Patterico's Pontifications

8/18/2007

Two Questions

Filed under: General,Media Bias,War — DRJ @ 1:32 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

What does it say about the American media that one of the few positive print interviews with US troops in Iraq is published by Popular Mechanics?

What’s next — Playboy’s recipe for the best meatloaf?

59 Responses to “Two Questions”

  1. I have a better question: What does it say about the American Media when Popular Mechanics is becoming one of the few go-to magazines for truth in science?

    As for Playboy, meatloaf wouldn’t make the list…way too lower class. Think champagne at bachelor parties high class…stuff like pate fois grois (or however you spell goose liver in French)oxtail soup or caviar, washed down with obscure imported beer.

    Paul (f54101)

  2. I agree, Paul, although I did find a link to a Playboy blog that mentioned Moist Mango Meatloaf. My guess is that’s not my Mama’s meatloaf.

    Similarly, I wonder if pro-military interviews are too tame for the MSM.

    DRJ (bfe07e)

  3. it means that the troops are happier with their vehicles and machines than they are with their mission.

    assistant devil's advocate (08a665)

  4. Personally, I prefer Hustler’s recipe for meatloaf. It’s a little more down to earth, less chi chi, designer bottled water bullshit.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  5. The Hearst Corporation does own quite an extensive collection of media holdings. My guess is that Cosmo, Seventeen, the SF Chronicle and Popular Mechanics do not share an editorial board.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  6. it means that the troops are happier with their vehicles and machines than they are with their mission.

    No, ADA, it means that misery sells.

    Paul (f54101)

  7. I wouldn’t call this article positive:

    “If we leave within months, Iraq will be a province of Iran,” one colonel said. “Everyone with any education or skills who hasn’t already left will end up leaving.”

    Sound quite negative to me, in fact.

    alphie (015011)

  8. Sound quite negative to me, in fact.

    Let’s put that quote in the proper context, Staunch Brayer:

    During last month’s heated, all-night debate on Capitol Hill about when and if the U.S. should withdraw from Iraq, I asked several military officers of different ages and ranks about their thoughts on a potential pullout. Nearly every one stressed how important his or her work here has been—and will be. “If we leave within months, Iraq will be a province of Iran,” one colonel said. “Everyone with any education or skills who hasn’t already left will end up leaving.”

    Go back to braying at the moon on top of a hill, and leave the commenting to professionals.

    Paul (f54101)

  9. It’s hard work! We’re turning corners!

    George Bush (b8c7e2)

  10. Impersonation is juvenile and lame.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  11. Smarter trolls, please.

    Paul (f54101)

  12. Paul,

    Their important work…in turning Iraq into a Shiite fundamentalist state controlled by Iran?

    Usually, American workers don’t get to fill out their own performance evaluations.

    Soldiers are no differnet.

    alphie (015011)

  13. Alphie, try to keep up.

    Iraq is suffering from its own illegal immigration problem just like we have here in the United States. Jihadis from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other countries flow across the Syrian border and Iranian Guards and others flow across that country’s borders. One difference in approach between the U.S. and Iraq on solving the illegal immigration issue is that in Iraq they try to kill them. Here, the population in general wants to enforce our borders and laws, while many politicians ignore that sentiment and look toward the future votes. Do you think we should try the Iraqi solution Alphie and begin wholesale slaughter of illegal immigrants? Is that what you are suggesting?

    You must also not work for a living, Alphie, because it is not at all uncommon for employees to fill out a performance evaluation on themselves.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  14. daley,

    You’re right on the self-evaluations, my bad.

    As far as illegal immigrants in Iraq, they seem to be a minor problem compared to the domestic insurgents.

    As for trying Iraq solutions here…only if you want America to look like Iraq.

    The tactics you guys cheer, like dropping bombs on civilian nerighborhoods, wouldn’t go over very well here.

    alphie (015011)

  15. Alphie – Could you link a few articles cheering civilian deaths, I’m unfamiliar with what you are talking about. The only gloating about civilian deaths I see is from the left, in the media every day, to point out what a horrible thing war is for everyone involved. Half the time their stories are wrong. Do you know Scott Beauchap by any chance? Is he really as much of a dickhead as everyone says?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  16. Beauchamp

    daleyrocks (906622)

  17. This is a very silly post with really dumb comments. If anyone really thinks they haven’t read or viewed positive troops stories in established media it would explain a lot about preconceived notions bias blindness and preemptive expectations.

