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[VIDEO] Why Government Funding Hurts PBS & NPR 

If the federal government were to cut off funding for public broadcasting, the programs that so many of us cherish not only wouldn’t disappear, they would have a better chance of surviving long into the future.

In 1967, President Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act, establishing a system of government subsidies that hasn’t changed that much in fifty years. The lion-share of federal money was allocated—not to pay directly for programming—but to go to independent public television and radio stations that were established in every corner of a vast nation. Their main purpose has always been to distribute national content to their local communities. About 70 percent of government funding went directly the local stations in 1967. Fifty years later, that formula hasn’t changed much.

When the Public Broadcasting Act became law, maintaining a network of regional stations was the only way to insure that every American household had access to public television and radio content. Today, this decentralized system isn’t necessary because it’s possible to stream or download NPR or PBS content from anywhere in the world. As audiences moves online, the regional stations supported by the federal government are becoming unnecessary.

It’s not just that these stations have become a waste of taxpayer money—they also present an obstacle to online distribution. The advent of podcasting, for example, was a singular opportunity for NPR to capitalize big on a new way of distributing its rich content. Today, NPR publishes several of the top podcasts, but in a concession to the stations, it forbids show hosts from promoting podcasts on the radio or from even mentioning NPR’s popular smartphone app. Station opposition is also the reason that podcast listeners can’t download episodes of NPR’s two top programs, Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

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Recently, some of public radio’s most talented show hosts and producers have gone to work for private podcasting ventures. One reason to leave, says former-NPR reporter Adam Davidson, is that podcasters “have a creative freedom that NPR’s institutional frictions simply can’t allow.”

The fact is that without federal subsidies, the programs themselves could thrive. About 40 percent of funding for public television comes from private contributions (individuals, foundations, and businesses). For public radio, it’s about 60 percent. Read the rest of this entry »

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Obama Worship: Clap-Out Recalls Stalin’s Grim Loyalists 

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kevin-williamsonKevin D. Williamson writes: Applause was a serious business in the Soviet Union, as it is in Cuba, as it is in Venezuela, as it is in all unfree societies and at our own State of the Union address, which is modeled on the ex cathedra speeches of unfree societies. The less free you are, the more you are obliged to applaud. Joseph Stalin’s pronouncements were greeted with perfervid applause, which would continue, rapturously — no one dared stop — until Stalin himself would order its cessation.

“The desire to rule is complexly mixed up with the desire to be ruled, just as the most masterful among us bow the lowest and grovel the most enthusiastically when presented with a strongman-savior.”

But what to do when Stalin was not there? The mere mention of his name, even in his absence, would trigger fanatical applause, and nobody wanted to be the first to stop. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn related one famous story:

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The director of the local paper factory, an independent and strong-minded man, stood with the presidium. Aware of all the falsity and all the impossibility of the situation, he still kept on applauding! Nine minutes! Ten! In anguish he watched the secretary of the District Party Committee, but the latter dared not stop. Insanity! To the last man! With make-believe enthusiasm on their faces, looking at each other with faint hope, the district leaders were just going to go on and on applauding till they fell where they stood, till they were carried out of the hall onend-is-near stretchers! And even then those who were left would not falter.

[Read the full story here, at National Review]

[Kevin D. Williamson’s book  “The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome”  is available at Amazon]

Then, after eleven minutes, the director of the paper factory assumed a businesslike expression and sat down in his seat. And, oh, a miracle took place! Where had the universal, uninhibited, indescribable enthusiasm gone? To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down. They had been saved! The squirrel had been smart enough to jump off his revolving wheel.

That, however, was how they discovered who the independent people were. And that was how they went about eliminating them.

That same night the factory director was arrested.

Stalin is long gone, and the Soviet Union, too, having been deposited, as Ronald Reagan predicted, onto the “ash heap of history.” But the craven instinct on display in the scene Solzhenitsyn described remains.

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The desire to rule is complexly mixed up with the desire to be ruled, just as the most masterful among us bow the lowest and grovel the most enthusiastically when presented with a strongman-savior. There is something atavistic in us that is older than the human part — the inner chimp — that makes those who listen to its voice keenly aware of their places in the social hierarchy. Even a predator instinctively recognizes a predator higher up the food chain.

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“The language there is interesting: She did not write that Price ‘did not applaud,’ ‘refrained from applauding’, or even ‘failed to applaud,” but that he refused to applaud, a formulation that converts passivity into a positive act, one from which we are to derive something of significance about his fitness for the role of secretary of health and human services.”

Which is not to say that National Public Radio’s Marilyn Geewax is a Stalinist, but rather that they were what she is, representatives of the same species.

