Cheat-Seeking Missles

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday Scan

Dith Pram, Journo-Hero, Dies

The world would have learned what Pol Pot did in Cambodia -- killing 2 million of its 7 million people -- without Dith Pran, but the former NYT translator carried the story to the world so effectively that it's hard to imagine the story without him.

Dith (Cambodians do last names first) created the term "killing fields" as he survived the horror for five years, and brought us story through The Killing Fields. He survived Pol Pot, but not pancreatic cancer, and there's a loving obit in the NYT, where he became a photographer.

There's a quote in the AP story on Dith that I really liked. It didn't make the NYT story; I think you'll understand why:
He was "the most patriotic American photographer I've ever met, always talking about how he loves America," said Associated Press photographer Paul Sakuma, who knew Dith through their work with the Asian American Journalists Association.
When you can experience America after living through what happens if countries are left to Communists -- particularly crazy Communists in Cambodia's case -- it's hard not to be patriotic.

Non-Story Of The Day

I bring you the Hooters Girls only to make a point: Some political news stories only exist because of big boobs in tight T-shirts, like this one from the Merc News:
It's a pretty safe bet Assemblyman Joe Coto won't be patronizing Hooters anymore.

"You're going to get me in trouble," Coto, D-San Jose, quipped last week, after IA inquired about the most interesting line item on his campaign expense report for late 2007.

The item on page 73 shows a $319.13 "meeting" at a Hooters restaurant in Sacramento, an eatery more famous for cleavage than cuisine thanks to the "Hooters Girls." That's what the attention-loving company calls the young women who dress in tight white tops and skimpy orange shorts while serving burgers, fried chicken and beer to drooling customers.

So what's Coto - a well-dressed, married man, a former superintendent for the East Side Union High School District - doing eating at a place like Hooters?
I am definitely not a Hooters fan -- I'm deeply suspicious of a restaurant that has to rely on sex for customers; it makes me question the quality of its food -- but c'mon, if an elected wants to eat there, it's not like he's spending campaign funds for crack and lap dances.

But here's how desperate the media is to titillate: Coto's Hooters bill was for carry-out for an office dinner, not for table service. Even thought they knew this, the experts in news judgment went ahead with the story anyway.

And we trust them with important stories.

Greenie Fundamentals Revealed

In the Greenie e-mag Greenbang, climate gal Dr. Kate Rowles lets down her guard and tells us what the Greenie/Warmie movement is really all about:
Greenbang: What do you think is wrong with the debate on climate change?

Dr Kate: It hasn’t really got to grips with the fundamental problem, which is that Western, industrialised lifestyles are literally unsustainable. Climate change is just one symptom of this. [The World Wildlife Federation] famously calculated that if everyone on earth were to enjoy the lifestyle of an average Western European, we would need three planet earths.

Not even the most optimistic believers in technology think that we can technofix this problem so that 6 billion people (let alone the projected 9 billion) can enjoy a western lifestyle without ecological meltdown. It follows that we urgently need to rethink what we currently mean by a ‘high standard of living’ and move away from materialistic versions of this to an understanding of quality of life that could be enjoyed by everyone, without causing environmental mayhem. This is about values, not just about technology.
I'm not "the most optimistic believer in technology" by any means, yet I think we can "technofix" the problem, because I believe in the boundless desire of man to survive and thrive ... and to adapt.

The Greenies think in terms of limits, not adaptation. To them, our future is limited, our ability to deal with change is limited, our ability to plan is limited, our intelligence is limited. Take for example the projection of a population of 9 million. China, India and Africa are responsible for most of the population growth and China and India have, through methods I hardly condone, gotten a handle on theirs. No limits to to human ability to learn and adapt.

Dreary Dr. Kate continues:
Current levels of consumption in industrialised societies are too high - as the three planet earth analysis clearly shows. This presents a major problem for current economic thinking, which is premised on growth, and which requires us all to keep consuming more, not less. Clearly we can’t grow infinitely, and consume infinitely, on a finite planet.
In other words, poor people of the world, unite! ... and give up all hope that your life will ever improve, because if the Greenies and Warmies succeed in dialing back Western creativity and growth, any hope the poor nations have for a better future is gone.

But that's OK with Dr. Kate Rowles, because if poor people live better, it's just more carbon to her.

h/t a long chain starting with What Bubba Knows, through Moonbattery and on ...

A Resounding McCain Endorsement

John McCain my not be touting this "endorsement" on his Web site -- after all, the headline is Why We Should Fear a McCain Presidency, and it is a scathing denouncement of his foreign policy. But given that it's from the Moscow Times, it's a reassurance that he might be the right man for the job.

A couple excerpts:
Driven in part by his intense commitment to the Iraq war, McCain has relied more on neoconservatives such as his close friend William Kristol, the Weekly Standard editor. His chief foreign policy adviser is Randy Scheunemann, another leading neoconservative and a founder of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. McCain shares their belief in what Kristol has called "national greatness conservatism." In 1999, McCain declared: "The U.S. is the indispensable nation because we have proven to be the greatest force for good in human history. ... We have every intention of continuing to use our primacy in world affairs for humanity's benefit." ...

Reflecting the neoconservative program of spreading democracy by force, McCain declared in 2000: "I'd institute a policy that I call 'rogue state rollback.' I would arm, train, equip, both from without and from within, forces that would eventually overthrow the governments and install free and democratically elected governments."
Oh, the horror!

Never Having To Say You're Sorry

Pick you're media outlet; it's all the same story. Here's BBC:
Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr has ordered his fighters off the streets of Basra and other cities in an effort to end clashes with security forces.

He said in a statement that his movement wanted the Iraqi people to stop the bloodshed and maintain the nation's independence and stability.
I chose BBC because I was listening to it while driving home one day last week, as the fighting in Basra was just rolling out. What better source, eh?, since the Brit withdrawal from Basra had motivated Moqtada Sadr to start fighting again.

So BBC had its Basra reporter and some foreign affairs reporter from a British paper ... the Telegraph, I think ... on, talking about how this was going to be a tough fight, how strong Sadr is, how not-ready the Iraqi Army is, blah, blah, blah.

Well, I read the story about Sadr giving up in less than a week from top to bottom, and nowhere did I see an admission that they got it wrong. Again.

Another Crazy AG (Thank God!)

The Left loves to hate Bush AGs, and Michael Mukasey is no exception, maybe because he says stuff like this (in NanPo's hometown, yet!):
"Forget the liability [phone companies face]. We face the prospect of disclosure in open court of what they did, which is to say the means and the methods by which we collect foreign intelligence against foreign targets."
Whether it's demanding the closure of Gitmo so the worst terrorists in the world can be tried in our court system, or denying phone companies protection so that our technologies are laid open, the Lefties are intent on using our courts to put America at the greatest disadvantage possible in the war on terror.

Faced with enemies without and enemies within, Bush has no choice but to have a tough, no-nonsense AG. And recognizing that, the Left has no choice but to attack every AG Bush appoints.

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