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Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Alveda King Disingenuously Defends Personhood Laws
Topic: Newsmax

Alveda King (which Newsmax still insists on calling "Dr." even though her doctorate is honorary and not earned) writes in her Sept. 27 Newsmax column:

If media members print distortions, half-truths, or lies, they are duty-bound to print corrections. The Associated Press has printed what I would consider a lie. Below is an excerpt from The Washington Post article headlined “In little-noted LG race, GOP’s voluble and volatile Jackson debates wonky Dem doctor, Northam."
"Virginia’s lieutenant governor candidates . . . clashed over healthcare, how to care for the dangerously mentally ill, and women’s access to reproductive health services.”
In their story on the Virginia lieutenant governor candidates’ debate, it is printed as fact a false claim [easily fact-checked as false] of one of the candidates. The article states that
the “personhood” bill considered by the Virginia legislature last year would have outlawed most forms of abortion in the state. In fact, the bill would have outlawed no abortions in the state.
A brief Google search can reveal that the personhood bill’s summary declares that any rights granted to an unborn child are “subject only to the laws and Constitutions of Virginia and the United States, precedents of the United States Supreme Court, and provisions to the contrary in the statutes of the Commonwealth.”
So the bill is restricted by Roe v. Wade and every subsequent abortion decision by the Supreme Court. In other words, it would prohibit no abortions. Missouri has had almost identical language in its state code for years, language that has been upheld in court and which has barred zero abortions.

King is being quite disingenuous. While a personhood law in and of itself may not bar abortions, the strategy behind them is to use such laws as a basis to ban abortion in the future:

  • One supporter of a personhood bill in North Dakota said that "We are intending that it be a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, since (Justice Antonin) Scalia said that the Supreme Court is waiting for states to raise a case." 
  • A supporter of a personhood law in Mississippi said: "In the Roe decision, [Justice Henry] Blackmun said, 'We're not gonna answer the question of whether the fetus is a person,' and so in the 38 years since, we have had a tragic number of abortions. We think that God has already told us when life begins, and science has confirmed it, and the court has just not dealt with it, so we're hoping the people of Mississippi make the right decision."

King herself made her ulterior motive clear later in her column:

Obviously, The Associated Press and perhaps millions of Americans don’t understand the concept of “personhood” that upholds the constitutional mantra that all men [people] are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. Now that the door is open wider on the discussion of unalienable [civil] rights, let’s demand the basic and intrinsic civil right of life for all persons, born and preborn.
On the wings of the 50th anniversary of The Civil Rights Act enacted July 2, 1964, are the cries of the aborted babies. While the landmark legislation outlawed major forms of racial, ethnic, national, religious, minority, and female discrimination, people in the womb were left out.

If a personhood law does not prevent abortion, why would King be pushing so hard for it? Because she knows that the anti-abortion strategy is to use the personhood law as leverage to ban abortion in the future. She should just admit that this is her goal.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:19 PM EDT
WND To Defend Deceptive Evidence In Esquire Lawsuit
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In touting a hearing on its moribund defamation lawsuit against Esquire magazine, a unbylined Sept. 30 WND article does its best to pretend that it's still alive and kicking. Indeed, it's not until the 12th paragraph that WND gets around to mentioning that the lawsuit has been dismissed.

The article continues:

Klayman has filed a motion with the D.C. Circuit federal appeals court to throw out Esquire’s pleadings and end the case in WND’s favor. He notes that Esquire, in its briefs to the lower court in D.C. and now to the appeals court, claims the blog post had “tags” that would indicate to readers that its article was satirical and not a serious news story.

But Klayman argues the original article, which prompted a flood of response to WND by concerned readers and other media who took it seriously, had no such tags.

He has submitted to the court screen shots of the article taken the day it was published accompanied by an affidavit from Farah testifying there were no tags.

Since the article was published, Esquire has inserted below it a list of hyperlinked “tags,” or related article categories. The list in small, faint type consists of key words and phrases, including “Where’s the Birth Certificate,” “Jerome Corsi,” “Birthers” and “Humor.”

“They lied about what was originally published,” Klayman told WND in March. “They lied to the lower court, and now they’ve lied to the appellate court.”

