Thursday, July 28, 2005

A little more 'editing' at the AP

Just saw this little show of AP bias yesterday and thought I'd bookmark it. I must say I wasn't all that surprised to see that they made some 'changes' to their original story to try and make it appears a little less anti-US.

The original title (I'm assuming as this may be an edit also) of Robert Burn's piece from yesterday:
"Iraqi leader presses issue of U.S. withdrawal
Meantime, top American commander says withdrawal may start next spring"
(found this one on MSNBC)
The 'new and improved' title as of this morning:
U.S. general says he hopes to start pulling soldiers out of Iraq by spring of 2006
(found by the AP's own link to the story on
Reading Eagle on the Web)
Now since the Iraqi PM never really requested US troop withdrawal but merely mentioned that he would like them to leave whenever the native forces are capable of defending Iraq themselves, which has always been the stated American plan anyways, the second generation of the title is much more fitting as it is the only true new information from the article. The first, in my opinion, almost makes the General seem dismissive of the PM's request for withdrawal.

But even beyond the title correction, just reading the article shows a definite bias in the writing style. Words like "increasingly unpopular" pop up all over the place with little or no corroboration. Even the poll results he constantly mentions (jumping from unrelated poll to another) are all responses from a single point in time. Anyone with even the slightest grasp on the English language, as I'm assuming an AP writer does, would understand that the term "increasingly" requires at least two separate point in time references. Just because numbers are high does not mean they have increased.

Opinions do not belong in the articles of international 'news' services. Thousands of news centers around the world rely on these articles for their information, often as their primary source. These should be more on the lines of a "just the facts" kind of deal where the individual news agencies can then feel free to editorialize on later, but when a writer goes out of his/her way to insert their own bias into their news work they should quit the journalism industry and either find another job or more into the wonderful world of political punditry where bias is expected.

While I hate journalists who pretend to be neutral (as it is their job) while their work screams their bias, I hate the AP, and other news services, practice of editing their online articles without any reference to corrections. While in this case it was just a slightly misleading title, they have in the past re-written entire articles (just look up some of their pre-event writing fiascos) without making any reference to a previous version. Just my 'pet peeve o' the day'.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Howard Dean .....

I think Dean has taken the old adage "physician, heal thyself" to a whole other level and has begun self medicating. There is not other way to explain his most recent Republican bashing rant.

Some people, on both sides, were wondering if these comments were real as they only appear on the website, but with a little looking around I found am even more interesting write-up on the speech at Seattle for Dean. Now it's not necessarily more interesting because of the other quotes that were included but for the tone. You can actually see, first hand, the mind of the type of people Dean is looking for. Someone who in no way sees a problem in someone claiming to be for a 'big tent' party while at the same time directly insulting the morals and integrity of roughly half of the country.

Thanks to Jeff over at Protein Wisdom for the original Townhall link.

You can follow the comments over at Balloon Juice for a little more on the subject.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

How soon they forget

Despite what many people (predominately on the left of the political spectrum) would lead you too believe, not all the terrorist problems facing the world today can be tracked back to President Bush or Prime Minister Blair. As is often the case, they continually ignore history to try and prove a point.

It's nice to see a world leader, in this case Australian PM John Howard, help point out the fact that terrorists existed prior to the war in Iraq and will continue long after the Western forces leave. Howard provides one of the best 'bitch slaps' (for lack of a better term) to all those terrorist appeasers out there who think that if the West would just get out of Iraq then the world would be ok.

The Anchoress, building on Howard's statement, points out just a few more terrorists acts that case before the Iraq War. An interesting read. As she and Michelle point out, you can check out a video of Howard's comments over at Trey Jackson's site.

Thanks to Michelle Malkin for the original link.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Chrenkoff's 'Good News from Iraq'

Haven't blogged in a week, partly due being 'off the grid' at a friends cottage for a few days and partly due to extreme laziness after getting back to town, but I figured I'd return from my mini-hiatus with a little link to Part 31 of Chrenkoff's 'Good News from Iraq' series.

If you haven't seen Chrenkoff's 'Good News ..' posts before you are really missing out. If you rely only on MSM stories, you would never know all the success stories coming out of the rebuilding of Iraq. Not that there aren't still problems, but it nice for someone to help point out all the good being done every once in a while.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Dancing Armadillo

So it looks like Jeff over at Protein Wisdom has finally followed through on his weekly promise to show his Armadillo dance on his site (well sort of).

