Archive for the ‘“Today Show”’ Category

Why Obama Worries About Half the Electorate

October 18, 2008

Sadly, I find myself disappointed by both Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain and their presidential campaigns.  But I have a brother who says, “never watch football until the last two minutes.”

So now we are in the “two minute drill,” and today’s Zogby Poll says Obama leads McCain 48% to 44%.
Zogby October 18: Obama 48%; McCain 44%
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But many voters have expressed dismay, anger and even rage about this year’s election campaign.  “We are being taken for a ride my a pack of lies and a biased media,” one man wrote to us.  Others have complained about ACORN, Senator Obama’s friends and acquaintances including terrorist Bill Ayers and the Rev. Wright, McCain’s seemingly inept way of making his points, Sara Palin’s lack of “big city” experience and Joe Biden’s gaffes.  Here we will attempt to summarize many of these regrets and concerns and provoke additional thought and discussion….

Preadidential Election 2008: Obama and McCain
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The Media
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“Doesn’t the media have a responsibility to be unbiased and even handed about politics and politicians?” a voter asked us by email.

The answer is, journalism schools teach and preach honesty, integrity and the importance of unbiased and fair coverage.  But the teaching seems to be falling on deaf ears.

“Americans’ perception of the national media as too biased and too liberal have grown significantly over the past two decades. In less than twenty years, since the 1985 Times Mirror polls began routinely assessing the public’s perceptions of the national media, the percentage of Americans who perceive a liberal bias has doubled from 22 percent to 45 percent, nearly half the adult population. Even Democrats now generally regard the press as a liberal entity.”

The above is a news flash from 2008, right?  Hardly.  That paragraph came from a Media Research Center article entitled “The Liberal Media” written by Rich Noyes on June 30, 2004!

Noyes also wrote in 2004, “the gap between the media and the public has grown considerably. A dozen years later, the same research group — now the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press — found that ‘the American public is more critical of press practices, less enthusiastic about the news product and less appreciative of the watchdog role played by the news media than it was a dozen years ago when The People and The Press surveys were inaugurated.’”

So the so called “liberal media” is not new and is not a figment of your imagination: it is a reality.  What we at Peace and Freedom object to most is the seemingly total disregard for any attempt to be fair and unbiased as exemplified by MSNBC, NBC and The New York Times.  We noticed that as Senator McCain joked about Chris Matthews and the MSNBC and NBC bias at Thurday’s Alfred E. Smith dinner, NBC’s evening news host Brian Williams looked down into his lap — apparently in shame and avoiding the stares of McCain and the audience.  We also noted that when Senator Joe Biden decided to attack Joe the Plumber, the good Senator chose NBC as his medium, appearing to launch the attack on NBC’s “Today Show” and end ing the day on NBC with Jay Leno.

So the “biased and liberal media” is a fact of life and much of what they tell us needs to be taken with a grain of salt or thrown out all together.

Obama’s Acquaintances, Friends, and Race
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“Why is it that if anyone mentions Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers, ACORN, Louis Farrakhan and some of the other Obama friends and acquaintances he is attacked as a racist?”

This question came to us early in the campaign and continues to appear not daily but at least once or twice a week.

Remember when Sarah Palin made fun of Obama’s resume line trumpeting his experience as a “community organizer”?  Team Obama and their surrogates were all over her.  Mrs. Palin obviously didn’t understand the issues of the inner city, race and disenfranchised and under appreciated voters.

But recent revelations about ACORN (The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) seem to indicate that there is some segment of the “community organizer” community that shouldn’t be trusted or respected.  In fact, the FBI is investigating ACORN and there may be some significant lawbreaking, theft, fraud and scurrilous behavior among “community organizers.”

See:
ACORN Board of Directors Meet Amid Internal Lawsuit, $1M Embezzlement Caper, Leadership Struggle
and
ACORN Now Subject of Major FBI Probe

Questioning ACORN and other such organizations isn’t racism: it is something that makes sense and needs to be done, especially since the media has seemingly given ACORN and Mr. Obama a pass….

Senator Obama himself said a Special Prosecutor may be needed to look into ACORN’s activities.

How about Rev. Jeremiah Wright?  All we know is that his videotaped sermons looked anti-American, over the top, and inflammatory.  He even said “God damn America.”  And Senator Obama seemed to be oblivious to these comments, espoused weekly from the church pulpit where he went to “worship” for more than 20 years.

Supporters say that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is misunderstood.
Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Said “God damn America”
during church sermon. Obama was a member of
the church and contributed money for some 20 years….

On Bill Ayers, a former FBI agent told us (my Dad was in the FBI) that he “wouldn’t shake the hand of an anti-American domestic terrorist like Bill Ayers.”  Mr. Obama considers Bill Ayers as a friend.

So, without belaboring the facts of Barack Obama’s friends and acquaintenances, we find a very troubling pattern of people in Barack Obam’s life: and the lack of honest men of principles and integrity we see in Senator McCain’s life.  And we know this a matter of opinion so decide for yourself….

See:
 Obama & McCain: Who’s Playing the Race Card?
and
What Kind Of Men Were With John McCain In The Hanoi Hilton? Men of Character….
and
 Chicago, Academics Defend Bill Ayers; Former FBI Agents Outraged
and 
Obama and ACORN: Relationship May Be More Extensive Than Candidate Says

Are the Candidates and Their Surrogates Truthful?

