What's davintosh? Mostly just the random ramblings of a hopelessly distractible… Hey, what's that?

After The Tea Party, What’s Next?

Filed under: Media Bias — dave @ 11:25 pm 2009/04/20

What’s next indeed… The media and the Obama Administration seem to be busy trying to dismiss the Tax Day Tea Parties as underwhelming flashes in the pan that didn’t amount to anything and won’t be remembered in a week (plans are already in play for a second round of Tea Parties on July 4. (link) More on that later…)

But I will remember. I will remember what was said about how our President and Congress are running roughshod over the will of the people, passing legislation that will encumber us all with debt for generations. I will remember the reason we ended up with a President who was eminently unqualified for the job and a Congressional majority that does not represent the will of the American people… We ended up with them because of media embellishment, obfuscation, and outright lies. I get so angry about media bias, but there is so little I can do about it other than point out that bias and do what I can to amplify the messages of others doing the same. So, to that end I’ve added a new category on Media Bias, and will use my tiny little soapbox here to point out examples of it when I can.

To get things started, here’s a PajamasTV video that does a good job of exposing the cost of that bias.

It’s a rather long video, so I’ll highlight what I thought was the best part. After pointing out the egregious violation of journalistic ethics displayed by CNN ‘reporter’ wench Susan Roesgen at a Chicago Tax Day Tea Party, PGTV’s Bill Whittle has this to share:

Ok look, where is the harm in all this media bias, why does it really matter? Well, during the 2004 election between George Bush & John Kerry, Newsweek Magazine’s Evan Thomas had this to say; quote: “Let’s talk a little media bias here… They’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic and there’s going to be this glow about them, collective glow, the two of them, that’s going to be worth maybe 15 points.” And that was in 2004.

Now even though Evan Thomas talked about Kerry and Edwards being portrayed as having a ‘glow’ about them, the media never really fell in love with John Kerry, they just gave him 15 points at the polls because they were the media. It’s what good liberals do. It’s the right thing to do, you know, it’s kind of a sense of duty on their part.

But, but, but… Four years later, the real deal would emerge. Now you wanna talk about a candidate with a glow they could really get behind… Well now! 2004 was nothing, NOTHING compared to the water the media carried lovingly and with wide-eyed admiration for the true messiah, to which candidate Kerry was in retrospect was merely a long-faced John the Baptist. I mean if this guy was worth an additional 15 percentage points at the polls, then who could put a price on this?

But let’s just say that even with the messiah the media bias alone, forgetting the constant throbbing drumbeat from Hollywood, late-night talk shows, the music industry, academia, all the rest… Let’s just say that Obama has the same benefit of liberal bias that Evan Thomas in an unguarded moment was ready to credit to John Kerry. Well if you look at the 2008 Electoral Map, and if you remove 15 points of media bias from Barack Obama, you will get this result… Obama carries Vermont with three electoral votes and DC with three electoral votes and, well that’s all he gets. Because in no other state was Obama’s margin of victory greater than the 15 points of media bias that the press themselves admit that they were willing to give him. And if you take that press bias away, John McCain wins by a score of 532 to 6.

Ladies and gentlemen, we not only have an aristocratic imperial Congress-for-life that no longer represents the will of the American people, we also have in place of the unbiased dispassionate watchdogs that they claim to be, a wildly partisan and utterly unethical press corps who decides over cocktails who should win elections and who should lose them, and then prepares the appropriate narrative, which they sell to you as the unbiased news. But the current products of CNN, Newsweek, and all the rest are as far from actual news reporting as our current congress and federal government are from the ideals our founding fathers had in mind at the very birth of this great nation.

Granted, Mr. Whittle takes some liberties with his source for the numbers he uses for the effect of media, but his point is valid; that the media’s fawning over Barack Obama during the election and their handling of anything that would’ve reflected badly on him gave him a huge boost in the election. I have to add that John McCain didn’t do himself many favors in the election, and the GOP should’ve been able to present a candidate in the first place. A candidate that better represented what most Republican voters wanted in a President. But the fact remains that had the media not been water carriers for candidate Obama, Barack Obama would not be in the White House now, and would instead be at home in Chicago, nursing his wounds.

Media bias matters.

The Presidential Report Card

Filed under: Politics — dave @ 8:31 am 2009/04/16

President Obama hasn’t been in office for quite 100 days, but that doesn’t stop us from keeping track of how we think he’s doing in his new job. A friend passed a link on to me this morning for a poll being conducted by MSNBC.com, asking people to grade the President’s performance. Very interesting results so far…

(click on the image to go to the poll)

(click on the image to go to the poll)

Almost half of the respondents give him an ‘F’, about half that give him an ‘A’, and the rest spread between ‘B’, ‘C’ & ‘D'; not much middle ground, and a faltering fan base. Even more curious is the number of people hitting this poll right now; between the time I voted (guess what score he got from me) & took that screenshot and now — about ten minutes — the number of respondents has shot up by over 1,000. We’ll be keeping an eye on that as the day goes on.

