News of the Week…….

Been a few days since I’ve posted like anyone noticed. Hey, if I’m only going to  post every week or two I can’t get upset that only ten folks or so show up each day, and God bless those who even stop by anymore. I do have a special article I’m hoping to get posted this weekend, so please check back, but in the meantime let me just comment on a few recent items in the news.

Clinton Goes Vegan: No real joke here, considering A) President Clinton’s well known former love of junk food and barbecue, combined with B) Clinton’s health and heart issues (he had quadruple bypass surgery in 2004 and then stent surgery in 2010), this is probably good news. Personally I think veganism is a little extreme, but only because the few vegans I know are A) almost fanatical about what apparently is a cult-like lifestyle, and B) well, how do I say this…. lets say that they are a “gassy” group. But hey Bill, if it works for you, more power to you…..

What The Hell Was This Idiot Thinking: A lot of folks who know me think that because I am a conservative I would overlook certain “foibles” committed by members of the right. Look, like Forrest Gump (who I think currently resides in South Omaha) once said, “Stupid is as stupid does”, and folks, “Stupid” does not have an ideology.

Steve Chabot, a Republican congressman from Ohio had cops grab the cameras of constituents during a town hall meeting to “prevent an embarrassing Youtube video from making the rounds,” according to Carlos Miller, who runs a blog documenting efforts by the state to stifle the First Amendment rights of photographers.

According to Think Progress

Media were permitted to record the event, making the ban on citizen cameras all the more baffling. Clearly no “security” threat existed; rather, as one of Chabot’s staffers told ThinkProgress, they wanted to “prevent” people from “making a show” of the event. Indeed, Chabot and his staff were worried enough about citizens voicing their anger at his policies that they only accepted pre-screened questions chosen by the congressman’s staff.

This kinda crap really ticks me off. These are public officials, at public functions, trying to insulate themselves from….. The Public. Look, if this was some private event, or a private fund-raising event, then fine. Well, “fine” is probably too strong a word, but at the same time these folks do have cameras and microphones stuck in their face 24/7, so they do need a break from time to time. However, that time is NOT during a town hall meeting.

Poor Judgement, Republican Version: Well, it seems Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, my daughter’s favorite candidate (to be fair, she’s 15 and she  just likes the name “Mitt”), is looking to tear down his 3000 square foot La Jolla California Beach home to make room to build an 11,000 square foot bungalow.

 Now, to be fair, take a look at the photo on the left. This is the Romney family. Actually, this was the Romney family as of last month… I’m sure there are three or four more this month. And truthfully, this is a man that is reportedly worth 250 million dollars, so if he wants to spend a few million on his own house, what’s the big deal?

Well, it is a big deal, precisely because this man is running for President, and tearing down an eleven million dollar home while most of America is just trying to stay in their homes may not be the message you want to send to the folks you want to vote for you. Don’t believe me? Ask John Edwards about preaching about “Two Americas” while building a 28,000 square foot mansion (not to mention having two families) and see how that worked for him. Or ask John “I’m not really sure how many homes I own” McCain the same question. Or Al Gore, the global warming king whose mansion burns through 23,000+ kWh — guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year.”

The message to learn here Mitt is that “Do as I say, not as I do” shit doesn’t really fly with the electorate. Will this cost you the election? Who knows, it will probably be little more than a blip, BUT why even give your opponents any ammo? The only possible saving grace is that this revelation comes the same week as our next segment:

Poor Judgement, Democrat Version: And this is the week that Obama had his own PR flub, vacationing with his family in Martha’s Vineyard. Now before we discuss this, let me say that this is not going to be a big “dump on Obama” segment. I think the President deserves a vacation, and I want the president taking a vacation and hopefully getting some well deserved rest. However, just like everything Mitt is going to do is going to be picked apart, the same applies with Obama. Maybe after a long drawn out deficit battle, where the microscope has been on every single dollar that is being spent in this country, Martha’s Vineyard is probably the last place you want to be vacationing.

