Archive for the ‘Internet Censorship’ Category

PEACEFUL ACTION ALERT: Opponents Pack Hearing on Mosque Near Ground Zero   Leave a comment

Oh…MY….GOD!

I have been trying to avoid this since I first heard about it.  It’s just too….sad.  It’s too deep.  It’s too insane to even allow it to happen. 

I can’t believe that this is being considered. 

I can’t believe that discussion of this is even being allowed.

I can’t BELIEVE that they want to even DEVELOP Ground Zero in the first place . . . but to put a mosque on that property . . . WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?

That’s like . . . bulldozing Auschwitz and putting a Hitler memorial on top of it.

That’s like . . . letting the KKK have their headquarters where Martin Luther King Jr. got shot.

That’s like . . . putting a nuclear power plant and pro-nuclear weapon museum in Hiroshima.

I mean…it’s blasphemous!  And I don’t mean in a religious sense.  Let’s keep that out of it.  I mean that it’s just blasphemous in principle.  It’s blasphemous against the American people.  It’s blasphemous TO ALL AMERICANS WHO REMEMBER 9-11 AND TO THOSE TO DIED IN THOSE ATTACKS! 

I cannot even wrap my head around this. 

If this passes . . . it will be a dark, dark, dark day for this country—a day where we rolled over and allowed our enemies to step on us and kick us, asserting their dominance. We might as well pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan because we would have just lost the war.  What’s the point in fighting if we allow them to build their mosque on hallowed ground?  That’s what Muslims do.  When they declare war on another country or religion, whenever they CONQUOR said country or said religion, they tear down their important symbols and churches and whatnot and they BUILD MOSQUES ON THOSE SITES AS A SIGN THAT THEY HAVE WON!

Again, I ask . . . WHAT THE HECK ARE THEY THINKING!!!!!  (and I want to use more colorful language when I say this!)

Opponents pack hearing on mosque near ground zero

By CRISTIAN SALAZAR, Associated Press Writer Cristian Salazar, Associated Press Writer – Tue Jul 13, 11:56 pm ET

NEW YORK – Dozens of opponents and some supporters of a mosque planned near ground zero attended a raucous hearing Tuesday about whether the building where the Muslim place of worship would be created warrants designation as a city landmark and should be protected from development.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio, who has sought an investigation into the funding of the mosque, was among the witnesses who testified in support of giving the building landmark status, which could complicate plans by Muslim groups to develop a community center and mosque there.

After noting the lower Manhattan building’s history and architectural significance, Lazio said it also warranted landmark designation because on Sept. 11, 2001, it was struck by airplane debris from the terror attacks against the nearby World Trade Center. That connection to the attacks, he said, made it “a place of deep historical significance and a reminder of just what happened on New York’s darkest day.”

Lazio has called on state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, his Democratic opponent in the governor’s race, to investigate the funding of the project. On Tuesday, he repeated that request and said the pace of the landmark designation process should be slowed to allow time to thoroughly investigate the matter.

Nearly 100 people attended the hearing at a college campus on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Fifty-six people testified at the hearing, which turned contentious at times, with some speakers drowned out by shouts from the audience and with one man escorted out by campus security.

“To deprive this building of landmark status is to allow for a citadel of Islamic supremacy to be erected in its place,” said Andrea Quinn, a freelance audio technician from Queens who said she had worked with people at the World Trade Center.

But Rafiq Kathwari, who described himself as a moderate Muslim, said the landmark discussion had been hijacked.

INTERESTING USE OF THE WORD ‘HIJACKED’ L

“This has been made by a very vocal minority into an issue of bigotry,” said Kathwari, as he held up his U.S. passport and was nearly drowned out by shouts from the crowd. “I’m standing in a hall in which I feel ashamed to be an American.”

AS AN AMERICAN HE SHOULD BE CONSIDERING THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SITE AND WOULD BE VOTING TO MAKE IT A HISTORICAL LANDMARK AND MOVE THIS MOSQUE SOMEWHERE ELSE!

The mosque and the related community center are a project of several groups, including the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative, which promotes cross-cultural understanding between Islam and the West. Cordoba’s director, Imam Faisel Rauf, has refused to disclose the sources of funding for the mosque.

SEE!!!!!  Gee, I wonder who is funding this!!!!!!

But Sharif El-Gamal, the CEO of the company that owns the property, said that the project’s backers were committed to transparency and were working to set up a nonprofit organization.

“We are going to go through a capital campaign,” which will consist of equity debt, bonds, grants and fundraising from the grass roots, he said. They were committed to working with the attorney general’s Charities Bureau, which supervises charitable organizations and works to protect donors, he said.

El-Gamal testified at the hearing, saying they were opposed to designating the building a landmark because it does not meet the requirements of historical significance.

“This is not the Woolworth building, this is not the Chrysler building,” he said later in an interview.

The five-story building on Park Place, a few blocks north of Wall Street, was completed between 1857 and 1858 and is an Italian Renaissance-inspired palazzo. It formerly housed a department store, which closed after the building was damaged on Sept. 11. Muslim prayer service is held at the building at least one day a week.

