Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Churchill Series - Feb. 11, 2006

(One of a series of daily posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

There are many quotes falsely attributed to Churchill. One of the best known of them goes something like this: "If you're not a liberal by 20 you have no heart; and if your not a conservative by 40 you have no brain."

According to The Churchill Centre, which researched the matter:

There is no record of anyone hearing Churchill say this.

Paul Addison of Edinburgh University makes this comment: "Surely Churchill can't have used the words attributed to him. He'd been a Conservative at 15 and a Liberal at 35! And would he have talked so disrespectfully of Clemmie, who is generally thought to have been a lifelong Liberal?"
In that short paragraph Addison impresses as an informed, sensitive, and persuasive scholar.

His point about Clementine may surprise some because publicly she always stood on the issues with Churchill. But many of her private letters, including ones to Churchill, show her making the liberal case.
On the question of Clementine Churchill's liberalism, I find William Manchester's two volume biography, The Last Lion,persuasive.

The Raleigh News & Observer covers Sen. Reid’s links to Abramoff

On Thursday, Feb. 9, news organizations across the country began reporting an Associated Press story concerning Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid’s involvement in the Abramoff scandal.

The AP’s more than 1700 word story began:

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid wrote at least four letters helpful to Indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff, and the senator's staff regularly had contact with the disgraced lobbyist's team about legislation affecting other clients.

The activities - detailed in billing records and correspondence obtained by The Associated Press - are far more extensive than previously disclosed. They occurred over three years as Reid collected nearly $68,000 in donations from Abramoff's firm, lobbying partners and clients.
There’s much more of the AP story here and here.

Big news, isn’t it?

But on Thursday here in North Carolina one of the state’s two largest circulation dailies, the liberal trending left Raleigh News & Observer (A McClatchy Co. paper), didn’t tell its readers anything about Reid and his staff’s connections to Abramoff and his staff.

On Friday, Feb. 10, The N&O was still not saying anything to readers, many of whom count on The N&O to be what it says it is: “fair and accurate” and “free of news bias.”

Well then, why wasn’t The N&O reporting the Reid/Abramoff story?

Friday afternoon I emailed that question to N&O public editor, Ted Vaden.

Vaden promptly emailed back:
Re the Reid story, our nation editor said it was a long story and we didn't have space for it today. She plans to run it over the weekend.
Today, Saturday, Feb. 11 The N&O finally covered the AP’s 1700 word plus “long story.”

And according to Microsoft Word Count, The N&O’s Reid/Abramoff “report” is just 237 words.

Does that surprise any adult N&O reader?

I was surprised.

Sure, I know The N&O filters the news to suit its views. But that it would take the AP’s story and cut so much out of it, especially after sitting on the story?

I didn’t think The N&O would do that.

Now, where do you think The N&O placed its Reid/Abramoff story?

Before this morning, I’d have guessed page one; maybe a single column story near the bottom of the page. Not as prominent coverage as The N&O would have given the story had it involved say, Republican Rep. Tom DeLay.

But still, with Democratic Senate Leader Reid now reported to be so heavily involved in a scandal The N&O has repeatedly reported on page one, how could The N&O do anything other than put the story on page one?

If it didn’t, who would believe The N&O's “fair and accurate” and "free of news bias" claims?

Well, guess what? The N&O didn’t put the story on page one.

The N&O didn’t even put the story on page 3A, its Nation & World page.

The professional journalists who filter the news for N&O readers “placed” the story back on page 8A.

More about The N&O and it’s Reid/Abramoff coverage tomorrow.

Meanwhile, if you want to know what the AP reported in its 1700 plus word story about Reid and Abramoff you can read it here at the ABC News site.

And after that I hope you’ll take a careful look at the way The N&O covered Senator Reid.

NY T corrects but offers no explanation for its Bush "on vacation" error

Yesterday I posted, The New York Times gets it wrong again. A Feb. 10 New York Times page one story, "White House Knew of Levee's Failure on Night of Storm," reported President Bush was “on vacation in Texas” on Aug. 30, the day after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.

