Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Tomorrow Benjamin Netanyahu will give his speech to a joint session of Congress.  We have heard a lot of talk about the speech.  Boehner, who invited him, is defending his actions even thought he broke protocol in his invitation.  Democrats are furious about the speech with some threatening to boycott it.  Netanyahu’s opponents, and even some Israeli hawks are against the speech.

One has to wonder exactly what John Boehner is trying to accomplish with his invitation.  Some believe he is trying to help Netanyahu win his election that is being held in two weeks.  Some believe that he is just trying to “embarrass” the President.  Others believe it is an attempt to derail the nuclear talks with Iran.

After reading everything from both sides of the spectrum, I have come to the conclusion that John Boehner invited Netanyahu to speak at a joint session of Congress because he does want him to win the election in two weeks.  This is important to Boehner and the Republicans because they have one very real fear in common with Netanyahu.  They all fear peace.

I believe that if Netanyahu would actually negotiate with the Palestinians, recognize the Palestinian State, and stop throwing up settlements in the Palestinian territory we might actually see peace break out in the region.  Not only that, but if the Palestinian State was recognized, many of the arguments that other Arab countries in the region have against Israel may also fade away.

Allowing the Palestinians their own self-run state would let Israel stop looking like an aggressor.  It would allow Israel and the Palestinians to work together to maintain peace between the two states and even help the economy of both countries to grow.

Unfortunately, Netanyahu has shown no inclination of accepting the Palestinians right to their own state.  That continues to cause a bigger rift between the two parties and allows the radicals on the Palestinian side to fight against Israel by arguing that Israel is the aggressor.  Whether or not that is a valid argument it works to recruit more fighters to the radical side.

Of course the biggest fear for both the Republicans and Netanyahu is that the nuclear talks with Iran may actually come to a positive end.  The Republicans and Netanyahu claim that any deal with Iran will only mean they will be able to build their bomb.

I would not support any deal with Iran without very strong verification policies in place.  We do have to remember that Iran in the past claimed it wanted to wipe Israel off the map.  But, the Soviet Union also promised to “bury” us too.  It was only through diplomacy with Russia that things finally calmed down, even before the fall of the Soviet Union.

One only needs to remember Netanyahu’s speech at the U.N. with his hastily drawn bomb showing how Iran was so close to building an atomic bomb.  I wonder if he will bring it out for this speech as well.  I am certain he will argue that Iran cannot be trusted.  He will argue that any deal with Iran is against the interests of Israel.  I am also sure that the Republican side will erupt in applause when he does.

You would think that “peace in the middle east” would be a good thing.  You would think that everyone would consider that if all sides agree on creating peace that the radicals would lose their poster points for recruiting.  But since Netanyahu and the Republicans share an absolute hate towards Islam, they don’t want peace in the region.  If there is peace, you don’t have any justification to “wipe out” your enemies.

I am not stupid.  I know that reaching a point of peace in the middle east is not going to be easy.  I also know that steadfastly arguing against any diplomacy that may take a step in that direction is stupid.  Hawks all around the world believe that diplomacy is a form of appeasement.  That is ridiculous.

Benjamin Netanyahu has been as much of an impediment to peace in the region as the radical Palestinians have.  If he wasn’t, we would be seeing talks between Israel and the Palestinians.  He refuses to negotiate with them.  Israel has the right to exist as a country.  I believe that the Palestinian State also has a right to exist.  Mutual recognition of the rights of each state would go a long way towards creating an environment where peace is possible.

However, Netanyahu does not want peace.  If he gets it, he may lose power.  That is something that he is unwilling to risk.  So, he accepted the invitation from Boehner in order to help Republicans stop peace in its tracks.  Republicans don’t want peace either.  They don’t want anything to get in their way of a New Crusades against Islam.

That, I believe is the real reason John Boehner invited Netanyahu to speak at a joint session of Congress.  We have already seen too many times that foreign wars take the spotlight off how much you are trying to screw your own people over.  This is just another case of the “tail wagging the dog.”

