Archive for category News and Current Events
Working under the belief that no sacrifice is too great for my country, I have taken to watching Glenn Beck as often as I can. Which is not easy, since I am not yet a member of his demographic and, not yet retired, I don’t get home from work until after his 5:00 pm EST show airs. But thank God for DVR.
I seriously doubt that too many of his fans use a DVR to watch his program as I don’t think too m any of his fans would understand how to work it. Just at they are cell phone challenged (helping to keep Cricket afloat by purchasing those big numbered retro-phones). And internet challenged.
Apparently Beck is not very savvy when it comes to the internet, either. On yesterday’s show he had this to say about the upcoming FCC guideline concerning internet neutrality:
The next thing I want you to consider is net neutrality — the FCC over Congress. We told you that Congress was making itself irrelevant. They couldn’t get net neutrality through Congress. Well, the FCC is announcing plans next week for regulations that would ban ISPs like Comcast from blocking or favoring content online. This is basically a Fairness Doctrine for the Internet.
America, you lose the Internet, you lose the war, I think. Cass Sunstein said it was bad for people that they could seek out information that only fits their point of view. They want to make sure that you can get the Huffington Post on Fox News. No, thank you. They’re about to control what you see on the Internet. And Congress doesn’t even have a say anymore. They’re being completely circumvented. Comcast, I believe, will most likely go for it, because they’re takeover of NBC? I’ll bet you that’s being held hostage.
Which couldn’t be farther from the truth. What internet neutrality is actually designed to do is inhibit censorship, by preventing big ISPs like Comcast, Verizon, ATT and AOL, from blackballing certain websites because they are unwilling to make financial agreements designed to benefit the ISPs (which is already happening). This would be like a television news network refusing to cover stories about the recent GM IPO because Chevrolet decided not sponsor their programming. And whether it offends your free-market libertarian sensitivities or not, the Federal government has had a mandate since the early days of radio to ensure that the content on public airwaves is freely accessible to all Americans, no matter what the economics of broadcasting may happen to be. (Somehow Fox News has been able to get around this.)
Now, I would expect that most of Beck’s fans rarely use the internet (like my parents, who won’t be reading my blog for this very same reason) so they really don’t have any good way to check out Beck’s facts, here or anywhere else. But when will his other younger (or more astute) listeners figure out that this lie is just another peg pulled out out from Beck’s Jengo-like bona fides? Eventually the tower will have to fall. But when? He has gotten away with so many lies in the past, what can possibly threaten his credibility among his fan base? It seems that his followers have an amazingly high tolerance for bull-shit.
If you doubt this then just look at who was the highest rated new television celebrity this month. It wasn’t Beck (never has been, actually) but his own little Eliza Doolittle.
An American Muslim going by the name of Saladin left a very brief (and the only) comment on my post comparing Right-Wing Islamaphobic blogs to Mein Kampf: ” So few people remember that is past is prologue.” I am glad for the comment because I ended up visiting his blog, “Reflections on the Straight Path”, where I read an excellent piece about New York mayor Michael Bloomburg’s profound speech on the proposed mosque at Ground Zero. With Saladin’s permission, the article is reprinted here:
Yesterday, in a moment of statesmanship that would shame many presidents, Mayor Bloomberg announced that the commission that designated landmarks voted against extending that status to the building located where the Park 51 community center would go. He gave an incredible speech. He stood up for the US constitution, a piece of paper that is our truest national treasure. Many people were overjoyed, many others were outraged. Bloomberg was simultaneously hailed as a hero, a champion for civil rights and all that is good in the United States and condemned as a spineless politician bought off by special interests, if not an actual traitor. None of these reactions are unexpected when dealing with an issue this complex and close to peoples’ hearts and passions.
For those who support the Park 51 Islamic Center, now is the time to speak up, now is the time to reach out. Those who are in pain over the choice, who are righteously indignant–they are the ones we must connect with. They demand to know that “these Muslims” won’t support terrorism, DO condemn the attacks on 9/11. So tell them. Nearly a hundred Muslims died on 9/11–their deaths are equally tragic, equally outrageous. More Muslims have gone off to serve their country, died in wars they may not have fully agreed with but they served their country loyally. American Muslims are not a separate nation nor a fifth column.
For those who oppose Park 51, now is the time to remember what is under attack. It is our nation, it is our strength, and our freedom to choose that the terrorists resent. They think us immoral and corrupt. Some of us are. Most of us aren’t. As long as you do what they say, when they say, how they say, Al-Qaeda really doesn’t have a problem with you. The minute that changes, you change from ally to enemy. The issues that drive that organization are both simple and Byzantine, all at once. What you must remember is that whenever we turn against each other, whenever we choose to marginalize one group or try to curtail their constitutional rights, the terrorists wet their pants with glee. They want us divided, they want us willing to sacrifice our most basic principles. I’ve seen it. I know.
All of us, regardless of our religion, nationality, or any other distinguishing characteristic, are sisters and brothers of this world. We all love, we all bleed, and we’ll all die. The only thing we can change is how we treat each other.
“ We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. ”
—United States Constitution, Preamble
“Repel (evil) with what is better. Then will he, between whom and thee was hatred, become as it were thy friend and intimate. And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint.” The Qur’an – Surah 41, Verse 34 and 35
So a federal judge in Wisconsin has finally determined that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. Personally, I think this is great news. As much as people like to say that this day is for all people of faith, its history and its practice is Christian. Call it what you want, it is the offspring of Christianity and all PC speak aside, that is what it remains.
Not that there is anything wrong for Christians (or Jews or Muslims or Wiccans) across the country to decide on one day a year for nationwide prayer. But it shouldn’t be championed by the government. If the idea has any relevance for people then it should stand on its own merits, without the institutionalized support of our nation’s lawmakers. In fact, this is exactly what is happening. President Obama, a citizen with rights just like you and me, has decided to go ahead and continue to recognize this day anyway. (But wait! Isn’t he some kind of anti-Christian crypto-Muslim?)
You’d think serious Christians could see that there is something about civic prayer that smacks more of Caesar than it does of Jesus. But they don’t. They’ve even pulled out the big guns on this one: Chuck Norris. Personally, I always thought the idea of a “National” day of prayer was pretty bogus. Sort of sounds like the old vanity that “God is on our side” – that America is particularly favored by God.
Why not a true inter-faith International Day of Prayer? (Organized and administered by the private sector, of course). But that might mean praying with people of other countries who might very well be praying for things that are odds with our own national interests. Can’t have that.