This blog consists mostly of common sense responses to happenings (news articles, political events, etc) that just cry out for someone to say "WHOA! Hang on a second, here!" Too many people get away with just inventing their own facts as they bull-rush their way through an argument.

Unless you're dodging a taxicab or sidestepping a falling gargoyle, it's usually wise to take what time is available to evaluate and apply actual common sense. Good, old wisdom. It is, of course, my opinion, but I'll try to show why I think it's factual.
Thomas Paine said, "To argue with someone who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." ... but I argue with drunks, egomaniacs, anti-gun Statists, Socialist/Keynesians and climate-fraud peddlers, too.

**PLEASE share this around. I didn't research, consider, write and post this junk just to have it hidden.
And feel free to comment.**

CONTACT SophosArchaeus: eMail at sophosarchaeus@hushmail.com
NOTE: this page does not endorse violence, racism or threats, nor permit such abuse in any direction.
Though Americans are fully able to end a fight, that is a last-resort, defense-only option.
If you're here for such crap, get the hell off my page!]

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Nullifying good journalism – Tenth Amendment Center

This is another angle on why I write what I write, by Michael Maharry via the X-Amendment folks. Keep in mind that the several American States already held independent power when they held a convention that created the United States.  In doing so, they ensured that they were not substituting "one tyrant a thousand miles away with a thousand tyrants one mile away".  Thus the clear, concise language of the Constitution and its many checks and balances, emphasizing the ultimate power of the States and the individual People whenever the federal (not "national") government steps outside its enumerated powers.  We need to take a hundred steps back to only be one step outside. 
In recent decades, too much of the "free press" has been fully dedicated to the statist viewpoint, with ever less regard for the truth.  You still see a few individual reporters striving for honesty, but they are usually shouted down or ignored.  Onward...