Now the flip side of that is that obviously there are only so many places that the President can vacation, given the security issues. I mean, it’s not like the man is going to Coney Island or Six Flags, BUT don’t you think that after lecturing the nation on Fiscal responsibility, jetting off to Martha’s Freaking Vineyard is kind of stupid? And what about Barack and Michelle taking SEPARATE jets to the island, four hours apart? Wow.

And to those idiots that claim that Obama has taken more vacation days than any president in history, lets clear the slate here – or can we? In trying to find out how many days Obama has spent on vacation versus other presidents, I found some very interesting numbers, none of them even close to matching. the discrepancies are mind-boggling, and depending on the slant you want to present, there are “facts” for every side. Personally, I think Bush II probably spent the most vacation days, and probably didn’t catch as much flack because most of those days were spent “working” at his ranch. Good PR, Obama could learn from this. And please Barack, ditch the mom jeans. Seriously.

But the real story here is that anyone bitching about Romney’s mansion is probably mum about Obama’s vacation, and anyone complaining about Obama’s “elitist” vacation is probably pretty silent about Romney’s digs, showing us that hypocrisy is neither a value of the right or the left, but an equal opportunity offender.

Well, that’s all we have time for today, but look for additional updates in the days to come.

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Special Iowa Straw Poll Edition……. Okay, not really that special….

Well, yesterday was the Iowa Straw Poll, and while I was hoping to regale you with exciting story after exciting story, but the truth is, there was nothing overly special or interesting. Oh don’t get me wrong, I had a great, great time, but the truth is there wasn’t anything overly special. The weather was terrific, the people were…. and I’m sorry to disappoint you, but the people were normal …. and the overall atmosphere was upbeat and optimistic.

Now, if there were any folks there dressed like Revolutionary War Minutemen, or Benjamin Franklin, or…. well, you get the idea, well, I didn’t see them. Actually there was one guy dressed like Abe Lincoln, but he was actually a part of performance in the AARP tent. I mean hey, it’s only fair since half the people in that tent voted for him.

What I was really looking for was two different things that I am told by the left are prevalent at Tea Party events: Racism and intolerance. And okay, the straw poll is not really a Tea Party event, but I have never actually been to a Tea Party event, and I felt that this was probably the closest I was going to come to being at one. That’s a picture to the right of me in front of the “Mid-State Tea Party Patriots” bus, so there was someTea Party representation. Okay, lets be honest, I bet you half of these folks would classify themselves as Tea Partiers.

So how do you find racism and intolerance at the Straw Poll? Well, lets start with the latter: Intolerance. It would have been easier if there had been a bunch of protesters around, but I only saw two people that one would consider to be a protester, and both were pretty lame. They both had signs addressing there, shall we say “dissatisfaction” with Michelle Bachmann. They had crudely made signs, and, if I was to believe my friends on the left, they were being run out of town on a rail by the crazed “teabaggers” with pitchfolks and AK-47’s. Sadly, reality rarely lives up to liberal expectations.

I spent probably 10 to 15 minutes watching each of the protestors, and the reaction by the crowd around them. Most folks ignored them, a few folks went up and talked to them, trying to convince them that they were wrong, but I saw no one at all get in their face or get But what about Racism? That one’s a little harder. Look, there were probably 25,000 to 30,000 people at this event, and 99 percent of them – at least 99% of the ones I ran into were white. Ah Ha you say… that’s proof right there how racist these folks are. Except the issue isn’t that these folks were keeping any people of color out.

The “minority”, if you want to use that term, that was most represented at the event were Asians, followed by Hispanic, and just a few African-Americans. Again, the best way to determine just how racist these people are was to watch how they reacted to the people that the left are telling us the we hate. I’m sure that you know what happened: I saw no one of any minority being treated any differently then any other person on the grounds. Of course I didn’t see every moment of every person of colors time at the event, and there could have been a major dust-up, but I don’t think that happened.

And I have to wonder why, when I walked by Herman Cain’s Tent, there were 700 or so of these raging racists standing line for an hour just to get a chance to shake the man’s hand. Doesn’t exactly sound like something one of those hood-wearing, cross-burning Tea Party members would do, does it.

