Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog

Monday, September 29, 2003

Vols get a leg up on the Gamecocks

It's not often that your punter is the MVP. That honor is usually reserved for the marquee positions. But Saturday night, Dustin Colquitt put the Vols in a position to win, giving Tennessee the edge they needed to overcome a very talented and motivated South Carolina team. The Vols didn't come out flat, as many feared, nor did the weather seem to have much effect on the offense. Instead, it was South Carolina's gritty determination to win that made the game a lot closer than most predicted. Led by their sensational running back, Demetris Summers, the Gamecocks shredded the Vol defensive line, which was plagued by poor tackling and missed assignments. On the other side of the ball, the Vol rushing attacks was blunted by South Carolina's defense, one of the highest ranked rushing defenses in the nation.

The Gamecocks out passed, out rushed, and outplayed the Vols, running 15 more plays and gaining 105 more yards. So how did they lose? Dustin Colquitt's punt's averaged 20 yards longer than the Gamecocks. Over 7 punts, that totals 140 yards, which means that Colquitt's leg gained the equivalent of just over half the Vol's offensive output.

It was enough to turn an even match into a win for the Vols.

Report Card

Quarterback: B-

No interceptions, 2 touchdowns, a few ducks, but nothing dangerous, Clausen played a respectable game. The call for the fade route in the overtime was risky, but when you have a receiver like Banks, it's worth the risk. And it worked.

Running Backs: C+

The lack of production in the running game may not have been all their fault; the offensive line has to share part of the blame. But there were bad decisions on the part of both Davis and Houston that cost the team yards.

Receivers: B

The Vols handled a tough South Carolina secondary pretty well. The Gamecock defenders played to not give up the big play, leaving only the dhorter routes open. I would have liked to see the receivers to more after the catch.

Offensive Line: C-

2 sacks, barely 100 yards rushing. I expected better from this unit. Without solid blocking, no offense, no matter how talented, can perform well.

Defensive Line/Linebackers: B-

They get a mixed grade here. Only one sack, and they couldn't tackle Summers. But they played a "bend, don't break" style, kept pressure on Pinkins, and generally frustrated the Gamecock offense, despite spending a lot of time on the field, while the Vol offense spluttered.

Defensive Secondary: B

Only one interception, but the secondary played well, particularly when backing up the front 7 on stopping the run. Summers could get past the line, but couldn't break through the secondary.

Special Teams: A+

I've already talked about Colquitt, who had an outstanding night, but I'll add this. I would vote him the SEC Player of the Week.

Not that I'm biased or anything.

However, I also have to mention the other special team players, who decided the game. The blocked punt in the first quarter provided the margin of victory. Without it, we lose.

Coaching: B-

The Vols are still making too many drive killing penalties. Poor tackling techniques allowed Demetris Summers to gain too many yards after the first hit. The play calling was decent, keeping a balance between the rush and pass, despite what had to be a frustrating performance by the offensive line.

Overall: B-

As Fulmer said after the game, the Vols didn't do much right during the game. As a buddy of mine said, "We couldn't pass, we couldn't run, but we sure could kick the hell out of the ball!" When you have an off game, and still come out with a W, particularly against a quality opponent, that is something you can build on.

Next week, we go to Auburn, a team which has improved tremendously following their 0-2 start. The Vols will have to play much better if they want to keep their undefeated status.

Posted by Rich
Sports • (2) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Mary Carey for California!

You know, I was kind of joking when I endorsed Mary's run for governor, but when I was checking out her website (I was reading the articles. Really.) This girl actually has a campaign platform! Agree with her priorities or not, you have to admit that her platform is more detailed than anything Arnold has come up with.

Posted by Rich
Politics • (3) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, September 26, 2003

The Vols meet the Gamecocks

Lou Holtz has already conceded this game. But then again, to listen to him, he faces the best team in the nation every week. Holtz is famous for giving the attitude that it will take miraculous play from his team to notch a win, even if the opponent is Eastern Kentucky State Technical College.

This week he truly has a tough test in the Vols. Their play last weekend showed teamwork, competitive spirit, and discipline, qualities that were in short supply last season.

Of course, many prognosticators are looking back to the last SEC championship game the Vols appeared in. ( I won't say they played in it.) After a big win over the Gators in the Swamp, they played flat against LSU and lost a shot at the National Championship. Yes, there is a danger of the Vols overlooking South Carolina, sandwiched between Florida and a killer three game stretch (Auburn, Georgia, and Alabama). But I think the Vols are a smarter team than they were two years ago. I don't think they will let the Gamecocks steal a win in Neyland stadium.

But, the Gamecocks may just earn one. The Gamecocks are ranked in the top five in rushing defense, and allow about 2 yards per carry. Our offensive line has not lived up to pre-season expectations yet, which could create problems for the Vol running attack. Clausen has yet to show any consistency, and, given the weather forecast, (cold and rainy) I wouldn't count on his passing ability to help if the Gamecocks bottle up the run with 7-8 men in the box.

The difference maker will be the Tennessee defense, which should prove more than enough to keep the Gamecocks penned up. Holtz's team has a better chance of scoring on defense, aided by a UT turnover.

A rainy day could mean a closer score, but I'm still going with the Vols to win, 28-10

Posted by Rich
Sports • (1) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

A little quicker on the draw than I am

I was going to write this piece today, but John Hawkins got to it before I did. All I want to add is this question:

Do we really want to turn over the rebuilding of Iraq to an organization that's cutting and running at the first sign of difficulty?

I don't think so. It takes a spine to do what needs to be done, and the UN had theirs surgically removed years ago.

Posted by Rich
Commentary • (0) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Radioactive package in Kiev

A radioactive package bound for the US was seized in Kiev
The regional emergencies ministry said the package, discovered Tuesday, was emitting radiation at a rate thousands of times higher than the norm in Kiev of 0.05 milliroentgens an hour.

OK, here's a quick primer for the non-nukes out there. There are several types of radiation, alpha, beta, gamma and neutron. The amount of biological damage (REM) per unit exposure (roentgen) for each type of radiation varies. We use a number called the quality factor to determine the amount of biological damage for a given exposure to radiation. The quality factor for gamma and beta radiation is 1, for neutron radiation is 3-10, and 20 for alpha. While the article doesn't specify the type of radiation, we can rule out alpha and beta because the packaging materials, even if it were just cardboard and paper, would have shielded the radiation, and the package would not have been detected. That leaves us with gamma or neutron radiation, so our quality factor ranges from 1 to 10. We'll take the conservative (most limiting) approach and assume a QF of 10.

The article tells us that the radiation levels were "thousands of times higher than the norm in Kiev of 0.05 milli-roentgens per hour." (I'm assuming that the dose rate they're using was taken on contact with the package.) A milli-roentgen (mr) is 1/1000 of a roentgen. Again, we don't have a hard number, so we'll go conservative again and assume "thousands" to mean 10,000.

10,000 X 0.05 mr/hr = 500 mr/hr.

Apply the quality factor of 10 to get the biological dose (rem)

500mr/hr neutron radiation X 10 (QF) = 5000 mrem/hr or 5 rem/hr.

So, how does this compare to dose rates we accept as a matter of course?
Normal background exposure in the US runs at about 0.36 rem per year. A chest x-ray gives the recipient about .3 rem per exposure. A routine heart catheterization gives the recipient about 25 rem over 10 minutes.

By the way, the Health Physics society is a great resource for radiation information.

So what we have is a package that is hot, but how dangerous is it? Looked at as an acute exposure, that is, all at once, it's moderately dangerous. Assuming a whole body exposure, again, the most limiting case, after 20 hours of contact with the package, you could expect mild radiation sickness. After 60 hours, severe radiation sickness, and possibly death. 70 hours of whole body exposure would result in death in 50% of the cases without medical intervention. 120 hours would be fatal in almost every case. Remember, for these numbers to hold true, you would have to be in direct physical contact with the package the entire time. Simply moving three feet away from the package would drip the dose by an order of magnitude, in which case it would take 200 hours of constant exposure to get to a dose where you might expect some radiation sickness.

Remember, this is all based on worst case assumptions. Going the other way, assuming a gamma source (QF=1) and a radiation level of 5,000 times background, the dose rate drops to 250 mrem/hr. At that rate, you would have to hug the package for 400 hours to achieve a dose which might make you a little bit sick.

In short, this package is probably not a terror device of any sort. My guess is it's a calibration source that's been shipped improperly.

Posted by Rich
News • (2) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

A down check for Clark

The general who relieved Clark of his command several months early has said he will not vote for him.

I've known Wes for a long time. I will tell you the reason he came out of Europe early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that are very near and dear to my heart. I'm not going to say whether I'm a Republican or a Democrat. I'll just say Wes won't get my vote.

That's gotta sting.

Very rarely do you hear a relieving commander talk about the guy he relieved. It's even more rare to hear him say anything negative about the former commander.

Posted by Rich
Politics • (0) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

My Endorsement for the California Recall

I've thought about this long and hard. I know the kind of weight the blogosphere carries in the political arena, and I wanted to make sure not to abuse that power.

I've considered the issues, reviewed the candidates and their platforms, evaluated the effectiveness of their campaigns, and decided who I will endorse.

Before I announce the name, I want to assure you that I've not been improperly influenced in any way by any candidate. In fact, I've had no contact with any of them, so I can be assured of an impartial, fair judgment.

The new governor will face many tough problems, including a tremendous budget deficit, an unruly state government which has lost touch with the common people, and a deeply divided constituency. The problems facing California are pretty much beyond solution, so in the end, it doesn't really matter which poor bastard gets the job; they're screwed no matter what they do. Therefor, I'm pleased to award the coveted Shots Across the Bow endorsement to Mary Carey.

She's used to it.

To go along with my endorsement, I'm contributing $5.00 to her campaign, in hopes that she'll send me a poster or something.

Posted by Rich
Politics • (2) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Jeremy Rifkin and The Hydrogen Economy

I just finished reading The Hydrogen Economy, and if the blurb on the back ("Now the hydrogen movement has a marquee spokesman."--Peter Coy, Business Week) is accurate, the hydrogen movement is in deep trouble.

The first clue was the simple observation that, out of 250 pages of text, only about 40 actually deal with hydrogen power! Even more telling, in those 40 pages, there is virtually no discussion of precisely how hydrogen is to be harnessed. Instead, Rifkin talks about how we will use renewable sources of energy to produce the hydrogen, without mentioning that those sources are nowhere near enough to produce the amount of hydrogen needed to replace fossil fuels. He dismisses the tremendous cost differential, assuming that further research will reduce it, again with no specifics. For the last thirty pages, he sings the praises of the new hydrogen economy, how it will end the monopolistic practices of Big Oil, and how everybody will produce their own energy in a distributed network, and how "all manner of things wi' be well."

Unfortunately, he seems to have no clue about how this will happen. He looks at hydrogen power and fuel cells as a black box solution. Once we have them in place, and they work the way he envisages, then everything will be wonderful. The problem is that, his blithe pronouncements to the contrary, there are several very real difficulties in implementing his vision, difficulties that are not amenable to easy solution. For instance, he speaks of using hydrogen to store energy from renewable resources, but he neglects to mention that the energy released through oxidation of hydrogen is less than the energy needed to generate the hydrogen in the first place. Funny how, even though he uses and abuses the concept of entropy thoughout the first portion of the book, he neglects to take into acount it's very real impact on hydrogen usage.

The book does make an excellent case for moving away from oil, and that is its biggest strength. Rifkin presents a clear, well argued, and well referenced argument that we are at the end of the fossil fuel age, and need to move on to a new source of energy. While I disagree with some of his points, particularly those based on the global warming model, he still presents a compelling case on his other two points, that cheap oil is going the way of the dinosaurs, and even if it weren't, relying on an energy source controlled by unstable States is foolhardy.

Had Rifkin titled the book The End of the Dinosaur Economy, I would have nary a quibble. But based on his title, I was looking for a discussion of the pros and cons of a hydrogen based fuel system, aong with some discussion of how to make the transition. Instead, I got a picture of how bad things are now, compared to how good things could be, with no map of how to get from here to there.

Posted by Rich
Science • (4) Comments • (2) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Another Daughter

You're at your desk at work when the phone rings.

"Is this Mr. Stephen Johnson?" The voice is clinically detached, with a touch of professional sympathy.

"Yes, it is. Can I help you?"

"Mr. Johnson, my name is Dr. Fallon. We have your daughter Grace here at the Medical Center Emergency Room."

Your heart races as time slows to a crawl. A car accident? No, she was in school. A shooting? Illness? She'd had a slight cold and fever for the last week. In fact, you'd tried to keep her home last Tuesday, but she insisted on going, saying she had a major test that she couldn't afford to miss. She went to school, and later that morning, the nurse had called to get your permission to give her some aspirin. She come home a little pale, and went directly to bed. Wednesday, she stayed home, but the next day she said she felt better, even though she still seemed very pale and weak, and went back to school.

"My god! What's wrong?"

"Mr. Johnson, I'm afraid I'm not at liberty to discuss this over the phone, but we need you to get down here right away. Gracie is in very serious condition."

Fear instantly transmutes to anger. "She's in serious condition, but you can't tell me what's going on? What the hell kinda place are you running? What's wrong with my daughter?"

"Sir, we can explain when you get here." The doctor's voice was less detached, now filled with urgency.

"Hurry," he said, and hung up.

You leave your office and head out to the car, mind whirling with worries and fears. Gracie has been on your mind a lot recently. She'd changed so much over the last couple of years. Her mother had died 4 years ago, and there had been some rough patches then, but you had survived, and even grown closer together. She used to pal around with you, tell you everything, even about which boys she liked, and which ones liked her. You did your best to be mother and father, and for those things where you couldn't fill in, Gracie's grandmother took over. Your family was healing.

But that all changed last year.

Everybody tells you that she's just a normal teenager, but she's been so moody lately. And the way she dressed! Dear god in heaven!

Her grades had fallen off a bit; she wasn't in danger of failing, but the long string of B's with an occasional A had become C's with an occasional D. She stopped seeing most of her old friends, and started hanging out with a new crowd. She started staying out later, staying home less, spending the night at her new girlfriends house, and if she was home, she'd lock herself in her room for hours at a time, and listen to that godawful racket she called music. When you'd tried to talk with her, she'd just yelled at you, telling you to leave her alone.

"Dad, I'm 17! I'm not a little kid anymore! I can handle my own life. God! Why can't you just leave me alone!"

You even went to her school last week, to talk to Mrs. Peters, the counselor. Maybe Gracie talked to her. Maybe she was missing her mother. Maybe there was something more you could do.

But the counselor wasn't much help.

"Mr. Johnson, teenagers these days have many more issues to deal with than you and I did. Grace is working things out on her own. What she needs from you right now is your support and some space. Give her some time, and a little privacy. She'll come around."

You pull up to the Emergency Room, park the car, and rush in. You ask the nurse at the desk where to find your daughter. She types Gracie's name into her terminal and tells you to have a seat; the doctor will be with you shortly. You ask her what's wrong with your little girl, and she tells you you'll have to wait for the doctor.

Fear overpowers the anger at being kept in the dark, and you sink into the hard plastic seat in the waiting room. Your mind races like an engine in neutral with a stuck throttle, running in circles as you wait to find out what's going on. Eventually, a male voice calls out your name, and you stand up. You look at the doctor's face, and you know the news isn't good. Doctors with good news don't have to wear the professional mask.

"Mr. Johnson, I'm Dr. Fallon. Grace is suffering from complications from RU-486. The fetus was only partially ejected, and the remaining tissue caused a massive infection, and serious bleeding. We've got the bleeding stopped now, but the blood loss has left her weak, and the infection is spreading rapidly. We're doing everything we can, but she's in very bad shape. I have to be honest with you; it's going to be very dicey."

There's a roaring in your ears as you try and take in everything you were just told.

Your mind is numb with shock. Your little girl is fighting for her life after having an abortion? How could this happen without your knowledge? Hell, the school had to get your permission to give her an aspirin! How could she get an abortion without you knowing about it?

"I don't understand. This pill, isn't it safe?"

"Yes sir, it is, but there are sometimes complications."

"My daughter may be dying, and you call it a complication!" The anger is back, and now it is a full blown rage. "Where is my daughter? I want to see her right now!"

"Mr. Johnson, you'll have to calm down. Seeing Grace like this won't do you or her any good."

Your rage collapses, giving way to fear again, as you realize that the doctor is right. There will be a time to loose the rage again, but this isn't it. Seeing you control your temper, the doctor leads you into an exam room, and you see Gracie on the table. There are tubes and wires, and an IV, and she's got a breathing tube up her nose. She's panting for breath, and a nurse is sponging her forehead. You walk over to the bed, and sit down beside her, taking her hand.

It burns like a fire.

"Oh, Gracie," you say softly. "I'm here for you."

She turns her head and opens her eyes. "Daddy?" Her voice is barely more than a whisper. "I'm so sorry, Daddy! I didn't want this to happen. I didn't want to disappoint you." Tears roll down the side of her face, and your heart breaks.

"Gracie, you can't disappoint me, little girl. I'm your dad. I'll always be there for you."

"I was so scared, Daddy. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know how to tell you."

"Shhhh. baby girl. It's OK. You don't have to say anymore. I'm here now, and I'll take care of everything."

She's not listening. She's unburdening herself, telling you everything, and as the tears flow, you listen.

"I didn't know what to do. We'd only fooled around a couple of times, then he dumped me. He said I wasn't any good at it, and he was going to find somebody who was. Then a week or two later, I missed my period. I wanted to tell you, but I was so afraid that I couldn't. I tried so hard to tell you, but I didn't know how to break through, so I went to Mrs. Peters. She took me to a clinic, and they told me I could take this pill, and it would make it go away. It seemed like the only way out, so I scheduled an appointment. Mrs. Peters fixed my schedule, and I went to the clinic and took the pill. They told me I would feel bad for a couple of days, but it kept getting worse, so I went back to Mrs. Peters this morning, and she brought me here. I'm so sorry Daddy! I know I've let you down!"

"No, baby, you haven't let me down. Now you just relax, and work on getting better. I'll be right here."

She's exhausted from telling her story, and her eyes close as she slips into an uneasy sleep. You lean over and kiss her forehead. Dr Fallon comes in and tells you they're moving her to ICU, and you'll have to go back to the waiting room. Helplessness wells up over you as you realize that despite all your efforts, you are now powerless in the fight to save your daughter's life. You sit in the waiting room for hours, until it's visiting hours again, and you can go see Gracie.

Somewhere in the long vacant hours, you call in to work, letting them know you'll be out for a while. You call your mother, to take care of Barbara. At some point, people come to sit with you, to keep you company. Somebody brings you food, and you eat a bite or two. There are other families in the waiting room, other people who have loved ones fighting for their lives, but you are all alone. Every fiber of your being is directed at willing Gracie to get better. The nurses tell you to go home, get some sleep.

"You won't do Gracie any good if you're in a bed right next to her," they say.

Like you could sleep.

Gracie's nasal tube is replaced by a mask. Another IV is started. She's placed on a catheter. Then a heart monitor. As you watch your daughter disappear in medical machinery, you know she's losing the battle against the infection. She's being ripped from you one tiny piece at a time.

And you can do nothing but watch, and hold her hand for an hour and a half twice a day.

She dies.

You're there with her, at the end. You hope for some last word, some last chance to tell her you love her, to beg her forgiveness for failing her, for not keeping her safe, but that moment never comes. And in the end it doesn't really matter, because you'll never forgive yourself anyway.

At Gracie's funeral, most of her old friends and teachers show up, including Mrs. Peters.

"I was just doing my job, doing what I thought was best for her..." Her voice trails off as you simply look at her. It wasn't her job; it was your job. She looks for something in your eyes, something she doesn't find, as she lets out a quiet moan and walks away.

Gracie's body is consigned to the earth, and one by one, the mourners all walk away. Eventually, you walk away as well. You have to move on. You have to be strong.

You have another daughter.

The above story is not true. Except that it is. As a father of three daughters, it is one of my worst nightmares, that other people can make decisions for my kids without consulting me, and that those decisions can cause irreparable harm.

Posted by Rich
Commentary • (2) Comments • (3) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, September 22, 2003

Took a break for the week

Didn't diet, ate all my favorite foods, gained 4 pounds to 255.

Back on the plan as of this morning. Goal for next week, 253.

Posted by Rich
Atkins Updates • (1) Comments • (2) TrackbacksPermalink

Gators muzzled in the Swamp

Usually, I hate being wrong. I work hard at this blog, and I try to put things together to get the best possible analysis. When I miss the mark, it's irritating.

Except for today.

Here's one time when I don't mind missing the mark. The Vols, almost without exception, looked good on Saturday as they took on the Gators and walked out of the Swamp with some new boots and an alligator handbag for Mrs. Fulmer. The defense was dominant; the offense was effective, and special teams did thier job.

Report Card

Quarterback: C+

When I said almost without exception, here's what I was referring to. Clausen's first half was a complete disaster, and only a fluke Hail Mary put the Vols ahead at halftime. The only ice on the Iceman in the first half was on his hands as he consistently overthrew receivers, and launched one duck that hung in the air so long, I would have had time to drive down from Tennessee and catch it. IN the second half, the other Casey showed up. You know, the one who rifled passes directly on target; the one who checked into the right plays at the line of scrimmage, keeping the Gator defense guessing; the one who could actually move in the pocket, and run for a few yards when needed.

If only that guy would show up more often.

Running Backs: B+

When Cedric Houston went down with a hip injury, Jabari Davis showed the world why I like him so much. On his 9 yd TD run, Davis picked his way through defenders then blasted into the end zone, showing power, vision, and speed.

Receivers: A
Despite some errant passes from Clausen in the first half, the receivers caught nearly every catchable ball throughtout the game, including a nnifty adjustment by Bret Smith who turned an off target pass from Clausen into a 57 yard pickup that nearly went in for a score. The Gators doubled James Banks most of the afternoon, which allowed Jayson Swain to catch 4 passes for 54 yards. The Vols continued to spread the wealth throughout the receiving corps with 7 Vols catching at least one ball. Opposing defenses are going to have a tough time deciding which Vol to key on.

Offensive Line: B-

The running game was slow getting started, and Clausen was harrassed on nearly every passing down, but that was more of a tribute to Florida's yound defensive front than a knock on the Vol offense. Surprisingly, the offensive line got stronger as the day went on, until in the 4th quarter, the Gator line looked whipped.

Defensive Line/Linebackers: A

Kevin Simon 16 tackles against a veteran offensive line. Gators held to 73 yards rushing, lost one fumble and gave up two sacks. Say no more. Except that for the first time in a long time, the front four were able to apply pressure without a blitz.

Defensive Secondary: B+

Tremendous improvement over the last game. The secondary gave up yards, but not points, and notched two interceptions.

Special Teams: A

Dustin Colquitt was out punted for the first time this season, not because he was off his game (49+yards per punt) but because Eric Wilbur had a phenomenal day. Returns were solid, as was coverage.

Coaching: B

49 yards in penalties is much better. Against Marshall, UT gave up that many yards in a single drive. Play selection, with the one quibble of the toss sweep in our own end of the field, was solid, balancing the pass and run, keeping the Vols 2 dimensional. The adjustments at half time were excellent, as the scoring differential showed.

Overall: A

There are individual areas for improvement for some players on the team, but they are more than compensated for by the sense of teamworl that hangs around the Vols this season. They are working together as a team, and that's a powerful force. They are showing steady improvement in all facets of the game, and are now a legitimate threat to win the SEC East, and maybe more. Next week, they face a tricky South Carolina team. As Fulmer said afte rthe game, how they handle this victory will go a long way towards showing what these guys are made of.

Posted by Rich
Sports • (3) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, September 19, 2003

George Will Channels Maureen Dowd

Earlier today, I posted a bit about Wesley Clark that was based on a piece by George Will. In that piece, Will accused Clark of claiming that the White House pressured him to say there was a link between the 9/11 attacks and Saddam Hussein.

From Will's column:
As Clark crisscrosses the country listening for a clamor for him ("I expect to have my decision made by Sept. 19," when he visits Iowa -- feel the suspense), he compounds the confusion that began when he said on June 15 that on 9/11 "I got a call at my home" saying that when he was to appear on CNN, "You've got to say this is connected" to Iraq. "It came from the White House, it came from people around the White House. It came from all over." But who exactly called Clark?

July 1: "A fellow in Canada who is part of a Middle Eastern think tank." There is no such Canadian institution. Anyway, who "from the White House"? "I'm not going to go into those sources. . . . People told me things in confidence that I don't have any right to betray."

July 18: "No one from the White House asked me to link Saddam Hussein to Sept. 11."

Will 's article makes it appear that at one point, Clark claimed that the White House pressured him to report a linkage, then later reneged on that claim.

But the truth is somewhat different. As reported by John Williams at Open Source, Will distorted the transcript:

Will reversed the order of Clark's statements! In the Russert interview, the "it" in the segment where Clark says "It came from the White House" refers to a "concerted effort ... to pin 9/11 and the terrorism problem on Saddam Hussein." But the way George Will orders it, "it" seems to refer to the call Clark says he received.

This lexical twist lets George Will suggest that Clark's most famous story has changed a few times.

John supplies a link to the actual transcript which backs him up.
GEN. CLARK: I think it was an effort to convince the American people to do something, and I think there was an immediate determination right after 9/11 that Saddam Hussein was one of the keys to winning the war on terror. Whether it was the need just to strike out or whether he was a linchpin in this, there was a concerted effort during the fall of 2001 starting immediately after 9/11 to pin 9/11 and the terrorism problem on Saddam Hussein.
MR. RUSSERT: By who? Who did that?
GEN. CLARK: Well, it came from the White House, it came from people around the White House. It came from all over. I got a call on 9/11. I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, “You got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein.” I said, “But—I’m willing to say it but what’s your evidence?” And I never got any evidence. And these were people who had—Middle East think tanks and people like this and it was a lot of pressure to connect this and there were a lot of assumptions made.

It is clear that Will's manipulation of the transcript changed the meaning of Clark's remarks, creating an appearance of a flip-flop that simply did not occur. It's every bit as dishonest as anything Dowd has written. I expected better from Will.

Posted by Rich
Commentary • (36) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

More on Education

As a follow up to my post on education below, I offer this link, to John Hawkins, who delves deeper into the numbers and asks some very good questions.

Posted by Rich
News • (0) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Board Giveth and the Board Taketh Away

Richard Grasso started out making $80 per week 35 years ago as a clerk on the New York Stock Exchange. Wednesday he resigned his position as Chairman and Chief Executive of the Exchange under pressure from the Board of Directors.


He committed the unpardonable sin of accepting the compensation package offered to him by that same board a couple of years ago.

Shame on him!

They offered him an obscene amount of maoney, and the selfish little bugger took it. Of all the nerve!

Now, if you or I were in that same position, we'd know what to do, right. We'd reject the offer and demand to be paid less.

Yeah, sure we would.

The funniest part of this whole deal? He's forced to resign because somebody thinks he was being paid too much money, but after he resigns, he gets all of it anyway!

America! Gotta love it!

Posted by Rich
Commentary • (1) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Speaking of Cowboys…

There's a lot of folks on the left who don't like President Bush's approach to foreign policy. They, along with many Europeans, call him a "cowboy", or a "gunslinger." They worry that the fate of the free world rests in the hands of a man who, in their opinion, is liable to start WWIII by some rash, ill-considered action.

Then we have General Wesley Clark, who nearly did start WWIII through a rash, ill-considered, action.
But General Clark's plan was blocked by General Sir Mike Jackson, K-For's British commander.

"I'm not going to start the Third World War for you," he reportedly told General Clark during one heated exchange.

Posted by Rich
Politics • (0) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Page 1 of 4 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »


Bible Verse of the Day

Monthly Archives