Monday, February 28, 2005

1989 all over again??

With the recent changes in Lebanon, I got the impression that we were seeing a repeat of Eastern Europe's domino transformation in late 1989. One country after another is enjoying elections or at least the serious potential for democratic reform. This impression is even stronger coming on the heels of the proposed changes in Egypt.

I think it is too early to celebrate, but we must recognize the potential. No matter how far these reforms go, we are seeing the most far reaching changes in middle eastern government since the fall of the Ottoman Empire 80 years ago.

But we should not let the potential for democratic reform blind us to the threat from continued immigration from Islamic countries into the USA. Regardless of whether certain governments change their internal policies and allow some freedom, the goal of Islam remains the same. The U.S. will remain under constant pressure from within as long as we allow open borders. Europe is a prime example.

The war must be fought on ALL fronts, both at home and abroad.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Classics of Conservatism - part IV

Click here for parts I, II and III.

This month's book recommendation is Why Johnny Can't Read by Rudolph Flesch.


Like most of the books I recommend, this one is older. But it is worth every minute spent on every page. This book is not simply about reading and the methods used to teach reading. The battle over reading methods serves as only one part of a larger struggle between the education establishment and the advocates of reform. The establishment's attempt to squelch phonics serves as a reminder of the failure not only of the public schools but of the entire leftist establishment that has so dominated our culture for decades.

For generations, phonics was the accepted method for teaching children to read. Flesch shows how the education establishment pushed phonics aside in the early part of the 20th century in favor of much more primitive methods. The results are painfully obvious to anyone who will look. Contrary to what modern educators will say, phonics is not just a recent fad. Anyone who has ever used McGuffey's readers knows this fact. Phonics is THE basis for reading. The modern "whole word" method merely gets in the way.

Because Flesch wrote in the pre-information age, it took almost twenty years for Flesch to gain substantial acceptance by the public. Reform came slowly in the 1970's and afterward. By the time of Flesch' death in the 1980's, he was noteworthy enough that his death was mentioned on CBS' "Sunday Morning."

Why Johnny Can't Read is not mere history. The battle continues to rage over reading, as the education establishment continues to seek ways to water down the phonics movement. Today, most modern educators will tell you that their program mixes phonics and "other" methods.

Flesch is to the modern phonics movement what Goldwater was to the conservative revolution.

Iwo Jima

The 60 year anniversary date for the U.S. attack on Iwo Jima was February 19. The famous photo was taken on February 23, after a savage battle for Mt. Suribachi.

Sixty years ago today.

Check out this link for more photos and history.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Lie update

I have updated my post on MSM Lies of 2005. The items I have included are not new for those of you who have paid attention to the blogosphere. I include them only so we can have these references in one place at year's end. There will be so many we will forget about some of them by December.

This post will remain as a permanent part of my sidebar.

Terry Shiavo - one day left.

Sherri has done tremendous work trying to save the life of Terri Shiavo. Please check out her blog. Here is a copy of Sherri's latest e-mail:
I have spent HOURS putting this together


The plan is EASY and CONCISE!

Take a moment to check it out!





Thanks Sherri!

update 3-18-05
Click here for a more recent update.
update 3-19-05
Click here to read about the beginning of Terri's two week ordeal.

Alfred Kinsey, Joe McCarthy, PBS and the truth

I just got through watching PBS' American Experience documentary on Alfred Kinsey - not to be confused with the Hollywood version, which I haven't seen.

I don't know where to begin, but I will leave out most of my comments so that I can keep this post brief(??).

Kinsey, for those who don't know, was a sex researcher who traveled the country interviewing thousands of people (including prostitutes, pedophiles and prisoners) on their sexual preferences, history and background. Kinsey produced voluminous reports that "proved" that America was full of perverts. At one point, Kinsey even undertook a two year project to film various sex acts. Kinsey's "work" was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.

The documentary contained one blatant lie that I know of. The documentary showed film of Joe McCarthy conducting hearings into communist activity. The narrator engaged in a brief discussion of McCarthy. Without identifying the committee, the narrator then stated that a Congressional committee engaged in an investigation of Kinsey's activities and the Rockefeller foundation. The narrator blamed McCarthy for Kinsey's loss of funding.

The documentary strongly implied that McCarthy's committee had investigated Kinsey. In fact, a separate committee of the House of Representatives (the Reece committee) had investigated tax free foundations in 1953, including the Rockefeller foundation's funding of Kinsey. McCarthy not only was not part of this committee, he was not even a member of the House of Representatives. PBS' juxtaposition of McCarthy with the Reece Committee was designed to make Kinsey appear to be the victim.

It is interesting to note that this misleading reference to McCarthy does not appear in the PBS "timeline" at the PBS/Kinsey website. The "timeline" nowhere mentions McCarthy. MSM/DNC falsehoods often appear only in the form most easily disposed of down the memory hole - just in case the lie is later exposed. The film documentary appears briefly, the smear is accomplished, and the viewer has nothing to which to refer if the anti-McCarthy lie is exposed.

It is just this kind of misreporting of history that has resulted in the unfair demonization of Joe McCarthy over the years. For more details on McCarthy, see McCarthy and his Enemies or Treason.