    – Temple

    Temple Stark (776817)

  18. Temple, you don’t need preconceived and preemptive when you have actual daily evidence staring you in the face,mkay.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  19. daley,

    I haven’t seen anyone cheering on civilian deaths…they are usually written off as the cost of doing whatever it is we’re supposed to be doing in Iraq.

    alphie (015011)

  20. What does it say about American media when the LAT compares its readers (unfavorably) with OBL?

    LAT to Readers: Drop Dead

    Patricia (824fa1)

  21. Alphie – Don’t be too quick to dismiss the Iraqi solution to illegal immigration. Think of the revenue raising opportunities for Democrats in addition to or as a more palatable substitute for raising taxes. If we continue to build the wall, the government could auction off personal border patrol licenses giving an individual a predetermined segment of the border to watch and protect. The license could come with a time limit or if you prefer, a “bag” limit of border crossers. By definition, with a wall built, anyone coming over, rather than through an authorized entry point, would be illegal and deadly force could be authorized. Even though a lot of the details of this type of a plan would need to be worked out, I would bet that even progressives would shell out some big bucks for some of these licenses. Reducing the deficit is important and think of the deterrent effect on future border crossers once word of the program got out.

    As for illegal immigrants who are already here, enforcing existing employment laws and enacting a variety of other measures should be sufficienct.

    Run that up your flag pole and see who salutes.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  22. I don’t think your wall is gonna get built unless Bush is willing to seize the property of American ranchers who live along the order, daley.

    alphie (015011)

  23. Challenge yourself Alphie. Think outside the box. Don’t limit yourself to stale thinking. If we say we can’t do things, we’d never get things done. Just assume we find a way. As a last resort, there’s always eminent domain.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  24. Alphie,

    I’m no expert in this area but: There are several treaties between the US and Mexico that are overseen and implemented by the International Boundary & Water Commission. I believe the treaties establish a corridor along the border lands that is owned by the governments of each nation. If my recollection is correct, there are no private property rights in the corridor and no need for eminent domain.

    DRJ (bfe07e)

  25. What does it say about the American Media when Popular Mechanics is becoming one of the few go-to magazines for truth in science?

    Much, much better question and I’ve observed this for at least the last five years.

    Very astute.

    I wish, but fear not, some of the people working there would be reading this so they would know their magazine is appreciated as not just entertainment, but informative punching way above its weight.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  26. Their important work…in turning Iraq into a Shiite fundamentalist state controlled by Iran?

    That question, Staunch Brayer, makes me doubt your ability to comprehend anything you read.

    Paul (f54101)

  27. I haven’t seen anyone cheering on civilian deaths…they are usually written off as the cost of doing whatever it is we’re supposed to be doing in Iraq.

    Has it ever occurred to you, Staunch Brayer, the jihadis do not follow the Geneva Convention rules of engagement? Like wearing uniforms? Or not using civilian populations as human shields?

    Where’s your outrage for them?

    Paul (f54101)

  28. Paul,

    Over 60% of Iraqis are Shiite and there isn’t a single Sunni left in Maliki’s government…and if we push him too hard…he’ll just ask us to leave.

    Game over.

    So, other than blowing $10 billion a month (that we have to borrow off China), I got no idea what else our troops are still doing in Iraq.

    alphie (015011)

  29. So, other than blowing $10 billion a month (that we have to borrow off China), I got no idea what else our troops are still doing in Iraq.

    Why are you braying commenting if you have no idea what you are commenting about, Staunch Brayer?

    Honestly.

    If you are too lazy to find out, or are too inundated with HuffPo-tinfoil-hat talking points, don’t bother.

    Paul (f54101)

  30. Alphie, try to keep up. It’s better to keep silent than to display your ignorance. Take the word “can’t” out of your vocabulary as well. America is a “can do” nation. How else did we become so exceptional and a leader of the free world except by doing things?

    I’ve also got some outside the box solutions to social security and medicare that I just know you’ll love. Your brain is so sharp, it just slices to the heart of matters, like a freaking hammer.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  31. Alphie:

    If you’d put away your Etch a Sketch maybe you’d be able to respond and think in a coherent fashion. Your comments betray a preference for bumper sticker slogans and Rosie O’Donnell thought processes.

