AShotAndaBeer's Blog

Politics, Firearms, and things that amuse me

Archive for September 2010

Alan Grayson’s Pathetic Lying Ad

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In Florida, Alan Grayson is running a terrible ad depicting his opponent Dan Webster as some sort of “fundamentalist Taliban.”

To tell you all you need to know about the situation and the despicable depths the left will sink to in order to (try) to win elections, follow this link:

http://www.therightscoop.com/alan-grayson-taliban-dan-webster

Not putting this here for my own traffic, even though I sincerely appreciate every person that reads my thoughts. In this case, I live about as far removed from Florida as one can be, and still be considered “Midwest.” Well, maybe not, but still. Check it out, and see just what we are up against.

Written by James Lee

September 27, 2010 at 23:53

Posted in Uncategorized

Where Do You Get Your News?

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A new poll out by Politico and George Washington University Battleground asked respondents to rank their main sources of political news. Somewhat not surprisingly, cable news outlets are ranked at the top, with Fox News being the clear winner there. (Also included in those rankings are people who use those networks websites.)

From the Politico article:

The results of the poll of 1,000 likely voters conducted Sept. 19 to Sept. 22 also reflect a trend that many commentators and media analysts find disconcerting: Voters are turning to media sources that reinforce their political worldviews rather than present them with more objective reporting that might challenge their assumptions.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42738.html#ixzz10mPyChHA

I don’t know so much about that. True, we often find outlets be they TV, Radio, or Internet that we like, or are convenient. I think, however, when it comes to websites, specifically outside the official sites of major media outlets such as your favorite news blogs, people want to find a ‘friendly’ crowd they can interact with in part of a discussion.

As for me, I am a total news junkie. I have news of some form, sometimes multiple forms, in front of me nearly every waking hour. And that generally includes a reasonable sampling of different outlets.

Driving to and from work, I have the local news/talk station on, as well as at my business all day. I also spend much time cruising various websites, interacting on Twitter and Facebook. If I had to pick one website that I had to call my favorite, it would be Hot Air. Other favorites include Michelle Malkin, and Ace of Spades.

The thing is, though, that nearly every one of them, at least reputable blogs, will link back to original sources, which are usually major media outlets, such as newspapers, newsmagazines and their websites, or cable news websites to name a few. For most, there are sections to leave comments, and discuss the article and the author’s findings with others.

I’ve also been known to cruise around so-called “left wing” sites such as the Daily Kos. I’m sure they think much the same thing about the sites I read, but I can’t take the illogical conclusions that are routinely drawn. Additionally, I would never be allowed to comment there, at least not more than once, before being ‘banned’ from posting.

Hot Air, on the other hand, has several on again and off again liberal commentors. If one wants to respectably argue a different point, they are allowed. Ed and Allahpundit don’t tend to ban access for differing views, only when a line has been crossed, such as standards of decency, advocating violence, or personally attacking/insulting other posters. Worth your time to check out, no matter which side you come from.

Additionally, I also tend to pay attention to some “mainstream” sources firsthand. I subscribe to and read the Kansas City Star, although I often get a week or more behind on it. I pay attention to the top-of-the-hour newsbreaks on the radio, in this instance from ABC. Also, we DVR and watch “This Week” on ABC on Sunday mornings; however, I usually end up telling MrsJamesLee to “Pause That!” before going off ranting at someone like Paul Krugman.

Overall, I think I get a reasonable sample of different sources. And if one breaks down, and checks back to original sources, as I encourage everyone to do each time I post a link for commentary, that can translate to a large cross section.

I think it’s good that more people are paying attention and keeping up with news. The more information one has at their disposal, the better decisions they can make in election years. Just be open, regardless of your personal views, and be ready to challenge and be challenged by sources that may be outside your comfort zone.

**Update** I think I should explain one other thing. One reason I am such a totally connected junkie to any sort of news now is related to September 11th, 2001.

At the time, I was working in an automotive shop with two other great guys, SgtK and D. For whatever reason, that day, there was no radio on in the shop, even though I tended to tune into talk radio, and tolerated the shock-jock morning rock DJs that nearly every other co-worker worshiped. StgK and D both liked country music, though, and for some reason, we didn’t even have a radio on.

So I’m cashing out a customer who is busy on his cell phone as I’m finalizing his bill. He slaps his phone shut, says “The north tower is down, the south tower is on fire, the President is in the air. We are at WAR!”

I sort of go along with it, thinking “sure… that’ll be $25.” After he pulls out, I decide to click on the lobby TV, only to see the complete coverage every channel is giving the horrific day we all remember. After that, there was no more business, which continued for at least three days while we all tried to take it in.

So I almost missed September 11th. For the sake of not having a blaring radio or mindless TV set going on an otherwise relatively pleasant workday, I nearly missed one of the most important moments in our modern lives.

