Thursday, June 30, 2005

Can I get one of those baseballs?

The London Times has an interesting take on Bush's Oval Office ... Wonder if he catches the Web Gems every evening?

Not content with dispensing the presidential autograph, Mr Bush reaches into a cabinet full of memorabilia and produces lapel pins and, for my colleague, a baseball with the presidential seal.

The shift to sport is an opportunity to ask him the question burning in the minds of many British people — what does he think of the takeover of Manchester United by Malcolm Glazer, the US sports franchise owner? “I read about that on,” he says.

Oh yes, he also addressed Iraq

Frankly, I rejected the intellectual elitism of some around the world who say, “Well, maybe certain people can’t be free”. I don’t believe that. Of course I was labelled a, you know, blatant idealist.

But I am. Because I do believe people want to be free, regardless of their religion or where they are from. I do believe women should be empowered in the Middle East. I don’t believe we ought to accept forms of government that ultimately create a hopelessness that then can be translated into jihadist violence. And I believe strongly that the ultimate way you defeat an ideology is with a better ideology. And history has proven that. Anyway, you got me going. Starting to give the whole speech again.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

What's Going On at the NYT Magazine?

Being in the news business ... though a lowly trade reporter and not a star at a national publication ... I have always wanted to believe that the leftward tilt of many stories was an accident of perspective and not an intentional campaign, now I am not too sure.

Taking a look at this morning's NY Times magazine I was astounded by the inaccuracy of the headline: "What's the Movement to Outlaw Gay Marriage Really About? What struck me was the use of the word "outlaw". In my mind for something to be outlawed it must first be legal. A quick look at seems to back me up on this. I have to believe the editors at the times are better educated than I am, so they must know the definition of outlaw. No benefit of the doubt can be given them.

To document this obvious distortion of the English language, I had hoped to include a link to the offending headline. But it is not on the NY Times Website. In its stead there is a new headline:

"What's Their Real Problem with Gay Marriage? (It's the Gay Part).

Obviously, between the time my paper copy of the magazine was printed on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, the Times Magazine editors realized (or were attacked for) their error and made a revision.

To fix the first problem, however, they have created another. Where the initial headline was neutral in tone ("the movement to outlaw" is at least a third party phrasing), the new headline (inadvertently?) puts the Times Magazine on one side of the issue ("their real problem" implies the magazine is on the "our" side in an "us versus them" battle).

We will see if they feel the need to revise the headline yet again.

UPDATE: A look inside the magazine reveals I made an error. Both headlines are in the print version: the first is on the cover and the second is the article headline.

At least she is honest

Vanessa Redgrave is on Larry King (with Bob Costas), however good an actress, she is one very misguided soul. Costas asked her if there a larger evil arrayed against the U.S. and U.K. that could justify the detentions of terrorists, she said no.

Costas seems irked ... he is really going after her.

Redgrave essentially said holding criminals without the process of trial is anathema to democracy. She truly misses the larger picture. Those held in Gitmo, or elsewhere, are enemies of our state, not common criminals.

One of the essential horrors of war is that it exists outside of civilization. There is no law between the combatants in war, therefore there can be no crimes. Each side holds the other, by the very definition of the struggle, defines the others rules and laws as not applying to it, otherwise there would be no state of war.

It is an essential, or root, mistake, to apply the criminal code to ones opponent in a war. They can be afforded decency in treatment, but they cannot be afforded due process by the very definition of their captivity and the state of the world that led to it.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Equality and Sex ... the other side

Cafe Hayek speculates on income and inequality and something occurred to me ... if men are achieving for the babes, then what are women achieving for? Or, to put it another way, will beautiful women achieve their desires on the looks alone (by seducing men with resources to splurge on them in exchange for sex). Then, the only way to achieve equality will be to ensure there are no beautiful women (ugliness plastic surgery, forced weight gain diets?). In fact, would that strategy then solve the inequality problem you present with men, if their are no beautiful women to sleep with then we can get back to concentrating on the wines and other material goods, right?