Posts Tagged ‘Map’

Does Navy Map Alter the Benghazi Narrative?

by Roger Aronoff on Monday, February 17th, 2014

This is article 274 of 304 in the topic US Military

Newly released information about the location of military assets on the night of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi in 2012 has been met with a yawn by the mainstream media, but it has caused quite a stir in the conservative press.

Most of the media are following the lead of the Obama administration, arguing that while the outcome in Benghazi was regrettable, it was merely due to mistakes that have since been addressed and it’s long past time to move on. Any suggestion of this being a scandal, that narrative goes, is the result of Fox News and talk-radio pushing an agenda, combined with thinly disguised racism. We have shown time and again why this is, in fact, a very real and significant scandal, and should be seen as such by the media and Congress.

Several congressional and administration reports consider the military response to Benghazi to have been justifiable. “The interagency response was timely and appropriate, but there simply was not enough time for armed U.S. military assets to have made a difference,” concluded the Accountability Review Board (ARB) back in December 2012. “As the only military member of the ARB, I personally reviewed all of the military assets that were in theater and available,” Admiral Michael Mullen, Vice Chair of the ARB, said in an interview in June of last year. This board was largely handpicked by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to investigate Benghazi, but she was never interviewed by them.

Now, Americans have gotten a glimpse into which naval forces were active on September 11, 2012, and can judge for themselves. A new map has been released by Judicial Watch that details the location of multiple ships in the region. Judicial Watch has done an excellent job in reporting on and analyzing the situation in Benghazi, and their Freedom of Information requests have yielded significant information.

However, the fact that there were many ships in the area does not necessarily mean that they provided the instant military capacity to have affected the outcome. The far-left Mother Jones publication has argued, “This Map Is Not the Benghazi Smoking Gun Conservatives Think It Is.” This is because “Most of the ‘dozens’ of ships were nowhere near Benghazi, and the list includes many vessels that wouldn’t do much good in a rescue situation,” wrote Tim Murphy for MoJo. In this instance, they may have stumbled on the truth.

The Navy noted in a letter to the Freedom of Information Act requester that “ENTERPRISE was approximately 3350 nautical miles from Benghazi. Assuming a 20 knot transit speed and no Suez Canal delays, the transit would take approximately 168 hours or seven days.” And the closest amphibious vessel, IWO JIMA, was “underway in the Gulf of Oman,” wrote Captain B.C. Nickerson for the Navy.

In other words, no naval help was on its way that night and the best help was too far away to make a difference.

But the real story here is not that there were military assets in the immediate area that weren’t used to rescue the Americans under attack in Benghazi. Rather it is that this newly released information underscores the fact that there should have been forces on hand and ready to deal with this kind of situation.

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South Carolina: Concealed carry in Restaurants that serve alcohol and bars, ONLY two states will still ban guns in restaurants that serve alcohol

by John Lott on Sunday, February 16th, 2014

This is article 512 of 603 in the topic Gun Rights
From The State newspaper (South Carolina):

Gov. Nikki Haley has signed a bill allowing people with concealed-weapon permits to bring their guns into restaurants and bars in South Carolina, if the businesses do not prohibit it.

The law took effect with Haley’s signature Tuesday.

The Republican governor stresses it is illegal for people to drink alcohol while carrying a gun. Under the law, anyone caught would have the permit revoked for five years, plus face up to two years in prison and a $2,000 fine.

Businesses can post a sign barring concealed weapons. . . .

North Carolina now allows concealed carry in restaurants serving alcohol and bars and in March Illinois will soon allow it also.  With South Carolina’s new law, only two states will still have such a ban.  The map below doesn’t show these changes.

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Story in ‘Magazine’ That Was Sold for $1: Demise of Rush Limbaugh is Imminent

by Doug Powers on Thursday, May 9th, 2013

This is article 450 of 577 in the topic Media

This running in a magazine that recently ceased to exist in print and was purchased for one dollar in 2010 makes it even more hilarious:

We’re watching the end of right-wing conservative talk radio,” says Jerry Del Colliano, publisher of the radio-industry tip sheet Inside Music Media. “The genre is dying among ratings and dying among advertisers … Rush is at the end of his career. His constituency is all wearing Depends. And he’s getting himself into trouble he doesn’t need. So can you put Humpty Dumpty back together again? They have been able to improve their advertising picture, but they have not been able to come back.”

