NBC and Twitter Conspire to Censorship.

Posting the email address Gary.zenkel@nbcuni.com cost Tweeter his account.

Guy Adams is pretty upset with NBCs Olympic coverage and the way it is handling the time shifted coverage, and hasn’t been shy about letting the world know.  He holds Gary Zenkel, the president of NBC Olympics, as the “moronic exec behind the time delay.” And he said Zenkel should be fired. When He posted Zenkel’s publicly known email address NBC complained to Twitter and Twitter cancelled his account.

Adams said in a column for The Independent that Twitter claimed he crossed the line by tweeting out Zenkel’s corporate email address and encouraging his followers to contact the executive directly.

The email address is easily identifiable, common with how thousands of NBC/Univision employees’ email addresses are determined.

Twitter soon suspended Adams’ account, he said. In a story he wrote in The Independent, Adams wrote that after filing an article critical of NBC’s coverage, he checked his Twitter account only to find it had been suspended. When he inquired why, he received the following response: “Your Twitter account has been suspended for posting an individual’s private information such as private email address.”

With that, the account was gone.

And a controversy was born.

Those who object to the heavy handed way that NBC handled this might wawwant to drop an email to. Gary.zenkel@nbcuni.com

Killing Freedom of Speech.

In Boston the Mayor Menino is positioning himself as the arbitor of political correctness and thought.  If one dares to believe differently or independently of proper leftist dogma, Menino has declared it proper and right to deny permits and and licences to do business within his  city. Chick-Fil-A’s crime is that they have spoken out against gay marriage.    While I can understand while some might find offence with some of  company president Dan Cathy’s remarks, there has not been any charges that he or his company have been discriminatory. As reported in the Boston Herald

… the company released a statement yesterday saying it has a history of applying “biblically-based principles” to managing its business, such as closing on Sundays, and it insisted it does not discriminate.

“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender,” the statement read. “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

This isn’t about discriminating policy or practices, and is solely about a Chick-Fil-A and Cathys belief systems and things they have said.  What is treally ironic and strange are some of Meninos statements.

“It doesn’t send the right message to the country,” Menino said. “We’re a leader when it comes to social justice and opportunities for all.”

I guess the social justice and opportunities for all are for those who don’t utilize their 1st amendment rights, and don’t offend the Mayors delicate sensibilities.  I wonder if the Catholic Hospitals are in any danger of Menino’s retribution.

Its truly a shame that the historic Freedom Trail is where the right to freedom of speech is taking such a beating.

It looks like Chicago might be following in Boston’s footsteps.

A Chicago alderman wants to kill Chick-fil-A’s plans to build a restaurant in his increasingly trendy Northwest Side ward because the fast-food chain’s top executive vocally opposes gay marriage.

Maybe a Battle Lost and a War Won

This morning the Supreme Court announced that Obamacare  is found to be constitutional.  Most observers were surprised to find that it was not Kennedy but Roberts that was the swing vote.  Libertarian and right thinking folks are outraged.

What happened? Is Roberts a traitor to the constitution and  its intention?

Conservatives gathering now for a low-tech lynching of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. need to take a quick breath of air and think about what he managed to accomplish by upholding President Obama’s highly unpopular, signature piece of legislation.

Though he shocked many by joining the left plank on the high court,Justice Roberts. pretty much did what he was supposed to do. He finally put a boundary on how much freedom the federal government can gobble up from states and individuals under the “commerce clause” — that most specious scheme for so much federal thievery.

Charles Hurt suggests that there are bigger more important issues at stake. While it seems as though Government takeover of the nations healthcare system is a pretty major issue. Some have claimed that there Roberts was handing over the battle to win the war.

 Here’s the Chief Justice’s opinion (italics in original):

Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals preciselybecause they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority. Congress already possesses expansive power to regulate what people do. Upholding the Affordable Care Act under the Commerce Clause would give Congress the same license to regulate what people do not do. The Framers knew the difference between doing something and doing nothing. They gave Congress the power to regulate commerce, not to compel it. Ignoring that distinction would undermine the principle that the Federal Government is a government of limited and enumerated powers. The individual mandate thus cannot be sustained under Congress’s power to “regulate Commerce.”