In fact, on Aug. 30, the President began his day in San Diego where he took part in an anniversary observance of V-J Day and visited a Naval hospital. Later he flew to Arizona to speak on medicare; after which he flew to Texas. Throughout the day, the President was kept informed of Katrina developments and made decisions regarding relief efforts.

Today, there's this in the Times' Corrections section:

A front-page article yesterday about documents showing when the White House learned of the levee breaches in New Orleans referred imprecisely to President Bush's whereabouts on the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 30, the day the public learned that New Orleans had flooded. He was in San Diego that morning, giving a speech and meeting with soldiers, and returned that afternoon to his ranch in Crawford, Tex. He was not vacationing in Texas that morning
The Times’ correction should really be just a first step.

Readers are owed an explanation for how such an error could have occurred, since the President’s whereabouts on Aug. 30 are well-known and have been discussed extensively in the press.

The Times itself reported on the President’s Aug. 30 appearance in San Diego in this article (subscription required ):
At an appearance in San Diego on Tuesday to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the victory over Japan in World War II, Mr. Bush again spoke in positive terms about the draft constitution (for Iraq).
The Times reported on Bush's Aug. 30 appearance in Arizona in this article (subscription required):
President Bush alluded to the energy situation today during a appearance in El Mirage, Ariz., where he was speaking on Medicare.
While readers are due an explanation of how the Times could have made the false Bush "on vacation in Texas" report, I doubt the Times will provide it.

This BBC lead needs to be reworded

The BBC headlines a story concerning Muslim reaction to the cartoons with: Islam-West divide 'grows deeper'

The Beep's headline should read: Islam-West divide 'now more obvious'

Look what the world's gone through these past days because of a handful of cartoons.

Think what will happen if we really start to engage on the treatment of women, gays and lesbians, etc.

As the old saying goes, "You ain't seen nothing yet."

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Churchill Series - Feb. 10, 2006

(One of a series of daily posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

On November 30, 1924, Churchill turned fifty.

One of his biographers, William Manchester, would later describe Churchill at fifty:

(He was) portly, bald, stooped, his face lined with wrinkles accumulated during countless crises, any one of which would have aged most men overnight.

Yet the overall effect was pleasant. He had begun to resemble the cartoonist's conception of John Bull, hearty and prosperous, with an ovoid torso and a low center of gravity, good-humored if you let him have his way but stubborn and even refractory if you didn't.

His height was just under five feet, seven inches, which would have surprised those who knew him only through newspaper photographs, because his massive shoulders led one to expect a taller man.

His manner was always forthright, never devious, no one ever called him enigmatic.

As unsubtle as the rare roast beef he ( and John Bull) loved, his expression invariably reflected his mood. He beamed, looked puckish, frowned, wept, or brooded, but of the thousands of Churchill photographs, none shows him bored.
What a wonderful word portrait.

And as for no photo showing him bored, remember what our parents taught us: Boredom is what happens to people who aren't interested in anything? That was never Churchill.
William Manchester, The Last Lion: Visions of Glory. (p. 755)

Yes, it's true what they said about The Raleigh News & Observer

Earlier today you may have read this JinC post, Is it true what they're saying about The Raleigh News & Observer?

The Post asked:

Did The N&O really fail to report anything today, Feb. 10, about Associated Press's disclosures yesterday of Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid's involvement with Jack Abramoff and Reid's staff's involvement with Abramoff's staff?
Friends said there was nothing in The N&O about the Reid/Abramoff story but I hadn't been home to check my N&O.

I did search N&O Online but found nothing there indicating the Democratic Senate Leader was involved in the Abramoff scandal.

What to think?

Yes, The N&O's a Democratic newspaper and liberal and trending left. But it's executive editor for news, Melanie Sill, assures readers N&O news reporting is "unbiased."

I said in the Is it true what they're saying about The Raleigh News & Observer? post I hoped The N&O wasn't holding the Reid story for Saturday, the weeks slowest news day.

I promised to follow up.

