Shire Network News Archives

Shire Network News #159

Shire Network News #159 has been released. The feature interview is with Dr. Richard Cravatts, director of Boston University’s Program in Publishing at the Center for Professional Education, who is currently writing a book  entitled "Genocidal Liberalism: The University’s Jihad Against Israel". Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

I did not have a segment this week.

Shire Network News #158 has been released. The feature interview is with former Muslim, Adil Zeshan talking about the recent incident in Luton in which returning soldiers were abused in the streets of Luton by Muslim protesters.  Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary. It’s a little longer than the actual segment, since I cut out the quote from Ron Silver’s article because of time constraints.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News, asking you to "Consider This!"

Ron Silver, actor and political activist, died last week of cancer at 62.  Ron was a TV, movie and theater actor in the U.S. From the late 70s sitcom "Rhoda" to playing Bruno Gianelli on "The West Wing", to movies like "Ali", "Silkwood", "Kissinger and Nixon" and "Timecop", Silver was certainly not one to be typecast.  But that resistance to being easily pigeon-holed extended to more than just his acting roles. 

The phrase that I said earlier, "actor and political activist", usually connotes a person who has devoted their life to unwavering support of liberal causes.  Indeed, Silver did found the liberal lobby group Creative Coalition with the likes of Susan Sarandon and Alec Baldwin.  He went on the stump for Bill Clinton.  He was in favor of abortion rights and gun control.  What do you call a guy like that?

In Hollywood, they call you a "libertarian" or a "neo-con".  No, really, that’s what he’s been called.  Why is that?

Well, there was a seminal event a bit over 7 years ago that caused Ron Silver to change the label he used for his political alignment.  You might have heard of it; it was in all the papers, and I mean all of them.  After that event, he called himself "a 9/11 Republican".  You know the type; we have several on staff here at SNN.  The events of that day caused him to re-evaluate some of his views, and in an article he wrote in December of 2007, he explained why he took the terrorists seriously.

International Affairs 101 looks at intentions and capabilities. If my five-year-old son declares the United States his enemy and he intends to destroy it, call me crazy but I take it with a grain of salt. (Although I will monitor more closely what he’s watching on TV and check the parental controls on the computer.) If a group of people have the same intention as my son but they may represent the feelings of hundreds of thousands or more likely millions upon millions of people I take the threat more seriously. And when these folks have successfully attacked our military, our diplomats, and our cities and civilian population, well yeah, I take them at their word. Perhaps I didn’t when they officially declared war on us more than 10 years ago, but they’ve certainly got my attention now.

Silver didn’t think his fellow Democrats took this threat seriously, so he switched to the GOP.  He came out in support of President George W. Bush in this regard.  He narrated the film "Fahrenhype 9/11", the rebuttal to Michael Moore’s "Fahrenheit 9/11".  He spoke at the 2004 Republican National Convention.  And continuing in his rethinking of liberal dogma he had unquestioningly believed, he produced a film questioning whether the United Nations was actually fulfilling it’s ideals.

While filming episodes of "The West Wing", this change of heart, on these few issues, got him greeted on the set with chants of "Ron, Ron, the neo-con", which, while he acknowledged it was said in fun, still "had an edge".  Alec Baldwin, commenting on this change while writing about Silver’s passing, labeled him a "libertarian".  Never mind all the other issues with which he lined up with them; he failed the orthodoxy test and thus had a scarlet "GOP" sewed to his garments.

By the way, there was another member of "The West Wing" cast that agree with Ron’s position.  However, Ron said, "he was smarter than me. He donated to the Democrats and made sure his vote for Bush stayed quiet.”  Y’know, somewhere, Senator Joe McCarthy is lying in his grave watching the Irony Meter go off the scale.

So let the passing of Ron Silver give us some lessons.  The Hollywood liberal elite is lockstep liberal and very elite.  Stick a pinky toe off the line and prepare to be marginalized, even after you’re dead.  And remember this when these folks talk about their support for the First Amendment.  "I’ll defend your right to say it (but then it’s open season, baby)."  When they sit in front of Congress trying to push their pet project of the month, remember Ron Silver, and consider this.

