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Thursday, April 17, 2014
WND's Kupelian Distorts Study on Autism And Antidepressants
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian has long fearmongered about antidepressants, most recently straining to link them to autism (WND's attempt to blame autism on vaccines was a dismal failure). Kupelian is at it again in an April 15 WND article:

A major new study released Monday finds that pregnant woman taking antidepressants are significantly at risk for giving birth to children with autism – especially if the baby is a boy.

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is titled “Prenatal SSRI Use and Offspring With Autism Spectrum Disorder or Developmental Delay,” and was conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, and the Department of Public Health Sciences at UC Davis. It was published in “Pediatrics,” the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Read entire study here (pdf).

Consistent with most previous human and animal studies on the question, researchers concluded in this latest study that so-called SSRI antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) – including virtually all major antidepressant brands, like Prozac, Paxil, Luvox, Zoloft and Celexa – appear to constitute a significant risk factor for autism spectrum disorders, or ASDs, particularly in male children.

But Kupelian is exaggerating the study's findings. U.S. News & World Report puts things in perspective and points out that untreated depression in a pregnant woman is a risk factor as well:

While the study found an association between prenatal use of SSRI antidepressants and autism risk in boys, it did not prove cause-and-effect.

The study authors were quick to point out that there are risks to both the mother and fetus from untreated depression.

"It's a complex decision whether to treat or not treat depression with medications during pregnancy," Lee said. "There are so many factors to consider. We didn't intend for our study to be used as a basis for clinical treatment decisions. Women should talk with their doctors about SSRI treatments."

[...]

Dr. Eyal Shemesh, chief of behavioral and developmental health in the department of pediatrics at the Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital, in New York City said: "It's very hard to do a definitive study of this. The confounders here are huge. They [the study authors] initially found no difference between the groups -- it was only when they looked specifically at gender-adjusted differences that they saw an association. We still don't know whether SSRIs are associated with more autism. We need to look further."

Shemesh added: "The one thing we really know with certainty is that depression is not good for pregnancy. Women who are depressed have bad outcomes and their kids don't do well. We need to treat depression, and there are psychotherapy options and medication options. You need to make a reasoned decision with your doctor. I would be very concerned about any woman just stopping her medication."

Kuupelian concedes the issue of depression, but he quotes some doctor claiming that “non-drug approaches to depression, such as psychotherapy and exercise, are as good or better for the treatment of depression in many women."

While Kupelian fearmongers about the supposed "significant" risk, U.S. News quotes one doctor saying: "If the risk of autism is around 1 percent now, and you raise it to 3 percent, that still means that 97 percent of the time, you won't have an autism spectrum disorder. The chances are still overwhelming that they won't have a child with an autism spectrum disorder."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EDT
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Will MRC's Graham Learn A Lesson From Sally Kohn?
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham writes in an April 16 NewsBusters post:

Liberal pundit Sally Kohn is on Yahoo! this morning with an article titled "What I learned as a liberal talking head on Fox News." She learned conservatives were personable and human.

What? Yes, she says that would amaze "fellow liberals who had not watched much Fox News but had seen the most outlandish clips of Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity that had made it to 'The Daily Show' or YouTube. They perhaps imagined that walking down the hallway outside makeup, Mr. O'Reilly might yell then, too, instead of just saying hello. That's a funny notion, but it couldn't be further from the truth."

The obvious thought here is: Why can't liberals just turn on Fox News for themselves and spend an hour? Why must they only watch it after it's "curated" by Jon Stewart?

Graham won't mention that Kohn has learned lessons that his fellow MRC employees apparently haven't.

Would a conservative who recognized the humanity of liberals call President Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead," as MRC chief Brent Bozell has? Or get into a shouting matchh with a liberal guest, as Bozell did?

Would a conservative who recognized the humanity of liberals call Sandra Fluke a "horizontal laborer" and a "Lincoln Tunnel hitcher," as the MRC's Matt Philbin has? Or respond to a critic by telling him to "fuck off," as Philbin has?

Would a conservative who recognized the humanity of liberals dismiss a liberal's calmly argued statements as nothing but shrieking and ranting, as NewsBustsers' Jeffrey Meyer did?

Would a conservative who recognized the humanity of liberals smear a criticism he disagreed with as "effete," as Graham himself did?

