Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Veni Vidi Vici

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger put on a vapid cheerleading session complete with the obligatory branding of the Democratic convention as "True Lies." I'm at a loss to explain how you can attribute your political views to Richard Nixon with a straight face and actually mean it. Now that's naivete from a foreigner. The rest was empty slogganeering really. A collection of things we all belive in in America regardless of party, but of course only the Republicans can claim it this week at least. Talk about "True lies." Isn't that a John E. O' Neill book? I wonder who will adapt it when John F. Kerry is elected in two months?

War Crimes

This is a must read from Todd Gitlin and just what Kerry's testimony to the Senate really was about. The soldier testimonies are chilling. The blame is firmly placed on the administration not the soldiers as portrayed by the deniers e.g. swiftvets for revenge.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Never Before?

"I stood there watching them jump out of the towers, and thought this has never happened before." Appeal to emotion for sure, but perhaps Rudi Guliani has never heard of the Revolutionary War? The Brtitish burned the White House in the War of 1812. This isn't a country fighting us. It's a two-bit bunch of criminals. They have no ability to "eradicate" our way of life. The best they can do is reek havoc and they do it for strictly political reasons. Give me a break.

Flip Flopper

Circle the wagons boys!

"We have a clear vision on how to win the war on terror and bring peace to the world."
-- George W. Bush
July 30th 2004.

"I don’t think you can win {the war on terror}. But I think you can create conditions so that the — those who use terror as a tool are — less acceptable in parts of the world."

-- George W. Bush
Aug. 29th, 2004.

Uh huh.

Once again Talkingpointsmemo strikes at the heart of hypocrisy.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Fight Harder

"This is not going to be a pleasant election, and the usual yardsticks will not apply. But there is little reason why they should apply and a persuasive argument why they shouldn't: In 2004, Americans cannot prepare for the future without first coming to grips with troubling facts and little-understood failures that reach back into the 1960s and 1970s."

Kevin Phillips

Fight back harder John: harder! Don't let this pack of scumbags win. Don't let them do it with lies and smears. Let the truth rain down and big time like the frogs falling from the sky in "Magnolia."

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Blue Blood

Although this article says W is related to Edward I "Longshanks" of England I thought it was King James Nevertheless John Kerry is a royal descendant too. Haven't things changed since Bill Clinton?

Not Too Swiftee

I find this profile of John O'Neill in the LA Times is astounding, but then I was amazed by the fact that Richard Perle was a Democrat too. And the Bush lawyers in Florida for that matter. O'Neill an Edwards supporter and he's doing this against the ticket out of blind hatrid? Unbelievable.

Kerry's Records

They look in order to me. All awarded for battles on different days. The swiftvets are nuts.

Silver Star

Silver Star Combat? Yup.

3-9. Silver Star
a. The Silver Star, section 3746, title 10, United States Code (10 USC 3746), was established by Act of Congress 9 July 1918 (amended by act of 25 July 1963).

b. The Silver Star is awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Army, is cited for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The required gallantry, while of a lesser degree than that required for the Distinguished Service Cross, must nevertheless have been performed with marked distinction.

c. It is awarded upon letter application to Commander, PERSCOM, ATTN: TAPC-PDA, Alexandria, VA 22332-0471, to those individuals who, while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Army, received a citation for gallantry in action in World War I published in orders issued by a headquarters commanded by a general officer."

My dad's noted here: WWII Memorial

Combat V

There is a cabal of misinformationists going on in this smear-fest so it's successful in that repect. The last one I read in the Chicago Sun-Times says that Kerry's silver star had a combat V designation, but none were given out on silver stars. Well, they did for bronze stars which he also has so why not the silver star?

As Donald Groz's widow says here:
"I had quite a morning... Admiral [Elmo] Zumwalt, Commander Naval Forces Vietnam, flew to An Thoi from Saigon ... for a special awards presentation. To make a somewhat long story short, PCF's 23, 94 and 43 conducted an operation February 28th which we pulled off rather spectacularly. Anyway, for my part, I was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat 'V.' I don't mean to blow my own horn, but I really am pleased with the award, and it is a rather significant medal. I'll bring the citation with me to Hawaii."

