media coverage

Face of the day

Pamela Geller

Pamela Geller

Pamela Geller is planning a ?Draw the Prophet? event in Garland, Texas in the same location as a Muslim group held a ?Stand with the Prophet? conference in January. The First Annual Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest will be hosted by the Curtis Caldwell Center, which is owned and operated by the Garland Independent School District.

Geller?s event comes on the wake of the Islamic terrorist attack on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo in January. Following the attack, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) scheduled the ?Stand with the Prophet? conference at the public school district?s conference center. Geller, the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), scheduled a protest outside the event that was attended by approximately 2,000 people.

During the Free Speech Rally in Garland, Geller spoke with Breitbart Texas about her reaction to the large and loud crowd of protesters. She said that Muslims?are trying to impose restrictions on free speech like they are doing in Paris. ?Thousands of Americans said ?no way!??

?The media can smear us and the President can stand with them,? Geller said. ?We the people are not having it. If there is any proof of that, it?s today. We dwarfed them.?

?If the Western media ran the Danish cartoons back when this Islamic supremacist movement first started gaining steam, the editorial staff of Charlie Hebdo would be alive today,? Geller stated in response to an inquiry from Breitbart Texas. ?That said, the European press ran the Hebdo cartoons in the wake of that jihad slaughter. But the American press would not. The beacon of freedom, the shining light on a hill, is running scared. Well, that?s not who we are. The elites do not represent the people.?

?Enough is enough,? she explained. ?They?re just cartoons. We?re holding this exhibit and cartoon contest to show how insane the world has become ? with people in the free world tiptoeing in terror around supremacist thugs who actually commit murder over cartoons. If we can?t stand up for the freedom of speech, we will lose it ? and with it, free society.?

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Compare and Contrast: Part three

Welcome to part three of my series of posts where I invite you to compare and contrast what happened in the past with what is happening now.

Lets look at how Germany kept its preparations for war hidden from the world prior to WWII and what Hamas has successfully hidden from the world until now.

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Silencing dissent, the left doesn’t want you talking

Yesterday Martyn Bradbury tried to initiate a boycott of advertisers. Periodically some on the left do this and try to stop my advertising. It is what they do if you say something that they don’t agree with.

The other thing they do is try to influence editors and managers into not using you.

One blogger and prolific twitter user even lobbied Seven Sharp to not feature me, suggesting left-wing bloggers with barely a tenth of my traffic instead.

They also mount campaigns against journalists in an attempt to silence them too, journalists like Liam Hehir, who for some reason has attracted the ire of the lefty mob in the Manawatu.

He writes about it at the Manawatu Standard:

Why don’t I write more columns about how well Labour is doing at the moment?

Am I getting orders or (as someone once suggested) cheques from the Beehive?

The answer is actually pretty mundane. It happens to be my opinion that the party is in fact not doing well. Indeed, I think it is at something of a low. I would be happy to revise that view in the light of arguments to the contrary, provided they are tightly reasoned or empirical measures of public sentiment. I’m less inclined to be persuaded by the fact that individual partisans don’t like the Government.

The fact that you personally don’t support the prime minister doesn’t mean he isn’t connecting with centrist voters. I learned that the hard way with Helen Clark. But coming to terms with the fact she was a skilled operator didn’t mean I had to agree with her political philosophy.

Does this mean my views aren’t coloured by my own philosophies? Of course not! By virtue of being human, I suffer from cognitive biases which can never be fully eradicated. The same goes for every single person involved in journalism. You should never believe anyone who claims to be wholly dispassionate on matters of public affairs.

But one really curious thing about alleged media bias is that it can depend on the reader as much as it does on the writer.

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An email from a reader

A reader emails about recent matters and media coverage:

Mr Slater, I am becoming increasingly concerned at how the news is being reported, particularly the circumstances and positions that “traditional media” are taking and the more accurate but divergent paths from commentators – journalists, actually – such as yourself. This is particularly true of the coverage in relation to Ministers? Collins and Williamson. Over recent months and weeks the media have dropped all pretence of impartiality (if it ever was and I know Pete the moderator has his own views on whether journalists in the modern era have an obligation to be objective and impartial. They are his views and I respect them.) However, being a bit old school, I believe the media have a position of power – and by inference responsibility – in today’s information & political? landscape and they clearly taken sides against the government of the day. In essence, the Fourth Estate has become a Fifth Column (someone has probably drawn parallels to that already).

