Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Biloxi - Gulfport Hurricane Relief Info & Donation Info

All people effected by hurricane Katrina are hugely worthy of being the focus of relief efforts, however I have chosen the Biloxi – Gulfport region for my focus. My brother-in-law is stationed at the Keesler Air Force base in Biloxi and rode out the hurricane on base. I also have a business connection with people in the general area, so that is why I have specifically chosen to highlight the Biloxi – Gulfport region. The important thing is that everyone who can help does help, regardless of where those receiving their assistance live.

If you want to donate to the folks in the Biloxi – Gulfport area, the local paper “Sun Herald” has listed a number of organizations that they are requesting that you donate to. They are all large universal type organizations so donations will provide assistance for everyone affected by Katrina, which is a good thing.

Sun Herald Donate List

Here is the link to the Red Cross site where you can donate and help people today with food, water and the first phase type relief that they need

RedCross Phone: 1-800-Help-Now

I am trying to identify local organizations as well that need help and will post them as they are identified. Until then I would ask that you consider giving what you can to one of the organizations listed.

A couple useful links for those in the region effected by Katrina and for those who want to help or simply want more information:

Sun Herald is the local newspaper for the region and has lots of helpful information

Eye On Katrina Blog is the papers “blog” dedicated to covering the hurricane, the aftermath, and the recovery efforts.

MSEMA is the "Mississippi Emergency Management Agency" and they have useful links to several things like:

Temporary Housing – Individual Assistance – Public Assistance – SBA Assistance – Even Available Hotel & Campground Locations

I will put direct links to each so that people don’t have to go through the main page as soon as the response time improves from the site.

(Caution the site is very slow so unless you are an affected citizen needing info in the area please don’t link and slow the site down any more than it is)

24 Hr MEMA Emergency Assistance Phone Number is: 1-800-222-6362

I will add to the post other contact and assistance websites, phone numbers and information as I discover it.


Keesler Air Force Base Update:

For those of you with family stationed at Keesler Air Force base in Biloxi, MS. Here is a link to the bases official website:


From today’s news release from the Public Affairs Office, good news:

“The safety, health, and well being of our Keesler family is our priority, said Brig Gen William Lord, 81st Training Wing Commander. “Thankfully our people who sheltered in one of our certified hurricane shelters are safe and we can now focus on reconstituting the base and reestablishing our mission. In spite of the power outage, the air field is operational during daylight hours, and other utilities are available. “We have a fully operational sewage system and drinking water,”

If you were scheduled to report to Keesler, you need to read the news release to get your instructions and where to call and what to do. The phone numbers are available on the Keesler Website


Update: Service to Contact Missing Family & Friends

Here is a link to the local ABC affiliate and they have a good deal of information posted and one service is for those trying to locate family and friends in the area via the Salvation Army’s Team Emergency Radio Network:



The trucks are arriving in Biloxi - Gulfport and that's a very good thing, per the Sun Herald:

Supplies Arriving

Turner said he expects 250 emergency response vehicles and 1700 people to bring in supplies to set up 12 feeding kitchens in conjunction with the Southern Baptist association that already is operating a kitchen at First Baptist church in Biloxi..................The Red Cross also hopes to bring supplies to people who can’t make it to the food kitchens. "Eventually, there will be block by block help for people," said Dan Chandler community service feeding manager for the local Red Cross. Chandler said workers will ride up and down streets in trucks with food and water and call out to residents using a bullhorn.

So if you need food, water, ice or supplies or if you have a family member or friend that you can contact that needs these supplies (who in Biloxi-Gulfport does not?), here is where they need to go:

- First Baptist church in Biloxi = Food (1560 Popps Ferry Road (228)-396-8500)

- Jackson County fairgrounds in Pascagoula = water & ice

- Singing River Mall in Gautier = water & ice

- Shelters Open = Vancleave High School and East Central High School in Hurley

- Authorities are in the process bringing in portable toilets - more info when they arrive

- The Red Cross is organizing "Information Booths" to provide quick and thorough information on what aid is available and how to get it (that is important).

- The Harrison County EMA currently is planning the location of distribution centers for water and ice. The agency currently has 85 tractor trailer trucks full of ice and water ready to be distributed. (find a spot man and give it out!)

- Long Beach Middle School: Fire Chief George Bass said he wasn’t sure what time they’d open but residents will be able to go to Long Beach Middle School and Quarles Elementary to get supplies.

(From what I have seen, the top three organizations that are on site "NOW" delivering first response aid are the Southern Baptist association, Red Cross, and Salvation Army. Donate to whom you want but in Biloxi - Gulfport those three seem to be in the lead for making a quick and immediate difference with aid)


Upate: HUGE Need For Basic Drugs In Biloxi-Gulfport

They need prescription drugs in Biloxi-Gulfport in a very bad way. Per Sun Herald a big need for general drugs:

She (Jamie Goad) said businesses that are open should contact emergency management authorities, who are operating out of a building on Convent Street in Pascagoula across from the county courthouse. She also asked pharmacists to contact emergency officials to set up a pharmacy unit where people could get prescription drugs.

If you work for a pharmacy based company please see if you can help get at least the basic pharmaceutical supply that they so badly need. The contact if you can at this point is Jamie Goad at WLOX TV (228)-896-1313 and email at She can redirect you if someone else it the proper contact after her impromptu role in the pharmacy needs. Contact me at and I will find the right person if you can help on this serious need..................


Update: Volunteers Needed In Biloxi - Gulfport

ABC WLOX 13 has a post up for those of you who want to and can volunteer to assist in Biloxi – Gulfport:


Call MEMA @ the listed numbers below if you have the skill set they are looking for:

Professional Search & Rescue: 601-360-0937

Medical Professionals
Nurses: 601-497-8022
Physicians & EMT: 601-576-8085

Non- Professional Volunteers
Please contact the Red Cross, Salvation Army, or local churches
Churches Biloxi
(I personally think that the local churches will be very effective in helping their fellow citizens and know the area and the people obviously) Churches Gulfport

You can also contact NOVAD National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters and they can place you where you are needed most.

Important: you must contact the above organizations and get security clearance to travel to the area. Please do not simply head down to help without coordinating your service with the authorities. You will not be able to get through the security check points.

If you can go in person and provide the needed service what a great gift to give……………


Update: New Website

There is a new website up that has several informative sections related to hurricane Katrina and provides useful information:

Hurricane Katrina Survivors

Some of the options:

- Chat Room for registered users to discuss the pressing issues and to share information (such a service will become very useful to the residences once power is restored and they have online access)

- Survivor Data Base where residents are posting that they survived for family and friends that can not contact them.
- Local media sources in the effected Gulf region

Seems like a good service and a productive use of the internet to help people get out information and gain information during this disaster..............


Keesler Update

A new update is out from Gen William Lord 81st Training Wind commander of Keesler:

Keesler Update


- Training to be shut-down, read the update for details.
- Student update and plans for students.
- Food & Ice are present and available as is water and sewage treatment.
- An insurance claim process has been set-up and activated.
- Cell Phones should be more accessible shortly as Nextel and Verizon are constructing a new tower to relay signals.
- Gas is in short supply and the normal ½ hour drive to Mobile AL, now takes 11 hours.

The new cell phone towers should help those seeking to contact not only family and friends stationed on the base, but other non-military residents in the area as well.


Update: Don't Forget About Habitat For Humanity

I don’t know how I could have forgotten this organization on my list:


Probably because the focus is on first wave response, but an organization like Habitat will be a huge contributor in the rebuilding process. I volunteer locally in St. Louis with Habitat and it is a very rewarding thing to help someone in need build their house and help them become homeowners.

WLOX 13 has an article on Habitat’s plans WLOX

Isert said -- quote -- "Habitat is not necessarily a first-responder agency, but we see a huge role for our work in any area that's been impacted by a storm or natural disaster."
He said when the area is safe, Habitat will send an assessment team in to develop short-term and long-term recovery programs for Katrina victims.

In the coming days Habitat will help people re-enter the homeownership market after having their former homes destroyed. Consider Habitat when you make your donations……………………………..


Update: Bank Opening In Biloxi

Peoples Bank is opening in Biloxi, per the Sun Heralds blog
eyes on katrina

Outsiders, please help us get information to us Coastians. We post this knowing that nobody's got internet access here, but if friends or family call you, you can relay this stuff back in. Calls go out, but they can't get in. (Sounds like a Raid commercial, eh?)

This one's about Peoples Bank. It will be open today, noon-4 p.m. and again Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. They hope to resume normal hours Tuesday, and they're accepting deposits and cashing checks only.

The following locations are open:
WEst Biloxi Branch on Pass Road, Biloxi
Cedar Lake Branch on Popps Ferry Road, Biloxi
Main Office on Lameuse Street, downtown Biloxi

Other branchss will open when they can.

All employees who haven't contacted the bank are urged to do so. Call Jackie Henson (435-8205) or the employee hotline (435-8419). If you can't do that, contact a co-worker and pass the word along.

Like they say, the people in Biloxi and Gulfport don’t have internet service, but if you have family or friends in the area and can reach them, the opening of a bank where you can get cash, is HUGE after such a tragedy………………………….


