Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hugh Hewitt Gets It Right - CNN & YouTube, Left

Steve Grove, Age 30, director of news and politics for YouTube. Image Credit: From Hugh Hewitt's weblog website

Hugh Hewitt Gets It Right (as in correct) - CNN & YouTube, Left (as in biased)

Two days ago, Hugh Hewitt was able to interview Steve Grove, director of news and politics for YouTube. Mr. Grove was on Hugh Hewitt to be interviewed because CNN was getting ready to televise a debate of the candidates for the presidential nominee for the Republican Party. YouTube, an internet based video posting service, was a co-sponsor of the debate and was set-up to supply questions submitted from all over the United States. The presumption was that if people who were not in attendance, the audience would not be stacked and further, the questions would not be either … a true and open “town hall” style question and answer debate.

In the interview, Hugh’s suspicions that the people set up to run the debate might alter this presumption of openness of the debate came through as he began to ask Steve Grove questions while Mr. Grove was pushing through a list of talking points. What Hugh was able to ascertain through his interview process was that the staff at CNN would be in control of what questions from YouTube would be prepared for airing and that YouTube had received about 5,000 entries.

Hugh was interested in the process as to how these decisions were going to be arrived at and IF these decisions were going to have any balance.

This was posted Tuesday at Hugh Hewitt’s blog website -

Should We Trust CNN And YouTube In The Debate Wednesday Night?
Posted by: Duane R. Patterson Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 8:24 PM

July 26th of this year, Hugh warned against the wisdom of GOP candidates participate in a CNN/YouTube debate format.

One day later, I posted one of the early YouTube debate question entries, which reinforced Hugh's concerns. After a brief debate about whether or not Republican candidates should participate in this type of format, it was eventually agreed to and a date was set for Wednesday, November 28th.

A day ahead of the debate, Hugh was joined on the radio show by Steve Grove, director of news and politics for YouTube.

It is an interview that has to be heard, not read. Here it is.

As you listen, ask yourself if you trust CNN and YouTube to put together an honest, thoughtul and fair debate between the GOP presidential candidates.

Reference Here>>

We now know that the debate was stacked with Democrat party partisans asking their pre-selected and CNN vetted question via YouTube video snippets, and further, some of the people featured in the aired YouTube question were actually in the audience at the debate … so WHY the YouTube ruse?

The ruse is the responsibility of CNN's D.C. Bureau Cheif David Bohrman, an award-winning producer and veteran news executive. He joined CNN as senior executive producer of the network's flagship evening newscast back in 2001.

This from Machille Malkin -

In a now richly ironic interview with before the debate, David Bohrman, a CNN senior vice president, explained why videos were picked not by popular vote, but by supposedly seasoned CNN journalists: The Web is still too immature a medium to set an agenda for a national debate, he claimed. “It’s really easy for the campaigns to game the system.” “You’ve seen how effective the Ron Paul campaign [supporters] have been on the Web,” he noted. “You don’t know if there are 40 or 4 million of them. It would be easy for a really organized campaign to stack the deck."

What does Bohrman have to say about his crack staff now?

This from Hot Air –

Debate questioner is affiliated with Hillary’s — and Kerry’s — campaigns; Update: Plantmania!
posted at 11:09 pm on November 28, 2007 by Allahpundit

As incredible as it may seem, given all the flak they took for not vetting questioners after the last debate, CNN not only approved a question from someone affiliated with the Clinton campaign without identifying the affiliation, they invited him to the debate so that he could ask a follow-up.

One of the lefty blogs whined after my post about the last debate that those crazy wingnuts shouldn’t be surprised to find former state Democratic Party officials asking questions at what was, after all, a Democratic Party event.


Should I not be surprised to find a Democratic campaign operative — not just from this campaign but from the last one too, per the end of
this post — asking questions at the Republican debate either?

Just identify the guy, CNN. His question’s perfectly fair. And, apropos of nothing, Hunter’s answer is awful.

Update (Bryan): Not that we need anymore proof, but Kerr’s name appears in
this Clinton press release. It’s about halfway down the list.

Update (MM):
Another one…and another one…and another one…
Reference Here>>

We at MAXINE ask, why do we need Anderson Cooper and CNN to moderate the debate? Why not just issue political operatives from the various campaigns of the opposing political party a microphone and have them run the debate … that’s right, with the General in the audience to field a follow up question, CNN already did!

More evidence of democrat operative questioners from Michelle Malkin.

Additional last thoughts from Hugh Hewitt, himself -

Thursday, November 29, 2007
The Amazing Kreskin
Posted by: Hugh Hewitt at 8:25 PM

By having YouTube be the resource for most of the questions, the sponsoring "News" organization brings a level of deniability and a removal of responsibility for being professional and journalistic. In short, CNN allows itself to be politically partisan.

