Saturday, July 12, 2003

Reagan joins fleet

USS Reagan Officially Enters Service, announces the headline to the AP article. Outside of the minor quibble (if using the "USS" prefix, one should also use the full name of the ship; in this case, it's the USS Ronald Reagan), it's a nice, albeit brief article on our newest carrier.

When I was last up for orders, I tried to get orders to the Reagan, not only because of its namesake, but the challenges and rewards of being a "plankowner", one of the original crew when a ship is commissioned. It's not easy work taking a brand-new ship and making sure that all of the tools and equipment needed to perform its mission are requisitioned. Unfortunately, by the time I was looking, there were only a few billets left for my job, and none relating to my specific specialty. As I am in an undermanned specialty, the detailers were unwilling to let me go to the Reagan.

The Reagan is a special ship in ways other than those mentioned in the article. Only a few are obviously visible, but there are over 1300 changes from the USS George Washington, which was the sixth ship in the ten ship class (Reagan is the ninth). The most obvious is the island superstructure, which is 20 feet longer than on her sisters. The added length allows for the aft mast to be mounted on the island, rather than on the deck behind it. The masts are different, as well, they have three yardarms rather than the two on the earlier ships, which will allow for the mounting of more antennae. (Yardarms are the horizontal spars sticking out from the masts.)

The ship does not have the CIWS Phalanx system for missile defense; it uses a new system known as RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile), which uses "anti-missile missiles" to take out inbound targets.

The flight deck has been reconfigured, as well. The angle deck has been canted out an additional one tenth of a degree and extended five feet, which is just enough to allow simultaneous launch of two aircraft and recovery of one. The Jet Blast Deflectors for Catapult 2 intrude into the landing area on the earlier carriers, which means that it cannot be used for launching while the ship is recovering aircraft. Instead of the four arresting wires found on earlier carriers, the Reagan has only three, positioned a bit further back for the recovery of today's heavier aircraft.

Another subtle visible difference is the replacement of 25-man lifeboats with 50-man boats. Hopefully, they will never need to be used, but the new boats take up less overall space and weigh less than those they replace.

The bow of the ship is a totally new design for this class; a bulbous bow that will improve the ship's drag in the water. It was carefully designed to minimize the pitch and roll differences from the older ships in the class, in order to ease the transition for pilots who have landed on the other Nimitz-class ships.

The biggest change of all is not visible from the outside, however. The entire communications network on the ship (encompassing Damage Control, communications, and machinery functions) is digital-ready fiber optics, in a revolutionary new configuration known as ICAN, for Integrated Communications and Advanced Network.

Not everything on the Reagan is new, however. The anchors for the ship belonged to the now-decommissioned USS Ranger, one of the Navy's Vietnam era carriers that served with distinction in the first round of the Persian Gulf War (1991). The Ranger was withdrawn from active service in 1993, but her anchors will serve well into the 21st century, aboard a new ship with the motto of "Peace through strength".

The official command website for the USS Ronald Reagan is There is an interesting look at the construction of this ship here. Check it out.

posted at 01:03 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Redefining the center

While doing a little searching for information on Jill Stewart for the preceding post, I ran across an amusing contrast in perception regarding her politics.

John Fund, writing in the Wall Street Journal, describes her as "liberal columnist Jill Stewart" in this article. (She is not the focus of the article, but there is a paragraph dedicated to her comments on Davis.)

Contrast that with this poisonous screed from the tinfoil-hat crowd at the Conspiracy Theory Research List, where one of the members describes her as a "villanous [sic] right-wing hatchet woman", and declares his intent to write a hit piece on Jill "the Sewer" Stewart.

If you are not sure who to believe regarding her political beliefs, one of her columns from last month contains this statement:

As a Democrat often disgusted by my party

Which tends to support John Fund more than it does Robert Sterling, without even broaching the subject of considering the source.

posted at 12:37 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Jill Stewart rehabilitated?

(Yes, my choice of words in the title was deliberate. Irony seekers need to look elsewhere.)

