A 14-year-old girl in Bangladesh has been executed by flogging. Her crime: being raped.
President Obama yesterday received an award for transparency, in a secret ceremony. I swear I am not making this up.
It’s funny, with all the outrages committed by our government, that something as petty as this could make me so angry. And yet it does.
(Via the Corner.)
The morality of the Arab League (paraphrased):
The Golan Heights—0.65% of Syria’s land mass—is in Israel’s usurping hands. So fire away at those protesters! Asad has a license.
Rafael Medoff, a Holocaust scholar, has uncovered US government documents that shed new light on Franklin Roosevelt’s policy toward Jews. The SS St. Louis incident — in which nearly a thousand Jews fleeing Europe were denied asylum in the United States and sent back to Europe, where many of them were murdered — was no aberration. FDR was an anti-Semite.
The documents, which were publicized last week by former New York mayor Ed Koch, are the record of a meeting in Casablanca between Roosevelt and the notorious French general Auguste Noguès. In the wake of the Allied landings in North Africa, the Vichy government had released most of the Jews from their concentration camps, and Noguès wanted to know how much of the Jews’ civil liberties must be restored. The record (page 608) relates Roosevelt’s response:
It was also stated that the Jews, especially those in Algeria, had raised the point that they wish restored to them at once the right of suffrage. The President stated that the answer to that was very simple, namely, that there weren’t going to be any elections, so the Jews need not worry about the privilege of voting.
Mr. Murphy remarked that the Jews in North Africa were very much disappointed that “the war for liberation” had not immediately resulted in their being given their complete freedom. The President stated that he felt the whole Jewish problem should be studied very carefully and that progress should be definitely planned.
In other words, the number of Jews engaged in the practice of the professions (law, medicine, etc.) should be definitely limited to the percentage that the Jewish population in North Africa bears to the whole of the North African population. Such a plan would therefore permit the Jews to engage in the professions, and would present an unanswerable argument that they were being given their full rights.
To the foregoing, General Noguès agreed generally, stating at the same time that it would be a sad thing for the French to win the war merely to open the way for the Jews to control the professions and the business world of North Africa.
The President stated that his plan would further eliminate the specific and understandable complaints that the Germans bore towards the Jews in Germany, namely, that while they represented a small part of the population, over fifty percent of the lawyers, doctors, school teachers, college professors, etc., in Germany, were Jews.
(Paragraph breaks and emphasis added.)
In regard to the “over fifty percent” statistic, Medoff adds “It is not clear how FDR came up with that wildly exaggerated statistic.”
Such statements from a US president are astonishing and horrifying, and indeed are all the more horrifying because they were not merely anti-Semitic remarks, but a policy to be imposed on North Africa by the Allies.
There is no question as to the veracity of the account, as Koch observes:
Hard to believe a president would say such a thing? Maybe, but the source is unimpeachable: the transcript appears in Foreign Relations of the United States, a multivolume series of historical documents published by the U.S. government itself. The Casablanca volume was published in 1968, but did not attract much notice at the time. Dr. Medoff has done a public service by bringing it to our attention again.
(Via PJ Tatler.)
The most astonishing story I’ve seen in some time:
Not looking for sympathy here, but the life of a political reporter isn’t all champagne and canapes. Consider our man Scott Powers, who was sent over to the Winter Park home of Alan Ginsburg this morning as the designated “pool reporter” — aka scribe — for the fundraiser where Vice President Joe Biden is appearing on behalf of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.
Turns out the veep hadn’t arrived, but about 150 guests (minimum donation $500) were already in the house. So to prevent Scott from mingling with the crowd, a member of Biden’s advance team consigned him to a storage closet — and then stood outside the door to make sure he didn’t walk out without permission.
“Scott – You have our sincere apologies for the lack of a better hold room today,” wrote Vice President Biden spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander last Wednesday to Orlando Sentinel reporter Scott Powers. . .
Continued Alexander in her email to Powers: “I am told, once the Vice President and Senator Nelson arrived, the situation was quickly rectified – and hopefully you weren’t waiting too long.”