Late this afternoon I emailed N&O public editor Ted Vaden who promptly responded:
Re the Reid story, our nation editor said it was a long story and we didn't have space for it today. She plans to run it over the weekend.
A thank you to editor Vaden for his prompt and "to the question" response.

Let's watch how The N&O reports the Reid/Abramoff story in the next few days and weeks.

Meanwhile, my copy of today's N&O (Feb. 10, West edition) contains a four column, national page "news" story headlined:
Good buzz helps make a song a hit, study finds.
But hey, The N&O can't report everything, can it.

JinC post main lead at Newsbusters

This morning I posted, The New York Times gets it wrong again.

Since 4:15 PM the post has been Newsbusters Main Page lead.

Yes, I'm happy for JinC.

And I also want the word to spead about the NYT's error which I find hard to understand as just "an accident."

Is it true what they're saying about The Raleigh News & Observer?

I haven't seen my copy of today's liberal trending left Raleigh News & Observer yet but friends are telling me there's no mention in the paper of yesterday's Associated Press story concerning Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid and the many thousands of dollars he's taken from Indian tribes involved in the Jack Abramoff scandal.

And, friends say, The N&O has so far failed to report on the AP's detailing of the many direct contacts Reid's staff has had with members of Abramoff’s staff.

Would the folks who control the news at The N&O, a McClatchy Co. paper, be holding back on a tough news for their party; and waiting to slip it out tomorrow, Saturday, the week’s slowest news day?

I'm in a rush now but I'll return to all of this later today.

Meanwhile, we should all remember The N&O says there's no bias in its news columns.

The New York Times gets it wrong again

The New York Times latest effort to twist the Katrina tragedy into a Bush-basher appears today in Eric Lipton’s story, White House Knew of Levee's Failure on Night of Storm.

According to Lipton's story, the White House knew of flooding in New Orleans by midnight August 30.

But the alert did not seem to register. Even the next morning, President Bush, on vacation in Texas, was feeling relieved that New Orleans had "dodged the bullet," he later recalled. (bold added)
Surely the Times knows the next morning the President was at the North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego taking part in an anniversary observance of V-J Day. Here's The White Press release of the event, including photos.

During his remarks Bush gave a Katrina update, said federal aide was underway, and told individual Americans how they could help.

The President later visited the Naval hospital in San Diego before flying on to Arizona for a speech on medicare; all the while being kept informed of Katrina developments and making necessary decisions regarding relief efforts.

In searching the Times' archives I could find no mention of the President being in California on August 30, but the Times did report his Arizona speech:
President Bush alluded to the energy situation today during a appearance in El Mirage, Ariz., where he was speaking on Medicare.
Matt Drudge is reporting The White House has asked the Times for a retraction of it's "President Bush, on vacation in Texas" error.

A prompt retraction is certainly due. And so are explanations of how and why the error appeared in Lipton's story.

If you wish to contact the NY Times public editor Byron Calame:

I'll let you know if the Times retracts and explains.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Churchill Series - Feb. 9, 2006

A blogger friend posted concerning an article in today’s London Times:

A manuscript charting the birth of modern science that was lost for centuries has been rediscovered at the bottom of a cupboard.

The 520-page document, an account of meetings and debates at the Royal Society from 1661 to 1691, was written by Robert Hooke, one of the foremost 17th-century scientists and a bitter enemy of Sir Isaac Newton. It is described as the “discovery of a generation”.
The rest of the article is here.

Of course, you’ll all read it. But what does it have to do with Churchill, you’re asking?

Well, for one thing, in those recurring “Greatest Briton” polls Churchill and Newton usually go neck and neck for “first past the post.” Both greats have had their wins.

Here are some recent race results as reported in the Datelines section of Finest Hour’s Autumn, 2003 edition (p.6). (pdf)
Scientist Sir Isaac Newton triumphed in a poll for the greatest Briton conducted with an international audience.

Viewers of BBC World voted the discoverer of gravity as the most respected Briton, ahead of Churchill who was voted the greatest Briton in a similar UK-wide poll last year. Sir Isaac polled 21.4% of the online audience. Sir Winston was second with 17%.

