Brian Wesbury, whose previous writings have been blogged on many times by yours truly (including here, here, here, and here), is very tired of the dissing the current economy is taking, and especially how it is unfavorably compared to the economy of the 1990s:
World News Sunday continued ABC's gun control crusade, devoting its “A Closer Look” segment to how after the 1996 school shooting in Dunblane, Scotland, Great Britain virtually banned handguns, suggesting it's worth emulating. But though reporter David Wright conceded, in the middle of his story, that “gun crime has risen here” since handguns were outlawed, thus seemingly undermining the premise that making guns illegal lessens crime committed with guns, he hung his story on how “Britain has never again had a school shooting.” But if gun crime is rising, that sounds more like good luck than a result of the ban.
Wright featured two Britons exasperated by the refusal of the U.S. to follow Britain's lead. Gun control activist Ann Pearston contended: “What ordinary people have got to do in the United States, if they really care about what happened at Virginia Tech, is to make the banning of firearms in the United States an election issue.” Mick North, the father of a child killed in the Dunblane incident, fretted: “Nothing happened after Columbine. Nothing happened after Nickel Mines in the Amish community. After a few weeks, nothing will happen after Virginia Tech. Even the death of 32 people may not be enough to build up the necessary momentum.”
As most NewsBusters readers are aware, the media have been foaming at the mouth this week for Congress to advance stronger gun control laws in the wake of the tragedy at Virginia Tech.
As a result, this absolutely delightful feel-good story about an 82-year-old former Miss America that defended her farm in Kentucky with a lil ol’ .38 caliber handgun is sure to be ignored by a media more interested in advancing an agenda than doing their job as disseminators of information.
Did you hear about that report released last week from a Stanford University atmospheric chemist demonstrating that the tailpipe emissions from cars using E85 ethanol are actually more dangerous than those using normal gasoline? You didn’t?
Hmmm. What a shock.
Anyway, Environmental Science & Technology reported Wednesday (emphasis added throughout, h/t NB member Dahlia Travers):
When Mark Jacobson heard a venture capitalist tout ethanol fuel as a solution to air pollution last year, he was surprised—and intrigued. Jacobson, an atmospheric chemist at Stanford University, knew that air quality got worse during Brazil's big ethanol push in the 1970s and that the reason was still unclear.
You don’t hear a lot about Brazil’s pollution woes, do you? Well, Jacobson’s instincts were quite strong:
“Saturday Night Live” on April 21 introduced a new cartoon character named “Torboto: The Robot That Tortures People” (video available here, h/t Ian).
In the animated segment, Torboto is a creation of Vice President Dick Cheney’s. In order to get around Geneva Convention regulations preventing humans from torturing humans, Cheney’s scientists created a robot that does it for them.
As the scene moved to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Cheney brought President George W. Bush to the detention center to demonstrate how his new toy works. Bush asked, “I thought we were earmarking this money for body armor?”
"For Hollywood's sake, he needs to return." "I miss Harvey Weinstein." "[T]he movies he made were full of class." So says Patrick Goldstein in an April 17, 2007, article in the Los Angeles Times.
"[T]he movies he made were full of class"? Harvey Weinstein is best known as the co-founder (with his brother Bob) of Miramax Films. (He now heads something called The Weinstein Company.) But he is also known as a producer of a string of Catholic-bashing movies.
If you’re a leftwing journalist with a new television special about to air on PBS accusing the Bush administration of using the media to sell the Iraq war in 2003, is there any place better to promote the event than HBO’s “Real Time?”
Bill Moyers must have felt this was the perfect venue to market his upcoming “Buying the War” program, as he discussed its contents and his views of the incursion and the media with Bill Maher on Friday (video available here).
As so often happens when Maher has such an outspoken critic of the Administration as his guest, the host set up the discussion in a manner seemingly designed to create an environment condusive to bashing the president:
No one forced you at gunpoint to use Google today, but you probably have. The trouble is you don't know how evil that tech company with a "gusher of profits" is.
Fortunately for you, Washington Post's Steven Pearlstein does, and he thinks Big Government -- awash in a gusher of tax revenues it collects from you involuntarily -- has just the remedy. More regulation.
Accompanying a cartoon in the print edition depicting Google as a many-tentacled sea monster, Pearlstein devotes four paragraphs to asking "How Much More Should It Be Allowed to Grab?"
Pearlstein started off by noting that "Google is the quintessential business success story" and that its meteoric rise is standing the company in good stead on Wall Street while its chief rival, Yahoo, is faltering.
