John O’Neill: Courage Under Fire

Swift Boat Vet John O’Neill has had to endure some of the most vicious attacks of the most biased of alleged “professional journalists” in the past year. Finally, an article in the Chicago Sun-Times gives the man the credit and fair handling he’s been due.

:::::::: Of all the targets of vitriol and attempted ambushes during the presidential campaign, I most admired John O’Neill of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth for his calm determination to stand his ground on his charges against John Kerry’s Vietnam service in Unfit for Command, the book he co-authored.

O’Neill was called a ”liar” to his face on a number of TV appearances, and, on an Oct. 14 ”Nightline,” ABC-TV’s Ted Koppel actually sent a crew to Vietnam to film alleged eyewitnesses in order to disprove one of the accounts — how Kerry won his Silver Star — in Unfit for Command. Casually, ABC news director Andrew Morse mentioned that ”the Vietnamese require an official minder to accompany journalists on reporting trips.” The minder-censor from the Communist totalitarian state was there to ensure that the ”eyewitnesses” stuck to the government script.

On camera, O’Neill told Koppel: ”You went to a country where all the elections are 100 percent elections, and you relied on people that were enemies of the United States” for this “testimony.” O’Neill repeatedly showed Koppel how the supposed eyewitnesses contradicted Kerry’s own accounts in the past.

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O’Neill is owed an apology – in prime time with advance advertising – by almost every news organization that reported on him during the election. The actions taken against him are beyond justifying and some nearly defy belief. When the rest of the media can be honest about things, they should begin healing their wrecked credibility by apologizing to this man who calmly stood his ground.

French Diplomacy Strikes Again

Noted at LGF, French President Chirac manages to look down his nose at America again:

:::::::: “Well, Britain gave its support but I did not see much in return,” Chirac was quoted as saying in the Times. “I am not sure that it is in the nature of our American friends at the moment to return favors systematically.” ::::::::

Yeah, we like that a lot. When Britain allied themselves with us against terrorism, they did it because it was the right thing to do for British citizens as well as American. What we’ve done together is the right thing for Afghan and Iraqi citizens as well. Chirac seems to be working specifically to keep the relations between America and France chilly as possible. I get it that he doesn’t agree with what we’re doing – he’s made that abundantly clear. It’s unnecessary and, in fact, provocative to “get personal” by impugning America’s committment to her allies in this Coalition. It’s just a bit too obvious an attempt at driving a wedge between us and the Brits and makes it hard not to look upon the French as hostile.

Afghanistan: Still Improving

The media lost all interest in Afghanistan when it became clear that the US-led coalition there had delivered on pretty much all the promises made. And after the elections were completed in good order, they really decided to ignore the place. Thankfully Aussie blogger Chrenkoff hasn’t let up and offers his 6th episode of good things from Afghanistan. I’d pull quotes from his story, but there’s way, way too much there and it’s all important. Definitely worth a read.

Illegal Immigrant Issue

I’ve been thinking a great deal about a number of political issues lately, since well before the elections. One of them that I find myself absolutely on the other side of the fence from the President is the issue of illegal immigrants in this country. Let me state this very clearly right off the bat: I am adamantly opposed to any program being implemented that would allow someone who illegally penetrated this country’s borders to remain here, let alone be granted citizenship.

From a security standpoint, it makes no sense to simply shrug off the concept that we don’t know who is here from a foreign country. All the efforts we’re going through to secure the airlines and all the wailing during the election of how we don’t search every imported can of beans in every shipping container are useless if we don’t secure the borders. That means that we don’t allow people to enter illegally and when someone does, they don’t stay. Period.

I know people who came here legally. The rigorous process we make them go through to even get a green card, let alone become a citizen, takes years to complete. It is not fair, in any consideration, to make those people who follow the rules wait years and then allow someone who flipped those rules the finger to stay. They get to have the same status immediately. That’s not right, and I don’t care what economic reasons you stack up against that realization. If they want to come here to work, great. I applaud that. But they do it by following the same rules every other immigrant has had to follow.

So, what do we do with all those that are here now? We do exactly what our laws say we’re supposed to do. We arrest them and deport them. I have no problem with them coming back, so long as they do it within the normal channels. Oh, and if we had to hunt them down to get them back to their own country, that information should absolutely be kept on file. Just as those who voluntarily put themselves into the system should be commended and assisted where we can.

I’ve heard all the arguments about how we need these workers to do jobs “that whites won’t do.” I don’t concede that whites won’t do those jobs but what concerns me more is the part of that argument that’s always left unspoken: that whites won’t do the jobs at the pay being given to the illegal immigrants. And I say if there are businesses that can’t make it without paying the sub-minimum wages they can get away with by employing illegals, then that business shouldn’t be in business.

Amnesty, in the sense being discussed here, is a bad idea. It rewards criminal behavior and provides zero incentive to come into this country through the front door. It shouldn’t be done.

Palestinian Internal Struggle Brings Gunfire

Well, that didn’t take long.

:::::::: GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Gunfire erupted Sunday in the tent set up for mourners of Yasser Arafat (search) just after his successor as PLO leader arrived, and one Palestinian policeman was killed and five other people were wounded, witnesses and hospital officials said.

Gunmen fired in the air about five minutes after Mahmoud Abbas (search), Arafat’s longtime deputy chosen over the weekend as his successor, arrived in a motorcade. Abbas’ bodyguards also fired in the air, the witnesses said

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No progress is going to be made for these people until they get leadership in there whose supporters aren’t more interested in killing each other than making a better life for themselves and their families.

