Thursday, April 16, 2009
If you build it, they will come. It’s a truism we’ve believed in for a long, long time. But forget the baseball reference. It is as outdated as the year “Field of Dreams” was released –- 1989.
Tea party tax protesters know why. The metaphor is a lie –- at least as far as the mainstream media are concerned. If you do something of note and the media choose not to cover it –- the issue might just as well not exist.
Such is the fate of Wednesday’s national Tax Day Tea Party. This mega-gathering of tax protesters is scheduled for every single Congressional district in the country. More than 500 events are planned. And the national news media have either been silent or shown contempt for the effort.
That’s not journalism, its blatant censorship that would amaze even George Orwell.
The Big Three broadcast networks –- ABC, CBS, and NBC –- have only mentioned the tea parties in passing and they’ve only done it three times.
This is especially ironic since NBC’s sister network CNBC gave rise to the movement when reporter Rick Santelli ranted about government overspending and talked about having a “Chicago tea party.” Now the other NBC network –- MSNBC -– has been reduced to making juvenile sexual comments about the event.
The Washington Post has been even worse than the networks. The paper has only mentioned the movement once in a news story: in a “brief” that ran in a suburban edition. Two major tea parties are planned for Washington this week and the only Post readers who have a clue about what’s going on live in Prince William County. Or, hopefully, rely on media other than just The Post.
The New York Times tried a different tack. That paper has mentioned tea parties six times -– and five of those have been to disparage and undermine them. The paper questioned Santelli’s involvement and said the rant only “appeared spontaneous.” An April 7 piece by Lawrence Downes mocked a Northport, N.Y. tea party as “a day for brandishing signs, shouting imprecations, and donning silly clothing.” Columnist Frank Rich claimed the Santelli “bonfire fizzled” and columnist Paul Krugman called the tea parties “AstroTurf (fake grass roots) events.”
This tax day, hundreds of thousands of hard-working, taxpaying Americans will prove Krugman and the rest of traditional media wrong. They have had to rely on new technologies like Twitter and Facebook to do something as old as civilization itself –- protest. But they shouldn’t have to do so.
The Times famously claims it publishes “All The News That’s Fit to Print.” In practice, they publish whatever they want or whatever they agree with.
Journalists are obligated to cover the news and it’s impossible to argue that nationwide protests are not news.
When California passed Proposition 8, the Times ran 11 stories detailing the pro-gay marriage protests that followed. One Associated Press story it ran was quick to point out that “about 1,000 advocates of equal rights for gay people” attended a protest. A Nov. 16 story emphasized some “4,000 people gathered at City Hall” and took pains to mention that comedian Wanda Sykes “surprised a crowd of more than 1,000.”
The Washington Post did eight stories detailing the Proposition 8 protests. The big networks did 19. Both CBS and NBC mentioned that there were “about 2,000 people” protesting at the Long Beach rally.
By contrast, attendance at the Feb. 27 tea parties was ignored by the networks. Roughly 30,000 people tried to make their voices heard at 50 events around the country. Five thousand people showed their anger over taxes and spending in Orlando and another 5,000 in Cincinnati. “One of the biggest protests so far drew 15,000 on March 8 in Fullerton, Calif.,” according to Investors Business Daily.
The Facebook page devoted to the tea parties alone has more than 30,000 members. Top conservatives on Twitter — one of the event sponsors — has more than 4,000 members. Surely someone at the major networks has a Facebook page or knows a Tweet from a Twit. If not, perhaps they can find an 8-year-old to explain it to them.
While they are at it, have that same 8-year-old go over the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. Maybe that’s what it would take to remind journalists one of their primary duties is “providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues.” Remember, “comprehensive” means not just the issues you support.
A quick skim of the code shows that journalists are violating several of the guidelines by not covering the tea parties. “Journalists should: Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.”
That’s another one of those crazy old-time dreams. The only open exchange of views now occurs despite the national news media –- not because of it.
Fortunately, protest has a way of surviving even in times of media censorship. But the next time you see stories about more media layoffs or newspapers closing down, you, and hundreds of thousands of tax protesters, will know why.
CNN is finally covering the tea parties - by attacking the participants. After anchor Anderson Cooper made an obscene sexual joke about attendees, CNN correspondent Susan Roesgen rudely interrupted one of the protestors and slammed the event for being "anti-government," "anti-CNN," and "not really family viewing."
