WorldNetDaily's resident Steve Stockman fanboy, Garth Kant, still wants to perpetuate the myth that Steve Stockman's libel lawsuit against opponent John Cornyn -- which Stockman gave him the scoop on -- has merit.
In a Feb. 11 article on Stockman filing a nuisance ethics complaint aghainst a Cornyn-linked super PAC, Kant recounts the libel lawsuit and the “numerous false statements” that were allegedly made. A Feb. 13 article by Kant also notes the lawsuit; neither article lists the specific allegations outlined in the original article.
Perhaps because the claims that Stockman made -- that he “jailed more than once,” was “charged with a felony” and “violated federal ethics laws" -- are indisputably true. Kant almost certainly knows that, but because he is such a PR agent for Stockman that he really should be on the campaign's payroll, he isn't going to tell his readers that inconvenient fact.
Meanwhile, even more evidence has surfaced to discredit Stockman. The Texas Tribune uncovered Stockman's mugshot from his 1977 arrest for felony possession of diazepam (Valium). Stockman ultimately pleaded no contest to “use of a controlled substance” – a misdemeanor – with the understanding that it would be dropped after a short period of “unofficial” probation.
Kant performed even more Stockman-fluffing in his Feb. 13 article:
And, he added, they didn’t like that he killed the amnesty bill (Sen. Majority Leader) Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had sent to the House.
“We did what’s called a ‘blue-slip.’ We declared it a tax, which it is because the Supreme Court ruled the fees in the health care bill are taxes. The Senate cannot create or generate any revenue. The Constitution gives that power strictly to the House. The House creates what’s called a blue slip, in that event, and I did that to both the immigration and the gun bills.”
Turns out that's not true either, according to the Texas Tribune:
Marc Rosenblum, a senior policy analyst at the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, followed the immigration debate in Congress closely last year. When asked about Stockman’s “blue slip,” he said he didn’t remember it. After researching it, he said Stockman did indeed request in June that House Speaker John Boehner use a “blue slip” resolution to kill Senate Bill 744. Yet the provision was never employed because the bill never made it to the House. Moreover, there are methods for the Senate to get around a blue slip, he said.
“It’s not accurate to say he issued the blue slip because he’s not in the position to issue a blue slip,” Rosenblum said. “He raised this issue that might have been a procedural hurdle for 744 to overcome, but it’s not accurate to say that he prevented 744 from passing.”
Reporters are supposed to tell the truth about the people they cover. Kant is clearly not a reporter, and we hope Stockman is paying him well for his PR services.
Busted! MRC's Graham Revealed As Brent Bozell's Long-Suffering Ghostwriter Topic: Media Research Center
Last year, we noted that the latest book by the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell and Tim Graham carried only Bozell's name on the copyright despite Graham being listed as a full-fledged co-author (and the MRC claiming that it gets all proceeds from the book), and mused that Graham was getting screwed out of the book's proceeds.
Turns out Bozell has been screwing Graham out of a lot more than that.
Jim Romenesko reports that according to former MRC employees, Graham writes “almost everything published under [Bozell's] name,” including Bozell's twice-weekly column. Further, Graham isn't happy aboaut it at all:
“Tim just resents having to do it,” says a former employee.
Graham’s wife, too, is so angry about the arrangement that she refuses to attend Media Research Center events.
“She hates Bozell,” I’m told. “The forced ghostwriting is the issue,” says an ex-employee.
One loyal MRC employee tried to spin this, according to Romenesko:
I was advised to contact a third MRC employee who, I was told, would confirm Graham’s ghostwriting duties. He did that, but defended the practice of “people signing off on agreeable words written for them.” He asked me: “How many speeches has Obama written the last ten years? Should he have prefaced the State of the Union with ‘My fellow Americans – I didn’t write this?’”
I asked Pittsburgh Tribune-Review colunnist and National Society of Newspaper Columnists president Eric Heyl about this remark. He said:
“The argument that the columnist should be allowed to use a ghostwriter because the president has speechwriters is as limp as pasta left overnight in boiling water. The comparison is ludicrous. The columnist doesn’t have to spend much of his time dealing with a dysfunctional Congress or fretting over Iran’s nuclear program.”
