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Everything posted by KirtFalcon

  1. Katherine McPhee is the most talented singer in my opinion.
  2. Penn State's football uniforms are the cheapest looking, ugliest looking things on the planet . . . period! :harhar:
  3. By Ed Zieralski UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER 12:51 p.m. March 20, 2006 SAN DIEGO – Mac Weakley of Carlsbad caught what could be the world-record largemouth bass early Monday at Dixon Lake in Escondido. The bass weighed 25 pounds, 1 ounce on a hand-held scale, which – if approved – would shatter the world record, the 22-pound, 4-ounce bass caught by George W. Perry at Montgomery Lake in Georgia in 1932. The catch will have to be approved by the International Game Fish Association. That may be a problem, however, because Weakley said he foul-hooked the fish – meaning the hook lodged below the dorsal fin on the fish's side, not in the fish's mouth. Weakley was fishing with his longtime friends Mike Winn and Jed Dickerson. Dickerson caught a 21-pound, 11-ounce bass at the same lake in 2003. The men believe this is the same fish that Dickerson caught almost three years ago, and which was also caught by another fisherman as a 20-pounder in 2001. They said the fish has the same identifying black dot under its right gill plate. Weakley released the fish after taking pictures and videos of the weigh-in. But he did not take measurements of the fish, which also may be a problem when it comes to the game fish association approving it as a record catch.
  4. Socialism, like liberalism, is like a cancer on America. These people need to be exposed and defeated before they destroy this country! :whistle:
  5. The American Thinker March 20th, 2006 The third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was marked over the weekend by a wave of protests around the world. Most of the marches in America were spearheaded by United for Peace and Justice, the nation’s largest anti-war coalition. United for Peace and Justice is a large umbrella association of more than thirteen hundred local and national groups who have joined together to protest the immoral and disastrous Iraq War and oppose our government’s policy of permanent warfare and empire-building. The organization’s recent press release tells us of a massive effort planned for the week of March 15 – 22 during which it planned to be coordinating local events ‘as part of a nationwide week of action to end the Iraq war.’ More than 500 events were planned in all 50 states. Needless to say, United for Peace and Justice has been responsible for some of the most visible peace campaigns in recent memory. Its website boasts that since its inception in October 2002, it has spurred hundreds of protests and rallies around the country and organized the two largest demonstrations against the Iraq war. Despite the variety of causes its member groups ostensibly espouse, most of them are well known for their enmity toward America and her capitalist society. They are led by such anti-establishment outfits as the Communist Party USA, Anti-Capitalist Convergence, Socialist Party USA, Anti-Imperialist News Service, Black Radical Congress and Workers Party. There is something suspicious in all this. Why have all these radicals flocked to the peace movement when peacefulness has never been in their nature? In fact, they habitually advocate aggression as part and parcel of their campaigns. Their past behavior makes it indeed difficult to accept their present activism at face value. Clearly, there must be something else that appeals to them in this cause. Whatever it is, we can be absolutely certain that it is not the good of this society which they make no secret of loathing. After all, these are the same people whose stated objective is the overthrow of the American system, which, they charge, is unjust, corrupt and generally injurious to everything that is wholesome in life. Their mission statements make this starkly clear: • ‘We seek an end to the oppressive and destructive capitalist system’ (Anti-Capitalist Convergence). • ‘We aim at overthrowing the capitalist-imperialist system altogether. The American people have no choice but to oppose U.S. imperialism’ (Workers Party USA). • ‘Socialism is our vision for America’s future. We believe that socialism is the best replacement for a capitalist system that has served its purpose’ (Communist Party USA). • ‘We will fight to advance beyond capitalism, which has demonstrated its structural incapacity to address basic human needs’ (Black Radical Congress). • ‘To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed’ (Democratic Socialists of America). • The imperialist ruling clique has made the U.S. into the world’s number one rogue state. In order to completely get rid of imperialist wars, the people will have to get rid of the imperialist system (International League of People’s Struggle). Such subversive hopes were for a long time doomed to frustration. The fact that America gave rise to the most prosperous society in history translated into electoral stability which consigned extreme groups to the fringes of her politics. But then an event took place which gave them new hope. On September 11, 2001, a band of Islamic fanatics managed to shake America to her foundations. The nation convulsed with chaos and fear as the World Center Towers tumbled down and New York became engulfed in a cloud of dust. The devastation was not confined to that fateful day, however, but continued to mount for many months afterwards. So did the doubt and uncertainty. The plunge in the stock market set the country on a downward slide into recession at great cost in wealth and jobs. But the material loss was only part of the damage, for the hijackers also struck at the very foundation of our system. Our bedrock principles – freedom, openness, trust – were also singed by the flames of those exploding airplanes. Even before the rubble was cleared, we had to reconsider some of our cherished assumptions and alter the way we go about