And then, as I was leaving the Poll, I saw an African-American man wearing a Ron Paul T-shirt (I had voted for Paul in the poll). I struck up a conversation with him, and while I felt someone stupid asking him, I steered the conversation towards Tea Party racism. It turns out that this gentlemen – Bill, from Davenport (about a 3-1/2 hour drive to Ames) – actually is a Tea Party member, and one of the leading members of his local Tea Party. I asked him if he has ever encountered any racism or slurs at any Tea Party events, and he said that he has never encountered any hostility at all at ant Tea Party events, although he did admit that from time to time some folks are uncomfortable around him, not because they appear to have any issues with his being black, but more that they really are going out of their way not to say anything that might offend.

He did however say that plenty of his liberal friends – black and white – have gotten downright nasty with him, calling him a sell-out and an Uncle Tom, and several of his friends, upon learning of his conservative leanings – have ended their friendship. So you tell me, which group is the tolerant one?

So that proves it, right? That proves that there is no racism or intolerance in the Tea Party. Right? No, of course not. This is one mans observations at a single event. It doesn’t mean shit, BUT when one person at a single event sees something that supports their racist claim (in many cases something they perceive to be racist), and the left has no problem using that incident to paint an entire group of people with one broad stroke.

I’ve got a great idea. For anyone who really wants to rag on the right as being evil and racists, how about you get off your ass and actually go to one of these events and actually meet and talk to the people you are so quick to judge. Sure, you’re still going to walk away probably disagreeing with the politics of that person – and that’s okay – but at least you will actually have talked to that person face to face before judging them. I know that’s an odd concept for my leftist friends, but you might want to give it a shot.

Oh, and vote Ron Paul in 2012!!!

Liberals fight threats with… MORE THREATS. And Bob Goes to Ames…

Well, here we are one post after my most recent “I’ll never discuss NewsHounds again”, here I am discussing Newshounds. But damn it, when you paint such a large target how do you expect people to not shoot at it (metaphorically speaking, of course). AND, PlanetofBob is heading to the Iowa Republican Straw Poll tomorrow, so, you know, that should be fun.

Okay, a couple of days ago, the hounds were reporting on some comments on the Fox News Facebook page (that article can be found here: http://www.newshounds.us/2011/08/09/fox_news_facebook_fans_want_to_kill_atheists.php#more

Now it would be easy to focus on Priscillas latest flub, but then again it wouldn’t be a “Priscillas Pondering” without at least one whopper thrown in, and the lie of the day was that this thread had “8,000 death threats” in it. Seemingly there were actually some serious threats on the site, and we’ll get to those in a minute, but come on Priscilla, 8,00 death threats? I’ve never been on the Fox News Facebook page (but I have been on the NewsHounds Facebook page, which is the same thing – all of the hate, but from the other side), and I am not saying 100% that there couldn’t have been 8,000 threats. But, in order to make that claim, one would have to COUNT all of the treats, wouldn’t they? I doubt Prissy took the time to count them. Sure, there might have been 8,000 COMMENTS, and some of those comments were vile and threatening, but 8,000?

But Prissy’s lie is not the issue. Let me give you a quick background on the story: There is a group that wants to erect a “Ground Zero Cross” at the site of the 9/11 memorial (The “cross” is two metal girders found in the 9/11 wreckage – See the picture on the right). And, there is a group of people that filed a lawsuit in New York to prevent a cross from being erected within the World Trade Center memorial without equal opportunity for other religions who wish to have memorials there as well. Now neither the hounds article, nor the article from “One Man’s Blog” that the hounds stole most of their information from (found here: http://onemansblog.com/2011/08/06/christians-openly-advocate-killing-athiests-on-fox-news-facebook-page/) states whether or not any other religion has actually applied to have a memorial placed, but hey, why clog up the article with facts, right?

But the fact of the matter is this: Threats WERE made on the Fox News page, and whether there were 8 threats or 8,000, even one is too many. And while some may use a lame “freedom of speech” argument defending these idiots (those making the threats, not the hounds…. although in this article you need a scorecard to keep your idiots straight), I don’t buy it. Yes, I believe strongly in freedom of speech, but I don’t believe that freedom exists when we are talking about threats.