The TV and print media are sources of information for a large section of the public, ie, voters. I would suggest that most of the people who sit down for dinner at?6pm?are influenced by what they see; if you control what people see hear and read, you influence how they think. I would describe 3News as 3Views and is opinion dressed up as fact designed for stupid people who need an opinion given to them so they can at least have one. TV One is only marginally better, but I do get nauseous at media commentators from all channels and stations constantly interviewing each other. This is particularly important in an election year where people should be making informed choices about the type of government we will ALL get for the next three years. Unfortunately, they are being fed a one sided or skewed diet of disinformation and selective opinion dressed up as fact. MP’s, regardless of party, are there because someone voted for them. That’s democracy. This vote may very likely have been cast as a result of how media have represented the parties & politicians seeking their vote. If the media want to become an active part of the political landscape and push their own views [policies?] and report in a very selective manner, that’s being dishonest – and nothing to do with journalistic licence. That’s precisely the behaviour they will crucify a National MP for but no-one in opposition gets any scrutiny regardless of the evidence of wrongoing, Cunliffe & Peters to name but two. That is left to journalists such as yourself and ably assisted by the Whaleoil Research Crew. ? Read more »

How big are Obama's Bailouts?

from Boing Boing

Barry Ritholz sez,

It is exceedingly difficult to convey exactly how much we are spending o bailouts. Start talking trillions (versus mere billions) and you get puzzled looks from people. Humans have a hard time conceptualizing any number that large. I wanted a graphic way to clearly show how astonishingly ginormous the amounts involved were.

This Bailout Nation graphic shows the the total costs to the taxpayer of all the monies spent, lent, consumed, borrowed, printed, guaranteed, assumed or otherwise committed. It is nothing short of astonishing. In one short year the bailouts managed to spend far in excess of nearly every major one-time expenditure of the USA, including WW2, the moon shot, the New Deal, Iraq, Viet Nam and Korean wars — COMBINED. 206 years versus 12 months. 

Bailout Costs vs Big Historical Events

Obama's Bail Out

Cool Tech

WolframAlpha is live, I’ve had a play and it is somewhat useful. I am sure I will work out how useful in due course. A Google killer it ain’t though.

The US Army has been using wireless apps in Iraq delivered to the troops using iPhone and iPod Touch devices. The reason?

“…ideal for the age of “network centric warfare”, relatively easy to use, safe with secure software, and far cheaper than manufacturing a military version.”

You can get a £24,495 solid platinum iPhone 3G.

Perhaps our prison service could utilise these little wonders. Tiny “Smart Dew” sensors promise a low-cost security solution can be scattered outdoors on rocks, fence posts and doorways, or even indoors on the floor of a bank to serve as invisible security guards with each individual “dew droplet” capable of detecting an intrusion within a parameter of 50 meters. Dozens, hundreds and even thousands of these Smart Dew sensors – each equipped with a controller and RF transmitter/receiver – can also be wirelessly networked to detect different conditions like the the difference between man, animal, car and truck

Herald Editorial condemns Priest

The Herald editorial comes out strongly against the Catholic Priest tagger;

The actions of an extremist Catholic priest in desecrating the Wellington memorial to Nobel Prize winner Yitzhak Rabin undo any good that a thousand others protesting against Israel might have hoped
to achieve.

Father Gerard Burns daubed a drop of his own blood mixed with red paint across the Rabin memorial, inspired perhaps by an equally misguided Auckland cleric who poured his own blood on the carpet of the US consulate at the beginning of the Iraq war. At least in that repulsive act the first priest was, in the twisted logic of his protest, at the right place.

For Father Burns to desecrate the Rabin memorial is not only in breach of any civilised standard of protest but utterly wrongheaded in terms of his target. Rabin, a former Israeli general-turned-two-time-Prime-Minister, was perhaps the greatest hope for peace between Jews and Palestinians in a generation. He was assassinated by an ultra-conservative Jew because he was too accommodating to the Palestinians in seeking a lasting peace. He died after a rally for peace, with the words of Shir LaShalom, or Song for Peace, found bloodied in his pocket. He had been honoured, with Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres, by the Nobel judges. The memorial in central Wellington marks that commitment to peace.

Further they agree with Friends of Israel;

The Friends of Israel group rightly calls for the Catholic Church to discipline the priest and apologise to Jews in New Zealand, for whom desecration of their monument causes deep offence. The vandalism has received worldwide attention, the kind of attention that shames Catholics of goodwill and undermines their own public stands for justice and peace. The organisers of the Wellington march opposing Israel’s heavy-handed military action in the Gaza strip should also demand an apology from Father Burns. They must know that their message against the killings of civilians, including children, is diverted and made hollow by a calculated insult to Jews everywhere.

Father Burns should be de-frocked and booted from the Church for desecration of the Rabin memorial. One wonders what the Catholic Bishop of Wellington and the Bishop of New Zealand have to say on this matter.

Wearable Sniper Detection

Usually when a sniper is operating you really should keep your head down rather than stick it up and look all around trying to find the sneaky little bastard.

Not anymore.

Apart from the fact that one of your buddies probably just bought it from the sniper’s first shot there is now a man-portable and wearable solution to finding the little prick and terminating his ass.

Sniper Detection SystemA wearable sniper detection system is to be used by troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan in the US Army’s first large-scale deployment of its type. The Soldier-Wearable Acoustic Targeting System (SWATS) can pinpoint the location of snipers after a single gunshot, audibly informing soldiers of the point of origin.

