Creepy liberalism on the march

Bird Dog's picture

Last July, I brought up the specter of creepy liberalism.

For too many liberal left-wingers, the political gets personal easily and quickly. Example one, the Obama campaign has an enemies list, with those "enemies" singled out for the "crime" of giving money to help get Romney elected. Kimberly Strassel touched on it in Part I.

These are wealthy individuals, to be sure, but private citizens nonetheless. Not one holds elected office. Not one is a criminal. Not one has the barest fraction of the position or the power of the U.S. leader who is publicly assaulting them.

"We don't tolerate presidents or people of high power to do these things," says Theodore Olson, the former U.S. solicitor general. "When you have the power of the presidency—the power of the IRS, the INS, the Justice Department, the DEA, the SEC—what you have effectively done is put these guys' names up on 'Wanted' posters in government offices."

Really, it's just Republicans who play for keeps, not those pure-as-snow Democrats.

Example two, Democratic operatives engaging in stalking, videotaping the private property of Republicans. Is it illegal? Probably not, but it's creepy as hell.

Example three, the Brett Kimberlin saga.

Example four, the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund sending letters to Wisconsin homes to inform them which of their neighbors voted. Is it illegal? Probably not, but it's creepy as hell.

Example five, Proposition 8 opponents using Google maps to display the locations of financial donors. Is it illegal? The California courts said "no", but it's creepy as hell. I could go on all day.

In the latest edition of this Big Brotherish phenomenon, the Journal News decided to publish an interactive map which shows the names and addresses of every single registered gun owner in Westchester and Rockland counties. I'm sure that folks in the home burglary industry are saying a big THANK YOU. Now they know which homes to avoid when plying their trade. We're forbidden from knowing the exact addresses of registered sex offenders, but registered gun owners? Not a problem.

Why did the Journal News editors decide to name and shame thousands of people for a completely legal activity? Unclear. Best I can tell, an unnamed "some" want legislators to make this information more readily available. And why would this "some" want this information more readily available? Unclear. I can only conclude that this is agenda journalism dishonestly put forward as some sort of public service. None of what they did is illegal, but it's creepy as hell.

In the spirit of the politically-infused hackery at Journal News, a local blogger published the names, addresses and phone numbers of the paper's staff, and another blogger put together a helpful interactive map. And why not. The motivation for publishing either set of names is exactly the same.

At Poynter, Al Tompkins explains this breach of ethics and of the public trust:

Timeliness is not reason enough to publish this information, though there are important reasons — including public safety — that journalists regularly invade people’s privacy.

Journalists broadcast and publish criminal records, drunk driving records, arrest records, professional licenses, inspection records and all sorts of private information. But when we publish private information we should weigh the public’s right to know against the potential harm publishing could cause.

[...]

Here are some stories any newsroom could explore as part of publishing some version of a gun permit database.

If journalists could show flaws in the gun permitting system, that would be newsworthy. Or, for example, if gun owners were exempted from permits because of political connections, then journalists could better justify the privacy invasion.

If the data showed the relationship between the number of permits issued and the crime rates, that serves a public purpose. You would have to also look at income, population density, housing patterns, policing policies and more to really understand what is going on and why.

If a news org compared permit owners with a database of felony offenders in local counties, that could be a public service. Years ago I recall a Minneapolis TV station doing this and they found the state issuing hunting licenses to felons.

But none of those stories would require the journalist to name the names and include the home addresses of every permit holder. The mapping might be done by ZIP code or even by street.

 

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Good News on the Gun Front...Prosecution of Dawn Nguyen

(#298453)

Ha! And he finger her too in his suicide note:

 

Dawn M. Nguyen, 24, of Greece, N.Y., was charged in federal court with acting as a straw purchaser for William Spengler, who as a felon could not legally buy guns for himself. Spengler was convicted of killing his grandmother in 1980. Nguyen also faces state felony charges on allegations of falsifying business records.

U.S. Atty. William J. Hochul Jr. said Nguyen purchased a Bushmaster .223 semiautomatic rifle and a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun from the Gander Mountain store in Rochester on June 6, 2010. But in truth, he said, she "knowingly made a false statement in connection with the purchase of the two firearms" and actually was acquiring them for Spengler.

She did not immediately enter a plea in the more serious federal case, in which she could face 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Sean J. Martineck, a special agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said in a court affidavit that authorities learned of Nguyen from a suicide note Spengler left behind in which he said he obtained the weapons from his neighbor's daughter.

Nguyen lived next door to Spengler in 2008, two years after he was paroled from prison for killing his grandmother.

When officials spoke with Nguyen, Martineck said, she admitted that Spengler accompanied her to the gun shop and that he "picked out the firearms Nguyen purchased." But she said she wanted the weapons for her own personal safety and that they later were stolen from her vehicle. She never reported them stolen, however.

Finally, Martineck said, Nguyen "admitted that she purchased the guns for the guy who was her old neighbor," even though on the federal purchase form she had stated the weapons were for her own use.

