Sunday, August 28, 2005

So NOW It's Wrong To Exploits Soldiers' Deaths

The mainstream press is finally outraged over the exploitation of soldiers' deaths for political purposes. Of course, it's not the anti-war explotation offends, or their own. It's Fred Phelps that's got them mad.

"Members of a church say God is punishing American soldiers for defending a country that harbors gays, and they brought their anti-gay message to the funerals Saturday of two Tennessee soldiers killed in Iraq.

The church members carried signs and shouted things such as "God hates fags" and "God hates you."

I do not doubt that Al Gore's old buddy Fred Phelps means it, but in his own sick way, he's pointing out the disgusting practice of using funerals for political purposes.

I don't remember similar outrage when Pennesylvannia's Lt. Governor did much the same thing.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Michael Moore's (And The New York Times') Sock Puppet

A few weeks ago, I could not have imagined that the mainstream media could have exhibited any more vulgarity than Fox News has with its Natalee Holloway coverage. But, with the Cindy Sheehan saga, it has managed to do just that.
During periods when the news is slow, the media will essentially create news to attract viewers and readers, and keep advertising revenues up. In the old days, big city newspapers would concoct “crime waves.” The everyday, background crime rate would suddenly be exaggerated, just as Fox News routinely does with missing pretty girls. Natalee Holloway vanished at a fortuitous time for Fox, at the beginning of the summer when news is slowing down. Scott Peterson did Fox a similar favor by murdering his wife during the Christmas vacation lull.
In a prior year, the news media chose to fabricate a wave of shark attacks, even though the number of such incidents was just about average. Newsweek and Time magazine both came out with midsummer editions highlighting the summer of the shark.
This has been a slow summer too. Aside from its running body count, the media has lost interest in the Iraq war. There are hurricanes to report, but where’s the controversy? The same thing goes for forest fires. The darned things burn every summer and everyone is against forest fires.
So, when a showboating and supposedly grieving Cindy Sheehan showed up in Crawford, Texas demanding a second meeting with President Bush so that she could extract an explanation for her Marine son’s death, a bored midsummer media saw a chance to create news and advance their anti-Bush agenda.
One would think that Cindy Sheehan is the only grieving mother who lost a son in Iraq. She’s the only one getting attention.
What really makes this so vulgar is the way that Cindy Sheehan is being exploited. She’s essentially Michael Moore and George Soros’ sock puppet, spouting all the clichés. When she slips up and says something particularly offensive, the media acts as her public relations firm and edits her words to protect her credibility.
Did you know, for example, that Cindy Sheehan said that we invaded Iraq to do Israel’s business? Those darned Jews! This bit of wisdom drew former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke to her cause.
Recently, Cindy Sheehan called terrorists, “freedom fighters.” In her twisted worldview, her son was the invader and guys who set off the bombs are not terrorists after all. America really is the enemy.
The media has even gone so far as to fabricate scenarios that cover up for her previous contradictions. A recent Associate Press article contained this beauty: ‘Sheehan and other grieving families met with Bush about two months after her son died last year, before reports of faulty prewar intelligence surfaced and caused her to become a vocal opponent of the war.”
Now, the reporter who wrote that is either incredibly stupid or a bald-faced liar. The timeline is entirely wrong. The faulty intelligence the reporter refers to was demonstrated to be wrong long before Sheehan’s first meeting with the president. And Sheehan’s antiwar activities predate her son’s death.
This same reporter once tried to justify Cindy Sheehan’s coarse ventriloquism of her dead son: “I know my son better than anyone else. I don’t want anymore of my buddies killed just because I’m dead,” she said. “I know when it’s my time to greet him, he’s going to say ‘Good job, Mom.’ He’s not going to accuse me of dishonoring his memory.”
The reporter worked to create this illusion that her son also opposed the war by claiming that Casey Sheehan enlisted never imagining that he would see combat. In truth, he had just reenlisted in 2004, just days before being killed. But, reporting that would have exposed Cindy Sheehan for the fraud she is.
Casey Sheehan was a hero. We all owe him a debt. And that debt is to make his sacrifice meaningful by winning. It’s tragic every time we lose one of these incredibly brave, selfless men in battle. But, it’s worth placing it in context. The facts are that, in an average year, 1286 U.S. servicemen die in accidents and other causes associated with their service. Peace is just about as dangerous as war these days. But, the press will never tell you that. It doesn’t sell advertising.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Churchill Must Go

The Rocky Mountain News editorial page congratulates the University of Colorado's review committee for determining that there is merit to charges of academic misconduct against Ward Churchill, although they snicker at the four months required to reach that conclusion. Now, the University begins step two of the incredibly protracted process of the investigation.
The Rocky Mountain News offers the university its services and suggests a remedy.