Now apparently the post was taken down, but not before “One Man’s Blog” could capture some screen shots (and the hounds could write their piece without doing any real legwork). Some of these threats (bad spelling and grammar included) are listed below:

I say kill them all and let see for themselves that there is a God” – Paul Altum

Shoot Them, Shoot to kill” – Bob O’Connell

To all atheiest die and go to hell haha if I could Id shoot all of you in the head with a 12 gauge” – Joe Martinez

There are several more, similar to these. And while some might say that these are just people blowing off steam, or the ramblings of idiots, does that excuse the behavior? Recently there was case where the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the conviction of Walter Bagdasarian, who previously had been found guilty of threatening then candidate Obama, observation online that Obama “will have a 50 cal in the head soon” and put out a call to “shoot the [racist slur]”

The split court found that Bagdasarian’s comments were “particularly repugnant” because they endorsed violence but that a reasonable person wouldn’t have taken them as a genuine threat. Okay, well using that as a benchmark I guess one could say that no reasonable person would take these threats seriously either, and I doubt any reasonable person would, but it’s not the reasonable people we’re worried about, is it?

Look, I think there is a difference between these statements:

A) The world would be a bettter person if _______ were dead.

B) I wish someone would kill ______.

C) Folks, the world is not a safe place as long as _____ is alive. I implore you, please, we must take this man out.

D)_____ is a dead man, I am going to get my gun, goe to his place of work, and blow the bastard away.

They are all threats, although I really doubt person A or B is planning an attack. Person C or D I would be more worried about.

So what do we do about it? Track down the folks responsible for these threats and put them in jail? Maybe. Personally, I think any threat needs to be taken seriously, and any person making said threat needs to be dealt with in our court system. That said, I don’t think that the person saying “All Minnesota Viking Fans need to die” should receive the same punishment as the person that calls for the assassination of the president.

So what’s the big problem then Bob? Hell, it sounds that you and the hounds are in agreement on this one. They’re calling these people scum, and you think they’re scum. So what gives.

Well, as you know, you can rarely use the word “Newshounds” in a sentence without using the word “Hypocrisy”, and never has there been such a blatant illustration of hypocrisy.

So here are some of the comments on this very article from some of the hounds:

First, from “MLP” we have “I’ve said it before…. bring back the Lions”. Now I doubt MLP is a big Detroit football fan, so what could he mean by “bring back the lions”? Lets see…. oh wait, I know, because the Romans used to feed the Christians to the lions. Why MLP, if I didn’t know any different, that would be threat, right? And as if that wasn’t clear enough, MLP later adds “These people (those making threats against the atheists) are out of their mind crazy, and enabled… and need to be silenced”

And in response to a comment from “Rick Patel”, who said “send your money to Morris Dees, and extinguish hate in our time” (I have no idea what that means), hound “Donquijoterocket” responds with “If we’re extinguishing can we start with you?” Again, I’m no expert, but that sure sounds like a threat.

And threats by the hounds are not new or limited to this story. Over on there “Forum” page they have a discussion going on about how to handle those pesky Christians that show up on your doorstep. Some are good advice, most are tasteless and obnoxious, and then there’s this gem from “Liz”: “You wanna see Jeeezzzus, mothafucka . . ” (Damn, another threat), and this one from “CafeenMan”: “Can’t I just shoot them?” Nope, no one could mistake that for threat, could they.

And then there was the hound who, because he disagreed with my opinion, had to make sure that I knew that he was “Liberal, locked and loaded” Yeah, that a reasonable response to someone who disagrees with you.

But not all of the comments from the hounds were threatening in nature, although I might note that not one person called MLP or Donquijoterocket out on their calls for violence. Sure, most of them were knee-jerk “The right are such asses” BS, but there were a few good comments as well, such as Liz reminding us that it was Jesus who said “thou shall not kill” (yes, the same Liz who gave us the “You wanna see Jeeezzzus, mothafucka . .“) and Aria, who rightly brought up contradiction between these comments, and Jesus’ teaching of the Good Samaritan and his Sermon on the Mount. Granted, this is the same Aria who said of Mormans: “In Arizona, those were called “Jacks”. It was pretty much frowned upon to not “show them the way”, if you follow. And no, I didn’t meet any- they caved and became dickheads or went to homeschooling over the bullying before I had the pleasure.Maybe I’ll meet one here, but I’ll have to give them a second chance first.”, so excuse me for not reigning down too much praise.

