The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Strange Point in Cops Story in Craig Bathroom Saga

Senator Craig from Idaho was accused and pled guilty to a misdemeanor in a sting trying to catch gay men having anonymous sex in an airport restroom. There seems to be quite a lot of this activity going on at airports, so the cops were staking out the joint. The cop claims Craig was peeking through the crack, giving sex proposition signals such as toe taps and running his hand under the stall. He finds that he was playing "footsie" with a cop. This was months ago and is just now coming out. Now Craig claims he did not do what he pleaded guilty to.

I tend to think that the Senator from Idaho did what he is accused of. I'm not going to get into the gay aspect of the actions, though I am beginning to think the GOP has more gays represented in office than the Dems. Any anonymous sex especially in a public place is risky and disgusting. Apparently Craig has taken a strong moral stance in his office, so he will deserve the public derision coming to him.

There is one element to the cops story that has leaped out at me each time I have read the story or heard it on the air. According to the Star Tribune the co claims:
According to police reports, Craig kept watching the undercover police officer through a crack in the bathroom stall, Roll Call reported. Craig then entered the next-door stall and placed his luggage against the opening under the stall door.

"My experience has shown that individuals engaging in lewd conduct use their bags to block the view from the front of their stall," said the officer, Sgt. Dave Karsnia.

So what is leaping out at me? The cop says he goes in the stall, puts his bag in front of the gap under the door to block any view of lewd behavior, then begins to proposition a man in the next stall. If it was not a cop and the man responded to the signals, I assume he would need to open the stall door to let the guy in. It doesn't jibe making the point that he put the bag there to block a view when he would need to move it to engage in actions that required a blocked view. The rest of the story seems quite credible. This part leaves me scratching my head.


Kudos to Dan Abrams for Amanpour Smackdown

Dan Abrams from MSNBC has given a very direct and firm criticism of the "God's Warriors" piece recently done by CNN's Christiane Amanpour. It has been some time since I gave kudos to anybody (conservative or liberal) and Dan Abrams deserves them. I am not quite sure of his motives, but the directness and clarity of the points he makes are quite at odds with the usual 'grayness' we have come to expect from the liberal media. The firmness of Abrams' rebuttal is nothing short of a smackdown of Amanpour.

I did not see the God's Warriors piece, but the overall theme, promotional segments and quotes I have seen after the fact have convinced me that it was quite abhorrent. The notion the modern day extremists from Islam, Judaism and Christianity are in any way equivalent is nowhere rooted in reality. Every religion has its nut cases, where some express their faith in violent and murderous ways. However, when comparing the occasional murderer of non-Islamic faiths to the volume and embracing of terrorist acts in the Muslim world; there is no comparison whatsoever. Yet Amanpour is not only putting them in the same ballpark, but on equal footing. Dan Abrams not only calls her on making them equivalent, but points out her shameless attempts at defending Islam to the point of painting them as victims. Here are some of Abrams' quotes:

He calls Amanpour's piece "a defense of Islamic fundamentalism and the worst type of moral relativism," and a "shameful advocacy masked as journalism".

"Christians and Jews, for example, who support Israel's strategy for self-defense are just as much God's warriors, according to Amanpour, as the Islamic radicals who blow themselves and others up in an effort to destroy the world as we know it."

"CNN should have called it what it was: a defense of Islamic fundamentalism and the worst type of moral relativism"

"She portrays Muslims as victims, while accusing evangelical Christians of playing the victim."

"...the Muslims as the victims, again, throughout this whole piece."

"This series was well-produced and successful, but also shameful advocacy masked as journalism."

Apparently Amanpour brought out the tired myth of Timothy McVeigh as a Christian terrorist. While Abrams does not correct the record on this falsehood, he does point out the falseness of Amanpour's claim that this fits the "warriors" theme because McVeigh was part of a militia. McVeigh 1) Never claimed to be a Christian 2) Claimed to be an agnostic. The fact that Amanpour has to scratch around and play loose with the truth in order to produce a Christian terrorist shows the depth of her bias.