Update: Emergency Mail Service - Hope For Power - Water & Ice

WLOX is reporting that the Post Office is setting up emergency distribution points for vital mail like social security & pension checks:


Pickup centers have been set up at 4100 Rabby Street in Escatawpa, at 356 Ginger Drive in Biloxi and at 11110 Highway 49 in Gulfport, Mississippi, and in Louisiana at Hammond, Covington, LaPlace and Des Allemands. Plans for a pickup center in Alabama were dropped after officials said they expected to be able to resume deliveries there.

See earlier post on bank openings so that those checks can be cashed and the people needing cash the most can get it.....................

Also WLOX is reporting that the electric company trucks have arrived as well and were welcomed as heroes by the residents:


Power Crews On The Scene - 9/1 2:05 pm CDT
Posted by C. McNeill - WAVE 3 - Louisville, KY
While crowds awaited the distribution of water and ice, power crews started rolling into town. Spontaneous cheering, led by a Biloxi Police Officer, and the beeping of car horns erupted among the crowd.

Also water and ice arrived and should continue to arrive:

Water and Ice Arrive! - 9/1 1:30 pm CDT
Posted by C. McNeill - WAVE 3 - Louisville, KY
Semi-tractor trailers loaded with ice and cases of bottled water have arrived in the Biloix/Gulfport area. We'll have video available in a few minutes.


Update: New Help Links From Sun Herald

The Sun Herald has a revised and updated help page up with lots of links:

Sun Herald

Resource Sources:

- Finding and locating family in the region as well as people in the regions letting others know they are ok.
- Housing options in the regions and outside the region.
- Donations
- How can we help them
- Messages of sympathy


Update: Op-Ed Piece

I've held off on giving any political comments on this disaster because I think that is wrong at this stage. I will continue to refrain from such comments, because I think that is the right thing to do when the focus should be completely on helping the victims. That said I will have lots to say soon about the nasty, vile, and I have to say evil things that are being put forth by some in the MSM and New Media. I'll say a small bit here and now. Here is the negative things that are taking the positive energy away from this very needy circumstance.

The things that discuss me the most at this point are as follows:

- The humans that became animals: those who are preying on their fellow man are no longer human. Taking water and food is completely acceptable and I'd break the window for them if I was there and hand it out. The rape, murder, looting of non-essentials, the total lack of societal conformity, and the predatory mentality makes these people less than human. They are animals who have turned their back on the human code and covenant. No disaster or hardship justifies preying on your fellow man.

- the political pundits: whether you are left or right if your agenda is to try and "spin" a political agenda on this disgusts me. There is a time for political debate and that discussion should occur, and will soon. However, to interject politics into this debate while so many are in a horrific situation that no one owns and needs to be fixed, is below irresponsible. I say its a crime and any organization that puts such an agenda forth will never be on my lists of sources going forward. Nor will any organization or corporation that advertises with them. I mean that and plan to post in the future a list that have made injecting their twisted politics into this debate a priority. It's completely unacceptable and we should forcefully and completely make that message clear.

- those who don't act: if you have not done something for your fellow man who is hurting in the Gulf Region, then I have to ask what is wrong with you? Are you an Eagles fan who lives by the song, "Dirty Laundry"? Give to these people they need you and if you don't who will? We have to help people who have been devastated and are thinking right now there is no hope. There is hope and things will be ok, be part of the solution and if you are not then you are part of the disaster.

All in all I say either you are a "human" capable of helping your fellow man with no strings or requirement, or your an animal with a predatory desire and social rejection of the needs of our fellow human beings. Are you a "Human" or an "Animal"............................

Be a human and focus on your fellow human being who needs your help and needs to trust you in a time of horrible disaster and knows that you care about them and will help. You will either be a negative force or a positive force, there is no other option in this matter..........................


Update: A Plea for Help From Editor of Paper

The editor of the local paper is asking us for help:

Sun Herald

But the needs of our people are so incredibly great as to cry out for attention. Medical needs, food, water, gasoline -- are all needed and now. Some say our plight coupled with the unbelievable state of degredation in New Orleans represents the greatest humanitarian crisis in American history.
This has led us to profoundly understand our dependance on others. In this moment of need, we wonder who will help us? We are even so bold as to send a message from the lost cities of the Mississippi Coast: Will you help us?

Read the whole thing and then donate what you can……………….


Update: Don't Forget Biloxi & Gulfport

Things have improved in New Orleans which is great news!!!!! That said, the face of this disaster has become the disaster after the disater, which is rioting and flooding in New Orleans. It was horrible and like a horror movie, no doubt, but rember the people in Biloxi & Gulfport who had the worst damage from the hurricane itself, and were leveled. They were "ground zero" from a wind damage perspective.

There was no rioting or killing in Biloxi & Gulfport to speak of. Law remained in control in an eviorment that I can not begin to understand how it could. Good local management, response, and pulling together by the people it was. But they did it and have done it at a benchmark level. Having a good first response that controls and prevents the things we saw in New Orleans, does not make one less needy of help.

Please do not forget or help the areas that did not slip into a horror movie reality, as you spend your relief money. Biloxi & Gulfport are "standing" with character, but they still need your help as much as New Orleans........


Update: Final Post on This Post

Things are much better today in the Gulf region than they were just three days ago. It's still a very bad and a terrible scene of destruction, but it is improving. If you have not given then please consider doing so. The most important thing the people need is MONEY. Money will give these people HOPE and a new life or at least a restart of a new life........

I hope this post has helped someone somewhere, and I hope it has inspired someone to donate money to the relief. There is lots to do still and there is lots of good information coming out on the situation in the Gulf region. Because of that I am closing this post, but will continue to focus on the Biloxi - Gulfport region.

Lots to learn why in such a terrible situation where Mississippi faced equal or worse circumstances they have not had the terrible issues we seen from the local management team in New Orleans. That is where the "first" focus of this should be, why did Mississippi handle the disaster so much better than New Orleans from a
local management perspective. From there the investigations should continue up. There is a HUGE issue to be addressed in the local managment response on this disaster, before we can really begin to talk about the Fed effort.

Give again even if you have already gave..................MONEY is the KEY!~!!!!

Instapundit has a list of organizations you can donate to as well Instapundit


Hurricane Impact On Short Term Gas Costs

The impact of hurricane Katrina on gas and fuel supplies is not going to be pretty for the near term. There are several articles out that paint a less than appealing picture on gas prices and fuel costs:


Bloomberg has the above article outlining the rise of oil to $70 a barrel:

Oil and natural gas platforms were shut for a fourth day, sending natural gas prices to a record as well. Eight refineries in Louisiana and Mississippi, accounting for more than 10 percent of U.S. refining capacity, were closed by the approach of Katrina, the most powerful storm to strike the Gulf coast since 1969.

``You have an oil market that is quite tight in the products side, particularly in the U.S.,'' said Robert Mabro, president of the U.K.-based Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. ``Then you have a hurricane which closed eight refineries. The market looks at the situation and realizes supplies are even tighter. Prices will only fall if demand declines.''

How long will the hurricane spike effect prices?:

``Even if there's no damage, it's going to take at least two weeks for refineries to come back,'' White said in an interview from Paris. ``It's at least as serious as Hurricane Ivan, which we had last year. And it took six months to get production back to normal in that case.''

The exact impact on energy costs will not be know for several more days, but the early reports and early reactions of the market show that prices are going up and will stay up for the near term. The President is going to release some supply of oil from the “Strategic Petroleum Reserve” SPR as he did in 2004 after Ivan Ivan The SPR is specifically designed for just such events.

Americans need to focus on conserving as much fuel over the next few weeks and months as they can, to help lighten the demand for fuel. Only a lighter demand for fuel will reduce the cost. Some people might not yet see their connection to the hurricane disaster, but they will soon. All goods and services have fuel cost associated with them. Cost are going to rise based on fuel cost alone.

Becoming more fuel consumption aware and reducing consumption as much as possible is a good thing at any time, but given the current situation, it kind of becomes a civic responsibility I’d say…………………………………………….

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Brett Favre's Family Rides Out Katrina In Attic

Green Bay Packers Brett Favre's mother and grandmother rode the hurricane out in their attic in in the heart of the storm in Klin, Mississippi:

Favre's Attic

According to the team, Favre said his mother reported spending Monday night in the family attic, along with his grandmother, after the house filled up with water within a matter of 5-10 minutes, much like a tsunami.

Both are fine which is great news. Rich or poor, famous or not, a future Hall of Fame quarterback or a sand lot want to be, a hurricane does not care..................

Katrina Destroyed New Orleans & Southern Mississippi

Hurricane Katrina has destroyed New Orleans and the water is still rising. This is a horrible disaster with huge issues almost unimaginable to comprehend, and it will be a long and hard struggle for New Orleans and the region to overcome. The Times-Picayune is providing good coverage even as they were forced to evacuate the rising water in their building:


If you want to help then send monetary donations to the charity of our choice. Check if your employer is collecting and matching funds. You can donate directly to the Red Cross here:

Red Cross

Hugh Hewitt has several other relief organizations that you can also donate to for Katrina victims:


The people in New Orleans, Mississippi, and Alabama need our help, give if you can.