Roesgen asked a man holding his toddler, "Why are you here today?" The man started to respond saying, "Because I hear a president say that he believed in what Lincoln stood for. Lincoln's primary thing was he believed people had the right to liberty and they had the right..."
But Roesgen cut him off him, saying, "But sir, what does that have to do with taxes? What does this have to do with your taxes?" She continued asking questions over his as he asked her to "let me finish my point." One crowd member was heard to yell "shut up" to Roesgen.
When the man finished his statement about people having the "right to the fruits of their own labor" and "government should not take it," Roesgen began arguing with him again and other protesters began to get upset.
Roesgen backed away claiming that "you get the general tenor of this," tea party. "Anti-government, anti-CNN since this is highly promoted by the right-wing conservative network Fox and since I can't really hear much more and I think this is not really family viewing. Toss it back to you Kyra," Roesgen concluded.
Phillips followed by calling that assessment "a "prime example of what we're following across the country."
As a rock aficionado, U.S. Representative Thaddeus G. McCotter (MI-11) might appreciate our reliance on a bootlegged transcript of remarks he's delivering at today's Tea Party rally at Kellog Park in Plymouth, Michigan:
From the G-20 summit in England to factories in France to the streets of our nation, we live amid a chaotic age. Thus, we peaceably assemble to stop the chaos and its consequences.
Emulating the misfeasance and failure of the "too big to fail" financial institutions that, in fact, did, Washington is replacing the "housing bubble" with a "government bubble" that will burst with disastrous impact upon our prosperity and our liberty.
Right now -- spending too much, borrowing too much and taxing too much, the government is putting a debt of trillions on our children's backs to erect a castle upon quicksand. Yet one cannot build a stable economy on government spending, because big government doesn't stop chaos. Big government is chaos.
We must reject this reckless road to serfdom and stagnation -- and today we do. For our efforts, we have already and will continually be mocked and attacked. But we accept this small sacrifice for our children's future in a free republic.
Such is our duty in these tumultuous times, and we meet it by reaffirming to Washington and the world that, though we "cling" to nothing, we do embrace our cherished nation and her five truths for American renewal:
Our liberty is from God not the government;
Our sovereignty is in our souls not the soil;
Our security is through strength not surrender;
Our prosperity is from the private sector not the public sector; and
Our truths are self-evident not relative.
Renewed by these truths despite the times, we know in our hearts that our nation's salvation remains her sovereign citizens -- and it is they, not the state, that will ensure our cherished sanctuary of liberty remains inspired and guided by the virtuous genius of her free people; and forever blessed by the unfathomable grace of God.
For more on McCotter's day, go here.
By Judge Andrew Napolitano
Homeland Security Warns of Rise in Right-Wing Extremism
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment”, dated April 7, 2009, which I have read, is apparently an unclassified summary of a larger classified report.
1. The summary contains few proper names, has no footnotes of any significance, lists very few sources, and is drafted with a prejudice against anyone who criticizes the role of the federal government in our lives today. It lumps together in its definition of “rightwing extremism” hate groups, anti-government groups, and single issue groups “such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”
2. The document itself cautions the reader that the document is “not to be released to the public, the media, or other personnel who do not have a valid need-to-know without prior approval” of the DHS. The document refers to itself as one of a series of intelligence assessments intended to “deter, prevent, preempt, or respond to terrorist attacks against the United States.”
3. The thrust of this report is that in the present environment of economic instability, returning military veterans, those who fear of the loss of Second Amendment-protected rights, those threatened by an African-American president, and those who fear “Jewish ‘financial elites’” could all be a fertile breeding ground for groups whose power and ideas the government hates and fears. The document is essentially a warning for DHS and FBI officials to be on the look-out for rootless persons looking for the comfort of groups as they may be a danger to American security.
4. The summary (unclassified) document is terrifying. One can only imagine what is contained in the classified version. This document runs directly counter to numerous U.S. Supreme decisions prohibiting the government from engaging in any activities that could serve to chill the exercise of expressive liberties. Liberties are chilled, in constitutional parlance, when people are afraid to express themselves for fear of government omnipresence, monitoring, or reprisals. The document also informs the reader that Big Brother is watching both public and private behavior.
