“Threat” of big al Queda attack … REAL OR RUSE?

4 Aug

All of a sudden the airwaves and media sources are full of info on the alleged “threat” of a large scale attack by Al Quada.

The news media is gushing over the ‘high levels of chatter’ suddenly being heard, while noting these same “channels” had been largely quiet recently. Not a one I’ve seen has had the slightest question of any of this is real. And there are many reasons/ways it may well not be.

Al_Qaeda_vows_t10463What has one of the biggest stories of late been?

The NSA spying programs as “outed” by Snowden.

And what has been the government response to the strong and growing concerns by the American people with these spy activities?

The gov’t has repeatedly claimed that these NSA programs are invaluable to protecting us from terrorism. But these claims are always very short on details – “classified” don’t you know – we can’t possibly reveal details … but in the few cases where details have come to light its been shown the NSA programs have had nominal input into preventing attacks – often it is other information and evidence that is the key factor.

Add to the NSA issues, the Benghazi debacle – another “phony” scandal according to the President, which they cannot seem to get away from no matter how hard they’ve tried to bury it.

And what might be the perfect way to attack BOTH the NSA and Benghazi scandals?

Why yes – you win a gold star if you answered “gin up an Al Queda ‘attack’ threat, based on ‘chatter’ that can be attributed to the wonderful and all-knowing power of the NSA programs … and then close a bunch of embassies etc., to show you’ve learned your lessons from the Benghazi disaster.”

The most obvious first  question is to ask why the heck Al Queda, knowing FULL WELL the NSA is listening in, would suddenly start talking about a major attack, after months of silence, in ways that could be easily monitored.

Two, why would the administration, who has claimed disclosure of the NSA programs has damaged our security, unleash an all out, high profile, campaign disclosing the extent and results of their secret intercepts, rather than quietly taking behind the scenes action? If Snowdens revelations were so damaging, why are they here immediately verifying to the enemy they are listening to them in almost real time?

There are some obvious potential reasons:

NSA-Gate, Benghazi-gate, IRS-gate and all the rest of the “phony” scandals. All of this blathering about intercepted chatter and imminent major attack is the perfect way to divert and deflect attention on the NSA programs and Benghazi failures and coverup.

This “fingerprint” … of diverting focus from the scandals, pimping up the ‘threat’ of a newly revitalized al Queda, burnishing the importance of NSA, and rehabilitating the Obama admin’s terrible handling of Benghazi … if you look closely, is supported by significant, clear evidence confirming this theory.

Almost every public comment on the al Queda chatter and evidence of attacks, is couched in terms of supporting the value of the NSA spy programs and that Susan Rice and the Obama administration suddenly learned their lessons about protecting our people and are now finally on the case.  Add the long list of politico’s and government sources who have promoted the meme of a “newly revitalized” “stronger” etc., al Queda – increasing their importance and thus their relevance as an enemy.

And there is one more important “trigger” – a huge reason for the pro-NSA people to go to such extremes to protect the NSA … while there is bi-partisan support for the NSA … more importantly there is strong bipartisan backlash against the over-reach of the NSA.

As evidenced by the vote a week or so ago on the Amash-Conyers anti-NSA bill. 94 Repub and 111 Democrats voted for the bill to severely restrict the NSA program – 205 total bipartisan votes, which,in a big scare to the President and NSA supporter,s was narrowly defeated … by just 12 votes!

Much gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands immediately commenced, from the President, and from the NSA proponents, about how important the NSA was. We’ve heard the claims of the attacks thwarted increase from a few dozen when the NSA scandal began, to most recent more than 300 attacks prevented. Never of course with any but the barest of details in proof.

Now, a week after this historic, close vote to reign in the NSA … we suddenly get word of all this massive chatter and word of a planned major attack.

Why now you ask? Well – according to those behind all this it IS President Obama’s birthday. Really? Do they think we are all that stupid – that’s the best excuse they could make up?

Ah, but you probably need some examples – some proof of my theory that this whole thing is a manufactured attempt to divert attention from the NSA and Benghazi scandals and portray the NSA as our savior.

Well here you go … excerpts from a single Reuters story touches each of the bases I’ve noted – first support for how wonderful the NSA is:

 “There is an awful lot of chatter out there,” Senator Saxby Chambliss, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

He said the “chatter” – communications among terrorism suspects about the planning of a possible attack – was “very reminiscent of what we saw pre-9/11.” A National Security Agency surveillance program that electronically collects communications on cellphones and emails – known as intercepts – had helped gather intelligence about this threat, Chambliss said. It was one of the NSA surveillance programs revealed by former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden to media outlets.

Those programs “allow us to have the ability to gather this chatter,” Chambliss said. “If we did not have these programs then we simply wouldn’t be able to listen in on the bad guys.”

And even more commentary in support of the NSA – note how the Al Queda ‘threat’ is pumped up and embellished first, followed by the “we’re the NSA and we’re here to help you…” theme:

‘SERIOUS THREAT’ … “This is the most serious threat that I’ve seen in the last several years,” Chambliss said.

The threat also has prompted some European countries to close their embassies in Yemen, where an al Qaeda affiliate that is considered one of the most dangerous – al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula – is based.

Interpol, the France-based international police agency, on Saturday issued a global security alert advising member states to increase vigilance against attacks after a series of prison breaks in Iraq, Libya and Pakistan.

“Al Qaeda is in many ways stronger than it was before 9/11, because it’s mutated and it spread and it can come at us from different directions,” U.S. Representative Peter King, a Republican, said on ABC’s “This Week” program. “And al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is probably the most deadly of all the al Qaeda affiliates,” he said.

“Republicans and Democrats alike on Sunday television talk shows said the threat was serious and sought to defuse the controversy over the NSA surveillance programs, which critics say are an invasion of privacy and civil rights.

The good news is that we picked up intelligence. And that’s what we do. That’s what NSA does,” U.S. Representative Dutch Ruppersberger, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“We’ve received information that high-level people from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula are talking about a major attack,” he said. U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, another Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, characterized the security threat as being based on specific intelligence…

And the “learned our lesson” meme:

Senator Lindsey Graham said on CNN that the actions taken to close the embassies and issue the global travel alert showed that the Obama administration had learned lessons from last year’s attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi. “Benghazi was a complete failure. The threats were real there. The reporting was real. And we basically dropped the ball. We’ve learned from Benghazi, thank God, and the administration is doing this right,” he said.

 By gosh we all learned our lesson with the Benghazi disaster, and these intercepts by the NSA of this big scary attack by al Queda, and the gubmint’s strong and immediate response – closing this handful of embassies over the weekend – proves it.

Perhaps I’m full of it and clueless. But I think not.

First the huge unasked and unanswered question … why, knowing their are under tight surveillance, has Al Quda suddenly, after months of silence, become such “chatty Kathy’s” ?

But even disregarding this huge question … what is the likelihood that a major Al Queda operation would be discovered just days after an eye-opening and historic BI-PARTISAN anti-NSA vote that came within 12 votes of passing … just 12 votes out of 422 votes total.

What is the chance it is strictly coincidence, that just days after this very close vote about restricting the NSA, that suddenly the NSA just happens on “chatter” … from an al Queda that knows they are listening and who have been largely silent for months … about a large imminent attack? Chatter that directly reinforces the NSA’s reason for being?

And why do the comments of almost every politician quoted, in some form or another directly reference that the NSA programs:

had helped gather intelligence about this threat” …

allow us to have the ability to gather this chatter” and that;

If we did not have these programs then we simply wouldn’t be able to listen in on the bad guys.”

What information are these politico’s more interested in getting out, the threat itself, or that it was the NSA we have to thank and without them we would be all but helpless?

Even if my theory is wrong here, that the Obama administration and pro-NSA folks have not ginned this whole thing up to divert attention from the numerous current scandals, and the failures in Benghazi … there is yet another very large elephant in the room. 

