Dunno Much About Armory

Its no secret that mass media types don't have a clue about guns. But AP writer John Christoffersen displays a new kind of ignorance with this gem of an article. In an article about the Newtown shootings, after several mentions of "a safe with shotgun shells" Christoffersen writes:

A loaded 12-gauge shotgun was found in the glove compartment of the Honda Civic Lanza drove to the school with two magazines containing 70 rounds of Winchester 12-gauge shotgun rounds.
I've seen some pretty short shotguns in my time. But the minimum length barrel without NFA registration is 18 inches. If you pay the NFA tax, you can buy one of those Road Warrior style sawed off double barrels, but I doubt that even that would fit in the glove box of a Honda Civic. Christoffersen displays not only an ignorance of guns, but of Hondas.

UPDATE: It looks like several other AP writers have taken over and completely rewritten the article.

Monolithic Media

Here is an interesting comparison of the number of news stories about each event. One is 24/7 news, the other got almost no coverage at all outside of the local news.



And then there's this:

Obama's Bizarro Economy

When is bad news actually good news? When a democrat is in charge.

"Rise in Washington area unemployment seen as good sign for economy's recovery" -- Washington Post headline, March 11, 2010.

Unemployment rates rose in the District, Maryland and Virginia in January, a shift that economists said could be a positive sign for the economy because it suggests that discouraged job-seekers are feeling more optimistic about their prospects and have resumed looking for work.

The District's jobless rate increased to 12 percent in January from 11.9 percent the previous month, according to data released Wednesday by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Maybe if we're lucky, Washington D.C. unemployment will climb even higher this November.

And the award for best Obama ass-kiss goes to...

The Magazine Publishers of America, who as James Taranto notes, put Obama in an award category all by himself.

What media bias??

The Magazine Publishers of America's American Society of Magazine Editors has added a category to its annual magazine cover awards: Obama. This new category is the only ASME category focused on a single person, and highlights the reverential attitude for the President widely held in the magazine publishing community.


Whatever happened to CNN's Recession Watch?

CNN/Money, who at times solicits financial advice from Wall Street magnate Billy Joel, hasn't updated their Recession Watch page since 2008. I wonder what happened?

CNN in the tank for Obama II

CNN ignored Obama's gaffe about wanting to give asthmatic children a breathalyzer, but when McCain says he will "veto every beer", CNN sells t-shirts.

Ted Just Admit It

Over at CNN it's all negative, all the time. Top Story: iReporters struggle with rising food costs

Sidebar Stories:
Jetliner crashes in flames in Sudan
CNNMoney: Americans fear gas shortages
Candidates draw battle lines on economy
CNNMoney: Housing crisis hits 90210 'hoods
Consumer Tips: Are my tomatoes safe?
Man watches flood split open house
WRTV: Town braces as flood overtops levee
iReport.com: Flooded creek strands cows
Mars lander faces biggest challenge so far
Ticker: Obama team floats 20 names for VP
McCain flubs: 'I will veto every beer'
Victim or vixen? Views differ at R. Kelly trial
'Suicide is Painless' message on car baffles FBI
Airline loses kid on first flight alone
Alicia Keys: Let's not give up on Africa
Incest cellar girl wakes from coma
Sleeping at work -- more of us are doing it
Eastwood tells Spike Lee to 'shut his face'
300 bee stings send hiker tumbling down hill

Nothing's Shocking...

Ted Just Admit It

lyrics by Jane's Addiction

camera got them images
camera got them all
nothing's shocking...
showed me everybody
naked and disfigured
nothing's shocking...
and then he came
now sister's
not a virgin anymore
her sex is violent...

the t.v.'s got them images
t.v.'s got them all
it's not shocking!
every half an hour
someone's captured and
the cop moves them along...
it's just like the show before
the news is
just another show
with sex and violence...

sex is violent...
sex is violent...
sex is violent...
sex is violent...
sex is violent...
sex is violent...
sex is violent!

i am the killer of people
you look like a meatball
i'll throw away your toothpick
and ask for your giveness

because of this thing!
because of this thing!
because of this thing!

that's in me
is it not in you?
is it not your problem?

a baby to a mother..

you talk too much
to your scapegoat

that's what i say
he tells you everyone is stupid
that's what he thinks!

make a girl look cheap
like a tongue extended
a baby's to a mother

sex is violent!
sex is violent!
sex is violent!
sex is violent!

CNN must be hard up for money

They're selling shirts now??

