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Good News In Iraq = Bad News for Democrats

Hey, at least a member of the House Democrat leadership finally admits that what is good for our troops and our national security is bad for his party.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Monday that a strongly positive report on progress on Iraq by Army Gen. David Petraeus likely would split Democrats in the House and impede his party’s efforts to press for a timetable to end the war.

Clyburn noted that Petraeus carries significant weight among the 47 members of the Blue Dog caucus in the House, a group of moderate to conservative Democrats. Without their support, he said, Democratic leaders would find it virtually impossible to pass legislation setting a timetable for withdrawal.

“I think there would be enough support in that group to want to stay the course and if the Republicans were to stay united as they have been, then it would be a problem for us,” Clyburn said.

Many Democrats have anticipated that, at best, Petraeus and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker would present a mixed analysis of the success of the current troop surge strategy, given continued violence in Baghdad. But of late there have been signs that the commander of U.S. forces might be preparing something more generally positive. Clyburn said that would be “a real big problem for us.”

So good news and positive momentum in the War on Terror, Iraqi Theatre is…. “a real big problem” for Democrats.

Wow, what patriots they are.  *sarcasm off*

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

US Rep. Henry Waxman on Earmarks

I am attending a lobbying conference this week in Washington, DC. One of the first speakers this morning was US Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee.

In addition to the hot burner healthcare issues Waxman addressed, he had some strong words to say about Congressional earmarks.

“Congress is less and less inclined to do earmarks because of the attention.” (Porkbusters!)

“From a policy point of view, it makes more sense to have grants of money and open up the process to competition. Earmarks bypass competition.”

Oh if only a Republican member of leadership would have talked like that last year…

By the way, I found Waxman very engaging and presented very complex health issues in a simple and understandable way.

-Bruce (GayPatriot … via mobilephone)

Scott Thomas Revealed… another LEMON?

**WELCOME INSTAPUNDIT READERS** 

**4PM UPDATEPrivate Beauchamp’s financee/wife is none other than a reporter-researcher at The New Republic.  How convenient.  Ace also reports that TNR is now in full CYA mode by firing people and looking at email records.

And, there’s more.  Beauchamp’s fiancee/wife and TNR employee, Elspeth Reeve, used him as a source for a story she wrote in 2004.  (h/t – Discarded Lies)

Hey, I think I see a pattern forming here.   Aww, and just maybe they met under the romantic aura of that abortion rally?

************** 

First, mucho apologies for my blog silence the past week.   Things are quite hectic at work and my travel schedule around the USA has been completely crazy (and filled with apathetic/mean US Airways employees).

In any case, I’ve been reading about the latest meme on US atrocities in Iraq — courtesy of “Scott Thomas” — the past few days.  This morning, Scott Thomas is revealed.

My Diarist, “Shock Troops,” and the two other pieces I wrote for the New Republic have stirred more controversy than I could ever have anticipated. They were written under a pseudonym, because I wanted to write honestly about my experiences, without fear of reprisal. Unfortunately, my pseudonym has caused confusion. And there seems to be one major way in which I can clarify the debate over my pieces: I’m willing to stand by the entirety of my articles for the New Republic using my real name.  I am Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp, a member of Alpha Company, 1/18 Infantry, Second Brigade Combat Team, First Infantry Division.

My pieces were always intended to provide my discreet view of the war; they were never intended as a reflection of the entire U.S. Military. I wanted Americans to have one soldier’s view of events in Iraq.

It’s been maddening, to say the least, to see the plausibility of events that I witnessed questioned by people who have never served in Iraq. I was initially reluctant to take the time out of my already insane schedule fighting an actual war in order to play some role in an ideological battle that I never wanted to join. That being said, my character, my experiences, and those of my comrades in arms have been called into question, and I believe that it is important to stand by my writing under my real name.

Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp

Now, I certainly don’t deny that individuals go off the reservation and do nutty and abhorrent things both in war (Abu Grahib) or under pressure of crisis (Ray Nagin).  Especially in a war where one whole political party back home in the USA has a policy of denial, failure and retreat.

But let’s state the facts here as we know them this morning:  The New Republic has still not corroborated anything Private Beauchamp wrote.  And just because Scott Thomas has a real name, doesn’t mean what he wrote is real or true.  After all, any Army Private with a knack for writing and an active imagination can write a piece of war fiction.

The New Republic says a formal military investigation has been launched at the base where Private Thomas/Beauchamp claims he was stationed when these alleged atrocities occurred.  Good!   If there are facts to back up “Scott Thomas’” tale of war gone bad, then people — including Beauchamp, apparently – need to be prosecuted and court martialed.

