Now hear this!This is just way too good to let slip by, so it’s time to break out the megaphone. Posted by Val Prieto at Michelle Malkin’s site.

 

Some months back I went over to my parent’s house for lunch as I needed a fix of my mom’s cooking. When I arrived, Mom was adding the finishing touches to her famous arroz con pollo and Dad was watching the local newscast on TV. So I sat down next to the old man and chatted with him: I’m doing OK…Wife is fine…Work is a little slow…Dogs are driving me nuts.

As Dad and I are catching up, the big news of the day was being reported on TV. The government had just taken over GM and the talking head anchor kept mentioning how unprecedented it was and how thousands of jobs would be saved and how GM would now turn around and yadayadayada.

At that moment Dad lets out a sigh, looks over at me and asks me to hand him the remote.

I look at him kinda funny. He always lets me have the remote when I’m there. He extends his big, calloused hand towards me and asks for the remote again.

I hand the thing over to him, he points it, turns off the TV and says “Bah. I’ve seen this movie before.”

Dad’s a Cuban exile, so he knows a little something about the Nationalization of businesses and government intrusion.

There’s a brief moment of silence between us, then the old man sighs again, puts his big welder’s hand on my arm and squeezes just a bit. “Listen to what I’m about to tell you,” he says. “Prevent or lament.”

Tomorrow, September 8th, President Obama will address the school children in the U.S. Some people have decided to pull their children out of school that day, but I think that is going a bit too far. Is there a risk that Obama’s speech will turn the kids into modern-day brownshirts? I don’t think so.

I’m not concerned because I’m OK with the President addressing kids. I think it’s great to have the President urge the nation’s children to study and work hard to excel. Urging children to do their best is not a plank of the liberal or conservative platform. It’s an American position, and who could object to it?

Well, some parents are objecting. It’s become a bad habit in recent years. While President Bush was in office, many liberals had a knee-jerk objection to anything he did or said. It was so common that people had a name for it: Bush Derangement Syndrome, or BDS. Now that Obama is in office, I’m seeing a fair amount of ODS on the conservative side, and that is a shame.

I have read the prepared speech, and I don’t see anything in my quick read that makes me feel uneasy as a conservative. I do, however, have two problems with the speech. First, it clocks in at close to 2,500 words — maybe 20 minutes of speaking — and this is going to kindergarten kids? When talking to kids, shorter is better. My second problem with the speech comes from the way President Obama talks again and again about himself. Michelle Malkin did some analysis of the word frequency of the speech:

I’ve run the speech through a word frequency counter and found the following results:

  • 56 iterations of “I”
  • 19 iterations of “school”
  • 10 iterations of “education”
  • 8 iterations of “responsibility”
  • 7 iterations of “country”
  • 5 iterations each of “parents”, “teachers”
  • 3 iterations of “nation”

In other words, Barack Obama referenced himself more than school, education, responsibility, country/nation, parents, and teachers combined. And to think that people accused Obama of self-promotion!

While I don’t have a problem with the speech, I was more concerned about the “how you can help Obama” education packet the Department of Education released before the speech. Before it was “fixed,” the packet suggested activities like encouraging kids to write letters to themselves about how they could help the President. Help the President? I’d be surprised if I hadn’t already seen how self-centered the speech was. Again, the speech is fine, but the accompanying packet from the Department of Education is not. This is the best write-up about one reason why it was a problem:

Christina Erland Culver, former deputy assistant secretary for education, said presidents have traditionally addressed classrooms on the first day of school, but the problem with the event was the accompanying materials from the Department of Education.

“That’s where they kind of got into a slippery spot. Federal statute denies any authority to the Department of Education to provide any kind of curriculum or anything that can be passed down to the state, and that’s part of the statute forming the Department of Education. So they kinda got themselves into this mess because they didn’t really understand some of the key legal roles or the dos and don’ts at the federal Department of Ed,” she said.

Have I mentioned that we have a n00b in the White House? Oh, I guess I have.

In September, Senator Obama said the following to a crowd in Elko, Nevada:

“I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors. I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face,” he said.

I initially thought this comment was rather thuggish on Obama’s part. After all, the mainstream media is firmly in his camp, so getting his philosophy out there shouldn’t be that big of a concern for him. But I didn’t think that Obama supporters would really do it.