The business about “new and potentially vast” authority is a fig leaf. This is a substantial rollback of Congress’ regulatory powers, and the chief justice knows it. It is what Roberts has been pursuing ever since he signed up with the Federalist Society. In 2005, Sen. Barack Obama spoke in opposition to Roberts’ nomination, saying he did not trust his political philosophy on tough questions such as “whether the Commerce Clause empowers Congress to speak on those issues of broad national concern that may be only tangentially related to what is easily defined as interstate commerce.” Today, Roberts did what Obama predicted he would do.

Roberts’ genius was in pushing this health care decision through without attaching it to the coattails of an ugly, narrow partisan victory. Obama wins on policy, this time. And Roberts rewrites Congress’ power to regulate, opening the door for countless future challenges. In the long term, supporters of curtailing the federal government should be glad to have made that trade.

I don’t  claim to understand all of this, I am not a lawyer, I work for a living. Time will be the ultimate judge, Perhaps Obamacare will be tossed by Congress and the Commerce clause will be take on limited application.  Time will tell.

Obama Obtains Bipartisian Unity in Congress.

President Obama has achieved what was once thought of as the impossible. Both Houses rejected his budget unanimously.  Yup not a single vote. no president has done this much in the name of co-operation and unity in bi-partisian politics on Capital Hill.

Senate Democrats and Republicans unanimously rejected President Obama’s proposed budget this afternoon. The final vote tally was 99-0.

Likewise, the House also unanimously rejected the budget in March.

Prior to the vote, Senate Budget Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions blasted the budget. “It was voted 414-0 in the House this year,” said Sessions. I suspect in an hour or so it will go down again on the floor of the Senate by unanimous vote. That speaks a lot. That says a lot. It indicates the sad state of affairs in which we are in. It’s deeply disappointing.”

Obama promised that Washington politics would be different.

Montgomerry TX, Militarized Zone

Montgomery County crashed a drone into their SWAT team tank. I suppose we should just be grateful that it was a tank they crashed into instead of an officer or even an innocent civillian.

As the sheriff’s SWAT team suited up with lots of firepower and their armored vehicle known as the “Bearcat,” a prototype drone from Vanguard Defense Industries took off for pictures of all the police action.   It was basically a photo opportunity, according to those in attendance.

Vanguard CEO Michael Buscher said his company’s prototype drone was flying about 18-feet off the ground when it lost contact with the controller’s console on the ground.   It’s designed to go into an auto shutdown mode, according to Buscher, but when it was coming down the drone crashed into the SWAT team’s armored vehicle.

The damage was not severe, according to Buscher, who described only some ‘blade strikes’ on the prototype drone that was being shown off to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s team.

Maybe Tom Kirkendall has a point when he questions whether the Montgomery County Sherriffs Department has too much money.  Montgomery County is just north of Houston’s Harris County and has some high value taxable lands in the Woodlands  and parts of  Kingwood.  Apparently the county received a Obaman TARP grant to buy one of these things.  So it isn’t just Montgomery county citizens paying for this thing, but all of us.  Do they really need tanks and drones?

Seems like they hold little regard for the people they are supposed to protect and serve. The safety of a drone will never achieve the safety of real piloted aircraft.  Pilots know that any chances taken with an aircraft endangers their life first. A drone operator has little at stake.  The  GAO has looked these droned with skeptism, and spoke of the risks involved.

In the 2008 GAO study, Gerald Dillingham, Director of Civil Aviation for GAO said,

“The concern is that you could lose control of that aircraft and it could crash into something on the ground or, in fact, it could crash into another air vehicle.”

The GAO study found that 65% of drone crashes were caused by mechanical failures.  The study analyzed Pentagon and NASA data on 199 crashes of drones on battlefields.

Before this Montgomery County crash, the only crash of a law enforcement drone was recorded in 2006 in Nogales, Arizona.   The Customs & Border Protection flight crashed in the desert due to the same “lost link” scenario that sent the Montgomery County unit crashing into its SWAT team tank.