Powers says the situation was never “rectified.” Any time he stuck his head out he’d been shooed back inside. He said he was held for more than an hour in the closet, was allowed out for 35 minutes of remarks by Biden and Nelson, after which it was back into the closet until the VP left.
Alexander’s note to him thus didn’t quite satisfy him, Powers said. Especially compared with that of Ginsburg who called Powers Friday and apologized, saying Biden’s advance team made all the decisions about the event, Powers said. The wealthy Democratic fundraiser told the reporter he hadn’t even been aware that Powers was there, much less shoved into his closet.
One can’t help wondering whether the Biden staff broke the law. Probably not. It sounds as though Powers meekly accepted the situation, and they didn’t have to force him.
Hillary Clinton, when asked why the administration didn’t get Congressional approval for its action in Libya, spouts a whole lot of nonsense:
“Well, we would welcome congressional support,” the Secretary said, “but I don’t think that this kind of internationally authorized intervention where we are one of a number of countries participating to enforce a humanitarian mission is the kind of unilateral action that either I or President Obama was speaking of several years ago.”
“I think that this had a limited timeframe, a very clearly defined mission which we are in the process of fulfilling,” Clinton said.
Point 1: Not unilateral? One of a number of countries? On the contrary, this action has our smallest international coalition in decades.
Point 2: Limited timeframe? Gates said, in the very same appearance, that he has no idea how long it will take. The British say it could take 30 years. (That’s nonsense, but it underscores that we have no idea how long it really will take.)
Point 3: Clearly defined mission? Not remotely.
Moreover, I don’t see how any of those things would absolve the administration of the need (morally, if not legally) to obtain Congressional approval anyway. Furthermore, Gates said, again in the very same appearance, that no vital national interest was at stake, which only heightens the need for the administration to get the people’s representatives on board.
(Via Hot Air.)
Israel is deploying its new rocket defense system, Iron Dome. The system wasn’t due to be deployed until later this year, but it was accelerated due to Hamas’s acceleration of rocket attacks from Gaza.
I’m sure there will be a spike of alarmism with the detection of tiny amounts of radiation in North American rainwater. I hope this helps us remember that “measurable” is an entirely different thing from “even remotely dangerous”. The rainwater story doesn’t mention any numbers, but I’m sure they are very much smaller than the banana-equivalent dose.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) says we “don’t deserve the freedoms that are in the Constitution.” But he will graciously allow us to keep them anyway.
Er, thanks. I appreciate that.
The Obama administration says it is not responsible for the outcome of its intervention in Libya:
Mr. Obama’s administration, however, has clearly tried to avoid the debate over a strategy beyond that by shifting the burden of enforcing the United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing force on to France, Britain and other allies, including Arab nations like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, which on Thursday said that it would contribute warplanes to the effort. In other words, the American exit strategy is not necessarily the coalition’s exit strategy.
“We didn’t want to get sucked into an operation with uncertainty at the end,” the senior administration official said. “In some ways, how it turns out is not on our shoulders.”
If we aren’t committed to what we’re doing (whatever that is), it’s hard to see how we can succeed. We outmatch the enemy so badly that we might nevertheless back into success (whatever that means), but it doesn’t seem likely.
(Via the Corner.)
If you are of retirement age and want to keep your current insurance rather than going on Medicare, you are out of luck. Enrolling in Medicare is now mandatory. More precisely, a federal judge has approved a government policy that penalizes persons who decline Medicare by revoking their Social Security. The ruling hinged on a highly dubious interpretation of “entitled” to mean “obligated”.
Remember all that talk early this year about civility in politics?
Remember how the legacy media said that union thugs shouldn’t be ripping up recall petitions. Remember how they said it was wrong to shoot out the windows of the GOP headquarters in DC? Remember how they said that threats against bloggers for exposing the activities of Wisconsin’s unions were completely out of bounds? Remember how they condemned the vandalism and death threats targeting Wisconsin GOP lawmakers? Remember how they criticized Joe Biden for likening Republican fiscal policy to rape?