As we documented in March, it's Farah and Klayman who appear to be lying. The screenshots WND submitted cut off the part of the post where the tags normally appear.

That makes the affidavit by Farah very interesting. He swears "under penalty of perjury" that he "took a screen capture of a true and correct copy of the Blog Post." But since the post submitted as evidence cuts off the tags, it cannot be a "true and correct copy."

Also, we're pretty sure the original blog post doesn't have a rectangular border around it like the one submitted as evidence.  That's more proof it's not a "true and correct copy."

This means there may be a case to be made that Farah has committed perjury.

And, as per usual, the article doesn't mention the key reason that the lawsuit had been dismissed: Farah, in the judge's words, "immediately recognized the satiric nature of the Blog Post," as demonstrated by his public statements following the initial posting, until it "became inconvenient" for him to do so.

WND is actually inviting its readers to attend the hearing. Unfortunately, we have to work for a living and are unable to attend -- we would like to see Farah and Klayman deal with perjury instead of the frivolous lawsuit it intended to discuss.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:54 PM EDT
NewsBusters' Sheppard Promotes False Claim Attacking Obamacare
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard's reign of error continues in a Sept. 29 NewsBusters post uncritically touting Mort Zuckerman's claim that "88 percent of the jobs that have been created this year are part-time jobs. A large part of the reason for that number of part-time jobs which is unprecedented in American history is because people are apprehensive about the impact of ObamaCare on and the costs of ObamaCare on full-time jobs." Sheppard endorsed Zuckerman's claim by touting how he had "harsh words for the President's signature piece of legislation."

But had Sheppard bothered to do any  research before copying-and-pasting Zuckerman's transcript, he would know that Zuckerman is wrong.

As the Christian Science Monitor points out, the number of part-time jobs created in the U.S. this year is actually around 60 percent, and a Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco study suggests that part-time work as a share of all jobs was not unprecedented, although unusually persistent.

Further, according to the Monitor, it's not clear at all what link, if any, the number of part-time jobs has to do with Obamacare:

Using part-time jobs to judge the strength of a recovery is a little misleading, anyway. Most people work part-time because they choose to, not because a bad economy is forcing them to. According to the BLS, 18.9 million workers in August worked part-time for noneconomic reasons (they had to take care of children or other family members, attend school, keep their earnings below certain Social Security limits, and so on). Only 7.8 million workers worked part time for economic reasons (for example, they couldn’t find work or their hours got cut). It’s this second group of so-called involuntary part-time workers who highlight the weak and unsatisfying economic recovery now under way.


There’s strong anecdotal evidence that some employers are cutting back employee hours below 30 to avoid having to pay health benefits. Investor’s Business Daily has cataloged 258 employers who appear to have made the move. Other companies have cited economic reasons for cutting their employees’ hours. The question is: How much of an impact is that having?

“It seems at least clear that some [employers] were shifting their emphasis to part-time workers,” says Rob Valletta, research adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and coauthor of the recent report. “But … it seems pretty small.” Long before Obamacare, employers had an incentive to create part-time jobs to avoid federal tax rules that protected health benefits of full-time workers, he points out. Also, research suggests no more than a rise of 2 percentage points in the incidence of part-time work.

In the grand scheme of things, the Obamacare effect may not loom large. As a share of the total work force, those involuntary part-time workers make up only 5.7 percent of all employed workers, down from a peak of 7.1 percent in September 2010. If anything, the US has a shrinking share of those workers, although we seem to have been treading water since the beginning of 2012.

We'd ask whether Sheppard will correct his post, but he's not into doing that sort of thing lately.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:50 AM EDT
How Many WND Twitter Followers Are Fake?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

After writing about WorldNetDaily's interest in the number of fake followers that Barack Obama's Twitter account allegedly has, we got a tip from a concerned reader: Check how many fake followers WND has.

So we used the same Fake Follower Check used in the story on Obama's Twitter followers. The surprising result: A full one-third of WND's Twitter followers are either fake or inactive:

Apparently, WND's Craige McMillan didn't want to tell his readers about that unflattering number.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 AM EDT
Monday, September 30, 2013
Newsmax Attacks Global Warming Report
Topic: Newsmax

Only in right-wing politics would a scientific consensus draw anger.

