Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Megafeature: A Summary of the Stings


One of the more remarkable innovations of the T.E.A. party has been the use of "sting" operations. These sting operations involve a hapless victim that the teamen in question feel is being disingenuous, and a disguise of a figure that they feel he or she will be honest to. Sometimes the plot itself is so absurd that its practicality serves as a lesson regardless of the result, and then even more absurdly, it is vindicated. Such an example was the sting operation against a ground manager of a Planned Parenthood clinic, who has since been fired:

Planned Parenthood Sting Video

The most disturbing part of this video comes at timemark 8:38, when the manager informs a pimp how to avoid being detected by the law, how to avoid arrest, so that he and his enslaved Columbian girls, scared and far from home, can continue violating the states prostitution law and abort the babies thus produced. The most troubling aspect, however, is the callous and unthinking way she talks to one of the most evil kinds of villains that can exist: a slaver, and not just a slaver, but one who violates females through forced prostitution.

Then there's the issue of government waste. For this we get the NPR sting, a sting against an organization that is supposedly a national radio station of the United States but has long been suspected of bias in favor of progressives. The NPR sting demonstrated (sort of, well get to that in a minute) numerous bigoted statements, from comparing conservative Christians to the Taliban, to hating upon gun owners and the federal standards enforced upon NPR that they do a more then good enough job bending already:

This sting is not without controversy, in fact it may be without support. Sources from all across the political spectrum, as far left as the Huffington Post and as far right as the Blaze (Glenn Becks newspaper/amalgamator) have criticized O'Keefes video for its extremely unethical and dishonest editing techniques. Many, in fact, the left-wing Brudowsky praised Glenn Beck for his extremely professional, objective, and powerful dissection of the "NPR Sting," and I am among many whose respect for Mr. Beck, an icon of the Tea Party and the right in general, has greatly increased. While Becks criticism is in general the most thorough and useful to read through, there is one particular quote from the Huffington Post criticism that I find especially potent:
While Schiller does say the Republican Party has been "hijacked" by the tea party and Christian evangelicals -- and is "fanatically involved in people's personal lives" -- it is evident in the full tape that he is not giving his own view but rather quoting two influential Republicans, according to reporter Folkenflik. Schiller does not challenge those assertions, but they are not his.
O'Keefe is also famous for his ACORN stings, including one where, with his girlfriend, he attempted (and nearly did, with extensive assistance offered) to acquire starting funds for a prostitution house that he would pay back on interest that ACORN could use for political campaigns. Before this, he attempted to have Lucky Charms removed from the Rutgers cafeteria because it is "offensive to his Irish heritage" and apparently caught a conversation with the dining chiefs on tape exposing the absurdity of the situation. He stated that he is "still in [his] bunker producing more videos. We're releasing another video in San Diego right now. I'm focusing on doing what I do best." Although congress looked to punish ACORN with a defunding bill, a Federal Court has ruled that such actions would be the exclusive remedy of the Judicial Branch. This is not the first time recently that we have seen our governments dormant constitutional protections awoken from their sleep, and everyone is watching as the American people push for reform and government officials pit "ambition against ambition" in a classic display of democratic, Madisonian magic.

The organization Life Dynamics dialed up 800 calls to Planned Parenthood
stating that they needed an abortion for a 13-year-old to cover up impregnation by her 22-year-old boyfriend. This is illegal in all 50 states, but Planned Parenthood did not report any of these incidences. Just for the record, I actually support the actions of Planned Parenthood in this regard, as concealing a pregnancy is, at least in my mind, a good (if not the only good) reason for abortion as it is a case where putting up the baby for adoption is simply not good enough. This said, I know that many disagree with this sentiment, and technically it is against the (stupid) law, which requires all suspected cases of abuse to be reported to authorities by medical professionals.

And then finally, and greatest of all, is ClimateGate, the sting operation that may have fundamentally altered global environmental politics, and that the Democrat Party at large insists on ignoring the ramifications of. The product of a hacker, 1000 emails among staff at the UK's Climate Research Unit have been made public. Although FactCheck.org, in its examination of ClimateGate, disagrees that it disproves anthropogenic global warming, a conclusion a self-interested Saudi came to, it does agree that the emails show scientists "sometimes being rude, dismissive, insular, or even behaving like jerks" while the public has rightly responded to attitudes and interpersonal aggression, such as declaring global warming "settled science" along with the climategate emails, clearly not conducive to good science. While the ClimateGate emails may or may not (I have not read them myself) show the science to be false, they do show the scientists to be false, and with the alternative sources offered all being government entities (NOAA and NASA), we the public are left with little more then a few university degrees on which to trust theories that could fundamentally alter our lives.

Unfortunately, and we see this clearly with ClimateGate, named for the much lesser WaterGate, "operations" like these can only have a true impact (where the much better funded and marketed "Supersize Me!" failed) when a cultural context exists to support them.

