Monday, August 19, 2013

Why All of Our Eggs Shouldn't Be Placed in Glenn Greenwald's Basket

Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden Supporters Are Being Discredited (by the) Left and Right Because Of Their Self-Appointed Mouthpiece.

I'll just say it... Glenn Greenwald is not a real journalist.  Not even close.  He's a fame-monger and he's very successful at that much. and The Guardian are both taking a lot of hits lately in the credibility department but they don't care because they are raking in the cash and page views.  This is the path that Greenwald has led them down.

Here are some problems with Greenwald and why the libertarian left needs a new hero:

1. He wants to be the "decider".
Greenwald encourages his readers to have blind trust in anyone who is willing to steal files and breach security.  He believes that individual citizens and employees acting on their own accord are better equipped to decide what information you are exposed to than the governments you have elected with your votes.  George W. Bush garnered a lot of well-deserved criticism for calling himself "the decider" and that seems to be how Greenwald views himself as well.  He will not tolerate oversight or checks and balances.  Most recently, that has taken the form of threatening the UK government with more leaks because airport security dared to detain his boyfriend.  It didn't take Joy Reid any more than 30 characters to sum up the problem with his logic:  "Welcome to 'Punishment Journalism'":

Regardless of where you stand on privacy and government surveillance, you should be skeptical of someone who wants to override your democratic vote and make their own rules.  You should ponder the difference between a "whistleblower" and someone who has broken the law out of vengeance or egotism.

One last word on George W. Bush, The Great Decider... Greenwald was a pretty big fan of his work back in the day.

2. The only thing bigger than the Government is Greenwald's ego.
Glenn Greenwald has a longstanding tendency to answer questions with insults and name-calling.  We'll elaborate on that point in a moment but it's also worth noting that he fails to recognize the credibility of anyone but himself. This is not something that makes for a good journalist.  Here is an example of Greenwald putting his foot in his mouth in a blatant show of unnecessary one-upmanship:  Greenwald to State Dept. Official and Princeton PhD: "Edward Snowden has done far more for the world in the last 2 months than you have in your life."

3. He will not be questioned by the likes of you.
Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski  once asked Glenn Greenwald if leaking government files was legal or illegal. Moreover, she wanted to know if metadata collection was really comparable to the kind of surveillance where someone is reading your personal emails or listening to your phone calls.  The response from Greenwald was an angry accusation that she was just blindly reading "White House talking points".  He managed to avoid the question entirely.

Accusing everyone of being a blind "Obama follower" is Greenwald's signature insult.  The accusation is his 'slim jim' that can be used to get him out of any jam.  By pitting himself against the President of the USA, anyone who questions his sources or accuracy can be instantly labeled and sent away as part of the vast conspiracy against him.

When I asked Greenwald to provide sources for his claim that thousands of Muslim children were being intentionally targeted by "Obama's drones", this was his response:

It's important to note here that Greenwald never did source or give proper citation to his rant about "Obama's drones killing Muslim children".  Most of the "sources" that I gleaned from his loyal fanbase were just random bits of supposed eyewitness testimony from Afghan and Pakistani tribesman sloppily pasted together with photos of children who we KNOW are not even dead and who were actually injured by Al Qaeda.
Furthermore, Greenwald often conflates the numbers of children killed by drones during the Bush Presidency with numbers from more recent years.  "Hundreds of Children Killed by Drones" made for quite a headline in 2012, but Greenwald neglected to mention that those numbers had been stacking up since 2004.

4. He's a cyberbully.
Michelle Malkin started a nasty little trend on the internet that is a unique blend of cyberbullying, tabloid journalism and "reality tweeting".  If you are not familiar with her website,, you can read all about that mess right here.  But Malkin is not the only one who uses her massive number of followers/fans to beat down any opposition and cyberbully regular joes on Twitter.  Greenwald does that too.  As can be seen in exchanges like the one with Daniel Serwer and a few with myself,  Greenwald's followers pay close attention to every tweet he sends out and when he argues with someone or calls attention to a twitter user, that person is subject to hundreds of angry threats and namecalling from Greenwald's mob.

It's becoming increasingly common for famous people to "retweet" a negative reaction to their followers so that the critic will be bombarded with attacks from the celebrity's fans.  This is unfair and unethical, in my opinion and people who are enjoying their moment at the top of the mountain should not be focused on causing avalanches for the villagers below.