(screenshot of my favorite)

CNN/Money: Despite good numbers, economy still sucks

CNN/Money, who sometimes relies on advice from financial magnates like Billy Joel, says that despite the perennially good employment figures, the economy still sucks.

CNN/Money claims that the employment figures don't mean anything and that the "underemployment rate" is rising (whatever that is). They even go so far as to tell us not to be fooled by any of the good economic figures we're hearing:

An unemployment rate at 5% used to be called full employment. Today it's considered the sign of a recession.

When the Labor Department gives its March employment report this Friday, it's important to keep in mind that the relatively low unemployment rate isn't telling the whole story about the weakness of the U.S. labor market.

The article didn't make their Recession Watch 2008 page, but they are talking down the economy so frequently there is only so much they can put on one page.

What media bias?

How many anti-gun cliches can CNN cram into a news story? Let's see, the guns are just deadly guns, they're "cop killer" guns. They're the "guns of choice" and can shoot through schools. What, no Wild West reference?

CNN: Smugglers' deadly cargo: Cop-killing guns

The article itself is filled with anti-gun propaganda.

ATF special agent Tom Mangan says the .50-caliber rifle has become one of the "guns of choice" for the drug cartels. The weapon fires palm-sized .50-caliber rounds that can cut through just about anything.

Mangan showed CNN the power of the rifle on a gun range near Phoenix, Arizona. The weapon, a Barrett, was seized in an ATF raid. A round fired from 100 yards away tore through a car door and both sides of a bulletproof vest like those used by Mexican police.

"There's nothing that's going to stop this round," Mangan says.

Okay, so big guns are bad. Check.
The guns confiscated included AK-47 rifles and dozens of Fabrique National pistols. The semiautomatic pistols fire a 5.7-by-28 millimeter round, which is technically a rifle round, according to the ATF. Newell says the round has a special nickname in Mexico. "It's called 'mata policias,' or 'cop killer,' " he says.
Okay, so little guns are bad too. Hmm, what does that leave?

For what it's worth, our AR-15 can penetrate a car door and both sides of a "bullet proof" vest too. And compared to the .50, it's got a bullet the size of a pea. And where do they get off claiming the 5.7x28 is technically a rifle round? Wasn't it specifically developed for the 5.7 handgun? Has anyone yet made a 5.7 varmint rifle? And why don't they point out that MAC-10s, TEC-9s, and Uzi's "technically" shoot a handgun round?

Such media bias and misunderstanding of basic firearms knowledge is not surprising. (I'm still trying to find that 25mm handgun.) We expect more of it as the Supreme Court ruling on the Second Amendment nears.

Guess the Political Party II

Another week, another sex scandal, and another unknown political party. But still no stories about a "culture of corruption".

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and an ex-aide were charged Monday with perjury and obstruction of justice after prosecutors said sexually explicit text messages between the two contradicted their sworn court testimony.

Kilpatrick defiantly declared his innocence just an hour after the charges were announced.

The article goes on for nearly 1000 words, but for some reason there is no mention of Kilpatrick's political party. That must mean he's not a Republican.

Related articles:
Guess the Political Party -- 03/10/2008

TV reporter punched, dragged

When I read the headline the first thing I thought of was Chris Rock's: "I'm not saying he should've done it, but I understand."

Watching the video I could only ask myself, why wasn't the reporter's cameraman helping her?? I don't care if your job is filming things, when you see a woman being attacked you don't just stand there and film it.

Guess the Political Party

CNN reports that New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was apparently caught up in a prostitution ring. I don't usually care about stories like this, but in skimming CNN's article I found it very difficult to figure out what political party Spitzer belonged too.

It wasn't mentioned in the headline, story summary, or even the first few paragraphs. That must mean that he's not a Republican. But if you manage to read the story all the way down to the second to the last paragraph (paragraph 21), you're finally told that Spitzer is a Democrat.

It's buried in the bio section:

Spitzer, 48, served as New York's attorney general for eight years before being elected governor.

Time magazine named him "Crusader of the Year" during his two terms as New York attorney general.

Tabloids labeled him "Eliot Ness," after the hero in the crime drama "The Untouchables," because of his reputation for rooting out corruption, busting white-collar criminals and tackling organized crime.

He was also known for prosecuting several prostitution rings.

He also worked as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan and worked for three New York law firms after receiving his law degree from Harvard.

The first-term Democrat had been considered a rising star among his party.

