December 31, 2012

NYT Op-ed: ‘Let’s Give Up on the Constitution’

Well, at least we know one of the New Year’s resolutions on a certain radical professor’s list. That resolution, undermining the Constitution whenver and wherever possible to serve the “progressive” agenda, has been on the list of the paper for which this professor wrote for quite a while.

On Sunday, in a New York Times op-ed (“Let’s Give Up on the Constitution”) which appeared in today’s print edition, Louis Michael Seidman, a professor of constitutional law (seriously) at Georgetown University, and the author of the forthcoming book “On Constitutional Disobedience” (given the conduct of the Obama administration, it’s hard to understand why such a book is even neceeary is a mystery), wrote that “our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.” Here’s more of what we will likely see from other quarters in the new year:

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Searching for Christmas 2012: To a Record Extent, the Press Said It Was the ‘Holiday Shopping Season’

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 5:21 pm

This is the eighth year I have done shopping and layoff-related searches on how often the words “Christmas” and “holiday” are used.

As has been the case since the enterprise began in 2005, news reports are far more likely to refer to the commercial time frame between Thanksgiving and Christmas as the “holiday shopping season.” Meanwhile, compared to shopping references, news reports are several times more likely to refer to Christmas in connection with layoffs. This years raw results — originally gathered here, here, and here at my home blog, along with comparisons to previous years — follow the jump:

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AP Plays Guilt by Association (With Bain!), Gives Sotomayor a Pass in Covering Federal Judge’s Contraception Mandate TRO

An unbylined Associated Press story at 1:34 p.m. (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) disgracefully covered a federal ruling which delivered a defeat (for now) against the enforcement of ObamaCare’s contraception mandate.

Unlike the Hobby Lobby situation (covered earlier today at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), where the dispute is over certain portions of the contraception mandate requiring employers to cover abortifacient drugs and devices, the ruling in the case of Thomas Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s Pizza who is now has a property management business, involves the entire contraception mandate. Monaghan nevertheless was able to get a temporary restraining order (TRO). The full five-paragraph AP report is after the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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No, AP and Politico, It Isn’t About ‘What Hobby Lobby Says,’ It’s About What Is Actually True

One of the establishment press’s favorite tactics to diminish the perceived strength of a position taken by people or companies they are inclined not to favor is to take objectively true facts and statements and reduce them to things only those people or companies “say” or “believe.”

Hobby Lobby’s court battle against the ObamaCare mandates is a perfect case in point, with both the Politico and Associated Press providing recent related examples of this fundamentally dishonest tactic. In the December 26 item at the Politico, Jennifer Haberkorn and Kathryn Smith also falsely framed the situation as an argument over “contraception” (more on that in a bit; bolds are mine throughout this post). But first, let’s look at how the pair employed the “they say” tactic:

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Gun Grabbers Gone Wild

Filed under: 2nd Amendment,Activism — Tom @ 8:10 am

This column went up at FrontPageMag.com earlier this morning.

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The left’s gun grabbers believe that the Newtown massacre gives them a ghoulish yet golden opportunity to permanently undermine citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

Exhibit A is California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s promise to introduce a bill which will supposedly stop “the spread of deadly assault weapons.” Her bill would go far beyond the so-called “assault weapons ban” passed in 1994, but which Congress refused to reauthorize in 2004.

Feistein’s proposal, among many other things:

  • “Bans large-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.”
  • “Requires that grandfathered weapons be registered.”

The only way Feinstein can accomplish the first of her two listed goals is to confiscate all such “devices” that already exist. This would be a massive, ugly — and logistically impossible — enterprise. At the Washington Post, reporter Brad Plumer wrote in mid-December that in 1994, there were “roughly 1.5 million assault weapons and more than 24 million high-capacity magazines in private hands.” Putting aside the fact that every weapon used to commit a crime against a person, including items which aren’t guns, is by any normal definition an “assault weapon,” there are surely more of the weapons and magazines Feinstein wants to see seized now than there were 18 years ago.

What’s more, their number is growing. Law-abiding citizens are responding to gun grabbers’ aggressiveness by buying any and every weapon they can, while they still can. The Associated Press reports: “The prospect of a possible weapons ban has sent gun enthusiasts into a panic and sparked a frenzy of buying at stores and gun dealers nationwide.” I would characterize what the AP describes as a “frenzy of buying”  as “a wave of common sense.”

Feinstein justifies her far-reaching ban largely on a Justice Department study claiming that “the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban was responsible for a 6.7 percent decrease in total gun murders, holding all other factors equal.”

Nice try, DiFi. Plumer, who clearly leans left, cites a University of Pennsylvania which concluded, in his words, that “While gun violence did fall in the 1990s, this was likely due to other factors.” One of the more important “other factors” was the passage of concealed carry laws in many states during that period, and the growing interest in personal self-defense those laws helped to generate.