5. He doesn't verify his talking points for factual accuracy.
Greenwald and his partner-in-crime David Sirota are infamous for their flagrant flame throwing and audacious omissions of substantive facts. This is well documented all over the internet, but if you insist that I give you some examples, you can read about that here, here, here and here.  Glenn Greenwald will simply move on to the next talking point if it becomes too obvious that the first one is a bust.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Tea Party Circulating FAKE Images of Chris Stevens Being "Tortured" (GRAPHIC)

They Have No Shame!  

In their desperate fear of a Hillary 2016 run, the Tea Party is yet again attempting to politicize and propagandize the Benghazi Consulate Attack... This time, with photos that they claim to be Stevens being "tortured and crying for help" as Hillary and Obama ignore his pleas for "seven hours".

One such Graphic Meme comes from a website called "Uncle Sam's Misguided Children":

But, a reverse image search reveals that the photo we see could not have been Chris Stevens being tortured being tortured by Muslims because it was taken prior to the year 2009 and the Benghazi Consulate Attack that Stevens died in was a 2012 incident.  Stevens reportedly died of smoke inhalation.

Here is a webpage that features the same photo which hasn't been updated since 2009.

Nice try, Tea Party... But your lying attacks on this administration will only serve to discredit everything else you have to say!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Nancy Grace Vindicated In On Air Argument by Mother Jones Article

Back when Frank Taaffe was curiously and suddenly the mainstream media's "go to" guy on all things relating to the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case, an interesting argument took place between HLN's Nancy Grace and Taaffe.   Nancy Grace asserted that Zimmerman used racial slurs in his calls to police and Taaffe denied this fact.

Taaffe tried to explain that Zimmerman used the word "cold" rather than the word "co0n".  Taaffe's argument was beyond absurd, of course, because the context that followed was "... They always get away."  ([These "colds" always get away]???  Sure. Whatever.)
Nonetheless, the media and the courts refused to believe their ears and the racial slur was dropped from being considered serious evidence in the case.

But as of today, Mother Jones Magazine has released a detailed expose which indicates that Frank Taaffe and Zimmerman were co-conspirators in the creation of his defense story and that Taaffe is a racist himself with a criminal history.

Read the Mother Jones story about Taaffe's racist history here. (click here)

Reasonably, Zimmerman's self-defense argument did not hold water.  But the jury was apparently dazzled by defense attorneys who somehow made them forget it's legally and ethically wrong to chase unarmed teenagers with loaded weapons in the dark. Racists will argue with any and all this reason on this point, though.

As Mother Jones points out:
Taaffe isn't the first member of Zimmerman's circle to be caught making racially charged statements. In March, Zimmerman's brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr. (another outspoken defender), tweeted a photo of a black Georgia teenager who allegedly murdered a one-year-old boy with a gunshot to the face, alongside a picture of Trayvon Martin.

This brings us to another interesting point.  The story that Robert Zimmerman was tweeting about in connection to Trayvon Martin has now ALSO been exposed as a racist fraud.  The mother of the infant, Sherry West is now thought to have killed her own child and blamed it on two black teenagers...  as racist white people have been known to do in the past.

A great number of the crimes supposedly perpetrated by black people against white people are eventually exposed as fraudulent... A few examples are Sherry West, Susan Smith, Ashley Todd and Charles Stuart.
These horrific crimes are always touted, bandied about and shared on social networking sites by conservatives, the Tea Party and racist groups as "evidence" that black people are horrible criminals and not to be trusted... But in the end, as prosecutors like Nancy Grace know... "sometimes it just aint so."

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fewer Jurors Means Less Justice

What do the trials of George Zimmerman, Casey Anthony and Troy Davis all have in common?  

The answer could be that their outrageous outcomes stem from the fewer number of jurors who decided their fate.

Of these three cases, two were tried in Florida and the latter was tried in Georgia.  Florida and Georgia are among five U.S. states that don't require 12 jurors to unanimously agree on a verdict.  The other three are Arizona, Oregon and Louisiana.

In Oregon and Louisiana, a twelve person jury may be used but they need not reach a unanimous verdict. It's more akin to a popularity contest than it is to a criminal trial.

Incidentally, these are also five states where prejudices such as racism and homophobia are known to be rampant - even recognized as such by the Federal Government in legislation such as the Voting Rights Act which aims to reduce voter disenfranchisement.