And that is; why al Queda would break their long-standing operational security, knowing more than ever about the NSA programs listening to them, and talk about this highly significant, high profile attack out in the open. And in what appears to be a large amount of communications – a lot of “chatter?”

One thing al Queda is not, is stupid. They do not suddenly let their guard down and let the NSA easily intercept their communications … not when they’ve gone to such great lengths in the past to hide from the NSA. 

Which leaves two possibilities in my view… 

One, they are feeding us the information they want to … which is the perfect counter to knowing you’re being listened to … in attempt to mislead us as to actual plans.

The more insidious option is they have realized they can cause just about as much damage – as much or more fear than blowing a few people up, by simply TALKING about attacking. Costs next to nothing to them, carries no risk, yet for those who take the bait, forces a ramp up of fear, and a huge waste of resources and assets. 

Used judiciously they can get much mileage, and create a lot of collateral damage, eventually undermining the credibility of their enemy – eventually putting them in the proverbial “boy who cried wolf” position where no one listens to them.

And along the way, each time they pull this stunt, the sheep who run to wave their arms and cry about the threat a “revitalized” and “stronger” al Queda present, burnish the reputation of al Queda with every story ….

We’l still see an occasional underpants bomber to be sure – the current threat worry is surgically implanted devices. But these have little chance of creating large scale damage or loss of life – just enough to maintain their credibility as a threat, and make these occasional security breeches to incite fear credible as well. 

We cannot beat them at this game of “whack a mole.” The best response is to stop spending billions and billions worrying about them and simply go on about our lives.

Al Queda is simply not a real, significant threat to cause large scale damage any longer. Certainly they can kill tens or dozens of people, perhaps even a few hundred if they were able to pull off a massive car bomb in the right place. 

Their ability to bring down an airliner is highly unlikely. They cannot fill a pair of underpants, or surgically implant, enough explosives to likely bring a large commercial aircraft down. They might manage to blow a hole in it, and you could lose some people, but even that is unlikely. 

Even if they were successful in down an airliner, it will be without control … it is all but impossible they will ever again get control of an aircraft. A death toll in perhaps the hundreds. 

It may sound callous, but when we weigh the risks and likelihoods, the chance of dying in any al Queda attack are infinitesimally remote. The risk of any large scale al Queda attack at all is almost zero. The risk of another 911 is in my opinion almost exactly zero. 

When we weigh those real risks vs the costs, both in cubic dollars and in freedoms and privacy, we have let al Queda win. We spend billions and billions on a threat that is extremely remote, and get virtually nothing in return.

 

Armed SWAT team raids shelter – kills Bambi …

3 Aug

bambi-in-crosshairsYes that title is over the top. It is preposterous and ridiculous. Unfortunately, unbelievably, it is also true and accurate.

“(There were) nine DNR agents and four deputy sheriffs, and they were all armed to the teeth,” Schulze said. The focus of their search was a baby fawn brought there by an Illinois family worried she had been abandoned by her mother.”

And how did the Wisconsin DNR mouthpiece respond to local media when queried by them if this SWAT raid wasn’t a bit excessive? By admitting the treated this small animal shelter, and on baby deer, just as they would a high risk drug raid.

“If a sheriff’s department is going in to do a search warrant on a drug bust, they don’t call them and ask them to voluntarily surrender their marijuana or whatever drug that they have before they show up,”

If that’s not enough for you here is the initial excuse-making, errr … press release, the DNR put out:

Last week our warden staff had the difficult and emotional job of removing a fawn that was illegally taken out of the wild and into captivity. None of our staff take joy in these situations. The department does the best it can to educate the public about keeping wild animals in the wild. In the end, we are charged by the citizens of Wisconsin to carry out state laws mandated by the legislature. It is a responsibility we take very seriously. We don’t have the ability to pick and choose which laws to enforce. Our staff took precautions to keep everyone safe as they executed the required search warrant. We are always very empathetic to those involved in these situations and understand how difficult they are to all who are involved.

If you think that is laughable – you would find huge numbers of good folks around the world who would agree … as yes, this story, rightfully so, has gone viral.

After being soundly trashed, here is the statement I received today from the head of the Wisconsin DNR, Ms. Cathy Stepp – in response to my email to the Governor of Wisconsin’s office, highly ritical of the action of the DNR staff and leadership:

Dear Constituent,

Last week our warden staff had the difficult and emotional job of removing a fawn that was illegally taken out of the wild and into captivity.  None of our staff take joy in these situations.  The department does the best it can to educate the public about keeping wild animals in the wild.  In the end, we are charged by the citizens of Wisconsin to carry out state laws mandated by the legislature.  It is a responsibility we take very seriously.  We don’t have the ability to pick and choose which laws to enforce.  Wardens did request voluntary compliance from the facility.  When that didn’t happen, our staff took precautions to keep everyone safe as they executed the required search warrant.  We are always very empathetic to those involved in these situations and understand how difficult they are to all who are involved.

Sincerely,

Cathy Stepp - Secretary, WI Dept of Natural Resources

y-u-kill-bambiMakes you feel all better … NOT.

Now, after this has gone viral worldwide, and after doing their best to smear the shelter with claims of a myriad of illegal and criminal offenses, which they used to justify their warrant and raid (which they have acknowledged they do not intend to prosecute the shelter over)  they claim they did ask for voluntary compliance.

Lets say they really did make a good faith effort to obtain voluntary compliance. First, if they did, it begs the question why wasn’t that mentioned originally, in response to direct questions from the local TV station?

Second, and more importantly, even if this small shelter refused to turn over this baby deer voluntarily … asking I’m pretty sure for some paperwork showing a right to do so, what possible justification was there for the show of force – a 13 member, “armed to the teeth” SWAT team, who by the DNR’s admission performed the same type raid as a high risk drug bust entails?

Here is the “threat” that required a heavily armed 13 member high risk SWAT team to apprehend and kill … say goodnight Giggles:

Bambi-Giggles

As I noted I wrote a somewhat detailed note t the Governor. The response from the DNR head is above. My response to her silly excuse-making, going all in and condoning the actions of her people, is below.  I did get a bit long-winded ….   :-)

Sorry Ms. Stepp – but what a load of rubbish.  And your excuse making press release condoning these actions, with its falsehoods, does nothing to help.The fawn was not illegally taken out of the wild. It was brought by citizens concerned for its well being to a dedicated and professional animal shelter. Who cared for the deer and arranged for it to be returned to the wild – to a wildlife sanctuary  – as quickly as possible. I have read your statutes – there was nothing “illegal” about taking the deer out of the wild – nor was there anything legally or ethically wrong with the shelter accepting and caring for that deer. That is what shelters do. There certainly are  ways to twist and subvert the statutes to a particular agenda, if that is ones intent.The Wisconsin DNR would not let the shelter successfully return the fawn to the wild – to the wildlife sanctuary. Instead they made the deer pay with its life. What a great example that sets for people who actually DID what the DNR is supposed to do – care about and take care of the wildlife.

This entire mess is a complete joke – and has rightly made you and your organization the laughing stock of, not only the country, but now it’s the world. You should be ashamed – of the actions of your department and staff, and of yourself for condoning this ridiculous situation.

You and the “SWAT team” boys, have just set back the public perception, already highly suspect, of the DNR by decades. The image of heavily armed, jack-booted thugs, terrorizing the staff of a small shelter, whose only crime is carrying about wildlife, to apprehend and kill a baby deer is literally unbelievable.

The animal was in a SHELTER. Brought there by concerned and caring members of the public – a family from ILLINOIS. Both of them were actually looking OUT for the animal – unlike the WI DNR. It was by all appearances an ILLINOIS deer according to news reports, delivered to the no-kill shelter on the WI/IL Border. The fawn was due to be placed in an ILLINOIS wildlife sanctuary the following day.