5. The whole purpose of the First Amendment is to guarantee open, broad, robust debate on the policies and personnel of the government. The First Amendment presumes that individuals — NOT THE GOVERNMENT — are free to choose what they believe and espouse, what they read and say, and with whom they associate in public and in private. The writers of this abominable report are particularly concerned with the expression of opinions that might be used to fuel ideas that challenge federal authority or favor state and local government over the federal government. Unfortunately, legislation passed during the past eight years gives the DHS and the FBI the tools to monitor everything from a telephone conversation to the keystrokes used on a personal computer without a warrant issued by a federal judge.
6. My guess is that the sentiments revealed in the report I read are the tip of an iceberg that the DHS would prefer to keep submerged until it needs to reveal it. This iceberg is the heavy-hand of government; a government with large and awful eyes, in whose heart there is no love for freedom, and on whose face there is no smile.
“I want to bring attention to that great 1 percent … it takes to stand up and defend a whole country,” he said. “One percent of our population does that, so why can’t the other 99 percent of it take care of them?”
Cochran’s dedication to the livelihood of combat veterans stems from his own personal story of severe injury while serving in Afghanistan.
“I think that I can win every award in country music,” he continued, “and still one of the greatest things that I’ve ever accomplished in my life was being handed a new eagle, globe and anchor and being told ‘Welcome aboard, United States Marine.’”
SEOUL — North Korea said on Tuesaday it saw talks on ending its nuclear weapons programme as "useless" and it planned to restart its plant that makes arms-grade plutonium, its KCNA news agency quoted its Foreign Ministry as saying.
North Korea says it will boycott six-party talks in protest of a U.N. Security Council statement condemning the country's recent rocket launch...
[As Charles Krauthammer said yesterday, they're going to sell their discontinuation of their nuclear program all over again to the new US administration - and we'll buy it - again.]
Kiev - Three Ukrainians have been arrested for seeking to sell radioactive material that could have been used by terrorists to make a ''dirty bomb'', the country's SBU security service said Tuesday.
The three men were arrested in the western Ternopil region last Thursday when they tried to sell a container of radioactive material for $10m (Snip) The material ''could have been used for terrorist purposes for the creation of a dirty bomb''...
Two European companies — a major contractor to the U.S. government and a top cell-phone equipment maker — last year installed an electronic surveillance system for Iran that human rights advocates and intelligence experts say can help Iran target dissidents.
Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), a joint venture between the Finnish cell-phone giant Nokia and German powerhouse Siemens, delivered what is known as a monitoring center to Irantelecom, Iran's state-owned telephone company...
Two frightening events last week showed the unbridled contempt with which the neo-Soviet regime of proud KGB spy Vladimir Putin views the rule of law.
First, a Russian court in Siberia entered a $1.7 billion judgment against the Norwegian telecommunications firm Telenor, wiping out its stake in the major Russian telecom entity, Vimplecom. One Russian investment analyst said the ruling "makes the flesh creep." That's because "Western banks and companies are owed $453 billion by Russian corporations, an amount three times as much as they are owed by Chinese, Indian and Brazilian companies combined," and it does not appear that Putin's Kremlin is inclined to tender repayment.
But if the Telenor ruling made the flesh creep, the remarks of the Russian Supreme Court's Chief Justice Valery Zorkin made it do the hundred-yard dash.
In a speech in St. Petersburg seeking to rationalize Putin's draconian rollback of civil liberties, Chief Justice Zorkin blamed democracy for Adolf Hitler's success in toppling the Weimar Republic and praised Franklin Roosevelt's policies (seeking to pack the Supreme Court, seizing a third term, etc.). He openly acknowledged and defended "the elements of authoritarianism that are present in the administration of the country" and said that the only reason Russians chose to be ruled by a proud KGB spy was that democracy and capitalism had been tried and failed.
When a nation's justice system becomes as perverted and hollow as these recent developments betray Russia's as being, that nation is in serious trouble. Combined with Russia's lack of opposition political parties and critical media, this dearth of checks and balances creates an emperor's-new-clothes regime incapable of accurately perceiving reality or adapting to meet changing circumstances. That weakness brought down the USSR, and if Russians are not careful their history will repeat itself.
[But if there is another Russian collapse, the odds of it again being peaceful are remote. More likely is that an external enemy will be found to distract the populace...]
The globe is hearing a deeply pessimistic view of what America was and is.
Given Obama’s performance on his recent trip, three developments were quite astounding.
First, despite this fresh climate of atonement, there was a complete absence of a single apology from any other foreign leader — odd for the new shared spirit of multi-polarity and reciprocity.