our lives. The inherent danger is impossible to overstate, because this directly endangers the survival of American society as we know it. With one audacious act, then, nineteen Arabic hijackers managed to rock the United States beyond the wildest dreams of even the boldest domestic radicals. This gave them new hope, for they suddenly realized that the country is not as invulnerable as it seemed. In a flash, Islamist fundamentalists became their closest ally in the anti-establishment crusade. Recognizing the danger, the Bush administration mounted a relentless response and within three years destroyed most of al-Qaeda’s original leadership. But realizing that terrorism is only the symptom of a larger problem, the administration turned its attention to the breeding grounds from which its springs – repressive Middle-Eastern regimes. As it did so, it made it clear that it will use all means at its disposal – including war – to achieve its objective. It is not surprising that our domestic radicals should be unsettled by this tough approach, given that Islamism represents their best chance of disrupting American society. It is therefore only natural that they would do everything in their power to oppose the administration’s effort. Hence their improbable zeal for the anti-war movement. No one should be deceived about their real objective, which is not peace, but the protection of those who have the ability to destabilize the United States by terrorist subversion. By organizing large-scale protests, they try to weaken the government’s resolve to defend the system they themselves seek to undermine. The peace crusade – backed by nearly all of this country’s radical groups – is nothing more than a deliberate attempt to pursue their anti-American agenda under a veil of moral righteousness. This behavior is not unexpected, given that by virtue of their shared goal militant Islamists and this country’s radicals are operational allies. We saw clear evidence of this in the pre-election message of Usama bin Laden which sounded almost like a rehash of Fahrenheit 9/11, the anti-war documentary by Michael Moore. So obvious was the resemblance that Moore taunted the President in an open letter posted on his website: Hey, did you get the feeling that he had a bootleg of my movie? Are there DVD players in those caves in Afghanistan? It is highly instructive that the man whose life’s mission is America’s destruction used the arguments of one of America’s loudest anti-war voices as the basis for his diatribe. But rather than feeling ashamed of this sordid rapport, Michael Moore was proud of it. How have we arrived at this absurd situation? How is it that one of America’s most visible war opponents and the world’s most dangerous terrorist find themselves in such thorough agreement? Why do they both denounce the man who has been working so conscientiously to keep America from another terrorist inferno? And why is Michael Moore the more venomous of the two in his censure of Bush? How could have he become the propagandist for an apocalyptic psychopath who inflicted such a grievous injury on Moore’s own country? And how can Moore boast about providing talking points to the man who has cold-bloodedly murdered more than three thousand of his fellow citizens and would kill countless more if only he could? The fact that the two espouse different ideologies does not stand in the way of this grotesque alliance born out of a shared hatred of America. All that matters at the moment is that in order to implement their respective visions the present establishment must be toppled first. Moore’s movies and books make it clear that he is a radical socialist whose views are as extreme as those of the groups quoted above. His personal quest is fuelled by an all-consuming loathing of America’s capitalistic society which he dreams of bringing down. This is what makes bin Laden such a convenient ally. No one has expressed this truth better than bin Laden himself when he said: The interests of Muslims and the interests of the socialists coincide in the war against the crusaders. On 9/11 bin Laden and his cohorts showed an ability to destabilize the United States, which is why Moore and his friends at United for Peace and Justice are so intent on protecting them. The peace movement is their attempt to shackle those who want to fight back. In the very country he seeks to obliterate, bin Laden has allies who share his views about its alleged wickedness. In one of his missives he told us: You are the worst civilization witnessed by the history of mankind. The U.S. government is unjust, criminal and tyrannical. Michael Moore could not agree more. After all, this is precisely what he has been telling us for the last five years, and nowhere has he said it more forcefully than in Fahrenheit 9/11. Is it any surprise, then, that bin Laden is such a fan? It is understandable why many well-meaning citizens are worried about the course of this war, but they should carefully consider the manner in which they express their concerns. Above all, they should not fall for ploys of domestic radicals who seek to subvert America by limiting the government’s ability to fight the enemy whose consuming goal is our destruction. Vasko Kohlmayer
  6. You are clueless . . . and you can't stay on topic!
  7. If you think the republicans can do anything they want just because they are in the majority, you evidently have no idea of how congress works . . . especially in the senate. Liberals have done nothing but obstruct the president's agenda because they can't afford for him to get credit for anything positive. The have no plan of their own! :w00t: You give the typical liberal response, never address the issues or the facts! You can't even address the original article, you just dismiss the source because it doesn't fit what you want to believe. The easiest way to defeat liberals is to keep the facts in front of them and make them stay on topic. :whistle: Why don't you try and discuss the original post instead of getting side tracked for once?
