April 11, 2015

NY Times Editorial Botches NRA Convention Gun Rules, Fails to Properly Correct

A Friday editorial at the Second Amendment-despising New York Times thought it had caught blatant hypocrisy at the NRA relating to gun-carrying rules at its national convention in Nashville, Tennessee. What was really blatant was the editorial’s ignorance and the writers’ failure to fact-check.

After getting caught, the Times should have decided to retract the editorial. Of course, that didn’t happen. Then, in a pathetic “correction,” the Times threw yet another error into the pile.

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April 2, 2015

At Memories Pizza, New Threats Arise; Press’s Determination to Ignore Them Continues (See Update)

Update, April 3: The Indiana man who claims to have been hacked now admits that he wasn’t, but says he was “joking” about robbing Memories Pizza, and is threatening to sue those who exposed his (ahem) public comments.

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Those of us following the Memories Pizza story won’t have trouble remembering it as the years go by, thanks only partially to the Walkerton, Indiana store’s fairly unusual name for a pizzeria.

What will also easy to recall are the “memories” of the unhinged and threatening leftist behavior that accompanied its owner’s simple statement that, if the request ever arose, they would have to turn down catering a same-sex “marriage” because participating in or supporting such a ceremony violates their firm Christian religious beliefs — and the press’s attempts to cover up what their journalistic malfeasance unleashed.

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Selective: AP Cribs Paper’s Report on Memories Pizza — Except For GoFundMe Effort

A short unbylined Associated Press report at its national site on the situation at Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana this afternoon made sure to mention that the pizzeria “won’t cater gay weddings” (in the headline).

It also misstated the owner’s statement to a South Bend TV station, claiming, using its own words, that she “said the state’s new religious objections law backs their right to deny catering to a same-sex wedding.” (Sorry, the statement that they wouldn’t cater a same wedding was independent of any legal opinion.) The report also forced readers to infer that the store has never been asked to cater in such circumstances. Finally, as of late this afternoon, the South Bend Tribune article to which the AP linked, which was about how the town’s cops have increased their patrols in the area in the wake of online and other threats, mentioned “an online fundraising site established to support Memories Pizza.” Of course, the AP didn’t.

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April 1, 2015

Local Indiana Station Ambushes Memories Pizza to Gin Up an RFRA Story

Something hasn’t seemed right about the Memories Pizza story from the get-go. Now I know why.

In a Tuesday report, TV Station ABC 57 cited the Walkerton, Indiana business’s Crystal O’Connor as saying that, in the station’s words, they “don’t agree with gay marriages and wouldn’t cater them if asked to.” In other words, they’ve never been asked to. The non-story which ignited a national firestorm is the result of a dangerously irresponsible ambush. The reporter involved admitted as much in a tweet late this morning:

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March 31, 2015

Not News: Black Church Group Cuts Ties With PCUSA Over Same-Sex ‘Marriage’; Membership Decline Continues

Filed under: Activism,MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 11:02 pm

On March 18, Associated Press Religion Writer Rachel Zoll covered the decision by the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) “recognizing gay marriage as Christian in the church constitution after decades of debate over same-sex relationships.”

A search at the AP’s national site indicates that the wire service hasn’t done a story on the U.S. congregation since then. This means that it has ignored a development going at least back to Friday indicating that there has been significant external blowback:

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February 26, 2015

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry: I Hope Trayvon ‘Whooped the Sh**’ Out of Zimmerman

While it’s performing a long overdue housecleaning, MSNBC should point its broom in Melissa Harris-Perry’s direction and sweep her off the network for her anti-democratic, violence-advocating rant earlier this week at Cornell University.

Among other things, Harris-Perry told her audience that George Zimmerman deserved whatever injuries he received at the hands of Trayvon Martin in the violent February 2012 confrontation which began with Martin pommeling Zimmerman and ended in Martin’s death.

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February 18, 2015

AP: Indicted North Carolina Shooter’s ‘Creed’ Is the Second Amendment

Several outlets have looked over the Facebook posts of Craig Hicks, who was indicted Monday for the February 10 murders of three Muslims in North Carolina.

