Sunday, December 28, 2003

Steve Rendall Gives Up

Another one bites the dust.

Steve Rendall, a not-so-proud liberal, "policy analyst" for the liberal and deceptively-named Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), and author of a book slamming Rush Limbaugh, folded rather than defend his beliefs. Since my last email to him Dec. 16, he has failed to respond to my challenge to back up his claims that AIDS is not 100% fatal, progressive is not just a weasel word for liberal and he is not a liberal and FAIR is actually a FAIR media analysis organization. Why didn't he respond? Because when backed into a corner and challenged on their wacko dogma, liberals can't defend their beliefs because they can't support them with facts. This is not a futile effort. I'm not attempting to get Mr. Rendall or any other liberal to change their beliefs. I'm simply pointing out their factual inaccuracies and challenging them to defend their beliefs. It's something more people need to do. Fight the liberal dogma by challenging them to defend their beliefs.
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Monday, December 22, 2003

Happy Kwanzaa, Jailbird Ron

We all like Christmas stories. Well, I found a good one on You've heard of the true story of Christmas. Well this is the true story of Kwanzaa -- that innocuous little African holiday they teach my kids and yours about. It turns out (as those of us who are paying attention have known for quite a long time) not to be so happy and innocuous after all. Read it and get angry. Then write your local school board. We should all be pissed that they pass this crap off as some kind of black cultural celebration.

Happy Kwanzaa
By Paul Mulshine | December 26, 2002

On December 24, 1971, the New York Times ran one of the first of many articles on a new holiday designed to foster unity among African Americans. The holiday, called Kwanzaa, was applauded by a certain sixteen-year-old minister who explained that the feast would perform the valuable service of "de-whitizing" Christmas. The minister was a nobody at the time but he would later go on to become perhaps the premier race-baiter of the twentieth century. His name was Al Sharpton and he would later spawn the Tawana Brawley hoax and then incite anti-Jewish tensions in a 1995 incident that ended with the arson deaths of seven people.

Great minds think alike. The inventor of the holiday was one of the few black "leaders" in America even worse than Sharpton. But there was no mention in the Times article of this man or of the fact that at that very moment he was sitting in a California prison. And there was no mention of the curious fact that this purported benefactor of the black people had founded an organization that in its short history tortured and murdered blacks in ways of which the Ku Klux Klan could only fantasize.

It was in newspaper articles like that, repeated in papers all over the country, that the tradition of Kwanzaa began. It is a tradition not out of Africa but out of Orwell. Both history and language have been bent to serve a political goal. When that New York Times article appeared, Ron Karenga's crimes were still recent events. If the reporter had bothered to do any research into the background of the Kwanzaa founder, he might have learned about Karenga's trial earlier that year on charges of torturing two women who were members of US (United Slaves), a black nationalist cult he had founded.

A May 14, 1971, article in the Los Angeles Times described the testimony of one of them: "Deborah Jones, who once was given the Swahili title of an African queen, said she and Gail Davis were whipped with an electrical cord and beaten with a karate baton after being ordered to remove their clothes. She testified that a hot soldering iron was placed in Miss Davis' mouth and placed against Miss Davis' face and that one of her own big toes was tightened in a vise. Karenga, head of US, also put detergent and running hoses in their mouths, she said."

Back then, it was relatively easy to get information on the trial. Now it's almost impossible. It took me two days' work to find articles about it. The Los Angeles Times seems to have been the only major newspaper that reported it and the stories were buried deep in the paper, which now is available only on microfilm. And the microfilm index doesn't start until 1972, so it is almost impossible to find the three small articles that cover Karenga's trial and conviction on charges of torture. That is fortunate for Karenga. The trial showed him to be not just brutal, but deranged. He and three members of his cult had tortured the women in an attempt to find some nonexistent "crystals" of poison. Karenga thought his enemies were out to get him.

And in another lucky break for Karenga, the trial transcript no longer exists. I filed a request for it with the Superior Court of Los Angeles. After a search, the court clerk could find no record of the trial. So the exact words of the black woman who had a hot soldering iron pressed against her face by the man who founded Kwanzaa are now lost to history. The only document the court clerk did find was particularly revealing, however. It was a transcript of Karenga's sentencing hearing on Sept. 17, 1971.

A key issue was whether Karenga was sane. Judge Arthur L. Alarcon read from a psychiatrist's report: "Since his admission here he has been isolated and has been exhibiting bizarre behavior, such as staring at the wall, talking to imaginary persons, claiming that he was attacked by dive-bombers and that his attorney was in the next cell. … During part of the interview he would look around as if reacting to hallucination and when the examiner walked away for a moment he began a conversation with a blanket located on his bed, stating that there was someone there and implying indirectly that the 'someone' was a woman imprisoned with him for some offense. This man now presents a picture which can be considered both paranoid and schizophrenic with hallucinations and elusions, inappropriate affect, disorganization, and impaired contact with the environment."

The founder of Kwanzaa paranoid? It seems so. But as the old saying goes, just because you're paranoid it doesn't mean that someone isn't out to get you.

ACCORDING TO COURT DOCUMENTS, Karenga's real name is Ron N. Everett. In the '60s, he awarded himself the title "maulana," Swahili for "master teacher." He was born on a poultry farm in Maryland, the fourteenth child of a Baptist minister. He came to California in the late 1950s to attend Los Angeles Community College. He moved on to UCLA, where he got a Master's degree in political science and African Studies. By the mid-1960s, he had established himself as a leading "cultural nationalist." That is a term that had some meaning in the '60s, mainly as a way of distinguishing Karenga's followers from the Black Panthers, who were conventional Marxists.

Another way of distinguishing might be to think of Karenga's gang as the Crips and the Panthers as the bloods. Despite all their rhetoric about white people, they reserved their most vicious violence for each other. In 1969, the two groups squared off over the question of who would control the new Afro-American Studies Center at UCLA. According to a Los Angeles Times article, Karenga and his adherents backed one candidate, the Panthers another. Both groups took to carrying guns on campus, a situation that, remarkably, did not seem to bother the university administration. The Black Student Union, however, set up a coalition to try and bring peace between the Panthers and the group headed by the man whom the Times labeled "Ron Ndabezitha Everett-Karenga."

On Jan. 17, 1969, about 150 students gathered in a lunchroom to discuss the situation. Two Panthers—admitted to UCLA like many of the black students as part of a federal program that put high-school dropouts into the school—apparently spent a good part of the meeting in verbal attacks against Karenga. This did not sit well with Karenga's followers, many of whom had adopted the look of their leader, pseudo-African clothing and a shaved head.

In modern gang parlance, you might say Karenga was "dissed" by John Jerome Huggins, 23, and Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter, 26. After the meeting, the two Panthers were met in the hallway by two brothers who were members of US, George P. and Larry Joseph Stiner. The Stiners pulled pistols and shot the two Panthers dead. One of the Stiners took a bullet in the shoulder, apparently from a Panther's gun.

There were other beatings and shooting in Los Angeles involving US, but by then the tradition of African nationalism had already taken hold—among whites. That tradition calls for any white person, whether a journalist, a college official, or a politician, to ignore the obvious flaws of the concept that blacks should have a separate culture. "The students here have handled themselves in an absolutely impeccable manner," UCLA chancellor Charles E. Young told the L.A. Times. "They have been concerned. They haven't argued who the director should be; they have been saying what kind of person he should be." Young made those remarks after the shooting. And the university went ahead with its Afro-American Studies Program. Karenga, meanwhile, continued to build and strengthen US, a unique group that seems to have combined the elements of a street gang with those of a California cult. The members performed assaults and robberies but they also strictly followed the rules laid down in The Quotable Karenga, a book that laid out "The Path of Blackness." "The sevenfold path of blackness is think black, talk black, act black, create black, buy black, vote black, and live black," the book states.

In retrospect, it may be fortunate that the cult fell apart over the torture charges. Left to his own devices, Karenga might have orchestrated the type of mass suicide later pioneered by the People's Temple and copied by the Heaven's Gate cult. Instead, he apparently fell into deep paranoia shortly after the killings at UCLA. He began fearing that his followers were trying to have him killed. On May 9, 1970 he initiated the torture session that led to his imprisonment. Karenga himself will not comment on that incident and the victims cannot be located, so the sole remaining account is in the brief passage from the L.A. Times describing tortures inflicted by Karenga and his fellow defendants, Louis Smith and Luz Maria Tamayo:

"The victims said they were living at Karenga's home when Karenga accused them of trying to kill him by placing 'crystals' in his food and water and in various areas of his house. When they denied it, allegedly they were beaten with an electrical cord and a hot soldering iron was put in Miss Davis' mouth and against her face. Police were told that one of Miss Jones' toes was placed in a small vise which then allegedly was tightened by one of the defendants. The following day Karenga allegedly told the women that 'Vietnamese torture is nothing compared to what I know.' Miss Tamayo reportedly put detergent in their mouths, Smith turned a water hose full force on their faces, and Karenga, holding a gun, threatened to shoot both of them."

Karenga was convicted of two counts of felonious assault and one count of false imprisonment. He was sentenced on Sept. 17, 1971, to serve one to ten years in prison. A brief account of the sentencing ran in several newspapers the following day. That was apparently the last newspaper article to mention Karenga's unfortunate habit of doing unspeakable things to black people. After that, the only coverage came from the hundreds of news accounts that depict him as the wonderful man who invented Kwanzaa.

LOOK AT ANY MAP OF THE WORLD and you will see that Ghana and Kenya are on opposite sides of the continent. This brings up an obvious question about Kwanzaa: Why did Karenga use Swahili words for his fictional African feast? American blacks are primarily descended from people who came from Ghana and other parts of West Africa. Kenya and Tanzania—where Swahili is spoken—are several thousand miles away, about as far from Ghana as Los Angeles is from New York. Yet in celebrating Kwanzaa, African-Americans are supposed to employ a vocabulary of such Swahili words as "kujichagulia" and "kuumba." This makes about as much sense as having Irish-Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day by speaking Polish. One possible explanation is that Karenga was simply ignorant of African geography and history when he came up with Kwanzaa in 1966. That might explain why he would schedule a harvest festival near the solstice, a season when few fruits or vegetables are harvested anywhere. But a better explanation is that he simply has contempt for black people.

