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  1. #1
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    Scariest news story ever!

    Yesterday the Washington Examiner published an article on a new Administration program, titled, appropriately, in my view, "New Obama initiative tramples First Amendment protections". The introductory paragraph reads:

    "The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…" But under the Obama administration, the Federal Communications Commission is planning to send government contractors into the nation's newsrooms to determine whether journalists are producing articles, television reports, Internet content, and commentary that meets the public's "critical information needs." Those "needs" will be defined by the administration, and news outlets that do not comply with the government's standards could face an uncertain future. It's hard to imagine a project more at odds with the First Amendment." (emphasis added)

    So now the Federal government is not only going to define "critical information needs" for freedom loving American citizens, but will be sending federal monitors into every news outlet in America to make sure that information is making it to citizens. So first we had federally funded education, which, of course, gave the federal government some say so over what was taught and how. Then just recently this Administration floated "Common Core", where they will have much more to say about what "information" Americans receive. Now we've got this new program for those already out of school, on the off chance they may have made it out of the federally mandated school system still thinking they could determine for themselves what their critical information needs were, and how well or ill their favorite news outlets provided them.

    What was that science fiction movie where government slogans were being constantly broadcast on electronic bulletin boards, public-address systems, and in every home? Oh, that's right...all of them!

    This is the other shoe dropping, folks. This is the final phase in the erection of a multilevel attack on our Constitution; a Rubicon that we can't afford to let this Administration, or any future Administration cross.

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    Re: Scariest news story ever!

    Lets link the article here...
    http://washingtonexaminer.com/new-ob...rticle/2544363

    Better yet the source of the story
    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...66903828260732

    Up Front: I don't like the plan. I think they should scrap it and save the money.

    But for the sake of full disclosure on the topic.

    1. Its a survey they are conducting, not stationing people at stations to monitor activities etc.. Its people with clipboards conducting a survey.
    2. Its voluntary, stations can refuse to participate and there are no stated or implied consequences to refusing to participate.

    This is not the other shoe dropping, its a bureaucracy who thinks they are trying to help the public be better informed by identifying a failure of journalists to serve the public good, something the FCC is more or less charged with doing.

    If a voluntary survey is not the final phase of a multilevel attack on the Constitution except in over heated imagination. I'd remind you that many years ago, the man who is now revered as the greatest president of all time by most historians completely suspended freedom of the press for a while, shut down newspapers by force and prosecuted journalists as traitors. Compare that to a voluntary survey to find out if news organizations are covering certain topics and get back to me about how doomed we all are.
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  5. #3
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    Re: Scariest news story ever!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I'd remind you that many years ago, the man who is now revered as the greatest president of all time by most historians completely suspended freedom of the press for a while, shut down newspapers by force and prosecuted journalists as traitors. Compare that to a voluntary survey to find out if news organizations are covering certain topics and get back to me about how doomed we all are.
    Assuming you are referring to Abraham Lincoln, and for the record, your statement is not quite accurate.

    More drastic measures were sometimes taken. During the Civil War, there were repeated civil and military actions to shut down newspapers for supposedly seditious behavior. This was particularly true early in the war in the border states of Maryland and Missouri. But occasionally, actions were taken in big northern cities like Chicago and New York. Historian Mark E. Neely, Jr. wrote: "Freedom of the press survived the Civil War, as the two-party system survived it -- more or less in spite of itself. Vigilante mobs, unthinking generals, and politicians threatened press freedom in the North here and there and from time to time, but their actions were often egged on and in the end usually excused and artfully explained by influential newspapermen. The government did not systematically and as a matter of policy threaten to stop the presses except in border states, and the judiciary almost never did so. But the press itself was a constant threat. Its partisan nature made journalists themselves serious enemies of freedom of the press in wartime."48

    Such shutdowns were headaches for President Lincoln. He acted to reverse such suppression on occasion. One such incident was the suppression of the Chicago Times by General Ambrose Burnside on June 2, 1863 -- after the paper. The Times, under editor Roger Storey, had become progressively more anti-war and harshly criticized Burnside's arrest of former Congressman Clement Vallandigham the previous month. Popular opinion in Chicago was inflamed - both for and against Burnside's action. Fearing street violence, a group of Chicago civic leaders sent a petition to the White House. Congressman Isaac Arnold alienated much of his German-American constituency by joining Senator Lyman Trumbull in asking that President Lincoln to reverse Burnside's action -- which the President did on June 4. Roger Waite wrote that President "Lincoln swiftly decided to act in the situation. Having received the petition from Chicago, being endorsed by two prominent politicians, Lincoln telegraphed orders suggesting that the order be lifted, to which Burnside followed with an order to revoke General Order 84 on June 4, 1863. However, soon, Lincoln also wrote stating: 'I have received additional dispatches which...induce me to believe we should revoke or suspend the order suspending the Chicago Times. However, as Burnside had already issued the revocation, he let it stand."49
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    Re: Scariest news story ever!

    Thanks Eye4 I went a bit farther on the hyperbole than I should have. "Completely" is a characterization on my part. None the less the actions taken by Lincoln far exceed any other president has ever attempted. Granted civil war is an unprecedented situation but when folks say silly things like "Scariest news story ever" I have to try and put it in perspective against our actual history.

    I'd say candidates for scariest news story would be things like pearl harbor or proof of the Nazi death camps. Or if were talking domestic policy some of what we did to native Americans or when we interned Japanese Americans in WW II. America has a rich history and doing a survey of journalists is not really high on the hit parade of scary stories.
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    Re: Scariest news story ever!

