Monday, October 20, 2008

Will Dems seek to censor the Right?

Is the Pope a Catholic?

From the NY Post today, the magic question:  What would Obama do?

SHOULD Barack Obama win the presidency and Democrats take full control of Congress, next year will see a real legislative attempt to bring back the Fairness Doctrine - and to diminish conservatives' influence on broadcast radio, the one medium they dominate.

Yes, the Obama campaign said some months back that the candidate doesn't seek to re-impose this regulation, which, until Ronald Reagan's FCC phased it out in the 1980s, required TV and radio broadcasters to give balanced airtime to opposing viewpoints or face steep fines or even loss of license. But most Democrats - including party elders Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry and Al Gore - strongly support the idea of mandating "fairness."

Would a President Obama veto a new Fairness Doctrine if Congress enacted one? It's doubtful.

I ask a slightly different question.  Would a guy who already says he wants to "spread the wealth around" shrink from telling y'all to shut up about it? Would he buck the people who moved heaven and earth to get him in to office just to protect the God given right to free speech?  Of his opposition?

I agree with The Post. It's doubtful. 

Instead, I think its likely a Department of Fairness will be created.  Kind of like the Ministry of Truth, but more folksy and American.  A whole new bureaucracy of bright eyed recent college graduates (English majors, of course) run by wily old Dem ward heelers.  Their job it will be to sift the Internet, print and broadcast media for "unfairness".  Which will of course be subject to interpretation.

So, all you Americans, bear that in mind when you vote.  Its going to affect you rather directly, particularly if you blog on the web or even comment on other people's blogs.

Still, the silver lining is it will be a major boon to "off-shore" web hosting should it come to pass.  Canada is pretty off-shore.  Maybe I'll buy a couple server racks and take the Phantom Soapbox international.  Seeing as how there's a butt-load of Blogger accounts going to go dark real soon, them being "unfair" to DemocRats and all.  No reason a good conservative shouldn't make some money fighting  DemocRat censorship, eh?

The Phantom

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Orwell had no idea.

The Labour government has announced a bill which, if passed, will create a centralized database which stores every e-mail, web page visit, text message, fax and phone call in the country.

Proposals for a central database of all mobile phone and internet traffic have been condemned as "Orwellian".

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the police and security services needed new powers to keep up with technology.

And she promised that the content of conversations would not be stored, just times and dates of messages and calls.

Not because she doesn't want to store all that content, but because there's not enough drive space in the entire world to do it.  They're working on that part

. Details of the times, dates, duration and locations of mobile phone calls, numbers called, website visited and addresses e-mailed are already stored by telecoms companies for 12 months under a voluntary agreement.

The data can be accessed by the police and security services on request - but the government plans to take control of the process in order to comply with an EU directive and make it easier for investigators to do their job.

Information will be kept for two years by law and may be held centrally on a searchable database.

Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said: "The government's Orwellian plans for a vast database of our private communications are deeply worrying.

"I hope that this consultation is not just a sham exercise to soft-soap an unsuspecting public."

He said the government had repeatedly shown it could not be trusted with sensitive data, adding: "There is little reason to think ministers will be any less slapdash with our phone and internet records.

"Ministers claim the database will only be used in terrorist cases, but there is now a long list of cases, from the arrest of Walter Wolfgang for heckling at a Labour conference to the freezing of Icelandic assets, where anti-terrorism law has been used for purposes for which it was not intended."

"Our experience of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act suggests these powers will soon be used to spy on people's children, pets and bins.

"These proposals are incompatible with a free country and a free people."

Well, Britain hasn't been a free country for quite a while.  It stopped being free when guns became illegal.  No surprise that they've kept on turning the screw.  They can do any damn thing they want, who's going to tell them no? 

Pretty soon they'll have a global warming tax that charges you a couple quid every time you fart outside an approved Air Quality Protection Zone.  Your government issued "phone" will be keeping track.  Don't try to get it off friends, you get a nasty shock if you cut the strap, and they cut your food ration too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More gun "science"

Wow, anybody would think there's an election on or something.  Check it:

The number of justifiable homicides committed by police and private citizens has been rising in the past two years to their highest levels in more than a decade, reflecting a shoot-first philosophy in dealing with crime, say law enforcement analysts.

Yep, a new and uuuugly "shoot first philosophy" is what we are instructed this means by our noble, unbiased media.  Damn those red state rednecks and their damn guns anyway.

Northeastern University criminal justice professor James Alan Fox describes an emerging "shoot-first" mentality by police and private citizens. For several years, police departments have armed their officers with higher-powered weapons to keep pace with criminal gangs. "Clearly there is a message out there that citizens may be able to defend themselves" as well, he says.

 Big Brained Dr. Fox is attributing the increasing numbers of justifiable homicides to "higher-powered weapons" and more armed citizens.  Bigger, badder guns and more of them.

Alfred Blumstein, a Carnegie Mellon University criminologist, says the gun "legalization movement" also may have helped create a "greater willingness" among citizens to act in self-defense.

Big brained Dr. Blumstein thinks there's more trigger happy rednecks feeling their oats thanks to those bastards at the NRA.

Predictably, I think something different. 

If you look at the chart that goes with the article, you see that the lines for both cops and "citizens" decline from 1994 to 2000, then climb from 2000 to the present. One would have to go elsewhere for this data, but I'm confident you'll find that the total number of homicides (as in from all causes) generally follow a reverse curve, rising through the 1990's and declining in the 2000's.  I know from having lived in the US from 1994 to 2002 that the number of guns available to citizens, and the "power" of them did not decrease during that time. The police were not issued wildly more deadly firearms either.  I also know that in ALL states which switched to a "shall issue"gun license, self defense shootings did not increase remarkably, while over all homicide rates decreased by double digits in those states.  No "blood in the streets", remember?

So, we know that since 2000 police weapons did not become more fatal, and we know that even though there were more people licensed for concealed carry they did not shoot more bad guys.  Well, what changed then?
The FBI says a homicide committed by a private citizen is justified when a person is slain during the commission of a felony, such as a burglary or robbery. Police are justified, the FBI says, when felons are killed while the officer is acting in the line of duty. Rulings on these deaths are usually made by the local police agencies involved.

Local police agency policy on self defense is what changed.  We're not counting convicted murders, we're counting cases that were declared self defense.  You change the policy for making the declaration, you get a different number.  Under Clinton, everything is a homicide.  Under Bush, its possible to have a righteous shooting without video and the Pope for a witness.  Simple, yes?

Think they're going to put that in the USA Today?  Not a chance. They're going to find two Democrat eggheads in the country venal enough to lie about something so obvious. That's why we have the Phantom Soapbox.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Greenies, who they really are is uuuugly.

You know how we call the Greenies EnviroNazis?  If you ever thought that was unduly harsh, check this out:

"People will have to be rationed to four modest portions of meat and one litre of milk a week if the world is to avoid run-away climate change, a major new report warns. The report, by the Food Climate Research Network, based at the University of Surrey, also says total food consumption should be reduced, especially "low nutritional value" treats such as alcohol, sweets and chocolates."

Voluntarily, by an enlightened populace?  Hell no!

"Tara Garnett, the report's author, warned that campaigns encouraging people to change their habits voluntarily were doomed to fail and urged the government to use caps on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon pricing to ensure changes were made. "Food is important to us in a great many cultural and symbolic ways, and our food choices are affected by cost, time, habit and other influences," the report says. "Study upon study has shown that awareness-raising campaigns alone are unlikely to work, particularly when it comes to more difficult changes."

 There will be concentration camps, mark my words.  Think upon this before you vote for Elizabeth May and her happy band of Green Party watermelons.