[Read the full story here, at National Review]

Geewax, who is a senior business editor for NPR, is very interested in applause. This week, she expressed some concern that Representative Tom Price has been nominated to serve as the next secretary of health and human services. Read the rest of this entry »


Nick Gillespie: Thanks, Liberals! You Applauded Obama’s Imperial Presidency, and Now We’ve Got Trump Rex 

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If Trump makes good on his promise to ‘bomb the shit out’ of ISIS without even token approval from Congress, we’ll know where he got the idea.

nickNick Gillespie writes: On Jan. 20, Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States. Along with the nation’s nuclear codes, he will be gifted presidential powers that have been vastly increased by Barack Obama.

Thanks a lot, liberals. It’s all well and good that Joe Biden is now lecturing us that “the worst sin of all is the abuse of power,” but where the hell was he—and where were you—for the past eight years, when the president was starting wars without Congressional authorization, passing major legislation with zero votes from the opposing party, and ruling almost exclusively through executive orders and actions?

“Hell, in the early months of Obama’s presidency, The New York Times’s Thomas Friedman held up China’s ‘one-party autocracy’ as the model to emulate.”

Mostly exhorting Obama to act “unilaterally” and “without Congress” on terrorism, immigration, guns, and whatever because you couldn’t dream of a day when an unrestrained billionaire reality-TV celebrity would wield those same powers toward very different ends. Hell, in the early months of Obama’s presidency, The New York Times’s Thomas Friedman held up China’s “one-party autocracy” as the model to emulate.

“Faced with recalcitrant Republicans and flagging public support, champions of Obama’s policy agenda voiced few qualms about a power grab that created an imperial presidency on steroids.”

There’s an old libertarian saw that holds “any government powerful enough to give you everything is also powerful enough to take everything away.” The same is even more true for the president, the single most-powerful actor in the government. Faced with recalcitrant Republicans and flagging public support, champions of Obama’s policy agenda voiced few qualms about a power grab that created an imperial presidency on steroids. “We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation,” Obama crowed in 2014, proclaiming a “year of action.” “I’ve got a pen… and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions.”

Consider his willingness to wage war. As The Cato Institute’s Gene Healy writes in the latest issue of Reason, Obama didn’t just commit the U.S. military to action in Libya without any sort of Congressional authorization, he did so after campaigning on the statement that “the president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” But when it came time under the War Powers Act to either seek retroactive buy-in from Congress or pull out, Obama simply asked around the executive branch until he found a State Department lawyer who, unlike his attorney general and others, said dropping bombs on Libya didn’t require authorization.

[Read the full story here, at The Daily Beast]

If and when Donald Trump makes good on his promise to “bomb the shit out” of ISIS—and god knows who else—without even getting token approval from Congress, we’ll know where he got the idea. Ditto for “secret kill lists” and drone strikes in countries with whom we’re not at war.

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And still, Obama has the temerity to counsel the president-elect not to overdo it with executive orders and actions, telling NPR recently that “going through the legislative process is always better in part because it’s harder to undo.” Unless, of course, actually working to build consensus keeps you from getting what you want. In fact, it is vastly easier to undo unilateral action, as Obama himself could tell you. Read the rest of this entry »


[AUDIO] Diane Rehm Already Worried about Trump’s Use of Executive Powers 

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Explore the Apollo 11 Command Module in 3D

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Erin Blakemore reports Forty-seven years ago, mankind achieved what was once unthinkable when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the moon. But getting him there involved more than strapping the astronaut to a rocket and pressing “go.” Armstrong and his colleagues headed to space in the most advanced spacecraft of their time: the Apollo 11 command module, Columbia. Now, you can explore the module without leaving your couch with the help of a newly-released 3D model that offers unprecedented access to one of history’s most important technological achievements—and the inside scoop on what it was really like to be an Apollo astronaut.

The model is the result of painstaking digitization efforts by the Smithsonian Institution, which houses Columbia at the National Air and Space Museum, and Autodesk, Inc. Given the complexity of the craft—and the fact that photographers weren’t allowed to actually touch it while capturing every nook and cranny—the 3D model is an impressive feat.

It’s available to anyone with an internet connection and offers glimpses unavailable to museum visitors, who are not allowed to explore the inside of the craft. The model can be viewed online, but also comes with publicly available data files for 3-D printing or viewing with virtual reality goggles.

Command Module Spinning Gif

Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins lived in Columbia during their time in space on the Apollo 11 mission, which launched from Cape Kennedy on July 16, 1969. Four days later, Aldrin and Armstrong headed to the moon’s surface on the “Eagle” lunar module.

