The last weekend in May marks the so-called “unofficial beginning of summer”. But I’m not going to celebrate.
If you’re an American, I submit that neither should you.
Too many of us see this weekend as “the day off you get in May”. But it has another meaning that’s way more important.
Officially named in 1967, but with its origins dating back to the Civil War, Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor the more than one million men and women who’ve given their lives in service to our country.
It’s definitely a weekend for getting together with family and friends, but it’s not a weekend for cheerfulness and exuberance and fireworks and such. It’s a weekend to respect and honor the men and women whose sacrifice has allowed you the continued opportunity to get together with family and friends. That sacrifice should not be forgotten in the shuffle.
The recent national coverage surrounding the case of two high school students in Steubenville, Ohio accused, and later convicted and sentenced, of raping a fellow student has obviously brought up a lot of conversation about rape, but at the same time, people are also starting to notice that something isn’t right in the way it’s being covered by the media. Televising the verdict and sentencing, CNN commentators immediately started discussing how horrible this situation must be… for the defendants.
Other networks quickly followed suit. No mention of what the situation was like for the victim. No, the talk was all about what good students the boys were, and how their promising football careers were gone, and how their lives were ripped away from them.
Such sympathy for the perpetrators of this kind of crime is disgusting as it is, but I’m seeing something else.
The mainstream media has had a bias for decades, if not longer. It’s painfully obvious when they’re talking about politics, but it shows up in other places, too, and here is a case where it’s starting to become evident to more than the political geeks and pundits that journalist media is almost never objective — they are nearly always presenting a pre-defined story and narrative to their coverage, and they almost always have to be slapped in the face with some unavoidable piece of evidence before they dare report anything that doesn’t fit that script.
I just recently finished reading a pair of books — Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans, by Ben Shapiro (iBooks, Amazon) , and Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save The World! by Andrew Breitbart (iBooks, Amazon) — that help open up one’s eyes to the bias and machinations of the media. This isn’t really a politically-driven case, but the same engines can be seen working — everyone covering the same aspects of an issue from one point of view, and the rest of the story be damned.
It’s nearly impossible to continue the charade that media is objective. There’s always an ideology behind what reporters and editors deliver and what they don’t, and how they frame and mold the story. Andrew saw it, and others are starting to as well. Most in said media, however, aren’t yet mature enough to admit it.
There’s been plenty written about the NY-SAFE act and similar gun control measures, passed and proposed. Before I weigh in, I think we all deserve a few moments to enjoy a good chuckle at the expense of the gun-grabbers…
My personal carry gun is a Glock 19 pistol. In its “natural state” it accepts a 15-round magazine, and holds a round in the chamber, and this is how most people carry it. About a decade ago, New York banned magazines that hold more than 10 rounds – so Glock sells my gun with specially-restricted 10-round mags. NY-SAFE now bans handgun and rifle magazines that hold more than 7 rounds, and prohibits loading more than 7 rounds of ammunition into all those 10-round magazines they told us would be so helpful. Until NY-SAFE was passed, I carried my Glock with a 10-round magazine in the well, and a round in the chamber. 11 rounds at the ready, day by day. So why is this worth a laugh?
Now, thanks to NY-SAFE, my carry routine has changed a bit. While I was comfortable with 11 rounds in most of the situations for which I’ve trained, 8 is pushing the envelope of preparedness. Since New York State considers law-abiding citizens far too great a threat to trust with loading the 10 rounds their magazines were designed for, and since I am such a law-abiding citizen, I’ll dutifully load 7 rounds. Into 3 magazines. Which I now carry alongside that 1 chambered round.
Were it not for the NY-SAFE act, I would have spent today as I have many other days in the past few years: protected by 11 rounds of Speer Gold Dot. And I’d have been content to continue doing so. But thanks to the legislators in Albany, hard at work to tighten capacity limits, I now carry double that amount. I can’t imagine I’m the only one.
It’s not our intent here at EmpirePundit to simply parrot other site’s articles and just be a collection of links elsewhere, but to develop and share our own opinions. That said, RedState does a really good job of pointing out what few are talking about when gun control debates turn to the original purpose of the Second Amendment:
In all the talk that has happened and will happen, the press and the general public seem willing to ignore the actual purpose of the second amendment.
The amendment is not about sports. It is not about recreation. It is not about hunting. It is only partly about defending yourself from a criminal.
The second amendment is about ensuring a “free state.”
On April 19, 1775, British regulars marched on Lexington and Concord to seize the guns of American colonists that had been stockpiled in case of revolution.
Read the whole article for more.
I’m not going to speak at this point to the gun control bill that passed the New York state senate last night, though I’m sure we’ll get to that at some point.
No, today I’d like to call out the legislatures and executives, both at the state and federal level, for circumventing the political process.
With the so-called “fiscal cliff” legislation in Washington from a few weeks ago, and again with last night’s gun control bill in the state senate, deals were negotiated in secret back-room sessions by a few select people, then rammed through the legislature with nearly zero open debate.
Whoa, hold on, slow down a minute. Why so fast? What’s the hurry? If these proposals are so crucial and vital, why aren’t they up for any debate? Can’t we talk about this for more than 15 minutes?