This is just the first chapter of a very long story that will decide what will become of tomorrows New Orleans and Mississippi's southern coast but I say they are made of the stuff that will rebuild again..........................

McCaskill To Challenge Talent In Missouri

The Post Dispatch is reporting that state Auditor Clair McCaskill will announce at noon CST, that she intends to run for Senator Jim Talent’s seat in next years election:

McCaskill To Run

McCaskill defeated incumbent democratic Govenor Bob Holden in last year’s primary before loosing to current Missouri Governor Matt Blunt. Per the Post McCaskill blamed her defeat on Kerry and the DNC giving up early on Missouri:

For McCaskill, next year's elections won't involve a presidential contest. She maintains that she would have beaten Blunt if Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry hadn't ceded Missouri to President George W. Bush.

Could be an interesting race with two well know officials with very public records that past few years via their election bids………………………..

Monday, August 29, 2005

No Groundswell For Miller - NYT - MSM

Per Daily Pundit: here

The New York Times reporter Judith Miller has now been in jail longer for refusing to testify than any reporter working for a newspaper in America. It is a very long time for her, for her newspaper and for the media. And with each dismal milestone, it becomes more apparent that having her in jail is an embarrassment to a country that is supposed to be revered around the world for its freedoms, especially its First Amendment that provides freedom of the press.
But not freedom to refuse to answer the questions of a grand jury without penalty.

I expect the NYT is quite puzzled as to why there is no groundswell for the "plight" of one of their reporters. Probably the notion that half the country thinks their entire staff should be in jail hasn't quite sunk in yet.

Groundswell for the NYT or any other MSM entity? Seriously? NO..................................

Al Sharpton - Car Chase - OJ - Chavez & Jessie Pep Rally

Apparently Rev. Sharpton cut his time with Cindy Sheehan a bit close:

Wipe Out Al

A car carrying the Rev. Al Sharpton led sheriff's deputies on a nine- mile chase at speeds up to 110 mph before state troopers stopped the vehicle and arrested the driver, authorities said.

Per Sharpton:

"That nine-mile chase is news to me," Sharpton told The Associated Press. "All I know is that the police pulled us over because they wanted to talk to the driver about speeding."

Well maybe OJ picked up Rev. Sharpton and got him to the airport after his driver was arrest for going 105 mph and endangering lots of people on the interstate. Was it a white Bronco he left in? Rumor has it that Sharpton was late for his flight to Venezuela, for the meet-up rally with Jessie Jackson and Hugo Chavez............................

Mob Vengeance In Russia for Killer of Two Children

I suppose that the Makhachkala residents were in no mood for a long trial of the man suspected of killing two eight year old children who had a prior conviction for rape:

Mob Vengeance

I don’t know if the laws in Makhachkala, Russia have a provision that grants those accused of such a crime the right to a “speedy” trial by their “peers”, but if they do I don’t think the law intended for it to be quite so literal…………………..

That said, since the bodies of the two girls were buried on this property, they probably got the right guy…………………………….

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Daily Kos - Bush Responsible for Hurricane Katrina

The Daily Kos is reporting that hurricane Katrina is Bush's fault and the issues New Orleans will be facing after the storm are his fault also because Bush invaded Iraq and took so many Louisiana National Guards Men from that state:


Who was the inspiration for this irrational thought from Kos website? Well the St. Louis Post Dispatch, a perfect fit with the Daily Kos. Here is what Patricia Taylor of Kos is saying:

The levee system is endangered by the flood waters and winds that will accompany this storm when it hits landfall. Historically, it is the National Guard, along with other emergency personnel, who attempt to provide emergency services to the community in disaster relief situations like Katrina. And where are these National Guard right now?

First I have been watching the coverage in New Orleans and there are plenty of National Guard personnel in place and they moved 20,000+ into the Superdome today just fine. There will be ample National Guard in place to assist after this terrible storm passes and the President has approved disaster aid before the storm has even hit to speed up the process.

The facts obviously don't matter to someone blinded by political hate. To these folks, Bush & Rove now have the power to create hurricanes, sad................

MSM Coverage of SIU & Kodee Fraud

Since we are moving into a new and secondary stage of the SIU - Kodee fraud, I thought it would be appropriate to continue the coverage via a new post. As titled, this post will focus on the MSM coverage of the story as well as the new media coverage of the story.

The post with the breaking information on the story can be found: here

There are as of today, basically two offerings out there in the MSM offering post-break coverage. The Chicago Tribune which uncovered the fraud and the AP. The starting point of both sources could not be more different at this point.

Here is what the Tribune had to say today:


The article from 8/27, basically reports the facts and the first wave of fall-out SIU is facing as well as the interest level from other press organizations being very high. It gets into the possibility of criminal charges for impersonating a military officer, but leaves the question of “why” it happened open. Since the Tribune broke the fraud I think they will be a pace setter on how the rest of the media covers the fall out.

The AP however jump on what they seem to have decided was the “why” with this offering that is being ran by most of the MSM newspapers that I saw covering the story today. Via USAToday the AP line:


The early fault for the fraud via the AP:

Kim Treger, owner of a women's shoe and accessories store, said she followed the story from the start but was not surprised to learn it was fake.
"As long as people dig those sentimental stories and have that yellow-ribbon mentality, there are going to be these hoaxes," she said.

Yes the AP out the gate is going with a pro-war motive rather than an anti-war motive which based on the facts is the early indication of what drove this fraud. I’m not surprised because with the heavy coverage of bad news that all MSM organizations have angled their coverage towards Iraq, the outright fraud centered on negative Iraq emotions must hit very close to home and must make lots of people in the MSM very uncomfortable. That said how anyone could read the letters that show a heart broken little girl who’s daddy got deployed to Iraq and the President Bush letter that was very anti-war and come away with anything other than indications of an anti-war agenda is puzzling to me. To come away with a pro-war agenda after reading the letters I think is an offensive move to protect a biased agenda.

The coming coverage of this story is going to tell us a great deal about how the MSM operates and their mindset as it relates to covering Iraq. The first attempt by the AP shows a bias that I expected but also shows almost an offensive move to try and move the facts and redirect the consumers of their news in a very eerie and disturbing manner.

Based on the information that we know thus far, if there is an agenda driving this fraud it is clearly anti-military and anti-Iraq. It may turn out that none off the people responsible for this fraud had a political agenda, but by choosing the story that they choose to tell, it became an anti-war story and that I think is equally as bad and telling.

The AP spin is disturbing and it will be interesting to see just how hard they spin and what results from it. I think this could become a very damaging story for the MSM if it is not handled correctly and reported correctly. When you have a 28% credibility rating, you had better handle a story like this the right way………………


Not much in the news today on the Kodee – SIU fraud, except this editorial from Meta Minton of the “Southern Illinoisan:


In the editorial Minton ask the question that lots of people want to know, that being:

In the circles of journalism, the big question seems to be - was the former editor of the Southern Illinois University Carbondale student newspaper "in on it"? Did he know Kodee was a phony as was her story about a father fighting in Iraq?

Did Brenner fall victim to a Jayson Blair version of fame-seeking and like Jayson Blair crash and burn instead?

For the moment, Brenner is enjoying his five minutes of fame.

Minton recaps his conversations with Brenner and reports out:

In the last of many phone conversations I had with Brenner on Friday, he told me that he had committed to be on "Good Morning America" and "Nightline" on Monday. ABC had won the battle of the networks. According to him

Nothing on the Good Morning website so I’m guessing Brenner got bumped for hurricane coverage, and it’s a fair guess that if he was scheduled for Nightline tonight that too will get bumped for hurricane coverage.

Here was Minton’s summary, which I found interesting:

Why did the people who played roles in the hoax get involved? What was the motive?

I spoke to a lot of fellow journalists who have been poking around in this case and most of them seem to be willing to give Brenner the benefit of the doubt.

I am still skeptical.

Here's my problem: One moment, Brenner says he's distraught. Then a second phone rings (he was juggling two phones most of Friday afternoon) and his voice turns giddy.

Frankly, he seems flattered by all of the media attention. Rather than draw the curtains in shame and retreat (as did Colleen Hastings/Jaimie Reynolds on Friday) Brenner seemed to revel in it.

So you have the editor of the local non-student newspaper saying that at this point per his interviews with Brenner there appears to be some reveling in the attention by Brenner. Milton is not convinced that Brenner did not know about Kodee.

Well its one hometown editor’s opinion based on his interviews and we will see how it all pans out. It will also be interesting to see if the MSM is in fact as interested in the Kodee - SIU fraud as earlier stories have reported or if this will be a short term appearance on their radar…….


Meta Milton editor of the Southern Illinoisan is a female not a male.

Update II

Here is the Daily Egyptian follow-up interview with former editor Michael Brenner who is in the center of the storm on the Kodee fraud:


From this article my opinion of whether Michael Brenner was the mastermind of this fraud has strengthened, Here is why:

Brenner said he was blinded by a semester of good stories and accolades, and "really wanted to go out with a bang." The story of Kodee Kennings would light the fuse.


