Archives for: September 2012

Mother Jones and Guns

Mother Jones just published an “investigation” of mass shootings and came to the conclusion that they are rising as gun ownership rises. I look at it here. Long story short: it’s complete bullshit. The tell is that they are drawing conclusions about civilian ownership of guns — but include the Fort Hood incident, which involved a military man committing an act of terrorism on a military base.

And they say conservative distort reality.

Reason Responds

A great response to Samuel L. Jackson moronic video (NSFW):

There is so much more we could get into: the War on Drugs, debt, the economy, debt, Obamacare, debt, regulations, debt. But this really has to hit home with the supposed Left. The One has ramped up drone strikes, warrantless wiretaps and detention — the things they excoriated Bush for.

Wake the fuck up, indeed.

Impervious With Age

Nothing surprises me anymore, and I guess I should be pitied for that. News about graft, corruption, lawbreaking without consequences, it’s all part of our current culture. When I read about how much Obama is sticking us for, a shrug of the shoulders, when news of a prominent cabinet official breaking the law, I figure nothing will happen to her, and when we see over and over how Justice (I’m drowning in the irony) perverts their authority, I look at who is at the top, say to myself ,”Yep, that whole fish/head/rotten thingee”, then grab for the remote.

I know it should not bother me when the MSM gets caught in a lie, lies are about the only thing they do well anymore, but this isn’t really all that bothersome, more anecdotal, more hilarious in the revelation of the botched collusion, and all for sticking with the message. H/T to iowntheworld:

Of course this is one of their less subversive lies, more doctoring of the tape, but it does illustrate how much of a douchebag that Joe Scarborough has turned out to be. I used to like that guy, and figured that he, like Pat Buchanan and SE Cupp, went over the wall as more of a spy mission, more to convert the heathen, boy was I wrong.

I read somewhere a few weeks ago, I know it was a Vanity Fair piece (yes, Mika with a lobotomy would be worth the price of dinner), where that POS mentioned a possible run again in the near future for political office. He is as dead to me as Todd Akin, deader. He knew damn well what duplicity was going on, yet he purveys in the filth with alacrity, and he is supposed to be a Republican.

Friday Five: SciFi/Fantasy

I’m liking these Friday Five threads. If nothing else, they allow for a little more fun and sunshine in a frustrating political time. We can argue tooth and claw on one thread about foreign policy and then join together in, say, our hatred of Battlefield Earth.

Today’s is top science-fiction or fantasy films. Broad swathe but only films, not TV series. You can lump series together, as I have, or consider them as separate films, as pleases you. I wrote a very long post on this for my own site, so I’ll just summarize here:

2001: As much out of respect as anything else. It’s one of the few that I would classify as a great “feeeelm”.

The Lord of the Rings: Yeah. The trailer for the Hobbit looks good. I’m still not seeing three movies, but the trailer looks good.

The Star Wars Trilogy: Empire is what elevates this one to the top three.

Pan’s Labyrinth: Wonderfully visionary and I always find something in my eye in the final scene.

The Harry Potter Series: Amazing what you can do with good writing and acting, isn’t it? more here for the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

You can read the long post for any honorable mentions.

What are your five?

The Surveillance State

Holy shit:

Justice Department documents released today by the ACLU reveal that federal law enforcement agencies are increasingly monitoring Americans’ electronic communications, and doing so without warrants, sufficient oversight, or meaningful accountability.

The documents, handed over by the government only after months of litigation, are the attorney general’s 2010 and 2011 reports on the use of “pen register” and “trap and trace” surveillance powers. The reports show a dramatic increase in the use of these surveillance tools, which are used to gather information about telephone, email, and other Internet communications. The revelations underscore the importance of regulating and overseeing the government’s surveillance power.