Landmark status could require the owners to obtain the approval of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission before making significant changes. It’s unlikely that, if granted such status, the building could be demolished.

The city’s 11-member Landmarks Preservation Commission is expected to vote later this summer on whether the building meets the standards of architectural, cultural and historic characteristics to qualify it for landmark status.

THIS IS THE LINK TO THE CHAIR OF THE LANDMARK PRESERVATION COMMISSION IN NYC:

http://nyc.gov/html/mail/html/maillpc.html

PLEASE EMAIL HIM AND ASK HIM TO PRESERVE THE BUILDING ON PARK PLACE AND GROUND ZERO SO THAT THEY DON’T DEMOLISH IT!!!!!!! 

EMAIL HIM EVERY SINGLE DAY!

THIS IS A SLAP IN THE FACE TO THOSE WHO DIED THERE AND THE FINGER TO THOSE WHO HAD TO WATCH AND LIVE IN FEAR FOR MONTHS AND YEARS AFTERWARDS!

IF THIS GUY WHO WANTS TO BUILD THIS MOSQUE THERE WERE ANY KIND OF AMERICAN, HE WOULD BE PUSHING TO MAKE IT A LANDMARK TOO AND BUILDING HIS MOSQUE SOMEWHERE ELSE!

I WOULD HAVE A LOT MORE RESPECT FOR THEM IF THEY DID THAT!

THIS IS THE MOST DISCUSTING THING I’VE EVER HEARD!

*steps down from soap box—fuming*

And this is why I didn’t want to bring it up. 

And this is why I am moved to tears when I hear our National Anthem.

Call it corny.  Call it lame.  Call it whatever you wish.  But we are a sovereign nation, they attacked us and killed civilians on our own land, and considering their history of invasion and destruction and building their places of worship over the ruins of the old civilization – THIS FITS THE BILL!!!!

If this gets passed . . . it will be a D*** shame. 

*kicks soapbox away and storms off, cursing—still fuming*

Advertisements

‘Invisible Gorilla’ Test Shows How Little We Notice   Leave a comment

This is an interesting article.  I remember this test.  No, I didn’t see the gorilla the first time way back when, but I saw him this time.  Even in the second video, but I won’t tell you what other monkey business was going on that I sorta noticed but not enough to make a definitive announcement. 😛 

It’s my feeling that this is how the media works with the people.

I KNOW it sounds nuts, but hear me out…

Mainstream media focuses on certain events in any given time.  Sometimes they are focusing on events (Lindsey Lohan anyone?) while OTHER events are taking place and, unless you are PAYING ATTENTION, you will miss it.  I guess the consensus is that if CNN, MSNBC, ABC and the like are not showing something over and over and over again and talking about it nonstop, then it must not be important.  Thus, the subject or event is lost and no one thinks anything of it. 

It is also fair to note that people don’t generally research things for themselves.  They expect the media to do that for them, but those people that aren’t paying attention, will then fail to realize that the media is only feeding them what they want to hear. 

Case in point: The Arizona anti-Illegal Immigration Law.

The liberal left-leaning media railed against this act.  They cried foul and bashed it into the ground, spreading misinformation and fear to the populace.  Even Obama did the same by illustrating that the bill supports Nazi-style stops while going out for ice cream.  Then, the media praises Obama for suing Arizona with backing from Calderon and the like and is shocked into speechlessness when polls come out that a majority of American’s support the Arizona law.

What they are NOT saying (the “invisible gorilla” of the situation) is that racial profiling is NOT the case.  What they are NOT saying is that THAT accusation, the one that EVERYONE is focused on, the one that EVERYONE brings up and STILL brings up, is not even IN THE affidavit against Arizona!  

What they are NOT saying is that Mexico, a foreign power, is backing Obama in suing Arizona, and it is AGAINST the Constitution.

What they are NOT saying is that American land has been handed back over to Mexico.

What they are NOT saying is that the Arizona law IS THE FEDERAL LAW and IS MEANT TO ENFORCE FEDERAL LAW that is currently NOT BEING ENFORCED by the federal government.

What they are NOT saying is that there are cities in America, mostly in California, that are ‘Sanctuary Cities’ that openly DEFY FEDERAL LAW BY OVERLOOKING THEIR ILLEGAL STATUS!

What they are NOT telling you is that Mexican terrorists and drug cartels are shooting American police officers on American land, robbing Americans on American land and sucking American taxpyers dry, planning to cause mass American deaths on American land, threatening the American people on American land in their rallies, that Mexican Military helicopters are flying in American Airspace, that the border isn’t complete, that 74% OF AMERICAN’S SUPPORT THE ARIZONA LAW!

Oh there is a lot more.  But, that’s just what I can think of atop my head.

Here is the article in question…

‘Invisible Gorilla’ Test Shows How Little We Notice

livescience.com – Tue Jul 13, 10:00 am ET

A dumbfounding study roughly a decade ago that many now find hard to believe revealed that if people are asked to focus on a video of other people passing basketballs, about half of watchers missed a person in a gorilla suit walking in and out of the scene thumping its chest.

