Friday, June 28, 2013

Barker's Newsbites: Friday, June 28, 2013

Here's one to start your day with...

Is this your America, folks?

"Texas Teen Makes Violent Joke During Video Game, Is Jailed For Months"

That's the headline.

Here's the story:

A Texas teenager who has been in jail since March faces an eight-year prison sentence because of a threatening joke he made while playing an online video game.

In February, Justin Carter was playing “League of Legends” - an online, multi-player fantasy game - when another player wrote a comment calling him insane. Carter’s response, which he now deeply regrets, was intended as joke.

“He replied ‘Oh yeah, I’m real messed up in the head, I’m going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts,’ and the next two lines were lol and jk,” said Jack Carter, Justin’s father, in a statement to a local news channel.

* As you'll see, folks, nowhere in the article is it claimed that the father's statement isn't true. Therefore... I accept it as fact for purposes of this posting.

The statements “lol” and “jk” - meaning “laughing out loud” and “just kidding” - indicate that Justin’s statement was entirely sarcastic, said his father.

* Because... er... that's what they do mean!

* Geezus... even without the "lol" and "jk" I believe it's pretty clear - especially within the context of online banter and trash talk in the midst of perfectly legal online video-gaming - that this 19-year-old wasn't actually making a "terroristic threat."


But a Canadian woman who saw the post looked up Carter’s Austin address, determined that it was near an elementary school, and called the police. Carter was arrested one month later, and has been in jail ever since. He recently celebrated his 19th birthday behind bars.

* Now here's where I hesitate; why isn't there any hint of what the authorities found out over their month-long investigation? Either they found something - concrete plans for an upcoming massacre along with a weapons cache - or else... these "authorities" are themselves "insane." I find that latter hard to believe... but without information speaking to the former...


Authorities charged him with making a terrorist threat. If convicted, he will face eight years in prison.

* Via what evidence? What exactly did their month-long investigation find? This young man has been in jail since March! Had he been arrested for DWI I'm guessing he would have been released on his own recognizance or after paying a few hundred dollars bail!

“These people are serious. They really want my son to go away to jail for a sarcastic comment that he made,” said the elder Carter.

* Absent competing evidence it sure does seem so, no?

Authorities noted that recent school shootings like the one in Newtown, Connecticut have caused them to evaluate all potential threats seriously. Newtown was still fresh in their minds at the time of Carter’s arrest.

* No one's saying not to "evaluate all potential threats seriously." What I'm saying is that - at least from what I'm reading here - no serious threat was made and we've been presented with no evidence that could possibly justify this young man sitting in jail for near-on four months!

“In light of recent situations, statements such as the one Justin made are taken seriously,” said an Austin police detective in a statement.

* Again... there's a huge difference between "taking threats seriously" and arresting and imprisoning an American citizen who - at least from what I'm reading here on The Daily Caller - is at most "guilty" of free speech some view as obnoxious and offensive.

* What's next? Will men in black one day "disappear" me after I throw yet another of my trademarked "Dear Terrorists: Latitude:38.895193° Longitude:-77.036628°" wiseass quips up here on Usually Right?

A hearing to review Carter’s case is scheduled for July 1.

* And if, as I fear, there's no real evidence that would justify what has occurred here... will anyone be fired? Will any of the authorities responsible be held responsible?

* Frankly... I doubt it. Welcome to Amerika 2013.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Shout Out to a Special Kind of RINO Scumbag - Senator Richard Wicker of Mississippi

Folks... the other day I listed the 15 RINO scumbag Senators who voted with the Democrats for their Illegal Alien Amnesty bill.

Today there was another Senate vote... basically a "last chance to show what side you're on" vote. Today's vote was the vote which sends the Senate approved Illegal Alien Amnesty bill to the House of Representatives.

This time "only" 14 RINO scumbag Senators voted with the Democrats to sell "We the People" down the river. The fourteen:

Alexander (R-TN)

Ayotte (R-NH)

Chiesa (R-NJ)

Collins (R-ME)

Corker (R-TN)

Flake (R-AZ)

Graham (R-SC)

Hatch (R-UT)

Heller (R-NV)

Hoeven (R-ND)

Kirk (R-IL)

McCain (R-AZ)

Murkowski (R-AK)

Rubio (R-FL)

So... who's the scumbag who didn't even have the fortitude to stick by his fellow back-stabbers... who actually back-stabbed his fellow back-stabbers...?

Senator Richard Wicker of Mississippi!

Of course his "excuse" for doing a one-eighty only two days after showing his true colors is that his previous vote was only to show backing for the so-called "Corker-Hoeven Amendment."  Wicker insists that his vote today represents his "true" opposition to the bill as a whole.


Question to the good Senator Wicker: Then why did your fellow "Scumbag 15" from the other day's vote - including both Mr. Corker and Mr. Hoeven of "Corker-Hoeven Amendment" fame - not join you?

Why did the other fourteen members of the original "Scumbag 15" stick to their "principles" - such as they are?

Geezus... Richard Wicker makes me sick. I mean... particularly sick. McCain... Graham... the others... they actually believe they're in the right on this. Oh... sure... many of the Scumbag 15 who were up for election or reelection this past November outright lied to their constituents by portraying themselves as men and women who would oppose any amnesty bill... but lying to get elected... that's par for the course.

But you, Mr. Wicker... you... are that special kind of scumbag who inhabits the Washington D.C. power structure.

Nice try, Senator... but there's simply no way around it... you're a phony, hypocritical fraud whom even the likes of John McCain now has a reason to spit upon.

Barker's Newsbites: Thursday, June 27, 2013

I find that most people - to a shocking degree - lack integrity.

