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The official blog of the National Center for Public Policy Research, covering news, current events and public policy from a conservative, free-market and pro-Constitution perspective.

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Pro-Bush Poll Censored

Visit Davids Medienkritik, a German blog (written in English), to read the hilarious story of major German news organizations that have stopped running online Bush v. Kerry popularity polls because -- apparently -- they didn't like the poll results.

Davids Medienkritik provides wonderful insights about "Old Europe." I added it to my blogroll, and visit it often.


McCain and Swift Boat Vets: "I Had No Idea McCain's Eyesight Was so Good"

David Ridenour shares this musing about John McCain's eyesight:

John McCain described the commercial by Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth as "dishonest and dishonorable" as though he has some first-hand knowledge of the facts of the case.

At the time John Kerry claims he saved Jim Rathman's life, John McCain wasin the "Hanoi Hilton" (1967-1973) close to 700 miles as the crow flies from the Mekong Delta.

I had no idea McCain's eyesight was so good.

McCain is no more qualified to serve as a witness to the events at the Mekong Delta than I am to serve as a witness to a car accident from where I am (Washington, D.C.) in Peoria, Illinois (also roughly 700 miles as the crow flies).


Letter to Glenn Reynolds

I sent the following letter to Glenn Reynolds at today in response to his post containing a letter from a federally-funded scientist regarding stem cell research:

I would be more impressed by the claims of scientists regarding embryonic stem cell research if any of them took the time to satisfactorily explain how it is that research on embryonic cells can simultaneously be immensely promising and yet also unable to attract private funding.
Addendum: There's an excellent essay in Slate on this topic. Hat tip to ProfessorBainbridge.


A Visit with President Bush

Power Line has a very moving story about a Rabbi's impressions of a visit with President Bush.


"It's Just the Live Ones They Cannot Tolerate"

Explaining Auschwitz: A group of Jewish university students is attacked by French tourists. Quote:

[Laurence] Weinbaum [Director of Research at the World Jewish Congress and resident scholar for the group], who has been to Poland more than 30 times on educational tours, says he never before saw anything like what happened, happen. "It was simply shocking," he says. "In some way, I felt that these men were satisfied to visit Auschwitz. This was another reminder that in Western Europe there is sympathy for dead Jews; it's just the live ones that they cannot tolerate."
The attack occurred at while the group was on a tour of the museum at the Auschwitz death camp in Poland last Sunday.


Hat Not So Lucky, Maybe

BeldarBlog has a link to a Washington Post story in which John Kerry describes his "good luck hat," which, Kerry says, was "given to me by a CIA guy as we went in for a special mission in Cambodia."


Worth a Look

Found an interesting new blog today, Below Street Level - Subverting Youth Culture .

It has thoughtful commentary and some superb links, such as this one to a Washington Post story explaining (in very straightforward terms) what America's current stem cell policy actually is (as opposed to what some folks imply that it is.


Court Rules Journalists Are Not Above the Law

Reporters are being held in contempt of court for believing they don't have to testify under subpoena as lesser mortals do.

(Link above has a pdf copy of the U.S. District Court's court's ruling, for those who like their news in the original.)

As I asked (rhetorically) before, would a blogger be free to refuse to cooperate in a law enforcement investigation of an illegal action that he covered in his blog?

The answer, of course, is no. The same rules should apply to compensated journalists.


If You Don't Cry, You Get a Good Laugh

Captain Ed has an amazing post today about an alternative high school in California that teaches that there are 53 states in the U.S., but our flag only has 50 stars because we haven't updated it yet.

And you would not believe what it teaches about our bi-cameral legislature.


The One Secret Washington DC Has Been Able to Keep (Or Not)

Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of President Nixon's resignation.

Thirty years of official mystery: Who is "Deep Throat"?

In thirty years, "Deep Throat" never wanted to write a book, be known for his (presumably most famous) achievement, get a little attention or simply settle the issue once and for all.

Yet, according to Bob Woodward, "Deep Throat" is perfectly OK with the notion of Woodward revealing his name after he's dead. So, he obviously doesn't mind if his family and friends know.

So, why so shy? It's not like Nixon's going to try to get revenge -- or that anyone else will even care enough to try, after thirty years.

Edward Jay Epstein's take on the matter is worth serious thought.

Keep in mind one other thing: Have any other major public secrets not involving national security been kept in Washington for thirty years?


Coca-Cola Can't Win

While reading various legal blogs tonight (including Overlawyered,,, BeldarBlog, The Curmudgeonly Clerk, ProfessorBainbridge and others), I was reminded of one of the stories in The National Center's own Legal Briefs newsletter (in this particular case, Overlawyered was one of the sources):

The recipe for Coca-Cola is a closely guarded secret, and the Coca-Cola company has been pleasing customers since 1886. But that hasn't stopped a group of class action lawyers from suing the company, saying they don't like the company's recipe.

