...doncha think? The news has been full of the most delicious ironies this week. Starting with the outing of OKCupid (the company that eventually caused the downfall of Mozilla CEO Brenden Eich) CEO Sam Yagan as having donated to "anti-gay" candidate Chris Cannon (yes THAT Chris Cannon). Then in the midst of Harry Reid's Koch addled rantings, comes word that Senator Chuck Schumer AND Harry Reid both have taken Koch money! Now comes word that President "Equal Pay for Equal Work" does not provide equal pay to the women in HIS office! CNN calls it a classic case of "do as I say, not as I do". Even more entertainingly ironic was this chyron on CNN during the President's speech about the importance of his "Equal Pay Day".
So we are once again, having the "gun discussion". Both sides are weighing in with their talking points, but neither side is mentioning the one common denominator that most mass shooters share - mental health issues. In a little noticed 2012 article, Mother Jones magazine found that 38 of 61 mass shooters suffered from some sort of mental health problem. That is almost 2/3 - an overwhelming majority.
Another under-discussed issue is that of "gun free" zones. Besides the obligatory statement that declaring an area "gun free" only stops law abiding citizens from carrying, little is said. However, that is a discussion that needs to be had. As I stated yesterday, it appears that gun crime is down dramatically in the first 3 months of legal conceal carry in Chicago. But as John Fund wrote for National Review back in 2012, "gun free" zones are recognized as being....
Gun-free zones have been the most popular response to previous mass killings. But many law-enforcement officials say they are actually counterproductive. “Guns are already banned in schools. That is why the shootings happen in schools. A school is a ‘helpless-victim zone,’” says Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff. “Preventing any adult at a school from having access to a firearm eliminates any chance the killer can be stopped in time to prevent a rampage,” Jim Kouri, the public-information officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, told me earlier this year at the time of the Aurora, Colo., Batman-movie shooting. Indeed, there have been many instances — from the high-school shooting by Luke Woodham in Mississippi, to the New Life Church shooting in Colorado Springs, Colo. — where a killer has been stopped after someone got a gun from a parked car or elsewhere and confronted the shooter.
Well this will not please the gun grabbers at the Brady Foundation, in Congress, in the White House and in Chicago's City Hall.....
In July of 2013, Illinois became the last state in the union to enact a concealed carry law. In January of this year, the state began accepting applications for permits. This week, Chicago police announced that the city’s first quarter murder rate was the lowest since 1958.
Via ABC-affiliate Eye Witness News in the Windy City:
The first three months of the year saw 6 fewer murders than the same time frame in 2013–a 9 percent drop–and 55 fewer murders than 2012, according to a statement from Chicago Police.
There were 90 fewer shootings and 119 fewer shooting victims, drops of 26 and 29 percent respectively, according to police statistics.
Compared to the first quarter of 2012, there have been 222 fewer shootings and 292 fewer shooting victims. Overall crime is down 25 percent from last year, and police said more than 1,300 illegal guns were recovered in the last three months.
Coincidence? Hard to say. And too early to tell.
OBVIOUSLY it is way to early to tell, but the data is still very encouraging - especially if you are a South Side resident.
However, facts are, guns deter crime.
For a long time now we have been hearing that Hispanics are the big demographic group that will sway elections. The media has repeated the mantra that if the GOP wants to win these voters, then they must support amnesty. We all know that is a lie....
The 2008 electoral exit poll showed them breaking 67 to 30 percent for Barack Obama (despite John McCain's support of comprehensive immigration legislation)....
...but the thing that is causing the Democrats to fall out of favor with Hispanic voters has nothing to do with immigration reform.
Harken back to the halcyon days of the 2008 campaign. Then Candidate Obama promised repeatedly to provide unprecedented transparency. "THE MOST TRANSPARENT ADMINISTRATION EVER!" Candidate Obama (and his sycophants) proclaimed. It is a proclamation that President Obama has repeated frequently. Truth, however, is a different scenario entirely.
The media first started taking notice of this during the 2012 campaign...