The FCC ruled on its net neutrality decision.  The new regulations bar companies such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. from blocking or slowing online traffic, or offering faster service in return for payment.  The idea is to ensure that the internet remains open to everyone.

The FCC vote seeks to settle more than a decade of debate about whether the Internet should be a highway offered to all users on equal terms, or whether broadband providers can levy fees and restrict access.

Of course, Republicans are against net neutrality.  Or, at least the type where companies can’t slow down or charge extra for faster service.  House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said lawmakers would try to stop what he called the FCC’s “misguided scheme.”

The vote also brought wireless service under net neutrality rules as well.  That didn’t sit well with Meredith Attwell Baker, president of CTIA-The Wireless Association, a Washington-based trade group with members including AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc., who said the ruling was  “disappointing and unnecessary.”

Under this ruling, the agency has taken authority to judge whether Internet service providers offer fair terms for accepting Web traffic from the likes of video streamer Netflix Inc. and data shippers such as Cogent Communications Holdings Inc. and Level 3 Communications Inc.

It also allows the agency to judge mobile deals that exempt services such as music streaming from counting against subscribers’ data caps. The agency can accept complaints and might ban an anti-competitive plan.  Venture capitalists had told the FCC that these deals violate the concept that all Web traffic should receive equal treatment.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said:  “The action that we take today is an irrefutable reflection of the principle that no one, whether government or corporate, should control free and open access to the Internet.”  Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak was one of the people in the spectator gallery and said that this action is “an indication that the people can sometimes win.”  He went on to say “This is a victory for the people, the consumers, the average Joes.”

You may wonder why the Republicans are so against this ruling?  Well it is very simple.  They only see dollars and cents for their contributors.  If internet providers are allowed to decide which sites will be in their infamous “fast lane” and which will be slowed down, the internet providers will essentially be allowed to control what you see or get on the internet.

You will hear the Republicans complain that all of this is “government overreach” and that is why they are against it.  They are lying.  They want companies to control the highway known as the internet.  They want to be able to bully certain providers to say what can be seen and what cannot.

Republican legislatures all across the country are slashing education funding including university funding.  They have been attacking education like it is a cancer that is making our citizens too smart.  The internet offers open access to sites that help us learn more about today’s world.  With an intelligent constituency, Republicans fear their “fear mongering” won’t work anymore.  So, they want to put the clamp down on the internet as well as public education.

Since the internet and wireless are both monopolies, it would be easy to bully them into doing just that.  This isn’t just about streaming like Netflix, it is about education as well.  As a result, they want internet providers and wireless providers to be able to charge extra for internet users to get into their “fast lane” so their streaming will not be hindered.

How long do you think it would be before special interest groups started bullying internet providers to “slow down” or deny access through their services to users who do not comply with their ideals?  The AP History curriculum is under attack in several states.  What would stop them from bullying or passing a law that denies access to the very parts of the curriculum they don’t like over the internet?

We will see various lawsuits over this ruling.  We will see Republicans introduce legislation trying to overturn this ruling.  As David Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, said the FCC action portends “inevitable litigation and years of regulatory uncertainty.”

The real problem for Republicans in this ruling is that these rules are designed to preserve the Internet as an open medium.  Open mediums are not what the Republicans want.  They want control.  They are even willing to let internet providers be their arm for control over what’s on the internet.

This fight isn’t over.  We still have too many conservative judges , even a conservative Supreme Court, that can overturn these rulings.  Only time will tell if they stand or not.  If they do, then the people have finally won one over the oligarchs and Republicans.

 

At precisely 0000 hours (midnight) tomorrow night, the Department of Homeland Security is going to run out of money unless Republicans can get their “stuff” together.  The Republicans who want you to believe that they are the only ones interested in protecting our country from terrorists, are about to let the one department charged with protecting us from terrorists run out of money.