Shire Network News #157 has been released. The feature interview is with Professor Barry Rubin of the The Global Research in International Affairs  Center in Israel, talking about the statement made by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his fellow 9/11 conspirators at Guantamo Bay taking credit for the atrocity, and why western politicians simply refuse to listen to the enemy when they announce their goals and motives clearly. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News asking you to "Consider This!"

The National Intelligence Council, according to its website, "is a center of strategic thinking within the US Government, reporting to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and providing the President and senior policymakers with analyses of foreign policy issues that have been reviewed and coordinated throughout the Intelligence Community."

Let me ask you something; what kind of person do you want to be the chairman of this group?  What kind of clear thinking do you want from the person who would lead these intelligence analysts?  Well, let’s find out what kind of person President Obama wants for this position.

How about a guy who spent so much time with the Saudis that, when we were trying to push Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, he thought the Saudis were cash-strapped and wouldn’t help much.  (They weren’t, and they did.)  How about a guy who was worried about declaring that Hamas and Hezbollah were "terror groups" (that is to say, telling the truth) because that might make them mad at us and terrorize Americans at home or abroad?  (They haven’t.)

No?  Yeah, you’re right.  No one with that lack of diplomatic acumen and that inability to read a foreign government would ever work out in that job.  OK then, how about this?  How about a guy who thought that the Chinese government’s response to Tiananmen Square demonstrations (that is to say, the massacre) "stands as a monument to overly cautious behavior"?  Should we hire a guy with that level of understatement, that "contrarian inclination to challenge conventional wisdom of any sort", as James Fallows of The Atlantic might (hypothetically of course) put it?

Yeah, me neither.  Yet that’s what almost happened this past week.  Barack Obama nominated Chas Freeman to the NIC, the group that leads the effort to produce the National Intelligence Estimate, a report that Left and Right alike look to for support of their foreign policy decisions.  Mr. Freeman, indeed, fits all the previously enumerated anti-criteria, but the Obama administration wanted him to be in charge of our most forward-looking intelligence analysis.  Fortunately, last Tuesday, while I was actually writing up this segment originally, we dodged a bullet and, apparently over all the controversy surrounding this nomination, Mr. Freeman took his name out of consideration.

Can we make a difference, and keep nuts like this out of positions of power?  Yes we can!

But the reaction to his un-nomination is, I think, telling.  Here’s a guy who former Secretary of State James Baker thought was a Saudi apologist (and Baker himself is certainly no pro-Israel activist).  Here’s a guy too timid around terrorists, yet a supporter of Chinese tanks over student protestors.  Here’s a guy who wanted a national ID system to combat terror.  (Great idea; ask the innocent "Your papers, please" in order to combat the guilty.) 

Yet after all this, Freeman’s  and the Left’s knee-jerk reaction is to blame the Israel lobby.  All they have is a hammer, and so every setback looks like a nail.  Well, they got pounded, or nailed, or whatever you want to call it, but the fact that the Left reflexively supported this guy, and reflexively blamed the usual suspects when they lost him, doesn’t really…um…reflect well on them. 

A contrarian is one thing.  An apologist is another.  They need to take just a bit more time to consider this.

Shire Network News #156 has been released. We’re back and better than ever at our new website  The feature interview is covers anti-Jewish violence and intimidation on Canadian university campuses. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for the "back and better than ever" Shire Network News asking you to "Consider This!"

Muzzammil Hassan founded the network "Bridges TV".  According to their web site’s Mission page, Bridges TV…

…aims to foster a greater understanding among many cultures and diverse populations.Through our high-quality, informative, 24×7 programming in English; we seek to become a unifying force that can help people understand our diverse world through education and entertainment.