"CNN - The Most Trusted Name In News". Yaa, Right!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Stem Cell From Skin Cell Discovery A Stronger Solution

The recent report suggests that skin cells has four genes that are needed to reprogram human somatic cells that carry the essential characteristics of embryonic stem cells. Image Credit: Half Life Source, LLC

Stem Cell From Skin Cell Discovery A Stronger Solution

The medical ethical debate of using cells from human embryos to create, grow, and develop implanted replacement cells for damaged cells in living humans, may be over and with good reason.

It was believed that the only way to get cells that could be used the create cells that function for different parts of the human body was from material that held the beginning of life. These cells were believed to be the only cells that were “Pluripotent” – the ability to be programmed to become a cell that would function for the specific function the group of cells to be implanted or replaced.

Stem (pluripotent) cells can now be converted from living human skin cell tissue. The skin cells, once converted, act as dynamic as original stem cells harvested from embryos but with some greater advantages.

Let us set aside the fact that once an embryo is compromised when the stem cells are harvested from the embryo (this means that the embryo will not be able to develop into a new human life), the stem cells that are used to grow the replacement cell structures, once implanted, stand a chance of being rejected by the human body in which the repair takes place.

When stem cells are created from the skin of the human host patient and then used to create the specific cell structure needed to repair a damaged area of the same human patient, there is no rejection of the implanted repair cells.

This excerpted and edited from Half Life Source, LLC -

Skin Cells to Replace Embryonic Stem Cells
A new breakthrough in scientific research suggests that reprogrammed human skin cells behave like embryonic stem cells.
By John Lester - Half Life Source - Published: Nov 26, 2007, 1:46 PM EST

The scientific research was carried out in the lab of UW-Madison biologist and professor of anatomy at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, James Thomson, the scientist who in 1998 was the first to recover embryonic stem cells from human embryos. This time the detailed study was led by Junying Yu of the Genome Center of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center.

Embryonic stem cells are valued above all others, because until now they are the only kind remarkably shown to be truly "pluripotent", that is having the capacity to become any of the 220 discerning types of cell in the human body. They have the undeveloped potential to generate new heart, liver, brain, muscle and bone tissue, and replace diseased or damaged tissue in people who are ill with cardiovascular, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and a whole range of the other diseases including diabetes.

Scientists at UW-Madison said that the new method developed by Yu and colleagues brings the new generation of pluripotent stem cells within easy reach of many labs of "moderate sophistication".

The other advantage of the new method is the fact that using cells drawn from the patient's own skin, the stem cells can be customized to the patient, bringing numerous benefits, such as the elimination of immune system rejection.
Reference Here>>

Further, we at MAXINE believe, even if the source skin cells come from a non-patient host show signs of rejection when implanted in the patient ... this is a far better solution than compromising an embryo and the potential of a new human life for the same result.

And this opinion from the San Jose Mercury News -

Breakthrough shouldn't derail current research
Mercury News Editorial - Article Launched: 11/27/2007 01:38:58 AM PST

The wisdom of California's stem-cell research strategy shone through last week amid the news of an exciting potential breakthrough by scientists in Japan and Wisconsin.

Researchers announced significant progress in advancing the possibility that human skin cells could be reprogrammed to behave like embryonic stem cells.

Any development that brings us closer to curing some of the world's most devastating diseases should be greeted with open arms - but a possibility years in the future is no substitute for the work going on today thanks to the foresight of California voters.

Opponents of embryonic stem cell research, including President Bush, are already arguing that the skin cell advance should end the use of stem cells derived from human embryos. That would be short-sighted from a scientific and moral view.

Stem-cell research has the potential to cure such dreaded diseases as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, and could provide solutions to spinal cord injuries, leukemia and juvenile diabetes. Scientists are years away from knowing if human skin cells will actually work as a substitute.

It was the president and others playing politics with stem-cell research that prompted Proposition 71 in 2004. Californians realized that if the research was going to succeed, it would require a steady flow of funds. The world's brightest scientists need that assurance if they are going to devote their careers to a project.

As a result of the 10-year, $3 billion investment, the best stem-cell researchers in the world have been flocking to California. If the Japan and Wisconsin research continues to show promise, California could shift some of its dollars to that effort. But it must stay committed to the work already under way here.

President Bush's stem-cell strategy is to deny federal funding for research because it destroys human embryos. But his moral objection doesn't apply to hundreds of thousands of human embryos discarded every year in the name of in vitro fertilization.

This infuriates the great majority of scientists, who believe the federal policy has set the nation back at least five years in making medical advances.

The 2008 presidential candidates need to tell voters where they stand on federal funding for stem-cell research. With federal support, cures could come far more quickly. But regardless of who is the next president, Californians will have the satisfaction of knowing they've assured progress on stem-cell research for years to come.

Reference Here>>

At MAXINE we ask, if the ship is headed in a damaging direction (damaging to the potential of a new human life), why not just change the direction of the ship?

