The Counterpoint

November 20, 2004

The world view

I am sure students out there have heard their professors say that it is important to read the world media for a complete view of current events because the American press only presents a narrow outlook on things.

Maybe they were on to something after all.

Iraqipundit notes this with his great post attacking the American media for saying that the insurgents in Iraq are showing "resolve":

Got that? These murderers have been demonstrating "resolve." Indeed, throughout the battle of Fallujah and in the battles that have followed, American journalists have discovered many impressive attributes in these criminals. According to a week of major-press stories, the "insurgents" are a cunning and courageous band who have been putting up a tenacious struggle.
Go read the whole thing. Maybe it'll change your thinking a bit.

November 19, 2004

Big News

US drops bid to ban human cloning world wide.


Last night I was faced with a tough decision: go play poker with the guys or stay home and study for an exam I had this morning.

Naturally, I chose to postpone the studying for a night of gambling fun. I did study for awhile when I got back home around 11:00, but not as much as I should have.

When I went to class this morning I found out that my exam was pushed back to Monday, giving me an extra couple of days to study.

The lesson as always: do whatever you want, because the universe will work things out for you.

November 17, 2004

North Korean coup?

THIS could potentially be a huge story, if what is being suggested is true.

The story may seem like a minor one on the surface, but we should note that taking down the portraits of Kim Jong-Il is not the same as taking down pictures of a president in America. Mr. Kim is much larger than that to the North Korean people; he is a God in human form. The Times notes that they could simply be finding new frames or cleaning the pictures, but I would suspect if that were true they would leave some hanging to assure the people that things are okay, lest they read too much into it. I would even buy the "new frames" excuse were it not for two other factors:

* The media has changed the title they use when referencing him.

* When was the last time he made a public appearance, or even spoke? A quick search of Google news doesn't reveal much, which is surprising considering the Bush re-election certainly infuriated him.

The Times story quotes an aid worker who suggests that this behavior is pretty common:

A Western aid worker in Pyongyang said by telephone Tuesday that traffic there was normal and that the airport was operating as usual.

"I have been in anywhere from 7 to 10 schools, hospitals and orphanages in the last 10 days, and there were portraits of the father and son in every one," he said of his visits to places outside the capital.
Though all of this information and these sources are sketchy at best, there are two reasons why I don't really believe the business-as-usual explanation:

* If it were common, how come this was never a story or an issue before? One would assume that the first time portraits were noticed to be missing it would have alerted the various news agencies.

* North Korea has been notoriously tight-lipped and strict about what goes on in their country. They seem to control the media and release of information very well, which is why I would not be surprised if they arranged for this aid worker to leak this to keep everyone in the dark until they are ready to go public.

Whether or not the United States assisted in this (if there really is any "this" to speak of) is beyond me; official policy towards North Korea is the pursuit of diplomacy, but it wouldn't be the first time that the United States government helped with a secret coup. What comes of this entire thing remains to be seen, but if Kim is gone then two out of the three members of President Bush's Axis of Evil have been taken care of.

Note: MediaPundit owns this story; go check them out for detailed analysis.

Update: Roger Simon has more.
Update 2: Power Line is now getting in on this story.

November 16, 2004


Krystle has some photos posted here.

I took most of the pictures in the "family" album and a few of the chapel walk images (despite not helming the camera, I did contribute ideas for many of those pictures). I am only in a few of them, but a few is too many for me.

November 15, 2004

Getting serious on UNSCAM

Reuters has a story up on the Oil-for-Food hearings before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which Power Line reports on here:

"How was the world so blind to this massive amount of influence-peddling?" asked Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, head of the investigations subcommittee. Coleman made public more documents he said were evidence of bigger kickbacks and payments that what was previously known, including 2003 data previously not reviewed.
I have admittedly been skeptical of Senator Coleman in the past, specifically because it seemed like he was just a Republican robot that did what he was told. However, he is spear-heading the attack on the UN and what is probably the most massive corruption scam in history. If and when the true nature of the UN is revealed to the entire world, Coleman may go down as the man responsible for enlightening us.

Plus he brought hockey back to the sport's Mecca, Minnesota. Big bonus points for that in my book.

Safire retires

Drudge is reporting that Bill Safire is going to retire his syndicated column in early 2005 to focus on work with the Dana Institute.

This is a big loss for the Times, as Safire was one of their few great writers (as well as the only conservative voice on the editorial pages).