Archive for the ‘The Mass Media’ Category

Yes, folks, there’s blood in the water, the sharks are circling, and there’s talk of IMPEACHMENT! Don’t ya know. High crimes and misdemeanors. All manner of gross malfeasance and treasonous machinations. A threat to our very Republic he is. So. Let’s take a look at: The Case Against Trump.

1) Trump Said Mean Things About Obama

According to PoliticsUSA, Pres. Trump may have committed an impeachable offense by claiming that Obama wire-tapped him. Apparently this violates some legal precept not actually named in the article, but clearly, making a “false” claim about a previous President is the next best thing to selling secrets to Wikileaks. Except…

As it turns out, Pres Obama didn’t have to order the surveillance of Donald Trump and his election team, because he knew it was already ongoing. So, as President, all the honorable Mr. Obama had to do was request the intercepts of illegal NSA spying on American citizens, and get anything that had “Trump” meta-tagged on it. So, yes, while technically correct that then Pres. Obama did not “order the wire-tapping” of the Trump transition team, it’s a simple, demonstrable fact that he acquired surveillance information on them. So, yes, please, let’s talk about the impeachability of impugning the reputation of a former President, while completely ignoring the fact that the NSA, operating under the Obama administration, conducted illegal surveillance on US citizens, and then “unmasked” said citizens names in violation of both precedent and federal law. NONE of which, but the way, was related to Russia.

Impeachment Score: Weeeeak.

2) Chinese Trademark Keffuffle

And again, our friends from across the pond, with their keen and insightful grasp of US Constitutional law, insist that, after a 10-year legal battle, the Chinese finally granting a contentious trademark decision to Trump, Inc. within days of Trump becoming President is impeachable. Like, totally, dude. As a side note, this same article suggests that being mean to the media is an impeachable offense because it violates the 1st Amendment. Or something. You know what, I’m not even going to talk about this ridiculous smear of yellow journalism anymore. Ptooie.

A slightly more credible source (no, seriously, read this article, it’s incredibly informative and well-balanced) highlights the fact that the this potential conflict of interest could potentially violate the Emoluments Clause which, “prohibits the federal government from granting titles of nobility, and restricts members of the government from receiving gifts, emoluments, offices or titles from foreign states without the consent of the United States Congress.(Wikipedia)”  HOWEVER!

This arguably deals with the practice of naming an US government official as an officer, noble, or other binding title to a foreign nation, thus engendering a conflicting loyalty or claim to a foreign power. The question then becomes, is the granting of a trademark equivalent to the awarding of a Duchy? Or perhaps more germane, was the granting of this trademark intended as a “gift” to the President? Was it intended as a bribe to curry favor? In order to make this an impeachable offense, one would, I suggest, have to provide compelling evidence of both the former and the latter. Neither of which has, to date, been presented.

The other question I would propose, in my role as a woefully uneducated layman, is what would Pres. Trump’s detractors have him do in this situation? Trump Enterprises is an ongoing concern. Management of this enterprise has been transferred to his son. Is it the expectation that if a business man becomes President for four years, he must divest himself of all business-related holdings acquired over a lifetime? Should Pres. Trump have rejected the Chinese government’s approval of the trademark after a ten year legal fight? How do you “not accept” a trademark decision like this in your favor? The simple reality is that while there may be a suggestion of impropriety here, it may also be completely circumstantial. If there was a compelling case to be made, would it not have already BEEN made? More importantly, can it be proven that Donald J. Trump used the influence of his Office to influence the Chinese in order to secure these trademarks? If so, such evidence has yet to surface. The fact that Trump turned right around and played nice with Taiwan thereby stretching and bending China’s long-standing “One China” policy suggests otherwise.

Impeachment Score: Really Weak.

3) President Trump’s “Travel Ban” Was Unconstitutional. Or something.

So, to state the painfully obvious, let’s at least get the terms and conditions straight here. It was not a Muslim ban. It was not a travel ban. It was 120-day moratorium on travel (Click it. No, really. Have you actually read the thing? Didn’t think so.) from seven specific countries that bleed jihadists like a hemophiliac Imam. So, to review: Ban = permanent, i.e. – a revocation. Moratorium = temporary, i.e. – a suspension. Any questions? No? Good.

