An Easter Message For Militant Atheists

GrumpyAtheist

See also, “Why Are So Many Atheists Such Insufferable Assholes?”

Rand Paul Is Dangerous

I supported Rand Paul’s 2010 Senate campaign, a mistake that I deeply regret. I did not adequately research his views. I did not do adequate due diligence.

As it turns out, Rand Paul’s world view is largely indistinguishable from his father’s, however deftly Rand attempts to distance himself from the nutbaggery of Ron Paul.

The first red flag, for me, was Rand’s idiotic drone filibuster, complete with a cypto-Leftist Paulite reference to “perpetual war.”

Then came his demonstrable ignorance as to the relationship between NSA activities and the Fourth Amendment.

Now comes this alarming trip down memory lane from The Washington Free Beacon:

Rand Paul: Nuclear Iran Not a Threat to U.S., Israel
Endorsed Bilderberg conspiracy theories before winning Senate seat

Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) denied that a nuclear Iran would pose a national security threat to the United States or Israel in a 2007 radio interview with talk show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones….

In a recent Washington Post column, Paul said he does not support containment of a nuclear Iran, but believes it should be an option….

Paul recently came under fire from conservative columnists after Mother Jones unearthed a 2009 speech in which he suggested Vice President Dick Cheney supported the Iraq War because of his past work for defense contractor Halliburton….

Paul has also endorsed “One World Government” conspiracy theories, including theories about the Bilderberg Group, a closed-door annual conference that brings together influential political and financial leaders from around the world….

I strongly recommend that you read the entire Washington Free Beacon piece here. Follow the links there as a well, particularly to his Washington Post piece–the most incoherent assemblage of double-talk I’ve ever read.

And I suggest you read the Free Beacon piece even if you’re a huge Rand Paul fan, because you’re going to be hearing a lot about it going forward, and may as well get used to it.

Remember, this is the guy who said (in answer to a question from Alex Jones in 2011):

“You’re basically what I would call a chip off the old block. Your policies are basically identical to your father, correct?”

“I’d say we’d be very very similar. We might present the message sometimes differently.. I think in some ways the message has to be broadened and made more appealing to the entire Republican electorate because you have to win a primary.”

Pretty much sounds like Paulite taqiyya to me.

CLA Radio 04/18/14: One-Named Artists

CLAR91Banner

The next ConservativeLA Radio show (on Duane FM in the HughniverseFriday, 04/18) will concern itself with artists who, when you hear their first name, you’re fairly likely to know who it is without being told their last name.

And, no, there will be no Cher. Sheesh.

Hope you can stop by, listen to the show, and join us in chat!

Spoiler Set List:

Mystery Mash-Up
Ray: Unchain My Heart
Merle: Wishing All These Old Things Were New
Otis: Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)
Tammy: You’re Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad
Emmylou: Red Dirt Girl
Jimi: Spanish Castle Magic
Louis: Blues For Yesterday
Elvis: Can’t Help Falling In Love
Gillian: Revelator
Janis: Piece of My Heart
Mahalia: Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen
Emmylou: Hard Times
Eric: Reconsider Baby
Neil: Speakin’ Out
Gram: Return of the Grievous Angel
Alison: Stay
Johnny: I Still Miss Someone
Roy: Claudette
Lucinda: Right In Time
Muddy: I Can’t Be Satisfied
B.B.: Every Day I Have the Blues
Pete: Empty Glass
Ella: Let’s Face the Music And Dance
Jaco: Portrait of Tracy
Al: Call Me (Come Back Home)
Rosetta: You Gotta Move
Ray: Hallelujah I Love Her So
Dwight: A Thousand Miles From Nowhere
Duke: Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
Ernest: Walking The Floor Over You
Patsy: Walking After Midnight
Django (and Stephane): Sweet Georgia Brown
Frank: That’s Life
Frank: Valerie

The Pulitzer Prize Comes Full Circle

In 1932, New York Times‘ Moscow bureau chief Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize for his “reporting” on the Soviet Union:

As the Times itself wrote in 2003 (h/t Wikipedia) (emphasis added):

A Columbia University history professor hired by The New York Times to make an independent assessment of the coverage of one of its correspondents in the Soviet Union during the 1930′s said yesterday that the Pulitzer Prize the reporter received should be rescinded because of his “lack of balance” in covering Stalin’s government.