The apple doesn’t fall far … oh never mind.
Curchillians will have no trouble congratulating our Newtonian friends. Their man is a very worthy candidate.

I've only one small criticism of the Newtonians. They approach these contests with a bit too much gravity.

If he keeps doing it, why not keep saying it

I think its OK to keep saying the same thing about someone if the person keeps doing the same thing.

Take blogger David Boyd, for example.

I keep saying he has a wonderful capacity to pull and post the most important parts of blogworthy op-eds and other type articles.

And Boyd keeps doing it. At least IMHO he does.

Here are two recent examples:From Cliff May’s column, The Cartoon Intifada, at,David posted:

Machiavelli provided the answer more than 500 years ago. For those who would rule, he said, it is better "to be feared than loved."

By now, all but the most self-deluded among us recognize that Militant Islamists are waging a War Against the West, a deadly jihad against Christians, Jews, Hindus and moderate Muslims. These religiously inspired fascists have no interest in being loved by "infidels." They do, however, want to inspire fear – and they do want to rule.
And from R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s column, Angry Young Men, at The American Spectator, David posted:
The peoples in such a rage over Danish cartoonists are a deeply troubled people. They are incapable of reason or even of governing themselves. They are the enemy of civilization, whether it be Western civilization or some civilized order that might emerge in the Middle East.
Take a look at both May and Tyrrell's columns.

I hope you decide to visit David Boyd often.

The AP says the President "blindsided" the Mayor

Leading with a shock headline, L.A. Mayor Blindsided by Bush Announcement, the Associated Press reports:

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Thursday he was blindsided by President Bush's announcement of new details on a purported 2002 hijacking plot aimed at a downtown skyscraper, and described communication with the White House as "nonexistent."

"I'm amazed that the president would make this (announcement) on national TV and not inform us of these details through the appropriate channels," the mayor told The Associated Press. "I don't expect a call from the president — but somebody."Bush has referred to the 2002 plot before but he publicly filled in the details Thursday. (bold added)
Yes, it's an old news story but the AP still wants to shock us with L.A. Mayor Blindsided by Bush Announcement. And, of course, give His Honor the chance to tell us just how bad The White House is at communicating with him.

Later in the story the AP tells us:
The mayor said homeland security needs better funding, including for the protection of high-risk targets in Los Angeles. He said some funding could be redirected from the war in Iraq, but he did not advocate an immediate withdrawal of troops.
But for all of that, the AP never manages to get around to telling us Villaraigosa is a Democrat.

Now why could that be?

The entire AP story is here.

Posting resumes this evening

I'm traveling most of today.

Posting will resume this evening.


The who, where and why of the cartoon riots

At Betsy’s Page she posts on an Amir Taheri column detailing how hateful groups of Muslim fundamentalist planned and instigated the cartoon riots the have led to arson and murders and a largely quivering American media response.

Betsy begins:

Amir Taheri reviews the chronology in the incitement to riot about the Danish cartoons. Just in case you were under the delusion that this was a naturally arising sense of outrage. It was planned and carefully scheduled so it would not interfere with Hamas' campaign to win the elections in the Palestinian authority.
There’s a lot more about the who, where and why of the planning. Read it all here.

Then take a look at this JinC post, Why they hate us.

Why they hate us

After 9/11 the Noam Chomsky’s and Edward Saad’s were happily running around to media outlets and university campuses explaining “why they hate us.”

Universities held long, long teach-ins where it seemed every member of their social science and humanities faculties offered students endless examples of “why they hate us.” And MSM media were happy to pass it all on to America’s public.

This last week we’ve learned they hate the Danes, too.

The Danes! The Danes. One of the peoples the “why they hate us” leftists told us Americans needed to be more like.

Now, this morning from the Associated Press::

A suicide bombing ripped through a Shiite procession Thursday in northwestern Pakistan, sparking riots during the Muslim sect's most important holiday. At least 22 people were killed and dozens injured, officials said.