For more details on the Reece Committee, Kinsey, the Rockefeller Foundation and the pedophilia being promoted by tax-exempt funds, see Rene Wormser's book, Foundations, their Power and Influence.

It is just this type of deception that has led critics of PBS to call for its privatization. The Captain summarizes one misleading MSM/DNC response to such criticism.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Watergate feeding frenzy continues - fake, but accurate

I posted earlier that a MSM/DNC news feeding frenzy would soon erupt (the Watergate eruption hasn't really stopped in over 30 years - this is just more lava) over the identity of "Deep Throat".

A discussion has taken place on Fox's "Studio B" to the effect that Deep Throat may have been a fictional composite of many people. In other words - there may have been no "Deep Throat". Even though Deep Throat did not exist, the reports attributed to him were nevertheless accurate - the experts say. (?!!?) I won't get bogged down in the details. Those details are posted at Johnny Dollar's Place.

The danger here is that the "Fake, but accurate" standard introduced by CBS during Rathergate may be taking hold. As numerous MSM/DNC scandals emerge over the dishonesty of past and present reports, "fake, but accurate" will emerge as a last line of defense for the MSM/DNC. In this case, the "fake, but accurate" argument went unchallenged.

Don't think of this as some kind of fun mystery regarding the identity of "Deep throat." Think of it as (1) MSM/DNC's attempt to keep alive its glory days and (2) an opportunity to examine how MSM/DNC operated in the days before it was scrutinized by the blogosphere and talk radio.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Terri Shiavo

Sherri has alerted me to a blogburst that is currently underway to save Terri Shiavo. My understanding is Terri is not being kept alive by a machine. The court order in question would simply force Terri's parents and medical personnel to stop feeding her. Essentially, she would starve to death even though she is awake, conscious and trying to speak and move. Sherri has the details. Today, Terri Shiavo - tomorrow, your parents, your children or anyone else that the government deems inconvenient to remain living.

I blogged previously on this issue as it relates to the recent Clint Eastwood film and the deceptive advertising that hid its true message.

When the goverment takes over the health care industry completely, it won't even bother with the formality of court orders before it makes life or death decisions like this.

Bush and Social Security taxes

This morning's headline on Drudge linked to a story hinting that President may raise the payroll cap on social security taxes as one way to solve the crisis:
Asked directly, Bush said he would not bar raising the $90,000 cap, although he does not want to see the payroll tax rate go up.

"The one thing I'm not open-minded about is raising the payroll tax rate. And all the other issues go on the table," Bush said in the interview, according to an account in Wednesday's New Haven (Conn.) Register.

White House spokesman Trent Duffy said raising the cap on Social Security taxes is just one option among many being advocated.

"Just because he said it was an option doesn't mean he embraced it," Duffy added.

It might not be called a tax increase, but it amounts to the same thing.

I don't know if this a trial balloon that the White House is using to gauge public reaction. If so, we must respond immediately and very negatively. Republicans have fought every tax increase since Bush I's disastrous 1990 backtrack on his "read my lips" promise. For fifteen years, Republicans have treated tax increases as the poison that they are. There is no possibility of explaining away or apologizing for a tax increase during the next election. James Lileks once wrote that the worst campaign speech begins with the words, "Let me explain why I raised your taxes." Time and time again, tax increases have been voted down overwhelmingly on referenda - even in democratic areas. Time and time again, politicians who vote for tax increases are defeated at the polls.

If Bush agrees or acquiesces to any kind of tax increase (no matter how it is labeled) there will be no possibility of electing a Republican president in 2008. Bush will also jeopardize Republican majorities in the House and Senate. We may very well be about to throw in the towel this year. Get used to the idea of another eight years of President Clinton. The MSM/DNC is already sharpening its knives in anticipation of this blunder - not because it opposes taxes, but because it will relish the opportunity to split the Republicans from their base.

What is most disturbing is the relative silence of the blogosphere about this issue. I am afraid this silence stems from the blogosphere's relative inexperience on domestic/economic issues. Even if you think you don't have enough knowledge of economics to speak out on this issue, don't let that bother you. It doesn't take a genius to oppose tax increases.

If we don't make noise against this idea now, it won't matter what progress we make in the war. President Hillary Clinton will simply undo that progress starting January 2009.
Friday update

Sean Hannity spoke about this issue yesterday on his radio program. He suggested that this might be a trial balloon. He said, "count me out." More of us must do this.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Joe McCarthy and the blogosphere

Numerous bloggers have pointed out the "meme" making the rounds of the MSM/DNC, to the effect that we are engaging in "McCarthyism" by exposing the false statements of MSM/DNC executives like Eason Jordan. Michelle Malkin provides an excellent summary which I will not repeat. Powerline also weighs in.

My point is not to rehash the arguments, but to make a prediction. It won't work this time. The MSM/DNC has always used the strategy of demonizing one person during every political battle as a focal point for their attacks. Anyone who opposes the MSM/DNC official position would thus be linked with "McCarthyism" or Newt Gingrich or Ken Starr. The reason that strategy won't work with the blogosphere is that the blogosphere is too big. There are too many of us. Powerline and LGF average almost 100,000 readers a day, many of whom have their own blogs. Drudge exceeds nine million hits per day. These MSM/DNC attacks sound too much like MSM/DNC is trying to blame or take on the whole world.