And remember all that talk about how martial rhetoric in politics could be dangerous?
Remember how they swore off such things as describing a Media Matters training session as “partisan boot camp where rebel forces were trained for combat on Fox News”. Remember how they criticized violent metaphors such as describing ideological debate as “gut[ting] everyone”? Remember how they tut-tutted Michael Moore for likening the Wisconsin public-sector union debate to “war”?
Remember the new focus on civility?
The Department of Homeland Security is looking at using its hated body scanners outside the airport:
Giving Transportation Security Administration agents a peek under your clothes may soon be a practice that goes well beyond airport checkpoints. Newly uncovered documents show that as early as 2006, the Department of Homeland Security has been planning pilot programs to deploy mobile scanning units that can be set up at public events and in train stations, along with mobile x-ray vans capable of scanning pedestrians on city streets.
The non-profit Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) on Wednesday published documents it obtained from the Department of Homeland Security showing that from 2006 to 2008 the agency planned a study of of new anti-terrorism technologies that EPIC believes raise serious privacy concerns. The projects range from what the DHS describes as “a walk through x-ray screening system that could be deployed at entrances to special events or other points of interest” to “covert inspection of moving subjects” employing the same backscatter imaging technology currently used in American airports. . .
One project allocated to Northeastern University and Siemens would mount backscatter x-ray scanners and video cameras on roving vans, along with other cameras on buildings and utility poles, to monitor groups of pedestrians, assess what they carried, and even track their eye movements. In another program, the researchers were asked to develop a system of long range x-ray scanning to determine what metal objects an individual might have on his or her body at distances up to thirty feet.
TSA responded to the Forbes story saying that they have no plans to test body scanners in mass transit environments, but that doesn’t explain why they are funding studies to do exactly that. (Forbes has the documents.) The answer might come from a loophole in TSA’s carefully worded denial: “TSA has not tested the advanced imaging technology that is currently used at airports in mass transit environments and does not have plans to do so.” This leaves open that a slightly different technology might be used.
But never mind that, it pales in comparison to the other part of the story: roving body-scanning vans. DHS vans would prowl the streets searching everyone, no warrants, no notification, no fuss.
Another great idea from the civil libertarians in the Obama administration.
America’s worst-governed big city, Detroit, lost one-quarter of its remaining population during the last decade. I don’t see any floor short of zero.
The New York Times is reporting, in all seriousness, that the Chinese government is monitoring cell phone calls and terminating conversations in which someone uses the word “protest” (in English!). This is based on two anecdotes in which the cell phone calls were dropped after the word was used.
This, of course, is complete nonsense. I’m sure the Chinese despots wish they could monitor every call in their country, and detect keywords from speech in real time. Not even the NSA can do that. To extrapolate such a fantastic capability from just two anecdotes is stunningly ignorant.
If the sheer impossibility of the claim weren’t evidence enough, the Shanghai Scrap blog ran the experiment and confirmed it to be nonsense. Apparently that minimal level of fact-checking was beyond the New York Times.
Ah, but it’s worse than that. The dateline for the story is Beijing, which means they had to have at least one reporter working on the story from Beijing. His name is Jonathan Ansfield. (You won’t find it on the byline, it appears in the very last line of the story.) Anfield confirmed to Shanghai Scrap that the story was nonsense, but “regrettably his input on the story made little difference.”
Is there anything capitalism can’t do?
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who routinely blames capitalism for many of this world’s troubles, pointed elsewhere in the galaxy for his latest critique, saying Tuesday that the economic system may have destroyed life on Mars.
“I have always said, have heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars,” the firebrand socialist said on Venezuela’s state television. After pausing a moment, he added, “But perhaps capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived, and finished that planet.”
The Obama administration has limited Miranda protection for terrorism suspects:
New rules allow investigators to hold domestic-terror suspects longer than others without giving them a Miranda warning, significantly expanding exceptions to the instructions that have governed the handling of criminal suspects for more than four decades. . .