Spitzer is married and has three daughters.

What Media Bias


CNN Headline: "Authors: U.S. economy could fall casualty to wars"

I'll stop believing the media is biased when I read headlines about the rising cost of social programs and about how entitlements are wrecking our economy.

Nobody messes with Texas

Most Americans know that if you trespass on private property, you are risking life and limb. But leave it to the European press to turn their trespassing crime into a "gun incident".

Danish journalist Terkel Svensson was assigned to cover Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen's trip to Crawford, Texas. As he blabbed away on his cell phone, he wandered onto private property and scared the bejesus out of an old woman.

"I was just so occupied dictating my story that I didn't really see where I went," Svensson told me later. "I was just walking and talking."

What Svensson didn't realize was that he had stopped walking a couple hundred feet away, on the front lawn of an elderly woman. An elderly woman who looked through her window and didn't like that a strange man was standing outside her house. An elderly woman who had, um, a gun.


"I will show the photos to my wife and children," Svensson told me. "They thought I was on a safe trip."

You were on a safe trip, until you broke the law by invading someone else's property.

SayUncle notes that the Tennessean falls prey to Ravenwood's Law:

Even worse, some have proposed allowing more guns on campuses, under the Wild West rationale that if every student and teacher is armed, they can defend themselves against a lone, irrational shooter.

CNN's Recession Watch

CNN/Money, who sometimes relies on advice from financial magnates like Billy Joel, continues to beat the "recession" drums. (No kidding. They actually have a section of their website called Recession Watch 2008.)

Because of all the bad news, more and more economists foresee the country falling into a recession, according to the latest survey by the National Association for Business Economics.
CNN/Money says that a recession is "likely", but if you actually read the article, you find out that most economists don't think we are headed for a recession.
The group said in a report being released Monday that 45% of the economists on its forecasting panel expect a recession this year. In September, only one in four economists was pessimistic enough to put the chance of a recession at 35% or higher.
So how does 45% become "likely"? And if you look even further, you'll find that they are redefining recession.
The survey shows that 55% still believe the country will be able to skate by without falling into an actual downturn, typically defined as two consecutive quarters of declines in the gross domestic output...

The forecasters believe GDP will expand by 1.8% this year, which would be the weakest growth in five years.

So the economy is actually expected to grow, not recede. But that doesn't fit the media template, nor does it fit the CNN/Money Headline: "Recession more likely this year...".

These people, who would ask you to subscribe to Money or Fortune magazine, appear to actually be rooting for a recession. How can anyone take these clowns seriously?

How's This For Stereotyping?

CNN notes that black women only have two choices:


Analysts say black women never have held such power in determining the Democratic nominee for president. Black women are expected to make up more than a third of all Democratic voters in South Carolina's primary in five days. These women face a unique dilemma: Should they vote their race, or should they vote their gender?
Notice that voting the issues doesn't even come up. And they think conservatives are bigots?

UPDATE: Apparently a lot of angry readers gave CNN a piece of their mind. There were lots of good comments, but my favorite reader response was Michael:

"Since Edwards no longer officially exists, as a white male I face the same choice - either I vote my race (Clinton) or my gender (Obama). Or I could just pick the candidate based on who I think would be best," wrote Michael.

...Or are you happy to see me

A Virginia man charged with carrying a 9mm Glock 17 to BWI Airport (in Maryland) was sentenced to 6 months unsupervised probation. They don't give any more details, other than that the guy was extra dangerous because he managed to cram 48 rounds into his pistol:

Charging documents say Sackie was walking with his daughter near the D Pier at BWI Marshall Airport when a Transportation Security Administration officer noticed "a bulge on his hip that would indicate a firearm." The weapon was loaded with three magazines, each containing 16 rounds.

Is the media raising the profile of shootings?

The media has been reporting a lot of shootings lately which makes me wonder: Are shootings on the rise, or is the reporting of shootings on the rise now that the Supreme Court has decided to hear a landmark Second Amendment case?

I bet they're all from Virginia

SayUncle reports on some misinformation coming out of the ATF courtesy of the Washington Post:

But law enforcement officers on both sides of the border have never seen anything like the flood of guns now surging into Mexico. The increase has been stoked by the cartel war and by the ease of buying high-powered weapons since the U.S. assault weapons ban was not renewed in 2004, William Newell, a special agent in charge of the ATF's Phoenix office, said in an interview.
So apparently the surge of illegals coming in from Mexico are buying semi-automatic high powered machine guns and heading back down to Mexico.