Your jack booted thugs couldn’t let that happen. Their little “war game” would have been over – they wouldn’t have been able to play SWAT team. But they certainly would have avoided all the negative publicity.

Instead a large number – 9 DNR officers – plus 4 Sheriff Deputies … showed up and performed a full out SWAT raid. Apparently after a full covert surveillance by DNR officers including apparently aerial photos.

For a baby deer. Let me repeat – for a BABY DEER.

A completely ridiculous and unjustified waste of resources not to mention a horrible PR nightmare. 100% – completely – unnecessary.

Instead of the detailed surveillance, as described in the documents – one officer – the same idiot that treated this apparently like a high crimes spy case – or perhaps a couple, just in case the shelter staff suddenly turned violent (yeah right) could have walked up to the door, and simply asked – do you have a deer in here? And then explained the law.  No amount of excuses or back-pedalling will change the stupidity and arrogance of this display of force.

As far as ‘having to’ enforce the laws – that is complete gibberish as well. Like any LEO you enforce the laws as required and appropriate for the circumstances. Many violations are treated with warnings.

That is why law enforcement has escalation of force policies – because some cops on the street are – like these officers – unable to use good judgment – looking for an excuse to dress up and use the maximum force they can.

The absolute “tell” here – the proof that these DNR officers were way out of line, simply looking for an excuse to play SWAT team – is the statement that the shelter is unlikely to be charged for any of the nefarious criminal acts alleged in the complaint – the crimes used to justify this raid. That is ALL the report was – an excuse to justify a massive show of force – all to capture and kill one baby deer, at an animal shelter … a fawn arranged to be returned to the woild the following day.

It is the actions of the DNR, the failure to make a reasonable effort at contact (and we pretty clearly know there was none by statements from the shelter staff)  prior to the raid, and then the ridiculous overkill of the raid itself. NINE DNR agents and FOUR Sheriff’s Deputies showed up “armed to the teeth”  and terrorized the poor staff at this small no-kill shelter.
Again, all to apprehend and kill a baby deer.
What POSSIBLE justification could there be for this massive show of force?
Your initial statement that the DNR had “the difficult and emotional job of removing a fawn that was illegally taken out of the wild and into captivity” is simply an insult to any intelligent person. There is nothing “difficult” about capturing and killing a baby deer. Period. And clearly the only thing “emotional” about this was the thrill they received by forming a 13 person assault team “armed to the teeth” to serve raid the animal shelter and capture and kill a baby deer.
The deer was NOT illegally taken out of the wild and into captivity. The deer rehabilitation policy your staff provided me, shows it is not illegal per se  to take deer out of the wild and place them in a facility for rehabilitation – so this statement by the DNR is an outright lie – purposely intended to smear the shelter and justify the DNR’s response here.The statement then says: “None of our staff take joy in these situations.” Really? It would seem they took great joy in assembling a heavily armed force of 9 DNR and 4 Sheriff’s Officers – all to perform a high risk raid and serve a warrant on a small no-kill animal shelter, terrorize its workers, and capture and kill a baby deer. There is absolutely nothing anywhere in this story that would justify anything remotely close to that show of force for this issue.The DNR statement continues: “The department does the best it can to educate the public about keeping wild animals in the wild.” No it doesn’t. Clearly here they made little or no effort to educate the poor folks they terrorized over their act of kindness.

And the DNR statement points out the further silliness of their position. Had this animal been left in the wild it would be alive today. It is only because people were concerned about the safety and well being of the animal that it is dead today. The Wisconsin DNR rewards the public’s efforts to care about and protect wildlife with a death sentence. This is simply inexcusable. If the animal was not a threat in the wild, simply bringing it to a shelter does nothing to change the threat.

That is the message this silly show of force sends. Don’t screw with the DNR, or we’ll suit up the SWAT Team, terrorize, smear and harass you, and kill your little deer Giggles too.

Next the wonderful mouthpiece for the DNR stated: “In the end, we are charged by the citizens of Wisconsin to carry out state laws mandated by the legislature. It is a responsibility we take very seriously. We don’t have the ability to pick and choose which laws to enforce.”

More deceit and falsehoods. Every law enforcement officer is supposed to  address each situation individually. Many violations get a warming. They absolutely and unequivocally have the right, ability and responsibility to choose how to enforce the laws.Our President has shown perfect examples of that – choosing not to enforce the law regarding Black Panthers with weapons intimidating voters – or choosing not to enforce the immigration laws as written because he disagrees with them.Last, perhaps the most ridiculous claim from the DNR: “We are always very empathetic to those involved in these situations and understand how difficult they are to all who are involved.”

The DNR showed zero empathy for those poor folks involved. Nothing shows empathy like a 13 member heavily armed team of officers executing a SWAT like raid, all to capture and kill a baby deer shows zero empathy. It DOES show they have no understanding of empathy at all. And that they had zero concern about terrorizing these folks.A single, or at most couple of, officers .. simply knocking on the door, explaining the issue and what they had to do, would have got the job done. That would show empathy.The operational profile the DNR chose was that of a high risk warrant service – they acknowledge it was the same as would be used for a high risk drug raid and similar. There was zero reason or need to do so. It was ignorant, arrogant, stupid and completely unnecessary. It was also a colossal waste of taxpayer resources …

What the DNR did here – and the pathetic response and excuse-making – shows a serious problem. This increasing militarization of even the most routine quasi law enforcement actions must stop.  As should the mindset that allows these people to believe their over-the-top actions are somehow appropriate and justified.

This story is already going viral and national..  it has already hit “Drudge” and now gone international. The media won’t be able to resist “Heavily armed SWAT team captures and kills baby deer” … nor should they. It IS one of the most arrogant and ignorant displays of government stupidity in a long time.
Again that your officer’s went to the extreme of actual surveillance of the shelter, to gather “evidence” to support their silly search warrant – smearing the shelter with all kinds of criminal allegations to justify the warrant, and then – without by all appearances making any significant effort to simply contact the shelter, explain and ask for their help – your SWAT team wannabe’s show up with a 13 member “armed to the teeth” assault team and proceed to raid the shelter and terrorize its staff … all to capture and kill a baby deer – whose only offense was caring folks trying to help it.
The people involved in this – from top to bottom – should be fired. For waste of government funds, but more importantly for gross ignorance and complete disrespect for everything and everyone they involved.  And that includes the media relations staff, and you yourself Ms. Stepp for condoning this ridiculous action.
ANYONE that would EVER think or rationalize what they did was an acceptable level of response to this has no business working for the state. Period.

kill-bambi2

Damn. That was some soapbox, I better climb down before I get hurt. I’m certain there’s a lotta folks in the muckety-muck section of Wisconsin government clicking their little ruby heels together tonite and chanting “I wish I may, I wish I might… make this damn thing disappear tonite …”

Sorry to those folks … but stupidity and arrogance has a much longer shelf life than that – especially when it has “SWAT Team” – “Baby deer” and “kill” in the mix.

Perhaps you might try honesty – admit the ridiculousness here, and tell us how you will see it doesn’t happen again.

Humanizing George Zimmerman …

15 Jul

The verdict of not guilty in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case – of his acquittal on all charges – both 2nd Degree Murder as charged, and the lesser charge of manslaughter – is already bringing out the usual suspects in mass.

Zimmerman - Guilty until proven GuiltyThe hypocrisy, intentional ignorance, willful disregard for the facts and gross negligence and irresponsibility of the resulting comments is simply beyond belief. The despicable commentary in this Guardian story a prime example.

It should be noted the Guardian story nearly exactly reflects a since deleted tweet by an AP reporter in the US (among many others, including Hollywood do-gooder’s, pro athletes and others).