This saddens me.

No... I'm not talking "bad" people... not talking thieves... criminals... serial liars. No... I'm talking more of a dictionary definition - this for example:

Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one's actions. Integrity can be regarded as the opposite of hypocrisy, in that integrity regards internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs.

The word "integrity" stems from the Latin adjective integer (whole, complete). In this context, integrity is the inner sense of "wholeness" deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character. As such, one may judge that others "have integrity" to the extent that they act according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold.
Why can't most people see how important integrity is? Is it simple the "me" culture? 

While of course there's a limit to how far one takes intellectual consistency...

One can "generally" believe in the rule of law and yet consistently drive at speeds above the speed limit.

Just don't try to "justify" the intellectual inconsistency!

Surely one can favor according each accused criminal his  civil rights... but let's say you've caught a serial killer - who admits to being a serial kill - who admits that he's buried his latest victim alive with an air supply certain to run out within, say, six hours... would this scenario justify torturing the serial killer in an attempt to get him to give you the location of the victim in time to save the victim?

I would do it. I would "justify" it. But at the same time I'd be willing to suffer the consequences of my actions... my well-intended and ultimately life-saving actions. In this case I would argue that the greater integrity is serving the greater cause of saving an innocent life.

Ahh... but now we're to the slippery slope! What is the greater good? Is it always as clear as the above scenario?

Take the Right To Life Movement. Is protesting abortion a legitimate tactic? 

Lobbying for an end to abortion? 

Being true to one's belief that "Life" begins at conception and therefore abortion - and even the so-called "Day After Pill" - represent murder leads where ultimately...? Does it lead to justifying the assassinations of physicians who perform abortions... nurses who assist... pharmacists who give out the "Day After Pill"?

I'm guessing few Pro-Life people would justify the murder of  those they view as murderers... but assuming I'm correct, doesn't this indicate a lack of integrity on their part?

"No." I'd say "no." I'd argue that there are lines that shouldn't be crossed and that killing abortion practitioners clearly crosses a line. 

(I'd be curious, though, to hear anyone with the balls to attach his or her name to defense of the "assassination" scenario do so here... at Usually RIght... via comment.)

Putting murder aside, let's lower the stakes! How'bout lying....? Can "lying for a good cause" - or  "cheating for a good cause" - be justified as qualifying as a form of integrity?

"No." Again... I'd say "no."

You all know who Glenn Beck is - correct? Some of you hate the man. Others view the man as "usually right." I fall into the latter camp of course.

Though I have my fears with regard to who Glenn Beck may actually be in truth at his core, on the surface I view him as a man after my own heart in many respects. The key respect... he really does seem to care about acting with integrity.

I'd like you all to access the following and watch the video and read the article.

How can one not respect Beck's take...? How can one not agree with Beck...?

Putting aside Beck's take on what happened in Texas, allow me to throw out another recent abortion controversy centered here in New York.

Governor Cuomo and his fellow democrats who view "liberalizing" New York's already "liberal" abortion laws even further tried to get a bill through the NYS Senate last week (S5881-2013) which opponents (falsely) claimed would have (if passed) allowed non-physicians to perform abortions.

This (false) claim was actually forwarded to me by someone whom I have great respect for.

I read the bill. I didn't see anything in the bill which backed up the claim. I let my "contact" know this. His reaction.... he stuck to his guns... he insisted that "his sources couldn't be wrong"... and he basically refused to acknowledge reality.

Well... we went back and forth via email for days. Finally I found out where the disconnect was! (Indeed, my "contact" inadvertently sent me the link that solved the puzzle!)

It turns out that the Pro-Life organizations had taken their claim out of a previously submitted bill (S438-2013 - which never made it to a vote). That bill did indeed contain the "qualified practitioner" language which would justify the "non-physicians would be allowed to perform abortions" claim. The thing is... the Pro-Life forces and my "contact" had juxtaposed the language of the past (January) "dead on arrival" bill with last week's bill (which by the way was stopped by the Republican majority and never made it to a vote).

Going back to the top of this post, though, here's what troubles me and here's why I'm writing this and throwing it out there:

Even after I conclusively "proved my case," provided all the evident to back up what I'd questioned and what I'd said all along... my "contact" refused to accept it... refused to accept the reality.

Does my "contact" believe "Honesty is the best policy"? Apparently not. (And this saddens me...)

Folks... I love debating! Some accuse me of loving to argue. Perhaps they're right. But in any case, I enjoy the intellectual back and forth. Here's the thing, though... without honesty... without acknowledging facts as they are rather than as what we'd like them to be... it's impossible to have a valid intellectual exchange. And I find that to be a pity...

Back to Glenn Beck... I came upon the Texas story after having gone through a back and forth with my "contact." Upon watching the video and reading the story I forwarded it to my "contact" as a kind of "parallel" point... the parallel to "sticking to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" being simply "it's not a true win if you've cheated."

My "contact's" response...?

Save your advice.
OK, "contact," I will. But understand... you're doing yourself no favors by refusing to acknowledge reality and by living a "ends justify means" approach to pushing your Pro-Life agenda.

I myself lean strongly towards the Pro-Life agenda and while I myself am not an absolutist, I respect those who are; I certainly respect those who believe in no abortion far more than I respect those who attempt to justify so-called "late term abortions" which are nothing more than infanticide.

That said... whether we're arguing abortion or economics or foreign policy... advancing falsehoods to make a point... breaking the "rules" in order to "win"... not only do such tactics represent a lack of integrity, but as I've noted again and again, when one gets caught employing such tactics... it only serves to destroy one's own credibility. 

Anyway... that's it.