A blog of music reviews, movie reviews, politics that try to be but fail to be wingless, and assorted stuff. T'anks for reading. RSVP: regularsnipehunter@juno.com.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Proof! that as of 2/8/2005, the paperless society ain't nowhere near here!

Nope, don't trust all the hard copy you print or Xerox each day. The concept of a paperless, open information society isn't going to be fulfilled anytime soon. Not when media employees - including the bored newswriting folk - can be fired for keeping a blog on their own time. Wow. How many more trees did we believe we were saving by using discs and drives? I tell you, more trees will die so people can start publishing antagonistic pamphlets and broadsheets again just to avoid this fate.

What would Sven Birketts say about this? Hey...I'm asking you, gentle reader! Me, I have no idea.

Friday, February 04, 2005

my quip follows the word NONETHELESS near post's end.

The Iraq elections last week were yet another sign, but it seems to me that the hug between the Iraqi woman and the mother of a dead Marine shows that the 'music and flowers' response Tariq Aziz mocked in a 2003 New Yorker article is continuing to crack through to sunlight.

Yet scenarios such as the one Chris Matthews followed up with must well up in the back of many a journalist's mind to the point of bursting his occiput. This exchange between Matthews and guest Ron Reagan started off as surprisingly reasonable :

After Ron Reagan said that he is uncomfortable with people who have undergone tragedy being used as political props -- unless they got something out of it emotionally, Matthews proposed:
"But isn't it the true story of this gift? If you think about it in a non-political sense, and you think about these service people, we met a lot of them out at Camp Pendleton last week, these young Marines, these guys...making a commitment to join a unit, to operate as a unit, to operate without questioning authority, to think in terms of mission and job and training and the environment they're in, and they give this, their life, for a cause. Shouldn't that be displayed?"
Reagan acceded: "Yes, that's, there's nothing wrong with that, I mean, you did a whole show out there at Pendleton, which certainly displayed their courage and the honor that they have. Again, I'm just uncomfortable with, you know, using people in such obvious pain as a political prop. But again, if they got something out of it, that's the most important thing to me. If they felt satisfied."

So far, that seems reasonable enough to me. Neither of these guys are Bush or war supporters, and if they have anything decent to say about either subject it's a splash of gravy. So I'm neither surprised by, not really irritated by, this next exchange:

"Matthews then suggested: "Do you think President Bush used this to push his numbers on Social Security reform, just to get his general appeal up a bit, a couple of points?"
Reagan: "Well, I don't want to speculate on what was in President Bush's mind."
Matthews: "How about his handlers? Do you think the PR guys-"
Reagan: "Well, yes, sure."
Matthews: "-around the White House did this to promote the President's agenda?"

Reminds of me of the more desperate attacks of the Clinton years: even if it's just a straight pencil line shaped like a stick, beat the president with it 'til he proves it isn't a stick. Then hit him even harder.

MSM kudo to Newsweek Managing Editor, Jon Meacham, for this statement:
"I think the idea that that moment was about Social Security poll numbers is absurd."

NONETHELESS: the Democrats will not find even one Iraqi citizen (non-insurgent)who'll say "thank you for trying to stop our liberation". What ingratitude, eh?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Snipe Hunter...
...gets posted on www.hughhewitt.com re: the matter of Eason Jordan.
Thank you, sir.

If Eason Jordan will just present some evidence...
...then this is the most vicious crime ever committed against the First Amendment , over and above Exodus 20:13 and 16. All it takes is some verifiable proof - documents, witnesses - and I'll say Bush et al needs to go - to prison, if possible. Seriously - this would be crime worthy of the Medicis. Presenting proof - how hard can it be?

BUT BUT BUT...having proof is different. And Jordan The Anti-war, Anti-Bush Executive isn't the beacon to guide any of the blinkered through the fog of war, you know. In fact, he's been a part of the fog himself, as the news executive who admitted in April 2003 that he had his own reporters sit on several years worth of stories about the Tigress of the Euphrates's cruelties to protect CNN staffers targeted by the Hussein administration and keep CNN's Baghdad bureau open. A hostage situation, simply put. Well, if Jordan can't present proof that U.S. soldiers are deliberately targeting journalists, he's in major violation of Exodus 20 : 16, in addition to slander laws. A violation that are particularly steaming and pungent, tending to pile up faster than Jordan's betters can shovel it away.

All this talk of 'fear of speaking out'. No one in this country is scared of Bush anyway, since baloney of this magnitude gets a chance to undercut the more delicately phrased, legally-cleared processes of insinuation charged against CBS, the Times of NYC and London, etc.

The most innocent construction I can think of for Jordan's charge is that he's previewing a novel - he's going into the alternative history genre. Put Jordan's proposed novel beside Nicholson Baker's Checkpoint (at least you know Baker's a novelist). You can see the endcaps for an entire rack at Border's Books: "History As It Should Have Had The Good Grace To Have Been Made". Or "Wish-Fulfillment With A Will To Dignity."