"This ludicrously protracted process could be compressed, by the way, if the committees would simply review a series of articles published in this newspaper in early June. There investigators will discover chapter and verse on how Churchill gradually appropriated a 1972 environmental document as his own, how he invented facts surrounding the 1836 epidemic among the Mandan Indians, how he misrepresented the Dawes Act, and how he reproduced as his own parts of a 1992 essay by Professor Fay Cohen - just to mention four examples of academic misconduct.

By all means, let the academics double-check the research. It's sound, and it points in but one direction.

Churchill must go."

Monday, August 22, 2005

Getting Desperate

Apparently, John Edwards one note song (Two Americas) is losing what little traction it ever had and now he's sinking into depths he considered off limits - the exploitation of his own son's death. And why not? He has never shown the slightest compuncton about exploiting the death of other people's children, a list that now includes Casey Sheehan, whose mother continues to act as Michael Moore's handpuppet by denigrating her fallen son's service and sacrifice to his country.

"Throughout his campaign for president and then vice president in 2004, former Sen.
John Edwards of North Carolina made it clear that the death of his teenage son in a car accident was off-limits, not for discussion in a political context.

But now his wife, Elizabeth, has sent an e-mail to supporters voicing a connection she shares with Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq. As Sheehan was camped near President Bush's Texas ranch, protesting the war, Edwards called on her own family's backers to support Sheehan."

Last Democratic Issue Goes Poof!

Tell me one thing Democrats are for.
If you said that Democrats are for using unborn babies as sources of stem cells for medical research, then you were right.
But, now, that's obsolete. Researchers at Harvard have managed to "reprogram" skin cells to revert back to embryonic stem stells.

"Since the new stem cells in this technique are essentially rejuvenated versions of a person's own skin cells, the DNA in those new stem cells matches the DNA of the person who provided the skin cells. In theory at least, that means that any tissues grown from those newly minted stem cells could be transplanted into the person to treat a disease without much risk that they would be rejected, because they would constitute an exact genetic match."

The whole debate was phony anyway. Adult stem cells always showed more promise than embryonic cells. And now, embryonic stem cells are nowheresville, just like Democrats.

Oops! I forgot. Liberals are for abortion.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Consider the Disrespected Norseman

