Conservative commentary: Understanding the truth

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— I believe it was one of my idols, second president John Adams, who said that "every man is entitled to his opinion but not his own set of facts." President Adams would be a very frustrated man today for so many in the media seem determined to fold, bend and mutilate the facts into what they want the public to believe even when they know it's not the truth.

Can anything be more important than the truth? Lincoln said, "Tell the people the truth and the country will be saved." I believe that. But do the media?

A few examples: if you happen to believe, as I do, that embryonic stem cell research should be banned, you are doubtless as frustrated as I am. The media constantly and falsely claim that President Bush is against "stem cell research" without identifying it as embryonic. They word their stories giving the impression that he is out to ban (or in fact has banned) this potential life-saving research against the advice of thousands of altruistic scientists and doctors. The fact is (1) Bush, and those pro-lifers amongst us, are strong supporters of stem cell research so long as it does not entail creating life to destroy life, which is precisely what embryonic research does. (2) Bush even supports government funding of such research through adult stem cell research and existing embryonic stem cell lines, although most of us realize that if there is great profit potential, there will always be private money to fund the research. (3) There have been dozens of patents filed from adult stem cell research but not one single one from embryonic. Why do the proponents mask this and demand that the public pay for the research?

Exhibit B would be the Terri Schiavo case. The media insisted on calling this woman "brain dead" or "in a vegetative state" when it was obvious to anyone who looked closely even at the still pictures, let alone the videos, of this woman that she recognized those around her with subtle smiles, tears, and expressive eyes. And yet a court demanded that she be starved and have even water withheld to make her die! I could not believe this was happening in America! Yes, we conservatives would normally not want the government to intervene in a private affair, but I would go so far as to call this plain murder. Her own family could not be allowed to take care of her because a court ruled that she must die. Virtually none of the media reported this story as it really was.

The final recent proof of the distortion of the news is the Scooter Libby/Valerie Plame case. It is undeniably true that there was no crime committed in releasing this woman's name to the public as she was not a covert operative. Yet Democratic politicians from John Kerry to Harry Reid have intimated the opposite from day one to the present, knowing full well they were lying. Further, the persecution of Libby proceeded despite the prosecutor knowing almost from the beginning that it was a Bush critic Richard Armitage who divulged the information to columnist Robert Novak.

If you value the truth and honest debate and think it is despicable to repeat a known lie, you can empathize with our outrage. If you assume the American people are a bit stupid or unable to make their own decisions and judgments and thus must be given untruths to bend their analysis toward your own, you will be very happy with the way the "news" is presented. We're not.

Comments

Jon Casson 7 years, 3 months ago

I grew up just outside of Washington DC, in the middle of the Beltway. My school friends were the children of many very well-known politicians of both parties. My parents worked on the Hill and my friends parents were politicians, lawyers or lobbyists. I lived within the "insider" realm of national politics for 25 years. If you honestly believe that the upper echelons of the republican party had no hand in the "outing" of Valerie Plame as an act of political revenge against her husband Joe Wilson, you are being extraordinarily naive. NOTHING in DC happens by accident.

In regards to the Terry Schiavo case, the court DID NOT "demand(ed) that she be starved and have even water withheld to make her die". That statement is absolutely FALSE. The courts upheld Sciavo's husband's right to make the choices regarding her fate. Our courts DO NOT make the type of decisions that our conservative commentator states. Look at the FACTS of LAW in the Schiavo case and you will find that the SOLE legal argument was WHO had the right to decide her fate. The original legal argument was the Schiavo family challenging her husbands right to terminate her life. All subsequent legal decisions were base on that original civil suit. The courts DID NOT "demand" that Terry Schiavo die. They upheld the husband's legal right to make the decision to terminate her life. I cant say if this decision was right or wrong, but dont believe the "conservative commentator's" claims that the media lied or misrepresented facts about this or the Plame case.

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Jon Casson 7 years, 3 months ago

Just for kicks, read the following for a thorough and factual account of the Terry Schiavo case:

If you'd like to read the legal briefs and summaries of the various lawsuits filed as well as their subsequent decisions:

http://news.findlaw.com/legalnews/lit/schiavo/

You decide if the media "bended and folded the truth" as our commentator claims. You decide if his claims about the case are factual or the typical right wing "the liberal media lies!!" hyperbole.