Given Muzzammil’s background, many of the shows on the network, and other statements from the network, this was mainly an attempt to improve the image of Muslims in the United States.  Irony of ironies, then, when he was arrested on February 12th for admitting to beheading his wife.

Let me ask you something; how much coverage of this have you seen in the news?  As of this SNN episode, it’s been over 3 weeks since the arrest and it’s been "vewy, vewy qwiet" out there.  Mark Steyn noticed that, while the mainstream media love a good hypocrite — just ask Ted Haggard or, for those old enough to remember, Jimmy Swaggart — they’ve been incredibly reluctant to expose the hypocrisy of "Mr. Moderate Muslim".   

Now why would that be?  Well, could it be that this is just another case of domestic violence, and that it doesn’t rise to the level of national news coverage?  After all, people are beheaded all the time in lover’s spats, right?  Oh, wait, no they’re not.  In fact, among even such things as honor killings — primarily done by Muslims — beheading is a very unusual way to die.  The jury’s still out on whether or not this was an actual honor killing, but beheading has become an almost exclusively Islamic radical MO of choice. 

So the idea that this is just another run-of-the-mill domestic violence case (although, in fact, none of them really are) doesn’t exactly pass muster.  It’s not just that Mr. Hassan founded a TV network dedicated to removing the stigmas stereotypically assigned to Muslims, and then proceeded to demonstrate one of those very stereotypes, but also that he basically signed it, "Love, Radical Islam" in bright, red letters when he used that calling card.

But the media?  The media leaves us with nothing but dry recitations of facts, and op-eds from other moderate Muslims who, while outraged at this "domestic violence", ignore the method of the madness.  Even non-Muslim feminists, who are rightly decrying the violence, don’t want to consider that angle, or in some cases excuse it.  Some think we just need to be understanding and raise awareness of other cultures. 

I think some awareness-raising needs to be done, too.  It’s just that the media don’t seem up to the task.  Ya’ think perhaps if Ted Haggard had beheaded someone that the ripples in the news pond would have been this small?  We know more about who Haggard and Swaggart had affairs with than we know about Hassan himself.  If you’ve not heard much, if anything, about this story, consider this.

Shire Network News; Almost Back

The link on the right that goes to Shire Network News now points to our brand new, snazzy website.  The show itself will be back from hiatus this weekend, including two segments of mine; one being my usual segment, "Consider This", and one being a tribute to Paul Harvey, a slightly expanded version of what I wrote last Saturday.

Stay tuned!

Shire Network News #154: Back to Gaza

Shire Network News #154 has been released. The theme for the first episode of the new year is the war in Gaza, and includes long-lost SNN contributor Lawrence Simon.  Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

I do not have a segment in this show.

Shire Network News has been nominated for Best Podcast in the 2008 Weblog awards.  Please vote for us at this link.  Thank  you very much.

The 2008 Weblog Awards

SNN 2009 Year-end

Shire Network News #153 has been released. Well, it was released on December 21st, I just didn’t post my commentary here.  It’s a look back at the funniest items from Blog News, and a look back at the year 2009.  Yes, that’s 2009.  Meryl and I do a retrospective of the coming year.  Really.   Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News asking you to "Consider This!"

Well, what a year this has been!  Let’s look back and see what 2009 has brought us.

Cooler temperatures:  President Obama, while not having actually had any law enacted or treaty signed regarding global warming, managed to make this year cooler than last year.  Must have been sheer force of will.  And all the papers and news organizations credit him with doing it, so it must be true.  While this year’s temperatures follow the cooling trend that has been going on for the previous 10 years, it’s clearly all a matter of intent.  And speeches; lots of fine-sounding speeches.  So thank you, Mr. President.  Your oratory has saved us.