Not a word came from Britain about colonialism. Nothing from Germany on the Holocaust, or its trade with Iran. Not a peep from France about Algeria or Vietnam.
Turkey was mum on the Armenian killings and its own tough anti-Kurdish policies. Russia said nothing about the 30 million murdered by Stalin — or its present assassinations abroad, much less its leveling of Grozny or its destruction of Afghanistan.
Nothing came from China about the 70 million who perished under Mao or its present role in subsidizing North Korean nukes — or its violation of global copyright laws. We won’t hear anything in the “New Asian Hemisphere” about Muslim Uighurs or Tibet.
Second, there was no other example of “He did it!” about supposedly inept predecessors. Mr. Medvedev said nothing about Putin’s brutish rule. Sarkozy and Merkel did not trash the shady Chirac or Gazprom’s bought lobbyist Schroeder, and their role in harming the Atlantic alliance. Gordon Brown was quiet about Tony Blair and Iraq. China did not mention a reset button. The new Berlusconi did not trash the old Berlusconi.
Third, we saw no concrete evidence of any help — or hope and change — from any foreign leader. Zilch. There were expectations of American concessions, but nothing new or helpful from anyone else.
Instead I think a number of astute foreign leaders — rivals, enemies, and friends alike — have already drawn the following conclusions...
[Highly Recommended > ]
The U.S. and Europe were widely expected to clash at the G-20 summit in London last month over how to address the global financial crisis. Voila, in just two days the problem was solved with a joint promise to increase International Monetary Fund resources by $750 billion to a total of $1 trillion.
The U.S. portion of this new commitment is more than $140 billion. Yet Congress has debated neither the amount nor the proposed use of the funds. Instead, President Obama and his fellow leaders simply waved their hands, like a Star Trek captain, and said make it so.
Recall that the IMF was founded in 1944 when the world monetary system operated on a gold standard. The fund's job was to act as a lender of last resort when countries encountered balance-of-payments shortfalls. When the world went to a fiat-currency system, the fund's original role became obsolete. Over the past 30 years the fund has increasingly strayed from that limited mission to become a vehicle for transferring wealth to poor-country governments.
The London agreement further advances these foreign aid ambitions with no oversight from Congress...
Cities around the country are starting to charge an "accident response fee" every time emergency personnel are called to a scene of a car accident. Such cash-per-crash ordinances tend to infuriate motorists and generate bad press, but cities are finding them hard to resist. With the economy flailing, state and local governments are being creative about ways to raise money [without seriously cutting spending]:
- Ohio's governor has proposed a budget with more than 150 new or increased fees, including a fivefold increase in the cost to renew a livestock license, as well as larger sums to register a car, order a birth certificate or dump trash in a landfill.
- Wisconsin's governor has proposed a charge on slaughterhouses that would be levied on the basis of each animal slaughtered.
- Washington's mayor has proposed a "streetlight user fee" of $4.25 a month to cover the cost of operating and maintaining the city's streetlights.
- New York City recently expanded its anti-idling law to include anyone parked near a school who leaves the engine running for more than a minute.
- Florida has proposed raising medical visit co-payments for inmates in state prisons.
- Hawaii's Honolulu Zoo could raise parking fees by 500 percent if a proposal is passed.
image toon - 1st mny reps = Bloated Oby tell taxpayers to tighten their belts
Harvard astrophysicist says recent cooler temps are a result of fewer sunspots
Sunspot activity may be a primary factor in climate fluctuations, according to Willie Soon, a researcher affiliated with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Harvard College Observatory, who offered the hypothesis in an interview with TG Daily, an online news source.
“The sun is a great driving force to climate change,”
Soon said in an interview with The Crimson yesterday, adding that most observed climate data could be explained by fluctuations in solar radiation.
“A strong correlation between the amount of radioactive carbon and temperature from ice cores has shown that solar activity can affect temperature,”
Soon said that there have been much greater temperature fluctuations due to sunspots in the past and that proponents of global warming need to consider the effects of sunspot activity on global temperatures.
Every “green job” created with government money in Spain over the last eight years came at the cost of 2.2 regular jobs, and only one in 10 of the newly created green jobs became a permanent job, says a new study released this month. The study draws parallels with the green jobs programs of the Obama administration.