I thought these were evil assault weapons?

From CNN:

An off-duty sheriff's deputy used a police-style AR-15 rifle to kill six people at an early morning party in a small Wisconsin town, officials said Monday.

Media Objectivity

Former Democrat speechwriter Chris Matthews is going out of his way to show people he's a complete perv. Media Mutters reports on his latest leering at Laura Ingraham:

Matthews opened the interview with Ingraham by saying, "You are -- I'm not allowed to say this, but I'll say it -- you're beautiful and you're smart. And you've got a huge radio audience." When the interview ended, he asked: "Can I sing your praises?" adding, "I get in trouble for this, but you're great looking, obviously. You're one of the gods' gifts to men in this country. But also, you are a hell of a writer."
Last month Matthews exhibited his creepy side by asking the comely Erin Burnett to move closer to the camera so that he could get a better look at her.
MATTHEWS: Could you get a little closer to the camera?

BURNETT: My -- what is it? Is it zooming in strangely?

MATTHEWS: Come on in closer. No, come in -- come in further -- come in closer. Really close.

BURNETT: What are you -- what are you doing?

MATTHEWS: Just kidding! You look great! Anyway, thanks. Erin, it's great to -- look at that look. You're great.

BURNETT: I don't even know. I'm going to have to go look at the tape here. I'm in a strange location.

MATTHEWS: No, you're beautiful. I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. You're a knockout. Anyway, thank you, Erin Burnett.

You have to see the video to believe it.

Great Moments in Copyright Infringement

Chris Knight posted some of his original content to You Tube. VH1 grabs his content and features it on their show "Web Junk 2.0", without his permission. Knight captures the VH1 segment and posts it to You Tube, who promptly deletes it after getting a cease and desist request from parent company Viacom. Viacom claims that Knight is violating their copyright by using their feature which violated his copyright.

Via Slashdot.

Every silver cloud has a dark lining

CNN Money, who relies on advice from financial magnates such as Billy Joel, continues their "glass half empty" style of reporting:

"Household incomes rise but ..." -- CNN/Money Headline, August 28, 2007

I do not think it means what you think it means

The Washington Post redefines humanity:

Actions the NFL quarterback agreed to plead guilty to are crimes against humanity.
This also sounds a bit defensive.

Well that's a relief

Eleven people were hurt during production of the latest Tom Cruise movie. But not to worry:

"We have no findings to suggest anyone famous was involved in the accident," said a police spokesman, adding he did not know whether it would affect the shoot this week.
Whew. For a minute there I thought it was serious.

What media bias?

"Dogs kill man at 'Pulp Fiction' actor's home" -- Headline, CNN, August 04, 2007.

When someone is killed by a pit bull, the headlines read "Pit Bull Kills Man". Any other dog and it just says "dog". (These were bull mastiffs.)

Newspapers accuse Google of stealing content

Anybody who runs a blog knows that spam is a big problem. Spammers use commenting and trackback links to increase their Google page rank and drive traffic to their site. And they must profit from it, or they wouldn't try so hard to increase their visibility on Google.

One can only wonder then what makes newspapers think they can charge Google to index their content.

"If all of the newspapers in America did not allow Google to steal their content, how profitable would Google be?" Sam Zell, the new owner of the Tribune Company, asked reporters during a speech at Stanford University last month...

Zell didn't wait for the reporters to reply... "Not very," he said...

"Newspapers are trying to find their way to understanding and addressing the value of linking," said Aly Colon, an instructor at The Poynter Institute, a school for journalists. "The search engines are supposed to be sending traffic to newspapers. But on the other hand (journalism) is hard work...There is going to be some sort of attempt by newspapers to figure out how they can be fully compensated for their work."

There is little doubt that journalists think their profession doesn't need to show a profit. But media owners used to realize that their business model hinges on selling ads targeted at their readers. And the more readers you have the more you can charge for ads.

For some reason, now they think they're in the business of selling content.

It's the economy stupid

I never take CNN/Money articles too seriously. More often than not their writers are regurgitating liberal talking points rather than providing real-world economic analysis. After all, this is the same media outlet that turned to financial magnate Billy Joel for his opinion on investing.

So it's no surprise that in an article entitled 6 ways to lower gas prices, five of the suggestions they make would actually increase gas prices.

1. Pass a carbon tax - Economists say the most efficient way to reduce demand for any product is to make it more expensive. In short, a carbon tax. For gasoline, let's say an additional $1 or $2 a gallon.

