January 2, 2009

Congrats to SOBer Maggie Thurber, Weblog Awards 2008 Finalist!

Filed under: News from Other Sites — Tom @ 11:31 am

Thurber’s Thoughts is a finalist in the 2008 Weblog Awards for Best Political Coverage Blog.

Her blog is of course most deserving of this recognition, and I am pleased to have nominated her.

The voting page is here. There’s some pretty heavy competition, but vote early and often (if the rules are the same as last year, you can vote once every 24 clock hours from your preceding vote), and who knows?

Voting begins at 12:00 midnight Tuesday (when Monday turns into Tuesday), unless their counter is off by a day, and continues until January 12.

Vote once a day to keep Thurber in play!

A New Year’s Eve Toast to Old Media’s — and Old Medea’s — defeat in Iraq

Note: This column was posted at Pajamas Media on Wednesday, which was New Year’s Eve. Update, Jan. 3: I’m pleased to report that this column has spent most of the past few days in PJM’s “Most Popular” List.


My 2002 e-mail to Medea Benjamin — and how it looks after a successful 2008.


As 2008 ends, two things should not be forgotten.

First, it was the year that the war in Iraq became successful to the point where many started calling it victory. Perhaps cynics can dismiss writers like Zombietime or opinionated editorialists like those at Investors Business Daily as pollyannas. But they have nowhere to run or hide when an observer on the ground like Michael Yon, who had the independence to tell us we were in danger of losing not all that long ago, comes out and says “The war is over …. the civil war has completely ended.”

Second, this victory (or, if you must, “the end of the war with Iraqi and US forces firmly in control”) is a major setback for those who worked tirelessly for defeat. At every opportunity, the defeatists employed or extended tactics that had ultimately “succeeded” in bringing about the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia’s killing fields (but which also led to Carter Era weakness, which finally caused enough disgusted Americans to elect Ronald Reagan).

But this time, they didn’t work. The US has achieved a military victory in a long war against a persistent enemy. What’s more, unlike Vietnam (which was a military victory; Vietnam was lost when our military wasn’t there), this victory is being handed over to a successor administration of the other party.

The defeated defeatists include many senators, congressmen, and elitists in Washington. They include Harry Reid, who said “I believe ….. that this war is lost” in April 2007. They include many members of the incoming administration, up to the president-elect himself. Though the defeatists are in control, they know full well that if they allow Iraq to go the way of Vietnam, this time they will get the blame — and the blowback.

The defeated defeatists include the US and worldwide news media, whose journalistic malpractice in this war could fill volumes of books (and hopefully someday will).

Deliciously, the most decisively defeated defeatists are radical leftists like Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin.

We received a preview of the tactics the media and the radical left (but I almost repeat myself) would try to employ in September 2002. While Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld testified before the House Armed Services Committee about the importance of ousting Saddam Hussein, Benjamin and another demonstrator interrupted the hearing, “began chanting ‘Inspections, not war’ and unfurled a banner bearing the slogan before Capitol police removed them from the hearing room.”

The entire sequence could not have lasted more than two minutes. The newsworthiness of the protest was at best debatable. Yet the next day, in a brazen act of radical solidarity, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times all pictured Benjamin and her comrade on their front pages.

Brit Hume of Fox News observed in his “Grapevine” segment the next night that:

That brief outburst during Defense Secretary Rumsfeld’s testimony in the House yesterday may not have amounted to much. The New York Times story on the hearings summed up the incident in two sentences inside the paper. But on the front page, there the protesters were in living color. And the Washington Post did not mention them in its news story, but on that front page, a color picture as well. The Los Angeles Times even made the outburst the lead photograph in the paper. And MSNBC invited the women on as prime time guests.

That MSNBC interview ended up being an indicator that what worked in the 1960s and 1970s might not fly decades later. Instead of the softball interview the pair expected, the Media Research Center reported that Ashleigh Banfield, not a conservative by any stretch, reminded the women that “70 percent of Americans say they believe that if we don’t take military action against Saddam, we’re going to end up just like those 3,000 people who I happened to witness a year ago down at Ground Zero.”

Benjamin’s protest also led your humble servant to respond. I located an e-mail address for Ms. Benjamin at Global Exchange, the home of her decades-long romance with Cuban-style collectivism (Code Pink began two months later), and sent her the following:

Subject: I see that you’re a “celebrity” now

Gosh, front-page photos in the New York Times and the Washington Post. You’ve made the bigtime. I am so impressed (NOT).

Don’t let it go to your head, but anyone who examines the tripe you believe comes away shaking their heads in wonder that anyone can be so ignorant. You have hurt your cause more than helped it. Even ultra-liberal Ashleigh Banfield couldn’t stomach your point of view when you were on Podunk’s News Channel (MSNBC would probably get a bigger audience if they ran a test pattern instead of programming).

You see babe, the NYT and WaPo don’t set the agenda any more, like they did in the 60s. There is now competition in the arena of ideas, the interpretation of events, and the determination of what really is news–and your side is losing. Your tired Vietnam-era tactics never did work in the long run; otherwise, Ronald Reagan would never have become president and we’d be speaking Russian today. Now they don’t even work in the short run. Fox News, Rush, Michael Savage (who likened your chant to a pair of sick dolphins-HA), the Media Research Center, and countless others have exposed you as complete fools, all within 48 hours. Anyone with a pulse and a brain knows what you’re about now, and rejects it.

Congratulations, and keep up the good work.

I’m not naive enough to think that Ms. Benjamin gave a rip about what I had to say. But it was nonetheless a cathartic taunt. It also turned out to be a bit prophetic.

