Archive for March, 2012

Children are Strange (Part 2)

Posted: March 8, 2012 in Family, Life
As I discussed here, my son confuses the heck out of me at times. A year ago he was confusing me because he loved big, rubber suited live action monster films and TV shows from Japan and could watch them all day with nary a problem while the original Scooby cartoons caused him nightmares. We’ve gone way beyond that one now.
 
A few weeks ago, I was under the weather thanks to a flu bug. One miserable day in bed I decided to pop a movie into the player to enjoy as I drifted in and out. I picked Shaun of the Dead as that film. At some point, my 4 year old son, already nuts about Plants VS Zombies on the computer, came in and got into bed next to me and started watching the film Now, Shaun is a comedy to be sure, but it’s also a straight up, serious, old school zombie film. It is not rated G in other words.
 
Ian watched it. Ian watched all of it. Ian loved it.
 
As a matter of fact, Ian drove mommy nuts all day talking about killing zombies in the house, in the yard and anywhere else he may have been thinking about going. He chased zombies and killed them with his sword all day long and well into the night. He then got up the next day well before I did and killed zombies for a few hours to pass the time before I got up and he asked me to… put Shaun of the Dead (by the film’s correct name) on the big TV in the living room. He’s since watched Shaun with zero issues and zero nightmares. He’s also watched (for variety’s sake and our sanity’s sake since we were up to his seventh or eighth viewing of Shaun) my DVDs of Army of Darkness and I Sell the Dead and watched Xombie: Dead on Arrival (about 20 times) on Netflix streaming. Oh, he’s also big on slashing zombies on the Wii by playing Onechanbara with me in two player mode.
 
And this hasn’t created the first nightmare or issue other than my wife threatening to kill me after being driven insane by Ian talking about killing zombies at all hours of the day and night.
 
But then I turned on the animated version of the Hobbit from 1977 that was created by Rankin/Bass. You know, the one with all of the music and songs.
 
And it gave him a nightmare that night.
 
So adult and teen themed zombie films and games makes for a happy little Ian who then tells everyone, from family on up to my coworkers, about fighting the zombies, but a kid friendly cartoon with music and songs and funny looking characters gives him a fitful night of bad dreams.
 
I’m so confused by my son.
 
In the meantime, my wife also hates my guts because baby girl is walking around holding Godzilla toys in her hands and then doing monster roars at everyone while holding Godzilla up in front of her. No, I didn’t teach her that one. Really, I swear. 
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Ah yes… The latest excuse making for Rush Limbaugh as seen espoused by Eric Bolling and others on Fox News, read on conservative blogs all across the information superhighway, heard on talk radio programs ranging for the local boys all the way up to Rush himself and parroted by Joe Average conservatives in conversations both face to face and electronic is that the Sandra Fluke situation was all an Obama/Democrat plot to discredit Rush and/or distract everyone from the failing economy.
 
Okay…
 
The first problem with that is that, despite the constant pushing of the talking point by the right, the economy isn’t failing right now. It’s actually getting better and has been for a little while now. So it would be a bit dense of Obama and the Democrats to distract people from the improving economy because that would allow the talking point on the right to supplant reality in the minds of many.
 
The second problem… well… It’s not really a problem. At least it’s not for the Left that is. The conservative talkers, bloggers and defenders might have a problem with it if they gave it two second of thought though. You see, for this to have been a master plan by Obama and/or the Dems, it would mean that some of the biggest names on the right are some of the biggest idiots on God’s green Earth.
 
The general spin coming out is that Sandra Fluke was a plant. She was sent to Georgetown to become a student agitator there and be at the ready to be plucked from there to launch Operation Economic Distraction when Obama needed it most. She was then placed into the position of testifying before Congress on the issue of contraception to spring the trap and create the national flap that we’ve had. The combined goals to be, again, distract from the economy, discredit Rush before a major election and maybe hurt Rush’s radio career.
 
Yeah…
 
Do any of these morons realize how big a group of morons they’re making themselves look? They’re pinning their grand conspiracy theory on the idea that Sandra Fluke was planted at Georgetown three full years before the controversy of the last week. That’s right, Obama and the Democrats planted this girl at Georgetown as soon as Obama took office! And that means that they had to have her apply before he was even elected! What geniuses! What amazing forethought that they had! What idiot thinks this is even slightly logical or realistic?!? Well, actually, we’re seeing the answer to that right now.
 
But it gets better!
 