Instead of merely praising Kohn for recognizing that conservatives are human, Graham should be following her example by reminding his fellow MRCers -- including his boss -- that liberals are human too.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:18 PM EDT
WND Columnists Cheer On Lawless Rancher, Militia Thugs
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Barry Farber cheers on lawless rancher Cliven Bundy and the militia thugs who defended him, even excusing Bundy's lawlessness:

This is a tremendous victory for The People! The Bureau of Land Management must have thought that American apathy, timidity and passivity (a subject given masterful treatment by Stu Tarlowe in his recent well-received column in American Thinker) would bring rancher Cliven Bundy and his family out with their hands up. But when so many volunteers sped to the “front” to stick up for the Bundys, the Bureau of Land Management instantly issued a “Game-Over-We-Lose” statement making mention of the danger to their personnel. Arizona Rep. Kelly Townsend, a tea party Republican, jumped into his car and drove from Phoenix to Bunkerville to join the protest.

[...]

Are we being a bit quick to dash to Cliven Bundy’s defense without stopping to consider the feds’ charge that he’s an outlaw who’s been letting his cattle graze on that land illegally for more than 20 years? Yes, but Bundy’s family has been doing that since the 1800s, and he’s the last of 52 ranchers in Clark County – and the tactics of the BLM were worse than boorish, so my conscience can handle it all until we know a lot more about the legalities at play here.

Foreigner Christopher Monckton does pretty much the same thing in his WND column, going on to claim that Republicans should exploit the opportunity:

Now, I am no expert in the complex land laws of the United States, and I do not pretend to know whether the federal government has any lawful right to the vast sums of money it now demands. However, in the U.K. rights of common grazing (or, in Scotland, crofters’ rights) are jealously protected and defended. There would be no question of demanding grazing fees from farmers some of whose rights predate the last successful invasion of Britain, the Norman conquest in 1066.

Also, we have a statute of limitations that says a civil debt that is not pursued for six years ceases to be a debt. Here, Mr. Bundy might well not be liable for grazing fees going back six years or more.

But the case raises a wider concern that the moribund Republican Party would do well to wake up and champion. Federal land holdings, particularly in the southwestern states, are enormous. In a nation that once prided itself on allowing the free market to thrive, a staggering percentage of the land is nationalized.

Here is an opportunity for the Republicans to propose a way to pay off the national debt that has already crippled Uncle Sam’s armed forces to the point where the once-mighty United States could not intervene to stop Mr. Putin helping himself to large chunks of a neighboring nation’s territory in flagrant defiance of all the most sacred principles of international law.

They should promise to conduct a zero-base audit of all federal land holdings. The presumption of the zero-base audit is that all lands that are now nationalized ought to be in private ownership, and will be sold off to the highest bidders unless the various federal agencies now using or managing them are able to make a case that the elected Republican administration accepts.

Monckton goes on to falsely claim that the land Bundy was illegally using for grazing "had been earmarked for a useless solar farm."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:07 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 9:08 PM EDT
CNS' Starr Repeats Global Warming Denier Propaganda
Topic: CNSNews.com

Penny Starr spent an April 9 CNSNews.com article serving as the willing stenographer for a group of right-wing global warming deniers (not that she'll ever admit that's what they are, of course):

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant but a naturally occurring chemical compound that benefits plants and thus, the planet and its inhabitants, according to a lengthy  report released Wednesday by the free-market Heartland Institute.
“Carbon dioxide is an aerial fertilizer that provides many beneficial impacts,” said Craig Idso, one of the lead authors of the report, when CNSNews.com asked him to name the most salient finding of the 37 scientists from 12 countries who contributed to it.

“You can look at thousands of studies – real world data studies that have actually been conducted that demonstrate beyond any doubt that higher levels of CO2 are going to increase the productivity of plants,” Idso said.

“They’re real,” Idso said of the benefits of CO2. “They’re not imagined. They’re not projected. They’re real, and they’re occurring now.”

Starr can't be bothered to obtain any reaction to the Heartland Institute's report, issued by its "Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change" -- it's an attack on the much more credible United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- so CNS readers will never know that the institute receives funding from ExxonMobil and Koch-connected foundations, or that Idso formerly worked in the coal industry, thus raising more questions about the report's objectivity. Media Matters notes that while the IPCC reviews the current state of scientific knowledge, the NIPCC's references in its Summary for Policymakers include publications that date back to 1904 and few references from the 21st century other than non-peer-reviewed reports from itself and its authors.