Columbia itself is filled with clues as to life as an early astronaut. While photographing the inside of the module, curators discovered markings made by the astronauts on their mission, including information relayed by mission control and a hand-drawn calendar that documents the journey. The men even scribbled notes to one another on the walls, including a warning about “smelly waste!” that presumably cautioned intrepid explorers to keep away from a certain panel on the cramped craft. Read the rest of this entry »


UPDATE: Terrorists Take 100 Hostages at ‘Eagles of Death Metal’ Concert in Paris

The city of Paris was stricken by a series of terrorist attacks on Friday night. The latest reports have at least 26 30 dead and many more injured.

Among the targets, the music venue Bataclan, where police say terrorists have taken 60 100 hostages. According to the venue’s calendar, Eagles of Death Metal were performing a sold-out show at the venue this evening.

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Eagles of Death Metal is the collaboration between Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age. Homme did not join the band for their European tour, however.

This is a developing story…

Source: Consequence of Sound


Martin Ford: Attention White-collar Workers: #Robots Are Coming for Your Jobs

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Interview: Martin Ford, Author Of ‘Rise Of The Robots’ 

From the self-checkout aisle of the grocery store to the sports section of the newspaper, robots and computer software are increasingly taking the place of humans in the workforce. Silicon Valley executive Martin Ford says that robots, once thought of as a threat to only manufacturing jobs, are poised to replace humans as teachers, journalists, lawyers and others in the service sector.

“As we look forward from this point, we need to keep in mind that this technology is going to continue to accelerate. So I think there’s every reason to believe it’s going to become the primary driver of inequality in the future, and things are likely to get even more extreme than they are now.”

“There’s already a hardware store [in California] that has a customer service robot that, for example, is capable of leading customers to the proper place on the shelves in order to find an item,” Ford tells Fresh Air’s Dave Davies.

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In his new book, Rise of the Robots, Ford considers the social and economic disruption that is likely to result when educated rise-of-robotsworkers can no longer find employment.

[Check out Martin Ford’s book “Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future” at Amazon.com]

“As we look forward from this point, we need to keep in mind that this technology is going to continue to accelerate,” Ford says. “So I think there’s every reason to believe it’s going to become the primary driver of inequality in the future, and things are likely to get even more extreme than they are now.”

Any jobs that are truly repetitive or rote — doing the same thing again and again — in advanced economies like the United States or Germany, those jobs are long gone. They’ve already been replaced by robots years and years ago.

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So what we’ve seen in manufacturing is that the jobs that are actually left for people to do tend to be the ones that require more flexibility or require visual perception and dexterity. Very often these jobs kind of fill in the gaps between machines.

[Read the full text here, at NPR]

For example, feeding parts into the next part of the production process or very often they’re at the end of the process — perhaps loading and unloading trucks and moving raw materials and finished products around, those types of things. Read the rest of this entry »


Men More Likely Than Women To Go Back In Time And Kill Hitler

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The Hitler question was among a range of moral questions asked of 6,100 people in a study conducted by U.S., Canadian and German researchers.

Jim Algar writes: Here’s a question; if you could go back in time and kill Hitler – likely saving millions of lives – would you do it? Your answer, researchers were surprised to find, might depend on your gender.

New research published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology suggests that, given such a question, men seem more willing to accept the need for harmful actions for the sake of the greater good than do women.hitler-tall

“Women were more likely to fall into the deontology camp and agonize for a long time over a decision, while men were somewhat more likely to lean toward utilitarianism and make a quick decision.”

The Hitler question was among a range of moral questions asked of 6,100 people in a study conducted by U.S., Canadian and German researchers.

“Women seem to be more likely to have this negative, emotional, gut-level reaction to causing harm to people in the dilemmas to the one person, whereas men were less likely to express this strong emotional reaction to harm.”

— Lead research author Rebecca Friesdorf

Although both men and women carefully considered the consequences of their potential decision, women said they found it harder to commit murder and were more likely to let Hitler survive, the study found.

“Women seem to be more likely to have this negative, emotional, gut-level reaction to causing harm to people in the dilemmas to the one person, whereas men were less likely to express this strong emotional reaction to harm,” says lead research author Rebecca Friesdorf. A master’s degree student in social psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Friesdorf analyzed 40 data sets from previous studies.

“Although both men and women carefully considered the consequences of their potential decision, women said they found it harder to commit murder and were more likely to let Hitler survive.”

In the study participants were asked 20 questions, all of them involving a moral dilemma centering on such things as murder, torture, abortion, lying or the morality of animal research. Read the rest of this entry »


Strange Fruit: Iran Hangs Seven on Christmas

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 reports: The Iranian regime hanged seven citizens on Christmas morning and at least 12 others in the days before and after the holiday, according to Iranian dissidents monitoring the human rights situation.

Seven prisoners being held in Iran’s Abdelebad prison were hanged “at dawn on Christmas day,” according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an Iranian opposition group.