But I’m highly skeptical when we live in an era of Liberal Lies Extraordinarily Manufactured On the News (LEMONs):  John “Genghis Khan” Kerry, Dan Rather, Joe Wilson, 2004 Lancet Study, Jack “Cold Blooded Haditha” Murtha… the list is becoming endless.

And luckily, this is what the blogosphere is all about… to find the real truth.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Lancet Iraq Death Study Debunked…Again

As many have already figured out long ago using that gray mass between our ears, that much-touted 2004 Lancet study — claiming 100,000 Iraqi civilian deaths following the US invasion — has once again been discredited.

First, it was Shannon at Chicago Boyz (among many others) way back in October 2004.

In science, replication is the iron test. I find it revealing that no other source or study has come close to replicating the original study. All my original points still stand.

And now, most damning, is a study about to be formally presented on Monday by David Kane, Institute Fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University.  Michelle Malkin has the exclusive preview.

Much of the math here is mind-numbingly complicated, but Kane’s bottom line is simple: the Lancet authors “cannot reject the null hypothesis that mortality in Iraq is unchanged.”   Translation: according to Kane, the confidence interval for the Lancet authors’ main finding is wrong. Had the authors calculated the confidence interval correctly, Kane asserts that they would have failed to identify a statistically significant increase in risk of death in Iraq, let alone the widely-reported 98,000 excess civilian deaths.

An interesting side note: as Kane observes in his paper, the Lancet authors “refuse to provide anyone with the underlying data (or even a precise description of the actual methodology).” The researchers did release some high-level summary data in highly aggregated form (see here), but they released neither the detailed interviewee-level data nor the programming code that would be necessary to replicate their results.

Please make sure to tune into CBS Evening News tonight when Katie Couric will not be doing a follow-up story to set the record straight….

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

UPDATE (from GPW): Busy with schoolwork today so I may not get to blog, but just wanted to note that David Kane who wrote the piece debunking the Lancet study is like yours truly, a graduate of America’s finest liberal arts college and blogs about our alma mater at Ephblog. Check it out!

More Dialog with NGLCC Re: Wal-Mart

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 9:00 pm - July 25, 2007.
Filed under: Advocate Watch,Economy

Friends, please forgive my tardiness in writing further about NGLCC’s newly-ended relationship with Wal-Mart. My original post is here. I left on vacation the day after I posted, and to be honest, I didn’t really expect Justin Nelson, co-founder and president of the organization to write back. Well, to his credit, he did write back, and his response is here:

Nick,

Much appreciation for your note about NGLCC and Wal-Mart. I would just open with a statement that it would be easy to work with companies that are 100 percent on our issues 100 percent of the time. Unfortunately, if that were the case, the universe of companies with whom we work would get awfully small awfully quick and progress on our issues would not progress. As a business advocacy organization – and I would offer as any organization that represents all or part of the LGBT segment — it is our responsibility to continually push corporations to do better, to respect their LGBT employees, customers and of course, suppliers. We have had much success in this arena – millions of dollars are now being spent with companies that are LGBT owned as part of corporate supplier diversity programs that was not previously the case. By this I mean that LGBT owned companies are now part of many corporate diverse supply chains, much as ethnic minorities, women owned businesses, service disabled veterans and other diverse groups. This is all good news for the community.

Our partnership with Wal-Mart was an effort to bring their company up to speed with regard to their corporate practices and how they affect our community. A year later, admittedly, reviews are mixed. They are working on benefits for their LGBT employees, although not quickly enough. There are LGBT owned companies that are now major suppliers to Wal-Mart, although not enough. When we made our agreement it was based on what I considered to be a series of benchmarks that needed to be met throughout the course of the last year for the partnership to be extended. Simply put, they didn’t meet them, and they did not pay their corporate membership dues – both of which we felt were grounds for not renewing membership.

It is my job to ensure opportunities for LGBT companies to compete in the marketplace, make connections to grow their businesses and constantly think about how more dollars can be spent with our community enterprises. I will not always be right, but rest assured, I will always be right in my reasons for pursuing a partnership, pushing companies that need to be pushed and doing everything I and the NGLCC can do to adequately educate decision makers about our community.

Again, I appreciate your note. As a fellow westerner (I was born and raised in Wyoming and LOVE Colorado), I am pleased to know of your interest in what we are doing and the work you do to educate our community about issues of importance.