That does not seem a farfetched hypothesis. Despite all his rhetoric about white racism, I could find no record that he or his followers ever raised a hand in anger against a white person. In fact, Karenga had an excellent relationship with Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty in the '60s and also met with then-Governor Ronald Reagan and other white politicians. But he and his gang were hell on blacks. And Karenga certainly seems to have had a low opinion of his fellow African-Americans. "People think it's African, but it's not," he said about his holiday in an interview quoted in the Washington Post. "I came up with Kwanzaa because black people in this country wouldn't celebrate it if they knew it was American. Also, I put it around Christmas because I knew that's when a lot of bloods would be partying." "Bloods" is a '60s California slang term for black people.

That Post article appeared in 1978. Like other news articles from that era, it makes no mention of Karenga's criminal past, which seems to have been forgotten the minute he got out of prison in 1975. Profiting from the absence of memory, he remade himself as Maulana Ron Karenga, went into academics, and by 1979 he was running the Black Studies Department at California State University in Long Beach.

This raises a question: Karenga had just ten years earlier proven himself capable of employing guns and bullets in his efforts to control hiring in the Black Studies Department at UCLA. So how did this ex-con, fresh out jail, get the job at Long Beach? Did he just send a résumé and wait by the phone? The officials at Long Beach State don't like that type of question. I called the university and got a spokeswoman by the name of Toni Barone. She listened to my questions and put me on hold. Christmas music was playing, a nice touch under the circumstances. She told me to fax her my questions. I sent a list of questions that included the matter of whether Karenga had employed threats to get his job. I also asked just what sort of crimes would preclude a person from serving on the faculty there in Long Beach. And whether the university takes any security measures to ensure that Karenga doesn't shoot any students. Barone faxed me back a reply stating that the university is pleased with Karenga's performance and has no record of the procedures that led to his hiring. She ignored the question about how they protect students.

Actually, there is clear evidence that Karenga has reformed. In 1975, he dropped his cultural nationalist views and converted to Marxism. For anyone else, this would have been seen as an endorsement of radicalism, but for Karenga it was considered a sign that he had moderated his outlook. The ultimate irony is that now that Karenga is a Marxist, the capitalists have taken over his holiday. The seven principles of Kwanzaa include "collective work" and "cooperative economics," but Kwanzaa is turning out to be as commercial as Christmas, generating millions in greeting-card sales alone. The purists are whining. "It's clear that a number of major corporations have started to take notice and try to profit from Kwanzaa," said a San Francisco State black studies professor named "Oba T'Shaka" in one news account. "That's not good, with money comes corruption." No, he's wrong. With money comes kitsch. The L.A. Times reported a group was planning an "African Village Faire," the pseudo-archaic spelling of "faire" nicely combining kitsch Africana with kitsch Americana.

With money also comes forgetfulness. As those warm Kwanzaa feelings are generated in a spirit of holiday cheer, those who celebrate this holiday do so in blissful ignorance of the sordid violence, paranoia, and mayhem that helped generate its birth some three decades ago in a section of America that has vanished down the memory hole.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Steve Rendall Continues to Flail Away .. and I Pummel Him Again

This time, Rendall wrote his responses within my email. I've bolded them and my response follows the initial email. Although humorous, this exchange is getting a little tiresome and his arguments are just too easy to refute. Unless he comes up with an extraordinary rebuttal (which isn't likely), this will probably be the last installment of my debate with Rendall that I'll post. Check it out for yourself at This group is a liberal think tank (I know -- that's an oxymoron) masquerading as a "media watchdog group".

Mr. Rendall.

Thanks for your response. It's not often that you'll find a liberal who even attempts to defend their beliefs or try to back them with facts. Your response falls far short of being factual or mounting much of a defense of your beliefs but at least it's a response which is more than you can say for most liberals who are challenged on their beliefs. The typical response to for the liberal to retort with nasty names. Now, it's time to pick apart you response point by point - with facts.

First of all, I would challenge you to copy and paste my response to your Hannity column into your email program and bold the portions containing the "name calling tirade". The only name I called was a suggestion - in jest - of a more descriptive (and accurate) name for your group. Sorry you can't take a joke. And sorry, calling a liberal a liberal doesn't count as name-calling, even though I'm sure you'd like it to.
Steve Rendall:
Nonsense. You called us "yahoos." Don't tempt me to add "liar" to my perfectly accurate description of you as a name caller.

Secondly, progressive is a term that most people who aren't politically aware don't understand. Most people recognize the word liberal for what it is - liberal, which is why liberals like you mask your bias with the word "progressive". (I don't mind being called a conservative and don't have to obfuscate the label with misleading synonyms.) Combine a misunderstanding of the word "progressive" with the misleading first sentence of your opening paragraph, (FAIR, the national media watch group, has been offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986.) and it's easy to see how someone could mistake your group for being unbiased. When I see Jeff Cohen on panel discussions regarding the media on the "conservatively biased" Fox News (which, somehow, despite it's radical conservative bias, manages to find room for Cohen and other "progressives" on their panels) it's in the role of an unbiased critic of the media. Indeed, your very name is misleading. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, implies fairness and accuracy, the definition of which, in any rational person's mind, is an absence of bias.

Steve Rendall:
First of all, I am not a liberal. When it comes to liberals I like to quote Heywood Broun: "liberals are the first ones out of the room when a fight breaks out." In addition, as I was growing up liberal American politicians were prosecuting illegal wars and assassinating and attempting to assassinate foreign leaders (Diem, Lamumba and Castro for starters.)
"Progressive" is an broad term encompassing liberals, democratic socialists, left libertarians and other left leaning tendencies. (Libertarianism originated on the left.)

I'm sorry I don't have time to educate you on the subtleties of U.S. political tendencies, though it's clear that you need educating.

And on Jeff Cohen and Fox News Watch: You haven't the slightest idea what you are talking about. Jeff and Laura Flanders (also of FAIR) were hired to be the left-leaning media critics on the show. If you hadn't figured that out from watching them (they've been off the show for years) you have a real perception problem.

As far as my "AIDS tirade" goes, you mention a "homophobic" (there's a FAIR word) Christian right activist's concerns about the spread of AIDS in a book published in 1989 (and presumably written earlier than that) a time when there were real questions about the spread of AIDS (ask the family of Kimberly Bergalis). Yet the connection I make between questions regarding the spread of this 100% fatal disease and the fact that it's illegal to inquire of the status of someone who is essentially walking around a ticking time bomb, goes right over your head.

Steve Rendall:
Again AIDS is not 100% percent fatal-- besides the significant success of protease inhibitors there have been some sero conversions -- where once sero-positive patients become sero-negative-- that are not entirely understood.

The way the media distort the facts on AIDS (such as your myth that AIDS is not 100% fatal) is certainly "applicable to media criticism work." Your comment on my "AIDS tirade" proves a couple of maxims about liberals. 1) Your (opposing) point is only relevant if a liberal deems it so and 2) because I'm a liberal, whatever I say is true - don't complicate my distortions with facts. The facts are that, while expensive drug cocktails have prolonged life for many AIDS patients in this country and other industrialized nations by as much as 10 years or more, they all eventually die or will die of complications of AIDS. In developing countries in Africa, without these drugs 2.4 million people died of AIDS in 2001 and 28 million or more are infected. As far as heterosexual transmission of AIDS among monogamous partners who don't use IV drugs, it just can't happen unless some other method of transmission that you liberals are loathe to admit ever happens occurs. That's an indisputable fact.

Steve Rendall:
Nice try. On the subject of the impossibility of monogamous heterosexuals contracting HIV, you are trying to slither away from what you wrote in your first note. Here's it is: "Is it FAIR not to point out that the risk of monogamous heterosexuals getting AIDS through sexual contact is non-existent..."

As you see, you made no mention of drug use in that passage. Like I said, nice try. BUT, even by adding the 'drug use' wording your bases are still not covered: Monogamous heterosexuals can contract HIV if their single partner does not act monogamously-- a not uncommon occurrence.

Can you say "oops!"

You really haven't thought nearly deeply enough about this to present any sort of intelligent commentary.

Finally, the idea that the mainstream media is centrist is laughable at best. Examples of liberal bias in the mainstream media abound. I'll deal with this in my next installment of this discussion. As far as the idea that less than five percent of your criticism is dedicated to conservative pundits, that isn't what's reflected in your home page. Of the 19 links to original pieces on FAIR's home page, five of them were dedicated to criticism of O'Reilly, Limbaugh and Hannity. That's better than 25%. Combine that with your use of openly liberal interest groups in a book that nit-picks Limbaugh to death, and you're hardly painting a FAIR or accurate picture. If you're going to have a blatant liberal bias, don't call yourselves FAIR and don't hold yourselves out to be fair and accurate. Because you're neither.
Steve Rendall:
That you cannot muster a single fact to defend Limbaugh against FAIR's copious evidence documenting his falsehoods speaks volumes. You've seen my evidence, don't write back until you have some of your own.
Sincerely, Steve Rendall

Hi Steve,

Here's my latest installment:

Mr. Rendall,

You liberals are humorous. Yes you are a liberal. I'm not interested in your shades of gray nuances about the differences between liberals and I'm not interested in your liberal re-education about the political "subtleties" of liberalism. It's just another way to obfuscate your unpopular political beliefs and transform them into something minimally palatable.

At the risk of sending you of the thin skin off the deep end about another name-calling tirade, I'll tell you that attempting to engage a liberal in meaningful debate is like poking a weak, toothless, clawless old bear with a stick (Hmm, a weak, toothless bear, what an appropriate animal for a liberal mascot). The more you challenge them, the more surly they get, growling and spitting, but never coming up with any substantive response to your goading.

I will ask politely one more time, copy and paste my previous email into your email program and bold the name-calling tirade. You can't because it didn't happen. Another perfect example of "if a liberal says it it must be so and don't try to confuse the issue with facts." If I was as thin-skinned as you (and most other liberals) are, I'd whine about the "name calling tirade" you opened with when you labeled me a name caller in your first response. (I'm really on a tirade now! Not only did I call you a "yahoo" (oooh!), I've now likened you to a toothless bear and called you thin-skinned. You wanted a tirade, you've got a tirade. I won't be as uncivil as to call YOU a liar, but if the shoe fits.)