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Nullifying good journalism

by Michael Maharrey
AP reporter John Miller provides a textbook example of sloppy, agenda driven “journalism” in a piece headlined GOP invokes 1700s doctrine in health care fight published on Jan. 26.
Miller cobbles together a report clearly reflecting his personal opinion on the subject, and while he would surely argue that the story holds completely to the facts, he links those facts together in a way that leads the reader to his forgone conclusion.
Perhaps Miller doesn’t know any better, but he also omits vital information, leaving the reader with an incomplete understanding of nullification. He can either plead ignorance, making him a lazy reporter, or he left those bits of information out on purpose, making him an agenda driven hack.
Either way, he earns low marks as a professional journalist.
Let’s look at some specifics.
Miller sets up his assumption in the language of his lede graph.
“Republican lawmakers in nearly a dozen states are reaching into the dusty annals of American history to fight President Obama’s health care overhaul.”
Note the wording – dusty annals of American history. In other words, nullification isn’t really something to take seriously.  It’s old. (He re-emphasizes that point when he mentions Jefferson “philosophical guidance” 211 years ago.) Old means irrelevant and arcane. And if it’s old, irrelevant and arcane, you need not pay attention to it.
Miller frames the story with the loaded language in his opening graph and proceeds to hang it nicely inside.
He goes on to declare the notion of nullification unconstitutional. His source? “Most legal scholars…”
Presumably, Miller interviewed or at least read the opinions of most legal scholars in this country.
Or not.
Nowhere does he bother to cite any cogent opposing viewpoint. And it does exist. In fact, the logic is quite simple. He should be able to grasp it, even with all of the time spent talking to “most legal experts”. Quite simply, if Congress passes legislation reaching outside of its constitutionally prescribed delegated powers, it is not law at all, but an unconstitutional act – by definition illegal. The Constitution stands as the supreme law of the land, not the court. And unconstitutional acts cannot hold a place of supremacy over a state law.
Miller spends the next several graphs describing other radical “conservative” activities. They don’t have anything to do with nullification, but they fit the frame, so he throws them in.
I love some of the loaded language. “Anti-government angst running high.” “Tea Party crowd.” “Secession.” Miller clearly intends to paint nullification the color of extremism – right wing extremism to boot. He doesn’t come out and say it, of course. That would be non-objective. He lets the language serve as his brush.
Finally, he gets into the origins of nullification, lazily hanging the entire concept on the writing of Thomas Jefferson. I have to give him credit for basically explaining the Kentucky Resolutions correctly, all in one sentence. Well, except for the incorrect date. But why quibble? Anyway, after his cursory explanation of the principle’s origin, Miller simply sweeps the third president’s idea aside in one sentence.
“And his beliefs on nullification were nothing more than his opinions…”
I suppose I could say the same about “most legal scholars”. Or supreme court justices for that matter.
But I digress.
At this point, Miller takes the opportunity to create a little “gotcha” moment. He quotes Idaho Republican Sen. Monty Pearce saying Jefferson was at the constitutional convention.
Miller writes:
“Actually, Jefferson was far away, in France, as the framers met in 1787 in Philadelphia to replace the Articles of Confederation.”
Good one John!
But perhaps Miller should have included the fact that James Madison, considered the father of the Constitution, wrote the Virginia Resolution the same year, mirroring Jefferson’s reasoning. And that Madison laid out the fundamental principle of state resistance to overreaching federal power in Federalist 46.
But then again, who cares? That was just Madison’s opinion.
Miller moves on to assert, “Nullification has been invoked several times over the years — to no avail.”
He mentions the tariff act that South Carolina fought in the 1830s. He points out that it “nearly provoked armed conflict.”
Nearly, but it didn’t.
In fact, the feds backed down, and in a compromise, agreed to roll back the tariff over time. Sounds like at least a partial win for South Carolina. But that doesn’t fit the template.
And Miller fails to mention to modern cases of successful nullification. Numerous states refused to implement the Real ID act of 2005, rendering the act functionally void, and 15 states have defied federal law and implemented medicinal marijuana programs, without tanks rolling through the streets.
Finally, near the end of the story, Miller gets around to citing an intellectual source on nullification. But not before a little character assassination. Thomas Woods earned his undergrad degree in history from Harvard. He holds a masters and Ph.D. from Columbia University. But Miller doesn’t mention these credentials. He does mention that “as a college student in 1994, Woods helped found the League of the South, an Alabama group the Southern Poverty Law Center says has become a ‘neo-Confederate group’ seeking a second Southern secession.”
In other words, Woods is a racist and what he has to say isn’t relevant, but here it is anyway. Never mind that the Southern Poverty Law Center doesn’t exactly count as an unbiased source of information. And never mind that Woods no longer has any association with the League of the South. (Yes, Miller did mention this fact as an afterthought. But really, why mention the association at all? What does it have to do with the story? Oops.  Sorry. Asking too many questions.)
Interestingly, Miller fails to tell us anything about the organizational memberships, paper subjects or college hi-jinks of “most legal scholars”, Idaho Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Brian Kane, or David Gray Adler – all sources asserting nullification is an unconstitutional, archaic concept.
But I’m sure Miller thoroughly checked all of their backgrounds to make sure there was no ties to any progressive advocacy groups and no skeletons in their closets. No dirty laundry there for sure.
Miller makes a mockery of journalism with this story. Agree or disagree with the concept or wisdom of nullification, it has its roots in the founding philosophy of the nation and in the original understanding of the Constitution. It was invoked frequently in the first century of the Republic’s existence, by members of every political party, in the north and in the south. It stands on solid philosophical ground and has been successfully utilized in the last decade.
But Miller doesn’t bother to get into any of those complex nuances. Miller doesn’t bother to provide a balanced story explaining nullification. Miller doesn’t even bother to fact-check his work to make sure he gets something as basic as the date of the Kentucky Resolutions correct.
In short, he fails to do the basic job of a fair objective journalist.
Michael Maharrey [send him email] is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center. He proudly resides in the original home of the Principles of '98 - Kentucky. See his blog archive here and his article archive here.

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Link to original story on the Tenth Amendment Center site:
Nullifying good journalism – Tenth Amendment Center

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Seeking facts in a thicket of Post Tucson “civility”.

A few weeks ago, a crazed anarchist* tried to assassinate a moderate Democratic Representative.  Thankfully, Gabrielle Giffords is making a miraculous recovery.  Sadly, six innocent people (including a Federal Judge and a nine year old girl) were killed and a dozen others were hurt.

Another victim was the truth.  A few on the right blamed it on the left and a tidal wave of baseless attacks from the Left washed right over them.  Progressive media, personalities, pundits and elected “representatives” were immediately identifying the murderer as a right-wing, gun-toting buddy of a dozen different conservative figures, though it has been clearly shown that the shooter was too unhinged to form any coherent political ideology.  It is also clear that his views were as far from conservative as he could manage.  He is not a Democrat, but is (to summarize) a pot-smoking, Communist Manifesto, NAZI Mein Kampf and Daily Kos fan that disrespects God and hates Bush.  It is the left end of the sanity wagon that he fell off.  He certainly never tuned in to Beck, Limbaugh, et al.

