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Thursday
Oct282004

Corporations vs. Environmentalists

Looks like the moral high ground is with the corporations this time.

Thursday
Oct282004

Independent Film Channel: Not Fair and Balanced

Executive Director David W. Almasi continues to channel surf, and sends over his comments:

Cable's Sundance Channel has a full slate of anti-Bush programming scheduled for the eve of the election. Now I see that the Independent Film Channel is following Sundance's lead with its own offering of liberal programs.



(And yet Sinclair is still taking it on the chin for airing just part of one documentary critical of John Kerry!)



The program descriptions belong to IFC, my comments are italicized:





Friday, October 29 at 10:00 pm and Saturday, October 30 at 1:00 am



"Fahrenheit 9/11: A Movement in Time"



A tribute to the most provocative documentary of our time. Featuring interviews with Mario Cuomo, Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Wyclef Jean, Bonnie Raitt, Michael Stipe and others.



Monday, November 1



8:00 pm



"The War Room"



Seminal documentarians D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus capture the behind-the-scene machinations of Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign through the eyes of George Stephanopoulos and James McCarville, the two volatile generals who orchestrated their candidate's march to the White House.



9:35 pm



"Soldiers Pay"



Originally shot by Russell as an extra for the special DVD release of his film "Three Kings," "Soldiers Pay" was later removed at the studio's request. "Soldiers Pay" presents viewpoints on the war in Iraq from all sides of the spectrum, including veterans, Iraqis who rose up against Saddam after the Gulf War, journalists, politicians, psychologists and a two-star general who led the U.S. Marines to victory in the Gulf War.



According to an article about the film, director Russell is "anti-war in general and anti-Bush in particular." After the film was dumped from the DVD, it played in limited release paired with "Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War" (which is, coincidentally, I'm sure, playing immediately prior to "Soldiers Pay" on Sundance Channel.



10:15 pm



"The War Room"



12:00 am



"Soldiers Pay"



And, in case you missed it the first two times, "The War Room" plays again on Election Day at 12:35 pm.

Thursday
Oct282004

Heritage's Gardner: U.N.'s Defining Moment?

The Heritage Foundation's Nile Gardner takes a look at the role of the United Nations in the "missing" explosives controversy and speculates:

The 2004 Presidential election may be not only a defining moment in American history, but also a defining moment for the future of the United Nations.

Thursday
Oct282004

Heritage Foundation on Russia Policy: Blunt Talk, Good Ideas

Those who have heeded my pleas that Americans need to pay more attention to Russia will find much of value in this new Heritage Foundation paper by Dr. Ariel Cohen.



In this paper, Cohen shares more than one very harsh reality about the inadequacy of Russia's anti-terror policy (read his assessment of how badly Russian security forces screwed up rescue efforts in Beslan) and Putin's ambitions toward Russia's neighbors. But the piece is not all gloom and doom. Cohen provides a roadmap for American policymakers who want to enhance U.S.-Russian cooperation in the war on terror while doing what Americans realistically can to to help foster prosperity and progress for people living in (and near) Russia.



Cohen also has very, very good sources. Check the footnotes on the paper -- he goes to the top.

Wednesday
Oct272004

Anti-Catholic Bigotry in Europe

The Times of London opines about the fact that devout Catholics apparently are ineligible for leadership roles in the European Union.



Sample:

But if an EU citizen is to be debarred from public office for holding personal beliefs that are at odds with the prevailing social orthodoxy -- and to be debarred despite a categorical statement that he would not let those beliefs intrude upon policy decisions, or result in any form of discrimination whatever -- then it is not only "the European project" that is undermined; it is democracy itself.
I have long been opposed to the European Union, and not just for the obvious reasons. It has always struck me that a continent full of nations that have spent hundreds of years killing each other's citizens on the slightest of pretexts cannot repair their discord by vastly increasing the number and significance of the issues on which they are forced to agree.



I know the average European would rather swallow his own tongue than listen to an American, but American poet Robert Frost wrote something they should heed: "Good fences make good neighbors."



Europe needs more fences.