...from today's New York Times:
The quotations come back redacted, stripped of colorful metaphors, colloquial language and anything even mildly provocative. They are sent by e-mail from the Obama headquarters in Chicago to reporters who have interviewed campaign officials under one major condition: the press office has veto power over what statements can be quoted and attributed by name .... Quote approval is standard practice for the Obama campaign, used by many top strategists and almost all midlevel aides in Chicago and at the White House -- almost anyone other than spokesmen who are paid to be quoted. (And sometimes it applies even to them.) It is also commonplace throughout Washington and on the campaign trail.
The story later states:
The Obama campaign declined to make Mr. Plouffe or Mr. Messina available to explain their media practices. "We are not putting anyone on the record for this story," said Katie Hogan, an Obama spokeswoman, without a hint of irony...
Under President Obama, the insistence on blanket anonymity has grown to new levels. The White House's latest innovation is a variation of the background briefing called the "deep-background briefing," which it holds for groups of reporters, sometimes several dozen at a time. Reporters may paraphrase what senior administration officials say, but they are forbidden to put anything in quotation marks or identify the speakers. The White House held such a briefing after the Supreme Court's health care ruling last month with officials including Mr. Plouffe, Mr. Carney and Dan Pfeiffer, the communications director. But when reporters asked to quote part of the conversation, even anonymously, they were told no. Even the spokesmen were off limits.
Doctoring their own quotes wasn't enough of a red flag for a media that went all in to ensure the President's re-election. They never paid attention to the administrations war on whistleblowers until le 'affaire de Snowden blew up.
We haven't done an ACA news round-up in a while, so in honor of the 4th Anniversary of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, I figured it was time. There is so much to highlight....
The President is on track for back to back "Lies of The Year" - early on during the endless campaign to promote the ACA, President Obama repeatedly stated - If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Republicans insisted that was untrue because not all doctors are on all plans and if you change plans, you will sometimes have to change doctors. Then, the President INSISTED that was nonsense. Today, he's singing a different tune.
"But that’s true if your employer suddenly decides we think this network’s going to give a better deal, we think this is going to help keep premiums lower, you've got to use this doctor as opposed to that one, this hospital as opposed to that one. The good news is in most states people have more than one option and what they'll find, I think, is that their doctor or network or hospital that's conveniently located is probably in one of those networks. Now, you may find out that that network's more expensive than another network. And then you've got to make a choice in terms of what's right for your family."
Gee - who could have EVER seen that coming? Only those of us who actually READ the bill as opposed to those who spewed the pre-approved DNC talking points.
Next comes more evidence that the "Affordable" Care Act is anything BUT affordable. First from The Hill.....
As I stated in my initial post on the subject, there is a reason why I am going to great lengths to publish about the carriage horse industry debate in NYC. We ARE having that discussion here in Utah. There is no avoiding it. So I thought I would provide some inconvenient facts about the carriage industry - courtesy of Jon Katz.
People who think pulling a carriage horse in a park for a farm or draft horse is cruel and difficult work might want to check out two books that have been helpful to me: The Horse In The City: Living Machines in the Nineteenth Century, by Clay McShane and Joel A. Tarr and Horses At Work: Harnessing Power In Industrial America, by Ann Norton Greene. The New York Carriage Horses have better lives than most working horses could ever have imagined...
- Are the horses being abused? There has been one arrest regarding the carriage horse trade and the horses in 150 years, that was in December of last year, it was for driving a horse with thrush, a foot infection. The horse was treated and returned to work. The driver has not yet been tried or convicted. There are many rumors about abuse and dark suggestions, but there is simply no evidence, not in the files of A.S.P.C.A, who supervised the horses for decades, or the N.Y.P.D., responsible for the welfare of the horses now. I asked a police spokesperson of they have any evidence that the carriage horses were being abused, they said they did not have any.
Utah's only carriage company, Carriage For Hire, has only been around since 1987 and his record appears to be spotless. I am unable to currently find any document (police record documented) charges of cruelty against Carriages For Hire.
