Archive for October, 2008

>Proof that media bias is as prevalent as ever

October 30, 2008 Leave a comment

>When I discuss media bias with my left wing friends and, unfortunately, family members they look at me and ask what the heck I’m talking about and then generally carry on about media bias being yet another right wing conspiracy theory.

Because these people agree with what the papers write and, critically, do not understand where the political middle is, they come to the false conclusion that newspapers present a fair and balanced view of the world.

Frontpagemag’s John Perazzo tells us what is obvious to anyone with even the most basic analytical skills.

During the 2008 presidential election, even center-left observers have noted the unmistakable bias of the prestige news media toward Democratic candidates and the Democratic Party in general. As we shall reveal, the bias of the media is pervasive, ideologically motivated, and quantifiable: that is, it has been admitted, measured, and analyzed in statistical terms. Those results reveal a media doggedly out-of-touch with the political center and tilted decidedly leftward.

One of the most striking aspects of the current presidential campaign is the news media’s assault on Sarah Palin. The Republican vice presidential candidate has been portrayed as a ditzy know-nothing; a Christian fanatic who uses her office to vengefully carry out personal vendettas and who may even have faked her motherhood of her son Trig. From the media coverage of Palin, readers and viewers would never know that she effectively ran an important state, or that she had the highest voter-approval ratings of any governor in the U.S.

But the double standards of the media in their election coverage are as striking as their bias. Scant attention has been paid to the litany of idiocies that have flowed from the tongue of Palin’s vice-presidential opponent, Joe Biden. Some lowlights include the following:

  • Biden exhorted a wheelchair-bound state senator at a Missouri campaign rally to stand up and take a bow;
  • He told interviewer Katie Couric that in times of crisis, it was incumbent upon the U.S president “to demonstrate that he or she knows what they are talking about,” in the tradition of President FDR, whom he said “got on the television” to allay Americans’ fears “when the stock market crashed” in 1929. Of course, Herbert Hoover was president at the time (FDR would not take office until early 1933), and TV would not be introduced to the public until 1939;
  • At a pair of October fundraisers, Biden advised supporters to “gird your loins” because, within six months after Barack Obama’s inauguration, an adversary somewhere in the world would undoubtedly manufacture a “crisis” in order to “test” the young president “like they did John Kennedy”;
  • During his debate with Sarah Palin, Biden stated authoritatively: “Vice President Cheney…doesn’t realize that Article One of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that’s the executive – he works in the executive branch. He should understand that.” But in fact, Article One of the Constitution defines the role of the legislative branch of government, not the executive branch; and
  • At a recent campaign appearance, Biden said that John McCain’s “last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the number-1 job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack [Obama] says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S.”

None of these gaffes are important. But neither is Gov. Palin’s wardrobe. And unlike her new clothes, Biden’s slips – like the reporting of his infamous plagiarism of a speech by British Labor leader Neil Kinnock in his abortive 1988 presidential run, a plagiarism so thorough that it resembled identity theft – received little mention in the mainstream media.

As they say, read the whole thing, as it really does put the media bias argument to rest.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Media, Politics

>Goodness gracious

October 29, 2008 1 comment

>Obama supporter Peggy Joseph reveals why so many Gen-X and Gen-Y voters are supporting Obama.

Unhindered by having learned the fundamentals of critical thinking or basic economics while at school, many of these well meaning, decent people simply lack the ability to understand the impact of Obama’s policies.

So how long will Peggy be able to have everything paid for her?

While it is, why should she seek a better paying job that would see her lose benefits?

America, and by extension the rest of the world, is in for a rough time over the next four years.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Politics, United States

>Australia’s Labor government – That 70s Show

October 28, 2008 Leave a comment

>Andrew Bolt has been hammering away at the government’s incompetent handling of the effort to prevent a run on the banks, which caused an entirely predictable run on other financial institutions leading to a situation where investors, including many self-funded retirees, are unable to draw down on their funds.

Treasurer Wayne Swan’s sympathetic response?

If you’re having trouble then go and seek a handout from Centrelink.

Can you imagine Costello or even Keating not only giving the bank guarantee in the first place but then poking self-funded retirees in the eye by telling them to seek social security if they’re in trouble?

The leadership group in this government is dangerously uneducated in even the most basic facts about how economies work, even less so than the great disaster of Australian politics, Gough Whitlam’s government.

Bolt then follows up with an analysis of an article in The Australian in which Prime Minister Rudd is made to look like the smart, tough guy in a phone conversation with George W Bush:

Kevin Rudd was entertaining guests in the loungeroom at Kirribilli House in Sydney when an aide told him George W. Bush was on the telephone.

It was 10.40pm on Friday, October 10

(Note that date, by the way. Rudd trips over it.)

What followed was an extraordinary exchange in which Rudd advised the most powerful man in the world that a plan to address the global financial crisis through the G7 group of leading industrialised nations was wrong . . .

It made no sense, he said, to take action on the crisis without engaging China. Rudd argued that the better vehicle for a co-ordinated response to calm the markets and toughen financial regulation was the broader G20 grouping (which includes China) . . .

