While he wielded a heavy hand to maintain control, Saddam also sought to win public support with a personality cult that pervaded Iraqi society. Thousands of portraits, posters, statues and murals were erected in his honor all over Iraq. His face could be seen on the sides of office buildings, schools, airports and shops and on Iraq’s currency.
What was the point of closing out an otherwise well written article with the above statement? Does the reporter actually believe that the Iraqi people made the decision to put Saddam's mug on the currency or that they erected statues out of something other than fear?
When righting yourself after a downturn in life, it is best to first take an honest inventory to understand how your own actions influenced the outcome. It may seem emotionally easier to blame outside influences, but professional victims do not expend any effort to improve their lot in life, expecting somebody else to straighten things out instead. This runs counter to liberty, where personal freedom is reflected by an equal amount of personal responsibility. So we need to see exactly where we stand before we plan our recovery from the 2006 elections.
When the Clouds Cleared…
In the House, 23 A-rated, NRA-endorsed representatives–17 of them incumbents–lost to F-rated challengers. (Assumes initial rating of “?” is really an “F”.) In the Senate, 5 endorsed candidates lost, four of them incumbents, for a 72% winning percentage.
Maybe our liberal friends are onto something. They keep saying the rich should pay more taxes, and it turns out the rich already are! That's one of the valuable lessons from the IRS's annual study of income tax data, just released for 2004.
Americans who earned more than $1 million in adjusted gross income paid $178 billion, or an average of $740,000 per filer, in income taxes in 2004. That's up about one-third from 2002, the year before the Bush tax cuts in marginal income-tax and dividend and capital gains rates. The wealthiest 1% of tax filers paid a remarkable 35% of all individual income-tax payments that year.
I love the following analogy, but WSJ could have gone further with it:
Jeff Martin sets up his defense of, again, printing the names of lawful concealed weapons permit holders by revisiting a previous time in which he did the exact same thing. He justifies it by noting that someone who went on to win a Puleftist prize was involved. He claims:
Every day, it seems, Jim or Jayne or I take a call from someone who wants something kept out of the newspaper. It's usually a name... Each time, we listen. Each time, we refuse...
Yet we try to print everything. Here's why: We print the names of people in the news because that's our business... That means we'll tell them not only what's happening at the city council and at Iowa State University, but also who is arrested, who is having babies, who is selling his house (and for how much), who has died (and of what cause). People expect that from us.
If we leave out just one name, just one fact, we have failed in our mission and damaged our credibility. That's why we printed those gun permits in Iowa. It's the kind of journalism that goes to the heart of the First Amendment.
First, let's get the reason behind this "news" out of the way: It's a way for those who are against the Second Amendment to know who to shun, who to refuse to hire, and who to refuse to do business with. It's a list that tells (stupid) burglars exactly which houses to break into if they want to be armed.
Well they don't exactly print "every name". His paper may print the names of breeders, but they don't print the names of people who terminate babies. Isn't that also news? They don't print the names of licensed doctors and nurses who perform abortions. They don't print the names of people who get sex changes or the doctors who perform them, and they don't print the names of people at Iowa State who are performing stem cell research (outside of government funding.)
Why not? Because journalists go after people they are opposed to, not people they agree with.
Today is the beginning of Hanukkah, so can't let this one pass just in case you missed it...
Just when you think you’ve heard it all—FOX News reports: “An artist who was forced to remove his Nazi gingerbread men from the window of a hardware store has set up the display in an empty storefront in another town. “The Secret Lives of Gingerbread Men” depicts a small gathering at a Nazi rally. Keith McGuckin set up the display in this northeastern Ohio city Thursday night, a day before the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah begins at sundown…
"One of his last jokes involved a son sending a prostitute over to his widowed father, in his 90s, still a self-proclaimed ladies’ man. She tells him she is his birthday present and will give him super sex.
'I’ll take the soup,' he says."