But that's what Newsmax is telling us in the headline of a Sept. 27 article by Lisa Barron: "Anger as UN Claims 95 Certainty on Manmade Global Warming." And by hunting down only climate "skeptics," anger is what Barron finds:

Reaction came thick and fast Friday to the United Nations' latest report on climate change that claimed it is 95 percent certain that global warming is manmade.

Even that figure was slammed as meaningless. "Ninety-five percent doesn't mean anything," David Kreutzer, the Heritage Foundation's Research Fellow in Energy, Economics, and Climate Change told Newsmax. "It's not a scientific term.

House Energy Committee member Michael Burgess said he viewed the report "very skeptically." In an interview with Newsmax TV, the Texan said, "The current data from the very recent past does not support the previous prefaced proposition that it was getting worse and worse from 2009 onward."

Only in right-wing politics would 95 percent certainty be considered meaningless. (Unless you're going after terrorists, in which case one percent is sufficient.)

Barron also claimed that "The UN report also failed to explain why temperatures have stayed basically steady since 1998." In fact, as Media Matters notes, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change report did address the issue of temperatures plateauing over the past 15 years, calling it a short-term trend that does "not in general reflect long-term climate trends."

Barron devotes a significant portion of her article to a group called the Nongovernment International Panel on Climate Change, which she benignly describes as "a group of independent scientists and scholars from 15 countries." In fact, unlike the IPCC report, the skeptic-dominated NIPCC report was compiled by paid contributors and did not go through rigorous peer review. Barron did not mention that the NIPCC is a joint project of three fossil-fuel-backed groups. Previous editions of NIPCC work have been discredited.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:53 PM EDT
WND's Klein Fails At Fact-Checking A Fact-Checker
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein writes in a Sept. 26 WorldNetDaily article:

As Democrats and Republicans feud over the funding of Obamacare, a widely published PolitiFact article claims it is a “myth” that President Obama’s health-care law contains rationing and “death panels.”

However, a WND review of the legislation found largely unreported sections with evidence of both health-care rationing and so-called death panels.

The health-care law further contains language that raises some concern for preferential treatment based on race, ethnicity and so-called life preferences.

The Pulitzer Prize winning PolitiFact this week published a piece titled “The top 16 myths about Obamacare.”

One “myth” the group claims to debunk is that the health-care law “rations care like systems in Canada and Great Britain.” PolitiFact said it “has rated this claim and others like it False.”

Another myth PolitiFact purports to disprove is the widely held belief the health-care law has “death panels.”

“We rated the ‘death panels’ claim Pants on Fire,” concluded PolitiFact.

However, the legislation evidences both health-care rationing and possible death panels.

First: Who uses "evidences" as a verb?

Second: At no point does Klein respond to, or even cite, the arguments PolitiFact made in reaching its conclusions -- Klein is simply throwing right-wing talking points at the conclusions, presumably copied-and-pasted from his pro-impeachment book.

Third: Notice Klein's use of the weasel word "possible." It takes several paragraphs to explain the convoluted way that an institute Obamacare creates could fulfill that "death panel" possibility.

Klein then tries to push an alleged example of how this "death panel" might work by citing a case involving Britain's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which he claims is analogous to an institute funded under Obamacare:

There were recent reports that NICE was refusing to fund four new treatments for kidney cancer because they only change a patient’s life expectancy from six months to a year.

Andrew Dillon, NICE chief executive, commented on the denial of one drug for kidney cancer.

“Before we recommend any new treatment we have to be sure the evidence on how well it works is robust and that it is cost effective,” he said. ‘We do not want to divert NHS funds to a treatment that costs more but doesn’t help people live longer.”

Klein won't tell you that NICE is probably prudent to wait. One preliminary study released earlier this year notes that while the medication in question increased life expectancy, it also generates more adverse events in patients than existing medication. Reuters reports that the drug costs nearly $9,000 a month, which says that NICE is right to weigh such a cost against effectiveness.

