So-called progressives' cry against AM radio: anti-free market rules are pro-free speech

The recent assault on talk radio by progressives (so-called) has also produced comments that moderate reporting, or non-biased to non-media people, is boring. That's just one of the little offshoots of this odd agenda being taken up right now.

I have a serious problem with this. This is the worst of what liberalism, or progressivism, or whatever you call it, has to offer. It shows the broader goal they look toward: to run things without a care of free markets or consumer and market guided business. It's called overregulating. They are for it. I am against underregulating, but this is no better. Nooo better!

The playground rules of equal time at bat is now being pushed for radio. Have you ever listened to AirAmerica? I once listened to a ten-minute assault on Barbara Bush, back in January 2009, calling her mean and vicious and alleging all sorts of profane things about her. I think they actually referred to her as fat at one point. I mean, it was foul and just mean. Why? How appealing is it that these "radio personalities" go after the MOTHER of the current president! Little wonder this stuff dies in the free market! Crude, and more ironically juvenile than Pee Wee's Playhouse (or, for that matter, more juvenile than Glenn Beck's radio show some days, when he does the cynical, half-funny "America's favorite game show" segments)!

Since the free market does not exist for these pro-overregulation clowns, there's ongoing debate of 'conservative' radio vs. fairness doctrine for radio. Not papers & TV, but just radio! Would force far left liberal - oh wait, 'progressive' - radio on radio stations. For what? Their future economic success?!!

They call it a 'system' of companies. Bull. Air America not a company, then? It ignores the biz law of what sells ads, which certainly TRUMPS any 'BALANCE' LAW. Ask any struggling paper just how much ads determine their life or death! Or, any radio station! This smacks of collectivism, where the media would be controlled by the all-knowing, all-controlling hand of government. Period.

I would welcome more successful liberal radio, because the so-called progressives are being so oddly anti-business, anti-free market, and inferring communist ideals in their hassling of radio stations and their owners that it smacks of outright shameless envy and jealousy. They will apparently stop only short of cutting power sources to radio stations with this assault on AM radio. (I should avoid mentioning that some areas, such as Nashville, Tenn., have excellent FM talk stations.)

Think Progress » Dear Rush Limbaugh, Why Are You Hell-Bent On Protecting A Radio Market That Limits Free Speech?
(First of all, HAAA! What a headline! Can you guess where that's going? Duh!)

ThinkProgress asked the authors of the original report to respond to Limbaugh. Two co-authors, CAP’s John Halpin and Free Press’s Josh Silver, gave us this response:

Dear Rush Limbaugh:

We have a straightforward question, which we hope you will answer in a straightforward way: When a handful of major media companies control who and what is allowed to be broadcast on the commercial dial, how is that not regulation of radio content? When these same companies then push out one-sided, right-wing information 90 percent of the time, how does that uphold freedom of expression?

Those of us at CAP, Free Press and other public interest organizations do not want to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine and we definitely do not want to limit free speech. We want more of it. You and other conservatives seem more interested in protecting a system that does the exact opposite.

If Limbaugh wants a debate, let’s have it.

Go ahead and call him, debate it! Please! There's only a few of you who could manage to handle it! But debate? Good luck with that. Rhetoric as what comes from ThinkProgess will not play for success on this issue. I think it would bore his listeners if he waited until these closeted big govt freaks had the nerve to call him and offer something remotely close to a civil, topical argument about this subject.

In the piece they at once call these "commercial stations", yet bluntly claim that they "push" an agenda? How is it that they are making any money, then? Somebody must be advertising on the stations! So all the advertisers are conservatives, too, and there's some secret handshake of advertisers and listeners who support those businesses?

Their presumption falls on its face, it seems, and they surely must know it. How can dashing free market ideals for their version of a "free" (wink) media possibly pass muster under authentic public debate? These pro-controlled airwaves (oh, but ONLY radio!) people are tossing rocks, and keeping their distance, they are not offering a debate.

