Thursday, August 26, 2010

Howard Kurtz sounds positively frantic

The poll results on the President's religion has him on the brink of despair.

The ignorance factor: Obama, religion and the media

The chilling chunk of people who believe Barack Obama is a Muslim has caused some serious soul-searching in the news business.

How have journalists failed to adequately communicate that the president is a Christian? Or does it no longer matter what we report if people choose to believe something with no basis in fact

My question on this whole issue is simple: why does this one piece of public ignorance matter so much?

So 18% of the public are wrong about the President's religion. Kurtz and Co. want the MSM to go pedal to the metal to correct this misconception. They also want Republicans to issue ringing testimonies to Obama's faith.

For over forty years, 70-80% of the public has believed that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone. Something like 30-50% of those people "think" that elements of the government had a hand in killing JFK.

Does Kurtz think that the MSM has a duty to correct this mistake in the public's knowledge of history?

Or what about the idea that the CIA invented AIDs to kill Africans and African-Americans?

I've missed the hyperventilation in the press about these examples of public ignorance and the political opportunists who exploit that ignorance.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Ground Zero Mosque

Good piece by Nat Hentoff:

Am I also a bigot? Pols clueless on Ground Zero mosque

If you want to join Speaker Pelosi in investigating me, your honor, I'd be glad to oblige. I'm just doing my job as a reporter. I wish more reporters had gone beneath the shouting on both sides. There's another part of the First Amendment in addition to the free exercise of religion: The press is free to investigate the reasons for Imam Rauf's fixation on the 9/11 location of his mosque.

And why does this location make Hamas glow

The last fugitive

Leo Frederick Burt--- Still free (maybe) 40 years after he bombed the Math building at Wisconsin--Madison.

The last radical - dead or alive?

FBI wanted poster here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The problem with newspapers

Howard Owens thinks it might be self-inflicted.

Newspapers: Don't be the web

The effort to move newspapers toward color and fewer words has been destructive to the greatest value proposition of a newspaper: To be a product that thoughtful people spend time with. The endless chasing of "time-starved readers" has done nothing more than alienate core subscribers. And I also believe created a product that is even less interesting to younger generation of readers.

Can't they find a real expert?

With the indictment of Roger Clemens, ESPN has been using Lester Munson as their go to "legal expert".

It's worth remembering just how atrocious Munson's "analysis" was during the Duke lacrosse hoax and legal travesty. KC Johnson has chapter and verse here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Six weeks that saved the world (II)

On the influence of individuals in history

The magnitude of their victory [in France] deceived the Germans. It seemed impossible that the British would consider further resistance. In fact, the change from Chamberlain to Churchill had created a very different atmosphere in London.


Churchill brought extraordinary leadership to the struggle... He nobly gambled the last resources of a fading empire in the belief that the struggle was not yet lost. He was right.

(A War to Be Won)

Seventy years later and it is still frightening to ponder the "what ifs" of 1940. How does our world look today if Churchill is not PM in June 1940? What if Britain follows Halifax's advice to make peace and "save the country from avoidable disaster"?

The revenge of the Beck-bots

A few days ago KC Johnson posted KC Johnson on cable's love affair with Wendy Murphy:

Wendy Murphy's Revival

KC made an altogether obvious and innocuous observation about the media landscape:

While I rarely watch cable news, I’m fully aware that—in the era of Glenn Beck—the medium is more “entertainment” than “news.”

It was not long before the Beck fans appeared in his comments to defend their hero who they felt was unfairly attacked.

Unfortunately for them, the facts are on Prof. Johnson's side. That Beck is an entertainer should be obvious to anyone who watches his show more than four or five times. That Fox News provides an outlet for the horrible, ill-informed Murphy is simply a fact.

Sadly, the “Right” flunked this test just as much as the “Left”. Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck still use Wendy Murphy as a “legal analyst” on their cable shows. O'Reilly even wrote the forward to her new book. This despite her disgusting performance during the lacrosse case.