    It seems to me that the "Scariest" story is in the context of loosing freedoms. Certainly our past has some very scary stories.

    For me the "scary story" was the announcement during Katrina that no citizen would be armed made by the police chief, and then the subsequent carrying out of that command by militarized police. Now I make the distinction of "Militarized" because police dressed in swat with AR-15's are not your typical "uniformed" police. http://www.amazon.com/The-Great-New-.../dp/0970981333

    Of course that was eventually followed by some good news, in that the City lost it's court cases and was found to have violated the rights of the people in that action, as well as in some murders by police officers such as the Danziger Bridge shootngs

    So an emergency lead to lawlessness of Government, murder by the Government, and violation of the rights of the people.
    That it turned out with a return of law doesn't make it not scary. Just like in this instant (of the OP) where the government is sticking it's nose where it doesn't belong. If it all turns out O.K., we still should take pause and throw the red flag.
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    Re: Scariest news story ever!

    I guess this situation has already changed. That was fast. Perhaps the initial response was overwhelming.

    FCC backs off newsroom survey plan
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014...m-survey-plan/

    The Federal Communications Commission announced Friday that it was putting on hold a controversial study of American newsrooms, after complaints from Republican lawmakers and media groups that the project was too intrusive.

    FCC spokeswoman Shannon Gilson said Chairman Tom Wheeler agreed with critics that some of the study's proposed questions for reporters and news directors "overstepped the bounds of what is required."

    The agency announced that a proposed pilot study in South Carolina will now be shelved, at least until a "new study design" is finalized. But the agency made clear that this and any future studies will not involve interviews with "media owners, news directors or reporters."

    Commissioner Ajit Pai, who was one of the staunchest critics of the proposal, heralded the decision Friday as an acknowledgement that government-backed researchers would not be dispatched into newsrooms, as feared.
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  13. #7
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    Re: Scariest news story ever!

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    I guess this situation has already changed. That was fast. Perhaps the initial response was overwhelming.

    FCC backs off newsroom survey plan
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014...m-survey-plan/
    The Federal Communications Commission announced Friday that it was putting on hold a controversial study of American newsrooms, after complaints from Republican lawmakers and media groups that the project was too intrusive.

    FCC spokeswoman Shannon Gilson said Chairman Tom Wheeler agreed with critics that some of the study's proposed questions for reporters and news directors "overstepped the bounds of what is required."

    The agency announced that a proposed pilot study in South Carolina will now be shelved, at least until a "new study design" is finalized. But the agency made clear that this and any future studies will not involve interviews with "media owners, news directors or reporters."

    Commissioner Ajit Pai, who was one of the staunchest critics of the proposal, heralded the decision Friday as an acknowledgement that government-backed researchers would not be dispatched into newsrooms, as feared.
    Mark my words. As soon as the uproar dies down a bit, the "hold" will come off and the government reps will go in. It'll be marketed differently, but that's all that'll change.

    ---------- Post added at 06:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:23 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    It seems to me that the "Scariest" story is in the context of loosing freedoms. Certainly our past has some very scary stories.

    For me the "scary story" was the announcement during Katrina that no citizen would be armed made by the police chief, and then the subsequent carrying out of that command by militarized police. Now I make the distinction of "Militarized" because police dressed in swat with AR-15's are not your typical "uniformed" police. http://www.amazon.com/The-Great-New-.../dp/0970981333

    Of course that was eventually followed by some good news, in that the City lost it's court cases and was found to have violated the rights of the people in that action, as well as in some murders by police officers such as the Danziger Bridge shootngs

    So an emergency lead to lawlessness of Government, murder by the Government, and violation of the rights of the people.
    That it turned out with a return of law doesn't make it not scary. Just like in this instant (of the OP) where the government is sticking it's nose where it doesn't belong. If it all turns out O.K., we still should take pause and throw the red flag.
    But it's more or less typical for governments to temporarily seize extra power during a crisis. It happens every time there's a war. Look at the Japanese internment, the Patriot Act excesses, deployment of the National Guard to walk black school kids to school in the morning during desegregation, the Supreme Court mandate on forced busing, and marshal law. All of these things were done in a climate of crisis; a "we gotta do something" mentality shared by a majority of the country, at least for the moment.

    Not this. How many Americans think we have a crisis as far as Americans being able to get the news they think is important for them? Or who think they need a government "expert" to decide for them what information is critical to them?

    That would definitely be an interesting poll question, but even without the poll I'm confident the number, including the "Elvis factor" (so called because in polls that ask "Do you believe Elvis is alive?" you generally get about 15% who say yes, and about half that number who think Elvis reads the letters they write to him) is less than 20%.

    ---------- Post added at 06:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:35 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Thanks Eye4 I went a bit farther on the hyperbole than I should have. "Completely" is a characterization on my part. None the less the actions taken by Lincoln far exceed any other president has ever attempted. Granted civil war is an unprecedented situation but when folks say silly things like "Scariest news story ever" I have to try and put it in perspective against our actual history.

    I'd say candidates for scariest news story would be things like pearl harbor or proof of the Nazi death camps. Or if were talking domestic policy some of what we did to native Americans or when we interned Japanese Americans in WW II. America has a rich history and doing a survey of journalists is not really high on the hit parade of scary stories.
    And I'm sure you feel the same way about a federal gun owner registry.

    Sig, there are certain things the federal government can do that can't be easily undone; that are like trying to put the genie back in the bottle, programs like the NSA spying program, or the manufacture of a nuclear arsenal. This program, if it ever gets implemented, is one of them. This program is the kind of program that can rapidly grow into turning the national media into the outlet for governmental propaganda that kept the German people in the dark about the Nazi death camps until 11 million had been murdered.