Contradiction is not the same thing as a rebuttal, and cherry-picked examples are not real evidence. Perhaps that's one reason why PolitiFact has a Pulitizer and Aaron Klein doesn't.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:01 PM EDT
MRC's Bozell Joins The Right-Wing Matthew Shepard Revisionism
Topic: Media Research Center

Add Brent Bozell's voice to those in the ConWeb uncritically touting the Matthew Shepard revisionism of Steve Jimenez's book on Shepard's death. Bozell writes in his Sept. 27 column:

Jimenez argues after years of research and interviews that Shepard and his killers Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson were deeply involved in drugs. Not only that, they may not be straight men. McKinney presented himself as a "straight hustler," turning tricks for money or drugs, but others say he's bisexual. A former lover of Shepard's claims Shepard and McKinney had sex while doing drugs in the back of a limo. As Hicklin recounted, "A manager of a gay bar in Denver recalls seeing photos of McKinney and Henderson in the papers and recognizing them as patrons of his bar. He recounts his shock at realizing, 'these guys who killed that kid came from inside our own community.'"

The media don't have to accept this theory whole. But after the countless stories claiming Shepard was a victim of an anti-gay hate crime, shouldn't they cover it? But it shouldn't be surprising that the liberal media have completely ignored Jimenez.


The Shepard gay hate crime victim story was exposed as false ... almost 10 years ago.

ABC's "20/20" took apart the legend in 2004. Elizabeth Vargas told Bill O'Reilly that the prosecutor in the Shepard case never believed it was a hate crime. Instead, it was about drugs: "Aaron McKinney, according to Aaron McKinney himself and to several other witnesses, was coming down from a five-day methamphetamine binge. He freely admits he not only used methamphetamine but dealt them, sold them. Five days up with no sleep, strung out on drugs, desperate to buy more, desperate to rob somebody to get money to buy more drugs."ABC did not consider that McKinney was a lover of Shepard's.

Bozell doesn't mention that Jimenez was a producer of that 2004 ABC segment. He also doesn't mention that not only has McKinney denied having sex with Shepard, he mounted a "gay panic" defense at his trial.

Bozell demands that we accept Jimenez's revisionism, but he doesn't explain -- or even breathe a word of -- the holes in Jimenez's logic because it conforms to his "watchdog" organization's anti-gay agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:21 PM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Larry Klayman Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The events of this week, combined with the last five years of Obama’s so called “phony scandals” and other outrages designed to subvert the rule of law and our freedoms as a whole – all in pursuit of his anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, anti-white, socialist Islamic agenda – are another reminder why the “Muslim in Chief” must be removed from office without further delay.

A citizens’ grand jury, with yours truly as its people’s prosecutor, as you readers know, has not only indicted and convicted Obama for fraud over his lack of eligibility to be president, but also pending are indictments and more trials over his illegal misuse of the National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on, coerce and enslave Americans whom he despises and who stand in his way of totalitarian control of the nation. We also have pending civil class action lawsuits against him and his jack-booted thugs at NSA and its enabler, Eric Holder, regrettably our current attorney general. The U.S. Justice Department, now a cesspool of corruption under Holder and his master Obama, was my former employer when I was a federal prosecutor during the Reagan administration. Then, unlike today, there was still a modicum of integrity left in the government’s legal establishment. See and


The time has come to mass in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 19, and to engage in peaceful civil disobedience, Ghandi and Martin Luther King style, to finally force Obama to resign the presidency and leave office immediately – or else face the music for his recent conviction for election fraud and other crimes. This week, with the failure of Sen. Ted Cruz’s efforts to block funding for Obamacare in the Senate, and the expected cave-in by Speaker John Boehner, it is clear that we have no representative form of government. As in 1776, the people must now take action to rid the nation of this new, far more evil tyrant, who makes King George III look like a Boy Scout.

Please join me in Washington, D.C., Nov. 19, and let’s demand an end to this president’s “reign” before all is lost and our nation drowns in a sea of corruption and subversion of the freedoms our Founding Fathers fought and died for, which freedoms they bequeathed to us to protect and preserve for future generations.

This is your duty if you are an American patriot!

-- Larry Klayman, Sept. 27 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 9:27 AM EDT
Sunday, September 29, 2013
AIM Thinks John Drew Is Trustworthy
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Paul Kengor writes in a Sept. 27 Accuracy in Media column that he basically wants to give the House Un-American Committee treatment to President Obama, wanting to ask, "Has Barack Obama ever agreed with Marxist ideology?" Kengor continues:

I wrote a 400-page book on Obama and his mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, a literal card-carrying member of Communist Party USA (CPUSA no. 47544). There, I include transcripts of lengthy interviews I did with Dr. John Drew, who knew Obama at Occidental College in the early 1980s. Drew is completely credible. There’s no good reason to (at the very least) not take his account seriously enough for some follow-up queries.