As far as the AIDS claim goes, it isn't even a nice try on your part and I�m not backing down: AIDS is 100% fatal. Eventually, everyone who contracts full-blown AIDS dies from it or its complications. Being HIV positive is not fatal in all cases and in some cases, people who a re HIV positive, such as Magic Johnson, go into complete remission. But being HIV positive is different from having full-blown AIDS. Again, explain away the rampant epidemic of AIDS in African countries where they don�t have ready access to protease inhibitors and the like.

As far as the monogamous couples deal goes, okay, I didn't explicitly state what I implied -- couples who are monogamous and have no other risk factors cannot get AIDS -- that's a fact. AIDS is still a disease that afflicts primarily homosexual males, people who have unprotected sex with multiple partners and IV drug users -- refute that please.

The Limbaugh thing is a great attempt at liberal slight of hand, but it doesn't counter my point that the idea that FAIR spends less than five percent of it's time critiquing the right is ridiculous. But if you want to bait and switch, I'll go along with you because the topic you switched to is a loser for you as well.

First of all, where is your "copious evidence documenting (Limbaugh's) falsehoods"? It�s certainly not in your book. The fact that you quote a "scientist" from the radical Environmental Defense Fund slamming Limbaugh, isn't evidence that he's wrong. The EDF is comprised of such a bunch of quacks (there I go again on a name-calling tirade) that their top link under "campaigns in the news" urges people to help them keep beating that dead horse global warming. Anyone who is up to speed on the issue can tell you that the theory of man-made global warming has been largely de-bunked (although the media still continue to treat it as irrefutable science). Read this excerpt from an article by James K. Glassman in the site

Lately, some environmentalists, in an effort to win approval for Kyoto-style restrictions, have made radical claims about future warming. Some have pointed to an article published in the journal Nature by Michael Mann and his colleagues, which found that "Northern Hemisphere mean annual temperatures for three of the past eight years are warmer than any other year since [at least] 1400 A.D."

The Mann research is commonly known as the "hockey stick," for the shape of a graph that shows temperatures roughly flat from 1000 through the early 20th century, then rising sharply on the right-hand side, like the blade-end of a hockey stick. The United Nations used Mann's research to declare that "the 1990s has been the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year of the millennium."

A new paper, however, published in the journal Energy and the Environment, repudiates the Mann claims. Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick examined Mann's data and found his research "contains collation errors, unjustifiable truncation or extrapolation of source data, obsolete data, geographical location errors, incorrect calculation of principal components and other quality control defects."

A new computation, with the errors corrected, discovered that the "late 20th Century is unexceptional compared to the preceding centuries, displaying neither unusually high mean values nor variability." In fact, temperatures were higher during periods in both the 15th and 16th Century than they were in the late 20th Century.

The gradual warming (and cooling) of the earth is a natural cycle and yet your expert �scientist�s� group continues to sound the alarm bell:

The Earth is heating up. By burning fossil fuels and clear-cutting forests, humans are adding carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases to the atmosphere at a perilous rate. The consequences of global warming are potentially catastrophic. But there is hope. You can help to undo global warming.

Do you remember Paul Ehrlich's book the population bomb? According to Ehrlich, most of us should have starved to death by now. And yet there is more per capita food production in the world now than ever before.

Who can forget Carl Sagan standing on the fringes of the flaming Iraqi oil fields during the closing days of Gulf War I and predicting a nuclear winter-like scenario for the region due to the smoke. Did it happen? No.

Quoting someone who comes from the militant environmentalist point of view and would probably identify with the ravings of Erlich and the late Carl Sagan as an unbiased source on the validity of Limbaugh's claims is sloppy (if not dishonest) journalism (there I go again on a name-calling tirade). And please don't try to tell me that Michael Oppenheimer's political views are well known or that the average uninformed Joe is going to be aware of the EDF's political bias cause it just ain't so.

Well, it's time to close this installment, but not before taking issue with you -- again --for your organization's misrepresentation of itself. I've talked to many people of different political stripes over the past couple weeks and asked them what their definition of "fairness and accuracy" as it applies to media criticism is. Everyone has nearly the same answer and that is fair and impartial, covering both sides of the issue. Indeed, that's what you'll find when you look up information on Jeff Cohen's career. The vast majority of citations list him as "media critic" or "recognized as one of the foremost experts in media analysis and criticism". The only clear reference I've found to Jeff Cohen as being a "liberal media critic" is when Eric Burns eludes to Cohen's political bias on the closing comments of the last Fox News Watch Cohen appeared as a regular on (in May of 2002, not "years" ago as you asserted). Most people wouldn't know that the founder of the "media watchdog group" FAIR was an attorney for the ACLU before founding FAIR. And most people wouldn't know that this "media watchdog group" has it's teeth firmly planted in the asses of prominent conservative pundits while being absolutely toothless when it comes to the rabid anti-American vitriol spouted by such people as Michael Moore and many other liberals.

The simple fact of the matter, Mr. Rendall, is that it's not that difficult being a policy analyst for a liberal think-tank masquerading as a "media watchdog group" when the vast majority of the mainstream media share your political bias.

Yours Truly,

Steve Bowers

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Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Steve Rendall Responds ... and I Respond Back

The latest correspondence between myself and Steve Rendall, a Senior Analyst for the misnamed liberal group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR):

Dear Mr. Bowers.

As a name caller you really aren't entitled to a reasoned response, but I found so many misapprehensions in your note that I couldn't resist correcting them. Among your errors...

* You wrote: "you purport not to have a political bias." Where do we purport that? Answer: We don't, your statement is false. I would suggest that next time you decide to attack a group with a name calling tirade, that you take the time to learn a few basic, easily-found facts about the group. We state our left-of-center point of view right up front. In our prominently displayed mission statement, "What is FAIR," we proclaim ourselves "progressive".

* Your AIDS tirade is ridden with errors of fact and mostly not applicable to media criticism work. For instance, your beef with those arguing that people with AIDS should not have to disclose their illness, has virtually nothing to do with media criticism. Your claim that AIDS is "100% fatal" is false, as is your statement that "the risk of monogamous heterosexuals getting AIDS through sexual contact is non-existent."

* You say that we spend a lot of time "slamming" conservative pundits (I wonder if you would use the same verb to describe conservative criticism of liberal pundits?) But you are wrong again, less than 5% of our media analysis and criticism is directed at the right, most of the rest targets the largely centrist mainstream media.

* You say we *attempted* to discredit Limbaugh. This is more a question of opinion than fact, but I think Limbaugh was substantially discredited by our work. I could show many examples (e.g after our report David Letterman dubbed Limbaugh "The Lyin' King") but here's one of my favorites: after comparing our original report on Limbaugh, to Rush's "rebuttal" to our report, Limbaugh's favorite daily, the Washington Times, gave FAIR the higher marks.

Mr. Bowers, you are free to believe Limbaugh's falsehoods. You may agree with Rush that the NY Times never published a story on Whitewater (the Times BROKE the Whitewater story), or that Iran Contra prosecutor Lawrence Walsh never handed down a single indictment (he delivered 14). But no one should believe you if you do.

Finally, your accusation that the sources we used to debunk Limbaugh are less reliable than Limbaugh, cannot be taken seriously. If you were serious you would have cite errors on the part of our sources. Until you are able to show evidence debunking our work and the reliability of our sources, your charges are simply empty and meaningless.

Thanks for your interest.

Steve Rendall
Senior Analyst

Mr. Rendall.

Thanks for your response. It’s not often that you’ll find a liberal who even attempts to defend their beliefs or try to back them with facts. Your response falls far short of being factual or mounting much of a defense of your beliefs but at least it’s a response which is more than you can say for most liberals who are challenged on their beliefs. The typical response to for the liberal to retort with nasty names. Now, it’s time to pick apart you response point by point – with facts.

First of all, I would challenge you to copy and paste my response to your Hannity column into your email program and bold the portions containing the “name calling tirade”. The only name I called was a suggestion – in jest – of a more descriptive (and accurate) name for your group. Sorry you can’t take a joke. And sorry, calling a liberal a liberal doesn’t count as name-calling, even though I’m sure you’d like it to.

Secondly, progressive is a term that most people who aren’t politically aware don’t understand. Most people recognize the word liberal for what it is – liberal, which is why liberals like you mask your bias with the word “progressive”. (I don’t mind being called a conservative and don’t have to obfuscate the label with misleading synonyms.) Combine a misunderstanding of the word “progressive” with the misleading first sentence of your opening paragraph, (FAIR, the national media watch group, has been offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986.) and it’s easy to see how someone could mistake your group for being unbiased. When I see Jeff Cohen on panel discussions regarding the media on the “conservatively biased” Fox News (which, somehow, despite it’s radical conservative bias, manages to find room for Cohen and other “progressives” on their panels) it’s in the role of an unbiased critic of the media. Indeed, your very name is misleading. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, implies fairness and accuracy, the definition of which, in any rational person’s mind, is an absence of bias.

As far as my “AIDS tirade” goes, you mention a “homophobic” (there’s a FAIR word) Christian right activist’s concerns about the spread of AIDS in a book published in 1989 (and presumably written earlier than that) a time when there were real questions about the spread of AIDS (ask the family of Kimberly Bergalis). Yet the connection I make between questions regarding the spread of this 100% fatal disease and the fact that it’s illegal to inquire of the status of someone who is essentially walking around a ticking time bomb, goes right over your head. The way the media distort the facts on AIDS (such as your myth that AIDS is not 100% fatal) is certainly “applicable to media criticism work.” Your comment on my “AIDS tirade” proves a couple of maxims about liberals. 1) Your (opposing) point is only relevant if a liberal deems it so and 2) because I’m a liberal, whatever I say is true – don’t complicate my distortions with facts. The facts are that, while expensive drug cocktails have prolonged life for many AIDS patients in this country and other industrialized nations by as much as 10 years or more, they all eventually die or will die of complications of AIDS. In developing countries in Africa, without these drugs 2.4 million people died of AIDS in 2001 and 28 million or more are infected. As far as heterosexual transmission of AIDS among monogamous partners who don’t use IV drugs, it just can’t happen unless some other method of transmission that you liberals are loathe to admit ever happens occurs. That’s an indisputable fact.