I am not overly concerned about terrorists running amuck in the country, however.  We all know that about 200,000 members of the various agencies under DHS will continue working.  They are considered “essential” personnel.  However, they will be working for an IOU from the government instead of actually being paid.

This tragedy is all tied to immigration reform.  Our immigration laws are archaic at best and need to be reformed.  Two years ago the Senate passed a bi-partisan Immigration Reform Bill and sent it to the House.  It has been languishing in John Boehner’s desk drawer ever since.  This was truly a bi-partisan bill.  Even 14 Republican Senators voted for the bill, and several Republicans were involved in its creation.  Should have been an easy task for Boehner to pass it in the House.

But, once again John Boehner proved that he is only interested in having the title of “Speaker of the House” rather than acting like one.  His bellicose comments about immigration reform are just another example of his unwillingness to “govern”.  He is too afraid of the Tea Party wackos in his caucus to try to pass any meaningful legislation.

After over a year of Boehner derailing a vote on the Immigration Reform Bill, the President issued an Executive Order detailing some changes in the deportation policies.  The Republicans went bonkers, as expected.  Whether or not you think the President’s actions was an overreach or not, I do not think so, is irrelevant.  Something has to be done about our Immigration Laws.

The President’s Executive Order does not make it easier for people to cross the border.  It simply lays out a plan for those already here with U.S. Citizen relations to remain without fear of deportation.  It also gives them a pathway to seek “legitimacy” as the Republicans would say.  It is not amnesty as Republicans are telling everyone.

As a result of this “fight” the Republican House passed a funding bill last year that put the DHS on the spot.  They funded every department of the government except DHS for a full year.  They funded DHS only through tomorrow and the Senate went along.  Then they passed a bill funding DHS but only if the Executive Order was withdrawn.

Naturally, the Senate Democrats filibustered the bill in that chamber.  So, now Mitch McConnell wants to pass a clean DHS funding bill and introduce a bill that would withdraw the Executive Order.  But that puts John Boehner in a corner.  He still has to contend with his wacko fringe group.  And, since he is loath to actually lead and fight the wackos, the idea of a clean bill passing the House is up-in-the-air.

The only way Boehner will be able to pass a clean DHS funding bill in the House is to use the Democrats to get the votes needed.  Although he did use them a few times in the past, that is also something that Boehner is loath to do.  He is afraid that if he goes to the Democrats to pass a clean funding bill, he will face another coup in his caucus.

All of this nonsense was avoidable.  If John Boehner had allowed a debate and vote on the bi-partisan Senate Bill, it would have passed the House.  I am sure there would have been amendments added by the fringe group, but those would have been worked out in a joint committee between the House and Senate.  There would have been no need for the President to issue his Executive Order in the first place.

With the Immigration Reform Bill actual law instead of collecting dust in Boehner’s desk drawer, we would not be in this situation right now.  The other day Boehner said about the DHS funding bill they sent to the Senate: “We did our job, now it is time for the Senate to do theirs.  This will pass if the Democrats stop saying “no” to everything.”

That is really rich coming from a man who has been sitting on the “fix” to all of this for two years!  John Boehner is the worst Speaker of the House in my lifetime.  He makes Newt Gingrich look like a reasonable man.  However, the Citizens United case in the Supreme Court added fuel to this flaming issue.

This is the kind of thing that happens when money is allowed to control politics.  These fringe wackos that Boehner is afraid of are financed by the likes of the Koch Brothers and others.  Their money has polluted and corrupted our political process to the point of stagnation.

Even still, it is John Boehner’s job to “govern” in the name of the People of the United States.  Something that, apparently, he is loath to do as well.  This whole dilemma was manufactured because John Boehner is more interested in holding the title rather than being the Speaker of the House.

There is no other reason for us to be in the predicament we are in over DHS funding.  Even big business and the Chamber of Commerce favor the Senate passed Immigration Reform Bill.  To stop this mess, all John Boehner needs to do is dust off the Senate Bill and bring it to floor of the House.  But he won’t.