  8. Neither side of the isle can do anything as long as the other spends it's entire energy obstructing the other sides agenda. That's the primary reason republicans admittedly haven't accomplished much in President Bush's second term. There has always been partisan politics but the liberal democrats in their hatred for President Bush have sunken to lows Americans never dreamed of. No matter what the Bush administration does, it wrong according to liberal democrats and the liberal media. Instead of working with the republican congress and the administration to get positive things done for America, they evidently believe they can regain power by doing nothing and obstructing everything. Harry Reid, Kennedy, Schumer, Pelosi and Shrillery haven't done one positive thing for America since republicans won congress and the White House. You liberals are just so blinded by all the anti-Bush media you can't see the truth. Back to the original post. The news the past few days proves my point, neither the media nor the liberal democrats are interested in any facts unless they support the "Bush lied" mantra! :whistle:
  9. Cubs = 3rd place . . . at best . . . with or without Prior and Woods! :dancingbanana::coolball::dancingbanana:
  10. The liberal media will never report anything that validates why we took the fight to Iraq. It doesn't fit into the liberal "Bush lied" fabrication. It may get a "weak" mention here and there during non-prime time news, but they aren't about to take this story and run with it unless they are forced to, especially with the elections looming! The liberal media along with liberals in congress are too busy trying to "manufacture" a civil war story in Iraq to notice any new facts that make them look wrong! :w00t::whistle::w00t:
  11. My top 5 Middle of the Pack Bring up the Rear
  12. The problem with liberals, especially the younger ones, is they are so used to "instant gratification" and expect everything to be done now. They watch Tv shows and movies where all the problems are solved and everything is back to normal by the end of the show and that's what they expect in real life. History has proven over and over that freedom and democracy doesn't happen over night or in a few weeks or even a few months. It can take years or even decades with setbacks and failures all along the way. That doesn't mean it's not working or it's not worth the sacrifice and effort and we should quit before the job is complete . . . although that's what the liberal media is hoping for so they can instantly declare everything a failure! So you impatient, whinning, liberals will just have to deal with it! :crybaby::w00t::crybaby:
  13. Newsmax.com Monday, March 13, 2006 11:01 p.m. EST President Bush has ordered that critical evidence confiscated by U.S. forces after they liberated Iraq be made public - including 3,000 hours of audiotapes of Saddam Hussein chairing his Revolutionary Command Council before the war and 48,000 boxes of records documenting his regime's military activities. "This stuff ought to be out," Bush told National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley last month, according to the Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes. "Put this stuff out," the president reiterated. The president made similar statements during three separate meetings with congressional Republicans and several senior national security officials, the Standard said. Bush's initial order came on Feb. 16, the day after ABC News broadcast snippets from 12 hours of Saddam audiotapes obtained by FBI translator and former U.N. weapons inspector Bill Tierney. The recordings released so far strongly suggest that Saddam had hidden his weapons of mass destruction from weapons inspectors - and show the Iraqi dictator discussing previously unknown plans to enrich uranium as recently as 2000. The Bush directive met with the enthusiastic approval of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra. "This is a bold decision in favor of openness that will go a long way towards improving our understanding of prewar Iraq," Hoekstra told the Standard. "By placing these documents online and allowing the public the opportunity to review them, we can cut years off the time it will take to gain knowledge from this potential treasure trove of information." Hoestra said that while National Intelligence Director John Negroponte had resisted the document release, his opposition softened in recent weeks. The top Intelligence Committee Republican said Negroponte approached him during the Gridiron Dinner in Washington on Saturday to inform him that the new Saddam evidence would be made public. Hoekstra told the Standard that Negroponte made it clear that he wants to release all the documents, particularly those concerning weapons of mass destruction, links to terrorism, and Saddam's violence against his own people. And he wants those documents released soon, Hoeksta added, according to the magazine. "Some of the captured files should be available to the public and journalists within weeks if not days," said Hayes.
  14. This new has been out for a few weeks now and the liberal media is avoiding it like the plague. I understand why they are ignoring it . . . I just don't understand why the Bush administration and the republican congress aren't screaming from the rooftops . . . yet! President Bush did actually say this past week that he hopes the rest of the tapes and other evidence gets released to the public soon. Hopefully it will make a big news splash before the elections, but it will take at least a news agency like FoxNews to get the ball rolling! :thumbsup:
  15. I hope the same fate doesn't befall Saddam Hussein. I would prefer to see him hanged or shot! :w00t:
  16. The American Thinker Rick Moran March 9th, 2006 When the history of our times are written a hundred years from now, it is probable that historians will be scratching their heads in puzzlement over contemporary reports regarding the challenges faced by the Bush Administration and how the President’s people managed them. They will take note of the super-charged partisan atmosphere that permeated Washington at the time and the extraordinary hostility of major opinion makers in the media to the President and his policies. And when all is said and done, they may very well conclude that the President’s contemporaries were suffering from some kind of mass delusion, a sickness of thought and reason that not only clouded their judgement but contributed to the deliberate formulation of a powerful myth. The myth that the Bush Administration was incompetent in its stewardship of the republic. Historians being historians, there will be many who will posit the notion that this judgement of history is in fact, no myth at all. They will take the arguments of the President’s contemporaries at face value and point to the problems associated with winning the War in Iraq, hurricane preparedness, intelligence failures, and a host of domestic missteps in areas as diverse as Medicare reform and ports