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Slapper 7 years, 3 months ago

awhile back some one called this paper a fish wrapper. scott wrote and defended the paper. when this paper publishes a piece such as this that allows some one to continue to distort the facts and in particular this jem "she was not a covert operative" this rag is just that a fish wrapper. going fishing today and if i need a wrapper i will use one that has the integrity to print what is true! this paper defends pieces such as this - i call bs. how in the hell can untruths in print be defended when the reality is the opposite.

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stillinsteamboat 7 years, 3 months ago

The Pilot/Today has become a right wing rag!!!! Sad!!!

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Slapper 7 years, 3 months ago

more than sad- utterly disgusting to say the least.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 3 months ago

Guys- this is a guest commentary, not someone hired reporter.

On the other hand, Mr Hofmeister's claim about stem cell research stating "...so long as it does not entail creating life to destroy life, which is precisely what embryonic research does."

That makes very little sense since a man and a woman can create life and their child could grow up to destroy life. I believe what should have been written is, "...so long as it does not entail DESTROYING life to CREATE life."

For Schiavo...it wasn't just the media calling her "brain dead" or "in a vegetative state;" it was doctor after doctor saying that, with a minority of doctors dissenting.

And wasn't Scooter Libby just convicted of obstruction in the case?

See, these are the things that makes my party look like exactly what they are condemning. That's what's really sad.

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seeuski 7 years, 3 months ago

Left vs Right. Here we go again. I guess growing up near the beltway makes someone the true voice and we should just go with your opinions. I also grew up in the DC area and it is so clear that Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame were involved in a scheme to get the President. The fact is is that Armitage did the outing and Patrick Fitzgerald should be defending himself along with Michael Nifong for concealing the truth from the public who he is paid by. Also, it isn't just conservatives who thought the gov't murdered Schiavo, how disgusting and ungodly starving someone to death by forcing them into a coma and causing their bodies organs to fail one by one. You would not have done that to your dog. Peta would come after you. And if I hear one more goofball say that Iraq(Saddam Hussein) was not involved with terrorism against the US I will puke.Go ahead and continue to stick your heads in the sand while it is still attached to your neck because the jihadists don't give a damn about left vs right they want to kill all infidels, and people we are all the infidels in their eyes. One Holocaust was enough.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 3 months ago

seeuski- So we should just take your opinions as fact instead? You sound just like who you are railing against. Pretty funny if it wasn't reflective of what's wrong with politics in general on both sides of the fence.

See folks? Both sides pointing fingers at each. Sounds like we need a really strong 3rd party that can incorporate the best of both sides, and weed out crap-artists. The more I hear from both sides extremists, the more I'm probably voting for neither Democrat nor Republican. I'll vote for the unknown and see if the terrorists win or the Earth warms up even more. I'll take that chance and hope I can live with my decision. Pretty sure I'll sleep just fine, either way.

"My party can beat up your party!" LOL!!

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seeuski 7 years, 3 months ago

Kielbasa, Fact 1 as reported and agreed to by Armitage. He outed Plame. Fact 2, Saddam Hussein was paying PLO terrorists to kill innocents in Isreal. Fact 3, Saddam Hussein was a mass murderer. Fact 4, Saddam Hussein had and used WMD on innocents. Fact 5, Saddam Hussein had two major terrorist training camps in Iraq one,Sari Pak, near Bahgdad where the Al quaida trained, but the left wing media won't tell the truth because it is against theirs and your causes. Think for yourself not your party.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 3 months ago

Seeuski- MY party is Republican. Stated that many a time. Doesn't mean they're perfect. Far from it, in fact.

The biggest fact is that Saddam was basically impotent over the last few years while in control. Yes, he was still dangerous, but you're quoting the far-right crap about WMD.

FACT: NO WMD WERE FOUND AS OF YET!!! Granted, there were old weapons caches found, but not to the extent of what we were looking for.