Oh, and one more thing. Again on the Forum there was an open thread asking what brings you Peace, and what was it that CafeenMan – you know, the “If we’re extinguishing can we start with you” guy – what was it that brings him peace: “killing somebody you don’t like very much

So one the hounds article about these wannabe atheist-killing assholes – and they are assholes – there were 19 comments, three of which were direct threats of their own. Over at the “One Man’s Blog” article, there were 204 comments (Oh boy hounds, someone is getting their ass kicked… remember when you used to be relevent… yeah, me neither) and I could not find one threat in those 204 comments. Sure, there was a lot of usual BS on the right and the left, but I high number of those comments were people actually discussing the situation.

So I guess the message that we’re getting from the Hounds is this: Hate is a terrible, terrible thing, and threats should never be made… unless of course you are threatening the Christians, the Tea Party, or the right in general. In that case, then knock yourself out. Move along folks, move along…. nothing to see here.

Moving on. Well tomorrow is the day of the Iowa Republican Straw Poll in Ames, and PlanetofBob is going to see what all the fuss is about. I’ve never been to a straw poll, or to a Caucus for that matter. I left Iowa in my early 20’s, before I had much of an interest in politics, and returned shortly before the 2008 election, so I missed all of the primary fun that year as well. This year I am trying to involve myself in as many political functions as possible. Granted, 99% of them will be Republican events, given there will be no Democratic presidential primary, but in 2016 I will involve myself in as many democratic events as well.

So what exactly is a Straw Poll? Well, it’s kinda like a primary, but kinda not. It’s basically a cross between an election, and a circus side-show – leaning decidedly towards the sideshow. different campaigns rent different plots of land near Hilton Coliseum on the Iowa State campus, and set up tents. You pay $30 for a ticket, go to the different campaigns, and they try to convince you to “vote for them. Each campaign offers different incentives to sway you. Rick Santorum will be giving away jars of Santorum Family Peach Jelly. You can get free Godfathers Pizza and Coke at Herman Cain’s tent, and Randy Travis will be performing for Michelle Bachman.

Some people say it’s a situation of the candidates buying votes. So? I mean it’s not like it’s a real election, right. Really it’s more of an opportunity to see which campaign can organize people, and how is that different from any other campaign. I mean hey, your candidate can be by far the best, most qualified person in the field, better than anyone else by a mile. But if she or he can’t put together an organization that will get people out to vote, than what’s the point of them even being in the race. Of course the flip side of that is possible as well, you can have the most unqualified, least prepared candidate in the field, but if they have a strong organization, they can actually win the big one. We call this group of people “Obama Supporters”.

Oh, and remember that $30 ticket? Yeah, only the uninformed actually buy their tickets. What you really do is call one of the campaigns – it doesn’t matter which one, and tell them that you want to go to the Straw Poll, but you can’t afford it. “No problem” they’ll say, “How many tickets do you need”. And that’s it. Not only do they buy you a ticket, but they’ll give you transportation to the event, and feed you to. And while it is implied that since Candidate “X” paid for your ticket you are voting for Candidate “X”, you are under no obligation to vote for that candidate.

Me? I am going as a guest of the Ron Paul campaign, and while I am right now planning on voting for Representative Paul, I don’t plan on voting at all until I have listened to the speeches from the other candidates, so my vote is still up in the air.

Like I said, I’ve never been to a straw poll, so I don’t know exactly what to expect, but it should be an interesting time. I’ll let you know how it went, and share some photos and stories from the event with you. And I’m going to keep a special look out for all of those racist, homophobic bigots that I keep hearing show up at events like this, but I’m pretty sure the Newshounds don’t have a booth in Ames, so I probably won’t find any. Have a great weekend…….