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Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Curse of Intellectual Dishonesty

The Curse of Intellectual Dishonesty

One of the great things about living in a free society is that we are free to disagree. I think Baseball is the greatest American sport, you think the greatest American sport is Football. You love the cities of the East, I like the mountains of the West. You believe in a strong, centralized government, I believe in a limited, minimal government. You think taxes are too low and I think taxes are too high.
It all works, providing we are honest in our debates. While the two of us may embellish our facts from time to time in a one-on-one debate, it’s generally understood that our influence is limited. However, the more powerful position we have, the more we need to understand the critical importance of getting our facts straight. Some of us, such as news reporters, have an obligation to tell the truth and not shade it to reflect our own personal bias.

When I listen to Rush Limbaugh, I know I am hearing his personal views and opinions, but I do expect him to be intellectually honest, i.e. to not give out false information or tell untruths. But at least I know Rush is speaking from a perspective, he wants to promote a conservative message.

However, when I listen to the nightly news or read The Washington Post or the New York Times news sections, I expect to hear honest, carefully considered news. Of course, in this day and age, I would be disappointed, just as I was disappointed when Dan Rather promoted, without research, a story on George Bush and the Air National Guard that could have been easily proven to be false.

I am disappointed again. Recently, the New York Times wrote a series of articles about how troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have committed murder in American cities and towns in epidemic numbers. The articles talk about how these war veterans are killing Americans in town after town in growing numbers, something the Times describes as a "…phenomenon tracing a cross-country trail of death and heartbreak."

The Times talks about 121 cases and even includes in their "killing" definition, car accidents (a stretch at best). Their new story line is that "Americans are being cut down by violent irrational soldiers we can never hope to understand." Sounds awful, doesn’t it?

But there’s one little catch, the numbers (which the Times didn’t bother to check) don’t hold up under scrutiny. It turns out when compared to the national average, returning vets are one-fifth as likely to be killers as your average 18 24 year old male. That’s right, less likely!

As Dan Rather might have said, "Let’s not be bothered with the facts we have an image to create, a story to slant, a message to get across to the American people." Intellectual dishonesty is not only wrong, it is dangerous, especially when it comes from institutions we should be able to trust. 

All Americans ask is for their news sources to be honest and straightforward. They understand that the editorial section of the paper is about opinions, but they want their front section to be hard, objective news without any agenda. We used to have papers like that. It didn’t matter if the owner was a liberal or a conservative, we could count on honesty. It’s no wonder the New York Times readership is shrinking rapidly and that their financial balance sheet is covered in red ink. It’s no wonder the mainstream media is held in the same regard as a used car salesman by the average American. They deserve no more.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

                      Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The other day, on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s birthday, I was reading a column in The Washington Times by Paul Greenberg which got me thinking how times have changed. I mention the column because I am going to borrow from it generously in this blog. Near the beginning of his article Mr. Greenberg makes this statement, "Martin Luther King, Jr. meets the very definition of an American conservative someone dedicated to preserving the gains of a liberal revolution." Of course, Greenberg uses the term "liberal" in the classical sense, meaning someone who cherishes freedom and understands the basis upon which a free society is built. This is a far cry from today’s liberals who do everything possible to tear down the foundations of our free society and who would be rejected by the likes of the great classical liberal Edmund Burke, considered by many as the philosophical father of today’s conservative movement.

Indeed, Mr. Greenberg hits the nail on the head and in fact pounds that nail pretty hard. He quotes Dr. King at the Lincoln Memorial, "I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Greenberg muses on this message rooted in tradition, "No wonder the young black radicals of the 1960s used to deride him as De Lawd. It was a toss-up whether his politics or his religion offended them more; the two were inseparable in his case." He went on, "The legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. would give way to the frustrations of a Malcolm X, the demagoguery of a Louis Farrakhan, and the general hucksterism of the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons."

Greenberg goes on to point out that whereas Dr. King wanted to unite Americans, multiculturalism seeks to divide us, and to set us apart. Race is now used as a "wedge issue" by liberals to maintain power. Any attempt to portray black Americans as a part of the American melting pot with diverse views, values, and objectives is crushed by the powerful forces of the liberal establishment who see any progress in this direction as a threat to their rule. Ward Connerly, Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, J.C. Watts, Doug Wilder, Bill Cosby and scores of other black Americans who share Dr. King’s vision and present alternate solutions to pressing problems are not only ignored, but attacked viciously. They must be crushed in fear that such independent thinking might spread and destroy the myth of radical hegemony in the black community. Dr. King, where are you when America needs your clear thinking most?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

2007 Winners

2007 Winners

There were lots of winners in 2007. Here’s my list

1. America’s Fighting Men and Women. Hip, hip, hooray for these valiant young men and women who have put their lives on the line so that you and I and our children and grandchildren may continue to enjoy freedom! They not only have to overcome the enemy, but also leftist detractors at home including Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, the Daily Kos, Move, George Soros, etc. And they’re winning! America’s best and finest are on the frontlines of freedom.