I don’t use this word lightly, but John Boehner is basically a coward.  That is why we are waiting to see if there will be a partial government shutdown come midnight tomorrow night.

Poor Bill O’Reilly just can’t seem to keep out of the spotlight.  Only in this case it is the wrong spotlight.  As we discussed before, O’Reilly appears to have “embellished” his time in Argentina covering the Falklands War.  Instead of answering any questions put to him, he has gone off on everyone who dares think the story may be true.

During a phone interview with New York Times reporter Emily Steel he told her that if he didn’t think her story was “fair” “I am coming after you with everything I have.  You can take it as a threat.”  Again, rather than speaking about the issue, O’Reilly fell back into his bully mantra.

Now, there seems to be another problem with O’Reilly’s account of something he wrote in his supposedly non-fictional book about “Killing Kennedy.”  See in his book “Killing Kennedy” we was present when George de Mohrenschildt, a friend of assassin Lee Harvey Oswald committed suicide in his daughter’s home in Florida in 1977.  Then while promoting his book on Fox and Friends, he repeated the claim.

“I was about to knock on the door where [de Mohrenschildt] was, his daughter’s house, and he blew his brains out with a shotgun,”

Unfortunately, there is a problem with this wonderful tale as well.  According to two of his colleagues at WFAA TV station in Dallas, TX, where O’Reilly was working at the time, he was not in Florida, but in Dallas, TX!  Hmmm.  Tracy Rowlett and Byron Harris, O’Reilly’s WFAA colleagues at the time, both say the embattled host was with them at WFAA’s Dallas headquarters when de Mohrenschildt died.

On top of that, the police report of the incident does not mention O’Reilly being there.  Nor does The Associated Press report of the incident, which only says de Mohrenschildt was in the house with two maids at the time, neither of whom heard the gunshot.  If O’Reilly was present he must have been interviewed by the police as a witness!  So why isn’t he even mentioned in their reports?

Besides, if O’Reilly was really at the scene when de Mohrenschildt died, wouldn’t he have done a “stand up” and broke the story for his station?  As the half-governor would say “you betcha!”  There was no stand up about the story.  Nor, did WFAA even break the story.  The story was actually broken by the Dallas Morning News.

Then there is the story of Gaeton Fonzi, an investigative reporter who has written extensively on the Kennedy assassination.  Fonzi has who is now deceased, writes in his autobiography that he received a call from O’Reilly shortly after the suicide, asking for confirmation it had happened.  In his autobiography Fonzi wrote:

About 6:30 that evening I received a call from Bill O’Reilly, a friend who was then a television reporter in Dallas. “Funny thing happened,” he said. “We just aired a story that came over the wire about a Dutch journalist saying the Assassinations Committee has finally located de Mohrenschildt in South Florida. Now de Mohrenschildt’s attorney, a guy named Pat Russel, he calls and says de Mohrenschildt committed suicide this afternoon. Is that true?”

Why on earth would a journalist who was supposedly “about to knock on the door” when he heard the gunshot have to call another journalist to ask if the story of de Mohrenschildt’s suicide is true?  I guess it is because he was never there!

So far, there has been no response from O’Reilly or Fox News about this latest “embellishment” of the facts.  I can’t wait to hear O’Reilly tell his audience that this is another left-wing media attack on him.  I wonder if he will tell his two former colleagues that “he will go after them,” too?

But, if you think that Roger Ailes who runs Fox News Network will do anything to O’Reilly, you are living in another fantasy world, too.  All of this only proves that O’Reilly is a serial liar.  That is not something that Ailes is too concerned about either.

It has always been humorous to me that Fox News tells America that their “news” is “fair and balanced.”  Yet, when things like this come up, they just pretend that it is nothing more than a personal attack by the “left-wing media”.  In truth, Ailes and O’Reilly are flip sides of the same coin.  They both attack, threaten, and openly bully anyone who disagrees with their warped view of the “truth” and the world.