To create such, we have a play with many characters. There's an arugula growing, elite talking, Harvard Law-Chicago Cesspool Obama intent on breaking the budget with spending in excess of even Bush. There's an irrepressible lady from California and gentleman from Nevada who seem intent on shattering any popular or political movement against them. There's a lightbulb ban, an "individual mandate" (thou must purchase something, approved by thine bureaucratic overlords, if thou seekest to breathe) and big shot corporations receiving welfare while "99ers" go cold and hungry in the street. There's government destroying cars to make people buy more and a liberal establishment that wants congress to pass a bill so they can read what's in them. There's an American people who do not even understand all the "Hope" and "Change" that their initially lauded leader has brought.

In short, political overreach, and too much game playing, manipulation and intrigue for an American people who know they will be the ones to pay the bill.

Responding to the controversy, Slate commisioned blogger Weigel held a twitter conversation with one of the publishers of the original, edited, NPR Sting video. The exchange is revealing. The actual conversation reveals an NPR chief quoting a top donor for the Republican Party as saying he voted for Obama because he's scared of the xenophobic, gun-toting, racist post-Obama Party. When Weigel challenges him on this account, the publisher responds: "No, it's really not. Go ahead and try to make the argument Schiller isn't CLEARLY agreeing with them. Go ahead. Moron."

To the publishers credit, the actual tone expressed in the original quote does indicate, at the very least, a fear that the Kingmaker may be right. And a Kingmaker is generally held in high esteem. Also to the publishers credit, while this "edit" is not good journalism, username "simon templar" is not a professional journalist, and clearly feels very overwhelmed as this tweet reveals: "nobody likes an access journalist/tweeter. we'll get you the info/emails you asked for eventually, I'm sure." It is also worth noting that every controversial remark attributed, falsely or otherwise, to the NPR head in the sting, is commonly found among liberals on the internet and in IRL, including, of course, the "gun-toting nutjobs" line that is argued over in this article.

"simon templar" is a common man, pushed in to uncommon work. He is, in fact, out of his league, but right now, who IS in their league?

Which leads me to my next point, what's become irrelevant. While teamen with camcorders flood the internet with "stings," documentaries by top Hollywood directors like Oliver Stone (e.g. "W") go totally unwatched and unremembered. I can't even remember the last time a story about a Hollywood star, a bigshot CEO, or a Harvard professor made the papers. The only "elites" who still seem to make papers, in fact, are the politicians we're all scared of and a few big media demagogues, like Krugman and O'Reilly, who are little more then highly paid whipping boys for the common citizens. In the words of Scripture: "the last shall be first, and the first shall be last."

And then there's the Middle East. While here at home we break our own elite peacefully, using the full well-oiled machinery of our democracy and a thousand years of Western legal wisdom, the streets of Benghazi are soaked in blood. The alleys of Bahrain lay covered in shell casings, and aircraft streak over the Mediterranean carrying every sort of explosive payload. In Egypt, the army, a traditional symbol of tyranny and distrust, is helping to provide for what the Arab world doesn't have, insisting on all parties respecting each other and disarming those who would hurt the people. That Army has so much to be proud of, and I know I would be proud to carry an Egyptian rifle right now. In this great moment to be alive, the long oppressed show the irrepressible, stubborn, freedom-loving and faithful spirit of humanity. They also almost exactly mirror the tea party, using many of the same methods, and the sheer tinyness of the media involved makes it nearly impossible for the government to stop the word. The government is stopping army ants with an elephant gun.

And then there's Japan, where ordinary men and women, Japanese and others, have volunteered their time by the truckload to rebuild and service the survivors*, and where the nations eyes lay flatly and squarely pointed towards the power plant workers risking their lives to bring a reactor under control. "She said in an entry on social networking site Mixi that her boyfriend, who also works at the plant, had tearfully told her "you go ahead to safety", before she evacuated in a company car." (Hindustan Times)

And in Britain, flash mobs have become a common occurence.

We find a world suspiciously popular and self-driven, where the elites find themselves unneeded and out of touch. This is the world where Obama is trying to force huge, coercive government actions and sweeping reforms led by, you guessed it, the elites. This is the world that Obama, half Harvard and half machine politician, an outdated relic from a time period that mostly ended in 1910, finds himself in. The past meets the future, my friends, and usually, the future wins.

*Source note: You will need to browse to the end of the article to find this information. Here's a quote:
Fumio and her daughter were among the roughly 600 people (men, women and children of all ages) who had taken shelter on the gymnasium's wood floor, beneath the basketball hoops and nets. Evacuees were offered food, such as warm milk and rice — some of which had been taken from a home economics class — and a place to sleep. A flat-panel television was broadcasting news of the unfolding catastrophe, which by then was focused on the potential meltdown of reactors within the Fukushima nuclear plants.

1 comment:

Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont said...

You make your points with such admirable clarity.