Media Malpractice in the Coronavirus Age

The New York Times offered coverage of a conference call President Trump had this morning with various state and local officials about the coronavirus pandemic.  Intrepid reporter Julie Bosman had the byline, and tweeted out what she felt was the lede element of the story.



Wow, indeed!  Sounds like Trump is being an asshole…again.  Bosman’s fellow reporters followed up her tweet.



But a funny thing happened on the way to grab the tar, feathers and pitchforks.  It turns out there was a bit more that Trump had to say.  Quite a bit more.  The FULL quote includes these comments.


“Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves.  We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself.”


Hmmm…that puts the quote in an entirely different context, doesn’t it?  It correctly frames the comment as part of a suggestion that local/regional procurement is much more cost-effective and less time-consuming than federal action.  Omitting this part of the quote makes it sound like Trump is telling the localities “you’re on your own.”  Even one of the “reporters” used that interpretation to punctuate their tweet with “WOW!”


Of course, that is *exactly* what they were hoping for.  All three of these reporters intentionally left out the second part of the quote because it would have nullified their goal of casting Trump in a negative light.


This is journalistic malpractice.  And it is also par for the course.  Truly objective journalism is now about as rare as four-leaf clovers and quarterbacks who remain in the pocket.  It is frustrating that even in a time of national crisis, we can’t depend on reporters to give us basic information without blatantly and willfully misleading us.  We cannot rely on the mainstream media to simply tell us what was said and what happened without them seeing it as an opportunity to score those oh-so-precious “political points” against someone they don’t like.


Even MORE frustrating are the people who insist that papers like the Washington Post and New York Times are straight arrows who are doing nothing more than calling balls and strikes.  If the mountain of evidence that I and many others have cited over the years is not enough to change your minds, your minds can NOT be changed.


But the MOST frustrating thing is that nothing will change.  These three reporters will never have to answer for this. They will continue on as de facto DNC stenographers and no one will bat an eye.  They will die and go to hell insisting that they are morally-upright paragons of truth, justice and the American Way.


Everybody PANIC!

panic_button“Is it a pandemic yet?” “Is it a pandemic yet?” “Is it a pandemic yet?” “Is it a pandemic yet?”


I imagine scientists with the World Health Organization are positively tingling these days. They have their “black plague.” Or at least they hope they do.  And THIS TIME they mean it!


Please forgive me if I’m not ready to stock up on antibiotics, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, chicken soup, ginger ale and Vitamin C. I don’t feel particularly compelled to buy in to Corona Virus panic just yet.


I course, if I die from this, you can file this blog post under “tragic irony.”  Oh well.  A chance I’m willing to take.  You see once you have lived through more than a half-century you have been exposed to thousands of things that most assuredly will spell Doomsday for you.  After the 100th false alarm you begin tuning them out.


Scientists who portended the end of the world with the Avian Flu 15 years ago, the Swine Flu 10 years ago, and (etc etc etc) are crossing their collective fingers, hoping they can say, “I told you so!” this time around. Never mind that Corona Virus has claimed fewer lives worldwide in the past week than have accidents involving livestock. (True statistic!) The Powers That Be won’t let a chance for a good crisis to go unexploited.


Corona Virus may be a legitimate concern, but it’s more likely that it’s the 2020 version of the “Shark Attack” scare—a scare that was wiped off of the headlines following 9-11-01.


Folks, I was in the news business for nearly thirty years. I know that nothing draws listeners (or viewers or readers) more than a good headline story. You can’t get much deeper in terms of public interest than “National Health Scare!” But let’s face facts. How many times have the scientific community cried “wolf?”


Doomsday scientists are swarming around the Corona Virus scare for the same reason that the Weather Channel executives root for maximum damage from tornadoes and hurricanes. It makes them relevant. No one gives a damn about Jim Cantore when it’s sunny and 72 degrees. No one calls the Centers for Disease Control when they’re feeling fine.


Of course more than just the usual suspects are touting the Bubonic Potential of Corona Virus.  Those who support any and every expansion of government power are also champing at the bit to use this scare as an excuse to erode civil liberties—even if just for a little while.  Remember the two rules of Statists:

  1. During an emergency, anti-democratic measures are needed to ensure public safety, national security, and the nation itself.

