I finally agree with Megyn Kelly of FoxNews on something! Incredible!


Megyn_Kelly_4Megyn Kelly suggested in response to her latest proclamation that Santa Claus and Jesus were both white that she was just trying to inject some humor into her show saying, ‘Humor is part of what we try to bring to the show. Sometimes that’s lost on the humorless.’ 

I must admit it’s not lost on me, because I think FoxNews is a joke whenever it goes on the air and Kelly is just one of the comediennes in the FoxNews lineup.  Every year this time FoxNews goes on the war on Christmas alert with outrageous stories and commentary about how a Christian tradition is slowly being eroded by multiculturalism or hordes of foreigners immigrating illegally to the shores of America; now however, we must conclude such stories that run on that network are meant to be humor, just as I have been thinking and writing all along.

Kelly’s latest pronouncement does give a revealing look into her psyche who I guess considers herself a Christian and her perceptions of Jesus Christ.  She takes great comfort in projecting for herself an image of Christ that looks like her, white jesus

even though there is very little religiously that speaks to his color

the Bible is far less descriptive on the matter of Jesus’ skin color than we are. Christian scriptures say very little about Jesus’ physical appearance. They do not comment on his nose, eye color, skin pigmentation, or hair. The glaring exception is Isaiah 53:2, which prophesies that the messiah won’t be much to look at, another fact that places the Bible at odds with the “well-groomed surfer-dude Jesus” who’s often put forth.

It’s clear Megyn doesn’t take her religion seriously any more than she takes her job at FoxNews which leads me to ask if Jesus looked like this black jesuswould Megyn be a Christian?

You must read this about FauxPas News


Inside the Fox News lie machine: I fact-checked Sean Hannity on Obamacare

I happened to turn on the Hannity show on Fox News last Friday evening. “Average Americans are feeling the pain of Obamacare and the healthcare overhaul train wreck,” Hannity announced, “and six of them are here tonight to tell us their stories.”  Three married couples were neatly arranged in his studio, the wives seated and the men standing behind them, like game show contestants.

As Hannity called on each of them, the guests recounted their “Obamacare” horror stories: canceled policies, premium hikes, restrictions on the freedom to see a doctor of their choice, financial burdens upon their small businesses and so on.

“These are the stories that the media refuses to cover,” Hannity interjected.

But none of it smelled right to me. Nothing these folks were saying jibed with the basic facts of the Affordable Care Act as I understand them. I understand them fairly well; I have worked as a senior adviser to a governor and helped him deal with the new federal rules.

I decided to hit the pavement. I tracked down Hannity’s guests, one by one, and did my own telephone interviews with them.hannity-obamacare1

First I spoke with Paul Cox of Leicester, N.C.  He and his wife Michelle had lamented to Hannity that because of Obamacare, they can’t grow their construction business and they have kept their employees below a certain number of hours, so that they are part-timers.

Obamacare has no effect on businesses with 49 employees or less. But in our brief conversation on the phone, Paul revealed that he has only four employees. Why the cutback on his workforce? “Well,” he said, “I haven’t been forced to do so, it’s just that I’ve chosen to do so. I have to deal with increased costs.” What costs? And how, I asked him, is any of it due to Obamacare? There was a long pause, after which he said he’d call me back. He never did.

There is only one Obamacare requirement that applies to a company of this size: workers must be notified of the existence of the “healthcare.gov” website, the insurance exchange. That’s all.

Next I called Allison Denijs.  She’d told Hannity that she pays over $13,000 a year in premiums. Like the other guests, she said she had recently gotten a letter from Blue Cross saying that her policy was being terminated and a new, ACA-compliant policy would take its place. She says this shows that Obama lied when he promised Americans that we could keep our existing policies.

Allison’s husband left his job a few years ago, one with benefits at a big company, to start his own business. Since then they’ve been buying insurance on the open market, and are now paying around $1,100 a month for a policy with a $2,500 deductible per family member, with hefty annual premium hikes.  One of their two children is not covered under the policy. She has a preexisting condition that would require purchasing additional coverage for $600 a month, which would bring the family’s grand total to around $20,000 a year.

I asked Allison if she’d shopped on the exchange, to see what a plan might cost under the new law. She said she hadn’t done so because she’d heard the website was not working. Would she try it out when it’s up and running? Perhaps, she said. She told me she has long opposed Obamacare, and that the president should have focused on tort reform as a solution to bringing down the price of healthcare.

I tried an experiment and shopped on the exchange for Allison and Kurt. Assuming they don’t smoke and have a household income too high to be eligible for subsidies, I found that they would be able to get a plan for around $7,600, which would include coverage for their uninsured daughter. This would be about a 60 percent reduction from what they would have to pay on the pre-Obamacare market.

acaAllison also told me that the letter she received from Blue Cross said that in addition to the policy change for ACA compliance, in the new policy her physician network size might be reduced.  That’s something insurance companies do to save money, with or without Obamacare on the horizon, just as they raise premiums with or without Obamacare coming.

If Allison’s choice of doctor was denied her through Obamacare then, yes, she could have a claim that Obamacare has hurt her. But she’d also have thousands of dollars in her pocket that she didn’t have before.