It seems someone somwhere, I know not where, lists Kerry's Silver Star with this "V" designation. That would be redundant as only valor in combat warrants this medal. The Bronze Star which he also has uses it to differentiate between combat and other service recognition that are covered by that medal. Big deal. That doesn't invalidate the award as claimed by the swift-liars brigade.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Banned From pressthink

Apparently I have surrogates posting at Rosen's place and using my blogger profile for their address. In this case Chuck Rightmire of Montana. It's OK chuck I agree with your words, but I've never impersonated another writer's address.

David Brooks

"I don't find the swiftvets case convincing," Brooks said on PBS just now. "But you have to wonder about Kerry's crebility because of it."

Hello? So a pack of liars with a view that's verifiably false get together with Bush family operatives in a smear collaboration and we have to wonder about John Kerry's credibility? Give me a break. What foolish partisan hack.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Bush Family Values

As Kevin Phillips knows full well this swiftboat smear is pure Bush from way back. Good piece on CBS. You know that rather-biased network.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

The Perils of Transcribing Lies

Journalists are doing the above at their own peril. This type of parallel relativism with the truth that drives the swiftnuts takes wings when repeated as a version of the truth that actually has legs based in fact. CJR has more. Even though the truth is out now, many don't believe it and in many ways the truth has taken a backseat and the lies have earned equal time. That's how urban legends and myths get passed off as the real thing. Journalists need to cut though the crap and expose it for the stinking pile it is.

Monday, August 23, 2004


"Everybody has an opinion but George W. Bush, the man at the center of it all.The reason, as we said earlier, is that the president is a coward -- a fact for which this dust-up constitutes merely an example."

Josh Marshall

Saturday, August 21, 2004

One More Nail In The Swiftboat

Another direct hit.

Truth in the Delta

Whoops there goes another rubber tree plant. Truth beats lies every time.

Friday, August 20, 2004


A complete fabrication: Libel.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Swiftnuts (Cont'd)2

The Boston Globe's Thomas Oliphant smoked John E. O'Neill in a debate on Jim Lehrer's Newshour on PBS. "Burden of proof is on your side," Oliphant, who covered his Dick Cavett debate with Kerry in 1971, said. "And you haven't even gotten to first base in the Journalistic criteria we use in the press."

Bravo Tom! Oliphant was visibly nervous but nailed the now heavy-set O'Neill to the wall. Well done.

Swiftnuts (Cont'd)

"The Swiftvets served with Kerry only in the sense that they manned other boats in Vietnam. It's a bit like saying you spent the night with Bill Clinton because you were on Martha's Vineyard, too."

William Saleton in Slate. This is good stuff for students of weasel-wording.

Road To Ruin

President Bill Clinton weighs in with the painful details (for Bush that is) and reasoning path for the Roadless Rule on the national forests. He is correct, and much of his reasoning was spurred on by myself and many others in the science community who worked to make this rule possible and provided the sound science for which it is based. I thank Bill Clinton for his grasp of the facts and context. We miss that level of knowledge now more than ever. The Bush bulldozer of the flat-earth society rolls on: backwards. Don't let it happen. Comment to the forest service now as I and many others have. That and the election of John Kerry is the only thing that will prevent western towns from going up in flames and our natural legacy destroyed forever by these corporate purveyors of greed and ignorance.

New York Times "Actual Malice"

That's what the swiftnuts have got themselves into as this TNR piece illuminates. I got an A in this media law course for which this law stemming from NY Times v. Sullivan is a fulcrum point for journalists' understanding of the coverage of public figures. The ads against Kerry and the book by O'Neill are libelous. They should be prosecuted for falsehoods, actual malice, and knowingly defamatory publication of lies against a public figure running for president. Bring it on.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Human Events Hate Mongers

Here's a scary book club entry for conservatives from the folks who brought you Unfit For Command and John E. O'Neill. They also sponsored O'Neill's smear efforts in 1971. Nice bunch. This one is the "Muslims are evil and so was Mohammed" school of thought. Yeah, that will help us.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Review Of "Unfit For Command"

"Unfit For Publication," August 16, 2004

Reviewer: Mark A. York "Reporter" (Sunland, CA United States)

I just watched O'Neill's performance on the Dick Cavett Show with John Kerry in 1971 the year I graduated high school with alarm at his defiant rudeness and continued illogical attack on not only Kerry, but even Cavett. This attack-dog zealot has one view and that is this: John Kerry degraded the mythical heroic mission that he and other veterans "felt" they were on.

