Zarqawi is dead

Zarqawi is dead, and Christopher Hitchens nails it, as usual:

If we had withdrawn from Iraq already…then one of the most revolting criminals of all time would have been able to claim that he forced us to do it. That would have catapulted Iraq into Stone Age collapse and instated a psychopathic killer as the greatest Muslim soldier since Saladin. As it is, the man is ignominiously dead and his dirty connections a lot closer to being fully exposed. This seems like a good day’s work to me.

Moore is sued for dishonest footage, again is retired, and I don’t intend for this space to inherit its subject matter. That said, in checking Instapundit today, I noticed my old mark, Michael Moore, is in trouble again:

A double-amputee Iraq-war vet is suing Michael Moore for $85 million, claiming the portly peacenik recycled an old interview and used it out of context to make him appear anti-war in “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

Sgt. Peter Damon, 33, who strongly supports America’s invasion of Iraq, said he never agreed to be in the 2004 movie, which trashes President Bush.

Geez, just when you think a movie could not be more discredited, along comes one of the people who appeared in it to slam the preverbial door even further. Of course, this isn’t the first time Sgt. Damon has complained about the shameful way he was treated by Moore. In the documentary FahrenHYPE 9/11 (disclosure: which I appear in, briefly), Damon first stated that he was taken completely out of context in Moore’s film. So while these aren’t new claims, they do come after over a year of apparent but unsuccessful efforts by Damon to get Moore to admit his wrongs.

One of the little known facts about Moore’s films- one that he would prefer be kept under wraps- is that he does not personally collect all of the footage that ultimately appear in his films. Far from it; in fact- some is gathered by producers, but even more is culled from vast stock video libraries and editied as it is seen fit by Moore. In Sgt. Damon’s case, Moore obtained the rights to some footage from the NBC News archives, cut it down to fit his argument, and stuck it in. The act can only be described as a lazy, cheap, and thoroughly dishonest attempt to pull one over on viewers. Can you imagine being so afraid of your own positions that you would go to such lengths to advance them?

This isn’t the first time Moore has been sued, for that matter. As Dave Hardy and I wrote in our book, Moore was successfully sued by a former friend who won over $4 million dollars from the filmmaker in a 1993 judgement. The lawsuit stemmed from Moore’s 1986 film Roger & Me, and can you guess what it revolved around? That’s right! The friend successfully sued Moore for taking his words out of context and using them against him on film.

Of course, the fact that this time around the treachery involves a solider injured in battle just makes it all the more disgusting.

UPDATE: Dave Hardy has more.

Mainers- support a more interesting governor’s race

Hola Mainers,

Barbara Merrill is an independent considering a run for the Blaine House. Because her hopes rest on a Clean Elections candidacy, she needs your help to gather the required contributions to qualify for Clean Elections Status.

Please- even if you’re supporting another candidate- take a few minutes, and $5 of your hard-earned dollars, and mail it off to the Clean Elections Fund on behalf of Merrill. It’s an easy, wholesome, and meaningful way to support a slightly more interesting, slightly more varied, and slightly-more issue-oriented campaign season here in Maine.

And oh yes- she needs you to send out your check(s) today, as tomorrow (Friday) is her deadline. It’s not too late, especially if you get to the mailbox before this evening.

Donate $5 to the Clean Elections Fund to support Barbara Merrill’s campaign →

PS – If you want to vett her before you send in the cash, check out her site or Lance Dutson’s recent interview with her.

Maine blogger free of lawsuit; Maine not yet free of corruption

As I wrote yesterday, Maine ‘Pay-per-Gate’ blogger Lance Dutson has been relieved of a multi-million dollar lawsuit brought against him, thanks in part to his attorneys, Maine State Rep Stephen Bowen, and the public relations and legal work of the MBA (disclosure: I’m on the board of the MBA).

So at least nationally, this sad, sordid saga is over. But as this story began locally, I believe it’s still active locally. Warren Kremer Paino may have buckled under the pressure of the blogosphere, national media, and a lone brave state rep coming to bear on them, but I believe you can also make the argument that by dropping the suit, they win in a different way.

After all, with this decisive victory in Lance’s favor, national attention will turn away and onto other matters of importance. I haven’t heard anything different from our silent state government, so I can only assume that WKP will be back at work Monday spending our tax dollars to sue our residents.

The full story goes beyond WKP, as well. The fact remains that some of the most bizarre and inept behavior committed against Lance was never even raised on the national scale. And unfortunately, while Warren Kremer Paino has learned it cannot intimidiate a Maine resident while acting on behalf of our government, the sad reality remains that Dann Lewis, Maine Tourism director, still has his job. And Nancy Marshall, head of the PR firm representing the state agency, is still retained as official flack. Both have yet to be held fully accountable for their actions to date.

I trust that Lance will continue to follow these issues, and if he does (and I know he will), it will nearly impossible not to uncover further and greater incompetence. Now that he knows he has the full weight of a million other bloggers, plenty of legal help, and at least one state rep behind him, I hope that Lance’s efforts to hold those in power accountable is helped by more of his own fellow Mainers.

We owe it to Lance to support him, as he has come a long way to make it here. But we also owe it to him to help in any other way we can. There is still much left to be done.

Lance won…this round

Congratulations to Lance Dutson, who is free from the legal black cloud imposed on him by Warren Kremer Paino Advertising. The agency dropped their lawsuit Friday, though they made no public comment on the matter. Cowards, to the end.

In his latest post on the now seven-month-long Pay-Per-Gate saga, Lance thanked his own legal council, along with Media Bloggers Association and our (disclosure: I am a board member) legal and public relations support. He also mentioned the work of Maine state rep Stephen Bowen, who just yesterday publicized a letter he wrote to Maine’s governor’s office asking that Warren Kremer Paino advertising’s state contract be investigated.

More on this soon…


Step one: read this article by Ben Stein defending George Bush.

Step two: If you are a blogger and you truly, seriously, honestly, blame George Bush for the hurricane, please call me and explain why. Check to make sure you’re sane first, because like most humans on earth I’m often quite busy.

Because, see, I’m not going to know the reasoning behind your belief that George Bush is the cause and effect of the hurricane. That’s because I am delinking and deleting ANY blogger from my blogroll, RSS feed, and headspace who dares to suggest that an act of God (or whatever YOU call it) was caused by our President.

Bloggers who I’ve already wiped from my life:

Dave Winer

Blast from the past: Joe Wilson was John Kerry’s idea of “honest”

Now that Joe Wilson is back in the news (part of it his own doing), I thought it would be both quite timely and at least somewhat hilarious to dig up this relic from exactly one year ago today: July 15th of good ole summer 2004:

Click the image for a full-size view. Trust me, it’s worth it!

The image above is a screenshot I captured from John Kerry’s presidential campaign website exactly one year ago, on July 15th 2004. That’s right: During July of last year (until it was curiously taken down a short time after this screenshot), Joe Wilson was proudly heralded by the Kerry campaign as a beacon of “honesty.”

Of course, in just one of the Kerry campaign’s many, many flubs, a short time after Wilson’s “restore honesty” website was posted his credibility and- yes, honesty- were completely obliterated by the Senate Intelligence Report that led, no doubt, to his website being scrubbed from the Kerry campaign site and the web altogether. The whole thing kind of reminds me of how, around the same time, Sandy Berger “resigned” his post as national security advisor to the Kerry campaign after published news reports alleged that he stole documents from the national archives (by hiding them in his socks, don’t forget!).