Part of QinetiQ’s Ears Gunshot Localization System family, the 6.4-ounce acoustic sensor takes just a fraction of a second to locate the source of sniper fire. It works in a 360-degree radius, isn’t confused by ambient noise and can be used in a moving vehicle.

Now that is what I call out-fucking-standing use of technology. Sucks to be a bad guy though.

Above his pay-grade!

Obama is a flake, most of us know it and slowly but surely American’s are coming to the same conclusion. The other day a debate of sorts was held by Pastor Rick Warren at Saddleback Church, California between Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama. There were a series of questions put to each candidate. For one of them, about at which point a baby is entitled to Human Rights, Obama said he couldn’t answer because the question was above his pay-grade.

Excuse me? Above his pay-grade? This man wants to be POTUS and that question is above his pay-grade? What else is above his pay-grade?

Such a small answer but with huge implications. Sen. John McCain has pounced on it with his weekly radio address.

Here was a candidate for the presidency of the United States, asked for his position on one of the central moral and legal questions of our time, and this was the best he could offer: It’s above his pay grade. He went on to assure his interviewer that there is a, quote, “moral and ethical element to this issue.” Americans expect more of their leaders.

There seems to be a pattern here in my opponent’s approach to many hard issues. Whether it’s the surge in Iraq that has brought us near to victory, or the issue of campaign reform, or the question of offshore drilling, Senator Obama’s speeches can be impressive. But when it’s time for straight answers, clear conviction, and decisive action, suddenly all of these responsibilities are – well, as he puts it, “above my pay grade.” As mottos of leadership go, it doesn’t exactly have the ring of “the buck stops here.”

That one little statement by Obama could well spell the end of his campaign. I can see the Youtube videos now all featuring hard decisions and Obama intoning repeatedly “Above my Pay-Grade”.

For a man who talks so often about “hope,” Senator Obama doesn’t offer much of it in meeting this great challenge to the conscience of America. His extreme advocacy in favor of partial birth abortion and his refusal to provide medical care for babies surviving abortion should be of grave concern to reasonable people of goodwill on both sides of this issue. There is a growing consensus in America that we need to overcome narrow partisanship on this issue for both women in need and the unborn. We need more of the compassion and moral idealism that my opponent’s own party, at its best, once stood for. No one is above the law, and no one is beneath its protection.

Upholding these principles, and bringing Americans together on the side of life, is the work of leadership. And I can assure you that if I am president, advancing the cause of life will not be above my pay grade. Thanks for listening.

Obama’s pithy “Yes we can” tshirts will be mocked mercilessly with an addendum…..only if it isn’t above his pay-grade.

Matt McCarten jumps the shark

Matt McCarten : Key’s convenient amnesia over support for expensive invasionRemember when George Bush’s administration promised the world that the invasion of Iraq would be over in a few weeks? We were assured that the Iraqis would throw flowers at their liberators, the war would make a tidy profit and petrol… [NZ Politics]

Matt McCarten has finally jumped the shark. After every strike against John key has failed he goes back to the Bush is evil, iraq was immoral and Key would have put us there attack lines which frankly don’t stand up to any realistic outlook on the current Iraq situation.

Witness this little tirade;

[quote]Key, of course, can’t remember his support for the warmongers. But none of us should have any illusion that if he had been Prime Minister at the time New Zealand troops would have been over there, killing and maiming civilians on behalf of oil companies so they could continue to make their criminally gross profits.[/quote]

He of course neglects the facts that despite all the assurances of the left that the war is unwinnable and that the Iraqi’s have no hope;

1. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki sent the Iraqi army into Basra. It achieved in a few weeks what the British had failed to do in four years: take the city, drive out the Mahdi Army and seize the ports from Iranian-backed militias.

2. When Mahdi fighters rose up in support of their Basra brethren, the Iraqi army at Maliki’s direction confronted them and prevailed in every town — Najaf, Karbala, Hilla, Kut, Nasiriyah and Diwaniyah — from Basra to Baghdad.

3. Without any American ground forces, the Iraqi army entered and occupied Sadr City, the Mahdi Army stronghold.

4. Maliki flew to Mosul, directing a joint Iraqi-U.S. offensive against the last redoubt of al-Qaeda, which had already been driven out of Anbar, Baghdad and Diyala provinces.

5. The Iraqi parliament enacted a de-Baathification law, a major Democratic benchmark for political reconciliation.

6. Parliament also passed the other reconciliation benchmarks — a pension law, an amnesty law, and a provincial elections and powers law. Oil revenues are being distributed to the provinces through the annual budget.

7. With Maliki having demonstrated that he would fight not just Sunni insurgents (e.g., in Mosul) but Shiite militias (e.g., the Mahdi Army), the Sunni parliamentary bloc began negotiations to join the Shiite-led government. (The final sticking point is a squabble over a sixth Cabinet position.)

So far from the war being unwinnable Iraq is on the cusp of becoming a truly free and democratic nation prospering in a way that Cullen can only dream of.

But of course McCarten can’t possibly let facts get in the way of a good demonisation.