The Supreme Court’s 1966 Miranda ruling obligates law-enforcement officials to advise suspects of their rights to remain silent and to have an attorney present for questioning. A 1984 decision amended that by allowing the questioning of suspects for a limited time before issuing the warning in cases where public safety was at issue.
That exception was seen as a limited device to be used only in cases of an imminent safety threat, but the new rules give interrogators more latitude and flexibility to define what counts as an appropriate circumstance to waive Miranda rights.
The new rules were issued last December, but not made public.
Yet another civil rights triumph from the administration that wants to search laptops without a warrant, sample the DNA of every suspect arrested, and track US citizens via their cell phones (without a warrant), that investigated political opponents posing no threat to public safety, and that planned to limit our rights to petition our government. (Those last two policies were reversed after they came to light.)
(Via Professor Bainbridge.)
Reuters says, in an analysis run in the New York Times:
Obama is committed to partnering with other countries rather than going it alone as did his predecessor George W. Bush, which both broadens and complicates the decision-making process.
That’s crap. Obama is twice the unilateralist that Bush was. Literally. Bush had twice as many coalition partners in Iraq as Obama has in Libya.
I know “analysis” is a synonym from “opinion run in the news pages”, but it still ought to be factually accurate.
(Via the Atlantic.)
I launched Internet Scofflaw three years ago today. In honor of the occasion, I’ve collected some of my favorite posts:
- The Scofflaw Principle: in which I expounded my political philosophy that gave the blog its name.
- A fable: tax-and-spend is theft, except without the risk to the robber.
- Media failure: how I learned that the media cannot be trusted.
- Hauser’s Law: the truly amazing result that federal tax revenue (as a fraction of GDP) is constant, regardless of where tax rates are set. Consequently, we should give up on dickering around with the tax rates and focus on encouraging growth.
- Tribal politics and the suicide pact: in which I observe that the Democratic party is not an ideological movement, but an alliance of tribes. I also speculated that its nature might hurt their effort to nationalize health care. (Perhaps I was right, but clearly it didn’t hurt enough.)
- Urban legend claims Palestinian 9/11 celebration video is fake: It wasn’t fake, as much as some people would like to believe it so. I didn’t think this post was anything special, but it has gotten tons of hits from search engines from people searching “Palestinian 9/11 celebration video fake”, so I take some pride in helping to put that particular urban legend down.
Story here. They also look at why they aren’t seeing the improvement that the government is reporting.
The Washington Post reports:
Gifts of bogus statistics for the health-care law’s birthday
House Democrats held a birthday party last week for passage of the health-care law. Just as we looked at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s floor speech noting the milestone, we will now examine some of the claims made by Democrats.
McConnell framed his speech in negative terms, citing data to back up his language. Both Democrats and Republicans can pick and choose numbers and studies to make their case, but we found that generally McConnell did not exaggerate or use bogus figures. . .
By contrast, House Democrats appear to show little hesitation about repeating claims that previously have found to be false or exaggerated. So let’s take a tour through the numbers.
(Emphasis mine, other than the headline.)
The Post story then goes on to look at three big lies told by the Democratic proponents of the health care act: (1) it’s about jobs, (2) it’s about reducing the deficit, and (3) it’s working.
California’s public-sector unions don’t care about keeping/making their pensions solvent; they just want to hide the insolvency from the public.
The anti-Qaddafi coalition is collapsing due to lack of leadership:
Deep divisions between allied forces currently bombing Libya worsened today as the German military announced it was pulling forces out of NATO over continued disagreement on who will lead the campaign. A German military spokesman said it was recalling two frigates and AWACS surveillance plane crews from the Mediterranean, after fears they would be drawn into the conflict if NATO takes over control from the U.S.
The infighting comes as a heated meeting of NATO ambassadors yesterday failed to resolve whether the 28-nation alliance should run the operation to enforce a U.N.-mandated no-fly zone, diplomats said.
. . .
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu suggested that air strikes launched after a meeting in Paris hosted by France on Saturday had gone beyond what had been sanctioned by a U.N. Security Council resolution.
