Sunday, March 20, 2011

Death threats to Wisc lawmakers

Here's what one liberal writer is saying, via Biased BBC: Shame: Ignoring Death Threats to Wisconsin Politicians Is Media Bias.

The writer is one Lee Stranahan, writing at the Huffington Post. Stranahan describes himself: "I'm a pro-choice, pro-single payer, anti-war, pro-gay rights independent liberal with years of work in print and film backing those positions."

He's shocked an angry that the mainstream press is ignoring death threats against Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin. Welcome to the club, Shanahan -- all non-liberals are incensed at the disgusting double standard. After the Giffords shooting, the liberal press blamed right-wing radio and called for civility, then promptly ignored the rabid nature of protests in Wisconsin.


    Since working with Breitbart, my position on political issues hasn't changed but I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm deeply disappointed by the virulent, lockstep attitude I see on the left. My experience in the last few months tells me what I would not have believed possible; on any number of issues (including Pigford, by the way) I've seen liberals act much nastier and with less factual honesty than the conservatives... and this includes on issues where I disagree with conservatives.

    Burying the death threat story is a clear example of intellectual dishonesty and journalistic bias.

On the one hand I'm glad a far-left journalist has finally seen beyond his own bias and placed his journalism above his activism. On the other hand, why is there only one, and why did it take a ridiculously obvious example like the Wisconsin reporting -- and also the Pigford contract -- to get him to see what's going on?

The socialist media bias is everywhere, and every non-liberal knows this, and this is why the country is getting increasingly angry. This is why the Tea Party movement began, and why the 2010 elections favored conservatives.

These are some of the reasons we non-liberals want to cancel public funding of PBS and NPR. They're not even trying to cover the news. They're solely involved in pushing a far-left agenda, and nothing more. Ira Glass, a socialist worker for NPR, was shocked and upset, it seemed to me, that people are beginning to realize NPR is left-leaning. Is Glass intellectually barren or is he sinister, and which is worse?

Here are just a couple of public radio stories that come to mind from the last few months:

California's Three Strikes law

In a discussion of the law (sentence enhancement), a legal expert was brought in, and this expert said, "A man is serving life in prison for stealing a pizza." NPR felt no reason to challenge that, nor did they bring in a legal expert who favors Three Strikes. And they didn't bring in a member of the public, which mostly supports the measure.

Fact: nobody is serving life in prison for stealing a pizza. I knew that, but how many casual listeners have this level of knowledge?

Here's what the law actually does, which is in contrast to public radio's sole legal expert; emphasis mine: "... the law requires, among other things, a minimum sentence of 25 years to life for three-time repeat offenders with multiple prior serious or violent felony convictions." NPR's chosen legal expert lied by omission, plain and simple, and he went unchallenged. That is grossly dishonest reporting. Any journalism student who tried something like that would receive a failing grade.

The pizza comment was left hanging there, ominously. Because I've read all about Three Strikes from non-partisan sources, I was blindsided by public radio's bias.

    Specifically, the department has developed second striker caseloads where parole agents specialize in supervising these parolees on reduced caseloads. The purpose of creating these specialized caseloads, according to the department, is to allow parole agents to more closely monitor these parolees and provide services that could assist in preventing parolees from reoffending and receiving third strike convictions.

Public radio's "expert" and the interviewer "forgot" to mention that people who have been convicted of two serious or violent felonies and will likely qualify for a Third Strike on their next offense are well counseled. It is made extremely clear to each offender that the next offense could qualify as a third strike. Why didn't public radio mention this?

Another important part of Three Strikes that public radio neglected to mention is discretion:

    Prosecutors can move to dismiss, or “strike,” prior felonies from consideration during sentencing in the “furtherance of justice.”


    In 1994, analysts predicted that Three Strikes would result in over 100,000 additional inmates in state prison by 2003. Clearly, that rate of growth has not occurred. A number of factors have probably contributed to a lower prison population, including the use of discretion by judges and district attorneys to dismiss prior strikes in some cases. While courts do not track how often such discretion is used, some surveys of district attorneys conducted by Jennifer Walsh of California State University, Los Angeles, for example, suggest that prior strikes might be dismissed in 25 percent to 45 percent of third strike cases, resulting in shorter sentences for those offenders.

