May 8, 2007

Thanks, Seggy

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:58 pm

So there’s post-French election insurrection. Segolene Royal’s pre-election warning of violence if she lost should now properly be seen as providing reckless encouragement to the lawless:

May 7Anti-Sarkozy demo at Paris Bastille

PARIS (AFP) – Some 200 protestors, most of them high-school students, staged a rowdy protest against rightwing president-elect Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday.

Blocking traffic with metal barriers and camping in the centre of the road near the Place de la Bastille — the scene of violent clashes with police the night before — the demonstrators urged drivers to show their support by honking their horns.

Chanting “Sarko, Fascist, the people will get you!” and “Sarko, Rabble, you’ve got to go!” — referring to Sarkozy’s notorious description of young troublemakers as “racaille” — they draped a French flag scrawled with the slogan “Resist Sarkozy” across the steps of the Bastille Opera house.

May 8Sarkozy holidays as fresh violence hits French cities

PARIS (AFP) – France’s next president Nicolas Sarkozy holidayed Tuesday in Malta ahead of launching a radical reform programme, while back home cities across the country were hit by more violent “anti-Sarko” protests.

Sarkozy doesn’t start until May 16, but I guess the press wants to make him appear unconscientious for not being around for the riots someone else caused.

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UPDATE, May 9: The French press is already playing the “rich right-winger bought and paid for by the rich” meme:

Sarkozy takes luxury break after poll win
LA VALETTA, May 8, 2007 (AFP) – France’s next president, the hyper-energetic Nicolas Sarkozy, was enjoying a break in the middle of the Mediterranean on Tuesday to savour his resounding weekend electoral triumph.

The 52-year-old rightwinger, who has promised to shake up France’s economy with an infusion of US-style liberalism once he takes office May 16, was in the middle of a three-day getaway with his family on board a yacht somewhere near Malta.

Officials on the tiny island, which lies just south of Sicily, said Sarkozy, his wife Cecilia and their 10-year-old son Louis arrived Monday on board a private jet and immediately boarded the waiting vessel.

Records in France showed that both the plane — a Falcon 900 EX luxury jet with the tail marking F-HBOL — and the yacht — a 60-metre (200-foot) vessel flying a French flag — were owned by Vincent Bollore, a wealthy French billionaire businessman.

Does anyone remember the press calling attention to who owned the various vacation spots in Martha’s Vineyard and elsewhere the Clintons vacationed to? Neither do I.

Couldn’t Help But Notice (050807)

New London, Connecticut’s land-grabbers got oodles of free publicity last week (video here, which worked as of last Saturday) as they unveiled its plan to replace old homes, many of which, like Susette Kelo’s, had an ocean view, with ….. (jaw drops at the lack of irony in the statement) ….. “luxury homes with an ocean view.”

New London Calling attended the New London Development Council’s annual meeting last week, and caught this:

Highlight for me: Mr. Finley (of contractor Corcoran Jennison) stating that he wanted to design something that “fit within the fabric of New London.”

Insert “destroy the village in order to save it” joke here. It is way too easy to mock these people.

Thanks to the Kelo ruling, it’s also way too easy for “these people” to get their way.

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Not nearly enough attention has been paid to this startling admission of archlib Garrison Keillor (click on the April 17 article in the right frame, because your first click may you to the home page’s more recent article; HT Lileks via Hot Air):

It’s good for an old liberal like me to read history and recognize that Eisenhower was no dolt and Adlai Stevenson was no giant. And to read about Joe McCarthy and realize that, opportunist and blowhard that he was, he was hardly the embodiment of evil that we liberals cherished as an enemy. We made the people he attacked into heroes but McCarthyism was very small potatoes. Alger Hiss was not the victim of a witch hunt; he was a witch. The big story was taking place in Russia and Eastern Europe, in China, and in Cuba, places where evil ruled with an open hand, but a great many Democrats refused to see it. This refusal was a reaction against anti-communists such as Richard Nixon — if he said the sun rose in the east, then we would look off to the west and maybe build mirrors there so as to be able to argue the point — and this gave the Democratic party a reputation for appeasement that has crippled us ever since.