The opening sentence tells pretty much all you need to know:

Let it be noted that on this day, Saturday 13 July 2013, it was still deemed legal in the US to chase and then shoot dead an unarmed young black man on his way home from the store because you didn’t like the look of him.

No regard for the law. No regard for the evidence. Complete disregard of the facts. Filled with knowing half-truths, flimsy fabrications and outright lies. Petty, petulant do-gooder’s demanding they get their own way, with wholesale disregard and disdain for any who dare disagree with their despicable views.

Yes that’s quite a mouthful … and its just as hard to swallow.

A much younger and smaller Trayvon Martin.Make sure you note the picture heading this disgusting mess of hate mongering.

Yes – that picture – the one of  a much younger and smaller Trayvon Martin.  The picture which bears no resemblance to the Trayvon Martin who confronted Zimmerman that dark and rainy night.

That overt dishonesty is transparent and amazing.  More recent photos of Trayvon are readily available. They do not paint the picture desired by the dishonest people with axes to grind and grudges to bear.

This is the Trayvon Zimmerman facedJudge for yourselves … the picture at right is much closer to the Trayvon Martin George Zimmerman faced.

Stupid, disgusting and ridiculous commentary such as from the apparent ‘village idiot’  at the Guardian  … help show the real problem.

And that is that the biggest race problem America has is the scumbag race baiters like Al Sharpton, the “Reverend” Jackson, the NAACP and the like … the demonizers who are behind these words and thoughts.

None of these people will acknowledge the facts about George Zimmerman – as they are highly inconvenient to their race-baiting agenda and positions.

While the US media largely ignored, or actively manipulated, the facts, Reuters did a detailed review of Zimmerman’s background and those facts … and the truth about George Zimmerman does not remotely support the race narrative.

These alleged civil rights advocates have argued Zimmerman should not have prejudged Martin, however one black neighbor of the Zimmerman’s said recent history and context is important to take into account.

“Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. I’m black, OK?” the woman said, declining to be identified because she anticipated backlash due to her race. She leaned in to look a reporter directly in the eyes. “There were black boys robbing houses in this neighborhood,” she said. “That’s why George was suspicious of Trayvon Martin.”

The Reuters story and a handful of other articles from other news sources, did detailed well researched and documented stories that pretty clearly showed Zimmerman was not racially motivated. Yet those stories were largely buried by the mainstream press, and wholly ignored by the race-baiter’s and the like, which continues today.

Key points about George Zimmerman:

  1. Zimmerman “was raised in a racially integrated household and himself has black roots through an Afro-Peruvian great-grandfather – the father of the maternal grandmother who helped raise him.”
  2. Zimmerman’s maternal grandmother lived with the Zimmerman’s since 1978, and took care of George during his childhood. Zimmerman as a child grew up with two African-American girls under his grandmothers care who ate their meals at the Zimmerman home and went back and forth to school each day with the Zimmerman children. “They were part of the household for years …”
  3. In 2004, Zimmerman partnered with an African-American friend and opened up an Allstate insurance satellite office…
  4. The FBI interviewed nearly three dozen people in the George Zimmerman murder case, and found no evidence that racial bias was a motivating factor in the shooting of Trayvon Martin
  5. And the big one … Zimmerman was one of very few in Sanford who publicly condemned the Dec 2010 beating of the black homeless man Sherman Ware, by the son of a Sanford police officer Ware suffered a concussion. The son was not arrested or charged, even though an onlooker had video evidence of his actions. Documents and emails now show police officers and officials from the office of the State Attorney operated with extreme caution because the attackers father was a high-ranking law enforcement officer.Zimmerman strongly advocated on behalf of the black man beaten –  printing and distributing copies of fliers demanding the community “hold accountable” the officers responsible for any misconduct.Zimmerman spent countless hours in an attempt to organize the black community against this horrible miscarriage of justice, including helping organize the City Hall meeting on January 8th, 2011 at Sanford City Hall. “I challenge you to stand together and to have our voices heard, and to hold accountable all of those officers, and officials whom let this atrocious attack pass unpunished until the media revealed it,” one of the fliers reads in part.

Do the facts above sound like someone who is a racist – who hates black folks as so many insist?  Does that George Zimmerman sound like someone who would stalk and murder an unarmed youth because he was black?

The Reuters story also documents there clearly was, as the Sanford Police have acknowledged, a significant and growing crime problem in the neighborhood, and that it was largely young black men perpetrating these crimes.

It is these circumstances that influenced Zimmerman’s actions and decisions that night:

  1. By the summer of 2011, Twin Lakes was experiencing a rash of burglaries and break-ins. At least eight burglaries were reported within Twin Lakes in the 14 months prior to the Trayvon Martin shooting, according to the Sanford Police Department. Witnesses identified the suspects to police as young black men. One morning in July 2011, a black teenager walked up to Zimmerman’s front porch and stole a bicycle, neighbors told Reuters. A police report was taken.
  2. On August 3,2011 neighbor Olivia Bertalan was at home with her infant son. She watched from a downstairs window, she said, as two black men repeatedly rang her doorbell and then entered through a sliding door at the back of the house. She ran upstairs, locked herself inside the boy’s bedroom, and called a police dispatcher, whispering frantically. Police arrived just as the burglars – who had been trying to disconnect the couple’s television – fled out a back door.After police left Bertalan, George Zimmerman arrived at the front door in a shirt and tie, she said. He gave her his contact numbers on an index card and invited her to visit his wife if she ever felt unsafe. He returned later and gave her a stronger lock to bolster the sliding door that had been forced open.”He was so mellow and calm, very helpful and very, very sweet,” she said last week. “We didn’t really know George at first, but after the break-in we talked to him on a daily basis. People were freaked out. It wasn’t just George calling police … we were calling police at least once a week.”
  3. Less than two weeks later, another Twin Lakes home was burglarized, police reports show. Two weeks after that, a home under construction was vandalized.
  4. On February 2, 2012, Zimmerman placed a call to Sanford police after spotting a young black man he recognized peering into the windows of a neighbor’s empty home, according to several friends and neighbors. By the time police arrived, according to the dispatch report, the suspect had fled.
  5. On February 6, the home of another resident was burglarized. Two roofer’s working directly across the street saw two African-American men lingering in the yard at the time of the break-in. A new laptop and some gold jewelry were stolen. One of the roofer’s called police the next day after spotting one of the suspects among a group of male teenagers, three black and one white, on bicycles.Police found the laptop in the backpack of one of the black teens. He was the same man Zimmerman had spotted on February 2.

A few weeks later Zimmerman noticed another young man in the neighborhood, acting in a way he found familiar, so he made another call to police.  “We’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there’s a real suspicious guy,” Zimmerman said … we all know the result.