Two weeks later, Rudd’s view has prevailed . . . Perhaps more so than any of his predecessors, Rudd is bringing a new understanding to world politics . . .

(Good heavens. Did Rudd write that bit of halo-polishing himself? Or was that just reporter Matthew Franklin’s way of saying “thank you”?)

Rudd was then stunned to hear Bush say: “What’s the G20?” . . .

He told Bush he had heard through back channels that the Chinese believed the economic collapse underscored the inherent failures of capitalism and the benefits of a planned economy.

Rudd’s view on China was probably better informed than he let on to the US President. Just four days earlier, the fluent Mandarin speaker had discussed the global turmoil on the telephone with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao . . .

Sources said Bush spent the first third of the conversation attempting to keep Rudd at bay . . . But over time, Rudd appeared to convince Bush he had a reasonable point.

“He was like a bull terrier,” said one source. “He was polite but firm. He was not deferential at all. I could not have imagined John Howard talking to Bush like that.”

And right there is the reason Rudd – or his agent – blabbed. To make Rudd seem a player. A tough guy. The man who forced Bush to invite the G20, including Australia and China, into talks about the financial crisis.

But perhaps more brazen still is Rudd’s attempt in this latest retelling to belittle Bush and steal his credit.

Go back to the date of this conversation, when Rudd claims to have been “stunned” by Bush’s ignorance about the G20, and had to “convince” the fool to use it.

For a start, a search of White House transcripts reveals Bush knew what the G20 was long before Rudd allegedly had to lecture him.

In June 2006, for instance, he gave a press conference in which he explained he had “problems with the G20 position” on global trade.

In July 2006, he said he’d have a “good forum” to discuss trade problems “when the members of the G20 come” to Russia.

And Bush certainly didn’t need a “polite but firm” Rudd in their conversation on October 10 this year to tell him to get the G20 involved in talks on this financial crisis.

You see, Bush and his Treasury Secretary had two days earlier already agreed to do just that, and the G20 was already gathering to convene in Washington that very weekend.

The only source for the article in The Australian is someone involved in the phone call – Rudd, his assistant, Bush or his assistant.

I think we can strike out the US side and it’s wildly unlikely that an assistant would leak a conversation between the PM and President.

Which leaves Rudd himself as the person who breeched the confidentiality of the leaders of the world’s most powerful nation and the world’s most populous nation.

Why didn’t Rudd throw in a few references to Arabic leaders, the odd South American authoritarian and African dictator just to make sure that leaders all over the world understand just how important he is?

When the Whitlam government was elected in 1972 it ended a long period out of office for the Australian Labor Party dating back to Ben Chifley in 1949.

Those years in the wilderness led to the more left wing elements in the party gaining power meaning that when they were eventually returned to office they had an anti-US, pro-market intervention and pro-China/Moscow philiosophical bent.

Within about 6 months that government was leaking like a sieve with information that would embarrass or harm the United States’ efforts to combat communism in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as fight the Cold War globally.

US officials made strenuous efforts to get the leaks plugged but it was beyond Whitlam to rein in his undisciplined ministers.

The consequence was that the Americans significantly reduced the level of intelligence they were sharing with us, harming our own intelligence operations in the region, and it would be many years before we would regain the lost trust.

Like Rudd, Whitlam placed an emphasis on engaging China though his position was one of philosophical alignment rather than Rudd’s more practical understanding of the importance that China now has to Australia.

Australian governments publicly poke the United States in the eye at their peril and it is simply childish to attempt to embarrass any world leader in the way Rudd has let alone the leader of the United States.

We are coming up to the anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s election victory and his list of accomplishments is astonishingly short while the list of countries he has managed to get offside is alarmingly long including major ones like Japan, India and, now, the US.

There are many parallels between Gough Whitlam’s disastrous 1972-75 government and Kevin Rudd’s incompetent lot today.

They’ve spent the bulk of the Howard-Costello generated surplus and are now looking to raid people’s pension funds in order to fund infrastructure projects.

One of John Howard’s goals was to build a ‘resilient economy’, one that could weather any downturns in the global economy, which he largely achieved.

In less than one year this government has undone many years of economic discipline and Treasurer Wayne Swan’s statement that ‘the days of budget surpluses may be’ over should send a chill down the spines of all Australian taxpayers.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Australia, Politics

>One week to go to find out whether US voters have lost their minds

October 28, 2008 2 comments

>One more week of campaigning and there are signs that John McCain is making ground on Barack Obama.

So how is the betting market treating the apparent tightening?

By putting more money on Obama.

Current odds are: Obama $1.11 and McCain $9.80.

If you think that McCain can win then nearly $10 is an amazing price and you should load up.

McCain’s only chance seems to be that young voters do what they’ve always done and suffer a huge, debilitating dose of apathy on polling day and stay home, based on the assumption that polling companies are over representing young people.

One assumes that blacks will vote in record numbers and that may prove decisive though I think that the Hispanic vote may trend back to McCain.

All in all, it’s looking ugly.