Their are too many "devils" for the MSM/DNC to attack. A mass movement needs a specific "devil" in order to rally its followers. MSM/DNC has many of the features of a tyranny-induced mass movement such as the totalitarian movements of the 20th century, but "bloggers" is not a specific enough devil. (Hat tip to Eric Hoffer). MSM/DNC cannot turn hundreds of thousands of ordinary pajama-clad citizens into "Joe McCarthy" for the purpose of rescuing their credibility or protecting their positions.

[And BTW, what was so bad about McCarthy anyway? If you haven't read McCarthy and his Enemies or Treason, don't bother answering. You will be outgunned by the facts.]

If they want to call us bullies, let them. Bullying is the only thing MSM/DNC understands. We should revel in our new label as bullies. STICK TO THE TRUTH AT ALL COSTS, but remember that being bullies will earn us more respect in certain quarters than the truth. Instead of "speaking truth to power" as leftists so smugly say, we will add power to the truth and bring them both to bear on the MSM/DNC.

Garet Garrett, Ayn Rand and Absalom Weaver

I have just finished a post on my much neglected-other blog dedicated to Garet Garrett. My post quotes at length a speech by one of the main character's in Garrett's 1923 novel, Satan's Bushel (BTW, the novel has nothing to do with Satan):
One of the main characters, Absalom Weaver, sits listening to a sales pitch for the local farmers to join a marketing cooperative. At the end of the sales pitch, the farmers persuade Weaver to rise and give his opinion:

. . . He had not yet begun to speak, but he was peering about in the grass, stooping here and there to pluck a bit of vegetation. He walked as far as the fence for a bramble leaf. Returning he snapped a twig from the elm above his head and faced them.

"This towering elm," he began, with an admiring look at the tree, "was once a tiny thing. A sheep might have eaten it at one bite. Every living thing around it was hostile and injurious. And it survived. It grew. It took its profit. It became tall and powerful beyond the reach of its enemies. What preserved it - cooperative marketing? What gave it power - a law from Congress? What gave it fullness - the Golden Rule? On what was its strength founded - a fraternal spirit? You know better. Your instincts tell you no. It saved itself. It found its own greatness. How? By fighting. Did you know that plants fight? If you could only see the deadly, ceaseless warfare among plants this lovely landscape would terrify you. It would make you think man's struggles tame."

"I hold up this leaf from the elm. The reason it is flat and thin is that the peaceable work of its life is to gather nourishment for the tree from the air. Therefore it must have as much surface as possible to touch the air with. But it has another work to do. A grisly work. A natural work, all the same. It must fight. For that use it is pointed at the end as you see and has teeth around the edge - these. The first thing the elm plant does is to grow straight up out of the ground with a spear thrust, its leaves rolled tightly together. Its enemies do not notice it. Then suddenly each leaf spreads itself out and with its teeth attacks other plants; it overturns them, holds them out of the sunlight and drowns them. Marvelous, isn't it? Do you wonder why the elm does not overrun the earth? Because other plants fight back, each in its own way. I show you a blade of grass. It has no teeth. How can it fight? Perhaps it lives by love and sweetness. It does not. It grows very fast by stealth, taking up so little room that nothing else minds, until all at once it is tall and strong enough to throw out blades in every direction and fall upon other plants. It smothers them to death. Then the bramble. I care not for the bramble. Not because it fights. For another reason. Here is its weapon. Besides the spear point and the teeth the bramble leaf you see is in five parts, like one's hand. It is a hand in fact, and one very hard to cast off. When it cannot overthrow and kill an enemy as the elm does, it climbs up his back to light and air, and in fact prefers that opportunity, gaining its profit not in natural combat but in shrewd advantage, like the middleman. Another plant I would like to show you. There is one nearby. Unfortunately it would be inconvenient to exhibit him in these circumstances. His familiar name is honeysuckle. He is sleek, suave, brilliantly arrayed, and you would not suspect his nature, which is that of the preying speculator. Once you are in his toils it is hopeless. The way of this plant is to twist itself round and round another and strangle it."

"This awful strife is universal in plant life. There are no exemptions. Among animals it is not so fierce. They can run from one another. Plants must fight it out where they stand. They must live or die on the spot. Among plants of one kind there is rivalry. The weak fall out and die; the better survive. But all plants of one kind fight alike against plants of all other kinds. That is the law of their strength. A race of plants that had wasted its time waiting for Congress to give it light and air, or for a state bureau with hired agents to organize it by the Golden Rule, or had been persuaded that its interests were in common with those of the consumer, would have disappeared from the earth.

"The farmer is like a plant. He cannot run. He is rooted. He shall live or die on the spot. But there is no plant like a farmer. There are nobles, ruffians, drudges, drones, harlots, speculators, bankers, thieves and scalawags, all these among plants, but no idiots, saying 'How much will you give?' and 'What will you take?' Until you fight as the elm fights, take as the elm takes, think as the elm thinks, you will never be powerful and cannot be wise."

This speech reminded me of the speeches by the characters in Ayn Rand's novels. Ayn Rand became famous by making her political points through fictionalized accounts. She would often have her characters drive home her points with a speech following some inevitable socialist-created disaster. The speeches are powerful. The ultimate testament to their power is the silence with which the "respectable" media greets those speeches. Garrett's novels predate Rand's novels and (some say) influenced Rand.