Brenner said he was proud of the story, enjoyed the recognition he received from it and was disappointed the piece did not win any state or national student journalism awards. For years, Brenner, who said he graduated in December 2004, has included the story with his resume while searching for jobs and internships.


"Enjoying the response doesn't make it a crime," Brenner said. "I thought it was a damn good story. I always knew I was a better writer than a reporter."


Basic fact checking would have caught the lie.

And especially here:

He also admitted to other mistakes at the beginning of his career at the Daily Egyptian.

In his Dec. 9, 2004, farewell column, Brenner wrote, "I've made some mistakes in my time here" and described himself as "generally untrustworthy for a while."

On Saturday, he said these statements referred to a tape recorder he would hide early in his reporting career while talking to sports contacts, which is illegal in Illinois. Brenner said he knew it was wrong, but when he first started as a sports reporter in spring 2002, he could not get sources to talk to him.

Furthermore, in "Forced apart," several misrepresentations were made...................

"I know it was wrong, but that was my writing style at the time," Brenner said.

Here as well:

Reynolds contends she went along with the deception because Brenner threatened to commit suicide and leave her name in a suicide note. Brenner said he has attempted suicide once and may have revealed that to Colleen Hastings during the course of their correspondence.

Based on what I have read, Michael Brenner has some very serious flaws as a journalist let alone an editor of the paper. It is reported that he published several of the letters as the editor without any review by anyone else on the staff. A journalist, student or other wise who did the things that have been reported above is without a doubt capable of creating the Kodee fraud.

Was it politically motivated? Looks a bit less like it was at this point the political agenda of an activist but we still don't know. What we do know is that someone chose a story line that was anti-war and one that would evoke sentiment for the story. It was a story line that would be embraced by the media and would be given a wide range to work with, and it was. It would be a story that lots in the media would want to be believed and obviously that was the case. If Michael Brenner is responsible for this fraud, it is possible that he had no political activist motive. It is possible that he was simply interested in furthering his career if he is in fact the mastermind. That said the subject chosen I think was done so with great thought of who he needed to fool, and it worked like a charm....................................

If the facts pan out that Michael Brenner created the fraud, had no political axe, but choose this political theme because he knew it would sell, then I say the fraud is more about the media than it is about Brenner at that point.

I exchanged emails with reporters from Marion Daily Jaimie Reynold's home town who say they are running stories from interviews with Brenner and Patrick Trovillion ( played Kodee's father - the fake Sgt. Dan Kennings) tomorrow. I'll post them after I have read them. They can't get Reynolds to talk to them. This story is smelling worse and worse...................

Saturday, August 27, 2005

New Orleans Could Be Sewage Stew After Hurricane

New Orleans is a party city with a huge heart full of fun and indulgence. No city throws a better party in America than New Orleans. Lots of drinking, good music, great food and fun times, is what New Orleans is all about. Let the good times roll........ Its a interesting, diverse, and fun-friendly mix of people and things to do with a deep and rich history, where no one is a stranger and where complete strangers become good friends in a matter of minutes. I love going to New Orleans but only about once every three years are so. That's about it for me, and I could not imagine living in New Orleans.

It is in certain places a dirty old city and smells well, like a very old party town. I saw the biggest rat I have ever saw walking down the sidewalk in New Orleans and it was seriously as big as a cat and was parting the crowd as it made its way. The approaching hurricane and what that could bring to the existing mix present in the city is not a pretty sight. From Fox News here are a few things those poor folks could be looking at if they get a direct and strong hit:

Fox - New Orleans

Not a pretty picture:

The worst-case scenario for New Orleans — a direct strike by a full-strength hurricane — could submerge much of this historic city treetop-deep in a stew of sewage, industrial chemicals and fire ants, and the inundation could last for weeks, experts say.

I think "NASTY" qualifies as an adequate reaction to such a scenario. Not a pretty picture at all (a tree tall tank of sewage stew with toxic waste and fire ants). The scientific weather models says that a wall of up to 20' could roll in and cover a majority of the mostly two story level buildings and it could take weeks to get the sewage stew out.

The best scenario for New Orleans is that the eye of the hurricane comes ashore east of New Orleans so the surge is not as high or bad. In a city that is famous for hurricane parties lets hope that everyone understands that this time its serious and they should get out of the city and head to high ground. This one does not look like a good candidate for a "no worries" party.

Lets hope the hurricane spares this very unique and wonderful city full of great people, great food and very good times.....................

Strong Support For Iraq In El Salvador

I found this AP article covering the participation by the Salvadoran army in the coalition in Iraq interesting on a couple points:


First is how proud the solider is of what he and his fellow soldiers were doing in Iraq, and his strong support of the efforts in Iraq.

"There is still so much need, so much work to do," Rivera said, adding he was glad a fresh batch of soldiers sent to replace him and others would continue the work on rebuilding bridges, roads and public buildings..........He said the other troops shared his belief that it was important to help rebuild Iraq, and they ignored international criticism that it was time for them to pull out of the country.

Just like the majority of American service men and woman who strongly support what is happening in Iraq, their Salvadoran partners feel the exact same way. However there is a political wing in Salvador that does not support the country's participation in freeing the Iraq people and rebuilding their country. That would be the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) which was a former communist guerrilla group. FMLN

The guerrilla groups took a step toward closer unity in October 1980 by forming the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (Frente Farabundo Marti de Liberacion Nacional-Frente Democratico Revolucionario--FMLN-FDR, which constituted an umbrella entity or alliance for operational and strategic coordination among the insurgent forces and their popular fronts. The FMLN had a leadership structure (DRU), a regional military organization (five guerrilla fronts), and a political-diplomatic front (the FDR). A self-described Marxist-Leninist movement with a generally pro-Soviet and pro-Cuban orientation, the FMLN-FDR committed itself to seizing power through a two-pronged military strategy of economic sabotage and a prolonged guerrilla war of attrition based on a combination of Maoist, Vietnamese, and Guevarist principles. It sought to entrench its rural guerrilla forces while developing urban support bases in preparation for an eventual general insurrection. During the 1980-82 period, politically related violence in El Salvador increased dramatically as the former terrorist groups completed their transition to primarily guerrilla organizations.

It's not strange to me that people of a communist or socialist political leaning would opposing helping another country like Iraq enter into the sphere of democracy. Socialists and Communists want to see things move the other way. That whole cause of "advocating, Marxist-Leninist ideology based on Ernesto "Che" Guevara's foco, or insurrectional center, theory of guerrilla warfare, as well as Maoist and West European revolutionary theories". Good old Che Guevara Che ................................................

Thankfully like here in the US the majority of Salvadorians and their leadership support pro-democracy related actions. They should know how important it is to guard against the "Che" Guevara's of our day. It's encouraging to know that "Che" Guevara t-shirts and his socialist ideas are not a big draw in El Salvador. Seems that the t-shirts and love for such government only runs strong in the ultra-left wing of the democratic party here in the States, and on university campuses.

The second thing that really impressed me was the connection that the Salvadorian soldiers had with the Iraq people per this story:

"As the days wore on, you realize that the Iraqis need so much and have a strong affinity for the Salvadorans. They always greeted us with the word 'sadiqi' Salvador," which he said means "My Salvadoran friend."

"We had translators, but in the end the warmth and collaboration overcame that barrier. They were truly our friends," he said.

Seems to me that the Iraqi people probably can related strongly to another small country that in recent history had to fight off a politically based guerrilla insurgency intent on installing a government and way of life that was not what the majority of people wanted. Based on that connection I can see why the Iraqis called them 'sadiqi' Salvador or "my Salvadoran friend". Having countries like El Salvador helping is a strategic gain for sure but I think it is a huge political gain for all the right reasons............

Abu Ghraib Prisoner Release

Obviously releasing people from prison who have served their time and as this article states have "renounced their ways" is the right thing:


I hope that the US command is correct when they said:

"Those chosen for release are not guilty of serious, violent crimes - such as bombing, torture, kidnapping, or murder - and all have admitted their crimes, renounced violence, and pledged to be good citizens of a democratic Iraq," the U.S. statement said.

Unfortunately my thoughts went back to Michael Yon's post here Gates of Fire when I read this story about the prisoner release. The terrorist who shot and wounded LTC Kurilla was a former prisoner at Abu Ghraib who was released and the charges dismissed for no apparent reason. Per Yon's post on the matter:

The terrorist turned out to be one Khalid Jasim Nohe, who had first been captured by US forces (2-8 FA) on 21 December, the same day a large bomb exploded in the dining facility on this base and killed 22 people.

That December day, Khalid Jasim Nohe and two compatriots tried to evade US soldiers from 2-8 FA, but the soldiers managed to stop the fleeing car. Then one of the suspects tried to wrestle a weapon from a soldier before all three were detained. They were armed with a sniper rifle, an AK, pistols, a silencer, explosives and other weapons, and had in their possession photographs of US bases, including a map of this base.

That was in December.