Here’s two graphs, one showing the number of orders, the other the number of people affected:

That, my friends, is one exploding surveillance state. Under Obama, the number of people being surveilled has tripled. These two methods allow police, without a warrant, to monitor every number you call and that calls you. Thanks to the PATRIOT Act, they can also get whatever e-mail addresses and IP’s you interact with. They can track your movements from cell phone towers. They are not supposed to listen to calls or read e-mails. But there really isn’t a mechanism to prevent it or punish it either.

Still, the allowed information alone, according to most researchers, is enough to reveal an astonishing amount of information about you. Do we want to take bets on whether this is being used exclusively to fight terrorism? Remember, as Alex pointed out, they can now keep this information, even on non-terrorism cases, for five years. Remember that TSA has already expanded their mission to find people with drugs and other contraband. This isn’t about terrorists blowing things up. This is a generalized tool designed to whittle away at our privacy. And Obama is exploiting it.

As ever, we have to look back and acknowledge that Lee was prophetic:

As I’ve written extensively before, Bush is only a temporary occupant of the White House, and every power that we give to him now will be available to every president who follows him. So many people don’t have a problem with these type of warrantless searches because, on some level, they trust Bush to do the right thing. My problem is that a future president could very easily use these same powers to do some very, very bad things, and as a conservative, I can’t support setting up this type of perilous political situation.

Pen register and trap and trace doubled under Bush and were rising steadily when he left office. But he was a piker compared to the uber-liberal professor now ensconced in the Oval Office who basically took these powers, said “thanks” and exploded them beyond all measure.

The ACLU, bless them, has been all over Obama on this, fighting numerous legal battles to just to find out what they’re doing. But the rest of the Left? The people who called Bush a fascist? You can hear the crickets.

Matt Fracking Damon and the Anti-Science Left

And to think, all the Hollywood celebs joke that the facts have a liberal bias:

Matt Damon and John Krasinski ran into a big problem while making their film “Promised Land”; how they solved it tells us a lot about Hollywood.

Some time ago, the two actors decided to make a movie about fracking — a method of getting once-inaccessible oil and gas out of the ground that has become the bête noire of many environmentalists.

The two wrote a screenplay they said was about “American identity . . . and what defines us as a country.”

It was the usual Hollywood script. We all know the . . . drill: Damon’s character works for an “evil” oil company. He comes to small-town America and sells locals a dangerous bill of goods.

So far, so good. Damon was building a movie around environmentalist concerns about fracking. But then reality intervened:

But while “Promised Land” was in production, the story of Dimock [Pennsylvania] collapsed. The state investigated and its scientists found nothing wrong. So the 11 families insisted EPA scientists investigate. They did — and much to the dismay of the environmental movement found the water was not contaminated.

There was Wolf Eagle Environmental Engineers in Texas, a group that produced a frightening video of a flaming house water pipe and claimed a gas company had polluted the water. But a judge just found that the tape was an outright fraud — Wolf Eagle connected the house gas pipe to a hose and lit the water.

Other “pollution” cases collapsed in Wyoming and Colorado. Even Josh Fox, who with his Oscar-nominated documentary “Gasland” first raised concerns about flammable water, has had to admit he withheld evidence that fracking was not responsible.

These frauds and misrepresentations created huge problems for the Damon/Krasinski script about “what defines us as a country.”

Here in Pennsylvania, we’ve been jerked around quite a bit by these bozos. I’m willing to listen to concerns about fracking. We should pay attention to concerns about new technology, especially one as dramatic as fracking. It’s the basic precautionary principle.

But many of these concerns have turned out to be overblown or outright fraudulent. And the people who should be maddest about this are the environmentalists. It’s their movement, their concerns, their compassion which is being hijacked by anti-corporate hucksters. Now if a legitimate concern were found with fracking, no one would listen because they’ve been lied to so many times.

Well, I’m sure they’ll find someone else to demonize. Maybe GM crops?

I used to think that nothing rivaled the misinformation spewed by climate change skeptics and spinmeisters.