Read more in my Garet Garrett Blog about Satan's Bushel, Garrett's other political novels and their influence upon Rand. That blog is a work in progress. I expect to write about many of these Garrett issues over the coming months, but the work proceeds slowly.

BTW, Cox and Forkum noted the 100th anniversary of Ayn Rand's birth on February 2, 2005, which I was remiss in failing to note myself.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

General Black Jack Pershing and islamic terror

Click to enlarge. It is worth it.

General Pershing

Pershing's solution may not work because so many of the terrorists blow themselves up while attacking us. Paul Sperry of WorldNetDaily came up with a comprehensive solution in 2001.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Watergate, Deep Throat and the MSM/DNC dead horse beating machine.

Two days ago, I made reference to the left's treatment of Watergate in the years following Richard Nixon's resignation:
Leftists did not leave the playing field after Nixon resigned. They continued to beat the dead horse of Watergate for decades (even as Clinton outdid Watergate during his two terms).

To the left, Watergate is the gift that keeps on giving.

Today, I read a column by John Dean (I couldn't find a link - this was an "old media" column) that suggests that Deep Throat is seriously ill. According to Dean, Deep Throat's obituary has already been written. Deep Throat's death will allow Bob Woodward to reveal his identity publicly.

Why does this matter to anyone (except for Deep Throat, his friends and family)? Because the MSM/DNC is poised to engage in another Watergate feeding frenzy. Once Woodward identifies him publicly, news stories will appear that rehash the entire affair. We will see the same old footage of Nixon waving goodbye at the helicopter. We will see interviews with Woodward, Dean and the rest of the aging cast of characters that the left drags out every time they try to feed at this trough. We will hear that this item serves as "a reminder that Presidents sometimes do lie, as Nixon was caught doing thirty years ago and as some have speculated that Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush have done also." The network talking heads will say
all of this with a straight face and without (of course) mentioning Bill Clinton.

The MSM/DNC needs Watergate. If Watergate did not occur, MSM/DNC would have had to invent it. [Come to think of it, isn't that how the Bush national guard story got started?] Recent elections (both at home and abroad) have left very little for MSM/DNC to celebrate. So it rehashes past victories and revels in the glory days. Watergate and Vietnam. These two events will be served, re-served, salivated over, chewed on, swallowed and digested over and over again in the pages of the MSM/DNC newspapers ad nauseam until the rest of us throw up our hands and let the MSM/DNC run the government again.

In response, we have to do our best to (1) identify the feeding frenzy in advance whenever we see it coming and (2) refocus the nation's attention onto relevant items.

We should also learn from the MSM/DNC's use of Watergate as a political tool. We should use the same tactics to revisit Rathergate, Easongate and all of the coming "gates" at every conceivable opportunity. We should never let an anniversary pass without serious discussion of these items. We should identify September 8th as a blogosphere holiday, worthy of celebration on an annual basis. We should find endless ways to document these stories, including books, interviews with key players, film documentaries, etc. We should interpret every subsequent media related event for its significance in this post Rathergate world.

The difference is, we have something relevant to say whether or not we rehash our old victories. The MSM/DNC does not. But we must rehash our victories anyway so that their significance does not get lost in the endless MSM/DNC Watergate and Vietnam feeding frenzies that are bound to follow in the coming generations.
update - The Dean/Deep Throat story was referenced by the New York Daily News last week. The original Dean column appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

Sunday, February 13, 2005


Listening to the Today show this morning (I really must stop doing that!) it occured to me that bloggers don't write much about economic issues (or non security related domestic issues) very much. The blogosphere has done an excellent job of sharing information and rallying the troops when it comes to:
1) foreign policy/war/terror/Islam/UN
2) politics/elections/election fraud
3) media issues/ Rathergate/ Easongate
4) cultural/social/family issues

But the blogs generally write little about domestic agenda battles, such as government redistribution of wealth/social security/federal spending/deficits. In many ways, we are yielding a great deal of territory to the MSM/DNC. This thought came to me as the Today show shills were presenting (what else?) the latest polls showing that Bush has little support (so far) for his social security proposals. The MSM/DNC is acting like it always has, and we are not responding. I had visions of the 1980's as I listened to the drone of nonsense from the TV.

We can do better than this. If bloggers started talking about the SS crisis, the news would spread to the rest of the country. We don't necessarily need to support Bush' proposal, but we need to start a meaningful discussion of the issue.

At the same time, we need to discuss the real consequences of government wealth redistribution. We need to discuss the dangers of a government takeover of the health care industry. We need to discuss the dangers of big government in general. These issues could be winning issues for Republicans, but we act as if we need only talk about the war. Conservatism is on the right side on all of these domestic issues. Despite this seeming advantage, polls (!?) repeatedly show that most voters place more confidence in Democrats to handle domestic issues. That is true only because we have ceded the playing field in that area.

The real pioneers of the revolution that we now enjoy spoke and wrote deeply of the danger of government growth, government spending and wealth redistribution. Goldwater, Reagan, Gingrich and even Rush Limbaugh seemed and seem to operate on a deeper level than most modern conservatives. They would not have ignited today's conservative movement by speaking only of the more juicy foreign policy issues and the ongoing media bias. They presented (and present) a real alternative, especially on domestic issues.

