May 16, 2003


Ann Coulter is Intellectually (and obviously otherwise) Drop Dead Gorgeous in this evisceration of Sen. John Kerry. Money grafs:

Kerry got into a catfight with former Vermont governor Howard Dean during the Democrats' first presidential debate in South Carolina last weekend. The high point was when Kerry snarled at Dean, "I don't need any lectures in courage from Howard Dean." If John Kerry had a dollar for every time he bragged about serving in Vietnam – oh wait, he does.


As long as we're going to get self-righteous, why is John Kerry allowed to have an opinion about taxes? He has spent his entire life marrying a succession of heiresses and living off the fortunes amassed by other men. It must be the luck of the pseudo-Irish. How can Kerry claim to understand the anguish of people who pay high taxes? What does this pompous, whining, morally superior, mincing habitue of Boston drawing rooms know about confiscatory taxes on hard-earned money? (Not that his nuptial path to wealth is not also hard-earned.)

If Kerry doesn't need to be lectured on the military by Howard Dean, do the rest of us need to be lectured by this sponge on how much we should be willing to pay in taxes? What is this male Anna Nicole Smith's expertise in average people paying taxes? I don't have a rich wife supporting me. And I don't look French.

Read the whole, delicious thing.

(via The Corner)
Posted by B. Preston at 05:05 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack


On Wednesday, Creators Syndicate released a scathing column by Democrat operative Susan Estrich. In it, she tells all remaining Clintonistas to shut up. Sid Blumenthal--shut up! Hillary Clinton--shut up! She also says that HRC will never be president.

Which confirms that Ms. Estrich is sane.

Estrich is a well-known figure, and her words tend to get some lift from the media as long as she's ripping Republicans, conservatives and so forth. But try and find this thing in any newspaper, anywhere.

You can't. It's been spiked.

Now, if you ask some editors why they didn't run it, they'll cite a certain title that Ms. Estrich bestows on Monica Lewinsky. It's a title she deserves, but it may be a little colorful for some locales. I doubt that Lewinsky's, um, honorific has much to do with big-city papers' decision not to run the column. The editors just don't like it.

The column is here. It's a doozy. And it's right. Blumenthal et al should shut up. Not for the good of the Democrats--who cares about them? They should shut up so we don't have to listen to them.

The Dems and Clintons won't take Estrich's advice, of course. She did run the Dukakis campaign.

UPDATE: I promise, we here at the JYB have not bribed InstaPundit for yet another link. Really. Not that there's anything wrong with it if we had....
Posted by B. Preston at 03:21 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack


Of course, Travesty Amnesy International is on the case. Roll tape:

LONDON - Amnesty International is investigating claims that British and American troops tortured prisoners of war in Iraq (news - web sites) with night-long beatings and, in at least one case, electric shocks, the group said Friday.

The human rights organization gathered statements from 20 former detainees who said they had been kicked and beaten by soldiers while being interrogated, Amnesty researcher Said Boumedouha told a news conference in London.

One Saudi Arabian national claimed he was tortured with electric shocks, Boumedouha said.

Hold it, stop right there, freeze frame. Who claimed he was tortured with electric shocks?

One Saudi Arabian national...

Oh. A Saudi. Captured while fighting us in Iraq. I see. Can you say "illegal combatant?" How about "al Qaeda?" I knew you could. Roll tape.

When asked if his use of the word "torture" accurately described the alleged treatment, Boumedouha responded: "If you keep beating somebody for the whole night and somebody is bleeding and you are breaking teeth, it is more than beating. I think that is torture."

Broken teeth, huh? That should be fairly easy to verify--just look in the guy's mouth. Give him some Listerine first, though. Got any other alleged victims who turn out to be illegal combatants?

Britain's Ministry of Defense said it had not been contacted by Amnesty about the allegations and insisted prisoners taken by British forces were not mistreated.

"Those who were detained by British forces were treated in line with the Geneva Conventions and we had regular visits by the International Committee for the Red Cross," it said in a statement.

"If there are allegations then we will have to look at them and see if we can investigate."

There was no immediate comment from the Pentagon (news - web sites).

Boumedouha, who returned to Britain on Thursday after a month in Iraq, said the detainees had been arrested in the Basra area.

Some of the men said they were blindfolded or hooded and were kicked and beaten throughout the night, sometimes with weapons, according to Boumedouha. Coalition soldiers had interrogated them with the help of Kuwaiti interpreters, he said.

The Saudi who said he was given electric shocks told Amnesty he had entered Iraq from Syria to volunteer for the Iraqi Red Cross Society, according to the Boumedouha.

Some of those who claimed to have been tortured were civilians detained on suspicion of being Iraqi militia, he said. Some were arrested while combat continued but others were detained later, Boumedouha said.

They were held for up to four days before being moved to a detention center in Umm Qasr. All were subsequently released.

Boumedouha said the group planned to present its findings to British and U.S. authorities.

"We still have people on the ground in Iraq and we will continue to gain testimonies," Boumedouha said. "Once that is complete we hope to provide a full dossier to present to the British and American authorities as well as publishing ourselves."

The news conference, which also addressed issues of looting, the protection of mass graves and the responsibility of coalition troops to restore order in Iraq, was also attended by Amnesty's senior director for international law Claudio Cordone and media officer Judit Arenas.

