Monday, February 12, 2007

The media legend, Walter Cronkite, has come out of his retirement to provide his two cents on the state of nation, and lately the national media. Once called “the most trusted man in America”, Cronkite is hoping to broker that reputation into continued credibility for his tales of left-leaning fantasy.

His recent campaign involves telling tales of the loss of media independence. Corporate mergers and lax FCC laws have reduced the variety of opinion, he argues, as the stations must answer to their corporate sponsors. Fewer newspapers and fewer companies controlling those newspapers also mean that there are fewer and less diverse voices for the “people” to hear. This, at least, is how it is in Mr. Cronkite’s world.

He, of course, ignores the incredible explosion and diversity of opinions on the internet or even the increase of voices in cable news, sources that were not available in his heyday. There’s also the slight handicap of his tarnished legacy. Where once Walter Cronkite was looked to as the conscience of middle America, now he is seen for what he was; simply another leftist hack.

You need look no further than a review of history. During the Vietnam War, Cronkite was often seen as the best and most objective source of news regarding events there. What even he has admitted to, and what we can see from reviewing the actual events of the war, Cronkite consistently put a negative spin on events. He opposed the war, but felt the best way to express his opposition was to deceive the viewing public. His reason is a classic liberal argument. The ends justify the means, and he did it for our own good.

This came to a head with the reporting of the Tet Offensive. Cronkite famously pulled off his glasses and pronounced the war lost. Of course, now we know the war was far from lost. In fact, the Viet Cong was almost obliterated by their part in the Tet Offensive and the North Vietnamese Army divisions that had participated were mauled by U.S. Army and South Vietnamese divisions. There are still some, especially among the Left who view the Tet Offensive as the ultimate example of the failure of U.S. “imperialism”.

Now we hear Cronkite lament that “objective” reporting, you know, the kind he used to do when he was lying about U.S. success in Vietnam, is as scarce as hen’s teeth these days. I think it’s safe to say “objective” for Cronkite means left-leaning or flat-out left-skewed opinion. Even though there has been consolidation, there has been an explosion of news outlets, both professional and amateur. There has also developed an extremely diverse base of opinions, from the left to the right.

This is Cronkite’s imperfect America. Perhaps he could explain, if it’s not too much trouble for him to tell the truth, how all this true diversity is a bad thing. Maybe he’ll finally be able to own up to his past bias and take his place among the myriad and equally shrill voices of his darling Left.

And that’s the way it is.


Friday, February 02, 2007

Federal Free For All On Guns

It didn’t take long for the new Congress to rediscover its pre-94 roots and levy a considerable amount of new gun control legislation. Perhaps they have already forgotten what helped cost the Democrats Congress all those many years ago.

It is widely believed that one of the key elements that turned voters against the Democrats in the ’94 midterm elections was the rush to pass the Brady Bill, a since discredited joke piece of legislation that was, at its heart, the first step towards more draconian gun control measures. Handgun Control, Inc., then sharing a bed with numerous other lobbyists at the White House, openly boasted that this legislation would merely test the waters. More bills were sure to follow. My own Congressman at the time, Andy Jacobs, a man who I had come to respect as a moderate with tempered views and a good conscience, turned raving leftist and cast the deciding vote in its favor.

For those who don’t remember, the key elements of the Bill were that it limited handgun ammo capacity to ten rounds per clip, it established a mandatory waiting period to buy a handgun until the National Instant Check System could be brought online, and it banned the manufacture of new “assault weapons”, a list of cosmetically similar weapons that “looked evil” to the person who didn’t know any better, but that were otherwise identical to a whole host of weapons that remained legal to manufacture.

Many of the Congressmen who voted for that Bill received early retirement in ’94 and Jacobs was nearly defeated in his very secure central Indianapolis Democrat district. He retired shortly thereafter of his own volition.

With the history lesson out of the way, let’s look at what’s new in the 110th Congress.

First, there’s the Child Gun Safety and Gun Access Prevention Act of 2007, H.R. 256. If it’s “for the children”, that’s code for “you can’t argue with us taking away your rights or we’ll make you look like a heartless killer”. Basically, it’s a law that will be used to prosecute anyone whose gun falls in the hands of a “child”, which the Left seems to want to classify as anyone under 25. In other words, if your gun is stolen and used in a crime by a youth or is used in a tragic accident in which another is harmed or injured, you go to jail. Well, it has that whole “personal responsibility” thing down pat, but given how forgiving the Left is of everyone from cop killers to rapists to child molesters, it’s a little harsh coming from the “Party of Forgiveness”. This Bill also raises the age of being able to own a rifle or shotgun from 18 to 21. Well, it worked for alcohol!

The edict “To require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban toys which in size, shape, or overall appearance resemble real handguns” clause in H.R. 428 is fairly straight forward. It means to ban toy guns. If toy guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have toy guns. Come on. Do we really have to be subjected to this nonsense? This lefty hippy feel-good ludicrous crap is the same thing they’re trying in England, where they’ve already banned most guns. It hasn’t done anything there to stop the rising rates of gun crime either.

The third piece of “legislation” being proposed by the Democrats is “The NICS Improvement Act”, H.R. 297. This Act is rather sinister. Its stated aim is to merely add lists of denied individuals who currently have not been added to the NICS system. This could rightly be seen as a “loophole”, because certain elements of the NICS aren’t complete. Certain databases of the mentally ill and some criminal databases have yet to be integrated, and this bill in its own feel good way will make sure they’re added.

The bad law part of this is that it also intends to add lists of individuals who are indicted, but not yet convicted, of felonies. It also promises to add everyone with a misdemeanor conviction or restraining order, which the infamous and Unconstitutional Lautenberg Amendment ensured would keep just about anyone from purchasing a new weapon. Indictments and restraining orders are about as easy to get as the chicken pox in kindergarten. Even though no conviction is in place, a person will be barred from purchasing a weapon because NICS will deny them.

But Rob, you say, Senator Lautenberg wanted to help battered women and stuff when he put in that clause about restraining orders. How is stopping evil wife-beaters from getting guns a bad thing? It’s not a bad thing. But a man can be called a wife-beater and not be one. It’s up for a court to decide, and until then the man is deprived of his rights. Oh, and for those feel-good leftist feminists out there, consider that a wife-beating husband can also get a restraining order against his wife, just so she can’t get a gun to defend herself. Care to guess the statistics on the number of women killed by their deranged ex-boyfriends or hubbies while waiting for the cops to show? The number’s rather high. That’s women’s lib for ya. You’ve come a long way, baby.

The last of the current gems is “The Gun Show Loophole Closing Act of 2007,” H.R. 96. This law will basically make it illegal to hold a gun show, anywhere, ever. It regulates “thought”, as in if you talk or even think about buying a gun without a background check, you’ve violated the law. And not only will you get it in the rear. , but the organizers of the gun show will go down with you. It’s yet one more way for gun sales to be more closely monitored and controlled and it’s usually one of the steps countries like Canada, Great Britain, and Australia (oh and let’s not forget the U.S.S.R. and Nazi Germany) used on the road to gun confiscation. So much for the Land of the Free.

Well, that’s just the first of anti-gun rights bills the “100 hour” brain trust could produce. Expect a lot more through the course of the next two years. It will be interesting to see if the anti-gun rights “moderate”, George W., is able to grow enough of a spine to veto any of this or if the Senate Republicans try to filibuster it. But then again, it may just hasten the Democrats exit from Congressional leadership once again. What a mixed blessing.

Hat tip to RightWingNews for the list.