As a result, Bozell's syndicator, Creators Syndicate, will add Graham as a co-author on the columns.
Bozell and Graham have refused to comment to Romenesko, and there is nothing about the controversy on any MRC website, so we don't know things like if Bozell will retroactively credit Graham for his work.
Romekesko also notices the ultimate irony of the situation: The organization that demands media outlets "Tell the Truth!" can't even tell the truth about itself.
WND: Jury Nullification for Right-Wingers Good, Jury Nullification For Blacks Not So Much Topic: WorldNetDaily
Race-baiting writer Colin Flaherty complains in a Feb. 11 WorldNetDaily article:
One of the reasons police do not arrest more black people in the Baltimore area is because black juries are often reluctant convict black defendants. This observation of racial jury tampering comes from academic and legal studies such as “Jury Nullification, Race, and The Wire.” And from David Simon, creator of the Baltimore crime drama, The Wire, a veteran of 13 years on the cop beat for the Baltimore Sun.
But WND used to love jury nullification -- at least when it benefited right-wingers and not black people.
For inatance, Joel Miller touted jury nullification in a 2003 WND column, citing no less than the Founding Fathers to bolster his view:
In other words, the people are deemed sensible enough to decide when one of their fellows is getting the shaft from an unjust law. This only makes sense. The people are judged sensible enough to elect legislators in the first place. If things go awry after the ballot box, the jury box provides one more place to check and stop the progress of tyranny by nullifying bad laws passed by those legislators.
Far from viewing nullification as a gateway to random enforcement of law and anarchy, the founders viewed it as an essential tool for combating despotism and preserving liberty – one more method of denying absolute power to any single man or governing body.
Former WND columnist Vox Day wrote a 2003 column headlined "3 cheers for jury nullification," declaring that "if any juror believes that the law is unjust, he has power and the duty to ignore it and make his decision according to his conscience alone."
A 1999 WND article quotes one anti-tax activist advocating "widespread use of 'jury nullification' to defeat tax prosecutions." And a 2012 WND article by Bob Unruh touted how a supporter of a defendant in a case regarding a private milk-buyers club said that the jury should "return a verdict of not guilty on the charges no matter what the facts and the law of the case are."
And we're not even counting all the times that WND has advocated a larger level of legal nullification by encouraging states to reject federal laws they don't agree with.
But when jury nullification benefits black people, that's apparently where WND draws the line -- and Flaherty is not the first to do so. In a 2007 column, Ann Coulter cited as a case of nullificaiton "a jury composed of nine blacks and three Puerto Ricans acquitted Lemrick Nelson Jr. of the murder [of rabbinical student Yankel Rosenbaum] – despite the fact that the police found the bloody murder weapon in his pocket and Rosenbaum’s blood on his clothes, and that Rosenbaum, as he lay dying, had identified Nelson as his assailant."
What Passes For 'Research' At The MRC Topic: Media Research Center
A Feb. 6 Media Research Center item by Kristine Marsh and Matt Philbin promotes the claim that NBC covered the Russian law banning gay "propaganda" much more than "the plight of Christians in war-torn Syria." But despite the MRC's insistence that it engages in "scientific" research, there's nothing scientific about this screed.
Marsh and Philbin provide no methodology for how they counted their references, nor do they even provide the timeline in which they searched; they discuss only "the run up to the Sochi Winter Olympics." But the references they cite go back to last June -- a six-month-old story can hardly be considered a "run up" to Olympic coverage. Additionally, there's a mention of MSNBC's website, so it isn't even clear if Marsh and Philbin limited their so-called research to NBC.
By contrast, Equality Matters has served up a much more detailed analysis of NBC's coverage of the Russian anti-gay law:
There was only one mention of the law on NBC in the month after it was approved. Unlike the MRC, a methodology is provided.
NBC has made no mention of the role American conservatives played in the shaping of the law.
Further, comparing NBC's coverage of Russian anti-gay laws to the plight of Christians in Syria is merely the latest MRC's tradition of comparing things to random other things. Marsh and Philbin even admit that alleged persecution of Christians, which involve "tens of thousands," is a minor issue in the overall Syrian civil war, which has "displaced millions of Syrians."