Finally, I called Robbie and Tina Robison from Franklin, Tenn.  Robbie is self-employed as a Christian youth motivational speaker. (You can see his work here.) On Hannity, the couple said that they, too, were recently notified that their Blue Cross policy would be expiring for lack of ACA compliance. They told Hannity that the replacement plans Blue Cross was offering would come with a rate increase of 50 percent or even 75 percent, and that the new offerings would contain all sorts of benefits they don’t need, like maternity care, pediatric care, prenatal care and so forth.  Their kids are grown and moved out, so why should they be forced to pay extra for a health plan with superfluous features?

When I spoke to Robbie, he said he and Tina have been paying a little over $800 a month for their plan, about $10,000 a year. And the ACA-compliant policy that will cost 50-75 percent more? They said this information was related to them by their insurance agent.

Had they shopped on the exchange yet, I asked? No, Tina said, nor would they. They oppose Obamacare and want nothing to do with it. Fair enough, but they should know that I found a plan for them for, at most, $3,700 a year, 63 percent less than their current bill.  It might cover things that they don’t need, but so does every insurance policy.

It’s true that we don’t know for sure whether certain ills conservatives have warned about will occur once Obamacare is fully enacted. For example, will we truly have the same freedom to choose a physician that we have now? Will a surplus of insured patients require a scaling back (or “rationing,” as some call it) of provided healthcare services?  Will doctors be able to spend as much time with patients? These are all valid, unanswered questions. The problem is that people like Sean Hannity have decided to answer them now, without evidence. Or worse, with fake evidence.

I don’t doubt that these six individuals believe that Obamacare is a disaster; but none of them had even visited the insurance exchange. And some of them appear to have taken actions (Paul Cox, for example) based on a general pessimistic belief about Obamacare. He’s certainly entitled to do so, but Hannity is not entitled to point to Paul’s behavior as an “Obamacare train wreck story” and maintain any credibility that he might have as a journalist.

Strangely, the recent shutdown was based almost entirely on a small percentage of Congress’s belief that Obamacare, as Ted Cruz puts it, “is destroying America.”  Cruz has rarely given us an example of what he’s talking about.  That’s because the best he can do is what Hannity did—exploit people’s ignorance and falsely point to imaginary boogeymen.

For those who might have thought FoxNews was a legitimate news organization)

To bad this is satire-for some it’s typical news fare


So this video was introduced as “satire”?  It shouldn’t have been.  For far too many people of color this is the reality with which they are perceived but the tragedy is the the foibles that are highlighted in the video are common to all of America’s residents.  Hayes did this piece in response to a piece Bill O’Reilly did, and knowing what we know about O’Reilly, it shouldn’t be difficult to parody anything he says or does, because he’s such an anachronism anything said about him today is relevant to an O’Reilly of two hundred years ago.

This is what happens to Muslims in America who are in the wrong place at the wrong time


THE SAUDI MARATHON MAN

POSTED BY AMY DAVIDSON

A twenty-year-old man who had been watching the Boston Marathon had his body torn into by the force of a bomb. He wasn’t alone; a hundred and seventy-six people were injured and three were killed. But he was the only one who, while in the hospital being treated for his wounds, had his apartment searched in “a startling show of force,” as his fellow-tenantsdescribed it to the Boston Herald, with a “phalanx” of officers and agents and two K9 units. He was the one whose belongings were carried out in paper bags as his neighbors watched; whose roommate, also a student, was questioned for five hours (“I was scared”) before coming out to say that he didn’t think his friend was someone who’d plant a bomb—that he was a nice guy who liked sports. “Let me go to school, dude,” the roommate said later in the day, covering his face with his hands and almost crying, as a Fox News producer followed him and asked him, again and again, if he was sure he hadn’t been living with a killer.

Why the search, the interrogation, the dogs, the bomb squad, and the injured man’s name tweeted out, attached to the word “suspect”? After the bombs went off, people were running in every direction—so was the young man. Many, like him, were hurt badly; many of them were saved by the unflinching kindness of strangers, who carried them or stopped the bleeding with their own hands and improvised tourniquets. “Exhausted runners who kept running to the nearest hospital to give blood,” President Obama said. “They helped one another, consoled one another,” Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, said. In the midst of that, according to a CBS News report, a bystander saw the young man running, badly hurt, rushed to him, and then “tackled” him, bringing him down. People thought he looked suspicious.

What made them suspect him? He was running—so was everyone. The police reportedly thought he smelled like explosives; his wounds might have suggested why. He said something about thinking there would be a second bomb—as there was, and often is, to target responders. If that was the reason he gave for running, it was a sensible one. He asked if anyone was dead—a question people were screaming. And he was from Saudi Arabia, which is around where the logic stops. Was it just the way he looked, or did he, in the chaos, maybe call for God with a name that someone found strange?

