I TOLD You I’d Be Gone Some in January

But, I’m back. It’s hell being out of town with no internet access.

I’m suffering from severe withdrawal, but I still have work to do. Expect some posting later. Perhaps much later.

Failure of the Will

Gary Cruse’s latest Best of Me Symphony is up. In this week’s entry, Wince and Nod has a piece on the war in Vietnam. He reviews McNamara’s view of the war in contrast to Dr. Jerry Pournell’s, and finds Pournell’s the more convincing argument. The war in Viet Nam was not, Pournell argues, a war against the North Vietnamese, it was a war against the Soviet Union – a war we were winning:

Well, I don’t disagree except that we did not lose the war in Viet Nam. We accomplished what we needed, which was a long campaign of materiel attrition as part of the Seventy Years War. In 1973 we demonstrated that at small cost we could hold South Viet Nam forever, and bleed the North and their Russian allies white as we did.

The Democrats threw away a victory. We weren’t defeated, we simply came home when the Democrats decided that having won it wasn’t worth defending the Gooks with American blood and treasure. If that sounds harsh, I am sorry, but it’s what happened. We had won. The border was stabilized in the sense that it took a large army to cross it and ARVN with U.S. supplies and air support could destroy any such large army. Every time and to the last man.

Yet that “small cost” was more than enough to let the media tell us that “we couldn’t win” over and over until we believed it.

Wince argues:

I grant you the North had the will. Americans had the will, too, and would have kept it if our leaders had not failed us. First Johnson, McNamara and the defense department failed by running the war poorly from 65 to 68. Then Nixon failed by blowing up his own Presidency and his own party. Then the Democrats failed in 1975, when all they had to do was provide supplies and air power. At that point we had successfully Vietnamized the war, but they required American style material, air power and logistical support, which we abruptly and cravenly cut off. I cannot forgive the Congressional Democrats for dishonoring our commitment in this fashion. From whence do you think our reputation for having no staying power came?

Wince leaves out the power of the 5th Column of the media. Howard Fineman’s January 12 MSNBC piece on “The Death of the American Mainstream Media Party” illustrated that power:

Still, the notion of a neutral, non-partisan mainstream press was, to me at least, worth holding onto. Now it’s pretty much dead, at least as the public sees things. The seeds of its demise were sown with the best of intentions in the late 1960s, when the AMMP was founded in good measure (and ironically enough) by CBS. Old folks may remember the moment: Walter Cronkite stepped from behind the podium of presumed objectivity to become an outright foe of the war in Vietnam. Later, he and CBS’s star White House reporter, Dan Rather, went to painstaking lengths to make Watergate understandable to viewers, which helped seal Richard Nixon’s fate as the first president to resign.

The piece I referred to yesterday where Knight-Ridder Newspapers has declared the war in Iraq “unwinnable” is another.

Vietnam and Iraq do share many parallels. The most striking one is that what we are fighting isn’t the “insurgents” in Iraq, just as what we were fighting in Vietnam wasn’t the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese. In Vietnam we were fighting the Soviet Union. The VC and North Vietnamese army were their proxies. We were fighting the ideology of communism by, as Dr. Pournell points out, bleeding it white economically. In Iraq we are fighting another ideology, but this time it is not one we can defeat economically. It’s one we can only defeat by establishing the conditions necessary for individual freedom in the Middle East. I’m not Steven Den Beste, and I’m not Victor Davis Hanson, and I’m not Bill Whittle, but even if I cannot express it as logically, clearly, or eloquently as they, I understand that what we are fighting is militant Islam – a force in the world that is virulent, powerful, and dedicated to the destruction of freedom and democracy throughout the world. This is a religious war, because one side of it isn’t a country, but a religion.