Wednesday
Oct272004

Breeding Nuclear Weapons

In just four succinct paragraphs, the Little Red Blog tells some harsh but necessary truths about Iran, the U.N., America, and the spread of nuclear weapons technology. A sample:

The real difficulty on this issue may not be the political willingness of the U.S. to stand before a menace, but rather the European and Russian willingness to side with the menace in search of greatly desired financial and political power. What we can be certain of is the U.N. is not going to be the final arbiter of justice nor is it likely to agree until it is too late that just action is needed.

Wednesday
Oct272004

Putin, Explained

From Moscow News, an editorial that explains Vladimir Putin and the Russian political situation:

A year ago Vladimir Putin proved that he was a bad politician but a good power-wielder and a worthy candidate for dictator, who was capable of taking tough decisions and would not allow anyone to mislead or intimidate him, who knew how to destroy his political opponents and to hatch conspiracies...



But at the same time he proved to have no idea about politics, as the art of maneuvering, compromise, observing a balance of interests, of trust and agreement.



Vladimir Putin sees politics as a secret raid aimed at achieving unnamed goals under the cover of the appropriate statements and formal procedures.



The future under Vladimir Putin does not bode well for Russia.



It is hardly likely that after all Putin has done over the past year he will get out of his entrenched position and, suspending all the secret attacks aimed at seizures, reshuffles and recruitments, enter into a dialogue with the political and economic entities operating in Russia. Putin ceased to see any sense in such a dialogue as soon as he ceased to see the difference between himself and the Russian state.
I know this is not about Bush v. Kerry, the MSM, or Iraq, the political blogosphere's favorite subjects du jour, but Russia matters. Read the whole thing.

Wednesday
Oct272004

The Paragraph Farmer

This is a well-written new blog.



Take, for example, this post in which supermodel Kathy Ireland, who used to be pro-choice, tries to convince Fox's Alan Colmes to be pro-life.



I've just added this new blog to my blogroll.


Tuesday
Oct262004

American Digest: Blogger's Head Explodes

Blogging satire may be in its infancy, but this is worth a look.

Tuesday
Oct262004

Daily Ablution Finds the Guardian Hilarious

The Daily Ablution blog, which played a key role in getting protest emails to the UK Guardian after a columnist there regretted, in print, a supposed shortage of presidential assassins, has found this hilarious correction (regarding a different story) in the Guardian:

We were wrong to say the musical Brooklyn had been 'roundly panned by critics' in our round-up of US theatre (Review, last week). The show had not actually opened when the piece was written.
Nice to know the paper's incompetence isn't limited to issues of life and death...

Tuesday
Oct262004

The Daily Recycler: NYTrogate

The Daily Recycler has the video of the NBC News report debunking the New York Times/CBS "missing explosives" story.



How did we ever live without The Daily Recycler?

Monday
Oct252004

Washington Post Best Blog Contest

The Washington Post has announced the winners of its "2004 Best Blogs Readers' Choice Award" contest.



While I congratulate National Review's The Corner for its victory in category after category, I think the Post would do well to limit each blog to a single category or have a much more open nominations process (I believe the Post itself picked the nominees), which would, most likely, have the same effect. When one blog wins 50 percent of the ten categories (National Review's The Corner), and another (Instapundit) receives two of the five remaining, it makes for an unnecessarily dull contest.



I'd add a few more categories, too. The Post contest focused on -- mostly -- electoral political blogs. There are other issues covered by many wonderful blogs -- health care/medicine, law, and family life, just to name a few. And quite a lot of personal blogs, some of which are quite excellent.



Personally, I'm very interested in politics, but very many people -- and bloggers -- are not. I hope these (possibly more well-rounded) individuals can be included in the contest next time.

Monday
Oct252004

Media Bias? What Bias?

NCPPR executive director David W. Almasi takes a look at his television schedule, and finds fodder for a conversation about equal time:

Sinclair Broadcasting took it on the chin for wanting to show a POW documentary considered by some to be overly critical of John Kerry. They claimed Sinclair was showing an overt bias and wanted to influence the election.