*

 

I hope she gets the full 10 years as an example to others. (Meaning even if your guns are stolen from your house, but were unsecured, you're toast)

 

Traveller

 

 

 

Full agreement

(#298455)
Bird Dog's picture

If you get 'em illegally or if you fail to secure 'em, a dear price should be paid.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

I agree she should feel some serious pain but disagree

(#298462)

on the secure storage.  It sounds ok at first glance but I'd rather have better reporting of the theft of firearms.  I think a person who has failed to secure a firearm, however that is defined, is less likely to report a theft of the firearm if they stand a good chance of having action taken against them.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Fair enuf

(#298469)
Bird Dog's picture

If reported but there was negligence, then a penalty but less punitive. If no negligence, then the gun owner shouldn't be penalized.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

You know what I'd like to see?

(#298466)
HankP's picture

serial numbers cast into the barrel. That way we could always tell where a gun came from. But I'm sure the NRA would never agree.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Hank, I don't know why you'd want that?

(#298474)

I mean that as I don't understand what that achieves.  Firearms already have serial numbers, so I'm not sure what the benefit of multiple serial numbers is.  I'll make the assumption that your line of reasoning is that since serial numbers can be removed from the receiver they should go onto the barrel too.  The problem with that is that you'd have to do the etching, punching, casting in such a way that it won't weaken the integrity of the barrel which means it can still be filed off.

I'll further make the assumption that what you really want is for it to be more difficult to remove the serial number from the receiver or frame.  I think that can be done.  Exactly how would be different depending on the design of the gun but generally speaking, place the serial number on the inside of the receiver or frame.  Somebody who is really dedicated to making a gun untraceable can defeat this, but you're not going to stop them anyway, you will stop the run-of-the-mill thug.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Mostly because a barrel is the one essential part of a gun

(#298486)
HankP's picture

that's extremely difficult to make, even if you have a metal shop. The numbers would be cast in so they couldn't be scratched or etched out.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

She is So Young & Pretty...There is Always a Defense...

(#298464)

 

...for the pretty young female.

 

I was really distressed when I saw her come out in cuffs and all my years of experience told me that, rather than being made an example of as I had hoped, she will largely walk.

 

Oh, she's going to be convicted of something, but it is going to be easy on her.

 

Because she is young and pretty and personable.

 

Here the CNN video link if you wish, but it also means there is advertisement.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/28/justice/new-york-arrest-firefighter-ambush...

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

Registered sex offenders

(#298439)
HankP's picture

they don't give the exact address, but certainly enough to find them if you want to.

 

I'm pretty sure the gun owners would take the map that was published over what I linked to.

 

But the bigger point is, why are you linking the gun registration map to liberals? It looks a lot more like a paper trying to increase circulation and web site hits than some ideological endeavor. Just because you think something is liberal doesn't mean all liberals agree with it or are responsible for it. The examples you list of party members and organizations doing thinks can be called Democratic, but unless there's some great liberal consensus about them you're just blowing smoke. When it comes to actually implementing big brother type policies, the Republicans seem to be far in advance (with too many Dems without a backbone going along for the ride).

I blame it all on the Internet

For obvious reasons

(#298445)
Bird Dog's picture

The gun control crowd are, for the most part, on the left. The news media, of which a NY paper such as the Journal News is a part, is on the left and favors gun control. This attempt to name and shame is part and parcel of what liberals have done, and examples have been provided. If they think this act will increase circulation, then they have failed to think this through.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

The news media is on the left?

(#298447)
HankP's picture

citation needed. This is just more sloppy "liberal media" assumptions. Also, conservatives sure seem to want to make stuff public when it serves their political purposes, so I don't think your title is accurate, unless you're just cherry picking "things that I don't like, and that are therefore liberal".

 

I blame it all on the Internet

The news media

(#298450)

to the modern day USA "conservative" is left leaning, like creationism is science, heliocentrism is just one of many theories, and the truth has a liberal bias. It's faith, jesus' footprints in the sand, and not eating shellfish.

 

Pretend that everyone else is simply lying when convenient, and you're always right!

Huh

(#298454)
Bird Dog's picture

When only 8% of national media self-identify as conservative and 36% self-identify as liberal (link), then I say that my conclusions are well supported, and that Hank refuses to accept facts that are inconvenient to his ideology. The surveys are a bit dated, but I don't think they've changed much in four years time.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

In your poll, the people in charge are more conservative

(#298471)

Presidents, CEOs, general managers and publishers in the national media identify as conservative over liberal 19% to 16%. (See page 62 for the breakdown).

 

Then you've got 60% of this executive class identifying as "moderate," which is open to interpretation.

 

In my experience, "moderate" wealthy businessmen are overwhelmingly economically conservative while being less socially conservative.  

 

Your poll overall supports a conservative media -- the people calling the shots and writing the checks are more conservative than liberal, especially on matters economic.

Fallacy

(#298476)
Bird Dog's picture

GE signs Chris Matthews' paychecks but they don't intrude on his opinions. Similarly, editors, the national variety of which is mostly left-of-center.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Ha ha.  Yeah.

(#298488)

Ha ha.  Yeah.