“Strapped to a polygraph on national TV, I would assert quite confidently that I would strongly condemn thuggish and criminal tactics by a candidate I supported. The ends do not justify the means for me and most other conservatives I know. I wish I believed the same were true for liberals, far too many of whom are deliberately turning their backs on the corruption defining Barack Obama’s campaign.”

The above paragraph is from David Limbaugh writing in The Washington Times on October 16, 2008.
See: Voters Can Still Wake Up: Corruption Defining Barack Obama’s Campaign

Clearly, as my email proves, liberals think McCain is a filthy liar and conservatives think the same of Obama.  What I look for is a patter.  Decide for yourself.

Legislative Record 

We do believe that John McCain has an incredible, even a unique record of legislative accomplishment.  The McCain Feingold Bill was a partnership with a liberal Democrat aimed at reforming the election donation process.

The Kennedy-McCain Immigration Bill was also a partnership of the conservative McCain with a liberal Democrat, Senator Ted Kennedy.

McCain is a legislative maverick, teaming with Democrats on issues of importance

 Mr. Obama’s state legislature record includes many “present” votes, which we see as an indication of a lack of integrity.  And as for his U.S. Senate record, he has been running toward the White House most of the time and not doing any lammaking.   So please point out one piece of U.S. Senate legislation sponsored by Mr. Obama.  And then, please show us one piece of U.S. Senate legislation Senator Obama co-sponsored with a member of the Republican Party…..

Taxes
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John McCain is a rather typical Ronald Reagan Republican on taxes: he believes that lower taxes stimulate growth so much that the loss of tax revenue due to tax cuts is outweighed by new jobs, growth and prosperity.

Senator Obama said to Joe the Plumber that he believes in income redistribution.  This again came up in the final presidential debate which earned Joe the Plumber an attack from Team Obama, including Joe Biden’s Today Show and Jay Leno assaults on NBC.  So, Team Obama attacked the messenger (the plumber) but has not denied the fact that the Obama tax plan is a socialist class warfare plan….But you decide…..

Plus, given the recent Wall Street and home mortgage disaster, we find it impossible to see how Mr. Obama can come up with the money to do all the things he promises, including tax relief, more money for health care, and additional funding for schools and education.  With me, Mr. Obama seems to have missed the fact that the U.S. owes China over one trillion dollars, owes the American people almost as much now due to the Bush bailout, and that the economic crash has greatly reduced planned-for tax revenues.  My state and county are tightening their spending belt — but Mr. Obama continues to promise huge federal spending increases and tax breaks.  I just do not believe anything he is saying in the economic and financial universe any more.  The situation Obama lived in when he created his give-away plan has changed: and what Mister Obama once promised to a people living in a prosperous nation has changed…. Ask any small business owner like my wife or any unemployed workers starting with the American union workers of the automotive work-force.

Foreign Policy
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“On the campaign trail, foreign policy appears to have all but disappeared as an issue in this race,” wrote Jonathan Marcus of the BBC this week.

Did anyone hear any of these topics discussed in depth during the final presidential debate?  I refer to China, Russia, Georgia, Pakistan, Darfur, Afghanistan, Venezuela, India, Georgia, Ossetia and on and on. 

The economic meltdown has just about pushed foreign policy out of the presidential campaign discussion.  And this is a grave mistake we as a nation may pay for in the future.

The President of the United States does not have any control lever to the economy under his desk, as far as we know, but he does have great singular influence and say over foreign policy.

Mr. McCain’s support for the “surge” in Iraq turned into a major success.  But instead of claiming credit for this foreign policy and military success, Mr. McCain seems to have become a victim of his own success.  Mister Foreign Policy experience has fallen into an Obama trap: lets talk solely about our domestic economy. 

All I remember about Senator Obama’s foreign policy platform are some ill advised remarks like that he would meet with President Ahmadinejad of Iran without preconditions.  Mr. Ahmadinejad, last I checked, is making a nuclear bomb and is on the record for saying he wanted to “wipe Israel from the map.”

But, because the economic mess is on everyone’s mind and Mr. Obama is promising to make us all rich, I suppose we don’t need to care about such people as Hugo Chavez, Vladimir Putin, Hu Jintao, President Ahmadinejad and other interesting folks on the world stage….But you decide….

See:
Iran’s Ahmadinejad Continues to Gloat About End of Godless America, Capitalism
and
Pakistan’s Zardari Asks China for Aid
and
How Foreign Policy Fell Off The U.S. Election Radar

Campaign Financing
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Here again we think Mr. McCain fell victim to what Muhammad Ali called the “rope a dope” tactics of a thoughtful, though often underhanded, campaign team.

McCain loves campaign finance reform partly because he wrote the McCain Feingold Campaign Reform Bill with his liberal Democrat friend Senator Feingold.  Obama once said he’d stick with the restrictions of McCain-Feingold  since Mr. McCain promised to stand with the restrictions but then Mr. Obama, at the last minute,  changed his mind — at the deadline and after Mr. McCain vowed to stick by the restrictions.