The horses are "pounding the pavements" all day, never get to rest or socialize with other horses. By law, the horses get 15-minute rest periods every two hours. On slow days, they spent more than half of the day or more in carriage lines around Central Park South eating oats and socializing with other horses. On busy days, they spent 30 to 40 per cent of their time standing in carriage lines, eating oats and socializing with other horses. Back at the stables, they eat hay and oats and socialize with other horses, who are all around them, and they socialize with other horses again on their mandated five week vacations on farms outside of the city. Horses are herd animals, they don't "socialize" in the human sense, they do like and need to be around other horses. Which they are. Even when the horses are trotting to the park, they are aware of one another, can hear each other and talk to one other frequently. The horses do not "pound" any pavements, they move at a slow trot on flat ground for short distances , then get back in long lines and wait to work again, sometimes for hours.
Actually, the new Salt Lake City rule is a little bit tighter than this. Salt Lakes ordinance says that horses can not work more than 8 hours in a single day and they get a 10 minute rest each hour.
- The horses ought to be out in the wild eating grass. Draft horses are domesticated animals that have never lived in the wild. Many horses live on hay and live healthy and active lives without pasture, either the climate does not support grazing or there is not enough land. All of America's working horses were originally imported from Europe, the wild ponies and horses native to the United States perished because they could not interact with humans or do work for them. Large horses consume an acre of grass a day, there are many farms and stables that cannot support that level of grazing.
Most of the working carriage horses would perish quickly in the wild, they could not find enough food, would be subject to the elements, diseases, natural poisons, intra-herd conflicts, and the kinds of predators who helped wipe out the native horses hundreds of years ago. The idea that these horses will all be guaranteed to grave (sic) freely all their lives and cared for is a fantasy.
Many on the right wondered where the anti-war blogosphere went when President Obama started amping up the conflict in Afghanistan? Thanks to one Center for American Progress blogger, we now know.....
Zaid Jilani, a former blogger with the left-wing think tank Center for American Progress, explained this week how the Obama administration frequently tries to censor the progressive organization’s content when it departs from the White House’s agenda.
Jiliani was reacting to two on-air protests by journalists opposed to Russia’s invasion of southern Ukraine. The two worked for Russia Today (RT) — an English-speaking media outlet funded directly by Moscow — and felt their bosses were trying to censor their opinions.
In a post titled, ”How Working in Washington Taught Me We’re All A Little Like RT America,” Jilani explained how the White House frequently played the part of the Kremlin — leaning on management to push their writers in a particular direction, and punishing them if they strayed from the party line.
Jiliani goes on to describe CAP's purposeful decision to not criticize the surge in Afghanistan...
“One of the controversial topics that was very constrained in our writing at ThinkProgress in 2009 was Afghanistan.,” he wrote. “CAP had decided not to protest Obama’s surge, so most of our writing on the topic was simply neutral — we weren’t supposed to take a strong stand.”
That was tough for Jilani, a strong opponent of the war. And as congressional opposition to the war increased over time, he found he was able to criticize the White House more directly.
A couple of weeks ago, on the floor of the Senate, Senator Harry Reid made a statement that will go do in the record books as one of the stupidest ever uttered.
"Despite all that good news, there's plenty of horror stories being told. All of them are untrue, but they're being told all over America...."
One has to wonder if these Nevada Union members are liars as well? Because if you look at their esteemed Senator's statement that would seem to be the case.
Contract negotiations are stalled for thousands of workers at casinos on the Strip and in downtown Las Vegas to the point where they may go on strike — and the sticking point is Obamacare.
On Feb. 20, thousands of housekeepers, porters, cooks, cocktail servers, and others represented by Nevada’s largest union, the Culinary Union Local 226, voted to end a contract extension the workers agreed to last summer. The union wants to maintain its current benefits — including health care coverage at no cost to workers, pensions, and guaranteed 40-hour workweeks.
Rising health care costs due to provisions in the Affordable Care Act could put those benefits in jeopardy, the union says.
