we get
When we look to the jest,
Printing cartoons depicting Mohammed.
It just makes us see red
You should all end up dead,
For defying our peaceful religion.
Ooh, it makes us wonder,
Ooh, it really makes us wonder...
As they say, read the whole thing.
February 02, 2006
Cut the Red Wire. But First...
Dear "Gary" from a certain "Axis of Evil" member state,
If you are trying to change public opinion by meddling in the comments of a small blog (and I'm not necessarily saying this is a state-sponsored action, though if it is, it qualifies among the most pathetic ever recorded), you might want to consider, at the very least, a bit better training in English before trying to pass yourself off as some guy named Gary.
It just doesn't quite hang right on you, Hamid.
And try wiping the flecks of foam from your 'stache when you go all anti-Semetic, babbling about "israel soil and zionists."
Somebody might confuse you with Mother Sheehan.
January 26, 2006
January 22, 2006
On Troll Droppings
I am not a huge fan of trolls.
Trolls, of course, are a web denizen that pops up from time to time to post provocative, but not usually insightful or enlightening, comments to a message board or blog post.
Some trolls can actually be useful in that they can be manipulated to prove a point, often without them knowing how they are being used. But in general, trolls are pests, and they exist to annoy.
For the past months I've allowed several trolls to remain posting in the comments of Confederate Yankee, but as time goes on, I've noticed that while one or two in particular are useful for illustrative purposes, others exist to merely disagree and annoy.
These trolls do not engage in substantive debate, and refuses to justify arguments with either sourcing or logic. As of tonight, I'm going to start banning trolls on a case-by-case basis.
Those that serve a purpose will remain, those that don't... well, you won't see them anymore. I won't embarrass them by naming them, they simple won't be around in the future.
They can, or course, start their own blogs. It is a free country, despite what they sometimes claim.
January 07, 2006
--The Joker, Batman (1989)
Ward Brewer has a thing for collecting tin cans. Really big "tin cans," like E-01 Cuitlahuac / DD-574 John Rodgers, a World War II Fletcher-class destroyer he picked up from the Mexican Navy in December.
Now he's found 50 MK-6 Depth Charges from 1942-43.
You kinda get the feeling if you send him to the scrap yard looking for a spare water tank, he'd come back with one of these, don't you?
December 15, 2005
Look, I hate to do this.
I really do.
But if I don't get a few, okay, a lot more votes by midnight tonight...
...well, I might just give Brady here to Glenn Reynolds.
Now we wouldn't want that, would we?
December 13, 2005
Look, I know it's an honor just to be nominated, but come on...
Update: Bumped to top...
Update 2: Bumped. Ahem.
December 06, 2005
Making Cindy Cry
"Which wingnuts keeps voting for that awful Confederate Yankee?"
December 05, 2005
Who's Your Webby?
Voting begins today, December 5, 2005 and ends December 15, 2005. You may vote once per category every 24 hours.
There are roughly 550 blogs included as finalists in 37 categories in the 2005 Weblog Awards. A huge thanks goes out the Kevin Aylward at Wizbang! for organizing the Weblog Awards again this year, and to his volunteer staff.
Update: Voting is now working. So, like, go vote.
I Do Believe He's Got You Covered
Operation Enduring Service blogger and Beauchamp Tower CEO Ward Brewer is about to become the ultimate "gun blogger" on December 7, 2005 when he takes possession of the last serving Fletcher-class destroyer from World War II.
The USS John Rodgers (DD-574) under sail in an undated photo.
Armed with 5 5 in (127 mm) guns, 10 40 mm AA guns, 7 20 mm AA guns, 10 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes, 6 depth charge projectors, and 2 depth charge tracks, the USS John Rodgers (DD-574) was a last serving Fletcher-class destroyer. The 5.5 inch gun could hurl a 54 lb. shell at a surface target over 10 miles away, and the John Rodgers fired 3,600 such rounds at targets on Guam alone during WWII.
December 04, 2005
Finalists Announced Today
Finalists in 37 categories will be announced at 2:00 PM today for the 2005 Weblog Awards, and voting begins tomorrow.
Literally thousands of blogs were nominated this year, and I'd like to thank Confederate Yankee readers for nominating this blog in four categories: Best Blog, Best New Blog, Best Conservative Blog, and Best of the Top 251 - 500 Blogs.
It means a lot to me that you guys would nominate me... and that you take credit cards.
Update: Confederate Yankee is a finalist for Best of the Top 251-500 Blogs. Thanks!
November 30, 2005
2005 Weblog Awards
Finalists will be announced and voting will begin tomorrow, December 1, 2005.
November 18, 2005
The OSM Gnomes
As most of you know, I'm one of the members of the New Evil Corporation taking over the InterWebosphere with Girls Gone Mild pictures of female bloggers exposing their naked thumbs for fun and profit.
Well I was.
November 17, 2005
The 2005 Weblog Awards...
...are now open for nominations.
November 16, 2005
The Rabblutionaires Have Arrived
I think we will do quite well, but it is already making some dead-tree types nervous... probably because we do check facts, and we can, for example, tell the difference between someone groping themselves and giving a thumbs up (bottom picture). We can also tell the difference between "stop" and "drop" in a writer's commentary.
Mr. Wolcott may consider us rabble; others seem to consider us revolutionary.
Perhaps we're ‚Äúrabblutionaries.‚ÄĚ
Update: Apparently his name is "Wolcott" not "Walcott." Corrected.
November 12, 2005
... it's all about me.
Carnival of Cordite #38
A Special Veteran's Day Edition is up, including a little post I tossed together. Check it out.
Perhaps it isn't much of a shock, but the M-16, M-4, and SAW get ripped for constant jamming and having pathetic ballistics. Really? A prarie dog cartridge isn't up to snuff for killing bad guys?
Interestingly enough, the favored firearms in Iraq are modern versions of throwbacks... but I'll make you click over to find out which ones are being redeployed en masse.
November 07, 2005
Deck 'O Bloggers
So am I a Spade or a Diamond?
All the rest... well you don't really want all of my opinion, do you?
November 05, 2005
A Year Already?
I noticed with considerable amusement yesterday that according to Jane Smiley, 58 million American voters are complete idiots...