I agree we went into Iraq with bad intelligence, but again: it's pointing the finger for our own incompetance for going above and beyond to verify. Wasn't Republican icon Ronald Reagan's motto, "Trust, but verify"?

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seeuski 7 years, 3 months ago

This is so old, Again Saddam Hussein was involved in the Oil for Food scandal and had the entire UN in his pocket and there was good intelligence that he was up to no good but UN resolution 1441 gave him 9 more months to remove the bulk of what he had into the Bekaa Valley. Aerial images of trucks at the storage sites and then going to Bekaa have been reported by Agencies other than ours. I also new an immediate family member of a weapons inspector stationed in Iraq and was one of those thrown out by Saddam.That person told me of the cat and mouse game being played with the inspectors. They had to give 24 hours notice of what site they were going to and also were escorted by an Iraqi handler who would then restrict access to sensitive areas. There were instances when the inspection teams were on there way to a site and they would pass a covered tractor trailer leaving the site. Also after 9/11 we had the anthrax letters, scientists that examined the anthrax said that only a few countries can make this grade of anthrax and that Iraq was one of them and the other countries were eliminated. The media kept this quiet while ruining the life of a seemingly innocent gov't worker from Frederick, MD. They spent days draining a pond. The fact is one of the 9/11 hijackers had visited a Hospital in S. Florida just days before 9/11 with burns on his hands and leg that were consistent with anthrax burns. It is beleived that the letters were sent just before the 9/11 attacks. If you investigate other terrorist attacks starting with the 1993 WTC bombing and including the OK city bombing, (read"The Third Terrorist" by Jayna Davis, KFOR tv reporter.) through to 9/11 you can see a direct link to Saddam Hussein and the first gulf war. It was a big mistake leaving him in power, he did not surrender as reported, his vengeance and Al quaida's jihadists are what we are fighting against right now. Experts have written about his friendly connection with the Belugistan fighters who were involved with all of this terrorism. Enjoy the day.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 3 months ago

Dude- Laughable. Who's listening to their own talking points of whose party?? FACT- Saddam hasn't been able to tell anyone 24hr notice since 2003...still not WMD found to what was expected.

FACT- Independent Commission on 9/11 doesn't support your anthrax theory, regardless of who you are related to.

FACT- None of the hijackers in 9/11 were Iraqi, regardless of where they trained. Al Qaeda has plenty of training camps and not just in Iraq, I'm sure. Can't prove that, but if we don't know exactly where they are (show me we do, and I'll ask why they haven't all been bombed in 1 massive strike to cut off all heads of the hydra at once) so I'm betting that in countries with more open space in a smaller country than the U.S. has in size comparison...those leaders may or may not have proof themselves. A lot of bad intel went around, remember? That's who Right Extremists blamed, remember?

I won't say it wasn't a mistake not taking Saddam out earlier, but the exact same thing would probably have happened, if not worse. That was during a time where Saddam's power was a lot stronger than a decade later.

The money from the Oil for Food seemed to be lining his pockets even moreso than paying for weapons use. Most of the weapons found in Iraq since 2003 were dated back to the first Iraq war, with very little to attribute to new weapons. Notice how his palaces were kept up, though.

Speculate all you want, but free thinking people have questions that still are not proven to any degree. Nice try, but you've been listening to SBvor a little too much. Enjoy our day, also.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 3 months ago

BTW- When I was in the Army, I'd pass covered Deus 1/2's everyday. Never once occured to me that they ONLY carried armaments. Considering I've ridden in them many a time, hauled stuff driving them all the time, they also carry...waaaaiiiiitttt for itttttttt...almost anything that can fit in it! Imagine that!!

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 3 months ago

SBvor- I see a lotta "coulda's and woulda's", and speculation posing as your "facts." Yes, I agree: It is a fact...that this is still mostly speculation. Maybe it's based on the 400 year nuclear trend, right? Talking point speculation. It's been 4 years of no Saddam in power. Still can't find that crap, can we?

Correct me if I'm wrong: We now have all those things mentioned found and confiscated, correct? Correct???