Now, we as a nation, are witnessing an almost limitless pile of cash owned by Mr. Obama attacking a pauper in the advertising realm: Mr. McCain.  This is great if you love Obama but it is not good for truth, honesty and America in our view.  All this money pollutes the environment with a one-sided advertising campaign which was already jeapordized by a biased, liberal media…..

But …you decide.

Vice Presidential Nominees

Was Sarah Palin really the best choice for a John McCain running mate?  Probably not.  She is a woman with executive experience.  But she is no Mitt Romney, who also has a wealth of executive experience and as a business executive, understands how to “create” wealth.

And Joe Biden?  Apparently he was chosen by Mr. Obama for his foreign policy experience.  But in the Senate he is known as a gaffe prone, long-winded buffoon.

See:
Joe Biden, Because He Has No Integrity, Demeans Himself By Attacking Joe the Plumber

Energy
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What I recall most is this: Obama is for wind.  McCain is for nuclear.

It is more complex than that but not a lot.  McCain wants to drill more and his campaign events along with those of Governor palin frequently feature the chant, “Drill, Baby, Drill.”  Obama warmed up to the idea of additional drilling only late in the game.

Mr. McCain mentioned at the last presidential debate that we need more nuclear power plants in the United States.  He said the U.S. Navy has been the master of nuclear power for more than 50 years.

The United States is lagging far behind many nations, including Britain and France, in clean nuclear electricity generation.  Russia is assisting Iran with a nuclear plant.  Just today, China announced that it will assist Pakistan with the construction of two nuclear sites.  The U.S. even recently made an agreement to assist India with nuclear power.  Yet our own domestic nuclear industry is not building new nuclear plants with any regularity or verve.

I can’t recall Mr. Obama ever saying “nuclear.”

I think Mr. McCain is on the right track on energy — but I appreciate Mr. Obama’s commitment to clean power too.

TaskForce One.jpg
Above: This photo, taken 1964, shows three of the U.S. Navy’s early nuclear powered surface combatants.  Today, all U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and submarines are nuclear powered.

Character

I feel like I know John McCain’s character, but I live with an immigrant wife who suffered similar torture and hardship.  McCain survived a very difficult time of prison and torture with distinction.  He’s been tested.  I like people who have been tested.

I do not know that Barack Obama has been tested.  He is a great talker but not a great “doer.”  A man of spoken great convictions, to me Barack Obama’s life is a mixture of avoidance, association with the wrong people and the avoidance of taking stands.  Barack Obama reminds me of the “Artful Dodger” from the in the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist.

New York Times writer Jodi Kantor researched the Obama record at the University of Chicago Law School.  On July 30, 2008, Jodi’s story appeared with the following included:

“I don’t think anything that went on in these chambers affected him,” said Richard Epstein, a libertarian colleague who says he longed for Mr. Obama to venture beyond his ideological and topical comfort zones. “His entire life, as best I can tell, is one in which he’s always been a thoughtful listener and questioner, but he’s never stepped up to the plate and taken full swings.”

I prefer, especially in the White House, men that take full swings.

In short and in closing, we consider this a very troubling election campaign that Senator Obama, for good or bad, will likely win.  And it seems as if the Senate and the House of Representatives will see an increased number of Democratic legislators.  A predominantly Democratic House, Senate and a White House occupied by a Democrat at the same time is not good for Americans in our view, but we trust the American voter…..

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Joe Biden, Because He Has No Integrity, Demeans Himself By Attacking Joe the Plumber

October 17, 2008

I have never had any respect and admiration for Joe Biden.  Now I have less.

Oh, he has my genuine sympathy.  But respect?

No.

I went to the Congress about a year before Joe Biden.  I was a lowly staff member working for a member of the House of Representatives. Less that a year after Joe Biden arrived I was outside a meeting room filled with Senators and House members.  Biden and several staffers arrived late.  After Biden went into the meeting, his employees commenced to tell stories about how stupid their boss was for about an hour.

I left in disgust.  Before that I thought all senators were special.

No more.

Democratic vice presidential candidate, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., ...
Above: Joe Biden hides behind the Obama mantra of “Change.”  But he’s been a Senator from Delaware for some 35 years.  He claims he is a blue collar guy from Scranton, Pa., but he has a multi-million dollar house near his Mom’s in Delaware.  Here he speaks during a campaign rally in Henderson, Nev. on Friday, Oct. 17, 2008.(AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

You’ve witnessed some of Joe Biden at his normal, usual, incredible greatness since Barack Obama thought he needed someone smarter than himself on foreign policy.  You saw, “I have a three letter word for what’s important to Americans! J-O-B-S.”

That’s classic Joe Biden.  He also asked a state legislator who happens to be a paraplegic to “Stand up and take a bow!”

That’s Joe Biden.

But I never really had animosity toward Joe Biden until now.  Before this he only amused me and gained pity and laughter.  Now I have some distain for the man.

Joe Biden decided to pontificate on the issue of abortion at about the time of the Democratic National Convention.  He seemed to be telling Catholics that abortion was OK and his Church was confused.

Pontificating should be left to the Pontiff, Joe.

In fact, Mr. Biden (along with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi)  was confused about abortion and Catholic Church teaching.  Both earned repremands from multiple members of the Church hierarachy.