And thus started my blogging career, exactly one year ago today, correcting the blatant fact errors of an insufferable liberal. That first tentative post may have been the beginning and end of my blogging career, but a gentleman in Tennessee and another one in Florida linked to it, and I was hooked.
365 days, 780 posts, 2100 comments, nearly 330,000 visits and 442,000 page view later, I'm still have a blast.
I'd like to thank many, many people, but I'd like to start with Glenn Reynolds, who in addition to being one of the first bloggers that I read, provided me that first day's traffic that got the blogging fire stoked in me. I'd also like to thank basil, a very nice man who been very genrous with his linkage and advice, and over the past year, and who I do not give enough credit to, or stay in touch well enough with, who also managed to turn a practical joke into a full-fledged web portal.
I'd also like to thank Tom Elia very much, who was one of my first real influences (mostly behind the scenes after I got started, and who has done wonderful job of his own at The New Editor.
I'd also like to thank (in no particular order) Ace, The Anchoress, Michelle Malkin, Jay Stephenson, The Blue State Conservatives, Greg Wallace, and literally hundreds of other bloggers and commentors who have touched my life in the past year.
I also owe a special debt to Pixy Misa for giving a home to me and the Munuvian blogging family, and to my brother and co-owner and blogsmith Apothegm Designs, phin of phin's blog, who has designed this site from the ground up.
November 01, 2005
Have a Heart
October 31, 2005
Blog Drive Ends Soon
I want to thank everyone who has so generously donated to the Confederate Yankee Blog Drive. Your donations mean a lot, when combined with my expected advertising from Pajamas Media, it brings me very close to being able to afford a "brand" laptop to work from very soon.
As Confederate Yankee expects to be doing some more investigative journalism (now in progress) and blogging from "on the road" in our second year (which starts after our Nov. 5 "blogiversary" this upcoming Saturday), this is a welcome addition to our blogging toolkit.
Thanks so much to those of you who have given from your hearts so far.
October 30, 2005
The Best so Far
And before you ask, yes, I've to my own reaction to Alter's steaming pile, which I'll post sometime later in the week.
October 28, 2005
Sorry for the light posting. I'm now starring in a production of "Fun with Migraines."
I hope to be back tonight...
Update: See what a lack of sleep can do?
October 26, 2005
Confederate Yankee Blog Drive: I Can't Beleive It's Not Butter!
I want to start out by thanking everyone who has generously donated to what I should probably call the "Buy Bob a new computer once he jump starts a charity (if needed)so he can sleep every now and then" fund. I plan to run this drive periodically until my Nov. 5 first "blogiversary," but thought it might help if I had a specific target in mind.
For that, I turn to you.
I'm looking for a notebook computer as my replacement computer, for a couple of reasons, the primary reason being I'd like to be capable of mobile computing, especially as I might have the opportunity to do some on-location blogging in the not-too distant future. But while I'm comfy in my desktop knowledge, I can hardly claim to be anything approaching an expert on notebooks, with my only real experience coming from work-issued Thinkpads at several of my last jobs. I liked them, but they are all I know. What are my other options? I know I'd like:
- something with a quiet keyboard.
- something wireless.
- something rugged.
- enough "horsepower" to run multiple applications at once, including some memory hogs.
- to burn CDs and DVDs here and there.
- long service life.
So what do you guys think? What notebooks will meet these wants, and which (remember, you guys are helping pay for it) can do it economically?
Once I've got that narrowed down, I'll know what my target fund-raising goal should be.
And yes, I'm still accepting donations.
P.S. -- That "Santa's Slays" movie in my last Blog Drive post? I actually watched it, well, subjected myself to it, last night. Let's just say it was everything you would expect in a holiday-themed horror/comedy starring a professional wrestler.
October 25, 2005
Confederate Yankee Blog Drive (Day Whatever): Threats of Evil Santa
I'd like to thank those of you who have so generously donated to the Confederate Yankee Blog Drive so far. As you know, proceeds with go to a new PC so that I can turn this aging Dell (circa 2001, we've liberated two countries and had elections there since then) over to my wife and daughter for their web -surfing and educational game-playing needs, and then have a dedicated 'puter to blog with. As it is, I'm having to share computer time, and that leads me to writing until 1-2 AM (like now), which wipes me out and lowers the quality of my output as well. I wants to write good for you.
Besides, if you don't, I'll slip this onto your Amazon Wish List:
You don't want to know the "plot":
Santa ([Former Pro Wrestler Bill] Goldberg) is actually Satan, who 1,000 years ago lost a curling match to an angel...
Bill Goldberg. Acting. Look, I hate to do this, but daddy needs a computer...
So help a blogger out, will ya?
October 23, 2005
Confederate Yankee Blog Drive (Day 5) The Delay Factor
As you know, we're trying to raise funds so that we can replace an aging Dimension L733R computer that is on it's last legs. I want to thank each and every one of you who has donated to the Confederate Yankee Blog Drive so far.
Unfortunately, I'd like to do what us conservatives are always accused of doing anyway: I'd like to misappropriate these funds.
Yes, "where are those funds?" No, not campaign contributions, but something far more insidious. I hope Ronnie Earle doesn't find out.
After church this morning, my wife and I were discussing a mission she volunteers for called the Hope Chest (part of my volunteering is working on its web site, which isn't ready yet). Think of Hope Chest kind of like a Goodwill, before Goodwill had buildings and was operating out of private homes and garages, and you won't be far off.
Anyhow, were trying to do some fundraising for the Hope Chest for the holiday season, and we're waiting on our appropriations committee to get funds for supplies we need for the drive. Well, someone in the process is dragging their feed and we might not get funded in time, so I'd like to take the money you guys have graciously donated for a replacement PC and use it for the Hope Chest. Yes, I'm evil like that.
I will get reimbursed by the church, and I'll put that money directly back into the Confederate Yankee Blog Drive computer fund in a few weeks.
If anyone who has donated has a problem with this please let me know.
Thanks for every dime. It will get spend on a PC, jut not as quickly as I thought.
Thanks for understanding.
October 20, 2005
Confederate Yankee Blog Drive (Day 3)
phin of phin.mu.nu/
I was hoping I wouldn't have to go this route, but a guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do.
