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Unintended Irony in the Baltimore Sun

Posted by Jim Walsh on Monday, December 7, 2009

Fresh off the heels of the tragedy at Fort Hood, the page 1 story of the Baltimore Sun on Monday, 12/7/09 is headlined “Fear of native terror on rise; Homegrown extremists alarm White House”. The article described the growing problem of homegrown Islamic terrorists, acknowledging growing radicalization among U.S. Muslims. The commentary page (13) on the same date calls for “End racial profiling now.” I have my doubts as to whether the editors of the Sun appreciate the irony.

The Sun’s lead article doesn’t mention that the U.S. Army failed to intervene earlier in the case of accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hassan, in large part because acquaintances who were alarmed by his increasing radicalization were discouraged, in the name of diversity, from singling out a Muslim soldier for scrutiny. Even our military now genuflects at the altar of political correctness. But let’s face it, all 19 of the 9/11 hijackers were Middle Eastern Muslim men, yet our security system is supposed to pretend that a representative sample of geriatric Icelandic tourists poses the same threat to our security as a planeload of 20-something Muslim males returning to their local mosque after an extended visit to a remote backwoods training camp.

And on Pearl Harbor Day, no less, we are expected to forget the consequences of the failure of vigilance.

Posted in Jim Walsh, Media | Leave a Comment »

Why the World Loves Susan Boyle

Posted by Jim Walsh on Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In case you’re the only person with a computer who hasn’t seen the video, here is the link (assuming I’m doing this right):

Since Saturday, April 11, when the season premier of Britain’s Got Talent aired on ITV1, this video has redefined viral, becoming by far the most popular YouTube video in a record short time.  By comparison, 2007’s cell phone salesman turned BGT opera star Paul Potts took five months to achieve as many hits as Susan Boyle did in one week.  A quick scan of the various YouTube versions of this video shows at least 50 million hits thus far.  In addition, the ITV website also has its separate link to the clip.

In the U.S., she’s appeared on Today, Good Morning America, the CBS Morning Show and Larry King.  Within six days after her performance on British television, both Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon ran skits featuring her performance, and didn’t have to offer any explanation of who is Susan Boyle.  Oprah wants her next.

This dowdy, 47 year old spinster from a village in western Scotland walked on to a stage before a cynical audience (who thought they were about to witness the next William Hung) and two skeptical judges – it has since been reported that Simon Cowell had heard her sing before.  She was a bit cheeky, then a little flustered, but all the time seemed very comfortable with herself.  Then she began to sing, and jaws dropped, eyebrows raised, and judge Amanda Holden teared up.   She belted out an inspirational version of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables – an extremely appropriate choice with lyrics about broken dreams yet accompanied by music that suggests resolve and defiance.  The audience cheered wildly, judges Piers Morgan (known to U.S. viewers from America’s Got Talent) and Amanda Holden gave her a standing ovation.  Having completed her task, Susan promptly begins to exit, stage right, apparently forgetting she has to stick around to listen to what the the judges have to say.

Here’s where she really grabbed me.  Despite the obvious quality of her performance, she seems genuinely surprised by the judges’ positive reviews.  And even after being praised by all three judges the first run-through, she is totally amazed as each judge votes “Yes” for her to continue to the next round.

A life lesson learned well for all of us – don’t judge people by their appearances, and celebrate the talent each of us has in some area.  In depressing economic times, Susan Boyle provides a much needed inspirational lesson.  Thank you, Susan.

Posted in Jim Walsh, Media | 1 Comment »

Obama’s Church Torched in Suspected Arson

Posted by Jim Walsh on Wednesday, December 17, 2008

… , federal, state and local officials vow full investigation and offer $1 million reward for the arrest and conviction of the culprits.  Congress expresses shock and outrage.  Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi denounces the arson as a “terrorist act on par with 9/11.”   Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decries “this sad, sad day in American history.”  Jesse Jackson (Sr.) appears outside the fire-damaged church to denounce this cowardly act, saying “despite recent events, this act proves that racism is alive and well in America.”  Oprah Winfrey, in tears, exhorts her television audience to join in the hunt for the culprits, calls them “worse than Osama bin Laden”.

What?  It never happened?  Oh, it was Sarah Palin’s church that was torched instead?  Who cares?  Forget about it.  Cancel the extra edition.  I guess we should mention it somewhere, if there’s space.

Another current example of the media’s double standard.

Posted in General, Jim Walsh, Media | 1 Comment »

Let’s Play Guess the Party.

Posted by Ed C on Thursday, March 22, 2007

We have two stories from the home page of the Examiner under Maryland News that deal with corruption / ethics violations with elected representatives. Let ‘s see if we can tell what party the individuals belong.