Did you see Joe Biden at the Catholic Charities dinner hosted by Cardinal Edward Egan last night?  John McCain and Barack Obama were welcome.  Joe Biden wasn’t welcome.  Why?  Because Joe Biden defies Catholic Church law and teaches his own version of Catholic Doctrine.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., ...
Above: Where’s Joe Biden? Not welcome.  Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, Cardinal Edward Egan, center, and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., laugh during the Alfred E. Smith Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Biden, it seems, will do just about anything to get himself and Barack Obama elected to higher office.  Biden has forgotten that in politics, and in life, there is a “high road.”  Joe Bien has forgotten what “integrity” means.

So Biden has chosen the low road.

Case in point: Joe the Plumber. 

Joe the Plumber is a regular guy.  Joe the Plumber isn’t a perfect messenger and I love that.  He brought to the fore issues about Barack Obama’s economic and tax plan.

Joe Biden is all over Joe the Plumber like a dirty shirt.  Biden has pointed out that the Plumber lacks a plumbing license, might have a tax lien against him and maybe doesn’t even vote.

Who cares?  Joe the Plumber still got Obama to say what he really believes in: redistributing wealth from those that earn to those that don’t.

On Thursday Joe Biden went to NBC, which is clearly “in the tank” for Obama and not at all impartial, having lost all journalistic integrity, just to trash Joe the Plumber.  Biden opened the day on the “Today Show” and closed the day with Jay Leno.  Trashing Joe the Plumber all the way.

Host Jay Leno, right, and Democratic vice presidential candidate ...
Above: Host Jay Leno, right, and Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., talk during the taping of ‘The Tonight Show With Jay Leno’ at the NBC Studios in Burbank, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008. Biden apparently went on Leno’s show just to attack Joe the Plumber…..(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Biden was trying maybe to kill the messenger and by discrediting him, hoping we’ll all forget about his point: that Obama’s tax and economic plan is socialism that makes no sense to Americans earning a living.

Joe Biden: going after Mister Average should be beneath you.  You should be on the High Road.  But you’re not.

I have more respect for Joe the Plumber than Joe the Jerk Biden.  Any day.

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A few after thoughts:

1.  My Dad used to say, “You need a license to drive but not to say stupid things….”

2.  When I called my Vietnamese-born wife (she voted for the first time as a U.S. citizen four years ago) and said, “Joe Biden says Joe the Plumber doesn’t have a license so we shouldn’t believe him,” she responded, “Oh, PLEASE!”

3.


Above: A Plumber sent this to us…

Team Obama’s Mindset: Attack and Smear Everything About McCain-Palin, Even Joe the Plumber

October 17, 2008

“Joe the Plumber” is a regular guy.  He is so regular that he might be in some trouble with the IRS and he never bothered to get a license as a plumber even though he cleans out and bends lots of pipe.  But after he bacame a household focal point of the “regular guy,” not unlike “Joe Sixpack,” an unusual thing happened….the Obama smaer team including Barack Obama and Joe Biden went after “Joe the Plumber” just to dicredit him and make him look bad.  This shows how afraid Team Obama is of facing the truth about their economic and tax plans; even though the Obama camp has a big lead in the polls and a huge pile of cash to use against McCain….
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(CNN) — After rocketing Joe ‘the plumber’ Wurzelbacher to stardom at Wednesday’s presidential debate, John McCain is defending the headline-grabbing undecided Ohio voter from what he calls Obama campaign “attacks.”

 

“Last weekend, Senator Obama showed up in Joe’s driveway to ask for his vote, and Joe asked Senator Obama a tough question,” McCain told voters in Miami Friday. “The response from Senator Obama and his campaign yesterday was to attack Joe. People are digging through his personal life and he has TV crews camped out in front of his house. He didn’t ask for Senator Obama to come to his house.”

Wurzelbacher, who met Obama last weekend when the Illinois senator campaigned in his Ohio neighborhood, asked Obama whether his taxes would be raised if he bought a business and made $250,000. Obama conceded that they would — a comment McCain repeatedly sought to highlight at the third and final presidential debate earlier this week, when the plumber found himself thrust into the media spotlight.

“He wasn’t recruited or prompted by our campaign. He just asked a question,” McCain said at Friday’s Miami rally. “And Americans ought to be able to ask Senator Obama tough questions without being smeared and targeted with political attacks.”

Since Wurzelbacher’s rapid rise on the national stage, both Barack Obama and Biden have questioned his “average Joe credentials,” noting most plumbers do not make salaries well into the six figures.

“That a plumber is the guy he’s fighting for…” Obama said to laughter at a rally in New Hampshire Thursday. “How many plumbers you know making a quarter million dollars a year?”

Biden echoed a similar line on Jay Leno Thursday night. [Biden also went on NBC’s TODAY show to attack Joe….Biden started and ended Thursday on NBC in the “Trash Joe the Plummer” campaign….]

Host Jay Leno, right, and Democratic vice-presidential candidate ... 
Host Jay Leno, right, and Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden chat during taping of ‘The Tonight Show With Jay Leno’ at NBC Studios in Burbank, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008.(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

“The neighborhood I grew up, even the neighborhood I live in now, which is a really nice neighborhood, I don’t know many plumbers who are making $250,000 a year and worried about it,” Biden said. “We’re kind of worried about Joe the fireman, Joe the policeman, Joe the real plumber with a license.”

