« July 2006 | Main | September 2006 »

August 31, 2006

Fauxto Video By AISH

The story of media deception and fraud in Lebanon war coverage is spreading slowly but surely. I got this aish.com video by email yesterday from people who don't read blogs, and were just finding out about the extent of the lying by Hezbollah and their often willing media collaborators. This clip contains some examples that were new to me too, and I was able to direct the other addressees to some more blog resources on the story. Baby steps.

"A Once-Reputable Organization"

Amnesty International is redefining the concept of "war crimes" to be pretty much whatever Israel does. And Alan Dershowitz isn't letting them get away with it. Good read. (via LGF)

August 30, 2006

Random Sowell

I always get a kick out of Thomas Sowell's Random Thoughts columns. Here are a few of my favorites from his latest edition:

-- Little kids can be adorable when they are asleep. Or maybe we are just so glad that they are asleep that this biases our feelings.

-- It is staggering that anyone could be so self-infatuated as to single out their own particular policy preferences as "anti-war." Anyone who is not a sadist or an idiot is anti-war. The only serious issue is how best to limit, deter or conclude war. But responsibility for confronting this issue is evaded by those preoccupied with the moral preening of being "anti-war."

-- Some people are so busy being clever that they don't have time to be intelligent.

-- Increasing numbers of people seem to think that it is "name-calling" if you refer to someone as a liberal. There are no inherently negative connotations to the word "liberal." If it has acquired negative overtones, that is because of what liberals have done and the consequences that have followed.

-- I have never seen a skinny cook.

August 29, 2006

Ace On Pedophilia, Football and Dogs

Only Ace can segue seamlessly from discussing this story about an Ivy League professor arrested returning from Thailand in possession of videotapes of himself having sex with children to....well, you just have to see for yourself...

The working with children thing seems to be their preferred cover. Makes sense, I guess.

I know I'm going to get ripped for saying this, because there are, I'm sure, many men who just like working with children. But I don't know. Anytime I hear about a man who wants to spend a lot of time with children, my suspicions are raised.

Men don't like other people's children, unless they really like them.

Hell, they're not even that keen on their own children.

You give a guy truth serum and ask him if he'd rather have a child he can nuture and teach to become a good human being, or if he'd rather have a really cool dog that watches, and has a rudimentary understanding of, football, and, well, look.

There's no guy in the world who wouldn't rather be watching a Patriots-Steelers with his dog Bruiser than cleaning up babyspew.

This is why God made offensive schemes and Cover-2 defenses utterly baffling to dogs. Were it not so, the human race would have all but died out already.

The world is sick. Ace makes me laugh in spite of all that. That's why I go back almost every day.

Shebaa Farms

Don't miss Baron Bodissey's excellent post on the Shebaa Farms at Gates of Vienna:

Old Nasrallah Had a Farm

We’ve been hearing a lot about the Shebaa Farms lately. This little piece of real estate is Hizbullah’s justification for opposing an Israeli “occupation” of Lebanese territory, and for continued violence against the state of Israel.

Shebaa Farms… It makes one think of a bucolic but tragic scene, where Lebanese farmers, plowmen, and shepherds labor under the oppressive yoke of Israeli domination.

Well… Not quite.

The Shebaa farms are in a little salient of Syrian territory, located near the point where Israel, Syria, and Lebanon come together. It’s part of the Golan Heights, a strategic section of mountainous Syrian territory captured by Israel in the Six-Day War and held ever since, awaiting a permanent peace treaty with Syria for disposition.

Like the rest of the Golan Heights, the Shebaa area is important from a military standpoint for its elevation, and Hizbullah would love to drive the Israelis out and occupy it. But it’s not part of Lebanon, and never has been.

The proper disposition of the Shebaa farms is another example of media manipulation and revisionist history as practiced by Hezbollah and their patrons. Bodissey cautions against Israel ceding the land to Lebanon in negotiations, based of course on their track record of giving up "land for peace."

Released Unharmed

A post at Mere Rhetoric has been getting a good deal of attention today, and rightfully so. It's an outraged reaction to the New York Times lede in their article about the release of the Fox News reporters, and the little thought experiment it proposes is enough to make its point profoundly. Reproduced in full below:

NYT: Just Because You Were Forced at Gunpoint to Convert To Islam Doesn't Mean You Were Harmed In Any Way

We know we said we were done for today, but really, these people have just lost it:

Two journalists kidnapped in Gaza were released unharmed today after being forced at gunpoint to say on a videotape that they had converted to Islam. The two journalists from Fox News - Steve Centanni, 60, an American reporter based in Washington, and Olaf Wiig, 36, a freelance cameraman from New Zealand - were held for 13 days in an abandoned garage in the Gaza Strip as hostages of a previously unknown group calling itself the Holy Jihad Brigades.

