The Penguin Post Issues A Retraction

When you get it wrong, say so. And make it the first item on the agenda; don’t bury it on a back page under an ad for high colonics. Don’t, in other words, ape the major media’s way of dealing with their mistakes.

The Penguin Post accepts evidence regarding compact fluorescent light bulbs. Their mercury content does not make them unsafe to use.


We are fortunate to have an interesting story and some impressive photographs posted by Michael Yon. Don’t pass this one by.

McCain Partisans Will Love This Slide Show

Here is a set of excellent photographs of a McCain whistle stop. Yes, SHE is in them. And NO, the PenPo does not plan to be “balanced” by providing a link to some Obama-Biden photos. This newsletter includes links to web pages that are often discovered incidentally and tangentially while serious browsing is under way. In truth, what is most impressive about these photos is not the subject matter, but the high quality of the photojournalism. Kudos to the AP’s unfortunately uncredited photographers, and to Gary Porter and Mark Hoffman. Fine work, everybody!

The News Media Abuse A Child In Order To Discredit Her Mother, And In The Process Reveal Their Bias And Lack Of Ethics

There are probably some subscribers to the PenPo who think Palin, and by extension her minor daughter, richly deserve whatever bad things anybody wants to say about them. There is no arguing with that viewpoint. It is fear-driven, and so bitter and so extreme that it acknowledges reason not at all.

Decent folks know better. It’s just that sometimes they need reminding that the political process has been debauched by moral lepers. That reminder is eloquently delivered by one Dave Kopel in this trenchant indictment of media malice. Excerpts:

The local and national media’s treatment of Palin and her family this week has been the quintessence of hypocrisy, the vilest form of the politics of personal destruction.

I know of no example in American history of the majority of the respectable media intruding so deeply and hurtfully into the personal life of a national candidate’s child. This week’s treatment of Bristol Palin is a new, shameful low in for the American media.

These sentiments would be just so much smoke if Kopel did not back them up with facts. Read his piece.

Some Optimism, Some Resignation

Those were The Bad Old Days: the predecessor of The Penguin Post, The Terrapin Gazette, produced more than a hundred issues before closing down and turning the task over to the HTML-formatted newsletter you are reading. During that long run, the TG struggled to make a simple point: the news media are overwhelmingly biased, and that bias is strongly to the collectivist, Western-Civilization-mocking, politically correct, defeatist, Quislingesque left.

Now we see that in all probability, a slim majority of the US electorate gets the point, at least a little. Here’s a heavily-edited quote extracted from an on-line article:

Rasmussen has a new poll out…51% of those surveyed thought the press was “trying to hurt” Mrs. Palin…”55% said media bias is a bigger problem for the electoral process than large campaign donations.”

The Penguin Post acknowledges the contributions made by several organizations and individuals to this growing realization that we do, indeed, have a problem. A huge THANK YOU! therefore goes to:

Bernard Goldberg, for his excellent book, Bias. If you have not read it, you don’t grasp the nature of the media’s core values.

The BBC, for proving to the world that hatred of the USA, when combined with breathtaking stupidity, results in failed journalism that can survive only because it is parasitical (that is, tax-supported).

The New York and Los Angeles Times, for feeding the flames that are consuming the legacy media. Almost always wrong on the major issues, almost always playing dirty pool with decent people, almost never providing their readerships with comprehensive, objective facts and principled opinion, frequently making rookie mistakes, these two hubristic propaganda organs have done more to discredit the media gatekeepers than any other two US newspapers.

Mad Mary Mapes, the obsessed harridan behind the “Rathergate” scandal, for her tenacity. This Quixotic loon tried for five years to prove that G. W. Bush was a deserter from the Texas Air National Guard. She invited, nay, begged all and sundry to supply her with the (missing, because it is non-existent) proof. Eventually someone pandered to her, handing her some “memos”. CBS enabled Mad Mary’s fall by not checking the facts, and then Charles Johnson, a mere weblogger, pushed the gullible conspirators right off a cliff. Johnson’s stroke of genius was a graphic that allowed anyone to see instantly that the memos are fakes. To this day, Mad Mary and her former colleague Dan Rather insist that the amateurish hoax has never been exposed.

AP, Reuters, ABC, NBC, CNN (Eason Jordan in particular)…to those self-righteous, lying elitists go thanks for providing rational critics of the media with a plethora of reasons to blow the whistle. Yes, thanks must go to all propagandists who sneer contemptuously at the electorate they continue to attempt to manipulate.

Well, these days it’s Gov. Palin versus the people who fear and therefore hate her. It’s another example of the ideological malice of journalists who do not accept the ethical responsibility they have to news consumers.

If Obama and Biden were subjected to the same intensity of investigative reporting that the legacy media are devoting to Palin alone, there would be no cause for complaint. The discrepancy is damning, and one can only hope that many members of the public perceive it.

Familiar Villains Resurface

It’s perfectly all right to hate some people…Pol Pot, say, or if you want to hate a living person, Osama bin Laden.

But Sarah Palin?

This detailed and thoughtful essay offers an explanation of exactly why Palin is hated. It’s worth considering, no matter which party you plan to vote for. Give it a careful read.

