C N S News Scroll

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Unexplored Theory Doesn’t Equal “An Agenda”

The Book of Matt: The Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard – Stephen Jimenez (Steerforth Press Paperback Edition)

The October 6, 1998 beating and torture of Matthew Shepard that eventually led to his death has become one of the more interesting rallying points in our recent history in the United States. Almost overnight Shepard’s brutal murder was plunged into politics based solely on the fact that he was an HIV positive, gay man; which raised the specter that his murder was due to hated or as popularized at the time, a hate crime.

In, The Book of Matt: The Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard, journalist Stephen Jimenez continued his investigations of the crime and some of the facts that were left unexplored during the eventual trial and conviction of Shepard’s murders. Jimenez had been the producer of an ABC News 20/20 investigation into the case and a couple of years after the trial and conviction of Shepard’s murderers, he went back to Laramie, Wyoming to dig a little deeper into things that had come up in the initial digging into the story.

The book is the result of that second, deeper look at the story and some of the facts weren’t a part of the trial or the case against Shepard’s killers. It didn’t take long to track down those killers and the case against them in legal parlance was “air tight” so why would police dig any deeper?

Jimenez uncovered some clear evidence that Shepard, a slight, college student wasn’t perhaps the innocent victim of a hate crime, but perhaps even more likely, he was murdered due to his involvement in dealing methamphetamine. This naturally flew in the face of the activists who were pushing for legislation that eventually came to pass, to somehow supersize the crimes against protected classes as defined in the law.

Jimenez became the subject of attacks that labeled him as somehow “anti-gay” because he pointed out facts that flew counter to the public claims about Shepard. I guess that would make Jimenez a self-hating gay man; since he is in fact gay himself. The orchestrated campaign against Jimenez and the book is ridiculous on its face, since it doesn’t bother to actually address the facts in the book.

But that seems to be the way politics is debated in this day and age; and that is purely what is at play here. The politics of who cares more and who can somehow do more to protect or defend of give more to defined special classes. Think about the ridiculous nature of so-called hate crimes. Are people injured or killed because someone hates them? Certainly the answer is YES! Do we need a special set of laws to enforce criminal sanctions against those deemed to be in protected groups? NO…not really.

Matthew Shepard’s murder’s were convicted of their crimes; in a deal brokered by Shepard’s parents the killer received life sentences without chance of parole. If they had been convicted of a hate crime, would they spend any more time behind bars? The vile murderers of James Byrd, a Texas man who was beaten, chained and dragged to his death; both received death penalty sentences. When Texas eventually gets around to meting out that sentence, would they have been executed twice due to committing a hate crime?

Turning this book into a political debate is ridiculous. It’s clear to me that Jimenez didn’t have an “agenda” in mind when he set out to investigate the story, but it is in fact the left who attack him that have the agenda to somehow protect ridiculous hate crimes laws to somehow be portrayed as more caring and compassionate.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Rachel Maddow: Delusional Lib

MSNBC host and wonk Rachel Maddow (I hate that guy) in a monthly screed for the Washington Post on Monday, had the nerve to claim that the Republican party was running on a platform of fear; in the twisted estimation trying to peddle an unfounded fear of Ebola, ISIS, and illegal immigration in an attempt to wrench power away from Harry Reid’s senate Democrats.

Clearly Mr. Maddow can’t conceive of the concept that Americans were really in the mood to shift power from the Democrats, based largely on the crappy performance and awful lack of leadership displayed by Liberal all conquering hero, the Community Organizer in Chief Obama.

Lord knows Democrat candidates have never ever run on fear! Right?! Dems have never tried to peddle things like “Republicans want to take away your grandma’s Social Security.” Or “Republicans don’t want you to have healthcare, they just want you to hurry up and die.”

Democrats would certainly never say “Republicans want to take away your right to vote…your civil rights…and go back to the Jim Crow era” to black voters. Or make a ridiculous claim like “if you vote for a Republican you vote for another black man to die” (Ferguson, MO.)

We certainly never had any Democrat claim that Republicans have a war on women: “Republicans want to take away your right to choose” or “Republicans want to ban contraception.” Or how about “Republicans don’t think women should be paid the same amount as men for the same job.”

And there would never ever be an instance of Democrats claiming that “Republicans want to pollute the air and water and poison the environment and don’t believe in the settled science of global climate change.”

Yes, in Mr. Maddow’s delusional, twisted, liberal mind…none of those things ever happened. Anyone with common sense…knows otherwise.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Drive Liberals Crazy…Oh Wait They Already Are!

Hands Off My Gun – Defeating the Plot to Disarm America – Dana Loesch (Center Street)

Conservative Radio/TV Host and author Dana Loesch has to just drive Liberals crazy. She is a true triple threat; brainy, bold and beautiful. Loesch’s first book, Hands Off My Gun – Defeating the Plot to Disarm America is like much of her career to this point as she fearlessly and systematically dismantles Liberal rhetoric on guns and the Second Amendment piece by piece.