Perhaps these critics will now turn their scorn on cable's Sundance Channel. To follow is their scheduled Bush-bashing line-up for election eve (11/1/04):



7:00 pm



UNPRECEDENTED: THE 2000 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

directed by Richard Ray Perez and Joan Sekler



As the pundits said repeatedly on election night 2000, "It all comes down to Florida." However, as documented in this film by Joan Sekler and Richard Ray Perez, incompetence and petty corruption were altering the final tally from the moment the Sunshine State's polls opened. Citing a suspicious pattern of irregularities, injustices and purges of African-Americans from the voter records, the filmmakers present a provocative piece of advocacy journalism that -- contrary to suggestions to "just get over it" -- prompts outrage.



8:00 pm



UNCOVERED: THE WHOLE TRUTH ABOUT THE IRAQ WAR

directed by Robert Greenwald



Filmmaker Robert Greenwald, creator of the 2000 election expose Unprecedented, considers the Bush administration's case for the Iraq War and finds among the alarmist rhetoric little supporting evidence to back it up. Revealing news clips and interviews with intelligence veterans -- including Scott Ritter, Clare Short and Joseph Wilson -- make the case that the Bush administration misled the world with dubious statements, empty innuendoes and unchallenged untruths. "A devastating analysis" - Senator Edward Kennedy.



9:00 pm



UNCONSTITUTIONAL: THE WAR ON OUR CIVIL LIBERTIES

directed by Nonny de la Pena



Producer Robert Greenwald (UNCOVERED; OUTFOXED) and filmmaker Nonny de la Pena present a devastating account of the erosion of American liberties following the passage of the USA Patriot Act in 2001. First-hand testimony and commentary from noted public figures -- ranging from Professor David Cole and the American Civil Liberties Union's Anthony Romero to former congressman Robert Barr -- recount unprecedented searches, abusive ethnic profiling and covert surveillance of political organizations, enacted under the guise of national security.



10:10 pm



BUSH'S BRAIN



When Karl Rove gives a public interview, he projects an affable personality and downplays any speculation about his powerful influence in the Bush White House. But as recounted in this documentary by Michael Paradies Shoob and Joseph Mealey, the Texan political operative is far from a supporting player. Tracing Rove's rise to power, BUSH'S BRAIN alleges a shady history of campaign dirty tricks, including scurrilous smears against past Bush foes like Ann Richards and John McCain. "Darkly comical, seriously scary" - Variety.



11:30 pm



THE AL FRANKEN SHOW



Humorist and best-selling author Al Franken and guests present a fearlessly irreverent commentary on the political events of the day in this daily program.

Monday
Oct252004

Regret The Error: Mistakes Happen

I've added several new blogs to my blogroll today, one of which has a unique reason to exist: It reports exclusively upon errors, clarifications and trends regarding honesty and accuracy in the North American press.



Interesting idea for a blog, and one which should keep the editor, Craig Silverman, quite busy.

Monday
Oct252004

All-Encompassingly: Iraq News

The All-Encompassingly blog compares one professor's description of his experience working with teachers in Karbala, Iraq, with CNN coverage of events in that city.

Saturday
Oct232004

Guardian Calls for Assassination

Linking to this is probably pointless, since Drudge and Instapundit have linked to it already, but the Guardian newspaper in Britain has published a column that ends with a call for the assassination of President Bush.

On November 2, the entire civilised [sic] world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?
Note the presumably unintended irony of calling for assassination and ruing bloodshed in the same sentence.



Remind me again why the left believes itself morally superior to the right. I'm having trouble remembering.



Addendum: The Daily Ablution, a British blog that was one of the very first blogs ever to link to mine (a fond memory), has contact information for the assassination advocate and his "editor."



Hat tip: Tim Blair.



Addendum 2: CNSNews.com reports on the blogging community's response to the Guardian article and an apology from the article's author.

Saturday
Oct232004

Right Journal: Bald is Beautiful

I laughed out loud at this post about receding hairlines in Right Journal.



Reminds me of something my husband David says whenever anyone remarks that our son Jonathan has David's hair: "So that's where it went!"

Friday
Oct222004

Bush's Wolves v. Reagan's Bear in the Woods

The Daily Recycler says the new Bush-Cheney ad featuring wolves is better than the 1984 Reagan-Bush "bear in the woods" ad.