There is the additional argument against socialism (the investment of public monies in private research with little or no accountability) but that is a completely different argument - one that the San Jose Mercury News is unwilling to address.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ten Ways To Start A Conversation At The Thanksgiving Table

Friends, Family, Food, and Conversation – All are in great supply at Thanksgiving time. Image Credit:

Ten Ways To Start A Conversation At The Thanksgiving Table

After arriving at our Thanksgiving destination this afternoon, we at MAXINE turned on our internet connection and launched to listen to Hugh Hewitt for his drive-time pre-Thanksgiving warm up show.

After talking with Mark Styne and reading some of the new and damning accusations that are coming out on Romney and Huckabee, Hugh proposed that we explore ways on how to start contentious conversations with the political Left … and later, the political Right members of the friends and family gathered at the table for the Thanksgiving Feast.

The following is a sample of what conversation starters Hugh, members of the audience, and we at MAXINE came up with:

For Leftys -

ONE) Hillary looks like she has gained weight.

TWO) I really believe that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are two of the greatest Americans to have never to become President.

THREE) I understand that Halliburton has been nominated for an award as one of the most transparently run corporations in America.

FOUR) That Nancy Pelosi gal over in Congress sure is a lot easier on the eyes than old Denny Hastert.

FIVE) I’m thinking of investing my 401K in Dibold Corporation, you know, the voting machine company. I understand that now is a good time to get in.

SIX) The run up and then the going into Iraq was one of the best foreign policy processes and decisions of the past decade.

SEVEN) I’ve studied the proposition and water-boarding is really not that big a deal.

Eight) I wonder what they are eating in Guantanamo tonight?

Nine) Bring Ann Coulter’s book to the table and open it then say, There is something for everyone in here, you know!

TEN) Isn’t it amazing that all of those people who award the Nobel Peace Prize didn’t know that Al Gore is a fraud?

For the Righty’s –

ONE) Rosie O’Donnell would have been good for a whole hour over at MSNBC.

TWO) You know, Valarie Plame really was an undercover CIA agent.

THREE) Sean Penn knows how to use his celebrity to show how courageous Americans can be.

FOUR) The dream act was a pretty good idea at solving our immigration problem.

FIVE) The facts about what is going on in Iraq do not matter.

SIX) I think issuing drivers licenses to the undocumented is a good idea, it promotes safety.

SEVEN) I heard that for some of us, Thanksgiving is a time for mourning.

Eight) What are we going to do now that we have all of these groups developing research using the Embryonic stem cells now that stem cells can be made from skin? I say keep ‘em in place. The Embryonic type have to be of better quality.

Nine) Do you think they are going to swap pesos with the AMERO, one-for-one?

TEN) Gee, I wonder what Al Gore is eating right now?

Now then, just add paced amounts of alcohol and blend gently. Make sure that you stock up on steaks in the garage refrigerator … they make a good poultice for a black eye.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at MAXINE!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mark Cuban - Support The Troops - An Open Comment - UPDATED With OReilly's Response

Mark Cuban while delivering the final Keynote speech for Blogworld & New Media Expo, Las Vegas Convention Center 11-09-2007 - Image Credit: Edmund Jenks - MAXINE

Mark Cuban - Support The Troops - An Open Comment

On Friday, Mark Cuban went off on a rant at his blog (Blog Maverick) about how FOXNews is somehow devoid of principle for taking his company’s advertising dollars because its chief political and cultural commentator is not in favor of Cuban’s latest Hollywood effort to Hate America.

Redacted, a bloody and hateful mock documentary-style movie put up by Brian De Palma was released throughout Mark Cuban-owned theaters yesterday. One suspects that this movie is so out-of-bounds at a time of live war … that regular distribution through wide-release, corporation owned theaters, was out of the question.

FOXNews is a capitalistic corporate enterprise that is willing to take anyone’s money, save child molesters – even Mark Cuban’s. Mark Cuban, however, is willing to spend his own money to Hate America and openly hurt our troops who are in harm’s way with an art piece that characterizes our military fighting forces as rapists and murderers through the mock documentary depiction of the actions of less than five people.

How cynical is it that when forced with not having any distribution takers … Mark Cuban places the movie into theaters he owns … it’s nice to be the Billionaire.

Mark Cuban while being introduced at the final Keynote for Blogworld & New Media Expo, Las Vegas Convention Center 11-09-2007 - Image Credit: Edmund Jenks - MAXINE

An Open Comment From MAXINE To Blog Maverick –

Support Our Troops

Please do not paint a whole volunteer, heroic, brave, and loyally connected-to-America group of honorable people and have them be compared with the actions of a couple of deviants.

I witnessed your performance at Blogworld. Your comments were spineless and hateful. Only about a third of the crowd in attendance at your keynote - just to hear you speak - applauded your comments about your pathetic Hollywood exploits. Your disrespect of Bill OReilly's honest attempt to push back on Brian De Palma’s “Hate America First” art piece just shows how corrupt and devoid of value your character has become. You really stand for very little except for attention to yourself and money.