Finally, the idea that the mainstream media is centrist is laughable at best. Examples of liberal bias in the mainstream media abound. I’ll deal with this in my next installment of this discussion. As far as the idea that less than five percent of your criticism is dedicated to conservative pundits, that isn’t what’s reflected in your home page. Of the 19 links to original pieces on FAIR’s home page, five of them were dedicated to criticism of O’Reilly, Limbaugh and Hannity. That’s better than 25%. Combine that with your use of openly liberal interest groups in a book that nit-picks Limbaugh to death, and you’re hardly painting a FAIR or accurate picture. If you’re going to have a blatant liberal bias, don’t call yourselves FAIR and don’t hold yourselves out to be fair and accurate. Because you’re neither.

Yours truly,

Steve Bowers

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Friday, December 05, 2003

Carl Be Smokin' Some Crack!

Nathaniel Jones apparently wasn't the only one on PCP and coke. It would seem like Carl Parrott, the Hamilton County coroner, is too. Here's what he had to say about the death of a morbidly obese black man on coke and PCP (according to a CBS news report):

Hamilton County Coroner Carl Parrott said his autopsy showed that Jones suffered from an enlarged heart, obesity and had intoxicating levels of cocaine, PCP and methanol in his blood.

Parrott said the death will be ruled a homicide, but that such a ruling "should not be interpreted as implying inappropriate behavior or the use of excessive force by police." (Just what the hell is this bit of illogic supposed to mean? Either someone caused his death intentionally (a homicide) or they didn't. Isn't this an admission that this was NOT a homicide?)

Jones' body had bruising on the lower half, but did not show signs of blows to the head or organ damage, Parrott said.

The coroner said he had to rule the death a homicide because it didn't fall under other categories of a death in Ohio: accident, suicide or natural. (So we're supposed to believe that the death of a grotesquely obese man with a bad heart and high levels of three dangerous drugs in his system after super-human exertion isn't a natural or expected outcome?)

Jones' death certificate will list a cause of death as an irregular heart beat because of a stress reaction from the violent struggle, Parrott said.

Who was responsible for the violent struggle???? Anyone who sees the WHOLE tape and hears the WHOLE transcript knows that the racist bigot black man on PCP and coke was responsible for the violent struggle. Better call it suicide, Carl. All the cops were trying to do was subdue an angry 350-pound black man on PCP in the most professional manner possible. This guy killed himself. What are you on Carl????????

And yet here's what the purposely-deluded race baiters have to say about it according to the same CBS news report:

"Another black man has been killed at the hands of the Cincinnati police, but it's nothing new," said one man. "The city is divided, black and white, but the blacks always die."

If we continue to have people in our society who are consumed by the type of colossal ignorance demonstrated by this statement, we won’t survive as a society for a whole lot longer.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2003

FAIR or FAIRLY Liberally Biased? I vote for the latter of the two.

Just for the sake of amusment, I subscribe to FAIR's (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) email updates. Their title is a joke. Their past time is to slam conservatives for having conservative opinions (and for being right, of course). Try not to bore yourself as you read this "FAIR" analysis of one of my favorite conservative talk show hosts -- Sean Hannity. Steve Rendall slams Hannity for having conservative opinions and being right. My email to Rendall follows his ridiculous tripe:

Rendall's vomitous tripe:

Hannity & Colmes, Fox News Channel's primetime debate show, figures prominently in the cable network's campaign to market its right leaning programming as "fair & balanced," the network's ever-present slogan. Fox News executives argue that the show, pitting conservative Sean Hannity against liberal Alan Colmes with guests from both right and left, presents a spirited and evenhanded nightly debate.

Fox News president Roger Ailes is clearly riled by those who suggest the show has a slant to it (New York Times, 6/24/01): "I get attacked for putting Sean Hannity on because he's a conservative--even when Alan Colmes, the liberal, is there to balance him!" Ailes is so insistent that Hannity & Colmes plays it "down the middle" that he says producers use a stopwatch to ensure equal time between the two hosts (Washington Post, 2/5/01).

But a systematic review of Hannity & Colmes does reveal a show listing to the right in virtually every respect, from mismatched hosts--the show pairs the aggressive conservative Sean Hannity with the mildly liberal, often conciliatory Alan Colmes--to a format where conservatives out-number, out-talk and out-interrupt their liberal opponents.

The dissimilar circumstances under which the two hosts came to Fox News are revealing. Recruited from Atlanta's talk radio scene by Roger Ailes, Hannity was hired so far in advance of a decision about a co-host that Fox staffers referred to the show as "Hannity & Liberal To Be Determined," or "LTBD." Finally, after auditioning prospective left hosts, Colmes won the job--after Hannity expressed his preference for the mild-mannered New York radio host (Newsday, 10/20/98).

The result is a debate show that doesn't add up to a fair fight, say many critics, because Colmes' wishy-washy views and low-key delivery just can't stand up to the relentlessly ideological and combative Sean Hannity. It's a widely held view outside Fox studios.

"The title…Hannity & Colmes, is something of a misnomer, because the other host--the timid, bespectacled liberal Alan Colmes--acts essentially as a sacrificial lamb and may as well not be there," reads a review in Britain's Sunday Business Post (8/24/03). Other critics are no less harsh. When the show recently began featuring a weekly commentary by outspoken conservative comic Dennis Miller, further weighting the discussion to the right, Los Angeles Times television critic Howard Rosenberg (6/23/03) described the Hannity/Miller/Colmes line-up as "two rants, one runt."

The notion that Colmes plays second fiddle to Hannity is shared by television critics across the country. At least four papers (Salt Lake City Tribune, 6/21/03; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/3/03; Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 10/12/96; New York Times, 10/10/96) have run articles referring to Colmes as Hannity's "sidekick."

Fellow liberals don't disagree. In his best selling Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, liberal comic Al Franken calls Colmes "a moderate milquetoast" and "a liberal on-air punching bag" and puts Colmes' name in tiny typeface in every reference to the show.

And though Fox News markets Colmes as "a hard-hitting liberal known for his electric commentary" (, it doesn't even get much help from Colmes himself. "I think I'm quite moderate," Colmes blandly told USA Today (2/1/95), not long before being hired as the show's left-wing counterweight to Hannity.

Even Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch seems to have trouble making the case that Colmes is a clear-cut liberal. When asked at a congressional hearing last spring (5/8/03) to identify the liberals featured on the Fox News Channel, he offered "Alan Colmes for one." He added the name of On the Record host Greta Van Susteren--a liberal mainly because she used to work at the centrist CNN--before seeming to apologize: "You know, it's in the eye of the beholder, I guess."
"I voted for Giuliani"

Conceding points to conservatives and Republicans seems to be a Colmes specialty.

Following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, Colmes (9/28/01) assured former Republican congressmember Susan Molinari that he'd voted for New York City's Republican mayor: "Hold on. Susan--Susan, look, I voted for Rudy Giuliani. I'm a liberal Democrat. I voted for this Republican, Rudy Giuliani." Reminding Fox viewers that he voted for Giuliani is a sort of Colmes on-air mantra; according to the show's transcripts, he's done it at least eight times since 1998.

Colmes sometimes joins his conservative co-host and guests in criticizing the left. When conservative author Tammy Bruce appeared on the show touting her book, The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left's Assault on Our Culture and Values (4/21/03), Hannity predictably agreed with the author about the blame for declining values: "But, literally, the left is responsible for this." Then Bruce clarified her point: "Well, as I show in the book…it's the left having gone so far to the left." Rather than putting up some kind of resistance to this left-bashing--as one might expect a left-of-center host to do--Colmes instead concurred: "I think in some respects you're right. And you and I have talked about this before."

While Hannity, a devout movement conservative, can be relied upon to dwell on the slightest conservative grievance, Colmes seems to see his role as one of policing liberal excess. When left-leaning New York City councilmember Charles Barron dubbed George W. Bush a "selected" president on the show (3/28/03), Colmes scolded the wayward leftist: "Look, my problem with my fellow liberals is they keep arguing the election of 2000. Let's move forward. If you want to win in the future, stop talking about the past."

Once appearing as a guest on Fox's O'Reilly Factor (4/11/03), Colmes received a figurative pat on the head from the show's host, Bill O'Reilly, for not criticizing the White House during the Iraq war. O'Reilly praised Colmes for his silence: "I put forth that once the shelling starts--and you did this--you kept quiet, OK." Colmes dutifully responded: "Well, look, I've kept quiet. My choice has been--I have not criticized the administration or this war effort while there are men and women in harm's way, and I will not, and that is my --that's a choice I make."
"I defended Trent Lott"

When Sen. Trent Lott (R.-Miss.) appeared on the Hannity & Colmes show (4/30/03) chiding Democrats for conducting a filibuster to stall confirmation of Bush judicial nominees, he got no argument from Colmes: "I agree with you. I don't think the Democrats should be doing that. I think they're viewed as obstructionist when they do that."

Colmes seems to have a special affinity for the conservative senator. When Lott stepped down as Senate majority leader in December 2002, after praising Senator Strom Thurmond's racist 1948 presidential campaign at Thurmond's 100th birthday party, guest Oliver North appeared on the show to defend Lott (12/23/02). When North blamed "Alan and all of his colleagues" for Lott's downfall, Colmes corrected him: "By the way, Ollie, I defended Lott and said he should not have had to step down." When North responded, "Because you wanted him there so you could continue to kick him around," Colmes cited his own pattern of defending Lott: "Absolutely not. Absolutely untrue. You haven't been watching our show."

Similarly, when conservative radio host Laura Ingraham (1/22/03) charged that Lott had been "tarred and feathered…destroyed on the public forum," Colmes protested: "I defended him. I defended Trent Lott."

During one of Newt Gingrich's many appearances on Hannity & Colmes (7/24/03), Colmes thanked the former Republican House speaker profusely for writing a blurb for his upcoming book. It was nothing, Gingrich insisted: "You are my favorite liberal to argue with." And Gingrich isn't alone on the right. If Colmes remains largely a non-person in progressive circles, his tendency to concede points to the right and criticize the left make him the favorite liberal of many conservatives.

In addition to Gingrich, Colmes has won the praise of Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch ("you're great for a liberal"--4/16/01), Republican House Whip Tom DeLay ("you are my favorite liberal"--10/18/99), Christian right leader James Dobson ("he's my favorite liberal"--4/28/03) and, of course, Sen. Trent Lott ("you may be a liberal but you're one of the better ones I've seen on TV"--4/30/03).
"Lower forms of behavior"

If Colmes' fans are almost all on the opposite side of the spectrum, the same cannot be said about Sean Hannity. A popular figure in conservative movement circles, Hannity reportedly gets as much as $10,000 per speech, his first book spent time near the top of national bestseller lists, and his radio show is one of the most listened-to in conservative talk radio, trailing only Rush Limbaugh's show in the ratings.

