This video never gets old. I have no words other than please watch and ponder.
This video never gets old. I have no words other than please watch and ponder.
I do my best to ignore Bill O’Reilly, call it self preservation. Time spent pondering O’Reilly, not only lost but loathed. Days of amusing myself with repugnant snippets of O’Reiily’s smug ignorance are long gone. Despite admirable intentions, every so often this numskull smirks uninvited across my screen.
Tonight’s source of provocation – O’Reilly’s “theory” in response to a recent Gallup poll. Pollsters published statistics pointing to America “evenly split” between people who identify themselves as liberal vs. conservative. Apparently in 1999 conservatives outnumbered liberals two to one. Bill O’Reilly has an explanation…
“Only about 50 percent of the American people take the time to understand important issues,” he said on his show this week. “Half the country does not; they are simpletons, unwilling and unable to discipline themselves into formulating a philosophy of life.”
O’Reilly added that those who supported President Obama in 2008 and 2012 must not have “grasped” his policies, and only cast their votes for him “because of his charisma and his historic position as the first black man to achieve the White House.”
O’Reilly hasn’t the power to evoke more than guffaws from me, his hold over millions of viewers is another matter. Right wing America’s poster boy just declared liberal voters unfortunate inhabitants of bell curve’s lowest regions. Never mind that IQ bell curves plot roughly the same percentage on top as at the bottom, with 70% somewhere in the middle – according to O’Reilly, liberals are simpletons.
Immature allegations of mental capacity are nothing new, petulant playground insults occupy all grade school recesses. Calling out intelligence is the fall back position when you haven’t a leg to stand on. Attempts to justify unpleasant realities with blanket assertions of “they’re all stupid” ring pathetic at best.
It’s hard to think of anything conservative America hasn’t blamed on Barrack Obama. I’ve often wondered what might have been if America’s first black leader wasn’t shackled with “Hussein” as a middle name. “Hussein” is a terrifying moniker, punctuate that with “Obama” to witness battalions of righteous “patriots” clucking over the demise of a nation.
Donald Trump wasted no time, collecting his indignant bouffant long enough to offer $1 million for Obama to produce his birth certificate. Trump managed to grandstand a percolating sentiment grumbling in the belly of disgruntled America – holy crap, our President is Muslim. Overnight, a nation built on principles of inclusion, freedom and constitutional rights, locked their doors anticipating certain implementation of Sharia Law. Truth no longer mattered, Obama’s fate was sealed.
Conservative America managed to wriggle away from George W. Bush’s excruciatingly long fart by blaming Obama. Never mind Obama’s re-election – conservatives claimed is was part of some insidious horror. Petulant right wing bullies spun asinine tales of failure – the economy, foreign policy, education, racial tension – in their minds, Obama stood to take down a nation of reasonable patriots.
As the Baltimore riots elevated racial tensions, Donald Trump took an opportunity to open his vacant mouth. Perhaps encouraged by Lou Dobbs at Fox News..
“I think there is a war on law enforcement in this country, and it was corroborated if not condoned by this administration.”
Or Keith Ablow..
“If you want to tear down the system, you might be taking your cues, by the way, from a president who has given the appearance that there is every justification for any level of anger at our country because we’re such despicable people.”
Trump wrote in a mocking Tweet…
“Our great African American president hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are happily and openly destroying Baltimore.”
How dare Trump call himself an American? How dare legions of “talking heads” at Fox blither righteously over failure of a black man to right civil wrongs orchestrated by decades of abuse and white entitlement? What is wrong with you America – can’t you see what’s happening?
Pondering tonight’s Grand Jury decision in Ferguson Missouri presents a quandary of suffocating despair. What should people do?
The decision wasn’t surprising, nobody actually expected another outcome. For days leading up to the “official” statement by St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch, media speculated on reaction, documented preparations, and reported on school closures tomorrow. Everyone knew what was coming.
Clicking back and forth between CNN, MSNBC and Fox News served as a lesson in perspective. My decision to briefly tune into Fox caused jaw dropping rage of epic proportions. President Obama hadn’t spoken, still in developing moments of coverage -Fox focused reporting on “a carnival atmosphere”, “crowds of smiling and grinning people who cared nothing for the decision”. Fox reported “the crime situation in urban America made confrontation inevitable”. Wow, I’m speechless.