The Times had asked the professor, Mark von Hagen, to examine the coverage of the correspondent, Walter Duranty, after receiving a letter in early July from the Pulitzer Prize Board seeking its comment. In its letter to The Times, the board said it was responding to “a new round of demands” that the prize awarded to Mr. Duranty in 1932 be revoked. The most vocal demands came from Ukrainian-Americans who contended that Mr. Duranty should be punished for failing to report on a famine that killed millions of Ukrainians in 1932 and 1933.

In his report to The Times, Professor von Hagen described the coverage for which Mr. Duranty won the Pulitzer — his writing in 1931, a year before the onset of the famine — as a “dull and largely uncritical recitation of Soviet sources.”

“That lack of balance and uncritical acceptance of the Soviet self-justification for its cruel and wasteful regime,” the professor wrote, “was a disservice to the American readers of The New York Times and the liberal values they subscribe to and to the historical experience of the peoples of the Russian and Soviet empires and their struggle for a better life.”

Fast-forward to today (also from the Times):

The Washington Post and Guardian U.S. won the Pulitzer Prize for public service, among the most prestigious awards in journalism, for their stories based on National Security Agency documents leaked by the former government contractor Edward J. Snowden.

Through a series of reports that exposed the N.S.A.’s widespread domestic surveillance program, the Post and Guardian U.S. sparked an international debate on the limits of government surveillance. The papers also came under heavy criticism by the American and British governments, with lawmakers accusing the two papers of compromising national security.

In March, William A. Jacobson wrote at LegalInsurrection.com (emphasis added):

Edward Snowden is the hero of those seeking to protect privacy of Americans.

He’s also certainly the hero of the Russian and Chinese military and intelligence services, who don’t exactly speak on camera.

The New York Times and Spiegel revealed, based on Snowden leaks, how the NSA managed to penetrate a Chinese computer equipment company’s source code and obtain an ability to monitor communications through that equipment. That fact, plus revelations as to how it was done, will help Chinese intellegence agencies tremendously.

There’s also question as to whether Russian intelligence obtained materials allowing it to evade NSA surveillance with regard to it’s Ukraine operations, reports Michael Kelley at Business Insider….

U.S. officials think that that Russia recently obtained the ability to evade U.S. eavesdropping equipment while commandeering Crimea and amassing troops near Ukraine’s border.

The revelation reportedly has the White House “very nervous,” especially because it’s unclear how the Kremlin hid its plans from the National Security Agency’s snooping on digital and electronic communications.

One interesting fact involved is the presence of Edward Snowden in Russia, where he has been living since flying to Moscow from Hong Kong on June 23.

In August, primary Snowden source Glenn Greenwald told The Associated Press that Snowden “is in possession of literally thousands of documents … that would allow somebody who read them to know exactly how the NSA does what it does, which would in turn allow them to evade that surveillance or replicate it.”

So it’s either a crazy coincidence that the Russians figured out how to evade NSA surveillance while hosting the NSA-trained hacker, or else it implies that Snowden provided the Russians with access to the NSA’s blueprint.

And so we come full circle: The Left pimps for the Russians, Pulitzer Prizes are awarded, and Ukraine suffers.

Another Day, Another Algonquin Roundtable

So much heartbreaking genius, so little time.

 

TwitterAlgonquinRoundtable

 

Here’s the link in case they decide to share more trenchant insight.

MSM Continues To Ignore IRS Story…

ConservativeLA-IRSLogoUpdateAvi…except to frame it in terms of what the MSM sees as poor Elijah’s persecution at the hands of Issa’s “McCarthyism,” not in terms of the apparent collusion between the IRS and Cummings’ office in the harassment of True The Vote.