About two weeks ago, word came that Nohe's case had been dismissed by a judge on 7 August. The Coalition was livid. According to American officers, solid cases are continually dismissed without apparent cause. Whatever the reason, the result was that less than two weeks after his release from Abu Ghraib, Nohe was back in Mosul shooting at American soldiers.

Let's hope they are releasing the right people, who are no longer a danger to our soldiers or the Iraqi people and none of them are a future "Khalid Jasim Nohe"....................................

Friday, August 26, 2005

CNN Now Covering Natalee Holloway Like Fox Has Been?

I'm confused, I thought CNN's Jonathan Klein said just a few days ago that Fox was:

mired in coverage of "meaningless nonsense," claiming: "Fourteen Americans dead, and they have Natalee Holloway on," Klein says. "And they're supposedly America's news channel."

"It's easy and it's brainless," Klein charges in a telephone interview set for publication at the NEW YORK TIMES, explaining why cable news outlets are gravitating to the Aruba story. "They're looking for an ongoing drama" along the lines of the NBC crime show "Law & Order," he said, adding, "Except 'Law & Order' doesn't do the same plot every night."

If that's the case why is it on top of the CNN Most Popular this PM? Here is their offering to the "meaningless nonsense":


I admitted that I was growing a bit tired of the Aruba story as well here:


But it looks like Fox might have broken the case of a killer in the Caribbean who killed a young American woman while on vacation, while CNN beat the drum of Cindy Sheehan. Not much to talk about on the merit of both stories I say. News and solutions vs. rehashing the loosing ideas of the 60's........................

Letters In Newspaper From Child To Father In Iraq Were Frauds

To see what will become at its worst a scandalous case of outright media fraud or at its best a terrible case of agenda causing the media to blindly report what they wanted to be true, read this story:

Letters To Daddy Fake

Per the Post Dispatch, The Daily Egyptian, which is the Southern Illinois University student run newspaper, will admit tomorrow that a regular column reported to be letters from a little girl to her father deployed in Iraq, was all a fraud and she had no father stationed in Iraq.

The paper ran several offerings from the little girl named Kodee Kennings, over the past two years of her letters to her father reportedly stationed in Iraq. The letters became a regular feature of the paper and apparently a very popular one. The child was a sort of hero in the papers news room.

Here are a few examples of the letters per the Post with a definite anti-war anti-Bush tone:

"Don't die, OK dad? ... You should find Saddam and run him over with your tank ... I love you and don't die. Love, Kodee."

"Are you still coming home dad? I'm still here without you ... Hey dad I dug a fox hole. It is regulashin ... Can you kill all the bad guys now so Air Force One can bring you home?"

"I'm rily mad at you and you make my hart hurt,"' she purportedly wrote in one published letter to the president. "I don't think your doing a very good job. You keep sending soldiers to Iraq and it's not fair. Do you have a soldier of your own in Irak?"

The whole story is not out yet related to why this girl’s aunt Colleen Hastings would do such a thing. Hastings however confessed to a current reporter at the paper that she and the reporter who first wrote about Kodee, Michael Brenner had made the whole thing up.

Michael Brenner per the Post Dispatch had this reaction to Hastings claim that the two collaborated in creating the fraud:

Brenner, who was clearly distraught during a telephone interview from a relative's home in Indiana on Thursday, strongly denied the allegation, noting he'd have no motive for such a ploy. "In 2003, I was definitely guilty of some bad reporting. I'm an idiot, not a con-artist."

We will see if Brenner help created the kind of news he thought his subscribers needed to hear, or if he was himself fooled and it was as he said himself "some bad reporting". Even if he did not participate in creating this whole thing, one has to believe that the absolute hunger for it to be true, led the reporters and paper to be duped into believing it and printing it.

Kodee fit so perfectly into the anti-war anti-Bush agenda and was a powerful messenger. They appear to have fallen all over themselves promoting Kodee’s letters and the papers political message. Instead they should have been confirming the whole thing was real. News organizations with an activist agenda tend to fall into traps like this do they not? Remember Rathergate………………………………..


Here is one of Brenner's articles on Kodee that appeared in the Daily Egyptian.


Aside from the obvious question of fraud and what the paper knew or should have known, there are lots of questions to be answered about these people who the child lives with. I say the way that they used this child is abusive and want to know more about who they are and what their exact relationship is to this child.


Update II

Here is the editorial from the Daily Egyptian admitting the fraud today:


Per the paper:

Reporting by this newspaper and others since then has found that Hastings is actually Jaimie Reynolds of Marion, a 2004 graduate of SIU. And Kodee is actually the daughter of a pastor in Montpelier, Ind. The man portraying Dan Kennings is Patrick Trovillion of Vienna, who says Reynolds paid him for his role.

So there is no Colleen Hastings, she is really Jaimie Reynolds and a SIU grad. I wonder if she is a graduate of their school of journalism? The father of the child is a Church of Navarene pastor who thought Hastings was doing some type of documentary and his daughter was playing a part.

Hastings says reporter Michael Brenner was in on the fraud:

………insists she did not act alone. She said that the Daily Egyptian reporter who first wrote about Kodee, Michael Brenner, met her in a bar in early January 2003 and later asked her to help him with the deception.

Reynolds said because Brenner paid attention to her she was willing to help, saying he "said all the things I wanted to hear. It wasn't a crush. But he looked at me, and looked twice. He became a friend and didn't care I was fat."

In a five-hour interview at her home, Reynolds accused Brenner of creating the characters and writing the "Kenningsology" columns. She said he threatened her to go along with the lie.

Walter Jaehnig director of the school of journalism had this to say:

"the staff is shocked by these revelations because we stress fair, accurate and complete journalism in our courses and in the Daily Egyptian. In this instance, the student reporters and editors failed to verify the essential facts of the story."

Mr. Jaehnig, I think we might have a little more going on here than failure to verify the facts. It appears that we might have a full blown case of media fraud……………………………

Update III

The Chicago Tribune sniffed out the fraud of this story when one of their reporters went down to cover the supposed death of Kodee’s father in Iraq. They were advised of the development by a professor in the journalism school at SIU.

Once the Tribune reporter started trying to confirm information related to the story, everything started falling apart:


It will be interesting to see how many other newspapers have run the Kodde story over the past two years without applying the same standards that this reporter from the Tribune applied……………………….

Update IV

The left is rallying to circle the wagons of their beloved liberal press on the Kodeegate fraud, claiming there is nothing present in the proof to show a liberal political bias was behind the fraud. Well lets look at the facts as they are now known:

* Per Colleen Hastings the reporter Michael Brenner created this entire fraud and asked her to assist (time will tell if this is true or not but things are looking pretty likely that Brenner was the mastermind. I'd put it at 2-1 odds already).

* The Daily Egyptian ran letters over a two year period of time that focused on a child who lost her mother and was devastated by her father being deployed and taken away from her. The paper ran the stories that tugged at everyone's heart regardless of position on the Iraq war. How could someone not feel bad about Kodee's unfortunate predicament? Do you think that angle was done by chance? Deployment is very hard on families and to cheapen that hardship is probably the evilest of things that this fraud did.

* The President Bush letter that basically said: "Mr. Bush your doing a bad job and hurt my heart. Why are you sending the daddies to Iraq. Do you have a family member in Iraq". That by itself is evidence of a political agenda driving this whole insane fraud.

Here is more evidence of political agenda driving this matter:

Kodee Returns

From the New Egyptian archived articles here is what they say about continuing their fraud early this year (2005):

Kodee has been doing well since the Knoxville incident (see website) and continues to adjust to life away from her father, Dan Kennings, who is stationed in Mosul, Iraq, with the 101st Airborne Division. According to some of his friends, morale is not particularly high, but he takes solace in letters and phone calls home. Calling home is rare for Kennings. It costs him $2 a minute.

(Go see the Knoxville incident where it was reported that Kodee was peeled away from her father screaming and crying as he shipped out to Iraq and tell me that is not anti-Iraq activism; Morale is not particularly high is definite propaganda from the left)

He called the DAILY EGYPTIAN a few days ago and said he is doing fine. He sounded upbeat, though he desperately wants to leave Iraq. It is a situation he will never get used to.

(He is doing fine but he "desperately wants to leave Iraq", is also clearly political agenda being weaved into the fraud, as is "it's a situation he will never get used to".)

"I wouldn't say I'm used to it," he said of the volatile situation surrounding him. "I'd say I'm kind of immune to it, but not used to it."

( these two sentences are clearly politically driven in the fraud - "Iraq is terrible and I hate it and I will never get use to it". We know morale is high overall with our troops in Iraq, but the liberal media continues to try to falsely report those facts)

Political agenda from an anti-war and anti-Bush angle is clearly in place in what we see from the continuation announcement....................Stay tuned, this story I think will tell us lots before its told in full........

Link Welcome:

Welcome Radio Blogger & Iraq Now visitors. It's good to have you here.......................