  1. There is always an emergency.

 And there is the additional layer of intrigue with Corona Virus, coming as it does during a Donald Trump Presidency.  The same people who just KNEW the Mueller Report was going to bring him down, that Ukraine Gate was going to send him packing are now flush with the possibility that a bungled response could boost the chances of whatever empty suit they nominate of becoming the 46th President of the United States.  Of course these are the same people who will bray with righteous indignation at any attempt by Trump or his supporters to “politicize the crisis!”


We know what will happen.  There will be a handful of American deaths from this before it runs it’s course.  Trump’s opponents will put the faces of the victims on metaphorical (or maybe even literal) billboards, suggesting that Trump did everything but personally inject them with the virus.

GOD I hate some people.


So join me, won’t you, in rejecting the hype. That is, of course, until you die in a livestock-related accident!

Our Top Cops are crooked

fisa fbiThis is a stunning development. But because of it’s nature I get the feeling that it won’t get a great deal of attention from certain members of the “unbiased” mainstream media.

What is it? Oh, nothing much. Just a FISA court body-slamming the FBI for its mishandling of the Carter Page FISA applications.  In what I can only call an extraordinary rebuke of the agency, the court goes on to say those abuses by the bureau call into question the accuracy of its other FISA applications. WOW!

Federal Judge Rosemary Collier calls the FBI’s handling of the Page FISA warrants “antithetical to the heightened duty of candor.”  She was just getting warmed up.

“The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable.”
Now remember, the FISA court has extraordinary powers in the wake of 9-11.  The vast majority of their work is done in secret.  As such we have VERY little in the ways of checks and balances against possible abuse.  It is the closest thing we have to a Star Chamber.  Because of that it is imperative that they make decisions based on honest and well-intentioned information-gathering procedures done by federal investigators and prosecutors.  That did not happen in this case.  And it is perfectly fair to question the FBI’s motives and methods in other cases.

Many of you who know me know I have said relatively little about the entire impeachment affair. What’s to say, really?  We more or less know what Trump did.  The only question is…does it merit impeachment?  Those who hate the very air Trump breathes had their minds made up long before any of this.  Ditto those who worship the ground on which he walks.

I have always had a high bar for impeachment.  To me, it amounts to the ultimate rebuke against a person who is entrusted with so much power.  As such I’ve always held that it should be reserved for Benedict Arnold-levels of treason and malfeasance.  Today, though, the terms “impeachment” and “recall” are tossed around like nickels…deployed when there is even the slightest policy agreement with ANY politician.  That is not a good thing.

But it is becoming clearer and clearer that the information which led to most of the Mueller investigation (and the ancillary probes) was based on a dishonest and bad faith effort by the FBI.  You can try and make the claim that this was a “few rogue agents.”  If you believe that you probably bought our former President’s explanation for the IRS scandal as coming from “rogue agents in Cincinnati.”  When we juxtapose the FBI’s behavior in this case with the trove of private e-mails of top agents who clearly despise Trump—well, it’s not hard to put two-and-two together.

C’mon now. Even you card-carrying Trump-haters who STILL have one of the Robert Mueller votive candles have to admit this information about the FBI is pretty damned bad. Right? No?

OK then. Imagine if these exact same shady procedures had been done to launch an investigation against then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008.  Would your opinion of the agency be different? Do you think one or two folks *might* have suggested racial bias within the FBI?

No, I get the impression that you would have not been an “ends justify the means” kinda guy under THOSE circumstances.

When we learned from the IG report that the FBI had committed 17 “errors” in the FISA process, the agency’s defenders wrote them off as “honest mistakes” and the agency themselves claimed “vindication.”  That was hilarious.  All 17 of those “mistakes” went in the same direction.  That is to say, all of them were bent in favor of pushing the court to authorize surveillance on Trump.  If these were truly “mistakes,” would not some of them have inadvertently fallen in Trump’s favor?  Law of averages and all that?  You are asking me to believe that a flipped coin landed on heads 17 straight times.

If a cop finds drugs on a motorist during an illegal stop and search on an Interstate, none of that evidence is admissible in court.  The officer is fired or disciplined, and every one of his or her previous arrests comes under scrutiny.  Will something similar happen with the FBI?  They knowingly submitted false information to a FISA court, while simultaneously withholding key information, in order to get a warrant to spy on an American citizen.   In a just world agents are arrested, charged and sent to jail.  This is a MAJOR violation of the trust we place in the hands of one of the most powerful agencies in our nation.

Of course the smart money says nothing will happen.  But I feel perfectly safe in stating that the FBI is a crooked agency and We the People are in trouble.

