Archive for March 2010
Question: If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a noise?
Answer: Uhh, I don’t fucking care. We’ve got bigger problems. Fox News not only remained silent, but is promoting a guests’ call for killing people that wanted healthcare reform as well as undefined White House employees. Yes, I’m serious…
Jolly O’Neil Cavuto was interviewing Ted ‘I’m a dangerous sociopath‘ Nugent recently. Nugent’s rant is filled with contrived ambiguity, but Nugent said that we must “kill the pig.” And, two groups he clearly defined as pigs were supporters of health care reform and undefined White House employees. From the interview (emphasis added):
Nugent: But, I am Ted Nugent, governor of pigland. so I am the expert on the healthcare bill because I kill pigs. And, I just shot a monster big here in Texas.
And, seeing as how this is a pig bill created by pig bureaucrats to help out American pigs, as I approach this huge pig that looked like a beached sperm whale I was expecting George Costanza to come out of the bushes and extract a Titlelist number 3 ball from his blowhole.
But, as I was about to put a 10mm slug in this pig’s head, the last thing he said was [mimics squealing pig], which is pig for “where is my healthcare?” They’re pigs Neal. We gotta kill the pig. And, in November we gotta vote the pigs out of office, because this is a redistribution of wealth. This is the Communist-Mao-Che agenda of the Communist-Mao-Che fans in the White House. They’re pigs Neal!
Cavuto: Alright, So I’ll put you down as a no on healthcare.
Nugent’s excessive use of the word pig is subterfuge for the purpose of limiting or avoiding legal liability. The goal is to create ambiguity. Ambiguity which in turn is supposed to shroud, for legal purposes, Nugent’s call for violence. And, Cavuto was kind enough to let him rant for over a minute, completely uninterupted, so that Nugent wouldn’t have any obstacles for his legal tap dance.
Fox News’ handling of this matter is irresponsible and dangerous. Cavuto failed to repudiate or condemn Nugent’s call for violence. Moreover, Fox News afforded Ted Nugent more uninterrupted time to make his sociopathic point than they offer the President during his interviews. Further, Fox News cuts off people’s mics all the time. Fox News hosts are constantly taking hard lines against the ‘dangerous’ claims of liberals by cutting their mics.
So, why didn’t Fox News do that here? I don’t know, perhaps for the same reason they’re now promoting this video on their website?
Because, Fox News has decided that being seditious is more profitable and consistent with their political goals than being Fair and Balanced.
In this video General Electric celebrates Ronald Reagan. Sure, this is shameless pandering to the right-wing. To the anti-society folk (tea party clan, 912ers, Glenn Beck cultists, and Fox “News” viewers), NBC/MSNBC are odious entities and General Electric is by extension. So, I imagine GE wants to start ridding itself of the scent of liberalism among those groups.
But, this video is more than just pandering. General Electric is publicly and proudly endorsing Ronald Reagan’s policies, his impact on society and his legacy. Isn’t this worthy of debate? Discussion?
I certainly think so. Think about it…
GE benefits from an awful lot of public resources and taxpayer money. Accordingly, if they are going to be articulating a political viewpoint, it’s worth considering from a public policy perspective. Also, as consumers, we support this company. If they are going to use your money to advocate a political ideology, isn’t that worth knowing and considering?
I’m curious. Why isn’t this endorsement even remotely controversial? If a major corporation came out with such an laudatory video for LBJ or FDR, the right-wing noise machine would be up in arms.
Why aren’t progressives making noise about GE’s controversial decision to offer such high esteem to Reagan?
And celebrating Ronald Reagan is controversial. Even GE of old thought so, seeing as how they fired Reagan as their spokesperson in 1962 due to his incendiary and controversial anti-government positions. So, make no mistake about it, this is controversial…
Ronald Reagan destroyed unions…cut the budgets for education, EPA, poverty programs, etc…engaged in a public policy initiative aimed specifically at screwing over the poor…advanced the prison-industrial complex….hollowed out the Federal government to the best of his ability…ironically espoused the belief that government was the enemy (hello! he was the president *facepalm*)…was reckless and neglectful in responding to HIV/AIDS…tried to cut disabled people from social security rolls (that’s right…disabled people)…HUD grant fraud…Sewergate…
…I could go on and on, but I’ve made my point. Why is GE celebrating and endorsing Ronald Reagan? And, why are they able to freely get away with such blatant whitewashing of history and shameless political posturing?
Watch the video. (prepare to gag)
If you want to make some noise, feel free to contact GE about this.
Update: I said this was political. And, General Electric helped proved my point as they are now advertising their love for Reagan on Rush Limbaugh’s hate radio program.
Update: And so it Joes…
After this post went around, Joe defended himself on Twitter by again pushing the notion that DOMA means that Federal government has nothing to do with same-sex marriage. Look, I’m obnoxious, so don’t let the indignation of this post distract from the real substantive issue here. The issue, as I stated clearly, is not Joe’s position on marriage equality, but his refusal to acknowledge the other half of DOMA that explicitly involves the Federal government in gay marriage.
It is his willful distortion that is the real offense.
I’m going to highlight something that Joe wrote on Twitter recently. I know it’s Twitter, but bear with me because it does illustrate a legitimate issue.
On Joe’s March 2 television show, Harold Ford discussed his decision not to run for NY Senate. This inspired Joe to chide people for being “obsessed [about same-sex marriage] to this degree.” Joe attacked marriage equality proponents as angry, obsessed and corrosive to the national debate.
So, I sent the following tweet to Joe:
No @joenbc, I’m not going to apologize for being angry with people, like you, who prevent me from marrying my boyfriend of 6 years
Dude, marry who you want. That’s above my paygrade. I just don’t want the federal gov’t involved in the bedroom.