Update V

For a counter view on the political agenda on the SUI story here is one group to consider (It's a pro-military fraud per the "dem underground" but remember they also believe that the earth is flat, and that socialism will cure your ills once we all go red you capitalistic bastard:

Moonbat Centeral

Yes it's very sad and disillusioned, but the left political establishment is that way. We present the facts, offer different opinions, and let you make up your mind here and that is the way news distribution should be done...........

Update VI

Per the Chicago Tribune, the interest in the Kodee story is high from other news organizations:


Per the Tribune:

On Friday, the day the story came to light, the Daily Egyptian newsroom was deluged with phone calls from national TV networks and reporters across the country. Eric Fidler, the newspaper's faculty adviser, said the widespread attention was a shock to the students.

"It's an awful lot of pressure for people who are in their early 20s and going to school to cope with," he said. "There's still a great deal of confusion over the facts of the case. We still don't know exactly what happened."

In their first attempt to report the story, the AP appears to be spinning a little help line to the students at the Daily Egyptian per the Mudsville Gazette's post:

Mudville Gazette

A simple story revealing the lack of standards at college newspapers? Perhaps. But the AP provides an interesting epilogue in their recounting of the tale. They avoid detailing the substance of "Kendee's" letters - but imply the hoax was perpetrated as some sort of pro-war propaganda:

Kim Treger, owner of a women's shoe and accessories store, said she followed the story from the start but was not surprised to learn it was fake.

"As long as people dig those sentimental stories and have that yellow-ribbon mentality, there are going to be these hoaxes," she said.

I think "yellow ribbon mentality" conveys a message that doesn't apply - and I believe that's obvious to anyone who's read this far. Of course, if most stories from the AP include a quote from an "owner of a women's shoe and accessories store" I'll admit that my suspicions as to their motives for including that comment are unfounded. But it reads to me like a nasty little trick they might have learned in journalism school.

I say its an attempt to redirect what the facts thus far point towards, that being more of an anti-war slant. In reading every article and letter published, the theme is unquestionably anti-war. But hey I'm not a shoe store owner, so per the AP standard I'm probably not qualified to comment on that point. It appears that the AP journalist might be a member of the democratic underground based on their angle. If not a member then perhaps they did the majority of their research via the undergrounds website..................

I think that given the AP's coverage of Iraq has mostly focused on the negative aspects and just about none of the positive things, this story probably hits uncomfortably close to home. Lets hope the rest of the MSM does a better job in covering this story and the political tone of the story than the AP's first attempt......................

Update VII

I'm moving to a new post on this, sort of leaving this post as the breaking story and the new post will focus on the next stage of coverage by the MSM and the New Media. You can view it here

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Red Cross Smuggled Insurgent Terrorists In Iraq

The Red Cross does lots of great things and has done so for many years. They have run aground on occasion like with the 911 fund mismanagement and the distribution of the money but all in all they do good things. This story however is not a good move by the Red Cross:

Red Cross Over

Smuggling terrorist insurgents who were wanted by the military for attempting to kill or perhaps killing coalition military personnel, so that you can exchange them for two fellow country men aid workers who were kidnapped, is wrong and no rational person could see clarity or justification for such a thing.

The Italian Red Cross should be thrown out of Iraq. When an aid organization that is suppose to be neutral and off limits to violence, starts dealing in secrete human exchange with terrorist organizations, it puts all aid organizations at risk and all people working for such agencies at risk. That aside from the point that the Italian Red Cross aided the enemy and increased the danger to the coalition troops................................

Hawaii Caps Gas Price - Deadly Move For Tourism

Hawaii has taken steps to cap gas prices starting next week, so you might want to hold off on booking that trip to the islands:

Hawaii Gas Cap

As the AP article points out, this runs contrary to every free market principles of economics. Capping prices is what happens in socialist and communist countries like China and the old Eastern Europe block. Long lines and a shortage of supply will soon follow in Hawaii. It won't be pretty...........

Why would sellers of oil want to incur the expense of shipping their product all the way to Hawaii so that they could sell it at less of a profit then it takes to cover their cost of delivery? They won't and will simply redirect the product to other markets where they can make a profit instead of gaining a margin that is so small that they can't cover the cost of delivery.

This will be very damaging to the Hawaiian economy that is primarily based on tourism and the transportation infrastructure that moves all those tourist around the islands. Long lines waiting for gas or transportation options wasting your precise vacation hours is not a sound or profitable model for Hawaii.

Michael Yon & LTC Kurilla

Michael Yon has a new post up from Iraq:

Yon's Gates of Fire

As I’ve said before, Michael Yon is one of only a few doing “real” reporting on the ground in Iraq with our troops. If you are not reading his post, then you are getting by lines written from hotels and from the suburban fringes of the Green Zone, and retelling of briefings from the green zone.

It will be interesting to see if the MSM attempts to regain a shred of their credibility regarding reporting from Iraq. The slow but obvious flow of questions coming in from the MSM themselves on how they are covering the war, tells us they appear to finally get the fact that the reporting they offer is simply casualty counts and car bomb counts. See here: MSM Real news and real reporting from Iraq via the MSM is totally MIA.

Regardless of the MSM short comings in covering Iraq, that is not the case with Yon. You can only get the upfront and personal coverage that Yon provides from Yon. If you want to really know what is going on in Iraq, then Yon is your only source as of now.

Yon’s “Gates of Fire” is a gripping in person account of the battle for Iraq. The reporting makes you feel like you are there with Yon and the brave men of Deuce Four. This post which recounts the near tragic events that forced Yon to arm himself and assist wounded leader LTC Kurilla, is dramatic and uplifting. It’s a story that’s so real, it’s too accurate of a story to be carried in the MSM given their track record from Iraq. The MSM is not deserving to carry it in their product.

Thank goodness for Michael Yon and the first hand true reporting that he provides us. Without him we would not know the truth about what is happening in Iraq and what it really is like. He is a selfless journalist who puts himself in great harms way to bring you and I the truth about Iraq. What a gift he gives us, true journalism.

Even more importantly, thank god for soldiers and leaders like LTC Kurilla and his men who I feel I know personally from Yon’s post. If ever there are men born to be great soldiers it seem to me Kurrilla and CSM Prosser are without a doubt such men. We know that there are so many soldiers just like Kurilla and Prosser who are fighting to win this war and will win it. They are the bravest of people and strongest believers in democracy. We have democracy because of them and those they follow from earlier wars. God bless each and every one of them.

There are set-backs and tragedies in Iraq and Yon reports them. There are also very positive victories and an army of men and woman winning this war and Yon reports that story as well, and seems to be the only one reporting it and the only civilian reporter qualified to report it.

Each new post is a must read………………………..


This story is HOT and rightfully so................

Yon's post is going to be the Iraqi moment for America that makes one decide whether they are up to 1/1000th the task that LTC Kurilla, CSM Prosser, their men, including Michael Yon, are up to. In a political and will sense, not like service but no less a time to decide. I say that America is up to it and will move upward to that level in a support manner and strength of character. What a great post to determine if you and I still have the will to be a free America that is willing to give that precious gift to others and fight for our own freedom. You will know your neighbor's heart and soul from their reaction to Yon's latest post......................................

Austin Bay Critiques the MSM

Austin Bay makes some great points in his response to Jay Rosen’s question to Austin related to the Bush Administration’s relationship with and tactical approach towards the “press”:


Here is Rosen’s question:

My questions for you. Do you think rollback has been happening to the press under Bush, 2001-05? Or is my description off? And if there is press rollback, is it a wise policy, a necessary one?

Bay has a great and insightful response to the question with several highlights I think:

So who is “the special interest group?” Here’s what I think the Bush Administration means by “the Press,” and I think it intersects with a definition Jay would grant has a degree of validity: The NY-DC-LA (Nid-Claw) axis that dominated American political and cultural information from the late 1920s to the mid-1990s.
What are the Nid-Claws most noticeable characteristics? Urban? Yes. Politically liberal? According to the received wisdom of polls, nine out of ten members of “the national press” say they are Democrats. Culturally liberal? Return to the description “urban.” When I lived on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in the early 1980s, I knew precisely six other Reagan Republicans. I was the only one who’d say it loud and say it proud.

my comments( the old guard and the fabric that made them )

The memory of old institutional successes deeply affects the NY-DC-LA axis today. Two great gotcha successes drive the national press: Vietnam and Watergate. The Bush Administration thinks these “press templates” utterly distort today’s world. Some old guard media institutions operate on a “paper template”: a fossilized notion that information is still disseminated at the speed of the postman or delivery boy.

(two old tired stories and the bias they now employ, hang-over and prevent the old guard from moving forward with the times)

The Vietnam and Watergate rules are simple and cynical. Rule One: Presume the U.S. government is lying—especially when the president is a Republican. Rule Two: Presume the worst about the U.S. military—even when the president is a Democrat. Rule Three: Allegations by “Third World victims” are presumptively true, while U.S. statements are met with arrogant contempt.