Actually, there is a very good reason not to consider Drew to be credible: He really didn't know Obama.

As we've documented, Drew met Obama only twice in his life, both during social occasions,  making it highly unlikely that he could have made such sweeping conclusions of Obama's purported nature based on a pair of brief, casual encounters. Further, some of Drew's details about Obama have been discredited by actual college friends of Obama.

Kengor continued:

I asked Drew if he believed Obama still believed some of those things today and, for the record, where and when and how Obama broke with some or all of that radical ideology. On that, Drew and I both speculated at length. Our mere speculation sent liberals into fits of blind rage. But it need not be that way.

If Kengor is talking about baseless speculation, he's correct. Drew is also on record as speculating that Obama may have been and/or may still be gay, which seems to further paint him as someone who is more interested in destroying Obama than telling the truth in a responsible way.

The fact that Kengor appears to have based much of his book on Drew's speculation about, and extremely limited contact with, Obama tells us that Kengor has an agenda as well.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:15 PM EDT
WND's McMillan Latches On To Obama Twitter Follower Non-Scandal
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Craige McMillan rants in a Sept. 27 WorldNetDaily column:

Five Twitter accounts tied to the Obama White House, including two of wife Michelle, have 23,274,272 fake followers. In fact, when inactive accounts are filtered out only about 20 percent of their followers are real.

Think for a moment the amount of time and effort it would take to generate that number of fraudulent Twitter accounts and followers. How many could you generate? Maybe a hundred? Possibly a thousand? But 23 million? Just who is doing this?

Or perhaps each Twitter follower was so ignorant and owned by the Democratic agenda that every real follower generated a lone fake follower? You know, like Obama “voters.” Each real voter generates another fake vote. To paraphrase Dan Rather, such an election would be “fake but accurate.”

Not only does McMillan ignore that Twitter accounts tied to Republican politicans have large numbers of "fake" followers -- as the article McMillan links to to make his case against Obama -- it really isn't even much of a scandal. Upstart Business Journal's Alex Dalenberg explains:

Some brands have been accused of purchasing fake Twitter followers to raise their online profiles, but even if the White House was intentionally purchasing fake followers (recall that both the Romney and Obama campaigns were accused of the practice during the the election) what exactly would they be trying to accomplish? Bots don’t vote. They don’t buy products. In at least one case, a corporate study by Coca-Cola found no impact on short-term sales from social media buzz.

Bottom line: fake follower stories are usually fake scandals, even if it confirms your preexisting worldview that the First Lady, Ted Cruz, Lady Gaga, or whoever is a substanceless charlatan. Cruz gets to mount a fake-filibuster of the healthcare bill by virtue of being a U.S. senator. Michelle Obama gets a platform to talk about how kids eat too many cheeseburgers because she’s the First Lady, not because she’s got a big Twitter following.

But McMillan is full frothing paranoid rant mode, so facts don't really matter to him, complete with childish name-calling:

When the Republicans found out AliBama’s minions were using the IRS to suppress the conservative voting message, they should have been dragging vats of tar, bags of feathers and pots of boiling oil to the White House and demanding AliBama’s resignation – or else! And Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi? They should have been locked in the House restrooms with the insurance executives for their corruption in using taxpayer money to buy the one extra vote needed to pass AliBamacare.

No budget – for how many years? But then why should we know how our great-great-grandchildren’s money is being spent by D.C.’s den of thieves?

NSA’s illegal domestic spying? It exists for one reason. AliBama and the rest of the thieves want to know what you are thinking, what you’re writing and what you’re talking about; and with whom. They need this so they can determine how far they can go in their usurpation against the underlying laws that govern the government.

That's the kind of writing that keeps McMillan employed as a WND journalist.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:43 AM EDT
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Note to NewsBusters: Wendy Davis Is What Democracy Looks Like
Topic: NewsBusters

Matthew Sheffield wrote a Sept. 26 NewsBusters post defending Sen. Ted Cruz's not-a-filibuster in a futile effort to defund Obamacare, under the headline "Note to Media: This Is What Democracy Looks Like."

