Thursday, December 20, 2007

Variety Calls Drudge Readers Anti-Semites

Apparently the Drudge Report has struck yet another nerve in the mainstream media. Today, Variety magazine reporter Brian Lowry pens a plea for civility- calling out the readers of the Drudge Report in particular. Writes Lowry,
Gee, gang, why so angry? Every time a column or article of mine gets posted on the site, I invariably wake up to a torrent of hostile emails. For awhile, it was like a perverse "Where's Waldo?" game -- "Oh, that one's rage-filled and anti-Semitic -- I must have made Drudge!"

Leaving aside that probability that most Drudge readers are not in fact anger-filled anti-Semites (that honor has to go to the deranged inhabitants of the Democratic Underground, as documented by the hilarious DUmmie FUnnies), Mr. Lowry does indeed have a point about many emailers- and not a few commentators. A lack of humor and civility does indeed seem to be present these days in political discourse. Unfortunately, the point that Lowry seems to miss is that a good portion of this lack of civility may well arise from the tendency by many on the Left to look down on and otherwise treat conservatives as something somehow inhuman. Lowry goes on to write,
So let's see if we can coexist peacefully. Disagreement is welcome, but it's possible to be civil about it. That's certainly my goal when interacting with Drudge diehards, in part because I'm betting a lot of you are armed to the teeth.

I can agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Lowry's plea for civility. What I find reprehensible are his generalizations and veiled insults. If Mr. Lowry is on the receiving end of anger-filled missives, I can sympathize with him and consider this behavior equally as monstrous as those on the Left who like to accuse President Bush of being Hitler. However, he might want to ask himself why the anger exists- it might be due to the condescending attitude and complete ignorance and appreciation for the denizens of places not named New York or San Francisco. In addition, Lowry reveals the heart of the media's problems in dealing honestly with controversial issues. Islam, to take merely one example, tends to kill people who disagree with them- Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus do not. therefore, the media as a whole tends to treat Judaism and Christianity with disdain and contempt, while affording Islam a respect that it does not deserve based on its actions. This while the media claims to be 'free'. Freedom includes daring to report honestly on people who might be dangerous to the reporters- something few media outlets will do.

Even Lowry's closing displays his own prejudices- he refuses to call the coming holiday 'Christmas' and fancies himself somehow courageous for this. No, Mr. Lowry- only if you dared to diss the Eid (a time when many inhabitants of Saudi Arabia desert the country in droves for a neighboring country where they can drink alcohol) would you be truly courageous. Perhaps if reporters like Lowry could bring themselves to recognize that their political opponents actually have a legitimate point and cease painting them in insulting terms, then maybe some of the anger would dissipate. Just a thought.... Cross-posted on NewsBusters.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Media Discovers Library Donors- Silent on Campaign Donors

The Washington Post is aghast today to discover that the governments of Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and other countries have contributed funds to some of the presidential libraries, including those of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. According to the Post's story,
Bill Clinton's presidential library raised more than 10 percent of the cost of its $165 million facility from foreign sources, with the most generous overseas donation coming from Saudi Arabia, according to interviews yesterday.

The royal family of Saudi Arabia gave the Clinton facility in Little Rock about $10 million, roughly the same amount it gave toward the presidential library of George H.W. Bush, according to people directly familiar with the contributions.

Hoqwever, the Post is not satisfied with this, and goes on to dig further into the sources of funding for presidential libraries. They discover that,
Spokesmen for Kuwait and Taiwan confirmed that each government has given the library $1 million. Both governments also donated to other presidential libraries. Kuwait contributed at least $1 million to the library of former president George H.W. Bush, and Taiwan gave $2 million to the Ronald Reagan library.

Calls to the other governments were not returned, and the Middle Eastern individuals could not be located for comment.

Jack Kuei, a press officer for Taiwan in Washington, said his government's donation "is a way to promote a mutual understanding and it's a kind of public diplomacy." Kuwaiti counselor Jasem Albudaiwi called his nation's contribution "a friendly donation from the people and the government of Kuwait to the cause of the library."