Jill Stewart, formerly of the now-defunct LA New Times, has settled in to her new job as a free-lancer with a vengeance. She has written a spate of incisive articles, of which several have been quite critical of Democratic governor Gray Davis or the left-wing educational establishment. She is becoming popular again amongst conservative or libertarian bloggers. (Common Sense and Wonder links to this column in the San Francisco Chronicle, and Joanne Jacobs links to this Sacramento News & Review article. One deals with who is bankrolling Gray Davis, and what they expect in return, and the other deals with the sharp increase in reading scores among Latino students in the wake of Proposition 227, which effectively ended long-term bilingual education programs.

I mention the "rehabilitation" thing because Ms. Stewart was also the author of one of the more odious articles of 2002, in the LA New Times. Since the paper is gone, the website is also gone, but through the wonders of google caches, I was able to find a snippet of her rant:

Let me be among the too-few columnists in this self-absorbed, egocentric, materialistic, pleasure-obsessed, jingoistic country of ours to cry out into the great mindless void that no, in fact, we have not changed in the year since September 11.

Moreover, since I feel so much better getting that off my chest, let me add that I am achingly weary of seeing Americans treat the tragedy as if it outstrips every other contemporary tragedy in our world, and I am irked beyond belief that the victims of September 11 and their survivors are treated with a holy sanctity not afforded to other victims and other survivors of man's horrific actions against mankind.

Indeed, I say without shame to America's ever-growing, increasingly troubling and loudly throbbing Cult of Nine Eleven, "For God sakes, get a grip!"

. . .

Can you imagine how we'd hate the Brits if we were still deeply pissed off about the Revolution? Or how awful it would be if grade-schoolers sang morbid songs about the rotting Civil War dead at Richmond?

We reject the mournful, noir world of self-pitying, self-aggrandizing, excess-testosterone tribalism. We say, let other countries wallow in that if they must. But more and more, I sniff a hint of wallowing. I hear a bit of tribal whining.

So, on September 11, I suggest that you not light a candle for the victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Plenty of others will do so for you."

Stewart was (rightly) raked over the coals in the blogosphere for her article. It seems as long as she doesn't try to sound too cynically hip, she is a good writer.

(BTW, the quote is courtesy of Megan McArdle, who quoted the piece on her old blog (Live From the World Trade Center). It's amusing that an article from a defunct paper was quoted on a defunct blog, but it's still available on the web. Ah, technology!)

posted at 12:03 PM | permalink | Comments (1)

Sacramento columnist Jill Stewart is certainly no fan of C.O.s. Read her insulting comments about C.O.s and the CCPOA in one of her columns at:

Send Jill your thoughts at:

posted by C.C. Poa on August 13, 2003 01:40 PM

The Real Moral of the Story

Feces Flinging Monkey's Mike Splenis has written a fascinating essay on the difference between humanitarian missions and military missions, and revisits the Somalia conflict to explain why Liberia may not be the best place to send our troops. Go read it; I don't want to steal his thunder by posting the money shot. It's a doozy, and worth remembering.

He offers a little more in a prequel piece, in which he points out that the media are already circling the wagons, looking to trap Bush inside.

posted at 09:59 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 11, 2003

New addition

Common Sense and Wonder is a blog that has been around for a while, but I had never noticed it prior to now. My mistake. The bloggers over there (it's a small groupblog) are prolific, but they tend to have a bit more analysis than some of the überbloggers out there. They also seem to be linking to stuff that one won't find elsewhere. They are an instant addition to the bloglist.

posted at 01:05 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

More on subsidies

The Guardian has an editorial entitled Time to narrow the gap that revisits the agricultural subsidies that most libertarians and many conservatives rightly despise. It points out the Bush administration's subsidy hikes, and notes that due to the EU's agricultural subsidies, Scandinavian farmers can turn a profit from growing sugar beets, a crop that grows far better in warm climates.

Keegan points out that eliminating subsidies is a win-win situation for just about everybody, as consumers pay less for their food, farmers will be able to grow food that brings them the most profit, and poor African and Asian nations will be able to compete in the marketplace in wealthier nations.