"We're for freedom," he said.

Hmm? Where have I heard that one lately?

Since O'Neill, who comes from a multi-generational Naval family served after John Kerry, how in the name of reason can he know what went on in the river patrols that Kerry commanded?

Moreover, how can he disparage those who served and were rescued by John Kerry who WERE on his swiftboat? This is a clear case of a pro-war veteran against one who decided the policy was unjust and chose to work to end it. There isn't one piece of logic within the covers of "Unfit For Command." I don't doubt the conviction they have, but it is unfounded and faith based. They believe Kerry was against them, which he wasn't and they believe he was and is anti-American. He isn't. "Some believe 'my country right or wrong,'" Kerry said. "I believe 'my country right,' I'm with you, but 'my country wrong' it's my job to point that out and work to set it right."

Given the lack of evidence for his position O'Neill, who needed help from Mr. Corsi to write this for what reason? PR? Hell if I know. O'Neill and his minions use ad hominem to make their case. "The purple heart is the most coveted award by veterans and their families" he says in chapter 3. "The Purple Heart Hunter."

Hogwash. As the son of a Silver Star recipient from the Battle of the Bulge I beg to differ. Silver Stars are THE medal of valor next to the Medal of Honor. All the PH does is say you were wounded in some way. My own father said he was awarded one that he turned down because a concussion caused him to vomit blood temporarily, and he didn't want his mother to know and worry needlessly. Kerry was wounded three times in the river skirmishes and this is enough to warrant the three PH's. Why libel him in this failed effort to discredit his service?

The fact of the matter is one has to be wounded in combat to get the PH. Period. If you fire a grenade launcher at the enemy and you get shrapnel in your arm then technically yes that isn't a bullet from an enemy weapon, but nonetheless you're engaged in combat with the enemy. No return fire was reported according to the gunners on the 'skimmer' with Kerry that night, but they freely admit they can't see squat when firing those things. Just because some upper-level commander doesn't think it qualified as a matter of bravado opinion isn't relavant.

O'Neill has no purple hearts or Silver Stars to my knowledge. His argument lacks credibility and is an embarassment to the country and our forefathers. O'Neill should be the one who is ashamed, not John Kerry, who has my respect on a number of levels and my vote. He earned it.

Sunday, August 15, 2004


Back from an LA fishing trip on Piru Creek. I was shocked by the amount of trash left behind and in progress by Mexican families out on a picnic over the weekend. Diapers, beer bottles, cans, and even more astounding, toilet paper and turd piles up and down the creek flood plain, when dumpsters and port-o-johns are plentiful. Graffiti tags plastered on all the rocks, and the official "john" was trashed beyond belief and tagged as well. Down on the creek a large semi-permanent encampment of tents, screened rooms and and the population of a small city appeared to be living there. Noisily I might add. Up and down the creek small troops of young Mexican males stalked the road with pellet guns. I was glad to get by them without getting shot.

After spending the afternoon at the falls, which is the start of the catch and release blue ribbon fishing section where no fish can be kept, I made my way back to the parking lot. The section is wild and self-reproducing i.e. no stocking. I saw suckers, bullfrogs, turtles and two small trout, but nothing representative of the 6,000 trout per mile estimate by the fish and game dept. Despite the continuing people pollution life went on.

A creel census taker interviewed me on exit for fishing catch per unit effort data and his take on the conservation situation had a strange pro-republican stance due to a gas pipeline in Santa Barbara County that Gov. Davis and President Clinton exempted for the permit and the company wiped out some archeological sites.

"Both parties do it," he said. "Not like this current one," I said as I related example after example of Bush unzipping Clinton macro-policy that I worked on. Facts are stubborn things and folks shouldn't allow a small example of something that slipped through the cracks after a political payment to cloud the picture. You can't catch them all with that many companies buying favor.

Kerry's Position On Iraq

As Kevin Drum explains voting for the war, should it become necessary in the future is not the same as being for it carte blanche and then against because your confused and wishy-washy as portrayed by the hapless president and his minions. Josh Marshall concurs.