Personally, I cannot see the news interest in this story. Do foreign governments contribute to presidential libraries? Certainly, as this report confirms. Does this have any effect on American political decisions? Unless the library donations are used to pay back favors received while the president was in office, I would suspect it does not. Looking at a list of Reagan's foreign donors, this makes perfect sense. Japan and Taiwan were definitely beneficiaries of Reagan's muscular foreign policy, and he was known to be very strong in their defense. Therefore, their donations are unsurprising.

I would wish that the media focused on actual campaign funding issues- such as the Norman Hsu case that they have done their best to bury. Unless Senator Clinton is receiving money from her husband's library, then where said library's donations originate are really not anyone's business. If these are payoffs from her husband's years in the White House, then that is what the media ought to be investigating, but they did their best to kill any and all stories about Bill';s Asian money problem while he was President, so it is a little difficult now.

I suspect that the media has begun to realize that Hillary Clinton has some very serious problems as a candidate and since they are committed to getting a Democrat into the White House in 2008, they are trying to make certain that the Democratic nominee is not Mrs. Clinton, who has extremely high negatives and who would guarantee a high Republican turnout- she is despised and mistrusted by most Republicans. Since the media dares not attack Clinton too directly, I suspect this is a sideways strike to try to ensure that she is not the Democratic nominee.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Global Warming Goals Revealed- Will Press Report?

United States Senator James Inhofe is a tireless crusader for truth in advertising where the global warming hysteria crowd is concerned. On the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works site he maintains the Inhofe EPW blog, wherein he and his staff update the hysteria of the global warming crowd. Today, blogger Marc Morano has posted a news release on the website exposing the real goals of the global warming crowd. The question is- will the so-called mainstream media actually report on this? Based on past experience, I would guess not.

According to the press release, the real goal of the global warming crowd is the imposition of world taxes- especially on the United States. Morano quotes 'global tax advocate' Othmar Schwank, of an organization called the Mauch Consulting Group.
“Finally someone will pay for these [climate related] costs,” Othmar Schwank, a global tax advocate, told Inhofe EPW Press Blog following the panel discussion titled “A Global CO2 Tax.” Schwank is a consultant with the Switzerland based Mauch Consulting firm

Schwank said at least “$10-$40 billion dollars per year” could be generated by the tax, and wealthy nations like the U.S. would bear the biggest burden based on the “polluters pay principle.”

The U.S. and other wealthy nations need to “contribute significantly more to this global fund,” Schwank explained. He also added, “It is very essential to tax coal.”

In other words, in the manner of hypocritical power grabbers the world over, the method in which they gain the purse strings is less important than the results of gaining control of said purse strings. Morano continues by the eyes by quoting yet another advocate, one Emma Brindal.
The environmental group Friends of the Earth, in attendance in Bali, also advocated the transfer of money from rich to poor nations on Wednesday.

“A climate change response must have at its heart a redistribution of wealth and resources,” said Emma Brindal, a climate justice campaigner coordinator for Friends of the Earth.

So there we have it. I think a more honest name for Brindal's group would be Friends of Taxing the US to Give Money to the Unaccountable UN. The real goal of all these so-called climate change advocates is the taxation of rich nations so that they can transfer money to poor nations- socialism in action. This is highlighted by the concerns Inhofe's blog also states. Morano quotes several skeptics of global warming, such as Professor Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Writes Morano,
MIT climate scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen warned about these types of carbon regulations earlier this year. "Controlling carbon is a bureaucrat's dream. If you control carbon, you control life," Lindzen said in March 2007.

In addition, many critics have often charged that proposed tax and regulatory “solutions” were more important to the promoters of man-made climate fears than the accuracy of their science.

This is exactly right. The goal of the bureaucrats and activists is to give the UN real taxation powers, and then to tie the United States into this anti-American organization so that the rest of the world can take advantage of US innovations and power without that annoying necessity of consulting the American people. This is an attack on US sovereignty. Will the press take notice? They are certainly up in arms over the US government's attempts to defend American from Muslim terrorists. will they be as alarmed about the international attempt to use global warming to steal sovereignty from American voters? I wish I could be optimistic about the possibility that any member of the national press corps will actually write in a negative manner about this attempt. Instead of defending their country against unaccountable bureaucrats and 'activists', it seems to this writer that they are too busy trying to elect a President who will assist in the process of giving away US sovereignty. Cross-posted on NewsBusters.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mitchell Report- No McGwire or Sosa

The long-anticipated Mitchell Report on major league baseball's steroid problem came out today and a list of the players named in the report was linked to by Matt Drudge. Among those named are some whose presence was expected- Barry Bonds, the Giambi brothers (Jason and Jeremy), Rafael Palmeiro and Jose Canseco. There were also some names whose presence must come as a major surprise, including Roger Clemens and Andy Pettite. However, the biggest news has to be the two names that many expected would be on the list and which were not- Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.