2. General David Petraeus. Three cheers for this new-generation Army General who came up with the successful "surge" that has set the terrorists in Iraq back on their heels and brought new-found peace to this troubled country. And kudos to the General who overcame the attacks from those in the gutter (including members of Congress) that tried to smear him and tarnish his fine reputation when he testified. General Petraeus is in the finest tradition of America’s great military leaders.

3. Soldiers’ Angels, AdoptaPlatoon, etc. These fine groups, and others like them who give countless hours supporting our fighting troops and their families, are big winners in the eyes of Americans across the nation. Without pay or remuneration of any kind, hundreds of thousands of volunteers give their time to make sure the troops on the frontlines know they aren’t forgotten at home.
4. Congressional Republicans. They finally found some backbone and stood up to the new Democrat majorityand they did it successfully. Who would have guessed it? Now perhaps they will find the courage to put an end to illegal immigration in 2008.

5. Nicolas Sarkozy. The election of Nicolas Sarkozy sent trembles throughout the world of left-wing politics. If a pro-Western, pro-USA candidate could get elected President of France, anything can happen. A French champagne toast to President Sarkozy!

6. Rush Limbaugh. Three cheers for Rush who not only withstood a shameless smear orchestrated by the far left Media Matters, but turned it into a rout. Incredibly, Rush was accused of dishonoring America’s fighting men and women, even though the charge was clearly bogus. First, Harry Reid called Rush "unpatriotic," but he ultimately had to wave a white flag as Rush refused to buckle under to his smear effort. Incidentally, it turns out that Rush is one of the largest supporters of America’s troops, having now donated more than $2.5 million to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. While Harry Reid and his left-wing cohorts have been trying to undermine the war on terrorism, Rush Limbaugh has put his words and money into action in support of our fighting men and women. 

7. The US Economy and its Capitalist Engine. While naysayers droned on about the inevitability of a downturn, the US economy keeps chugging along. My hat’s off to the hard working men and women who start new businesses, use American ingenuity, and provide the capital needed to keep America’s economic engine humming along.

8. Microsoft Corporation. With the introduction of Halo 3, Microsoft served notice that American technology is still the one to beat, even when it comes to video games. This new video game pulled in $300 million during its first week of sales. 

9. US Supreme Court. It should make no difference whether a judge agrees with a law or disagrees with a law. If he is honest and does his best to eliminate his personal prejudices and ultimately applies the law as it was intended by those who wrote it, he (or she) is doing the job they were appointed to do. In 2007 the US Supreme Court was a winner for putting the intent of the framers before any personal biases or political agendas.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

2007 Losers

2007 Losers 
Some of the losers in 2007 were a surprise, while others should have been anticipated. Here’s my short list of losers —

            1.    Congress. After the big Democratic landslide one would
                   have thought that the leadership in both houses would
                   have been riding high. But what a disaster. Nancy Pelosi
                   and Harry Reid may well go down in history as two of the
                   most ineffective leaders in the US Congress. After a year
                   in power the only thing they passed successfully was a
                   minimum wage bill and that was basically crafted by the
                   Republican majority. With the lowest popularity rating in
                   history, the US Congress is one of the biggest losers
                   of 2007.   

            2.    Harry Reid. I know that Reid is the "leader" of the US
                   Senate, but he deserves special recognition for being a
                   big loser on two accounts. First, for telling the American
                   people that "The surge has failed" before it even had a
                   chance to work (which it did, to the astonishment of
                   detractors and supporters alike). Second, for a
                   ham-handed attempt to smear Rush Limbaugh as anti-
                   military.  This latter effort backfired in his face and caused
                   him to encourage others to support Limbaugh’s efforts to
                   raise millions of dollars in support of our troops and
                   their families.

            3.    Daily Kos, and George Soros, etc. After being
                   the force behind the Democratic sweep in 2006, and
                   focusing on turning tail and running in Iraq, this group of
                   prairie radicals from the far left stumbled and bumbled. The
                   height of their misfires was the "General Betraus" ad in the 
                   New York Times
. They have gone from a force to be
                   reckoned with to a group to be laughed at. Their
                   anti-American antics have lost traction.

            4.    The New York Times
. Whatever reputation the NYT had left
                   for objectivity was vaporized by the revelation that they
                   gave a huge discount to run the "General Betraus" ad noted
                   above. The "Gay Lady" has become the "Pink Lady.