Nope. Just the one Saudi. Who by his own admission entered Iraq from Syria. Yeah right, he was there to volunteer for the Iraqi Red Cross. Next time, pal, just send 'em a check. Other "tortured" POWs are alluded to but not actually profiled, leading me to suspect that they don't exist.

This story is a crock. Amnesty is, as usual, a tool for our enemies.
Posted by B. Preston at 01:51 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


Heh. The androgynous blogbots (yes, I have begun a campaign of shame and disparagement against anonymous pro blogs, and name-calling shall be the weapon of choice) get so tangled up in their pro affirmative action bit that they just can't seem to draw a bead on Jayson Blair. Like I said, heh.

(thanks to Hanks)
Posted by B. Preston at 12:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 15, 2003


I'd like to thank the embattled Times publisher, Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger Jr. for this moose exchange at yesterday's town hall meeting:

In a surreal moment that reminded one staffer of Shari Lewis' old TV show, Sulzberger produced a stuffed toy moose that he sometimes trots out as a symbol of open communication.

Its use struck some in the audience as a tone-deaf and patronizing gesture.

Sulzberger handed the moose to Raines, who laid it aside.

Anyone searching for info now about Sulzberger's stuffed moose on Google, using Raines and moose, will be sent to this JunkYardBlog post as the number one link. That post criticizes Howell Raines' handling of Jayson Blair, and questions about their handling of the sniper story and Chief Moose. Not the result Pinch was hoping for I'm sure.

Though a similar search for Sulzberger's moose doesn't bring up this blog, it does create a single hit googlewhack for an previous Ann Coulter column bashing the NY Times, just like she did today. Doh! If you haven't yet, read her devastating indictment of The Old Grey Liar. Given that title, you can be sure Paul Krugman is highlighted as a story fabricator in there somewhere.

The final irony for the Times is how this post about Chief Moose, and the Pinch Sulzberger moose will now shoot JYB right up Google's page ranks for that last word combination too. So tell everyone who's curious about the wierd Sulzberger to Raines moose exchange to just search Google. Here it will be.

UPDATE: Kausfiles linked to my Moose Googling experiment here and noted that Gawker has true enlightenment on the meaning of Sulzberger's moose.

Executives sometimes award each other a small beanbag moose to recognize particularly probing questions, a reference to a fable in which a moose is asked to dinner and no one questions why.

Sadly, the reporters in the town hall meeting didn't the recognition they deserved. As the Moose Nazi would say, "No moose for you!" Sulzberger knows he is a major moose issue though:

Moose issues are those that everyone in the organization knows are problems, but are afraid to discuss openly.

A major moose at the Times, he said, is the role of the Sulzberger family in the publicly held company - the family controls the company through preferred stock. At one retreat, Sulzberger recalled, a circulation executive finally piped up and said: "Arthur, this is fine for you; no one's going to fire you. But what's going to happen to the rest of us?"

Sulzberger said he later made that executive, Russell Lewis, chief executive officer of the New York Times Co. and his main partner in driving change, because he had the courage to speak up.

Keep your enemies closer, right? Sulzberger is strategically driving the appearance of change to justify his own unwillingness to step down as the chief moose. That will likely result in the Washington Post Rising.

UPDATE:Paranzino's blog covers the questions about Jayson Blair's front page sniper story source(s) (if any) that were left unanswered in the town hall meeting. The feds are on the Blair case though, and that may be why Raines and Sulzberger are staying out of it.
Posted by Chris Regan at 07:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Here's the general impression I got out of a "Editor's Pick" on Reality TV called White Supremacy:

White people have no real musical talent compared to blacks. Their music industry success is simply a racist conspiracy to marginalize black singers. White singer, Kelly Clarkson, has "far less" talent than black singer, Tamyra Gray. American Idol voting is rigged against the black man. In fact, all reality TV is racist. CBS Survivor contestants are part of another racist voting conspiracy, despite a black woman winning last year. You didn't know all this? Yeah, it's amazing that the racist voting conspiracy goes well beyond Florida.

I already knew that MTV casting decisions were disturbing and clichéd, but that goes for whites too if the author has been paying attention. As far as dating shows, everyone knows most people of any race tend to date mostly within their own race. Again, that's normal and not evidence of racism, as it's asserted in this article. Back to American Idol, we have this allegation from Bomani Jones:

No matter what mathematics may say -- that the odds are against one white competitor facing two black competitors -- there is a fantastic likelihood that Clay Aiken, talented but intangibly unimpressive, will be crowned American Idol. And the clearly superior Ruben (and nominally superior Kimberley) will get the shaft.

...Let's just hope Ruben doesn't really think the folks in Alabama "all did what they could do" about George Wallace.

Note the southern racism stereotype the author drags out.

Now Ruben is a smooth and great singer, but he probably needs to shrink his waist and expand his musical range to be even more appealing. Contrary to a comment in the article about Kimberley straitening her hair to please white people, he should not shrink his nose, straighten his hair, or bleach his skin. That will make him less popular. Aiken on the other hand has "technically perfect" vocals (as the author admits) so, while he does need to show more warmth than a future Broadway star, his winning would hardly be a sign of evil. Bomani Jones though, is trying to predict, and use that eventuality, as the final proof of a nationwide TV conspiracy against the black race.