He goes on to incorrectly apply the “lessons” he learned to today’s GOP, but the larger point is that people like him were running the country at various times during the Cold War. These people would never, ever do anything that might make it look like they agreed with conservatives. So they, naturally, felt compelled to choose the appeasement route time and again, even though they instinctively knew it was wrong to do so.

That we didn’t lose it all because of them during the Cold War is almost a miracle.

The mentality still prevails today in the Formerly Mainstream Media, where there appear to be two rules:

  1. Republicans and George Bush get no credit for anything.
  2. If you think Republicans and George Bush might deserve credit for something, see Rule Number 1.

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Most underplayed story of the past week: The courtroom smackdown (HT Michelle Malkin) delivered to “Baghdad Jim” McDermott over his handling of illegally obtained recordings of cellphone conversations involving Newt Gingrich, John Boehner, and others. Boehner prevailed. If the parties were switched, he would have been in the rotation on every major news show in the Formerly Mainstream Media, and McDermott would be a Gordon-Liddy-level dirty tricks artist for the ages.

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Kevin at Pundit Review had the opportunity to visit Walter Reed Memorial Hospital, and has an excellent report on it, complete with lots of great pics.

This paragraph of his caught my eye. It puts the recent congressional hyperventilating, in some cases by those who either have never set foot in the place or haven’t done so in over a decade, into perspective:

Walter Reed has gotten some bad press lately about the conditions in some outpatient housing. The criticism was deserved, but the story that caught everyone’s attention does not reflect the facility as a whole, but only a few rooms within a sprawling, college style campus. Within the hospital itself, the soldiers at Walter Reed are receiving the best care in the world, and are treated with the respect and dignity worthy of their service and sacrifice.

That surely isn’t the impression the rest of the country has, because those who really don’t support the troops and their allies in the Formerly Mainstream Media opportunistically piled on the entire Walter Reed operation, and pilloried those who actually went there and wouldn’t join in across-the-board condemnation.

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Notice how little, if any, hue and cry is raised by so-called “mainstream” enviros when radical depopulation manifestos like this one from Sea Shepherd are released, or when someone advocates the societally suicidal idea of one child per family (which, if followed, would itself force radical depopulation, because the few young who are on hand could not possibly support the hordes of elderly in their midst).

The second idea is advocated by something called the Optimum Population Trust (OPT). For a supposedly radical outfit, it has interesting “mainstream” enviro support — Wikipedia lists as OPT’s top Patron best-selling author and gloom-doom legend Paul R. “The Population Bomb” Ehrlich.

It’s not unreasonable, in the lack of evidence to the contrary, to believe that the lack of objection by “mainstream” enviros stems from their fundamental agreement with what organizations like OPT are saying.

Newspaper Circulation Drop Continues, With One Shining Exception

Filed under: Business Moves,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 6:02 am

The newspaper circulation numbers came out last week. Editor & Publisher’s article on the situation is here.

I’m reproducing their top-25 lists for daily and Sunday circulation as of March 31, 2007 below for future reference (their Sunday list actually has 26. The percentage changes are for the six months ended March 31 previous 12 months. Prior-period BizzyBlog posts relating to the September 30, 2006 and March 31, 2006 reports cited bias as at least as strong a contributor to circ declines as the influence of the Internet. Nothing much has really changed.

DAILY:

USA Today — 2,278,022, +0.23%
The Wall Street Journal — 2,062,312, +0.61%
New York Times — 1,120,420, -1.93%
Los Angeles Times — 815,723, -4.24% (-9.4% in 2 years)
New York Post — 724,748, +7.63%

New York Daily News — 718,174, +1.37%
Washington Post — 699,130, -3.47% (-7.0% in 2 years)
Chicago Tribune — 566,827, -2.12%
Houston Chronicle — 503,114, -2.00%
Arizona Republic — 433,731, -1.14%

Dallas Morning News — 411,919, -14.27%
Newsday — 398,231, -6.91% (-9.4% in 2 years)
San Francisco Chronicle — 386,564, -2.93% (-18.1% in 2 years)
Boston Globe — 382,503, -3.72% (-11.9% in 2 years)
Star-Ledger of Newark — 372,629, -6.08%