What happened next didn’t take long. “Investigators have a suspect—a Saudi Arabian national—in the horrific Boston Marathon bombings, The Post has learned.” That’s the New York Post, which went on to cite Fox News. The “Saudi suspect”—still faceless—suddenly gave anxieties a form. He was said to be in custody; or maybe his hospital bed was being guarded. The Boston police, who weren’t saying much of anything, disputed the report—sort of. “Honestly, I don’t know where they’re getting their information from, but it didn’t come from us,” a police spokesman told TPM. But were they talking to someone? Maybe. “Person of interest” became a phrase of both avoidance and insinuation. On theAtlas Shrugs Web site, there was a note that his name in Arabic meant “sword.” At an evening press conference, Ed Davis, the police commissioner, said that no suspect was in custody. But that was about when the dogs were in the apartment building in Revere—an inquiry that was seized on by some as, if not an indictment, at least a vindication of their suspicions.

“There must be enough evidence to keep him there,” Andrew Napolitano said on “Fox and Friends”—“there” being the hospital. “They must be learning information which is of a suspicious nature,” Steve Doocy interjected. “If he was clearly innocent, would they have been able to search his house?” Napolitano thought that a judge would take any reason at a moment like this, but there had to be “something”—maybe he appeared “deceitful.” As Mediaite pointed out, Megyn Kelly put a slight break on it (as she has been known to do) by asking if there might have been some “racial profiling,” but then, after a round of speculation about his visa (Napolitano: “Was he a real student, or was that a front?”), she asked, “What’s the story on his ability to lawyer up?”

By Tuesday afternoon, the fever had broken. Report after report said that he was a witness, not a suspect. “He was just at the wrong place at the wrong time,” a “U.S. official” told CNN. (So were a lot of people at the marathon.) Even Fox News reported that he’d been “ruled out.” At a press conference, Governor Deval Patrick spoke, not so obliquely, about being careful not to treat “categories of people in uncharitable ways.”

We don’t know yet who did this. “The range of suspects and motives remains wide open,” Richard Deslauriers of the F.B.I. said early Tuesday evening. In a minute, with a claim of responsibility, our expectations could be scrambled. The bombing could, for all we know, be the work of a Saudi man—or an American or an Icelandic or a person from any nation you can think of. It still won’t mean that this Saudi man can be treated the way he was, or that people who love him might have had to find out that a bomb had hit him when his name popped up on the Web as a suspect in custody. It is at these moments that we need to be most careful, not least.

It might be comforting to think of this as a blip, an aberration, something that will be forgotten tomorrow—if not by this young man. There are people at Guanátanmo who have also been cleared by our own government, and are still there. A new report on the legacy of torture after 9/11, released Tuesday, is a well-timed admonition. The F.B.I. said that they would “go to the ends of the earth” to get the Boston perpetrators. One wants them to be able to go with their heads held high.

“If you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil—that’s it. Selflessly. Compassionately. Unafraid,” President Obama said. That was mostly true on Monday; a terrible day, when an eight-year-old boy was killed, his sister maimed, two others dead, and many more in critical condition. And yet, when there was so much to fear that we were so brave about, there was panic about a wounded man barely out of his teens who needed help. We get so close to all that Obama described. What’s missing? Is it humility?

 

The Cooked Up War on Christmas


FoxFireEvery year at this time we get inundated with news stories about the war on Christmas and how some body, most likely foreign, dark or un-Christian, or some institution, such as a state or local government, judges or courts, have joined forces with satan to deny Christians their God given right to celebrate Christmas.  FoxNews is one of many leaders in this false narrative that lawmakers are encroaching upon Christian values with political godlessness….it gets the attention and indignation of a lot of folks and it’s good for ratings/subscriptions, etc even when it is NOT true.  This kind of story is a seasonal one, much like hurricane coverage that takes place every year from late summer to late fall along the eastern seaboard of America, or which school has the number one college football or basketball team that’s debated on the airwaves, ironically enough around Christmas time to the advent of March Madness.

warThe difference however in this type of story is the rather sinister appeal it has to certain segments of society that seize upon this news to demagogue issues of immigration and diversity within the landscape of America.  Is it really worth getting angry, excited over someone who says “happy holidays” instead of Merry Christmas?  Some bemoan the fact that such difference in language takes away from the religious nature of the holidays, as if celebrating Christmas is only religious if it’s done by EVERYBODY instead of an individual and their family and friends.  This time of year Christians feel put upon, denigrated, assaulted by the actions of governments, judiciary, and individuals which most likely contributes to a siege mentality instead of a celebratory one and media pundits with an agenda usually centered around political power and or financial prosperity are too eager to exploit such apprehension at this time of year.  Instead of asking who or what is waging a war on Christmas, Americans should be saying ‘enough’ to divisiveness.  Do Jews think it necessary for people to wish them a Happy Hanukah or are Muslims insisting that non-Muslims wish them Eid Mubarak in order for them to feel as if they have really celebrated their religious holiday?

