Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

From Politico, a glowing retrospective on what a wonderful angel Eric Holder is and how everyone who questions his actions is racist.  Fast and Furious has been rendered a footnote to the left.

Holder, people close to him say, isn’t much hurt by the criticism over Wall Street, Gitmo, KSM or even the leaks; he remains confident that his decisions ultimately reflected the priorities of his boss. The same cannot be said for the 2012 vote by the GOP-controlled House to hold him in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over emails and documents linked to the Fast & Furious operation—a Justice-led gun sting that resulted in the death of a veteran Border Patrol agent in 2010. The vote was unenforceable. But no other sitting Cabinet member had ever faced a similar rebuke, and it remains the sorest of subjects with Holder.

Holder views the vote as emblematic of Republicans’ disrespect for Obama and himself, and he thinks that race is one, but not the only, factor in their attacks. Two people in his orbit told me he has described appearing before congressional committees as an experience akin to staring at a hostile “wall of Southern men.” (For the record: All of the 22 Republican members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are white, 21 are male and more than half are from Southern or border states).

“It was all about politics and had nothing to do with law enforcement,” insists former Holder spokesman Matt Miller. “They wanted to get his head.”

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, ICE Agent Jaime Zapata, and hundreds of Mexicans are dead because of Holder’s ATF.

fast and furious 2010 massacre teens

No one has been held accountable for those hundreds of deaths since Holder simply chose to stonewall.  The left said nothing about Fast and Furious until Holder was held in contempt, and then started lying about it and protecting the Obama administration and the “survivor” Attorney General.

Holder is so disgusted with Rep. Darrell Issa, the aggressive California Republican who chairs House Oversight, that aides find it hard to keep Holder sitting still during the necessary prep sessions. Holder often commiserates about his grillings, via text messages and email, with a group of supportive African-American journalists and public figures, including Rev. Al Sharpton; Juan Williams, the NPR commentator turned Fox contributor; former CNN analyst Roland Martin; Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post; NPR’s Michele Norris; and her husband, Broderick Johnson, a White House aide—a cadre that often encourages Holder to push back harder than his more cautious in-house advisers.

Issa, in a 2012 letter to Holder, denied any other motives than “legitimate Congressional inquiry” and accused Holder of stonewalling to prevent a “co-equal branch of government” from performing its “Constitutional duty.” Members of Issa’s committee have shown no signs of backing off either.

This is what Holder sent to the Oversight & Reform committee:

That's not a print of Malevich's "Black Square".

Thousands of pages of redactions with no information.  Lies upon lies upon lies, and Holder is mad because someone dares to hold him accountable for the actions of his department and the coverup he has engaged in.  Holder, a racist, screams “white people!” if someone questions him.  Holder’s feelings are hurt because he was called out for the hundreds of dead Mexicans and two US agents killed by his operation.  Yet the left’s violent ideological blinders only allow them to see Holder’s hurt feelings in a vacuum, as though nothing has happened.

The entire Politico piece can be best summed up with: “Holder is good.  Republicans are racist and hate him for no reason.  Everything else is a lie.”

The facts of the past are entirely rewritten by the left.

Opie & Anthony On Obamacare

Posted: April 5, 2014 by ShortTimer in Culture, Health care, Media, Obamacare

Via HotAir:

Opie & Anthony’s radio show isn’t really my cup of tea, but they’ve got a decent market share doing some shock-jock type radio, and a lot of folks have loved their show for quite a while.  They’re really sharp guys, and when they’re hit with Obamacare’s mandates, it’s something that resonates with the average guy in their audience.

Talk radio is a fairly personal mode of communication, where someone listening is inviting the talk show host/presenter into their car/workplace/home to discuss things with them and for them.  So when folks like Opie & Anthony are telling their personal stories, they’re telling an audience who is composed of listeners who are also invited into their lives.  With this type of show, it’s like having one of your drinking buddies who you bs with suddenly telling you political stuff and how it’s impacting him.  It’s no longer a distant thing on the news, it’s in the culture; and it’s impacting someone who’s a media figure that you support, talk to on the call-in show, meet at local events, and identify with.

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And if you listen to it through the whole thing, they also slam NY’s new anti-gun NY SAFE ACT that tells them they have to register and surrender firearms as well.

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Drudge also carried this story about Opie & Anthony’s encounter with Obamacare yesterday, but not the audio.

Remember Fearless Distributing, the ATF’s plan to create crime in Milwaukee?  Or the score of other crime-creating ATF programs in the last year or so?  Apparently just like the ATF’s Gunwalker Operations like Fast and Furious and Castaway, they’re just going to go ahead and never answer any congressional inquiries and simply expect to never be held accountable.

From FOX:

Rep. Darrell Issa has subpoenaed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for information about what he calls a “dangerously mismanaged” program, which originally was launched to get crime guns off the street.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which Issa chairs, has been looking into complaints about the program for months. Under the operation, ATF agents set up storefronts in multiple cities to try and entice criminals to sell their crime guns, unwittingly, to the government so they could be traced. But their tactics and missteps, including using mentally disabled people, drew criticism.

Issa, R-Calif., claimed this week that the ATF has stonewalled him by withholding documents and shown a “complete lack of cooperation.”