Just a taste:

“In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles.  The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law.  In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including ‘honor’ killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.”(emphasis mine)

But wait. TRUMP MYSOGONIST RACIST HOMOPHOBE GURGLE CHOKE FROTH!! Right?!  Ooooops.

The chest beaters on this one imply that it was either, a) a violation of the First Amendment, to whit, the free exercise of religion (yes, it hurts my brain, too), or b) Pres. Trump “exceeded his Constitutional Authority (yes, it’s those UK Constitutional scholars again).  Well, for starters, the travel moratorium did not identify a specific religion. Because the restriction dealt with predominantly Muslim countries, it was heralded as a “Muslim Ban!11!!11!” Except that, there are upwards of 50 Muslim-majority countries, and this travel restriction deals with only…seven.

Immigration and travel restrictions are nothing new. And while it can certain be argued that Pres. Trump blocking existing green card holders was both ill-considered and incredibly poorly implemented, is it really outside the power of the President? Is it really a violation of the President’s Constitutional authority? No. While potentially distasteful, it is not illegal.

Newsflash folks: As a sovereign nation, we get to decide who can come in.

Impeachment Score: I can’t even.

4) Comey Over.

And, of course, mean ol’ D.J. fired FBI Director Comey right before he was ready to drop the hammer on the Trump administration with a full-blown investigation into collusion with Russian meddling in the election. So, let ring forth the calls for a Special Prosecutor to…uh…uh…find out some stuff!

The move to fire the sitting FBI Director during a contentious period where investigations into the Trump-Russia connection were actually underway, but had revealed no actual evidence of collusion, is seen as a “Constitutional crisis.” Except, (insert money quote):

But neither thinks that the Comey firing counts, since there’s absolutely no dispute over Trump’s legal authority to remove Comey from his position. “This is not (yet) a constitutional crisis, since there’s no doubt about his authority to fire Comey,” Levinson told Politico.

Oops. Would appear not to be impeachable. Damnit.

But wait! That paragon of objective journalism (trigger warning) Think Progress, lets us know that it can be both legal AND impeachable! Somehow.

“Constitutional law experts say that while President Donald Trump’s decision to fire Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey was legal, it appears to be an abuse of power that could constitute an impeachable offense.”

The problem I have with this approach is two-fold. One, Pres. Trump did not disband the FBI. He did not place a gag-order or any other restrictions on agents within the FBI from conducting or continuing any investigation into any potential “Russian Connection©.” Moreover, less than a year ago the same Democrats who are now calling for Trump’s head over Comey’s firing, were calling for Comey’s head over his release of Hillary Clinton emails just prior to election day. So, Director Comey effectively outed himself as both partisan and politicized. Despite his arguable competence, he had lost the confidence of those both within and without his organization as to his objectivity. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a Very Bad Thing when it comes to the top law enforcement official in the land.

And, oh by the way, President William Jefferson Clinton fired FBI Director William Sessions in 1993 for what he felt to be “ethical lapses” in his conduct. So this is not “unprecedented.” Strangely, there were no cries for impeachment then.

All that said, the FBI Director is a political appointee, and serves, “at the pleasure of the President.” So, despite the long-standing precedent that the Director serves his 10-year terms, the President, legally, doesn’t need a reason at all to fire him.

Impeachment Score: Close, but no cigar.

In Conclusion:

Every bit of research  I made into this post was rife with hypotheticals and technicalities. A lot of “mights” and “coulds” and “feasiblies.” I searched news sites, blogs, academic analyses, wikis and archives. The simple fact is this: as much as you may want it to be true, as much as you NEED it to be true, President Donald J. Trump, however morally corrupt or bankrupt you find him, however distasteful you find his policies and politics, however much you long to see him strung up from the yardarm or boiled in oil, simply hasn’t done anything (yet) that’s truly impeachable. He’s walking a fine line, and we can only wonder what tomorrow will bring, but from what I can so, so far it’s a lot of reaching and innuendo without any prosecutable evidence.

Buy hey, keep trying. Never know, you might get lucky yet.

There’s a front-page report on the DHS report highlighting the dangers of “right-wing extremists” in today’s Stars & Stripes,  yet strangely I can find nothing about it on their web site.  I wonder if that was an editorial decision to bury the story?  You can’t unprint newspapers, but you can easily delete a link.

There was some speculation that this report was some sort of clever and complex hoax, but Michelle Malkin confirmed it, and the Stars & Stripes has it front page of their print edition, at least here in Germany.