A couple of bucks, or a couple of fishsticks.
You make the call.
You guys are just wrong...
October 19, 2005
Pimpin' Ain't Easy (But It's Gotta be Done)
...And now comes the hard part... what Ace calls "the shaking of the cyber cup."
While I'd love not to do it, this little slice of the blogosphere has to be cobbled together somewhere, and for the past year, that has occurred on a battle-weary Dell Dimension L733R, circa 2001, which has seen far better days. My wife and I, and our increasingly computer-savvy daughter, all jockey for time on this single and rapidly-aging desktop PC.
Yes, shamefully, I don't have a full-loaded WiFi-enabled laptop with 22' chrome rims. I'm an embarassment to pajama pundits everywhere.
So please consider this:
Over to the right are a Paypal donation buttons for this site.
If each of you frequent readers could see your way click over and donate a couple of bucks or three, it would go a long way towards getting a dedicated Confederate Yankified computer (sorry, no General Lee-type paint scheme, unless you guys go really nuts), which will give me more time to research and write quality posts to keep you entertained.
Is that a good "bang for your buck," or what?
October 07, 2005
Blog For Sale
And I'll do it for less than $25 million dollars.
And I'll even stay on to write (with appropriate salary and benefits, of course).
October 02, 2005
And thanks to my brother Phin for filling in while I was out playing in the woods this weekend with the wife and kid. Like him, I ate some pig too, but mine was right out of the hardwood-fired pit with some fresh apple cider, so I think I win.
Update: Greg has a very interesting post here that I woul direct you to. Those of us on the center-right should read it and reflect upon it.
A little something for everyone...
With C.Y. away on a brief vacation this weekend I'm upholding my obligatory familial commitment and keeping his blog from going to sleep. Plus I get to poke a lot more people with a sharp stick here than I do at my humble abode on the blogidoxiweb.
There's been a lot of hullabaloo made regarding the comments made by President Regan's education secretary. The Maximum Leader of Naked Villainy puts the comment Bennet made into context. I'm still trying to figure out why the White House made a statement and why many liberals don't feel the Bush has done enough to admonish Bennet. After all the current administration had as much to do with the appointment of Bennet as Clinton did and nobody's demanding they condemn his statements.
The Brady Bunch has also been getting quite a bit of media attention and discussion in the blogidohexitagon. One of their advertisements is warning European travelers that with the new law passed in Florida they could be shot due to upsetting someone while driving their car (road rage). If somebody in Florida legally uses deadly force you shouldn't have been driving through their yard in the first place. I guess leaving the part about being on your property makes the argument a bit more interesting.
There has been quite a bit of discussion on many blogs I regularly read regarding Intelligent Design(ID). I haven't weighed in on the topic. Proponents of ID say it's as valid as evolution and opponents say it's a back door method of teaching religion. Both sides point to the lack of scientific proof of the other's theory. With all the arguing back and forth I'm starting to think it really was the Flying Spaghetti Monster's doings, anybody else want to be a Pastafarian?
September 29, 2005
Making with the Linky-Love
I'm going to be out of town until Sunday on a camping trip, but I want to pass along some suggested reading on the way out the door.
Generation Why? asks which PD would make you feel safer.
Dan Riehl runs over Texas Prosecutor Ronnie Earle like a Mack truck, making me think Earle should be indicting himself for ethics violations. I've no love for Delay, but Earle's past seems evey bit as sordid, if not more so.
John in Carolina makes the very good point that even though we seem to have defeated the anti-American coalition trying to build the International Freedom Center at Ground Zero, the WTC Memorial still needs guarding.
Remember earlier in the weekwhen I ripped the incompetent hatchet job of Think Progress' "Faiz" on former FEMA director Michael Brown? South Park Pundit and Stephen Burr of Nothing Could be Finer keep on the pressure,picking up a fact I missed, and completed outing "Faiz" one of the most intellectually dishonest bloggers I've ever had the misfortune to run across.
Angry in the Great White North has picked up on the fact that the Eva Yawn of the Left Herself, Cindy Sheehan, has almost completed running through her son's life insurance money, and now has to get a job, which to her means really whoring her slander of her son's beliefs for cold, hard cash. I'll hold my bile... for now.
Speaking of bile, the Anchoress has her ire up (and rightly so) for GOP Senators giving Louisiana's governor a complete pass for her incompetent response to Hurricane Katrina.
I might be able to squeeze one more post in before I hit the great outdoors tomorrow night, but if not, I'll have something up Sunday. Till then surf the blogroll; and try to stay out of trouble, okay?
September 19, 2005
Revise and Extend?
Here's some North Carolina pork -- though at least it hasn't been soaked in that vinegary stuff they call barbecue sauce.
Professor Reynolds, while a somewhat successful blogger and middling law professor at a forgotten backwoods university, is hardly fit to taste, much less judge, that sweetest delicacy that is eastern North Carolina pork barbeque. Being a magnanimous person, how ever, I will give him a chance to think over his hastily made statement.
So Professor Reynolds...
University of Tennessee Law School, as viewed from the CAF's "Fifi."
Do you care to "revise and extend" your comments?
September 07, 2005
A Scary Thought...
I now have blog kids.
Perhaps not surprisingly, one is a politician (local). I'll let you try to figure out which one of the guys it is...
August 16, 2005
I'd Like to Thank the Academy
Really, it was an honor just to be nominated.
August 15, 2005
...is on the air.
I can highly recommend Apothegm Designs as they designed this site, and engineered my transition from Blogspot to here as a Munuvian.
You can see my glowing testimonal for them on their site.
August 01, 2005
Blog Ad Wars
NOTE: If you aren't a blogger, you might just want to skip this post.
It seems like quite a few of my blogging brethren are getting worked into quite a tizzy over Pajamas Media advertising deals emailed out the other day. Pajamas Media is an effort by a group of enterprising bloggers to go after mainstream advertising dollars instead of the normal tee shirt and blog-flogging that seems to maks up most of the advertising on Blog-Ads.
Ann Althouse has a very real disdain for the PJ Media offering, but I'm not quite sure how to read it. Althouse sounds like someone who thinks her blog's advertising space is worth far more than she was offered. I could of course be wrong, but I think it is hard to misinterpret this:
The offer I received was far too terrible to accept with or without that veto power... [emphasis added]
So Ann feels like she was low-balled, and attacks in return. It seems almost certain Althouse will stick with Blog-Ads. Fair enough. I wish her all the best.