“I have no choice today but to issue the enclosed subpoena,” he wrote to ATF Director B. Todd Jones. “… The time for hollow promises is over.”

Yup, now is the time for coverup and the media to carry the Obama administration’s water.  For those who say FOX is a conservative news outlet, it’s worth reading how this story is written when it comes to the ATF’s actions.

Under the operation, ATF agents set up storefronts in multiple cities to try and entice criminals to sell their crime guns, unwittingly, to the government so they could be traced. But their tactics and missteps, including using mentally disabled people, drew criticism.

If you’re not familiar with it, read the Journal-Sentinel article.  There aren’t “missteps” that drew criticism.  The entire operation is based around the premise of creating crime in order to say they fought crime.

Details on problems with the program first emerged last January, when The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported on missteps in Milwaukee under the program known as Operation Fearless. In that operation, thousands of dollars in merchandise, as well as several guns, were reportedly stolen from ATF agents.

Again, “missteps”, like this was Chevrolet launching a car with wipers that didn’t work.

Details of other similar operations in other cities later emerged, including claims that one operation was located across the street from a middle school. House committees are now investigating, on the heels of the controversy over the botched anti-gun trafficking Operation Fast and Furious.

And here we get to a big one, and a whopper that somehow exists across the media.  Operation Fast and Furious was not botched.  It did just what it set out to do.  It armed the cartels, got guns to the cartels, blamed American gun stores, and got people killed… and when F&F guns were found at murder scenes, ATF supervisers were practically “giddy” (in the words of whistleblower John Dodson).

There was no “botched” about it.  Fast and Furious worked as intended – just the intentions are so insane that people refuse to accept it for what it was.

When congress began questioning whodunnit, the local ATF guys like Bill Newell gave non-answers, the higher-ups gave no answers, and the paper trail consisted of the DOJ issuing redacted blacked-out non-documents to congress while shredding the real thing:

That's not a print of Malevich's "Black Square".

The FOX story continues, but with watered-down treatment again:

ATF agents, though, have defended the storefront program, saying lawmakers overstate the problem.

“Putting this into context, there were deficiencies with the storefront operations, but there have been many successes and it still remains a viable technique when managed well,” ATF Deputy Director Tom Brandon told lawmakers recently.

The operation in Milwaukee, despite its flaws, resulted in dozens of arrests.

“There were deficiencies?”  The ATF defends it, despite it being a crime-creating program, because people will report it without asking why, and without simply restating what it did and how it did it.

Dozens of arrests are meaningless as a statistic against crime, and dozens of arrests when a fedgov agency is off creating crime being used as a defense is horrible.

It’d be like if the Army said of the My Lai Massacre, “Putting this into context, there were missteps, but we got a body count of 347 probable enemy, so it still remains a viable technique”.

Again, keep in mind this is FOX that’s writing the bland media line about what the ATF did.  Other outlets simply don’t report it at all.

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The only reason this stuff has continued is because the press refuses to do their job.  And the few hard-nosed real reporters left are left hung out to dry for doing their jobs.

Chris Christie’s Bridgegate

Posted: January 18, 2014 by ShortTimer in Democrats, Media, Republican
Tags: ,

I’ll preface this by reiterating that Chris Christie supports amnesty for illegal aliens and he’s also for citizen disarmament.  So my opinion of him is already pretty damn low.  Along with a lot of fiscal conservative types, I did at one point have some respect for him for his confrontations with New Jersey’s more destructive union elements, but frankly, he burned whatever credit he had by supporting illegal aliens.

Now, as to the so-called “Bridgegate” a week or so ago where some bridge connecting two parts of the East Coast that really deserve each other, the only point I have that’s of much interest is the relative media coverage in contrast to Obama’s national scandals, many of which have body counts attached to them.

A bridge on the East Coast got closed because of political payback, and it’s a huge story.

Hundreds of Mexican citizens and two US federal agents get murdered, and it’s a “fake scandal”.

A US ambassador and support staff are murdered by terrorists, and it’s a “fake scandal”.

Obama’s IRS – the most powerful agency in the world – is used to target US citizens because of political payback, and it’s a “fake scandal”.

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Now, I will give credit where it’s due.

CNN anchor Don Lemon is an anti-gun lunatic and possibly a gun law breaking criminal with less than zero objectivity on that subject as evidenced by his behavior at the end of last year; but to his credit, watch the following:

Don, there might be hope for you yet.  Maybe the presence of that black rifle is changing you like some kind of mystical talisman.

But if you think being a gay black news anchor is tough, try asking Democrats questions that go against the party line.

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Again, though, any modicum of respect I once had for Christie based on his financial pushes has been obliterated by his love for illegal aliens and support for statist gun control.  So I really don’t care about his decision or non-decision, involvement or non-involvement with a bridge that I will never drive across, because in both states that are connected to it – I have no right to self-defense and illegal aliens have more rights to state protection than I do.

He’s an East Coast politician in a place where ultimately his policies aren’t really different between parties.

chris christie fridgegate

But at least we got a couple funny macros out of it.

