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Bird Cage Liners and Spinning.

NY-Times-Birdcage-ROHWe have never been ones to think that the media should somehow be “unbiased.” We hope that they are, but we are realistic in that the world, moral and political views of writers and editors are going to either sneak in or be deliberately be in the way the media reports a story.

While the First Amendment protects the press, the First Amendment does not require that the press print the unbiased facts of a story. For example, during World War II, newspapers were prevented and agreed not to print the images of deadly battles with Americans lest the people at home get discouraged. Going back in time, the 1775 Boston Massacre was portrayed as an unprovoked attack on innocent American citizens when it was anything but that and in fact the mob had attacked the British soldiers first. Bias can be seen in the newspapers during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. Lincoln was portrayed as everything from an saint to a devil in a stove pipe hat. Reading the newspapers of the day, it is sometimes difficult to understand the papers are actually talking about the same person.

The bottom line is that the media has a bias.

Perhaps nowhere has that bias been on display more than the “bookend Times” this past week. On the east coast, the New York times had two articles ready to be published on the Keystone Pipeline vote, both praising the Democrats and specifically Senator Mary Landrieu who is in a run off election in Louisiana against Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy. The articles were written to cover whether the Pipeline vote passed or failed.

The Times accidentally published online both versions of the articles before the vote was completed.

If the Senate votes to pass Keystone, the Times has a quote from Hawaii Democratic Senator Brian Schatz ready to go that praises Senator Landrieu:

“She’s a force to be reckoned with, and a powerful advocate for the oil and gas industry,” said Democratic Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, who opposed the bill. “She obviously believes it’s in America’s best interest. I disagree, but I don’t think anybody can doubt her capabilities as a legislator and her ability to get people to her side. We wouldn’t be having this vote if it weren’t for Mary’s persuasive abilities.”

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The Connection Between Intellect and Wisdom.

Ami Horowitz is a video producer who decided to film a “proof of theory” experiment at the University of California at Berkeley.

I have always thought that there was no connection between intellect and wisdom. To put this theory to the test, I headed out to the University of California, Berkeley.

Students at Berkeley clearly have a lot of intellect; it is one of the most prestigious and selective universities in the country. But do they have wisdom?

Horowitz’s experiment was to go UCB waving a flag and shouting for support for the terrorist group ISIS while filming the reaction of students. Howowitz then swapped out the ISIS flag for that of Israel.

The differences in the student’s reaction is stunning.

The shocking video above unfortunately proves once and for all that there is in fact no connection between intellect and wisdom.




The Flip Flop On Immigration And Executive Orders.

Obama-Flip-Flops-ROHTonight, President Obama will give a speech on his plans for immigration reform by executive orders.

The President has said that the American people want “comprehensive immigration reform” and in his opinion as the Congress will not act, he feels compelled to do so. The problem is that there is no poll that supports that supposition. A November, 2014 NBC / Wall Street Journal poll shows Americans disagree with the President.

Overall, the individual issues that are most important to voters are job creation and economic growth (23 percent of registered voters pick that as their top issue), breaking Washington’s gridlock (another 23 percent), the deficit (12 percent), health care (9 percent) and Social Security and Medicare (another 9 percent)

Just 7 percent pick the military action against ISIS as their top issue, and only 2 percent point to the Ebola outbreak.

Instead of concentrating on what Americans feel is important to them, once again we see Obama go off on a tangent. It seems to be a pattern with Obama. When the country is facing issues that the public wants addressed, Obama goes and tries to “solve” an issue that people aren’t overly concerned with. Moreover, while most Americans are against amnesty for illegal immigrants, amnesty is part of the President’s plan he will unveil.

However, lurking beneath the immigration issue is that this appears to be another case of a man who has no solid rock of principles which he stands upon.

For example, take this quote from his 2006 book, “The Audacity of Hope:”

“[T]here’s no denying that many blacks share the same anxieties as many whites about the wave of illegal immigration flooding our Southern border—a sense that what’s happening now is fundamentally different from what has gone on before.”

”Not all these fears are irrational,” he wrote.

“The number of immigrants added to the labor force every year is of a magnitude not seen in this country for over a century,” Obama noted. “If this huge influx of mostly low-skill workers provides some benefits to the economy as a whole—especially by keeping our workforce young, in contrast to an increasingly geriatric Europe and Japan—it also threatens to depress further the wages of blue-collar Americans and put strains on an already overburdened safety net.”

So while Obama was against amnesty and immigration reform in 2006, now he is for it.