Naivete

(#298483)

First, the Pew did not poll executives of parent companies, but of the news orgs themselves. If you think hiring and firing power has no effect on content, you're naive.

 

Matthews is a perfect example of a mainstream media stooge who's mostly focused on personalities and trivialities and is always busy sucking up to the power structure. Or maybe it's just a coincidence that he was very friendly to conservatives in the early-to-mid 00s and is now more friendly to Democrats ... 

Yes, we all saw how liberal he was

(#298485)
HankP's picture

when he went after Clinton and Gore non-stop in the late 90s. The idea that editors only correct typos is, as you say, naive.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

This was a local paper

(#298481)
HankP's picture

how you seem to know so much about the details of how they're run and the ideologies of the people involved, without research, continues to astound.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Got it

(#298490)
Bird Dog's picture

You must be under the odd impression that naming and shaming registered gun owners is the act of a conservative editor.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Oh for crying out loud

(#298493)
HankP's picture

is asking for government handouts conservative? Because plenty of conservatives who run corporations do exactly that. You're trying to put an ideological spin on a business decision, which is not how the world works.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Non-sequitur

(#298506)
Bird Dog's picture

The Journal News editors made an editorial decision--and ideological decision--foremost, and it reeks of creepy liberalism. Own it, Hank. Or better yet, police your own.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

The way you own the panty sniffers in the GOP?

(#298529)
HankP's picture

Is that what you mean by owning it? Is that how you police your own?

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Panty sniffers?

(#298571)
Bird Dog's picture

Do tell.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Ah, but what was their

(#298509)

Ah, but what was their intent?

Another Red Queen diary

(#298548)
HankP's picture

verdict first, then the trial.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Indeed

(#298549)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Everyone knows that such diaries should only be directed at "white" Hispanics and dead women who apparently didn't anticipate that her son would murder her and twenty other people.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

26

(#298565)

26 other people.

 

I know that conservatives (none in this forum, of course) may think that school teachers don't count. But they do.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

My Bad

(#298566)
M Scott Eiland's picture

I should have said "twenty-odd," since I didn't know the exact number off the top of my head. I know that some people (none here, of course) might well go out of their way to score phony points by attributing malice where none was intended, so careful wording is appropriate.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Don't Panic, the Person in the Link Below is Hispanic

(#298563)
brutusettu's picture

link

 

 

 

You'll have to be more specific

(#298553)
HankP's picture

because this looks like just another generic rant.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Oh, I Think The References Are Rather Obvious

(#298554)
M Scott Eiland's picture

And I'm really not interested in indulging bad faith comments asserting ignorance.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

The poll is ridiculous

(#298458)
HankP's picture

because the definition of "liberal", "moderate" and "conservative" have moved so much over the past few decades. Even over the past two years. So sure, for conservatives the idea that the media isn't calling for Obama's impeachment every night is a sign they're "too liberal" (or as the rest of the country would say, "sane"). But even by that standard, the media isn't liberal. It's pure amoral capitalism, trying to make as much money as they can. If that means pushing liberal storylines, they'll do it. If that means pushing conservative storylines, they'll do that too, as the Benghazi false scandal shows. It's only the explicitly conservative outlets that don't follow that pattern, and why they seem ridiculous to everyone except true believers.

 

Besides, we were talking about newspapers. And it doesn't matter how liberal the reporters may be, it only matters how liberal the editors and publishers are, because they're the ones who decide what actually makes it into the paper as opposed to what doesn't.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Denial

(#298468)
Bird Dog's picture

It's cool. I get it.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

So you got nothing

(#298482)
HankP's picture

except an article of faith. I get it.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Nope

(#298489)
Bird Dog's picture

The facts were presented and you refuse to accept them. Like I said, I get it.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

It's been cited

(#298449)
Bird Dog's picture

In more than one diary of mine, using real facts. That you refuse to accept it is not my concern.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Just-so stories nt

(#298451)
HankP's picture

.

I blame it all on the Internet

Gun Owners As A Group Aren't Convicted Felons. . .

(#298441)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .with a well-documented insanely high rate of recidivism.*

*--argument that said laws cast far too wide a net regarding what types of sex offenses should be considered to fall into that category is acknowledged, and it is a reasonable one.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

We're talking about publicly available information

(#298442)
HankP's picture

not felony status. There's tons of information available about everybody, the only thing that's new is that computers make it very easy to organize and present the information. Anyone could do the same with information about liens, bankruptcy court filings, etc.

 

And of course the elephant in the room is the far more comprehensive set of information collected and sold by commercial interests. I'm guessing a map of favorite porn sites by street address would be a lot more inclusive and embarrassing.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

That's A Policy Choice, Too

(#298443)
M Scott Eiland's picture

And there's plenty of precedent for keeping it private--the idiots at the newspaper have apparently goaded the NY legislature into locking down the gunowners data, along with giving gun owners in every other state that doesn't yet have registration a horrible to point to.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

But not a liberal policy choice

(#298446)
HankP's picture

at least not exclusively so. Conservatives have all kinds of information they want made public as well. I think both parties and both political philosophies want more open government and open government records, at least going by their statements.

 

I blame it all on the Internet