Sunday, January 31, 2010

Breitbart A Hypocrite, O'Keefe A Big Government Lackey

I came across an interesting argument made at The BRAD BLOG. In it, Brad Friedman asks the question that "if ACORN itself is 'guilty' for something or other, based on what some of their employees did, what does that make rightwing faux 'journalist' and Matt Drudge poodle Andrew Breitbart, who has now admitted that accused felon James O'Keefe worked for him?"

It seems Andrew Breitbart understands the correlation, although unwilling to admit, because recently he has been distancing himself from his one-time protege. When interviewed by Hugh Hewitt over at, Breitbart was asked about his relationship with James O'Keefe. Breitbart was quick to make the distinction that he has "nothing to do with what James O’Keefe does" and that "James O’Keefe is an independent filmmaker," yet according to O'Keefe's profile at Big Government, it states the following:
James began his career as a journalist as the founder and editor-in-chief of The Centurion at Rutgers University. He has helped start over a dozen campus newspapers nationwide. His past projects include an investigation of Planned Parenthood, where his reporting exposed the organization's willingness to ignore apparent instances of statutory rape and eugenics-based racism. He is currently working at and blogs at
So is James O'Keefe an independent filmmaker, or another Breitbart lackey? When asked a simple yes-or-no question as to whether O'Keefe is an "employee," Breitbart could only respond with some strange generalities saying "I'm not sure that's technically the thing, but yes, he's paid for his life rights."

Freidman points out one other question from the interview. When Hewitt presses about the differentiation between employer and employee, and liability, he makes the statement that "lots of people work for lots of corporations, and do dumb and sometimes illegal things that are not within the scope of their employment. And this was not within the scope of his employment." Breitbart's response: "Yes, absolutely. That is absolutely the case."

While you can definitely see the hypocrisy between Breitbart's view of his relationship with O'Keefe and ACORN with it's employees, I would question to the validity of his statement that O'Keefe acted outside the scope of his employment, especially when he began his tenure with Big Government promoting a secretly videotaped interaction with ACORN employees, which may have violated state laws. Apparently it was within his scope as a Big Government employee then but not now.

O'Keefe Pleads His Innocence, Spins His Case

James O'Keefe had decided to respond to recent news of his arrest by the FBI on January 29th, choosing to do so on the website he made his debut on, Big Government.  As can be expected, O'Keefe has already started putting a twist on things:
The government has now confirmed what has always been clear: No one tried to wiretap or bug Senator Landrieu’s office. Nor did we try to cut or shut down her phone lines. Reports to this effect over the past 48 hours are inaccurate and false.

As an investigative journalist, my goal is to expose corruption and lack of concern for citizens by government and other institutions, as I did last year when our investigations revealed the massive corruption and fraud perpetrated by ACORN. For decades, investigative journalists have used a variety of tactics to try to dig out and reveal the truth.

I learned from a number of sources that many of Senator Landrieu’s constituents were having trouble getting through to her office to tell her that they didn’t want her taking millions of federal dollars in exchange for her vote on the healthcare bill. When asked about this, Senator Landrieu’s explanation was that, “Our lines have been jammed for weeks.” I decided to investigate why a representative of the people would be out of touch with her constituents for “weeks” because her phones were broken. In investigating this matter, we decided to visit Senator Landrieu’s district office – the people’s office – to ask the staff if their phones were working.

On reflection, I could have used a different approach to this investigation, particularly given the sensitivities that people understandably have about security in a federal building. The sole intent of our investigation was to determine whether or not Senator Landrieu was purposely trying to avoid constituents who were calling to register their views to her as their Senator. We video taped the entire visit, the government has those tapes, and I’m eager for them to be released because they refute the false claims being repeated by much of the mainstream media.

It has been amazing to witness the journalistic malpractice committed by many of the organizations covering this story. MSNBC falsely claimed that I violated a non-existent “gag order.” The Associated Press incorrectly reported that I “broke in” to an office which is open to the public. The Washington Post has now had to print corrections in two stories on me. And these are just a few examples of inaccurate and false reporting. The public will judge whether reporters who can’t get their facts straight have the credibility to question my integrity as a journalist.
I am starting to believe that O'Keefe and his fellow conservative activists are the ones leaking incorrect information to the media in an attempt to discredit them, such as the fake "gag order," but more importantly, I think it is interesting that he claims that they were there to only see if the phones were broken, yet they stated to both witnesses that their intent was to repair the phones. Granted, that was to one of their pawns in their video, the problem with what they did was according to accounts that they gave FBI agents, there was probable cause that they were there to maliciously interfere with the telephone systems. I question who they are lying to... the FBI or the regular, everyday conservative who looks up him and his cohorts as some sort of hero. Why didn't they tell the FBI that they were only there to look at the phones to see if they were broken and not touch them? While I obviously don't have some of the story, things just don't add up when listening to O'Keefe's accounts, and O'Keefe is playing off the fact that nobody other then the FBI and his buddies have the full story, and so he is completely spinning this story to make him out to be the victim, just wanting to find out why Senator Landreiu reportedly never answered her phones.

What are some of the responses on Big Government to O'Keefe's sob story? Entropygirl431 wrote "Keep on Keepin' on Mr. O'keefe. Without journalists like you, we would be lost to all the corruption going on," while Skeeter J. wrote "Way to go, James." The majority of comments are positive, either attacking socialized medicine, Obama, ACORN, Eric Holder, or SEIU. While some of the negative comments were deleted by the administrator, there are some that remain, such as this little pearl by Patriot Czar (great name), who wrote "Why didn't you try calling her office and see if you could get through? You could have documented your calls - geez." What were some of the responses? Spliff Menendez wrote back "Did you notice in the affidavit that two of the people tried calling the office standing right there IN the office? They got no answer." There were numerous responses echoing Spliff, but they all seem to fail to grasp the concept that O'Keefe and his pals were acting when they were calling the phone in the office to gain access to the telephone closet.

I'm still waiting from the full story, but not from O'Keefe. I like how the others, like the U.S. Attorney's son, haven't really come forward with a public statement... only the pimp without his prostitute.

What is also funny is that he is proclaiming innocence through the tapes apprehended by the FBI, attempting to put the burden of proof on the government to release the videos, and that no release equals no crime. Maybe They should make an exchange for the full unedited ACORN videos. O'Keefe is also playing a very hypocritical card. He is claiming he did nothing wrong, only entering an office to ask some questions. Since he did not get to accomplish his plans to disrupt federal telecommunications, he is claiming he did nothing wrong, yet when the shoe is on the other foot, and he is the accuser, one's actions are not relevant as to whether they are guilty or not. Take into account ACORN, which had done nothing illegal and was charged with no criminal activity, where O'Keefe still insists they committed some sort of crime. Go figure...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Conservative Media Is Like The Blind Leading The Blind

I decided to visit real quick before I head to bed when I noticed a poll on their website that asked if you, the answerer, planned on watching Barack Obama's State Of The Union Address. Of the responses, including mine, only 16% responded saying they planned on tuning in. A whopping 84% said they wont. I found this alarming because these people who said no are pretty much dependent on third party sources to tell them what was said, and not witness for themselves what actually was said. This explains much of the fervor you see at right-wing rallies, where ignorant masses scream about the injustices perpetrated by the Obama administration. When confronted, they have no clue what they believe because they are just echoing the opportunistic voices of the conservative propaganda machine. I may not have been the biggest fan of President Bush, and I disagreed with many of his policies, but I supported him as my president and I was eager to watch any public address he had made, so that I may draw my own conclusion, and if some else was elected president, other the Obama, that I disagreed with, and they were making an important address, I would be sure to tune in.