Search of Google News, Cummings + IRS + Issa, “Explore In Depth,” just after 7:00 AM PST:

Issa hits Cummings over staffers’ IRS request
Daily Caller – ‎9 hours ago‎

Darrell Issa says emails suggest Elijah Cummings prompted IRS targeting of …
Washington Examiner – ‎17 hours ago‎

Issa accuses Dem of obstructing IRS probe
KSAT San Antonio – ‎12 hours ago‎

Issa Accuses Cummings of Colluding with the IRS
National Review Online – ‎17 hours ago‎

Issa: IRS coordinated with Dems to attack tea party group
Washington Times – ‎16 hours ago‎

Elijah Cummings: Darrell Issa’s McCarthyism
Politico – ‎Apr 9, 2014‎

Issa: IRS worked with Democrats to attack tea party group True the Vote
Washington Times – ‎12 hours ago‎

Darrell Issa’s Democratic counterpoint: You’re pulling a McCarthy in IRS case
CNN International – ‎21 hours ago‎

House Oversight GOP: Cummings Behind IRS Probe of True the Vote
Newsmax.com – ‎2 hours ago‎

Cummings: Issa’s McCarthyism
Politico – ‎Apr 9, 2014‎

Cummings blasts Issa for ‘reckless claims’
MSNBC – ‎Apr 9, 2014‎

House Panel to Hold Contempt Vote on IRS Official
ABC News – ‎2 hours ago‎

Emails reveal IRS collaboration with Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings
American Thinker (blog) – ‎1 hour ago‎

Emails show obstructionist House Oversight Democrat asked IRS for info on …
Human Events – ‎21 minutes ago‎

Dem. Elijah Cummings defends shocking emails showing he coordinated with …
BizPac Review – ‎1 hour ago‎

Top Dem. on House Committee Investigating IRS Scandal May Have Been …
TheBlaze.com – ‎12 hours ago‎

Rep. Cummings Links Lerner Contempt Vote To McCarthyism
RTT News – ‎18 hours ago‎

Elijah Cummings promises to respond to Republican request for information on …
Washington Examiner – ‎16 hours ago‎

Why ex-IRS official Lerner likely faces charges after taking the Fifth
Constitution Daily (blog) – ‎4 hours ago‎

Oversight Committee Readies Contempt Vote For Lois Lerner
Town Hall – ‎1 hour ago‎

House Committee asks Justice Department to review whether Lois Lerner’s …
The Plain Dealer – ‎19 hours ago‎

House has ability to jail Lois Lerner without Holder’s cooperation
American Thinker (blog) – ‎5 minutes ago‎

Democrats: Prosecuting Lois Lerner Could Violate Your Privacy
GovExec.com – ‎Apr 9, 2014‎

When ‘No’ Means ‘No’
National Review Online (blog) – ‎6 hours ago‎

The IRS Scandal Nears a Climax
Power Line (blog) – ‎13 hours ago‎

Bombshell: Emails Show Democrat on Oversight Committee was Working With …
PJ Media – ‎15 hours ago‎

How Elijah Cummings Became Democrats’ Favorite Fighter
BuzzFeed – ‎Apr 7, 2014‎

Lois Lerner leaked to Dems confidential tea-party emails
WND.com – ‎14 hours ago‎

MSNBC’s Reid: Holding Lois Lerner In Contempt ‘Really Does Ratchet Up The …
NewsBusters (blog) – ‎14 hours ago‎

Democrat Busts Darrell Issa for Behaving Exactly Like Richard Nixon
PoliticusUSA – ‎18 hours ago‎

House Oversight Committee recommends that congress hold Lois Lerner in …
USFinancePost – ‎Apr 9, 2014‎

What’s To Be Done About Lois Lerner?
Commentary Magazine – ‎14 hours ago‎

IRS Report – Conservative Groups Were Targets
USFinancePost – ‎Apr 9, 2014‎

No More Lies, Mr. Cummings: Tell America The Truth
Canada Free Press – ‎13 hours ago‎

House GOP Attacks Ex-IRS Official on Two Fronts While Democrats Fret
National Journal – ‎Apr 8, 2014‎

Hits And Misses Re IRS Story

Click on screen shots for better resolution.