While I praise his response I am not sure why Abrams came out so hard hitting on this. He seems passionate enough for his objection to be genuine. It could also be a business opportunity to take a jab at CNN as a competitor. He ends the piece with:

Well, I can tell you this, CNN is listening to this segment, so maybe they will hear you loud and clear on that and make up for what I think was really well done but ultimately shoddy journalism.
Combined with the fact that Abrams is the General Manager at MSNBC, this response could be a strong attempt to knock off a few points in the credibility of CNN. Nothing wrong with that in a competitive free market; especially when the criticism is spot-on. Whatever his motives, I recognize Dan Abrams today for doing a good job in this response. While Islamic terrorists enjoy hero status in much of the Muslim world, any terrorist act by a Jew or Christian would be strongly and universally denounced on the spot. There is no comparison or parallels to be drawn. Amanpour has done the world a disservice by making the claim that there is; and she deserved the smackdown delivered by Abrams.

(H/T - Brad Wilmouth)

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Foreign Paper Dredges up Clinton Hack to Rip Economy

The UK Telegraph has a story claiming former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers from the Clinton Administration is predicting a possible recession. I find the whole source and setup of the story quite odd. First, why does a foreign newspaper find the need to start forwarding stories about the direction of the US economy? While the liberals have been pitching and moaning about the economy since Bush took office and inherited the dot-com bust from the Clinton Administration, the fact is that the US has had a very long growth run under the Bush Administration. As certain elements of the economy materialize and are put in side by side comparisons with the Clinton years, it is becoming obvious why the liberals (no matter which country they be from) are getting nervous.

I would also note a major example of CFL (see my posts on what I call CFL here and here) where the media leaves out the answers to obvious questions. Here Larry Summers states:
"It would be far too premature to judge this crisis over," Mr Summers said. "I would say the risks of recession are now greater than they've been any time since the period in the aftermath of 9/11."

The heading of the story introduces Summers:
"Former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers..."
In addition to the Telegraph leaving out which administration Summers worked for ('telegraphing' to me that it was Clinton), they completely leap-frog over the context of the quotes. When and where did Summers make these statements? Who did he make these statements to? What was the context before he began making such dire predictions? Was he asked a question and by whom? Or was he giving a speech and to whom?

The transparent motives and poor quality in news pieces today are becoming far too common. As a firm believer in free speech, I recognize their right to spew their nonsense. However, they do not have the right to retain any credibility for objectivity and accuracy after they are done. The liberal media never tires of carting out former Clinton officials to provide apples to oranges commentary on the Bush Administration. If Hillary or another Dem gains the White House, don't hold your breath waiting for officials from the Bush Administration for comment. There will be one exception to that: they will select members Bush carried over from the Clinton years and label them as former Bush Admin officials. They never miss a trick.

Labels: ,

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Freedoms Watch Helps Push the Pendulum

I have stated many times my frustration at the Bush Administration for refusing to fight back in the public discourse and supports its actions and decisions. My theory is that Bush's lack of articulation and the media's distortion machine were the driving forces in avoiding defense of itself.

It seems that some became tired of the public discourse being so one-sided. They have formed a group called Freedoms Watch. They describe their purpose:
  • Our mission is to ensure a strong national defense and a powerful fight against terror, especially in Iraq. On the domestic front, our mission is to give hope, lift people up, and achieve prosperity through free enterprise.
  • Those who want to quit while victory is possible have dominated the public debate about terror and Iraq since the 2004 election.
  • Our group will give a voice to those who believe that victory is America's only choice. For those who believe in peace through strength, the cavalry is coming.
  • Our goal, as we await General Petraeus' report, is to make sure our elected leaders do not abandon our nation's mission in Iraq and that they do not cave in to the demands of those who want to cut and run.
They are implementing their purpose by funding and creating commercials educating the public on the need to continue the mission in Iraq. I had seen a news story that these commercials were coming and I heard one of the commercials yesterday on the radio. I went to their website and found a page with several of the videos for the commercials. Each video contains a statement by one who has suffered loss in Iraq, 9/11 or both. Here is a description of each person and a key message I found in each video:

Iraq war veteran John Kriesel lost both legs in a blast near Fallujah on December 2nd, 2006.

"I know what I lost. But I also know that if we pull out now everything I have given in sacrifice will mean nothing"

Laura Youngblood lost 2 family members to al Qaeda terrorists, first her uncle Henry a New York City fireman who lost his life on 9/11, and than her husband Travis died fighting for our freedom in Iraq.

"My husband fought so my children did not have to ten years from now"

Iraq war veteran Andrew Robinson was on his second tour of duty when he was wounded by an IED in June of 2006. Andrew lost the use of his legs.

