Monday, June 30, 2014

Stupidity Has Its Loyalty: Cavuto Goes Rogue And Pays The Price

"Now some of you say you will never, ever watch me again for the way I treated a congresswoman who I otherwise very much respect. Well, then I respectfully bid you adieu because if you prefer only hearing the interviews that suit you than let me say good-bye to you now because the time's going to come again when I will probably offend you."  - Neil Cavuto of FOX News 
Michele Bachmann was, in part, created by FOX News and its supportive pundits. What FOX News anchor Neil Cavuto did last week was to remove his support for a creation he "respected" but still termed silly. What he found out almost instantly was that no one at FOX can question - let alone deride - someone like Bachmann, no matter how insipid a political stance she has.

The negative feedback was swift and harsh. At the end of that day's broadcast, Cavuto said a "record number of emails" had arrived.
"They go pretty much like this," he said. "'Cavuto, you're a rude ass. If I were Michele Bachmann, I'd have a law against you.' Someone else said, 'Who do you think you are? [Bill] O'Reilly? You're an idiot. Quit blabbering, start thinking.'"
Bachmann Cavuto Overdrive

Even for FOX News, the exchange was testy, with Bachmann (as is always her want), repeating points endlessly, thinking that emphasis would pass for reason. But Cavuto hammered away at his original premise, that the "lawsuit" against Obama spurred on by the Republican party was totally frivolous and a needless waste of time, energy and taxpayer money. Cavuto was anchored in the here and now, while Bachmann was off in Anti-Obama Neverland. The Young Turks (see below) saw Bachmann as a robotic Frankenstein monster unleashed, with Cavuto trying desperately to restrain it, but in the end just saying "you're silly."

Now, calling a monster "silly" may seem silly in itself, especially when FOX viewers have a fondness for Bachmann's brand of "silly." It seemed to many that Cavuto was cutting off his FOX-paid nose to spite his face. But what Cavuto may have done was bring a breath of reality to FOX that was very, very unwelcome: FOX's coverage and support of Republicans on this issue was "silly." FOX's support of Republican agendas was not always right. OMG! FOX News, the ratings king, might be IN ERROR! Cavuto was being blasphemous and apostate!

In retrospect, it's amazing that the emails did not contain death threats.

Tipping Over The Tower Of Misinformation

It has long been understood that ideological news and straight news are two different species, and with FOX News the ideology of the Right is so paramount as to give its sub-banner "Fair and Balanced" a tongue-in-cheek aspect. Hosts like Glenn Beck (formerly at FOX), Sean Hannity and Mike Huckabee who depend upon the "opinions" of Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter veer so much to the right, that even treatment of the national and international political scenes is non-existent: at times it just seems like an Obama bash-fest. But the ideological news of FOX also serves another purpose: it keeps the misinformed public misinformed. In a real sense, Neil Cavuto was also challenging FOX the Misinformer, telling viewers to get past the irrelevance of the Republican (FOX News) Party's actions and "move on" to fix things.

The Price Of Going Rogue

As The Young Turks put it after viewing the heated exchange: "Is this FOX News?" FOX has certainly flirted with conflict involving the Republican Party,* but Cavuto's handling of Tea Party icon Michele Bachmann as a near nitwit was certainly far from it's usual right-wing course. Will Cavuto pay the ultimate price? No. Irate emails must be constant and consistant to have any effect on viewership. Cavuto will only be sacked if it's proven that he's slipped in ratings. Or if he spars again, say, with FOX's other darling nitwit:

*Megyn Kelly once remarked to Karl Rove that his projection over the 2012 elections might just be "something you made up to make yourselves feel good."

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Death By Stoning ... In Oklahoma: Facebook Post Makes A Candidate's Position Clear(ly) Stupid

"I have no plans to reinstitute that in Oklahoma law."

Not right now, maybe, but at sometime in a later date when he's elected village idiot?

Scott Esk is running for Oklahoma State Congressional District 91. He is running as a Libertarian and a moralizing moron. He thinks "ignoring as a nation things that are worthy of death is very remiss.” And He doesn't think much of Pope Francis, either.

You see, it was all Francis' fault that this gay-stoning issue came about in the first place. With his (now famous) "who am I to judge", Francis ignited a firestorm of righteousness in Esk's mind, so when someone asked him on the (a local online newspaper) facebook page if he seriously condoned stoning for gays, Esk answered in the affirmative: "I think we would be totally in the right to do it." He did, however, qualify his remarks by saying that as a Libertarian he would leave it up to local municipalities to decide whether or not to adhere to Biblical law.