(sound like the MSM but also like the platform of every nut job extreme left organization in existence does it not?)

the “watchdog” model. “Watchdog” (forgive me) begs a number of questions, including questions about the watchdog. Who does the watchdog watch? How does it watch? How does it bark? At whom does it bark? Like the Hound of the Baskervilles that was strangely silent, how often does the watchdog not bark? Does the NY-DC-LA watchdog bark at Democratic and Republican presidents with equal ferocity? Is it even a watchdog, or is it a watch-pack, or watch-herd. (Herd is a more apt description of the press descending on Aruba to report on a missing tourist or hanging out in Santa Barbara while Michael Jackson faces a jury.)

(I sincerely hope that members of the Post Dispatch read Bays post – to be a true watch dog you have to bark at democrat’s not just republicans)

There are many additional outstanding points. The whole thing if you have not already done so. Its point on as it relates to today’s MSM.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Wounded Soldiers Attacked By Anti-War Protesters At Walter Reed

Well Cindy Sheehan's anti-war protest down in Crawford started out veiled in the promotion that it was not about radical Americans who hate America and our military. No this was a new anti-war movement based on a mother and her loss of a soldier son. This was different than the insanely driven anti America sixties protesters who cheered for America's defeat and for harm to our service members. These people loved their country and supported their service men and woman. Yeah right..............................The false cover has been blown completely off today's recycled hate America anti-war protesters, via Drudge, and the lie exposed:

True Agenda Exposed

Anti-war protestors besieged wounded and disabled soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C, a new web report will claim! is planning to run an expose featuring interviews with both protestors and veterans, as well as shots of protest signs with slogans like “Maimed for a Lie.”
The conservative outlet will post video evidence of the wounded veterans being taunted by protesters, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

Not that there ever was a doubt but now we see the true colors of this movement and its the same old faded color of the Jane Fonda's of yester year. We can now see the whole ugly beast that came dressed in false costumes. They have the same agenda that America is bad and deserves to be harmed and defeated for all the misguided reasons that they chant and scream. They don't believe in military action for any reason, and if we use it to protect ourselves or to help others gain freedom, they mobilize and spin the same old tired anti America message. Hate America first, blame America first, support America never...................

America has changed since the sixties and won't follow that misguided call any longer. America has changed even more since 911, and people like Sheehan and the other extremist anti-war activist don't get that regardless of any minor bump they thought they got from the fawning MSM's coverage, their message will ultimately fall resoundingly short and on deaf ears. The majority of Americas will not follow their call, its a different country now and always will be. That is a good and important thing.

The worm is turning on the MSM slow summer news story that they created. The inflated movement that the coverage provided those with such an agenda, is now that hissing sound you hear, like a balloon loosing its inflated air supply. Will the MSM cover the ugly truth now that its out? They have no other choice since they created it. If they are reluctant then the new media will be here to hold them accountable to dance with the ugly monster they brought..................


Via Free Republic, one of the primary Cindy Sheehan handlers "Code Pink" was behind the Walter Reed attacks on wounded military heroes

Code Pink Cowards

This disgraceful act is almost beyond description. The MSM has egged on a minuscule group of fanatic hate America activist to now attack fellow Americans who served proudly and were wounded doing so. A disgusting climate of hate towards our military service heroes brought to you via the MSM ................The MSM has a great deal to explain on this matter and the harm they have done to a lot of people who did not deserve this type of treatment..................

If you sleep with pigs, then you will smell like a..............

Update II:

Here is another attack that the anti-war crowd down in Crawford is promoting against American service men and woman (hat-tip Michelle Malkin):

Welcome Back To Seattle Soldier

Two soldiers who just returned from a year in Iraq were badly beaten in an attack outside Pioneer Square...........

The brutality of it all was captured on tape outside of Larry's Nightclub on First and Yesler on July 31..................

If you think that attacks like the ones in Seattle and at Walter Reed have nothing to do with the hate message being spewed by the anti-war crowd you had better think again. The climate that the hate America anti-war activist are trying to create are directly responsible for such attacks.

Time to push these anti-war activist groups with no grounding, rational or perspective, only blind and false agendas out the door and for good. Their message of hate is vile and has no place in the war we are engaged in to protect our sacred rights and freedoms.................................

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Second Attack On Ground Zero

Cox & Forkum have a post and cartoon that says it all on the move by some hate-America first groups who are trying to make a mockery of Ground Zero:

Ground Zero Second Attack

There is no way the "hate" America crowd is going to get their way on the Ground Zero monument. That monument is and should be only about the 3,000 people who were killed by a terrorist attack, their memory, and the story of a city and country who came together and overcame the vicious attacks.................

St Louis Post Dispatch Offers Early Retirement Package

Here is an interesting little piece on our beloved local ultra-liberal newspaper the St. Louis Post Dispatch, via Editor & Publisher:

Post Offer

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which recently passed from Pulitzer to Lee Enterprises ownership, circulated an internal memo Monday outlining a plan to cut costs and work force with a new, one-time-only “Voluntary Retirement Incentive” for those over the age of 50.

Here is a copy of the memo via poynter:


Well, I don't know how this might affect the political activism of the Post, and it might well have no impact. That said it is yet another step in recent months taken by a new owner who is running the paper more like a business instead of a political action committee. I say it can't be bad news if some of the worst and most biased on the staff take the early package. The problem is that I doubt many editors will be part of the early package, and that is where the Post needs turn-over.

Here would be my wish list for those opting for the package and if they are not 50 years old, perhaps the Post will make exceptions:

Ellen Soeteber Editor; Arnie Robbins Managing Editor; Terrance Egger President & Publisher; Matt Kraner General Manager; Christine Bertelson Editorial Page Editor; and Eric the Mink Op-Ed Editor.

As you can see from my wish list, there are no columnists rather the management of the paper who have shaped and continue to shape it as a liberally biased agenda driven publication. If these six people were replaced, there is no doubt that the Post Dispatch would move into a position to become a more credible and believable publication. As long as this gang of six control the agenda of the paper, things will not change much.

As the memo states, 50 years old is a very young age to offer such a package and gives one a chance to take up a second career. Since the six above have been producing political operative material for the DNC for sometime now, perhaps an opportunity at will open up. Their qualified...........

Can't wait to read Wild Bill McClellan's article on the "early retirement offer", as it will probably be a doosie....................................................

CNN Sheehan vs. Fox Aruba Coverage

CNN President Jonathan Klein, took a shot from way back in the pack at leader Fox:


Klein criticized Fox for its coverage on the Aruba missing teenager and producing an ongoing made for TV drama:

"It's easy and it's brainless," Klein charges in a telephone interview set for publication at the NEW YORK TIMES, explaining why cable news outlets are gravitating to the Aruba story. "They're looking for an ongoing drama" along the lines of the NBC crime show "Law & Order," he said, adding, "Except 'Law & Order' doesn't do the same plot every night."

"There are an awful lot of things you can cover if you don't have people tied up with this meaningless nonsense," Klein says.

I actually could do a bit less on the Aruba story even understanding that the parents of the missing child are wanting to push it to help them solve the story. That said, I would ask CNN and the other liberal media this question:

Perhaps if you quit covering Cindy Sheehan 24-7 you would be able to bring some news deserving of real coverage as well. Giving a spot light to a political activist like Sheehan is no more news worthy than covering the missing child in Aruba.

When you are a falling news entity that refuses to face the fact that your liberally biased coverage is causing the fall, criticism like Klein's is laughable................

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Krugman's Curve - Bias Facts To Support Bias Reporting

Powerline has a good post on Paul Krugman who is the poster boy for the NYT liberal bias. He is the Old Grey Lady's biased liberal Tin Foiled Hat Professor with an agenda that cares little about facts. Rumor has it that he has sculpted a tin foil sword as well but that is not confirmed. Facts? Krugman does not need no stinking facts..................


Krugman dismisses even the liberal MSM reporting related to facts when he writes his agenda spin pieces. Krugman is the most left ideology that there has ever been. I personally think he is insane to a degree and lives in a fantasy ultra-liberal self created world. Sort of Bill Murphy in "What About Bill", with Krugman playing the part of an ultra-liberal creator of facts on Bill's journey. Reality does not matter in Krugman or Bill's world, only the fiction that they believe and influences their offering to the sane people they live with. A person if you will, a bit off the rational credible stage......................

Kurgan is a "mental midget" and I'm simply finding his offerings funnier and funnier, more irrelevant and full of more silly political bias each time I read his offerings. It's a sad product from a sad MSM political hack.......

Bill Keller Ignores Proof of Market In His Defense of MSM

Sounds like the MSM and in particular the Editor of the Old Grey Lady, are getting a little sensitive to the rightful critiques that they are receiving. Per Editor & Publisher:

Bill Keller

Bill Keller Editor of the NYT, writes a letter to himself that will run in tomorrow's paper. The reported focus of the letter is as follows:

Keller in protesting the review of several recent books on the media. That review, by conservative legal scholar Richard A. Posner, appeared on July 31. Keller calls the Posner essay “mostly a regurgitation, as tendentious and cynical as the worst of the books he consumed.”

Here is a link to the essay that appeared in the NYT by Posner:


Here is the basic jest of the Posner essay that focused on the MSM Media & Blogs.

- The dramatic drop in newspaper subscriptions (52.6% of all adults in 1990 to 37.5% in 2000) and the potential fatal future this is forecasting for MSM newspapers.