When I discuss politics with some conservative friends and coworkers of mine, they tell me that Democrats, not Republicans, are unwilling to listen to the opposing view and that Democrats are the reason Barack Obama has failed to achieve bipartisan success. While the Democrats have contributed slightly, it is clear that it is the obstructionist point of view from the right-wing that is gumming up the works.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Glenn Beck And Florida's High Speed Rail

Updated January 31st, 2010.

Florida will be the recipient of $1.25 billion to go towards the payment of a new high speed rail, which will help go towards opening up the Tampa-Orlando corridor, as well as a Miami- Orlando line as well. While the money is not enough to complete the project, proponents for the rail celebrated after years of working hard to try and develop mass transit in the sunshine state, but not all are pleased. Fox News' Glenn Beck attacked the program as nothing more then wasteful government spending, and joked about why anybody would take a high speed rail between Tampa and Orlando when they can just hop in their car and make the hour and a half drive, or an even sillier notion, visit Orlando only to visit some cigar factory in Tampa.

Glenn Beck cites as proof that he has lived in Tampa and that he has made the drive between the two metropolitan areas and that a train is just not worth the hassle, but while he only insults the project, dismissing any need for the rail line. Maybe Glenn Beck has spent too much time in Connecticut, but Beck is seriously mistaken about the high speed rail.

First, to address his claims about the amount of time it takes to travel down Interstate 4, anybody can tell you that it takes about an hour to get to Tampa, but that is on a good day, which are few and far between. Traffic is constantly backed up. There are several areas that experience gridlock in the Orlando area, and I am not discussing single exits, but stretches of Interstate 4 that pretty much span all of Orlando, stretching from Universal Studios to Winter Park. Then you have the Disney area in the other direction which is a whole other story. Typically, between Disney and the outside of Tampa, like around the Seminole Hard Rock Casino and Hotel, is an easier drive, but then you hit Tampa. Take into consideration various other contributors to traffic, such as sporting events, concerts, rush hour, construction, or accidents, and you are looking at a two hour or more drive. Just today, it took me almost two hours to get from Altamonte Springs, through Downtown, just to get to Sea World (an accident occurred on Universal Blvd. causing major congestion on all surrounding roads such as Sand Lake Road, International Drive, Turkey Lake Road, Kirkman Road, and I-4). Either Beck drove in the wee hours of the morning or he hit the bottle before getting behind the wheel, but the fastest I have ever made it to Tampa was 50 minutes, and that was driving over the speed limit after midnight.

Glenn Beck also mentions the absurd possibility that somebody may actually want to visit the other city if they were on vacation. Why would somebody visiting Disney in Orlando ever want to go to Tampa? Beck must not have heard of the award winning and family friendly Lowry Park Zoo or the theme park that is not Disney World, Busch Gardens. What about students who would like to attend University of South Florida or Central Florida, or the numerous other colleges such as Valencia Community College or Rollins College, which are ranked as some of the highest in the nation. Even commuting to and from work would be feasible using a high speed rail, especially when taking into consideration the cost of gasoline and wear and tear on one's car. Also, there are the many surrounding areas of Tampa, such as Clearwater, which has some of the nicest beaches in America. There is also the consideration that there are many who don't have cars, and the opportunity to take public transportation to another area is very promising. I may be rambling, but the fact is Glenn Beck is an idiot who either has never really lived in Florida or just doesn't care about others who do.

Connecting two of the largest metropolitan areas in Florida with mass transit is important in aiding the economic development and diversification of one of the largest and most populous states in America. Glenn Beck needs to get a life.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Is Fox News Really The Most Trusted News Source?

According to a poll done by Public Policy Polling, Fox News is the most trusted news source in a tough competition between CNN, NBC, CBS, and ABC, with CNN in second place. I had read this report on Tuesday, but today, I came across an article on Big Journalism echoing the report as proof that the right-wing media outlet, is well, right.

Looking at the poll, it is not that Fox News is the most trusted media source, but that of people who prefer Fox, most trust the news they receive from the channel, while those same people, mostly conservative, dislike all other media outlets, which does not come as a big surprise since Fox News brands itself as "fair and balanced" when compared to the MSM, or main stream media. I am sure that if you add the total responses of those who trust the alternatives to Fox, they would surely outnumber Fox's most loyal viewers. While 31% of respondents trust ABC, 32% trust CBS, 39% trust CNN, 35% trust NBC, and 49% trust Fox, it is equally important to look at the makeup of viewers to get an accurate portrayal of responses.

Voters who voted for John McCain in 2008 had a higher chance of not trusting other news outlets other then Fox then compared to people who voted for Obama. 70% of McCain supporters trust Fox, but when you look at their opinions of other networks, 67%, 67%, 62%, and 64% of McCain supporters view ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC, respectively, negatively.

Ideologically, conservatives overwhelmingly distrust other news networks while an astounding 75% trust Fox News. Comparatively, Liberals and moderates distrust Fox News. Liberals and moderates tend to trust the other media outlets more, meaning conservatives preference and reliance on only one news source has skewed data in an independent poll. While many may trust Fox News, it appears that a majority of people, mostly liberal and moderate ideologies, prefer to get their news elsewhere, at more fair and balanced sources.

O'Keefe Defies Gag Order, Reveals "True" Story

"There was no wire-tapping, bugging or interfering with the phone system," said Michael Madigan, attorney for the conservative activist and filmmaker James O'Keefe. I can see that they are already putting the spin on things. O'Keefe was arrested before he could finish the job, but this response sounds similar to another story O'Keefe was associated with, and by that I am referring to ACORN. While ACORN had not done anything illegal during the videotapes O'Keefe and partner Hannah Giles made, the conservative activists denied their target's innocence and determined the organization was guilty before any real investigation took place. What is even more shocking is Gile's response to O'Keefe's arrest. "Following the law is an integral part of being a good investigative journalist," Giles said. "I certainly hope these reports are untrue." I assume that Giles believes that the two did not violate any laws in their illegal taping of ACORN workers last year and that their highly edited videos equal investigative journalism.

The group of activists face charges under Sections 1036 and 1362 of Title 18. Section 1036 involves entering Federal buildings under false pretenses, but the more serious charge is what is under Section 1036, which is probably why they claim to have only been in the office to unplug the telephone systems to disrupt the U.S. Senator's office, things just don't add up. Section 1036 reads as the following:
Whoever willfully or maliciously injures or destroys any of the works, property, or material of any radio, telegraph, telephone or cable, line, station, or system, or other means of communication, operated or controlled by the United States, or used or intended to be used for military or civil defense functions of the United States, whether constructed or in process of construction, or willfully or maliciously interferes in any way with the working or use of any such line, or system, or willfully or maliciously obstructs, hinders, or delays the transmission of any communication over any such line, or system, or attempts or conspires to do such an act, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
Even though they claim to have only been in the building to disrupt communications, not wiretap, it would appear that they would still fall under the section where one would maliciously interfere "in any way with the working or use of any such line," which is what they claim they planned on doing (maybe they think this would get them a slap on the wrist).

To make matters worse, O'Keefe seems to have violated a court ordered gag order, tweeting "Govt official concedes no attempt to wiretap," which sounds fine and dandy, but according to an ABC report, "a federal law enforcement official said one of the suspects was picked up in a car a couple of blocks away with a listening device that could pick up transmissions. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the information was not part of the FBI affidavit." Maybe O'Keefe should shut up instead of trying to continue to control his manufactured story that has left his hands.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

James O'Keefe Arrested By FBI For Plotting To Wiretap Senator's Office

Updated January 27th, 2010.