I think this comes under the heading of “boiling the frog slowly.”  They don’t even mention any “credible threat” in the report.  Just a vague sort of “sense” that economic conditions and a black president “might” foment discord by disgruntled right-wingers and disaffected miliatary veterans.

In other words, there are dangerous points of view out there, against which we must be vigilant.   Viewpoints like, illegal immigration is bad, abortion is wrong, or that the President of the United States shouldn’t be running our civilian corporations or determining what content on the Internet is permissible.

What exactly is it that the Left is so afraid of?  So afraid that they have to villify, marginalize, even criminalize conservative viewpoints?  And more importantly, why are we letting them get away with it?

On ’60 Minutes,’ Obama rebukes Cheney criticism

To me, this title is misleading.  It suggests at first glance that Obama was actually sticking up for Cheney, defending him from his critics.  He’s rebuking the criticisms OF Cheney.

However, read the story, and you find that what he’s really doing is rebuking Cheney‘s criticism.  Don’t they send journalists to journalism school anymore?  How about editors?  Oh wait, this was a blog.  We all KNOW they’re just a bunch uv illiterut hax, right?

You could even suggest that a person name Cheney H. Criticism, from Lubbuck, Texas was in the next chair over on the set of 60 Minutes, and Obama soundly rebuked him, probably for bad table manners or making jokes about the Special Olympics. Who knows?

All in all, a journalistic FAIL.

…somewhat akin to a certain Jeff G., which, because of the NUANCE!

I continue to find it amazingly amazing that the political party of which continually bills itself as the party of The People! (which, if you were wondering, is the Democrats) has taken such a ready and almost, dare I say, “pitbull”-like (minus the lipstick, of course) approach to painting a certain Sarah Palin as a backwater hick, as a floozy, cheerleader, woman-hater, etc.

Apparently, one of Sarah Palin’s biggest failings is that she hasn’t been part of the mainstream political elite for long enough.  Cuz, you know, we want CHANGE!  We don’t want business as usual.  We want to mix it up with a fresh face, a relative unknown, someone from outside who can come in and shake up the way things are run.  No more business as usual.

You know, unless of course, you happen to be a Republican woman who, quite unfortunately, opposes the sacrosanct abortion at all cost and in all cases.

Because we are the party of the people, the lowly joe.  Unless of course, you decide to run against a Democrat.

Then it’s open up a jar of smear cream and give the country a political facial.  Open up the ideological pores, as it were.  Although, we can’t talk about getting rid of blackheads, cuz of, you know…

THE RACISM!

As seen/discovered in the comments for this post over at Michelle Malkin, I heartily jump on the bandwagon.  From now on, the Strunk & Whites’ official textual accuracy for liberals is now: LIEberals.  Please update your spellcheck.  Thank you.

That is all.

UPDATE:

I have to wonder what Al Franken, the seasoned, responsible journalist that he is, thinks of all this media make-believe?

Nuance.

Update:  Yeah, kind of like that

In journalistic and legal circles there is a concept called “prior restraint,” which essential boils down to an officially-sanctioned restriction on the publication or airing of material which might offend, be prejudicial to a trial process, or in some other way prove harmful to some party.  The potential harm to the aggrieved party is always weighed against the potential impacts on freedom of speech; with freedom of speech being given the much greater weight.  Few instances of prior restraint are ever upheld due to the perception that its use constitutes an unacceptable infringement of freedom of speech.  In other words, the potential harm done to one individual or group is far outweighted by the potential harm done to the society as a whole by setting such a precedent.

So, if you don’t see how the censorship of a choir singing Christmas carols near a Jewish person is the same as prior restraint, then it’s because you’ve made a conscious decision not to.

(more…)

I find it interesting that not once in this AP article:

Austrian Man Shoots Colleague, Slices off Penis in ‘Honor Killing’

…are the words “Islamic” or “Muslim” mentioned.  Instead, honor killings are said to be:

an ancient tradition associated with Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iraq and Iran as well as tribal areas in Pakistan and some Arab societies

Hmmm.  Lessee.  What do Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and “some Arab societies” all have in common?

Nope.  No agenda hear, folks.  No media bias.  Move along.  Move along.