Who checks the fact-checkers?

dem debateRemember the Democratic Presidential debate where every candidate raised their hand when asked to “raise your hand if your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants?” It was a touching show of solidarity from a group of people who are pretty much on the same page when it comes to ignoring any restraints to government power and authority.
Since then, GOP operatives have (understandably) used this in their advertising. They claim Democratic candidates said they wanted to give free health care to illegals.  You don’t need a political guru to figure this is something to take advantage of.
Not so fast, says the holy, unimpeachable fact-checkers at PolitiFact! They correctly point out that the debate in question featured only HALF of the Democratic candidates. OK. Fine. The fact that every one of them raised their hands certainly suggests a broad consensus, but if you want to nitpick about this, go for it.
But no. The sacrosanct fact-checkers take it a bit further. Evidently they are drawing a clear distinction between wanting to “give free health care to illegals,” and “providing coverage for undocumented immigrants.” Seriously. That microscopic distinction was enough for them to take an obviously-true statement and rate it as “Mostly False.”
Let ME ask for a show of hands. If you hear that the government is going to provide something to you, isn’t the assumption that it will come at no direct cost? That is to say, without you having to shell out beyond your regular tax burden?  Let’s put it another way.  If the candidates supported a proposal to “provide people with cars,” wouldn’t that mean that you would get your car without having to cut a check? Is that not a reasonable expectation?
This is Clintonian-level word-parsing.  This exceedingly-minor difference is enough for the brave firefighters at PolitiFact to take an obvious truth that was broadcast to millions of people and call it a lie.  Well, “Mostly False,” at least.
Keep this in mind when someone cites a PolitiFact fact check as the final and unassailable Word of God.  Much like the Mainstream Media hides behind the cloak afforded them by their status as “journalists” to produce a steady stream of hackery; Politifact and their ilk do likewise while shielding themselves under the rubric of being saintly fact-checkers.
If you want to be a hack, that’s fine.  But embrace it. Don’t pretend to be something else.  That makes you look like a filthy, mendacious coward.

The 2019 Endorsements from Chuck’s Common Sense

Let’s see…Halloween hangover, rotting leaves, my favorite college football teams seeing their post-season hopes fade away.  Yup.  It must be time for an election.


And with that comes the once-coveted round of endorsements from Chuck’s Common Sense.  In bygone days the means by which these endorsements were secured changed the course of human history.  These days, I can be bought with a case of beer.


I will focus on events in my hometown, so most of you probably won’t give a rip.  That’s fine.  Hopefully you can find something entertaining regardless.  You get what you pay for.


In my hometown of Danville-Virginia there is a contested House of Delegates race…but it is contested in name only.  Full disclosure: I have done digital production work for Republican Delegate Danny Marshall who is seeking re-election.  Even if that were NOT the case, this would be a no-brainer.


Marshall’s opponent, political newcomer Eric Stamps, is a self-avowed Democratic Socialist in the vein of Bernie Sanders.  It’s a cute little philosophy…if you possess a fourth grade understanding of math, economics and basic human behavior.


DhQxHl0U8AAjHvwIf we are to take them at face value, what Democratic Socialists want is not really socialism. What they want is highly-taxed, heavily-regulated Capitalism to fund all of their great ideas. The problem is, Capitalism doesn’t flourish under such conditions. To pay for their good ideas, they will have to go MUCH further. Because what happens when this great engine stalls and sputters under their regulatory yoke and is no longer able to produce the revenue needed to make college free for everyone?


Why does socialism inevitably fail? Because it ignores our inherent desire for ownership. Shared means of production means no private property—this, no ownership. Without ownership, there is no incentive for innovation or improvement.  Forced mediocrity produces only an equality of misery.  History is littered with such examples. You can dress it up with the “Democratic” qualifier; but the envy that serves as the primary fuel remains the same.


Marshall is a reliable and steady conservative voice for Southside Virginia.  He eschews “the politics of politics.”  He’s a good man.

CCS proudly endorses Danny Marshall in the 14th district House of Delegates race.


The only other contested race in my area is the 20th District State Senate race.  Republican incumbent Bill Stanley faces a challenge from Independent Sherman Witcher.  I’m not Stanley’s biggest fan.  I think he is a politician first and a Senator second.  On several occasions I think he has been obtusely partisan when it was not necessary.  Still, he has a reliable conservative record, and has explored some out-of-the-box solutions on issues like health care and education.  His opponent, Witcher, is a perennial candidate for….something.