It took a few days, but someone at the Times finally figured out that the "joke" wasn't funny. So it gave it yet another try on a December 13 correction:
(Columbia) - In Richland County alone, there have been ten murders in the past eleven days. So far the only connection is that a gun was used at each crime scene.
But some are asking if there could be another link? [sic] Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, says he believes there’s a correlation between the murders and South Carolina’s gun laws.
“Anytime we make it easier to get guns, you’re going to see an increase in gun violence,” Helmke said.
Helmke said South Carolina’s laws are some of the most relaxed in the nation because there’s no state background check and no registry that tracks the sale and ownership of all guns.1
As I reported this weekend, Qais al-Bashir from the AP actually identified a source in one of his articles as "not an authorized source". While it was a small step, at least it was a step in the right direction. It did not take long for the AP to revert back to its old tricks of using unauthorized sources for news out of Iraq.
Today's story out of Iraq by Thomas Wagner and Qais al-Bashir features some familiar names...
"The coordinated attack in Tayaran Square involved a suicide attacker who drove up to the day laborers pretending to want to hire them, then set off his explosives as they got into his minibus, Lt. Bilal Ali said. At virtually the same time — 7 a.m. — a bomb exploded in a car parked some 30 yards away."
TEL AVIV – A key Hamas official has confirmed reports from last week the terror group held meetings with "important Democrats."
Ahmed Yousuf, chief political advisor to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, told the Maannews Palestinian news website that Hamas officials met recently with high-ranking American figures, "especially members of the Democratic party."
ANSWER: Nothing satisfactory, as far as the company is concerned. Google has responded, but generically, and poorly. Meanwhile, press releases that verge on being pure pap are routinely displayed in Google News results.
Background: This post is the latest relating to attempts that began here to get to the bottom of why all but a very small portion of news items published at Centcom.mil and its affliated sites are NOT being found or displayed by the Google News search engine. More background is here, here, here, and here, but this post should stand on its own for those who are new to the issue.
I received this e-mail from Google News early Thursday evening (link supplied by Google News was made clickable for this post):
Thank you for your note about Google News. We apologize for our delayed response. Dan passed your email on to our User Support team so we can assist you. Please be assured that Google News currently includes the news site you mention. You can find articles from this publication in our results at the following link:
Additionally, please be aware that Google News doesn't currently include multimedia content, such as audio or video files. Google News offers a news service compiled solely by computer algorithms without human intervention. There aren't human editors at Google selecting or grouping the headlines, and no individual decides which stories get top placement. While our news sources vary in perspective and editorial approach, their selection for inclusion is done without regard to political viewpoint or ideology.
While we aim to include as many sources as possible in Google News, we can’t guarantee the addition of all articles and sources that are submitted to us. We appreciate your taking the time to send us your suggestions for how we can improve this service.
Last year, I sensed that journalists in general prefer to call this time of the year in commerce that of "holiday shopping" instead of "Christmas shopping," but that when it came to people losing their jobs, they preferred to describe layoffs as relating to "Christmas."
My instincts were proven correct, as you can see below from the results of three different sets of Google News searches in November and December (links to last year's related posts are here, here, and here):
I've decided to track the same items this year to see if there is any noticeable change or trend.
Here are the first two of the three sets of Google News searches during this Christmas season, compared to last year (the Dec. 9, 2006 searches were done shortly after midnight; the post on the Nov. 26, 2006 searches is here):
Slim pickings indeed. Perhaps we need to start looking for inanimate objects (e.g., 1982 - The Computer; 1988 - Endangered Earth), symbolic people (1950 - American Fighting Man; 1956 - Hungarian Freedom Fighter; 2003 - The American Soldier), or groups of people (1960 - US Scientists; 1966 - 25 and Under; 1969 - The Middle Americans; 1975 - American Women; 1993 - The Peacemakers; 2002 - The Whistleblowers). The list of all previous winners is here.