That is why O’Reilly won’t face any problems at Fox News over his serial lying.  He works for a network that makes its money doing the same thing all of the time.  Unless there is a backlash against the advertisers for O’Reilly’s show, nothing will be done, and O’Reilly will keep making stuff up as he goes along.

Unfortunately, for America, too many people will continue to listen to his bullshit as pure truth.  As the Wicked Witch of the West said, “what a world!”

 

 

So, according to Rudy Giuliani the President does not love his country.  The President does not love you.  The President definitely does not love Rudy Giuliani.  The reason this is so is because the President wasn’t raised like you.  Nor was the President raised like Rudy Giuliani.  You know what?  He is right.  The President was not raised like Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani likes to talk about his father, Harold.  He likes to tell how he was raised loving this country.  But, there are a lot of things that Giuliani likes to leave out of his stories.  He also likes to say how he would defend our country.  In one speech he said:  “I would go anywhere, any place, anytime, and I wouldn’t give a damn what the President of the United States said, to defend my country. That’s a patriot. That’s a man who loves his people. That’s a man who fights for his people. Unlike our President.”

I admit that truly sounds like someone who loves his country.  But there is also something that he leaves out of this narrative as well.  Let us take a look at the public record of how Rudy Giuliani was raised, his definition of “love”, and his patriotism.

Rudy Giuliani was raised by his father Harold.  A fine upstanding individual who loved this country and everyone in it.  Except, he was arrested and spent time in Sing Sing Prison for holding up a milkman.  He earned his living as a bat-wielding enforcer for a loan-shark operation which was operating out of a bar owned by Rudy’s uncle.

To show his love for this country, Harold, who was arrested under an alias, made sure the draft board knew that he was a convicted felon in order to avoid serving in World War II.  Additionally, five of Giuliani’s uncles found ways to avoid serving in the war too.

Not to be outdone, Rudy, while serving as a clerk to a Federal Judge, received about a half-dozen deferments from the draft during the Vietnam War.  He even got the judge to write a letter to the Selective Service to get him a “special” exemption from the draft.  So much for “going anywhere, any place, anytime to defend my country.”

On the other hand, the President’s grandfather and uncle both served in World War II.  Obama’s uncle was present when the concentration camp at Buchenwald was freed.  What he saw there apparently affected him so much, he reportedly spent six months in the family’s attic after being released from service.

Giuliani’s definition of “love” has some explaining to do as well.  Did you know that Giuliani’s first wife was his second cousin?  Did you also know that he received an annulment from that marriage because “she was his cousin?”  As a matter of fact, the priest who helped him get his annulment was actually Giuliani’s best man at the wedding!

When he was mayor of New York City he divorced his second wife.  See, he was already dating his third wife at the time.  According to records, he and his entourage of six or seven cops traveled 11 times to her Hamptons getaway at a taxpayer cost of $3,000 a trip.

Then, just to show his true love, one morning he left Gracie Mansion, the mayors residence in New York City, and announced in a televised press conference that he wanted a separation from his second wife and mother of his two children.  Watching the press conference was the first time that his wife had heard of his desire for a separation.  Now that is love.

Giuliani later doubled down on his remarks by declaring that the President was brought up by a communist grandfather.  He also claimed that his comments weren’t “racist” because The President’s mother and grandparents were white.

Giuliani also stated that the President was “more of a critic than he is a supporter of America.”  That is an odd thing for a security salesman to say since he told a group of consulting clients in Tijuana in October “America needs to stop lecturing other countries and start working on how to stop drug use in its citizens,” shifting the onus for the Mexican drug trade onto us.

Or, how about the time he was a consultant for the government of Qatar, the country his friend and FBI director Louis Freeh accused of hiding 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed before the attack. That’s the ultimate triumph of money over memory, since he’s still talking, as recently as a week ago, about the 10 friends and 343 firefighters he lost on 9/11.  Now that is love of one’s country!