management. But if historians took the reports of a great man’s contemporaries at face value, we would not be celebrating Washington, Jefferson, Adams, nor especially Lincoln, who engendered as much hate and loathing as any past President in history. Lincoln’s contemporaries indulged in an orgy of name-calling and criticism of his war policies to the point that his own party sought to throw him off the ticket in 1864. As for Washington, a cursory examination of his military efforts during the revolution would elicit little more than contempt. The General lost more battles than any other general in American history. His amateurish New York campaign in 1776 almost lost the war before it started and only the luckiest of circumstances kept the Continental Army from being destroyed en masse. Washington’s stewardship of the young republic is replete with contemporary accounts of mismanagement, cronyism, and dark hints of the General’s monarchical tendencies. His second term was one long nightmare of criticism of his foreign policy, his close relationship with the bane of Jeffersonians Alexander Hamilton, and his handling of the “Whiskey Rebellion” where the President himself rode at the head of an army of 9,000 men into western Pennsylvania to put down a challenge to the primacy of the federal government. And yet, Washington is beloved to us today not because of what his contemporaries thought of him but because his record taken in its totality reveals a man of vision and steady leadership through some of the most turbulent times in American history. The point isn’t that George Bush is like Washington or Lincoln. The point is that historians will be able to look back at this two term President and find a record on the economy, on foreign policy, and even on several domestic issues that will give the lie to charges of incompetence and instead, reveal a President who initiated strikingly bold initiatives that changed the course of both American and world history. There is nothing new in Democrats and the media charging that a Republican President is incompetent. They’ve been doing it since the Eisenhower Administration. The ex-general was accused of sleeping through the 1950’s. Nixon’s supposed incompetence was even highlighted in his administration’s scandals, as his detractors were always fond of pointing out that Watergate was the result of “a second rate burglary” and that the White House plumbers resembled the Keystone Cops. His prosecution of the Viet Nam war and handling of the peace negotiations as well as his relationship with the Democratic Congress were also skewered by his critics as evidence of Nixon’s unworthiness for high office. But these critics saved their most venomous invective for Ronald Reagan who was constantly called a “dunce,” a “stupid actor,” and much worse. It says something about Reagan that even when the White House press corp treated him with contempt, he never lost his sense of self-deprecating humor, making fun of his age, his work habits, even his own intelligence. The way critics tried to draw the President’s father also degenerated into caricature as Bush #41 was belittled constantly for his optimism and enthusiasm. Trying to portray the President of the United States as a glorified cheerleader, his detractors succeeded in tarring George H. Bush as a shallow, substanceless rich man who never thought deeply about anything. Why should it surprise us that Democrats and their allies in the press are seeking to apply the same broad brush to this President? A more objective observer would note that the standards of competency being applied to this administration by both the President’s opponents, and now many erstwhile Republicans, are impossibly high. In this media-saturated age, where perception is reality and the present merges seamlessly into the future, hindsight has been flipped on its head to become foresight. The President’s tormentors have twisted, mangled, and mutilated the truth and the facts so often that the legends they have created are now accepted as reality. In a truly Orwellian way, history is being written before events actually occur. And when something happens that in any other reality would be considered insignificant, it is pointed to as “proof” that the Administration’s actions, or policies, or plans are an abject failure. A recent Wall Street Journal Op-Ed by Daniel Henninger noticed this very same phenomenon: Rational problem-solving generally requires adhering to the rules of the game, and in politics those rules are often informal. One such rule in Washington is that a politician is as good as his word. Perhaps nothing has been more destructive to Washington’s current ability to function than the belief that “Bush lied” about WMD, most notably Joe Wilson’s foundational charge in the New York Times that Mr. Bush lied about Iraq’s attempts to buy uranium from Niger. This persistent belief that George Bush committed a major moral crime, which was refuted by the Robb-Silberman Commission, had consequences. It has led many people in Washington’s standing institutions—Congress, the press, the intelligence and foreign-policy bureaucracies—to think they’ve been released from operating inside the normal boundaries that allow political Washington to function, that allow partisans to do business, whether on foreign policy, Social Security or homeland security. Henninger specifically points to the Valerie Plame case as proof that the President’s detractors leap upon the most insignificant matters to prove administration perfidy. The fact is, as Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald admitted in court last week, there was no “outing” of a covert agent and that he didn’t intend to offer “any proof of actual damage caused by the disclosure of Wilson’s identity.” But it is the prosecution of the War in Iraq that the President’s critics have used their powers of hindsight to the fullest. There may be no human endeavor more fraught with uncertainty nor more open to the vagaries of chance than war. And yet, every setback in Iraq whether by our military or in the political arena is held up as “proof” of the incompetence of the Bush Administration. If these critics had been around in 1943-44 and had access to the same kind of information they have about the situation in Iraq, I can imagine the howls of protest against Roosevelt’s competency. The list of American missteps on both fronts – mistakes that cost many times more lives than those lost to date in Iraq – read like a military bad dream. The Italian campaign, the Tarawa landing, and a host of smaller catastrophes would have sapped the will of the American people and made prosecution of the war that much more difficult. In Iraq, the President’s critics have had a field day dissecting both military and political strategy from the comfortable perch of hindsight, always able to come up with some report or leaked intelligence estimate that puts the administration’s efforts in the worst possible light. The question is never broached about