America has become a country of over 300 million people, many of whom do not celebrate Christmas, who should be, must be able20329437_SS to coexist with their Christian brethren who do celebrate during this time of year, and vice versa. Doing so doesn’t diminish the value of either party to the American fabric nor does it adversely impact  the festiveness of any group’s religious holidays.  Why can’t we get that America?!?!?  Perhaps during this time of year, people should turn off the denizens of the public airwaves who want to incite animus between people of different faiths and backgrounds.  This time of year  is stressful enough, with all the crowded shopping centers and streets and the anxiety that comes with breaking the routine in ways that are reserved for only this time of  year.    Instead of worrying about one’s reply to “Merry Christmas”, maybe we ought to be happy that we are able to go out and about and immerse  ourselves in the spirit of Christmas without the worry of whether we will be  shot  in the  mall of our choice.

It appears to me that people who focus on the differences of their fellow citizens during a time that’s supposed to celebrate the birth of the founder of present day western ethos are the true disbelievers in the message of a loving Christ, choosing to point to the sins of their detractors to the point of inciting public discord.  It’s troubling that there aren’t a lot of people who don’t get that.

France is a lot like FoxNews and vice versa-hypocrisy abounds


I’ve railed against France’s treatment of its Muslim citizens, treating them like second class citizens and rewriting the definition of equality, liberty and fraternity when it comes to Muslims.  Feeling disenfranchised France’s Muslim feel any excuse will do to express their frustration at what they justifiably see as religious persecution by France…..even when there is no legitimate reason for such frustration as in the case of the latest provocation that I’ve yet to weigh in on, emanating from California.

Here is a video that is circulating among French Muslims which they think, and I do too, points out French hypocrisy.  Looking at it reminds me a lot of the verbal gymnastics one encounters on FoxNews, that bastion of hypocritical tripe that infects American airwaves.  One has to wonder whether this French television channel isn’t owned by Rupert Murdoch……

Watching FoxNews makes you dumb


There I said it, if you look at FoxNews the chances are you don’t know much about anything. Sure the anchors there provide a certain amount  of gratification with their quick retorts aimed at people or issues we don’t like, but the business of news is non-existent at FoxNews. Rather what we get as a society is targeted opinion that too often isn’t informative, or even remotely true.

Such is the case with the latest pronouncement made by one Eric Bolling who earlier this month uttered the demonstrably proven lie, ‘How is it every terrorist on American soil has been a Muslim?’ How is it that in the year of our Lord, 2012 there are still people making such a ridiculous claim, except that they do so in exchange for a heckuva lot of money.  We’ve outlined here in the pages of Miscellany101 as many instances as the number of Muslims who were charged with terrorism in 2011…that number was 20 indicted .  In 2010 the number of Muslims indicted for terrorism in America was 26, and the total number of Muslims in America indicted for terrorism since 911 is 193.  Yet we’re told the threat is so large that congressional committees must be held, repeatedly, expenditures of money from an already cash strapped country must be allocated and inevitably the rights of American citizens must be abridged because of a threat that represents less than 5% of all domestic terrorism in America.  Did you catch that America?!?!?! Muslims account for less than 5% of all terrorism cases in America between 2002-2005…..not all of them…..5% of them.  So who makes up the other 95% of terrorism in America?!?!?  You do America!

Since September 11, the threat of internationally based Islamic extremist networks has dominated concerns of Homeland Security officials. And while authorities say the threats posed by homegrown Islamic extremism is growing, the FBI has reported that roughly two-thirds of terrorism in the United States was conducted by non-Islamic American extremists from 1980-2001; and from 2002-2005, it went up to 95 percent.

What’s duplicitous about Bolling and his inaccuracies is the above linked report is dated more than a year ago!!!  If  journalism was truly involved over there at FoxNews Bolling would have surely run across the above mentioned document, but there’s a large segment of the population that likes disinformation that reinforces Bolling’s misstatement.

Here are just a few cases we’ve mentioned that fit the definition of terrorism that Bolling probably knows about but doesn’t want you to know about. There’s the knife in the  mayonnaise  jar guy who tried to sneak onto an airplane in Kennedy Airport of all places; there’s the Atlanta editor who thinks President Obama should be killed because of his soft support for Israel. (As far as I know he nor anyone else who has threatened a standing president of the United States has seen the inside of a jail cell); the case of  a US soldier getting on TWO planes with military grade explosives is something that would raise alarms with anyone, but Bolling, since the perpetrator was not Muslim; nor did the US park ranger killer seem alarming to Bolling; the group in Georgia accused of terrorizing America to which two of them pleaded guilty was mentioned here on Miscellany101, but probably didn’t receive a ripple on Bolling’s radar; Gary Mikulich placed  a bomb next to a federal office building but according to Bolling he can’t be  a terrorist because he’s not a Muslim; of course we all know of the political assassination that took place in Arizona at the hands of a deranged Jared Loughner and resulted in the deaths of six people and the termination of the political career of Gabrielle Giffords.   We haven’t even begun to talk about how exaggerated and non-existent the threat of so called Islamic terrorism is to America.  However, in June, 2012 FoxNews is still publicizing the canard that every terrorist on America’s soil is a Muslim and we haven’t touched on the pro-life movement and its followers the likes of Scott Roeder who believe killing abortion providers, who are operating legally in America, is a way of bringing them to justice.  But it’s what Bolling doesn’t say that  is as onerous as what he does….the American Muslim community has steadily refuted terror and been a source of information for federal authorities investigating terrorism in their midst.  None of that matters to an organization that wants to vilify one segment of the American population and will go to any lengths to insure that.  The solution is as has been said here time and time again, kick FoxNews and main stream media to the curb and embrace citizen journalism.  Or you can be dumb.