So, I say to Mr. Giuliani that you are correct.  The President was not raised like you were.  He was not raised by mobsters in New York City.  The President did not have three wives, one of which was his cousin.  Nor, does he come from a family of draft dodgers.  Rather he comes from a family that honorably served their nation in a time of need.

This is one time that I like agreeing with Mr. Giuliani.  I would not want a President who has the “upbringing” that Rudy Giuliani had.  I would rather have one with President Obama’s “upbringing” instead.  But, don’t worry Rudy, the President isn’t the only one in America who doesn’t “love” you.  I don’t love you either!

Education is necessary for this country to compete in a global economy.  It has been the backbone of our innovations and achievements.  Without educating our children, we would become a country of morons.  Worse, we would go back to the days when companies “owned” your soul.  Most Americans don’t remember the days when companies owned you.  Corporations like coal mines owned the mine, the town, and everything in it including the people.

If you worked in a coal mine, you were forced to “rent’ your house from the coal company.  You were forced to get your food and clothing and furniture from the company owned store.  You were even charged for the tools you used on the job.  As a result of this as well as high costs for everything, you were basically owned by the coal company.  If you lost your job you were screwed.

Unions help bust these monopolies.  But, education was another important factor in breaking from company owned lives.  By getting an education, you had the opportunity to break-away from the company and branch out on your own.  This meant that fewer children from miners were heading down into the mine when they grew up.  More and more simply left for better opportunities.

This worked very well for America, in the 20th century, especially after World War Two.  Between better education and the unions, the middle-class surged.  Even factory workers with High School educations were better off than their fathers.  Things were looking up and America’s economy grew rapidly.

In the 1970s, things started to change.  Unions came under fierce attack.  States started passing “right to work” laws that basically took collective bargaining away from workers and resulted in lower pay.  The worst part was that education was also under attack.  Teachers were being vilified and treated as the enemy.  They found their pay stagnating and they were blamed if students didn’t do well on the standardized tests.

Funding for public education plummeted in certain areas of the country.  Especially in poor areas both urban and rural.  Education fell drastically.  Once having the highest rating for education in the world, we have fallen to about 25th in the world.

The problem is that the current Republican Party seems determined to lower that standing even more.  Republicans are introducing legislation in several states that will halt any real education of our children.  They aren’t even trying to make an argument for these changes either.  They simply want to stop educating our children altogether.

Some Examples:

1)  They have been pushing to get rid of Common Core Standards.  The irony is that they claim that Common Core is too challenging and causes too much stress.  I thought education was supposed to be challenging.  However, their real argument is that the Federal Government is pushing this on local communities.  That is what they don’t like.  By making sure that every child receives basically the same education, we will help ensure that these children can attain their dreams.  One group won’t lag behind others because they didn’t receive the best education possible.

As I wrote once before, I believe that in order to compete in a global economy, we cannot use “local control” when it comes to educating our children.  We need to make sure that all children receive the skills needed to compete in the real world.  That includes math, reading, science and history.  The Republicans want to “dictate” what the children in their states learn, the future be damned.

2) Most Republican controlled states have cut education funding dramatically.  Some states have cut it more than $1 Billion.  Places like Mississippi, which is the lowest funded public school in the country, wants to cut even more.  They don’t care if their children learn anything.  One of their state Representatives Gene Alday even compared education to welfare.  Especially when it comes to teaching black children.  He seems to think that educating black children is a waste of money.

That leads to defunding public education in general.  Meaning that he is very happy with his state being at the bottom of the education ladder.  No one in Mississippi seems to think that is the biggest reason the state ranks dead last in economics for its people.  Mississippi continuously rates as the poorest state in the union.  I will venture that their poor education system is the cause of this continued rating.

3)  There is a major push by Republicans to not teach AP History.  In Oklahoma, a committee voted along party lines 11-4 to outlaw the use of the AP History curriculum.  The reason isn’t because there is anything really wrong with the curriculum, but rather because it actually teaches students our faults as well as our achievements.