Fellow Munuvian Ace is also not impressed with the PJ Media offering, though he seems just mildly disappointed in comparison to Althouse's near hissy fit.
All the same, they both do bring up good points.
Both contracts offered from Pajamas Media (Standard and Basic) are longer in duration than some bloggers seem to feel comfortable with. 12-18 months is forever in blog-time. Most bloggers would probably have preferred 3-6 month contracts to start out with, especially with the exclusions apparently build into the PJ Media contract for other advertising. It is hard to comment on specifics, however, as PJ Media hasn't provided any to this point.
In addition, the rates, while better than nothing, seem to underwhelm almost everyone involved. So much for blogging professionally, at least from these advertising dollars.
And yet I'll sign, for the full 18 months, modest money, and all the uncertainty of the Pajamas Media contract. Why?
Part of it is the fact that it makes financial sense for many of us who do not have Blog-Ads. Blog-Ads may very well be a great organization, but I've tried to contact Blog-Ads several times in the past, without the courtesy of a response. I hear this is not uncommon. Quite frankly, something is better than nothing.
In addition to mere advertising dollars, PJ Media offers the promise of building a network of bloggers. That might help me build my traffic and my readership. That is an end unto itself, but it also means that in the future I may be able to charge higher rate we (the bloggers of Pajamas Media) can prove and sell our concept of group ad buys to mainstream advertising companies.
At worst, PJ Media offers modest income for very little additional work, and it ites me into a long-term contract.
At best, it may create a wider potential audience for my blogging, and it could help me establish relationships with fellow Pajamas Media bloggers and perhaps people outside the blogging world. It could lead to a better advertising contract down the rood, either with Pajamas Media or another entity down the road.
For someone who started blogging just for fun, I can live with the potential audience increase, chance to network and few bucks on the side for something I'll do already regardless of dollars.
Yeah, I can live with that.
July 27, 2005
At Least He's Consistent
Gop and the City shows that a hater is always a hater.
July 19, 2005
About the Authors
I have been a day laborer, atv rider, sports writer, web designer, technical writer, and blogger. I've moved back south since starting this blog in New York, and currently live and work near Raleigh, North Carolina, where I am a web developer for a Fortune 1000 company.
I also maintain a shooting blog, Bob's Gun Counter.
I've also been discussed in the book Blog Wars: The New Political Battleground by University of Kansas journalism professor David Perlmutter, who has also featured some of my work in his teaching and in media conferences as an example of bloggers as investigative journalists.
Like Bob, I have connections to the North and the South. My father was a genuine Kentucky hillbilly, and all of his side of the family has lived in the deep south. How deep? Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans, where I spent substantial time on summer vacations over the years. Yet, until I got to Texas as soon as I could about a decade ago, I always lived in South Dakota or Wyoming. I miss winter, and in many ways, Iím a Confederate Yankee too.
My background is pretty eclectic. Iím a classically trained musician--a first tenor--but am also skilled on the guitar and bass, compose and arrange music, and have also been a director at various times. These days, Iím a professional singer, performing with a well known chorale, where I serve as a board member and the tenor and bass section leader, and with a fine symphony orchestra. I also sing regularly with a metropolitan church choir, for which I am actually paid! As a sidebar, I was fortunate to have the opportunity in college to build a double manual harpsichord from a kit. Being a musician and carpenter helped a great deal, and I got college credit for the project. The instrument will outlive me by centuries, and no doubt, look better too!
I am a veteran of the Air Force, having served in SAC during the Cold War as a Security Policeman. I am also a veteran of a bit less than two decades of experience as a civilian police officer where I served as a patrolman, juvenile officer, detective, field training officer, taught at a state law enforcement academy, served as a shift supervisor, division commander, firearm trainer and SWAT operator. Iím also a firearm instructor certified by the NRA and the American Small Arms Academy.
Iíve been an athlete all of my life, and have run several marathons, but these days, I mostly bicycle and lift weights for exercise and fun and ride the occasional century. I was the co-founder and first vice president of the Wyoming Division of the United States Fencing Association (essentially European fencing), and study Kendo (ken-dough, Japanese fencing) and Iaido (ee-eye-dough, Japanese sword drawing). As you might guess, Iím a real history buff as well.
My day job is teaching high school English. I love it, and my students, with a passion. Iíve been married 32 years to a magnificent woman who deserves far better than me, and have a cat, Mushi, which is short for ďmushin,Ē or ďempty mindĒ in Japanese. Iíve always been a writer, and have written two plays that have been produced several times. Iím also published, from time to time, at Pajamas Media.
I consider myself fortunate indeed to blog at Confederate Yankee with Bob and the wonderful, awe-inspiring, yet mysterious Brigid, she who must be read and obeyed.
* * *
Brigid Durham is the birth and pen name of a writer and adventurer, author of the popular blog Home on The Range. She makes her home in the Midwest while traveling far and wide in her role as "Secret Squirrel", her name for a investigative position in the law enforcement field. A Ph.D. in Criminal Justice with related studies in Forensic Anthropology, she was raised and educated in the West and is the daughter of a Deputy Sheriff (Mom) and Military Police Officer (Dad). A licensed Airline Transport Pilot and flight instructor in heavy aircraft, she's flown airplanes ranging from Boeings to her favorite, the T-39, hanging up her wings in 2001 to do what she also loves - "solving the puzzle". She lists her hobbies as history, photography, antique weaponry, really bad gunsmithing, hunting and gourmet cooking and freely admits to owning more firearms than shoes. She'll write of firearms and family, flying and forensics.
She hopes to retire in 10 years, coming out of the shadows with a book that might actually have her face on the back cover.
June 28, 2005
Honey, I'm home...
Welcome one and all, to Confederate Yankee's new home on the web!
If this is your first exposure to my blog, I've got nearly nearly eight months of archives my web guru phin just imported for me that I'll start sorting into categories quite soon.