Then my wife pointed out something she noticed on a craft-related site — posts about hand-crafted pro-Obama or anti-Bush items usually get at least polite responses, even if they’re along the lines of “Love the idea. But he’s not who I’m voting for.” But when someone posts a hand-crafted McCain/Palin shirt, the responses were certainly “in their face,” enough that a moderator had to jump in several times and remove abrasive comments.

Is this proof that Obama fans are meaner than McCain fans? No. These are merely three samples, and the plural of anecdote is not data. What we have here are polite responses from people who disagree politically on the one hand, and on the other hand enough seething rage to require moderator intervention. It’s not proof, just a few points of data. One of the points of data is a political candidate asking for his supporters to “get in their face.” But I’m sure this rage is merely a coincidence.

Coincidence or not, enough people have spotted this rage on the part of leftists that it has a name, “Bush Derangement Syndrome,” and its recent viral twin, “Palin Derangement Syndrome.” It’s odd that I don’t see this seething anger on the conservative side. Even during the worst of President Clinton’s scandals, I didn’t hear many conservatives boiling over in rage. It’s true that many conservatives disapproved of his behavior or the policies he proposed, but those dislikes didn’t, for the most part, translate into a personal hatred of Bill Clinton the man. But I have observed a visceral hatred of conservatives in general and President Bush in specific from numerous people on the left.

Not everyone sees it that way. Paul Krugman says he is frightened by the specter of rage on the right: “Something very ugly is taking shape on the political scene: as McCain’s chances fade, the crowds at his rallies are, by all accounts, increasingly gripped by insane rage. It’s not just a mob phenomenon — it’s visible in the right-wing media, and to some extent in the speeches of McCain and Palin.” Really? What rage is that? Can you show me pictures or video to demonstrate this rage? At most there are people shouting out words like “traitor” and “terrorist” at Senator Obama at rallies for the McCain/Palin ticket. But where is the rage?

If you want to see graphic examples of rage, Michelle Malkin has compiled some on her site. (Warning: some are profanity-rich and graphic.) Malkin also nails this idea of rage from the right in a recent syndicated editorial:

Are a few activists on the Right getting out of hand? Probably. Between massive ACORN voter fraud, Bill Ayers’ and Jeremiah Wright’s unrepentant hatred of America, and John McCain’s inability to nail Barack Obama on his longtime alliances with all of the above, conservatives have plenty to shout about these days.

But a couple of random catcallers do not a “mob” make. And there’s an overflowing abundance of electoral rage on the Left that won’t make it onto your newspaper’s front page.

She then goes on to list some of the rage from the left — not that you’re likely to hear about it in the nightly news or read it in newspaper because it’s not news. After all, the news media knows that leftist rage is justified because many of them share that rage. Besides, if they don’t report it, it’s not news, right?

“I want you to argue with them and get in their face,” said Senator Obama. The order has been heard and is being obeyed. So which group is filled with rage? My guess is that they’ll be getting in your face very soon.

Michelle Malkin has posted the Arabic phrase for “I will not surrender / I will not submit” on her website, and I agree with this sentiment. I will not submit to Islam, nor will I submit to radicals who are using their religion to threaten the world. Neither will I submit to apologists in the West who believe we must appease radical Islamists by submitting to their every demand. This is my pledge.

I am not an Arabic speaker, so I have no idea if this is correct. I just took the graphic Michelle posted on her site and created a smoother version, because I’m just that anal. Here is the Arabic phrase.

I Will Not Surrender!

If you’d like to show your defiance against the Islamofascists who still celebrate the horrible events of 9/11, I have also created a button for your sidebar.

I Will Not Surrender!

Feel free to download and host these pictures on your own site. And never surrender!

The case against Abdul Rahman was dropped. He was accused of apostasy for leaving Islam and converting to Christianity, and for that, many Muslim clerics called for his death. Michelle Malkin reports that Rahman has left Afghanistan and has arrived in Italy. The question remains whether a worldwide fatwa will be issued calling for his death.

But maybe I’m just being pessimistic.

I am not a journalist. I merely play one on TV. If I were a real journalist — and, more importantly, being paid to write — I’d be more consistent and not skip posting for a week or more. But it is good to be the boss. When you are the boss, you get to make the big decisions. And since I am the boss of CaptainsComments.com, I get to make the decisions about the way it looks, how often I post, and what I will write about. Likewise, other bloggers are equally free to choose what and when to post, and the mainstream media is just as free to write about what it wishes. But there are some major differences between a hobby site like mine, and a major news outlet like ABC News or the Washington Post. It is obvious that our size and scope are different, but there is also an issue of partisanship. I make no bones about being a politically conservative individual with some libertarian leanings. But the mainstream media doesn’t openly admit its own political biases and the way members of the media are mostly liberal-leaning in their political philosophies.