When the link between the drone and the control console on the ground is lost, all drones are designed to steady up and glide to a landing.   In some cases, the drones already have a location programmed in for landing in the event of a problem.  In others, there is no such pre-determined landing zone.

Dillingham said that’s another dangerous problem with drones in urban areas.  He said,

“If you’re onboard the aircraft, you can tell that you’re in turbulence and you can maneuver to get the plane or the aircraft out of the turbulence.   But if you’re using a UAV and there are no sensors aboard, you don’t really know that and, again, if you lose that communication link as a result of that turbulence or for any other reason, then you have an aircraft that is not in control and can, in fact, crash into something on the ground or another aircraft.”

Montgomery Sheriffs Department had no comment.

Harry Reid’s Secret Plot to Take over the Internets

You just can’t make up this crap.

Harry Reid is having secret meetings in a plot to have Homeland Security take over the Internet. Perhaps believing, “If the people didn’t like SOPA maybe they would like something worse”.

Details about the bill remain shrouded in secrecy. Clues available to the public suggest that the bill might be stronger than President Barack Obama’s cybersecurity proposal, which was released in May 2011. Reid said that he would bring the bill — expected to come out of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, chaired by Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman — to the floor during the first Senate work period of 2012.

A classified meeting behind closed doors in October 2011 between key Senate committee leaders with jurisdiction over cybersecurity and White House officials, took place at the request of the Obama administration. Lieberman, in an interview with The Hill in October, said that past Senate cybersecurity bills were considerably stronger than the White House proposal.

I guess my question, “Is this about protecting real security interest or is this another powergrab to protect Hollywood from the teenager  downloading the latest tunes?” He shows little concern on how the voter, or the civilian experts and is prepared to move ahead, despite the peoples will.

“It is my firm hope that the working groups will be able to achieve an agreement on legislation by then, but I believe the cyber threat to be of such urgency that we must act whether or not such agreement can be reached,” Reid wrote.

 Some people never never learn.

Tugging on Supermans Cape.

There are a a couple of stories that surfaced this week. That illustrate what seems to be a trend with  gun control movements and their lack of understang of the folks they are trying to effect.

Starbucks Boycott

It was about 2 years ago, that Californians decided to make a statement by making use  of California’s open carry law. The were allowed to open carry their handguns as long as they were unloaded. Folks started taking their exposed guns into all sorts of restaurants and meeting places.

The fight for retailers heated up in early January when gun enthusiasts in northern California began walking into Starbucks and other businesses to test state laws that allow gun owners to carry weapons openly in public places. As it spread to other states, gun control groups quickly complained about the parade of firearms in local stores.

Some were spontaneous, with just one or two gun owners walking into a store. Others were organized parades of dozens of gun owners walking into restaurants with their firearms proudly at their sides.

The panty wetting gun banners got all upset at seeing guns just dangling of folks hips right out there in the open.  The gunbanners complained and one by one many of the establishments adopted a “No Guns Allowed” policy.  Starbucks stood their ground to continued their policy to allow folks who were legally carrying to exercise their right under the law. Continue reading

It Isn’t What You may think.

To many voters a candidates stance on the second ammendment say it all. The candidates support says a lot about what a candidate really believes about rights and the constitution, and maybe even more about how he feels about his constitutes.  A candidate that doesn’t trust the citizens probably doesn’t deserve our vote. Now Mitt Romney isn’t the most conservative of the candidates,  but where does he stand on the the RKBA issues? Surprisingly, he fares pretty well. A posting for GOAL ( Gun Owners Action League) iterates some highlights:

Legislation: During the Romney Administration, no anti-Second Amendment or anti-sportsmen legislation made its way to the Governor’s desk.

Governor Romney did sign five pro-Second Amendment/pro-sportsmen bills into law. His administration also worked with Gun Owners’ Action League and the Democratic leadership of the Massachusetts House and Senate to remove any anti-Second Amendment language from the Gang Violence bill passed in 2006. A summary of this legislation follows.