My Obligatory Valerie Plame Post

I've pretty much avoided the whole Rove/Plame case, mostly because if you look at the actual details there's not much there, but this piece over at Musings from Brian J. Noggle was just funny enough to break my self imposed Plame boycott. Simple yet hilarious.

Thanks to Protein Wisdom for the original link.

In Yost's Defense

Most people probably have no idea who Mark Yost is, and until a couple of days ago neither did I, but Mr. Yost has recently managed to raise the ire of more than a few of his fellow journalists. His crime? He dared ask the question "Why they hate us" (registration may be required) with regards to why public opinion of the MSM has dropped so much in recent years.

While he doesn't go into too much detail in his article, he does raise some good points about how very little of the good news stories from Iraq ever make it into a MSM article while every negative story gets front page treatment. For instance, how many articles have you seen mentioning the fact that Iraqi power production is up from the pre-war level of 3,598 megawatts to over 4,500, allowing many more Iraqis to have access to electricity for the first time in over a decade or longer, or that current oil production levels are very near, and sometimes exceed, pre-war levels (limited mostly by terrorist activities). There's also the interesting fact that the number of both cars and telephones owned by Iraqis have more than quadrupled in the time since Saddam's removal.

All of these stories, and many more like them, get little or no attention in most major media outlets which was exactly Yost's point. You would think that this may cause some of his fellow members of the main stream media to take at least a small look at the way they've been reporting on things and wonder if they might be able to do a little more to balance things, but no, they choose instead to attack the messenger. Jeff Jarvis over a BuzzMachine has a good back and forth with Steve Lovelady, the managing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review Daily. You'd think that someone who works at a Journalism Review would be a little more open to criticism of journalists. You can follow the links within the Jarvis piece to several other prominent media members and their attacks on Yost.

I just have one simple question; if journalists get this riled up over a simple article by a fellow writer, who are they to then claim that their actual reporting is free of bias and is in fact a truthful representation of what is going on.

Cam Edwards throws in his 2 cents over at his site, I'd definitely advise reading the comments over at Buzz Machine and Cam Edwards. And check out Michelle Malkin for more insight and links on the Yost story.

Coincidentally enough, todays Day by Day was inspired by the whole Yost bruhaha.

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?
Judge your personality this test does.

Match with the closest Fantasy or Sci-FI character it attempts. (Guess who I got)

Brought to you by which I got to by way of Dafydd's post over at Captain's Quarters.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Ottawa Traffic (part 5) - Queensway* Edition

Arm hangers. While not technically a driving problem, in general if you see an arm hanging out of a drivers side window you can bet that that person is going to be a bit more relaxed when it comes to following the rules of the road. And by arm hanging, I don't mean a person with their forearm or elbow resting on the window sill, no, I mean a person whose arm is pointing directly towards the ground. I not even talking about someone who sticks their arm out every once in a while, I'm talking about the guys whose arm never finds it's way back into the cab of their car to perform such tasks as, say, signaling when changing lanes. Not that these guys necessarily signal when their arms aren't 3/4's out of the window, it's just an additional tool, on those warmer days, to help identify the likely suspects from further away.

Take yesterday for example, I'm driving Weiser to the vet (apparently their are only 3 or 4 ferret vets in Ottawa and none live next door to me) and on the way there I see at least a dozen cars and trucks with an arm fully extended out the window. Out of the 12+, I only saw one actually use a signal light and he was at a red light just before getting onto the highway.

The worse offender, bar none, was driving at 130 kph (just going with the flow of the fast lane so no problem there) while towing a small trailer and tailgating to the point that there wasn't even a cars length between him and the car in front of him. I know this because at one time I was driving beside him. He then began constantly changing lanes to try to get a few more feet ahead even though the Queensway was pretty packed and there was no where to go. He actually cut me off more than once as he cut to the inside lane and then back to the fast lane. I'll admit that I was trying to help the car in front of him by getting close enough to prevent his re-entering the lane whenever he left, but no matter how close I got, he never saw it as a deterrent. Of course this whole time his arm was hanging uselessly outside the window and his signal light, both on the trailer and the car, never flickered once, except when he was braking (so I know the lights worked).