We all have our own agendas, but some people refuse to identify their agendas or try to hide that they even have an agenda, which really amounts to the same thing. Having the power to choose what to report or not to report means you have the power to push forward an agenda. I realize there are some very good things happening in Iraq, but based on what the mainstream media reports, you’d think nothing good is happening to anyone there. Imagine if I reported only the failures of your sports team. If you never heard about any of their successes and only got news of the failures, wouldn’t you start having a negative image of the team? You wouldn’t care that they had just been ranked at the top of their sport because the news would be about anything and everything negative. While Americans tend to love an underdog, a team that continually loses every game and is bad-mouthed every night would see its fan base dwindle over time.

Sometimes there is an advantage to mulling over a subject for several weeks before posting. While typing up this information, I had a news nugget fall into my lap that just happens to deal with this issue. Mark Finkelstein posted an excerpt of an interview of Captain Sherman Powell by Matt Lauer for The Today Show:

Lauer: Don’t get me wrong, I think you’re probably telling the truth, but there might be a lot of people at home wondering how that might be possible with the conditions you’re facing and with the insurgent attacks you’re facing… What would you say to people who doubt that morale could be that high?

Captain Powell: Well sir, I’d tell you, if I got my news from the newspapers I’d be pretty depressed as well.

Q.E.D.

So the successes in Iraq are a major non-story to the mainstream media, and it isn’t difficult to understand why. First, good news is not seen as news; second, the mainstream media is very liberal and has shown that it will do pretty much anything to affect President Bush negatively. And sometimes the necessary action is to keep silent about successes.

Speaking of silence, the mainstream media has been markedly silent about an issue affecting a liberal group — Air America. This liberal radio network was launched to compete with the very successful conservative radio market. So far, it isn’t doing too well. Its history has been clouded with financial woes, and this latest newsworthy debacle is no exception.

To boil it down: Air America Radio’s former chairman, Evan Montvel-Cohen, got a New York charity called the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club to give $875,000 to Progress Media, Air America’s parent company at the time. (Progress Media has since been bought by Piquant.) The Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club charity dealt with children and Alzheimer’s patients and got its money from the donations of private individuals and from grants by the government. Since the money was “borrowed” from the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club, as explained in the words of Air America host Al Franken, it makes sense that someone needs to pay the borrowed money back. Al Franken explained, “[we] discovered this big loan from this Boys and Girls Club, and Rob Glaser, the new guy, who is the head of this new company Piquant, said OK, we don’t legally have to pay it back, because we’re a different company I guess, but we morally do, so they start making arrangements to pay it back.” As I see it, when a company is sold, its debts are also acquired by the parent company, so they are more than just morally obligated to repay the money. But I’m not a high-priced business lawyer, nor do I want to play one on TV, so the actual legalities are a mystery to me.

Both Michelle Malkin and Brian Maloney have been reporting on this irregular money transfer and are investigating it and the surrounding issues. But the mainstream media has mostly yawned at the story, and people have noticed. Maloney quotes a letter written by Michael Becker sent to the New York Times taking them to task for a very sloppy job of reporting this issue. I can’t help but believe that if the politics were reversed, the mainstream media would be in a frenzy to dig deeply into the dealings of a conservative company — and would report its findings fully and regularly to the American people. But because the Left-leaning news media is ideologically aligned with Air America Radio, it is fairly obvious no members of the mainstream media will be hopping up to report this growing scandal.

This is not the case when the Leftist media sees a chance to score against the Right. Cindy Sheehan’s son Casey was killed in Iraq last year. Since that time, Ms. Sheehan met with President Bush; while they disagreed about the war, the meeting was cordial. The account of this meeting is based on Cindy Sheehan’s own words. But now it is very hard to find a mainstream media source that acknowledges that Sheehan previously met with President Bush. Instead, everyone seems to be focused on her current vigil outside the President’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. What is she demanding? To meet with the President. The unspoken message is that she wants to meet with the President again. While her situation is lamentable, and the grief of any parent who has lost an adult son is great, her continuing sorrow at her son’s loss is not reason enough to merit another meeting with the President.