Hicks’s alleged murderous motivation appears to have had nothing directly to do with religion, but instead is said to have involved “a dispute over parking spaces at the condo community where Hicks and two of the victims lived.” Whether we need to know anything else about the guy is an open question, but since it was inevitable that people would go there, it’s worth noting that most outlets (examples here, here, and here) have focused on Hicks’s Facebook-expressed atheism and an accompanying hostility towards all forms of religion. As will be seen, that take wasn’t satisfactory to Associated Press reporters Allen G. Breed and Michael Biesecker.

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February 11, 2015

HuffPo Columnist: Joni Ernst, Who Is a Combat Veteran, Shouldn’t Claim to Be One

Very few things drive leftists to distraction more than a strong Republican or conservative woman achieving political power.

Joni Ernst is a perfect example. The strong-willed freshman Senator from Iowa describes herself in three words: “Mother. Soldier. Leader.” Imagine the howls of outrage if a conservative went after a liberal female combat veteran as Andrew Reinbach at Huffington Post did on Friday. Reinbach tried to claim that Ernst is not really a combat veteran, and questioned “The Honor of Senator Joni Ernst.”

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February 10, 2015

Rory Ryan Has a Fever, and the Only Cure Is … Rob Portman?

Filed under: Activism,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:38 pm

Longtime readers here may recall a certain Rory Ryan, publisher and owner of The Highland County Press.

Mr. Ryan may be a generally fine gentleman, hard worker, and most of those other things you might expect from a heartland journalist who genuinely seems to lean conservative.

But in at least two instances one going back over a decade and the other very recent, Ryan has demonstrated that his nose for news and political acumen are, to say the least, awful.

Ryan’s carreer list of endorsed candidates includes the one and only, habitual House Bank NSF check-writing, false incumbent-posingthen-Viriginia residing, habitually illegally voting, election law-violating, Amway/Quixtar scam-selling former Congressman Bob McEwen.

Mr. Ryan had, and perhaps still has, a horrible blind spot with Mr. McEwen.

After McEwen’s decade of illegal voting as an absentee in Ohio while living in Virginia was exposed, I asked how “newspaperman” Ryan, who supposedly is close to the pulse of his area, could possibly not have not known:

  • That McEwen and his wife Liz were using his father’s address as their voter-registration “residence” address during the mid-1990s?
  • That Bob and Liz began using the addresses of others in Hillsboro, places in which they clearly were not living or “residing,” for that same purpose beginning sometime in the late 1990s?
  • The story of the infamous 2003 “Mrs. Lyle’s house is not your home” letter addressed by the Highland County Board of Elections to Bob McEwen, Liz McEwen, and two of their children, in which the Board cancelled the voter registrations of all four of them? (I was told that this matter was brought to the attention of the county prosecutor at the time, yet Ryan still endorsed McEwen’s attempts to return to Congress.)

To be clear, these were matters that McEwen and his campaign completely failed to refute.

If Mr. Ryan indeed was aware of the items just noted, it seems that putting Bob McEwen back into Congress was of such overriding importance that he was willing to overlook, and to keep from the public he has pledged to serve in his profession, matters that made Mr. McEwen objectively unfit to serve in public office.

Based on this background, you’ll have to excuse me for having a hard time not rolling on the floor laughing uncontrollably at the idea that Rory Ryan hearts Rob Portman so much that he thinks he ought to be our next president:

As recently as Feb. 6, his name was still “part of the discussion” for the 2016 campaign. And although he says he is focusing on his re-election to the U.S. Senate – to which he can add our endorsement, I can’t help but think the nation would be better served if the once Grand Old Party would endorse a Portman for President banner at the 2016 convention.

Like I said, one can hope.

Count me out, pal.

What has Rob Portman accomplished in the past four-plus years? … (stone silence) … (If anyone can cite anything meaningful and tangible, please let me know. I am completely unconcerned about getting flooded with substantive responses, because I don’t think anyone can point to anything.)

Would Rob Portman govern with the welfare of the nation at the forefront of his mind, or according to how his actions and decisions will help or hurt him politically?

