More Misinformation from the New York Times?

I have lost all faith in the veracity of The New York Times.  Therefore I would not normally comment on much of anything that they say.  I have not read the original op-ed, just the rebuttal.

However, I know someone is going to claim that they learned something from the Op-Ed piece.  My reason for this post is to keep a record of the link to the rebuttal just in case I need it.

Follow this link to what The New York Times Public Editor wrote about Edward N. Luttwak’s Op-Ed. The following paragraph introduces the piece by the Public Editor:

On May 12, The Times published an Op-Ed article by Edward N. Luttwak, a military historian, who argued that any hopes that a President Barack Obama might improve relations with the Muslim world were unrealistic because Muslims would be “horrified” once they learned that Obama had abandoned the Islam of his father and embraced Christianity as a young adult.

The following paragraphs are the conclusion of what the Public Editor wrote:

Shipley, the Op-Ed editor, said he regretted not urging Luttwak to soften his language about possible assassination, given how sensitive the subject is. But he said he did not think the Op-Ed page was under any obligation to present an alternative view, beyond some letters to the editor.

I do not agree. With a subject this charged, readers would have been far better served with more than a single, extreme point of view. When writers purport to educate readers about complex matters, and they are arguably wrong, I think The Times cannot label it opinion and let it go at that.

Jim Webb Speaks Out On Race 1

Follow this link to Huffington Post to read about and hear an interview with Senator Jim Webb.

He speaks about the people in West Virginia and Kentucky that chose Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama. These people come from the same culture as Jim Webb. He has even written a book about their origins and life in America. What he says about their political leanings and the prognosis for the Democratic party makes a lot of sense to me.

What do you think about this take on the situation?

Follow this link to a little entertainment to go with this story. By the way, why do they call it dueling banjos when one person is playing a guitar and the other is playing a banjo? Your reaction to this clip may be the answer to a cultural test.

What Was Unartful About Obama’s Remarks

I have finally come to see what was unartful about Obama’s remarks. It is not that he said that voters were bitter. I don’t doubt that many of them are.

The unartful part was in appearing to some to blame the voters for the success of the Republican divide and conquer strategy.

Follow this link to his 2004 remarks that say what he means in a much better way.

In the 2004 remarks he focuses the blame on previous Democratic campaigns that were unable to counter what the Republicans were doing. These campaigns should have united voters on social and economic issues rather than let the Republicans divide them. This corrective action has been the focus of Obama’s campaign.

Despite this recent gaffe in explaining how the Republicans were distracting voters from very serious issues, I cling to my faith that Obama can recover from this mistake.

If the voters do not understand who are the real dividers and who are the real uniters, then the fault lies with Obama’s communication skills. I think his 2004 remarks demonstrate that he understands this.

Why Obama Instead of Clinton

Listen to a very articulate Obama supporter explain why he chooses to support Obama over Clinton.

I absolutely could not explain it better than this supporter does. It goes a long way toward explaining why Obama supporters are not just Obamaniacs.

If you compare the Obama and Clinton senatorial records, I think you will see an indication that Obama is better at bringing people together than is Clinton. He has demonstrated it more often than has Clinton.

There are numerous videos related to this one to which you can navigate from the above link.

One in particular is a very powerful addition to the first video.

Obama’s Thoughts on Economic Matters

MSNBC’s Maria Bartiromo interviewed Barack Obama mostly focusing on economic and business matters.

If you follow the above link, you will find videos of parts of the interview and a link to the full transcript of the interview.

The interview shows why I favor Obama over Clinton on these issues. His articulate answers make me believe that he really understands how things work and how they can be made to work better. He shows that he is not dogmatic and is willing to listen to ideas other than the ones that he has settled on at this time.

Specific proposals are always good. However, they may have a limited lifetime and they may get altered as they work their way through the political process. That is why I think it is more important to know that candidates understand how the world works than it is to know that they can regurgitate a specific proposal that advisers may have come up with.

It is important to know that Obama’s aim is to make the economy work for all instead of concentrating the benefits on a few. Whatever twists and turns his proposals have to take due to shifting circumstances, knowing the underlying principal gives me something to hold onto.

It’s still a question of Wright and wrong

In response to my defense of Barack Obama, I received a link to a column in the Boston Globe by Jeff Jacoby. My response was the following:

As I recall, Jeff Jacoby is one of those people that I put in the category of George Bush. I pay no attention to what he says.

However, now that I have read the article you point to, I wonder if you are still not listening to the other side of the argument.

One thing I was going to ask you about a previous email. Like Jacoby, you said what you would do if this were a Rabbi. That is a fine statement of what you would do. Now put your self in Obama’s shoes and consider that you might not know everything that he does about Wright and try to imagine how he might not do what you would do. Remember, even President Clinton welcomed Reverend Wright in the White House. Not that that is relevant, but since we are in silly season, I thought I might add this silly “fact”.

I don’t have anything to counter the sermon about “God Bless America”, but I did send you the snippet about the “Chickens Coming Home to Roost”. Wright was quoting a career U.S. diplomat’s words. His sermon was about the exact opposite of “poisonous teachings”. He was preaching that “Violence begets violence, Hatred begets hatred”. Did you get that part?

He was warning against attacking civilian populations because of what some terrorists did. In our case the terrorists were not even linked to the civilian population that we would attack. He quoted a part of the Bible that warned against seeking revenge against civilians for what an Army did.

In a recent Playboy essay Kurt Vonnegut described the carpet bombing of Dresden that we did in WW II. Apparently he was a prisoner of war in Dresden at the time. I think his message was similar to that expressed by Ambassador Peck on Fox News and quoted by Reverend Wright in one of the infamous sermons.

Either in a biography or in the movie “Fog of War” former defense secretary Robert McNamara was discussing his role in some of the WW II planning of some bombing missions. He said that he knew that what they were planning could be considered a war crime.

Even James Cone mentioned by Jeff Jacoby isn’t as radical as he makes him out to be. I think Cone is wrong about a lot of what he says, but it doesn’t frighten me. Furthermore, it is quite a stretch to hang on Obama what was said by an author that Obama’s pastor has read. That is so many steps removed from what Obama has said and done that it is irrelevant.

I have read many books that I admired even though I may have disagreed with large portions of what the author espoused. One minor example would be,


Also see http://ssgreenberg.name/PoliticsBlog/?s=krugman

At some point we ought to discuss what it is that you are really afraid of. What do you think Obama might do or cause to happen?

Have You Been Manipulated by the Media? 2

If Reverend Wright did not say what the media claims he said, would you feel you have been manipulated?

Couldn’t possibly happen. You may have seen the video with your own eyes.

Did you see the whole video?

Now I have no idea if this is any fairer representation of the pastor’s views.  I never paid much attention to the original video snippet.  However, the above link does seem to show more context.