‘There are U.N. decisions and these decisions clearly have a defined framework. A NATO operation which goes outside this framework cannot be legitimised,’ he told news channel CNN Turk.
Adding pressure to the already fractured alliance, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has also reiterated a warning that Italy would take back control of airbases it has authorised for use by allies for operations over Libya unless a NATO coordination structure was agreed.
. . .
In the U.S., Obama has made it clear he wants no part of any leadership role in Libya.
As the leader of the free world, leadership is our job. If Barack Obama doesn’t want it, he has no business being president of the United States.
The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
Vice-President Biden’s old position on presidential war-making power:
The President has no authority to use force in Iran unless Iran attacks the United States, or there is an imminent threat of such an attack. The Constitution is clear: except in response to an attack or the imminent threat of attack, only Congress may authorize war and the use of force.
I want to make it clear. And I made it clear to the President that if he takes this nation to war in Iran without Congressional approval, I will make it my business to impeach him. That’s a fact. That is a fact.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s old position on presidential war-making power:
If the country is under truly imminent threat of attack, of course the President must take appropriate action to defend us. At the same time, the Constitution requires Congress to authorize war. I do not believe that the President can take military action – including any kind of strategic bombing – against Iran without congressional authorization.
We are now at war without any imminent threat of attack, and without any Congressional consultation, much less approval, which makes one thing completely clear: This bunch didn’t mean one word of what they said. They are completely full of it. As Joe Biden would say, that is a fact.
UPDATE: Biden is getting grief for his pledge to impeach the president if he takes us to war without Congressional approval. Plus, a second occasion on which he made the pledge.
The rules of engagement for our pilots in Libya are troubling. Two good examples of the strange judgements they are required to make:
“It’s a very problematic situation,” Ham said. “It’s not a clear distinction, because we’re not talking about a regular military force. Many in the opposition truly are civilians, and they are trying to protect their homes, their families, their businesses, and in doing that some of them have taken up arms. But they are basically civilians.”
So they are protected by American pilots. But what about the rest of the anti-Gadhafi forces? “There are also those in the opposition that have armored vehicles and have heavy weapons,” Ham continued. “Those parts of the opposition, I would argue, are no longer covered under the protect-civilians clause.”
The bottom line: The United States will protect Libyan rebels if they unarmed or lightly armed. If those rebels are heavily armed, no.
Ham was asked what U.S. forces are instructed to do when they encounter pro-Gadhafi military units that are heavily armed but aren’t actually attacking civilians. “What we look for is, to the degree that we can, to discern intent,” Ham explained. He described a hypothetical situation in which an American pilot spotted a Libyan unit south of Benghazi. If the pilot determined the unit was moving toward the city, he could attack. If he determined the unit was setting up some sort of position, he could also attack. But if he determined the unit was moving away, then he couldn’t attack. “There’s no simple answer,” Ham said. “Sometimes these are situations that brief much better at headquarters than they do in the cockpit of an aircraft.”
We outmatch the enemy so badly that we might well succeed anyway, but this is no way to run a military campaign. And why? To avoid angering the Arabs? That’s a foregone conclusion.
Potentially exciting. If I could pick a regime to fall, Syria’s would be my third choice.
The prominent British environmentalist and leftist writes in the Guardian:
You will not be surprised to hear that the events in Japan have changed my view of nuclear power. You will be surprised to hear how they have changed it. As a result of the disaster at Fukushima, I am no longer nuclear-neutral. I now support the technology.
A crappy old plant with inadequate safety features was hit by a monster earthquake and a vast tsunami. The electricity supply failed, knocking out the cooling system. The reactors began to explode and melt down. The disaster exposed a familiar legacy of poor design and corner-cutting. Yet, as far as we know, no one has yet received a lethal dose of radiation.
Exactly right. The safety margins are so wide that when an old plant using an obsolete design is hit by as bad a natural disaster as is ever going to happen, nothing really bad happens.
He also cites the XKCD chart.