Lets next review some of the facts from that fateful night:

  1. First, it is an outright lie Zimmerman ignored a police order not to follow. He was on the phone with police in his car. Martin disappeared behind the buildings. Listening to the tape you can hear him get out of the car and start walking. The dispatch asked if he was following, and when he said yes, told him “we don’t need you to do that.” Zimmerman responded “OK”, they terminated the call, and he began returning to the car to meet the officer …when he was attacked.
  2. Second – right or wrong, Martin was acting in a manner that fit the profile – the criminal profile – that the neighborhood had been experiencing. Zimmerman could only go on the info he had, and called it in, as he had done a number of times before.Certainly he could have stayed in the car, something all can probably agree on, but there was no legal or other reason preventing him from trying to carefully see where, what he thought was a suspicious person, went.There is no evidence he aggressively pursued or chased Martin in any way. It seems clear he thought Martin was retreating – trying to “get away” – and that he did not expect to be confronted, nor would he have tried to confront Martin based on his comments to dispatch.
  3. Third, it is simply beyond any rational, intelligent, comprehension that Zimmerman, knowing police were seconds away, and that there were occupants in buildings mere feet away – any one which might be looking out their window – would intentionally kill Martin.
  4. Fourth, it is equally inconceivable that Martin, if Zimmerman had gotten free after being beaten, would just stand there and allow Zimmerman to press the gun nearly against his chest and fire.
  5. Which brings us to the elephant that seems to be continually ignored – Martins own actions.Neither the press, clearly not the race-baiter’s, and certainly not those with an agenda critical of Zimmerman, wants to acknowledge or address Martin’s decisions and actions of that night.When he disappeared – ‘got away’ – from that “creepy ass cracker” … he was seconds, not minutes, at most from the home he was staying in. If he was the ‘frightened child’ so many like to make him out to be, he had all the time in the world to simply continue to that home, lock the door and be safe.He had a cell phone, as we know from the witness he was talking to. If he was afraid of the “cracker” following him, or even just mad about it – one call to 911 would have stopped what occurred.Instead he chose to confront Zimmerman and then attack and try to beat him senseless. The evidence was incontrovertible – Trayvon Martin beat Zimmerman.Zimmerman’s story never changed, his injuries were clear and consistent with his account, and his claims and statements were supported by credible witnesses – including those of the prosecution.We know without doubt – from the 911 call tapes – that the attack lasted at least 45 seconds before we hear the single gunshot.You can question whether Martin would have continued – just how much harm he would have inflicted, but we know for a fact it went on at least 45 seconds – in what was described by a prosecution witness as an MMA style “ground pounding” – smashing his face and pounding his head into the sidewalk.Zimmerman had facial injuries, along with cuts and knots to the back of his head, both entirely consistent with his and witness accounts.One of the first statements Zimmerman made to officers was that he had cried for help repeatedly but no one came.Hindsight may well show those injuries were not life threatening – but it is not what we or any others think, or even know with certainty with the benefit of hindsight.What matters was what Zimmerman believed at the time. I don’t see how any reasonable person can say, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Zimmerman’s belief he was in danger of great bodily harm or death was unfounded.

In the end this truly IS a tragedy.

I personally disagree with the decision to carry a weapon, although I can understand it. But it was completely legal for him to do so.

A very important fact is there is zero evidence presented that he ever displayed the gun, keeping it hidden under his jacket, until it became exposed during the beating.

Yes Zimmerman could have stayed in the car, but he was never ordered not to follow, nor did any law require that. When dispatch realized he was, they told him he “did not need to do that” and can clearly be heard to acknowledge and stop, returning to his car to meet officer.

Likewise, instead of doubling back and confronting Zimmeramn, Martin could have simply returned home, a few steps away, when he “lost” Zimmerman, and been safe.

The jury was presented with all of the evidence. They were also given an “out”- the ability to find guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter, which requires only proof Zimmerman intended to shoot him, and not the higher proof required for 2nd Degree murder.

They reviewed all the evidence. They even asked for clarification on the manslaughter charge. It is clear they made every effort to fairly review the evidence.

And in the end, as many of us have said from the beginning, they could not find even an intent to kill, let alone the with “ill will, spite or hatred” requirement required of the 2nd degree charge.

This result is all the more important in that it was  in spite of the overt attempts by the race-baiter’s, the politicians, and even the media – who literally manufactured evidence in an attempt to portray Zimmerman in the worst light possible.

Zimmerman_noose_NBCMSNBC, besides the gross conflict of allowing Sharpton to be a participant making the news, and then, in a ridiculous lapse of any semblance of journalistic ethics,  to REPORT on the story he was a key player in – in effect allowing him to create the news he then reported on … went  so far as to manipulate the 911 call from Zimmerman to untruthfully make it appear he made a racial comment.

NBC News, in a March 27, 2012, broadcast of the “Today” show, edited the tape of Zimmerman’s comments to a police dispatcher on the evening of Feb. 26, 2012, to say:

“Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”

When in reality the full tape shows he said:

“Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?
Zimmerman: He looks black.”

NBC’s response was truly pathetic - noting that other media outlets played up the racial angle of Zimmerman’s deadly encounter with Trayvon Martin.  They went on to say:

“… the pivotal nature of the second-degree murder case: “[I]f Zimmerman is convicted, that fact alone will constitute substantial evidence that the destruction of his reputation is the result of his own criminal conduct, and not of the broadcasts at issue which, like countless other news reports disseminated by media entities throughout the country, reported on the underlying events.””

It would appear NBC is now about to be convicted by their own words – Zimmerman was not convicted, of any offense – and their excuse-making has become their admission of guilt.

zimmeramn_buratstakeDespite these type attempts to manipulate the outcome, and intense pressure from many fronts for a conviction, with this ‘stacked deck’ a jury still courageously followed the evidence and the law and found George Zimmerman not guilty.

BOTH Zimmerman and Martin made wrong choices that night in my informed opinion. Had either made different key decisions the outcome would likely have been far different. That said neither Zimmerman or Martin in my opinion were “guilty” that night.

Zimmerman could have stayed in the car.

Martin could have gone home.

Either action would have stopped what occurred. Both bear that responsibility – the result is not racial –  it is nothing but a sad consequence of the confluence of events and decisions made that night.

I believe the people trying to turn this into something it was clearly not – the people ignoring all the evidence and only seeing the result that fits their world view and/or agenda … and this included the mainstream media who were so intent on smearing Zimmerman, even if they had to manufacture stories …  are some of the most despicable people in this world today.

None of us can walk in each others shoes – I cannot know what a black man knows and experiences, nor can he know my experiences. But I do know that many people who walk side by side as friends, day in and day out, ignoring color and the despicable actions of these scumbags,  are being forced by these race baiter’s into taking sides.

And if that is not the very definition of racism I do not know what is.

Obama resorts to outright lies …

17 May
Image

Not Me … they did it …

Yesterday President Obama, under attack on multiple fronts for the many scandals under his administration, joined the chorus of other partisans who have resorted to simple, bald faced lies – in another of his many attempts to scatter blame for his failings on everyone but himself.

It started last week with Dem. Barbara Boxer trying to blame the GOP for cutting Embassy security budgets:

“It takes funding to protect an embassy. It takes funding to protect a consulate. It takes funding to protect an outpost. Yes, it takes funding. Who cut the funds from embassy security? The Republicans in the House, that is who — hundreds of millions of dollars. If it were not for the Democrats, it would have been cut more, because when it came here, we stood our ground. We had to accommodate their cuts. That is how the process works. So I think the Benghazi ‘scandal’ starts with the Republicans looking in the mirror. Mirror mirror, who is the fairest of them all? They ought to ask: Mirror, mirror, who cut the funding for diplomatic security across this world for America? The answer: Republicans.”

This statement is an outright lie – and earned “three pinocchios” from the Washington Post Fact Checker for its falsity. 

Media bastion of the left, MSNBC, continued Boxer’s attack with former DNC Communications Director and soon to be MSNBC host, Karen Finney attempting to deflect the blame for the dead in Benghazi on the GOP:

“I believe that is what the GOP is most terrified of having to talk about. Because they know they screwed up. Their austerity measures may have endangered this man’s life and they don’t want to talk about that … Nobody is interested in the fact fiscal year 2012 Republicans voted to remove $331 billion from security budgets at international consulates and embassies. Nobody is interested in discussing that. That was the year when Ambassador Stevens was murdered.”

Rather than address the serious questions asked of her regarding the Benghazi attack, Finney repeatedly resorted to attempting to divert blame to the GOP. And again, she as well used the same outright lies to do so.

Add Democrat William Lacy Clay, who, at the Benghazi hearings, also repeated the false claim that the GOP voted for embassy security funding budget cuts, and those budget cuts may be to blame for the Benghazi attack.

Those pesky things known as facts, however, show all of these claims to be false – and that they are worse that that, outright lies. Business as usual for that certain segment.