I’m not advocating looting or violence. I have no doubt opportunistic looting erupted. With that I have to ask why the decision was read at night – what possible purpose was served by waiting until darkness? Would the cover of darkness make for better news coverage? Would “urban” unrest validate white America?
I can’t define my dismay. What should people do?
Following the attack on Canada’s parliament, CBC news the National, opened with a clip from Fox News. Why? It was an astoundingly biased, misinformed, hysterical, irresponsible example of right wing propaganda. Newsworthy from a Canadian perspective for illustrating all that’s wrong with so called “news”. Fox took the position America was about to be invaded by ISIS (reporting Ottawa was barely an hour drive from the border). Fox went on to say the border with Canada was the longest unprotected border in the world, and that militants were poised to invade America.
The CRTC (Canadian Radio and Telecommunication Commission) prohibits broadcasting “false or misleading” news – regulations that only apply to Canadian broadcasters. America on the other hand saw fit to abolish the 1949 “Fairness Doctrine” in 1987. (a federal regulation requiring broadcasters to present both sides of controversial issues in a manner that was honest, equitable and balanced) Apparently fairness violates freedom of speech. Right wing America consistently squashing attempts by Democrat politicians to reinstate fair reporting – the reason fundamentalist Americans gobble up Fox “news” as definitive “truth”.
Freedom of speech is a privilege, freedom to present anything you damn well please as news is appalling. Fox News is responsible for more hate, suspicion, misplaced rage, unfounded bias and plain old stupidity than any other propaganda factory in modern history. I’m so tired of imbecile hot heads spewing Fox gibberish as “truth”. If freedom of speech is more sacred than an obligation to speak the truth – I give up.
As a Canadian, I confess to little knowledge of America’s food stamp program. Assistance varies from province to province based on factors such as regional unemployment rates; one thing for certain – Canada doesn’t pigeon hole recipients with the stigma of food stamps. Social assistance is based on a shelter allowance and “support” payment to cover necessities. Additionally, the Family Bonus program pays $111.00 (tax free) a month to low income families for each child under 18. Aid is available for dental expenses, bus passes, training, daycare, an endless list of “circumstance” provided you meet the criteria. I’m not saying our system is perfect or adequate – I will say Canadian poor are spared “labels” stamped on our low income neighbors to the south.
In Canada we don’t often hear of welfare fraud or abuses, nor do we peg or pass judgement on purchases made by recipients. We have the same drug. alcohol, and mental illness issues. Unemployment, child poverty, affordable housing, homelessness – we deal with the same problems. What we don’t do is stamp the poor with indelible ink – we don’t marginalize by issuing a food stamp card – a system that instantly labels users, an inescapable mark, tisked and judged by those who haven’t a clue what poverty involves.
I go out of my way to avoid Fox News; “news” being a rather thin veil for “opinion” (a position cemented years ago when a hotel guest complained Canada favoured CNN, which he called the “Communist News Network”) I get a glimpse of Fox once in a while when watching The Daily Show. Last night Jon Stewart opened with a piece on food stamps – a segment comprised of clips courtesy Fox News.
Ponder what Fox reported – People were observed using food stamps to purchase fresh seafood, food stamps were even accepted at organic food shops in New York. One recipient had the nerve to purchase bait, with intention to go Bass fishing. Fox condemned buying dog food, tossed in “reports” of gambling, liquor, and concession stands at Disneyland. I was annoyed but my holy crap moment didn’t happen until a guest on Neil Cavuto from a few years ago complained about disposable diapers.
NEIL CAVUTO: Bailouts from cradle to grave, Connecticut Democrats pushing for the government to pay for diapers for low-income families with babies.
NEIL CAVUTO GUEST #1: If they choose diapers, what’s next? Toothpaste? Car seats?
NEIL CAVUTO GUEST #2 (10/26/2011): If you can’t afford these new-fangled diapers, what’s wrong with going back to old school? … The swaddling cloths were good enough for Baby Jesus, they’re probably good enough for your baby too.