It seems that Coca-Cola uses the sweetener Aspartame in bottles marketed for home use, and uses saccharin (in part) in soda fountains. The reason, Coca-Cola says, is that Aspartame is not as stable for fountain use.

Plaintiffs in the case say they should have been warned that fountain soda contains saccharin instead of the preferred Aspartame.

Meanwhile, another group of plaintiffs is suing Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and ten other companies for using Aspartame, saying it "is a drug masquerading as an additive."
Damned if they do; damned if they don't.


Kranish-Elliott Re-Creation

The BeldarBlog has a fun fictional speculative re-creation of the telephone interview of Captain George Elliott by the Boston Globe's Michael Kranish.

If accurate, it could explain much. One quibble, though: As noted below, Kranish probably didn't call Elliott "Captain" in the interview.

Has the Boston Globe yet said if Kranish taped his Elliott interview? I can find no evidence that the Globe has answered this question (or been asked, for that matter). Yet, given the significance, high profile and controversial nature of the subject matter, it might have been done.

Anyone else know?


Speaking from the Floor of the Senate, Lt. Kerry

David of the No Caliban blog has a response to my query about whether Swift Boat veteran George Elliott is properly addressed as "Captain" (Human Events, Washington Times, his own affidavits and others) or "Lt. Commander" (Boston Globe, New York Times, others).

Assuming David's theory about the mix-up is correct, this kind of error is not a good sign about the reliability of the reporting of the Boston Globe and New York Times on the Swift Boat Veterans story. Calling a Naval Captain, retired or not, "Lt. Commander" just because he once was one (weren't they all?) is rather like calling Queen Elizabeth "Princess Elizabeth" just because she used to be a princess.

Will they next refer to John Kerry, properly addressed as "Senator John Kerry," "Lt. Kerry," because that once was accurate? I doubt it.


The Atheist Sloth Ethic

Professor Bainbridge has another fun post, a discussion of and link to an essay by historian Niall Ferguson exploring why it might be that Europeans work much less than do Americans.


Freedom's Truth: Liberating Iraq

I've just added the Freedom's Truth: Liberating Iraq blog to my blogroll. It has very comprehensive Iraq coverage -- it is the Instapundit of Iraq-oriented blogs.

Note also that Freedom's Truth has a fascinating blogroll in several categories: Iraqi blogs, soldier blogs, websites supporting Iraqis and our troops, Arab/Middle East blogs, anti-coalition blogs, links to key Iraqi and coalition websites and a lot more. One could spend a lot of interesting time just investigating his blogroll.


Nice News

The blog has a nice post up today listing easy ways to tell a soldier, sailor or Marine you appreciate their work and hardships in defense of our freedom and safety.


Swift Boat Vet Elliott: Captain or Lt. Commander?

I've read more articles about the Kranish-Elliott you-said-it-no-I-didn't debate since my my post about this a few minutes ago and have noticed that some, such as The Washington Times, give swift boat veteran George Elliott's rank as "Captain."

Checking, I see that Elliott, in his recent, much-discussed affidavits, refers to his own rank as "Captain."

I am unable to explain why the New York Times and Boston Globe refer to Elliott as "Lt. Commander." Surely, a checkable, absolute fact such as the man's military rank is something every journalist covering this story ought to be able to get right. Yet, somebody must be wrong here.

If Elliott's rank is Captain, I apologize to him for getting it wrong in my prior post.


New York Times Readers Deserve Full Story

The New York Times just posted online an article exploring Friday's contretemps over a swift boat veteran, Lt. Cmdr. George Elliot (USN-Ret.) a visible member of the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who says he was misquoted by the Boston Globe, and the Globe's denial of the misquotation charge.

The article notes a major funding source for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth but failed to note a rather major money issue it has vis-a-vis the Boston Globe: The New York Times Co. owns it, and thus has a vested interest in the Globe's reputation for accurate journalism.

I think New York Times readers deserve to be told about conflicts of interest of this nature.

(As a side note, I wonder why the New York Times story does not tell us if Boston Globe reporter Michael Kranish's interview of Elliott was tape-recorded. That's the second question I'd ask the Globe, right after "do you stand by your story?")


Impressive Man, Sad Story  

I added a new blog to my blogroll, The Black Informant.

Among other interesting features, it describes how the champion boxer Joe Louis, when he earned $371,000 boxing, voluntarily paid back the welfare payments his stepfather had received from the government.

Unfortunately, the story has a sad ending.


Money-Making Opportunity?

The ProfessorBainbridge blog has a fun commentary on France's new enemy: SUVs.

Seems the Paris City Council is trying to get rid of these vehicles.

I think I'll buy stock in some firms that make SUVs...