Starr also quotes Heartland Institute president Joseph Bast dubiously calling the IPCC report on climate change “largely discredited” by his own NIPCC. But Starr won't tell you that Bast and his institute was claiming as recently as 1998 that "smoking in moderation has few, if any, adverse health effects."

These are the folks Starr apparently considers so authoritative she doesn't feel the need to seek out any outside comment about their denalist theories.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:32 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Bob Unruh, Homeschool Propagandist
Topic: WorldNetDaily
How far will the WorldNetDaily reporter go to defend homeschooling? He'll liken critics to Nazis and throw an abused child under the bus. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:11 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
CNS' Jeffrey Pushes Dishonest Comparison of Working Women, Food Stamps
Topic: CNSNews.com

Terry Jeffrey writes in an April 14 CNSNews.com article:

People participating in the food stamp program outnumbered the women who worked full-time, year-round in the United States in 2012, according to data from the Department of Agriculture and the Census Bureau.

In the average month of 2012, according to the Department of Agriculture, there were 46,609,000 people participating in the food stamp program (formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). That contrasts with the 44,059,000 women who worked full-time, year-round in 2012, according to the Census Bureau’s report on Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States.

For each woman who worked full-time, year-round in 2012, there was slightly more than 1 other person collecting food stamps.

But as Media Matters details, Jeffrey's comparion is meaningless because many working women fall into both categories:

In fact, because the majority of recipients are working-class Americans with jobs, senior citizens, or children, an increase in SNAP beneficiaries is an extremely unreliable predictor of the number of full-time workers, let alone evidence of a tipping point before a decline in overall employment. A 2013 report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that the "overwhelming majority of SNAP recipients who can work do so"[.]

[...]

A separate report from the USDA pointed out that in 2012, "75 percent of all SNAP households, containing 87 percent of all participants, included a child, an elderly person, or a disabled nonelderly person. These households received 82 percent of all SNAP benefits."

Jeffrey's article notes that "The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold." As we noted with CNS' dishonest, cherry-picking reporting on unemployment, this sort of coverage may very well be making Dr. Wold spin in his grave.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:28 PM EDT
WND's Blood Moon Blitz
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has published a book about the "blood moons," and by God, you will be subjected to thinly veiled ads for the book until the last blood moon appears, and probably well after it.

What WND won't always tell you, however, it that it published that book it's so relentlessly flogging. Or that the WND store is selling another "blood moons" book by a more prominent author, John Hagee, that's it's not so eager to promote (except when it accidentially links to it, as in this April 14 article).

Leading up to the book's March 18 publication, WND's coverage of it was shamelessly self-promotional, with articles touting the appearance of the book's author, Mark Blitz, on the "popular" show hosted by once-disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker and hyping how the book purportedly achieved a "necessary fourth printing" before its release date. There has also been the requisite fawning review of Blitz's book by WND columnist Jim  Fletcher, who did not disclose the book is published by the same folks who publish his column.

With the blood moon's first appearance this week, WND's promotion has become even more relentless.

An April 13 article promoted some random blogger's claim that "the appearance of the blood moons over our skies may have special significance," going on to quote the guy as being very undecided about the whole thing: "“aybe the message is for us ‘sleepers’ here in the United States. ... We have turned from our faith in the God of Bible. Maybe He has a message for us; or maybe not." Such indecision is probably why Mark Blitz, and not him, wrote the book for WND, who is described as having "found the divine link between prophecy, heavenly signs, historical events, and when they intersect" by finding "the correlation between when blood moons fell on feast days and key historical world events."

The article falsely claims "The last tetrad happened in 1967, during the Six-Day War between Arabs and Israelis." Actually, according to Space.com, the last tetrad happened in 2003-04.

An April 14 article tried to put a political spin on things by baselessly suggesting that the blood moons are a message to President Obama (whom WND can't quite admit is president, since that word appears nowhere in the article): 

Barack Obama quite recently, expressing his frustration that Republican members of Congress won’t give him what he wants, threatened arbitrary executive action, promising that he has a “pen and phone.”