Keep Congress and the Feds out of gay marriage and OB issues. Let them focus on getting people jobs and protecting us.
Deep breath. Okay. Joe Scarborough’s response here is so cavalier that it’s reckless. It is a contemptible failure to acknowledge the obvious.
First, sorry dude but the entire point is that my fellow queer Americans and I are prohibited from marrying who we want. Joe’s response here is so dismissive that it’s an insult. It’s one thing to oppose marriage equality. But, Joe is pretending that such opposition doesn’t have any effect at all. It does. If you’re going to take this position at least have the decency to acknowledge its effects on your fellow citizens.
Joe’s position is sort of like telling a woman during the suffrage movement that she should just vote. Even though she couldn’t just vote because the law and opponents of suffrage wouldn’t allow her.
Second, Joe wants “the Feds out of gay marriage.” This is odious subterfuge, plain and simple. While a member of Congress, Joe supported the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Now, before you say ‘but Bill Clinton signed it and lots of people voted for it‘ – consider this: Bill Clinton and those that voted for it aren’t willfully ignoring the existence and effects of DOMA. If they went around saying things as inane as what Joe said, then I’ll scornfully apply my criticism to them.
DOMA has two provisions:
- Provision 1: says that the states don’t need to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. (see DOMA § 2)
- Provision 2: prevents the Federal government from recognizing a state’s legally valid same-sex marriage for any purpose whatsoever. (see DOMA § 3)
Put aside the first provision, since it’s not really relevant to this post. But, the second provision is. Recognize that you can have one without the other. Also, recognize that the second has real effects.
It explicitly involves the federal government in gay marriage by preventing them from recognizing even legally valid same-sex marriages. DOMA touches upon nearly 1,200 federal laws that implicate marital status (ranging from federal employee benefits to social security payments to tax status and a whole bunch else). The point: it’s quite expansive. So, not only does DOMA have concrete and visible effects. But, it has a stigmatizing effect too. Think about it…
A same-sex couple gets married in a state that provides marriage equality. So, here they are with their legally valid marriage license, just like other married couples. Except, they’re not just like other married couples. Sure, they may enjoy all the same rights and privileges of marriage for state purposes. But, their neighbors are afforded all the federal rights and privileges of marriage, whereas they are not. In other words, even though they hold the same license, because of DOMA one of those licenses is treated like it doesn’t even exist.
This is exactly what Joe was decrying. Yet, he was and remains a proud supporter of DOMA. How curious. If Joe really believed his platitudes, then he would have an issue with DOMA’s second provision. As I said, Joe’s position is subterfuge to avoid addressing the effects created and perpetuated by opponents of marriage equality.
Why should he and others like him be able to so demonstrably shirk responsibility?
So…I want an apology. I don’t want Joe to apologize for his opposition to marriage equality. He’s entitled to his opinion regardless of how fiercely I disagree with it.
I want an apology because Joe, a fellow citizen and former legislator, recklessly refuses to even acknowledge the intended consequences of his position and actions.
I want an apology because contrary to Joe’s suggestion, I don’t have a choice. And it’s an insult to me and every queer American for Joe to suggest and pretend that we do.
I await for Joe to assume responsibility and apologize, but I won’t hold my breath.
As an aside: Joe also lumps in OB issues. What he really means is that he wants Roe v. Wade overturned. For a reminder of why this is a terrible position, look no further than Utah’s recent decision to criminalize certain miscarriages.
Also, Joe’s already blocked me on Twitter. So, I just want to thank @Unleashthadiva for passing my tweets along to Joe.
Many detractors believe that the StopBeck effort is a waste of time. I respect this position. And, I certainly acknowledge that there are bigger issues to tackle. I have always maintained that the StopBeck action is one of many to come. And, that in the meantime we can walk and chew gum at the same time. Meaning, we can combat Glenn Beck’s vitriol and intentional deceit while addressing other matters.
But, to those who think that Glenn Beck can just be ignored. Well think again. You see, corporate funded right-wing propagandists are eager to use Glenn Beck to peddle willful distortions and lies. Take for example the Waters Advocacy Coalition. Judging by the name, you’d think they were interested in protecting clean water. But, it’s just the opposite. They’re actually an industry funded right-wing group that seeks to kill the Clean Water Restoration Act, a bill that would strengthen the Clean Water Act.
The Clean Water Restoration Act has, shockingly, strong support in the Senate. The biggest hurdle for this legislation is in the House. But, it hasn’t even been introduced there yet. This is in part due to the efforts of propagandists like the Waters Advocacy Coalition.
The problem for these groups is that the Clean Water Act is actually quite popular. So, they can’t just come out and oppose legislation that will give people exactly what they want by improving an already popular law. Instead, they rely on fear and on sociopaths like Glenn Beck to willfully peddle their distortions. See today’s New York Times regarding this issue (emphasis added):
“The game plan is to emphasize the scary possibilities,” said one member of the Waters Advocacy Coalition, which has fought the legislation and is supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Association of Home Builders and other groups representing industries affected by the Clean Water Act.
“If you can get Glenn Beck to say that government storm troopers are going to invade your property, farmers in the Midwest will light up their congressmen’s switchboards,” said the coalition member, who asked not to be identified because he thought his descriptions would anger other coalition participants. Mr. Beck, a conservative commentator on Fox News, spoke at length against the Clean Water Restoration Act in December.
And there you have it. It’s all a giant scam that benefits a few large interests, but injures the rest of us. And, like it or not, Glenn Beck’s willingness to participate in such deceit does and will continue to have a noticeable impact on your life.
If like me, you wonder why Fox News is willing to keep Glenn Beck around despite him losing 119 sponsors, just look above.
And so we press on…