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    Re: Scariest news story ever!

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    Mark my words. As soon as the uproar dies down a bit, the "hold" will come off and the government reps will go in. It'll be marketed differently, but that's all that'll change.
    Yeah, you may be right. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
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  16. #9
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    Re: Scariest news story ever!

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    But it's more or less typical for governments to temporarily seize extra power during a crisis. It happens every time there's a war. Look at the Japanese internment, the Patriot Act excesses, deployment of the National Guard to walk black school kids to school in the morning during desegregation, the Supreme Court mandate on forced busing, and marshal law. All of these things were done in a climate of crisis; a "we gotta do something" mentality shared by a majority of the country, at least for the moment.

    Not this. How many Americans think we have a crisis as far as Americans being able to get the news they think is important for them? Or who think they need a government "expert" to decide for them what information is critical to them?

    That would definitely be an interesting poll question, but even without the poll I'm confident the number, including the "Elvis factor" (so called because in polls that ask "Do you believe Elvis is alive?" you generally get about 15% who say yes, and about half that number who think Elvis reads the letters they write to him) is less than 20%.
    Several things.
    #1, the Katrina kind of "emergency" is a fairly regular occurrence. If you live in the north imagine if they confiscated guns every time there was a blizzard.
    #2, The "emergency" is only a good justification for so many kinds of things. Disarming the public isn't one of them, because it is specifically in such situations when people NEED their arms the most. Further it is this mentality that builds, first it is during an "emergency" and then it progress to "preventative.

    #3, your distinction is very relevant. This is not an "emergency' and perhaps that should scare me more. Still, there is a difference between the government starting an infringement, and actually carrying it out. The former is a warning sign, the later is the armed conflict. I see both as bad, but I'm really more concerned when the gov has guns pointed at citizens.
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    Re: Scariest news story ever!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Lets link the article here...
    http://washingtonexaminer.com/new-ob...rticle/2544363

    Better yet the source of the story
    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...66903828260732

    Up Front: I don't like the plan. I think they should scrap it and save the money.

    But for the sake of full disclosure on the topic.

    1. Its a survey they are conducting, not stationing people at stations to monitor activities etc.. Its people with clipboards conducting a survey.
    2. Its voluntary, stations can refuse to participate and there are no stated or implied consequences to refusing to participate.

    This is not the other shoe dropping, its a bureaucracy who thinks they are trying to help the public be better informed by identifying a failure of journalists to serve the public good, something the FCC is more or less charged with doing.

    If a voluntary survey is not the final phase of a multilevel attack on the Constitution except in over heated imagination. I'd remind you that many years ago, the man who is now revered as the greatest president of all time by most historians completely suspended freedom of the press for a while, shut down newspapers by force and prosecuted journalists as traitors. Compare that to a voluntary survey to find out if news organizations are covering certain topics and get back to me about how doomed we all are.
    I'm sure it doesn't feel like a survey to the news stations who get their license from the FCC. They are obviously going to be given a bunch of pointed questions that will amount to not so nicely hidden and coercive suggestions, IMO. And what's more: they plan to survey even local newspapers. Yeah, this smacks of the same "innocent" threats that the IRS has been giving to conservative groups left and right. I mean really, local newspapers? But I could be wrong. If this really does happen we'll have to see the kind of questions they bring up, but as far as I'm concerned: for them to even consider doing this is crossing the line, even if they are supposedly charged with doing that. I could care less what their charge is, and I could care less that a great president did something that I absolutely don't believe in. The constitution is the law of the land, however tarnished it has been. I guess that isn't functionally true at all any more, but the bill of rights, IMO, ought to be practically sacred to any American because it says who we are. It was our great gift to the world. And the less we understand just how wise that bill of rights was, the less we really are America. And if the FCC goes any further then this won't be America any more, it will be a government of imposters masquerading as America. They will have fundamentally disagreed with the humanistic ideals that our country was based upon.

    ---------- Post added at 08:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:00 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Thanks Eye4 I went a bit farther on the hyperbole than I should have. "Completely" is a characterization on my part. None the less the actions taken by Lincoln far exceed any other president has ever attempted. Granted civil war is an unprecedented situation but when folks say silly things like "Scariest news story ever" I have to try and put it in perspective against our actual history.

    I'd say candidates for scariest news story would be things like pearl harbor or proof of the Nazi death camps. Or if were talking domestic policy some of what we did to native Americans or when we interned Japanese Americans in WW II. America has a rich history and doing a survey of journalists is not really high on the hit parade of scary stories.
    Yeah, I can readily agree that it's a lot more scary to hear about citizens, who are innocent until proven guilty, being stripped of their constitutional rights and taken prisoner. However, something like this should not have even been on the table. For them to even think along those lines is alarming to me, to be perfectly honest. I guess we're just a little spoiled, and I guess I'm a little too much in love with my idea of America and not the reality of it.
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  18. #11
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    Re: Scariest news story ever!

    While I'm glad that the FCC backed off this ludicrous plan, I think that it is very instructive to our friends on the Left who think that the 2nd Amendment and other provisions in the Constitution are outmoded and should be repealed.

    You may be fine with letting the State decide whether to abridge a person's inalienable right to carry the means of self-defense, and you might be fine with letting the government violating the inalienable right of religious organizations and people of faith to follow their conscience (in this case, I am referring to the HHS contraception mandate) in order to be in compliance with the law. But one day, the government will violate an inalienable right of yours that you *do* care about... and by then, it may be too late.