Lastly, as noted years ago, Beck is a lot like Murphy and the Gang of 88. None of them let the truth get in the way of their preferred narrative.

See also:

Duke lacrosse: How important is the Gang of 88?

The smart guys are catching on

Cold Hard Football Facts

Wicker also finds that Hines Ward is one of the great big-game receivers of our time – a fact that goes a long way toward explaining why he’s so beloved in Pittsburgh, despite relatively humble regular-season numbers compared to some of the other great modern receivers.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Six weeks that saved the world

In this post, Rev. Donald Sensing makes a powerful case that 6 June 1944 is the most critical day in Western history:

The awful stakes of D-Day

There are many "pivot" days in human history, when the course of human events swung in a new direction because of discrete actions. It is hard to find another moment in all history when so much rested on an outcome of one day as rested on the success of the Allies' landings on Normandy. In military history, no other day in American history compares. The only single day that comes to mind for me right now is the day of the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC, when an Athenian army repelled a Persian landing force. The entire future of Western civilization and the idea of democracy itself lay in the balance. And yet even that may day not stand alone as D-Day does because the Persians persisted and the later battles of Plataea and Salamis were probably even more important. So there was no "one day" of paramount importance in the Persian War, even though it was almost certainly the most important war of ancient times.

The success at Normandy validated the strategic assessment of Churchill in the dark days of June 1940:
This is not the decisive point and this is not the decisive moment. That moment will come when Hitler hurls his Luftwaffe against Great Britain. If we can keep command of the air and if we can keep the seas open, we will win it all back for you.

It was an astute judgment but it seemed like wishful thinking to the French. Their generals assured the government that "in three weeks, England will have her neck wrung like a chicken." France made peace with Hitler and left Britain to stand alone.

There is no D-Day in 1944 unless Britain remains defiant and unconquered in the summer and fall of 1940. As Churchill understood, the first crucial battle in the liberation of Europe would take place in the skies over England.
The great French Army was very largely, for the time being, cast back and disturbed by the onrush of a few thousand armoured vehicles. May it not also be that the cause of civilisation itself will be defended by the skill and devotion of a few thousand airmen?

(Speech to Parliament 4 June 1940)

On 1 August 1940, Hitler issued Directive No. 17:
The Luftwaffe will use all the forces at its disposal to destroy the British air force as quickly as possible.

The RAF proved equal to the great challenge. Throughout the summer and fall they battled the Luftwaffe in hundreds of actions in the first great air campaign in history. The Germans never attained control of the air over southern England; without air superiority no invasion was possible.

On 15 September, Hitler put Operation Sea Lion-- the invasion of England-- on hold.

Der F├╝hrer had suffered his first strategic setback. Britain remained undefeated and unbowed. The great triumphs that came in the years that followed were only possible because of that momentous victory in 1940.
Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few

Like the battle of Midway, the Battle of Britain stands out from the most other military turning points in the modern era. Sedan, Verdun, Stalingrad and Normandy were struggles contested by armies numbering in the hundreds of thousands or even millions. The Battle of Britain was on an altogether smaller scale. A few thousand pilots and ground support personnel were the first and mainline of defense against Hitler and his war machine.

As Churchill put it:
The odds were great; our margins small; the stakes infinite

The free world can give thanks that England prevailed against those great odds.

This website let’s you follow the course of the campaign as it unfolded.

Battle of Britain Day by Day

This might be the best thing i've read on the Ground Zero mosque

Let us have a thought experiment...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Babe Ruth

by The Last Hollywood Star

On the 62nd anniversary of Ruth's death, Life Magazine releases several previously unpublished photos.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Distorting history

Great post by Rev. Donald Sensing

"Hiroshima Day" - World Council of Churches gets it wrong again

It's past time for Western churches to stop treating Japan so sympathetically every Aug. 6 and 9.