We believe that people can change their minds on issues. People grow, mature, get more facts, etc., so it is possible that Obama’s position has “evolved.”

That evolution does not explain his flip flop on executive orders.
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Cocoa Beach Meetings.

Cocoa-Beach-Can-Cropped-ROHOur friends up in Cocoa Beach have a couple of meetings of interest coming up.

Tonight at 6 PM in the Cocoa Beach Country Club, there will be a workshop on “rowdy beach behavior” on Cocoa Beach’s beaches.

Rowdy crowds are a target as the city tackles the question of finding a solution to what some see as irresponsible behavior, trash and excessive drinking at Minutemen Beach during some weekends.

City officials, a beer distributor, Cocoa Beach Main Street and Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce are heading a public meeting that will look for ways to

curb rowdy crowds and consider banning Styrofoam products from the beach.

This is one of those classic debates as Cocoa Beach derives much of its tax revenue from tourism. The City cannot afford to turn off visitors that are looking to have a good time on the beach. At the same time, the City cannot afford to turn off those who are affected in a negative way by the people “having a good time.” The City struggles in finding a balance between keeping an image of fun, without having an “party image” that affects its visitors and residents.

Residents should show up at this meeting and let their thoughts and voices be heard.

On Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 7:00 PM, the City Commission will be holding a regular meeting. The agenda for that meeting can be found here.

Skip Wins

One of our loyal readers from Cocoa Beach sent us the above picture. It’s appropriate because like Satellite Beach the night before, on Thursday Cocoa Beach will be installing new City Commission members as the result of the November 4th elections.

Skip Williams for City Commission Seat 4 and Mike Miller for City Commission Seat 5 will be sworn in that night.
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Satellite Beach City Council Meeting Tonight.

Satellite-Beach-Gold-Tile-ROH Two meetings are on tap for the Satellite Beach City Council tonight.

The first is a special meeting at 6:45 PM with the single agenda item of accepting the election results for Satellite Beach. The agenda can be found here.

Following the special meeting, a regular meeting will be held starting at 7:00 PM. The agenda for the meeting is here and the agenda support packet is here.

The meeting has one vote on a budget ordinance and the rest of the meeting is devoted to the installation of Council members and comments by outgoing City Council Members.

Hope to see you there.



Policing For Profit.

Policing-for-Profit-ROHRonnie Hankins and his wife Lisa were exhausted and drained as they drove through the state of Tennessee. The couple who live in San Diego, had attended the funeral for Ronnie’s grandfather in Virginia and were returning to California when they were stopped for an alleged traffic violation by an officer from the Tennessee 23rd Judicial District Drug Task Force.

With out of state license plates and an Hispanic female driving, the Hankins feel they were targeted by the police for the stop.

After the police had separated the Hankins, Lisa was asked by the police if she minded that they searched her car.

She refused feeling that not only was the initial traffic stop without foundation, getting stopped doesn’t mean the police have carte blanche to search any vehicle.

While detaining the Hankins, a canine unit arrived on the scene. The dog walked around the car including an open passenger side window and did not alert. When the dog gets to the driver’s side, the officer makes a movement that he had not done before and the dog suddenly alerts on the closed side of the car.

Interestingly, the dash camera from the K-9 unit as well as the audio from that officer were not turned on. But there is a video record from the original officer.

Armed with “alert” from the dog, the police tore into the Hankins’ car and property.

For an hour the police searched and found nothing.
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Awesome. (With Thanks.)

One of our pet peeves here at Raised on Hoecakes are singers / performers who use the National Anthem as a platform to show their vocal range or supposed talent rather than letting the crowd sing with them. We have always thought the Star Spangled Banner belongs to us all and should be sung by all. It is a group participation event – not a “look at me” performance.

Enter the members of the Kentucky All State Choir Championships.

Each year the junior and senior high students attend the competition in Louisville and stay at the Hyatt Hotel.

What is amazing is that each night of the competition at 11 PM, the kids come out of their rooms and stand looking out over the interior of the hotel.

What happens next is amazing and at the same time, awesome.

The above video is from 2013 looking down from one of the upper floors. (We like the video because it is wide screen.)

Here is one from the same year, looking up.

Below the fold is the video from the 2014 competition, once again from a slightly different viewpoint.
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LEGO Particle Accelerator.

Somehow we don’t remember LEGO sets doing this when we were growing up.

Times change.

This is a working particle accelerator built using LEGO bricks. I call it the LBC (Large Brick Collider). It can accelerate a LEGO soccer ball to just over 12.5 kilometers per hour.




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