Another parallel is that the government’s announced reasons for fighting in Vietnam weren’t the core reasons we fought. We did it to fight Communist expansion, but the goal was the actual destruction of the Soviet Union. As Dr. Pournell pointed out, that took seventy years. Certainly we invaded Iraq to unseat Saddam Hussein and remove him as a threat, but the more important reason was, as Steven Den Beste diagrams in his “strategic overview” of the Global War on Terror:

The large solution is to reform the Arab/Muslim world. This is the path we have chosen.

Any bets on how many decades that will take? Any argument on just how important that goal is?

As I said yesterday, the only way we will lose this war is if we lose our will. The media is doing everything in its power to sap our will, and I’m goddamned tired of it. The media lost the war in Vietnam, and it’s trying to repeat the achievement. But this time an American pullout means a lot more that the deaths of a few million brown people and the loss of American pride. We pulled out of Vietnam after we had accomplished what needed to be accomplished, and then we abandoned the South Vietnamese in an unconscionable act of cowardice. THEY paid the price of that cowardice. If the media “wins” again, WE will pay, and so will the rest of the world.

Where’s Uncle Walter When You Need Him?


Too Bad Dan Rather’s Shot His Wad of Credibility

He could have broken this story on the CBS Evening News and convinced everybody.

It seems that Knight-Ridder Newspapers group has concluded that the Iraq war is unwinnable.

An analysis of a U.S. newspaper group concludes the United States is headed toward defeat in the Iraqi war.

The Knight Ridder Newspapers analysis of U.S. government statistics shows the Sunni Muslim insurgency in Iraq steadily gaining on the U.S. military, the Detroit Free Press, owned by Knight Ridder, reported Saturday.

Among factors cited:

— U.S. military fatalities from hostile acts rose from an average of about 17 per month in May 2003 to a current average of 82 per month;

— The average number of U.S. soldiers wounded by hostile acts per month has spiraled from 142 to 808 during the same period;

— Attacks on the U.S.-led coalition since November 2003 rose from 735 a month to 2,400 in October;

— The average number of mass-casualty bombings has grown from zero in the first few months of the U.S.-led occupation to an average of 13 per month; and

— Electricity production has been below prewar levels since October.

“All the trend lines we can identify are all in the wrong direction,” said Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, a Washington policy research organization.

In other news, Knight-Ridder announced that, with the firing of the great General George McClellan, the Army of Northern Virginia will be unstoppable. The civil war is unwinnable. All the trend lines are in the wrong direction.

Also, after the fall of Singapore and then Corregidor, the war in the Pacific is unwinnable. All the trend lines are in the wrong direction.

Now that the media has shown itself to be a “clear and present danger” due to the fact that it has thrown the wrapper off its activities as a Fifth Column, perhaps now the President can make the moonbats really froth at the mouth by invoking the government’s power of censorship in time of war.

Yes, I’m serious.

The only way we will lose this war is if we lose our will. The media is doing everything in its power to sap our will, and I’m goddamned tired of it. The media lost the war in Viet Nam, and it’s trying to repeat the achievement. But this time an American pullout means a lot more that the deaths of a few million brown people and the loss of American pride.

Mostly Cajun Has a Birthday

His first blogiversary is today. Drop by and wish him well, if his commenting software will let you. (It wouldn’t let me.)

Congratulations! Here’s to many more!

Another “Compare and Contrast”

From England:

Drink thieves stab grocer to death
By Oliver Poole
(Filed: 23/12/2004)

A shopkeeper was killed for two bottles of spirits after he tackled thieves who were trying to rob his grocery store.

Mahmut Fahri, 59, had pepper spray directed into his eyes and was stabbed in the chest in Bounds Green, north London, after he confronted two men as they attempted to grab the bottles from behind the counter.

Despite being mortally wounded and unable to see properly, he chased his attackers down the street armed with a walking stick before collapsing at a minicab office.

A trail of blood on the pavement marked his pursuit.

Mr Fahri, a Turkish Cypriot, who had owned the business for more than 15 years, died three hours later at North Middlesex Hospital.

