July 20, 2006

Blog Post of the Day: The Anchoress on EMBRYONIC Stem Cell Research

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:45 pm

She hits at the underhandedness of those who support embryonic stem cell research, and the WORM (Worn-Out Reactionary Media) reporters who assist them:

It never fails that when the press discusses things like President Bush vetoing this bill, they leave out the word EMBRYONIC.

They want the world to think that Bush is a “Christian who is afraid of science,” and so they always discreetly forget the EMBRYONIC part, leaving casual readers to think the president is against adult stem cell research, in general…which is not at all true.

It is an intellectual dishonesty the press is committed to.

…… To me, it speaks volumes that the proponants (sic) of ESC research, in the press and elsewhere, are so willing to mischaracterize moments like these. Seems to me if you cannot be upfront about the thing you want, if you need to dance around it, then there must be a reason why. Maybe it’s because you know the thing you want, you probably shouldn’t want.

And btw, President Bush says he was “honor bound,” to veto this bill. Good for him. “Honor” has become a remarkably rare commodity in politics. When I look at the world and the state of it, I believe this will be for us a blessing.

Stronger words than these can be found at Michael Fumento’s National Review column about Science Magazine’s disgraceful record in shilling for embryonic research while belittling real accomplishments with adult stem cells.

The Silence of the WORMs: First UN Oil-for-Food Scandal Trial Concludes

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:20 am

Niall Stanage of The New York Observer notes the disinterest on the part of the WORMs (Worn-Out Reactionary Media, known to most as The Mainstream Media) while describing the proceedings in the trial of Tongsun Park relating to the Oil for Food Scandal:

….. a remarkable trial that ended last week in a Manhattan courtroom—a proceeding that implicated figures in the highest echelons of international politics—was barely mentioned in the major American press. If it weren’t for the journalistic wing of the conservative movement, outlets like the National Review Online and The New York Sun, it might not have been covered at all.

Take the events of last Thursday, for example. After two weeks of testimony, a jury took only a few hours to convict a South Korean national, Tongsun Park, of acting as an unregistered agent of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. The conspiracy of which he was a part ran for 10 years, ending in late 2002, and helped one of the world’s worst regimes maintain its grip on power.

But The New York Times did not assign a reporter to his trial, its total coverage amounting to a brief wire report on the day following Mr. Park’s conviction. Of the other major national dailies, The Washington Post ran a single news-brief item, the Los Angeles Times not a word.

Given the stakes—and what the Park trial clearly demonstrated about the seamier side of the U.N.—it hardly made sense.

….. The trial of Tongsun Park was one of the first oil-for-food cases to come before a U.S. court. And it revealed for the first time the depth of the chicanery that took place even as the program was being formulated.

During the trial, Mr. Park’s co-conspirator, Samir Vincent, now a cooperating witness on behalf of the government, said he considered himself and Mr. Park “the architects” of U.N. Resolution 986, which set up the oil-for-food program. Both men, it bears repeating, have now been proven to be undeclared Iraqi agents.

The prosecution’s case rested almost exclusively on the story Mr. Vincent had to tell. But what a story it was.

He testified that during a 1996 meeting, Mr. Park asked him for $10 million “to take care of expenses and to take care of some people.” Mr. Vincent understood “some people” to be a reference to the U.N. Secretary General of the time, Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

A version of Mr. Park’s remarkable request was acceded to by Baghdad. Soon, Mr. Vincent found himself in his native country’s oil ministry, being presented with $450,000 in bundles of $100 bills.

The day after his return to the U.S., he handed $100,000 over to Mr. Park in an unnamed Manhattan coffee shop. Two further payments—of $400,000 and $500,000—were made by him to Mr. Park from Iraqi funds, he said.

One document that surfaced at the trial purported to record Mr. Boutros-Ghali expressing regret to the Iraqis that he had been unable to “neutralize” the then chief weapons inspector of the U.N., Rolf Ekéus.

Another of Mr. Vincent’s notes bore a message allegedly to be sent to Mr. Boutros-Ghali through Tongsun Park: “Iraq very appreciative of what he has done and future deals will be even sweeter.”

Mr. Boutros-Ghali denies any wrongdoing whatsoever.

….. During the course of the legal proceedings, these puzzling transactions have been laid bare—for anyone interested enough to write about them.

“This case was fascinating to me because it showed the diplomacy we never see,” said Benny Avni, who covered the trial for The New York Sun. “It showed the dirty diplomacy, what is going on behind the striped suits. It showed where the striped suits were being laundered.”

To Mr. Avni, the lack of major media coverage was symptomatic of a lack of interest among many in the press corps in looking too deeply at the U.N.’s failings.

Bingo, as shown by the following

….. Mr. Avni, declining to “name names,” also recalled a conversation he said he’d had with a Times reporter some months back:

“I said to him, ‘We are covering the U.N. much more aggressively than you are.’ And he said, ‘Right, but we are covering the Bush administration much more aggressively than you are.’ We find faults where we are looking for faults, and they want to find faults where they are looking for faults.”

