Daily Archives: April 17, 2013

Scott St. Clair: A Life Lived In Fear is a Life Half-Lived

After the Boston Marathon bombing, will IEDs be considered a fact of daily life in America? In some countries, such terrorist bombings already are — Israel his lived with them, or something like them, since its day-one 75 years ago — so maybe it’s our time. And will that possibility dictate radical changes in our behavior and social interaction to the point where we’re afraid to leave the house lest we get ripped to  shreds by ball bearings from a bomb? A point a recent AP story makes about the fear of nuclear war that pervaded the 1950s and 1960s when those of us who are Boomers lived with duck-and-cover drills and memorizing the shortest route to the nearest fallout shelter as part of our grade school curriculum reminds us that we’ve never lived without some existential threat, so why is today any different? 

kids hiding under desk
Will fear become a part of the American ethos? I hope not since “a life lived in fear is a life half-lived.” Instead of letting our knees go all wobbly over how the sky will fall, maybe we should put into perspective the relative safety we have today versus what didn’t exist in times past. Public exposure to communicative disease leading to mass epidemics and scores to hundreds of deaths was once a fact of life. Today, not so much. Getting run down in the street is no longer the risk it once was, either. Despite shrieking headlines, the odds of getting struck by lightning are better than the odds of being killed in a terrorist attack or mass shooting. Do the nu

bridge

mbers, not the news.

Since you can only live in the time you live, make the best of it. There are a lot of things about today we all would like to change, with the risk of terrorism being one of them. But hiding under the bed isn’t the  answer, living large and public and in-your-face is. It’s also the best revenge. 

I’m going into New York City and Westchester County today, and as I cross the George Washington Bridge, I’ll consider the trip an act of defiance against the forces of fear. While mine may not be much, multiply it by 300 million similar acts by Americans across the United States every day and it will make a difference.

Boston Marathon Bombing Victim: Journalism

Boston Marathon journalismI try to pay attention. It’s in my DNA. I’ve been a newsie since I was a kid and collected newspapers depicting epic moments in history. I’ve spent a career in information. I’ve been a talk show host for most of my career but I cut my teeth in capital J journalism. I’ve won box loads of journalism awards. I’ve been President of the local journalism society. I count scribes and broadcast and bloggers as my kindred.

And the coverage of this Boston Marathon bombing arrest story is a disgrace. 

I’m sick to death of people who are supposed to be reporters going with a story as certain only to later hear, “nevermind.”

This morning I saw the news via twitter that CNN was reporting a suspect arrested in the Boston Marathon bombings. I immediately went to CNN’s website to see if they were reporting such a story. They were. I retweeted the story and then went hunting for what I’ve found to be the most reliable source for reaction and facts on the case since Monday’s bombing, Boston TV’s Fox 25 affiliate. Before too long they claimed their sources at the cop shop were confirming an arrest had been madeI repeated that. Two supposedly trusted news sources had reported an arrest.

That was after we heard there were seven bombs not two in the hours after the bombing. Then there was the explosion that the cops said was being treated as part of the bombing attack, but then took it back later and said, ‘naw, couldn’t be.’ Then we had an arrest at the hospital but, no, that wasn’t true, either. 

Then the Boston TV anchor began to use weenie words in describing this confirmed arrest. 

“We’re getting conflicting reports that…”

And within moments there was no arrest anymore. 

There an addage in journlism, “You’re only as good as your sources.” 

Judging by your sources? You people suuuuuck!

Gadzooks, who’s your !&^(*^*(/! source, Alex Jones? 

One reporter foisted the problem of the wrong story to the heat of competition due to the speed of social media. It was the Twitter Defense. What a pantload.  

The creative destruction of the media has left a bunch of incompetent children in charge of disseminating information to the world that should best be left to adults or at least somebody with decent sources. 

Since you CNN reporters and local producers on the streets of Boston haven’t bothered to get an education, not in J-school I mean, but in real life, here’s my suggestion, “Get it first, but first, get it right.” How’s that for old school? Oh, and how about double checking your !%#^%$#%! sources because obviously THEY SUCK!

Just because Woodward and Bernstein made careers out of bringing down a President with a cavalcade of unnamed sources doesn’t make your use of them ethical or correct. You’re wrong. Over and over again. 

I trusted them. And I DOUBLE CHECKED THEM! And they weren’t just wrong, they were SPECTACULARLY WRONG

 

 

 

 

Immigration Bill Includes ObamaPhones

The ObamaPhone Lady: Coming to a border area near you.
The ObamaPhone Lady: Coming to a border area near you.

That’s right. We taxpayers are to provide cellular service or Sat phones to people who may be in an area along the border that is perceived as dangerous. So does the immigration bill say that in addition to some folks providing maps to the USA and water stations in the desert that WE’LL now be on the hook for giving illegal aliens cell phones? 

