Thursday, September 29, 2005


I had the misfortune of spending about 20 minutes listening to the Mike Malloy program on our local Air America affiliate this evening. It was an unexpectedly difficult exercise, but I did learn some things from it:

First, that Mr. Malloy seems to think that invective and personal attacks are the equivalent of making an argument. In the time I listened, I was treated to a nasty description of Newt Gingrich's sex life, informed that Republicans want to destroy America. Why? He doesn't say. In the whole block of time, he did not make a single statement in support of his assertion.

Second, if Malloy's off-air personality is similar to the on-air one he appears to be a narrow, intolerant, contemptible excuse for a human being.

Third, if he qualifies as one of Air America's stars, they've sure defined down the term 'star'.

If this is how the left defines the equivalent of conservative talk radio, they need to think again. The only right-wing talker I know of even close to being this obnoxious is the reactionary Michael Savage. The others at least can make an argument.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Jeff Jarvis Endorses "Fake but Accurate"

Jeff Jarvis writes a post criticizing Tim Russert for asking pointed questionsof Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard about his false story of how the Feds being responsible for the death of a 92 year old woman in a Louisiana nursing home during Hurricane Katrina. Money graf:
Too much of journalism is turning this way today: If we nitpick the facts and follow some rules some committee wrote up, we’ll be safe; we’re doing our jobs. No, sir, our job is to get more than the facts. Anybody can get facts. Facts are the commodity. The truth is harder to find. Justice is harder to fight for. Lessons are what we’re after.

Mr Jarvis fails to comprehend that facts in many cases are not so easy to get. Many of the controversial issues of the day are controversial (at least in part) because we are unable to agree what the facts are. Abortion is an example, becuase we are still unable to determine when life begins.

Facts are the building blocks of truth, as logic and reason is the mortar. You can't have truth without them and those who misuse and abuse facts should be called on it, even when you agree with them.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Metrodome Matrimony

This Saturday I had the opportunity to attend my first baseball wedding. Two friends chose to tie the knot at the Metrodome with 82 other couples. 'Twas an interesting experience especially for the Twins and WCCO, methinks. It had bit of a disorganized feel to it, the feel of something that neither organization had tried before.

Unsurprisingly the ceremony was a civil service, since unless you're Rev. Sung Yung Moon it's pretty hard to put together a religious ceremony that would be appropriate for this sizeable group. (The diverse part would have daunted even him.) I was surprised at the mention of God in the ceremony though. The fellow officiating did manage to avoid the use of phrasing like "Do you [state your name] take this...", thus avoiding at least on opportunity for jokes. In any case the ceremony went off pretty well and I didn't even screw up my part holding up a piece of heart in the card section.

Congratulations Laurel and Kevin, and may your lives together be long and happy ones.

And yes, the Twins beat the White Sox 5-0, with Johan Santana fanning 13 Sox along the way.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Why I ignore TV critics

Neal Justin has decided the press are true heroes of Katrina. Why, because they got mad (at President Bush, of course). I guess the requirements of heroism are perfect hair, a microphone, a cameraman and a rescue effort to complain about. Apparently carping at the inevitable errors, foul-ups, and fog of confusion that is part and parcel of responding to a catastrophe is heroic. I do have a couple of questions for Mr. Justin, however.

1. How many people did the press save? Say, as compared to the Red Cross, the United States Armed Forces, the National Guard, and all of the other first responders in the Gulf Coast states hit by Katrina?

2. How well did any of the people mentioned in your column explain the process by which federal assistance is provided to states and smaller locales in the event of a natural disaster. Did they mention that the Department of Defense was able to get resources moving towards LA in half the time required to do so in 1992 for Hurricane Andrew? Did the Times-Picayune read their own stories about the poor preparedness of the city of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana before writing their open letter criticizing the feds? How often did the people Justin holds up as models report on the efforts of the US Coast Guard, rescuing people along the Gulf coast as early as the day after Katrina struck?

3. Mr. Justin, in what way is the government (which government, by the way? there is more than one level involved in the relief effort) intimidating the press? How many reporters have been put in jail for reporting on the relief effort? Does criticism of press reporting by government officials qualify as intimidation? I hope the press is sufficiently thick-skinned as to be able to accept criticism, but maybe our brave guardians of freedom find it just too intimidating. What a shame. In what way is the goverment turning the public against the press? I thought the press' declining reputation has a lot to do with lousy, sloppy, and occasionally biased reporting, not the nonexistent PSAs from Uncle Sam warning us against the evil press. Silly me.

A Moment of Reflectlion

for those who died 4 years ago today. For those who were on the planes, and those who dared fire and rubble to aid those caught in the Towers and the Pentagon.

A moment of sympathy for those who lost loved ones on that fall day turned bleak, four years ago today.

For the hijacker/murderers, nothing but contempt. For them and for all they thought they stood for. For what they stood for, a reserved spot in the ash heap of history.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Katrina Relief

I've been away on vacation and getting the house insulated (yep, even in this climate builders didn't always choose to insulate), so no blogging of late.. Nor will there be much until after Labor Day. Today, just a word about Katrina.

What has happened along our Gulf Coast is almost too appalling for words. Rather than bloviate about it, I just want to direct attention to organizations that are trying to do good down there and could use a bit of your money. I'll start with :

The American Red Cross

I see that Instapundit has already compiled quite a list of links to relief organizations, so check it out.