Archive for the ‘News Media’ Category
Rush Limbaugh is invoking the evil, statist DMCA to block this compilation video from The Daily Kos:
Deal is, Kos posted this video on Youtube. Limbaugh invoked the DMCA to have Youtube take it down. Youtube complied.
Kos immediately reposted at Vimeo.
Kos quite rightly says:
This isn’t 1823, no matter how much Limbaugh might wish it so. He gets the video pulled from one place, it’ll simply pop up somewhere else. If he really wants it offline, he’s going to have to meet us in court. And even that won’t do the trick.
That darn First Amendment will get in his way.
Rush, as often as I agree with many of your sentiments on this matter, swinging the DMCA hammer makes you an idiot. What were you thinking?
No, I’m not being ironic. No, I’m not making fun of Kos. No, I’m not parodying anybody’s manner of speaking.
You are an idiot for doing this. Plain and simple.
Stop embarrassing yourself, and those of us who agree with you.
Lawdog gives us an excellent example of how badly the politically correct narrative of the traditional media is breaking down.
Robert Heinlein is often quoted as saying, “An armed society is a polite society.”
In my experience nowhere has this been as apparent as this convention. Everyone, from the NRA Media staff to 99% of the vendors to the people wandering the aisles, has been as courteous and accomodating as they can be.
Well, for the most part. Several bloggers — friends both old and new — have taken over a table in the corner of the Media Room as base camp for our perambulations throughout the convention, and as I sit here, I can look over to the long table occupied by traditional media … and the disdain of not only the traditional media, but the traditonal gun media, for us lowly, plebian bloggers is palpable.
LD goes on to give a couple of examples of how exhibitors changed, very much for the better, when they learned that LD’s “Media” pass meant “blogger”.
I would love to see video of pro-gun media, I mean bloggers, attempting to interview the moribund media.
If you believe the BATFE merely “allowed” criminals to buy the guns, you have to believe that there were regular, on-going attempts, by Mexican gangsters, to make huge purchases at U.S. gun stores, that these huge purchases were being regularly denied, and that the Mexican gangsters simply kept trying, failing, trying, failing, and then one day, all of a sudden, the gigantic sales start being approved, one and another and another, simply because our local dufi started pushing the green button instead of the red button. And nothing else.
Sorry; I can’t believe it. I say those purchases were engineered. Someone had to be in contact with known criminals, asking them, or ordering them, to come here and make those purchases and take delivery down south. Can we please stop using “allowed” or “let” when talking about this? It defies logic.
It certainly does. The Gunwalker scandal grows, and grows, and grows.
The adamant refusal of the press to examine it, to take it seriously, is a scandal in and of itself, quite possibly the more damaging one. It is clear, unequivocal evidence of deliberate complicity.
If other news channels continue to ignore it after Fox’s discovery of a third Fast and Furious gun hidden, covered up, at the scene of Brian Terry’s murder, I say that makes them culpable as well.
I’ve listened several times to Utah Republican Senator Bob Bennett’s interview with Michele Norris from NPR. [There's a transcript there if you prefer to read, but I encourage you to listen at least long enough to get a feel for the tone of the thing.] Bennett’s defeat in Utah’s May 11 primary after serving three terms is credited to the Tea Party movement.
I’m struck by the confusion evident from both Bennett and Norris. They have no idea whatsoever what just happened. Norris doesn’t know how to frame her questions, and Bennett has all the answers that he knows should have worked.
There’s several illuminating passages, but what I want to write about today is an exchange that didn’t happen, the question I wanted to ask that would never have occurred to Norris.
The constituency that abandoned him comes off as ill-informed and inarticulate. It’s easy to guess that this fits with how NPR and the establishment powers view the Partiers. However, it’s also no doubt accurate; the Tea Parties are still inchoate, still fragmented, still with no cohesive, organized platform, still with no clear principles.
Moreover, our political vocabulary has become so debased that it is almost impossible to coherently criticize what has been happening for the last several decades in terms most people have been trained to understand. That vocabulary has been constructed by those we want to criticize, and it’s devilishly hard to use against them.
Which leads us to this exchange:
NORRIS: About one-third of the Utah GOP convention delegates were part of the Tea Party movement. Did you do a good enough job as a senator of representing their interest? Many of them felt like they were ignored by Washington, even by the representatives within their own party.
Sen. BENNETT: When you talk to them and said, well, what did I do that didn’t represent you, there was never – other than, well, you voted for TARP and that was unconstitutional – as I say, I could talk that one through with them, and oh, well, maybe you did the right thing. Someone would say I’m not troubled about TARP. You’ve just been there too long.
NORRIS: What do you make of that? How do you respond to someone who feels like you’ve been there too long?
Sen. BENNETT: There really is no response. Some of my supporters would report conversations they would have. One in particular said to this woman: Who are you voting for? She said: I’m voting for Cherilyn Eager. Why? Well, she loves the Constitution. All right, Senator Bennett loves the Constitution. Yeah, but Cherilyn Eager loves it more. And finally, my supporter said, well, I guess there’s nothing I can say to you. And they said no, because I want somebody who really, really loves the Constitution.