Don't mean to slander a whole legitimate literary genre. But Bush Bashery is an industry, just as Clinton and Reagan Bashery were, as I wrote in my last 2004 post after the election. How tight are its' standards?

Addendum: some errors corrected since posting to www.hughhewitt.com.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Congratulations to Iraq on the occasion of their first election!

I voted against the Defense of Marriage amendment even though I have a total of zero canines in that fight, on behalf of the possibility of happiness for a few friends of mine. But that amendment passed on every ballot that carried it. Today, I'm glad to have voted with winners. I'm happy for the people of Iraq as they make history, even though it'll do nothing for me personally, even though I'm unlikely to meet a single beneficiary of Bush's efforts.

I live in a country that's a couple of centuries-plus past its' first elections, so I can understand how Democrat after Democrat could address talk show after talk show with very mild, polite 'well, yes. I suppose it's a good thing' followed by demurrals as dumb as Howard Dean's mewling 'I guess it's sort of a good thing...' response to the capture of the Tigress of the Euphrates in December 2003. Voting comes so easy to us. Why, we just do it and forget it about it and fret ourselves silly over how one side could win when the other almost won.

Right now I could kick myself over not posting about the AFGHANISTAN elections last October. And blogging has been low priority for me since Bush won and Arafat died.

But I don't take our governing concepts for granted, even when my candidate loses. Voting has never caused me any pain (maybe I don't have enough to lose?). So I say that the excitement these people feel today will be felt each time they carry out this process - however often they'll deem it necessary in their new constitution. In Jesus' name, bless their hearts.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

November 2 - 5: The Bush-Bashing Book / Magazine / Blog Publishing Bonanza Gets Four More Years To Roll!

The silver lining of the election for much of the anti-Bush crowd.

Yassar Arafat dies on November 11, 2004.

Sure, it could happen to lots of nicer guys. In fact, thanks to Arafat, death happened to lots of nicer Israeli and Palestinian guys. And women. And children. Here's hoping this trend will be reversed by the new Palestinian Authourity line-up.

This news was pending beginning his first death announcement on 11/4/2004. I first heard of Arafat's death when a reporter mentioned it to President Bush during his post-election press conference, and here is an article about the same from the German news outlet Deutsche Welle on November 4, '04. The reason I present this link is that after Arafat's illness had been announced the previous wee, I told some of my friends that Arafat would be dead by or within a few hours for or aft of our elections. Boy, was I off. Me and the DW.

On November 4, 2004, a certain politician made a smarter statement...

...about the Israel-Palestine situation during his press conference than any made by Yassar Arafat himself:

"There is a certain attitude in the world, by some, that says that it's a waste of time to try to promote free societies in parts of the world. I've heard that criticism. Remember, I went to London to talk about our vision of spreading freedom throughout the greater Middle East. And I fully understand that that might rankle some, and be viewed by some as folly. I just strongly disagree with those who do not see the wisdom of trying to promote free societies around the world.

If we are interested in protecting our country for the long-term, the best way to do so is to promote freedom and democracy. And I -- I simply do not agree with those who either say overtly or believe that certain societies cannot be free. It's just not a part of my thinking. And that's why during the course of the campaign, I was -- I believe I was able to connect, at least with those who were there, in explaining my policy, when I talked about the free election in Afghanistan.

There were -- there was doubt about whether or not those elections would go forward. I'm not suggesting any of you here expressed skepticism. But there was. There was deep skepticism, and -- because there is a attitude among some that certain people may never be free -- they just don't long to be free or incapable of running an election. And I disagree with that. And the Afghan people, by going to the polls in the millions, proved -- proved that this administration's faith in freedom to change peoples' habits is worthy. And that will be a central part of my foreign policy. And I've got work to do to explain to people about why that is a central part of our foreign policy. I've been doing that for four years.

But if you do not believe people can be free and can self-govern, then all of a sudden the two-state solution in the Middle East becomes a moot point, invalid. If you're willing to condemn a group of people to a system of government that hasn't worked, then you'll never be able to achieve the peace. You cannot lead this world and our country to a better tomorrow unless you see a better -- if you have a vision of a better tomorrow. And I've got one, based upon a great faith that people do want to be free and live in democracy."

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Major Media meets the Crabs-In-The-Pot Syndrome!

I'm tired of the election now, so I haven't blogged much lately. But as I sit and make this entry in my lonely room, I find I'm not quite tired of major media dust-ups.

NBC reporter Jim Miklaszewski makes a little challenge to the New York Times' reportage on missing ordnance in Iraq, which the Times reported on before CBS' "60 Minutes" could break the story on Halloween night. All this, and the Los Angeles Times takes to tsk-tsking the television and paper outlets for deliberately holding back on to the story 'til closer to election time. This faintly resembles compensatory behavior - the LA Times were certainly tsk-tsked for on Cali Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger's sexual harrassment charges, reportage also held back until the week before the 2003 recall election.