Before Fox News, Hannity's career included hosting a handful of confrontational talk radio shows in various states. He got his start in the late 1980s as a volunteer broadcaster at the University of California at Santa Barbara's KCSB radio station, where his tenure was revealing.

After airing for less than a year, Hannity's weekly show was canceled in 1989, when KCSB management charged him with "discriminating against gays and lesbians" after airing two shows featuring the book The AIDS Coverup: The Real and Alarming Facts about AIDS (The Independent, 6/22/89). Written by homophobic Christian-right activist Gene Antonio, the book crankily argued that AIDS could be spread by casual contact, including coughs, sneezes and mosquito bites. Antonio charged that the government, medical establishment and media covered up these truths in the service of "the homosexual movement."

When Antonio appeared by phone on one of the shows, Hannity and his guest repeatedly slurred gay men. At one point, according to the UCSB campus newspaper The Daily Nexus (5/25/89), Hannity declared: "Anyone listening to this show that believes homosexuality is a normal lifestyle has been brainwashed. It's very dangerous if we start accepting lower and lower forms of behavior as the normal." According to the campus paper, Antonio responded by calling gay men "a subculture of people engaged in deviant, twisted acts."

When a fellow KCSB broadcaster called the show to challenge the host and his guest, Hannity pointed out that the caller, a lesbian, had a child through artificial insemination, and Antonio dubbed the child a "turkey-baster baby." When the caller took issue with that "disgusting" remark, Hannity followed up with "I feel sorry for your child" (The Independent, 6/22/89; KCSB, 4/4/89).
Saved by the ACLU

Hannity challenged his dismissal with help from the Santa Barbara Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation of Southern California. The civil liberties groups wrote letters on Hannity's behalf, arguing that the state school was breaching his free speech. When KCSB relented, offering him his show back, Hannity held out for more airtime, walking away from the station when he didn't get it.

Hannity's own accounts of his time at KCSB have been selective and incomplete. A few years ago he summed up the experience to Newsday (7/12/99): "You work for free at a college station, where they spit on you and then they fire you." In his best-selling book, Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty Over Liberalism, Hannity wrote:

My first gig was with my own talk radio show at the University of Santa Barbara. But it didn't last long. I was too conservative, the higher-ups said, and they didn't like the comments one guest made on the show…The left-wing management had zero-tolerance for conservative points of view. And I was promptly fired. Once my voice was silenced, my destiny was set--do or die, I'd make my career in radio.

In this bit of personal mythmaking Hannity attributes his troubles at KCSB to his conservatism and to the behavior of a guest on his show. Both claims distort what actually happened, exonerating Hannity of any responsibility and casting him as a victim. Maybe that's the point. After all, accurately recounting the KCSB story, including his own hateful language and the inconvenient fact that he was offered his job back, might spoil the pristine image of the free-speech martyr Hannity wants us to believe.

Hannity's relentless application of ideology allows for few exceptions, none of the soft spots or quirks of the sort acquired over time when one's rigid beliefs are tempered by experience. So while one might expect Hannity to maintain at least a quiet gratitude toward the ACLU, it's surprising to see how ungenerous he is toward the group that supported him in Santa Barbara. For instance, in a discussion about free speech last year, Hannity charged Colmes with being "a card-carrying member of the ACLU." When Colmes said he that was proud to be a member, "because they defend all free speech," Hannity interrupted him: "No they don't, actually. But go ahead" (Hannity & Colmes, 7/17/02).
"Three Times a Liar"

Hannity's first big-city success in talk radio came on Atlanta's WGST-AM, where by all accounts he was no less confrontational than in California. African-American clergy groups, according to the Atlanta Journal and Constitution (9/15/95), charged WGST with spreading hatred on the airwaves, specifically citing Hannity's show. The paper reported (3/27/96) on Hannity's campaign to get "Oscar attendees to wear blue ribbons, in support of the L.A. police officers who beat Rodney King." Also according to the Journal (4/30/96), a blurb promoting Hannity on the WGST website touted him as "making a proud name for himself by insulting lesbians."

When Hannity reported to New York City in 1996 to begin work on what would become Hannity & Colmes, it wasn't long before he'd also landed an afternoon show on the biggest talk radio station in the country, New York City's WABC-AM.

On his WABC show, as with his earlier radio shows, "the left" and its various constituencies were blamed for the nation's problems; and crime, affirmative action, welfare and "illegitimacy," all talk radio staples, were discussed ceaselessly. But Hannity really distinguished himself with his crusading efforts to defend the police against charges of brutality. When Haitian immigrant Abner Louima accused New York City police officers of sodomizing and badly injuring him with a wooden rod in 1997, Hannity used his WABC show for a vicious counter-offensive targeting the victim.

The father of chief defendant Justin Volpe, an NYPD police officer, regularly appeared on show during the 1999 trial. And Hannity and various guests repeated rumors that Louima's injuries resulted from a "gay sex act" and not from police brutality. Playing on the homosexual rumor and inconsistencies in Louima's story, Hannity and his producer sang a parody of Lionel Richie's song "Three Times a Lady," changing the words to "you're once, twice, three times a liar." Hannity stopped referring to the victim as "Lying Louima" only after Volpe confessed to sodomizing Louima with the help of another officer (

Meanwhile, at Hannity & Colmes, the Louima story got somewhat less, and less sordid, play; Hannity only repeated the homosexual rumor once on the national cable show (5/13/99). But there, on national television, Hannity was gaining a reputation as a leading conservative advocate who could be depended on to echo and amplify the latest lines in conservative and Republican thinking.
The Elián switcheroo

While Fox has made Hannity an increasingly important mouthpiece for the right, Colmes remains little more than Hannity's foil on Fox. One story that seemed to bring this out was that of Elián Gonzalez, the five-year-old Cuban refugee who was rescued in November 1999 from the shark-infested waters off the coast of Florida that claimed his mother's life. The debate that developed on Hannity & Colmes over whether the child ought to be returned to his father in Cuba took some strange turns.

"Unless information comes out that he was a bad father or something, he has a right to his son. And we've got to honor that." That was Hannity's take on Elián Gonzalez in the first segment of the show dealing with the story (11/29/99). In the segment, Hannity agreed with one conservative guest who wanted the child returned to Cuba based on immigration law, and disagreed with another conservative guest, Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R.-Fla.), who represents Florida's Cuban-American community. Colmes downplayed the father's rights, siding with Diaz-Balart, who insisted that the child should stay in Florida: "What about the interests of the mother, who as was pointed out, gave her life so her child might find freedom in America?" It was a peculiar position for a liberal to take.

As the Elián saga dragged on, becoming all-important in Florida's anti-Castro community, it stretched into the political primaries of 2000, where most Republicans were hardening their anti-Castro rhetoric and calling for Elián to remain in the U.S..

By March 27, Hannity's pro-father position had begun to soften; on-air, he admitted to being "torn" between the father's right to raise his son and the son's right to "freedom." By late April, he'd completed the reversal; consonant with the Republican consensus, Hannity was demanding that Elián not be sent "back to slavery." This definitive turn-around happened during an April 26, 2000 segment again featuring Diaz-Balart.

While Hannity's position was shifting and he was acknowledging the shift on air, Colmes was changing his view too, but with virtually no explanation. On the same April 26, 2000 segment, putting aside earlier concerns about the child's "freedom," Colmes now polarized with Diaz-Balart, arguing for the father's rights: "But there's no mother, Mr. Congressman, there's only a father left."

Because Colmes did not discuss his switch, the reversal seemed to have no motivation other than to keep Colmes positioned as a sparring partner for Hannity. Unlike his partner, who speaks to and is respected by a conservative movement, Colmes appears to have no goal other than to maintain the illusion of debate on a univocal network.
"A liberal that is a cut above"

And that, in the end, is the job of Hannity & Colmes, a lopsided discussion of political issues between a forceful, connected conservative firebrand and an affable, accommodating subordinate. If the Harlem Globetrotters have the Washington Generals as their nightly fall guys, Sean Hannity has Alan Colmes. The notion that the two hosts are co-equals, fighting it out on a level playing field, cannot be supported by evidence, any more than the rest of Fox's daily offerings can be described as "fair and balanced."

One final example illustrates the role that Colmes plays in the world of right-wing journalism: When Rush Limbaugh came under fire and resigned from ESPN after saying that a highly regarded African-American football star was overrated by the media because he was black, Colmes ran to Limbaugh's defense (10/2/03). Colmes praised the conservative radio talker: "We in talk radio owe Rush a debt of gratitude, no matter what side we're on, because he made it possible for us to do what we do, liberal or conservative, because he paved the way for so many of us." Colmes said Limbaugh, a close friend of both Hannity and Fox News president Roger Ailes, was getting a bad rap, and defended him against charges that the remark was racist: "He wasn't making a racial comment. He was commenting on the media."

Colmes' homage to Limbaugh drew this response from Hannity: "I think what Alan Colmes did in the last segment of this program tonight and what he said about Rush Limbaugh shows why Alan is a liberal that is a cut above and a class act and why I'm proud to have him as a partner."

Hannity might have been speaking for Fox News in expressing his gratitude for Colmes' brilliant performance as the ultimate "Liberal to Be Determined."

My Response to Rendall's vomitous tripe:

Mr. Rendall,

I'd like to suggest a new name for your organization -- FAIRLY -- Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting for Liberal Yahoos.

It's quite obvious that you think every aspect of the media should be judged from your slanted liberal view of the world and that everything that FAIR considers fair has a liberal bias to it. How about a little truth in advertising? Your sight reads like only worse because you purport not to have a political bias.

Using emotionally charged, biased words like "homophobic" in your analysis shows your liberal bias. The word 'homophobic" is a construct of the liberal media and the gay lobby that is intended to slant the debate over homosexual rights in a direction that favors the liberal perspective. Not only that, it's intended to hijack the debate before it even starts by automatically discrediting the legitimate issues surrounding gay rights. The idea that anyone fears homosexuals is ridiculous. It's FAIR to say that there are legitimate questions about the whether homosexuals should be able to drag their private sexual behavior out into public and demand special rights for it. And if you were truly interested in FAIRness, you would concede that point.