Since the MRC has an anti-gay agenda, Marsh and Philbin don't have much to say about the Russian law itself beyond conceding it is "distasteful legislation to be sure, and enforcement could be dangerous in the hands of Putin’s thugocracy." They then defend it by playing the equivocation game, declaring that "it doesn’t call for prison or violent punishments (like the toppling of stone walls on gays – an execution favored by Islamists and something you won’t find NBC talking much about)." Marsh and Philbin also minimize anti-gay violence in Russia, claiming without evidence it's only "of the street-thug variety."
The MRC's reserach has always been shoddy. Philbin and Marsh prove that the MRC has learned nothing and is more interested in advancing an agenda than telling the truth.
WND Columnist Upset At CVS For Ending Tobacco Sales, And She Doesn't Even Smoke Topic: WorldNetDaily
Add WorldNetDaily's Barbara Simpson to the list of right-wingers upset that CVS Pharmacy exercising its perogative as business owners in a free market by deciding to stop selling tobacco products, despite admitting that she's not a smoker and "hate[s] the smell of cigarette smoke":
If you thought the idea of making people stop smoking reached its zenith when hideous pictures were suggested to be put on packs to frighten smokers and when taxes were raised to the point of insult, now we have a major corporation deciding to stop selling a legal product under the guise of “doing the right thing for the good of our customers and our company.”
To be honest about this, I smoked for a short time years ago and haven’t since. I hate the smell of cigarette smoke, but I do not favor the rampant anti-smoking laws. A neighboring city is passing laws forbidding smoking in private homes! That sounds unconstitutional and needs testing in court.
I enjoy a variety of alcoholic beverages and I’m not in favor of prohibition. We tried that, and it didn’t work.
I resent the moves to eliminate tobacco from our society. To have a carton of cigarettes cost $30-$40 and more, because of taxation, is obscene and only drives the black market. It’s simply done to punish smokers and make money for the state.
For CVS to ban tobacco from its stores smacks of currying favor from Washington in hopes of getting federal money to establish those health clinics in their facilities.
As Larry Merlo said, “This is the right thing to do.”
Newsmax's Ruddy Bashes less-Than-Fawning Ailes Bio Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy has his phases of reasonableness -- i.e., his rapproachement with Bill Clinton -- but he's still prone to to falling into spouting knee-jerk right-wing talking points.
In a Feb. 10 column, Ruddy includes as an example of alleged liberal intolerance ... the new biography of Roger Ailes?
I thought a new book about Roger Ailes, the founder of Fox News and its longtime chairman -- "The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News — and Divided a Country," might shed some light on Fox's success.
But author Gabe Sherman, who has done some solid reporting at New York magazine, seems to have fallen into the same intolerant trap regarding Roger Ailes. I was hoping this book would give us a "fair and balanced" perspective on Ailes.
Instead, it reads as though Sherman interviewed every disgruntled person who ever worked with Ailes during his more than four decades in media.
Sherman thematically offers Ailes as a man who is dominating (is that unusual for a CEO?), a bully (because he fights back?), and paranoid (perhaps the Sherman book justifies that!).
There is so much I wanted to know about Ailes.
This is a man who took Rupert Murdoch's vision and became the architect of the biggest force in news today, creating an asset worth $10 billion or more. Yet the portrait Sherman paints is a fairly negative picture of Ailes that tells little about the real man.
Sherman does note that when Ailes left NBC to start Fox News, 89 employees at NBC quit their jobs to join him. Yes, 89 people left high-paying jobs with all the security NBC offered to go work on a start-up.
This passing reference screamed out to me: Tell me more!
This mass movement of employees, to me, is unprecedented. What type of man engenders such loyalty and support from his colleagues? I can’t believe that a controlling, paranoid bully would cause 89 people to so dramatically change their lives and risk their livelihoods. Sherman's book falls far short in telling that story about Roger Ailes and much more.
If it's a fawning bio of Ailes Ruddy wants, one exists -- the Zev Chafets book, which Ailes fully cooperated with.
Newsmax also attacked Sherman's book last month by complaining that he didn't submit it to "Fox's press department" for fact-checking, even though Sherman repeatedly tried (and failed) to talk with Ailes himself.
