MartiniPundit

Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

Archive for December 2005

Unsourced Lies from the Left

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So who is Doug Thompson?

Beats me, but he runs a site that is hugely slanted to the left, and apparently is quite comfortable with unsourced slander.

Behold this screed from his site called “Capitol Hill Blue” (in case you had doubt where he stood).

GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. “

“I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.”

“Mr. President,” one aide in the meeting said. “There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.”

“Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”

Mr. Thompson ‘claims’ to have corroboration:

I’ve talked to three people present for the meeting that day and they all confirm that the President of the United States called the Constitution “a goddamned piece of paper.”

Laying aside what the President may or may not have said about the Constitution, not to mention the political illiteracy of assuming conservatives have a problem with the Patriot Act, there’s a word repeated twice in this ‘news’ that undermines the credibility of the whole thing: “goddamn.”

Anyone out there ever heard a believing Christian use that term? There are lots of expletives I’ve been known to use from time to time, but that’s not one of them.

I’ve never heard a pious evangelical (which Bush is), Catholic (that would be me), or even mainline Protestant use the term. It’s a whole lot worse than the F-word to a believing Christian. So given that I don’t believe the President used that term, neither do I believe that he said such things about the Constitution. As to the three people who Mr. Thompson claims to have spoken to? I don’t think unsourced hearsay of three people who most likely weren’t at the alleged meeting count. (I also can’t confirm the Gonzales quote, but is that a surprise?)

Next time Mr. Thompson wants to make stuff up about the President, he should be careful to use a believable expletive.

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Written by martinipundit

December 22, 2005 at 4:56 pm

Pearl Harbor Plus 64

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Today is Pearl Harbor day – sixty-four years ago, the Japanese Empire launched a sneak attack on the United States Pacific Fleet, then based at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. President Roosevelt called it a date which would “live in infamy.” It was a bright, Sunday morning, when just before 8 am, a wave of planes came out of the blue to shatter the American fleet. Two hours later, when it was over, the eight US battleships: Arizona, California, Maryland, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia, were sunk or badly damaged. One, the Arizona, would never be repaired, and another, the Oklahoma would founder being towed to the west coast, but the other six would eventually be returned to service.

This is the Pennsylvania after the attack: 

Also destroyed in the attack was most of the air power the US had there, but significantly, neither the dockyard facilities nor the logistics facilities of Pearl Harbor were seriously damaged. Most important of all, not a single American carrier was at Pearl Harbor.

So why did the Japanese attack? The short answer is resources. Engaged in a brutal conquest of China, the Japanese were consuming vast quantities of oil, rubber, and other resources basically not found in the Japanese Isles. As their invasion of China created more alarm and revulsion in the west, the Japanese found themselves facing a trade embargo, and now began to look for the resources it needed in Southeast Asia. However, the US Pacific Fleet was a serious threat to Japanese expansion plans. Thus they resolved to strike at the US battleship fleet, ironically with the weapon – the aircraft carrier – that would make the battleship obsolete and render the entire attack a colossal error.

The Japanese attack was a brilliant piece of planning, staff work, tactical execution, and daring. It was, at the same time, strategically insane. The last thing the Japanese wanted was a protracted war with the United States, which they knew they could not win, so they staged a blow which would prevent the US from projecting naval power in the Pacific for the amount of time necessary for them to complete their resource grab. After which, some sort of negotiated truce would be possible. Or so the Japanese warmongers deluded themselves. Instead, the surprise attack galvanized a nation, and made a return to the status quo ante impossible. The Japanese – admittedly, not all of them – fundamentally misread the American character and it cost them dearly.

There is a parallel to our modern Pearl Harbor – September 11th. In this, the same fundamental miscalculation was made by the enemies of the United States, believing the nation weak, and unwilling to defend itself. The 9/11 attacks were intended to force us to withdraw from the Middle East, and from the world stage so as to give Osama bin Laden and his ilk a free hand to reestablish the Caliphate. Like the Japanese sixty-four years ago, Osama misread the American character and it has cost him dearly. It’s not over yet, but it will end the same way World War II did – with the unconditional surrender of the enemies of the United States.

A glass raised to the men and women who died at Pearl Harbor, and on 9/11.

Information, links, and images of Pearl Harbor can be found here. My thoughts on this day last year are here.

Written by martinipundit

December 7, 2005 at 1:59 pm

Posted in History, Ships

The Moral Blindness of the MSM

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I’ve written about the pernicious effect Watergate had on American journalism before, and Ralph Peters takes up the theme:

Three decades ago, two young reporters became the story and crippled American journalism.

Budding yuppies who avoided inconvenient service to the state needed heroes they could call their own. And they got them.

Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman played Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein on-screen. It was as if Mike Bloomberg was portrayed by Brad Pitt. Overnight, journalism became an upwardly mobile profession — and our country is much the worse for it.

In place of the old healthy skepticism, we have arrogant cynicism. The highest echelons of the media and government became preserves for America’s most-privileged. An Ivy League degree was the ticket to a reporting job on a major daily. And incest produced the usual ugly results.

“Mainstream” newspapers lost touch with American workers because the new breed of journalists didn’t know any workers.

After journalists became matinee idols, every bright young reporter had a new career goal. Forget honest, get-at-the-facts reporting. Henceforth the crowning ambition in the field was to bring down a president — especially one who wasn’t “our kind.” Failing that, turning the tide of a foreign conflict against Washington would do.

“Serious” journalists became scandal-mongers in drag.

Read the rest.

Written by martinipundit

December 5, 2005 at 10:09 am

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