The facts are no so clear, as you might imagine. Less than 2% separated their vote totals this week, while a black/biracial woman got another large chunk of votes. You do the math. Don't forget the "cute and white" female idols are long voted off, and one was a near-professional singer and performer. Jones charged that "cute and white" means everything, so where was racist America on those weeks? While last year's Tamyra can sing fine and has been embraced as an actress, Kelly was simply the best, most consistent stage performer and singer. Also last year, we had biracial Justin come in second -- and his many white fans were not repelled, but seemingly lured in by the gravitational pull of his giant unstraitened afro. They loved him.

So logic and mathematics would say Americans are not racist. In fact, the author could have mentioned that white suburban kids are the biggest purchasers of top black rap artists, but since it doesn't fit his racist music fans myth, he left if out.

But let's focus on and their journalistic diversity program for Bomani Jones. The same author apparently wrote about multiethnic Tiger Woods, in "A Coon is a Coon." It wasn't on Salon, and the link expired, but I prefer not to see it anyhow. I'm sure Salon editor's loved it. editors are no better than NY Times editors and MTV casting directors. I'm thinking might hire Jayson Blair too now. That way they can continue to damage to the image of blacks by publishing complete garbage in the name of diversity. Liberal diversity means putting a stereotype of black fools front and center, and setting them up for public humiliation. Are liberals editors and casting directors still using that for their entertainment? They may be, but Americans aren't. The two blacks America voted into the top three on American Idol are no fools. Like Justin last year, they're both excellent "people of colorcharacter" with amazing talent. No affirmative action needed to award them extra votes for their skin tone.

These liberal journalist diversifiers just might want to consider the rising minority of black conservatives instead of discriminating against them. Here's an analogy and challenge for Bomani Jones' opinion of white emotionally-challenged Clay Aiken: if his winning would bother you so much, does it also bother you that white factually and mentally-challenged liberals like Paul Krugman win out over brilliant blacks like Thomas Sowell? I bet it doesn't bother you at all that many liberal editors (both white and black) will only prefer blacks that fit a racial stereotype. I find that the most curious sort of discrimination.
Posted by Chris Regan at 05:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Since Saddam Hussein's Baath vermin are out of power, can we officially label China's as the world's stupidest government? It's a hot race I'll admit, with France nosing in front more often than it should (and Arafat's bit isn't a real government, or it might take the crown), but the case for China is compelling.

Take SARS as but one example. SARS is a nasty disease to be sure, but not so nasty that even lowly Vietnam couldn't rein it in. Vietnam, for cryin' out loud. How insulting it must be for mighty China to have to chase down a disease that Vietnam has beaten. How insulting it must be for mighty China to have to listen to assistance offers from Japan, a neighbor it loathes and mistrusts. That's because unlike the rest of the developed world, in China SARS has outpaced any ability to deal with it. So what do the ChiComs do about it? Get stupid.

First, they covered it up. Then they lied to themselves, their citizens and the world about it. Then they declared martial law in the hardest-hit areas. The first two actions let SARS continue to spread underground, since no one outside the ruling junta even knew much about the disease. It also undermined China's efforts to present itself as the rising economic power, since it can't be trusted to deal honestly about important issues. The third--martial law--caused masses of people to leave the cities and head for the hills. Many of those who ran probably had SARS but didn't know it yet. They carried it with them to the countryside or wherever they ran, thus spreading the disease further. Slick move.

Now, the ChiComs are threatening to execute SARS "spreaders." Oh, that's just brilliant. Now you'll have people who won't even go to see their doctors if they get a cold for fear that said doctor will somehow identify them as a SARS spreader and take them out and shoot them. So the ChiComs have just driven the disease--and probably lots of other nasty bugs with it--right back underground, where it will probably continue to spread unchecked because they've surrendered any ability to check it. Kill anyone who has SARS. It's so simple, why didn't the rest of the world think of it? Canada could've saved itself a lot of grief for the price of a few bullets and cigarettes.

The rest of the world didn't think of it because the rest of the world isn't as dumb as the guys that run China.

Many have opined that SARS could prove to be China's Chernobyl--a huge, self-inflicted crisis that forces the system open. That's still possible, but only if the ChiComs borrow Rachel Lucas' ClueBat and have themselves beaten with it. Not likely, though. More likely, they'll continue to dash about like Keystone Kops, refuse any serious help from outside and SARS will just run its course.

I'm open to suggestions for any government you think is dumber than China's (and please, no hits on George W. Bush--that's an extremely tired and discredited meme. And he's not the government--we are.) But you'll have to prove that your alternative is more boneheaded than Beijing. That is a tall order.
Posted by B. Preston at 01:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Isn't Diversity! a grand thing? In the past, right thinkers exorted us to look past skin color to understand the content of our fellow man's (and woman's) character, their ideals, the things they hold dear. Such a noble thought. Had we acted on it and stuck to it, we'd be a much better world today. That kind of diversity was right and just.

