Recent Posts From Tom Knighton
Is there a media bias? Absolutely. My day job is an online newspaper publisher, and I’ve watched the industry from that perspective. So what do I think about it?
In a column currently up at The Blaze, I say this:
Asking about media bias is usually a good way to sniff out where someone falls on the political spectrum. If they run progressive, they probably don’t think it exists. If they’re a conservative or libertarian, they most likely believe it’s a very real thing. Well, as a journalist, I’m here to tell you that it is.
Folks, media bias is real. There’s no way to get around it, despite what your local newspaper reporter may say. It is real, and there are real reasons why it exists.
First, journalism isn’t a high paying position. While some journalists make good money, those are the ones at the top of the game. The very highest echelon of any industry tends to be rewarded greatly for that status, and journalism is no different. An industry with a lack of high paying jobs attracts a certain sort of person, and that’s where the problem begins.
You get it, right? Dianne Feinstein doesn’t like guns. I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say, “Yes Dianne, we get it.” Feinstein has a history with guns. You see, she became mayor of San Francisco when Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone were murdered by city supervisor Dan White. This is a point that Feinstein uses to leverage her position on guns into being somehow more moral than that of gun rights advocates.
Yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz asked her if she would be as quick to circumvent the First and Fourth Amendments as she is to gut the Second. Her response [emphasis added]:
“I’m not a sixth grader,” said responded. “Senator, I’ve been on this committee for 20 years. I was a mayor for nine years. I walked in, I saw people shot. I’ve looked at bodies that have been shot with these weapons. I’ve seen the bullets that implode. In Sandy Hook, youngsters were dismembered. Look, there are other weapons.”
“I’ve been up — I’m not a lawyer, but after 20 years I’ve been up close and personal to the Constitution. I have great respect for it. This doesn’t mean that weapons of war and the Heller decision clearly points out three exceptions, two of which are pertinent here.”
Feinstein is saying that she saw Milk and Moscone’s bodies, and that is at least half true. She is the one who discovered Milk’s body, and she might have seen Moscone’s. However, she goes on to imply that they were killed with “these weapons”, which is complete bull. Dan White, who murdered Milk and Moscone, used a revolver, the one weapon type that Feinstein is doing nothing about.
Gun control advocates have been pushing hard for new background check regulations. Not only are they doing it at the national level, but also at the state level. Unfortunately for them, they just got their butt handed to him in Washington state.
A contentious proposal to expand background checks on Washington state gun sales failed Tuesday in the state House, where supporters said they were just a handful of votes short.
In a final effort to pick up a few extra votes, Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, had proposed a referendum clause that would have allowed the public to vote on the measure. He initially believed that would draw enough support to corral the 50 votes needed to pass the bill but conceded Tuesday night that others had dropped their backing because of that shift.
“It was too big of a stretch for this year,” Pedersen said.
Pedersen said he was disappointed by the result, and several Democrats departing for the night were emotional about the collapse of a bill they’d spent two days intensely working to finalize. The week had included lobbying from former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona Democrat who was wounded in a January 2011 mass shooting, and Gov. Jay Inslee.
The bill in question would have required background checks on the private sales of weapons, a provision which is often termed the “gun show loophole”, but doesn’t have any bearing on gun shows.
Gun rights advocates such as myself are concerned that doing this would lead to gun registrations…in part because it would actually be a kind of registration (there is a paper trail for where each and every gun ends up).
New York City statist supreme Michael Bloomberg’s crowning jewel of government, his law banning sodas of more than 16 ounces, is now just a fond memory thanks to a judge according to the Wall Street Journal:
A state judge on Monday stopped Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration from banning the sale of large sugary drinks at New York City restaurants and other venues, a major defeat for a mayor who has made public-health initiatives a cornerstone of his tenure.
The city is “enjoined and permanently restrained from implementing or enforcing the new regulations,” wrote New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling, blocking the rules one day before they would have taken effect. The city’s chief counsel, Michael Cardozo, pledged to quickly appeal the ruling.
In halting the drink rules, Judge Tingling noted that the incoming sugary drink regulations were “fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences” that would be difficult to enforce with consistency “even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole.”
“The loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the stated purpose of the rule,” the judge wrote. (Read the full text of the ruling.)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) wants to ban assault weapons. That’s not surprise. She also seems to be fine with retired police officers being exempted from the rule. However, she opposes veterans being exempted due to the possibility of PTSD. However, Real Clear Politics shared this little bit from the good senator [emphasis added by yours truly]:
The problem with expanding this is that, you know, with the advent of PTSD, which I think is a new phenomenon as a product of the Iraq War, it’s not clear how the seller or transferrer of a firearm covered by this bill would verify that an individual was a member, or a veteran, and that there was no impairment of that individual with respect to having a weapon like this.
Really? A new phenomenon as a product of the Iraq War? PTSD, which means Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is hardly “new.” In fact, it has a fairly long history.
Among the earliest diagnosis which would fit this criteria were soliders in the 19th century who were dianosed with “exhaustion.” In World War I, the condition was referred to as being “shell shocked.” In the Korean War, it was “battle fatigue.” The term PTSD was coined in the 1970’s in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.
