Friday, June 23, 2006

Comments up

Comments are back, sort of. I still can't get to them on my computer, but I am able to get them from another computer. So post away.


Deep in a comment thread on What's Right in Montana, someone cited this Gazette headline as an example of liberal media bias: “GOP-run Senate kills minimum wage increase.”

My question: How? It's accurate, and it gives Republicans credit for killing something they opposed. Where's the bias?

I think the answer lies in the bias of the commenter, not the headline writer. His train of thought must have run something like this: The media are liberal; therefore, the headline writer was liberal; therefore, the headline writer favors an increase in the minimum wage; therefore, the headline writer, being a liberal, assumes that most other people favor an increase in the minimum wage; therefore, the headline writer thought that writing a headline that accurately points out that Republicans killed the bill will help Democrats.

See, once you've persuaded yourself that bias is everywhere, you can find it everywhere. Except in your own biased heart.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Comments down

Several of you have posted comments, but I am having some sort of computer problem and am unable either to read or publish the comments. It seems to be my computer's problem, not Blogspot's, and I will fix it as soon as I can figure out how. Until then, I can be reached at

The real terrorists

From today's letters to the editor in the Gazette:

"The United States of America is being taken over by terrorists. And it is not Iraq, Iran or foreigners. It is called extreme environmentalists. They have the state of Montana and Washington, D.C., on their knees. And we all better wake up and smell the coffee.

"The only thing that's in danger of extinction is common sense!

John O. Morris

And in parts of Otter, common sense has disappeared altogether.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Burns and the flag

At a Flag Day news conference in Washington, D.C., U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns noted that "countless millions of American military personnel" have served under the U.S. flag.

"It is simply an insult to these brave Americans that the sacrifices they have made in the name of liberty under the American flag are diminished by people who would burn, trample, or otherwise willfully desecrate our flag," he said.

As a veteran myself, I have two questions:

1. Exactly how is my service diminished by lowlife jerks who burn the flag?

2. Where does a U.S. senator get off deciding on my behalf what insults me?

Sure, I'll support your flag-burning amendment. Just as soon as we pass an amendment prohibiting politicians from invoking veterans every time they want to enact some ill-conceived, bullet-headed attack on the Constitution.

If we're going to muck around with the First Amendment, then let's not waste time banning something that hardly anybody wants to do in the first place. Let's impose a ban that will enhance domestic tranquility and enrich the national civic debate. And punish violators with some sort of painful and lingering death.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Max redux

From the Onion archives: Max Baucus fesses up.

Monday, June 12, 2006


This is odd. Instapundit complains that a newspaper columnist is being dishonest. Instapundit notes correctly that the newspaper column did not quote the full post that it targeted, but the suggestion that Instapundit "lumped in" reporters' failure to cheer at the death of al-Zarqawi with other instances of press "misconduct" doesn't seem terribly far off. Instapundit certainly seems to find the anecdote consistent with his repeated insinuations that reporters are on the wrong side of the war.

In any case, the newspaper column is not as far off base as Instapundit's insistence that Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz "went out of his way" to use the cheering as evidence that the press was "properly patriotic." Kurtz did nothing of the sort. He simply noted in a paragraph that Zarqawi had been killed and accurately quoted an AP story about media reaction. Kurtz didn't cite the story as evidence of anything. Nor did Kurtz's piece need a "correction." Neither he nor the AP reporter wrote nothing about the nationality of the reporters.

Newspaper columnists are fair game, obviously, but bloggers who misuse what columnists write shouldn't complain when the same thing happens to them.

Adolph Coulter

Blog etiquette dictates that the first person to invoke Hitler automatically loses. Ann Coulter, cited below, has accused liberals of liking Hitler and Katie Couric of being Eva Braun. So since she's already conceded the argument, I might as well mention that reading the chapter from her newest book linked below reminded me a lot of "Mein Kampf."

In fairness, I haven't read all of her book, but then I haven't read all of "Mein Kampf" either. "Mein Kampf" was one of two books in my library that literally was recovered from a garbage bin (the other, "Sex Show Sweetie," was a much better read). Since I am determined that Coulter will get none of my cash, I won't read all of her book, either, unless I have a productive Dumpster diving day.

But I was struck by the similarities between Coulter's book and Hitler's in terms of tone and attitude. By way of editorial experimentation, below is an excerpt from her newest book, edited to its essentials and with a couple of key changes: Everywhere she wrote "liberal" or "Democrat," I substituted "Jewish" or "Jew." Where she wrote "liberalism," I substituted "Judaism." Here's what happened:

If a Martian landed in America and set out to determine the nation’s official state religion, he would have to conclude it is Judaism. Judaism is a comprehensive belief system denying the Christian belief in man’s immortal soul. Everything Jews believe is in elegant opposition to basic Biblical precepts.