Mr. Maverick, I ask you … where is the good? Where is the grateful? Where is the honorable? I suggest that you have no rudder. A ship without a guiding rudder is of little value to itself and to others it may serve.

I ask you to support our defenders and pull the movie from the theaters. Be really big and do not sell the DVD version so that our enemies will not be able to copy, broadcast, and paint the 99.9% of our defending forces by the artfully portrayed actions of the less than .01%

Become a defender yourself. Become a ship with a rudder … what a loving and grateful statement the actions in the above paragraph would make. Truthfully, I don’t believe you have the backbone to show Brian De Palma who’s the boss. We ALL know De Palma will never achieve “rudder status”.

As OReilly would be fond of saying … “What say you? … you HAVE the last word.”

Image Credit: EUR FILM REVIEW: Redacted

The above open comment is posted in response to this from Mark Cuban at Blog Maverick -

Bill OReilly - Principle vs Money ?
Nov 16th 2007 5:45PM

To say Mr OReilly has had it in for me the last month or so would be an understatement. Every day he seemed to take pride in calling me every name in the book and questioning my patriotism. I've already covered my feelings on that subject in blog posts here and here. I've talked about what I, or anyone can do to serve their country here.

What I was curious about was whether this really was important to Mr OReilly, or whether he was just a ratings whore and would say whatever he needed to say to get more people to watch.

I needed to design a very simple test to determine Mr OReilly's motivation. It occured to me to see if FoxNews would take an ad for the movie Redacted.

I had someone call FoxNews and tell them specifically, unequivocally that we wanted to run an ad for the movie Redacted. The same movie Bill OReilly was so upset about.

They said no problem. Do you want to run the ads in both the live show and the repeat ?

Our first reaction was that this was just the sales department and at some point , someone at FoxNews would step in and stop the ads from running. The call to say they were stopping the ads never came.

The ad ran in both shows. Here is a link with Bill's smiling face at the end.

So Mr OReilly , the king of the OReilly Factor, the man who called this movie Anti American and said erroneously it could cause harm to American Troops, was willing to overlook those points and take our money to promote the movie.

We aren't talking about an ad in a show that Mr OReilly has an interest in. This is an ad in the TV show that bears his name. This is a show that he controls from top to bottom. He knowingly took multiple ads for a movie that he he hasnt seen, but believes to be vile. What does that say about Mr OReilly

Of course Mr OReilly can make the argument that he is not involved in the sale of ads, he leaves that to other people. OK, but lets think about the scenario at Fox News if that is the case.

If Mr OReilly doesnt know about the ads, I would think that the people at his show would know and care about his positions, wouldnt you ?" So the question is, do they know that Mr OReilly is all about the money first , last and every bit in between and thats why they took the ad ?

Or is it that they know exactly what Mr OReilly stands for and hate him for it, or could care less what he thinks and they took the ad to spite him ?

Is it that no one involved with Mr OReilly actually watches the show ? Which is why after the ad ran in the live show, no one caught it and had it replaced in the replay ?

its about responsibility Mr OReilly.

And while Im on the subject of Mr OReilly and his ethics, let me add a couple thoughts:

In response to Mr OReilly's comments that "he is going to be my worst nightmare". Well you have succeeded Mr OReilly. The people who take you literally took it upon themselves to call my businesses with bomb threats, threaten employees, myself and others with physical harm and wish every manor of death , injury and illness on us all. They also managed to fill up the telephone lines of the Fallen Patriot Fund so that we couldn't conduct business, and maybe its coincidence, but the fund's website went offline for the first time ever yesterday.

What say you Mr OReilly?
Reference Here>>

UPDATE: 10:15 PT - 11-18-2007 - Mr. OReilly's answer to the Hate America and Hate American Troops, Mark Cuban

This in from HOT AIR -

Hot Air exclusive: Guess who’s visiting the troops at Bagram Air Base? posted at 10:34 am on November 18, 2007 by Bryan

Former Marine and embedded blogger
Matt Sanchez spotted Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly arriving and getting ready to spend some time with the troops. Says Matt:

O’Reilly pulled into Afghanistan to say hello to the troops, but was spared the red carpet treatment.

Here he is at Billeting getting a standard-issue pillow and blanket. Image Credit: Hot Air

Reference Here>>

'NUFF SAID, Mr. OReilly!

... What say you Mr. Maverick?

Well the audiance voted and this is what they had to say to the unguided/rudderless and un-American Mr. Mark Cuban:

This from The New York Post, Page Six -

Richard Johnson - New York Post - Page Six - November 25, 2007

IT'S hard for Hollywood pacifists like Brian De Palma to capture the hearts and minds of America if Americans won't see their movies.