So there it is. Here is a thumbnail sketch of Oil-for-Food:

It began as a U.N. humanitarian aid program called “Oil-for-Food,” but it ended up with Saddam Hussein pocketing billions to become the biggest graft-generating machine ever and enriching some of America’s most forceful opponents at the United Nations.

Plus, some evidence suggests that some of the money ended up in the hands of potential terrorists who are opposed to the United States.

….. The General Accountability Office has already pegged Saddam’s Oil-for-Food take at $10.1 billion. It could end up being a lot more.

….. Some evidence suggests that those countries that said they were opposing the Bush administration on principle were actually making billions from Oil-for-Food.

Covering a major trial relating to this scandal was not important enough for the “leading” WORM newspapers to even bother sending a living, breathing reporter to.

But there’s seemingly no limit to the time and resources they’ve thrown at Bush Administration and War on Terror/Iraq War non-scandals and relative mini-scandals relating to Joe Wilson, Valerie Plame, terrorist telephone call tracking, Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, and the like.

Likewise, there’s apparently no restraint on what they will expend to expose national security programs like the financial tracking that was being done through SWIFT, even though such actions will arguably enable terrorists avoid capture and carry out attacks that could have been prevented.

As has been pointed out many times before at this blog, what the WORMs are doing in their coverage of the Bush Administration and the War on Terror/Iraq War is financially suicidal as well. Circulations and ratings are dropping, stock prices are falling even faster, all at rates that can’t possibly attributed to Internet news substitution by readers.

Even that doesn’t seem to matter. To paraphrase LGF’s conclusion, one that is inescapable: In these wars, “The WORMs Are the Enemy.”

_________________________

UPDATE: Today at OpinionJournal.com, Claudia Rossett, who broke the oil-for-food story when she was at The Wall Street Journal, lays out the scandal’s background and the trial evidence in layman’s terms. Read it, and save it, because you probably won’t see it anywhere else.

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ-Life Links (072006)

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:58 am

Free Links:

  • It appears that Apple is leaning towards $3-$5 video rentals instead of $10-$20 sales over its iTunes platform. If true, I think that’s a very good choice.
  • The Wall Street Journal will start having ads on the front page (link currently free, but may require free registration later) of its print edition sometime in September.
  • “The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same” Dept.CNet reports that Symantec, which admittedly has more than a little self-interest at stake in this, claims that the networking technology in Microsoft’s new Vista operating system “will be less stable, at least in the short run, than Windows XP’s…”
  • I hope no one from the ACLU is reading this:

    Family wallops would-be robber, wraps things up for police Wednesday, July 19, 2006

    WEST PALM BEACH — While covering his head amid the barrage of flying fists and feet, his legs bound with a jump-rope by children half his size, a bruised and bloodied Craig Mack had a sudden realization, police say: He’d picked the wrong family to mess with.

    Mack arrived at the Perez family home at 611 28th St. Monday night just as an exhausted Mateo Perez was getting home from a 12-hour day of landscaping and cleaning buildings. Mack probably figured he could swipe Perez’s wallet and get away without much of a fight, police said.

    But he didn’t count on having to brawl with the rest of the Perez clan: Candelaria, the 4-foot-9 housewife with a wicked right hook she honed as a girl on the streets of Guatemala; daughter Imelta, the mellow 13-year-old who never dreamed she would take a chair to a robber’s head and tie him up; and son Juan, the 10-year-old Miami Heat fanatic who traded his basketball for a stick to whip an attacker.

    When Mack attacked Mateo Perez shortly before 10 p.m., the father of five cried out for help from the family he has supported single-handedly since arriving from Guatemala in 1987. Within seconds, they were fighting at his side. About 20 minutes later, police found Mack lying face down in the back yard, his legs bound in jump-rope, Mateo sitting on top of him.

  • This is a Boston story about what I think is a nationwide phenomenon

    Fewer entry-level jobs and greater competition from adults and immigrants for the same jobs have driven teen employment to decline over the past five years.

    A survey prepared by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University for The Commonwealth Corporation in Boston reported that the teen employment rate in Massachusetts declined to 32 percent in 2004 from 40 percent in 2000 — and that the decline in teen employment “considerably” exceeded employment declines in any other age group.

    I think the article misses three other factors. One is that many high school extracurricular activities have become so demanding of summer time that the ability to work at the same time is difficult. Another factor is that states have in various subtle ways increased the age at which a teen is actually able to drive on his or her own. A third is that many parents don’t push kids to work during the summer as much as they used to.

Positivity: Anonymous Kayaker Rescues Motorist Stranded for 36 Hours

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:01 am

He or she saw the need to call for help, and was gone by the time the rescue was complete:

Motorist rescued in Andover after kayaker calls police

The Eagle Tribune newspaper reports the kayaker saw the wreck yesterday afternoon near the Shawsheen River.

The truck was upside down in three feet of water. Police say the kayaker flagged down a car and called police.

It took police and firefighters about 30 minutes to free the 53-year-old man. He’s in serious condition at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. …..

Police say when they first arrived, the kayaker was on the highway. By the time the rescue was done, the kayaker was gone.

Authorities say they think the truck flipped over the guardrail at 3 am Thursday.