You see, Obama and the Dems were so smart and so swift on the political maneuvering game that they even knew what Republican Darrell Issa would do in 2012 back in 2008! See, apparently, for this idiotic conspiracy theory to work, Obama and the Dems would have to have predicted not only the general actions of the Republicans, but what the specific actions of Darrell Issa would be. See, it was Darrell Issa who lead the republican charge last month against aspects of health care reform by holding a hearing entitled “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?” as a nice little dog and pony show for the base. It was during this dog and pony show that Sandra Fluke, Obama/Democratic plant Sandra Fluke, first became known to the media. You see, she was set to testify before the all male panel at the hearing and, just as Obama and the Dems anticipated three to four years ago, Issa and the Republicans decided that no women would testify on behalf of women’s issues at their hearing.
 
And at that moment, Issa fell into the trap set for him three to four years earlier.
 
You see, that made Sandra Fluke the sympathetic woman who was bullied by the all male, Republican panel. So that opened the door for the Dems to give her a microphone in a smaller hearing that they set up. And of course, it was covered far and wide by every news channel and every television station. Well, actually, no it wasn’t. It actually pretty much came and went and almost nobody but the political wanks paid the testimony any real attention. But Obama and the Dems, knowing that this would happen all those years ago, had one more part of their master conspiracy to spring on the Republicans and propel Operation Economic Distraction into the mainstream. Yes, that’s right, they set up to be their big fall guy the self professed owner of “talent on loan from God” who has many times boasted of the fact that he knows the liberals like the back of his hand or every square inch of his body and can play them like a fiddle.
 
That’s right, they set up Rush Limbaugh himself. Despite Rush’s recent proclamation that he knows what’s right and wrong and would never have used the language and tactics of the other side since that’s against his core values, core beliefs and masterful intelligence, this woman that no one had heard of before and who was planted years ago with masterful strategy and forethought made El Rushbo blindly and foolishly stumble into a big, nasty, steel-fanged bear trap.
 
Yup, you guessed it. Obama, the puppet master extraordinaire and schemer supreme, put Sandra Fluke into the public spotlight by pulling the wool over Rush’s eyes and then booting him in the rear with a laugh and a grin.
 
You see, for the conspiracy to work, Obama and the Dems had to know that Rush would not leave this barely a blip on the national radar testimony alone. They would have had to have known that Rush would pull it out into the forefront of the American debate by spending three days telling lies and slandering this woman. Yes, they knew, knew over three to four years ago mind you, that when they finally unveiled operative Sandra Fluke to discuss the medical treatment uses of contraception and the fact that Georgetown required students to get insurance without contraceptive coverage from Georgetown while Georgetown employees do have contraceptive coverage that Rush would act exactly as he did last week. Yes, they knew that Rush would lie about what Fluke discussed, misrepresent everything that she was saying, call her vulgar names like slut, prostitute and round-heeled, insult the female students at Georgetown, offer to compromise so long as women recorded their sex acts and put them online for him to watch, offer to buy them all as much aspirin as they needed to put between their knees and to generally make enough crass, clueless and vulgar comments to create a national backlash against him and dominate the media for a week. And Obama and the Dems knew, even back then, that Rush would trip over himself and make it worse by issuing a half-assed apology that was hollow and pointless. They also knew that they could count on Fox News personalities not even employed by Fox News when this plan was hatched to make vulgar and clueless comments on the air about the price of condoms and loose women having too much sex. And they knew that the professional conservative blogosphere would quickly fall in line and repeat the same lies, smears and slanders that Rush initiated on his show.
 
That’s right conservatives, you, if you want to push this idiotic conspiracy theory as fact, got played. And you got played big time. Yes, Eric Bolling, Michelle Malkin, Fox News and the rest, Rush Limbaugh himself and all the Joe Average conservatives out there all got played like a fiddle by Obama and the Dems and played so well and so easily that you were played by a plan hatched over three or four years ago. Yes, that’s how stupid you are and easy to dupe. Obama, the master manipulator, put the dominos in place all that time ago and made each of them and all of you fall in line, tumble down and do exactly what he wanted and needed you to do almost four full years after placing that first domino, Sandra Fluke.
 
I ask you, are you really that stupid? Well, yeah, you kind of are. But, really, do you think that everyone else is so stupid that they’ll believe you when you try to push a conspiracy that far fetched and that insanely stupid to excuse the fact that you couldn’t stop yourselves from spending most of the last week attacking a woman in the most vulgar and despicable ways? You’re asking everyone else to believe that Obama and the Dems planned this girl’s time at Georgetown since before he took office. You’re asking everyone else to believe that Obama and the Dems knew that Issa would not only put together a ridiculous dog and pony show hearing, but deny the opportunity to Sandra Fluke to give her prepared testimony. You’re asking us to believe that Obama and the Dems somehow manipulated Rush Limbaugh into speaking and acting on the air for three solid days in a manner that he and you swear he would never have had it not been for this plot. You’re asking us all to believe that Obama and the Dems knew that Rush, Fox News and the conservative blogosphere would take someone that no one was talking about and propel her into the national spotlight in such a manner as to take everyone’s attention away from everything else and create a “fake” backlash against Rush and the conservative movement.
 