It is easy to focus only on the widespread examples of Democrat voter fraud or on the latest MSM/DNC outrage. But the deeper issues drive the day-to-day issues. The "index of leading economic indicators" is less important than the government policies that lead millions of Americans to government dependence and, therefore, to vote for the Democrats.

I am not trying to be critical of today's bloggers, I am merely trying to encourage everyone to open up the domestic agenda debate. Here are some posts of mine that try to do just that.

Here are some links to some of the better known blogs. Their posts are important, well-written and timely, but the fact remains that we are leaving our flank open on domestic issues.

I do this for the purpose of (1) illustrating the discussions going on in the blogosphere today and (2) shamelessly trying to attract traffic here so that someone might read this post and start talking about economic issues.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Barry Bonds, ABC radio and Social Security reform

When one hears a human voice on the radio, one expects the speaker to have certain characteristics in common with most humans. One expects a certain degree of reasonableness, honesty and a semblance of human logic. That is why it is so difficult for many of us to get used to the bias that so prevails in the MSM/DNC. The MSM/DNC assumes the form of human faces and voices. It is hard for us to conceive of those voices pursuing an agenda that is destructive and vicious. Yet that is what we find when we take a few minutes to contemplate the agenda that lies behind most network news broadcasts.

Case in point - a recent ABC "top of the hour" 5 minute news radio broadcast. The network announcer cited some bureaucrat that believed we could ignore the Bush SS reform package because the issue could be solved much more simply - by taxing a higher portion of workers' earnings. Of course, most listeners would instinctively be opposed to higher taxes in any form. So the announcer threw in a MSM/DNC inspired comment, to the effect that this new alternative would mean only that "Barry Bonds" would be finished paying his FICA on "January 3rd instead of January 2nd".

ABC's use of symbolism was brilliant.

Nevermind that we all know that such a proposal would directly affect many more people than Barry Bonds. Nevermind that those directly affected would reduce their investments, hiring, business expansion, etc. Nevermind that ABC completely glossed over the actual effects of such a proposal.

What is fascinating is the extent to which ABC would go to mislead the listener. The propogandist that wrote that newscopy specifically chose Barry Bonds as the bogeyman that would bear the brunt of the anti-Bush SS proposal. The writer didn't choose a popular rich person like Oprah or some entertainer. The writer didn't choose a politically controversial rich person, such as a Kennedy or a politically active actor. The writer didn't choose Michael Jackson or Ted Turner. Any of those names would have clouded the issue with unrelated controversy.

Instead, the writer chose a baseball player who is mildly controversial only because of baseball related issues - steroids, attitude, etc. By placing the burden of the MSM/DNC anti-Bush alternative-of-the-week on a mildly unpopular ball player, ABC displayed great finesse. The listener would be led to believe that no great shakeup need occur. We need only a quick fine-tuning. Barry Bonds will pay one more day of FICA taxes and our retirement is secure. What could be safer and more harmless?

What is so ominous about this short broadcast is the obvious careful effort that was undertaken to achieve the maximum manipulative effect. The MSM/DNC has become quite masterful at packing a great wallop into one or two sentences. What is more ominous about this and other broadcasts is the goal of the MSM/DNC. ABC's writers spent so much effort solely for the purpose of creating confusion so as to prevent reform that could avert a financial catastrophe. We know the catastrophe is coming. What is the motivation behind those who would use confusion to undermine efforts to prevent the catastrophe? I am not writing about those who merely disagree over the correct solution. I am writing specifically about those who use clever language and careful symbolism to mislead the public into acquiescence. Open debate is fine. What ABC does bears no resemblance to open debate.

The question is, how well will those tactics continue to work in the age of the new media?

Easongate - another blogosphere victory (?)

So far I have written nothing about the Easongate affair - the incident where the CNN chief news executive (Eason Jordan) resigned in disgrace after falsely claiming that American soldiers are murdering journalists in Iraq. Others have covered this matter very thoroughly, including La Shawn Barber and Michelle Malkin.

But today's commentary from around the blogosphere provides insight into what all of this means. Powerline summarizes the methods by which the blogosphere can force the MSM/DNC to acknowledge an issue:

Given its lack of desire to report the news objectively, only two things can motivate the MSM to report stories that are embarrassing to liberals. The first is the desire to spin the story and the second is the desire not to be embarrassed itself. Both motives kick in only after a story has gained a considerable amount of buzz, but it's clear that blogs can generate that buzz in certain cases.

The first motive, a far stronger one, was missing in the case of Jordan in part because Jordan didn't provide the MSM with anything to work with (like an apology). The second motive wasn't strong enough to propel the story, although it might eventually have been. But the fact that that Jordan is gone without any MSM involvement means that both motives should have greater force in the future. Indeed, the lesson of the Jordan affair and the Swiftvets is that if the MSM wants a say it must jump in quickly once the blogosphere buzz reaches a certain threshold. If instead it resorts to "rope-a-dope", it will be left to lament after the fact, David Gergen style, that the blogosphere, through its shrillness, has taken down a long-time star over one mistake. (In realilty, Jordan should have been ousted for covering up Saddam Hussein's atrocities).