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The latest round of state-sanctioned killings—which have hit an all time high in the past year—came just days after President Barack Obama praised Iran in an interview at the White House and said that it could be a “successful” member of the international community. Read the rest of this entry »


More Layoffs at The New York Times

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Nicole Levy writes: Job cuts at the New York Times will exceed the stated goal of 100 newsroom positions eliminated, the Newspaper Guild of New York said yesterday in a memo to union members.

According to the guild, the Times said yesterday it will lay off 21 union-represented employees starting as early as today, after 57 guild members and roughly 30 non-guild members accepted buyout applications. That amounts to more than the 100 newsroom positions the newspaper said it needed to eliminate as a cost-cutting measure on Oct. 1.

Targeted staffers are expected to receive the news today or Wednesday. Many of those laid off will receive two weeks of notice pay, but those who began at the paper of record before May 1, 1994 can receive pay for 15 weeks of work.

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Times management’s decision to cut more than 100 newsroom jobs followed the hiring of “numerous new employees over [the] past six months,” the union memo said. Prominent recently was the hiring of former NPR executive Kinsey Wilson as editor for innovation and strategy; Michelle Dozois as growth strategy editor; and Justin Bank from The Washington Post as deputy editor for audience development, to name a few. Other hires are expected soon, including possibly Alex Burns of POLITICO, according to a report from the Huffington Post.

Read the union’s memo below:

Despite having announced its target of reducing newsroom staff by 100 – and accepting the buyout applications of 57 Guild members and nearly 30 excluded employees – The Times told the Guild on Monday that it would lay off another 21 Guild-represented employees this week. Whatever the total (the number of excluded employees to be laid off is not known at this time), the company clearly will exceed its stated goal of 100 job cuts…(read more)

New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet announced the end of the buyout process, and the beginning of layoffs, in a memo to staff Tuesday morning. Baquet said the layoff process will end this week. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Guerrilla Filmmaker Reveals How Voter Fraud is Both Easy and Condoned in Colorado: James O’Keefe Strikes Again

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NRO’s election fraud scholar John Fund writes: Many liberals are adamant there is no threat of voter fraudfund-book that justifies efforts to improve the integrity of elections. “There is no real concrete evidence of voter fraud,” tweeted Donna Brazile, former acting chair of the Democratic National Committee, this week. “It’s a big ass lie.”
 [Order John Fund’s book Who’s Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk from Amazon.com]

James O’Keefe, the guerilla filmmaker who brought down the ACORN voter-registration fraudsters in 2010 and forced the resignation of NPR executives, politely disagrees. Today, he is releasing some new undercover footage that raises disturbing questions about ballot integrity in Colorado, the site of fiercely contested races for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, and the governorship.

“We know people in other states with better integrity safeguards have cheated using the cover of these methods.”

— Secretary of State Gessler

When he raised the issue of filling out some of the unused ballots that are mailed to every household in the state this month, he was told by Meredith Hicks, the director of Work for Progress, a liberal group funded by Democratic Super PACS.: “That is not even like lying or something, if someone throws out a ballot, like if you want to fill it out you should do it.” She then brazenly offered O’Keefe, disguised as a middle-aged college instructor, a job with her group.

The video of O’Keefe’s encounters with other operatives is equally disturbing.  He has a conversation with Greenpeace employee Christina Topping, and suggests he might have access to unused ballots from people who have recently moved out of college fraternity houses. “I mean it is putting the votes to good use,” she responds. “So really, truly, like yeah, that is awesome.” Read the rest of this entry »


NYT Readers Locking Themselves in Bathrooms, Throwing up and Crying


NPR Struggles to Defend Obama in Supreme Court Defeat: ‘In Narrow Ruling’… ‘Least Significant Loss Possible…’

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On the radio this afternoon, in my car, I heard this opener on NPR:

“In a technically-unianimous” ruling…”

Which I think accurately reflects the tone for how the Left Wing Media will be covering today’s news. To be fair…NPR is technically a news organization.

To insert the word “technically” in the lead sentence in their main news broadcast coverage of the Supreme court decision is bias bullshit political cover predictable spin from an organization whose executives, managers, and employees have been exposed as donors to Obama’s campaign. Note: A Supreme court decision is either unanimous, or it isn’t.

In NPR’s web version of the news report the word “unanimous”, thankfully, stands all by itself, with no fabric softener, no qualifier, no soothing delegitimizer.

In a unanimous ruling, the justices said the Constitution’s recess-appointments clause gave Congress the power to decide when it is in recess, and that there was no recess when Obama acted. The case is National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning…

…but it only takes a few paragraphs for NPR to assert its view of the (in)significance of the ruling. Quoting an obscure fragment dug up from an AP report to help fortify the validity of NPR’s sullen attitude:

As The Associated Press notes, “[T]he outcome was the least significant loss possible for the administration. The justices, by a 5-4 vote, rejected a sweeping lower court ruling against the administration that would have made it virtually impossible for any future president to make recess appointments.”…(read more) NPR


A Shocker From NPR: ‘Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible’

For NewsBustersTim Graham reports: The liberals at National Public Radio can’t really imagine guns being necessary for anything…unless perhaps it’s to keep Southern segregationists at bay.