Today, in the name of Diversity! we're told to look past all that character stuff and judge each other solely on the basis of race, and to prefer some races over others. Ok, one. Non-white, non-male, you're fine. Jayson Blair prospered at the New York Times, we're told, for his gregarious back-slapping, for his relationship to the bosses, for his go get 'em work ethic. But we know that's a lie: Mr. Blair prospered because the Times is committed to "Diversity!" But not a true Diversity!, which would include things like ideas and such, but one of skin color. He's black. He fit a check-box on an EEO form. His presence asuaged some old guilt in the boss' heart. And the bosses liked him personally. Though Mr. Blair had a record of awful reporting and hadn't actually even earned a bachelors degree, he got promotion after promotion, promoted to the point where his shoddiness and outright fabrications would take his paper to new depths.

Diversity! Ain't it beautiful!

Elsewhere on the Diversity! front, critically examining Islam in this country can get you accused of all sorts of things. Crusading, racism, genocide, whatever. In the name of Diversity! we can't wonder aloud why, in just about every Islamic run country on earth, Christians and Jews are nearly extinct. Or enslaved. We can't wonder why so many of their educated young men want to come over here and kill us while we work, play and live. We can't examine the true depths of the danger we face, in violation of Sun Tsu's most basic maxim to know thy enemy. Can't do it. Diversity! puts the blinkers on.

Diversity! Roll your head back and breathe it in, folks. You might catch a whiff of smoke and gunpowder, but pay it no mind. Ignore the body parts strewn about the pizza parlor. Don't listen to that ticking either, and for heaven's sake don't make eye contact with the guy clutching the little box-knife two lines over as you wait at the airline passenger terminal. Diversity! instructs you to just open your purse, take off your shoes, let the screener pat you and wand you even though you're an 80 year old grandmother of 5 from Fire Island. As they wave creepy knife guy through.

But if Diversity! didn't have such a grip on our minds, we might actually take a look at the folks who keep sending killers our way. What would we find? Diversity! doesn't permit me to say much, so I'll just offer up a link to this story. Read it. Judge for yourself. Do the tales of slavery, mutiliation, institutionalized pedophilia and murder leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth?

My friend, you have to ignore it. All of it. Diversity! demands that you do.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:17 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 14, 2003


So has a new blog. I got the same email note about it that you probably got. I just checked it out. It's lame.

What is it with lefty blogs and anonymity? Tapped has this "we are the blog" feel about it. And now comes along TomPaine-in-the-keister, with more of "we think" this and "we think" that. It's horrible and cowardly, not that all pseudonymous bloggers are cowardly. TomPaine's is cowardly because, presumably, they have people on staff writing the thing--people who are getting paid to blog, or more likely getting high school internship credit to blog. These people don't have to worry about bosses finding out about their blogs and firing them. Their bosses are telling them to blog. But they won't do us the courtesy of publicly owning up to their positions. They're just a bunch of ghosts spouting opinions they haven't the courage to put their names on.

Contrast their whispery anonymous blogging with the folks at National Review or Reason's Hit & Run, where the posters actually sign their work. No cowards there.

UPDATE: Before InstaPundit kindly linked us I'd already included a link to both NRO and Reason, but owing to my increasingly slipshod editing the NRO link got buried in bad html syntax. Corrected, reposted, etc.
Posted by B. Preston at 03:48 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack


ABC News' Terry Moran wonders if Bush's aircraft carrier visit dangerously blurred military-civilian lines by showing a civilian President in "military regalia." Robert Byrd (D-KKK) is apoplectic that Bush would dramatically visit troops in the "garb of a warrior." NY Times' Paul Krugman found the sight of Bush in a flight suit "scary."

Now at what point, I'm wondering, will people realize and report that he wore the flight suit to save his life in a potential crash? Criticizing him for wearing the flight suit is like criticizing him for wearing a Nomex suit in an Indy race car, or a helmet while riding a motorcycle. "But, it's scary and unpresidential!" ...No, that's laughable. It's been weeks now that the press has failed to grasp the significance of the flight suit, even when Ari Fleischer told them it was required flight gear for the S-3B Viking. I suppose the media will never expose the truth, so it's left up to weblogs once again.

The flight suit was made of Nomex -- for protecting the life of the President.

This is George W. Bush ——-- This is Bush without his safety gear

Any questions?

Actually, I have one for Paul Krugman: which photo is more scary? If you have any more questions yourself, you sure won't get them answered in Krugman's NY Times, or an AP story on the life-saving benefits of Nomex flight suits detailing why protecting our President from severe burns was important. The press won't tell you it was critical safety gear the Secret Service would never allow him to tailhook without.

Imagine this true story being about President Bush speaking months after a broken cable upon landing:

"There's no way I can describe the pain," Morecraft said to the quiet room. Shot full of morphine and other powerful pain-killers, he couldn't stop screaming. After he'd been stabilized in one hospital, he was transferred to another with a burn center. Large tanks filled with water, bleach and antibiotics gave Morecraft a new understanding of pain, because that's where his dead flesh was debrided or removed.

"There was no way to sleep," he said, not with the screams, not with the pain, not with the knowledge that the tanks would be there the next day. After two months in the burn unit, came five years of physical therapy, and seemingly endless skin graft and plastic surgery operations. He had joints rebuilt, his face rebuilt. Therapists moved his arms in ways they really didn't want to move.

Rolling up his sleeves, Morecraft showed the audience the results of rolling up the sleeves of his Nomex work shirt, for temporary comfort. Toward his shoulder was a clear line of demarcation between burned flesh below, clear skin above.