Running off to war as a first choice with token efforts at the UN was not what most of the senators voted for. They voted for the option should the evidence indicate there was no other choice. What part of that don't people get?

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Yucca Mountain

The NewsHour on PBS last night repeated the myth via William Kristol, you know, the balance, that John Kerry voted for the nuclear waste repository and now he's against it. Not quite true. He fought to remove bogus clauses in the bill and Bush signed it in out from under their efforts to get the sound science a priori. Thanks to JD Lasica for jumping on this. The Kerry-Edwards blog has the true story.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Fiction Forum Fantasy

This ca.2002 interview with the ladies of Publishamerica, (doesn't that have a ring to it?) by an online only publication is more proof positive of the generally worthlessness of the internet when it comes to credibility on anything.

First of all the inerviewer didn't ask anything tough enough not to dodge with the same spin found on the PA website that hooks unsuspecting writers into thinking this is a real publisher. Advance: $1; royalties: not standard. Distribution: Nil. The books are available through, not in, bookstores nationwide. This is just more evidence that this company gets a pass by online publications that have no credibility. Many don't know the difference.

Just Save More

Paul Krugman eviscerates the clueless Bush.

"But does Mr. Bush have a way to get us there?

There's a section on his campaign blog about the ownership society, but it's short on specifics. Much of the space is devoted to new types of tax-sheltered savings accounts. People who have looked into plans for such accounts know, however, that they would provide more tax shelters for the wealthy, but would be irrelevant to most families, who already have access to 401(k)'s. Their ability to invest more is limited not by taxes but by the fact that they aren't earning enough to save more."

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The Man on the Swift Boat

I give great credence Mr.Rasmussen to and to the editors of the Opinion Journal for running the story but the commenters weren't impressed by reality. Why would they when they have derogatory fantasy in its place?

Revisionist Winger Fantasies


This candidate reads the newspapers. Of course to the media bias evangelists like Bush et al this is not a good thing.

Internship Woes

I have a pretty good handle on this story since I've interviewed and failed to get an internship paid or otherwise. Jennifer 8. Lee, who went from Harvard to the NY Times is typical. Since minorities are so underrepresented in journalism she had a clear path regardless of her economic background, however as he story clearly illustrates, the economically disadvantaged from all ehtnic backgrounds have little chance of competing with the privileged who can work for free in the summer for government policy agencies or for that matter, newspapers. The Mailbu Times wanted me to work for $20 a week. I couldn't afford the gas to drive out there for three days.

The Good News On Iraq

Isn't as rosy as the zealous defenders would have you believe and it isn't hidden from anyone but those with blinders on and brains turned to off.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Very Well Professor Rosen

Since I've been banned at pressthink in favor of this kind of commentary I'll be cherrypicking the best of the worst to illustrate my point on ignorant conservatives and their media conspiracy theory. A much protected media troll chimes in with this gem of wisdom.

"Journalists are not authorities on other professions. Journalists get more wrong about a story then they get right, more often than not. They develop Master Narratives to more efficiently communicate using automatic thinking.Research? Journalists are at best symbiotic and at worst parasitic. They are not researchers."
Posted by: Tim at August 9, 2004 05:57 PM | Permalink, Pressthink

This SOB is too stupid to report anything except evidence of his stupidity. Glad to oblige. Incredibly I posted information that many journalists have degrees in other professions MBA's and science degrees like myself for instance on the latter, but of course Rosen deleted it along with any other pertinent truth in favor of the diatribes of the right. Fallacy fallacy fallacy; echo echo echo......


Sunday, August 08, 2004

Out Of It

This press blog by the Poynter Institute attracts the same sort of anti-press misinformation that is the central theme in blogaria: the press are ignorant biased hacks and now cheering for Kerry. Of course they support Kerry. But that is a personal choice unrelated to their jobs, and one could argue the same thing when the military generals make a political choice. Is anyone ever surprised that Tommy Franks is leaning toward Bush? Please. Or that Wesley Clark is a Kerry supporter. So what? That's America. There's a myth that the press isn't reporting the real truth and that somewhere out there their truth is being hidden by liberal journalists with an agenda. Hogwash.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

The Science Candidate

"In America, we don't sacrifice science for ideology," Kerry said. "People of good will and good sense can resolve the ethical issues without stopping lifesaving research."