Now research delving further into this effect shows that people who know that such a surprising event is likely to occur are no better at noticing other unforeseen events – and may even be worse at noticing them – than others who aren’t expecting the unexpected.

The so-called “invisible gorilla” test had volunteers watching a video where two groups of people – some dressed in white, some in black – are passing basketballs around. The volunteers were asked to count the passes among players dressed in white while ignoring the passes of those in black.

Watch the video for yourself:

These confounding findings from cognitive psychologists Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris detailed in a 1999 study revealed how people can focus so hard on something that they become blind to the unexpected, even when staring right at it. When one develops “inattentional blindness,” as this effect is called, it becomes easy to miss details when one is not looking out for them.

“Although people do still try to rationalize why they missed the gorilla, it’s hard to explain such a failure of awareness without confronting the possibility that we are aware of far less of our world than we think,” Simons told LiveScience.

Gorilla infamy

Of course, these results are utterly counterintuitive, with 90 percent of people now predicting that they would notice the gorilla in the video. The problem is that this video has become so famous that many people know to look for a gorilla when asked to count basketball passes.

In new research, Simons decided to use the infamy of the invisible gorilla to his advantage, creating a similar video that asked for the same results from the audience.

“I thought it would be fun to see if I could monkey with people’s intuitions again using almost the same task,” Simons said.

Stop now! Before reading further, try his test out:

The idea with this new video was to see if those who knew about the invisible gorilla beforehand would be more or less likely to notice other unexpected events in the same video.

“You can make two competing predictions,” Simons said. “Knowing about the invisible gorilla might increase your chances of noticing other unexpected events because you know that the task tests whether people spot unexpected events. You might look for other events because you know that the experimenter is up to something.” Alternatively, “knowing about the gorilla might lead viewers to look for gorillas exclusively, and when they find one, they might fail to notice anything else out of the ordinary.”

Expecting the unexpected

Of the 41 volunteers Simon tested who had never seen or heard about the old video, a little less than half missed the gorilla in the new video, much like what happened in the old experiments. The 23 volunteers he tested who knew about the original gorilla video all spotted the fake ape in the new experiment.

However, knowing about the gorilla beforehand did not improve their chances of detecting other unexpected events. Only 17 percent of those who were familiar with the old video noticed one or both of the other unexpected events in the new video. In comparison, 29 percent of those who knew nothing of the old video spotted one of the other unexpected events in the new video.

“This demonstration is much like a good magic trick in which a magician repeatedly makes a ball disappear,” Simons said. “A magician can lead the audience to think he’s going to make the ball disappear with one method, and while people watch for that technique, he uses a different one. In both cases, the effect capitalizes on what people expect to see, and both demonstrate that we often miss what we don’t expect to see.”

“A lot of people seem to take the message of our original gorilla study to be that people don’t pay enough attention to what is happening around them, and that by paying more attention and ‘expecting the unexpected,’ we will be able to notice anything important,” he added. “The new experiment shows that even when people know that they are doing a task in which an unexpected thing might happen, that doesn’t suddenly help them notice other unexpected things.”

Once people find the first thing they’re looking for, “they often don’t notice other things,” Simons said. “Our intuitions about what we will and won’t notice are often mistaken.”

Simons detailed his new findings online July 12 in the journal i-Perception.

Obama’s Lawlessness on Immigration   Leave a comment

Wow, HERE is an interesting take on what’s going on with Obama’s hatred to anything involving enforcing Illegal Immigration!

What would YOU do if Obama tries to grant amnesty through illegal executive order?  Would anyone do anything?  It has already been said Obama could be impeached for that.  HOPEFULLY! 

I really hope Obama gets owned in court with this!  His court case against Arizona is so ‘misguided’ (to turn his words against him).

Here’s the article.

Obama’s Lawlessness on Immigration
07/07/2010

It is becoming increasingly clear that, when it comes to illegal immigration, the Obama Administration has a disturbingly cavalier approach to what the law requires.   Three recent examples illustrate his disdain for the plain meaning of the law.

First, during an interview in Ecuador, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton let the cat out of the bag about the Obama Administration’s plan to sue Arizona.  In so doing, she revealed who was sitting in the driver’s seat when it came to the Justice Department’s decision:  “President Obama has spoken out against the law because he thinks that the federal government should be determining immigration policy. And the Justice Department, under his direction, will be bringing a lawsuit against the act.”

Clinton was correct in her prediction. On Tuesday, the Obama Justice Department filed suit against the Arizona law, calling the measure “invalid” and saying it interfered with federal immigration responsibilities.

In other words, the same political calculations that drove President Obama to criticize (and mischaracterize) the Arizona law, now drove the Justice Department to bring the suit.  Not to mention the potential embarrassment that would result if the Justice Department came to an independent conclusion that Arizona’s law is on solid ground.  Barack Obama-constitutional scholar that his fans make him out to be — can’t say one thing and have the Justice Department say another.