While the public is staying away in droves from “Rendition," “Lions for Lambs" and “In the Valley of Elah," audiences are really avoiding “Redacted," De Palma's picture about US soldiers who rape a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, then kill her and her family. The message movie was produced by NBA Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who insisted on deleting grisly images of Iraqi war casualties from the montage at the film's end. Cuban offered to sell the film back to De Palma at cost, but the director was too smart to go for that deal.

“Redacted" - which “could be the worst movie I've ever seen," said critic Michael Medved -took in just $25,628 in its opening weekend in 15 theaters, which means roughly 3,000 people saw it in the entire country. “This, despite an A-list director, a huge wave of publicity, high praise in the Times, The New Yorker, left-leaning sites like Salon, etc. A Joe Strummer documentary [of punk-rock band The Clash] playing in fewer theaters made more in its third week," e-mailed one cineaste. “Not even people who presumably agree with the movie's antiwar thesis made the effort to see it."

Reference Here>>

UPDATE: December 27, 2006 - Boxoffice Mojo


Domestic: $ 65,388 29.7%
+ Foreign: $154,919 70.3%
= Worldwide: $220,307


As: - 3.7%
Bs: - 1.9%
Cs: - 0.9%
Ds: - 2.8%
Fs: - 90.7%

Ultimately, the public has the final say as to weither a movie is good or has a meaningful, worthwhile message. The public has clearly stated to Cuban and DePalma that their movie product and artistic effort neither good or has a meaningful ... or worthwhile message, and they said NO, Uh-Uuh, terrible, F, don't spend your money, it's a hatchet job, $220,307 in gross receipts after one month ... distributed into theaters owned by Cuban!

Mark Cuban, please do not release this disgusting movie to DVD. The only people who will buy this excuse for an anti-war film will be the type of people who just assassinated Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto. It has great propaganda value to those who actually want to damage others as opposed to the U.S. Military who are actually trying to free others.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

“Facts Don’t Matter” Says The “Leftosphere”

AARP's Divided We Fail Mascot - Please notice which political animal symbol ... and part of the political animal symbol mascot (the head, with brain) has its feet firmly planted on the ground [just the facts]. - Image Credit: AARP

“Facts Don’t Matter” Says The “Leftosphere”

Facts Don’t Matter! - A stunning revelation stated almost in emphatic unison from three of the most respected and read political weblog posters presenting at Blogworld & New Media Expo.

This bold announcement came out at a lightly-attended conference module held as part of the “Political Track” at Blogworld last week.

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE)

The module held Friday, November 9, 2007, in a Las Vegas Convention Center conference room was entitled “Right vs Left: Who’s Winning The Battle Of The Blogosphere?” It featured a discussion panel of six political commentators (three from the conservative viewpoint and three from the liberal, uh, progressive viewpoint).

The “Right vs Left: Who’s Winning The Battle Of The Blogosphere?” panel moderated by Hugh Hewitt. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE)

The members of the panel included on the Right - John Hinderaker (Powerline), Dean Barnett (contributor to, Weekly Standard, & National Review), Henry Copeland (Pressflex, Blogads), and on the Left, Jeralyn Merritt (TalkLeft), Joe Sudbay (AMERICAblog), and Jerome Armstrong (MyDD).

Moderating the discussion panel was radio talkshow host, Hugh Hewitt. He conducted the session using a question / answer approach that allowed panel members to answer each question in rotation. The subject matter was very interesting, the questions posed by Hugh Hewitt were very probative, and the panel members responded with surprising candor.

Midway through the event, audience participation was encouraged intermittently, with questions and additional comments coming from the floor.

Daily KOS Logo - Image Credit: Daily KOS via Wikipedia

Even though the audience for the “Right vs Left: Who’s Winning” session was lightly attended, the members in the audience included some of the most notable political players in the “Blogosphere”, including representatives from Red State and contributors to Pajamas Media. Perhaps the most outspoken audience figure was Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga, founder of Daily KOS, who assumed a bit of a role as frequent “admonisher of the moderator” and additional spokesperson for the left.

Pajamas Media podium logo used at the Blogworld & New Media Expo tradeshow floor. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE)

Among the more interesting topics discussed:

1. New Media (NM) and Mainstream Media (MSM) - How can new media superstars be brought together with mainline old media? Or are we looking at an Echo Chamber VS. Monopoly situation?

During this discussion, it was unanimously observed that the Left has a distinct edge over the Right. With only four (4) Rightist bloggers in Washington D.C. and thirty (30) Leftist bloggers, panelists agreed that the Leftist bloggers are better organized and more collaborative, helping the Left to widely communicate its positions. The New Media portal strength of the Drudge Report was also seen as a factor in limiting the growth of Rightist bloggers in D.C.

Panelists seemed to agree that activities of the new media world are distinct, and pointed to the social impact of “blog swarms”, “action alerts” and eventual movement of new issues from the new media world over into the mainstream media world. It was never made clear who the initiator of the message really is … MSM or NM.