It is just as important to note that this affair does not represent the same kind of victory as did Rathergate. The MSM/DNC never acknowledged the story in the first place:
As of yesterday, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and USA Today had not carried a staff-written story, and the CBS, NBC and ABC nightly news programs had not reported the matter. It was discussed on several talk shows on Fox News, MSNBC and CNBC. [Powerline citing the Washington Post - ed].
As of today, Kurtz himself has yet to report Jordan's earlier libel of the American military in Lisbon last November that Captain Ed reported and that is in fact an essential element of this story.

Hindrocket adds:
If, like most people, you relied on the conventional media for your news, you would not only be late to the party, you would have no idea what is going on--your first knowledge of anything out of the ordinary would be Jordan's resignation. Assuming even that will be reported. It would be an interesting assignment: trying to write a story on Jordan's resignation for a paper that has not heretofore covered the controversy. If Jordan had just announced he wanted to spend more time with his family, he would have made their task easier.

Rathergate was a substantial victory because the world now knows that CBS lied in order to influence the election. But in this case, few people know that the CNN news chief lied in order to smear the military. Few people know that the MSM/DNC became willing accomplices to this lie by doing everything possible to keep a lid on the story and squelch a growing blogosphere buzz.

Had Jordan not resigned, the buzz would have continued to grow until this story spilled into the mainstream. At that point, the new media victory would have been complete regardless of whether Jordan resigned or not. There is no way that the MSM/DNC would have allowed another network to be publicly exposed like CBS just five months after Rathergate broke. The Jordan "resignation" was a last ditch effort to preempt such a disaster for the MSM/DNC. My recommendation is for the new media, blogosphere, talk radio, etc. to continue talking about the issue until the MSM/DNC acknowledges what happened and why. Our focus should remain on the fact that the MSM/DNC became a willing accomplice to a smear of our soldiers and continues to hide the full story. This story is far from over.

We have a weapon that we did not have before yesterday. Jordan's resignation is the equivalent of Nixon's resignation in 1974. Nixon was convicted of nothing and not technically "removed" from office or even impeached. But Nixon's resignation served to give finality to the issue, so that his opponents could point to the equivalent of a "finish line" or a "box score". With the resignation, Nixon (and now Jordan) left the playing field and stopped fighting. Leftists did not leave the playing field after Nixon resigned. They continued to beat the dead horse of Watergate for decades (even as Clinton outdid Watergate during his two terms). We shouldn't leave the playing field either. Just because our opponent has walked away doesn't mean we have scored any points. The "resignation" is an attempt to quit the game at halftime.

But it takes two to quit.

With the issue still relatively obscure, we must take the story to the public until Easongate is as famous as Rathergate. I don't know how exactly that will be done [here are some ideas], but we know that blogged stories do have a way of getting into the mainstream if we keep the pressure on. We have a box score to point to. We have a result. Jordan's resignation is an admission of wrongdoing. CNN has a black eye. Nothing can make this result disappear [even though the MSM/DNC can try to hide it until it becomes old news]. We can build on this result as we take the next step. The MSM/DNC can no longer deny the facts, it can only ignore them - and it can do so only if we stop talking about Easongate.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Kim Jong - Il, Jong-Chol, Ko Yong-Hi, Jang Song-Taek and the rest of that crazy cast of North Korean characters.

North Korea's media confirmed this week that Kim Jong-Il is preparing to transfer power to one of his sons. It is not yet clear which son. It is also not yet clear when the transfer will take place.

This revelation follows months of unusual events in North Korea, leading to speculation that something unusual was in the wind. See my previous posts here and here.

Whatever the case, I am sure we haven't gotten the full story. Transfers of power in communist countries are often shrouded in mystery, preceeded by months (or even years) of speculation or precipitated by sudden crises that the authorities refuse to acknowledge - very much like the transfer of the anchor chair at CBS News.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Social Security update

The Democrats seem to have taken the position that there is no crisis. If we had any worries about the way historians will treat today's MSM/DNC, the MSM/DNC's latest position on SS should resolve those fears. All we need to do is expose the MSM/DNC position on SS for what it is, and the MSM/DNC can't help but look foolish in a decade or two. The trouble is, what to do in the meantime to expose the crisis.

old sources and the memory hole

I can recall news reports or cartoons decades ago featuring the Roman style columns that symbolize the SS system. The columns were depicted as crumbling. Someone had to think there was a crisis in order to use that image in discussing the issue. I can't remember where I saw that depiction, but it was a mainstream source.

I also remember that Ronald Reagan gave a speech warning about the dangers to the SS system as far back as 1964. He gave this speech (and others) in support of Goldwater. I don't know where to find a copy, but it would be worth hearing now that the issue has been brought to the forefront.

I can remember numerous network broadcasts in the late 1970's and early 1980's that discussed the number of workers that were needed to support one SS recipient. Each of these newscasts made a point of telling us that the number of workers paying into the system was rapidly declining. It would provide tremendous historical context if the networks could pull out their videotapes of those broadcasts. The crisis would appear to be progressing on a continuing basis over several decades - which it most certainly is. But then again, they wouldn't be doing their part for the MSM/DNC if they did that. Consider the hollowness of their own claims to be "journalists" when they relegate their own past work to the memory hole - all for the sake of political gain for the MSM/DNC.

other voices

Check out this link, in which a poster notes my warnings about the potential government abuses of government control of mutual funds through privitization. The poster compares that scenario with the California public employee retirement system, where the same thing is apparently happening on a smaller scale. Be prepared for some strong and foul (but accurate) language.