I was actually hoping that he would get in behind me at some point because I have this nasty habit of hitting the brakes suddenly if someone is tailgating me too closely. I can't help it. It just so happens that that's the time I most often see one of those infamous highway gophers (or at least that's the story I'm going with). Of course I never drop speed enough to leave any type of mark but it does usually work to persuade them to drop back a bit. I guess it's like my version of a 'crazy Ivan'.

Anyway, consider this my little warning to keep an eye out for the hanging arm. And if you are one of those serial hangers, I hope you are that 1 in 12 that respects other motorists enough to sacrifice your own comfort for the 1 second it takes to pull back in your arm to flick that signal light. And if you tailgate, arm in or out, just be careful when you come up behind a silver Grand Am GT. Consider yourself warned.

* While Ottawa may not be a 'one horse' town it is pretty much a one highway one, and that one highway is the Queensway (not to be confused with Toronto's Queen Elizabeth Way).

The rest of the 'Ottawa Traffic' series (mostly so I can see what I've already bitched about):

Ottawa Traffic (Part 1)
Ottawa Traffic (Part 2)
Ottawa Traffic (Part 3)
Ottawa Traffic (Part 4)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

My Obligatory Juan Cole Post

Due to my tendency to browse the internet from right to left (i.e. starting with blogs like Captain's Quarters, LGF, Protein Wisdom etc.. and occasionally wandering over to KOS, DU (to seen what the inmates are up to) or more usually a less virulent left leaning blog) I've managed to make it this long without reading too much of Juan Cole's work, but earlier this week I broke down and took a peek at some of his writings posted all over the internet. So, consider this my obligatory 'Juan Cole is an Idiot' post (every right wing blog should have at least one).

Let me first state that for a History Professor at the University of Michigan he really seems to have a problem with timelines. Not that that is a big surprise, most academics that are to the far left of the political spectrum don't seem to feel the need to let facts get in their way of making their cases against President Bush or the War in Iraq, but in this case he is so far off it's not even funny.

As Martin Kramer points out in his must read post, Making Cole-slaw of history, Cole has a problem even keeping relatively recent events in the proper order, citing as causes things that happened after the fact. He also has that nasty leftist habit of 'reading between the lines' to discern 'facts' that were never stated, and in some cases directly contradicted by the sources he cites (but as a well educated member of the left, apparently he knows what they really meant to say).

What's especially telling of Cole's argument style is his editorial policy, as pointed out by Kramer in the above post. It is Cole's contention that the first couple of days of any of his posts are to be considered the 'rough drafts' and therefore, should he decide to totally change it (such as remove claims that have been so thoroughly disproven as to be embarrassing) he should not feel obligated to in any way make reference to that fact and should be free to simply edit the post to remove the offending statements. While technically, as the post belongs to him, that is true and there is nothing that anyone can do or say to change that, but from a moral standpoint, it is simply a weasely way to get out from admitting your mistakes. That's what UPDATES are for; they're a simple thing to do. Simply edit your original post but state why in an UPDATE notification at the bottom. I personally feel guilty editing my post after putting them up for more than 5 minutes without a formal UPDATE notice (even though with my readership the odds of anyone besides me reading it in that time are slim to none and none just left town).

The saddest thing is that Cole, despite the many obvious faults in his logic, is seen as one of the great voices on the left and is often referenced to help prove points. He's one of those academics that is seen as 'speaking truth to power' (what I consider one of the dumbest slogans to come out of the left for quite some time). It's just funny to read his defenders trying to blame those on the right for attacking him while totally ignoring Cole's shoddy work or out right lies.

While we in the general public can choose to ignore Cole's crazy conspiracies, I just feel sorry for his students, as well as the students of like minded teachers, who have to be forced to sit in his classroom. Of course there is a small chance that he keeps his politics out of the classroom (very unlikely considering his obvious level of disgust for the current administration) or that he actually teaches history better than he publicly writes about it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A little something to lighten your mood

Saw this over on Ace and just had to post a link. I challenge you not to smile while watching it.

So here it is, an 8 Bit re-enactment of a D & D game.

Just hilarious.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Howard Dean on The Daily Show

I was just watching Thursday's 'The Daily Show' on which DNC Chair Howard Dean appeared (not sure if it was a repeat or not) and have one thing to say (besides mentioning how much I love my PVR). In all honesty it is hard to think of one person in current US politics so full of hate as Howard Dean. (Yet somehow, even though I may think he's an idiot and I totally disagree with his political views, I do not believe that in any way means that he should be compared to Hitler, Stalin, Chairman Mao or even Pol Pot. I'm just funny that way I guess.)