I do not intend to ever “miss” anything like that ever again.

Written by James Lee

September 27, 2010 at 20:02

Posted in Uncategorized

Stephen Colbert Testifies Before Congress

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Earlier today, comedian Stephen Colbert testified for the House Judiciary Subcommittee for Immigration.

For those that don’t know, Colbert hosts the Colbert Report (pronounced ‘kole BEAR Ree pour’) weeknights on Comedy Central. Following the lead-in from The Daily Show, it continues the fake news concept with Colbert playing an over-the-top “Conservative” pundit, loosely modeled after Bill O’Reilly. Since the show began, starting life as a simple skit on the Daily Show, Colbert has done numerous appearances, but never is seen out-of-character. And what a character: loose with the facts, assumptions without evidence, self-absorbed, and refusing to consider ‘liberal,’ positions, or, in other words, everything the left believes about conservative pundits such as O’Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh, and Beck.

From CSPAN, here’s the video of his opening statement. Mostly in character, but I admit he seemed a bit humbled by the venue as well.

As a general rule, I’m leery of any so-called ‘celebrity’ testifying on almost any topic. If you make movies for a living, what expertise could you offer on cost-benefit analysis of targeted tax cuts?

That being said, however, it is the right and responsibility of all citizens to let their opinions be known, either through direct testimony, letters to your congressperson, conversations with neighbors, and most importantly, at the ballot box. I don’t begrudge anyone the chance to address a Congressional Committee, especially when they were invited by a congress member. I just don’t want to see someone who has an opinion be touted as some “expert” on a subject simply because they hold some degree of fame.

While there is some publicity-stunt mockery going on, this little display wasn’t so nearly over-the-top that I has suspected it might have been. No doubt we will be seeing and hearing reference to this on both The Daily Show and Colbert for days and weeks to come.

Actually, now that I think about it, how better to address a joke of a Congress than by using a comedian.

Update: Michelle Malkin passes on a new challenge for Colbert.

http://michellemalkin.com/2010/09/27/a-grieving-americans-invitation-for-stephen-colbert/

Written by James Lee

September 24, 2010 at 14:12

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I Hate “Reality” Shows

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And for hating reality shows, I seem to be posting about enough of them.

Been caught in another one that I find very intriguing. It’s called “The Colony,” on Discovery Channel.

The premise is simple: A super-flu-like outbreak has wiped out most of civilization, and now a small group must survive in the rubble.

For this, they’ve assembled about a dozen people from differing backgrounds, isolated them for a period of time, then turned them loose in a decimated section of New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina to fend for themselves. Originally, the “Virus Outbreak” agency was supposed to transport them to safety, but in the opening scene, the helicopter lifted off and left them.

In this area, they’ve left them burned out buildings, cars, rubble, a small stock of food, some batteries, and a few tools. The idea is they are supposed to adapt and survive for a couple of months on their own.

One problem, though, is they are almost constantly being harassed by “outsiders,” those outside their little group coming in to steal supplies and generally cause trouble. Of course, this is set up by the show to simply put stress on them.

I find this show interesting, and partly because I want to just yell at them! First thing, though, it IS a TV show and an “experiment,” and everyone knows it. There is an end, and it isn’t “real.” To that end, any confrontation with the outsiders can’t be too harsh. Obviously, they can’t actually have someone getting physically harmed for the sake of a TV show.

That being said, they ARE pushing them to some limits. Nearly everyone in “The Colony” brings some form of expertise from their “former” life with them; one is an auto mechanic, one a building contractor, a logger, etc. When the familiar fights start (he’s lazy, she’s never helping), the ‘target’ of criticism seems to come through and pull their weight.

No one is “voted off” in this one, no competition. But it’s very thought-provoking. There is a lot that we don’t see here. The area they are in is quite large, yet we only see a small part of it. Last episode, it was revealed, after being hinted at, there was someone sneaking among them. Turns out, while these winners were starving and trying to figure out how to make a windmill to recharge the car batteries they ran their tools off of, a former Marine Sniper was literally living with them without anyone ever seeing him. And living quite well, food wise, at least.

But, I digress. I’ve always been one, being a country boy, to try to at least think about living off the land. It always comes back to sustainability, and defense. You can have the best vegetable garden left in the world, but if just anyone can come in and take it does you zero good. Same thing goes with the tools and such they have in this show. They have a small supply of gasoline, they roasted rotten pig carcasses for some bio-diesel, and are brewing some high-octane alcohol for a boat motor to escape. But is any of that sustainable?

I know that when the “outsiders” get in to harass them, it can not be literally life-or-death as it would be if the situation were real. Let me tell you, a weapon of some kind is the first thing I’m finding: whittle down a handle on the end of a 2X4, find some nails to stick out the business end of it, and you are not coming near my MRE’s without regretting later!