Warm regards,

Justin

As gracious and open-minded as he was to engage (I did let him know I’d be publishing his responses), his response left me with more questions. Here’s what I wrote back:
(more…)

J.K. Rowling is a Conservative

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:57 pm - July 24, 2007.
Filed under: Literature & Ideas,Mythology and the real world

Until just a few minutes ago, I was under the spell of the last of the Harry Potter books and expect to post something on that in a few minutes — or maybe a hour or so. All I can say is “WOW!” I guessed some things right (but also got a lot wrong) about certain characters. Still, I couldn’t put the book down and wanted to finish it before I heard the ending from anyone else.

Not only does she borrow images, characters and expression from mythologiy, but more importantly, Rowling borrows great themes from these ancient stories.

Pehaps, someone in my graduate program should write a dissertation on the Harry Potter series as myth — as I had once considered writing such a thesis about The Lord of the Rings.

And with her story, we see that Rowling is a conservative, if not in name, at least in her philosophy. Thematically, she has much, oh so much, in common with C.S. Lewis.

More anon. Much, much, much more.

Cindy Sheehan Chickens Out In Charlotte, Blames Police & Vets

There has been quite a kerfuffle the past couple of days in Charlotte, NC.  Retired Washed-Up Living Dead Renewed War Protest Queen Cindy Sheehan is apparently on some kind of “listening tour” of the USA.  She made a stop in Charlotte on Tuesday.  As is the case with most things Cindy, her visit to the Queen City was farcical and made worse by the hysterical lies Sheehan and her supporters are trying to peddle in the aftermath.

Here’s the skinny…. on Tuesday Momma Sheehan showed up to protest at US Rep. Mel Watts’ (D-NC) Charlotte office.  He wasn’t there, of course, as he was holding court with the Do-Nothing Congress back in Washington, DC.   But Cindy wanted her made-for-TV photo ops calling for Bush’s impeachment at Watts’ office.   And she got it.

But the centerpiece of her entire visit to Charlotte was supposed to be a rally at Bryant Park on Tuesday afternoon.  Cindy never got out of her car at Bryant Park.  She has since made unsubstantiated allegations of “threats” as her reason for high-tailing it away from counter-protestors waiting to see her at Bryant Park.   The pro-military, veterans group “Gathering of Eagles” was there to protest Sheehan’s visit.   Cindy doesn’t like being questioned and has now flung undocumented accusations of intimidation and violence far and wide against my fine city.

In her blog, Sheehan said that there was a “police presence that seemed to be there to foster violence.”

She noted that the police, citing freedom of speech, refused to separate her group and its opponents, a national group called the Gathering of Eagles.

“But the Eagles’ freedom of speech has included physical threats against me and actual physical force against kids and women. When the Charlotte police were told this, they said that they couldn’t keep them apart from our group until the Eagles actually did something.”

Sheehan, one of the best-known opponents of the war in Iraq, stayed in her car during the rally that drew about 125 people.

An organizer for the counterprotesters said there was never any threat of violence.

“We are loud and we are proud and we will counterprotest and exercise our First Amendment rights at the top of our lungs,” said George Samek, recruiter for the Gathering of Eagles.

Samek said he talked with leaders from the other side before the protests started.

“I said we were very verbal and not to expect any leniency, but I told them, `You have nothing to fear from us. We’ll be screaming at you and calling you names … but we had amputees with us, we had children with us, we didn’t want any violence.’ “

To further the ridiculousness of her claim, Cindy actually had the cojones (am I allowed to use such a masculine term?) to call into the Keith Larson Show on WBT-AM on Thursday morning.   Keith repeatedly asked her to substantiate her claims of threats from either the police or the Gathering of Eagles.   Cindy’s response?  She hung up on him.

Wow.   And this is a person who wants to run for Congress against Nancy Pelosi?   She better get used to being challenged in public and facing protests.   That’s the nature of our political process.  Although, I’m sure Cindy would feel more comfortable being in a legislature in a more rigid system like…say…. Venezuela?

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Gen. Petraeus: Insurgency Has Been Quashed In Anbar

Straight from the top dog’s mouth, General Petraeus gave a wide-ranging interview to Hugh Hewitt yesterday (read the whole thing!).

I found the following exchange very interesting:

Hugh Hewitt: You and Marine Lt. General Amos coauthored the new field manual on counterinsurgency, and it talked about counterinsurgency has to adapt to local conditions. How long does it really take, in your estimation? I see you saw the BBC yesterday, telling them that it could take nine, ten years to put a counterinsurgency down in Iraq. Is that an accurate assessment, a decade to get this thing contained?

