Yes, yes, oh yes!


Merely suggesting that the network is looking elsewhere is enough to put ants in the pants of Messrs. Pelley and Roberts, and now Bill O’Reilly, the chief spinmeister at Fox News, has mailed in his resume with a remarkable hymn to both CBS and Dan Rather, published in the New York Daily News, the fiercest rival of the New York Post, which is owned by Mr. O’Reilly’s current employer. (You have to use a good map to follow these media intrigues, and pay close attention.)

“I worked with Rather and have known him for more than 20 years,” writes Mr. O’Reilly. “Listen to me: There is no way on this Earth that he would have knowingly used fake documents on any story…. Dan Rather was slimed. It was disgraceful.” The slimer slimed? The disgraceful sliming, as everybody else in America recalls, was of George W. Bush. But if a chair is big enough, somebody will want to sit in it, even if there won’t be room for both his bottom and his ego.

If Brave Sir William actually replaces Dan Rather at CBS, I will be happier than the brave one himself. Now, there would be a lovely Christmasa present!


Doggone those kids

From the New York Times


Now a team of researchers has found that severe emotional distress – like that caused by divorce, the loss of a job, or caring for an ill child or parent – may speed up the aging of the body’s cells at the genetic level. The findings, being reported today, are the first to link psychological stress so directly to biological age.

The researchers found that blood cells from women who had spent many years caring for a disabled child were, genetically, about a decade older than those from peers who had much less caretaking experience. The study, which appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also suggests that the perception of being stressed can add years to a person’s biological age.

Since I was a teenager, I’ve noticed that women who have children almost always look older than women the same age who don’t. To a lesser extent, this is also true of fathers as well. I’d always put it down to the mothers being tired and having less time to put themselves together and the men being overfed by their wives, but apparently the damage occurs at an even deeper level.

So, there would appear to be at least one benefit to feminist evolutionary dead-endism. On the other hand, walking around with that massive chip on your shoulder is probably a little stressful too.


Silencing the truth-speakers


A former IRS agent who believes citizens are not required to pay federal income taxes will appear in U.S. District Court in Sacramento tomorrow to face charges for numerous alleged tax crimes. Joseph Banister, 41, a leading figure in the “tax honesty” movement [and former IRS special agent], was taken into custody Nov. 19 by IRS agents and released on $25,000 bond after pleading not guilty….

The IRS spokesman said many courts are getting fed up with lawsuits brought by people who contend federal tax law is fraudulent and are slapping them with frivilous-lawsuit penalties. In response to another common argument, the Department of Justice website says, “courts have both implicitly and explicitly recognized that the 16th Amendment authorizes a non-apportioned direct income tax on United States citizens and that the federal tax laws as applied are valid.”

Of course, every time you actually read the transcripts of these cases, you see that the judge refuses to permit the tax code to be entered as evidence, runs roughshod over the jury and tells them to simply assume the facts are as the prosecution presents them, and in general behaves like someone desperately trying to hide something. Despite his accurate knowledge of tax law and IRS regulations, I suspect Banister will face a very difficult road ahead, as his hiring of a lawyer – an officer of the court – suggests that he doesn’t understand that it is not only the tax law that is fraudulent.

This is nothing but a show trial. Watch for the usual railroading, violations of rules of court procedure, unfounded assertions from the bench, and, if a guilty verdict is pushed through, a shockingly long sentence.


O’Reilly does his best Monica impression

Brave Sir William is practically in tears:


As a CBS News correspondent in the early ’80s, I worked with Rather and have known him for more than 20 years. Listen to me: There is no way on this Earth that he would have knowingly used fake documents on any story.

It may be true that Rather did not vet the information supplied to him by producers, but few anchor people do. They are dependent on other journalists, and this is a huge flaw in the system.

Dan Rather is guilty of not being skeptical enough about a story that was politically loaded. I believe Rather, along with Andy Rooney, Walter Cronkite and other guardsmen of the old CBS News, is liberal in his thinking. That is certainly a legitimate debate – how for years CBS News has taken a rather progressive outlook. But holding a political point of view is the right of every American, and it does not entitle people to practice character assassination or deny the presumption of innocence. Dan Rather was slimed. It was disgraceful.

This is so wildly full of equine detritus that it almost made me laugh out loud. Bill may believe Dan is “liberal in his thinking” but Dan, on the other hand, denies, denies, denies it. He is mainstream. The documents are real. And that CBS report will be out any day now.

You can’t slime someone when you are speaking the truth about them. Hey Freaky Factor, what’s the frequency?

Bill’s real bitch is that in the Information Age, everyday men and women can finally call the rich and powerful media magnates on their hypocrisy and prevent them from hiding what Epictetus called “the darkness inside”. We all have it to some extent, but blowhards like Dan and Brave Sir Bill have made a career out of pretending they don’t.


You vill vatch zee propaganda


Since the advent of the VCR, and with the arrival of DVD players, those who want to get to the movie have been free to skip past the coming attractions. The entertainment industry, however, is exerting pressure in Congress with the hope of making it impossible to skip past previews and advertisements at the opening of DVDs. Legislative language that would have done just that — make it illegal for DVDs to allow fast-forwarding — was struck at the last minute from a copyright bill that passed the Senate late Nov. 20.

Abandon all hope, Republicans, if your Republican House, Senate and President go for this one. You cannot possibly claim that the Republican Party supports constitutional or small government if its politicians are willing to exert legal force to make people watch what they don’t want to watch in the privacy of their own homes.

What’s next, video game makers forcing people to play their games? Keen observers will note that this fascist action by the MPAA explodes the notion of the inherently “conservative” corporation.


