July 31, 2004, 04:05 PM
Kudos to the Chronicle's Julie MasonI'll bet you'd never thought you'd see that over here! Look at this article — Chronicle: 'Believe' tour off to a bumpy start It's an article about John Kerry that doesn't cheerlead for him. Wow! Further on in the story, there's this:
Kerry joined them inside and spied a table of Marines. But when he struck up a conversation, the Marines answered tersely and expressed irritation. “He imposed on us and I disagree with him coming over here to shake our hands,” said one, who did not give his name.That's absolutely amazing that this is in a story in the Chronicle. This is normally the kind of thing we right-wingers find in our e-mail and have to wonder if it's true. So, a big Chronically Biased tip of the hat to Ms. Mason. I hope that this doesn't get you in hot water at the office.
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July 31, 2004, 03:46 PM
Is it a ship or a boat?AP via Chronicle: First lady christens sub named Texas
The Texas is the second boat in the Virginia class, which eventually could have 30 ships.This AP article (reprinted in the Chronicle) refers to the USS Texas, a new submarine we mentioned here, as a “ship” and a “boat.” In the Navy, submarines are called “boats.” And then there's this weird line:
With President Bush hitting the campaign trail this weekend in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Mrs. Bush told reporters afterward that she was not worried the christening would be perceived as a campaign event.So, did she volunteer that she wasn't worried? Not likely. She most likely answered a reporter's question as to whether the event would be perceived as partisan. The reporter had a pretty good idea of what the answer would be, one can assume. (What's she going to say? “Yes this event is partisan”?) I'm betting they just like to use the word “partisan” in any article dealing with Republicans.
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July 31, 2004, 01:59 PM
Bush supporters cause FEARThis has to be one of the more off-the-wall pieces ever to grace the op-ed page of the Chronicle. And that's saying a lot! It begins like this:
I WAS recently out doing a bit of shopping at a local department store on a bright, hot Saturday afternoon in northwest Houston. I had unloaded my purchases into my car and was starting to return the shopping cart to the cart holding stand, when a man and his wife passed me and started unloading their cart into a truck one parking spot over from my vehicle. As I returned to my car, I saw that the man had placed his empty cart directly in back of my car. I looked over at them and spread my arms, hands up in question. The man, who was driving, rolled down the electric window on the passenger side and yelled out, “That's because you have a f#@%ing Kerry sticker on your car!” Then he peeled out of the parking space and raced away.That's what this important piece of writing is about: A Kerry supporter who is a helpless victim and a Bush supporter who is a fear-mongering lunatic. She continues:
As a woman, shopping alone, I don't think that I need to tell any other woman that fear immediately rose in my throat at the hatred vented at me by a complete stranger simply because I professed a notion different from his. As a survivor of child abuse and physical abuse, I can't say that I am unfamiliar with the feelings of dread, fear and disbelief at what had just transpired — but I was unprepared to face such raw hatred on an otherwise uneventful shopping trip. It made me feel ill at ease, threatened, fearful. Thoughts flew through my mind as I quietly drove home. Should I remove my “Texans for Kerry” sticker, lest I find my property damaged by such hateful people? Should I take down my yard sign, lest my home be threatened? Should I take the “Kerry for President” button off of my soft briefcase, for fear of physical harm to myself?Let's follow this line of thinking. The writer's life has been filled with abuse and now she feels terrified and threatened because someone vocally disagreed with her John Kerry bumper sticker. How many more ways can liberals find to paint conservatives as extremist wackos? She said the guy drove away. She doesn't say that he came back and stalked her! (As for the Chronicle's poor judgement in even publishing this piece, Kevin Whited has tackled that.) The courageous Ms. Prymmer goes on:
And now, the simple act of publicly showing support for a political candidate in what is supposed to be a free, democratic society seems to provoke such hatred. What can I expect from my fellow man now?Well, whether Ms. Prymmer likes it or not, the guy she is busy excoriating was also exercising his right of free speech. She obviously disagrees with his way of exercising that right, but that's her problem. He didn't verbally threaten her or physically harm her, according to her recounting. He disagreed with her choice of a presidential candidate and expressed that, in a not so genteel manner. The First Amendment doesn't say we can only express ourselves in polite and inoffensive ways. And you know what, Ms. Prymmer? Conservatives have been verbally disparaged for years! Conservatives are called zealots, racists, homophobes, sexists, bigots, and extremists on a daily basis. Often by the self-proclaimed neutral and unbiased mainstream press. It's called the First Amendment. Live with it, or don't put up pro-Kerry signs that will invite dissent. But, it gets even better:
So, Mr. Hateful Bush Supporter, I just want you and all of your friends to know that, like the thousands of women before me, who courageously gave so much of themselves so that I could have the right and privilege to vote: No matter how hateful you are, no matter how much you try to scare me, or threaten me, or harm me or my family or property, short of murdering me before the elections, I will vote my conscience for a free, democratic society, just like my grandmother before me.Ah yes. It's the Hateful Bush Supporters (who scare, threaten and harm, but stop short of murder) versus the Thousands Of Women Before Me. Can't you picture the Thousands of Courageous Women, led by Ms. Prymmer, marching at the Republican Convention, chanting “Hey hey, ho ho, Hateful Bush Supporters've got to go! Hey hey, ho ho...”. Strike up the band! Ms. Prymmer needs to get over herself already. If her abusive past has turned her into a quivering ball of fear then she needs to address that. But for her to say that no one has the right to challenge her support of John Kerry if it causes her to have flashbacks, well, that is called censorship. You either need to suck it up like an adult, Ms. Prymmer, or peel off the bumper sticker.