If you still criticize the President for wearing the Nomex flight suit after reading that, just know your bunker or cave is next on his target list. Now, for the rest of humanity. Those who just abandoned ship and jumped into the lifeboat argument that "he shouldn't ever fly in a jet like that then" are about to get swamped. You'll be surprised to know that every year, at nearly every fighter base, promotional jet rides are given to journalists and congressmen like Patrick Leahy wearing the same "military regalia" Bush wore. Democrat John Glenn wore a blue Nomex flight suit when he took that "bribe ride" on the Space Shuttle. I'm glad he wore it for now obvious reasons. So it's OK for congressmen, and journalists like Laurie Dhue (sorry - no picture), but not the Commander in Chief? Yeah, right.

Bush is being bashed by some otherwise moderate people who are ignorant of either promotional military flights, their safety requirements, or U.S. Constitutional history. Others farther on the left get a gag reflex when they see what they think is solely a "military uniform." Well, the Nomex flight suit only becomes a military uniform when rank is applied. Many people use old ones as coveralls to work on the car and change the oil. So, had Bush put unearned stars on his shoulders it would have been the only valid criticism. I think he wanted to save that move for a Dukakis Democrat.

Other more furious finger-pointers are acting like Bush's landing on deck and greeting the troops in a flight suit, then his changing and speaking in a business suit, was like Sen. Robert Byrd speaking to the David Duke Fan Club in his old Klan uniform. "Ah, blurring the lines between Klansman and Senator again, are we Sheets? Seriously, you're scaring me Bob." Well, contrary to the view of leftists, the military is not as distasteful as the KKK -- and a flight suit and helmet isn't a hooded Klan outfit. There's no need for outrage. It's fine to look somewhat military, especially if you're the Commander in Chief and riding in a jet.

An American President can also visit and speak to the troops or public whenever and wherever he feel like it, even during peacetime. The President can choose to fly expensive Air Force One anywhere in the world. He can take the riskier, more convenient, Marine One helicopter instead of a motorcade around town. Or, he can do a carrier landing in a small Navy One jet in lieu of helicopter. It's all his choice. I admit Lyndon Johnson pushed his aircraft carrier visit to an extreme, but even he got a pass. So if Bush's visit makes people upset, they might consider moving to France -- where they won't have to deal with any victorious Presidential Commanders.

It's clear to me that the controlled risk of a carrier landing during war had, in this case, a vital national security interest -- projection of leadership. First, it was to rally the troops assigned to that specific long-deployed carrier for their next critical deployment -- one they were naturally dreading prior to his giving them a big shot of adrenaline. Secondly, it was meant to show all Navy personnel that, while he asks them to risk their lives at sea daily, he's not afraid to do it himself. He repayed their service by risking his life to see them on their home, long away from home, and by bringing national attention to their sacrifice. It was therefore substantive symbolism for all our military forces.

The dramatic military backdrop for the speech to all Americans had a similar purpose. It was meant to reinvigorate all Americans who have endured the incessant war-whining and troop-bashing of Democrat "leaders." Consider it a 21st century victory parade. We were all transported intimately into a unique celebration without the ticker tape. George Bush was the perfect proxy to represent us all on that ship.

The liberal Democrats, meanwhile, don't want George Bush representing them to praise any troops. They're tired of all the lopsided U.S. victories, sick of we Americans defending ourselves, and are still trying to infect the nation with their spittle. Forget putting a surgical mask on them. With his wartime leadership, Bush firmly applied Martin Sheen brand duct tape to prevent an outbreak. He wanted to create momentum and pride for further victories in the War on Terror -- not elections. Put it this way, Bush would give up the 2004 Presidential Election to a viable replacement if it meant an end to terror. Democrats would instead surrender to terrorists if it gave them the Presidency in 2004. In fact, now that I think about it, that's what Clinton did in 1996.

Bush also projected an image of magnificent power for reluctant allies worldwide -- while it was also a psychological smart-bomb for our enemies. Not only did this event have no equal in American history, but it could not have been pulled off without the media covering the tailhook jet landing and speech. This stunning and comprehensive display of leadership is a major point that few want to discuss, because it legitimizes and reinforces Bush as a brilliant President and Commander in Chief. Calling it a campaign photo-op is a strategic political lie, and thoroughly insulting to anyone, including myself, who has ever served in the military. Retired Gen. Wesley Clark is an exception I'm sure. Clark, as an active liberal politician now, is likely a leader of this cowardly whispering campaign.

To try to deflate the troops on that ship, by calling them merely "extras" as DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe did, or "exploited" as Sen. Byrd did, is the truly exploitative politics here. Even many mainstream Democrat leaders have attempted to chop the President, Navy personnel and all Americans off at the knees just as we rose in unison to cheer the troops, our Constitutional Commander/President, and ourselves for standing strong. The disgraceful attempt to rob us of our joy should cause most Americans to drive a stake through the heart of the Democratic Party.

UPDATE: The second to last graf has more added along with a new link. It beats adding it out of order and context down here. I caught the Martin/Charlie Sheen mistake too. Charlie Sheen brand duct tape is a whole other story.
Posted by Chris Regan at 03:00 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


According to IsraPundit, the idea is gathering steam. India, which opposed the US-led war in Iraq, nonetheless wants to form a democratic alliance with the US and Israel to counter Islamic terrorism. Such an alliance would now obviously include the UK and Australia, as well as Canada if they know what's good for them. It's not impossible to see Japan joining up, as it badly needs US support against North Korea and joining an anti-terrorist alliance would keep it in our good graces. Japan openly supported the Iraq campaign for that very reason.

