Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
I think I just saw something remarkable on Google. I was up rattling around between 4:30 and 5:30 this morning, and I hit the search engine to find some news about T. Boone Pickens’ million-dollar challenge to disprove anything in the Swift Boat ads from three years ago, and Sen. Kerry’s acceptance of same. Then, now, 7:30 to 8:00, I did it again. I’m seeing in the first two pages of results, not less than six or seven entries are worded exactly the same: “Pickens ‘backtracks’ on SBVT dare” — I don’t think it looked like that two hours ago.
Maybe, earlier, I just went straight to the “News” link with that search term. And maybe it’s just my imagination. But the replication of this one headline is interesting. Clearly, there’s a hierarchy involved in distributing these, and clearly that hierarchy works to the benefit of The Left. It’s not news to anyone who’s been watching this kind of thing for awhile, but strangers to it might find it enlightening. And if those strangers do find it that way, they certainly need to.
But to zero in on this challenge: I was pretty intrigued when I heard about it. To refresh your memory, I’ll just dial up a news website, that polishes over the recent history with the now-customary cliches, at random…
Obama’s response accused Clinton of “Swift Boat politics” — a reference to the 2004 attacks on Kerry’s military record by a group calling itself the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Kerry stayed quiet, a decision that some advisers fought at the time and that in retrospect turned out to have devastating consequences for his image in some swing states. [emphasis mine]
The SBVT group is a 527 non-profit. What tends to be lost in the news filter is that the more controversial claims by the SBVT have to do with Sen. Kerry’s war record, and the circumstances under which he won his medals…issues which the Senator brought up in the first place when running for President.
Also lost in the mix is that there very well may be no way to prove one way or the other what actually happened, since the argument deteriorated clear back in 2004 into a he-said-she-said. It could very well be a case of Rashomon syndrome. In fact, it very well may be that among the real veterans who were actually there, everyone is being a hundred percent truthful about their recollections of events even as those various recollections conflict with each other directly.
But the SBVT used their 527 money to get the word out that Sen. Kerry’s recollection of events, was not by any means uncontested. I could be wrong, but to the extent of my knowledge that’s just about the most unkind word they had to say about him…which is a stark contrast to the Senator’s now-infamous 1971 testimony before Congress, the one where he mispronounced the name of Genghis Kahn.
It is impossible to describe to you exactly what did happen in Detroit, the emotions in the room, the feelings of the men who were reliving their experiences in Vietnam, but they did. They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do.
They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.
Kerry’s testimony-about-testimony shocked a nation back in 1971, and again, in quite a different way in 2004.
But of course, the real issue isn’t whether or not words can be used to hurt or shock people. The issue is truth. We were reminded of this with the phone-testicle-taping testimony after it was thoroughly discredited…although a lot of people, still just as passionate about that issue as they ever were, have yet to know about that. But back to the subject at hand, and the truth involved in that subject: How did John Kerry win his medals? And what did he personally know about wires from portable telephones taped to prisoners’ nut-sacks? What did he personally verify about blowing up bodies and razing villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Kahn? In fact, what does he personally know about Genghis Kahn?
What I found intriguing about Pickens’ challenge was that it dealt in this truth. Enough with the cheerleading; enough with the fanfare and the name-calling and the cherry-picked “eyewitnesses.” Once such an issue has deteriorated to he-said-she-said, cherry-picked witnesses bring very little value to the table. Just prove stuff. I know it’s tempting to read one’s own motives into the players who are more central to the drama one is watching, but I would like to think Mr. Pickens grew just as weary of the group-cheering and the holding-of-court as I did. Just stop appealing to emotions and prove what you’re trying to prove.
Now, that was earlier this month. A week ago Sen. Kerry made some real headlines by accepting the challenge.
No, he didn’t supply the proof Pickens demanded. That would come later. He made a show of accepting the challenge, and then he was heralded with great fanfare as if he already presented the proof.
In other words, he appealed to emotion yet again.
This is not the way I would have handled things. If someone challenges me to prove something, and I accept the challenge, I’m offering the proof. Especially if the proof exonerates me from being a purple-heart showboater and short-timer. If such an accusation was made, and I knew it to be false, that would strike me as a very personal offense — whether I was running for President or not.
I would never have dreamed of “announcing” I was accepting the challenge. I’d swat it down on the spot.
Now, I don’t know what exactly I was expecting when I heard that Pickens issued this challenge. Part of me was wishing that after spending an entire election campaign season AWOL from the battlefield of truth, in which facts actually matter more than grandstanding, and things formerly wondered about are proven — or refuted — Kerry would finally “enlist” and be seen in action on that battlefield.
Perhaps I should have known better. It’s time to prove things, and all we see out of him is more showing-off. More speeches. More aren’t I wonderful and aren’t they rotten.
I would request that your check be made payable to the Paralyzed Veterans of America which is doing incredible work every day to meet the needs of veterans returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan. My hope is that by sending this money to such a dedicated organization – founded for veterans, by veterans – some good can come out of the ugly smears and lies of the orchestrated campaign you bankrolled in 2004 in an attempt to discredit my military record and the record of the men who served alongside me on the Swift Boats of the Mekong Delta.
I would be more than happy to travel to Dallas to meet with you in a mutually agreed upon public forum, or would invite you to join me in Massachusetts for a public dialogue and then together we could visit the Paralyzed Veterans of America in Norwood and see firsthand how we can put your money to good work for our veterans.
I look forward to setting up a visit at the earliest possible, mutually convenient time. I trust that you are a man of your word, having made a very public challenge at a major Washington dinner, and look forward to taking you up on this challenge.
Yes, Kerry was in Vietnam. Yes, a lot of Republicans were not. But if he’s that stoic and fearless about running on to battlefields, I’d sure like to see him storm this one. Whatever the outcome. Just see him step onto it — for a change of pace. So far, he’s proven to be just as talented in staying out of that kind of “combat,” as anyone else, anywhere.
What do the facts actually say, Sen. Kerry? And if this isn’t the time to be answering that question, when is? Do you even have it in you?
I don’t think so. I think on the battlefield of facts and evidence and proof and disproof, Kerry has always been, and always will be, a chickenhawk. He goes through the motions of pretending to use logic and common sense and “nuanced” thinking, but I had an entire year to watch him try to persuade myself and others with his rhetoric, and he stayed on the emotional plane the entire time. Every single minute. And I should have realized this from the get-go — Sen. Kerry will throw a lot of stuff at Pickens’ challenge, but none of it is going to have any more to do with proving or refuting anything, according to reason or logic, than a day-old box of donuts.
He simply doesn’t work that way. He’s AWOL.
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