Harry Potter, Gay Life and “Question Authority”

October 24, 2007

By Ben Shapiro
Townhall
October 24, 2007

I  am not a fan of the Harry Potter series. Nonetheless, I, like every other sentient human being, know something about Harry Potter. Most of my friends are fans. My three younger sisters are fans. I’ve seen the movies. I’ve read small portions of several of the books.So when J.K. Rowling announced last week that Albus Dumbledore, the aged headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was gay, I was somewhat confused. When did the old dude with the funky beard turn into Gore Vidal?  

According to Rowling, Dumbledore was always Gore Vidal. At a Carnegie Hall reading, one of Rowling’s fans asked whether Dumbledore had ever found “true love.” “Dumbledore is gay,” Rowling gleefully responded. Dumbledore was apparently in love with his rival, Gellert Grindelwald, a dark wizard. “Falling in love can blind us to an extent,” Rowling explained. Dumbledore’s homosexual crush, Rowling stated, was his “great tragedy.” Rowling went on to label the Harry Potter books a “prolonged argument for tolerance” and told her fans to “question authority.”

Read the rest:
http://www.townhall.com/columnists/BenShapiro/
2007/10/24/dumbledore_waves_the_rainbow_flag

Related:
Another Reason to Avoid “Harry Potter” Books

Harry Potter: More Worthless Pop Culture

Kids reading fewer books despite Harry Potter hoopla

Priest Says Harry Potter Helps Devil, Evil

Our Nation: Based Upon God, Not Fiction

Another Reason to Avoid “Harry Potter” Books

October 22, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
October 22, 2007

Congratulations to Harry Potter series author J.K. Rowling who is now re-writing her best sellers in public pronouncements long after completion the editing and publication process.

Ms. Rowling stunned an audience this weekend by proclaiming that Dumbledore, the wise Hogwarts headmaster and mentor to Harry, is gay.

The liberal media has jumped on this morsel of new information, telling media outlets that now Harry Potter can teach our children about “tolerance.”

Personally, I have come to hate that word “tolerance” as a staple of liberal Democrats, Bill Clinton and others we have no use for at Peace and Freedom.

It might not be politically correct but we much prefer the word “standards” to tolerance – since the liberal media has turned tolerance into “just about anything goes.”

The NBC “Today Show,” the same show that sympathized with gay comedian Ellen about her dog predicament, gleefully reported the new news on Harry Potter and his buddies.

Frankly, we think this is another reason to deny Ms. Rowling any more wealth for producing questionable if not down right detrimental reading material aimed at our children.

Do your kids a favor: get them interested in the facts of history. Real people with real skills and real bravery are a lot better than fantasy, magic and extolling the virtues (?) of gay people.

We don’t hate gay people but we sure do not think they need to be put upon a pedestal or held up as role models for our kids either.

We think one’s sex life — anyone’s sex life — is a private matter.

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Priests Say Harry Potter Promotes Evil

Miguel Sanchez
For Peace and Freedom
July 23, 2007
(Mexico City)

Is Harry Potter really a good thing for your children to read?

At least one member of the Roman Catholic Church clergy has come forward to say Harry Potter could do damage to a child’s mind.

The Reverend Pedro Mendoza is the Director of Exorcists in the Archdiocese of Mexico City.

Peace and Freedom caught up with Father Mendoza after learning he had a strongly contrary view to the masses who turned out Friday night to buy the latest and apparently final Harry Potter book.

“I think a book like this does a lot of damage,” the priest told us. “At its core it is about sorcery. I am sure that is not the best use of a child’s mind.”

Father Mendoza made similar comments at the end of a five-day exorcism conference in Mexico City last week.

”If you put all these ideas in a child’s head, that he can become a wizard, the child believes that, and that is opening an avenue through which the devil can get in,” Mendoza said Friday – the eve of the release of the series’ final book.

He said that Harry Potter ”doesn’t interest us,” but ” unfortunately, it does a lot of damage.”

“When family ties began weakening, the priest said, often the mass media starts to proliferate ”new ideas” and ”abusing sensationalism.

“Without strong, faith-bound families, which he said allow individuals to see God’s work in everyday life, people lose touch with God and seek ‘magical solutions’ to modern problems.”

“There are many demonic influences, curses and forms of witchcraft,” he said. ”And it’s in that field that the devil is able to work.”

“We should not accept sorcery or wizardry as a good thing when there is so much good in the world to embrace.”

Another priest with parallel views is Father John Corapi who says, “It is just not wise to place yourself or your children in the near occasion of evil.”

Related:

Harry Potter: More Worthless Pop Culture

Kids reading fewer books despite Harry Potter hoopla

NBC Relents: Honors Medal of Honor Recipient Michael P. Murphy

October 17, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
October 17, 2007

Bill O’Reilly of the Fox News Channel has been wondering why The New York Times and NBC News have completely overlooked a wonderful and inspiring story of American heroism: that of Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy.

The Navy has announced that Lt. Murphy will receive the Medal of Honor (posthumously).