There is both prosecutorial and judicial discretion, and it is used often.

If public radio's intent had been to inform the public about Three Strikes, all of those points, and many more, would have been made clear. None of them appeared in the story I heard, only the hogwash about a guy doing life for "stealing a pizza."

Quantitative Easing

When President Obama lost control of the House amid Republican threats to rein in spending, he immediately set about QE2. "QE2" is quantitative easing, part 2. In essence, QE floods the bond market with money, newly minted, and it was planned (and accomplished) to increase spending.

NPR's story on this (late last year) had a single economics expert who explained in learned, monotone style that this is a good, sensible policy. There was no contrary view; this was all presented as rock-solid fact, when it is not. Most Americans believe increasing the nation's debt by 1-1.3 trillion dollars annually is a terrible policy. I was floored by NPR's "expert" who tried to explain it away as a sound policy.

Fact: Obama wants to continue to deficit spend on an unprecedented scale, when most Americans are against this policy. Public radio sees their man as embattled, and set about the task of convincing us to support him.

Returning to the gold standard

Returning the United States to the gold standard is a meme that's gaining ground. I have no opinion on the matter, because I don't have enough information. Just as right-wing media began to discuss the merits of the idea, NPR did a story once again with a single economic expert who said that returning to the gold standard would be extremely bad policy. This "expert" said that FDR's overspending saved us from the Great Depression, and if the dollar was bound to gold, he would not have been able to do it. In classic NPR style, no other view was presented.

Socialist media is creating anger

Nobody with an ounce of education under their belt can listen to public broadcasting and take it seriously. No person who is well informed is falling for it. It's patently absurd, and I'm outraged that my money is supporting socialist propaganda.

And public broadcasting isn't alone. It's also ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, the LA Times, NY Times, and most other media in the country.

There is a historical precedent for what is happening in this country today in regards to the press, but I won't give the time period or the country. Those who know about history will know what I'm talking about, and they will also know the results. Let's all hope that the socialists (and let's face it, communists) who control the major media outlets in this country, less Fox and a handful of newspapers, don't push the far-right to complete the historical comparison.

UPDATE: On the morning of 3/21/2011 I heard a long public radio piece on Obama's trip to Brazil. NOT ONE MENTION of the protests. Every time Bush went anywhere, and there were protests, public radio pieces opened with, "Protests greeted President Bush ..."


JC Skinner said...

The gold standard is something you should inform yourself about. Not only is it preferable, it's inevitable.
Already a number of currencies are looking to move to being gold-backed, and plenty of inter-state transactions have recently moved out of the dollar (and the euro to a lesser extent) and into a gold-only currency.
It's essential for providers of fiat currency like the dollar or euro to suppress the price of precious metals because to do otherwise would reveal the ongoing devaluation in real terms that stunts like QE2 are causing.
But all fiats fail in the end (average shelf life historically - 40 years) and when they do, money rushes to real wealth storage - gold, silver, commodities and property. But property has a bad name right now, is still overvalued from the bubble, and hence the money is moving into the PMs in advance of a dollar/euro/etc collapse.
China's hoovering up gold in the hope of being able to present a gold-backed yuan to take over the world reserve currency status.
The only possible hedge against all of this is to physically hold either gold and silver or renminbi.

The Shaved Ape said...

This is very interesting. I appreciate the info.

In my view, the US Constitution needs to be completely rewritten. The gold issue may need to be included, as well as numerous, stronger measures to protect us from our own damned leaders.

JC Skinner said...

Oddly enough, the US Constitution already insists that states should only use gold and silver for currency. Hence the lie of the Federal Reserve Note - not a state issued currency and hence, by a stretch of logic unforeseen by the founding fathers, permissible in US constitutional law.
Remember the government actually stole gold off the American people in 1933 when they first left the gold standard.
This next time around, you might want to have a well-hidden safebox.