“And within a state, cities and communities may well have different policies, and I cheer that. That way, people can decide for themselves whether they want to live in a particular community based in part on how things like this are dealt with.”

Add a bit of homophobia, some thinly veiled racism, segregation, and maybe some misogyny to the worldview of Scott Esk and, well, you get the picture.

What Esk didn't realize, was by having opined his views on homosexuality and his views that Biblically-oriented laws should be enforced at a local level, he buried any chances of a political career, or of anyone thinking he was sane.

Enter Rob Morris

The whole thing might have been buried in Facebook, however, if it hadn't been for the investigation of MooreDaily's published and editor, Rob Morris.

“Even people that don’t agree with things like gay marriage, they — nobody wants the death penalty for gays,” Morris said. “I mean, that’s the most asinine thing.”

The "asinine thing" again ignited Esk's righteousness and he started calling Moore and his colleagues "liars", "miscreants", and "non-Biblical-morality-believing-liberals". Moore's response couldn't be embedded, but you can view it HERE. It's not only classic, but it reveals more about Esk than he could ever have imagined: the copy of a protective order against him by his former wife and pastor, the police report from the time Esk reported a group of Hispanics as illegal immigrants - but they were celebrating a fiesta at a mall near Esk's home.

"I never told any policemen to take them all away or shoot and ask questions later, but if it gets loud, I could see it happening and I wouldn't blame them."

Oh, now add Hispanophobia and condoning of police violence.

Wither Scott Esk?

Oklahoma doesn't need an idiot politician - it gets plenty of ambient idiocy from the state of Texas.* But Esk will undoubtedly play the persecution card. A totally dumb move from a wife-beating misogynist, homophobe and Hispanophobe.

*Rick Perry is under fire for comparing homosexuality to alcoholism at - of all places - San Francisco's Commonwealth Club. He has also hinted that after his stint as governor, he might move to California, the state he bashes the most next to gays. Dumb.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

It's Magdalene Laundry Time Again: Ireland Struggles To Identify The Bodies of 800 Discarded Children.

Writing about this on Sunday - there's definitely a dichotomy: an unholy subject on a supposedly holy day.*

They have no headstones, no coffins. No memory boxes of toys and photographs. There are nearly eight hundred of them – and counting. They are the 796 babies and young children aged between two days and nine years whose grave, “filled to the brim with tiny bones and skulls,” was found last week in an unmarked site that once housed a septic tank near a County Galway home for unwed mothers.

The Real Shame of Ireland: The Treatment of Women

When Andrew Sullivan first broke the news about the "800", the most interesting response was from a reader:
There have been small changes in Ireland in the last 30 years, but … there is a place women must know, and it’s weird. It is far different than an American woman’s place.
Children of unwed mothers fare even worse:
However, in the year 2012, I visited relatives in rural western Ireland whose teenage daughter got pregnant. She wasn’t shipped off, she stayed home, had the baby. I came for tea. We talked of everything, but the baby. The baby sat in the room, and no one remarked about it. It was as if there was some creature making a bothersome noise, like an errant animal, and NO ONE TALKED ABOUT HOW THAT CREATURE GOT THERE.

The discarded "creatures" of scorned women. A memorial* to the innocents is already in the making. But what about their mothers?


The treatment of women has been a focus of universal concern: from the rape-hanging in India to the kidnapping of 300 school girls in Nigeria, all misogyny seems to be imbued with religion, a patriarchy, and a masculine privilege encouraged by religion around the world. Compromising women has been a millennia-old tradition.

In Clare Booth Luce's "The Women," Mary Haines - a sophisticated woman facing the adultery of her husband - responds to her mother's plea for marital compromise: "Oh, that was alright in your day, mother, when women were chattels, but Steven and I took each other for life as equals, and I won't compromise that equality. It's wrong, shockingly wrong." But later in the play, the street-wise chorus girl, Miriam Aarons, tells Mary that "a woman's compromised the day's she's born."

Miriam's pov is still right today.

What America Has Yet To Learn

Stories from Ireland's Catholic Church and India's rape culture always elicit a "Thank God it couldn't happen here." But what many history-ignorant Americans fail to realize is that it DID happen here: the rape culture was prominent in the South among slave owners and there were actually Magdalene laundries here in the United States. By calling Sandra Fluke a "slut" for merely asking for birth control, Rush Limbaugh showed us that the misogyny of a rape culture still exists, and that women are "compromised" until proven equal.