ImageApparently believing ‘a lie repeated often enough becomes fact’, the next participant in this little game, was President “Not Me” himself. Attempting to shift blame from his and his administration’s failures, he admonished that Congress needs to “fully fund our budget request to improve the security of our embassies around the world.”

”Not me” and “I know nothing” are the most common refrains we’ve heard the last few weeks regarding all of the scandals coming from this administration.

So … what do the facts show? 

There is plenty of direct evidence – and the facts show these statements to be outright, bald faced lies..   

Few people, let alone the media, seem to bother to actually research, and verify the facts anymore these days, but the data and information IS all there and available to the public if you know where to look. The US STATE DEPARTMENT Budgets are online and the “Embassy Security, Construction and Maintenance” section shows the portion allocated to this issue.

These State Department budget documents show OBAMA and his administration – NOT the GOP – REDUCED the budgets by 36+% from 2009 to 2011 (and 31% overall from 2009 to 2012). The line item breakout for “Embassy Security” alone provides even stronger evidence against Obama’s direct lies about Republicans reducing diplomatic security money.

The FACTS show OBAMA’s requested budgets from 2009 thru 2011 and 2012 dramatically reduced amounts for the “Worldwide Security” portion of the Embassy Security, Construction and Maintenance” budgets.

OBAMA’s requested State Department Worldwide Security spending budgets:

2009 $1.868 billion
2010 $0.847 billion (cut by 54.6% from 2009)
2011 $0.824 billion (cut by 55.9% from 2009)
2012 $0.938 billion (cut by 49.8% from 2009)

The irrefutable facts are that Obama’s budget requests cut over $1 billion from 2009 to 2010.

And that OBAMA – not the GOP – cut spending requested for Embassy Security by nearly 50% from 2009 to 2012.  The GOP clearly has nothing whatsoever to do with the President’s budget requests.

It is fact that OBAMA and his administration – NOT the GOP or anyone else – reduced the budget for Embassy Security, Construction and Administration by 31% overall, and by almost 50% for the “Worldwide Security” budget for Embassies portion, from 2009 to 2012.

A review of the FACTS also shows yet another outright lie in the claim the GOP “VOTED” to reduce embassy security spending for last year. The facts show a bipartisan vote – with slightly MORE Democrats than than Repubs - approved the 2012 budget. It is easily verified FACT that 149 DEMOCRATS and 147 Republicans voted to approve a 2012 budget of $1.54 billion for 2012.

The Republicans did NOT reduce, nor did they vote to reduce, the Embassy Security budgets – period. 

ImageObama’s administration then went on to refuse repeated, increasingly desperate, requests to provide security to Benghazi, and instead removed the small security force that was there over the objection of the Regional Security Officer and the head of the security team.

Yet Obama and the State Department can find plenty of money in the budget they had requested be decreased, to send Chevy Volts and $108,000 charging stations to cushy and safe embassies like Vienna’s. How much security could have been provided in Benghazi for the cost of just ONE Chevy Volt (at $45,000+) and one $108,000 charging station?

I suspect Ambassador Stevens, and the families of the other Americans who died’, would like to know that answer.

Apologists have been repeating these same outright false claims since Benghazi occurred – here is a prefect example: “… the gop congress DENIED additional funds for security requested by sec clinton, pull your head out of your ass”

I suggest folks learn the real facts, rather than regurgitating uninformed, uneducated and outright false partisan rhetoric. These apologists and excuse-makers, including President Obama, keep repeating this same tired, and outright false partisan claims. Claim’s that are easily shown as outright fabrication – easily verified as bald faced lies … the truth is the 2012 budget was passed with strong bipartisan support. These attacks that Republicans denied funds to protect diplomatic posts are completely unsupported in any way.

A look at the details follows … lets start with a quote from a news report, verifying the facts regarding the 2012 State Dept Budget:

“Congress, which included support from Democrats, ultimately agreed on a $1.54 billion budget. That’s slightly more than the $1.43 million committee Republicans recommended … The budget was $1.63 billion in fiscal 2011 and $1.82 billion in fiscal 2010 [reduced by Obama's administration each year]… the U.S. government is also trying to deal with severe budget constraints at a time of trillion-dollar deficits, and that last budget was passed on a bipartisan vote — more Democrats ended up supporting it than Republicans. 149 Democrats voted yes, along with 147 Republicans.”

Republicans did not vote against an increase in embassy security – the facts show 149 Democrats and 147 Republicans voted for the 2012 State Dept budget which Obama and his administration had cut by 31% from 2009 to 2012.

Detailed below, you can see the data that verifies it was OBAMA and his administration – NOT THE GOP – that reduced the embassy security budgets – thru their annual funding requests.

OBAMA’s requested 2010 State Dept budget REDUCED “Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance” spending by more than $830 million dollars compared to 2009. In 2011 Obama and his admin reduced the budget even further – almost $1 billion less than 2009. And although Obama requested a small increase in 2012, the request was still nearly $850 million less than 2009:

2009 estimated: $2,646,597
2010 requested: $1,815,050
2010 requested vs 2009: ($ 831,547)

LINKS:
www.state.gov/documents/organization/122511.pdf
www.state.gov/documents/organization/135888.pdf
www.state.gov/documents/organization/156214.pdf

2011 requested: 1,681,500
2012 requested: 1,801,517

The bipartisan vote – 149 Democrats and 147 Republicans – awarded them $1.54 billion for 2012 – a small decrease from 2011.  The small 2012 budget reduction from that requested was absolutely NOT, as widely claimed, caused by the GOP. It was approved in a strongly bipartisan vote – with MORE Democrats than Republicans approving.

ONCE AGAIN – THE CLAIMS THE GOP REDUCED, or “VOTED TO REDUCE”, SPENDING FOR EMBASSY SECURITY ARE PROVEN AS OUTRIGHT LIES.

It is also verifiable fact that Obama – a huge proponent of the Chevy Volt – in a time of trillion dollar deficits, and knowing they had dramatically reduced Embassy Security budgets, has chosen to waste large sums on Volts and related accessories for embassies, while refusing to honor serious requests for security in highly volatile and dangerous areas. That decision cost four Americans their lives.

Deciding HOW to spend the bipartisan approved budget is EXACTLY the President and his administration’s responsibility.

In a time of tight budgets Obama and his administration’s budget priorities have been shown to include such important expenses as spending large sums on Chevy Volts and $108,000 charging stations. They have also approved fully staffed security details in non-violent places like Barbados – which they admit has a contingent of 12 Marines – who are often tasked with such important “security” activities as leading a fitness test for young athletes. While at the same time refusing to provide even the most basic security, despite repeated requests, in the highly volatile Benghazi area.

It has been proven beyond a shadow of doubt the administration ignored the strong recommendation of both the Regional Security Officer and of the head of the security team that WAS there that the administration had pulled. While safe paces like Barbados had a dozen marines on security detail, the President refused security to one of the most dangerous places we operate in.

We now also know the answer to Hillary’s “3 am call” campaign ad questioning Obama’s ability to handle a crisis. When the “3am call” came Obama’s administration refused to send any significant help during the 7 hour attack – despite assets within an hour away and having both a drone with live video, and direct communications with the American’s on the ground under attack.

When the “call” came – Obama was so concerned …. he went to bed:

“Previously we were told that Obama had been briefed on the attack prior to going to bed on the night of 9-11-12. The whereabouts and condition of Ambassador Stevens were not yet known. Yet Obama, we were told, went to bed and only learned of Stevens’ death the following morning.”

The State Department officials testified that they were able to monitor events at the consulate in real time – we had a drone overhead. Obama had a live feed from a drone above the battlefield, and real time communications with the American’s under attack, yet he tucked himself in not even knowing how the battle would end. The Commander in Chief didn’t stick around to see if we won or lost or whether the missing ambassador had survived or not.