My blown mind reminded itself Fox News aired this story. I tried to dismiss absurdity, tell myself no sane person actually felt this way – not a chance! I demand every self righteous, bible thumping fundamentalist who nods in holier than thou agreement with swaddling good enough for Jesus, immediately swaddle their own children. Who do these six figure talking heads think they are? Imbeciles clucking that if you give the poor disposable diapers, next they’ll be asking for car seats and toothpaste.
There will always be cheaters, no system is perfect. That said, stop being asses about it and give people some dignity – my guess is you’d find them rising above.
A good conspiracy theory spreads like juicy gossip; most fade away like yesterdays news, some endure, others are simply too silly to discuss.There are people who devote their lives to unearthing the “truth”, conspiracy web sites abound and television shows like Conspiracy Theory with Jessie Ventura or Brad Meltzer Decoded offer hours of mindless dribble.
I happened to stumble upon an episode of Jessie Ventura”s conspiracy show the other day. The subject was “humanzees” , a secret U.S. government research project aimed at designing ape-man hybrids. Ventura and his investigators took the matter seriously – in the end we had a lot of unanswered questions, no credible evidence, and one overly concerned Jessie Ventura.
Naturally I started pondering my list of favourite outrageous conspiracies; a task more difficult than it sounds. It would be easy to go to conspiracy sites and pick out the most ludicrous. Instead I’ve decided to pull them out of my head, approaching this like a game of telegraph. Far too preposterous to research, these fantasises have actually been presented as fact.
Ancient Aliens – one of my guilty pleasures – is the source of spectacular nonsense. Hitler escaped in an alien time machine, bigfoot is an alien, an alien race genetically altered the evolution of man, and Joan of Arc was acting on behalf of alien guardians. Not to be out done, Scott Wolter on America Unearthed offers copper from the Great Lakes fuelled the bronze age, the Knights Templar hid the Holy Grail in America, and a possible ancient Maya site exists in Georgia. Conspiracy dwellers claim Fort Knox hasn’t contained any gold for decades, a massive secret government bunker was built beneath the airport in Denver, Freemasons secretly control America, and the Alaska Triangle gives Bermuda a run for its money. All of these fall into the rather silly category; but I have to admit Fort Knox conspiracies and secret bunkers haven’t been completely stricken from my mind. Nor do I believe Christopher Columbus “discovered” America – ancient history conspiracies should perhaps be given some other name.
The most well known conspiracy might be what happened at Roswell New Mexico. Area 51 has created a cult following of theorists; in my mind the fodder for the science fiction craze that followed. There are people who believe the moon landing was faked, 9/11 was orchestrated by the government, and the CIA assassinated Kennedy. Though little doubt lingers that governments orchestrate perception; look no farther than the weapons of mass destruction fiasco precipitating the invasion of Iraq as an example – I’m more curious about an explosion of misinformation from news media.
Glenn Beck sits upon his Fox news throne proclaiming Obama is creating a “civilian security force” to enforce Marxism and socialism in America. Beck also came up with his theory of a secret “land based currency”, reporting a government plan to base American currency on land rather than gold. He claimed plans were in place to forcibly take land from citizens using Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as their foot soldiers. As if that isn’t crazy enough, Beck claims the government would ask China to step in as muscle in exchange for oil, land, and mineral rights. Beck frequently speaks of Obama’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Most people easily discount alien intervention as belonging to the “tin foil hat” crowd. Television programs about conspiracies are taken with a grain of salt, nothing more than mild entertainment. The far greater concern is opinion dressed up as news. The Glenn Becks of this world are dangerous; planting seeds of fantasy, which translate into truth for far too many people, People who now stand unshakeable in their belief that Obama is Muslim with a secret agenda to destroy their way of life. It’s beyond crazy. We wonder why society is crumbling, fanaticism is out of control, and paranoia has replaced common sense.
Ponder mass media conspiracy theorists then ask yourself why we allow opinion to be dressed up as fact. This isn’t about freedom of speech ; when opinion presents itself as truth – a line has been crossed.