But there are “flashing red warning lights” in the heavens that should command peoples’ attention right now, because the one behind those warnings, God, had “more than a pen and a phone in his hand,” according to the author of “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs.”

Pastor Mark Biltz, whose book is creating a tidal wave of interest right now with the first of four lunar eclipses expected to become visible early Tuesday, was speaking to Breaking Israel News.

“I believe that the blood moons have great historic and prophetic significance just as they did following 1948 and 1967. In the book of Joel it mentions three times about the sun and the moon going dark and in context it also mentions Divine wrath against all countries that want to divide or part the land of Israel,” he said.

“I believe the moons are like flashing red warning lights at a heavenly intersection saying to Israel as well as the nations they will be crossing heavenly red lines and if they do, they will understand as Pharaoh did on Passover night 3,500 years ago that the Creator backs up what He says.

“Like Pharaoh the leaders and pundits of today will realize when it comes to crossing the red lines of the Creator of the universe he has more than a pen and a phone in his hand.”

Another April 14 article features Blitz admitting he doesn't know what the blood moons mean, but dang it, they must mean something:

The pastor whose book, “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs,” explains the biblical links between cosmic phenomena such as eclipses and events on Earth says he’s not sure what will happen in connection to the current series of lunar alignments.

Maybe nothing.

But people need to be watching and listening to God, Pastor Mark Biltz urges.

One thing we do know it means is lots of hype with the goal of putting more money in WND's coffers. Thus, you'll never read at WND the fact that, according to Space.com, "while a tetrad of total lunar eclipses is somewhat rare, it is not extraordinarily so, and probably nothing to make a fuss about."

You also won't read at WND any criticism of hucksters exploiting the situation. From the Washington Post:

Greg Boyd, a pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minn., called the predictions a waste of time, maybe even bordering on astrology.

“You have an entire population buying into this stuff so no congregation is immune to this,” Boyd said. “It can strike fear into people, which is so unnecessary and wrong.”

The Jewish holy days carry less theological significance than Jesus’ resurrection for many Christians, said Sam Storms, a pastor of Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City. Any connection between the two events should carry less weight, he said.

“We need to stop giving into some of these sensationalist speculations,” he said. “Maybe Christians are more gullible. One has to twist the data to make it appear as if these are the fulfillment of some biblical prophecy.”

Nah -- you'll never read that at WND, not while it still has blood moon books to shill.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:58 PM EDT
Truth Revolt's Ben Shapiro Gets Desperate For Attention
Topic: Horowitz

We've generally ignored the Truth Revolt media-watchdog blog, largely because it's a second-rate ripoff of NewsBusters and part of the David Horowitz cult of personality. But it appears that Ben Shapiro and Co. are desperate for attention, as painfully illustrated by Shapiro's April 10 column accusing Stephen Colbert of "political blackface," complete with a vintage photo of an actual blackface entertainer. Shapiro goes on to complain that making fun of conservatives is just like racism:

This is the purpose of Colbert’s routine. His show is about pure hatred for conservatives in the same way that blackface was about pure hatred of blacks. In order to justify their racism, racists had to create a false perception of blacks; in the same way, Colbert and his audience can justify their racism only by creating a false perception of conservatives.

Shapiro seems to have ignored the fact that conservatives could come up with a liberal Colbert. But conservatives like Shapiro are too ideological to create genuinely effective political humor at Colbert's level, as anyone who has ever watched NewsBusters' "NewsBusted" or D.J. Dolce's WorldNetDaily videos can attest.

But even if Shapiro had a coherent point to make, it's lost because of his use of the blackface image. That just screams of desperation, a "hey, look at me!" tactic, an attempt to advance a few rungs on the right-wing media ladder by putting provocation before substance.

Will Shapiro succeed? Given his history of shooting himself in the foot with dickishness masquerading as edginess -- smearing a fellow Jew as a "kapo," refusing to admit he got snookered in the "Friends of Hamas" fiasco -- we suspect Truth Revolt will, sooner than later, go the way of the Horowitz group's previous blog effort, NewsReal.