Many in the media took McGwire's grudging presence at Congress' investigations and refusal to say anything as proof of his guilt. And Sammy Sosa has had some incidents himself. However, depsite the presence of McGwire's one-time teammate Jose Canseco on the list, neither McGwire or sosa was named in the report- at least as far as I have read so far.

Personally, I am inclined to give both men the benefit of the doubt. McGwire openly had containers of both androstenedione and creatine in his locker, and denies he ever did anything illegal. Since andro was legal when McGwire was taking it, he seems to be telling the truth. In any case, McGwire had been hitting lots of home runs a year dating back to college, where he hit a then-record 49. As for Sosa, as much as he will be remembered for his corked bat, there is currently no evidence that he took anything illegal either. Bonds on the other hand, never hit more than 35 homers until he suddenly began getting bigger and stronger as he aged.

i have always though McGwire is a class guy who handled a very difficult situation as best he could. The omission of his name on Mitchell's report, while not completely clearing him of all suspiction, must go a long way in confirming me in this belief.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Great White Fleet Remembered

Renowned military historian and reporter Austin Bay has reminded me, via a column posted over at, that this week, specifically December 16, is the 100th anniversary of the circumnavigation by the Great White Fleet. I doubt that a celebration of the famous cruise will appear in any of the so-called mainstream press. However, in his article, he provides a masterly summation of the cruise, which officially was simply the round-the-world cruise by the United States Atlantic Fleet. Bay writes,
President Theodore Roosevelt sent the fleet of 16 white-painted battleships on the 14-month cruise for a number of reasons. I doubt the headline "TR PR" appeared in 1907, but it would have been accurate, as well as succinct. The Great White Fleet's journey certainly served as a global public relations event.

In a recent interview, naval historian Dr. A.A. Nofi agreed with that assessment. "The voyage was an announcement," Nofi said. "America had been quietly building up the second-largest navy in the world, and no one was paying attention. The Great White Fleet said, 'Hey, we're here.'"

Nofi said, however, there was another reason to send the fleet, one that had less to do with showoff bravado and more to do with calculated geostrategic signaling in the wake of Japan's victory over Russia in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. An Asian power had defeated a European power in a major naval engagement that featured the movement of the Russian fleet from European waters to East Asia. "In the immediate political context (of the early 20th century)," Nofi said, "the fleet's voyage was a message to Japan that said that unlike Russia, if America has to cross the ocean to fight you, its navy will be there in force and ready."

Precisely. Theodore Roosevelt, much like Ronald Reagan, understood that if there was to be war, the United States needed to be ready. To that end, he was a strong supporter of the nation's armed forces, and particularly the Navy- a favoritism that rubbed off on his cousin Franklin as well. And although his muscular (and largely personal) diplomacy was replaced by the muddle-headed do-gooding of Woodrow Wilson, he laid the groundwork for the US Navy's successful performance in World War I. The United States Navy's site provides additional information on the 1907 cruise. According to the Navy, as recorded by Mike McKinley,
The cruise provided the officers and men of the fleet with thorough at-sea training and brought about improvements in formation steaming, coal economy, gunnery and morale. It also stressed the need for overseas bases that could provide better coaling and supply services along with more auxiliary ships. Foreign coaling ships or ports were used 90 percent of the time for coaling and resupply.

For the sailors who participated in this historic once-in-a-lifetime adventure, the cruise reinforced their pride in service and country. They had been the ambassadors of good will and the vehicles through which others perceived and judged America and the Navy. The results were gratifying. But even more concretely, the sailors saw their individual roles and the role of the Great White Fleet as providing the muscle behind US foreign policy.