WRAL-TV in Raleigh, NC, was one of hundreds of news outlets to publish an AP story on 21 April, entitled "Mass Shootings More Common Since 1960s." The pathetic aspect of this story is that the reporter found and included the truth of the matter in paragraphs nine and ten, but otherwise acted as if he had never seen it.
Both the title and the lede warn of burgeoning mass murder in the US. The lede says that, "Mass public shootings have become such a part of American life in recent decades that the most dramatic of them can be evoked from the nation's collective memory in a word or two: Luby's. Jonesboro. Columbine."
Buried late in this article that is filled with assorted speculations about the causes of this tide of mass murder, is this finding from Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections:
Is The Ford Motor Company committing an Old-Media-assisted suicide?
On Wednesday, One News Now had a story about how the Formerly Mainstream Media has largely ignored the negative impact the the American Family Association's boycott of Ford has had on the company (an audio version of the report is also at the link):
News media ignoring Ford boycott, media analyst says
Brent Bozell's culture column this week took one last bite out of the Imus apple, taking exception to CBS chief Les Moonves claiming he was so glad to listen to the public and dismiss Don Imus from his CBS Radio gig, because he is all about being sensitive to the public's wishes. Baloney, says Brent:
In his press statement on the Imus firing, the strangest part was Moonves touting how he enjoyed listening to the public. "Many of you have come forward during this past week to share your thoughts and feelings. I thank you for that. At the end of the day, the integrity of our Company and the respect that you feel for CBS becomes the most important consideration."
Integrity and respect for CBS? Thanking the public for sharing its thoughts? Moonves & Co. at CBS have stubbornly fought against the public on other matters of broadcast decency. They’ve consistently looked protests in the eye and declared their contempt for the opinions of the majority of Americans.
ABC News tries its hand at sensationalism with a story on the VT killer buying "ammo" on the auction site Ebay, but muffs it badly getting all the relevant facts wrong. But it sure is a good headline... Ammo from eBay? VT Killer May Have Used Site
April 21, 2007 — ABCNews has learned that in the months before his shooting spree at Virginia Tech, Seung-Hui Cho may have purchased 20 rounds of ammunition through the online auction site eBay.
An eBay account holder who appears to be Cho purchased a two-pack of 10-round ammunition clips for a Walther P22 on March 22, 2007, less than a month before Cho killed 32 people and himself at Virginia Tech. The ammunition was purchased on eBay from Elk Ridge Shooting Supplies for the same type of weapon used by Cho in his bloody rampage last week.
One would think the writers of The Onion satirical newspaper snuck into the offices of The San Francisco Chronicle after reading a report about a pizza shop owner who saved the lives of his family by killing a gun wielding robber that was attempting to rob his store, a store with the owner's whole family inside. The Chronicle calls the meeting of the thief and would be killer and the innocent pizza shop owner "tragic" and the report is filed as if the whole story was all just some unfortunate accident instead of a crime stopped cold.
The lives of the two men intersected tragically at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday when Hicks, armed with a pistol and joined by two other men, tried to rob Piedra inside the popular pizzeria at 89th Avenue and International Boulevard. Fearful that the assailants might hurt him, his wife and three children -- all of whom were inside the restaurant -- Piedra pulled out his 9mm semiautomatic pistol and opened fire, killing Hicks, police said.
The Chronicle made the story as an excuse at a morality play revealing how friends are remembering the robber as one who "...always had a smile on his face", that the shop owner "took no satisfaction in taking Hicks' life", and the police "...by no stretch of the imagination" were they "agreeing with or justifying what the owner did." We are even treated to a telling of our "tragic" robber's happy little "rap artist" name; "Boonie".
Obviously the San Francisco Chronicle has decided that this story is going to be their platform to show how guns "traumatize" everyone when the real focus of the story should be on how a shop owner protected himself and his family inside the shop from an armed criminal.
'One-Third Probability' in '07, Former Fed Chief Says
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said yesterday that there is a "one-third probability" of a U.S. recession this year and that the current economic expansion won't have the staying power of its decade-long predecessor.
"We are in the sixth year of a recovery; imbalances can emerge as a result," Greenspan said in an interview at his District office. "The historically normal business cycle is much shorter" than a decade and is likely to be this time, he said.
Greenspan's outlook contrasts with the prediction of his successor, Ben S. Bernanke, who told Congress last week that the economy might strengthen this year. Bernanke's upbeat assessment helped steady stock markets on Feb. 28 after a plunge the day before that some traders attributed partly to Greenspan's musing that a recession could not be ruled out.