Monday, July 23, 2007


The Truth Really Is Out There!

I've been trying lately to keep my eye out for examples of media bias. You know, the sort of media bias that goes in my favor. Or rather, that goes against me, so I can use it to show how unfairly maligned us poor conservatives are.

You might imagine I was quite pleased to see this bit over at Instapundit on a poll about bias in the media:
In the final poll of a series measuring perceptions of media bias, the Associated Press, local television stations, MSNBC, and CNBC are all perceived as tilting to the left when reporting the news.

I was excited. I eagerly followed the link. After all, this meant I wasn't some lone crank, wandering the deluded wilderness of an imagined conspiracy. Others see it too. The truth really is out there!

When I got to the Rasmussen post, I saw that Instapundit had quoted the first line of the story, the same quote I used above. When I read the rest of the story, I must confess I ended up rather deflated.

Sure, I suppose one way of looking at is to note that while some people think AP, MSNBC and CNBC have a conservative bias, more than twice as many think these same news organizations have a liberal bias. Goes pretty well with this headline:
Associated Press, MSNBC and CNBC Seen as Having Liberal Bias.

It might even make you think that some 70% see a liberal bias, as another 30% see a conservative bias. Further down in the article, it becomes clear that the real numbers don't live up to the headline.

Yes, there are two and a half times as many people who perceive a liberal bias, but those who see a conservative bias were 12%, and those who saw a liberal bias were only 30%.The ratio sounds impressive. The actual numbers, not so much.

I'm no expert on polling. I'm no expert on how poll makers present their poll results. But unless I'm reading the poll wrong (and I am a public school graduate), the headline ought to be something like:
Newest Poll Shows Most Americans Don't See Media Bias at Associated Press, MSNBC or CNBC.

The way this poll was presented makes it look like the only bias to be found in this story is right at the doorstep of Rasmussen Polling.

And if that's not enough to make me grumpy, I'm on a diet too.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


We Did Get Out . . . The Rest Of The Story

Yikes! I'm falling behind on my vacation blogging. I'm not even finished with the Guerneville posts (pt 1, pt 2, pt 3), and we've already gone on the Magical Mystery Tour 2007/Santa Cruz trips! So here we go on a whirlwind trip through the rest of Guerneville.

These next several are on the deck of a restaurant. The deck faces sorta south, looking across the Russian river. These pictures begin looking to my left, generally east, upriver:

Some kooky tree or shrub is growing just off the deck. Don't camp on that island, this area floods a lot:

Managed to get rid of the garbage bin for this one:

That lump in the distance with a bit of white surf is the Goat Rock area. The deadliest beach in the world (deadliness may be exaggerated) is also over there:

Now we start to see the river, the ocean, and the beach in between. Looking rather southwest:

River still doesn't touch ocean. West:

Turning northwest now, we saw some of this stuff in part three. You can just make out the shovel dredging a channel from river to ocean:

Similar view, with a little zoom:

The thing about flowers is that the colors can be so vivid. Purple somethings up front, blue ones in the back. Some sort of plantism going on. I was uncomfortable, but I felt compelled to take these photos so I could speak truth to power:

Looks nice, whatever it is:

Blues at the back of the bus again:

Who knew this flower could be evil:

It's a bit unfair because of picture size, but see if you can find the hidden gull. And no, it's not in my pants:

This gull:

Clearly does not respect his human overlords. He just sits there. Doesn't even act scared. Probably related to the one that tried to bite my anchovy at Sea World.

Near Goat Rock. I think every fifty miles or so, the coast has some feature called Natural Bridges, or Arch Rock, or some such:

I go to Goat Rock, and the gulls are here too:

I like waves. Sue me:

Now I'm at the deadliest beach in the universe. Pretty much right here at Goat Rock. It has lots of pretty flowers:

Surely they're overstating the case, right? Right!?!

Although this picture is rather comical (looks like a human spin cycle):

I beg you to obey the sign:

This is where I should have stayed:

But noooooo:

I had to get my feet wet:

So the trick with this beach is that you go in all careful. You try to get a little splash on your toes, but the waves don't cooperate. You get a little closer, and still the waves don't come up. You do this six or seven times, and those dastardly waves will not touch your feet. Now you're ten or fifteen feet closer to the water than you started, and the big wave comes in. I ran back up the beach, shrieking like a little girl, but it still got me. Of course, I lived to tell the tale, but it was a little scary. I got it up above my knees. I'm over 6' and over 200, and still, I felt like I was at risk of being bowled over by the wave. What if some kid had been there? They put up those signs for a reason, folks. Be safe at the beach, and please follow them.

Death beach is south of the Russian river. Looking north, you can see that same shovel:

And if you squint, you'll see the telephone pole at the deck where I stood taking the panorama shots that started this post:

The gulls care not for the waves on death beach:

A little ways further down the coast is Bodega Bay, where Hitchcock filmed The Birds.

Of course, in this area, if you're not looking at gulls, you're looking at sheep:

Sheep who don't like to be photographed:

More of them running away:

I caught these two not paying attention. Full frontal sheep. I felt like a paparazzi who just got a shot of Lindsey Lohan topless:

This one is probably talking about me to his buddy:

Cows were not any more cooperative:

But you can always count on man's best friend:

And pirates!

Between Guerneville and the coast, you pass through the town of Monte Rio. Here's a look at the Monte Rio bridge and Russian river flood plain:

Hard to tell from the angle, but this is over my head, maybe eight feet, with gunk carried in a flood stage that ended up caught in branches:

Found some sort of clams in the river:

Here's a pretty flower. Probably a weed:

Looking for edible bugs, I guess:

Here's a nice couple:

Nature and litter coexisting, side by side. You don't see the ducks complaining:

On the south side of the Russian river, you can find the South Side Hotel:

The writing says "Christ the Lord declares this area is a bird sanct-" Hmmm. I guess Jesus should have saved up some of that never-ending jug of wine magic so that he could have a never ending can of paint. Bummer:

These nests look more broken than whole:

Not too much better here:

At Bodega Bay, you can see head bones. Kinda resembles the female anatomy a little bit. I guess that's why they call it Mother Nature:

Here's the blow hole. No comment:

Apparently the whales were all stoners or something:

They were all about the pot:

Late afternoon, we took a few more pics on the beach. Here's the rare non-gull bird:

More splashy:

I like splashy. I suppose that real photographers get over this at some point:

I enjoyed this sunset:

If I had a zillion dollars:

I could watch sunsets like that from houses like these:

On the way home, we took a side road, just on a whim. We ended up at the Armstrong Woods park:

Here's a big trunk:

Here's a bunch of smaller trees:

And a nice foot bridge:

The trees get big there:

This was not a hot destination, or a fancy resort, but we had the chance to see many wonderful things. Get out and see your world. Just a few hours in a car, and you can be in a completely different environment. If you have the chance, visit the northern Pacific coast. If you're into this sort of vacation, you definitely won't regret the trip.

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