Give Me Liberty, And Enough With The Debt Already!

Filed under: Politics — dave @ 8:14 pm 2009/04/15

Today is April 15, Tax Day here in the USA, and I just returned from the local Tax Day Tea Party held at Covell Lake. It was pretty inspiring to see how many people turned out for it; it was announced from the podium that there was an estimated 3,500 in attendance, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were more. I wish I’d thought to take a camera along, but…

The speaker at the podium (I have no idea who it was) said that the rally was truly a grass-roots effort, tied to no political party, and as such there were no politicians who would be speaking at the event. I had to cheer for that because as much as I loathe what is happening through the Obama Administration, the last few years with George W. Bush in office weren’t much better. Politics in America is sick, and in dire need of a cure. I hope that these Tea Parties will be the beginning of that cure.

I’m sure that President Obama is sitting on his throne in the Oval Office thinking how silly it all is, because he’s already put the fix in so the middle class gets a bigger refund and has less taken out of their checks for FICA. And besides, he’s only doing it to fix the mess that was left for him by the previous administration. I take issue with the current situation for two reasons: One, the problem isn’t with the now, it’s when the bill comes due. Congress and the President have passed this so-called “Stimulus Package” that obligates us, our children and grandchildren for money that’s to be spent right now on things that we as a country would do better without. And forecasts say that this is only the first round of such spending, and obligation, and the debt being heaped upon the backs of future Americans. The burden of that debt will increase taxes, and will make all of us less free when that debt comes due. And when you think of who it is that owns that debt, it makes you wonder.

Secondly, as one of the speakers at today’s Tea Party so aptly put it, it is “taxation without deliberation”; more accurately, it is taxation and obligation without deliberation. Obama’s “Stimulus Package” was so huge and ramrodded through the House & Senate so fast that the legislation wasn’t even read by most of the people voting on it. Obama told them all that the need was so urgent that there wasn’t time for all that; they just needed to get it passed. And with the majorities in the House & Senate in lock-step with him, it was done, and done without all that pesky debate that brings up so many unpleasant things that they’d rather not focus on.

As the Tea Parties across the country draw millions of people, the President is going to get in front of his teleprompter and lie to us once again, saying his plan is for the best and everything will be alright. He’ll pooh-pooh all who took part in the mock tea dumpings and tell us that his plan is already working to make things better for the middle-class. I have to admit that my tax return is larger this year than I expected, but that doesn’t change the fact that my employer is being hit harder by taxes and as a result has decided against adding equipment and capacity and personnel this year. And he is most assuredly not the only one in this country who has made that decision.

So there are a half-dozen or so people that might have had an opportunity at a better job at a great small business, but won’t. And there are several companies that build equipment that might have had an opportunity to sell us the equipment and services and consumables to put that new equipment to work, but won’t. And it’s all in the name of what President Obama sees as an ‘unfairness’ in the capitalistic economic system that made this country great.

Flying Like An Eagle

Filed under: Cool Technology,Favorite Things,Fun!,Gadgets — dave @ 10:36 am

Or in this case, a hawk. Very similar experience, I’m sure. I’ve had incredibly vivid flying dreams before, and this reminds me a lot of those dreams…

Anyway, this fella strapped a video camera to the back of a hawk and let it do its thing, and came up with a stunning piece of videography.

For years I’ve had this idea of a robotic suit that allows the wearer to fly like a bird… kind of a single-person ornithopter. Turns out I’m not the only one with that idea. This guy, D.C. George, had the same idea and even committed the concept to paper. In 1972. It seems a pretty well-thought out design, reminiscent of the Icarus story in Greek mythology, although I’m not so sure about the h2o2 power source; I suppose he was counting on a method being developed to separate the hydrogen & oxygen and use them for clean combustion. And no worries about melting wax at altitude.

Dealing With The Demented

Filed under: Politics — dave @ 11:24 pm 2009/04/08

I just heard on the radio that the Obama Administration plans to conduct high-level talks with the Iranians. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised; he said he’d do as much during a campaign debate. Hoping that he wasn’t serious was just a little too much to hope for I guess. Or maybe he wasn’t serious, but has since decided that he needs to stick to all his campaign promises, regardless of how ridiculous.

I’m curious though; where do you go when dealing with a regime that has made clear their desire to wipe Israel off the map, and is very likely pursuing nuclear weapons so they can do just that? I can just about hear the exchange…

Hillary: Ok, Mr. Ahmadinejad; your demand for the annihilation of the State of Israel is just too much. You’re going to have to make some compromises!
Ahmadinejad: Oh, ok… How about we just go for decimation instead of annihilation? Would your President go for that?