Gen. Petraeus: Well, it depends where you are in Iraq, what you’re talking about, and so forth. What I was doing there was merely saying that historically, it’s taken about a decade or so for the average counterinsurgency to be sorted out. Sometimes, it’s taken longer. I mean, in fact, the British Broadcaster interviewer and I were talking about how long it took the UK to reach the position that they’ve now achieved in Northern Ireland, and that was actually several decades, as you know, In some cases in Iraq, the situation is somewhat resolved. Surprisingly, Anbar Province, all of a sudden, has become just a remarkable development, and a place where you can actually see how it could possibly evolve into a situation sustainable by the Iraqis. Other places remain very problematic, and there’s certainly neighborhoods in Baghdad where we are still trying to refine the vision of what would be sustainable, and then determine how in fact to get to that point.

In a recent post, one of our newer Lefty commenters said the following:

But there is evidence that suggests that the presence of our troops in Iraq makes the U.S. less safe, and it has certainly made it harder for us to respond to legitimate threats to U.S. interests. So the clear balance is in favor of withdrawal.

I’m sorry…. what “evidence” is that?  Is this Dan Rather/made-up “evidence”?  Aside from leftist sugar plum visions of Vietnam-redux, I must have missed that “evidence”. 

What about the very clear (and not made up) real evidence that al-Qaeda wants the USA to withdraw from Iraq?  And, the real facts that the Democrats in Congress are legislatively enabling the stated aims of our enemy!

I come back to the FACT, that Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and most of the semi borderline nearly sane Democrats left in Congress have been saying for a longggg time that President Bush should “listen to the Generals”.  

Well, now that one of the biggest Generals (Petraeus) is giving his insights — the question now is:  Are the liberals and Democrats even interested in listening?  Or will they just continue to mouth empty slogans like “we support the troops”?

I’m pretty sure the 83% of Americans who disapprove of the 110th Congress WILL be listening to General Petraeus.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Log Cabin: Senate Dems Hold Hate Crimes Hostage Over Iraq

Yesterday, after Senate Democrats failed yet again to force surrender in Iraq…. Senate Majority Leader, and Baby-In-Chief, Harry Reid took his toys and went home:  He pulled the Defense Authorization Bill entirely.   So in one fell swoop, Reid put the truth to the lie that Congressional Democrats “support the troops”.   He is now using the troops as a pawn in his attempt to force President Bush and General Petraeus to surrender to Al-Qaeda in Iraq.  Shameful.

What has gone mostly unnoticed, however, is that there are other key provisions in the Defense Authorization Bill.  One of those provisions was (allegedly) a key component of the Democrats’ agenda (again, allegedly):  a Hate Crimes amendment.

Patrick Sammon, Log Cabin (Republicans) President, called the spade a spade….

But Patrick Sammon, president of Log Cabin Republicans, a national gay group, accused Senate Democrats of holding the hate crimes bill “hostage” to what he called their doomed attempt to force President Bush to change his policies on the war.

“The bottom line is the Democrats don’t have the votes to pass their Iraq amendments,” Sammon said. “Even if they did, everyone knows the president would veto the bill.”

Great point.  If hate crimes legislation is soooooooooooo important to the Democrats… why was this, of all legislative vehicles, the one they chose to focus the amendment towards.

The usual Gay Borg lackeys chimed in, of course, with their expected defense of their political masters.

“The Senate obviously devoted all of its attention to the Iraq war,” said Brad Luna, spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, the national gay advocacy group coordinating lobbying efforts for the hate crimes bill. “This had nothing to do with the hate crimes bill.”

John Marble, spokesperson for National Stonewall Democrats, a gay Democratic group, accused Log Cabin of attempting to deflect attention from what he called the Republican Party’s poor record on gay rights.

“The Republicans delivered virtually nothing on GLBT issues while they controlled Congress for more than a decade,” Marble said. “Log Cabin should spend more time securing additional votes for the hate crimes bill rather than making up charges about the Democrats.”

A reminder to Mr. Marble…. Democrats controlled the US House for 40 years before 1995, and the Senate many times throughout.  The only major gay rights legislation or mandate to come from the Democrats when they had the chance in power:  Defense of Marriage Act and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.   Great record, eh?

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Facts Don’t Matter in Democratic Narrative on Iraq

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:51 pm - July 18, 2007.
Filed under: 110th Congress,Bush-hatred,Liberals,War On Terror

Just about the same time as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid failed to get the Senate to vote on withdrawing troops from Iraq, the “U.S. command” announced that it had arrested “the highest-ranking Iraqi in the leadership of al-Qaida in Iraq” (Via Pajamas). This capture, combined with recent successes in Anbar and Diyala provinces, is yet another sign of progress as General Petraeus continues to effect his “surge.”