But in the end, it really does give you something to think about. We are dependent in many ways on many levels of infrastructure. Grocery stores, power plants that supply that invisible current, gas stations to fill up the car, lawn mower, and buy a bottle of water, and a hardware store to find or replace other needed items.

But what happens if all of that is suddenly gone? Now, you have eat what you can find, catch, or kill. You have to make sure the water you drink doesn’t poison you, and if you shower, leave enough to drink later. How about preserving the food that’s left? I’m not sure I’d be very effective at a lot of long-term survival things, but one thing for sure, I’d be able to get day to day, thanks to the wonderful upbringing I had learning how to hunt, grow, build, and recycle.

Overall, I have to say I enjoy that show, even if I do find they are idiots half the time.

Written by James Lee

September 21, 2010 at 01:03

Posted in Uncategorized

Birthday Message from the Kansas City Star

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On Saturday, the Kansas City Star (which started life as the Kansas City Evening Star) turned 130 years old. To celebrate the occasion, the Editorial Board penned a column:

The Evening Star will be absolutely independent in politics, aiming to deal by all men and all parties with impartiality and fairness, expressing its views at all times with entire freedom and fearlessness.

That’s in the first editorial written by this newspaper, back on Saturday, Sept. 18, 1880. On that day exactly 130 years ago, the original edition came with plenty of lofty notions, many still pertinent today. The No. 1 edition promised to be independent, enterprising, spicy, readable, truthful and entertaining.

We continue to aim to be as independent and fearless as our founders dreamed. And we do, as that edition also noted, continue to “labor for the interests of the people, and to wage war upon corrupt and extravagant tax eaters.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/09/17/2231544/words-from-1880-to-work-by-still.html#ixzz107UrGdRw

When I read this on Saturday, I had a little chuckle. Anyone who reads the Star knows the Editorial Board leans heavily to the left.

Often, one can find leftward bias in their straight-news reporting, as well. A few examples come to mind. Once, they totally blew the lid off a huge oil-company scandal, which focused on temperature-adjusted pumps. Seems that you actually get less fuel when gasoline is metered more than 60 degrees F or so. As a result, the Big Evil Oil Companies were pocketing “billions” for selling “less” fuel during the summer months. Long story short, after weeks and weeks of dribbling out scandalous details, they finally let it known just how vast and treacherous they were, cheating you out of an average of half a tank per year! As I recall, this ‘expose’ was brought out first during the times of every Washington dill-weed screaming “Windfall Profits Tax!”

That’s the most glaring example I can recall from the top of my head about bias off the editorial pages. Usually, I must admit, they tend to be fairly good about their straight reporting, as long as one reads the entire piece, as well as what is not there.

As far as the Editorial Board goes, however, no one in their right mind can make the straight-faced claim they are “absolutely independent.” There is never a tax increase, liberal politician, or expansion of government at any level they are not whole-heartedly behind 100%. One of the few exceptions I can remember was the 2004 reelection of Christopher Bond to the Senate; the Democrats only put up token opposition, and Bond is good at bringin’ home the bacon in the form of pork-barrel earmark spending.

Here’s the thing: I don’t refuse to read the Star based on their known bias to the left. Actually, I sort of like the challenge to my own stands from time to time. Heck, I tune in to TV, radio, and internet sites all day (and half the night sometimes) with known biases, though to the right.

I don’t have a problem with the left-leaning bias; what I do have a problem with, however, is a left-leaning bias that claims to fall under “independent” umbrella. It’s one thing when one leans to one side of the political spectrum openly, another when they swear they don’t.

As you know me, I very come come down on the Conservative side of things. Given that, however, I like to think I try to give at least a fair representation of the opposing opinion, being the New Media Superstar that I am (hahahahaha!).

So how about a New Year’s Resolution, Star Board: Admit your leaning, bring out the opposition, and use logic and reason to dismantle our arguments against your causes. At least then, I think you might get a lot more respect from the good people of Kansas City.

Written by James Lee

September 20, 2010 at 20:10

Posted in Uncategorized

Burning Korans and Building Mosques

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The interweb thingy and talk radio is all abuzz about Florida pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville to hold a Koran burning ceremony on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Been hearing about this most of the day, specifically, how General Davis Petraeus has come out stating that if the event takes place, it can inflame the passions in Muslim countries and put American troops in more danger.

“It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort,” Gen. Petraeus said in an interview. “It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community.”

I’m not one that normally looks at book-burning as a good thing. Never understood the point, to be honest. The books you are tossing on the pile have been purchased, by someone, and the author has already received payment. The same hold true for records, or “offensive” T-shirts, you name it.

I’m of the opinion that no book should be banned, except for ones personal tastes. There are some minor exceptions, of course, having to do with appropriateness; for example, one would not want to stock the Kama Sutra in an elementary school library.