Medal of Honor

From left to right, the Army, Navy/Marine Corps and Air Force medals

Lt. Michael Murphy, while shot and wounded in Afghanistan, managed to crawl onto a ridgeline and radio headquarters at the nearby air base for reinforcements. He later died of his wounds. He will be awarded the Medal of Honor on October 22.

The medal recognizes valor in action against an enemy force.After the story broke, nearly every news organization in America picked it up and ran with it. All but two.

The liberal New York Times and your China-loving Olympics TV network, NBC, were stonily silent on the heroism of Lt. Murphy.

Mr. O’Reilly of FNC launched into one of his rants — which lasted for days.

This morning, on the NBC “Today Show,” Matt Lauer interviewed Lt. Murphy’s parents and Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklashevski reported on Lt. Murphy’s heroic service.

Congratulation to Mr. O’Reilly and a belated congratulations to NBC.

As for the New York Times, we cancelled our subscription.

Related:
Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy to receive Medal of Honor from the President
and
New York Times, Medal of Honor and Shame to Journalists

We’ll Pay What it Costs: Ice Cream, Coffee, Achieving The Insurmountable and Other Thoughts on Life

August 6, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
August 6, 2007

Ice Cream

My bride was recently gravely ill and I pulled out the stops to do everything I could for her. I brought her Mother’s homemade Vietnamese soup and my bride didn’t touch a drop.

I tried cookies and candy.

Nothing made her hungry or happy.

Finally I tried a certain high end ice cream brand. The exact product was “Cherry Garcia.”

She loved the expensive ice cream and couldn’t stop praising me, raving about the ice cream, and sneaking little scoops of the stuff.

Then she started to wonder, as she got better, why I had never introduced her to the “good stuff” ice cream until she became ill.

I told her if I lost her, God would have asked her questions. It might go something like this:

God:  “Did your husband love and care for you to his full ability?”

My wife would certainly answer in the affirmative.

Then God might say, “Did he buy for you Cherry Garcia ice cream?”

My wife would say no. She had never heard of it until she was ill.

Then God would inform her; “You got screwed Honey. He wasn’t as good a husband as he could have been.”

Now she isn’t sure about me and I fear she is addicted to this ice cream.

I was told by a friend she has to go to Vermont to a place called “Ben & Jerry’s” for rehab.  Does that sound right?

Spas, Coffee and Human Sacrifice

The NBC TODAY show had one of those invaluable “news” reports I relish, just this morning.

The topic was SPAs.

Here is the intro to the piece on the NBC TODAY Show web page complete with their own misuse of the word “their”:

“Imagine a week of facials, massages, gourmet meals, hikes, and Pilates classes. Sounds like a great way to spend the last days of summer, right? That’s the sound of a SPA getaway.

‘Vacation’ usually means hustling to catch planes, hassling with rental cars, and then squeezing in friends, family, and of course all the major sites. That’s why destination spas make so much sense. According to SPA Finder Inc., there [sic] database counts more than 15,000 spas in the United States.”

15,000 SPAs? That sounds like an extravagance to me.

Until you consider we have over 10,000 high end coffee houses in the U.S. And they are already springing up in places like China.

Many Americans will spend thousands of dollars on themselves in SPAs, hair salons and nail shops. Then on the way home they’ll buy a cappuccino for something going toward $5.00.

I am proud to say I don’t go to a “hair stylist.”  Instead I make a small donation to Pete the immigrant barber and he does the job for less than $10.00.

John Edwards: eat your heart out.

The bottom line is this: many Americans will pay whatever it takes to achieve their own few minutes of mental bliss.  God Bless ’em too!

But ask some of us to really make a sacrifice; and you may get that “deer in the headlights” stare.

I saw an Army G.I. interviewed on TV a few days ago. He reminded watchers that only about 1% of the U.S. population was involved in the war on terror, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said many Americans slapped a “I support the troops” bumper sticker on their car and they were finished with the problem.

Achieving The Insurmountable

So I wonder sometimes: will the people of the United States ever again be able to achieve the likes of the landings on D-Day? Can present day America defeat a tyrant like Hitler? Do we have engineering successes in our future to rival man walking on the moon?

I am usually an optimist.

But the two most recent examples of “The Right Stuff” included a half-crazed astrounat wearing a diaper on her way to kill what she thought was her man’s girlfriend. The other was a report of drunken astronauts in space and in aircraft.

When I heard a pundit say what a hard and long “struggle” it would be to replace the Interstate 35W bridge which collapsed, I nearly gagged. We should be able to rebuild that bridge better and stronger in no time.

And as the news reader bemoaned “the decaying infrastructure in America,” I thought: we better get on with it and do it right.

And we, as a nation, had better take on some of the tough issues facing us like illegal immigration, the war against terror and the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Related:

The Can’t-Do Nation
“The United States seems to have become the superpower that can’t tie its own shoelaces.”

What Americans spend on their pets:
“Pet Prowess” in America; Michael Vick to Coach at University of Beijing

Dog Rights in America versus Human Rights in Vietnam

China: So Big, So Powerful, So Disorganized, So Corrupt

August 6, 2007

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issues a warning to farmers, most of them get it the same day or a day later.

In China, the same piece of information vital to food safety may take months or years to reach farmers in the countryside – if it ever does make it.

The problem for China is mainly two fold: first, China has 200 million farming households and 500,000 food-producing companies. So the problems in policing such a “system” are immense by western standards.