You idiot! You total blistering idiot! Being forced to convert is a harm. It might be the oldest harm short of death - being forced to renounce your faith and your god. Millions of people - literally millions - have died rather than deign to utter words that would force them to give up their faith. No wonder liberal journalists are utterly baffled by fully half of the United States - they don't think having to give up your religion is harmful. We are beyond certain that if Muslim prisoners at Gitmo were forced to convert away from Islam as a condition of their release, the New York Times would not be putting the phrase "released unharmed" into their lede. Way beyond certain.

There's a deeper explanation for how paragraphs like this can get written. It's not really bias, as much as it is the blind spots imposed by any ideology. And within that dynamic are questions about the degree of myopia and the room for self-reflection that particular ideologies allow. But don't worry about that right now. Just bask in the beauty of the phrase "released unharmed... after being forced at gunpoint to say... that they had converted to Islam"

(via All Things Beautiful)

Some people have suggested that the two journalists, Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig, are in a real bind now. If they publicly renounce their coerced conversions, they will be targeted for death by the Islamists. Forever. If they don't...well, I don't even want to think about what happens to their careers if they don't.

August 28, 2006


A British teacher who was humiliated and forced to resign 22 years ago for daring to criticize multiculturalism is being rehabilitated in the eyes of a society that is coming around to realize he was right, not racist. Ray Honeyford had received death threats, and had his school picketed by activists and eventually burnt down for his thought crime. From the (U.K.) Telegraph:

Last week, 22 years on, he was finally vindicated. The same liberal establishment that had professed outrage at his views quietly accepted that he was, after all, right. Ruth Kelly, the Communities Secretary, made a speech, publicly questioning the multiculturalist orthodoxies that, for so long, have acted almost as a test of virtue among "right-thinking" people. As Miss Kelly told an audience: "There are white Britons who do not feel comfortable with change. They see the shops and restaurants in their town centres changing. They see their neighbourhoods becoming more diverse...

...Miss Kelly's speech comes two decades too late to save the career of Mr Honeyford. And asked last week whether the minister's speech would change anything, Mr Honeyford shrugged resignedly and said it was too late for that, too. He remains, understandably, bitter about the whole episode. He had been striving to do his best for very disadvantaged pupils, and was branded racist for doing so, and made to live like a fugitive for many years. Asked whether he was impressed by Miss Kelly's recent speech, he said that she was only a politician, a bird of passage, minister of education one day and minister of communities the next, and like all politicians liable to say whatever was fashionable or useful to her career at the moment.

Well, yeah.

Gratitude Without God

At TPM Online, Ronald Aronson acknowledges how important gratitude is to the religious practice of Christianity, Islam and Judaism, but his essay is targeted to atheists and agnostics who he says can also experience the sense of belonging and understanding of the meaning and purpose of life, in part through gratitude. Appreciating man's dependence on natural forces beyond our control, and on our human ancestors recent and distant and their histories and struggles, can give meaning to the person who believes that all these things derive from "worldly sources."

But reading this paragraph, I couldn't help feeling that the author was trying to convince himself:

For historical, social, or personal reasons we may find ourselves unwilling or unable to experience these belongings – to nature, history, and other humans. But to pretend that these links do not exist or to minimise them is in a deep sense to be alienated from our very selves. And if we fully live our belonging? It is just possible that we will sense the world as alive, brimming over, and demanding of us - the opposite of empty and mute. It is just possible that we will often feel connected in these various ways, and often grateful. Feelings of dependence and of belonging are appropriate attitudes of response by the secular person. So are feelings of reverence and awe. None of these need be vague or fuzzy – if their worldly sources are not ignored and they are not projected beyond our universe, they become specific modes of living and experiencing our actual situation.

The atheist's feelings of reverence and awe then, are not "vague or fuzzy", presumably unlike those of us who project beyond our universe. So they've got that going for them. Which is nice. Something to be grateful for.

I don't want to be completely flip here. The whole article is worth reading for its perspective and its positive approach.

August 26, 2006

Confronting America Hatred

Understanding why so much of the world hates America isn't enough, according to Michael Medved's latest column. We need to confront America-hatred as well. Imagining a world in which the U.S. never existed and plays no current role is one way to help rebut her knee-jerk critics.

Leave 'Em Behind

The staff at The Hatemongers Quarterly (did I mention that they are crack and young?) had kind words for Wizblog the other day, (thanks guys...that was just as we rehearsed it) and it's a good thing they did, because it got me to their blog today, perhaps even in time to stop them from making a horrible mistake. I mean, what could they have been thinking when they proposed "The Leave Some Children Behind Act"?