Loesch points out the almost delusional self-importance that whacko Libs like former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, California Senator Dianne Feinstein and Community Organizer in Chief, Barack Obama bring to the gun debate. They firmly believe that they can simply put a stop to both the high profile incidences of murder involving guns, like Newtown, Columbine and the shooting of Congresswomen Gabby Giffords, as well as the average gun crime, by passing yet another gun law.

Currently there are in excess of 20,000 gun laws on the books in the United States, many that go unenforced or contradict each other; so what would make these Liberal clowns think that they have the proverbial magic bullet to stop gun crime?

I love the fact that Loesch used a quote from Seinfeld character George Costanza, “It’s not a lie if you believe it” to start the chapter entitled The Fourteen Biggest Anti-Gun Lies, Debunked. That quote could be the clearest indicator of the Liberal mindset when it comes to guns. Time and time again Loesch points out the inherent lies and utter lack of knowledge that liberals seem hell bent on parading out for all to see when it comes to guns. Clearly they have NO knowledge of what an automatic weapon is, what the difference is between a clip and a magazine is, or what in God’s name an “assault weapon” is.

In the process of researching and writing this book, Loesch has delivered one of the most passionate and clear thinking defenses of the Second Amendment and gun ownership since scholar John Lott served up the classic More Guns, Less Crime back in 1998.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

In The Zones…Green and Red

The Bremmer Detail – Protecting the Most Threatened Man in the World – Frank Gallagher with John Del Vecchio (Open Road Media)

May 2003, Paul Bremmer, a former associate of Henry Kissinger, is named a presidential envoy to Iraq, by President George W. Bush; he will essentially run the country until a new Iraqi government can be stood up to replace the regime of the deposed Saddam Hussein. Naturally Bremmer will have to make decisions that will be unpopular among Iraq’s opposition parties so he immediately becomes a target for extremists.

Frank Gallagher, a former Marine and private security veteran gets tapped by the fledgling security firm Blackwater to head to Iraq and help secure Bremmer. In The Bremmer Detail – Protecting the Most Threatened Man in the World, Gallagher and co-author John Del Vecchio detail the fly by the seat of their pants approach during those early days in which Blackwater, Gallagher and his team were writing the protective playbook with game afoot.

Gallagher captures in entertaining detail the almost constant evolution of of the job he and his team were tasked with performing in the face of not only untold danger, but also the almost non-stop schedule that Bremmer kept. When you consider the limited manpower, the tactical limitations and the total unknowns; like the force arrayed against them, the uncertain nature of terrorist-types and improvised weapons, it is amazing that they were able to complete the task at hand and keep Bremmer unscathed.
The Bremmer Detail takes on a “bunch of guys telling stories” quality and ladles out healthy doses of insider stories that offer real insight into the process and transition that Iraq was going through. There is a level of irony given the current state of the country and ISIS terrorists.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Abortion Barbie: The Story of the Empty Pink Suit

Forgetting To Be Afraid - Wendy Davis (Blue Rider Books)
For someone thrust headlong into the national spotlight based solely on her hours long pro-abortion filibuster in the Texas legislature, the Lone Star State Democrat gubernatorial candid seems almost blisteringly not self-aware of the contradictions she presents to the public.

For someone so famously pro-abortion; who admits she partook in the Liberal sacrament twice herself in Forgetting To Be Afraid and her campaign team clumsily Tweeted; “As governor, I’ll always make investing in our Texas children my first priority #TeamWendy.”  Seems hard to believe that someone who is lauded for being so self-aware that she has been hailed as the new face of the Democrat party; she comes off as strikingly unaware of the impact of the words she uses.

Forgetting To Be Afraid reads like a pretty typical campaign tome; plenty of overcoming of difficult situations, larded with a healthy dose of self-aggrandizing and a dollop of “wow isn’t she something!” The fact that Davis choose to not address things like the fact that she famously divorced her second husband, who footed the bill for her final years at Texas Christian and Harvard Law, shortly after he made the final payments on the loans. Guess it makes for a much more admirable story to fabricate a tale of a single Mom overcoming.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Contributing Factor

Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill – Revised and Updated Edition: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie, and Video Game Violence – Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Gloria Degaetano (Harmony Books)

A short time after a teacher was shot and killed by a 14 year old at a middle school dance in nearby Edinboro, Pennsylvania, a sleepy, little, college town; I had the opportunity to interview Lt. Col. Dave Grossman about the original edition of his book with co-author Gloria Degaetano, Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill. In revised and updated edition of the book, the authors continue to make the case that the exposure our kids get to violence in the form of movies, TV and video games has desensitized them to violence and conditioned them to be more violent.

