Saturday, July 31, 2010
First, let's take a look at Fox News. Supporters say it is one of the most fair and balanced cable news networks out there, and it can be argued on both sides as to the veracity of that idea. Critics tend to fall into two categories: those who think Fox News is nothing more than right wing propaganda, and those who think Fox News isn't a real news organization. It should be pointed out, however, that for many years, Helen Thomas was allowed to sit in her vaunted seat without being a reporter. Yes, my friends, for a good chunk of her later career, she was...an opinion columnist. For those who bash Fox News as right wing propaganda, the problem is that the WHCA has set the precedent for Fox News to take the seat, and complaining about their slant now doesn't justify their silence on Thomas' slant for 20+ years.
Next, there's National Public Radio. Supporters say that they are one of the best news organizations out there and without much of a bias. Critics point to the fact that for many years NPR was taxpayer funded (although more recently, they've become much more publicly funded). I've listened to NPR for a number of years, and they do a good job in reporting. However, they do show a leftward bias in subtle ways, from what stories they cover to the way those stories are covered. They're not as bad as MSNBC, but they do occasionally let their personal opinions get in the way of straight reporting.
This leads to the heart of the debate: what constitutes a news organization in today's environment? NPR still reports using old school journalism while Fox News relies more on flash. On the other hand, Fox News has made a bigger impact on journalism in recent years than has NPR. (Whether that impact has been positive or negative is subject to debate, but their impact is undeniable.) Should the seat go to a left-leaning old school journalism outlet or a right-leaning new journalism outlet?
I say neither of them deserve the seat.
The journalism game has changed so much that few people are actual journalists anymore. What they've become is PR agents for a side or a cause, merely repeating what they or their editors believe. And why? So they can get invited to the Washington parties. Reporting the facts has taken a back seat to hobnobbing with the elites, and journalism as a whole has suffered. When a venerable newspaper like the Washington Post has to do a mea culpa for not covering the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation story for over a year, and another venerable newspaper like the New York Times not even doing that much, it's clear that the journalism profession is seriously broken.
So, I don't think NPR or Fox News deserve Helen Thomas' seat, but that's only because I don't think the majority of so-called journalists deserve a seat in the White House Press Room.
Republican leaders admitted to knowing about Mr. Foley's abhorrent for six months to a year and failed to protect the children in their trust. Republican leaders must be investigated by the Ethics Committee and immediately questioned under oath.
Those words came from one Nancy Pelosi after former Republican House member Mark Foley was caught trying to get a Congressional page to meet with him for what was believed to be a sexual encounter. Although Pelosi's point was hysterical hyperbole (since only teenagers can be Congressional pages), her larger point was that Republican leaders knew about Foley's actions and didn't act on them.
Why do I bring this up almost 4 years later? Charlie Rangel.
Anyone who has followed Rangel's Congressional career knows that he's done some pretty shady things over the years, only some of which are coming to light now. And under Pelosi's standard as presented above, knowing about it for years without doing anything about it is wrong and worthy of being hauled before the Ethics Committee to testify about what was known and when it was known.
So, will Madame Speaker live up to her own standard? Will she voluntarily go before the Ethics Committee to testify under oath about what she knew about Rangel's legal issues and when she knew about them?
Let me put it this way. I'm not holding my breath for her to act accordingly.
I think Charlie Rangel served a very long time and served -- his constituents very well. But these -- allegations are very troubling. And he'll -- he's somebody who's at the end of his career. Eighty years old. I'm sure that -- what he wants is to be able to -- end his career with dignity. And my hope is that -- it happens.
Set aside the disjointed sentence structure and rampant ageism by the President for a moment and really think about the implications of Obama's statement in the context of the rising tension between the White House and Congress. It's safe to say that Congressional Democrats and Obama aren't getting along like they used to anymore because the former can't seem to get the latter's help in supporting his agenda. The President talked a great game about health care reform, but left Congress to try to make the sale to its constituents. That didn't go well, and Obama did little to help them. This made the Congressional Democrats look bad, and I firmly believe it caused the health care reform bill to stay stuck in Congress far longer than it should have been. But it wasn't Obama who took the heat for that. It was Congress. And given some of the egos in Congress, that's not going to sit well.