I've blogged on this subject before, as I think the subsidies are the worst aspect of the Bush administration, and one of the few areas where he has not come even close to his campaign pledges. Instead of reducing subsidies, he has dramatically increased them. Instead of eliminating tariffs, he has hiked them (Steel, textiles, and lumber are just three examples).

posted at 12:13 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Hidden Partisanship

Former N.C. Agriculture Head Arrested blares the headline on this AP story (via Yahoo! News), followed by a 10 paragraph story on Meg Scott Phipps, who resigned last month due to alleged perjury and illegal campaign contributions. What the article fails to mention Phipps' party affiliation. Care to venture a guess?

This story from an NBC affiliate in Raleigh reveals (obliquely) to which party Phipps belongs, if you are really not sure.

This is an example of bias by omission, especially when one considers that if she had been in "the other party", she'd receive a label almost every time.

posted at 10:44 AM | permalink | Comments (1)

A friend of mine has been tracking this for several years, and has long noted that one party's officials are rarely identified in cases of malfeasance.

Interestingly, this is especially true at the state level, less so at the national level.

posted by Dean on July 10, 2003 12:33 PM

Wednesday, July 9, 2003

Monthly Snivel Drivel

During my last year in San Diego, I lived directly under the final approach to Lindbergh Field (San Diego International Airport). I grew used to airliners flying less than 150 feet above the top of my building.

I now live about 1000 feet from the runway of a Naval Air Station. It's much louder. VERY MUCH louder.

While it is occasionally annoying to stop a movie during the day because of the noise, it doesn't begin to compare to the irritation of pilots performing touch and gos at 11:30 PM, hooking around so that their engine roar reverberates inside the courtyard of the building in which I live. If I didn't have to wake at 5 AM, or if my window faced away from the runway, it would not be so bad. But NOOOOOO, we can't have that.

This concludes the snivel for the month. Thanks for listening.

posted at 09:48 PM | permalink | Comments (3)

In the words of The Great Santini, "Sound of Freedom." Having both lived with the noise from Naval Air Stations as well as having created some of it, I can feel your pain... but I feel pretty certain they are not doing touch and goes at night after 10... still thos mulitple instrument approaches down to minimum descent altitude produce almost as much noise...

posted by oceanguy on July 10, 2003 11:30 AM

If you live in an apartment building, that's one things. If it is your own house, that's another. If renting, you should be paying a lower rent for being on the air base side of the building, one would hope!

There is one thing you can do to help ameliorate the problem; there are curtains and drapes that are quite effective at blocking noise.

posted by MommaBear on July 12, 2003 10:29 AM

MommaBear, I live *on* the base, in one of our barracks. I don't pay rent, but I also don't get the housing allowance that would accompany living off-base.

Due to the weak air-conditioning units in the barracks, the windows need to be open 24/7 unless I want to live in a sauna (even with the windows open, and a fan going, I am sweating in my room, despite the fact that I am not wearing a whole lot of clothes). Sound-absorbing curtains would eliminate the cooling effects of the open window, and I'd rather be awakened by late-night ops than not be able to fall asleep due to being locked in a sweatbox. (grin)

Oceanguy—if it was anywhere else, it wouldn't be so bad. Unfortunately, this is the EA-6B base, and the EA-6B is by a wide margin the noisiest aircraft in the inventory.

I will take your word on the "no touch and gos", but when I watch the aircraft descend below the roofs of the buildings surrounding the runway, and then do a 45 degree climb right outside my window, it certainly *looks* like a touch and go. But you flew the birds; you'd know better than me. (smile)

posted by Timekeeper on July 12, 2003 01:52 PM

Stupid Letters

Letters to the Seattle Times today include a whole host of Bush bashers who are enraged that Bush has pointed out that the whole weak economy thing started under his predecessor's watch. One of them had a little nugget that made me laugh out loud:

What a preposterous insult that all of President Clinton's accomplishments in... holding corporate accountability...

Hello? What planet are you on? Who was president when all those evil corporations were doing their evil deeds, and who was president when they were caught?

Another letter targets a different Republican, while still managing to get in a swipe at the administration:

I thought political theater had hit the skids with the current comedy playing the Washington, D.C., circuit; but if a social-climbing, B-movie bonehead called Schwarzenegger can aspire to the top California role and even one person take him seriously, I give up!
Small wonder we're becoming the laughingstock of the world!
Clara McArthur, Federal Way

No, Ms. McArther, we are not the laughing stock of the world; we are the designated target. Islamic extremists and Euro-socialists hate the US in general, regardless of who is in charge. Having a Republican makes it easier for them to vent, because the left here will support them in a show of solidarity.