Wayne Denton, 30, a minicab driver at Cavendish Radio Cars, said: “I was in the office and heard a bang on the door. I opened it and there he was.

“I don’t think he realised he was stabbed because the excruciating pain was coming from his eyes.

“He said, `My eyes, my eyes. I’ve been attacked’. His face was orangey-brown where he had been sprayed.

“But then I began to see the blood pouring down him. It was running down his legs. He opened his jacket and I could see a patch of blood on his jumper.

“He was shaking and I could see he was in a lot of pain but he could walk. We went back into his shop to get some cloth to wipe his eyes and he started rubbing them.

“I called the police and the ambulance. He had drinks and cigarettes behind the counter, and all of that had been disturbed by the robbers.

His wife came after that and she was absolutely hysterical at seeing so much blood on the floor and seeing her husband so severely injured.

“His son and daughter were there as well and he was still conscious but he realised he was in serious trouble.

“They put him into an ambulance on a stretcher and had an oxygen mask on him. That was the last I saw of him.”

Locals said the area around Whittington Road, in which the shop is located, was a renowned place for drug addicts and alcoholics to congregate. It was not the first time problems with thieves had occurred at the store.

Mr Fahri had joined the local Neighbourhood Watch group after telling customers that he was concerned about safety. He had bought an Alsatian dog for protection but it died three months ago.

Nathaniel Peter, 22, a regular customer, said: “He was a very community-minded person and was very respected by a lot of people. Sometimes I used to go into the shop without any money and he would just tell me to pay later.

“He was only 5ft 5in but he would have put up a fight if someone was trying to steal as he was a man of principle.”

Mr Fahri had two grown-up children and four grandchildren and was known as a passionate Manchester United fan. He lived with his wife, Pembre, a mile from his shop in Riverway, Palmers Green.

The family was too distressed to comment.

Around 20 floral tributes had been placed outside the store. One, from Mr Fahri’s two children and their families, read: “In loving memory of Dad.” Another said: “To our uncle, remembering you with all our heart.”

Police said they were searching for two men, one aged around 35 and the other in his 20s, of Asian or Turkish appearance. Both had been wearing dark clothing at the time of the attack.

An investigating officer said Mr Fahri saw them lurking in a corner of his shop, the Albion grocery store, at 9.15pm on Tuesday and confronted them when the older one reached for the bottles.

“It seems to have happened very quickly,” he said. “The guy went to get the bottles and then stabbed him.”

Both men are believed to have got away with the alcohol they had taken.

From the U.S.:

Clerk Shoots Knife-Wielding Robber

Milwaukee – Neighbors of Ayesh Food Market on Hampton Avenue and 19th Place say nearly everyone in the area knows and likes the owner, and police say even a man who came in to rob the store knew him.

“He was armed with a four inch steak knife,” said Lt. Steven Spingola of the Milwaukee Police Department. “He originally confronted the owner of the store, who was standing in an aisle, and demanded money.”

When a 23-year-old cashier saw the owner in trouble, police say he grabbed the store’s revolver and jumped out from behind the counter. That’s when police say the suspect started chasing the cashier.

“He was pursued up the aisle by the suspect, and he was cornered near the meat counter at the south end of the store. He then fired his weapon in self-defense,” said Lt. Spingola.

While one bullet went through the glass, police say three bullets went into the suspect, killing him. Officers say the store’s gun is a legally owned weapon.

“It’s completely legal. It’s their right to do that. The police can’t be everywhere at one time,” said Lt. Spingola.

Regular customers were glad to hear no one else was hurt, especially the owners.
“These are good guys. They treat you right,” said Henry Blount.

“The owner was in the far aisle shielding a customer from the suspect,” said Lt. Spingola.

Police say the suspect appeared to be in his 30s.

Police say they don’t expect any charges to be filed in this case.

Edited to ad: My most sincere apologies. I forgot to credit Zendo Deb for the second story link.