CCS endorses Bill Stanley in the 20th district Senate Race.


In Danville, voters will answer a pari-mutual betting question on the ballot.  If approved, it would allow Colonial Downs to open one of their Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums in Danville.


I am probably the LAST person who will darken the doors of this place, once it opens.  I have never even purchased a lottery ticket.  I have a basic understanding of math and the “thrill” that some people get from wagering is completely foreign to me.


Still, I will be an enthusiastic YES vote on this question.  As a libertarian I will support just about ANY effort to create jobs.  I would vote for a brothel.  Federal laws notwithstanding, I would support an opium den.  Also as a libertarian, I think it takes an unadulterated amount of hubris to tell people what they can and cannot do.  Some people have no problem doing that.  I don’t like those people.


CCS urges a “yes” vote on Pari-Mutual betting in Danville-Virginia


Although my endorsements are limited to local races, there is the specter of Democrats taking both houses of the General Assembly.  With Democrats simultaneously occupying the top three positions of the Executive Branch, that is bad news for people who cherish individual liberty.  With Democratic legislative AND executive control, there is no apparent obstacle to passing gun control laws that would make our Commonwealth more closely resemble California.  And while abortion is not my favorite issue to discuss, such a scenario would offer NO protection against a bill like the despicable one introduced last year by Kathy Tran from becoming law.


The social and political divides that pits US coastal and rural dwellers are played out on a smaller scale here in Virginia, where large swaths of “the sticks” are being overtaken by the ever-expanding suburbs and exburbs of Northern Virginia.  As would befit a population composed of a disproportionate number of federal government workers, Northern Virginia is VERY fond of policies that expand the power of government.  Unlike at the Federal Level, where minorities have protections afforded by Federalist principles like The Senate and The Electoral College; Virginia is strictly a democracy.  The biggest mob wins.


It is my fervent hope that at least one house of the Virginia General Assembly remains under Republican control.  That would serve as an effective check against people who think that all power comes from government and is shared with We the People.  It is the exact opposite.


CCS HEARTILY endorses a divided General Assembly…or a GOP-controlled legislature.


So there you have it.  There’s still time to send me a case of beer and change my mind.

Yes…apparently you can be arrested for “ridicule.”

When does “stupid” or “boorish” become criminal? Should it?

Two white students at the University of Connecticut were arrested yesterday for shouting racial slurs as they walked through a parking lot outside student apartments earlier this month.

uconn arrests21-year-olds Jarred Karal and Ryan Mucaj were captured on a viral video repeatedly shouting the N-word. As best I can figure, these drunk cretins were playing a game where they yelled vulgar words. I have yet to see any evidence that these words were directly at anyone in particular. The video that went viral over the weekend shows them yelling the words in an empty parking lot. Evidently they also yelled them while walking down the halls of the apartment.

Where is the “victim” here? Well, their fellow students who never heard the words seized upon the opportunity we have provided people to earn “woke points” by being victims. Students launched large rallies in protest of the video, and the campus chapter of the NAACP demanded school officials take action against the pair. The arrests were announced hours after a “march against racism” at the campus.

On Monday, the NAACP UConn executive board called the pair of incidents “highlights of bigotry and the regurgitation of white supremacy” and released a list of demands in a letter to the editor of The Daily Campus, the student newspaper. Their requests included the creation of specific guidelines and punishments for racist and hate speech incidents, as well as, a required First-Year Experience course that would convey the consequences.

Well you can’t say the Professional Grievance Industry isn’t shooting for the moon here. We have all of the elements. First, using singular evidence of a couple of drunks shouting bad things as evidence of campus-wide racism. Secondly, demanding “punishment” for people who say things they don’t like. Thirdly, pushing for “re-education” to make sure unapproved words are never uttered.

If the school wanted to discipline them for violating whatever code of conduct they have established for students, that’s one thing. But to *arrest* them? And to file *criminal charges?* That is another thing entirely.

Equally chilling is the fact that, according to the charges filed against them, people in Connecticut can be arrested for speech that “ridicules” based on ethnicity, race, etc. etc. Are you kidding me? We’re not talking intimidation or coercion. We’re talking RIDICULE. There are many rights we enjoy in a free country, but the right protecting us from ridicule does not exist. Nor should it.

And if person A can be arrested for ridiculing person B; but person B canNOT be arrested for ridiculing person A—then how is that Equal Protection Under the Law?  Here’s a hint.  It’s not.