Now this might not bring prices down at the pump. But it would most likely reduce demand, thus lowering wholesale prices and the profits currently reaped by oil companies and their shareholders. The tax revenue, presumably, would be returned to the public for its own benefit, perhaps in the form of better mass transit, cheaper health insurance or a gasoline tax credit for lower income people.

So the #1 way to lower gas prices is to raise them. Then use the extra money to fund liberal social programs. Way to blow your credibility right off the bat. But wait, there's more:
2. Increase efficiency
What could be easier and cheaper than legislating the invention of a car that gets 80 miles to the gallon? While you're at it, pass a law that says the Arabs and the Jews have to get along. That would ease Middle East tensions and lower the price of crude.
3. Push alternatives
The alternatives are more expensive, else they would push themselves.
4. Require oil companies to make more gas...
"I don't think they're meeting somewhere and saying 'oh, let's get the price up another 7 cents this weekend,'" said Judy Dugan, research director at the Center of Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. "But they know very well they can make more money by making less gasoline."

Arguing gasoline is a commodity essential for the public well being, Dugan said the government should require refiners to operate at a certain capacity or, if need be, build more refineries.

Economics don't work that way. If they could produce more, they would. Even at a lower price they would still make more money through increased volume. That's the Wal-Mart business model. But requiring "big oil" to build more refineries (with a 15 year lead time and a cost of billions of dollars) will only result in higher short-term gas prices.
5. Build a gasoline reserve
This might help smooth out price jumps in the wake of natural disasters like Katrinarita, but get real. Filling up a reserve would put immediate short term pressure on prices at the pump. You wanna see $4 gas, try buying 700 million gallons to put away for a rainy day.
6. Drill more oil
Finally! Increasing drilling and refining capacity should have been number 1. And missing from the list is reducing our dependence on foreign oil, axing the summer blends, and eliminating regional gas price controls.

But then, I went over all this two years ago.

All bad news, all the time

When it comes to war news, this is what passes for reporting.

The U.S. military reported 11 soldiers died in Iraq on Sunday -- all but one in combat -- bringing to 24 the number of American service members who have died in Iraq in the first week of May.

...six U.S. soldiers and a journalist were killed in a roadside bombing...

Two soldiers also were injured in that attack...

Also Sunday, two U.S. soldiers with Multi-National Division Baghdad were killed in separate bombings and two others were wounded. . .in Samarra, just north of Baghdad, two died in a suicide car bombing.

A Task Force Lightning soldier died Sunday in a noncombat incident...

A British soldier also died Sunday from wounds suffered in southern Iraq when a roadside bomb exploded...

Insurgents wreaked more havoc Sunday by killing at least 45 other people and wounding dozens more in multiple bomb attacks...

...a bomb in a parked car exploded, killing 33 people and wounding 74 others...

One police officer was killed and three others were wounded...

Earlier in the day, the two U.S. soldiers, along with 12 Iraqi police officers, were killed and 11 others were wounded...

...at least five people were killed and 10 others were wounded in the blast from an explosives-rigged car...

Not one mention of how many terrorists have been killed. But then there never is. The drive-by media only gives body counts for coalition troops. They couldn't care less how many of the enemy are killed.

Bad Financial News?

CNNMoney: Unemployment makes unexpected dip

Slow News Day

George Clooney gives a kid $20 and suddenly it's national news.

Politics and Road Rage

Roanoke Times editorialist Christian Trejbal, who recently compared concealed handgun permit holders to sex offenders, proves he's just a transplanted liberal who hates living in the very much "red-state" Southwest Virginia. This week his beef is with Virginian's sense of individuality.

I will admit that Virginia has more vanity plates than any other state I've seen. They are fairly cheap, easy to get, and provide a good source of revenue for the state. However in his latest editorial Trejbal admits he's not pro-choice. In fact, when someone has a license plate or bumper sticker he disagrees with he apparently begins driving like an asshole.

When I see a car plastered with stickers promoting candidates or views with which I disagree, I treat them just like the gas-guzzling, road-hogging sport utility vehicles I find equally morally bankrupt: I don't yield to them.

When someone throws on a turn signal indicating he wants to break into traffic, in most circumstances there is no obligation to give way. If a vehicle sports one of those ironically misguided fish-eating-the-fish-with-feet, forget it. If it has the "Coexist" sticker with all those different religious symbols for letters, well, then I'll make some room.

