Archive for June 4, 2010

As a general rule I tend to show a bit of charity to people who are very old. They tend to speak their mind with less control and as age starts to overtake you one is very much susceptible to gaffes and embarrassment.

These days however It has become so chic to hate and condemn Israel (not to mention the brownie points you earn from the upset us and we behead you crowd) that people say things aloud that 20-30 years ago would have been impossible to have said in polite company.

And so we come to Helen Thomas.

In my opinion one of several things is going on:

1. She has reached the point in life that she will say something she thinks without pausing to think of the consequences for herself.

2. She has reached the point in life that she will say aloud what she thinks and doesn’t care what the consequences are.

3. She has reached the point in life where she is canny enough to know that the press will not call her out for things said so she doesn’t care what she says.

#4. Age has nothing to do with it, She thinks the worm as turned to the point where she can say the most extreme thing she actually believes without any worry.

5. She is senile and talking nonsense.

Thomas has never been a fan of Israel so we can safely assume that her antipathy is genuine. Her writings on this and other subjects is not materially different from many younger people who think the same so we must assume that #5 is not the case. If you look at the statement there seems no level of confusion so #1 is out. Thomas has been not only challenging Israel for decades but her position is consistent with many other people where she came from so #2 is out. That also suggest #3 is wrong however the person with her is clearly nervous.

My guess is #4 but she is aware of #3 and is quite willing to use that advantage to put her fellow journalists in a position where they feel they must be silent.

With the rise of open hatred and violence against Jews worldwide her time has come.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. For years the west has pushed the canard about saving the Jews as part of the reason for the war and why it was just. In my opinion the nations never gave a damn if the Jews were wiped out altogether. It was the average soldier who saw the evil that was done and was repulsed and outraged by what they found. It was their repulsion of an armed free people that caused things to happen and forced nations to acknowledge and memorialize this evil.

As their generation dies away the outrage that spurned it dies with them and the world is able to celebrate that oldest of hatreds and evils that has always kept them warm at night.

I'll wear the Fr O'Malley Badge proudly

I am a Catholic, a person with absolutely no Jewish ancestry, and only one secondary connection (one of 12 Nephews/Nieces married a Jewish girl) I in theory unlike say Yid with Lid, Pam Geller or Meryl Yourish have no dog in this fight. Yet justice demands that I stand with Fr. O’Malley.

Abdul: What is your name?
Father O’Malley: William O’Malley.
Abdul: I did not call you.
Father O’Malley: You called for all the Jews. I’m Jewish, just like Jesus Christ. You take one, you gotta take us all.

I choose to stand with Israel, because they are right! Not perfect, but right, how can I do anything else and live with myself?

Update: That was fast. I still think she was thinking #4 but switched on a dime to #1. I guess that is still a bridge too far..

Update 2: How much must it tear up Thomas to make that apology when Palin is hitting her on the statement.

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As you can see the relative Sullivan number has gone up due to contributions yesterday by a fellow in the press (thank you very much). This highlights a reason why if you are a reporter or a news organization you should considering kicking into the Am I worth have a much as Andrew Sullivan fund.

I’m a source.

If you are a reporter of a local, national or even an international news service you know that you can’t get everywhere or be everywhere. There are times when you have to have a source on the ground.

When you link to and build relationships with a blog or a blogger you have an additional source for first hand information. From Watertown, to Washington, from Danvers to DoraVille I have been present for first hand events.

Kicking in that $50 to help preserve a potential source would seem like a cheap investment to me. If you agree I’d ask you and others in your organization to hit DaTipJar and keep that potential source available.

It’s a lot cheaper than a bureau isn’t it?

Update: Today’s events in Fitchburg are a perfect example of what I’m talking about. Wouldn’t it be easier to kick in to keep me full time and just give a call for some stringer work rather than having to send a full time person out here to sit and wait for hours?

Plus Who can argue with such blogger luminaries as Little Miss Attila and Cynthia Yockey? That’s what I call references!

I mentioned that I took my son to school today because he missed his bus. On my way an ambulance passed me and much to my surprise at 7:35 AM there was a EMT and an ambulance at the side door of the school. I’ve just found out why:

A teacher at Fitchburg High School died Friday morning after what police are calling an “incident” at the school.

The name of the teacher has not been released and details of the incident are still not known.

Two people have been taken into custody.

Today is graduation day at FHS, this is not how the students wanted this day to be remembered.

Update: Fitchburg Police confirm a male and female are being held. They are giving out no further info and the logs won’t be available till Monday.

My next stop was the mayor’s office, although there was no formal comment A member of the police was meeting with the Mayor and currently the mayor is still scheduled to attend the Democratc State convention in Worcester tomorrow.

Several sources have said that the teacher who died suffered a heart attack while breaking up a fight between two students. I have been unable to obtain any official confirmation from the school, City Hall or the Mayor’s office.

The Press is camped out as close to the school as they are allowed. Police are preventing them from entering.

No press allowed beyond this point


So they are camping out waiting for a statement

The boring part of reporting, the waiting game

Cameras ready to go


As the parent of a student attending I was able to get in and discover that there is no change to the schedule, no change to the graduation tonight however parents are able and have been coming into the school to dismiss their kids.

I have a personal commitment that might take some time, but I’ll keep plugging away.

Update 2: Went back to the school The police were still on the scene and there is a press conference scheduled for 1:30. If I can get my mother to get the kids I will be there. Meanwhile the press is swarming around cars where parents are coming to get their kids early:

The Swarm for the story

Here is some audio of the Swarm:

Note: The video is not the best at the driver’s side of the car because I was quickly shooed away by police since the other side was blocking the road and it doesn’t really make sense to ask about a swarm if you are swarming does it?

At the Press conference the information was confirmed: there was apparently an altercation between two students that he was involved in breaking up. The two students are going to be in court today but there is word on if the charges are going to be directly related to the death.

Press Conference 6-4-10 Fitchburg Police Department

They released the name of the teacher Douglas Vaughn Lloyd 65 was basically a College instructor who helped kids out who were having issues with the Science MCAS tests. I’ll have video of the conference up as soon as I can upload it.

Update 3:
the press conference:

Note that they were unwilling to say the charges were unrelated to the death, but listen in contrast to the message sent home:

No where in the message is the circumstances that lead to the death.

One of the things that I found during my Ga Trip is that people in the south really dislike the stereotypes that the media and frankly many in the North hold of the south.

What is the most frustrating thing when you are fighting such a stereotype? Having somebody decide to reinforce it:

This evening in an interview with Pub Politics, state Sen. Jake Knotts (R-SC) — who is supporting a different candidate — slammed Haley by using a racial slur:

We already got one raghead in the White House, we don’t need a raghead in the governor’s mansion.

I’ve been avoiding the whole who’s sleeping with who story story a bit because I think it’s tawdry political rumor (missing out on a google bomb here.)

The South Carolina Republican Party has issued a statement condemning Knott’s remarks:

“The South Carolina Republican Party strongly condemns any use of racial or religious slurs. Senator Knotts should apologize for his inappropriate comments, so that we can put this unfortunate incident behind us and focus on issues important to moving our state forward,” said Republican Party Chair Karen Floyd in a statement.

Said Haley spokesman Tim Pearson:

“Jake Knotts represents all that is wrong with South Carolina politics. He’s an embarrassment to our state and to the Republican Party. South Carolina is so much better than this, and the people of our state will make that quite clear next Tuesday.”

What a fool.