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 3 months ago

Let's recap your posts:

"Senior Iraqis-several of them from the Regime's inner circle-told ISG they assumed Saddam would restart a nuclear program once UN sanctions ended."

Key word: WOULD. Key outcome: DIDN'T AND SADDAM IS DEAD, SO CAN'T BE PROVEN.

"ISG found a limited number of post-1995 activities that would have aided the reconstitution of the nuclear weapons program once sanctions were lifted."

Key word: WOULD. Key outcome: DIDN'T AND CAN'T BE PROVEN.

"ISG judges, based on available chemicals, infrastructure, and scientist debriefings, that Iraq at OIF [Operation Iraqi Freedom] probably had a capability to produce large quantities of sulfur mustard within three to six months."

Key word: PROBABLY. Key outcome: DIDN'T AND CAN'T BE PROVEN

"Depending on its scale, Iraq could have re-established an elementary BW [Biological Warfare] program within a few weeks to a few months of a decision to do so"

Key word: COULD. Key outcome: must I go on????

Could and would do not construe facts. Those are words, in the context of everything you've written, that get used for speculation.

Please do pass that along to the people you mention. Maybe we'll actually find out what WAS found instead of conjecture.

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seeuski 7 years, 3 months ago

sbvor, Hey man, give up with this guy Kielbasa. He is alot like the OJ jury, you need a video to prove that Saddam was doing these things. I guess it was really the boogy man causing all of the distruction around the world. And everyone had bad intel because Saddam was really in a box you know and he would not possibly be bold enough to attempt all of these bad things because jeeze, the UN and the Clinton Admin would slap him. I mean he had some UN sanctions stopping him. Oh yea, the 9/11 commission headed by Clintons Jamie Garolict or whatever, she caused the wall of silence between the diffirent agencies to go thicker and higher, they also ignored intel data provided to them from intel officers out of the pentagon. Sorry Kielbasa but we don't have to follow you to the gas chambers. Do you really have some facts or CNN reports?

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dave mcirvin 7 years, 3 months ago

I was outraged and about to send a letter to the editor after reading Hofmeister's column in yesterday's paper. In reading the above comments, I see in fact, the pilot has accidently performed exactly how a paper should. It has spawned several individuals to delve into research on their own and come to their own conclusions. Unfortunately, I fear the majority of readers/believers are poorly informed and consume such rubbish as fact. Nonetheless, I can not comprehend how the Pilot staff continues to provide Hofmeister this platform on nearly every sunday. The editorial staff must comment on the factual basis or else publish equal and differing opinion as often as Hofmeister. As a physician, his perception on the unfortunate Ms. Schiavo left with no higher brain function demonstrates that he is outrageously off base. I thought the Murdoch Facism generating machine is trying to purchase the News Corp-Wall Street Journal and not the pilot...America, I'm a registered independent but can we get back to some real issues?

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 3 months ago

Seeuski- That's what SBvor does: give up when faced with something that can't be ignored- SBvor's own logic. Just can't handle when it works both ways. It frustrates SBvor to the point of having to go back and validate him/herself by preaching to you, the choir. Hit those high notes, folks! The aria has begun!

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seeuski 7 years, 3 months ago

stormpeakco Whose conclusions do you suggest we accept? Whose research should we follow? What news reports or channels are acceptable? Should congress force the fairness doctrine? Leftys always want to act as mind police. Send your letter to the editor or better yet, write your own column and let freedom of speech work. I bet you don't get all worked up over the constant barage of left wing media and commentary. But just once in a while a conservative opinion and boom, the blood pressure goes wild. Don't worry though I promise most of us have the ability to figure out right from wrong, good from bad and who the heck the terrorists are. Thanks for your concern.

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Murray Tucker 7 years, 3 months ago

Has anyone besides me wondered what happened to Tariq Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister in the Baath Party and head of intelligence? I think that this member of Saddam's inner circle could answer many of the questions posed by the "facts" listed in the preceding chaotic presentations.

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Geary Baxter 7 years, 3 months ago

I believe Tariq is a weather forecaster in Buenos Aires. He shaved his mustache and had lasik eye surgery. You wouldn't recognize him!

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