 

ResizedIRS-WeeklyStandard ResizedIRS-Twitchy ResizedIRS-TruthRevolt ResizedIRS-Townhall ResizedIRS-TheBlaze ResizedIRS-PJMedia ResizedIRS-NBCNews ResizedIRS-FreeBeacon ResizedIRS-FoxNews ResizedIRS-DailyCaller ResizedIRS-CNN ResizedIRS-CBS ResizedIRS-Breitbart Resized-IRS-ABCNews

#INeedFeminismBecause

INeedFeminism

In Re Holder’s ‘Smart Gun’ Musings

Here’s a bit of sloppy reporting by the Washington Free Beacon that begins with the headline and continues through the story below (emphasis added). Ordinarily I don’t paste entire articles (except for paragraph-by-paragraph deconstructions), but I want to examine the story in context. Please refer to original articles for relevant links therein:

“Holder: We Want to Explore Gun Tracking Bracelets: DOJ requesting $2 million for ‘Gun Safety Technology’ grants.”

Attorney General Eric Holder said on Friday that gun tracking bracelets are something the Justice Department (DOJ) wants to “explore” as part of its gun control efforts.

When discussing gun violence prevention programs within the DOJ, Holder told a House appropriations subcommittee that his agency is looking into technological innovations.

“I think that one of the things that we learned when we were trying to get passed those common sense reforms last year, Vice President Biden and I had a meeting with a group of technology people and we talked about how guns can be made more safe,” he said.

“By making them either through finger print identification, the gun talks to a bracelet or something that you might wear, how guns can be used only by the person who is lawfully in possession of the weapon.”

“It’s those kinds of things that I think we want to try to explore so that we can make sure that people have the ability to enjoy their Second Amendment rights, but at the same time decreasing the misuse of weapons that lead to the kinds of things that we see on a daily basis,” Holder said.

The Justice Department has requested $382.1 million in increased spending for its fiscal year 2014 budget for “gun safety.”

Included in the proposal is $2 million for “Gun Safety Technology” grants, which would award prizes for technologies that are “proven to be reliable and effective.”

President Barack Obama’s budget proposal also calls for $1.1 billion to “protect Americans from gun violence—including $182 million to support the president’s ‘Now is the Time’ gun safety initiative.”

A recent innovation allows a gun owner to only unlock a safe with a fingerprint scan and an “RFID-equipped bracelet.”

Others have suggested manufacturing GPS tracking and RFID chips into every gun. RFID chips transmit location data and are used by law enforcement agencies to send automatic alerts if a weapon moves away from the tracker, indicating that the gun is lost or stolen.

Twitter friend @OhioCoastie alerted me to this contra-narrative from BearingArms.com (emphasis added):

“No, Eric Holder Didn’t Say Anything About “Gun Tracking Bracelets.” As Fast and Furious Proved, DOJ Doesn’t Care About Tracking Guns.”

The Free Beacon is falsely reporting that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder advocated for exploring the use of “gun tracking bracelets” while testifying in front of Congress:

Attorney General Eric Holder said on Friday that gun tracking bracelets are something the Justice Department (DOJ) wants to “explore” as part of its gun control efforts.

When discussing gun violence prevention programs within the DOJ, Holder told a House appropriations subcommittee that his agency is looking into technological innovations.

As much as Holder deserves to be rotting in prison (he’s still in criminal and civil contempt of Congress for continuing to stonewall the House Oversight committee’s request for DOJ internal documentation regarding Operation Fast and Furious, but craven U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen refuses to imprison his boss), Holder simply did not say what the Free Beacon reporter claimed in her article, as the video segment of that conversation and the transcript of it (both below) clearly show.

“I think that one of the things that we learned when we were trying to get passed those common sense reforms last year, Vice President Biden and I had a meeting with a group of technology people and we talked about how guns can be made more safe,” he said.

“By making them either through finger print identification, the gun talks to a bracelet or something that you might wear, how guns can be used only by the person who is lawfully in possession of the weapon.”

At no point during the conversation did Holder mention “gun tracking bracelets.”

He was instead likely referring to “smart gun” technologies like the RFID technology used in the technological train-wreck that is the Armatix iP1 pistol/iW1 watch combination.