The problem with Obama’s strategy is that the federal judges will actually read the Arizona law and they will find that there is precious little for the Justice Department to attack.  Put simply, there is no federal statute that Arizona’s law conflicts with.  The opinions of the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits of the U.S. Court of Appeals (which are all of the circuits that have addressed the issue) support the authority of Arizona to enact its law.  Another obstacle for the Obama Administration is the fact that the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in 2002 authored an opinion holding that state police officers have the authority to arrest illegal aliens-the same authority underlying the Arizona law.  In short, the Obama Administration’s suit is on very thin ice.

But even if one were to imagine that the administration had a strong legal argument, there would have been yet another reason not to file the lawsuit:  It is completely unnecessary.  Five suits have already been filed by the ACLU and its fellow travelers  The issue is already teed up for the federal courts to decide.  The administration achieves nothing by launching its own litigation, except for rallying the Democrats’ open-borders base before the 2010 elections.  The Justice Department should never be abused in this blatantly-political manner.

Case No. 2:  According to Arizona Sen. John Kyl, Obama told him in a one-on-one conversation that the administration was not going to secure the border until Republicans agreed to go along with an amnesty for illegal aliens.  In other words, enforcing the law is optional in the eyes of the President-just another bargaining chip for him to use in order to get what he wants.  The White House (not Obama himself) now claims that Sen. Kyl is lying.  But given Kyl’s reputation for honesty, and the fact that the Obama Administration has radically reduced immigration enforcement since taking office, Kyl’s account of the conversation has more credibility.

Obama’s statement reveals that he has very little regard for his obligation under Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”  He may not like federal immigration laws, but that does not entitle him to suspend them.

Case No. 3: According to eight Republican senators, the Obama Administration is now contemplating the possibility of unilaterally granting an amnesty to illegal aliens by executive action.  How would the administration pull this off?  Apparently by granting “parole” to millions of illegal aliens, en masse.

The problem with this scheme is that federal law doesn’t allow it.  The avenue of granting an illegal alien parole-and lawful presence in the United States-was created by Congress to be used on a case-by-case basis.  If, for “urgent humanitarian reasons” or “significant public benefits,” a particular alien needed to be allowed to remain in the United States, then the executive branch has the authority grant that alien parole.

The meaning of the law has been clear for decades.  But now Obama is considering changing it to give himself unprecedented power to grant amnesty to millions with the wave of his hand.  Never mind that the granting of a mass amnesty is plainly a legislative action-altering the legal rights of millions-and the Constitution reserves such legislative powers to Congress.

Taken together, these three episodes paint a picture of lawlessness.  The Obama Administration seems to believe that the President has the authority to set aside a state law because it is contrary to his political agenda, suspend the enforcement of federal laws for political reasons, and seize from Congress the legislative power to grant an amnesty.  So much for a country governed by the rule of law, not the rule of man.


RNC Member Mr. Kobach is Chairman of the Kansas Republican Party, former Counsel and chief immigration adviser to Attorney General John Ashcroft (2001-03), and the attorney defending the cities of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and Valley Park, Missouri, against the ACLU in court. He is also Professor of Law at the University of Missouri (Kansas City).

Illegal alien voters ignored by Justice Department, says whistleblower   Leave a comment

Wow, this just curls my hair!

You know, I’m one of those people who looks at elections in my own country that my father and grandfathers served and fought for and I am so tempted to shake my head and wonder what the point of voting is.  It’s a despairing thought, let me assure you.  Thousands, if not millions, of soldiers have died so that Americans have a right to vote.  As corrupt and solicitous as politicians are and as uneducated and easily fooled as most voters can be (ahem, thinking of last election especially folks), it’s still a right that should be held dear and preserved.

The 2008 presidential election was a sham.  I’m convinced of that because moments after I cast my paper ballot that was in a pile to be counted/scanned not even half an hour before closing in California, did Obama come on the radio to announce his victory.  Also, all the ACORN fraud that was going on that the media only touched on but failed to follow-up with considering how involved Obama was with them.  And now we get an article like this?!  This was written for “CanadaFreePress” but was linked from NPR’s website–as left as it is, I trust it. 

There should be little wonder now why Obama is so desperate to deliver amnesty and protect illegal immigrants who have no rights to be or VOTE in this country.  Let them come to America through legal channels–then they have a right to vote in OUR election!  THEY are not supposed to be electing an American president–WE THE PEOPLE ARE!  THEY need to get out and vote for their OWN president in their OWN COUNTRY!  HOW DARE THEY RUIN OURS?  Not only with their leeching, gangs, drugs and corruption of our systems and welfare, but now with our own election?

And will anything be done?

No.

Come to think of it, I don’t think we’ve ever even seen Obama’s birth certificate.  Maybe that’s why he doesn’t want to go to visit the border of Arizona.  He’s afraid he’ll be arrested and deported for being an illegal alien himself.

This is just so sad.  The saddest thing I’ve ever heard of and/or seen: 

Illegal alien voters ignored by Justice Department, says whistleblower

 By Jim Kouri  Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Whistleblower J. Christian Adams, who is testifying before a Commission of Civil Rights committee regarding voter intimidation by the New Black Panthers, dropped a bomb on his former employers at the Department of Justice.