There are a lot of other dynamics in play here, but the tension between the Obama White House and Congressional Democrats are going to get worse in the light of Obama's statement against Rangel before they get better.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Seriously, do we have nothing on our plates but the President going on a daytime talk show? Why would we care? If the President wants to go on a talk show, let him. It's his credibility on the line when he does. No skin off my nose. But to hear conservatives talk about it, Obama was disgracing the office of the President by showing up on "The View."
Folks, you have to pick your battles. The President going on "The View" is no big deal because the show stinks on ice. Having the President go on it would be like having him go on "The Joy Behar Show": only a handful of people are going to watch, and usually it's the type of people who already agree with him. He's not going to convert anyone. If he wanted to make an impact, he would get the guts to go on the Glenn Beck show.
It's like the attention paid to Chelsea Clinton's wedding. It's worthless attention paid to an event that doesn't warrant more attention than knowing she's getting married. End of story, kids. Let it go.
Don't get sucked into the tilting against over-hyped windmills. Keep the focus on subjects that matter.
Yes, my friends, it's the Left that keeps playing the race card. Criticize Obama's policies? You're a racist.
Point out that the NAACP nodded and applauded Shirley Sherrod saying that she didn't help a white farmer as well as she could have? You're a racist.
Think that Arizona's immigration law is a good idea? You're a racist.
Agree with the TEA Party? You're a racist.
The Left keeps playing the race card to the point of comic absurdity. In fact, I was once called a racist by a Leftist because I said I didn't care what race Obama was. But such is the thinking of the Left these days. They see racism under every rock, behind every tree, and under every bed.
But, as with so much of what the Left believes, reality paints a far different picture. You wouldn't know it from listening to the Left, but by and large the races get along. There will still be at least some friction among the races, just as there is friction between people. Yet, there isn't the kind of racial animosity that the Left assumes is there.
It goes a bit deeper than that, though. Have you noticed that if you're in favor of something that the Left is against, the Left makes it into a racial issue even when race isn't really a factor? With the election of Obama, the Left has gotten ultra-sensitive about race, while the rest of us have given race the same general consideration that we did before Obama's election, which is to say we don't really care.
Then again, the Left thrives on keeping racial tensions high because it benefits them. Money to candidates, unblinking support of Democrat candidates, the maintenance of the image of the Left defending civil rights, all of these and more that I didn't mention are at stake if the races get along. Instead of accepting the reality and working within it, though, the Left prefers to be destructive rather than constructive. Thus, they keep playing the race card in the hopes that enough people still believe there is racism everywhere you go.
However, what the Left doesn't realize is that they can't keep playing the race card without it losing its impact. That's what's happening now. By spending time and energy inventing racism where it doesn't exist in situations that have nothing to do with race or to defend allies who have screwed up, the Left has watered down real racism, like the racism exhibited by the NAACP in the Sherrod video when members laughed and applauded when Sherrod said she didn't help the white farmer as well as she could. And what is the Left doing?
Going after Andrew Breitbart, Fox News, Glenn Beck, and anyone else who sees real racism in the footage and being unafraid to point it out.
And people are starting to pay attention to the Left's Chicken Little act and rejecting the Left's arguments as being unfounded. The more that happens, the more desperate the Left will get, and the more likely they are to keep playing the race card, which will continue their downward spiral. Unfortunately for them, they don't see the negative impact it's having on their credibility to keep crying "racism" instead of "wolf" at every situation that comes along where the Left and the Right clash these days. They'll keep building their house of race cards higher and higher and hope nobody sneezes.
And the crash when someone does will be spectacular.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Meanwhile in the real world, we get to see Sherrod for what she truly is: an opportunist.
Granted, everyone has a bit of this streak within them. But not everyone gets to write his or her on history as Sherrod and her ideological allies have done. No matter how the Left spins the facts, the timeline doesn't fit their spin, which puts Sherrod's case in a bit of trouble. See, the courts tend to have a little higher standard of proof than Media Matters. With the media coverage making her into an overnight sensation, though, I'm thinking she's letting her ego write checks that her legal team won't be able to cash. (But maybe they'll get some of that sweet settlement money Sherrod and her husband just received from the federal government.)