Now, there's obviously an extra spin going on here as well--India has a strategic interest in driving a wedge between the US and Pakistan, which in spite of Pervez Musharraf's cooperation since 9-11 remains a stronghold for al Qaeda and probably other terror groups. Rogue elements of Pakistan's ISI seem to be functioning to some extent as al Qaeda's protective shield. The proposed US-Israeli-Indian alliance would end up dividing the US and Pakistan to some degree, and in India's dreams would give it a free hand in Kashmir. That's obviously a non-starter, but the alliance itself probably isn't. The fact is in many ways India is fighting the same war we and Israel are; Kashmiri terrorism and terrorism within India proper is almost entirely Islamic. Palestinian terrorism is Islamic. And al Qaeda terrorism is of course Islamic. This alliance may be a couple of years off, but there's no reason to conclude that it's impossible or undesirable. On the contrary, linking the world's strongest democracy with the world's largest and the world's toughest democracies has its attractions.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:31 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 13, 2003


I'm continuing to look into what may be plagiarist/fabricator Jayson Blair's interesting little side project. Here's a follow-up to my suspicions that Chief Moose helped instigate Blair's NYT cover story blaming the feds for interfering in the sniper interrogation.

From his March 22 NY Times story covering Moose's business deals, and fending off criticism, Jayson Blair writes:

Despite praise from colleagues, Chief Moose took criticism for his temperament and ability from television commentators, who as victim after victim fell, encouraged federal officials to take over the case. In the end, law enforcement officials credited Chief Moose for ensuring that the shootings did not go on longer.

The New York Times' editors should probably retract that Jayson Blair paragraph, or at least the last sentence. The impression of blanket praise and credit from colleagues -- for Moose shortening the shooting spree -- is demonstrably false. So is, I might add, the impression that the only critics calling for Moose to be pulled off the case were "television commentators." The federal officials he erroneously slammed on the Times' Front Page for "taking over the case" also show up in this paragraph as not needed. As far as the truth, a week before the bogus Blair paragraph was written, on March 15, 2003 Paul Sperry reported that:

Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose knew the descriptions of the Beltway snipers at least one day before releasing the information to his own patrol units, police union officials charge. They say the delay not only jeopardized the lives of citizens, but also the safety of police officers. [italics mine]

Well, what do you know? Jayson Blair was feeding readers a false picture of what police thought about Chief Moose's job performance. Some colleagues actually expressed concern that he may have cost lives and delayed capture far earlier than March in fact. That's why the police union is now conducting an investigation of Moose. It's not about the book and movie deal, but it could show clearly why a book or movie deal would be fiction. Blair though, seems to say, "It's a given that Chief Moose is a hero, so why are mean people holding back his heroic story and pushing him to quit the force?" Later, in a Paul Sperry follow-up that Jayson could have written if he was serious about investigating the story, we see why:

But the 1,050-member Montgomery County Fraternal Order of Police isn't stopping there.

"We want to determine when management first knew the ID of the suspects and the vehicle" during the three-week manhunt, said FOP President Walter Bader.

The 10-member committee last month began soliciting testimony from detectives who worked on the sniper case, he says. It plans to report its findings publicly in May.

...Police department sources warn that the panel's report could trigger negligence lawsuits by families of some of the sniper victims, if it concludes Moose delayed the capture of sniper suspects John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo by holding back information about them, such as their physical descriptions.

...Sources say at least three detectives on the case have already come forward with information that reveals Moose had a solid ID of the suspects earlier than he claims.

UPDATE: More from Jayson Blair:

THE POLICE CHIEF; After Three Weeks of Tension, Face of Inquiry Wears a Smile

Chief Moose, the public face of the task force, has been seen by some as sympathetic, methodical and confident and by others as temperamental, testy and unsure.

But friends and colleagues said the arrest of two suspects in the shootings should erase doubts about the chief.

''This is a real victory for him, and a rebuke to all those in the media and with federal law enforcement who were trying to take over the case,'' said one Maryland law enforcement official who is close to Chief Moose.

Again we see the fixation on the feds meddling with Moose's baby. I'm going to just go ahead and assume that last quote is fabricated if you don't mind. I consider it essentially a Jayson Blair quote until proven otherwise. Note how mild the criticisms of Chief Moose are. Nobody charged incompetance? Why, it's as if people wanted him replaced for no real reason whatsoever -- and you know what that means. Blair continues:

Chief Moose has been credited with addressing accusations of racial profiling by county police officers, and the Montgomery County N.A.A.C.P. has become one of his strongest advocates. At the same time, union officials said, he has not alienated his officers.