Yet, Harry Reid’s Democrats seem to be paying little attention to the actual news from Iraq, focused more are they on repeating the same talking points they have been making since the fall elections.

They seem only to see the bad news such as yesterday’s suicide bombing in Kirkuk. While our troops have not yet completed their mission, they are clearly making headway against the enemies of the United States and the emerging democracy in Iraq.

All too often, we hear voices on the left — and some in the mainstream media — accuse the president of living in a bubble, detached from reality. Yet, so adamant are the Democrats in opposing this president that they refuse to see any success in any of his endeavors, particularly in Iraq. It seems that they, much more so than the president, are living in their own bubble.

No matter what happens there, they will continue to repeat their narrative of military quagmire and the president’s failures. Even if General Petraeus reports continued success when he testifies before Congress in September, the Democrats, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell puts it “are not going to have an epiphany. They are not going to be convinced by whatever the facts are.

For using the same tactic he excelled out in the last Congress, Reid has accused the Republicans of trying to obstruct debate, but he doesn’t seem very interested in debate, insisting instead that the war has been lost just as the first reports began to trickle in about the success of the new strategy. For the Democratic narrative on Iraq, the facts don’t seem to matter much.*

In a real debate, you consider the facts your opponents introduce and the arguments they make rather than insist on a pre-determined outcome. Harry Reid’s Democrats would rather please their left-wing base and undermine the president’s policies than consider the facts. It seems they have as little regard for the success of our military as they do for the welfare of the Iraqi people.

******
Not sure if I’m supposed to hat tip James Taranto of Opinion Journal’s Best of the Web on this, but I will because he inspired the language I use here. As I wrote that line, I realized I had read a similar expression earlier in the day, then recalled I had read “The narrative was right, but the facts were wrong.” in Taranto’s column today. It was such a clever notion (in his reflections of the media coverage of the Duke rape hoax) that it stuck in my mind.

Indeed so much did I like the expression that I decided to scrap the title I had intended for the post, Reid Not Interested in Serious Debate on Iraq, and replace it with the current appellation.

Slow Blogging, Moses & Heroes

I had hoped to write some serious posts this week and do expect to get to work on another in short order, but this has been a kind of crazy time for me, with my volunteering for Outfest and preparing to give the sermon at my synagogue this coming Friday night. It seems that in thinking about that, I have pushed other thoughts to the back of my mind.

As I began work on my remarks last night, the words flowed and I wrote the first half (about 700 words) in about a half an hour. But, then this morning, when I hoped to carry that literary energy into blogging, the ideas did not come as readily. Perhaps, it’s that I’ve been reading Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness for my Underworld class. That powerful book has taken me into the depths, a place where it is not often easy to write, but which often gives us food for thought and later inspiration.

In my talk Friday night, I will be exploring the similarity between Moses and the heroes of myth and legend — and inquire into his uniqueness, that alone among cultural heroes (save perhaps King Arthur), the stories of his journey do not end with him becoming leader of his people, but instead focus on that leadership.

If you’re interested in hearing me speak, please contact me and I’d be delighted to provide details about Friday’s services.

Pope In Drag Yanked From Italian Art Exhibit

Posted by Average Gay Joe at 2:25 pm - July 17, 2007.
Filed under: Leftist Nutjobs

Organizers of an exhibition on the relationship between homosexuality and art said Wednesday they were removing a controversial sculpture depicting Pope Benedict in drag.

The exhibit drew protests from the Catholic Anti-Defamation League, which threatened to seek charges against the organizers for defaming a head of state.

The group expressed outrage at “the vulgar offence against Christ’s vicar and the feelings of Roman Catholics,” the group said in a statement.

The sculpture, titled “Miss Kitty,” shows the Pope in a blond bob wig wearing nothing but a stole, a pair of panties and thigh-high stockings. (365Gay.com)

If these folks really want to be “avant-garde” and “free [themselves] from the dogmatic and ecclesiastic censors”, let them do the same with Islam’s Prophet Muhammed. Of course insulting people who’ve already shown no problem with removing the heads of their detractors would require far more testicular fortitude than these folks are capable of. This is the kind of cowardly and juvenile behavior which makes much of the “speak truth to power” fringe of the Left so contemptible. As for CADL, thank God we have the First Amendment in this country which guarantees the rights even of those whom we may vigorously disagree with. Perhaps Italy should take notes because head of state or not, nobody deserves this kind of ‘protection’ through force of law.