Sherri has done her homework. Check it out.

As one commenter pointed out, Hillary's position on this issue should be interesting. She will, of course, take a safe route. But if President Bush gains traction in his calls for reform, Hillary will join the fray and advocate her own reform package. She will not get to be President by pretending that nothing is wrong. She may very well advocate some form of "privatization" - much like she pretends to oppose illegal immigration. She is pretending to move to the right. This issue may provide her with an opportunity. But be warned. Any "privatization" that takes place with Hillary's blessing will involve massive government investment in private stocks and mutual funds. She will achieve that government takeover of the economy of which she always dreamed.

The best source for the real context in which we should consider SS was provided by Garet Garrett in The People's Pottage. While I don't recall what Garrett said specifically about SS, I know that his discussion of the role of the New Deal in erasing our freedoms was very powerful. SS and the other big government programs have rendered us dependant and robbed us of our individuality. This crisis was inevitable. One cannot understand any massive government spending program without understanding Garrett's work.

You might want to check out my Garet Garrett blog. If I ever stop neglecting it, it will become a source of information for anyone who wants to know how the U.S. arrived at to this point in history. SS is only one piece of a very large puzzle.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Social Security "privatization"?

I have not seen many comments on the proposal for social security privatization. I think it is best to get in front of this issue now before the momentum carries us in an irreversible direction.

The best solution would be for the government to admit that this whole Ponzi scheme was a bad idea in the first place and put an end to the whole mess. We all know that won't happen. The government will go on with its illegal pyramid scheme, committing the kind of fraud that would land you or I in jail if we tried it ourselves. [If the social security system had been created today, it would have to be introduced to the American people via a mass e-mail from a Nigerian refugee.]

Given that the government will not abolish one of the biggest domestic mistakes of the 20th century, will halfway reform meaures do any good? Are those measures needed to prevent the situation from getting worse?

It is obvious that the Social Security system is bankrupt. Now. Not someday in the future. We don't have to wait until 2018, 2042 or any other year to find that out.

There is no social security "fund" - as I am sure you already know if you are not at the mercy of the MSM/DNC for your information. The government does not keep your payments for you until you retire. They take your money and give it away immediately. If you are a student, calmly try to explain to your professors or teachers that the FICA money that the government has taken out of their paychecks for many years has already been spent. "Social Security" money will be available for them only if we stop aborting babies and allow them to grow up to be victims of this pyramid scheme. If you don't have a teacher or professor, write a letter explaining all of this, in simple two syllable words, to your newspaper or congressman.

Now to answer the question. President Bush' version of privatization may make things worse. True privatization would be an improvement only if we could invest the money where and how we choose - and had to live with the consequences. The minute the government starts telling us where to invest the money, the system will be out of control. President Bush offered to place limitations on the investments so that such investments would be safe and conservative. Such limitations might be minor and unobtrusive at first, but the limitations - and the government's investment role - would eventually grow through the years. The limitations upon where the money could be invested would eventually be intertwined with politics.

Imagine these issues arising after the inception of the "privatization" program:

- "We can't allow workers to invest their Social Security money in that mutual fund. That fund contains tobacco company stocks. The government should not be funding the tobacco industry."

- "We can't allow workers to invest their SS money in that mutual fund. That fund contains stocks of foreign companies that compete with American manufacturers. The AFL-CIO would never forgive us."

- "We can't allow workers to invest their SS money in that mutual fund. That fund contains stocks of companies that do not have sufficiently enviromentally friendly policies."

- "We can't allow workers to invest their SS money in any mutual fund that holds stocks of companies that have not paid sufficient payoffs to Jesse Jackson as a result of some trumped up protest."

- "That company used to be run by the Vice-President. The mutual fund must sell it off or we will force the SS administration to divest all holdings of that fund. It is a conflict of interest."

- "Divest Now!"

If Hillary Clinton becomes president, the entire SS fund would be invested in Tyson Foods and the MSM/DNC would utter no protest. During Republican administrations, MSM/DNC would comb the earth in search of mythical conflicts of interest. Every court nominee will be delayed pending accusations of conflicts between the candidate's private investments and those that the SS administration allows.

What is worse than the endless political squabbles will be the government's newfound ability to control the economy. I know it already exercises tremendous control, but the ability to control billions of dollars in investment will make the current controls seem minor. The government will have the ability to make certain companies' stock price soar while others tumble. Whether companies fail or succeed will have nothing to do with quality and everything to do with political pressure and influence. What is left of American manufacturing will leave our shores. There is no surer way to socialism.

This scenario can be avoided only if the workers are free to invest their portion of the FICA "contribution" as they see fit. They can be free to be as risky as they please. They can invest in companies that pollute, use slave labor in Latin America, outsource, celebrate Christmas or any of the other MSM/DNC taboos. Anything less is not true privatization. Any restrictions will lead to further restrictions and the nightmare scenario will be upon us.

My prediction is that this country will not display the political will to maintain the "privatization" part of the whole reform. We will knuckle under to a few controls for the sake of political expediency. All of this was inevitable in 1935. President Bush was wrong about one thing last night. Some disaster was forseeable when SS was enacted. FDR may not have known when the clock would strike midnight or what form the disaster would take, but it did not take a genius to know the inevitable consequences of Ponzi schemes. FDR simply did not care.