Budgetary: In the Governor’s first year, he made a political error when he submitted a budget that did away with the Inland Fisheries & Game Fund. (More of this is explained below.) Fortunately, after this matter was resolved, GOAL was able to establish better communications with the Governor’s office. In working with the legislature and the Governor we were able to restore the Fund and increase the money released from it to better manage the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Over the next three years, GOAL was also successful in getting some “capital revenue” released to acquire land for the Division.

Regulations: During his administration, the Executive Office of Public Safety passed a new regulation providing free replacement of firearm licenses to those who had them stolen or lost. (A resident license fee in Massachusetts at that time was $100 every 6 years.) Prior to this new regulation a citizen would have to repeat the entire application process and pay the whole fee to acquire a replacement license.

Policy: His administration conducted a review of the state’s Environmental Police agency (Game Wardens). One major concern was to keep in place the hiring requirement that officers needed to have some environmental education background not strictly law enforcement. This was a policy that GOAL worked to support.

Fees: In 2003 Governor Romney filed budgetary language to raise firearm license fees from $25 to $75. That year the legislature actually raised them to $100 in the General Appropriations bill (Section 34 of Chapter 140 of the Acts of 2003). At that time a resident license was good for 4 years. In 2004 a law was passed increasing the license term to 6 years.

In 2005, Governor Romney waived the administrative fees for the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Fund. The state currently charges these fees that were as much as 36% a year. Gun Owners’ Action League worked with environmental organizations to urge the Governor to temporarily waive the fees until permanent legislation could be passed to do away with the fees all together.

Appointments: One of the agencies that GOAL watches very closely is the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. This agency is run by a strong seven-person board. The appointments to this board are spread out over several years so that drastic changes cannot be made to it in any given year. During his administration, Governor Romney made five appointments to this board. All of the individuals appointed to the board were supported by GOAL.

Proclamations: During his administration, Governor Romney issued a proclamation declaring May 7, 2005 as “The Right to Bear Arms Day”. The proclamation was issued on this date to coincide with GOAL’s Annual Banquet.

Newt Gingrich is some conservative’s favorite. His support for 2nd amendment issues has been a bit on week side. He supported both Lautenburg and the Safezones Gun Bans.

While Newt used the institutional gun lobby as a mouthpiece to convince millions of gun owners nationwide that “as long as he is Speaker, no gun-control legislation is going to move in committee or on the House floor,” he was working behind the scenes to pass gun control. In 1996, Newt Gingrich turned his back on guns and voted for the anti-gun Brady Campaign’s Lautenberg Gun Ban, which strips the Second Amendment rights of citizens involved in misdemeanor domestic violence charges or temporary protection orders –- in some cases for actions as minor as spanking a child or grabbing a spouse’s wrist.(1) Gingrich even called the anti-gun measure “reasonable,” and predicted that it would sail through his Republican-controlled House of Representatives with little trouble.(2) The Lautenberg Gun Ban is one of the Congressional Republicans’ worst betrayals of gun owners, and those complicit in its passage deserve nothing but contempt from gun owners. This gun control measure ranks right up there with the Brady Registration Act as the most aggressive gun control in America, denying hundreds of thousands of would-be gun owners the right to self defense. Gingrich also stood shoulder to shoulder with Nancy Pelosi to pass the “Criminal Safezones Act” which prevents armed citizens from defending themselves in certain arbitrary locations. You and I both know that Criminal Safezones don’t protect law-abiding citizens, but actually protect the criminals who ignore them.(3)

Then there is Ron Paul, the Constitutionalist Libertarian. He has been more than just a little bit hypocritical, While he claims to stand for less government, freedom, and the right to keep and bear arms. He voted against a cpommon sense bill that would have reduced paper work on gun manufacturers.  It was revenue neutral but greatly reduced reporting red tape. While Ron Paul claims and provides some support for support of the 2nd amendment.