And here, I wanted to thumb the transmit button on the radio and ask, “If you love the Constitution, Senator, what’s your favorite enumerated power?”
In my fantasy, the scene changes, dreamlike, and I am now confronting a generic politician at a town meeting or Tea Party. In the minds of most politicians, I suspect, “Love the Constitution” is a meaningless phrase, sort of like, “uphold and defend” or “enemies foreign and domestic”. It’s just one of those things you have to say to take office so you can
ruleguide your flock taxpayers constituents to healthy, safe, and productive lives; get yourself some kickbacks, and maybe enjoy some of that intern nookie.
I let him stumble for a bit. He probably thinks, “the Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises,” but of course he can’t say that out loud. Maybe he takes a stab at providing for “the common Defence and general Welfare”, or “securing the blessings of Liberty”, or even securing “life, liberty, and [the] pursuit of happiness” for the people.
He pauses, and I ask, “Want to know my favorite power?”
He is wary, but nods.
“The power of the people to keep and bear arms.”
“But…but…that’s not a power, that’s a…that’s why we have the National Guard!”
One of the debasements I’m talking about is the blurring of rights and powers, but what that usually does is to dilute rights and disguise tyranny. For instance, there’s the supposed right to health care, something which is really an individual responsibility, but which has been converted to an excuse to exert control. You also often hear that the police have the right to search you under various circumstances, but that’s not a right at all, it’s a delegated power. The cleverness here is that “rights” are good things. When something is declared a “right”, we automatically nod our heads.
I want to blur in the other direction, but in so blurring, reveal:
The purpose of the Constitution, as I see it, is to define the structure of our government, to define its powers, and to limit those powers, primarily in the Third through Eighth Amendments.
The first two Amendments, however, create the fourth branch of government which balances the other three: We, The People. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments bolster that branch, but those first two Amendments give us specific powers, in keeping with the overall purpose of structuring the government. They are not delegations, though; they are reservations. (To clarify: We often say that the Bill of Rights does not grant those rights, but merely protects natural rights we possess independently of any government or mere document, and that’s true, in our private lives. Here, however, I speak of The People as that virtual Fourth Branch, which must have its powers enumerated.)
We rule here, not our elected officials; they can only lead, using powers that come from us, powers that we delegate to them but do not necessarily give up ourselves, even if we only exercise them via the light reins of election.
The First Amendment is all about reserving to us, the people, the power to decide the direction of the Nation ourselves. Freedom of Religion preserves our consciences, our power to decide for ourselves in our own minds what is right and wrong; Freedom of Speech is our power to express our consciences and persuade our fellows; Freedom of Press is our power to subpoena the government and its agents and make their words and deeds public, to inform ourselves about the world at large, and to broadcast our knowledge, ideas, and opinions to an audience larger than our voices can reach; Freedom of Assembly is our power to debate and decide in aggregate, and to form ad hoc congresses and committees; Freedom of Petition is our power to grab our elected and appointed watchdogs by the scruff of the neck and scold them when they chew the furniture, piss on the rugs, bark at the moon, or snarl at family, friends and neighbors.
The Second Amendment reserves our power to shoot the damn curs when they go rabid and attack us.
When you consider the First and Second Amendments in this way, attempts by the government to limit or infringe those rights are exposed as attempts of one branch of government to usurp the powers of another. It is as if during the State of the Union address, soldiers equipped with riot gear and rifles stationed themselves around the chamber, while the President announced a list of bills he wanted passed….
In any event, the First and Second Amendments at least protect protect personal rights, and thus cannot be lightly dismissed. Instead, they have been simply redefined, and their original purposes deliberately obscured and forgotten.
The First Amendment has been debased by trivializing and debasing the activities it was meant to protect: Freedom of Religion converted to freedom from morals; Freedom of Speech converted to freedom of cussing; Freedom of Press to freedom of porn; Freedom of Assembly to freedom of riot; Freedom of Petition to freedom of whining.
The attack on the Second Amendment continued the strategy of debasement. First, it was redefined as the freedom to decorate our mantles with antiques, to punch holes in paper from yards away, and to shoot Bambi’s Mom. This last was brilliant, as it converted providing food to cruel sport (something that evil, capitalistic entrepreneurs made possible by turning food into a commodity). That approach was then extended to convert a right of the law-abiding and peaceable to an excuse for the criminal and racist, an excuse which obviously must be abolished. Meanwhile, the right of self defense was dismissed as corrupt bourgeoisie vigilantes oppressing the poor and disenfranchised. There’s also been an attempt to redefine it as the right of the State to protect itself against us, although that “collective” interpretation is beginning to crumble.
In these ways, our competency for self rule has diminished from the fundamental assumption the Constitution was meant to defend, to a fantasy that only the deranged even mention.
In these ways, language meant to protect our right to self-sovereignty has been defanged, defamed, and demolished, making it impossible to even talk about our power to rule ourselves.
In these ways, we have been debased from citizens to mere subjects.
[I really want to go through the Bennett interview line by line; it exemplifies perfectly why the traditional parties and media are so lost.]