Actually, he was being accused of baseless racial profiling of whites on the exact same day the New York Times published that graf. We also now know Moose's attitude toward protecting black suspects at all costs did alienate many of his officers in the union. Some were quietly alienated at the time, but many more are openly angry now that they have greater support from the union. It looks like Howell Raines' protecting Jayson Blair at all costs has also alienated him from unhappy New York Times reporters.
Posted by Chris Regan at 06:53 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


Nick Denton says some smart literary book agent should sign Salam Pax to a six-figure book deal and make an author out of him. Nick's case is solid--Salam's a good writer even in his second language, and he has a story to tell. There is no question that Salam is a witty writer, very engaging and better than most pros writing in their native tongue. Does Salam have a compelling story?

Indeed he does. His story may be more compelling than any of us realize.

Ever since I discovered Salam's blog, which was sometime shortly before the war, I have been among his fans, cheerleaders and defenders. I never doubted that he was an authentic blogger living somewhere in or near Baghdad, and still don't. So please take the questions I'm about to raise in that spirit--I like the guy and wish him no ill. I come neither to bury him nor to praise him. But a few tidbits in his most recent posts have me puzzled. Even disturbed.

The first is in his most recent post, in which he says he spent a couple of days traveling around Iraq with a group called CIVIC, which stands for Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict. Salam says that they're moving around Iraq trying to get a handle on the number of civilians killed during the war. I Googled them and came up empty, so they don't seem to have a website up yet. But my search did lead me to this site for something called No More Innocent Victims, which purports to be a 9-11 victims' group but is in reality an anti-war group. It's not on a hate level with, say, the ANSWER communists, but its tilt is definitely against the American right to defend itself against terrorist attack. CIVIC, the group Salam is traveling with, looks similar to this No More Innocent Victims group. Its purpose, tallying civilian deaths in the recent Iraq war, seems aimed at pulling a Marc Herold and inflating the numbers to fit an anti-war and anti-American agenda. These aren't the sort of people a true Iraqi democrat should align with. CIVIC is likely a menace. Instead of cavorting with CIVIC, I'd suggest Salam look into efforts to document the savagery of Saddam's reign. CIVIC doesn't have Iraq's best interests at heart--if they are what I think they are, they opposed the very action that has given Salam and his countrymen their freedom. They don't care how many civilians were killed; they just want to score points against America and undermine our efforts to rebuild. Chronicling Saddam's ghastly killings would go a long way to reminding the average Iraqi just what has been won for them, and would be more constructive in the long term.

My other questions have less to do with what's on Salam's blog, but with what used to be there. Remember that famous story about him meeting John Burns of the New York Times? Where did it go? The story is no longer on his site. Why? And how did he get access to the hotel where Western journalists were staying? I can't imagine that the average Iraqi could have gotten an audience with Burns. He probably had help of some kind. In an earlier post, Salam mentioned two clubs that the Iraqi National Congress had taken over to use as base camps. Those two clubs were named in the original post, but have since been redacted with asterisks. Salam hints, indicates or jokes that he has a membership in them. The second one, redacted to "Iraqi ***** Club," is the Iraqi Hunting Club, an exclusive Baath-only facility recently written about in the New York Times. The average non-Baath Iraqi probably couldn't care less about what the INC is or isn't doing at this club. They may even revel in its conversion to something other than a Baath house. But Salam seems to care about it an awful lot. If Salam is a member of the Iraqi Hunting Club, what does this say about him and his position in Iraqi society? His concern about it and another club (the Mansour Social Club, apparently, which seems to be another Baath elite hangout) suggests a connection of some kind. And if he really is connected to these clubs, he's probably connected to the Baath Party itself.

So we may have a blogger, everyone's darling, who is on the one hand working with a group whose goal is creating anti-American propaganda by inflating civilian casualty figures, and on the other hand is connected to Iraq's evil ancien regime.

How might he be connected? Salam seems to be a young guy, probably college age or a little older, from the style and tone of his writing. He could be a party member himself, but I doubt it--the "Support Iraqi Democracy" banner on his site at least suggests that he's not an actual Baathist. He mentions an uncle in a couple of posts, an uncle who's a banker with some authority. In a totalitarian society, how does one get to such a position? By either going along with the rulers, or becoming one of them. The uncle could be his connection. Salam also never mentions a father; that omission could mean something too.

My point in this post isn't to disparage Salam, but to raise legitimate questions. Who is he? What did he do before the war? What will he do now? Was he just an average Iraqi, or was he connected in some way to the Baath regime we just spent blood and treasure to destroy?

I think we need some answers, at least to that last question.

UPDATE: Diana Moon sends the following:

Bryan is raising some perfectly legitimate questions.

About those edits. I did them. To protect Salam's identity. I believe strongly that if you choose to blog anonymously the decision should be respected. When I received Salam's email, I was so euphoric that he had survived, and from finally having a phone conversation with a newly-free man, that I put up the post unedited. My bad. I should have known: as soon as I did, the post was broadcast throughout the internet, so the juxtaposition looks suspicious. The decision had nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with privacy.

Salam is now a blogger like any other, and Bryan is free to question whether his background (as opposed to his individual identity, which is irrelevant) has influenced his perspective.

May I add one final thought about the situation in Iraq? It appears to be a chaotic mess, the looting is a shame, but there have been no credible reports of mass vigilantism, or even, for that matter, minor vigilantism. That's a credit to the people of Iraq, isn't it? And to their "occupiers?"

