February 22, 2015

Positivity: George Washington and a Little-Known Turning Point in American History

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:00 am

georgewashingtonThis post is a Washington’s Birthday BizzyBlog tradition.

____________________________________________

Few know that George Washington singlehandedly prevented a soldiers’ revolt in 1783.

*********

(from historyplace.com)

At the close of the Revolutionary War in America, a perilous moment in the life of the fledgling American democracy occurred as officers of the Continental Army met in Newburgh, New York, to discuss grievances and consider a possible insurrection against the rule of Congress.

They were angry over the failure of Congress to honor its promises to the army regarding salary, bounties and life pensions. The officers had heard from Philadelphia that the American government was going broke and that they might not be compensated at all.

On March 10, 1783, an anonymous letter was circulated among the officers of General Washington’s main camp at Newburgh. It addressed those complaints and called for an unauthorized meeting of officers to be held the next day to consider possible military solutions to the problems of the civilian government and its financial woes.

General Washington stopped that meeting from happening by forbidding the officers to meet at the unauthorized meeting. Instead, he suggested they meet a few days later, on March 15th, at the regular meeting of his officers.

Meanwhile, another anonymous letter was circulated, this time suggesting Washington himself was sympathetic to the claims of the malcontent officers.

And so on March 15, 1783, Washington’s officers gathered in a church building in Newburgh, effectively holding the fate of democracy in America in their hands.

Unexpectedly, General Washington himself showed up. He was not entirely welcomed by his men, but nevertheless, personally addressed them…
(more…)

February 17, 2015

Obama Admin Officials to New Yorker Mag: Libyan Chaos Is GOP’s Fault

In a rundown of the deteriorating situation in Libya in its February 23 issue, New Yorker Magazine’s Jon Lee Anderson quoted “a senior (Obama) Administration official” (the capital “A” is Anderson’s) who, incredibly, claimed that the country’s descent into virtual chaos resulted from “the politicization” of the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack which killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others.

You see, because of that alleged politicization, Team Obama-Hillary claims that it, in the Administration official’s words, “reduced our geographic scope and presence in the country,” and, in Anderson’s words, that it “wound down its diplomatic presence and essentially abandoned its role” there. A different “senior administration official” chimed in with how Benghazi “brought a ‘broader chill’” to U.S. efforts.

(more…)

February 16, 2015

Positivity: It’s Time to Rediscover George Washington’s Greatness

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 9:03 am

From Carson Holloway at the Daily Signal:

February 16, 2015

What’s so great about George Washington?

I don’t mean this as a rhetorical question, implying that Washington really was not great—as such a question might be intended by many modern scholarly debunkers of great men. I intend it, rather, as a real question from which we can gain some valuable insight: what exactly made George Washington great? What was it about him that makes him one of the greatest American presidents and perhaps even the greatest?

It is altogether fitting and proper to ask this question on the anniversary of Washington’s birth. By asking and answering it, we do justice to him and do good for ourselves. Exploring the question does justice to Washington because it compels us to honor him intelligently.

Honor is what we owe him, but the honor is empty, and therefore the debt is really left unpaid, if we do not try to reflect on his virtues. At the same time, exploring the question does good to ourselves because it compels us to admire him intelligently, such that we might hope to imitate his virtues and therefore make more secure the political order that he and the other founders gave to us.

Those who admire the founding generation—whose numbers thankfully still outstrip the debunkers—sometimes speak of them as a generation of geniuses. The word genius is overused and thus undervalued these days, but it is probably not inappropriate to apply it to many of the American founders. At least we can say without exaggeration that it is very, very rare for the affairs of a nation to be in the hands of men who were both able statesmen and rigorous political thinkers—men like Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

Here we encounter a kind of paradox. We are apt to praise the founders for their genius, yet the greatest man among the founders, the indispensable man, was remarkable in a different way. George Washington was certainly an intelligent man who had understood and reflected on the natural rights doctrine that informed the founding. He was clearly an astute observer of American politics who came to understand sooner than some that the government created by the Articles of Confederation was incompetent to preserve the Union and so would have to be replaced by something better. But his greatest virtues lay outside the theoretical realm.

What, then, made Washington the greatest man of this great generation? It was his character. George Washington stands out, even among men of the caliber of the founders, for the greatness of his character. Indeed, for that reason, he was a better president than any of them were or probably could have been. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

February 15, 2015

NY Times Editorial Bemoans Libyan Chaos, Without Mentioning Obama or Even the U.S.

Libya’s descent into chaos troubles the New York Times editorial board. Naturally, the Old Gray Lady’s Sunday editorial, even as it referenced the 2011 “civil war,” didn’t even try to make any association between the current mess and the administration which initiated it.