But not before Shapiro provides even more examples of living up to the "revolting" part of Truth Revolt.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:04 PM EDT
WND Censors Ex-Sheriff's Plan To Use Women As Human Shields In Ranch Standoff
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is moving quickly on the Bundy Ranch standoff, from supporting lawbreakers and militia thugs to promoting bogus conspiracy theories. Now it's taking the next logical step: hiding unflattering information about those it's lionizing.

An unbylined April 14 WND article champions Richard Mack -- identified only as "executive director of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association" but who is also a member of the extremist group Oath Keepers -- and his claim that "his sources inside the federal government warn that Washington’s weekend retreat in a dispute over grazing land in Nevada was only a move to distract attention and diffuse tensions, because a raid on the family’s ranch still is planned."

WND doesn't mention that not only did Mack join other militia thugs in escalating the standoff between rancher Cliven Bundy and federal officials over Bundy's decades of violations of grazing laws, he planned a rather heinous plan should the standoff escalate: use women as human shields for the militia thugs.

As the Blaze documents, Mack told Fox News: "We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front. If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers."

Given that WND, for instance, approvingly quoted Rush Limbaugh claiming that President Obama was using children as "human shields" to announce new gun regulations, it should be outraged that militia thugs decided that women were expendible enough to serve as human shields in a standoff with federal officials.

But we suspect it's not -- the thugs were sticking it to the hated federal government, and the women would have been acceptable collateral damage who would also serve as convenient martyrs had things escalated that far.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 12:39 AM EDT
Monday, April 14, 2014
MRC Bashes Jenny McCarthy for Being Anti-Vaccine, Forgets It's Anti-Vaccine Too
Topic: Media Research Center

In an April 14 NewsBusters post, Scott Whitlock criticizes Jenny McCarthy for "attempting to backtrack on her anti-vaccine conspiracy theories." That's a bit hypocritical since the Media Research Center has its own anti-vaxxer streak.

As we've documented, the MRC has criticized people like McCarthy for promoting the discredited theory that vaccines cause autism, but it has promoted fearmongering about Gardasil and other anti-HPV vaccines, in part as a way to shame people about premarital sex. The MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, has declared that studying how to boost the vaccination rate for anti-HPV vaccines is a waste of federal money.

Whitlock did not bring up this double standard.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:05 PM EDT
WND Pushes Discredited Ranch Conspiracy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jerome Corsi writes dramatically in an April 12 WorldNetDaily article:

When Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy refused to take his cattle off land the federal government demanded for the habitat of an endangered desert tortoise, it focused the nation’s attention on an arena Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., may have preferred to be kept quiet.

An investigative report published last week by Infowars.com drew a connection between Senate Majority Leader Reid’s involvement with Chinese energy giant ENN, Chinese efforts to build massive solar facilities in the Nevada desert and the showdown between Bundy and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, or BLM.

The word Infowars should set off warning signals -- that's the website operated by conspiracy-monger Alex Jones. It says a lot about Corsi that he considers Infowars to be credible.

Anyway, the gist of the conspiracy here is that Reid's son Rory "had been appointed the primary representative" of a Chinese company that wanted to construct a solar power plant on the land where Bundy illegally grazed his cattle.

But Corsi is simply doing stenography here -- he doesn't bother to do any investigating on his own. He really should have because what he's copying isn't true. The right-wing Breitbart website did what Corsi wouldn't and even they can't support the claim:

Despite the obvious partisan gain to be had if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s son Rory (a failed 2010 Nevada gubernatorial candidate) had somehow been involved in a “land grab” affecting the Bundy family ranch operation—the facts just do not pan out as such. Indeed, Rory Reid did in fact have a hand in plans to reclassify federal lands for renewable energy developments. Just northeast of Las Vegas and Nellis Air Force Base, plans were drawn by Reid allies to potentially develop 5,717 acres of land for such use. While it would be fair to claim that such activity was in Bundy’s relative neighborhood, the federal lands once leased by the family were more than 20 miles away, east of Overton, Nevada. Contrasting maps offered by InfoWars and those entered into federal court record prove such a theory to be a stretch.

Despite the utter bogusness of Corsi's conspiracy, Joseph Farah parrots it in his April 13 WND column:

This was about something else.

It’s always about something else.

Maybe – just maybe – it had to do with another Nevadan by the name of Harry Reid.

It seems the Senate majority leader has been doing favors for a Chinese energy giant ENN, which has plans to build massive solar facilities in that area – tortoises or no tortoises.