Image Credit: & Hugh Hewitt

2. Media’s Treatment of the War in Iraq – A question from the audience was asked, “What about the recent facts on the ground in Iraq? What happens if developments in Iraq go well? Do these facts change or color the effort to pull all of our troops out when it appears we might become victorious for the hearts and minds of the people of Iraq?”

The responses to this question from the audience member were shocking.

First to respond, Jeralyn Merritt stated, in unequivocal terms “Facts Don’t Matter!” The questioner from the audience interjected, “What? Facts don’t matter?” Merritt responded again, “That’s right. Facts Don’t Matter. We want our troops home. Until they are home, the war was just a mistake.”

Hewitt then asked the other members on the panel who were representing the Left, “Do facts matter in Iraq?”

Not only did the other two panelists from the Left (Sudbay and Armstrong) repeat the phrase in agreement, “No, the facts don’t matter”, but Daily KOS founder Markos Zuniga (from the floor) weighed in by repeating the phrase loudly, to the surprise of a few of us in the room. “No. The Facts Don’t Matter.”

The unison was stunning in its word-for-word declaration. This is more than just a talking point. It is a template.

Leftist parties present (on the panel and from the audience) repeatedly stated that 70% of the American populace want the troops out of Iraq and that the US should end the war there now without regard to any other issue.

Image Credit: BlogAds

This event was eye-opening for us at MAXINE. We suspect that the real reason the opinion weblog sites on the Left operate in unison lies in the fact that Mainstream Media is firmly based in promoting Left-of-center political viewpoints. With the MSM as a powerful and centering force, the “Leftosphere” is able to act as an unfettered and undisciplined subset, “MSM.2”.

Further, there is no such thing as an echo chamber for opinions from the Left but with this union, it is more like a megaphone or P.A. effect. The same thoughts and opinions broadcasted and then re-broadcasted through the different mediums.

One of the most disturbing developments of this POV is that on-air news personalities now feel they have to jump into blogging in order to remain relevant. This is a mistake if the MSM news outlets want to be perceived as (just the facts) Real News Outlets! If this catches on, the MSM will become a subset of … your guessed it … ITSELF!

Image Credit: website

The above “Facts Don’t Matter” incident stands as a glaring example of the unfettered and undisciplined nature of the Leftosphere.

With this template that “Facts Don’t Matter”, it makes one wonder what other issues that affect our safety, our culture and our lives is this applied to?

It is time to think about the next election, and it is time to think about it with this “Facts Don’t Matter” template as a backdrop.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Blogworld & New Media Expo -- “Woodstock For Wordsmiths”

"Turn out the lights ... the party's over" - BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2007 show banner at night after the show. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE)

Blogworld & New Media Expo -- “Woodstock For Wordsmiths”

Attending a tradeshow usually becomes an exercise in real work. One attends conference modules headed up by well oiled presentations that are tightly scripted and thinly veiled attempts at a one hour advertisement of the product or service the presenter is tied to. Exhibits on the showfloor, generally, are laid out with the fortune 500 companies and/or industry leaders of the exposition's primary focus at the front of the hall, followed by dozens of “me too” offerings scattered throughout the hall. One has to turn over a lot of rocks in order to find a gem to write about or to find a new, unique approach that amazes.

Blogworld & New Media Expo was a tradeshow of a surprising and different stripe. First, this debut of a conference and exposition presented strong, established, and well defined names that operate successful media and world wide web communications platforms. Blogword then included newer technology players into the mix, and attracted an audience of over 1,500 focused and information-starved (this does not mean uninformed) weblog participants looking to become better at the craft they forge. The wealth of discovery and collaboration of this unique event was impressive.

Educational and reference resources were in abundance at the BlogWorld Bookstore. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE)

In the conferences, the offering of expert-presented topics was almost too much too absorb. Topics were broken down into focus tracks which helped but many of the topics overlapped, so it was impossible to get to all of the information available – kind of like one large supermarket of information. One small suggestion for future consideration --- have longer trade show visitation periods planned into the conference schedule and possibly offer the most heavily-attended sessions at more than one timeslot to allow access to more exhibitors and session topics.

Andy Beal presenting on "Integrating New Media into your Marketing Mix". Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE)

Track titles included Beginners, Advanced, Podcasting & New Media, Entrepreneur, Monetization, Executive, Sports Blogging, Milblogging, Political, and Special Interest Sessions. Each track offered four sessions on different topics per day and, to be honest, this was a little overwhelming. For example, if one were a writer on politics and wanted to learn how to subsidize his effort, he would have trouble choosing between sessions held at the same time titled “Smart Ways To Monetize Your Blog” and “The Power Of The Political Blogosphere.” Needless to say, many choices and so little time. Perhaps that's what made it such a great event.