I respectfully disagree.



Bush-Cheney's "wolves" is a nice ad, but it is less ambitious than "bear in the woods" and achieves less.



Bush's "wolves" makes a point about John Kerry.



Reagan's "bear" made a point about national security that transcended Reagan v. Mondale. Indeed, if the Cold War hadn't ended, "bear in the woods" could still be run today, unaltered.



In the 1980s, Reagan faced an organized left-wing that was trying to convince the American people that the Soviet Union was not a real threat. "Bear in the woods" calmly and succinctly and ever-so-reasonably demolished the notion that America would be safe with a President who accepted this naive notion.



Bush faces a lower hurdle. The public overwhelmingly believes terrorists pose a threat. What we debate now -- largely -- is the best approach to facing the threat. The Bush ad criticizes Kerry directly, while the Reagan ad never mentioned Mondale, or any particular legislation or decision by anyone. The Soviets weren't even mentioned by name. It was a statement of philosophy only, illustrated through nature -- yet, everyone knew exactly what the Reagan campaign was talking about. Very difficult to pull off; yet flawlessly accomplished.



This Bush ad communicates extremely well what its creators intended to communicate. It also is very pretty to look at. But it is not better than the Reagan '84 "bear in the woods" ad. No insult intended.



Note: I blogged about the bear in the woods ad on October 8, and provided a link in that post to a website of old presidential campaign TV commercials, where you can view "bear in the woods" and many, many other campaign commercials from days gone by.



Addendum: Jeff at The Shape of Days addresses this same point and reaches the same conclusion. Frankly, though, Jeff's post on this is a lot better than mine. (Sigh.) Read to the end of his post to see his script suggestion for a true "bear in the woods" Bush ad. It sent shivers down my spine.

Friday
Oct222004

Nike Fenway Park Commercial

If you like baseball, you'll like this Nike commercial.



Well, maybe not, if you are a Yankees fan.



Hat tip: Mom.

Friday
Oct222004

Saddam Hussein and Terrorism: New Website Details Ties

Project 21 is announcing that member Deroy Murdock ha a new website:

HUSSEINandTERROR.com Website Details Ties Between Saddam Hussein and Terrorism



Links between former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and international terrorists - including Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda - are documented on a new Internet website created by columnist Deroy Murdock, a member of the Project 21 black leadership network.



Murdock, who also is a media fellow with Stanford University's Hoover Institution, created the website HUSSEINandTERROR.com based on a September 22, 2004 presentation he delivered at Hoover. It contains footnoted sources and over 60 visual images proving Hussein's support of terrorism.



According to Murdock: "Saddam Hussein knew plenty about terrorism. In essence, he owned and operated a full-service general store for global terrorists, complete with cash, diplomatic aid, safe haven, training and even medical attention. Such assistance violated United Nations Security Council Resolution 687. The results not only broke international law, but also were deadly... The public evidence of Saddam Hussein's cooperation with and support for global terrorists is abundant and clear. The Baathist government's contacts and collaboration with terrorists in general, al Qaeda in particular, and even the September 11 conspirators should make all American highly grateful that President Bush led an international effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power."



Included among the evidence presented on HUSSEINandTERROR.com:
* Photographs of "President Saddam Hussein Grants" of $25,000 to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.



* How Iraq provided diplomatic support and safe haven for terrorists such as Abu Nidal, Abu Abbas and 1993 World Trade Center bomber Abdul Rahman Yasin.



* How medical aid was provided to al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi, and how terrorists were schooled at the Salman Pak training camp in Iraq.



* The scoop on Czechoslovakian intelligence officials' assertions that Iraqi diplomat Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani met with September 11 conspirator Mohamed Atta.
Murdock adds: "This new web page presents facts and figures, names, dates and places. Saddam Hussein's philanthropy of terror was reason enough for America and over 30 allied nations to remove Hussein from power. Even absent the presence of weapons of mass death, President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the other Coalition leaders and the valiant troops who serve under them deserve the civilized world's applause for having deposed a genuine terrorist regime."



Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, has been a leading voice in the black community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 371-1400 x 106, e-mail Project21@nationalcenter.org or visit Project 21's website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html.