Flashback: WND Ignored IRS Abuse Allegations Under Bush Topic: WorldNetDaily
Chelsea Schilling writes in a Feb. 10 WorldNetDaily article:
Few federal agencies are more feared and loathed by Americans than the Internal Revenue Service – especially when corrupt presidents abuse the power of the IRS to harass and exact revenge on political enemies.
Several administrations have purportedly used the IRS to attack their foes, including those of Presidents Calvin Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and George W. Bush.
But despite WND's mission statement to expose "wrongdoing, corruption and abuse of power," it couldn't be bothered to look into allegations that the IRS under the Bush administration targeted political enemies.
We noted back in 2005 that the Bush IRS was being accused of conducting politically motivated audits -- allegations ignored by WND. Finally, in 2006, WND editor Joseph Farah took notice of one example, declaring that "It is no more justifiable for a Republican administration to use the IRS as a political attack dog than it is for a Democratic White House." But we didn't really hear anything more about it from WND -- certainly not to the extent that it howls about claims of targeting under the Obama administration.
Think of this as just another reminder that WND doesn't practice what it preaches -- and how it's so ethically, morally and journalistically compromised that nobody believes it.
MRC Keeps Up Bozell's Misguided Attack on 'Philomena' Film Topic: Media Research Center
One way Brent Bozell has been expressing his uber-Catholic identity is by attacking the film "Philomena," about a young, unmarried Irish woman who became pregnant in the early 1950s and was sent off to a convent, where she worked as a servant in the laundry and raised her child until he was three, at which point he was taken from her and adopted away by an American family.
In a December column, Bozell denounced it as an "anti-Catholic attack film," praising how New York Post movie critic Kyle Smith called it a "hateful attack on Catholics." Bozell didn't mention that the real Philomena Lee, whose story the film is based on, responded to Smith's review and called it "incorrect." Lee praised the film as "a testament to good things, not an attack" and pointing out that "despite some of the troubles that befell me as a young girl, I have always maintained a very strong hold on my faith."
In a January radio appearance, Bozell reinterpreted the film to better suit his agenda. In Bozell's world, the child really wasn't taken from her since he was "adopted by loving parents," and the girl "obviously" did "something wrong" for the nuns to take the child from her.
Despite Bozell's view of "Philomena" clashing with reality, his Media Research Center still pushes it. In a Feb. 5 MRC item, Matthew Balan complains that "Wednesday's Good Morning America on ABC ballyhooed the 'breaking news' that Pope Francis shook hands with the real-life inspiration for the anti-Catholic movie "Philiomena" at the Vatican." Balan's only evidence that the film is "anti-Catholic is a link to Bozell's column.
NEW ARTICLE: What If Mychal Massie Were White? Topic: WorldNetDaily
The WorldNetDaily columnist invokes his black-conservative privilege to say things he could not get away with if he was not a black conservative -- like calling a black woman a "Negress" or telling blacks to go back to Africa. Read more >>
CNS' Starr Can't Be Bothered To Tell A Balanced Story Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's tradition of one-sided reporting continues in a Feb. 11 article by Penny Starr, in which she details how "A coalition of pro-family and traditional values groups sent a letter yesterday to Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey asking that the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations to stop using the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a resource and authority on hate crimes."
Missing from Starr's article: Any reaction from the SPLC to the letter. There's no evidence Starr even bothered to contact them for a response. Thus, conservative smears of the SPLC as "anti-Christian" stand unchallenged, despite CNS' mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."
WND's Big IRS Scandal 'Smoking Gun' Isn't Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein thinks he has a "smoking gun" in the IRS non-scandal:
Though President Obama insists the Internal Revenue Service is not guilty of the political targeting of nonprofits, WND has learned the agency contracts with an avowedly “progressive” organization supported by George Soros to process data filed by smaller tax-exempt groups.
The federal agency process sends details contained in the annual filings for organizations with $50,000 in annual receipts or less to the Urban Institute, which is funded at least partly by government payments as well as contributions from far-left activist George Soros.
The IRS page directs groups to file with the Urban Institute, although apparently other providers also can file the Form 990 documentation, which is required of every nonprofit, small and large.