Hugh Hewitt broadcasting his radio talkshow live from the tradeshow floor. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE)

On the exhibit floor, many new and innovative software, advertising, and web community companies populated the hall, all with a great story to tell. Due to the rapid interest and growth of the social media side of the internet (Technorati currently tracks 110 million weblogs), some company efforts were showing for the first time.

TALKSHOE tradeshow booth demonstration. Anyone can easily create, join, or listen to live interaction audioblogs, podcasts, discussions, and conversations (called Talkcasts). Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE)

Yahoo, AOL, Pajamas Media, The Truth Laid Bear, Technorati, Microsoft,, Blogger & Podcaster Magazine, SharedBook, ibnma – International Blogging & New Media Association, lingospot, podango, sphere, DOC’S Sports Service, Blog Talk Radio, PRWeb, and GodBlogCon were just a few of the exhibitors with strong solutions wanting to grow with this whole communications concept that has come to be known as BLOGGING.

With all the time spent absorbing information and solutions at the show one would think there would be little time to connect and network on a more human level – WRONG! On opening night, a pajama party sponsored by several industry leaders (Pajamas Media, Zune, Technorati come to mind) billed as the “World’s Largest Pajama Party” was held at “The Joint” inside the Hard Rock Hotel. Several people took the pajama challenge seriously and the crowd attitude was running high from physical community discovery. Both DJ-performed and Live Music played throughout the evening with an interruption for the 2007 Weblog Awards. Food, Fun, and Conversation were in plentiful supply as the night wound on with few people feeling pressed to end this time spent with like-minded people too early.

Weblog 2007 Video Category winner, Mary Katharine Ham. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE)

Yes, this first ever Blogworld & New Media Expo was a surprising success and it all goes off again next year in September 2008 right here in LA’s favorite suburb … Las Vegas.

Come one and come all to the second edition of a "Woodstock for Wordsmiths” … all the like-minded people, music, no mud!

Congratulations to all the 2007 Weblog Awardees!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

VIVA, Las Vegas! – It’s A Whole New (blog) World!

Image Credit:

VIVA, Las Vegas! – It’s A Whole New (blog) World!

From LA, it’s just a short four hour drive across the desert with the “FM 98&99 - The Highway Stations" filling in on the background while we, at MAXINE press across the winding road to Las Vegas. Starting Wednesday, and continuing through to Friday, a “First Ever” tradeshow catering to individuals and businesses that tie at least some of their efforts to the process of communication and commerce through the computer and the internet.

Featured exhibiting enterprises include weblog advertising agencies, news source aggregators, web-metrics analysis companies, digital to analog (and back) publishers, broadcasting/podcasting audio and video enterprises, search engine and front page information tools businesses, virus security protection companies, investment opportunity enterprises, special interest blog communities, communications associations, application software developers, employment agencies, transportation companies, and website development entrepreneurs.

Beginning Wednesday, a one day conference entitled Executive & Entrepreneur Conference – followed Thursday and Friday by blogworld & New Media EXPO will highlight all that the this brave new digital communications world has to offer. The Executive & Entrepreneur Conference will host sessions that will explore subjects from “The Importance of Blogging & New Media In Your Organization/Strategic Marketing” to Search Engine Optimization: Best Practices, and includes “Going Global with New Media”.

blogworld& New Media EXPO conference continue with two more days of sessions on “Citizen Journalism & Mainstream Media” to “Smart Ways To Monetize Your Blog”, and includes “The Cult of Blogging” featuring radio talk show host, Hugh Hewitt and Blog Entrepreneur, Arianna Huffington.

On the exposition floor, recognizabe WWW. names such as YAHOO!, Microsoft, AOL, Pajamas Media, CAMPAIGNS & ELECTIONS, CLIQ, GodblogCon 2007, ibnma (International Blogging & New Media Association), Kithbridge, podango, PRWeb, SharedBook, SOUTHWEST Airlines, sphere, Technorati, and Townhall to mention a few will all be trying to capture the attention of and create a greater sense of community with - The Blogger. Surrounding activities include a private pre-release movie premiere of Grace Hill Media’s “Kite Runner” with a question and answer session with the star of the movie moderated by respected movie critic and radio talk show host, Michael Medved.