Exhibit 1:

Ethics committee recommends censure for GOP lawmaker

The House Ethics Committee voted Wednesday to recommend censure for a Republican lawmaker who pleaded guilty in a domestic violence incident that followed a traffic stop involving suspected drunken driving.

Exhibit 2:

Public corruption case against ex-senator concerns lawmakers

Lawmakers have known for more than a year that their former colleague – the once-powerful Thomas Bromwell who headed the Senate Finance Committee – was in trouble after being indicted in a federal public corruption probe alleging influence-peddling.

Well, the first case is pretty easy. Obviously, the first one deals with a Republican. It’s in the headline and the again in the first paragraph. The second? Hmmm. Not in the headline, not in the first paragraph. Well, let’s start counting paragraphs 1, 2, 3… Damn, now I have to take off my shoes … 11, 12,.. 25. Yep at the 25th paragraph (out of 29 paragraphs in the story) we see:

Bromwell, a Democrat who represented Baltimore County in the Senate from 1983 until 2002, and his wife Mary Pat are charged in an alleged racketeering scheme involving minority contracting fraud while he was in office. They have pleaded not guilty.

Rather than make some snarky comment about media bias, I’m just going to assume that there really is an underlying rationale for this. How about:

When a Republican has an ethical problem it is such a rare occurrence that it needs to be stated right up front that the offending individual is not a Democrat. When it happens to be a Democrat? Well, that’s just to be expected, the natural way they do business and should be assumed unless told otherwise.

Works for me.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Ed C, Media | 3 Comments »

Vile is as Vile does

Posted by David Keelan on Sunday, November 26, 2006

Another Howard County Blogger has a post calling Mitt Romney a Vile Scumbag.  Searching the writer’s blog it seems that this epitath is based upon an article written by Eleanor Clift.  Eleanor has earned the nickname Eleanor “Hillary” Clift for her political idealogoy.  Since this blogger hasn’t written anything else about Mitt Romney I am left to wonder if his feelings are simply based upon Clift’s article.

The basis of Clift’s article is that Mitt Romney is pandering to GOP conservatives on the issue of traditional marriage.

There ought to be a prohibition against opportunistic politicians messing around in state laws to further their presidential ambitions. With his days as governor of Massachusetts nearing an end, Mitt Romney is trying to reopen the issue of same-sex marriage in the only state where it is legal.

The problem with Clift’s article is that Mitt Romney has been a supporter of traditional marriage when he ran against Ted Kennedy for the US Senate and Eleanor Clift knows it – or if she is a journalist worth her salt she could have easily researched it.

During his 1994 campaign against Senator Edward Kennedy, Romney said that same-sex marriage “is not appropriate at this time”[35] but supported Federal legislation that would prohibit discrimination in the workplace against homosexuals.[36]

In fact Romney is on the record very clearly on this matter.  He advocates respect and tolerance for gay couples.  He also supports the same rights for gay couples that those in traditional marriage enjoy.  Eleanor Clift should know this and should report it instead of writing vile articles.

…also voiced support for basic domestic partnership benefits for gay couples. Romney told the Log Cabin Club of Massachusetts (a Republican gay-rights group) that he did not support same-sex marriage, but would fight discrimination against gays and lesbians. He also opposed an amendment, then before the Legislature, that would have banned same-sex marriage and outlawed all domestic partnership benefits for gay couples. As a result, the Log Cabin Club endorsed Romney in the gubernatorial election. When campaigning in 2002, Romney’s stated position was that “all citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of sexual orientation” and that “homosexuals should have the right to a domestic partnership status that affords them the potential for health benefits and rights of survivorship.”

Anyone who uses the internet, a blogger for example, could get the same information – if they wanted to.  Of course, it is their right not to bother.

What are we to conclude?  That Clift is lazy?  That the blogger believes everything that he reads and posts it without seeking more information?

I believe that Romney has been consistent on the subject in question.  He hasn’t been pandering to anyone.  Agree with him or not I find that his consistent stand to be refreshing.

Perhaps Ms. Clift will next wow us with her in depth analysis and research regarding how Mitt Romney brought universal health care to Massachusetts and we will find that posted on Steve’s blog too.  Some how I doubt it.

Posted in Howard County Blogs, Media | 24 Comments »

Free Advice?

Posted by David Keelan on Monday, November 20, 2006

Senator Allan Kittleman brought this The Baltimore Sun opinion piece to my attention.

Picking up the pieces

With the loss of the governor’s office and a handful of seats in a General Assembly that was already overwhelmingly Democratic, it’s understandable that Maryland Republicans are feeling blue since the election. Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.’s defeat is a particularly disappointing moment for party loyalists, many of whom labored a generation or more before finally witnessing a GOP governor in Annapolis. But while the setback is significant, it needn’t be long-term.