In Florida and Georgia, a person can be sentenced to death by just six people.  This is what happened to Troy Davis, whom a majority of the public now believes was innocent of the crime for which he was convicted.   Alternately, it also means that murder and manslaughter charges can be acquitted by only six people - which is the case with both Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman in two other highly contested outcomes.

The thematic facts of these three cases bear very little resemblance to one another - but the verdicts seem to defy popular public opinion.   In contrast, one could present a case where they believe a 12-person jury delivered the wrong verdict, such as the O.J. Simpson trial.  But the O.J. Simpson case would be an anomaly in this discussion because most capital criminal cases are settled by a unanimous jury of twelve.

Furthermore, juries of twelve have been more likely over the years to deliver justice even when it rubs the general public the wrong way at first.  Then, when cooler heads have prevailed and hindsight returns to 20/20, we see that the jury was right after all.  Such is the case with the trial against the McMartin family whom twelve jurors finally absolved of any criminal conduct in a case that took two and a half years to complete.

The McMartins operated a preschool and were falsely accused of child molestation during a period of persecution in America known as "Satanic Panic".  Every news network in America was producing fantastic tales of devil worship, cannibalism and molestation intermingled with accusations of homosexuality and witchcraft.  Public consensus at the time would be that anyone who set foot in a courtroom was guilty until proven innocent.

Psychological Math

So what is it about twelve jurors that usually produces a more accurate or favorable outcome than six?  The answer to that question is one of psychology and sociology.

Smaller groups of quarantined or sequestered people are more susceptible to what's termed as "group think". A charismatic person can more easily influence five of his peers than he can eleven.  That is to say that a smaller jury can be more easily "bullied" into going against their better instincts.

When more people are introduced to a conversation, the likelihood of a contradicting opinion being presented is increased.  Therefore, there may now be two contradicting "bullies" in the jury and the democratic process takes hold.  Mild mannered fence sitters now have options and can decide that one of the bolder jurors is more correct in their opinions and assumptions.  It's like a trial within a trial.

The longer a jury spends deliberating, the more likely they are to reach a trustworthy conclusion.  Obviously, deliberations will last longer with bigger juries in most cases.  It only took a six person jury a total of 12 minutes to find Marissa Alexander guilty of a felony that put her behind bars for 20 years.  That Florida case is also widely regarded as an absolute miscarriage of justice.

By contrast the twelve member jury in the case against Scott Peterson deliberated for seven days and reached a verdict that most people were satisfied with.    Historically, the longest jury deliberations in criminal trials have come from the standard 12-person juries.  Additionally, the outcomes of those trials seem to have more "balance of opinion" in the actual verdicts and sentencing.  An example of this would be the Allen V. City Oakland case where a jury deliberated for four whopping months before rendering a partial verdict.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Rick Scott Chooses Indiana's Most Incompetent Public Official For Florida Schools

His name is Tony Bennett - spelled just like the guy who sings Anything Goes, Rags To Riches and If I Ruled The World.  But the only world that this Tony Bennett rules is Florida's education system.  To explain his journey is to tell you why Florida's Republicans are just a little bit more insane than Indiana's Republicans - and that's really saying something.

Florida's Republicans are gullible, selfish, incompetent or all three simultaneously. Florida is home to Rush Limbaugh, whose trademark has been rather worthless, as it turns out.  Florida's Republican Governor and Lieutenant Governor have received nothing but bad press from day one and all the negativity is richly deserved.  Even some Republicans will admit that Rick Scott is the worst Governor that Florida has had since Claude Kirk.

It's important to note that under Rick Scott's leadership, Florida changed the way it selects an Education Commissioner from being an elected position to being an appointed one.  Then, seven months ago, when Scott chose Tony Bennett for the position, the Tampa Bay Times wrote:
"He is a former teacher, principal and local school superintendent, and he sounds passionate about public education. But he will have to be a better communicator in Florida than he was in Indiana."

One of these ways that politicians become "a better communicator" is via Email.  In Bennett's case, he has failed in this regard because he apparently left a trail of digital breadcrumbs leading right up to a huge scandal regarding a charter school that he fostered in Indiana.

Indiana Republicans are old fashioned and as such, they are not very web savvy.  They don't understand the digital age and they certainly don't understand the basic principle that "the internet never forgets".  You would think the party that chose an elephant as its mascot would find that to be a point worth remembering.  But just recently Indiana's new Governor, Mike Pence, came under fire for deleting facebook comments that were not wholly supportive of his office and their politics.

