Look closer. Think harder. Choose the sound argument over the clever one.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Iraq Pre-War Intel, part 998

I couldn't have put it better myself...

Clearly, the important administration arguments are beginning to coalesce:
  1. Criticism of the war is not by itself unpatriotic
  2. Similarly, answering anti-war critics is not challenging their patriotism
  3. But opportunistic and cynical anti-war critics who are trying to walk back their own votes and level spurious charges at the Administration (they lied to take is into war) are themselves lying
  4. These lies are hurting the country and the troops.
  5. The burden of proof, in a post 911 world, was on Saddam Hussein to prove he’d disarmed; we could not wait for the threat to become imminent before acting
  6. The cause the troops are fighting for is just and right
  7. Iraq is moving toward freedom; and things on the ground are improving daily, regardless of what the MSM and prominent Dems would have us believe.

These points, taken together, form an easy, concise, and—most importantly—a factually correct counter-narrative . . . I think the narrative is a good one, but it needs to be repeated as loud and as often as the one the Dems have been peddling.

Also, check out "The Carnival of Prewar Intelligence", over at Open Source Media.

Hat Tip: Instapundit

If you've got some time on your hands, do read the Senate Intelligence Commitee's report on prewar intelligence: the conclusions, or the whole thing. (Caution: potentially long download time.)

Want still more? How about the Silberman-Robb report here.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Lautenberg's Abuse of Power

Let's read this article in the opposite way the Post presents it. Double-check that every fact here is in this article.

Vice President Cheney has an energy task force in 2001. He claims the right to obtain information in confidentiality. The courts uphhold that as constitutional, ruling against at least one Sierra Club lawsuit.

Last week we have Senate hearings. And we have Senator Lautenberg. Not a majority of Senators casting votes, mind you. One Senator in a hearing. And he single-handedly attempts to trash Cheney's constitutional right, upheld by the courts. No appeal. No due process. No respect for the court's decision. Not even a Senate majority.

Lautenberg is deliberately abusing his power.

That said, the executives have an obligation to tell the truth, or refuse to answer. Lying about it (if they were indeed lying) is wrong, even in the face of this abuse. Easy for me to say.

As an aside, note how the Post introduces the oil execs as "...executives from big oil companies...". How are their companies' sizes relevant? Are they all similar sizes? (I doubt it.) If they (or some) were from medium-sized oil companies, would the Post have been careful to say that? (Who decides a company is "big" vs. "medium" or "gigantic"?)

Or is the phrase "big oil" just a liberal shibboleth, our signal to know they're evil prima facie?

(For reference, Fox News reports it here.)

Full disclosure: I have no interest or stock in oil companies and I'm not crazy about gas prices myself. If one wishes to debate whether this industry or others don't have a right to charge a percentage, that's fine by me.

Hat-tip: Payne Hollow.

Newspaper front pages by city

This link is amazing. Pick a place on the map and see the newspaper's front page.

Hat-tip: Four Right-Wing Wackos

Monday, November 14, 2005

Katrina inspires record charity

Powerful and extensive media images of Katrina's devastation and human suffering propelled the unprecedented giving, Rooney said.

This confirms what one person said way back in September:

If the government’s failure to get help instantly to Katrina victims reflects American racism, why have the images of thousands of poor, displaced blacks triggered the greatest outpouring of charity in American history?

Previous posts:

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Venezuela's Totalitarian ID Card

The Free Software Foundation's Richard Stallman gives this first-hand account:

...and at that point I learned something shocking and disappointing about Venezuelan law. Every purchase--even food--requires the purchaser to present his national ID card, and his ID number is recorded to report it to the government. The bookseller was very angry about it, and I share his feelings. It is like my worst nightmares about surveillance, come true. Supposedly the purpose is for tax collection, but no one was able to give me a clear story of how it would solve a problem or why it was necessary. Other countries have been able to collect taxes in other ways.

Seems like Cuba's totalitarian influence to me.

Stallman, sympathetic enough to Chavez to meet him in person, says:

If I someday have another chance to speak with President Chavez, this is what I will discuss.

As though Chavez would reply, "Hey, you're right! The potential for surveillance never occured to me! Let's change it right away! After all, we weren't going to do anything with that data anyway."

Ironically, the "Free" in FSF stands for liberty: "You should think of 'free' as in 'free speech'."

Heartwarming to know that while Venezuela is being enslaved and dissent crushed, no software copyrights will be violated.

P.S.: I don't mean this as a shot at the FSF's core work: what they've made freely distributable has made the world a better place. My problem is with the leftist mindset that clouds one's judgement. Otherwise brilliant people turned a blind eye to North Vietnam in the 1960's and the Khmer Rouge in the 1970's. The two don't have to go hand in hand.

Monday, November 07, 2005

TimesSelect Mischief

A friend sent an article by NY Times' Thomas L. Friedman, Leading by (Bad) Example, via e-mail. But the last paragraph was missing, and my friend received it that way, too. (Here's the whole thing.)

Here's what that paragraph says:

"(Yes, all of this is a fake news story. I just wish that it weren't so true.)"

A pretty serious omission, in my humble opinion, even if you see hints that the "story" is fake. It changes how you read the entire piece. (The "...so true" I'll leave to its own discussion.)

Here's the problem: you go to the Times' web-site, and you can't get to the article without paying. So it's pretty difficult (and expensive) to verify. My friend tried to verify it, but was daunted by the fee. I would have been, too.

For now, I'm rejecting the notion that the piece was intentionally written to make that kind of boot-leg shift to misinformation easy, but it kinda seems that way. One line at the end clipped, keep the prestigious Times as the source and you're there! And best you can tell from this side of the TimesSelect wall, it's legit.

Like I say, though, I'm rejecting that notion. But I'm keeping my eye out for a pattern.

Kudos to K for catching this missing line.

Background: the blogosphere commented on TimesSelect, mostly brushing it off as a bad business decision:

Saturday, November 05, 2005

When Headlines Collide

Sometimes you see two headlines together that tell their own story. Like Yahoo News, Friday: Payroll up & unemployment down? Chavez says block that plan!

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