– John (Average Gay Joe)

The Welfare of Iraqi Civilians and the Immoral Position of Liberals

I’m wondering if there are any American liberals who actually care about the well-being of the Iraqi civilian population?

They are all too quick to pronounce the (incorrect) data about Iraqi civilian deaths supposedly caused by the US military, though in the same breath they “support the troops.”

But where were the American liberals when Saddam was gassing his own population in a clear case of genocide for which he was convicted?

And what is the American liberal answer to the Iraqi civilian who is now supporting the American presence if we have a sudden withdrawal?

American Liberals:  Who do you care about these days?   It is hard to know.  Do you have any real interest in the human rights of people (especially gay people and women) under the oppressed regimes or tribes run by strict Islamic Sharia law?  Or is “human rights” now an inconvenient truth to you?

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Hillary Heralds Dishonest Man’s Endorsement of her White House bid

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 9:29 pm - July 16, 2007.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Bush-hatred,Liberals

In announcing that “leading Iraq war critic” Joe Wilson has joined her campaign, Hillary commented:

I admire Joe Wilson’s courage in standing up to this administration and holding it accountable for the misinformation that led us into the Iraq war. . . . I’m honored to have his support as we do everything in our power to bring this war to an end and begin bringing our troops home safely.

Note the clever wordsmithing here. She says she admires his courage. She doesn’t reference his actual statements.

Given her use of the term, “misinformation,” I wonder what she has to say about the “misinformation” Mr. Wilson provided to the media. Given the problems she and her husband have with the truth, it’s interesting that her campaign would highlight the endorsement of a man who rose to fame by dishonestly accusing the Bush Administration of lying.

I’m just trying to fathom why her campaign would highlight the endorsement of a man who lost his job for the Kerry campaign when his “misinformation” was brought to light. Todd Beeton thinks it’s “clearly part of Clinton’s strategy to gain support among the liberal base, the blogosphere in particular, which she has conspicuously held at arm’s length.” According to blogger Cadillac Tight which alerted me to Beeton’s comment, Wilson is quite possibly “the biggest leftosphere celebrity extant.” (Via Instapundit.)

Interesting that a dishonest man would become a celebrity of the left-wing blogosphere. I mean, he’s most famous for saying something which, I repeat, has long since been discredited.

I thought I might be able to offer a more clever rejoinder to this endorsement, but am feeling a bit off today.

Iraqi Civilians Are Tapping Their Way To Freedom

There are so many great things about this report from Iraq by John Burns of the New York Times, I wasn’t sure where to start commenting. 

First, General Rick Lynch gives an honest assessment of what is required to keep security in Iraq.  Second, Lynch and his fellow Americans have promised the Iraqi civilians they will not leave them in the hands of terrorists any longer.   Congress needs to make that same promise.

But it was this passage that really caught my attention.

General Lynch said he was “amazed” at the cooperation his troops were encountering in previously hostile areas. He cited the village of Al Taqa, near the Euphrates about 20 miles southwest of Baghdad, where four American soldiers were killed in an ambush on May 12 and three others were taken hostage. One of the hostages was later found dead, leaving two soldiers missing. Brig. Gen. Jim Huggins, a deputy to General Lynch, said an Iraqi commander in the area had told him on Saturday that women and children in the village had begun using plastic pipes to tap on streetlamps and other metal objects to warn when extremists were in the area planting roadside bombs and planning other attacks.

“The tapping,” General Huggins said, was a signal that “these people have had enough.”

General Lynch also challenged an argument often made by American lawmakers who want to end the military involvement here soon: that Iraqi troops have ducked much of the hard fighting, and often proved unreliable because of the strong sectarian influence exercised by the competition for power between Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish political factions.

“I don’t know,” he said, how American war critics had concluded that the new American-trained Iraqi Army was not up to the fight. “I find that professionally offensive,” he said, after noting that there were “many Iraqi heroes” of the fighting south of Baghdad. “They’re competent,” he said. “There’s just not enough of them.”

There also are not enough American heroes in our political establishment as well.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Real Progress In Iraq

I have to wonder why a report like this isn’t being put together by NBC News with all of the “worldwide resources” at its disposal? (h/t - Gateway Pundit)

And, earlier this week there was dancing in the streets in Anbar province.  Iraqi civilians, police and army units celebrate the “Anbar Awakening” with US troops.