When Paul Krugman said that he didn’t read any commentary coming from the right, I though it was unsurprising and not worthy of note. But it is worthwhile to note his rank hypocrisy when he comes back, just two weeks later, to write this:
If you’ve reached the point where you don’t pay attention to anything that might disturb your orthodoxy, you’re not doing science, you’re not even pursuing a discipline. All you’re doing is perpetuating a smug, closed-minded sect.
I know of no one more smug than Paul Krugman.
Bush also had the approval of Congress. But Obama has the approval of the Arab League. (Or at least, he did until the action actually started.)
None of which is to say that Obama’s action is illegitimate. But it’s very interesting how Bush was condemned for his “unilateralism” when he was actually much more multilateral than Obama.
UPDATE: A listing of the coalitions for major recent US military actions. This is the smallest of all — smaller even than Kosovo.
Say what you will about allowing the Arab League to direct US foreign policy. At least we’ve ensured that our military action against Qaddafi won’t be encumbered by continuous condemnation from the Arab world. . . right?
The Arab League chief said that Arabs did not want military strikes by Western powers that hit civilians when the League called for a no-fly zone over Libya. . .
“What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians,” Mr Moussa told Egypt’s official state news agency.
The volte-face by the Arab League raises uncertainty about the unity of Western and Muslim leaders and highlights varying interpretations of tactics and strategy. Only Qatar has openly supported the Western-led campaign.
The Righthaven copyright trolls have lost another ruling. US District Judge James Mahan found that the defendant’s use of the material satisfied the conditions for fair use, but then made a much more important observation:
Mahan also found Righthaven’s use of the copyright for a lawsuit gives the copyright less protection than if the Review-Journal were using it in the normal course of delivering the news.
“Here the copyright has been removed from its original context,” Mahan said.
“Righthaven is not using the copyright the same way the R-J used it. Righthaven is using it to support a lawsuit,” Mahan said.
This type of copyright use has a chilling effect on free speech and doesn’t advance a purpose of the federal Copyright Act, which is to encourage and protect creativity, Mahan said.
Barack Obama on presidential war-making power, in 2007:
The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
Barack Obama on presidential war-making power, in 2011:
UPDATE: John Larson’s (D-CT) complaint seems fair:
They consulted the Arab League. They consulted the United Nations. They did not consult the United States Congress.
It should be obvious to anyone with the slightest grasp of history that sanctions and threats aren’t going to stop a murderous dictator from defending his regime. Should be. But apparently it is not obvious to our president, according to ABC News:
On Tuesday, President Obama became clear that diplomatic efforts to stop the brutality of Libyan dictator Col. Moammar Gadhafi weren’t working.
Presented with intelligence about the push of the Gadhafi regime to the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, the president told his national security team “what we’re doing isn’t stopping him.”
Some in his administration, such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had been pushing for stronger action, but it wasn’t until Tuesday, administration sources tell ABC News, that the president became convinced sanctions and the threat of a no-fly zone wouldn’t be enough.
It took President Obama until last Tuesday to figure out what should have been obvious from day one?! I had assumed that Obama knew it probably wouldn’t work, but didn’t care. After all, this is a guy that wanted to pull out of Iraq even if it caused a genocide.
Now they tell us that he actually thought it would work? He actually thought that, for the first time ever, sanctions and threats would be enough to stop a murderous dictator from doing the things that murderous dictators do?
That kind of naivety is horrifying to contemplate.
(Via the Virginian.)
I’m glad to see us taking action against Moammar Qaddafi. Still, two things trouble me: First, if we’re doing this, why didn’t we do it two or three weeks ago, when the rebels had the upper hand, instead of waiting until Qaddafi was wrapping things up?
Second, I’m troubled to see us as a junior partner in this operation. I saw a headline earlier today (can’t find it now), “US joins French operation”. Ugh. Worse, the administration seems to see this as a feature:
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pledged Saturday that the United States would strongly support the international military action to halt Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi’s attacks on rebels, but she made clear that Washington would not be in the lead.
The US ought to be leading, not following. Still, I’m glad we’re finally doing something.
