Tuesday, September 24, 2013

BEDFORD: Creepy Uncle Sam is the best political mascot since normal Uncle Sam


The left is having a temper tantrum.

Reading a couple of liberal scribes over the past 24 hours, we can almost hear the huffing and puffing, the indignant stamping of feet; reading their tweets, we can nearly hear the feverish pitch of their whines. Oh, the outrage. Won't somebody please think of the children? On and on.

The cause? These hysterically creepy ads Generation Opportunity released urging young people to opt out of Obamacare on Oct. 1.


Complaints have ranged from the mundane to the delusional, with the ever-reliable folks at MSNBC seeing racism in the ads' diverse set of actors. But brushing aside the panicked innuendos the left brings to every waking moment, all the young folks over at Generation Opportunity are seeing are clicks. Awareness of their cause. Alertness to their message.

Because seriously, when is the last time an anti-Obamacare ad went viral?

And viral it went. Published on Thursday, the videos have already racked up over one million hits combined. In the first 24 hours, over 100 publications wrote them up.


"This is written for young people, by young people," Generation Opportunity president Evan Feinberg, 29, told The Daily Caller. "A lot of groups message to young people through traditional political ad campaigns because that's all they know how to do. We think these videos went viral because we put ourselves in the minds of our friends, classmates, coworkers, and asked what would we find creepy? Funny? What would get the message across for us?"

Well, it turns out the answer isn't some long-winded commentary on health-care policy in the United States. It's comedy. Dark comedy.

"That was always the goal: To use creepiness to get the buzz," one outside consultant who worked on the project told TheDC. "Otherwise it would have just another center-right ad - not 'holy shit,' which is what it was."

"Messaging from a 70-year-old, center-right perspective has not helped us reach young people," the consultant added.

And she has a good point there. Even when conservatives abandon their policy-heavy arguments steeped in history and philosophy for bumper-sticker messaging, they still often miss the mark. One well-known group, for example, has campaigned for young folks to "burn" their "Obamacare draft card" - a message that no doubt resonates strongly with generations that lived under the shadow of the military draft. Yes, that draft - the one that stopped affecting young men over four decades ago.

The Obamacare bill is really difficult to explain in a 30- or 60-second thing," Feinberg told TheDC. "So we wanted something that could go viral, that could connect people with resources."

"A lot of people still don't understand what opting out means," he continued. "When they go to our website, you'll find a wealth of information about the law. You'll learn a lot of information about your options a a young person. Our goal from the beginning of the campaign was to educate young Americans about the difficult decisions they have to make on Oct. 1," when they have the option to begin enrolling.

The idea of turning people on to a message by initially triggering an emotional response is old, by the way. Very old. And the left has mastered it: Republicans hate the poor! Republicans want to put black people back in chains! Republicans are waging a war on women! Never mind the facts. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

"I think that their instincts were right," the outside consultant told TheDC. "This is exactly what they set out to do. This is what they thought would break through the noise. We're going with shock and awe because this will break through the noise and go viral and people will pay attention."

So let the outrage continue. Let more readers click, and learn a thing or two about the options they have in front of them. Giving citizens the information they need to make important and informed decisions about their lives and their health care is, as one powerful liberal is fond of saying, "The right thing to do."

Oh, and one more thing for all our well-meaning liberal friends: If you see a rubber glove rectal exam and think this ad has anything to do with "sex," you're probably not doing it right.

Follow Bedford on Twitter and Facebook

P.S. - Keep an eye out for Creepy Uncle Sam Halloween costume. It's just too good.

Source: Dailycaller

Sunday, September 22, 2013

An eighth-grade history teacher in rural Campobello, S.C. allegedly gave a pop quiz on the Constitution this week that left the parents of one quiz taker highly irate.

Specifically, the parents took issue with a quiz question involving gun rights, reports journalist Ben Swann at Benswann.com. They say the unnamed teacher erroneously marked their daughter's answer wrong.

The question was a hypothetical scenario:

"Mr. Jones' gun was confiscated at a police traffic stop, even though he had the proper permit and license of ownership of the gun."

The first sub-part to the question asked: "Is this situation Constitutional?" The second and third sub-parts ask students to identify the amendment at issue and state the relevant text.

The student indicated that the situation as described is not constitutional. The teacher allegedly marked this answer wrong, scribbling out the word "no" and writing "yes."

The also student wrote that the amendment at issue is the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures. That, too, was scribbled out and changed to the Second Amendment.

(The girl's answer for the third part is not visible.)

The National Rifle Association's Institute for Legal Action notes that people generally don't need a permit to buy or own a rifle, shotgun or handgun in South Carolina.

Assuming the gun at issue is a handgun and not, say, a hunting rifle, Section 16-23-20 of the South Carolina Code of Laws forbids people from carrying handguns. However, the law then provides 16 broad exceptions to this prohibition. Among those exceptions are (9) carrying the handgun in a closed compartment in a vehicle and (15) transferring a handgun between two places where handguns are legal.