As for Schwarzenegger, you miss three points: Firstly, Gray Davis has buggered California's economy, and has no clue what needs to be done to fix it. Secondly, Schwarzenegger appears to have political skills, a useful ability for an actor dealing with studios, directors, and other actors. Lastly, despite your disdain for the entertainment industry, it is a very big business in California, and what you view as a liability may well prove to be an asset in that state.

For someone who appears to support the views of the Democratic Party, you appear to have a serious disdain for a poor immigrant who rose to the top of his industry and married into a rich, politically connected family. So much for the American Dream.

posted at 09:16 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Carnival 42

Winds of Change is the host of the 42nd weekly Carnival of the Vanities. Take a look at all the goodies. Joe has dispensed with the exotic categorizations, and divided everything into seven tidy, discrete categories. There's lot of good stuff, as usual.

posted at 04:57 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 7, 2003

Shot through the heart—twice

Real-life couple The Last Page and Media Minded have both been on hiatus. Today, they returned to their blogs only long enough to note that they are quitting, effective immediately.

Regular readers here will know that before their vacations began, both of these blogs were part of my "daily reads" section, and I fully intended to return them to that perch when they returned.

Both of them will be missed. Media Minder's unique position from inside a major newspaper allowed him to present viewpoints that most of us never consider. And Page's rants about the jackasses with whom she dealt were always good for a laugh, and her transcriptions of discussions between the two of them ensured that I *really* want to meet the two of them, should I ever end up in their neck of the woods (they must be a blast at parties).

I wish the two of them well, and just want to let them know that they are leaving a void.

(Tip of the hat to Dustbury, for alerting me to Page's departure. I put two and two together and rushed over to MM, and saw more of the same.)

posted at 10:14 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

P-I's distasteful bias

Stefan Sharansky rightly takes the Seattle Post-Intelligencer to task in this post, for an odious editorial that equates Rachel Corrie with Jessica Lynch, and dismisses the conclusions of the Israeli investigation because it clashes with the P-I's decidedly anti-Israeli worldview.

Stefan has also provided a list of links to other bloggers who have posted on the subject. I don't think there is much more I can say, except that it is tripe such as this that ensures that I never buy the P-I; I get the Seattle Times or I do without.

posted at 09:33 PM | permalink | Comments (2)

May we assume, then, that you're looking forward to the dissolution of the Joint Operating Agreement between the Times and the P-I, which presumably will mean the death of the P-I?

posted by CGHill on July 8, 2003 07:46 PM

"Looking forward" is a bit too strong. Perhaps "not at all concerned" is a better choice. I simply ignore the PI most of the time, because they are not worth the effort to actively despise. They are neither influential nor important. Their editors will simply end up elsewhere.

posted by timekeeper on July 9, 2003 10:45 AM

Clinton looking for the Spotlight

FCC forgot basic fact: They're our airwaves is the title of a fatuous rant by Clinton that appeared in today's Seattle Times (it was originally written for the New York Daily News). It's long on rhetoric and short on facts (sort of like Clinton himself).

"It's your money," says President Bush when he promotes tax cuts. I disagree with his tax policy but admire his spin. The same argument applies with greater force to whether big media conglomerates should be allowed to control more television and radio stations: "It's your airwaves."

Clinton calling the Bush administration position spin is similar to Michael Moore calling Rush Limbaugh fat. (It's simply not true, and it's hypocritical in the extreme).

The American people own the bandwidth that broadcast media companies use to deliver programs to our TVs and radios. Because the space on that bandwidth is limited, the Federal Communications Commission regulates who has access to our eyes and ears.

No, the FCC does not regulate who has access to our eyes and ears. The FCC regulates who has broadcast licenses; we ourselves regulate who has access to our eyes and ears. It it typical big-government nanny-state thinking that insists that the government controls everything.