It certainly is, and it's also an argument that we shouldn't worry about Salam the way we did prior to and during the war. He no longer seems to be in any danger, either from the new regime or the old. So like any other blogger, he's fair game.
Posted by B. Preston at 01:00 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack


More Islamic, or Arab--whatever--mass murder. This time a team of thugs rammed their way into a gated expat community in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, shooting at innocent civilians before detonating a series of bombs. Scores are dead, including many Americans. The death toll seems to rise every time I hit "Refresh." This looks like the largest terrorist attack since Bali, which killed over 200 tourists.

Of course, this all took place on Saudi soil, and in the wake of our win in Iraq and the announcement that we're pulling our troops out of Saudi Arabia. Wasn't that one of al Qaeda's stated reasons for hating us? It was a lie obviously. They didn't really care that we were in Saudi Arabia, just that we were. That we exist. It's a sad fact that many of us still don't get this.

On 9-11, 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi. Today's attack took place on Saudi soil, the third major al Qaeda attack against American or Western interests to take place on Saudi soil since 1995. In the first two, the Saudis played a double game, insisting that they were assisting our investigation while in reality blocking it at every turn. The Saudis executed some of the Khobar Towers bombers before we had the chance to interrogate them, permanently silencing them. If the Saudis so much as breathe that they're playing that game around this time around, it should mean the end of Saudi rule in Arabia. No more games, no more coverups. Total cooperation or the US forces that are leaving can stay put and invade from within.

As for al Qaeda, today's attack was pretty pathetic by its standards. That terrorist army once hijacked multiple aircraft simultaneously and flew them into American skyscrapers. It openly sought nuclear and biological weapons material. But the best it can do now after nearly two years of direct warfare against us is crash the gates of a civilian community and kill unarmed people. Al Qaeda's old MO was to always top its last attack. Judging by that, today's attack indicates that while it's still capable of mounting small-scale attacks in its own backyard, it is largely a spent force elsewhere. We need to keep up the pressure and destroy what's left, never relenting until the last terrorist is dead.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:34 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 12, 2003


Last year, a Baltimore city jury acquitted 26-year-old Dontee Stokes on charges that he shot and wounded Father Maurice Blackwell, in spite of the fact that Stokes confessed to the shooting and never recanted. What got him off? He accused Father Blackwell of sexually molesting him when he a teenager, thus earning for himself a certain amount of sympathy. Stokes defense was essentially that he shot Father Blackwell to avenge his mistreatment and to serve the justice that the system never gave him. Since this was taking place in the wake of the Catholic Church's massive sex abuse scandals, Stokes' story had a certain ring of truth about it. As the case wore on, Baltimore opinion split over the question of Stokes' guilt, Blackwell's guilt, and whether Stokes was seeking justice or merely shooting in rage. Press coverage whipped up racial tensions throughout the city, and when Stokes won acquittal on the most serious charges against him, many hailed it as a victory for the city's black population. Ironically, racial activists could have claimed such a victory either way--both the shooter and his victim are black. Stokes' trial and acquittal symbolized, to many, the authorities' collective failure to aid blacks in trouble.

The New York Times covered the Stokes trial thoroughly. Their man on the job: Jayson Blair.

Reason's Hit and Run noted Blair's racially interesting coverage last fall. The rest of the country will probably take more notice of it now, in the wake of Blair's flame-out at the Times amid charges ranging from fabrication to plagiarism.


UPDATE: Blair filed two stories regarding the Stokes acquittal, which ran on Dec 17 and 18, 2002. Both are filed from Baltimore, yet according to Editor & Publisher, from the period of October 2002 to April 2003, Blair never filed a single travel expense report. So it's likely that he wasn't even in Baltimore to file the stories. The byline is one of his many lies.

UPDATE: Unfortunately for me, I may have stumbled into one of the few stories where Blair's record is somewhat clean. The Times's chronology of his rise and fall indicates that he was sent to Maryland during the sniper spree, which was October of last year. He was assigned to the Times' Mid-Atlantic bureau, where their timeline indicates that he remained until the editors called him back to New York to augment the paper's war-depleted staff. So it seems he was probably in Baltimore during the Stokes trial, last December. I'm still looking into things and comparing his coverage with the Post and the Sun, but so far no smoking guns. He was never on the crest of the story, and was in fact a few days behind the other papers, but in this case he doesn't seem to have flagrantly committed any of the sins that got him fired.

On an interesting note, in his Dec 18th dispatch Blair goes out of his way to cast Baltimore's division over the Stokes acquittal as mostly racial. While there certainly were racial overtones, the city's division had as much to do with law and order as it did with race, and as much to do with geography as well. Those who saw Stokes as a justified avenger tended to be from the city's extensive lefty enclaves as well as it inner city; those who saw him as an unjustified shooter tended to be either the city's few conservatives or residents of the surrounding counties who face Charm City's crime problem on their daily commute to work in Baltimore. But many of those who expressed outrage at Stokes' acquittal were also from the inner city, and black, their reasoning being that acquitting Stokes sent the message to the city's criminal elements that it's open season on authority figures and anyone you have a problem with. The November 2002 mass murder of a black family known for trying to stop drug dealers in their neighborhood undoubtedly informed this line of thinking.

In the Stokes case, Blair injected race into his reporting by simply inserting racial descriptions of his interview subjects. That's a policy the Times doesn't extend to its crime coverage, where describing a perpetrator can help stop them more quickly.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack