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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Friends And Allies Of Rome Unite: A "Pseudo"-Blogger Needs A Leeson.

Yesterday was a long day for all of us. The three of us worked in shifts to cover the elections and the regular news. It was a long day yesterday, and we were all very grateful when bed time came around. This morning, Sabrina left us to continue her "working vacation," on the way to LA. Today should be an easy day for us.

Which is why I chose to start today on a return to my favorite beating post this week. Michael Hiltzik, the poseur blogger working for the LA Times. Hugh just slapped the snot out of him earlier this week. I took my turn with him, Patterico had some fun with him, but then he whined to Patterico in a comment. That comment has prompted me to pull out the whooping stick, again.

Thomas' Unwritten Rule of Blogging #1:Don't whine to the competetition. It shows you as being petulant, picky, and immature.

Thomas' Unwritten Rule of Blogging #2: Unless it's a cheap shot, don't complain to the competetition on how they write or questions they ask. They've been working their site and their readers far longer than you've been complaining.

Hiltzik's comment to Patterico is cited below, with my commentary interjected.

Dear Pat:

What I don’t get is this fetish Hugh has (and you too) with having reporters reveal their Presidential votes. As I said on his show, I don’t believe it necessarily tells you anything you’d find useful.

Stop right there. It DOES tell your readers something. It tells them the ideology you subscribe to. The problem with the MSM, as opposed to bloggers, is that the majority of people within the MSM have a decidedly liberal bias, and because they think that way on a daily basis, and so many people around them think this way, they see no bias. They see no slant on the stories they report or produce. Case in point: Mary Mapes and Dan Rather. Both of them hate the Bush family so much that they REFUSE to admit that they got caught peddling phony documents. The "fake but accurate" excuse is wearing thin. The memos--the key piece to the whole story--were debunked. They were crushed. Yet, they still believe the story is there that Bush was AWOL. It's their own bias which is driving this witch-hunt.

It feels to me like an exercise in public confessional, like the naming-names fetish of the 50s red-baiters.

Stop. The 1950s Communist hunt conducted by the HUAC and Sen. McCarthy were specifically designed to nail Communist spies and sympathizers to Russia in this nation. Sen. McCarthy's crusade was specifically targeting those in the government. And thannks to the declassified Venona Papers, we now know that a few of those he nailed WERE indeed justified. The HUAC went on it's Red hunt, and while shameful at times, it was designed to out communist sympathizers in the US. We were just in the beginning of the Cold War. Washington wanted people to know who was doing what. And, as a side note for Mr. Hiltzik, I suggest he read the book "An American Life" by Ronald Reagan. Pay special attention to Chapters 14 and 15 which dealt the Communist infiltration into Hollywood, and how he, working with those in the SAG helped those smeared by the HUAC, but left the Communists, literally, out in the cold.

Hugh asked me my position on a handful of specific issues; I told him. (Though his interrogation was only semi-competent—he asked my position on embryonic stem cell research, but not Proposition 71, and they’re opposite).

Again, specific issues will lead people to understand where your ideology sits. As for the competence of the interview, Hugh is a lawyer who knows how to ask questions to get answers to those specific questions. Your evasiveness in the questioning shows that you do have an inherent bias; one that is reflected by the paper you work for, and one that neither you, nor the paper, wish to admit. Remember, the first step in addressing a problem is admitting that you have one.

But people vote for president for a complex of reasons—his positions, “warmth,” persona, his opponent, his incumbency (or lack of it), etc., etc. Do you really think you can know everything about my perspective and outlook just by knowing how I voted for president?

No, but it gives your readers a good starting point. I make no attempt to hide my conservatism, nor do the people who blog on our site. Anyone coming to our site knows where we stand. People going to your site, reading what you have written, can only assume that you have a liberal bias. It might not be as bad as DailyKos or Atrios, bvut it's a bias you need to admit. In naming who you voted for is one of those steps. The first election I was able to vote in was Bush/Dukakis. I voted for Bush in '88 and in '92. I voted for Dole in 96, and for Bush, Jr. in 2000 and 2004. See, that's not so hard, now is it?

What really exposes this idea as shallow and childish is your assertion that you actually know how I voted—you can tell from reading my column! Then what’s the problem? Obviously I’m not hiding my viewpoint. Indeed, my position on every issue I write about is perfectly transparent. So why demand that I disclose my presidential vote? You seem to be saying it’s good for the soul. Hmm, that sounds familiar. “Just give them the names of the people you knew in the movement. It’s no big deal, they know them already.”

Oh, please. Naming who you voted for president is a lot different than naming who is a Communist. Talk about a shallow and childish comparison. And allow me to shed some light on this argument: If we believe you voted for Kerry, or Gore, or Clinton based on what you write, and we're wrong, wouldn't you like to defend your vote, and set the record straight? I would.

Ah, you say, but what about non-columnists? Shouldn’t we know this critical fact about them? Nonsense. You seem to think that everything about a reporter can be distilled down into this one act behind a voting booth curtain. You don’t even ask, how do we come by a political philosophy in the first place? Do we spring fully formed from our mother’s wombs as liberal or conservative? Is it hard-wired into our brains? Or is it the result of all sorts of factors, like where we grew up, how we were educated, who our friends were, our teachers, the things we’ve witnessed in our lives, etc.You talk as though we’re all robots, and once we come by a political leaning we’re set for life.

Obfuscation from the word go. No, a person isn't born with an inherent political ideology. The home one is raised in can be a factor, but I have a close associate who was raised in a liberal household, and she is one of the most staunch conservatives you will ever meet. This was because she changed her ideology at a time where most people her age are just starting to taste the essence of liberalism in academia. So, it's not "hard-wired" into someone. However, if the only reinforcement you have in life is from a liberal standpoint, you're more likely to think liberally than conservatively. Once set in in liberal ways, it doesn't surprise me that most liberals act like robots. Trying to talk to a liberal using fact and common sense is like beating one's head against a brick wall. You guys can't pick up on common sense. It's foreign to you, and yes I can say that as I've debated many liberals who just don't get the concept.

That’s like saying people never learn from their experiences, and never grow, and never change. And if that’s the case, why do you even do a blog? You’re not going to change anyone’s mind, right? So isn’t what you’re doing just intellectual masturbation?

No, and again, this goes back to why bloggers blog. They do so for a number of reasons. Some like the private journals (that are anything but private once the public sees it), some like to share recipes, or information on new trends and technology. For crying out loud, Manolo (of Pajamas Media) basically has a fashion blog. For people like Hugh and Patterico, and us at the Asylum, we stuck our noses and knowledge into the world of politics. Mostly we blog about things we think people should pay attention to that the MSM refuses to addres, or they address it on page A102 in a two paragraph blurb. For example, the recent incident in Dongzhou Town in China where close to thirty people were gunned down by Chinese police for a peaceful demonstration they were holding over China trying to take their land. The MSM ignored it. The incident occurred this past weekend, and the Arizona Republic (the main paper in the state we reside in) waited until Tuesday to make a note about it. Again, buried on the last pages of the main section. The East Valley Tribune (the secondary paper for the Phoenix Metro region) mentioned it for the first time on Wednesday. The bloodiest violence from the Chinese gvernment since Tianamen Square, and the two main papers ignore it for two or three days. Bloggers were on top of it when it occurred. THAT is the malfeasance that drives most bloggers like us to blog; to pick up the slack when you guys drop the ball.

Let me tell you a little about myself. I have two university degrees, I’ve worked all over the country, reported in Washington and on presidential campaigns, in the inner city, and the corporate world. I spent eight years living in Africa and Russia, covering famines, civil wars, AIDS, natural disasters, flying over bandit country in single-engine planes. I covered the tech bubble and the tech crash, wrote three books on three very different subjects. I read Garry Wills and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Congrats to you on your accomplishments. I'm 33, have a steady job, a Masters degree, and I enjoy my work. I have traveled a lot, and covered two presidential elections (the 2004 election right here on the 'Net). I've seen what poverty is like, what the drug epidemic is like in such communities, and even worked at a place that had two drive-by shootings, and a gang fight right out in the parking lot. All the big news stories I've covered, that can be tracked back, have happened either at this site, or my previous, solo site. I have read the likes of Machiavelli, Sun-Tzu, Shakespeare, Reagan, Ledeen, Miniter, and Coulter. What's your point. This isn't a job interview. We don't need a resume about your accomplishments. And you're still missing the point. Actually, you're rambling more than anything.

And you think that if I reveal who I voted for for president you’ll know all you need to know?

Again, not everything, but it's a good start.

Like all reporters, I cop to being human. I read, I experience, I learn, I look, and then I write what I see and understand about it to the best of my ability. And what I learn then goes into my store of knowledge and perspective, and influences how I look at the next thing. You got a problem with that? To say we are only who we voted for in the presidential election is to deny us our professionalism, which requires us to cast our information-gathering net as wide as possible, educate ourselves about an event or issue to the best of our ability, and then pass that education on to our readers.

Ah, but that's the key. I can impart the knowledge that I have to another person, and I rarely will do so with a slant to it. If you were to ask me a question regarding Machiavelli's teachings, I'd answer as best I could without a conservative slant. Meanwhile, the MSM amswers the same question, and Machiavelli is reviled. I like to look at the man's lessons for what they are. Lessons on how a person should rule their kingdom, their country, or what have you. Strength is the first attribute to a good leader. But humility is the sign of a great leader. Admitting one doesn't have all the answers, but does their best with what they're given shows signs of greatness. That greatness is only recognized in hindsight; long after the person has left office or died. And by admitting who you voted for doesn't deny you your professionalism. That's pap, and it's a cop-out. When I write on this site, when Marcie writes on this site, when Sabrina writes on this site, the number one thing we abide by is "be professional." No one with a brain wants to read a DailyKos site on the starboard side of the ideological spectrum. We are. We address each issue with a professionalism that journalists of the past would admire.

How about I deny you your professionalism? Let’s see. Lawyers? They’re just money-grubbers. They’ll say anything they have to to make a buck or kiss the ass of Power. Channelling Hugh now: 98% of them are Republicans. Everybody knows that. They’re the most self-delusional people on Earth, because they think they’re upholding some sort of principle in the law, but they’re just keeping down the people and stuffing money in their pockets.

I take great offense to this. I'm heading back to school at the age of 33 because I know I'll make a good lawyer. I'm not the "money-grubber" that you try to impart. I have a solid mind for the Constitution, and that's the specialty I want to focus on. Not for money. Not for power. No, it's an attempt to fix what the Left in this nation has tried to shred for sixty-plus years. I love the Constitution as much as I love my fiancee, and I'm sick to death of watching it be ripped apart, piece by piece, by those with an ideology that calls it a "living, breathing" document. Kelo, Roe, Griswold, Hamdan, Lawrence, Lamb's Chapel, Lee, US v. Virgina, Bollinger, Atkins, Stenberg, Casey, McConnell, and the list goes on of casesarising under the Constitution that the Supreme Court has continually screwed up. That's where my passion lies. It lies in correcting the problems created by the liberal elites, and their notion that they don't have to amend the Constitution, as was outlined by the Framers, but rather through an act of judicial fiat.

Prosecutors? They just want to put all the black people in jail, they just won’t admit it. How come they refuse to disclose their racial background, huh? I mean, I can tell just by looking at them what race they are, so why won’t they just say so? How’s that feel?
Comment by Michael Hiltzik — 12/15/2005 @ 7:23 am

What a sad, sad little man. He's right. He need not disclose whom he voted for; his ideology is quite apparent. The comment regarding prosecutors shows the racist bias this man has. He holds up black people to be victims, no matter what, and that prosecutors inherently want all blacks behind bars. Well, what about black prosecutors? Do they want all blacks behind bars? Are they "Uncle Tom's;" an epithet leveled at such prominent black people as Condi Rice, Rod Paige, Colin Powell, Thomas Sowell, and Walter Williams? It's a preposterous statement that needs no serious rebuttal because it's blatant stupidity that drove the slander in the first place.

Michael Kiltzik has a great deal to learn in life. He may have his life experiences, and his eductation, but none of it has prepared him to look at the world with fresh eyes each day. Sure, we all have our biases, and they color the day for us, but to make such bloviations--such generalizations--is not only foolish, but they give away even more about him than him answering one simple question.

Who did you vote for in the last election?

And look at his reaction to such a question. It's vehemence, and by the end, it's filled with vitriol. He is seething and frothing over one little question. The question that should be telling more than anything, especially the day after Iraq's historic elections was this one from the interview.

HH: I’m just curious about whether or not you think the people of Iraq are better off than they were three years ago?
MH: I really don’t know.

You don't know. Not even an inkling? You're a blogger, and you can't make a reasoned determination? Come on, halfway through your comment to Patterico, you basically cited a resume to everybody, and you said in the interview "I really don't know." Ladies and gentlemen, this man seems to think that he is, above and beyond, better than most bloggers because of his experiences and his resume, yet that question as simple as "who did you vote for in the last election?" He doesn't know. Well, here's a hint for him.

Ten out of eleven posts we put up yesterday focused or updated information coming out of Iraq. Reports are showing that upwards of 11-12 million might have turned out for the elections. They're saying that, for sure, turnout was in the 70-80 percentile bracket. People were happy. People were upbeat. People were confident in the process they were partaking in. Most of all, the people of Iraq went out of their way to make sure they voted. Contrast that with the last election where Saddam Hussein--in an effort to show the world "democracy in action," as Dan Rather put it, I believe--where he won 100% of the vote. But that vote came at the end of an AK-47 or a pistol, especially if you didn't vote the right way. That's not democracy in action. It's the equivalent of a Soviet show trial. In my opinion, the Iraqis are better off.

And, the blogosphere would be better off if Mr. Hiltzik shut down his site, and went onto to be a normal LA Times writer. The LA Times isn't fooling anyone with this man. Bloggers know different, and so do the people who read the blogs. He's not fooling anyone other than himself. And based on the letter above, I'd say the man is delusional to believe he's a blogger. He doesn't understand the first thing about it. It's not simply that you have a keyboard, a computer, and a hook-up to the Internet. It's how you do, it's how you present it, and it's finding your own voice when you're doing it. And above all, it's the professionalism involved when you do it. Only moonbats flock to the sites that attract them. People looking for information aren't going to go to Hiltzik's site. They're going to go to Hewitt, Johnson, Malkin, Morrissey, Reynolds, or any other elite blogger. Why? Because they want the truth that the MSM--and even their "bloggers"--won't touch.

Publius II


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Outstanding! The voting age was 21. I was overseas in the military. I wasn't 21. But I followed politics from grade school. I was the only one that did not vote for FDR. After school I defended my vote. I got spanked for fighting, not for my vote. It was instilled in me not only to vote but know who or what I was voting for. I use the ten point system. I select the ten most important issue to me and where the candidate stands. I've never voted for a democrat. And I can't see myself doing that. Rawriter

10:09 PM  

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