David Gregory and Toys For Totalitarians

Posted: December 31, 2013 by ShortTimer in Crime, Elitism, Guns, Media
Tags: ,

It’s been a little over a year since the most popular post to date here at The Patriot Perspective.  David Gregory waved a 30-round magazine that’s illegal in DC on TV in clear violation of the law.  NBC staff went to the DC police beforehand and asked permission but was denied, so they willingly and knowingly violated DC law, and yet no one faced charges, in a clear case where if you’re rich and powerful and politically connected, the laws don’t apply to you.

david gregory if I were you

Now this year, Mike Vanderboegh over at Sipsey Street Irregulars (famously one of the blogs that broke Fast and Furious) has started a little Christmas season campaign called “Toys for Totalitarians”, wherein he sends standard capacity rifle magazines to governors of anti-gun states and a few media figures who’ve championed for anti-gun causes – often where their receipt and possession of a magazine is in violation of their own laws, just to yank their chains and invite them to arrest themselves and enforce their own laws.

And he sent one to David Gregory:

24 December 2013

David Gregory

NBC News Washington Bureau

4001 Nebraska Ave NW

Washington, DC 20016

Re: Your award in the Sipsey Street Irregulars Toys for Totalitarians Campaign.

Congratulations! Enclosed you will find my Christmas gift to you, one twenty-eight-round standard capacity AR-15 magazine in 7.62×39 caliber, manufactured by C Products Defense, Inc. of Bradenton, Florida. You have been awarded this gift as part of what my friend David Codrea calls my “Toys for Totalitarians Campaign.” We had a few magazines left over after sending them to the governors of Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland and New York so we decided to select collectivist media purveyors who likewise deserved our scorn and your name was among five at the top our list! You earned that thanks to your previous run-in with the District of Columbia’s draconian law when you flashed an AR-15 magazine to make a gun control point and suffered not at all thanks to the usual collectivist hypocrisy that is characteristic of the anointed of the DC Mandarin class to which you and your wife, former federal prosecutor and former Fannie Mae executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, Beth Wilkinson, belong. (We could chat about her role in the cover-up of the Oklahoma City bombing, but then I really don’t have the inclination at the moment — so many smuggling challenges, so little time.)

So your anti-firearm hypocrisy is legendary and it goes without saying that you have a distinct bias when it comes to citizen disarmament. So I selected a magazine for you in the caliber of 7.62×39, for that is the round originally designed for Mikhail Kalashnikov‘s AK-47. Given your collectivist politics, I thought it was an appropriate choice, since Kalashnikov was an unrepentant Soviet to the end of his days. (Kalashnikov, of course, just crossed over to meet his Maker. I’m sure his conversation with God about Stalin was an interesting one.) From one collectivist to another, I thought. Dulce et decorum est.

Anyway, now that you’ve accepted another piece of technology that is illegal within the confines of the District of Columbia, you are once again in violation of the law. Why don’t you go down and turn yourself in for arrest? I mean, if you are intellectually honest you would, right? Oh, wait, the terms “intellectually honest” and NBC cannot be used in the same sentence, now can they?

As for myself I will continue my campaign of armed civil disobedience — including smuggling — against this latest spate of unconstitutional state laws. You may choose to twist that news in service to the collectivist meme however you like. You always do.

Sincerely, and hoping you have a happy socialist Kwanzaa (a holiday invented by an FBI COINTELPRO stooge),

Mike Vanderboegh, Smuggler

The alleged leader of a merry band of Three Percenters

Reprinted in full so as not to lose any of the heavily acerbic punch.

If more people were to do this, it might work like those old “mail a brick” protests.  Hmm…

Die Hard isn’t just a Christmas movie.  Die Hard is the Christmas movie.

Die Hard is quintessentially a libertarian-conservative American Christmas movie, and that’s what makes it The Christmas movie.  Despite what some people say.

Just to get this out of the way first – what’s often said about it is that it wasn’t released at Christmas, so it’s not a Christmas movie.  Release date doesn’t mean it’s not a Christmas movie, either.  “The Christmas Song” was written in the middle of summer, and no one complains that it’s not a Christmas song.  Anyhow, on to the story…

Starting with its hero, John McClane – the story throws an everyman cop out of his element into a situation he doesn’t expect and he, the individual, through his own resilience, perseveres.  It’s a celebration of individualism and independence, where one man can and does make a difference.  That one man isn’t alone in the world, but his individual actions make the difference.  Without him, everyone at the Nakatomi Christmas party would be fodder for murderous thieves.

die hard merry christmas

In contrast to other Christmas movies, John McClane doesn’t need Clarence to take him out of the world and show him what life would be like without him.  When John McClane is at his lowest, his friend – a friend whose face he’s never even seen – talks to him and reassures him that his actions matter.  John McClane doesn’t have an angel to come save him, but he has his friends who help him.

That friend whose face he’s never seen is important doubly so for that reason.  John McClane doesn’t know Sgt. Al Powell of the LA police department.  He knows nothing about him to begin with save that Al was a street cop based on his driving.  He doesn’t know Al’s race, his religion, or whether his ancestors and McClane’s fought each other in the old country.  They don’t judge each other based on some preconditions or some prejudice, there’s no room in their world for that, and there’s no reason in their world for that.