Now let me say that there are definitely people on both sides of the isle that let things go too far every once in a while, but even they can occasionally sit down for a short interview without losing their cool. Dean, on the other hand, while not making any of his now infamous 'Deanisms' was not able to complete almost a single sentence or answer the simplest question without throwing an insult at the Republicans.

If you happen to have it recorded just watch it again and you'll notice that even Jon seems to be trying to guide him to make more positive remarks instead of insult but alas, that seems to be a task worthy of Herculean effort where Dean is involved.

When asked about Democratic policy specifics he managed to somehow accuse Republicans of hating the poor, not knowing what the working class are like and not valuing the militaries sacrifice. What they have to do with Democratic policy I have no idea but when your entire campaign is based on 'We're not Bush' I guess you can't actually get into specifics.

Jon kept hammering him for an actual policy but as far as I could tell the closest he ever came to defining a Democratic policy was to say they are for a balanced budget and health care for everyone. Not one mention as to how to accomplish these goals, but I guess just stating a idealized goal, even if you have no idea what to do to get there, is good enough for some voters; just look up here at Canada.

And Dems wonder why they continue to lose power.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


It's hard to turn on your computer, television or radio without seeing some news about the tragic events in London earlier this morning. I'd like to extend my deepest sympathies to those that lost family members or friends in the bombings today and hope for speedy recoveries for those that survived.

It appears that Al-Queada was attempting to do to the British what they succeeded in doing in Spain, namely, cause the people to rebel against their governments support of the WOT. What they do not seem to understand is that the British have a long tradition of not backing down from fights. Even in the darkest days of the World War II where bombings of London were a regular occurrence, the British stood their ground. If nothing else this type of heinous attack against civilians will only make their resolve stronger.

Just as they did not expect the Americans response to 9/11 to be so direct and overwhelming, (and this seems odd to say) I fear Al-Queada and their various related groups may have no idea what they are in for.

On a bit more of a personal note, I still remember my short stay in London almost 15 years ago. While it was only for a few days I do remember having a great time just wandering around with some friends. The closest I came to having a bad experience was when I tried to buy the Batman soundtrack (the musical score not the Prince version) and found that they were out. The clerk was even nice enough to take the time to look through almost their entire inventory to try to find me one but to no avail. (There were also those Texan girls we met at the hotel, but that's another story.) Of all the places I visited in Europe on that trip, London was probably the place I'd most like to return to.

May God bless London and the UK and somehow make something positive come out of this time of tragedy.

Here are just a couple of links to some sites with more info or insights:
Michelle Malkin
Protein Wisdom
Captain's Quarters

Some more ECW upgrades

I'm thinking about doing some things to upgrade my site this weekend so the look may change from day to day..

The biggest thing is to find a way to search all my archived posts instead of just the ones on the current page. I'm also looking to get the 'Previous Posts' to either display more than 10 entries or find a way to add a 'read more' option to my posts so that they take up less space.

I won't be losing much sleep over it if I don't get around to doing this this weekend, (since my brother and his family are coming to town I'll have plenty of other reasons to lose sleep) but in case anyone knows how to get around those problems, or any other suggestions, please drop me a comment.


Today's Ottawa Sun: July 6th

This is actually just a pretty quick note about two short articles.

1) The NDP were recently given $3.4 million by Unions to purchase office building in downtown Ottawa. Well technically they were only given $3.1 million with $300,000 just loaned to them at a very nice interest rate. All this of course was done just weeks before the new legislation came into affect that would ban this type of donation.

First off, I totally disagree with unions directly spending money to support any political party. I have less problem with verbal support, but think that the actual $$$ should come from donations from the membership. Then can send out fliers and emails asking their members to give but they should not be giving out cash raised through forced union dues to further their political agenda (unless of course 100% of the membership agree with it).

Secondly, when will it dawn on the NDP that anyone that can give you $3.1 million at the drop of a hat is not necessarily 'the little guy' they always claim to represent. Unions today are as much a big business as the corporations their members work for.

And thirdly, even after this came out, they had the nerve to gloat about the fact that they are the only party currently in the black (but if you look at the numbers, they are in the + column by less than the cost of the building). Well why wouldn't they? Apparently none of the other parties were 'smart' enough to sneak this type of donation past Elections Canada prior to the new legislation taking effect.