For more than 60 years, the FCC allowed companies to own a number of local TV stations, provided that no single company owned enough to reach more than 35 percent of the population of the United States.
But on June 2, by a 3-2 vote, the FCC raised the limit to 45 percent, giving big media firms the chance to gobble up many more local TV stations. In fact, a single giant corporation will be able to control up to three of the television stations in America's nine largest cities.

Oh, heavens. Lock up your daughters! Three stations in the nine largest media markets. Hmmm. How many stations are contained within those nine markets? Let's see, four major networks, three minor networks, PBS, and a plethora of independent stations. Owning three of the more than seventy stations in those media markets is hardly monolithic. Even with the maximum ownership permitted, only 45 percent of the country will even have access to any one company's channel. That is access, not viewership. No channel has a hammerlock on their media markets; not for news and not for entertainment.

The FCC also opened the door to local TV-newspaper mergers in many places, so you'll be getting your news and information from the same company regardless of whether you're turning on the TV or opening the newspaper.

This is not a change. Multimedia firms have been around for quite some time. They are not some hideous new beast springing from the loins of the evil corporofascist Republicans.

Why is this bad? Because more monolithic control over local media will reduce the diversity of information, opinion and entertainment people get. Interesting local coverage will be supplanted by lowest-common-denominator mass-market mush.

This is rubbish. In the case of newspapers, they are not going to discontinue their local sections; with the exception of a few big papers, their national and international news comes from the wire agencies such as AP, UPI, Reuters, and AFP.

Television stations are similar. Local news is not going to be replaced by a national newscast, and for the most part, all the rest of the programming is national anyway.

Radio stations are the ones that are most likely to be affected by corporate control, and the new FCC ruling has no direct effect on them. In any case, there are over 10,000 radio stations here in the US, and competition is intense. If too many stations in a market start playing the same thing, their ratings will suffer as they will be drawing on the same audience. A station with a unique sound will be able to distinguish itself in the crowd, if there is a market for that sound. This is one of the reasons that liberal talk radio has failed; there is no audience.

But don't cable TV and the Internet give people more sources of information? In theory, yes. In practice, not necessarily. Big media firms own most of the cable networks and supply much of the content for major Internet sites.

The wonderful thing about the internet is that it allows one to read stuff that is not from the major corporations, and not even from this country. Not only can I read stuff from Canada, Ireland, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand, but also English langauage papers from Singapore, South Africa, Russia, Japan, Kenya, India, and many other nations. If I spoke another language, there would be even more options.

As for cable, with over 200 channels to choose from (on most digital cable systems), out of a spectrum of over 500, there are plenty of options, from lefty CNN and BBC, to conservative Fox News, to politics-free sites such as the Food Channel and the Game Show Network.

Is this another Democrat vs. Republican battle? Is my concern motivated by the growing influence of right-wing voices in the broadcast media?
While it's true the FCC vote split along party lines Republicans for looser standards, Democrats against and while I have noticed the conservative slant in more media organizations these days, the debate over media ownership is not a partisan one.

(rolls eyes) Oh, please. A few facts first. Yes, Fox News is the number one cable news channel. It and MSNBC (the other "conservative" channel) have nowhere near the combined audience of ABC, NBS, CBS, and CNN. In addition, FOX and MSNBC are not available to anyone without cable, whereas the broadcast channels are available to just about everyone with a TV.

As for the old canard that the newspapers are conservative because they are owned by corporations, a little perspective is in order. I did a little digging to check on the editorial endorsements of the 50 largest newspapers in the United States in the 2000 race. Of the 50, three did not offer endorsements (USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel), and I could not find information on three (Newark Star-Ledger, Orange County Register, and Investor's Business Daily). Of the remaining 46, they split 23 1/2 for Gore, and 21 1/2 for Bush (The Atlanta Journal/Constitution split their endorsements, even though they are owned by the same company—more on that in a moment). I have included the Wall Street Journal as a Bush supporter, even though they didn't formally endorse him.

Organizations from the National Organization for Women to the National Rifle Association have spoken out against what the FCC decided to do. More than 750,000 Americans of all political persuasions registered their opinion of the new rules with the FCC, and nearly 100 percent of them were opposed!