15 years after the that original edition of the book, not much has really changed; there continues to be a steady stream of violent acts committed by kids on an all to regular basis and there continues to be a sharp divide between those who have their beliefs confirmed by the book and those who disagree with the conclusion. One thing that has changed is that there has been a steady ratcheting up of the level of violent content and the access to this violent content has been multiplied by the advent of tablets and other smart devices that have become a part of our everyday life.

While I continue to believe that violent video games, movies and TV does not create killers, I think it’s foolish to believe that there is not at least a contributing factor to these violent acts that can be traced back to the video violence. When you track back through both the infamous instances of violence; Sandy Hook and Columbine and even the cases that didn’t stir national headlines, has the authors have here, there are a striking number of cases where violent video games and a high level of not only activity, but a proficiency at the games are part and parcel of the shooters lives.

Adam Lanza, who gunned down 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary, was an aficionado of the Combat Arms, shooting game with 83,496 kills to his credit including 22,725 head shots. Columbine shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were regular players of the early shooter classic, Doom. Did the games make them killers? I have my doubts, but do believe that the repetition of playing the games made them more efficient killing machines when the succumbed to their twisted mental view of the world. While I confess to not knowing the statistics on the more recent cases of violence involving kids; during what I call the Columbine era of school yard violence, the shooters involved 9 of the 13 high profile cases were confirmed to be prescribed psychotropic drugs like Luvox or Ritalin for behavioral issues. The other four shooters may have also been some prescription meds, but those involved in any treatment of the four, never disclosed if that was the case. So like violent video games, TV or movies, these medications could be a contributing factor.

Just as I did back in 1999, I still believe that Grossman and Degaetano have put together a compelling case that video violence has caused possibly irreparable damage to our kids and elevated the potential for sick, twisted, minds to continue to cause great damage to our society.  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Nice Try…but it’s Back to the Drawing Board for “Environmentalists”

Environmental Debt – The Hidden Costs of a Changing Global Economy - Amy Larkin (Palgrave Books)

Wow…where to start.

I guess I have to at least start by giving Amy Larkin, a longtime environmental activist and consultant some credit for at least trying to bring a new perspective of the impact on the economy that environmental activism as wrought.

In her book Environmental Debt – The Hidden Costs of a Changing Global Economy, tries, ever so desperately at times, to make the case that the costs associated with the impact of alleged, man-made global climate change have created a drag on the economy that is having a far reaching negative impact. Larkin’s solution is to propose that “big business” changes its ways and somehow miraculously changes the climate.

The problem with the theory start pretty quickly in the book; as typical of so-called environmentalists, Larkin loves to mix her terminology in an effort to make her case. She interchangeably uses environment, climate and weather, three very distinct and different things as if they are one and the same.

She cites no less of an expert than now former, failed, CNN opinion host Piers Morgan in conversation with weatherman Chad Myers that somehow human activity and climate change is the cause for supposed increases in the intensity of weather events like hurricanes. The Morgan, Myers exchange: “Chad, you’ve been in this game for nearly three decades. Is this global warming that we’re seeing? From a meteorological point of view, is there any other explanation? (Myers) It is a prime suspect. I don’t have another one.”

Now that is what I call deep, scientific reasoning! The problem for Larkin, Morgan and Myers; it isn’t happening! Even the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the group so often cited by so-called environmentalists, had to admit in 2013 that North Atlantic tropical cyclone activity was down 71%! from normal rates. Flip on the Weather Channel during hurricane season and you can just hear the desperation as Jim Cantore and his ilk hope for a huge weather hit that just hasn’t materialized.

While Larkin proposes a new way for business to approach the environment and claims to come from a business background in her approach, she does seem to quite have even a rudimentary grip on global economics. In the section on renewable energy she talks about wind and solar in glowing terms on the global front, citing how the Chinese have skewed the market with their ridiculous subsidies of the solar sector. Larkin’s response would be to have the U.S. and other global players dump even more public dollars into the already glaringly failed attempts, see Solyndra and countless others.

Larkin acts as if there is no costs associated with government subsidies; apparently you just go to the money tree and pick off a few more dollars and the magic happens. Larkin apparently isn’t aware that people have to pay taxes to cover these subsidies to failed solar and other renewable industries. Perhaps if we removed costly and often time onerous government regulations then the cost of trying the R & D of these kinds of projects could be undertaken without subsidy and no that doesn’t mean we should willy-nilly pollute the environment.

I also have to give Larkin’s publisher, Palgrave, credit; at least they are willing to stand up to reviewer scrutiny unlike the gutless weasels at Beacon Press who won’t even send out review copies of The Real Cost of Fracking, authored by a veterinarian and a microbiologist of all things.