The following day, after briefly acknowledging Stevens’ death, Obama again skipped his Presidential Daily Briefing and flew off to a Vegas fundraiser.

And then later, Obama had the audacity to joke about those American deaths not being “optimal.” The mother of one of those killed – who had survived the first 6 hours of the battle – pointed out the hypocrisy – her son was certainly not optimal – he was dead.

ImageDespite all the platitudes, excuse-making, obfuscation and shallow promises – we are left with a President, an administration, and an entire political party, in disarray. With all continuing to attempt to deflect blame – that is rightfully and demonstrably theirs – with zero regard for the truth of their claims and statements.

Lewandowsky “Moon Landing” paper … down for the Count?

29 Mar

Geoff Chambers posted some of the comments from the invite only members section at Skeptical Science (that the admins there apparently left public for a period of time). One post from John Cook is highly relevant to this discussion (emph. mine):

2010–10-8 ” …a while ago, I added a bias field to the user database and a bit of code so as comments came in, I could specify whether the user was skeptics or warmest/proAGW/mainstream (still haven’t found a satisfactory term for our side). I only assign bias if its obvious from the comment. I haven’t done anything with that data yet, I’m not even sure why I’m doing it other than my obsessive compulsion to collect data. The other day, Steve Lewandowsky (cognitive scientist) asked if I had any numbers on the ratio of skeptics to warmists so I dove into the database and counted up around 100 assigned skeptics and around 400 assigned warmists.

If I did my math correctly 100 out of 500 total = 20% … exactly the same number as the alleged “content analysis” done on “1067 comments” from allegedly “unique visitors” at Skeptical Science (SKS).

It is simply far too great a coincidence that an analysis of 1067 comments, provided exactly the same ratio as Lewandowsky co-author John Cook said his internal database showed was the ratio of skeptic vs non-skeptic participants.

Which also almost exactly matched the 18% Lewandowsky reports another survey in the US found:

“… survey of the U. S. public in June 2010 pegged the proportion of “skeptics” in the population at 18% (Leiserowitz, Maibach, Roser-Renouf, & Smith, 2011) found.

Imagine that.

That all is bad enough on its own – however, there is another gigantic hole in their claims.

Their “content analysis” of 1067 comments, and their resultant claimed ‘skeptic share’ at Skeptical Science has effectively no real life relationship with the number and share of skeptic participants at SKS. This is especially true considering SKS’s highly antagonistic attitude and actions towards skeptics who dare venture to their little club – from regular non-skeptic participants and moderators alike.

Comparing comment counts offers no legitimate insight into the skeptic vs non-skeptic participant ratio, which is the metric supposedly being measured.

A simple review of one post at Skeptical Science is illustrative of the almost complete lack of association between skeptic comments and skeptic participant shares.

Lets choose the recent cross post from Shaping Tomorrows World, of John Cook’s excuse-making, err … ‘explanation’ of the Recursive paper posted here.

This post has generated, to date, a total of 106 responses. Lets break down the responses:

  • Barry Woods – skeptic – posts 9,13,14,15,22
  • Geoff Chambers – skeptic – posts 24,27,28,38,40,60,78 (heavily moderated and strong mod warning), 89 (moderated again), 101 (moderated – final warning)
  • Brad Keyes – skeptic – posts 30, 31 (deleted), 32, 34, 49, 51, 52, 55, 57, 58, 63, 66, 69, 70, 73, 92, 93, 96, 98 (moderated and banned – Brad’s foray is a typical skeptic experience at SKS)

There are a couple other posts that could be definied as skeptical of the SKS position in this thread, but cannot be defined as AGW skeptic’s – which is the subject of this study.

While we’re reviewing lets look at a few of the typical comments from non-skeptics to see how skeptics are treated at SKS:

  • Post 47 definitely NOT a skeptic – but a perfect demonstration of the attitude towards skeptics at the site (you’ll note this clear ad hominem attack was ignored by mods):

    Although a recent occurrence came close, no thread was better deserving of the following metaphorical advice: “don’t wrestle with a pig. You’ll both be covered in mud and the pig loves it.” I urge all that are able to think rationally to not waste their time.

  • Post 68 – from a site moderator:

    I’m not going to engage you, because this is silly. John Cook’s paper says it all, and I have no intention of spending my time arguing about “sides” that have been entirely fabricated by a small community of “victims” who have identified themselves as separate and special.

  • Post 74 – another site moderator – John Hartz:

    @John Cook: Do you now have enough raw material from this comment thread for another paper in your series?

  • Post 102 – post by site moderator – “John Hartz” another site moderator tells him not to “feed the troll” referring to geoff chambers.

So – what’s the count:

  • Skeptic comment count: N=35 comments (out of 106 total) … 33.02% of all comments
  • Non-Skeptic comment count: 71 comments (of 106 total) … 65.98% of all comments
  • Skeptic individual participants count: N=3 (out of 42 total participants) … 7.14% of all participants are SKEPTIC’s
  • Non-Skeptic individual participants count: N=38 (out of 42 total participants) … 90.48% of all participants are NON-SKEPTIC’s

An interesting aside – regarding participation by moderators and/or SKS staff:

  • SKS moderators/staff commenting individually count: N=40 comments (out of 106 total) … 37.74% of all comments were made by SKS staff/moderators
  • SKS moderators/staff individual participant count: N=10 (of 38 non-skeptic posters) … SKS moderators/staff comprised 26.32 of all participants

The data – at least in this post from SKS is clear … contrary to the authors conclusions, while 33% of the comments here were from skeptics, just 7% of the participants were the same.

This shows the SKS formula provided in the Lewandowsky Supplemental Information – which uses total skeptic comments vs non-sceptic comments as support for and proof of the alleged diversity of the SKS, provides little or no meaningful information on the share of skeptic’s who participate at SKS.

Additionally, the paper’s “comment analysis” is, to be charitable, highly suspect, considering this supposed standalone comment analysis finds EXACTLY THE SAME conclusion as author John Cook found in his wholly separate and unrelated forum post – using his own internal participant “bias” information

Worse, the Lewandosky authors extend this seriously flawed “comment analysis” conclusion as definitively representative of all 7 other non-skeptic sites that offered the survey.

A more detailed review would likely find somewhat different results, however the basic premise here – that a “comments” review does not provide meaningful insight into the share of “participants” who are skeptics, is not likely to significantly change.

[Authors Note: please consider this a draft - quick online - version. Am in process of more detailed fact and error checking - thanks]

Obama’s $1m Tiger golf weekend = 341 furloughed Federal Workers

8 Mar

Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama:

“There is nothing just or virtuous about protecting a stale welfare state that is failing the people it is supposed to help.”

ImageAfter having 18 months notice to come up with a reasoned plan for the sequester, one that minimizes the damage and protects as many jobs as possible, Obama’s plan has tuned out to be inflict maximum damage.

And play golf.

With Tiger Woods.

Oh, and let’s not forget – to blame rich people and Republicans, not necessarily in that order.

However, instead of cutting out truly unnecessary services such as the White House Calligrapher department, with its 3 employees making almost $300,000 a year, Obama shuts down White House tours … which not by accident affect mostly kids and other ordinary citizens who travel to Washington for what, for many, is a once in a lifetime chance.

And in his best show of the uncaring, unconnected, elitist he is … there was never a thought of cancelling his weekend of golf with one Tiger Woods, estimated to cost taxpayers in excess of $1 million dollars. Not to mention planning underway for the Presidents

Obama and his administration have failed to submit a Federal budget as required by law, for now into a 4th year. In a Weekly Standard story, Senator Sessions asks the highly pertinent question; why then, as they have not had to do their most primary job for now 4 years, doesn’t the President furlough his 500 person staff at the Office of Management and Budget, rather than threatening fireman, policemen and depriving small children and ordinary citizens of the ability to see the Whitehouse – which their tax dollars have paid for?