Since Ms. Sheehan is against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, she has become a rallying figure for the Left, and people are gathering to stand with her. I listened to the Randi Rhodes show on a local Air America station and heard a caller explaining how she and a friend were heading to Texas to be at Sheehan’s side. The caller identified this trip as her greatest spiritual experience. Cox and Forkum poked fun at the way the Left is practically deifying Sheehan in the mad rush to attack President Bush and the war:

Mother Sheehan

I mourn the loss of Casey Sheehan. Everyone deserves a good and long life, but the sad reality is that not all people get what they deserve. I am distressed to see that Ms. Sheehan chooses to use the death of her son to make political hay. While she stands up to express her opinion, she is open for response.

Matt Drudge is reporting some of the things said by Cindy Sheehan, and these bear reading:

We are not waging a war on terror in this country. We’re waging a war of terror. The biggest terrorist in the world is George W. Bush!

In the sense that war is terrible and terrifying, I suppose you might be able to say the statement is true. But when over a hundred bombs go off in Bangladesh with the intent to maim and kill indiscriminately, the targeted war the U.S. is waging in Iraq ceases to be comparable to such blatant terrorism. And what was the reason for the Bangladesh attack, as explained by leaflets the terrorist bombers left behind? The goal of the bombing was to turn Bangladesh to Sharia law, and to “warn Bush and Blair to vacate Muslim countries, or to face Muslim upsurge.” Does it make sense to strike out against England and the U.S. by bombing Bangladesh, a nation that is 83% Muslim? Perhaps it does to a terrorist. But to Sheehan, these sorts of attacks don’t matter. President Bush is the biggest terrorist in the world.

We are waging a nuclear war in Iraq right now. That country is contaminated. It will be contaminated for practically eternity now.

And you thought those green-and-black war images were taken with night-vision goggles in the dark. In Sheehan’s reality, the green glow comes from all the nuclear explosions in Iraq. I’m sure you remember seeing all this in the news: the crater that was once Baghdad, the fused and melted glass of Fallujah, and the flaming pyre that was Mosul. In all honesty, Sheehan is not talking about nuclear explosions. She is talking about the use of depleted uranium for bullets. As Steven Den Beste pointed out, you’d get more radiation by living 100 feet higher up a hillside than by living next to a ton of depleted uranium. Heck, you could coat the inside of your house with depleted uranium and get less radiation because it would block out the normal cosmic rays we get every day. The war we wage in Iraq is not a “nuclear war” in any normal or logical sense of that phrase, but it sounds horrifying, so the news media will probably run with it.

So here we have a woman, quite possibly mentally unbalanced, who is publicly mourning her son who died in Iraq. Her story is no different from the hundreds of other mothers who have lost sons and daughters in the war on terror, but because she is so vocally against the war and makes such a great figurehead to promote leftist causes, the media is all over her story.

All the news that’s fit to exploit.

A common catch-phrase among certain crowds is “Our strength is our diversity,” or the reverse, “Our diversity is our strength.” It has become a self-evident, unquestioned concept in recent years. But is this really a hard and fast rule that we should use to govern our lives?

Certainly there are some valid reasons to seek out diversity. Lack of diversity, for instance, is one objection to cloning animals on a large scale. If one animal in the cloned herd is susceptible to a disease, then all of the animals are susceptible. One nasty contagious bug and you have lost your entire flock of cloned sheep. In this case, the flock’s diversity is definitely the flock’s strength. Does this concept apply to other aspects of human life?

The University of Michigan has hit the news twice this year regarding Supreme Court decisions dealing with diversity. The Supreme Court rulings did not make sense to me, since they tossed out a clearly-defined form of discrimination but upheld a sneaky and underhanded form of discrimination. I figure if we must have discrimination to provide diversity, it would be better to know beforehand how that discrimination will work. That may make sense to me, but not to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s opinion basically stated that the need for diversity in our society outweighed the 14th Amendment’s right to equal treatment under the law. Is diversity really that important? Will I learn chemistry better if the person sitting next to me in class is a different race, age, or gender? How, exactly, does the different skin color of the person next to me make me a better student of inorganic chemistry?

In a scene from the movie Joe vs. the Volcano, Joe’s boss Mr. Waturi asks repeatedly in a phone conversation, “I know he can get the job, but can he do the job?” Since the University of Michigan was favoring minority applicants over those with higher GPAs and test scores, the university was in essence saying that it valued enrollment of minority students more than it was concerned with their preparedness and readiness to succeed in college — that it was more concerned about minority students “getting the job” than being able to “do the job.” And yes, minority drop-out rates are greater in schools that give preference to race over ability. Do you notice the racism the University of Michigan is displaying? It is not asking for the best and brightest students. If you happen to be a minority, you are not held to the same standard as others who apply. The University believes that you cannot possibly do as well as other students, so it condescendingly lowers the bar to allow you in. Are you comfortable with the thought that the University of Michigan believes you are incapable of competing with other students because you are part of a minority group? This is racism.