what other information the administration had access to which would put any decisions made in context. I daresay that if such second guessing occurred during the slow progress made by American forces during World War II where there were numerous defeats and even political troubles with Charles DeGaulle of the Free French Forces, the American people may very well have thought Roosevelt an incompetent boob. Critics of the President are using what engineers refer to as a “Six Sigma” model of critical analysis regarding Administration actions. “Sigma” is a Greek letter used as a statistical term that refers to a measurement of how far a given process deviates from perfection. The higher the Sigma number, the closer to perfection. The central idea behind “Six Sigma” is that if you can measure how many defects you have in a process, you can systematically figure out how to get rid of them. But for Bush detractors, this kind of analysis becomes a convenient weapon. It ignores the thousands of variables that go into everything from war planning to hurricane preparedness and relief. It also has the virtue of of immediacy in that defects – both real and imagined – can be offered as proof of policy failure before the policy has a chance to work. We saw this with the Katrina relief effort as the Federal government pre-positioned millions of tons of supplies prior to the hurricane making landfall and within 24 hours Administration critics were already declaring the relief effort a failure, the result of the President’s disinterest in the plight of poor black people. With New Orleans 80% underwater, critics were wondering why supplies were not getting to people who needed them. The fact is these critics weren’t asking President Clinton the same thing following Hurricane Floyd where flooding prevented FEMA from acting in anything approaching a timely manner. The Reverend Jesse Jackson interviewed FEMA Director James Lee Witt almost 30 days after Floyd devastated the east coast: “It seemed there was preparation for Hurricane Floyd, but then came Flood Floyd,” Jackson began. “Bridges are overwhelmed, levees (my emphasis) are overwhelmed, whole town’s under water (my emphasis). . . [it’s] an awesome scene of tragedy. So there’s a great misery index in North Carolina.” When Jackson asked what was being done for the thousands of families left homeless by Floyd after nearly a month had passed since the storm first hit, Witt said Bill’s FEMA was “just beginning to address the problem.” Sound familiar? There is no better example of this Six Sigma mindset among the President’s critics than the recent sectarian violence in Iraq which had many in the press especially salivating for a civil war. The violence was serious and continues to the present at a reduced level. But the exaggerated reports of attacks and casualties – the result of both the inability of the press to see the big picture as well as the probability that reporters were getting much of their information from al Qaeda propaganda cadres – did not include any reports of the counterweight being applied to the prospects of a civil war by the Iraqi Army whose performance was generally praised in the aftermath of the Shrine bombing and the tens of thousands of ordinary citizens who marched in “Unity Demonstrations” across the country. Despite all the provocations by the insurgents and al Qaeda terrorists, Iraqis from all walks of life, all sects, and all parts of the country are working together to keep civil war from happening. And while it is still an open question whether or not civil war can be avoided, this unity among so many Iraqis is a direct result of administration efforts to promote democracy. The people of Iraq have been given a stake in their own future by the government of the United States. Whether they can take advantage of this is still open to question. But to call the policy a “failure” at this point is wrong. The Iraqis may be taking two steps forward and one back in their march to the future. But the fact is the only way for our policy to fail is if we pick up and go home. In this, both administration critics and al Qaeda terrorists have something in common. Criticizing the day to day ups and downs of progress in Iraq would be considered irrational in almost any other context except that which seeks to perpetrate the myth that the Administration is incompetent. The same holds true for Katrina relief efforts, the scope of which dwarfed any other similar effort in American history. But the Six Sigma group, having control of mass media and taking advantage of the Administration’s curious inability to defend itself, has been able to pick and choose the decisions and circumstances that best contribute to their skewed incompetence narrative while ignoring other efforts that have proved to be successful. How much have we heard about the economy recently? Low inflation, historically low interest rates, low unemployment, rising incomes, high productivity, and the prospect of further, sustained growth is a spectacular record of achievement. Predictably, the Six Sigma group concentrates instead on the systemic unemployment of minorities and the rising cost of health care. Similarly, the President’s bold initiatives in education reform and prescription drug assistance receive scant attention except to highlight the problems with the programs. No one mentions that millions of at risk students will finally have schools that must demonstrate that they are trying to raise standards or that seniors will have coverage for prescription drugs that they didn’t have before. Problems with both these programs can be fixed. But shepherding them through Congress in the first place along with tax cuts, faith based initiatives, and other issues that the President’s critics confidently predicted would never fly in the legislature bespeaks a level of competence not vouchsafed by the President’s critics who tend to forget their own incompetent powers of prognostication on these and other matters. It is easy to pick out mistakes made by any President. And believe me when I say I wholeheartedly agree that this President has made his fair share of them. One could even point out the incompetence of the Administration to specific challenges like government spending, social security reform, and even some aspects of Iraq reconstruction and yes, hurricane relief. But generally speaking, President Bush has tackled some of the biggest challenges to face this country in more than a generation. He has done many things well. He has fallen down in other respects. But to have the President’s critics slap the label of incompetence on his Administration doesn’t stand up to any kind of objective scrutiny. In the end, Bush will be judged by the totality of his Presidency not by the Six Sigma analyses that pass for serious critiques by the Presidents detractors. In fact, they are not serious at all. They represent a political tactic that seeks to undermine rather than improve. And for that, they should be ashamed of themselves.