How NOT to conduct an interview


Too many in journalism, and especially electronic journalism, think being rude, offensive, is synonymous with ‘hard hitting’.  However, sometimes such behavior on the part of the interviewer might backfire.  Take this interview between CBC’s Kevin O’Leary and Chris Hedges.  O’Leary crossed the line of journalist and tried to become a bully, a la Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly or some of the kind you find on the likes of Fox News, but Hedges was having none of it. He not only replied directly to O’Leary’s crude and crass insults but he then went on to give an eloquent description of the financial crisis happening in America, contrasted that with what is going on in Canada, referred to a Canadian writer that the hosts of the CBC should have been familiar with but probably weren’t and then concluded with how he won’t appear on that program again.  That would be Canada’s loss if he were not to appear again, and so reacting to not only Hedges’ outrage but that of its viewers, CBC’s ombudsman issued a quick apology for O’Leary’s boorish behavior, saying in part

This Office and CBC News received hundreds of comments, many of them demanding an apology and some demanding that O’Leary be fired for suggesting Hedges was a ‘left-wing nutbar…..There is room at the inn for a range of views, but there is no room for name-calling a guest……O’Leary might have been genuinely curious about Hedges’s views, but his opening salvo only fed contempt, which breached policy.

It’s comforting to see that there are some in the news business that not only have standards but hold their staffs to them; something sorely lacking in most major American media outlets.  O’Leary was clearly outclassed and picked a fight with the wrong person.  Hedges and the Canadian viewing public are owed an apology.

Oh, for Fox Sake – Stewart Eviscerates Stewart and in doing so points to more Right Wing hypocrisy


Media’s right wing spin machine’s attacks on Stewart’s parody of Cain was not only immature but underscores their victimology tactic when it comes to criticism they receive. They are thin skinned and emotionally immature. There was nothing ever to their claim in the beginning that Stewart was racist and so to make them not look so childish and irrelevant, Stewart lets them off the hook by pointing out some of his other dare we say “racist” parodies. Is there any reason why you look at FoxNews besides Stewart’s comic relief?
Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

Is this really news?


“We Were a Stalin-esque Mouthpiece for Bush” – fox News Insider

EVERYONE has known for ages that FoxNews is not news but propaganda and most well informed people have been saying that for sometime.  The insider with this latest info on FoxNews claims they were a Bush propaganda machine, but in reality they are more of a strident conservative, nationalist, tea party branch of the Republican party that has all but left behind the GWBush era and in the process forgotten history as well.

Fox News is run as a purely partisan operation, virtually every news story is actively spun by the staff, its primary goal is to prop up Republicans and knock down Democrats, and that staffers at Fox News routinely operate without the slightest regard for fairness or fact checking.

“It is their M.O. to undermine the administration and to undermine Democrats,” says the source. “They’re a propaganda outfit but they call themselves news.”

over time Fox News stopped simply leaning to the right and instead became an open and active political player, sort of one-part character assassin and one-part propagandist, depending on which party was in power. And that the operation thrives on fabrications and falsehoods.

For the first few years it was let’s take the conservative take on things. And then after a few years it evolved into, well it’s not just the conservative take on things, we’re going to take the Republican take on things which is not necessarily in lock step with the conservative point of view.

“And then two, three, five years into that it was, we’re taking the Bush line on things, which was different than the GOP. We were a Stalin-esque mouthpiece.  It was just what Bush says goes on our channel. And by that point it was just totally dangerous.  Hopefully most people understand how dangerous it is for a media outfit to be a straight, unfiltered mouthpiece for an unchecked president.”

“It was a kick ass mentality too,” says the former Fox News insider. “It was relentless and it never went away. If one controversy faded, goddamn it they would find another one. They were in search of these points of friction real or imagined. And most of them were imagined or fabricated. You always have to seem to be under siege. You always have to seem like your values are under attack. The brain trust just knew instinctively which stories to do, like the War on Christmas.”

 

….or like Obama is a secret Muslim, or Shariah wants to take over American law, or the Muslim Brotherhood is an arm of al-Qaida and must be stopped at all costs…..and on and on it goes.  A constant stream of lies and fear mongering designed to influence public policy and make way for the demagogues of the Republican party who have broken off and become the Tea Party. Fox has taken over the role of Hollywood, fashioning a tale about America and her leaders that has no basis in fact, a dream merchant or rather a nightmare merchant intent on scaring and pitting one segment of American society against another.  However, because the news is presented by people who are pretty and in effect look like us who give us harrowing tales about people who look different from us it is very possible to believe what are in essence lies.  In our Nation’s history, media has always played a part in being a tool for government in order to enslave foreign peoples and take their resources as well as enact laws that restrict the freedoms and liberties  of its own citizens.  This is FoxNews’ role the fact that another person who should know has come out and said as such while an incredulous public looks on from the sidelines means the spell FoxNews has on the public is still in place and working.