They're self-aware, if a bit reckless at THQ. They know this gaffe was brought on by the boredom of being "spot-on" and outrageously funny every day. They can't really believe that certain kids who "positively beg to be left behind", should actually be allowed to be left behind. I mean, where's the government-enforced equality in that?

August 25, 2006

Europe Does Iran

Covering the European press for NRO, Denis Boyles has watched how Europe practiced diplomacy on the nuclear issue with Iran:

The European approach was a time-honored one, something they learned through centuries of colonial rule: They offered the natives baksheesh — called, more politely, “incentives.” At the same time they relied on that most modern of global institutions, the U.N., and produced a resolution, thus creating a carrot-and-stick strategy they thought might work.

The outcome of this diplomatic “initiative” has been obvious forever. Not even Iranians can be persuaded carrots make a meal and confusing a U.N. resolution with a stick offends the dignity of sticks everywhere.

Not to pile on the French, but it seems they couldn't backpedal fast enough after originally offering to lead the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon. They didn't want to promise more troops unless and until they could get - and I can't believe I'm writing this - "security guarantees" for their troops. From whom might those come, I wonder? From the Lebanese citizens whose lives and property they are there to defend? From the Hezbollah militia they are supposed to disarm according to UNSCR 1701?

No, apparently they were to come from the U.N. Stop laughing.

Silly me. I thought "peacekeeping" troops were supposed to be the providers of security guarantees, not the beneficiaries of security guarantees. Although they just may have hit on something. We could have peacekeeping troops to provide security for the peacekeeping troops. It's "job creation", and it's what the U.N. does well. Boyles is always good. Read it all.

August 24, 2006

Ambulance Strike Hoax

Was the July 23 incident in which Israeli missiles reportedly struck two Lebanese Red Cross ambulances just another "war crime" media event staged by Hezbollah? It sure looks that way to me. Decide for yourself. (via PJM)

Charles Johnson is carrying a Fauxtography Scandal Update at the top of his site, and he links to a YouTube video by Jawa Report that celebrates just a bit the role of bloggers in exposing the widespread deception of and by the media in the war in Lebanon.

UPDATE 8/24: Allah at Hot Air has a post on MSM "blowback" on the whole fauxtography phenomenon.

Michelle Malkin is all over the story with lots of links and background. She is also challenging the major news organizations that reported the ambulance attack story to respond to the new evidence, and provides contact info for others to do the same. Bravo.

UPDATE 8/24: I originally posted this entry with a question mark at the end of the title. I have now decided to remove it.

More Fauxtography

Hezbollah needed an image of a ship being blown up, and they weren't terribly particular about which photo to use. Who's gonna know? (via EU Referendum)

August 23, 2006

Hatred For Its Own Sake

Wow. The best thing I've read on the web in weeks. Shelby Steele, from a piece in the WSJ. (via Atlas Shrugs) A couple of excerpts: (ellipses mine)

If this war makes anything clear, it is that Israel can do nothing to appease the Muslim animus against her. And now much of the West is in a similar position, living in a state of ever-heightening security against the constant threat of violence from Islamic extremists. So here, from the Muslim world, comes an unappeasable hatred that seems to exist for its own sake, a hatred with very little actual reference to those it claims to hate. Even the fighting of Islamic terrorist groups is oddly self-referential, fighting not for territory or treasure but for the fighting itself. Standing today in the rubble of Lebanon, having not taken a single inch of Israeli territory, Hezbollah claims a galvanizing victory....

...Hatred and murder are self-realization because they impart grandeur to Islamic extremists -- the sense of being God's chosen warrior in God's great cause. Hatred delivers the extremist to a greatness that compensates for the ineffectuality in his world. Jews and infidels are irrelevant except that they offer occasion to hate and, thus, to experience grandiosity. This is why Hezbollah -- Party of God -- can take no territory and still claim to have won. The grandiosity is in the hating and fighting, not the victory....

...White guilt in the West -- especially in Europe and on the American left -- confuses all this by seeing Islamic extremism as a response to oppression. The West is so terrified of being charged with its old sins of racism, imperialism and colonialism that it makes oppression an automatic prism on the non-Western world, a politeness. But Islamic extremists don't hate the West because they are oppressed by it. They hate it precisely because the end of oppression and colonialism -- not their continuance -- forced the Muslim world to compete with the West. Less oppression, not more, opened this world to the sense of defeat that turned into extremism.

Cheap and Fun

You must see this commercial for the new Nintendo Wii. (saw it at Galley Slaves)

More on Nintendo Wii.


I love the "Too Tough For TV" section at inopinion.com. They rip the jokes from the headlines, and I rip them from their site to mine. A few of my recent favorites:

Cuba's Communist daily published new photographs Fidel Castro being visited by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The two old friends spend the day warmly sentencing dissidents to life in prison.

AOL has laid off 5000 employees. The company was kind of cold about doing it—they had that guy go around to each person and say, “Goodbye!”