  17. As long as there is an * by his stats!
  18. He "might" join the Astros in time for the playoffs! :thumbsup:
  19. Great article about this at SI.com Bonds exposed Shadows details superstar slugger's steroid use Tuesday March 7, 2006 http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/base...erpt/index.html
  20. Fox News isn't immune to getting it wrong either. They also have their share or coverage coming from the biased liberals on their shows. Fox just gets it right a lot more than the other news sources. Oh and hello there Spunky . . . er I mean middle :harhar:
  21. The American Thinker March 6th, 2006 Last week’s Associated Press release of a video, taken just prior to Hurricane Katrina’s arrival in New Orleans last August, has generated a new round of second-guessing and finger pointing regarding who is to blame for the supposedly slow, poor response to this natural disaster. Falling under the fold was an in-depth cover story on this subject by an unlikely source, Popular Mechanics. In its March issue, PM took on virtually all of the media myths and misnomers that were so drilled into the citizenry by press representatives that many have become part of the public psyche. Thankfully, its authors made it clear right in the first paragraph that they planned on pulling no punches: “In the months since the storm, many of the first impressions conveyed by the media have turned out to be mistaken.” How mistaken? Well, PM and its staff put together a list of seven myths concerning Katrina that have been purported by the media, and like a good mechanic, quickly isolated the flaws inherent in the press coverage while making much-needed repairs. Myth #1: “’The aftermath of Katrina will go down as one of the worst abandonments of Americans on American soil ever in U.S. history.’’—Aaron Broussard, president, Jefferson Parish, La., Meet the Press, NBC, Sept. 4, 2005” For those that have forgotten, Broussard is the man that cried on Meet the Press the Sunday after Katrina hit, claiming that a co-worker’s mother died in New Orleans as a result of the delay in the rescue effort. Broussard’s claims were later thoroughly discredited. In addition, Broussard was responsible for dismissing all of the pump operators in Jefferson Parish before the storm arrived, and is in the middle of a lawsuit filed by parish residents that claim this decision was largely responsible for the flooding. That said, PM didn’t agree with Broussard’s assertions regarding this matter either: “Bumbling by top disaster-management officials fueled a perception of general inaction, one that was compounded by impassioned news anchors. In fact, the response to Hurricane Katrina was by far the largest—and fastest-rescue effort in U.S. history, with nearly 100,000 emergency personnel arriving on the scene within three days of the storm’s landfall.” Certainly, it seems hard to categorize 100,000 workers as an abandonment. Unlike many in the media that make such bold statements without verification, PM backed up its position with actual facts. How refreshing: “Dozens of National Guard and Coast Guard helicopters flew rescue operations that first day—some just 2 hours after Katrina hit the coast. Hoistless Army helicopters improvised rescues, carefully hovering on rooftops to pick up survivors. On the ground, ‘guardsmen had to chop their way through, moving trees and recreating roadways,’ says Jack Harrison of the National Guard. By the end of the week, 50,000 National Guard troops in the Gulf Coast region had saved 17,000 people; 4000 Coast Guard personnel saved more than 33,000.” As the proof is often in the pudding, PM bolstered its view on this myth with the following conclusion: “While the press focused on FEMA’s shortcomings, this broad array of local, state and national responders pulled off an extraordinary success—especially given the huge area devastated by the storm. Computer simulations of a Katrina-strength hurricane had estimated a worst-case-scenario death toll of more than 60,000 people in Louisiana. The actual number was 1077 in that state.” It’s amazing how quickly the press forgot their own highly publicized casualty estimates in the tens of thousands, and saw no victory in that number coming in 90 to 95 percent less than they had advertised. Myth #2: “’This is a once-in-a-lifetime event.’—New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin, press conference, Aug. 28, 2005” Regardless of how this storm was being hyped at the time, we now know that Katrina’s wind-strength significantly diminished in the final hours as it approached New Orleans. As PM put it: “Though many accounts portray Katrina as a storm of unprecedented magnitude, it was in fact a large, but otherwise typical, hurricane. On the 1-to-5 Saffir-Simpson scale, Katrina was a midlevel Category 3 hurricane at landfall. Its barometric pressure was 902 millibars (mb), the sixth lowest ever recorded, but higher than Wilma (882mb) and Rita (897mb), the storms that followed it. Katrina’s peak sustained wind speed at landfall 55 miles south of New Orleans was 125 mph; winds in the city barely reached hurricane strength. “By contrast, when Hurricane Andrew struck the Florida coast in 1992, its sustained winds were measured at 142 mph. And meteorologists estimate that 1969’s Category 5 Hurricane Camille, which followed a path close to Katrina’s, packed winds as high as 200 mph.” The reality is that had the levees held there would have been comparatively little damage to New Orleans as a result of this storm. However, in PM’s view, there is another issue raised by this disaster that has gone largely ignored: “According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, the Atlantic is in a cycle of heightened hurricane activity due to higher sea-surface temperatures and other factors. The cycle could last 40 years, during which time the United States can expect to be hit by dozens of Katrina-size storms. Policymakers-and coastal residents-need to start seeing hurricanes as routine weather events, not once-in-a-lifetime anomalies.” Myth #3: “’Perhaps not just human error was involved [in floodwall failures]. There may have been some malfeasance.’