The bomb targeted hundreds of people in a bazaar soon after they emerged from the main Shiite mosque in the town of Hangu, district police chief Ayub Khan said. [...]
It’s a tragic story but not a new one. Muslims have been murdering Muslims for centuries.

Why do Muslim extremists hate us? Because they’re hateful people who have distorted their religion in order to justify criminal acts.

A handful of cartoons proved that.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Churchill Series - Feb. 8, 2006

(One of a series of daily posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

I'm traveling today and tomorrow so this post is short and light. Let’s enjoy some of Churchill's less well known humorous remarks.

He loved poking fun at his political foe and long-time friend, Clement Atlee. "There goes a modest man who has much to be modest about" is perhaps the best known barb Churchill sent Atlee's way.

Less well-known is my favorite Atlee barb: "An empty taxi arrived at 10 Downing Street, and when the door was opened, Atlee got out."

Regarding the American Secretary of State John Foster Dulles: "He's the only bull I know who carries with him his own china shop."

At his own expense: "I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught."

"I'm just preparing my impromptu remarks."

And these wise words for all of us: "However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results."

I hope you come back tomorrow.


Shameful appeasement

Columnist Kathleen Parker has been in the forefront of those speaking up recently for western civilization. Excerpts from her most recent column:

The past several days of mayhem throughout the Muslim world — all thanks to a handful of mild cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed — have provided a clarifying moment for those still uncertain about what the West faces from radical disciples of the Islamic faith.

What's clear is that East and West are not just cultures apart, but centuries, and that certain elements of the Muslim world would like to drag us back into the Dark Ages.

What is also clear is that the West's own leaders, both in Europe and the USA, as well as many of our own journalists, have been weak-spined when it comes to defending the principles of free expression that the artists in Denmark were exploring.

Instead of stepping up to passionately defend freedoms won through centuries of bloody sacrifice, most have bowed to ayatollahs of sensitivity, rebuking the higher calling of enlightenment and sending the cartoonists into hiding under threat of death.

Many U.S. newspapers have declined to reproduce the cartoons out of respect for Muslims, setting up the absurd implication that an open airing of the debate's content constitutes disrespect.

Of course, one can always justify being offended because taking offense is always a subjective act of volition. What is appalling, meanwhile, is appeasing crazed radicals in betrayal of moderate Muslims courageously trying to speak truth to insanity.

Appalling is our official genuflection to an irrational horde that has no interest in compromise or reason but only in submission. Ours.
Parker has much more to say. I hope you read it all.

Parker ends with this:
These are the fascist thugs, not the artists who draw cartoons in the service of democracy and truth. And those who out of a misguided sense of cultural sensitivity and niceness try to justify Muslim outrage over a cartoon are, frankly, lending aid and comfort to the enemies of civilization.

Coretta Scott King: A tribute.

In tribute: Some thoughts and feelings following Coretta Scott King’s memorial service.

Deep gratitude for what she and Dr. King did to move America closer to the fulfillment of its ideals.

Admiration for the grace and dignity she always displayed in public.

Sympathy for her children.

A hope that we will use her life to help guide our own. Especially, that we’ll encourage our young to follow her example.

Do Dems really miss opportunities?

Today’s New York Times contains an article, Some Democrats Are Sensing Missed Opportunities.

Democrats are heading into this year's elections in a position weaker than they had hoped for, party leaders say, stirring concern that they are letting pass an opportunity to exploit what they see as widespread Republican vulnerabilities.
Hmm. Are Dems really letting pass opportunities "to exploit what they see as widespread Republican vulnerabilities?"

They certainly didn’t do that yesterday at Coretta Scott King’s nationally televised memorial service.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Churchill Series - Feb. 7, 2006

(One of a series of daily posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Churchill said that as a boy there were some things about school he liked. They included memorizing “lots of Poetry by heart.”

When well into his late eighties, Churchill could still recite poems he'd learned as a boy. Invictus, by William Ernest Henley, was one of his favorites. The poem stirred him, he told people, and gave him strength in trying times.