Terrorism strikes again


Six people, as of this writing, were killed in a terrorist attack against federal officials in Arizona on Saturday.  That’s probably how the news would read if the attacker(s) were Muslim, but instead the “attack” is invariably called a “shooting spree” or merely a “shooting” and any notion that this was politically motivated is even further dispelled with descriptions of the shooter being mentally unstable, deranged, almost apolitical or so crazy that one cannot make any political sense out of what he did.

Jared Loughner, right,  is the man and there’s nothing about his identity to lead people to suspect anything other than the obvious…he quite simply is a murderer, like so many who’ve gone before him in this country.  What’s special about him is not the crime…..America is as violent as apple pie; we are a Nation steeped in violence and in many cases we inflict it on others.  Just ask the Iraqis.  What’s special about Loughner is he committed this crime at a time when we have politicized murder and led the country to believe that only a certain group of people are able to carry it out; that they lie in wait to unleash it against us and that all of our efforts should be aimed at this group of individuals exclusively to identify them, flush them out and bring them to justice.  It didn’t help that tangential notions like places of worship, choices of food, articles of clothing, ballot initiatives in Oklahoma, etc.,  got put into the mix to further confuse and infuriate us our goal was shortsighted and pretty damn near illegal.

In 2009 after Obama came into office and HIS Department of Homeland Security came into power and identified the treat to the homeland as being from right wing extremism, a hue and cry went up from those on the right lambasting government for targeting them….in much the same way as Homeland Security targeted others before Obama and it’s been denial ever since.  Perhaps even today, with the identity of this latest terrorist, captured alive I might add, there is every effort to distance him from the ideology or way of thinking he embraced. I opined somewhere that perhaps we might waterboard this captured shooter to know the extent of his act; whether he was helped in any way by others who might be ready to pounce on the next government official, since for now such a notion is likely,  and I was half joking.  Remember when “waterboarding” was considered appropriate for some in our not too distant past?

Why we aren’t more honest with one another during hard times is a case study for psychologists. Speaking of which I would like to mention one who I think has nailed down what ails us today.  In a piece entitled ‘Rudeness is a Neurotoxin’, Dr. Douglas Fields says we are a product of our environment and today’s environment is one of ‘profane language, hostilities and stress from which we adults, raised a generation ago, were carefully shielded.’  In other words the lack of civil discourse, the in-your-face, put-on-your-man pants attitude is the blowback which causes us, Americans,  to be terrorist and makes it perfectly acceptable in our minds, or rather the minds of those so affected, to kill men, women and children….there was a six year old girl killed yesterday.  After being battered for the last 10 years about the power of words and how important they are in giving ‘aid and comfort’ to the enemy when many of us rallied against government intrusion into our lives and the lives of others who were of no threat to us or our interest, we no doubt will be told how the words that rang in the ears of this latest terrorist are of no importance in talking about his heinous crime, and that, no doubt, will make us all feel better about what happened.

But really folks, what we have is an American terrorist, a murderer….all murder, especially against an unsuspecting victim is terror isn’t it?  He even used the tools of terrorism…..his suicidal confessional on his My Space page and Youtube were some of the trappings he had in common with other terrorists but he’s distinct from them in he’s more acceptable as a murderer than as a terrorist, because terrorists have a special place in the American psyche that only people of certain persuasions can occupy and therein lies the problem.  We have made race, religion, the standard by which we make things legal or illegal or how we categorize crime and criminals.  Once again, despite all the trappings of being an advanced society, mature and wiser after  all these over 230 years, we still have the inclination to either raise or lower the bar depending on who the perpetrator/victim is.  Jared Loughner is either a terrorist or a murderer, and Major Hassan Nidal is either a terrorist or a murder and they both belong on the same page in American history with the same designation applied to them and if they’re not then we still too color conscious to be just.  It’s our call America.

 

UPDATE

One has to wonder whether the news that this attempted assassination was religiously inspired, anti-Semitic in origin might make the “terrorist” label more palatable.

A U.S. Department of Homeland Security memo reportedly notes that Gabriel Giffords is Jewish in describing the motives of the Arizona congresswoman’s alleged assailant.The memo, obtained by Fox News Channel, says that Jared Lee Loughner mentioned American Renaissance, an extremist anti-immigrant group, in some of his own postings.

“The group’s ideology is anti-government, anti-immigration, anti-ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government), anti-Semitic,” says the memo sent to law enforcement, which also notes that Giffords, a Democrat, was the first Jewish congresswoman from Arizona.

In this writer’s opinion, however, all of that is irrelevant.  It is now what it was then, an act of premeditated terror which resulted in the deaths of 6 humans and the maiming of many more.  Are the parents of the 9 year old girl killed by the assassin any more relieved from their anguish and grief that because one of the survivor’s of his terror was Jewish, therefore the crime which killed their daughter should be considered an act of terrorism?   Hardly!  The broadest most inclusive definition, ‘any actions that endanger human life or violate U.S. laws’ is indeed the best.  Not that it would mean anything more in terms of a punishment, but it removes the racist element of the term and hopefully makes truly combating and solving terrorism more urgent.