// //

According to Adams, a Deputy Attorney General refused to investigate allegations of illegal voting during the last presidential election.
While the DoJ denies this allegation—and the news media portray him as a disgruntled employee or Bush apologist—a recent study released by the conservative think-tank the Heritage Foundation provides proof that illegal aliens and immigrants with green cards are committing rampant voter fraud in the United States.

Reports of ineligible persons registering to vote have raised concerns about state processes for verifying voter registration lists. States usually base voter eligibility on the voter’s age, US citizenship, mental competence, and felon status.

Although individual states run elections, Congress has authority to affect the administration of the elections. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) had set a deadline for states to have a statewide voter registration list and list verification procedures.

For example, the methods used in seven selected states to verify voter eligibility and ensure accuracy of voter registration lists were varied and include relying on registrant self attestation, return mailings, and checking against lists of felony convictions or deceased individuals. Some states, for instance, failed to do any more than ask on their application forms if the registrant was a US citizen. The applicant will merely check off the “Yes” box, but there is no action to verify the authenticity of that answer.

“The voter registration officials simply take the word of the registrant with no follow-up,” said conservative political strategist Michael Baker.

“Some states that require some backup documentation merely ask for a utility bill or a driver’s license — neither of which prove citizenship. In other words, legal or illegal aliens can easily register to vote in local and national elections,” warns Baker.

According to a Congressional study of voter fraud, other challenges such as identifying duplicate registrations in other states or having insufficient information to match other data sources with voter registration lists may continue to be issues.

While federal data sources have the potential to help state election officials identify registrants who may be convicted felons or non-citizens, few states communicate with federal agencies such as the Homeland Security Department’s immigration section.

Many government officials — mostly liberals — claim that illegal aliens voting is not a major problem, conservative activists respond that while the potential number identified may be small, an election can be decided by a few votes. In 2004, the presidential race between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush was decided by a few hundred votes in Florida.

“While the news media perpetuated the assertion that Bush and the GOP ‘stole’ the election, it could very well have been illegal aliens voting in Florida that made the outcome so close,” said former NYPD cop, now security firm owner, Sid Francis.

“Bush may have beaten Gore by more votes if illegals were excluded, since immigrants tend to vote for Democrats. Or Gore could have won decisively had there been prior screening before people were allowed into the voting booths,” said Det. Francis.

“There was absolutely no mention in the mainstream media regarding suspected voter fraud by illegal or legal aliens. It was much easier for the agenda-driven newspeople to accuse Republicans of stealing the election,” added Baker.

“Florida is not unique. Thousands of non-citizens are registered to vote in some states, and tens if not hundreds of thousands in total may be present on the voter rolls nationwide. These numbers are significant: Local elections are often decided by only a handful of votes, and even national elections have likely been within the margin of the number of non-citizens illegally registered to vote,” said Hans A. von Spakovsky, a researcher at the Heritage Foundation.

“There is no reliable method to determine the number of non-citizens registered or actually voting because most laws to ensure that only citizens vote are ignored, are inadequate, or are systematically undermined by government officials. Those who ignore the implications of non-citizen registration and voting either are willfully blind to the problem or may actually favor this form of illegal voting,” said Spakovsky, an expert on the subject of illegal aliens and immigration law, during an interview on Fox News Channel.

As far as felons, US Attorneys are required to notify state election officials of federal felony convictions, but the information is not always easy for election officials to interpret or complete, according to New Jersey GOP strategist Janice Martin.

“Americans would be shocked to discover that hundreds of thousands of general election voters are illegal aliens, green-card immigrants, and criminals who’ve murdered, raped and robbed US citizens. And guess which political party benefits the most from their votes? The one that’s pushing for amnesty and a bag full of free goodies,” said Martin.

Dr. von Spakovsky believes many government officials and politicians are complicit in the voter fraud problem.

“To keep non-citizens from diluting citizens’ votes, immigration and election officials must cooperate far more effectively than they have to date, and state and federal officials must increase their efforts to enforce the laws against non-citizen voting that are already on the books,” he wrote in his Heritage Foundation study on illegal alien voter fraud.

“While the liberal media and the liberal establishment ignore what is a huge scandal, American voters are having their rights violated. When an illegal aliens or felon or other person prohibited by law to vote, their votes cancel out those of American citizens,” warns Baker.

“Liberals want illegal aliens and felons to vote. They benefit from such rampant fraud.”

Mainstream Media Coverage Slim on NASA, Black Panther Party Stories   Leave a comment

Aha!  I was going to address this at some point today when I had a chance to look for the video’s and compile some articles.  But, Fox beat me to it: 

Mainstream Media Coverage Slim on NASA, Black Panther Stories

By Judson Berger

Published July 08, 2010

| FoxNews.com

Last year, it was Van Jones and ACORN that slipped under much of the media’s radar. But despite pledges to pay closer attention to the “polemic world of talk radio, cable television and partisan blogs,” two new stories have taken their place in the annals of things not much reported. 