Perhaps nobody hates the Alaska governor, of course. It could be that she simply has political opponents.

She’s getting a lot of attention, and one can be forgiven for wondering what the goal of that attention is. The news media are after her — sending investigators to interview classmates, neighbors, anyone who claims any knowledge or opinion of her. Democratic party operatives are sifting through everything they can find, going through every available record, digging deep and asking lots of questions.

None of this seems like friendly or principled enquiry.

As noted above, Obama and Biden are not being investigated nearly as thoroughly. That has left the door open to conspiracy theorists, nutcases, rabid partisans and a wide assortment of semi-rational politics junkies. The result: a huge stack of questions about Obama’s religion, birthplace, family, past and present associations, mentors, formative experiences, work as a community organizer, ideological orientation and probably even whether he is an alien from a distant galaxy.

When the facts are unclear, partial or confusing, the nuts take over. Rosie O’Donnell, for example, and the “Truthers;” Henry Ford and his promotion of The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. Recall as well the JFK assassination and the roles played in history by the Freemasons, Illuminati, Templars, Bilderbergers and Skull and Bones folks. It’s a lunatic asylum.

Professional journalists should know by now that crackpots love an information vacuum. One could, therefore, be excused for being so naive as to expect the media to look at Obama’s singular life story in great detail, and then report what they had found. No such luck. Huge gaps remain.

Do you recall the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth? They got two boosts for their campaign to defeat John Kerry: the second came from an infusion of cash that allowed them to spread their message via the media (an option that has been pretty well shut down by John McCain, whose rejection of the freedoms of speech and press makes him unqualified to be president).

Note well: the first big boost the Swifties got was the decision of the media gatekeepers to embargo what the Swifties were saying.

Censorship angered the Swifties and their supporters, and they quite properly broke through the media blockade. The result was a firestorm.

History is not quite repeating itself, but the fact is, when the news media abrogate their responsibility to report fully and uniformly, they encourage alternate sources of fact and opinion to push harder to get their messages out. Those messages are not always rational or decent, of course.

The best counter to lies is truth; the best response to partial information is full disclosure. That seems to have been forgotten…

…and no wonder: the media are overwhelmingly promoting Obama over McCain. Accordingly, they ignore unfavorable accusations and facts regarding their candidate, and are digging for dirt on the person they consider the vulnerable partner on the GOP ticket.

It’s rotten. It’s unprofessional. It’s bias in action.

And it’s exactly what one should expect the media to do, given their wretched track record.

It’s A Matter Of Credibility — And The Language Is Turning Distressingly Legalistic

At a campaign stop in Pennsylvania, Obama tried to mollify the firearms owners in the crowd:

“Even if I want to take them away, I don’t have the votes in Congress,” he said. “This can’t be the reason not to vote for me. Can everyone hear me in the back? I see a couple of sportsmen back there. I’m not going to take away your guns.”

Obama wants to prevent gangsters in the cities from having firearms, and seems to think the federal government can do that…somehow. Amazing. Naive, but still amazing.

Then he says, “Even if I want….” Why did he not say “wanted,” which would be in the subjunctive mood, indicating a condition contrary to fact? As he put it, he seemed to say, “Yes, I want to take your firearms away, but I just can’t manage it. Yet.” What did he mean?

All right, assume we know what he meant. Assume he is not anti-gun. Can he be believed?

This is the guy who talks politely to folks who live in the mountains of the East, and then, when among his ideological friends in San Francisco, sneers at the hicks who cling to their guns and religion out of economic anxiety. The wags would say that’s a remarkable achievement for an empty suit.

The humorless truth is that those smart-ass verbal swats at firearms owners are Marxist cant. That does not prevent them from reeking of condescension worthy of the highest stratum of the intolerant chattering class.

Perhaps those are rather abstract observations, so consider the history of Obama’s positions on firearms:

He’s been all over the map, as this Wikipedia entry shows. Then there is this web page, and this one, and yet another example of his flexibility, and finally one can go here for confirmation of the point that this is a man not to be believed on this major issue.

Obama has followed a tortuous path to his present position (whatever it may actually be) on firearms law, and credibility, the consequence of principle, got lost somewhere along the way. So no, he can’t be believed. Dedicated supporters of the Second Amendment will think twice, and yet again, before voting for this glib politician.

Lots Of Links

Culture, Society, History

Thinking of buying a scooter to save gas?



Not your local McDonald’s



Maybe some of this is true, but…it’s from Time magazine



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Antibiotics. Read this



Excedrin causes liver damage. They knew this forty years ago, and it’s “news” today??



Acupuncture for back pain



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Nicola Tesla



You would be surprised at how much of your body is useless. “Intelligent” design?



Twenty terrific things



Speculation about the future of computing — almost certainly wrong



The use of the internet to solve problems and invent things



The global warming crowd goes off the deep end…as expected



These scientists are out to end the world in a split second. Not.

Large hadron collider


More on those guys who want to make everything blink out of existence

Large hadron collider, Part Two


Let’s fret about things like Bell Labs getting out of basic research, OK?



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Photos of an asteroid. Pretty slick



The formation of the solar system



The biggest single object in the universe is not Obama

This really SUCKS