Yeah, that's Klein's "smoking gun." No evidence that the Urban Institute has done anything other compile Form 990 information for the IRS -- just that it's a supposedly liberal group. In other words, classic guilt by association.
Klein makes sure to bury key information that undermines his conspiracy:
The Urban Institute’s partnership with the IRS, meanwhile, goes back to 1997, when the nonprofit was contracted to digitize and help make the data associated with Form 990s more accessible to the public.
Also in 1997, the Urban Institute contracted with Philanthropic Research, Inc., which later renamed itself GuideStar, to digitize form 990s.
So the Urban institute has worked with the IRS for close to 20 years, with apparently no problem until Klein decided to play guilt by association. If it were an actual problem, you'd think that the Bush administration would have done something about it. But they apparently didn't.
Despite the big pile of nothing here, Klein's boss, Joseph Farah, is ready to flog it:
It’s a simple story but presents an open-and-shut case that the IRS has been discriminating against conservatives for nearly 20 years – and the Obama administration has knowingly taken advantage of policies implemented by Bill and Hillary Clinton and set them on hyper drive.
Well, no -- again, this is simply guilt by association, and no wrongdoing has been proven, let alone alleged. But then, when has WND ever needed evidence to promote its smears?
AIM's Kincaid Ignores Anti-Gay Agenda Of Groups Aligning With Putin Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid writes in a Feb. 7 Accuracy in Media column:
The 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi aren’t the only platform for Russian President Vladimir Putin to assert himself on the international stage. He is reportedly planning to preside over a major Moscow conference in September sponsored by the World Congress of Families, a pro-family coalition that includes several high-profile American conservative organizations.
Putin, who is recently divorced and is said to have a mistress, will present himself as a defender of the Christian faith and Christian values, in contrast to the decline and decadence of the West. He is counting on conservatives in attendance to ignore the fact that he was a Soviet KGB officer and ran its successor, the FSB.
Weirdly, Kincaid is completely silent about the main reason these "pro-family" groups have latched onto Putin: the recently passed law in Russia banning alleged pro-gay "propaganda."
Right Wing Watch notes that "the WCF and the Religious Right groups it partners with are ardent promoters of anti-gay legislation worldwide, and they love Russia's anti-gay President Vladimir Putin."
Perhaps Kincaid's silence on the issue is because he actually supports Putin on this -- after all, he's been a longtime gay-basher who supports a proposed law in Uganda that would permit the execution of homosexuals.
In September, Kincaid huffed that a group headed by William Kristol "critical of Russia for passing legislation to protect children from homosexual propaganda." In a December column, Kincaid criticized the hosts of CNN's "Crossfire" for critizing the Russian anti-gay law and supporting President Obama's more to send gay athletes as part of a U.S. delegation to the Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Perhaps Kincaid doesn't want to admit that homophobia is a key Putin value, lest it undermine his own homophobia.
UPDATE: Kincaid finally addresses the issue in a Feb. 11 column, in which defends Putin's crackdown on gay activity as "understandable" and laments the media's "gross exaggerations" about Russia's anti-gay law:
Media coverage of Russia during the Olympic Games has proven to be extremely inaccurate, from the gross exaggerations about the effects of Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law, to NBC’s claim in a report for the Olympics opening ceremony that Soviet communism was a “pivotal experiment”—and not a tragedy—in the country’s history.
The topic of homosexual rights has dominated most of the coverage. Fareed Zakaria made the false claim on CNN that homosexuality has been “criminalized,” or outlawed, in Russia while Megyn Kelly of Fox News insisted that Russian President Putin is somehow guilty of “homophobia” because he signed a law prohibiting the recruitment of children to the homosexual lifestyle.
By any objective standard, the Russian response to America’s export of homosexuality under Obama is understandable, not objectionable, and it doesn’t constitute “homophobia.” They passed a law to keep homosexual propaganda from children. But this does not mean that Russia is on the right course and should be applauded by conservatives.
The narrow focus on gay rights, which is the intense concern of many in the U.S. media, misses the big picture—that Putin is posturing globally as a pro-family values champion willing to confront America’s dying and decadent culture. Some conservatives are so disgusted by the course Obama has put America on that they seem willing to suspend their critical thinking abilities and embrace Putin as sincere.