James O'Keefe, the conservative activist and filmmaker, who gained attention for last years undercover ACORN videos, was arrested by the FBI for posing as a telephone company employee with a couple of accomplices in an attempt to wiretap the office of Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu in downtown New Orleans. His accomplices were Stan Dai, Joseph Basel and Robert Flanagan, the son of acting U.S. Attorney Bill Flanagan in Shreveport, were also arrested.

This recent arrest is only further evidence of the lengths, sometimes illegal, in which conservative activists are willing to take to undermine this administration, and yet the so-called right-wing media, who exist as a response to the so-called liberal media, will most likely keep their lips shut on this matter, mainly because O'Keefe was hailed by the likes of Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck as the savior of the conservative movement and one of the new faces of the young Republicans. I for one am excited of his arrest, and while I know this will not damage his credibility with the far-right, I do hope that this dampers his plans in creating and propagating his own media.

Big Government, the website associated with James O'Keefe, which debuted with his ACORN videos and has worked closely with the activist to release further videos had quickly released a statement from Andrew Breitbart:
We have no knowledge about or connection to any alleged acts and events involving James O’Keefe at Senator Mary Landrieu’s office. We only just learned about the alleged incident this afternoon. We have no information other than what has been reported publicly by the press. Accordingly, we simply are not in a position to make any further comment.
According to Robert Flanagan's lawyer, Garrison Jordan, “It was poor judgment,” he said in a brief interview outside the courthouse. “I don’t think there was any intent or motive to commit a crime.” For a group of conservative activists, one who had already been involved in secretly taping ACORN, potentially violating state laws, the idea that these group of activists were only attempting to wiretap a Senator's phone, disguised as telephone company employees, "just cause," seems to be an inadequate excuse.

According to witnesses, O'Keefe and his accomplices entered the office of the senator dressed in blue jeans, blue shirt, a green fluorescent vest, and a white hard hat, stating that they needed to perform work on the telephone systems. O'Keefe, then positioned himself to film the others with his cellular phone. When asked for their credentials, the group said they left their identification in their vehicle.

In the FBI affidavit, Flanagan and Basel admitted to federal agents to entering the building under false pretenses and O'Keefe and Dai admitted in planning, coordinating, and preparing for the operation. O'Keefe admitted filming the operation.

If the group admitted to federal agents that they had planned and attempted to carry out an act against the United States, tampering with phone systems owned and operated by the Federal Government, then how can what Flanagan's lawyer say hold any water? They intended to commit an act, and their previous actions spell out a motive of trying to uncover perceived wrongdoing on the part of the Democratic Senator. I hope the government throws the book at these clowns.

Already, there are cries from the right claiming that O'Keefe and his buddies were framed by the federal government and that Eric Holder is out for blood. There are also questions into his attempted wiretapping, but what other reason would this group of activists have for getting into the telephone closet? There have also been claims that this was somewhat related to the ACORN lawsuits against O'Keefe and his accomplice Hannah Giles, but that is a completely different case. Taking O'Keefe's history and writings into account, I wouldn't put it past him to use this situation to either divert media attention away from the ACORN matter or for some other reason that has yet to be revealed. One thing is for sure, and that is to not trust anything coming out of the right-wing media until all the facts have been uncovered, and even then, don't trust them.

The Republicans are already distancing themselves from their poster boy, but what bothers me is that they see this recent illegal activity differently from the last. Republican Rep. Pete Olson from Texas introduced a bill with 31 co-sponsors praising O'Keefe for his ACORN actions, but when questioned regarding this recent event, Olson stated that he would not condone any illegal activity performed by O'Keefe, even though what O'Keefe did to get his initial praise may have violated state laws.

I think I may have figured out why O'Keefe targeted Landrieu's office in the first place. In his ACORN videos, O'Keefe played the part of a pimp. Landrieu was targeted months ago by Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, with Beck calling her a "high-class prostitute" and Limbaugh saying she "may be the most expensive prostitute in the history of prostitution," all because she lobbied the Senate for expanded Medicaid coverage for Louisiana and had voted for the health reform bill to go to the Senate floor for debate. O'Keefe must have been scouting for a new prostitute in his brothel to accompany Hannah Giles to some more ACORN offices.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pat Robertson Confused?

My wife told me something yesterday that made me realize why Pat Robertson believes the current crisis in Haiti was caused by a curse from making a deal with the devil.

My wife had told me that somebody she knows was referring to Haiti as "Haitis," and then it hit me... Pat Robertson was confusing Haiti with Hades, the Greek underworld and the God of the underworld.

Isn't Pat Robertson silly?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Do Corporation's Have Rights

Corporations do not vote, get married, have children, but they do pay taxes. Does this mean corporations should also have the same protected freedoms that citizens have. such as the freedom of speech?

While corporations are established by people, and in some instances, they represent a certain set of ideals, I question the Supreme Court's recent ruling striking down provisions in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, commonly known as the McCain-Feingold Act.

I find myself in between on this matter. While I understand the necessity of such rules limiting free speech for corporations, because corporate money can have a tremendous influence on an election, I also find it to be a form of collective bargaining, where the corporation supposedly represents the interests of numerous people, as well as other organizations in the industry. I also see that the use of corporate money to promote political ideas during campaigns can be very damaging, as well as providing dual voices for prominent people. Imagine if Bill Gates was publicly against an issue, using his own personal resources to combat the issue, but decided to use the seemingly limitless resources of Microsoft as well. The corporation acts as a separate identity while also playing a role as a veil for company leadership. Compared to the average American, these corporations, with limitless campaign spending, potentially hold more power then many Americans can dream of.

I am curious as to how this will effect the midterm elections. While organizations such as Fox News and the tea party people have made it their career in attacking the left, this also frees labor groups to spend their money to advance their causes. In many ways, I see this situation playing out pitting various corporate and union interests against each other, which will inevitably leave the little guy in the dust...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Christian Conservatives Openly Promote Discrimination Despite Biblical Teachings Of Tolerance

I had come across a link on, titled "Stop Obama's Crossdresser Protection Bill" under The Conservative Movement tab.  The source was listed as the Family Research Council.  The link directed me to the Council's website, which claims to defend faith, family, and freedom, but I assume they mean to defend religious-minded families by denying freedoms to others.  Here is the article that they posted on Wednesday, January 6th:
On New Year's Eve, when most Americans were waiting for the ball to drop in Times Square, the Obama Administration dropped another bombshell in its agenda to radicalize America by appointing its first openly "transgender" person to a high federal post. "Transgender" is an umbrella term for anyone who "expresses" a "gender identity" contrary to their biological sex at birth-in other words, men who claim to be (and dress as) women, and vice versa.

Mitchell Simpson, a man who had sex-change surgery and now calls himself a woman (named "Amanda"), was appointed as Senior Technical Advisor to the Commerce Department. Simpson announced that "as one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds."

The day after Simpson began work, The New York Times reported that the main website advertising jobs with the federal government now says there will be no "discrimination" based on "gender identity"-even though Congress has never passed a law saying that.

This new policy applies only to the federal government. But there is a bill being considered in Congress, the so-called "Employment Non-Discrimination Act" (ENDA), which would require every employer in America to open every position to homosexuals (by making "sexual orientation" a protected category) and "transgenders" (by protecting "gender identity").

All American employers including Christian owned businesses and potentially Christian ministries would be affected.