I assume people of all political persuasions follow similar driving maxims, even if subconsciously. One of the reasons to wear politics and religion on the sleeve -- or in this case the bumper -- is to evoke a reaction. Perhaps if enough motorists refused to yield to SUVs, their owners might reconsider their automotive choice.

How elitist can one guy be? Notice that in typical liberal fashion he projects his own shortcomings onto others, assuming everyone else is as pathetic as he is.

Personally, I yield to Democrats and Republicans alike. If someone has their turn signal on, I yield to them. If they don't, I don't. Traffic is bad enough without liberal assholes making our streets more dangerous.

Isn't it ironic that Trejbal supports the premise of those annoying "coexist" bumper stickers, when he himself refuses to yield to those with conflicting viewpoints.

Bullying other drivers to make a political point is not only petty, it's dangerous and stupid. Maybe Trejbal's insurance company should speak to him about that.

Viacom having it both ways

Mega-media conglomerate Viacom is suing Youtube for $1 Billion for copyright infringement.

By the time Viacom filed its $1 billion lawsuit, BayTSP had amassed more than 160,000 unauthorized videos, snippets from "South Park," "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," "SpongeBob SquarePants" and other popular shows owned by MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and other Viacom networks. YouTube says it took all those videos down.
It's hard to feel sorry for Viacom, considering this:
On Comedy Central's Web site, users watching a video like this episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart can click a button that renders code they can simply copy and paste to embed the video on a MySpace.com page or other Web site.

Roanoke Times: CHP Holders = Sex Offenders

Christian Trejbal, editorial writer for the Roanoke Times who has an unlisted address, has decided to publish the entire list of Virginians with a Concealed Handgun Permit. He justifies the decision by comparing people who have voluntarily gone through training, fingerprinting, and a background check, to registered sex offenders.

A state that eagerly puts sex offender data online complete with an interactive map could easily do the same with gun permits...
Through a FOIA request, he obtained the master list from the State Police and published it online.
As a Sunshine Week gift, The Roanoke Times has placed the entire database, mistakes and all, online at www.roanoke.com/gunpermits. You can search to find out if neighbors, carpool partners, elected officials or anyone else has permission to carry a gun.
He assumes that people would not want to carpool or live next door to someone who has voluntarily gone through training, fingerprinting, and a background check. They're so blinded by their liberal worldview they couldn't even conceive of not wanting to live next door to someone who couldn't get a Concealed Handgun Permit.

But then to the liberal media, anyone who carries a handgun is someone to be feared.

Local celebrities generally don't carry, but at least a half dozen elected officials do. I'll leave it to readers to figure out which ones so you can avoid annoying them at meetings.
I tried checking the list, but it appears to have been taken offline. Either their web server is getting hammered, or they got cold feet.

UPDATE: Per the Roanoke Times comment section:

Christian J Trejbal
675 School Lane
Christiansburg, VA 24073

Not sure if it's accurate or not. Whitepages has him listed on Westside Blvd in Roanoke.

CNN: Best known for media bias

sharpton-thurman.jpgI always thought that the late Sen. Strom Thurmond was best known for making it to 100 years old while a sitting Senator and for being the oldest and longest serving senator ever (at the time).

But according to CNN he was best known for the political platform of his failed 1948 Presidential run.

Genealogists say Rev. Al Sharpton's great-grandfather was a slave owned by the family of late Sen. Strom Thurmond, best known for advocating segregation.
What's more it seems like bad grammar.

Picking Nits

This from the latest global warming scare story:

A giant ice shelf the size of 11,000 football fields has snapped free from Canada's Arctic, scientists said.
Since when did football fields become a unit of measure like feet or yards? Usually when you talk about something being as big as a football field, you do it so the reader can visualize the size comparison. But who can really visualize 11,000 football fields, as opposed to 5,000 football fields. Would they say 20,000 football fields for an ice sheet twice the size of this one? And are the football fields end-to-end or just clumped together?

A better literary analogy would be "an ice shelf the size of Manhattan" or "the size of Rhode Island" or however big it is.

