25 May 2006

It's one way to boost pay in foreign countries

[source, source]

Online poker players will have to fold their hands if a Virginia congressman gets his way.

Today, the House Judiciary Committee will mark up a bill introduced by Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte ® that would ban much online gambling, including bets on sporting events and games of chance — namely poker, which has enjoyed a boom in recent years.


“I am a big advocate of opening up the Internet to all kinds of legitimate uses,” said Goodlatte, who is co-chairman of the Congressional Internet Caucus. “But we don’t want the Internet to become the Wild West of the 21st century.” Goodlatte said he opposes gambling because it leads to “a whole host of ills in society.”

Apparently no one on Goodlatte’s staff knows that the Internet extends beyond the borders of the USA.

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Celebrating doing what they do best


Remember the dozens, maybe hundreds, of rapes, murders, stabbings and deaths resulting from official neglect at the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina? The ones that never happened, as even the national media later admitted?

Sure, we all remember the original reporting, if not the back-pedaling.

Here’s another one: Do you remember the dramatic TV footage of National Guard helicopters landing at the Superdome as soon as Katrina passed, dropping off tens of thousands saved from certain death? The corpsmen running with stretchers, in an echo of M*A*S*H, carrying the survivors to ambulances and the medical center? About how the operation, which also included the Coast Guard, regular military units, and local first responders, continued for more than a week?

Me neither. Except that it did happen, and got at best an occasional, parenthetical mention in the national media.

The reporting on Hurrican Katrina is still treated as a triumph by Old Media. Given that massive errors in facts, one is left a clear idea of what, exactly, Old Media considers success.

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Discarding non-essentials


The Pentagon is investigating whether U.S. Marines committed war crimes in a November incident in which 15 Iraqi civilians were killed in Haditha, Iraq. NBC News reports that Rep. John Murtha, who voted for the war in Iraq, claims to have advance knowledge of the investigation’s outcome:

Murtha, a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq, said at a news conference Wednesday that sources within the military have told him that an internal investigation will show that “there was no firefight, there was no IED (improvised explosive device) that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”

What happened in Haditha we know not, but we can tell you that Murtha’s description is false, for the simple reason that it is self-contradictory. If the Marines “overreacted,” then the killings were not premeditated. They could not have killed both in the heat of the moment and in cold blood. Murtha therefore either is slandering the Marines by exaggerating their guilt or making excuses for horrific war crimes.

It’s about flinging accusations for air time, not consistency. Nobody in his target audience cares about logic of that type, so why should Murtha waste time on such a useless frill?

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Old Media gears up for Tet II

[source, source, source]

For people my age, we have the Vietnam War to which we can compare the liberal media’s treatment of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of my bitter memories is of the 1968 Tet offensive by the North Vietnamese controlled Vietcong that failed. South Vietnamese and American forces not only held, but in many parts of the country they so badly mauled the Vietcong that their ability to launch another offensive was set back many years. Yet, the Media played up the Vietcong’s momentary successes in Saigon and Hue, and subsequently treated the offensive as a Vietcong victory. This began to sour American public opinion on the war and especially the intellectual class, which turned against it.

The liberal media are trying to do the same thing about American efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. This can be seen in their treatment of the latest Taliban offensive, which if you read or listen to the major media, appears to be a Taliban victory. But, today, with multiple sources of information, especially over the Internet, the usual liberal sources of such propaganda cannot get traction.

The first source contains the actual details of how badly the Taliban got mauled in this latest operation. And still one is left wondering how what passes for normal reporting in Old Media is different in style from Tokyo Rose. It is not that bad things are reported, but that because only bad things are reported the story is inaccurate. Old Media is not living up to its own putative standards, much less mine.

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We signed up for writing, not acting

[source, source]

The United States went on the counter-attack against Amnesty International, rejecting its charges of the torture of terror suspects and criticizing its lack of help in prosecuting deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack dismissed allegations by the Nobel Prize-winning rights group, which cited reports that US prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and elsewhere were subject to “torture and ill-treatment.”

“Nobody is being tortured at Guantanamo Bay,” McCormack told reporters when asked about the charges in Amnesty International’s latest annual report.

He went on to point out Amnesty’s role in documenting rights abuses during the 24 years of Saddam’s rule before he was deposed by the Americans in 2003 and later captured and charged with crimes against humanity.

“But when it came time to put Saddam Hussein on trial, which is happening right now, they (Amnesty) are absent. They’ve done zero, zip, nothing, to assist in those efforts,” McCormack said.

“So in terms of where they might focus some of their efforts, I would just offer the humble suggestion that they might follow through in actually assisting with or providing some support to this trial for what they acknowledge is one of the great human rights abusers of recent times.”

This is excellent, but one is left wondering why now, and not, say, 6 years ago? Perhaps, though, this is the best moment to attack.

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