In Bennett's case, the evidence shows that he altered scores for privatized charter schools to make them appear better than their traditional public school counterparts.  Indiana has more religious-based private schools that receive public funding than any other state in the Midwest.  In fact, there is only one state in America that has more religious public schools than Indiana and that's... Florida!  That unto itself is scandalous enough without the added lying, manipulation and propaganda.

According to the Tampa Bay Times yesterday:

The Associated Press first reported this week that as head of Indiana schools last fall Bennett insisted that a charter school founded by a powerful Republican donor receive an A grade instead of a C. Bennett's emails left no doubt about his intentions for Christel House Academy even as his staff questioned whether it would be legal to change the letter grade.

So, what is the Christel House Academy and why is it so important to Bennett that he would lie for it?  It's a privatized charter school that operates with public funds in Indiana.  This is the Republican ideal for education.  It's a way to steal public education funds and use them against the system as it was designed.  By funding charter schools instead of real public schools, they can avoid all the regulations inherent in a public school system.  They can teach religion as scientific fact, they can serve gallons of high fructose corny syrup for lunch and they can hire loosely trained, armed security guards to stand over students with assault rifles if they want to.

The values statement on Christel House Academy's website states that they strive to teach students about "Integrity" above all else... That's a damn shame.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

ABC's Exclusive "Zimmerman Rescue Hero" Story Falling Apart

Was George Zimmerman's Heroic Scenario Cooked Up or Staged By A Friend And Supporter In the Seminole Sheriff's Department?

ABC News is getting a really bad reputation lately.  First, they screwed up a bunch of reporting on the Boston Marathon Bombings and didn't run retractions on most of it... Then, they went to press with FAKE emails to support the "Benghazi Scandal" that Republicans cooked up.  Now they may have really out-done themselves.

Everyone in America heard about only TWO news stories over the past couple of days.  The first, understandably, is that the Royal Family has a new member.  Congrats.   The 2nd was that George Zimmerman, a recently freed murderer had heroically saved a family of four from a "fiery auto accident", thereby proving that he's just an honorable man who only wants to do good in the world and is misunderstood.

The latter story is preposterous on the face of it... and anyone who can't see that is blinded by wishful thinking.  But let's look at some things that are coming to light about this incident now that ABC got their mileage out of it.

According to some industrious bloggers with a poorly designed site, the officer who responded to the auto accident that is the subject of this story is named Patrick Rehder who lives in Lake Mary, Florida.   Here's a supposed copy of that incident report (and I say "supposed" only because I have not personally verified it myself):

Now, this is also supported by Patrick Rehder's facebook posts after the incident which look like this:

But the story doesn't end there... No, it can never be that simple, can it?  Patrick has a number of other facebook posts from before the incident took place and it turns out that he's been a very public supporter of George Zimmerman's defense for a long time... Isn't THAT a coincidence?

Here are just a couple of examples:

In fact, MOST of Rehder's facebook posts have been about the trial... So how is it that a member of the same Sheriff's Office which is tasked with guarding Zimmerman, just happens to be same officer who responded to a car accident that Zimmerman just suddenly showed up at to become a hero?  And what are the odds that the same Sheriff's Officer would have 128 friends who are ALSO Zimmerman supporters as well as staunch 2nd Amendment Rights advocates?

Friday, July 19, 2013

3 Well-Known Cases That Defy Zimmerman's Defense

Or "Why The National Review is Always Wrong About Everything"...

The National Review, a popular conservative magazine, has been getting a lot of traction with its recent spate of attacks against Angela Corey, the prosecutor in the George Zimmerman trial.  Their articles feature unflattering photos of Corey that portray her as an angry black woman with gritted teeth and flaring nostrils. Their foundation for these attacks, however, appeals to our liberal side...

The NR brings up cases that tug at our heart-strings like the one about the young boy who was tried as an adult.  They also talk about how supposedly nobody likes Corey or gets along with her.  They recruit statements from lawyers like Alan Dershowitz who can't wait to speak ill of her... with such vociferousness that we are left to once again wonder who is the "aggressor" in this sequel to the Zimmerman trial.

But the crux of the National Review's argument against Corey is that she is incompetent and doesn't even know what 2nd Degree Murder is or how to define it.  Ian Tuttle writes: "[2nd Degree Murder] almost never applies to one-on-one encounters. Second-degree murder is the madman who fires indiscriminately into a crowd or unlocks the lions’ cage at the zoo."