Emphasis again and going forward mine.
Progressive Democrats LOVE to tell you that they are for greater choices....choices in marriage, choices in childbearing, choices in living arrangements - but are they REALLY for choice? Or only are they only for the choices that THEY would make? I posit that they are only for the choices that they favor/would make - ie abortion as opposed to childbirth, gay marriage or living together as opposed to traditional marriage.
Example one - school choice. Progressive hero NYC Mayor Bill DiBlasio, who I have already shown is working hard to shut down an industry that he disapproves of, is going after another industry he disapproves of - charter schools.
They're Mayor de Blasio’s educational orphans.
As Hizzoner battles Gov. Cuomo over prekindergarten and charter schools, nearly 200 kids whose Harlem charter de Blasio booted don’t know where they’ll go to class in September.
The distraught families, their lives now thrown into turmoil, feel they have nowhere to turn.
“I wanted the best for my daughter,” said Rakim Smith, 40, a cable technician from Harlem whose daughter Dymond is a sixth-grader at Success Academy Harlem Central Middle School. “Now they’re trying to take it away.”
Smith and Dymond, 11, spent years building a path to a better life with a focus on education and hard work.
Mr. Smith made a choice that he thought was best for his daughter - a choice that Mr. DiBlasio doesn't approve of and because HE does not approve of it, he took that choice away.
Vladimir Putin has asked the Federation Council—the upper chamber of Russia's dummy parliament—to authorize the use of force not just in Crimea, but "on Ukraine's territory until the socio-political situation is normalized." And though American spies and the Washington Post categorically ruled this out just days ago, this was not entirely unexpected. The situation is changing rapidly, but here are some initial thoughts.
Why is Putin doing this? Because he can. That's it, that's all you need to know.....
...Neither America nor NATO can stop this. They've shown they won't in Georgia, because nobody wants to start a war with nuclear-armed Russia, and rightly so. So while Washington and Brussels huff and puff about lines and sovereignty and diplomacy, Russia will do what it needs to do and there's not a thing we can do about it.
Yeah - all that talk about how Vlad was going to abide by international norms, if we just were nice to him...if that was working so well, why didn't we see it coming?
We didn't think Putin would do this. Why, exactly? This has often puzzled me about Western analysis of Russia. It is often predicated on wholly Western logic: surely, Russia won't invade [Georgia, Ukraine, whoever's next] because war is costly and the Russian economy isn't doing well and surely Putin doesn't want another hit to an already weak ruble; because Russia doesn't need to conquer Crimea if Crimea is going to secede on its own; Russia will not want to risk the geopolitical isolation, and "what's really in it for Russia?"—stop. Russia, or, more accurately, Putin, sees the world according to his own logic, and the logic goes like this: it is better to be feared than loved, it is better to be overly strong than to risk appearing weak, and Russia was, is, and will be an empire with an eternal appetite for expansion. And it will gather whatever spurious reasons it needs to insulate itself territorially from what it still perceives to be a large and growing NATO threat. Trying to harness Russia with our own logic just makes us miss Putin's next steps.
The left loves to tell you about how tolerant they are of others, but their actions ALWAYS say otherwise. The double standards of the left are nothing new and are well documented, but today I have a current topic in mind.....gay marriage. Now the left loves to belittle, bash and denigrate (in the name of tolerance of course) those who think that Gay Marriage is not good for the country. Never mind the firmly help convictions of those people....they are obviously bigots, homophobes....pick your epithet because they dare to say that they have a difference of opinion on this issue.
Today's story comes from Colorado, where a homophobic bakery owner declined to do work for a gay couple.....oh wait.
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez needs a new hairdresser — or a new stance on gay marriage.
Martinez was recently dropped by her hair stylist, Antonio Darden, who is gay.
Darden told a local news station that he cut the governor’s hair three times, but won’t do it again as long as she continues to oppose gay marriage.
This really is no different than the story of the Colorado baker or the New Mexico photographer who declined to photograph a gay wedding. However, if you listen to gay rights advocates that freedom to associate thing applies to them. Logical Lady (and Barack Obama voter) Peggy Noonan sees it as part of a larger theme....