Seriously? You really think that everyone out there is dumb enough to buy that?
 
Look, stop trying to push this supposed conspiracy, guys. Just admit that you saw a chance to act like crude, vulgar jackasses and you jumped at the chance to actually be crude, vulgar jackasses. Because, really, there’s no way you come out of this looking good. You’re either so predictable and gullible that Obama can play you for massive fools with barely any effort or you’re so stupid that you think everyone else is as stupid as you are and will believe this garbage you’re now pushing. I mean, at this point we all know from the last week that, yeah, at least some of you are pretty much stupid as hell, but just how additionally stupid to you really want to continue to make yourself look?
 
Of course, if you’re one of the faithful few who still clings to this as a genuine fact and believes that this woman was a plant and this was all a plot by Obama and the Dems and are now confused as to how this could possibly have been pulled off… There is one possibility that you may not have considered. Obama and the Dems didn’t predict Issa and Limbaugh’s actions and missteps, they coordinated them as a part of the conspiracy. Coordinated them? Yeah, that’s right, the only answer left is that they coordinated them because…
 
Issa and Rush were in on it all along.
 
Hey, it’s no dumber than what you’re already trying to get everyone to swallow now.

Sigh…
 
There comes a point when you have to put down the officially issued talking points of your team and the partisan politics and look at the situations that you’re discussing and comparing and give them some thought before making yourself look clueless and foolish. This is apparently not an ability that a great many Rush fans have right now.
 
Back in the middle of last week, Rush Limbaugh decided to attack a young woman, Sandra Fluke. In this attack, he called her several names. One of these names was “slut.” His actions and words brought a lot of attention and condemnation down on him and some of his sponsors started pulling their support by Friday. At that point, some of the conservative blogs started putting forth a talking point that the faithful ran out and repeated all across the information superhighway. The talking point? Ed Schultz called a conservative radio personality, Laura Ingraham, a slut last year and some of the sponsors pulling their ads from Rush still support his show. This is somehow proof of liberal biases, double standards and hypocrisy.
 
I hate to break it to you, but no it’s not.
 
Maybe, maybe, it would be if that was all there was to it. Maybe that could be put forward and accepted as having a shred of comparability if the entire incident in each case was about one word used on the air. Problem for the talking point repeaters out there is that it wasn’t about just one word. It was about everything else around that word and everything else Ed and Rush did after uttering that word.
 
Let’s compare the two things from start to finish (or as close to finish as we can get since the Rush thing is still going.)
 
Ed Shultz was criticizing things that Laura Ingraham and others had said and, during that criticism, crossed the line of civility and good taste and called Ingraham a “right-wing slut.” He didn’t repeat the slur and he didn’t elaborate on it during his program. It was said as a one and done and he went on with the rest of his program.
 
Rush was commenting on a woman named Sandra Fluke who was going to testify before Congress on the medical applications of some contraceptives and the need for some of these to be covered by insurance. Fluke was going to be speaking on this and using as a point of illustration something that happened to an acquaintance of hers who had to fight to get coverage for the treatment and procedures she needed and, after a long fight with her employer provided health insurance, finally got it. However, the time wasted by the insurance company had an impact on the woman’s health and when she finally got the treatment it was too late to save one of her ovaries. Fluke’s testimony before Congress was also going to touch on the many other medical issues that affect women that are treated with some of the contraceptives out there. Some of this would have covered the detrimental effects on women that blood diseases like von Willebrand disease and hemophilia have (yes, despite conventional wisdom, hemophilia can have an affect on women) and on some hormonal problems that some contraceptives help to treat.
 
So Rush lied and characterized what Fluke was going to say as her talking about how she other women like her want to have so much sex that they can’t afford all the birth control that they need. Rush mischaracterized what she was going to talk before Congress about as her essentially demanding that everyone else pay her and other women like her to have sex. And then he called her a slut, called her a prostitute, and said that she was round-heeled.
 
By day two of Ed Schultz’s exercise in foot-in-mouth disease, he issued an apology directly to Laura Ingraham. He didn’t do it on his radio program however. He couldn’t. Ed was taken off of the air for a week. MSNBC also took him off the air for a week (supposedly at his request) from his TV show despite the fact that the comments were made on Ed’s radio show and MSNBC had no ownership or control of the radio show.
 