My favorite philosophying piscatorial pal phin and the wickedly witty lady Sadie are responsible for building Confederate Yankee as you see it today, and are soon to start their own blog design firm. I highly suggest you visit these two, as they have a scary amount of talent and can do wonders for the look and feel of your blog.
And now, back to the show...
June 06, 2005
Blogrunner Steal Bandwidthblogrunner steal bandwidth. Hulk Smash!
Courtesy of the Ebb & Flow Institute, we learn of a site called blogrunner, which steals blog posts and then reposts them in their entirity. The site above seems to be a NY Times-affiliated subsite of Blogrunner. Their main site is here.
Blogrunner even hotlinks images instead of hosting their own copies of these images, forcing the original blogger to pay for additional bandwidth even though visitors may never see his site.
While I'm not a lawyer, I suspect this may not pass the "snift test" for acceptable use. At the very least, it is a huge breach of blog netiquette.
Any legal eagles care to comment on this one?
May 22, 2005
I'm Not Dead Yet...A lame Python reference is better than none right?
It is official: Confederate Yankee is now (though it always sort of was) a red-state blog. North Carolina is now my official base of operations, and you know what that means... live hurricane blogging! And a whole new crop of politicians to harrass... life is good.
After a relaxing 1,220 mile round trip over the weekend from NC, to NY, and finally back to NC, I'm home. Or as close to "home" as it will be until my daughter finishes school and she and my wife can finally follow me down in six weeks. Without them, no place is home. Once they get here for good and we're finally moved in to our new place 4th of July weekend, life indeed will be good. Until then, life will be exhausting, and a bit of an unknown.
Madre y padre have let me bunk up in a spare room until my new place is ready, and so I'll have nice 168-mile round-trip commute five days a week until July 1.
I should have been a trucker.
The commute, as you may imagine, is to my new job. I start tomorrow. I won't blog about that much, if at all. Blogging about work tends to get people in trouble, as I've seen on more than one occasion.
Anyhoo, while I adjust to my new schedule, blogging will be sporadic and light. I'm not dead yet, but getting used to dancing to a new tune.
May 20, 2005
Un-UnemployedNow I have the honor of saying, with sadistic glee, the scariest sentence in the English language:
"I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."
May 13, 2005
Avenger Red Six Rolls Back Into ActionAfter a well-deserved break, Silver Star-winning milblogger Neil Prakash is back in his Abrams turret at Armor Geddon, pouring out the gritty details of what the battle for Fallujah was really like from someone who experienced it.
Carpe Bonum did an excellent bit of public service and created an article index of Avenger Red Six's experiences in the assault on Fallujah from November 5-12, 2004. Future articles in the series seem imminent.
"Red 6, Phantom 6. I want you to move to a position where you can observe the city. Ramrod 6 wants you to call for indirect. Adjust your first round. After that, it's ‚ÄėFire for effect. Drop 50, fire for effect. Drop 50, fire for effect. And just keep doing that until someone tells you to stop, Got it?"Milblogging don't get much more tense than Armor Geddon.
Yeah I got it alright. Wipe out a grid square. The task force commander wanted me to level the city.
May 12, 2005
Blogger For HireIn the event some hiring manager types are reading this, I'd like to mention that I am looking for a job in RTP, North Carolina, preferably a position that takes advantage of my technical writing education and experience, and my background in web design, marketing, and usability.
I would also like to help companies interested in developing blog strategies for customer service, media relations, internal communications, and damage control, in addition to helping them set up acceptable-use blogging policies for their employees.
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roger & Me (and the United Nations), Part DeuxA wonderful quality of stupid people (from a blogger's perspective) is their inability to shut up when they've already lost the argument.
The John Kerry fanboys write:
Not surprisingly, our previous post about Roger L. Simon's hyper-focus on the Oil-for-Food controversy elicited a strong response from the UN's blog critics.
And not unexpectedly, the responses were largely dismissive, derisive, and betrayed a shallow reading of the original post.
One is forced to remind UN Dispatch that their original post was dismissive (of the gravity of the Oil-for-Food scandal), derisive (of Roger and his choice of subject matter), and betrayed a number of shallow spots at UN Dispatch, including an understanding of the magnitude of the Oil-For-Food Scandal and its newsworthiness, and understanding of the way the news cycle works, and a general misunderstanding of the workings of the blogosphere.Simon and literally hundreds of other bloggers and members of the international news media are on the Oil-For-Food scandal because it is perhaps the greatest example of international organized crime in the history of the world. Period.
This crime spans the world, potentially breaches thousands of laws in dozens of countries, and trades billions of dollars for power, at the expense of who-knows-how-many thousands dead.
20% of his time is too much? I'd argue the rest of us aren't paying enough attention to the scandal.
The authors then go on to condemn this blog among others:
Finally, an unfortunate reaction from some bloggers is their willingness to simply shrug off the examples of UN-related issues listed in the original post. It's clear that many of these bloggers have become accustomed to knee-jerk attacks and are unwilling (or unable) to engage in a reasoned debate.Want a reasoned debate? Name the topic, and fire the opening salvo. I'm waiting.
Notice that UN Dispatch does not attempt to debunk any of the comments made by any of the bloggers they disagree with, Confederate Yankee included. Apparently, readers of UN Dispatch are supposed to simply believe them and disagree with us, simply because they...
Well, they don't exactly say why we should see things their way (perhaps they have a plan?). We just should, you know?
UN Dispatch ends this sad post with:
For the record, we'll re-post the issues we think warrant attention and let readers decide:Newsflash: They already did.
Once again, the UN turns a blind eye to things they would rather not see.
Update: I've said it before, and I'll say it again.
May 11, 2005
Roger & Me (and the United Nations)Poor Roger L. Simon.
Screen writer, blogger, and one of the founders of Pajamas Media (full disclosure: I've signed on to PJ Media as well), Roger is being attacked by a United Nations blog run by a couple of John Kerry fanboys.
They then go on to list a bunch of issues that that think build the case for how successful the United Nations is, apparently in an attempt to show that Roger is unfair. Let's look at some of these, shall we? I'll use their links of "successes" from their blog, and then comment as it seems appropriate.
20% of Roger L. Simon's blog entries during the month of April make reference to the Oil-for-Food controversy.