It reminds me of a post written at brain-terminal “Earnest Advice from the Opposition“.  In which the New York Times encourages the New York State Republican Party to be more like Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

A pragmatist like Mayor Michael Bloomberg could serve as the vanguard of a new New York Republican Party. He won twice in a heavily Democratic city by adding probity and managerial expertise to Mr. Pataki’s issues list. Some upstaters regard Mr. Bloomberg as too independent — their term is RINO, or Republican in Name Only. That’s a self-destructive attitude for a party on the ropes. New York’s G.O.P. should embrace the city’s dynamic mayor as its guiding star.

What the Baltimore Sun is asking of Republicans is that they be more like Democrats.  The New York Times is making the same case.

Don’t get me wrong – Bloomberg is a fine Mayor, but so was Guilliani.  Pataki was a fine Governor.  Bloomberg is the Connie Morella of New York politics.  Gulliani a moderate Republican and Pataki a conservative (for the most part) Republican.  Republicans are not in the same position in New York as they are in Maryland.  Maryland is tough.  However, their is much more to being the loyal opposition than accepting minority status.

Maryland isn’t voting on social issues as much as they are national and pocket book issues.  Republican in State wide races are not running on social issues – though many of their opponents try to make it an issue.  Local candidates do no run on social issues either.

Let me ask, how many Republican candidates for Governor or President has the Baltimore Sun endorsed?  Very few in the past 50 years.  To paraphrase: Would Peter Angelos take advise from George Steinbrenner on how to beat the New York Yankees?

If we have accepted one party rule in Maryland then this is sound advice.  However, encouraging the Republican Party to be more like Democrats will leave little room for debate on the issues.  We will be a State devoid of not a loyal opposition but of new ideas.

Is that good for Democracy?  I don’t think so.

Posted in Maryland, Media, Republicans | 1 Comment »

Washington Post Endorses Ehrlich

Posted by David Keelan on Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Read it yourself

It isn’t all glowing but here are some highlights

The Good Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Ehrlich, Maryland, Media, O'Malley | 1 Comment »

What we learned from Harry Dunbar

Posted by David Keelan on Thursday, September 14, 2006

It is interesting to compare the Baltimore Sun article to the Baltimore Examiner article regarding the Howard County Democratic primary for County Executive.

Dunbar’s success indicates residents want growth to slow down (The Baltimore Examiner)

Thousands of Howard County voters sent a message to the county executive hopefuls — by casting ballots for Democrat Harry Dunbar and his campaign to slow growth.

In the Democratic primary race, underdog Dunbar stole more than 20 percent of the unofficial vote count from primary winner Kenneth Ulman for Howard County executive in his first campaign, according to the Howard County Board of Elections on Wednesday.

Democrat Ulman wins nomination (The Baltimore Sun)

An election campaign destined to produce a new Howard County executive and at least four new County Council members began yesterday with what appeared to be an easy victory in the Democratic primary by Columbia native Ken Ulman in his quest for the county’s top job.
With nearly all of the votes counted early today, Ulman, 32, who represents west Columbia on the council, had a more than 3-to-1 margin over Harry M. Dunbar, 62, who campaigned against development.

Dunbar’s anti-development campaign never caught fire.

What did Ken Ulman have to say about Harry Dunbar’s success at the polls?

“It’s not surprising at all. If you look at primary elections, the lesser-known candidate always gets a chunk, especially when they are first on the ballot,” said Ulman.

I guess he wasn’t looking at the Democratic Primaries:

  • District 13.  Nina Basu the lesser known candidate on top of the ballot only got 7.31%
  • Adam Sachs on the bottom of the ballot got 1/3rd of the vote in Council District 2
  • Josh Feldmark on top of the ballot lost to Mary Kay Sigaty

Please understand that I fully expected that Ulman would win hands down.  I don’t think he did win hands down.  However, the real test will come when we can look at the results precinct by precinct to determine who voted.

What do I think this mean? 

  • I think Ken is just talking to the papers.  He, like any candidate, needs to keep a positive spin on this.
  • I think his campaign does understand how successful Harry Dunbar was in the primary and what that means to his general election campaign.
  • Ken should not dismiss Harry Dunbar’s campaign message, which is closer to Merdon’s position than it was to Ulman’s
  • Dunbar was not a fringe candidate.  He hit a nerve and was smart to exploit the issue in his campaign.  Not because he wasn’t sincere but because he didn’t feel the presumed nominee didn’t represent. 
  • I hope we have not heard the last of Harry Dunbar.