Voted NO on prohibiting product misuse lawsuits on gun manufacturers.
A bill to prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse of their products by others. A YES vote would:

  • Prohibit individuals from filing a qualified civil liability action
  • Exempt lawsuits brought against individuals who knowingly transfer a firearm that will be used to commit a violent or drug-trafficking crime
  • Exempt lawsuits against actions that result in death, physical injury or property damage due solely to a product defect
  • Dismiss of all civil liability actions pending on the date of enactment
  • Prohibit the manufacture, import, sale or delivery of armor piercing ammunition

Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; Bill S 397 ; vote number 2005-534 on Oct 20, 2005

Voted NO on prohibiting suing gunmakers & sellers for gun misuse.
Vote to pass a bill that would prohibit liability lawsuits from being brought against gun manufacturers and dealers based on the criminal misuse of firearms. The bill would also block these actions from being brought up against gun trade organizations and against ammunition makers and sellers. The measure would apply immediately to any pending cases. Several specific exceptions to the ban exist. This includes civil suits would be allowed against a maker or dealer who “knowingly and willfully violated” state or federal laws in the selling or marketing of a weapon. Design and manufacturing defect lawsuits are also permitted when weapons are “used as intended.

Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; Bill HR 1036 ; vote number 2003-124 on Apr 9, 2003
Voted NO on decreasing gun waiting period from 3 days to 1.
Vote to pass a bill requiring anyone who purchases a gun at a gun show to go through an instant background check which must be completed within 24 hours [instead of 72 hours].

Reference: Bill introduced by McCollum, R-FL; Bill HR 2122 ; vote number 1999-244 on Jun 18, 1999

He also voted against  the easing of  reporting requirements for gun manufactures.

Really strange that Ron Paul would vote against this. Rep. Paul is has claimed he is against oppressive taxes.  The fact that the excise taxes had to be reported and paid Bi weekly, made these particular taxes oppressive and punitive.  In fact reducing the reporting time to quarterly saves the government $4M over the bi weekly reporting.  What is with Ron Paul? Is he supporting punitive taxation policies or has he turned anti gun? Maybe he is just losing it and doesn’t really know what he is voting on.

Occupy Galveston

The Occupy 5 at Galveston

The Occupy Galveston folks were all set up on the seawall this afternoon. There were only 5 of them although I believe one may have been just a passerby. They were older than most of the Occupy people that I’ve seen on the tube around the country, and they were enjoying themselves.  There isn’t any encampment and the area around them was pretty clean. I wonder if they realize that most of their complaints are pretty much the same as the TEA Partiers  and libertarians,  and that the fix for their issues just might be Hope and Change for  November.   If they change their minds perhaps all those signs could be made into a shelter or two.

Yes, Galveston different and Occupy Galveston is likely different from any of the other Occupy groups.

Caustic Racial Politics

A new law went in effect for the New Year in Chicago. This time it is Nannyism to protect surfs from caustic chemicals.

The law, which took effect Sunday, requires those who seek to buy caustic or noxious substances, except for batteries, to provide government-issued photo identification that shows their name and date of birth. The cashier then must log the name and address, the date and time of the purchase, the type of product, the brand and even the net weight.

While the new law might be considered a nuisance, it takes on a racial implication with Holders claim that asking for an ID is racial discrimination.

Eric Holder has been on a racialist bender the last few weeks.  Last week, he said his skin color is responsible for the fury of criticism over his Justice Department allowing thousands of guns to flood Mexico.  Friday, he blocked South Carolina from implementing a voter ID law under the Voting Rights Act saying it was racially discriminatory.

Sixteen states, including South Carolina, must submit all election law changes to the United States Justice Department for approval.  States also have the option of bypassing DOJ and going straight to court for approval, an option they should readily choose.  This law, unlike so many federal laws, actually has a legitimate Constitutional basis – the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which bars racial discrimination in voting.  Passed in 1965, it was designed to prevent states from drifting toward renewed discrimination.  It is now being challenged as unconstitutionally outdated by Arizona and Shelby County (AL) in federal court.

I believe its really racism of convenience.  Leftist prefer to call actions racist only if it suits their political agenda. If something promotes nannyism or big government then PC arguments don’t accept that an action is racist. But removing dead peoples voter rights is racist, because  there are more minority dead voters than dead WASP voters.