And somehow, this is all Obama's fault:
Say what you will about Putin, but he has a vision for his country that is enticing to the Russians and draws a contrast with the West, which is suffering through a period of decline and decay under Obama. The year 2014 has been declared the “Year of Culture in Russia,” and Putin says “It is intended to be a year of enlightenment, emphasis on our cultural roots, patriotism, values and ethics.”
In contrast to Obama, who embraces and promotes every deviant and perverted lifestyle choice, Putin sounds very appealing. But appearances can be deceiving and American conservatives eager to embrace this kind of “conservatism” would be wise to stop and examine what is really going on in Russia. The evidence indicates it is a clever ruse to mask the emergence of a resurgent Russia, built on the Soviet “experiment.”
It is difficult to see one area—except for gay rights—in which Obama is not doing Putin’s bidding. Obama’s homosexual agenda only makes Putin look stronger and more appealing on the world stage, even driving American conservatives into the arms of the would-be Russian dictator.
So, yeah, Kincaid is totally down with Putin's anti-gay crackdown, even if he has to hold his nose at the idea that it's the one thing that keeps him from completely rejecting Putin.
LoBaido Returns to WND With Odd Musings About Oakland Raiders Topic: WorldNetDaily
Anthony LoBaido -- the guy who wrote a post-9/11 God-damn-America screed so extreme and hateful that WorldNetDaily eventually removed it from its website despite editor Joseph Farah defending it (we named a Slantie Award after him), and also the guy who hung out with white supremacists in South Africa -- is back. And this time, he's trying to extract social commentary out of observing Oakland Raiders fans.
LoBaido's very long Feb. 9 WND article is filled with clumsy metaphors (describing a woman who attempted suicide by jumping off the top deck of the Raiders' stadium as having "tumble[d] downward like a stunt dummy, or the parachuting gang of bank robbers in the film, “Point Break”) and clumsier self-aggrandizement (he touts how Raytheon "offered me a position of senior training and development director working with the new National Armed Forces of Afghanistan" but didn't take the job becuase "I wanted $345,000 per year to put my life on the line").
But clumsiest of all are LoBaido's attempts to shoehorn his griping about the world into a study of rabid football fans, to the point where it's unclear just how LoBaido really feels besides superior and judgmental. He laments that some female Raiders fans "would cut and alter their tops to show off their cleavage just enough to make them enticing, as if they had it down to an exact science." He then adds: "You have to wonder what happened to modesty, but considering the siege of pornography in society, the thirst for modesty has been all but quenched."
A few paragraphs later, LoBaido serves up this train wreck of a paragraph:
People were chanting “USA!” even though both Iraq and Afghanistan have long since been lost, military suicides have climbed to more than 20 per day and egregious criminality from Abu Ghraib to Robert Bales have unraveled before our eyes. Yet it was good to see the American spirit was still alive, and it made me proud to be on hand, and proud to be an American. The giant American flag spread across the football field was almost awe inspiring. That said, one could not avoid the feeling that we were cheering for both an American mystique and an Oakland Raiders mystique that have evaporated like the morning fog, as the prestige, influence, financial might, morality, prosperity and standing of our nation steadily declines.
Elsewhere, LoBaido takes numerous odd digressions, including a brief history of the city of Oakland and about how his mom's favorite football player was Jim Plunkett, and repeatedly misspells the name of Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin. He also serves up this:
Another memory that I can’t seem to shake is that of all the security at the games. When I was walking in to the stadium for the final game of the season against Denver, one of the security guards told me, “Christians are dangerous.” He was actually checking me for a knife.
He said, “We don’t want you stabbing anybody.” You know, as if …
I said reflexively, “I’m just a boring, Christian guy.” I mean, I used to work at a grocery store when I was a teenager. I used to work at a gas station, too. Just like Jim Plunkett.
The security guard then said, “We all know Christians are dangerous, too.” (Like Kurt Warner?)
We were thinking more like James Kopp, or perhaps the militias in the Central African Republic. Or maybe the South African white supremacists LoBbaido hung out with.
