The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Federal Court Upholds Bloggers’ Rights

Posted on | January 18, 2014 | 22 Comments

Eugene Volokh cites a ruling yesterday by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Obsidian Finance Group v. Cox:

The protections of the First Amendment do not turn on whether the defendant was a trained journalist, formally affiliated with traditional news entities, engaged in conflict-of-interest disclosure, went beyond just assembling others’ writings, or tried to get both sides of a story. As the Supreme Court has accurately warned, a First Amendment distinction between the institutional press and other speakers is unworkable: “With the advent of the Internet and the decline of print and broadcast media … the line between the media and others who wish to comment on political and social issues becomes far more blurred.” Citizens United, 558 U.S. at 352. In defamation cases, the public-figure status of a plaintiff and the public importance of the statement at issue — not the identity of the speaker — provide the First Amendment touchstones.

This is obviously relevant to the Maryland lawsuit Kimberlin v. Walker, et al., as well as to the federal lawsuit that my co-defendant John Hoge has dubbed Kimberlin v. the Universe, et al.

It’s interesting that the Ninth Circuit cited the Citizens United case, which figured prominently as a casus belli for the anti-Clarence Thomas campaign of Kimberlin’s Velvet Revolution.

It’s also interesting that in neither his state nor federal lawsuits against bloggers does Brett Kimberlin mention his role in founding Velvet Revolution which, the last time I checked, was located at the same Bethesda street address — i.e., Kimberlin’s mother’s basement — listed on Kimberlin’s legal filings in both cases.


Scientists Decide Americans Are Too Stupid to Understand Global Warming

Posted on | January 17, 2014 | 129 Comments

The science is settled!

New polling data show the American public is growing increasingly skeptical of an asserted climate crisis. Alarmists have responded by claiming Americans are not smart enough to make proper decisions on climate policy.
The Yale University Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication released a survey showing only 15 percent of Americans are “very worried” about global warming, compared to 23 percent who believe global warming is not happening at all. A plurality of Americans — 38 percent — believe global warming is happening but are only “somewhat worried” about it. . . .
Survey author Edward Maibach bemoaned the results and claimed Americans do not understand global warming issues.
“Our findings show that the public’s understanding of global warming’s reality, causes, and risks has not improved and has, in at least one important respect, gone in the wrong direction over the past year,” said Maibach.

This explains everything. Once there is an Official Scientific Consensus, only stupid Americans remain skeptical.


Psychiatrist Arrested With Crack Cocaine and a Dead Man Buried in His Backyard

Posted on | January 17, 2014 | 23 Comments

Allegedly, I hasten to add:

The body of a 31-year-old man who went missing in October was buried behind the home of a psychiatrist affiliated with the University of Rochester Medical Center. Police say Dr. William Lewek, 62, confessed to hiding Matthew Straton‘s body “in his backyard under a patio chair and a pile of dirt, grass and other debris,” the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported Friday.
Police did not say how Straton died, and Lewek was not immediately charged with homicide after the missing man’s badly decomposed corpse was found behind the home on Rochester’s Rowley Street. Lewek was charged with tampering with physical evidence, a felony, and an arrest affidavit said Lewek admitted moving Straton’s body from a third-floor bedroom of the home and burying it in the backyard.
Lewek also faces a felony charge of possessing a controlled substance after police say they found 17 small bags of crack cocaine “packaged for street sale” hidden in a shoe in Lewek’s house.
Lewek’s psychiatric practice dealt with drug addiction and his patients said he treated them at the Rowley Street address. “I asked the policeman, I said I’ve got an appointment and he said not today,” said Carol Lovel . . .

Read the whole thing at Viral Read. No need to jump to any conclusions here, but if you’ve been seeing the same psychiatrist for 14 years and still need treatment, maybe you should get another shrink.

UPDATE: There are at least two mysteries here:

  1. Why would a psychiatrist be holding crack cocaine “packaged for street sale”?
  2. How did Straton meet up with Lewek?

It’s best not to engage in speculation — the full story will be reported in due time — but outside the Rochester court where Lewek was arraigned today, Straton’s mother told a reporter that “her son hurt his back a few years ago, and became addicted to pain killers.” However, the mother had never heard of Dr. Lewek until her son’s body was found in the psychiatrist’s backyard.

Pretty easy to guess how these puzzle pieces fit together, but as I say, we can wait until the full story is reported.


In The Mailbox, 01.17.14

Posted on | January 17, 2014 | 5 Comments

– compiled by Wombat-socho

Up late working on the book, which is now in the hands of Little Miss Attila for proofing.

Blackmailers Don’t Shoot: Tim Donnelly Likes Guns And Has A Smokin’ Wife
Dead Republican Party: Views You Can Use
Michelle Malkin: John Kerry, Jihad Coddler
Twitchy: “Fist Bump!” Dana Loesch To Go National With Radio Syndication

American Power: Senator Tom Coburn To Retire With Two Years Left In Term
American Thinker: Paul Krugman, Vanquished
Blackfive: Does Information Really Want To Be Free?
The Necropolitan Sentinel: Obamacare Watch – NY Demographics
Don Surber: Daily Scoreboard, January 16
Jammie Wearing Fools: Obamacare Small Business Plan – Higher Premiums, Less Coverage, And More Paperwork
JustOneMinute: The Evolution Of A Drone Assassin And Super-Surveiller
Pat Dollard: High-Level NSA Official Says Metadata Illegally Used To Prosecute Average Citizens For Everything From Drug Dealing To Tax Evasion
Protein Wisdom: Obama As A Media Creation
Shot In The Dark: What Used To Be Vices Could One Day Be Entitlements
The Jawa Report: DOJ Says Will No Longer “Profile” Muslims
The Lonely Conservative: Are Republicans Throwing In The Towel On Obamacare?
This Ain’t Hell: Ayotte – COLA Cuts Hit Widows Too
Megan McArdle: Read This Before You Apply To Grad School

Deadline to submit links for this weekend’s FMJRA is tomorrow at noon.