At the start of Ed’s MSNBC TV show the next night, he introduced the show before departing to allow a guest host to do the show. This is what Ed said.
 
“Good evening, Americans and welcome to The Ed Show from New York tonight. Thomas Roberts will be here tonight anchoring the program, but first I want to take some time to offer an apology. On my radio show yesterday I used vile and inappropriate language when talking about talk show host Laura Ingraham. I am deeply sorry, and I apologize. It was wrong, uncalled for and I recognize the severity of what I said. I apologize to you, Laura, and ask for your forgiveness.
 
It doesn’t matter what the circumstances were. It doesn’t matter that it was on radio and I was ad-libbing. None of that matters. None of that matters. What matters is what I said was terribly vile and not of the standards that I or any other person should adhere to. I want all of you to know tonight that I did call Laura Ingraham today and did not make contact with her and I will apologize to her as I did in the message that I left her today.
 
I also met with management here at MSNBC, and understanding the severity of the situation and what I said on the radio and how it reflected terribly on this company, I have offered to take myself off the air for an indefinite period of time with no pay. I want to apologize to Laura Ingraham. I want to apologize to my family, my wife. I have embarrassed my family. I have embarrassed this company.
 
And I have been in this business since 1978, and I have made a lot of mistakes. This is the lowest of low for me. I stand before you tonight in front of this camera in this studio in an environment that I absolutely love. I love working here. I love communicating with all of you on the radio and the communication that I have with you when I go out and do town hall meetings and meet the people that actually watch. I stand before you tonight to take full responsibility for what I said and how I said it, and I am deeply sorry.
 
My wife is a wonderful woman. We have a wonderful family. And with six kids and eight grandkids, I try to set an example. In this moment, I have failed. And I want you to know that I talked to my sons especially about character and about dignity and about the truth. And I tell you the truth tonight that I am deeply sorry and I tell them every day that they have to live up to standards if they want to be a successful human being in life. And I have let them down. I have never been in this position before to the point where it has affected so many people. And I know that I have let a lot of people down.
 
To the staff here at MSNBC, I apologize for embarrassing the company and the only way that I can really make restitution for you is to give you a guarantee, and the only way that I can prove my sincerity in all of this is if I never use those words again. Tonight, you have my word that I won’t. Laura Ingraham, I am sorry. Very sorry. I’ll be back with you in the coming days.”
 
On day two of Rush’s exercise in foot-in-mouth disease, Rush responded to the idea that his comments were creating controversy by doubling down on the lies about what Fluke was going to discuss before congress, gleefully threw more insults her way and questioned whether her parents should feel proud about a girl “like her.”
 
There obviously was no day three for Ed since he was off the air. So, skipping ahead a bit on Ed; Ed came back on the air a week later. He reiterated his apology both on his radio show and his TV show. He made it clear that he was 110% in the wrong and that there were no excuses to be made for what he said.
 
Day three of the Rush Limbaugh experience included more lies, more insults directed at Fluke and the beginning of Rush spinning the situation to portray himself as the real victim in the situation.
 
And then the night of Rush’s day three started and continued into day four. Sponsors started to leave Rush. Major sponsors started to leave Rush. And so Rush threw a statement that was meant to be an apology out there Saturday night. The wording was… interesting.
 
“For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.
 
I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit? In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.
 
My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”
 
Ed came out and put all responsibility for his words on himself and made no excuses. Rush starts out claiming that this was just him illustrating the absurd with absurdity and, amazingly, even after three solid days of directly addressing Fluke by name and disparaging her character specifically, states that he never meant to attack her personally. He then spends more words in the thing than he spends on actually “apologizing” to continue to lie about what Sandra Fluke was going before Congress to discuss, added asinine asides to it and excuses his actions actions thusly.
 
One man said something stupid in one sentence and apologized for it the next day. That man also accepted punitive actions without whining or excusing what he did. That same man made it clear a week later that what he did was completely out of line, the fault of no one but himself and made it clear that there were no excuses for what he did.
 
The other man spent show time on three separate days telling lies about a woman who held a different political or ideological belief than he does and then proceeded to insult and slander her based on the lies he made up about her. When that other man finally started to feel heat from his sponsors, he issued a half-assed apology where he essentially excused his actions to a degree and continued to tell yet more lies about what the target of his lies and slanders was talking about and doing.
 
I’m sorry, but if you think that these two incidents compare in size, scope and severity at all and you want to proclaim that companies like Carbonite online backup and ProFlowers are exposing a liberal bias or being hypocritical for dropping Rush while still having ads play on Ed Shultz’s radio show… You’re a complete and total idiot. Or you’re a Ditto-Head/mindless conservative talking points repeater. But then, I guess those are the same things, aren’t they.