"Gender identity disorder" is a recognized mental illness that should be treated-not affirmed and protected. And the right of employers to set "dress and grooming standards" for their employees should include the most basic standard of all-that people dress in a way appropriate for their biological sex.

Don't let Congress and President Obama force American employers to hire homosexuals, transsexuals, and cross-dressers.
If you read what the Family Research Council desire, they want to be able to discriminate on the basis of gender identity or sexuality because they find acceptance as an assault on their spirituality. What I thought to be interesting was the last paragraph defining "gender identity disorder" as a "mental illness that should be treated," even though the generally accepted method of treatment is to align one's perception of their mental gender identity with their body, generally through physical modification, such as sex reassignment surgery.

The Family Research Council also urges people to sign a petition to prevent the Employment Non-Discrimination Act from becoming law, protecting "Christian owned businesses," even though the legislation only targets "civilian nonreligious employers," but I assume that the point of contention is that Christians will be forced to practice tolerance in the workplace and embrace their fellow humans. From my understanding, organizations such as churches and ministries would be exempt from the law, but that is not enough. Imagine if a major corporation such as Starbucks, Microsoft, or Google decided to refuse employment to all homosexuals or those who would be classified with "gender identity disorder." This is what The Family Research Council wants for America. They want to deny employment based on sexuality. They want to limit marriage based on sexuality. They essentially want to limit freedom based on sexuality.

I had come across this website a while ago called Would Jesus Discriminate? This site contains several examples of positive depictions of homosexuals within the Bible. I find the citations interesting because many "Christians" like to cite the Bible as proof that their discrimination is sanctioned by God, but in reality, it is only because of selective interpretation that these people believe discrimination is fine.

Homosexuality is no longer considered a sexually deviant act, but organizations bent on using religion to back their prejudices would like to argue otherwise. The same argument was once made about slavery and segregation as well. To me, it seems these religious nuts are tainting the good name of Christ to advance their philosophy of hatred.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The New "No" Vote

Say hello to your new Senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown. Brown, a Republican, won what is considered one of the most Democratic seats in the nation, which was previously held by the late Senator Ted Kennedy. While I am not too surprised, considering the amount of money poured into the campaign by conservatives and the lack of urgency by the Democrats, I am a little worried about the passage of new legislation, such as a final health care bill. Brown promises to be a thorn in the side of the Democrats, but does he actually want to work on issues, or is he just playing the bipartisan card to pander to the left? I'll go with the latter.  One thing is for certain - considering Brown had the backing of the tea party elite, he is guaranteed to be the blocking vote against any legislation, and considering the GOP won't vote on any issue unless it contains negative provisions against ACORN, then I forsee an uphill battle for the administration.  As for healthcare, the Democrats in the House need to grow a pair and pass the Senate bill and worry about the details later.  In my opinion, any legislation is better then no legislation.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Big Journalism Is Pat Robertson's Apologist?

I have decided to take my first look at Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism today. I was half expecting something different from the typical propaganda that can be found on his other sites, Big Government and Big Hollywood, but as I scrolled down, I discovered that I was wrong. One particular article, written by Mondo Frazier, titled "What Did Pat Robertson Really Mean by His ‘Pact with the Devil’ Remark?" caught my attention. I was intrigued as to what kind of spin could be placed on Robertson's words.

As we all know by now, Pat Robertson had decided to open his mouth and chime in on the Haitian earthquake last week. On the January 13th edition of The 700 Club, Robertson had gone on to say the following:
And, you know, Kristi, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, "We will serve you if you will get us free from the French." True story. And so, the devil said, "OK, it's a deal."

And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other. Desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It's cut down the middle. On the one side is Haiti; on the other side is the Dominican Republic. Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, et cetera. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. They need to have and we need to pray for them a great turning to God. And out of this tragedy, I'm optimistic something good may come. But right now, we're helping the suffering people, and the suffering is unimaginable.
Any intelligent person reading this statement would be able to connect the dots. Robertson stated that the Haitians made a deal with the devil and that ever since that deal, they have been cursed by one thing after another. An earthquake would be classified as "one thing after another," but not according to Frazier.

Frazier asks if Robertson actually said "the earthquakes were the Haitians own fault”? He even places a video clip of Robertson talking about the pact with the devil. Frazier asserts that since he did not say "earthquake" and that he was correct about the long term suffering of the Haitian people, and that he is offering humanitarian relief by asking viewers to donate to his disaster fund, then critics must be jumping to the wrong conclusion. Robertson quickly released a statement, but if you pay close attention to what he says, then it really is not an admonishment of innocence, but simply a diversion from the facts. Robertson released the following statement:
On today’s The 700 Club, during a segment about the devastation, suffering and humanitarian effort that is needed in Haiti, Dr. Robertson also spoke about Haiti’s history. His comments were based on the widely-discussed 1791 slave rebellion led by Boukman Dutty at Bois Caiman, where the slaves allegedly made a famous pact with the devil in exchange for victory over the French. This history, combined with the horrible state of the country, has led countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries to believe the country is cursed.

Dr. Robertson never stated that the earthquake was God’s wrath. If you watch the entire video segment, Dr. Robertson’s compassion for the people of Haiti is clear. He called for prayer for them.
If you look at what I had made bold, Robertsons admits he was discussing a historical event tainted with religious myth to back up his claims that the nation is cursed. He then goes on to say that the earthquake was not God's wrath and that he loves Haitians.

There was no mention of "God's wrath" in Robertson's earlier statement. He only stated that the island was cursed. His second statement seems to try to distance himself from the belief that the Haitains really made a pact with the devil, where he points out that "countless scholars and religious figures" believe in the curse, but he did not include himself in that group, even though he spoke as though it were fact on his previous statement. Also, by saying that it was not "God's wrath" does not eliminate the possibility that the Haitian's suffering could be cause by "Satan's wrath," which if you had read any story involving pacts with the devil, you would know that the devil always tricks the other party involved in the agreement.

Frazier responded to these allegations by saying "regardless of whom or what you believe, it seems clear that Robertson was giving his take on the miserable existence of the Haitian people–not on some divine-retribution cause of the earthquake." According to Wikipedia, "divine retribution is a supernatural punishment usually directed towards all or some portions of humanity by a deity." If you look at Robertson's first statement and not his rewrite of what he said, he made no reference to God, insinuating that the devil was to blame, so Robertson's rushed follow-up means absolutely nothing.

Shocker: People's View Of Sarah Palin Unfavorable

Found this story on CBS news and thought I would share the pie charts they offered:

All Eyes On MA

It seems the Republicans are placing all their eggs in one basket, and tat particular basket is the Coakley-Brown race for Senator Kennedy's old seat in the senate. I have heard lots of negative press against Coakley, but I would have to be honest in stating that I have not followed this race, but it surprises me as to how many stories are focusing on the Democrats losing this seat more then anything else.

Looking at conservative websites, this race is preoccupying the majority of the headlines. Big Government has dedicated half of their headlines to campaign related stories. has done the same, with numerous stories either about the race or the ramifications of a Republican win. Fox News has gone as far as to endorse the Republican candidate Scott Brown. If I believe pretty much all the stories that have been circulating, it seems like the Democrats will lose this seat to the Republicans, effectively giving the Republicans the chance to filibuster future legislation.

The only thing I think about when seeing these numerous stories all over the web is how the conservatives claim a liberal bias of the media, unless it is a story that they started and propagated. The conservative news outlets have reported about how close this race is and they pushed their stories onto the mainstream media. The mainstream media picked up on these stories and what once was a lead for Martha Coakley turned into a neck-and-neck race with the outcome looking to favor Scott Brown. One term comes to mind - electioneering. As a side, if you even do a search for "neck-and-neck" on Google, a report about the senate race is third on the list...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Breitbart's Concept Of "Nation Building"

Here is a quickie. On Big Government, there was a link to an article on, with the link being titled "Biden Commits To 'Nation Building' In Haiti."