"Legitimate self defense has absolutely nothing to do with the criminal misuse of guns." —Gerald Vernon, veteran firearms instructor

“Legitimate self defense has absolutely nothing to do with the criminal misuse of guns.”
—Gerald Vernon, veteran firearms instructor

On Thursday afternoon’s Tell Me More talk show, host Michel Martin brought on Charles Cobb, who wrote the book This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made The Civil Rights Movement Possible. She called it a “hiding in plain sight story” and asked why he wrote the book:

COBB: I’m very conscious of the gaps in the history, and one important gap in the history and the portrayal of the movement is the role of guns in the movement. I worked in the South. I lived with families in the South. There was never a family I stayed with that didn’t have a gun. I know from personal experience and the experiences of others that guns kept people alive, kept communities safe. And all you have to do to understand this is simply think of black people as human beings, and they’re going to respond to terrorism the way anybody else would….

MARTIN: Why do you think we don’t know more stories like this? Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Milkshake Experiment: ‘A Label is More than a Label’ or ‘How Your Thoughts and Beliefs Fool Your Stomach’

Bianca Giaever and Alix Spiegel/NPR/YouTube

 “I don’t think we’ve given enough credit to the role of our beliefs in determining our physiology, our reality.”

—  Alia Crud

Alix Spiegel reports: It was late, almost 9 at night, when Justin Holden pulled the icy pizza box from the refrigerator at the Brookville Supermarket in Washington, D.C.

He stood in front of the open door, scanning the nutrition facts label.

A close relative had recently had a heart attack, and in the back of his mind there was this idea stalking him: If he put too much salt in his body, it would eventually kill him.

[Listen to the Story]   [Download MP3]

For this reason the information in the label wasn’t exactly soothing: 1,110 milligrams of sodium seemed like a lot.

But there was even worse-sounding stuff at the bottom of the label.

Words like “diglyceride,” with a string of letters that clearly had no business sitting next to each other. It suggested that something deeply unnatural was sitting inside the box.

“Obviously it’s not good for me,” the 20ish Holden said. “But, hopefully, I can let it slide in.”

He tucked the pizza under his arm, and headed one aisle over for a sports drink.

A Label Is More Than A Label

Who among us has not had a moment like this? That intimate tete-a-tete with the nutrition label, searching out salt, sugar, fat, trying to discern: How will you affect me? Are you good? Or are you bad?

Here’s the thing you probably haven’t stopped to consider: how the label itself is affecting you.

“Labels are not just labels; they evoke a set of beliefs,” says Alia Crum, a clinical psychologist who does research at the Columbia Business School in New York. Read the rest of this entry »


Amtrak Opens The Door To Writing On The Rails

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I heard this in the car the other day, great story.

For NPR, Leah Binokovitz reports:  On Twitter, some writers started asking the same question: Wouldn’t it be great if Amtrak offered “residencies” to writers, so they could ride the rails and write? And Amtrak said: Let’s try it.

[Listen to the story: Download]

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: Things can take off fast on Twitter. And that’s what happened when a couple of writers expressed how much they like riding trains, Amtrak specifically. It started with an idea: Wouldn’t it be great if Amtrak would offer writers a chance to ride the rails for free and do some writing along the way? Soon, the idea was being tweeted and retweeted, and Amtrak replied: Sure.

NPR‘s Leah Binkovitz explains.

LEAH BINKOVITZ, BYLINE: Alexander Chee had been thinking about this for a while. He’s a novelist working on his second book. Last year, the literary organization PEN American Center asked him in an interview: What’s your favorite place to write?

ALEXANDER CHEE: I said that I like to write on trains and that I wished Amtrak had residencies for writers.

BINKOVITZ: His comments started a conversation amongst friends and writers on Twitter. The idea seemed to take on a life of its own.

Read the rest of this entry »


Chinese Media Taunt Outgoing U.S. Envoy Gary Locke with Bizarre Racial Insults: ‘Yellow-Skinned, White-Hearted Banana Man’

The Chinese media may not like him, but Gary Locke, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to China, was praised by ordinary Chinese.

The Chinese media may not like him, but Gary Locke was praised by ordinary Chinese.

Gary Locke may have won over ordinary Chinese with his conduct in the country, but not everyone was impressed with the first Chinese-American to serve as the U.S. envoy to China.