John Kerry is the only choice when it comes to knowledge over medievel ideology of the hard right conservative Bush.

Friday, August 06, 2004


"Conservative misinformation is defined as news or commentary presented in the media that is not accurate, reliable, or credible and that forwards the conservative agenda."

From Media Matters. In other words "Lies and the Lying liars That Tell Them."

Here's An Author Who's Unfit

Jerome Corsi. Brother the quotes from this nutcase are scary. These guys are the gift that just keeps on giving. Enough rope yet? Just about.

Wingnuts Take Notice

I'll be taking these whackjobs apart limb by limb from now till the election of John Kerry. Tim Blair is often cited so I'll start with his sorry theses. Flip-flop? Nothing in his joke of a post against John Kerry shows a flip-flop. Save for a hiccup in Blair's faulty-wired synapses. Kerry'd have stopped reading and moved to the issue instead of running scared. That's the difference between a conflict dodger and one who's been in one for real.

Credentials Then and Now

This is an appropriate cartoon.

Swift Boat Skullduggery

The Boston Globe's excellent staff has made quick work of the libelous diatribe against John Kerry by John O'Neill his nemesis from the protest days and the basis of his new book Unfit For Command. I'll post a review later.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Oooh boy

If a terrorist plot is foiled does it matter if its real? Not to Cruella De Harris, the wicked witch of the east. The problem with republicans like Harris is that they don't know when a lie is a lie.

The Bias Wars

I made the comments section of Editor & Publisher. The sampling of liberal/conservative coments illustrates the perception problem quite well, as does the red/blue state map. I wish I could report it's not that simplistic but it is. I haven't read the cover story yet but it looks good.

Done with the article. It's good, but this business of both sides to a story is bunk. As a reporter you need to flesh out the real story, not just some twisted view of it one way or the other. Both sides Now? Ironically the title of my Dark Skies episode. Insofar as only one take can be correct based on the facts of the story, one take has to be more wrong or incorrect than the other. There can be no relativism for the conservative view. Theirs is the narrower view by definition. If the facts prove them wrong then that's the breaks; buck it up and learn. The longer, more in depth view is more likely to find the truth. As a scientist I can't abide the conservative positions and interpretations on scientific issues. They tend toward religious ideology that has been at war against knowledge for thousands of years. There's only one way to frame that story that's factually valid in my view.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Mercury Rising

This is an alarming survey of the mercury content in freshwater lakes in the eastern US. Due to the prevailng circum-global winds i.e. west to east, mercury, a byproduct of the burning of coal in midwest powerplants settles in the lakes and in the grand banks fishing grounds of the North Atlantic, which are already less than grand for other competing reasons, all human-caused.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Self-vanity? Huh?

More evidence that the press and most readers don't know the difference bewtween vanity press and self-publishing as Savage points out yet again.

Review of the Reviewers

I've long thought that amateur reviews are worthless at the online bookstores. While I've left some harsh ones myself, my profile and reviews have been done with my real name. Time for the ad hominem attack trolls to catch up or go away. Imagine that.

Bush Biologist-Bashing

A biologist working on the endangered Florida panther has been fired for questioning the data massage and inclusion of false information in the biological opinion affecting habitat and construction projects desired by Gov. Jeb Bush and his presidential brother. More akin to the Dalton gang than political leadership but there you go.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Less Government?

Has anyone increased the size of government more than this Bush rendition? Homeland secretary; and now Intelligence Zsar. Christ on a cracker, as I've heard some say. This is pure bureaucratic kingmaking.

In a releated issue Robert Wright is channeling some of my online buddies.

"So when Democrats talk about Muslim hatred, they're just begging to be called wimps by all those right-wing bloggers who have Machiavelli's dictum - better to be feared than loved - tattooed across their chests."

Blogging in Style

Yes bloggers are a phenomenon alright but only in the human interest curiosity sense not as a viable news source, although some can be when reinforced by paid columns and other journo jobs. This is like vanity press books, where newspapers write the "local man writes book" piece, not a legitimate book review. Some don't grasp the difference.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Alaska Tales

Well, Publishamerica honored my cease and desist ultimatum and removed my book Alaska Tales. from their website store.
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