When government gets involved in the situation above the individual level, we see a very libertarian small-government criticism.  The 911 operators are blase and uncaring, dismissive of a citizen’s call for help.  Even when finally driven to action, they choose to dispatch a lone squad car on his way home – because they are blase and uncaring.

By the time Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson arrives, we really begin to see government involvement and its consequences.  Robinson starts by ignoring that Al was the man on the ground, had experience, and was as hands-on as the situation would allow.  Al has a grasp, but Robinson dismisses him and has some ham-fisted responses by sending in his teams in “standard two-by-two formation” – decisions that ultimately get good men injured and killed.  The further he goes from the individual, the more foolish he gets.  When he has men injured or dead at the door and in the car who are protected by John’s quick actions, he’s more concerned about the glass that the individual John McClane blasted all over the grounds.

Local government is shown as foolish, even moreso when it defers to the federal government.  When that same local goverment listens to the individual or starts to think about its role, it becomes more responsive and effective.

The federal government response is one you’d expect from Washington, DC.  It’s a one-size fits-all approach for an A7 scenario, running the universal playbook step-by-step, and it’s an even more ham-fisted and foolish one than the local government uses.

But Agent Johnson does add that “We’ll try to let you know when we commandeer your men,” in perfect parody of the uncaring fedgov taking over.

agents johnson and johnson die hard

In defense of the realism of Agents Johnson and Johnson, Die Hard was made prior to the siege in Waco, where the fedgov proved itself more incompetent, not less.

Over objections of local government in the form of Deputy Chief Dwayne T. Robinson – who sucks up to the FBI heavily at first, but begins to question the wisdom of it later (as he realizes he could be held accountable, and thinks he should call the mayor) – and private citizens who object, the feds kill power to an entire grid.  Federal, local, and business authorities spend the whole argument ignoring Walt the technician who could cut power locally.

dwayne robinson johnson power guy 1

Walt is the individual, showcased again as the only competent one there, ignored by his company boss, the local authorities and the federal authorities.  Over his own objections and explaining that he can get the same result with no harm, he is threatened by Agent Johnson, and ends up being forced to shut down a power grid that inconveniences and harms local families on Christmas Eve, and plays right into the hands of the terrorist thieves.

walt die hard

Further from the consequences, as the FBI prepares its doublecross, Agent Johnson (no, the other one) comments that they’ll lose 20-25% of the hostages tops, and the other says he can live with that.  American lives he and his partner (no relation) are sworn to protect are ultimately expendible to him in his mission.  When Agent Johnson is rolling in with helicopter gunships, he whoops “Just like Saigon, eh, Slick?” – he’s become the embodiment of reckless militarization of police forces and the consequence-free actions the federal government would take against its own citizens while remaining assured of its own unaccountability.

While John McClane is on the roof and trying to move a terrified group of citizens back down and away from the bomb-laden roof of the building, it’s Johnson who’s gleefully commanding shooting and sniping at McClane, without having analyzed what the situation was.

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Hans Gruber and his gang as the bad guys are “the world”.  They are mostly Europeans and vaguely foreign characters, and Theo, of course, who is an amoral professional with a charming personality.

Hans and his crew, when silent, aren’t fully understood by anyone but John and Al.  John and Al understand in a direct, visceral way – the terrorist thieves are bad guys.  They show a traditionalist conservative or libertarian response to a direct threat – handle the threat.  They don’t need to pontificate about it – they know the bad guys are what they are, and somebody’s got to stop them.  There’s no introspection or “are we really the terrorists who brought this on ourselves?”  There’s not a thought to “Helsinki Syndrome” – which is mocked by the film itself.

“The world” is recognized for what it is – they aren’t ideologues – they’re thieves willing to use any tactics – “the world” has its own motivations, self-interested motivations, while naiive American govt. policies believe in the babble (Deputy Wayne Robinson) or ignore it completely and don’t even try to understand the motivations (FBI guys) that ultimately lead to failures by government at varying levels.

Hans, when he communicates their “demands”, play the slow-thinking local authorities for suckers, to such a degree that even his right hand man is thrown for a loop.

karl die hard asian dawn 2Asian Dawn?

hans die hard asian dawnI read about them in Time magazine.

John and Al see through it as a ruse.

Dwayne is duped, but baffled – again because he doesn’t listen to his own people on the ground.

The FBI simply ignores it, and fits it into their own plans.  They don’t even bother to wonder why such bizarre requests would be made.  Their sledgehammer-instead-of-a-flyswatter approach doesn’t even factor in that the “terrorists” are stalling, or why they were stalling.  It’s just an A7 scenario, and “we’ll take it from here”.

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On a whole host of topics, the movie subltly demonstrates a varying host of both libertarian and conservative beliefs.

On social issues of race or class, none are important – individual character is what matters.  Even just stripping away the action and drama of the story and looking at the characters shows people who are success stories due to their own hard work.

Joseph Yoshinobu Takagi, better known as Joe, is the man at Nakatomi, but he’s no rich robber baron or parody of zaibatsu business.  He’s an immigrant who worked his way up from humble beginnings, including spending young childhood years in the Manzanar internment camp, and he’s become a wealthy and powerful businessman, respected and loved by his employees.