As one sailor succinctly put it, "We just wanted to let the world know we were prepared for anything they wanted to kick up. We wanted to show the world what we could do."

Taken as a whole, the cruise did indeed provide invaluable experience to the men of the Fleet as well as the master planners in Washington. It opened the world's eyes to the growing power of the upstart republic. And it opened America's eyes to the fact that they had truly arrived on the global stage and that the world was beginning to be our stage. Finally, the cruise and his successful arbitration of the Russo-Japanese War provided Roosevelt and his Administration with two valuable public relations coups, overshadowing anything that the opposition (in those days a mostly loyal opposition, it must be said) could do to submarine his Administration.

Pity that today's Press and many of our political so-called 'leadership' has neither the intestinal fortitude nor the love of country to repeat such an experience. I would hope that some mainstream press organ might pick up on this story. But since even they cannot find anything in the story of the Great White Fleet to shame current President George W. Bush, I doubt that they will waste any of their precious newsprint on a story that holds only glory and praise for this great country and our wonderful Navy.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Pearl Harbor Remembered

For those few readers who may not be aware, today is the sixty-sixth anniversary of the Japanese attack on the United States Pacific Fleet as it lay at anchor in Pearl Harbor. The attack precipitated official American involvement in World War II, as it was followed shortly by Germany declaring war on the United States, thus finally bringing the U.S. into the fight alongside the British Empire.

The attack was meant to have been announced by the Japanese ambassador just as the attack commenced, thus avoiding the image of a sneak attack, but due to a combination of circumstances, the diplomats were not able to get the ultimatum translated and typed in time to deliver it before the Japanese planes attacked. the results of Pearl harbor were devastating for the US Pacific Fleet- all eight battleships out of action, most of the warplanes destroyed and over two thousand Americans were killed. The only bright spot for the United States was that the attack failed to catch any of the Pacific Fleet's three aircraft carriers in port- all were out on missions at the time. President Franklin Roosevelt, in his speech to Congress asking for a declaration of war, called the attack 'a day that will live in infamy', and so it should be. But it should be remarked that much of the anger came from Japan's attempt to meet the letter of the law while violating the intent.

And to the credit of the nation, where there had been a strong peace movement, the attack overnight essentially ended the protests. Despite a year of constant defeat, despite horrendous casualties and despite the loss of men, ships and armies, the American public did not give up- they persevered until at last General Douglas MacArthur was able to dictate peace terms to Japan from the deck of the battleship Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay.

This brings up an interesting point. In the news today, many news organizations mark the anniversary fo Pearl harbor. Yet not a single one seems to have made the point that the Pearl harbor attack differs in several significant ways from the recent attack on Manhattan's Twin Towers. And these differences are important.

First, the attack on Pearl Harbor targeted military personnel and installations- a perfectly legitimate target by any rule of war. Pearl Harbor was not a civilian establishment- it was the main base of the United States Pacific Fleet. Second, the men at Pearl had the ability to defend themselves. True, there was incompetence and cowardice displayed throughout, but there was also much heroism, as shown by fighter pilots Taylor and Welch, who managed to take off and shoot down several Japanese planes, despite being incredibly outnumbered. there was the battleship USS Nevada, who desperately made a dash for the sea, only to be deliberately grounded to avoid blocking the channel. The point, however, is that the defenders had the machines and methods to fight back- they were not defenceless civilians.

So where is the outrage about September 11? Pearl harbor is to this day remembered as a sneak attack. Yet September 11 was even more so, perpetrated by cowards who did not have the courage to engage in open combat with the United States, but rather hid and used unarmed civilians as shields. And it ought to be noted that many of those killed in the September 11 attacks were not even Americans, but rather foreigners who happened to be working or sightseeing there. No one killed at Pearl Harbor was a civilian that I am aware of.

My point is simple. The Japanese are rightfully condemned for their duplicitous methodology. However, why cannot our press and our politicians bring themselves to be as righteously outraged about a much more cowardly and duplicitous attack, carried out for equally ignoble motives (Islamists want world domination and see us as the primary obstacle)? To me, the perpetrators of September 11 are far more despicable than the Japanese government and military of 1941. I wish that more of our so-called intelligentsia shared that opinion. But I fear they are too blinded by their hatred of all things related to our President to even admit that he got something right.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Moving On Up....