—Raymond Seed, civil engineering professor, UC, Berkeley, testifying before a Senate committee, Nov. 2, 2005” There’s been a lot of second-guessing and finger pointing concerning the levee design, and who was responsible for their failure. According to PM, these were all built according to specifications: “Most of the New Orleans floodwall failures occurred when water up to 25 ft. high overtopped the barriers, washing out their foundations. But three breached floodwalls-one in the 17th Street Canal and two in the London Avenue Canalshowed no signs of overtopping. Accusations of malfeasance were born after the Army Corps of Engineers released seismic data suggesting that the sheet-pile foundations supporting those floodwalls were 7 ft. shorter than called for in the designa possible cause for collapse. In December 2005, PM watched Corps engineers pull four key sections of the 17th Street Canal foundation out of the New Orleans mud. The sections were more than 23 ft. long-as per design specifications. ‘I had heard talk about improper building before the sheet-pile pull,’ the Corps’ Wayne Stroupe says. ‘But not much since.’” Myth #4: “’They have people … been in that frickin’ Superdome for five days watching dead bodies, watching hooligans killing people, raping people.’—New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Sept. 6, 2005” Some of the most pathetic and shameful reporting on Katrina dealt with the supposed violence occurring in both the streets and at the Superdome. As PM declared, almost all of these reports turned out to be similar to the rubbish that piled up around New Orleans: Both public officials and the press passed along lurid tales of post-Katrina mayhem: shootouts in the Superdome, bodies stacked in a convention center freezer, snipers firing on rescue helicopters. And those accounts appear to have affected rescue efforts as first responders shifted resources from saving lives to protecting rescuers. In reality, although looting and other property crimes were widespread after the flooding on Monday, Aug. 29, almost none of the stories about violent crime turned out to be true. Col. Thomas Beron, the National Guard commander of Task Force Orleans, arrived at the Superdome on Aug. 29 and took command of 400 soldiers. He told PM that when the Dome’s main power failed around 5 am, ‘it became a hot, humid, miserable place. There was some pushing, people were irritable. There was one attempted rape that the New Orleans police stopped.’” What were some of the other numbers? “The only confirmed account of a weapon discharge occurred when Louisiana Guardsman Chris Watt was jumped by an assailant and, during the chaotic arrest, accidently shot himself in the leg with his own M-16. “When the Superdome was finally cleared, six bodies were found—not the 200 speculated. Four people had died of natural causes; one was ruled a suicide, and another a drug overdose. Of the four bodies recovered at the convention center, three had died of natural causes; the fourth had sustained stab wounds.” Some mayhem, huh? And how about the supposed anarchy in the streets, or snipers shooting at rescue operators? “‘The vast majority of people [looting] were taking food and water to live,’ says Capt. Marlon Defillo, the New Orleans Police Department’s commander of public affairs. ‘There were no killings, not one murder.’ As for sniper fire: No bullet holes were found in the fuselage of any rescue helicopter.” Amazing. Myth #5: “‘The failure to evacuate was the tipping point for all the other things that … went wrong.’—Michael Brown, former FEMA director, Sept. 27, 2005” This myth is particularly delicious given the press’s newfound adoration of Brown, even though their complaints about his performance in September got him fired. Regardless, when you look at the arithmetic and the facts, this really was a very successful evacuation. PM agreed: “When Nagin issued his voluntary evacuation order, a contraflow plan that turned inbound interstate lanes into outbound lanes enabled 1.2 million people to leave New Orleans out of a metro population of 1.5 million. ‘The Corps estimated we would need 72 hours [to evacuate that many people],’ says Brian Wolshon, an LSU civil engineer. ‘Instead, it took 38 hours.’” Another myth in this regard was that the only people that didn’t evacuate were those that couldn’t. Not so according to PM: “Later investigations indicated that many who stayed did so by choice. ‘Most people had transportation,’ says Col. Joe Spraggins, director of emergency management in Harrison County, Ala. ‘Many didn’t want to leave.’ Tragic exceptions: hospital patients and nursing home residents.” Myth #6: “‘We will rebuild [the Gulf Coast] bigger and better than ever.’