Monday, July 2, 2012

Last Call

Team Romney has decided to declare war on the Village and is only going to deal with the Drudge/Breitbart Axis Of Stupid from now on.  It's a win/win for them both:  Romney gets his own propaganda machine that the news organizations now have to kiss up to or be cut off, and the Breitbart kiddies get their legitimacy as Real Villagers.  It's a match made in Hell.  ROmney spokesman Lenny Alcivar explains the new media order:

When this election is over, one of the lessons that will be learned by the mainstream media is that they no longer have a toe-hold on how Americans receive their news. Never before – in a way that has taken Democrats off stride – have we seen the confluence of an aggressive online community, led by Breitbart, and an aggressive campaign team not willing to cede an inch of ground to Democrats. This combination has created a new political reality. We no longer allow the mainstream media to define the political realities in America. The rise of Breitbart, Drudge and others, combined with an aggressive Romney campaign is a powerful tool in the arsenal of the conservative movement.

…The governor will no longer allow the mainstream media to dictate the terms of this debate. This is just the beginning… We are witnessing the rise of the center right media.

Romney's made a deal with the Devil for his soul, and handed over his media operation to the Breitbart crew.  They are the new reality for Team Romney.   The message is clear to the rest of the Village:  suck up to the Birthers, the racists, the tinfoil lunatics and the nutjobs or be cut off as "in the tank for Obama" and become the enemy of tens of millions of slack-jawed drones.

Mitt's boys have decided the media no longer matters...they have Matt Drudge and the blogs.  I'd laugh, but our Stockholm Syndrome Villagers will go right along with this and America will suffer as these propaganda merchants will be running the campaign narrative for the rest of the year.

One side believes in a free and open press.  The other side believes in Drudge alerts.  Enjoy, Village.  You have outlived your usefulness to the Republican Party.

Will you defend yourselves or buckle under and be their patsies?

50% Accuracy Not Enough To Warrant Searches

The nose of a drug-sniffing police dog is not so sharp, but it's good enough to support cocaine charges against Herbert Green.
That was the opinion of federal Judge Glen Conrad, who denied a motion this week to suppress the drugs found in Green's sport utility vehicle with the help of a police dog named Bono.
Green's lawyer had argued that Bono's track record — drugs were found just 22 times out of 85 "alerts" by the dog — was so poor that police lacked probable cause to search Green's SUV.
They found a large amount of cocaine in the suspect's car.  But if you use a dog that turns out 63 false positives for every 22 successes, it seems that is unfairly stacking the odds against unreasonable search. It would make sense that dogs would have to perform to a certain percent of accuracy to be considered reason to trump our rights.

When explaining their reasons, the judge did himself no favors.

In some cases where nothing was found after an alert by Bono, police later determined that drugs had been in the vehicle earlier, likely leaving an odor the dog was trained to detect, Neese said.
Taking those cases into account, Conrad found that Bono's accuracy rate was at least 50 percent.
In determining whether police had probable cause, the judge wrote that he had to consider other factors beyond the dog's track record.
As a federal appeals court once put it, "the reliability of a drug-detection dog does not rise or fall on the basis of one sniff."
Just about every car has had trace amounts of drugs in it at some point, whether the owners knew it or not.  I'm not liking the lack of numbers that suddenly bring the dog up to at least 50%, but half is still not good enough.  If I did my job right only half the time, it wouldn't be my job much longer.

Meanwhile, police are letting this go unchecked, giving them access to people they may not normally.  And they wonder why people are naturally suspicious of law enforcement.

Local Stupidity: Jay Nixon's Silence Speaks Volumes

A letter to the editor in the Springfield News-Leader calls out Jay Nixon's utter silence on behalf of Missourians in need of health care.  He hasn't gone on record like Bobby Jindal has, refusing to implement in hopes it will be turned over.

Nixon gives the most neutral, useless response possible:

“We’re just now beginning to review this ruling so that we can understand exactly what it means for Missouri.  This ruling has significant complexities and implications for families, health care providers and insurers in our state.  Here in Missouri, I'm committed to working collaboratively with citizens, businesses, medical providers and the legislature to move forward in a way that works best for families in our state.”

Kind of ambiguous, considering he thought it was best for Missouri to go without.  It may not be setting the stage for stalling and wading through the complexity of something he considers himself an expert in, but it sure sounds like it from here.  This was a token statement, something to put out there while he sits and plots his next move.

Mary Clemons gets right to the problem with this.