( can't see how anyone who understands even the most basic business principles could not understand he is absolutely correct)

- The MSM belief that Fox, cable in general with inclusion of a right of center views and content, radio, and blogs are bad for media and have taken the MSM dominance away and that has somehow deteriorated the quality.

( I can definitely see and hear that sentiment from the MSM - I don't agree obviously but I see this sentiment coming from the MSM every day and loud & clear)

- Posner states the left leaning media types like most MSM newspapers understand their readers are left of center and feed them a product that is left of center with not much right of center content to hold their business and their advertising market. Right of center media does the same thing for the same reasons.
( without a doubt I'd say this is true as do most people as polling proves. The new media that includes and in some cases promotes the right of center views came along to fill a void and it has indeed filled that void with resounding success. The left leaning MSM has moved even more to the left for the reasons Posner outlined, essentially giving up on the right of center customers. The light right of center content as well as little content with no political bias did not meet the right of center readers need and simply made the left of center readers mad. The MSM cut their losses and moved a few notches further left)

- Bottom line is that newspapers and other media are "for profit" entities and the bottom line is what ultimately matters the most. As Posner put it "Being profit-driven, the media respond to the actual demands of their audience rather than to the idealized ''thirst for knowledge'' demand posited by public intellectuals and deans of journalism schools. They serve up what the consumer wants, and the more intense the competitive pressure, the better they do it. We see this in the media's coverage of political campaigns. Relatively little attention is paid to issues. Fundamental questions, like the actual difference in policies that might result if one candidate rather than the other won, get little play. The focus instead is on who's ahead, viewed as a function of campaign tactics, which are meticulously reported...........

(I completely agree that his assessment if correct and very clearly evident in review of the product. The romantic belief by the MSM that they are balanced and hold no particular agenda except reporting the facts and truth for the publics well being is in fact a romantic illusion)

In what can only be described as "eerie" and "weird", Bill Keller claims that the MSM is not biased and defends them as non-partisan:

“Then he swallows almost uncritically the conventional hogwash of partisan critics on both sides: that '’the media’ (as accused from the right) work in tireless pursuit of a liberal agenda, and that they have (as accused from the left) become docile house pets of the Bush administration because they fear offending the powers that be.

“Finally, to explain the workings of this undifferentiated ‘media,’ simultaneously liberal and supine, he applies his trademark theory of market determinism. Whether conspiratorially or instinctively (Posner is unclear on this), the media have changed course in response to economic threats. The liberal news organizations, he says, have become even more liberal in order to protect their market share — to secure their base — in times of mounting competition from blogs and conservative cable upstarts. At the same time they have grown more timid for fear of offending the '’social consensus, however dumb or even vicious the consensus" .......................

Bill Keller has to be a smart man, he would not be the Executive Editor of the NYT if he was not. So how could he believe his own statement? Perhaps he does not believe it and it is simply instinctive defense as the bias in the MSM continues to be exposed and the onion is peeled by the new media. If he really does not believe the fact that his paper and the MSM in most cases is liberally biased, then he should look at the media markets and where they are growing and where they are receding. As in all matters, that is where almost always the bias and agenda can not hold up in the face of facts.

Cable, radio, and blogs are growing at a tremendous rate. Network TV and newspapers are falling fast and hard. The law of economics would not allow the new media to grow so fast and so quick if the product that the MSM was offering was balanced and did not possesses an extreme liberal bias. If right of center and moderate consumers were seeing balance from the MSM, they would not have turned their backs on the MSM and moved dramatically to the new media. Although over used, the statement follow the money or look where the money is going, applies to answering the questions of "is the MSM biased"? The answer is resoundingly yes backed up and proven by financial and market growth proof that even Keller's most liberal agenda driven columnist Paul Krugman could not successfully spin sideways into one of his agenda driven argument.....................

Stay tune the MSM is starting to act really weird and the onion is loosing lots of layers........................

Friday, August 19, 2005

Why Are Gas Prices So High

As I posted earlier

here the high price of gas is the major reason that President Bush's poll numbers are down. The Dems are trying to make hay per this article:

hay time?

In a letter to the White House, Reid also said the Federal Trade Commission should investigate instances where a state's retail prices rise 20 percent in any given week "to determine if the price of gasoline is being artificially manipulated."

Harry rest-up and come back when your mind is sound and lucent again, and when your intentions are pure and positive................................

I can't blame them, when your party is so far out of the mainstream, you grasp at any mainstream issue that you think might give you some traction, even if its a free market issue. That said it's a looser for them:

Gore Wants To Tap Reserves

In 2000 Gore wanted to not only tap into emergency reserves but create a regional subsidy in the Northeast via the Communist Chinese blue print formula for oil distribution via liberal CNN:

Among the vice president's short-term solutions was his proposal to siphon oil from the strategic reserves..............Gore also called on Congress to create a permanent home heating oil reserve for the Northeast.................The reserve, Bush said, "is an insurance policy meant for sudden disruptions of the oil supply or for war. It should not be used for short-term political gain ...

(kind of a time warp isn't it back to 2000 with another crazy democrat talking about easy and short term fixes instead of doing the things that will really make us less dependent on foreign oil)

Here is what Bush said back in 2000:

Rather, Bush said, plans must be implemented to make the United States less dependent on oil imports. "I would like to aggressively explore our own continent for oil and natural gas."

(sounds like the energy plan that Bush got passed this month after four years of Gore & Harry Reid like obstruction)

Here is what Kerry said last year on how he would solve the gas price crisis:

Kerry's Wants To Tap Reserves

Kerry outlined several steps that he said would help hold down gasoline prices, including diverting oil going into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.........

So do you see the theme, no solutions from the Democrats to address tough supply and demand fundamental laws, instead their solution is to siphon oil from the strategic reserve.......then what? Well nothing but, no way to new safe drilling in Alaska, no way to more refineries, yes to more nothing but siphoning off the reserve, sort of like their social security plan................

Bush just got his energy plan passed on 8/9/05 and here is what he said it would do:

President Bush signed the first national energy legislation in more than a decade on Monday, hailing the measure as a smart way to make Americans more secure and less dependent on foreign oil.

At a bill-signing ceremony at the Energy Department's Sandia National Laboratories, Bush said the new energy policy will go a long way toward weaning Americans off imported oil by encouraging the domestic production of oil and natural gas and greater use of cleaner-burning, domestic energy sources such as nuclear power, ethanol and liquefied natural gas.

"I'm confident that one day Americans will look back on this bill as a vital step toward a more secure and more prosperous nation that is less dependent on foreign sources of energy," Bush said.

(sounds exactly like what he has been saying for the past four years, difference is that the Republicans have a majority now in the Congress and were able to get this done - and our gas issues will be better sereved now because of it)

So the President passes laws that even WaPo has to admit are a long term fix, but what the Dems have for us is more siponing or sucking off the reserves intended for a disaster. Nice non-plan guys & gals..............................

For those Art majors that never took a business class here is a little crash course on Supply & Demand related to OIL:

Supply & Demand Oil

Oil is only half the equation, you can not pour oil in your car it has to be made into gas.

Oil to Gas

South East gas can not be sold in the Mid-West, just as Mid-West gas can not be sold in the North East, and North East grad gas can not be sold in the West. The Enviro-Terrorists require this restriction via the DNC. Don't like it then tell the DNC......................

Bad Mix Rew

High Demand means the price will also go up and the higher the demand the higher the price. It's pretty simply, like me trying to find extra tickets to the NCAA Finals here in STL last year. We had Illinois, Michigan State, Louisville, and NC in the tournament (all but NC close and Illinois real close). Illinois drove the demand up huge for tickets and the price rose equally to the demand. It did not come down even up to game time, because the demand was so high. Why was demand so high? Illinois fans were outside the Dome up until the tip off looking to buy tickets so the demand was high and stayed high.

Oil export countries are like NCAA ticket holders in my prior comment, they are the ones making money on this deal. Here are the top export countries in terms of oil:

Juicing You

1) Saudi Arabia 2) Russia 3) Norway 4) Iran (yes Iran) 5) Venezuela (yes that socialist South American country) 6) UAE 7) Kuwait 8) Nigeria (got some yellow cake?) 9) Mexico ( oil for immigrants?) 10) Algeria ( yes the country that is currently conducting genocide)

If your pissed these are the guys to be pissed at. They hold the tickets and are making money on their resources that they sell on the free market. I'm not pissed, I say supply and demand are a good thing. The model has severed us better than any other model since the cave men started trading so we know its a solid model. America is the second producer but turns the product back and is to its citizens and does not sell it to other countries, which keeps prices way down. If there was an American oil conspiracy the US would be in the top 10 exporters. That's not the case, America does right by their citizens and provides cheap oil for us.

The Democrats want to suck from the strategic reserves to solve the oil issue, over and over and over again. Nothing else they have offered for years and here they come again. You saw above four years of that being the case, no answers and obstruction in most cases are the Republicans moved to a solution. Sucking from the reserve does nothing to solve the problem, which come to think about it is what most democratic solutions end up fanning out.....................................