Some on the Left say Sherrod is only trying to restore her reputation. Given how she's trying to cash in on a lie, I'd say her reputation has already been affirmed.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Mediaite's Steve Krakauer tried to set the Left straight as to the actual timeline of Fox News' coverage of the Sherrod story, but one poster (who will remain nameless to protect his/her fragile Leftist ego) wasn't buying the facts:
You got the facts right Steve, but I’m not buying your conclusion.
The administration didn’t fire Sherrod because they saw the video on Fox News, true.
The administration fired Sherod because a right-wing smear machine disguised as a news network that has repeatedly race-baited the White House with their “us vs them/Black against White” narrative EXISTS.
If that wasn’t the FOX M.O. then the White House would not have acted so rashly. They knew by experience that they could not expect fairness from FOX when it comes to race and that is what makes Fox at least partly to blame.
If there was no history of Fox race-baiting their would be no reason to act rashly.
I do believe Fox created the ATMOSPHERWE for this to happen and that is why they are to blame.
Fuck timelines..Fox has been doing this since Obama was nominated. There’s your timeline. [Emphasis mine]
So, let me get this straight. The facts were right that showed that Fox News didn't get Sherrod fired as the Left has claimed, but they're still to blame for getting her fired because of the "atmosphere" they allegedly created? The only way you can even remotely make this claim is to invent a reality where Fox News and Andrew Breitbart masterminded a great racist conspiracy to bring down a virtual unknown to get back at the President.
Meanwhile, the real story (that being the NAACP's racism in its midst after chastising the TEA Parties for racists in their midst) is being ignored by the Left. By jumping on the TEA Parties as racist from the very beginning, haven't you created the environment under which Sherrod was fired, using your logic? So, when are you going to man up and accept responsibility?
Let's just say I'm not holding my breath on this. Needless to say, now that the "Fox News got Shirley Sherrod" lie has been discredited, the Left is reduced to creating new reasons to blame them for the boneheaded actions of the Obama Administration and the NAACP. But no matter what narrative they invent, the facts are out there, and no one but them is buying their spin.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Guess which side I'm on.
Folks, let me be as blunt as possible. If this mosque goes up, it will prove that we haven't learned a damn thing from 9/11. We're doomed to make the same mistakes of believing hollow words and ignoring real action unless we think through this carefully.
And the place to start is with the fundamental question: why build a mosque within two blocks of a site where Muslim extremists attacked a major American, and dare I say world, city? Wasn't there another spot that is closer to the Muslim community in NYC? And wouldn't the greed and social climbing connected to Manhattan be an affront to Islam on some level? None of it makes sense.
Unless you look at it from the standpoint of a radical Muslim. To them, building a mosque within a short distance of a martyrdom site is highly attractive, especially when it's going a poke in the eye of "the Great Satan." (For the uninitiated and for the Left, that's us.) And let's not forget that radical Muslims are trained to use our freedoms against us and invent scandals to make us scared to speak out against them.
And what does Mayor Mike Bloomberg do? Become the Capitulator in Chief and defend the mosque being built.
There's a fine line between tolerance and allowing people to take advantage of you. And let me tell you, radical Muslims are taking advantage of all of us with this Ground Zero mosque. While the Left attacks Sarah Palin for Tweeting her opposition to the mosque, they miss the obvious: they're being used for a purpose that will ultimately destroy them and, if they bothered to think through their stated positions for more than a microsecond, they would be opposed to, and should be if they had any sense whatsoever. I'm asking a lot, I know, but it's still a dream...
However, to be fair, I am willing to drop my opposition to the Ground Zero mosque on one condition: they allow me to erect two symbols at the entrance to the mosque.
A Star of David, and a Christian Cross.
After all, if it's all about tolerance, shouldn't we hold Muslims to the same standards that they want to hold us to?