Why can’t Norsemen get any respect? If any tribe deserves the obeisance of the NCAA, it should be the Vandals. Who, after all, among the Vandal tribe gave permission to the University of Idaho to make a caricature of their culture? And, has any tribe ever had its good name more, well, vandalized? After all, if one “Dutches,” chocolate, it’s considered an improvement upon the product. A French kiss is quite intimate. But, to vandalize something, well that’s criminal.
However, when the arbiters of all that is good and decent, namely the National Collegiate Athletic Association executive committee, saw fit to ban specific ethnic names as team mascots, those deep thinkers failed to consider the sensibilities of descendents of that fabled tribe of Norsemen, known today as the Vandals.
They also overlooked the Irish. At least two schools use Irish nicknames. The “Fighting Irish” of Notre Dame is just fine with the politically correct crowd that chose to ban such names as the “Seminoles” of Florida State University, even though the Seminole tribe approves.
I have a trace of Irish in my blood and I’m not all that easy to offend. Nevertheless, I’m not at all sure I approve of having those few drops of Irish ancestry represented by a caricature of a pugnacious leprechaun. But, the NCAA seems unbothered. Saint Mary’s College in California calls itself the Gaels. Again, nobody seems concerned about that.
The real Irish don’t even seem particularly bothered by the Syracuse Orangemen. The Orangemen in Ireland are a particularly provocative, and even violent association of Irish Protestants. If anyone should complain about a mascot, it should be Irish Catholics who should find the name Orangemen offensive.
Vikings and Scots, also known as “Highlanders,” manage to serve as mascots without anyone getting especially bothered. Although Sonoma State University in California recently abolished its “Cossacks” mascot in deference to offended sensibilities, even though the offended parties were not Russians, but the descendents of races that had been victims of long ago Cossack rampages.
What the NCAA and all the chronically indignant weenies who complain about the use of Indian nicknames seem incapable of grasping is that, it’s an honor to be selected as a mascot. A team chooses a mascot because it hopes to live up to the reputation of that mascot. The cougar, not the pussycat, represents Washington State University. WSU also wisely passed on calling itself the possums or the skunks. Ewedub just as wisely chose not to take the field as the French Poodles or the Chihuahuas.
There are exceptions of course. Evergreen State College in Washington has elected to call itself the “Geoducks.” Although the geoduck is quite a large (and tasty) species of clam, it’s not considered especially fierce and no opponent of Evergreen state would be particularly intimidated by the prospect of engaging a bivalve mollusk in single combat.
The University of California at Santa Cruz marches onto the athletic field as the “Banana Slugs.” Again, bananas slugs are pretty big, as slugs go, but few opponents will quiver at the prospect of being slimed.
It’s just as well that neither school places much emphasis on sports. As I recall, Evergreen engages only in intramural ultimate Frisbee games and bong smoking competitions, while UC Santa Cruz fields the nation’s only division one flag burning team.
Some years ago, whiny white liberals shamed Eastern Michigan into changing its mascot from the Hurons to the Golden Eagles, much to the surprise of the Huron tribe who very much approved of the university’s use of its tribal name.
The fact is that by condemning Indian nicknames as “hostile and abusive,” the NCAA’s executive committee did not so much make fools of itself as it exposed its membership for the fools they are. By banning only Indian nicknames they portrayed Indians as being excessively sensitive and themselves as particularly ignorant. If Indian nicknames are so offensive that they should be banned, then should not Irish, Norwegian, and Scottish nicknames also be banned?
The thing is, the NCAA knows that it is in fact an honor to have one’s tribe chosen as a mascot and they are simply bowing before the alter of political correctness. Considering how the NCAA requires the exploitation of young athletes, it’s a hollow facade of compassion.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Washington Post Caves To The Left

The Washington Post has decided to yield to the Michael Moores of the world and has withdrawn its support for a memorial service for victims of the September 11, 2001 Al Qaida attacks on the Pentagon, which kill scores of area citizens.

"Post news employees are subject to disciplinary action for participating in political activities that may be perceived as revelatory of personal opinions or bias," said a resolution passed earlier yesterday by the leadership of The Post unit of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild. "The Washington Post itself should be held to the same high standard. . . . The Guild supports The Post's stated intention of honoring the nation's veterans, including those who have served in Iraq. But the Post undermines this goal by lending its support to a political event that links the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to the war in Iraq -- a link that The Post, in its reporting, has shown to be false."

Grant acknowledged the negative reaction that the paper's initial stance received but said managers also began to reconsider the nature of the event.

"There was some criticism," he said, "but just as important was the fact that there seemed to be an increased possibility that the event could become politicized."

Peace activist Bill Dobbs yesterday welcomed the Post's change of heart.

"The reason why this was the right thing to do is that the press needs to have an arm's-length relationship with the government to hold them accountable," said Dobbs, a spokesman for United for Peace and Justice, a national coalition participating in three days of antiwar activities -- also including a concert and march -- scheduled to begin Sept. 24. "This is a victory for . . . people who cherish The Post's reputation."

He's right. The Post's reputation has always been that of a left wing rag. And that reputation is safe.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Still, He Writhes

With so many much more important stories around, Ward ("Little Eichmans) Churchill has largely returned to the obscurity he deserves. However, the University of Colorado has an opportunity to restore its academic credibility by dismissing this fat piece of crap, and just interviewed Churchill as part of its investigation into accusations of plagiarism and academic fraud.

"The University of Colorado's research-misconduct committee quizzed professor Ward Churchill behind closed doors Wednesday about plagiarism and copyright allegations raised by a newspaper.