The editorial’s recitation of the current situation, without any mention of President Obama, NATO, or the United States, leaves one wondering why the Times even bothered publishing the piece (bolds are mine throughout this post):

(more…)

Update: Losing the War U.S. Troops Won Under Bush 43

Remember, U.S. troops achieved undeniable victory in Iraq in November 2008.

Now there’s this from CNN:

An Iraqi tribal leader said Saturday that ISIS militants are gaining ground in Anbar province, predicting a “collapse within hours” of Iraqi army forces there if tribal forces withdraw.

Sheikh Naim al-Gaoud, a Sunni Muslim leader of the Albu Nimr tribe, called for more U.S. intervention — including ground troops, arming tribes directly or at least pressuring the Iraqi government to give the tribes more firepower.

While U.S. officials have said that ISIS, which calls itself the Islamic State, is on the defensive in Iraq and Syria, al-Gaoud says that’s definitely not the case where he is.

“In Anbar, we are losing ground, not gaining,” he said.

Thousands of families had been under siege in the town of Jubbat al-Shamiya until getting help Friday from U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and Iraqi forces, according to al-Gaoud.

But he said Iraqi troops had pulled out of Jubbat al-Shamiya on Saturday, at which time ISIS was shelling the town.

If the Islamist extremist group’s fighters go in, al-Gaoud predicted a massacre.

I’ve said the war was Obama’s to lose all along, and he’s losing it — at a horrible human cost.

And it is ALL on him.

_________________________________________

UPDATE: This is on top of the story from two days ago that ISIS fighters are within reach of coalition troops near Baghdad —

Bombers make it onto Iraq base used by U.S. troops

Eight suicide bombers managed Friday to get onto a sprawling Iraqi military base where hundreds of U.S. Marines are training their Iraqi counterparts, but were killed by an ISF counter attack almost immediately.

Sean Ryan, chief of foreign affairs for the U.S.-led military coalition in Iraq, confirmed to CBS News that the attackers made it onto the secluded Ain al-Asad airbase west of Baghdad, but said the attackers made it “nowhere near” the American forces on the base before they were killed.

A U.S. defense official, speaking to CBS News on background, said the militants were believed to have been members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), who hold positions just a few miles northeast of the base, in the al-Baghdadi area.

The official said coalition forces were at least a mile and a half away from the attack, and at no point were they under direct threat from the militants.

“Nowhere near” is NOT 1-1/2 miles, people.

February 12, 2015

Positivity: Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:00 am

This post became a BizzyBlog tradition on Lincoln’s birthday in 2012. Bolds and several additional paragraph breaks are mine.

March 4, 1865:

Fellow Countrymen:

AT this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.

One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it.

Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged.

The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him?

Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

February 11, 2015

NYT’s Parker-Pope Posts on ‘False Memories’ in Williams’ Defense Four Days After NBC Pressure Was Known

Tara Parker-Pope attempted a defense of disgraced NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams in an item (“Was Brian Williams a Victim of False Memory?”) posted at the New York Times “Well” blog — late Monday afternoon. It even made Tuesday’s New York version of the Old Gray Lady’s print edition.

Parker-Pope’s premise, similar to that used by Marison Bello at USA Today three days earlier — even using the same “expert” as a source — is that the Williams saga “offers a compelling case study in how memories can change and shift dramatically over time.” Parker-Pope’s post is particularly pathetic because it appeared online a full four days after Variety reported that Williams “had been counseled in the past by senior NBC News executives to stop telling the story in public.” Over the next several days, other media outlets corroborated and built upon what Variety reported. In other words, even if one buys into the memory-shift idea, it can’t possibly apply in the Williams case. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

(more…)

HuffPo Columnist: Joni Ernst, Who Is a Combat Veteran, Shouldn’t Claim to Be One

Very few things drive leftists to distraction more than a strong Republican or conservative woman achieving political power.

Joni Ernst is a perfect example. The strong-willed freshman Senator from Iowa describes herself in three words: “Mother. Soldier. Leader.” Imagine the howls of outrage if a conservative went after a liberal female combat veteran as Andrew Reinbach at Huffington Post did on Friday. Reinbach tried to claim that Ernst is not really a combat veteran, and questioned “The Honor of Senator Joni Ernst.”

(more…)

February 9, 2015

Williams Admits to Lying About ‘Following’ Hit Helicopter in Feb. 4 Stars and Stripes Interview

At about 2:40 this afternoon, Stars and Stripes published a “full transcript of the Feb. 4 (Wednesday) interview in which the anchor admits he was never on the attacked helicopter and claims he was unaware his flight was not directly behind but actually far from the company that was hit.”