            5.    CBS, ABC, and NBC. The news monopoly of the old media is
                   gone forever and their audience continues to shrink with
                   each passing year. Their self-destructive insistence on
                   pushing the liberal agenda continues to be their downfall.

            6.    Katie Couric. A great fit on The Today Show™, as predicted,
                   Couric bombed miserably as the anchor of CBS Nightly
                   News. The clock is ticking.

            7.    Michael Vick. Dog fighting! Just how stupid and cruel can
                   you be?  Vick has apologized and is now behind bars. Vick
                   is a loser, but when he has fully paid for his crime, here’s
                   hoping he is allowed to rejoin the NFL.

            8.    Barry Bonds and his fellow druggies. Why, oh why, would
                   you destroy your personal and professional reputation
                   forever in an attempt to cheat and steal baseball records?
                   Now a very good career is in the toilet and can never be
                   recovered. Bonds and all those other cheaters will have
                   years to regret their actions, and they should. Fie on all
                   of them!

            9.    Doom & Gloom Forecasters. The "sky is falling" crowd
                   had a bad year. Quarter by quarter they predicted the
                   economy was in a free-fall. It wasn’t. They touted the
                   housing bust as the end of prosperity, but the economy
                   refused to go along. They confidently forecasted that
                   holiday spending would be a bust, but the consumers
                   didn’t listen. Now they tell us that the sub prime
                   lending problem is sure to drag us into a recession.
                   Maybe, maybe not. If you keep shouting "wolf" long
                   enough one will eventually appear.

            10.  American Institute of Philanthropy. This self anointed
                   "watchdog" group attacked many of America’s finest
                   military and veterans organizations. Although it set off a
                   news media firestorm that ignited Congressional hearings
                   by Representative Waxman, its one-dimensional rating
                   system turned out to be inaccurate and inconsistent with
                   other ratings groups. As an example, while AIP gave Ollie
                   North’s Freedom Alliance group an "F" rating, the more
                   thorough rating group, Charity Navigator, gave FA four
                   stars and its seal of approval. Shame on AIP for not doing a
                   more thorough job of analyzing all aspects of nonprofit
                   groups, including their impact for good.

            11.  Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In an act of
                   sheer partisanship, the Academy gave their Best
                   documentary to the undocumented "An Inconvenient
                   Truth." This piece of political propaganda further tarnished
                   a reputation that has sunk so low it is becoming harder and
                   harder to tarnish.

            12.  Nobel Peace Prize Committee. By awarding the Nobel Prize
                   to Al Gore, the Committee has made it very clear that it is
                   really no more than an ignoble tool of leftists who have lost
                   total touch with reality.  Its founder must certainly be
                   turning over in his grave. Its most current award recipient
                   falls in the footsteps of other crackpots like Jimmy Carter.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Fred Thompson for President

Fred Thompson for President

I believe there is only one conservative choice for President in 2008 and that choice is Fred Thompson. No other candidate has reliable conservative credentials:

Rudy—Doesn’t believe in the Second Amendment, takes a cavalier attitude about marriage, and is a big spender. If you liked Nelson Rockefeller, you’ll love Rudy.

Huck—Governor "clemency," a big spender and tax raiser, believes in open borders, and has no clue when it comes to foreign policy. In addition, is America really ready for another bumpkin from Arkansas?

McCain—Member of the Keating Five, incredibly self-serving, authored McCain-Feingold, opposed Bush tax cuts, etc., etc. No conservative, that’s for sure.

Mitt—A flip flopper and just not trustable, supported gay marriage, appointed liberal judges, now running for President has caused a change of heart. I don’t buy it. Don’t be surprised if President Romney appoints Supreme Court Justices like Souter instead of Roberts.

While they all claim the Reagan mantle, none of these deserve that mantle. They talk the talk, but they haven’t walked the walk. They are all pretenders. And let’s be honest, a great leader like Ronald Reagan comes along once in a lifetime. 

While Fred Thompson is no Ronald Reagan, he is the only candidate with a proven conservative track record. He slipped up and voted for McCain-Feingold, but frankly I love his response: "I was wrong." What a breath of fresh air.

Right down the line Fred Thompson has a proven himself to be a reliable conservative:

Yes on lower taxes.

Yes on smaller government.

Yes on the Second Amendment.

Yes on securing America’s borders and enforcing the law.

Yes on the right to life.

Yes on protecting marriage.

Yes on a strong national defense and wining the war on terrorism.

Yes on solving our energy crisis.

Yes on judges who adhere to the US Constitution.

Fred Thompson is the conservative choice for 2008.