Sunday, July 25, 2010
This got me to thinking what the Left means when they talk about context. Usually, they refer to it when they say something stupid and gets caught. They claim "They took that statement out of context" (without ever proving it was taken out of context). Take, for example, their argument in defense of Shirley Sherrod's speech where she admits to being racist initially to a white farmer. They claim Andrew Breitbart and Fox News took the speech out of context to discredit her.
Of course, these same Leftists say nothing about Media Matters, a Leftist website that frequently takes conservatives out of context. And, I'm still waiting for these Leftists to praise Glenn Beck for showing restraint and calling for the speech to be viewed in its full context.
Frankly, Beck is right, but he gets it wrong by assuming the Left has the same commitment to an accurate context as the Right does. The Left believes that reality is subject to their whims, which is why they can disregard the actions of the New Black Panther Party as insignificant while repeating a discredited lie about John Lewis getting spat upon and being called the n-word by TEA Party members. To them, the reality doesn't fit their narrative, so they ignore it. Granted, there are people on the Right who do the same thing (Lindsey Graham comes to mind), but the Left takes self-delusion to an art form. Why?
To protect their fragile egos.
The Left cannot stand being proven wrong about anything, yet they're constantly wrong about just about everything. When they run across someone with even a little knowledge of a subject, they get testy. I ran into this recently with a Leftist who asked me to use the scientific method to show how evolution was not settled science. After I did, he swore at me, insulted me, and generally ignored the fact that I did what he asked and proved him wrong with the very standard he insisted I use.
So, how does that play into the concept of context? When someone can lie about reality, he or she creates a context by which no one but that person can define and apply. In other words, he or she creates a reality that no one else can breach. When that happens, only certain facts are allowed in to be processed while others are disregarded. That's how the Left can blame Fox News for getting Sherrod fired when a) she resigned, and b) Fox News didn't start covering the story until after she resigned.
Now, let's apply this concept to the Rangel situation. When Leftists say they want Rangel to be able to put his actions into the proper context, they mean they want to give him time to come up with a version of reality that diminishes if not excuses what he did and gives his defenders a narrative they can follow to defend him.
And you can bet that Rangel's version of what happened will bear very little resemblance to what actually happened.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Once Sherrod was pushed out, the Left then tried to smear Fox News and Andrew Breitbart, saying they were responsible for having Sherrod fired. Um, not really. Fox News and Breitbart only made the video public knowledge instead of having it tucked away in the archives like the NAACP. Once the "it's Fox News's fault" narrative was invented, the Left jumped on it. The NAACP said they were "snookered" by Fox News, and CNN's Campbell Brown went so far as to criticize the NAACP for letting themselves be snookered.
One tiny problem with the narrative: it doesn't fit the timeline. Sherrod was already on the way out by the time Fox News was running the story, and the NAACP had already criticized Sherrod for her comments. So, how could Fox News "snooker" the NAACP when they weren't even covering the story yet before the NAACP made its statement?
The answer: they can't, legitimately. Instead, what they're doing is trying to make themselves out to be the victims instead of the willing perpetrators in a much larger scheme designed to deflect attention away from the fact that Sherrod's comments were made at an NAACP meeting...and the membership at that meeting acted in a way that could be considered racist in that you could hear laughter and other comments during the part where Sherrod said that she didn't help a white farmer as much as she could have initially.
After the media attention the NAACP garnered for their criticism of the alleged racist elements of the TEA Parties, they couldn't afford to be seen as racists. What better way to lose what credibility they gained by attacking the TEA Parties than to be exposed as racist themselves.
Beyond that, the Obama Administration bears a lot of responsibility for their actions against Sherrod. They jumped the gun without knowing the facts (gee, that's almost a pattern for this Administration), and when the real story came out, they were left having to apologize. Wait, didn't the Left get their collective panties in a wad over George W. Bush's alleged "shoot first, ask questions later" approach to issues?
I have to say that I did find some of Sherrod's statements and admitted actions racist because they were not motivated by anything other than seeing one's skin color. Has she learned her lesson since then? According to her, she has. Until I see otherwise, I'll take her at her word. However, the NAACP and the Obama Administration have some more "teachable moments" to endure before they finally get it.
And let's hope they get it before they fire other Administration officials for no reason.
Monday, July 12, 2010
They're calling the TEA Parties racist.
Wow. With all the problems facing blacks today, the NAACP has really drilled down to the heart of the issue. (For those of you on the Left playing along at home, that was sarcasm.)
I find this a little convenient, given how blacks have had to deal with a member of the New Black Panther Party talking about wanting to kill "cracker babies." Not exactly the best way to showcase the many fine points of the African-American community, I grant you, but the NAACP has at least a bit more legitimacy with the white community than the New Black Panther Party.
That is until now.
The NAACP has a resolution that they will be voting on tomorrow to repudiate the "racist" elements of the TEA Party movement. In fact, NAACP spokesperson Leila McDowell suggested the following:
We are asking that the law-abiding members of the Tea Party repudiate those racist elements, that they recognize the historic and present racist elements that are within the Tea Party movement.
With all due respect, Ms. McDowell, I did a little research and couldn't find where you repudiated members of your own organization for racism, and I don't seem to see you recognizing the historic and present racist elements in your midst. And while we're here, could you provide examples of the racism you see in the TEA Parties, or are they like the alleged (and unproven) charges by blacks that protesters to the health care reform bill being voted on by the House hurled racist epithets at them and spat on them?
Something tells me the latter is more likely.
What the NAACP fails to realize is that the TEA Parties aren't about race, no matter what they do to try to make them about race. In fact, if they would attend a TEA Party rally, they might be surprised to see the number of non-white faces staring back at them. And it's due in no small part to the NAACP. For all of their self-professed desire to advance people of color, they've found themselves grafted at the hip to the very people who don't want colored people to advance. After decades of support for more big government programs with little to no improvement in the black community, blacks have started looking elsewhere for representation.
And the NAACP keeps sticking by the people who have screwed them for decades.
If you're a member of the NAACP reading this, ask yourself one question. What will calling the TEA Parties racist do to help a single black person? If you're honest, there is only one answer you can give.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
"We need to get out of that war over there," the resident said. "We can't win over there. It's just like Vietnam. Look at what it did to the Russians."
On the surface, my fellow resident has a point. The war in Afghanistan has not been run as well as it could be, and the same can be said of the war in Iraq. However, a badly run war is not the same as an unjust war, and I still feel both wars are valid in the larger scheme of things. I won't back down from that position.
However, I did take gentle issue with the resident's notion that Afghanistan is just like Vietnam and that we would end up like the Russians did when they conducted a war there. I pointed out to the resident that we could still win the war in Afghanistan due to our socioeconomic foundations. When the Russians waged war in Afghanistan, they did it while Russia was still under the influences of communism, which was and is a very rigid form of government and society that doesn't value innovation. They had a stock approach to every situation and rarely deviated from it.
On the other hand, the United States has a more open form of government and champions those who innovate. Sure, it might mean more people have opinions on how to address an issue, but isn't that a good thing when dealing with war? War isn't something that can be mapped out from start to finish because of the human element, so we need people who aren't limited by inside-the-box thinking. It may lead to multiple trips to the drawing board, but it's a lot better than sticking to the same strategy and hoping it works this time.
Yes, we may not be waging war the way it needs to be waged, but if anyone can win in Afghanistan, it's us. And I'm not quite ready to give up on us winning yet.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
To someone who loves his country, "traitor" is a name that elicits a strong emotional reaction, as it is meant to do when a Leftist calls someone one. It's gotten to be in vogue for the Left to do that lately because they've run into a problem as it pertains to President Obama. People simply aren't willing to listen to him much anymore because he hasn't shown the kind of leadership that he promised to deliver. So, the Left now equates disagreement with the President with treason.
Just like they did when people disagreed with Bill Clinton's decision to go into Kosovo. I had any number of Leftists call me a traitor for asking legitimate questions about why we were going into Kosovo in the first place. It didn't matter that the questions were legitimate. All that mattered to them at that time was that I was questioning the President's judgment during a time of war.