As you can see, Limbaugh’s really falling off the map, and just look at all these liberal talk hosts nipping at his heels:


Take publicly-funded NPR out of the mix and there’s not a lefty talker in sight.

For a study in true media demise, just read up on the history of Newsweek.

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Seattle Union Fights Standardized Test: Will The Results Reveal Their Failings As Educators?

by Stephen Levine on Sunday, February 10th, 2013

This is article 178 of 259 in the topic Education

For the student, life is pretty much a round of reading, lectures, homework and testing. Students accept testing as part of the educational process to determine whether or not they have learned the subject matter being taught. However, for teachers, testing represents a clear and present danger of revealing that some of their fellow educators are not getting the job done and that the test results might be used for disciplinary measures. So the unions are running scared. Worried that poor achievement scores will result in fewer union members and less money with which to threaten politicians.

High school teachers in Seattle are saying no to the spread of high-stakes standardized tests. On January 10, the staff of Garfield High School voted unanimously to refuse to administer the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test to their ninth-grade students. For two weeks they’ve held firm, even as the superintendent of schools has threatened them with a 10-day unpaid suspension, and teachers at other schools have joined their boycott.

Jean Anyon, professor of social and educational policy at the City University of New York Graduate Center and a supporter of the boycott, called what the Seattle teachers are doing “amazing.” “There have been very few groups that have decided to defy these tests,” she pointed out. “In terms of an outright boycott by a school, if it’s not the first it’s close to it.” The tests, Anyon noted, are notoriously unreliable, with results varying from year to year and nearly impossible to replicate.

Ira Shor, professor of rhetoric and composition at CUNY Graduate Center, who writes on composition theory and urban education, commented, “The tests themselves are known as ‘junk science’ because of their pseudo-scientific basis in metrics while they notoriously produce unreliable, unreproducible, and even faked results. Yet these tests are used to judge what students know and how well teachers are doing their job.”

What is going on here?

One might assume that the tests themselves were created by educators and standardized by comparing several generations of test scores with academic performance. Or that the tests themselves have some statistical validity.

So why are they being demonized as “junk science” at this point in time?

  • Because teachers have done an abysmal job of educating our students in spite of the increasing amounts of money thrown at education?
  • Because it is more about the big money being siphoned out of the classroom by teachers unions that administer those billion dollar pension funds.
  • Or is it because teachers and their unions are afraid of the parent revolt when they find that educators have produced another generation of functional illiterates, trained more in political correctness and touchy-feely subjects than learning real-world skills that can be applied in today’s competitive marketplace?

More corruption between educators, politicians and the special interests who “service” the educational marketplace?

The MAP test is a particularly egregious example of the problems with standardized testing. It was acquired by the former Seattle Schools superintendent while she was on the board of the company that sells it; a state audit in 2011 found that she committed a serious ethics violation by not disclosing this fact when the school district spent about $4 million on the test.

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Is Man a Plague Upon the Earth?

by Selwyn Duke on Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

First there was the anti-Western Westerner, the hate-America-first crowd, and the self-loathing white person. Now we have the anti-human human, who, like General Ursus in Beneath the Planet of the Apes, seems to think that “the only good human is a dead human!” Of course, the Kum-Gaia-singing misanthropes don’t actually say that; rather, as David Attenborough recently opined, they assert that man is a “plague” whose burgeoning population threatens to do to the planet’s resources what the feds do to the treasury. Now, I already pointed out in a recent piece that Attenborough is factually wrong: The world will in the foreseeable future likely face a population implosion, not an explosion. But he is philosophically wrong as well.

There is no doubt that we should be good shepherds of the Earth. We have a responsibility to conserve resources when possible and should cherish God’s creation. And while we can acknowledge that we all too often fail in that regard, it is quite another thing to call man a “plague,” which clearly implies that he is a troublesome life form deleterious to something more important. Yet the issue here isn’t just that some ascribe greater value to the Earth than to man, or at best equal value. It is the larger questions of why they believe the Earth has any intrinsic value at all and the basis on which that value is assessed.