“And it’s all because of a coffee break…”

NPR’s Anthony Kuhn reported Friday for our Newscast unit about an opinion piece in China News, a Chinese state media outlet, that called Locke, the outgoing U.S. ambassador, a “‘yellow-skinned, white-hearted banana man,’ whose Chinese ancestors would have kicked him out of the house, had they known about his future career.”

Anthony reports:

“The piece lambasted him for carrying his own backpack and buying his own coffee in what it described as a ploy to embarrass less frugal Chinese officials.

“It also called him the ‘guide dog’ of Chinese blind activist Chen Guangchen, whose exodus to the U.S. was a sensitive episode in Locke’s tenure.

Read the rest of this entry »


Rand Paul Is Right. Social Conservatives Should Embrace Libertarianism

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  writes:  Buzzfeed recently offered readers a peek into the bottomless well that is right-wing hypocrisy. “Republican Senator Who Voted To Defund NPR Says He Listens To NPR,” reads the headline, “He declined to mention that on the show.” Arizona Senator Jeff Flake is evidently a fan of cerebral upmarket radio programming, but also voted to defund the media organization.

…”Paul argued that a dose of libertarianism would not only help the GOP broaden its base, but that it was philosophically compatible with social conservative values.”

You know, it’s almost as if he knows one of these positions has absolutely nothing to do with the other. I enjoy NPR. I believe NPR, a network that boasts an audience in the tens of millions, can compete without taxpayer funding. You see: those are two distinct and non-conflicting sentences. But you know the drill. Distinctions are distracting. If you fail to support the Fair Pay Act, deep down you believe women are nothing but baby-making automatons. If you oppose nanny-state intrusions, you’re probably cool with fat kids and their diabetes… and so on.

For progressives, politics is not just a difference of opinion, but a great battle between decency and unfettered greed. So the conflation of choice and coercion is often aimed at your morality. You may claim to care about the underprivileged, but your votes say otherwise. To even suggest that a fiscally conservative outlook might be compatible with faith is hypocrisy.

Read the rest of this entry »


Is Scarlett Johansson Wrong to Dump Oxfam? Ask SodaStream’s Palestinian Workers

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Raheem Kassam reports:  While the likes of MSNBC’s Chris Hayes are criticizing actress Scarlett Johansson‘s decision to stand by SodaStream and Israel and ditch the politicking Oxfam, there is another group of people whose opinions on this issue should be heard: the Palestinians employed by SodaStream in the West Bank.

Earlier this month, Johansson and Oxfam came to blows over the actress’s appearance for and endorsement of SodaStream, a company which has factories in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

And while there are of course many Palestinians not employed by the company who oppose the West Bank factories, the resounding consensus from employees and their dependents seems to be one of excitement and gratitude towards the Israeli-owned firm. Over 500 Palestinians are able to earn three times as much as the average Palestinian worker—and even more than Israel’s own minimum wage.

Read the rest of this entry »


College Plays the Race Card, Literally, in Anti-Whiteness Play

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Robby Soave reports:  A public university hosted a theater productions in which actors lamented their whiteness, whined about “all white spaces” in American society and claimed that striving for colorblindness is tantamount to racism.

That university is the University of Oregon, which hosted an adaptation of “The Race Card Project,” last semester, according to Campus Reform.

The production is based off the work of former NPR host Michele Norris, who runs a website that encourages people to play their own personal race card by coining a six-word sentence about their experiences with race and posting it on her blog.

Read the rest of this entry »


Beware That College Brochure: Colleges Use Photoshop to Paint Faux Diversity

NPRA Campus More Colorful Than Reality: Beware That College Brochure:

wisconsin-uPaul Caron‘s TaxProf Blog turns up this, from NPR:  Diallo Shabazz was a student at the University of Wisconsin in 2000 when he stopped by the admissions office. “One of the admissions counselors walked up to me, and said, ‘Diallo, did you see yourself in the admissions booklet? Actually, you’re on the cover this year,’ ” Shabazz says.

The photo was a shot of students at a football game — but Shabazz had never been to a football game. “So I flipped back, and that’s when I saw my head cut off and kind of pasted onto the front cover of the admissions booklet,” he says.

This Photoshopped image went viral and became a classic example of how colleges miss the mark on diversity. Wisconsin stressed that it was just one person’s bad choice, but Shabazz sees it as part of a bigger problem.