Permalink | Chron Bias
July 31, 2004, 10:38 AM
The Chronicle's Other VoiceIf this Chronicle editorial page addition is going to be a semi-regular feature, perhaps the editors should consider highlighting editorials that actually differ from their own. One did not have to search hard yesterday for reviews of Senator Kerry's speech that were not enthusiastic, even from traditionally liberal voices. Here is the Washington Post's editorial from yesterday:
Nor did Mr. Kerry's statements about future threats do justice to the complexity of today's challenge. “As president, I will ask hard questions and demand hard evidence,” he said, a well-aimed shot at the Bush administration's failures to do the same. For many in the hall last night, the intelligence lapses in Iraq prove the wrongness of Mr. Bush's preemption strategy, and Mr. Kerry seemed to agree, saying that “the only justification for going to war” would be “a threat that was real and imminent.” Yet a President Kerry, too, would face momentous decisions based on inevitably imperfect information, whether about Iran or North Korea or dangers yet to emerge. How would he respond? Will it always be safe to wait?And this:
Yet in economics as in national security, Mr. Kerry missed an opportunity for straight talk. His promises to stop the outsourcing of jobs and end dependence on Middle East oil are not grounded in reality. And Mr. Kerry failed to acknowledge the fiscal challenge posed by the imminent retirement of the baby boom generation, with its call on Medicare and Social Security. To the contrary, he raised the issue of Social Security only to reaffirm that he would not cut benefits — a promise that a President Kerry might come to regret.Here is Thomas Oliphant, from the Boston Globe:
At a Democratic convention planned to showcase a candidate and his basic approach to two huge situations — a bogged-down military adventure in Iraq and a fragile economy — Kerry obscured his presentation in a blizzard of hard-to-follow verbiage dictated by the clock. Perhaps the public will let him off the hook, but the fact remains that Kerry essentially blew an opportunity he may not get again until the debates with Bush this fall. He and his advisers can and will argue that the cold facts of economic and foreign policy life will dominate political opinion in the weeks ahead; nevertheless, a golden opportunity slipped away.And this from The New Republic's Lawrence Kaplan:
A few weeks back, a colleague of mine at TNR joked that the Kerry campaign should create a miniature river in the FleetCenter, in which the candidate and his “band of brothers” could wend their way toward the podium in a swift boat. Then came news that the Kerry campaign had actually hunted for a Vietnam-era swift boat to plunk down in the convention center. Alas, none was found, and Kerry had to settle for a water taxi ride with his boat mates. In the end, it didn't really matter. No one who watched his acceptance speech last night could have missed the fact that, yes, John Kerry served heroically in Vietnam. Easier to miss was that, as a guide to what sort of approach to national security Kerry will enshrine in official policy--presumably the whole point of the exercise--last night's martial imagery and rhetoric told us nothing at all. Or, rather, worse than nothing.The Chronicle acknowledges that its editorial page is liberal. But adding some balance once in a while would be appreciated by many Chronicle readers, and the Other Voice feature would be the perfect venue for that.
Permalink | Chron Bias
July 31, 2004, 07:13 AM
A helping handToo often, we don't hear of good news from Iraq. We hear about the car bombings, the trouble our soldiers are in, and even the assassination attempts against high officials. Yet, good things do happen. Iraqi schools have been refurbished, canals have been cleaned (before/after), and to many, life has been restored. Iraq is being restored from the immense help of the Coalition forces, private contractors, humanitarian aid organizations, and even smaller grassroots organizations. Sometimes though, help comes from everyday people. As seen in the following report:
Soldier's e-mail results in shoes for Iraqi childrenAs reported by KCEN-TV Channel 6 Temple, TX A Fort Hood First Cavalry soldier sees a need in Iraq and two states lend a hand. A truck pulled into Fort Hood Friday, carrying more than 2,000 pairs of flip-flops, all for Iraqi children. The shoes were donated by church members in Texas and Georgia. The idea for “Operation Flip-Flop” started when a First Cav soldier saw hundreds of children not wearing any shoes. Lt. Col. Tim Ryan says, “As I came back that night and was writing my newsletter back to all the families, I put in as a P.S. You know, we really don't need anything. We've got all we need in terms of soldiers and all the cake and candy we can eat, but if you want to do something for charity you ought to send some shoes or old clothes over, even flip-flops would be a great thing for the kids in the neighborhood.” Ryan's e-mail back to his friend in Conroe, Texas spread to other friends throughout Texas and Georgia.
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July 30, 2004, 09:31 PM