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The World According to Imal


Musings on Life, the Universe and Everything.


"Imal is a warrior poet, a modern day Nostradamus without all the annoying quatrains."
-Greg Packer

"Heed the need to read my screed."
-Imal


Published Wheneverly. A Proud American and Citizen of the Free Republic.

"Come for the coffee, stay for the pie."

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Tuesday, June 22, 2004


Puzzling News 


Things are rarely as they seem, and all the more so in the world of commercial news. There's always a reason for everything. Sometimes it's obvious, sometimes it's not, and sometimes it's deliberately concealed. If a story doesn't seem to make sense, it's probably because the rationales behind it are unknown.

That's my personal playground, trying to find those hidden rationales. Sometimes I'm a million miles off-base, but usually I get some of it right, and every once in a while, I manage to nail it. But regardless of how accurate it may be, I always find a great deal of satisfaction by coming up with explanations for events that make sense to me.

In approaching the plot, like a mystery writer, I try to start at the end of the story and work backwards, applying the motivations of the characters in ways that make sense to each of them. And like classic mystery novels, a seemingly irrational news story challenges us to use our finely-honed wits to solve the puzzle.

What could be more fun than that?


Not only are there many layers in an onion, but there are many onions.



posted by Imal  # 4:18 PM

Saturday, June 19, 2004


"Al Qaeda says..." 


From UPI via the Washington Times comes an interesting article titled "Saudi confirms death of main al-Qaida man".

In this masterpiece of wire service exposition, the following phrase jumped out at me:

A statement by al-Qaida published on a Muslim Internet site said

I would sure like to know how UPI confirmed that this statement came from al-Qaeda, and not some joker posting in his underwear in Peoria, Illinois. They give us no indication of how they verified this. It's just posted as a certainty, and we're supposed to assume it's true.

To make things worse, the source article has apparently been "updated", and now reads like this:

But the al-Qaida network denied Saturday al-Muqrin was killed and called the government report a lie.

Nowhere in the story does UPI allow that maybe, just maybe, the statements may not actually have come from genuine Al Qaeda sources. By this dismally low journalistic standard, anyone can speak for Al Qaeda.

Want to put words in Al Qaeda's mouth? No problem! Just post to a Muslim website! UPI will push a story over the wire for you! I'll bet something like, "I'm Osama bin Laden and I'm a doodie-head!" would make headlines all over the world, at this rate.

This from a service fanatical about using such disqualifiers as "reportedly said" and "alleged president". It leads me to wonder how they can be so sure of the sources they are quoting when it comes to Al Qaeda. Worth pondering.

I suspect, however, that rather than having inside connections with Al Qaeda, as likely as that appears from their "alleged journalism", they're just posting more uncorroborated crap in a long series of uncorroborated crap.

The believability of the wire services is rapidly being eclipsed by the credibility of a two-year-old child. Next thing you know, UPI will be printing, "A monster told us..."


To claim an event is random is to admit not understanding what caused it.



posted by Imal  # 7:35 AM

Saturday, June 05, 2004


Farewell, President Reagan 


A great man died today, although in my thoughts he died years ago when the ravages of Alzheimer's Disease took his mind from us. Nonetheless, I find myself weeping at his passing. He was a key figure in my life.

I had the honor of serving in the U.S. Navy while he was Commander-In-Chief. Just a few years before, service in the armed forces was despised and attacked by those who hated anyone who wore a uniform, and this was a very real and physical threat. Under President Reagan's command, respect for armed service was restored.

Under his command, we faced an enemy determined to destroy us, and we defeated it. I was privy to a great deal of what was really happening in those days, and know how close we came to destruction at the hands of the Soviet Union.

I will never forget that, simply put, President Reagan saved the lives of every man, woman and child in the United States, including my family, friends and loved ones. That is a debt I can never repay, but I can honor it by remembering it. Our victory was the product of the work of millions of heroes, but without a leader like President Reagan, all would have been lost.

I remember it now, as I will always remember it.

From poverty, he brought us prosperity.
From malaise, he brought us strength.
From humiliation, he brought us pride.
From defeat, he brought us victory.

Farewell, President Reagan. I will never forget you. I pray that someday we may yet meet one another, when the sun shines upon us again.


With deepest respect and in loving memory of President Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1911-2004.



posted by Imal  # 3:13 PM


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