While Biden and the Obama administration are pledging tremendous financial aid for the recent disaster, is appears the conservative twist is to compare it to the more common use of the phrase "nation building," which is closer to what President George Bush had done in Afghanistan and Iraq, where they toppled regimes to place a more Western form of government compatible with our ideals...

While the author of the article might be talking about the amount of aid being given to Haiti for rebuilding efforts, it seems the use of the word in a headline sounded rather condescending of the administrations efforts (maybe because it puts the relief efforts from Hurricane Katrina to shame).

Maybe I am looking to deeply into something, but given the Andrew Breitbart's bastardization of journalism, I won't put anything pass him or any of the content on his websites.

The Right-Wing's Culture Of Crazy

I have been reading some reviews of Sarah Palin's debut on Fox. While most discussed that she was more of a political critic of Obama's then an "analyst," throwing around campaign trail rhetoric, there were a few articles I had read that praised Sarah Palin, and to no surprise, they came from the right. I found in particular interest an ">article Bill O'Reilly wrote for, as well as comments made by Glenn Beck on another. I read these posts and I scratch my head wondering how some people do not see the insanity, but then I also find myself finally understanding how Glenn Beck feels when he wonders why nobody understands what he is saying. What I do not understand is how everybody criticizes Palin but guys like these defend Palin and point to her own comments, but her own comments are not that strong in her defense.

In his article, Bill O'Reilly asserted that she started "knocking President Obama around" on standard "right-wing stuff," and then points to her response as to why people say her frame of reference is weak. When asking Palin about charges made on "60 Minutes," such as she not understanding why two Koreas exist, Palin went her classic response stating that the author, John Heilemann, "is a liberal who simply is not telling the truth." While one would want to elaborate, O'Reilly backs up Palin by writing "so there," which is hardly a comeback for some pretty serious allegations. O'Reilly then goes to call television critic for The Baltimore Sun, David Zurawik, as well as any other person on the left "soul brothers and sisters," which considering the racist comments made by Rush Limbaugh recently, only makes me believe more that this was O'Reilly's way of saying that Obama and the blacks are worried of losing power because Sarah Palin will have a mouthpiece to voice her awfully wrong opinions.

While on O'Reilly's show, Sarah Palin had said some things that I found funny, like when discussing Harry Reid's "negro dialect" comment, she stated that she comes from a "very diverse state," but if you look at the demographics, Alaska is not that diverse at all. While whites make up roughly 75% of the population, the next largest ethnic group are American Indians or Alaskan Natives. I assume that Palin referenced her State's diversity as a way of saying she understood African-Americans, but blacks only make up about 4% of the population, with Asians and Pacific-Islanders outnumbering them. While I would agree it is diverse, I would say it is not as diverse as Palin would like to think (unless she is trying to brush under the rug those comments made about how uncomfortable she felt surrounded by other ethnic groups).

Then there is this comment made by Glenn Beck regarding Sarah Palin, where he is discussing how nobody knows the real Sarah Palin. He said that while on his show, she was Googling, doing some last minute homework. Was it on health policy or foreign diplomacy or Wall Street? No. It was about "25 windows." This is a level of crazy that apparently Glenn Beck was unfamiliar with because he did not know. According to Palin, "Statue of Liberty…25 windows…There are 25 windows. They each represent different minerals." Glenn Beck's response to that was simply that "[Palin's] suspicious of everything." Where was she going with that information? Did she believe is is some Socialist conspiracy?

All in all, I just don't understand how people can have a positive thing to say about Sarah Palin the public figure, not to be confused with Sarah Palin the person, if they are indeed separate...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sand Lake Hills HOA... Unchecked Abuse Of Power

Here is a quickie article regarding the Sand Lake Hills Homeowners Association, Inc. Looking logically at what the association wrote had got me thinking. Reading the association's FAQ regarding their Amended and Restated Covenants, the following question is asked:
Right now, I pretty much like how the HOA is being run, but what is my recourse if future Boards get out of hand.
The HOA's response is the following:
You can recall the Board, vote them out of office or as a last resort, even begin legal proceedings against the Board. Voting them out of office, or running against one or more of them would probably be the most effective. Remember, the Board serves at the will of the membership.
There is a problem with their answer. They want to mandate each section of the neighborhood, but maintain the claim that each section will remain voluntary despite every homeowner being forced to pay their association money. Those homeowners who do not join into their association have been constantly denied access to their meetings and have zero voting rights, so if a Board gets out of hand, how does a homeowner who is not a member get to stop an out-of-hand board?

Some homeowners have tried to resolve this conflict with the HOA, but the HOA has only threatened legal action against those who would not blindly pay into their organization. By the HOA's logic, one would have to join the association to fight any injustice, but by doing so would make them liable to the corporation for things like fees and assessments.

Where are the checks and balances to this Board's abuse of power?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

For Conservatives, ACORN Guilty Regardless Of Numerous Findings

I had noticed an article (which I often do) on Andrew Breitbart's Big Government stating the new Congressional Research Service report regarding ACORN's alleged wrongdoing was incorrect. According to author Matthew Vadum, the CRS incorrectly exonerated ACORN stating that "there were no instances of individuals who were allegedly registered to vote improperly by ACORN or its employees and who were reported 'attempting to vote at the polls.'" Vadum's proof lies in the conviction of a cross-dressing Ohioan, Darnell Nash, known locally as a "flamboyant con artist," for voting after being registered multiple times.

As The American Spectator put it in their article, "Who conned whom? Or were both Nash and ACORN to blame?" While the case is being investigated by a Cleveland prosecutor, the prosecutor's spokesman made the statement that while they "found no criminal conduct by ACORN," Nash was registered nine times by what he described as "ACORN outreach workers" and that Nash repeatedly used different names and addresses, to which he plead guilty for in August of last year.

So essentially, Vadum's article asserts that ACORN is a criminal organization because the CRS was incorrect, but if I may point out the syntax of the CRS report, according to the CRS report, it stated that there were "no instances of individuals who were allegedly registered to vote improperly by ACORN," meaning that the illegal activity would have had to take place on ACORN's part, not the individual. Nash was the one who continually supplied incorrect information to ACORN workers. Considering the individual in this particular case plead guilty, then I think it is pretty clear that the CRS report was correct and Vadum's interpretation to be incorrect, so the question of "Who conned whom?" seems quite irrelevant.

May I also point out that much like fellow Big Government author Jim Hoft, Vadum had taken to citing his own work as proof, considering he authored both Big Government and American Spectator articles...

Albertsons To Close Eight Stores

On January 11th, Albertsons LLC had announced that it will be closing 8 stores in Florida, including 2 stores in Seminole County - the location at 80 W. Mitchell Hammock Road in Oviedo and 300 W. Lake Mary Blvd. in Sanford.

The stores are scheduled to close in mid-February as Albertsons attempts to find new tenants. These store closings are nothing new. In August of last year, Albertsons had announced the closing of nine Florida stores and one distribution center and in October, they announced the sale of three Orlando locations to Sedano Supermarkets. Gordon Food Service had also purchased the distribution center located in Plant City. From what I understand, the sale of the distribution center was only logical because profitability required a certain amount of stores, and with Albertsons' recent divestiture, sale of the 1-million square foot center was inevitable. It is only a matter of time before Albertsons exits Florida completely; I believe their total has now dipped into the low to mid twenties (I lost track), and compared to their largest competitors, Albertsons will most likely be extinct in 2 years, or at least in Florida.

