Thursday, June 30, 2005

This Indian is Hip Deep in Buffalo Dip

Trey Jackson has links to video and audio of Ward Churchill, phony Indian, fraudulent scholar, and hero to Left-wingers everywhere, uttering these words:

"For those of you who do, as a matter of principle, oppose war in any form, the idea of supporting a conscientious objector who's already been inducted in his combat service in Iraq might have a certain appeal. But let me ask you this: Would you render the same level of support to someone who hadn't conscientiously objected, but rather instead rolled a grenade under their line officer in order to neutralize the combat capacity of their unit?"

"...Conscientious objection removes a given piece of cannon fodder from the fray. Fragging an officer has a much more impactful effect." - Ward Churchill, Portland, Oregon- 6/23/05

Churchill denies any malevolent intent, of course, but its hard to interpret him in any fashion other than endorsing the murder of American officers. Here is an excerpt from the Denver Post story:

Reached at his home in Boulder County on Wednesday night, Churchill said the comments were made merely to spark discussion and not to take a position on fragging, which is the killing or injuring of an officer in combat by a subordinate. He said that his remarks were being taken out of context and sensationalized in an effort to drive him from his job as a CU professor.

"I neither advocated nor suggested to anyone, anything," Churchill said. "I asked them to think about where they stood on things." According to the tape, Churchill, while speaking about being a conscientious objector, asked his audience:

"Would you render the same support to someone who hadn't conscientiously objected, but rather instead rolled a grenade under their line officer in order to neutralize the combat capacity of their unit?"

When one of the forum's attendees said that the impact such a fragging might have on the officer's family should be considered, Churchill replied, "How do you feel about Adolf Eichmann's family?"

Churchill has been accused of plagiarism, academic fraud and misrepresenting his Native American heritage. He is under investigation by the school's Standing Committee on Research Misconduct.

Now the man is advocating murder. How long will he continue to draw a paycheck from the University of Colorado and the taxpayers who help fund it?

The Evil Men Do

If ever you've been inclined to think that no one deserves to be executed by the state or you have ever wondered whether evil really exists or is just an outdated religious concept, you should watch this.

Watch both parts and see if you can honestly say to yourself that this man does not deserve to die.

Fact-Finding at Gitmo

Buried on page A15 of the New York Times is this little tidbit:

WASHINGTON, June 27 - Senators from both sides of the aisle competed on Monday to extol the humane treatment of detainees whom they said they saw on a weekend trip to the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. All said they opposed closing the center. "I feel very good" about the detainees' treatment, Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, said. That feeling was also expressed by another Democrat, Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

On Monday, Senator Jim Bunning, Republican of Kentucky, said he learned while visiting Guantanamo that some detainees "even have air-conditioning and semiprivate showers." Another Republican, Senator Michael D. Crapo of Idaho, said soldiers and sailors at the camp "get more abuse from the detainees than they give to the detainees."

In the last month, several senators, including some Republicans, have suggested that Congress should investigate reports of abuses at the detention center or that the military should close it to remove a blot on the country's image. One senator, Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, has come under criticism and apologized repeatedly for comparing reported abuses at the camps to treatment in Soviet gulags or Nazi concentration camps.

Mr. Wyden and Mr. Nelson were in Cuba primarily to discuss new agricultural trade and visited Guantanamo on Sunday. They ran into Mr. Bunning, Mr. Crapo and Senator Johnny Isakson, Republican of Georgia, who traveled to Guantanamo for the day on Sunday "to see for ourselves what all the so-called fuss is about down there," as Mr. Bunning put it.

After the trip, Mr. Wyden argued that Congress should establish treatment standards for detainees like those at Guantanamo who are neither uniformed members of foreign military forces under the Geneva Conventions nor citizens under the United States justice system. In contrast, Mr. Crapo praised the current military procedures, calling for a new international standard to cover terrorism suspects and other nonmilitary prisoners.

An official of Amnesty International, Jumana Musa, dismissed the visits as "this little Congressional show and tell." Ms. Musa said the statements did not address what she called the inadequate investigation of reported abuses. "Whether or not people are being fed orange chicken," Ms. Musa said, "does not get at the heart of the issue."

Of course, it doesn't. The heart of the issue for Amnesty International is that Gitmo is part of a Republican initiated war on terror which the United States is fighting to win. If Bill Clinton were still president AI would be off searching for Israeli atrocities in Gaza or somewhere.

The heart of the issue, in our opinion, is why this story wasn't front page news in the NYT. After the firestorm Sen. Durbin created during last week's calumnies of the American military one would think that some contrary facts would be significant news. Evidently, though, the Times didn't think its readers would be too interested in the truth of the matter.

Speaking of Sen. Durbin, why wasn't he along on the trip to learn a little bit, ex post facto as it were, about what he was pontificating upon in his Gitmo speech. Indeed, we're surprised he didn't head up the mission. After all, it's better to be late in having facts in hand if you're going to libel your country, than to never know them at all.