I can somewhat understand the point the Reverend is trying make. He probably feels that he is making a statement that Americans will not submit to Muslim intimidation, something that I actually agree with. More likely, though, is the massive amount of free publicity he has just gotten for his 50-some-odd members.

Of course, Jones has the right do whatever he wishes with his property, in this case, a Koran that he purchased. Just like the Bible, though, it is simply a book. Destroying a copy of either one will not negate what it says or the ideas it puts forth. At the same time, it will not ‘convert’ anyone who is offended by the action, either one. In fact, it would likely have the opposite effect.

Many will (rightly) point out that no one seems to care when there is someone offensive committed against Christianity, such as a display of “art” showing a crucifix in a jar of urine or the stage productions portraying Jesus as gay. No one disputes the right of people to do those things, and in fact, tax money even goes to support some of those things through the National Endowment for the Arts.

Here’s something I find a little disturbing about this particular situation, though:

The State Department described as “un-American” plans by a controversial church to burn Korans in memory of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks — though the head of that church says he is not deterred.

Exercising First Amendment Rights is “Un-American?” I thought the one who is actually running the State Department once famously said, or rather, shrieked “We are Americans, and we have the right to debate, and disagree, with any Adminstration?”

At the same time, government officials at all levels are falling all over themselves to talk about how wonderful a Mosque would be in lower Manhattan, just blocks from the site of the attacks. Of course, they have the right to build any lawful structure or business on private property. Is it in poor taste, possibly inflammatory, exactly as the Koran burning party will be? Absolutely.

Believe me, if they wanted to, New York, or any other government agency could shut down that Mosque in a New York minute, if you’ll pardon the expression. Recently, a gentleman wanted to open a sort of youth center, more like a teenager nightclub, in a small town just outside of Kansas City. You know, sodas, pool tables, dances, and video games sort of thing. On practically opening night, it comes out the gentleman in question has direct ties to White Supremacist organizations. Lo and behold, the city suddenly found some permit form wasn’t filled out properly, or some such nonsense. And it was permanently shut down.

There is probably so much red tape and bureaucratic hurdles to jump in New York, there are probably several levels the “Mosque” could be shut down at. Not saying they should, even though I personally believe they want it there as a symbol of “victory.” Look at other places in the world they have attacked, and a pattern emerges.

I think the good Reverend Jones is playing with fire here, and most likely pulling a publicity stunt. He is, of course, free to carry out his plan. I honestly don’t think its a good idea. Many will disagree with me, which is also your right. But in no way should government try to stop him from doing it.

One of the articles liked above stated he didn’t get an approval from the fire department. That is one thing, and leads to public safety. If he left that jurisdiction, went out into the country somewhere, it would be just like a good ol’ Saturday night bonfire, and I’m certain there is probably someone who would welcome him and his congregation.

I will be livid, though, if it comes to pass later that the Justice Department, or any other entity for that matter, starts trying to press some sort of “Hate Crimes” or “Civil Rights Violations” court case against him. If that happens, you will find me 110% behind Reverend Jones. Until then, however, I still think it’s an idea in poor taste.

Written by James Lee

September 7, 2010 at 19:59

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Illegal Immigrant ID Outrage (And Guns)

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From KLBJ via RightWing News.

One of the gun dealers of Austin’s Gun Show is sentenced to 6-months at a federal work camp for selling a weapon to an undocumented immigrant. Independent firearms dealer-Paul Copeland says for years he has commonly sold handguns and antique weapons with no problems and prior to his arrest the illegal immigrant showed him what appeared to be a valid Texas driver’s license.

Now, to be fair, the article does not go on to say whether the ID was actually valid or not. Or if not, just how good a forgery it may have been. I’ve heard of many instances where forgeries were good enough to fool actual law enforcement officers.

The problem in my mind is the hypocrisy. The Obama administration has three, count them three lawsuits against the State of Arizona. One, trying to overturn Arizona’s new SB1070 law, which mirrors federal law concerning non-citizens and documentation. Another, against Sheriff Joe Arpiao, for failing to turn over documentation in a fishing expedition they are conducting, trying to find “civil rights violations.” And a third against a community college, who, when hiring people, were actually filling out the I-9 form with proper IDs provided by those they hired. Oh, the horror!

But in this instance, it seems that not seeing proper ID, even though the dealer in question did attempt to follow proper laws and procedures, landed him in hot water.

So which is it going be? Do we ask for ID in compliance with the law, or do we not? Do we pick and choose? Are there going to be secret decoder rings for us to consult to tell us when we should check or not?

Oh, and one more thing:

He says none of the undocumented immigrants that were asked to testify against him were arrested by federal agents.

At least they didn’t give the illegals Magic Passes to cross the border at will, such as they did with the drug smuggler that Border Agents shot in the rear.

Written by James Lee

September 4, 2010 at 12:20

Posted in Uncategorized