That quoted statement is patently false.  The reality is the opposite.  Angela Corey knows this.  The web that NR is weaving is a tangled one but the idea is that whether you think Zimmerman is guilty or innocent, you should blame Angela Corey. Blame her, they say, because she doesn't know how to do her job... supposedly even rising to the level of prosecutorial misconduct.

But the National Review is not the only publication joining in on the Angela Corey hatefest... Certain popular Tea Party bloggers have even taken it upon themselves to doctor up FAKE court documents as some kind of evidence of Corey's supposed wrongdoings.  It's absurd.  It's a racist attempt to blame a black woman for the murder that Zimmerman is so clearly guilty of.

Here are three relatively well known cases of 2nd Degree Murder that are not at all what Ian Tuttle asserts in the National Review with the utmost authority.

1.  Robert Hall is a white man who tried to claim self-defense when he murdered the other white man who was sleeping with his wife.  Like Zimmerman, Hall pursued the person he killed but claimed that he wasn't looking for a fight when his victim doubled back on him.  Here's a photo of him being found guilty of 2nd Degree Murder:

2. Phil Spector's attorneys maneuvered in much the same way Zimmerman's attorneys did.  They tried to refocus the jury on the state of mind of the victim instead of that belonging to the shooter.  Victim blaming is all too common of a practice among defense attorneys and it reached a fever pitch when Spector claimed that the woman he murdered had just inexplicably gone crazy and shot herself with his gun when she arrived at his house.  He was also found guilty of 2nd Degree Murder.

3. Chrishaun "CeCe" McDonald is a black transgender woman who was attacked by a group of straight, white people. They cut deeply across her face with a broken bottle and the lacerations (mainly to the left cheek of her face) were permanently debilitating and severed her salivary gland... When McDonald finally fought back in an effort to save her own life, one man in the group was stabbed to death as a result of that. This is a clear case of self-defense in a hate crime situation but because McDonald did not back down, that is to say, because she "stood her ground" in the situation, she was charged with 2nd Degree Murder as well and currently sits in prison.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

8 Ways that Republicans have Been Acting Like Nazis Lately

In the past few years since President Obama assumed office, Republicans have been getting "more extreme".  The evidence of this is everywhere - from their sudden passion to restrict women's choices, to their outlook on subjects like rape, to their lock-step anti-gay views and blatant racism.  This sudden bent toward fascism is forcing liberal Democrats to repeal "Godwin's Law" left and right... but mostly right.

Here are just a few examples that are pretty hard for anyone to defend:

1) Republican states can't find enough drugs to execute as many prisoners as they want to so now they are considering the use of GAS CHAMBERS.   That's right, we haven't seen gas chambers look like a favorable option for anything in awhile, have we?   Missouri is the state that draws focus here and while their Governor is technically a conservative Democrat, both chambers of their legislature are ruled by the Republican Party.

2) Some Republicans apparently think it's okay to display a Nazi Swastika flag in their front yards as a protest of President Obama.  But lest ye think that it's his clever way of calling Obama a Nazi himself, Joseph Sincavage of Connecticut also proudly flies the Vatican Flag and the Marines Flag right next to the Nazi Swastika, presumably in approval with the former two organizations.   Neighbors say that Sincavage has also flown the confederate rebel flag in years past as a protest against Democrats.  But don't think of this as an isolated incident because a man in Elkhart, Indiana has been doing the exact same thing since the Boston Marathon terrorist attack.

3) There are actual Nazis within the Republican Party too.   Yes, you read that correctly.  The Republican choice to defeat a congressional Democrat in Lyons, IL last year was a 64 year-old man named Arthur Jones and he holds Birthday Parties for Hitler and says "The Holocaust never happened."

4) Republicans have gone to extreme lengths to defend racist killers too.  Just recently, it was discovered that a man named Larry Klayman, a Tea Party activist and Republican blogger, had propagandized the public in an effort to defend George Zimmerman, the murderer who shot an unarmed black teenager in his neighborhood in Florida.  Klayman made up fake court documents alleging that the black female prosecutor in that case had been indicted on criminal charges... She had not.

5) Texas Republicans have tried to infiltrate public education with classes taught by White Supremacy groups.  A recent decision to put a halt to educating children about the Constitution was questioned until it was discovered that those lessons weren't as benign as originally thought. 

6) Sinclair Lewis once famously stated: "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."   Nowhere is that more evident now than in Lousiana, where Republican officials are attempting to ban any kind of flag from being waved on public property other than an American flag.  This is, of course in response to complaints about gay rights marchers waving their rainbow flags on courthouse steps and in parks. 