WaPo to GOP: You have no chance to survive, make your time

The Washington Post is really shilling for the Democrats. They don't even pretend anymore. In an article entitled "Scandals Alone Could Cost Republicans Their House Majority" that runs on the front page, the Post spends the first 13 paragraphs detailing GOP scandals that it thinks will be major issues on Tuesday. Their anticipation of a Republican defeat has them giddy with excitement:

Indictments, investigations and allegations of wrongdoing have helped put at least 15 Republican House seats in jeopardy, enough to swing control to the Democrats on Tuesday even before the larger issues of war, economic unease and President Bush are invoked.
While the bulk of the text is devoted to providing examples of GOP corruption, they do offer up two paragraphs (at the end of the article) in a half-assed attempt to sound fair and balanced.
House Democrats have had to deal with investigations of their own, involving Reps. William J. Jefferson (La.), Alan B. Mollohan (W.Va.) and Jane Harman (Calif.), but none of those cases have put Democratic seats in jeopardy.

In the Senate, a federal inquiry into Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and his ties to a nonprofit community agency that paid him more than $300,000 in rent while receiving millions of dollars in federal assistance has provided his Republican challenger with a strong issue and has kept that race close. But the seat of Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) may be in even more jeopardy, primarily because of Burns's ties to Abramoff.

So the GOP's "culture of corruption" is a major issue among voters. But voters don't care about Democrat scandals that the drive-by media conveniently sweeps under the rug.

The Washington Post mentions three "investigations" of little known House Democrats. But they've conveniently forgotten about Patrick Kennedy's DUI scandal, Nancy Pelosi's illegal PAC dealings, "Baghdad" Jim McDermott's illegal wiretaps (for which the Washington Post actively petitioned the court in favor of the defense), Baghdad Jim McDermott's oil-for-food connection, and Barney Frank's solicitation of a male prostitute, just to name a few. And don't forget the lack of major media coverage of Senator Harry Reid's questionable Nevada land deals.

The sad fact is that you pretty much can't throw a stick on either side of the political aisle without hitting some self-enriching political hack. But in the Post's eyes, the Democrats can do no wrong.

Media to Republicans: Stay home on election day

Is it just me or is the media pulling out all the stops to make sure that Republicans know they cannot win on election day? The Washington Post is reporting that independent voters favor Democrats 2 to 1. Before that it was record low primary turnout that would hurt the GOP. Not to mention Kurt Weldon, Mark Foley, and Tom Delay.

Well, apparently I'm not the only one who thinks the media is sending a clear message to voters. James Taranto thinks a conspiracy is afoot.

This is an unusual election in that the media have not even waited for the polls to open before declaring the results. Indeed, the Associated Press was forecasting a Democratic "landslide" as early as May. And since we all know that everything in the papers is true, if the Republicans end up winning, or at least holding their majorities, it can only mean that Karl Rove stole the election.
Whether it's prescient or obvious, Taranto is right. If the Democrats lose you can expect to hear all sorts of wacky nut-job conspiracy theories. In fact the liberal kooks are already blaming the rigged diebold machines. These are the same morons that, in 2004, thought exit polls were more accurate than counting the actual votes. Since the exit polls predicted a Kerry landslide, the actual vote tallies must be wrong.

Conspiracy theories aside, I think a theory Taranto put forth following the 2004 election is even more profound. He basically said that by painting such a rosy picture for Democrats, the media is actually harming their electoral efforts. He re-iterated it back in May:

Our theory about the mainstream media is that they are generally biased in favor of liberals and Democrats, but this ends up helping conservatives and Republicans by breeding complacency on the Democratic side.
So in trying to demoralize Republicans and get them stay home on election day, the media may actually be encouraging Democrats to find better things to do two weeks from Tuesday. If they've already won, why bother voting?

HP faulted for using sleazy tactics of ''Big Media''

It's amazing how the shit hits the fan when a computer company enlists private investigators to spy on the media. These tactics are no worse than what the New York Times, Washington Post, or other big media outlets have done in the past.

Documents have shown that investigators working for HP intruded into the personal lives of seven HP directors, two employees, nine reporters and family members of the targeted individuals. In addition to impersonating those targeted to procure phone records, they also spied on an HP director and his wife, sifted through their garbage, and concocted an e-mail sting to dupe reporter Dawn Kawamoto of CNet Networks Inc.'s technology news site.
When reporters do this its called a "scoop", and they hide behind the First Amendment. They talk about journalistic integrity and the public's "right to know".

But in trying to protect trade secrets by daring to investigate leaks to the media, the HP scandal has "brought federal and state criminal probes, and claimed the company's chairwoman, two directors and two high-level employees".

Just once I'd like to see federal and state criminal probes into say.. publishing national security secrets on the front page of the New York Times.