One is NASA Administrator Charles Bolden’s claim that one of the space agency’s primary missions is to improve relations with Muslim countries. The other is the ongoing investigation into why the Justice Department dropped its case against New Black Panther Party members accused of intimidating voters on Election Day 2008. 

“The media don’t have any credibility when they don’t cover the big stories,” said Dan Gainor, vice president for business and culture at the conservative Media Research Center. Gainor suggested both stories appear to have all the makings of news value. 

Bolden has previously come under criticism for overseeing a halt to the agency’s moon-mission Constellation program, and his lengthy interview with Al Jazeera last month raised all kinds of alarms with former NASA staffers — not only did he claim Muslim outreach as his portfolio, but he called NASA an “Earth improvement agency” and said the United States cannot go beyond low-Earth orbit without international help. His predecessor, Michael Griffin, said that is false, despite his professed admiration for Bolden.

In the New Black Panther case, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is a year into its investigation and on Tuesday heard groundbreaking testimony from a former official who claims the Justice Department dropped it in part because it refuses to go after black defendants in civil rights cases. 

Only a few national media outlets reported the NASA story. They included CNN and Slate — and little else. The three broadcast networks’ nightly news programs did not mention the controversy, though ABC News did run a blog on the White House response. The New York Times and Washington Post also did not carry any straight news piece on the subject. The Washington Post website, though, did carry a blurb online that linked to a FoxNews.com piece as well as an opinion blog on Wednesday. The Los Angeles Times carried a blog on Thursday, comparing the lack of media response to Wile E. Coyote waiting for his rocket pack to go off. “Silence. Nothing,” the piece said. 

The Black Panther coverage was a bit more robust. The New York Times covered J. Christian Adams’ testimony on Tuesday, as did CNN, and The Los Angeles Times noted it briefly. The Philadelphia Inquirer provided significant coverage of the developments — the alleged voter intimidation occurred in Philadelphia. The Associated Press ran a story on July 1 before the testimony. 

The three nightly network news programs did not run the story. The Washington Post did not provide any original coverage — it ran the July 1 Associated Press story and provided one paragraph on the case Wednesday online with a link to The Times story. 

The Black Panther issue rose to the level of the White House press briefing on Wednesday when a reporter asked Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about it. But he waved it off. 

“I haven’t paid any attention to it,” Gibbs said. 

So will these stories flame up or fade? 

Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst with The Poynter Institute, said both stories are worth reporting on, but empathized with outlets that might be skeptical of whether the stories have crossed the threshold of newsworthiness. 

“When the Civil Rights Commission actually does something then maybe (the Black Panther case) kicks up to being a story,” he said. “It’s a question of how firm and significant the news to date in both those instances are.” 

Edmonds, who acknowledged he was not familiar with either story before being asked about them, said they have an obvious appeal to audiences “dubious” about the Obama administration since they reflect poorly on Obama appointees.

Gainor said that with the investigation ongoing, the Black Panther story could eventually attract more coverage. He guessed the NASA issue could dissipate, though he questioned why. 

Bolden, in his interview, listed three priorities and “none of them involve the word space,” Gainor said. “How is that not news?” 

A NASA spokesman on Tuesday claimed Bolden was referring to his outreach priorities, not his priorities overall, and that space exploration is still the No. 1 mission. It’s unclear whether the White House or NASA will face pressure to say any more. 

The radio silence is similar to the media environment before the Obama administration and Congress essentially cut ties last year with ACORN following a series of undercover videos that appeared to show local ACORN offices offering help to two conservative activists posing as a pimp and prostitute. The same goes for the non-coverage of then-White House green jobs adviser Van Jones, whose controversial past — and signing of a petition in support of 9/11 conspiracy theorists — led to his resignation. 

After both incidents, The New York Times public editor in September wrote a column acknowledging that The Times “stood still” as the ACORN and Jones stories developed. It noted that The Associated Press also reported that the Census Bureau cut ties with ACORN without mention of the sting videos. 

The Times piece said the newspaper may have “trouble” dealing with stories that start in talk radio and cable and blogs but “needs to be alert to them or wind up looking clueless or, worse, partisan itself.” 

However, the public editor in March ran a new column suggesting it got overly worked up on the ACORN story — citing the tremendous damage the issue did to ACORN’s infrastructure and the fact that activist James O’Keefe “almost certainly” did not dress as an outrageous pimp in the ACORN offices themselves, though he dressed as one in media appearances.

Is Mexican President Calderon Playing the Same Political Game as US Democrats?   Leave a comment

Here’s an interesting article from Yahoo discussing the recent Mexican elections that took place this weekend.  It seems as though Mexican President Calderon has lost a lot of favor with his people, which might explain his blatantly erratic behavior over the issue of the Arizona Illegal Immigration law and other various border issues.  I am beginning to wonder if the only reason he has been behaving as such is to get his name in the news and hopefully gain favor from his constituents since Mexico treats THEIR illegal immigrants FAR WORSE than we treat ours.  He really doesn’t have a leg to stand on in that respect and yet he still chooses to scream from the rooftops and condemn us for trying to protect our borders.  This man is clearly supporting the drug war himself and if you want proof, note how in the article it states that he didn’t win a single state in the election except for Sinaloa of all places, where he and the rest of the government support their effort in the drug wars.