The bill’s sponsor, state representative Dan Fisher, argued that the schools should be teaching “American exceptionalism,” and avoiding teaching parts of American history that are less than flattering.  Even the Republican National Committee endorses the idea that AP history courses should teach less strife and present a more rah-rah view of American history.

Earlier in the school year, students in Colorado walked out of classes when that state tried to limit the AP History course.  To some, it may seem like a good idea that we teach only the rah-rah parts of history.  But, by doing so, we are failing our children.  One only need to look back to 1930s Germany to see what happens when governments rewrite history to achieve political agendas.

To paraphrase the book 1984, “To control the future you need to control the past.  You control the past by controlling the present.”  Rewriting history in order to make us look good and present the idea that America can do no wrong, is very dangerous for the future.  Without remembering our weaknesses, we will definitely relive them.

4)  Cutting education funding is not limited to just elementary and high school   Many states, like Wisconsin, are cutting funding to state universities as well.  This is resulting in higher tuition costs.  It also means that fewer students will be able to afford college.

As it is, the average college graduate leaves college with massive student loan debt.  By cutting funding to state universities, that debt will rise even more.  Plus, it will make a lot of people who wish to attend college turn away because they cannot afford the costs.

Walker and his staff haven’t really taken many pains to hide that this is rooted in a deeper hostility to the very idea of knowledge itself. “A harbinger of what Walker might face came in an immediate uproar on social media this month after his staff proposed changing the university’s ethereal focus on the pursuit of truth, known as the ‘Wisconsin Idea,’ to a grittier focus on ‘workforce needs.”

Even though there may be some conservative lip smacking about “saving money” Walker backed off recasting higher education as nothing more than job training after his critics pointed out he is a college dropout, but the fact that this wording change was proposed at all shows that the hostility to education is ideological and has little to nothing to do with saving money.

5)  Kansas has taken the spotlight again.  Kansas has become a cesspool of stupid ideas, especially since Brownback took office as Governor.  This state’s legislature wants everyone to know that you should wait for marriage before having sex.  But, that isn’t enough for them.  They want that taught in sex education classes.  They don’t want anything else being taught as “sex education.”  There’s growing support for having teachers fear jail time should they ever hint, during sex education, that sex is a thing people do for pleasure.

Citing a teacher who had used a poster in class that suggested that sex is sometimes used to show affection, Republicans are pushing a bill that would make it a crime for teachers to dare to acknowledge such a thing again.  You read that correctly.  They want to be able to put in jail any teacher who suggests that sex is sometimes used to show affection.

There are other examples as well.  Don’t forget about the conservative push to ban evolution being taught in science classes and replacing it with creationism.  The list goes a whole lot deeper.

The Republican Party has been fighting against education for generations.  This is really nothing new.  Education funding is always one of the first things to be cut in states under their rule.  Teachers are vilified and as you can see in Kansas, criminalized. Why is education under so much attack by Republicans?

You may or may not agree with this, but I believe that the Republican Party wants Americans to be as stupid as possible!  They don’t want us to think for ourselves.  They don’t want us to be able to question their policies.  Basically, they want to return us to the world of company towns again.

When the populace is uneducated, you can get them to believe your crazy ideas much easier.  When you rewrite history, you can make them believe whatever you want.  These are very dangerous philosophies.  We owe a better future to our children.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece talking about the Brian Williams saga and stating this is what happens when the news becomes no more than entertainment.  Today’s news reporters seem to believe that they are as much of the story as the story itself.  That is what leads reporters to “exaggerate” their experiences.

When the story about Brian Williams broke, the self-anointed prophet, Bill O’Reilly went on air to blast Williams and to state how this explains how corrupt the “liberal media” is.  During his show about Williams, O’Reilly said”

We’ve made some mistakes in the past but very few…We take great pains to present you with information that can be verified. Reporting comes with a big responsibility, the Founding Fathers made that point very clearly. They said to us, “We’ll give you freedom. We’ll protect you from government intrusion. But, in return, you, the press, must be honest.”

