Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Shameless Critics

It is depressing to have to go through this again at this late date, especially since we've been over this ground so often in the past, but the President's critics leave us no alternative. The AP has reported that an allegedly independent study has found that the administration made a total of 935 separate statements in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq which were subsequently found to be either untrue or unconfirmable. The left has taken this as proof that George Bush lied us into war and have worked themselves into a swivet over what they see as the Bush administration's impeachable mendacity.

Here's Keith Olbermann and Air America's Rachel Maddow, for instance, talking tonight about the story. Their presentation of this report is breathtakingly fatuous.

First of all, the report is not done by non-partisan, independent actors. One of the organizations involved is funded by George Soros who is a rabidly anti-Bush partisan and a major left-wing moneybags. The AP's failure to mention this in their story is itself a breach of professional responsibility. That neither Olbermann nor Maddow mention it is either an indication that they didn't do their homework or that they were deliberately trying to hide this from their viewers.

Secondly, and most important, Olbermann and Maddow keep referring to the claims made by the administration, including the President, as lies, yet the AP report doesn't use this word and nothing in the story warrants such a judgment.

It is astonishing that this distinction still has to be made, but apparently it needs to be explained for those who, like Mr. Olbermann, have a limited ability to understand simple definitions: An error is not a lie. A lie involves a deliberate attempt to deceive. The liar knows that what he is saying is not true. Nothing in the AP story establishes that anyone knew that what they were asserting about Iraq's threat to the rest of the world, their possession of WMD, their support for al Qaeda, and so on, was in any way false.

On the contrary, the intelligence services of the whole world thought they were true, everyone in the Clinton administration and the Democratic leadership thought they were true, Saddam was behaving as if they were true, Iraqi defectors were telling us they were true. Yet when it turns out that some of the claims appear to have been wrong, Mr. Olbermann, whose own relationship with the truth is somewhat checkered, eagerly concludes that George Bush and his minions are liars and calls for impeachment.

Anyone who believes that George Bush was the only one who was telling us at the time that Saddam was a real threat and that he lied us into war in Iraq needs to watch this video. It'll be an eye-opener (HT: A Blog For All):

Some people truly are shameless. If one is going to call someone else a liar he has the responsibility of demonstrating that the person in question knew that what he was saying was false. To accuse someone of lying without making that demonstration is a reprehensible slander and the person who does it has disgraced himself.


More on the Objectification of Women

A lot of people have weighed in on last Saturday's post titled The Objectification of Women. Check the Feedback Page for an example from a student that is probably representative of the majority of replies.


Nine Predictions

Critics of Intelligent Design often allege that ID isn't science because it doesn't lend itself to testable predictions. Denyse O'Leary thinks otherwise and offers nine predictions for consideration at her blog The Post-Darwinist.

For example, she predicts that:

No good theory will be found for a random origin of life, though there will be plenty of huffing and puffing in favour of bad ideas. All theories that exclude purpose and design fail because they leave out the key driver - the purpose that life should come into existence.

Positive prediction: We will learn more about the real nature of our universe and our place in it, and how best we can explore it when we accept the fact that it didn't "just happen."

You can read the rest at the link.


America For Sale

The United States appears on track to soon become a nation owned largely by foreign investors. Peter Goodman and Louise Story explain why in the New York Times.


Cell Phones and Sleep

Do you have trouble getting to sleep and staying there? Do you use your cell phone before going to sleep? If so, then you'll be interested in a study that shows a direct correlation between the two and which provides strong evidence that cell phone radiation affects deep sleep. According to an article in The Independent (The link to The Independent article no longer works but the article can be found here).

The findings are especially alarming for children and teenagers, most of whom - surveys suggest - use their phones late at night and who especially need sleep. Their failure to get enough can lead to mood and personality changes, ADHD-like symptoms, depression, lack of concentration and poor academic performance.

Read the entire article at the link.