    If you use the force of the State to compel people to behave in a way that you want them to at the expense of their own liberty, then you have no room to complain when someone does the same thing to you when the pendulum inevitably swings the other way. In order to make my point clear, I'm going to end all of these policies that the liberals seem to favor with the means by which the State ultimately compels people to action: at gunpoint, under the threat of death.

    "I'm going to take your money from you in the form of taxes so I can give it to other people I think need it more than you do.... at gunpoint, under the threat of death."
    "I'm in favor of the State requiring people to recognize gay marriage... at gunpoint, under the threat of death."
    "I'm in favor of confiscating firearms... at gunpoint, under the threat of death."
    "I'm in favor of requiring people to provide other people with contraception, even if they don't want to.... at gunpoint, under the threat of death."

    Now, let's try another set of policies that may be less palatable (I don't agree with all of these, or even most of them necessarily. In fact, I find some of them completely abhorrent. These are to make a point):

    "I'm in favor of requiring people on welfare to apply for a job and pass a drug test... at gunpoint, under the threat of death."
    "I'm in favor of requiring people to affirm that marriage exists between one man and one woman only... at gunpoint, under the threat of death."
    "I'm in favor of banning abortions in women over 20 weeks pregnancy except in cases of rape, incest, or if it threatens the mother's life... at gunpoint, under the threat of death."
    "I'm in favor of letting Federal bureaucrats into newsrooms to monitor what stories are being aired, and what the political opinions of the editors are... at gunpoint, under the threat of death."
    "I'm in favor of deporting all illegal immigrants back to their country of origin... at gunpoint, under the threat of death."
    "I'm in favor of requiring that all people who vote show a State-issued photo ID... at gunpoint, under the threat of death."
    "I'm in favor of making public displays of homosexuality a crime against society and public decency... at gunpoint, under the threat of death."
    "I'm in favor of allowing prayer in schools... at gunpoint, under the threat of death."
    "I'm in favor of policing the content of radio, television, and internet media and requiring that all of them give equal time to all sides of the major issues of the day when they are reporting, as judged by Federal bureaucrats...at gunpoint, under the threat of death."
    "I'm in favor of disbanding all public employee unions and forbidding them to unionize, organize, or strike... at gunpoint, under the threat of death."

    See where I'm going here?

    You can't trust a government that is willing to use force against its own people to enforce laws that the people do not want enforced against them to always choose to enforce only laws that you find appealing. At some point, the worm will turn, and it will be you, my Statist friends, at the end of the gun, being forced to do something you despise.

    My Statist friends, it is better to stop the efforts to coerce people - even for reasons you feel are important - except at great need, and only if all other remedies have already been exhausted.
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  20. #12
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    Re: Scariest news story ever!

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    Sig, there are certain things the federal government can do that can't be easily undone; that are like trying to put the genie back in the bottle, programs like the NSA spying program, or the manufacture of a nuclear arsenal. This program, if it ever gets implemented, is one of them. This program is the kind of program that can rapidly grow into turning the national media into the outlet for governmental propaganda that kept the German people in the dark about the Nazi death camps until 11 million had been murdered.
    Dear god no we cannot undo the earth shattering horror of a survey to find out what topics the news is covering!
    Millions will die in horrible death pits if we were to learn this starling secret! No doubt the next genocide is mere moments away had we not nearly averted this impending doom fire!
    How could I have ever been so wrong??!!

    ---------- Post added at 09:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:07 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    I'm sure it doesn't feel like a survey to the news stations who get their license from the FCC. They are obviously going to be given a bunch of pointed questions that will amount to not so nicely hidden and coercive suggestions, IMO. And what's more: they plan to survey even local newspapers.
    A) They are doing a voluntary study to intimidate news rooms on a hidden agenda and including agencies they have no power over because they intend to somehow mysteriously get power over them.
    or
    B) They are actually interested in learning how the news is covered since its their responsibility and decided to study not only the groups they regulate but also other news outlets as well to get a balanced picture of american journalism.

    Hi My name is Joe its my job to make sure the broadcasters are serving the public interest. I can...
    A) stick my head in the sand and hope it all works out.
    B) try to learn something about what broadcasters are doing.

    Personally I'm not a fan of the FCC. They have a some useful functions, others not so much. But I can understand them wanting to study stuff in the somewhat misguided attempt of trying to pretend broadcasters are somehow serving us rather than simply making money in a commercial enterprise which is what they actually do.

    So I asked you to make sure american broadcasters were serving the public good and keeping them informed what would you do to ensure that? Would you perhaps study what they were currently doing? Might you ask said broadcasters questions. I probably would. Then again I'd also probably point out its a useless exercise and we should just let them be the commercial ventures they always were.

    Yeah, I can readily agree that it's a lot more scary to hear about citizens, who are innocent until proven guilty, being stripped of their constitutional rights and taken prisoner. However, something like this should not have even been on the table. For them to even think along those lines is alarming to me, to be perfectly honest. I guess we're just a little spoiled, and I guess I'm a little too much in love with my idea of America and not the reality of it.
    Why is asking questions alarming? If you don't ask you can never know. If you want to know if journalists are doing a good job then you should ask some pointed questions of them. Its just silly. The day I'm afraid of someone asking me questions is the day I turn in my penis. Not happening.
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    Re: Scariest news story ever!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    1. Its a survey they are conducting, not stationing people at stations to monitor activities etc.. Its people with clipboards conducting a survey.
    The EPA is just people with clipboards doing water samples, too, right?