Liberals have most of TV in their back pockets. Viewership of news on TV is lowering, for them. MSNBC is the laughed-at geek among all TV news entities, and steeply liberal. It is rising generally, we learned recently from viewership reports, but MSNBC is comparably rising far less than FOX News. Fox News is of course another media outlet despised by liberals. This one is disliked for simply not being liberal rather than for its being rampantly conservative -- but don't try to tell any of them that, they're too busy calling it racist, fascist and owned by "the Man". These same liberals pan PBS and NPR for being too moderate, too. Shame. I like both of those, and appreciate their reporting. Funny, I thought reporting was meant to be objective as possible, but plenty of progressives -- and a few blow-hard counterparts on the far right -- call objectivity boring. So much for news reporting and "boring" old journalism!

Liberals lay claim to the majority of large newspapers in the nation, and seem to be doing just fine with not forcing "balance" on those media. So, what gives? Not debate, that's for sure! Can you imagine if conservative talk radio hosts started insisting that such action be taken to level the playing field on television, or in major newspapers, what would happen? Can you imagine if someone allegedly legitimate tried -- seriously, not as a joke -- to petition HBO to have a counterbalance to the Bill Maher show?

How is it that AM radio, which is for some the mocked poster child for old technology, gets so much attention from these folks for abuse of free markets? Isn't this a bit like hilariously odd, like a liberal faction of our government demanding that we invade the Phillipines?

Perhaps they are doing this since they simply want to win the ubiquitous debate, not actually have one. You know, like Chavez holds elections, and supporters take control of gov't buildings while the election happens to show their support. They'll debate it, but only on their terms. "I'll debate you any time! Just submit the questions three days ahead of time, please!"

I really wish I could resist reacting to any particularly stupid fringe ideas for control, at either edge, but I cannot help it when they are conceptually bizarre and insincere as this is. Who'd have thought that AM radio was the chief threat to the First Amendment!

- jR

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(rev. Feb. 24, 2009)

Sen. "No Tax Cuts" Kerry sent letter by Hamas, to give to Obama

From the Daily Beast news portal: Dear Barack, From Hamas - The Daily Beast
Hamas has a message for President Obama. And who better to deliver it than Sen. John Kerry, visiting Gaza this week? A senior UN official told BBC News that the letter has been received by the UN, but would not specify if Kerry had been the one to accept it. The Massachusetts Democrat did not meet with Hamas, instead focusing on humanitarian concerns.

"[The visit] does not indicate any shift whatsoever with respect to Hamas...what it indicates is our effort to listen and to learn," Kerry said.
So, what did the letter have in it? Was it like this?
Dear Pres. Obama:

Please destroy Israel so we may rule the planet from Jerusalem as Muslim brothers with the fundamentalist imams of the Muslim world. Oh, and death to all infidels.
Silly terrorists, Obama is an American, a Christian, and no matter how liberal he is, he is not a tool and not going to make nice with you till you start changing... everything about your group's goals and how you wish to achieve them.

The BBC piece goes into it with more detail, but not giving up whether the letter will be read by Obama:

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Hamas 'sends Barack Obama letter'
The Palestinian group Hamas has sent a letter addressed to the US president via a US politician visiting Gaza, a senior UN official has said.

UN relief agency chief Karen Abu Zayd told the BBC the letter had been received by the UN and passed on.

She did not say if Senator John Kerry had accepted it, and there were no details about the letter's contents.

The US views Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in 2007, as a terrorist organisation and will not deal with it.
A spokeswoman for the US consulate said it was thought to be the first visit by US congressmen for at least four years.

Mr Kerry also visited the Israeli town of Sderot, a target of Palestinian rocket attacks, before entering Gaza.

Standing in front of a pile of used rockets, Mr Kerry said that both he and President Obama believed that nobody should have to spend their lives in fear of attack.
[Kerry stated:] "We are sympathetic with the crisis that people face on a daily basis here in Israel, from those who choose no other path other than to use instruments of terror."

Earlier he said: "[The visit] does not indicate any shift whatsoever with respect to Hamas... what it indicates is our effort to listen and to learn."