Finally, the one message that Ken should listen to is this comment from Harry Dunbar:

“Despite the political establishment’s endorsement and the media’s support of my rival, despite being outspent over 100 to 1 — as my opponents take money from developers and foreign interests — over 5,000 Howard County citizens came out to support the slow growth campaign of which I was a candidate,” said Dunbar, who spread his “slow growth,” anti-developer message tirelessly at county functions.

Posted in County Executive, Democrats, Howard County, Media | 10 Comments »

GOP Sample Ballot

Posted by David Keelan on Saturday, September 9, 2006

Everything you wanted to know about Ken Ulman  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Howard County, Media | 3 Comments »

HoCo Times Political Ads

Posted by David Keelan on Friday, September 8, 2006

Being the last week of the primary elections I fully expected this weeks Howard County Times edition to be full of political ads I was disappointed. 

With a circulation of 20,000 I am surprised more candidates didn’t take advantage of the exposure. 

However, the Times did do its continued coverage of various races providing free publicity for many of the candidates.  There were a lot of letters pro and con for various candidates also providing free publicity for the candidates.

The only ads I saw were for:

John White for U.S. Congress in the GOP Primary.  This is a a color ad based soley on illegal immigration and features an endorsement from Ivan Betancourt, President of the Howard County Republican Club.  Ivan hails from South America and is a naturalized US Citizen and an all around great guy.  It is a large three column ten inch ad.

Jim Fitzgerald for Sheriff in the Democratic Primary.  This is a black and white three column 5 inch ad.  It includes an endorsement from States Attorney of Howard County Tim McCrone, Howard County Police Officers’ Association, Columbia Democratic Club, Baltimore Council of AFL-CIO Unions, and the Howard County Sheriff’s FOP.

Greg Fox in the Council District Five Primary.  The largest and most impactful ad was his  full page full color ad. 

Greg pulled out the big guns with support from Governor Bob Ehrlich, Lt. Governor Michael Steele (“Greg has the character and integrity required for public office.”).  It is also accompanied with photos of Greg with Bob Ehrlich, Michael Steele, Allan Kittleman, and the Fox mascot with Kendall and Bob Ehrlich.

Of course he has the continued support of State Senators Allan Kittleman and Sandy Schrader (no surprises).    Finally it touts his endorsement by the Howard County Times.

Warren Miller in the Republican Primary for House of Delegates District 9A.  This is a five column five inch black and white ad.  It was paid for by the one of his many supporters, the Maryland Realtors PAC.  It touts Warren’s commitment to affordable housing, protecting homeowners, buyers, and small business, and his work on “Brownfields” laws.

William Donald Schaefer for Comptroller in the Democratic Primary.  This is a classy ad and is the second best in that it really grabbed my attention in its simplicity and straight forward message.  But kind of looks like a memorial.  It touts his lifelong public service.

Notably missing was an ad from Guy Guzzone or the slate he is running on.  What is he doing with his $150,000?  He could have bought any page in the Times that he wanted.

Also, I expected an ad from Ken Ulman just to put the final nail into Harry Dunbar’s campaign.  It will be very interesting to see how many protest votes Dunbar picks up on Tuesday.  It will be very telling for the General Election.

I paged through the paper five times.  I don’t think I missed any ads.  Let me know if I did.

As I said, Times covered some of the contested primarys so a lot of candidates got free press.

  • Dunbar v Ulman – County Executive
  • Fox v Livesy – Council District 5
  • Feldmark v Sigaty v UNCommon, X – District 4
  • Turner, Quinter, Guzzone, Basu and Pendergrass – House of Delegates District 13
  • Becker and Bernhardt v Titman – County Circuit Court
  • Cave v Fitzgerald – County Sheriff
  • 3rd Congressional District

Then of course their was the plethora of letters to the editor.  Some seem planted.  You decide which ones.

  • Three pro Livesay Council District 5
  • One anti Fox Council District 5
  • Marna McLendon (former States Attorney) against Livesay and for no one
  • Kathleen Sappington for Greg Fox
  • Angela Beltram (COPE – I think this is the 3rd letter in a row) against Guzzone and Ulman following up on her promise to remind voters who voted to pass the comp-lite legislation.
  • One for Peter Beilenson for US Congress
  • Two pro Titman for Judge
  • One pro Fitzgerald for Sheriff
  • One pro Cave for Sheriff
  • Two pro Sigaty for Council District 4
  • Three pro Feldmark for Council District 4
  • One pro Dyer for Board of Education
  • Two pro Ulman for County Executive
  • One pro Zou for Board of Education
  • Two anti Hollinger for Congress
  • One anti Guzzone for House of Delegates

Posted in Howard County, Howard County News, Media | 15 Comments »