Perhaps YouTube, online forums, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and online media should be the Thing of the Year: The Shadow Media. Of course, Time would be writing about its own likely eventual demise, but it would fit.
Cavuto elicited this stunningly out-of-touch statement from Krugman about the situation for the average person and the middle class that is obviously not true (excerpt is at the end of this Hot Air clip):
Cavuto: .... You're saying that it's somehow dramatically worse now than it was 10 years, 20 years ago? Krugman: It is dramatically worse now than it was 10 or 20 years ago.
Horse manure, Paul, and here's the proof. The figures below are from the Census Bureau, and show real (inflation-adjusted) income from 1985-2005 (bottom half of data at linked page):
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman declared that the insurgency in Iraq has been defeating the U.S. military for the past four years during an interview Wednesday with Good Morning America’s Diane Sawyer. While making the argument that there is no "two to three year" solution for the violence occuring in Iraq, Friedman declared victory for the insurgents:
Thomas Friedman: "...I don't believe myself that there's a two to three year solution where we just train a few more troops. The issue isn't training, Diane. After all, who's training the insurgents? Nobody. They're doing just fine. They've basically been defeating the U.S. military for the last four years."
Professor, in So Many Words, Says That Jimmy Carter Deserves Another Prize: Best Fiction Writer in an Alleged Non-Fiction Book; Prediction is that Media Will Ignore
Great catch and follow-up comment by blogger Nasty Brutish & Short -- The Carter Center of Emory University has lost a Middle East Fellow, namely Professor Kenneth Stein, "solely as a result of Carter's new book, Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid" (link is to a post at Powerline, which has Stein's full e-mail; also discussed by J-Pod and Goldberg at NRO's The Corner).
Here's the money paragraph from Stein's resignation letter:
President Carter's book on the Middle East, a title too inflammatory to even print, is not based on unvarnished analyses; it is replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments. Aside from the one-sided nature of the book, meant to provoke, there are recollections cited from meetings where I was the third person in the room, and my notes of those meetings show little similarity to points claimed in the book. Being a former President does not give one a unique privilege to invent information or to unpack it with cuts, deftly slanted to provide a particular outlook.
When a domestic industry is having problems with foreign competitors, foreign-owned companies in the US, or outsourcing, there is usually plenty of media coverage.
But when an entire sector of the financial services industry is in jeopardy, namely the issuance of shares in companies going public for the first time (initial public offerings, or IPOs), the news and commentary can't seem to break out of the business-reporting realm.
Read the following, and then I'll attempt to explain why.
LONDON AND HONG KONG "HEART" SARBANES-OXLEY
Sarbanes-Oxley Quotes of the Day: Kudlow Discussion Group and John Fund Column
In traditional union style, the employees of the Inquirer and the Daily News are up in arms over the newspaper's new management and ownership. Their demands? The usual: Permanent pensions despite company fiscal performance and seniority privileges for long-time employees regardless of job performance. From the list of demands:
Seniority. As with most labor unions, the current Guild contract calls for workers with more experience at the company to be protected in case jobs are cut for economic reasons. After a drop in national advertising, the newspapers are considering as many as 190 layoffs company-wide, and they have floated the possibility of up to 150 job cuts in the Inquirer newsroom. The company wants wider latitude in being able to pick who goes; the union says the company has not developed any objective alternative system for choosing who would keep their jobs.
Pensions. Current Guild employees qualify for pensions equal to 1.6 percent of their yearly pay for each year served, within certain limits. While that is less than what teachers and many other public-sector employees earn, Tierney says the pension liability is more than the company can afford at a time when other companies are shifting from traditional pensions to 401(k) plans and other retirement arrangements whose costs are less expensive and easier to predict. The union says the company has not proposed an alternative of comparable value.
If they don't get what they're demanding, then they're threatening to strike. The current publisher plans to continue operating the paper with non-union work. The site that will host the news from the picketing journalists in that event is here.