Hamas won elections in 2006 and consolidated control by force in 2007.
I am glad Kerry respects the hardships of Israelis being threatened for years with the small but deadly -- terrorizing -- missiles (unless you are a glib, spoiled, child-like game console junkie, you recognize that any size missile is threatening, thus coming as an act of aggression). It gives me hope that his dolt elitist views of many things at home are not all-encompassing.

I am fascinated by what this letter from Hamas might have in it. Might it be a rambling rants such as some public letters from Iran's Ahmedinejahd or al-Qaeda leaders? Or will it have something worth reading to someone who believes in human freedom? That is, will it be readable for people who have worked to practice human freedoms despite the foul smell of history and the setbacks of modern despots? That is, would it be worth reading by someone who prefers not using terrorism to claim land and power at the cost of one's own people's -- and others') freedoms and lives?

If we do hear, will it be made public by Hamas itself, or will the White House accept it and present it themselves, first? I am hoping that it must be made public by Hamas. Why? For the White House to accept a letter from the group that clearly proclaimed that the time for peace ended -- irreversibly ended -- hardly gives promise to any proper evolution of any peace plan. Hamas insists that Fatah must go, thus, it is Hamas that ought to go. They are aggressors amongst their own people, and against Israel. As a matter of practice, Hamas uses the deaths of innocents among their own people, during the retaliatory stirkes by Israel, as public relations tools. It gets no more foul that that.

If the letter from Hamas is accepted by the White House, at least right now as they act so cruelly as to use their own people's lives as chum to the world media's biases, it will show that Obama is no diplomat, just a soppy, liberal politician. And, a fool for fascists to toy with. There can be ways to dress this up as a meaningless thing, a mere willingness to accept the mail. Accepting the letter, it can be argued, would change nothing. However, that logic may only go so far: On the world stage of diplomacy, it might be a thundering misstep. It would suggest that the new US President is not only far different politically and in his perspective from GW Bush, but that he is willing to show a blind openness that attracts the fundamentalists, who wish us gone, like ants to a dying dog.

Just my two cents.

- jR

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Stimulus? More like ridiculus (what part gets me a job, again?)

Scamulus, smugulus, trickulus, porkulus, crapulus, ridiculus -- Obamalus! -- or whatever you call it, it is less economic stimulus than govt money - our tax money! - going to govt upgrades and govt programs. How's that get me a job, again?

According to what I read, I guess I'll be installing windows? That's my only hope? Since I cannot build bridges, work on construction crews, or do some of that other, always outside, all day, work, being 40 something and not exactly in a condition for outdoor work under no cover, I guess I'll be installing windows on old govt buildings, then? That's my work solution?!!

So explain this: people are mocked when they complain that we ought to get illegals out and let Americans will do their jobs. Folks who claim that Americans who have a problem with illegals are - quite literally - racist. Irrational and offensive, much?

There are allegedly leadership-worthy people in the US who insist that nobody but illegals will, what, be maids or nannies for governors, Senators, or CEOs? They say that illegals do the jobs that Americans won't. Ones beyond being maids, things like migrant working in farms, etc. They say that Americans no longer will be hotel maids, or work in food processing plants.

These people, who are now offering up a US job creation program for America, say that it includes lots of job stimulation. Aisde from apparently some clean energy initiatives for reasearch, which will not get me a job, and construction, which will not get me a job. they will have money to let people upgrade the windows in govt building.

Wait a minute, the illegals:
aren't they installing windows, since "no one" will pay a real wage for that work, allegedly?!!

Sounds like we're creating more jobs for illegals. How does the ridiculus stimulus get me a job, again?

- jR

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Bad policy, bad ethics, broken ideals, and the downfall of America's markets

Yet more clear reasons why Obama and the Democrats (if we can still call them that, and not Obamacrats) won an election based on the broadest of false claims, that the economics of laissez faire, of hands-off and low taxes, got us into this. It was not capitalism and free markets that hurt us, it was failure by gov't, be it Clinton, GW Bush, or many years of Congressional leaders, that got us into this mess. And yes, CRA and poverty mortgages got us into this!