7) It doesn't stop there with the anti-gay sentiments from Republicans.  One Republican-affiliated Pastor with a Christian Church (Pastor Charles Worley of North Carolina) has even suggested "rounding up homosexuals and putting them behind electric fences".  CNN had a field day with this guy, particularly a newly-out Anderson Cooper.  You can watch all that drama by clicking right here

8) Republican legislators are teaching their children to say horrible things.  That might not sound so dramatic unless you consider the circumstances.  Arizona is the only state where a Jewish Female Democrat was shot in the head by an armed attacker with a shaved head who said on YouTube that "Mein Kampf" was his favorite book...  That alone is damning enough for the Copper State, but then Republican Senator Jeff Flake had to go on an apology tour for his son who unleashed a hateful, violent slew of rants against gays, Jewish people and other minority groups on both Twitter and gaming boards.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Bachmann Tea Party Activist Fakes Court Documents on Behalf of George Zimmerman

Once again, proving another link between the Tea Party and their racist underpinnings, Larry Klayman, who operates the Republican Tea Party website, has been caught faking a news story about the special prosecutor in the George Zimmerman murder trial...

Larry Klayman is a Tea Party activist who is frequently seen everywhere you see Michele Bachmann.  He is also a racist.   This week, he created a FAKE indictment of Angela Corey by creating a group called "Citizens Grand Jury" and then using that moniker to write up an almost-authentic looking indictment.  Then he posted the faux court document as a news blast on his other website (FreedomWatchUSA) and allowed his conspiratorial followers to believe it was the real thing...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Guess Which Supreme Court Justice Does Not Believe in DNA...

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that human genes cannot be patented, a decision that could shape the future of medical and genetic research and have profound effects on pharmaceuticals and agriculture.  (But of course, companies are still free to patent NEW genetic material that mimics human DNA, so they still have some wiggle-room in the decision.)

But within the context of that decision, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia took exception to one part of the ruling... The part where the ruling defines DNA in the first place.

Scalia notes: "
I join the judgment of the Court, and all of its opinion except Part I–A and some portions of the rest of the opinion going into fine details of molecular biology. I am unable to affirm those details on my own knowledge or even my own belief."

Antonin Scalia is Catholic and a sometimes hunting partner with former Vice President Dick Cheney. He was appointed by Ronald Reagan and he is widely thought of as the religious conservatives' surest advocate against abortion in the Supreme Court.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A brief note to young white liberals who just attended their 1st Tim Wise lecture...

"White privilege"... We get it.  We have it.  You don't need to keep lecturing us.  Telling other white people about how privileged they are in American society does not make you exempt from the same phenomenon.

It's great that you are suddenly so interested in working to end racism but it's not a competition.

This message has been brought to you by white people who are not racist and tired of being treated like we are in facebook conversations just because you feel like lecturing somebody.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

GOProud Honorary Chair Slams Transgender Women Out of Nowhere

In case you ever thought that gay Republicans weren't completely self-sacrificing... Their absolute hero, Ann Coulter, said something very awkward during a Fox News hit-job on Sen. Feinstein's Assault Weapons Ban legislation:
“I used to think women just shouldn’t be able to vote. Now, I think at least liberal women should not be able to hold office, and by woman I do not mean to limit that to the biological sense.  - Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter herself is repeatedly teased and insulted for having physical characteristics that are atypical of her gender, so one would think that she would be more sensitive to the issue.

GOProud is an offshoot of the Log Cabin Republicans (an LGBT friendly political group) and their President Jimmy LaSalvia named Ann Coulter as "Honorary Chair" of the group in 2011. 

Of course, the intended topic of discussion on the Sean Hannity show was supposed to be the debate between Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) about the feasibility of banning what are known as 'assault weapons'.  That conversation went something like this:

How The Mighty Have Fallen

Florida's Republican Lt. Governor Has Resigned Amid 2nd Major Controversy While Marco Rubio Continues His Assault on What He calls "Freeloaders".