That sounds so grown up and so professional.  But, there seems to be a problem with the self-anointed prophet’s own stories of him being a “war correspondent” in places like El Salvador and the Falklands.  Mother Jones reported yesterday that poor Bill’s accounts of his “war corresponding” do not fit the facts.  There seems to be some real issues with his accounts, both in his book “No Spin Zone” and interviews he has granted about his time in the “war zones.”

In trying to put other correspondents down about “covering the war” he tried to show his bona fides as a “war correspondent” during the Falkland War.  He asserted:  “I’ve been there. That’s really what separates me from most of these other bloviators. I bloviate, but I bloviate about stuff I’ve seen. They bloviate about stuff that they haven’t.”

One problem with this story.  He was never in the Falkland Islands during the war.  In 1982, he was working for CBS News.  He was sent down to Buenos Aires to be part of the bureau covering the war.  Problem is that no U.S. correspondent made it to the Falklands during the fighting.  One NBC news correspondent did manage to get to the capital of Stanley, but that was weeks before the fighting started, and he spent one day there.

The British had about 30 reporters who accompanied them on the trip to the Falklands.  However, these reporters were all British.  None were European or American.  Additionally, they were fully dependent upon the British Army for their stories.

So, what “combat zone” did O’Reilly enter during the war?  None.  When the Argentines surrendered there was a mass protest about the surrender by thousands of Arginine citizens.  During these protests, it was reported that people were beaten, even news correspondents, and that the police fired rubber bullets into the crowd.  There were reports of injuries, but there were no reports of deaths during the protests.  This is what O’Reilly is calling a “combat zone.”

In 2009 O’Reilly did an interview with a television station in the Hamptons about covering these protests which he claimed the other journalists were too afraid to cover.  He said:  “I was out there pretty much by myself because the other CBS news correspondents were hiding in the hotel.” (“We were all out with our camera crews that day to cover the protest,” Schieffer says. “I’d been out there with a crew too.”)

According to O’Reilly’s own words during this interview soldiers “were just gunning these people down, shooting them down in the streets” with “real bullets.”  Yet, there were no reports of deaths during these protests by anyone at the time.

Then he went on to tell the story of how he rescued his South American cameraman, who had been trampled by the crowd: “The camera went flying. I saved the tape because it was unbelievable tape. But I dragged him off the street because he was bleeding from the ear and had hit his head on the concrete…The sound man is trying to save the camera…And then the army comes running down and the guy points the M-16. And I’m going, ‘Periodista, no dispare,’ which means, ‘Journalist, don’t shoot.’ And I said, ‘Por favor.’ Please don’t shoot…Then the guy lowered his gun and went away.”

Mother Jones notified Fox News about the story before they published it.  David Corn, one of the authors said that he sent an email to Fox News at 8:30 am with a list of questions so they could refute what was in the story and asked for a response by 3 pm.  He also sent several follow-ups even saying they could have more time if needed.  Fox News, and of course the self-anointed prophet failed to respond.

Instead of answering the questions, O’Reilly went on a rampage.  He called Corn a “liar”, a “guttersnipe” and the story a “hit job” against O’Reilly.  Problem is that he never answered any questions about the discrepancies between what he has been saying and what the story reports.

As I predicted, Williams is not the only journalist to “make things up” in order to make a bigger name for himself.  The difference so far between these two stories is that Williams apologized for his embellishments and was suspended for six months for his actions.  O’Reilly has not apologized for his embellishments and I will take odds that Fox News will not suspend him for six months, or even six seconds.

If everything in this report is true, and there doesn’t seem to be anything that contravenes it, then it would appear that the “liberal media” isn’t the only source “lying” to American People.  “Conservative media” is just as guilty.  The difference is in how they handle it and whether or not the guilty is punished.  The “liberal media” has proven it will punish their guilty.  The only question is will Fox News punish its own?  If Fox News doesn’t, it will prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the “conservative media” doesn’t care about the “truth.”

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 270 other followers