Mailvox: And they say it’s an oxymoron

A gentleman in military intelligence retracts an attempted correction:


You had posted something about Iran being all Shiite, and I said that was wrong. Doh! Sorry about that – I’m not usually that retarded, and that’s actually somewhat embarrassing for somebody in my field.

No problem. Shiite happens.


Week 12 picks

Last week: 14-2. Overall: 98-60. Fantasy: 5-5-1 (6th place)

W-Indianapolis Colts over Detroit Lions

W-Philadelphia Eagles over New York Giants

L-Denver Broncos over Oakland Raiders

W-Pittsburgh Steelers over Washington Redskins

W-Atlanta Falcons over New Orleans Saints

W-New England Patriots over Baltimore Ravens

W-Minnesota Vikings over Jacksonville Jaguars

L-Tampa Bay Buccaneers over Carolina Panthers

Green Bay Packers over St. Louis Rams

W-Cincinnati Bengals over Cleveland Browns

W-San Diego Chargers over Kansas City Chiefs

W-Houston Texans over Tennessee Titans

W-Buffalo Bills over Seattle Seahawks

W-Dallas Cowboys over Chicago Bears

W-New York Jets over Arizona Cardinals

W-Miami Dolphins over San Francisco 49ers


And the Penguin laughed


Pension and benefit payments face disruption after what is being described as the biggest computer crash in government history left as many as 80,000 civil servants staring at blank screens and reverting to writing out giro cheques by hand in the latest blow to a hi-tech Whitehall revolution.

A week-long crisis in the giant Department for Work and Pensions created a backlog of unprocessed claims with up to 80% of the ministry’s 100,000 desk machines disrupted or knocked out by a blunder during maintenance….

“At this point there is no known solution or ETA,” said the memo. “We are hopeful that some interim measures that are being considered may release some users from their current deadlock.” A routine software upgrade on a small number of PCs last weekend is believed to have gone disastrously wrong when an incompatible system was downloaded on to the whole network.

On the other hand, maybe the Microsoft empire is secretly flying the black flag with the golden apple. Fnord! The best part is that the “small number of PCs” is reported to be SEVEN.


The great NPR debate

Joe Carter of the Evangelical Outpost lists six reasons why NPR is better than talk radio, while the Elder takes great exception. It makes for entertaining reading; this is a debate in which I can’t really take part since I’m far more inclined to listen to KFAN, Disturbed or Haydn than either.

While I enjoy my occasional visits with the Northern Alliance, I tend to find radio rather boring on a daily basis. I simply don’t like to obtain my information aurally; my dad is always trying to give me tapes that I will not accept because I know I’ll never listen to them. I need to read information to digest it properly, which is one reason I love the Blogosphere and am far happier with a blog than I’d ever be with a radio show.

That being said, the one thing that NPR has over talk radio (and that liberals have over conservatives) is in the area of culture and entertainment. Conservatives are simply terrible about giving any credence to this area; the very same people who will lament that there are no Christian or conservative alternatives to the atheist secular hit of the moment will assiduously ignore such alternatives even when they are brought directly to their attention. (And yes, I’m speaking from personal experience here.)

I think this happens for the same reason that local media seldom pays much attention to homegrown talent until it hits the big leagues. Conservatives in the media instinctively feel that “their” entertainment is inherently inferior, so they won’t pay attention to it until the secular mainstream does so, at which point they’ll constantly and annoyingly claim it as their own. I always thought it was amusing that Psykosonik got national and international coverage before being mentioned in either of the free local rags… despite very successful shows at First Avenue and Glam Slam, neither major newspaper saw fit to even mention our existence until we already had our music in a Details magazine CD, a Nintendo game (X-Caliber 2097) and a movie (Mortal Kombat) and beaten out Prince for a Minnesota Music Award (best dance record).

The punchline is that by that time, half of our “Minneapolis-based” band had already moved to San Francisco.


Small victories count too


First Libertarian elected to partisan office in Georgia history

Following a hotly contested three-way race (and a two-way runoff) Libertarian Ben Brandon was elected Nov. 23 to the position of county executive in Dade County, Georgia. With his success, Brandon has become the first Libertarian elected to office in a partisan race in the Georgia Libertarian Party’s 32-year history, according to Mark Mosley, chairman of the Georgia LP. Dade County is a small county of about 16,000 residents in the northwest corner of the state. Brandon won with about 66 percent of the vote — taking 1,614 votes, while his Republican opponent drew 841….

Brandon will take office in January as Dade County’s first elected county executive. Voters decided in 2002 to change their form of government, to elect an executive who will both run the county’s day-to-day operations and serve as the chairman of the county board of commissioners. Previously, the post was that of a county manager who was hired by — and worked for — the county commission, which required that the office-holder have a master’s degree and extensive business experience.

Brandon noted on his Web site that he was the only candidate for the office who had the experience necessary for a county manager. “In this election we will be selecting the county executive, a position equivalent to the chief executive officer (CEO) of a corporation,” he explained before the election. “Dade County has a budget of $10 million dollars. The county manages the resources for the police and fire departments, roads, and maintenance.

Ben was kind enough to inform me that he was running as a Christian Libertarian, which apparently makes us 1 for 1 on elections so far. Congratulatins, Ben, and remember that standing by your principles is more important than winning re-election. If he ignores what the bureaucrats tell him is possible and reasonable and does what is right, he’ll either be so successful and popular with the people of Dade County that he’ll be unassailable, or so unpopular that he’ll be unelectable. Here’s hoping he has great success in reducing goverment and expanding freedom in one little corner of America.