Additionally, your failure to recognize that AIDS is the first politically-correct disease -- the third rail of deadly diseases, if you will -- and that people raise legitimate questions about its transmission and the public policy issues surrounding the disease is hardly FAIR. It's only FAIR to point out that this is a disease that is 100% fatal and yet it's illegal to ask people if they have it. It's transmitted through contact with the infected person's blood, but there has never been a legitimate explanation why it can be transmitted through needles but not through mosquitoes and other type of contact with infected blood. In my state, and most states it's illegal to ask high school kids in contact sports about their HIV status and yet they are playing around other kids where the exchange of bodily fluids such as blood is a real possibility. Is it FAIR not to point out that the risk of monogamous heterosexuals getting AIDS through sexual contact is non-existent and yet the media lead us to believe that anyone is at risk for the disease? Is if FAIR not to point out that the vast majority of AIDS cases in this country involve homosexual males? It's clear that you are more interested in labeling people who don't agree with the liberal-speak about gay rights and AIDS as homophobes than it is for you to give a FAIR airing of the issue.

You spend a whole lot of time slamming conservative commentators like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly for not being fair and balanced. News flash, bud: they are conservative commentators and their shows deal with opinion --- they aren't supposed to be fair and balanced. As far as Hannity being paired against the milquetoast Colmes, on CNN you have the vitriolic, acerbic and abrasive James Carville and Paul Begala (whose opinions are hardly grounded in reality most of the time) against the mild-mannered Tucker Carlson and Bob Novak, who is hardly mild-mannered but a whole lot less hyper that either Begala or Carville and not at all shrill as those two are. I don't see FAIR doing a huge analysis on balance on CNN's Crossfire.

Additionally, you spend time writing a book attempting to discredit Rush Limbaugh using sources such as liberals from the Environmental Defense Fund, whose "facts" are more debatable than Limbaugh's. I'm waiting for your book criticizing Michael Moore for the shrill, illogical and dangerous tripe in his books, or perhaps Al Franken's books. But I'm not holding my breath waiting.

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Sunday, November 23, 2003

Drowning in a Rainforest of Pork

You, me and every other taxpayer are drowning in a rainforest of pork. Right now, the senate is in the process of debating an energy bill that doesn’t even do what it should do – open up the Arctic National Wildlife Range to oil exploration in an attempt to help make us less dependent on foreign oil. What does it do? Provides funds to build a rainforest smack dab in the middle of Iowa – a place where the average temperature in the middle of winter is 20-some degrees. Iowa’s Republican senator, Charles Grassley, is pushing for taxpayer funding of this brainchild of an eccentric Iowa millionaire named Ted Townsend who can afford to be overtaxed and has nothing better to do than thinking up wacky projects that require taxpayer funding.

Here are some of the other projects that are included in the “energy” bill that we will eventually end up paying through the nose for (source: The Des Moines Register):

 Destiny USA, Syracuse, N.Y.: $2.2 billion entertainment and retail center near Onondaga Lake.
 Louisiana Riverwalk, Shreveport-Bossier City, La.: $180 million urban renewal project, including a marina, on a former industrial site along the Red River.
 Atlantic Station, Atlanta: $2 billion residential and commercial project on the 138-acre site of a former steel mill north of downtown Atlanta.
 BelMar, Lakewood, Colo.: $750 million mixed-use project designed to create a "downtown" for the Denver suburb. The project would include a hotel, 1,300 residential units and 1.8 million square feet of retail and office space.

What do these have to do with energy? Nothing. But they have everything to do with the kind of government pork barrel spending that will bankrupt all of us if we don’t protest loud and long. This is real money folks. And it’s coming right out of our hard-earned paychecks. We started at the top of the pork hierarchy here, but will back up now and start back at the bottom – the local level, because politicians are out of control at every level of government. Forty-four states are running budget deficits totaling $88 billion, thousands of city, county and municipal governments are running budget deficits totaling in the hundreds of millions and the out of control spending doesn’t stop. Imagine if you had five major credit cards, all maxed, a home mortgage for 125% of your home’s value, a second mortgage and three car loans and you went out and bought a $70,000 BMW thinking you were going to pay for it with your can redemption money and the money you found in the cushions of your couch. Sound ridiculous? It’s no more ridiculous than the reckless spending policies of government entities at all levels.

We’ll use the example of my metropolitan area – Des Moines, Iowa -- a typical Midwest metropolitan area with local governments run by socialists of all political parties, but mostly Democrats.

Starting at the bottom, we have the Des Moines School District. The school board just voted to accept donations (yes, this is on top of all the tax money they rake in at every level) to close a $550,000 budget deficit. The district is right in the middle of a building boom financed by an increase of a penny in the sales tax, which they brought up for a vote three times in rapid succession before it was finally passed. (The opponents were outspent $15,000 to $250,000 the last time). It was supposed to be a panacea – the answer to the district’s prayers – all they would ever need for the next ten years. But it was barely passed before the district’s superintendent, Eric Witherspoon (who I noticed, isn’t forgoing any of his $150,000+ compensation package to help close the district budget deficit) proclaimed that it wouldn’t be enough and they’d have to find more somewhere (translation, hold on to your wallet). Meanwhile, they’re in the middle of spending every dollar they can get their hands on rebuilding school buildings that were built not much longer ago than I was born (1961) and probably could have still been perfectly serviceable if they were properly maintained in the first place. Now they are talking about laying off some janitors and secretaries and everyone is panicked. But of course the Associate Superintendent for Nasal Discharge Disposal still gets to keep his $100,000 a year position.

Moving up a rung, we have the Des Moines City Council, trying to close a $1.5 million budget deficit by turning off every other street light and other such nonsense. Meanwhile, these bozos are planning on turning our comparative burg in the whole national scheme of things into a cosmopolitan city by re-inventing the downtown for the third time in twenty years. This third incarnation of the rebirth of the downtown includes a $60 million science center, a $30 million library (that at one stage of planning called for a living grass roof) and a $40 million entertainment and housing complex and tens of millions in incentives (read bribes) to keep big business from moving out of the city. Where is all of this money coming from. If you ask a city council person, they’ll give you some bullshit answer about different revenue sources and funds, but ultimately it comes from where government always gets their money – our paychecks.

Moving one more rung up the ladder, we’ve got the Polk County Board of Supervisors, a motley group of socialists who have managed to reduce their $5 million deficit down to a little over $1 million, by tactics that amount to finding change in the laundry. One of the major tactics was to fire the county manager, saving her $145,000 a year salary and a total operating budget for her office of $1.1 million, hardly chump change and a major cost saving move. Problem is, after they fired her, they couldn’t figure out what she did and couldn’t account for the time she spent on the job. Polk County government seems to not be running any worse than it did before they fired her. So what were we paying $1.1 million to operate her office for on top of the $75,000+ a year, plus office expenses for five county supervisors if she had no clearly defined job duties? Apparently none of the full-time supervisors care enough before they fired her to find out if she was actually doing anything. To top this all off, the fired county manager, who is a black female, threatened to sue for discrimination and the county ended up settling with her for a sum of more than her annual salary. You see, she had recently turned down an offer to go be the Fulton County, Georgia county manager (Atlanta metropolitan area) and the supervisors had increased her salary to stay in Iowa even though they obviously didn’t know what she was doing. Needless to say the lucrative offer in Georgia was gone by the time they fired her and she was more than a little pissed. But we’re not done with the sordid tales of fiscal irresponsibility in Polk County yet. We haven’t even scratched the surface.

Next we’ve got the Polk County Events Center fiasco. The supervisors weren’t satisfied with renovating the current auditorium – Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium – built in the early 50s and still perfectly serviceable. So serviceable in fact that they aren’t planning on tearing down or decommissioning the 16,000 seat auditorium. Just building a new one that seats a mere 3,000 people more people right next to it at a cost of $217 million (up from $206 million, up from $200 million, up from $170-some million, up from $160 million). Yes, instead of having one stadium that seats 15,000+ vacant 75% of the year, the Des Moines metro area will have two! Sit empty for 75% of the year you say, whatever do you mean. I mean that, against all logic and prevailing wisdom, Polk County is building a $217 million “events center” without a major tenant to lease it. Another part of the “events center” is a convention center sponsored by a major supermarket chain. But, again, we already have the Polk County Convention Complex built in 1985 at the height of one of those previously mentioned revitalizations of downtown Des Moines. The Polk County Supervisors recently voted to close it next year. Why? Because it’s losing money. The very next day, they were begging groups that had booked it for 2005 to re-book (at a substantially higher cost, no doubt) at the new convention center in the $217 million “events center” complex. Absurd? Of course, but it’s absurdity financed by us taxpayers – an unending supply of big dollars to waste as long as we keep putting up with it.

Finally, we have state government in Iowa. Our Democrat governor, Tom Vilsack, who flew out to California to help tax and spend Davis fight for his political life in the face of his $27 billion budget deficit, turned a billion-dollar surplus handed to him by the previous Republican governor (and brought about by, yes, a tax increase) into a deficit that is comparatively, on a per-capita basis, nearly as bad as California’s. Yet he can’t figure out why overtaxed and over-regulated business are leaving the state and new ones won’t move in. So he and the legislature created an $800 million slush fund give away to corporations that will re-locate to Iowa. Instead of changing the tax climate to make it more beneficial for businesses to operate profitably in the state, we’ll still tax them and regulate them to death, but we’ll give them millions to move to the state BEFORE we tax and regulate them to death. Makes sense if you’re a tax and spend politician but not if you’re a taxpaying businessman or citizen.

Again, all of these politicians will tell you the money for these ridiculous and wasteful schemes is coming from this fund or that fund or from this tax or from that tax or from this bond issue or that bond issue in an attempt to convince you that you’re not paying for it. But when it comes right down to it, government gets their money from one place and one place alone – out of our back pockets. And in a time when personal bankruptcies are at an all time high, households are saddled with an average of $8,400 in revolving debt and we celebrate a day in the middle of July as tax freedom day – the day the average Joe starts working for himself and not every government entity that gets a piece of his labor – we just can’t take all of this ridiculous waste anymore. It’s time for a major revolt. The current and future financial stability of millions of middle class taxpaying households depends on it.