On the other side of the spectrum is Argyle, who’s worked his way up from taxi driver to limo driver, and who’s personable and engaging with people he works with and ultimately for.  He helps John out with a plan to get back together with his wife, and agrees to help John find someplace to stay if things don’t work out.  He’s good people, showing character and initiative that doubtless was part of what got him moved up the socioeconomic and status ladder from taxi driver to limo driver.

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On gun control, the movie recognizes the bad guys will always be armed.  The terrorist thieves have rocket launchers – things that are already banned.  How did they get them?  Irrelevant – they’re criminals and criminals break laws.

On right to life, even Hans recognizes that a pregnant woman should be treated kindly.  He’s already calculated to kill everyone there as part of his scheme, yet he neither dismisses her nor her unborn child and their value to the Nakatomi community.  He does value them both less than the $640 million in negotiable bearer bonds in the vault.  But he recognizes the woman and unborn child as being respected by the community and responds to it for the value that Holly and the Nakatomi crowd place on her and her baby.

On smoking, characters smoke because they choose to – and they state they are aware of the dangers.  “These are very bad for you.”  It’s an individual decision, totally aware of the risks.

Abuse of hard drugs is shown to be something that’s ultimately self-destructive as it’s detrimental to the individual and the individual’s judgement.  There’s not a legal or moralizing argument against it, but more observation of the results of drug abuse and the poor decision making and foolish behaviors that drug abuse leads to.  Like the douchey thinking that just because you’re a corporate hot-shot, you can go and negotiate your way out of a situation with men who use guns, not fountain pens.

ellis die hard

The hubris that comes with trying to sleaze and bullshit one’s way through real-world threats is shown very vividly.  While Joe Takagi tried to negotiate as a civilized man with an enemy that feigned civilized manners and ultimately lost his life for it, Ellis douchily walks into a situation already knowing what the stakes are.  Ellis is the mush-brained slow-learner egocentric who thinks there’s a way to talk through problems that can only be solved by force.  He is the embodiment of negotiations with hostile international powers who will act to their own ends and don’t care what anyone talks at them.  He is as effective as the UN – a force only dangerous to those who are allied with it – because it empowers hostile forces by its own simultaneously naiive approach and arrogant sense of self-importance.

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The sensationalist, short-attention-span media, in the character of Richard “Dick” Thornburg, is shown to be irresponsible and reckless, as well as dangerous.  He endangers McClane’s children for nothing more than a scoop, but does also briefly touch on the hypocrisy and foolishness of hiring illegal aliens when he threatens Paulina with the INS.  We not only see Thornburg as the kind of newsman the NYT would hire when they want to show weaknesses in US armor to enemy forces in combat, but also as the kind of self-absorbed ass we expect to see from the news, where the story is always about him.  The rest of the media and their wholly wrong assessment the Nakatomi situation has already been covered above.

Die Hard 2, would of course give us the contrast of the moral journalist in Samantha Coleman with WNTW news.  But I’ll save any further analysis on Die Hard 2 for next year.

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An a much deeper level, one could discuss how John McClane running through the glass and emerging with bloodied feet could signify the stigmata, or running on glass the miracles of walking on water, but those would all be a stretch, to say the least.  There are plenty of religious connections that could be made in subtle fashion, and really most would be more valid than celebrations of Christmas involving a fat guy in a red suit, flying big game animals, and toymakers from Lothlorien who live in the extreme arctic.

You could have another conversation as to the relative values and virtues of other Christmas movies, and the traditions they have (they aren’t bad movies, after all… but they aren’t Die Hard).

While some people are adamant that Die Hard isn’t a Christmas movie… it really doesn’t matter.  Like Crow T. Robot famously said during the initial singing of Patrick Swayze Christmas – “you keep Christmas in your way and let me keep it in mine.”

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As an addendum, there’s also a criticism about Nakatomi having a Christmas party on Christmas Eve saying that they’re a horrible company for it.

This is nonsense.  Joe Takagi and the Nakatomi corporation recognize the dedication of their employees and treat them like family.  They know the amount of work that has been put in to their projects, and they offer a Christmas party for those working long distances from home – like Holly, who had to leave New York to work in LA.  Unlike others in the Nakatomi family, she has her own family that she moved – but she’s there at the party because she wants to support her fellow workers.  She’s not going to be there all night – as she’s already planned to take her husband home to see their children, and Argyle was expecting to be spending Christmas driving John home… and maybe head to Vegas at some point.

Lame Duck vs Duck Dynasty

Posted: December 20, 2013 by ShortTimer in Barack Obama, Culture, First Amendment, Media

bo vs pr duck

I think the most important thing about what Phil Robertson said is what he said at the end:

I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.

And what he didn’t say:

He asked for no new laws, he asked for nothing to be taken from one group and given to another, he asked for no force to be applied against people whose choices he disagreed with.  He didn’t ask that the DSM V be dialed back to the DSM II or something, he just voiced an unpopular belief to the media in a direct, folksy way.