Holiday Spirit


Fox News channel store in the airport

Image by ario_ via Flickr

Bill O’Reilly and his minions at FoxNews want Muslims to “refudiate” terrorism, and absent that they are to be suspect.  O’Reilly et.al also waged a very public campaign to out those who didn’t share the “Christmas” spirit in the same way as he did, saying absent their vociferous bellowing of “Merry Christmas” they were surreptitiously sabotaging Christmas.

Muslims on the other hand were taking a much more pro-active stance about the holidays….something you can read and see here.

Early Christmas morning, hundreds of Muslim-Americans turned out to help their Christian friends by doing the volunteer work that they would normally do. Muslims say this is a way to allow Christians to celebrate the Holiday by stepping in to provide meals to seniors and distributing toys to needy children……

Once again putting a lie to the myth generated by the pundits who are on the payroll of today’s racists/fascists media whores. Oh and speaking of myths, did you hear the one about the Justin Bieber endorsement of the Ground Zero/Park51 mosque that really wasn’t an endorsement at all??  The Islamophobes, who constantly prove themselves to be the worse America has to offer, were tricked again into showing their racist colors by falling for another satirical website that claimed Bieber said something about Park51 that he really didn’t say.  Why don’t these people just admit they have nothing but their own animus which drives them towards insanity and stop hanging excuses on things that really don’t exist?!?!

Mosque foes recently started a boycott of Bieber after he made comments in support of the mosque project in an interview with Tiger Beat, a teen fan magazine….

I was able to reach the proprietor of the site, who confirmed that the Bieber item is in fact a hoax. “[T]he fact that some people take it seriously is hilariously depressing,” he said in an e-mail.

 

Depressing indeed, and par for the course.  America, wake up.

 

Stewart To GOP: No More Using 9/11 For Political Gain Until First Responders Bill Is Passed (VIDEO)


Vodpod videos no longer available.

I applaud Jon Stewart for  his political activism at a time when it seems neither the people we elected or the media have the fortitude to say the same things or expose the same distortions as done by Stewart.  It speaks volumes about how many have forfeited their responsibility to bring honest debate to the issues and not demagogue or bumper sticker them in sound bites.

The issue of what has happened to 911 first responders is just such an issue that politicians cannot point the fingers of blame and have instead chosen to do absolutely nothing at all leaving many of those who worked in the days and months after 911 to deal with debilitating diseases and death while a once grateful nation forgot them.  Politicians, who have been besieged with requests for help seem to have forgotten them too and there is only Jon Stewart to remind us of them?

Where is the outrage that gave birth to the tea party factions nationwide?  Where is the call to action that inspires member of Congress to  investigate average everyday citizens because of their religion, to do something for those who are still fighting today what happened to us nine years ago.  Our priorities are so distorted that congressmen can talk just weeks after elections about forming committees but can’t pass bills that have been discussed, debated, written and re-written for months?  This is today’s  America.

 

A Mind is a terrible thing to waste


…..and FoxNews has lost its mind!  In a theme picked up by most Islamophobes, FoxNews went on the air with several different shows ( see here and here ) claiming The Council of American Islamic Relations CAIR, was able to get an exemption from TSA for Muslim women travelers so that they would not have to go through invasive full body pat downs.  Of course it was a lie, easily proven as such with a little bit of investigation which  when certain groups are mentioned by certain individuals NEVER gets done.

The policy has always been in place since full body scanners were introduced into airports that one could refuse going through one but had to subject themselves to a full body pat down instead. In other words the so called naked body scanners are optional for the flying public.   The TSA in its own press release has also said that Muslim women or any passenger who is wearing something that is covering their head and upper body because of medical or religious reasons…..using the very general term baggy clothing to describe such garb, and who does not want to remove it in order to be cleared must then face the options of a trace portal, trace detection or pat down of the covered area.   The first two, trace portal and trace detection are done mechanically to detect the presence of explosive residue on the body or clothing of someone.

Anyone who refuses AIT or full body image scanning that clearly shows the naked human body, MUST go through the invasive groping body search or pat down.  It is significant to point out that CAIR and other Muslim groups in America have declared the AIT scanners are not an option for Muslims and encouraged their followers to submit to the pat down search instead.  Why anyone thinks that is asking to be exempt from the prying eyes and groping hands of government is beyond  me.

After the full body pat down, a person can risk a secondary screening because of some alarm raised on the part of TSA personnel about the passenger, and this secondary screening involves either trace portal, trace detection or pat down of the covered area.  This screening is obviously meant to discover traces of explosives since the passenger has already been patted down by security and it is here where CAIR suggests that a person may ask to pat down the covered area instead of having TSA personnel do so since that has already been done by a security officer. The intent of the pat down here is to detect explosive residue, not determine what object is under the baggy clothing.  It may be that the person has been in contact with explosive material that is not on their person or in their carry on luggage but have trace amounts found on their clothes which might suggest suspicious behavior and grounds for further investigation before allowing that person on the plane.  What is plain by looking at the steps paggesngers go through is at the point where a woman is asked to have her hijab touched, groped, felt, whatever you want to call it, she has ALREADY gone through the invasive pat down that anyone who rejects the AIT scanners goes through and this part of the screening process is a more fine tuned one to check for exposure to explosives.  Those airports that do not have trace portal devices which cost, according to TSA $160,000 per unit might opt for a pat down of the suspected body part to resolve security concerns.  CAIR goes so far as to say that should a Muslim woman undergo the secondary pat down, she has the right, as any member of the flying public, to have someone with her other than TSA personnel, and the pat down can be done in private, out of sight.  That is not an exemption, rather an explanation of the rights any member of the flying public has available if they should undergo the vigourous and intrusive nature of the security apparatus instituted under the Bush Administration and maintained by the Obama Administration.