As soon as this became undeniable, most Progressives simply shifted to an imagined need for strict, unconstitutional gun controls to prevent sociopaths from buying guns, or better yet, eliminate all gun ownership.  The shooter was never a “gun owner” until 11-30-2010, long after he fixated on Giffords and began his rants.  He didn’t buy ammunition until the morning of the shooting.  Two additional things to remember:  It was Progressive Socialists like Edmund and Jerry Brown, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton that made it much harder to hold, treat and document sick people making crazy threats, like the shooter did for years.  And if Joe Zamudio had been closer to the scene with his legally carried pistol, the rampage would have been cut short.  Guns and other weapons are already out there; bought, stolen or smuggled in by criminals who are not deterred by laws outlawing murder, let alone restricting guns.  Making law-abiding citizens be unarmed sheep, when criminals and psychopaths are armed, invites such tragedies.

Leftists that didn’t attack the Second Amendment, and many who did, attacked the First Amendment.  They called for a “ban on words or symbols” that somebody “might” find intimidating or agitating.  They targeted – excuse me, focused on – conservative outlets once again.  Unable to give a single example of a connection between any conservative commentary or symbol that ever caused a sane person to lash out, they insisted on prohibitions, “just in case”.

An acquaintance describes this inability to stop politicizing everything and twisting it to fit one’s anti-American agenda as “permanent ideological dyslexia”.  I agree. Many are simply unable to conceive of the fact that Oligarchic/Statist/Socialist governments don’t work.  Such governments thunder into power, do a lot of damage, exhaust other’s money, smother creativity, consume every resource, and collapse.  Every time; usually around the 70 year mark.  But for the Leftist, reality simply skips right past the “freedom might be right” option and another oppressive, centrally controlled option must be the only answer.  They just never thundered, spent or smothered enough in the past.  And the unequalled success of a free, upstart America is irrelevant or a fabrication to them.

Meanwhile President Obama (still denying the agenda of his parents, grandparents, wife, colleagues and appointees), wishing to appear presidential and salvage his plummeting approval ratings, spoke at a campaign rally cynically veiled as a memorial service.  He read a masterfully tele-prompted speech between whoops, whistles, hoots and shouts.  The personality cult was not disturbed by the presence of worried or mourning families of shooting victims.  The President’s message?  Both sides need to stick to ‘civility’.  And the seating chart for the Fate – excuse me, state – of the Union address was to be (D)-(R)-(D)-(R) or maybe boy-girl-boy-girl.  That’s right, to solve all the problems, all we have to do is forget any disagreement over government.  And agree with the Progressives.  Kumbaya.

Since the President’s speech, his personal ratings popped up 5%; almost back to 50%.  Our Representatives selected dresses and baby-blue tuxes.  Eleven cops have been shot, nationwide, almost as if someone believes the DOJ won’t prosecute them.   Film maker Spike Lee announced that “the United States is the most violent country in the history of civilization”. 

Hmm.  That last bit seems to let a lot of people off the hook: the Huns (overran Europe), the Mongols (invented “scorched Earth”), the Roman Empire (subjugated Europe and mid-East), the Persian Empire (enslaved Eurasia, opposed by “the 300”), the Ottoman Empire (same area), the Norse (Vikings pillaged from Newfoundland to Paris), perennial African tribal wars, Feudal Japan and China and many others.  Then there are the modern biggies, including (not counting wars they caused): Mao’s Communist China (70,000,000 murdered), Stalin’s Socialist USSR (35,000,000 murdered), Hitler’s National Socialist Germany (15,000,000 murdered) and Communist Pol Pot’s Cambodia, NAZI fan Hussein’s Iraq, Communist Castro and Che’s Cuba, North Korea, Iran, etc, etc.
Also after Obama’s advice to be civil was Steve Cohen’s (D-TN) defense of 2009’s health care industry takeover.  Cohen pounded on the lectern and denied that nationalization of the industry was a goal of Obamacare  (at the same time,  Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) was calling for the outlaw of insurance-based health care and the imposition of nationalized medicine).   Cohen twisted the term “blood libel” to blame all Germans for the holocaust and added that conservatives elected to oppose Obamacare, were “NAZIs” for repealing such unconstitutional, Socialist legislation.  Obama, of course, had told unions that such “single payer” medicine was his personal goal, but campaigned publicly that “you can keep your policy and your doctor”.  Lying: very civil.  By the way, Rep Cohen, Dr. Goebbels learned propaganda from American Progressive Socialists.