The second reason clearly points to a failure of the communist party system inside China.

Local party functionaries are largely ineffective in managing the simplest new piece of information from Beijing.

When Beijing senses that things are not all well in the countryside; a threat to local bureaucrats is likely just around the corner.

Earlier this year, China ordered local authorities to address the root causes of rising public discontent, state media reported, in an apparent sign of growing concern over social stability.

Local officials were told they will be denied promotions unless they minimize social unrest in their areas, Xinhua news agency quoted a top Community Party official as saying.

“Officials who perform poorly in maintaining social stability in rural areas will not be qualified for promotion,” it quoted Ouyang Song, a senior party official in charge of personnel matters, as saying.

Beijing blamed inept local communist party officials for illicit CD factories, air and water pollution, and rioting over the “one child” policy near Hong Kong.

One local party official told me, “We are the whipping boys” for Beijing.  “Beijing will not take responsibility in front of the west, but they will shift the blame on to us, poor education and other policy problems.”

But many westerners say the number and quality of local officials is just not adequate. And local officials are expected to monitor a vast panoply of companies and activities.

Consider the pharmaceutical industry in China.

“There’s no quick fix,” says Henk Bekedam, the World Health Organization’s top representative in China. “China has perhaps been cutting some corners because the focus has been on growth. But they have 5,000 companies that produce medicine.   That’s far too many.”

Some experts inside China say that due to illegal drug production the actual number of companies involved in the  pharmaceutical “industry” may be  as many as 6,700.

“The government has a limited ability to enforce things,” said Bekedam. “They need to start with simple things: reduce the number of people you monitor.”

China’s new Food and Drug Administration director said local businessmen and officials did not understand what Beijing expects – or are worn out by their requirements.”We must face the fact that there are still some problems which cannot be ignored,” Shao Mingli was quoted as saying at a seminar in a transcript posted on the agency’s Web site.

“Some areas are not fully aware of the importance, hardship and complexity of this work. They fear the difficulties and suffer battle fatigue.”And many believe, despite pressure from Beijing, there is little incentive for local bureaucrats to follow Beijing’s orders or lead.

The difficulty is compounded by what some academics have termed “local protectionism,” the close relationship between government and business in many cities. Xue Lan, associate director of the School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University, said local officials do not always think it is in their best interests to recognize corruption.

“Sometimes local regulatory agencies do not necessarily make the best effort to control issues because it may harm the local economy. So they let it go,” Xue said.

China experts also point out that for decades, the Communist Party has held primacy over the rule of law in China. It is almost impossible to bring legal action against party leaders and other high-ranking individuals. In addition, the country’s legal system is based on socialist principles that value the needs of the society more than those of the individual.

A China expert told us: “If it is good for the economy and people are making money, nobody will really police how we get there.”
***********
Postscript: Because China’s drug, food and product safety woes are linked to the communist party, we believe there are many similar concers for Vietnam.

Related:
Tricky Vietnamese Truth About Catfish

What Does Beijing’s Central Government Consider a “Threat”?

People Living Under Communism: Very Limited Rights (If Any)

China Plans Happy Olympics But A Few “Small” Problems Remain

China Planning a Surreal Facade for Summer Olympic Games: Beijing 2008

In this run up to the Beijing Summer Olympics, which begin a year from now, you see many “happy face” “news” reports from westerners in China.  As I am writing this, Meredith Viera of the NBC TODAY show is sampling food in China during a report from China. Of course, NBC has a huge contract to televise the 2008 Summer games and is in no position to offer any criticism of China.
 
So there is a different view of China, an alternative to NBCs, that needs to be known and understood.

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
Updated August 8, 2007

Dragnet, Freedom of the Press, The Facts, and the Mainstream News Media

July 25, 2007

By James Zumwalt
For Peace and Freedom
July 26, 2007

A popular TV program during the 1950s, “Dragnet,” starred actor Jack Webb portraying a no-nonsense police investigator. His investigative technique made popular a line he often used in the show. Interviewing female witnesses who strayed from just sharing factual observations–offering instead unsolicited opinions–Webb, seeking to refocus the interviewee, admonished, “All we want are the facts, ma’am.”

Jack Webb

Webb’s admonition to provide just the facts is one appropriate to news reporting as well. However, the results of a recent study commissioned by one major international news organization—known for its very liberal bias—show exactly how far it has strayed from this role. And, since the vast majority of those in the media—by their own admission—are cut from the same liberal cloth, it is reasonable to assume what sins the study reveals about this news organization pertain to the majority of those working within the industry.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) hired an external group to evaluate the internal conduct of its organization to assess claims of liberal bias. The findings proved shocking–to the BBC at least. One finding was it had “failed to promote proper debate on major political issues because of the inherent liberal culture of its staff.” The study warned too of pandering to celebrities, allowing them “to hijack the BBC schedule,” and of a tendency for its staff “‘to group think’ with too many inhabiting a shared space and comfort zone.” In addition to revealing BBC’s imbalanced news reporting, the study makes a revelation which should raise concern as to how such reporting contributes to perpetuating worrisome myths, thus failing to alert the public of dangers to its very existence.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
BBC logo

The study noted, during a BBC staff impartiality seminar held last year, executives expressed willingness, should the storyline arise, to broadcast images of the Bible being thrown away but would not do so if it were the Koran being trashed. Why? They feared offending Muslims, evidenced by the violent reactions prompted by publishing cartoons of Muhammad and Pope Benedict’s innocent reciting of a quote by a 14th-Century Christian emperor critical of Islam.