Funny thing, though: NewsBusters didn't see the last actual filibuster to make headlines as very democratic.

Earlier this year, Texas state senator Wendy Davis conducted a filibuster in the Texas Legislature to delay a vote on a strict anti-abortion law, which was successful in stopping a vote in one special session (though a new special session was later called in which the law passed).

In a July 4 NewsBusters post, Paul Bremmer derided what he called a softball-filled interview that ABC's Jeff Zeleny conducted with Davis, and he wanted Zeleny to ask Davis why she acted so anti-democratically:

When asked if she believed the bill she filibustered will eventually pass, Davis replied, “I just – refuse to say I believe it’ll happen. I’m an eternal optimist, I believe in people, I believe in the power of democracy and I’m gonna fight with every fiber I have to keep it from passing.”

Here was a golden opportunity for a critical followup: Ms. Davis, if you believe in the power of democracy, why do you want to prevent a majority of the democratically-elected state senate from passing a law? A democratic legislature is all about the rule of the majority. Unfortunately, Zeleny let that response float by without objection.

And in a July 9 post, Kyle Drennen huffed that "Texas state senator Wendy Davis and a mob of abortion activists prevented popularly supported pro-life legislation from being passed in the Lone Star State."

We don't remember Sheffield defending Davis' act of democracy the way he's defending Cruz.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:13 PM EDT
Is Bradlee Dean's Ministry No More?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Minneapolis City Pages is reporting that WorldNetDailiy columnist Bradlee Dean has seen the exodus of the entire staff of his ministry, You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International, including the co-host of his radio show, Jake McMillan:

Our source said the beginning of the end came when two former Dean staffers -- a husband-and-wife team including his former director of donor relations -- had a falling out with Bradlee. The couple stayed friends with some "You Can Run" employees and began trying to persuade their friends to leave the ministry. They had incremental success, culminating with the resignation of McMillan, and as a result Dean no longer has anybody working for him.

The source said that in the wake of our July report about disaffected former You Can Run staffer Jake Dagel -- Dagel characterized You Can Run as a "cultic sham ministry" -- a group of upwards of a dozen former staffers got together and compiled testimony about how Dean had mistreated and exploited them. They subsequently brought 28 pages worth of testimony to the Minnesota Attorney General's office and are currently working on a mediation proposal with Dean's camp. The group of former staffers seek reimbursement of funds they say Dean owes them and a guarantee that Bradlee will never hold another leadership position with a ministry. Our source isn't sure whether Dean could possibly face criminal charges as a result of the allegations, some of which constitute crimes.

Asked why Dean's staff quit on him when they did, our source said, "maybe they realized how bad it had gotten and said, 'We need to get out of here.'"

Needless to say, WND has not reported any of this, and Dean's latest WND column makes no mention of it.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:04 AM EDT
Friday, September 27, 2013
CNS Pushes Bogus Claims About U.N. Arms Treaty

Patrick Goodenough uses a Sept. 26 article to uncritically repeat the "deep misgivings" of "Second Amendment advocates" about the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty:

The National Rifle Association (NRA) noted that the treaty urges countries to keep records of arms transfers, including information on end users, “for a minimum of ten years” (article 12).

“Data kept on the end users of imported firearms is a de-facto registry of law-abiding firearms owners, which is a violation of federal law,” it said in a statement. “Even worse, the ATT could be construed to require such a registry to be made available to foreign governments.”

In fact, as Media Matters details, the treaty's "end user" language does not -- and cannot -- require nations to create a gun registry or otherwise dictate how a nation regulates firearms domestically. Indeed, the ATT's preamble is explicit in "[r]eaffirming the sovereign right of any State to regulate and control conventional arms exclusively within its territory, pursuant to its own legal or constitutional system."

Goodenough also writes:

The U.S. already maintains what the administration says is recognized as the world’s “gold standard” in export controls for arms transfers, but under the ATT, countries hostile to U.S. allies like Israel and Taiwan would likely challenge U.S. weapons sales to them. (A majority of U.N. member states have backed texts accusing Israel in particular of grave human rights abuses.)