I’ve got my fingers crossed that the Democrats don’t take the Senate.

That would be a huge problem for America and, by extension, for the rest of the world.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Politics, United States

>Belief that climate change is man made plummeting like a stone

October 27, 2008 6 comments

>The EcoFascists at The Nature Conservancy are surprised that only 18 percent of people strongly agree that climate change is human caused.

Encouragingly for them, 18% is a few points higher than those who think that 9/11 was an inside job, believe that the CIA killed Kennedy or that Elvis is still alive.

Americans are sharply divided in their beliefs about whether climate change is real, according to a new study commissioned by The Nature Conservancy and other leading conservation and climate action groups.

The study — the American Climate Values Survey (ACVS), conducted by the consulting group EcoAmerica — also found that only 18 percent of survey respondents strongly believe that climate change is real, human-caused and harmful. It also found that political party affiliation is the single largest indicator as to whether people see climate change as a threat.

Climate Change is a partisan political topic?

Nooooo, surely not?

  • Convinced it’s happening: 54 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of Democrats.
  • Think that weather has gotten more severe: 44 percent of Republicans; 77 percent of Democrats.
  • Noticed the climate changing: 54 percent of Republicans; 84 percent of Democrats.
  • Trust Al Gore when he talks about global warming: 22 percent of Republicans; 71 percent of Democrats.
  • Trust environmentalists who talk about global warming: 38 percent of Republicans; 71 percent of Democrats.
  • Trust anyone who talks about global warming: 39 percent of Republicans; 75 percent of Democrats.

Which just goes to show that Republicans have a better grasp on reality than Democrats though the high numbers on both sides saying they’ve noticed the climate changing is a real concern given the conditions that will bring noticable change have not yet come to pass and are a good 50 years in the future.

CO2 is supposedly the primary driver of climate change so how does the following come about?

Naturally, Climate Liars will scream about the graph not containing enough years. Why data back to 1979 (the start of satellite data) is also not too short is beyond me but they clearly like to use it because it’s near the end of the cool period from around 1940 to the mid-70s.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Climate Change

>Sunday night rock ‘n’ roll

October 26, 2008 Leave a comment

>The Sex Pistols are an English punk rock band that formed in London in 1975. The band originally comprised vocalist Johnny Rotten, guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook and bassist Glen Matlock. Matlock was replaced by Sid Vicious in early 1977. The Sex Pistols are widely credited with initiating the punk movement in the United Kingdom and creating the first generation gap within rock and roll. Although their initial career lasted only three years and produced only four singles and one studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, the group has been described by the BBC as “the definitive English punk rock band.”

The Sex Pistols emerged as a response to the bombastic progressive rock and sentimental pop music that predominated in the mid-1970s. Under the guidance of impresario Malcolm McLaren, the band created controversies which captivated Britain, but often eclipsed their music. Their concerts repeatedly faced difficulties with organisers and authorities, and public appearances often ended in mayhem. Their 1977 single “God Save the Queen” was regarded as an attack on the monarchy and British nationalism.

In January 1978, at the end of a turbulent US tour, Rotten left the band and announced its breakup. Over the next several months, the three other band members recorded songs for McLaren’s film version of the Sex Pistols’ story, The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle. Vicious died of a heroin overdose in February 1979. In 1996, Rotten, Jones, Cook and Matlock reunited for the Filthy Lucre Tour; they staged two further reunion shows in 2002, and undertook tours in 2003, 2007 and 2008. On 24 February 2006, the Sex Pistols were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but they refused to attend the ceremony, calling the museum “a piss stain”.

Pretty Vacant

Anarchy in the UK

God Save the Queen

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Music

>The Soviet Union had its Useful Idiots. So does Obama.

October 23, 2008 2 comments

>I lived in Moscow for 18 months during the height of the Cold War when I was growing up.

The misery and hopelessness of the people left an indelible impression on me.

Moving from Moscow to the United States and seeing the difference in optimism, opportunity and standard of living was a real eye opener.

What was even more eye opening was that there were people who not only defended the Soviet system but also attacked the United States and the West for being ‘unfair’ and ‘lacking justice’. Useful Idiots was the derisive term given to them by Stalin.

The Soviet Story was a movie released earlier in the year that highlighted the horrific reality of not only Soviet Socialism but totalitarian regimes in general. Mao, Pol Pot and the Kim Sung Il operated in the same brutal way of destroying completely any resistance to their rule.

When the Russian Revolution took place in 1918 it was generally well received by the public because the rhetoric was all about hope and change.

Americans are about to choose a president who preaches from the same Marxist textbook as did Lenin, which is not to say that Obama is going to implement a Soviet style regime – far from it.

The point is that the gap between rhetoric and reality is going to surprise Obama’s own Useful Idiots who have been sucked in by the vacuous message and soaring speeches.

Do you think that those who embraced the communists in 1918 expected the outcome to be as per the videos below?

The Soviet Story trailer

The Soviet Story – Why Killing is Essential to Communism

The Soviet Story – Starvation in Ukraine

(Nothing Follows)