Time’s James Poniewozik thinks that James O’Keefe edited his video of Ron Schiller unfairly. That’s crap. Unlike the legacy media, O’Keefe makes his unedited video available. If the video really were edited unfairly, NPR had all the material it needed to defend him. It did not.
But I want to take this thought a little bit further. Poniewozik has been Time’s “media and television critic” since July 1999, so he had the job when Michael Moore released his execrable Bowling for Columbine in 2002. Moore is notorious for his dishonesty, but he outdid himself in Columbine by featuring a Charleton Heston speech that Charleton Heston never gave. It was edited together from scraps of two different speeches. Moore even put sentences together from multiple sentence fragments.
Did Poniewozik ever complain about the unfair editing in Columbine? If so, Google knows nothing of it. (And it’s not as though Poniewozik was unaware of Columbine. He made a stir by criticizing Moore’s speech accepting the Oscar for Columbine; lamenting that Moore diluted his anti-war message with other complaints.)
To sum up: Time seems to be quite concerned with unfair editing on the right (where it isn’t), but not at all concerned with unfair editing on the left (where it really is, flagrantly).
Regina Benjamin, the Surgeon General, says that taking iodine tablets because the radiation leak in Japan is a reasonable precaution, which it absolutely is not. In addition to feeding the general hysteria, iodine tablets can make you very sick, so one should not take them without a likelihood of exposure, which there isn’t.
Later HHS put out a statement in which they “clarified” that Benjamin meant the exact opposite of what she said. NPR also noted that the “clarifying” statement was false, in that it attributed some helpful statements to Benjamin that she did not in fact say.
Why do we have a surgeon general anyway? The position’s sole purpose today is as a spokesman. If she is going to put out misinformation, let’s just dissolve the position.
If the Wisconsin union showdown had resulted in numerous death threats against Democrats, would the media have reported it? Of course they would have — they are oh so concerned about civility and the danger of political violence.
If the Wisconsin union showdown had resulted in numerous death threats against Republicans, would the media have reported it? We needn’t speculate. Despite numerous death threats, LexisNexis finds zero stories on ABC, CBS, MSNBC, NBC, or NPR. Also nothing in the Washington Post, the LA Times, or USA Today.
Fox (natch) and CNN did cover the story. The New York Times also ran one story, but managed to omit the party affiliation.
The New York Times’s Eric Lipton is unable to substantiate his allegation that the Koch brothers were somehow behind Wisconsin’s recent union standoff.
POSTSCRIPT: I find interesting that after the left failed to cast various GOP elected officials in the role of chief boogeyman, they’ve settled on a couple of private citizens to demonize.
Years ago, back when people still took the Israel/Palestinian “peace process” seriously, my eyes were opened when I read a story (I wish I could find it now) that observed that Yasser Arafat gave dramatically different speeches in English and Arabic. In English he would act like a reasonable partner for peace, but in Arabic he continued to pledge to destroy Israel. He even declared openly that the Oslo treaty was just a ploy, intended to gain Palestinians what they could, after which they would return to war. (Which is exactly what happened.) He got away with this because the western media only ever reported his remarks given in English.
I’m reminded of this when I read of Hamas’s statements regarding the recent slaughter of an Israeli family in the West Bank. In English they decry the murders, claim no involvement, and suggest that an Israeli was responsible. In Arabic they celebrate the murders and laud the Palestinian perpetrator.
The New York Times accuses Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota, of affecting a southern accent to attract Republican primary votes. But their example is wrong. Plus, there’s more to a southern accent than using the word “ain’t” and dropping g’s.
Describing his speech as more colloquial would probably be true, but that description wouldn’t allow them to appeal to anti-southern bigotry.
President Obama once promised that negotiations over his health care overhaul would be carried out openly, in front of TV cameras and microphones. Tell that to the White House now.
Republican congressional investigators got the brush-off this past week after pressing for details of meetings between White House officials and interest groups, including drug companies and hospitals that provided critical backing for Obama’s health insurance expansion.