Folks who are legimately of very solid faith are often the type who can hate the sin, but love the sinner, regardless of what it might be.  They pray for people they disagree with to see what they view as right, but they don’t try to force other people to live their way, either – forced piety would defeat the purpose and would mean someone doesn’t choose their path.  That older traditionalist mindset, but still respectful of the individual way of living per classic enlightenment views, is an attitude towards life that is part of the appeal of the show – for many it’s alien, for others it’s comforting.  From the few episodes I’ve seen, they are live and let live folks.

For the most part, I consider the entire ruffling of feathers over this to be something that should just be water off a duck’s back.  No one should care.  It neither breaks anyone’s leg nor picks their pocket.

It’d make a lot more sense for A&E to simply take advantage of the comments and ask the Duck Dynasty folks to interact with some normal gay people (not activists).  The discussion would probably be a lot more of a “teachable moment” or something anyway, or allow for an understanding of two different cultures – those mad at Duck Dynasty (who don’t watch it anyway), and those who have harsher views than Robertson’s upsetting but ultimately benign religious disagreement.

Objectively, one could also ask how many gay people are benefiting from the merchandising and financial success of the show through employment or investment in A&E or some other way – and how that prosperity is apathetic on sexual orientation.  A&E may be killing the goose that’s laying the golden egg here, since the Duck Dynasty family doesn’t need them, and without recognizing that all it would take is discussion if they wanted to counter Robertson’s opinions with their own – and it would make good TV.  They could go shooting with some folks from the Pink Pistols… and they’d probably all get along fine.

But instead A&E is choosing to can him, and gay activists are going apoplectic.  Just like didn’t happen with employers and gay activists when Alec Baldwin was actually using anti-gay slurs and threatening people with physical violence.

The contrast is even greater when you consider the difference in societal anger between what’s directed at Robertson and what’s directed at the lame duck, who is our employee and has lied about the murders of US citizens at home and abroad, including leaving our ambassador to Libya – who was gay – to die.  The lame duck is destroying our health care, is targeting us with revenue agents, and is spying on us.  We have an employee who is out to harm us and mass media make excuses for him and ignore actions and force; while they get angry at Robertson.

It’s a damn shame people are getting infuriated about a man’s opinion they disagree with, but who ultimately uses no force and advocates none, while they ignore a man targeting us all who uses force and advocates more.

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Update: At least one gay writer has questioned the stance of taking offense and demanding silence.

Why is our go-to political strategy for beating our opponents to silence them? Why do we dismiss, rather than engage them? One of the biggest pop-culture icons of today just took center stage to “educate” us about sexuality. I see this as an opportunity to further the discussion, to challenge his limited understanding of human desire, to engage with him and his rather sizable audience — most of whom, by the way, probably share his views — and to rise above the endless sea of tweet-hate to help move our LGBT conversations to where they need to go.

G.K. Chesterton said that bigotry is “an incapacity to conceive seriously the alternative to a proposition.” If he is right — and he usually is — then I wonder if the Duck Dynasty fiasco says more about our bigotry than Phil’s.

He does spend almost the entirety of the piece saying Robertson is wrong, wrong, wrong, and he can’t see that moral authority he claims is why the gay community’s go-to political strategy is to silence people.  Except for Alec Baldwin, of course.  And anyone else who’s on the political left and supports the correct causes.

The most important point he brings up might be this:

But I also think that if I were to spend a day calling ducks with Phil, I’d probably end up liking him — even in spite of his position on gay men.

You don’t have to agree with the guy on everything to get along.  And Robertson isn’t advocating any harm to anyone or government or other coercive force be used against them.

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And some gay dudes from the umpteenth spinoff of Storage Wars found a much less destructive, much more hilarious way to disagree:

An openly gay couple on A&E’s “Storage Wars: New York” is NOT offended by the homophobic comments made by fellow A&E’er and “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson — telling TMZ, they just feel bad for him … because man ass beats vagina any day of the week.

It’s crude, offensive to some folks in probably the same way Robertson’s were offensive to others, but it’s also funny.

Chris and Tad aren’t fazed, telling us, “You can’t go through life worrying what other people think. That’s their values and that’s what they think … as long as they’re not nasty to people … We’re not offended at all.”

Tolerance means you don’t have to agree, but if somebody isn’t harming you or advocating harm, it’s probably not that important, either.  You don’t have to send people to the Death Camp of Tolerance.

The states I like are mostly Fs.  F- is too much to hope for.

They give their map and their arbitrary factors here in PDF, and it’s important to note that they are, as expected, arbitrary and based on what states enact laws they like.

brady 2013 scorecard

Now, this is a really interesting map, because it plays with two different types of statistics.  One is the Brady’s arbitrary scoring system for laws (which I’ll get to later) and the other is playing with gun death rates.  The rate requires both death and a percentage of population.  Note how this map by Slate (who are just as far left as Brady) looks very different:

slate gun death map

Judging by the Brady scorecard, with their adjustment for gun death rate, Montana and Wyoming are lawless, out of control places that need martial law, while Illinois is a solid B with a stable gun death rate, and Washington DC is simply ignored, which is something that the Brady Campaign/Handgun Control Inc/National Council to Control Handguns has been doing for a while.