Anyway, those were just my thoughts on the below article.  Let me know what you think. 

Vote shows Mexicans have little faith in any party

AP

CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico – After a Super Sunday of elections across Mexico that was widely seen as a test for the 2012 presidential race and the nation’s future, the winner turns out to be — well, not really anyone.

President Felipe Calderon’s party is weak, the left is in collapse and the Institutional Revolutionary Party that is on a tentative path to recapture the presidency it held for 71 years was shown to be vulnerable. Drug cartel intimidation dissuaded many from voting at all.

The mixed outcome in elections across 15 states showed no party has won the faith of Mexicans desperate to bring their country out of a quagmire of economic stagnation and relentless gang wars that have killed more than 23,000 people since Calderon took office three years ago.

Calderon’s conservative National Action Party won not a single state on its own, and lost two it had held, according to results Monday, and needed desperate alliances with leftists to wrest strongholds from the old ruling party.

That party, known as the PRI, demonstrated it remains Mexico’s most important political force, won nine of 12 governorships Sunday.

Still, that was no change from the number it had before the ballot. And its defeat in three longtime bastion states indicated many Mexicans are still repulsed by the party that ruled through patronage and corruption from 1929 to 2000 — a system that Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa once called the “perfect dictatorship.”

Sunday’s elections also displayed the intimidating power of drug cartels in the most embattled states. Only a third of voters showed up in the country’s most violent state, Chihuahua, where drug gangs hung four bodies from bridges on election day. Less than 40 percent voted in Tamaulipas, where gubernatorial candidate Rodolfo Torre was assassinated last week.

It’s not where Mexicans thought they would be when National Action’s Vicente Fox ousted the PRI in 2000 and promised a new era.

“I still remember the celebration when Vicente Fox won the presidential elections 10 years ago. It was as if Mexico had won the World Cup,” Mexican political scientist Leo Zuckerman wrote Monday in Excelsior newspaper. “Where are we 10 years after the historic triumph of Fox?”

“I see multiple threats to democracy, which has not yet consolidated itself in Mexico. I think organized crime is the biggest challenge,” he said. “The stamp is very clear: crime has exercised its veto power over the power of the vote.”

The PRI, a party that was created by the nation’s rulers to tame the complex forces of the Mexican Revolution, was widely seen as doomed after its loss to Fox, and it was a battered afterthought in the 2006 presidential election, when Calderon narrowly defeated a resurgent leftist Democratic Revolution Party.

Four years later, Calderon’s approval ratings are slumping amid mass shootings, corruption scandals and kidnappings that remind Mexicans daily of the resilient power of drug cartels he has vowed to defeat.

“He has reverse coattails,” said George Grayson, a Mexico expert at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. “The economy is quite weak … and the narco-traffickers have been on a binge.”

Democratic Revolution — the PRI’s biggest competitor for the working class vote — has largely imploded amid internal wrangling, four years after nearly winning the presidency. It lost the only state it controlled on its own among the 12 up for grabs Sunday.

In a sense, the left and right are back to where they were in the days of PRI rule: forced into uncomfortable alliances to tackle a powerful opponent. In 1988, National Action joined leftist parties in protesting the allegedly fraudulent presidential victory of Carlos Salinas.

On Sunday, neither the left nor the right were able to beat the PRI alone.

Democratic Revolution joined Calderon’s party to win Sinaloa and Puebla behind coalition candidates who only recently bolted from the PRI. A similar coalition won in Oaxaca behind a minor-party candidate who quit the PRI a decade ago.

Though the results were largely due to local issues and local scandals, they were a blow to the PRI’s hope that Sunday would help propel it back to the presidency. The party had ruled those states for 80 years.

Many saw the result as evidence that voters are skeptical about PRI promises that it has learned from its past mistakes and abandoned the strongman politics that kept in power for so long.

In Sinaloa, the cradle of Mexican drug trafficking, PRI candidate Jesus Vizcarra long faced allegations of ties to the cartel led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Mexico’s most-wanted drug lord. The newspaper Reforma recently published a photograph of Vizcarra attending a party years ago with El Chapo’s No. 2, Ismael Zambada. Vizcarra, the mayor of state capital Culiacan and a distant relative of slain drug trafficker Ines Calderon, dodged questions about whether Zambada is the godfather of one of his children, saying only that he had never committed a crime.

In the heavily indigenous state of Oaxaca, outgoing Gov. Ulises Ruiz alienated many voters with his heavy handed approach to a five-month deadly uprising in 2006 over allegations that he stole his election victory.

In Puebla, the outgoing PRI official was widely ridiculed as “Precious Governor” because of a sycophantic comment made during a leaked conversation he had with a local businessman who complained about a reporter who was crusading against child molesters. Puebla police later seized the reporter in another state and hauled her halfway across Mexico. She was eventually freed.