The word “grandfathered” in the senator’s second listed objective above would require the registration of all guns not otherwise outlawed. In other countries, this has historically been the opening round of governments’ efforts to confiscate guns, make their possession by ordinary citizens illegal, and subdue their populations while moving, sometimes glacially but often quickly, towards tyranny.

Blogger Doug Ross has summarized the impact of Feinstein’s registration provision quite well:

… once a gun is required to be registered, it is virtually confiscated. The government will know who possesses which firearms and where those arms are stored. And when they desire physical possession of those weapons (which history tells us is inevitable), they can then order the citizenry to voluntarily turn in their weapons.

This has happened over and over again throughout all of recorded history.

Tyrants and tyrant wannabes know that gun confiscation enables them to more quickly subjugate their society’s otherwise resistant elements, enabling them to consolidate their power more quickly and ruthlessly.

On December 20, as if to prove Ross’s point, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in an Albany radio station interview, discussed his plans, as described at the New York Times, to “propose a package of gun legislation in his State of the State address on Jan. 9.” Cuomo’s specific ideas: “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it.” Not wishing to unduly alarm the Empire State’s populace, the Times dutifully buried the story on Page A29.

On the Friday before Christmas, the Journal News, a White Plains, New York-based newspaper owned by Gannett, helped make Mr. Cuomo’s ideas more easily achievable by publishing an interactive map showing the names and physical addresses of all pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland Counties. It obtained this information as a result of Freedom of Information Act requests.

The agenda behind the map is obvious in the paper’s ominous headline: “Where are the gun permits in your neighborhood?” — as if residents should be presumptively afraid of anyone who has the nerve to own a gun in the same way they should be concerned about convicted sex offenders in their neighborhood. In response, a New York State Senator has proposed making this information off-limits to all except those with a need to know in law enforcement — something which is obviously long overdue.

While the Journal News apparently hopes that other citizens will treat permit holders as pariahs, the following results are far more likely:

  • Criminals will use the map in one or both of two ways — either to target homes from which to steal weapons, or to target homes without permits for home invasions and away-from-home assaults on those who don’t have permits. I believe we’ll see more of the latter than the former; criminals prefer soft, non-relatively defenseless targets.
  • As a reader at Instapundit pointed out, “women who have gun permits due to stalkers and abusive spouses now that the paper has revealed their new addresses” will either have to relocate or live in constant fear for their and their children’s safety — just in time for Christmas.
  • Ex-cons with vengeance on their minds will now be able to find otherwise unlisted or hard to find addresses of law enforcement officers who arrested them, prosecutors who convicted them, and judges who sentenced them.

President Barack Obama, whose involvement with legally manipulative efforts to undermine the Second Amendment is an inarguable matter of historical fact, has, according to AP, “pledged to put his ‘full weight’ behind legislation aimed at preventing gun violence.” Senator Feinstein’s proposed legislation won’t accomplish that aim, but that’s not her or Obama’s point. Ultimately, it’s about control.

Law-abiding, freedom-loving Americans must strenously oppose any such efforts to water down their Second Amendment freedoms.

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (123112)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Positivity: Vietnamese fishermen rescue American man after 8 days of drifting at sea on disabled yacht

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Hanoi:

Updated: Monday, December 24, 4:23 AM

HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnamese fishermen have rescued an American man who had been drifting at sea for eight days on a disabled yacht.

Coastguard official Vo Hoang Liet from southern Soc Trang province said Monday that Kenneth Putney of Melbourne, Florida, was in good condition after being rescued Thursday.

Liet says Putney, 54, told Vietnamese authorities that he and three others were towing a yacht from the Philippines to Thailand when the towing rope broke on Dec. 15.

He says Putney jumped onto the yacht because he feared it would be lost. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Politico’s Framing of Jackson’s Resignation from EPA: ‘After Four Years of Battling Republicans and Industry’

In their December 27 story about Lisa Jackson’s resignation from atop her perch at the Environmental Protection Agency, Darren Samuelsohn and Erica Martinson at the Politico wanted readers to believe that occurred after “after four years of battling Republicans and industry while also giving the White House some heartburn along the way over her push for new clean air rules.”

Please. It’s not as if only Republicans oppose the EPA’s energy-hostile agenda; last time I checked, most of West Virginia’s national politicians, as well as many if not most of the state’s coal miners who are losing their jobs as a result of out-of-control environmentalism, are Democrats. And I don’t recall President Obama or the White House ever having any problems with what Jackson was saying or doing. The Politico pair also waited until the sixth paragraph of their report to mention Jackson’s admitted use of an accountability-avoiding email account in the name of “Richard Windsor” to conduct official business. Excerpts from their report follow the jump:

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