Earth Heals, Oceans Recede, So Now It’s Time to Trust President Obama, Right?

Posted on | January 17, 2014 | 14 Comments

“Obama: Anatomy of a World Leader,” by Alex Gray (detail)

“I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
Barack Obama, June 3, 2008

Credibility is one of those things like virginity that you either have or you don’t, and President Obama lost his long ago:

President Obama will require intelligence agencies to obtain permission from a secret court before tapping into a vast trove of telephone data, but he will leave the data in the hands of the government for now, an administration official said.

After watching Obama’s speech today, I trust him as much as I ever did, which is say, I don’t trust him at all.


Mister Popularity, Edward Snowden

Posted on | January 17, 2014 | 69 Comments

Benny Johnson reports at BuzzFeed:

As the American intelligence community struggles to contain the public damage done by the former National Security Agency contractor’s revelations of mass domestic spying, intelligence operators have continued to seethe in very personal terms against the 30 year-old leaker.
“In a world where I would not be restricted from killing an American, I personally would go and kill him myself,” a current NSA analyst told BuzzFeed. “A lot of people share this sentiment.”
“I would love to put a bullet in his head,” one Pentagon official, a former special forces officer, said bluntly. “I do not take pleasure in taking another human beings life, having to do it in uniform, but he is single handedly the greatest traitor in American history.” . . .
“His name is cursed every day over here,” a defense contractor told BuzzFeed, speaking from an overseas Intelligence collections base. “Most everyone I talk to says he needs to be tried and hung, forget the trial and just hang him.”

What Snowden did is no less criminal than what Bradley Manning did, and Manning’s serving 35 years in federal prison.


Their Propaganda, and Ours

Posted on | January 17, 2014 | 8 Comments

Michael Moynihan has a splendid piece at the Daily Beast:

In the bad old days of the Cold War, those Americans sympathetic to Moscow could purchase clumsy Kremlin propaganda at various radical bookstores, stocked with glossy magazines and turgid tracts about collective farms and Stakhanovite iron output. . . . But the spread of capitalist technology has greatly benefited state-run propaganda, allowing them to reach the stupid and credulous with much greater efficiency, but with a predictable lack of nuance.
And there is something addictive about television stations like RT, the Kremlin-owned conspiracy mill that has collected 1.2 billion YouTube clicks, and PressTV, the Iranian-government sponsored television network that investigates Jewish conspiracies. . . .

Read the whole thing. Meanwhile, from the Daily Beast’s “Women in the World” page, here is some feminist propaganda:

One would assume that greater visibility of female political leaders would encourage women to run for office. But given the added — and many times uncalled-for — media scrutiny female political leaders face, women often see them as examples of why not to seek candidacy. A recent survey conducted by the University of Adelaide and YWCA reveals that Australian women are more hesitant to run for office after Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s run-ins with bad press. According to the survey, 8 out of 10 women over the age of 31 are less likely to pursue a career in politics while 57 percent of women between 18 and 21 years old felt discouraged by the press surrounding Ms. Gillard.

Julia Gillard had “run-ins with bad press”? And this is different from male politicians . . . how? For that matter, Margaret Thatcher was thoroughly hated by the left-wing press in her day and, more recently, Sarah Palin was savaged by the press.

If you want to know when things went wrong for Gillard, look back to October 2012. The opposition leader, Tony Abbott, called for the ouster of the Speaker, Peter Slipper, after the latter — a Gillard ally — had gotten tangled up in a sexual harassment scandal. This would further erode the thin margin of Gillard’s parliamentary majority, and Gillard responded with what became known as The Misogyny Speech, arguing that Abbott’s own history of sexism disqualified him to criticize Slipper. Her speech was widely celebrated by feminists, but Gillard looked both desperate and hypocritical:

“The moment Gillard rose to defend Slipper and keep him in office, she chose to defend the indefensible, to excuse the inexcusable. The government had spent a month vilifying Tony Abbott for having ‘a problem with women’. But when one of the bulwarks of the government was exposed as having a problem with women, it was suddenly acceptable.”

Gillard never recovered from that, and Abbott became Prime Minister when his party scored a decisive victory last September. From this, the lesson feminists want to teach is that Gillard “had run-ins with bad press” and “media scrutiny” is bad for women?

It’s not just Russia and Iran that peddle conspiratorial propaganda. Our own media are crammed full of the stuff.


News from South Africa

Posted on | January 16, 2014 | 16 Comments

And by “news,” of course I mean, horror stories:

In 2004 when Mali was 12 years old, she was raped for the first time by an elderly man that her mother brought home from church. He raped Pearl in her own bedroom, which he did daily until she was 16. “My mother didn’t want me to be gay, so she asked him to move in and be my husband. She hoped it would change me,” she said. . . .
After Ntshangan’s cousin discovered she was a lesbian, he raped her each time he saw her. She had his daughter in 2000. “He never approved of me being a lesbian. He always wanted me to be a girl,” she said. . . .
One night in March 2007, Anelisa was raped by a male friend of her girlfriend. She said: “He took me into an alleyway and said, ‘Listen here. I am going to show you that you are not man. You are not going to date a woman while there are men, and you are a girl.’ ” Anelisa became pregnant from the attack. Her child is 5 years old.

Did I mention that South Africa is the Rape Capital of the World?


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