Where is the responsible reporting on Iraq progress in our Mainstream Media.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

On Errors in Blogs & on the New York Times editorial page

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:59 pm - July 14, 2007.
Filed under: Blogging,Media Bias

Not long after I finished my post on how a New York Times writer misrepresented a recent Supreme Court case, a reader wrote in, noting that I had described as a reporter a man who was actually a member of the paper’s editorial page. As I needed to dash off to volunteer at Outfest, I didn’t have time to confirm his claim.

Upon returning home, I did a few google searches and found that while I had initially read that Mr. Cohen was a reporter, my reader was right. Not only did I have to change my description, but I also had to change the post. Which I did, despite the hour.

The fact remains that someone working for the Times misrepresented the issue before the Supreme Court. Unlike that member of the paper’s editorial board, I don’t work with a staff who can edit my work, check facts and correct errors. We bloggers have to do that on our own. That is often a time-consuming process. When I did my piece on Jimmy Carter’s silence on the kidnapping of Israeli Gilead Schalit, I had to do a variety of searches to confirm my hypothesis, spending more time on the post than I had initially anticipated — or would have liked.

I’m grateful for the critic who alerted me to my error and changed it as soon as I could. Just like Mr. Cohen, I write opinion pieces. But, even in these pieces, the facts matter. Or else the opinions can be more easily discredited. Or shown to be based on an inaccurate view of the world.

It says something that no one on the Times editorial staff caught Mr. Cohen’s error.

Every now and again when I review old posts, I catch a grammatical or typographical error and wonder if that mistake had also escaped the notion of our readers. Or if the readers saw it, they didn’t do, as some do, writing in (or commenting) to alert me to my mistake.

One of the great good things about blogging is that the comments section allows our readers a chance to take issue with our points and draw our attention to our errors. Our readers thus often serve a function similar to that of editors in journalism. For, unlike newspapers of old (and still today) we can correct our mistakes in the work we have already published.

Let us hope that Mr. Cohen will acknowledge his mistake. Perhaps his recognition will not much change the thrust of his piece, but it may well cause him to reconsider his opinion of the conservative justices on the Supreme Court. At the very least it will show that he pays attention to his critics. Because sometimes, as I have learned, they do have a point to make.

- B. Daniel Blatt (GayPatriotWest@aol.com)

NYTimes editorialist: Assuming Conservative Animus Against Minorities?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:06 pm - July 13, 2007.
Filed under: Conservative Discrimination,Liberals,Media Bias

UPDATE: Please note that shortly after posting this, a reader, in this comment below alerted me that Mr. Cohen is not a reporter, but “a member of the NYT editorial board.” When I had a moment to do a google search, I confirmed that this was so. The piece which linked the Cohen piece identified him as a “reporter.” Prior to joining the Times editorial board, Mr. Cohen most recently served as a reporter for Time. I have changed the post from its original content to reflect this knowledge. The main point remains. Just as a reporter has an obligation to report the facts, an editorial writer has the responsibility to present accurately the issues on which he opines.

I apologize for my error in the original post and am grateful to the reader for noting my mistake.

A few days ago, Glenn Reynolds (AKA Instapundit) linked Ilya Somin’s post on the Volokh Conspiracy taking apart NY Times Reporter Adam Cohen’s attack on what that reporter labeled “conservative judicial activism.” While Somin found the reporter’s argument “riddled with flaws and misrepresentations,” what struck me was how Cohen misrepresented recent Supreme Court decisions. He said conservative justices were using “their judicial power on behalf of employers who mistreat their workers, tobacco companies, and whites who do not want to be made to go to school with blacks.

Mr. Cohen, the assistant editor of the New York Times editorial page, a man with a background in journalism, should know better than to so define those cases. If I had time, I would address all the cases he references, but for now, will just look at one — the decision striking down race-based school assignment policies in two states. In misrepresenting that case, Cohen reveals his bias against conservatives.

The case Cohen mentions did not involve the Court siding with whites being made “to go to school with blacks” (as the Times reporter puts it), but rather about school assignment decisions based on “racial guidelines” (in Kentucky) and on a point system to effect “overall racial balance” (in Seattle, Washington). The mother of the student from Kentucky wanted him transferred from a school 10 miles from his home to one “nine miles closer.”*

In Seattle, a white student qualified for a competitive biotechnology program at a public school, but lost his place “due to his race.” That city’s plan also hurt “students of color . . . who wanted to attend Franklin High, their neighborhood school, [but] were turned away because the district gave those seats to white students in an attempt to balance the school’s racial mix.

Hmm . . . doesn’t seem like a case of white students objecting to going to school with blacks. The issue was school districts’ racial guidelines, not racial integration.