Williams, in admitting that his flight was far from the company that was hit, is acknowledging that the statement he made that very evening on his Nightly News broadcast — that “I was instead in a following aircraft” — was false, and misled his viewers into believing he was near the dangers involved. Also unaddressed are the following items among many which have arisen since that interview: whether even the original 2003 broadcasts from the anchor’s time in Iraq were misleading from the start; how, in the circumstances supposedly just clarified, Williams could have told a college journalist in 2007 that he “looked down the tube of an RPG that had been fired at us”; and other questionable items relating to other stories which have since surfaced. Excerpts from the interview with Travis J. Tritten of Stars and Stripes follow the jump (bolds are mine):

(more…)

February 8, 2015

Geraldo Echoes Rathergate: Williams Critics Attacking ‘From Their Mother’s Basement’ Should ‘Shut up’; Tweets Advice to Wrong Brian Williams

Friday morning on Fox and Friends, Geraldo Rivera, echoing Rathergate, the 2004 scandal which put the blogosphere and New Media on the map to stay and accelerated its growth, reacted to the Brian Williams debacle by denouncing those criticizing the NBC Nightly News anchor “from the safety of their mother’s basement,” telling them that they should just “shut up.”

Saturday, in a pair of tweets reacting to Williams’ decision, quoting from the anchor’s internal memo, “to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days,” Rivera expressed sharp disappointment, saying that Williams should “stand & fight.” But in an epic fail, the Twitter account which Geraldo linked in one of his rants belongs to a different Brian Williams.

(more…)

February 7, 2015

Please Stay on, Brian Williams

Only you can more quickly hasten the establishment press’s demise.

___________________________________________

This column went up at PJ Media Thursday evening and was teased here at BizzyBlog early Friday morning.

___________________________________________

Everyone who cares about the future of this nation should hope that Brian Williams stays on as NBC’s Nightly News anchor.

Williams has finally been called out for his false Iraq War-related story going back a dozen years. He has admitted, contrary to several accounts he had previously given to others, to not being aboard a helicopter that was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade when he was in Iraq in 2003.

Rather than genuinely come clean, Williams’ on-air “apology” Wednesday night gave viewers the impression that he had only made a one-time “mistake” in relaying his fabricated story. Additionally, during that mini-mea culpa, he continued to exaggerate how close he ever was to any kind of danger, and very dubiously claimed that “spent two harrowing nights in a sandstorm in the Iraq desert.”

A timeline at Stars and Stripes shows how Williams’ whopper began, and how, like the proverbial fish story, it grew and grew:

  • In late March 2003, the New York Daily News reported that “the one (helicopter) carrying Williams and (Retired General and current NBC consultant Wayne) Downing landed” after another chopper ahead of them had been hit by “a rocket-fired grenade.” Even this early report appears to have been exaggerated. Larry O’Connor at Truth Revolt, reacting to Williams’ on-air statement Wednesday night, noted that Williams was really “in an aircraft that followed the one hit by RPG fire by an entire hour.”
  • Several days later, USA Today reported that Williams “was stranded in the Iraqi desert for three days.” That hardly appears to be the case. In a comment at an NBC Facebook page, a clearly frustrated Lance Reynolds, the flight engineer on the helicopter that was hit, wrote: “I remember you guys taking back off in a different flight of Chinooks from another unit and heading to Kuwait to report your ‘war story’ to the Nightly News.”
  • By 2007, the helicopter that was hit was, according to a Williams blog entry, “the chopper flying in front of ours.” A University of Notre Dame press release in 2010, the year he gave the commencement address there, referred to how “the lead helicopter was shot down.”
  • In March 2013, Williams told Alec Baldwin of “being in a helicopter I had no business being in in Iraq with rounds coming into the airframe,” and after prompting, saying that he “briefly” thought he would die.
  • Later that month, Williams crossed the fairy-tale Rubicon, telling David Letterman that “Two of the four helicopters were hit by ground fire, including the one I was in,” and that after that, the problem was how “We figure out how to land.” We?
  • Finally, on January 30, Williams, applying even more mustard, told the nation on Nightly News that “the helicopter we were travelling in was forced down after being hit by an RPG.”

The indispensable Kristinn Taylor at Gateway Pundit has found that “Speech promotional bios touted Williams’ bravery in returning to Iraq after he claimed being under fire.” The exhibit at his post touts the anchor’s commencement speech at Fordham University in 2011. Shortly after Taylor’s post, Fordham revised the related web page, adding a note that “On Feb. 4, 2015, Brian Williams issued an on-air retraction regarding the helicopter flight.” Quite a few people at other sites will be similarly busy scrubbing their web pages in the coming days.

In his daily email on Thursday, Jim Geraghty explained Williams’ likely motivation:

Before telling Letterman the helicopter story, Williams makes the caveat that he’s not much of a war correspondent. He cites NBC News foreign correspondent Richard Engel as the kind of reporter who calls a day where he’s shot at “Tuesday.” There’s your motive, for anyone trying to understand why he would do this. He’s an anchor, sitting behind a desk most nights in New York City. It is embarrassing for a man to not have any good war stories or stories of bravery. So Williams took the story of how he was about an hour away from life-and-death drama and changed it. Unfortunately for him, that’s also called “lying.”