Old Media, and Old Medea, threw everything they had at George Bush and the military in their quest for failure. They can arguably be blamed for encouraging Iraq’s terrorists to keep fighting when they might otherwise have quit, extending the war, and costing us hundreds of billions of dollars. But ultimately, and fortunately, it is they who failed, and the hated George Bush and the Iraqi people who prevailed.

That result is deserves a hearty New Year’s Eve toast. Bottoms up.

Cincinnati Enquirer Botches Coverage of ‘Ecumenical’ Press Conference and Demo

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 9:30 am

The Cincinnati Enquirer’s coverage of a local press conference and demonstration relating to the Israeli-Hamas conflict in Israel and Gaza has been atrocious. I suspect that the Enquirer is not unique in its egregious journalistic failures.

The two stories involved, both by Rebecca Goodman, are (original Cincinnati reference HT to Atlas Shrugs):

Dec. 31 — “Area groups call for an end to Gaza conflict”
Jan. 1 — “Ecumenical group calls for end to fighting in Gaza Strip”

Any more, you can almost work up a checklist on stories such as these, and expect to be able to check off the majority of, if not all, of the items on the list. The checklist follows the jump:


Boulder County Sheriff Suppresses Reason for Ski Lift GM’s Death

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:10 am

“Boomer,” a commenter at Michelle Malkin’s place, reacted to her post on the Aspen man who “killed himself in a botched bank robbery/mass murder attempt” mentioning “a (different) story I saw earlier today about a ski instructor in Aspen being murdered by a nut job because he admitted to his Catholic faith.”

After more searching than should have been necessary, I found a reference at Mary Major’s blog that had the specifics:

“Catholic” “wrong answer” to gunman
Here is the latest of the Colorado ski resort shooting.



During a standard morning meeting Tuesday, Derik Bonestroo, a 24-year-old lift operator, pulled out a gun, fired a shot into the ceiling and threatened his co-workers, mentioning something about religion. When general manager Brian Mahon entered the room, Bonestroo asked him what religion he believed in.

When Mahon said “Catholic,” according to witness accounts, Bonestroo then shot him twice, sending his fellow employees fleeing out doors and windows.

Mahon died at the scene and Bonestroo fled in a vehicle. He was chased by officers and eventually got into a fire fight with a Boulder County sheriff’s deputy. The deputy shot and killed Bonestroo, and the resort remained closed for the day.

That Daily Camera link no longer contains a reference to Mahon’s Catholic profession, because when you put in that link, you get taken to another. Thankfully, Google cache has the original containing the excerpted language; now, so does my web host.

The Boulder County Sheriff’s Department is not reporting Mahon’s profession of faith, despite the multiple witness accounts in a room that had 18-20 people in it. The word “Catholic” is not in any of the Sheriff Department’s three press releases (here, here, and here), nor is there any reference to eyewitness accounts saying that the alleged killer fired after Mahon answered his question about his faith. Instead, we get “The suspect confronted him immediately, shooting him twice before fleeing the scene,” and “his motive remains unclear.”

Why the suppression? Is it because this murder has “hate crime” written all over it, and the sheriff wants to avoid classifying it as such?

UPDATE, Jan. 3: Here is a rendition of what happened that is NOT first-hand –

An employee who was in the room at the time of the shooting told the Boettchers (a couple who were NOT there — Ed.) that Bonestroo had fired a gun toward the ceiling during a morning meeting and said, “Anybody that’s not my religion is going to die today,” John Boettcher said.

Bonestroo had started asking people about their religion when the general manager entered the room.

“He asked him what religion he was, and he said, ‘Catholic,’” Boettcher said. “Then he shot him in the head and in the chest.”

Things I’d Like To Post About Today ….. (010209, Morning)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 6:05 am

….. But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • Rich Karlgard at Forbes — “It seems like a distant memory now, but the recession’s first ten months were so mild that between December 2007 and September 2008 there was an annual growth rate of 0.8%. Outside of housing and financial services, the economy was downright healthy, growing nearly 2.5% during that period.” Good description, but bad premise: What’ he’s describing as a “so mild” recession wasn’t a recession at all, at least not continually, no matter what the pinheads at the National Bureau of Economic Research say. It represented problems in a couple of sectors that nonetheless failed to keep the overall economy from growing.
  • It goes on …. and on …. and on — “The U.S. Treasury threw the door open to taxpayer financing for a widening array of companies and industries by drafting broad guidelines on aid to the auto industry.”
  • Jack Cashill — “‘Dreams (of My Father)’ may prove to be the most consequential literary hoax of our time.” Indeed. Meanwhile, I have yet to see any attempt to refute this UK Daily Mail portrayal of Barack Obama’s father, covered in previous BizzyBlog posts here and here.
  • Sammy Wilson, Democratic Unionist Party environment minister for Northern Ireland, gets it on globaloney and the globalarmists who push it — “Spending billions on trying to reduce carbon emissions is one giant con that is depriving third world countries of vital funds to tackle famine, HIV and other diseases.”
  • Speaking of globaney, here are “The 12 Days of Global Warning” (HT Pundit Review):

    The graphics make it worth watching, but for those who don’t have time to view the whole thing, here are the lyrics:

    12 new ways of taxing,
    11 light bulbs banning,
    10 droughts a happening,
    9 hurricanes blowing,
    8 rivers flooding,
    7 oceans rising,
    6 glaciers melting,
    5 drowning polar bears.
    4 dollar gas,
    3 failed automakers,
    2 melting ice caps,
    and a fear-mongering documentary.

  • Update: Do not miss Patterico’s annual compilation of journalistic and other malpractice at the Los Angeles.