“To a large extent this gives some breathing room to President Calderon, who expected to be faced with a resurgent PRI,” said Andrew Selee, director of the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson’s Mexico Institute.

Voter turnout was robust in Sinaloa and Oaxaca and very low in two states where the PRI easily won: Chihuahua and Tamaulipas. National Action leaders touted this as a promising sign, insisting the PRI can only win where turnout is low.

“We won in places where people came out and voted,” said Jose Sacramento, the defeated National Action candidate for governor in Tamaulipas, where the PRI fielded the brother of its assassinated candidate.

But then, what’s the party plan for states where Calderon has failed to root out the cartels since launching his drug war at the end of 2006? In Tamaulipas, party leaders said they couldn’t even find candidates who dared to run for mayor in some gang-plagued towns.

“It was an election that began with blood and ended with blood and that was a factor because citizens were afraid to participate,” Sacramento said.

___

Associated Press writers Olga R. Rodriguez reported this story from Ciudad Victoria and Alexandra Olson from Mexico City.

(This version CORRECTS Adds that PRI ended up with same number of governorships it held before elections; adds first reference to drug lord El Chapo; corrects spelling of first name of outgoing Oaxaca governor to Ulises instead of Ulisis.)

TSA to Block Websites Contianing “Controversial Opinions”   Leave a comment

Here’s an interesting article from CBS News.  Now, I’m not against private companies monitoring the web usage of their employees on company time.  It’s their internet and they have the right to enforce a no-web-surfing policy, in my opinion.  Just like, work phones are for work usage, not for personal, unless it’s an emergency.

However, having said that–it’s amazing to me what the TSA is saying here.  That websites with “Controversial Opinions” will be filtered/banned from their web service.  They do not state at all what ‘controversial opinions’ mean and the most important question is–WHAT opinions are considered controversial and WHO are they measured by as BEING controversial?  Is it Fox News controversial because they are not a liberal news source?  Is it alternative media in general?  Are they talking about religious websites?  It’s kind of an open-ended statement. And, why not just block ALL Web-surfing usage during company hours and not ‘certain’ sites. 

What catches my attention is that this is happening so shortly after Obama gaining the power to shut off the internet at will.  Er, I mean, in case of an emergency.  I wasn’t even going to touch on that at all for a while since there is so much other stuff going on, but now that I’m on the topic, I guess I will bring it up and follow it instead of waiting for something major to happen.  It just boggles the mind that the government wants to regulate the internet! 

Well…okay, no it doesn’t, it was just a matter of time, but it’s amazing nonetheless that these rules are being implemented so quickly and nobody seems to care.  The internet is like the last frontier of free speech.  Sure, there are things online that are wrong, that conflict with certain groups, religions and opinions, and might actually ‘offend’ someone, but no one is forcing anyone to go to those places.  And to those that it offends, I’m sorry but, so what.  Grow a backbone.  It’s that kind of mentality that bullies our country into walking on eggshells whenever we speak or think and dampens free speech.  No, I don’t think people should go on tirades and intentionally hurt another person by screaming racial slurs or making obscene comments in public or all that that kind of behavior implies–but when politicians and the media start flinging accusations of things like racism around to get what they want, it’s a weapon against those people who would never THINK of saying those type of things in public.  Oh no, they used slaves to build the white house–I have to vote for Obama because I’m not racist!  Oh no, the Mexicans lost at the Alamo, we’re so mean!  I’m voting for amnesty because I’m not a racist!  When the media pushes that kind of mentality on the public, it’s diabolical!  It’s cruel!  Let people have the truth and make their own assumptions and decisions!  Stop feeding them garbage and half-truths!  This is what OTHER countries do–China, North Korea, Russia–those countries America has tried so hard NOT to become! 

It’s amazing how twisted we’ve become and how pathetic our knowledge is of what’s going on in our own government, the government we chose to govern us. 

Anyway, I’m rambling again.  It’s just–I can’t help but see this in the bigger scope of the issue.  This article is only talking about one organization–one employer–but it apparently is important enough to put in the mainstream news.  With all the legislation that’s coming out now against the internet, am I the only one who thinks it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing this widespread and in the public sector?

The article in question is below:

TSA to Block “Controversial Opinion” on the Web

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is blocking certain websites from the federal agency’s computers, including halting access by staffers to any Internet pages that contain a “controversial opinion,” according to an internal email obtained by CBS News.The email was sent to all TSA employees from the Office of Information Technology on Friday afternoon.

It states that as of July 1, TSA employees will no longer be allowed to access five categories of websites that have been deemed “inappropriate for government access.”

The categories include:

• Chat/Messaging

• Controversial opinion

• Criminal activity

• Extreme violence (including cartoon violence) and gruesome content

• Gaming

The email does not specify how the TSA will determine if a website expresses a “controversial opinion.”

There is also no explanation as to why controversial opinions are being blocked, although the email stated that some of the restricted websites violate the Employee Responsibilities and Conduct policy.

The TSA did not return calls seeking comment by publication time.