Here’s the answer, originally delivered to the Cleveland Plain Dealer in 2005:

Back in his Washington office last month, Portman, who usually sits back calmly in his chair, suddenly leans forward when he’s told that one of his colleagues recently questioned how far he’ll go in politics because he seems “risk-averse.”

The description appears to rankle Portman, who has taken more than a few physical risks over the years – from ducking bullets whizzing over his head while kayaking on the Rio Grande, to defying Chinese officials who refused him permission to kayak on the Yangtze River. *

“I probably am a little risk-averse compared to some members [of Congress],” he concedes, “but I think a lot of that is a deliberate decision on my part that some things are worth it for my career and some things aren’t.”

* – I don’t hink I’m alone in sensing potential Brian Williams-like problems with these claims.

His career is clearly more important than taking risks for being right.

Rob Portman will never live that statement down — nor should he.

Rory Ryan has once again shown horrible political acumen. In light of his history with Bob McEwen, that is sadly not a surprise.

February 2, 2015

Press Virtually Ignores Obama’s ‘No Interference’ Hypocrisy on Not Meeting Netanyahu

According to the Israeli publication Haaretz and many other news outlets, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry won’t meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because it’s “inappropriate.”

Specifically, "The White House cited the proximity of the Israeli election to Netanyahu's visit, and the desire to refrain from interfering in the election." Certain blatant falsehoods are too much to take, and at Investor's Business Daily, this was one of them. An IBD editorial also tied the actions of those who are clearly acting as Team Obama agents trying to oust Netanyahu in those upcoming Israeli elections to a more comprehensive indictment of the administration's foreign policy (HT to a frequent tipster; bolds are mine throughout this post):

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January 26, 2015

Question of the Day: On the Need for ID

Filed under: Activism,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:07 am

As I continue to fight my personal Cold War, an obvious question slapped me in the face: Why am I supposed to simply accept the need to present an ID so I can buy certain cold medicines, while at the same time I’m supposed to be outraged beyond belief that I have to present an ID so I can vote?

January 20, 2015

A ‘Statist of the Union’ Response From C.S. Lewis

Filed under: Activism,Economy,Education,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:17 pm

I got an email today suggesting that I post a one-hour video.

Usually, no matter how good it might be, I don’t do that without also posting excerpts for those who don’t have the time to get through a full hour.

When I indicated that to David Theroux of the Independent Institute, he pointed me to a transcript of that video, which effectively serves as a response to yet another “Statist of the Union” speech by President Barack Obama:

Key excerpts (bolds are mine; some paragraph breaks added by me):

… Throughout his work, Lewis infused an interconnected worldview that championed objective truth, moral ethics, natural law, literary excellence, reason, science, individual liberty, personal responsibility and virtue, and Christian theism. In so doing, he critiqued naturalism, reductionism, nihilism, positivism, scientism, historicism, collectivism, atheism, statism, coercive egalitarianism, militarism, welfarism, and dehumanization and tyranny of all forms.

Unlike “progressive” crusaders for predatory government power over the peaceful pursuits of innocent people, Lewis noted that “I do not like the pretensions of Government—the grounds on which it demands my obedience—to be pitched too high. I don’t like the medicine-man’s magical pretensions nor the Bourbon’s Divine Right. This is not solely because I disbelieve in magic and in Bossuet’s Politique. I believe in God, but I detest theocracy. For every Government consists of mere men and is, strictly viewed, a makeshift; if it adds to its commands ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ it lies, and lies dangerously.”

… “Of all tyrannies,” he stated,

a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth.

… Throughout his books, he defended the rights and sanctity of individuals against tyranny not just because he opposed evil, but because he considered a life in freedom—including both social and economic freedom—to be essential: “I believe a man is happier, and happy in a richer way, if he had “the freeborn mind.” But I doubt whether he can have this without economic independence, which the new society is abolishing. For economic independence allows an education not controlled by Government; and in adult life it is the man who needs, and asks, nothing of Government who can criticize its acts and snap his fingers at its ideology.”

