Posts tagged ‘AP’

Oh Jeez, Not This Again

Via the AP wire:

The
House on Wednesday approved a constitutional amendment that would give
Congress the power to ban desecration of the American flag, a measure
that for the first time stands a chance of passing the Senate as well.

By a
286-130 vote - eight more than needed - House members approved the
amendment after a debate over whether such a ban would uphold or run
afoul of the Constitution's free-speech protections.

Approval
of two-thirds of the lawmakers present was required to send the bill on
to the Senate, where activists on both sides say it stands the best
chance of passage in years. If the amendment is approved in that
chamber by a two-thirds vote, it would then move to the states for
ratification.

Why is it there is so much obsession of late with freakin icons?  The Left gets bent out of shape that some books were mishandled in Cuba and the Right is back on its no flag-burning kick.  The US Flag is a piece of cloth, that has meaning to the extent that one respects what it stands for.  Legislating against burning flags will do nothing to increase respect for what the flag stands for, and in reality helps undermine those values.  No one who loves the US thinks less of our country when they see someone burning flag -- they think less of the flag-burners.

A hundred years ago, the Constitution was modified to allow income taxes, an amendment that was sold to the public as but a small, small exception to constitutional protections.  We see now what has been driven since through this small crack.  Lets not do the same with free speech - we cannot create an exception to our strong Constitutional protections of free speech.

Fascinating Data on Earnings by Race (maybe)

Michelle Malkin pointed out this AP story:

Census Bureau findings show black and Asian women with bachelor's
degrees earn slightly more than similarly educated white women, and
white men with four-year degrees make more than anyone else.

According to the data, a white woman with a bachelor's degree typically
earned nearly $38,000 in 2003, compared with nearly $44,000 for a
college-educated Asian woman and $41,000 for a college-educated black
woman.

If true, this is really good news.  Unfortunately, as I have said in the past, if journalists had been any good at math and science in school, they probably wouldn't have been journalism majors.  Never, ever trust stats at first blush in the newspaper.  My guess is that the pool of people in these stats is "all women" as opposed to "women currently in the workforce".  This would mean that stay-at-home moms would average in as "0", distorting any conclusions one might draw about actual salaries since the prevalence of stay at home moms may vary from race to race.   However, this is still good news, especially given the increase in black women going to college.

AP Defends Photo as "Fake but Accurate"

Release from the Associated Press:

Photo of Kidnapped Soldier Fake, But Accurate

London:  We are working hard to authenticate the photograph of the American Soldier we reported kidnapped by Islamic terrorists freedom fighters.  A number of extremist right-wing reactionary bloggers have accused the AP of being duped by a photo of an action figure propped against a cement block.  Bloggers point to differences in clothing vs. standard US combat gear as well as a similarity in appearance to the "Cody" action figure.

The AP stands by its story.  We have engaged a world famous collector of 1970's Barbie dolls that we met in an eBay chat room who has assured us that no action figure clothing ever made could possibly match what is shown in the photo.  We are meeting with our expert next month at the Houston rodeo to review his findings.

Even if the photo is eventually determined to be fake, we still believe it is an accurate representation of our need to find a negative story in Iraq to counterbalance the positive press President Bush has gotten after the recent elections. 

And, in a related story... well, not really related, except it is also about Iraq... OK, actually its related only because I am too lazy to start a new post:

UN officials reacted strongly to the attacks on its recent blogads taking credit for the recent Iraqi election.  Critics called the ads rank hypocrisy, given the fact that the UN funneled over $20 billion of food money to Saddam, opposed the overthrow of Saddam, and cut-and-run from helping to rebuild Iraq at the first sign of violence.  The UN said that the ads were perfectly consistent with its policy, since it "was against elections before it was for them."

Interviews of Iraqi citizens on the street showed strong support for the UN's lack of support.  Said one Iraqi who asked to remain anonymous, "given the UN peacekeepers terrible performance in Kosovo and their serial rape and white slavery in the Congo and their sanctioning of genocide in the Sudan, we haven't really missed them."

Great Moments in Media Fact Checking

Via Wizbang, who helped point the finger at the CBS forged memos, comes this story about an AP Report of a American service man supposedly held hostage:

Iraqi militants claimed in a Web statement Tuesday to have taken an American soldier hostage and threatened to behead him in 72 hours unless the Americans release Iraqi prisoners.

The posting, on a Web site that frequently carried militants' statements, included a photo of what appeared to be an American soldier in desert fatigues seated with his hands tied behind his back.

A gun barrel was pointed at his head, and he is seated in front of a black banner emblazoned with the Islamic profession of faith, "There is no god but God and Muhammad is His prophet."

It even is accompanied with this picture:

Soldier_held

Only problem is that this is actually a photo of a GI Joe doll. 

Bd0450_1

The "professionals" at the AP were taken in hook line and sinker, leaving it to "amateurs" on the web to debunk the hoax in about a half and hour.  Read all about it at the Wizbang link above.

Update:  CNN has caught up on the story

Great Moments in Media Fact Checking

Via Wizbang, who helped point the finger at the CBS forged memos, comes this story about an AP Report of a American service man supposedly held hostage:

Iraqi militants claimed in a Web statement Tuesday to have taken an American soldier hostage and threatened to behead him in 72 hours unless the Americans release Iraqi prisoners.

The posting, on a Web site that frequently carried militants' statements, included a photo of what appeared to be an American soldier in desert fatigues seated with his hands tied behind his back.

A gun barrel was pointed at his head, and he is seated in front of a black banner emblazoned with the Islamic profession of faith, "There is no god but God and Muhammad is His prophet."

It even is accompanied with this picture:

Soldier_held

Only problem is that this is actually a photo of a GI Joe doll. 

Bd0450_1

The "professionals" at the AP were taken in hook line and sinker, leaving it to "amateurs" on the web to debunk the hoax in about a half and hour.  Read all about it at the Wizbang link above.

Update:  CNN has caught up on the story

OK, Can We Please Not Send OU to the BCS Championship Again?

Two years in a row, voters had to choose two out of three very good teams to send to the BCS championship game.  And, for the second straight year, the team left out (USC, Auburn) has looked a lot better than OU, who got blown out for the second straight year in the Championship game.  I thought the Big 12 was way overrated at the beginning of the season and I have not changed my mind.  Maybe it is some flaw in the distribution of the AP's voting ballots, with a disproportionate number going to Big 12 States.  Certainly it seemed that way when Texas slipped by Cal in the last poll of the season as a number of voters seemed to "reevaluate" their rankings to slip Texas in.

UPDATE:  Same goes double for Ashlee Simpson

RV Sales Surge

Good news for our business (I run a campground management company), the AP reports via our Arizona Republic that RV sales continue to surge, despite high gas prices.

RV sales are definitely riding the front end of the demographic wave, as new retirees look for more flexibility and mobility in their retirement years.   RV businesses are also benefiting from a post 9/11 reluctance to travel overseas or vacation at high-profile resorts or cities that might be targets.  I wrote on some of these trends in my post "the New American Nomads".

Holiday Pork

Via Scrappleface, here is an AP report of some of the special interest spending items in the most recent budget.  Ughh.

"”Alabama: $4 million for the International Fertilizer Development Center in Muscle Shoals.

"”Alaska: $443,000 to develop salmon-fortified baby food.

Oh, just read them all.  Not sure any branch of government needs to do most of these things, but certainly if they need to be done, they should be funded by local taxpayers who get the benefit, not the rest of us.