Thanks for the tip to Instapundit.

The Amazing Randi, Etc.

It's hard to imagine, but apparently some Darwinians have been lying about their philosophical opponents, and the California Academy of Science admits it. You can read the particulars here.

For another fine illustration of the Darwinians' passionate commitment to free and open inquiry and the search for truth see here.

Meanwhile, someone, a magician we think, who calls himself The Amazing Randi was so concerned that the Smithsonian Institute was going to show the new video The Privileged Planet earlier this month that he offered them $20,000 not to do it. The Privileged Planet, based on a book of the same name, presents what's commonly known as the anthropic principle, the idea that the physical properties of both the cosmos and the earth seem astonishingly fine-tuned for life. Fearful that such information may incline impressionable viewers toward the conclusion that the universe is not just all an accident, Mr. Randi is willing to pay "hush money" to the Smithsonian to suppress these subversive ideas.

What a great argument for materialism! Why hasn't someone come up with this before: The universe is not designed because I've got more money than you do! It's bound to convince somebody, probably.

Anyway, David Berlinski, inspired by Mr. Randi's clever strategy for persuading people of the intellectual superiority of materialism, has decided to capitalize, as it were. He writes The Amazing Mr. Randi the following letter:

Dear Amazing Randi:

I just read your widely publicized letter to the Smithsonian about its decision to air The Privileged Planet, Discovery Institute's film on intelligent design. You find it "impossible to comprehend" why the Smithsonian has chosen to screen such a film. And, I see that you are willing to pay the Smithsonian Institute $20,000 so that they don't do it.

I want you to know, you're doing the right thing. I figure the American people are dumb as posts. Who knows what ideas a film like that could put into their heads? You haven't seen the film either, am I right? See no evil, see no evil is what I always say.

But here's the thing, Randi. I was sort of planning to screen the film right here in my apartment in Paris. I've got a little screening room I call The Smithsonian right between the bathroom and the kitchen, I sort of figured I'd invite some friends over, open a couple cans of suds, sort of kick back and enjoy. Now you fork over $20,000 to the Smithsonian not to show the film and right away I'm showing the film here in Paris - that's just not going to work for you, if you catch my drift.

But hey, what are friends for? I mean for $20,000, I can make my screening of the The Privileged Planet go away too. An extra $10,000 and we spend the evening reading aloud from Daniel Dennett's autobiography. I hear it's a real snoozer, no chance at all that anyone's going to walk away from an evening like that with poor thoughts about the cosmos or anything like that. You handle the refreshments - nothing much, some cocktail franks maybe, a few kegs of French beer - and I knock ten percent off the price. What do you say?

Now I know what you're thinking, Randi, because to tell you the truth, I've been thinking the same thing. You're thinking, hey, I'm out forty thousand seminolas to can this film in Washington DC and Paris, and right away, some yutz is going to figure it's show time in Oklahoma or Nebraska or even in New York, and what do I do then? I'm way ahead of you on this one. I've talked with my buddies at the Discovery Institute and for the right kind of donation, we poleax the film completely. That's right. It disappears itself, if you catch my drift. You get to keep the negatives, we keep the director's cut in our safe for insurance. Is this some sort of deal, or what?

Now I know what you're thinking because I've been there myself. You're thinking, the Discovery Institute? Bunch of right-wing weirdoes, am I right? Hey, it's not like that at all, Randi, I got to tell you. We here at the Discovery Institute, we're businessmen, if you catch my drift. We want to do the right thing and we want to do it at the right price. Look at it this way. The right kind of donation gets you total peace of mind. You really can't buy that kind of protection, only in this case you can.

So give me a ring, or send me a note. I'd like to tell you we take checks, but you're a businessmen, too, am I right? It's got to be cash. More than you've got lying around? Not a problem. Just give George Soros a call. Tell him it's for a friend. Do it now. You'll sleep better at night.

Your admirer,

David Berlinski

PS: I write a lot of stuff for Commentary, too. For the right price, I don't have to write anything at all. Think it over. Let me know.

All this has got us to thinking. We wonder how much The Amazing Mr. Randi would pay us not to post anymore pieces on Viewpoint on the topic of Intelligent Design. Not that we can be bought or anything.

Media Bias: An Anecdote

President Bush gives an important speech on the War on Terrorism and our local paper runs this headline over its front page story last night:

Dems: Bush Milks False Sept. 11 Link

For the editors at the York Dispatch the knee-jerkingly negative Democratic reaction is the most important aspect of the President's address. It's the key element of the story. Why not choose a headline like: Bush Vows to Stay the Course or Bush Stands Firm? Could it be they didn't run something like these because that would have made the president seem strong and resolved and, well, that's just not the image of GWB that our local paper wishes to project.

Indeed, the AP report that followed the headline was more about the Democrats' reaction to the speech than about the speech itself. It's another example of why people are just about at the end of their patience with the way the traditional news outlets package their product.