President Obama, in fact, has used Spain’s green initiative as a blueprint for how the United States should use federal funds to stimulate the economy. Obama’s economic stimulus package,which Congress passed in February, allocates billions of dollars to the green jobs industry.
But the author of the study, Dr. Gabriel Calzada, an economics professor at Juan Carlos University in Madrid, said the United States should expect results similar to those in Spain:
“Spain’s experience (cited by President Obama as a model) reveals with high confidence, by two different methods, that the U.S. should expect a loss of at least 2.2 jobs on average, or about 9 jobs lost for every 4 created, to which we have to add those jobs that non-subsidized investments with the same resources would have created,”
wrote Calzada in his report: Study of the Effects on Employment of Public Aid to Renewable Energy Sources.
[Get it? "BOON-DOG-GLE" ]
As early as this month, the Environmental Protection Agency could declare that carbon dioxide is a danger to the public, triggering regulation of emissions under the Clean Air Act.
Such a regulatory move is widely seen as part of the Obama administration's strategy to pressure reluctant lawmakers into action.
Rep. Markey said legislation -- rather than EPA regulation of carbon dioxide -- would provide greater flexibility to ease the potential impact on the economy and consumers. He declined to give a specific time when the process should be taken over by the EPA if Congress can't reach an agreement.
The Waxman/Markey bill introduced late last month would put in place a cap-and-trade market to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, while requiring that an increasing share of U.S. electricity come from renewable sources such as wind and the sun.
"CO2 IS NOT A POLLUTANT"
EPA > mailto:email@example.com
YOUR Senator: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
YOUR Congressman: https://forms.house.gov/wyr/welcome.shtml
CA Governor: http://gov.ca.gov/interact mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
YOUR CA Legislators (Sen+Assy): http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/yourleg.html
or: Speed Message them with your personal distribution list...
Proponents of universal health coverage believe that expanding government insurance improves access to care. For example, some proponents believe that expanding eligibility for Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) would improve access to care for lower-middle income families. In practice, things are different:
- In fact, the uninsured and Medicaid patients do tend to get their care at the same hospitals, clinics and emergency rooms.
- But the availability of other providers is limited: Nationally, one-third of doctors do not accept any Medicaid patients and, among those who do, many limit the number they will treat.
- Studies have shown that access to care at ambulatory (outpatient) clinics is also limited for Medicaid patients, as is access to specialist care.
- For every new dollar of spending on Medicaid expansions in the 1990s, between 49 and 74 cents went to people who had dropped private coverage.
- The crowd-out rate for S-CHIP averages is about 60 percent.
- Hawaii recently abandoned its universal child health care program after state officials discovered 85 percent of newly enrolled kids had dropped private coverage.
Last week, seven members of the Congressional Black Caucus – Reps. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Melvin Watt, D-N.C., Michael Honda, D-Calif., Laura Richardson,, D-Calif., Bobby Rush, D-Ill., Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, and Emanuel Cleaver II, D-Mo. -- returned from a visit to Cuba where they met with the dictators of Cuba, Fidel and Raul Castro.
The Miami Herald labeled the seven members of the CBC who went to Cuba, ''The Clueless Seven'' ...
[Q: If there was a "White Caucus", how would that go over?]
Vermont’s Legislature is considering a bill that, if approved, would make the state one of the first in the nation to grant legal protections to teenagers who send sexually explicit photos and videos to one another with their cell phones.
The law change is receiving widespread support from prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, women’s groups and others...
Our friend from Detroit, Jacob Appel, thinks that gays need government reparations and the Detroit Free Press was so enamored of his idea that it published his plea in its April 7 issue. After a stunning display of moral equivalence (or immoral equivalence as the case may be) Appel warms to his point.
What is not so clear to me is whether homosexuals will be adequately compensated for their mistreatment. So while I recognize that other battles remain, I think the time has arrived to place economic reparations for gay and lesbian Americans on the political agenda.
"Economic reparations"? For what? Have homosexuals been denied work? Have they been kept from schools, forced to second-class status, prevented from voting, kept from healthcare entertainment or government? No.
Let's just say no to reparations of all kinds. Not just gayperations. There is no "justice" for slights made by history. There is only correction as time rolls on. If living in harmony is the true goal, let's not force today's generation to pay for what people did in yesterday's, or in a hundred yesterdays ago.
Let's take the bite out of hate, Mr. Appel, shall we?
image toon - crpt libs reps fnn - Using Dem and hypocrite together hate crime lbrty msm