Saturday, May 21, 2005

UK Telegraph violates Geneva convention

Everybody has seen the photos by now..... how can that happen when I don't get the UK Telegraph? The soldier who sold the photos should go to jail. Everybody involved at the Telegraph should go to jail. The senior production people at all the networks, broadcast and cable, should go to jail. The Geneva Conventions does not say you cannot publish photos of prisoners of war in their underwear.... until somebody else does.

The press will give their usual, we were just covering the news and we are not signatories to the Geneva Conventions, the government is. Are you protected by the Geneva Convention? In that case you are morally required to follow its rules. The "journalists" who wanted to cover this story could have just told us that the idiots at the UK Telegraph published pictures of Saddam in his underwear. Are the Geneva Conventions just niceties between Armys? I don't think so.

Don't get me wrong. I don't think there is a torture devised by man too heinous for Saddam Hussein. He is an evil monster bordering on inhuman. That is not what this is about. The Geneva Conventions protect the men and women who put on a US Military Uniform and put their lives on the line for our safety and freedom. Ergo, we don't violate them. Period!

I would like to see a US attorney and his UK equivalent start prosecuting with abandon. I don't really care if the courts throw it all out. The point needs to be made that we do not accept our media violating the Geneva Conventions just because somebody else did.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Some people shouldn't have pets, yet alone kids

This astonishing post from ColoradoConservative points well to the insanity of our society. This woman should not be allowed to own a goldfish. To allow her to own an animal capable of killing small children is crazy. To allow her to reproduce.....

Everybody hates the French

LGF posted this earlier in the week referring to a story in the UK Telegraph that describes a blind study asking people to describe the French without prompting pro/con/other.

Interviewees were simply asked an open question - what five adjectives sum up the French,said Olivier Clodong, one of the study’s two authors and a professor of social and political communication at the Ecole Superieur de Commerce, in Paris. The answers were overwhelmingly negative.

Unbelievably descriptive sentiment

This may be the best venting post from the right I have ever seen on a blog. I warn you that it is long, very long. But it is well worth the read if you are starting to feel put off by the ignorance of the MSM and limousine libs on the realities of war and peace, civilization and anarchy. (HT: Wizbang who also points to this one which I found good but not as extraordinary).

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


I was on IM with a friend earlier today and the topic turned to the NewsWeek debacle. He posited an interesting question "who outside the beltway reads that trash rag anyway?". So I sent out an email asking many of the folks I know who do read a lot. I have 6 responses back so far and they range from a simple "no, I don't read it or subscribe to it" to "are you $#%! kidding". I would love to see a breakdown of their readership if anybody has it. I haven't read one in years and I read a lot of global/political stuff. Are they really insignificant aside from being a good propaganda arm for the hate America crowd?

T6 is coming home

Stop by here and read the thoughtful and heartfelt posts of one of our soldiers on the ground. Then drop him a note thanking him for his service.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

How to read blogs

As I have friends who are new to the blogosphere I thought I would post my thoughts on reading blogs. My blog is fairly new but I have been reading them and using them for information for a couple of years.

1. Never believe anything you read without second-sourcing to something you consider reliable. This applies to everything, not just the blogs. As we see from NewsWeek this week, even large scale, highly resourced "journalists" will on occasion tell you things that turn out to not be true.

2. Good blogs always point to their source material. Before you go off and assume that the opinion/slant/rant/statement you read on a blog is a fair assessment of the topic at least read the reference. Many bloggers, myself included, assume that if you find the topic interesting enough to read through and make note of you will take the time to read the sourced material. It often has useful information not quoted on the blog. This goes double when a blogger is arguing with the original author sourced.

3. Don't bother with blogs that don't religiously quote their sources.

4. Always take into account the slant of the blogger you are reading. Unlike "journalists" who pretend to be non-partisan on what they are writing about most bloggers don't bother. Figuring out what my, or most other bloggers', slant is requires very little effort and gives you a clearer picture of what you are getting. Again, the same thing applies to you local paper, "straight news" as well as the editorials.

5. Finding new blogs is easy.... finding new blogs that you like reading regularly is a little harder. Look for the blogroll on sites that you like. Do google searches on the topics of interest to you and explore. Send me email when you find good ones you think I might like! :-)

6. When you first start reading a blog (or a paper, columnist, etc) take things with a grain of salt. Reputations for accuracy and usefulness take time to build up and very little time to tear down. Don't consider a new source to be reliable until you have seen it be reliable for some time.