The following version is taken from Louis Untermeyer’s Modern British Poetry.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

If The News & Observer's N&O Live was really live

With readership and advertising revenues declining, MSM newspaper chains now sponsor at their papers’ online sites Q&A sessions between readers and their reporters and journalists.

The chains hope letting readers “talk to real journalists” will build trust in their papers, thereby helping stem the flood of readers to other news sources, especially bloggers.

The McClatchy Co. chain owns my local liberal trending left newspaper, The Raleigh News & Observer.

McClatchy and The N&O call their Q&A show N&O Live. Only their show isn’t live. It’s previewed and scripted.

If you want to “appear on N&O Live,” you must submit your question in advance. N&O staffers read it and decide if it should be used on N&O Live. Then etc., etc.

So that’s N&O Live?

But suppose N&O Live was really live. What would the show be like?

It might be like this :

Host: “We have N&O public editor Ted Vaden with us today. Our first caller.”

‘Hello, Mr. Vaden, this is Johnincarolina and I want..." (click)

Host: “We have a second caller from Chapel Hill. Are you there, second caller?

“Yes, and I don’t really have a question. I just wanted to tell Mr. Vaden what a stupendous newspaper The N&O is.

And how great I thought it was that The N&O never said anything during the Alito hearings about Sen. Teddy Kennedy belonging to that all male Owl Club. You know, the one that bars women from membership.

I mean, first right wingers complained about how Kennedy treats women. Then they complain he belongs to an all male club.

I mean, make up your minds, right wingers. And give the guy a break.”

Host: “Er, yes, but do you have a question, Chapel Hill caller?”

“Well, I suppose I do. It’s …it’s how does The N&O resist all that pressure from the vast right wing conspiracy?

I’ll hang up now so Mr. Vaden can answer my question.”
Readers, would you like a show where you could call in your N&O questions live and without review?

And would you be upset if The McClatchy Co. and The N&O called the show something like N&O Really Live?

BTW - How much did readers and advertisers pay whoever dreamed up N&O Live?

Reuters is still headlining "cartoon row."

If you look up row at Merriam-Webster Online, and read past four other definitions having to do with rowing, you get to this definition:

a noisy disturbance or quarrel.
You'll also find row today in a Reuters headline:

Bush calls Danish PM with support in cartoon row

At Reuters, it's been "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."

Now, it's one man's arson, riots and worse are another man's row.

We shouldn't have expected anything else from Reuters.

Will it be All Things Morally Equivalent?

National Public Radio political correspondent Mara Liasson is a regular commentator on Fox News Special Report with Brit Hume.

Liasson, like most journalists at NPR, is a liberal. But she’s always seemed informed and reflective. At least until last night, Feb 6.

Brit Hume was discussing the death threats, riots, arson, and worse by some Muslims which they justify as a legitimate, religiously-based response to provocative cartoons in a Danish newspaper.

It response to Hume, Liasson said:

A case can be made that the Danish newspaper did this as a provocation, in poor taste, whatever--maybe they shouldn't have published them--but the reaction has been equally egregious. (bold added)
I found it hard to believe Liasson would say such a thing. But she did. You can view and/ or hear it at Michelle Malkin (via The Colossus of Rhodey).

Liasson’s statement is shocking. Even the doltish liberals at the Guardian aren’t engaging in moral equivalence after Muslims in London last Saturday screamed and waved signs calling for murders, dismemberments and "more 9/11s" in Britain.

How could Liasson have said what she said? She needs to offer an explanation and apology today.

If she doesn’t, NPR might as well rename their news program All Things Morally Equivalent.

Former President Carter is so predictable

We read today this from the Associated Press:

Ex-President Carter: Eavesdropping Illegal

Former President Jimmy Carter criticized the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping program Monday and said he believes the president has broken the law.

"Under the Bush administration, there's been a disgraceful and illegal decision _ we're not going to the let the judges or the Congress or anyone else know that we're spying on the American people," Carter told reporters. "And no one knows how many innocent Americans have had their privacy violated under this secret act."
And so on here.