"I would go back to Iraq if I could. It's that important because if Iraq is not stable it will become a breeding ground for hear Congress talk about surrendering really makes me angry"

Vicki Strong lost her son Marine Sgt. Jesse Strong, in Iraq fighting for our freedom.
"For Congress to switch votes for political reasons while we're making progress in Iraq to me is unthinkable. If we surrender now its giving a message to terrorists that they can do what they want and get away with it."

I think these people express some very critical points. There has been a great investment by the United States and by individuals to form a stabilized free Iraq to reduce the chances we will see terrorist attacks at home. To walk away now is to make the investment and these sacrifices in vain and result in a worst outcome than if we had never gone.

At the same time as the Freedoms Watch informational campaign, the Bush Administration seems confident enough in the impending report on the surge results to begin its own campaign of defending its policies. It came out swinging the other day pointing to the liberal's ridiculous comparison of Iraq to Vietnam. Bush used the comparison against the liberals to show that if we left Iraq prematurely, the certain massacre of innocents that would occur would create a sure repeat of history scenario. From the outrage of the liberals after that speech I assume they don't like the idea of the blood of masses from Vietnam, Cambodia and a future Iraq being placed on their hands. While Walter Cronkite and his ilk may have escaped the public blame for the massacre they created, but they also had a lock on the public discourse at the time. With the internet and talk radio, that is no longer the case. A premature withdrawal from Iraq will result in a massacre of thousands and there is enough freedom of information to make sure the people know who is to blame. The Dems know this. Which is why they don't want to be the ones to actually pull the plug on Iraq. They keep trying to force Bush and the GOP to pull the plug.

I have not read or heard this anywhere else, but Boortz claims the administration is now publishing insurgency casualty numbers. According to this claim, we are killing on average 1500 of these bloodthirsty savages per month in 2007. Simple math will bring the 2007 total to 12,000 Islamic radicals we don't have to worry about any more. These are numbers the average American can digest and understand. The lack of confidence for Iraq is not rooted in the lack of ability in our troops. It is rooted in the lack of information and the lack of sufficient communication due to a lopsided representation in the media.

The pendulum of public discourse is starting to swing back towards a supportive position on staying in Iraq. The efforts of Petraeus and the troops have purchased this opportunity. The Bush Administration finally seems willing to capitalize on it. The efforts of Freedoms Watch will certainly play a major factor in the pendulum's move. If this continues, the Dems who have branded themselves with a position of surrender and defeat will be severely caught with their pants down. It is already humorous fodder to watch them attempt to spin their way out of their self imposed brand. Without the constant umbrella of protection by the media, the Dems would already be exposed as the clowns that they are. The real question is how willing the media will be to go down the drain with them. If they really believe the garbage they support, they will go down with the ship. If they want to survive, at some point they will leave the Dems to crash and burn and look for the first opportunity to rewrite history at a later date.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Media Attention Deficit to Turn on Dems

The MSM has for years been participating in the dumbing down of America and training them to have the attention spans of toddlers in toy shops. Politically, the Bill Clinton machine leveraged this by mastering the sound bite in its communication. Now there are many sheeple out there that cannot handle too much information. This will soon bite the Dems strategy in Iraq.

For years now their message has been that Iraq is a hopeless cause. After their November victory they demanded troop withdrawal and began their funding antics to try to get Bush to pull out of Iraq and saddle him with the disastrous consequences that would happen. To everyone's shock, the lame duck announced a new strategy of adding more troops under new leadership and a new strategy. After conceding to Bush's request for funds to support the ongoing effort and the surge, the Dems immediately began a PR campaign undermining the surge. Before the surge was even in place the Dems were there at every new insurgent attack to say "See! It's not working!".

The sheer volume and intensity of the Dems claims of utter failure have done several things. First, their position has been clearly "branded" in the public forum. Without massive cover from the MSM (that is sure to be provided) there is no chance of backing away from the clear stance of failure they took. The insightful have seen the Dems pictured as those who put their fingers in their ears and say "La la la la la la la. I'm not listening to any reports of progress. La la la la la." To those less insightful their position of failure is clear.

Second, they have really lowered expectations with their clenched teeth posturing. Any progress at all will be perceived positively. After all Americans want to be winners. They may not all agree with policy, but unless they have a stake in losing most want to avoid the stigma of loss. With the bar so lowered, a report of significant progress will have a more intense positive response.

Third, the clear stance of the Dems will underline the fact that they were wrong in their predictions when progress is announced. It is like a Market Analyst predicting a market crash and then the market goes up 2000 points in a few months. The investors will take that Analysts predictions with a grain of salt next time or change the channel to another one.