The Monkey Bars

Filed under: Family,Favorite Things,Fun!,Home Life,Old Things — Tags: , , , — dave @ 11:21 am 2009/04/07

How’s this for obscure… On one of the rare occasions I sat down & watched an old, old re-run of the original Knight Rider (starring David Hasselhoff and the talking early-’80’s Trans Am with the funky strobe light), I happened to spot a set of monkey bars identical to the ones we’ve got in the back yard! That is the only time I have ever seen another set like that. Ever.

Our set is a little more weather-worn than the one in the TV show, which isn’t surprising considering they’ve been sitting out in the weather for about 50 years. The bars were purchased by my parents and have been part of growing up since before I can remember. I recall hearing from someone that they were bought when my eldest sister was little, but I doubt that’s true, as that would make them 60 years old, and counting. When Mom & Dad moved from the house on Walts in 1977 I think the monkey bars went to Dick & Dawn’s house, where they stayed until Yvonne & I bought our house on Norton in 1991 or so. We’ve had them ever since, and they’ve been a fixture in our kids’ backyard playtime.

That’s Caleb, at about 18 months old, after having climbed to the top of the monkey bars. That horizontal bar near the top of his head is about 8 feet off the ground. Enough to make any mom a little nervous.

Yes, 50-plus years does a number on the paint covering the bars, and on the metal underneath. The leg ends get rustier every year, and two have broken loose. I’ve been planning to replace some metal and repaint the bars for years — I even went so far as to buy a few rattle-cans of Rustoleum for the job — but it’s the colors that have delayed me for these many years. The bars were originally painted red, yellow and green, but with the years of fading plus the coat of white paint that Dick applied over everything at some point, I’m just not sure which bar was painted what color.

And then I saw this show, Knight Rider, Season 1, Episode 6, broacast on RTN. My first thought was, “YES! I can finally nail down the colors and get it painted!” Problem was that the set was only seen in one short transition shot in the show, spanning maybe three seconds in the frame, and not very clear. I dug around online looking for the video without much luck. I finally tracked down a copy through Google Video last night; the video is actually hosted by a Japanese YouTube knock-off called YouKu.com, and even has Japanese subtitles! Too cool! (link)

But even after looking through the video frame by frame, the colors aren’t clear enough to make any solid determination. So I guess, to paint the thing accurately I’ll have to go back to my original plan to do some judicious sanding in obscure areas that have maybe been spared the fading effects of the sun & hopefully see what the original colors were. Maybe it’ll get done before it ends up as a heap of iron oxide bits in the grass. Maybe…

Rush Limbaugh To Speak At Sojourners Event?

Filed under: Personal Growth,Politics,The Deep — dave @ 11:19 pm 2009/04/01

I just got this by email this afternoon:

In an inspiring display of bipartisan bridge-building, talk radio personality Rush Limbaugh has accepted Jim Wallis’ invitation to deliver a keynote address at Sojourners’ Mobilization to End Poverty conference in April.

“I’ve always said the monologue of the extreme right is over, and a new dialogue has begun,” said Wallis. “Well, that dialogue is about to get a whole lot louder.”

Bipartisan bridge-building? Whatever. This was a shock to me. But then, I remembered what day it was. Wow; did I get snookered with that! Look at me, the classic April Fool.

I’ve been working on a post about the Sojourners for a while now, and I suppose this is as good an opportunity to finish it up as any. I bumped into the Sojourners a while back and subscribed to their newsletter emailing list out of curiosity. From what I’ve read in those newsletters and on their website, saying that the Sojourners politics is left of center is a gross understatement. Their mission is based on what they call ‘social justice’, and they talk a lot about ending poverty, with seemingly no qualms about employing the government to make it happen. The tone of their newsletters has been next to giddy ever since Obama won the Presidency, presumably because Sojourners sees Obama as one of their own; a leftist determined to even the score between the have’s and the have-not’s in this country through some sort of government-imposed income redistribution.

I would take issue with the Sojourners for that alone, but it doesn’t stop there; they couch their program in Christian jargon, as if Jesus’ mission for Christians was to eliminate poverty through any means possible, including confiscatory taxes on the so-called ‘wealthy’ so the wealth can be “spread around”.

And that’s what really made me wonder what was behind Rush Limbaugh speaking at their big event. Of course, it was just a gag, complete with a hacked version of Limbaugh’s CPAC “national address” from earlier this year, reworded to have Rush mouthing the words that tickle their ears.

I’ve talked about this subject before; Jesus’ primary mission while on this Earth wasn’t to feed the poor or heal the sick or make the lame whole. He was here to save all of Mankind and to bring atonement for our sins. Did he feed the poor and heal the sick and make the lame whole? Sure. But he didn’t focus on that, and neither should we. Especially if doing that involves stealing what some people have rightfully earned so that we can, as our now-President so eloquently put it, “spread the wealth around”.