I am not saying minority students are any less able, but if a school sets a standard of a cumulative SAT score of 1300 for entrance and lowers the requirement to 1000 for a specific group, then we should not be surprised to see that second group struggling with performance in school. This bar-lowering does not have to be associated with race. For instance, most prospective firefighters are required to lift a 150-pound load and carry it at least 500 yards; if that requirement is lowered or ignored for female firefighters, the end result will be a number of firefighters who could not successfully pick you up and carry you out of a burning building. Would you be comfortable with that if you were trapped in a burning house? Has a sexually diverse workplace made the firefighters better at their jobs? It has not if the basic requirements have been lowered just to promote diversity. The principle is sound — if you lower expectations, you will get less skilled people.

Since the last paragraph discusses generalities, let me use a specific example of diversity run amok. Opinion writer Michelle Malkin wrote about how discrimination in the name of diversity has affected two people. Patrick Chavis was admitted to the University of California-Davis medical school under a special quota program for minorities. Allan Bakke, who had higher scores than Chavis, was not admitted because he did not have the right skin color. Both Sen. Ted Kennedy and Jane Fonda’s ex-husband Tom Hayden stood up for Chavis and praised the decision to admit him over some other guy because of his minority status. Sen. Kennedy proclaimed that Chavis was “making a difference in the lives of scores of poor families.” And what a difference he made.

Malkin proceeds to describe the nature of the “difference” Chavis made: “An administrative law judge found Chavis guilty of gross negligence and incompetence in the treatment of three patients. Yolanda Mukhalian lost 70 percent of her blood after Chavis hid her in his home for 40 hours following a bungled liposuction; she miraculously survived. The other survivor, Valerie Lawrence, also experienced severe bleeding following the surgery; after Lawrence’s sister took her to a hospital emergency room, Chavis barged in and discharged his suffering patient — still hooked up to her IV and catheter — and also stashed her in his home. Tammaria Cotton bled to death and suffered full cardiac arrest after Chavis performed fly-by-night liposuction on her and then disappeared …. In 1997, the Medical Board of California suspended Chavis’ license, warning of his ‘inability to perform some of the most basic duties required of a physician.’”

Here is the liberal Left’s poster boy for diversity through discrimination, performing horribly. Chavis has since died, the victim of a shooting, but who knows how many people continue to suffer or who bear the scars of his ineptitude? Tell me honestly, which doctor would you choose to perform emergency open-heart surgery on you: the surgeon who was top of the graduating class, or the one who got into medical school not because of fine skills or good grades, but because of skin color or gender?

I like diversity. Without it, my life would be one boring continuous slog through sameness. I love different foods, different people, different scenery, different experiences. But this diversity comes because I desire it — there is no need for some bureaucrat to mandate it into my life. True diversity comes from the freedom to choose the best. During the years I worked for Microsoft, I became friends with team members from Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, Ireland, Italy, England, Syria, Canada, and all over the United States. These talented men and women were picked because they excelled in their chosen profession, not because of their looks or background. And because the best people were picked for the job, the natural outcome was a wide diversity of people, ideas and backgrounds. It was freedom, not the underground racist cry for diversity at all costs, which made this possible.

Addendum: In November Sen. Edward Kennedy, booze-hound, bad driver, and liberal Democrat from Massachusetts said that the Democrats will “continue to resist any Neanderthal that is nominated by this president.” When Sen. Trent Lott made some off-the-cuff joking words about Sen. Strom Thurmond at his 100th birthday celebration, the liberal Left burst a major artery with outrage. Oh, the venom that dripped from leftist pens and lips as they attacked Lott for praising someone who was once a segragationalist. Oh, the humanity! So Lott, as Republicans tend to do, fell on his own sword and stepped down as the Majority Leader of the Senate.

Now we have some hateful words spoken in dead earnest, and you barely hear a comment about it. Here is a quick and dirty search I did on “Lott Thurmond” and “Neanderthal Kennedy” looking just for these issues:

Kennedy Lott
CNN 0 40+
CBS News 0 1
MSNBC 0 2
ABC News 0 20+
FOX News 2 20+

Notice the trend here? I thought you might.