0% of Roger L. Simon's blog entries during April make reference to the following UN-related issues:
Tackling the threat of transnational organized crimeAfter reading of the massive amounts of corruption I've read about involving the Oil-For-Food scandal and kickbacks involving the French, the Russians, and various UN diplomats and hangers-on including the UN chairman's own family, I think the UN could rightly be defined as "trasnational organized crime" itself, couldn' it?
Are they trying to debunk Simon's claim, or are they piling-on themselves?
Shipping supplies to millions of Iraqi schoolchildrenThis was instead of shipping freedom to Iraq, which the United States eventually did (against UN wishes). Unfortunately, the delay left more than a few Iraqi schoolchildren in mass graves still being discovered.
Controlling the Marburg virusIf UN peacekeeping was worth a damn, perhaps Angola wouldn't have been at war for decades and their hospitals might have been better prepared to handle a disease easily contained by basic protective measures. Through apathy, the UN helped create conditions that made the outbreak so severe.
Again fanboys, you aren't helping your cause too much...
Building thousands of homes for tsunami victimsThe UN contributed $36 million to build (they haven't actually built them mind you, but they will) 9,000 homes. That is nice, but the victims are still homeless five months later while UN officials live in air-conditioned hotels and drink imported wine with local teen hookers. Doubt that? Read The Diplomad, blogged by men who we actually there to see the UN's ineffectiveness and corruption among the deaths of hundreds of thousands.
BTW, how much do you want to bet that the bulk of that $36 million was part of the more than $500 billion contributed by the people of the United States?
I didn't actually read this link, but it sounds like it could be describing more UN sexual abuse of children. I can see Pierre crying out, "Hey Lay-deez... I'll give you twenty francs and a food voucher if you'll let me borrow your daughter to satisfy the "humanitarian needs" of my "private sector."
Again, didn't read the link, but the answer is simple.
Keep children away from AIDS-infested UN pedophiles.
Of course, it might also have been nice if the UN stepped in in Rwanda, or Darfur, or Bosnia, or... well you get the picture. Stopping genocide (which involves children) is a pretty effective way to combat child mortality rates. Perhaps they should try it sometime.
Yep, just as soon as they dig up all those Kurds that Saddam gassed, shot, and bombed while the UN turned a blind eye, the marshes can return to its pristine natural state.
There are more examples provided by the fanboys, but you get the picture. You can splash all the perfume you want on a turd, but it doesn't change it's basic composition.
U.N.-Loved Update: The UN stooges actually decided to spoonfeed this gem of a story to more established bloggers via email. Can you believe their stupidity? I had to find out about it on my own. I guess I need to get more famouser.
And yes I was an English major... why do you ask?
Update: They just keep coming back for more.
This is an archive post. Please visit the main page for more.
May 10, 2005
IMAO: Cat Blog?There is something to be said for great parody blogs.
April 12, 2005
Freedom of (Some) Speech
It was recently announced that Kevin Sites, freelance war videographer, will be awarded a Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism. Editor & Publisher covered the award announcement by saying:
Kevin Sites, a freelance photojournalist for NBC, will be awarded the 2005 Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism on May 12 for his decision-making process after he witnessed and taped a U.S. Marine killing an unarmed Iraqi man in a mosque.In response, one of my favorite blogs weighed in by calling Sites a traitor, while another was surprisingly reserved, though his comments section made up for it. These blogs, of course, were hardly the only ones with this general viewpoint.
Sites decided to share the tape with the military, then he worked with NBC to create a "well-nuanced story that aired 48 hours after the incident," according to the Payne announcement. Since he was working as a pool photojournalist at the time, Sites shared the tape with the other news organizations in the pool.
When Sites was criticized after other outlets used the footage, he answered the critics and explained his decisions in detail on his Weblog, www.kevinsites.net.
From both legal and ethical standpoints, calling Kevin Sites a traitor is ignorant. Not stupid, mind you, but ignorant of the law. It isn't a matter of "I think" or "in my opinion," they are quite simply, technically, wrong in calling Kevin Sites a traitor.
One cites Article III, Sec. 3 of the U.S. Constitution:
"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort." (his bold. --C.Y)Kevin Sites shot a video of real events, unedited, and undoctored, and even ran it by the U.S. military before release. That is not treason. Furthermore, the assinine "logic" of some people that "well, he knew if could be twisted against us, so he's guilty" would not only stifle the First Amendment, but completely eviscerate it to a totalitarian extent. These people don't support the freedom of speech, just the freedom of some speech, that of which they personally approve. I'll tell you what, my friends: go ahead and start a movement to prosecute Sites for your understanding of treason. You will of course also charge the journalists and producers, writers and editors who furthered this travesty by mentioning it in network broadcasts, cable news shows, and in national, regional, and local newspapers. I won't personally miss Olbermann, Dowd, or Krugman much, but I will miss Hannity, Krauthammer, and Will.
While you are at it, of course, you'll also have to charge the career Marine officers who released the tape for publication. I think that is a pretty short chain of command, just a few PR officers and maybe a general or two. Probably only a dozen or so all told. As active duty military, they will of course face the possibility of execution for their treason. Do they still use firing squads at Leavenworth, or does the military now allow lethal injections for enemies of democracy?
Nothing like the idea of putting a Few Good Men to death to underscore your shaky understanding of the Constitution, right guys?
There are higher allegiences more important than the United States, and that if you honor these higher ideals, the best interests of the country are served as a natural consequence.
I'm sorry, but we disagree on this one.
April 07, 2005
I'm really glad I decided not to post on the so-called Shiavo memo. It was just gut instinct not to blog it, but it just didn't feel right. Michelle Malkin made a similar choice as well, not that it kept stupid liberals from sending her e-mail saying she was wrong for something she never wrote.
But the real blame goes to the MSM/DNC for blowing the reporting of this story in the first place (which they have yet to account for to the best of my knowledge), and to bloggers too willing to consider this on par with the forged TANG documents far too early without sufficient evidence.
April 06, 2005
Better Late than Never...
I know that I've established a tradition here at Confederate Yankee of posting at least once during the morning and then often making at least one more comment during the day. Well, since my employment status changed (I now have no employment, which is disconcerting to say the least), I've been busy looking for technical writing or web-related employment either in the New York metro area or in my home state of North Carolina, as well as trying to catch up on an ever-expanding "Honey do" list.