The Iraqi Olympic Shoe-Throwing Team:  On the one-year anniversary of the day the Iraqi reporter threw his shoes at, um, the previous President (whoever he was), the first team dedicated to this newly-popular sport takes it international.  While not technically an Olympic sport (yet), the Arab countries of the Middle East have come together to promote it to the IOC, and in a mass show of support of the new US President, they have made the shoe target an effigy of that…you know, the guy who was President before…recently.  This is one illustration of the next item:

The world now loves us:  They really love us, ever since we elected a Democrat.  Iraq even allows US troops to be stationed there, thanks to the splendid outcome of "Obama’s Terrorist Intervention" in that country, which began on January 20th of this year.  What more could you ask for?  And Al Qaeda?  Who are they?  Heh heh.  They have gone so far underground that they’re about as active now as they were in, say, 2001, when most Americans had never even heard their name.  Peace on earth has come.

And finally…

Universal Agreement:  Both sides of the political aisle have finally come together to speak with one voice.  No longer is there any disagreement, harsh criticism or mean-spirited arguing.  The recently-passed bill, entitled "The Pelosi/Reid Equal Opportunity in Talk Radio and Radical Right-Wing Internet Commentary Act" (otherwise known as the PREOITRARRWICA), has gone a long way to make sure that the voice of the people is heard loud and clear.  What a joy that blogs and podcasts are now required to give opposing viewpoints; indeed, presenting them positively and in the best possible light. 

So overall, except for perhaps the first 20 days, this year has shown us that America’s best days are ahead of her, if we can just pass that new $2.5 trillion spending bill.  And I’m sure we will.  Consider that!

(This podcast was produced pursuant to the provisions provided in the PREOITRARRWICA.)

Shire Network News #152: Roundtable

Shire Network News #152 has been released. Instead of the usual interview and segments, we did a roundtable discussion between me, Meryl Yourish, Tom Paine and Brian of London. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Shire Network News #151: Vote McCain

Shire Network News #151 has been released. There is no feature interview this week.  Instead, 4 contributors, including me, make the case for John McCain.  Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News, asking you to "Consider This!"

In what will be my final segment before the (official) Election Day here in the US (people have been voting early all over the country), I want give you reasons, not to vote against Barack Obama, but to vote for John McCain.  There’s more to voting than voting against someone.

If your idea of "spreading the wealth" is giving to charities where the administrative expenses are far, far less than those associated with government welfare, vote for John McCain.  Basically, who do you trust with your charitable dollars; the Salvation Army or Ted Stevens?

If you’re idea of fighting terrorism is engaging the enemy where he is rather than waiting for the enemy to show up in our airports with a boarding pass for Washington, DC, vote for John McCain. 

Heck, if you believe we are, in fact, in a war on terror, vote for John McCain.  If Obama doesn’t think Iraq is a front in that war, he has no clue what that war really is.  Might as well send in Sgt. Schultz to fight it.  ("I know nothing…nnnothing!")

If experience means anything to you, vote for John McCain.  If, by the word "experience" you mean registering Mickey Mouse to vote 72 times, then I gotta’ say; you keep using that word, but I don’t think it means what you think it means.  (Apologies to Inigo Montoya.)

If you’re idea of a free press is one that is free to ask the perfectly reasonable but tough questions without getting their access curtailed, vote for John McCain.  I wonder if Obama would treat Iran (in his "no-pre-conditions" talks) the same as WFTV if Ahmadinejad asks something inconvenient.  (Probably not.)

If you want a President who’s wife has always been proud of her country, vote for John McCain.  Michelle Obama’s view of her country depends on her country’s view of her husband.  The First Lady is a de facto ambassador for our country; we need one with thicker skin.  (Oooh, did I mention "skin"?  That might be considered racist when referring to Mrs. Obama.  Maybe I should say we want a first lady with "a more durable epidermis". )

If you want a President who knows a functioning, stable, Middle East democracy when he sees it, and isn’t willing to give terrorists free reign in Israel, vote for John McCain.  Of course, if you think spokesmen for terrorist organizations like the PLO are suitable babysitters, you’ve probably already made up your mind who to vote for.