    With as many abuses of regulatory power as this administration has perpetrated against the American people, the ongoing IRS scandal only the most recent and visible of them, I don't think that it's reasonable to assume that any regulatory body inserting itself into the primary point of contact between the media and the public is benign or trustworthy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    2. Its voluntary, stations can refuse to participate and there are no stated or implied consequences to refusing to participate.
    Theoretically, the income tax was also voluntary. Try not paying it for a few years. Once a Federal agency has its foot in the door, it's only a matter of time before it starts using its coercive power to make the things on their clipboards look more to their liking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    This is not the other shoe dropping, its a bureaucracy who thinks they are trying to help the public be better informed by identifying a failure of journalists to serve the public good, something the FCC is more or less charged with doing.
    Virtually everything that Obama has done has been for the sake of promoting a political agenda or punishing or suppressing his political opponents. What makes you think that this is any different? What criteria are they using to discern what is in the best interests of the "public good," anyway? Who gets to make those decisions, and on what authority? I didn't vote for them. Judging by Obama's track record, I've got this sneaking suspicion that most of them would have been handpicked by an Obama lieutenant for their ideological bent and their willingness to use it on others.

    Oh, and just for the record, Greta von Susteren just answered the survey... amusing video clip. Tellingly, she reported on an interesting piece of information from the written plan. They were planning to take all of the answers in all of the surveys, put them in a locked filing cabinet behind locked doors, and at the end of seven years, destroy the surveys. Seems to me like if they really wanted to serve the public good and give us, their employers, information about the news media and what it covers, they should be making all of the surveys publicly available to anyone who asks. It's not like it's confidential, secret, or sensitive information. They could anonymize the names of the people who filled out the surveys to protect their integrity if they wanted to, I suppose. Sounds to me like what they really wanted to do was get this study done, say whatever they wanted to about it, like so many of the other lies this administration has told the American people, and then prevent anyone from ever fact-checking their work.

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/323853177...-constitution/

    Real winners. I want them monitoring my news rooms, I'll tell you.
    Last edited by Talthas; February 21st, 2014 at 09:47 PM.
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  23. #14
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    Re: Scariest news story ever!

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    While I'm glad that the FCC backed off this ludicrous plan, I think that it is very instructive to our friends on the Left who think that the 2nd Amendment and other provisions in the Constitution are outmoded and should be repealed.

    You may be fine with letting the State decide whether to abridge a person's inalienable right to carry the means of self-defense, and you might be fine with letting the government violating the inalienable right of religious organizations and people of faith to follow their conscience (in this case, I am referring to the HHS contraception mandate) in order to be in compliance with the law. But one day, the government will violate an inalienable right of yours that you *do* care about... and by then, it may be too late.
    A) No rights are inalienable. Your so called inalienable right to life can be taken away with a heavy rock making it by definition not inalienable. Its more a fancy turn of phrase. Instead what we have are rights enshrined in a body of law called the constitution which we have deemed the state nor others can take from us legally. From my perspective its just as well but I like to call a spade a spade.

    B) Plenty of leftish folks such as myself have no problem with the second amendment. Another sizable portion don't even seek to minimize it to strictly militia or the like which is one of the reasons most such efforts have failed miserably.

    C) That ******** about contraception in insurance is just that. No one is forcing anyone to support or condone anything by having a common insurance policy cover it. No more than I have to endorse methadone treatment because my policy happens to cover it. Its health insurance, each person makes an individual personal decision what they use it for. Its smug sanctimonious crap. Just as much as if I argued your opposition was forcing people to have babies. People make their own decisions about what they do and when you are in an insurance pool or a nation its not for you to say how others make those decisions.


    The only time ever in my life anyone has made me do anything at gunpoint was when I was traffic stopped and ignorantly got out of the car, they told me to get back in the car, which I did and that was it. Not exactly life shattering stuff. I pay taxes because its fair to pay taxes. I benefit from being an american so I contribute to the operation of said nation. Benefiting while not paying sounds pretty unreasonable to me. If you make money be prepared to pay some of it like everyone else. Don't like it, you can leave any time you like if you can find someone who doesn't mind you free riding. Or just adopt a lifestyle where you don't make any money I suppose, seems like cutting out your eye to spite your face but if it suits you, fine.

    Statists come in all flavors my friend, I've never been a big fan but there are state actions that are actually threatening and other actions that are largely harmless. Being able to tell the difference can be pretty important. Often step 1 is asking yourself this question....

    "Am I action out of fear?"

    If the answer is yes, you should proceed very carefully.

    ---------- Post added at 09:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:39 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    The EPA is just people with clipboards doing water samples, too, right?
    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. To act you must learn. Frankly the EPA does a lot of good and America is a much nice place air and water quality wise than when I was a kid because of it.

    With as many abuses of regulatory power as this administration has perpetrated against the American people, the ongoing IRS scandal only the most recent and visible of them, I don't think that it's reasonable to assume that any regulatory body inserting itself into the primary point of contact between the media and the public is benign or trustworthy.
    Except most of it is just a load of hot air like this that you get yourself all worked up about for no good reason. Its a lot of smoke in mirrors and unseen boogie men. yes the IRS acted stupidly but guess what, in the end nothing happened because folks were on guard against dumb **** like that which pretty much everyone agreed, both left and right, was inappropriate.

    Theoretically, the income tax was also voluntary. Try not paying it for a few years. Once a Federal agency has its foot in the door, it's only a matter of time before it starts using its coercive power to make the things on their clipboards look more to their liking.
    Income tax is not voluntary except with respect that you can choose if you make an income or not and that you "volunteer" information about how much money you made.