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Thursday, November 20, 2003

Saint Hillary, Savior of the Democratic Party!!??

As I mentioned in my last post, six losers showed up in Iowa last week to be upstaged by Hillary. The Democratic faithful were lined up for hours outside the Borders Bookstore in West Des Moines, Iowa to see Her Highness. The members of the lobotomized left seem to think this woman walks on water. It's time for them to put away their joints and their bongs and their purple microdot once and for all and come back down to earth for a little dose of reality. Maybe when you're high on drugs or giddy from that rush liberals get from contemplating a life under nanny-state socialism, you lose sight of what Hillary actually is: an unqualified, self-centered, corrupt, opportunistic political hack.

Although they love her, she's the antithesis of everything the gals at NOW claim to stand for. A woman who got her MRS in college, latched firmly onto the coattails of a man who she thought was going somewhere and used his political influence to land herself a job she didn't deserve. She stood by her man through numerous sexual dalliances (and possibly even a rape) so she could emerge from her husband's failure of a presidency and her marriage of convenience and embark upon as worthless a political career as his had been ... At least for us that is. His political career was worth millions to both of them. And with their millions, (garnered in part by an $8 million book deal of the same type that she and other libs badgered Newt Gingrich into abandoning, although his was only a lousy $400,000) they were able to move away from that backwards, third-world hole-in-the-wall, Arkansas, (they’d exploited it for political gain just about as much as they could by this time) to a place that really deserved them -- the liberal Mecca of New York.

So as unqualified, opportunistic, self-centered and corrupt as she is, many Democrats are just slobbering at the prospect of Hillary for president. If she does (God help us!) become president, it would be hard for her to improve upon her record as co-president from 1993-2001. Let's review:

1. There's Hillary's Health Care Plan, nearly forced down our throats early in the Clinton Administration -- a plan that makes the current $400 billion Medicare prescription drug boondoggle look like chump change.

2. Then there's Travelgate, a scandal produced and directed by none other than the former first lady as a favor to her buds Harry Thomason and Linda Bloodworth Thomason.

3. Let's not forget Vince Foster's mysterious death and the evidence tampering by Hillary's chief of staff apparently at her direction. (Not to mention the deaths of 60 or so other people from Arkansas and other places who were associates of or crossed paths with the Clintons. Copy and paste this into your browser and check it out:

4. Then there's Filegate. You know that Hillary's bar bouncer buddy who magically became director of security for the White House wasn't smart enough to come up with the idea of digging through to top-secret files of prominent conservatives on his own.

5. Then there's Whitewater and the case of the evasive billing records. How could the most intelligent woman in the world be such a ditz when it came to remembering what she did with old billing records she apparently thought were important enough to her to tote all the way from Arkansas to Washington D.C.?

All this and I haven't even gotten started.

Yes, this little darling of the Democrats has quite a record of opportunism and corruption. She certainly belongs somewhere, but not in the White House for God's sake. Try behind bars!

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Sunday, November 16, 2003

Howard the Duck (oops, I Mean Dick, or is that Democrat?)

Howard Dean and five of the other Democratic presidential losers (all to the left of Nikita Kruschev) were in my fair state yesterday to be upstaged by the emcee of the event -- the person every true blue Democrat REALLY wants to run for president -- Hillary RODHAM Clinton. The event was the Jefferson/Jackson day dinner and if Jefferson and Jackson were alive today and knew what all these folks stood for, they'd be suing them for libel for using their names in vain.

No on seems to be able to stop the Dean juggernaut. Yes, it seems clear that the pacifist, we're no better than anyone else is so who are we to judge, tax you to give to your neighbor and vice versa politics are a winner in the Democratic Party. So let's analyze a couple of the positions of the man it looks like the Dems will anoint as their standard-bearer for the 2004 presidential election. What does he stand for and what kind of a mess would we be in if he actually were elected president.

National Security and the Military: (taken straight for his web site) I opposed President Bush’s war in Iraq from the beginning. While Saddam Hussein's regime was clearly evil and needed to be disarmed, it did not present an immediate threat to U.S. security that would justify going to war, particularly going to war alone. From the beginning, I felt that winning the war would not be the hard part winning the peace would be. This Administration failed to plan for the postwar period as it did for the battle, and today we are paying the price.

This is the same pacifist logic that got us into trouble 60+ years ago and could have had us all goose-stepping and reading Mien Kampf religiously before bedtime under threat of death had we not been forced into WWII by the Japanese. While Hitler was chewing up large chunks of Europe and gassing Jews, he didn't pose an immediate threat to us. Indeed, if we would have wanted to do something and sought "the cooperation and respect of friends and allies" (again, in Dean's own words) the pacifists in France would have denied their cooperation until the Nazi's were marching through their streets, which they did.

Dean goes on to say: "I will not divide the world into us versus them. Rather, I will rally the world around fundamental principles of decency, responsibility, freedom, and mutual respect. Our foreign and military policy must be about the notion of America leading the world, not America against the world. " Sounds cute, but makes me wonder if Dean was sleeping somewhere under a tree (next to his buddy Rip Van Winkle, perhaps) and woke up after 9/11 not realizing anything had happened. How can we develop "mutual respect" for terror groups and evil despots who want to wipe us and our culture off the face of the earth? Sometimes being the leader in the world as well as the country, means recognizing the nearly sacred role you have as the lone superpower and greatest and most successful experiment in democracy and understanding that you may have to make decisions, without the consent of other countries, that may not be popular, but that our very survival as a nation and as a civilization may depend on it. I want a president who understands that his number one priority is to protect the citizens of this great republic from enemies foreign and domestic, despite what other countries think. If he can't do that, nothing lese really matters. You can't go out and get the consent of other nations to act in our interests when half of them hate us and half of them are jealous of us. Dean's naivete on the issue of protecting our freedoms scares the hell out of me. We can't turn our national security into some encounter session circle-jerk with a bunch of backwards countries (such as those that run the United Nations). We're talking about the future freedom and security of my kids and their kids, for God's sake! And it’s very apparent that Howard Dean isn’t capable of handling this the most sacred of all presidential duties.

Dean on the Economy:

“The economic policies of the Bush Administration are misguided, unfair, and unsuccessful.” Mr. Dean, would this misguided economic policy include both the 7.2 percent GDP growth in the third quarter or the 256,000 jobs created in September or just one or the other?

Like the rest of the Democrats, Dean doesn’t get it on the economy either.

Dean goes on to say that Bush’s economic policies “fail to meet the basic standard of economic justice (?): decent, well-paying jobs for all who want them. They are policies that have created a legacy of debt for future generations. Huge tax cuts that benefit the wealthy are starving essential government services like education and homeland security and forcing states and local governments to increase sales, income, and property taxes. While America’s wealthiest individuals -- those in the top 2 percent of income brackets -- receive the bulk of the tax cuts, America’s middle class is left behind.”

You can’t really illustrate a more complete misunderstanding of basic economic principles than Dean demonstrates in this statement. First of all, it’s not the government’s business to create “decent well-paying jobs for all who want them”. (And, while we’re on the subject, what’s a “decent well-paying job” anyway? Five bucks an hour $50 an hour, $500 an hour or how about $1,000 bucks an hour. Now that's my definition of a "decent well-paying job"! I have yet to hear a Democrat clearly define the term.) When government creates “decent well-paying jobs” all we get is a bunch of fat bureaucrats and bloated government spending. When government gets out of the way, businesses create jobs and the economy booms. Reagan proved it in the 80s and Bush just proved it – cutting taxes helps spark economic growth and businesses hire people. As far as taxes go, it only stands to reason that the people who pay taxes are the ones who get tax cuts. The $800 rebate I got last summer was a whole lot better than a swift kick in the ass and I’m sure most of you middle class people such as myself who got similar rebates feel the same way. What did I do with mine? I went out and spent it just like millions of other middle class people did, which also stimulated the economy and created jobs. It’s pretty simple: when people have more money to spend, they spend it.

Another fallacy is that cutting taxes for the “wealthy” (I never thought of myself as wealthy, but I must be because I got a decent rebate last summer) causes deficits to rise. Again, as Reagan proved in the 80s, cutting taxes gives people more money to spend and they spend it on taxable economic activity and tax receipts rise. The reason this didn’t reduce deficits under Reagan and isn’t under Bush is because government spending is out of control. The key to erasing budget deficits is tax cuts coupled with actual spending reductions, not taxing people more. Until someone gets a handle on government spending (and if a Republican hasn’t been able to, don’t count on a Democrat to do it) deficits will continue to rise.

In a country where some date in mid-July – seven months into the year – is celebrated as the day when the average Joe taxpayer starts working for himself instead of every government entity that has their tax hooks into him, it’s hard to think that ANYONE could be under-taxed. It’s clear that Howie Dean subscribes to the Socialist notion that the money you bring home is merely what benevolent government is kind enough to let you keep. He may be a doctor, but he obviously failed Econ 101, If you trust Dean with the economy and taxes, you’re probably stupid enough to think you ARE under-taxed. More on taxes later. And more on the belle of the Democrats little Iowa ball – the female half of the Democratic Party standard-bearers, Hillary RODHAM Clinton.

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Sunday, November 09, 2003

Hey Liberals, How About a Trade?

Zell Miller for John McCain.
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Saturday, November 08, 2003

Choke Him!

"Choking is what I did and I was pretty good at it,"

These are the words of Gary Ridgeway, a guy who' s major accomplishment in life has been to brutally murder 48 women. He has the distinction of being the most prolific serial killer in the U.S. to date. He beat Bundy. He beat Dahmer. He beat Gacy.

At least we got him, you say, and he can't do it again. Not so fast. Instead of the death penalty, this miserable shred of human debris plea bargained his sentence down to life in prison. No he won't be executed. The taxpayers of the great state of Washington will be paying for a warm bed and three square meals a day for him for the rest of his natural life, which at the age of 54, could be another three or four decades.

There are some who are happy about this outcome. The death penalty is cruel and unusual, they say. It's vengance. It's not fitting of a civilized society. What a wholesale bunch of crap.

First of all, plea bargaining with a brutal murderer is ridiculous. In this case, it appears that they had enough DNA and crime scene evidence to convict him on at least some of the murders. They didn't need to make a deal with him to get him to confess to more. Even so, how can you trust the word of a guy who is more than likely going to try to cover his ass for self-preservation? This guy spent most of the past 20+ years tricking women into believing he was a nice guy so he could take them out and strangle them. Fry him. It's what an evil bastard like this deserves.