Then I started paying attention to how anti-GMO campaigners have distorted the science on genetically modified foods. You might be surprised at how successful they’ve been and who has helped them pull it off.

I’ve found that fears are stoked by prominent environmental groups, supposed food-safety watchdogs, and influential food columnists; that dodgy science is laundered by well-respected scholars and propaganda is treated credulously by legendary journalists; and that progressive media outlets, which often decry the scurrilous rhetoric that warps the climate debate, serve up a comparable agitprop when it comes to GMOs.

In short, I’ve learned that the emotionally charged, politicized discourse on GMOs is mired in the kind of fever swamps that have polluted climate science beyond recognition.

The latest and greatest is a claim that GM crops cause tumors in rats. Turns out this research was so bogus it got instantly torn apart on the science blogs. Read the details at the link. Read also that Grist, Mother Jones and other liberal publications — who are constantly excoriating global warming skeptics — continue to praise the researchers and their bogus anti-GMO science.

The vast middle of the country is pro-science. I see it every time we do public outreach — the genuine fascination, enthusiasm and wonder in each of the thousand eyes that looks through a telescope on a dark night or peers at one of Hubble’s new images. America loves science and technology. Even the evil fracking is greeted with amazement by many people.

But the hard fringes of either side of our political spectrum do not love science. Fundamentalists of any stripe hate science because science produce results that are inconvenient to their ideology. The Hard Left, which is just as fundamentalist as the hard Right, will accept scientific results — like global warming — if it can be used to support an agenda. But that support will vanish once science comes up with things they don’t like, such as fracking and genetically-modified crops.

And like it or not, these luddite attitudes influence the Democratic Party. You can read Ronald Bailey’s analysis of the 2012 DNC platform and how they have delivered on their 2008 promises. Some is good — oil production is booming, for example. But they’ve been dragging their heels on other issues. And, for all their bluster, federal R&D has fallen 8% under Obama. And if sequestration happens, the eagle will be coming for another chunk of our liver come January despite our never having been bulked up by the stimulus.

That’s the pro-science party?

As for Matt Damon, they are apparently rewriting their movie so that the fraudulent anti-fracking activists are moles for the industry. Okay. Good luck with that. I suspect this will simply be another “issue” movie that — like every issue movie for the last decade — no one watches.

Jules Is Still A Horses Ass

Nick Fury (Jeez, how could they do that to such a sacred story?) must have been asleep these last four years, another elitist rich person devoid of reality. Another Hollywood liberal (least he didn’t call him a black Muslim) still spooning with the president, yeah, like water is wet.

The strategy was clear from the beginning, they can’t focus on the record, bad news keeps coming down the pike, better to lie about your opponent. Oh, and everyone just loves a foul mouthed child, what, no animals around to abuse?

Hey Sam, SHIELD is calling, you’ve been demoted.

The Libya Fallout Continues

To be honest? I almost find this reassuring:

Within 24 hours of the 9-11 anniversary attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, U.S. intelligence agencies had strong indications al Qaeda–affiliated operatives were behind the attack, and had even pinpointed the location of one of those attackers. Three separate U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said the early information was enough to show that the attack was planned and the work of al Qaeda affiliates operating in Eastern Libya.

Nonetheless, it took until late last week for the White House and the administration to formally acknowledge that the Benghazi assault was a terrorist attack. On Sunday, Obama adviser Robert Gibbs explained the evolving narrative as a function of new information coming in quickly on the attacks. “We learned more information every single day about what happened,” Gibbs said on Fox News. “Nobody wants to get to the bottom of this faster than we do.”

I would be more alarmed if this revealed that our intelligence agencies didn’t know it was a terrorist attack. The big question is why they lied to us. Maybe you could argue they were trying to maintain some uncertainty so they could catch these bastards. But … it wasn’t exactly a secret. The Libyan government knew and said so. The commentariat knew and said so. Somewhere, out in Mongolia, there’s a yak herder who has no internet who knew. So … who did they think they were fooling.