Also, in early 2003, though he had been chosen to succeed Tom Brokaw, Williams was not yet perched in the Nightly News anchor chair. There were barely concealed concerns that Williams, whose primary previous duties were at CNBC and MSNBC when the latter at least pretended to be objective, would not prove to be a strong enough presence. The 2003 incident, as embellished even then, surely boosted Williams’ perceived testosterone level at an arguably important time.

The calls for Williams’ resignation or firing have become numerous. Ominously for the NBC anchor, they are beginning to cross the ideological divide. In what can only be seen as a development second-worst in seriousness to the kiss of death itself, Dan Rather, whose decade-ago specialty was fabricating documents designed to prevent George W. Bush’s 2004 presidential election, has weighed in — supporting Williams as an “honest, decent man.”

It would be nice to see NBC resist sacking Williams as long as it can. That might be tough, because there is a report that “he had been counseled in the past by senior NBC News executives to stop telling the story in public.” How come, guys? What’s the problem? (Likely answer: Williams had at least a retired general and a cameraperson with him at the time, and one of them could have alerted execs to the anchor’s fabulist penchant.)

Americans’ confidence in the establishment press is at an all-time low. But it’s not low enough, even though the difference between newspapers and television news compared to Internet sources has virtually disappeared.

Brian Williams’ continued presence in the Nightly News anchor chair would henceforth make him the press’s poster child. He would become the starting point in any discussion of media bias with those who still believe that the press is fair and balanced — and readers can rest assured that Williams’ track record is a heavily documented, target-rich environment.

If the network continues to keep a serial fabricator on board, it will convince many of those who still buy what the press is selling that something is fundamentally wrong. That would be a fantastic development, because something is fundamentally wrong. The self-described watchdogs have instead become the left’s gatekeepers. The sooner everyone appreciates that, the better it will be for all.

Perhaps the 15-point head start Evan Thomas once boasted that press bias often gives Democratic Party political candidates in contested elections might begin to disappear. Legislative proposals might once again be discussed on their merits instead of being pre-judged favorably or unfavorably based on who is presenting them. The whole truth about the nation’s dire financial and economic circumstances, its outrageous cronyism and corruption, and the two-party, one-mindset elitists who run it, might finally penetrate the minds of everyday, non-news junky Americans.

We can always dream. Keep that dream alive, NBC. Keep Brian Williams right where he is.

Maybe This Forced NBC’s Hand: In 2007, Williams Says He ‘Looked Down the Tube of an RPG’ in Iraq

This is for the “false memories” and “he’s an untouchable ‘brand’ crowds defending Brian Williams, who this afternoon announced that he has “decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days.”

At the 2-minute mark of the 2007 interview with a collegiate reporter following the jump, watch Williams speak of his alleged brushes with danger, including how he “looked down the tube of an RPG” during what has now been described by the Associated Press as his “fake Iraq story” (HT Ace and several others):

(more…)

Wagon-Circling USAT Reporters Defend Brian Williams For ‘False Memories’ and Against ‘Seething Reactions’

At USA Today Friday afternoon, two of its reporters came down on the side of Brian Williams in the controversy over what even the often media-enabling Associated Press has called his “fake Iraq story.”

Roger Yu tried to portray Williams as a victim of a “synergistic stretch” who is now having to defend himself against the “firestorm on the Internet and social media,” while Marisol Bello, who covers “breaking news, poverty and urban affairs,” wrote that “there are reasons that it’s plausible” that “Williams would remember riding in a helicopter that was shot down if he was nowhere near it.”

(more…)

February 6, 2015

NY Post’s Page Six: Willams’s Copter Got No Ground Fire; Brokaw Wants Him Gone

If Brian Williams or any of the executives at NBC thought that the controversy over his “fake Iraq story” might start to die down, developments this evening have proven that they were sadly mistaken.

The quoted words in the previous sentence are from a headline at an Associated Press story by David Bauder, the wire service’s TV writer. The fact that the nation’s self-described “essential global news network” felt comfortable using those words to describe the 12 year-old saga of Williams’s fabricated adventure in Iraq is actually among the least of his and his network’s troubles tonight. Two major stories at the New York Post’s Page Six appear to have made their continuing with the status quo very difficult to imagine.

(more…)

Latest PJ Media Column (‘Please Stay On, Brian Williams’) Went Up Thursday Evening

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog Saturday evening (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

Thanks to the editors at PJ Media for the quick review turnaround.

Thanks to Allahpundit at Hot Air for quoting the column in his Quotes of the Day (last item at link).