The basic issue here is parents wanting their children to attend schools closer to home or to attend the public school program best suited to their needs. Or students wanting to attend the same school with friends from their neighborhood.

Instead of looking to those facts, Mr. Cohen sees the issue as whites not wanting to attend school with blacks, despite the fact that the white students in this cases would be attending schools that were racially mixed. It almost seems he’s commenting on a case in the 1950s where the facts were far different than those in the decision recently handed down.

Alas that Mr. Cohen, like so many others on the left, assumes that conservative objections to affirmative action programs or to the use of racial, gender or sexual orientation criteria are due to animus against the minority. Even when members of minority groups criticize such policies. For example, when I object to certain supposedly gay-friendly policies on libertarian grounds, people accuse me of self-hatred — or trying to please (again supposedly) gay-hating conservatives.

Cohen’s description of the race-based school assignment cases is just another example of the assumptions those in the MSM make about conservatives. Like all too many who comment to this blog, they would rather take issue with a conservative straw man drawn in their own imaginations than with the real arguments we make everyday.

- B. Daniel Blatt (GayPatriotWest@aol.com)

* I would rather have quoted a news article, but, in my google search, I found only a handful of articles which addressed the facts at issue in this decision. Most just reported the decision. Maybe that’s why Cohen made the assumption he did. But shouldn’t a reporter check on the facts of a court decision before writing about its result?

What’s NGLCC’s Beef With Wal-Mart?

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 10:04 am - July 13, 2007.
Filed under: Advocate Watch,Economy

I’m not ready to impugn the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce for their recent decision to scuttle relations with Wal-Mart, the hugely successful American company the Left can’t help but to hate. I’m not ready to suggest that perhaps the NGLCC is just another far-Left organization disguised as a gay advocacy group.

I’ll wait to see what I get in reply to the letter I just wrote to co-founder Justin Nelson:

Subject: Wal-Mart

Mr Nelson:

Recently your organization published a press release in which you announce your “membership with Wal-Mart that will not be renewed.”

Last August, you issued a press release praising Wal-Mart for, among other things, its “ongoing commitment to advancing diversity among all of its associate, supplier and customer bases”, and portend the inclusion of the corporation as you work together toward “providing a diverse workplace and creating mutually beneficial relationships with the LGBT and LGBT-friendly business community.”

In fact, you personally are quoted in the release as saying: “We are honored to have Wal-Mart’s support of the NGLCC. Our partnership will not only provide more opportunities for the NGLCC, but the business community as a whole.”

I know you take seriously the responsibility to our community that goes along with your position, and that you do not make these decisions casually. As a member of the gay community, I trust that your group is serious about those with whom it associates and wouldn’t engage with a corporation (especially one as large and transparent as Wal-Mart) without first ensuring its gay-friendly bona-fides. Your recent abrupt decision, therefore leaves many questions:

After less than a year, have you uncovered something about Wal-Mart that you didn’t know last August when you had such praise for the company?
Has Wal-Mart undertaken a drastic reversal of its diversity program?
What has Wal-Mart done differently in the past 10 months that has changed your mind about their commitment to the gay and lesbian community?

I, as well as the readers of the blog for which I write would be interested in knowing the answers to these questions, and look forward to your response.

All the best,
Nick, ColoradoPatriot

I’ll keep you informed as to what I hear back.

Gay Debate Update: Will Edwards Need A Cootie Shield?

The “Breck Girl” herself may need to protect himself during the upcoming “Gay Debate”.

(Note:  “Breck Girl” is a mocking term also used over at Pam’s House Blend, so it must be okay since that is a huge lefty/lib site and liberals are allowed more freedom of expression than conservatives these days.)

edwardscompact.jpg

After all, it was not that long ago that us gays made John Edwards very squeamish….

In his new memoir, “No Excuses: Concessions of a Serial Campaigner,” Shrum recalls asking Edwards at the outset of that campaign, “What is your position, Mr. Edwards, on gay rights?”

“I’m not comfortable around those people,” Edwards replied, according to Shrum. He writes that the candidate’s wife, Elizabeth, told him: “John, you know that’s wrong.”

Maybe Elizabeth can stand next to him and make sure none of “those people” get too close to him.  I’ll be sure to watch if Edwards quickly washes his hands after greeting Melissa Etheridge.

Oh and add Edwards’ comfortability around “those people” to the list of questions that Abortion King Joe Solomonese will NOT ask during the debate.  That’s in addition to questions about Islamists lopping off the heads of gays in their crusade to cleanse the world.  (Is someone keeping track of “topics we won’t speak about”?)

-Bruce (GayPatriot)