It should be noted that as expected, anti-gun forces are more concerned with addressing taking guns from everyone without addressing problems that exist in urban areas that lead to greater crime and mayhem.  The Slate map does the favor of showing where the greatest deaths are actually taking place – for the most part in heavily populated areas.  No real surprise there – people kill people, after all.

As a brief aside, the Slate map also contains errors.  There’s a small dot near the Big Bend area of Texas that’s listed as five murders in Terrell in Texas.  The actual Terrell, Texas where the murders took place is a city of 15,000 people east of Dallas.  The murders are listed on Slate’s map as having taken place in Terrell County, Texas, which has a population of 984 across the entire 2358 square mile county.  For comparison, the state of Delaware is 2490 square miles.  Point being, there are 5 murders listed in the “No Country For Old Men” part of Texas that gives the impression of lawless countryside, when in fact, it’s really fairly peaceful.

Now, were the Brady Campaign to assess county scores, 5 hypothetical murders in Terrell County would be a murder rate of 508.6 per 100,000.  Likewise, states like Montana, Wyoming, and Nevada, show skewed statistics based on low population.  A triple-murder spree by teenagers (who violated laws against murder to begin with) did so in a state with 576,000 people.  That single action itself bumped the entire state’s murder rate up by over a half a point per 100,000.

To give another example of how this works, take a look at this map of change in gun homocides from the UK Guardian:

uk guardian gun stats 2011 2012

States with smaller populations, like Montana and Wyoming, are shown to undergo massive transformations.  Montana’s gun homocide rate went up from 40 to 300 percent, and Wyoming’s dropped from -20 to -60.

Within that, there is also the question of how gun deaths are recorded.  For example, accidents and suicides, while deaths, are often included to make the threat of violence and crime look higher; accidents are skewed by accessibility of EMS in rural vs urban areas, and suicide methods by gender.

Defensive gun uses where no one in harmed vastly outnumber the number where anyone is harmed, and defensive gun uses where a violent criminal is justifiably dispatched (by either citizens or police) are sometimes recorded in overall gun deaths, which makes self-defense look like a crime.

Of course, to the Brady Campaign, self defense is a negative:

brady hates self defense 2013Most of the rest of their criteria are similar, where they dock points for not having medical professionals question you about firearms ownership, give points for allowing cities to establish their own arbitrary patchwork laws, give points for making unsafe firearms (those with magazine disconnects, non-existent “smart gun” fantasy designs, and of course the mandatory patent scam of microstamping).

In short, it’s pretty much everything we’ve come to expect from people who are all about citizen disarmament, short of these ads outright:

brady campaign rape lasts 30 seconds

brady campaign those people

It should be noted that Nebraska gets a D from the Brady Campaign in no small part because of draconian gun laws in the city of Omaha, which is primarily directed at the black/urban population of the city.  But that’s nothing new for gun control.

brady campaign women have men

From the New Yorker:

For decades, business owners have resisted higher minimum wages by arguing that they destroy jobs, particularly for young people. At some theoretical level, high minimum wages will distort job creation, but the best empirical evidence from the past decade is aligned with common sense: a minimum wage drawn somewhat above the poverty line helps those who work full time to live decently, without having a significant impact on other job seekers or on total employment.

Except it’s wrong, ignores the loss of jobs that are never created and the subsiziding impact of welfare and low-income benefits that also siphon funds away from job creation and into government redistribution.

I’ll let Orphe Divounguy explain it again:

(For example, a study of pairs of neighboring counties with differing minimum pay found that higher wages had no adverse effect on restaurant jobs.)

Of course, he doesn’t cite the study, the amount of difference in pay, or an analysis of what jobs were lost, not created, or where these counties were.

Even so, a federal minimum wage of ten dollars or more will not solve inequality. It will not stop runaway executive pay or alter the winner-take-all forces at work in the global economy.

And here we see the true intentions.  The objective is to make equality of outcomes.  The ideology is a belief that executive pay is “runaway” and that the economy is a “winner-take-all” scenario, rather than one of mutual cooperation for benefit.  Apparently the New Yorker’s Steve Coll doesn’t understand where pencils come from.

Coll continues:

Yet it will bring millions of Americans closer to the levels of economic security and disposable income that they knew before the housing bubble burst.

No, it won’t.  It will artificially increase wages, which will then result in employers increasing their expenses to customers.  There will be a transfer of wealth from the many to the few.  There will be a visible result of a handful of people with minimum wage jobs making more money, but it will result in a less visible loss of wages by everyone who uses those services, by employers whose payrolls will be adjusted in favor of old employees versus new ones – meaning jobs that would be created will not be created, and it will result in overall economic loss.

Coll starts his piece by talking about increases in wages for baggage handlers at SeaTac airport, where the minimum wage was bumped from $10/hour to $15/hour by a ballot initiative.  Businesses spent money pushing against it, and Coll celebrates that leftists emerged triumphant, that the “grassroots left, which seemed scattered and demoralized after the Occupy movement fizzled, has revived itself this year—with help from union money and professional canvassers—by rallying voters around the argument that anyone who works full time ought not to be at risk of poverty”.