This problem of the failing economy was PARTLY the fault of Republicans in Congress, since they make the LAWS, but not sure when GW Bush instisted banking regulations be all but forgotten. In fact, it seems the GOP leaders were basically assuaged -- or illicitly looked the other way -- and played along with crazy, fast-times-will-never-slow policies, in the case of the sour mortgages that turned into sour credit default swaps, which turned into a ruined U.S. economy.

In my thoughts, in reading about this economic crisis and how we got here, I am reacting against big government types, and socialists, and liberals, all who to some extent or another seem to be convincing people that the GOP did this to us. Ironic, then, that it was liberal mortgage ideas that got us here, right alongside a lack of regulations (which, indeed, is a small gov't thus GOP attitude) but not by way of GW Bush, but through Clinton-era Congressional diddling through the ever-expanding nonsense of CRA and ill-thought mortgage regulations.

Here's some hard work to that end, linked below, but diced into some small pieces, following:

Feds Re-Impose Loan Standards They Helped Undermine | RealClearMarkets
There is a great irony that Washington will now lead the way in imposing new, stricter standards, including a tougher income-to-payment ratio, because it was Washington, prodded by affordable housing advocates, which pushed mortgage lenders to dilute their traditional underwriting values in the first place. Federal regulators attacked those established standards as being “unintentionally biased” against low and moderate income borrowers and used a variety of laws and regulatory bodies to push often resistant lenders into programs based on these lower standards. The government and those who backed its actions assured lenders these lower standards were safer than they thought, even though there was little research to support that contention. Now that a huge chunk of the market based on these debased standards has melted down, the government is going full circle.
And those who were most easily "prodded by affordable housing advocates" are now running things, so this is quite quite ironic.
...a Freddie Mac program called Affordable Gold, which purchased loans from banks under looser underwriting standards, including loans which allowed a borrower to make a down payment with funds contributed from a third party like a government assistance program or a nonprofit, showed sharply higher default rates, up to four times higher than traditional underwriting standards.
...politicians in both parties made expanding the number of home owners in America a high priority, and the only way to keep doing that was to lend to people with increasingly riskier credit.
Got bad credit? No problem! Not only will you get a loan, but it will be with a low interest rate, too! We'll bend over backwards for our risky customers since Big Brother asked us to. After all, everyone deserves to lose a home at least once in their lifetime!
In a recent Forbes article Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute and Edward Pinto, former chief credit officer of Fannie Mae, point out that by 2001, 18 percent of Fannie Mae’s portfolio consisted of loans to people with credit scores below 680—the traditional definition of a loan to someone with riskier credit, who is also someone more likely to default.

Of course, with two huge federal agencies willing to purchase such loans, mortgage makers couldn’t churn them out fast enough, and private investors also began snapping up the loans in competition with Fannie and Freddie.
As if that is not insulting enough, and ironic that this all came to a head during GW Bush's time in office, when he was too busy waging war on Teararists to notice the economy was failing in a big way, there's this little nugget to chew on:
[Relevant experts] say federal programs were not the problem because many of the worst loans portfolios were created by non-bank lenders which are not even subject to the Community Reinvestment Act. But that’s an argument that ignores the much broader role that government played in watering down standards, including using pressure to force players across the industry to participate.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Clinton, for instance, threatened to introduce legislation to make non-bank lenders, that is, mortgage finance companies, subject to CRA if these firms didn’t sign on to affordable lending goals.
So where were these blowhard, blame Bush, extended-stay Congress members during all of this, for two double-term presidents?!! Those sillies over in Congress -- can't do anything without the White House, it seems!

Who were some of the big fans of this fun mortgage idea? Countrywide hopped right into the cesspool first!
One of the first ... to take up the pledge was Countrywide, which pledged to introduce low-down payment loans with high income-to-payment ratios for low-income borrowers. Countrywide and its co-founder, Angelo Mozilo, ultimately became infamous as one of the first major mortgage lenders to melt down under the weight of its bad lending, but before it was notorious Countrywide was celebrated for its low-income efforts.
Today, the Obama administration acknowledges through its bailout program that those standards were unsafe. It’s a backhanded acknowledgement. ... I suppose that’s about as far as we can expect government to go in admitting the mess it helped to make.