    Virtually everything that Obama has done has been for the sake of promoting a political agenda or punishing or suppressing his political opponents.
    Funny that we kind of elect politicians based on their political agenda don't we? What did you think he was doing in the white house, making pancakes? If its in his agenda to make sure the FCC does its job ensuring the broadcasters are serving the public good then ya, he's going to do that.

    But honestly if you think Obama himself has anything to do with an FCC survey your sadly mistaken.

    What criteria are they using to discern what is in the best interests of the "public good," anyway? Who gets to make those decisions, and on what authority?
    A) Whatever criteria they come up with.
    B) The person who was put in charge of the FCC or whatever person was in charge of this particular project.
    C) In the authority of the legislation that created the FCC stemming from the congressional act that passed it into law.

    I didn't vote for them.
    If we had to vote for everyone that makes any decisions in government you would spend the rest of your natural life casting ballots. It just isn't realistic. So long as they operate within the law (and yes doing voluntary surveys is indeed legal) then it shouldn't really be a problem beyond if its a waste of money or not.

    Judging by Obama's track record, I've got this sneaking suspicion that most of them would have been handpicked by an Obama lieutenant for their ideological bent and their willingness to use it on others.
    Yes yes and every christian white man has a special slave shock collar with 666 emblazoned on it ready to roll out on judgement day bla bla bla... The imagination of conspiratorial minded folks on both sides of the isle is prodigious. What worries me is so much effort on imaginary threats that the real ones tend to slide on by. I'm far more concerned about the president using drones to blow people away at one mans discretion than I am whether news journalists are interviewed by the FCC and so should you.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

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  25. #15
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    Re: Scariest news story ever!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    A) No rights are inalienable. Your so called inalienable right to life can be taken away with a heavy rock making it by definition not inalienable. Its more a fancy turn of phrase. Instead what we have are rights enshrined in a body of law called the constitution which we have deemed the state nor others can take from us legally. From my perspective its just as well but I like to call a spade a spade.
    You and I have fundamentally opposing views about what "rights" are and where they come from. I believe - and our nation was founded upon the principle that - some rights are intrinsic to the very fact of our existence as human beings in this world. You believe that they are granted to a person by the society in which they live. The reason I believe that this is not true is because what you consider "granting" me my right to life by not killing me is simply... not killing me. I'm not doing anybody any favors by not killing them, and it wouldn't be any less a violation of my right to life if someone decided to kill me for the fun of it. I don't have a right to liberty simply because people haven't decided to lock me up; it's because as a human being, it's a part of the very most basic requirements we all have as autonomous, intelligent, moral actors in order to have any meaningful existence. If someone put me in chains, it's not a demonstration that I don't have the right to be free; it's a violation of the right every single person has to live their lives in a meaningful way.

    You can deprive me of my rights... but that doesn't mean they're not an intrinsic part of the human condition. It just means that you're wrong for depriving me of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    B) Plenty of leftish folks such as myself have no problem with the second amendment. Another sizable portion don't even seek to minimize it to strictly militia or the like which is one of the reasons most such efforts have failed miserably.
    Sure... you may not care about that particular issue. You obviously care about the next one a bit more, so it's more appropriate to discuss that one with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    C) That ******** about contraception in insurance is just that. No one is forcing anyone to support or condone anything by having a common insurance policy cover it. No more than I have to endorse methadone treatment because my policy happens to cover it. Its health insurance, each person makes an individual personal decision what they use it for. Its smug sanctimonious crap. Just as much as if I argued your opposition was forcing people to have babies. People make their own decisions about what they do and when you are in an insurance pool or a nation its not for you to say how others make those decisions.
    Your personal perspective on the issue is not relevant to my point. In fact, all it does is prove my point. You have taken someone else's deeply held religious convictions, which are a matter of conscience for them, and cast them aside as unreasonable and unworthy of consideration. You have also spoken in favor of allowing the State to require them, using the coercive power of the implied threat of State-sanctioned violence, to violate their conscience. Whether or not you agree with their decision of conscience is irrelevant to the discussion. You have decided that it is OK to use violence to force someone to violate their own conscience because you disagree with them.

    And this is my point. Perhaps there will be something else which you feel quite strongly about.. something which is a matter of deep conviction for you. Perhaps someday, the government will be populated by people who are your diametrically opposed alignment and wish to impose their will upon you now. Perhaps they will feel that your deeply held convictions are unworthy of consideration and should be dismissed out of hand.... or worse, that they should be suppressed as bad for society. If that were to happen, you would find yourself in a pretty sticky situation, I would imagine. Any compulsion by the State, ultimately, comes from the barrel of a gun. To pretend otherwise is naivete. If you don't believe me, let's examine what the consequences might be of the Little Sisters of the Poor disobeying the HHS and refusing to acknowledge or pay any fines involved.

    First, lawyers would be dispatched to serve official notice they were in violation of the law. Then someone would be along to collect the money. If they didn't get their money, someone would be along to take someone off to jail. If they refused to go, they would be forced to go. If the little sisters resisted the officers trying to arrest their compatriot, they would be restrained by force.

    You can see where this goes.

    I do very little out of fear. I have what may be considered an unhealthy lack of fear, considering my relatively small size and my unwillingness to back down when I feel the need to take a stand. However, fear is not the same thing as vigilance. It is also not the same thing as outrage or determination.
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    Re: Scariest news story ever!