LoBaido concludes that football keeps our collective minds off real problems, like China or deadly gamma rays:
Perhaps some will say that these thoughts deserve additional introspection. How does the NFL, with its violence, showmanship, antics, drinking and criminality, reflect postmodern America, if at all? There were the shootings at Sandy Hook in Connecticut and the storm we came to know as “Sandy.” Is our society, and our world, coming apart? Yet while we may indeed live in a society where is seems that nothing is sacred, we can at least hold onto the fact that for many Americans, football is still sacred. That, in and of itself, offers at least a modicum of comfort.
Distractions like the NFL will have to be enough to keep us from slipping into the “Black Hole,” as we live in a world where China has launched a new fleet of stealthy submarines loaded with intercontinental ballistic missiles bought and paid for at Wal-Mart, and a constant flood of immensely powerful gamma ray bursts threaten life on Earth.
An editor's note states that Lobaido "was given season tickets to attend the Oakland Raiders NFL home games," which apparently resulted in this. Let this be a lesson to anyone thinking about giving away such things.
Students who attended Catholic high schools were approximately twice as likely as students who attended public high schools to go on and graduate from college, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.
According to the report, 61.9 percent of Catholic high school students went on to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher by the time they were 8 years out of high school. By contrast, only 31.1 percent of public school students had gone on to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Jeffrey doesn't mention one key reason why that is: Catholic schools get to be selective about the students they enroll, while public schools do not.
A pro-Catholic education website even admits this, citing as one reason for higher achievement rates that "smarter parents send their smarter students to Catholic schools, an effect called pre-selection."
Since Catholic schools are in large part selective, they can also remove students who do not perform well -- and those students usually end up in public schools.
WND's Kupelian Serves Up Hypocritical Drug Rant Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian has long had a hypocritially adversarial relationship with prescription drugs. For example, he has previously attacked antidepressants while citing the case of Andrea Yates, who killed her five children, as an argument against them while ignoring the fact that she and her husband were in thrall to a fundamentalist Christian preacher who likely contributed to her mindset.
Kupelian takes on painkiller abuse in a Feb. 9 WND column:
“Prescription drug abuse,” announced the CDC, “is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States.”
The skyrocketing rate of drug-overdose death rates “has been driven,” says the report, “by increased use of a class of prescription drugs called opioid analgesics” – drugs like hydrocodone (brand names Norco, Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet) and morphine (Astramorph, Avinza).
“Opioid analgesics suppress your perception of pain,” explains WebMD, “and calm your emotional response to pain by reducing the number of pain signals sent by the nervous system and the brain’s reaction to those pain signals.”
For the last decade, “more overdose deaths have involved opioid analgesics than heroin and cocaine combined,” reports the CDC. In addition, “for every unintentional overdose death related to an opioid analgesic, nine persons are admitted for substance abuse treatment, 35 visit emergency departments, 161 report drug abuse or dependence, and 461 report nonmedical uses of opioid analgesics.” In other words, it’s an epidemic.
America’s traditional drug paradigm has long been something like this: On the one hand is the respectable, legal, medical world where enlightened doctors prescribe their patients wonder drugs that relieve their symptoms and make them feel more comfortable – OxyContin, anti-anxiety drugs (Valium, Xanax), sleeping pills, stimulants, mood stabilizers and, more recently, marijuana, hallucinogens and so forth.
On the other hand is the sleazy, criminal world of drug pushers who supply low-life users and addicts with drugs to satiate their habits, make them feel better and relieve their stresses, troubles and anxieties – drugs like OxyContin and other illegally obtained psych meds, marijuana, stimulants, cocaine, hallucinogens and so forth.
But WND has as a columnist Lee Hieb, a past president of the right-wing Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. We've documented how the AAPS defended a doctor who prescribed massive doses of painkillers like morphine and OxyContin to patients, some of whom abused and resold the pills. The DEA stated that the doctor's actions "caused at least one death, several nonfatal overdoses, and countless addicted patients."
The AAPS has a list of doctors who have prosecuted for overprescription of painkillers, stating that because of this prosecution, "tens of thousands have been deprived of life-saving treatment."
If Kupelian is really concerned about drug misuse, he should rethink his employer's relationship with Hieb and AAPS.