2) PM Martin was over in Scotland yesterday preparing for the G8 meeting by dropping by a local pub and volunteering to pour a few pints of free Guinness to the patrons. I hope he got a lot of practice since after giving control of CSL to his sons (after several years in a 'cataract' trust, meaning not quite 'blind'), and with the serious possibility of losing power in the upcoming election (if Ontario voters finally wake up), there is a very good chance that within the next year he will find himself 'retiring' from politics and then unemployed. Of course that hefty pension the MPs all voted themselves a couple years ago should help in the transition period.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I think they doth protest too much

Iowahawk has a couple great new posts over at his site that have sent the komrades over at Daily Kos into a bit of a tizzy.

Apparently, they didn't like Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi's request to 'Stop Questioning My Patriotism'. For some reason, and I'm not sure why, the Kos Kids took it as an insult.

To help clear things up a bit Iowahawk allowed Zarqawi to return with his follow up 'Stop Comparing Me to American Moonbats'.

There, that should settle everything

Some Ann Coulter Quotes

While I'm not the biggest Coulter fan I have to admit she can put a pretty good pen to paper. Right Wing News has a selection of some classic 'Coulterisms' from her book 'Treason'.

My personal favourites:
"Whenever a liberal begins a statement with 'I don't know which is more frightening,' you know the answer is going to be pretty clear."

"Democrats are on the precipice of securing their reputation as the Chamberlains of our time. In fact, today's appeasers are worse than Neville Chamberlain : Chamberlain didn't have himself as an example."
"In another show of America's force to the world, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Carter responded by boycotting the Olympics. And thus was a fearsome blow struck at little fourteen-year-old American girls who had spent their lives training for the Olympics."

"Liberals are very big on taking 'the long view' when evaluating their foreign policies. They create horrendous foreign policy disasters, but then eventually, a Republican is elected President and cleans up the mess. They said containment would work and, lo and behold, forty years later -- right at the end of the Reagan administration -- the Soviet Union was stopped dead in its tracks. That's taking 'the long view.' Praise God President Bush is not 'another Harry Truman.'"

Who armed Iraq?

Despite what you may have thought, the US was never a major contributor to arming Iraq. I can hardly blame you for thinking they were, what with all the liberal web sites falling over themselves to talk about the hypocrisy of first supporting Saddam and then wanting to take him out. What they always fail to mention is any actual evidence of this support.

In fact, it's just one of those lines that gets repeated so much that people just begin to believe it. The Command Post has a great chart showing just how much 'support' the US gave to Iraq under Saddam's rule. I think you'll be surprised (hint, it's just a couple below international powerhouse, Denmark).

Ranting Screed has the numbers broken down by the actual equipment sold.

A unique perspective of GITMO

What an amazing idea, wait till after visiting Guantanamo Bay before commenting. I think there are more than a few members of the Congress, Senate and Media who could learn from Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu.

Check out his insights into the worlds most demonized jail at Frontpage Magazine.

Nazis, Nazis everywhere..

It seems to be a growing trend on the left to throw out the term Nazi or Fascist whenever something comes up that they disagree with. This post on In Search Of Utopia is a perfect example.

Apparently, asking like-minded individuals to voluntarily cancel subscriptions to a paper with an extreme editorial view (in this case the Minneapolis Star Tribune, which was one of very few papers who fully supported Senator Durbin's remarks comparing soldiers at GITMO with Nazis (there's that term again), Stalin gulag guards and Pol Pot) counts as fascism.

I guess I was mistaken in thinking that people are allowed to spend their money how they see fit and support companies they agree with and not support those they don't. According to David Anderson (the blog owner), I am mistaken. Only protestors on the left side of the spectrum are permitted to do this. In those cases it's "an American Tradition" of taking action against evil corporations. When those on the right do so it's an attempt at "trying to shut down dissent" and therefore fascism.

I really don't think he understands what the word means.

I honestly cannot think of one case where people on the right called people on the left fascist for calling for a boycott of any particular companies product. Sure they might disagree with their reasons and call them idiots, but fascist, I doubt it.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Happy Canada Day!

And while I know this is a few days early, to our neighbors to the south, or fellow Canadians just looking for any reason to extend the partying, happy 4th of July!

That is all. Now continue with your 'celebrations'.
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