The U.N. says Israel used “disproportionate force” when it bombed a power plant in Gaza. I guess “proportionate force” would have been sending over a duffel bag full of TNT and nails strapped to a brainwashed teenager.

The makers of the Segway scooter have unveiled an updated version. This one is easier to dust while it just sits there in the showroom.

Andrea Yates told a psychiatrist that she killed her five children because she feared one would grow up to be a serial killer… and she didn't want them horning in on her racket.

Bill Clinton went to Connecticut to campaign for Senator Joe Lieberman…and because it's back-to-school time at UConn.

A Maryland man has been arrested for making a bomb that he planned to detonate at an abortion clinic. Good thing they caught him--because the last thing you want to happen at an abortion clinic is for someone to die. Oh, wait…

Paris Hilton went to the emergency room for a tetanus shot after being bit by her pet kinkajou. The kinkajou is undergoing an extensive series of penicillin treatments.

Soldiers from North Korea briefly opened fire on a South Korean guard post in the DMZ, but gave no explanation as to why…I mean, other than the fact that their president is a nutjob.

Porkbusters at Work

A lot of people think the idea behind Senate Bill S2590 makes some sense. Optimistically titled the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, it is sponsored by Senators Tom Coburn and Barak Obama, and a growing list of prominent co-sponsors. It's legislation that would create a single website with a searchable database and access to information on nearly all recipients of federal funding.

Any transparency and accountability is better than none, right? It would mean useful information for the public on how their tax dollars are being spent, all at relatively low cost...for a government program. Congress wants this like they want a root canal.

Federal Times.com reports:

An unknown number of senators have blocked legislation to create a public, searchable Web site of all federal grants and contracts. Senate rules permit any senator to anonymously block consideration of a bill on the floor, effectively killing the measure.

So Porkbusters is admirably stepping into the fray with a site devoted to finding out by process of elimination who the Secret Holder is. (Note: I am not associated with Porkbusters.org in any way, other than to value and appreciate what they are trying to do.)

As for Ohio, it turns out that both Sen. Voinovich and Sen. DeWine are co-sponsors of the bill. I spoke to a staffer (George) at Sen. Voinovich's office Friday and he told me he thought that the senator was a co-sponsor, and so doubted that he would have put a hold on the bill, but promised to get back to me with more definitive information.

He called me back today and left a voicemail which I quote in part:

I have three pieces of information for you. First, Senator Voinovich is a co-sponsor of the bill... second, we definitely do not have a hold on the bill... and third, we have no idea who has a hold on the bill.

Voinovich was a no-brainer on this thing. He's always had something of a reputation as a deficit hawk.

I also spoke with a staffer (Peter) at Sen. DeWine's office, and he also assumed the Senator was on board with S2590 but asked me to call him back Wednesday for a definitive answer. Then I got an email reply from the Senator this evening:

Dear Dan:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Federal Funding Accountability
and Transparency Act of 2006. I agree that it is important to have
transparency with respect to the disbursement of federal grants which is
why I have decided to co-sponsor this legislation.

As you know, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act would create a searchable database of all recipients of federal grants, contracts, loans, and other types of financial assistance. This database would be accessible by the public at no cost via the Office of Management and Budget's website and would include information regarding each entity that receives federal funding, the amount received, how the money is being used, and where the entity is located.

This bill was introduced by Senator Coburn and is currently pending
consideration before the full Senate. I look forward to voting in favor
of this legislation should it come to a vote.

Again, thank you for contacting me. If you have any additional concerns,
please feel free to contact me anytime.

Very respectfully yours,
United States Senator

Very cordial and helpful guys in both offices, by the way, George and Peter.

Note that DeWine doesn't actually deny that he is the "secret holder", but I think this puts him in the clear too, no?

More calls to these guys would be preaching to the converted. Call somebody else's Senator if you live in Ohio.

Of course, what Senator is going to admit to his constituents that he opposes a bill which would increase government transparency in spending? The beauty, apparently, of the "secret hold", is that nobody ever gets to know who did it. Senate rules.

The Federal Times column linked above says that House and Senate versions of the bill are being reconciled by negotiation in committee. So all the Congressmen are getting together to decide what information we will be permitted to see, and how, and when. It's hard to get excited about that. But it's something.

August 22, 2006

Movin' Product

The admission by Nobel Laureate Günter Grass that he served as a member of the Waffen SS as a young man during World War II is drawing impassioned reviews. The furor (sorry) will help move books for Grass. There's little doubt that was his intention when he finally admitted his deception. His reaction to the criticism included this statement:

"I'll certainly be hearing accusations about that for a long time. The only thing I can say is: I worked on that question in this book and everything I have to say about the matter is in it."