    If I didn’t know better I’d say you were an Amherst graduate.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  32. TJ – He’s too smart for an Amherst grad.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  33. TJ – Correction, unless he was a transfer student. Bennington seems more his style.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  34. Alphie has pulled that “texas ranchers won’t sell their land for the border fence” meme before on this blog. I asked him then to cite to anything to support such an obviously untrue assertion. he did not then, he will not now.

    Although he has absolutely no citation for such idiocy, I’m pretty confident he still thinks it is true. Just like I’m sure he still believes that Joe Wilson is honest and that Valery Plame was ‘outed’ by the White House. Facts never seem to phase the trolls.

    Great Banana (aa0c92)

  35. Great Banana,

    I guess it was wrong for me to assume you guys know how to use google.

    Here ya go:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003789954_fence15.html

    alphie (015011)

  36. I do not believe that that cite means what you think it means. As a matter of fact, it means exactly the opposite of what you think it means and that there is indeed no reason for the ranchers to sell any land as it is not the rancher’s land to sell. Your cite just reinforces the earlier comment by DRJ that there is a corridor along both sides of the river that is owned by the respective countries.

    Knowing how to google and understanding the relevance of the results are not one and the same.

    Just Passing Through (4b3990)

  37. Alphie,

    I agree that many South Texas landowners and residents are upset about the fence. They rely on the Mexican trade for their livelihoods and, for all practical purposes, small border towns like Eagle Pass are more dependent on Mexico than the US. You don’t see that as much in West Texas until you get to El Paso, which is even more dependent on Mexico than most.

    However, I suspect you are understandably being misled by this quote from your linked article:

    “Still, opponents were caught off guard this spring, when Homeland Security started contacting landowners about rights of way along their riverfront property.”

    The US government has the authority to build a border fence and I believe it owns the land to build it on, but that doesn’t mean government contractors can cross the surrounding privately-owned lands without permission. The government can get access to build the fence by obtaining a right-of-way from the landowner or by court order.

    This process is common under Texas law. Electric and telephone companies do the same thing in order to build and maintain power lines. Similarly, oil and gas companies own rights-of-way they’ve purchased in order to gain access to land so they can drill and maintain wells or pipelines. These companies and utilities must compensate the landowners for the right-of-way access and for damages done to the property – and I expect the government will do the same in constructing the border fence (that’s part of the reason the fence costs so much) – but the government won’t own the land covered by the right-of-way and the landowner can’t unreasonably withhold consent.

    DRJ (bfe07e)

  38. DRJ,

    A fence built along the exact border between Mexico and America wouldn’t be very effective. In some places, it would be in the middle of a river, in others, it would be built beneath hills that would allow people to easily jump it.

    We can’t build the fence on the Mexican side (it ain’t the West Bank), so if it is to be effective, it wil have to be built, in many places, back from the border on the American side…on private property and in a way that cedes large chunks of land to Mexico.

    alphie (015011)

  39. Alphie, nonsense. The location of a fence does not itself “cede” land to Mexico.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  40. Alphie, then give us your answer….if the fence won’t be effective, then tell us the answer…

    I think a fence will be more than an effective barrier to illegal movement across the border…if it comes with regular patrolling, maintenance, and a bit of effort on the part of the government. As for it causing “in a way that cedes large chunks of land to Mexico,” who says that Mexico gets to have access to any land? The border is not in dispute, and Mexico would not have the “right” to any of the land on the American side of a fence, even if that side is unblocked from Mexican access. It is still a violation of International Law for Mexico to cross that border in any way, without American permission.

    reff (bff229)

  41. The border fence between the US and Mexico authorized by congress is only intended to be around 700 miles or so. Going by memory, there’s about 20 miles in California, and a length not yet precisely determined but expected to be about 20 miles around Nogales, Arizona. The rest is along the Texas border. The entire border between Texas and Mexico is defined by the Rio Grande and the US government owns the land along the river on our side. There is no need to build a fence in the waters of the Rio Grande. It’s a foolish contention that anyone would choose to.