Now that the individual insurance mandate has been upheld by theUnited States Supreme Court, it is time for our governor to stand on the side of Missourians and be a voice of support for implementing the Affordable Care Act, the law of the land.
It is good for Missouri to have a health care law that provides subsidies to low- income citizens to purchase health insurance; a law that will create insurance exchanges making it possible for individuals and small businesses to purchase affordable insurance; a law that helps our seniors with prescription drug costs; a law that protects families from being denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions; a law that ends the gender gap and gives women equal access to health insurance; a law that allows everyone to receive preventive services with no co-pay; a law that keeps young adults on their parents’ policies until they reach 26; and a law that protects us from excessive insurance rate increases.
Several politicians have put their beliefs at odds with their sworn duties.  While some may play the martyr card (at the expense of the helpless) the reality is starting to show through the brave words and blind ignorance.  We have members of government failing to do their jobs because they are abusing their power.  Instead of following the people and the law, they believe themselves to be above it.  Jay Nixon has time to pull his head out of his arse and do the right thing.  I doubt he does, but he still has a chance.

Let's see if he takes it.

Coach Trips 13-Year-Old On Purpose

This is disgusting.  The coach claims the boy flipped him off at an earlier point in the game.  The headline says "do you think coach tripped this child?" but there is no question at all.  He raises his foot, hooks the boy, and drops him.  The boy broke his wrist, and I bet he has a hell of a headache from where his head struck the ice.


Did Millionaire Kill Himself In Court?

An Arizona millionaire who died minutes after he was convicted of arson appeared to have put something in his mouth while in the court room, sparking an investigation into whether the convicted arsonist had poisoned himself.
Michael Marin, 53, was convicted on Thursday of purposefully burning down his $2.55 million mansion in the tony Biltmore Estates neighborhood of Phoenix after he was unable to keep up with mortgage payments and a plan to raffle his house through a charity fundraiser failed. He faced up to 16 years in prison.
After the guilty verdict on one count of arson was read, a seemingly distraught Marin buried his face into his hands and appeared to place something in his mouth.
His face began to turn red. Minutes later, he took a sip of a liquid from a plastic sports bottle, turned to get a tissue, experienced convulsions and collapsed.
He was pronounced dead at the hospital, said Jeff Sprong, spokesperson for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, which is investigating the death.
"As you watch the video it does look like he is putting something into his mouth. Unfortunately we didn't find any evidence he left behind," Sprong said. "We are steering toward the fact he did ingest something. However, we're going to have to wait for toxicology results in two to three weeks."
It's surely not the first time, but it's rare enough to be interesting.  It seems Marin was a man who lived on his own terms, having self-published writing, climbed a mountain and generally lived to the fullest.  A prison sentence would have been worse than death to him.  Yeah, kind of like Patrick Swayze in Point Break. The full article gives more information on Marin's background, which is interesting.  I'm just amazed that someone would do that.

Throwing The Book At Them

This is what America has come to five years after Republicans destroyed our economy:  local residents putting together mini-libraries because community and county libraries are vanishing from the country.

Little Free Library was the inspiration of Todd Bol, who in the fall of 2009 landed on a way to honor his late mother, a book-loving teacher. He built a miniature wooden one-room schoolhouse, mounted it outside his Hudson, Wis., home and stocked it with books. Even on rainy days, friends and neighbors would happen by to make selections, drop off books and remark on the library's cuteness.

Bol, an entrepreneur in international business development, enlisted Rick Brooks, a community outreach specialist in Madison, Wis., to help spread the word. In the last two years, nearly 1,800 library stewards, as Bol calls them, have registered cabinet-size athenaeums in about 45 states and dozens of countries, including Ghana, England and Germany.

Each owner pays $25 to the Little Free Library, a nonprofit organization, for a sign and a number. The group's website features a locater map and photos of people attending grand openings for libraries.

Bol anticipates nearly 3,000 registered libraries by the end of July.

Read more here:

Make no mistake, this is a great idea.  I'd love to see thousands more of these.  Because the fact is the way austerity and income inequality in this nation is going, the Little Free Libraries are going to be the only ones left.

God In The Machine

When a sitting United States Congressman like Paul Ryan of Wisconsin tells America with a straight face that laws do not matter, the Supreme Court does not matter, and that your rights come from not the Constitution but from God, as an American you should be absolutely horrified and frightened.

“We’re going to repeal the entire law and then we’re going to advance patient-centered reforms that address these kinds of issues,” the Wisconsin Republican said.

“I think this at the end of the day is a big philosophy difference,” he continued. “What Ms. Kennedy and others were saying is that this is a new government-granted right. We disagree with the notion that our rights come from government, that the government can now grant us and define our rights. Those are ours, they come from nature and God, according to the Declaration of Independence — a huge difference in philosophy.”

Your philosophy, sir, would be laughed at by Thomas Jefferson.  Our Constitution was designed to make the United States a nation of laws, not a nation of whose God is more powerful.  And Republicans like Ryan have no issue with using laws to take those rights from whomever they see fit to punish for not agreeing with them.

This arrogant buffoon needs to resign.  You sir, serve and answer to your constituents and the Constitution of the United States of America, not God.  We absolutely have to resist this idiocy or we will not have a country of laws and rights enshrined, but laws and rights granted by people who will tell you what God means.

People like Paul Ryan.  I think not.


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