For those employees who may face unemployment and an Albertsons severance plan, please review my other posts regarding Albertsons and my experience with their adminstering of my severance plan, as well as the severance plan offered in 2008, for it is most likely the same or very similar. It will be a useful tool in understanding the options Albertsons distributes to their employees, as well as those they decide to keep quiet about.

Conan May Jump NBC Ship

I admit that I am a fan of Conan O'Brien, and considering recent events surrounding the failure of Jay Leno's prime time show, I was anticipating O'Brien's response. Frankly, I believe that any change in the NBC lineup changing O'Brien's show, either moving the time slot or changing the name, would be an insult and I was satisfied to see the response by O'Brien, "Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

"But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule."

O'Brien's sentiments are exact and I hope that whatever NBC's decision may be, they respect O'Brien, The Tonight Show name, and all the viewers who have given their time to the program.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hannah Giles Returns!

It seems Hannah Giles has made a post on Andrew Breitbart's Big Government, reminiscing about her involvement in breaking the ACORN "story" last summer. In her brief article, she discusses how she was some little 20-year old girl swept up into the fast paced journalist world, where her little video piece made with fellow filmmaker and activist, James O'Keefe, was being spread all around the nation.

I found the piece funny, because in her article, she discusses how she kept out of the spotlight, avoiding both "positive and negative coverage," to avoid becoming "fearful or arrogant," but it seems she had already become the latter.

I would believe that her self-imposed silence has less to do with her protecting herself from her ego and more to do with the lawsuit against both O'Keefe and Giles, as well as LLC, that was filed last fall, where they sued for damages and injunctive relief from the tapes and their disclosure, as well as the conversations that were taped. I would assume that Hannah and her activist cohorts were probably advised not to discuss much about what happened on the tapes to avoid further incrimination, and instead focus on what didn't take place on the tapes, which is what Giles has done.

In my opinion, it seems that Giles has become arrogant in her attempt to climb up the journalism ladder. In her article, she discusses how she was a "key player in the action that caused such an overwhelming bipartisan reaction in Washington and doing so unconventionally every step of the way," referencing the H.R. 3571, also known by it's shorter title, the "Defund ACORN Act." By unconventional methods, I assume Giles is referring to her illegal wiretapping and video editing, and I find it quite interesting that she now discusses her influence on Congress, which led them to write a bill of attainder, when despite all the secret videotaping, ACORN was not found to have done anything illegal.

Her story wouldn't be complete without a reference to the mainstream media and how they are attempting to suppress her story, but I assume again that she is confusing "suppress" with "fact check."

GOP, Tea Party Show Down In Florida

Dan Robertson, tea party spokesperson, said in regards to putting pressure on moderate Republicans, "we are turning our guns on anyone who doesn't support constitutional conservative candidates."

What exactly does this mean for the rest of us? I fear that the tea party is trying to seize control of the Republican party and push their idea of the constitution, claiming to do so in the name of populism, but in reality, they will only represent the fringe and they will ignore the rest of the population. In my opinion, it seems that the tea party itself has transformed in it's short existence, from being a group protesting government spending to being overrun by those who view America as a Christian nation and support radical views on abortion, gun rights, and gay marriage. If elected to office, these candidates won't listen to their constituency. If elected, these politicians will listen to God first, and attempt to enact legislation because they believe it to be right, even if the people in their districts believe otherwise. This is what worries me about the upcoming Florida race for senator, which is heating up between popular GOP governor and former attorney general Charlie Crist and former state representative and speaker of the house in Florida, Marco Rubio.

While Crist has become very popular being a moderate, tackling numerous issues at times embracing Democratic measures, Rubio is positioning himself as the "conservative" candidate, with supporters going on the attack against Crist for supporting the stimulus, and even being photographed with the President. What makes the two so different? Not much, other then one has a willingness to listen to the other side.

While both have similar stances on taxes, gay marriage (against), abortion (pro-life), and the 2nd amendment, the two also have their differences. As mentioned before, Crist supported the stimulus while Rubio was against it. In my opinion, during the economic crisis, as the leader of a state, I think that one would look out for the best interest of their state and not be persuaded by party politics, but instead by the needs of their constituency. To me, it seems that this is where Rubio tries to make himself as the conservative candidate, trying to pick up the base who will be needed to beat Crist in the primaries, and this is where Crist may be hurt.

If you look at the language Rubio uses, you can see how he is playing to the GOP's base. He refers to the estate tax as the "death tax," a Republican invention, he attacks Judge Sonia Sotomayor for her "wise Latina" comment , as well at what she may do to the decision Roe vs. Wade, although I am surprised Rubio fails to mention her decision for Center for Reproductive Law and Policy vs. Bush, where she sided against an abortion rights group that was suing because of a foreign aid policy that states countries receiving aid may not use Federal money towards or to promote abortions). Rubio also calls for increased drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, as well as off the continental shelf and on federally owned lands with oil shale to the West.

While Crist may take more populist positions, such as the move to buy up land used by the sugar industry, in order to restore and preserve Florida's ecosystem, I would imagine Rubio would do so only if there was oil beneath the sugar fields. Crist's moderate position places him in danger of being targeted by the right's extremists, giving Rubio the nomination, and against Democratic front runner Bill McCollum, who I don't see winning, Rubio may be the next governor. What I also foresee, if Crist does win the GOP slot, is the tea party fielding their own candidate, much like New York's District 23 race, which essentially would hand over florida to the Democrats.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Government Agencies Visit "Birthers"? If So, To Intimidate?

I was reading an article from Mother Jones discussing the Secret Service placing some of their attention on the "birther" movement, or those who question Obama's actual birthplace of Hawaii, believing the President to be a Kenyan citizen instead. According to the article, several anti-Obama people have come forward claiming to have been visited by the government, including Dr. Orly Taitz, the dentist/lawyer, who seems to head the movement. "A number of my supporters had visits from Secret Service, from different agencies, INS, Homeland Security. There are a whole number of people who got these visits to intimidate and harass them," Taitz had said, including herself, but she was not home at the moment federal agents arrived.

One thing got me to question Taitz's statement, and that is the INS no longer exists. I have no doubts that the government is visiting this fringe element of the conservatives, who have been trying to prove to no avail that the President cannot be our President, but I doubt they are harassing these people, and I would argue that these people are exaggerating their experiences to establish themselves as some sort of conservative martyr. They are simply doing their duty in protecting the president. I guess I can look at the situation through these people's eyes - they believe Obama is not president, and now his thugs are coming to find out what kind of threat they are.

Some "birthers" do see the situation correctly, minus their assertion about the president's birthplace. Carl Swensson, a shopkeeper in Georgia filed a complaint to the U.S. attorney for the Northern District in Georgia, following a previous attempt by fellow "birther" Walter Fitzpatrick II, saying that the secret service agents "were doing their job. They were professional. They tried to dissuade me from what I was doing, but I wasn't going to have anything to do with that."

It is no surprise that these people are being looked at by the secret service, especially when they are commonly espousing such rhetoric as to take arms against the government, which is exactly what Orly Taitz had said in previous calls to anti-Obama supporters.