Perhaps the teacher is a New Mexico transplant. As Reason.com notes, the Land of Enchantment's state supreme court ruled in 2011 that the safety of police officers trumps the constitutional rights of gun owners in cars.

New Mexico state law has very little influence in South Carolina.

Across the country, a number of teachers and school districts have been giving strangely ambiguous information about the civil right that is gun ownership.

At Guyer High School in Denton, Texas, for instance, an Advanced Placement U.S. History textbook watered down the Second Amendment this way: "The people have a right to keep and bear arms in a state militia." (RELATED: This high school is teaching kids a different version of the Second Amendment)

The full text of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Follow Eric on TwitterUpdate: An earlier version of this report wrongly asserted that the Fourth Amendment answer was incorrect. and send education-related story tips to erico@dailycaller.com.

Source: Dailycaller

SONY'S RADICAL new digital cameras-the DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100-are like interchangeable lenses for your smartphone. They clip to the back of an iPhone or Android phone to create a Frankenshooter that can snap 18- or 20-megapixel pics whose quality rivals that of photos taken with a good point-and-shoot. In fact, the DSC-QX100 has the same lens and 1-inch image sensor as one of the best compact cameras on the market, Sony's Cyber-shot RX100 II.

Both the QX10 and QX100 connect with a smartphone over Wi-Fi and use the device's touchscreen as a live display. The clip-on approach is convenient, but it does take some getting used to. Because a smartphone is lighter and thinner than the body of a traditional camera, the whole package is bit front-heavy. You'll have to learn to hold it by the "lens" (which is really the camera), instead of the "body" (the smartphone). Thankfully, this isn't as awkward as it sounds, since the cameras have dedicated shutter buttons and zoom controls on the side.

However, the approach does have drawbacks. Although the cameras are compatible with an iPhone, they're best suited for devices that support Near Field Communication. Pairing them with a Samsung Galaxy S4, for example, was a snap, but making them work with an iPhone-or any other devices that isn't NFC compatible-requires fiddling with Wi-Fi settings. By the time you turn on the camera, make the necessary changes to the phone and then launch Sony's companion camera app, you'll likely miss that especially cute baby expression you wanted to capture.

Also, this is not a camera for multitasking. If you close the Sony app-to, say, check Facebook-the camera and phone will need to reestablish a connection before you can start taking pictures again, a process that takes another few seconds.

That said, the image quality of the QX10 that we tested easily outshined that of any camera crammed into a smartphone. Images were brighter and more balanced. Unlike a camera phone, the QX10 and QX100 can zoom optically.

The coolest feature, though, is that the cameras don't need to be physically attached to a smartphone to use its screen as a display. That means you can hold the lens up high (great for taking concert shots) while still being able to use your smartphone to view what you're shooting. Point the lens at yourself-and even mount it to a tripod-for the ultimate self portraits. Whether these new cameras will transform the world of smartphone photography may be debatable, but one thing is for sure: the selfie will never be the same. $250 for the QX10; $500 for the QX100, sony.com

A version of this article appeared September 21, 2013, on page D12 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: I CAN SNAP CLEARLY NOW.

Source: Wsj

American amanda Knox says she will not travel to Italy for an appeals trial over the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

"I was already imprisoned as innocent person in Italy," Ms Knox said told NBC. "I just can't relive that."

Ms Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were found guilty in 2009, but acquitted on appeal in 2011.

In March, Italy's highest court overturned both acquittals, ordering a fresh appeals process.

Ms Knox spent four years in prison before her acquittal.

She said she expected to win another acquittal, but that "common sense" told her not to return to Italy.

"I thought about what it would be like to live my entire life in prison and to lose everything, to lose what I've been able to come back to and rebuild,'' she said.

"I think about it all the time. It's so scary. Everything is at stake.''

Ms Knox is not required to be present in Italy for the new appeal, due to start in Florence on 30 September.

However, if her previous conviction is confirmed, Italy would be expected to request her extradition.

Meredith Kercher, from Coulsdon, south London, was found dead in a flat she shared in Perugia with Ms Knox, a fellow exchange student.

Prosecutors said Kercher, who had been repeatedly stabbed, died in a sex game that went wrong.

Both Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito maintain their innocence.

Ms Knox insists that on the night of Kercher's death she was at Mr Sollecito's flat, smoking marijuana and watching a film.

Another man - Rudy Guede from Ivory Coast - was convicted in a separate trial and sentenced to 16 years for the killing.

Source: Bbc

Saturday, September 21, 2013

HOOK AND FUR By Bob Brown The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) recently released its assessment of this year's statewide hunting prospects. Informative and comprehensive in...

Teague James, who led the South Puget Sound League 4A with 24 touchdowns last season, is a scoring machine again in the 2013 high school football season, much...

Source: Dispatchnews