The only people who are going to complain about the rules are those who are opposed, and I'm sure that the organized campaigns from left-wing pressure groups had a lot to do with the nearly unanimous support.

The lack of diversity and independence in the broadcast media may be why you didn't hear much about this big issue on TV or radio in recent months.

I don't know about that. Try living in Seattle. The Seattle Times, normally a conservative paper, is opposed to joint ownership. The reason is because their competitor is owned by Hearst Communications, which has plenty of money to burn should they feel the need to buy a TV station here in Seattle.

But the opposition is truly a grass-roots movement, and it won't go away, even if it's not on the evening news. And the voice of the people is beginning to be heard, at least on Capitol Hill.
The Senate Commerce Committee acted quickly after the FCC vote to approve legislation on a bipartisan basis that would reinstate more-sensible media ownership rules.

"More sensible"—there's a nice, neutral term.

"Bipartisan" is a way of saying that the GOP caved on yet another Democratic Party demand. If the Dems had given way, it would have been due to "inflexible hard-liners" in the GOP.

Although Republicans as well as Democrats oppose the FCC decision, it's unclear whether the Commerce Committee legislation can pass in the full Senate or in the House of Representatives.
The FCC ruling also faces challenges in the courts. But there is no guarantee the commission's error will be corrected anytime soon.

Of course, he is operating under the assumption that the ruling is in error. Maybe we *do* need a supreme court challenge.

Therefore, Congress is our best hope. Whatever your political philosophy, if you favor competition and diversity in the media, you should call, write or e-mail your senators and representatives.
The stakes are high. "At issue," says FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, "is whether a few corporations will be ceded enhanced gatekeeper control over the civil dialogue of our country; more content control over our music, entertainment and information, and veto power over the majority of what our families watch, hear and read."

Michael Copps, in case you are not sure, is one of the Democrats on the FCC board. And there is no way they will be able to exercise "veto power" over what we will be able to watch, hear, or read. At least he didn't resort to cries of "Censorship!"

People joke about my liking McDonald's, and I do. But actually I prefer to go down to Lange's Deli, a great family establishment, near my house.
In the brave new world being defined by the FCC, there will be more McMedia on our airwaves and far fewer broadcast equivalents of our favorite local diners.

All through this column, Clinton has been operating under the assumption that media corporations are indivisible, that each piece of the company will have the same views and aims of other parts of the same company, That simply is not true. Look at this report (in .pdf format) from the FCC, detailing the reporting patterns of same-market TV stations and newspapers. The differences are startling. In addition, the report points out that several companies have different editorial stances within a segment of the media. For example, the Tribune Corp. had four newspapers in the study. Two supported Bush (Chicago Tribune, Hartford Courant), one Gore (Newsday), and the LA Times offered no endorsement.

Unlike restaurants, the airwaves belong to us. We shouldn't give up our right to have more choice.

Media ownership consolidation is not the big concern that the left has made it out to be. In most cases, a new owner simply means that one big company bought another one, or that two big companies shuffled some properties amongst each other. It's not reducing choice, it's akin to a Wendy's becoming a Burger King, or a KFC becoming an Arby's (to continue Clinton's fast food analogy).

posted at 09:00 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 6, 2003

Sanity prevails?

Hi. I'm black! links to this article in Money magazine, discussing a bill in committee right now that would bar lawsuits against the fast food industry for causing obesity.

The [US Chamber of Commerce] came out in support of a bill sponsored by Rep. Ric Keller, R-Fla., that would bar lawsuits against food companies whose products are in compliance with existing laws and regulations. The measure, dubbed the "Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act," is currently before the House Judiciary Committee.

Think the Trial Lawyers will have their bought-and-paid-for Democratic apparatchiks filibuster THIS bill, too? Of course, that is assuming it even makes it to the Senate.

posted at 08:24 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

The final word on socialism

The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler had a few things to say about socialism, and why it doesn't work. In his comments thread, however, one of his commenters summed it up, using the best analogy I have ever heard:

I believe this is what happens when you disregard Christ's admonition to give onto Ceasar what belongs to Ceasar and give onto God what belongs to God. Socialists want to give everything onto Ceasar because they've mistaken him for God.