…  (Rodney Stark has pointed out that although almost every other early culture and religion viewed human society in terms of the tribe, polis, or collective, “it is the individual who was the focus of Christian political thought, and this, in turn, explicitly shaped the views of later European political philosophers.” 

This focus produced a radical change in a world where, despite notable but limited exceptions of political decentralization, slavery and nearly universal and unyielding despotism had ruled, where people were treated as mere members of a group without rights. With Christianity, each and every person is “a child of God” or a holy object (res sacra homo) who has free will and is individually responsible for the choices he or she makes.

… As a proponent of natural law, Lewis was a supporter of the “law of equal liberty” but a firm critic of imposed egalitarianism for any reason. He further understood that egalitarianism is too often a cloak for envy (the sin of coveting) and that such appeals for regimentation are tyrannical

… Lewis understood that without this necessary natural-law framing of social, legal, and political culture, mankind would no longer be recognized as worthy of rights or even common decency, but instead would be left defenseless to any and all forms of oppression …

… Lewis fully understood that democracy, if unchecked, becomes egalitarianism and will trample on liberty as a collectivist force for evil by celebrating pride and envy as it fosters tyranny.

… recognizing the implications of every development in the galloping socialism of post–World War II England (Lewis wrote): “The modern State exists not to protect our rights but to do us good or make us good—anyway, to do something to us or to make us something. Hence the new name ‘leaders’ for those who were once “rulers.” … We are less their subjects than their wards, pupils, or domestic animals. There is nothing left of which we can say to them, ‘Mind your own business.’ Our whole lives are their business.”

Certainly damned near it.

January 19, 2015

Pathetic: Both Michael Moore and Seth Rogen Pretend Their Tweets Didn’t Criticize ‘American Sniper’

Your truly noted yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) how Michael Moore tweeted, in part, that “We were taught snipers were cowards.” Earlier today, Geoffrey Dickens at NewsBusters observed that Seth Rogen, whose “The Interview” movie was at least partially salvaged financially by freedom-of-speech supporters on the left and right who watched it online and in person in select areas, tweeted that “American Sniper kind of reminds me of the (Nazi propaganda) movie that’s showing in the third act of Inglorious Basterds.”

Tonight, both Moore and Rogen are in keister-covering walkback mode. Predictably, both are pretending that they didn’t imply and say what they really implied and said.

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@Sierra Marlee Won Twitter Twice Last Week

Filed under: Activism,General,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:00 am

January 11 and January 12, the former with the help of @haff_j:

SierraMarleeJan11andJan12Tweets.png

January 16, 2015

Positivity: Venezuelan bishops condemn imposition of socialism

Filed under: Activism,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Caracas, Venezuela (bolds are mine):

Jan 13, 2015 / 01:09 pm

The Venezuelan bishops conference issued a pastoral exhortation on Monday calling on authorities and citizens alike to an ethical and spiritual renewal in order to come out of the current economic and social crisis facing the nation.

The Jan. 12 letter warned that “Marxist socialism is an erroneous path, and therefore should not be instituted.”

The bishops began their letter by recalling the events that took place at the beginning of 2014, when political upheaval lead to 43 deaths and hundreds injured.

“That grave crisis showed the need for dialogue among government leaders, the opposition, and other sectors. Thanks to the exhortations of Pope Francis and the participation of the apostoli cuncio Archbishop Aldo Giordano, among other things, a dialogue was launched that unfortunately never continued beyond the first few meetings,” the bishops said.

In recent months, the situation has worsened due to a growing economic crisis rooted in massive external debt, uncontrolled inflation, the devaluation of the currency, and shortages of basic necessities, they explained.

Adding to this widespread corruption, the drop in oil prices, and government inefficiency, the main problem and cause of this crisis is “the politico-economic system of a socialist, Marxist or communist nature,” the bishops wrote.

“This system is totalitarian and centralist, it establishes control of the state over all aspects of the lives of the citizens and public and private institutions. It also threatens freedom and the rights of persons and associations and has led to oppression and ruin in every country where it has been tried,” the bishops said.

Go here for the rest of the story.