Isn’t it an axiom of government and especially a free government that has decided to change course and pursue  infringing upon the rights of its citizens that such a turn of events will take place gradually and that any gains it acquires towards this purpose it will not give up?  That day in 2001 when the TSA became a part of the federal bureaucracy was a day it was stamped forever into government and would attempt with the help of both political parties presently in existence  to get ever increasing powers at the expense of American citizens.  These invasive security measures upon our person are our fault and ours alone for we’ve allowed them, through our votes and the election of officials who engage in the political process for personal power and aggrandizement to usurp the power of the people.  If FoxNews really wants to make headlines, why don’t they investigate how many trace portals bought by TSA are manufactured by one of the two companies who make them, GeneralElectric, parent company for now, of  Fox’s competitor NBC.  Corporate media however, is fixated on its own survival even at the cost of the general public.  It is far more lucrative in the short run to demonize segments of society than it is to look into back room machinations of corporations who solidify by diversification their grip on a terror driven society intent on eating its own.

Another One Bites the Dust—Hooray!


Sometimes it takes an injustice to point out another injustice. The Right is howling about the lack of due process or censorship of Juan Williams’ free speech rights after he was fired from NPR for his incendiary remarks on FoxNews’ Bill O’Reilly show.  Once again, they are claiming some type of victim status for Williams who was awarded THE VERY NEXT DAY with a $2 million FoxNews contract to continue spewing his venom, albeit free speech venom, for all those on the Right who love fear but hate their fellow citizens or mankind.

However, in reply to this hypocritical diatribe from the Right I have six words for you

Rick Sanchez, Helen Thomas, Octavia Nasir

Now for a more elaborate and appropriate response, I suggest checking Glen Greenwald here.  Oh and before I go, does anyone from the Right recognize this face?

Those of you interested in “free speech” should ask Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) who the man pictured above is and then let’s talk about the First amendment.

Islamophobe of the Week


The entire cast at FoxNews, or rather the Republican Television Network, can win this award because of the constant racist rhetoric they are allowed to get away with over the American airwaves.  Bill O’Reilly was owned by Whoppie Goldberg and Joy Behar who walked out on him during his appearance on their show, The View.  That confrontation appears below

 

There’s so much wrong with what he said on so many levels…..did anyone catch his dig to Behar about learning something from him….that’s after he told her to shut up.  Classy guy, eh? So O’Reilly, a Fox employee was clear why the two hosts walked out and the very next day………

Brian Kilmead, another Fox employee makes the following statement, ‘Not every Muslim is an extremist, a terrorist, but every terrorist is a Muslim…..You can’t avoid that fact. And that is ridiculous that we got to keep defining this — the people that equate Timothy McVeigh with the Al Qaeda terrorist organization, which is growing and a threat that exists.”  Of course this remark was an explicit approval of O’Reilly’s comments made on The View a day before and there we have two Fox employees engaging in racist commentary on a national platform.  I had this to say in the comments section here

The double standard is in your face…I mean Sanchez gone, Octavia Nasir gone, Helen Thomas gone. None of them were given a chance to clarify their statements which were far more harmless and not pejorative as this Fox guy’s. In his one idiotic statement, ‘Not every Muslim is an extremist, a terrorist, but every terrorist is a Muslim’ substitute any other ethnic group and tell me he would survive one hour after going off the air. Let’s see, ‘not every Jew is a terrorist but every extremist, terrorist is a Jew’…or how about ‘not every African-American is a murderer/rapist but every murderer is black’. Or how about ‘not every blond woman is dumb, but every dumb woman is a blond’ or not every Polack is stupid but every stupid person is a Polack… I mean this is like looking at or hearing an episode of Archie Bunker’s Place all over again. That Kilmead moron makes his comments because he can get away with it; his bosses let him, maybe even encourage him because it’s good for ratings and perhaps even revenue and that’s the history of our country. Whatever sells works, despite evidence to the contrary. So 94% of terrorism committed from 1980 to 2005 according to the FBI, not Fox, was done by other than Muslims gets spun into 100% with a stroke on the keyboard because those people committing 94% of terrorism resemble the folks who make the decisions at FoxNews. Amazing how that works, isn’t it?

Brian Kilmead, one of  your racist Islamophobes on the Fox channel.  Do we really want an America where we are all at one another’s throats because of the lies of people in the media.  For an excellent analysis of who’s doing what in the world of terrorism, run over to the thread here.  It’s very revealing about who is and isn’t a terrorist in the real world.