If you were a Christian, you’d presumably believe that the world had value because it was a gift from God; you would also likely believe that man had greater value and had been given a mandate to subdue the Earth. This is clearly not the position of the man-as-plague (MAP) crowd, however, which tends to operate under a worldview of atheism, either stated or implied. A corollary of this is that “man is the measure of all things,” which, of course, means that man is the only agency around to ascribe value. What follows from this is that the Earth, that curious arrangement of atoms, has no intrinsic value; it is only that man happens to value it. This is precisely, by the way, why some philosophers explicitly say that absolute intrinsic value doesn’t exist.

Of course, some think man-as-measure judgments carry weight; many will go so far as to say that man’s preferences for behavior are significant, and they even will sometimes label these tastes writ philosophically large as “morality.” So, okay, let us accept for argument’s sake that the Earth has “value” because man says it does. A logical extension of this is that if man didn’t exist, the Earth would have no value; thus, it derives its value from man to begin with. And this brings us to a relevant question: How can what is valued be more valuable than what can, with credibility, value it?

After all, if we can rightly be a yardstick that can determine the value of the Earth, we must be above it. And then it is ridiculous to subordinate man to it and describe him as a “plague” upon it.

This leaves the MAP crowd with little room to maneuver.

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An Educational Gun Owner Map the Journal News Should Publish

by Doug Powers on Sunday, January 6th, 2013

This is article 330 of 603 in the topic Gun Rights

Last month, as a Christmas gift to burglars so they know which homes to avoid, the suburban New York paper Journal News published an interactive red-dot maps featuring the names and addresses of people in two counties who have permits to carry guns. However, a more telling piece of information for the general public would be the name and location of all the criminals who have guns.

Here’s that map — every red dot indicates a criminal with a registered firearm:


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by Stephen Levine on Thursday, December 27th, 2012

This is article 389 of 577 in the topic Media

The Journal News irresponsibly published an interactive map with the names and addresses of those New York residents with concealed carry gun permits … claiming that the information was publicly available. Since when does any media outlet publish the names and addresses of law-abiding citizens who were minding their own business and were not newsworthy? In addition, the newspaper placed these people at a higher risk for robbery or home invasion. Some of these people may have had protective orders “on file” and are ducking angry spouses or stalkers.

So, in the spirit of fair play, a blogger listed the names and addresses of all Journal News Employees on the very same basis: all law-abiding individuals whose information was public record.

Map: Where are the Journal News employees in your neighborhood?

The map indicates the addresses of all Journal News Employees in the New York Tri-State area. Each dot represents an individual Journal News employee — a reporter, editor or staffer. The data does not include freelancers — reporters or photographers — which can be hired without being an employee. Being included in this map does not mean the individual at a specific location is a responsible reporter or editor, just that they are a reporter or editor.

Data for all categories is included, but certain information is not available on an individual basis.

To create the map, Talk of the Sound submitted Google searches for the names and addresses of all Journal News employees in the New York Tri-State area. By state law, the information is public record. Readers are still putting together records and could not immediately provide some data. The map will be updated when that data is released.

View Journal News Employees in a larger map. Source: Map: Where are the Journal News employees in your neighborhood? | Talk of the Sound

Bottom line …

It is time that innocent law-abiding citizens fight back against being demonized by the media and the government for lawful activities. The media has been granted special privileges as they “speak truth to power” – but unfortunately, they seem to be just another piece of the government’s propaganda machine and should be treated like the turncoats they have become.

— steve

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A Map to the Muslim Middle East

by Daniel Greenfield on Thursday, August 9th, 2012

This is article 755 of 1262 in the topic International

The Muslim Middle East has three types of governments. Military, Tribal and Ideological. A military government is formed when senior officers take power. A tribal government is based around a group of prominent families. An ideological government is based around a party, whether secular or Islamist. All these governments are tyrannies, though they may occasionally hold elections, they never open up the system. The elections serve as a means for passing from one tyranny to the next.