If there are any death penalty opponents reading this right now, their pent-up seething liberal rage has probably boiled over and they're spinning into outer space. "He says 'fry him', see, it's pure vengance" their namby-pamby little minds are thinking. Well, simmer down, liberals. You've got it wrong and I'll explain it if you can deal with the truth. If you can't, you had better move on. Find some liberal blog that won't tax your world view or your critical thinking skills so much.

First of all, death penalty supporters aren't out for vengeance. This guy strangled 48 women. Jeffrey Dahmer killed numerous small-framed boys and men and cooked their parts on his stove after forcing or tricking them into having sex with him. John Wayne Gacy just had a different method of disposing of his victims after having sex with them -- he buried the bodies of 28 young men and boys in the crawl space under his house. The fact that they committed these crimes is not a matter of dispute. The only fair and just punishment for these guys is to pay with their life.

Secondly, people like this don't sit around in prison feeling terrible remorse and guilt for the rest of their lives. They're sociopaths for God's sake. They're going to do what they have to do to keep themselves alive. In this case, it was to admit to 48 brutal murders. Most sociopaths are going to sit around and try to figure out how they can get out or how they can appeal their sentence, tying up the legal system, spending our hard earned tax dollars and forcing us to pay to keep them alive. After all they've got nothing but time. Some even kill again -- in prison. In Iowa, a lifer who was convicted of killing his brother's girlfriend, cutting her head off, throwing the head out of his car on a farm road and having sex with the headless corpse before stashing it in his bathtub, killed an inmate convicted of robbery with a dinner utensil. Not that robbery is a laudible activity and I don't know the particulars of the guy's crime, but perhaps he deserved another shot at life that he doesn't get now because this twisted murderer was kept alive. You see, Iowa is one of those "progressive" states that doesn't have the death penalty.

Finally, sometimes these death row guys who have nothing better to do than sit around and think actually do figure out how to escape. You hear about it happening once of twice a year, It happened in Texas not too long ago and those guys killed several people before being caught in Colorado. Try telling the relatives and friends of their most recent victims that life in prison is okay because "they can never get out" and "they have to live with what they did for the rest of their life". As far as I'm concerned, in these types of cases, the rest of their life should consist of the time between the time the judge hands down the sentence and the time it takes to warm up the electric chair and strap them in.

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Thursday, November 06, 2003

A Woman's Right to Choose What?

There's been a lot of one-sided discussion in the news the past couple days about the ban on partial birth abortion. Liberals have called this an attempt to eventually ban all abortions. They've called this ban an eroding of women's freedoms. Today, I've heard the procedure described as "so-called" partial birth abortion, I've heard the pro-life movement called anti-abortion. Funny, but I haven't heard a reporter describe the pro-abortion position the "so-called" women's right to choose. Well lets cut the crap and find out exactly what the woman is choosing when she chooses partial birth abortion. Here's a description of the procedure taken from the American Medical News site:

Those supporting the bill, which was also introduced in the Senate, inevitably evoke winces by graphically describing the procedure, which usually involves the extraction of an intact fetus, feet first, through the birth canal, with all but the head delivered. The physician then forces a sharp instrument into the base of the skull and uses suction to remove the brain. The procedure is usually done in the 20- to 24- week range, though some providers do them at later gestations.

This excerpt is taken from an article titled "Abortion rights leader urges end to half-truths". Here's what Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, has to say about the practice:

What abortion rights supporters failed to acknowledge, Fitzsimmons said, is that the vast majority of these abortions are performed in the 20-plus week range on healthy fetuses and healthy mothers. "The abortion rights folks know it, the anti-abortion folks know it, and so, probably, does everyone else," he said.

He knows it, he says, because when the bill to ban it came down the pike, he called around until he found doctors who did them.

"I learned right away that this was being done for the most part in cases that did not involve those extreme circumstances," he said.

Well now that we know the truth about this procedure from a guy who apparently performs other kinds of abortions (after all he's the executive director of a group of abortion providers) and bearing in mind that all President Bush signed into law was a bill banning this heinous procedure, lets go to a Knight Ridder article from today to find out how the Democratic presidential candidates feel about the procedure:

Democratic presidential candidates, all of whom support abortion rights, issued statements denouncing the new law.

That about says all you need to know about how the Democratic presidential candidates feel about the sanctity of human life, doesn't it. Are they all just ignorant or do they really support sucking the brains out of a healthy, viable baby in order to kill it? Either way, would you want one of these fools running our country?

In addition to the overwhelming support of partial birth abortion by the Democratic presidential candidates, you've got abortion rights groups running TV ads, Kim Gandy of the NOW gang out there decrying this bill, and all of the Democrat heavy-hitters such as Ted Kennedy talking about how President Bush is rolling back the clock on a "woman's right to choose". The next time you see Howard, Dick, John, Carol, Dennis, Kim, Ted or any other liberal out there talking about "a woman's right to choose" I just want you to know exactly what the are in favor of allowing a woman to choose -- infanticide.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Andy Rooney and His Little Liberal Turds of "Wisdom" on the War in Iraq

Last Sunday, we were subjected to the bilge that follows from possibly one of the most worthless commentators on television today -- Andy Rooney. I mean, what is this liberal bag of wind good for anyway? Although his crap at the end of 60 minutes is usually no more than trivial BS, this particular diatribe caught my attention because it sums up all the liberal vomit that is being spewed about our effort in Iraq in one tidy little Andy Rooney turd of "wisdom". Mr. Rooney's comments were so out of line and off the mark I felt they deserved a reponse. It appears right after the text of this bloated liberal gasbag's commentary. I tried to email it to the 60 Minutes Show in the form of a satirical complaint but, strangely, their email server doesn't seem to be working right. But CBS's mail servers have probably been pretty overloaded lately, what with all the comments surrounding their fictional account of the Reagan Presidency and Dan and Andy's usual strident liberal crap. And if I'm guessing correctly about the nature of the comments, they're probably not interested in getting the problem fixed any too soon.

Andy Rooney, 60 Minutes commentary, Sunday Nov. 2:

Years ago, I was asked to write a speech for President Nixon.

I didn't do that, but I wish President Bush would ask me to write a speech for him now.

Here's what I'd write if he asked me to - which is unlikely:

My fellow Americans - (the word "fellow" includes women in political speeches):

My fellow Americans. One of the reasons we invaded Iraq was because I suggested Saddam Hussein had something to do with the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. No evidence that's so, I wish I hadn't said it.

I said we were going to get Saddam Hussein. To be honest, we don't know whether we got him or not. Probably not.

I said we'd get Osama bin Laden and wipe out al Qaeda. We haven't been able to do that, either. I'm as disappointed as you are.

I probably shouldn't have said Iraq had nuclear weapons. Our guys and the U.N. have looked under every bed in Iraq and can't find one.

In one speech, I told you Saddam Hussein tried to buy the makings of nuclear bombs from Africa. That was a mistake and I wish I hadn't said that. I get bad information sometimes just like you do.

On May 1, I declared major combat was over and gave you the impression the war was over. I shouldn't have declared that. Since then, 215 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq. As the person who sent them there, how terrible do you think that makes me feel?

I promised to leave no child behind when it comes to education. Then I asked for an additional $87 billion for Iraq. It has to come from somewhere. I hope the kids aren't going to have to pay for it - now in school or later when they're your age.

When I landed on the deck of the carrier, I wish they hadn't put up the sign saying MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. It isn't accomplished.

Maybe it should have been MISSION IMPOSSIBLE.

I've made some mistakes and I regret it. Let me just read you excerpts from something my father wrote five years ago in his book, “A World Transformed.�

I firmly believed we should not march into Baghdad ...To occupy Iraq would instantly shatter our coalition, turning the whole Arab world against us and make a broken tyrant, into a latter-day Arab hero …

This is my father writing this.

...assigning young soldiers to a fruitless hunt for a securely entrenched dictator and condemning them to fight in what would be an unwinnable urban guerrilla war.

We should all take our father's advice.

That's the speech I'd write for President Bush. No charge.

Steve Bowers' response:

I've never been asked to write a segment for Andy Rooney (he wouldn't want me to), but I'd like to.

If I were, I'd start out by saying "my name is Andy Rooney and I'm a doddering old fool who won't be on this earth for more than 15 years, tops. Why should it make any difference to me that our president is fighting a war on terror to make the world safe for the existence of freedom and life as we know it in this country?

From my selfish, old fart's perspective all the $87 billion in aid and money to prosecute the war on terror is is just another way of taking more of my sizeable fortune. Of course, I would heartily approve of this war if it was was being prosecuted by someone such as my buddy Bill Clinton for some justifiable reason like a diverting everyone's attention from the fact that I had oral sex in the Oval Office with someone who wasn't my wife. Instead, it's being prosecuted by an honest president who has a sincere desire to stop terrorism in its tracks and I just can't stomach that!)I'm too senile to realize that we actually ARE fighting for our very existence and $87 billion (or more) to preserve our great country and everything it stands for and assure that future generations don't have to live in fear of terror is well worth it.

I'm certainly old enough, but I'm again, either too senile or too stupid to remember what happened 70 years ago when the prevailing wisdom was that Adolf Hitler was just an isolated looney who couldn't possibly be of any harm to us. I'm so senile I can't remember just a few months back when President Bush outlined all the reasons we were going into Iraq of which weapons of mass destruction were but one of many.

I'm also too dumb to think that all the great catharsis we went through as a country for six months or better about whether we should take action against this despot didn’t give him plenty of time to hide or move his WMDs out of the country. Of course, I’m fully aware that this thug was a known sponsor of terror groups. And that he violated 18 United Nations resolutions over twelve years and slaughtered millions of his own people using chemical weapons that I and others like me don't believe he had – I’m just too blind or too stupid to care.

Yes, I'm Andy Rooney, the doddering, blind, stupid old fool. And I think the most interesting question of all is why CBS has kept me doing this ridiculous little circle jerk at the end of their popular news magazine. Because I am so obviously incapable of rational thought and should have been put out to pasture long ago. Then again, my commentary isn't the only thing about 60 Minutes that's a ridiculous circle jerk.

This is a segment I'd be happy to write for Andy Rooney!

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