Sounds like it. From Shark Tank via Breitbart we read,

Pages 43 and 44 of the bill detail what one conservative blogger, Javier Manjarres of Shark Tank, has already described as the “ObamaPhone” from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). That section reads:

SEC. 1107. ACCESS TO EMERGENCY PERSONNEL.
(a) SOUTHWEST BORDER REGION EMERGENCY COM- MUNICATIONS GRANTS.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary, in consultation with the governors of the States in the South- west Border region, shall establish a 2-year grant program, to be administered by the Secretary, to im- prove emergency communications in the Southwest Border region.
(2) ELIGIBILITY FOR GRANTS.—An individual is eligible to receive a grant under this subsection if the individual demonstrates that he or she—
(A) regularly resides or works in the Southwest Border region;

(B) is at greater risk of border violence due to the lack of cellular service at his or her residence or business and his or her proximity to the Southern border. (3) USE OF GRANTS.—Grants awarded under
this subsection may be used to purchase satellite telephone communications systems and service that—
(A) can provide access to 9–1–1 service;
and
(B) are equipped with global positioning systems.
(4) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.— There is authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out the grant program established under this subsection.

What’s next, taxpayer supported cell towers to make sure the phones work? 

Benghazi, Remember That? Ty Woods’ Dad Holds Presser Today

benghazi bloody handsThe father of Benghazi victim Tyrone Woods holds a news conference today with Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) to call for a Select Committee to look into why four Americans, including Smith and the U.S. Ambassador died on September 11th 2011. 

Congressman Wolf has been pushing for a Select Committee to look into the Benghazi debacle to determine why President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton refused to send help. The President went to bed during the attack, never bothering to ask the status before he lay his head on his pillow. 

Says Wolf,

It has been seven months since the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, which led to the death of four Americans, including a U.S. ambassador and seriously injured at least four others.   

The months since the attack have been marked by unanswered questions that have brought the Congress and the American people no closer to understanding what happened that day.  No one has been held accountable and no solutions have been developed to prevent similar attacks in the future.  All of this points to the critical need for a comprehensive investigation.

Tyrone Woods was one of the former special operators who died during an eight hour long fire fight with terrorists who had killed the U.S. Ambassador and an aide at the diplomatic mission. Before he went into the Navy, eventually becoming a SEAL, Woods lived in Oregon City. 

 

 

Oregon Anti Gun Bills: Not Dead Yet.

guns 2AHillsboro Democrat Jeff Barker seems to be saying he’s willing to bring up the package of anti gun bills if they pass the Oregon State Senate–that is if he’s told he must. He’s waiting to hear from the Unfortunately-Named-Tina-Kotek, the House Speaker.

Yesterday we heard the guns bills had been amended to remove the part about live fire training for concealed weapons permit holders and further define what ‘conceal’ means for purposes of carrying in the newly redefined “public buildings” including the state capitol.

Kevin Starrett from Oregon Firearms Federation says these amendments don’t change the essence of these bill which is reducing the rights of legal, law abiding gun owners. Find his assessment here. 

There was also the possibility that the gun bills were dead this session. That’s still a possibility, I suppose, but Barker, in talking with Citizen Journalist Daylight Disinfectant, says he’ll bring up the bills if they make it through the Senate and if he’s told to bring them up in his Judiciary Committee. That means you’ll want to continue a full court press against these bills. Here’s a list of lawmakers to lobby. 

 

Boston Marathon Terror: Yankees Play Red Sox’s Fave Song in Solidarity With Boston

It’s the little things that mean a lot. Last night at Yankee Stadium, the tones of Neil Diamond singing his anthem, “Sweet Caroline” were heard. It took the crowd a minute to understand it but when they did they belted it out.

The classic song is the anthem of the Red Sox, the Yankees’ biggest rival. The Fenway Park techs play the song before the bottom of the eighth inning.

Nice moment.

Oregon Rancher/Business Owner May Throw [Cowboy] Hat in Guv’s Race

Jon Justesen  Photo by Oregonian
Jon Justesen
Photo by Oregonian

A businessman/rancher from Eastern Oregon has formed a committee to assess a possible run for governor according to the Zero’s Jeff Mapes today.

Jon Justesen runs his family’s cattle and wheat ranch in Sherman County and also owns a stake in Barrett Business Services, a Vancouver based company. He’s run for office only once and lost. But he thinks he can teach the Oregon Republican Party a thing or two.  

“We have to have a sales tax and we have to have a more progressive income tax,” said Justesen, explaining that the state needs more revenue to improve its schools.  At the same time, he said, the state also needs to cut property taxes because of their unfairness.

Justesen also said the Republicans have “made major mistakes” on social issues and immigration.  He said he supports a woman’s right to an abortion and doesn’t oppose gay marriage.  He also argued that the country should welcome as many immigrants as possible, believing it strengthens the economy.

  Mapes obliges the left by asking their favorite litmus test questions. Abortion? Really? “Welcome as many immigrants as possible”? Who disagrees with that? Did Mapes ask him about illegal aliens or legal immigrants? Perhaps it’s just too fine a detail for the left to discern. Eyeroll.

Justesen intrigues me, though.  Besides being at odds with many Republicans on social issues, I’d like to know how he would sell a sales tax. That seems like Oregon’s Third Rail. 

On the issue of the “more progressive” income tax, Mapes doesn’t explain if Justesen means a lower marginal rate. If he does then I agree with him. We need lower, flatter income tax rates. It’s an idea proffered by Republicans in the last legislative session. Republicans have in the past recommended a five percent marginal tax rate. Their thinking was the lowest current tax rate of 9% is too high and especially hits hard the poor.