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Policy Differences

You gotta love how the Reuters "news agency" glosses over the abuses of Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe:

Foreign currency shortages in Zimbabwe have worsened after a fall-out with international donors over policy differences, such as the seizure of white-owned farms for blacks.
According to the Reuters, rape, murder, and pillaging are just "policy differences".

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Fuzzy Math

This may be getting nitpicky, but something seems wrong with this CNN report about the Predator drone:

Predators are not fast, cruising about 80 miles an hour. The rear-mounted propeller seems small for the size of the craft -- what amounts to little more than a snowmobile engine strapped to a glider. It can fly for 20 hours at a time with a range of 450 miles on 100 gallons of fuel.

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Media Stupidity

As if you need more evidence that the media are technologically ignorant, they're buying into the claim of a car that runs on water. (CNN video)

Burning hydrogen for fuel is nothing new. In high school chemistry this was called electrolysis of water. The major difference is that they claim to be able to produce hydrogen on demand and thus eliminate the danger of having to store it in large quantities.

While it may work for welding, the problem with this scenario is that you need huge amounts of electricity to produce enough hydrogen to power a motor vehicle. In carrying around all those batteries, you might as well drive an electric car and cut electrolysis out completely. And since it's impossible to get as much energy out as you put into it, you're still losing energy.

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NBC tries to incite violence at NASCAR race

NBC's Dateline, made famous for strapping explosives to a Chevy pickup to prove that it was dangerous, was caught trying to incite violence at a NASCAR race by planting Muslims in the crowd.

Dateline just assumed that a bunch of gap-toothed, Budweiser-drinking hillbillies would start a riot if some Muslims showed up. Of course, they were disappointed when that didn't happen.

What's even more shocking, is that NBC is a NASCAR broadcast partner. Maybe NASCAR should re-examine their contract.

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Chasing Dennis Hassert

This Washington Post "news" article takes aim at Speaker of the House Dennis Hassert, R-IL. It also takes on a Goebbelesque tone by trying to hammer home the perception that all scandal in Washington is Republican.

With his affable demeanor and his open-door policy, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert remains unchallenged in the most powerful post in Congress, even as a growing corruption scandal roils the Republican leadership and more Congress-watchers say the speaker bears some responsibility for the troubles that have developed on his watch.

As details emerged about unsavory dealings between lobbyists and lawmakers -- including his top lieutenant, Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) -- the House speaker stood on the sidelines. As DeLay's legal peril mounted, Hastert backed him at every turn, attempting to change House rules to allow an indicted leader to stay in power and even altering the leadership of the ethics committee, which had been exposing misconduct by the majority leader.

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And Madonna took a crap this morning

Even those who don't hate celebrity news should wonder why this is newsworthy:

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From the gun experts at the BBC

not-an-ak47.jpgThe BBC laments the horrors of the everyone's favorite commie gun, the venerable AK-47. It's typical scare propaganda that you'd expect to read at a bastion of liberalism like the BBC. I've seen some ugly AK-47 clones, but that photo and caption is too funny.

All this week, BBC World Service's The World Today programme is looking at the stories behind one of the world's most iconic weapons, the AK-47, and talking to the people who trade in it, the people who carry it, and the people whose lives have been destroyed by it...

The most popular, and perhaps the most iconic, of all these weapons is the AK-47 assault rifle. Its distinctive shape and widespread use made it an icon of violence in the 20th Century.

Not only is that kid not carrying an AK-47 (it looks more like a Thompson), but it even lacks scary "assault weapon" features like bayonet lugs and a flash hider. And that magazine is clearly not detachable.

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The AP Lied!!!

Say Uncle is reporting that the Ass. Press has resorted to unethical journalistic methods in doing a .50 Caliber hit piece. I'm shocked, I say, shocked!

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The bell tolls for thee

Am I the only one wondering just why the news media is waiting with baited breath for the 1000th execution since 1976? One thousand is no more special than 999. It is a morbid countdown that reminds me of how they've been treating soldier deaths in Iraq.

Being a proponent of the death penalty, others would no doubt consider me heartless and cruel. But I still think 1,000 is a little low for nearly 30 years. We used to hang horse thieves, and now you can't hang anyone at all. Whats more there are only a few capital crimes left, like treason or capital murder. And even murder requires pre-meditation before it's considered a death penalty offense.

To those who are against capital punishment, I say we'll stop putting criminals and thugs to death when they stop preying on the innocent. Until that happens, let 'em swing.

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