I guess I don't get a bailout, since I was not getting any loans out. Oh well. I hope I can get a JOB at some point that isn't in CONSTRUCTION. Which I have zero experience in.

- jR

Powered by ScribeFire. Spending is illegitimate way to motivate economy

Why Massive Government Spending Is Ineffective “Stimulus” – A Primer
Barack Obama, economically uninformed and obviously confusing his temporary personal approval rating with some sort of permanent mandate to do whatever he pleases, crudely justified his unprecedented spending proposal by grunting, “I won.” Shortly thereafter, Obama rationalized his agenda to House Democrats attending their retreat last week with the following irrational and simplistic attempt at humor:

“So then you get the argument, ‘well, this is not a stimulus bill, this is a spending bill.’ What do you think a stimulus is?! (Laughter and applause.) That’s the whole point! (More laughter and applause.) No, seriously! That’s the point! (More laughter and applause.)”

Clearly unable to defend the indefensible, Obama instead retreats to sarcasm and juvenile humor as if his premise is self-evident.
Tossing aside that Obama's comments goofily ignore 1/3 of the bill, that minority which is tax cuts, this strikes me as a core argument against Democrats who argue that spending is the only way to go. That Obama, even in front of his own party, ducks the issue, suggests he does not get it. Democrats, mostly, seem to think that more government control is the solution to an economy problem created by government not doing its existing tasks of responsibly regulating fields where greed runs rampant.

The comments in the quote are from, a group I am personally not very informed about, but which is interested in individual freedoms, thus smaller government, above all else. Apparently, these days, that automatically makes you a conservative, probably an extreme conservative, to liberals.

I think the above quote defines the faltered argument behind rushing to spend with the stimulus. In this age of wireless, computers and a widely educated American populace, I think the stimulus ought to FOCUS on four things:
  1. lower taxes for consumers and businesses,
  2. relief for the unemployed and otherwise impoverished,
  3. freeing of the frozen banking and finance industry, and
  4. adapting to the crunch to open up free enterprise, such as making credit available.
Instead, billions are being spent on -- not wrong but wrongly involved in the stimulus -- infrastructure programs that ought to be a part of a real budget or other bill. Some of those programs, such as bridges, have indeed been put off too long since government is not the answer, but part of the problem.

Bridges and roads are failing because government has avoided offering bills to get spending for them, too focused on pet agendas to do the business of the nation responsibly. Just as the gov't ignored subprime mortgages since they felt good about letting the poor and real estate prospectors (oops!) get mortgages on the upside down financial concepts behind those bad ideas. Just as gov't ignored rampant abuses of the financial markets, derivatives and hedge funds and Madoff-style ripoffs. Just as they ignored runaway deficit spending.

Have you noticed that subprimes promoted the use of those nasty derivatives, so people could keep the madness going, handing off the bad mortgages, like financial musical chairs. It alone proves that governmental liberal, short-sighted ideas to give people things they cannot afford are BAD! They will fail us, and today, they have led us into a bigger failure than they alone could give!

Gov't ignored regulation in areas of money and investing, and offered illogical programs for mortgages, the best places for greed to swell for the ethically abstract among us, and it ignored infrastructure. Two kinda obvious things gov't ought to always be dealing with, and overtly. And yet, gov't says now that they ought to be able to be in complete control, according to Democrats. How rich!

Caution against big government of all cautions, when we're all sweating to begin with, the government slips in the programs that they are too chicken to pass in good times. How does that get me a job, exactly, unless I am in those fields or can do -- physically can manage to do -- those jobs? I am sure lots of unemployed folks over 40 will be thrilled to know they can help build bridges out in the summer sun for ten-hour days when they've been living in a cubicle for 15 years or more.

Isn't it ironic, and eery, that a belief the small, regulatory role of government in trade is viewed as old-fashioned and part of a "failed" economic model by the Democratic leadership? What's the option, in their view? Isn't our government TOO BIG now?!! They blame GW Bush for making it larger, through the creation of Homeland Security, leaving out that the motivation was the greatest attack on our shores in 60 years. But they want to make government control of things greater, not just in what they have failed to do and should have regulated in finance and banking, but overall.