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Top Ten Things That Are Almost As White As the Huffington Post’s Political Team

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10. Matchy-matchy group-themed seasonal sweaters

9. A vanilla milkshake infused with white chocolate and cocaine

8. People who are still watching Agents of SHIELD

7. Three quarters of Hall & Oates

6. People who really like Kanye West from that interview they heard on NPR

5. Joan Walsh’s entire dating history; also, the periodic bouts of milky smegma occurring over the course Joan Walsh’s dating history

4. People who watched that video of the guy faking Sign Language at Nelson Mandela’s funeral and became outraged at the racism this man must have faced in Africa to drive him to commit fraud

3. LL Bean’s new, ill-advised clothing line, the Kasual Khaki Kollection

2. The victim profile of the many children that Harry Reid has strangled

…and the number one thing almost as white as the HuffPo Politics staff…

1. TIE:

These guys

Ace of Spades HQ


Double Standards: NPR’s Low Approval Reporting on Obama vs. Bush

imagesDoug Powers reports: Virtually identical approval ratings in similar points in their presidencies don’t make for equal reporting, as NPR demonstrates.

Here’s NPR in October of 2005 with Bush at a 38 percent approval rating. Headline: “Poll: Bush’s Ratings Drop on Nearly All Fronts”:

President Bush’s approval ratings are in a steep decline, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center. The survey found that only 38 percent of Americans think the president is doing a good job, down from 50 percent in January. For the first time in his presidency, the numbers show most people think Bush will be judged as an unsuccessful president.

Fast forward the tape to this week. Gallup has President Obama at a 39 percent approval (NPR reports the number is “around 40 percent,” a rounding-up that they almost certainly wouldn’t have seen fit to give Bush). Here’s NPR’s headline: “Why Obama Shouldn’t Worry About His Lousy Poll Numbers”:

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Society is to Blame: When Liberalism Lost its Way, Dallas, 1963

kennedyThis item by George Will is notable because it bypasses the current political drama and looks into the history of 20th Century Liberalism with a wider lens, and sweeps into a moment in time that bears thoughtful reflection. It’s an event that continues to influence post 20th-Century liberal thought, in ways that we have to live with, like it or not, every day.

If you don’t read anything else this week, read this one.

I also found it timely because I found myself listening to news on NPR yesterday, something I only do when I’m in my car, and was shocked to be reminded of a strain of Liberal thought that’s always troubled me: the theory of ‘collective’ crime, or collective guilt. Collective repentance. Collective salvation. But until this NPR segment, I hadn’t connected it the contemporary grievance culture all the way back to 1963.

I learned, contrary to common sense and written history, that President Kennedy wasn’t killed by an assassin with a rifle. Turns out (according to NPR) he was killed by a “climate”.  Dallas did it.  Society murdered JFK. It was the ‘climate of hate” that permeated Dallas Texas, in 1963. Apparently, this ‘stew’ (as the NPR reporter called it) of “hyper-patriotism, anti-semitism, racism”, etc., that was simmering in Dallas, reached a boiling point. The invisible brain-waves of anti-Kennedy hatred moved through the air in Texas, affecting anyone in that climate-stew, and concentrated itself in Dealy plaza, until President Kennedy’s head exploded, spontaneously, just from the pressure of all that collective hatred.

There goes the single bullet theory.

Liberals really believe this, too. Not that JFK’s head exploded spontaneously. But that Dallas killed Kennedy. That the city was so full of hatred for the President, so full of bitterness and bad thoughts, that the concentrated hatred assembled itself in the person of one unhinged individual, Lee Harvey Oswald (leaving aside conspiracist’s claims of additional gunmen) who acted upon this pent-up rage. The unavoidable fate–the Kennedy-death wish–had to be unleashed, and realized.

So, shots were fired. Resulting in the ghastly murder of the President, executed on society’s behalf.  According to this narrative, the collective dark urge had to find expression. It was wound too tightly, had to be released. It wasn’t Owsald’s fault. It was Dallas’ fault. It was society’s fault. It was America’s fault.

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How potent was this Kennedy vitriol, in Dallas? Well, you can clearly see, in photos, and newsreels, all those people waving and smiling as the motorcade passes. The moms with their babies, the kids with American flags, the civilians, soldiers, policemen. The crowds with cameras, eager to glimpse the President. Don’t let their happy expressions fool you. Those smiles and waves? They were masking deep, murderous, collective hatred.

Update: Tim Graham at PA Pundits has a much more informed report on NPR’s original segment (of which I caught the tail end of, or the following day’s listener mail) and quotes sections of the NPR interview with author Bill Minutaglio, who peddles this “right wing hysteria” fantasy:

BLOCK: As we approach the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, a new book dives deep into the city where the murder took place. “Dallas, 1963″ explores the swirling forces of right wing fanaticism at work in the city during the three years leading up to JFK’s assassination. By this account, Dallas in the early ’60s was a stew of super-patriotism, fueled by anti-communist paranoia, fierce racism and anti-Semitism.

Reading Tim’s account, it appears that historians and authors on the Left not only still dust off and promote this toxic mythology, they’re doubling down on it. Or at least Bill Minutaglio is, in his new book. And, I’m sure, ties it to the Tea Party, casually and dishonestly mislabeling it as a racist, radical pro-white, ‘hate’ group. Identical to those “right wing fanatics” in Dallas who collectively killed Kennedy, dragging America with it. Good grief. Who is the paranoid one here?