According to Technorati, that is. I was just over there, and apparently StoneHeads is now in the top 1,000,000. Out of who-knows-how-many blogs on Technorati (I know it is at least 8,911,366), we now rank at Number 676,883. Hooray! Maybe one day we will actually make the top 500,000 or so. Only another 176,883 more steps to go!

In any event, I wanted to send out a big thank you to all the folks who actually read and who have linked to the this blog. And especially to all the loyal readers who have stuck with me and continue to follow the varied ramblings of this particular stonehead.


The baby-boom generation has had an enormous effect on the United States, of that there is no question. However, there is a significant question as to what kind of effect that might have been- was it positive or negative? For myself, though I am a generation younger, at least two of my best friends are members of the baby-boomer generation, and I know many other members of this generation. And I cannot help but think that overall, there are virtually no positive benefits that one can ascribe to the baby-boomers.

And it seems that I am not alone in this opinion. Over at, Dennis Prager agrees, writing a column apologizing to the current generation for the baby-boomers' many mistakes. Amont other things, Prgaer says,
Our generation came up with two truly foolish slogans that also ended up robbing you of childhood.

One was, "Never trust anyone over 30." Our infantile attitude toward adult authority has inflicted great harm on you. Because of it, many baby boomers decided not to become adults, and this has had disastrous consequences in your lives. It deprived you of one of the greatest needs in your life -- adults. That in turn deprived you of something as important as love -- parental and other adult authority. With little parental authority, you were left with little personal security, few guardrails and a diminished sense of order in life. And we transferred this denial of authority to virtually all authority figures, from teachers to police.

The other slogan whose awful consequences we baby boomers bequeathed to you was, "Make love, not war." Our parents had liberated the world from immeasurably cruel and murderous regimes in Germany and Japan -- solely thanks to waging war. But instead of concluding that war could do great moral good, we sang ourselves silly with such inane lyrics as "Give peace a chance," as if that deals in any way with the world's most monstrous evils. So we taught you to make love and not war. And we succeeded.

Prager gets it right. The baby-boomers somehow completely missed that it was only through the power of armed resistance that the forces of Nazi Germany, and Imperial japan were defeated. Only the power of the United States military kept western Europe free from the menace of the Red Army while Communists murdered millions and built the Berlin Wall to hold in their own citizens. And the sins of the baby-boomers do not end there. Prager comments that,
We also made you weak. We did everything possible to ensure that you suffered no pain. Sometimes we changed game scores if a team was winning by too large a margin; we abolished dodgeball lest anyone suffer early removal from the game; and we gave trophies to all of you who played on baseball teams, no matter how awfully you or your team played so that none of you missed getting a trophy while members of another team did. Much of this was thanks to the self-esteem-without-having-to-earn-it movement, which in our generation's almost infinite lack of wisdom we inflicted upon you. Sorry for that, too.

So true. One gains self-esteem by actually doing something and doing it well. And if one does not do well at a particular game, then one can either find an area where he or she does excel, or work to gain expertise in the area where they lack. Something that too many baby-boomers simply don't appear to understand.

In the end, the baby-boomers destroyed much of the underlying strength of America and the West. They made us into a nation of lawyers, where one can hardly even stand up for himself without prompting a lawsuit. They took away many of the joys of childhood, where much of the fun was discovering one's limitations and strengths, and they preached canards that they felt were below them to practice. And what benefits did they bring? Aside from personal technology, has anything they did proved a success? the great Society that they were so proudly for? A disaster. The War on Poverty? A complete failure. Their continuing habits of appeasement and dictator-worshipping? Embarrassing at best and dangerous at worst.

The best thing that the succeeding generations can do is try to undo most of the Boomers' work in order that we can restore the world before the baby-boomers got their hands on it. And maybe, give children back the joys of childhood.

Are Macs Still Safe?

