Wednesday, August 27, 2008

24/7 News Cycle

Alas, Dear Gentle Reader(s), we are in a quandary.  What do we do about the 24/7 news cycle?  Anyone who has paid the least bit of attention lately has been barraged with speculation about the performances of Senator and President Clinton at this year's Democratic convention.  Working citizens, that is, citizens who have real lives, not the ersatz life of a retiree, have asked about the possibility that Senator Obama might not prevail in November because of the Clintons' alleged residue of hard feelings after the Democratic primaries.

For weeks on end, the punditry has expounded on how the Clintons would probably not give their full support to this year's Democratic nominee; how Senator Clinton was already preparing for the 2012 primary season.  Commentariat flunkies were poised to parse each syllable and each breath of the Clintons' speeches.  If there were even a scintilla of hard feelings in the scripts, the 24/7 people were poised and ready.

Last night and tonight Senator and President Clinton put the lie to that speculation.  They spoke of their determination to put the Nation first, to insure the defeat of the Republican nominee.  They did so convincingly.  Alex Koppleman wrote he knew Senator Clinton's speech was a success because Keith Olberman and Chris Matthews could not find fault;  if you, Dear Gentle Reader(s), had occasion to visit Faux News, you would've heard those yahoos grasping at vacuous straws in their pathetic efforts to demean the Senator.  That's how you would've known she did a good job.

Television and the "blogosphere" and the 24/7 news cycle comprise a mixed blessing.  In order to garner readership and audience, those talking heads and pajama-wearing writers are desperate for conflict because that's where the readership is alleged to lie.  If there's no conflict, those souls tend to create it out of very thin cloth.

Our problem is how to learn to listen and read with a critical attitude.

Cui bono?

If it seems like the only ones who benefit are the people who blog and pontificate, then it probably should be received with skepticism.

Trust, but verify.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Attention, Big Box Shoppers!

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Being a prisoner of war is not a qualification for Commander-in-Chief.



Trust, but verify.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Surge Plus a Lot of other Facts Equals Success

Dear Gentle Reader(s), let's give credit where credit is due.  To do that, let us go to a source not often quoted in the media, U.S. Centcom's  web site.

There is only one entry in today's email from Centcom, "General: Several factors contribute to Iraq improvement."  Here are some relevant paragraphs for your edification:

Army Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, commander of Multi-National Division - North, appeared on CNN’s “Late Edition With Wolf Blitzer.”

Hertling said the coalition’s troop surge, Iraq’s security forces, national and provincial officials and the population’s rejection of violent extremism all have contributed to a sharp decline in violence and allowed for economic progress.

The surge did much to improve security in Baghdad and other regions, he said, and “Sons of Iraq” citizen groups have assisted Coalition and Iraqi forces in the security effort. At the same time, he said, Iraq’s army and police forces have continued to mature.

And there you have it.  The "surge" helped in Baghdad, Iraqis slowly have been working for themselves in other regions. 

Memory test:  Who didn't want to send the recommended number of forces into Iraq in the first place?  (Answer:  the people who waited until their failed policies had cost a great deal of unnecessary loss of many nations' blood and treasure.)

How successful has the surge been?  You know what to do, DGR(s),

Trust,but verify.

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Friday, August 1, 2008

Gray Lady's Muckroom 8.1.08

Ah, Dear Gentle Reader(s), the Grey Lady (aka The New York Times) is responding to recent right wing criticism about the decision not to publish an op-ed piece by Senator McCain by publishing a hit piece by one Eric Egland, Major, U.S.A.F.

Maj. Egland's piece is entitled "Allies Obama Overlooked."  In it he discloses the fact of intelligence agencies' history of cooperation with one another in the continuing struggle against terrorist cells.  It's an interesting piece, and it's an important piece.  If you have time, do read it.

It falls under a "hit piece" in the final paragraphs:

In 2004, J. Cofer Black, the State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism, testified about the success of these partnerships before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s subcommittee on European affairs. Had Senator Obama, who now heads that subcommittee, read the transcripts from the meeting, which took place before he came to office, or had he held a similar hearing, he might have known that the partnerships he called for last week already exist.

After years of investment and sacrifice, Americans and Europeans deserve accurate information about our efforts to defeat international terrorism, especially from a prospective commander in chief.

One assumes a patriot, DGR(s), would have sent this information to a "prospective commander in chief."  One must assume a partisan politician, in an Air Force officer's uniform, would rather use the information to belittle and disparage.  One could be wrong.  Best to

Trust, but verify.

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