Anyone surprised?

No, and you won't be surprised in a few days or weeks when the former President makes a statement that begins: "Of course I deplore violence but...", and then goes on to criticize the cartoonists and those who are standing with them.

Let's watch for Carter's sure to come statement.

Please let me know if you see it first.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Churchill Series - Feb. 6, 2006

(One of a series of daily posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

A few years back The London Times published an article, Winston Churchill, soldier and journalist.

Here are excerpts:

Winston Churchill’s early life was dominated by the Army and by journalism.

At the age of 20, in February 1895, he was commissioned in the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars.

The military year was divided into seven months’ summer training and five months’ winter leave, during which young officers were expected to gain experience by joining a suitable military campaign.

Since early summer, the Spanish authorities in Cuba had been hard-pressed by rebels, and 80,000 reinforcements had been sent to suppress the rebellion.

Seeing an opportunity to witness some real military action, Churchill and a fellow subaltern, Reginald Barnes, went to Cuba in October and attached themselves to General Suarez Valdez.

On November 30, his 21st birthday, Churchill witnessed his first action: “For the first time I heard shots fired in anger, and heard bullets strike flesh or whistle through the air.”

The following year, 1896, Churchill’s military career took him to India, where he (joined a field force) under Sir Binden Blood to tackle the revolt of the Pathan tribesmen on the Indian frontier.

By August 1897, he was with the force at Malakand, on the Indian border (now part of Pakistan) with Afghanistan.
Pathans are a tribal people we refer to as Pashtuns. They inhabit the border area of what is now southeastern Afghanistan and northwest Pakistan. Many believe Osama bin Laden is hiding somewhere in that area.

Churchill’s experiences in the fighting there formed the basis for his first book, The Story of the Malakand Field Force, published in 1898..

The Times' article, Winston Churchill, soldier and journalist, was published on September 10, 2001.

The Raleigh New & Observer's N&O Live isn't live

The Raleigh News & Observer online now features one of those Q&A shows where readers ask questions of reporters and editors. The show's called N&O Live. Only it isn't live.

N&O Live questions are submitted in advance and reviewed by the N&O. Then those selected for the show are printed on screen and "asked by the Moderator.” It’s no surprise the questions are almost all "softballs."

Here's a couple of "softballs" executive editor for news, Melanie Sill, fielded on the Feb. 1 show:

Moderator: "What's the most common sort of question you get from the public about the N&O's coverage?"
And this:
Moderator: “How do editors decide which story’s going to go on Page One?"
As I understand it, one of the main purposes of N&O Live is to increase readers' trust in The N&O.

How does calling a Q&A show that previews and selects the questions N&O Live do that?

Won't a title like that lead many people to conclude the show is more about institutional puffery than earning readers' trust?

I'll email executive editor Sill and public editor Ted Vaden links to this post and invite them to comment here.

I'll keep you posted

Don't get sick in Pakistan

Michelle Malkin alerts us to a recent decision of The Pakistan Medical Association:

MULTAN, Pakistan (AFX) - The Pakistan Medical Association has vowed not to prescribe medicines from firms based in some European countries where controversial cartoons portraying the Prophet Mohammed were published, said Shahid Rao, the body's general secretary for Punjab province.

The association will boycott drugs from Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Germany and France to protest the 'blasphemous' drawings, Rao said.

'We have taken a unanimous decision and it will be immediately implemented in Pakistan,' Rao told AFP.

'Doctors in the country are very motivated on this issue,' he said. 'We would use alternate medicines in future till a public apology comes from these countries.'
There's more here.

Questions: What alternate medicines? Ground beetles and sage mixed in warm brine?

Is the PMA recommending bloodletting? Leeches?

Malkin calls what The PMA is doing "nuts." She's got it.

Is Sen. Jay Rockefeller the Times' NSA leaker?