Daniel Johnson's An Open Letter to Günter Grass in the New York Sun is a great read. Here's a bit:

The truth that now emerges, Mr. Grass, is that you were one of the last-ditch defenders of the Third Reich. You were a soldier in the 10th SS Panzer Division Frundberg. Let us be clear: The Waffen SS did not run the death camps, but its troops — some 900,000 of them by the end — were deeply implicated in the Holocaust and responsible for many of the worst atrocities of the war.

We await with interest your account of your own part in these war crimes, but your memoirs will be treated by historians with suspicion, as no more reliable than those of other SS men — Adolf Eichmann's, for instance, which he wrote while awaiting his trial and execution.

No doubt the comparison shocks you. But Eichmann, like you, was an imposter. He, too, reinvented himself after the war rather than face up to his past.

Lech Walesa has demanded that Grass give up his honorary citizenship of Gdansk, the author's birthplace.

"This situation needs to be cleared up," Walesa, a Nobel peace prize winner who once worked as an electrician in the Gdansk shipyards, told Poland's TVN24 private television station.

"If there is no clarification I will renounce my citizenship of Gdansk -- I will not be able to remain in the same company as Mr. Grass."

The German novelist, who won the Nobel prize for literature in 1999, revealed his SS past last week, stunning Germany and drawing criticism in Poland.

"It will be difficult for me to hold out my hand to an SS man who contributed to the death of my father and to that of other people, and to the destruction of Gdansk. It's in this city that the war started" in 1939, Walesa said.

Walesa also accused Grass of courting publicity for the writer's new memoir, "Peeling Onions", which went on sale Wednesday.

"He wanted to sell his book and it's clear that he has sold it, because a second print run is underway," Walesa said.

"I can understand a confession from a Christian point of view. We should understand people and help them. But if someone wants to create publicity for himself, I don't want to be a part of that."

Christopher Hitchens. You know what to do.

Grass was one of those who dragged the Nazi period into everything, including into discussions where it did not belong. When German reunification finally occurred after 1989, he referred to it with scorn as an Anschluss whereby the West had annexed the former "German Democratic Republic." When challenged on the absurdity of this, he wielded the truncheon of moral blackmail and said that, after Auschwitz, his critics had no right to speak about history. At a discussion in a Berlin theater at about that time, I heard him defend these propositions and felt that I was listening to a near-perfect example of bogus pseudo-intellectuality. By this stage, he had already become something of a specialist in half-baked moral equivalences. At the PEN conference in New York in the mid-1980s, for example, he had sonorously announced that conditions in the South Bronx put the United States on a par with the Soviet Union … I didn't like being lectured by a second-rater then and I like it no better when I discover I was being admonished by a member, however junior or conscripted, of Heinrich Himmler's corps d'elite.

21, Really

ESPN.com has located the birth certificate, and despite the doubts of players, coaches and commentators, it can now be said with certainty. LeBron is 21.

August 21, 2006

Rosett - Annan Packing

Claudia Rosett says Kofi Annan has no business taking a victory lap tour through the Middle East, at least if history is any guide...

Israeli radio has been reporting that Annan will begin a Middle East tour on Monday in Lebanon, and go from there — in what order is not clear — to Israel, Syria, and Iran.

Whatever Annan might be cooking up, let’s take a closer look at why Secretary Condoleezza Rice ought to suggest to Annan in the strongest possible terms that the next time he packs his bags, it should be not to tour the Middle East, but to leave the U.N. Until then, the world would be a lot better off if he’d stay home...

...If Annan before stepping down in December is truly desperate to produce a legacy more edifying than Oil-for-Food and Kojo’s Mercedes, he could better spend his remaining four months in office actually enforcing his “zero-tolerance” policy against child rape by U.N. peacekeepers in Africa. Or, unlikely though this is, he could try genuinely cleaning up the bribery-tainted and still secretive U.N. procurement department (which may soon be awarding fat catering contracts to feed the additional 13,000 or so “peacekeepers” the U.N. plans to add to its so-called called interim force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL).

August 19, 2006

Green Helmet and Qana Media Show

EU Referendum has been doing much of the heavy lifting in the investigation and reporting on the corruption of the media and their manipulation by Hezbollah in Lebanon. They have focused on the events at Qana, and have dedicated a page to tracking and reporting daily updates on the Qana story. Now all their evidence and considerable reportage is assembled in report form.

After observing the suspect behavior of Green Helmet, the omnipresent rescue worker, and others, and as evidence of discrepancies in media accounts of the incident began to surface in the blogosphere, the EU Referendum dug deeper...