Military probes atheist GI’s harassment claims  

Perhaps you’ve heard of this guy, a one Spc. Jeremy Hall who has up and decided to sue his commanding officer and, yes, the Secretary of Defense.  That’s right.  E-4 Specialist Hall is suing the Secretary of Defense.  Although, to be honest, I’m not sure how an Atheist files a lawsuit for religious discrimination.

Nuance.

I’m very suspicious of this lawsuit. I’ve been serving in this man’s Marine Corps for over 14 years, and I’ve never seen any pressure to conform to any specific faith.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  I’ve experienced quite a few deragotory comments toward Christians, not specifically directed at me, but made in passing, almost like is was some sort of conventional wisdom.  Christian chaplains, both Protestant and Catholic are available in the military.  They even go to the field. However, when they hold their services, they are usually attended by about 30% of the Marines.
 
So I find it very difficult to believe that this individual is facing persecution because of his lack of religious faith.
 
In my Reserve unit, we had a guy that up and decided he was a conscientous objector because of his Wiccan beliefs.  That’s right, Wiccan.  And we thought the guy was a turd.  Not because he was Wiccan.  Sure, we kind of smiled and rolled our eyes when he talked about being a Warlock, or saying that he needed some time off during a field op to go perform some Wiccan ceremony (which, by the way, we let him do).  We thought he was a turd because he decided half-way through his enlistment that he was a C/O.  We figured it was a dodge to get out of completing his tour.  So, we didn’t let him carry a weapon, what with him being a C/O, and all.  And yeah, he got a lot of shitty little details and jobs to keep him busy…not as punishment for being Wiccan, but more out of the fact that although he wasn’t getting out of his contract, he wouldn’t fight or train, so what else do you do with him?
 
I don’t know Spc. Jeremy Hall from Adam, but I suspect the harassment he is getting is not because he’s an atheist..trust me, there are lots of them out there…but because he’s a turd.  He’s making a huge stink out of something I suspect would otherwise be a non-issue if he hadn’t decided to file a lawsuit.  Trust me, taking that action has made him far more unpopular than merely taking an atheist stance ever would.  The military puts a strong emphasis on taking care of its own business.  Spec4 Hall had a lot of avenues open to him to get him concerns addressed…within his chain of command.  Taking it to the Big Tent instead, and pulling some dumbass stunt like suing the SecDef definitely puts young Mr. Hall in the “shitbird” category.
 
I’d really like to find out more about this guy’s case.  Why would you hold a meeting for atheists?  Let’s all sit around a talk about all the things we don’t believe about God?  When did he want to hold these meetings?  During duty hours?  It doesn’t say, but that could be a contributing factor.

What so many of today’s pampered youth fail to realize, as they wallow in their misguided sense of entitlement, is that you voluntarily give up a lot of your freedom of movement, so to speak, when you join the military.

Newsflash there, Specialist:  your chain of command owns your sorry ass.
 
That said, today’s PC military is also very sensitive about any type of accusations of discrimination.  The mere accusation of sexual harassment is enough to put your career to a grinding halt sometimes.  There are myriad resources this SPC could have used to address his issues. However, my suspicion is that he’s less interested in defending his beliefs/lack of beliefs, than he is in making a name for himself.
 
Unless I hear different, I put this character firmly in the same category as Michael Newdown, that atheist blowhard in California who got all pissy about “under God” in the Pledge.
 
Look at the “Urgent Issues” section of the group handling his lawsuit: Military Religious Freedmom.org.   Several links to the always balanced, totally non-partisan “Truthout.org.”  Links to titles like “An Evangelical Coup in America’s Military; An In-Depth Interview with Mikey Weinstein” or “Crusade and a Holy War in the US Military.”  Tell me there isn’t another agenda at work here than defending poor widdle Jeremy?

I suspect that the books deals are already lined up, not to mention the radio spots on Air America and the docudrama by Michael Moore.

UPDATE:

Let me gell it down here.  I’m sure it’s entirely possible that this individual might be or might have suffered discrimination at the hands of a particular misguided CO.  But to suggest that there is some sort of institutional bias against atheists, or some sort of radical Christian cabal infusing the US military is simply laughable.  And for someone in his position to sue the Secretary of Defense over it is just, well, stupid.

Militants throw rivals off high-rise Gaza buildings

Now, I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I get this vague sort of sense that these people are, what’s the word….COMPLETE $#@&^%! ANIMALS!