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    You can deprive me of my rights... but that doesn't mean they're not an intrinsic part of the human condition. It just means that you're wrong for depriving me of them.
    I can't argue with that statement but... Intrinsic and Inalienable are not the same thing.

    An intrinsic right is right you would naturally have. Indeed the right to live is intrinsic in a living thing, and freedom is intrinsic as well.

    Inalienable means something that cannot be taken away or given away. This is not an apt description of anything we call a "right" for in fact all of those things we call rights can be taken or given away.

    You used the term inalienable and it was not accurate. Intrinsic is fine though most so called rights are only meaningful in a social context and any given society can either respect them or not at its discretion. It is an intrinsic right for us to pee wherever we like but most societies set rules on where you can pee none the less because we don't like people peeing on us or our stuff so to cooperate effectively we agree to abridge that intrinsic right.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

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    Re: Scariest news story ever!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I can't argue with that statement but... Intrinsic and Inalienable are not the same thing.

    An intrinsic right is right you would naturally have. Indeed the right to live is intrinsic in a living thing, and freedom is intrinsic as well.

    Inalienable means something that cannot be taken away or given away. This is not an apt description of anything we call a "right" for in fact all of those things we call rights can be taken or given away.

    You used the term inalienable and it was not accurate. Intrinsic is fine though most so called rights are only meaningful in a social context and any given society can either respect them or not at its discretion. It is an intrinsic right for us to pee wherever we like but most societies set rules on where you can pee none the less because we don't like people peeing on us or our stuff so to cooperate effectively we agree to abridge that intrinsic right.
    IMO, he may have said "inalienable" because we are American citizens and our constitution considers them inalienable insomuch that it guarantees these rights. And when it no longer guarantees these rights we aren't America at all, we are the shell of a once great nation.
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    Re: Scariest news story ever!

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    Your personal perspective on the issue is not relevant to my point. In fact, all it does is prove my point. You have taken someone else's deeply held religious convictions, which are a matter of conscience for them, and cast them aside as unreasonable and unworthy of consideration.
    Sorry but if your religion is unreasonable I don't give a **** about what it believes. If your religion tells you its OK to murder Hethans I'll tell you to go take a flying leap and will indeed enforce that you not do that at the point of a gun. If your religions says its OK to mutilate children I'll tell you to your face your an asshole.

    Now if your religion tells you that purple is the best color or you need to carry a bread-stick or wear a Mohawk or tell fat people you don't like them then go for it. Your welcome to do what you like so long as your not hurting anyone.

    Now we have a law here that has nothing to do with religion where folks are supposed to get insurance. If they don't then yes, they get fined some way but you don't actually go to jail for that. I'm not really a fan of said law but its not especially onerous or evil. Some idiot religious people think that its wrong for you to control whether or not you have kids. And you know what, if they just said so that's fine, and if they just followed that teaching themselves that's fine too. But no, what they want to do is shove it down everyone else's gullet. So any insurance they have must not allow people to get such procedures paid for because they are over controlling gits. Sorry but I don't give a **** what you want other people to pay for or not. I'm not forcing any life choices on you. You don't have to use your insurance to buy any contraception and I don't have to use mine to get catholic counseling.

    My tax dollars pay for all kinds of religious nonsense and guess what, fine by me. Its a free country if we want chaplains in the armed forces that's A OK because it serves some brave men and women of faith in a way they need. Want to put in god we trust on some coins for who knows what reason, OK doesn't cost me extra and it makes you feel good. I don't favor it but I don't honestly care much, certainly not enough to rain on your parade and try to stop it. Live and let live I say.

    You have also spoken in favor of allowing the State to require them, using the coercive power of the implied threat of State-sanctioned violence, to violate their conscience. Whether or not you agree with their decision of conscience is irrelevant to the discussion. You have decided that it is OK to use violence to force someone to violate their own conscience because you disagree with them.
    No their conceive seems to be telling their people what they have to do with their bodies and that I won't accept. Mind your own business.

    And this is my point. Perhaps there will be something else which you feel quite strongly about.. something which is a matter of deep conviction for you.
    No not really. I just think its a big stink over nothing. If you really care about your conscience go stop child slavery and prostitution instead of moaning about having to cover condoms in an insurance plan. You make it sound like its forced sodomy or some such utter abomination. Its just not a big deal while there are many very big deals worth raising a fuss about.

    Were it up to me I'd not have mandatory insurance and it wouldn't be such a ******** excuse to vainly moralize.

    Perhaps someday, the government will be populated by people who are your diametrically opposed alignment and wish to impose their will upon you now. Perhaps they will feel that your deeply held convictions are unworthy of consideration and should be dismissed out of hand.
    When it comes to that then I'll fight them but lord I hope I have a better reason for it than you do.

    First, lawyers would be dispatched to serve official notice they were in violation of the law. Then someone would be along to collect the money. If they didn't get their money, someone would be along to take someone off to jail. If they refused to go, they would be forced to go. If the little sisters resisted the officers trying to arrest their compatriot, they would be restrained by force.
    What actually happens is they whine and moan and then figure out some deal or another to get a reprieve from having to provide anyone with the means to control their own pregnancy. Goody for them the jerks. And I don't really care because anyone with half a brain can just buy their own condoms and let the nutter side of the Catholic church spin in their own sanctimonious noise since contraception happens to be the best way to reduce things like abortion and starvation.