For a long time, one of the Macintosh's primary attraction has been its relative immunity from the horde of viruses that affect Windows-based computers. Certainly I have benefited knowing that I as long as I run my utilities on a regular basis and exercise a degree of cAution when surfing the Web I am fairly safe from attack. And of course when I surf using my ancient pre-OSX Macs, the odds of getting a virus are infinitesimal.

However, according to the Financial Times online edition, this may be changing. The Financial Times reports that hackers are increasingly targeting Mac users as Apple's share of the industry rises. The Times writes,
After years of relative safety, the Apple Mac is becoming an increasingly tempting target for malicious computer hackers, according to a new report published this week.

Security researchers have been aware of the threat to Apple since last year, when they detected the first piece of malicious code – or “malware” – specifically designed to target Apple.

Over the past few months, however, the number of malicious programs has increased, according to a report published this week by F-Secure, an internet security company.

“Over the past two years, we had found one or two pieces of malware targeting Macs,” said Patrik Runald, an F-Secure security researcher. “Since October, we’ve found 100-150 variants.”

So what is the good news? Unlike the Windows system, which contains a widely publicized number of vulnerabilities. Any PC user is used to the security patches that appear with monotonous regularity from Microsoft, usually without any real explanation. Apple in contrast has a reputation for being much more secure, and as a result, the new viruses rely on users installing the problem software themselves as opposed to a system vulnerability. So as long as a Mac user is educated and suspicious, he or she should continue to be safe from the hackers. As long as they don't have to use a Microsoft-based system, that is!

Monday, December 03, 2007

LA Times: CNN='Corrupt News Network'

In the wake of the embarrassing and highly slanted CNN-hosted Republican debate on CNN last week, the fallout continues from CNN's attempts to inject its own biases into the Republican debate. Today comes one of the harshest blasts- and it comes not from the blogosphere, which has been relentless in following the story, but from CNN's fellow media dinosaur the Los Angeles Times, in the person of reporter Tim Rutten.

Rutten is not pleased by CNN's performance, and in his article, he pulls no punches in describing his view of CNN's activities. He wrote,
In fact, this most recent debacle masquerading as a presidential debate raises serious questions about whether CNN is ethically or professionally suitable to play the political role the Democratic and Republican parties recently have conceded it.

Selecting a president is, more than ever, a life and death business, and a news organization that consciously injects itself into the process, as CNN did by hosting Wednesday's debate, incurs a special responsibility to conduct itself in a dispassionate and, most of all, disinterested fashion. When one considers CNN's performance, however, the adjectives that leap to mind are corrupt and incompetent.

Rutten went on to define why he thinks that the network is corrupt. Unlike the bloggers, Rutten did not condemn CNN's planted questions, though one wonders how he would react if say, Fox had done the same thing to the Democratic candidates. Since they were too scared of Fox to even appear, we will never know the answer to that one, though I personally doubt that Fox would have stooped to the depths displayed by CNN.

No, Rutten's main complaint was actually with the way that CNN organized the debate, spending roughly the entire first half-hour or so on the illegal immigration issue, which, while it is important to some Republicans, does not appear in the list of top issues concerning Republicans, according to the Pew polls. So why did CNN spend so much time on an issue that may not even be that important to the average Republican? Rutten think he knows, writing,
In other words, CNN intentionally directed the Republicans' debate to advance its own interests. Make immigration a bigger issue and you've made a bigger audience for Dobbs.

That's corruption, and it's why the Republican candidates had to spend more than half an hour "debating" an issue on which their differences are essentially marginal -- and, more important, why GOP voters had to sit and wait, mostly in vain, for the issues that really concern them to be discussed. That's particularly true because that same Pew poll reported findings of particular relevance to Republican voters, the vast majority of whom continue to support the war in Iraq.

I don't know if I would agree with Rutten on the specifics of his charge, as I find a commercial network's desire to pander to a topic that it's most popular host pushes un-threatening. As long as the viewers are informed, they will be aware of what CNN is doing and will probably tune out until the topic changes. I know I would. However, CNN's overall performance, both in this debate and in the Democratic 'talking snowman' debate, has definitely done the network a disservice. And when one considers that this is the same network that has no problem being complicit with dictators in order to keep their Baghdad bureau open, one begins to seriously wonder why anyone takes the network's slanted 'news' seriously at all.