Farah goes on to thank Bundy "for bringing all of this to the public’s attention." And surely Infowars thanks WND for publicizing its bogus conspiracy theory.

UPDATE: Barbara Simpson repeats the bogus conspiracy theory in her April 13 WND column.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:43 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, April 14, 2014 9:31 PM EDT
CNS' Jeffrey Tries to Politicize Longevity Statistics
Topic: CNSNews.com

Leave it to CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey to politicize census statistics.

It's not a surprise to anyone that women as a whole live longer than men, but Jeffrey puts a political spin on it in an April 10 CNS article headlined "Death Discriminates: 81% of Americans 100 or Older Are Women." Jeffrey continues the needless politicization in the article itself:

There is a vast inequality among people who live past their hundredth birthday, according to newly published data from the Census Bureau.

Eighty-one percent of the Americans 100 years old and older during the five-year period covered in the Census Bureau’s report (2007-2011) were women, while only 19 percent were men.

Why is Jeffrey putting this bizarre frame on what are essentially actuarial statistics? It's not like liberals (or anyone else, for that matter) have made this an issue. Maybe it's Jeffrey's idea of a right-wing joke.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:31 PM EDT
As Militia Thugs Gather In Nevada, WND's Loudon Rants That Only The Left Likes Riots
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Gina Loudon's April 13 column is headlined "Why the left loves a violent riot," and she's aiming at out-of-control campus celebrations, but she can't resist the urge to politicize it:

There is a political use for the mob mentality, and our founders understood that well. That is why they designed a representative republic instead of a democracy. Many in our country, including the president, continue to refer to our system of government as a democracy. It isn’t, and that matters. This is a substantive omission, and here’s why.

The difference between a republic and democracy is that a republic is far less susceptible to mob rule than a democracy. By design, democracy allows majority rule, even tyrannical rule, if it is supported by the majority.

[...]

Mob mentality plus lack of religion is the perfect recipe for tyranny.

When individualism is taken away, and replaced with groupthink, all people will become more susceptible to mob mentality. When groups are then rewarded more for being part of a group than for individual success (everyone gets a trophy mentality), that mindset deepens.

When God is taken out of schools, and now needs are met by government, the people begin to see the government as their supplier of needs. Therefore, the people are more willing to submit to the government’s requests, or even hypocrisies, because there is a sort of worship forming.

This is further consecrated when people no longer need family to help them when financial times are tough, because they have government for that. They no longer need neighbors to help them when they have needs, so they stay in their homes and wait for their government check to arrive. They no longer need local charities to help them when they are sick; they have government-controlled health-care programs for that. They no longer need church to help them in crisis, because government does. Once a society’s need for family, church, neighbors and charity are omitted, the government can move in for total control.

When religion is taken away, and moral relativity replaces religion, the mob can do anything without remorse.

Loudon seems to have missed the events in Nevada over the past few days. A lawbreaker named Cliven Bundy had action taken against him for his lawbreaking, and not only did the website that publishes Loudon's column side with the lawbreaker, they cheered on the armed militia thugs that came to Nevada to escalate the situation.

Loudon probably won't call the militia thugs ready to maim and kill government officials given the slightest provocation bereft of religion and driven by moral relativity. Heck, she probably doesn't think Bundy violated the law even though it's been amply documented he has done so for 20 years.

Loudon's answer to  the supposed problem she outlines is to turn back the clock:

The answer, you ask? Radical reform. No more free stuff, including education, even for those in need. Homeschooling is huge today, and very well streamlined. For those who need help, charities can help.

Put God back in school and destroy the theocracy of political correctness that says terrorist political systems are religions, and that our founders didn’t intend “One nation under God.” They did. Deal with it. If you don’t like it, move away to a country that agrees with you. There are many to choose from, but America isn’t one of them.

Eliminate the self-esteem movement along with the IRS, Department of Education and most other government bureaucracies. Let people fail so they can experience the American dream when they succeed.

Ironically, because WND typically censors anyone who takes issue with its far-right agenda, Loudon will never feel the sting significant criticism from the website that publishes her.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 AM EDT
Sunday, April 13, 2014
NewsBusters' Blumer Still Doesn't Understand How Journalism Works
Topic: NewsBusters

For a guy who purports to be a media critic, NewsBusters' Tom Blumer is remarkably clueless about how the media works.