OK, WTF???

I go to Connie du Toit’s blog today and this is what I see:

System Offline

January 20, 2005: This blog/site is no longer in service. I apologize for any bad links which sent you here only to find this message. Thank you to all who played and contributed over the years.

See you in comments.

With warmest and best regards to all who deserve it,


aka “The Mrs”

You got some ‘splainin’ to do, Lucy. No archives? No explanation, no nothing?

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m hurt. You’ve got my email. I expect to hear from you.

Dept. of Our Collapsing Schools, Part: “May I Beat Them With a ClueBat™?”

Sissy Willis reports of this column by a writer for the Newton TAB in Massachussetts. It’s about why the public school system was recently forced to publicly admit that the sixth-grade MCAS math scores have steadily declined over the past three years to the point where 32 percent of sixth-graders are now in the ‘warning’ or ‘needs improvement’ category.”

The school system has no answer, columnist Tom Mountain explains:

The school department offered no tangible explanation for these declining scores other than to admit that they have no explanation, as articulated by Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Carolyn Wyatt (salary $106,804), “[The results] have decreased, incrementally, each year and continue to puzzle us.” She went on to admit that this downward trend is peculiar to Newton and “is not being seen statewide.” Again, she offered no explanation, but she did assure the School Committee that her assistant, Math Coordinator Mary Eich (salary $101,399), is currently investigating the problem.

In full disclosure, my sister teaches 5th grade math and science. She has been a teacher for more than twenty years. Her income is, I believe, less than $50k per annum, but those administrative salaries are not out of line for the school district in which she works.

Mr. Mountain thinks, though, that he might have a grip on the problem, and he’s not even drawing a public-service paycheck:

But why have the sixth-grade MCAS scores plummeted in just three years? What mitigating circumstances, such as demographic or economic factors, could have contributed to this downward spiral?

Since Newton has been curiously alone in this decline, surely we can’t blame the MCAS itself, especially since the test has hardly changed in just three years. The demographics of the city haven’t shifted in so short a period. The socioeconomic level of the population has risen steadily. The school budget has dramatically increased – most notably with an unprecedented override in 2002 – to the point where the budget is at a record high, despite an actual decline in the number of students.

Class size has only recently increased, but mostly at the high schools and only sporadically at the lower grade levels. Since the turnover rate in the school department has always been low, the teachers and principals are roughly the same. We still have the same School Committee, superintendent and mayor.

So then, after eliminating any potential mitigating factors, what could possibly account for the steady decline in the sixth-grade math MCAS scores?

The only logical and remaining explanation is change that occurred in the Newton math curriculum itself – the subject matter of what is taught and how, what is emphasized and what is not, what has been omitted and what is new. In short, what has changed in the elementary and middle school math curriculum to have affected such a dramatic decline in the MCAS scores?

Answer: the new math curriculum, otherwise known as anti-racist multicultural math.

Between 1999 and 2001, under the direction of Superintendent Young and Assistant Superintendent Wyatt, the math curriculum was redesigned to emphasize “Newton’s commitment to active anti-racist education” for the elementary and middle schools. This meant that no longer were division, multiplication, fractions and decimals the first priority for teaching math. For that matter, the teaching of math was no longer the first priority for math teachers, as indicated by the new curriculum guidelines, called benchmarks, which function as the primary instructional guide for teaching math in the Newton Public Schools.

In 2001 Mr. Young, Mrs. Wyatt and an assortment of other well-paid school administrators, defined the new number-one priority for teaching mathematics, as documented in the curriculum benchmarks, “Respect for Human Differences – students will live out the system wide core of ‘Respect for Human Differences’ by demonstrating anti-racist/anti-bias behaviors.” It continues, “Students will: Consistently analyze their experiences and the curriculum for bias and discrimination; Take effective anti-bias action when bias or discrimination is identified; Work with people of different backgrounds and tell how the experience affected them; Demonstrate how their membership in different groups has advantages and disadvantages that affect how they see the world and the way they are perceived by others…” It goes on and on.