    You claim the fence would be built beneath hills in some areas that would allow people to easily jump it. I would love to see any cite that offers any evidence of this. There have been outlandish speculations that this would be the case at the eastern end of the Californian fence, but they are unsupported.

    There are short stretches of land in California and in the Nogales area abutting the Mexican border that are privately owned. Fences already exist. There is no expectation that eminent domain will be required with the fence plan approved by congress.

    Just Passing Through (4b3990)

  42. reff,

    I’m not against the fence.

    I just think America lacks the ability to have the kind of detail-oriented debate that would produce an effective fence.

    I think we’ll just wind up with another expensive failure.

    alphie (015011)

  43. There is no need for a detail oriented debate. There is no expectation of a detail oriented debate. The land either belongs to the government or already has existing fencing owned by the government and maintained by the government, albeit poorly in California. The program for new sections of fence and strengthening the existing fence has been approved by congress.

    I don’t know where you’re going with this, alphie, but it seems specious in the extreme.

    Just Passing Through (4b3990)

  44. It’s not “specious” JPT.

    I just feel that the real reasons behind the fence bill were:

    1. To win votes for politicians.
    2. To generate revenue for politicians’ cronies.

    And it will do that.

    It just won’t stop any illegal aliens from entering America.

    alphie (015011)

  45. Alphie, it won’t stop any? That’s plainly a ridiculous claim. Whether it stops as many as we’d like can be debated, but to claim it won’t stop any is just silly. Any fence will increase the difficulty, channel smuggling routes, etc. and each increment increases the ability to stop some illegal crossers.

    The same argument was made about Israel’s border fencing in the West Bank and Gaza but its plainly been effective there.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  46. This thread has absolutely no relation to the post any longer, but that occurred before I chimed in. So I’ll leave it at this.

    Your arguments concerning the fence, disregarding how or why they ended up in this thread, were specious. They could be characterized as challenging the implementation of a border fence and those arguments were knocked apart. You haven’t the intellectual honesty to acknowledge that. Now you are shifting your argument to an opinion of what the rationale behind the fence is, which is again a specious argument as it assigns motivations rather than deals with established facts. The rest of your latest statement posits an unmeasurable metric for the effectiveness of the fence.

    It does answer the question of where you were going with this. Which is nowhere in particular as far as focus on a single subject or position.

    Just Passing Through (4b3990)

  47. Robin,

    It would take the entire U.S. Marine Corp. to man a 700+ mile fence at the same level Israel mans their tiny wall.

    In addition, Israel grabbed chunks of Palestinian land where needed to make the fence effective…America cant do that with Mexican land.

    alphie (015011)

  48. alphie,
    I’ll just repeat JPT’s main point. You’re not making progress here.

    It just won’t stop any illegal aliens from entering America. — Comment by alphie

    Alphie, it won’t stop any? … Any fence will increase the difficulty, channel smuggling routes, etc. and each increment increases the ability to stop some illegal crossers.

    The same argument was made about Israel’s border fencing in the West Bank and Gaza but its plainly been effective there. –Comment by Robin Roberts

    Alphie, you claimed the fence “won’t stop any
    Robin gave a rational and compelling rebuttal to your over-reaching claim.

    You ignored the rebuke and shifted the debate:
    Robin, It would take the entire U.S. Marine Corp. to man a 700+ mile fence at the same level Israel mans their tiny wall…Comment by alphie

    Alphie, the conditions concerning the two fences are different and hence not directly comparable. You keep morphing your points because you aren’t making any that will stick.

    The issue is not whether we can protect our border, but if we want to and how to do it.

    How much territory can 1 apache gunship monitor if the stretch is posted: “NO PASS ZONE, all people attempting to cross will be shot on sight for the next “x” miles”. I’ll say ball park figure of 100 miles. So you need the crew and support for enough Apaches to keep one in the air at all times for each 100 mile of more desolate areas. That allows others to guard more selectively areas where legitimate traffic needs to be monitored.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  49. An Apache helicopter costs U.S. taxpayers about $5000 an hour to operate, MD.

    The important thing missing from all “conservative” crusades these days is…a simple cost-benefit analysis.

    It used to be the first thing real conservatives did for any problem.