I’ve discussed in the past that the Armatix iP1/iW1 combination is a dangerously unreliable, imminently-hackable, seriously under-powered, and prohibitively expensive gimmick.

I’ve also made the argument that imposing an $1,800 pistol/watch combo upon the citizenry by executive mandate or legislation is inherently racist as the equivalent of a poll tax, designed to economically disenfranchise those most likely to live in high-crime-rate neighborhoods, who are disproportionately minorities.

But for all the iP1/iW1 combination’s faults, I’ve seen nothing that hints that it is designed as a tracking device, nor did the Attorney General mentioned anything during the video-taped segment above indicating that he is interested in tracking guns.

If anything, Operation Fast and Furious, Gunwalker, and the various other gun-smuggling plots (up to ten in five cities) of the Department of Justice prove that the Obama Administration has no interest in tracking guns… even after hundreds of civilians and a number of police officers in two nations die as a result.

Point taken that the Washington Free Beacon overstepped by writing that Holder was talking about “exploring” gun-tracking per se. Holder did not explicitly invoke tracking.

But here’s the problem. RFID is a technology whose raison d’être is tracking:

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is the wireless non-contact use of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects. The tags contain electronically stored information. Some tags are powered by and read at short ranges (a few meters) via magnetic fields (electromagnetic induction). Others use a local power source such as a battery, or else have no battery but collect energy from the interrogating EM field, and then act as a passive transponder to emit microwaves or UHF radio waves (i.e., electromagnetic radiation at high frequencies). Battery powered tags may operate at hundreds of meters. Unlike a bar code, the tag does not necessarily need to be within line of sight of the reader, and may be embedded in the tracked object.

So it bears noting that, yes, the Washington Free Beacon engaged in sloppy reporting.

But it also bears noting that BearingArms.com engages in some odd logic in discussing a technology (at least in the example given) that is RFID-based, and is “imminently-hackable” in their estimation, but is somehow not a potential tracking technology, in their view.

Can you say Trojan Horse?

And I’ll leave aside the issue of the self-evident idiocy of the stated purpose of the technology, even if perfectly executed and absent any possibility of tracking or hacking.

I’ll stick with analog. But thanks just the same, Mr. Holder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oliver Willis Wayback Machine

This suddenly popped up in my Twitter timeline. Hat tip to whoever dug it up.

“Hillary White Power Clinton,” by Oliver Willis, 5/8/08:

The last throes are pretty messy.

Hillary Rodham Clinton vowed Wednesday to continue her quest for the Democratic nomination, arguing she would be the stronger nominee because she appeals to a wider coalition of voters — including whites who have not supported Barack Obama in recent contests.

“I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on,” she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article “that found how Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.”

“There’s a pattern emerging here,” she said.

Indeed, a pattern has emerged some time ago. Boy, did we dodge a bullet.

“[W]orking, hard-working Americans, white Americans”. She really said that. Wow.

Congratulations, Hillary Clinton, you win the prize for the first Democratic Bigot Eruption since I’ve been keeping track of this. Even professional haters like Pat Buchanan and his ilk aren’t so balls-out about racism. You’ve been getting your ass handed to you and especially among black voters. This shows me once again that we – who are apparently lazy and shiftless non-Americans based on your definition – have yet again been a leading indicator.

There was maybe a slight chance Barack Obama might have been pushed to pick you as his running mate, but we can’t have someone spouting Klan-style talking points on the ticket. Heck, there’s a good shot with language like that you won’t win back your senate seat in 2012. I mean, a lot of those apparently lazy and shiftless non-American blacks helped you to win and they’d just as soon vote for someone else in the primary or the Republican in the election rather than someone echoing Bull Connor’s language.

“Working, hard working Americans, white Americans”, indeed.

UPDATE: Thanks for the link Americablog, and to make clear what I consider Clinton’s Klan-style talking point is her assertion that the hard working Americans are white Americans. That’s what I take offense to, and I don’t think you have to be black to feel that way.

That’s just grand. Usually I don’t cut and paste entire articles, but it would be a shame if this disappeared.

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