These are the most important priorities that the school department has determined for teaching math from grade one through eight, as documented in the Newton Public Schools Benchmarks.

Nowhere among the first priorities for the math curriculum guidelines is the actual teaching of math. That’s a distant second. To Superintendent Young and his School Committee, mathematical problem-solving is of secondary importance to anti-racist/anti-bias math.

I studied a lot of math in grade school, culminating with calculus in my senior year. I made it through Differential Equations in college. You know, not once did it occur to me that mathematics might have anything to do with racism. Are irrational numbers discriminated against? Is “square-root” a racial ephithet? Mr. Mountain has, it appears, found what two hundred-thousand-dollar public servants have obviously missed: “Nowhere among the first priorities for the math curriculum guidelines is the actual teaching of math. That’s a distant second.”

Equally apparent to me is the fact that nowhere among the first priorities for the history curriculum guidelines of far too many public schools is the actual teaching of history, nor in English curricula, nor science, nor any other of the fundamental disciplines that public schooling is tasked with. The FIRST priority in these public schools, overriding all others, is to build ignorant, pliable, unthinking, politically-correct eco-worshipping multi-culti mind-numbed robots in the socialist mold of John Dewey who said, “You can’t make Socialists out of individualists. Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming where everyone is interdependent.”

They’ve done a helluva job.

UPDATE, 1/24: From comments at Professor Plum‘s comes this University of Florida College of Education “Supplement and Study Guide” for “Multicultural Mathematics”. You’ve GOT to read this. But here’s the part that stands out like a neon sign:


Each student is expected to exhibit courteous, mature, and professional behavior. Violation of the following and other inappropriate and irresponsible behaviors will lead to a deduction in your final grade.

• cheating or otherwise presenting another person’s work as your own*

• turning assignments in late

• missing class and related experiences

• talking when someone else – a peer or a teacher – is speaking

• exhibiting a challenging, arrogant, or insolent manner

• making late and noisy entrances – or exits – from the classroom

• displaying active disinterest in class (e.g., sleeping, walking out)

• packing up books and papers before the class officially ends

• putting down or disrespecting other students

• asking irrelevant questions as an annoyance

• not being prepared for class

• not listening to announcement or lectures and then asking others about the information presented

• doing work for another course during class-time

• refusing to participate in activities

• exhibiting lack of awareness of acceptable behavior (e.g., eating or drinking in class, passing notes)

• being slow to move into or out of groups

• disrespectfully over-reacting to assignments when handed back

This is a university course for the education of future TEACHERS. And these rules are what you’d see for a third-grade classroom. But “exhibiting a challenging, arrogant, or insolent manner”? Why do I think that Dr. Thomasenia Lott Adams might have found some resistance to her instruction in “Multicultural Mathematics”? Sweet bleeding jeebus.

Another Defensive Gun Use, Just a Little Too Late

Everybody’s probably heard about Megan Leann Holden and her abduction from the parking lot of the Tyler, Texas Wal-Mart she worked at. Her truck, and her suspected abductor were found in Willcox, Arizona after Johnny Lee Williams went to a hospital to be treated for a gunshot wound to his shoulder.

It seems that after abducting Holden, he tried to rob someone at an RV park:

Tyler police spokesman Don Martin said earlier that Holden, a clerk at the Wal-Mart store, had clocked out at 11:43 p.m. Wednesday.

A surveillance videotape “shows Megan getting into her truck and the (man) running up behind her and either hitting her or pushing her,” Martin said. “Then the vehicle drives off.”

He said Williams, of Tyler, was considered a suspect.

(Carol) Capas (spokeswoman for the Cochise County, Ariz. Sheriff’s Department) said Williams is believed to have been shot during an attempted robbery at an RV park northeast of Willcox. A man at the RV park told authorities he had shot a man who had pulled a gun on him and demanded money.