Blumer demonstrates this again in an April 9 post with the headline "AP Keeps Lois Lerner's Name Out of Headline and Opening Paragraph in Two Reports."

Yes, that really is Blumer's complaint:

I suspect that many readers who do their best to keep up with the news at a detailed level have a hard time understanding how many of their friends, acquaintances and neighbors — even many who they know put some effort into keeping up with current events — can be so unaware of many objectively important news developments.

There are two answers to that question. One is that the establishment press very often doesn't cover important matters at all; all one has to do is recall the empty media chairs at the trial of pre-born and newborn baby butcher Kermit Gosnell. The other is that when they do cover a story, journalists and their news outlets often do all they can to keep key names and facts out of their headlines and opening paragraph. Thanks to the fact that many people now consume news using computers, tablets, and smartphones, this stalling tactic may be even more effective now than it was in the print-only days.

[...]

Both stories avoid mentioning Lerner's name. That takes a lot of work, given that she is the object of potential criminal charges. Additionally, Ohlemacher's stories also could and should have been more precise in describing the issue as the "tea party targeting controversy."

The chances of clickthroughs on the headlines seen above on electronic devices are far lower than they would have been if Lerner's name had been added to the headlines. Many electronic news digests also include the first sentence or so of the reports themselves. In each case above, the text is less interesting than it would be if Lerner's name had been included.

As someone who -- unlike Blumer and the vast majority of Media Research Center writers -- actually worked in journalism for years, let me clue Blumer in on how journalism works. While Lois Lerner might be a household name in the right-wing media bubble Blumer resides in, she isn't in the wider world in which the vast majority of Americans live and which is AP's primary audience.

Because Lerner's name means nothing to the vast majority of Americans who aren't obsessed with this right-wing scandal, there is no need to put her name in the headline or lead paragraph of general-interest AP articles. "IRS official" means much more to the American public as a whole than Lerner's name does.

Blumer does go on to question the efficacy of AP's approach in a digital environment where news consumers made "judgments based on top-level headlines and opening paragraphs, often looking no further," but he's still insisting that Lerner's name is significant enough to make a difference in such decisions -- a supposition he doesn't prove.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:23 PM EDT
WND Proclaims Militia Thugs The Winner In Rancher Standoff
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily took the side of scofflaw Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the militia thugs who helped escalate a standoff with federal officials over a longstanding grazing dispute, rooting for the situationto become another Ruby Ridge.

Now that the feds have backed off out of fear the militias would get violent, WND's Drew Zahn has declared a winner -- the militia thugs:

After hundreds of federal agents and allies surrounding Clive Bundy’s ranch in Clark County, Nev., were faced with citizen resistance – both armed and unarmed – it proved the feds who blinked first.

According to an Associated Press report, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, or BLM, officials say “escalating tensions” led them to not only stop rounding up approximately 900 of Bundy’s cattle, but also release all 400 or so head already seized on public land the feds say Bundy can no longer use for grazing his herd.

“Based on information about conditions on the ground and in consultation with law enforcement,” BLM Chief Neil Kornze said in a statement, “we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concerns about the safety of employees and members of the public.”

Zahn lionizes the militia thugs:

A Montana militia member, Jim Lardy, told KLAS-TV in Las Vegas his group, Operation Mutual Aid, was prepared to “provide armed response.”

He said he’s not afraid to shoot, if necessary.

“They have guns. We need guns to protect ourselves from the tyrannical government,” Lardy said.

Other militia members are joining him, he said: “There is many more coming.”

A group called the Nevada Militia issued an alert on the Bundy Ranch’s Facebook page calling for supporters to mobilize in the area.

“Nevada Militia is mobilizing and requesting mutual aid if any Winter Soldier wishes to go, no further permission is needed – you may do as you wish. We will be monitoring the situation at this time as a group,” the alert said.

The alert concluded: “If things escalate we will mobilize as a group.”

Yet Zahn blames the feds for escalating the situation, even though the dispute has been going on for two decades due to Bundy's continued violations of law. Zahn waits until the 19th paragraph to mention that Bundy has been trespassing on federal land for 20 years.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:35 PM EDT

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