Besides George Will, I hope other rational reviewers take Minutaglio’s book apart, and expose it for what it is. Paranoid Left Wing Fantasy. Reason-free, heartfelt, self-affirming propaganda. Other historians are sure to agree. It hits all the right notes, in harmony.

As Tim notes:

Among the book blurbs for Minutaglio is one of the liberal media’s favorite historians/hysterians, Douglas Brinkley:

“Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis’s DALLAS 1963 is a brilliantly written, haunting eulogy to John F. Kennedy. By exposing the hatred aimed at our 35th president, the authors demonstrates that America–not just Lee Harvey Oswald–was ultimately responsible for his death. Every page is an eye opener. Highly recommended!”

I really thought that by 2013 the “mass-Dallas-fanatic-hysteria” narrative would have withered under the bright light of contrary evidence. (as most of the other muddled assassination conspiracy theories inevitably have) It appears the narrative is even stronger than I realized, like a virus that’s mutating, adapting, poised to inform new generations of readers.

There’s so much to say about this. About the conflict between those who accept individual sovereignty, individual morality, individual responsibility, individual accountability, individual salvation, vs. those who believe in collective morality, group rights, group entitlements, tribalism, class-warfare, social justice debts, and collective guilt. The dreamlike romantic notion that we’re all part of an invisible web of interconnected thoughts and feelings, and the actions of an individual are really nothing more than a necessary expression of a larger unspoken wish. These are drastically different world views. And from this tainted collectivist narrative came the post-1960s Liberal grievance culture.  As George Will explores in the following article.

Make no mistake, I do believe that a climate of hatred can afflict a culture. And that a society that tolerates crime and violence, tends to breed more crime, invite more violence.  And that a system that enables corruption to flourish, reaps what it sews. And so forth. Yes, these things can have a corrosive effect on individuals in society.

UnknownBut the notion of collective guilt that emerged from this historic miscarriage signaled a complete change of direction for the post-war Liberal project. And the sour, scolding, reactionary tone of postmodern Liberalism can be traced back to the aftermath of the events in Dealy Plaza, and the Left’s efforts to reconcile them.

From this poisoned well sprang the liberal historians’ deranged lie that “right-wing fanaticism” killed America’s beloved President. Even Barry Goldwater was somehow implicated. Why? Because for the Left, the truth was too disturbing to confront. That Kennedy was murdered, not from the right, not from random invisible hate-brain-waves, not by shadowy, clandestine, fanatical forces, but from the left.

Stripped from all the mythology, the uncomfortable truth remains: A radicalized Marxist crackpot with a cheap Italian rifle, acting–almost certainly–in solitude, completely disinterested in the social “climate” in Dallas that day, shot JFK. For his own reasons. Not society’s.

–the Butcher

Next: George Will’s column:

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Reality Check: U.S. Has More Guns, Fewer Homicides than Russia

Putin, Bang Bang, guns good

I sneer at gun laws. I sneer at America. Bring me that zombie target! No, wait, bring me the Obama target. I hear a phone ringing. Do you hear a phone ringing? Where were we?

AWR Hawkins reports: In an effort to provide Obama with cover and respond to Russian Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Alexei Pushkov’s mocking of the Washington Navy Yard shooting, National Public Radio (NPR) dug up some facts about shootings and gun crime around the world and made a startling discovery–the U.S. has more guns than Russia but fewer homicides.

According to NPR, on the day of the Navy Yard shooting, Pushkov tweeted: “A new shootout at Navy Headquarters in Washington…A clear confirmation of American exceptionalism.”

In response, NPR wrote, “Pushkov sneers at U.S. gun laws, but how to do the stats look in Russia?”

There are fewer than 13 million firearms in circulation in Russia, compared with an estimated 300 million in the United States. That works out to about 9 guns per 100 people in Russia and close to 100 guns per 100 people in America.

[Yet] the most recent homicide statistics for Russia show there were 21,603 [murders in Russia] in 2009… [while] the United States  had 13,636 homicides in 2009 with a population that is more than twice as large.

Russia has the type of gun control law Democrats in the United States have being pushing since Columbine. Read the rest of this entry »


NPR Media Reporter Rips NPR Over South Dakota ‘Kidnapping’ Smear

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In the fall of 2011, National Public Radio (an entity subsidized by American tax dollars) aired a three-part series that accused the state government of South Dakota of kidnapping America Indian children in order to place them in foster care, all in an effort to win federal dollars. Last month, NPR’s ombudsman blistered the network for their phony story. Last weekend, NPR’s own media reporter, Bob Garfieldtook the network to task.

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