Sunday, April 19, 2009

Media Bias

As I listen to the latest TV controversy over the bias and reporting, by CNN reporter Susan Roesgen, in covering the April 15th "Tea Party" in Chicago she seemed to choose only those she could leverage. It appears likely her agenda was to reflect the event as an extremist, anti-liberal gathering fostered by competing network Fox. Moving from reporter to self righteous debater, she went so far as to dub the event as a not fit for family viewing. Perhaps Susan would be well served if she would return to Montana State University as an adjunct professor where her self righteous liberal (its free money) approach to reporting can be passed down to future generations.

The crowd at Fox, and the political right, immediately launched their own self-serving, indigent, counter attack on the left wing media and how it shapes the news. As if they don't attempt the same thing! What is lost in the tit for tat exchange is the admission by either side that in the quest for ratings any thought of equal reporting is cast aside in pursuit of the dollars that come with the claim to be the #1 network.

As far as I can tell news teams and editors, dating back to the days of the clay tablet, have pushed their publishers agenda and have always had a bias. The only difference is in the old days you could bury the bias by throwing the paper away, now you are inundated with it no matter where you turn.

As far as the idea of a tea party on tax day? I think it a great idea, a better idea would be to completely throw out the House of Representatives on the next general election and start all over again, but that is not likely.

Where in the debate over how to shore up our economy is the rational discussion of impacts to our future? We've given GM how many millions/billions just to delay the inevitable march to bankruptcy? We are sending states how many millions/billions just to add pork to already inflated bureaucracies?

Friday, April 17, 2009


I don't normally take internet rumors at face value, but from a good friend comes this version of the recent Pirate takedown. I share for those who may not be familiar with what Special Operations is about, or what it provides our nation.

First, we tend to use acronyms to shorten our writing. Here are the ones you will see in this retelling.

BHO = Barrack H Obama
DEVGRU=Development Group ...the old SEAL team 6 ...probably the best of the best
NSWC=Navy Special Warfare Command
ROE=Rules of Engagement
RIB=Ridged Inflatable Boat
OSC=On Scene Commander
CPN=is probably the Captain of the Bainbridge
OpArea= Operations Area

What follows is the text from a friend

"Having spoken to some SEAL pals here in Virginia Beach yesterday and asking why this thing dragged out for 4 days, I got the following:

1. BHO wouldn't authorize the DEVGRU/NSWC SEAL teams to the scene for 36 hours going against OSC (on scene commander)recommendation.
2. Once they arrived, BHO imposed restrictions on their ROE that they couldn't do anything unless the hostage's life was in "imminent" danger
3. The first time the hostage jumped, the SEALS had the raggies all sighted in, but could not fire due to ROE restriction
4. When the navy RIB came under fire as it approached with supplies, no fire was returned due to ROE restrictions. As the raggies were shooting at the RIB, they were exposed and the SEALS had them all dialed in.
5. BHO specifically denied two rescue plans developed by the Bainbridge CPN and SEAL teams
6. Bainbridge CPN and SEAL team CDR finally decide they have the OpArea and OSC authority to solely determine risk to hostage. 4 hours later, 3 dead raggies
7. BHO immediately claims credit for his "daring and decisive" behaviour. As usual with him, it's BS."

The following is a further explaination from the same source:

" Philips' first leap into the warm, dark water of the Indian Ocean hadn't worked out as well. With the Bainbridge in range and a rescue by his country's Navy possible, Philips threw himself off of his lifeboat prison, enabling Navy shooters onboard the destroyer a clear shot at his captors - and none was taken.

The guidance from National Command Authority,the president of the United States, Barack Obama, had been clear: a peaceful solution was the only acceptable outcome to this standoff unless the hostage's life was in clear, extreme danger.

The next day, a small Navy boat approaching the floating raft was fired on by the Somali pirates - and again no fire was returned and no pirates killed. This was again due to the cautious stance assumed by Navy personnel thanks to the combination of a lack of clear guidance from Washington and a mandate from the commander in chief's staff not to act until Obama, a man with no background of dealing with such issues and no track record of decisiveness, decided that any outcome other than a "peaceful solution" would be acceptable.

After taking fire from the Somali kidnappers again Saturday night, the on scene commander decided he'd had enough. Keeping his authority to act in the case of a clear and present danger to the hostage's life and having heard nothing from Washington since yet another request to mount a rescue operation had been denied the day before, the Navy officer - unnamed in all media reports to date - decided the AK47 one captor had leveled at Philips' back was a threat to the hostage's life and ordered the NSWC team to take their shots. Three rounds downrange later, all three brigands became enemy KIA and Philips was safe.

There is upside, downside, and spinside to the series of events over the last week that culminated in yesterday's dramatic rescue of an American hostage.

Almost immediately following word of the rescue, the Obama administration and its supporters claimed victory against pirates in the Indian Ocean and declared that the dramatic end to the standoff put paid to questions of the inexperienced President's toughness and decisiveness.

Despite the Obama administration's (and its sycophants') attempt to spin yesterday's success as a result of bold, decisive leadership by the inexperienced president, the reality is nothing of the sort. What should have been a standoff lasting only hours - as long as it took the USS Bainbridge and its team of NSWC operators to steam to the location - became an embarrassing four day and counting standoff between a ragtag handful of criminals with rifles and a U.S. Navy warship."

I am not surprised by the indecisiveness of a new President, our history is full of examples of politicians, who when confronted with new and unexpected crisis will attempt to deal with them in the same way they have learned to deal with normal life. Nor am I surprised, a bit disappointed perhaps, but not surprised, that the political machine moves so quickly to find advantage in a decision unmade.
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