Friday, September 24, 2004

Joyeux Anniversaire F. Scott Fitzgerald

On this day in 1896, Francis Scott Fitzgerald was born.

My first exposure to Fitzgerald was reading The Great Gatsby in a jr. high literature class. I was hooked. I went on to read all his other works (my favorite being The Beautiful and the Damned) and then on to all the other members of "the lost generation." It was through these writers that I became infatuated with the city of Paris and that infatuation finally led me to move here.

The term "the lost generation" was termed by poet Gertrude Stein to describe a number of expat American "intellectuals, poets, artists and writers who fled to France in the post World War I years," and who were "seeking a bohemian lifestyle... ."
"Full of youthful idealism, these individuals sought the meaning of life, drank excessively, had love affairs and created some of the finest American literature to date."

Now that may not sound very conservative, but to me, it's very romantic!

The following are a few of my favorite F. Scott Fitzgerald quotes:
  • "Writers aren't exactly people...they're a whole lot of people trying to be one person."

  • "Either you think, or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize you."

  • Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat."

  • You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say."

  • The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise."


I'm having posting problems. This is just a test.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Buy A Soldier A Beer!

Beer for soldiers is a great way to do something for our brave soldiers. If you're like me, I've been frustrated by my inability to do anything for our guys and gals in the military. Using Paypal, you can now buy a cold one for them. I also signed up to be a penpal. I know it's not much in exchange for all they are doing for us, but it's a start!

A great heads up from Michelle Malkin.

Help A Real Documentary Maker!

As seen at Laura

Help a real documentary maker get his Iraq film distributed! Don North, veteran journalist, has already made one documentary about Saddam Hussein's atrocities called Remembering Saddam. Now he wants to complete the picture with a new documentary called Forgetting Saddam, which chronicles how seven Iraqi men who had their hands amputated by Saddam's butchers were helped by the generosity of American surgeons, prosthetic experts, and regular people. CNN, The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, and PBS have all passed on North's first documentary, which is nothing short of riveting. This film must be seen by as many people as possible and that costs money. North needs additional funds to get his documentary distributed and aired, as well as for completing the editing for the second installment. Please contribute (it's tax deductible) by sending whatever you can (checks only) to: The American Foreign Policy Council, 1521 16th St., NW, Washington, DC 20036. (202)462-6055.

Sounds like the perfect antidote for a certain other "documentary."

I also recommend contacting PBS to ask them to support this important work. They are always asking us to support them!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Lest We Forget

Remember the blood of heroes

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Thomas Jefferson

linked from Powerline

Possible Hate Crime?

When and if the culprits who forged the now infamous CBS memos are found, should they be charged with a hate crime? Should the primary movers in promulgating these forged documents also be charged with hate crimes?

Now I am no fan of hate crime legislation. It is too "thought police" for me. To me, any crime is hateful and should be punished fully as prescribed by law and any motivational factor should be used to effect that full punishment.

However, the fact is, we do have hate crime laws on our books. These have come about mainly due to the activism of "groups rights," separatist left wingers.

According to the NEA:

"Hate crimes are loosely defined as hostile acts that are motivated by hatred against members of so-called 'outgroups,' or people who are perceived as different."

Let's dissect the Memogate debacle in conjunction with this definition:

  • Hostile Act - I think it is inarguable that the only reason these "documents" came into being was to harm GWB and his chance for reelection.
  • Motivated By Hatred - I think it is inarguable that there is a vitriolic hatred for GWB and for the Republican Party by many people on the left.
  • Against Members - I think it is inarguable that GWB and the Bush/Cheney '04 Campaign were the targets of this attack.
  • Perceived As Different - I think it is inarguable that the radical left wing believes that all conservatives are alien, inhuman abominations who must be destroyed.

All the elements for a hate crime appear to be present.

Please pardon my vengeful ruminations; I am merely venting. But isn't it just delicious to think about?

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley, Rest In Peace

...For thou art with me; ...

Coincidental Familia Dysfunction?

An odd series of family spats have erupted in the wake of Rathergate. Now if I were of the black helicopter variety, I might think that there was some kind of underlying conspiracy at the bottom of these arguments. So far we have:

The Killian family - If we were to believe the reporting done by CBS, the first family fallout was with the Killians. By using the TANG memos, CBS, in essence, had Lt. Col. Jerry Killian stating that GWB was a slacker, shirker, and recipient of special favors (caveat-you must believe the memos are authentic for above proposition to be valid). Very shortly after the 60 Minutes II segment aired, several members of the late Lt. Col.'s family spoke out against the "statements" supposedly said by him (and in essence, him). Son Gary Killian claimed that his father had had nothing but high praise for the future president and this was echoed by his stepmother who was married to Lt. Col. Killian when he passed away in 1984.

UPDATE: The Killian family has now called for an apology from CBS. (perhaps for creating a family rift?)

The Barnes Family - In the now infamous 60 Minutes report, Ben Barnes, former Texas Lt. Gov., claimed that he had pulled strings in 1968 to get GWB into the TANG. Not long after, Barnes' daughter, Amy Barnes Stites, called a WBAP radio talk show hosted by Monica Crowley to dispute her fathers claims. When asked if she believed her father had lied, Barnes Stites replied:

"Yes, I do. I absolutely do. And I think he is doing it for purely political, opportunistic reasons - trying to get John Kerry elected and trying to make Bush look like the bad person. ...he's trying to promote his book that he's got coming out."

The Mapes Family - Now we all know that Mary Mapes is the "mother" of the the 60 Minutes memo story. She is also a person who seems to have connections with members of the Kerry/Edwards '04 Campaign. It is relatively easy to deduce Ms. Mapes feelings towards GWB. But it seems that there is some friction between her and her father. Don Mapes, who recently spoke on Seattle's KVI radio, believes that there is a political agenda behind his daughter's work. He said:

"I'm really ashamed of what my daughter has become. She's a typical liberal. She went into journalism with an ax to grind, and that was to promote radical feminism."

He went on to say:

"When I heard about 60 Minutes, I suspected she would be the producer of the show"...

Now I know these things may all be simply coincidental but we may have to wait to get Oliver Stone's take on it before we can be sure.

Monday, September 20, 2004

A Rather Pesky Question

In a story on the CBS News website today, News President Andrew Heyward says:

"Based on what we now know, CBS News cannot prove that the documents are authentic, which is the only acceptable journalistic standard to justify using them in the report. We should not have used them. That was a mistake, which we deeply regret."

The story also states that:

"...former Texas Guard official Bill Burkett 'has acknowledged that he provided the now disputed documents' and 'admits that he deliberately misled the CBS News producer working on the report, giving her a false account of the documents' origins to protect a promise of confidentiality to the actual source.'"

Further in the story:

"CBS News pledged 'an independent review of the process by which the report was prepared and broadcast to help determine what actions need to be taken.'"

Now, to me, several things seem to be missing from this story. First of all, there is not an admission that the documents are actually forgeries. Scores of experts and numerous other news agencies have weighed in and the general assumption is that the documents are not real. The preponderance of evidence points toward forgery.

Secondly, the gist I get is that CBS News is only concerned with the provenance of the documents. Not that they are fakes but where did Burkett get them from; was that source reliable? It seems like they are still holding out hope for a major scoop which will reveal that all their previous reporting was accurate.

And finally, where is the anger? Doesn't it seem an obvious move for a major news outlet that has been hoodwinked and has had its journalistic integrity called into question to throw all of its investigative weight into finding out who forged these documents and why? What steps failed in CBS News' story preparation process is significant, but the really big story in all of this is who and why, not how!