Today's anti-abortionists have also gotten into the fray of "compromise" by insisting that rape victims give birth to children, fully knowing that those children will be treated with just as much scorn as their mothers, and may be sentenced to a life of a "creature" no one wants to talk about.

And "Duck Dynasty's" Phil Robertson gives little attention to women over 15 as potential wives. What he thinks about unmarried, pregnant girls and their progeny has yet to be determined.

Ann Coulter has posited that most illegitimate children grow up to be criminals.

Compromised women still lead to "discarded" children.

*This author felt compelled to write about it since as many readers know, I was born in an orphanage and possibly escaped the massive Duplessis Orphan scandal of Quebec.

* "It is understood a small financial donation has now been made by the Bons Secours Sisters to help the community build a memorial." The community might react with a large donation of "BFD."

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Armageddon of Billionaire Jesus and The Liberation Of A Progressive, Gay OpEdNews Writer

Approaching a writing milestone, one wants to write something terribly profound. This is my 501st article for OpEdNews. It's late, I know. Actually, it's been a long time in coming, but so much of the usual crap got in the way, that profundity is virtually extinct in this author: last week Ann Coulter, Pat Robertson, John HageeUganda, homelessness, Billionaire Jesus, and rape-hangings  numbed the creative writing process (as well as normative thinking).* 

Readers of progressive sites like OpEdNews, however, are aware of the effect the real world has on writers (much of the Right lives in its own 1% - or 1% wannabe - world), excusing the numbness and exhaustion, patient for the writer to revive himself. 

The Last 500

Writing is always liberating: putting words out, crafting phrases to fit thoughts is freeing to the mind in a way few other mediums can begin to approach. Other art forms may come close: painting, for example, places emotions on canvas, but no matter how explicit, detailed the painting may be, no matter how vividly it displays emotion, it may not always achieve exactly what the painter feels. 

And being allowed to write on many people and incidents is even more liberating. That's what OpEdNews has enabled me to do. It  has permitted me to peruse headlines and pick up kernels of religion and politics (and the fusion of the two), investigate them and formulate ideas to throw out. It liberates me in being opinionated, as long as I back up my opinions with salient points and supporting links. In the last 6 years, it has allowed me to liberate my opinions - 500 times!

Sideline In The Forefront - The Last 6 Years

Let's get one thing straight as far as my writing is concerned: I'm not exactly a gay activist. I wish I were. I was at the forefront of the AIDS epidemic many years ago and experienced burn out by the late 90's. I now do things on the sidelines as it were. Writing as I do is definitely a sideline kind of deal. 

Sideline in the struggle for equality, but forefront in my life. Writing about the inequalities, the absurdities and the atrocities of our real world sustained me through the last 6 years: taking care of a dying partner, struggling for housing, restructuring my life, finding a new love, getting married were all accompanied by the sense of liberation and completeness that goes with writing. 

The Armageddon Of Billionaire Jesus - It's About Equality

My last series - Billionaire Jesus - has been about the major concern of the real world: economic inequality, as it relates to the country's 1% and it's religious proponents. Billionaire Jesus, you see, is greed personified and made holy, and it's a greed that lacks any form of "true" compassion** 

The difference between the Scriptural Jesus and Billionaire Jesus is that Billionaire will not return after Armageddon. At least, humanity hopes he won't, for in Billionaire Jesus are the seeds of his own undoing: unfettered greed (unregulated capitalism) cannot hold it's own weight. 

When will Armageddon commence? Probably when all progressive writers have their say, for progressive writers as a whole are against Billionaire Jesus. Probably when the 99% realize that they've had enough of the 1% who think that greed is good and that Billionaire Jesus is the answer to everything. Probably when certain forms of "freedom" (e.g. restrictive religious freedom - only for certain Christians, as Judge Roy Moore proclaimed) are exposed as tyranny. 

Probably when equality gains momentum: equality in pay for both sexes, equality in education, equality in opportunity and even equality in marriage. 

Armageddon will be sweet.

*Add Sarah Palin, Religious Right Persecution, Elliot Rodgers and Gay Marriage, Disney's Public Displays of Perversion ...
** True compassion having unequivocal acceptance.