Illegal internet gambling ring falsely led patrons to believe that their money was being directed to a charity for veterans... Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll (R-FL) created "Veterans of the World" scheme which may have even redirected millions of illegal dollars into Governor Rick Scott's campaign coffers:
NPR - FLA Lt. Gov. Resigns During Probe of Supposed Internet Cafes

Meanwhile, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) says that liberals and Democrats are America's "freeloaders" while touting a highly falsified account of his own personal struggle to pull himself up by his bootstraps and stay afloat: - Marco Rubio tells CPAC: "liberals are freeloaders"

In contrast to what he has previously claimed, Marco Rubio has never lived in meager circumstances and has always been well above "middle class".  The most recent sale of one his properties is far pricier than anything a middle-class Floridian could ever hope to purchase:

Miami Herald: One of Marco Rubio's Not-So-Humble Homes Made More Money in 1 Month than Average Floridian Will Make in a Year.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What Would Happen if Ann Coulter Really Was Transgender?

Every time I post one of Ann Coulter's outlandish statements on facebook, it's like clockwork... reliable.  Without exception, someone will use her gender inspecificity to retaliate against her brash hatred for most Americans...
The comments will pour in:
"Don't you mean MAN Coulter?"
"She looks like a man in a dress!"
"She's really a sexist gay man pretending to be a woman."
"Did she say that out of her adam's apple?"
It's such a popular meme that one must wonder if there's any "there" there...  Or at least I'm the kind of guy who wonders such things. 
Believe it or not - it's not implausible for a transgender woman to be a hateful Republican.  Florida is home to two or three such persons.  One such transgender woman, Donna Milo, even mounted a failed congressional campaign against Florida's most gay-friendly Democrat, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. 
So, it makes me wonder - if Ann Coulter's laryngeal prominence really did turn out to be more of an "adam's apple" than an "eve's plum" (see what I did right there?) - would it ruin her, politically speaking?  Honestly - I doubt it. 
It's important to note here that what Ann Coulter is most infamous for is her outrageous attacks against women, gays, Jews and racial minorities.  She's the mainstream media's "go-to girl" for such things.  She's a ratings whore.  Her most recent inflammatory sermon included the idea that women need high-capacity magazines on their assault rifles because they have incredibly bad aim compared to men.

I think Ann Coulter would be just as popular and perhaps even get MORE media appearances as a newly outed Transgender Republican Woman.  Conservative Republicans can sometimes be most hateful toward people they have something in common with - it's an effect that comes from internalized prejudices and phobias.
Examples of conservative Republicans who are in what I call "Uncle Tom's Log Cabin" include but are not limited to:
  1. Herman Cain - a black man who promotes an economic policy that is bad for most African Americans. 
  2. Michelle Malkin - a Fox News correspondent and blogger who is known for conducting wild character assassinations against other minorities via her website
  3. Michael Alan Weiner - Who adopted the name "Michael Savage" to assail minorities on his radio show, apparently because he's ashamed of being Jewish (or because he's ashamed of what he's saying - you decide).
  4. Michele Bachmann - who routinely votes against anything that women want or need in congress - whether that takes the form of equal pay, access to abortion or the ability to seek damages in court.
  5. Marcus Bachmann - I know, I know... "You can't tell who's gay just by looking at them"... but listen to him speak too!  Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's obviously closeted husband just loves to torture gay teens with "conversion therapy".
  6. Rush Limbaugh - An addict whose drug of choice is hatred.  But when he's not busy insulting the intelligence of other addicts - he loves to partake in overeating and painkillers that he doesn't have a prescription for.
  7. Jimmy LaSalvia - A gay man who decided that the Log Cabin Republicans weren't self-hating enough for him and decided to form the uber-outrageous "GOProud" organization... which basically consists of him and one other guy constantly admiring Ann Coulter for no apparent reason.
As you can see, the Republican Party is rife with hypocrites on the attack against the enemy within. So it follows that a transgender woman who hates both women and gays will someday be very popular in the Republican Party.  Issues that such a character would be useful for include limiting insurance coverage for gender reassignment surgeries, outlawing LGBT marriages, voting against access to abortion and generally starting/fanning the fires of fear in the gay/women's camp.
The Advocate already published a piece on why referring to people you don't like as transgender (or some variant of that) is wrong... which you can read here.  But I'd just like to add to that the idea that "Coultergeist" as I call her - can only be made stronger by such taunts.  She thrives on being hated - so it's just not worth it to drag (see what I did right there?) the trans community down to her level.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

FAU Professor Incites Cyberbullying of Connecticut Victims' Families

"Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn."
- C.S. Lewis
December 14th is my birthday.  I am a Sagittarius. That is what I know about that date - the first thing I know about it, in fact.  But for the people of Newtown, Connecticut, that date will be forever associated with a bloody massacre that ripped their families violently apart and shattered their spirit.
Imagine my disillusionment when I woke up that day expecting to see a long stream of "Happy Birthday" messages on my personal facebook timeline and only found worried messages of regret and heartbreak in my newsfeed. December 14th is now less celebratory for me too.