The disconnect between DC and Main Street has always been an issue, but lately it has been even greater than usual. DC economists will tell you all day long that there is no inflation, but the reality on Main Street.....
Writer Jen Singer, the mother of two teenage boys, wrestles with her grocery list every week to keep the household budget from getting away from her.
"I'd like the government to stop by my house, come food shopping with me and see where the real costs are," she said.
The adage "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is impossible thanks to apple prices, she said.
"We go through one of these every few days," she said, holding a loaf of bread. "It's a big part of my take home pay."
It's is not her imagination. While the government says prices are up 6.4 percent since 2011, chicken is up 18.4 percent, ground beef is up 16.8 percent and bacon has skyrocketed up 22.8 percent, making it a holiday when it's on sale...
..."The things that are going up in price are the things I absolutely need to buy," she said. "It's the meat, it's the milk, it's the eggs and it's getting out of hand."
An interesting little kerfluffle has arisen in my neck of the woods.
The Granite School District Police Department has issued military-grade AR-15 rifles to all of its officers.
The department bought the guns from the U.S. Military surplus system in an effort to better help officers keep children safe.
Since the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Colorado, law enforcement officers said they have had to change the way they protect schools.
“Over the past 20 years law enforcement across the country has had to respond to the shootings in the malls, the shootings in schools, the shootings in theaters,” said Granite School District Police Chief Randy Johnson. “And to be able to effectively protect the public, we need to be able to match the weapon that is being used by the person that’s attempting to do harm. Most often a long gun is being used by these perpetrators.”
Johnson said the weapons are just a small part of the plan to keep students safe. The department has also been installing a high-tech camera system in all of the district’s schools so it can monitor what is going on from a dispatch center.
Remember the days Democrats spent bemoaning the loss of civil liberties caused by the US Patriot Act? Good times, good times....
The sainted Amy of Hennepin County (aka Sen. Amy Klobuchar) is pushing a bill that would require (a democrats favorite word to be sure) that all cell phone manufacturers install a "kill switch".
On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar introduced a bill that would mandate the creation of “kill switch” technology in new cellphones. While the intent of this bill is to deter theft, its effect would be to create a powerful new tool that would erode civil liberties and make cellphones a more appealing target for hackers.
The proposal is intended to eliminate the market for stolen cellphones. As the thinking goes, since thieves could not sell a disabled phone, the incentive to steal them would be removed and thefts would decline. But mandating the creation of new technology often has unintended consequences.
To be fair, St. Amy did support the US Patriot Act so she is being consistent....on this issue.
And oh those PESTY unintended consequences.....they are a plenty in this bill.
This bill would take the freedom to communicate away from the consumer and place it in the hands of a telecommunications carrier.
Well apparently Mayor De Blasio is starting to feel the heat on his head long crusade to destroy legal jobs in New York. De Blasio, who has long claimed that the New York Carriage horses are kept in deplorable conditions - even though he has never stepped foot into any of the stables, is going to visit the stables he is looking to close.
Facing mounting criticism for refusing to even see the horses he proposes banning from the city, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio Thursday finally promised to go and see the animals in their stables.
But don't expect stupid things like FACTS to change the Mayor's mind. When it comes to the issue, his mind was already made up.
He also promised that he wouldn't change his mind about the ban, no matter what he sees there.
So it's all for show?
Jon Katz called up one former journalistic colleagues to find out why, with all the other problems facing New York City, De Blasio is focusing on this tiny non problem. The answer is not surprising to anyone who is not a progressive.
This is what she said: "You have to understand that the mayor comes from Park Slope, Brooklyn," he said, "not just a progressive place, but one of the most knee-jerk progressive places in the country. Most people there actually believe that it is cruel for animals to work, their whole idea of animals is rescuing them, nobody has any animals there besides dogs and cats and they think it ought to be a crime to buy a dog from a breeder. They are ideologues, not animal lovers."