...we decided to carry out an investigation - not into the events at Qana pertaining to the air raid. We have no view on these. Our investigation is exclusively confined to the events during the subsequent rescue and recovery phase, to determine whether some had been staged for the benefit of the media (and for the propaganda purposes of Hezbolla). Also, we sought to determine whether the media had been complicit in any staging, thereby exploiting a situation and, perhaps unwittingly, serving the interests of Hezbollah, which seemed keen to make propaganda capital out of the incident.

After three weeks of intensive work, with the active assistance and co-operation of the internet community - often called the "blogosphere" - we now believe we have enough evidence confidently to assert that many of the incidents recorded in visual form by the media were indeed staged. In fact, we feel we can go further. In our view, the bulk of the rescue and recovery effort at Qana on 30 July was turned into a perverted propaganda exercise by Hisbolla. The site, in effect, became one vast, grotesque film-set on which a macabre drama was played out to a willing and complict media, which actively co-operated in the production and exploited the results.

What follows is a mountain of evidence that demonstrates depressingly why Hezbollah is winning. They are both media savvy and beyond shame. The "camera runs" are a particularly cynical and disgusting bit of propaganda, as the staged relay race for the world media exploits the dead body of a child, and actors, emoting on cue, pose for Pulitzer-hungry photographers and editors.

It's an important story when the media is presenting false images and passing it off as news journalism.

Video of Green Helmet directing film.

Speaking of heavy lifting, Charles Johnson should really be credited on any post dealing with this issue.

UPDATE 8/20:
Via Hot Air, two links to more reporting of media distortion in war coverage. The American Thinker is calling this one The Pieta Pose. And don't miss the E&P essay by David Permutter.

The View From Sec. 129

There 's a hint of optimism tonight that the Browns might have an offense after all, and it looks like the defense may be good enough to make up for some of the mistakes a first-year QB is going to make. Charlie Frye accounted for seven of the Browns points with a TD pass, but handed the Lions their only touchdown by fumbling on his own 15. But the Browns stopped the run tonight, with Ted Washington clogging up the middle, and they ran the ball effectively themselves, which is the formula for victory in the NFL.

Phil Savage's second draft is looking more like the kind we saw him pull off regularly in Baltimore. Rookie running back Jerome Harrison, a fifth rounder, was the star of the game, and all three of the young linebackers looked good with a sack and an interception between them.

Late-rounders like fullback Lawrence Vickers and nose guard Babatunde Oshinowo showed some game. Vickers made a spectacular catch on a short outlet pass and looked good blocking and running in short yardage. Oshinowo had another sack this week, and he looks like he's just hard to handle inside. Top pick Kamerion Wimbley beat the Lions tackle on one play, and as soon as he had the corner, he simply launched himself at the quarterback, and it was all over. I don't recall a pass rusher with that kind of ability in a Browns uniform. Ever.

This then, is the view from our seats, if I may inflict some bad digital photography on you. Second row just inside the goal line in the east endzone, not in the Dawg Pound, but close enough to throw a brick into it. Very little action in our end tonight, but I caught some shots late, after the stands had thinned out. My view was obstructed at times, but I wasn't going to ask these guys to move. Sometimes it's as if we're right down there with them.

Lots of improvement from last week, and definitely from last year. I still think it translates into only about seven or eight wins in the regular season. Frye will take his lumps as a rookie starter. It's a brutal division.

UPDATE 8/19: Len Pasquarelli from ESPN.com has a nice feature on Charlie Frye.

August 16, 2006

Oh, No!


UPDATE 8/16: I find out now that SI has issued at least six "regional" covers featuring different teams, USC, West Virginia, Notre Dame, and Texas among them. Now, whether that jinxes six teams or none I'm not sure. I don't really buy into the SI Cover Jinx. However, OSU fans do recall Ted Ginn Jr. on the cover after last year's first game. They proceeded to lose two of their next three. Of course, those two opponents finished #1 and #2 in the country. That might have had something to do with it.

August 15, 2006

Greatest Software Ever Written

The Apollo spacecraft guidance system, the Excel spreadsheet, the Macintosh OS, Java language, and the IBM 360 all make Charles Babcock's list of "The Greatest Software Ever Written." But they don't make his top three. You'll have to click to see those.

August 14, 2006

In Support of Brussels Journal

In The Corner, Stanley Kurtz has a message for the Belgian government, regarding their ongoing harrassment of Paul Belien, the editor of Brussels Journal, a blog that has been critical of the EU and the U.N., as well as the ever increasing trend by European governments to restrict free speech in the name of political correctness and tolerance.

I have only been reading the Brussels Journal on a regular basis for a few months now, but I have been impressed with the quality and timeliness of the writing, and I have yet to read a hateful or racist word by any one of the several contributors to the site. Glenn Reynolds has lent his voice to the cause, suggesting contacts to the Belgian diplomats in the U.S. to demonstrate American support for the right to freedom of expression.