Atlanta Journal–Constitution — 357,399, -2.09% (-8.6% in 2 years)
Philadelphia Inquirer — 352,593, +0.61%
Star Tribune of Minneapolis — 345,252, -4.88% (-7.6% in 2 years)
Cleveland Plain Dealer — 344,704, +0.45%
Detroit Free Press — 329,989, -4.70%

St. Petersburg Times — 322,771, -0.08%
Portland Oregonian — 319,625, -1.05%
San Diego Union-Tribune — 296,331, -6.58%
Orange County Register — 284,613, -5.07%
Sacramento Bee — 279,032, -4.83%

SUNDAY:

New York Times — 1,627,062, -3.37%
Los Angeles Times — 1,173,096, -4.73%
Chicago Tribune — 940,620, -1.73%
Washington Post — 929,921, -3.20%
New York Daily News — 775,543, -2.47%

Denver Post/Rocky Mountain News — 704,168, -0.79%
Philadelphia Inquirer — 688,670, -2.45%
Houston Chronicle — 677,425, -2.18%
Detroit Free Press — 640,356; (change in frequency)
Star Tribune of Minneapolis — 574,406, -5.32%

Star-Ledger of Newark — 570,523, -4.33%
Dallas Morning News — 563,079, -13.33%
Boston Globe — 562,273, -6.92%
Arizona Republic — 541,757, -2.64%
Atlanta Journal–Constitution — 523,687, -6.72%

Newsday — 464,169, -5.04%
Cleveland Plain Dealer — 442,482, -1.86%
New York Post — 439,202, +6.15%
San Francisco Chronicle — 438,006, -2.99%
St. Petersburg Times — 430,893, +2.01%

Seattle Post-Intelligencer/Times — 423,635, -2.74%
St. Louis Post-Dispatch — 407,754, -3.67%
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — 400,317, -1.24%
San Diego Union-Tribune — 378,696, -7.27%
Baltimore Sun — 377,561, -6.06%
Portland Oregonian — 375,913, -2.29%

The shining exception to the general gloom in both lists is the New York Post. Its daily circulation leapfrogged both the New York Daily News and The Washington Post six months ago, and has stayed ahead since; that has to be hard to swallow in some Inside-the-Beltway circles. I say the New York Post’s success is largely due to their willingness to go elsewhere for outside help when it would come in handy. :–>

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UPDATE: This update changes info presented early this morning. The percentage circulation changes above compare March 31, 2007 to March 31, 2006, and are therefore 12-month changes, not six-month changes as was earlier thought. That, and reference to previous posts, provided the opportunity to supply the notable two-year-drop figures provided in italics in several cases above.

UPDATE 2: The flight of advertisers is accelerating — This WaPo article from Saturday about itself points to a 16% decline; if the dollar amount of that decline keeps going, WaPo as we know it is gone in six years. A different WaPo article from a couple of weeks ago noted several examples of smaller declines at other publishers.

UPDATE 3: O,M,G — At the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, home of the Lileks controversy, classified ad revenue in 1Q07 was down 23% from 1Q06.

Positivity: Injured war hero aims to inspire others with book

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 5:57 am

From Iowa:

April 30, 2007

Sgt. Maj. Brad Kasal still thinks every day about death, sacrifice and honor in Iraq, even though he’s back in Iowa. The war hero has written a book in hopes of inspiring other Marines.

Kasal, 40, said he can’t forget what happened on Nov. 13, 2004, while he was engaged in urban combat against insurgents in Fallujah.

It was there that he earned a Navy Cross for leading a mission into an enemy-held house to rescue wounded Marines. He killed one insurgent in the house in a face-to-face encounter. Then he was shot seven times by an enemy fighter with an AK-47 assault rifle and absorbed the brunt of a grenade blast while shielding another badly injured Marine with his body.

“I have regrets about that day – that I lost a Marine and that 13 other good Marines were wounded,” Kasal said recently. “But I don’t have any regrets about going into that house. If I had it to do over again – even knowing what happened – I would do it all over again.”

Read the whole thing.