Then, George W. Bush became President, and questioning the President during a time of war was acceptable to the Left. After all, they were speaking truth to power! (Check local listings for the level of truth and power the Leftists were speaking.) And when the Right called the Left traitors (basically using the Left's own logic against itself), the Left whined and yelled about dissent being patriotic.
To have those same Leftists call me a traitor today for criticizing President Obama is the height of hypocrisy, especially when you consider that I didn't believe Leftist dissent was traitorous, merely misguided. However, I refuse to let them get me angry or upset when they call me a traitor. Instead, I've decided to do something else that immediately puts them on the defensive.
Call their bluff.
After all, treason is a federal crime, and that means citizens can arrest me if I'm guilty of treason. To date, not one of them has acted upon their rhetoric and had me arrested, and I doubt any will. Then, they would have to prove their allegations in front of a judge, and that would be much harder to prove than they think.
So, to all you Leftists out there, call me a traitor if you want. I can't stop you, and I won't even try. I much prefer the amusement of watching you guys backtrack when you get called out.
Keep in mind that traditionally the party in the White House loses seats in Congress in midterm elections. It doesn't always happen (see 2002), but the trend is well-known. If this trend continues, the Democrats are looking at losing power in Congress; the question is how much. That puts the Left behind the eight ball from the outset.
Add to this the growing discontent with all politicians, not just the ones in power. Some have argued that the TEA Party movement wouldn't have emerged had it not been for President Obama's election, but I would argue that it would have emerged anyway because our elected officials have become embarrassingly out-of-touch and increasingly arrogant. The same TEA Party folks that have criticized Obama have criticized John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and other more moderate Republicans for the same reasons oftentimes.
But instead of trying to tap into the more independent voting bloc, the Democrats have gone back to the tried and true scandal well.
Democrat leaders just don't get it. We aren't going to fall for that sort of gamesmanship this time around. Just because a Republican got a special tax break doesn't negate the special breaks Christopher Dodd got thanks to Countrywide. A Republican who has unpaid state taxes doesn't make Charlie Rangel's federal tax evasion go away. All it does is show how Democrats are trying to change the subject in an attempt to avoid an electoral drubbing in November.
And that signals a very weak party.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Republicans like, say, Lindsey Graham, who say the TEA Party movement is unsustainable? Graham, who has been an inconsistent Republican at best, as well as a frequent guest on Hannity's program?
Or would he prefer Republicans like John McCain, a man Hannity has praised as being a good man, but misguided?
Folks, Hannity misses the point on two fronts. First, voting in Republicans in and of itself won't fix the problems because many of the Republicans currently in office and in positions of power within the GOP are the ones who caused the problems in the first place. It would be like replacing a burnt out light bulb with another burnt out light bulb, thinking that the second one was bound to work.
Second, I don't believe for a second that this country is as bad off as we're being lead to believe it is. Don't get me wrong, things could certainly be better. But are we truly teetering on the brink of ruin unless we vote in Republicans in November? Heck no. This country has never been made great by the politicians running it at any given time. It has been made great by the people.
People like the Founding Fathers, who risked far more than we realize today to get this grand experiment in governance started.
People like the soldiers at Valley Forge, who survived brutal weather and low supply levels to stand tall against the most powerful military in the world at that time.
I could go on and on, but the point is that our history is rife with people who strove to make this country better. And that's the heart of patriotism in my book. It takes no courage to take a "my country, right or wrong" attitude. It takes a true love of this country to acknowledge we've made mistakes and to champion the fight to fix those mistakes.
This is where Leftists get it wrong. They criticize America not to try to make it better, but to tear it down to justify their contempt for the country. On the other hand, people like me criticize America to bring about the change necessary to make it a far better country. Put another way, Leftists are motivated by hatred for America, while people like me are motivated by love for America.
To hear Hannity talk about the possible end of America if Republicans aren't elected in 2010 makes me wonder about his love of country. No one man, not even someone as inept as Barack Obama, can take down America. We're far too strong, and he's far too incompetent. Instead of trumpeting the horns of doom, I prefer to trumpet America's success for well over 200 years as being a beacon of freedom for the world.
Happy Independence Day, folks!