As long as the government administers some massive program costing trillions of dollars and on which millions grow to depend, there is no way to manage the program forever without some financial catastrophe. The best use of our time in this debate would be to advocate ways in which the program can be phased out with the least amount of pain.

We may not be successful in that endeavor, but we will cause some people to think. We can open a few eyes. The new media has enough clout to shift the focus of the debate to a certain degree.

Let us borrow a concept from W's state of the union address. The fall of the Berlin Wall seemed like nothing more than a dream in 1979. No one dared to dream of free elections in Iraq and Afghanistan prior to September 11, 2001. A Republican controlled House, Senate and White House (at the same time) had not even reached the status of being a "dream" in 1993. The idea that average citizens could bring down a biased news network using nothing more than their PC's would never have seemed possible prior to 2004.

Yet all of these things came to pass. We may yet see the day when America is free of the Social Security doomsday scenarios that have lurked in the shadows and dampened our future aspirations for more than a generation.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, etc.

My purpose in including those individuals in the title is not simply to attract google traffic (but that is a good reason).

I have been meaning to post this item for more than a month. After listening to the above talk radio hosts over the holidays, I came to the conclusion that conservatives have a deep bench. Each of those talk show hosts was on vacation for part or all of the Christmas/New Year holiday season. Each of them had guest hosts. The guest hosts were at least as conservative as the regular hosts.

They may not have been as entertaining, but they performed well. It is possible that some of them may have opted to sound conservative out of opportunism. Even if that is true, that possibility reflects the growing strength of the new media.

Conservative talk radio shows this strength at the same time that CBS has difficulty finding a replacement for Dan Rather. This difficulty reflects the unique circumstances of television as well as the MSM/DNC broadcast requirements. MSM/DNC TV focuses on style, propaganda and image over truth and substance. Television requires attractiveness. CBS must find someone attractive and stylish enough to make MSM/DNC propaganda palatable.

Talk radio doesn't have that problem. Talk radio focuses on facts and ideology. Facts speak for themselves in the absence of a MSM/DNC media monopoly such as existed in the 1970's. As long as we remain focused on the issues instead of style or short term popularity, our bench will become deeper.

I couldn't resist this one. . . .

Many blogs have thorougly parodied the terrorist kidnapping of G.I. Joe. Scrappleface has suggested that G.I. Joe was rescued by a Bush doll, while Powerline speculates on the capture of Mr. Bill, Elmo and the Pink Panther. The commenters at LGF have posted too many examples to mention. TCS suggests that G.I. Joe was betrayed by slinky. [Hat tip to Harpist for the link.]

Powerline notes the tremendous propoganda victory this represents in the War on Terror:
The terrorists need, more than anything else, to be seen as awesome, terrible figures. If they stop inspiring fear, they are finished. So the one thing they cannot stand is ridicule. I would think that by tomorrow, their pathetic effort to pass a doll off as a captured American soldier will have made them laughingstocks throughout the Arab world.

In the spirit of the moment, I would like to suggest that G.I. Joe could be rescued by none other than the Ann Coulter doll:

I wonder what the 'Arab world' would have to say about that.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Korea - part II.

See my previous post (November) on developments in Korea here.

The Times of London, via California Yankee, has an update. It appears that governments around the world are preparing for a change in Korean leadership. The Times story discusses assassinations and assassination attempts. The Times also speculates on Kim's possible loss of power to "a clique of generals and party cadres."

My earlier post discussed the removal of Kim's posters around Pyongyang and a sudden apparent tolerance for dissent.

It's far too early to celebrate, but the story is worth watching. The collapse of the North Korean government would remove whatever reason for living American leftists still have.

A blogging tip from La Shawn Barber

La Shawn Barber points out something I should have realized sooner:

Do you know why I put names in the blog titles? Besides the obvious reason, I do it because Google loves blogs. In the next day or two, that name will be one of the most searched on the web, and a lot of those searchers will be landing right here.

From now on, you will see more names in my titles.

I like her idea, but I think she picked a bad example on which to use it.

As if we needed another example . . . .

As if to prove my point about referring to DNC/MSM as a singular noun, a Dean contributor has written an article for the Minneapolis Star containing false allegations about Powerline. Just like the rest of the MSM/DNC, this "reporter" did not reveal her political affiliations and pretended to be a real journalist.

Actually, this item is only the latest in a series of outrageous items that have appeared in the Minneapolis Star attacking Powerline. My own theory is that the MSM/DNC is collecting ammunition so that the next time Powerline exposes a Rathergate, the MSM/DNC can try to dismiss Powerline as a blog "that has been repeatedly researched and discredited by their local newspaper." It won't matter that the stories are admittedly false. By the time MSM/DNC launches its full assault on Powerline, those false stories will have aged and will form the mosaic of history that DNC/MSM will try to rely on. Old habits die hard.
BTW, I know I am probably not using the Star's complete name. I just don't feel their full name is worth researching. They should get a blog, get some balance and get a clue. Then maybe I will learn their full name. Their article is worth commenting on only to make a point about the MSM/DNC as a whole.

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