To the secret service agents, I just say keep up the good work. Even during the Bush administration, I was weary of very vocal people from the left who had extreme criticisms of the president, and despite their freedom of speech, I also saw their language as a red flag. I also see such extreme positions as dividing any kind of opposition movement. If the GOP wanted to rally against the Democrats, they could have been very successful, but now they have to please the fringe, or the fringe will run their own candidates, essentially handing over a win to the Democrats. They are drowning out reasonable conservative opinions for ones based on lies.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cheney's Daughter Attacks President In Regards To Christmas Day Bomber, Despite Father's Administration Similar Acts With Shoe Bomber 8 Years Ago.

Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is calling for military tribunals to try and convict Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab instead of criminal courts. This in addition to her calls for the reversal of Obama's plan to close Guantanamo Bay and overrule the Justice Department's decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed before a civilian court.

"President Obama has weakened American security by treating terror as a law enforcement matter, refusing to use every tool at his disposal to prevent attacks, and taking his eye off the ball. America's homeland security and counterterrorism systems will continue to erode in the absence of strong, consistent, unwavering presidential stewardship," said Cheney. "It's time for the President to make defending this nation his top priority."

Cheney makes these comments, despite her father's role in the previous administration, which tried other terrorists in a similar manner, such as shoe bomber Richard Reid, who was tried in civilian courts and was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole, with three consecutive life sentences to be served consecutively. Apparently, what's good for the goose is not good for the gander.

What is scary about her propositions, which are essentially the same echoed from the right, ranging from voices like Dick Morris and Sarah Palin to the likes of public personalities Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, is that the right desires America to ignore the foundations of the law for which this nation was built upon and allow the military to play an increased role in domestic affairs, much like a rogue dictatorship would use the military to try dissidents. These same people criticize Iran but wish the same thing to occur over here in the States, just with a different name.

Minnesota State Senate Candidate Makes Inflammatory Comments, Then Later Defends His Statements

Last week, Mike Parry, Republican candidate for the Minnesota State Senate used his twitter to call Obama a "power hungry arrogant black man," as well as take a jab at the opposition and the Matthew Shephard Act, writing "what's with Dems and Pedophiles?" While Parry attempted to clarify his Obama statement, he kept the origins of his "pedophile" comment vague, stating "I would think that's wrong. If it's on my account I wouldn't know how that one got on there." Responding to criticism over calling Obama a "power hungry black man," Parry said the following:
"I know specifically about what you're talking about - the tweet that I had sent using my opinion and fact. My opinion is that our president is arrogant and angry. The fact is that he is a black man. Now if the Democratic Party and the liberals want to take my opinion and the fact and mix it together and use it to bring a bad light about me and keep them away from discussing the real issues they can do that all they want. They're grasping for straws."
Can you see what Parry is doing? He claims the Democratic Party and the liberals are twisting what he said, mixing together the opinion and fact, when in reality, he mixed opinion and fact calling him a "power hungry arrogant black man." Others simply pointed out what he said, which is reminiscent of Glenn Beck saying Obama has a "deep seated hatred of white people."

Is it possible that Parry is race baiting? Absolutely. In a district where 93.4% of the population is white, and where the presidential election of 2008 was pretty tight, Parry seems to be trying to differentiate himself from the rest of the fold, infusing tea party politics into his campaign.

Will this help? I am not to familiar with the Minnesota scene, but if Parry continues to race bait and make inflammatory comments, all in the name of combining opinion and fact and blaming any misinterpretation of his own words by the opposition, then I feel that he may narrowly lose the election, but given the economy, if Parry strongly attacks the economic policies of the administration, minus the hate speech, I think he may have a chance, sadly. Either way, I am interested in how this race plays out because this is another instance of conservative candidates adopting the voice of the fringe in their public campaign.

What I find amazing is that Parry brushed off his "pedophile" statement, shifting from not knowing how it got there to not knowing what he was doing that would have made him write such a statement, if it was in fact him, despite making the following statement:
"When people post through social media and are afraid to use their names it means nothing to me. Anything that I do has my name attached to it because I was raised that when you say something then you stand up for what you say and you're held accountable for what you say. I don't hide behind the anonymity of having an Internet name. People need to know who I am."
I assume this statement applies to things said that won't come back to haunt you, like making implications that all homosexuals are pedophiles.

So what actions had Parry taken after the tweets were brought to attention? Parry offered no apology, but somehow the tweets were removed. Parry pleads ignorance.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Standard Weekly Believes Obama Neglected Yemen, Neglects To Mention Bushes Neglect Of Yemen First.

"Obama Pretends to Get Tough on Yemen... after a year of neglect" is the title of Stephen f. Hayes article for The Weekly Standard.

Just a quickie here...

If Obama neglected Yemen for a year, then what exactly did President Bush do for 7 years?

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer blames the war on Iraq as the cause for the Christmas Day attack claims Hayes, an argument Hayes describes as banal and absurd. Hayes goes on to write that "what's more interesting is Pfeiffer's claim that his boss has finally refocused U.S. counterterrorism on its proper targets in places like Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen." This goes back to my question of the entire premise of the article: if Obama is refocusing on the real targets on the war against al-Qaeda, then what was the Bush administration's excuse? Can the diversion of forces to Iraq be the cause? I think so.

Just to make it clear, I do not believe President Obama has "neglected" his duties in regards to Yemen.

Town Hall's Mike Adams Upset People Don't Like Bible Verses, Displays Own Sexism And Desire To Convert "Non-Believers" To Christianity As Root Of Dissatisfaction

In an article on, author Mike Adams writes about a situation involving a university email system allowing users to attach a personal signature to every email and some who are upset regarding bible verses placed in the signature field. He even mentions a proposed ban on only bible verses, but compares the scripture to quotations by Confucius or Nietzsche, Egyptian proverbs, or Gay Pride Rainbow Flags, which he describes as equally offensive to some.

While I understand that the gay pride symbol is offensive to the religious right, I find it hardly the same as a bible verse. I also have never met a person offended by Confucius, Nietzsche, or Egyptian proverbs, which include some of these popular phrases (which are not literal translations):
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Like father, like son.
Don't blame someone for not being here until you hear him/her out.
Adams seems to be upset because the rule to ban the use of Bible verses is linked to that crazy movement known as "separation of church and state." Apparently, this "wall" being put in place by liberals is designed to prevent the free exercise of religion. The author states that he is offended by the gay rainbow flag, because to him, it is "an Old Testament religious symbol" showing a "solemn promise from God to His people." While claiming he would defend homosexual activists if their rainbow flag was under attack, he also claims that nobody is attacking them, but they are attacking Christians. According to Adams, finding bible verses offensive and agreeing with the ban "is a weak and indefensible position."

In an act of defiance, Adams altered his signature, adding "Jn316", and he responded to the bible ban controversy. A lower-level administrator responded adding the following to theirs: "John, Paul, George, and Ringo." Apparently, "the amount of cattiness in a given department is directly correlated with the number of feminists it employs." Adam's true colors begin to shine as a sexist religious Christian. He asserts that the female administrator is a feminist and a non-believer, and that obviously irritated her.

Adams believes his free speech is being attacked, but he also states that Jesus' death obligates one to "push people's buttons," or to willingly offend. He also writes that not banning the name would be a "better way to lead them down the road towards Damascus," which is a Biblical reference to the conversion of Saul, so Adams openly admits that the Biblical verses are intended to convert. Because he is a professor at UNC-Wilmington, a public university, he is employed by the state, and the use of the university's email system is the use of the government's email system. Adams' belief is that the mention of any Jesus related material is intended to convert, or at least lay the foundation of conversion, but by utilizing state resources to spread the word is essentially endorsement by the state of Christianity, which would be unconstitutional. If Adams really wants to keep his biblical signatures, maybe he should get a private email address, instead of complaining about the separation clause in the Constitution.