Union money was sent in by union people who can now look forward to extracting union dues from those $15/hour workers at a higher amount than when they were $10/hour workers.  Professional canvassers are leftist marxist agitators and professional shit-stirring revolutionary groups who serve no function but to create conflict that they exploit for their own personal profit.  The businesses involved opposed it as best they could, but the leftists in Seattle & Tacoma voted for it.

What that means is that the expenses against the airport have gone up, and they’ll have to come up with something to balance it out.  That may mean layoffs, it may mean no new hires, but most likely it will mean increased rates and fees to customers.  The customer is hurt at the expense of the visible aid to the fictional oppressed proletariat.

…life on fifteen thousand a year is barely plausible anymore, even in the low-cost rural areas of the Deep South and the Midwest. National Republican leaders are out of touch with the electorate on this as on much else, and they are too wary of Tea Party dissent to challenge their party’s current orthodoxies of fiscal austerity and free-market purity.

Life on $15,000 per year is not something that someone manages alone.  First off, there are massive government handouts to those of that low income group; second, as Orphe explained, a lot of times, those workers are entry-level workers just getting started – like teenagers.

The Tea Party is composed of people who understand how economics work – that you can’t just arbitrarily say “we’ll make your employer pay you more” without that money coming from somewhere.  Again, Margaret Thatcher’s famous quote comes to mind:

thatcher socialism

Coll finishes with this bleeding heart plea:

The case for a strong minimum wage has always been, in part, civic and moral. Minimum wages do not create new “entitlement” programs or otherwise enjoin the country’s sterile debates about the value of government. They are designed to insure that the dignity of work includes true economic independence for all who embrace it.

The case for strong minimum wage laws has been couched in some people’s idea of what other people are entitled to.  If you pay the neighbor kid $5 to mow your lawn, it’s not moral for the neighborhood to tell you that you MUST pay him $20.  The result will be that the neighbor kid goes without the $5 and you mow your own lawn.  There’s nothing moral about dictating to people how much a worker has to sell his labor for or how much an employer has to pay for that employee’s labor – because it destroys entry-level jobs and harms the community.

The tut-tutting busybody who wants to put the government’s gun to someone’s head and make them do what they feel should be done is not moral.

Minimum wage laws inflict an entitlement by force.  The dignity of work comes from what people put into it – and earning a paycheck, not having the government hold a gun to your employer’s head – leaving you either paid more than you’re worth or unemployed entirely.

There is no “true economic independence” for a $10/hour job, a $15/hour job.  Idle rich and trust fund babies have “true economic independence” – and even they can lose it if economies change.  Economic independence comes from having one’s own skills that are marketable in different job environments.

If Coll and clowns who publish his Marxist drivel want to provide “dignity” and “true economic independence”, why not mandate a $100/hour minimum wage?  If people made $8000 every two weeks, they’d be doing pretty well.  Why not a $1000/hour minimum wage?  Or a $10,000/hour minimum wage?  You could work for a day and pay off student loans and buy a new car all in one.

If he’s got intellect greater than that of a grapefruit, he’d respond with “but businesses can’t afford to pay $10,000/hour.”  And just the same, they can’t afford to pay any other artificial minimum wage without modifying their business model.  Some businesses could handle $10,000/hour minimum wages, but it would harm them severely and result in cutting many employees, hiring no more employees, and passing costs off to customers.  Some businesses can handle a bump to $15/hour minimum wages, but it will harm them as well, it will harm future employment, and the business will pass costs off to their customers.

He wonders why the Midwest and South have a lower cost of living – and that is due in no small part to not having to deal with wage inflation – those costs are passed on to businesses, which pass them back on to us.

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Update: Some leftist union organizers have decided to stage strikes for higher fast food wages across the country.  When they get the government to force their employers to pay them $15/hour, they’ll find that those businesses can’t stay open because no one wants to pay $17 for a Whopper or $13 for a Big Mac.  They won’t be able to afford the Taco Grande meals they make.

The fast-food effort is backed by the Service Employees International Union and is also demanding that restaurants allow workers to unionize without the threat of retaliation.

It’s like I should just write “the usual suspects are at it again”.

Beating a dead horse – if they’re not worth the pay, they’re not worth the pay.  That’s not a measure of their value as a human being, just their respective value in their chosen job.   Demanding more wages because you’ve chosen to make an entry-level job a career is a problem with the individual’s ambition and drive and desire to sit on the bottom rung of the economic ladder, not a question of whether their employer is a greedy robber baron capitalist pig-dog.

It’s a well-known leftist tactic to change the language once something’s been exposed.  In the early 20th century, the left called themselves “progressives”.  When the public got sick of eugenics, prohibition and mass murder, they decided to call themselves “liberals”, despite being anything but liberal.  When “liberal” began to get a bad name, they called themselves “progressives” again (note everything in that video is HRC denying that progressive and modern liberals are all big government, top-down authoritarian statists).

Now we see the same thing with Obamacare.  The left is calling it by the bill’s official title: the Affordable Care Act, because it’s a failure and they don’t want Obama’s name associated with Obamacare.  Obamacare is the Affordable Care Act and vice versa.  But it’s time to hush up the failure by changing the language used.

(H/T Jawa Report)