And, frankly, there’s not much I could say to sway Obama supporters that simply refuse to acknowledge his socialist bent, the failures in other countries of his proposed policies, or the vast number of folks with whom he, not just associated with, but participated with.  It’s not that they can’t see; they just won’t see.  But you who still has your mind open, listen. 

Now is not the time to slack off.  There is a candidate who wants to take our country in the right direction, and away from ideas that have proven themselves destructive to those who have followed the piper’s sweet song, only find out later that paying him costs far more than they ever thought.  That candidate is John McCain.  When you step into the voting booth, consider this.

Shire Network News #150: Kathy Shaidle

Shire Network News #150 has been released. This week’s guest, Kathy Shaidle, has just released her new book (co-written with Peter Vere): "The Tyranny of Nice:  how Canada crushes freedom in the name of human rights — and why it matters to Americans".  Kathy blogs at five feet of fury and speaks to us about the abuses of the Canadian Human Rights system.  Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News asking you to "Consider This!"

Are you an American who hasn’t yet determined who you’re going to vote for in the upcoming election?  Or perhaps you haven’t yet decided if you’ve determined who to vote for.  Or maybe you’re not sure if you need to decide whether or not to determine who you’re going to vote for.

Well please, make up your mind.  It’s time to pay attention to what some of us has been watching for over a year now.  Yes, yes, I may sound a bit condescending, but this is rather important.  Voting for the person who will be the presumed "Leader of the Free World" is worth a moment of your time once every four years. 

Unfortunately, if you’ve waited until now to start deciding, you’re not going to get much from the news organizations to help you.  It’s the 2-minute warning, bottom of the 9th and 2 outs situation; it’s sound-bite time.  Yes, now is the time when the complexities of all the issues of the day, national and international, must be distilled to 7-second audio clips.

"Vote for me; I’ll spread the wealth around."

"Vote for me; I won’t punish you with a baby."

"Vote for me; I’ll make Wall Street repave Main Street with the money they took from Elm Street."

"Vote for me; I’ll scale back our defenses and make everyone love us again, like they always used to."

Yeah, OK, this may sound like an ad for Barack Obama, and it almost could be, but these simplistic promises don’t convey the gravity of the situations they purport to deal with.  So as a public service to our as-yet-undecided listeners, here is the "Consider This!" Election 2008 Issues Quiz.  This is an open book quiz; you keep searching and searching until you find the right answer.  And with this latest fad all the kids are using, the Internet, you should have plenty of sources of information.


Question #1: "Joe the Plumber" questioned why he should:

A.  Be taxed specifically to "spread the wealth around".

B.  Be given more media scrutiny in 2 days than Barack Obama got in 2 years.

C.  Be demonized for trying to buy his own business.

D.  Trust the government to run a charity organization.


Question #2:  Barack Obama’s position on fixing the credit crisis is:

A.  Raise taxes to pay for the bailout.

B.  Don’t raise taxes in these times of financial difficulty.

C.  Both A & B.

D.  "Present"


Question #3:  John McCain’s position on energy independence is:

A.  Drill here, drill now, drill later.

B.  Nuke here, nuke now.

C.  Wind, solar, and clean coal.

D.  A, B, C, and anything else you can think of.


Question #4:  Barack Obama’s associations with people of dubious character include:

A.  An America-hating pastor, an unrepentant domestic terrorist, and a guy who makes shady real estate deals.

B.  Joe Biden

C.  Larry, Moe and Curly

D.  "Present"


Question #5:  If you were voting for the top executive position in the land, would you rather…

A.  Vote for someone who had actual executive experience, and took on government corruption even in her…um, his or her own party.

B.  Take a chance on someone who has spent most of their very short national political career campaigning.

C.  Go with the person who looks most like me (bald, left-handed or some other external feature).

D.  Do nothing, since my vote doesn’t matter.


If you answered D to that last question, you might as well stay home on Election Day.  For the rest of you undecided voters, it’s time to get into the game.  Check out the issues, find out the candidate’s positions, and get informed.  Take the time to consider this.

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