—Haley Barbour, Miss. Gov., The Associated press, Sept. 3, 2005” There’s been much discussion in the media concerning what should be done with New Orleans after its destruction. PM offered a bold view in this regard. Its premise was that the current National Flood Insurance Program rewards people who live in coastal areas subject to floods, with some making multiple claims for very large sums of money: “Just 1 to 2 percent of claims were from ‘repetitive-loss properties’-those suffering damage at least twice in a 10-year period. Yet, those 112,000 properties generated a remarkable 40 percent of the losses-$5.6 billion. One homeowner in Houston filed 16 claims in 18 years, receiving payments totaling $806,000 for a building valued at $114,000. “Just as significantly, the five Gulf Coast states accounted for half the total of repetitive-loss costs nationwide. Taxpayers across the country are paying for a minute number of people to rebuild time and time again in the path of hurricanes.” By contrast, the government doesn’t view tornado or earthquake damage with anywhere near as broad a scope: “Folks in Tornado Alley and along the San Andreas fault don’t get federally backed insurance, so why should taxpayers subsidize coastal homes, many of them vacation properties?” Great question. So, what’s the answer that PM offered which few media would have the guts to espouse? “Before we start rebuilding ‘bigger and better,’ Congress should reform the flood insurance program. A good start: Structure premiums so the program is actuarially sound and clamps down on repetitive claims.” Great idea, folks. Let’s see that one get through a contentious Congress. Myth #7: “‘You have a major energy network that is down … We could run out of gasoline or diesel or jet fuel in the next two weeks here.’—Roger Diwan, managing director, Oil Markets Group, PFC Energy, Business Week, Sept. 1, 2005” Probably not unintentionally, PM saved the best myth for last. Some of the worst media reporting surrounding this hurricane was directly related to energy prices. In fact, we quickly heard how this was going to cause massive job cuts around the country, lead to a recession, send gasoline to $5 per gallon, and kill the Christmas shopping season. Much like most economic predictions from the media, none of these prognostications materialized. And, according to PM, the media were all wet regarding how much damage was done to the nation’s energy complex: “Initially, the pictures from the gulf looked bleak: oil rigs washed up along the coast, production platforms wrecked. In truth, Katrina inflicted minimal damage to the offshore energy infrastructure. Only 86 of the gulf’s 4000 drilling rigs and platforms were damaged or destroyed, and most of those were older, fixed platforms atop unproductive wells.” Beyond this, the subsequent storms of Rita and Wilma had a larger impact on our energy complex than Katrina, though neither garnered the same media attention. However, even with all this damage, things were repaired much quicker than expected – especially by the media that never see any good in anything: “But recovery came more quickly than many experts predicted. By the end of the year, overall production was down just 8 percent, and only three refineries were still off line. ‘This is by far the worst we’ve ever seen,’ says Ed Murphy, who is a refinery expert at the American Petroleum Institute. ‘That we’ve recovered so quickly is really quite extraordinary.’” Not surprisingly, the media didn’t see it that way, and continued to talk about Katrina-related higher fuel prices negatively impacting the economy right through the end of last year. As a result, like virtually no members of the antique media, PM adroitly demonstrated just how wrong the press were about this horrible disaster, and continue to be. Leave it to a group of mechanics to identify where that awful clanging sound was coming from…in this case, America’s pressrooms. Noel Sheppard is an economist, business owner, and contributing writer to The Free Market Project. He is also contributing editor for the Media Research Center’s NewsBusters.org. Noel welcomes feedback. Noel Sheppard
  22. When did I, or anyone else, say "everything is fine in Iraq"? The point is that the liberal media is blowing everything out of proportion and claiming exactly the opposite . . . that "everything is going badly and Iraq is on the verge of Civil War". It amazes me how you liberals and people who CLAIM to be neutral are so eager to believe EVERYTHING coming from the anti-Bush left wing media and politicians, yet discount everything that doesn't fit the Bush - lied and nothing positive can be happening in Iraq crowd! :whistle: By the way, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Pace agrees with me! :whistle::w00t::whistle: I guess he is lying too! :w00t:
  23. Katie Couric Miffed Over Traditional Values Town NBC "Today Show" hostess Katie Couric didn't sound too pleased Friday morning with plans to develop a community that openly espouses traditional values, let alone the fact that it will have a Catholic University at its center. Plans for Ave Maria, Florida have already drawn praise from Gov. Jeb Bush, who told NBC: "I think it'll be a model for sustainable living not just for Florida, but for the country." But plaudits from the Florida Republican, who NBC pointedly reminded, is Catholic himself, didn't impress the folks at "Today." Introducing the segment, reporter Michelle Kosinski lamented that Ave Maria would be a town "without condoms or birth control pills, no porn shops or strip joints, or premarital sex." But it was Couric herself who seemed most offended, chastising her guests, Domino's Pizza mogul Thomas Monaghan and developer Paul Marinelli, for building a community that "people will see . . . as eschewing diversity and promoting intolerance." "Does [Ave Maria] follow the tenets pretty much, Mr. Marinelli, of the Catholic church?" Couric worried. "In other words, pharmacies in this community can't sell contraception, correct?" Not true, the developer responded - explaining that the sale contraceptive materials will be discouraged but not banned. "You would welcome Jewish residents?" Couric queried, sounding like she expected to get a no for an answer. "Definitely," Marinelli explained. "We anticipate that there would be synagogues as well as [a] Baptist church." "What about gay couples?" Couric pressed, appearing confident she'd finally ferreted out the bigoted streak in the traditional values town. Foiled again. "We will not discriminate against anyone," Marinelli explained. "You know, we respect the Constitution, we're not going to violate the US Constitution or the Florida Constitution."
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