This has forced most of my blogging to afternoon hours, but I just wanted to let my readership know (especially as it is expanding) that I am far from backing down in my blogging, I'm just "differently focused" at the moment. I'll still be posting frequently, just later in the day.
More coverage of the Minutemen Project to come later in the day...
April 03, 2005
I've always thought about Democrats and the media being two separate entities, but in another post, Cassandra provides a definition of the MSM/DNC as "two arms of the same beast" that makes near-perfect sense to anyone who followed the apparent lockstep coordination between the media and the DNC in the 2004 election cycle.
I think you'll be seeing that new acronym (MSM/DNC) a lot from now on, and MSM/DNC is going to hate every mention for it's accuracy.
That's one buzzword that isn't going down the memory hole.
March 23, 2005
No, you did not go to the wrong blog by mistake.
Me brudder was nice enough to design a new Blogger template for Confederate Yankee, which gives me much wider margins for my typically text-heavy posts. Hopefully this will make things a bit easier to read, if not easier to always swallow.
March 22, 2005
I just sent the following letter to Google Adsense Support via their "Send us your question" form:
This is not a question, but a statement.The point, of course, is journalistic integrity. I understand perfectly that the Adsense and News divisions of Google probably have very little to do with one another, but I also understand the basics of business. News departments don't make money, but advertising departments do.
Google News has now added neo-Nazis (National Vanguard) to their index of approved news sources. I, and hopefully other bloggers have tired of an arcane and apparently senseless news source approval process from Google News, that refuses to carry nationally-recognized columnists such as Michelle Malkin, or top bloggers like Instapundit, but that appears more than willing to carry a hotbed of conspiracy theories such as the Democratic Underground.
Quite simply, it doesn't make sense, and verges on the intellectually dishonest.
I am behind Jeff Jarvis' call for transparency, and therefore, I am dropping Google Ads from my blog until this much-needed transparency is provided. I know the few hits I provide will not be missed by your advertisers, but that really isn't the point, is it?
In the end, who do you think gets heard?
March 03, 2005
Attn: Mid-Hudson Bloggers
If you are a blogger living in the Mid-Hudson Valley area (particularly Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster Counties) then be sure to check in with the Times Herald-Record. They are trying to find out about local blogs in the region, and may be interested in getting in touch with you for a future story.
If you are a mid-Hudson blogger in one of these counties or know someone who is, write to email@example.com and give them your URL and blog name.
Coming to a Blog Near You
Sorry for the light posting, but I'm tied up in research all day.
I'm busy working on a potential blockbuster of an article that could tie a prominent congressional Democrat to Osama bin Laden in Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
And no, you shouldn't take this too seriously.
Unless it's true...
Now, what was that old Styx tune again?
February 21, 2005
Bloggers on C-Span
I'm watching C-Span right now with bloggers Oliver Willis and Patrick Ruffini.
I think Mr. Ruffini looks sharp and polished, wearing a nice suit. Mr. Willis wore an ill-fitting shirt and tie without a jacket.
I know that bloggers are supposed to be worried more about content than packaging, but we should all be media savvy enough to know that when you are in the visual media, you need to be dressed professionally. Fair or not, how you look and comport yourself affects your credibility. By dressing the way he did, Mr. Willis damaged his credibility, and did not help the image of bloggers in general.
Glenn Reynolds was unfortunately wrong: Oliver Willis is not ready for television. But he sure has a face for radio.
Content was to be expected. Mr. Ruffini did well, but didn't say anything profound, which was to be expected. Mr. Willis repeatedly said that, "there is no liberal media," even though he works for a liberal organization called "Media Matters for America." He also said, "I'm just not willing to launch a headhunting campaign against someone based on secondhand reports."
Somehow, I think James Gannon/Jeff Guckert won't buy either of those stories.
Now we have the suspect Willis comments above captured on video, will Brit Hume call for his resignation?
Update: Oliver Willis writes to Glenn Reynolds: "Now, am I willing to launch a campaign based on firsthand knowledge? You bet."
So Oliver, which liberal blogger solicited Jeff Gannon?
February 16, 2005
A Call for Comments On Blogging
I love blogs and blogging. I think you do, too, or you wouldn't be reading this.
Blogging is still in its relative infancy, but is maturing quickly, with thousands of new bloggers starting up every day. A lot more people will be getting into it in the months and years ahead. Unfortunately, growing pains won't be easy on any of us, and so I'm asking you to help me out on a bit of a blogging community project.
After I read of the incident where a 13-year old was verbally savaged over not following good netiquette, I thought it was a good idea to try to compile some blogging-specific netiquette to hopefully cut down on incidents like this. I intend to compile and display what I can here:
What I ask of you is to let me know what you consider good form and bad form alike when blogging. From inappropriate trackback to comment spam, to attribution issues and blog promotion, or other thing I may have missed, I'd like to get your input.
I'll be accepting comments for several weeks, and just ask that as you run across something that you think needs to be mentioned, to please drop me a line at confederateyankee-at-hotmail.com.
I hope to take the site live in the first week of March, and hope it could be a resource that we could all use to help new bloggers get started.
Thank you very much for your time, and any input you can provide.
February 11, 2005
February 09, 2005
My Blogroll Just Got Lighter
I may not be blessed with a lot of class, but there are some lines even I won't cross.
February 07, 2005
Dear Michelle Malkin
(hat tip, basil's blog)
I also have found the Google News folks to be a bit less than objective in which sites they feel are worthy. To be frank, they expose a severe leftward slant. Despite that, I think they must be forced to play within their own set of rules.
basil has already offered his services as a headline news writer. I would like to offer my services to the editorial board of michelemaklin.com as an editor. I have relevant practical work experience as a technical writer and editor, and have the academic degrees to support such a position.
I have a salary requirement of $0.25/year, and would be quite willing to assist in developing a formal editorial review process.
Thank you very much for your time.
January 31, 2005
Carnival of the Commies #3 is Up...
...And it looks good. Tigerhawk reads the America-hating lefties so you don't have too. Just be sure to take it on an empty stomach.