Where will they stop? Hugo Chavez' and Castro's model? China's model? Sweden or France's model? How long has it been since either of those last two states "wore the pants" anywhere in the world? The American liberals seem to forget that, on top of being in an economic down trend, we are also the only thing keeping Russia, China and other big, not very nice nations from running the whole show. I guess they'd want to stop just short of that. And, Sen. Kerry and fellow wealthy liberals who think government is the answer, where exactly would you stop? Do you have a specific thing in mind, or would you simply guess where we ought to stop?

- jR

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Zell Miller, 2002: tax cuts should be a Democratic Party staple!

Full circle, that's what the election on November 2008 was -- a tilt around the bowl from success helped by Sept. 11 and appearing strong, and nothing less than tax cuts. Go figure!

In bad times, when the population is pissed off and willing to vote about it, impressions mean everything. When it comes to bad times and how well one can accuse the other side of being the cause of all our ills, the Democrats, make no mistake, won on rhetoric and the coolness of Barack Obama. The 44th president was not the reason for all the Congressional successes, the bad economy, which was blamed on GW Bush, was.

You can disagree, but I'd love to know just what the arguments are. I cannot see how, really, that this was about anything but voting, loudly, with our wallets (and some resentment of those with fat ones, especially the fat ones in pocket of finance industry white collar crooks).

Here's an interesting bit of commentary from one Democratic senator, in November of 2002. This was just after the Democrats were trounced in the "off-year" Congressional elections. The words are Sen. Zell Miller's. They were originally in the WSJ, but link below is from another site,, a political action group that I was not quickly able to gauge as liberal, conservative, or somewhere else (so I will leave it as "non-partisan"... as they claim).

And now, folks, Zell Miller:

Tax Cuts: Our Party Needs To Embrace Tax Cuts
...why in Heaven's name can't our party be for real tax cuts? In the middle of a recession, the Democrats once had a president who passed a massive tax-cut package. His name was John F. Kennedy. Today, in the middle of a recession, we should be a party advocating for more tax cuts, not less. But we aren't.

America is the most tax-averse country on earth. Our own revolution started with people tossing tea off boats in Boston Harbor … because of high taxes! Being a party that opposes tax cuts is not good politics, anywhere, any time. Like it or not, that's what we've become.

Instead of arguing that Mr. Bush's tax cut goes too far, we Democrats should be arguing that it doesn't go far enough. Middle-class families need more tax relief now as America faces an economic threat we haven't seen since the 1930s — the threat of deflation.
The words of a Democrat, a mere six years ago.

Interesting times.

- jR (AirFarceOne)

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Pakistan agrees to Sharia law rule in Swat Valley area, in Taliban deal

Pakistan agrees Sharia law deal | BBC NEWS | South Asia
Pakistan has signed a peace deal with a Taleban group that will lead to the enforcement of the Islamic Sharia law in the restive Swat valley.

Regional officials urged the Taleban, who agreed a 10-day truce on Sunday, to lay down their arms permanently.
The Taliban/Taleban wants rules that bring extremist Islamic ideas into the running of everything. They are doing htere what they did in Afghanistan.
Their campaign against female education has led to tens of thousands of children being denied an education, our correspondent says.

US envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke, who is in India, said he needed more information on the deal but that the situation in Swat had "deeply affected the people of Pakistan, not just in Peshawar but in Lahore and in Islamabad".

Mr Holbrooke said Swat "demonstrates a key point and that is that India, the United States and Pakistan have all a common threat now... [we] all face an enemy which possesses a direct threat to our leadership".
In a pursuit for peace in the area, Pakistan did this. I will always regret our efforts to keep the USSR from controlling Afghanistan brought this bunch of Islamists into being. I will not thus fallaciously lay all the blame for everything at our door, but I indeed regret that sad turnout of our efforts to keep communism out of Afghanistan then.

I am a bigger believer in "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" than I am, or ever would be, in the "you had a part in this, therefore it is wholly your fault" stupidity one hears from the politically correct, illogically peace-loving liberal factions.

- jR

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