Lorie Byrd at Polipundit posts on the possibility the New York Times' NSA leaker is Sen. Jay Rockefeller (Dem. – W. Va.), the ranking member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Take a look here.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Churchill Series - Feb. 5, 2006

(One of a series of posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

On September 6, 1943 Churchill spoke at Harvard University. He has just come from Quebec, where together with Roosevelt and their top military aides, the decision had been made to launch the invasion we know as D-Day.

Churchill spoke to the blood and toil of the war in progress. Then he turned to consider the world that would emerge from the war. What should guide us then?

Law, language, literature - these are considerable factors. Common conceptions of what is right and decent, a marked regard for fair play, especially to the weak and poor, a stern sentiment of impartial justice, and above all the love of personal freedom.

We do not war primarily with races as such. Tyranny is our foe, whatever trappings or disguise it wears, whatever language it speaks, be it external or internal, we must forever be on our guard, ever mobilized, ever vigilant, always ready to spring at its throat.

In all this, we march together. Not only do we march and strive shoulder to shoulder at this moment under the fire of the enemy on the fields of war or in the air, but also in those realms of thought which are consecrated to the rights and the dignity of man.
They’re word’s for today, aren’t they.

Churchill’s entire speech is here, and followed by comments from a student who heard it.

The text copy of Churchill's speech and the student comments are courtesy of The Churchill Centre.

Raleigh News & Observer posts tomorrow

Many of you have asked for more Raleigh News & Observer posts.

"Put the spotlight on them, John."

Well, I don't know if you'd call them "spotlights," but tomorrow I'll put up two posts about The N&O.

And in the future, I’ll pay more attention The N&O; and post about it more often.

The Cartoon Jihad

Melanie Phillips is a British journalist and author whose critics say she’s a conservative.

Phillips insists she’s a liberal. Maybe not a “today” liberal, but certainly a classical liberal.

Do you remember such liberals?

They said everyone should be equal before the law. They wanted women to have the same rights as men. They opposed racial preferences. They cherished that great western value, democracy.

Well, let’s leave the question of Phillips’ liberalism for another post.

In this post, let’s look only at her most recent column.

In immediate terms, Phillips’ column is about the cartoons. In broader terms, it’s about western civilization and the need to defend it.

If you read the first and last sentences of Phillips’s column, I think you’ll want to read it all.

Here’s the first:

The still escalating confrontation over the Danish cartoons dramatically illustrates the now pathological reluctance of the leaders of Britain and America to face up to the blindingly obvious and the extent to which they have already run up the white flag in the face of clerical fascism.
And here’s the last:
Twelve scribbled drawings have lifted the veil -- on both the nature of the threat and the disarray that greets it.
Phillips’ entire column is here.

Double standards on protests

EU Referendum reminds us of a then and now double standard.

Than it was Sept. 15, 2004, and people in London peacefully protesting a ban of foxhunting:

Instantly, the police responded with a flail of truncheons.[...] They were scenes more associated with the clash of police and shaven-headed football hooligans or dreadlocked anti-capitalist demonstrators rather than men in flat caps and women in quilted waistcoats.
Now its Feb 3, 2006 and Muslim's are protesting in London.
An Association of Chief Police Officers spokesman said that the protests did not yet represent a serious threat to public order. A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Arrests, if necessary, will be made at the most appropriate time. This should not be taken as a sign of lack of action."

Scotland Yard says a decision not to arrest protesters was taken because of public order fears. It confirmed that police had received more than 100 complaints from the public about the protesters' behaviour.
Glenn Reynolds adds:
Once again, the message is that if you blow things up, or even look as if you might, we'll be nice to you. And once again, I note that this is a very unwise message to send.

Hat Tip: Instapundit

The left will stand with the Danes when

About Muslim threats and violence in reaction to the cartoons, Michelle Malkin asks, "What Does The Left Have To Say?"

Short answer: Not very much.

That's no surprise.

The Danes right now just don't meet the left's criteria for support.

But if the Danes ever become very anti-American, the left will be there "in solidarity."

Copenhagen might even get visits from folks like George Galloway, Cindy Sheehan and Sean Penn.