7. Don't get lost getting all of your news and forming your opinions based on one side of the argument. One of the great things about the blogosphere is the wide range of people authoring material. You should at least weekly (I do it daily most of the time) read some credible material from the "other guys". I am a right of center guy so I read more right of center authors than left but I make sure to read left of center stuff as well. People who fail to do this risk falling into the same trap as folks who get their news from the nightly news on NBCBSABC. Those folks begin to see the considerably left of center opinions offered there as the center. The same thing can happen on the right.

8. Don't assume that blogs without a comment section don't want your comments. Don't get me wrong, some of them don't. Most, like myself, simply don't want the legal and moral hassle of idiots posting irresponsible things on their blog. My email address is easy to find on the blog and you will find the same with most blogs without a comment feature. We make our email address easy to find so we can get comments.

9. If you send email to a blogger and you DON'T want it posted say so. We assume that if you don't say so you are either hoping to see us post your comments or you are indifferent about it.

10. Make your experience your own. This is your opportunity to make your own newspaper/editorial section. We all have limited time in our day so don't worry if you choose to spend your blog time reading a different set of blogs than everyone else. That is part of the fun.

VDH on Tenure

Victor Davis Hanson has yet another great article. This time he pontificates on the issue of tenure on college campuses. He makes the point that the idea of not being able to fire someone who is tarnishing the reputation of his employer or who does not do a good job exists only for teachers. Why? Good question.
McCarthyism is evoked as the only bleak alternative to tenure. Once untenured professors find themselves on the wrong side of popular majority opinions, politicized firings will supposedly follow.

Yes, we have all heard that tenure is required to maintain academic freedom and ensure that all ideas can and will be thrown around on a college campus.
Why then does uniformity of belief characterize the current tenured faculty? Contemporary universities are among the most homogeneous of all American institutions, at least in attitudes toward controversial issues of race, gender, class and culture.

Except all ideas aren't heard, at least not for long. Go find yourself a non-tenured professor at you local college who is conservative (if you can). How free do these folks feel to express their ideas (which by the way are shared by many students and in most cases the majority of the parents paying the tuition)?

He goes through some of the history of tenure and major universities and the pay differentials in the country and then drops what I think is the real bomb of it all that lefties don't want to address.
Reasonable people can debate what would be lost with the abolition of tenure. But the warning that, in our litigious society, professors would lack fair job protection is implausible. Renewable five-year agreements — outlining in detail teaching and scholarly expectations - would still protect free speech, without creating lifelong sinecures for those who fail their contractual obligations.

I would go farther than he does. Many professors might very well lose their jobs without tenure... because they stink. The good ones, no matter how controversial, will find a job at another college if they cross a too-easily-offended board. I really don't worry about losing my job because I know I am good at what I do and it happens to be in plenty of demand. If someone isn't good at what they do (and representing the image of the university is part of their job) then perhaps they should go find another way to make a living.

What would happen if tenure went away? What happened with free agency? Instead of worrying about losing their tenure the best professors would start looking on the open market. Schools that can't provide good pay, low crime campuses, competitive research environments and a good working environment will lose their best professors to places that can. The new professor coming out of industry with a resume and some skills will likely make more than many of his peers who never ventured into the "real world" and the schools will compete for them. The schools that can't compete well will wind up with the lesser staff.

Parents will react by either sending their kids to "better" schools or demanding much lower tuition. More viable research will get done (with it's associated funding for the school) because more people in industry who get paid to be good at what they do will have more of an interest in working with their local university to drive that research (in case you don't know most schools are limited in what they can pay non-tenured professors even if said individual is bringing in big time grant money).

So I would argue that free enterprise would do the same thing to universities as it does in the general business world. I didn't hesitate to switch companies and move to a better one making more money when I wasn't happy at my last one. I won't hestitate to do it again. I think I am "normal" in this regard. Some companies fail and some have great success and reward their employees for creating that success.

More Transparency at the Times

Rantingprofs has good post on the NY Times claim that it is going to begin taking the criticisms of their "journalism" more seriously. I highly suspect she will be placed in the class of "simply loves to hate the Times" but if I were an editor at a paper her blog would be my first early morning reading.

Cinderella Man Contest

Hugh is running two essay contests that I hope I have time to compete in. Have a look if you are interested in trying to win a private screening to what sounds like it will be a pretty good movie.