“Values” Defined?

The artists at Cox & Forkum have it exactly right in this case. All this ballyhoo about the gay marriage issue being what those awful Christians used to snooker the electorate is just so much chaff but the Democrats won’t see it that way. After reading commentary around the blogosphere and in the various media this week, it seems evident that this issue is going to be welded into place as “conventional wisdom” as to why Kerry lost, regardless of the truth. I’m still forming up into words my take on why those referenda in the states passed as they did. I have suspicions…

CBS Fires Producer

No, not the one that allowed 60 Minutes to evicerate its own credibility by putting up a story based on documents every expert in America has said were forged. No, the – ahem – investigation is still out on that one. I mean the one who broke into CBS’s showing of CSI five minutes before the end of the show with news that Arafat had been finally declared dead.

:::::::: CBS News has axed a news producer who cut into prime-time programming Wednesday night to report the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

The staffer, a female senior producer for CBS’s overnight newscast Up to the Minute, broke in to CSI: N.Y. shortly before 11 p.m. with the report, outraging viewers who missed the end of the crime drama.

CBS apologized for the interruption Thursday, saying an “overly aggressive” staffer “jumped the gun on a report that should have been offered to local stations for their late news.”

As for the producer’s dismissal, a CBS spokesperson said Friday, “We do not comment on personnel issues.” CBS planned to repeat the CSI: N.Y. episode Friday night to placate viewers.

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OK, CBS’s management certainly has a reason to be annoyed with this producer. Cut into what is arguably CBS’s most popular show (and, thereby, it’s cash cow) 5 minutes before every station on the east coast is going to a news program? The news of Arafat’s death is hardly such an emergency situation that 5 minutes would have made any difference. It was that clearly present “gotta get the scoop” attitude by being the first to announce the news in the US. “[O]verly aggressive” is a correct term for it. But is that an actionable offense? The “Rathergate” scandal smells much more of inappropriate journalistic activity and those employees are still gainfully employed. Even CBS’s rivals are confused:

:::::::: An executive at a rival broadcast network said the whole situation left them puzzled. “I think people here were scratching their heads over the decision to break in, and then scratching it even harder over the apology for breaking in,” the exec says. “And now we’re wondering what kind of process they have in place to take the network to a special report.” ::::::::

If CBS does a whitewash over the forged memos story, they’re going to look even worse doing it after this.

Global Warming On Mars?

Yes, the surface temperature on Mars is rising and the dry ice polar caps are receding. Instapundit blames Halliburton. The Speculist blog has an interesting question and I’d like to know the answer myself. As he writes:

:::::::: n the other hand, I can’t help but wonder — if two planets so close to each other are both experiencing a rise in surface temperature, isn’t it just possible that it might have to do with that nearby star they both orbit? I’m just asking is all. I mean, what if…

What if.

And I’m just asking. But what if global warming is real, but it isn’t our fault and there is nothing we can do about it? (With current technology.)

Just asking.

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Good question. I’m a network engineer by trade and when I see multiple devices on a single network exhibiting similar routing behavior, I look for common items between them, not simultaneously occuring independent problems. Aside from the Sun, Earth and Mars don’t have a lot of common items, so I’d have to wonder if the reason we’re heating up isn’t more an issue of more solar energy coming in than before. Perhaps cyclical?

That SDAC research NASA’s involved in might be more important than originally thought.

Microsoft Says IE ‘Secure As Any Other Browser’

Then how is it that a colleague here at the office using IE got whacked with a piece of trojan code while surfing a web site and I, using Firefox, didn’t? Good try, Microsoft, but those of us who know what we’re talking about know better. IE’s got holes big enough to drive FedEx’s whole truck fleet through and the “speed” at which MS fixes those holes is the laughing stock of the industry. A report on CNET quotes Steve Vamos, Microsoft Australia’s managing director, and Ben English, Microsoft’s security and management product manager talking about Firefox and its features. One of the passages in that report is especially noteworthy:

:::::::: “I don’t agree that just because a (competing) product has a feature that we don’t have, that feature is important,” he said. “It is not. It is only important if it is a feature the customer wants. There are plenty of products out there with features we don’t have. We have plenty of features that our customers don’t use.

“If there are features in our products that are subpar or need to be added, then I have great confidence that we are an organization that responds pretty quickly and effectively to that.”
Digital agenda

English reiterated that features such as tabbed browsing are not important to IE users.

“I don’t believe it is a true statement that IE doesn’t have the features that our customers want,” he said. “We take user feedback very seriously. If you have that feedback, then you should feed it back to us because we will feed it to the product team.”

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Interesting statements to make, considering they haven’t installed or used the software they’re scoffing at. If you haven’t used tabbed browsing, you’ll be hooked after the first time you get to try it. The ability to open links on a page you’re viewing into another tab in the same window and not interrupt what you’re already looking at is priceless. The bookmarks can be grouped in ways that allow you to open up a brace of pages you find you always use – for example, the home pages of a number of on-line news services – all at once in different tabs. That feature alone was enough for me to download Firefox but the enhanced security is a bigger deal. Is Firefox perfect? Hardly. And there have been instances of vulnerabilities found in the code. Fixes for these holes have generally been available within a matter of a few days or even hours. Microsoft took 6 months to close one of their holes.

Go have a look and see for yourself.