    I do very little out of fear. I have what may be considered an unhealthy lack of fear, considering my relatively small size and my unwillingness to back down when I feel the need to take a stand. However, fear is not the same thing as vigilance. It is also not the same thing as outrage or determination.
    Never said it was, just saying that acting out of fear is usually a bad move.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

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  31. #19
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    Re: Scariest news story ever!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Hi My name is Joe its my job to make sure the broadcasters are serving the public interest. I can...
    B) try to learn something about what broadcasters are doing.
    And Cinderella lived happily ever after with her prince charming in a united kingdom where everyone was individually responsible and accountable and loved each other forever....

    This FCC program was not so much about learning something about broadcasters. This is 2014, the government can learn anything they want to about the media and broadcasters in this fast information age we live in where they have access to pretty much anything they want through multiple high tech resources, not to mention the best journalistic schools in the country.

    This was about "ferretting out information" and deciding what “Critical Information Needs” is for journalism and the power of the press. (Sorry, I have a hard time even typing that so it may be a bit messy.)

    Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run. A field test in Columbia, S.C., is scheduled to begin this spring.

    The purpose of the CIN, according to the FCC, is to ferret out information from television and radio broadcasters about “the process by which stories are selected” and how often stations cover “critical information needs,” along with “perceived station bias” and “perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.”

    How does the FCC plan to dig up all that information? First, the agency selected eight categories of "critical information" such as the "environment" and "economic opportunities," that it believes local newscasters should cover. It plans to ask station managers, news directors, journalists, television anchors and on-air reporters to tell the government about their "news philosophy" and how the station ensures that the community gets critical information.

    The FCC also wants to wade into office politics. One question for reporters is: "Have you ever suggested coverage of what you consider a story with critical information for your customers that was rejected by management?" Follow-up questions ask for specifics about how editorial discretion is exercised, as well as the reasoning behind the decisions.

    Participation in the Critical Information Needs study is voluntary—in theory. Unlike the opinion surveys that Americans see on a daily basis and either answer or not, as they wish, the FCC's queries may be hard for the broadcasters to ignore. They would be out of business without an FCC license, which must be renewed every eight years.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...66903828260732
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    Re: Scariest news story ever!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Dear god no we cannot undo the earth shattering horror of a survey to find out what topics the news is covering!
    It's not just a survey of what's going on in newsrooms, Sig, that's the whole point. it's a COMPARISON between what two schools (University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Center for Communication and Democracy), one of them declaring it is , "dedicated to change", decided was "critical information" and what newsrooms all over the country were doing. From the same article:

    "In April 2013, Social Solutions [ie. Social Solutions International, hired by the FCC] responded, delineating exactly how the FCC’s minions would interview members of the news profession. Its report stated, "The purpose of these interviews is to ascertain the process by which stories are selected…” News organizations would have to explain their "station priorities (for content, production quality, and populations served), perceived station bias, perceived percent of news dedicated to each of the eight CINs, and perceived responsiveness to under-served populations."

    Now you can call what the FCC has been directed to do by some one or more persons in the Obama Administration (the FCC director, Ajit Pai, has stated publicly there was no FCC vote to implement this study) a "survey" and be technically true, but still misleading. It is not just a survey. It's a survey to document the gap between what the FCC now has from two liberal schools as to what constitutes 'critical information", and what the news media currently considers its obligation to provide the information Americans want enough to pay for it.

    So, I'm willing to let you convince me this is just the federal government wanting to collect more data it will never use, but you have to give me something more than ridicule at the idea this program is nefarious and politically slanted Left in nature. I mean, where's my mistake in interpreting the following reported facts:

    1.) There are five FCC Commissioners; three Democrats and two Republicans

    2.) One of the Democrat commissioners appointed by Obama is the daughter of sitting Democrat Rep. James Clyburn, who has a very liberal voting record according to Project Vote Smart

    3.) According to Ajit Pai, one of the two Republican FCC Commissioners, "This [plan] has never been put to an FCC vote; it was just announced. I've never had any input into the process."

    4.) The FCC is taking its time (which is in effect taxpayer money) to put together this "plan", hire (more taxpayer money spent) a company called Social Solutions International to get the data from these two schools and place the "survey" takers in the newsrooms and editorial staff meetings. According to the SSI website:

    "Social Solutions International, Inc. is a research and evaluation firm dedicated to the creation of social and health solutions to improve the welfare of underserved populations worldwide."

    "Founded on the values of diversity, social responsibility, and quality, Social Solutions International’s corporate culture is grounded in the concept of positive change."

    Iow, SSI Inc. is dedicated to "social justice" through "positive change" (or for those of you too young to recognize the code speak, "from each according to their ability to each according to their need"). And when I add up the implications of (1-4) I get that the Obama Administration, the most liberal and covert Administration of the modern era, in yet another example of skirting the normal operations of the federal government (no vote by FCC on FCC program!), has hired, through the Democrat weighted, but not balloted FCC Commission, a very liberal organization with an agenda to work in a positive way to produce equality of outcomes for minorities and the poor (ie.; increase taxes for the rich and welfare for the poor and minorities), to "survey" the gap between their concept of communication in a liberal utopia and what the already very liberal news media are now doing. In short, this is just ideological propagandistic piling on, with the additional benefit of setting a new and much lower precedent for constitutionally protected freedom of the press.

    Under NO circumstances, and for NO reason should federal employees of ANY stripe have ANY influence on what news outlets publish, either locally, regionally, or nationally. As one analyst noted, this program is just the Fairness Doctrine on steroids, and just what the doctor ordered for Democrats going into the mid-term campaign cycle. The idea here is, if you can't run on what you've done in office, make sure no one keeps hammering out reports on what you've done in office.

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