    *sigh*

    alphie (015011)

  50. Alphie, your claims grow more vague and specious actually. At best, you just confirm what I said which is that the amount of illegal crossers prevented could be debated. Your rhetoric just gets sillier.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  51. Oh Good Lord.

    Why are we talking about border security in America when this thread started off presenting Popular Mechanics as one of the few media outlets carrying positive news about Iraq?

    How about we get back to that?

    And Staunch Brayer, if you would like to address border security, wait for a post about it. Even better, address that topic on your own blog. Then you can write whatever you want.

    Paul (f54101)

  52. It would take the entire U.S. Marine Corp. to man a 700+ mile fence at the same level Israel mans their tiny wall.

    No it won’t. The fence concept will include sensors that require a reaction force only when triggered. The concept does not require the fence to be manned over the vast majority of it’s length. Not even watch towers every so many miles. The existing high volume crossing points are slated to have walls rather than fences and are already manned already manned sufficiently for a wall implementation.

    In addition, Israel grabbed chunks of Palestinian land where needed to make the fence effective. America cant do that with Mexican land.

    You need some perspective here. The analogy between the Israeli and US fences only holds in limited areas like coastal California, Nogales, El Paso, Brownsville and a few others that represnt a small part of the fence length. As noted in the previous paragraph, fences are existent in those areas. There are a few spots where the surveying was inadequately, improperly, or in the case of old fencing, never done, and fencing is on Mexican land. These are mostly very old disputes and the new fence concept includes finally accommodating those disputes by moving the fence in those area.

    You really do not have a good feel for the fence concept as implemented or proposed, or that this is a unique challenge that has no close analogues in existing or historical border control.

    Just Passing Through (4b3990)

  53. Again, I don’t know where you want to go with this. It appears that it’s just to snipe at the whole subject from a politically motivated point of view that has nothing directly to do with border control. Which is why I think your whole treatment of the border fence question is specious.

    Just Passing Through (4b3990)

  54. paul,

    The thread was lost just past comment 14 when alphie was successful is taking control of it. The only way that could be prevented was by ignoring any irrelevant comments by him at the start, or more globally since hijacking threads is his modus operandi, banning him as other sites have done. Absent that, unfortunately it IS now a thread on the border fence as established by the majority of comments by alphie and in response to him.

    Just Passing Through (4b3990)

  55. JPT,

    I was still addressing the original subject of this thread after long after comment #14.

    Paul (f54101)

  56. Yes, but that’s about where it generally starting losing it’s focus and that was no accident. It’s this guy’s characteristic MO.

    Just Passing Through (4b3990)

  57. It’s this guy’s characteristic MO.

    Of course. That’s why I started calling him Staunch Brayer.

    Paul (f54101)

  58. Alphie,

    This has veered off-course but, oddly enough, most of these issues were answered in the Ramos/Compean trial transcript. There is a corridor of federally-controlled land that runs along the Rio Grande. I can’t remember the exact width but it consists of 75-100 yards of land on each side of the river. With some exceptions (such as where the Rio Grande passes through canyons or other difficult terrain), the land has been cleared, leveled, and is bordered by elevated levees on each side. There is a caliche road on the US levee and there is plenty of room for a secure fence.

    As for monitoring the fence, Texas previously authorized and tested the Virtual Border Watch Program that provides:

    “… video will be available 24 hours a day and cameras will be equipped with night vision capabilities. When citizens witness a crime taking place, they will be able to call an 800 number and be routed to the appropriate law enforcement agency.”

    The testing period was a success and the system is in the process of becoming fully operational and permanent.

    Alphie, just think, someday you and I can help watch the Texas border on our computers while we chat at Patterico’s place.

    DRJ (bfe07e)

  59. Alphie, you avoided my question. I never said you were against a fence. I repeated your words, and asked you for your solution. Since that post, you have not answered that in any way. I know we are not having a good discussion on “the kind of detail-oriented debate that would produce an effective fence” as you so intently put it in your reply. But, when you don’t include in your discussion your rational or your ideas, we can’t have that “the kind of detail-oriented debate that would produce an effective fence” as you so intently put it in your reply….

    So, what is your reply? If the fence won’t be effective, what will be?

    Of course, you won’t have an idea…which is why so many people are pushing for a fence, like the one in Israel, that is working…..

    reff (f3109d)


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