Wait, here, this might be why:
Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, D-Suffern in Rockland County, said a quick vote was prudent, saying she was concerned that a delay could lead to less stringent regulations.
“I’m concerned that the anti-gun-safety lobbyists would have influence in a way where we would lose the opportunity to move forward with gun safety,” she said.
So, your proposal– sorry, your agenda is so vitally important that it can’t withstand debate with an opposing viewpoint? I think I’m starting to see what’s going on here; hopefully the reader is, too. Simply put, the legislature, at both levels, here in New York and down in Washington, are weasels and wimps. They want their way, period, but aren’t brave enough to put their bills up for an honest debate.
Enough of the backroom negotiation. Negotiate on the floor of the House/Senate/Assembly, in open session. Write your own bill, introduce it in session, and really debate it.
This isn’t a left or right thing, this is responsible government. Unless you have an agenda you want forced through at any and all cost, citizens on all sides of the political spectrum should be able to get behind this.
From all of us (read: both of us) here at EmpirePundit, welcome to December! If the mainstream media wasn’t already sufficiently highlighting the ticking clock as we near the end-of-year “fiscal cliff”, they’ll surely begin the countdown now: after all, unless The Annointed One can break the wills of fiscal conservatives at some point during the utterly arbitrary duration of the next 31 days, we’ll surely be plunged into interminable financial ruin…
So, provided our blue marble doesn’t meet its end Mayan-style on the 21st, what would the EmpirePundit brain trust have our noble congresscritters do?
It’s rare that I have unplugged time – time free of phone calls, e-mails, work to do and distractions of all sorts. In fact, nearly the only such time I can reliably enjoy is my morning walks with our year-old puppy. Despite her tugging and insistence on olfactory inspection of every object we pass, our walks are a time for me to let my mind pursue trains of thought uninterrupted – to ruminate about the day to come, or wander through philosophical questions. Often, these times play host to the genesis or reinforcement of my political beliefs.
It was on a recent walk that I got to thinking about healthcare – about ObamaCare. The words of a friend played back in my mind: “I’d be OK with a health care system that was totally government-run, or totally private-sector. Just pick one.” Pick one, indeed. While my openness to a totalitarian health care system doesn’t quite mirror his, the sentiment highlights the biggest “broken” thing about our current state of affairs. More »
In the week since Election Day 2012, you can point to any number of blogs and columns and news articles from all sides of the political spectrum proclaiming that conservatism is dying, the Tea Party lost the election, and they should be purged from or otherwise ignored by the Republican Party. In fact, says FreedomWorks‘ Matt Kibbe, writing for Politico, the reality is anything but:
The Tea Party is not a political party; it’s an informal community of Americans who support a set of fiscally conservative issues. And when you take a look at the roster of new fiscal conservatives being sent to Congress next year, it’s clear our issues are winning.
Now that the dust has settled, the electoral trend of 2012 is clear: when candidates run on a message of conservative economic policy and limited government, they win.
The Election Day losers were not the so-called “tea partiers,” they were the candidates embraced by (and some hand-picked by) the Republican establishment who failed to run on the winning message of economic freedom.
Read the whole article for the details. Kibbe goes on to point out the numerous Republican candidates who did win, mostly in House seats, based on their platforms of fiscal conservatism. Indeed, he also cites a few Democrats, largely in Senate races, who succeeded in their election bids while also whipping a little fiscal constraint into their message.
On the presidential side, Michael Hammond pointed out in March (and restated the day after the election) that, in the eleven (at the time) US presidential elections since LBJ’s administration, five times the Republican candidate was presented as and perceived by the public as a moderate, and four of those times (Ford ’76, GHW Bush ’92, Dole ’96 and McCain ’08) they lost (GHW Bush ’88 snuck through as an outlier, under the perception that he was going to lead Ronald Reagan’s “third term”). Meanwhile, the other six times, the GOP candidate was perceived — rightly or wrongly — to be conservative (Nixon twice, Reagan twice and GW Bush twice) and won every time. Governor Romney landed on the former side of the fence; while claiming to be a fiscal conservative, his creation of Massachusetts’ current health care system was too big a divergence from conservatism to ignore.
Maybe instead of the folks who are ready to purge the Tea Partiers out of the GOP, the Republicans should take note of all the folks who thought the candidates were too much alike. Voters don’t like to see their tax money wasted, and candidates who run on the promise to be thrifty with it tend to win.
“But New York is a blue state.”
Yeah, it looks that way on the surface. Most of the city centers in the state trend Democratic, especially the anchor of New York City. But consider that nearly 3.3 million New Yorkers — most of them living upstate — were, as of 2006, registered as Republican or Conservative — no small number, coming in at over one third of the state population.
With the cacophony that comes out of downstate New York, the voices in the more conservative counties upstate are usually drowned out. My friend Dave and I decided we wanted to be heard.
EmpirePundit is a blog developed with the mindset that a lot of the largely-liberal political and policy ideas that are just accepted to be true by a lot of folks in New York really don’t stand up to the application of a little common sense and some libertarian conservative thinking.
We may not keep to a very regular schedule here, considering Dave and I both have day jobs… articles can and will appear as we get the idea and time to write and publish them. We can’t promise you’ll agree with everything we have to say, but we hope we’ll at least get you thinking.