Through movies, magazines, and TV, Jews promote a cult of idealized beauty that is so extreme as to be unimaginable. Jews will lie about anything. “Constitutional right” means “Whatever Jews Want.” Instead of seeking wisdom, Jews desire to be seen as clever by being counterintuitive, crazy, and outrĂ©. They have an irreducible fascination with barbarism and will defend anything hateful. If Hitler hadn’t turned against their beloved Stalin, Jews would have stuck by him, too. The truly pathetic Jews are the ones who aren’t rich but ape the belief structure of fabulously wealthy Hollywood leftists anyway.

Only their core rejection of God can explain the bewildering array of Jewish positions. Public schools are what columnist Joe Sobran calls “Judaism’s reproductive system.” No longer content to ruin their own children, Jews insist on being subsidized by the taxpayer to ruin everyone else’s children, too. Jewish judges feel free to disregard the Supreme Court to achieve the overriding objective of keeping real religion out of government schools. At least the crazy Muslims get funding from Saudi Arabia for their madrassas. Jews force normal Americans to pay for their religious schools.

It’s no wonder Bible Belt, right-wing Christians get the greatest enjoyment out of sex (another scientific study hated by Jews) — they never have to endure listening to Jews talk about sex.

These zealous pagans teach the official state religion of Judaism as axiomatic truth. The stupidest of their students become journalists, churning out illiterate attacks on dissidents from the Jewish religion. Jews are constantly accusing Christians of being intolerant and self-righteous, but the most earnest Christian has never approached the preachy intolerance of a Jew who has just discovered … two born again Christians in a Republican administration.

Jews are constantly accusing Christians of monumental self-righteousness for daring to engage in free speech or for voting in accordance with their religious beliefs. Because they passionately believed in Marxism, Jews thought they had a right to lie about being Soviet spies.

Jews consider it self-evident that they are being persecuted simply for wanting to do the right thing and always believe their critics’ motives are vile and corrupt. They are for adultery, lying about adultery, covetousness, killing the unborn, and stealing from the middle class. They have more shibboleths than the Old Testament tribe of Gileadites.

If Jews ever dared speak coherently about what they believe, the American people would lynch them. So they claim to believe in God, much as Paul Begala claims to go “duck hunting” (Jewish code for “antiquing”).

In addition to Christians, whom Jews hate, the Jews are not particularly welcoming of “folks” who do not believe it is a Constitutional right to stick a fork in a baby’s head. Jews revile religion but insist on faking a belief in God in front of the voters claiming to be “spiritual.” I don’t particularly care if Jews believe in God. In fact, I would be crestfallen to discover any Jews in heaven. Jews can believe what they want to believe, but let us not flinch from identifying Judaism as the opposition party to God.

What do you think? I think Adolph would have loved this book!

New blog

My buddy Bowen Greenwood (Mr. Greenwood to you) has started a new right-leaning blog, Election Daze. Bowen used to freelance for the Outpost and has worked on some Republican campaigns. Now he's a flak in Helena.

My only gripe about his blog: He puts my blog on his list of "libs." Dang it. If Ann Coulter is right, that means I am a traitorous, slandering, godless Stalinist. Fortunately, she never is.

Monday, June 05, 2006


Maybe I'm overreacting, but a May 31 Billings Gazette ad arguing for a gay marriage amendment struck me as particularly abhorrent. The inscrutable headline on the Focus on the Family ad was, "Why Doesn't Senator Baucus Believe Every Child Needs a Mother and a Father?" The nub was this: "The reality is that homosexual marriages intentionally create motherless families or fatherless families."

So the gay marriage amendment isn't about morality. It isn't about preserving marriage. It's about the kids. And Sen. Baucus must hate kids or he wouldn't vote against it.

I'm among those who think the Bible rejects homosexual relations. I'm also among those who think the Bible prohibits lying. If this ad doesn't break that rule, it cuts awfully close.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Buy Chinese

Thursday's paper delivery day bumper sticker highlight: "Buy USA." Nothing special, I suppose, except that the car with the bumper sticker was driving through the Wal-Mart parking lot.

That's the same Wal-Mart whose shelves are lined with products up to 70 percent of which come from China (for a discussion of the probability of this figure, go here). It's the same Wal-Mart that is, all by itself, China's eighth-largest trading partner. It's the same Wal-Mart whose purchases from China are growing 20 percent a year.

So that bumper sticker -- a subtle protest? Or just clueless?