Instead Obama has made his plan very clear – inflict maximum pain. To that end he has had the top people in his administration preaching the sky will fall, for weeks.

Pistone at the TSA and “Big Sis” Napolitano, head of Department of Homeland Security have told anyone who would listen the sequester cuts would cause maximum chaos, long lines at airports, air traffic control delays, a run on the border as immigrant take advantage of reduced ranks in the border patrol.

But a funny thing happened, or rather did not. None of the issues and claims made by these scaremongers, including the President, have been found to be true. Airports across the country have refuted the administration’s claims of delays. Air traffic is running just fine. Air travel security is doing so well the TSA announced this week small knives and other relaxation of rules are coming. And the only run on the border is possibly at Taco Bell with their new cool ranch tacos released earlier.

Things have gone so well, and shown the scaremongering for the silliness it is, that we’re now seeing contrived responses to show the pain.

First a few hundred, now thousands of illegal immigrant detainees being released from the jails we’ve held them in. Instead of $85 to $145 a day to house, feed, clothe and take care of them in custody – the new procedures, ankle bracelets, home detention and the like, will reunite families and will now cost the government from 14 cents to a few dollars a day. Sounds like a damn good idea to me – if it is, as they claim, safe to do now, why the heck have we kept these thousands of low risk people in jails all this time?

But don’t you worry now. The President has gone on the air to assure us  the pain from the sequestration cuts “will be real”… and if you don’t believe him this CNN video is here to show you the error of your ways:

The audacity is almost awe-inspiring, as the President admonishes against making “dumb and arbitrary cuts.”

Would that include playing gold with Tiger Woods instead of keeping 341 workers employed Mr. President?   Or do you mean things like cutting White House tours instead of the White House calligraphy department?

Mr. Obama – its time to play a serious adult game. Its called “This, not That” …

Choose “This” Mr. Obama:

 airforceworkers

Not “That”:       

obama-golf

Death by government harassment …

7 Mar

I’m not much of an “off the gridder” – when the shit hits the fan my survival plan is head to the nearest Mills Fleet Farm. They have everything you need to survive, food (for humans and animals), clothes, guns, ammo, generators, gasoline and shelter – all in a big defensible space.

That said, I was sent this story, from last year, of a man being subject to a years long harassment by a myriad of the government departments, agencies and officials, ending sadly in him being literally harassed to death by a government. Who, after  failing in using the Courts against him, clearly set out to get even, ultimately leading to his loss of hope, and subsequent death.  This story bears repeating, notice and widespread dissemination.

By all appearances the Roswell Chicken Man, Andre Wordes, was a good and decent man, if perhaps slightly eccentric. But being eccentric should not be a death penalty offence.

Neither should chickens.

A friend of his posted upon his death – these words of his briefly describe the man:

Image

Andrew was a man of faith, with a strong love for God. He was a staunch Constitutionalist with a passion for our freedoms and liberties. He taught me a lot in the short time I knew him. We talked often and he openly shared his story and his dedication to what America used to stand for. He was a fighter and I admired his immense devotion to his sweet birds, pigs and dogs. He cared about everyone around him and was always kind and generous. I am saddened that evil trampled him to the end of his rope.

Andrew fought the good fight,not just for himself but for others because he knew it could happen to anyone.

In reading the rest of his comments, posted shortly after his friends death, the words show the passion of one decent man defending another. And they ring with the clear feel of truth. Other comments on this same page from various folks directly involved, support and enhance the planned and coordinated attack on this poor man, and the result. Make sure to read Lee Fleck’s detailed comments for further insight.

While known as the Chicken Man, as it turns out keeping chickens on his nearly one acre, heavily wooded property, was just the tip of the iceberg. When the city’s own judicial system found the City’s claims against Mr. Wordes unfounded, and his actions to be within the law, the City retaliated with the ongoing, concerted harassment that drove Mr. Wordes to his death.

This wasn’t just harassment, this was a premeditated, well planned, tar and feathering. A government led lynch mob unleashed against a simple citizen fighting for his rights – rights a Court held he was entitled to …

Andrew Wordes - The Chicken Man of RoswellA lover of animals and friend to many, he was known as “Chicken Man” for his battle with Roswell, GA over keeping them at his home.  Sadly, all hope lost, he succumbed  to the years of harassment  corruption and pressure, from the officials at the City of Roswell … taking his own life March 26, 2012 in the home on the property he had fought so hard to simply be able to enjoy.

Sadly, a search today, nearly a year after his death, appears to show no action has been taken. And the officials responsible have succeeded in their task, unscathed and unaccountable.

Please take the time to read these links – in particular the comments – for more on Andrew Wordes – The Roswell Chicken Man’s life and death :

Andrew Wordes, in his own words:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/277669/the-real-facts-about-the-city-of-roswell-chicken-man-and-his-battle

How others felt about Andrew – comments from his funeral - Funeral draws large tunrout:
http://www.examiner.com/article/the-roswell-chicken-man-s-funeral-draws-scores

One of the most complete stories on the issue:
http://www.naturalnews.com/035524_Andrew_Wordes_Roswell_chickens.html#ixzz1reJ3iD4L

And a timeline:
http://www.naturalnews.com/Infographic-Andrew-Wordes-vs-Roswell-GA.html

A detailed history of the Roswell Chicken Man fight:
http://theperspicaciousconservative.com/category/roswell-chicken-man-2/

Copy of City’s lawsuit against Wordes:
http://www.naturalnews.com/files/City_of_Roswell_v_Andrew_Wordes.pdf

New details on City pressure against mortgage holder:
http://www.naturalnews.com/035744_Andrew_Wordes_Roswell_Georgia.html

Radio Interview with Andrew Wordes:
http://airbornecombatengineer.typepad.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=D0Md7aIudZE

Audio interview – Contrary to claims by City and others Wordes elderly mortgage holder cared about Wordes, not money:
http://theperspicaciousconservative.com/2012/05/04/video-chicken-mans-former-mortgage-holder-cared-for-andrew-not-money/

Mortage buyer a sham?:    Apr 25, 2012
http://theperspicaciousconservative.com/2012/04/25/roswell-corruption-deepens-mortgage-holder-a-sham/

Local story on his death:
http://roswell.patch.com/articles/roswell-chicken-man-s-home-explodes

Andrew Wordes Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/andrew.wordes

Memorial by Glenn Horowitz:

http://www.americandailyherald.com/pundits/glenn-horowitz/item/in-memoriam-andrew-wordes-enemy-of-the-state

Police chief involved dismissed:
http://www.beaconcastmedia.com/news/Roswell-Narrows-Top-Cop-Search-to-Three-Refuses-to-Release-Information-to-Public-2747

More media stories:

http://www.examiner.com/article/foul-play-roswell-chicken-man-andrew-wordes-targeted JUL 7, 2011

http://www.examiner.com/article/roswell-chicken-man-stands-alone-against-city-hall  FEB 20, 2012

http://www.examiner.com/article/is-the-city-of-roswell-responsible-for-the-chicken-man-s-predicament   MAR 7, 2012

http://www.examiner.com/article/the-city-of-roswell-draws-line-the-sand    MARCH 12, 2012

http://www.examiner.com/article/tragic-end-to-the-roswell-chicken-man-s-story  MAR 26, 2012

http://www.examiner.com/article/new-details-emerge-the-roswell-chicken-man-s-foreclosure  APR 25, 2012

http://www.examiner.com/article/lee-fleck-challenges-the-roswell-police-department-1  APR 25, 2012

The woman it appears was largely behind this vendetta:
http://www.roswellgov.com/Directory.aspx?EID=3

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.