While these types of governments are different in some ways, they are not exclusive. Most overlap in a number of ways.

Military and ideological governments will become tribal as a few officers, leaders or Ayatollahs use their control of the economy to enrich themselves and their families. That is what happened in Egypt and in Iran. The Muslim Brotherhood differs from Mubarak in any number of political ways, but on a personal level, its leaders share his goal of enriching their families.

Whether a new government starts out as Islamist, Fascist or Socialist; these facades inevitably revert to the tribal. That is the fate of all governments in the Muslim Middle East, which do not evolve, but devolve.

Every Muslim leader, beginning with Mohammed borrowed ideas brought in from outside to form a new system that became identical with the old. Mohammed borrowed from Judaism and Christianity to create the religious structure for yet another tribal government controlled by his father-in-law. In the 20th Century the Muslim Middle-East borrowed from the British Empire, France, Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, the USSR and the United States, to create hybrid systems that were either overthrown or devolved into tribalism with an ideological facade. Like Mohammed, the bright new ideology ends up with a bunch of relatives in charge of the loot.

Muslim countries are forever at war with themselves. Military governments fear popular protests organized by ideological movements to seize power. And the ideological governments fear military coups. Tribal governments fear everyone and cripple their own military and bribe their own people to avoid being overthrown by officers or ideologues.

Every government is only a few bad months away from losing power and so every government fears being overthrown by its enemies and implements a regime of secret police and prisons. No sooner do the revolutionaries step out of prison to usher in a new era, than the same thugs are rehired to torture enemies of the new regime.

The victors of the Arab Spring know that another few bad months could toss them out of power as easily as the bad months put them into power.  Like every other regime in the Muslim Middle East, their main priority is staying in power by making it impossible for others to do to them what they did to their predecessors.That leads to a cycle of repression, broken by temporary liberalization as alliances with the opposition are explored and then abandoned, because the opposition cannot be trusted not to seize power for themselves.

Everyone in the region is playing rock-paper-scissors all the time which leads to total regional paranoia and conspiracy theories. Everyone distrusts everyone else by necessity and keeps trying to guess how many fingers their rivals will put out while defending against their own weaknesses by preemptively attacking everyone else.

Military governments persecute ideologues.

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Obama No-Show in Wisconsin Breaks Yet Another Campaign Promise; Plus Awesome ‘Democracy Died Tonight’ Video

by Doug Powers on Thursday, June 7th, 2012

This is article 300 of 377 in the topic Elections

When Barack Obama was campaigning for president he promised the unions that wherever their rights to collective bargaining were being threatened, he’d be there marching with them:

Obama would insist he wasn’t a no-show, as evidenced by a tepid Tweet of support for Barrett — but that’s not exactly “walking the picket line” with the union brothers and sisters.

Here’s a map of the county-by-county results from yesterday. Red counties are Walker and the blue are Barrett:


Exit polls show Obama with a lead over Romney in Wisconsin, but this just can’t be comforting to The One.

Meanwhile, the left is reacting predictably.

Oh, and I finally found video of my favorite moment from yesterday’s election coverage. The “democracy died tonight” guy:

A lefty lamenting the end of freedom as we know it can only mean something good for America just happened.

Update: MSNBC declares that the winner of last night’s election is… Obama. Hey, nobody thought one little drubbing would be enough to yank their heads out of their asses, did they?

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Pipeline Panic: A Reminder

by Doug Powers on Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

This is article 46 of 75 in the topic Oil Industry/OPEC

To listen to the Obama administration and assorted panic-stricken eco activists, construction of the Keystone pipeline would be some sort of unprecedented environmental rape.

Just as a reminder, here’s a map of crude and natural gas pipelines running throughout the US… Click the picture to enlarge:

nullA map of all pipeline coverage is here.

The real reason Team Obama opposes the Keystone pipeline? It would boost private sector prosperity and wouldn’t necessarily further empower the government. If the Keystone XL gave the government more power and control, Obama would personally be in the field supervising construction as we speak.

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