January 24, 2005
Carnival of the Commies, Week 2
It includes a link to a lefty blogger who lionizes Osama's favorite journalist, Robert Fisk, and provides a link to the most disturbing image in human history, and I'm no talking about the suicidal rabbit, either.
Need I say more?
January 18, 2005
Carnival of the Commies
"a periodic review of the best and most representative work on the left side of the blogosphere. We will read the blogs you hate so you don't have to, and find within them the stories from the Left that you should know about. Why should you be reading them? Your reasons might range from a laudible desire to understand the other guy to simply knowing your enemy. In any case, this post will link to points of view that don't often make it into our own echo chamber."Great content, and lots of it.
December 26, 2004
I have no problem with those sites that wish to add a link to Confederate Yankee. You don't even need to tell me. Part of the fun of blogging is discovering new sites that feel strongly enough about something I've said that they link to it or to the site in general. So link away.
That said, I do not often respond to reciprocal linking agreements, so don't bother asking.
I will tell you that I often read comments made on this site, and if someone says something thoughtful, original, and intriguing, I will often visit their site, and if I like their site, I'll add it to my blogroll. I will not knowing link to sites that regularly feature content that would rate more than a PG-13, or an R-rating on the outside. If it ever happens that I link to a site that would earn an NC-17 or higher rating, please let me know.
I don't have any set rules on those sites listed in my blogroll, other than the fact that for some reason, they were of interest to me at the time they were blogrolled. I occasionally drop sites from my blogroll when it gets unwieldy. This isn't personal, I'm just making room for new links. Keep developing engaging commentary, and you could very well wind up blogrolled again.
Commenting Policy (added 09/02/2006, amended 02/07/2007)
Allowing comments on a blog is a personal choice that some bloggers allow and some don't. I happen to fall into the "do" category with restrictions:
- Off-topic comments, irrelevant comments, or personal attacks are subject to deletion, without warning.
- Commentors prone to creating off-topic, irrlevant posts are subject to being banned, without warning.
- Any comments advocating violence towards individuals or groups are subject to deletion, without warning.
- The blog owner reserves the right to enforce these rules unevenly and unobjectively, and may change and and all rules on a whim-by-whim basis. Deal with it, or better yet, get your own blog.
December 24, 2004
It's Christmas Eve, GO HOME
While checking my Sitemeter stats this morning I noticed that someone from bellsouth.net has been on my site for over 940 minutes.
At first, I thought that I might have finally bored someone to death, and they were face-down on their keyboard. Then I noticed they had 94 page views as well, so that means they were actively clicking around at least part of the time.
And they--YOU--are still here.
Hey, I'm flattered.
Really, I am.
But go home.
It's Christmas Eve.
And at this point, it's just getting creepy.
Update: My overly loyal visitor finally logged off at 12:18 PM, after being on this site for 1050 minutes and 2 seconds. That has to be some sort of record...well, for a non-porn site.
December 19, 2004
Support Any Soldier
My better half, God bless her, is an angel with the most charitable and caring of souls, and she found an organization over the weekend that I'd like to share with you.
Any Soldier, Inc is a charitable organization with a simple, vital goal: delivering care packages and letters of support to our troops. If you are looking to contribute to a noble cause, you couldn't do much better.
While it is a little late for Christmas, you could help an American serviceman overseas get 2005 started off right with support from home. Any letters or notes you send let them know you appreciate what they are doing, and for those of you able to send Care packages, this page lets you know what soldiers need and provides links to where you can find items online.
Please check out Any Soldier, and pass along their Web address to those you know who might be interested in supporting our troops.
December 16, 2004
There may be some minor hiccups today as I try to update the blog template.
Update: Haloscan seems to be implemented correctly in my blog template, but a limited number of posts seems to stil be trying to use Blogger's old "comments" template. I was trying to troubleshoot this last night and again this morning, but decided that I don't care that much about a minor problem concerning old posts.
If you end up not seeing a comment that you posted, let me know and I'll see if I can hunt it down and put it where it belongs.
Normal blogging to resume later today.
December 06, 2004
The Winter Blogger Investigation
Excerpts from John Kerry, Spokesman, for Liberal Veterans Against the Blog:
"I would like to talk on behalf of all those liberal bloggers and say that several days ago we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably pajama'd, and many highly caffinated, Daily Kossacks testified to blog crimes they committed at the 2004 Weblog Awards.It is not currently known if Daily Kos or Senator Kerry met with anyone in Paris in the time period surrounding this attempted award poll-rigging incident.
"They told stories that at times they had personally fisked, cut off or deleted dissenting comments, blocked dissenting IPs, dowdified quotes and turned up the rhetoric, cut off intelligent discourse, blown up childishly, randomly trolled at conservative sites, and hacked and scripted to falsify award poll results in a fashion reminiscent of Ghengis Khan, poisoned topics, and generally ravaged the blogosphere in addition to the normal ravaging of blogs and the very particular ravaging done by the applied hacking and scripting of the 2004 Weblog Awards Best Overall Blog in particular."
December 05, 2004
Admissions of Cheating at 2004 Weblog Awards
In addition to Koz, three other sites (LGF, Wonkette, Talking Points Memo) are also facing recounts because of hacking that manipulated their numbers.
Folks, these awards are about appreciating the blogging community. That some people would take the time to cheat for what is essentially an award of appreciation, is sad in the extreme.
I suggest that Daily Kos be tossed from this competition, or voluntarily withdraw on his own, if it can be determined to a reasonable degree that he knew of the cheating on his behalf (or should have) and did not report it. I would hold the other three blogs in question to this same standard.
Integrity, kids, is a beautiful thing.
November 08, 2004
What is a Confederate Yankee?
Confederate Yankee. noun. A Southern-born inhabitant of a northern U.S. State.
I infiltrated north of the Manson-Nixon line in 2000 to bring intelligence and perspective to a part of the country steeped in leftist propoganda and outright dowdification. While I have been here, I have noticed that there are differences between Northern and Southern cultures.
Southern rednecks have gun racks.
Northern Rednecks have snowplows.
Southern states have economic growth.
Northern States have unions.
Still, we are more alike than different.
I am here to try to help translate, and provide some down-home wisdom to those who have been deprived of the experience of growing up in the more enlightened, more intellectually stimulating southern region of the country.