Williams was being treated at Northern Cochise Community Hospital for a gunshot wound to the shoulder;

Too bad Williams didn’t meet a “dangerous victimbefore he abducted Ms. Holden. And too bad Ms. Holden, a 19 year-old woman and employee of Wal-Mart, was prohibited from being armed both by her age, and also by Wal-Mart policy on firearms in the workplace. She made a perfect target.

The report doesn’t mention it, but the front page link to it states that Ms. Holden’s body has been found by the authorities.

It Bears Repeating, Though

Instapundit links to this LA Weekly piece by John Powers. The good Perfesser quotes this passage:

Whether it’s rewriting the tax code or privatizing Social Security to solve an imaginary “crisis,” the right has become the agent of change.

In contrast, the left has become — there’s no other word for it — reactionary.

Still unable to accept that the right has dominated our national life for the last quarter-century, the left hasn’t done the hard, slow work of thinking through what it means to be progressive during an era of ultraglobalized capitalism in which the only successful Democratic president in the last 35 years, Bill Clinton, followed policies that even he compared to Dwight Eisenhower’s. Far from proposing bold new ideas that might seize the popular imagination, the left now plays the kind of small-ball that Dubya disdains. Even worse, it’s become the side that’s forever saying “No.”

There’s more to the piece than merely that, but that’s the heart of it.

But back in May of 2003, Mike at Feces Flinging Monkey had already identified, dissected, and described the problem with the Democratic Party: They’re The New Conservatives.


I’m serious. Take a quick look at their big domestic issues now:

Don’t weaken abortion laws.

Don’t weaken affirmative action laws.

Don’t weaken the public school system.

Don’t weaken the unions.

Don’t weaken welfare.

Don’t weaken environmental laws.

Don’t weaken gun control laws.

Don’t weaken liability laws.

Don’t weaken Medicare.

Don’t weaken Social Security.

Don’t get too far into debt.

And of course, stop taking so many chances overseas.

There is no innovation here, no new plan or new future, nothing bold or risky or daring. It’s a gigantic holding action. The only real change ever discussed is an increase in scale, an increase of quantity rather than kind. You can run the same speeches from the 1980 race and nobody would notice the difference.

What about real reform, new ideas that might work or that might not? School vouchers, tort reform, individual Social Security accounts, eliminating subsidies, basing affirmative action on need rather than race – these are big ideas, things that just might take off and really work out well. These are not illiberal ideas, but they challenge the status quo and the Democrats generally oppose them.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the Republicans are not exactly great innovators either, but they are supposed to be conservative. When these folks are beating you at the new ideas game, you know you got some serious problems.

Democrats claim (sincerely, I believe) to be devoted to the interests of the least among us, but in practice they seem devoted primarily to the status quo. Sure, our schools suck, but don’t innovate; sure, Social Security is going broke, but don’t change it; sure, lawsuits are eating us alive, but don’t alter the rules of the game. In each case we are told it is unproven, it is too risky; this is the language of the conservative. The actual effectiveness of any program is always secondary to maintaining the stability of the program.

And he’s right. Read the whole thing. As John Powers states, the Democratic Party has “become the side that’s forever saying, “No.” And as someone else noted, George W. Bush is quite possibly the best Democrat President this country has seen since Truman.

Retracted: What Was That About America’s “Culture of Fear” Again, Michael?

If FOX News’s story is correct, it would seem that Michael Moore employs (or employed) a (gasp!) armed bodyguard.

Unfortunately, Patrick Burke, self-proclaimed bodyguard to Michael Moore, didn’t bother to try to get a concealed-carry permit for New York (though he has licenses for Florida and California). When he told the agent at the ticket counter in JFK airport (!) that he was carrying, he was promptly arrested and may find himself facing a felony rap. (Which will result in the revocation of his other CCW licenses.) Guess Michael will have to hire himself another bodyguard.