In fact, most alive today are more familiar with the Vietnam era PTSD vets, as those are the ones that usually raised us. How prevelant was the condition with that group of veterans?:
A lot of people roll their eyes whenever someone makes a comment about liberal college professors indoctrinating our young people. I understand it even, because I’ve known a lot people who were liberal in college but who change their positions once they get out into the great, wide world.
Unfortunately, professors like this give a lot of ammunition to those that think American colleges seem to be dedicated to indoctrinate rather educate. From the Daily Caller:
If students want to pass John Banzhaf’s law class, they’ll have to fight for increased government regulation in the food and beverages industry.
Banzhaf, a law professor at George Washington University, will require his students to lobby state and local governments to ban sugary beverages, according to a press release. The release was put out by Banzhaf himself, who summarized the objective as “Undergrads Required to Lobby for Obama Policy.”
“Some 200 undergrads will be asked to contact legislators in their home cities, counties, or states asking them to adopt legislation similar to that already adopted in New York City … banning restaurants, delis, movie theaters and many other businesses from selling high-sugar drinks in cups or containers larger than 16 ounces,” said the press release.
To appease students who may not wish to advocate the specific policy in place in New York City, Banzhaf supplied a list of substitute activities, which include:
“If Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids in their college dorms. He needs to know what he’s talking about.” - Sen. John McCain
John McCain thinks that Rand Paul needs to know what he’s talking about. Well, since he was asking a legitimate question in an effort to get an answer that the White House had danced around for weeks, we think he actually did know what he was talking about. Of course, Sen. McCain might want to take his own advice to heart.
“My friends, we’ve got them just where we want them.”
That was in reference to the Obama campaign during the 2008 campaign. How did that election turn out again? Maybe he should have known what he was talking about and realized that it was far from a done deal.
That’s the same campaign he “suspended” to deal with the financial crisis. He just “knew” what he was talking about when that backfired.
How about this gem, also from 2008:
“The chairman of the SEC serves at the appointment of the president and, in my view, has betrayed the public’s trust. If I were president today, I would fire him.”
Of course, the president actually can’t fire the head of the SEC. You see, the SEC is an independent regulatory body. The President doesn’t get to make that call. Of course, maybe he shouldn’t have known what he was talking about.
Then, there is McCain’s answer to being asked about inviting Jose Rodriguez Louis Zapatero to the White House:
Rand Paul’s epic filibuster was bound to draw some criticism. I’m sure he didn’t expect it from his own side of the aisle though. John McCain and Lindsey Graham took aim at the Kentucky Senator earlier today in what looks like a couple of peons scurrying for scraps from President Obama’s table.
Graham put up a poster that showed a body-count comparison of people killed on US soil — al-Qaeda: 2,958, as opposed to none killed by drones. Of course, no one is arguing anything else. In fact, I challenge Graham to provide a single instance of Rand Paul saying anyone in this country has been killed by a drone.
Rand Paul’s mission? To keep it that way.
Former presidential candidate John McCain had the following to say against Sen. Paul:
“Calm down, Senator,” [John] McCain said, in an apostrophe to Paul. “The U.S. government cannot randomly target U.S. citizens.”
McCain, a staunch foreign policy hawk, said Thursday that Paul’s warnings that the U.S. could target “Jane Fonda” or “people in cafes” bring the debate into the “realm of the ridiculous.”
“If Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids,” McCain said, adding: “I don’t think what happened yesterday is helpful to the American people.”
Well, allow me to tell you to “Calm down, Senator”!
You see, the problem isn’t that he believes President Obama will do such things. It’s that President Obama doesn’t believe that he can’t do things like this. Sens. Graham and McCain are clearly missing the point of what Sen. Paul did last night.
Was the sequester made to hurt as much as possible? There are a lot of people who thought so. After all, how does a three percent cut across the board result in a 20 percent cut in the income of civilians with the Department of Defense? Well, new information has surfaced that seems to confirm what a lot of people are thinking.
From the Washington Times:
The Obama administration denied an appeal for flexibility in lessening the sequester’s effects, with anthis week appearing to show officials in Washington that because they already had promised the cuts would be devastating, they now have to follow through on that.
There’s long been a prejudice against small, inexpensive handguns often called “Saturday Night Specials.” This cheap guns aren’t generally bought by members of the NRA or other gun rights groups either, so they make wonderful targets of opportunity.
That’s just what an Illinois Democrat seems to be thinking with a bill he apparently intends to introduce. From The Hill:
Although Washington’s gun-control debate has focused largely on more imposing weapons, like military-style assault rifles, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) is going after the handguns that are used much more frequently by violent criminals, particularly in urban settings like his hometown, where shootings are a daily plague.
“I am concerned about the assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. But I am also concerned by the ‘slow-moving massacre’ that is occurring every day with handguns,” Gutierrez, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said Monday in Chicago while announcing his bill.
Gutierrez is quick to note that lower-profile shootings claim many more lives each year than the mass killings that generate broad media attention and that handguns — not assault rifles — are most often used in those murders. In 2011, for instance, 97 percent of Chicago’s 362 gun murders involved handguns. Not one of them spurred a congressional hearing.
For what it’s worth, Gutierrez is right about how a handgun is far more likely to be used in a murder than an assault weapon. However, he’s missing out on a lot of important information about guns used in crimes, and about who purchases these so-called “Saturday Night Specials.”