Well, at least know they’re digging in and … oh, Christ:

More than two weeks after four Americans — including the U.S. ambassador to Libya — were killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, FBI agents have not yet been granted access to investigate in the eastern Libyan city, and the crime scene has not been secured, sources said.

“They’ve gotten as far as Tripoli now, but they’ve never gotten to Benghazi,” CNN National Security Analyst Fran Townsend said Wednesday, citing senior law enforcement officials.

Some of this was departmental infighting. And I suspect some of the delay is coming from the Libyan government. But still. When 9/11 went off, we had FBI agents interrogated AQ operatives within less than a day. There is no excuse for going two damned weeks before securing the site. None.

Mind the Algae

Yuck:

Less than a month after reopening, the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool is full of algae, a sea of green overshadowing the nearly two-year, $34 million renovation of the famous site.

The National Park Service anticipated a “break-in period” in which problems would need to be addressed, spokeswoman Carol Johnson said, but no one expected the amount of algae that is there now.

The reason this is happening? It’s a green project that uses tidal basin water instead of tap water. The greens never do seem to cotton onto to the idea that there’s usually a reason why we do things the way we do.

Comrade Clinton, Clueless

For those few here that have made any utterances concerning a preference for Hillary and how she would have made a much better president than that bozo we have now, it is time for a reality check. If it was not blatantly obvious before that the differences between the two philosophies would not fill a thimble, that Hillary is as much class warfare, as much elitists snobby ,”Damn those rich people, just not me” and how she is just as Marxist, just as clueless about how the free markets work, take a listen to how she thinks the rich peole around the world are not only skating on their taxes but do zero for productivity:

First, before the usual suspects pipe up with ,”But, but, that was only a small snippet, she must have been taken out of context”, save it, the only way that would be true is if prior to this clip she said something like ,”OK folks, since it is opposites day {somewhere} for the next few minutes just turn everything I say around, then it will make sense”.

Aside from the simple arithmetic problem that they always trip over, that the rich pay way more then their fair share already, it always begs the question, what the hell does she mean by “equitable”?

This same old mime about the rich need to pay more, especially since it always comes from a rich liberal, give it a rest already, it has been played out to death and it is frankly boring. You sissies all march in lock step, but nowhere do you ever say how much is enough. As much as I think François Hollande is so wrong in his projected %75 tax rate for the well off in France (look at all those road runner clouds leaving, kiss all that revenue goodbye you greedy bastard) at least he has the stones to put himself out there and stand up. Hillary, like Obama, keeps crying about the unfairness of it all, but lip service is all that is needed, don’t want to put yourself on record as being too confiscatory.

And did you get that part about the rich not contributing to the growth of their own countries? I vote that as THE dumbest statement made by a politician this year, yes, even dumber then ,”You did not build that”. I guess we won’t mention to her how it is the rich people that start the start ups, companies that hire folks, companies that produce and create wealth, which said wealth btw is then taxed providing much needed revenue for the ever growing governments they tout. It is beyond stupid, I mean, I doubt Obama would say something this stupid, and he is as re distributive as they come, even he sees that rich people do in fact contribute greatly to the growth of this country, of course he wants them to contribute even more, keep shearing those sheep.

Between all the State Dept. blunders over the last week, and all the foreign policy mistakes that we have talked about before, now add this class warfare nonsense, the clear lack of any clarity in how the private sector, the free markets spur growth and prosperity, how ordinary folk take risks spending their own money and time creating businesses where some actually do well and grow, thereby creating hundreds (thousands of new jobs) and making the risk taker rich. But no, that guy is good for nothing, a drag on society, and is meaningless to the country collective.

Hillary is no good, period, and she would make a dreadful president, Obama lite but without charisma and the sloppy golf game. She has no clear vision of American exceptionalism, and would relegate America to that same second world status that Obama sees for us. And seriously, do we really want that Viagra induced horndog running around terrorizing interns?