And again, there is no evidence they said these words directly at someone. So the only ones claiming victim status here are people who watched a video and didn’t like the words they heard in it. Think about that! We are establishing the precedent that if someone sees a video of you saying bad things, they can have you arrested. Not just chagrined or socially ostracized. Arrested and subject to the power of The State. That is incompatible with the core concepts of Free Speech.

Now this is where non-thinkers will point out that “free speech has consequences.” Yes. But those consequences must NOT come from government. Shaming someone for saying bad things is permissible. So is an employer firing them if they deem the words will have a negative impact on their bottom line. But when you bring down the power of government on someone for “wrongspeak,” then you are in direct violation of the First Amendment. This not is “yelling fire in a crowded theater.” There was no intent to harm here. There was no victim here. Therefore, government sanctions must NOT apply.

In short, we are crossing a *very* dangerous line here. You do NOT have the right to have someone arrested for uttering words that you don’t like. ESPECIALLY if those words were not said in your presence nor were directed at you.  If this is an acceptable use of government power, then what is to prevent someone from going on YouTube, finding videos of people saying random bad things, then demanding they be arrested for “ridiculing” someone?

We have got to STOP this, people!

Astro-nomic Climate Change BS

rangers stadium

One of the favorite tactics of the devotees of the Church of Climatology is to diminish heretical statements by pointing to their holy scriptures.  To wit: “The Science!”  Their defense dictates that unless you have a dozen peer-reviewed Climate Reports on your resume, you are not allowed to have an opinion on whether or not we revert to an agrarian lifestyle to appease the Climate Gods.

Never mind that it is not the scientists who are suggesting such drastic societal changes be made.  No…they are merely the scribes in this Church.  The holy prophets of the media, the world of politics and mainstream climate activism are the ones interpreting the Holy Scriptures in such a way.

The latest Papal Bull was issued this week by Bloomberg Magazine.  In this Op-Ed, the writer/acolyte informs us that Climate Change is the reason the Texas Rangers are building a new stadium with a retractable roof and air conditioning.  Evidently it just now occurred to them that summers in Texas are hot.  Film at 11.

colt45I’m not a scientist, ‘tis true.  But I am a baseball historian.  Let me tell you a little story about another Major League team in Texas.  They began in 1962 as the Houston Colt 45’s.  They played their games in an open air stadium (pictured, left) that offered NO shade from the Texas heat and flying varmints.  Houston pitcher Larry Dierker once quipped that the women in Houston don’t wear perfume—they wear mosquito repellent.

astrodomeThe heat was bad enough to prompt the team to explore an ambitious undertaking.  An INDOOR stadium!  In 1965, the Houston Astrodome, the Eighth Wonder of the World, opened.  (pictured, right)  It was the first successful use of synthetic grass, called “Astroturf.”  The team changed their name and the rest is history.

It is worth noting that 1965 was well before SUVs and Al Gore’s polar bears.  That is to say, in the days before all this Global Warming took place, the heat was STILL enough to prompt out-of-the-box solutions on ways to beat it.

That is one of many reasons why it is laughable to hear that a 2019 decision by the Texas Rangers (Located just a couple of hours northwest of Houston) could be attributed to hot weather.  The intrepid Climate Servant even included a handy-dandy chart showing that it’s getting HOTTER in the Dallas area!  Well, not really.  The graph shows the normal fluctuations you routinely get with something as volatile as the weather.  In fact, the average daytime temperature for home games this year was a whopping .6 degrees higher than the average over the past 75 years.

Indeed, our prophet assures us it was Climate Change that “ruined outdoor baseball at Globe Life Park.”  Really?  Did it suddenly get hot in mid-Texas this summer?  No.  Even the data from your sacrosanct scientists shows that it has always been hot.  And if it is ANY hotter today, it is by tenths of degrees.  That is not enough to prompt a $1.2 billion dollar investment.  What IS enough is the realization that more people will spend a little more money to enjoy a game in a climate-controlled environment.  Especially since we have fashioned a society where people spend most of their waking hours in places where the temperature is around 72 degrees.

This is not evil Climate Change driving the decision to build a palatial new stadium…it’s evil Capitalism.  Wonderful, beautiful Capitalism.  The same Capitalism that has led to the most prosperous period in human history.  The same Capitalism that gives nimrods like this Op-Ed writer a comfortable place to type from as he frets about the evils of red meat and internal combustion engines.

Play Ball!  And turn the AC up!

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