Blogger Kenneth Anderson wrote them and got a reply from the Belgian government that's worth reading in full. They have set up a website called cyberhate.be, and encourage referrals of same, promising that they will be "evaluated in a serious manner." They state that while "freedom of expression and a free press are guaranteed by the constitution and the legal system.....The Belgian government and people oppose manifestations of racism and intolerance and intend to fight these through education and the application of the law."

It is of course the politically influenced and fear-driven "application of the law" that is the problem here. One commenter to the above-linked Anderson post says..."the system is clearly being gamed and hijacked by one group, turned into a tool for intimidating and silencing its critics. Flooding the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism with allegations of 'racist' speech, each of which must be taken seriously, is a game any group can play -- especially when it is backed by the implied threat of violence."

Brussels Journal is showing the European statist politicians their own reflection, and speaking to European citizens and the rest of the world in uncomfortable truths about the problems their governments have yet to fully acknowledge. It's understandable why the Belgians and their EU brethren wish to silence Paul Belien and his blog.

It's also despicable.

How Cool Is This?

Time.com, ever the arbiter of coolness, is out with the 2006 edition of their 50 Coolest Websites. You decide. I mean, how would I know?

I liked Deadspin.com, for one.... sort of an irreverent sports blog that I hadn't seen before. And Accoona looks like a search and information site that will come in handy in my business. Getting cooler by the minute.

Alternate U.N. Resolution

Claudia Rosett

Unfortunately, if Resolution 1701 has any effect at all, its real meaning is that we now embark on a period in which Hezbollah will seize the opportunity to regroup and reload. The feeble and compromised mix of U.N. peacekeepers and the Lebanese army, which is the force authorized in this resolution, will fail to stop them. Iran and Syria will proceed apace with their terrorist infection and subjugation of Lebanon. The U.N. will wave around this latest piece of paper to try to prevent Israel from defending itself, or, for that matter, defending the rest of us against the “Death to Israel! Death to America!” Hezbollah agenda. Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, enjoying yet another confirmation of the U.N.’s mincing impotence in the face of guns, bombs, rockets, and terror, will continue his fevered preparations to roll out the nuclear bomb.

In sum, it’s already time to start drafting the next resolution:

...which Ms. Rosett proceeds to do...brilliantly. Read it all. And pass it on.

August 13, 2006

Bolton Speaks

It's worth a half an hour to hear about the U.N. resolution, and U.S. foreign policy on Iran, straight from the horse's mouth. John Bolton sits down with Pamela of Atlas Shruggs for the podcast. Politics Central: Atlas Interviews John Bolton.

"....in the Security Council and the U.N you listen to a lot of things that you know are untrue, and if I spent all of my time simply refuting those, I'd couldn't get anything else done..."

August 11, 2006

U.N. Cease Fire

Ed Morrissey analyzes the U.N. cease fire resolution for Lebanon, and links to other blogger and commentator reaction. More from PJM.

"A Flexible Moral Compass"

The always quotable Andy McCarthy:

Reality has once again inconveniently burst the antiwar, anti-security, anti-American balloon, just as the November victory ballrooms were being booked.

Just as central casting was whipping the articles of impeachment into shape. The high crimes and misdemeanors of George W. Bush include: hunting down terrorists, detaining them, interrogating them, penetrating their communications, and following their money.

These damn jihadists just won’t cooperate. Can’t they read the polls?...

...The antiwar Left has a conveniently flexible moral compass. Consequently, the Clinton era Echelon program was fine, but Bush’s NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program is an impeachable offense.

Mishandling classified information by a Clinton CIA director was worthy of a pardon, and destroying classified information (and lying to investigators about it) by a former Clinton national-security adviser was worthy of a pass, but leaking the unremarkable fact that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA is the crime of the century.

Bombing Kosovo without U.N. approval was a moral imperative; invading Iraq after over a dozen U.N. resolutions is a violation of international law.

Renditions conducted between 1994 and 2000 were just good national-security sense; renditions conducted between 2001 and 2006 are war crimes.

Indicting Osama bin Laden in 1998 and then doing nothing to capture him while he bombed two American embassies and an American naval destroyer, killing hundreds, was aggressive yet intelligently modulated counterterrorism; allowing Osama bin Laden to evade capture in Tora Bora while killing and capturing hundreds of his operatives and decimating his hierarchy is irresponsibly incompetent.

August 10, 2006

Friend on Clarett

ESPN The Magazine's Tom Friend: Clarett's night of desperation

On possibly his last night as a free man, Maurice Clarett was calling on the telephone. I hadn't seen him or heard from him in a year, not since the Denver Broncos kicked him to the curb, but I was on his list Tuesday night. Along with Jim Tressel and LeBron James and some arena football coach. His list of thank-yous.