As a side note, I looked at Mike Adams other works, which include the books Ivory Tower of Babel, in 2004, and Feminists Say the Darndest Things: A Politically Incorrect Professor Confronts "Womyn" On Campus, which was published in 2008.

Ivory Tower, according to Publishers Weekly, "takes a big swipe at the politically correct, feminists, gay activists, the diversity establishment and what he portrays as the mealy-mouthed administrators and thin-skinned colleagues and students who are quick to fire off thoughtless allegations of racism and sexism." As for Feminists Say the Darndest Things, Adams simply says the following: "I want to find out why they hate us."

GOP Upset Dems May Combine Bills Quickly and Informally

Posted by Michele Bachmann on
This week both the Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal reported that there’s a good chance the Democrats will bypass a formal conference committee to hash out the differences between the House and Senate health care bills and instead, create a final bill out of the public eye and behind closed doors.

Since both chambers passed two different bills, negotiators must work to pass one uniform bill before it can be sent to the President for his signature. Votes in both the House and Senate were extremely tight and several issues must be reconciled before final passage including abortion, taxes, cuts to Medicare, and the public option. It appears the Democrats wish to do this outside of public scrutiny to speed up the process in hopes of getting it done and signed into law before the President makes his State of the Union speech. This is far from Mr. Obama’s pledge to keep the health care reform process open and transparent.
Bachmann, a representative from Minnesota, asserts that the Democrats are going to keep conversations private about the reform. According to the Washington Times piece by Jennifer Haberkorn, the reasoning behind such action is to give the Senate Majority Leader and House Speaker "free rein to hammer out the final measure behind closed doors and thwart Republican efforts to stymie it." When worded like that, it sounds like a good idea. Two bills were passed but the minority party is going to want to try and put the kibosh on what, in theory, a majority of Americans want (I say this because America is a representative form of government, and so out elected officials, who represent us, have passed this legislation despite Republican attempts to derail reform). Janet Adamy and Greg Hitt from the WSJ wrote:
There would still be plenty of talks between leaders of the two chambers, just not under the conference-committee rubric. One option would be to have the House first pass an amended version of the Senate bill that includes all the compromise provisions negotiators have worked out, House and Senate aides said. The Senate would then pass the amended version as well, producing a unified bill for the president to sign.
While I agree with these reporters for need for transparency, I can also see what happened previously. The legislation was written and then every armchair legislator took to the airwaves. Prime example of this is Betsy McCaughey, who had spread lie after lie against any health care reform. She was almost as bad as "birther" queen Orly Taitz, although some would disagree. These misinformers riled up America with nothing but lies to further their agenda, whatever it may have been, which was not in the best interest of America. At least the health care reform bill is progress, although not the great amount we had hoped for, but it is a start.

In my opinion, I would love to have the conference committee publicized, but at the same time, I predict that if it were, the crazies would come out full strength because they know they are loosing the battle, and it seems that the GOP has no problem embracing the fringe when conducting business, and that is the most worrisome of all - legitimizing complaints from such a small percentage of America and establishing their view as a national position. Sounds to me like the GOP is just kicking and screaming to get their way. I don't recall much of this going on during the last 8 years by the Democrats...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Fox News Desires New Front In Yemen, Expand The War...

Fox News pushed an article on January 3rd titled "Despite Al Qaeda Threat, U.S. Not Planning to Expand Terror Fight in Yemen." By the tone of the title, it seems Fox News wants the United States to divert resources from it's two existing wars to go fight in Yemen, despite cooperation from the nation's government.

White House aide John Brennan had stated that "the Yemeni government has demonstrated their willingness to take the fight to Al Qaeda" and "they're willing to accept our support. We're providing them everything that they've asked for."

Yemen has garnered increased scrutiny because of 23-year-old Nigerian, who attempted to detonate a bomb on Christmas Day, claimed to have received training and instructions from Al Qaeda in Yemen.

Republican Senators quickly seized on this attempted attack, with Senator Kit Bond from Missouri calling for prisoners at Guantanamo to stop being transferred to nations like Yemen, where they will reenter the terrorist organization. This is clearly a rebuttal to the administration's plan to close the facility, which has been a black mark on America's human rights record and a point of contention for the minority party, which asserts that doing so would make Americans less safe. This has been a common theme for the GOP, with former vice president Dick Cheney claiming the President is pretending there is no war, placing America in jeopardy.

Republicans have tried painting Democrats as "weak" in terms of military commitment but Brennan pushes back on such notions, stating that the administration is "determined to destroy Al Qaeda whether it's in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Yemen -- and we will get there."

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Big Government's Liberty Chick Believes Private Sector On Endangered Species List, Cites 2008 Graph as Proof Obama Administration Is Bad

Updated January 3rd, 2010.

Scanning one of the conservative Meccas, such as Andrew Breitbart's Big Government, I had noticed an article that I thought sounded interesting. No, it was not Rush Limbaugh's health update, it was an article by author Liberty Chick (a.k.a. Mandy), titled "Hijacking the Private Sector, the SEIU and Blago Way". Intrigued, I clicked into her analysis of the economy and read away.

Liberty Chick, a self described blogger and activist, explains that the bail outs and subsequent stimulus were all about "Jobs. Jobs. Jobs," and points to a couple graphs that illustrates that while jobs are being created, they are not to be found in the private sector. The graphs that she uses as proof are between 2000 and 2008, during Bush's presidency, and illustrate the employment trend in both private and public sectors. While the graphs expressing employment trends both point up over the 8 year period, the graph illustrating union worker employment shows a different picture. It shows that unions have lost in the private sector between 2000 and 2006, but showing a small increase between 2006 and 2008. It also shows that union employment in the public sector had remained rather static, with only slight increases between 2006 and 2008 (again, during the previous administration).

While Liberty Chick blames the current administration for further bloating the economy, she points backwards for the source, and she points way back to when Democrats regained control of Congress during the mid term elections. According to her, the private sector "plummeted" in 2007, and that Democrats were playing catch up rewarding unions with public sector jobs. It is interesting because the graphs illustrate that while there were rises in both private and public sector jobs in the period prior to the Democratic resurgence, it also shows an equal rise in public and private sector union employment after the supposed Democratic kick back to unions. To single the public sector out while ignoring the private sector is selective journalism, and while the same can be said for what I am writing, I am simply offering a counterpoint, a companion piece, to Liberty Chick's slant on the economy.

Liberty Chick must not have learned about the ethical use of graphs in economics class. Looking at the private sector vs. public sector graph, one will notice an inconsistency. While the graph illustrating the private sector moves up incrementally by 2 million, the graph illustrating the public sector moves up in increments of 500,000, or 25% the measurements of the graph on the left. This trick makes the public sector appear to have a tremendous gain that puts the slowing rise, or "plummeting", of private sector employment to shame. In actuality, Liberty Chick is playing games with numbers and images to make a point. That is called propaganda.  Confused?  Take a look below:


After receiving a response from Liberty Chick, I had decided to add a little graph myself, although I did not create this one.  Instead, I decided to tap the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the same place Liberty Chick got her information from.  The following graph depicts the union membership rate for both private and public sectors from 1983 to 2007.  The following graph was made by the Bureau and depicts the long term trend of private-sector union membership rates dropping and public-sector rates remaining relatively the same.  Although Liberty Chick's graphs may show a steep incline or a "plummet," to fully understand, it is better to look at the complete picture.  Union membership rates are nowhere near where they were and any short term change is by far no indication of dramatic increases or decreases.  If you look really hard, you may be able to see that sharp rise in private sector union membership!