Was it only in September when everybody from the Washington Post to ABC News to Fox News to a Beastie Boys message board (!?) called out CBS News over the fake documents regarding Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard?

Say what you will about election exhaustion, this is all interesting anyway. Even though the missing-ordnance story isn't over yet (see update at post bottom). Individually, these incidents are at least irritating, at most utterly disgusting. The Beastie Boys board is excepted, of course. But when I put 'em all together in one place, they suggest a pattern. They make me wonder if some of these media are so tired of hearing the 'liberal media' tag they've decided to cram each other to the bottom of the pot. The Beastie Boys board is again excepted, of course. But what will this whole next month be like?

Shoot, let's fit a few more crabs into this one!

Here 'links' a blogger who sees some anti-Bush gold in the NBC / NY Times stories. I see gold there too, but not for the same reason. If these weapons are even just a part of the deadly forces Bush and Co. warned us Hussein had at his disposal, then at last we can all agree on two things: that Bush's assurances as CIC are pretty insufficient, and yet...and yet...his sources were right about WMDs and the UN was wrong, wrong even by antiwar standards. But this will just mean that assurance has become just that much more important.

My two queries on the NBC / NYTimes stories linked above:

1) Why wouldn't this be some proof of Iraq's prewar stash of contraband weaponry? I use 'stash' advisedly - the Coalition claims to have destroyed roughly 600,000 tons of high-explosives, so apparently plenty of outlawed ordnance was available to Hussein. But 'stash' seems like an awfully tiny word to use for even as small an amount as the 380 tons of RDX et al that went missing by April 4, 2003. The link above is from USA Today, and just one of many that can be Googled. Thanks to Michael Totten at www.instapundit.com for the link.

2) Who took the stuff? This is more important than who missed it. Sharper eyes are available to the military, who can replace the offending soldiers who didn't pick up on the theft. But we don't want any replacements for the thieves. We need to find 'em. Syria remains first suspect of possession. What's the magic number where possession becomes intent to use?


According to the gent who blogs at the Belmont Club (www.belmontclub.com), apparently the RDX et al were permitted to Hussein by the UN under dual-use statutes. The chemical makeup of these explosives could be turned to other uses besides explosions. Whatever the Hussein admin was saving the stuff for, they can't say they got their money's worth.

Friday, October 08, 2004

On the second Bush Kerry debate - Bush came to shove...

...but restrained his repetoire of facial expressions. Tonight he merely blinked furiously, snorted when Sen. Kerry accused him of making $84 in interest from a lumber company, and walked all over moderator Charlie Gibson (the best so far)to respond to Sen. Kerry's politely persistant mischaracterizations of the Coalition allies. Other than that, Bush was on. I thought the first debate was strong stuff. Guess I was wrong.

This debate had some added tension because both candidates entered knowing that prime campaign points had been removed out from under them. Kerry's foreign policy claims from debate one have been denied by French and German leaders, and Iran will not be accepted any fissionable material from a President Kerry thank you very much. Meanwhile, Bush had to finally admit that Charles Duelfer's report stated that no WMD stockpiles were found in Iraq, or likely to be found; aside from that, the report largely supported the characterizations of Saddam Hussein's regime made by the Bush adminstration.*

But check out Bush's response tonight on the lack of WMD: "We didn't know that when we went in there." This is an important statement for the voter. Bush trusted the sum of all CIA info collected over the last decade or so, and insisted on its' rightness until very recently. He has been called a liar so loudly, for so long, so insistently, with no moderation or manuevering room for the possibility that he could've made a grave mistake, that the word 'liar' has lost a lot of impact and meaning. If making a grave, gigantic error based on flawed infor is exactly the same thing as deliberately contriving to mislead people for hidden gain,
then 'error' has that much less meaning. Are 'lie' and 'error' really interchangeable concepts?

As for Kerry, whether he won the debate or not pales next to his part in insuring the ascendence of the Bush doctrine. There's a great quote from painter Georges Bracque, found in a fine essay by Roger Shattuck, to the effect: "Every man should keep two ideas. One to destroy the other." Kerry has apparently killed off almost three decades worth of antiwar stances, including a vote against the first Gulf War, in order to stay somewhat relevant to this campaign as something beyond an Anybody-But-Bush space-holder. His foreign policy plans shot out but good, he insists he will still fight the 'wrong' good fight. So I repeat - Kerry, if elected, will be either Lyndon B. Johnson or Richard M. Nixon. But John Kerry himself has flown ('til tomorrow?).

Kerry also scored a few points pointedly pointing out Bush's own changes since the 2000 election, namely stances on health policy and regime change (the latter was covered in Bob Woodward's "Plan Of Attack"). The difference is that Bush changed his mind in the heat of events and the subsequent decision-making. Kerry has adjusted his stances with all the diversity at his command - in the heat of election time.

*If you're interested, here's a brief rebuttal of the report by former weapon inspector Scott Ritter

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