Again, not being possessed of an incredible amount of mental acuity, I must profess some confusion at CNN’s continued choice of appellatives when describing these aforementioned douchebags.

“Militants.”  Let that sort of roll around your tongue.  Milllllitaaannnts.

Folks, “militants” do not throw people off high-rise buildings.  Murdering thugs do.  If Vinnie and Luigi took a bookie who was into Mr. Gione for 100 large, and tossed him offa the veranda of a luxury suite at the MGM Grand, such that he had a sudden impact with the parking lot, would one then be inclined to describe the aforementioned knee-breakers as “militants?” No?  What if they put CSI Las Vegas on the case?  And say, perhaps, the intrepid dectectives nabbed ol’ Vinnie and Luigi, would the charges against these gentleman refer to them being “militants?”  Or, would they be charged with murder?  1st degree, eminently premeditated murder?

Is there anything left in the Mass Media lexicon which rises to the level of terrorism anymore?  “Militants” perform all manner of perverse and appalling atrocities, and yet the best the world’s media can come up with is a milquetoast label like militant.  These are murdering bastards.  Human filth. Nothing more than feral throwbacks to a primordial stage of evolution.  It’s law of the jungle, kill or be killed.  But kill, regardless.

Yet the pacifist, capitulationist movements of the western world would have us “understand” the Muslim.  Embrace his culture.  Enable his worldview at the expense of our own.

If I wanted to embrace the Islamic culture, I’D MOVE TO AN ISLAMIC COUNTRY.  However, I DON’T want to “appreciate” the finer points of Sharia law…

THAT’S WHY I LIVE HERE!  Looking around the world at all the places that have been turned into festering cesspools of oppression, hate and murder by the adherents to Sharia law and Islamic teachings, can you understand why I might be a little less than tolerant of getting the same crap rammed down my throat by a bunch of affirmative action beatniks here at home?

Whether it is the Sunni’s killing Shiites, or Hamas killing Fatah, it’s really just the Hatfields and the McCoys, who been killin’ each uther fer so long that no one even ‘members how it all got started;  but it’s all they’ve ever known, so it’s all they know how to do.

Count me out, thanks.

Zoo celebrates virgin birth of Komodo dragons

The evolutionary breakthrough could have far-reaching consequences for endangered species.”

Not sure how this is an “evolutionary” breakthrough.  Was the offspring a new variation on the species?  Able to breath methane or something?  Has wings?

Parthenogenesis — where eggs become embryos without male fertilization — had only been noted once before in a Komodo dragon

Whups!  So it HAS been noted before?  So, it was a rare, yet existing capability for the Komodo.  So, again, evolutionary? Not so much.

But hey, ya gotta play up the evolution angle whenever possible, right?

In related news:

Humans wiped out large beasts in Australia

The new study, published in the Jan. 24 issue of the journal Nature, destroys the climate change model for Australian megafauna extinction once and for all, said study co-author John Long from Museum Victoria, Australia.

“The only new ingredient in the mix at that time was humans, who first entered Australia between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago,” Roberts said. “So humans, very likely, played the decisive role in the extinction event — through hunting of juveniles and through burning of the vegetation cover and changing the plant composition to disadvantage the browsers and grazers.”

Humans:  Once a depspoiler of the earth, always a despoiler of the earth.  My question is, why didn’t they just EVOLVE to ADAPT to the changing conditions!?  Maybe if they’d all been placed in captivity, then they would have “learned” to spontaneously reproduce, and wouldn’t have died out.

In totally unrelated news:

Clearly these people need to move to California.

 Airline defends removing family from flight

AirTran Airways on Tuesday defended its decision to remove a Massachusetts couple from a flight after their crying 3-year-old daughter refused to take her seat before takeoff. 

“We weren’t given an opportunity to hold her, console her or anything,” Julie Kulesza said in a telephone interview Tuesday. 

Because after all, all she really needed was a hug, right? Or….

She was removed because “she was climbing under the seat and hitting the parents and wouldn’t get in her seat” during boarding, Graham-Weaver said. (my emphasis)

Where I come from, a three-year old doesn’t really get to decide whether or not she needs to sit her tush down when it’s time for the airplane to go zoom.   It’s that, or spend the flight in the overhead bin.  Remember my questions about spanking, and what to do when asking nicely isn’t enough?  ‘Nuf said.