Information travels fast - faster than it can be verified and faster than it can be taken back.  Nobody knows this better than countless embarrassed journalists and bloggers (including myself) who have accidentally put the wrong information into the working hands of an unassuming public.  There is one person who has the ability and obligation to teach young journalists the magnitude or importance of getting it right and controlling their impulses when interpreting facts and opinions. That man is James F. Tracy, a professor of Media History and Analysis at Florida Atlantic University. 

When it comes to analyzing the media coverage of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, Jame F. Tracy has grossly and obscenely ignored everything you could see as a hard fact and replaced these obvious truths with his own paranoid delusions of a government conspiracy.

In short, he went on a public access radio program out of Berkley, CA and spread bizarre rumors that the Newtown Connecticut massacre never really happened at all... or that if it did happen, it was because President Obama ordered it to happen.  He theorized that the grieving parents and children of the victims were merely "actors" playing a role for the media.  He told the show host that it was not possible for one shooter to fire off so many rounds in such a short period of time - because he refuses to accept the fact that the shooter had used a Bushmaster semi-automatic assault rifle.
This conspiracy theory that he's created plays just perfectly for homicidally insane connoisseurs of such weaponry.  NRA members and right-wing extremists flocked to this idea almost instantaneously.  It was a disaster... a 2nd disaster.  The wound for victim's families has already been re-opened and salt poured into it.

Erica Lafferty is the daughter of Sandy Hook's dearly departed Principal.  Dawn Hochsprung is her mother - who died on December 14, 2012.  Erica is an avid Twitter user and just days before the incident, she was re-tweeting President Obama's remarks on the fiscal cliff negotiations.   Then, on the day of the tragedy... she received the news and also took to Twitter.

The above tweet (and the community connected to it) does not exactly fit in with the conspiracy narrative that the Sandy Hook Tragedy may have been just a front for Obama to do his evil New World Order deeds.  In fact, the victims themselves don't fit into any such narrative.  Neither do internet lurkers such as myself.

James Tracy's exploitive fame-mongering theory is bad enough as it is... but it can get worse.  Much worse.  As I said before - certain types of people are drawn to this sort of kool-aid and they don't just swill it down themselves - they clumsily slosh it all over everyone else.

Enter a gun-rights advocate named Brodie.  Brodie had been following the rants of other crazies like Alex Jones and re-tweeting Ultimate Fighting Champions when he happened upon Tracy's "Sandy Hook didn't happen" radio rant on the internet.

Brodie did what he thought was necessary to protect the reputation of this esteemed professor at FAU... He decided to question Erica Lafferty on whether or not the mother she is grieving really ever existed at all. 

Erica had been busy promoting rubber support bracelets that read "WWDD" (What would Dawn Do) in memory of her mother's heroism. The proceeds from these bracelets would be donated to her late mother's scholarship fund.  Brodie evidently did not bother to understand this before demanding that Erica defend the loss of her mother. 
Can you imagine having to defend the fact that your departed mother really existed in the first place to random internet trolls while you're trying to get your friends excited about supporting her favorite cause?

Twitter has since suspended the @BrodieBrasseaux account, but like all conspiracy kooks, he's probably continuing his interrogations under another name.  He is just one example of many.

But yet one more insult still lingers in this whole debacle... Florida Atlantic University has (so far) refused to let their esteemed colleage, Dr. Tracy take a vacation to the funny farm.  The School even issued a press statement to such effect.  They wish to make it known that they, as a school, cannot be held legally accountable for Dr. Tracy's flippant skewering of truth and justice... and he will remain a tenured professor at Florida Atlantic University.

Tracy did in fact issue an apology... but only a half-hearted one that was directed to the victims families all while still defending his conspiracy theories and not apologizing for planting this evil (yet totally absurd) seed in everyone's imagination to begin with.  No - Tracy has in fact added NEW conspiracy theories on top of the old ones... because he's that convinced by his delusions.

What bothers me now is that FAU seems to have taken a "not really our problem" approach to handling this situation.  Yet, until this man is no longer in their employ, a degree from FAU will not be worth the paper it's printed on. 

That is certainly their problem to deal with.

- Jarrett Terrill