Finally, the Dems have no choice but to change their message. Many are now trying to save face by admitting some progress with the surge. However, they are quick to add a "but...." clause afterward. "The surge may be working but the political landscape is still horrible". This is their new strategy. However, thanks to the trained Media Attention Deficit response most will only hear that the surge is working.

It is amazing how often the left digs a hole for a trap only to find themselves falling into it. It is equally amazing how poorly the right manages to capitalize on it. The clear self-branding of the Dems as utter incompetent fools does little for the GOP if they also are perceived as fools. Many of them did not have the political courage to support the surge. Too many GOP listen to the MSM to tell them why they lose elections. Too many GOP have the courage to clearly brand themselves like the Dems have done so they can capitalize when they are right. Only fools like Lindsay Graham and Chuck Hagel take a brand - and a wrong one at that.

As for Media Attention Deficit, this country will only make real progress when many are cured and take the time to pay attention to details. Most do not really know facts - only soundbites and slogans. When the uninformed vote, this Congress is what we get.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Michelle Malkin Discovers a New Lefty Syndrome

We have all by now heard of BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome), where the chronic words and actions by the left in reaction to GWB go well beyond dissent and into the realm of the looney. Michelle Malkin has discovered another plague among left leaning persons serving in the military or claim to. The Winter Soldier Syndrome does not occur without help, though. When somebody is stricken with the sudden compulsion to begin making up lies about the U.S. military, delivering false claims designed to make our soldiers look similar to the actions of our enemies; there is always a willing member of the media to swallow the tale whole and produce it without blinking an eye or checking the facts.

Michelle produces quite a list of these Syndrome sufferers that the media has gleefully supported, only to be picked apart later when the facts catch up to them. Michelle points back to the original case of the Winter Soldier Syndrome - John Kerry. Kerry, unlike his successors in suffering used his Syndrome driven speeches to launch a political career. The latest victim of WSS, Scott Thomas Beauchamp, told some very vile and disgusting tales which have since been picked apart, chewed up and spit out. He has even signed a statement recanting his stories. The publisher of the stories, The New Republic, stands by the disowned stories. The breakdown of the other WSS stories and how they were discredited is worth a look through.

Somehow the founder of this condition, John Kerry, had a very different outcome than those who have followed. Michelle points out the clear difference between then and now - the existence of the internet. It is very difficult for such outrageous false claims to survive under the microscope of the internet. Yet WSS will likely continue, and the media will likely continue to fulfill their part of the equation. They cannot help themselves.

When you look at how the left treats a soldier in uniform that supports the war effort and compare that with how eager they are to exploit anyone wearing a uniform that will undercut the war; it is seriously sickening.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

If You Hear Many Quacks - It Will Be the Sound of Thousands of Scientists Ducking

Here is another significant opportunity for the fools who have fallen for the Climate Change farce to offer a little proof that 1) It is a real and serious problem and 2) It is worth spending tons of American money to fix it.

The website is sponsoring a contest where the first person able to provide proof that debunks the following two hypothesis will get a lump sum payment of $100,000:

UGWC Hypothesis 1

Manmade emissions of greenhouse gases do not discernibly, significantly and predictably cause increases in global surface and tropospheric temperatures along with associated stratospheric cooling.

UGWC Hypothesis 2

The benefits equal or exceed the costs of any increases in global temperature caused by manmade greenhouse gas emissions between the present time and the year 2100, when all global social, economic and environmental effects are considered.

Yes, it is the Ultimate Global Warming Challenge! Yeah, yeah. I know. The science is settled and the debate is over. But hey, who can resist such an "easy" proposition when the "science" is behind you? Here is an opportunity to get a fast hundred grand to throw at your favorite globe saving enterprise (or to greedily pocket for yourself - after the government takes half).

The fact is that there will likely be no takers and there certainly will not be any winners. In order to win, the submitter must do what the Climate Change crowd has been most unwilling to do: a cost-benefit analysis. They will have to provably answer the first four of my 5 questions on global warming:
1) Has it been proven that Global Warming is actually happening?
2) Has it been proven that Global Warming is caused by man-made greenhouse gases?
3) Has it been proven that Global Warming will cause catastrophic conditions that will result in massive human casualties?
4) Has it been proven that if 1-3 are correct that it is possible for man to prevent #3 by reducing or eliminating their output in greenhouse gases?
5) Just because 2-4 are unproven and likely a crock, does this excuse man's irresponsible polluting of the earth?

Labels: , ,