These BBC executives, however, fail to give consideration to the price paid for submitting to such fears. The decision-making guidelines for broadcasting they support result in dishonest reporting, helping to perpetuate dangerous myths. In opting not to broadcast the Koran story, for example, they perpetuate the myth we have nothing to fear from Islamic extremism. Similarly, in opting to broadcast the Bible story, they perpetuate the myth to the Muslim world that non-believers lack moral guidance, giving extremists a rational basis–in their minds–to impose Islam or death upon us. Thus the result in broadcasting one story but not the other would clearly represent a net loss for Western civilization and a net gain for Islamic extremism.

It is not the first time a news organization, out of fear, has failed to publish a story. America’s BBC equivalent, CNN, hid the truth of Saddam Hussein’s acts of brutality and torture before the 2003 US invasion, only later admitting it had consciously done so. Following the 2003 invasion, senior CNN executive Eason Jordan confessed while his news organization was well aware of numerous atrocities committed by Saddam—justifying the dictator’s removal from power—it opted not to report them. To do so, he argued, would have endangered CNN staffers in Iraq. Thus, CNN helped perpetuate the myth prior to 2003 that insufficient grounds for an invasion might exist. While CNN remained silent about Saddam’s widely practiced torture, executions and mutilations of Iraqi citizens, it later would unhesitatingly report stories critical of US troops for what was either mostly a very limited practice of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib or uncorroborated allegations of it. This result was a net loss for the US prestige and a net gain for Islamic extremism.

While the mainstream news media (MNM) today attempts to portray itself as independent, it is hypocritical in doing so. For example, most of MNM reject the practice of embedding reporters with US units in Iraq today due to concerns the reporters might start to identify with their unit hosts and thus provide biased perspectives. As a result, many reporters in Iraq spend their time inside the highly protected Green Zone in Baghdad, relying on local stringers–with their own biases–to bring them stories to write and file. This they fail to report to the public, while criticizing the US military for paying to have the Iraqi media publish certain stories it has provided. Furthermore, while news organizations historically take no initiative to pressure Islamic extremist groups to release captives, they fail to remain similarly detached when their own journalists are taken captive—as evidenced most recently by BBC’s efforts to win the release of its reporter Alan Johnston in Gaza.

Clearly the majority of news reporters today in the MNM lack the Jack Webb, facts only-approach. Instead, facts are often lost within the opinionated reporting reflected by a news organization’s political slant. It is a journalistic sin to package a story within the wrappings of a news organization’s established bias, but it is an even greater sin to do so by intentionally refusing to report facts to provide news recipients with information necessary for them to make informed decisions about potential dangers to their existence.

At the conclusion of each “Dragnet” program, the announcer said, “The story you have just seen is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.” Unfortunately, with the very liberal slant represented by the MNM today and its failing to relate the true dangers of Islamic extremism, the facts they ignore fail to “protect the innocent.” In doing so, freedom of the press—a right which has played such a significant role in breathing life into democracy—could prove to be a catalyst in causing its death.

Related:
Is All the News Media Going
The Way of NBCs Today Show?

By John E. Carey
June 25, 2007

Today in the world we have these intriguing stories: War in Iraq, Discussions of Genocide in Darfur Being Held in Paris, Iran Trying to Slip Away From U.N. Sanctions, North Korea Preparing to Shut Down its Nuclear Reactor, “Chemical Ali” Sentenced to Death in Iraq, Tony Blair Maybe to Become Catholic and other goodies.

NBCs Today Show started with a California Brush Fire, A Bus Crash, A Murder in Ohio, and Problems with Aspirin. Before the first half hour was completed we had Pretty Blonde Woman (Princess Di and Paris Hilton) and a story on Beaches.

By eight a.m. I’d expect a story on Bar-B-Q, Good Make-Up and Expensive Women’s Shoes.

What is America thinking? Watch the NBC Today Show or anything else in the morning line-up and you’ll know.

The ceaseless, mindless prattle of the “networks” (NBC, ABC, and CBS) created the audience for the “Cable News” phenomena of CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC.

The “Main Stream Media” (The New York Times, The Washington Post, and etc.) created the “Blogger” phenomena.

The bottom line: there is enough news to go around for everyone.

“Now Public” (the liberal leaning, Toronto based “news” web site) is as important to its readers and participants as The Washington Times is to a certain political crowd in America!

MEDIA WATCH: Katie Couric Says She Sometimes Wishes She Hadn’t Taken Over as ‘CBS Evening News’ Anchor

July 9, 2007

Katie Couric says the move to CBS would have been less appealing if she had known she would be doing the more traditional “CBS Evening News” broadcast that she anchors now.

“People are very unforgiving and very resistant to change,” Couric said in an interview with New York magazine. “The biggest mistake we made is we tried new things.”

Couric’s move to CBS has been a bust so far….

Read the rest at:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,288598,00.html