Following the example of expunged Progressive wingnut Alan Grayson (“Republicans want you to die”, 2009), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) claimed that the ‘Affordable Healthcare Takeover, Student Loan Seizure and Pretty, Pretty Pony, This Won’t Hurt a Bit’ act (or whatever) saves money (despite corrected CBO reports of $1 trillion extra debt and 15 million still uninsured) and created many jobs (ignoring the 5 million lost since it passed).  She says repeal “is killing Americans”.

The State of the Union went off predictably.  Obama’s tele-prompted speech was stridently non-committal and centrist-sounding (did you know that the Progressive Socialists' ["Fabian Socialists" in Britain, after patient and cunning Roman schemer Quintus Fabius Maximus] symbol is a wolf in sheep’s clothing?  No kidding).  He promised (again) that under Obamacare you could keep your health insurance, save tax dollars and get more and better services along with 45 million more patients for the same money.  Oops, 30 million more; some citizens are still excluded.  Oops, 25 million; Leftist unions and cronies’ companies (and all of the bill’s promoters) have been excused from the “mandatory for all” law.  And, oops, Medicare’s Chief Actuary Rick Roster confirms that Obamacare will cause increased costs and destruction of the private insurance industry, as predicted 2 years ago.  So, Obama, Cohen and Lee are (civilly) lying again. 

Also on the Teleprompter:
~Concerned about debt (tripled under Obama and the Progressive-controlled Congress), the very fiscally responsible President suggested a 5 year spending freeze!  On a tiny percentage he calls “discretionary spending”.  At the current, disastrous levels.
~Simplifying the tax code (doubled in size to accommodate thousands of new regulations and agents needed to enforce Obamacare).
~High-speed internet development.  Paid for by government (taxpayers) instead of industry and free to those not currently using it at the expense of bandwidth needed by those currently paying for it.
~High speed rail.  Paid for by overloaded taxpayers instead of developing industry.  With no more riders than bankrupt  Amtrack or tracks to put it on.
~Wide spread “investment” (not “stimulus”) to stimulate jobs in many non-critical and crony-owned industries.  Several hundred billion ought to do it.  But it’s not “Stimulus”, just taxes paying for discretionary projects that aren’t among the enumerated powers any more than health care, federal education control or High-speed you-name-it.  But it’s not stimulus or Socialist or anything. 
~Elimination of any tax-breaks, subsidies or support for the “rich”, that he said needed extension of Bush tax cuts to stabilize the job market. We don’t want evil, “rich” employers or investors investing in jobs or facilities.
~Merging and reorganizing the federal government; ‘fundamental change’ is always good, no matter what it really means.
~Bringing American business back to world leadership (under crushing healthcare requirements, locked-down oil and coal industries causing energy costs to “necessarily skyrocket”, Progressively educated workforce, suffocating unions and staggering “global warming” regulations). The stock market is, as always, struggling to restore capital if businesses ever decide to hire or build.
~Welcoming 6,000,000,000 new immigrants without controls.
~The president’s promise to “look at” (again) any suggestions the Republicans (having developed and announced them over and over for the last 2 years) might have for energy, health care, cutting the debt or helping create jobs.
~And much, much more!

A very civil string of misdirections, disparagies and mendacities.  Someone’s fibbing, Lord, Kumbaya!

*Though anarchists are generally assigned the far right of an ideological scale (beyond Republicans, beyond Tea Party members, beyond Libertarians,  right past the Constitution and all the way to the right wall; no controls at all: animal rule), they work hand-in-glove with the worldwide Global Socialist cabal.  They destabilize and eventually bring down a weak "democratic" government, so that waiting Leftist Oligarchy can move in to "save" society at the expense of a few, never-ending, liberty-consuming, emergency powers.  Their place is more accurately fixed on a circular, rather than linear continuum, with a free Republic at the top and extreme left meeting extreme right at the bottom.