Communism replaced God with the state.

One does not need to be religious to understand why this analogy is correct. In fact, Randian atheists will see the point as clearly as conservative Christians.

posted at 07:11 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Leaving out a few minor facts

As some of you know, I am a Florida Marlins fan (they're a baseball team). Yesterday, they won again, something that they finally learned how to do after a four-year stretch in the basement. The Yahoo! recap of the game included this paragraph:

Rookie Miguel Cabrera had a single, double, and homer as the Marlins beat Philadelphia for the second straight game and moved within four games of the Phillies in the race for the NL wild card spot.

This excited me for a minute, until I thought of something. Florida's record is 45-43, which is not all that wonderful. Are they only four games out of contention? Well, yes. The only thing the article fails to mention is the six other teams between the Phillies and the Marlins in the quest for a wild-card spot. I'm all for boosterism, but I don't want to lose sight of the simple fact that the Marlins are going to need to be very good (and will need some help) to make it to the playoffs this year. They only did it once before, (as a wild card), and they won the World Series that year (1997).

posted at 10:32 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

Orson Scott Card on the Dems

Moral Stupidity is the title of an Orson Scott Card column of two weeks ago. He is discussing the obtuseness of those who cannot differentiate between Israel and Palestine, and ties in the double standards of the current crop of Democratic Party leaders (Card is a Democrat, FWIW). A point about Democratic double-dealing:

Or take the Florida recounts in 2000. We still hear charges of how the Republicans "stole" the election, even though there has not been a credible case made for any stolen votes in the original count. (All the charges have been about "systemic" unfairness.)
But Democrats were openly playing precisely the same games that the Daley machine had always played in the notoriously filthy politics of Chicago -- selective recounts, "helping" non-English speakers make the right choices inside the voting booth, and making calls to elderly voters to make them think they might have cast their vote for the wrong party, so they would raise a furor about a completely non-existent pattern of errors.
Likewise, when it came to the courts, it was the Florida Supreme Court that tore the law to shreds in the effort to allow the Democrats to steal the election. But when the conservative Supreme Court voted to stop the Florida court from stealing the election, that is what we keep hearing about as "the court deciding the election."
If the Left had not been hellbent on tearing down the laws in order to get the outcome they wanted, the case would never have gone to the Supreme Court.
In other words, it is a matter of public record that the only people trying to steal an election in Florida were the Democrats -- and yet people who consider themselves honest and intelligent still fail to make the moral distinction between what the Democrats were openly doing and what Republicans were only charged with having done.

Earlier in the column, he discusses the discredited "Jenin massacre":

There were civilians killed in the fighting -- as always happens in urban warfare. But more Israeli soldiers died than Palestinian civilians. And anybody who knows anything about urban combat knows that Israel could have wiped out the terrorist fighters without suffering a single casualty -- as long as they didn't care how many civilians they killed.
But they did care, and sacrificed the lives of their soldiers by making them fight street by street and house by house, instead of carpet bombing the area where their enemies were holed up.
This is morally the opposite of the terrorists, who turn their "soldiers" into human bombs and send them to deliberately attack Jews who are not harming anybody -- helpless infants, harmless old people, children on their way to school, teenagers socializing.

Finally, a celebrity in the Democratic Party who actually gets it.

(Link courtesy of Ipse Dixit.)

posted at 10:00 AM | permalink | Comments (1)

Or take the Florida recounts in 2000. We still hear charges of how the Republicans "stole" the election

well for what it is worth, here's the Miami Herald :

The Herald set out to answer a simple question: What would have happened had the Court allowed the recounts to go ahead? The assumption was to provide a range of results according to the various standards applied by different counties for tabulating these ballots. After months of work and some $450,000 in expenses, the banner headline in last Wednesday's paper declared: Review shows ballots say Bush

This means that Bush would have won even if the Supreme Court had not over-ruled the FLA supreme court

posted by johnh on July 8, 2003 01:07 AM

An allegory for our times

Kamil Zogby points out the difference between today's Democratic Party and the Republican Party, in this whimsical post. Check it out.

(If blogspot is buggered as usual, look for the post entitled "Subject: The True Meaning".)

posted at 09:32 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

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