“The ATT outrageously forces the United States – the world’s most important defender of peace and democracy – onto equal footing with the world’s worst dictatorships and terror-sponsors,” Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) said in a statement criticizing the signing.

“Under this treaty, our crucial support for friends like Israel and Taiwan is endangered while enemies of these nations are empowered,” he said. “On the turbulent global stage, it risks preventing the good from doing good while doing nothing to prevent the bad from doing bad.”

That's another bogus claim. According to the text of the proposed treaty, the ATT would allow for arms embargoes to be issued against countries engaged in "genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes constituting grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, or serious violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949." Given that the United States Security Council is the issuing body of arms embargoes, and that the United States is a permanent member of that Council, the U.S. would possess the ability to unilaterally veto any proposed arms embargo.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:49 PM EDT
WND Gives Anti-Muslim Film's Director A Pass On His Deception
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Upon the release from prison of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula -- the film director whose trailer for his anti-Muslim film sparked protests in the Middle East and was originally thought to have played a role in the deaths of four Americans -- WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh fired softball questions at him, uncritically letting Nakoula claim that he made the film "Innocence of Muslims" "to warn America about the threat of Islamic jihad."

It seems, however, that  Unruh did not ask him about allegations by the film's actors that Nakoula deceived them about the nature of the flim. One actress told the Hollywood Reporter that the original script the actors followed was much different from the finished product, in which the actors' voices were redubbed to make it an anti-Muslim film. That, in turn, put the actors' live in danger, fearing reprisals for their parts in a film they were deceived about.

Unruh makes a big deal out of claiming that  Nakoula's film "garnered global attention when Obama blamed it for upsetting Muslims in Benghazi, who then attacked the Americans," though "the White House knew immediately that the Benghazi incident was an organized terror strike, not a random act of violence by an out-of-control mob of Muslims." Unruh doesn't mention that the film did, in fact, spark riots in the Mideast and elsewhere. The Week reported that protests occurred in more than 20 countries, killing at least 10 people.

Unruh quotes Nakoula lamely stating that “I want to apologize for any inconvenience or misunderstanding about my movie,” without any mention of what exactly he might have been apologizing for, or that death is slightly more than an "inconvenience."

Unruh also repeats an unsubstantiated claim by the father of one of the Benghazi victims that then-Secfretary of State Hillary Clinton "vowed that the person who made the video would be arrested and prosecuted." Unruh offers no evidence that the alleged Clinton statement has ever been verified.

Unruh rehashed much of his article the next day, adding that "Those who wish to contact Nakoula can respond to" Does that mean we can ask Nakoula about how he deceived his actors and overdubbed the original script without telling them? Because Unruh certainly isn't going to ask that question.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:35 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 27, 2013 11:09 PM EDT
MRC: 'Modern Family' Is 'Dangerous' Because It Makes You Sympathize With Gay People
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Evan Mantel is very unhappy that the TV show "Modern Family" is making him think of homosexuals as real human people:

This was a classic Modern Family. And as such, I am upset.  Wanna know why I'm upset? (if you don't, why are you even reading??? Why?)

I'll let you in on a little secret: I write for a conservative blog. (I'll wait for those gasps of shock to die down.) As a conservative blog on entertainment, I'm in a tricky predicament during episodes like these. With a crappy episode, (like this one; HIMYM LINK)it is easy to rip the flawed presuppositions.

But this was a good episode. I laughed. I cried. I felt. It moved me like good art is supposed to do. But that's the problem. It moved me. It made me feel joy for Cam and Mitchell after the Supreme Court over-ruled California's Prop 8.

And that is what makes this show great. And dangerous. It relies on feelings which mislead. There is no logical argument in favor of gay marriage, but the sweetness of Cam and Mitchell trying to outdo each other's proposal is touching. Their simple and spontaneous proposal was as sweet as the portrayal of those who don't agree with gay marriage as spitting babies was subtle.

This realization that gays are people too doesn't bode well for the future of the MRC's anti-gay agenda. Or is the MRC so committed to that agenda that Mantel's job is in danger because of his apparent increasing difficulty in demonizing gays?

(h/t Right Wing Watch)

Posted by Terry K. at 4:10 PM EDT

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