This from Grace Hill Media -

Image Credit: ecj via Grace Hill Media

And a major sponsor pajama party at “The Joint” at the Hard Rock Hotel! This from Pajamas Media -

What Happens at Blog World Stays at Blog World
Posted At Pajamas Media 11-07-2007

On Thursday and Friday, bloggers and blog readers will assemble at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the first annual Blog World Expo. In addition to the non-stop panels, a “Pajama Party” will be held Thursday night at the Hard Rock Hotel. Among the Pajamahadeen on hand: Glenn Reynolds, Roger L. Simon, Rick Moran, Stephen Green, Ed Driscoll and Aaron Hanscom. Read more about the festivities, prizes, and (yes) showgirls…

TRUEVIEW EVENTS - Murder Mystery days, Murder Mystery dinners, Murder Mystery teambuilding events. Film Making days, Advert making days, Treasure Hunts, and many more teambuilding activities. Image Credit: Trueview Events in association with Pajamas Media

It’s Vegas, after all, and when in Rome… Showgirls wearing Pajamas Media sashes. At the Pajamas Media booth, comic Evan Sayet will be holding forth as the “White House Press Secretary” twice a day. Visitors to the booth get a free Pajamas Media sleep mask. And those who are bold enough to hold their own Press Conference have a chance to win an iPod!
Reference Here>>

A new effort that helps to find relevant information, posts, and Direct Media efforts and evaluate them is Kithbridge. At the show, during lunch, Kithbridge software search and display solutions found blog posts that featured blogworld & New Media EXPO which had been published to the web Wednesday morning and placed then in letter by letter motion on screens in the hall for everyone to see. Here is a video example of this post being displayed through the Kithbridge demo over the lunch break.


The point of all of this is to allow the people who participate in this relatively new pursuit of weblog-ing and associated world wide web activity to come together as a community and share in this like minded effort to mix/mingle and communicate. It's kind'a like a "Woodstock for Wordsmiths" ...

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Real Survivor Fiji - Plots Alleged

2007 Pacific People - Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama - Interim Prime Minister Government of Fiji -- B. 27 April 1954 VILL. Kiuva, Tailevu HS Marist Brothers High School UNIV. Fiji Institute of Technology, Second Mate Qualification; Junior Command and Staff College, RNZAF CHURCH Methodist EXP. Joined Royal Fiji Military Forces Naval Division 1975; Appointed Commander Officer Fiji Navy 1988; Chief of Staff Republic of Fiji Military Forces 1997; Commander of Fiji Military Forces 1999. BOARDS Fiji Rugby Union HOBBIES All sports especially rugby union and athletics, military history, current affairs. SPOUSE Maria Makitalena CHILD 6 -- Caption & Image Credit: Pacific Magazine

The Real Survivor Fiji - Plots Alleged

When someone takes over a country by force one might expect that others who do not agree with this action outside of democracy … resort to the same tactics in removing an illegal leader from power.

Paranoia strikes deep in a regime that takes power without the consent of the people and the rule of law. The longer this military dictatorship remains in power … the more paranoid this leadership will become.

Commodore Frank is unable to distinguish between what is good for Frank and what is good for democracy.

At this rate, this leadership-by-paranoia style of Commodore Frank means that Fiji will not be able to expect to see elections anytime soon … especially by 2009!

Heaven forbid that ANY tourist happens to voice an off-the-cuff opinion about democracy verses forced military rule in a mixed crowd of Fijians … one might just find themselves hurt because they - - (quote excerpted from AP article) suffered "minor injuries'' when he resisted arrest!

This item excerpted from the Associated Press via the Guardian Unlimited (UK) -

3 Charged in Plot to Kill Fiji Ruler
By PITA LIGAIULA - Associated Press Writer - Monday November 5, 2007 12:01 PM

SUVA, Fiji (AP) - Authorities said Monday they have arrested 16 people and charged three of them with treason in an alleged conspiracy to assassinate Fiji's military leader, while Australia and New Zealand angrily rejected suggestions they were involved.

The 16 people were arrested over the weekend in what police said was a foiled plot by dissident troops and others against army chief Commodore Frank Bainimarama. The military leader seized power in a bloodless coup in December and declared himself interim prime minister of the Pacific island nation.

Police commissioner Esala Teleni declined to identify the three charged Monday with treason, inciting mutiny and conspiracy to murder. He said a fourth man, New Zealand businessman Ballu Khan, also would be charged in the plot when he is released from a hospital.
"We have successfully blocked any threat to the government, the community and the safety and well-being of tourists in this country,'' he said in a statement. The island chain is a popular tourist destination.

Teleni said Sunday that the alleged plotters included local politicians who wanted to foment an insurgency. He pointed to possible involvement of "foreign governments" - likely meaning Australia and New Zealand - and suggested that money was funneled to plotters through private aid groups.

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer called the allegations "completely absurd."

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark rejected Teleni's suggestions as "wild statements" and said the plot allegations were a pretext to round up Bainimarama's opponents.

Western nations have urged Bainimarama to restore Fiji's democracy after he imposed a monthlong state of emergency in September. Fiji has a history of turbulent politics, including two coups in 1987 and another in 2000.

Bainimarama blamed the latest plot, allegedly involving arms and explosives, on "disgruntled groups'' affected by the government's anti-corruption program.

"Such people have the potential to go to extremes in undermining the work which the interim government has been mandated to undertake," he said Monday.
Reference Here>>

Is the crackdown on "disgruntled groups" - as Commodore Frank calls them - or is the government anti-corruption program effort really an anti-democracy program?