I looked at the clock when he called, and it was just past 11 p.m. ET. He told me he was driving somewhere, and along the way his cell phone cut in and out. He wasn't loud or belligerent. Instead he seemed melancholy and possibly drunk.

He started in with his news: He was a daddy. His girlfriend, Ashley, had given birth to a baby girl on July 17 and he claimed it had changed his life. "F--- Ohio State, f--- winning the national championship, it's more cool having her,'' he was saying. He said he'd cry a lot when he held her, and that just the other day in his mom's house, he'd cried four times holding her the same afternoon. He said he'd do anything for that little girl, that he'd go to jail for 30 years for this little girl. It wasn't clear what he meant, although it's starting to get clearer now.

Do read it all.

Friend, you may recall, was reviled by Buckeye football program junkies as an apologist for Clarett, if not his outright abettor in the battle he waged, based mostly in lies and driven by his bottomless self-absorption, against the Ohio State football program and Coach Tressel. Right from the early ESPN The Magazine cover story depicting Clarett tossing aside the Scarlet and Gray jersey for the NFL, ESPN The Magazine, and their TV network cousins have served as the mouthpiece for Clarett's lying mouth. The charges he spouted, and which ESPN trumpeted, were all investigated by internal and NCAA authorities, turned out to be without merit, and resulted in not so much as a wrist slap for the program.

I'm told by a friend who saw some of the early ESPN coverage of the latest arrest that they were actually asking people if they thought that Ohio State bore some responsibility for Clarett's problems. Going on four years out of OSU, with all the recent history away from OSU as a backdrop, ESPN is still suggesting that Maurice Clarett was ill-served by the Ohio State football program, instead of the other way around.

For my part, I never forgave him for the pre-Fiesta Bowl grandstanding he did in Tempe in 2002, addressing the national press to accuse the OSU administration of lying to him, while his teammates and coaches were preparing to try to win a National Championship Game a few hours later. People who say he was exploited by the university, or the college football system, forget that he was a major behavior problem and a royal pain in the ass even before he was an Ohio State football hero.

All ESPN managed to prove was that when a star player walks around with his hand out, there are sometimes over-zealous boosters all too ready to put money or favors into it, and that OSU was not immune to the problem.

With Clarett though, even those of us who follow the program with a microscope could barely keep straight whether Clarett was, at any given moment, admitting that he had lied about something he had previously said, or saying that he had lied when he said he was lying. He was happy as long as there was a microphone in front of him and he was the center of attention.

That said, Friend writes a great piece here. He clearly has connected with Clarett over the years, and probably now knows as much about him as anyone. He seems to have been fully rehabilitated as a result of repeated contact with Maurice Clarett.

August 7, 2006

Dissembling Pays

Robert Kagan calls Lieberman "The Last Honest Man".

If Lieberman loses, it will not even be because he supported the war...

...No, Lieberman's sin is of a different order. Lieberman stands condemned today because he didn't recant. He didn't say he was wrong. He didn't turn on his former allies and condemn them. He didn't claim to be the victim of a hoax. He didn't try to pretend that he never supported the war in the first place. He didn't claim to be led into support for the war by a group of writers and intellectuals whom he can now denounce. He didn't go through a public show of agonizing and phony soul-baring and apologizing in the hopes of resuscitating his reputation, as have some noted "public intellectuals."

These have been the chosen tactics of self-preservation ever since events in Iraq started to go badly and the war became unpopular. Prominent intellectuals, both liberal and conservative, have turned on their friends and allies in an effort to avoid opprobrium for a war they publicly supported. Journalists have turned on their fellow journalists in an effort to make them scapegoats for the whole profession. Politicians have twisted themselves into pretzels to explain away their support for the war or, better still, to blame someone else for persuading them to support it.

Al Gore, the one-time Clinton administration hawk, airbrushed that history from his record. He turned on all those with whom he once agreed about Iraq and about many other foreign policy questions. And for this astonishing reversal he has been applauded by his fellow Democrats and may even get the party's nomination.

Apparently, amazingly, dispiritingly, it all works. At least in the short run, dishonesty pays. Dissembling pays. Forgetting your past writings and statements pays. Condemning those with whom you once agreed pays. Phony self-flagellation followed by self-righteous self-congratulation pays. The only thing that doesn't pay is honesty. If Joe Lieberman loses, it will not be because he supported the war or even because he still supports it. It will be because he refused to choose one of the many dishonorable paths open to him to salvage his political career.

He is the last honest man, and he may pay the price for it. At least he will be able to sleep at night. And he can take some solace in knowing that history, at least an honest history, will be kinder to him than was his own party.

And Martin Peretz suggests that if the Democrats cast their lot with the Lamonts over the Liebermans on a national scale, they will go nowhere but down. A look at Lamont's dimwitted and naive foreign policy positions is enough to understand why. Read it all.