Perhaps the next one will come with the requisite amount of Clue™.

Then again, if he did have a clue, he wouldn’t be working for Moore, would he?

UPDATED: I’m glad I opened the piece with “IF FOX News’s story is correct…” because it’s not.

Moorewatch has the facts, and I’ll quote them to save you the time:

Dear Moorewatch Editors:

Our firm employs Patrick Burk.

Fox News has now removed the link for this story from their home page; their original story contained several errors (below). We want to be certain you are aware of the appropriate corrections.

I know that Fox News editors must rely upon others when preparing their stories, and I offer with no judgment that their story titled “Michael Moore’s Bodyguard Arrested on Airport Gun Charge” contains several errors, including its entire headline.

Please correct the errors in your story below as soon as possible, because, as you are aware, the errors reach an ever-widening audience with each passing minute – and will predictably be picked up by other news agencies.

Our full-time employee, Patrick Burk, is not “Michael Moore’s bodyguard.” Accordingly, the headline in the Fox News Web site story is false and misleading.

If you believe Patrick Burk was ever assigned to protect Michael Moore, or any number of other public figures, you might accurately report that “A bodyguard who was once assigned to protect Michael Moore…”

You could as accurately say “A bodyguard that was once assigned to protect President Clinton,” because Patrick Burk has also been assigned to protect President Clinton in the past – but you wouldn’t be accurate if you said “President Clinton’s Bodyguard.”

Patrick Burk is not Michael Moore’s bodyguard, nor was he protecting Michael Moore or in any way involved with Michael Moore on Wednesday night, when he (Burk) was checking in at JFK for a flight to Los Angeles.

When checking in for the flight, Patrick Burk voluntarily advised United Airlines that he was transporting an unloaded, locked firearm in his checked luggage, precisely as regulations require, and not “carrying” a weapon, as your story inaccurately reports. Advising the counter ticket agent is a routine procedure for police officers and security professionals. In this case, a Port Authority officer decided to arrest Patrick Burk on the charge that he is not licensed to carry a firearm in New York City.

The Fox web site headline contains an error not present in the story. The headline indicates that Patrick Burk was arrested on an “airport gun charge.” He was not. The charge involves having a firearm without a New York City License to carry it. On that note, Patrick Burk was not carrying a weapon on his person (only locked in his baggage), and the police do not allege that he was carrying a weapon on his person, as your story implies.

Police, security professionals, sportsmen, and citizen gun owners who fly on the Nation’s airlines are legally bound to advise the airlines of firearms in their checked baggage – and the firearms are transported just like any other baggage.

The Fox News story also says Patrick Burk was carrying “an unlicensed firearm.” Please correct that error. Patrick Burk’s firearm is legally registered to Patrick Burk – it is not “unlicensed.” Patrick Burk is licensed to carry a firearm in several States, and a court will determine if any charge is appropriate for Patrick Burk in this matter, which involves New York City.

Though I realize a Michael Moore connection would be of interest to your web site, Patrick Burk is not Michael Moore’s bodyguard, and has never been employed by Michael Moore.

An important note for you is that Patrick Burk is not a public figure and even the smallest inaccurate detail that is widely disseminated could predictably interfere with his ability to pursue his profession. Patrick Burk is a former Marine who served with distinction in an elite and specialized Marine unit, and he protected, among others, then-President Clinton.

Our firm (www.gavindebecker.com) provides protective coverage for public figures and others, and Patrick Burk is a leading professional in his field.

I highlighted in red below the specific errors where they appear in the Fox News story.

Please let me know that you have received this email, and if you need further information or need to reach our firm, please call (redacted), and ask for (redacted).


Gavin de Becker

This doesn’t negate the fact that Michael Moore has employed armed security, but it sucks the wind out of the sails of the story as initially reported. Hat tip, Instapundit.