Churchill, accompanied by his wife and attorney, spent about an hour in the secret meeting held in the basement of CU's Regent Hall.

Churchill's attorney, David Lane, said members of the faculty committee asked a "couple of questions to fulfill their duties" but were not really concerned about the allegations leveled in June by the Rocky Mountain News.

"We noted an objection to having to defend allegations printed in the newspaper," he said."

Friday, August 05, 2005

Vive Le Tour

Le Tour will always begin and end in France. But henceforth, it will culturally be more American than French. It’s common knowledge that Lance Armstrong won the last seven Tours de France. But that’s only the beginning. When one includes Greg Lemond in the late 80’s, Americans have won 10 of the last 20 tours. And in this last tour, Americans wore the yellow jersey, recognizing the race’s overall leader, on 20 of the tour’s 21 stages.
And, while cycling remains a fairly minor sport in this country, the Americans who do compete on the European circuit succeed disproportionately to their numbers. In this year’s tour, only eight of the 189 riders who started were American. But four of them were their team’s top rider. Aside from the Lance Armstrong-led Discovery Channel team, three other teams in the tour were captained by Americans – Phonak led by Floyd Landis, Gerolsteiner led by Levi Leipheimer, and Saunier Duval-Prodir by Chris Horner. If he were not serving a suspension, Tyler Hamilton would have been some team’s number one rider. Aside from Horner, one thing all these Americans have in common is that they once were teammates of Lance Armstrong.
Additionally, a number of the tour’s other top riders, even if they are of European or South American origins, learned the American way by serving an apprenticeship under Armstrong on the former United States Postal Service. Some now are team leaders themselves.
Americans excel at the tour the new-fashioned way – they outwork their opponents. Other teams spend more money than Discovery. But nobody else spends effort more wisely. Other teams work hard, but historically work most at what they already do best. The American way is to concentrate upon and improve upon weaknesses. Lance Armstrong and his acolytes have raised the level of the tour by changing the way it is done. It’s not coincidental that 2005 was the fastest tour ever, breaking the record set just two years ago. In all the tour’s history, the average speed has exceeded 40 kilometers per hour just five times. And all five were won by Lance Armstrong.
Americans have also put their stamp on the equipment. In 1989, Greg Lemond entered the penultimate stage, an individual time trial, well behind Frenchman Laurent Fignon. He rolled out of the start box wearing an aerodynamic helmet and riding a bike with steer horn handlebars. These were familiar to the world of American triathlon, but this represented the first appearance of either in the tour. Fignon, along with all the other riders that day, eschewed the enhanced equipment. Fignon rolled out helmetless, preferring to show off his long, blonde hair, and labored over his traditional drop handlebars. He lost the tour by a mere 8 seconds. Better bars or an aerodynamic helmet would almost certainly have carried Fignon to a tour victory that day. Today, all riders take advantage of the innovations Lemond introduced that day, in spite of European efforts to impose stagnation upon bicycle construction and design.
The tour has always been culturally Luddite. For generations, European cycling resisted equipment evolution. It was years after their invention before rear derailleurs were allowed on tour bikes. To this very day, the French-dominated International Cycling Union (UCI) continues to impose restrictions upon bicycle design. Nevertheless, American and Italian engineers have managed to work around the restrictions and have improved the equipment by incorporating the latest high tech composites and exotic alloys. Most of the fastest designs ever created gather cobwebs as they have been outlawed by the UCI. Even so, today many bikes employ carbon composites and super spherical ceramic bearings. Supposedly, the time trial bikes ridden by the CSC team cost $25,000 apiece.
Rumor has it that some very exotic ceramic frames are under development. One wonders what roadblocks the UCI will concoct to keep those off the roads.
The fast pace of innovation in the American cycling industry has attracted quite a number of this country’s aerospace engineers to apply their educations to bicycle design.
It’s unlikely that an American will be wearing the yellow jersey when the peloton rolls onto the Champs-Elysées in 2006. But the rider will be someone who was deeply influenced in his training methods by Armstrong and his coach, Chris Carmichael. And, the bike he sits on will be based upon American engineering.
Vivé Le Tour de America.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Global Warming - Solved

The free market is well on its way to achieving what the Kyoto Treaty never would have - a reduction in CO2 emissions.